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Full text of "The works of President Edwards .."
















The Editor, in giving the History of the 
Work of Redemption has followed the fourth Edin- 
burgh Edition, printed in the year 1793. This is 
according to the form to which the manuscript was 
reduced by Dr. Erskine, and appears to ha^ue been 
printed with uncommon accuracy, probably under the 
eye of the Doctor. This is preferred to the London 
Edition, published. in the year ^^^ by Mr. Pitcher. 
The Editor of this Edition, though he appears to 
ha'ue been conscientiously careful to preserve the senti- 
ments of Mr » Edwards, fias so 'varied the style, 
that we cease to rely that what we read is the compo- 
sition of the original author. The copious notes at- 
tached to this Edition were evidently designed to em- 
bellish the work, and render it more acceptable among 
literary men. They are thought to be of no ad'van- 
tage to the reputation of the author, and but in i^ery 
few instances to be of any considerable importance to 
elucidate his work. Some of our subscribers may 
have expected to see them inserted \ but if it had been 
expedient, we had absolutely no room for them. 

WoaCESTERj Jjiril, 1808. 



iHETwho have a relish for the study of the 
scriptures^ and have access to peruse the follovding 
sheets, ivill^ I ampersuaded^deem themselves rimch in- 
debted to the Reverend Mr, Edwardso/' Nevj haven 
for consenting to publish them. Though the acute 
philosopher and deep divine appears in them, yet they 
are in the general better calculated for the instruction 
and improvement of ordinary Chris iians, than those of 
President Edwards's writings, where the abstruse 
nature of the subject, or the subtle objections of oppos- 
ers of the truth, led him to more abstract and meta- 
physical reasonings. The manuscript being entrusted 
to my care, I have not presumed to make any change 
in the sentiments or composition, I have, however ^ 
taken the liberty to reduce it from the form of sermons, 
nuhich it originally bore, to that of a continued trea- 
tise ; and I have so altered afid diversified the marks 
of the several divisions and subdivisions, that each 
class of heads might be easily distinguished, 


Edinbuugh, v<//in7 29, 1774. 


J.T has long been desh-ed by the friends of Mr. Edv/ards that 
a number of his manuscripts should be published ; but the 
disadvantage under which all posthumous publications must 
necessarily appear, and the difficulty of getting any considera- 
ble work printed in this infant country hitherto, have proved 
sufficient obstacles to the execution of such a proposal. The 
first of these obstacles made me doubt, for a considerable time 
after these manuscripts came into my hands, whether I could, 
consistently with that regard which I owe to the honor of so 
worthy a parent, suffer any of them to appear in the world. 
However, being diffident of my own sentiments, and doubtful 
■whether I were not over jealous in this matter, I determined 
to submit to the opinion of gentlemen, who are fiiends both 
to the character of Mr. Edwards and to the cause of truth. 
The consequence was, that they gave their advice for pub- 
lishing them. 

The other obstacle was removed by a gentleman in the 
church of Scotland, who was formally a correspondent of Mr. 
Edwards. He engaged a bookseller to undertake the work, 
and also signified his desire, that these following discourses in 
particular might be made public. 

Mr. Edwards had planned a body of divinity, in a new 
method, and in the form of a history ; in which he was first 
to show, how the most remarkable events, in all ages from 
the fall to the present times, recorded in sacred and profane 
history, were adapted to promote the work of redemption ; and 
then to trace, by the Hght of scripture prophecy, hov; the same 
work should be yet further carried on even to the end of the 
world. His heart was so much set on executing this plan, 
that he was considerably averse to accept the presidentship of 
Princeton college, lest the duties of that office should put it 
fiutof his power. 


The outlines of that work are now offered to the pubfic* 
as contained in a series of sermons, preached at Northampton 
in 1739,* Avithout any view to publication. On that account, 
the reader cannot reasonably expect all that from them, which 
he might justly have expected, had they been written with 
such a view, and prepat^sd by the Author's own hand for the 

As to elegance of composition, which is now esteemed so 
essential to all publications, it is well known, that the Author 
did not make that his chief study. However, his other writ- 
ings, though destitute of the ornaments of fine language, have 
it seems that solid merit, which has procured both to them- 
selves and to him a considerable reputation in the world, and 
with many an high esteem. It is hoped that the reader will 
find in these discourses many traces of plain good sense, 
sound reasoning, and thorough knowledge of Ijie sacred ora- 
cles, and real unfeigned piety ; and that, as the plan is new, 
and many of the sentiments uncommon, they may afTord en- 
tertainment and improvement to the ingenious, the inquisitive, 
and the pious reader ; may confirm their faith in God's gov- 
ernment of the world, in our holy Christian religion in gen- 
eral, and in many of its peculiar doctrines ; may assist in 
studying with greater pleasure and advantage the historical 
and prophetical books of scripture ; and may excite to a con- 
versation becoming the gospel. 

That this volume may produce these happy effects in all 
who shall peruse it is the hearty desire and prayer of 
The reader's most humble servant, 


Mwhaveti, Feb. 25, 1773. 

♦This is necessary to be remembered by the reader, in order to understand 
tome chronological observations in the followins work. 





From the fall to the incarnation of Christ, ---,-----24 

From the fall to the flood, ----- -- -------25 


From the flood to the calling of Abraham, ---------44 


From the calling of Abraham to Moses, ----------54 


From Moses to David, ---------------69 

from David to the Babylonish captivity, --------- g6 


From the Babylonish captivity to the coming of Christ, ----- J31 


Inspiration, and usefulness of the books of the Old Testament, - - i63 


The time of Christ's humiliation, «.---.----- i8o 


Of Christ's becoming incarnate to capacitate himself for the purchase of 
redemption, ---.----.-------- iSt 


Of the purchase itself, -------- -------1 go 

Sect. 1. What is intended by Christ's purchasing redemption, - - ilni. 
Sect. 2. Observations concerning this purchase, ----.- lyi 

SiCT. 3. Sufferings by which Christ purchased redemption, . - - - 19^ 


Sect. 1. Reproof of unbelief, selfrighteousness, and neglect of salva- 
tion, ------------._ ----- 217 

Sect. 2. Encouragement to trust in Christ, for salvation, - - - - 227 


From Christ's resurrection to the end of the world, ------ 229 


General observations concerning this period, -------- 231 


Things whereby Christ was put into a capacity for accomplishing the 
•nds of kis purchase, ---.-...-,-..- 2^t 


PART 11. ,ACE. 

How Clirist accomplished this success, --------- 245 

Sect. i. How this success is accomplished by God's grace here, - 246 

(j I. The means of this success cUabl'shed after Christ's resurrection, - ibid. 

k 2. The success itself, -.------_---«.- 253 

First. In the ,sufferiiig state of the Church, ------- ibid. 

I. From Chriit's resurrecrion till the destruction of Jerusalem, - - 256 

II. From the destruction of Jerusalem to that of the Heathen empire, - 266 
Infehknce. Truth of Christianity argued from the success of the gospel, 277 

III. Success from the time of Constantine till the fall of Antichrist, - s8t 
1st. From Constantine till the rise of Antichrist, ------- ibid. 

adly. From the rise of Antichrist till the reformation, ----- 285 

j,diy. From the reformation till the present time, - - - — - 295 

1. Of the reformation itself, --- -- --_--_- Hid. 

2. Of the opposition made to the Reformation, ------ 298 

3. What success tha gospel has lately had, - ---. -- - 306 

4. Present stale of things with regard to the success of the gospel, - - 31O 


1. Truthof Christianity argued from the events of this period, - - - 315 

2. The spirit of true Christians a spirit of suffering, - - - - - 326 

3. What reason we Iwve to expect that events foretold in scripture, not 

yet fulfilled, shall be accomplished, ---------- 327 

4thly. How the success of redemption shall be carried on till Antichrist's 

fall, 328 

SicoNDLY, Success of redemption through that space wherein the christ- 
ian church shall for the most part enjoy prosperity, ----- 346 

I. Prosperity of the church through the greater part of this period, - 347 

II. The great apostacy that shall t^ke place towards the end of this period, 354 
Sect. II. The successof redemption in glory, -------- 358 

General rema'-ks on this success, ----- ------ 359 

The particular manner in which this success is accomplished, - - - ibid. 


I. How great a work the work of redemption is, ----- _ 37^^ 

II. God the Alpha and Omega, of all things, -------- 37^ 

III. Christ in all things has the preeminence, - - ----- 381 

IV. The consistency, order, and beamy of providence, - - - - ibid. 

V. The scriptures the word of God, -- -------- 383 

Vf. The majesty and power of God in the work of redemption, - - 385 

VII. The glorious wisdom of God in the work of redemption, - - 387 

VIII. The stability of God's faithfulness to his people, - - - - 38S 

IX. How happy a society thechurch of Christ is, - - - - - - 389 

X. The misery of those that are not interested in Christ, ----- 390 


Chap. I. The essence of virtue, ------- ---- 395 

IT. V.'hat true Virtue respects, --------- 404 

III. Sccnndary kind of beauty, --------- 413 

IV. SelHove, 424 

V. Conscienceand the moral sense, -------- 437 

VI. Instincts, _-- 447 

VII. MisUkes respecting Virtue, -.----.j- 455 

VIII. Of sentiment as the foundation of Virtue, ----- 464 



Vol. IL 


ISAIAH li. 8. 


X HE design of this chapter is to comfort the church under 
her sufferings, andthe persecutions of her enemies; and the ar- 
gument of consolation insisted on, is, the constancy and perpe^ 
tuity of God's mercy and faithfuhiess towards her, which shall 
be manifest in continuing to work salvation for her, protecting; 
her against all assaults of her enemies, and carrying her safely- 
through all the changes of the world, and finally crowning her 
with victory and deliverance. 

In the text, this happiness of the church of God is set forth 
by comparing it with the contrary fate of her enemies that op- 
press her. And therein we may observe, 

1 . How short lived the power and prosperity of the church's 
enemies is : T/ie moth shall cat them vfi like a garment^ and the 
worm shall eat them like wool; i. e. however great their prosperi- 
ty is, and however great their present glory, they shall by de- 
grees consume and vanish away by a secret curse of God, till 
they come to nothing ; and all their power and glory, and so 
their persecutions, eternally cease, and they be finally and irre- 
coverably ruined : As the finest and most glorious apparel will in 
Vol . I. B 


lime wear away, and be consumed by moths and rottenness. 
We learn who those are that shall thus consume away, by the 
fore goingverse, viz. those that are the enemies of God's people : 
Hearken unto me^ ye that know righteousncs/i, the Jieofile in whose 
heart is my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye 
afraid of their revilings. 

2. The contrary happy lot and portion of God's church, ex- 
pressed \n\\\t^t\\ovA?>,AIyrighteousness shall be for ever, and my 
salvation from generation to generation. Who are meant as those 
that shall have the benefit of this, we also learn by the preced* 
ing verse, viz. They that know righteousness, and thejieofde in 
ivhose heart is God's law ; or, in one word, the church of God. 
And concerning this happiness of theirs here spoken of, we 
may observe two things, viz. 1. Wherein it consists ; 2. Its 

(1) Wherein it consists, viz. In God's righteousness and 
salvation toward them. By God's righteousness here, is 
meant his faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant promises to his 
church, or his faithfulness towards his church and people, 
in bestowing the benefits of the covenant of grace upon 
them ; which benefits, though they are bestowed of free 
and sovereign grace, as being altogether undeserved ; yet 
as God has been pleased, by the promises of the covenant 
of grace, to bind himself to bestow them, so they are be- 
stowed in the exercise of God's righteousness or justice. 
And therefore the apostle says, Heb. vi. 10. God is not imright- 
eous, to forget your work and labor of love. And so 1 John i. 9. 
If we cofjfess our sins, he is faithful, and just to forgive us our 
tins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So the word 
righteous7tess is very often used in scripture for God's cove- 
nant faithfulness ; so it is used in Nchem. ix. 8. Thou hast 
performed thy words, for thou art righteous. So we are often to 
imderstand righteousness and covenant mercy for the same 
thing ; as Psal. xxiv. 5. He shall receive the blessing from the 
Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psal. 
xxxvi. 10. Continue thy loving kindness to them that know thee, 
and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. And Psal. li. 14. 
Deliver me from blood guiltiness, God, thou God of my salva- 


tjon ; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Dan. 
ix. 16. O Lord, according to thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let 
thine anger cmd thy fury be turned away. — And so in innumera- 
ble other places. 

The other word here used is salvation. Of these two, God's 
righteousness and his salvation, the one is the cause, of which 
the other is the effect. God's righteousness, or covenant mer- 
cy, is the root of which his salvation is the fruit. Both of them 
relate to the covenant of grace. The one is God's covenant 
mercy and faithfulness, the other intends that work of God by 
which this covenant mercy is accomplished in the fruits of it. 
For salvation is the sum of all those works of God by which the 
benefits that are by the covenant of grace are procured and be- 

(2) We may observe its continuance, signified here by two 
expressions ; for ever, diiiA from generation to generation . The 
latter seems to be explanatory of the former. The phrase /or 
ever, is variously used In scripture. Sometimes thereby is 
meant as long as a man lives. So it is said, the servant that 
has his ear bored through with an awl to the door of his mas- 
ter, should be hisybr ever. Sometimes thereby is meant dur- 
ing the continuance of the Jewish state. So of many of the 
ceremonial and Levitical laws it is said, that they should be 
statutes for ever. Sometimes it means as long as the world 
shall stand, or to the end of the generations of men. So it is 
said, Eccles. i. 4. " One generation passeth away, and anoth- 
er cometh ; but the earth abjdeth fur ever." Sometimes 
thereby is meant to all eternity. So it is said, " God is bless- 
ed/or evei;" Rom. i. 25. And so it is said, John vi. 51. " If 

any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ex'cr." And 

•which of these senses is here to be understood, the next words 
determine, vi?. to the end of the world, or to the end of the 
generations of men. It is said in the next words, " and my 
salvation /ro?n generqtion to generation." Indeed the fruits of 
God's salvation shall remain after the end of the v.orld, as ap- 
pears by the 6th verse : " Lift up your eyes to the heavens, 
and look upon the earth beneath: For the heavens shall vanish 
away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, 


and they that dwell therem shall die in like vaanncv, but my sal- 
vation shall be for ever^ and my righteousness shall not be abol- 
ished." But the woi'k of salvation itself toward the church 
shall continue to be wrought till then : Till the end of the 
world God will go on to accomplish deliverance and salvation 
for the church, from all her enemies ; for that is Avhat the 
prophet is here speaking of ; till the end of the world ; till her 
enemies cease to be, as to any power to molest the church. 
And this expression, yVom generation to generation^ may deter- 
mine us as to the time which God continues to carry on the 
work of salvation for his church, both with respect to the be- 
ginning and end. It is from generation to generation, /. e. 
throughout all generations; beginning with the generations of 
men on the earth, and not ending till these generations end, ut 

the end of the world And therefore we deduce from these 

words this 


The Work of Redemption- is a work that GOD 
carries on from the fall of man to the end of the 

THE genei-ations of mankind on the earth did not begin till 
after the fall. The beginning of the posterity of our first par- 
ents was after the fall ; for all their posterity, by ordinary 
generation, are partakers of the fall, and of the corruption of 
nature that followed from it ; and these generations, by which 
the human race is propagated, shall continue to the end of the 
world : So these two arc the limits of the generations of men 
on the earth ; the fall of man, the beginning ; and the end 
of the world, or the day of judgment, the end. The same are 
the limits of the work of redemption as to those progressive 
works of God, by which that redemption is brought about and 
accomplished, though not as to the fruits of it ; for they, as 
was said before, shall be to all eternity. 

The work of redemption and the work of salvation are the 
same thing. What is sometimes in scripture called God's 


saving his people, is in other places called his redeeming lliem. 
So Christ is called both the Saviour and the Redeemer of his 

Before entering on the proposed History of the Work of 
Redemption, I would, 

1. Explain the terms made use of in the doctrine ;...aBd, 

2. Show what those things are that are designed to be ac- 
complished by this great work of God. 

First, I would show in what sense the terms of the doctrine 

are used And, 1. 1 would show how I would be understood 

when I use the word redemption y,..and, 2. hoAV I would be un- 
derstood when I say, this work is a work of God carried oa 
from the fall of man to the end of the world. 

I. I would shoAV how I would be understood v.-hen I use Jthc 

word redemption And here it may be observed, that tlic 

work of redemption is sometimes understood in a more limit- 
ed sense, for the purchase of salvation ; for so the v/ord strict- 
ly signifies, a purchase of deliverance ; and if we take the 
word in this restrained sense, the v/ork of redemption was not 
so long in doing. But it was begun and finished with Christ's 
humiliation. It was ail wrought while Christ was \ipon earth. 
It v/as begun with Christ's incarnation, and carried on through 
Christ's life, aiid finished with his death, or the time of his re- 
maining vinder the power of death, which ended in his resur- 
rection : And so we say, that the day of Christ's resurrection is 
the day when Christ finished the work of redemption, /. c 
then the purchase was finished, and the work itself, and all 
that appertained to it, was -virtualbj done and finished, but not 

But then sometimes the work of redemption is taken more 
largely, including all that God works or accomplishes tendinc: 
to this end ; not only the purchasing of redemption, but also 
all God's works that were properly preparatory to the piu- 
chase, or as applying the purchase and accomplishing the suc- 
cess of it ; so that the whole dispensation, as it includes the 
preparation and the purchase, and the application and success 
of Christ's redemption, is here called the work oi redemption. 


All that Christ docs in this threat affair as mediator, in any of 
his offices, either of prophet, priest, or kin;^ ; either when he 
■vvas iji[ this world, in his human nature, or before, or since ; 
and hot only what Christ the mediator has done, but also what 
the Father, or the Holy Ghost, have done, as united or con- 
federated in this design of redeeming sinful men ; or, in one 
word, all that is wrought in execution of the eternal covenant 
of redemption ; this is what I call the work of redemption in 
the doctrine ; for it is all but one work, one design. The va- 
rious dispensations or works that belong to it, are but the sev- 
eral parts of one scheme. It is but one design that is formed 
to which all the offices of Christ do directly tend, and in which 
ail the persons of the Trinity do conspire, and all the various 
dispensations that belong to it are united ; and the several 
■wheels are one machine, to answer one end, and produce one 

II. When I say, this Avork is carried on from the fall of 
man to the end of the world ; in order to the full understand- 
ing of my meaning \n it, I would desire two or three things to 
be observed. 

1 . That it is not meant, that nothing w as done in order to it 
before the full of man. There were many things done in or- 
der to this work of redemption before that. Some things werp 
done before the world Avas created, yea from all eternity. The 
persons of the Trinity were as it were confederated in a de- 
sign and a covenant of redemption ; in which covenant the 
Father had appointed the Son, and the Son had undertaken the 
work ; and all things to be accomplished in the work were 
stip\ilated and agreed. And besides these, there were things 
done at the creation of the world, in order to that work, before 
man fell ; for the Avorld itself seems to have been created in 
order to it. The work of creation was in order to God's, 
works of providence : So that if it be inquired, which of these 
kinds of works is the greatest, the works of creation or the 
works of providence ? I answer, the works oX providence ; be- 
cause God's works of providence are the end of his works of 
creation, as the building an house, or the forming an engine or 
machine, is for its use. But God's main work of providonct 


\s this great work of God that the doctrme speaks of, as may 
•more fully appear hereafter. 

The creation of heaven was in order to the work of redemp- 
tion : It was to be an habitation for the redeeined : Matth. xxv. 
34. " Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, 
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world." E\^n the angels 
■were created to be employed in this w<jrk. And therefore the 
apostle calls them, " ministering spirits^ sent forth to minister 
for them who shall be heirs of salvation," Heb. i. 14. As to 
this lower world, it was doubtless created to be a stage upon 
which this great and wonderful work of redemption should be 
transacted : And therefore, as might be shown, in many res- 
pects, this lower world is wisely fitted, in the formation, for 
such a state of man as he is in since the fall, under a possibility 
of redemption ; so that when it is said that the work of re- 
demption is carried on from the fall of man, to the end of the 
Avorld, it is not meant that all that ever was done in order to 
redemption has been done since the fall. Nor, 

2. Is it meant that there will be no remaining fruits of this 
work after the end of the world. The greatest fruits of all 
-will be after that. That glory ami blessedness that will be the 
sum of all the fruits, vnW remain to all the saints after that.... 
The work of redemption is not an eternal work, i. e. it is not a 
work always a doing and never accomplished. But the fruits 
of this work are eternal fruits. The v/ork has an issue. But 
in the issue the end will be obtained ; which end will never 
have an end. As those things that were in order to this work 
before the beginning of the world, as God's electing love, and 
the covenant of redemption, never had a beginning ; so the 
fruits of this work, that shall be after the end of the world, 
never will have an end. And therefore, 

3. When it is said in the doctrine, that this is a work that 
God is carryingon from thefoll of man to the end of the world, 
what I mean is, that those things that belong to this work it- 
self, and are parts of this scheme, are all this while accomplish- 
ing. There are things that arc in order to it that are before 
<the begkining of it, and fruits of it that are after it is finished- 


But the work itself is so long a doing, even from the fall of 
man to the end of the Avorld, it is all this while a carrying on. 
It was begun immediately upon the fall, and will continue to 
ihe end of the World, and then Avill be finished. The various 
dispensations of God that are in this space, do belong to the 
same work, and to the same design, and ha\'e all one issue ; 
and therefore are all to be reckoned but as several parts of 
one woi'k, as it Avere several successive motions of one ma- 
chine, to bring about in the conclusion one great event. 

And here also we must distinguish betAveen the parts of re- 
demption itself, and the parts of the work by Avhich that re- 
demption is wrought out. There is a difference between the 
parts of the benefits procured and bestowed, and the parts of 
tlie work of God by which those benefits Avere procured and 
bestowed. As, for example, there is a diffei-ence betAveen 
the parts of the benefit that the children of Israel received, 
consisting in their redemption out of Egypt, and the parts 
of that Avork 6f God by Avhich this Avas Avrought. The 
redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt, con- 
sidered as the benefit Avhich they enjoyed, consisted of 
lAAO parts, viz. their deliverance from their former Egyp- 
tian bondage and misery, and their being brought into a 
more happy, state, as the servants of God, and heirs of Canaan. 
But tliere are many more things Avhich are parts of that Avork 
of God Avhich is called his Avork of redemption of Israel out of 
Egypt. To this belong his calling of Moses, his sending 
him to Pharoah, and all the signs and Avonders he Avrought in 
Egypt, and his bringing such terrible judgments on the 
Egyptians, and many other things. 

It is this Avork by Avhich God effects redemption that Ave 
are speaking of. This Avork is carried on from the fall of man 
to the end of the Avorld ; and it is so in two respects. 

(1) With respect to the effect Avrought on the souls of the 
redeemed ; AAhich is common to all ages from the fall of man 
to the end of the Avorld. This effect that I here speak of, is 
the application of redemption Avith respect to the souls of par- 
ticular persons, in converting, justifying, sanctifying, and glo- 
rifymg of them. By these things the souls of particular per- 


sons are actually redeemed, and do receive the benefit of the 
■work of redemption in its effect in their souls. And in this 
sense the work of redemption is carried on in all ages of the 
world, from the fall of man to the end of the world. The 
work of God in converting souls, opening blind eyes, unstop- 
ping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life, and rescuing the mis- 
erable captivated souls out of the hands of Satan, was begun 
soon after the fall of mxan, has been carried on in the world 
ever since to this day, and will be to the end of the world. 
God has always, ever since the first erecting of the church of 
the redeemed after the fall, had such a church in the world. 
Though oftentimes it has been reduced to a very narrov/ com- 
pass, and to low circumstances ; yet it has never wholly 

And as God carries on the work of converting- the souls of 
fallen men through all these ages, so he goes on to justify 
them, to blot out all their sins, and to accept them as righteous 
in his sight, through the righteousness of Christ, and adopt 
and receive them from being the children of Satan, to be his 
own children ; so also he goes on to sanctify, or to carry on 
the work of his grace, which he has begun in them, and to 
comfort them with the consolations of his spirit, and to glorify 
them, to bestow upon them, when their bodies die, that eternal 
glory Avhich is the fruit of the purchase of Christ. What is 
said, Rom. viii. 30, « Whom he did predestinate, them he 
" also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified ; 
" and whom he justified, them he also glorified :" I say this 
is applicable to all ages, from the fall, to the end of the world. 
The way that the work of redemption, with respect to these 
cflFects of it on the souls of the redeemed, is carried on from 
the fall to the end of the world, is by repeating and continually 
Avorking the same work over again, though in different per- 
sons, from age to age. But, 

(2) The work of redemption with respect to the grand de- 
sign in general, as it respects the universal subject and end, 
is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world in 
a different manner, not merely by repeating or renewing the 
same effect in the different subjects of it, but by many suc' 
Vol. I. C 


cessive works and dispensations of God, all tending to ond 
great end and effect,all united as the several parts of a scheme, 
and all together making up one great work. Like an house 
or temple that is building ; first, the workmen are sent forth, 
then the materials are gathered, then the ground fitted, then 
the foundation is laid, then the superstructure is erected, one 
part after another, till at length the top stone is laid, and all is 
finished. Now the work of redemption in that large sense 
that has been explained, may be compared to such a build- 
ing, that is carrying on from the fall of man to the end of the 
world. God went about it immediately after the fall of man. 
Some things were done towards it immediately, as may be 
shown hereafter ; and so God has proceeded, as it Avere, get- 
ting materials and building, ever since ; and so will proceed 
to the end of the world ; and then the time Avill come when 
the top stone shall be brought forth, and all will appear com- 
plete and consummate. The glorious structure will then 
stand forth in its proper perfection. 

This work is carried on in the former respect that has been 
mentioned, viz. as to the effect on the souls of particular per- 
sons that are redeemed, by its being an effect that is common 
to all ages. The work is carried on in this latter respect, viz. 
as it respects the church of God, and the grand design in gen- 
ei'al, it is carried en, not only by that which is common to all 
ages, but by successive works wrought in different ages, all 
parts of one whole, or one great scheme, whereby one work 
is brought about by various steps, one step in one age, and 
another in another. It is this carrying on of the work of re- 
demption that I shall chiefly insist upon, though not exclud- 
ing the former ; for one necessarily supposes the other. 

Having thus explained what I mean by the terms of the 
doctrine ; that you may the more clearly see how the great 
design and work of redemption is carried on from the fall of 
tnan to the end of the world ; I say, in order to this, 

I now proceed, in the second place, to show what is the de- 
feign of this great work, or what things are designed to be 
done by it. In order to see how a design is carried on, we 
must first know what the design is. To know how a work- 


man proceeds, and to understand the various steps he takes, in 
order to accoiriplish a piece of work, we need to be informed 
what he is about, or what the thing is that he intends to accom- 
plish ; othei'wise we may stand by, and see him do one thing 
after another, and be quite puzzled and in the dark, seeing 
nothing of his scheme, and understanding nothing of what he 
means by it. If an architect, with a great number of hands, 
W'ere a bujlding some great palace, and one th^t was a strang- 
er to such things should stand by, and see some men tligging 
in the earth, others bringing timber, others hewing stones, 
and the like, he might see that there was a great deal done ; 
but if he knew not the design, it would all appear to him con- 
fusion. And therefore, that the great Avorks and dispensa- 
tions of God that belong to this great affair of redemption may 
not appear like confusion to you, I would set before you 
briefly the main things designed to be accomplished in this 
great work, to accomplish which God began to work present- 
ly after the fall of man, and will continue Avoi'king to the end 
of the Avorld, when the whole Avork Avill appear completely 
finished. And the main things designed to be done by it ura 
these that follow. 

I. It is to put all God's enemies under his feet, and that the 
goodness of God should finally appear triumphing over all 
evil. Soon after the world was ci-eated, eril entered into the 
world in the fall of the angels and man. Presently after God 
had made rational creatures, there were enemies who rose up 
against him from among them ; and in the fall of man evil 
entered into this lower world, and God's enemies rose up 
against him here. Satan rose up against God, endeavouring 
to frustrate his design in the creation of this lower world, to 
destroy his Avorkmanship here, and to wrest the governmer.t 
of this lower Avorkl out of his hands, and usurp the throne 
himself, and set up himself as god of this world instead of the 
God that made it. And tp these f nds he introduced sin into 
the world ; and having made man God's enemy, he brought 
guilt on m:-,n, and brought death and the most extreme and 
(dreadful misery into the world. 


Now one great design of God in the affair of redemption 
was, to reduce and subdue those enemies of God, till they 
should all be put under God's feet : 1 Cor. xv. 25. « He must 
reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet." Things 
were originally so planned and designed, that he might dis- 
appoint and confound, and triumph over Satan, and that he 
might be bruised under Christ's feet. Gen. iii. 15. The 
promise was given, that the seed of the woman should bruise 
the serpent's head. It Avas a part of God's original design in 
this work, to destroy the Avorks of the devil, and confound him 
in all his purposes : 1 John iii. 8. " For this purpose was the 
Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the woi-ks of 
the devil." It was a part of his design, to triumph over sin, 
and over the corruptions of men, and to root them out of the 
hearts of his people, by -conforming them to himself. He de- 
signed also, that his grace should triumph over man's guilt, 
and that infinite demerit that there is in sin. Again, it was a 
part of his design, to triumph over death ; and however this 
is the last enemy that shall be destroyed, yet that shall finally 
be vanquished and destroyed. 

God thus appears gloriously above all evil ; and triumph- 
ing over all his enemies, was one great thing that God intend- 
ed by the Avork of redemption ; and the Avork by Avhlch this 
was to be done, God immediately Avent about as soon as man 
fell ; and so goes on till he fully accomplishes it in the end 
of the Avorld. 

II. In doing this, God's design Avas perfectly to restore all 
the ruins of the fall, so far as concerns the elect part of the 
world, by his Son ; and therefore Ave read of the restitution of 
all t/n??gs, Acts iii. 21. « "Whom the heaven must receive, until 
the times of the restitution of all things ;" and of the times of 
refreshing from the presence of the Lord Jesus, Acts iii. 19. 
" Repent yc therefore, and be converted, that your sins may 
be blotted out, Avhen the times of refreshing shall come from 
the presence of the Lord." 

Man's soul Avas ruined by the fall ; the image of God Avas 
ruined ; man's nature A\'as corrupted and destroyed, and man 
became dead in sin. The design of God Avas, to restore the 


soul of man ; to restore life to it, and the image of God, in 
conversion, and to carry on the restoration in sanctiiication, 
and to perfect it in glory. Man's body was ruined ; by the 
fall it became subject to death. The design of God was, to 
restore it fi'om this ruin, and not only to deliver it from death 
in the resurrection, but to deliver it from mortality itself, in 
making it like unto Christ's glorious body. The Avorld was 
ruined, as to man, as effectually as if it had been reduced to 
chaos again ; all heaven and earth were oveithrown. But the 
design of God was, to restore all, and as it were to create a 
new heaven and anew earth : Isaiah Ixv. 17. " Behold, I 
create new heavens, and a new earth ; and the former shall 
not be remembered, nor come into mind." 2 Pet. iii. 13. 
" Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new 
heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 

The work by which this was to be done, was begun imme- 
diately after the fall, and so is carried on till all is finished at 
the end, vrhen the whole world, heaven and earth, shall be 
restored ; and there shall be, as it were, new heavens, and a 
new earth, in a spiritual sense, at the end of the world. Thus 
it is represented. Rev. xxi. 1 . " And I saw a new heaven, and 
a new earth ; for the first heaven and the first earth were 
passed away." 

III. Another great design of God in the vrork of redemp- 
tion, was, to gather together in one all things in Christ, in 
heaven and in earth, i. e. all elect creatures ; to bring all elect 
creatures, in heaven and in earth, to an union one to another 
in one body, under one head, and to unite ail together in one 
body to God the Father. This v/as begun soon after the fall, 
und is carried on through all ages of the world, and finished at 
the end of the world. 

IV. God designed by this work to perfect and complete the 
glory of all the elect by Christ. It was a design of God to 
advance the elect to an exceeding pitch of glory, " such as 
eye. hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has ever entered into 
the heart of man." He intended to bring them to perfect ex- 
cellency and beauty in his image, and in holiness, which is the 
proper beauty of spiritual beings ; and to advance them to a 


glorious degree of honor, and also to an ineffable pitch of 
pleasure and joy ; and thus to glorify the whole church of e> 
lect men in soul and l)ody, and with them to bring the glory 
of the elect angels to its highest pitch under one head. The 
■work Avhich tends to this, God began immediately after the 
fall, and carries on through all ages, and will have perfected 
at the end of the world. 

V. In all this God designed to accomplish the glory of the 
blessed Trinity in an exceeding degree. God had a design 
of glorifying himself from eternity ; to glorify each person 
in the Godhead. The end must be considered as first in the 
order of nature, and then the means ; and therefore we mvist 
conceive, that God having professed tliis end, had then as it 
Avcre the means to choose ; and the principal mean that he 
pitched upon was this great work of redemption that we are 
speaking of. It was his design in this work to glorify his on- 
ly begotten son, Jesus Christ ; and it was his design, by the 
son to glorify the Father: John xiii. 31, 32. "Now is the 
Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God 
be glorified in him, God also shall glorify him in himself, and 
shall straightway glorify him." It was his design that the 
Son should tluis be glorified, and sho*.ild glorify the Father by 
what should be accomplished by the Spirit to the glory of the 
Spirit, that the whole Trinity, conjunctly, and each person 
singly, might be exceedingly glorified. The work that Avas 
the appointed means of this, Avas begun immediately after the 
fall, and is carried on till, and finished at the end of the world, 
when all this intended glory shall be fully accomplished in all 

Having thus explained tlic terms made use of in the doc- 
trine, and shown what the things are Avhich are to be accom- 
plished by this great work of God, I proceed now to the pro- 
posed History ; that is, to show how what was designed by 
the work of redemption is accomplished, in the various steps 
of this work, from the fall of man to the end of the world. 

In order to this, I would divide this whole space of time in-« 
t© three periods : The 


1st. Reaching from the fall of man to the incarnation of 
Christ ; — the 

2d. From Christ's incarnation till his resurrection ; or the 
whole time of Christ's humiliation ; — the 

3d. From thence to the end of the world. 

It may be some may be ready to think this a very unequal 
division : And it is so indeed in some respects. It is so, be- 
cause the second period is so much the greatest : For al- 
though it be so much shorter than either of the other, being 
but between thirty and forty years, whereas both the other 
contain thousands ; yet in this affair that we are now upon, it 
is more than both the others. I would therefore proceed to- 
show distinctly how the work of redemption is carried on 
from the fall of man to the end of the world, through each of 
these periods in their order ; which I would do under three 
propositions ; one concerning each period. 

I. T'/iat from the fall of man till the Incarnation 
of Christy God nvas doing those things that %vere pre- 
paratory to Chrisfs comings and working out redemp- 
tion ^ and \v^ ere forerunners and earnests of it. 

II. That the time from Chrisfs incarnation, til!- 
his resurrection, %vas spent in procuring and purchas- 
ing redemption. 

III. That the space of time from the resurrection 
of Christ to the end of the world, is all taken up in- 
bringing about or accomplishing the great effect or 
success of that purchase. 

In a particular consideration of these three propositions, the 
great truth taught in the doctrine may perhaps appear in a 
clear light, and we may see how the work of redemption ii 
carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world. 



From the Fall to the Incarnation. 

IVXY first task is, to shov/ how the work of redemp- 
tion is cainietl on/rom the Jail of mmi to the incarjiatloyi of 
Chri&t, under the Jlrst Jirojiosition, viz. 

ThrJ the space of time from the fall of man to the 
incarnation of Christ, was taken up in doing those 
things that were forerunners and earnests of Christ'' s 
coming y and working out redemption^ and were pre- 
paratory to it. 

The great works of God in the world during this whole 
space of time, were all preparatory to this. There were many- 
great changes and revolutions in the world, and they were all 
only the turning of the wheels of providence in order to this, 
to make way for the coming of Christ, and what he was to do 
in the world. They all pointed hither, and all issued here. 
Hither tended especially all God's great works towards his 
church. The church was under various dispensations of prov- 
idence, and in very various circumstances, before Christ 
came. But all these dispensations were to prepare the way for 
his coming. God wa'ought salvation for the souls of men 
through all that space of time, though the number was very 
small to what it was afterwards ; and all this salvation was, as 
it were, by way of anticipation. All the souls that were saved 
before Christ came, were only as it were the earnests of the 
future harvest. 

God wrought many lesser salvations and deliverances for 
his church and people before Christ came. These salvations 
Avere all but so many images and forerunners of the great sal- 
vation Christ was to work out when he should come. God 
revealed himself of old, from time to time, from the fall of 
man to the coming of Christ. The church during that space 


of time enjoyed the light of divine revelation, or God's word. 
They had in a degree the light of the gospel. But all these 
revelations Avere only so many forerunners and earnests of the 
great light that he should bring w^ho came to be the light of 
the world. That whole space of time was as it were the time 
of night, wherein the church of God was not indeed wholly 
without light : But it was like the light of the moon and stars 
that wc have in the night ; a dim light in comparison of the 
light of the sun, and mixed with a great deal of darkness. It 
had no glory, by reason of the glory that excelleth, 2 Cor. iii- 
10. The church had indeed the light of the sun ; but it was 
only as reflected from the moon and stars. The church all 
that while was a minor. This the apostle evidently teaches 
in Gal. iv. 1, 2, 3. " Now I say that the heir, as long as he is 
a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of 
all ; but is under tutors and governors, until the time appoint- 
ed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, Avere 
in bondage under the elements of the world." 

But here, for the greater clearhiess and distinctness, I 
would subdivide this period, from the fall of man to the com- 
ing of Christ, into six lesser periods, or parts The 

1st. Extending from the fall to the flood ;...the 

2d. From thence to t;he calling of Abraham ;...the 

od. From thence to Moses ;...the 

4th. From thence to David ;...the 

5th. From David to the captivity into Babylon ;...and the 

eth. From thence to the incarnation of Christ. 


Fro7n the Fall to the Flood, 

THIS was a period farthest of all distant from Christ's ui^ 
carnation ; yet then this great work was begun to be carried 
on ; then was this glorious building begun, that will not be 
finished till the end of the world, as I would now show yo^ 
how. And to this purpose I would observe* 
Vol. L D 


I. As soon as ever man fell, Christ entered on his mediato- 
rial work. Then it was that Christ first took on him the 
work and office of a mediator. He had midcrtakcn it before 
the world was made. He stood engaged with the Father to 
appear as man's mediator, and to take on him that office when 
there should be occasion, from all eternity. But now the time 
was come. When man fell, then the occasion came ; and 
ibcn Christ immediately, without further delay, entered on 
his work, and took on him that office that he had stood engag- 
ed to take on him from eternity. As soon as ever man fell, 
Christ the eteraal Son of God clothed himself with the medi- 
atorial character, and therein presented himself before the 
Father. He immediately stepped in between an holy, infinite, 
oftended Majesty, and offending mankind ; and was accepted 
in his interposition ; and so wrath was prevented from going 
forth in the full execution of that amazing curse that man had 
brought on himself. 

It is manifest that Christ began to exercise the office of 
mediator between God and man as soon as ever man fell, be- 
cause mercy began to be exercised towards man immediately. 
There was mercy in the forbearance of God, that he did not 
destroy him, as ^e did the angels when they fell. But there 
is no mercy exercised towards fallen man but through a me- 
diator. If God had not in mercy restrained Satan, he would 
immediately have seized on his prey. Christ began to do the 
part of an intercessor for man as soon as he fell. There is no 
mercy exercised towards man but what is obtained through 
Christ's intercession ; so that now Christ was entered on his 
work that he was to continue in throughout all ages of the 
world. From that day forward Christ took on him the care 
of the church of the elect ; he took on him the care of fallen 
man in the exercise of all his offices ; he undertook thencc- 
foi-ward to teach mankind in the exercise of his prophetical 
office ; and also to intercede for fallen man in his priestly of- 
fice ; and he took, on him, as it were, the care and burden of 
the government of the church, and of the world of mankind, 
from this day foi'ward. He from that time took upon him the 
care of the defence of his elect church from all their enc- 


mies. When Satan, the grand enemy, had conquered and 
overthrown man, the busmess of resisting and conquering him 
was committed to Christ. He thenceforward undertook to 
manage that subtle powerful adversary. He was then ap- 
pointed the Captain of the Lord's hosts, and the Captain of 
their salvation, and always acted as such thenceforward ; and 
so he appeared from time to time, and he will continue to act 
as such to the end of the world. Henceforward this lower 
world, with all its concerns, -vras, as it were, devolved upon the 
Son of God : For when man had sinned, God the father would 
have no more to do with man immediately ; he would no 
more have any immediate concern with this world of man- 
kind, that had apostatized from, and rebelled against him. He 
would henceforvv^ard have no concern with man, but only 
through a mediator, either in teaching men, or in governing 
«r bestowing any benefits on them. 

And therefore, when we read in sacred history v/hat God 
did from time to time towards his church and people, and 
what he said to them, and how he revealed himself to them, 
we are to understand it especially of the second person of the 
Trinity. When we read of God's appearing after the fall, 
from time to time, in some visible form or outward symbol of 
his presence, we are ordinarily, if not universally, to under- 
stand it of the second person of the Trinity ; which may be 
argued from John i. 18. " No man hath seen God at any 
time ; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the 
Father, he hath declared him." He is therefore called " the 
image of the invisible God," Col. i. 15; intimating, that 
though God the Father be invisible, yet Christ is his image 
or representation, by which he is seen, or by which the 
Chvtrch of God hath often had a representation of him, that is 
not invisible, and in particular that Christ has after appeared 
in an himian form. 

Yea not only was this lower world devolved on Christ, that 
he might have the care and government of it, and order it 
agreeably to his design of redemption, but also in some res- 
pect the whole universe. The angels from that time were 
committed to him, to be subject to him in liis mediatorial of- 


ficc, to be ministering spirits to him in this affair ; and ac- 
cordingly were so from this time forward, as is manifest by 
the scripture history, wherein we have accounts from time to 
time of their acting as ministering spirits in the affairs of the 
Church of Christ. 

And therefore we may suppose, that immediately on the 
fall of man, it was made known in heaven among the angels, 
that God had a design of redemption Avith respect to fallen 
man, and that Christ had now taken upon him the office and 
\york of a mediator between God and man, that they might 
know their business henceforward, which was to be subser- 
vient to Christ in this office, and as Christ, in this office, has since 
that, as God man and Mediator, been solemnly exaltedand instal- 
led the King of heaven, and is thenceforward as God man, Me- 
diator, the Light, andasitwere, the Sun ofheaven, agreeable to 
Rev.xxi.23. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of ths 
moon, to shine in it ; for the glory of God did lighten it, and 
the Lamb is the light thereof ;" so this revelation that Avas 
made in heaven among the angels, of Christ's now having 
taken on him the office of a mediator between God and man, 
was as it were the first dawning of this light in heaven. 
When Christ ascended into heaven after his passion, and was 
solemnly installed in the throne, as King of heaven, then this 
sun rose in heaven, even the Lamb that is the light of the 
new Jerusalem. But the light began to dawn immediately 
after the fall. 

IL Presently upon this the gospel was first revealed on 
earth, in these words, Gen. iii. 15. " And I will put enmity 
"between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her 
seed : It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." 
W^e must suppose, that God's intention of redeeming fallen 
■man was first signified in heaven, before it was signified on 
earth, because the business of the angels as ministering spirits 
crfthe Mediator required it ; for as soon as ever Christ had 
taken on him the work of a mediator, it was requisite that the 
angels should be ready immediately to be subservient to him 
in that office : So that the light first dawned in heaven ; but 
very soon after the same was signified on earth. In those 


words of God there was an intimation of another surety to be, 
appointed for man, after the first surety had failed. This was 
the first revelation of the covenant of grace ; this was the fif-st 
dawning of the light of the gospel on earth. 

This lower world before the fall enjoyed noonday light ; 
tlie light of the knovv^ledge of God, the light of his glory, and 
the light of his favor. But when man fell, all this light was 
at once extinguished, and the world reduced back again to to- 
tal darkness ; a worse darkness than that which was in the 
beginning of the world, that we read of Gen. i. 2. " And the 
earth was without form, and void, and darkne.ss was upon the 
face of the deep." This was a darkness a thousand times 
more remediless than that. Neither men nor angels could 
find out any way whereby this darkness might be scattered. 
This darkness appeared in its blackness then, when Adam and 
his wife saw that they were naked, and sewed fig leaves, and 
when they heard the voice of the Lord Cxod walking in the 
garden, and hid themselves among the ttees of the garden ; 
and Avhen God first called them to an account, and said to 
jidarn, What is this that thou hast done ? " Hast thou eaten 
of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not 
eat ?" Then we may suppose that their hearts were filled with 
shame and terror. But these words of God, Gen. iii. 15. were 
the first da-wning of the light of the gospel after this darkness. 
Now first appeared some glimmering of iiglit after this dis- 
mal darkness, which before this was without one glimpse of 
light, any beam of comfort, or any the least hope. It was an 
obscure revelation of the gospel ; and was not made to Jda7}i 
or JEve directly, but it was in Avhat God said to the serpent.... 
But yet it was very comprehensive, as might be easily shown 
would iii not take up too much tim.e. 

Here was a certain intimation of a merciful design by " the 
seed of the woman," which was like the first glimmerings of 
tiie light of the sun in the east when the day first dawns. This 
intimation of mercy was given them even before sentence was 
pronounced on either Adam or Eve, from tenderness to them 
to whom God designed mercy, lest they should be overborne 
with a sentence of condemnation, Avithout having any thing 
Jield forth whence they covild gather any hope. 


One of those great things that were intended to be done bv 
the work of redemption, is more plainly intimated here than 
the rest, viz. God's subduing his enemies under the feet of his 
Son. This was threatened now, and God's design of this was 
now first declared, which was the work Christ had now under- 
taken, and which he soon began, and carried on thencefor- 
ward, and will perfectly accomplish at the end of the world. 
Satan probably had triumphed greatly in the fall of man, as 
though he had defeated the designs of God in the creation of 
•man and the world in general. But in these words God gives 
him a plain intimation, that he should not finally triumph, 
but that a complete victor;/ and triumph should be obtained 
over him by the seed of the Moman. 

This revelation of the gospel in this verse was the first 
thing that Christ did in his prophetical office. You may remem- 
ber, that it was said in the first of those three propositions 
that have been mentioned, that from tiie fall of man to the in- 
carnation of Christ, God was doing those things that Avere 
preparatory to Christ'^s coming and working out redemption, 
and were forerunners and earnests of it. And one of those 
things which God did in this time to prepare the way for 
Christ's coming into the world, was to foretel and promise it, 
as he did from time to time, from age to age, till Christ came. 
This was the first promise that ever was given of it, the first 
prediction that ever was made of it on earth. 

III. Soon after this, the custom of sacrificing was app>oint- 
cd, to be a standing type of the sacrifice of Christ till he should 
come, and offer up himself a sacrifice to God. Sacrificing 
-was not a custom first established by the Levitical law of Mo- 
ses ; for it had been a part of God's instituted worship long 
before, even from the beginning of God's visible church on 
earth. We read of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 
offering sacrifice, and before them Noah, and before him A- 
bel. And this was by divine appointment ; for it was a part of 
God's worship in his church, that was offered up in faith, and 
that he accepted : Which proves that it was by his institu- 
tion ; for sacrificing is no part of natural worship. The light 
of nature doth not teach men to offer up beasts in sacrifice to 


God ; and seeing it was not enjoined hy the law of nature, if it 
was acceptable to God, it must be by some positive command 
or institution ; for God has declared his abhorrence of such 
worship as is taught by the precept of men without his insti- 
tution ; Isa. xxix. 13. " Wherefore the Lord said, Foras- 
much as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with 
their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from, 
me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of 
men ; therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous 
work," Sec. And such worship as hath not a warrant from di- 
vine institution, cannot be offered up in faith, because faith 
has no foundation where there is no divine appointment. It 
cannot be offered up in faith of God's acceptance ; for men 
have no warrant to hope for God's acceptance, in that which is 
not of his appointment, and in that to which he hath not 
promised his acceptance : And therefore it follows, that the 
custom of offering sacrifices to God was instituted soon after 
the fall ; for the sci'ipture teaches us, that Abel offered " the 
firstlings of his fiock, and of the fat thereof," Gen. iv. 4 ; and 
that he was accepted of God in this offering, Heb. xi. 4. And 
there is nothing in the story that looks as though the institu- 
tion was first given then, when Abel ofiered up that sacrifice 
to God ; but it appears as though Abel only therein complied 
with a custom already established. 

And it is very probable that it was instituted immediately 
after God had revealed the covenant of grace, in Gen. iii. 
15 ; which covenant and promise was the foundation on 
which the custom of sacrificing was built. That promise was 
the first stone that was laid towards this glorious building, the 
work of redemption, which will be finished at the end of the 
world. And the next stone which was laid upon that, was the 
institution of sacrifices, to be a type of the great sacrifice. 

The next thing that we have an account of after God had 
pronounced sentence on the serpent, on the woman, and on 
the man, w^as, that God made them coats of skins, and cloth- 
ed them ; which by the generality of divines, are thought to 
be the skins of beasts slain in sacrifice ; for we have no ac- 
count of any thing else that should be the occasion of man's 

53 Work of redemption. [Period h 

slaying beasts, but only to oITer ihem in sacrifice, till after thd 
flood. Men were not wont to eat the flesh of beasts as their 
common food till after the flood. The first food of man in 
paradise before the fall was the fruit of the trees of paradise ; 
and when be was turned out of paradise after the fall, then his 
food was the herb of the field: Gen. iii. 18. " And thou 
shalt eat of the herb of the field." The first grant that he had 
to eat flesh as his common food was after the flood : Gen. ix. 
3. " Every moving thing that livcth shall be meat for you ; 
even as the green herb have I given you all things." So that 
it is likely that these skins that Adam and Eve were clothed 
■with, were the skins of their sacrifices. God's clothing them 
ivith these was a lively figure of their being clothed with the 
righteousness of Christ. This clothing was no clothing of 
their own obtaining ; but it was God that gave it them. It is 
said, " God made them coats of skins, and clothed them ;'* 
as the righteousness our naked souls are clothed with, is not 
our righteousness, but the righteousness -virhich is of God. It 
is he only clothes the naked soul. 

Our first parents, who were naked, were clothed at the cx- 
pence of life. Beasts were slain, and resigned up their lives 
a sacrifice to God, to afford clothing to them to cover their 
nakedness. So doth Christ,to afford clothing to our naked souls. 
The skin signifies the life : So Job, ii. 4. " Skin for skin, yea 
all that a man hath will he give for his life ;" i. e. life for 
life. Thus our first parents were covered with skins of sacri- 
fices, as the tabernacle in the wilderness, which signified the 
chuixh, was, when it was covered with rams skins died red, 
as though they were dipped in blood, to signify that Christ's 
righteousness was wrought out through the pains of death, 
under which he shed his precious blood. 

We observed before, that the light that the church enjoyed 
from the fall of man, till Christ came, was like the light which 
we enjoy in the night ; not the light of the sun directly, but as 
reflected from the moon and stars ; which light did foreshow 
Christ, the Sun of righteousness, that was afterwards to arise. 
This light oCthe Sun of rightcousijcss to come they had chief- 
ly two wajjs ; One was by predictions of Christ to come, 


whereby his coming was foretold and promised ; the other 
was by types and shadoAvs, v»hereby his coming and redemp- 
tion were prefigured. The first thing that was done to pre- 
pare the way for Christ in the former of these ways, Avas in 
that promise that Avas just taken notice of in the foregoing 
particular ; and the first thing of the latter kind, viz. of types, 
to foreshow Christ's coming, was that institution of sacrifices 
that we are now upon. As that promise in Gen. iii. 15. was 
the first dawn Ol gospel light after the fall in prophecy ; so 
the institution of sacrifices was the first hint of it in types. 
The giving of that promise was the first thing that was done 
after the fall, in this work, in Christ's prophetical office ; the 
institution of sacrifices was the first thing that we read of af- 
ter the fall, by which especially Christ exhibited himself in 
;his priestly office. 

The institution of sacrifices was a great thing done towards 
preparing the way for Christ's coming, and working out re? 
demption. For the sacrifices of the Old Testament were the 
.main of all the Old Testament types of Christ and his re- 
demption ; and it tended to establish in the minds of God's 
visible church, the necessity of a propitiatory sacrifice, in or- 
der to the Deity's being satisfied for sin ; and so prepared the 
way for the reception of the glorious gospel, that reveals the 
great sacrifice in tlie visible church, and not only so, but 
tin-ough the world of mankind. For from this institution of 
.sacrifices that Avas after the fa!!, all nations derived the cus- 
tom of sacrificing. For this custom of offering up sacrifices 
to the gods, to atone for their sins, Avas common to all na- 
iions. No nation, howe\-er barbarous, Avas found Avithout it 
iiny where. This is a great evidence of the truth of the Christ- 
ian religion ; for no nation, but only the Jcavs, could tell how 
they came by this custom, or to Avhat purpose it Avas, to offer 
sacrifices to their deities. The light of nature did not teach 
them any such thing. Tliat did not teach them that the gods 
were hungry, and fed upon the flesh Avhich they burnt in sac- 
rifice ; and yet they all had this custom ; of Avhich no other 
account can be given, but that they derived it from Noah, who 
had it from his ancestors, on Avhooi God had cnjoinied it as » 

Voi. I. E 


lypc of the great sacrifice of Christ. However, by this means 
all nations of the world had their minds possessed with tliis 
notion, that an atonement or sacrifice for sin was necessary ; 
and a way was made for their more readily receiving the 
great doctrine of the gospel of Christ, which teaches us the 
atonement and sacrifice of Christ. 

IV. God did soon after the fall begin actually to save the 
souls of men through Christ's redemption. In this, Christ, 
who had lately taken upon him the work of Mediator between 
God and man, did first begin that work, Avhercin he appeared 
in the exercise of his kingly office, as in the sacrifices he was 
represented in his priestly office, and in the first prediction of 
redemption by Christ he had appeared in the exercise of his 
prophetical office. In that prediction the light of Christ's re- 
tlemption first began to dawn in the prophecies of it ; in the 
institution of sacrifices it first began to dawn in the types of 
it ; in this, viz. his beginning actually to save men, it first 
began to dawn in the fruit of it. 

It is probable, therefore, that y\dara and Eve were the first 
fruits of Christ's redemption ; it is probable by God's man- 
ner of treating them, by his comforLing them as he did, after 
their awakenings and terrors. They were awakened, and 
©shamed with a sense of their guilt, after their fall, when their 
eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked, and 
sev/ed figleaves to cover their nakedness ; as the sinner, under 
the first awakenings, is wont to endeavor to hide the naked- 
ness of his soul, by patching up a righteousness of his own. 
Then they were further terrified and awakened, by hearing 
the voice of God, as he was coming to condemn them. Their 
coverings of figleaves did not answer the purpose ; but not- 
withstanding these, they ran to hide themselves among the 
trees of the garden, because they were naked, not daring to 
trust to their figleaves to hide their nakedness from God, 
Then they were further awakened by God's calling of them 
to a strict account. But while their terrors were raised to 
such a height, and they stood, as we may suppose, trembling 
4ind astonished before their judge, without any thing to catch 
ibold of -yvhcnce they could gather any hope, then God took 


care to hold forlh some encouragement to them, to keep thera 
from the dreadful eUccts of despair under their awakenings, 
by giving a hint of a design of mercy by a Saviour, even be- 
fore he pronounced sentence against them. And Avhen after 
this he proceeded to pronounce sentence, Avhereby we may 
suppose their terrors were further raised, God soon after took 
care to encourage them, and to let them see, that he had not 
wholly cast them off, by taking a fatherly car« of them in 
their fallen, naked and miserable state, by making them coats 
of skins and clothing them. Which also manifested an ac- 
ceptance of those sacrifices that they offered to God for sin, 
that those were the skins of, which were types of what God 
had promised, when he said, " The seed of the womaii shall 
bruise the serpent's head ;" which promise, there is reason 
to think, they believed and embraced. Eve seems plainly to 
express her hope in, and dependence on that promise, in what 
she says at the birth of Cain, Gen. iv. 1 . " I have gotten a 
man from the Lord ;" i. e. as God has pi-omised, that my 
seed should bruise the serpent's head ; bo now has God giv- 
en me this pledge and tok6n of it, that I have a seed born. 
She plainly owns, that this her child was from God, and hop- 
ed that her promised seed was to be of this her eldest son ; 
though she was mistaken, as Abraham was with respect to 
Jskmael^ as Jacob was witli respect to Esau., and as Samuil 
•was with respect to the first born of Jesse, And especially does 
what she said at the birth of Seth, express her hope and de- 
pendence on the promise of God ; see ver. 25. " For God 
liath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel, whom Cain 

Thus it is exceeding probable, if not evident, that as Christ 
took on him the work of Mediator as soon as man fell ; so 
he now immediately began his work of redemption in its ef- 
iect, and that he immediately encountered his great enemy the 
devil, whoiB he had undertaken to conquer, and rescued those 
two first captives out of his hands ; therein baffling him, soon 
after his triumph for the victory he kad obtained over them, 
whereby he had made them his captives. And tliough he wag, 
aeit v;crc, sure of them and all -their posterity, Christ the He- 


dccnicr soon showed him, lliat he v/as mistaken, and that /ic 
Avas able to subdue him, and deliver fallen man. He let him see 
it, indelivering those first captives of hi*s ; and so soon gave him 
an instance of the fulfilment of that threatening, " The seed 
of the-woman shall bruise the serpent's head ;" and in this in- 
stance a presage of the fulfilment of one great thing he had 
\uidcrtaken, viz. his subdviing all his enemies under his feet. 

After this avc have another instance of redemption in one 
of their children, viz. in righteous Abel, as the scripture calls 
him, Avhosc soul perhaps was the first that went to heaven 
through Christ's redemption. In him we have at least the 
first instance tjf the death of a redeemed person tliat is re- 
corded in scripture. If he Avas the first, then as the redemp- 
tion of Christ began to dawn before in the souls of men in their 
conversion and justification, in him it first began to dawn in 
glorification ; and in him the angels began first to do the part 
of ministering spirits to Christ, in going forth to conduct the 
fiOvils of the redeemed to glory. And in him the elect angels 
in heaven had the first opportunity to see so wonderful a thing 
as the soul of one of the fallen race of mankind, that had been 
sunk by the fall into such an abyss of sin and misery, brought 
to heaven, and in the enjoyment of heavenly glory, which was 
a much greater thing than if they had seen him returned to 
the earthly paradise. Thus they by this saw the glorious ef- 
fect of Christ's redemption, in the great honor and happiness 
that was procured for sinful miserable creatures by il. 

V. The next remarkable thing that Cod did in the farther 
carrying on of this great affair of redemption, that I shall take 
notice of, was the first remarkable po\iring out of the Spirit 
through Christ that ever was, which was in the days of Enos. 
This seems to have been the next remarkable thing that' was 
done toward erecting this glorious building that Cod had be- 
gun and laid the foundation of in Christ the Mediator. We 
read. Gen. iv. 26. " Then began men to call upon the name 
of the I>ord." The meaning of these words has been consid- 
erably controverted among divines. We cannot suppose the 
meaning is, that that time was the first that ever men per- 
formed the duty of prayer. Prayer is a duty of natural relig- 


ion, and a duly to which a spirit of piety does mt).s!: uatiii-ally 
lead men. Prayer is as it were the very breath of a spirit of 
piety ; and we cannot suppose therefore, that those holy men 
that had been before for above two hundred years, had lived 
all that while without any prayer. Therefore so-me divines 
think, that the meaning is, that then men first began to per- 
form public worsliip, or to call upon the name of the Lord in 
public assemblies. Whether it be so to be undcrstoo<l or no, 
yet so much must necessarily be understood by it, viz. that 
tJiere was something new in the visi!)!!; church of God willi 
respect to the duty of prayer, or calling upon the name of the 
Lord ; that thei-e was a great addition to tlic performaaice of 
this duty ; and that in some respect or other it was carried 
far beyond what it ever had been bcfoic, v, hich must be the 
consequence of a remarkable pouring cut of the Spirit of 

If it was now first that men were stirred up to get together 
in assemblies to help and assist one another in seeking God, so 
as they never had done before, it argues something extraor- 
dinary as the cause ; and could be from nothing but uncom- 
■mon iiiuuenccs of God's Spirit. We see by experience, that 
a remarkable pouring out of (]lod's Spirit is always attended 
•with such an effect, viz. a grcal ir.crr asc of the performance 
of the duty of prayer. When t'-.c Spirit of God begins a 
^vork on men's hearts, it immcdii-lcly sets them to calling on 
the name of the Lord. As it was with Paul after the Spirit 
of God had laid hold of him, then the next ne\YS is, " Behold, 
he prayeth !" So it has been in all remarkable pourings out of 
the Spirit of God that we have any particular account of in 
scripture ; and so it is foretold it vili l;e at tlie great pouring- 
out of the Spirit of God in the latter days. It is foretold, that 
it will be poured out as a spirit of grace and supplication, 
Zech. xii. 10. See also Zcph. iii. 9. "• For then will I turn to 
the people a pure language, that they may ail call upon tlie 
name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." 

And M'hen it is said, " Then began men to call upon the 
name of the Lord," no more can be intended by it, than that 
this was the first remarkable season of this nature that ever 


■was. It was the beginning, or the first, of such a kind of 
work of God, euch a pouring out of the Spirit of God. After 
such a manner, such an expression is commonly used in 
scriptvu'c : So, 1 Sam, xiv. 35. " And Saul built an altar un- 
to the Lord ; the same was the firet altar that he built unto tlie 
Lord." In the Hebrew it is, as you may see in the margin, 
" that altar he began to build unto the Lord." Heb. ii. 3. 
" How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which 
first began to be spoken by the Lord ?" 

It may here be observed, that from the fall of man, to this 
clay Avhercin we live, the work of redemption in its effect lias 
mainly been ciu-iied on by remarkable pourings out of the 
Spirit of God. Though there be a more constant influence 
of God's Spirit always in some degree attending his ordi- 
nances ; yet the way in which the greatest things have been 
done towards carrying on this work, always has been by re- 
markable pourings out of the Spirit at special seasons of mer- 
cy, as may fully appear hereafter in our further prosecution 
of the subject we are upon. And this pouiing out of the 
Spirit in the days of ii^jos, was the first remarkable pouring 
out of the Spirit of God that ever was. Tliere had been a 
saving v/ork of God on the hearts of some before ; but nov/ 
God was pleased to gr.ant a more large effusion of his Spirit, 
for the bringing in an harvest of souls to Christ ; so that in 
tliis we see that great building that is the subject of our pres- 
ent discourse, which God laid the foundation of immediately- 
after the fall of man, carried on further, and built higher than 
ever it had been before. 

VI. The next thing I shdl take notice of, is the eminently 
holy life of Enoc/i, who wc have reason to think was a ^aint of 
greater eminency than any ever had been before him ; so that 
in this respect the v.ork of redemption v/as carried on to a 
greater liei^ht than ever it had been before. With respect 
to its effect in the visible church in general, we observed just 
r.ov/ how it was carried higher in the days of Enos than ever 
it had been before. Probably Enoch was one of the saints of 
that harvest ; for he lived all the days that he did live on 
earth, in the days of Evos. And with respect to the degree 


to which this "vvork was caiTied in the soul of a particular per- 
son, it was raised to a greater height in Enoch than ever be- 
fore. His soul, as it was built on Christ, was built up in holi- 
ness to a greater height than there had been any instance of 
before. He was a wonderful instance of Christ's redemption^ 
and the efTicacy of his grace. 

VII. In Enoch's tiijie, God did more expressly reveal the 
coming of Christ than he had done before, in the prophecy of 
Enoch that we have an accoimt of in the 14th and 1 5th verses 
of the Epistls of Jude : " And Enoch also, the seventh fronn 
Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh 
with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all 
and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of their un- 
godly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all, 
their hard speeches v/hich ungodly sinnncrs have spoken 
against him." Here Enoch prophecies of the coming of 
Christ. It does not seem to be confined to any ' particular 
coming of Christ ; but it has rcspcct in general to Christ's 
coming in his kingdom, and is fulfdled in a degree in both the 
first and second coming of Christ ; and indeed in every remark- 
able manifestation Christ has made of himself in the world, 
for the saving of his people, and the destroying of his enemies. 
It is very parallel in this respect vv'ith many other prophecies of 
the coming ofChrist,that were given under the Old Testament; 
and, in particular,it seems to be parallel Aviththat great prophe- 
cy of Christ's coming in his kingdom that we have in the 7tli 
chapter of Daniekwhence theJcws principally took their notion 
of the kingdom of heaven. Sec ver. 10. ''A fiery stream issued 
and came forth from before him : Thousand thousunds min- 
istered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood be- 
fore him: The judgment was set, and the books were opened." 
And ver. 13, 14, " I saw in the night visions, and behold, one 
like the son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and cairie 
to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him* 
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a king- 
dom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve 
him ; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shalj 
fiO\. pass away, and his kingdom tliut which sJafJl not be dcs- 


troyed." And though it is not iinlikcly that Enoch might 
have a iritre immedia.te respect in this prophecy to the ap- 
proachintj destruction of the old worki by the flood, Avhich w as 
ct remarkable resemblance of Christ's destruction of all his en- 
emies at his second coming, yet it doubtless looked beyond 
the type to the antitype. 

And as this prophecy of Christ's coming- is more express 
than any had been before ; so it is an instance of the increase 
af that gospel light that began to daAvn presently' after the fall 
of man ; and is an instance of that building that is the sub- 
ject of our present discourse, being yet further carried on, 
and built up higher than ever it had been before. 

And here, by the way, I would observe, that the increase of 
gospel light, and the carrying on the work of redemption, as 
it respects the elect church in general, from the first erecting 
of the church to the end of the Avorld, is very much after the 
same manner as the carrying on of the same work and the 
same light in a particular soul, from the time of its conver- 
sion, till it is perfected and croA\nied in glory. The work in a 
particular soul has its ups and doAvns ; sometimes the light 
shines brighter, and sometimes it is a dark time ; sometimes 
grace seems to prevail, at other times it seems to languish for 
a great while together, and corruption prevails, and then grace 
revives again. But in general, grace is grov.ing : From its 
first infusion, till it is perfected in glory, the kingdom of 
Clu'ist is building iip in the soul. 

So it is with respect to the great affair in general, as it re- 
lates to the universal subject of it, as it is carried on from the 
first beginning of it, after the fall, till it is perfected at the end 
of the -world, as will more fully appear by a particular view of 
this aftair from beg'inning to end, in the prosecution of this.' 
subject, if Cod give opportunity to cai'ry it through as I pro- 

VIII. The next remarkable thing towards carrying on this 
Avork, that we have an account of in scripture, is, the transla- 
tion of Enoch into heaven. The account wc have of it is in 
Cen. V. 24. " And Enoch walked with G6d, and he was not ; 
^ov (iod took him.'* Hero Moses, in giving an account of the 

KrtI.] work of redemption. 4 J 

genealogy of these that were of the Unc o{ jYoah, does not say- 
concerning Enoch, he lived so long and he died, as he does of 
the rest ; but, he lOas not, for God took him ; i. e. he translated 
him ; in body and soul carried him to heaven without dying, 
as it is explained in Heb. xi. 5. "By faith Enoch was translat- 
ed that he should not see death." By this wonderful work of 
God, the work of redemption was carried to a greater height, 
in several respects, than it had been before. 

You may remember, that when I was showing what were 
the great things that God aimed at in the work of redemp- 
tion, or what the main things were that he intended to bring 
to pass ; I among other things mentioned the perfect restor- 
ing the ruins of the fall with respect to the elect, and restoring 
man from that destruction that he had brought on himself, 
both in soul and body. Now this translation of Enoch was the 
first instance that ever was of restoring the ruins of the fall 
with respect to the body. There had been many instances of 
restoi'ing the soul of man by Christ's redemption, but none of 
redeeming and" actually saving the body, till now. All the 
bodies of the elect are to be saved as well as their souls. At 
the end of the world, all the bodies of the saints shall actually 
be redeemed ; those that then shall have been dead, by a res- 
urrection ; and others, that then shall be living, by causing 
them to pass under a glorious change. There was a number 
of the bodies of saints raised and glorified, at the resurrection 
and ascension of Christ ; and before that there wa ..on instance 
of a body glorified in Elijah. But the first instance of all was 
this of Enoch, that we are now speaking of. 

And the work of redemption by this was carried on further 
than ever it had been before ; as, by this wonderful work of 
God, there was a great increase of gospel light to the church 
of God, in this respect, that hereby the church had a clearer 
manifestation of a future state, and of the glorious reward of 
the saints in heaven. We are told, 2 Tim. i. 10. « That life 
and immortality are brought to light by the gospel." And 
the more of this is brought to light, the more clearly does the 
light shine in that respect. What was said in the Old Testa- 
jnent of a future state, is very obscure, in comparison with th<? 

Vol.. II. F 


more full, plain, and abundant revelation given of it in the 
JCew. But yet even in those early days, the church of God, 
in this event, was favored with an instance of it set before 
their eyes, in that one of their brethren was actually taken up 
to heaven without dying ; which we have all reason to think 
the church of God knew then, as they afterwards knew Eli- 
jah's translation. And as this was a clearer manifestation of 
a future state than the church had had before, so it was a 
pledge or earnest of that future glorification of all the saints 
which God intended through the redemption of Jesus Christ. 

IX. The next thing that I shall observe, was the upholding 
the church of Gotl in the family of which Christ Avas to pro- 
ceed, in the time of that great and general defection of the 
world of mankind that was before the flood. The church of 
God, in all probability, was small, in comparison with the rest 
of the world, from the beginning of the time that mankind 
first began to multiply on the face of the earth, or from tho 
time of Cain's defection, and departing from among the peo- 
ple of God; the time Ave read of, Gen. iv. 16. " When Cain 
went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land 
of J\W ;" which being interpreted, is the land of banishment: 
I say, from this time of Cain's departure and separation from 
the church of God, it is probable that the church of God was 
small in comparison with the rest of the Avorld. The church 
seems to have been kept up chiefly in the posterity of Seth ; 
for this was the seed that God appointed instead oiMel, whom 
Cain slew. But we cannot reasonably suppose, that Seth's pos- 
terity were one fiftieth part of the world : " For Mam Avas 
one hundred and thirty years old Avhen Seth Avas born." But 
Cain^ Avho seems to have been the ringleader of those that 
Avere not of the church, was Adam's eldest child, and probabljr 
Avas bom soon after the fall, which doubtless Avas soon after 
Adam's creation ; so that there was time for Cain to have many- 
sons before Seth Avas born, and besides many other children, 
that probably Adam and Eve had before this time, agreeably 
to God's blessing that he gave them,Avhen he said, " Be fruit- 
ful, and multiply, and replenish the earth ;" and many of 
these children might have children. The story of Cain before" 


Sfth was born, seems to represent as though there were great 
numbers of men on the earth : Gpn- iy- 14, 15. " Behold tho^ 
hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth : And 
from thy face shall I be hid, and I shall be a fugitive and a 
vagabond in the earth ; and it shall come to pass, that every 
one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto 
him. Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain^ vengeance shall be 
taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark i;pon Capt^ 
]est any, finding him, should kill him." And all those that 
|vere then in being when Seth was born, must be supposed 
then to stand in equal capacity of multiplying their posterity 
witli him ; and therefore, as I said before, Scth'fi posterity 
■were but a small part of the inhabitants of the world. 

But after the days of Enos and Enochs (for Enoch was trajns- 
lated before Ems died ;) I say, after their days, the church of 
God greatly diminished, in proportion as multitudes that 
were of the line of Seth^ and had been born in the cliyrch of 
.God, fell away, and joined with the wicked world, principally 
hy means of intermarriages with them ; as Gen. vi. 1, 2, and 
4. " And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the 
,i^ce of the earth, and daughters Avere born unto them, that the 
sons of God saw the davighters of men, that they were fair ; 
^and they took them wives of all Avhich they chose. .....There 

yrere giants in tKe £arth in those days ; and also after tha^t, 
jyhen the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and 
ihey bare children to them, the same became mighty men, 
-which were of old, men of renown." By the sons of God here, 
are doubtless meant the children of the church. It is a denom- 
ination often given them in scripture. They intermarried 
with the wicked world, and so had their he arts led away from 
God ; and there was a great and continual defection from the 
church. And the church .of God, that used to be a restraint 
on the wicked world, diminished exceedingly, and so wicked- 
ness went on without restraint. And Satan, tliat old serpent, 
the devil, that tempted our first parents, and set up himself as 
God of this world, raged exceedingly ; &nd eyery imagination 
of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually, and 
the earth was filled with violence. It seemed to t)e deluged 


Avith Avickcdness nov/, as it was Avith water afterwards : And 
mankind in general were drowned in this deluge ; almost all 
Avere swallowed up in it. And now Satan made a most vio- 
lent and potent attempt to swallow up the church of God ; and 
had almost done it. But yet God restored it in the midst of 
all this flood of wickedness and violence. He kept it up in 
that line of which Christ was to proceed. He would not suffer 
it to be destroyed, for a blessing -was in it. The Lord the Re- 
deemer was in this branch of mankind, and was afterwards to 
proceed from it. There was a particular family that was a 
root in v/hich the great Redeemer of the world was, and 
whence the branch of righteousness was afterwards to shoot 
forth. And therefore, hov.everihe branches were lopped off, 
and the tree seen^.ed to be destroyed ; yet God, in the midst 
of all this, kept alive this root, by his wonderful redeeming 
power and grace, so that the gates of hell could not prevail 
against it. 

Thus I have shown how God carried on the great affair of 
redemption ; how the building went on that God began after 
the fall, during this first period of the times of the Old Testa- 
ment, viz. from the fall of man, till God brought the flood on 
the earth. And I would take notice upon it, that though the 
history which Moses gives of the great works of God during 
that space be very short ; yet it is exceeding comprehen- 
sive and instructive. And it may also be profitable for us 
here to observe, the efficacy of that purchase of redemption 
that had such great effects even in the old world so many ages 
before Christ appeared himself to pvirchase redemption, that 
his blood should have such great efficacy so long before it was 

PART n. 

From the Flood to the Calling of Abraham, 

I PROCEED now to show how the same work was carried 
on through the second period of the Old Testament, \X\iXfrom 


the beginning ofthejlood till the calling of Abraham : For though 
that mighty, overflowmg, universal deluge of waters over- 
threw the world ; yet it did not overthrow this building of 
God, the work of redemption. But this went on yet ; and in- 
stead of being overthrown, continued to be built up, and was 
carried on to a further preparation for the great Saviour's 
coming into the world, and working out redemption for his 
people. And here, 

I. The flood itself was a work of God that belonged to this 
great affair, and tended to promote it. All the great and 
mighty works of God from the fall of man to the end of the 
world, are reducible to this work, and, if seen in a right viev/ 
of them, will appear as parts of it, and so many steps that God 
has taken in order to it, or as carrying it on ; and doubtless so 
great a work, so remarkable ajid universal a catastrophe, as 
the deluge was, cannot be excepted. It was a work that God 
wrought in order to it, as thereby God removed out of the 
way the enemies and obstacles of it, that were ready to over- 
throw it. 

Satan seems to have been in a dreadful rage just before the 
flood, and his rage then doubtless was, as it always has been, 
chiefly against the church of God to overthrow it ; and he had 
filled the earth with violence and rage against it. He had 
drawn over almost all the world to be on his side, and they 
fisted under his banner against Christ and his church. We 
read, that the earth " v/as filled with violence ;" and doubt- 
less that violence was chiefly against the church, in fulfilment 
of what was foretold, / tuill/iut en?nitij between thy seed and her 
seed. And their enmity and violence v/as so great, and the 
enemies of the church so numerous, the whole world being 
against the church, that it was come to the last extremity. 
Noah's reproofs, and his preaching of righteousness, were ut- 
terly disregarded. God's spirit had striven with them an 
hundred and twenty years, and all in vain ; and the church 
was almost swallowed up. It seems to have been reduced to 
so narrow limits, as to be confined to one family. And there 
was no prospect of any thing else but of their totally swallov/- 
ing up the church, and that in a very little time ; and bo 


wholly destroying that small root that had the blessing in it, 
or whence the Redeemer was to proceed. 

And therefore God's destroying those enemies of the 
church by the flood, belongs to this affair of redemption : For 
it was one thing that was done in fulfilment of the covenant of 
grace, as it was revealed to Jdam : « I will put enmity be- 
tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, 
it shall bruise thy head." This destruction was only a destruc- 
tion of the seed of the serpent, in the midst of their most vio- 
lent rage against the seed of the woman, and so delivering the 
seed of the woman from cheni, when in utmost peril by them. 

We read of scarce any great destruction of nations any 
where in Scripture, but tliat one main reason given for it is, 
their enmity and injuries agiiinst God's Church : And doubt- 
less this was one main reason of ;he deicmcvipn of aJJ nations 
by the flood. The giants that were in those days, in all like- 
lihood, got themselves their renown by their great exploits 
against Heaven, and against Christ and his Church, the re- 
mainmg sons of God that had not corrupted themselves. 

We read that just before the world sha,ll be destroyed by 
fire, the nations that are in the four quarters of the earth, shall 
gather together against the church as the sand of the sea, 
a,nd shall go \ip on the breadth of the earth, and compass the 
camp of the saints about, and the beloved city ; and then fire 
shall come down from God out of heaven, and devour them, 
Rev. XX. 8, 9. And it seems as though there was that which 
was very parallel to it, just before the world was destroyed by 
water. And therefore their destruction was a work of God 
that did as much belong to the work of redemption, as the 
destruction of the Egyptiann belonged to the redemption of 
the children of Israel out of Egypt, or as the destruction of 
Sennacherib's mighty army, that had compassed about Jerur 
salem to destroy it, belonged to God's redemption of that city 
from them. 

By means of this flood, all the enemies of God's church, 
against whom that little handful had no strength, were swept 
off at once. God took their part, and appeared for them 
against their oiemics, and drowned those of whom they had 

■pAftT It.] WORK OF Redemption. 4/ 

fcfeeti afraid in the flood of water, as he drowned the enemies 
of Israel that pursued them, in the Red Sea. 

Indeed God could have taken other methods to deliver his 
church : He could have converted all the world instead of 
drowniiig it ; and so he could have taken another method than 
drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea. But that is no argii- 
ment, that the method thr.t he did take, was not a method to 
show his redeeming mercy to them. 

By the wicked world's being dro^Vned, the wicked, the ene- 
mies of God's people, were dispossessed of the earth, and the 
Avhoie earth given to Noah and his fam^ily to possess in quiet ; 
as God made room for the Israelites in Canaan^ by casting out 
their enemies from before them. And God's thus taking the 
possession of the enemies of the church, and giving it all to 
his church, was agreeable to that promise of the covenant of 
grace: Psal. xxxvii. 9, 10, 11. " For evil doers shall be cut 
off; but thosie that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the 
earth. For yet a little while and the'wicked shall not be ; 
yea, thou ishalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not 
be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall deli2;ht 
■themselves in the abundance of peace." 

ll. Another thing here belonging to the same work, was 
God's so wonderfully preserving that family of which the Re- 
deemer was to proceed, when all the rest of the world was 
drowned. God's drowning the world, and saving JVoah and 
his family, both were works reducible to this great work. 
The saving A''oah and his family belonged to it two ways. As 
that family was the family of which the Redeemer Avas to 
proceed, and as thai fanlily Avas the church that he had re- 
deemed, it was the mystical body of Christ that was there 
saved. The manner of God's saving those persons, when all 
the world besides was so overthrown, was very wonderful and 
remarkable. It Avas a wonderful and remarkable type uf the 
redemption of Christ, of that redemption that is sealed by the 
baptism of water, and is so spoken of in the Ncav Testament, 
as 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21. "Which sometime Avere disobedient, 
Avhen once the long suffering of God Avaited in the days of 
Noah, Avhile the ark Avas a preparing^, Avherein fcAVj that is. 

48 WORK or REDEMPTION. [Period L 

eight souls, were saved by -water. The like figure Avhereun- 
to, even baptism cloth also now save us, (not the putting away 
of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience 
tov/ards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." That 
water that washed away the filth of the world, that cleared the 
world of wicked men, was a type of the blood of Christ, that 
takes away the sin of the Avorld. That water that delivered 
Noah and his sons from their enemies, is a type of the blood 
that delivers God's church from their sins, their worst ene- 
mies. That water that was so plentiful and abundant, that it 
filled the world, and reached above the tops of the highest 
mountains, was a type of that blood, the sufficiency of which 
is so abundant, that it is sufficient for the whole world ; suffi- 
cient to bury the highest mountains of sin. The ark that was 
the refuge and hiding place of the church in this time of storm 
and flood, was a type of Christ, the true hiding place of the 
church, from the storms and floods of God's wrath. 

III. The next thing I Avould observe is, the new grant 
of the earth God made to Noah and his family immediately 
after the flood, as founded on the covenant of grace. The 
sacrifice of Christ Avas represented by Noah's building an al- 
tar to the Lord, and offering a sacrifice of every clean beast, 
and every clean fowl. And we have an account of God's ac- 
cepting this sacrifice : And thereupon he blessed Noah, and 
established his covenant with him, and with his seed, prom- 
ising to destroy the earth in like manner no more ; signify- 
ing how that it is by the sacrifice of Christ that God's favor 
is obtained, and his people are in safety from God's destroying 
judgments, and do obtain the blessing oi the Lord. And God 
now, on occasion of this sacrifice that Noah offered to God, 
gives him and his posterity a new grant of the earth ; a new 
power of dominion over the creatures, as founded on that sac- 
rifice, and so founded on the covenant of grace. And so it is 
to be looked upon as a diverse grant from that which was 
made to Adam, that we have Gen. i. 28. " And God blessed 
them, and God said unto them. Bo fruitful and multiply, and 
replenish the earth, and subdue it ; and have dominion over 
tiie fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every 


living thing that moveth upon the earth." Which grant was 
not founded on the covenant of grace ; for it was given to 
Adam while he was under the covenant of works, and there- 
fore was antiquated when that covenant ceased. The first 
grant of the earth to Adam was founded on tlie first covenant ; 
and therefore, when that first covenant was broken, the right 
€onveyed to him by that first covenant was forfeited and lost. 
And hence it came to pass, that the earth was taken away 
from mankind by the flood : For the first grant was forfeited ; 
and God had never made another after that, till after the flood. 
If the first covenant had not been broken, God never would 
have drowned the world, and so have taken it away from man- 
kind : For then the first grant made to mankind would have 
stood good. But that was broken ; and so God after a while, 
destroyed the earth, when the wickedness of man was great. 
But after the flood, on Noah's offering a sacrifice that repre- 
sented the sacrifice of Chiist, God in smelling a sweet savor, 
or accepting that sacrifice, as it was a I'epresentation of the 
true sacrifice of Christ, which is a sweet savor indeed to God, 
he gives Noah a new grant of the earth, founded on that sac- 
rifice of Christ, or that covenant of grace which is by that sac- 
rifice of Christ, with a promise annexed, that now the earth 
should no more be destroyed, till the consummation of all 
things ; as you may see in Gen. viii. 20, 21, 22, and chap. ix. 
I, 2, 3, 7, The reason why such a promise, that God would 
no more destroy the earth, was added to this grant made to 
Noah, and not to that made to Adam, was because this waa 
founded on the covenant of grace, of which Christ was the 
surety, and therefore could not be broken. And therefore it 
comes to pass now that though the wickedness of man has 
dreadfully raged, and the earth has been filled with violence 
and wickedriess thousands of times, and one age after another, 
and much more dreadful and aggravated wickedness than the 
v/orld was full of before the flood, being against so much 
greater light and mercy ; especially in these days of the gos- 
pel : Yet God's patience holds out ; God does not destroy the 
earth ; his mercy and forbearance abide according to his 
promise ; and his grant established with Noab and his sons 
Vol. II. 6 

50 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period 1. 

abides firm and good, being founded on the covenant of 

IV. On this God renews with Noah and his sons the cove- 
nant of grace, Gen. ix. 9. 10. « And I, behold, I estabUsh my 
covenant Avith you, and with your seed after you, and with 
every living creature that is with you," &c. ; which was the 
covenant of grace ; which even the brute creation have this 
benefit of, that it shall never be destroyed again until the con- 
summation of all things. When we have this expression in 
scripture, my covenant, it commonly is to be miderstood of 
the covenant of grace. The manner of expression, « I will 
establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you," 
shews plainly, that it was a covenant already in being, that had 
been made already, and that Noah would understand what 
covenant it was by that denomination, viz. the covenant of grace. 

V. God's disappointing the design of building the city and 
tower of Babel. This work of God belongs to the great work 
of redemption. For that building was undertaken in opposi- 
tion to this great building of God that we are speaking of. 
Men's going about to build such a city and tower was an ef- 
fect of the conniption that mankind were now soon fallen into. 
This city and tower was set up in opposition to the city of 
God, as the God that they built it to, was their pride. Being 
sunk into a disposition to forsake the true God, the first 
idol they set up in his room, was themselves, their own 
glory and fame. And as this city and tower had their foun- 
dation laid in the pride and vanity of men, and the haugh- 
tiness of their minds, so it was built on a foundation exceed- 
ingly contrary to the nature of the foundation of the kingdom 
.of Christ, and his redeemed city, which has its foundation laid 
in humility. 

Therefore God saw that it tended to frustrate the design of 
that great building that Avas founded, not in the haughtiness of 
men, but Christ's blood ; and therefore the thing that they did 
displeased the Lord, and he baffled and confounded the de- 
sign, and did not suffer them to bring it to perfection ; as God 
will frustrate and confound all other buildings, that are set up 
in opposition to the great building of the work of redemption. 


In the second chapler of Isaiah, where the prophet is fore- 
telling God's setting up the kingdom of Christ in the world, 
he foretells how God will, in order to it, bring down the 
haughtiness of men, and how the day of the Lord shall be on 
every high toiver., and upon every fenced ivall, &c. Christ's 
kingdom is established, by bringing down every high thing to 
make way for it, 2 Cor. x. 4. 5. " For the weapons of our war- 
fare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong 
holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing tliat 
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God." What is done 
in a particular soul, to make way for the setting up of Christ's 
kingdom, is to destroy Babel in that soul. 

They intended to have built Babel up to heaven. That 
building that is the subject we are upon, is a building that is 
intended to be built so high, that its top shall reach to heaven 
indeed, as it will to the highest heavens at the end of the 
world, when it shall be finished: And therefore God would not 
suffer the building of his enemies, that they designed to build 
up to heaven in opposition to it, to prosper. If they had gone 
on and prospered in building that city and toT^^er, it might have 
kept the world of wicked men, the enemies of the church, to- 
gether, as that was their design. They might have remained 
wnited in one vast, powerful city ; and so they might have 
been too powerful for the city of God, and quite swallowed 
it up. 

This city of Babel is the same with the city of Babylon ; for 
Babylon in the original is Babel. But Babylon was a city 
that is always spoken of in scripture as chiefly opposite to the 
city of God. Babylon, and Jerusalem, or Zion, are often op- 
posed to each other, both in the Old Testament and New, 
This city was a powerful and terrible enemy to the city of 
God afterwards, notwithstanding this great check put to the 
building of it in the beginning. But it might have been, and 
probably would have been vastly more powerful, and able to 
vex and destroy the church of God, if it had not been thus 

Thus it was in kindness to his church in the world, and va 
prosecution of the great design of redemption, that God jrut 
a stop to the building of the city and tower of Babel. 


VI. The dispersinsj of the nations, and dividing the earth 
among its inhabitants, immediately after God had caused the 
building of Babel to cease. This vas done so as most to suit 
that great design of redemption. And particularly, God 
therein had an eye to the future propagation of the gospel a- 
mong the nations. They were so placed, the bounds of their 
habitation so limited round about the land of Canaan, the 
place laid out for the habitation of God's people, as most suit- 
ed-the design of propagating the gospel among tliem : Deut. 
xxxii. 8. " When the Most High divided to the nations their 
inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set 
the bounds of the people according to the number of the 
children of Israel." Acts xvii. 26, 27. " And hath made 
of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face 
of the earth, and hath determined the times before appoint- 
ed, and the bounds of their habitation ; that they should 
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find 
him." The land of Canaan was the most conveniently situ- 
ated of any place in the world for the purpose of spreading 
the light of the gospel thence among the nations in general. 
The inhabited world was chiefly in the Roman empire in the 
times immediately after Christ, which was in the countries 
round about Jerusalem, and so properly situated for the pur- 
pose of diflusing the light of the gospel among them from that 
place. The devil seeing the advantage of this situation of 
the nations for promoting the great work of redemption, and 
the disadvantage of it with respect to the interests of his king- 
dom, afterward led away many nations into the remotest parts 
of the world, to that end, to get them out of the way of the 
gospel. Thus he led some into America ; and others into 
northern cold regions, that are almost inaccessible. 
VII. Another thing I would mention in this period, was 
God's preserving the true religion in the line from whichChrist 
■was to proceed, when the world in general apostatized to idol- 
atry, and the church were in imminent danger of being swal- 
lowed up in the general corruption. Although God had lately 
wrought 9o wonderfully for the deliverance of his church, and 
)had shewn so groat mercy towards it; as for its sake even tq 


destroy all the rest of the world ; and although he had lately 
renewed and established his covenant of grace with Noah and 
his sons ; yet so prone is the corrupt heart of man to depart 
from God, and to sink into the depths of v/ickedness, and so 
prone to darkness, delusion, and idolatry, that the world soon 
after the flood fell into gross idolatry ; so that before Abraham 
the distemper was become almost universal. The earth was 
become very corrupt at the time of the building of Babel ; 
and even God's people themselves, even that line from Avhich 
Christ was to come, were corrupted in a measure with idola- 
try : Josh. xxiv. 2. " Your fathers dwelt on the other side of 
the flood in old time, even Terrah the father of Abraham, and 
^le father of Nahor ; and they served other gods." The other 
side of the flood means beyond the river Euphrates, where the 
ancestors of Abraham lived. 

Wc are not to understand, that they were wholly drav^'n off 
to idolatry, to forsake the true God. For God is said to be 
the God of Nahor : Gen. xxxi. 53. " The God of Abrahanx, 
and the God of Nahor, the God of their father., judge betwixt 
us." But they only partook in some measure of the general 
and almost universal corruption of the times ; as Solomon M'as 
in a measure infected with idolatrous corruption ; and as the 
children of Israel in Egypt arc said to serve other gods, though 
yet there was the true church of God among them ; and as 
(here were images kept for a considerable time in the family 
of Jacob ; the corruption being brought from Padan Aram, 
Avhcnce he fetched his wives. 

This was the second time that the church was almost 
brought to nothing by the corruption and general defection of 
the world from true religion. "But still the true religion was 
kept up in the familyfromwhichChristvras to proceed. Which 
is another instance of God's remarkably preserving his church 
in a time of a general deluge of Avickedness ; and wherein, al- 
though the god of this Avorld raged, and had almost swallowed 
up God's church, yet God did not suiTer the gates of hell to 
prevail against it. 



From the Calling of Abraham to Moses, 

I PROCEED now to show how the work of redemption 
TTOs carried on through the third Jieriod of the times of the 
Old Testament, beginning Avith the calling' ofjlbraham, and ex- 
tending to Moses. And here, 

I. It pleased God now to separate that person of whom 
Christ was to come, from the rest of the world, that his 
church might be upheld in his family and posterity till Christ 
should come ; as he did in calling Abraham out of his own 
country, and from his kindred, to go into a distant country, 
that God should show him, and bringing him first out of Ur 
of the Chaldees to Charran, and then to the land of Canaan. 

It was before observed, that the corruption of the world with 
idolatry was now become general ; mankind were almost 
wholly overrun with idolatry : God therefore saw it necessa- 
ry, in order to uphold true religion in the world, that there 
should be a family separated from the vest of the world. It 
proved to be high time to take this course, lest the church of 
Christ should wholly be carried away with the apostacy. For 
the church of God itself, that had been upheld in the line of 
Abraham's ancestors, was already considerably corrupted. 
Abraham's own country and kindred had most of them fallen 
off; and withoiat some extraordinary interposition of Provir 
dence, in all likelihood, in a generation or two more, the true 
religion in this line would have been extinct. And therefore 
God saAv it to be time to call Abraham, the person in whose 
family he intended to uphold the true religion, out of his own 
country, and from his kindred, to a far distant country, that 
his posterity might there remain a people separate from all 
the rest of the world ; that so the true religion might be up- 
held there, while all mankind besides were swallowed up in 

The land of the Chaldees, that Abraham was called to go 
out of, was the country about Babel ; Babel, or Babylon was 
the chief citv of the land of Chaldca. Learned men suppose, 


by what they gather from some of the most ancient accounts 
of things, that it Avas in this land that idolatry first began ; that 
Babel and Chaldea were the original and chief seat of the wor- 
ship of idols, whence it spread into other nations. And 
therefore the land of the Chaldeans, or the country of Baby- 
lon, is in scripture called the land of grauen images ; as you. 
may sec, Jer. 1. 35, together with verse 38. « A sw'ord is up- 
on the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of 

Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her v/ise men A 

drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up ; for it is 
the land of graven images^ and they are mad upon their idols." 
God calls Abraham out of this idolatrous countiy, to a great 
distance from it. And when he came there, he gave him no 
inheritance in it, no not so much. as to set his foot on ; but he 
remained a stranger and a sojourner, that he and his family 
might be kept separate from all the Avorld. 

This was a new thing : God had never taken such a meth- 
od beforc. His church had not in this manner been separated 
from the rest of the world till now ; but wei'e wont to dweU 
with them, without any bar or fence to keep them separate ; 
the mischievous consequences of which had been found once 
and again. The effect before the flood of God's people living 
intermingled with the wiclced world, without any remarkable 
wall of separation, was, that the sons of the church joined in 
marriage Avith others, and thereby almost all soon became in- 
fected, and the church was almost brovight to nothing. The 
method that God took then to fence the church was, to dro\\ n 
the wicked world, and save the church in the ark. And nov, 
the world, before Abraham was called, was become corrupt 
again. But now God took another method. He did not de- 
stroy the wicked world, and save Abraham, and his wife, and 
I.,ot, in an ark ; but he calls these persons to go and live sepa- 
rate from the rest of the world. 

This was a new tliing, and a great thing, that Gol did to- 
ward the work of redemption. This thing was done now 
about the middle of the space of timebetAveen the fall of man 
and the coming of Christ ; and there v/ere about two thousand 
years yet to come befoir T}--'-^" rh" --v:-:- Redeemer was to 


come. But by this calling of Abraham, the ancestor of Christj 
a foundation Avas laid for the upholdint^ the church of Christ 
in the -world, till Christ should come. For the world havins^j 
become idolatrous, there was a necessity that the seed of the 
woman should be thus separated from the idolatrous world m 
order to that. 

Ai~rd then it was needful that there should be a particular 
nation separated from the rest of the world, to receive the 
types and prophecies that were needful to be given of Christ, 
to prepare the way for his coming; that to them might be com- 
Tnitted the oracles of God ; and that by them the history of 
God's great works of creation and providence might be up- 
held ; and that s-o Christ might be born of this nation ; and that 
from hence the light of the gospel might shine forth to the 
Test of the world. These ends could not be well obtained, if 
God's people through all these tv.o thousand years, had lived 
intermixed with the Heathen world. So that this calling of 
Abraharii maybe looked upon as a kind of a new foundation laid 
for the visible church of God, in a more distinct and regular 
state, to be upheld and built up on this foundation from hence- 
forward, till Christ should actually come, and then through 
him to be propagated to all nations. So that Abraham being 
tlie person in whom this foundation is laid, is represented in 
scripture as though he Avere the father of all the church, the 
father of all them that believe ; as it were a root whence the 
visible church thenceforward through Christ, Abraham's root 
and offspring, rose as a tree, distinct from all other plants ; of 
which tree Christ Avas the branch of righteousness ; and from, 
which tree, after Christ came, the natural branches were brok- 
en off, and the Gentiles were grafted into the same tree. So 
that Abraham still remains the father of the church, or root of 
the tree, through Clnist his seed. It is the same tree that 
flourishes from that small beginning, that was in Abraham's 
time, and has in these days of the gospel spread its branches 
over a great part of the earth, and will fill the whole earth in 
due time, and at the end of the world shall be transplanted from 
an earthly soil into the paradise of Cod, 


II. There accompanied this a more particular and full reve- 
lation and confirmation of the covenant of grace than ever had 
been before. There had before this been, as it were, two par- 
ticular and solemn editions or confirmations of this covenant ; 
one at the beginning of the first period, which was that where- 
by the covenant of grace was revealed to om- first parents, soon 
after the fall ; the other at the beginning of the second period, 
Y/hereby God solemnly renewed the covenant of grace with 
Noah ar« his family soon after the flood ; and now there is a, 
third, at the beginning of the third period, at and after the 
calling of Abraham. And it now being much nearer the time 
of the coming of Christ than when the covenant of grace was 
first revealed, it being, as was said before, about half way be- 
tween the fall and the coming of Christ, the revelation of the 
covenant now was much more ftill than any that had been be- 
fore. The covenant was now more particularly revealed. It 
was now revealed, not only that Christ should be ; but it was 
revealed to Abraham, that he should be his seed ; and it was 
now promised, that all the families of the earth should be 
blessed in him. And God was much in the promises of this to 
Abraham. The first promise was when he first called him, 
Gen. xii. 2. " And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will 
bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be a 
ble&sing." And again the same promise was renewed after he 
came into the land of Canaan, chap. xiii. 14, &c. And the 
covenant vvas again renewed after Abraham had returned from 
the slaughter of the kings, chap. XV. 5,6. And again, after 
his offering up Isaac, chap. xxii. 16, 17, 18. 

In this renewal of the covenant of grace with Abraham, sev 
feral particulars concerning that covenant were revealed more 
fully than ever had been before ; not only that Christ was to 
be of Abraham's seed, but also, the calling of the Gentiles, and 
the bringing all nations into the church, that all the families of 
the earth were to be blessed, was now made knov.ii. And 
then the great condition of the covenant of grace, which is 
iVath, was now more fully made known. Gen xv. 5, 6. " And 
he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And Abraham be- 
lieved God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness-" 
Vol. II, H 


Which is much taken notice of in the New Testament, as 
that whence Abraham was called the father of them that 

And as there was now a further revelation of the covenant 
of grace, so there was a further confirmation of it by seals and 
pledges, than ever had been before ; as, particularly, God did 
now institute a certain sacrament^ to be a steady seal of this 
covenant in the visible church, till Christ should come, viz, 
circumcision. Circumcision was a seal of this co-()»nant of 
grace, as appears by the fii'st institution, as we have an accost 
of it in the 17th chapter of Genesis. It there appears to be a 
seal of that covenant by which God promised to make Abra- 
ham a father of many nations, as appears by the 5th verse, 
compared with the 9th and 10th verses. And we are express- 
ly taught, that it was a seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. 
iv. 1 1 . Speaking of Abraham, the apostle says, " he receiv- 
ed the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of 

As I observed before, God called Abraham, that his family 
and posterity might be kept separate from the rest of the 
world, till Christ should come, which God saw to be necess a- 
ry on the forementioned accounts. And this sacrament was 
the principal wall of separation ; it chiefly distinguished Abra- 
ham's seed from the world, and kept up a distinction and 
separation more than any other particular observance whatso- 

And besides this, there were other occasional seals, pledges,- 
and confirmations, that Abraham had of this covenant ; as, 
particularly, God gave Abraham a remarkable pledge of the 
fulfilment of the promise he had made him, in his victory over 
Chedorlaomer and ilic kings that were with him. Chedorlao- 
mer seems to have been a great emperor, that reigned over a 
great part of the world at that day ; and though he had his 
seat at Elam, which was not much if any thing short of a thou- 
sand miles distant from the land of Canaan, yet he extended 
his empire so as to reign over many parts of the land of 
Canaan, as appears by chap. xiv. 4, 5, 6, 7. It is sup- 
posed by learned men, that he was a king of the Assyri- 


an empire at that day, which had been before begun by Nim- 
rod at Babel. And as it was the honor of kings in those days 
to build new cities to be made the seat of their empire, as ap- 
pears by Gen. x. 10, 11,12; so it is conjectured, that he had 
gone forth and built him a city in Elam, and made that his 
seat ; and that those other kings, who came with him, were his 
deputies in the several cities and countries Avhere they reign- 
ed. But yet as m.ighty an empire as he had, and as great an 
army as he now came with into the land where Abraham was, 
yet Abraham, only with his trained servants, that were born in 
his own house, conquered, subdued, and baffled this mighty 
emperor, and the kings that came with him, and all their army. 
This he received of God as a pledge of what he had promised, 
viz. the victory that Christ his seed should obtain over the na- 
tions of the earth, whereby he should possess the gates of his 
enemies. It is plainly spoken of as such in the 4 1 st of Isaiah. 
In that chapter is foretold the future glorious victory the 
church shall obtain over the nations of the world ; ^s you may 
see in the 1st, 10th, and 15th verses. Sec. But here this victo= 
ry of Abraham over such a great emperor and his mighty 
forces, is spoken of as a pledge and earnest of this victory of 
the church, as you may see in the 2d and 3d verses. " Who 
raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his 
foot, gave the nations before him, and rnadp him rule over 
kings ; He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven 
stubble to his bow. He pursued them, and passed safely ; 
even by the way that he had not gone Avith his feet." 

Another remarkable confirmation Abraham received of the 
covenant of grace, was when he returned frqm the slaughter 
of the kings ; when Melchisedec the king of Salem, the priest 
of the most high God, that great type of Christ, met him, and 
blessed him, and brought forth bread and wine. The bread 
and wine signified the same blessings of the covenant of 
grace, that the bread and wipe does in the sacrament of the 
Lord's supper. So that as Abraham had a seal of the cove- 
nant in circumcision that was equivalent to baptism, so now 
he had a seal of it equivalent to the Lord's supper. And 
Melchisedec's coming to meet him with such a seal of U*c 


covenant of grace, on the occasion of this victoiy of his over 
the kinf^-s of the north, confirms that that victory was a pledge 
of God's fulfilment of the same covenant ; for that is the mer- 
cy that Melchisedec with his bread and wine takes notice of ; 
as you may see by what he says in Gen. xiv. 19, 20. 

Another confirmation that God gave Abraham of the cove- 
nant of grace, was the vision that he had in the deep sleep 
that fell upon him, of the smoking furnance, and bmning 
lamp, that passed between the parts of the sacrifice, as in the 
latter part of the 1 5th chapter of Genesis. The sacrifice, as 
uU sacrifices do, signified the sacrifice of Christ. The smok- 
ing fumace that passed through the midst of that sacrifice 
first, signified the sufferings of Christ. But the burning lamp 
that folloAved, which shone with a clear bright light, signifies 
the glory that followed Christ's sufferings, and was procured 
by them. 

Another remarkable pledge that God gave Abraham of the 
fulfilment of the covenant of grace, was his giving of the child 
of whom Christ was to come, in his old age. This is spoken of 
as such in scripture ; Heb. xi. 11,12. and also Rom. iv. 18. kc. 

Again, another remarkable pledge that God gave Abraliam 
of the fulfilment of the covenant of grace, was his delivering 
Isaac, after he was laid upon the wood of the sacrifice to be 
slain. This was a confirmation of Abraham's faith in they, 
promise that God had made of Christ, that he should be of 
Isaac's posterity ; and was a representation of the resurrec- 
tion of Christ; as you may see, Heb. xi. 17, 18, 19. And be- 
cause this was given as a confirmation of the covenant of 
grace, therefore God renewed that covenant with Abraliam 
on this occasion, as you may see, Gen. xxiv. 15. &c. 

Thus you see how much more fully the covenant of grace 
was revealed and confirmed in Abraham's time than ever it 
had been before ; by means of which, Abraliam seems to have 
had a more clear understanding and sight of Christ the great 
Redeemer, and the future things that were to be accomplish- 
ed by him, than any of the saints that had gone before. And 
therefore Christ takes notice of it, that Abraham rejoiced to 
see his day, and he sa:v it, and was glad, John viii. 56. St 


great an advance did it please God now to make in thi^ 
building, which he had been carrying on from the beginning 
of the world. 

III. The next thing that I would take notice of here, is 
God's preserving the patriarchs for so long a time in the 
midst of the wicked inhabitants of Canaan, and from all other 
enemies. Tlie patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were 
those of whom Christ was to proceed ; and they were now 
separated from the world, that in them liis church might be 
upheld. Therefore in preserving them, the great design cf 
redemption was upheld and cai'ried on. lie preserved them 
and kept the inhabitants of the land where they sojourned 
from desti'oying them ; which was a remarkable dispensatiou 
of Providence. For the inhabitants of tlie land were at that 
day exceedingly wicked, though they grew more wicked af- 
terwards. This appears by Gen. xv. 16. " In the fourth 
generation they shall come hither again ; for the iniquity of 
the Canaanites is not yet full :" As much as to say. Though 
it be very great, yet it is not full. And their great wick- 
edness also appears by Abraham and Isaac's aversion to their 
children marrying any of the daughttMS of the land. Abra- 
ham, when he was old could not be content till he had mad^ 
his servant swear that he vv^ould not take a wife for his son of 
tlie daughters of the land. And Isaac and Rebecca were con- 
tent to send away Jacob to so great a distance as Padan Aram, 
to take him a Avife thence. And when Esau married some of 
the daughters of the land, we are told, that they were a grief 
of mind to Isaac and Rebecca. 

Another argument of their great wickedness, was the in^ 
stances we have in Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Ze- 
boim, which were some of the cities of Canaan, though tliey 
were probably distinguishingly wicked. 

And they being thus wicked, were likely to have the most 
bitter eninity against these holy men ; agreeably to what was 
declared at first, " I will put enmity between thee and the wo- 
man, and between thy seed and her seed." Their holy lives 
were a continual condemnation of their wickedness. And be- 
sides, it could jiot be otherwise, but\hat they must be much 

62 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period 11 

in reproving their wickedness, as we find Lot was in Sodom ; 
who, we are told, vexed his righteous soul with their unlaw- 
ful deeds, and was a preacher of righteousness to them. 

And they were the more exposed to them, being strangers 
und sojourners in the land, and having no inheritance there as 
yet. Men are more apt to find fault with strangers, and to be 
irritated by any thing in them that offends them, as they were 
V'ith Lot in Sodom. He very gently reproved their wicked- 
ness ; and they say upon it, "^ This felloAv came in to sojourn, 
and he will needs be a ruler and a judge ;" and threatened 
what they would do to him. 

But God wonderfully preserved' Abraham and Lot, and 
Isaac and Jacob, and their families, amongst them, though 
they were few in number, and they might quickly have des- 
troyed them ; which is taken notice of as a wonderful in- 
stance of God's preserving mercy toward his church, Psal. cv. 
12. &c. " When they were but a few men in number ; yea, 
very few, and strangers in it. When they Avent from one 
nation to another, from one kingdom to another people. He 
suffered no man to do them wrong ; yea, he reproved kings 
for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my 
prophets no harm." 

This preservation was, in some instances especially, very 
remarkable ; those instances that we have an account of, 
wherein the people of the land were greatly irritated and pro- 
voked ; as they were by Simeon and Levi's treatment of the 
Shechemites, as you may see in Gen. xxxiv. 30. S:c. God 
then strangely preserved Jacob and his family, restraining the 
provoked people by an unusual terror on their minds, as you 
jnay see in Gen. xxxv. 5. " And the terror of God was upon 
the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue 
after the sons of Jacob." 

And God's preserving them, not only from the Canaanites, 
is here to be taken notice of, but his preserving them from all 
others that intended mischief to them : As his preserving Ja- 
cob and his company, when pursued by Laban, full of rage, 
sand a disposition to overtake him as an enemy : God met him. 


ahd rebuked him, and said to him, " Take heed that thou 
speak not to Jacob either good or bad." How wonderfully 
did he also preserve him from Esau his brother, when he came 
forth with an army, with a full design to cut him oflF ! How did 
God, in answer to his prayer, when he wrestled with Christ 
at Penuel, wonderfully turn Esau's heart, and make him, in- 
stead of meeting him as an enemy with slaughter and des" 
truction, to meet him as a friend and brother, doing him no 
harm 1 

And thus were this handful, this little root that had the 
blessing of the Redeemer in it, presei'ved in the midst of ene- 
mies and dangers ; which was not unlike to the preserving 
the ark in the midst of the tempestuous deluge. 

IV. The next thing I would mention is, the awful destmc- 
tion of Soddm and Gomorrah, and the neighbouring cities. 
This tended to promote the great design and work that is the 
subject of my present undertaking, two ways. It did so, as it 
tended powerfully to restrain the inhabitants of the land from 
injuring those holy strangers that God had brought to sojourn 
amongst them. Lot was one of those strangers ; he came 
into the land with Abraham ; and Sodom was destroyed for 
their abusive disregard of Lot, the preacher of righteousnesa, 
that God had sent among them. And their destruction came 
just upon their committing a most injurious and abominable 
insult on Lot, and the strangers that were come into his 
houses even those angels, whom they probably took to be 
some of Lot's former acquaintance come from the country 
that he came from, to visit him. They in a most outrageous 
manner beset Lot's house, intending a monstrous abuse and 
act of violence on those strangers that were come thither, and 
threatening to serve Lot worse than them. 

But in the midst of this, God smote them with blindness j 
and the next morning the city and the country about it was 
overthrown in a most terrible storm of fire and brimstone ; 
which dreadful destruction, as it was in the sight of the rest of 
the inhabitants of the land, and therefore greatly tended to re- 
strain them from hurting those holy strangers any more ; it 
doubtless struck a dread and terror en their minds, and made 


them afraid to hurt them, and probably was one principal 
•means to restrain them, and preserve the patriarchs. And 
■when that reason is given why the inhabitants of the land did 
not pursue after Jacob, when they were so provoked by the 
destruction of the Shechemites, viz. " that the terror of the 
Lord was upon them," it is very probable, that this was the 
terror that was set home upon them. They remembered the 
amazing destruction of Sodom, and the cities of the plain, that 
came upon them upon their abusive treatment of Lot, and so 
durst not hurt Jacob and his family, though they were so 
much provoked to it. 

Another yay that this awful destruction tended to promote 
this great aftair of redemption, was, that hereby God did re- 
markably exhibit the terrors of his law, to make men sensible 
of their need of redeeming mercy. The work of redemption 
never was carried on Avithout this. The law, from the begin- 
ning, is made use of as a schoolmaster to bring men to Christ. 

But imder the Old Testament there was much more need 
of some extraordinary, visible, and sensible manifestation of 
Cod's wrath against sin, than in the days of the gospel ; since 
a future state, and the eternal misery of hell, is more clearly 
revealed, and since the awful justice of God against the sins of 
men has been so wonderfully displayed in the sufferings of 
Christ. And therefore the revelation that God gave of him- 
self in those days, used to be accompanied with much more 
terror than it is in these days of the gospel. So when God 
appeared at Mount Sinai to give the law, it was with thunders 
and lightnings, and a thick cloud, and the voice of the trum- 
pet exceeding loud. But some external awful manifestations 
of God's wrath against sin were on some accounts especially 
necessary before the giving of the law : And therefore before 
the flood, the terrors of the law handed down by tradition from 
Adam served. Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years 
himself, to tell the church of God's awful threatenings de- 
nounced in the covenant made with him, and how dreadful the 
consequences of the fall were, as he was an eye witness and 
subject ; and others that conversed with Adam, lived till the 
flood. And the destruction of the world by the flood scrvec^ 


to exhibit the terrors of the law, and manifest the wrath of 
God against sin ; and so to make men sensible of the abso- 
lute necessity of redeeming mercy. And some that saw the 
flood were alive in Abrahaipfi's time. 

But this was now in a great measure forgotten ; now there- 
fore God was pleased again in a most amazing manner, to 
show his wrath against sin, in the destruction of these cities ; 
which was after such a manner as to be the liveliest image of 
hell of any thing that ever had been ; and therefore the apos- 
tle Jude says, " They suffer the vengeance of eternal fire," 
Jude 7. God rained storms of fire and brimstone upon them. 
The way that they were destroyed probably was by thick 
flashes of lightning. The streams of brimstone were so thick 
as to burn up all these cities ; so that they perished in the 
flames of divine wrath. By this might be seen the dreadful 
wrath of God against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of 
men, which tended to show men the necessity of redemp- 
tion, and so to promote that great work. 

V. God again renewed and confirmed the covenant of 
grace to Isaac and to Jacob. He did so to Isaac, as you may 
see, Gen. xxvi. 3, 4. " And I will perform the oath which 
I sware unto Abraham thy father ; and I will make thy seed 
to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed 
all these countries ; and in thy seed sliall all the nations of 
the earth be blessed." And afterwai-ds it was renewed and 
confirmed to Jacob ; first in Isaac's blessing of him., wherein 
he acted and spoke by extraordinary divine direction. In 
that blessing, the blessings of the covenant of grace were es- 
tablished with Jacob and his seed ; as Gen. xxvii. 29. « Let 
people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee ; be lord over 
thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee : 
Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he 
that blesseth thee." And therefore Esau, in missing of this 
blessing, missed of being blessed as an heir of the benefits of 
the covenant of grace. 

This covenant was agam renewed and confirmed to Jacob at 
Bethel, in his vision of the ladder that reached to heaven ; 
which ladder was a svnabol of the way of salvation by Christ. 
Vol. IL i 


for the stone that Jacob rested on was a type of Christ, the 
stone of Israel, whrch the spiritual Israel or Jacob rests upon ; 
as is evident, because this stone was on this occasion anointedv 
and was made use of as an altar. But we know that Christ is 
the anointed of God, and is the only'true altar of God. While 
Jacob was resting on this stone and saw this ladder, God ap- 
pears to him as his covenant God, and renews the covenant 
of grace with him ; as in Gen. xxviii. 14. "And thy seed 
shall be as the dust of the earth ; and thou shalt spread abroad 
to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; 
and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth 
be blessed." 

And Jacob had another remarkable confirmation of this 
covenant at Penuel, where he wrestled with God, and prevail- 
ed ; where Christ appeared to him in a human form, in the 
form of that nature which he was afterwards to receive into 
a personal union with his divine nature. 

And God renewed his covenant with him again, after he 
was come out of Padan Aram, and was come up to Bethel, to 
the stone that he had rested on, and where he had ths vision 
of the ladder ; as you may see in Gen. xxxv. 10, &c. 

Thus the covenant of grace was nov/ often renewed, much 
often er than it had been before. The light of the gospel now 
began to shine much brighter as the time drew nearer that 
Christ should come. 

VI» The next thing I would observe, is God's remarkably 
preserving the family of which Christ was to proceed from 
perishing by famine, by the instrumentality of Joseph. When 
there was a seven years famine approaching, God was pleas- 
ed, by a wonderful providence, to send Joseph into Egypt, 
there to provide for, and feed Jacob and his family, and ta 
keep the holy seed alive, which othenvise would have perish- 
ed. Joseph was sent into Egypt for that end, as he observes, 
Gen. 1. 20. " But as for you ye thought evil against me ; but 
God meant it unto good, to save much people alive." How 
often had this holy root, that had the future branch of right- 
eousness, the glorious Redeemer, in it, been in danger of be- 
ing destroyed ! But God wonderfully presen'cd it. 


This salvation of the house of Israel by the hand of Joseph, 
%vas upon some accounts very much a resemblance of the sal- 
vation of Christ. The children of Israel were saved by Jo- 
seph their kinsman and brother, from perishing by famine ; 
as he that saves the souls of the spiritual Israel from spiritual 
famine is their near kinsman, and one that is not asliamed to 
call them brethren. Joseph was a brother, that they had hat- 
ed, and sold, and as it Avere killed ; for they had designed to 
kill him. So Christ is one that we naturally hate, and, by 
our wicked lives, have sold for the vain things of the world, 
and that by our sins we have slain. Joseph Avas first in a state 
of humiliation ; he was a servant, as Christ appeared in the 
form of a servant ; and then was cast into a dungeon, as Christ 
descended into the grave ; and then when he rose out of ihe 
dungeon, he was in a state of great exaltation, at the king''s 
right hand as his deputy, to reign over all his kingdom, to 
provide food, to preserve life ; and being in this state of exalt' 
ation, he dispenses food to his brethren, and so gives them 
life ; as Christ was exalted at God's right hand to be a prince 
and saviour to his brethren, and received gifts for men, even 
for the rebellious, and them that hated, and had sold him. 

VII. After this there was a prophecy given forth of Christ, 
on some accounts, more particular than ever any had been be- 
fore, even that Avhich was in Jacob's blessing his son Judah. 
This Avas more particular than ever any had been before, as 
it shoAved of Avhose posterity he Avas to be. When God called 
Abraham, it was revealed that he Avas to be of Abraham's 
posterity. Before Ave haA^e no account of any rcA^elation con- 
cerning Christ's pedigree, confined to narroAver limits than 
the posterity of Noahi After this it Avas confined to still nar- 
roAver limits ; for though Abraham had many sons, yet it was 
revealed, that Christ AA'as to be of Isaac's posterity. And then 
it Avas limited more still : For Avhen Isaac had two sons, it Avas 
revealed that Christ Avas to be of Israel's posterity. And noAv, 
though Israel had tAvelve sons, yet it is revealed that Christ 
should be of Judah's posterity : Christ is the lion of the tribe 
■of Judah. Respect is chiefly had to his great acts, Avhen it is said 
here, Gen. xlix. 8. " Judah, thou art he Avliom thy bretiircu 


shall praise ; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies 5 
thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is ali- 
en's whelp ; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up : He 
stooped dovm, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion ; who 
shall rouse him up ?" And then this prediction is more partic- 
ular concerning the time of Christ's coming, than any had 
been before ; as in ver. 10. « The sceptre shall not depart from 
Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh 
come ; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." 
The prophecy here, of the calling of the Gentiles, conse- 
quent on Christ's coming, seems to be more plain than any 
had been before, in the expression, to him shall the gathering 
of the peofile be. 

Thus you see how that gospel light which dawned immedir 
ately after the fall of man, gradually increases. 

VIII. The Avork of redemption was carried on in this pe- 
riod, in God's wonderfully presening the children of Israel in 
Egypt, when the power of Egypt was engaged utterly to des- 
troy them. They seemed to be wholly in the hands of the 
Egyptians ; they were their servants, and were subject to the 
power of Pharaoh : And Pharaoh set himself to weaken then* 
with hard bondage. And when he saw that did not do, he 
set himself to extirpate the race of them, by commanding 
that every male child should be drowned. But after all that 
l*haraoh could do, God wonderfully preserved Xhinx ; and 
not only so but increased them exceedingly ; so that instead 
of being extirpated, they greatly multiplied. 

IX. Here is to be observed, not only the preservation of 
the nation, but God's wonderfully preserving and upholding 
his invisible church in that nation, when in danger of being 
overwhelmed in the idolatry of Egypt. The children of Is- 
rael being long among the Egyptians, and being servants un- 
der them, and so not under advantages to keep God's ordi- 
nances among themselves, and maintain any public M'orship 
or public instruction, whereby the true religion might be up- 
held, and there being now no written word of God, they, by 
degrees, in a great measure, lost the true religion, and bor- 
rowed the idolatry of Egypt ; and the greater part ot the 


people fell away to the worship of their gods. This we leara 
by Ezek. xx^ 6, 7, 8, and by chap, xxiii. 8, 

This now was the third time that God's church v^as almost 
swallowed up and carried away with the wickedness of the 
world ; once before the flood ; the other time, before the 
calling of Abrah-am ; and now the third time in Egypt. But 
yet God did not suffer his church to be quite overwhelmed j 
he still saved it, like the ark in the flood, and as he saved Mo- 
ses in the midst of the waters, in an ark of bulrushes, where 
he was in the utmost danger of being swallowed up. The 
true religion was still kept up with some, and God had still a 
people among them, even in this miserable, corrupt, and dark 
time. The parents of Moses were true servants of God, 
as we may learn by Heb. xi. 23. " By faith Moses, when he 
was born, was hid three months of his parents, because thcy 
saw that he was a proper child ; and they were not afraid of 
the king's commandment." 

I have now gone though the third period of the Old Testa- 
ment time ; and have shown how the work of redemption was 
carried on from the calling of Abraham to Moses ; in which 
we have seen many great things done towards this work, and 
a great advancement of this building, beyond what had been 


From Moses to Datid. 

I PROCEED to the fourrh period^ which reache3 from 

Moses to David I would shev/ how the work of redemption 

was carried on through this also. 

I. The first thing that offers itself to be considered, is the 
redemption of the church of God out of Egypt ; the most re- 
markable of all the Old Testament redemptions of the church 
of God, and that which was the greatest pledge and forerunner 
of the future redemption of Christ, of any ; and is much more 
•insisted on in scripture than any other of tliose redemptions. 


And indeed it was the greatest type of Christ's redemption of 
any providential event whatsoever. This redemption was by 
JesusChrist, as is evident from this, that it Avas wrought by him 
that appeared to Moses in the bush ; for that was the person 
that sent Moses to redeem that people. But that was Christ, 
as is evident, because he is called the angel of the Lord, 
Exod. iii. 2, 3. The bush represented the human nature of 
Christ, that is called the bj-anch. The bush grcAv on Mount 
Sinai or Horeb, which is a word that signifies a dry place, 
as the human nature of Christ was a root out of a dry ground. 
The bush burning with fire, represented the sufferings of 
Christ, in the fire of God's wrath. It burned j^nd was not 
consumed ; so Christ, though he suffered extremely, yet per- 
ished not ; but overcame at last, and rose from his sufferings. 
Because this great mystery of the incarnation and sufferings 
of Christ was here represented, therefore Moses says, " I 
will turn aside and behold this great sight." A great sight 
he might well call it, when there was represented, God mani- 
fest in the flesh, and suffering a dreadful death, and rising 
from the dead. 

This glorious Redeemer was he that redeemed the church 
out of Egypt, from under the hand of Piiaroah ; as Christ, by 
his death and sufferings, redeemed his people from Satan, the 
spiritual Pharaoh. He redeemed them from hard semce 
and cruel drudgery ; as Christ redeems his people from the 
cruel slavery of sin and Satan. He redeemed them, as it is 
said, from the iro?i furnace ; as Christ redeems his Church 
from a furnace of fire and everlasting burnings. He redeem- 
ed them with a strong hand and outstretched arm, and great 
and terrible judgments on their enemies ; as Christ with 
mighty power triumphs over firincifialities and /loiueis, and 
executes terrible judgments on his church's enemies, bruis- 
ing the serpent's head. He saved them, when others were 
destroyed, by the sprinkling of the blood of the paschal lamb ; 
as God's church is saved from death by the sprinkling of the 
blood of Christ, when the rest of the world is destroyed. God 
brought forth the people sorely against the will of the Egyp- 
irians, Avhcn they could not bear to let them go ; so Christ- res- 


cues his people out of the hands of the devil, sorely against his 
will, when his proud heart cannot bear to be overcome. 

In that redemption, Christ did not only redeem the people 
from the Egyptians, but he redeemed them from the devils, 
the gods of Egypt ; for before, they had been in a state of ser- 
vitude to the gods of Egypt, as well as to the men. And 
Christ, the seed of tlie woman, did now, in a very remarkable 
manner, fulfil the curse on the serpent, in bruising his head i 
Exod. xii. 12. " For I will pass through the land of Egypt 
this night, and will smite all the first born in the land of Egypt, 
both man and beast, and against all the gods of Egypt will I 
execute judgment." Hell was as much and more engaged in 
that affair, than Egypt was. The pride and cruelty of Satan, 
that old serpent, was more concerned in it than Pharoah's. 
He did his utmost against the people, and to his utmost op- 
posed their redemption. But it is said, that when God re- 
deemed his people out of Egypt, he broke the heads of the 
dragons in the waters, and broke the head of leviathan in piec- 
es, and gave him to be meat for the people inhabiting the wil- 
derness, Psal. Ixxiv. 12, 13, 14. God forced their enemies to 
let them go, that they might serve him ; as also Zacharias ob- 
serves with respect to the church under the gospel, Luke i. 
74, 75. 

The people of Israel went out with an high hand, and Christ 
went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire. There was a 
glorious triumph over earth and hell in that deliverance. And 
when Pharaoh and his hosts, and Satan by them, pursued the 
■people, Christ overthrew them in the Red sea ; the Lord 
triumphed gloriously ; the horse and his rider he cast into the 
spa, and there they slept their last sleep, and never followed 
the children of Israel any more ; as all Christ's enemies are 
overthi-own in his blood, which by its abundarit svifficiency, and 
the greatness of the sufferings with which it was shed, may 
well be represented by a sea. The Red sea did represent 
Christ's blood, as is evident, because the apostle ccmpares^ 
the children of Israel's passage through the Red sea to bap- 
tism, 1 Cor. X. 1,2. But we all know that the water cf bapf 
tism represents Christ's bleed. 

it ^VORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t 

Thus Christ, the angel of God's presence, in his love and 
his pity redeemed his people, and carried them in the days of 
old as on eagles wings, so that none of their proud and spiteful 
enemies, neither Egyptians nor devils, could touch them. 

This was quite a new thing that God did towards this great 
work of redemption. God never had done any thing like it 
before ; Deut. iv. 32, 33, 34. This Avas a great advancement 
of the work of redemption, that had been begun and carried 
on from the fall of man ; a great step taken in divine provi- 
dence towards a preparation for Christ's coming into the 
v/orld, and working out his great and eternal redemption : For 
this was the people of whom Christ was to come. And now 
v/e may see how that plant flourished that God had planted in 
Abraham. Though the family of which Christ was to come, 
had been in a degree separated from the rest of the world be- 
fore, in the calling of Abraham ; yet that separation that was 
then made, appeared not to be sufficient, without further sep- 
aration. For though by that separation, they were kept as 
strangers and sojourners, kept from being united with other- 
people in the s^me political societies ; yet they remained 
mixed among them, by which means, as it had proved, they 
had been in danger of wholly losing the true religion, and of 
being overrun with the idolatry of their neighbors, God nov/, 
therefore, by this redemption, separated them as a nation 
from all other nations, to subsist by themselves in their own 
political and ecclesiastical state, without having any concern 
with the Heathen nations, that they maght so be kept separate 
till Christ should come ; And so that the church of Christ 
might be upheld, and might keep the oracles of God, till that 
time ; that in them might be kept up those types and prophe- 
cies of Christ, and those histories, and other divine previous 
instmctions, that were necessary to prepare the way for 
Christ's coming. 

II. As this people were separated to be God's peculiar peo- 
ple, so all other people upon the face of the whole earth were 
wholly rejected and given over to Heathenism. This, so far 
as the providence of God was concerned in it, belongs to the 
great affair of redemption that we are upon, and was on« 


thing that God ordered in his providence to prepare the way 
for Christ's coming, and the great salvation he was to accom- 
plish in the world ; for it was only to prepare the Avay for the 
more glorious and signal victory and triumph of Christ's pow- 
er and grace over the wicked and miserable world, and that 
Christ's salvationof the world of mankind might become the 
more sensible. This is the account the scripture itself gives 
us of the matter, Rom. xi. 30, 31,32. The aposUe there 
speaking to the Gentiles that had formerly been Heathens, 
says, " As ye in times past have not believed God, yet have 
now obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have 
these also now not believed, that through your mercy they al- 
so may obtain merey. For God hath concluded them all in 
unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." i. e. It v^-as the 
■will of God, that the whole world, Jews and Gentiles, shou d 
be concluded in visible and professed unbelief, that so God's 
mercy and Christ's salvation towards them all might be visi- 
ble and sensible. For the apostle is not speaking only of that 
unbelief that is natural to all God's professing people as well 
as others, but that which appears, and is visible ; such as the 
Jews fell into, when they openly rejected Christ, and ceased 
'to be a professing people. The apostle observes, how that 
first the Gentiles, even the Gentile nations, were included iu 
a professed unbelief and open opposition to the true religion, 
before Christ came, to prepare the way for the calling of the 
Gentiles, which was soon after Christ came, that God's mer- 
cy might be the more visible to them ; and that the Jews 
were rejected, and apostatized from the visible church, to pre- 
pare the way for the calling of the Jews, which shall be in the 
latter days : So that it may be seen of all nations, Jews and 
Gentiles, that they are visibly redeemed by Christ, from be- 
ing visibly aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, without 
hope, and without God in the world. 

We cannot determine precisely at what time the apos- 
tacy of the Gentile nations from the true God, or their 
being concluded in visible unbelief, became universal. Their 
falling away was a gradual thing, as we observed before. It 
was general in Abraham's tirae, but not universal : For then 
Vol. II. K 


we find Melchisedec, one of the Idngs of Canaan, was priert 
of the most h'-gh God. And after this the true religion was 
kept up for a while among some of the rest of Abraham's pos- 
terity, besides the family of Jacob ; and also in some of the 
posterity of Nahor, as we have instances of, in Job, and 
his three friends, and Elihu. The land of Uz, where Job 
lived, was a land possessed by the posterity of Uz, or Huz, the 
son of Nahoi', Abraham's brother, of whom we read, Gen. 
xxii. 2 1 . Bildad the Shuhite Avas of the offspring of Shuah, 
Abraham's son by Kcturah, Gen. xxv. 1,2; and Elihu the 
Buzite, was of Buz the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. 
So the true religion lasted among some other people, besides 
the Israelites, a while after Abraham. But it did not last 
long ; and it is probable that the time of their total rejection, 
and gh ing up to idolatry, was about the time when God separ- 
ated the children of Isi'ael from Egypt to sen-e him ; for they 
tire often put in mind on that occasion, that God had now sep- 
arated them to be his peculiar people ; or to be distinguished 
from all other people upon eaith, to be his people alone : To 
be his portion, when others were rejected. This seems to 
hold forth thvis much to us, that God now chose them in such 
a mannei', that this visible choice of them was accompanied 
with a visible rejection of all other nations in the Avorld ; that 
God visibly came, and took up his residence v/ith them, as 
forsaking all other nations. 

And so, as the first calling of the Gentiles after Christ 
came, was accompanied with a rejection of the Jews ; so the 
first calling of the Jews to be God's people, when they were 
called out of Egypt, was accompanied with a rejection of the 

Thus all the Gentile nations throughout tl^e whole world, 
all nations, but only the Israelites, and thqse that embodied 
themselves with them, were left and given up to idolatry ; 
and so continued a great many ages, even from this time till 
Christ came, which was about fifteen hundred years. They 
were concluded so long a time in unl^elief, that there might 
be a thorough proof of the necessity of a Saviour; that it 
mijfht appear by so long a trial, past all contradiction, that 


iriankind were utterly insufficient to deliver themselves from 
that gross darkness and misery, and subjection to the devil, 
that they had fallen under ; that it might appear that all the 
wisdom of the philosophers, and the wisest men that the Hea- 
then had among them, could not deliver them from their dark- 
ness, for the greater glory to Jesus Christ, who, when he 
came, enlightened and delivered them by his glorious gospel. 
Herein the wonderful wisdom of God appeared, in thus pre- 
paring the way for Christ's redemption- This the scripture 
teaches us, as in 1 Cor. i. 21. « For after that, in the wisdom 
of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God 
by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 

Here I might consider &s another work of God, whereby 
the general work of redemption Avas carried on, that wonder- 
ful deliverance which he wrought for the children of Israel 
at the Red Sea, when they were pursued by the hosts of the 
Egyptians, and were just ready to be swallowed up by them, 
there being, to human appearance, no possibility of an escape. 
But as this may be referred to their redemption out of Egypt, 
and considered as a part of that more general work, I shall not 
further enlarge upon it. 

III. The next thing that I shall take notice of here, that 
was done towards the work of redemption, is God's giving the 
moral hw in so awful a manner at Mount Sinai. This was 
another new thing that God did, a new step taken in this great 
affair. Deut. iv. 33. " Did ever a people hear the voice of 
God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, 
and live ?" And it was a great thing that God did towards this 
work, and that whether we consider it as delivered as a new 
exhibition of the covenant of works, or given as a rule of life. 

The covenant of works was here exhibited to be as a school- 
master to lead to Christ, not only for the use of that nation in 
the ages of the Old Testament, but for the use of God's 
church throughout all ages of the world ; as an instrument 
that the great Redeemer makes use of to convince men of 
their sin and misery, and helpless state, and of God's awfa and 
tremendous majesty and justice as a lawgiver, and se tc r^ nlcQ 
men sensible of the necessity of Christ as a Savi:"t r 


work of redemption, in its saving effect on men's souls, in 
all the progress of it to the end of it, is not carried on without 
the use of this law that was now delivered at Sinai. 

It was given in an awful manner, Avith a terrible voice, ex- 
ceedingly loud and awful, so that all the people that were in 
the camp trembled ; and Moses himself, though so intimate 
a friend of God, yet said, I exceedingly fear and quake ; the. 
voice being accompanied with thunders and lightnings, the 
mountain burning with fire to the midst of heaven, and the 
earth itself shaking and trembling ; to make all sensible how 
great that authority, power, and justice was, that stood engag- 
ed to exact the fulfilment of this law, and to see it fully exe- 
cuted ; and how strictly God would require the fulfilment ; 
and how temble his wrath would be against every breaker of 
it ; that men being sensible of these things, might have a 
thorough trial of themselves, and might prove their own 
hearts, and know how impossible it is for them to have salva- 
tion by the works of the law, and might see the absolute neces- 
sity they stood in of a mediator. 

If we regard this law now given at Mount Sinai, not as the 
covenant of works, but as a rule of life ; so it is made use of 
by the Redeemer, from that time to the end of the world, as a 
directory to his people, to show them the way in which they 
must walk as they would go to heaven : For a way of sincere 
and universal obedience to this law is the narrow way that 
leads to life. 

IV. The next thing that is observable in this period, was 
God's giving the typical law, in which I suppose to be include 
cd most or all those precepts that were given by Moses, that 
did not properly belong to the moral law ; not only those laws 
that are commonly called ceremonial^ in distinction from judi- 
cial laws, which are the laws prescribing the ceremonies and 
circumstances of the Jewish worship, and their ecclesiastical 
state ; but also many, if not all those divine laws that were 
political, and for regulating the Jewish commonwealth, com- 
monly called judicial laws ; these were at best many of them 
typical. The giving this typical law was another great thing 
that God did in this period, tending to build up this glorious 


structure of redemption that God had been carrying on from 
the beginning of the world. There had been many typical 
events of Providence before, that represented Christ and his. 
redemption, and seme typical ordinances, as particularly those 
two of sacrifices and circumcision : But now, instead of repre- 
senting the great Redeemer in a few institutions, God gives 
forth a law full of nothing else but various and innumerable 
typical representations of good things to come, by which that 
nation were directed how, every year, month, and day, in their 
religious actions, and in their conduct of themselves, in all 
• that appertained to their ecclesiastical and civil state, to show 
forth something of Christ ; one observance shovvang one thing, 
exhibiting one doctrine, or one benefit ; another, aijother ; so 
that the v/hole nation by this law was, as it were, constituted 
in a typical state. Thus the gospel was abundantly held forth 
to that nation ; so that there is scarce any doctrine of it, but 
is particularly taught and exhibited by some observance of this 
law ; though it was in shadows, and under a vail, as Moses put 
a vail on his face when it shone. 

To t^s typical law belong all the precepts that relate to 
building the tabernacle that was set up in the Aviklerness, and 
all the form, circumstances, and utensils of it. 

V. About this time was given to God's church the first 
written word of God that ever was enjoyed by God's people. 
This was another great thing done tovv'ards the affair of re- 
demption, a new and glorious advancement of the building. 
Not far from this time, v/asthe beginning of the great written 
rule, which God has given for the regulation of the faith, wor- 
ship and practice of his church in all ages henceforward to the 
end of the world ; which rule grew, and was added to from 
that time, for many ages, till it was finished, and tiie canon 
of scripture completed by the Apostle John. It is not very- 
material, whether the first written v/ord that ever was, was the 
ten commandments, written on the tables of stone with the 
finger of God, or the book of Job ; and Avhether the book of 
Job v/as written by Moses, as some suppose, or by Elihu, as 
others. If it was written by Elihu, it was written before this 
jieriod that we are now upon ; but yet could not bt far from it. 


as appears by considering whose posterity the persons were 
that are spoken of in it, together with Job's great age, that 
was past before this was written. 

The written word of God is the main instrument Christ 
lias made use of to carry on his work of redemption in all ages 
since it was given. There was a necessity now of the word 
©f God's being committed to writing, for a steady rule to 
God's church. Before this, the church had the word of God 
by tradition, either by immediate tradition from eminent men 
that were inspired, that were then living, (for it was a com- 
mon thing in those days, before there was a written word, for 
God to reveal himself immediately to eminent persons, as 
appears by the book of Job, and many other things that might 
be mentioned, in the book of Genesis) or else they had it by 
tradition from former generations, which might be had with 
tolerable certainty in ages preceding this, by reason of the long 
lives of men. Noah might converse with Adam, and receive 
traditions from him ; and Noah lived till about Abraham's 
time : And the sons of Jacob lived a considerable time to de- 
liver the revelations made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to 
their posterity in Egypt. But the distance from the begin- 
ning of things was become so great, and the lives of men be- 
come so short, being brought down to the present standard 
about Moses's time, and God having now separated a nation 
to be a peculiar people, partly for that end to be the keepers 
of the oracles of God ; God saw it to be a needful and conve- 
nient time now to commit his word to writing, to remain 
henceforward for a steady rule throughout all ages. And 
therefore, besides the book of Job, Christ wrote the ten com- 
mandments on tables of stone, with his ovm finger ; and after 
this the whole law, as containing the substance of the five 
books of Moses, was by God's special command committed 
to writing which was called the book of the lawy and was laid 
up in the tabernacle, to be kept there for the use of the 
church ; as you may see, Deut. xxxi. 24, 25, 26. 

VI. God was pleased now wonderfully to represent the 
progress of his redeemed church through the world to their 
eternal inheritance, by the journey of the children of Israel 


through the wildemesss, from Egypt to Canaan. Here all 
the various steps of the redemption of the church by Christ 
were represented, from the beginning to its consummation in 
glory. The state they are redeemed from is represented by- 
Egypt, and their bondage there, which they left. The pur- 
chase of their redemption was represented by the sacrifice of 
the paschal lamb, which was offered up that night that Go^l 
slew all the first born of Egypt. The beginning of the appli- 
cation of the redemption of Christ's church in their conver- 
sion, was represented by Israel's going out of Egypt, and 
passing through the Red sea in so extraordinary and miracu- 
lous a manner. The travel of the church through this evil 
world, and the various changes through whick the church 
passes, in the different stages of it, were represented by the 
journey of the Israelites through the wilderness. The man- 
ner of their being conducted by Christ, was represented by 
the Israelites being led by the pillar of cloud by day, and the 
pillar of fire by night. The manner of the church's being 
supported in their progress^ and supplied from the beginning 
to the end of it, with spiritual food, and continual daily com- 
munications from God, was represented by God's supply- 
ing the children of Israel with bread, or manna.) from heaven* 
and water out of the rock. The dangers that the saints must 
meet with in their course through the world, were represent- 
ed by the fiery flying serpents which the children of Israel 
met with in the wilderness. The conflicts the church has 
with her enemies^ were represented by their battle with the 
A male kites, and others they met with there. And so innu- 
merable other things might be mentioned, wherein the things 
they met with were lively images of things which the church 
and saints meet with in all ages of the world. That these 
things are typical of things that pertain to the Christian church 
is manifest from 1 Cor. x. II . " Now all these things hap- 
pened unto them for ensamples, and they were written for 
our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.'* 
Here the apostle is speaking of those very things which we 
have now mentioned, and he says expressly, that they hap- 
pened unto them for types ; so it is in the original. 

86 %VORK OF REt)EMPT10?J. [Period f. 

VII. Another thing here must not be omitted, -which was 
* great and remarkable dispensation of Providence, respecting 
the Avhole world of mankind, which was finished in this peri- 
od ; and that was the shortening the days of man's life, where- 
by it was brought down from being between nine hundred and 
a thousand years, to be but about seventy or eighty. The 
life of man began to be shortened immediately after the flood : 
It was brought down the first generation to six hundred 
years ; and the next to between four and five hundred years ; 
and so the life of man gradually grew shorter and shorter, 
till about the time of the great mortality that was in the con- 
gregation of Israel, after they had murmured at the report of 
the spies, and their carcases fell in the Avildemess, whereby 
all the men of war died ; and then the life of man was reduc- 
ed to its present standard, as Moses observes in that Psalm 
that he wrote on occasion of that mortality : Psal. xc. 10. 
« The days of our years are threescore years and ten ; and if 
by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their 
strength labor and sorrow : For it is soon cut off, and we fly 

This great dispensation of God tended to promote the 
grand design of the redemption of Christ. Man's life being 
ci\t so very short in this world, tended to prepare the way for 
pf3or, mortal, short lived men, the more joyfully to entertain 
the glad tidings of everlasting life in another iitorld, that are 
brought to light by the gospel ; and more readily to embrace 
a .Saviour, that purchases and ofi'ers such a blessing. If men's 
li^•es were still commonly about nine hundred years, how 
much less would they have to move them to regard the prof- 
fer s of a future life ; how much greater temptation would 
the y have to rest in the things of this world, they being of such 
loni ^ continuance, and to neglect any other life but this ? This 
probably contributed greatly to the wickedness of the antedi- 
luvi ans. But now how much greater motives have men to 
seei redemption, and a better life than this, by the great Rc- 
decn '.cr, since the life of man is not one twelfth part of what 
it use d to be, and men now universally die at the age when 
men Tormerly used to be but as it were setting out in th<' 
•world ;' 

Part I\'.] work OF REDEMPTION, SI 

VIII. The same work was carried on in preservino; that 
people, of whom Christ was to come, from totally perishing 
in the wilderness, by a constant miracle of forty years contin- 
Viance. I observed before many times, how God preserved 
those of whom the Redeemer was to proceed in a very won- 
derful manner ; as he preserved Noah and his family from 
the flood ; and as he preserved Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
with their families, from the wicked inhabitants of Canaan ; 
?.nd as he preserved Jacob and his family from perishing by 
the famine, by Joseph in Egypt. But this preservation of the 
children of Israel for so long a time in the wilderness, was 
on some accounts more remarkable than any of them ; for it 
was by a continual miracle of so long duration. There v/as, 
as may be fairly computed, at first two millions of souls in that 
congregation, that could not subsist any belter without meat 
and drink than other men. But if this had been withheld, 
they must all have perished, every man, woman, and child, 
in less than one month's tim.e, so that there would not have 
been one of them left. But yet this vast multitude subsisted 
for forty years together, in a dry, barren wilderness, without 
sowing or reaping, or tilling any land, having their bread daily 
rained down to them out of heaven, and being furnished with 
"vvater to satisfy tliem all, out of a rock ; and the same clothes 
with which they came out of Egypt, lasting without wearing- 
but all that time. Never was any instance like this of a na- 
tion's being so upheld for so long a time together. Thus 
God upheld his church by a continual miracle, and kept alive 
that people in whom was the blessing, the promised seed, and 
great Redeemer of the world. 

IX. God was pleased, in this time of the children of Is- 
rael's being in the wilderness, to give a further revelation of 
Christ the Redeemer in the predictions of him, than had been 
before. Here are three prophecies given at this time that I 
would take notice of. The first is that of Balaam, Numb. 
xxiv. 17, 18, 19. « I shall see him but not now ; I shall be- 
hold him, but not nigh : There shall come a Star out of Ja- 
cob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the 
comers of Moab, and destroy all the children of Shcth. And 

Vol. II. L 


EdoTtt shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession 
for his enemies, and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob 
shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy 
him that remaineth of the city." This is a plainer prophecy 
of Christ, especially with regard to his kingly office, than any 
that had been before. But we have another, that God gave 
by Moses, that is plainer still, especially with regard to his 
prophetical office, in Deut. xviii. 18, Sec. " I will raise them up 
a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will 
put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all 
that I command him," Sec. This is a plainer prophecy of 
Christ than any that had been before, in this i-espect, that all 
the prophecies that had been before of Christ, were in figura- 
tive, mystical language. The first prophecy was so. That the 
seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. The 
promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, " That in their 
seed all the families of the earth should be blessed," were also- 
-tnystical ; which prophecy is not so particular, because the 
expression, thy seed, is general, and not plainly limited to any 
particular person. The prophecy of Jacob in blessing Judah, 
Gen. xlix. 8, is in mystical language ; and so is that of Ba-« 
laam, which speaks of Christ under the figurative expression 
of a star. But this is a plain prophecy, without being veiled 
m any mystical language at all. 

There are several things contained in this prophecy of 
Christ. Here is his mediatorial office in general, ver. 16. 
Here it is revealed hoAV he should be a person to stand be- 
tween them and God, that Avas so terrible a being, a being of 
such awful majesty, holiness, and justice, that they could not 
have intercourse with him immediately, without a mediator 
to stand between them ; because, if they came to such a 
dreadful sin revenging God immediately, they should die ; 
God would prove a consuming fire to them. And then here is- 
a particular revelation of Christ with i-espect to his prophetical 
office : " 1 will raise them up a prophet from among their 
brethren like unto thee," Sec. And further, it is revealed 
what kind of a prophet he should be, a prophet like Moses, 
who was the head and leader of iUl the people, and who imdct 


God, had been their redeemer, to bring them out of the house 
of bondage, was, as it w^re, their shepherd, by whom God led 
them through the Red Sea and wilderness, and was an inter- 
cessor for them Avith God, and was both a prophet and a king 
in the congregation ; for Moses had the power of a king 
among them. It is said of him, Deut. xxxiii. 5, he was king 
in Jeshurun, and he was the prophet by whom God as it were 
built up his church, and delivei'ed his instructions of worship. 
Thus Christ was to be a prophet like unto Moses ; so that 
this is both the plainest and fullest phophecy of Christ that 
ever had been from the beginning of the world to this time. 

The next prophecy that I shall take notice of, respects on- 
ly the calling of the Gentiles, which should be after Christ's 
coming, of which God gave a very plain prophecy by Moses 
in the Avilderness, Deut. xxxii. 21. Here is a vjery plain proph- 
ecy of the rejection of tlie Jews, and calling the Gentiles. 
They moved God to jealousy, by that Avhich was not a god, 
by casting him off, and taking other gods, that v/ere no gods, 
in his room. So God declares that he will move them to 
jealousy in the like manner, by casting them off, and taking 
other people, that had not been his people, in their room. 
The Apostle Paul takes notice of this prophecy, ^s foretelling 
the calling of the Gentiles, in Romans x. 19, 20. " But I say, 
did not Israel know ? First, Moses saith, I will provoke you 
to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation 
1 will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was 
found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest to 
them that asked not after me." 

Thus you see how the light of the gospel, which first l^e- 
gan to dawn and glimmer immediately after the fall, gradual- 
ly increases the nearer we come to Christ's time. 

X. Another thing by which God carried on this work in 
this time, was a remarkable pouring out of his spirit on the 
yoimg generation in the wilderness. The generation that 
was grown up when they came out of Egypt, from twenty 
years old and upward, was a very froward and perverse genera- 
tion. They were tainted with the idolatry and Avickedness of 
Egypt, and were not weaned from it. as the Prophet Ezekiel 


takes notice, Ezek. xx. 6, 7, 8. Hence they made the golden 
calf in imitation of the idolatry of Egypt, that was wont to 
worship a bull or an ox ; and therefore cattle are called the 
abomination of the E^yptianSf i. e. their idol. This generation 
God was exceeding angry with, and swore in his wrath, that 
they sliould not enter into his rest. But the younger genera- 
tion were not so ; the generation that were under twenty 
years old when they came out of Egypt, and those that were 
bora in the wilderness, the generation spoken of. Numb. xiv. 
31." But your little ones, whom ye said should be a prey, 
them will I bring in ; and they shall know the land that y? 
have despised." This was the generation with whom the 
covenant was renewed, as we have an account in Deuterono- 
Tny, and that entered into the land of Canaan. This genera- 
tion God was pleased to make a generation to his praise, and 
they were eminent for piety ; as appears by many things said 
in scripture about them ; as, particularly, Jer. ii. 2, 3. « I re- 
Hiember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine^ 
espousals, Avhen thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a 
land that was not sown. Israel was holiness to the Lord, and 
the iirst fruits of his increase." Here the generation that 
w ent after God in the Avilderness, is spoken of with very high 
commendations, as eminent for holiness : " Israel was holi- 
ness to the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase." And 
their love to God is spoken of as distinguished, like the love of 
a bride at her espousals. The going after God in the wilder- 
ness that is here spoken of, is not the going of the children of 
Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai, but their fol- 
lowing God through that dreadful wilderness, that the congre- 
gation long wandered in, after they Avent back from Kadesh 
Barnea, which is spoken of Deut. viii. 15. " Who led thee 
through the great and terrible Avilderness, wherein Avere fiery 
serpents and scorpions, and drought, where there was no 
water." Though this generation had a much greater trial 
than the generation of their fathers had before they came to 
Kadesh Barnea, yet they never murmured against God in any 
wise, as their fathers had done : But their trials had a contrary 
f ffect upon them? to awaken them, convince, and humble 


them, and fit them for great mercy. They were awrikened by 
those awful judgments of God that he inflicLed on their fath- 
ers, whereby their carcases fell in the wilderness. And God 
poured out his spirit with those awakening providences to- 
wards their fathers, and their own travel in the wilderness, 
and the word preached tQ them by Moses ; Avhereby tliey 
were greatly awakened, and made to see the badness of their 
own hearts, and were humbled, and at length multitudes of 
them savingly converted ; as Deut. viii. 2, 3. " And thou 
shalt remember the way which the Lord thy God led thee 
these forty years in the wilderness, to humble tliee, and to 
prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou 
wouldst keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled 
thee," &c. And, verse 15. " Who led thee through that 

great and terrible wilderness that he might humble thee, 

and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter 
end. And therefore it is said, Hos. xiii. 5. « I did know thee 
in the wilderness, in the land of great drought." God allured 
them, and brought them into that wilderness, and spake com- 
fortably to them, as it was foretold that he v/ould do after- 
wards, Hos. ii. 14. 

Those terrible judgments that were executed in the congre- 
gation after their turning back from Kadesh Barnea, in the 
matter of Korah, and the matter of Peer, were chiefly on the 
old generation, whom God consumed in the Avilderness. 
Those rebellions were chiefly among the elders of the congre- 
gation, who were of the older generation that God had given 
up to their hearts' lust ; and they Avalked in their own coun- 
sels, and God was grieved with their manners forty years ill 
the wildei'ness. 

But that this younger congregation were eminent for piety, 
appears by all their history. The former generation were 
wicked and were followed with curses ; but this was holy, and 
wonderful blessings followed them. God did great things for 
them ; he fought for them, and gave them the possession of 
Canaan. And it is God's manner, when he hath very great 
mercies to bestow on a visible people, first, to fit them for 
fchem, and then to bestow them on them. So it was here ; 


They believed in God, and by faith overcame Sihon and Og, 
and the giants of Canaan ; and are commended for cleaving to 
the Lord : Josh, xxiii. 8. " Joshua says unto them, Cleav« 
tinto the Lord, as ye have done unto this day." And so Israel 
did all the while that generation lived. But when Joshua an4 
all that generation were dead, there arose another generation 
that knew not the Lord. This pious generation showed a 
laudable and fervent zeal for God on several occasions ; on oc- 
casion of Achan's sin ; but especially when they suspected the 
two tribes and a half had set up an altar in opposition to the 
altar of burnt offering. There never Avas any generation of 
Israel that so much good and so little evil is mentioned of, as 
this generation. It js further observable, that in the time of 
this generation was the second general circumcision, whereby 
the reproach of Israel was fully rolled away, and they became 
pure ; and when afterwards they were polluted by Achan, 
tliey purged themselves again. 

The men of the former generation being dead, ami God 
having sanctified this younger generation to himself, he sol- 
emnly renewed his covenant with them, as we have a particu- 
lar account in the 29th chapter of Deuteronomy. We find 
that such solemn renovations of the covenant commonly ac- 
companied any remarkable pouring out of the Spirit, causing 
a general reformation : So we find it was in Hezekiah's and 
Josiah's times. It is questionable whether there ever Avas a 
lime of so great a flourishing of religion in the Israclitish 
church, as in that generation ; and as, in the Christian church, 
religion was in its most flourishing circumstances in the day 
of its espousals, or first setting up of that church, in the days 
of the apostles, so it seems to have been with the Jewish 
church in tlie days of its first establishment in Moses's and 
Joshua's times. 

Thus God at this time did gloriously advance the work of 
redemption, both by his word and Spirit. By this pouring out 
of the Spirit of God, the work of redemption was prompted, 
not only as it was in itself a glorious instance of the carrying 
on of that redemption in the application of it, but as this was 
what Cod made use of as a means of the good and orderly es- 


iablishment of the church of Israel at its first beginning, when 
it was first settled in the regular observance of God's ordi-' 
nances in Canaan : Even as the pouring out of the Spirit, in Ihs 
beginning of the Christian church, was a great means GocJ 
made use of for the well establishing the Christian church iii 
the world in all succeeding ages. 

XI. The next thing I would observe, was God's bringing 
the people of Israel under the hand of Joshua, and settling 
fhem in that land where Christ was to be born, and which was 
the great type of the heavenly Canaan, which Christ has pur- 
chased. This was done by Joshua, who was. of Joseph's pos- 
terity, and was an eminent type of Christ, and is therefore 
called the shepherd, the stone of Israel, in Jacob's blessing 
uf Joseph, Gen. xlix. 24. Being such a tjpe of Christ, he 
bore the name of Christ. Joshua and Jesus arc the same name,' 
only the one is Hebrew, and the other is Greek : And there- 
fore, in the New Testament, which Avas originally written in 
Greek, Joshua is called Jesus, Acts vii. 45. " Which also our 
fathers brought in with Jesus,'^ z. e. Joshua ; Heb. iv. S. "If 
Jesus had given them rest, he would not have spoken of anoth- 
er day ;" i- c. if Joshua had given them rest. 

God Avonderfiilly possessed his people cf this land, con- 
quering the former inhabitants of it, and the mighty giants, as 
Christ conquered the devil ; first conquering the great kings 
of that part of the land, that was on the eastern side of Jordan^ 
Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan; and tlien 
dividing the river Jordan, as before he had done the Red Sea ; 
causing the walls of Jericho to fall down at the sound of the 
trumpets of the priests ; that sound typifying the sound of the 
gospel by the preaching of gospel ministers, the walls of the 
accursed city Jericho signifying the walls of Satan's kingdom; 
and after this wonderfully destroying the mighty host of the 
Amorites under the five kings, causing the sun and moon to* 
stand still, to help the people against their enemies, at the 
prayer of the typical Jesus ; plainly holding this forth, that 
God would make the whole course of nature to be subservient 
to the affair of redemption ; so that every thing should yield 

88 WORK or REDEMPTION. [PeHioi* t 

to the puijioses of that work, and givetplacc to the welfare of 
God's redeemed people. 

Thus did Christ show his great love to his elect, that he 
Toiild make the course of nature, in the frame of the -world, 
that he had made, and that he governed, to give place to their 
happiness and prosperity ; and showed that the svm and moon, 
and all things, visible and invisible, were theirs by his pur- 
chase. At the same time, Christ fought as the captain of 
their host, and cast down great hailstones upon tlieir enemies, 
by wdiich more were slain than by the sword of the children of 
Israel. And after this Christ gave the people a mighty victo- 
ry over a yet greater army in the northern part of the land, 
that were gathered together at the Avaters of Merom as the 
sand of the sea shoi'e, as it is said Josh. xi. 4. 

Thus God gave the people whence Christ was to proceed, 
the land where he was to be born, and live, and preach, and 
work miracles, and die, and rise again, and whence he was to 
ascend into heaven, as the land which was a great type of 
heaven ; which is another thing whereby a great advance was 
made in the affair of redemption. 

XII. Another thing that God did towards carrying on this 
affair, was his actually setting up his stated worship among 
the people, as it had been before instituted m the wilderness. 
This Avorship was appointed at Mount Sinai, AvhoUy in subser- 
viency to this great affair of redemption. It Avas to make Avay 
for the coming of Christ; and the innumerable ceremonial ob- 
servances of it Avere typical of him and his redemption. This 
worship Avas chiefly instituted at Mount Sinai; but it Avas grad- 
ually set up in practice. It AA'as partly set up in the Avilderness, 
Avherc the tabernacle and its vessels Avere made ; but there 
were many parts of their instituted Avorship that could not be 
observed in the Avilderness, by reason of their unsettled, itine- 
rant state there : And then there Avere many precepts that 
respect the land ot Canaan, and their cities and places of habi- 
tation there ; Avhich therefore could not be put in practice, 
till they came into that land. But noAv, Avhen this Avas brought 
to pass, God set up his tabernacle in the midst of his people, 
as he had before promised them, Lev. xxvi. 11. "I Avill set 


my tabernacle amongst you." The tabernacle was set up at 
^hiloh, Josh, xviii. 1 . and the priests and Levites had theii| 
offices appointed them, and the cities of refutje were appointed ; 
and now the people were in a condition to observe their feasts 
of the first fruits, and their feasts of ingathering, and to bring 
all their tithes and appointed offerings to the Lord ; and most 
parts of God's worship were set up, though there were some 
things that were not observed till afterwards. 

XIII. The next thing I Avould take notice of, was God'a 
wonderfully preserving that people, fi'om this time forward, 
when all the males went up, three times in the year, to the 
place where God*s ark was. The people of Israel v/ere gen- 
erally surrounded Avith enemies, that sought all opportunities 
to destroy them, and dispossess them of their land ; and till 
David's time there were great numbers in the land of the re- 
mains of the Canaanites, and the other former inhabitants of 
the land, that were bitter enemies to the people of Israel : 
And these had from year to year, three times in the year, a 
fair opportunity of overrunning their country, and getting pos- 
session of their cities, when all the males were gone, and only 
the women, and those who were not able to go up, were left 
behind. And yet they were remarkably preserved through- 
out all generations at such seasons, agreeably to the promise 
that God had made, Exod. xxxiv. 24. " Neither shall any 
man desire thy land, when thovi shalt go up to appear before 
the Lord thy God thrice in the year." So wonderfully did 
God order affairs, and influence the hearts of their enemies, 
that though they were so full of enmity against Israel, and 
desired to dispossess them of their land, and had so fair an op- 
portunity so often in their hands, that the v/hole cbuntry was 
left naked and empty of all that could resist them, and it would 
have been only for them to have gone and taken possession, 
and they could have had it without opposition, and they were 
so eager to take other opportunities against them ; yet we 
hever read, in all their history, of any of their enemies taking 
these opportunities against them; which could be no less than 
a continual miracle, that God, for the preservation of his 
church, kept up for so many geiierations, even throu?jhout th« 

Vol. II. M 


ages of the Old Testament. It was surely a wonderful dis- 
pensation of divine providence to maintain and promote God's 
great design of redemption. 

XIV. God's preserving his church and the true religion 
from being wholly extinct in the frequent apostasies of the 
Israelites in the time of the judges. How prone was that 
people to forsake the true God, that had done such wonderful 
things'for them, and to fall into idolatry 1 And how did the 
land, from time to time, seem to be almost overrun with idol- 
atry I But yet God never suffered his true worship to be to- 
tally rooted out : His tabernacle stood, the ark was pi-eserved, 
the book of the law was kept from being destroyed, God's 
priesthood was upheld, and God still had a church among the 
people ; and time after time, when religion seemed to be al- 
most gone, and it was come to the last extremity, then God 
granted a revival, and sent some angel or prophet, or raised 
up some eminent person, to be an instrument of their refor- 

XV. God's preserving that nation from being destroyed, 
and delivering them from time to time, although they were 
so often subdued and brought under the dominion of their 
enemies. It is a wonder, not only that the true religion was 
not wholly rooted out, and so the church destroyed that way ; 
but also that the very nation in which that church was, was 
not utterly destroyed ; they were so often brought under the 
power of their enemies. One while they were subdued by 
Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia, another while they 
were brought under the Moabites ; and then they were sold 
into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan ; and then they were 
under the dominion of the Midianites ; and then wei-e sorely- 
distressed by the children of Ammon ,' and then by the Philis- 
tines. But yet God, in all these dangers, preserved them, and 
kept them from being wholly overthrown : And from time to 
time, when it was come to extremity, and God saw that they 
were upon the very brink of ruin, then God raised up a deliv- 
erer, agreeably to Deut. xxxii. 36. « For the Lord shall judge, 
his -people, and repent himself for his servants; when he 
seeth their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left.'* 


Those remai'kable dispensations of Providence are very- 
lively and elegantly set forth by the Psalmist, Psal. cvi. 34. 

These deliverers that God raised up from time to time 
were all types of Christ, the great redeemer and deliverer of 
his church ; and some of them very remarkably so ; as, par- 
ticularly, Barak, Jephthah, Gideon, and Samson, in very 
many particulars ; and above all in the acts of Samson, as 
might be shown, were it not that this would take up too much 

XVI. It is observable, that when Christ appeared to man- 
age the affjurs of his church in this period, he often appeared 
an the form of that nature that he took upon him in his incar- 
nation. So he seems to Jiave appeared to Moses from time 
to time, and particularly at that time when God spake to him 
face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend, and he beheld 
the similitude of the Lord (Numb. xii. 8.) after he had be- 
sought him to show him bis glory ; which was the most 
remarkable vision that ever he had of Christ. There was 
a twofold discovery that Moses had of Christ : One was spirit- 
ual, made to his mind by the word tliat was proclaimed, 
when he proclaimed his nanxe, saying, " The Lord, the Lord 
God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in 
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving- 
iniquity and transgression and sin, and that Avill by no means 
clear the guilty ; \isiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the 
children, and upon the childrens^ children, unto the third and 
to the fourth generation." Exod. xxxiv. 6. Sec. Another 
was external ; which was that which Moses saw, when Christ 
passed by, and put him in a cleft of the rock, and covered him 
with his hand., so that Moses saw his back parts. What he 
saw was doubtless the back parts of a glorious human form, 
in which Christ appeared to him, and in all likelihood the form 
of his glorified human nature, in which he should afterwards 
appear. He saw not his face ; for it is not to be supposed that 
any man could subsist under a sight of the glory of Christ's 
human nature as it now appears. 


So it r.'as an human form in which Christ appeared to the 
seventy elders, of which we have an account, Exod. xxiv. 9. 
10, 11. " Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihti, 
tvnd seventy of the Elders of Israel : And they saw the God of 
Israel : And there was under his feet, as it were a paved work 
of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his 
clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel 
he laid not his htmd : Also they saw God, and did eat and 
drink." So Christ appeared afterwards to Joshua in the form 
of the human nature, Joth. v. 13, 14. " And it came to pass 
when Joshua v as by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and 
looked, and behold, there stood a 7na7: over against him with 
his sword drawn in his hand ; and Joshua went unto him, and 
said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ? And 
he said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the Lord aixi I now 
corne." And so he appeared to Gideon^ Judg. vi. 11, &c. and so 
also to Manoah, Judg. xiii. 17... .21. Here Christ appeared to 
Manoah in a representation both of his incarnation, and death ; 
of his incarnation, in that he appeared in a human form ; and 
of his death and sufferings, represented by the sacrifice of a 
kid, and by his ascending up in the flame of the sacrifice ; in- 
timating, that it was he that was the great sacrifice, that must 
be offered up to God for a sweet savor, in the fire of his wrath, 
as that kid was burned and ascended up in the flame. Christ 
thus appeared time after time, in the form of that nature he 
Avas afterwards to take upon him ; because he now appeared 
on the same design, and to carry on the same work, that he 
was to appear in that nature to work out and carry on. 

XVII. Another thing I would mention, done in this peri- 
od towards the work of redemption, is the beginning of a suc- 
cession of prophets, and erecting a school of the prophets, 
in Samuer^ time. There was something of this spirit of 
prophecy in Israel after Moses, before Samuel. Joshua, 
and many of the judges had a degree of it. Deborah was 
a prophetess ; and some of the high priests were inspir- 
ed with this spirit ; particularly Eli : And that space of 
time was not wholly without instances of those that were 
set apart of God especially to this office, and so were callccif 


prophets. Such an one we readof, Judg. vi. 8. " The Lord 
sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto 
them," &c. Such an one he seems to have been that we read 
of, 1 Sam. ii. 27. " And there came a man of God to Eli," £cc. 

But there was no such order of men upheld in Israel for 
tiny constancy, before Samuel ; the want of it is tnken notice 
of in 1 Sam. iii. 1. " And the word of the Lord was precioiit: 
in those days ; there was no open vision." But in Samuel 
there was begun a succession of prophets, that v/as maintain- 
ed continually from that time, at least with very little inter- 
jruption, till the spirit of prophecy ceased, about Malachi's 
time : And therefore Samuel is spoken of in the New Testa- 
ment as the beginning of this succession of prophets, Acts 
iii. 24. " And ail the prophets from Samuel, and those that 
follow after, as many as have spoken, have foretold of these 
days." After Samuel was Nathan, and Gad, and Iddo, and 
Heman, and Asaph, and others. And afterwards in the lat- 
ter end gf Solomon's reign, we read of Ahijah ; and in Jero- 
boam and Rehoboam's time we read of prophets ; and so 
continually one prophet succeeded another, till the captivity. 
We read in the writings of those prophets that are inserted 
into the canon of the scriptures, of prophets as being a con- 
stant order of men upheld in the land in those days : And in 
the time of the captivity there were prophets still, as Ezekiel 
and Daniel ; and after the captivity there were prophets, as 
Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi. 

And because God intended a constant succession of proph- 
ets from Samuel's time, therefore in his time was begun a 
school of the prophets ; that is a school of young men that 
were trained up under some great prophet, Avho was their 
master f.nd teacher in the study of divine things, and the 
practice of holiness, to fit them for this oflice as God should 
call them to it. Those young men that belonged to these 
schools, were called the sona of the prophets ; and oftentimes 
they are called /iro/z/zc/^. These at first v/ere under the tui- 
tion of Samuel. Thus we read of Samuel's being appointed 
over them, 1 Sam. xix. 20. « And when they saw the com- 
pany of the prophets propliecying, and Samue! standing as 


appointed over thera." The company of prophets that we 
read of 1 Sam. x. 5, were the same. Afterwards we read of 
their being under Elijah. Elisha was one of his sons ; but 
he desired to have a double portion of his spirit, as his suc- 
cessor, as his first born, as the eldest son was wont to have a 
double portion of the estate of his father; and therefore the 
sons of the prophets, when they perceived that the spirit of 
Elijah rested on Elisha, submitted themselves to hiin, and 
owned him for their master, as they had done Elijah before 
him ; as you may sec, 2 Kings ii. 15. " And when the sons 
of the prophets which were to view at Jericho, saw him, they 
said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they bow^ 
ed themselves to the ground before him." 

And so after this, Elisha was their master or teacher ; he 
had the care and instruction of them ; as you may see, 2 
Kings iv. 38. " And Elisha came again to Gilgal, and there 
was a dearth in the land, and the sons of tjie prophets Avere 
sitting before him : And he said unto his servant. Set on the 
great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets." 
In Elijah's and Elisha's time, there were several places where 
there resided companies of these sons of the prophets ; as 
there was one at Bethel, and another at Jericho, and another 
at Gilgal, unless those at Gilgal and Jericho were the same : 
And possibly that which is called the college, where the proph- 
etess Huldah resided, was another at Jerusalem ; see 2 Kings 
xxii. 14. It is there said of Huldah the prophetess, that she 
«' dwelt in Jerusalem, in the college." They had houses 
built, where they used to dwell together ; and therefore those 
at Jericho being multiplied, and finding their house too little 
for them, desired leave of their master and teacher Elisha, 
that they might go and hew timber to build a bigger ; as you 
may see, 2 Kings vi. 1,2. 

At some times there were numbers of these sons of the 
prophets in Israel ; for when Jezebel cut off the prophets of 
the Lord, it is said, that Obadiah took an hundred of them, 
and hid them by fifty in a cave, 1 Kings xviii. 4. 

These schools of the prophets being set up by Samuel, 
■xnd afterwards kept up by such great prophets as Elijah and 


EHsha, must be of divine appointment ; and accordingly ws 
fed, that those sons of the prophets wei-e often favored with 
a degree of inspiration, while they continued under tuition m 
the schools of the prophets ; and God, commonly, when 
he called any prophet to the constant exercise of the pro- 
phetical office, and to some extraordinary sei'vice, took them 
out of these schools ; though not universally. Hence the 
prophet Amos, speaking of his being called to the propheti- 
cal office, says, that he was one that had not been educated in 
the schools of the prophets, and was not one of the sons of 
the prophets, Amos vii. 14, 15. But Amos's taking notice of 
it asi^eniarkable, that he should be called to be a prophet that 
had not been educated at the schools of the prophets, shows 
that it was God's ordinary manner to take his prophets out of 
these schools ; for therein he did but bless liis o\ati institution. 

Now this remarkable dispensation of Providence that we 
are upon, viz. God's beginning a constant succession of 
prophets in Samuel's time, that was to last for many ages, and 
to that end, establishing a school of the prophets under Sam- 
uel, thenceforward to be continued in Israel, was a step that 
God took in that great affair of redemption that we are upon. 
For the main business of this succession of prophets was to 
foreshow Christ, and the glorious redemption that he was to 
accomplish, and so to prepare the way for his coming j as ap- 
pears by that forementioned place. Acts iii. 24, and by Acts 
X. 43. « To him give all the prophets witness ;" and by Acts 
lii. 18. « But those things v/hich God before had shewed by 
the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he 
hath so fulfilled." 

As I observed before, the Old Testament time, v/as like a 
time of night, wherein the church was not wholly without 
light, but had not the light of the sun directly, but as reflected 
from the stars. Now these prophets were the stars that re- 
flected the light of the sun ; and accordingly they spoke abun- 
dantly of Jesus Christ, as appears by what we have of their 
prophecies in writing. And they made it very much theii* 
business, vvhen they studied in their schools or colleges, and 
elsewhere, to search out the work of redemption ; agreeably 


to what the apostle Peter says of them, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. " Oi 
which salvation the prophets have inquired, and searched 
diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto 
you ; searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of 
Christ that wi^s in them did signify, when it testified before- 
liand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should fol- 
low." We are told that the church of the Redeemer is built 
on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, the Redeemer 
himself being the chief corner stone, Eph. ii. 20. 

This was the fi,rst thing of the nature that ever was done in 
the world ; and it was a great thing that God did towards 
further advancing this great building of redemption. There 
had been before occasional prophecies of Christ, as was shown; 
but now the time drawing nearer when the Redeemer should 
come, it pleased God to appoint a certain order of men, in 
constant succession, whose main business it should be to fore- 
shew Christ and his redemption, and as his forerunners to 
prepare the way for his coming ; and God established schools, 
■wherein multitudes Avere instructed and trained up to that 
end, Rev. xix. 10. « I am thy fellow servant, and of thy breth- 
ren that have the testimony of Jesus ; for the testimony of 
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 

Prom Damd to the Babylonish Capthity. 

\ COME now io Xheffth period oi the times of the Old 
Testament, beginning with David, and extending to the Baby- 
lonish captivity ; and would now proceed to shew how the 
work of redemption was carried on through tliis period also 
And here, 

I. The first thing to be taken notice of, is God's anointing 
that person that was to be the ancestor of Christ, to be king 
over his people. The dispensations of Providence that have 
been taken notice of through the last period, from Moses 


to this time, respect the people whence Christ was to pro- 
ceed. But now the scripture history leads us to consider 
God's providence towards that particular person . whence 
Christ was to proceed, viz. David. It pleased God, at this 
time, remarkably to select out that person of whom Christ 
was to come, from all the thousands of Israel, and to put a 
most honorable mark of distinction upon him, by anointing: 
him to be king over his people. It was only God that coukl 
iind hirn out: His father's house is spoken of as being little 
in Israel, and he was the youngest of all the sons of his father, 
and was least expected to be the man that God had chosen, 
by Samuel. God had before, in the former ages of the world, 
remarkably distinguished the persons from Avhom Christ was 
to come ; as he did Seth, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, 
and Jacob. But the last that we have any account of God's 
marking out in any notable manner, the very person of whom 
Christ was to come,' was in Jacob's blessing his son Judah ; 
unless we reckon Nahshon's advancement in the wilderness 
to be the head of the tribe of Judah. But this distinction of 
the person of whom Christ was to come, in David, was very 
honorable ; for it was God's anointing him to be king over 
his people. And there was something further denoted by 
David's anointing, than was in the anointing of Saul. God 
anointed Saul to be king personally ; but God intended some- 
thing further, by sending Samuel to anoint David, viz. to 
establish the crown of Israel in him and in his family, as long 
as Israel continued to be a kingdom ; and not only so, but 
what was infinitely more stUl, establishing the crown of his 
universal church, his spirittial Israel, in his seed, to the end 
bf the world, and throughout all eternity. 

This was a great dispensation of God, and a great step tak- 
en towards a further advancing of the work of redemption, 
according as the time drew near wherein Christ w^as to come. 
David, as he was the ancestor of Christ, so he was the great- 
est personal type of Christ of all under the Old Testament. 
The types of Christ were of three sorts j types of institution 
or instituted types, and providential, and personal types. 
The ordinance of sacrificing was the greatest of the instituted 
Vol. II. N 

98 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t> 

types ; and the redemption ov\t of Egypt was the greatest of 
the providential types ; and David the greatest of the person- 
al types. Hence Christ is often called David in the prophe- 
cies of scripture ; as Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. " And I will set up 
one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my 

servant David : My servant David a prince among them ;" 

and so in many other places : And he is very often spoken 
of as the seed of David, and the son of David. 

David being the ancestor and great type of Christ, his be- 
ing solemnly anointed by God to be king over his people, that 
the kingdom of his church might be continued in his family 
forever, may in some respects be looked on as an anointing 
of Christ himself. Christ was as it M-ere anointed in him ; 
and therefore Christ's anointing, and David's anointing are 
spoken of under one in scripture, as Psal. Ixxxix. 20' " I have 
found David my servant ; with my holy oil have I anointed 
him." And David's throne and Christ's are spoken of as one ; 
Luke i. 32. " And the Lord shall give him the throne of his 
father David." Acts ii. 30. " David.. ..knowing that God had 
sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, accord- 
ing to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.'* 

Thus God's beginning of the kingdom of his church in the 
house of David, was, as it were, a new establishing of the 
kingdom of Christ ; the beginning of it in a state of such vis- 
ibility as it thenceforward continued in. It was as it were 
God's planting the root, whence that branch of righteousness 
was afterwards to spring up, that was to be the everlasting 
king of his church ; and therefore this everlasting king is 
called the branch fro7n the stem of Jesse. Isa. xi. 1. "And there 
shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch 
shall grow out of his roots." Jer. xxiii. 5. " Behold the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a right- 
eous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper." So chap, 
xxxiii. 15. " In those days and at that time, I will cause the- 
branch of righteousness to grow up unto David,- and he shall 
execute judgment ^nd righteousness in the land." So Christ 
in the New Testament, is called the root and offsjiring of Do^ 
v/d. Rev. xxii. 16. 


It is observable^ that God anointed David after Saul to 
reign in his room. He took away the crown from him and 
his family, who was higher in stature than any of his people, 
and was in their ey«s fittest to bear rule, to give it to David, 
who was low of stature, and in comparison, of despicable ap- 
pearance : So God Avas pleased to show how Christ, who ap- 
peared despicable, without form or comeliness, and was des- 
pised and rejected of men, should take the kingdom from the 
^reat ones of the earth. And also it is observable, that David 
was the youngest of Jesse's sons, as Jacob the younger broth- 
er supplanted Esau, and got the birthright and blessing from 
him : And as Pharez, another of Clii'ist's ancestors, supplanted 
Zarah in the birth ; and as Isaac, another of the ancestors of 
Christ, cast out his elder brother Ishmael ; thus was that 
frequent saying of Christ fulfilled, " The last sha.ll be first 
and the first last." 

II. The next thing I wovild observe, is God's so preserving 
David's life, by a series of wonderful providences, till Saul's 
death. I before took notice of the wonderful preservation of 
other particular persons that were the ancestors of Christ ; 
as Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ; and have observed how, 
in that Christ the great Redeemer was to proceed from them, 
that in their preservation the work of redemption itself may 
be looked upon as preserved from being defeated, and the 
fwhole church, which is redeemed through him, from being 
.overthrown. But the preservation of David was no less re- 
markable than that of any others that have been already taken 
notice of. Hoa\ often was it so, that there was but a step be- 
tween him and death. The first instance of it we have in his 
encountering a lion and a bear, Avhen they had caught a lamb 
out of his flock, which, without miraculous assistance, could at 
once have rent this young stripling in pieces, as they could 
the lamb that he deliveied from them ; so afterwards the root 
and offspring of David >vas preserved from the roai'ing lion 
that goes about seeking \vhom he may devour, and conquer- 
ed him and rescued the poor souls of men, that were as lambs 
in the mouth of this lion. Another remarkable instance was, 
in preserving him from that mighty giant Goliath, who was 


strong enough to have taken him, and picked him to pieces 
with his fingers, and gi\ en his flesh to the beasts of the field, 
and to the fowls of the air, as he threatened him : But God 
preserved him from him, and gave him the victory over him, 
so that he cut oft" his head with his own sword, and made him 
therein the deliverer of his people ; as Christ slew the spiritual 
Goliath with his ov/n weapon, the cross, and so delivered his 
people. And how remarkably did God preserve him from 
being slain by Saul, when he first sought his life, by giving 
him his daughter to be a snare to him, that the hand of the 
Philistines might be upon him, requiring him to pay for her 
by an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that so his lif» 
might be exposed to them ; and in preserving him afterwards, 
when Saul spake to Jonathan, and to all his servants, to kill 
David ; and in inclining Jonathan, instead of killing him, as 
bis fiither bade him, to love him as his own soul, and to be a 
great instrument of his preservation, even so as to expose his 
own life to preserve David ; though one would have thought 
that none would have been more willing to have David killed 
than Jonathan, seeing that he was competitor with him for his 
father's crown ; and again saving him, when Saul threw a 
javelin at him to smite him even to the wall ; and again pre- 
serving him when he sent messengers to his house, to watch 
him, and to kill him when Michal, Saul's daughter let him 
down through a window ; and when he afterwards sent mes- 
sengers, once and again, to Neiioth in Ramah, to take him, 
and they were remarkably prevented time after time, by be- 
ing seized with miraculous impressions of the spirit of God ; 
and afterwards, when Saul being resolute in the affair, went 
himself, he also was among the prophets : And after this, 
liow wonderfully wivs David's life preserved at Gath among 
the Philistines, when he went to Achish the king of Gath, 
and was there in the hamls of the Philistines, who, one would 
have thought, would have .despatched him at once, he having 
so much provoked tliem by his exploits against them : And he 
was again wonderfully preserved at Keilah, when he had en- 
tered into a fenced town, where Saul thought he was sure of 
him. And how Vvondcrhdiy Mas he preserved from Saul, 


when he pursued and hunted him in the mountains ? How re- 
markably did God deliver him in 'the wilderness of Maon, 
when Saul and his army were compassing David about ? Hov/ 
Avas he delivered in the cave of Engedi, when, instead of 
Saul's killing- David, God delivered Saul into his hands in the 
cave, and he cut off his sldrt, and might as easily have cut off 
his head ; and afterwards delivering him in like rnanner in the. 
■ivildcrness of Ziph ; and afterwards again preserving him in 
the land of the Philistines, though David had fought against 
the Philistines, and conquered them at Keilah, since he was 
last among them ; which one would think, would have been 
sufficient warning to them not to trust him, or let him escape 
a second time, if ever they had him in their hands again ; but 
yet now, when they had a second opportunity, God wouder- 
tvilly turned their hearts to him to befriend and protect him, 
instead of destroymg him. 

Thus was tiie precious seed that virtually contained the Re- 
deemer and all the blessings of his redemption, wonderfully 
preserved, when hell and earth were conspired against it to 
destroy it. How often does David himself take notice oftliis, 
Avith praise and admiration in the book of Psalms ? 

III. About this time, the written word of God, or the canon 
of scripture, wus added to by Samuel. I have before observ- 
ed, how that the canon of the scripture was begun, and the 
first written word of God, the first written rule of faith and 
manners that ever was, was given to the church about Moses's 
time : And many, and I know not but most divines, think it 
was added to by Joshua, and that he wrote the last chapter of 
Deuteronomy, and most of the book of Joshua. Others think 
that Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and part of the first book of Sam- 
uel, were written by Samuel. However that was, this we 
have good evidence of, that Samuel uuide an addition to the 
canon of scripture ; for Samuel is manifestly mentioned in 
the NcAV Testament, as one of the prophets whose writings 
we have in the scriptures, in that forementioned Acts iii. 24. 
" Yea and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that fol- 
low^ after, as many as have spoken, have likevtise foretold of 
thej;e days." By that expression, '■ as many as have spoken," 


cannot be meant, as many as have spoken by word of month ; 
for never ^vas any prophet but what did that : But the mean- 
ing must be, as many as have spoken by writhig, so that what 
they have spoken has come down to us, that we may see what 
it is. 

And the way that Samuel spoke of these times of Christ 
and the gospel, was by giving the history of those thmgs that 
typified them, and pointed to them, particularly the things 
concerning David that he wrote. The Spirit of God moved 
him to commit tliose things to writing, chiefly for that reason, 
because they pointed to Christ, and the times of the gospel j 
and, as was said before, this was the main business of all that 
succession of prophets, that began in Samuel, to foreshow 
those times. 

That Samuel added to the canon of the scriptures, seems 
further to appear from 1 Chron. xxix. 29. " Now the acts of 
Da^ id the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the 
book of Samuel the seer." 

Whether the book of Joshua was written by Samuel or not, 
yet it is the general opinion of divines, that the books of Judg- 
es, and Ruth, and part of the first book of Samuel, were 
penned by him. The book of Ruth was penned for that rea- 
son, because, though it seemed to treat of private affairs, yet 
the persons chiefly spoken of in that book were of the family 
whence David and Christ proceeded, and so pointed to Avhat 
the apostle Peter observed of Samuel and the other prophets, 
in the 3d chapter of Acts. The thus adding to the canon of 
the scriptures, the great and main instrument of the applica- 
tion of redemption, is to be looked upon as a further carrying 
on of that woi*k, and an addition made to that great building. 

IV. Another thing God did towards this work, at that 
time, v.'as his inspiring David to show forth Christ and his re- 
demption, in divine songs, which should be for the use of the 
church, in public worship, throughout all ages. David was 
himself endued with the spirit of prophecy. He is called a 
prophet^ Acts ii. 29, 30. " Let me freely speak to you of the 
patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sep- 
ulchre is with us unto this day : Therefore bcinj; a prophet, 


and knowing that God had sworn with an oath," occ. So that 
ierein he was a type of Christ, that he was both a prophet and 
a king. We have no certain account of the time when Da- 
vid was first endued with the spirit of prophecy ; but it is man- 
ifest that it either was at the time that Samuel anointed him, 
or very soon after : for he appears soon after acted by this spirit 
In the affair of Gabith : And then great part of the psahns 
•were penned in the time of his troubles, before he came to 
the crown ; as might be made manifest by an induction of 

The oil that was used in anointing David was a type of the 
Spirit of God ; and the type and the antitype were given both 
together; as we are told, 1 Sam. xvi. 13. " Then Samuel 
took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his breth- 
ren ; and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that 
day foi'ward :" And it is probable, that it now came upon hmt 
in its prophetical influences. 

The way that this spirit influenced him was, to inspire hira 
to show forth Christ, and the glorious things of his redemp- 
tion, in divine songs, sweetly expressing the breathings of a 
pious soul, full of admiration of the glorious things of the Re- 
deemer, inflamed with divine love, and lifted up with praise ; 
and therefore he is called the R-jeet fifiolmist of hrael. 2 Sam. 
xxiii. 1. " Now these be the last words of David : David the 
son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the 
anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sv/eet psalmist of Israel." 
The main subjects of these sweet songs were the glorious 
things of the gospel ; as is evident by the interpretation that 
is often put upon them, and the use that is made of them 
in the New Testament ; for there is no one book of the Old 
Testament that is so often quoted in the New, as the book of 
Psalms. Joyfully did this holy man sing of those great 
things of Christ's redemption, thai had been the hope and ex- 
pectation of God's church and people from the beginning of 
the church of God on earth ; and joyfully did othersToIlow 
him in it, as Asaph, Heman, Ethan, and others ; for the book 
of Psalms was not all penned by David, though the greater 
part of it was. Hereby the canon of scripture was further 

J(»4 '\VORK OF Rl^DEMPTIOX. [Pfuiod ?. 

added to ; and an excellent portion of divine writ was it tha^.t 
was added. 

This was a great advancement that God made in this build- 
ing ; and the light of the gospel, which had been gradually- 
growing from the fall, was exceedingly increased by it ; for 
whereas before there was but hei'c and there a prophecy given 
of Christ in a great many ages, now here Christ is spoken of 
by his ancestor DaA id abundantly, in multitudes of songs, 
speaking of his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension 
into heaven, his satisfaction, intercession ; his prophetical, 
kingly, and priestly offrce ; his glorious benefits in this life and 
that which is to come ; his union with the church, and the 
blessedness of the church in him ; the calling of the Gentiles, 
the future glory of the chtirch near the end of the world, and 
Christ's coming to the final judgment. All these things, and 
many more, concerning Christ and his redemption, are abund- 
antly spoken of in the book of Psalms. 

This was also a glorious advancement of the affair of re- 
demption, as God hereby gave his church a book of divine 
songs for their use in that part of their public worship, viz. 
singing his praises throughout all ages to the end of the 
world. It is manifest the book of Psalms was given of God 
for this end. It was used in the church of Israel by God's 
appointment : This is manifest by the title of many of the 
psalms, in which they are inscribed to the chief musician, /. r. 
to the man that was appointed to be the leader of divine songs 
in the temple, in the public worship of Israel. So David is 
called the sivcct psalmist of Israel^ because he penned psalms' 
for the use of the church of Israel ; and accordingly we have 
an account that they were actually made use of in the church 
of Israel for that end, even ages after David was dead ; as 2 
Chron. xxix. 30. " Moreover, Hezekiah the king, and the 
princes, commanded the Lcvites to sing praises unto the Lord, 
with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer." And we 
find that the same arc appointed in the New Testament to be 
made use of in the Christian church, in their worship : Eph. 
V. 19. "Speaking to yourselves in fisalmsy hymns, and spirit- 
ual songs." Gol. iii. 16. " Admonishing one another in 


psalms^ hymns, and spiritual songs." And so they have been, 
and will to the end of the world be made use of in the church 
to celebrate the praises of God. The people of God were 
■wont sometimes to worship God by singing songs to his praise 
before ; as they did at the Red Sea ; and they had Moses's 
prophetical song, in the 32d chapter of Deuteronomy, com- 
mitted to them for that end ; and Deborah, and Barak, and 
Hannah, sung praises to God ; but now first did God commit 
to his church a book of divine songs for their constant use. 

V. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's actually 
exalting David to the throne of Israel, notwithstandpg all the 
opposition made to it. God was determined to do it, and he 
made every tiling give place that stood i\\ the way of it. He 
removed Saul and his sons out of the way ; and first set Davivl 
over the tribd of Judah ; and then, having removed Ishbo- 
sheth, set him over all Israel. Thus did God fulfil his word 
to David. He took him from the sheepcote, and made him 
king over his people Israel, Psc>l. Ixxviii. 70, 71. And now 
the throne of Israel was established in that family, in which it 
was to continue for ever, even for ever and ever. 

VI. Now first it was that God proceeded to choose a particu- 
lar city out of all the tribes of Israel to place his name there. 
There is several times mention made in the law of Moses of 
the children of Israel's bringing their oblations to the place 
which God should choose ; as Deut, xii. 5, 6, 7, and so in 
many other places ; but God had never proceeded to do it till 
noAv. The tabernacle and ark were never fixed, but some- 
times in one place, and sometimes in anpther ; but now God 
proceeded to choose Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was 
never thoroughly conquered, or taken out of the hands of the 
Jebusites, till David's time. It is said in Joshua xv. 63. « As 
for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of 
Judah could not drive them out : But the Jebusites dwell with 
the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." But now 
David wholly subdued it, as we have an account in 2 Sam. v. 
And now God proceeded to choose that city to place his name 
^here, as appears by David's bringing up the ark thither soon 
after ; and therefore this is mentioned afterwards as the first 
Voi,. II. O 

106 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Pruiod 1 

time God prqcceded to choose a city to place his name there, 
2 Chron. vi. 5, 6, and c^ap. xii. 13. Afterwards God pro- 
ceeded to show David the very place where he wovild have, 
his temple built, viz. in the threshing floor of Araunah the 

The city of Jerusalem is therefore called the holy city ; and 
>t was the greatest type of the church of Christ in all the Old 
Testament. It was redeemed by David, the captain of the 
hosts of Israel, out of the hands of the Jebusites, to be God's 
city, the holy place of his rest for ever, where he would dwell ; 
as Christ, the captain of his people's salvation, redeems liis 
church out of the hands of devils, to be his holy and beloved 
city. And therefore how often does the scripture, when 
speaking of Christ's redemption of his church, call it by the 
names oi Zion and Jerusalem ? This was the city that God had 
appointed to be the place of the first gathering and erecting of 
the Christian church after Christ's resurrection, of that re- 
markable pouring out of the Spirit of God on the apostles and 
primitive Christians, and the place whence the gospel was to 
sound forth into all the world ; the place of the first Christian 
church, that was to be, as it were, the mother of all other 
churches through the world ; agreeably to that prophecy, Isa. 
ii. 3, 4. " Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of 
the Lord from Jerusalem : And he shall judge among the na- 
tions, and shall rebuke many people," &c. 

Thus God chose Mount Sion, whence the gospel was to be 
sounded forth, as the law had been from Mount Sinai. 

VII. The next thing to be observed here, is God's solemn- 
ly renewing the covenant of grace with David, and promising 
that the Messiah should be of his seed. We have an account 
of it in the 7th chapter of the second book of Samuel. It was 
done on occasion of the thoughts David entertained of build- 
ing God an house. On this occasion God sends Nathan the 
prophet to him, with the glorious promises of the covenant of 
grace. It is especially contained in these words in the 16th 
verse : " And thy house and t)iy kingdom shall be established 
for ever before thee ; thy throne shall be established for ever." 
Which promise has respect to Christ, the seed of David, and 


is fulfilled in him only : For the kingdom of David has long 
since ceased, any otherwise than as it is upheld in Christ. 
The temporal kingdom of the house of David has now ceased 
for a great many ages ; much longer than ever it stood. 

That this covenant that God now established with David by 
Nathan the prophet, was the covenant of grace, is evident by 
the plain testimony of scripture, in Isa. Iv. 1, 2, 3. There wc 
have Christ inviting sinners to come to the waters. Sec. And 
in the 3d verse he says, " Incline your ear, come unto me ; 
hear, and your souls shall live ; and I will make Avith you an 
everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David." Here 
Christ offers to poor sinners, if they will come to him, to give 
them an interest in the same everlasting covenant that he had 
made with David, conveying to them the same sure mercies. 
But what is that covenant tliat sinners obtain an interest in, 
when they come to Christ, but the covenant of grace ? 

This was the fifth solemn establishment qf the covenant of 
grace with the church after the fall. The covenant of grace 
M^as revealed and established all along. But there had been 
particular seasons, wherein God had in a very solemn manner 
renewed this covenant with his church, giving forth a nev/ 
edition and establishment of it, revealing it in a new manner. 
This was now the fifth solemn establishment of that covenant. 
The first was Avith Adam, the second was with Noah, the 
third was with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the 
fourth was in the wilderness by Moses, and now the fifth is 
this made to David. 

This establishment of the covenant of grace with David, 
David always esteemed the greatest smile of God upon him, 
the greatest honor of all that God had put upon him ; he 
prized it, and rejoiced in it above all the other blessings of his 
reign. You may see how joyfully and thankfully he received 
it, when Nathan came to him with the glorious message, in 2 
Sam. vii. 18, 8cc. And so David, in his last words, declares 
this to be all his salvation, and all his desire ; as you may see, 
2 Sam. xxiii. 5. "He hath made with me an everlasting cov- 
enant, ordered in all things and sure : For this is all my salva- 
tion, and all my desire. 


VIII. It was by David that God first gave his people Israel 
the possession of the whole promised land. I have before 
shown, how God's giving the possession of the promised land 
belonged to the covenant of grace. This was done in a great 
measure by Joshua, but not fully. Joshua did not wholly sub- 
due that part of the promised land that was strictly called the 
land of Canaan, and that was divided by lot to the several 
tribes ; but there were great numbers of the old inhabitants 
left unsubdued, as we read in the books of Joshua and Judges ; 
and there were many left to prove Israel, and to be thorns in 
their sides, and pricks in their eyes. There were the Jebu- 
sites in Jerusalem, and many of the Canaanites, and the whole 
nation of the Philistines, who all dwelt in that part of the land 
that was divided by lot, and chiefly in that part of the land that 
belonged to the tribes of Judah and Ephraim. 

And thus these remains of the old inhabitants of Canaan con- 
tinued unsvibdued till David's time ; but he wholly subdued 
them all. Which is agreeable to what St. Stephen ob- 
serves, Acts vii. 45. " Which also our fathers brought in 
with Jesus fi. e. Joshua) into the possession of the Gentiles, 
whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the 
days of David." They were till the days of David in driving 
them out, before they had wholly subdued them. But David 
entirely brought them under. He subdued the Jebusites, and 
he subdued the whole nation of the Philistines, and all the rest 
of the remains of the seven nations of Canaan : 1 Chron. xviii. 
1. "Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the 
Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns 
out of the hands of the Philistines." 

After this, all the remains of the former inhabitants of Ca- 
naan were made bond servants to the Israelites. The poster- 
ity of the Gibeonites became servants before, hewers of wood, 
and drawers of water, for the house of God. But Solomon, 
David's son and successor, put all the other remains of th« 
seven nations of Canaan to bond service, at least made 
them pay a tribute of bond service, as you may see, 1 
Kings ix. 20, 21, 22. And hence wc read of the children of 
SolouKJu's servants, after the return from the Babylonish cap^ 


tivity, Ezra ii. 55, and Neh. xi. 3. They were the children 
or posterity of the seven nations of Canaan, that Solomon had 
subjected to bond service. 

Thus David subdued the whole land of Canaan, strictly so 
called. But then that was not one half, nor quarter, of the 
land God had promised to their fathers. The land that God 
had often promised to their fathers, included all the countries 
from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. These were 
the bounds of the land promised to Abraham, Gen. xv. 18. 
« In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, 
saying. Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river 
of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates." So again 
God promised at Mount Sinai, Exod, xxiii. 31. " And I will 
set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Phi* 
listines, and from the desert unto the river ; for I will deliver 
the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive 
them out before thee." So again, Deut. xi? 24. Every place 
■whereon the soles of your feet, shall tread, shall be yours ; 
from the wilderness, and Lebanon from the i-ivcr, the river 
Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea, shall your coast be." 
Again, the same promise is made to Joshua : Josh. i. 3, 4. 
« Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, have 
I given unto you, as I said unto Moses ; from the wilderness 
and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Eu- 
phrates, all the land of the Hittitcs, and vmto the great sea, to- 
wards the going down of the sun, shall be your coast." But 
the land that Joshua gave the people the possession of, was 
but a little pai-t of this land. And the people never had had 
the possession of it, till now when God gave it them by David. 
This large country did not only include that Canaan that 
was divided by lot to those who came in with Joshua, but the 
land of the Moabites and Ammonites, the land of the Amale- 
kites, and the rest of the Edomites, and the country of Zobah. 
All these nations were subdued and brought under the child- 
ren of Israel by David. And he put garrisons in the several 
countries, and they became David's servants, as we have a par- 
ticular account in the 8th chapter of 2d Samuel ; and David 
extended their border to the river Euphrates, as was pro- 

11* WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period I.' 

jnised ; sec the 3d verse : "And David smote also Hadadezer 
the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his 
border at the river Euphrates." And accordingly we read, 
that Solomon his son reigned over all the region on this side 
the river, 1 Kings iv. 24. For he had dominion over all the re- 
gion on this side the river, from Tiphsah even unto Azzah, 
over all the kings on this side the river." This Artaxerxes 
king of Persia takes notice of long after : Ezra iv. 20. 
»* There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which 
have ruled over all countries beyond the river ; and toll, 
tribute, and custom was paid unto them." 

So that Joshua, that type of Christ, did but begin the work 
tof giving Israel the possession of the promised land ; but left 
it to be finished by that much greater type and ancestor of 
Christ, even David, who subdued far more of that land than 
ever Joshua had done. And in this extent of his and Solo- 
mon's dominion was some resemblance of the great extent of 
Christ's kingdom ; and therefore the extent of Christ's king- 
dom is set forth by this very thing, of its being over all lands 
from the Red Sea, to the sea of the Philistines, and over all 
lands from thence to the river Euphrates ; as Psal. Ixxii. 8. 
*' He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the 
jiver unto the ends of the earth." See also 1 Kings viii. 56, 

IX. God by David perfected the Jewish worship, and ad- 
ded to it several new institutions. The law was given by Mo- 
ses, but yet all the institutions of the Jewish worship were not 
given by Moses ; some Avere added by divine direction. So 
this greatest of all personal types of Christ did not only per- 
fect Joshua's work, in giving Israel the possession of the 
promised land, but he also finished Moses's work, in perfect- 
ing the instituted worship of Israel. Thus there must be 
a number of typical prophets, priests, and princes, to com- 
plete one figure or shadow of Christ, the antitype, he being 
the substance of all the types and shadows. Of so much more 
glory was Christ accounted worthy, than Moses, Joshua, Da- 
vid, and Solomon, and all the great prophets, priests, princes, 
judges, and saviours of the Old Testament put together. 


The ordinances of David are mentioned as of parallel valid- 
ity with those of Moses, 2 Chron. xxiii. 18. " Also Jehoiada 
appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of 
the pi'iests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the 
house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as 
it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with sing- 
ing, as it was ordained by David." The worship of Israel 
was perfected by David, by the addition that he made to the 
ceremonial law, which we have an account of in the 23d, 24th, 
25th, and 26th chapters of the first book of Chronicles, con- 
sisting in the several orders and courses into which David di< 
vided the Levites, and the work and business to which he ap" 
pointed them, different from what Moses had appointed them 
to ; and also in the divisions of the piiests the sons of Aaron 
into four and twenty courses, assigning to every course their 
business in the house of the Loi'd, and their particular stated 
times of attendance there ; and appointing some of the Levites 
to a new office, that had not been appointed before ; and that 
■was the office of singers, and particularly ordering and regulat- 
ing of them in that office, as you may see in the 25th chapter 
of 1 Chronicles ; and appointing others of the Levites by law 
to the several services of porters, treasurers, officers, and 
judges : And tlTcse ordinances of David were kept up hence- 
forth in the church of Israel, as long as the Jewish church last- 
ed. Thus we find the several orders of priests, and the Le- 
■vites, the porters, and singers, after the captivity. So we find 
. the courses of the priests appointed by David still continuing 
in the New Testament ; so Zacharias the father of John the 
Baptist was a pi'iest of the course of Abia ; which is the same 
with the course of Abijah, appointed by David, that we read of 
1 Chron. xxiv. 10, 

Thus David as well as Moses was made like to Clirist the^ 
son of David, in this respect, that by him God gave a new ec- 
clesiastical establishment, and new institutions of Avorslup. 
David did not only add to the institutions of Moses, but by 
those additions he abolished some of the old institutions of 
Moses that had been in force till that time ; particularly those 
laws of Moses that appointed the business of the Levites^ 


which Ave hare in the 3d and 4ih chapters of Numbers, wliich 
very much consisted in their charge of the several parts and 
utensils of the tabernacle there assigned to them, and in car- 
rying those several parts of the tabernacle. But those laws 
■were now abolished by David ; and they were no more to car- 
ry those things, as they had been used to do till David's time. 
But David appointed them to other work instead of it ; see 1 
Chron. xxiii. 26. " And also unto the Levites, they shall no 
more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service 
thereof:" A sure evidence that the ceremonial law given by 
Moses is not perpetual, as the Jews suppose ; but might be 
wholly abolished by Christ : For if David, a type of the Mes- 
siah, might abolish the law of Moses in part, much more 
might the Messiah himself abolish the whole. 

David, by God's appointment, abolished all use of the taber- 
nacle, that was built by Moses, and of which he had the pat- 
tern from God : For God now revealed it to David to be his 
will, that a temple should be built, that should be instead of the 
tabernacle : A great presage of what Christ, the son of David, 
•would do, when he should come, viz. abolish the whole Jew- 
ish ecclesiastical constitution, which was but as a moveable 
tabernacle to set up the spiritual gospel temple, which Avas to 
be far more glorious, and of greater extent, and was to last 
forever. David had the pattern of all things peitaining to the 
temple showed him, even in like manner as Moses had the 
pattern of the tabernacle : And Solomon built the temple ac- 
cording to that pattern which he had from his father David, 
which he received from God. 1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12. " Then 
David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and 
of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the 
upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and 
of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he 
had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and 
of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house 
of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicate things." And 
ver. 19. " All this, said David, the Lord made me understand 
in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of thiji 


X. The canon of scripture seems at, or after the close 
of David's reign to be added to by the prophets Nathan and 
Gad. It appears probable by the scriptures, that they carried 
on the history of the two books of Samuel from the place 
where Samuel left it, and finished it. These two books of 
6?imuel seem to be the book that in the scripture is called the 
book of Samuel (he seer, and JS/athan the prophet, and Gad the 
seer, as in 1 Chron. xxix. 29. " Now the acts of David the king, 
first and last, behold they are written in the book of Samuel 
the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the 
book of Gad the seer." 

XI. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's won- 
derfully continuing the kingdom of his visible people in the 
line of Christ's legal ancestors, as long as they remained an 
independent kingdom. Thus it was without any interruption 
worth notice. Indeed the kingdom of all the tribes of 
Israel was not kept in that line ; but the dominion of that 
part of Israel, in which the true worship of God was up- 
held, and so of that part that were God's visible people, was 
always kept in the family of David, as long as there was anr 
such thing as an independent king of Israel ; according to his 
promise to David : And not only in the family of David, but 
always in that part of David's posterity that was the line 
whence Christ was legally descended ; so that -the very per- 
son that was Christ's legal ancestor was always in the throne, 
excepting Jehoahaz, who reigned three months, and Zede- 
kiah ; as you may see in Matthew's genealogy of Christ. 

Christ was legally descended from the kings of Judah, 
though he was not naturally descended from them. He was 
both legally and naturally descended from David. He was 
naturally descended from Nathan the son of David ; for Mary 
his mother was one of the posterity of David by Nathan, as 
you may see in Luke's genealogy : But Joseph, the reputed 
and legal father of Christ, was naturally descended of Solo- 
mon and his successors, as we have an account in Matthew's 
genealogy. Jesus Christ, though he was not the natural son 
of Joseph, yet, by the law and constitution of the Jews, h« 

Vol. II. P 

114 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Terioi> R. 

was Joseph's heir ; because he was the lawRil son of Joseph's 
lawful wife, conceived while she was his legally espoused wife 
The Holy Ghost raised up seed to him. A person by the 
law of Moses, might be the legal son and heir of another, 
whose natural son he was not ; as sometimes a man raised vip 
seed to his brother ; a brother in some eases, was to build up 
a brother's house i so the Holy Ghost built up Joseph's 

And Joseph being in the direct line of the kings of Judah^ 
of the house of David, he was the legal heir of the crown of 
David : And Christ, being legally his firstborn son, he was 
his heir ; and so Christ, by the law, was the proper heir of 
the crown of David, and is therefore said to sit upon the throne 
of his father David. 

The crown of God's people was wonderfully kept in the 
line of Christ's legal ancestors. When David was old, and 
r.ot able any longer to manage the affairs of the kingdom, 
Adonijah, one of his sons, set up to be king and seemed to 
have obtained his purpose ; all things for a while seemed fair 
on his side, and he thought himself strong ; the thing hs 
aimed at seemed to be accomplished. But so it was, Adoni- 
jah was not the son of David that was the ancestor of Joseph, 
the legal father of Christ ; and therefore, how wonderfully 
did Providence work here ! What a strange and sudden revo- 
lution ! All Adonijah's kingdom and glory vanished away 
as soon as it was begun ; and Solomon, tlie legal ancestor of 
Christ, was established in the throne. 

And after Solomon's death, when Jeroboam had conspired 
against the family, and Rehoboam carried himself so that it 
■was a wonder all Israel was not provoked to forsake him, and 
ten tribes did actually forsake him, and set up Jeroboam in 
opposition to him ; and though he was a wicked man, and 
deserved to have been rejected altogether from behig king ; 
yet he being the legal ancestor of Christ, God kept the king- 
dom of the two tribes, in which the true religion was upheld, 
in his possession : And though he had been wicked, and his 
son Abijam was another wicked prince ; yet they being legal 
ancestors of Christ, God still continued the crown in th* 


family, and gave it to Abijam's son Asa. And afterAvards, 
though many of the kings of Judah were very -wicked men, 
and horridly provoked God, as particularly Jelioram, Ahaziah, 
Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon ; yet God did not take away the 
crown from their family, but gave it to their sons, because 
they were the ancestors of Christ. God's remembering his 
covenant that he had established with David, is given as the 
■reason why God did thus, notwithstanding their wicked lives ; 
as 1 Kings xv. 4, speaking thereof Abijam's wickedness, it is 
said, " Nevertheless, for David's sake did the Lord his God 
give him a lamp in Jeruoalem, to set up his son after him, 
and to establish Jerusalem :" So 2 Chron. xxi. 7, speaking- 
there of Jehoram's great wickedness, it is said, " Kowbeit the 
Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the 
covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised 
to give a light Unto him, and to his sons forever.'" 

The crown of the ten tribes was changed from one family 
to another continually. First, Jeroboam took it ; but the 
crown remained in his family but for one generation after his 
death ; it only descended to his son Nadab : And then Baasha, 
t-hat was of another family, took it ; and it remained in his 
posterity but one generation after his death : And then Zimri, 
that was his servant, and not of his posterity, took it ; and 
then, without descen ding at all to his posterity, Omri, that 
was of another family, took it ; and the crown continued in his 
family for three successions ; and then Jehu, that was of 
another family took it ; and the crown continued in hi-s fami- 
ly for three or four successions : And then Shallum, that was 
of another family, took it : And the crown did not descend at 
all to his posterity ; but Menahem, tliat v»'as of another fami- 
ly, took it ; and it remained in his family but one generation 
after him : And then Pekah, that was of another family took 
it ; and after him Hoshea, that was still of another family, 
took it : So great a difference was there between the crown of 
Israel and the crown of Judah ; the one was continued ever- 
more in the same family, and with very little interruption, in one 
vight line ; the other Avas continually tossed about from one 
family to another, as if it were the spoi-t of fortune. The 

116 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t 

reason was not, because the kings of Jaclah, many of them* 
were better than the kings of Israel ; but the one had the 
blessing in them ; they were the ancestors of Christ, whose 
right it was to sit on the throne of Israel. But with the 
kings cf Israel it was not so ; and therefore divine Prov- 
idence exercised a continual care, through all the chang-» 
es that happened through so many generations, and such a 
long space of time, to keep the crown of Judah in one direct 
line, in fulfdment of the everlasting covenant he had made 
with David, the mercies of which covenant were sure mercies; 
but in the other case there was no such covenant, and so no 
such care of Providence. 

And here it must not be omitted, that there was once a very 
strong conspiracy of the kings of Syria and Israel, in the time 
of that wicked king of Judah, Ahaz, to dispossess Ahaz and 
his family of the throne of Judah, and to set one of anothei' 
family, even the son of Tabeal, on it ; as you may see in Isa. 
vii. 6. " Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us 
make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, 
even the son of Tabeal." And they seemed very likely to ac- 
complish their purpose. There seemed to be so great a like* 
lihood of it, that the hearts of the people sunk witbin them ; 
they gave up the cause. It is said, " The heai-t of Ahaz and 
his people was moved, as the trees of the wood arc moved with 
the wind." And on this occasion God sent the prophet Isaiah 
to encourage the people, and tell them that it should not 
come to pass. And because it looked so much like a gone 
cause, that Ahaz and the people would very difficultly believe 
that it would not be, therefore God directs the prophet to give 
them this sign of it, viz. that Christ should be born of the le- 
gal seed of Ahaz ; as Isa. vii. li. " Therefore the Lord him- 
self shall give you a sign : Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and 
bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." This was a 
c;ood sign, and a great confirmation of the truth of what God 
promised by Isaiah, viz. that the kings of Syria and Israel 
should never accomplish their purpose of dispossessing the 
family of Ahaz of the crown of Judah, and setting up the son 
of Tabeal ; for Christ the Immanuel was to be of them. 


I have mentioned this dispensation of Providence in thia 
place, because, though it was continued for so long a timC) 
yet it began in Solomon's succession to the throne of hia 
father David. 

XII. The next thing I would take notice of, is the building 
of the temple : A great type of three things, viz. of Christ, 
especially the human nature of Christ ; of the church of 
Christ ; and of heaven. The tabernacle seemed rather to 
represent the church in its moveable, changeable state, here 
in this world. But that beautiful, glorious, costly structure of 
the temple, that succeeded the tabernacle, and was a fixed, 
and not a moveable thing, seems especially to represent the 
church in its glorified state in heaven. This temple was 
built according to the pattern shown by the Holy Ghost to 
David, and by divine direction given to David, in the place 
where was the threshing floor of Oman the Jebusite, in 
Mount Moriah, 2 Chron. iii. 1 ; in the same mounttun, and 
doubtless in the very same place, where Abraham offered up 
his son Isaac ; for that is said to be a mountain in the land of 
Moriah, Gen. xxii. 2, which mountain was called the inQuntain 
of the Lord, as this mountain of the temple was, Gen. xxii. 14. 
" And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh ; 
as it is said to this day, In the moilnt of the Lord it shall be 

This was the house where Christ dwelt, till he came to 
dv/ell in the temple of his body, or human nature, which vfas 
the antitype of this temple ; as appears, because Christ, on 
occasion of showing him the temple of Jerusalem, says, " De- 
stroy this temple, and in three days will I raise it up," speak- 
ing of the temple of his body, John 'ii. 19, 20. This house, or 
an house built in this place, continued to be the house of God, 
the place of the worship of his church, till Christ came. Hei-e 
was the place that God chose, where all their sacrifices were 
offered up, till the great sacrifice came, and made the sacri- 
fice and oblation to cease. Into his temple in this place the 
Lord came, even the messenger of the covenant. Here he 
t>ften delivered his heavenly doctrine, and wrought miracles ; 
here his church was g-athered by the pouring out of the Spir- 


it, after his ascension. Luke xxiv. 53, speaking of the disci- 
ples, after Christ's ascension, it is said, " And they were con- 
tinually in the temple, praising and blessing God." And, 
Acts ii. 46, speaking of the multitudes that were converted by 
that great outpouring of tlie Spirit that was on the day of 
Pentecost, it is said, " And they continued daily with one ac- 
cord in the temple." And, Acts v. 42, speaking of the apos- 
tles, " And daily in the temple, and in every house, they- 
ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." And hence the 
sound of the gospel went forth, and the church spread into all 
the world. 

XIII. It is here worthy to be observed, that at this time, in 
Solomon's reign, after the temple was finished, the Jewish 
church was risen to its highest external glory. The Jewish 
church, or the ordinances and constitution of it, is compared to 
the moon, in Rev. xii. 1 . " And there appeared a great won- 
der in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon 
luider her feet, and upon her head a crov/n of twelve stars." 
As this church was like the moon in many other respects, so 

it was in this, that it waxed and Avaned lil;e the moon 

From the first foundation of it, that Avas laid in the cove- 
:nant made with Abraham, when this moon was now begin- 
ning to appear, it had to this time been gradually increas- 
ing in its glory. This time, Avherein the temple was finished 
and dedicated, was about the middle, between the calling of 
Abraham and the coming of Christ, and now it was full moon. 
After this the glory of the Jewish church gradually decreased, 
till Christ came ; as I shall have occasion more particularly 
to observe afterwards. 

Now the church of Israel was in its higlicst external glory : 
Now Israel was multiplied exceedingly, so that they seemed 
to have become like the sand on the sea shore, 1 Kings iv. 
20 : Now the kingdom of Israel was firmly established in the 
right family, the family of which Chri-st was to come : Now 
God had chosen the city Avhere he would place his name : Now 
God had fully given his people the possession of the promised 
land : And they noAV possessed the dominion of it all in quiet- 
ness and peace, even from the river ot Egypt, to the great 


river Euphrates ; all those nations that had formerly been 
their enemies, quietly submitted to them ; none pretended to 
rebel against them :...Now the Jewish worship in all its ordi- 
nances Avas fully settled :...Now, instead of a moveable tent 
and tabernacle, they had a glorious temple ; the most magni- 
ficent, beautiful, and costly structure, that there v/as then, ever 
had been, or ever has been since : Now the people enjoyed 
peace and plenty, and sat every man under his vine and figtree, 
eating and drinking, and making merry, as 1 Kings iv. 20 :... 
Now they were in the highest pitch of earthly prosperity, sil- 
ver being as plenty as stones, and the land full of gold and 
precious stones, and other precious foreign commodities, 
which were brought by Solomon's ships from Ophir, and 
which came from other parts of the world :...Now they had 
a king reigning over them that was the wisest of men, and 
probably the greatest earthly prince that ever was :...Now 
their fame went abroad into all the earth, so that they came 
from the lUmost parts of the earth to see their glory and their 

Thus God was pleased, in one of the ancestors of Christ, 
remarkably to shadow forth the kingdom of Christ, reigning 
in his glory. David, that was a man of war, a man who had 
shed mvich blood, and whose life was full of troubles and con- 
flicts, was more of a representation of Christ in his state of 
humiliation, his militant state, wherein he was conflicting 
with his enemies. But Solomon, that was a man of peace, 
was a representation more especially of Christ exalted, tri- 
umphing, and reigning in his kingdom of peace. And the 
happy glorious state of the Jewish church at that time, did 
remarkably represent two things: 1. That glorious state of 
the church on earth that shall be in the latter ages of the 
world ; those days of peace, when nation shall not lift sword 
against nation, nor learn war any more. 2. The future glori- 
fied state of the church in heaven. The earthly Canaan never 
was so lively a type of the heavenly Canaan, as it was then, 
when the happy people of Israel did indeed enjoy it as a land 
fiowinaj with milk and honey. 

12« V/ORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period I. 

XIV. After this the glory of the JcAvish church gradually 
cleclined more and more till Christ came ; yet not so but that 
the work of redemption still went on. Whatever failed or 
declined, God still carried on this work from age to age ; this 
building was still advancing higher and higher. Things still 
went on, during the decline of the Jewish church, towards a 
further preparation of things for the coming of Christ, as well 
as during its increase ; for so wonderfully were things order- 
ed by the infinitely wise governor of the world, that whatever 
happened was ordered for good to this general design, and 
made a means of promoting it. When the people of the 
Jev.'s flourished, and were in prosperity, he made that to con- 
tribute to the promoting this design ; and when they were in 
adversity, God made that also to contribute to the carrying on 
of the same design. While the Jewish church was in its in-* 
creasing state, the work of redemption was carried on by their 
increase ; and when they came to their declining state, which, 
they were in from Solomon's time till Christ, God carried ox\ 
the w^ork of redemption by that. That decline itself was one 
thing that God made use of as a further preparation for 
Christ's coming. 

As the moon, from the time of its full, is approaching near- 
er and nearer to her conjunction with the sun ; so her light is 
still more and more decreasing, till at length, when the con^ 
junction comes, it is wholly swallowed up in the light of the 
sun. So it was with the Jewish church from the time of its 
highest glory in Solomon's time. In the latter end of Solo- 
mon's reign, the state of things began to darken, by Solomon's 
corrupting himself with idolatry, which much obscured the 
glory of this mighty and wise prince ; and withal troubles be- 
gan to arise in his kingdom ; and after his death the kingdom 
was divided, and ten tribes revolted, and withdrew their sub- 
jection from the house of David, withal falling away from the 
true worship of God in the temple at Jerusalem, and setting 
up the golden calves of Bethel and Dan. And presently after 
this the number of the ten tribes was greatly diminished in 
the battle of Jeroboam with Abijah, wherein there fell dowr* 
slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men j which 


loss the kingdom of Israel probably never in any measure re« 

The ten tribes finally apostatised from the true God under 
Jeroboam, and the kingdom of Judah was greatly corrupted, 
and from that time forward were more generally in a corrupt 
State than otherwise. In Ahab's time the kingdom of Israel 
did not only worship the caWes of Bethel and Dan, but the 
worship of Baal was introduced. Before, they pretended to 
worship the true God by these images, the calves of Jero- 
boam ; but now Ahab introduced gross idolatry, and th« direct 
■worship of false gods in the room of the true God ; and soon 
after the worship of Baal was introduced into the kingdom of 
Judah, viz. in Jehoram's reign, by his marrying Athaliah the 
daughter of Ahab. After this God began to cut Israel short, 
by finally destroying and sending into captivity that part of the 
land that was beyond Jordan, as you may see in 2 Kii^gs x. 32. 
&c. And then after this Tiglath Pilczer subdued and capti- 
vated all the northern parts of the land ; 2 Kings xv. 29. And 
then at last all the land of the ten tribes was subdued by Sal- 
maneser, and they were finally carried captive out of their own 
land. After this also the kingdom of Judah was carried cap- 
tive into Babylon, and a great part of the nation never return- 
ed. Those that returned Avcre but a small number, compared 
with what had been carried captive ; and for the most part 
after this they were dependent on the power of other states, 
being subject one while to the kings of Persia, then to the 
monarchy of the Grecians, and then to the Romans. And 
before Christ's time, the church of the Jev/s was become ex- 
ceeding corrupt, overrun with superstition and selfrighteous*- 
ness. And how small a flock was the church of Christ in the 
days of his incarnation ! 

God, by this gradual decline of the Jewish state and church 
from Solomon's time, prepared the way for the coming of 
Christ several ways. 

1. The decline of the glory of this legal dispensation made 
■way for the introduction of the more glorious dispensation of 
the gospel. The decline of the glory of the legal dispensa-; 
Vion, was to make way for the introduction of the evangelical 

Vol. II. Q 

}22 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t 

dispensation, that Avas so much more glorious, that the legal 
dispensation had no glory in comparison with it. The glo- 
ry of the aiK^ient dispensation, such as it Avas in Solomon's 
time, consisting so much in external glory, was but a- child- 
ish glory, compared Avith the spiritual glory of the dispen- 
sation introduced by Christ. The church under the Old Tes- 
tament, was a cliild under tutors and governors, and God dealt 
Avith it as a child. Those-pompous externals are called by the 
apostle, "loeak and beggarly elements. It AA'as fit that those 
things should be diminished as Christ approached ; as John 
the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, speaking of Christ, says, 
" He must increase, but I must decrease," John iii. 30. It i? 
fit that the tAvinkling stars should gradually AvithdraAV their 
glory, Avhen the sun is approaching tOAvards his rising. The 
glory of the JcAvish dispensation must be gradually diminish- 
ed, to prepare the t\'ay for the more joyful reception of the 
spiritual glory of the gospel. If the Jewish church, Avheu 
Christ came, had been in the same external glory that it Avas 
in, in the reign of Solomon, men would have had their eyes so 
dazzled with it, that they Avould not haAC been likely joyfully 
to exchange such great external glory, for only the spiritual 
glory of the jwor despised Jesus. Again, 

2. This gradual decline of the glory of the JeA\'ish state, 
tended to prepare the Avay for Christ's coming another Avay, 
viz. as it tended to make the glory of God's power, in the 
great effects of Christ's redemption, the more conspicuous. 
God's people being so diminished and Avcakened by one step 
after another, till Christ came, Avas very much like the dimin- 
ishing Gideon^s army. God told Gideon, that the peoj^lc that 
Avere Avith him, Avere too many for him to deliver the Midian- 
ites into their hands, lest Israel should vaunt themselves 
against him, saying, " My oAvn hand hath saved me." And 
therefore all that Avere fearful Avere commanded to return ; 
and there returned twenty and tAVO thousand, and there re- 
mained ten thousand. But still they Avcre too many ; and 
then, by trying the people at the Avater, they Averc reduced to 
three hundred men. So the people in Solomon's time Averc 
too many, and mighty, and glorious for Christ ; therefore he 


diminished them ; first, by sending off the ten tribes ; and 
then he diminished them again by the captivity into Babylon ; 
and then they were further diminished by the great and gen- 
eral corruption that there was when Christ came ; so that 
Christ found very few godly persons among them : And with 
a small handfol of disciples, Christ conquered the world.... 
Thus high things wei^ brought down, that Christ might be 

3. This prepared the way for Christ's coming, as it made 
the salvation of those Jews that were saved by Christ, to be 
more sensible and-v visible. Though the greater part of the 
nation of the Jews was rejected, and the Gentiles called in 
their room ; yet there were a great many thousands of the 
Jews that were saved by Christ after his resurrection. Acts 
XXI. 20. They being taken from so low a state under tempo- 
ral calamity in their bondage to the Romans, and from a state 
of great superstitiion and wickedness, that the Jewish nation 
was then fallen into ; it made their redemption the more sen- 
sibly and visibly glorious. 

I have taken notice of this dispensation of Providence in the 
gradual decline of the Jewish church in this place, because it 
began in the reign of Solomon. 

XV. I would here take notice of the additions that were 
made to tlie canon of scripture in, or soon after the reign of 
Solomon. There were considerable additions made by Solo- 
mon himself, who wrote the books of Proverbs and Ecclesias- 
tcs, probably near the close of his reign. His writing the 
Song of SongSj as it is called, is AvJiat is especially here to be 
taken notice of, which is wholly on the subject that we are 
upon, viz. Christ and his redemption, representingvthe high 
and glorious relation, and union, and love, that are between 
Christ arui his redeemed church. And the history of the 
scripture seems, in Solomon's reign, and some of the next 
succeeding reigns, to have been added to by the prophets, Na- 
than and Ahijah, and Shemaiah and Iddo. It is probable that 
part of the history which we have in the first of Kings was 
Avritten by them, by what is said 2 Chron. ix. 29, and in chap,, 
adi. I5, sdKi in chap. xiii. 22. 

\U V/Q-kYL dF REDEMPTION. [Perios t 

XVI. God's wonderfully upholding his church and the 
true religion through this period. It was very wonderful^ 
considering the many and great apostasies that there were of 
that people to idolatry. When the ten tribes had generally 
and finally foi-saken the true worship of God, God kept up the 
true religion in the kingdom of Judah ; and when they cor* 
rupted themselves, as they very often did exceedingly, and 
idolatry was ready totally to swallow all up, yet God kept the 
lamp alive, and was often pleased, when things seemed to be 
come to an extremityj and religion at its last gasp, to grant 
blessed revivals by remarkable outpourings of his Spirit, par- 
ticularly in Hezekiah's and Josiah's time. 

XVII. God remarkably kept the book of the law from be- 
ing lost in times of general and long continued neglect of, and 
enmity against it. The most remarkable instance of this 
kind that we have, was the preservation of the book of the law 
in the time of the great apostasy, during the greatest part of 
the long reign of Manasseh, which lasted fiftyfive years, and 
then after that the reign of Amon his son. This, while the 
book of the law was so much neglected, and such a careless 
and profane management of the affairs of the temple prevail- 
ed, that the book of the law, that used to be laid up by the 
side of the ark in the Holy of Holies, was lost for a long time ; 
nobody knew where it was. But yet God preserved it from 
being finally lost. In Josiah's time, when they came to repair 
the temple, it was found buried in rubbish, aft«r it had been 
lost so long that Josiah himself seems to have been much a 
stranger to it till now. See 2 Kings xxii. 8, Sec. 

XVIII. God's remarkably preserving the tribe of which 
Christ was to proceed, from being ruined through the many 
and great dangers of this period. The visible church of 
Christ from Solomon's reign, was mainly in the tribe of Ju- 
dah. The tribe of Benjamin, that was annexed to them, tva* 
hut a very sir.rvii tribe, and the tribe of Judah exceeding large ; 
and as Jiwlaii took Benjamin under his covert when he went 
into Egypt to bring corn, so the tribe of Benjamin seemed to 
be vmdcr the covert of Judah ever after : And though, on oc- 
casion of Jeroboam's setting up the calves at Bethel and Daii) 

Krt v.] Work of redemption. \n 

the Levites resorted to Judah out of all the tribes of Israel, (2 
Chron. xi. 1 3) yet they were also small, and not reckoned 
among the tribes : And thougJi many of the ten tribes did also 
en that occasion, for the sake of the worship of God in the tem- 
ple, leave their inheritances in their several tribes, and removed 
and settled in Judah, and so were incorporated with them, as 
we have an account in the chapter just quoted, and 1 6th verse J 
yet the tribe of Judah was so much the prevailing part, that 
they were called by one name,they were called Judu/i : There- 
fore God said to Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 13. « I will not rend 
away all the kingdom ; but will give one tribe to thy son, for 
David my sein^ant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, which I 
have chosen," and so ver. 32, 35. So when the ten tribes 
were carried captive, it is said, there was none left but the 
tribe of Judah only : 2 Kings xvii. 18. " Therefore the Lord 
was very wroth with Israel, and removed them out of his 
sight : There was none left but the tribe of Judah only." 
Whence they were all called Jewsi which is a word that comes 
from Judah. 

This was the tribe of which Christ was to come ; and in 
this chiefly did God's visible church consist, from Solomon's 
time : And this was the people over whom the Wngs that 
were legal ancestors of Christ, and were of the house of Da"» 
vid, reigned. This people was wonderfully preserved from 
destruction during this period, Avhcn they often seemed to be 
upon the brink of ruin, and just ready to be swallowed up. So 
it was in Rehoboam's time, when Shishak king of Egypt came 
against Judah with such a vast force; yet then God manifestly 
preserved them from being destroyed. Of this we read in 
the beginning of the 12th chapter of 2 Chronicles. So it was 
again in Abijah's time, when Jeroboam set the battle in array 
against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men ; a 
mighty army indeed. We read of it, 2 Chron. xiii. 3, Then 
God wrought deliverance to Judah, out of regard to the cove- 
nant of grace established with David, as is evident by verse 4 
and 5 ; and the victory they obtained was because the Lord 
was on their side, as you may see verse 12. So it was again 
In Asa's time, when Zerah the Ethiopian came against him 


ifith a yet larger army of a thousand thousand, and three hun- 
dred chariots, 2 Chron. xiv. 9. On this occasion Asa cried to 
the Lord, and trusted in him, being sensible that it was noth- 
ing with him to help those that had no power; ver. 1 1. « And 
Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing 
with thee to help, whether with many, or with those that have 
. no power.'* And accordingly God gave them a glorious vic- 
tory over this mighty host. 

So again it was in Jehoshaphat's time, when the children of 
Moab, and the children of Ammon, and the inhabitants of 
Mount Seir, combined together against Judah with a mighty 
army, a force vastly superior to any that Jehoshaphat could 
raise ; and Jehoshaphat and his people were gi'eatly afraid ; 
yet they set themselves to seek God on this occasion, and 
trusted in him ; and God told them by one of his prophets, 
that they need not fear them, nor should they have any occa^ 
sion to fight in this battle, they should only stand still and see 
the salvation of the Lord. And according to his direction, 
they only stood still, and sang praises to God, and God made 
their enemies do the work themselves, and set them to kill- 
ing one another ; and the children of Judah had nothing to 
do, but to gather the spoil, which was more than they could 
carry away. We have the story in 2 Chron. xx. 

So it was again in Ahaz's time, when Rezin the king of Sy- 
ria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, conspir- 
ed against Judah, and seemed to be sure of their purpose ; of 
which we have spoken already. So it was again in Hezckiah's 
time, when Sennacherib, that great king of Assyria, and head 
of the greatest monarchy that was then in the world, came up 
against all the fenced cities of Judah, after he had conquered 
most of the neighboring countries, and sent Rabshakch, the 
captain of his host, against Jerusalem, who came, and in a 
very proud and scornful manner msulted llezekiah and his 
people, as being sure of victory ; and the people were trenii- 
bling for feai', like lambs before a lion. Then God sent Isaiah 
the prophet to comfort tliem, and assure them that they 
should not prevail ; as a token of which he gave them this 
sign, viz. that the earth, for two years successively, should 


bring forth food of itself, from the roots of the old stalks, 
withotit their ploughing or sowing ; and then the third year 
they should sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the 
fruit of them, and live on the fruits of their labor, as they were 
wont to do before. See 2 Kings xix. 29. This is mentioned 
as a type of what is promised in ver. 30, 31. " And the rem- 
nant that is escaped of the house of Judah, shall yet again take 
root downward, and bear fniit upward. For out of Jerusalem 
shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of Mount 
Sion : The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." The 
corn's springing again after it had been cut off" with the sickle, 
and bringing forth another crop from the roots, that seemed 
to be dead, and so once and again, represents the church's re^ 
viving again, as it were, out of its own ashes, and flourishing 
like a plant, after it had seemingly been cut down past recov- 
ery. When the enemies of the church have done their WU 
most, and seem to have gained their point, and to have over- 
thrown the chiu'ch, eo that the being of it is scaixely visible, 
but like a living root hid under ground ; yet there is a secret 
life in it that will cause it to flourish again, and to take root 
tlowTiward, and bear fruit upward. This was fulfilled now at 
this time ; for the king of Assyria had already taken and car* 
ried captive the ten tribes ; and Sennacherib had also taken 
all the fenced cities of Judah, and ranged the country I'ound 
about, and Jerusalem only remained ; and Rabshakeh had 
in his own imagination already swallowed that up, as he had 
also in the fearful apprehensions of the Jews themselves. But 
yet God wrought a wonderful delivei^ance. He sent an angel, 
that in one night smote an hundred fourscore and five thous- 
and in the enemy's camp. 

XIX. In the reign of Uzziah, and the following reigns, God 
was pleased to raise up a set of eminent prophets, who should 
commit their prophecies to writing, and leave them for the 
use of his church in all ages. We before observed how that 
God began a constant succession of prophets in Israel in 
Samuel's time, and many of these prophets wrote by divine in* 
spiration, and so added to the canon of scripture, before Uzzi- 
ah's time. But none of them are supposed to have written 


books of prophecies till now. Several of them wrote histo- 
ries of the -wonderful dispensations of God towards his church. 
This we have observed already of Samuel, who is supposed to 
have written Judges and Ruth, and part of the first of Samuel, 
if not the book of Joshua. And Nathan and Gad seem to 
have written the rest of the two books of Samuel : And Na- 
than, with Ahijah and Iddo, wrote the history of Solomon, 
which is p)'obably that which we have in the first book of 
Kings. The history of Israel seems to have beea further car- 
ried on by Iddo and Shemaiah : 2 Chron. xii. 15. " Now the 
acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the 
book of Shemaiah the prophet, and Iddo the seer, concern- 
ing genealogies ?" And after that the history seems to have 
been further carried on by the prophet Jehu, the son of Han- 
ani : 2 Chron. xx. 34. " Now the rest of the acts of Jehosh- 
aphat, first and last, behold they are written in the book of Je- 
hu, the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the 
kings of Israel," as we find him to be, 1 Kings xvi. 1, 7. And 
then it was further continued by the prophet Isaiah : 2 Chron. 
xxvi. 22, «' Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, 
did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos, write." He probably 
did it as well in the second book of kings, as in the book of his 
prophecy. And the history was carried on and finished by 
other prophets after hirn. 

Thus the prophets, even from Samuel's time, had from 
time to time, been adding to the canon of scripture by their 
historical writings. But now, in the days pf Uzziah, did God 
first raise up a set of great prophets, not only to write histo- 
ries, but to write books of their prophecies. The first of 
these is thought to be Hosea the son of Beeri, and therefore 
his prophecy, or the word of the Lord by him, is called the 
ifpginm7ig of the word of the Lord ; as Hosea i. 2. " The be-, 
ginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea ;" that is, the be- 
ginning, or the first part, of the written word of that kind, 
viz. that which is written in books of prophecy. He prophet 
cied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezckiah, 
kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, 
king of Israel. There was many other witnesses ; for God 


raised up about the same tirae to commit their prophecies to 
writing Isaiah, and Amos, and Jonah, and Micah, and Nahum, 
and probably some others ; and so from that time forward 
God seemed to continue a succession of writing prophets. 

This was a great dispensation of Providence, and a great ad- 
vance made in the affair of redemption, which appears, if we 
consider what was said before, that tJie main business of the 
prophets was to foreshew Christ, and his redemption. They 
were all forerunners of the great prophet. The main end 
why the spirit of prophecy was given them was, that they 
might give testimony to Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer, 
that was to come ; and therefore the testimony of Jesus, and 
the spirit of prophecy, arc spoken of as the same thing : Rev. 
xix. 10. « And I fell at his feet to worship him : And he said 
unto me, See thou do it not : I am thy fellow servant, and of 
thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus : Worship God: 
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." And 
therefore Ave find, that the great and main thing that the 
most of the prophets in their v/ritten prophecies insist upon, 
is Christ and his redemption, and the glorious times of the 
gospel, which should be in the latter days, according to their 
manner of expression. And though many other things were 
spoken of in their prophecies, yet it seems to be only as intro- 
ductory to their prophecy of these great things. Whatever 
they prophecy of, here their prophecies commonly terminate, 
as you may see by a careful perusal of their wi^itings. 

These prophets were set to writing their prophecies by 
the spirit of Christ that was in them, chiefly for that end, to 
foreshow and prepare the way for the coming of Christ, and 
the glory that should follow. And in what an exalted strain 
do they all speak of those things ; many other things they 
speak of in men^s usual language. But when they come up- 
on this subject, what a joyful heavenly sublimity is there in 
the language they use about it ! Some of them are very par- 
ticular and full in their predictions of these things, and above 
all the Prophet Isaiah, who is therefore deservedly called the 
€vangdical prophet. He seems to teach the glorious doctrines 
cf the gospel almost as plainly as the apostles did, who preach^ 

Vol. II. R 


cd aftei' Christ was actually come. The Apostle Paul there* 
fore takes notice, that the Prophet Esaias is very bold, Rom. 
X. 20. i. e. as the meaning of the word, as used in the Ne\T 
Testament, is very plain, he speaks out very plainly and 
fully ; so being " very bold" is used, 2 Cor. iii. 12, we use 
•' great plaiimess of speech," or " boldness," as it is in the 

How plainly and fully does the prophet Isaiah describe the 
manner and circumstances, the nature and end of the suffer- 
ing and sacrifice of Christ, in the 53d chapter of his prophecy. 
There is scarce a chapter in the New Testament itself which 
is more full on it ! And how much, and in what a glorious 
strain, does the same prophet speak from time to time of the 
glorious benefits of Christ, the unspeakable blessings which 
shall redound to his church through his redemption ! Jesus 
Christ, the person that this prophet spoke so much of, once 
appeared to Isaiah in the form of the human nature, the na- 
ture that he should afterwards take upon him. We have an 
account of it in the 6th chapter of his prophecy at the begin- 
ning ; " I saw also the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lift- 
ed up, and his train filled the temple," Sec. This was Christ 
that Isaiah now saw, as we are expressly told in the New Tes- 
tament. See John xii. 39, 40, 41. 

And if we consider the abundant prophecies of this and the 
other prophets, what a great increase is there of the light of 
the gospel, which had been growing from the fall of man to 
this day ? How plentiful are the revelations and prophecies 
of Christ now, to what they were in the first period of the Old 
Testament, from Adam to Noah ? Or to what they were in 
the second, from Noah to Abraham ? Or to what they were 
before Moses, or in the time of Moses, Joshua, and the Judg- 
es ? This dispensation that we are now speaking of, was also 
a glorious advance of the work of redemption by the great ad- 
ditions that were made to the canon of scripture. Great part 
of the Old Testament was written now, from the days of Uz- 
ziah to the captivity into Babylon. And how excellent are 
those portions of it ? What a precious treasure have those 
prophets committed to the church of God, tending greatly to 


confirm the gospel of Christ ? And which has been of great 
comfort and benefit to God's church in all ages suice, and 
.doubtless will be to the end pf the world. 


From the Babylonish Captivity to the Coming of 

I COME now to tlie last period of the Old Testament, 
viz. that which begins with the Babylonish Captivity, and ex- 
tends to the coming of Christ, being the greatest part of six 
hundred years, to shew how the work of redemption was carv 
vied on through this period. 

But before I enter upon particulars, I would observe,in three 
things, wherein this period is distinguished from the preced- 
ing periods of the times of the Old Testament?. 

1 . Though ^ve have no account of a gr^^at part of this period 
in the sci-iptui'e history, yet the events of this period are mor« 
the subject of scripture prophecy, than any of the preceding 
periods. There are two ways wherein the scriptures give ac- 
count of the events by which the work of redemption is carried 
on ; one is by history, and another is by prophecy : And in one or 
the other of these ways we have contained in the scriptures an 
account how the work of redemption is carried on from the be- 
ginning to the end. Although the scriptures do not contain a 
proper history of the whole, yet there is contained the M'hol* 
chain of great events by which this affair hath been carried on 
from the foundation, soon after the fall of man, to the finishing; 
of it at the end of the world, either in history or prophecy. 
And it is to be observed, that where the scripture is wanting in 
one of these ways, it is made up in the other. Where scripture 
history fails, there prophecy takes place ; so that the account 
^s still carried on, and the chain is not broken, till we come ta> 
the very last Unk of it in the consummation of all things. 

isi WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t. 

And accordingly it is obseiTable of this period or space 
of time that we are upon, that though it is so much less the 
subject of scripture history, that! most of the preceding peri- 
ods, so that there is above four hundred years of it that tho 
scriptures give us no history of ; yet the events of this period 
are mere the subject of scripture prophecy, than the events 
of all the preceding periods put together. ?*Iost of those re- 
markable prophecies of the book of Daniel do refer to events 
that were accomplished in this period: So most of those proph- 
ecies in Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, against Babylon, 
and Tyrus, and against Egypt, and many other nations, were 
fulfilled in this period. 

So that the reason why the scriptures give us no history of 
so great a part of this period, is not because the events of 
this period were not so important, or less worthy to be taken 
notice of, than the events of the foregoing periods ; for I shall 
liereafter show how great and distinguishedly remarkable the 
events of this period were. But there are several other rea- 
sons which may be given of it. One is that it Avas the will of 
God that the spirit of prophecy should cease in this period, 
(for reasons that may be given hereafter ;) so that there were 
no prophets to write the history of these times ; and there- 
fore God, designing this, took care that the great events of this 
period should not be without mention in his word ; and so or- 
dered it, that the prophecies of scripture should be more full 
here, than in the preceding periods. It is observable, that 
that set of writing prophets that God raised up in Israel, were 
raised up at the latter end of the foregoing period, and at the 
beginning of this ; which it is likely v.as partly for that reason, 
that the time was now approaching, of Avhich the spirit of 
prophecy having ceased, there was to be no scripture history, 
and therefore no other scripture account but what was given 
in propliccy. 

And another reason that may be given why there was so 
great a part of this period left without an historical account in 
scripture, is, that God in his providence took care, that there 
should be authentic and full accounts of the events of this pe- 
riod preserved in pi-bfanc history. It is remarkable, and very 


worthy to be taken notice of, that with respect to the events ot 
the five preceding periods, of Avhich the scriptures give the 
history, profane history gives us no account, or at least of but 
Tery few of them. There are many fabulous and uncertain 
accounts of things that happened before ; but the beginning 
of the times of authentic profane history is judged to be but a 
little before Nebuchadnezzar's time, about an hundred years 
before. The learned men among the Greeks and Romans, 
■used to call the ages before that, t/ie fabulous age ; but the 
times after that they called, the historical age. And from about 
that time to the coming of Christ, we have undoubted accounts 
in profane history of the principal events ; accounts that won- 
derfully agree with the many prophecies that wc have in 
scripture of those times. 

TliTls did the great God, that disposes all things, order iti 
He took care to give an historical account of things from the 
beginning of the world, through all those former ages which 
profane history does not reach, and ceased not till he came to 
those later ages in which profane history related things with 
some certainty : And concerning those times, he gives us 
abundant account in prophecy, that, by comparing profane his- 
tory with those prophecies, Ave might see the agreement. 

2, This period being the last period of the Old Testament, 
and the next to the coming of Christ, seems to have been 
remarkably distinguished from all others iii the great revolu- 
tions that were among the nations of the earth, to make v.ay 
for the kingdom of Christ. The time now drawing nigh, 
Avherein Christ, the great King and Saviour of the world, was 
to come, great and mighty were the changes that were 
brought to pass in order to it. The way had been preparing 
for the coming of Christ from the fall of man, through all the 
foregoing periods : But now the time drawing nigh, things 
began to ripen apace for Christ's coming ; and therefore di- 
vine Providence wrought wonderfully now. The greatest 
revolutions that any history whatsoever gives an account of, 
that ever had been froi-n the flood, fell out in this period. 
Almost all the then known world, i. e. all the nations that 
•were round about the land of Canaan, far and near, that were 


V/ithin the reach of their knoAvledge,-\vere overturned again and 
again. All lands were in their turns subdued, captivated, and as 
it were empi.ied,and turned upside down,and thut most of them 
repeatedly, in this period ; agreeably to that prophecy, Isa. 
xxiv. 1. " Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty ; he 
maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, apd scaitcreth 
abroad the inhabitants tliereof." 

This emptying, and turning upside down, began with God'» 
visible church, in their captivity by the king of Babylon. And 
then the cup from them went round to all other nations, agree* 
ably to what God revealed to the prophet Jeremiah, xxv. 15 
—27. Here special respect seems to be had to the great re« 
volutions that there were on the face of the earth in the times of 
the Babylonish empire. But after that there were three general 
overturnings of ihe world before Christ came, in the succes- 
sion of the three great monarchies of the x^orld that were after 
the Babylonish empire. The king of Babylon is represented 
in scripture as overturning the world: But after that the Baby* 
lonish empire was overthrown by G3TVIS ; who founded the 
Persian empire in the raom of it ; which was of much great- 
er extent than the Babylonish empire in its greatest glory. 
Thus the world was overturned the second time. And then, 
after that, the Persian empire was overthrown by Alexander, 
and the Grecian empire was set up upon the ruins of it ; which 
was still of much greater extent than the Persian empire : 
And thus there was a general overturning of the world a third 
time. And then, after that, the Grecian empire was over- 
thrown by the Romans, and the Roman empire was establish- 
ed ; which vastly exceeded all the foregoing empires in pow- 
er and extent of dominion. And so the world was overturned 
the fourth time. 

These several monarchies, and the great revolutions of the 
world under them, are abundantly spoken of in the prophecies 
of Daniel. They are represented in Nebuchadnezzar's image 
of gold, silver, brass, and iron ; and Daniel's interpretation of 
it, in the second chapter of Daniel ; and then in Daniel's vision 
of the four beasts, and the angel's interpretation of it in the 
seventh chapter of Daniel. AikI the succession of the Pev* 


«ian and Grecian monarchies is more particularly represented 
in the 8th chapter in Daniel's vision of the ram and the h© 
goat, and again in the 1 1th chapter of Daniel. 

And beside these four general overturnings of the world, 
the world was kept in a constant tumult between whiles : And 
indeed the world was as it were in a continual convulsion 
through this whole period till Christ came. Before this pe- 
riod, the face of the earth Avas comparatively in quietness s 
Though there were many great wars among the nations, yet 
we read of no such mighty and universal convulsions and 
overturnings as there were in this period. The nations 
of the world, most of them, had long remained on their lees a3 
it were, without being emptied from vessel to vessel, as is 
saidofMoab, Jer. xlviii. 11. Now these great overturnings 
were because the time of the great Messiah drew nigh. That 
they were to prepare the way '•br Christ's coming, is evident 
by scripture, particularly by Ezek. xxi. 27. " I will overturn, 
overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until he come 
whose right it is, and I will give it him." The prophet, by 
repeating the word overturn three times, has respect to 
three overturnings, as in the Revelation, viii. 13. The repe- 
tition of the word wo three times, signifies three distinct 
woes ; as appears by what follows, ix. 12. « One wo is past ;" 
and xi. 14. " The second wo is past, and behold the third wo 
cometh quickly." 

It must be noted, that the prophet Ezekiel prophesied in 
the time of the Babylonish captivity ; and therefore there 
were three great and general overturnings of the world to 
come after this prophecy, before Christ came ; the first by the 
Persians, .the second by the Grecians, the third by the Ro- 
mans ; and then after that, Christ, whose right it was to take 
the diadem, and reign, should come. Here these great over- 
turnings are evidently spoken of, as prepiu-atory to the coming 
and kingdom of Christ. But to understand the words aright, 
we must note the particular expression, " I will overturn, 
overturn, overturn i(." i. e. the diadem and crown of Israel, or 
the supreme temporal dominion over God's visible people. 
This God said should be no more, i, e. the crown shotUd b© 


taken oH', and the diadem removed, as it is said in the forego- 
ing verse. The supreme power over Israel should be no 
more in the royal line of David, to which it properly belonged, 
but should be removed away, and given to others, and over- 
turned from one to another : First the supreme power over 
Israel should be in the hands of the Persians ; and then it 
should be overturned again ; and then it should be in the 
hands of the Grecians ; and then it should be overturned 
again, and come into the hands of the Romans, and should bo 
no more in thq line of David, till that very person should 
come, that was the son of David, whose proper right it was, 
and then God would give it to him. 

That those great shakings and revolutions of the nations of 
the world were all to prepare the way for Christ's coming and 
setting up his kingdom in the world, is further manifest by 
Haggai, ii. 6, 7. « For thus safih the Lord of hosts. Yet once, 
it is a little Avhile, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, 
and the sea, and the dry land : And I will shake all nations, 
and the desire of ail nations shall come, and I will fill this 
house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." And again, ver. 
21, 22 and 23. It is evident by this, that these great revolur 
tions and shakings of the nations, whereby the thrones of king- 
doms, and armies were overthrown, and every one came down 
by the sword of his brother, were to prepare the w ay for the 
coming of him who is the desire of all nations. 

The great changes and troubles that have sometimes been 
in the visible churcjj of Christ, are in Rev. xii. 2, compared 
to the church's being in travail to bring forth Christ ; so these 
great troubles and mighty revolutions that were in the world 
before Christ was born, were, as it were, the world's being in 
travail to bring forth the Son of God. The apostle, in the 8th 
of Romans, represents the whole creation as groaning and 
travailing in pain together until now, to bring forth the liber-: 
erty and manifestation of the children of God. So the world 
as it were travailed in pain, and was in continual convulsions 
for several hundred years together, to bring forth the first 
born child, and the only begotten Son of God. And those 
jnighty revolutions w^re as so many pangs and throes in order 

Pakt VL] work of redemption. \27 

to it. The world being so long a time kept in a state of war 
and bloodshed, prepared the way for the coming of the Prince 
of Peace, as it showed the great need the world stood in of 
such a prince to deliver the world from its miseries. 

It pleased God to order it in his providence, that earthly- 
power and dominion should be raised to its greatest height, 
and appear in its utmost glory, in those four great monarchies 
that succeeded one another, and that every one should be 
greater and more glorious than the preceding, before he set 
up the kingdom of his Son. By this it appeared how much 
more glorious his spiritual kingdom Avas than the most glo- 
rious temporal kingdom. The strength and glory of Satan's 
kingdom in these four mighty monarchies, appeared in it^ 
greatest height : For those monarchies were the monarchies 
of the Heathen world, and so the strength of them was the 
strength of Satan's kingdom. God suffered Satan's kingdom 
to rise to so great a height of power and magnificence before 
his Son came to ©verthrow it, to prepare the way for the more 
glorious triumph of his Son. Goliath must have on all his 
splendid armor when the stripling David comes against him 
with a sling and a stone, for the greater glory of David's vic- 
tory. God suffered one of those great monarchies to subdue 
another, and erect itself on the other's ruins, appearing still ia 
greater strength, and the last to be the strongest and mightiest 
of all : That so Christ, in overthrowing that, might as it were 
©verthrow them all at once ; as the stone, cut out of the mount- 
ain without hands, is represented as destroying the whole 
image, the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron, and the clay ; 
sp that all became as the chaff of the summer threshing floor. 
These mighty empires were suffered thus to overthrow the 
world, and destroy one another : And though their power was 
so great, yet they could not uphold themselves, but fell one 
after another, and came to nothing, even the last of them, that 
was the strongest, and had swallowed up the earth. It pleas- 
ed God thus to show in them the instability and vanity of all 
earthly power and greatness ; which served as a foil to set 
forth the glory of the kingdom of his Son, which never shall 
bp destroyed, as appears by Dan. ii. 44. " In the days ofthes^ 
Vol. II. S 

isV ^^'ORK of redemption. [Period t, 

Kings shall the God of heaven set up a khigdom, which shall' 
never bo destroyed : And the kingdom shall not be left to 
ether people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all' 
these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." So greatly does- 
this kingdom differ from all those kingdoms ; they vanish 
away, and arc left to other people ; but this shall not be left to 
other people, but shall stand for ever. God suffered the devil 
to do his utmost, and to establish his interest, by setting up 
the greatest, strongest, and most glorious kingdoms in the 
World that he could, before the despised Jesus overthrew him 
and his empire. Christ came into the world to bring down 
the high things of Satan'^s kingdom, that the hand of the Lord 
might be on eveiy one that is proud and lofty, and every high 
tower, and every lofty mountain ; as the Prophet Isaiah says, 
chap. ii. 12, he. And therefore these things were suffered to 
rise very high, that Christ might appear so much the more 
glorious in being above them. 

Thus wonderfully did the great and wise Governor of the 
world prepare the way for the erecting of the glorious king- 
dom of his beloved Sou Jesus. 

3. Another thing for which this last period or space of time 
before Christ was particularly remarkable, was the wonderful 
presei-vation of the churckthrough all those overturnings. 
The preservation of the church was on some accounts more 
remarkable through this period, than thi-ough any of the fore- 
going. It was very wonderful that the church, which in this 
period was so weak, and in so low a state, and mostly subject 
to the dominion of Heathen monarchies, should be preserved 
for five or si'x hundred years together, while the world was so 
often overturned, and the earth was rent in pieces, and made 
so often empty and waste, and the inhabitants of it came down 
so often every one by the sword of his brother. I say it was 
wonderful that the church, in its weak and low state, being but 
a little handful of men, should be preserved in all these great 
convulsions ; esprrcially considering that the land of Judea, 
the chief place of the church's residence, lay in the midst of 
them, as it were in the middle between the contending par- 
tics, and was very much the scat of war amongst them, and 


was often overrun and subdued, and sometimes in the hands of 
one people, and sometimes another, and very much the object 
of the envy and hatred of all Heathen nations, and often al- 
most ruined by them, often great multitudes of its inhabitants 
being slain, and the land in a great measure depopulated ; 
and those Avho had them in their power, often intended the ut- 
ter destruction of the whole nation. Yet they were upheld ; 
they were preserved iu their captivity in Babylon, and they 
were upheld again under all th-e dangers they passed through 
under the kings of Persia, and the much greater dangers they 
were liable to under the empire of the Greeks,. and e\ftcrwards 
when the world was trodden down by th-e Romans. 

And their preservation through this period was also distin- 
guishingly remarkable, in that we never read of th-e church's 
suffering persecution in any former period in any measure to 
such a degree as they did in this, under Antiochus Epiphanes, 
of which more afterwards. This wonderful preservation of 
the church through all these overturnings of the world, gives 
light and confirmation to what we read in the beginning 
of the 46th Psalm : " God is our refuge and strength, a very 
present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though 
the earth be removed, and though the mountains be car- 
ried into the midst of the sea ; though the Avaters thereof 
roar, and be troubled ; though the mountains shake with the 
swelling thereof." 

Thus I have *aken notice of some general things wherein 
this last period of the Old Testament times was distinguished. 
I come now to consider how the work of redemption was car- 
ried on in particulars.. ..And, 

I. The first thing that here offers is the captivity of the 
Jews into Babylon. This was a great dispensation of Provi- 
dence, and such as never Avas before. The children of Israel 
'in the time of the judges, had often been brought under their 
enemies ; and many particular persons were carried captive 
at other times. But never had there been any such thing as 
destroying the whole land, the sanctuary, and the city of Jeru- 
salem, and all the cities and villages of the land, and carryinr^ 

\if) WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t, 

the whole body of the people out of their own land into a coun- 
try many hundred miles distant, and leaving the land of Ca- 
naan empty of God's visible people. The ark had once for- 
fi-'ken the tabernacle of Shiloh, and was carried captive into 
the land of the Philistines : But never had there been any 
such thing as burning the sangtuary, and utterly destroy- 
ing the ark, and carrying away all the sacred vessels and 
utensils, and breaking up all their stated worship in the land, 
and the land's lying waste and empty for so many years to- 
gether. How lively are these things set forth in the Lamen- 
tations of Jeremiah ! 

The work of redemption was promoted by this remarkable 
dispensation in these following ways. 

1. It finally cured that nation of their !tch after idolatry. 
The Prophet Isaiah, speaking of the setting up of the king- 
dom of Christ, chap, ii. 18, speaks of the abolishing of idolatry 
as one thing that should be done to this end : " And the idols 
he shall utterly abolish." When the time was drawing near, 
that God would abolish Heathen idolatry, through the great- 
er part of the knov/n world, as he did by the preaching of the 
gospel after Christ came, it pleased him first to abolish Heath- 
enism among his own people ; and he did it now by their 
captivity into Babylon ; a presage of that abolishing of idols, 
that God Avas about to bring to pass by Christ through so 
great a part of the Heathen world. 

This nation that was addicted to idolatry before for so 
inany ages, and that nothing would cure them of, not all the 
reproofs, and warnings, and corrections, that they had, and all 
the judgments God inflicted on them for it ; yet now were 
finally cured ; so that however some ilnight fall into this sin 
afterwards, as they did about the time of Antiochus's perse- 
cution, yet the nation, as a nation, never shewed any hanker- 
ing after this sin any more. This was a remarkable and 
wonderful change in that people, and what directly promoted 
the work of redemption, us it was a great advancement of the 
interest of religion. 

2. It was one thing that prepared the way for Christ's 
coming, and setting up the glorious dispensation of the gos- 


pel, as it took away many of those things wherein consisted 
the glory of the Jewish dispensation. In order to introduce 
the glorious dispensation of the gospel, the external glory of 
the Jewish church must be diminished, as we observed be- 
fore. This the Babylonish captivity did many ways j it 
brought the people very low. 

First, It removed the temporal diadem of the house of 
David away from them, i. e. the supreme and independent 
government of themselves. It took away the crown and dia- 
dem from the nation. The time now approaching when 
Christ, the great and everlasting king of his church, was to 
reign, it was time for the typical kings to withdraw. As God 
Said by Ezekiel, chap. xxi. 26. " He removed the crown and 
diadem, that it might be no more, till he should come, whose 
right it was." The Jews henceforward were always depend- 
ent on the governing power of other nations, until Christ 
came, for near six hundred years, excepting about ninety 
years, during which space they maintained a sort of independ- 
ence, by continual wars, under tlie dominion of the Macca- 
bees and their posterity. 

Again, by the captivity, the glory and magnificence of 
the temple was taken away, and the temple that was built 
afterwards, was nothing in comparison with it. Thus it was 
meet, when the time drew nigh tliat the glorious antitype of 
the temple should appear, that the typical temple should have 
its glory withdrawn. 

Again, another thing that they lost by the captivity, was the 
two tables of the testimony delivered to Moses, written with 
the finger of God ; the two tables on which God with his own 
finger wrote the ten commandments on Mount Sinai. These 
seem to have been preserved in the ark till the captivity. 
These Avere in the ark when Solomon placed the ark in the 
temple, 1 Kings viii. 9. There was nothing in the ark, save 
the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horcb. And 
we have no reason to suppose any other, but that they remain- 
ed there as long as that temple stood. But the Jews speak of 
these as finally lost at that tinve ; though the same command- 

142 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period I,. 

TOcnts were preserved in the book of the la\y. These tables 
also were ^vithdrawn on the approach of their antitype. 

Again, another thing that \vas lost that the Jews had before, 
V'as the Urim and Thummim. This is evident by Ezra, ii, 
63. " And the Tirshatha said \into them, that the)' should not 
eat of the most holy things, till there should stand up a priest 
with Urim and Thummim." And we have no account that 
this was ever restored ; but the ancient writings of the Je%ys 
say the contrary. What this Urim and Thummim was, J 
Ehall not now inquire ; but only observe, that it was something 
by which the high priest inquired of God, and received im-- 
mediate answers from him, or by which God gav.e forth im- 
mediate oracles on particular occasions. This was now with- 
drawn, the time approaching, when Christ, the antitype of thp 
Urim and Thummim, the great word and oracle of God, was 
to come. 

Another thing that the ancient Jews say was wanting in the 
second temple, was the Shechinah, or cloud of glory over the 
mercy seat. This v/as promised to be in the tabernacle : 
Levit. xvi. 2. " For I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy 
seat." Aj^d we read elsewhere of the cloud of glory descend- 
ing into the tabernacle, Exod. xl. 35 ; and so we do likewise 
Avith respect to Solomon's temple. Jlut we have no account 
that this cloud of glory was in the second temple. And the 
ancient accounts of the Jews say, that there was no such thing 
in the second temple. This was needless in the second temple, 
considering that God had promised that he would fill this 
temple with glory another way,-viz. by Christ's coming into 
it ; which was afterwards fulfillfed. See Haggai, ii. 7. " I 
v.ill shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, 
and I will fdl this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." 

Another thing, that the Jews in their ancient writings men- 
tion as being now withdrawn, was the fire from heaven on the 
altar. When Moses built the tabernacle and altar in the wil- 
derness, and the first sacrifices were offered on it, fire came 
down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering, as in 
Levit. ix. 24 ; and so again, when Solomon built the temple, 
and offered the first sacrifices, as yeu may see in2Chron. vii. 1. 


And this fire was never to go out, but with thie greatest 
care to be kept alive, as God commanded, Levit. vi. 13. « The' 
fire shall ever be burning upon the altar : It shall never go 
out." And there is no reason to suppose the fire in Solomon*^* 
time ever went out till the temple was destroyed by the Baby- 
lonians. But then it was exthiguished, and nevel' was re- 
stored. We have no account of its being given on the build-^ 
ing of the second temple, as we have at the building of the 
tabernacle and first temple. But the Jews, after their return, 
were forced to make use of their common fire instead of it, 
according to the ancient tradition of the Jews. Thus the 
lights of the Old Testament go out, on the approach of the 
glorious Sun of righteousness. 

o. The captivity into Babylon was the occasion of another 
thing which did aftei^/ards much promote the setting up of 
Christ's kingdom in the world, and that was the dispersion of 
the Jews through the greater part of the kpown world, before 
the coming of Christ. For the whole nation being carried 
away far out of their own land, and continuing in a state of 
captivity for so long a time, they got them possessions, and 
built them houses, and settled themselves in the land of their 
captivity, agreeably to the direction that Jeremiah gave them^ 
in the letter he wrote to them in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah. 
And therefore, when Cyrus gave them liberty to return to the 
land where they had formerly dwelt, many of them never re- 
turned ; they were not Avilling to leave their settlements and 
possessions there, to go into a desolate country, many hundred 
miles distant, which none but the old men among them had 
ever seen ; and therefore they vvcre but fevv", but a small num- 
ber that returned, as we see in the accounts we have in the 
books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Great numbers tarried behind, 
though they still retained the sam.e religion with those that 
returned, so far as it could be practised in a foreign land. 
Those messengers that we read of in the 7th chapter of Zech- 
ariah, that came to inquire of the priests and prophets in 
Jerusalem, Sherezer and Regemmelech, are supposed to be 
messengers sent from the Jews that remained still in Babylon, 


Those Jews that remained still in that covmtry were soon, 
by the great changes that happened in the Avorld, dispersed 
ihence into all the adjacent countries. And hence we find, 
that in Esther's time, Avhich was after the return from the 
captivity, the Jews were a people that were dispersed through- 
out all parts of the vast Persian empire, that extended from 
India to Ethiopia ; as you may see, Esth. iii. 8. " And Ha- 
inan said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people 
scattered abroad, and dispersed among the people in all the 
provmces of thy kingdom," 8cc. And so the y continued 
dispersed till Christ came, and till the apostles Avent forth to 
preach the gospel. But yet these dispersed Jews retained 
their religion in this dispersion. Their captivity, as I said 
before, thoroughly cured them of their idolatry ; and it was 
their manner, for as many of them as could from time to timC) 
to go up to the land of Judea to Jerusalem at their great feasts. 
Hence we read in the 2d chapter of Acts, that at the time of 
the great feast of Pentecost, there were Jews abiding at Jeru- 
salem out of every nation under heaven. — These Avere Jews 
come up from all countries where they were dispersed, to 
worship at that feast. And hence we find, in the history of 
the Acts of the Apostles, that wherever the apostles went 
preaching through the world, they found Jews. They came 
to such a city, and to such a city, and went into the synagogue 
of the Jews. 

Antiochus the Great, about tv/o hundred years before 
Christ, on a certain occasion, transplanted two thousand fam- 
ilies of Jews from the country about Babylon into Asia the 
Less ; and so they and their posterity, many of them, settled 
in Pontus, Galatia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, and in Ephcsus ; and 
from thence settled in Athens, and Corinth, and Rome. 
Whence came those synagogues in those places that the 
Apostle Paul preached in. 

Now, this dispersion of the Jews through the world be- 
fore Christ came, did many ways prepare the way for his 
coming, and setting up his kingdom in the world. 

One was, that this was a means of raising a general exr 
pectation of the Messiah through the world about the time 


that he actually came. For the Jews, wherever they wero 
dispersed, carried the holy scriptures with them, and so the 
prophecies of the Messiah ; and being conversant with the 
nations among whom they lived, they, by that means, became 
acquainted with these prophecies, and with the expectations 
of the Jews of their glorious Messiah ; and by this means, 
the birth of such a glorious person in Judea about that time 
began to be the general expectation of the nations of the 
world, as appears by the writings of the learned men oi the , 
Heathen that lived about that time, which are still extant ; 
particularly Virgil, the famous poet that lived in Italy a 
little before Christ was born, has a poem about the ex- 
pectation of a great prince that was to be born, and the 
happy times of righteousness and peace that he was to intro- 
duce ; some of it very much in the language of the prophet 

Another way that this dispersed state of the Jews prepar- 
ed the way for Christ, was, that it shewed the necessity of 
abolishing the Jewish dispensation, and introducing a new 
dispensation of the covenant of grace. It shoAved the neces- 
sity of abolishing the ceremonial law, and the old Jewish 
worship ; for, by this means, the observance of that ceremo- 
nial law became impracticable even by the Jews themselves ; 
for the ceremonial law was adapted to the state j)f a people 
dwelling together in the same land, where was the city l;hat 
God had chosen ; where was the temple, the only place where 
they might offer sacrifices ; and where it was lawful for their 
priests and Levites to officiate, where they were to bring their 
first fruits, and where were their cities of refuge and the like. 
Bvit the Jews, by this dispersion, lived, many of them, in oth- 
er lands, more than a thousand miles distant, when Christ 
came ; which made the observation of their laws of sacrifices, 
and the like, impracticable. And though their forefathers 
might be to blame in not going up to the land of Judea when 
they were permitted by Cyrus, yet the case was now, as to 
many of them at least, become impracticable ; which shew-" 
jed the necessity of introducing a new dispensation, that should 
Vol. II. T 

146 Work of redemption, [period i. 

be fitted, not only to one particular land, but to the general 
circumstances and use of all nations of the world. 

Again, another way that this dispersion of the Jews through 
the world prepared the way for the setting up of the kingdom 
of Christ in the world, was, that it contributed to the maldng, 
the facts concerning Jesus Christ publicly known through the 
world. For, as I observ'ed before, the Jews that lived in 
other countries, used frequently to go up to Jei-usalem at 
their three great feasts, which were from year to year ; and so, 
by this means, they could not but become acquainted with the 
news of the wonderful things that Christ did in that land. We 
find that they were present at, and took great notice of that 
great miracle of raising Lazarus, which excited the curiosity 
of those foreign Jews, that came up to the feast of the Passo- 
ver, to see Jesus ; as you may see in John xii. 19, 20, 21. 
These Greeks were foreign Jews and proselytes, as is evi- 
dent by their coming to worship at the feast of the Passover. 
The Jews that lived abroad among the Greeks, and spoke 
their language, were called Greeks, or Hellenists ; so they 
are called Gretians, Acts vi. 1 . These Grecians here spoken 
of were not Gentile Christians ; for this was before the call- 
ing of the Gentiles. 

By the same means, the Jews that went up from other 
countries became acquainted with Christ's crucifixion. Thus 
the disciples, going to Emmaus, say to Christ, when they did 
not know him, Luke xxiv. 18. " Art thou only a stranger in 
Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which have come 
to pass there in these days ?" Plainly intimating, that the 
things concerning Jesus were so publicly known to all men, 
that it was wonderful to find any man unacquainted with 
them. And so afterwards they became acquainted with the 
news of his resurrection ; and when they went home again 
into tlieir own countries, they carried the news with them, 
and so made these facts public through the world, as they 
had made the prophecies of them public before. 

After this, those foreign Jews that came to Jerusalem, took 
great notice of the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, 
and the wonderful effects of it ; and many of them were con- 


verted by it, viz. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and the dwell- 
ers in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, and the parts of Lybia 
about Cyvene, and the strangers of Rome, Jews and prose- 
lytes, Cretes and Arabians. And so they did not only carry 
back the news of the facts of Christianity, but Christianity it- 
self, into their own countries with them ; which contributed 
much to the spreading of it through the world. 

Again, another way that the dispersion of the Jews con- 
tributed to the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the 
world was, that it opened a door for the introduction of the 
Apostles, in all places where they came to preach the gospel. 
For almost in all places where they came to preach the gos- 
pel, they found Jews, and synagogues of the Jews, where the 
holy scriptures were wont to be read, and the true God wor- 
shipped ; which was a great advantage to the apostles in their 
spreading the gospel through the world. For their way was, 
into whatever city they came, first to go intp the synagogue 
of the Jews, (they being people of the same nation) and there 
to preach the gospel unto them. And hereby their coming, 
and their new doctrine, was taken notice of by their Gentile 
neighbors, whose curiosity excited them to hear what they 
had to say ; which became a fair occasion to the apostles to 
preach the gospel to them. It appears that it was tlius, by the 
accoimt we have of things in the Acts of the Apostles. And 
these Gentiles having been before, many of them, prepared in 
some irteasure, by the knowledge they had of the Jews relig- 
ion, and of their worship of one God, and of their prophecies, 
and expectation of a Messiah ; which knowledge they derived 
from the Jews, who had long been their neighbors ; this open- 
ed the door for the gospel to have access to them. And the 
work of the apostles with them was doubtless much easier than 
if they never had heard any thing before of any expectation 
of such a person as the apostles preached, or any thing about 
the worship of one only true God. 

So many ways did the Babylonish captivity greatly prepare 
the way for Christ's coming. 

II. The next particular that I would take notice of is, the 
addition made to the canon of scripture in the time of th^ 


captivity, in those iyi>o remarkable portions of scripture, the 
prophecies of Ezekiel and Danieh Christ appeared to each 
of these prophets in the form of that nature which he was af- 
terwards to take upon him. The prophet Ezckiel gives an 
account of his thus appearmg to him repeatedly, as Ezek. i. 
26. " And above the firmament that was over their heads, was 
the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, 
and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the 
appearance of a man above upon it;" and so chap. viii. 1, 2. 
So Christ appeared to the Prophet Daniel : Dan. viii. 15, 16. 
"■ There stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I 
heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, 
and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." 
There arc several things that make it evident, that this was 
Christ, that I cannot now stand to mention particularly. So 
Christ appeared again ^s a man to this prophet, chap. x. 5, 
6. « Then I lift up mine eyes and looked, and behold, a cer- 
tain man clothed in linen, whose loins Avere girded with fine 
gold of Uphaz ; his body also was like the beryl, and his face 
as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, 
and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and 
the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude." Com- 
paring this vision with that of the Apostle John in the 1st 
chapter of Revelation, makes it manifest that it was Christ. 
And the ptophet Daniel, in the historical part of his book, 
gives an account of a very remarkable appearance of Christ 
in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, with Shadrach, Meshach, and 
Abednego. We have the account of it in the 3d chapter. In 
the 25th verse, Christ is said to be like the Son of God ; and 
it is manifest that he appeared in the form of man : « Lo I 
see four ineji loose. ....and the form of the fourth is like the 
Son of God." 

Christ did not only here appear in the form of the human 
nature, but he appeared in a furnace, saving those persons 
who believed on him from that furnace ; by which is repre- 
sented to us, how Christ, by coming himself into the furnace 
©f God's wrath, 3aves those that believe in him from that fur-« 
mice, so that it has no power on them ; and the wrath of Gcd 


never reaches or touches them, so much as to singe the half 
of their head. 

These two prophets, in many respects, were more particular 
concerning the coming of Christ, and his glorious gospel 
kingdom, than any of the prophets had been before. They 
both of them mention those three great overturnings of the 
world that should be before he came. Ezekiel is particular 
in several places concerning the coming of Christ. The 
prophet Daniel is more particular in foretelling the time of 
the coming of Christ than ever any prophet had been before, 
in the 9th chapter of his prophecy ; who foretold, that it 
should be seventy weeks, i. e. seventy weeks of years, or sev- 
enty times seven years, or four hundred and ninety years, 
from the decree to rebuild and restore the state of the Jews, 
till the Messiah should be crucified ; which must be reckon- 
ed from the commission given to Ezra by Artaxerxes, that 
we have an account of in the 7th chapter of Ezra ; whereby 
the very particular time of Christ's crucifixion was pointed 
out, which never had been before. 

The prophet Ezekiel is very particular in the mystical de- 
scription of the gospel church, in his account of his vision of 
the temple and city, in the latter part of his prophecy. The 
prophet Daniel points out the order of particular events that 
should come to pass relating to the Christian church after 
Christ was come, as the rise of Antichrist, and the continu- 
{ince of his reign, and his fall, and the glory that should fol- 

Thus does gospel light still increase, the nearer we come 
to the time of Chi'ist's birth. 

III. The next particular I would mention is, the destruc- 
tion of Babylon, and the overthrow of the Chaldean empire 
by Cyrus. The destruction of Babylon was in that night in 
which Belshazzar the king, and the city in general, were 
droAvned in a drunken festival, which they kept to their gods, 
when Daniel was called to read the hand writing on the wall, 
Dan. V. 30 ; and it was brought about in such a manner, as 
wonderfully to ohow the hand of God, and remarkably to ful- 
fil his word by his prophets, which I cannot now stand partio- 


irkrly to relate. Now that great city, which had long been an 
enemy to the city of God, his Jerusalem, was destroyed, after 
it had stood ever since the first building of Babel, which was 
about seventeen hundred years. If the check that was put to 
the building of this city at its beginning, whereby they were 
prevented from carrying of it to that extent and magnificence 
tliat they intended ; I say, if this promoted the work of re- 
demption, as I have before shown it did, much more did this 
destruction of it. 

It was a remarkable instance of God's vengeance on the 
enemies of his redeemed church ; for God brought this des- 
truction on Babylon for the injuries they did to God's child- 
ren, as is often set forth in the prophets. It also promoted 
the work of redemption, as thereby God's people, that, were 
field captive by thera, were set at liberty to return to their own 
land to rebuild Jerusalem ; and therefore Cyrus, who did it, 
is called God's shepherd therein, Isa. xliv. latter end ; and xlv. 
1. And these are over and above those ways wherein the set- 
ting up and overthrowing the four monarchies of the world 
did promote the work of redemption, which have been before 

IV. What next follov/ed this was, the return of the Jews to 
tlieir own land, and rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple. 
Cyrus, as soon as he had destroyed the Babylonish empire, 
and had erected the Persian empire on its ruins, made a de- 
cree in favor of the Jews, that they might return to their o^vn 
land, and rebuild their city and temple. This return of the 
Jews out of tiie Babylonish captivity is, next to the redemp- 
tion oxit of Egypt, the most remarkable of all the Old Testa- 
ment redemptions, and most insisted on in scripture, as a type 
of the great redemption of Jesus Christ. It was under the 
hand of one of the legal ancestors of Christ, viz. Zerubbabcl, 
the son of Shealtiel, whose Babylonish name Avas Sheshbazzar. 
He was the governor of the Jews, and their leader in their 
first return out of captivity ; and, together with Joshua the 
son of Jozedck the high priest, had the chief hand in rebuild- 
ing the temple. This redemption was brought about by the 
band of Zcrubbabel and Joshua the priest, as the redemption 


out of Egypt was brought about by the hand of Moses and 

The return out of the captivity was a remarkable dispensa- 
tion of Providence. It vias remarkable, that the heart of a 
Heathen prince, as Cyrus was, should be so inclined to favor 
such a design as he did, not only in giving the people liberty 
to return, and rebuild the city and temple, but in giving 
charge that they should be helped with silver and gold, and 
with goods, and with beasts, as we read in Ezra, i. 4. Andaf- 
terAvards God wonderfully inclined the heart of Darius to fur- 
ther the bmlding of the house of God with his own tribute 
money, and by commanding their bitter enemies, the Samari- 
tans, who had been * striving to hinder them, to help them 
without fail, by funiishing them with all that they needed in 
order to it, and to supply them day by day ; making a decree, 
that whosoever failed of it, timber should be pulled down out 
of his house, and he hanged thereon, and his house made a 
dunghill ; as we have an account in the 6th chapter of Ezra. 
And after this God inclined the heart of Artaxerxes, another 
king of Persia, to promote the work of preserving the state of 
the Jews, by his ample commission to Ezra, which we have 
an account of in the 7th chapter of Ezra ; helping them abund- 
antly with silver and gold of his own bounty, and offering 
more, as should be needful, out of the King's treasurehouse, 
and commanding his treasurers beyond the river Euphrates 
to give more, as should be needed, unto an hundred talents of 
silver, and an hundred measures of wheat, an hundred baths 
of wine, and an hundi'ed baths of oil, and salt, without pi'e- 
scribing how much ; and giving leave to establish magis- 
trates in the land ; and freeing the priests of loll, tribute, and 
custom, and other things, which render this decree and com- 
mission by Artaxerxes the most full and ample in the Jews 
favor of any that, at any time, had been given for the restor- 
ing of Jerusalem : And therefore, in Daniel's prophecy, this 
is called the decree for restoring and building Jerusalem ; and 
hence the seventy weeks are dated. 

And then, after this, another favorable commission was 
granted by the king of Persia to Nehemiah, which we have 
an account of in the 2d chapter of Nehemiah, 


It was remarkable, that the hearts of heathen princes 
should be so inclined. It was the effect of his power, who 
hath the hearts of kings in his hands, and turneth them 
whithersoever he will ; and it was a remarkable instance of 
his favor to his people. 

Another remarkable circumstance of this restitution of the 
state of the Jews to their own land, was, that it was accom- 
plished against so much opposition of their bitter indefatigable 
enemies the Samaritans, who, for a long time together, with 
all the malice and craft they could exercise, opposed the Jews 
in this affair, and sought their destruction ; one while by Bish« 
lam, Mithridath, Tabeel, Rehum, and Shimshai, as in Ezra ivi 
and then by Tatnai, Shetharboznai, and tlieir companions, as 
in chap. v. and afterwards by Sanballat and Tobiah, as we read 
in the book of Nehemiah. 

We have shewed before how the Settlement of the peoplo 
in this land in Joshua's time promoted the work of redemp- 
tion. On tlie same accounts does their restitution belong to 
the same work. The resettlement of the Jews in the land of 
Canaan belongs to this work, as it was a necessary means of 
preserving the Jewish church and dispensation in being, till 
Christ should come. If it had not been for this restoration of 
the Jewish church, and temple, and worship, the people had 
remained without any temple, and land of their own, that 
should be as it were their head quarters, a place of worship, 
habitation, and resort ; the whole constitution, which God 
had done so much to establish, would have been in danger of 
utterly failing, long before that six hundred had been out, 
which was from about the time of the captivity till Christ. 
And so all that preparation which God had been making for 
the coming of Christ, from the time of Abraham, would have 
been in vain. Now that very temple was built that God 
v/ould fill with glory by Christ's coming into it, as the Proph- 
ets Haggai and Zechariah told the Jews, to encourage them 
in building it. 

V. The next particular I would observe, is the addition 
made to the canon of the scriptures soon after the captivitv by 
^he Prophets Haggui snd Zechariah, who were prophets sent 


to ehcourage the people in their work of rebuilding the city 
and temple ; and the main argument they make use of to that 
end, is the approach of the time of the coming of Christ, 
Haggai foretold that Christ should be of Zerubbabel's legal 
posterity ; last chapter, last verse. This seems to be the last 
and most particular revelation of the descent of Christ, till the 
angel Gabriel was sent to reveal it to his mother Mary. 

VI. The next thing I would take notice of, was the pouring 
out of the Spirit of God that acconnpanied the ministry of 
Ezra the priest after the captivity. That there was such a 
pouring out of the Spirit of God that accompanied Ezra's min- 
istry, is manifest by many things in the books of Ezra and 
Nehemiah. ^Presently after Ezra came up from Babylon, 
with the ample commission which Artaxerxes gave him, 
whence Daniel's seventy weeks began, he set himself to re- 
form the vices and corruptions he found amOng the Jews ; 
and his great success in it we have an account of in the lOtk 
chapter of Ezra ; so that there appeared a very general and 
great mourning of the congregation of Israel for their sins, 
which was accompanied with a solemn covenant that the peo- 
ple entered into with God ; and this was followed with a 
great and general reformation, as we have there an account. 
And the people about the same time, with great zeal, and 
earnestness, and reverence, gathered themselves together to 
hear the word of God read by Ezra ; and gave diligent atten- 
tion, while Ezra and the other priests preached to them, by 
reading and expounding the law, and were greatly affected in 
the hearing of it. They wept when they heard the words of 
the law, and set themselves to obsers'e the law, and kept the 
feast of tabernacles, as the scripture observes, after such a 
manner as it had not been kept since the days of Joshua the 
son of Nun ; as we have an account in the 8th chapter of Ne- 
hemiah. And after this, having separated themselves from all 
strangers, they solemnly observed a fast, by hearing the word 
of God, confessing their sins, and renewing their covenant 
with God ; and manifested their sincerity in that transactic^ 
by actually reforming many abuses in religion and morals 5 
^s we learn from the 9th and following chapters of Neheraifth, 
Vol. XL IT 


It is observable, that it has been God's manner in every re- 
markable new establishment of the state of his visible church, 
to give a remarkable outpouring of his spirit. So it was on 
the first establishment of the church of the Jews at their first 
coming into Canaan under Joshua, as has been observed ; and 
so it was now in this second settlement of the church in the 
came land in the time of Ezra ; and so it was on the first es- 
tablishment of the Christian church after Christ's resurrec- 
tion ; God wisely and graciously laying the foundation of 
those establishments in a work of his holy Spirit, for the last- 
ing benefit of the state of his church, thenceforward contimi- 
ed in those establishments. And this pouring out of the 
Spirit of God, was, a final cure of that nation of that particular 
sin which just before they especially run into, viz. intermar- 
rying with the Gentiles : For however inclined to it they were 
before, they ever after shewed an aversion to it. 

VII. Ezra added to the canon of the scriptures. He wrote 
the book of Ezra ; and he is supposed to kave written the two 
books of Chronicles, at least to have compiled them, if he was 
not the author of the materials, or all the parts of these writ- 
ings. That these books were written, or compiled and com- 
pleted, after the captivity, the things contained in the books 
themselves make manifest ; for the genealogies contained 
therein, arc brought down below the captivity ; as 1 Chron. 
iii. 17. See. We have there an account of the posterity of 
Jehoiachin for several successive generations. And there is 
mention in these books of this captivity into Babylon, as of a 
thing past, and of things that were done on the return of the 
Jews after the captivity ; as you may see in tiie 9th chapter. 
The chapter is mostly filled up with an account of things that 
came to pass after the captivity into Babylon, as you may see 
by comparing it with what is said in the books of Ezra and 
Nehemiah. And that Ezra was the person that compiled 
these books, is probable by this, because they conclude with 
words that we know are the words of Ezra's history. The 
two last verses are Ezra's words in the history he gives in the 
two first verses of the book of Ezra. 


VIII. Ezra is supposed to have collected all the books of 
which the holy scriptures did then consist, and to have dispos- 
ed them in their proper order. Ezra is often spoken of as a 
noted and eminent scribe of the law of God, and the canon of 
scripture in his time was manifestly under his special care ; 
and the Jews, from the first accounts we have from them, have 
always held, tliat the canon of scripture, so much of it as was 
then extant, was collected, and orderly disposed and settled by 
Ezra ; and from him they have delivered it down in the or- 
der in which he disposed it, till Christ's time ; when th« 
Christian church received it from them, an4 have delivered 
it down to our times. The truth of this is allowed as undoubt- 
ed by divines in general. 

IX. The work of redemption was carried on and promoted 
in this period, by greatly multiplying the copies of the law, 
and appointing the constant public reading of th-em in all the 
cities of Israel in their synagogues. It is evident, that before 
the captivity, there were but few copies of the law. There 
was the original, laid up beside the ark ; and the kings were 
required to write out a copy of the law for their use, and the 
law was required to be read to the whole congregation of Is- 
rael once every seventh year. And we have no account of 
any other stated public reading of the law before the captivity 
but this. And it is manifest by several things that might be 
mentioned, that copies of the law were exceeding rare before 
the captivity. But after the captivity, the constant reading of 
the law was set up in every synagogue throughout the land. 
First, they began with reading the law, and then they pro- 
ceeded to establish the oonfitant reading of the other books of 
the Old Testament. And lessons were read out of the Old 
Testament, as made up of both the law Jind the other parts of 
the scripture then extant, in all the synagogues, which were 
set up in every city, and every where, wherever the Jews in 
any considerable number dw«lt, as our meeting houses arc. 
Thus we find it was in Christ's and the apostles' time. Acts 
XV. 2 1 , « Moses of old time hath in every city them that 
preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.'* 
Tiusxustom is universally supposed, both by Jews and Christ* 


lans, to be begun by Ezra. There were doubtless public as-' 
semblies before the captivity into Babylon. They used to 
assemble at the temple at their great feasts, and were directed 
■when they were at a loss about any thing in the law, to go to 
the priest for instruction : And they used also to resort to the 
prophets' houses : And we read of synagogues in the land 
before, Psal. Ixs5v. 8. But it is not supposed that they had 
fcopies of the law for constant public reading and expounding 
through the land before, as afterwards. This was one great 
means of their being preserved from idolatry. 

X. The next thing I would mention, is God's remarkably 
preserving the church and nation of the Jews, when they were 
in imminent danger of being universally destroyed by Haman* 
We have the story in the book of Esther, with which you are 
acquainted. This series of providences was very wonderful 
in preventing this destruction. Esther was doubtless born 
for this end, to be the instmment of this remarkable preserva- 

XI. After this the canon of scripture was further added to 
in the books of Nehemiah and Esther ; the one by Nehemiah 
himself ; and whether the other Avas written by Nehemiah, or 
Mordecai, or Malachi, is not of importance for us to know, so 
long as it is one of those books that were always admitted and 
received as a part of their canon by the Jews, and Avas among 
those books that the Jews called their scriptures in Chi'ist's 
time, and as such was approved by him. For Christ does 
often in his speeches to the Jews, manifestly approve and con- 
firm those books, which amongst them went by the name of 
the scriptures, as might easily be shown, if there were time 
for it. 

XII. After this the canon of the Old Testament was com- 
pleted and sealed by Malachi. The manner of Ms concluding 
his prophecy seems to imply, that they were to expect no 
more prophecies, and no more written revelations from God, 
till Christ should come. For in the last chapter he prophe- 
sies of Christ's coming ; ver. 2, 3. « But unto you that fear 
my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in 
his wings ; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the 

Part VI.] WORK OF Rl^DEMPTlON. 157 

stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked ; for they shall be 
as ashes under the soles of your feet, m the day that I shall do 
this, saith the Lord of hosts." Then we read in ver. 4. " Re- 
member ye the law of Moses my servant, which I command- 
ed unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and 
judgments," i. e. Remember and improve what ye have ; 
keep close to that written rule you have, as expecting no 
more additions to it, till the night of the Old Testament is 
over, and the Sun of Righteousness shall at length arise. 

XIII. Soon after this, the spirit of prophecy ceased among 
that people till the time of the New Testament. Thus the 
Old Testament light, the stars of the long night, began apace 
to hide their heads, the time of the Sun of Righteousness now 
drawing nigh. We before observed, how the kings of the 
house of David ceased before the true king and head of the 
church came ; and how the cloud of glory withdrew, before 
Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, appeared ; and so 
as to several other things. And now at last the spirit of 
prophecy ceased. The time of the great Prophet of God was 
now so nigh, it was time for their typical prophets to be silent. 

We have now gone through with the time that we have 
any historical account of in the writings of the Old Testament, 
and the last thing that was ir.entioned, by which the work of 
redemption was promoted, was the ceasing of tlie spirit of 

I now proceed to show how the work of redempticn was 
carried on through the remaining times that were before 
Christ : In which we have not that thread of scripture history 
to guide us that we have had hitherto : But have these three 
things to guide us, viz. the prophecies of the Old Testament, 
human histories of those times, and some occasional mention 
made, and some evidence given, of some things which hap- 
pened in those times, in the Nev/ Testament. Therefore, 

XIV. The next particular that I shall mention under this 
period, is the destruction of the Persian empire, and setting 
up of the Grecian empire by Alexander. I'his came to pass 
about sixty or seventy years after the times wherein th<i 


Prophet Malachi is supposed to have prophesied, and about 
three hundred and thirty years before Christ. This was the 
third overturning of the world that came to pass in this pe- 
riod, and was greater and more remarkable than either of the 
foregoing. It was very remarkable on account of the sudden- 
ness of that conquest of the world which Alexander made, and 
the greatness of the empire which he set up, which much ex- 
ceeded all the foregoing in its extent. 

This event is much spoken of in the prophecies of Daniel. 
This empire is represented by the third kingdom of brass, in 
Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as in Daa. 
ii ; and in Daniel's vision of the four beasts, is represented by 
the third beast that was like a leopard, that had on his back 
four wings of a fowl, to represent the swiftness of its conquest, 
• chap, vii ; and is more particularly represented by the ho 
goat in the 8th chapter, that came from the west on the face 
of the whole earth, and touched not the ground, to represent 
how swiftly Alexander overran the world. The angel himself 
does expressly interpret this he goat to signify the king of 
Grecia, ver. 21. The rough goat is the king of Grecia ; and 
the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king, i. e. 
Alexander himself. 

After Alexander had conquered the world, he soon died ; 
and his dominion did not descend to his posterity, but four of 
his principal captains divided his empire betAveen them, as it 
there follows. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up 
for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not 
in his power ; so you may see in the 1 Uh chapter of Daniel. 
The angel, after foretelling of the Persian empii«, then pro- 
ceeds to foretel of Alexander, ver. 3. " And a mighty king 
shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do ac- 
cording to his will." And then he foretels, in the 4th verse, 
of the dividing of his kingdom between his four captains : 
" And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, 
and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven ; and not 
to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he 
ruled : For his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others 
besides those." Two of these four captains, whose kingdoms 


■were next to Judea, the one had Egypt and the neighboring 
countries on the south of Judea, and the other had Syria and 
the neighboring countries north of Judea ; and these two are 
those that are called the kings of the north and of the south in 
the 1 1th chapter of Daniel, 

Now, this setting up of the Grecian empire did greatly 
prepare the way for Christ's coming, and setting up his king- 
dom in the world. Besides those ways common to the other 
overturnings of the world in this period, that have been al- 
ready mentioned, there is one peculiar to this revolution 
which I would take notice of, which did remarkably promote 
the work of redemption ; and that was, that it made the Greek 
language common in the world. To have one common lan- 
guage understood and used through the greater part of the 
world, was a thing that did greatly prepare the way for the 
setting up of Christ's kingdom. This gave advantage for 
spreading the gospel from one nation to another, and so 
through all nations, with vastly greater ease, than if every na- 
tion had a distinct language, and did not understand each oth- 
er. For though some of the first preachers of the gospel had 
the gift of languages, so that they could preach in any lan- 
guage ; yet all had not this particular gift ; and they that had, 
could not exercise it when they would, but only at special sea- 
sons, when the Spirit of God was pleased to inspire them in 
this way. And the church in different parts of the world, as 
the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, and 
©thers, which were in countries distant one from another, 
could not have had that communication one with another, 
•which we have an account of in the book of Acts^ if they had 
had no common language. So it was before the Grecian em- 
pire was set up. But after this, many in all these countries 
well understood the same language, viz. the Greek language ; 
which wonderfully opened the door for mutual communica- 
tion between those churches, so far separated one from anoth- 
er. And again, the making the Greek language common 
through so great a part of the world, did wonderfully make 
way for the setting up of the kingdom of Christ, beca^use it 
was the language in which the New Testament was to bs 


originally written. The apostles propagated the gospel 
through many scores of nations ; and if they could not have 
imderstood the Bible any otherwise than as it was translated 
3nto so many languages, it would have rendered the spread- 
ing of the gospel vastly rnorc difficult. But by the Greek 
JIangnage being made common to all, they all understood the 
New Testament of Jesus Christ in the language in which the 
apostles and evangelists originally wrote it : So that as soon as 
ever it was written by its original penmen, it immediately lay 
open to the world in a language that was commonly under- 
stood every where, as there Was no language that was so com- 
monly understood in the world in Christ's and the apostles' 
times as the Greek ; the cause of which was the setting up of 
tiic Grecian empire in the v/orld. 

XV. The next thing I shall take notice of is, the translate 
ing of the scriptures of the Old Testament into a language that 
was commonly understood l)y the Gentiles. The translation 
that I here speak of is that into the Greek language, that is 
comm.only called the Septuagint, or the translation of the 
Seventy. This is supposed to have been made about fifty or 
sixty years after Alexander's conquering the world. This is 
the first translation that ever was made of the scriptures that 
we have any credible account of. The canon of the Old Tes- 
tament had been completed by the prophet Malachi but about 
an hundred and twenty years before, in its original ; and hith- 
erto the scriptures had remained locked up from all other na- 
tions but the Jews, in the Hebrew tongue, which was under- 
stood by no other nation. But now it was translated into the 
Greek language, which, as we observed before, was a Ian? 
guage that was commonly undei'Stood by the nations of th^ 

This translation of the Old Testament is still extant, and is 
commonly in the hands of learned men in these days, and is 
made great use of by them. The Jews have many fables 
about the occasion and manner of this translation ; but the 
truth of the case is supposed to be this, that multitudes of the 
Jews living in other parts of the world besides Judea, and be- 
ing bcrn and bred among the Greeks, the Greek became their 


common language, and they did not understand the original 
Hebrew ; and therefore they procured the scriptures to he 
translated for their use into the Greek language ; and so 
henceforward the Jews, in all countries, except Judea, 
were wont in their synagogues to make use of this translation 
instead of the Hebrew. 

This translation of the scriptures into a language, commonly- 
understood through the world, prepared the way for Christ's 
coming, and setting Up his kingdom in the world, and after- 
wards did greatly promote it. For as the apostles went 
preaching through the world, they made great use of the 
scriptures of the Old Testament, and especially of the prophe- 
cies concerning Christ that were contained in them. And by 
means of this translation, and by the Jews being scattered 
every where, they had the scriptures at hand in a language 
that was understood by the Gentiles : And they did principally 
make use of this translation in their preaching and writings 
wherever they went ; as is evident by this, that in all the in- 
numerable quotations that are made out of the Old Testa- 
ment in their writings in the New Testament, they are almost 
every where in the very words of the Septuagint. The sense 
is the same as it is in the original Hebrew ; but very often the 
words are different, as all that are acquainted with their Bibles 
know. When the apostles in their epistles, and the evangel- 
ists in their histories, cite passages out of the Old Testament, 
it is very often in different words from what v/e have in the 
Old Testament, as all know. But yet these citations are al- 
most universally in the very words of the Septuagint version ; 
for that may be seen by comparing them together, tliey being 
both written in the same language. This makes it evident, 
that the apostles, in their preaching and writings, commonly 
made use of this translation. So this very translation was 
that which was principally used in Christian churches through 
most nations of the world for several hundred years after 

XVI. The next thing is the wonderful preservation of the 
church when it was imminently thi-eatened and persecul-gd 
under the Grecian empire. 
Vol. II. W 


The first time they were threatened was by Alexander him- 
self. When he was besieging the city of Tyre, sending to 
the Jews for assistance and supplies for his army, and they 
refusing, out of a conscientious regard to their oath to the 
king of Persia, he being a man of a very furious spirit, agree- 
able to the scripture representation of the rough he goat, 
rnarched against them, with a design to cut them off. But 
the priests going out to meet him in their priestly garments, 
when he met them, God wonderfully turned his heart to spare 
them, and favor them, much as he did the heart of Esau when 
he met Jacob. 

After this, one of the kings of Egypt, a successor of one of 
Alexander's four captains, entertained a design of destroying 
the nation of the Jews ; but was remarkably and wonderfully 
prevented by a stronger interposition of Heaven for their pre- 

But the most wonderful preservation of them all, in this pe- 
riod, was under the cruel persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, 
king of Syria, and successor of another of Alexander's four 
captains. The Jews were at that time subject to the power 
of Antiochus ; and he, being enraged against them, long 
strove to his utmost utterly to destroy them, and root them 
out ; at least all of them that would not forsake their religion 
and worship his idols : And he did indeed in a great measure 
waste the country, and depopulate the city of Jerusalem ; 
and profaned the temple, by setting up his idols in some 
parts of it ; and persecuted the people with insatiable cruel- 
ty ; so that we have no account of any persecution like his 
before. Many of the particular circumstances of this perse- 
cution would be very affecting, iff had time to insist on thcnv. 
This cruel persecution began about an hundred and seventy 
years L-. fore Christ. It is much spoken of in the prophecy 

of Daniel, as you may see, Dan. viii. 9 25 ; xi. 31 3a. 

These persecutions are also spoken of in the New Testa- 
jnent, as, Hcb. xi. 36, 37, 38. 

Antiochus intended not only to extirpate the Jew ish relig- 
ion, but, as far as in him lay, the very nation ; and particu- 
larly labored to the utmost to destroy all copies of tlic law. 


And considering ]iow weak they were, in comparison with a 
king of such vast dominion, the providence of God appears 
very wonderful in defeating his design. Many times the 
Jews seemed to be on the very brink of ruin, and just ready 
to be wholly swallowed up : Their enemies often thought 
themselves sure of obtaining their purpose. They once came 
against the people with a mighty army, and with a design of 
killing all, except the women and children, and of selling 
these for slaves ; and they were so confident of obtaining their 
pui'pose, and others of purchasing, that above a thousand mer- 
chatits came with the army, with money in their hands, to 
buy the slaves that should be sold. But God wonderfully stir- 
red up and assisted one Judas, and others his successors, that 
were called the Maccabees, who, with a small handful in 
comparison, vanquished their enemies time after time, and 
delivered their nation ; Avhich was foretold by Daniel, xi. 32. 
Speaking of Antiochus's persecution, he says, " And such as 
do wickedly against the covenant, shall he corrupt by flatter- 
ies : But the people that do know their God, shall be strong, 
and do exploits." 

God afterwards brought this Antiochus to a fearful, miser- 
able end, by a loathsome disease, under dreadful torments of 
body, and horrors of mind ; which was foretold, Dan. xi. 45, 
in these words, « Yet he shall come to his end, and none 
shall help him." 

After his death, there were attempts still to destroy the 
church of God ; but God baffled them all. 

XVII. The next thing to be taken notice of is the destruc- 
tion of the Grecian empire, and setting up of the Roman em- 
pire. This Avas the fourth overturning of the world that was 
in this period. And th'ough it was brought to pass more grad- 
ually than the setting up of the Grecian empire, yet it far ex- 
ceeded that, and Avas much the greatest and largest temporal 
monarchy that ever was in the world ; so that the Roman em- 
pire was commonly called all the nvorld ; as it is in Luke 
ii. 1 . " And there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, 
that all the world should be taxed ;" i. c. all the Roman em= 


This empire is spoken of as much the strongest and great- 
est of any of the four : Dan. ii. 40. " And the fourth king- 
dom shall be strong as iron ; forasmuch as iron breaketh in 
pieces and subdueth all things : And as iron that breaketh all 
these, shall it break in pieces, and bruise." So also Dan. vii. 
r. 19.25. 

The time that the Romans first conquered and brought un- 
der the land of Judea, was between sixty and seventy years 
before Christ was born. And soon after this, the Roman em- 
pire was established in its greatest extent ; and the world con- 
tinued subject to this empire henceforward till Christ came, 
and many hundred years afterwards. 

The nations of the world being united in one monarchy 
when Christ came, and when the apostles went forth to 
preach the gospel, did greatly prepare the way for the spread- 
ing of the gospel, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom 
in the world. For the world being thus subject to one gov- 
ernment, it opened a communication from nation to nation, 
and so opportunity was given for the more swiftly propagat- 
ing the gospel through the Avorld. T hus we find it to be now ; 
as if any thing prevails in the English nation, the communi- 
cation is quick from one part of the nation to another, 
throughout all parts that are subject to the English govern- 
ment, much easier and quicker than to other nations, which 
are not subject to the English government, and have little to 
do with them. There are innumerable difficulties in travelling 
through different nations, that are under different indepen- 
dent governments, which there are not in travelling through 
different parts of the same realm, or difterent dominions of 
the same prince. So the world being under one government, 
the government of the Romans, in Christ's and the apostles' 
times, facilitated the apostles' travelling, and the gospel's 
spreading through the world. 

XVIII. About the same time learning and philosophy were 
risen to their greatest height in the Heathen world. The 
time of learning's flourishing in the Heathen world was prin- 
cipally in this period. Almost all the famous philosophers 
that we have an accoimt of among the Heathen, were after 


the captivity into Babylon. Almost all the wise men of 
Greece and Rome flourished in this time. These philoso- 
phers, many of them, were indeed men of great temporal 
wisdom ; and that which they in general chiefly professed 
to make their business, was to inquire wherein man's chief 
happiness lay, and the way in which men might obtain happi- 
ness. They seemed earnestly to busy themselves in this in- 
quiry, and wrote multitudes of books about it, many of which 
are still extant. And they were exceedingly divided in their 
•pinions about it. There have been reckoned up several 
hundreds of different opinions that they had concerning it. 
Thus they wearied themselves in vain, wandered in the dark, 
not having the glorious gospel to guide them. God v/aj 
pleased to suffer men to do the utmost that they could with 
human wisdom, and to try the extent oi their own understand- 
ings to find out the way to happiness, before the true light 
came to enlighten the world ; before he sent the great Proph- 
et to lead men in the right way to happiness. God sufiercd 
these great philosophers to try what they could do for six 
hundred years together ; and then it proved, by the events of 
so long a time, that all they could do was in vain ; the world 
not becoming wiser, better, or happier under their instruc- 
tions, but growing more and more foolish, wicked, and ijaiser- 
able. He suffered their wisdom and philosophy to come to 
the greatest height before Christ came, that it might be seen 
how far reason and philosophy could go in their highest as- 
cent, that the necessity of a divine teacher might appear be- 
fore Christ came. And God was pleased to make foolish the 
wisdom of this Avorld, to shew men the folly of their best Avis- 
dom,by the doctrines of his glorious gospel, which were above 
the reach of all their philosophy. See 1 Cor. i. 19, 20, 21. 

And after God had showed the vanity of human learning, 
when set up in the room of the gospel, God was pleased to 
m^ake it subservient to the purposes of Christ's kingdom, as 
an handmaid to divine revelation ; and go the prevailing of 
learning in the world before Christ came, made way for his 
coming both these ways, viz. as thereby the vanity of human 
wisdom was sh<jvvnj and the necessity of the gospel appeared ; 


and also as hereby an handmaid Avas prepared to the gospel ; 
for so it was made use of in the Apostle Paul,AvhQ was famed 
for his much leaniing, as you may see Acts xxvi. 24, and was 
skilled not only in the learning of the Jews, but also of the 
philosophers ; and improved it to the purposes of the gospel ; 
as you may see he did in disputing with the philosophers at 
Athens, Acts xvii. 22. Sec. He by his learning knew how to 
accommodate himself in his discourses to learned men, as ap- 
pears by this discourse of his : And he knew well how to im- 
prove what he had read in their writings ; and he here cites 
their own poets. And now Dionysius, that was a philosopher, 
was converted by him, and, as ecclesiastical history gives uc 
an account, made a great instrument of promoting the gospel. 
And there were many others in that: and the folloAving ages, 
who were eminently useful by their human learning in pro- 
moting the interest of Christ's kingdom. 

XIX. Just before Christ was born, the Roman empire was 
raised to its greatest height, and also settled in peace. About 
four and twenty years before Christ was born, Augustus Cae- 
sar, the first Roman emperor, began to rule as emperor of the 
world. Till then the Roman empire had of a long time been 
a commonwealth, under the government of the senate : But 
then it became an absolute monarchy. This Augusus Caesar, 
as he was the first, so he was the greatest of all the Roman 
emperors : Pie reigned in the greatest glory. Thus the pow- 
er of the heathen world, which was Satan's visible kingdom, 
was raised to its greatest height, after it had been rising high- 
er and higher, and strengthening itself more and more from 
the days of Solomon to this day, which was about a thousand 
yean. Now it appeared at a greater height than ever it ap- 
peared from the first beginning of Satan's heathenish kingdom 
which was probably about the time of the building of Babel. 
Nov/ the heathen world was in its greatest glory for strength, 
wealth, and learning. 

God did two things to prepare the wav for Christ's coming, 
wherein he took a contrary method from that which human 
wisdom would have taken. He brought his own visible peo-. 
pic very lov/jtind made them weak; but tlie heathen, thit 


were his enemies, he exalted to the greatest height, for the 
more glorious triumph of the ci'oss of Christ. With a small 
number, in their greatest, weakness, he conquered his ene- 
mies in their greatest glory. Thus Christ triumphed over 
principalities and powers in his cross. 

Augustus Cesar had been for many years establishing the 
state of the Roman empire, subduing his enemies in one part 
and another, till the very year that Christ was born ; when all 
his enemies being subdued, and his dominion over the world 
seemed to be settled in its greatest glory. All was established 
in peace ; in token whereof the Romans shut the temple of 
Janus, which was an established symbol among them of there 
being universal peace throughout the Roman empire. And 
this universal peace, which was begun that year that Christ 
Was born, lasted twelve years, till the year that Christ disputed 
with doctors in the temple. 

Thus the \VGrld, after it had been, as it were, in a continual 
convulsion for so many hundred years together, like the four 
winds striving together on the tumultuous raging ocean, 
whence arose those four great monarchies, being now estab- 
lished in the greatest height of the fourth and last monarchy, 
and settled in quietness ; now all things are ready for the birth 
of Christ. This remarkable universal peace, after so many 
ages of tumult amd war, Avas a fit prelude for the ushering of 
the glorious Prince of Peace into the world. 

Thus I have gone through the first grand period of the 
whole space between the fall of man and the end of the world, 
Tiz. that from the fall to the time of the incarnation of Christ ; 
and have shown the truth of the first proposition, viz. That 
from the fall of man to the incarnation of Christ f God was doing 
those things that were prcparatory to Christ's coming, and 
were forerunners of it. 



BEFORE I proceed to the next proposition, I would mak* 
some few remarks, by way of improvement, upon what has 
been said under this. 

I. From what has been said, we may strongly argue, that 
Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Son of God, and the Saviour 
of the world ; and so that the Christian religion is the true re- 
ligion, seeing that Christ is the veiy person so evidently 
pointed at, in all the great dispensations of Divine Providence, 
from the fall of man, and was so undoubtedly in so many in- 
stances foretold from age to age, and shadowed forth in a vast 
variety of types and figures. If we seriously consider the 
course of things from the beginning, and observe the motions 
of all the great wheels of Providence from one age to another, 
we shall discern that they all tend hither. They are all as 
so many lines, whose course, if it be observed and accurately 
followed, it will be found that every one centres here. It is 
so very plain in many things, that it would argue stupidity to 
deny it. This therefore is undeniable, that this person is a 
divine person, sent from God, that came into the world with 
his commission and authority, to do his work, and to declare 
his naind. The great Governor of the woild, i^i all his great 
works before and since the flood, to Jews and Gentiles, down 
to the time of Christ's birth, has declared it. It cannot be any 
vain imagination, but a plain and evident truth, that that per- 
son that was born at Bethlehem, and dwelt at ^I^azareth, and 
at Capernaum, and Avas crucified without the gates of Jerusa- 
lem, must be the great Messiah, or anointed of God. And 
blessed are all they that believe in, and confess him ; and mis- 
erable are all that deny him. This shews the unreasonable- 
ness of the Deists, who deny revealed religion, and of the 
Jews, who deny that this Jesus is the Messiah foretold and 
promised to their fathers. 

Here it may be some persons may be ready to object, and 
say, That it may be, some subtle, cunning men contrived this 
kistory, and these prophecies, so that they should all point to 


Jesus Christ on purpose to confirm it, that he is the Messiah. 
To sxich it may be replied, How could sucli a thing be con- 
trived by cunning men to point to Jesus Christ, long before he 
ever was born ? How could they know that ever any such 
person would be born ? And how could their craft and subtilty 
help them to foresee and point at an event that was to come 
to pass many ages afterwards ? For no fact can 1>e more evi- 
dent, than that the Jews had those writings long before Christ 
•vvas born ; as they have them still in great veneration, wher- 
ever they are, in all their dispersions through the world ; and 
they would never have received such a contrivance from Christ- 
ians, to point to and confirm Jesus to be the Messiah, whom 
they always denied to be the Messiah ; and much less would 
they have been made to believe that tliey always had had those 
books in their hands, when they were first made and imposed 
upon them. 

n. What has been said, affords a strong argument for the 
divine authority of the books of the Old Testament, from that 
admirable harmony there is in them, whereby they all point 
to the same thing. For we may see by what has been said, 
how all the parts of the Old Testament, though written by so 
many different penmen, and in ages distant one from another, 
do all harmonize one with another ; all agree in one, and all 
centre in the same thing, and that a future thing ; an event 
■which it Avas impossible any one of them should know but by 
divine revelation, even the future coming of Christ. This is 
most evident and manifest in them, as appears by wlwt has 
been said. 

Now, if the Old Testament was not inspired by God, what 
account can be given of such an agreement ? For if these 
books were only human writings, written without any divine 
direction, then none of these penmen knew that there would 
come such a person as Jesus Christ into the world ; his com- 
ing was only a mere figment of their own brain : And if so, 
how happened it, that this figment of theirs came to pass ? 
How came a vain imagination of theirs, which they foretold 
■without any manner of ground for their prediction, to be so ex- 
actly fulfilled ? And especially how did they Gome all to agre». 

VoL.n. X 

170 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period t. 

in it, all pointing exactly to the same thing, though many ef 
them lived so many hundred years distant one from another ? 

This admirable consent and agreement in a future event, 
is therefore a clear and certain evidence of the divine author- 
ity of those writings. 

III. Hence we may learn what a weak and ignorant objec- 
tion it is that some make against some parts of the Old Tes- 
tament's being the word of God, that they consist so much of 
histoi'ies of the wars and civil transactions of the kings and 
people of the nation of the Jews, Some say. We find 
here among the books of a particular nation, histories which- 
they kept of the state of their nation, from one age to another; 
histories of their kings and inilers, histories of their wars with 
the neighboring nations, and histories of the changes that hap- 
pened from time to time in their state and government ; and 
so we find that other nations used to keep histories of their 
public affairs, as Avell as they ; and why then should we think 
that these histories which the Jews kept are the word of God, 
more than those of other people ? But Avhat has been said, 
shows the folly and vanity of such an objection. For hereby 
it appears that the case of these histories is very different 
from that of all other histories. This history alone gives u& 
an account of the first original of all things ; and this history 
alone deduces things down in a wonderful series from that 
original, giving an idea of the grand scheme of divine provi- 
dence, as tending to its great end. And together with the 
doctrines and prophecies contained in it, the same book gives 
a view of the whole series of the great events of divine provi- 
dence, from the first original to the last end and consummation 
of all things, giving an excellent and glorious account of the 
wise and holy designs of the governor of the Avorid in all. 

No common history has such penmen as this history, which 
was all written by men who came with evident signs and tes- 
timonies of their being prophets of the most high God, im- 
mediately inspired. 

And the histories that were written, as we have seen from 
what has been said under this proposition, do all contain those 
great events of Providence, by which it appears how God 


has been carrying on the glorious divine work of redemp- 
tion from age to age. Though they are histories, yet they are 
no less full of divine instruction, and of those things that show 
forth Christ, and his glorious gospel, than other parts of the 
holy scriptures, which are not historical. 

To object against a book's being divine, merely because it 
is historical, is a poor objection ; just as if that could not be 
the word of God which gives an account of what is past ; or 
as though it were not reasonable to suppose,that God, in a rev- 
elation he should give mankind, would give us any relation of 
the dispensations of his own providence. If it be so, it must 
be because his works are not worthy to be related ; it must be 
because the scheme of his government, and series of his dis- 
pensations towards his church, and towards the world that he 
has made, whereby he has ordered and disposed it from agQ 
to age, is not worthy that any record should be kept of it. 

The objection that is made. That it is a common thing 
for nations and kingdoms to write histories and keep records 
of their wars, and the revolutions that come to pass in their 
territories, is so far from being a weighty objection against 
the historical part of scripture, as though it were not the Avord 
of God, that it is a strong argument in favor of it. For if rea-^ 
son and the light of nature teaches all civilized nations to keep 
records of the events of their human government, and the 
series of their administrations, and to publish histories for the 
information of others ; how much more may we expect that 
God would give the world a record of the dispensations of his 
divine government, which doubtless is infinitely more worthy 
of an history for our information ? If wise kings have taken 
care that there should be good histories Avritten of the nations 
over which they have reigned, shall we think it incredible, 
that Jesus Christ should take care that his church, which is his 
nation, his peculiar people, should have in their hands a cer- 
tain infallible history of their nation, and of his government 
of them ? 

If it had not been for the history of the Old Testament, how 
wofully should we have been left in the dark about many 
things which the church of God needs to know I How ignos 

172 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Periob 1. 

rant should we have been of God's dealings towards mankind, 
and towards his church, from the beginning ! And we should, 
have been wholly in the dark about the creation of the world, 
the fall of man, the first rise and continued progress of the dis- 
pensations of grace towards fallen mankind 1 And we shoukl 
have known nothing how God at first set up a church in the 
•world and how it was preserved ; after what manner he gov- 
erned it from the beginning ; how the light of the gospel first 
began to da^^Tl in the Avorld ; how it increased, and how thing!* 
were preparing for the coming of Christ, 

If we are Christians, we belong to that building of God that 
has been the subject of our discourse from this text : But if it 
had not been for the history of the Old Testament, we should 
never have known what was the first occasion of God's going ^ 
about this building, and how the foundation of it was laid at 
first, and how it has gone on from the beginning. The times 
of the history of the Old Testament are mostly times that no 
other history reaches up to ; and therefore, if God had not 
taken cure to give and preserve an account of thesq things for 
us, we should have been wholly without them. 

Those that object against the authority of the Old Testa- 
ment history of the nation of the Jews, may as well make it 
an objection against INIoses's account of the creation, that it is 
historical ; for in the other, w c have an history of a work na 
less important, viz. the work of redemption. Yea, this is a far 
greater and more glorious work, as we observed before ; that 
if it be inquired which of the two works, the work of creation 
or the work of providence, is greatest ; it must be answered 
the work of providence ; but the work of redemption is the 
greatest of the works of providence. 

And let those who make this objection consider what part 
of the Old Testament history can be spared without making 
a great breach in that thread or scries of events by which this 

glorious work has been carried on This leads mc to ob*. 


IV. Thut, from what has been said, we may see much of 
the wisdom of God in the composition of the scriptures of the 
Old Testament, i. e. in the parts of which it consists. By 

Impr.] work of redemption, 173 

%vhat has been said, we may see tluit God hath wisely given 
us such revelations in the Old Testament as we needed. Let 
us briefly take a view of the several parts of it, and of the need 
there was of them. 

Thus it was necessary that we should have some account 
of the creation of the world, and of our first parents, and their 
primitive state, and of the fall, and a brief account of the old 
world, and of the degeneracy of it, and of the universal deluge, 
and some account of the origin of nations after this destruc- 
tion of mankind. 

It seems necessary that there should be some account of the 
succession of the church of God from the beginning : And 
seeing God suffered all the world to degenerate, and only 
took one nation to be his people, to preserve the true worship 
and religion till the Saviour of the world should come, that in 
them the world might gradually be prepared for that great 
light, and those wonderful things, that he was to be the author 
pf,and that they might be a typical nation, and that in themGod 
might shadow forth and teach, as under a veil, all future glorious 
things of the gospel ; it was therefore necessary that v»'e should 
have some account of this thing, how it was first done by the 
tailing of Abraham, and by their being bond slaves in Egypt, 
?ind how they were brought to Canaan. It was necessary that 
we should have some account of the revelation which God 
made of himself to that people, in giving their law, and in the 
appointment of their typical worship, and those things where- 
in the gospel is veiled, and of the forming of that people, both 
as to their civil and ecclesiastical state. 

It seems exceeding necessary that we should have some 
account of their being actually brought to Canaan, the country 
that was their promised land, and where they always dwelt. 
It seems very necessary that we should have an history of the 
successions of the church of Israel, and of those providences 
of God towards them, which were most considerable and full- 
est of gospel mystery. It seems necessary that we should 
have some account of the highest promised external glory of 
that nation under David and Solomon, and that we should have 
a very particular account of David, whose history is so full of 

174, WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period T. 

the gospel, and so necessary in order to introduce the gospel 
into the world, and in -whom began the race of their kings j 
and that we should have some account of the building of th© 
temple, which was also so full of gospel mystery. 

And it is a matter of great consequence, that we should have 
some account of Israel's dividing from Judah, and of the ten 
tribes' captivity and utter rejection, and a brief account why, 
and therefore a brief history of them till that time. It is ne-. 
cessary that we should have an account of the succession of 
the kings of Judah, and of the church, till their captivity intOi 
Babylon ; and that we should have some account of their re- 
turn from their captivity, and resettlement in their own land» 
and of the origin of the last state that the church was in be- 
fore Christ came. 

A little consideration Avill convince every one, that all these 
things wf.re necessary, and that none of them could be spared ; 
and in the general, that it was necessary that we should have 
an history of God's church till such times as are within the 
reach of human histories ; and it w^s of vast importance that 
we should have an inspired history of those times of the Jew- 
ish church, wherein there was kept up a more extraordinary 
intercourse between God and them, and while he used to 
dwell among them as it were visibly, revealing himself by the 
Shechina, by Urim and Thummim, and by prophecy, and sa 
more inmiediately to order their affairs. And it was neces- 
sary that we should have some account of the great dispen- 
sations of God in prophecy, which Avere to be after the finish- 
ing of inspired historv ; and so it was exceeding suitable and 
needful that there should be a number of prophets raised up 
who should foretel the coming of the Son of God, and the na- 
ture and glory of his kingdom, to be as so many harbingers 
to make way for him, and that their prophecies should remair\ 
in the church. 

It was also a matter of great conscciuence that the church 
should have a book of divine songs given by inspiration from 
God, wherein there should be a lively representation of the 
true spirit of devotion, of faith, hope, and divine love, joy, re- 
sip;uation, humility, obedience, repentance, 8ic. ; and alsQ 

Tmpr.] work of REDEMI*TiO?^. \ri 

that wc should have from God such books of moral mstruc* 
tions as we have m Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, relating to thd 
affairs and state of mankind, and the concerns of human lifC) 
containing rules of true wisdom and prudence for our con- 
duct in all circumstances ; and that we shovild have particu- 
larly a sDng representing the great love between Christ and 
his spouse the church, particularly adapted to the disposition 
and holy affections of a true Christian soul towards Christ* 
and representing his grace and marvellous love to, and delight 
in his people ; as we have in Solomon's Song ; and especial- 
ly that we should have a book to teach us how to conduct 
ourselves under afflictioh, seeing the church of God here is in 
a militant state, and God's people do, through much tribula- 
tion^ enter into the kingdom of heaven ; and the church is foi* 
so long a time under trouble, and meets with such exceeding- 
ly fiery trials, and extreme sufferings, before her time of peace 
and rest in the latter ages of the world shall come : There- 
fore God has given us a book most proper in the^e circum- 
stances, even the book of Job, written upon occasion of the 
afflictions of a particular saint, and was probably at first given 
to the church in Egypt under her afilictions there ; and is made 
■use of by the Apostle to comfort Christians under persecutions, 
James v. 1 1 . "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and 
have seen the end of the Lord ; that the Lord is very pitiful^ 
and of tender mercy." God was also pleased, in this book of 
Job, to give some view of the ancient divinity, before the giv- 
ing of the law- 

Thus from this brief reviev/, I think it appears that every 
part of the scriptures of the Old Testament is very useful 
and necessary, and no part of it can be spared, without loss to 
the church. And therefore, as I said, the wisdom of God is 
conspicuous in ordering that the scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment should consist of those very books of which tkey do 

Before I dismiss this particular, I would add, that it is very 
observable, that the history of the Old Testament is large and 
particular, where the great affair of redemption required it ; 
a& where there was most done towcu'ds this work, and most to 

1^6 Work of redemption. [Period I, 

typify Clii'ist, and to prepare the way for him; Thus it is 
Very large and particular in the history of Abraham and the 
other patriarchs ; but very short in the account wc have of 
the time which the cliildren of Israel spent in Egypt. So 
again it is large in the account of the redemption out of 
Egypt, and the first settling of the afiairs of the Jewish church 
and nation in Moses and Joshua's time ; but much shorter in 
the account of the times of the judges. So again, it is large 
and particular in the account of David's and Solomon's times, 
and then very short in the history of the ensuing reigns. Thus 
the accounts are large or short, just as there is more or less 
of the aftair of redemption to be seen in them. 

V. From what has been said, we may see, that Christ and 
his redemption are the great sv;bject of the Avhole Bible. Con- 
cerning the New Testament, the matter is plain ; and by 
what has been said on this subject hitherto, it appears to be so 
also with respect to the Old Testament. Christ and his re- 
demption is the great subject of the prophecies of the Old 
Testament, as has been shown. It has also been shown, that 
he is the great subject of the songs of the Old Testament ; and 
the moral rules and precepts are all given in subordination to 
him. And Christ and his redemption are also the great sub- 
ject of the history of the Old Testament, from the beginning 
all along ; and even the history of the creation is brought in, 
as an introduction to the history of redemption that immedi- 
ately follows it. The whole book, both Old Testament and 
New, is filled up with the gospel ; only with this difTerence, 
that the Old Testament contains the gospel tinder a veil, but 
the New contains it unveiled, so that we may see the glory 
of the Lord with open face. 

VI. By what has been said, we may see the usefulness and 
excellency of the Old Testament. Some are ready to look on 
the Old Testament as being,as it were out of date, and as if we, 
in these days of the gospel, have but little to do with it ; which 
is a very great mistake, arising from want of observing the 
nature and design of the Old Testament, which, if it were 
observed, ■would appear full of the gospel of Christ, and Mould 
iu an e:<ccllent manner illustrate and confirm the glorious 


doctrines and promises of the New Testament. Those parts 
of the Old Testament which are commonly lo6ked upon as 
containing the least divine instruction, are as it were mines 
and treasures of gospel knowledge ; and the reason why they 
are thought to contain so little, is, because persons do but su- 
perficially read them. The treasures which are hid under- 
neath are not observed. They only look on the top of the 
ground, and so suddenly pass a judgment that there is i*thing 
there. But they never dig into the mine : If they did, they 
would find it richly stored with silver and gold, and would be 
abundantly requited for their pains. 

What has been said, may show Us what a precious treasure 
God has comriiitted into out' hands, in that he has given us 
the Bible. How little do most persons consider, how much 
they enjoy, in that they have the possession of that holy book 
the Bible, which they have in their hands, and may converse 
with it as they please. What an excellent book is this, and 
how far exceeding all human writings, that reveals God to us, 
and gives us a view of the grand design and glorious scheme 
of Providence from the beginning of the world, either in his- 
tory or proghecy ; that reveals the great Redeemer and his 
glorious redemption, and the various steps by which God ac- 
complishes it from the first foundation to the topstone ! ShaJI 
we prize an history which gives us a clear account of some 
great earthly prince, or mighty warrior, as of Alexander the 
Great, or Julius Cesar, or the Duke of Marlborough ? And 
shall we not prize the history that God gives us of the glo- 
rious kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ, the Prince and Sav- 
iour, and of the wars and other great transactions of that King 
of kings, and Lord of armies, the Lord mighty in battle ? 
The history of the things which he has wrought for the re- 
demption of his chosen people ? 

VIL What has been said, may make us sensible how much 
most persons are to blame for their inattentive, unobservant 
way of reading the scriptures. How much do the scriptures 
contain, if it were but observed ? The Bible is the most com- 
prehensive book in the world. But what will all this signify 
to us, if we read it without observing what is the drift of the 

VoL.n. Y 


Holy Ghost in it ? The Psalmist, Psal. cxix. 18, begs of God, 
" That he -w'ould enlighten his eyes, that he might behold 
■wondrous things out of his law." The scriptures are full of 
wondrous things. Those histories which are commonly read as 
if they were only histories of the private concerns of such and 
such particular persons, such as the histories of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and the history of Ruth, and the 
histories of particular lawgivers and princes, as the history of 
Joshua and the Judges, and David, and the Israelitish princes, 
are accounts of vastly greater things, things of greater import- 
ance, and more extensive concernment, than they that read 
them ate commonly aware of. 

The histories of scripture are commonly read as if they 
were stories written only to entci'tain men's fancies, and to 
while away their leisure hours, when the infinitely great 
things contained or pointed at in them are passed over and 
never taken notice of. Whatever treasures the scriptures 
contain, we shall be never the better for them if v/e do not 
observe them. He that has a Bible, and does not observe 
what is contained in it, is like a man who has a box full of sil" 
ver and gold, and does not know it, does not observe'that it is 
any thing more than a vessel filled with comiaion stones. As 
long as it is thus with him, he will be never the better for his 
treasure : For he that knows not that he has a treasure, will 
never make use of what he has, and s6 might as well be with- 
out it. He who has a plenty of the choicest food stored up in 
his house, and does not know it, will never taste what he has, 
and Avill be as likely to starve as if his house were empty. 

VIII. What has been said, may show us how great a per- 
son Jesus Christ is, and how great an errand he came into the 
world upon, seeing there was so much done to prepare the 
way for his coming. God had been doing nothing else but 
prepare the way for his coming, and doing the work which he 
had to do in the world, through all ages of the Avorld from the 
very beginning. If we had notice of a certain stranger's be- 
ing about to come into a country, and should observe that a 
great preparation was made for his coming, that many months 
were taken up in it, and great things were done, many great 
alterations were made in the slate of the v.'hole country, and 


that many hands yveve employed, and persons of great note 
were engaged in making preparation for the coming of this 
person, and tlie Avhole country was overturned, and all the af- 
fairs and concerns of the country were ordered so as to be 
subservient to the design of entertaining that person Avhen he 
should come ; it would be natural for us to think Avith our- 
selves, why, surely, this person is some extraordinary person 
indeed, and it is some very great business that he is coming 

How great a person then must he be, for whose coming in- 
to the world the great God of heaven and earth, and governor 
of all things, spent four thousand years in preparing the way, 
going about it soon after the world was created, and from age 
to age doing great things, bringing mighty events to pass, ac- 
complishing wonders without number, often overtm-ning the 
world in order to it, and causing every thing in the state of 
mankind, and all revolutions and changes in the habitable 
world from generation to generation to be subservient to this 
great design ? Surely this must be some great and extraordi- 
nary person indeed, and a great work indeed it must needs be 
that he is coming about. 

We read, Matth. xxi. 8, 9, 10, that wlien Christ was com- 
ing into Jerusalem, and the multitudes ran before him and cut 
down branches of palm trees, and strewed them in the way, 
and others spread their garments in the way, and cried, " Ho- 
sannah to the son of David," that the whole city was moved, 
saying. Who is this ? They wondered Avho that extraordinary 
person should be, that there should be such an ado made on 
occasion of his coming into the city, and to prepare the v/ay 
before him. But if we consider what has been said on this 
subject, what great things were done in all ages to pre- 
pare the way for Christ's coming into the v/orld, and how 
ihe world was ofteii overturned to make way for it, much 
more may we cry out, Who is this ? What great person is 
this I And say, as in Psal. xxiv. 8. 10. « Who is this King of 
glory," that God should show such respect, and put such vast 
honor upon him ? Surely this person is honorable indeed in 
God's eyes, and greatly beloved of him ; and surely it is a 
great errand upon which he is sent into the world. 



JriAVING shown how the work of redemption 
was carried on through the first period, from the fall of man 
to the incarnation of Christ, I come now to the second period, 
viz. the time of Christ's htimiliation, or the space from the in- 
carnation of Christ to his resurrection. And this is the most 
remarkable article of time that ever was or ever will be.... 
Though it was but between thirty and forty years, yet more 
was done in it than had been done from the beginning of the 
1'orld to that time. We have observed, that all that had been 
done from the fall to the incarnation of Christ, Svas only pre- 
paratory for what was done now. And it may also be obser\'-- 
ed, that all that was done before the beginning of time, in the 
eternal counsels of God, and that eternal transaction there was 
between the persons of the Trinity, chiefly respected this pe- 
riod. We therefore now proceed to consider the second projw- 
sition, viz. 

That during the time of Christ's humiliation, 
from his incarnation to his resurrection, the pur- 
chase of redemption was made. 

Though there were many things done in the affair of re- 
demption from the fall of man to this time, though millions of 
sacrifices had be^n offered up ; yet nothing was done to pur- 
chase redemption before Christ's incarnation : No part of the 
purchase was made, no part of the price was offered till now. 
But as soon as Christ was incarnate, then the purchase began 
immediately without any delay. And the whole time of 
Christ's humiliation, from the morning that Christ began to 
be incarnate, till the morning that he rose from the dead, was 
taken up in this purchase. And then the purchase was en- 
tirely and completely finished. As nothing was done before 
Christ's incarnation, so nothing was done after his resurrcc,. 


tion, to purchase redemption for men. Nor will there ever 
be any thing more done to all eternity. But that very mo-, 
ment that the human nature of Christ ceased to remain under 
the power of death, the xitmost farthing was paid of the price 
of the salvation of every one of the elect. 

But for the more orderly and regular consideration of th© 
great things done by our Redeemer to purchase redemption 
for us, 

1. I would speak of Christ's becoming incarnate to capac- 
itate himself for this purchase ; — and, 

2. I would speak of the purchase itself. 


FIRST, I would consider Christ's coming into the world, 
or his taking upon him our nature to put himself in a capacity 
to purchase redemption for us. Christ became incarnate, or, 
which is the same thing, became man, to put himself in a ca- 
pacity for working out our redemption : For though Christ, 
as God, was infinitely sufficient for the work, yet to his being 
in an immediate capacity for it, it was needful that he should 
not only be God, but man. If Christ had remained only in 
the divine nature, he would not have been in a capacity to have 
purchased our salvation ; not from any imperfection of the 
divine nature, but by reason of its absolute and infinite perfec- 
tion : For Christ, merely as God, was not capable either of 
that obedience or suffering that was needful. The divine na- 
ture is not capable of suffering ; for it is infinitely above all 
suffering. Neither is it capable of obedience to that law that 
was given to man. It is as impossible that one who is only 
God, should obey the law that was given to man, as it is that 
he should suffer man's punishment. • 

And it was necessary not only that Christ should take upon 
him a created nature, but that he should take upon him our 
Liature. It would not have sufficed for us for Christ to have 

181^ WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period ll. 

become an angel, and to have obeyed and suffered in the an^ 
geUc nature. But it was necessary that he should become a 
xnan, and that upon three accounts. 

1 . It was needful to answer the lawy that that nature should 
obey the law, to which the law was given. Man's law could not 
be answered, but by being obeyed by man. God insisted up- 
on it, that the law which he had given to man should be hon- 
ored and submitted to, and fulfilled by the nature of man, oth- 
erwise the law could not be answered for men. The words 
that were spoken, Thou shalt not eat thereof, Thou shalt, or 
Thou shalt not do thus or thus, were spoken to the race of 
mankind, to the human nature ; and therefore the human na- 
ture must fulfil them. 

'2. It was needful to answer the law, that the nature that siU" 
ned should die. These words, " Thou shalt surely die," re- 
spect the human nature. The same nature to which the 
command was given, was the nature to which the threatening 
was directed. 

3. God saw meet, that the same world which was the stage of 
man's fall and ruin^ should also be the stage of his redemfition. 
We read often of his coming into the world to save sinners, 
and of God's sending him into the world for this purpose It 
was needful that he should come into this sinful, miserable, 
undone world, to restore and save it. In order to man's re- 
covery, it was needful that he should come down to man, to 
the world that was man's proper habitation, and that he should 
tabernacle with us : Johni. 14. " The V/ord was made j3esh> 
and dwelt among us." 

C&NCERKiNG the incarnation of Christ, I would observe 
these following things. 

I. The incarnation itself ; in which especially two things 
are to be coiisidcrcd, viz. 

1 . His conception, which was in the womb of one of the 
race of mankind, whereby he became truly the Son of man> 
as he was often called. He was one of the posterity of Adam, 
and a child of Abraham, and a son of David, according to 
God's promise. .But his conception was not in the way of or- 


dinary generation, but by the power of the Holy Ghost. Christ 
was formed in the womb of the Virgin, of the substance of her- 
body, by the power of the Spirit of God. So that he was the 
immediate son of the woman, but not the immediate son of 
any male whatsoever ; and so was the seed of the woman? 
and the son of a virgin, one that had never known man. 

2. His birth Though the conception cf Christ was su- 
pernatural, yet after he was conceived, and so the incarnation 
of Christ begun, his human nature was gradually perfected in 
the womb of the virgin, in a way of natural progress ; and so 
his birth was in the way of nature. But his conception being 
supernatural, by the power of the Holy Ghost, he was both 
conceived and born without sin. 

II. The second thing I would observe concerning the incar- 
nation of Christ, is the fullness of the time in which it was 
accomplished. It was after things had been preparing for it 
from the very first fall of mankind, and when all things were 
ready. It came to pass at a time, which in infinite wisdom 
was the most fit and proper : Gal. iv. 4. " But Avhen the full- 
ness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a 
woman, made under the law." 

It was now the m.ost proper time on every account. Any 
time before the flood would not have been so fit a time. For 
then the mischief and ruin that the fall brought on mankind, 
was not so fully seen. The curse did not so fully come on 
the earth before^he flood, as it did afterwards : For though 
the ground was cursed in a great measure before, yet it 
pleased God that the curse should once, before the restoration 
by Christ, be executed in an universal destruction, as it were, 
of the very form of the earth, that the dire effects of the fall 
might once in such a way be seen before the recovery by 
Christ. Though mankind were mortal before the flood, yet 
their lives were the greater part of a thousand years in 
length, a kind of immortality in compaiison with what the 
life of man is now. It pleased God, that that curse, " Dust 
thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return," should have its 
full accomplishment, and be executed in its greatest degree 
on mankind, before the Redeemer came to purchase a nev- 
er ending life for man 


It would not have been so fit a time for Christ to eome, af- 
ter the flood, before IMoscs's time : For till then mankind 
■were not so universally apostatized from the true God ; they 
were not fallen universally into Heathenish darkness ; and so 
tiie need of Christ, the light of the world, was not so evident : 
And the woful consequence of the fall with respect to n^an's 
mortality, was not so fully manifest till then ; for man's life 
was not so shortened as to be reduced to the present standard 
till about Moses's time. 

It was most fit that the time of the Messiah's coming should 
not be till many ages after Moses's time ; till all nations, but 
the children of Israel, had lain long in Heathenish darkness ; 
that the remedilessness of their disease might by long expe- 
rience be seen, and so the absolute necessity of the heavenly 
phvsician, before he came. 

Another reason Avhy Christ did not come soon after the 
flood probably was, that the earth might be full of people, that 
Christ might have the more extensive kingdom, and that the 
eff'ects of his light, and power, and grace, might be glo- 
rified, and that liis victory over Satan might be attended 
with the more glory in the multitude of his conquests. It 
was also needful that the coming of Christ should be many 
ages after Moses, that the church might be prepared Avhich 
was formed by Moses for his coming, by the Messiala's being 
long prefigured, and by his being many ways foretold, and 
by his being long expected. It was not proper that Christ 
should come before the Babylonish captivity, because Sa- 
tan's kingdom was not then come to the height. The 
Heathen world before that consisted of lesser kingdoms. 
But God saw meet that the INIessiah should come in the time 
of one of the four great monarchies of the world. Nor was 
it proper that he should come in the time of the Babylonish 
monarchy ; for it was God's will that several general mon- 
archies should follow one another, and that the coming of the 
Messiah should be in the time of the last, which appeared 
above them all. The Persian monarchy, by overcoming the 
Babylonian, appeared above it : And so the Grecian, by over-^ 
coming the Persian, appeared above that ; and for the same 


reason, the Roman above the Grecian. Now it was the will 
of God, that his Son should make his appearance in the world 
in the time of this greatest and strongest monarchy, which 
was Satan's visible kingdom in the world ; that, by overcom- 
ing this, he might visibly overcome Satan's kingdom in its 
greatest strength and glory, and so obtain the more complete 
triumph over Satan himself. 

It was not proper that Christ should come before the Baby- 
lonish captivity. For, before that, we have not histories of 
the state of the Heathen world, to give us an idea of the need 
of a Saviour. And besides, before that, learning did not much 
Sourish, and so there had not been an opportunity to show the 
insufficiency of human learning and wisdom to reform and save 
mankind. Again, before that, the Jews were not dispersed 
over the world, as they were afterwards ; and so things were 
not prepared in this respect for the coming of Christ. The 
necessity of abolishing the Jewish dispensation was not then 
so apparent as it was afterwards, by reason of the dispersion 
of the Jews ; neither was the way prepared for the propaga- 
tion of the gospel, as it was afterwards, by the same disper- 
sion. Many other things might be mentioned, by which it 
would appear, that no other time before that very time in 
Svhich Christ did come, would haA'e been proper for his ap- 
pearing in the world to purchase the redemption of men. 

III. The next thing that I would observe concerning the 
incai^nation of Christ, is the greatness of this event. Christ's 
incarnation was a greater and more wonderful thing tlian ever 
had come to pass ; and there has been but one that has ever 
Come to pass which Avas greater, and that was the death of 
Christ, which was afterwai'ds. But Christ's incarnation was 
a greater thing than had ever come to pass before. The cre- 
ation of the world v.as a very great thing, but not so great a 
thing as the incarnation of Christ. It was a great thing for 
God to make the creature, but not so great as for God, as for 
the Creator himself, to become a creature. We have spoken 
of many great things that were accomplished from one age to 
another, in the ages between the fall of man and the incarna- 
tion of Christ : But God's becoming man wag a greater tlung 
Vol. IL Z 


than they all. When Christ was born, the greatest person 
was born that ever was, or ever will be born. 

IV. What I would next observe concerniatj the incarna- 
tion of Christ, are the remarkable cireumstances of it ; such 
as his being born of a poor virgin, that was a pious holy per- 
son, but poor, as appeared by her offering at her purification : 
Luke ii. 24. " And to offer a sacrifice according to that which 
is said in the law ot the Lord, a pair of turtle doves, or two 
young pigeons." Which refers to Lev. v. 7. " And if she 
be not able to bring a himb, then she shall bring two turtle 
doves, or two young pigeons." And this poor virgin was es- 
poused to an husband who was a poor man. Though they 
were both of the royal family of David, the most honorable 
family, and Joseph Avas the rightful heir to the crown ; yet 
the family was reduced to a very low state ; which is repre- 
sented by the tabernacle of David's being fallen or broken 
down, Amos ix. 11. " In that day wHl I raise up the taberna- 
cle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, 
and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days 
of old." 

He was born in the town of Bethlehem, as was foretold : 
And there was a very remarkable providence of God to bring 
about the fulfilment of this prophecy, the taxing of all the 
world by Augustus Cesar, as in Luke ii. He was born in a 
very low condition, even in a stable, and laid in a manger. 

V. I would observe the concomitants of this great event, 
or the remarkable events with which it was attended And, 

1. The first thing I would take notice of that attended the 
incarnation of Christ, was the return of the Sjiirit ; which in- 
deed began a little before the incarnation of Christ ; but yet 
was given on occasion of that, as it was to reveal either his 
birth, or the birth of his forerunner John the Baptist. I have 
before observed how the spirit of prophecy ceased, not long 
after the book of Malachi was written. P'rom about the same 
lime, visions and immediate revelations ceased also. But now, 
on this occasion, they are granted anew, and the Spirit in these 
operations returns again. The first instance of its restoration 
that wc hava anv account of is in the vision of Zacharias, the 


father of John the Baptist ; which we read of in the 1st chap« 
ter of Luke. The next is in the vision which the Virgin 
Mary had, of which we read also in the same chapter. The 
third is in the vision which Joseph had, of which we read in 
the 1st chapter of Matthew. In the next place, the Spirit was 
given to Elisabeth, Luke i. 44. Next, it was given to Mary, 
as appears by her song, Luke i. 46, &c. Then to Zachariah 
again, z3irf. ver. 64. Then it was sent to the shepherds, of 
which we have an account in Luke ii. 9. Then it was given 
to Simeon, Luke ii. 25. Then to Anna, ver. 36. Then to 
the wise men in the east. Then to Joseph again, directing 
him to flee into Egypt, and after that directing his return. 

2. The next concomitant of Christ's incarnation that I 
Tvould observe is, the great notice that was taken of it in heav- 
en, and on earth. How it was noticed by the glorious inhabit- 
ants of the heavenly world, appears by their joyful songs on 
this occasion, heard by the shepherds in the night. This was 
the greatest event of Providence that ever the angels had be- 
held. We read of their singing praises when they saw the 
formation of this lower world : Job xxxviii. 7. " When the 
morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted 
|br joy." And as they sang praises then, so they do now, on 
this much greater occasion, of the birth of the Son of God, 
•who is the Crpator of the world. 

The glorious angels had all along expected this event.... 
They had taken great notice of the prophecies and promises 
of these things all along : For we are told, that the angels de- 
sire to look into the affairs of redemption, 1 Pet. i. 12. They 
had all along been the ministers of Christ in this affair of re- 
demption, in all the several steps of it down from the very fall 
of man. So we read, that they were employed in God's deal- 
ings with Abraham, and in his dealings with Jacob, and in his 
dealings with the Israelites from time to time. And doubtless 
they had long joyfully expected the coming of Christ j but 
now they see it accomplished, and therefore greatly rejoice, 
and sing praises on this occasion. 

Notice was taken of it by some among the Jews ; as par- 
ticularly by Elisabeth and the Virgin Mary, before the birth 


of Christ ; not to say by John the Baptist before he was born, 
when he leaped in his ni&ther's womb as it were for joy, at the 
voice of the salutation of Maiy. But Elisabeth and Mary do 
most joyfully praise God together, when they meet with 
Christ and his foreininner in their wombs, and the Holy Spirit 
in their souls. And afterwai'ds what joyful notice is taken of 
this event by the shepherds, and by those holy persons, Zacha- 
rias, and Simeon, and Anna ! How do they praise God on this 
occasion 1 Thus the church of God in heaven, and the church 
on earth, do as it were unite in their joy and praise on this oc- 

Notice was taken of it by the Gentiles, which appears in the 
•wise men of the east. Great part of the universe does as it 
were take a joyful notice of the incarnation of Christ. Heav- 
en takes notice of it, and the inhabitants sing for joy. This 
lower world, the world of mankind, does also take notice of it 
in both parts of it, Jews and Gentiles. It pleased God to put 
honor on his Son, by wonderfully stirring up some of the 
wisest of the Gentiles to come a long journey to see and wor- 
ship the Son of God at his birth, being led by a miraculous 
star, signifying the birth of that glorious person, who is the 
bright and morning star, going before, and leading them to 
the very place where the young child was. Some think they 
were instructed by the prophecy of Balaam, who dwelt in the 
eastern parts, and foretold Christ's coming as a star that should 
rise out of Jacob. Or they might be instructed by that gen- 
eral expectation there was t^f the Messiah's coming about that 
time, before spoken of, fron\ the notice they had of it by the 
prophecies the Jews had of him in their dispersions in all 
parts of the world at that time. 

3. The next concomitant of the birth of Christ was his cir- 
cumcision. But this may mote properly be spoken of under 
another head, and so I will not insist upon it now. 

4. The next concomitant was his first coming into the sec- 
ond temple, which was his being brought thither when an in- 
fant, on occasion of the purification of the blessed Virgin, 

We read, Hagg. ii. 7. " The desire of all nations shall 
come, and I Avill fill this house (ortcmpk) with glory." Ancl 


in Mai. iii. 1. " The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly 
come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant." 
And now was the first instance of the fulfilment of these proph- 

5. The last concomitant I shall mention is the sceptre's de- 
parting from Judah, in the death of Herod the Great. The 
sceptre had never totally departed from Judah till now. Ju- 
dah's sceptre was greatly diminished in the revolt of the ten 
tribes in Jeroboam's time ; and the sceptre departed from 
Israel or Ephraim at the time of the captivity of the ten 
tribes by Shalmaneser. But yet the sceptre remained in the 
tribe of Judah, under the kings of the house of David. 
And when the tribes Judah and Benjamin were carried 
captive by Nebuchadnezzar, the sceptre of Judah ceased 
for a little while, till the return from the captivity under 
Cyrus : And then, though they were not an independent 
government, as they had been before, but owed fealty to 
the kings of Persia ; yet their governor was of themselves, 
who had the power of life and death, and they were governed 
by their own laws; and so Judah had a. lawgiver from be- 
tween his feet during the Persian and Grecian monarchies. 
Towards the latter part of the Grecian monarchy, the people 
were governed by kings of their own, of the race of the Mac- 
cabees, for the greater pait of an hundred years ; and after 
that they were subdued by the Romans. But yet the Romans 
sufFered them to be governed by their own laws, and to have a 
king of their own, Herod the Great, who reigned about forty 
years, and governed with proper kingly authority, only paying 
homage to the Romans. But presently after Christ was born 
he died, as we have an account Mutth. ii. 19, and Archelaus 
succeeded him ; but was soon put down by the Roman Em- 
peror ; and then the sceptre departed from Judah. There 
were no more temporal kings of Judah after that, neither had 
that people their governors from the midst of themselves after 
that, but Avere ruled by a Roman governor sent among them ; 
and they ceased any more to have the power of life and death 
among themselves. Hence the Jews say to Pilate, " It is not 


lawful for us to put any man to death," John xviii. 31. Thus 
the sceptre departed from Judah when Shiloh came. 


HAVING thus considered Christ's coming into the world, 
and his taking on him our nature, to put himself in a capacity 
for the purchase of redemption, I come now, secondly, 

to speak of the purchase itself. And in speaking of this I 


1 . Show what is intended by the purchase of redemption. 

2. Observe some things in general concerning those things 
by which this purchase was made. 

3. I would orderly consider those things which Christ did 
3Uid suffered, by which that purchase was madfe. • 


I WOULD show Avhat is here intended by Christ's pur- 
chasing redemption. And there are two things that are in- 
tended by it, viz. his satisfaction, and his merit. All is done 
by the price that Christ lays down. But the price that Christ 
laid down does two things : It pays our debt, and so it satis- 
Jies : By its intrinsic value, and by the agreement between the 
Father and the Son, it procures a title to us for happiness, and 
so it merits. The satisfaction of Christ is to free us from mis- 
ery, and the merit of Christ is to purchase happiness for us. 

The word fiur chase, as it is used with respect to the pur- 
chase of Christ, is taken either more strictly, or more largely. 
It is oftentimes used more strictly, to signify only the merit of 
Christ ; and sometimes more largely, to signify both his satis- 
faction and merit. Indeed most of the words which are used 
in this affair have various significations. Thus somotimcs 


divines use TwenV in this affair for the whole price that Christ 
offered, both satisfactory, and also positively meritorious. 
And so the word satisfaction is sometimes used, not only for 
his propitiation, but also for his meritorious obedience. For 
in some scnsej not only suffering the penalty, but positively 
obeying, is needful to satisfy the law. The reason of this va- 
rious use of these terms seems to be, that satisfaction and 
merit Ao not differ so much really as relatively. They both 
consist in paying a valuable price, a price of infinite value ; but 
only that price, as it respects a debt to be paid, is called satis" 
faction ; and as it respects a positive good to be obtained, is 
called merit. The difference between paying a debt and 
making a positive purchase is more relative than it is essential. 
He who lays down a price to pay a debt, does in some sense 
make a purchase : He purchases liberty from the obligation. 
And he who lays down a price to purchase a good, does as it 
were make satisfaction : He satisfies the conditional demands 
of him to whom he pays it. This may suffice concerning; 
what is meant by the purchase of Christ. 


I NOW proceed to some general observations concerning 
those things by which this purchase was made And here, 

1. I would observe^ that whatever in Christ had the nature 
of satisfaction, it was by virtue of the suffering or humiliation 
that was in it. But whatever had the nature of merit, it was 
by virtue of the obedience or I'ighteousness there was in it. 
The satisfaction of Christ consists in his answering the de- 
mands of the law on man, which were consequent on the 
breach of the law. These were answered by suffering the 
penalty of the law. The merit of Christ consists in what he 
did to answer the demands of the law, which were prior to 
man's breach of the law, or to fulfil what the laAv demanded 
before man sinned, which was obedience. 


The satisfaction or propitiation of Christ consists either in 
^lis suffering evil, or his being subject to abasement. For 
Christ did not only make satisfaction by proper suffering, but 
by whatever had the nature of humiliation, and abasement 
of circumstances. Thus Christ made satisfaction for sin, by 
contin\iing under the power of death, while he lay buried in 
the grave, though neither his body nor soul properly endured 
any suffering after he was dead. Whatever Christ was sub- 
ject to that was the judicial fruit of sin, had the nature of satis- 
faction for sin. But not only proper suffering, but all abase- 
Tnent and depression of the state and circumstances of mankind 
l^eloAv its primitive honor and dignity, such as his body's re- 
maining under death, and body and soul remaining separate, 
and other things that might be mentioned, are the judicial 
fruits of sin. And all that Christ did in his state of humilia- 
tion, that had the nature of obedience or moral virtue or good- 
ness in it, in cne respect or another had the nature of merit 
4n it, and was part of the price with which he purchased hap- 
piness for the elect. 

2. I would observe, that both Christ's satisfaction for sin, 
and also his meriting happiness by his righteousness, Avere 
carried on through the whole time of his humiliation. 
Christ's satisfaction for sin was not only by his last sufferings, 
though it was principally by them ; but all his sufferings, and 
all the humiliation that he was subject to, from the first mo- 
ment of his incarnation to his resurrection, were propitiatory 
or satisfactory. Christ's satisfaction was chiefly by his death, 
because his sufferings and humiliation in that was greatest. 
But all his other sufferings, and all his other humiliation, all 
along had the nature of satisfaction. So had the mean cir- 
cumstances in Avhich he was born. His being born in such a 
low condition, was to make satisfaction for sin. His being 
born of a poor virgin, in a stable, ahd his being laid in a man- 
ger ; his taking the human nature upon him in its low state, 
and under those infirmities brought upon it by the fall ; his 
being born in tlie form of sinful flesh, had the nature of satis- 
faction. And so all his sufferings in his infancy and child- 
hood, and all that labor, and contempt, and reproach, and 

Part ll.] WORK OF REDEMPTION. 193 

temptation, and difficulty of any kind, or that he suffered 
through the whole course oi his life, was of a propitiatory 
and satisfactory nature. 

And so his purchase of happiness by his righteousness was 
also carried on through the whole time of his humiliation till 
his resurrection ; not only in that obedience he performed 
through the course of his life, but also in the obedience he 
performed in laying down his life. 

3. It was by the same things that Christ Iiath satisfied 
bod's justice, and also purchased eternal happiness. This 
satisfaction and purchase of Christ were not only both carried 
on through the whole time of Christ's humiliation, but they 
were both carried on by the same things. He did not make 
satisfaction by some things that he did, and then work out a 
righteousness by other different things ; but in the saine acts 
by which he wrought out righteousness, he also m.ade satis- 
faction, but only taken in a different relation. One and the 
same act of Christ, considered with respect to the obedience 
there was in it, was part of his righteousness, and purchased 
heaven : But considered with respect to the self denial, and 
difficulty, and humiliation, with which he performed it, had 
the nature of satisfaction for sin, and procured our pardon. 
Thus his going about doing good, preaching the gospel, and 
teaching his disciples, was a part of his righteousness, and 
purchase of heaven, as it was done in obedience to the Fath- 
er ; and the same was a part of his satisfaction, as he did it 
with great labor, trouble, and weariness, and under great 
temptations, exposing himself hereby to reproach and con- 
tempt. So his laying down his life had the nature of satis- 
faction to God's offended justice, considered as his bearing 
our punishment in our stead : But considered as an act of 
obedience to God, who had given him this command, that he 
should lay down his life for sinners, it was a part of his right- 
eousness, and purchase of heaven, and us much the principal 
part of his righteousness as it was the principal part of his sat- 
isfaction. And so to instance in his circumcision, what he 
suffered in that, had the nature of satisfaction : The blood 
that was shed in his circumcision was propitiatory blood j but 
Vol. II. 2 A 


as it was a conformity to the law of Moses, it was part of his 
ineritorious righteousness. Though it was not properly the 
act of his human nature, he being an infant ; yet it behig 
what the human nature was the subject of, and being the act 
of that person, it was accepted as an act of his obedience as 
our mediator. 

And so even his being born in such a low condition had the 
nature of satisfaction, by reason of the humiliation that was in 
it, and also of righteousness, as it was the act of his person in 
obedience to the Father, and what the human nature was the 
subject of, and what the will of the human nature did acqui- 
esce in, though there was no act of the will of the human na- 
ture prior to it. 

These things may suffice to have observed in the general 
concerning the purchase Christ made of redemption. 


I NOW proceed to speak more particularly of those things 
which Christ did, and was the subject of, during the time of 

his humiliation, Avhereby this purchase was made And the 

nature of the purchase of Christ, as it has been explained, 
leads us to consider these things under a twofold view, viz. 

1 . With respect to his righteousness, which appeared in 

2. With respect to the siifferings and humiliation that he 
was subject to in them in our stead. 

§1.1 will consider the things that passed during the time 
of Christ's humiliation, with respect to the obedience and right- 
eousness that he exercised in them. And this is subject to a 
threefold distribution. I shall therefore consider his obedi- 

1 . With respect to the Imv* which he obeyed. 


2. With respect to the different stages of his life \\\ which 
he performed it. 

3. With respect to the virtues he exercised in his obedi- 

I. The first distribution of the acts of Christ's righteous- 
ness is with respect to the laws nvhich Christ obeyed in that 
righteousness which he performed. But here it must be ob- 
served in general, that all the precepts which Christ obeyed 
may be reduced to one law, and that is that which the apostle 
calls the lanv ofworks^ Rom. iii. 27. Every command that 
Christ obeyed may be reduced to that great and everlasting 
law of God that is contained in the covenant of works, that 
eternal rule of right which God had established between him- 
self and mankind. Christ came into the world to fulfil and 
answer the covenant of works ; that is, the covenant that is 
to stand forever as a rule of judgment ; and that is the cove- 
nant that Ave had broken, and that was the covenant that must 
be fulfilled. 

This law of works indeed includes all the laws of God which 
ever have been given to mankind ; for it is a general rule of 
the law of works, and indeed of the law of nature. That God is 
to be obeyed, and that he must be submitted to in whatever 
positive precept he is pleased to give us. It is a rule of the 
law of works, That men should obey their earthly parents ; 
and it is certainly as much a rule of the same law. That we 
should obey our heavenly Father : And so the law of works 
requires obedience to all positive commands of God. It re- 
quired Adam's obedience to that positive command. Not to 
eat of the forbidden fruit ; and it required obedience of the 
Jews to all the positive commands of their institution. Wlien 
God commanded Jonah to arise and go to Nineveh, the law of 
•works required him to obey : And so it required Christ's obe- 
dience to all the positive commands which God gave him. 

But, more particularly, the commands of God which Christ 
obeyed-, were of three kinds ; they were either such as he was 
subject to merely as man, or such as he was subject to as he 
was a Jew, or such as he was subject to purely as Mediatgr, 


1 . He obeyed those commands which he was subject to 
merely as man : And they were the commands of the moral 
law, Avhich was the same with that which was given at Mount 
Sinai, written in two tables of stone, which are obligatory on 
mankind of all nations and all ages of the world. 

2. He obeyed all those laws he was subject to as he was a 
Jenv. Thus he was subject to the ceremonial law, and was 
conformed to it. He was conformed to it in his being circum- 
cised the eighth day ; and he strictly obeyed it in going up to , 
Jerusalem to the temple three times a year ; at least after he 
was come to the age of twelve years, which seems to have 
been the age when the males began to go up to the temple. 
And so Christ constantly attended the service of the temple, 
and of the synagogues. 

To this head of his obedience to the law that he was subject 
to as a Jew, may be reduced his submission to John's baptism. 
For it was a special command to the Jews, to go forth to John 
the Baptist, and be baptized of him ; aiid therefore Christ be- 
ing a Jew, was subject to this command ; and therefore, when 
he came to be baptized of Jolm, and John objected, that he had 
more need to come to him to be baptized of him, he gives this 
reason for it, that it was needful that he should do it, that he 
might fulfil all righteousness. See Matt. iii. 13, 14, 15. 

3. Another law that Christ was subject to was the mediatori- 
al law, which contained those commands of God to which 
he was subject not merely as man, nor yet as a Jew, but 
which related purely to his mediatorial office. Such were 
the commands which the Father gave him, to teach such doc- 
trines, to preach the gospel, to work such iTiiracles, to call 
such disciples, to appoint such ordinances, and finally .to lay 
down his life : For he did all these things in obedience to com- 
mands he had received of tlie Father, as he often tells us. 
And these commands he was not subject to merely as man ; 
for they did not belong to other men ; nor yet was he subject 
to them as a Jew ; for they were no part of the Mosaic law ; 
but they were commands that he had received of tlie father, 
that purely respected tlie woi'k he was to do iu tlic woi'ld in 
liis mediatorial office. 


And it is to be observed, that Christ's rii^hteousness, by 
which he merited heaven for himself, and all who believe in 
him, consists principally in his obedience to this mediatorial 
law : For in fulfilling this law consisted his chief work and 
business in the world. The history of the Evangelists is 
chiefly taken up in giving an account of his obedience to this 
law : And this part of his obedience was that which was at- 
tended with the greatest difficulty of all ; and therefore his 
obedience in it was most meritorious. What Christ had to 
do in the world by virtue of his being Mediator, was infinitely 
more difficvilt than what he had to do merely as a man, or as a 
Jew. To his obedience to this mediatorial law belongs liis 
going through his last sufferings, beginning with his agony in 
the garden, and ending with his resurrection. 

As the obedience of the first Adam, wherein his righteous^ 
ness would have consisted, if he had stood, would have mainly 
consisted, not in his obedience to the moral law, to which he 
was subject merely as man, but in his obedience to that spec- 
ial law that he was subject to as moral head and surety of 
mankind, even the command of abstaining from the tree of 
knowledge of good and evil ; so the obedience of the second 
Adam, Avherein his righteousness consists, lies mainly, not in 
his obedience to the law that he was subject to merely as man, 
but to that special law which he was subject to in his ofBce as 
Mediator and surety for man. 

Before I proceed to the next distribution of Christ's right- 
•eousness, I would observe three things concerning Christ's 
obedience to these laws. 

1. He performed that obedience to them which was in 
jevery respect iierfect. It was universal as to the kinds of laws 
that he was subject to ; he obeyed each of these three laws ; 
said it was universal with respect to every individual precept 
contained in these laws, and it was perfect as to each com- 
mand. It was perfect as to positive transgressions avoided : 
For he never transgressed in one instance ; he was guilty of no 
sin of commission. And it was perfect with respect to the 
work commanded : He perfected the whole work that eacti. 


command required, and never was guilty of any sin of omis- 
sion. And it was perfect with respect to the principle from 
which he obeyed : His heart was perfect, his principles were 
wholly right, there was no corruption in his heart. And it 
was perfect with respect to the ends he acted for : For he 
never had any by ends, but aimed perfectly at such ends as 
the law of God required. And it was perfect with respect to 
the manner of performance : Every circumstance of each act 
was perfectly conformed to the command. And it was per- 
fect with respect to the degree of the performance : He acted 
wholly up to the rule. And it Avas perfect with respect to the 
constancy of obedience : He did not only perfectly obey some- 
times, but constantly, without any interruption. And it was 
perfect with i-espect to perseverance : He held out in perfect 
obedience to the very end, through all the clianges he passed 
and all the trials that were before him. 

The meritoriousness of Christ's obedience, depends on the 
perfection of it. If it had failed in any instance of perfection, 
it could not have been meritorious : For imperfect obedience 
is not accepted as any obedience at all in the sight of the law 
of works, which was that law that Christ was subject to ; for 
that is not accepted as an obedience to a law that does not 
answer that law. 

2. The next thing I would observe of Christ's obedience is, 
that it was performed through the greatest trials and tempta- 
tions that ever any obedience was. His obedience was attend- 
ed with the greatest difficulties, and most extreme abasement 
and sufferings that ever any obedience was ; which Avas 
another thing that rendered it more meritorious and thank 
worthy. To obey another when his commands are easy, is 
not so worthy, as it is to obey when it cannot be done without 
great difficulty. 

3. He performed this obedience with infinite respect to 
God, and the honor of his law. The obedience he perform- 
ed was with infinitely greater love to God, and regard to his 
authority, than the angels perform their obedience with. The 
angels perform their obedience with that love which is perfect, 
with sinless perfection : But Christ <lid not do so, but he per- 


formed his obedience with much greater love than the angels 
do theirs, even infinite love ; for though the human nature of 
Christ was not capable of love absolutely infinite, yet Christ's 
obedience that was performed in that human nature, is not to 
be looked upon as merely the obedience of the human nature, 
but the obedience of his person as God man ; and there was 
infinite love of the person of Christ manifest in that obedience. 
And this, together with the infinite dignity of the person tliat 
obeyed, rendered his obedience infinitely meritorious. 

II. The second distribution of the acts of Christ's obe- 
dience, is with respect to the different parts of his life., wherein 
they were performed. And in this respect they may be divi- 
ded into those which were performed in private life, and those 
which were performed in his public ministry. 

\st. Those acts he performed during his /z/vfc^e life. He 
was perfectly obedient in his childhood. He infinitely difter- 
cd from other children, who, as soon as they begin to act, be- 
gin to sin and rebel. He was subject to his earthly parents, 
though he was Lord of all, Luke ii. 51. He was found about 
his Father's business at twelve years of age in the temple, 
Luke ii. 42. He then began that Avork that he had to do in 
fulfilment of the mediatorial law, which the Father had given 
him. He continued his private life for about thirty years, 
dwelling at Nazareth in the house of his reputed father Jo- 
seph, where he served God in a private capacity, and in fol- 
lowing a mechanical trade, the business of a carpenter. 

2dlij. Those acts which he performed during his public 
ministrtj, which began when he was about thirty years of age, 
and continued for the three last years and an half of his life. 
Most of the history of the evangelists is taken up in giving an 
account of what passed during these three years and an half; 
so is all the history of the Evangelist Matthew, excepting the 
two first chapters. So is the whole of the history of the Evan- 
gelist Mark ; it begins and ends with it. And so also is all 
the gospel of John, and all the gospel of Luke, excepting the 
two first chapters ; excepting also what we find in the evan- 
gelists concerning the ministry of John the Baptist. Christ's 

20O WORK GF REDEMPTION. [Period it. 

first api)earing in his public ministry, is what is often called 
his coming in scripture. Thus John speaks of Christ's 
coraing as what is yet to be, though he had been born long 

Concerning the public ministry of Christ, I would observe 
the following things. 1. The forerunner of it. 2. The 
manner of his first entering upon it. 3. The works in Avhich 
he was employed during the course of it ; and, 4. The man- 
lier of his finishing it. 

1. The forerunner of Christ's coming in his public minis- 
try was John the Baptist : He came preaching repentance for 
the remission of sins, to make^ way for Christ's coming, 
agreeably to the prophecies of him, Isa. xl. 3, 4, 5, and IMatL 
iv. 5, 6. It is supposed that John the Baptist began his minis- 
try about three years and an half before Christ ; so that John's 
ministry and Christ's put together, made seven years, a\ hich 
Was the last of Daniel's v/eeks ; and this time is intended in 
Dan. ix. 27. « He will confirm the covenant with many for 
one week." Christ came in the midst of this week, viz. in 
the beginning of the last half of it, or the last three years, and 
an half, as Daniel foretold, as in the verse just now quoted : 
*' And in the midst of the Aveek he shall cause the sacrifice 
and the oblation to cease." 

John Baptist's ministry consisted principally in preaching 
the law, to awaken men and convince them of sin, to prepare 
men for the coming of Christ, to comfort them, as the law is 
to prepare the heart for the entertainment of the gospel. 

A very remarkable outpouring of the Spirit of God attended 
John's ministry ; and the effect of it was, that Jerusalem, and 
all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, were awak- 
ened, convinced, went out to him, and submitted to his bap- 
tism, confessing their sins. John is spoken of as the greatest 
of all the prophets who came before Christ: Matth. xi. 11. 
♦' Among those that are born of women, there hath not risen 
a greater than John the Baptist ;" i. e. he had the most hon- 
orable office. He was as the morning star, which is the har- 
binger of the approaching day, and forerunner of the rising 
sun. The other prophets were stars that were to give light 


ih the night ; but we have heard how those stars went out on 
the approach of the gospel day- But now the coming of 
Christ being very nigh, the morning star comes before him, 
the brightest of all the stars, as John the Baptist was the 
greatest of all the prophets. 

And when Christ came in his public ministry, the light of 
that morning star decreased too ; as we see when the sua 
rises, it diminishes the light of the morning star. So John 
the Baptist says of himself, John iii. 30. « He must increase, 
but I must decrease." And soon after Christ began his pub- 
lic ministry, John the Baptist was put to death ; as the morn- 
ing star is visible a little while after the sun is risen, yet soorl 
goes out. 

2. The next thing to be taken notice of is Christ's entrance 
on his public ministry, which was by baptism, followed with 
the temptation in the wilderness. His baptism was as it 
were his solemn inauguration, by which he entered on his 
ministry ; and was attended with his being anointed with the 
Holy Ghost, in a solemn and visible manner, the Holy Ghost 
descending upon him in a visible shape like a dove, attended 
with a voice from heaven, saying, " This is my beloved Son, 
in whom I am well pleased," Matth, iii. 16, 17. 

After this he was led by the devil into the wilderness. Sa- 
tan made a violent onset upon him at his first entrance on his 
work ; and now he had a remarkable trial of his obedience ; 
but he got the victory. He who had such success with the 
first Adam, had none with the second. 

3. I would take notice of the work in which Christ was 
employed during his miliistry. And here are three things 
chiefly to be taken notice of, viz. his preaching, his working 
miracles, and his calling and appointing disciples and minis- 
ters of his kingdom. 

(I.) His preaching the gospel. Great part of the work .-<f 
his public ministry consisted in this ; and much of that obe- 
dience by which he purchased salvation for us, was in his 
speaking those things which the Father commanded him..... 
He more clearly and abundantly revealed the mind and will of 
God, than ever it had been revealed before. He came from 

Vol. n. Z B 

i02 WORK OF REDEMPTIOJ^. [Period It. 

the bosom of the Father, and perfectly knew his mind, and 
was in tlie best capacity to reveal it. As the sun, as soon as it 
is risen, begins to shine ; so Christ, as soon as he came into 
his public ministry, began to enlighten the world with his 
doctrine. As the law was given at Mount Sinai, so Christ de- 
livered his evangelical doctrine, full of blessings and not 
curses, to a multitude on a mountain, as we have an account 
in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew. 

When he preached, he did not teach as the scribes, but he 
taught as one having authority ; so that his hearers were 
astonished at his doctrine. He did not reveal the mind and 
will of God in the style which the prophets used to preach, as 
not speaking their own words but the words of another ; and 
used to speak in such a style as this, " Thus saith the Lord ;" 
but Christ, in such a style as this, " I say unto you," thus or 
thus ; " Verily, verily, I say unto you." He delivered his 
doctrines, not only as the doctrines of God the Father, but as- 
his own doctrines. He gave forth his commands, not as the 
prophets were wont to do, as God's commands, but as his own 
commands. He spake in such a style as this, " This is 7ny 
com/)ia7idment," John xv. 12. "Ye are my friends, if ye do 
whatsoever I conunand you," ibid 14. 

(2.) Another thing that Christ was employed in during the 
course of his ministry, was working miracles. Concerning 
which wc may observe several things. 

Theif multitude. Besides particular instances, we often- 
have ar>' account of multitudes coming at once with diseases,- 
and his healing tliem. 

They were works of v\crcy. In them was displayed not 
only his infinite ix>Aver and greatness, but his infinite mercy 
and goodness. He m cut about doing good, healing the sick, 
restoring sight to tbiC blind, hearing to the deaf, and the prop- 
er use of their limbs to the lame and halt ; feeding the hun- 
gry, cleansing the leprous, and raismg the dead. 

They were almost all of them stich as had been sfioken of as 
the fifculiar works of Qod, in the Old Testament. So with re- 
spect to stilling the sea, Psal. cvii. 29. " He makcth tlic 
storm a calm, so th.at the waves thereof are still." So as to- 


walking on the sea in a storna : Job ix. 8. « Which alone.... 
treadeth upon the waves of the sea." So as to casting out 
devils: Psal. Ixxiv. 14. « Thou breakest the heads of levia- 
than in pieces." So as to feeding a muhitude in a wilderness : 
Deut. viii. 16. « Who fed thee in the wildei'ness with man- 
na." So as to telling man's thoughts : Amos iv. 13. « Lo, he 
that....declareth unto man what is his thought.. ..the Lord, the 
God of hosts is his name." So as to raising the dead : Psal. 
Ixviii. 20. « Unto God the Lord belong the issues from 
death." So as to opening the eyes of the bhnd : Psal. cxlvL 
.8. " The Lord opcneth the eyes of the blind." So as to 
healing the sick : Psal. ciii. 3. « Who healeth all thy dis- 
eases." So as to lifting up those Avho are bowed together : 
Psal. cxlvi. 8. " The Loixl raiseth them that ai'e bowed 

They were in general sxtch works as were images of the 
great nvork nvhich he came to, work on man's heart : Represent- 
ing that inward, spiritual cleansing, healing, renovation, and 
resurrection, which all his redeemed are the subjects of. 

He ivrought them in such a manner as to show, tJiat he did 
them by his oivn fioiver, and not by the poiver of another, as the 
other prophets did. They were wont to Avork all their mira- 
cles in the name of the Lord ; but Christ wrought in his own 
name. Moses was forbidden to enter into Canaan, because he 
seemed by his speech to assume the honor of working only 
one miracle to himslf. Nor did Christ work miracles as the 
apostles did, who wrought them all in the name of Christ ; 
but he wrought them in his own name, and by his own author- 
ity and will : Thus saith he, " I Avill, be thou clean," Matth. 
viii. 3. And in the same strain he put the question, " Believe 
ye that I am able to do this ?" Matth. ix. 28. 

(3.) Another thing that Christ did in the course of his min- 
istry, was to call his disciples. He called many disciples. 
There were many that he employed as ministers ; he sent 
seventy disciples at one time in this work : But there were 
twelve that he set apart as apostles, who were the grand min- 
istei-s of his kingdom, and as it were the twelve foundations of 
his church. See Rev. xxi. 14. These were the main instru- 


mcnts oF setting up his kingdom in the world, and therefore 
shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

A. I would obsei-vc how he finished his ministry. And this 

( 1 .) In giving his dying counsels to his disciples, and all that 
should be his disciples, which we have recorded particularly 
in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John's gospel. 

(2.) In instituting a solemn memorial of his death. This he 
did in instituting the sacrament of the Lord's supper, Avhere- 
in we have a representation of his body broken, and of his 
blood shed. 

(3.) In offering up himself, as God's high priest, a sacri- 
fice to God, which he did in his last sufferings. This att he 
did as God's minister, as God's anointed priest ; and it was 
the greatest act of his public ministry, the greatest act of 
his obedience by which he purchased heaven for believers. 
The priests of old used to do many other things as God'? 
ministers ; but then were they in the highest execution of 
their office when they were actually offering sacrifice on the 
filtar. So the greatest thing that Christ did in the execution 
of his priestly office, and the greatest thing that he ever did, 
and the greatest thing that ever was done, was the offering 
up himself a sacrifice to God. Herein he was the antitype of 
fvll that had been done by all the priests, and in all their 
sacrifices and offerings, from the beginning of the world. 

III. TijK third distribution of the acts by which Christ pur- 
chased redejnption, regards rhe -virtues that Christ exercised 
mid manifested \v\ them. And here I would observe, that 
Christ, in doing the work that he had to do here in the world 
for our redemption, exercised every possible virtue and 
grace. Indeed there are some particiilar virtues that sinful 
man may have that were not in Christ ; not from any want or 
defect of virtue, but because his virtue was perfect and with- 
out defect. Such is the virtue of repentance, and brokenness 
of heart for sin, and mortification, and denying of lust. Those 
virtues were not in Christ, because he had no sin of his own 
tq repent of, nor any lust to deny. But all virtues which ds. 


not presuppose sin -were in him. and that in a higher degree 
than ever tlicy were in any other man, or any mere creature. 
Every virtue in him was perfect. Virtue itself was greater 
in him than in any other ; and it was under greater advanta- 
ges to shine in him than in any other. Strict virtue shines 
most when most tried : But never any virtue had such trials 
as Christ's had. 

The virtue that Christ exercised in the work he did, may 
be divided into three sorts, viz. the virtues which more im- 
mediately respect God, those which immediately respect 
himself, and those which immediately respect men. 

1. Those virtues ivliich viore imviecUatdy resjiect God, ap- 
peared in Christ in the work that he did for our redemption. 
There appeared in him an koly fear and reverence towards 
God the Father. Christ had a greater trial of his virtue in 
this respect than any other had, from the honorablencss of his 
person. This was the temptation of the angels that fell, to 
cast off their worship of God, and reverence of his majesty, 
that they were beings of such exalted dignity and worthiness 
themselves. But Christ was infinitely more v/orthy and hon- 
orable than they ; for he was the eternal Son of God, and his 
person was equal to the person of God the Father : And yet, 
as he had taken on him the office of mediator, and the nature 
of man, he was full of reverence towards God. He adored 
him in the most reverential manner, time after time. So he 
manifested a wonderful love towards God. The angels give 
great testimonies of their love towards God, in their constan- 
cy and agility in doing the will of God ; and many saints 
have given great testimonies of their love, who, from love to 
God, have endured great labors and sufferings : But none ev- 
er gave such testimonies of love to God as Christ has given ; 
none ever performed such a labor of \o\t as he, and suffered 
so much from love to God. So he manifested the most won- 
derful submission to the will of God. Never was any one's 
submission so tried as his was. So he manifested the most 
Avondei'ful spirit of obedience that everAvas manifested. 

2. In this work he most AvonderfuUv manifested those vir- 
tues which more immediatdy renpected himiclf ; as particularly 

^06 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period If. 

humility, patience, and contempt of the world. Christ, 
though he was the most excellent and honorable of all men, 
yet was the most humble ; yea, he was the most humble of 
all creatures. No angel or man ever equalled him in humil- 
ity, though he was the highest of all creatures in dignity and 
honorableness. Christ would have been under the greatest 
temptations to pride, if it had been possible for any thing to 
be a temptation to him. The temptation of the angels that 
fell was the dignity of their nature, and the honorableness of 
their circumstances ; but Christ was infinitely more honora> 
ble than they. The human nature of Christ was so honored 
as to be in the same person with the eternal Son of God, who 
was equal with God ; and yet that human nature was not at 
all lifted up with pride. Nor was the man Christ Jesus at all 
lifted up Avith pride with all those Avonderful works which he 
wrought, of healing the sick, curing the blind, lame, and 
maimed, and raising the dead. And though he knew that 
God had appointed him to be the king over heaven and earth, 
angels and men, as he says, Matth. xi. 27. " All tilings are de- 
livered unto me of my Father ;" though he knew he was 
such an infinitely honorable person, and thought it not robr 
bery to be equal with God ; and though he knew he was the 
heir of God the Father's kingdom ; yet such Avas his humili- 
ty, that he did not disdain to be abased and depressed down 
into lower and viler circumstances and sufferings than ever 
any other elect creature was ; so that he became least of all, 
and lowest of all. The proper trial and evidence of humility, 
is stooping or complying with those acts or circumstances, 
when called to it, which are very lo^^', and contain great abase- 
ment. But none ever stooped so low as Christ, if we consid^ 
er either the infinite height that he stooped from, or the great 
depth to Avhich he stooped. Such was his humility, that 
though he knew his infinite worthiness of honor, and of be- 
ing honored ten thousand times as much as the highest prince 
on earth, or angel in heaven ; yet he did not think it too much 
when called to it, to be bound as a cursed malefactor, and to 
become the laughing stock and spitting stock of the vilest of 
ineuj and to be crowned with thorns, and to have a mock robo 


put upon him, and to be cmcified like a slave and malefactor, 
and as one of the meanest and worst of vagabonds and mis- 
creants, and an accursed enemy of God and men, who was not 
fit to live on the earth : And this not for himself, but for 
some of the meanest and vilest of creatures, some of those ac-" 
cursed wretches that crucified him. Was not this a wonder- 
ftU manifestation of humility, when he cheerfully' and most 
freely submitted to this abasement ? 

And how did his patience shine forth uiftler all the terrible 
sufferings which he endured, when he was dumb, and openet! 
not his mouth, but went as a lamb to the slaughter, and was 
like a patient lamb under all the sufferings he endured from- 
first to last ? 

. And what contempt of the glory of this world was there,- 
when he rather chose this contempt, and meanness, and suf-- 
fering, than to wear a temporal crov, n, and be invested Avith 
the external glories of an earthly prince, as the multitude of- 
Lcn solicited him ? 

3. Christ, in the work which he wrought out, in a wonder-' 
ful manner exercised those virtues ivhich mare immediately res-f 
pect other men. And tliese may be summed up under two 
heads, viz. meekness and love. 

Christ's meekness was his humble calmness of spirit under 
the provocations that he met with. None ever met with so 
great provocations as he did. The greatness of provocation 
lies in two things, viz. in the degree of opposition by which 
the provocation is given ; and, secondly, in the degree of 
the unreasonableness of that opposition, or in its being 
very causeless, and v/ithout reason, and the great degree 
of obligation to the contrary. Now, if we consider both these 
things, no man ever met with such provocations as Christ 
did, when he was upon earth. If we consider how much he 
was hated, what abuses he suffered from the vilest of men, 
how great his sufferings from men were, and how spiteful and 
how contemptuous they were, in offering him these abuses ; 
and also consider how causeless and unreasonable these abu- 
ses were, how undeserving he was of them, and how much 
Reserving of the contrary, via, of love, and honor, and good 


treatment at their hands : I say, if wc consider these things, 
no man ever met with a thousandth part of the provocation 
that Christ met with from men : And yet how meek was he 
under all 1 How composed and quiet his spirit ! How far from 
being in a ruffle and tumult ! When he was reviled, he reviled 
not again ; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he 
opened not his mouth. No appearance was there of a re- 
vengeful spirit ; on the contrary, what a spirit of forgiveness 
did he exhibit 1 So that he fervently and effectually prayed 
for their forgiveness, when they were in the highest act of 
provocation that ever they perpetrated, viz. nailing him to the 
cross : Luke xxiii. 34. " Father, forgive them, for they know 
not what they do." 

And never did there appear such an instance of love to men. 
Christ's love to men that he showed when on earth, and es- 
pecially in going through his last sufferings, and offering up 
his life and soul under those sufferings, which was his great- 
est act of love, was far beyond all parallel. There have been 
very remarkable manifestations of love in some of the saints, 
as in the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, and others : But the 
love to men that Christ showed when on earth, as much ex- 
ceeded the love of all other men, as the ocean exceeds a 
small stream. 

And it is to be observed, that all the virtues which appeared 
in Christ sho^vn brightest in the close of his life, under the tri- 
als he met with then. Eminent virtue always shows biight- 
est in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chicfiy in the fur- 
nace. It was chiefly under those trials which Christ under- 
went in the close of his life, that his love to God, his honor of 
God's majesty, and his regard to the honor of his law, and his 
spirit of obedience, and his humility, and contempt of the 
world, and his patience and his meekness, and his spirit of 
forgiveness towards men, appeared. Indeed every thing that 
Christ did to work out redemi)tion for us appears mainly in 
the close of his life. Here mainly is his satisfaction for sin. 
and here chiefly is his merit of eternal life for sinners, and here 
chiefly appears the briglitness of his example, which he hath 
set us to foUov/-. 


Thus we have taken a brief view of the things whereby the 
purchase of redemption was made with respect to his right- 
eousness that appeared in them I proceed now, 

§ II. To take a view of them with respect to the satisfaction 
that he thereby made for sin, or the sufferings a7id huviiliation 
that he was the subject of in them on our account. And 

I. He was subject to uncommon humiliation and sufferings 
in his infancy. He was born to that end that he might die ; 
and therefore he did as it were begin to die as soon as he was 
born. His mother suffered in an uncommon manner in bear- 
ing him. When her travail came upon her, it is said, there 
was no room in the inn," Luke ii. 7. She was forced to be- 
take herself to a stable ; and therefore Christ was born in the 
place of the bringing forth of beasts. Thus he suffered in his 
birth, as though he had been meaner and viler than a man, 
and not possessed of the dignity of the human nature, but had 
been of the rtmk of the brute creatures. And we may con- 
clude, that his mother's circumstances in other respects were 
pi'oportionably strait and difficult, and that she was destitute of 
the conveniencies necessary for so young an infant which oth- 
ers were wont to have ; for want of which the new born babe 
without doubt suffered much. 

And besides, he was persecuted in his infancy. They be- 
gan to seek his life as soon as he was born. Herod, the chief 
man of the land, was so engaged to kill him, that, in order to 
it} he killed all the children in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts 
thereof, from two years old and under. And Christ suffered 
banishment in his infancy, was driven out of his native coun- 
try into Egypt, and without doubt suffered much by being 
carried so long a journey, when he was so young into a strange 

II. Christ was subject to great humiliation in his private 
life at Nazareth. He there led a servile obscure life, in a 
mean laborious occupation : For he is called not only the 
carpenter's son., but the carpenter : Mark vi. 3. " Is not this 
the carpenter, the brother of James and Joses, and Juda, and 
Simon ?" He, by hard labor, earned his bread before he ate it, 

Vol. II. 2 C 

210 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period if. 

and so suffered that curse which God pronounced on Adam, 
Gen. iii. 13. " In the SAveat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." 
Let us consider how great a degree of humiliation the glori- 
ous Son of God, the creator of heaven and earth, was subject 
to in this, that for about thirty years he should live a private 
obscure life among laboring men, and all this while be over- 
looked, and not taken notice of in the world, as more than oth- 
er common laborers. Christ's humiliation in some respects 
was greater in private life than in the time of his public min- 
istry. There were many manifestations of his glory in the 
word he preached, and the great miracles he wrought : But 
the first thirty years of his life he spent among mean ordinary 
men, as it were in silence, without those manifestations of 
his glory, or any thing to make him to be taken notice of more 
than any ordinary mechanic, but only the spotless purity and 
eminent holiness of his life ; and that was in a great measure 
hid in obscurity ; so that he was little taken notice of till after 
his baptism. 

III. Christ was the subject of great humiliation and suffer- 
ing during his public life, from his baptism till the night 
wherein he was betrayed. As particularly, 

1. He suffered great poverty, so that he had not " where, 
to lay his head," Matth. viii. 20 ; and commonly used to 
lodge abroad in the open air, for want of a shelter to betake 
himself to ; as you will see is manifest, if you compare the 
following places together, which I shall but name to you, 
even Matth. viii. 20, and John xviii. 1, 2, and Luke xxi. 37, and 
chap. xxii. 39. So that what was spoken of Christ in Cant. v. 
2. " My head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops 
of the night," was literally fulfilled. And through his poverty 
he doubtless was often pinched with hunger, and thirst, and 
cold. We read Matth. iv. 2, that he was an hungred : And so 
again in Matth. xxi. 18. His mother and natural relations 
were poor, and not able to help him ; and he was maintained 
by the charity of some of his disciples while he lived. So wc 
read hi Luke viii. at the beginning, of certain women that 
followed him, and ministered to him of their substance. He 
was so poor, that he was not able to pay the tribute that was 


demanded of him, without the miraculous coming of a fish to 
bring him the money out of the sea in his mouth. See Matth. 
xvii. 27. And when he ate his last passover, it was not at his 
own charge, but at the charge of another, as appears by Luke 
xxii. 7, Sec. And from his poverty he had no grave of his own 
to be buried in. It was the manner of the Jews, unless they 
vere very poor, and were not able, to prepare themselves a 
sepulchre while they lived. But Christ had no land of his 
own, though he was possessor of heaven and earth ; and there- 
fore was buried by Joseph of Arimathea's charity, and in his 
tomb, which he had prepared for himself. 

2. He suflFered great hatred and reproach. He was despis- 
ed and rejected of men. He was by most esteemed a poor, 
insignificant person ; one of little account, slighted for his low 
parentage, and his mean city Nazareth. He was reproached as 
a glutton and drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners ; was 
called a deceiver of the people ; sometimes a madman, and a 
Samaritan, and ^one possessed with a devil, John vii. 20, and 
viii. 48, and x. 20. He Avas called a blasphemer, and was ac- 
counted by many a wizzard, or one that wrought miracles by 
the black art, and by communication Avith Beelzebub. They 
excommunicated him, and agreed to excommunicate any man 
that should own him, as John ix. 22. ' They wished him dead 
and were continually seeking to murder him ; sometimes by 
force, and sometimes by craft. They often took up stones to 
stone him, and once led him to the brow of a hill, intending to 
throw him down the precipice, to dash him in pieces against 
the rocks. 

He was thus hated and reproached by his own visible peo- 
ple : Johni. 11. "He came to his own, and his own received 
him not." And he was principally despised and hated by 
those who were in chief repute, and were their greatest men. 
And the hatred wherewith he was hated was general. Into 
whatever part of the land he went, he met with hatred and 
contempt. He met with these in Capernaum, and when he 
went to Jericho, when he went to Jerusalem, Avhich was the 
holy city, when he went to the temple to worship, and also in 
Nazareth, his own city, and among his own relations, and his 
old neighbors. 


3. He suffered the buffettings of Satan in an uncommon 
manner. We read of one time in particular, when he liad a 
long conflict with the devil, when he was in the wilderness 
forty days, with nothing but wild beasts and devils ; and was 
so exposed to the devil's power, that he was bodily carried 
about by him from place to place, while he was otherwise in a 
very suffering state. 

And so much for the humiliation and suffering of Christ's 
public life, from his baptism to the night wherein he was be- 

IV. I come now to his last humiliation and sufferings, from 
the evening of the night wherein he was betrayed to his resur- 
rection. And here was his greatest humiliation and suffering, 
by which principally he made satisfaction to the justice of God 
for the sins of men. First, his life was sold by one of his own 
disciples for thirty pieces of silver, which was the price of the 
life of a servant, as you may see in Exod. xxi. 32. Then he 
was in that dreadful agony in the garden. Thete came such 
a dismal gloom upon his soul, that he began to be sorrowful 
and very heavy, and said, his " soul was exceeding sorrowful, 
even unto death, and was sore amazed." So violent was the 
agony of his soul, as to force the blood through the pores of 
his skin ; so that whilf. his soul was overwhelmed with amaz- 
ing sorrow, his body was all clotted with blood. The disci- 
ples, who used to be as his friends and family, at this time, 
above all, appeared cold towards him, and unconcerned for 
him, at the same time that his father's face Avas hid from him. 
Judas, to whom Christ had been so very merciful, and treated 
as one of his family, or familiar friends, comes and betrays him 
in the most deceitful, treacherous manner. The officers and 
soldiers apprehend and bind him ; his disciples forsake him 
and flee ; his own best friends do not stand by him to comfort 
him, in this time of his distress. He is led away as a male- 
factor to appear before the priests and scribes, his venomous, 
mortal enemies, that they might sit as his judges, who sat up 
all night, to have the pleasure of insulting him, now they had 
pot him into their hands. But because they aimed at nothing 
bhort of his life, they set themselves to find some color to put 


him to death, and seek for -witnesses against him. When none 
appeared, they set some to bear false -w ituess ; and when their 
witness did not agree together, then they go to examining hini 
to catch something out of his own mouth. They hoped he 
would say, that he was the Son of God, and then they thought 
they should have enough. But because they see they are not 
like to obtain it without it, they then go to force him to say it, 
by adjuring him in the name of God, to say whether he was or 
not : And when he confessed that he was, then they suppos- 
ed they had enough ; and then it was a time of rejoicing with 
them, which they show, by falling upon Christ and spitting in 
his face, and blindfolding him, and striking him in the face 
with the palms of their hands, and then bidding him prophecy 
who it was that struck him : Thus ridiculing him for pretend- 
ing to be a prophet. And the very servants have a hand in 
the sport : Mark, xiv. 65. " And the servants did strike him. 
with the palms of their hands." 

During the sufferings of that night, Peter, one of the chief 
,«f his own disciples, instead of standing by him to comfort 
him, appears ashamed to own him, and denies and renounces 
him with oaths and curses. And after the chief priests and 
elders had finished the night in so shamefully abusing him, 
when the morning was come, which was the morning of the 
■most wonderful day that ever Avas, they led him away to Pi- 
late, to be condemned to death by him, because they had not 
the power of life and death in their own hands. He is 
brought before Pilate's judgment seat, and there the priests 
and elders accuse him as a traitor. And when Pilate, upon 
examining into the matter, declared he found no fault in him, 
the Jews were but the more fierce and violent to haA^e him 
condemned. Upon which Pilate, after clearing him, very un- 
justly brings him upon a second trial ; and then, not finding 
any thing against him., acquits him again. Pilate treats him 
as a poor worthless fellow ; but is ashamed on so little pre- 
tence to condemn him ur, a traitor. 

And then he was sent to Herod to be tried by him, and Avas 
brought before Herod's judgment seat ; and his enemies fol- 
lowed, and virulently accused him before Herod. Herod 


does not condemn hira as a traitor, or one that would set up 
for a king, but looks upon him as Pilate did, as a poor worth- 
less creature, not worthy to be taken notice of, and does but 
make a mere laugh of the Jews accusing him as a dangerous 
person to Cesar, as one that was in danger of setting up to be 
a king against him ; and therefore, in derision, dresses him 
up in a mock robe, and makes sport of him, and sends him 
back through the streets of Jerusalem to Pilate, with the mock 
robe on. 

The Jews prefer Barabbas before him, and are instant and 
violent with loud voices to Pilate, to crucify him. So Pilate, 
after he had cleared him twice, and Herod once, very unright- 
eously brings him on trial the third time, to try if he could 
not find something agamst him sufficient to crucify him. Christ 
was stripped and scourged : Thus he gave his back to the 
smiter. After that, though Pilate still declared that he found 
no fault in him ; yet so unjust was he, that for fear of the 
Jews he delivered Christ to be crucified. But before they 
execute the sentence, his spiteful and cruel enemies take the 
pleasure of another spell of mocking him ; they get round 
him, and make a set business of it. They stripped him, and 
put on him a scarlet robe, and a reed in his hand, and a crown 
of thorns on his head. Both Jews and Roman soldiers were 
united in the transaction ; they bow the knee before him, and 
in derision cry, " Hail, king of the Jews." They spit upon 
him also, and take the reed out of his hand and smite him on 
the head. After this they led him away to crucily him, and 
made him carry his own cross, till he sunk under it, his 
strength being spent ; and then they laid it on one Simon a 

At length, being come to Mount Calvary, they execute the 
sentence which Pilate had so unrighteously pronounced. 
They nail him to his cross, by his hands and feet, then raise 
it erect, and fix one end in the ground, he being still suspend- 
ed on it by the nails which pierced his hands and feet. And now 
Christ's sufferings arc come to the extremity : Now the cup 
which he so earnestly prayed that it might pass from liim, is 
come, and he must, he does drink it. 


In those days crucifixion was the most tormenting kind of 
death by -which any were wont to be executed. There was 
no death wherein the person expired so much of mere tor- 
ment : And hence the Roman word which signifies tor7ne7iti 
is taken from this kind of death. And besides what our Lord 
endured in this excruciating death in his body, he endured 
Vastly more in his soul. Now was that travail of his soul, of 
which we read in the prophet ; now it pleased God to bruise 
him) and to put him to grief ; now he poured out his soul unto 
death, as in Isa. liii. And if the mere forethought of this cup 
made him sweat blood, how much more dreadful and excru- 
ciating must the drinking of it have been ! Many martyrs 
have endured much in their bodies, while their souls have been 
joyful, and have sung for joy, whereby they have been support- 
ed under the sufferings of their outward man, and have tri- 
umphed over them. But this was not the case with Christ ; 
he had no such support ; but his sufferings were chiefly those 
of the mind, though the other were extremely great. In his 
erucifixion Christ did not sweat blood, as he had before, be- 
cause his blood had vent otherwise, and not because his agony- 
Was now not so great. But though he did not sweat blood, 
yet such was the suffering of his soul, that probably it rent his 
vitajs ; as seems probable by this, that when his side was 
pierced, there came forth blood and water. And so here was 
a kind of literal fulfilment of that in Psal. xxii. 14. "lam 
poured out like water : My heart is like wax, it is melted in 
the midst of my bowels.'* 

Now, under all these sufferings, the Jews still mock him ; 
^nd wagging their heads say, " Thou that destroyest the 
temple, and bulkiest it in three days, save thyself : If thou be 
the Son of God, come down from the cross." And even the 
chief priests, scribes, and ciders, joined in the cry, saying, 
« He saved others ; himself he cannot save." And probably 
the devil at the same time tormented him to the utmost of 
his power ; and hence it is said, Luke xxii. 53. « This is your 
houi', and the power of darkness." 

Under these sufferings, Christ having cried out once and 
again with a loud voice, at last he said, " It is finished," (John 


xix. SO.) « nnd bowed the head, and gave up the ghost." And 
thus -was finished the greatest and most wonderful thing that 
ever was done. Noav the angels beheld the most wonderful 
sight that ever they saw. Now was accomplished the main 
thing that had been pointed at by the various institutions of 
the ceremonial law, and by all the typical dispensations, and by 
all the sacrifices from the beginning of the Avorld. 

Christ being thus brought under the power of death, con- 
tinued under it till the morning of next day but one ; and then 
was finished that great work, the purchase of our redemption, 
for M hich such great preparation had been made from the be- 
ginning of the world. Then was finished all that was requir- 
ed in order to satisfy the threatenings of the law, and all that 
was necessary in order to satisfy divine justice ; then the ut- 
most that vindictive justice demanded, even the whole debt 
Avas paid. Then was finished the whole of the purchase of 
eternal life. And now there is no need of any thing more to 
be done towards a purchase of salvation for sinners ; nor has 
ever any thing been done since, nor will any thing more be 
done for ever and ever. 


IN surveying the history of redemption, from the fall of 
man to the end of the world, we have now shown how this 
work Avas carried on through the two former of the three 
main periods into Avhich this Avholc space of time was divided, 
viz. from the fall to the incarnation of Christ, and from thence 
to the end of the time of Christ's humiliation ; and have par- 
ticularly explained how in the first of these periods God pre- 
pared the way for Christ's appearing and purchasing redemp- 
tion ; and how in the second period, that purchase was made 
and finished. I would now make some improvement of what 
has been said on both these subjects, considered conjunctly. 
And this I would do, 

1. In a use of reproof. 

2. In a use of encouragement. 



I BEGIN with a use of reproof ; a reprcof of three things : 

1. Of unbelief. 

2. Of self righteousness. 

3. Of a careless neglect of the salvation of Christ. 

I. If it be as we have heard, how greatly do these things 
reprove those who do not believe in, but reject the Lord Jesus 
Christ ! i. e. all those who do not heartily receive him. Persons 
inay receive him in profession, and carry well outwardly tov.ards 
him, and may wish that they had some of those benefits that 
Christ has purchased, and yet their hearts not receive Christ : 
They may be hearty in nothing that they do towards Christ ; 
they may have no high esteem of Christ, nor any sincere hon- 
or or respect to Christ ; they may never have opened the 
door of their heart to Christ, but have kept him shut out all 
their days, ever since they first heard <?f him, and his salvation 
has been offered to them. Though their hearts have been 
opened to others, their doors have been flung wide open to 
them, and they have had free admittance at all times, and have 
been embraced and made much of, and the best room in their 
hearts has been given them, and the throne of their hearts has 
been allowed them ; yet Christ has always been shut out, and 
they have been deaf to all his knocks and calls. They never 
could find an inclination of heart to receive him, nor would 
they ever trust in him. 

Let me now call upon you with whom it is thus, to consid- 
er how great your sin, in thus rejecting Jesus Christ, appears 
to bcv from those things that have been said. You slight the 
glorious person, for whose coming God made such great prep- 
aration in such a series of wonderful providences from the 
beginning of the world, and whom after all things were made 
ready, God sent into the world, bringing to pass a thing be- 
fore unknown, viz. the union of the divine nature with the 
human, in one person. You have been guilty of slighting that 
great Saviour, who after such preparation, actually accom- 
plished the purchase of rede^mption ; and who, after he had 
Vol. II. 2 D 


spent three or fovir and thirty years in poverty, labor, and con- 
tempt, in purchasing redemption, at last finished the purchase 
by closing his life under such extreme sufferings as you have 
heard ; and so by his death, and continuing for a time under 
the power of death, completed the whole. This is the person 
you reject and despise. You make light of all the glory of 
his person, and of all the glorious love of God the Father, in 
sending him into the world, and all his wonderful love appear- 
ing in the whole of this affair. That precious stone that God 
hath laid in Zion for a foundation in such a manner, and by 
such wonderful works as you have heard, is a stone set at 
nought by you. 

Sinners sometimes are ready to wonder why the sin of un- 
belief should be looked upon as such a great sin : But if you 
consider what you have heard, how can you wonder ? If it be 
so, that this Saviour is so great a Saviour, and this work so 
great a work, and such great things have been done in order 
to it, truly there is no cause of wonder that the sin of unbelief, 
or the rejection of this Saviour, is spoken of in scripture as 
such a dreadful sin, so provoking to God, and what brings 
greater guilt than the sins of the worst of the Heathen, who 
never heard of those things, nor have had this Saviour offered 
to them. 

II. What has been said, affords matter of reproof to those, 
who, instead of believing in Christ, trust in themselves for 
salvation. It is a common thing with men to take it upon 
themselves to purchase salvation for themselves, and so to do 
that great work which Christ came into the world to do. Are 
there none such here who trust in their prayers, and their 
good conversations, and the pains they take in religion, and 
the reformation of their lives, and in their self acnial, to re- 
commend them to God, to make some atonement for their past 
sins, and to draw the heart of God to them ? 

Consider three things : 

1. How great a thing that is which you take upon you.... 
You take upon you to do the work of the great Saviour of the 
world. You trust in your own doings to appease (iod for 
your sins, and to incline the heart of God to you. Though 
you are poor, worthless, vile, polluted worms of the dust ; yet 


so arrogant are you, that you take upon you that very work 
that the only begotten Son of God did when upon earth, and 
that he became man to capacitate himself for, and in order to 
which God spent four thousand years in all the great dispen- 
sations of his providence in the government of the world, 
aiming chiefly at this, to make way for Christ's coming to do 
this work. This is the Avork that you lake upon yourself, and 
foolishly think yourself sufficient for it ; as though your pray- 
ers, and other performances, were excellent enough for this 
purpose. Consider how vain is the thought which you enter- 
tain of yourself. How must such arrogance appear in the 
sight of Christ, whom it cost so much to make a purchase of 
salvation, when it was not to be obtained even by him, so 
great and glorious a person, at a cheaper rate than his wading 
through a sea of blood, and passing thi'ough the midst of the 
furnace of God's Avrath. And how vain must your arrogance 
appear in the sight of God, when he sees you imagining your- 
self sufficient, and your Avorthless, polluted performances ex- 
cellent enough for the accomplishing of that work of his own 
Son, to prepare the way for which he was employed in order- 
ing all the great affairs of the world for so many ages I 

2. If there be gi'ound for you to trust, as you do, in your 
own righteousness, then all that Christ did to purchase salva- 
tion when on earth, and all that God did from the first fall of 
man to that time to prepare the way for it, is in vain. Your 
self righteousness charges God with the greatest folly, as 
though he has done all things in vain, even so much in vain, 
that he has done all this to bring about an accomplishment of 
that which you alone, a little worm, with your poor polluted 
prayers, and the little pains you take in religion, mingled with 
all that hypocrisy and filthiness, are sufficient to accomplish 
for yourself without Christ's help. For if you can appease 
God's angei', and can commend yourself to God by these 
means, then you have no need of Christ ; but he is dead in 
vain : Gal. ii. 21. " If righteousness come by the law, then 
Christ is dead in vain." 

If you can do this by your prayers and good works, Christ 
Height have spared his pains, he might have spared his blood s 


He might have kept within the bosom of his Father, without 
coming down into this evil world to be despised, reproached, 
and persecuted to death ; and God needed not to have busied 
liimself, as he did for four thousand years together, causing so 
]nany changes in the state of the world all that while, in order 
to the bringing about that which you, as little as you are, can 
accomplish in a few days, only with the trouble of a few 
sighs, and groans, and prayers, and some other religious per- 
formances. Consider with yourself what greater folly could 
you have devised to charge upon God than this, to do all those 
things before and after Christ came into the world so need- 
lessly ; when, instead of all this he might only have called 
you forth, and committed the business to you, which you 
think you can do so easily. 

Alas ! How blind are natural men ! How sottish are the 
thoughts they have of things ! And especially how vain arc 
the thoughts which they have of themselves ! How ignorant 
of their own littleness and pollution ! How do they exalt them- 
selves up to heaven ! What great things do they assume to 
themselves ! 

3. You that trust to your own righteousness, arrogate to 
yourselves the honor of the greatest thing that ever God him- 
self did ; not only as if you were sufficient to perform divine 
works, and to accomplish some of the great Avorks of God ; 
but such is your pride and vanity, that you are not content 
Avithout taking upon you to do the very greatest Avork that 
ever God hii-nself wrought, even the Avork of redemption.... 
You see by what has been said, how God has subordinated all 
his other works to this work of redemption. You see how 
God's works of proAddence arc greater than his Avorks of crea- 
tion, and that all God's Avorks of providence, from the begin- 
ning of the generations of men, Avere in order to this, to make 
Avay for the purchasing of redemption. But this is Avhat you 
lake u^on yourself. To take on yourself to Avork out redemp- 
tion, is a greater thing than if you had taken it upon you to 
create a world. Consider Avith yourself what a figure you, a 
poor Avorm, Avould make, if you should seriously go about to 
create such a Avorld as God did, should swell iii vour OAvn con- 


ceit of yourself, should deck yourself v/ith majesty, pretend to 
speak the word of power, and call an universe out of nothing, 
intending to go on in order, and say, '' Let there be light : 
Let there be a firmament," Sec. But then consider, that in 
attempting to work out redemption yourself, you attempt a 
greater thing than this, and are serious in it, and will not be 
beat off from it ; but strive in it, and are full of the thought of 
yourself that you are sufficient for it, and ahvays big wilh 
hopes of accomplishing it. 

You take upon you to do the very greatest and most diffi- 
cult part of this work, viz. to purchase redemption. Christ 
can accomplish other parts of this v.'ork' without cost, without 
any trouble and difficulty : But this part cost him his life as 
ivell as innumerable pains and labors, with very great igno- 
miny and contempt besides. Yet this is that part which self- 
righteous persons go about to accomplish for themselves. If 
all the angels in heaven had been sufficient for this work, 
would God have set himself to effect such things as he did in 
order to it, before he sent his Son into the world ? And Avould 
he ever have sent his own Son, the great Creator and God of 
the angels, into the world, to have done and suffered such 
things ? 

What selfrighteous persons take to themselves, is the same 
work that Christ was engaged in when he was in his agony 
and bloody sweat, and when he died on the cross, which was 
the greatest thing that ever the eyes of angels beheld. This, 
as great as it is, they imagine they can do the same that 
Christ accomplished by it. Their selfrighteousness does in 
effect charge Christ's offering up himself in these sufferings, 
as the greatest instance of folly that ever men or angels saw, 
instead of being the most glorious display of the divine wis- 
dom and grace that ever was seen. Yea, selfrighteousness 
makes all that Christ did through the whole course of his life, 
and all that he said and suffered through that whole time, and 
his incarnation itself, and not only so, but all that God had 
been doing in the great dispensations of his providence from 
the beginning of the world to that time, as all nothing, but a 
scene of the most wild, and extreme, and transcendent folly. 


Is it any -wonder, then, that a selfrighteous spirit is so 
represented in scripture, and spoken of, as that which is mosl 
fatal to the souls of men ? And is it any wonder, that Christ is 
represented in scripture as being so provoked with the Phari- 
sees and others, who trusted in themselves that they were 
righteous, and Averc proud of their goodness, and thought that 
their own performances were a valuable price of God's favor 
and love ? 

Let persons hence be warned against a selfrighteous spirit 
You that are seeking your salvation, and taking pains in relig- 
ion, take heed to yourselves that you do not trust in what you 
do ; that you do not harbor any such thoughts ; that God now, 
seeing how much you are reformed, how you take pains in re- 
ligion, and how you are sometimes affected, will be i>acified 
towards you with respect to your sins, and on account of it 
will not be so angry for your former sins ; and that you shall 
gain on him by such things, and draw liis heart to show you 
unercy ; or at least that God ought to accept of what you do, 
so a& to be inclined by it in some measure to forgive you, and 
have mercy on yovt. If you entertain this thought, that God 
is obliged to do it, and does not act justly if he refuse to re- 
gard yovu' prayers and pains, and so quarrel with God, and 
complain of him for not doing, this shows what your opinion is 
of your own righteousness, viz. that it is a valuable price of 
solvation, and ought to be accepted of God as such. Such 
complaining of God, and quarrelling with him, for not taking 
inore notice of your righteousness, plainly shows that you arc 
guilty of all that arrogance that has been spoken of, thinking 
yourself sufficient to offer the price of your own salvation. 

III. What has been said on this subject, affords matter of 
reproof to those Avho carelessly neglect the salvation of Christ ; 
such as live a senseless kind of life, neglecting the business of 
religion and their own souls for the present, not taking any 
course to get an interest in Christ, or what he has done ^nc^ 
suffered, or any part in that glorious salvation he has purchas- 
ed by that price, but rather have their minds taken up aljout 
the gains of the world, or about the vanities and pleasures of 
youth, and so make light of what they hear from time to time 


of Christ's salvation, that they do not at present so much as 
3eek after it. Let me here apply myself to you in some ex- 
postulatory interrogations. 

I . Shall so many prophets, and kings, and righteous men, 
have their minds so much taken up with the prospect, that 
the purchase of salvation was to be wrought out in ages long 
after their death ; and will you neglect it v/hen actually 
accomplished ? You have heard what great account the 
church in all ages made of the future redemption of Christ ; 
how joyfully they expected it, how they spoke of it, how they 
studied and searched into these things, hoAV they simg joyful 
songs, and had their hearts greatly engaged about it, and yet 
never expected to see it done, and did not expect that it would 
be accomplished till many ages after their death, 1 Pet. i. 10, 
11, 12. How much did Isaiah and Daniel, and other proph- 
ets speak conceraing this redemption ! And how much %vere 
their hearts engaged, and their attention and study fixed upon 
it I How was David's mind taken up in this subject ! He de- 
clared that it was all his salvation, and all his desire ; 2 Sam. 
xxiii. 5. How did he employ his voice and harp in celebrat- 
ing it, and the glorious display of cUvine grace therein exhib- 
ited ! And all this although they beheld it not as yet ac- 
complished, but saw that it was to be brought to pass so long 
a time after their day. And before this, how did Abraham 
and the other patriarch's rejoice in the prospect of Christ's 
day, and the redemption Avhich he was to purchase ! And 
even the saints before the flood were affected and elated in the 
expectation of this glorious event, though it was then so long 
future, and it was so very faintly and obscurely revealed to 
them. ■ 

Now these things are declared to you as actually fulfilled. 
The church now has seen accomplished all those great 
things which they so joyfully prophesied of ; and you are 
abundantly shown how those things were accomplished : 
Matth. xiii. 17. " Verily I say imto you that many prophets 
and righteous men have desired to see those things v/hich ye 
see, and have not seen ; and to hear those things which ye 
bear, and have not heard them." And yet when these things 


are thus abundantly set before you as already accomplished, 
how do you slight them I How light do you make of theni ! 
How little are they taken notice of by you ! How unconcern- 
ed are you about them, following other things, and not so 
much as feeling any interest in them ! Indeed your sin is ex- 
tremely aggravated in the sight of God. God has put you 
under great advantages for your eternal salvation, far greater 
than those saints of old enjoyed. He has put yon under a 
more glorious dispensation ; has given you a more clear rev- 
elation of Christ and his salvation ; and yet you neglect all 
these advantages, and go on in a ^careless course of life, 
as though nothing had been done, no such proposals and of- 
fers had been made you. 

2. Have the angels been so engaged about this salvation 
which is by Christ ever since the fall of man, though they are 
not immediately concerned in it, and Avill you, who need it, 
and have it oiTiered to you, be so careless about it ? You have 
heard how the angels at first were subjected to Christ as me- 
diator, and how they have all along been ministering spirits to 
him in this affair. In all the great dispensations wliich you 
have heard of from the beginning of the world, they have been 
active, and as a fiame of fire in this affair, being most diligent- 
ly employed as ministering spirits to minister to Christ in 
this great affair of man's redemption. And when Christ 
came, how engaged were their minds ! They came to Zach* 
arias, to inform him of the coming of Christ's forerunner. 
They came to the Virgin Mary, to inform her of the ap- 
proaching birth of Christ : They came to Joseph to warn him 
of the danger which threatened the new born Saviour, and to 
point out to him the means of safety. And how were their 
minds engaged at the time of the birth of Christ ? The whole" 
multitude of the heavenly host sang praises upon the occa- 
sion, saying, " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth 
peace, and ijood will towards men." And afterwards from 
time to lime, they ministered to Christ when on earth ; they 
did so at the lime of his temptation, at the time of his agony 
in the garden, at his resurrection, and at his ascension. All 
these things show, that they were greatly engaged in th.is af- 


Tair ; and the scripture informs us, that they pry into these 
things: 1 Pet. i. 12. "Which things the Angels desire to 
look into." And how are they represented in the Revelation 
as being employed in heaven in singing praises to him that 
sittcth on the throne, and to the Lamb. Now shall these take 
so much notice of this redemption, and of the purchaser, who 
need it not for themselves, and have no immediate concern 
or interest in it, or offer of it ; and will you to Avhom it is of- 
fered, and who are in such extreme necessity of it, neglect and 
take no notice of it ? 

S. Was it worth the Avhile for Christ to labor so hard, and 
do and suffer so much to procui'e this salvation, and is it not 
worth the while for you to be at some labor in seeking it ? 
Yv as it a thing of so great importance, that salvation should 
be procured for sinners, as that it v.as worthy to lie with such 
weight on the mind of Christ, as to induce him to become 
man. and to suffer such contempt, and labor, and even death 
itself, in order to procure it, though he stood in need of noth- 
ing, though he v/as like to gain no addition to his eternal 
happiness, though he could get nothing by those that he sav- 
ed ; though he did not need them ; was it of such importance 
that sinners should be saved, that he might properly be induc- 
ed to submit to such humiliation and suffering ; and yet is it 
not worth the while for you v/ho are one of those miserable 
sinners that need this salvation, and must perish eternally 
without it, to take earnest pains to obtain an interest in it after 
it is procured, and all things are ready ? 

4. Shall the great God be so concerned about this salvation, 
as so often to overturn the world to make way for it : and 
when all is done, is it not worth your seeking after ? How has 
the Lord of heaven and earth been as it were engaged about 
this affair ! What great, what Avonderful tilings has he done 
from one age to another, removing kings and setting up kings, 
raising up a great number of prophets, separating a distinct 
nation from the rest of the world, overturning one nation and 
kingdom, and another, and often overturning the state of the 
world ; and so has continued bringing about cue change and 
revolution after another for fortv centuries in succession^ to 

VoL.IL 2E ' 


make way for the procuring of this salvation ! And when h-z 
has done all ; and M'hen, at the close of these ages, the great 
Saviour comes, and becoming incarnate, and passing through 
a long series of reproach and suffering, and then suffering all 
the waves and billows of God's wrath for men's sins, insomuch 
that they overwhelmed his soul : After all these things done 
to procure salvation for sinners, is it not worthy of your taking 
so much notice of, or being so much concerned about, though 
you are those persons who need this salvation, but that it 
should be thrown by, and made nothing of in comparison of 
worldy gain, or gay clothing, or youthful diversions, and other 
such trifling things ? 

O ! that you who live negligent of this salvation, would 
consider what you do ! What you have heard from this sub- 
ject, may show you Avhat reason there is in that exclamatioTi 
of the Apostlc) Heb. ii. 3. « How shall we escape, if we ne- 
glect so great salvation ?" And in that. Acts xiii. 41. « Behold 
ye despisers, and wonder, and perish ; for I work a work in 
your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though 
a man declare it unto you." Cod looks on such as you a» 
great enemies of the cross of Christ, and adversaries and des- 
pisers of all the glory of this great work. And if God has made 
such account of the glory of Salvation as to destroy many na- 
tions, and so often overturn all nations, to prepare the way for 
the glory of his Son in this affair ; how little account will he 
make of the lives and souls of ten thousand such opposers and 
despisers as you that continue impenitent, in comparison of 
that glory when he shall hereafter come and find that your 
welfare stands in the way of that glory ? Why surely you shall 
be dashed to pieces as a potter's vessel, and trodden down as 
the mire of the streets. God may, through wonderful pa- 
tience bear with hardened, careless sinners for a while ; but 
he will not long bear a\ ith such despisers of his dear Son, and 
lus great salvation, the glory of Avhich he has had so much at 
heart, before he will utterly consume without remedy or mer- 



I WILL conclude with a second use, of cncouragen>ent 
to burdened souls to put their trust in Christ for salvation. To 
ajl such as are not careless and negligent, but do make seek- 
ing an interest in Christ their main business, being sensible in 
some measure of their necessity of an iaiterest in Christ ; be- 
ing afraid of the wrath to come ; to such, what has been said 
on this subject holds forth great matter of encouragement, to 
come and venture their souls on the Lord Jesus Christ : And 
as motives proper to excite you so to do, let me lead you to 
consider two things in {^rxicular. 

1. The completeness of tljc purchase which lias been madco 
As you have heard, this work of purchasing salvation was 
wholly finished during the time of Christ's humiliation. 
When Christ rose from the dead, and was exalted from that 
abasement to which he submitted for our salvation, the pur- 
chase of eternal life was completely made, so that there was 
no need of any thing more to be done in order to it. But now 
the servants were sent forth with the message which we have 
account of in Matt. xxli. 4. " Behold, I have prepared my din- 
ner : My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are 
ready : Come unto the marriage." Therefore all things be= 
ing ready, are your sins many and great ? Here is enough 
done by Christ to procure their pardon. There is no need of 
any righteousness of yours to obtain your pardon and justifica- 
tion : No, you may come freely, without money and without 
price. Since therefore there is such a free and gracious in- 
vitation given you, come ; come naked as you are ; come as 
a poor condemned criminal ; come and cast yourself doAvn at . 
Christ's feet, as one justly condemned, and utterly helpless in 
yourself. Here is a complete salvation wrought out by Christ, 
and through him offered to you. Comp, therefore, accept of 
it and be saved. 

2. For Christ to reject one that thus comes to him, would 
be to frustrate all those great things which you have heard that 
God brought to pass from the fall of man to the incarnation of 


Clirist. It v.ould also frustrate all that Christ did and suffered 
■while on earth ; yea, it Avould frustrate t!ie incarnation of 
Christ itself, and all the great things done in preparation foi 
l:is incarnation ; for all these things ucre for that end, tliat 
tliose might be saved who should come to Christ. Therefore, 
you may be sure Christ will not be backward in saving those 
who come to him, and trust in him ; for he has no desire to 
frustrate himself in his own work ; it cost him too dear for 
that. Neither will God the Father refuse you ; for he has no 
desire to frustrate himself in all that he did for so many hun- 
dreds and thousands of years, to prepare the way for the sal- 
vation of sinners by Christ. Come, therefore, hearken to the 
sweet and earnest calls of Christ to your soul. Do as he in- 
vites, and as he commands you, Matth. xi. 28, 29, 30. " Come 
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; 
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy 
:<•;.! -IV burden is l^!:at." 



In discoursing on this subject, we have already 
shown how the work of redemption was carried on through 
the two first of the three periods into which we divided the 
v.hole space of time from the fall to the end of the world ; and 
we are now come to 

The third and last period, beginning with Christ's resurrec- 
tion, and reaching to the end of the world ; and would now 
show how this work was also carried on through this period 
from this 

Proposition, That the space of time from the 
end of Christ's humiliation to the end of the world, 
is all taken up in bringing about the gr^sat effect or 
success of Christ's purchase. 

Not but that there were great effects and glorious success of 
Christ's purchase of redemption before, even from the begin- 
ning of the generations of men. But all that success of 
Christ's redemption which was before, was only preparatory, 
and was by way of anticipation, as some few fruits are gather- 
ed before the harvest. There was no more success before 
Christ came than God saw needful to prepare the way for his 
coming. The proper time of the success or effect of Christ's 
purchase of redemption is after the purchase has been made, 
as the proper time for the world to enjoy the light of the sun 
is the day time, after the sun is risen, though we may have 
Eome small matter of it reflected from the jiioon and planets 
before. And even the success of Christ's redemption while 
he himself was on earth, was very small in comparison of 
what it was after the conclusion of his humiliation. 

But Christ, having finished that greatest and most difficult 
of all works, the v/ork of the purchase of redemption, now is 
come the time for obtaining the end af it, the glorious effect 


©f It. This is the next work he goes about. Having gone 
through the whole course of his sufferings and humiliation, 
there is an end to all things of that nature : He is never to 
suffer any more. But now is the time for him to obtain the 
joy that M'as set before him. Having made his soul an offer- 
ing for sin, now is the time for him to sec his seed, and tp 
have a portion divided to him with the great, and to divide the 
spoil with the strong. 

One design of Christ in what he did in his humiliation, was 
to lay a foundation for the overthrow of Satan's kingdom ; 
and now is come the time to effect it, as Christ, a little before 
his crucifixion, said, John xii. 31, " Now is the judgment 
of this world ; now shall the prince of this world be cast 
out.'* Another design was, to gather together in one all 
things in Christ. Now is come the time for this also : John 
xii. 32. " And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto 
me i" which is agreeable to Jacob's prophecy of Christ, that 
when " Shiloh should come, to him should the gathering of 
the people be," Gen. xlix. 10. Another design is the salva- 
tion of the elect. Now when his sufferings are finished, and his 
humiliation is perfected, the time is come for that also : Heb. 
Y. 8, 9. <^ Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by 
the things which he suffered : And being made perfect, he be-^ 
came the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey 
him." Another design was, to accomplish by these things 
great glory to the persons of the Trinity. Now also is come 
the time for that : John xvii. 1. " Father, the hour i^ come ; 
glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." Anoth-* 
cr design was the glory of the saints. Now is the time also 
for this : John xvii. 2. "As thou hast given him power over 
all flesli, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou 
hast given him." And all the dispensations of God's provi- 
dence henceforward, even to the final consummation of all 
things, arc to give Christ his reward, and fulfil his end in what 
he did and suffered upon earth, and to fulfil the joy that wa-j 
:iet before him. 



BEFORE I enter on the consideration of any particular 
things accomplished in this period, I would briefly observe 
some things in general concerning it ; and particularly hovf 
the times of this period are represented in scripture. 

I. The times of this period, for the most part, arethosd 
which in the Old Testament are called the latter days. Wft 
often, in the prophets of the Old Testament, read of such and 
such things that should come to pass in the latter days, and 
sometimes in the last days. Now these expressions of the 
prophets are most c6mm6nly to be understood of the times oX 
the period that we are now upon. They ai'e called the tatter 
days, and the last days ; because this is the last period of the 
series of God's providences on earth, the last period of that 
great work of providence, the work of redemption ; which is 
as it were the sum of God's works of f)rovidence, the tim6 
wherein the church is under the last dispensation of the cove- 
nant of grace that ever it will be under on earth. 

II. The whole time of this period is sometimes in scrip- 
ture called the end of the ivorld, as, 1 Cor. x. 11. " Now all 
these things happened unto them for ensamples : And they 
are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the 
world are come." And the Apostle, Heb. ix. 26, in this ex- 
pression of the end of the world, means the whole of the gos* 
pel day, from the birth of Christ to the finishing of the day of 
Judgment : " But now once, in the end of the world, hath he 
appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." This 
space of time may well be called the end of the i-jorld ; for this 
whole time is taken up in bringing things to their great end 
and issue, that great issue that God had been preparing the 
way for, in all the great dispensations of providence, from the 
first fall of man to this time. Before, things were in a kind of 
preparatory state ; but now they are in a finishing state. It 
is the winding up of things which is all this while accomplish* 
ing. An end is now brought to the former carnal state of 
things, which by degrees vanishes, and a spiritual state begins 

23^ WORK or REDEMPTIOIn. LrERioD in'. 

to be established, and to be established more and more. Fiis;- 
an end is brought to the former state of the church, vhich. 
Tnay be called its -worldly state, the state wherein it Avas sub- 
ject to carnal ordinances, and the rudiments of the -world : 
And then an end is brought to the Je-\vish state, in the dcsti'uc- 
tion of their city and country : And then, after that, an end is 
brought to the old Heathen empire in Constantine's time ; 
V'hich is another and further degree of the winding up and 
finishing of the world i And the next step is the finishing of 
Satan's visible kingdom in the Avorld, upon the fall of Anti- 
christ, and the calling of the Jews : And last will come the 
destruction of the outAvard frame of the world itsell", at the 
conclusion of the day of judgment. But the world is all this 
while as it were a finishing, though it comes to an end by sev- 
eral steps and degrees. Heaven and earth began to shake, 
in order to a dissolution, according to the prophecy of Haggai, 
before Christ came, that so only those things that cannot be 
shaken may remain, i. e. that those things thai are to come to 
an end may come to an end, and that only those tilings may 
remain which are to remain to all eternity. 

So, in the first place, the carnal ordinances of the Jewish 
worship came to an end, to make Avay for the establishment 
of that spiritr.al worship, the worship of the heart, which is tc 
endure to all eternity : John iv. 21. "Jesus saith unto the 
wom^an, Believe m.e, the hour cometh when ye shall neither 
in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.' 
Vcr. 23. " But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true- 
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : 
For the Father seeketh such to worship him." This is one 
instance of the temporary Avorld's coming to an end, and the 
eternal world's beginning. And then after that, the outwai d 
temple and the outward city Jerusalem, came to an end, to 
give place to the setting up of the spiritual temple and il.c 
spiritual city, which are to last to eternity ; Avhich is anotlicr 
instance of removing those things which are ready to vanish. 
aAvay, that these things which cannot be shaken may remain. 
And then, after that, the old Heathen empire comes to an end, 
to make way for the empire of Christ, which shall last to all 

Intr.J work of redemption. 233 

eternity ; which is another step of bringing the temporal world 
to an end, and of the beginning of the world to come, which 
is an eternal world. And after that, upon the fall of Anti- 
christ, an end is put to Satan's visible kingdom on earth, to 
establish Christ's kingdom, which is an eternal kingdom ; as 
the prophet Daniel says, chap. vii. 27. " And the kingdom 
and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom imder the 
whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the 
Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and 
all dominions shall serve and obey him ; which is another in- 
stance of the ending of the temporary world, and the begin- 
ning of the eternal one. And then, lastly, the very frame of 
this corruptible world shall come to an end, to make way for 
the church to dwell in another dwelling place, which shall last 
to eternity ; which is the last instance of the same thing. 

Because the world is thus coming to an end by various steps 
and degrees, the Apostle perhaps uses this expression, that 
the ends of the world are come on us ; not the end, but the 
ends, of the plural number, as though the world has several 
endings one after another. 

The gospel dispensation is the last state of things in the 
world ; and this state is a finishing state : It is all spent in fin- 
ishing things off which before had been preparing, or abolish- 
ing things which before had stood. It is all spent as it were 
in summing things up, and bringing them to their issues, and 
their proper fulfilment. Now all the old types are fulfilled, 
and all the prophecies of all the prophets from the beginning 
of the world shall be accomplished in this period. 

III. That state of things which is attained in the events of 
this period is called a 7ieiv heaven mid a new earth : Isa. Ixv. 
17, 18. " For behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth : 
And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into 
mind. But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that Avhich I 
create : For behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her 
people a joy." And ch. Ixvi. 22. " For as the new heavens 
and the new earth which I make, shall remain before me ; sa 
shall your seed and your name remain." See also ch. li. 16, 
As the former state of things, or the old world, by one step 

Vol. II. 2 F 

25i WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period Ilf. 

after another, is through this period coming to an end ; so 
the new state of things, or the new world, which is a spiritual 
wr)rlcl, is beginning and setting up. 

The heaven and eai'th which are corruptible, are shaking, 
that the new heavens and new earth, which cannot be shaken, 
maybe established and remain. 

In consequence of each of these finishings of the old state 
of things, there is a new beginning of a new and eternal state 
of things. So was that which accompanied the destruction of 
-Tcntsalem, which was an establishing of the spiritual Jeru- 
salem, instead of the literal. So with respect to the des- 
truction of the old Heathen empire, and all the other endings 
of the old state of things, till at length the very outward form 
of the old world itself shall come to an end ; and the church 
shall dwell in a world new to it, or to a great part of it, even 
heaven, Avhich will be a nev/ habitation ; and then shall the 
utmost be accomplished that is meant by the new heavens 
and the new earth. See Rev. xxi. 1. 

The end of God's creating the world was to prepare a king- 
dom for his Son, (for he is appointed heir of the world) and 
that he might have the possession of it, and a kingdom in it, 
which should remain to all eternity. So that, so far forth as 
the kingdom of Christ is set up in the world, so far is the 
world brought to its end, and the eternal state of things set 
up. So far are all the great changes and revolutions of the 
ages of the world brought to their everlasting issue, and all 
things come to their ultimate period. So far are the waters 
of the long channel of divine providence, which has so many 
branches, and so many windings and turnings, emptied out 
into their proper ocean, which they have been seeking from 
the beginning and head of their course, and so arc come to 
their rest. So far as Christ's kingdom is established in the 
Avorld, so far are things wound up and settled in their everlast- 
ing state, and a period put to the course of things in this 
changeable world ; so far are the first heavens and the first 
earth come to an end, and the new heavens and the new earth, 
the everlasting heavens and earth, established in their room. 

This leads me to observe- 

Intr.] work of redemption. 235 

IV. That the state of things -which is attained by the events 
of this period, is what is so often called the kingdom ofhecwen^ 
or the kingdom of God. We very often read in the New Tes' 
iatnentof the kingdom of heaven. John the Baptist preach- 
ed, that the kingdom of heaven was at hand ; and so did 
Christ, and his disciples after him ; referring to something 
that the Jews in those days expected, and very much talked of, 
which they called by that name. They seem to have taken 
their expectation and the name chiefly from that prophecy of 
Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Dan. ii, 44. " And in the 
days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a king- 
dom ;" together with that in chap. vii. 13, 14. 

Now this kingdom of heaven is that e\angelicaJ slate of 
things in his church, and in the world, Avherein consists the 
success of Christ's redemption in this period. There had 
been often great kingdoms set up before, which were earthly 
kingdoms ; as the Babylonish, the Persian, the Grecian, and 
the Roman monarchies. But Christ came to set up the last 
kingdom, which is not an earthly kingdom, but an heavenly, 
and so is the kingdom of heaven : John xviii. 36. " My king- 
dom is not of this world." This is the kingdom of which 
Christ speaks, Luke xxii. 29. " My Father hath appointed to 
me a kingdom." This kingdom began soon after Christ's 
resurrection, and was accomplished in various steps from that 
time to the end of the world. SometiiTies by the kingdom of 
heaven^ is meant that spiritual state of the church which be- 
gan soon after Christ's resurrection ; sometimes that more 
perfect state of the church which shall obtain after the down- 
fall of Antichrist ; and sofmetimes that glorious and blessed 
state to which the church shall be received at the day of 
judgment : 1 Cor. xv. 50, the apostle, speaking of the resur- 
rection, says, « This I say, that flesh and blood cannot inher- 
it the kingdom of God." 

Under this head I would observe several things particular- 
ly, for the clearer understanding of what the scripture says 
concerning this period, 

1. The setting up of the kingdom of Christ is chiefly ac- 
cpjnplished by four successive great events, each of which i* 


in scripture called Christ's coming in his kingdon. The whole 
success of Christ's redemption is comprehended in one word, 
viz. his setting up his kingdom. This is chiefly done by four 
great successive dispensations of providence ; and every one 
of them is represented in scripture as Christ's coming in his 
kingdom. The first is Christ's appearing in those wonderful 
dispensations of providence in the apostles days, in setting up 
his kingdom, and destroying the enemies of his kingdom, 
which ended in the destruction of Jenisalem. This is called 
Christ's coming in his kingdom, Matth. xvi. 28. " Verily I 
say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not 
taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his king- 
dom." And so it is represented in Matth. xxiv. The sec- 
ond is that which was accomplished in Constantino's time, in 
the destruction of the Heathen Roman empire. This is re- 
presented as Christ's coming, and is compared to his coming 
to judgment, in the 6th chapter of Revelation at the latter 
end. The third is that which is to be accomplished at the 
destruction of Antichrist. This also is represented as Christ's 
coming in his kingdom in the 7th chapter of Daniel, and in 
other places, as I may possibly show hereafter, when I come 
to speak of it. The fourth and last is his coming to the last 
judgment, which is the event principally signified in scrip- 
ture by Christ's coming in his kingdoin. 

2. I would observe, that each of the three former of these 
is a lively im.age or type of the fourth and last, viz. Christ's 
coming to the final judgment, as the principal dispensations 
of pi'ovidence before Christ's first coming, were types of that 
first com.ing As Christ's last coming to judgment is ac- 
companied with a resurrection of the dead, so is each of the 
three foregoing with a spiritual resurrection. That coming 
of Christ which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem, was 
preceded by a glorious spiritual resurrection of souls in the 
calling of the Gentiles, and bringing home such multitudes 
of souls to Christ by the preaching of the gospel. So Christ's 
coming in Constantinc's time, was accompanied with a glori- 
ous spiritual resurrection of the greater part of the known 
world, in a restoration of it to a visible church .state, from a 


state of Heathenism. So Christ's coming at the destruction 
of Antichrist, will be attended with a spiritual resurrection of 
the church after it had been long as it were dead in the times 
of Antichrist. This is called the^rst resurrection in the SOtlj 
chapter of Revelation. 

Again, as Christ in the last judgment will gloriously^ man- 
ifest himself, coming in the glory of his Father, so in each of 
the three foregoing events, Christ gloriously manifested him^ 
self in sending judgments upon his enemies, and in showing 
grace and favor to his church ; and as the last coming of 
Christ will be attended with a literal gathering together of thp 
elect from the four v/inds of heaven, so were each of the pre- 
ceding attended with a spiritual gathering in of the elect. 
As this gathering together of the elect will be effected by 
God's angels, with a great sound of a trumpet, as in Matth. 
xxiv. 31 ; so were each of the preceding spiritual ingather- 
ings effected by the trumpet of the gospel, sounded by the 
ministers of Christ. As there shall precede the last appear- 
ance of Christ, a time of great degeneracy and wickedness, 
so this has been, or will be, the case with each of the other 
■appearances. Before each of them is a time of great oppo- 
sition to the church : Before the first, by the Jews, in their 
persecutions that we read of in the New Testament ; before 
the second, viz. in Constantine's time, by the Heathen, in sev- 
eral successive persecutions raised by the Roman emperors 
against the Christians ; before the third, by Antichrist ; and 
before the last, by Gog and Magog, as described in the Reve- 

By each of these comings of Christ, God works a glorious 
^deliverance for his church. Each of them is accompanied 
with a glorious advancement of the state of the church. The 
first, which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem, was attend- 
ed with bringing the church into the glorious state of the 
gospel, a glorious state of the church very much prophesied 
of old, whereby the church was advanced into far more glori- 
ous circumstances than it was in before under the Jewish dis- 
pensation. The second, which was in Constantine's time, 
was accompanied with an advancement of the church into a 


state of liberty from persecution, and the countenance of civil 
authority, and triumph over their Heathen persecutors. The 
third, which shall be at the downfall of Antichrist, will be ac- 
companied with an advancement of the church into that state 
of the glorious prevalence of truth, liberty, peace, and joy, 
that we so often read of in the prophetical parts of scripture. 
The last Avill be attended with the advancement of the church 
to consummate glory in both soul and body m heaven. 

Each of these comings of Christ is accompanied with a ter- 
rible destruction of the wicked, and the enemies of the 
church : The first, with the destruction of the persecuting 
■Jews, which -was amazingly terril^le ; the second, with dread- 
ful judgments on the Heathen persecutors of the church, of 
which more hereafter ; the third, with the awful destruction of 
Antichrist, the most cruel and bitter enemy that ever the 
church had ; the fourth, with divine wrath and vengeance on 
all the ungodly. 

Further, there is in each of these comings of Christ an end- 
ing of the old heavens and the old earth, and a beginning of 
new heavens and a new earth ; or an end of a temporal stale 
of things, and a beginning of an eternal state. 

3. I would observe, that each of those four great dispensa- 
tions which are represented as Christ's coming in his king- 
dom, are but so many steps and degrees of ihe accomplishment 
of one event. They are not the setting up of so many distinct 
kingdoms of Christ ; they are all of them only several degrees 
of the accomplishment of that one event prophesied of, Dan.vii. 
13, 14. " And I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like 
the Son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to 
the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a king- 
dom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve 
him : His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his king- 
dom that which shall not be destroyed." This is what the 
Jews expected, and called " The coming of the kingdom of 
heaven ;" and what John the Baptist and Christ had respect 
to, when they said, '♦ The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'' 
This great event is gradually accomplished, or is accompUsh* 

Intk.] work of REDEMPTIOK: 2S3 

ed by several steps. Those four great events which havo 
been mentioned, Avere several steps towards the accomplish-' 
ment of this grand event. 

When Christ came with the preaching of the apostles, to 
set up his kingdom in the world, which dispensation ended 
with the destruction of Jerusalem, then it Avas accomplished in 
a glorious degree ; when the Heathen empire was destroyed 
in Constantine's time, it was fulfilled in a further degree ; 
when Antichrist shall be destroyed, it will be accomplished in 
A yet higher degree : But when the end of the -world is come, 
then will it be accomplished in its most perfect degree of all ; 
then it Avill be finally and completely accomplished. And be- 
cause these four great events are but images one of another^ 
and the three former but types of the last, and since they are 
all only several steps of the accomplishment of the same 
thing ; hence we find theiTti all from time to time prophesied 
of under one, as they are in the prophecies of Daniel, and as 
they are in the 24th chapter of Matthew, Avhere some things 
seem more applicable to.one of them, and others to another. 

4. I would observe, that, as there are several steps of the 
accomplishment of the kingdom of Christ, so in each one of 
them the event is accomplished in a further degree than in 
the foregoing. That in the time of Constantino was a greater 
and further accomplishment of the kingdoiii of Christ, than 
that which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem ; that Avhich 
shall be at the fall of Antichrist, will be a further accomplish- 
ment of the same thing, than that which took place in the time 
©f Constantino ; and so on with regard to each : So that the 
kingdom of Christ is gradually prevailing and growing by 
these several great steps of its fulfilment, from the time of 
Christ's resurrection, to the end of the world. 

5. And lastly, it may be observed, that the great providen- 
ces of God between these four great events, are to make way 
for the kingdom and glory of Christ in the great event follow- 
ing. Those dispensations of providence which were towards 
the church of God and the Avorld, before the destruction of the 
heathen empire in the time of Constantine, seem all to have 
feeen to make way for the glory of Christ, and the happiness 


of the cluircli in that event. And so the great providences of 
God vhich are after that, fill the destruction of Antichrist, 
and the beginning of the glorious times of the church which 
follow, seem all to be to prepare the way for the greater glory 
of Christ and his church in that event ; and the providences 
of God which shall be after that to the end of the world, 
seem to be for the greater manifestation of Christ's glory at 
the endof tl^ world, and in the consummation of all things. 

Thus I thought it needful to observe those things in general 
concerning this last period of the scries of God's providence, 
before I take notice of the particular providences by which 
the work of redemption is carried on through this period, in 
ihcir order : And before I do that, I will also briefly answer 
to aH iNquiRY, viz:. Why the setting up of Christ's kingdom 
after his humiliation, should be so gradual, by so many steps 
that are so long in accomplishing, since God could easily have 
finished it at once ? 

Though it would be presumption in us to pretend to declare 
all the ends of God in this, yet doubtless much of the wisdom 
of God may be seen in it by us ; and particularly in these two 

1. In this way the glory of God's wisdom, in the manner of 
doing this, is more visible to the observation of creatures. If 
it had been done at once, in an instant, or in a very short time, 
there would not have been such opportunities for creatures to 
perceive and observe the particular steps of divine wisdom, as 
when the woi'k is gi-adually accomplished, and one effect of his 
wisdom is held forth to observation after another. It is wise- 
ly determined; of God,to accomplish his great design by a won- 
derful and long series of events, that the glory of his wisdom 
may be displayed in the whole series, and that the glory of his 
perfections may be seen, appearing, as it were, by parts, and in 
particular successive manifestations : For if all that glory 
which appears in all these events had been manifested at once, 
it vvfculd have been too much for us and more than we at 
once could lake notice of ; it would have dazzled our eyes, 
and ovei-powered our sight. 


2. Satan is more gloriously triumphed over God could 

easily, by an act of almighty power, at once have crushed Sa- 
tan. But by giving him time to use his utmost subtilty to hin« 
der the success of what Christ had done and suffered, he is 
not defeated merely by surprise, but has large opportunity to 
ply his utmost power and subtilty again and again, to strength- 
en his own interest all that he can by the work of many ages, 
Thus God destroys and confounds him, and sets up Christ's 
kingdom time after time, in spite of all his subtle machina- 
tions and great works, and by every step advances it still 
higher and higher, till at length it is fully set up, and Satan 
perfectly and etei'nally vanquished in the end of all things. 

1 NOW proceed to take notice of the particular events, 
whereby, from the end of Christ's humiliation to the end of 
the world, the success of Christ's purchase has been or shall 
be accomplished. 

1 . I would take notice of those things whereby Christ was 
put into an immediate capacity for accomplishing the end of 
his purchase. 

2. I would show how he obtained or accomplished that sue* 


I WOULD take notice, first, of those things by which 
Christ was put into a capacity for accomplishing the end of 
his purchase. And they are two things, viz. his resurrection, 
and his ascension. As we observed before, the incarnation of 
Christ was necessary in order to Christ's being in a near ca- 
pacity for the purchase of redemption ; so the resuri-cction 
and ascension of Christ were requisite, in order to his accom- 
plishing the success of his purchase. 

I. His resurrection. It was necessary, in order to Christ's 
obtaining the end and effect of his purchase of redemption, 
that he should rise from the dead. For God th^ Father bad 

Vol. IL 2 G 


committcfi the Tvh6ic affair of redemption, not only the j)ur- 
chasing of it but the bestowing of the blessings purchased, to 
his SoJi, that he should not only purchase it as priest, but ac- 
tually bring it about as king ; and that he should do this as 
(iodman. For God the Father would have nothing to do with 
fallen man in a way of mercy, but by a mediator. But in or- 
der that Christ mighs carry on the v/ork of redemption, and 
accomplish the success of his own purchase as Godman, it was 
necessary that lie should be alive, and so that he should rise 
from the (lead. Therefore Christ, after he had finished this 
purchase by death, and by continuing for a time under the 
powerof death, rises from the dead, to fulfil the end of his 
purchase, and himself to bring about that for which he died : 
For this matter God the Father had comiiiitted unto him, that 
he might, as Lord of all, manage all to his own purposes : 
Rom. xiv. 9. " For to this end Christ both died and rose, and 
revived, that he might be Lord botli of the dead and the liv- 

Indeed Christ's resurrection and so his ascension, was part 
of the success of what Christ did and suffered in his humilia- 
tion. For though Christ did not properly purchase redemp- 
tion for himself, yet he purchased eternal life and glory 
for himself, by what he did and suffered ; and this eternal life 
and gloi7 was given him as a reward of what he did and suff'er- 
ed : Phil. ii. 8, 9. « He humbled himself and became obedi- 
ent unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God 
also hath highly exalted him." And it may be looked upon as 
part of the success of Christ's purchase, if it be considered, 
that Christ did not rise as a private person, but as the head of 
the elect church ; so that they did, as it were, all rise with him. 
Christ was justified in his resurrection, i. e. God acquitted and 
discharged him hereby, as having done and suff'ered enough 
for the sins of all the elect : Rom. iv. 25. " Who was deliver- 
ed for our offences, and raised again for our justification." 
And God i>ut him in possession of eternal life, as the head of 
the church, as a sure earnest that they should follow. For 
■when Christ rose from the dead, that was the beginning of 
eternal life in him. His life before his death was a mortal 


life, a temporal life ; but his life after his resurrection was an 
eternal life : Rom. vi. 9. « Knowii^g that Christ being raised 
from the dead, dieth no more : Death hath no more dosninion 
over him.'* Rev. i. 18. " I am he that liveth and v,as dead ; 
and behold I am aave forevermore, Amen."... .....But he v:a.s 

put in possession of this eternal life, as the head of the body ; 
and took possession of it, not only to enjoy himself, but to he- 
stow on all who believe in him : So that the -whole church, as 
it were, rises in him. And noAV he who lately suflered so 
much, after this is to suffer no more for ever, but to enter into 
eternal glory. God the Father neitlier expects nor desires 
any more suffering. 

This resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event that 
ever came to pass ; because hereby Christ rested from the 
great and difficult work of purchasing redemption, and received 
God's testimony, that it was finished. The death of Christ 
was the greatest and most wonderful event that ever came xa 
pass ; but that has a great deal in it that is sorrowful. But 
by the resurrection oi Christ, that sorrow is turned into joy. 
The head of the whole church, in that great event enters on 
the possession of eternal life ; and the whole church is, as it 
were, « begotten again to a lively hope," 1 Pet. i. 3. Weep- 
ing had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in the 
morning, the most joyful morning that ever was. This is the 
day of the reigning of the head of the church, and all the 
church reigns with him. This is spoken of as a day which 
was worthy to be commemorated with the greatest joy of 
all days : Psal, cxviii. 24. " This is the day which the Lord 
hath made, Ave will rejoice and be glad in it.'* And therefore 
this above all other days, is appointed for the day of tlie 
church's spiritual rejoicing to the end of the world, to be week- 
ly sanctified, as their day ol holy rest and joy, that the church 
therein may rest and rejoice with her head. And as ihe 3d chap- 
ter of Genesis is the most sorrowful chapter in the Bible ; so 
those chapters in the evangelists, that give an account of the 
resurrection of Christ, may be looked upon as the most joyful 
chapters in all the Bible : For those chapters give an account 
of the finishing of the purchase of redemption, and the begin-" 


ning of the glory of the head of the church, as the greatest- 
seal and earnest of the eternal glory of all the rest. 

It is further to be observed, that the day of the gospel most 
properly begins with the resurrection of Christ. Till Christ 
rose from the dead, the Old Testament dispensation remained; 
But now it ceases, all being fulfilled that was shadowed forth 
in the typical ordinances of that dispensation : So that here 
most properly is the end of the Old Testament night, and 
Christ rising from the grave with joy and glory, was as the 
joyful bridegroom of the church, as a glorious conqueror, to 
subdue their enemies under their feet ; or was like the sun, 
rising, as it were from under the earth, after a long night of 
darkness, and coming forth as a bridegroom, prepared as a 
strong man to run his race, appearing in joyful light to enlight- 
en the world. Now that joyful and excellent dispensation be- 
gins, that glorious dispensation, of which the prophets pro- 
phesied so much ; now the gospel sun is risen in glory, « and 
with healing in his wings," that those Avho fear God's name, 
■may " go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." 

II. Christ's ascension into heaven. In this I would include 
his sitting at the right hand of God. For Christ's ascension, 
and sitting at the right hand of God, can scarcely be looked 
upon as two distinct things : For Christ's ascension was noth- 
ing else, but ascending to God's right hand ; it was his com- 
ing to sit down at his Father's right hand in glory. This was 
another thing whereby Christ was put into a capacity for the 
accomplishing the effect of his purchase ; as one that comes 
to be a deliverer of a people as their king, in order to it, and 
that he may be under the best capacity for it, is first installed 
in his throne. We are told that Christ was exalted for this 
end, that he might accomplish the success of his redemption : 
Acts V. 31. " Him hath God exalted with his right hand, for 
to give repentance unto Israel, and the remission of sins." 

Christ's ascension into heaven was, as it were, his solemn 
enthronization, whereby the Father did set him upon the. 
throne, and invest him with the glory of his kingdom which 
he had purchased for himself, that he might thereby obtain 
tlie success of his redemption in conquering all his enemies : 


Psal. ex, 1 . " Sit tliou at my right hand, until I malce thine 
enemies thy footstool." Christ entered into heaven, in order 
to obtain the success of his purchase, as the high priest of old, 
after he had offered sacrifice, entered into the holy of holies 
■with the blood of the sacrifice, in order to obtain the success of 
the sacrifice which he had offered. See Heb. ix. 12. He 
entered into heaven, there to make intercession for his peo- 
ple, to plead the sacrifice which he had made in order to the 
sucess of it, Heb. vii. 25. 

And as he .ascended into heaven, God the Father did in a 
visible manner set him on the throne as king of the universe. 
He then put the angels all under him, and subjected heaven 
and earth under him, that he might govern them for the good 
of the people for whom he had died, Eph. i. 20, 2 1, 22. 

And as Christ rose from the dead, so he ascended into 
heaven as the head of the body and forerunner of all the 
church ; and so they, as it were ascend with him, as well as 
rise with him : So that we are both raised up together, and 
made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ, Eph. ii. 6. 

The day of Christ's ascension into heaven was doubtless a 
joyful, glorious day in heaven. And as heaven received 
Christ, God man, as its king, so doubtless it received a great 
accession of glory and happiness, far beyond what it had be- 
fore. So that the times in both parts of the church, both that 
part which is in heaven, and also that which is on. earth, are 
become more glorious since Christ's humiliation than before. 

So much for those things whereby Christ was put into the 
best capacity for obtaining the success of redemption. 


I NOW pi'oceed to show how he accomplished this suc- 
cess. And here I would observe, that ibis success consists in 
two things, viz. either in Gi'ace, or in Glory. That success 
which consists in the former, is to be seen in those works of 
Ood which are wrought during those ages of the church 


wherein the church is continued under the outward means of 
Grace. That success which consists in the latter of thc-scv 
Tiz, Glory, has its chief acconjplishment at the day of yad^- 


I WOULD first consider the former kind of success^ 
consisting in God's grace here ; which mainly appears in the 
works of God during the time that the Christian church con- 
tini5es under the means of grace ; Ti'hich is from Christ's res-, 
urrection to his appearing in the clouds of heaven to judg- 
ment ; which includes the three former of those great events 
of providence before mentioned, which are called Chrisfs coiw 
mg in his /chig-dovi. In speaking of this success, I would, 

1, Mention those things by which the means of this success 
•were established after Christ's resurrection ; and> 

2. Consider the success itself. 

§ I. I would consider those dispensations of providence, 
hy which the means of this success Avere established after 
Christ's resurrection. 

I. The abolishing of the Jewish dispensation. This indeed 
was gradually done, but it began from the time of Christ's 
resurrection, in Avhich the abolition of it is founded. This 
was the first thing done towards bringing the fonmer state of 
the world to an end. This is to be looked upon as the great 
means of the success of Christ's redemption. For the Jew- 
ish dispensation was not fitted for more than one nation : It 
was not fitted for the practice of the world in general, or for a 
church of God dwelling in all parts of the Avorld : Nor would 
it have been in any Mise practicable by them : It woidd have 
teen impossible for men, living in all parts of the world 
to go to Jerusalem three times a year, as was prescribed in 
that constitution. When therefore God had a design of en- 
larjjing his church, as he did after Christ's resurrection, it was 


jv©cessary that this tlispensation should be abolished- if it 
had been continued, it %vould iiave been a great block and hin- 
derance to the enlargenient of the church. And besides, their 
cereinonial law, by reason of its burdensomeness, and great 
peculiarity of some of its rites, was, as it were, a wall of par- 
tition, and was the ground of enmity between the Jews and 
Gentiles, and would have kept the Gentiles from complying 
with the true religion. This wall therefore was broken down 
to make way for the mor^ extensive success of the gx)spel ; 
asEph. ii. 14^ 15. 

II. The next thing in order of time seems to be the ap- 
pointn>ent of the Christian sabbath. For though this was 
.gracbially established in the Christian church, yet those things 
by which the revelation of God's mind and will was made, 
began on the day of Christ's resvu-rection, by his appearing 
then to his disciples, John xx. i 9 ; and was afterwards con- 
firmed by his api>eaiing from time to time on that day rather 
than any other, John xx. 26, and by his sending down the 
Holy Spirit so i-emarkably on that day. Acts ii. 1 , and after- 
wards in directing that public assemblies and the public wor- 
ship of Christians should be on that day, which may be con- 
cluded from Acts xx. 7. 1 Cor. xvi. 1,2, and Rev. i. 10. And 
so the day of the week on which Christ rose from the dead, 
that joyful day, is appointed to be the day of the church's ho- 
ly rejoicing to the end of the world, and the day of their stat- 
ed public woi'ship. And this is a very great and principal 
means of the success w hich the gospel has had in the world. 

III. The next thing was Clirist's appointment of the gospei 
ministry, and commissionating and sending forth his apostles 
to teach and baptize all nations. Of these things we have an 
account in Malth. xxviii. 19, 20. " Go ye therefore, and 
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; teaching them to ob- 
ser%'e all things whatsoever I have commanded you : And lo, 
I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.".... 
There were three things done by this one instruction and 
commission of Christ to his apostles, viz. 

248 WORK OF llEDEMPTIO:s^ [Pkriod IIL 

1. The appointment of the office of the gospel ministry. 
For this commission which Christ gives to his apostles, in the 
■most essential parts of it, belongs to all ministers ; and the 
apostles, by virtue of it, were ministers or elders of the church. 

2, Here is something peculiar in this commission of the apos- 
tles, viz. to go forth from one nation to another, preaching the 
gospel in all the world. The apostles had something above 
what belonged to their ordinary character as ministers ; they 
had an extraordinary power of teaching and ruling, which ex- 
tended to all the churches ; and not only all the churches 
which then were, but all that should be to the end of the 
world by their ministry. And so the apostles were, as it 
wxre, in subordination to Christ, made foundations of the 
Christian church. See Eph. ii. 20, and Rev. xxi. 14. 

3. Here is an appointm^t of Christian baptism. This or- 
dinance indeed had a beginning before ; John the Baptist and 
Christ both baptized. But now especially by this institution 
is it established as an ordinance to be upheld in the Christian 
church to the end of the world. The ordinance of the Lord's 
supper had been established before, just before Christ's cruci- 

IV. The next thing to be observed, is the enduing the apos. 
ties, and others, with extraordinary and miraculous gifts of the 
Holy Ghost ; such as the gift of tongues, the gift of healing, 
of prophecy, Sec. The Spirit of God was poured out in great 
abundance in this respect ; so that not only ministers, but a 
very great part of the Christians through the world wei'c en^ 
dued with them, both old and young ; not only officers, and 
more honorable persons, but the meaner sort of people, ser- 
vants and handmaids, were commonly endued with them, 
agreeable to Joel's prophecy, Joel ii. 28, 29, of which prophe- 
cy the Apostle Peter takes notice, that it is accomplished in 
this dispensation. Acts ii. 16. 

How wonderful a dispensation was this 1 Under the Old 
Testament, but few had such honors put upon them by God. 
Moses wished that all the Lord's people were prophets, 
Numlj. xi. 29 ; whereas Joshua thought it much that Eldad 
s^nd Mcdad prophesied. But now wc find the wish of Moses 


fulfilled. And this continued in a very considerable degred 
to the end of the apostolic age, or the first hundred years after 
the birth of Christ, which is therefore called the age of miv 

This was a great nieans of the succfess of the gospel in that 
age, and of establishing the Christian church in- all parts of 
the world ; and not only in that age, but in all ages to the end 
of the world : For Christianity being by this means establish- 
ed through so great a part of the known world by miracles, it 
was after that more easily continued by tradition ; and then, 
by means of these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, the 
apostles, and others, were enabled to write the New Testa- 
ment, to be an infallible rule of faith and manners to the 
church, to the end of the Avorkl. And furthermore, these 
miracles stand recorded in those writings as a standing proof 
and evideiice of the truth of the Christian religion to all ages, 

V. The next thing I would observe is the revealing those 
glorious doctrines of the gospel fully and plainly, which had 
under the Old Testament been obscurely revealed. The 
doctrine of Christ's satisfaction and righteousness, his 
ascension and glory, and the way of salvation, under the 
Old Testament, were in a great measure hid under ths 
yail of types and shadows and more obscure revelations, as 
Moses put a vail on his face to hide the shining of it ; but 
nbw the vail of the temple is rent from the top to the bottom ; 
and Christ, the antitype of Moses, shines : The shining of 
his face is without a vail ; 2 Cor. iii. 12, 13, and 18. Now 
these glorious mysteries are plainly revealed, which were in 
a great measure kept secret from the foundation of the world, 
Eph. iii. 3, 4, 5 ; Rom. xvi. 25. « According to the revelation 
of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, 
but now is made manifest ;" and Col. i. 26. " Even the mys- 
tery which hath been hid from ages, and generations, but now 
is made manifest to his saints." 

Thus the Sun of righteousness, after it is risen from under 
the earth, begins to shine forth clearly, and not only by a dim 
reflection as it did before. Christ, before his death, revealed 
niany things more clearly than ever they had been revealed 

Vol. XL 2 H 


in the Old Testament ; but the great mysteries of Christ's 
redemption, and reconciliation by his death, and justification 
by his righteousness, were not so plainly revealed before 
Christ's resurrection. Christ gave this reason for it, that he 
would not put new wine into old bottles ; and it was gradually 
done after Christ's resurrection. In all likelihood, Christ 
much more clearly instructed them personally after his resur- 
rection, and before his ascension ; as we read that he continu- 
ed with thcrn forty days, speaking of the things pertaining to 
the kingdom, Acts i. 3 ; and that " he opened their under- 
standings, that they might understand the scriptures," Luke 
xxiv. 45. But the clear revelation of these things was prin- 
cipally after the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pente- 
cost, agreeable to Christ's promise, John xvi. 12, 13. « I have 
yet many things to -say unto you, but ye cannot bear them 
now. Howbeit, when he the Spirit of truth is come, he shall 
guide you into all tnith." This clear revelation of the mys- 
teries of the gospel, as they are delivered, Ave have chiefly 
through the hands of the Apostle Paul, by whose writings a 
child may come to know more of the doctrines of the gospel, 
in many respects, than the greatest prophets knew under the 
darkness of the Old Testament. 

Thus we see how the light of the gospel, which began to dawn 
immediately after the fall, and gradually grew and increased 
through all the ages of the Old Testament, as we observed as 
we went along, is now come to the light of perfect day, and the 
brightness of the sun shining foith in his unvailed glory. 

VI. The next thing that I would observe, is the appoint- 
ment of the office of deacons in the Christian church, which 
we have an account of in the 6th chapter of the Acts, to take 
care for the outward supply of the members of Christ's church, 
and the exercise of that great Christian virtue of charity. 

VII. The calling, and qualifying, and sending the Apostle 
Paul. This whs begun in his conversion as he was going to 
Damascus, and M'as one of the greatest means of the success 
of Christ's redemption that followed : For this success was 
more by the labors, preaching, and writings of this Apostle, 
than all the other apostles put together. For, as he says. 


1 Cor. XV. 10, he " laboured more abundantly than they all ;" 
so his success was more abundant than that of them all. As 
h« was the apostle of the Gentiles, so it was mainly by his 
ministry that the Gentiles were called, and the gospel spread 
through the woiid ; and our nation, and the other nations of 
Europe, have the gospel among them chiefly through his 
means ; and he was more employed by the Holy Ghost in re- 
vealing the glorious doctrines of the gospel by his writings, 
for the use of the church in all ages, than all the other apos- 
tles taken together. 

VIII. The next thing I would observe, is the institution of 
ecclesiastical councils, for deciding controversies, and order- 
ing the affairs of the church of Christ, of which we have an 
account in the l5th chapter of Acts. 

IX. The last thing I shall mention under this head, is the 
committing the New Testament to* writing. This was all 
written after the resurrection of Christ ; and all written, either 
by the apostles, or by the evangelists, who were companions 
of the apostles. All the New Testament was written by the 
apostles themselves, excepting what was written by Mark and 
Luke, viz. the gospels of Mark and Luke, and the book of the 
Acts of the Apostles. He that wrote the gospel of Mark, is 
supposed to be he whose mother was Mary, in Avhose house 
they were praying for Peter, when he, brought out of prison 
by the angel, came and knocked at the door ; of which we 
read, Acts xii. 12. " And when he had considered the thing 
he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose sir- 
name was Mark, where many were gathered together, pray- 
ing." He was the companion of the apostles Barnabas and 
Saul : Acts xv. 27. " And Barnabas determined to take with 
them John, whose sirname was Mark." He was Barnabas's sis- 
ter's son, and seems sometimes to have been a companion of the 
Apostle Paul : Col. iv. 10, « Aristarchus, m.y fellow prison- 
er, saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas ; touch- 
ing whom ye received commandment : If he come unto you 
receive him." The apostles seem to have made great account 
of him, as appears by those places, and also by Acts xii. 25. 
" And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, and took 


vith them John, whose siraame was Mark ;" and Acts xiii. 5 . 
'« And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of 
God in the synagogues of the Jews ; and they had also John 
to their minister ;" and, 2 Tim. iv. 11. " Only Luke is with 
me : Take INIark and bring him with thee, for he is profitable 
to me for the ministry." 

This Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of 
Acts, was a great companion of the Apostle Paul. He is 
spoken of as being with him in the last mentioned place, and 
speaks of himself as accompanying him in his travels in the 
history of the Acts; and therefore he speaks in the fii-st person 
plural, when speaking of Paul's travels, saying, We ' went to 
such and such a place : We set sail : We launched from such 
a place ; and landed at such a place. He was greatly beloved 
by the Apostle Paul : He is that beloved physician spoken of, 
Col. iv. 14. The Apostle ranks Mark and Luke among his 
fellow laborers, Philemon, 24. " Marcus, Aristarchus, De- 
mas, Lucas, my fellow laborers." 

The rest of the books were all written by the apostles them- 
selves. The books of the New Testament are either histori- 
cal, or doctrinal, or prophetical. The historical books are the 
writings of the four evangelists, giving tis the history of Christ 
and his purchase of redemption, and his resurrection and as- 
cension ; and the Acts of the Apostles, giving an account of 
the great things by which the Christian church was first estab- 
lished and propagated. The doctrinal books are the epistles. 
These, most of them, we have from the great Apostle Paul. 
And we have one prophetical book, which takes place after 
the end of the history of the whole Bible, and gives an account 
of the great events which were to come to pass, by which the 
work of redemption was to be carried on to the end of the 

All these books arc supposed to have been written before 
the destruction of Jerusalem, excepting those which were 
written by the Apostle John, who lived the longest of all 
the apostlrs, and wrote what he wrote alter the destruction of 
Jerusalem, as is supposed. And to this beloved disciple it was 
that Christ revealed those wonderful things which were to 


come to pass in his church to the end of time ; and he was 
the person that put the finishing hand to the canon of the scrip- 
tures, and sealed the whole of it. So that now the canon of 
scripture, that great and standing written I'ule, which was be- 
gun about Moses's time, is completed and settled, and a curse 
denounced against him that adds any thing to it, or diminishes 
any thing from it. And so all things are established and com- 
pleted which relate to the appointed means of grace. All the 
stated means of grace were finished in the apostolical age, or 
before the death of the Apostle John, and are to remain un- 
altered to the day of judgment. 
■ Thus far we have considered those things by which the 
means of grace were given and established in the Christian 

§ II. The other thing proposed, relating to the success of 
Christ's redemption during the church's continuance under 
means of grace, was to show how this success was carried on ; 
which is what I would now proceed to do. 

And here it is worthy to be remembered, that the Christian 
chvu'ch, during Its continuance under nieans of grace, is in 
t>yo very difterent states. 

1. In a suffering, afflicted, persecuted state ; as, for the 
most part it is, from the resurrection of Christ till the fall of 

2. In a state of peace and prosperity ; which is the state 
that the church, for the most part, is to be in after the fall of 

First, I would show how the success of Christ's redemp- 
tion is carried on during the continuance of the church's suf- 
fering state, from the resurrection of Christ to the fall of An- 
tichrist. This space of time, for the most part, is a state of 
the church's sufferings, and is so represented in scripture. 
Indeed God is pleased, out of love and pity to his elect, to 
grant many intermissions of the church's sufferings during 
this time, Avhereby the days of tribulation are as it were short- 
ened. But from Christ's resurrection till the fall of Anti- 


Christ, is the appointed clay of Zion's troublea. During this 
space of time, for the most part, some part or other of the 
church is under persecution ; and great part of the time, the 
•whole church, or at least the generality of God's people, have 
been persecuted. 

For the first three hundred years after Christ, the church 
was for the most part in a state of great afilictioii, the object 
of reproach and persecution ; first by the Jews, and then by 
the Heathen, After this, from the beginning of Constan- 
tinc's time, the church had rest and prosperity for a little 
while ; which is i^epresentcd in Rev. vit. at the beginning, by 
the angel's holding the four winds for a little while. But pre- 
sently after, the church again suffered persecittion from the 
Arians ; and after that. Antichrist rose, and the church w^as 
driven away into the wilderness, and v/a:s kept down in obscu- 
rity, and contempt, and suffering for a long time, vmder Anti- 
christ before the reformation by Luther and others. And 
since the Reformation, the churches persecutions have been 
beyond all that ever were before. And though some parts of 
God's church sometimes have had rest, yet to this day, for the 
most part, the true church is very much kept under by its en- 
emies, and some parts of it under grievous persecution ; and 
so we may expect it will continue till the fall of Antichrist ; 
and then will come the appointed day of the church's pros- 
perity on earth, the set time in which God will favor Zion, 
the time when the saints shall not be kept under by Avicked 
men, as it has been hitherto ; but wherein they shall be up- 
permost, and shall reign on earth, as it is said. Rev. v. 10. 
*' And the kingdom shall be given to the people of the saints 
of the Most High," Dan. vii. 27. 

This suffering state of the church is in scripture represent- 
ed as a state of the church's travail, John xvi. 20, 2 1, and Rev. 
xii. 1, 2. What the church is in travail striving to bring forth 
during this lime, is that glory and prosperity of the church 
which shall be after the fall of Antichrist, and then shall she 
bring forth her child. This is a long time of the church's trou- 
ble and affliction, and is so spoken of in scripture, though it be 
spoken of as being but for a little season, in comparison of the 


eternal prosperity of the church. Hence the church, under 
the long; continuance of this afiliction, cries oat, as in Rev. vi. 
iO. « How long, O I^ord, holy and true, dost thou not judge 
and avenge our blood on theni that dwell on the earth ?" And 
we are told, that " white robes were given unto every one of 
them j and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet 
for a little season, until their fellow servants also, and their 
brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfill- 
ed." So, Dan. xlL 6. « How long shall it be to the end of 
these wonders I" 

It is to be observed, that during the time of these sufferings 
of the church, the main instrument of their sufferings has been 
the Roman government : Her afflictions have almost all along 
been from Rome. That is therefore in the New Testament 
called Babylon ; because, as of old, the troubles of the city 
Jerusalem were mainly from that adverse city Babylon, so 
the troubles of the Christian church, the spiritual Jerusalem, 
during the long time of its tribulation, is mainly from Rome, 
Before the time of Constantine, the troubles of the Christian 
church were from Heathen Rome : Since that lime, its trou- 
bles have been mainly from Antichristian Rome. And as of 
old, the captivity of the Jews ceased on the destruction of 
Babylon, so the time of the trouble of the Chriilian chui'ch 
will cease with the destruction of the church of Rome, that 
spiritual Babylon. 

In showing how the success of Christ's redemption is car- 
ried on, during this time of the church's tribulation, I would, 

1. Show how it was carried on till the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, with which ended the first great dispensation of Provi- 
dence which is called Christ's coining in his kingdom. 

2. How it was carried on from thence to the destruction of 
the Heathen empire in the time of Constantine, which is the 
second dispensation called Christ'' s coming. 

3, How it is carried on from thence to the destruction of 
Antichrist, when will be accomplished the third great event 
called Christ's comings and with which the days of the 
church's tribulation and travail end. 

S58 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Peuiod iif. 

I. I WOULD show how. Ihe success of Christ's purchase of 
redemption was carried on from Christ's resurrection to the 
destruction of Jerusalem- In speaking of this, I would, 1 , take 
notice of the success itself : And, 2, the opposition made 
against it by the enemies of it : And, 3, the terrible judg- 
ments of Gqd on those enemies. 

1. I would observe the success itself. Soon after Christ 
had finished the purchase of redemption, and was gone into 
heaven, and entered into the holy of holies with his own blood, 
there began a glorious success of what he had done and suf- 
fered. Having undermined the foundation of Satan's king- 
dom, it began to fall apace. Swiftly did it hasten to ruin in 
the world, which might well be compared to Satan's fidling 
like lightning from heaven. Satan before had exalted his 
throne very high in this world, even to the very stars of heaven, 
reigning with great glory in his Heathen Roman empire : 
But never before had he such a downfal as he had soon after 
Christ's ascension. He had, we may suppose, been very 
lately triumphing in a supposed victory, having brought about 
the death of Christ, which he doubtless gloried in as the 
greatest feat that ever he did ; and probably imagined he had 
totally defeated God's design by him. But he was quickly 
made sensible, that he had only been ruining his own king- 
dom, when he saw it tumbling so fast so soon after, as a con- 
sequence of the death of Christ. For Christ, by his death, 
having purchased the Holy Spirit, and having ascended, and 
received the Spirit, he poured it forth abundantly for the con- 
version of thousands and millions of souls. 

Never had Christ's kingdom been so set up in the world. 
There probably were more souls converted in the age of the 
apostles than had been before from the beginning of the world 
till that time. Thus God so soon begins gloriously to accom- 
plish his promise to his Son, wherein he had promised, that 
he should see his seed, and that the pleasure of the Lord 
should prosper in his hand, if he would make his soul an of- 
fering for sin. And, 

(1) Here is to be observed the suacess which the gospel 
had among the Jews : For God first began with them. He 


being about to reject the main body of that people, first calls 
in his elect from among them, before he forsook them, to 
turn to the Gentiles. It was so in former great and dreadful 
judgments of God on that nation : The bulk of them were 
destroyed, and only a remnant saved, or reformed. So it 
was in the rejection of the ten tribes, long before this rejec-' 
tion : The bulk of the ten tribes were rejected,when they left 
the true worship of God in Jeroboam's. time, and afterwards 
more fully in Ahab's time. But yet there was a remnant of 
them that God reserved. A number left their possessions in 
these tribes, and went and settled in the tribes of Judah and 
Benjamin, And afterwards there were seven thousand in A" 
hab's time, who had not bowed the knee to Baal. And so, in 
the captivity into Babylon, only a remnant of them ever re- 
turned to their own land. And so now again, by far the 
greater part of the people were rejected entirely, but some 
few were saved. And therefore the Holy Ghost compares 
this reservation of a number that were converted by the 
preaching of the apostles, to those former remnants : Rom. 
ix. 27. ''Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, T hough the 
number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a 
remnant shall be saved." See Isa. x. 22, 

The glorious success of the gospel among the Jews after 
Christ's ascension, began by the pouring out of the Spirit 
upon the day of Pentecost, of which we read in Acts ii. So 
wonderful was this pouring out of the Spirit, and so remark- 
able and swift the effect of it, that we read of three thousand 
who were converted to the Christian faith in one day, Actsii. 
4 1 . And probably the greater part of these were savingly 
converted. And after this, we read of God's adding to the 
church daily such a*,should be saved verse 47. And soon after, 
we read, that the number of them were about five thousand. 
Thus were not only a multitude converted, but the church 
was then eminent in piety, as appears by Acts ii. 46, 47, 
and iv. 32. 

Thus the Christian church was first of all of the nation of 
Israel; and therefore, when the Gentiles were called,' they 
were but as it were added to Israel, to the seed of Abraham. 
Vol. II. 2 1 


They were added to the Christian church of Israel, as the 
proselytes of old were to the Mosaic church of Israel ; and 
so were as it were only grafted on the stock of Abraham, and 
were not a distinct tree ; for they are all still the seed of Abra- 
ham and Israel ; as Ruth the Moabitess, and Uriah the Hit- 
tite, and other proselytes of old, were the same people, and 
ranked as the seed of Israel. 

So the Christian church at first began at Jerusalem, and 
from thence Avas propagated to all nations : So that this 
church of Jerusalem was the church that was as it were the 
mother of all other churches in the world; agreeable to the 
prophecy, Isaiah ii. 3, 4. " Out ef Zion shall go forth the 
law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem ; and he 
shall judge among the nations, and rebuke many people." So 
that the whole church of God is still God's Jerusalem ; they are 
his spiritual Jerusalem, and are as it were only added to the 
church, which was be,u:un in the literal Jerusalem. 

After this, we read of many thousands of Jews that believ- 
ed in Jerusalem, Acts xxi. 20, And so we read of multitudes 
of Jews who were converted in other cities of Judea ; and not 
only so, but even in other parts of the world. For wherever 
Ihe apostles went, if there were any Jews there, their manner 
was first to go into the synagogues of the Jews, and preach the 
fvospel to them, and many in one place and another believed ; 
as in Damascus and Aniioch, and many other places that wc 
read of in the Acts of the Apostles. 

In this pouring out of the spirit, which began at the Pente- 
cost following Christ's ascension, began that first great dis- 
pensation which is called C/irist's co7?iii!g in his kingdom — 
Christ's coming thus in a spiritual manner for the glorious 
setting up of his kingdom in the world, is represented by 
Christ himself as his coming down from heaven, Mhither 
he had ascended, John xiv. 18. There Christ having been 
speaking of his ascension says, " I will not leave you 
comfortless ; I will come unto you," speaking of his coming 
by the coming of the comforter, the spirit of truth. And, 
verse 28. " Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away 
and come again unto you." And thus the apostles began t» 


see the kingdom of heaven come with power, as he promisecj 
they should, Mark ix. 1. 

(2) What is next to be observed is the success of the gos- 
pel among the Samaritans. After the success of the gospel 
had been so gloriously begun among the proper Jews, the 
spirit of God was next wonderfully poured out on the Sa- 
maritans, who were not Jews by nation, but the posterity of 
those whom the king of Assyria removed from difiei'cnt 
parts of his dominions, and settled in the land that was in- 
habited by the ten tribes whom he carried captive. But yet 
they had received the five books of Moseg, and practised 
most of the rites of the law of Moses, and so were a sort of 
mongrel Jews. We do not find them reckoned as Gentiles 
in the New Testament : For the calling of the Gentiles is 
spoken of as a new thing after this, beginning with, the con- 
version of Cornelius. But yet it was an instance of making 
that a people that were no people : For they had corrupted 
the religion which Moses commanded, and did not go up to 
Jerusalem to worship, but had another temple of their own 
in mount Gerizzim ; which is the mountain of which the wo- 
man of Samaria speaks, when she says, " Our fathers wor- 
shipped in this mountain." Christ there does not approve 
of their separation from the Jews; but tells the woman of 
Samaria, that they worshipped they knew not what, and that 
salvation is of the Jews. But now salvation is brotight from 
the Jews to them by the preaching of Philip, (excepting 
that before Christ had some success among them) with 
whose preaching there was a glorious pouring out of the 
spirit of God in the city of Samaria ; where we are told that 
" the people believed Philip, preaching the things concern- 
ing the kingdom of Christ, and were baptized, both men and 
women ; and that there was great joy in that city." Acts 
viii. 8 — 12. 

Thus Christ had a glorious harvest in Samaria ; Avhich is 
what Christ seems to have ha^ respect to, in what he said to 
his disciples at Jacob's well, three or four years before, on oc- 
casion of the people of Samaria's appearing at a distance in 
the fields coming to the place where Christ was, at the insti- 


gation of the woman of Samaria. On that occasion he bids 
his disciples lift up their eyes to the fields, for that they were 
M'hite to the harvest, John iv. 35, 36. The disposition which 
the people of Samaria showed towards Christ and his gospel, 
showed that they were ripe for the harvest. But now the 
harvest is come by Philip's preaching. There used to be a 
inost bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans ; but 
now, by their conversion, the Christian Jews and Samaritans 
are all happily united ; for in Christ Jesus is neither Jew nor 
Samaritan, but Christ is all in all. This was a glorious in- 
stance of the wolfs dwelling v/ith the lamb, and the leopard's 
lying down with the kid. 

(3) The next thmg to be observed is the success there was 
of the gospel in calUng the Gentiles. This was a great and 
glorious dispensation of divine providence, much spoken of in 
the prophecies of the Old Testament, and spoken of by the 
apostles, time after time, as a most glorious event of Christ's 
redemption. This was begun in the conversion of Cornelius 
and his family, greatly to the admiration of Peter, who was 
•used as the instrument of it, and of those Avho M-ere with him, 
and of those Avho were informed of it ; as you may see, Acts 
3f. & xi. And the next instance of it that we have any account 
of, was in the conversion of great numbers of Gentiles in Cy- 
prus, and Cyrene, and Antioch, by the disciples that were 
scattered abroad by the persecution which arose about Ste- 
phen, as we have an account in Acts xi, 19, 20, 21. And 
presently upon this the disciples began to be called Chris- 
tians first at Antioch, verse 26. 

And after this, vast multitudes of Gentiles were converted 
in many different parts of the world, chiefly by the ministry of 
the Apostle Paul, a glorious pouring out of the Spirit accom- 
panying his preaching in one place and another. Multitudes 
flocked into the church of Christ in a great number of cities 
•where the Apostle came. So the number of the members of 
the Christian church that were Gentiles, soon far exceeded 
the number of its Jewish members ; yea so, that in less than 
ten years time after Paul was sent forth from Antioch to 
preach to the Gentiles, it was said of him and his companions, 


that they had turned the world upside down : Acts x^'ii. 6. 
" Theser that have turned the world upside down are come 
hither also." But the most remarkable pouring out of the 
Spirit in a particular city that Ave have any account of in the 
New Testament, seems to be that in the city of Ephesus, 
which was a very great city. Of this we have an account in 
Acts xix. There was also a very extraordinary ingathering 
of souls at Corinth, one of the greatest cities in all Greece. 
And after this many were converted in Rome, the chief city 
of all the world ; and the gospel was propagated into all parts 
of the Roman empire. Thus the gospel sun, which had late- 
ly risen on the Jews, now rose upon, and began to enlighten 
the Heathen Avorld, after they had continued in gross Heath- 
enish darkness for so many ages. 

This was a great thing, and a new thing, such as never had 
been before. All nations but the Jews, and a few who had at 
one time and another joined with them, had been rejected 
from about Moses's time. The Gentile world had been cov- 
ered, over Avith the thick darkness of idolatry : But now, at 
the joyful glorious sound of the gospel, they began in all parts 
to forsake their old idols, and to abhor them, and to cast them 
to the moles and to the bats, and to learn to worship the true 
God, and to trust in his Son Jesus Christ ; and God owned 
' them for his people : Those who had so long been afar off, 
were made nigh by the blood of Christ. Men Avere changed 
from being Heathenish and brutish, to be the children of 
God ; Avere called out of Satan's kingdom of darkness, and 
brought into God's marvellous light ; and in almost all coun- 
tries throughout the knoAvn Avorld Avere assemblies oi the peo- 
ple of God ; joyful praises Avere sung to the true God, and Jesus 
Christ the glorious Redeemer. Noav that great building 
Avhich God began soon after the fall of man, rises gloriously, 
not in the same manner that it had done in former ages, but 
in quite a ncAV manner ; now Daniel's prophecies concerning 
the last kingdom, Avhich should succeed the four Heathenish 
monarchies, begins to be fulfilled ; now the stone cut out of 
the mountain Avithout hands, began to smite the image on its 
£eet, and to break it in pieces, and to groAV great, and to make 


great advances loAvards filling the eartli ; and now God gath- 
ers together the elect from the four winds of heaven, by the 
preaching of the apostles and other ministers, the angels of 
the Christian chnrch sent forth with the great soimd of the 
gospel trumpet, before the destruction of Jerusalem, agreea- 
ble to what Christ foretold, Matth. xxiv. 3 1 . 

This was the success of Christ's purchase during this first 
period of the Christian church, which terminated in the de- 
struction of Jerusalem. 

2. I would proceed now, in the second place, to take notice 
of the opposition which was made to this success of Christ's 

purchase by the enemies of it Satan, who lately was so 

ready to triumph and exult, as though he had gained the vic- 
tory in putting Christ to death, now findhig himself fallen in- 
to the pit which he had digged, and finding l»is kingdom fall- 
ing so fast, and seeing Christ's kingdom make such amazing 
progress, such as never had been before, we may conclude he 
•was filled with the greatest confusion and astonishment, and 
hell seemed to be effectually alarmed by it to make the jjiost 
violent opposition against it. And, first, the devil stirred up 
the Jews, who had before crucified Christ, to persecute the 
church : For it is observable, that the persecution which the 
church suffered during this period, was mostly froin the 
Jews. Thus we read in the Acts, when, at Jerusalem, the 
Holy Ghost was poured out at Pentecost, how the Jews mock- 
ed, and said, " These men are full of new wine ;" and how 
the scribes and Pharisees, and the captain of the temple, were 
alarmed, and bestirred themselves to oppose and persecute 
the apostles, and first apprehended and threatened them, and 
afterwards imprisoned and beat them ; and breathing out 
threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, 
they stoned Stephen in a tumultuous rage ; and were not con- 
tent to persecute those that they could find in Judea, but sent 
abroad to Damascus and other places, to persecute all that 
they could find every where. Herod, who was chief among 
them, stretched forth his hands to vex the church, and killed 
James with the sword, and proceeded to take Peter also, and 
cast him into prison. 


So in other countries, we find, that almost wherever the 
apostles came, the Jews opposed the gospel in a most malig- 
nant manner, contradicting and blasphciuing. How many- 
things did the blessed Apostle Paul suffer at their hands in 
one place and another ! How violent and blood thirsty did 
they shew themselves towards hiin, when he came to bring 
Jilms to his nation ! In this persecution and cruelty was ful- 
filled that of Christ, Matth. xxiii. 34. " Behold, I send you 
prophets, and wise men, and scribes ; and some of them ye 
shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall y« scourge in 
your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city." 

3. I proceed to take notice of those judgments which were 
executed on those enemies of Christ, the persecuting Jews. 

(1) The bulk of the people were given up to judicial blind- 
ness of mind and hardness of heart. Christ denounced such 
a wo upon them in the days of his flesh ; as Matth. xiii. 14, 
15 This curse Avas also denounced on them by the Apos- 
tle Pavil, Acts xxviii. 25, 26, 27 ; and under this curse, under 
this judicial blindness and hardness, they remain to this very- 
day, having been subject to it for about 1700 years, being the 
most awful instance of such a judgment, and monuments of 
God's terrible vengeance, of any people that ever were. That 
they should continvie from generation to generation so obsti- 
nately to reject Christ, so that it is a vejy rare thing that any 
one of them is converted to the Christian faith, though their 
©wn scriptures of the Old Testament, which they acknowl- 
edge, are so full of plain testimonies against them, is a re- 
markable evidence of their being dreadfully left of God. 

(2) They were rejected and cast off from being any longer 
God's visible people. They were broken off from the stock 
6f Abraham, and since that have no more been reputed his 
seed, than the Ishmaelites or Edomites, who are as much his 
natural seed as they. The greater part of the two tribes were 
now cast off, as the ten tribes had been l^efore, and another 
people were taken in their room, agreeable to the predictions 
of their own prophets ; as of Moses, Deut. xxxii. 21. " They 
have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God ; they 
Lave provoked me to anger with their vanities ; and I will 


move thcni to jealousy with those which are not a people, I 
will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation ;" and of 
Isa. Ixv. 1. « I am soui^ht of them that asked not forme; 
*' I am found of them that sought me not." They were visi- 
bly rejected and cast off, by God's directing his apostles to 
turn away from them, and let them alone ; as Acts, xiii. 46, 
47. " Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was 
necessary that the word of God should first have been spok- 
en to you : But seeing ye put it from you, and judge your- 
selves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, Ave turn to the Gen- 
tiles : For so hath the Lord commanded us." And so Acts 
xviii. 6, and xxviii. 28. 

Thus far we have had the scripture history to guide us : 
Henceforward we shaU have the guidance only of two things, 
viz. of scripture prophecy, and God's providence, as related 
in human histories But I proceed. 

(3) The third and last judgment of God on those enemies 
of the success of the gospel which I shall mention, is the ter- 
rible destruction of their city and country by the Romans. 
They had great warnings and many means used with them 
before this destruction. First, John the Baptist warned them, 
and told them, that the axe was laid at the root of the tree ; 
and that every tree which should not bring forth good fruit, 
should be hewn down, and cast into the fire. Then Christ 
warned them very particularly, and told them of their ap- 
proaching destruction, and at the thoughts of it wept over 
them. And then the apostles after Christ's ascension abund- 
antly warned them. But they proved obstinate, and went 
on in their opposition to Christ and his- church, and in their 
bitter persecuting practices. Their so malignantly persecut- 
ing the Apostle Paul, of which we have an account towards 
the end of the Acts of the Apostles, is supposed to have been 
not more than seven or eight years before their destruction. 

And after this God \; as pleased to give them one more very 
remarkable warning by the Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the 
Hebrews, which is an epislle written to that nation of the 
Jews, as is supposed, about four years before their destruc- 
tion ; wherein the plainest and clearest arguments are set 


before them from iheir own law, and from their prophets, 
for whom they professed such a regard, to prove that Christ 
Jesvis must be the Son of God, and that all their law pointed 
to him and typified him, and that their Jewish dispensation 
must needs have now ceased. For though the epistle was 
' more immediately directed to the Christian Hebrews, yet the 
matter of the, epistle plainly shows that the apostle intended 
it for the use and conviction of the unbelieving Jews. And in 
this epistle he mentions particularly the, approaching destruc- 
tion, as chap. x. 25. "So much the more, as ye see the day 
approaching ;" and in verse 27, he speaks of the approaching 
judgment and fiery indignation which should devour the ad- 

But the generality of them refusing to receive conviction, 
God soon destroyed them with such terrible circumstances as 
the destruction of no country or city since the foundation of 
the world can parallel ; agreeably to what Christ foretold, 
Matth. xxiv. 2i. " For then shall be tribulation, such as was 
not from the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever 
shall be." The first destruction of Jerusalem by the Baby- 
lonians was very terrible, as it is in a most affecting manner 
described by the Prophet Jeremiah, in his Lamentations ; but 
ihis was nothing to the dreadful misery and wrath Mdiich they 
suffered in this destruction : God according as Christ foretold, 
bringing on them all the righteous blood that had been shed 
from the foundation of the world. Thus the enemies of 
Christ are made his footstool after his ascension, agreeably to 
God's promise in Psal. ex. at the beginning ; and Christ rules 
them with a rod of iron. They had been kicking against 
Christ, but they did but kick against the pricks. The briars 
and thorns set themselves against him in battle : But he went 
through them ; he bound them together. 

This destruction of Jerusalem was in all respects agreeable 
to what Christ had foretold of it, Matth. xxiv. by the account 
which Josephus gives of it, wlio was then present, and was 
one of the Jews, who had a share in the calamity, and wrote 
the history of their destruction. Many circumstances of this 
destruction resembled the destruction of the wicked at tht*. 

Vol. il. 2 K 


day of judgment, by his account, being accompanied with 
many fearful sights in the heavens, and with a separation of 
the righteous from the wicked. Their city and temple Avere 
burnt, and tased to the ground, and the ground on which the 
city stood, was ploughed ; and so one stone was not left upon 
another, Matth. xxiv. 2, 

The people had ceased for the aiost part to be an independ- 
ent government after the Babylonish captivity : But the 
sceptre entirely departed from Judah on the death of Arche- 
laus ; and then Judea was made a Roman province ; after 
this they were cast off from being the people of God ; but 
now their very city and land are utterly destroyed, and they 
carried away from it ; and so have continued in their disper- 
sions through the ivorld for now above 1600 years. 

Thus there was a final end to the Old Testament world : 
All was finished with a kind of day of judgment, in which the 
people of God were saved, and his enemies terribly destroy- 
ed llius does he who was so lately mocked, despised, and 

spit upon by these Jews, and whose followers they so malig- 
nantly persecuted, appear gloriously exalted over his en* 

Having thus shown how the success of Christ's purchase 
was carried on till the destruction of Jerusalem, I come now, 

II. To show how it was carried on from that tiriie till the 
destruction of the Heathen empire in the time of Constantine 
the Great, which is the second great event which is in scrip- 
ture compared to Christ's coming to judgment. 

Jerusalem was destroyed about the year of our Lord 68, 
and so before that generation passed away which was contem- 
porary with Christ ; and it was about thirtyfive years after 
Christ's death. The destruction of the Heathen empire un- 
der Constantine, was about 260 years after this. In showing 
how the success of the gospel was carried on through this 
time, I would, 1. Take notice of the opposition made against 
it by the Roman empire. 2. How the work of the gospel 
went on notwithstanding all that opposilion. 3. The peculiar 
circumstances of tribulation and distress that the church was 


in, just before tlieir deliverance by Constantine. 4. The 
great revolution in Constantine's lime. 

1 . I would briefly show what opposition was made against 
the gospel, and the kingdom of Christ, by the Roman empire. 
The opposition that was made to the gospel by the Heathen 
Roman empire, was mainly after the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem, though their opposition began before ; but the opposi- 
tion that was before the destruction of Jerusalem, was mainly 
by the Jews. But when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jews 
were put out of a capacity of much troubling the church. 
No-vr therefore the devil turns his hand elsewhere, and uses 
other instruments. The opposition which was made in the 
Roman empire against the kingdom of Christ, was chiefly of 
two kinds. 

(1) They employed all their learning, and philosophy, and 
wit, in opposing it. Christ came into the world in an age 
wherein learning and philosophy were at their height in the 
Roman empire. This was employed to the utmost against 
the kingdom of Christ. The gospel, which held forth a cru- 
cified Saviour, was not at all agreeable to the notions of the 
philosophers. The Christian scheme of trusting in such a 
crucified Redeemer, appeared foolish and ridiculous to them. 
Greece was a country the most famous for learning of any in 
the Roman empire ; but the apostle observes, that the dec- 
trine of Christ crucified appeared foolishness to the Greeks, 
1 Cor. i. 23 ; and therefore the wise men and philosophers 
opposed the gospel M'ith all the wit they had. We have a 
specimen of their manner of opposing, in the story we have 
of their treatment of the Apostle Paul at Athens, which was a 
city that had been for many ages the chief seat of philoso- 
phers of any in the whole world. We read in Acts xvii. 18, 
that the philosophers of the Epicureans and Stoicks encoun- 
tered him, saying, " What Avill this babler say ? He seemeth 
to be a setter forth of strange gods." So they were wont to 
deride and ridicule Christianity. And after the destruction 
of Jerusalem, several of these philosophers published books 
against it ; the chief of whom were Celsus and Porphyry, 
These wrote books against the Christian religion with a ftvcat 


deal of virulence and contempt, inuch after the manner that 
the Deists of the present aJ^e oppose and ridicule Christiuni- 
t}'. Something of their writings yet remains. As great ene- 
mies and despisers as they were of the Christian religion, vet 
they never denied the facts recorded of Christ and his apos- 
tles in the New Testament, particularly the miracles which 
they wrought ; but allowed them. They lived too near the 
times wherein these miracles Averc wrought to deny them ; 
for they were so publicly done, and so lately, that neither 
Jews nor Heathens in those days appeared to deny them ; but 
they ascribed them to the power of magic. 

(2) The authority of the Roman empire employed all their 
strength, lime after ♦? ric, to persecute, and if possible to root 
out Christianity. This they did in ten general successive 
persecutions. We have heretofore observed, that Christ 
came into the world when the strength of Heathen dominion 
and authority was the greatest that ever it was under the Ro- 
man monarchy, the greatest and strongest human monarchy 
that ever was on earth. All the strength of this monarchy 
was employed for a long time to oppose and persecute the 
Christian church, and if possible to destroy it, in ten succes- 
sive attempts, which are called the ten Heathen fierstcutions^ 
which were before Constantine. 

The first of these, which was the persecution under Nero, 
was a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, in Avhich the 
Apostle Peter was crucified, and the Apostle Paul beheaded, 
soon after he wrote his seccnd epistle to Timothy. When 
he wrote that epistle, he was a prisoner at Rome under Nero, 
and was soon after he wrote it beheaded, agreeably to what he 
says, chap. iv. 6, 7. " I am now ready to be offered, and the 
time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, 

I have finished my course, I have kept the faith " And 

there were many thousands of other Christians slain in that 
persecution. The other nine persecutions were all after the 
destruction of Jerusalem. Some of these Avere very terrible 
indeed, and far exceeded the first persecution under Nero. 
One emperor after another set himself with the utmost rage 
to root out the Christian church from the earth, that there 


should not be so much as the name of Christian left in the 
world. And thousands and millions were put to cruel deaths 
in these persecutions ; for they spared neither sex nor age, 
but killed them as fast as they could. 

Under the second general persecution, that which was next 
after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Apostle John was ban- 
ished to the isle of Patmos, where he had those visions of 
which he has given an account in the Revelation. Under 
that persecution it was reckoned, that about 40,000 suffered 
martyrdom ; which yet was nothing to what were put to 
death under some succeeding persecutions. Ten thousand 
suffered that one kind of cruel death, crucifixion, in the third 
persecution under the Emperor Adrian. Under the fourth 
persecution, which began about the year of Christ 162, many 
suffered martyrdom in England, the land of our forefathers, 
where Christianity had been planted very early, and, as is 
supposed, in the days of the apostles. And in the lateir per- 
secutions, the Roman emperors being vexed at the frustration 
of their predecessors, who Mere not able to extirpate Chris- 
tianity, or hinder its progress, were enraged to be the more 
violent in their attempts. 

Thus a great part of the first three hundred years after 
Christ was spent in violent and cruel persecutions of the 
church by the Roman powers. Satan was very unwilling to 
let go his hold of so great a part of the world, and every way 
the chief part of it, as the countries contained in the Roman 
empire were, of which he had had the quiet possession for so 
many ages ; and therefore,whcn he saw it going so fast out of 
his hands, he bestirred himself to his utmost : All hell was, 
as it were, raised against it to oppose it with its utmost power- 
Satan thus exerting himself by the power of the Heathen 
Roman empire, is called the great red dra^^on in scripture, 
having seven heads and ten horns, fighting against the woman 
clothed with the sun, as in the 12th of Rev. And the terrible 
conflict there was between the church of Christ and the powers 
of the Heathen empire before Constantine's time, is there, in 
verse 7, represented by the war between Michael and his an- 
gels, and the dragon and his angels : " And there was war 


in heaven ; Michael and his angels fought, and the dragon 
fought and his angels." 

2. I would take notice what success the gospel had in the 
■world before the time of Constantinc, notwithstanding all this 

opposition Though the learning and power of the Roman 

empire were so great, and both v/ere employed to the utmost 
against Christianity to put a stop to it, and to root it out for so 
long a time, and in so many repeated attempts ; yet all was 
in vain, they could neither root it out, nor put a stop to it.... 
But still, in spite of allthat they could do, the kingdom of Christ 
■wonderfully prevailed, and Satan's Heathen kingdom mould- 
ered and consumed away before it, agreeably to the words of 
the text, " The moth shall cat them up like a garment, and 
the worm shall eat them like wool." And it was very ob- 
servable, that for the most part the more they persecuted the 
church, the more it increased ; insomuch that it became a 
common saying. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the 
church. Herein the church of Christ proved to be like a palm 
tree ; of which tree it is remarked, that the greater weight 
is laid upon it, or hung to its branches, the more it grows and 
flourishes ; on which account probably the church is com- 
pared to a palm tree in Cant. vii. 7. " This thy stature is 
like to a palm tree." Justin Martyr, an eminent father in 
the Christi'an church, who lived in the age next after the apos- 
tles, in some writings of his, which are yet extant, says, that 
in his days there was no part of mankind, Avhether Greeks or 
barbarians, or by what name soever they were called, even the 
most rude and unpolished nations, where prayers and thanksi- 
givings were not made to the great Creator of the world, 
through the name of the crucified Jesus. Tertullian, another 
eminent father in the Christian church, who lived in the begin- 
ning of the following age, in some of his writings which are yet 
extant, sets forth how that in his day the Christian religion had 
extended itself to the utmost bounds of the then known world, 
in whicli he reckons Britain, the country of our forefathers j 
and thence demonstrates, that the kingdom of Christ was then 
more extensive than any of the four great monarchies ; and 
moreover says that tliough the Christians were as strangers 


of no long; standing, yet they had filled all places of the Ro- 
■man dominions, their cities, islands, castles, corporations, 
councils, armies, tiibes, ihe palace, senate, and courts of jndi- 
cature ; only they had left to the Heathen their temples ; 
and that if they should all agree to retire out of the Roman 
empire, the world would be amazed at the solitude and deso-' 
lation that would ensue upon it, there would be so few left ; 
and that the Christians were enough to be able easily to de- 
fend themselves, if they were disposed to rise up in arms a- 
gainst the Heathen magistrates. And Pliny, a Heathen who 
lived in those days, says multitudes of each sex, every age and 
quality, were become Christians ; this superstition, says he, 
having infected and overrun not th.e city only, but towns and 
countries, the temples and sacrifices are generally desolate 
and forsaken. 

And it was remarked by both Heathen and Christian writ- 
ers in those days, that the famous Heathen oracles in their 
temples, where princes and others for many past ages had 
been wont to inquire and receive answers with an audible 
voice from their gods, which were indeed answers from the 
devil ; I say, those oracles were now silenced and struck 
dumb, and gave no more answers ; and particularly the ora- 
cle at Delphos, which was the most famous Heathen oracle 
in the whole world, which both Greeks and Romans used to 
consult, began to cease to give any answers, even from the 
birth of Christ ; and the false deity who was worshipped, and 
tised to give answers from his oracle in that temple, being 
once inquired of why he did not now give answers as he was 
wont to do ? Made this reply, as several Heathen historians 
who lived about those times relate, There is an Hebrew boy, 
says he, who is king of the gods, who has commanded me to 
leave this house, and be gone to hell, and therefore you are to 
expect no more answers. And many of the Heathen writers 
who lived about that time spdak much of the oracles being 
silenced, as a thing at which they wondered, not knowing 
what the cause should be. Plutarch, a Heathen writer of 
those times, v/rote a particular tri^atise about it, which is still 
extant. And Porphyry, one of the Heathen writers before 


mentioned, who opposed the Christian religion, in his writings 
has these words : " It is no wonder if the city for these so 
many years has been overrun with sickness ; Esculapius, and 
the rest of the gods, having withdrawn their converse with 
men ; for since Jesus began to be worshipped, no man has 
received any public help or benefit by the gods." 

Thus did the kingdom of Christ prevail against the king^ 
dom of Satan. 

3. I now proceed to take notice of the peculiar circumstan- 
ces of tribulation and distress just before Constantine the 
Great came to the throne. This distress they suffered under 
the tenth Heathen persecution, which, as it was the last, so it 
was by far the heaviest and most severe. The church before 
this, after the ceasing of the ninth persecution, had enjoyed a 
time of quietness for about forty years together ; but abusing 
their liberty, began to grow cold and lifeless in religion and 
carnal, and contentions prevailed among them ; by which they 
offended God to suffer this dreadful trial to come upon them. 
And Satan having lost ground so much, notwithstanding all 
his attempts, now seemed to bestir himself with more than 
ordinary rage. Those who were then in authority set them- 
selves with the utmost violence to root out Christianity, 
by burning all Bibles, and destroying all Christians ; and 
therefore they did not stand to try or convict them in a formal 
process, but fell upon them wherever they could ; sometimes 
setting fire to houses where multitudes of them were as- 
sembled, and burning them all together ; and at other times 
slaughtering multitudes together ; so that sometimes their 
persecutors were quite spent with the labor of killing and 
tormenting them ; and in some populous places, so many 
were slain together, that the blood ran like torrents. It is re- 
lated, that seventeen thousand martyrs were slain in one 
month's time ; and that during the continuance of this per- 
secution, in the province of Egypt alone, no less than one 
hundred and fortyfour thousand Christians died "by the vio- 
lence of their persecutors, besides 700,000 that died through 
the fatigues of banishment, or the public works to which they 
were condemned. 

Part II.] WORK 6F llEDEMPTION. 273 

This persecution lasted for ten years together ; and as it 
exceeded all foregoing persecutions in the number of mar- 
tyrs, so it exceeded them in the variety and multitude of inven- 
tions of torture and cruelty. Some authors who lived at that 
time, say, they were innumerable, and exceed all account 
and expression. 

This persecution in particular was very severe in England ; 
and this is that persecution which was foretold in Rev. vi. 9, 
10. " And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under 
the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of 
God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried 
with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, 
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell 
on the earth ?" 

And at the end of the ten years, during which this persecu- 
tion continued, the Heathen persecutors thought they had fin- 
ished their work, and boasted that they had utterly destroyed 
the name and superstition of the Christians, and had restored 
and propagated the worship of the gods. 

Thus it was the darkest time with the Christian church 
just before the break of day. Tkey were brought to the great- 
est extremity just before God appeared for their glorious de- 
liverance, as the bondage of the Israelites in Epypt was the 
most severe and cruel, just before their deliverance by the 
hand of Moses. Their enemies thought they had swallowed 
them up just before their destruction, as it was with Pharaoit 
and his host, when they had hemmed in the children of Is' 
rael at the Red sea. 

4. I come now, in the fourth place, to the great revolution 
which was in the world in the days of Constantine, which was 
in many respects like Christ's appearing in the clouds of 
heaven, to save his people and judge the world. The people 
of Rome being weary of the government of those tyrants to 
whom they had lately been subject, sent to Constantine, who 
was then in the city of York in England, to come and take the 
throne. And he being encouraged, as is said, by a vision of 
a pillar of light in the heavens, in the form of a ci'oss, in the 
sight of his whole army, with this inscriptipn, Tauiw ^x*, Ir, 

Vd. II. 2 L 

274 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Perioh liL 

this overcome ; and the night following, by Chiist's appearing 
to him in a dream with the same cross in his hand, who di- 
rected him to make a cross like that to be his royal standard, 
that his army might fight under that banner, and assured him 
that he should overcoVne. Accordingly he did, and over- 
came his enemies, and took possession of the imperial throne, 
and embraced the Christian religion, and was the first Chris- 
tian emperor that ever reigned. He came to the throne about 
320 years after Christ. There are several things which I 
would take notice of which attended or immediately followed 
Constantino's coming to the throne. 

(1) The Christian church was thereby M'holly delivered 
from persecution. Now the day of her deliverance came af- 
ter such a dark night of affliction : Weeping had continued 
for a night, but now deliverance and joy came in the morning. 
Now God appeared to judge his people, and repented himself 
for his servants when he saw their power was gone, and that 
there was none shut up or left. Christians had no persecu- 
tions now to fear. Their persecutors now were all put down, 
and their rulers were some of them Christians like them- 

(2) God now appeared to execute terrible judgments on 
their enemies. Remarkable are the accovmts which history 
gives us of the fearful ends to which the Heathen emperors 
and princes, and generals, and captains, and other great men 
came, who had exerted themselves in persecuting the Christ- 
ians ; dying miserably, one and another, under exquisite 
torments of body, and horrors of conscience, with a most vis- 
ible hand of God upon them. So that what now came to 
pass might very fitly be compared to their hiding themselves 
in the dens and rocks of the mountains. 

(3) Heathenism now was in a great measure abolished 
throughout the Roman empire. Images were now destroyed 
and Heathen temples pulled down. Images of gold and sil- 
ver were melted down and coined into money. Some of the 
chief of their idols, which were cunously wrought, wore 
broxight to Constantinople, and there drawn with ropes up 


and down the streets for the people to behold and laugh at. 
The Heathen priests were dispersed and banished. 

(4) The Christian chuixh was brought into a state of great 
peace and prosperity. Now all Heathen magistrates were put 
down, and only Christians were advanced to places of [author- 
ity all over the empire. They had now C hristian presidents, 
Christian governors, Christian judges and officers, instead of 
their old Heathenish ones. Constantine set himself to put 
honor upon Christian bishops or ministers, and to build and 
adorn churches ; and now large and beautiful Christian 
churches were erected in all parts of the world, instead of the 
old Heathen temples. 

This revolution Avas the greatest revolution and change in 
the face of things that ever came to pass in the world since 
the flood. Satan, the prince of darkness, that king and god of 
the Heathen world, was cast out. The roaring lion was con- 
quered by the Lamb of God, in the strongest dominion that 
■ever he had, even the Roman empire. This was a remark- 
able accomplishment of, Jer. X. 11. "The gods that have 
not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish 
from the earth, and from under these heavens." The chief 
part of the world Avas now brought utterly to cast off" their 
old gods and their old religion, to which they had been accus- 
tomed much longer than any of their histories give an ac- 
count of. They had been accustomed to worship the gods 
so long that they knew not any beginning of it. It was former- 
ly spoken of as a thing unknown for a nation to change their 
gods, Jer. ii. 10, 11, but now the greater part of the nations 
of the known world were brought to cast off all their former 
gods. That multitude of gods that they worshipped were 
all forsaken. Thousands of them were cast away for the 
worship of the true God, and Christ the only Saviour : And 
there was a most remarkable fulfilment of that in Isa. ii. 17, 
18. " And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and 
the haughtiness of men shall be made low ; and the Lord a- 
lone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall ut- 
terly abolish." And since that it has come to pass, that 
those gods that w^re once so famous m tlie world, as Jupiter, 


and Saturn, and Minerva, and Juno, &c. are only heard of as 
things which were of old. They have no temples, no altars, 
no worshippers, and have not had for many hundred years. 

Now is come the end of the old Heathen world in the 
principal part of it, the Roman empire. And this great rev- 
olution and change of the state of the world, with that terri- 
ble destruction of the great men who had been persecutors, 
is compared, in Rev. vi. to the end of the world, and Christ 
coming to judgment ; and is what is most immediately sig- 
nified under the sixth seal, which followed upon the souls un- 
der the altar crying, " How long, O Lord, holy and true, 
dost thou not avenge our blood on them that dwell on the 
earth ?" This vision of the sixth seal, by the general consent 
of divines and expositors, has respect to this downfal of the 
Heathen Roman empire ; though it has a more remote re- 
spect to the day of judgment, or this was a type of it. The 
day of judgment cannot be what is immediately intended ; 
because we have an account of many events which were to 
come to pass under the seventh seal, and so were to follow 
after those of the sixth seal. 

What caine to pass now is also represented by the devil's 
being cast out of heaven to the earth. In his great strength 
and glory, in that mighty Roman empire, he had as it were 
exalted his throne up to heaven. But now he fell like light- 
ning from heaven, and was confined to the earth. His king- 
dom was confined to the meaner and more barbarous nations, 
or to the lower parts of the world of mankind. This is the 
event foretold. Rev. xii. 9. &c. " And the great dragon was 
cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which 
deceiveth the whole world : He was cast out into the earth, 
and his angels were cast out with him," &c. Satan tempted 
Christ, and promised to give him the glory of the kingdoms 
of the world ; but now he is obliged to give it to him even 
against his will. This was a glorious fulfilment of that prom- 
ise which God made to his Son, that we have an account of 
in Isa. liii. 12. " Therefore will I divide him a portion with 
the great, and he shall divide the spoil AVith the strong ; be- 
cause he hath poured out his soul unto death : And he was 


numbered ^vith the transgressors, and he bare th© sin of 
many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Thii 
was a great fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament 
concerning the glorious time of the gospel, and particularly of 
the prophecies of DanieL Now the kingdom of heaven is 
come in a glorious degree. It pleased the Lord God of heav- 
en to set up a kingdom on the ruins of Satan's kingdom. And 
such success is there of the purchase of Christ's redemption, 
and such honor does the Father put upon Christ for the dis- 
grace he suffered when on earth. And now see to what a 
height that glorious building is erected, which had been build" 
ing ever since the fall. 

Inference. From what has been said of the success of 
the gospel from Christ's ascension to the time of Constantine, 
we may deduce a strong argument of the truth of the Chiist- 
ian religion, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is really frona 
God. This wonderful success of it which has been spoken 
of, and the circumstances of it which have been mentioned, 
are a strong argument of it several ways. 

1 . We may gather from what has been said, that it is the 
gospel, and that only, which has actually been the means of 
bringing the world to the knowledge of the true God. That 
those are no gods whom the Heathen worshipped, and that 
there is but one only God, is what now since the gospel has 
so taught us, we can see to be truth by our own reason : It is 
plainly agreeable to the light of natvu'e : It can be easily 
shown by reason to be demonstrably true. The very Deists- 
themselves acknowledge, .that it can be demonstrated, that 
there is one God, and but one, who has made and governs the 
world. But now it is evident that it is the gospel, and that 
only, which has actually been the means of bringing men to 
the knowledge of this truth : It was not the instructions of 
philosophers. They tried in vain ; " The world by wisdom 
knew not God." Till the gospel and the holy scriptures came 
abroad in the world, all the world lay hi ignorance of the true 
God, and in the greatest dai'kness with respect to the things 
of religion, embracing the absui'dest opinions and practices, 


•which all civilized nations now acknowledge to be childish 
fooleries. And so they lay one age after another, and nothing 
proved effectual to enlighten them. The light of nature, and 
their own reason, and all the wisdom of learned men, signifi- 
ed nothing till the scriptures came. But when these came 
abroad, they were successful to bring the world to an ac- 
knowledgment of the one only true God, and to worship and 
serve him. 

And hence it is that all that part of the world which now 
does ovm one only true God, Christians, Jews, Mahometans, 
and even Deists too, originally came by the knowledge of 
him. It is owing to this that they are not in general at this 
day left in Heathenish darkness. They have it all, first of all, 
either immediately from the scriptures, or by tradition from 
their fathers, who had it first from the scriptures. And doubt- 
less those who now despise the scriptures, and boast of the 
strength of their own reason, as being sufficient to lead into 
the knowledge of the one true God, if the gospel had never 
come abroad in the world to enlighten their forefathers, Avould 
have been as sottish and brutish idolators as the world in gen- 
eral was before the gospel came abroad. The Mahometans, 
who own but one true God, at first borrowed the notion from 
the scriptures : For the first Mahometans had been educated 
in the Christian religion, and apostatized from it. And this 
is evidential, that the scriptures were designed of God to be 
the proper means to bring the world to the knowledge of him- 
self, rather than human reason, or any thing else. For it is 
imreasonable to suppose, that the gospel, and that only, which 
God never designed as the proper mean for obtaining this ef- 
fect, should actually obtain it, and that after human reason, 
which he designed as the proper mean, had been tried for a 
great many ages without any effect. If the scriptures be not 
the word of God, then they arc nothing but darkness and de- 
lusion, yea, the greatest delusion that ever was. Now, is it 
jcasonable to suppose, that God in his providence would make 
use of falsehood and delusion, and that only, to bring the 
world to the knowledge of himself, and that no part of it 
should be brought to the knowledge of him any other way ? 


2. The gospel's prevailing as it did against such powerful 
opposition, plainly shows the hand of God. The Roman gov- 
ernment, that did so violently set itself to hinder the sviccess 
of the gospel, and to subdue the church of Christ, was the 
most powerful human government that ever was in the world ; 
and not only so, but they seemed as it were to have the 
church in their hands. The Christians were mostly their 
subjects, under their command, and never took up arms to 
defend themselves : They did not gather together, and stand 
in their own defence ; they armed themselves with nothing' 
but patience, and such like spiritual weapons : And yet this 
mighty power could not conquer them ; but on the contrary, 
Christianity conquered them. The Roman empire had sub- 
dued the world ; they had subdued many mighty and potent 
kingdoms ; they subdued the Grecian monarchy, when they 
were not their subjects, and made the utmost resistance ; and 
yet they could not conquer the church which was in their 
hands ; but, on the contrary, were subdued, and finally tri- 
umphed over by the church. 

3. No other sufficient cause can possibly be assigned of this 
propagation of the gospel, but only God's own power. Noth- 
ing else can be devised as the reason of it but this. There 
was certainly some reason. Here was a great and wonderful 
effect, the most remarkable change that ever Avas in the face 
of the world of mankind since the flood ; and this effect was 
not without some cause. Now, what other cause can be de- 
vised but only the divine power ? It was not the outward 
strength of the instruments which were employed in it. At 
first, the gospel was preached only by a few fishermen, who 
were without power and worldly interest to support them. It 
was not their craft and policy that produced this wonderful ef- 
fect ; for they were poor illiterate men. It was not the agree- 
ableness of the story they had to tell to the notions and prin- 
ciples of mankind. This was no pleasant fable : A crucified 
God and Saviour was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to 
the Greeks foolishness. It was not the agreeableness of their 
doctrines to the dispositions of men : For nothing is more 
contrary to the corruptions of men than the pure doctrines of 


the gospel. This effect therefore can have proceeded frorrt 
no other cause than the power and agency of God : And if 
the power of God was what was exercised to cauae the gos- 
pel to prevail, then the gospel is his word ; for surely God 
does not use his almighty power to promote a mere impos- 
ture; and delusion. 

4. This success is agreeable to Avhat Christ and his apostles 

foretold Matth. xvi. 18. " Upon this rock will I build my 

church : And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
John xii. 24. " Verily verily I say unto you, except a corn of 
wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone : But if it 
die, it bringeth forth much fruit." And vers. 31, 32. « Now 
is the judgment of this world : " Now shall the prince of 
this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, 
will draw all men unto me." John xvi. 8, " When he (the 
comforter) is corrte, he will reprove the world of sin, of right- 

eousness, and of judgment because the prince of tliis world 

is judged. " 

So the apostle Paul, in 1 Cor. chap. i. 21. 28, declares, ho-wr 
that after the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, 
by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe ; and 
that God chose the foolish things of the world, to confound 
the wise ; and weak things of the world, to confound the 
things which are mighty ; and base things of the world, and 
things which are despised, yea and things Avhich are not, to 

bring to nought things that are If any man foretells a 

thing, very likely in itself to come to pass, from causes which 
can be foreseen, it is no great argument of a revelation from 
God : But when a thing is foretold which is very unlikely ev- 
er to come to pass, is entirely contrary to the common course 
of things, and yet it does come to pass just agreeable to the 
prediction, this is a strong argument that the prediction was 
from God. 

Thus the consideration of the manner oi the propagation 
and success of the gospel during the time which has been 
spoken of, affords great evidence that the scriptures arc the 
word of God. 


III. I AM now to show how the success of Chi'ist's redemp- 
tion is carried on from the time of the overthrow of the 
Heathen Roman empire in the time of Constantine the Great, 
till the fall of Antichrist, and the destruction of Satans's visi- 
ble kingdom on earth, which is the third great dispensation 
•which is in scripture compared to Christ's coming to judg- 
ment. This is a period wherein many great and wonderful 
things are brought to pass. Herein is contained a long series 
of wonders of divine providence towards the Christian 
church. The greater part of the book of Revelation is taken 
up in foretelling the events of this period. 

The success of Christ's purchase of redemption in this pe- 
riod, appears mainly at the close of it, when Antichrist conies 
to fall, when there vi^ill be a far more glorious success of the 
gospel than ever was before ; and that long series of events 
which are before, seem to be only to prepare the way for it. 
And in order to a more clear view of the great Avorks of God 
in accomplishing the success of Christ's redemption, and our 
seeing the glory of them, it will be necessary, as we have 
done in the foregoing periods, to consider not only the success 
itself, but the opposition made to it, and the great works of 
Satan in this period against the church and kingdom of 
Christ : And therefore, in taking a view of this period, I 
Would take notice of events which may be referred to either 
of these heads, viz. either to the head of Satan's opposition to 
the success of Christ's redemption, or to the head of the suc- 
cess of Christ's redemption : And for the more orderly con- 
sideration of the events of this period, I would divide it into 
these four parts : The first reaching from the destruction of 
the Heathen empire to the rise of Antichrist j the seconds 
from the rise of Antichrist to the reformation in Luther's 
time ; the third, from thence to the present time ; the fourth, 
from the present time, till Antichrist is fallen, and Satan's 
visible kingdom on earth is destroyed. 

1st. I Avould consider the events of the first part of this pe- 
riod, reaching from the destruction of the Heathen empire to 
the rise of Antichrist. And here,/rs^, I would take notice 
ot the opposition Satan made in this space of time to the 

Vol.. 11. 2 M 


church : And, secondly, the success that the gospel had 
in it. 

1. The opposition. Satan being cast out of his old Heath- 
en empire, the great red dragon, after so sore a conflict with 
Michael and his angels, for the greater pait of three hundred 
yeai-s, being at last entirely routed and vanquished, so that no 
place was found any more in heaven for him, but he was cast 
down, as it were from heaven to the earth ; yet does not give 
over his opposition to the woman, the church of Christ, con- 
cerning which all this conflict had been. But he is still in 
a rage, and renews his attempts, and has recourse to new de- 
vices against the church. The serpent, after he is cast out of 
heaven to the earth, casts out of his rnouth water as a flood, to 
cause the woman to be carried away of the flood. The oppo- 
sition that he made to the church of Christ before the rise of 
Antichrist, was principally of two sorts. It was either by cor- 
rupting the church of Christ with heresies., or by new endeav- 
ors to restore Paganism. 

(1) I would observe, that after the destruction of the 
Heathen Roman empire, Satan infested the church with here- 
sies. Though there had been so glorious a work of God in 
delivering the church fmm her Heathen persecutors, and 
overthrowing the Heathen empire ; yet the days of th« 
church's travail not being ended, and the set time of her 
prosperity not being yet come, as being what was to suc- 
ceed the fall of Antichrist, therefore the peace and prosperi- 
ty which the church enjoyed in Constantine's time, was but 
very short : It was a respite, which gave the church a time 
of peace and silence, as it wei'e/&r half an hour, wherein the 
four an?,els held the four winds from blowing, till the servants 
of God shovild be sealed in their foreheads. But the church 
soon began to be greatly infested with heresies ; the two prin- 
cipal, and those which did most inftst the church, were the 
Arian and Pelagian heresies. 

The Arians began soon after Constantine came to the 
throne. They denied the doctrine of the Trinity, and the di- 
vinity of Christ and the Holy Cihost, and maintained, that they 
were but mere creatures. This hercsy increased more and 


more in the church, and prevailed like a flood, which threat- 
ened to overflow all, and entirely to carry away the churclt, 
insomuch that before that age was out, that is, before the 
fourth century after Christ was finished, the greater part of 
the Christian church were become Arians. There were 
some emperors, the successors of Constandne, who were 
Arians ; so that the Arians being the prevailing party, and 
having the civil authority on their side, did raise a great per- 
secution against the true chinxh of Christ ; so that this here- 
sy might well be compared to a flood out of the mouth of the 
serpent, which threatened to overthrow all, and quite carry 
away the woman. 

The Pelagian heresy arose in the beginning of the next 
century. It began by one Pelagius^ wlio was born in Britam : 
His British name was Morgan. He denied original sin, and 
the influence of the Spirit of God in conversion, and held the 
power of free will, and many other things of like tendency ; 
and this heresy did for a while greatly infest the church. 
Pelagius's principal antagonist, who wrote in defence of the 
orthodox faith, was St. Augustin, 

(2) The otlier kind of opposition, which Satan made against 
the church, was in his endeavors to restore Paganism. And 
his first attempt to restore it in the Roman empire, was by 
Julian the apostate. Julian was nephew to Constantine the 
Great. When Constantine died he left his empire to his three 
sons, and when they were dead, Julian the apostate reigned 
in tlieir stead. He had been a professed Christian : but he 
fell from Christianity, and turned Pagan ; and therefore is 
called the apostate. When he came to the throne, he used 
his utmost endeavors to overthrow the Christian church, and 
set up Paganism again in the empire. He put down the 
Christian magistrates, and set up Heathens in their room : 
He rebuilt the Heathen temples, and set up the Heathen wor- 
ship in the empire, and became a most notorious persecutor 
of the Christians, and, as is thought, against his own light ; 
He used to call Christ, by way of reproach, the Gah'lean. He 
was killed with a lance in his wars with the Persians. When 
he saw that he was mortally wounded, he took a handful of his 


blood, and threw it up towards heaven, crying out, Thou hast 
overcome, O Galilean. And he is commonly thought by di- 
vines to have committed the unpardonable sin. 

Another way that Satan attempted to restore Paganism in 
the Roman empire, Avas by the invasions a?td conquests of 
Heathen nations. For in this space of time that we are upon, 
the Goths and Vandals, and other Heathen barbarous nations, 
that dwelt in the north of the Roman empire, invaded the 
empire, and obtained great conquests, and even overran the 
empire, and in the fifth century took the city of Rome, and 
finally subdued and conquered, and took possession of the 
Western empire, as it was called, or the western half of the 
empire, and divided it amongst them ; divided it into ten 
kingdoms, with which becran the ten horns of the beast ; for 
we are told that the ten horns are ten kings, who should rise 
in the latter part of the Roman empire : These are also rep- 
resented by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzai"'s image. The 
invasion and conquests of these Heathen nations are supposed 
to be foretold in the 8th chapter of Revelation, in what came 
to pass under the sounding of the four first trumpets. Now 
these nations, who now took possession of the Western em- 
pire, were Heathens ; so that by their means Heathenism 
was again for a while restored, after it had been rooted out. 

So much for the opposition of Satan against the success of 
the gospel during this space before the rise of Antichrist. I 

2. To show what success there was of the gospel in this 
space, notwithstanding this opposition. 

(1) I would observe that the opposition of Satan in those 
things was baffled. Though the dragon cast out of his mouth 
such a flood after the Avoman to carry her away, yet he could 
not obtain liis design ; but the earth helped the woman, and 
opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the 
dragon cast out of his mouths These heresies which for a 
while so much prevailed, yet after a while dwindled away, 
and orthodoxy was again restored : And his attempt by Juli- 
an was baffled at his death. 

(2) The gospel, during this space of time, was further 
propagated amongst many barbarous Heathen nations in the 


confines of the Roman empire. In the time of Constantine 
there was a considerable propagation of the gospel in the 
East Indies, chiefly by the ministry of one Framentius..., 
Great numbers of the Iberians, an Heathen people, Avere con» 
verted to Cliristianity by a Christian woman of eminent piety, 
whom they had taken captive. And some account is given 
of several other barbarous nations who were not within the 
Roman empire, that great numbers of them were brought to 
receive the gospel by the teaching and example of captives 
whom they had taken in war. And after this, about the year 
of Christ, 372, the gospel was propagated among the barbar- 
ous people that dwelt in Arabia ; as it was also among; 
some of the northern nations ; particularly a prince of the 
country of the Goths about this time became Christian, and 
a great number of his people with him. Tov/ards the latter 
end of this century, the gospel was also further propagated 
among the Persians, and also the Scythians, a barbarous peo- 
ple, that the apostle mentions in Col. iii. 11. "Barbarian, 
Scythian,. bond nor free." 

And after this, about the year 430, there was a remarkable 
conversion of a Heathen people, called the Biirgundlans^ to 
the Christian faith. About the same tim.e, in this age, the 
gospel began to be propagated in Ireland ; and the Irish, who 
till now had been Heathen, began to receive the Christian 
faith. About the same time it was fu.rthev propagated among 
some barbarous people in Scotland, and also in some other 
places. In the next century to this, one Zathus^ a Heathen 
king, who ruled over a people called the Cokhlans^ was 
brought to renounce his Heathenism, and to embrace the 
Christian religion. Several other barbarous nations are re- 
corded to have renounced Heathenism and embraced Chris- 
tianity about this time, that I cannot stand to mention. 

Thus I have briefly considered the principal events of 
providence which concern the success of the gospel of Christ, 
from Constantine to the rise of Antichrist. 

'idly. I come now to the second part of the time from Con- 
stantine to the destruction of Antichrist, viz. that M'hich reach- 
es from the rise of Antichrist to the reformation by Luther 

2.5-5. WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Pkmco HI. 

and others. And tliis i« the darkest and rrxist disir.al day 
that crer the Christian church saw, and probably the darkesc 
tliat ever it will see. The tirae of the chrirch's affliction and 
persecution, as was observed before, is from Chrlst'"s resur- 
rection till the destructica of Antichrist, excelling that the 
(slay is, as it were, shortened by some intermissions and times 
of respite, which God gives for the elect's sake. But this, 
time, from the rise of Antichrist till the Reformation, was a 
apace wherein the Christian church was in its greatest depth 
■nf depression, and in its darkest time of all. The true church 
in this space was for many hundred years in a state of great 
obscurity, like the woman in the wilderness : Indeed she was 
almost hid from sight and observation. In speaking of the 
events of this space of tirae, I would, 1 . Take notice of the 
great machinations and works of the devil against the king- 
dom of Christ during this time ; 2. Shov/ how the church of 
Christ was upheld duiing this time. 

1. I would take notice of the great works of the devil against 
the kingdom of Christ dunng this time. Satan had done 
great things against the Christian church before, but had 
Been b-affled once and again. Michael and his angels had 
©btained a glorious victory. How terrUde v/as his opposition, 
aluring the continuance of the Heathen empire ; and how 
ajlorious was Christ's victory aiid triumph over him in the 
time of Constantine ! It pleased God now to prepare the way 
J^r a jiet more glorious victory over him, to suffer him to re- 
Dew his strength, and to do the utmost that his power and 
subtilty can help him to ; and therefore he suffers him to 
liave a long time to lay his schemes, and to establish his in- 
terest, and makft his matters strong ; and suffers him to carry 
his designs a great length indeed^ almost to tlie swallowing 
up of his church ; and to exercise a high, and pi-Qud, and al- 
most uncontroled dominion, in the world, a long time be- 
fore Christ finally conquers, and subdues, and utterly ruins his 
visible kingdom on earth, as he will do in the time of the de- 
struction of Antichrist : Thus gloriously triumphing over him 
uftcr he has done the utmost that his poNver ajid subtilty cat* 


■extend to, and sliowi.ng that he is above him, after he has 
dealt most proudly, and lifted himself highest of all. 

Tlie two g^reat ^vorks of the devil which he in this space 
■of time wrought against the kingdom of Christ, are his creat- 
ing his Antichristian and Mahometan kingdoms, which have 
been, and still are, two kingdoms of great extent and strength, 
trath together swallowing up the ancient Roman empire 5 
the kingdom of Antichrist swallowing up the Western em- 
pire, and Satan's Mahometan kingdom the Eastern empirco 
As the scriptures in the book of the Revelation represent it, 
it is in the destruction of these that the glorious victory of 
Christ, at the introduction of the glorious times of the church 
will mainly consist. And here let us briefly observe how 
Satan erects and maintains these two great kingdoms of 
Ms in opposition to the kingdom of Christ. 

(1) With respect to the kingdom of Antichrist. This 
seems to he the masterpiece of all the contrivances of the 
devil against the kingdom of Christ, and is evidently so spok- 
en of in scripture, and therefore Antichrist is the man of sin, 
•or r/fcr man of sin, 2. Thess, ii. 3. He is so called emphat- 
ically, as though he were so eminently. So he is called ^/z- 
lichrist^ which signifies the opponent or adversary of Christ, 
Not that he is the only opponent of Christ ; there were many 
others besides him. The Apostle John observes, that m. 
his days there were many Antichrists ; but yet this is called 
the Antichrist.) as though there were none but he, because he 
■was so eminently, and above all others. So this contrivance 
of the devil, is called the mystery of iniquity, 2. Thess. ii. 7, 
And we find no enemy of Christ one half so much spoken of 
in the prophecies of Revelation as this ; and the destruction 
of no enemy is spoken of as so glorious and happy for the 
church. The craft and subtilty of the devil, above all, ap- 
pears in this Avork of his ; as might be shown, were it not 
that it would consume too mtich time. 

This is a contrivance of the devil to turn the ministry of 
the Christian church into a ministry of the devil, and to turn 
these angels' of the churches into fallen angels, and so into 
devils. And in the tyranny and superstition, and idolatry, and 


persecution, -which he sets up, he contrives to make an image 
of ancient Paganism, and more than to restore what was lost 
in the empire by the overthrow of Paganism in the time of 
Constantino : So that by these means the head of the beast 
•which was wounded unto death in Constantino, has his deadly 
■wound healed in Antichrist, Rev. xiii. 3. And the dragon 
that formerly reigned in the Heathen Roman empire, being 
east out thence, after the beast with seven heads and ten horns 
rises up out of the sea, gives him his power, and seat, and 
great authority ; and all the world wonders after the beast. 
I am far from pretending to determine the time when the 
reign of Antichrist began, which is a point that has been so 
much controverted among divines and expositors. It is cer- 
tain that the 1260 days or years, which are so often in scrip- 
ture mentioned as the time of the c(?ntinuance of Antichrist's 
reign, did not commence before the year of Christ 479 ; be- 
cause if they did, they would have ended, and Antichrist 
would have fallen before now. But I shall not pretend to de- 
termine precisely how long it was after this that that period 
began. The rise of Antichrist was gradual. The Christian 
church corrupted itself in many things presently after Con- 
stantino's time, growing more and more superstitious in its 
worship, by degrees bringing in many ceremonies into the 
worship of God, till at length they brought in the worship of 
saints, and set up images in their churches, and the clergy in 
general, and especially the bishop of Rome, assumed more 
and more authority to himself. In the primitive times he- 
was only a minister of a congregation ; then a standing mof>- 
erator of a presbytery ; then a diocesan bishop ; then a hm- 
tropolitan, which is equivalent to an archbishop ; then he was 
a patriarch, then afterwards he claimed the power of univei- 
sal bishop over the whole Christian church through the 
world ; wherein he was opposed for a while, but afterwards 
was confirmed in it by the civil power of the Emperor in the 
year 606. After that he claimed the power of a temporal 
prince ; and so was wont to carry two swords, to signify that 
both the temporal and spiritual sword was his ; and claim- 
ed more and more authority, till at length he, as Christ'* 


vicegerent on earth claimed the very same power that Christ 
would have if he was present on earth, and reigned on his 
throne, or the same power that belongs to God, and used to 
be called God on earth ; and used to be submitted to by all 
the princes of Christendom. He claimed power to crown 
princes, and to degrade them at his pleasure ; and this power 
■was owned : And it came to that, that kings and emperors 
used to kiss his feet. The emperors were wont to receive 
their crowns at his hands, and princes were wont to dread 
the displeasure of the Pope, as they would dread a thunder- 
bolt from heaven ; for if the Pope was pleased to excommu- 
nicate a prince, all his subjects were at once freed from their 
allegiance to him ; yea, and obliged not to own him any- 
more, on pain of excommunication ; and not only so, but any 
man might kill him wherever he found him. And further, 
the Pope was believed to have power to damn men at pleas- 
ure ; for whoever died under his excommunication, was 
looked upon as certainly damned. And several emperors 
were actually deposed, and ejected, and died miserably by 
his means ; and if the people of any state or kingdom did 
not please him, he had power to lay that state or kingdom 
under an interdict, which was a sentence pronounced by the 
Pope against that state or kingdom, whereby all sacred ad- 
ministrations among them could have no validity. There 
could be no valid baptisms, or sacraments, or prayers, or 
preachings, or pardons, till that interdict was taken off ; so 
that that people remained, in their apprehension, in a miser- 
able, damnable state, and therefore dreaded it as they would 
a storm of fire and brimstone from heaven. And in order to 
execute his wrath on a prince or people with whom the Pope 
was displeased, other princes must also be put .o a great deal 
of trouble and expense. 

And as the Pope and his clergy robbed the people of their 
ecclesiastical and civil liberties and privileges, so they also 
robbed them of their estates, and drained all Christendom of 
their money, and engrossed the most of their riches into their 
own coffers, by their vast revenues, besides pay for pardons 
and indulgences, baptisms, and extreme unctions, deliverance 
Vol. II. 2 N 

290 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period m. 

out of purgatorv, and an hundred other things See how 

well this agrees with the prophecies, 2. Thess. ii. 3, 4. Dan. 
vii. 20, 21. Rev. xiii. 6, 7, and chap. xvii. 3, 4. 

During this time also superstition and ignorance more and 
more prevailed. The holy scriptures by degrees were taken 
out of the hands of the laity, the better to promote the un- 
scriptural and wicked designs of the Pope arnl the clergv ; 
and instead of promoting knowledge among the people, they 
industriously promoted ignorance. It was a received maxim 
among them, That ignorance is the mother of devotion : And 
so great was the darkness of those times, that learning was 
almost extinct in the world. The very priests themselves, 
most of them were barbarously ignorant as to any commend- 
able learning, or any other knowledge than their hellish craft, 
in oppressing and tyrannizing over the souls of the people. 
The superstition and wickedness of the church of Rome, kept 
growing worse and worse till the very time of the Reforma- 
tion ; and the whole Christian world were led away into this 
great defection, excepting the remains of the Christian 
church in the Eastern empire that had not been utterly over- 
thrown by the Turks, as the Greek church, and some others, 
which Avere also sunk into great darkness and gross supersti- 
tion, excepting also those few that were the people of God, 
\vho are represented by the woman in the wilderness, and 
God's two witnesses, of which more hereafter. 

This is one of those two great kingdoms which the devil 
in this period erected in opposition to the kingdom of Christ, 
and was the greatest and chief. I come now, 

(2) To speak of the other, the second, which is in many re- 
spects like unto it, viz. his Mahometan kingdom, which is 
another great kingdom of mighty power and vast extent, set up 
by Satan sgainst the kingdom of Christ : He set this up in 
the Eastern empire, as he did that of Antichrist in the West- 

Mahomet was born in the year of Christ 570, in Arabia.... 
When he was about forty years of age, he began to give forth 
that he was the great prophet of («od, and began to teach his 
new invented religion, of which he was to be worshipped as 


the he&d next under God. He published his Alcoran, which 
he pretended he received from the angel Gabriel ; and being 
a subtle crafty man, and possessed of considerable wealth, 
and living among a people who Avere very ignorant, and great- 
ly divided in their opinions of religious matters, by subtilty 
and fair promises of a sensual paradise, he gained a number 
to be his followers, and set up for their prince, and propagated 
his religion by the sword, and made it meritorious of paradise 
to fight for him. By which means his party grew, and went 
pn fighting till they conquered and brought over the neighbor- 
ing countries ; and so his party gradually grew till they over- 
ran a great part of the world. First, the Saracens, who were 
some of his followers, and were a people of the country of 
Arabia, where Mahomet lived, about the year 700, began 
dreadfully to waste the Roman empire. They overran a 
great many countries belonging to the empir.e, and conunucd 
their conquests for a Ipng time. These are supposed to be 
meant by the locusts that we read of jn the 9th chapter of 

And then after this the Turks, who were originally another 
people different from the Saracens, but were followers of 
Mahomet, conquered all the Eastern empire. They began 
their empire about the year of Christ 1296, and began to in- 
vade Europe in 1300, and took Constantinople, and so became 
masters of all the Eastern empire in the year 1453, which is 
near three hundred years ago. And thus all those cities and 
countries where were those famous churches of old, that we 
read of in the New Testament, as Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephe- 
sus, Corinth, Sec. now all became subject to the Turks. And 
they took possession of Constantinople, which was named af- 
ter Constantino the Great, being made by him the head ( ity 
of the Roman empire, whereas Rome had been tjU then..... 
These are supposed to be prophesied of by the horsemen in 
the 9th chapt.er of Revelation, beginning with the 15th verse. 
And the remains of the Christians that are in those parts of 
the world, who are jnostly of the Greek church, are in miser- 
able slavery under these Turks, and treated with a great de^l of 


barbarity and cruelty, and are become mostly very ignorant 
and superstitious. 

Thus I have shown what great works of Satan were wrought 
during this space of time in opposition to the kingdom of 

2. I come now to show how the church of Christ was up- 
held through this dark time And here, 

(1) It is to be observed, that towards the former part of this 
space of time, some of the nations of Christendom held out 
a loi.g time before they complied with the corruptions and 
usurpations of the church of Rome.Though all the world won- 
dered after the beast, yet all nations did not fall in at once. 
Many of the principal corruptions of the church of Rome 
were brought in with a great deal of struggle and opposition ; 
ai;dparticularly,whenthe Pope gave out that he was universal 
bishop, many churches greatly opposed him in it ; and it was a 
long time before they would yield to his exorbitant claims. 
And so when the worship of images was first brought into 
the churches, there were many who greatly opposed it, and 
long held out against it. And so with respect to other cor- 
ruptions of the church of Rome. Those people that dwelt 
nearer to the city of Rome complied sooner, but some that 
■were more remote, were a long time before they could be in- 
duced to put their necks under the yoke ; and particularly 
ecclesiastical history gives an account, that it was so with 
great part of the churches in England and Scotland, and 
France, who retained the ancient purity of doctrine and wor- 
ship much longer than many others who were nearer the 
chief seat of Antichrist. 

(2) In every age of this dark time, there appeared partic- 
ular persons in all parts of Christendom, who bore a testimo- 
ny against the corruptions and tyranny of the Church of 
Rome. There is no one age of Antichrist, even in the dark- 
est limes of all, but ecclesiastical historians mention a great 
many by name who manifested an abhorrence of the Pope, 
and his idolatrous worship, and pleaded for the ancient puri- 
ty of doctrine and worship. God was pleased to maintain an 
uninterrupted succession of witnesses through the whole time, 


in Germany, France, Britain, and other covtntries ; as histo- 
rians demonstrate, and mention them by name, and give an 
account of the testimony which they held. Many of them 
were private persons, and many of them ministers, and some 
inagistrates, and persons of great distinction. And there were 
numbers in every age who were persecuted and put to death 
for this testimony. 

(3) Besides these particular persons dispersed here and 
there, there was a certain people, called the Waldenses, who 
lived separate from all the rest of the world, who kept them- 
selves pure, and constantly bore a testimony against the 
church of Rome through all this dark time. The place where 
they dwelt was the Vaudois, or the five valleys of Piedmont, a 
very mountainous country, between Italy and France. The 
place where they lived was compassed about with those ex- 
ceeding high mountains called the J!/is, which were almost 
impassable. The passage over these mountainous desert 
countries, was so difficult, that the valleys v;here this people 
dwelt were almost inaccessible. There this people lived for 
many ages, as it were, alone, in a slate of separation from all 
the world, having very little to do with any other people. 
And there they served God in the ancient purity of his wor- 
ship, and never submitted to the church of Rome. This 
place in this desert mountainous country, probably was the 
place especially meant in the 12th chapter of Revelation, 6th 
verse, as the place prepared of God for the woman, that they 
should feed her there during the reign of Antichrist. 

Some of the Popish writers themselves own, that that peo- 
ple never submitted to the church of Rome. One of the Pop- 
ish writers, speaking of the Waldenses, says, the heresy of 
the Waldenses is the oldest heresy in the world. It is sup- 
posed that this people first betook themselves to this desert, 
secret place among the mountains, to hide themselves from the 
severity of the Heathen persecutions which were before Con- 
stantine the Great. And thus the woman fled into the wilder- 
ness from the face of the serpent, Rev. xii. 6. And so, verse 
1 4. " And to the woman were given two wings of a great ea- 
gle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place : 


Where she is nourished for a time, and tinnes, and half a time, 
from the face of the serpent." And the people being settled 
there, their posterity continued there from age to age aftcr- 
Mards : And being, as it were, by natural walls, as well as by 
God's grace, separated from the rest of the world, never par- 
took of the overflowing corruption. 

These especially Avere those virgins who were not defiled 
with the rest of women, or when other Avomen prostituted 
themselves and were defiled ; but they kept themselves pure 
for Christ alone : They followed the Lamb, their spiritual 
husband, whithersoever he went : They followed him into 

tins hideous wilderness, Rev. xiv. 4, 5 Their doctrine and 

their worship, as there still remain accounts of them, appear 
to be the same Avith the Protestant doctrine and worship ; and 
by the confession of Popish Avriters, they Avere a people re- 
markable for the strictness of their lives, for charity and oth- 
er Christian virtues. They lived in external poverty in this 
hideous country ; but they chose this rather than to comply 
with the great corruptions of the rest of the Avorld. 

They living in so secret a place, it Avas a long time before 
they seem to have been rnuch taken notice of by the Romanists ; 
but at last falling under observation, they went out in mighty 
armies against them, and fell upon them Avith insatiable cru- 
elty, barbarously massacring and putting to death men, avo- 
mcn, and children, Avith all imaginable tortures ; and so con- 
tinued persecuting them Avith but little intermission for seA'er- 
al hundred years ; by Avhich means many of them Avcre driv- 
en out of their old haVjitations in the valleys of Piedmont, and 
fled into all parts of Europe, carrying Avith them their doc- 
trine, to Avhich many Avere brought over. So their persecu-r 
tors could not by all their cruelties extirpate the churph of 
God; so fulfilling his word, "that the gates of h.cU should 
not prevail against it. 

(4) ToAvards the latter part of this dark time, several noted 
divines openly appeared to defend the truth, and bear testimo- 
ny against the corruptions of the church of Rome, and had 
many folloAvers. The first and principal of these Avas a cer- 
tain English divine, Avhosc name Avas John ]Vicklijlf\ A\ho ap- 


peared about 140 yearsMjefore the Reformation, and strenu- 
ously opposed the Popish religion, and taught the same doc- 
trine that the Reformers afterwards did, and had many follow- 
ers in England. He was hotly persecuted in his life time, 
yet died in peace ; and after he was buried, his bones v/erc 
dug up by his persecutors, and burnt. His followers remain- 
ed in considerable numbers in England till the Reformation, 
and were cruelly persecuted, and multitudes put to death for 
their religion. 

Wickliff had many disciples and followers, not only in 
England, but in other parts of Europe, whither his books were 
carried and particularly in Bohemia, among whom were 
two eminent divines, the hame of one was John Huss, the 
other's name was Jerom, a divine belonging to Prague, the 
chief city of Bohemia. These strenuously opposed the church' 
of Rome, and had rnany who adhered to them. They were 
both burnt by the Papists for their doctrine ; and their follow- 
ers in Bohemia were cruelly persecuted, but never extirpated 
till the Reformation. 

Thus having gone through this dark time of the church, 
which is the second part of the space from Constantlne the 
Great to the destruction of Antichrist, I cOme now, 

Mly. To the third part, viz. that which begins with the Re- 
formation, and reaches to the present time. And here I 
would, 1. Speak of the Reformation itself ; 2. The opposition 
which the devil has made to the Reformed church ; 3. What 
success there has lately been of the gospel in one place and 
another ; 4. What the state of things is now in the world Avitli 
regard to the church of Christ, and the success of his pur- 

1. Here the first thing to be taken notice of is the Rcfor-^ 
tnation. This was begun about 220 years ago : First in Sax- 
ony in Germany, by the preaching of Mailin Luther, who, 
being stirred in his spirit, to see the horrid practices of the 
Popish clergy, and having set himself diligently to inquire af- 
ter truth, by the study of the holy scriptures, and the writings 
of the ancient fathers of the church, very openly and boldly 
decried the corruptions and usurpatioi>s of the Romish church 


in his preaching and writings, and had soon a great number 
that fell in with him ; among whom was the Elector of Sax- 
ony, the sovereign prince of the country to which he belong- 
ed. This greatly alarmed the church of Rome ; and it did 
as it were rally all its force to oppose him and his doctrine, 
and fierce wars and persecutions were raised against it : But 
yet it went on, by the labors of Luther, and Melancthon in 
Germany, and Zuinglius in Switzerland, and other eminent 
divines, who were cotemporary with Luther, and fell in with 
him ; and particularly Calvin, who appeared something after 
the beginning of the Reformation, but was one of the most 
eminent Reformers. 

Many of the princes of Germany soon fell in with the Re- 
formed religion, and many other states and kmgdoms in Eu- 
rope ; as England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, great 
part of France, Poland, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Low 
Countries. So that it is thought, that heretofore about half 
Christendom were of the Protestant religion ; though, since, 
the Papists have gained ground : So that the Protestants now 
have not so great a proportion. 

Thus God began gloriously to revive his church again, and 
advance the kingdom of his Son, after such a dismal night of 
darkness as had been before from the rise of Antichrist to that 
time. There had been many endeavors used, by the witnesses 
for the truth, for a reformation before. But now, when God's 
appointed time M'as come, his work was begun, and went on 
with a swift and wonderful progress ; and Antichrist, who 
had been rising higher and higher from his very first begin- 
ning till that time, was swiftly and suddenly brought down, 
and fell halfway toAvards utter ruin, and never has been able 
to rise again to his former height. A certain very late expos- 
itor (Mr. Lowman) who explains the five first vials, in the 
16th chapter of Revelation, with greater probability perhaps 
than any who went before him, explains the fifth vial, which 
was poured out on the seat of the beast, ©f what came to pass 
in the Reformation ; explaining the four preceding vials of 
certain great judgments Ciod brought on the Popish domin- 
ions before the Reformation. It is said, Rev. xvi. 10, that 


" the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast ;" 
in the original, it is the throne of the beast ; " and his king-* 
dom was full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues for 
pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their 
pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds." He 
poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast, i. e. on the 
authority and dominion of the Pope : So the word throne is 
*ften used in scripture ; so 1 Kings i. 37. " As the Lord hath 
been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and 
make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King 
David ;" i. e. nfiake his dominion and authority greater, and 
his kingdom more glorious. 

But now, in the Reformation, the vials of God's wrath were 
poured out on the throne of the beast. His throne was terri- 
bly shaken and diminished. The Pope's authority and do- 
iminion was greatly diminished, both as to the extent and de- 
gree. He lost, as v/as said before, about half his dominions. 
And besides, since the Reformation, the Pope has lost great 
part of that authority, even in the Popish dominions, which 
he had before. He is not regarded, and his power is dreaded 
in no measure as it was wont to be. The powers of Europe 
have learned not to put their necks under the Pope's feet, as 
formerly they were wont to do. So that he is as a lion that 
has lost his teeth, in comparison of what he was once. And 
when the Pope and his clergy, enraged to see their authority 
so diminished at the Reformation, laid their heads together, 
and joined their forces to destroy the Reformation ; their pol- 
icy, which was wont to serve them so well, failed i and they 
found their kingdom full of darkness, so that tliey could do 
nothing, any more than the Egyptians,who rose not from their 
seats for three days. The Reformed church was defended as 
Lot and the angels were in Sodom by smiting the Sodomites 
with darkness or blindness, that they could not find the door. 
God then fulfilled that in Job v. 11, &c. " To set up on high 
those that be low ; that those which mourn may be exalted 
to safety. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that 
their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He taketh the 
wise in their own craftiness : And the counsel of the froward 

Vol. XL 2 O 


is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the dav 
time, and grope in the noon day as in the night. But he sav- 
eth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the 
hand of the mighty." 

Those proud enemies of God's people, being so disappoint- 
ed, and finding themselves so unable to uphold their own do- 
minion and authority, this made them as it were to gnaw their 
tongues for pain, or bite their tongues for mere rage. 

2. I proceed therefore to show Mhat opposition has been 
made to this success of Christ's purchase by the Reformation 
by Satan and his adherents ; observing, as we go along, hovy 
far they have been baffled, and how far they have been suc- 

The opposition which Satan has made against the Reform- 
ed religion has been principally of the following kinds, viz. 
that which was made, 1, by a general council of the church of 
Rome ; 2, by secret plots and devices ; 3, by open Avars and 
invasions ; 4, by cruel oppression and persecution ; and 5, by 
bringing in corrupt opinions. 

( 1 ) The first opposition that I shall take notice of is that 
which was made by the clergy of the church of Rome uniting 
together in a general council. This was the famous council 
of Trent, Avhich the Pope called a little while after the Refor- 
mation. In that council, there met together six cardinals, 
thirtytwo archbishops, two hundred and twentyeight bishops, 
besides innumerable others of the Romish clergy. This coun- 
cil, in all their sittings, including the times of intermission be- 
tween their sittings, was held for twentyfive years together. 
Their main business all this while was to concert measures 
for establishing the church of Rome against the Reformers, 
and for destroying the Reformation. But it proved that they 
were not able to perform their enterprise. The Reformed 
church, notwithstanding their holding so great a council, and 
for so long a time together against it, remained, and remains 
still. So that the counsel of the froward is carried headlong, 
and their kingdom is full of darkness, and they weary them- 
selves to find the door. 

Thus the church of Rome, instead of repenting of their 
dfteds, when such clear light was held forth to them by Lu- 


ther, and other servants of God, the Reformers, does, by gen- 
eral agreement in council, persist in their vile corruptions and 
■wickedness, and obstinate opposition to the kingdom of 
Christ. The doctrines and practices of the church of Rome, 
^vhich were chiefly condemned by the Reformed, were con- 
firmed by the decrees of their covmcil ; and the corruptions, 
in many respects were carried higher than ever before ; and 
they uttered blasphemous reproaches and curses against the 
Reformed religion, and all the Reformed church was excom- 
municated ancl anathematized by them ; and so, according to 
the prophecy, " they blasphemed God." Thus God harden- 
ed their hearts, intending to destroy them. 

(2) The Papists have often endeavored to overthrow the 
Reformation by secret plots and conspiracies. So there were 
many plots against the life of Luther. The Papists were en- 
gaged in contriving to despatch him, and to put him out of 
their way ; and he, as he was a very bold man, often very 
much exposed himself in the cause of Christ : But yet they 
were wonderfully prevented from hurting him, and he at last 
died in his bed in peace. And so there have been from time 
to time innumerable schemes secretly laid for the overthrow 
of the Protestant religion ; among which, that which seems 
to be most considerable, and which seemed to be the most 
likely to have taken effect, was that which was in the time of 
King James II. of England, which is within the memory of 
many of us. There was at that time a strong conspiracy be- 
tween the King of England and Lewis XIV. of France, who 
were both Papists, to extirpate the Northern heresy, as they 
called the Protestant religion, not only out of England, but 
out of all Europe ; and had laid their schemes so, that they 
seemed to be almost sure of their purpose. They looked up- 
on it, that if the Reformed religion were suppressed in the 
Brhish realms, and in the Netherlands, which were the 
strongest part, and chief defence of the Protestant interest, 
they should have easy work with the rest. And just as their 
matters seemed to be come to a head, and their enterprise 
ripe for execution, God, in his providence, suddenly dashed 
all their schemes in pieces by the Revolution, at the coming 


in of Kinc; William and Queen Mary ; by which all their de- 
signs were at an end ; and the Protestant interest was more 
strongly established, by the crown of England's being estab- 
lished in the Protestant house of Hanover, and a Papist being, 
by the constitution of the nation, for ever rendered incapable 
of wearing the crown of England. Thus they groped in dark- 
ness at noon day as in the night, and their hands could not 
perform their enterprise, and their kingdom was full of dark- 
ness, and they gnawed their tongues for pain. 

After this, there Avas a deep design laid to bring the same 
thing to pass in the latter end of Queen Anne's reign, by the 
bringing in of the Popish pretender ; which was no less sud- 
denly and totally baffled by divine Providence ; as the plots 
against the Reformation, by bringing in the pretender, have 
been from time to time. 

(3) The Reformation has often been opposed by open wars 
and invasions. So in the beginning of the Reformation, the 
Emperor of Germany, to suppress the Reformation, declared 
war "with the Duke of Saxony, and the principal men who fa- 
vored and received Luther's doctrine. But they could not 
obtain their end ; they could not suppress the Reformation. 
For the same end, the King of Spain maintained a long war 
wiUi Holland and the Low Countries in the century before last. 
But those cruel wars issued greatly to the disadvantage of the 
Romish church,as they occasioned the setting up of one of the 
most powerful Protestant states in Europe,which next to Great 
Britain, is the chief barrier of the Protestant religion. And 
the design of the Spanish invasion of England in Queen Eliz- 
abeth's time, was to suppress and root out the Reformed re- 
ligion ; and therefore they brought in their fleet all manner 
of instruments of cruelty wherewith to torture the Protestants 
w-ho would not renounce the Protestant religion. But their 
design was totally baffled, and their mighty fleet in a great 
measure ruined. 

(i) Satan has opposed the Rcformalion with cruel persecu- 
tions. The persecutions with which the Protestants in one 
kingdom and another have been persecuted by the church of 
Rome, have in many respects been far beyond any of the 


Heathen persecutions Avhich were before Constantine the 
Great, and beyond all that ever -were before. So that Anti- 
christ has pi'oved the greatest and crudest enemy to the 
church of Christ that ever was in the world, in this, as well as 
in all other respects ; agreeably to the description given of 
the church of Rome, Rev. xvii. 6. « And I saw the woman 
drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the 
martyrs of Jesus." And, chap, xviii. 24. <« And in her was 
found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that 
were slain upon the earth." 

The Heathen persecutions had been very dreadful ; but 
now persecution by tbe church of Rome was improved and 
studied, and cultivated as an art or science. Such ways of 
afflicting and tormenting were found out, as are beyond the 
thought and invention of ordinary men, or men who are un- 
studied in those things, and beyond the invention of all former 
ages. And that persecution might be managed the more ef- 
fectually, there were certain societies of men established in 
various parts of the Popish dominions, whose business it 
should be to study, and improve, and practise persecution in 
its highest perfection, which are those societies called the 
courts of inquisition. A reading of the particular histories of 
the Romish persecution, and their courts of inquisition, will 
give that idea which a few words cannot express. 

When the Reformation began the beast v/ith seven heads 
and ten horns began to rage in a dreadful manner. After the 
Reformation, the church of Rome renewed its persecution of 
the poor Waldenses, and great multitudes of tliem were cru- 
elly tortured and put to death. Soon after the Reformation there 
were terrible persecutions in various parts of Germany ; and 
especially in Bohemia, which lasted for thirty years together i 
in which so much blood was shed for the sake of religion, 
that a certain writer compares it to the plenty of waters of the 
great rivers of Germany. The countries of Poland, Lithua- 
nia, and Hungary, were in like manner deluged with Protest- 
ant blood. 

By means of these and other cruel persecutions, the Pro- 
testant religion was in a great measure suppressed in Bohe- 


mia, and the Palatinate, and Hungary? which before were as it 
were Protestant countries. Thus was fulfilled what was fore- 
told of the little horn, Dan. vii. 20, 21. " — and of the ten 
horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, 
and before whom three fell, even of that horn that had eyes, 
and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was 
Tnore stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn 
made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." And 
what was foretold of the beast having seven heads and ten 
horns. Rev. xiii. 7. " And it was given unto him to make 
•war with the saints, and to overcome them : And power was 
given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." 

Also Holland and the other Low Countries Avere for many 
years a scene of nothing but the most affecting and amazmg 
cruelties, being deluged with the blood of Protestants, under 
the merciless hands of the Spaniards, to whom they were 
then in subjection. But in this persecution the devil in a 
great measui'e failed of his purpose ; as it issued in a great 
part of the Netherlands casting off the Spanish yoke, and set- 
ting up a wealthy and powerful Protestant state, to the great 
defence of the Protestant cause ever since. 

France also is another country, which, since the Reforma- 
tion, in some respects, perhaps more than any other, has 
been a scene of dreadful cruelties suffered by the Protestants 
there. After many cruelties had been exercised towards the 
Protestants in that kingdom, there was begun a persecution 
of them in the year 1571, in the reign of Charles IX. King of 
France. It began with a cruel massacre, wherein 70,000 Pro- 
testants were slain in a few days time; as the King boasted : 
And in all this persecution, he slew, as is supposed, 300,000 
martyrs. And it is reckoned, that about this time, within 
thirty years, there were martyred in this .kingdom, for the 
Protestant religion, 39 princes, 148 counts, 234 barons, 
147,518 gentlemen, and 760,000 of the common people. 

But all these persecutions were, for exquisite cruelty, far 
exceeded by those which followed in the reign of Lewis 
XIV. which indeed are supposed to exceed all others that 
ever have been ; and being long continued, by reason of the 


long reign of that king, almost wholly extirpated the Protes- 
tant religion out of that kingdom, where had been before a 
multitude of fomous Protestant churches all over the king- 
dom. Thus it was given to the beast to make war with the 
saints, and to overcome them. 

There was also a terrible persecution in England in Queen 
Mary's time, wherein great numbers in all parts of the king- 
dom were burnt alive. And after this, though the Protestant 
religion has been for the most part established by law in Eng- 
land, yet there have been very severe persecutions by the 
high church men, who symbolize in many things witli the 
Papists. Such a persecution was that which occasioned our 
forefathers to flee from their native country, and to come and 
settle in this land, Avhich was then an hideous howling wilder- 
ness. And these persecutions Avere continued with little in- 
termission till King William came to the throne. 

Scotland has also been the scene, for many years together, 
of cruelties and blood by the hands of high churchmen, such 
as came very little short of Ijie Popish persecution in Queen 
Mary's days, and in many things much exceeded it, which 
continued till they Avere delivered by King William. 

Ireland also has been as it were overwhelmed with Protes- 
tant blood. In the days of King Charles I. of England, above 
200,000 Protestants were cruelly murdered in that kingdom 
in a few days ; the Papists by a secret agreement, rising all 
over the kingdom at an appointed time, intending to kill ev- 
ery Protestant in the kingdom at once. 

Besides these there have been very cruel persecutions in 
Italy, and Spain, and other places, which I shall not stand to 

Thus did the devil and his great minister Antichrist, rage 
with such violence and cruelty against the church of Christ ! 
And thus did the whore of Babylon make herself drunk with 
^ the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus ! And thus by these 
persecutions, the Protestant church has been much diminish- 
ed 1 Yet with all have they not been able to prevail ; but still 
the Protestant church is upheld, and Christ fulfils his prom- 


ise, « That the gates of hell shall not prevail against his 

(5) The last kind of opposition that Satan has made to the 
Reformation is by con'upt opinions. Satan has opposed the 
light of the gospel which shone forth in the Reformation 
with many corrupt opinions, which he has brought in and 
propagated in the M'orld. 

And here in the first place, the first opposition of this kind 
was by raising up the sect of the Anabaptists, which began a- 

bout four or five years after the Reformation itself began 

This sect, as it first appeared in Germany, were vastly more 
extravagant than the present Anabaptists are in England. 
They held a great many exceeding corrupt opinions. One 
tenet of theirs was, That there ought to be no civil authority, 
and so that it was lawful to rebel against civil authority. And 
on this principle, they refused to submit to magistrates, or 
any human laws ; and gathered together in vast armies, to 
defend themselves against their civil rulers, and put all Ger- 
many into an uproar, and so kept it for some time. 

The next opposition of this kind to the Reformation was 
that which was made by enthusiasts. Those are called en- 
thusiasts who falsely pretend to be inspired by the Holy 
Ghost as the prophets were. These began in Germany, 
about ten years after Luther began the Reformation ; and 
there arose various sects of them who were exceeding wild 
and extravagant. The followers of these are the Quakers in 
England, and other parts of the British dominions. 

The next to these were the Socinians, who had their begin- 
ning chiefly in Poland, by the teaching of tAvo men ; the 
name of the one was Lxlius Sociritis, of the other Faustus 
Socinus. They held tliat Christ was a mere man, and denied 
Christ's satisfaction, and most of the fundamental floctriaes of 
the Christian religion. Their heresy has since been greatly 
propagated among Protestants in Poland, Germany, Holland, 
England, and other p aces. 

After these arose the Arminians. These first appeared in 
Holland about 1 30 years ago. They take their name from 
a Dutchman, whose name was Jacobus Fanl£a7-mi>2,y\h\ch, 


turned into Latin is called Jacobus Arininius ; and from his 
name the whole sect are called Arminlans. This Jacobus 
Arminius was first a minister at Amsterdam, and then a pro- 
fessor of divinity in the University of Leyden. He had ma,- 
iiy followers in Holland. There was upon this a synod of all 
the Reformed churches called together, who met at Dort, in 
Holland. The synod of Dort condemned them ; but yet they 
spread and prevailed. They began to prevail in England in 
the reign of Charles I, especially in the church of England. 
The church of England divines before that, were almost uni- 
versally Calvinists ; but since that, Arminianism has gradu- 
ally more and more prevailed, till they are become almost 
universally Arminians. And not only so, but Arminianism 
has greatly prevailed among the Dissenters, and has spread 
greatly in New England, as well as Old. 

Since this, Arianism has been received. As I told you be- 
fore, Arianism, a little after Constantine's time, almost swal- 
lowed up the Christian world, like a flood out of the mouth 
of the serpent which threatened to swallow up the woman..... 
And of late years this heresy has been revived in England, 
and greatly prevails there, both in the church of England, 
and among Dissenters. These hold that Christ is but a mere 
creature ; though they grant that he is the greatest of all crea- 

Again, another thing which has of late exceedingly pre- 
vailed among Protestants, and especially in England, is De- 
ism. The Deists wholly cast off the Christian religion, and 
are professed infidels. They are not like the Heretics, Ari- 
ans, Socinians, and others, who own the scriptures to be the 
w^ord of God, and hold the Christian religion to be the true re- 
ligion, but only deny these and these fundamental doctrines 
of the Christian religion : They deny the whole Christian 
religion. Indeed they own the being of God ; but deny that 
Christ was the son of God, and say he was a mere cheat ; 
and so they say all the prophets and apostles v/ere : And 
they deny the whole scripture. They deny that any of it is 
the word of God. They deny any revealed religion, or any 
word of God at all ; and say that God iias given mankind no 

Vol. II. 2 P 


other licrht to walk by but their own reason. These sentiments 
and opinions our nation, which is the principal nation of the 
Reformation, is very much overrun Avith, and they prevail 
more and more. 

Thus much concerning the opposition that Satan has made 
against the Reformation. 

3. I proceed now to show what success the gospel has more 
lately had, or what success it has had in these later times of the 
Reformed church. This success may be reduced to these 
three heads : 1. Reformation in doctrine and worship in 
countries called Christian : 2. Propagation of the gospel a- 
inong the Heathen : 3. Revival of religion in the power and 
practice of it. 

(1) As to the first, viz. Reformation in doctrine, the most 
considerable success of the gospel that has been of late of 
this kind has been in the empire of Muscovy, which is a coun- 
try of vast extent. The people of this country, so many of 
them as call themselves Christians, professed to be of the 
Greek church ; but were barbarously ignorant, and very su- 
perstitious till of late yeai's. Their late Emperor Peter the 
Great, who reigned till within these twenty years, set himself 
to reform the people of his dominions, and took great pains 
to bring them out of their darkness and to have them instruct- 
ed in religion. And to that end, he set up schools of learn- 
ing, and ordered the Bible to be printed in the language of 
the country, and made a law that every family should keep 
the holy scriptures in their houses, and that every person 
should be able to read the same, and that no persons should 
be allowed to marry till they were able to read the scriptures. 
He also reformed the churches of his country of many of 
their superstitions, whereby the religion professed and practis- 
ed in Muscovy, is much nearer to that of the Protestants than 
formerly it used to be. This emperor gave great encourage- 
ment to the exercise of the Protestant religion in his domin- 
ions. And since that, Muscovy has become a land of light, 
in comparison of what it was before. Wonderful alterations 
have been brought about in the face of religion for the better 
within these fifty years past. 


(2) As to the second kind of success which the gospel has 
lately had, viz. its propagation among the Heathen, I would 
take notice of three things. 

[1] The propagation there has been of the gospel among 
the Heathen here in America. This American continent on 
which we live, which is a very great part of the world, and, 
together with its neighboring seas adjoining, takes up one 
side of the globe, was wholly unknovm to all Christian nations 
till these later times. It Avas not known that there was any 
such part of the world, though it was very full of people ; and 
therefore here the devil had the people that inhabited this 
part of the world as it Avere secure to himself, out of the reach 
of the light of the gospel, and so out of the way of moles- 
tation in his dominion over them. And here the many na- 
tions of Indians worshipped him as God from age to age, 
while the gospel was confined to the opposite side of the 
globe. It is a thing, which, if I remember right, I have some- 
where lit of, as probably supposed, from some remaining ac- 
counts of things, that the occasion of the first peopling Amer- 
ica was this, that the devil, being alarmed and surprized by 
the Avonderful success of the gospel which there Avas the first 
three hundred years after Christ, and by the doAvnfal of the 
Heathen empire in the time of Constantine ; and seeing thq 
gospel spread so fast, and fearing that his Heathenish king- 
dom Avould be Avholly overthroAvn through the world, led 
BAvay a people from the other continent into America, that 
they might be quite out of the reach of the gospel, that here he 
might quietly possess them, and reign over them as their god. 
It is Avhat many writers give an account of, that some of the 
nations of Indians, when the Europeans first came into Amer- 
ica, had a tradition among them, that their god first led them 
into this continent, and went before them, in an ark. 

Whether this was so or not, yet it is certain that the devil 
did here quietly enjoy his dominion over the poor nations of 
Indians for many ages. But in later times God has sent the 
gospel into these parts of the world, and now the Christian 
church is set up here in New England, and in other parts of 
America, where before had been nothing but the grossest 


Heathenish darkness. Great part of America is now full of 
Bibles, and full of at least the form of the worship of the true 
God, and Jesus Christ, where the name of Christ before had 
not been heard of for many ajjes, if at all. And though there 
has been but a small propagation of the gospel among the 
Heathen here, in comparison of what were to be wished for ; 
yet there has been something worthy to be taken notice of..... 
There was som.ething remarkable in the first times of New 
England, and something remarkable has appeared of late here, 
and in other parts of America among many Indians, of an in- 
clination to be instructed in the Christian religion. 

And however small the propagation of the gospel among 
the Heathen here in America has been hitherto, yet I think 
we may well look upon the discovery of so great a part of the 
world as America, and bringing the gospel into it, as one 
thing by which divine providence is preparing the way for 
the future glorious times of the church ; when Satan's king- 
dom shall be overthrown, not only throughout the Roman 
empire, but throughout the whole habitable globe, on every 
side, and on all its continents. When those times come, then 
doubtless the gospel, which is already brought over into A- 
merica, shall have glorious success, and all the inhabitants of 
this new discovered world, shall become subjects of the Idng- 
dom of Christ, as well as all the other ends of the earth ; and 
in all probability providence has so ordered it, that the marin- 
er's compass, Avhich is an inveniion of later times, whereby 
men are enabled to sail over the widest ocean, when before 
they durst not venture far from land, should prove a prepara- 
tion for what God intends to bring to pass in the glorious times 
of the church, viz. the sending forth the gospel wherever any 
of the children of men dwell, how far soever off, and however 
separated by wide oceans from tliose parts of the world which 
are already Christianized. 

(2) There has of late years been a very considerable prop- 
agation of the gospel among the Heathen in the dominions 
of Muscovy. I have already observed the reformation which 
there has lately been among those who are (ialled Christians 
there : But I now speak of the Heathen. Great part of the 


vast dominions of the Emperor of Muscovy are gross Heath- 
ens. The greater part of Great Tartary, a Heathen country, 
has in later times been bi'ought under the Muscovite govern- 
ment ; and there have been of late great numbers of those 
Heathen who have renounced their Heathenism, and have 
embraced the Christian religion. 

[3] There has been lately a very considerable propagation 
of the Christian religion among the Heathen in the East In- 
dies ; particularly, many, in a country in the East Indies cal- 
led Malabar, have been brought over to the Christian Protes- 
tant religion, chiefly by the labors of certain missionaries 
sent thither to instruct them by the King of Denmark, who 
have brought over many Heathens to the Christian faith, and 
have set up schools among them, and a printing press, to print 
Bibles and other books for their instruction, in their own lan- 
guage, with great success. 

(3) The last kind of success which there has lately been of 
the gospel, which I shall take notice of, is the revivals of the 
power and practice of religion which have lately been. And 
here I shall take notice of but two instances. 

[1] There has not long since been a remarkable revival of 
the power and practice of religion in Saxony in Germany, 
through the endeavors of an eminent divine there, whose 
name was August Herman Franks professor of divinity at 
Hall in Saxony, who, being a person of eminent charity, the 
great work that God wrought by him, began with his setting 
on foot a charitable design. It began only with his placing 
an alms box at his study door, into which some poor mites 
were thrown, whereby books were bought for the instruction 
of the poor. And God vyas pleased so wonderfully to smile 
on his design, and so to pour out a spirit of charity on people 
there on that occasion, that with their charity he Avas enabled 
hi a little time to erect public schools for the instruction of 
poor children, and an orphan house for the siipply and instruc- 
tion of the poor ; so that at last it came to that, that near five 
hundred children were maintained and instructed in learning 
and piety by the charity of others ; and the number continu- 
ed to increase more and more for many years, and till the 


last account I have seen. This was accompanied wiih a won- 
derful reformation and revival of religion, and a spirit of pie- 
ty, in the city and university of Hall ^ and thus it continued. 
Which also had great influence in many other places in Ger- 
many. Their example seemed remarkably to stir up multi- 
tudes to their imitation. 

[2] Another thin^^, which it would be ungrateful in us not 
to take notice of, is that remai-kable pouring out of the Spirit 
©f God Avhich has been of late in this part of New England, 
©f which we, in this town, have had such a share. But it is 
needless for me particularly to describe it, it being what you 
liave so lately been eye witnesses to, and I hope multitudes of 
you sensible of the benefit of. 

Thus I have mentioned the more remarkable instances of 
the success which the gospel has lately had in the world. 

4. I proceed now to the last thing that was proposed to be 
considered relating to the success of Christ's redemption dur- 
ing this space, viz. what the state of things is now in the world 
■with regard to the church of Christ, and the success of Christ's 
purchase. And this I would do, by showing how things arc 
BOW, compared with the first times of the Reformation. And, 
1. I would shoAv wherein the state of things is altered for the 
■worse ; and, 2. How it is altered for the better. 

(1) I would show wherein the state of things is altered 
from what it was in the beginning of the Rcformc;tion, for the 
worse ; and it is so especially in these three respects. 

[1] The reformed church is mxich diminished. The Re- 
formation in the former times of it, as was observed before, 
was supposed to take place through one half of Christendom, 
excepting the Greek church, or that there were as many Pro- 
testants as Papists. But now it is not so ; the Protestant 
church is much diminished. Heretofore there have been 
multitudes of Protestants in France ; many famous Protestant 
churches were all over that country, who used to meet togeth- 
er in synods, and maintain a very regular discipline ; and 
great part of that kingdom were Protestants. The Protestant 
church of France was a great part of the glory of the Reforma- 
tion. But now it is far otherwise : Thi schurch is all broken to 


pieces and scattered. The Protestant religion is almost whol- 
ly rooted out of that kingdom by the cruel persecutions which 
have been there, and there are now but very few Protestant as- 
semblies in all that kingdom. The Protestant interest is also 
greatly diminished in Germany. There were several sov- 
ereign princes there formerly who were Protestants, whose 
successors are now Papists ; as particularly, the Elector Pal- 
atine, and the Elector of Saxony. The kingdom of Bohe- 
Biia was formerly a Protestant kingdom, but is now in the 
hands of the Papists : And so Hungary was formerly a Pro- 
testant country ; but the Protestants there have been greatly 
reduced, and in a great measure subdued, by the persecutions 
that have been there. And the Protestant interest has no 
way remarkably gained ground of late of the church of Rome. 

[2] Another thing wherein the state of things is altered for 
the worse from what was in the former times of the Reforma- 
tion, is the prevailing of licentiousness in principles and opin- 
ions. There is not now that spirit of orthodoxy which thei'e 
was then : There is very little appearance of zeal for the 
mysterious and spiritual doctrines of Christianty ; and they 
never were so indiculed, and had in contempt, as they are in 
the present age ; and especially in England, the principal 
kingdom of the Reformation. In this' kingdom, those princi- 
ples, on which the power of godliness depends, are in a great 
measure exploded ; and Arianism, and Socinianism, and Ar- 
minianism, and Deism, are the things which prevail, and 
carry almost all before them. And particularly history gives 
no account of any age wherein there was so great an apostacy 
of those who had been brought up under the light of the gos- 
pel, to infidelity ; never was there such a casting off of the 
Christian, and all revealed religion ; never any age wherein 
was, so much scoffing at, and ridiculing the gospelo f Christ, 
by those who have been brought up under gospel light, nor 
any thing like it, as there is at this day. 

[3] Another thing wherein things are altered for the worse, 
is, that there is much less of the prevalency of the power of 
godliness, than there was at the beginning of the Reforma- 
tion. There was a glorious outpouring of the Spirit of God 


that accompanied the first Reformation, not only to convert 
multitudes in so short a time from Popery to the true religion, 
but to turn many to God and true (godliness. Religion glori- 
ously flourished in one country and another, as most remai'k- 
ably appeared in those times of terrible persecution, which 
have already been spoken of. But now there is an exceeding 
great decay of vital piety ; yea, it seems to be despised, cal- 
led enthuHiasvi^ ivhimsy^ and fa77aticis?n. Those who are truly 
religious, are commonly looked upon to be crack brained, and 
beside their right mind ; and vice and profaneness dreadfully 
prevail, like a flood which threatens to bear down all before 
it But I proceed nov/ to show, 

(2) In what respect things are altered for the better from 
what they were in the first Reformation. 

[1] The power and influence of the Pope is much dimin- 
ished. Although, since the former times of the Reformation, 
he has gained ground in extent of dominion ; yet he has lost 
in degree of influence. The vial Avl.ich, in the beginning of 
the Reformation was poured out on the throne of the beast, 
to the great diminishing of his power and authority in the 
world, has continued running ever since. The Pope, soon 
after the Reformation, became less regarded by the princes 
of Europe than he had been before ; and so he has been since, 
less and less. Many of the Popish princes themselves seem 
now to regard him very little more than they think v/ill serve 
their own designs ; of which there have been several remark- 
able proofs and instances of late. 

[2] There is far less persecution now than there was in the 
first limes of the Reformation. You have heard already hovr 
dreadfully persecution raged in the iormer limes of the Re- 
formation ; and there is something of it still. Some parts of 
the Protestant church are at this day under persecution, and 
so probably will be till the day of the cliurch's suffering and 
travail is at an end, which will not be till the fall of Antichrist. 
But it is noAv in no measure as it was heretofore. There does 
not seem to he the same spirit of persecution prevailing j 
it is become more out of fashion even among the Popish 
princes. The wickedness of the enemies of Christ, and the 


opposition against his cause, seem to rvm in another channel. 
The humor now is, to despise and laugh at all religion ; and 
there seems to be a spirit of indifferency about it. However, 
so far the state of things is better than it has been, that there 
is so much less of persecution. 

[3] There is a great increase of learning. In the dark 
times of Popery before the Reformation, learning was so far 
decayed, that the Avorld seemed to be overrun with barbarous 
ignorance. Their very priests Avere many of them grossly 
ignorant. Learning began to revive with the Reformation, 
which was owing very much to the art of printing, which was 
invented a little before the Reformation ; and since that, learn- 
ing has increased more and more, and at this day is undoubt- 
edly raised to vastly a greater height than ever it was before : 
And though no good use is made of it by the greater part of 
learned men, yet the increase of learning in itself is a thing to 
be rejoiced in, because it is a good, and, if duly applied, an 
excellent handmaid to divinity, and is a talent which, if God 
gives men an heart, affords them a great advantage to do 
great things for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, 
and the good of the souls of men. That learning and knowl- 
edge should greatly increase before the glorious times, seems 
to be foretold, Dan. xii. 4. " But thou, O Daniel, shut up the 
words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end : Many 
shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." And 
however little now learning is applied to the advancement of 
religion ; yet wc may hope that the days are approaching, 
v/herein God will make great use of it for the advancement 
of the kingdom of Christ. 

God in his providence now seems to be acting over again 
the same part which he did a little time before Christ came. 
The age wherein Christ came into the world, was an age where- 
in learning greatly prevailed, and was at a greater height than 
ever it had been before ; and yet wickedness never prevailed 
more than then. God was pleased to suffer human learning- 
to come to such a height before he sent forth the gospel into 
the world, that the Avorld might see the insufficiency of all 
their own wisdom for the obtaining the knowledge of God, 

Vol. II. a Q 


■without the gospel of Christ, and the teachings of his Spirit ~ 
And then, after that, in the -wisdom of God, the world by wis- 
dom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of 
preaching, to save them that believe. And when the gospel 
came to prevail first ^yithout the help of man's wisdom, then 
God was pleased to make use of learning as an handmaid. So 
now learning is at a great height at this day in the world, far 
beyond what it was in the age when Christ appeared ; and 
now the world, by their learning and wisdom, do not know 
God ; and they seem to wander in darkness, are miserably 
deluded, stumble and fall in matters of religion, as in mid- 
night darkness. Trusting to their learning, they grope in the 
day time as in the night. Learned men are exceedingly di- 
lided in their opinions concerning the matters of religion* 
run into all manner of corrupt opinions, and pernicious and 
foolish errors. They scorn to submit their reason to divine 
revelation, to believe any thing that is above their comprehen- 
sion ; and so, being wise in their own eyes, they become fools, 
and even vain in their imaginations, and turn the truth of God 
into a lie, and their foolish hearts are darkened. See Rom. 
1.21. Sec. 

But yet, when God has sufficiently shov^n men the insuffi- 
ciency of human wisdom and learning for the purposes of re- 
ligion, and when the appointed time comes for that glorious 
outpouring of the Spirit of God, when he will himself by his 
own immediate influence enlighten men's minds ; then may 
we hope that God will make use of the great increase of 
learning as an handmaid to religion, as a means of the glori- 
ous advancement of the kingdom of his Son. Then shall hu- 
man learning be subservient to the understanding of the scrip- 
tures, and to a clear explanation and a glorious defence of the 
doctrines of Christianity, And there is no doubt to be made 
of it, that God in his providence has of late given the world 
the art of printing, and such a great increase ot learning, to 
prepare for what he designs to accomplish for his church in 
the approaching days of its prosperity. And thus the wealth 
of the wicked is laid up for the just, agreeable to Prov. xiii. 22. 


Having now shown how the work of redemption has been 
carried on from the fall of man to the present time, before I 
proceed any further, I would make some Application. 

1. From what has been said, we may see great evidence of 
the truth of the Christian religion, and that the scriptures are 
the word of God. There are three arguments of this, which 
I shall take notice of, which may be drav,^n from what has 
been said. 

(1) It may be argued from that violent and inveterate op- 
position there has always appeared of the wickedness of the 
world against this religion. The religion that the church of 
God has professed from the first founding of the church after 
the fall to this time, has always been the same. Though the 
dispensations have been altered, yet the religion which the 
church has professed has always, as to its essentials, been the 
same. The church of God, from the beginning, has been 
one society. The Christian church which has been since 
Christ's ascension, is manifestly the same society continued, 
with the church, that was before Christ came. The Christian 
church is grafted on their root : They are built on the same 
foundation. The revelation on which both have depended, is 
essentially the same : For as the Christian church is built on 
the holy scriptures, so was the Jewish church, though now 
the scriptures be enlarged by the addition of the New Testa- 
ment ; but still it is essentially the same revelation with that 
which was given in the Old Testament, only the subjects of 
divine revelation are now more clearly revealed in the New 
Testament than they were in the Old. But the sum and sub- 
stance of both the Old Testament and New, is Christ and his 
redemption. The religion of the church of Israel, was essen- 
tially the same religion with that of the Christian church, as 
evidently appears from what has been said. The groundwork 
of the religion of the church of God, both before and since 
Christ has appeared, is the same great scheme of redemption 
by the Son of God ; and so the church that was before the Is- 
raelitish church, was still the same society, and it was essen- 
tially the same religion that was professed and practised in it. 
Thus it was from Noah to Abraham, and thus it was befove 


the flood. And this society of men that is called the churchy 
has always been built on the foundation of those revelations 
which we have in the scriptures, which have always been es ■ 
seniially the same, thousjh gradually increasing. The church 
before the flood, was built on the foundation of those rejrela- 
tions of Christ which were given to Adam, and Abel, and 
Enoch,of which we have an account in the former chapters 
of Genesis, and others of the like import. The church after 
the flood, was built on the foundation of the revelations made 
to Noah and Abraham, to Melchisedeck, Isaac, and Jacob, to 
Joseph, Job, and other holy men, of whom we have an account 
in the scriptures, or other revelations that were to the same 
purpose. And after this the church depended on the scrip- 
tures themselves as they gradually increased ; so that the 
church of God has always been built on the foundation of di- 
vine revelation, and always on those revelations that were es- 
sentially the same, and which arc summarily comprehended 
in the holy scriptures, and ever since about Moses's time 
have been built on the scriptures themselves. 

So that the opposition which has been made to the church 
of God in all ages, has always been against the same religion, 
and the same revelation. Now therefore the violent and per- 
petual opposition that has ever been made by the corruption 
and wickedness of mankind agamst this church, is a strong ar- 
guinent of the truth of this religion, and this revelation, upon 
•which this church has always been built. Contraries are well 
argued one from another. We may well and safely argue, 
that a thing is good, according to the degree of opposition in 
which it stands to evil, or the degree in which evil opposes it, 
and is an enemy to it. We may well argue, that a thing is 
light, by the great enmity which darkness has to it. Now it 
is evident, by the thiiygs Avhich you have heard concerning 
the church of Christ, and that holy religion of Jesus Christ 
which it has professed, that the wickedness of the world has 
had a perpetual hatred to it, and has made most violent oppo- 
sition against it. 

That the church of God has always met with great opposi- 
tion in the >vorld, none can deny. This is plain by profane 

PartIL] work of redemption. sir 

history as far as that reaches ; and before that, divine history- 
gives us the same account. The church of God, and its relig- 
ion and worsliip, began to be opposed in Cain's and Abel's 
time, and was so when the earth Avas filled with violence in 
Noah^time. And after this how was the church opposed in 
Egypt ! And how was the church of Israel always hated by the 
nations round about, agreeable to that in Jer. xii. 9. " Mine 
heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about 
are against her." And after the Babylonish captivity, how 
was this church persecuted by Antiochus, Epiphanes and oth- 
ers ! And how was Christ persecuted "vvhen he was on earth ! 
And how were the apostles and other Christians persecvited 
by the Jews before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Ro- 
inans ! How violent were that people against the church ! 
And how dreadful was the opposition of the Heathen world a- 
gainst the Christian church after this before Constantine ! How 
great was their spite against the true religion I And since that, 
how yet more violent, and spiteful, and cruel, has been the 
opposition of Antichrist against the church ! 

There is no other such instance of opposition. History 
gives no account of any other body of men that have been so 
hated, and so maliciously and insatiably pursued and pesecut- 
ed, nor any thing like it. No other religion ever was so ma- 
ligned age after age. The nations of other professions have 
enjoyed their religions in peace and quietness, however they 
have diifered from their neighbors. One nation has worship- 
ped one sort of gods, and others another, without molesting 
or disturbing one another about it. All the spite and opposi- 
tion has been against this religion, which the church of Christ 
has professed. All other religions have seemed to show an 
implacable enmity to this ; and men have seemed to have, 
from one age to another, such a spite against it, that they 
have seemed as though they could never satisfy their cruelty. 
They put their inventions upon the rack to find out torments 
that should be cruel enough ; and yet, after all, never seemed 
to be satisfied. Their thirst, has never been satisfied with 


So that this is out of doubt, that this religion, and these 
scriptures have always been malignantly opposed in the world. 
The only question that remains, is, What it is that has made 
this opposition ? Whether or not it has been good or bad ? 
Whether it be the mckcdness and corruption of the »i^orld, 
or not, that has done this ? But of this there can be no greater 
doubt than of the other, if we consider how causeless this 
cruelty has always been, who the opposers have been, and 
the manner in which they have opposed. The opposition has 
chiefly been from Heathenism and Popery ; which things 
certainly are evil. They are both of them very evil, and the 
fruits of the blindness, corruption, and wickedness of men, as 
the very Deists themselves confess. The light of nature 
shows, that the religion of Heathens, consisting in the wor- 
ship of idols, and sacrificing their children to them, and in 
obscene and abominable rites and ceremonies, is wickedness. 
And the superstitions, and idolatries, and usurpations of the 
church of Rome, are no less contrary to the light of nature. 
By this, it appears that this opposition whicli has been made 
against the church of God, has been made by wicked men. 
And with regard to the opposition of the Jews in Christ's and 
the apostle's times, it was in a most corrupt time of that 
nation, when the people were generally become exceeding 
wicked, as some of the Jewish writers themselves, as Jose- 
phus and others, who lived about that lime, do expressly 
say. And that it has been mere wickedness that has made 
this opposition, is manifest, from the manner of opposition, 
the extreme violence, injustice, and cruelty, with which the 
church of God has been treated. It seems to show the hand 
cf malignant infernal spirits in it. 

Now what reason can be assigned, why the corruption 
and wickedness of the world should so implacably set itself 
against this religion of Jesus Christ, and against the scrip- 
tures, but only that they are contrary to wickedness, and con- 
sequently are good and holy ? Why should the enemies of 
Christ, for so many thousand years together, manifest such a 
mortal hatred of this religion, but only that it is the cause of 
Sod ? If the scriptures be not the word of God, and the re- 


ligion of the church of Christ, be not the true religion, then 
it must follow, that it is a most wicked religion ; nothing 
but a pack of lies and abominable delusions, invented by the 
enemies of God themselves. And if this were so, it is not 
likely that the enemies of God, and the Avickedness of the 
world, would have maintained such a perpetual and implaca- 
ble enmity against it. 

(2) It is a great argument that the Christian church and 
its religion is from God, that it has been upheld hitherto 
through all the opposition and dangers it has passed through. 
That the church of God and the true religion, which has been 
so continually and violently opposed, with so many endeavors 
to overthrow it, and which has. so often been brought to the 
brink of ruin, and almost swallov/ed up, through the greatest 
part of six thousand years, has yet been upheld, does most 
remarkably show the hand of God m favor of the church. If 
we consider it, it Avill appear one of the greatest wonders and 
miracles that ever came to pass. There is nothing else like 
it upon the face of the earth. There is no other society of 
men that has stood as the church has. As to the old Avorld 
which was before the flood, that was overthrown by a deluge 
of waters ; but yet the church of God was preserved. Sa- 
tan's visible kingdom on earth Avas then once entirely over- 
thrown ; but the visible kingdom of Christ never has been 
overthroAvn. All those ancient human kingdoms and mon- 
archies of Avhich Ave read, and Avhich have been in former 
ages, they are long since come to an end. Those kingdoms 
of Avhich Ave read in the Old Testament, of the Moabites, the 
Ammonites, the Edomites, &c. they are all long ago come to 
an end. Those four great monarchies of the world have 
been overthroAvn, one after another. The great empire of 
proud Babylon Avas overthroAvn by the Persians ; and tlien the 
Persian empire was ovorthroAvn by the Greeks ; after this 
the Grecian empire was overthroAvn by the Romans ; and, 
finally, the Roman empire fell a sacrifice to various barbarous 
nations. Here is a remarkable fulfilment of the Avords of 
the text Avith respect to other things, even the greatest and 
most glorious of them : They have all grown old aiid have van- 


ished away : " The moth has eaten them up like a garmentj, 
and the worm has eaten them like wool ;" but yet God's 
church remains. 

Never were there so many and so potent endeavors to de- 
stroy any thing else, as there have been to destroy the church. 
Other kingdoms and societies of men, which have appeared 
to be ten times as strong as the church of God, have been de- 
stroyed with an hundredth part of the opposition which the 
church of God has met with ; which shows, that it is God 
who has been the protector of the church. For it is most 
plain, that it has not upheld itself by its own strength. For 
the most part it has been a very weak society. They have 
been a little fiock : So they were of old. The children of Israel 
were but a small handful of people, in comparison of the ma- 
ny Vv'lio often sought their overthrow. And so in Christ's time, 
and in the beginning of the Christian church after Christ's 
resurrection, they were but a remnant : Whereas the whole 
multitude of the Jewish nation Avere against them. And so 
in the beginning of the Gentile church, they were but a small 
number in comparison with the Heathen, Avho sought their 
overthrow. And so in the dark times of Antichrist, before the 
Reformation, they were but a handful ; and yet their enemies 
could not overthrow them. And it has commonly been so, that 
the enemies of the church have not only had the greatest num- 
ber of their side, but they have had the strength of their side in 
other respects. They have commonly had all the civil authori- 
ty of their side. So it was in Egypt : The civil authority was 
of the side of the Egyptians, and the church were only their 
slaves, and were in their hands ; and yet they could not over- 
throv/ them. And so it was in the time of the persecution of 
Antiochus Epiphanes : The authority was all on the side of 
the persecutors, and the church was under their dominion ; 
and yet all their cruelty could not extirpate it. And so it 
was afterwards in the time of the Heathen Roman govern- 
ment. And so it was in tlie time of Julian the apostate, who 
did his utmost to overthrow the Christian church, and to re- 
store Heathenism. And so it has been for the most part 
smce the rise of Antichrist : For a great many ages, the civ- 


ii authority was all on the side of Antichrist, and the church 
seemed to be in their hands. 

And not only has the sti'ength of the enemies of the church 
been greater than the strength of the church, but ordinarily 
the church has not used Avhat strength they have had in their 
own defence, but have committed themselves v/hoUy to God. 
So it was in the time of the Jewish persecutions before the 
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ; and so it was in 
the time of the Heathen persecutions before Constantine ; 
the Christians did not only not rise up in arms to defend 
themselves, but they did not pretend to make any forcible re- 
sistance to their Heathen persecutors. So it has for the most 
part been under the Popish persecutions ; and yet they have 
never been able to overthrow the church of God ; but it 
stands to this very day. 

And this is still the more exceeding wonderful, if we con- 
sider how often the church has been brought to the brink of 
ruin, and the case seemed to be desperate, and all hope gone, 
and they seemed to be swallowed up. In the time of the old 
world, when wickedness so prevailed, as that but one family 
was left, yet God wonderfully appeared, and overthrew the 
wicked world with a flood, and preserved his church. And 
so at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh and his host thought they 
were quite sure of their prey ; yet God appeared, and de- 
stroyed them, and delivered his church. And so was it from 
time to time in the church of Israel, as has been shown. So 
under the tenth and last Heathen persecution, their persecu- 
tors boasted that now they had done the business for the 
Christians, and had overthrown the Christian church ; yet in 
the midst of their triumph, the Christian church rises out of 
the dust and prevails, and the Heathen empire totally falls 
before it. So when the Christian church seemed ready to 
be swallowed up by the Arian heresy ; so when Antichrist 
rose and prevailed, and all the world wondered after the beast, 
and the church for many hundred yeai^s was i-educed to such 
a small number, and seemed to be hidden, and the power of 
the world was engaged to destroy those little remainders of 
the church ; yet they could never fully accoir-plish their de- 
VoL. II. 2 R 


sign, and at last God wonderfully revived his church in the 
time of tlie Reformation, and made it to stand as it were on 
its feet in the sight of its enemies, and raised it out of their 
reach. And so since, when the Popish powers have plotted 
the overthrow of the Reformed church, and have seemed just 
about to bring their matters to a conclusion, and to finish their 
design, then God has wonderfully appeared for the deliverance 
of his church, as it was in the time of the Revolution by- 
King William. And so it has been from time to time ; pres- 
ently after the darkest times of the church, God has made 
his church most gloriously to flourish. 

If such a preservation of the church of God, from the bc- 
o-inningof the world hitherto, attended with such circumstan- 
ces, is not sufficient to show a divine hand in favor of it, what 
can be devised that would be sufficient ? But if this be from 
the divine hand, then God owns the church, and owns her re- 
ligion, and owns that revelation and those scriptures on which 
she is built ; and so it will follow, that their religion is the 
true religion, or God's religion, and that the scriptures, 
which they make their rule, are his word. 

(3) We may draw this further argument for the divine 
authority of the scriptures from what has been said, viz. that 
God has so fulfilled those things which are foretold in the 
scriptures.... I have already observed, as I went along, how the 
prophecies of scripture Avere fulfilled : I shall now therefore 
single out but two instances of the fulfilment of scripture 

[1] One is in preserving his church from being ruined. 
I have just now shown what an evidence this is of the divine 
authority of the scriptures in itself considered : I now speak 
of it as a fulfilment of scripture prophecy. This is abundant- 
ly foretold and promised in the scriptures, as particularly in 
the text : There it is foretold, that other things shall fail, 
other kingdoms and monarchies which set themselves in op- 
position, should come to nothing : " The moth should eat 
them up like a garment, and the worm should cat them like 
wool." And so it has in fact come to pass. But it is here 
foretold, that God's covenant mercy to his church should con- 


tihue forever ; and so it hath hitherto proved, though now it 
be so many ages since, and though the church has passed 
through so many dangers. The same is promised, Isa. liv. 
17. « No vi^eapon that is formed against thee, shall prosper ; 
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, 
thou shalt condemn." And again, Isa. xlix. 14, 15, 16. <•' But 
Zion said. The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath 
forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that 
she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? 
Yea, they may forget, but yet will I not forget thee. Behold, 
I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are 
continually before me." The same is promised again, in 
Isa. lix. 21, and Isa. xliii. 1, 2, and Zech. xii. 2, 3. So Christ 
promises the same, when he says, " On this rock will I build 
my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
Now if this be not from God, and the scriptures be not the 
word of God, and the church of Christ, built on the founda- 
tion of this word be not of God, hov/ could the persons who 
foretold this, know it ? For if the church wer-e not of God, it 
was a very unlikely thing ever to come to pass. For they 
foretold the great opposition, and the great dangers, and also 
foretold that other kingdoms should come to nought, and 
that the church should often be almost swallowed up, as it 
•were easy to show, and yet foretold that the church should re- 
main. Now how could they foresee so unlikely a thing but 
by divine inspiration ? 

[2] The other remarkable instance which I shall mention 
of the fulfilment of scripture prophecy, is in fulfilling what is 
foretold concerning Antichrist, a certain great opposer of 
Christ and his kingdom. And the way that this Antichrist 
should arise, is foretold, viz. not among the Heathen or those 
nations that never professed Christianity ; but that he should 
arise by the apostacy and falling away of the Christian church 
into a corrupt state : 2. Thess. ii. 3. « For that day shall not 
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man 

of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." And it is proph^ 

esied, that this Antichrist, or man of sin, should be one, that 
should set himself up in the temple or visible church of God 


pretending to be vested with tlie power of God himseir, 
as head of the church, as in the same chapter, verse 4. 
And all this is exactly come to pass in the church of Rome. 
Again, it is intimated, that the rise of Antichrist should be 
gradual, as there, verse 7. « For the mystery of iniquity doth 
already work ; only he who now letteth, will let, until he be 

taken out of the way." This also came to pass Again, it 

is prophesied of such a great and mighty enemy of the 
Christian church, that he should be a great prince or mon- 
arch of the Roman empire : So he is represented as an horn 
of the fourth beast in Daniel, or fourth kingdom or monarchy 
upon earth, as the angel himself explains it, as you may see 
of the little horn in the 7th chapter of Daniel. This also 

came to pass Yea, it is prophesied, that the seat of this 

great prince, or pretended vicar of God, and head of his 
church, should be in the city of Rome itself. In the 17th 
chapter of Revelation, it is said expressly, that the spiritual 
whore, or false church, should have her seat on seven moun- 
tains, or hills ; Rev. xvii. 9. "The seven heads are seven 
mountains, on Avhich the woman sitteth :" And in the last 
verse of the chapter, it is said expressly, " The woman which 
thou sawest, is that great city which reigneth over the kings 
of the earth ;" which it is certain was at that time the city of 
Rome. This prophecy has also come to pass in the church 
of Rome. 

Further, it was prophesied, that this Antichrist should reign 
over peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, Rev. 
xvii. 15 ; and that all the world should wonder after the beast. 
Rev. xiii. 3. This also came to pass in the church of Rome. 
It was foretold tliat this Antichrist should be eminent and re- 
markable for the sjn of pride, pretending to great things, and 
assuming very nmch to himself : So in the forementioned 
place in Thessalonians, « That he should exalt himself above 
all that is called God," or that is worshipped. So Rev. xiii. 5. 
« And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great 
things, and blasphemies." Dan. vii. 20, the little horn is said 
to have a mouth speaking very great things, and his look to 
be more stout than his fellows. This also came to pass in 


the Pope, and the church of Rome It was also prophesied^ 

that Antichrist should be an exceeding cruel persecutor, 
Dan. vii. 21. The same horn made Avar with the saints, and 
prevailed against them : Revelations xiii. 7. " And it wa» 
given unto him to make war with the saints, and to over- 
come them." Revelations xvii. 6. " And I saw the woman, 
drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood 
of the martyrs of Jesus." This also came to pass in tho 
church of Rome It was foretold, that Antichi'ist should ex- 
cel in craft and policy : Dan. vii. 8. " In this horn were eyes 
like the eyes of a man." And verse 20. " Even of that hom 
that had eyes." This also came to pass in the church of 

Rome It was foretold, that the kings of Christendom 

should be subject to Antichrist : Rev. xvii. 12, 13. « And 
the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have 
received no kingdom as yet ; but receive power as kings one 
hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give 
their power and strength unto the beast." This also came to 

pass with respect to the Romish church It was foretold, 

that he should perform pretended miracles and lying won- 
ders : 2 Thess. ii. 9. " Whose coming is after the working of 
Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders." Rev. 
xiii. 13, 14. " And he doth great wonders, so that he maketli 
fire come down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men, 
and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of 
those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the 
beast." This also came to pass in the church of Rome. 
Fire's coming down from heaven, seems to have reference to 
jtheir excommunications, which were dreaded like fire from 

heaven It was foretold, that he should forbid to marry, and 

to abstain from meats : 1 Tim. iv. 3. « Forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath cre- 
ated to be received with thanksgiving.^ This also is exactly 

fulfilled in the church of Rome It was foretold, that he 

should be very rich, and arrive at a great degree of earthly 
splendor and glory : Rev. xvii. 4. " And the woman was ar- 
rayed in purple, and scarlet color, and decked with gold and 
precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand." 


And so chap, xviii. 7. 12, 13. 16. This also is come to pass 

with respect to the church of Rome It was foretold, that ht 

should forbid any to buy or sell> but those that had his mark : 
Rev. xiii. 17. " And that no man might buy or sell, save lie 
ihat had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number 
of his name." This also is fulfilled in the church of Rome. 

It was foretold, that he should sell the souls of men, Rev. 

xviii. 13, where, in enumerating the articles of his merchan- 
dise, the soids of men are mentioned as one. This also is ex-» 
actly fulfilled in the same church It was foretold, that Anti- 
christ would not suffer the bodies of God's people to be put 
into graves : Rev. xi. 8, 9. " And their dead bodies shall lie 
in the street of the great city. ...and they. ...shall not suffer their 
dead bodies to be put in graves." Tliis also has literally come 
to pass with respect to the church of Rome I might men- 
tion many other things which were foretold of Antichrist, or 
that great enemy of the church so often spoken of in scrip- 
ture, and show that they were fulfilled most exactly in the 
Pope and the church of Rome. 

How strong an argument is this, that the scriptures arc the 
■word of God ? 

2. But I come now to a second inference ; which is this : 
From what has been said, we may learn what the spirit of 
true Christians is, viz. a spirit of suff"ering. Seeing God has 
so ordered it in his providence, that his church should for so 
long a time, for the greater part of so many ages, be in a suf- 
fering state, yea, and often in a state of such extreme suffer- 
ing, we may conclude, that the spirit of the true church is a 
suffering spirit, otherwise God never would have ordered so 
much sufl'ering for the church ; for doubtless God accommo- 
tlates the stale and circumstances of the church to the spirit 
that he has given them. We see by what has been said, how 
many and great sufferings the Christian church for the most 
part has been under for these 1700 years : No wonder there- 
fore that Christ so much inculcated upon his disciples, that it 
w as necessary, that if any would be his disciples, " they must 
deny themselves, and l^ke up their cross and follow him." 


And wc may argue, that the spirit of the tnie church of 
Christ is a suffering spirit, by the spirit the church has shown 
and exercised under her sufferings. Slie has actually, under 
those terrible persecutions throiigh which she has passed), 
rather chosen to undergo those dreadful torments, and to sell 
all for the pearl of great price, to suffer all that her bitterest 
enemies could inflict, than to renounce Christ and his relig- 
ion. History furnishes us with a great number of remarkable 
instances, sets in view a great cloud of witnesses. This abund- 
antly confirms the; necessity of being of a spirit to sell all for 
Christ, to renounce our own ease, our own worldly profit, and 
honor, and our all, for /»'w, and for the gospel. 

Let us inquire, whether we are of such a spirit. How does 
it prove upon trial ? Does it prove in fact that we are willing 
to deny ourselves, and renounce our own worldly interest, and 
to pass through the trials to which we are called in provi- 
dence ? Alas, how small are our trials, compared with those 
of many of our fellow Christians in former ages ! And I would 
on this occasion apply that in Jer. xii. 5. " If thou hast run 
■with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst 
thou contend with horses ?" If you have not been able to en- 
dure the light trials to which you have been called in this age, 
and in this land, how would you be able to endure the far 
greater trials to which the church has been called in former 
ages ? Every true Christian has the spirit of a martyr, and 
would suffer as a martyr, if he were called to it in providence. 

3. Hence we learn what great reason we have, assuredly to 
expect the fulfillment of what yet remains to be fulfilled of 
things foretold in scripture. The scriptures foretel many 
great things yet to be fulfilled before the end of the world. 
But there seem to be great difiicullies in the way. We seem 
at present to be very fiu- from such a state as is foretold in the 
scriptures ; but we have abundant reason to expect, that 
these things, however seemingly difficult, will yet be accom-- 
plished in their season. We see the faithfulness ©f God to 
his promises hitherto. How true has God been to his church, 
and remembered his mercy from generation to generation ! 
We may say concerning v/hat God has done hitherto for his 


church, as Joshua said to the children of Israel, Josh, xxiii. 
14. « That not one thing hath failed of all that the Lord our 
God hath spoken concerning his church ;" but all things arc 
hitherto come to pass agreeably to the divine prediction.' 
This should strengthen our faith in those promises, and en- 
courage us, and stir us up to earnest prayer to God for the ac- 
complishment of the great and glorious things which yet re- 
main to be fulfilled. 

It has already been shown how the success of Christ's re- 
demption v;as carried on through various periods down to the 
present time. 

A-thly. I come now to show how the success of Christ's re- 
demption will be carried on from the present time, till Anti- 
christ is fallen, and Satan's visible kingdom on earth is des- 
troyed And with respect to this space of time, we have 

nothing to guide us but the prophecies of scripture. Through 
most of the time from the fall of man to the destruction of 
Jerusalem by the Romans, we had scripture history to guide 
us ; and from thence to the present time we had prophecy, 
together with the accomplishment of it in providence, as re- 
lated in human histories. But henceforward we have only 
prophecy to guide us. And here I would pass by those things 
that are only conjectural, or that arc surmised by some from 
those prophecies which are doubtful in their interpretation, 
and shall insist only on those tilings v/hich are more clear and' 

We know not what particular events are to come to pass 
before that glorious work of God's Spirit begins, by which 
Satan's kingdom is to be overthrown. By the consent of 
most divines, there are but few things, if any at all, that are 
foretold to be accomplished before the beginning of that glori- 
ous work of God. Some think the slaying of the witnesses, 
Rev. xi. f, 8, is not yet accomplished. So divines differ with 
respect to the pouring out of the seven vials, of Avhich we 
have an account, Rev. xvi. how many arc already peured out, 
or how many remain to be poured out ; though a late exposi- 
tor, whom I have before mentioned to you, seems to make it 


very plain and evident, that all are already poured out but two, 
TJz. the sixth on the river Euphrates, and the seventh into the 
air. But I will not now stand to inquire what is intended by 
the pouring out of the sixth vial on the river Euphrates, that 
the way of the kings of the east may be prepared ; but only 
would say, that it seems to be somethirig immediately prepar- 
ing the way for the destruction of the spiritual Babylon, as 
the drying up of the river Euphrates, which ran through th« 
midst of old Babylon, was what prepared the way of the kings 
of the Medes and Persians, the kings of the cast, to come in 
tinder the walls, and destroy that city. 

But whatever this be, it docs not appear that it is any thing 
which shall be accomplished before that work of God's Spirit 
is begun, by which, as it goes on, Satan's visible kingdom on 
earth shall be utterly overthrown. And therefore I would 
proceed directly to consider what the scripture reveals con- 
cerning the work of God itself, by which he will bring about 
this great event, as being the next thing which is to be accom- 
plished that we are certain of from the prophecies of scrip- 

And, first, 1 would observe two things in general concern- 
ing it. 

1. We have all reason to conclude from the scriptures, 
that just before this work of God begins, it will be a very dark 
time with respect to the interests of religion in the world. 
It has been so before those glorious revivals of religion that 
have been hitherto. It was so when Christ came ; it was an 
exceeding degenerate time among the Jews : And so it was 
a very dark time before the Reformation. And not only so, 
but it seems to be foretold in scripture, that it shall be a time 
of but little religion, when Christ shall come to set up his 
kingdom in the world. Thus when Christ spake of his com- 
ing, to encourage his elect, who cry to him day and night, in 
Luke xviii. 8, he adds this, " Nevertheless when the Son of 
man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?" Which seems 
to denote a great prevalency of infidelity just before Christ's 
coming to avenge his suffering church. Though Christ^s 
coming at the last judgment is not here to be excluded, yet 

Vol. II. 9. ^ ■ 


there seems to be a special respect to his coming to deliver 
liis church from their long continued, suffering, pei'secuted 
state, which is accomplished only at his coming at the des- 
truction of Antichrist. That time that the elect cry to God, as- 
in Rev. vi. 10. <' How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou 
not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on th» 
earth ?" And the time spoken of in Rev. xviii. 20. " Rejoice 
gver her, thou heaven, and yc holy apostles, and prophets, for 
God hath avenged you ou her," will then be accomplished. 

It is now a very dark time with respect to the interests of 
religion, and such a time as this prophesied of in this place ; 
wherein there is but a little faith, and a groat prevailing of in- 
fidelity on the earth. There is now a remarkable fulfilment 
of that in 2 Pet. iii. 3. « Knowing this, that there shall come 
in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." And 
so Jude, 17, 18. " But beloved, remember yc the words which 
Avere spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ ; 
how that they told you there should be mockers in the last 
time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." Wheth- 
er the times shall be any darker still, or how much darker, be- 
fore the beginning of this glorious work of God, we cannot 

2. There is no reason from the word- of God to think any 
other, than that this great Avork of God will be wrought, 
though very swiftly, yet gradually. As the children of Israel 
were gradually brought out of the Babylonish captivity, first 
Due company, and then another, and gradually rebuilt tlieir 
city and temple ; and as the Heathen Roman empire was de- 
stroyed by a gradual, though a very swift prevalency of the 
gospel ; so, though there arc many things which seem to 
hold forth as though the work of God would be exceeding- 
swift, and many gieat and wonderful events should very sud- 
denly be brought to pass, and some great parts of Satan's vis- 
ible kingdom should have a very sudden fall, yet all will not 
be accomplished at once, as by some great miracle, as the 
resurrection of the dead at the end of the world will be all ut 
once ; but this is a work which will be accomplished by 
means, by the preaching of the gospel, and the use of the or- 


dinary means of grace, and so shall be gradually brought to 
pass. Some shall be converted, and be the means of others 
conversion. God's Spirit shall be poured out first to raise up 
instruments, and then those instruments shall be used and 
succeeded. And doubtless one nation shall be enlightened 
and converted after another, one false religion and false way of 
■worship exploded after another. By the representation in 
Dan. ii. 3, 4, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands 
gradually grows. So Christ teaches us, that the kingdom of 
heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, Matth. xiii. .ll, 32, and 
like leaven hid in three measures of meal, verse 33. The 
same representation we have in Mark iv. 26, 27, 28, and in 

the vision of the waters of the sanctuary, Ezek. xlvii The 

scriptures hold forth as though there should be several suc- 
cessive great and glorious events by which this glorious work 
shall be accomplished. The angel, speaking to the prophet 
Daniel of those glorious times, mentions two glorious periods, 
at the end of which glorious things should be accomplished : 
Dan. xii. 11. « And from the time that the daily sacrifice 
shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh deso- 
late set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety 
days." But then he adds in the next verse, "Blessed is he that 
waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five 
and thirty days ;" intimating, that something very glorious 
should be accomplished at the end of the former period, but 
something much more glorious at the end of the latter. 

But I now proceed to show how this glorious work shall be 

1. The Spirit of God shall be gloriously poured out for the 
w-onderful revival and propagation of religion. This great 
work shall be accomplished, not by the authority of princes, 
nor by the wisdom of learned men, but by God's Holy Spirit : 
Zech. iv. 6, 7. " Not by might, nor by power, but by my 
Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great moun- 
tain ? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain, and he 
shall bring forth the head stone thereof with shoutings, crying 
■Grace, grace unto it." So the prophet Ezekiel, speaking of 
this great work of God, says, chap, xxxix. 29. " Neither wili 


I hide my face any more from them ; for I have poured ouv 
my Spirit on the house of Israel, saith the Lord God." Wc 
know not where this pouring out of the Spirit shall begin, oi 
whether in many places at once, or whether, what hath al- 
ready been, be not some forerunner and beginning of it. 

This pouring out of the Spirit of God, when it is begun, 
shall soon bring great multitudes to forsake that vice and 
wickedness which now so generally prevails, and shall cause 
that vital religion which is now so despised and laughed at in 
the world, to revive. The work of conversion shall break 
forth and go on in such a manner as never has been hitherto ; 

agreeable to that in Isa. xUv. 3, 4, 5 God, by pouring out 

his Holy Spirit, will furnish men to be glorious instruments 
of carrying on this work ; will fill theni with knowledge and 
%visdom, and fervent zeal for the promoting the kingdom of 
Christ, and the salvation of souls, and propagating the gospel 
in the world. So that the gospel shall begin to be preached 
Avith abundantly greater clearness and power than had here- 
tofore been : For this great \vork of God shall be brought to 
pass by the preaching of the gospel, as is represented in Rev. 
xiv. 6, 7, 8. That before Babylon falls, the gospel shall be 
powerfully preached and propagated in the world. 

This was typified of old by the sounding of the silver trum- 
pets in Israel in the beginning of their jubilee : Lev. xxv. 9. 
" Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on 
the tenth day of the seventli month ; on the day of atonement 
shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." 
The glorioiis times which are approaching, are as it were the 
church's jubilee, which shall be introduced by the sounding 
of the silver trumpet of the gospel, as is foretold in Isa. xxvii. 
13. " Audit shall come to pass in that day, that the great 
trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which wer^s 
ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts of the 
land of Egypt, and shall ■yvorship the Lord in the holy mount 
at Jerusalem." And there shall be a glorious pouring out ol 
the Spirit with this clear and powerful preaching of the gos- 
pel, to make it successful for reviving those holy doctrines of 
religion which are now chiefly ridiculed in the world, and 


turning many from heresy, and from Popery, and from otlior 
false religions ; and also for turning many from their vice and 
profaneness, and for bringing vast multitudes savingly home 
to Christ. 

The work of conversion shall go on in a wonderful man- 
ner, snd spread more and more. Many shall flow together to 
the goodness of the Lord, and shall come as it were in flocks, 
one flock and multitude after another continually flowing in, as 
in Isa. Ix. 4, 5. " Lift up thine eye round about, and see ; all 
they gather themselves together, they come to thee ; thy sons 
shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy 
side. Then thou shalt see and flow together.'' And so verse 
8. " Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to 
their windows ?" And it being represented in the foremen^ 
tioned place in the Revelation, that the gospel shall be preach- 
ed to every tongue, and kindred, and nation, and people, be- 
fore the fall of Antichrist ; so we may suppose, that it ^nll 
soon be gloriously successful to bring in multitudes from ev- 
ery nation ; and it shall spread more and more vvith wonder- 
ful swiftness, and vast numbers shall suddenly be brought la 
as it were at once, as you may see, Isa. Ixvi. 7, 8, 9. 

2, This pouring out of the spirit of God vrili not eff'ect the 
overthrow of Satan's visible kingdom, till there has first been 
a violent and mighty opposition made. In this the scripture 
is plain, that when Christ is thus gloriously corning forth, 
and the destruction of Antichrist is ready at hand, and Satan's 
kingdom begins to totter, and to appear to be imminently 
threatened, the powers of the kingdom of darkness will rise 
up, and mightily exert themselves to prevent their kingdom 
being overthrown. Thus after the pouring out of the sixth vial, 
which was to dry up the river Euphrates, to prepare the way 
for the destruction of spiritual Babylon, it is represented in 
Rev. xvi. as though the powers of hell will be mightily alarrn- 
ed,and should stir up themselves to oppose tlie kingdom of 
Christ, before the seventh and last vial shall be poured aui, 
which shall give them a final and complete ovcithrow. We 
have an account of the pouring out of the sixth in verse 12. 
And then upon this, the beloved disciple informs us in thf>, ' 


fb]]o^vinc: verses, that, " three iincleati spirits like frogs shall 
550 forth imto the kings of the earth, to gather them together 
to the battle of the great clay of God Almighty." This seems 
to be tlie last and greatest effort of Satan to save his kingdom 
fiom being overthrown ; though perhaps he may make as 
great towards the end of the world to regain it. 

When the spirit begins to be so gloriously poured forth, 
and the devil sees such multitudes flocking to Christ in one 
nation and another, and the foundations of his kingdom daily 
uixlermining, and the pillars of it breaking, and the whole 
ready to come to swift and sudden destruction, it will greatly 
alarm all hell. Satan has ever had a dread of having his 
kingdom overthrown, and he has been opposing of it ever 
since Christ's ascension, and has been doing great wprks to 
fortify his kingdom, and to prevent it, ever since the day of 
Constantine the Great. To this end he has set up those two 
mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and brought 
in all the heresies, and superstitions and corrupt opinions, 
which there are in the world. But when he sees all begins 
to fail, it will ronse him up exceedingly. If Satan dreaded he- 
rn^ cast out of the Roman empire, how much more does he 
dread being cast out of the whole world '. 

It seems as though in this last great opposition which shall 
be made against the church to defend the kingdom of Satan, 
all the forces of Antichrist, and Mahometanism, and Heathen- 
ism, will be united ; all the forces of Satan's visib e kingdom 
tlirough the whole world of mankind. And therefore it is 
said, that, «' spirits of devils shall go forth unto the kings of 
the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them together to 
the battle of the great day of God Almighty." And these 
spirits are said to come out of the mouth of the drag- 
on, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the 
jnouth of the false prophet ; i. e. there shall be the spir- 
it of Popery, and tlie spirit of Mahometanism, and the spirit 
of Heathenism all united. By the beast is meant Antichrist ; 
by the dragon, in this book, is commonly meant the devil, 
its he reigns over his Heathen kingdom ; by the false proph- 
et, in this book, is sometimes meant the Pope and his clergy ; 


But here an eye seems to be had to Mahomet, -whom his fol- 
lowers call the great prophet of God. This will be as it 
were the dying struggles of the old serpent ; a battle whereiiv 
he will fight as one that is almost desperate. 

We know net particularly in what manner this opposition 
shall be made. It is represented as a battle ; it is called the 
battle of the great day of God Almighty. There will be some 
way or other a mighty struggle between Satan's kingdom and 
the church, and probably in all ways of opposition that can 
be ; and doubtless great opposition by external force ; where- 
in the princes of the world who are on the devil's side shall 
join hand in hand : For it is said, " The kings of the earth 
are gathered together to battle," Rev. xix. 19. And proba- 
bly withaJ there will be great opposition of subtil disputers 
and carnal reasoning, and great persecution in many places, 
and great opposition by virulent reproaches, and also great op- 
position by craft and subtlety. The devil nov/ doubtless will 
ply his skill as well as strength to the utmost. The dev- 
ils, and those who belong lo their kingdom, will every where 
be stirred up, and engaged to make an united and violent op- 
position against this holy religion, which they see prevailing 
so mightily in the world. ...But, 

3. Christ and his church shall in this battle obtain a com- 
plete and entire victory over their enemies. They shall be 
totally routed and overthrown in this their last efFoit. When 
tlic powers of hell and earth are thus gathered together 
against Christ, and his armies shall come forth against them 
by his word and Spirit to fight with them, in how august and 
pompous, and glorious a manner is this coming forth of 
Christ and his church to this battle described. Rev. xix. II, 
Sec. ! And to represent to us how great the victory should be 
which they should obtain, and how -mighty the overthrow of 
their enemies, it is said, verse 17, and 18, that " all the fowls 
of heaven are called together, to eat the great supper given 
them, of the flesh of kings, and captains, and mighty men," 
Sec. and then, in the following verses, v.e lu-ve an account of 
the victory and overthrow. 


In this victory, the seventh vial shall be poured out.- It is* 
said, Rev. xvi. 16, ot the great army that should be gathered 
together against Christ : " And life gathered them together into 
a- place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon " and then 
Tt is said, "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the 
^ir J and there came a great voice out of the temple of heav- 
en, from the throne, saying. It is done." Now the business is 
done for Satan and his adherents. When this victory is obtain- 
ed, all is in eflect done. Satan's last and greatest opposition is 
conquered ; all his measures are defeated ; the pillars of his 
lungdom broken asunder, and will fall of course. The devil 
is utterly baffled and confounded, and knows not what else to 
do. He now sees his Antichristian, and Mahometan, and 
Heathenish kingdoms through the world, all tumbling about 
his ears. He and his most powerful instruments are taken 
captive. Now that is in effect done which the church of God 
had been so long Avaiting and hoping for, and so earnestly 
crying to God for, saying, " How long, O Lord, holy and 
true ?" Now the time is come. 

The angel who set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot 
on the earth, lift up his hand to heaven, and swore by him 
that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and alt 
things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that 
therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein,- 
fhat when the seventh angel should come to sound, the time 
should be no longer. And now the time is come ; now the 
seventh trumpet sounds,and the seventh vial is poured out, both 
together ; intimating, that now all is finished as to the over- 
throw of Satan's visilile kingdom on earth. This victory shall 
be by far the greatest that ever was obtained over Satan and 
his adherents. By this blow, with which the stone cut out of 
the mountain without hands shall strike the image of gold, and"' 
silver, and brass, and iron, and clay, it shall all be broken to 
pieces. This will be a finishing blow to the image, so that it 
shall become as the chaffof the summer threslnng floor. 

In this victory will be a most glorious display of divine pow- 
er. Christ shall therein appear in the character of King of 
kings, and Lord of lords, as in Rev. xix. 16. Now Christ 


shall (lash his enemies even the strongest and proudest of 
them, ih pieces ; as a potter's vessel shall they be broken to 
shivers. Then shall strength be shown out of weakness, and 
Christ shall cause his chur<th as k were to thresh the mount- 
ains, as in Isa. xli. 15. "Behold,! will make thee a new 
sharp threshing instrument having teeth : Thou shalt thresh 
the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills 
as chaff." And then shall be fulfilled that in Isa. xlii. 13, 
14, 15. 

4. Consequent on this victory, Satan's visible kingdom on 
earth shall be destroyed. When Satan is conquered in this 
last battle, the church of Christ will have easy work of it ; as 
when Joshua and the children of Israel had obtained that 
great victory over the five kings of the Amorites, when the 
sun stood still, and God sent great hail stones on their ene- 
mies, they after that went from one city to another, and burnt 
them with fire : They had easy work of subduing the cities 
and country to which they belonged. So it was also after that 
other great battle that Joshua had with that great multitude 
at the waters of Meram. So after thrs glorious victory of 
Christ and his church over their enemies, over the chief pow- 
ers of Satan's kingdom, they shall destroy that kingdom in all 
those cities and countries to which they belonged. After this 
the word of God shall have a speedy and swift progress 
through the earth ; as it is said, that on the pouring out of 
the seventh vial, " the cities of the nations fell, and every 
island fled away, and the mountains were not found," Rev. 
xvi. 19, 20. When once the stone cut out of the mountain 
without hands had broken the image in pieces, it was easy to 
abolish all remains of it. The very wind will carry it away 
as the chaff of the summer threshing floor. Because Satan's 
visible kingdom on earth shall now be desti-oyed, therefore it 
is said, that the seventh vial, by which this shall be done, shall 
be poured out into the air ; Avhich is represented in scripture 
as the special seat of his kingdom ; for he is called the prince 
of the power of the air, Eph. ii. 2. Now is come the time for 
punishing leviathan, that piercing serpent, of which we read- 
in Isa. xxvii. 1. " In that day the Lord with his sore and great 

Vol. II. ^ T 


and strong sword, shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, 
even leviathan, that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the 
dragon that is in the sea." 

Concerning this overthrow of Satan's visible kingdom on 
earth, I would, 1 . Show wherein this overthrow of Satan's 
visible kingdom Avill chiefly consist ; 2. The extent and uni- 
versality of this overthrow% 

1. I woiild show wherein this overthrow of Satan's king- 
dom will chiefly consist. I shall mention the particular things 
in which it will consist, without pretending to determine in 
what order they shall come to pass, or which shall be accom- 
plished first, or whether they shall be accomplished together. 

(1) Heresies, and infidelity, and superstition, among those 
who have been brought up under the light of the gospel, will 
then be abolished. Then there will be an end of Socinian- 
ism, and Arianism, and Quakerism, and Arminianism ; and 
Deism, which is now so bold and confident, in infidelity^ shall 
then be crushed, and driven away, and vanish to nothing ; and 
all shall agree in the same great and important doctrines of 
the gospel ; agreeable to that iii Zech. xiv. 9. " And the 
Lord shall be king over all the earth : In that day shall there 
be one Lord, and his name one." Then shall be abolished 
all siipierstitious ways of wdrship, and all shall agree in wor- 
shipping God in his own ways : Jer. xxxii. 39. « And I will 
give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for 
ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them." 

(2) The kingdom of Antichrist shall be utterly over- 
thrown. His kingdom and dominion has been much brought 
down already by the vial poured out on his throne in the Ref- 
ormation ; but then it shall be utterly destroyed. Then 
shall be proclaimed, " Babylon is fallen, is fallen." When 
the seventh angel sounds, the time, times and half, shall be 
out, " and the time shall be no longer." Then shall be ac- 
complished concerning Antichrist the things which are writ- 
ten in the 18th chapter of Revelation, of the spiritual Baby- 
lon, that great city Rome, or the idolatrous Roman govern- 
ment, that has for so many ages been the great enemy of the 
Christian church, first under Heathenism, then under Pope- 


vv : That proud city, which lifted herself up to heaven, and 
at)Ove God himself in her pride and haughtiness ; that cruel, 
bloody city, shall come down to the ground. Then shall 
that be fulfilled, Isa. xxvi. 5. " For he bringeth down them 
that dwell on high, the lofty city he layeth it low, he lay- 
eth' it low, even to \he ground, he bringeth it even to the 
dust. She shall be thrown down with violence, like a greyt 
millstone cast into the sea, and shall be found no more at all, 
and shall become an habitation of devils, and the hold of every 
foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." 
Now shall she be stripped of all her glory, and riches, and or- 
naments, and shall be cast out as an abominable branch, and 
shall be troden down as the mire of the streets. All her poli- 
cy and «craft, in which she so abounded, shall not save her. 
And God shall make his people, who have been so perse- 
cuted by her, to come and put their foot on the neck of Anti- 
christ, and he shall be their footstool. All the strength and 
wisdom of this great whore shall fail her, and there shall be 
none to help l>er. The kings of the earth, who before gave 
their power and strength to the beast, shall now hate the 
whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat 
her flesh, and burn her with fire. Rev. xvii. 16. 

(o) That other great kingdom which Satan has set up in 
.opposition to the Christian church, viz. his Mahometan king- 
dom, shall be utterly overthrown. The locusts and horsemen, 
in the 9th of Revelation, have their appointed and limited time 
set them there, and the false prophet shall be taken and de- 
stroyed. And then, though Mahometanism has been so vastly 
propagated in the world, and is upheld by such a great empire, 
this snioke which has ascended out of the bottomless pit, shall 
be utterly scattered before tlie light of that glorious day, and 
the IVIahornetan empire shall fall at the sound of the great 
trumpet which shall then be blown. 

(4) Jewish infidelity shall then be overthrown. However 
obstinate they have been now for above 1700 years in their 
rejection of Christ, and instances of the conversion of any of 
that nation have been so very rare ever since the destruction 
of Jerusalem, but tli,ey have against the plain teachings oi 


their own prophets, continued to approve of the cruelty of 
their forefathers in crucifying Christ : Yet when this day- 
comes, the thick vail that blinds their eyes shall be removed, 
2 Cor. iii. 16 ; and divine grace shall melt and renew their 
hard hearts, " And they shall look on him whom they have 
pierced,- and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for 
his only son, and shall be in bitterness as one that is in bitter- 
ness for his first born," Zech. xii. 10, Sec. And then shall the 
.house of Israel be saved : The Jews, in all their dispersions 
shall cast away their old infidelity, and shall wonderfully have 
their hearts changed, and abhor themselves for their past un- 
belief and obstinacy ; and shall flow together to the blessed 
Jesus, penitently, humbly, and joyfully owning him as their 
glorious King, and only Saviour, and shall with all their hearts, 
as with one heart and voice, declare his praises unto other 

Nothing is more certainly foretold than this national con- 
version of the Jews is in the 1 1th chapter of Romans. And 
there are also many passages of the Old Testament which 
cannot be interpreted in any other sense, which I cannot now 
stand to mention. Besides the prophecies of the calling of 
the Jews, we have a remarkable seal of the fulfilment of this 
great event in providence, by a thing which is a kind of con- 
tinual miracle, viz. their being preserved a distinct nation 
in such a dispersed condition for above 1600 years. The 
v/orld affords nothing else like it. There is undoubtedly a 
remarkable hand of providence in it. When they shall be 
called, then shall that ancient people, that were alone God's 
people for so long a time, be God's people again, never to be 
rejected more : They siiall then be gathered into one fold to- 
gether Avith the Gentiles ; and so also shall the remains of the 
ten tribes, wherever they be, and though they have been re- 
jected much longer than the Jews, be brought in with their 
brethren the Jews. The prophecies of Hosea especially 
seem to hold this forth, that in the future glorious times of 
the church, both Judah and Ephraim, or Judah and the ten 
tril)es, shall be brought in together, and shall be united as one 
people, as they formerly were under David and Solomon j a« 


Hos. i. 1 1 ; and so in the last chapter of Hosea, and other 
parts of his prophecy. 

Though we do not know the time in which this conversion 
of the nation of Israel will come to pass ; yet thus much we 
may determine by scripture, that it will be before the glory 
of the Gentile part of the church shall be fully accomplish- 
ed ; because it is said, that their coming in shall be life from 
the dead to the Gentiles, Rom. xi. 12, 15. 

(5) Then shall also Satan's Heathenish kingdom be over- 
thrown. Gross Heathenism now possesses a great part of tho 
earth, and there are supposed to be more Heathens now in 
the world, than of all other professions taken together, Jews, 
Mahometans, or Christians. But then the Heathen nations 
shall be enlightened with the glorious gospel. There will be 
a wonderful spirit of pity towards them, and zeal for their in- 
struction and conversion put into maltitudes, and many shall 
go forth and carry the gospel unto them, and then shall the 
joyful sound be heard among them, and the Sun of righteous- 
ness shall then arise with his glorious light shining on those 
many vast regions of the earth that have been covered with 
Heathenish darkness for many thousand years, nr^any of them 
doubtless ever since the times of Moses and Abraham, and 
have lain thus long in a miserable condition, under the cruel 
tyranny of the devil, who has all this while blinded and befool- 
ed them, and domineered over them, and made a prey of 
them from generation to generation. Now the glad tidings 
of the gospel shall sound there, and they shall be brought out 
of darkness into marvellous light. 

It is promised, that Heathenism shall thus be destroyed in 
many places. God has said, That the gods that have not 
made these heavens and this earth, shall perish from the 
eaith, and from under these heavens, Jer. x. 11, and that he 
v,'ill utterly abolish idols, Isa. ii. 1 8... .Then shall the many na- 
tions of Africa, the nations of negroes, and other Heathens 
who chiefly fill that quarter of the world, who now seem to 
"be in a state but little above the beasts, and in many respects 
much below them, be enlightened with glorious light, and de- 
•iivered from all theii' darkness, and shall become a civile 


Christian, understanding, and holy people. Then shall the vast 
continent of America, which now in so great a part of it is cov- 
ered with barbarous ignorance and cruelty, be every where 
covered with glorious gospel light and Christian love ; and in- 
stead of worshipping the devil, as now they do, they shall servo 
God and praises shall be sung every where to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the blessed Saviour ©f the world. So may we expect 
it will be in that great and populous part of the world, the East 
Indies, which are nov/ mostly inhabited by the worshippers of 
the devil ; and so throughout that vast cotmtry Great Tartary : 
And then the kingdom of Christ will be established in those 
continents which have been more lately discovered towards 
the north and south poles, where now men differ very little 
from the wild beasts, excepting that they worship the devil, 
and beasts do not. The same will be the case with respect to 
those covmtries which have never yet been discovered. Thus 
will be gloriously fulfilled that in Isa. xxxv. 1 . " The wilder- 
ness and the solitary place shall be glad for them : And the 
desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." See also 
ver. 6. 7. 

2. Having thusshown wherein this overthrov/ of Satan's king- 
dom will consist, I come now to the other thing to be obsei-ved 
concerning it, viz. its universal extent. The visible kingdom of 
Satan ^hall be overthrown, and the kingdom of Christ set upon 
the ruins of it, every where throughout the whole habitable 
globe. Now shall the promise made to Abraham be fulfilled, 
that " In him and in his seed ail the families of the earth shall be 
blessed ;" and Christ wow shall become the desire of all nations, 
agreeable to Hag. ii. 7. Now the kingdom of Christ shall in the 
n"K)st strict and literal sense be extended to all nations, and the 
v.hole earth. There are many passages of sciipture that can 
be understood in no other sense. What can be more univer- 
sal than that in Isa. xi. 9. " For the earth shall be full of the 
knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Ac 
much as to say, As there is no part of the channel or cavity of 
the sea any where, but what is covered with water ; so there 
shall be no part of the world of mankind but Avhat shall be cov- 
ered with tlve knowledge of God. So it h foretold in Isa. xlv. 


"22, that all the ends of the earth shall look to Christ, and be 
saved. And to show that the words are to be understood in 
the most universal sense, it is said in the next verse, " I have 
sworn by myself, the tvord is gone out of my mouth in right- 
eousness, and shall not return, that unto mc every knee shall 
bow, every tongue shall swear." 

So the most universal expression is used, Dan. vii. 27, 
" And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the 
kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people 
of the saints of the Most High God." You see the expres- 
sion includes all under the ivhoie heaven. 

When the devil was cast out of the Roman empire^ because 
that was the highest and principal part of the world, and the 
other nations that were left were low and mean in compari- 
ison of those of that empire, it was represented as Satan's be- 
ing cast out of heaven to the earth. Rev. xii. 9 ; but it is rep- 
resented that he shall be cast out of the earth too, and shut up 

in hell, Rev. xx. 1, 2, 3 This is the greatest revolution by 

far that ever came to pass : Therefore it is said in Rev. xvi. 
17,18. That on the pouring out of the seventh vial, there 
was a great earthquake, such as Avas not since men were upon 
"earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And this is the 
third great dispensation of providence which is in scripture 
compared to Christ's coming to judgment. So it is in Rca'. 
xvi. 15. There, after the sixth vial, and after the devil's 
armies were gathered together to their great battle, and just 
before Christ's glorious victory over them, it is said, " Behold 
I come quickly ; blessed is he that watcheth, and keepcth his 
garments." So it is called Christ's co?ning in 2 Thess. ii. 8. 
Speaking of Antichrist, it is said, " And then shall that wick- 
ed be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit 
of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his 
coming." See also Dan. vii. 13, 14, where Christ's coming 
to set up his kingdom on earth, and to destroy Antichrist, is 
called coining with clouda of heaxten. And this is more like 
Christ's last coming to judgment, than any of the preceding 
tlispensatious which are so called on those accounts. 


(1) That the dispensation is so much greater and more' 
universal, and so more like the day of judgment, which res- 
pects the whole world. 

(2) On account of the great spiritual resurrection there 
will be of the church of God accompanying it, more resem- 
bling the general resurrection, at the end of the world than 
any other. This spiritual resurrection, is the resurrection 
spoken of as attended with judgment, Rev. xx. 4. 

(3) Because of the terrible judgments and fearful destruc- 
tion which shall now be executed ch God's enemies. There . 
will doubtless at the introducing of this dispensation be a visi- 
ble and awful hand of God against blasphemers. Deists, and 
obstinate heretics, and other enemies of Christ, terribly de- 
stroying them, with remarkable tokens of wrath and ven- 
geance ; and especially will this dispensation be attended 
with terrible judgments on Antichrist ; and the cruel persecu- 
tors who belong to the church of Rome, shall in a most awful 
manner be destroyed ; which is compared to a casting of An- 
tichrist into the burning flame, Dan. vii. II, and to casting 
him alive into the lake that burns with fne and brimstone^ 
Rev. xix. 20. 

Then shall this cruel persecuting church suffer those judg- 
ments from God, which shall be far more dreadful than her 
crudest persecutions of the saints, agreeable to Rev. xviii. 6, 
7. The judgments which God shall execute on the enemies 
of the church, are so great, that they ai'e compared to God's 
sending great hailstones from heaven upon them, every one 
of the weight of a talent, as it is said on the ix>uri"ng out of the 
seventh vial. Rev. xvi. 21. « And there fell upon men a great 
hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent : 
And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail ; 
for the plague thereof was exceeding great." And now shall 
be that treading of the wine press spoken of. Rev. xiv. !9, 2Q. 

(4) This shall put an end to the church's suftering state, 
and shall be attended with their glorious and joyful praises. 
The church's afllicted state is long, being continued, except- 
ing some short intermissions, from the resurrection of Christ 
to this time. But now shall a final end be put to her suffering; 


state. Indeed after this near the 6nd of the world, the church 
ghall be greatly threatened ; but it is said, it shall be but for a 
little season, Rev. xx. 3 ; For as the times of the churcli's 
rest are but short, before the long day of her afflictions are at 
an end ; so whatever afftiction she may suffer after this, it will 
be very short ; but otherwise the day of the church's affliction 
and persecution shall now come to a final end. The scrip- 
tures, in many places, speak of this time as the end of the suf- 
fering state of the church. So. Isa. li. 2-2. God says to his 
church with respect to this time, " Behold, I have taken out 
of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup 
of my fury, thou shalt no more drink it again." Then shall 
that be proclaimed to the church, Isa. xl, 1, 2. " Comfort ye, 
comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably 
to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accom- 
plished, that her iniquity is pardoned : For she hath received 
of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." Also thatin Isa-. 
liv. 8, 9, belongs to this time. And so that in Isa. Ix. 20. 
" The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of 
thy mourning shall be ended." And so Zeph. iii. 15. " The 
Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine 
enemy : The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst 
of thee : Thou shalt not see evil any more." 

The time which had been before this, had been the church's 
sowing time, wherein she sowed in tears and in blood ; but 
now is her harvest, wherein she will come again rejoicing, 
bringing her sheaves with her. Now the time of the travail 
of the v/oman clothed with the sun is at an end : Now she hath 
brought forth her son ; for this glorious setting up of the 
kingdom of Christ through the world, is what the church had 
been in travail for, with such terrible pangs, for so many ages : 
Isa. xxvi. 17. « Like as a woman with child that draweth 
near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and cricth out in her 
pangs ; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord." See Isa. Ix. 
20, and Ixi. 10, 11. And now the church shall forget her 
sorrows, since a man child is born into the world : Now suc- 
ceed her joyful praise and triumph. Her praises shall then 
go up to God from all parts of the earth, as Isa. xlii. 10, ll!, 

Vol. IL 3 U 

346 WORK OF REDEMPtlON. [Period IIL 

12. And praise shall not only fill the earth, but also heaven. 
The church on earth, and the church in heaven, shall both 
gloriously rejoice and praise God, as with one heart, on 
that occasion. Without doubt it will be a time of very distin- 
guished joy and praise among the holy prophets and apostles^ 
and the other saints in heaven : Rev. xviii. 20. « Rejoice over 
her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God 
hath avenged you on her." See how universal these praises' 
will be in Isa. xliv. 23. " Sing, O ye heavens ; for the Lord 
hath done it : Shout ye lower parts of the earth : Break forth 
into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein : 
For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in 
Israel." See what joyful praises are sung to God on this oc- 
casion by the universal church in heaven and earth, in the be- 
ginning of the 19th chapter of Revelation. 

(5) This dispensation is above all preceding ones like 
Christ's coming to judgment, in that it so puts an end to the 
former state of the world, and introduces the everlasting 
kingdom of Christ. Now Satan's visible kingdom shall be 
overthrown, after it had stood ever since the building of Ba- 
bel ; and the old heavens and the old earth shall in a greater 
measure be passed away then than before, and the new heav- 
ens and new earth set up in a far more gloi'ious manner than 
ever before. 

Thus I have sho"\vn how the success of Christ's purchase 
has been carried on through the times of the afflicted state of 
the Christian church, from Christ's resurrection, till Anti- 
christ is fallen, and Satan's visible kingdom on earth is over- 
thrown. Therefore I come now, 

Secondly, To show how the success of redemption will 
be carried on through that space wherein the Christian rhureh 
shall for the most part be in a state of peace and prosperity. 
And in order to this, I would, 

1. Speak of the prosperous state of the church through the 
greater part of this period. 


2. Of the great apostacjr there shall be towards the close of 
it : How greatly then the church shall be threatened by her 
enemies for a short time. 

I. I would speak of the prosperous state of the church 
through the greater part of this period. And in doing this, I 
would, 1 . Describe this prosperous state of the church ; 2.. 
Say something of its duration. 

\st. 1 would describe the prosperous state the church shall 
be in. 

And, in the general, I would observe two things. 

1. That this is most properly the time of the kingdom of 
heaven upon earth. Though the kingdom of heaven was in a 
degi'ee set up soon after Christ^s resurrection, and in a fur-" 
ther degree in the time of Constantine ; and though the 
Christian church in all ages of it is called the kingdom of 
fieaven ; yet Uiis time that we are upon, is the principal time 
of the kingdom of heaven upon earth, the time principally in- 
tended by the prophecies of Daniel, which speak of the king*- 
dom of heaven, whence the Jews took the name of the kmg^ 
dom of heaven. 

2. Now is the principal fulfilment of all the prophecies of 
the Old Testament which speak of the glorious times of the 
gospel which shall be in the latter days. Though there has 
been a glorious fulfilment of those prophecies already, in the 
times of the apostles, and of Constantine ; yet the expressions 
are too high to suit any other time entirely, but that which is 
to succeed the fall of Antichrist. This is most properly the 
glorious day of the gospel- Other times are only forerun- 
ners and preparatorbs to this : Other times were the seed 
time, but this is the harvest. But more particularly, 

(1) It will be a time of great light and knowledge. Th^ 
present days are days of darkness, ii^ comparison of those days. 
The light of that glorious time shall be so great, that it is 
represented as though there then should be no night, but only 
day ; no evening nor darkness. So Zech. xiv- 6, 7. " And it 
shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear 
nor dark. But it shall be one day, which shall be known to 
the Lord, not day, nor night : But it shall come to pass, that at 


evenings time it shall be light." It is further represented, as 
though God would then give such light to his church, that it 
should so much exceed the glory of the light of the sun and 
moon, that they should be ashamed : Isa. xxiv. 23. « Then 
the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when 
the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusa- 
lem, and before his ancients gloriously." 

There is a khid of vail now cast over the greater part of the 
world, which keeps them in darkness : But then this vail shall 
be destroyed : Isa. xxv. 7. " And he will destroy in this 
nriountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the 
vail that is spread over all nations." And then all countries 
and nations, even those which are now most ignorant, shall be 
full of light and knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail 
every where. It may be hoped, that then many of the Ne- 
groes and Indians will be divines, and that excellent books 
will be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and other 
now the most barbarcrus countries ; and not only learned men, 
but others of more ordinary education, shall then be very 
knowing in religion : Isa. xxxii. 3, 4, " Th& eyes of them that 
see, shall not be dim ; and the ears of them that hear, shall, 
hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowl- 
edge." Knowledge then shall be very universal among all 
sorts of pei-sons ; agreeable to Jer. xxxi. 34. « And they shall 
teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his 
brother, saying, Know the Lord : For they shall all know mc 
from the least of them unto the greatest of them." 

There shall then be a wonderful unravelling of the difficult- 
ies in the doctrines of religion, and clearing up of seeming in- 
consistencies : " So crooked things shall be made straight, 
and rotigh places shall be made plain, and darkness shall be- 
come light before God's people." DifTicultics in scripture 
shall then be cleared up, and wonderful things shall be dis- 
covered in the word of God, which were never discovered be- 
fore. The great discovery of those things in religion which 
had been before kept hid, seems to be compared to removing 
the vail, and discovering the ark of the testimony to the peo- 
ple, A^hich before used to be kept in the secret part of thx" 


temple, and was never seen by them. Thus, at the sounding 
of the seventh angel, v/hen it is proclaimed, " That the king- 
doms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and 
of his Christ, it is added, that " the temple of God was open- 
ed in heaven ; and there was seen in his temple the ark of his 
testament." So great shall be tli-e increase of knowledge in 
this time, that heaven shall be as it were opened to the church 
of God on earth. 

(2) It shall be a time of great holiness. Now vital religion 
«hall every where prevail and reign. Religion shall not be 
an empty profession, as it now mostly is, but holiness of heart 
and life shall abundantly prevail. Those times shall be an 
exception from what Christ says of the ordinary state of the 
church, viz. that there shall be but few saved ; for now holi- 
ness shall become general : Isa. Ix. 21. " Thv people also 
shall be all righteous." Not that there will be none remain- 
ing in a Christless condition ; but that visible wickedness 
shall be suppressed every where, and true holiness shall be- 
come general, though not universal. And it shall be a won- 
derful time, not only for the multitude of godly men, but for 
eminency of grace : Isa. Ixv. 20. « There shall be no more 
thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his 
•days : For the child sliall die an hundred years old, but the 
sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed." And 
Zech. xii. 8. " He that is feeble among them at that day shall 
be as David ; and the house of David shall be as God, as the 
angel of the Lord befoi'e them." And holiness shall then 
be as it were inscribed on every thing, on all men's common 
business and employments, and the common utensils of life : 
AH shall be as it were dedicated to God, and applied to holy 
"purposes : Every thing shall then be done to the glory of 
God: Isa. xxiii. 18. « And her merchandise and her hire 

shall be holiness to the Lord." And so Zech. xiv. 20, 21 

And as God's people then siiall be eminent in holiness of 
•heart, so they shall bo also in holiness of life and practice. 

(3) It shall be a time wherein religion shall in everv res- 
pect be uppermost in the Avorld. It shall be had in great es- 
teem and honor. The saints have hitherto for the mo-st part 


been k<^pt under, and wicked men have governed. But now 
ihcy will be uppermost. The kingdoms shall be given into 
the hands of the saints of the " Most High God," Dan. vii. 
27. « And they shall reign on earth," Rev. v. 10. « They 
shall li\-e and reign with Christ a thousand years," Rev. xx. 4. 
In that day, such persons as are eminent for true piety and 
religion, shall be chiefly promoted to places of trust and au- 
thority. Vital religion shall then take possession of king's 
palaces and thrones ; and those who are in highest advance- 
ment shall be holy men : Isa. xlix. 23. " And kings shall be 
thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers." 
Kings shall employ all their power, and glory, and riches, for 
the advancement of the honor and glory of Christ, and the 
good of his church : Isa. Ix. 1 6. " Thou shalt also suck tlie 
unilk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings." 
And the great men of the world, and the rich merchants, and 
others who have great wealth and influence, shall devote all 
to Christ and his church : Psal. xlv. 12. « The daughter of 
Tyre shall be there with a gift, even the rich among the peo- 
ple shall intreat thy favor." 

(4^) Those will be times of great peace and love. There 
shall then be universal peace and a good understanding among 
the nations of the world, instead of such confusion, wars, and 
bloodshed, as have hithertobeen from one age toanother : Isa. 
ii. 4. " And he shall judge among the nations, and shall re- 
buke many people : And they shall beat their swords mto 
ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks : Nation 
shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn 
war any more." So it is represented as if all instruments of 
war should be destroyed, as being become useless : Psal. xlvi. 
9. " He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth : He 
breakelh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder, he l)uni- 
cth the chariot in the fire." See also Zech. ix. 10. Then 
shall all nations dwell quietly and safely, without fear of any 
enemy. Isa. xxxii. 18. " And my people shall dvk'cU in a 
peaceable habitation, aiul in sure dwellings, and in quiet re»t- 
i:ig places." Also Zcch. viii. 10, 11. 


And then shall malice, and envy, and wrath, and revenge, 
be suppressed every where, and peace and Io'\'€ shall prevuiS 
between one man and another ; v/hich is most elegantly set 

forth in Isa. xi. 6 10. Then shall there be peace and lover 

between riilers and ruled. Rulers shall love their people, anct 
with all their might seek their best good ; and the people 
shall love their rulers, and shall joyfully submit to them, and 
give them that honor which is their d\ie. And so shall there 
be an happy love between ministers and their people : Mai, 
iv. 6, " And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the chil- 
dren, and the heart of the children to their fathers." Then 
shall flourish in an eminent manner those Christian virtues 
of meekness, forgiveness, long suffering, gentleness, good- 
ness, brotherly kindness, those excellent fruits of the Spirits 
Men, in their temper and disposition, shall then be like the 
Lamb of God, the lovely Jesus. The body shall be conform- 
ed to the head. 

Then shall all the world be united in one amiable society. 
All nations, in all parts of the world, on every side of the 
globe,^ shall then be knit together in sweet harmony. All 
parts of God's church shall assist and promote the spiritual 
good of one another. A communication shall then be upheld 
between all parts of the world to that end ; and the art of nav- 
igation, which is cov^ applied so^ much to favor men's covetous-' 
ness and pride, and is used so much by wicked debauched 
men, shall then be consecrated to God, and applied to holy 
uses, as we read in Isa. Ix. 5. ...9. And it will then be a time 
wherein men will be abundant in expressing their love one to 
another, not only in words, but in deeds of charity, as we 
learn, Isa. xxxii. 5, »' The vile person shall be no more call- 
ed liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful ;" and, verse 8. 
« But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things 
shall he stand." 

(5) It will be a time of excellent order in the church of 
Christ. The true government and discipline of the church 
will then be settled and put into practice. All the world shall 
then be as one church, one orderly, regular, beautiful society. 
And as the body shall be one, so the members shall be 115 

355 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Peujod Ilf, 

beautiful proportion to each other. Then shall that be verifi- 
ed in Psal. cxxii. 3. " Jerusalem is builded as a city, that » is 
compact together." 

(6) The church of God shall then be beautiful and glorious 
on these accounts ; yea, it will appear in perfection of beau- 
ty : Isa. Ix. 1. " Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the 
glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. Ixi. 10. " He hath 
covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom, 
dccketh himself with orntimcnts, and as a bride adorneth her- 
self with her jewels." On these forementioncd accounts, the 
church will then be the greatest image of heaven itself. 

(7) That Avill be a time of the greatest temporal prosperi- 
ty. Such a spiritual state as we have just described, has a 
natural tendency to temporal prosperity : It has a tendency 
to health and long life ; and that this will actually be the case, 
is evident by Zech. viii. 4. " Thus saith the Lord of hosts. 
There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets 
of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for 
very age." It has also a natural tendency to procure ease, 
quietness, pleasantness, and cheerfulness of mind, and also 
wealth, and great increase of children ; as is intimated in 
Zech. viii. 5. "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys 

and girls playing in the streets thereof." But further, the 

temporal prosperity of the people of God will also be promot- 
ed by a remarkable blessing from heaven : Isa. Ixv. 2 1 . 
" They shall build houses, and inhabit them ; and they shall 
plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." And in jNIic. iv.' 
4, " But they shall sit every man under his vine, and under 
his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid." Zech. viii. 
12. « Fop the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give her 
fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens 
shall give their dew, and I will cause the remnant of this peo- 
ple to possess all these things." See also Jer. xxxi. 12, 13, 
and Amos ix. 13. Yea, then they shall receive all manner of 
tokens of God's presence, and acceptance and favor : Jer. 
xxxiii. 9. " And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and 
an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear 
all the good that I do unto them : And they shall fear and 


tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I 
procure unto it." Even the days of Solomon were but an im- 
age of those days, as to the temporal prosperity which shall 
obtain in them. 

(8) It will also be a time of great rejoicing : Isa. xxxv. 10. 
" And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to 
Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads : They 
shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall 
flee away." Chap. Iv. 12. « For ye shall go out with joy, and 
be led forth with peace : The mountains and the hills shall 
break forth before you." Chap. Ixvi. 11. "That ye may 
suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations : 
That ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance 
of her glory." Chap. xii. 3. " With joy shall ye draw water 

out of the wells of salvation." Then will be a time of feast- 

ing. That will be the church's glorious wedding day, so far 
as her wedding with Christ shall ever be upon earth : Rev. 
xix. 7. " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him ; 
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath 
made herself ready." Vers. 9. " Blessed are they which are 

called to the marriage supper of the Lamb." But I 

come now, 

"Idly. To say something of the duration of this state of the 
church's prosperity. On this I shall be very brief The 
scriptures every where represent it to be of long continuance. 
The former intervals of rest and prosperity, as we before 
observed, are represented to be but short ; but the represent- 
ations of this state are quite different : Rev. xx. 4. " And I 
saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of 

Jesus and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand 

years." Isa. Ix. 15. « Whereas thou hast been forsaken and 
hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an 
eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.'" 

This may suffice as to the prosperous state of the church 
through the greater part of the period from the destruction of 
Satan's visible kingdom in the world to Christ's appearing in' 
the clouds of heaven to judgment. 

Vol. IL 2 W 


II. I now come to speak of the great apostasy there shoukt 
be towards the close of this period, and how imininently the 
church should be for a short time threatened by her enemies. 
And this 1 shall do under three particulars. 

1. A little before the end of the world, there shall be a 
very great apostasy, wherein great part of the world shall fall 
away from Christ and his chuTch. It is said in Rev. xx. 3, 
that Satan should be cast into the bottomless pit, and shut up, 
and have a seal set upon him, that he should deceive the na- 
tions no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled ; and 
that after that he must be loosed out of his prison for a little 
season. And accordingly we are told, in the 7th and 8th ver- 
ses, that when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be 
loosed out of his prison, and should go forth to deceive the 
nationsj which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and 
Magog. Which seems to show as though the apostasy would 
be very general. The nations of the four quarters of the 
earth shall be deceived ; and the number of those who shall 
now turn enemies to Christ shall be vastly great, as the army 
of Gog and Magog is represented in Ezekiel, and as it is said 
in Rev. xx. 8, that the number of them is as the sand of the 
sea, and that they went upon the breadth of the earth, as 
though they were an army big enough to reach from one side 
of the earth to the other. 

Thus after such an happy and glorious season, such a long 
day of light and holiness, of love, and peace, and joy, noAv it 
shall begin again to be a dark time. Satan shall begin to 
set up his dominion again in the world. This world shall 
again become a scene of darkness and wickedness. The bot- 
tomless pit of hell shall be opened, and devils shall come up 
again out of it, and a dreadful smoke shall ascend to darken 
the world. And the church of Christ, instead of extending 
to the utmost bounds of the world, as it did before, shall be re- 
diircd to narrow limits again. The world of mankind being 
continued so long in a state of such great prosperity, shall 
now begin to abuse their prosperity, to serve their lust and 
corruption. This wc learn from Luke xvii. 26, Sec. 


2. Those apostates shall make great opposition to the 
church of God. The chucch shall seem to be imminently 
.threatened with a sudden and entire overthrow by them. It 
is said, Satan shall gather them together to battle, as the sand 
on the sea shore ; and they went up on the breadth of the 
earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the 
beloved city. So that this beloved city shall seem just ready 
to be swallowed up by them : For her enemies shall not only 
threaten her, but shall actually have gathered together against 
her ; and not only so, but shall have besieged her, shall have 
compassed her about on every side. 

There is nothing in the prophecy which seems to hold forth 
as though the church had actually fallen into their hands, as 
the church had fallen into the hands of Antichrist, to whom it 
was given to make war with the saints, and to overcome 
them. God will never suffer this to be again after the fall of 
Antichrist ; for then the day of her mourning shall be ended. 
But the church shall seem most imminently threatened with 
utter and sudden destruction. 

3. Now the state of things will seem most remarkably to 
call for Christ's immediate appearance to judgment. For 
then the world shall be filled with the most aggravated wick- 
edness that ever it was. For much the greater part of the 
world shall have become visibly wicked and open enemies to 
Christ, and their wickedness shall be dreadfully aggravated by 
their apostasy. Before the fall of Antichrist, most of the 
world was full of visibly wicked men. But the greater part 
of these are poor Heathens, who never enjoyed the light of 
tlie gospel ; and others are those that have been bred up in 
the Mahometan or Popish darkness. But these are those 
that have apostatised from the Christian church, and the visi- 
ble kingdom of Christ, in which they enjoyed the great light 
and privileges of the glorious times of the church, which shaU 
be incomparably greater than the light and privileges which 
the church of God enjoys now. This apostasy will be most 
like the apostasy of the devils of any that ever had before 
been : For the devils apostatatised, and turned enemies to 
Christ, though they enjoyed the light of heaven ; and these 

556 W6RK of redemption. [Period Hi. 

will apostatise, and turn enemies to him, though they have en- 
joyed the light and privileges of the glorious times of the 
church. That such should turn open and avowed enemies 
to Christ, and should seek the ruin of his church, will cry 
aloud for such immediate vengeance as was executed on the 
devils when they fell. 

The wickedness of the world will remarkably call for 
Christ's immediate appearing in flaming fire to take ven- 
geance on them, because of the way in which they shall man- 
ifest their wickedness, which will be by scoffing and blasphem- 
ing Christ and his holy religion ; and particularly, they will 
scoff at the Jiotion of Christ's coming to judgment, of which 
the church shall be in expectation, and of which they will 
warn them. For, how doubtless will be another fulfilment, 
and the greatest fulfilment, of 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4. « Knowing this 
first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking 
after their own lusts, and saying. Where is the promise of his 
coming? For, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue 
as they were from the beginning of the creation.'-' They 
shall be in no expectation of the coming of Christ to judg- 
ment, and shall laugh at the notion. They shall trainple all 
such things under foot, and shall give up themselves to their 
lusts, or to eat and drink, and wallow in sensual delights, as 
though they were to be liere forever. They shall despise 
the warnings the church shall give them of the coming of 
Christ to judgment, as the people of the old world despised 
what Noah told them of the approaching flood, and as the 
people of Sodom did when Lot said to them, « The Lord will 
destroy this city.*' Their wickedness on this account will cry 
aloud to heaven for Christ's appearing in flaming fire to take 
vengeance of his enemies ; and also because another way that 
they shall exercise their wickedness will be in the Avicked de- 
sign and violent attempt they shall be engaged in against the 
holy city of God, against that holy city, wherein lately, and 
for so long a time, so much of the religion of Christ had been 
seen. They shall then be about to perpetrate the most hor- 
rid design against this church. 


And the numerousness of the wicked that shall then be, is 
another thing which shall especially call for Christ's coming; : 
For the world will doubtless then be exceeding full of people, 
having continued so long in so great a sate of prosperity, with- 
out such terrible desolating extremities, as' wars, pestilences, 
and the like, to diminish them. And the most of this world, 
which shall be so populous, will be such wicked contemptu- 
ous apostates from God. Undoubtedly that will be a day 
wherein the world will be by far fuller of wickedness than ever 
before it was from the foundation of it. And if the wicked- 
ness of the old world, when men began to multiply on the 
earth, called for the destruction of the world by a deluge of 
waters, this wickedness will as much call for its destruction by 
a deluge of fire. 

Again, the circumstances of the church at that day -will also 
eminently call for the immediate appearing of Christ, as they 
will be compassed about by their b]asphemous,murderous ene- 
mies, just ready to be swallowed up by them. And it will be 
a most distressing time with the church, excepting the com- 
fort they will have in the hope of deliverance from God : For 
all other help will seem to fail. The case will be come to the 
last extremity, and there will be an immediate need that 
Christ should come to their deliverance. And though the 
church shall be so imminently threatened, yet so Mill Provi- 
dence order it, that it shall be preserved till Christ shall ap- 
pear in his immediate presence, coming in the glory of his 
Father with all his holy angels. And then will come the 
time when all the elect shall be gathered in. That work of 
conversion which has been carried on from the beginning of 
the church after the fall through all those ages, shall be car- 
lied on no more. There never shall another soul be convert- 
ed. Every ene of those many millions, whose names were 
written in the book of life before the foundation of the world, 
shall be brought in ; not one soul shall be lost. And the 
mystical body of Christ, which has been growing since it firsi 
began in the days of Adam, will be complete as to number of 
parts, having every one of its members. In this respect the 
work of redemption will now be finished. And now the end 


for which the means of grace have been instituted shall be ob- 
tciined. All that effect which Avas intended to be accomplish- 
ed by them shall now be accomplished. 


THUS I have shown how the success of Christ's redemp- 
tion has been accomplished during the continuance of the 
Christian church under the means of grace. We have seen 
•what great revolutions there have been, and are to be, during 
this space of time ; how the great wheels of providence have 
gone round for the accomplishment oi that kina of success of 
Christ's purchase, which consists in the bestowmcnt of grace 
on the elect : And we are, in the prosecution of the subject, 
come to the time when all the wheels have gone round ; the 
course of things in this state of it is finished, and all things are 
ripe for Christ's coming to judgment. 

You may remember, that when I began to discourse of this 
third proposition, viz. That from the resurrection of Christ 
to the end of the world, the whole time is taken up in procur- 
ing the success and effect of Christ's purchase of redemption, 
I observed, that the success of Christ's purchase is of two 
kinds, consisting either in grr.ce or glory ; and that the suc- 
cess consisting in the former of these, is to be ^een in those 
works of God which are wrought during those ages that the 
chi rch is continued under the means of grace ; and that the 
success, consisting in the latter, will chiefly be accomplished 
at the day of judgment. 

Having already shown how the former kind of success has 
been accomplished, I come now, in the second place, to the 
latter, viz. that kind of success which is accomplished in the 
bestowmcnt of glory on the church, which shall chiefly be be- 
stowed on the church at the day of judgment. And here I 
would mention two or three things in the general concerning 
this kind of success of Christ's purchase. 


1. How great the success of Christ's purchase is, chiefiy 
appears in this. The success of Christ's purchase does sum- 
marily consist in the salvation of the elect. But this bestow- 
mentof glory is eminently called their salvation : Heb. ix. 28. 
" To them that look for him, shall he appear the second time, 
■without sin unto salvation." So it is called redcnnption, being 
eminently that wherein the redemption of the church con-' 
sists, So inEph. iv. 30. " Sealed unto the day of redemption ;" 
and Luke xxi. 28, and Eph. i. 14. " Redemption of the pur- 
chased possession." 

2. All that is before this, while the church is under the 
means of grace, is only to make way for the success which is 
to be accomplished in the bestowment of glory. The means 
of grace are to fit for glory ; and God's grace itself is bestow- 
ed on the elect to make them meet for glory. 

3. All those glorious things which were brought to pass for 
the church while under the means of grace, are but images 
and shadows of this. So were those glorious things which 
tvere accomplished for the church in the days of Constantine 
the Great ; and so is all that glory which is to be accomplish- 
ed in the glorious times of the church which are to succeed 
the fall of Antichrist. As great as it is, it is all but a shadow 
of what will be bestowed at the day of judgment : And there- 
fore, as I have already often observed, all those preceding 
glorious events, by which God wrought glorious things for his 
church, are spoken of in scripture as images of Christ's last 
coming to judgment. 

But I hasten more particularly to show how this kind of 
success of Christ's purchase is accomplished. 

1. Christ will appear in the glory of his Father, with a'l his 
holy angels, coming in the clouds of heaven. When the 
world is thus revelling in their wickedness, and compassing 
the holy city about, just ready to destroy it, and when the 
church is reduced to such a great strait, then shall the glori- 
ous Redeemer appear. He through whom this redemption 
has all along been carried on, he shall appear in the sight of 
the world ; the light of his glory shall break forth ; the whole 
world shall immediately have notice of it, and they shall lift 

^60 WORK OF REDEMPTION. [Period lit 

■up their eyes and behold this wonderful sight. It is said, 
« Every eye shall see him," Rev. i. 7. Christ shall appeal 
eoiTiing in his human nature, in that same body which was 
brought forth in a stable, and laid in a manger, and which af' 
terwards was so cruelly used, a^ld nailed to the cross. 

Men shall now lift up their eyes, and see him coming in 
such majesty and glory as now is to us utterly inconceivable. 
The glory of the sun in a clear firmament, will be but dark- 
ness in comparison of it ; and all'the glorious angels and arch- 
angels shall attend upon him, thousand thousands ministering 
to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand roundabout him. 
How different a person will he then appear from what he did 
at his first coming, v;hen he was as a root out of a dry ground, 
a poor, despised, afflicted man ! How different now is his ap- 
pearance, in the midst of those glorious angels, principalities, 
and powers, in heavenly places, attending him as his ordinary 
servants, from what it was when in the midst of a ring of sol- 
diers, with his mock robe and his crown of thorns, to be buf- 
fettcd and spit upon, or hanging on the cross between two 
iJiieves, vith a muUitude of his enemies about him triumph- 
ing over him ! 

This sight will be a most unexpected sight to the wicked 
world : It will come as a cry at midnight : They shall be tak- 
en in the midst of their wickedness, and it will give them a 
dreadful alarm. It will at once break up their revels, their 
eating, and drinkmg, and carousing. It will put a quick end 
to the design of the great army that will then be compassing 
the camp of the saints : It will make them let drop their 
weapons out of their hands. The world, which will then be 
very full of people, most of whom will be wicked men, will 
tl-en be filled with dolorous shrieking and crying ; for all the 

kindreds of the earth sliull v> ail because of him, Rev. i. 7 

And where shall they hide themselves ? How will the sight 
of that awful majesty terrify them when taken in the midst of 
their wickedness ? Then they shall see who he is, what kind 
of a person he is, whom they have mocked and scoffed at, and 

whose church they have been endeavoring to overthrow 

This sif=ht will change their voice. The voice of their laugh- 


ter and singing, while they are marrying and giving in mar- 
Hage, and the voice of their scoffing, shall be changed into 
hideous, yea hellish yelling. Their countenances shall be 
changed from a show^ of carnal mirth, haughty pride, and con- 
tempt of God's people ; it shall put on a shew of ghastly ter- 
ror and amazement ; and trembling and chattering of teeth 
shall seize upon them. 

But with respect to the saints, the church of Christ, it shall 
be a joyful and most glorious sight to them : For this sight 
will at once deliver them from all fear of their enemies, who 
were before compassing them about, just ready to swallow 
them up. Deliverance shall come in their extremity : The 
glorious Captain of their salvation shall appear for them at a 
time when no other help appeared. Then shall they lift up 
their heads, and their redemption shall be drawing nigh, Luke 
xxi. 28. And thus Christ will appear with infinite majesty, 
and yet at the same time they shall see infinite love in his 
countenance to them. And thus to see their Redeemer coming 
in the clouds of heaven, will fill their hearts full of gladness. 
Their countenances also shall be changed, but not as the coun- 
tenances of the wicked, but shall be changed from being sor- 
rowful, to be exceeding joyful and triumphant. And now the 
work of redemption will be finished in another sense, viz. 
that the whole church shall be completely and eternally 
freed from all persecution and molestation from wicked men 
and devils. 

2. The last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be 
raised, and the living changed. God sent forth his angels 
•with a great sound of a trumpet, to gather together his elect 
from the four corners of the earth in a mystical sense, before 
the destruction of Jerusalem ; i. e. he sent forth the apostles, 
and others, to preach the gospel all over the world. And so 
in a mystical sense the great trumpet was blown at the begin- 
ning of the glorious times of the church. But now the great 
trumpet is blown in a more literal sense, with a mighty sound, 
which shakes the earth. There will be a great signal given 
by a mighty sound made, which is called the voice of the arch' 
ej/gcl, as being the angel of greatest 'Strength, 1 Thes. iv. 1&. 
Vol. II 2 X " 


" For llie Lord himself shall descend from heaven -with a 
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and v/ilh the trump of 
God." On the sound of the great trumpet, the dead shall be 
raised every where. Now the number of the dead is very- 
great. How many has death cut do\vn for so long a time as 
since the world has stood ! But then the number will be 
much greater after the world shall have stood so much longer, 
and through most of the remaining time will doubtless be 
much fuller of inhabitants than ever it has been. All these 
shall now rise from the dead. The graves shall be opened 
every where in all parts of the world, and the sea shall give up 
the innumerable dead that are in it. Rev. xx. 13. 

And now all the inhabitants that ever shall have been upon 
the face of the earth, from the beginning of the world to that 
time, shall all appear vipon earth at once ; all that ever have 
been of the church of God in all ages, Adam and Eve, the first 
parents of mankind, and Abel and Seth, and Methuselah, and 
all the saints who were their contemporaries, and Noah, and 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets of Israel, and the 
saints in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and all that were 
of the church in their times ; and all the holy apostles of Je- 
sus Christ, and all the saints of their times ; and all the holy 
martyrs under the ten Heathen persecutions ; and all who be- 
longed to the church in its v.'ilderness state, during the dark 
times of Antichrist, and all the holy martyrs who have suffer- 
ed under the cruelty of the Popish persecutions ; and all the 
saints of the present time, and all the saints who are here in 
this assembly among the rest ; and all that shall be from 

hence to the end of the world Now also all the enemies of 

the church that have or shall be in all the ages of the world, 
shall appear upon the face of the earth again ; all the wicked 
killed in the Hood, and the multitudes that died all over the 
world among God's professing people, or others ; all that di- 
ed in all the Heathen nations before Christ, and all wicked 
Heathens, and Jews, and Mahometans, and Papists, that have 
died since ; all shall come together. Sinners of all sorts ; 
demure hypocrites, those who have the fairest and best out- 
side, and open profane drunkards, whoremasters, heretics, 


Deists, and all cruel persecutors, and all that have died or 
shall die in sin amongst us. 

And at the same time that the dead are raised, the livinfj 
shall be changed. The bodies of the wicked who shall then 
be living, shall be so changed as to fit them for eternal tor- 
ment without corruption ; and the bodies of all the living- 
saints shall be changed to be like Christ's glorious body, 1 Cor. 

XV. 51, 52, 53 The bodies of the saints shall be so changed 

as to render them for ever incapable of pain, or affliction, or 
uneasiness ; and all that dullness and heaviness, and all that 
deformity, which their bodies had before, shall be put off ; 
and they shall put on strength, and beauty, and activity, and 
incorruptible unfading glory. And in such glory shall the 
bodies of all the risen saints appear. 

And now the work of redemption shall be finished in an- 
other respect, viz. that all the elect shall now be actually re- 
deemed in both soul and body. Before this, the work of re- 
demption, as to its actual success, was but incomplete and 
imperfect ; for only the souls of the redeemed were actually 
saved and glorified, excepting in some few instances : But 
now all the bodies of the saints shall be saved and gloi-ified 
together ; all the elect shall be glorified in the whole man, 
and the soul and body in union one with the other. 

3. Now shall the whole church of saints be caught up in 
the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and all wicked men 
and devils shall be arraigned before the judgment seat. 
When the dead saints arc raised, then the whole church, 
consisting of all the elect through all ages, will be standing 
together, on the face of the earth, at least all excepting those 
few whose bodies were glorified before ; and then they shall 
all mount up as with wings in the air to meet Christ ; for it 
seems that Christ, when he comes to judgment, will not come 
quite down to the ground, but his throne will be fixed in the 
air, in the region of the clouds, whence he may he seen by 
all that vast multitude that shall be gathered Ijefore him. 
The church of saints therefore shall be taken up from the 
eanh to ascend up to their Saviour. Thus the apostle tells 
us, that when the dead in Christ are raised, and the living 


changed, then those who are alive and remain, shall be caught 
up together -with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so 
shall we be ever with the Lord, 1 Thes. iv. 16, 17. What a 
wonderful sight will that be, when all the many millions 
of saints are seen thus mounting up from all parts of the 
world ! 

Then shall the work of redemption be finished in another 
respect : Then shall the whole church be perfectly and for 
CA'er delivered from this present evil world, for ever forsake 
this cursed ground : They shall lake their everlasting leave 
of this earth, where they have been strangers, and which has 
been for the most part such a scene of their trouble and sor- 
row ; where the devil for the most part has reigned as god, 
and has greatly molested them, and which has been such a 
scene of wickedness and abomination, where Christ their 
Lord has been cruelly used ; and where they have been so 
hated, and reproached, and persecuted, from age to age, 
through most of the ages of the world. They shall leave it 
imder foot to go to Christ, and never shall set foot on it again. 
And there shall be an everlasting separation made between 
them and wicked men. Before they were mixed together, 
and it was impossible in many instances to determine which 
•were which ; but now all shall become visible ; both saints 
and sinners shall appear in their true characters. 

Then shall all the church be seen flocking together in the 
air to the place where Christ shall have fixed his throne, com- 
ing from the east and west, and north and south, to the right 
hand of Christ. What a mighty cloud of them will there be, 
when all that ever have been of the church of God, all that 
were before Christ, all that multitude of saints that were in 
the apostles' time, and all that were in the days of Constantine 
the Great, and all that were before and since the Reforma- 
tion, and also all that great multitude of saints that shall be in 
all the glorious times of the church, when the whole earth 
shall for so many generations be full of saints, and also all that 
shall be then living when Christ siiall come ; I say, what a 
cloud of them will there be, when all these arc seen flocking 


together in the region of the clouds at the right hand of 
Christ ! 

And then also the work of redemption will be finished in 
another respect, viz. that then the church shall all be gather- 
ed together. They all belonged to one society before, but 
yet were greatly separated with respect to the place of their 
habitation ; some being in heaven, and some on earth ; and 
those who were on earth together were separated one from 
another, many of them by wide oceans, and vast continents. 
But now they shall all be gathered together, never to be sep- 
arated any more. And not only shall all the members of the 
church now be gathered together, but all shall be gathered 
unto their Head, into his immediate glorious presence, never 
to be separated from him any more. This never came to 
pass till nov/. 

At the same time, all wicked men and devils shall be 
brought before the judgment seat of Christ. These shall be 
gathered to the left hand of Christ, and, as it seems, will still 
remain upon the earth, and shall not be caught up into the 
air, as the saints shall be. The devil, that old serpent, shall 
now be dragged up out of hell. He^ that first procured the 
fall and misery of mankind, and has so set himself against 
their redemption, and has all along shown himself such an in- 
veterate enemy to the Redeemer ; now he shall never more 
have any thing to do with the church of God, or be suffered 
in the least to afflict or molest any member of it any more 
for ever. Instead of that, now he must be judged, and re- 
ceive the due reward of his deeds. Now is come the time 
which he has always dreaded, and trembled at the thought 
of; the time wherein he must be judged, and receive his full 
punishment. He who by his temptation maliciously procur- 
ed Christ's crucifixion, and triumphed upon it, as though he 
had obtained the victory, even he shall see the consequences 
of the death of Christ which he procured : For Christ's com- 
ing to judge him in his human nature is the consequence of 
it ; for Christ obtained and purchased this glory to himself 
by that death. Now he must stand before that same Jesus 
whose death he procured, to be judged, condemned, and eter- 


Daily destroyed by him. If Satan, the prince of hell, trem- 
fcles at the thought of it thousands of years beforehand, how 
nauch more will he tremble, as proud and as stubborn as he 
is, when he comes to stand at Christ's bar. 

Then shall he also stand at the bar of the saints, whom he 
has so hated, and afflicted, and molested : For the saints shall 
judge him with Christ : i Cor. vi. 3. " Know ye not that we 
shall judge angels ?" Now shall he be as it were subdued un- 
der the church's fcef, agreeable to Rom. xvi. 20.. ..Satan, when 
he first tempted our first parents to fall, deceitfully and lying- 
ly told them, that they should be as gods : But little did he 
think that the consequence should be, that they should indeed 
be so much as gods, as to be assessors with God to judge him. 
Much less did he think, that that consequence would follow, 
that one of that nature which he then tempted, one of the pos- 
terity of those persons whom he tempted, should actually be 
united to God, and that as God he should judge the world, 
and that he himself must stand trembling and astonished be- 
fore his judgment scat. But thus all the devils in hell, who 
have so opposed Christ and his kingdom, shall now at last 
stand in utmost amazement and horror before Christ and his 
church, who shall appear to condemn them. 

Now also shall all Christ's other enemies be brought to ap- 
pear before him. Now shall wicked, proud, scribes and Phar- 
isees, who had such a malignant hatred of Christ while in his 
state of humiliation, and who persecuted Christ to death, 
those before whose judgment seat Christ was once called and 
stood, as a malefactor at their bar, and those who mocked 
him, and bxiffeted him, and spit m his face ; now shall they 
see Christ in his glory, as Christ forewarned them in the 
time of it, Matth. xxvi. 64, 65. Then Christ was before their 
judgment scat ; but 7iow it is their turn. They shall stand 
before his judgment seat with inconceivable horror and 
amazement, with ghastly countenances, and quaking limbs, 
and chattering teeth, and knees smiting one against another. 

Now also all the cruel enemies and persecutors of the 
church that have been in all ages, shall come in sight togeth- 
er. Pharaoh and the Egyptians, Antiochus Epiphanes, the 


persecuting scribes and Pharisees, the persecuting Heathen 
Emperors, Julian the apostate, the cruel persecuting Popes 
and Papists, Gog and Magog, shall all appear at once before 
the judgment seat of Christ. They and the saints who have 
m every age been persecuted by them, shall come in sight 
one of another, and must confront one another now before 
the great Judge. And now shall the saints on their glorioua 
thrones be made the judges of those unjust kings and rulers 
who have before judged and condemned them, and cruelly- 
put them to death. Now shall those persecutors behold the 
the glory to which they are arrived whom they before so cru- 
elly despised and so cruelly used ; and Chiist will make those 
holy martyrs as it were to come and set their feet on the 
necks of their persecutors ; they shall be made tlieir 

Thus wonderfully will the face of things be altered from 
■what used to be in the former times of the world ; now will 
all things be coming to rights. 

4. The righteousness of the church shall be manifested^ 
and all the wickedness of their enemies shall be brought to 
light. Those saints who had been the objects of hatred, re- 
proach, and contem.pt in the world, and were reviled and con- 
demned by their persecutors without a cause, shall now be 
fully vindicated. They shall now appear clothed with the 
glorious robe of Christ's righteousness. It shall be most 
manifest before the world, that Christ's righteousness is 
theirs, and they shall as it were gloriously shine forth in it. 
And then also shall their inherent holiness be made manifest, 
and all their good works shall be brought to light. The good 
things which they did in secret shall now be manifested open- 
ly. Those holy ones of God, who had been treated as thouglr 
they were the filth and offscouring of the earth, as though 
they were not fit to live upon earth, as worse than beasts or 
devils, shall now, when things shall appear as they are, ap- 
pear to have been the excellent of the earth. Now God will 
bring forth their righfeousness as the light, and their judg- 
ment as the noonday. And now it shall appear who were 
those Vvicked persons that were not St to live, when all the 


wickedness of the enemies of Christ and his church, their 
pride, their malice, their cruelty, their hatred of true religion, 
shall be set forth in all the horrid acts of it, and with all its 
aggravations in its proper colors. 

And now the righteous may be heard before this great 
Judge, who could not be heard before those unjust judges. 
Now they shall declare their cause, and shall rise up in judg- 
ment against their persecutors, and shall declare how they 
have been treated by them. And now all the wickedness of 
the wicked of the Avhole world shall be brought to light. All 
their secret wickedness, and their very hearts, shall be open- 
ed to view, and as it were tui'ned inside out before the bright 
light of that great day : And things that have been spoken in 
the ear, in the closet, and done in the dark, shall be manifested 
in the light, and proclaimed before all angels and men that 
are, ever were, or shall be. 

5. The sentence shall be pronounced on the righteous and 
the wicked. Christ, the glorious judge, shall pass that bless- 
ed sentence on the church, at his right hand, " Come, ye 
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world." This sentence shall be 
pronounced with infinite love, and the voice will be most 
sweet, causing every heart to flow with joy. Thus Christ 
shall pronounce a sentence of justification on thousands and 
millions, who have before had a sentence of condemnation 
passed upon them by their persecuting rulers. He will thus 
put honor upon those who have been before despised : He 
will own them for his, and will as it were put a crown of glory 
tipon their heads before the world ; and then shall they shine 
forth as the sun with Jesus Christ in glory and joy, in the 
sight of all their enemies. 

And then shall the sentence of condemnation be passed on 
the wicked, " Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepar- 
ed for the devil and his angels." Thus shall the church's en- 
emies be condemned ; in which sentence of condemnation, 
the holy martyrs, who have suffered from them, shall concur. 
When the words of this sentence are pronounced, they will 
strike every heart of those at the left hand with inconceivable 


horror ar.d amazement. Every syllable of it will be more 
terrible than a stream of lightning through their hearts. We 
can conceive but very little of those signs and expressions of 
horror which there will be ubon it, of shrieking, quaking, 
gnashing of teeth, distortions of countenance, hideous looks, 
hideous actions, and hideous voices, through all that vast 

6. Upon this Christ and all his church of saints, and all the 
holy angels ministering to them, shall leave this lower world, 
and ascend up towards the highest heavens. Christ shall as- 
cend in as great glory, as he descended, and in some respects 
greater : For now he shall ascend with his elect church with 
him, glorified in both body and soul. Christ's first ascension 
to heaven soon after his own resurrection was very glorious. 
But this his secotid ascension, the ascension of his mystical 
body, his whole chvnxh shall be far more glorious. The re- 
deemed church shall all ascend with him in a most joyful and 
triumphant manner ; and all their ehemies and persecutors, 
who shall be left behind ori the accursed ground to be con- 
sumed, shall see the sight, and hear their songs. 

And thus Christ's church shall forever leave this accursed 
world, to go into that more glorious world, the highest heav- 
ens, into the paradise of God, the kingdom that was prepared 
for them from the foundation of the world. 

7. When they are gone, this world shall be set on fire, and 
be tufned into a gt-eat furnace, A^herein all the enemies of 
Christ and his church shall be tormented forever and ever. 
This is manifest by 2 Pet. iii. 7. " But the heavens and the 
earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, re- 
served unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of 
ungodly men." When Christ and his church are ascended 
to a distance from this world, that miserable company of 
wicked being left behind, to have their sentence executed up- 
on them here, then, some way or other, this Avhole lower 
Avorld shall be set on fire, either by fire from heaven, or by 
fire breaking out of the bowels of the earth, or both, as it was 
with the water in the time of the deluge. However, this 
lower world shall be set all on fire. How will it strike the 

Vol. II. 2 Y 


V. icked "vvith horror, when the fire begins to lay hold upon 
them, and they find no way to escape it, or flee or hide from 
it ! Wliat shrieking and ci-ying will there be among those 
many thousands and millions, when they begin to enter into 
this great furnace, when the whole world shall be a furnace 
of the fiercest and most raging heat ! Insomuch that the A- 
postle Peter says, (2 Pet. iii. 10. 12.) that « The heavens 
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall 
melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are 
therein shall be burnt up ;" and that the " heavens being on 
fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fer- 
vent heat." And so fierce shall be its heat that it shall burn 
the earth into its very centre ; which seems to be what is 
meant, Deut. xxxii. 22. " For a fire is kindled in my anger, 
and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the 
earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the 

And here shall all the persecutors of the church of God 
burn in everlasting fire, who have before burnt the saints at 
the stake, and shall suffer torments far beyond all that their 
utmost wit and malice could inflict on the saints. And here 
the bodies of all the wicked shall burn, and be tormented lo 
all eternity, and never be consumed ; and the v.rath of God 
shall be poured out on their souls. Though the souls of the 
v/icked in hell do novi^ suffer dreadful punishment, yet their 
punishment will be so increased at the day of judgment, that 
what they suffered before, is, in coinparison of it, as an im- 
prisoniTient to the execution which follows it.. And now the 
devil, that old serpent, shall receive his full pimishment ; 
now shall that which he before trembled for fear of, fully 
come upon him. This world, which formerly used to be 
the place of his kingdom, where he set up himself as God, 
shall now be the place of his complete punishment, and full 
and everlasting torment. 

And in this, one design of the work of redemption which 
has been mentioned, viz. putting Christ's enemies under his 
feet, shall be perfectly accomplished. His enemies shall 
now be made his footstool in the fullest degree. Now shall 


be the most perfect fulfilment of that in Gen. iii. 15. " It 
shall bruise thy head." 

8. At the same time all the church shall enter with Christ, 
their glorious Lord, into the highest heaven, and there shall 
enter on the state of their highest and eternal blessedness and 
glory. While the lower world, which they have left under 
their feet, is seized with the fire of God's vengeance, and 
flames are kindling upon it, and the wicked are entering into 
everlasting fire, the whole church shall enter, with their glo- 
rious head, and all the holy angels attending, in a joyful man- 
ner into the eternal paradise of God, the palace of the great 
Jehovah, their heavenly Father. The gates shall open v.ide 
for them to enter, and there Christ will bring them into his 
chambers in the highest sense. He will bring them into his 
Father's house, into a world not like that which they havs 
left. Here Christ will bring them, and present them in glo- 
ry to his Father, saying, " Here am I, and the children Avhich 
thou hast given me ;" as much as to say. Here am I, with 
every one of those whom thou gavest me from eternity to 
take the care of, that they might be redeemed and glorified, 
and to redeem whom I have done and sufiered so much, and 
to make way for the redemption of whom I have for so many 
ages been accomplishing such great changes. Here they are 
now perfectly redeemed in body and soul ; I have perfectly 
delivered them from all the ill fruits of the fall, and perfectly 
freed them from all their enemies ; I have brought them al- 
together into one glorious society, and united them all in my- 
self : I have openly justified them before all angels and men, 
and here I have brought them all away from that accursed 
world where they have suffered so much, and have brought 
them before thy throne : I have done all that for them which 
thou hast appointed me : I have perfectly cleansed them 
from all filthiness in my blood, and here they are in perfect 
holiness, shining with thy perfect image. 

And then the Father will accept of them, and own them all 
for his children, and will welcome them to the eternal and 
perfect inheritance and glory of his house, and will on this 
occasion give more glorious manifestations of his love than 


ever before, and -will admit them to a more full and perfect 
enjoyment of himself. 

And now shall be the marriage of the Lamb in the most 
perfect sense. The commencement of the glorious times of 
the church on earth, ^fter the fall of Antichrist, is represent- 
ed as the marriage of the Lamb ; and this shall be the mar- 
riage of the Lamb in the highest sense that ever shall be on 
earth ; But after this we read of another marriage of the 
Lamb at the close of the day of judgment. After the beloved 
disciple had given an account of the day of judgment, in the 
close of the 20th chap, of Revelation, then he proceeds to give 
an account of what follows in the 21st and 22d chapters : 
And in the 2d verse of the 21st chapter, he gives an account 
that he saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, prepared as a 
biide adorned for her husband. And when Christ shall bring 
his church into his Father's house in heaven, after the judg- 
ment, he shall bring her thither as his bride, having there 
presented her, whom he loved and gave himself for, to him- 
self without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. 

The bridegroom and the bride shall then enter into heaven, 
both having on their wedding robes, rttended with all the glori- 
ous angels. And there they enter on the feast and joys of their 
marriage before the Father ; they shall then begin an everlast- 
ing wedding day. This shall be the day of 'the gladness of 
Christ's heart,wherein he Avill greatly rejoice and all the saints 
shall rejoice with him. Christ shall rejoice over his bride, 
and the bride shall rejoice in her husband, in the state of her 
consummate and everlasting blessedness, of which Ave have a 
particular description in the 21st and 22d chap, of Revelation. 

And now the whole work of redemption is finished. We 
have seen how it has been carryhig on from the fall of man 
to this time. But now it is complete with respect to all that 
belongs to it. Now the topstone of the building is laid. In 
the progress of the discourse on this subject, we have fol- 
lowed the church of God in all the great changes, all her toss- 
ings to and fro that she has been subject to, in all the storms 
and tempests through the many ages of the world, till at 
lengih we have seen an end to all these storm?- V> e have 


seen her enter the harbor, and landed in the highest heavens, 
in complete and eternal glory in all her members, soul and 
body. We have gone through time, and the several ages of 
it, as the providence of God, and the word of God, have led us ; 
and now we have issued into eternity after time shall be no 
more. We have seen all the church's enemies fixed in end- 
less misery, and have seen the church presented in her per- 
fect redemption before the Father in heaven, there to enjoy 
this most unspeakable and inconceivable glory and blessed- 
ness ', and there we leave her to enjoy this glory throughout 
the never ending ages of eternity. 

Now all Christ's enemies will be perfectly put under his 
feet, and he shall have his most perfect triumph over sin and 
Satan, and all his instruments, and death, and hell. Now 
shall all the promises made to Christ by God the Father be- 
fore the foundation of the world, the promises of the cove- 
nant of Redemption, be fully accomplished. And Christ 
shall now perfectly have obtained the joy that was set before 
him, for which he undertook those great sufferings which he 
underwent in his state of humiliation. Now shall all the 
hopes and expectations of the saints be fulfilled. The state 
of things that the church was in before, was a progressive and 
preparatory state : But now she is arrived to her most per- 
fect state of glory. All the gloiy of the glorious times of 
the church on earth is but a faint shadow of this her consum- 
mate glory in heaven. 

And now Christ the great Redeemer shall be most perfect- 
ly glorified, and God the father shall be glorified in him, and 
the Holy Ghost shall be most fully gloi ined in the perfection 

of his work on the hearts of all the church And now shall 

that new heaven and new earth, or that renewed state of 
things, which had been building up ever since Christ's resur- 
rection, be completely finished, after the very material frame 
of the old heavens and old earth are destroyed : Rev. xxi. 1. 
" And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth : For the first 
heaven and the first earth were passed away."'.. ..And now v/ill 
the great Redeemer have perfected every thing that apper- 
tains to the work of redemption, which he began so soon af.. 


ter the fall of man. And who can conceive of the triumph of 
those praises which shall be sung in heaven on this great oc- 
casion, so much greater than that of the fall of Antichrist, 
which occasions such praises as we have described in the 19th 
chapter of Revelation ! The beloved disciple John seems to 
want expressions to describe those praises, and says, " It was 
as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thun- 
derings, saying, Allelujah : For the Lord God omnipotent 
reigneth," But much more inexpressible will those praises 
be, which will be sung in heaven after the final consumma- 
tion of all things. Now shall the praises of that vast and glo- 
ricus multitude be as mighty thunderings indeed ! 

And now how are all the former things passed away, aiid 
what a glorious state are things fixed in to remain to all eter- 
nity ! And as Christ, when he first entered upon the work 

of redemption after the fall of man, had the kingdom com- 
mitted to him of the Fathei', and had took oii himself the 
administration of the affairs of the universe, to manage all so 
as to subsei've the purposes of this affair ; so now, the work 
being finished, he will deliver up the kingdom to God, even 
the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 24. " Then comcth the end, when he 
shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Fath- 
er ; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority 
and power." Not that Christ shall cease to reign or have a 
kingdom after this ; for it is said, Luke i. 33-. " He shall 
reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom 
there shall be no end." So in Dan. vii. 14. " That his domin- 
ion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and 
his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." But the 
meaning is, that Christ shall deliver up that kingdom or do- 
minion which he has over the world, as the Father's delegate 
or vicegerent, which the Father committed t© him, to be 
managed in subserviency to this great design of redemption. 
The end of this commission, or delegation, which he had 
from the Father seems to be to subserve this particular design 
of redemption ; and therefore, when that design is fully ac- 
complished, the commission will cease, and Christ will deliv- 
er it up to the Father, from whom he received it. 

Ihpr.] work of redemption. 57> 


I PROCEED now to enter upon some Improvement of 
the whole that has been said from this doctrine. 

I. Hence we may learn how great a work this work of re- 
demption is. We have now had it in a very imperfect man- 
ner set forth before us, in the whole progress of it, from its 
first beginning after the fall, to the end of the v»^orld, when it 
is finished. We have seen how God has carried on this 
buikUng from the first foundation of it, by a long succession 
of wonderful works, advancing it higher and higher from one 
age to another, till the top stone is laid at the end of the 
world. And novs^ let us consider how great a work this is. 
Do men, when they behold some great palaces or churches, 
sometimes admire their magnificence, and are almost aston- 
ished to consider how great a piece of v/ork it was to build 
such an house ? Then how well may we admire the great- 
ness of this building of God, which he builds up age after age, 
by a series of such great things which he brings to pass ? 
There are three things that have been.ejchibited to us in what 
has been said, which do especially show the greatness of the 
work of redemption. 

1. The greatness of those particular events, and dispensa- 
tions of providence, by which it is accomplished. How great 
are those things which God has done, which are but so many 
parts of this great work ! What great things were done in 
the world to prepare the way for Christ's coming to pur- 
chase, and what great things were done in the purchase of 
redemption ! What a Avonderful thing was that which was 
accomplished to put Christ in an immediate capacity for 
this purchase, viz. his incarnation, that God slionld be- 
come man ! And what great things were done in that pur- 
chase, that a person who is the eternal Jehovah, should 
live upon earth for four or five and thirty years together, 
in a mean despised condition, and that he should spend 
his life in such labors and sufferings, and that at last he' 
should die upon the cross 1 And what great things have been 

?76 WORK OF RT:DEMPTI0N. [Period lU. 

done to accomplish the success of Christ's redemption ; 
What great things to put him into a capacity to accomplish 
this success ! For this purpose he rose from the dead, and as- 
cended up into heaven, and all things were made subject to 
hiin. How many miracles have been wrought, what mighty 
revohuions have been brought to pass in the world already, 
and how much greater shall be broug;ht to pass, in order to it I 

2. The number of those great events by which God car- 
ries on this work, shows the greatness of the work. Those 
ii>ighty I'e volutions are so many as to fill up many ages. 
The particular wonderful events by which the work of crea- 
tion was carried on filled up six days : But the great dispen- 
sations l)y which the work of redemption is carried on, are so 
many, that they fill up six or seven thousand years at least, as 

we have reason to conclude from the word of God There 

were great things wrought in this affair before the flood, and 
in the flood the world was once destroyed by water, and God's 
church was so wonderfully preserved from the flood in order 
to carry on this work. And after the flood, Avhat great things 
did God work relating to the resettling of the Avorld, to tlie 
building of Babel, the dispersing of the nations, the shorten- 
ing of the days of man's life, the calling of Abraham, the des- 
truction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and that long series of won- 
derful providences relating to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and Joseph, and those wonders in Egypt, and at the Red sea^ 
and in the wilderness, and in Canaan in Joshua's time, and by 
along succession of wonderful providences from age to age, 
towards the nation of the Jews ! 

What great things were wrought by God, in so often over- 
turning the world before Christ came, to make way for his 
coming ! What great things were done also in Christ's time, 
and then after that in overturning Satan's kingdom in the 
Heathen empire, ar.d in so preserving his church in the dark 
tii-ncs of Popery, and in bringing about a Reformation ! 
How many great and wonderful things will be effected in ac- 
complishing the glorious times of the church, and at Christ's 
last coming on the day of judgment, in the destruction of the 
world, and in cari'ying the whole church into heaven. 

Impr.] work of redemption. 577 

3. The glorious issue of this whole affair, in the perfect 
and eternal destruction of the wicked, and in the consummate 
glory of the righteous. And now let us once more take a 
view of this building, now all is finished and the top stone laid. 
It appealed in a glorious height in the apostles' time, and 
much more glorious in the time of Constantine, and will ap- 
pear much more glorious still after the fall of Antichrist ; 
but at the consummation of all things, it appears in an im- 
mensely more glorious height than ever before. Now it ap- 
pears in its greatest magnificence, as a complete lofty struc- 
ture, whose top reaches to the heaven of heavens ; a building 
worthy of the great God, the King of kings. 

And from what has been said, one may argue that the work 
of redemption is the greatest of all God's works of which we 
have any notice, and it is the end of all his other works. It 
appears plainly from what has been said, that this work is the 
principal of all God's works of providence, and that all other 
works of providence are reducible hither ; they are all subor- 
dinate to the great affair of redemption. We see that all the 
revolutions in the world are to subserve this grand design ; so 
that the work of redemption is, as it v/ere, the sum of God's 
works of providence. 

This shows us how much greater the work of redemption 
is, than the work of creation : For I have several times ob- 
served, that the work of providence is greater than the work 
of creation, because it is the end of it ; as the use of an house 
is the end of the building of the house. But the work of re- 
demption, as I have just said, is the sum of all God's works 
of providence ; all are subordinate to it : So the work of the 
new creation is more excellent than the old. So it ever is, 
that when one thing is removed by God to make way for an- 
other, the new one excels tlie old. Thus the temple excelled 
the tabei-nacle ; the new covenant, the old ; the new dispensa- 
tion of the gospel, the dispensation of Moses ; the throne of 
David, the throne of Saul ; the priesthood of Christ, the priest- 
hood of Aaron ; the new Jerusalem, the old ; and so the new 
fereation far excels the old. 

Vol. II. 2 Z 


God has used the creation which he has made, for no other 
purpose but to subserve the designs of this affair. To answer 
this end, he hath created and disposed of mankind, to this 
the angels, to this the earth, to this the highest heavens. 
God created the world to provide a spouse and a king- 
dom for his Son : And the setting up of the kingdom of 
Christ, and the spiritual marriage of the spouse to him, is 
what the whole creation labors and travails in pain to bring to 
pass. This work of redemption is so much the greatest of 
all the works of God, that all other works are to be looked up- 
on either as parts of it, or appendages to it, or are some way 
reducible to it ; and so all the decrees of God do some way 
or other belong to that eternal covenant of redemption Avhich 
was between the Father and the Son before the foundation of 
the world. Every decree of God is some way or other redu- 
cible to that covenant. 

And seeing this work of redemption is so great a work, 
hence we need not wonder that the angels desire to look into 
it. And we need not wonder that so much is made of it in 
scripture, and that it is so much insisted on in the histories, 
and prophecies, and songs of the Bible ; for the work of re- 
demption is the great subject of the Avhole, of its doctrines, its 
promises, its types, its songs, its histories, and its prophecies. 

II. Hence we may learn how God is the Alpha and Ome- 
ga, the beginning and ending of all things. Such are the 
characters and titles we find often ascribed to God in scripture, 
in those places where the scripture speaks of the course of 
things, and series of events in providence : Isa. xli. 4. " Who 
hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the 
beginning ? I the Lord, the first, and with the last ; I am he." 
And particularly does the scripture ascribe such titles to God, 
where it speaks of the providence of God, as it relates to, and 
is summed up in the great work of redemption : As Isa. xliv. 
6, 7, and xlviii. 12, with the context, beginning with the 9th 
verse. So God eminently appears as the first and the last, by 
considering the whole scheme of divine providence as we 
have considered it, viz. as all reducible to that one great work 
of redemption. 

Impr.] work of redemption. 579 

And therefore, when Christ reveals the future great events 
of providence relating to his church and people, and this af- 
fair of redemption to the end of the world, to his disciple 
John, he often reveals himself under this character. So Rev. 
i. 8. " I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, 
saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to 
come, the Almighty." So again, verse 10, 1 1. "I heard be- 
hind me a great voice as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha 
and Omega, the first and the last." Alpha and Omega, are 
the names of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, 
as J and Z are of ours ; and therefore it signifies the same as 
his being the first and the last, and the beginning and the end- 

Thus God is called in the beginning of this book of Revela- 
tion, before the course of the prophecy begins ; and so again 
lie is called at the end of it, after the course of events is gone 
through, and the final issue of things is seen : As Rev. xxi. 
6. " And he said unto me. It is done. I am Alpha and Ome- 
ga, the beginning and the end." And so chap. 5cxii. 12, 13. 
" And behold, I come quickly ; and my reward is with me, 
to give every man according as his woi'k shall be. I am Al- 
pha and Omega, the beginning and the end, tlie first and the 

We have seen how this is true in the course of what I have 
laid before you upon this subject. We have seen how things 
■were from God in the beginning ; on what design God began 
the course of his providence in the beginning of the genera- 
tions of men upon the earth ; and we have seen how it is God 
that has all along carried things on agreeable to the same de- 
signs without ever failing ; and how at last the conclusion and 
final issue of things are to God ; and so we have seen how all 
things are of him, and through him, and to him ; and there- 
fore may well now cry out with the apostle, Rom. xi. 33. « O 
the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge 
of God ! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out !** And verse 36. " For of him, and through 
him, and to him, are all things ; to ^vhom be glory for ever. 


We have seen how other things came to an end one after 
another ; how slates, and kingdoms, and empires, one after 
another, fell and came to nothing, even the greatest and 
strongest of them ; we have seen how the world has been oft- 
en overturned, and will be more remarkably overturned than 
ever it has been yet ; we have seen how the world comes to 
an end, how it was first destroyed by water, and how at last it 
shall be utterly destroyed by fire : But yet God remains the 
same through all ages. He was before the beginning of this 
course of things, and he will be after the end of them ; agree-- 

ably to Psal. cii. 25, 26 Thus God is he that is, and that 

was, and that is to come. 

We have seen, in a variety of instances, how all other gods 
perish ; we have seen how the ancient gods of the Heathen, in 
the nations about Canaan, and throughout the Roman empire, 
ai'c all destroyed, and their worship long since overthrown ; 
"vve have heard how Antichrist, who has called himself a god 
on earth, and how Mahomet, who claims religious honors, 
and how all the gods of the Heathen through the v/orld, will 
come to an end ; and how Satan, the great dragon, that old 
serpent, who has set up himself as god of this world, will be 
cast into the lake of fire, there to suffer his complete punish- 
ment : But Jehovah remains, and his kingdom is an everlast- 
ing kingdom, and of his dominion there is no end. We have 
seen what mighty changes there have been in the world ; but 
God is unchangeable, " the same yesterday, to day and for 

We began at the head of the stream of divine providence, 
and have followed and traced it through its various windings 
and turnings, till we are come to the end of it, and we see 

where it issues. As it began in God, so it ends in God 

God is the infinite ocean into which it empties itself.. ...Prov- 
idence is like a mighty wheel, whose circumference is so 
high that it is dreadful, with the glory of the God of Israel 
above upon it ; as it is represented in Ezekiel's vision. We 
have scon the revolution of this wheel, and how, as it was 
from God, so its return has been to God again. All the 

Impr.] work of redemption. 331, 

events of divine providence are like the links of a chain ; the 
first link is from God, and the last is to him. 

III. We may see by what has been said, how Christ in all 
things has the preeminence. For this great work of redemp- 
tion is all his work : He is the great Redeemer, and there- 
fore the work of redemption, being as it were the sum of 
God's works of providence, this shews the glory of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, as being above all, and through all, and in all. 
That. God intended the world for his Son's use in the affair of 
redemption, is one reason that is to be given why he created 
the world by him, which seems to be intimated by the apos- 
tle in Eph.iii. 9.... 12, What has been said, shows how all the 
purposes of God are purposed in Christ, and how he is before 
all and above all, and all things consist by him, and are gov- 
erned by him, and are for him, Colos. i. 15, 16, 17", 18. We 
see by what has been said, how God makes him his first 
l)orn, higher than the kings of the earth, and sets his throne 
above their thrones ; how God has always upheld his king- 
dom, when the kingdoms of others have come to an end ; ho\T 
that appears at last above all, however greatly opposed for so 
many ages ; how finally all other kingdoms fell, and his king- 
dom is the last kingdom, and is ^ kingdom that never gives- 
place to any other. 

We see, that whatever clianges there are, and however 
highly Christ's enemies exalt themselves, that yet finally all 
his enemies become his footstool, and he reigns in uncon- 
troled power and immense glory : In the end his people are 
all perfectly saved and made happy, and his enemies all be- 
come his footstool. And thus God gives the world to his 
Son for his inheritance. 

IV. Hence we may see what a consistent thing divine 
providence is. The consideration of what has been said, may 
greatly serve to shew us the consistency, order, and beauty, 
of God's works of providence. If we behold the events of 
providence in any other view than that in which it has been 
set before us, it will all look like confusion, like a number of 
jumbled events coming to pass without any order or method, 
like tlie tossing of the waves of the sea ; things will look as 


&ough one confused revolution came to pass after another, 
merely by blind chartce, without any regular or certain end. 

But if we consider the e\'ents of providence in the light in 
which they have been set before us under this doctrine, in 
which the scriptures set them before us, they appear far from 
feeing jumbled and confused, an orderly series of events, all 
•wisely ordered and directed in excellent harmony and consist- 
ence, tending all to one end. The wheels pf providence are 
not turned rouad by blind chance, but they are full of eyes 
round about, as Ezckiel represents, and they are guided by 
the Spirit of God : Where the Spirit goes, they go: And 
all God's works of providence through all ages meet in one 
at last, as so many lines meeting in one centre. 

It is with God's work of providence, as it is with his work 
«f creation; it is but one work. The events of providence 
are not so many distinct, independent works of providence, 
l)ut they are rather so many different parts of one work of 
providence : It is all one work, one regular scheme. God's 
■works of providence are not disunited and jumbled, without 
connexion or dependence, but are all united, just as the 
several parts of one building : There are many stones, many- 
pieces of timber, but all are so joined, and fitly framed togeth- 
er, that they make but one building : They have all but one 
foundation, and are united at last in one top stone. 

God's providence may not unfitly be compared to a large 
and long river, having innumerable branches, beginning iix 
different regions, and at a great distance one from another, 
and all conspiring to one common issue. After their very- 
diverse and conti'ary courses which they held for a while, yet 
they all gather more and mere together, the nearer they come 
to their common end, and all at length discharge themselves 
at one mouth into the same ocean. The different streams of 
this river are apt to appear like mere jumble and confusion to 
-tis, because of the limitedness of our sight, whereby we cannot 
see from one branch to another, and cannot see the whole at 
once, so to as see how all are united in one. A man who sees 
but one or two streams at a time, cannot tell what their course 
tends to. Their course seems very crooked, and different 

Impr.] WOKK of REDE^IPTION, 38S 

streams seem to run for a while different and contrary ways s 
And if we view things at a distancet there seem to be innum- 
erable obstacles and impediments in the way to kindei' their 
ever uniting and coming- to the ocean, as. ix)cks and mountain* 
and the like ; but yet if we trace them, they all unite at last, 
and all come to the same issue, disgorging themselves in on«? 
into the sanoe great ocean. Not one of all the streams fail x>f 
coming hither at last. 

V. From the whole that has been said, we may strongly 
argue, that the scriptures are the word of God, because thej- 
alone inform us what God is about, or what he aims at in these 
works which he is doing in the world, God doubtless is pur- 
suing some design, and carrying on some scheme, in the 
various changes and revolutions which from age to age come 
to pass in the world. It is most reasonable to suppose, that 
there is some certain great design to which Providence sub- 
ordinates all the great successive changes in the aflfaii^ of 
the world which God has made. It is reasonable to suppose 
that all revolutions from the beginning of the world to the 
end of it, are but the various parts of the same scheme, all 
conspirhig to luring to pass that great event which the great 
Creator and Governor of the world has ultimately in view ; 
and that the scheme will not be finished, nor the design fully 
accomplished, and the great and ultimate event fully brought 
to pass till the end of the world, and the last revolution is 
brought about. 

Now there is nothing- else that informs us what this scheme 
and design of God in his v^orks is, but only the holy scrip- 
tures. Nothing else pretends to set in view the whole series 
of God's works of providence from beginning to end, and to 
inform us how ail things v\^ere from God at first, and for what 
end they are, and how they were ordered from the beginning, 
and how they will proceed to the end of the world, and what 
they will come to at last, and how then all things shall be to 
God. Nothing else but the scriptures has any pretence for 
showing any manner of regular scheme or drift in those rev- 
olutions which God orders from age to age. Nothing else 
pretends to show what God would by the things which he 


has (lone, and is doing, and will do ; what he seeks and intends' 
by thum. Nothing else pretends to show, with any distinct- 
ness or certainty, how the world began at first, or to tell us 
the original of things. Nothing but the scriptures sets forth 
how God governed the world from the beginning of the gen- 
erations of men upon the earth, in an orderly history ; and 
nothing else sets before us how he will govern it to the end by 
an oredrly prophecy of future events ; agreeable to the 
challenge which God makes to the gods, and prophets, and 
teachers of the Heathen, in Isa. xli. 22, 23. «« Let them 
bring them forth, and shew us AVhat shall happen : Let them 
shew the former things what they be, that we may consider 
them, and know the latter end of them ; or declare us things 
for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, 
that we may knoAv that ye are gods." 

Reason shows that it is fit and requisite, that the intelligent 
and rational beings of the world should know something of 
God's scheme and design in his works ; for they doubtless 
are the beings that are principally concerned. The thing 
that is God's great design in his Avorks, is doubtless something 
concerning his reasonable creatures, rather than brute beasts 
and lifeless things. The revolutions by which God's great 
design is brought to pass, are doubtless revolutions chiefly 
among them, and which concern their state, and not the state 
of things without life or reason. And therefore surely it is 
requisite that they should know something of it ; especially 
Seeing that reason teaches that God has given his rational 
creatures reason, and a capacity of seeing God rn his works ; 
for this end that they may sec God's glory in them, and give 
him the glory of them. But how can they see God's glory 
in his works, if they do not know what God's design in them 
is, and what he aims at by what he is doing in the world ? 

And further, it is fit that mankhid should be informed some- 
thing of Clod's design in the government of the world, because 
they arc nip.de capable of actively falling in with that design, 
and promoting of it, and acting herein as his friends and sub- 
jects ; it is therefore reasonable to suppose, that God has 
given iiiankii>d some revelation to inform them of this ; but 

Impr.} work of redemption. 385 

there is nothing else that does it but the Bible. In the Bible 
this is done. Hence we may learn an account of the first 
original of things, and an orderly account of the scheme of 
God's works fi-om the first beginning through those ages that 
are beyond the reach of all other histories. Here we are told 
what God aims at in the whole, what is the great end, how he 
has contrived the grand design he drives at, and the great 
things he would accomplish by all. Here we have a most 
rational, excellent account of this matter, worthy of God, and 
exceedingly shewing forth the glory of his perfections, his maj- 
esty, his wisdom, his glorious holiness, and grace and love, and 
his exaltation above all, showing how he is the first and the last. 

Here we are shewn the connexion of the various parts of 
the work of providence, and he ,v all harmonizes, and is con- 
nected together in a regular, beautiful and glorious frame 

In the Bible we have an account of the whole scheme of pi'ov- 
idence, from the beginning of the world to the end of it, 
either in history or prophecy, and are told what will become 
of things at last ; how they will be finished off by a great day 
of judgment, and will issue in the subduing of God's enemies, 
and in the salvation and glory of his church, and setting up of 
the everlasting kingdom of his Son. 

How rational, worthy, and excellent a revelation is this ! 
And how excellent a book is the Bible, which contains so 
much beyond all other books in the world ! And what charac- 
ters are here of its being indeed a divine book ! A book that 
the great Jehovah has given to mankind for their insti-uction, 
without which we should be left in miserable darkness and 

VI. From what has been said, we may see the glorious 
majesty and power of God in this affair of redemption : Es- 
pecially is God glorious in power. His glorious power ap- 
pears in upholding his church for so long a time, and carrying 
on this work ; upholding it often times when it was but as a 
little spark of fire, or as smoking flax, in which the fire was 
almost gone out, and the powers of earth and hell were com- 
bined to destroy it. Yet God has never suffered them t» 

Vol. II. 3 A 


quench it, and finally will bring forth judgment unto victory. 
God glorifies his strength in his church's weakness ; in caus- 
ing his people, who are like a number of little infants, finally 
to triumph over all earth and hell; so that they shall tread 
on the lion and adder ; the young lion and dragon shall they 
trample under foot. The glorious power of God appears in 
conquering his many and mighty enemies by that person who 
was once an infant in a manger, and appeared as a poor, weak, 
despised man. He conquers them and triumphs over them 
in their own weapon, the cross. 

The glorious majesty of God appears in conquering all 
those mighty enemies of the church one age after another ; 
in conquering Satan, that proud and strong spirit, and all his 
hellish host ; in bringing him down under foot, long after he 
had vaunted himself as God of this world, and when he did 
his utmost to support himself in his kingdom- 
God's power gloriously appears in conquering Satan when 
exalted in that strongest and most potent Heathen kingdom 
that ever he had, the Roman empire. Christ, our Michael, 
has overcome him, and the devil was cast out, and there was 
found no more place for him in heaven ; but he was cast out 
unto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Again, 
his power gloriously appears in conquering him in that king- 
dom wherein his pride, and subtlety, and cruejty, above all 
appears, viz. the kingdom of Antichrist. It gloriously ap- 
pears in conqviering him in that greatest and strongest com- 
bination and opposition of the devil and his adherents against 
Christ and his church, just before the fall of Antichrist, where- 
in his visible kingdom has a fatal blow given it, on which an 
universal dov/nfall of it follows all over the world. 

The glorious power of God appears in thus conquering the 
devil, and bringing him under foot, time after time, after long 
time given him to strengthen himself to his utmost, as he 
■was once overthrown in his Heathen Roman empire, after he 
had been making himself strong in those parts of the world, 
ever since the building of Babel. It appears also in over- 
throwing his kingdom more fatally and universally all over 


the world, after he had again another opportunity given him to 
strengthen himself to his utmost for many ages by setting up 
those two great kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and to 
establish his interest in the Heathen world. We have seen 
how these kingdoms of God's enemies, that, before God ap- 
pears, look strong, as though it was impossible to overthrow 
them ; yet, time after time, when God appears, they seem to 
melt away, as the fat of lambs before the fire, and are driven 
away as the chaff before the whirlwind, or the smoke out of 
the chimney. 

Those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, which 
have made such a figure for so many ages together, and have 
trampled the world under foot, when God comes to appear, 
will vanish away like a shadow, and will as it were disappear 
of themselves, and come to nothing, as the darkness in a 
room does, when the light is brought in. What are God's 
enemies in his hands ? How is their greatest strength weak- 
ness when he rises up I And how weak will they all appear 
together at the day of judgment ! Thus we may apply those 
words in the song of Moses, Exod. xv. 6. " Thy right hand, 
O, Lord, is become glorious in power ; thy right hand. O 
Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." And how great doth 
the majesty of God appear in overturning the world from 
time to time, to accomplish his designs, and at last in caus- 
ing the earth and heavens to flee away, for the advancement 
of the glory of his king;dom! 

Vn. From what has been said, we may see the glorious 
wisdom of God. It shows the wisdom of God in creating the 
world, in that he has created it for such an excellent use, to 
accomplish in it so glorious a work. And it shows the wis- 
dom of divine providence, that he brings such great good out 
of such great evil, in making the fall and ruin of mankind, 
which in itself is so sorrowful and deplorable, an occasion of 
accomplishing such a glorious work as this -work of redemp- 
tion, and of erecting such a glorious building, whose top 
should reach unto heaven, and of bringing his elect to a state 
of such unspeakable happiness. And how glorious doth the 


■w isdom of God appear in that long course and series of great 
changes in the world, in bringing such order out of confusion, 
in so frustrating the devil, and so wonderfully turning all his 
most subtle machinations to his own glory, and the glory of 
his Son Jesus Christ ! And in causing the greatest works of 
Satan, those in which he has most vaunted himself, to be 
wholly turned into occasions ot so much the more glorious 
triumph of his Son Jesus Christ ? And how wonderful is the 
wisdom of God, in bringing all such manifold and various 
changes and overturnings in the world to such a glorious pe- 
riod at last, and in so directing all the wheels of providence 
by his skilful hand, that every one of them conspires, as the 
mianifold wheels of a most curious machine, at last to strike 
out such an excellent issue, such a manifestation of the divine 
glory, such happiness to his people, and such a glorious and 
everlasting kingdom to his Son I 

VIII. From what has been said, we may see the stability 
of God's mercy and faithfulness to his people ; how he never 
forsakes his inheritance, and remembers his covenant to them 
through all generations. Now we may see what reason there 
was for the words of the text, " The moth shall eat them up 
like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool ; 
but my righteousness shall endure for ever and ever, and my 
salvation from generation to generation." And now we may 
see abundant reason for that name of God which he reveals to 
Moses, Exod. iii. 14. « And God said unto Moses, / am 
that I am ; i. e. I am the same that I was when I entered in- 
to covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and ever shall 
be the same : I shall keep covenant forever : I am selfsuf- 
ficient, allsuificient, and immutable. 

And now we may see the truth of that, Psal. xxxvi. 5, 6. 
" Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens ; and thy faithfulness 
reachcth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the 
great mountains ; thy judgments are a great deep." And if 
we consider what has been said, we need not wonder that the 
Psalmist, in the 136th Psal. so often repeats this. For his mer- 
cy endurethfor ever ; as if he were in an ccstacy at the con- 

Impr.] work of redemption. 389 

sideration of the perpetuity of God's mercy to his church, and 
dehghted to think of it, and knew not how but continually to 
-express it, Let us with like pleasure and joy celebrate the 
everlasting duration of God's mercy and faithfulness to his 
church and pc ^ple, and let us be comforted by it under the 
present dark circumstances of the church of God, and all the 
uproar and confusions that are in the world, and all the threat- 
enings of the church's enemies. And let us take encourage- 
ment earnestly to pray for those glorious things which God 
has promised to accomplish for his church. 

IX. Hence we may learn how happy a society the church 
of Christ is. For all this great work is for them. Christ un- 
dertook it for their sakes, and for their sakes he carries it on, 
from the fall of man to the end of the world ; it is because he 
has loved them with an everlasting love. For their sakes he 
overturns states and kingdoms. For their sakes he shakes 
heaven and earth. He gives men for them, and people for 
their life. Since they have been precious in God's sight, 
they have been honorable ; and therefore he first gives the 
blood of his own Son to them, and then, for their sakes, gives 
the blood of all their enemies, many thousands and millions, 
jkll nations that stand in their way, as a sacrifice to their good. 

For their sakes he made the world, and for their sakes he 
will destroy it : For their sakes he built heaven, and for their 
sakes he makes his angels ministering spirits. Therefore the 
Apostle says, as he does, i Cor. iii. 21, &c. " All things are 
yours : Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, 
or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are 
yours." How blessed is this people who are redeemed from 
among men, and are the first fruits unto God, and to the 
Lamb ; who have God in all ages for their protection and 
help ! Deut. xxxiii. 29. « Happy art thou, O Israel : Who 
is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of 
thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency ! And thine 
enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread 
upon their high places." 

Let who will prevail now, let the enemies of the church 
exalt themselves as much as they wiil, these are the people 


that shall finally prevail. The last kingdom shall finally be 
theirs ; the kingdom shall finally be given into their hands, 
and shall not be left to other people. Wc have seen what a 
blessed issue things shall finally be brought to as to them, and 
•what glory they shall arrive at, and remain in possessipn of, 
for ever and ever, after all the kingdoms of the world are 
come to an end, and the earth is removed, and mountains are 
carried into the depth of the sea, or where the sea was, and 
this lower earth shall all be dissolved. O happy people, and 
blessed society 1 Well may they spend an eternity in praises 
and hallelujahs to him who hath loved them from eternity, 
and will love them to eternity. 

X. And, lastly, hence all wicked men, all that are in a 
Christless condition, may see their exceeding misery. You 
that are such, whoever you are, you are those who shall 
have no part or lot in this matter. You are never the better for 
any of those things of Avhich you have heard : Yea, your guilt is 
but so much the greater, and the misery you are exposed ta 
so much the more dreadful. You are some of that sort, against 
whom God, in the progress of the work, exercises so much 
manifest wrath ; some of those enemies who are liable to be 
made Christ's footstool, and to be ruled with a rod of iron, 
and to be dashed in pieces. You arc some of the seed of the 
serpent, to bruise the head of which is one great design of all 
this work. Whatever glorious things God accomplishes for 
his church, if you continue in the state you are now in, they 
Avill not be glorious to you. The most glorious times 
of the church are always the most dismal times to the 
wicked and impenitent. This we are taught in Isa. Ixvi. 14. 

And so we find, whereever glorious things are foretold 

concerning the church, there terrible things are foretold con- 
cerning the wicked, its enemies. And so it ever has been 
in fact ; in all remarkable deliverances wrought for the 
church, there has been also a remarkable execution of Avrath 
on its enemies. So it was Avhcn God delivered the children 
of Israel out of Egypt ; at the same time he remarkably 
poured out his wrath on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. So 

Impr.] work of redemption. S91 

when he brought them into Canaan by Joshua, and gave them 
that good land, he remarkably executed wrath upon the Ca- 
naanites. So when they were delivered out of their Baby- 
lonish captivity, signal vengeance was inflicted on the Baby- 
lonians. So when the Gentiles were called, and the elect of 
God were saved by the preaching of the apostles, Jerusalem 
and the persecuting Jews Avere destroyed in a most awful 
manner. I might observe the same concerning thfe glory ac- 
complished to the church in the days of Constantine, at the 
overthrow of Satan's visible kingdom in the downfall of Anti- 
christ, and at the day of judgment. In all these instances, 
and especially in the last, there have been, or will be, exhibit- 
ed most awful tokens of the divine wrath against the wicked. 
And to this class of men you belong. 

You are indeed some of that sort that God will make use 
of in this affair ; but it will be for the glory of his justice, and 
not of his mercy. You are some of those enemies of God 
who are reserved for the triumph of Christ's glorious power 
in overcoming and punishing them. You are some of that 
sort that shall be consumed with this accursed world after the 
day of judgment, when Christ and his church shall triumph- 
antly and gloriously ascend to heaven. 

Therefore let all that are in a Christless condition amongst 
us seriously consider these things, and not be like the foolish 
people of the old world, who would not take warning, when 
Noah told them, that the Lord was about to bring a flood of 
waters upon the earth ; or like the people of Sodom, who 
would not regard, when Lot told them, that God Vv^ould de- 
stroy that city, and would not flee from the wrath to come, and 
so were consumed in that terrible destruction. 

And now I would conclude my whole discourse on this sub- 
ject, in words like those in the last of the Revelation : 
« These sayings are faithful and true, and blessed is he that 
keepeth these sayings. Behold, Christ cometh quickly, and 
his reward is with him, to render to every man according as 
his work shall be. And he that is unjust, shall be unjust still ; 


and he that is filthy, shall be filthy still ; and he that is holy, 
shall be holy still. Bessed are they that do his command- 
ments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may 
enter in through the gates into the city : For without, are 
dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and 
idolaters, and whosoever lovcth and maketh a lie. He that 
testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen j 
even so come, Lord Jesus." 


Vol. II. SB 





W H ATEVER controversies and variety of opin- 
ions there are about the nature of virtue, yet all (excepting 
some sceptics, who deny any real difference between virtue 
and vice) mean by it, something beautiful,OY rather some kind 

of beauty, or excellency It is not all beauty, that is called 

virtue ; for instance, not the beauty of a building, of a flower, 
or of the rainbow : But some beauty belonging to Beings that 
have perception and 7w7/....It is not all beauty of mankind, that 
is called virtue ; for instance, not the external beauty of the 
countenance, or shape, gracefulness of motion, or harmony of 
voice : But it is a beauty that has its original seat in the mind. 
But yet perhaps not every thing that may be called a beau- 
ty of mind, is properly called virtue. There is a beauty of un- 
derstanding and speculation. There is something in the 
ideas and conceptions of great philosophers and statesmen, 
that may be called beautiful ; which is a different thing from 
Avhat is most commonly meant by virtue. But virtue is the 
beauty* of those qualities and acts of the mind, that are of a 
vioral nature, i. e. such as are attended with desert or worthi- 
ness of praise, or blame. Things of this sort, it is generally 
agreed, so far as I know, are not any thing belonging merely 
to speculation ; but to the disposition and ivill, or (to use a 

* It is to be questioned whetber it would not be more conect to say that 
virtue consists in those acts of the miad in themselves ; beauty properly de- 
noting their quality. — Editor, 


general word, I suppose commonly -well understood) the 
heart. Therefore I suppose, I shall not depart from the com- 
mon opinion, when I say, that virtue is the beauty of the qual- 
ities and exercises of the heart, or those actions which pro- 
ceed from them. So that -when it is inquired, what is the na- 
ture of true -virtue ? This is t^ie same as to inquire, what that 
is which renders any habit, disposition, or exercise of the 
heart truly beautiful ? I use the phrase true virtue, and speak 
of things truly beautiful, because I suppose it will generally 
"be allowed, that there is a distinction to be made between 
some things which are truly virtuous, and others which only 
seem to be virtuous, through a partial and imperfect view of 
things : That some actions and dispositions appear beautiful, 
if considered partially and superficially, or with regard to 
some things belonging to them, and in some of their circum- 
stances and tendencies, which would appear otherwise in a 
3nore extensive and comprehensive view, wherein they are 
seen clearly in their whole nature and the extent of their con- 

Ticxions in the universality of things There is a general 

and a particular beauty. By a particular beauty, I mean that 
by which a thing appears beautiful when considered only with 
regard to its connexion with, and tendency to some particu- 
lar things within a limited, and as it were, a private sphere. 
And a general beauty is that by which a thing appears beauli- 
' ful when viewed most perfectly, comprehensively and univer- 
sally, with regard to ail its tendencies, and its connexions 

with every thing it stands related to The former may be 

without and against the latter. As, a few notes in a tunc, 
taken only by themselves, and in their relation to one another, 
may be harn\onious ; which, when considered Avith respect 
to all the notes in the tune, or the entire series of sounds, 
they are connected with, may be very discordant and disa- 
greeable. (Of which more afterwards).... ..77;a/r only there- 
fore, is what I mean by true virtue, which is //w.', belonging 
to the heart of an intelligent Being, that is bcaiuiful by a gcr.- 
erul beauty, or beautiful in a comprehensive view as it is in 
itself, and as related to every thing that it stands in connex- 
ion ■\\ith. And therefore when we arc inquiring concerning 


the nature of true virtue, viz. wherein this true and general 
beauty of the heart does most essentially consist... .this is my 
answer to the inquiry 

True virtue most essentially consists in benevolence lo Be- 
ing in general. Or perhaps to speak more accurately, it is 
that consent, propensity and union of heart to Being in gen- 
eral, that is immediately exercised in a general good will. 

The things which v/ere before obsei'ved of the nature of 
true virtue, naturally lead us to such a notion of it. If it has 
its seat in the heart, and is the general goodness and beauty 
of the disposition and exercise of that, in the most compre- 
hensive view, considered with regard to its universal tenden- 
cy, and as related to every thing that it stands in connexion 
■with ; what can it consist in, but a consent and good will to 

being in general ? Beauty does not consist in discord and 

dissent, but in consent and agreement. And if every intelli- 
gent Being is some way related to Being in general, and is a 
part of the universal system of existence ; and so stands in 
connexion Xvith the whole ; Avhat can its general and true 
beauty be, but its imion and consent Avith the great whole. 

If any such thing can be supposed as an union of heart to 
some particular Being, or number of Beings, disposing it to 
benevolence to a private circle or system of Beings, Avhich 
are but a small part of the whole ; not implying a tendency to 
an union with the great system, and not at all inconsistent 
with enmity towards Being in general ; this I suppose not to 
be of the nature of true virtue : Although it may in some 
respects be good, and may appear beautiful in a confined and 

contracted view of things But of this more afterwards. 

It is abundantly plain by the holy scriptures, and generally 
allowed, not only by Christian divines, but by the more con- 
siderable deists, that virtue most essentially consists in love. 
And I suppose, it is owned by the most considerable Avriters, 
to consist in general love of benevolence, or kind affection : 
Though it seems to me, the meaning of some in this affair is 
not sufficiently explained wliich perhaps occasions some error 
or confusion in discourses on this stibjcct. 


When I say, true virtue consists in love to being in generf 
al, 1 shall not be likely to be understood, that no one act of 
the mind or exercise of love is of the nature of true virtue, 
but what has Being in general, or the great system of univer- 
sal existence, for its direct and immediate object : So that no 
exercise of love or kind affection to any one particular Being, 
that is but a small part of this whole, has any thing of the na- 
ture of true virtue. But, that the nature of true virtue con- 
sists in a disposition to benevolence towards Being in general. 
Though, from such a disposition may arise exercises of love 
to particular Beings, as objects are presented and occasions 
arise. No wonder, that he who is of a generally benevolent 
disposition, should be more disposed than another to have his 
heart moved with benevolent affection to particular persons, 
whom he is acquainted and conversant with, and from whom 
arise the greatest and most frequent occasions for exciting 
hig benevolent temper. But my meaning is, that no affec- 
tions towards particular persons, or Beings, are of the nature 
of true virtue, but such as arise from a generally benevolent 
temper, or from that habit or frame of mind, Avherein consists 
a disposition to love Being in general. 

And perhaps it is needless for me to give notice to my read- 
ers, that when I speak of an intelligent Being's having a heart 
united and benevolently disposed to Being in general, I there- 
by mean intelligent Being in general. Not inanimate things, 
or Beings that have no perception or will, which are not prop- 
erly capable objects of benevolence. 

Love is commonly distinguished into love of benevolence 
and love of complacence. Love of be77evole?ice is that affection 
or propensity of the heart to any Being, which causes it to in- 
cline to its AvcU being, or disposes it to desire and take pleas- 
ure in its happiness. And if I mistake not, it is agreeable to 
the common opinion, that beauty in the object is not always 
the ground of this propensity : But that tliere may be such a 
thing as benevolence, or a disposition to tlic welfare of those 
that are not considered as beautiful ; unless mere existence 
be accounted a beauty. And benevolence or goodness in the 
di\ine Being is generally supposed, not only to be prior lo the 


beauty of many of its objects, but to their existence J So as to 
be the ground both of their existence and their beauty, rather 
than they the foundation of God's benevolence ; as it is sup- 
posed that it is God's goodness which moved him to give them 
both Being and beauty. So that if all virtue primarily con- 
sists in that affection of heart to Being, w^hich is exercised in 
benevolence, or an inclination to its good, then God's virtue is 
so extended as to include a propensity, not only to Being actu- 
ally existing, and actually beautiful, but to possible Being, so 
as to incline him to give Being, beauty and happiness. But 
not now to insist particularly on this. What I would have 
obsei'vcd at present, is, that it must be allowed, benevolence 
doth not necessarily presuppose beauty in its object. 

What is commonly called love of complacence, presupposes 
beauty. For it is no other than delight in beauty ; or compla- 
cence in the person or Being beloved for his beauty. 

If virtue be the beauty of an intelligent Being, and virtue 
Consists in love, then it is a plain inconsistence, to suppose 
that virtue primai'ily consists in any love to its object for its 
beauty ; either in a love of complacence, which is delight in a 
Being for his beauty, or in a love of benevolence, that has the 
beauty of its object for its foundation. For that would be to 
suppose, that the beauty of intelligent Beings primarily con- 
sists in love to beauty ; or, that their virtue first of all consists 
in their love to virtue. Which is an inconsistence, and going 
in a circle. Because it makes virtue, or beauty of mind, the 
foundation or first motive of that love Avherein virtue originally 
consists, or wherein the very first virtue consists ; or, it sup- 
poses the first virtue to be the consequence and effect of vir- 
tue. So that virtue is originally the foundation and exciting 
cause of the very beginning or first Being of virtue. Which 
makes the first virtue, both the ground, and the consequence, 
both cause and effect of itself.* Doubtless virtue primarily 

* Mr. E's idea here appears to be that virtue must exist prior to the existence 
of any virtuous object on which it can complaisantly terminate. This is 
undoubtedly true with respect to the duty. But this does not appear incon- 
sistent with the supposition that the first act (?f virtue in a creature may be de» 

light in virtue as it i« ia (Jod,-.'£d, 


consists in something else besides any efiect or consequence 
of virtue. If virtue consists primarily in love to virtue, then 
virtue, the thing loved, is the love of virtue : So that, virtue 
must consist in the love of the love of virtue. And if it be in- 
quired, Avhat that virtue is, which virtue consists in the love of 
the love of, it must be answered, it is the love of virtue. So 
that there must be the love of the love of the love of virtue, 
and so on in infinitum. For there is no end of going back in a 
circle. We never come to any beginning, or foundation. For 
it is without beginning and hangs on nothing. 

Therefore if the essence of virtue or beauty of mind lies in 
love, or a disposition to love, it must primarily consist in 
something different both from complacence, which is a delight 
in beauty, and also from any benevolence that has the beauty 
of its object for its foundation. Because it is absurd, to say 
that virtue is primarily and first of all the consequence of 
itself. For this makes virtue primarily prior to itself. 

Nor can virtue primarily consist in gratitude ; or one Be- 
ing's benevolence to another for his benevolence to him. 
Because this implies the same inconsistence. For it suppos- 
es a benevolence prior to gratitude, that is the cause of grati- 
tude. Therefore the first benevolence, or that benevolence 
which has none prior to it, cannot be gratitude. 

Therefore there is room left for no other conclusion than 
that the primary object of virtuous love is Being, simply 
considered ; or, that true virtue primarily consists, not in love 
to any particular Beings, because of their virtue or beauty, 
nor in gratitude, because they love us ; but in a propensity 
and union of heart to Being simply considered ; exciting ab- 
solute benevolence (if I may so call it) to Being in general....! 
say, true virtue primarily consists in this. For I am far from 
asserting that there is no true virtue in any other love than 
this absolute benevolence. But I would express what appears 
to me to be the truth on this subject, in the following par- 
* ticulars. 

The first object of a virtuous benevolence is Being, simply 
considered : And if Being, si7nUly considered, be its object, 
then Being in general is its object ; and the thing it has an 


Ultimate propensity to, is the highest good of Being in general. 
And it will seek the good of every InSividual Being unless it 
be conceived as not consistent with the highest good of Being 
in general. In which case the good of a particular Being, or 
some Beings, may be given up for the sake of the highest 
good of Being in general. And particularly if there be any 
Being that is looked upon as statedly and irreclaimably oppo- 
site and an enemy to Being in general, then consent and adher- 
ence to Being in general will induce the truly virtuous heart 
to forsake that Beitig, and to oppose it. 

And further, if Being, simply considered, be the first object 
of a truly virtuous benevolence, then that Being who has 77ioet 
of Being, or has the greatest share of existence, other things 
being equal, so far as slich a being is exhibited to our facul- 
ties or set in our vie\v, will have the greatest share of the pro- 
pensity and benevolent affection of the heart. I say, other 
ihmgs being equal, especially because there is a secondary ob- 
ject of virtuous benevolence, that I shall take notice of pres- 
ently. Which is one thing that must be considered as the 
ground or motive to a purely virtuous benevolence. Pure be- 
nevolence in its first exercise is nothing else but Being's unit- 
ing consent, or propensity to Being; appearing true and pure 
by its extending toBeuig in general, and inclining to the gen- 
eral highest good, and to each Being, whose welfare is con- 
sistent with the highest general good, in proportion to the de- 
gree oi existence* understood, other things being equal. 

The seco«f/ object of a virtuous propensity of heart '\%he7iet'- 
tknt Being. A secondary ground of pure benevolence is vir- 
tuous benevolence itself in its object. When any one under 
the influence of geneiTd bencvoMnce, sees another Being pos- 

* I say— in proportion to the degree of existence, because one Being may 
have more existence than another, as he may be greater than another. ThaC 
which is ^rMi, has more existence, and is further from nothing, than that 
■which is little. One Being may have every thing positive belonging to it, or 
every thing which goes to it's positive existence ^In opposition to defect) in aa 
higher degree than another ; or a greater capacity and power, greater understand- 
ing, every faculty and every positive quality in an higher degree. An ji?-cA~ 
angel must be supposed to have more existence, and to be every way fnnh»r 
removed from nojttntL'y, than a worm, or aflie. 

Vot. II. r. e 


sessecl of the like general benevolence, this attaches his heart 
to him, and draws forth greater love to him, than merely his 
having existence : Because so far as the Being beloved ha* 
love to Being in general, so far his own Being is, as it werci 
enlarged, extends to, and in some sort comprehends, Being 
in general : And therefore he that is governed by love to Being 
in general, must of necessity have complacence in him, and 
the greater degree of benevolence to him, as it were out of 
gratitude to him for his love to general existence, that his own 
heart is extended and united to, and so looks on its interest "sjf 
its own. It is because his heart is thus united to Being in ggn- 
eral, that he looks on a benevolent propensity to Being in 
general, wherever he sees it> as the beauty of the Being in 
whom it is; an excellency, that renders him worthy of esteem, 
complacence, and the greater good will. 

But several things may be noted more particularly concern- 
ing this secondary ground of a truly virtuous love. 

1. That loving a Being on this ground necessarily arises 
from pure benevolence to Being in general-, and comes to the 
same thing. For he that has a simple and pure good will to 
general entity or existence, must love that temper in others, 
that agrees and conspires with itself. A spirit of consent to 
Being must agree with consent to Being. That which truly 
and sincerely seeks the good of others, must approve of, and 
love, that which joins with him in seeking the good of others. 

2. This which has been now mentioned as a secondary 
ground of virtuous love, is the thing wherein true moral or 
spiritual beauty^v'rm&xWy consists. Yea, spiritual beauty con- 
sists wholly in this, and the various qualities and exercises of 
mind which proceed from it, and the external actions which 
proceed from these internal qualities and exercises. And in 
these things consists all true virtue^ viz. in this love of Being, 
and the qualities and acts which arise from it. 

3. As all spiritual beauty lies in these virtuous principles 
and acts, so it is primarily on t/iis account they are beautiful, 
viz. that they imply consent and union with Being in general. 
This is the primary and most essential Beauty of every thing 
that can justly be called by the name of virtue, or is any moral 
excellency in the eye of one that has a perfect view of things. 


I say — the iirimary and viost essential beauty — ^because there 
is a secondary and inferior sort of beauty ; which I shall take 
notice of afterwards. 

4. This spiritual beauty, that is but a secondary ground of a 
virtuous benevolence, is the ground, not only of benevolence, 
but comjilacence, and is the /irhnary ground of the latter ; that 
is, when the complacence is truly virtuous. Love to us in 
particular, and kindness received, may be a secondary ground : 
But this is the primary objective foundation of it. 

5. It must be noted, that the degree of the amiableness or 
valuableness of true virtue, primarily consisting in consent and 
a benevolent propensity of heart to Being in general, in the eyes 
of one that is influenced by such a spirit, is not in the simple 
proportion of the degree of benevolent affection seen, but in a 
proportion co?«/jo«;2c/r^(/ of the greatness of the benevolent Being 
or the degree of Being and the degree of benevolence. One 
that loves Being m general, will necessarily value good will to 
Being in general, wherever he sees it. But if he sees the 
same benevolence in tivo Beings, he will value it more in two, 
than in one only. Because it is a greater thing, more favora^ 
ble to Being in general, to have two Beings to favor it, than 
only one of them. For there is more Being, that favors Be- 
ing : Both together having more Being than one alone. So, 
if one Being be as great as two, has as much existence as both 
together, and has the same degree of general benevolence, it 
is more favorable to Being in general than if there were gen- 
eral benevolence in a Being that had but half that share of ex- 
istence. As a large quantity of gold, with the same degree 
of preciousness, i. e. with the same excellent quality of mat- 
ter, is more valuable than a small quantity of the same metal. 

6. It is impossible that any one should truly relish this beau- 
ty, consisting in general benevolence, who has not that tem- 
per himself. I have observed, that if any Being is possessed 
of such a temper, he will unavoidably be pleased with the 
same temper in another. And it may in like manner be de- 
monstrated, that it is such a spirit, and nothing else, v/hich 
will relish such a spirit. For if a Being, destitute of benevo- 
lence, ehould love benevolence to Bein^ in general, it woulcj 


prize and seek that which it had no value for. Because to 
love an inclination to the good of Being in general, would im^ 
ply a loving and prizing the good of Being in general. For 
how should one love and value a diafiosition to a thing, or a 
tendency to promote a thing, and for that very reason, because 

it tends to promote it when the thing itself is what he is 

regardless of, and has no value for, nor desires to have pro- 


Shewing how thathove, wherein true Virtue consists, 
respects the Divine Being and created Beings. 

FROM what has been said, it is evident, that true virtue 
TTiust chiefly consist in" love to God ; the Being of Beings, in- 
finitely the greatest and best of Beings. This appears, Avhether 
we consider the primary or secondary groundof virtuous love. 
It was observed, that the first objective ground of that love, 
wherein true virtue consists, is Being, simply considered : 
And as a necessary consequence of this, that Being who has 
the most of Being, or the greatest share of universal existence, 
has proportionably the greatest share of virtuous benevolence, 
so far as such aBeing is exhibited to the faculties of our minds, 
other things being equal. But God has infinitely the greatest 
share of existence, or is infinitely the greatest Being. So 
that all other Being, even that of all created things whatsoever, 
throughout the whole universe, is as nothing in comparison of 
the divine Being. 

And if we consider the secondary ground of love, viz. beauty, 
or moral excellency, the same thing will appear. For as God 
as infinitely the greatest Being, so he is allowed to bo infinitely 
the most beautiful and excellent : And all the beauty to be 
found throughout the whole creation, is but the reflection of 
the diffused beams of that Being who hath an infinite fulness 
cf brightness and glory, God's beauty is infinitely more vaV- 


nable, than that of all other Behigs upon both those accounts 
mentioned, viz. the degree of his virtue, and the greatness of 
the Being possessed of this virtue. And God has sufficiently- 
exhibited himself, in his Being, his infinite greatness and ex- 
cellency : And has given us faculties, whereby v/e are capable 
of plainly discovering immense superiority to all other Beings, 
in these respects. Therefore he that has true virtue, consist- 
ing in benevolence to Being in general, and in that compla- 
cence in virtue, or moral beauty, and benevolence to virtuou| 
Being, must necessarily have a supreme love to God, both of 
benevolence and complacence. And all true virtue must rad- 
ically and essentially, and as it were summarily, consist ia 
this. Because God is not only infinitely greater and more ex- 
cellent than all other Being, but he is the head of the univer- 
sal system of existence ; the foundation and fountain of all 
Being and all Beauty ; from whom all is perfectly derived, 
and on Avhom all is most absolutely and perfectly dependant ; 
(jf ivhom and through u^hom, and to who?n is all Being and all 
perfection ; and whose Being and beauty is as it were the sum 
and comprehension of all existence and excellence : Much 
more than the sun is the fountain and summary comprehen- 
sion of all the light and brightness of the day. 

Ifit should be objected, that virtue consists primarily in 
benevolence, but that our fellow creatures, and not God, seem 
to be the most proper objects of our benevolence ; inasmuch 
as our goodness extendeth not to Cod, and v/e cannot be prof- 
itable to him. ....To this I answer, 

1. A benevolent propensity of heart is exercised not only in 
seeking to promote the happiness of the Being, towards 
ivhom it is exercised, but also in rejoicing in his happiness. 
Even as gratitude for benefits received will not only excite en- 
deavors to requite the kindi>ess we receive, by equally benefiting 
our benefactor, but also if he be above any need of us, or we 
have nothing to bestow, and are unable to repay his Idndness 
it wiil dispose us to rejoice in his prosperity. 

2. Though v/e are not able to give any thing to God, which 
we have of our own, independently ; yet v/e may be in- 
struments of promoting his glory, in which he takes a true and 


proper delight. [As was shewn at large in the treatise, on 
God's end in creating the world. Chapter 1. sect. 4. 
Whither I must refer the reader for a more full answer to this 

Whatever influence such an objection may seem to have 
on the minds of some, yet is there any that owns the Being of 
a God, who will deny that any love or benevolent affection, is 
due to God, and proper to be exercised towards him ? If na 
ie?ievolnice is to be exercised towards God, because we can- 
not proht him, then for the same reason, neither is gratitude 
to be exercised towards him for his benefits to us ; because 
we cannot requite him. But where is the man, who believes 
a God and a providence, that will say this ? 

There seems to be an inconsistence in some writers on mo- 
rality, in this respect that they do not wholly exclude a re- 
gard to the Deity out of their schemes of morality, but yet 
mention it so slightly, that they leave me room and reason 
to suspect they esteem it a less important and a subordinate 
part of true morality ; and insist on benevolence to the creat- 
ed sxjutem in such a manner as would naturally lead one to sup- 
pose, they look upon that as by far the most impsrtant and 
essential thing. But why should this be ? If true virtue con- 
sists partly in a respect to God, then doubtless it consists 
chiefly in it. If true morality requires that we should have 
some regard, some benevolent affection to our Creator, as 
well as to his creatures, then doubtless it requires the first 
regard to be paid to him ; and that he be every way the su- 
preme object of our benevolence. If his being above our 
reach, and beyond all capacity of being profited by us, does not 
hinder but that nevertheless he is the proper object of our 
love, then it does not hinder that he should be loved accord- 
ing to his dignity, or according- to the degree in which he has 
those things wherein worthiness of regard consists so far 
as we arc capable of it. But this worthiness none will deny 
consists in these two things, greatness and moral goodness. 
And those that own a God, do not deny that he infinitely ex- 
ceeds all other Beings in these. If the Deity is to be looked 
open as within that system oi' Beings which properly terrain- 


ates our benevolence, or belonging to that whole, certainly he* 
is to be regarded as the head of the system, and the chief ^oxt 
of it ; if it be proper to call him ^jiar^ who is infinitely more 
than all the rest, and in comparison of whom and without 
whom all the rest are nothing, either as to beauty or existence. 
And therefore certainly, unless we will be atheists, we must 
allow that true virtue does primarily and most essentially con- 
sist in a supreme love to God ; and that where this is want- 
ing there can be no true virtue. 

But this being a matter of the highest importance, I shall 
say sometliing further to make it plain, that love to God is 
most essential to true virtue ; and that no benevolence what- 
soever to other Beings can be of the nature of true virtue, 
without it. 

And therefore let it be supposed, that some Beings, by nat- 
ural instinct, or by some other means, have a determination 
of mind to union and benevolence to a /iari'zVw/o'r/ier.soTz, or 
jirivate system^* which is but a small part of the universal 
system of Being : And that this disposition or determination 
of mind is independent on, or not subordinate to benevolence, 
to Being in general. Such a determination, disposition, or 
affection of mind is not of the nature of true virtue. 

This is allowed by all with regard to self love ; in which, 
good will is confined to one single person only. And there 
are the same reasons, why any other private affection or good 
will, though extending to a society of persons, independent 
of, and unsubordinate to, benevolence to the universality, 
should not be esteemed truly virtuous. For, notwithstanding 
it extends to a number of persons, which taken together are 
more than a single person, yet the whole falls infinitely short 

* It may be here noted, that when hereafter I use such a phrase as pri- 
vate system of Beings, or others similar, I thereby intrnd any system ot soci* 
ety of Beings that contains but a small part of the great system comprehend- 
ing the universality of existence. I think, that may well be called a 
private system, which is but an infinitely small part of this great whole we 
•tand related to. I therefore also call that affection, private ajfection, which 
is limited to so narrow a circle ; a«d \}m\. general affection or benevolente 
wiiich has Being in general fer its object. 


of the universality of existence ; and if put in the scales witb 
it, has no greater proportion to it than a single person. 

However, it may not be amiss more particularly to considev 
the reasons why private affections, or ^ood m'WI limited to a 
particular circle of Beings, falling infinitely short of the whole 
existence, and not dependent upon it, nor subordinate to gen- 
eral benevolence, cannot be of the nature of true virtue. 

1. Such a private affection, detached from general benevo- 
lence and independent on it, as the case may be, will he against 
general benevolence, or of a contrary tendency ; and will set 
a person against general existence, and make him an enemy 
to it.. As it is v/ith selfishness, or when a man is governed 
by a regard to his own private interest, independent of regard 
to the public good, such a temper exposes a man to act the 
part of an enemy to the public. As, in every case wherein 
his private interest seems to clash with the public ; or in all 
those cases wherein such things are presented to his view, 
that suit his personal appetites or private inclinations, but are 
inconsistent with the good of the public. On which account 
a selfish, contracted, narrow spirit is generally abhorred, and 
is esteemed base and sordid. «But if a man's affection takes 
'ii\ half a dozen more, and his regards extend so far beyond 
his own single person as to take in his children and faniily ; 
or if ic reaches further still, to a larger circle, but falls infi- 
nitely short of the universal system, and is exclusive of being 
in general ; his private affection exposes him to the same 
thing, viz. to pursue the interest of its particular object in o/i- 
poaition to general existence ; which is certainly contrary to 
the tendency of true virtue ; yea, directly contrary to the 
main and most essential thing in its nature, the thing on ac- 
count of which chiefly its nature and tendency is good. For 
the chief and most essential good that is in virtue, is its favor- 
ing Being in general. Now certainly, if private affection to a 
limited system had in itself the essential nature of virtue, it 
would be impossible, that it should in any circumstance what- 
scewr have a tendency and inclination directly contrary tcr 
Cb,at Vf herein the essence of virtue chiefly consists. 


2. Pi'ivate afTectlon, if not subovdiBatc to general affection, 
is not only liable, as the case may 1)e, to issue in enmity to 
Being in general, but baa a tendency to it as the case certainly 
/s, and must necessarily be. For he that is influenced by pri- 
vate affection, not subordinate to regard to Being in general, 
sets up its particular or limited object above Being in gen- 
eral ; and this most naturally tends to enmity against the lat- 
ter, which is by right the great supreme, ruling, and absolutely 
sovereign object of our regard. Even as the setting up an- 
other prince as supreme in any kingdom, distinct from the 
lawful sovereign, naturally tends to enmity against the lawful 
sovereign. Wherever it is sufficiently published, that the 
supreme, infinite, and all comprehending Being requires a 
supreme regard to himself ; and insists upon it, that our res- 
pect to him should universally rule in our hearts, and every 
other affection be subordinate to it, and this under the pain of 
his displeasure (as wc must suppose it is in the world of in- 
telligent creatures, if God maintains a moral kingdom in the 
world) tlien a consciousness of our having chosen and set up 
another prince to rule over us, and subjected our hearts to 
him, and continuing in such an act, must unavoidably excite 
enmity, and fix us in a stated opposition to the Supreme Be- 
ing. This demonstrates, that affection to a private society or 
system, independent on general benevolence, cannot be of the 
nature of true virtue. For this would be absurd, that it has 
the nature and essence of true virtue, and yet at the same 
time has a tendency of'fw&ite to true virtue. 

3. Not only would affection to a private system, unsubordi- 
nate to regard to Being in general, have a tendency to oppc- 
tition to the supreme object of virtuous affection, as its effect 
and consequence, but would become itself an opposition to 
that object. Considered by itself in its nature, detached from 
its effects, it is an instance of great opposition to the riglnful 
supreme object of our respect. For it exalts its private ob- 
ject abo\'e the other great and infinite object ; and sets that 
up as supreme, in opposition to this. It puts down Being in 
general, which is infinitely superior in itself and infinitely 
more important, in an inferior place j yea, subjects the su- 

VoL. II. 3D 


preme crcncra! oljject to this private infinitely inferior object :, 
which is to treat it with great contempt, and truly to act in 
opposition to it, and to act in opposition to the true order of 
things, and in opposition to that -which is infinitely the su- 
preme interest ; making this supreme and infinitely impor- 
tant interest, as far as in us lies, to be subject to, and dependent 
on, an interest infinitely inferior. This is to act against it, 
and to act the part of an enemy to it. He that takes a sub- 
ject, and exalts him above his prince, sets him as supreme 
instead of the prince, and treats his prince wholly as a subject, 
therein acts the part of an enemy to his prince. 

From these things, 1 think, it is manifest, that no affection 
limited to any private system, not dependent on, nor subordi- 
nate to Being in general, can be of the nature of true virtue ; 
and this, whatever the private system be, let it be more or 
less extensive, consisting of a greater or smaller number of 
individuals, so long as it contains an infinitely little part of 
universal existence, and so bears no proportion to the great 
all comprehending system. .....And consequently, that no af- 
fection whatsoever to any creature, or any system of created 
Beings, which is not dependent on, nor subordinate to a pro- 
pensity or union of the heart to God, the supreme and iiifinite 
Being can be of the nature of true vii'tue. 

From hence also it is evident, that the divine virtue, or the 
virtue of the divine mind, must consist primarily in love to 
himself, or in the mutual love and friendship which subsists 
eternally and necessarily between the several persons in the 
Godhead, or that infinitely strong propensity there is in these 
divine persons one to another. There is no need of multi- 
plying words, to prove that it must be thus, on a suppositiiia 
that virtue in its most essential nature, consists in benevolent 
affection or propensity of heart towards Being in general ; 
and so flowing out to particular Beings, in a greater or less 
degree, according to the measure of existence and beauty 

which they are possessed of. It will also follow from the 

foregoing things, that God's goodness and love to created 
Beings, is derived from, and subordinate to his love to him- 
s«lf. [In what manner it is so, I have endeavored in some 


wieasure to explain in the preceding discourse of God's end in 
treating the world.'] 

With respect to the manner in which a virtuous love in ere- 
cted Beings, ojie to another, is dependent on, and derived froni 
love to God, this will appear by a proper consideration ot 
what has been said ; that \i is sufficient to render love to any 
created Being virtuous, if it arise from the temper of mind 
wherein consists a disposition to love God supremely. Be- 
cause it appears from what has been already observed, all that 
lQ\e io particular Beings, which is the fruit of a benevolent 
propensity of heart to Being in general, is virtuous love. But, 
as has been remarked, a benevolent propensity of heart to 
Being in general, and a temper or disposition to love God su- 
premely, are in efTect the same thing. Therefore, if love to 
a created Being comes from that temper or propensity of the 

heart, it is virtuous However, every particular exercise of 

love to a creature may not sensibly arise from any exercise cf 
love to God, or an explicit consideration of any similitude, 
conformity, union or relation to God, in the creature beloved. 

The most proper evidence of love to a created Being, its 
arising from that temper of mind wherein consists a supreme 
propensity of heart to God, seems to be the agreeableness of 
the kind and degree of our love to God's end in our creation 
and in the creation of all things, and the coincidence of the 
exercises of our love, in their manner, order, and measure, 
with the manner, in which God himself exercises love to the 
creature, in the creation and government of the workt, and 
the way in which God, as the first cause and supreme dispos- 
er of all things, has respect to the creature's happiness, in 
subordination to himself as his own supreme end. For the 
true virtue of created Beings is doubtless their highest excel- 
lency, and their true goodness, and that by vhich they are es- 
pecially agreeable to the mind of their Creator But the 

true goodness of a thing (as was observed before) must be its 
agreeableness to its end, or its fitness to answer the design ibr 
which it was made. Or, at least, this must be its goodness 

in the eyes of the workman Therefore they arc good moral 

agents whose temper of mind or propensity of heart is a^-ree- 


able to the rr.d for which God made inoval agents. But, as 
has been shewn, the last end for Avhich God has made moral 
agents, munt be the last end for which God has made all 
things ; it being evident, that the moral world is the end of 
the rest of the Avorld ; the inanimate and unintelligent world 
being made for the rational and moral world, as much as a 
house is prepai'ed for the inhabitants. 

Ey these things it appears, that a truly virtuous mind, be- 
ing, as it were, under the sovereign dominion o^lovc to Gody 
does above all things seek the f^^lonj of God., and makes this 
Lis supreme, governing, and ultimate end ; consisting in the 
expression of God's perfections in their proper efiects, and in 
the m.anifestation of God's glory to created understandings, 
r.nd the communications of the infmite fulness of God to the 
creature ; in the creatures highest esteem of God, love to 
God, and joy in God, and in the proper exercises and expres- 
sions of these And so far as a virtuous mind exercises true 

virtue in benevolence to created Beings, it chiefly seeks the 
good of the creature, consisting in its knowledge or view of 
God's glory and beauty, its union with God, and conformity 

to him, love to him, and joy in him And that temper or 

disposition of heart, that consent, union, or propensity of mind 
to Being in general, which appears chiefly in such exercises, 
is virtue, truly so called ; or in other words, true grace and 
real holiness. And no other disposition or affection but this 
is of the nature of true virtue. 

Corollary. Kcnce it appears, that those schemes of re- 
ligion or moral philosophy, which, however well in some res- 
pects, they mr.v treat of benevolence to mankind., and other 
virtues depending on it, yet have not a supreme regard to 
God, and love to him, laid in the f'jundation, and all other vir- 
tues handled in a connexion with this, and in a mbordination to 
this, are not true schemes of philosophy, but are fundament- 
ally and essentially defective. And whatever other benevo- 
lence or generosity towards mankiml, and other virtues, or 
moral qualiucaiions which go by that name, any arc possessed 
of, that arc not attended with a love to God which is altogether 
above them, and to which thcv arc subordinate, and on M'hich 


they arc dependent, there is nothing of the nature of true 
■virtue or religion in them And it may be asserted in gener- 
al that nothing is of the nature of true virtue in which God 
is not the Jirst and the last ; or which with regard to their 
exercises in general, have not their first foundation and source 
in apprehensions of God's supreme dignity and glory, and iii 
answerable esteem and love of him, and have not respect to 
Cod as the supreme end. 


Concerning the Secondary andlnki'ior kind of Beauty. 

THOUGH this which has been spoken of, alone, is justly 
esteemed the true beauty of moral agents, or spiritual Beings ; 
this alone beiiig what would appear beautiful in them, upon 
a clear and comprehensive view of things ; and therefore 
alone is the moral amiableness of Beings that have under- 
standing and will in the eyes of him that perfectly sees all 
things as they are ; yet there are other qualities, other sensa- 
tions, propensities and affections of mind, and principles of 
action, that often obtain the epithet of virturjiis^ and by many 
are supposed to have the nature of true virtue ; m liich are 
entirely of a distinct nature from t'lis, and have nothing of 
that kind ; and therefore are erroneously confounded with re- 
al virtue as may particularly and fully appear from things 

which will be observed in this and the following chapters. 

That consent, agreement, or union of Being to Being, 
which has been spoken of viz. the union or propensity of 
7ninds to mental or spiritual existence, may be called the 
highest, and first, or primary beauty that is to he found among 
things that exist : Being the proper and peculiar beauty of 
spiritual and moral Beings, which arc the highest and first 
part of the universal system, for whose sake all the rest has 
existence. Yet there is another inferior, secondary beauty, 
which is some image of this, and whicii i^; not paculiar to 


«piritua] Beinj;s, but is found even in inanimate things ; which 
•consists in a mutual consent and agreement of different things 
in form, manner, quantity, and visible end or design ; culled 
by the various names of regularity, order, uniformity, sym- 
metry, proportion, harmony. Sec. Such is the mutual agree- 
ment of tiie various sides of a square, or equilateral triangle, 
or of a regular polygon. Such is, as it Avere, the mutual con- 
sent of the different parts of the periphery of a circle, or sur- 
face of a sphere, and of the con-esponding parts of an ellipsis. 
Such is the agreement of the colors, figures, dimensions and 
distances of the different spots on a chess board. Such is 

the beauty of the figures on a piece of chints, or brocade 

Such is the beautiful proportion of the various parts of an 
liuman body, or countenance. And such is the sweet mutual 
consent and agreement of the various notes of a melodious 
tune. This is the same that Mr. Hutcheson, in his treatise 
on beauty, expresses by uniformity in the midst of variety. 
Which is no other than the consent or agreement of differ- 
ent things, in form, quantity, 8cc. He observes, that the great- 
er the variety is, in equal uniformity, the greater the beauty. 
Which is no more than to soy, the more there are of different 
mutually agreeing things, the greater is the beauty. And 
the reason of that is, because it is more considerable to have 
many things consent one with another, than a few only. 

The beauty which consists in the visible fitness of a thing 
to its use and unity of design, is not a distinct sort of beauty 
from this. For it is to be observed, that one thing which con- 
tributes to the beauty of the agreement and proportion of 
various things, is their relation one to another ; which con- 
nects th'cm, and introduces them together into view and con- 
sideration, and whereby one suggests the other to the mind, 
and the mind is led to compare them and so to expect and 
desire agreement. Thus the uniformity of two or more pil- 
lars, as they may happen to be found in different places, is 
not an equal degree of beauty, as that uniformity in so many 
pillars in the corresponding parts of the same building. So - 
means and an intended effect are related one to another. The 
iuswcrablcncss of a things to its u^c is only the proportion. 


fitness, and agreeing of a cause or means to a visibly design-' 
ed effect, and so an effect suggested to the mind by the idea 
of the means. This kind of beauty is not entirely different 
from that beauty ^vhich there is in fitting a mortise lo its 
tenon. Only Avhen the beauty consists in unity of design, or 
the adaptedness of a variety of things to promote one intend- 
ed effect, in which all conspire, as the various parts of an in- 
genious complicated machine, there is a double beauty, as 
there is a twofold agreement and conformity. First, there is 
the agreement of the various parts to the designed end. Sec- 
ondly, through this, viz, the designed end or effect, all the 
various particulars agree one with another, as the general 
medium of their union, whereby they being united in this 
third, they thereby are all united one to another. 

The reason, or at least one reason why God has made this 
kind of mutual consent and agreement of things beautiful and 
grateful to those intelligent Beings that perceive it, probably 
is, that there is in it some image of the true, spiritual origin- 
al beauty which has been spoken of ; consisting in Being's 
consent to Being, or the union of minds or spiritual Beings in 
a mutual propensity and afTection of heart. The other is an 
image of this, because by that uniformity, diverse things be- 
come as it were one, as it is in this cordial union. And it 
pleases God lo observe analogy in his works, as is mianifest 
in fact in innumerable instances ; and especially to establish 
inferior things in an analogy to superior. __ Thus, in how 
many instances has he formed brutes in analogy to the nature 
of mankind ? And plants in analogy to animals with respect 
to the manner of their generation, nutrition, Sec. And so he 
has constituted the external world in an analogy to things iu 
the spiritual world, in numberless instances ; as might be 
shewn, if it were necessary, and here were proper place and 

room for it Why such analogy in God's works pleases him, 

it is not needful now to inquire. It is sufficient that he makes 
an agreement or consent of different things, in their form, 
manner, measure, &c. to appear beautiful, because here is 
some image of an higher kind of agreement and consent of 
spiritual Beings. It has pleased him to establish a law of na- 


ture, by virtue of which the uniformity and mutual corres- 
pondence of a beautiful plant, and the respect Avhich the vari- 
ous parts of a regular building seem to have one to another, 
I'.nd their agreement and union, and the consent or concord of 
the various notes of a melodious tune, should appear beauti- 
ful ; because therein is some image of the consent of mind, 
of the different members of a society or system of intelligent 

Beings, sweetly united in a benevolent agreement of heart 

And here by the way, I would further observe, probably it is 
with regard to this image or resemblance, -which secondary 
beauty has of true spiritual beauty, that God has so constituted 
nature, that the presenting of this inferior beauty, especially 
in those kinds of it which have the greatest resemblance of 
the primary beauty, as the harmony of sounds, and the beau- 
ties of nature, have a tendency to assist those whose hearts 
are under the influence of a truly virtuous temper, to dispose 
them to the exercises of divine love, and enliven in them a 
sense of spiritual beauty. 

From what has been said we may sec, that there are two 
sorts of agreement or consent of one thing to another. (1) 
There is a cordial agreement ; that consists in concord and 
union of mind and heart ; which, if not attended (viewing 
things in general) with more discord than concord, is true 
virtue, and the original or primary beauty, which is the only 
true //2ora/ beauty (2.) There is q. natural xxmon ov agree- 
ment ; Avhich, though some image cf the other, is entirely a 
distinct thing ; the will, disposition, or affection of the heart 
having no concern in it, but consisting only in uniformity and 
consent of nature, form, quantity, ^c. (as before described) 
wherein lies an inferior secondary sort cf beauty, which may, 

in distinction from the other, be called natural heixwly This 

may be suflPxient to let the reader know how I shall hereafter 
use the ph'/ases of cordial, and natural agreement ; and moral, 
^piritual, divine, and primary original bcauly, and secondarv, 
or natural beauty. 

Concerning this hitter, inrcricr kind of beauty, the follow- 
ing: thin'-s mav be observed ; 


1. The cawse why secondary beauty is grateful to men, is 
only a lam of nature^ which God has fixed, or an instinct he has 
given to mankind ; and not their perception of the same 
thing which God is pleased to have regard to, as the ground 

or rule by which he has established such a law of nature 

This appears in two things, 

(1.) That which God has respect to, as the rule or ground 
of this law of nature he has given us, whereby things hav- 
ing a secondary beauty are made grateful to men, is their mu- 
tual agreement and proportion, in measure, form, &:c. But 
in many instances persons that are gratified, and have their 
minds affected, in presenting this beauty, do not reflect on 
that particular agreement and proportion which, according to 
the law of nature is the ground and rule of beauty in the case, 
yea, are ignorant of it. Thus, a man may be pleased with 
the harmony of the notes in a tune, and yet know nothing of 
that proportion or adjustment of the notes, which by the law 
of nature is the ground of the m.elody. H« knows not, that 
the vibrations in one note regularly coincide with the vibra- 
tions in another ; that the vibrations of a note coincide in 
time with two vibrations of its octave ; and that two vibra- 
tions of a note coincide with three of its fifih, &c. Yea, he 
mav not know, that there are vibrations of the air in the case, 
ov any corresponding motions in the organs of hearing, in the 

auditory nerve, or animal spirits So, a man may be affected 

and pleased Avith a beautiful proportion of the features in a 
face, and yet not know what that proportion is, or what meas- 
ures, quantities, and distances it consists in. 

In this a sensation of secondary beauty differs from a sen- 
sation of primary and spiritual beauty, consisting in a spirit- 
ual union and agreement. What makes the latter grateful, 
is perceiving the union itself. It is the immediate view of 
that wherein the beauty fundamentally lies, that is pleasing 
to the virtuous mind. 
(2.) As was observed before, God, in establishing such 
a law that mutual natural agreement of different things, in 
form, quantity, 8cc. should appear beautiful or grateful to 
men, seems to have bad regard to the image and resemblance 
Vol. II. 3 E 


there is in such a natural agreement, of that spiritual cordlai 
a"-reenicnt, -wherein original beauty consists, as one reason 
\vhy he established such a law But it is not any reflection 
upon, or preception of, such a resemblance of this to spirtual 
beaut} , that is the reason why such a form or state of objects 
appears beautiful to men : But their sensation of pleasure, on 
a view of this secondary beauty is immediately owing to the 
law God has established, or the instinct he has given. 

2. Another thing observable concerning this kind of beau- 
ty, is, that it aliects the mind more (other things being equal) 
•when taken notice of in objects which are of considerable im- 
portance, than in little trivial matters. Thus, the symmetry 
of the parts of a human body, or countenance, affects the mind 
more than the beauty of a flower. So, the beauty of the solar 
systern, more than as great and as manifold an order and uni- 
formitv in a tree. And the proportions of the parts of a 
church, or a palace, more than the same proportions in some 
little slight compositions, made to please children. 

3. It may be observed (which was hinted before) that not 
only uniformity and proportion, &c. of different things is re- 
quisite in order to this inferior beauty, but some relation or 
connexion, of the things thus agreeing one with another. As, 
the uniformity or likeness of a number of pillars, scattered 
hither and thither, does not constitute beauty, or at least by 
mo means in an equal degree as uniformity in pillars con- 
nected in the same building, in parts that have relation one to 
another. So, if we see things unlike, and very disproportioned, 
in distant places, which have no relation to each other, this 
excites no such idea of deformity, as disagreement and inequal- 
ity or disproportion in things related and connected : And 
the nearer the relation, and the stricter the connexion, so 
much the greater and more disgustful is the deformity, con- 
sisting in their disagreement. 

4. This secondary kind of beauty, consisting in uniformi- 
ty and proportion, not only takes place in material and exter- 
nal things, but also in things immaterial ; and is, in very- 
many things, plain and sensible in the latter, as well as the 
former ; And -when it is so, there is no reason why it should 


»ot be grateful to them that behold it, in these as well as the 
other, by virtue of the same sense, or the same determination 
of mind to be gratified with uniformity and proportion. If 
uniformity and proportion be the things that effect, and ap- 
pear agreeable to, this sense of beauty, then why should not 
uniformity and proportion affect the saijie sense in immate- 
rial things as well as material, if there be equal capacity o-f 
discerning it in both ? And indeed more in spiritual things 
(cccteris paribus) as these are more important than things 
merely external and material ? 

This is not only reasonable to be supposed, but it is evident 
in fact, in numberless instances. There is a beauty of order 
in society, besides what consists in benevolence, or can be re-- 
ferred to it, which is of the secondary kind. As, when the 
different members of society have all their appointed office, 
place and station, according to their several capacities and tal- 
ents, and every one keeps his place, and conthmes in his 
proper business. In this there is a beauty, not of a different 
kind from the regularity of a beautiful building, or piece of 
skilful architecture, where the strong pillars are set in their 
proper place, the pilasters in a place fit for them, the square 
pieces of marble in the pavement, in a place suitable for them, 
the pannels in the walls and partitions in their proper places, 
the cornices in places proper for them, 8cc. As the agreement 
of a variety in one common design, of the parts of a building, 
or complicated machine, is one instance of that regularity, 
which belongs to the secondary kind of beauty, so there is the 
same kind of beauty in immaterial things, in what is called 
nvisdo?}}., consisting in the vinited tendency of thoughts, ideas, 
and particular volitions, to one general purpose : Which is 
a distinct thing from the goodness of that general purpose, as 
being useful and benevolent. 

So there is a beauty in the virtue called Jms.'/cc, which con- 
sists in the agreement of different things, that have relation 
to one another, in nature, manner and measure : And there- 
fore is the very same sort of beauty with that uniformity and 
proportion, which is observable in those external and material 
things that are esteemed beautiful. There is a natural agree= 


ment and aclaptedncss of things that have relation one to an- 
other, and an harmonious corresponding of one thing to anoth- 
er : That he -which from his will does evil to others, should 
receive evil from the will of others, or from the will of him or 
them whose business it is to take care of the injured, and to 
act in their behalf : And that he should suffer evil in propor- 
tion to the evil of his doings. Things are in natural regular- 
ity and mutual agreement, not in a metaphorical but literal 
sense, when he whose heart opposes the general system, 
should have the hearts of that system, or the heart of the 
head and ruler of the system, against him : And that 
in consequence, he should receive evil in proportion to the 

evil tendency of the opposition of his heart So, there is a 

like agreement in nature and measure, when he that loves, 
has the proper returns of love ; when he that from his heart 
promotes the good of another, has his good promoted by the 
other ; as there is a kind of justice in a becoming gratitude. 

Indeed most of the duties incumbent on us, if well consid- 
ered, will be found to partake of the nature of justice. There 
is some natural agreement of one thing to another ; some 
adaptedness of the agent to the object ; some answerableness 
of the act to the occasion; some equality and proportion in 
things of a similar nature, and of a direct relation one to an- 
other. So it is in relative duties ; duties of children to par- 
ents, and of parents to children ; duties of husbands and 
wives ; duties of rulers and subjects ; duties of Iriendsliip 
and good neighborhood : And all duties that we owe to God, 
cvu' Creator, preserver, and benefactor ; and all duties what- 
soevei", considered as required by God, and as branches of 
our duty to him, and also considered as what are to be per- 
formed with a regard to Christ, as acts of obedience to his 
precepts, and as testimonies of respect to him, and of our re- 
gard to what he has done for us, the virtues and temper of 
mind he has exercised towards us, and the benefits we have 
or hope for therefrom. 

It is this secondary kind of beauty, which belongs to the 
virtues and duties required of us, that Mr. Wollaston seems to 
have had in his eye, when he resolved all virtue into an agree- 


tnent of inclinations, volitions and actions with truth. He 
evidently has respec*^ to the justice there is in the virtues and 
duties that are proper to be in one Being towards another ; 
which consists in one Being's expressing such affections and 
using such a conduct towards another, as hath a natural agree- 
ment and proportion to what is in them, and what w^e receive 
from them ; which is as much a natural conformity of affec- 
tion and action with its ground, object and occasion, as that 
which is between a true proposition and the thing spoken of in it. 

But there is another and higher beauty in true virtue, and 
in all truly virtuous dispositions and exercises, than what con- 
sists in any uniformity or similarity of various things, viz. the 
union of heart to Being in general, or to God the Being of Be- 
ings, which appears in those virtues ; and which those vir- 
tues, when true, are the various expressions or effects of..... 
Benevolence to Being in general, or to Being simply consid- 
ered, is entirely a distinct thing from uniformity in the midst 
of variety, and is a superior kind of beauty. 

It is true, that benevolence to Being in general, when a 
person hath it, will naturally incline him to justice, or propor- 
tion in the exercises of it. He that loves Being, simply con- 
sidered, will naturally (as was observed before) other things 
being equal, love particular Beings, in a proportion com- 
pounded of the degree of Being, and the degree of virtue or 
benevolence to Being, wdiich they have. And that is {o love 
Beings in proportion to their dignity. For the dignity of any- 
Being consists in those two things. Respect to Being, in this 
proportion, is the first and most general kind of justice ; which 
will produce all the subordinate kinds. So that, after benev- 
olence to Being in general exists, the proportion which is ob- 
served in objects, may be the cause of the proportion of be- 
nevolence to those objects : But no proportion is the cause 
or ground of the existence of such a thing as benevolence to 
Being. The tendency of objects to excite that degree of be- 
nevolence, which is proportionable to the degree of Being, 
fee. is the consequence of the existence of benevolence ; and 
not the ground of it. Even as a tendency of bodies, one to 
another, by mutual attraction, in proportion to the quantity of 


matter, is the consequence of the Being of such a thinfv as 
mutual attraction ; and not attraction the effect of proportion. 

By this it appears, that juat affections and acts have a beauty 
in them, distinct from, and superior to, the uniformity and 
equality there is in them ; for which, he that has a truly vir- 
tuous temper, relishes and delit^hts in them. And that is the 
expression and manifestation there is in them of benevolence 
to Being in general And besides this, there is the agree- 
ment of pisHce to the will and command of God ; and also 
something in the tendency and consequences of justice, that 
is agreeable to general benevolence, viz. as in many respects 
it tends to the glory of God, and the general good. Which 
tendency also makes it beautiful to a truly virtuous mind. So 
that the tendency of general benevolence to produce justice, 
also the tendency of justice to produce effects agreeable to 
general benevolence, both render justice pleasing to a virtu- 
ous mind. And it is on these accounts chief y^ thiit justice is 
grateful to a virtuous taste, or a truly benevolent heart. But, 
though it be true, there is that in the uniformity and propor- 
tion there is in justice, which is grateful to a benevolent heart, 
ris this uniformity and proportion tends to the general good ; 
yet that is no argument, that there is no other beauty in it 
but its agreeing with benevolence. For so the external reg- 
ularity and order of the natural world gratifies benevolence, 
as it is profitable, and tends to the' general good ; but that is 
no argument, that there is no other sort of beauty in external 
uniformity and proportion, but only its suiting benevolence by 
tending to the general good. 

5. From all that has been observed concerning this second- 
ary kind of beauty, it appears that that disposition or sense of 
the mind, which consists in determination of mind to approve 
and be pleased with this beauty, considered simply and by it- 
self, has nothing of the nature of true virtue, and is entirely a 
different thing from a truly virtuous taste. For it has been 
shewn, that this kind of beauty is entirely diverse from the 
beauty of true virtue, whether it takes place in material or 
immaterial things. And therefore it will follow, that a taste 
»f this kind of beauty is entirely a different thing from a tas*e 


of true virtue. Who will affirm, that a disposition to approve 
of the harmony of good music, or the beauty of a square, or 
equilateral triangle, is the same M'ith true holiness, or a truly 
virtuous disposition of mind ! It is a relish of uniformity and 
proportion, that determines the mind to approve these thing's. 
And if this be all, there is no need of any thing higher, or of 
any thing in any respect diverse, to determine the mind to 
approve and be pleased Avith equal uniformity and pvopori.iou 
among spiritual things which are equally discerned. It is 
virtuous to love true virtue, as that denotes an agreement of 
the heart with virtue. But it argues no virtue, for the heart 
to be pleased with that which is entirely disinct from it. 

Though it be true, there is some analogy in it to spiritual 
and virtuous beauty, as much as material things can have 
analogy to things spiritual (of which they can have no more 
than a shadow) yet, as has been observed, men do not approve 
it because of any such analogy perceived. 

And not only reason, but experience plainly shews, that 
men's approbation of this sort of beauty, does not spiing from 
any virtuous temper, and has no connexion with virtue. For, 
otherwise, men's delight in the beauty of squares, and cubes, 
and regular polygons, in the regularity of buildings, and the 
beautiful figures in a piece of embroidery, would increase in 
proportion to men's virtue ; and would be raised to a great 
height in some eminently virtuous or holy men ; but Avould 
be almost wholly lost in some otliers that are very vicious and 
lewd. It is evident in fact, that a relish of these things does 
not depend on general benevolence, or any benevolence at all 
to any being whatsoever, any more than a man's loving the 
taste of honey, or his being pleased with the smell of a rose. 
A taste of this inferior beauty in things immaterial, is one 
thing which has been mistaken by some moralists, for a true 
virtuous principle, implanted naturally in the lic.^.rts of al! 



Of Self Love y and its various Influence, to cause 
Love to others^ or the contrary. 

MANY assert, that all lo\e arises from self love. In order 
to dcterniine tins point, it should be clearly ascertained what 
is meant by self love. 

Self love, I think, is generally defined a man's love of 

his own happiness. Which is short, and may be thought 
very plain : But indeed is an ambiguous definition, as the pro- 
noun, his o-,vn, is equivocal, and liable to be taken in two very 
different senses. For a man's own hafipiness may either be 
taken universally, for all the happiness or pleasure which the 
mind is in any regard the subject of, or whatever is grateful 
and pleasing to men ; or it may be taken for the pleasure a 

man takes in his own proper, private, and separate good 

And so, self love may be taken two ways. 

1. Self love may be taken for the same as his loving what- 
soever is grateful or pleasing to him. Which comes only to 
this, that self love is a man's liking, and being suited and 
pleased in that which he likes, and which pleases him ; or^ 
that it is a man's loving what he loves. For whatever a man 
loves, that thing is grateful and pleasing to him, Avhether that 
be his own peculiar happiness, or the happiness of others. 
And if this be all that they mean by self love, no wonder they 
suppose that all love may be resolved into self love. For it is 
imdoubtedly true, that whatever a man loves, his love may be 

resolved into his loving Avhat he loves if that be proper 

speaking. If by self love is meant nothing else but a man's 
loving what is grateful or pleasing to him, and being averse 
to what is disagreeable, this is calling !/ia: self love, which is 
only a general capacity of loving, or hating ; or a capacity of 
being either pleased or displeased ; which is the same thing 
as a man's having a facully of will. For if nothing could be 
either pleasing or displeasing, agreeable or disagreeable to a 


Man, then he could incline to nothing, and will nothing. But 
if he is capable of having inclination, will and choice, then 
what he inclines to, and chooses, is grateful to him ; whatever 
that be, whether it be his own private good, the good of his 
neighbors, or the glory of God. And so far as it is grateful 
or pleasing to him, so far it is a part of his pleasure, good, or 

But if this be what is nieant by self love, there is an im- 
propriety and absurdity even in the putting of the question, 
Whether all our love, or our love to each particular object of 
our love, does not arise from self love ? For that would be the 
same as to inquire. Whether the reason why our love is fixed 
on such and such particular objects, is not, that we have a ca- 
pacity of loving some things ? This may be a general reason 
why men love or hate any thing at all ; and therein differ 
from stones and trees, which love nothing, and hale nothing. 
But it can never be a reason Avhy men's love is placed on such 
and such objects. That a man, in general, loves and is pleas- 
ed with happiness, or (which is the same thing) has a capacity 
of enjoying happiness, cannot be the reason why such and 
such things become his happiness : As for instance, why the 
good of his neighbor, or the happiness and glory of God, is 
grateful and pleasing to him, and so becomes a part of his 

Or if what they mean, who say that all love comes from 
self love, be not, that our loving such and such particular per- 
sons and things, arises from our love to happiness in general, 
but from a love to love our own happiness, which consists in 
tliese objects ; so, the reason why we love benevolence to our 
friends, or neighbors, is, because we love our happiness, con- 
sisting in their happiness, which we take pleasure in : Still 

the notion is absurd. For here the effect is made the cause 
of that, of which it is the effect : Our happiness, consisting 
in the happiness of the person beloved, is made the cause of 
our love to that person. Whereas, the truth plainly is, that 
our love to the person is the cause of our delighting, or being 
happy in his happiness. How comes cur happiness to consist 
in the happiness of such as we love, but by our hearts being 

Vol. n. 3 F 


first united to them in affection, so that we as it were, look Oir- 
them as ourselves, and so on their happiness as our own ? 

Men who have benevolence to others, have pleasure when 
they see others' happiness, because seeing their happiness 

gratifies some inclination that was in their hearts before 

They before inclined to their happiness ; which was by be-- 
nevolencc or good will ; and therefore when they see their 
happiness, their inclination is suited, and they are pleased. 
But the Being of inclinations and appetites is prior to any 
pleasure in gratifying these appetites. 

2. Self love, as the phrase is used in common speech, most 
commonly signifies a man's regard to his confined jirivate 
self^ or love to himself with respect to h'ls firivate interest. 

By private interest I mean that which most immediately 
consists in those pleasures, or pains, that are pergonal. For 
there is a comfort, and a grief, that some have in others pleas- 
ures, or pains ; which are in others originally, but are derived 
to them, or in some measure become their's, by virtue of a 
benevolent union of heart with others. And there are other 
pleasures and pains that are oiiginally our own, and not what 
■we have by such a participation with others. Which consist 
in perceptions agreeable, or contrary, to certain personal in- 
clinations implanted in our nature ; such as the sensitive ap- 
petites and aversions. Such also is the disposition or the 
determination of the mind to be pleased with external beauty, 
and with all inferior secondary beauty, consisting in uniform- 
ity, proportion, &:c. whether in things external or internal, 
and to dislike the contrary deformity. Such also is the natural 
disposition in men to be pleased in a perception of their being 
the objects of the honor and love of others, and displeased 
with others hatred and contempt. For pleasures and uneasi- 
nesses of this kind are doubtless as much owing to an imme-- 
diate determination of the mind by a fixed law of our nature, 
as any of the pleasures or pains of external sense. And these 
pleasures are properly of the private and personal kind ; being 
not by any participation of the happiness or sorrow of others, 
through benevolence. It is evidently mere self love, that ap- 
pears in this disposition. It is easy to see, that a man's love 


io himself will make him love love to himself, and hate hatred 
to himself. And as God has constituted our nature, self love 
is exercised in no one disposition more than in this. Men, 
probably, are capable of much more pleasure and pain through 
this determination of the mind, than by any other personal 
inclination, or aversion, whatsoever. Though perhaps we do 
not so very often see instances of extreme suffering by this 
means, as by some others, yet we often see evidences of men's 
dreading the contempt of others more than death : And by 
such instances may conceive something what men would suf- 
fer, if universally hated and despised ; and may reasonably 
infer something of the greatness of the misery, that would 
arise under a sense of universal abhorrence, in a great view of 
intelligent Being in general, or in a clear view of the Deity, 
as incomprehensibly and immensely great, so that all other 
Beings are as nothing and vanity. ...together with a sense of 
his immediate continual presence, and an infinite concern 

with him and dependence upon him and living constantly 

in the midst of most clear and strong evidences and manifest- 
ations of his hatred and contempt and wrath. 

But to return These things may be sufficient to explain 

Avhat I mean by private interest ; in regard to which, self 
love, most properly so called, is immediately -exercised. 

And here I would observe, that if we take self love in this 
sense, so love to some others may truly be the effect of self 
love ; i. e. according to the common method and order, which 
is maintained in the laws of nature. For no created thing- 
has power to produce an effect any otherwise than by virtue 
of the laws of nature. Thus, that a man should love those 
that are of his party, when there are <liflferent parties con- 
tending one with another ; and that are warmly engaged on 
his side, and promote his interest. ...this is the natural conse- 
quence of a private self love. Indeed there is no metaphvs- 
ical necessity, in tiie nature of things, that because a man 
loves hin^self,and regards his own interest, he therefore should 
love those that love him, and promote his interest ; i. e. to 
suppose it to be otherwise, implies no contradiction. It will 
act follow from any absolute metaphysical necessity, that be- 


cause bodies have solidity, cohesion, and gravitation towards 
the centre of the earth, therefore a weight suspended on the 
beam of a balance should have greater power to counter bal- 
ance a weight on the other side, when at a distance from the 
fulcrum, than when it is near. It implies no contradiction, 
that it should be otherwise : But only as it contradicts that 
beautiful proportion and harmony, which the author of nature 
observes in the laws of nature he has established. Neither 
is there any absolute necessity, the contrary implying a con- 
tradiction, that because there is an internal mutual attraction 
of the parts of the earth, or any other sphere, whereby the 
Avhole becomes one solid coherent body, therefore other bodies 
that are around it, should also be attracted by it, and those 
that are nearest, be attracted most. But according to the or- 
der and proportion generally observed in the laws of nature, 
one of these effects is connected with the other, so that it is 
justly looked upon as the same power of attraction in the 
globe of the earth, which draws bodies about the earth towards 
its centre, with that which attracts the parts of the earth them- 
selves one to another ; only exerted under different circum- 
stances. By a like order of nature, a man's love to those that 
love him, is no more than a certain expression or effect of 
self love. No other principle is needful in order to the effect, 
if nothing intervenes to covmtervail the natural tendency of 
self love. Therefore there is no more true virtue in a man's 
thus loving his friends merely from self love, than there is in 
self love itself, the principle from whence it proceeds. So, a 
man's being disposed to hate those that hate him, or to resent 
injuries done him, arises from self love in like manner as the 
loving those that love us, and being thankful for kindness 
shewn us. 

But it is said by some, that it is apparent, there is some 
other principle concerned in exciting the passions of gratitude 
and anger, besides self love, viz. a moral sense, or sense of 
moral beauty and deformity, determining the minds of all 
mankind to approve of, and be pleased with virtue, and to dis- 
approve of vice, and behold it with displicence ; and that their 
seeing or supposing this moral beauty or deformity, in the 


kindness of a bencfactoi', or opposition of an adversary, is the 
occasion of these afTections of p;ratitiide or anger. Otherwise, 
why are not these affections excited in us towards inanimate 
things, that do us good, or hurt ? Why do we not experience 
gratitude to a garden, or fruitful field ? And why are we not 
angry with a tempest, or blasting mildew, or an overflowing 
stream ? We are very differently affected towards those that 
do us good from the virtue of generosity, or hurt us from the 
vice of envy and malice, than towards things that hurt or help 

us, which are destitute of reason and will Now concerning 

this, I would make several remarks. 

1. Those who thus argue, that gratitude and anger cannot 
proceed from self love, might argue in the same way, and 
with equal reason, that neither can these affections arise from 
love to others ; which is contrary to their own scheme. 

They say that the reason why we are affected with grati- 
tude and anger towards men, rather than things without life, 
is moral sense ; which they say, is the effect of that principle 
of benevolence or love to others, or love to the public, which 
is naturally in the hearts of all mankind. But now I might 
say, according to their own way of arguing, gratitude and an-- 
ger cannot arise from love to others, or love to the public, or 
any sense of mind that is the fruit of public affection. For 
how differently are we affected towards those that do good or 
hurt to the public from understanding and will, and from a 
general public spirit, or public motive I say, how different- 
ly affected are we towards these, from what wc are towards 
such inanimate things as the sun and the clouds, that do good to 
the public by enlightening and enlivening beams and refresh- 
ing showers ; or inildew, and an overflowing stream, that 
does hurt to the public, by destroying the fruits of the earth ■ 
Yea, if such a kind of argument be good, it will prove that 
gratitude and anger cannot arise from the united influence of 
self love, and public love, or moral sense arising from the 
public affection. For, if so, why are we not affected towards 
inanimate things, that are beneficial or injurious both to us 
and the public, in the same manner as to them that are profit- 
able or hurtful to both on choice and design, and from benev- 
elence, or malice ? 


2. On the supposition of its being indeed so, that men love 
those w ho love ihem, and are angry with those who hate them, 
from the natural influence of sell" love ; it is not at all strange 
that the author of nature, who observes order, uniformity and 
harmony in establishing its laws, should so order that it should 
be natural for self love to cause the mind to be affected dif- 
fcrenlly towards exceedingly different objects; and that it 
should cause our heart to extend itself in one manner towards 
inanimate things, which gratify self love, without sense or 
will, and in another manner towards Beings which we look 
upon as having mulerstanding and will, like ourselves, and 
exerting these faculties in our favor, and promoting our inter- 
est from love to us. No wonder, seeing Ave love ourselves, 
that it shoukUbc natural to us to extend something of that 
same kind of love Avhich we have for ourselves, to them who 
are the same kind of Beings as ourselves, and comply with 
the inclinations of our self love, by expressing the same sort 
of love towards us. 

. 3. If we should allow that to be universal, that in gratitude 
and anger there is the exercise of some kind of moral sense 
(as it is granted, there is something that may be so called.) 
All the moral sense, that is essential to those affections, is a 
sense of Desert ; Avliich is to be referred to that sense of 
justice, before spoken of, consisting in an apprehension of that 
secondary kind of beauty, that lies in uniformity and propor- 
tion : Which solves all the difficulty in the objection This, 

or some appearance of it to a narrow private view, indeed at- 
tends all anger and gratitude. Others love and kindness to 
us, or their ill will and injuriousness, appears to us to deserve 
cur love, or our resentment. Or, in other words, it seems to 
us no other than^w.'./, that as they love us, and do us good, we 
also should love them, and do them good- And so it seems 
7/<,v^', that when others' hearts oppose us, and they from their 
h.earts do us hurt, our hearts should oppose theiri, and that 
■we should desire they themselves may suffer in like manner 
as we have suffered ; i. e. there appears to us to be a natural 
agreement, piopoiticn, and ad\istmeni between these things. 
Which is indeed a kind of moral sense or sense of a beauty in 


iiioral things. But as was before shewn, it is a moral sense of a 
secondary kind, and is entirely different from a sense or relislv 
of the original essential beauty of true virtue ; and may be 
v;ithout any principle of true virtue in the heart. Therefore 
doubtless it is a great mistake in any to suppose, ail that moral 
sense which appears and is exercised in a sense of desert^ 
is the same thing as a love of virtue, or a disposition and de- 
termination of mind to be pleased with true virtuous beauty,- 
consisling in public benevolence. Which may be further con- 
firmed, if it be considered that even with respect to a sense 
of justice or desert^ consisting in uniformity [and agreement 
between others actions towards us, and our actions towards 
them, in a way of vv'ell doing, or of ill doing] it is not abso- 
lutely necessary to the being of these passions of gratitude 
and anger, that there should be any notion of justice in them, 

in any public or general view of things ; as will appear by 

what shall be next observed. 

4. Those authors who hold that that moral sense which is 
natural to all mankind, consists in a natural relish of the beau- 
ty of virtue, and so arises from a principle of true vir- 
tue implanted by nature in the hearts of all... ..They hold 
that true virtue consists in public benevolence. There- 
fore, if the affections of gratiti'de and anger necessarily im- 
ply such a moral sense as they suppose, then these affections 
imply some delight in the public good, and an aversion of the 
mind to public evil. And if this were so, then every time 
any man feels anger for opposition he meets with, or grati- 
tude for any favor, there must be at least a supposition of:', 
tendency to public injury in that opposition, and a tendency 
to public benefit in the favor that excites his gratitude. But 
how far is thi^ from being true? As, in such instances as 
these, which I presume, none will deny to be possible, or un- 
like to any thing that ever happens among nnankind. A 
ship's crew enter into a conspiracy against the master, to mur-' 
der him, and run away with the ship and turn pirates ; but 
before they bring their matters to a ripeness for execution, 
one of them repents and opens the whole design ; whereupon 
the rest are apprehended and brought to justice. The crew 


are enras^ed A\ilh liim that has betrayed them, and earnestly 
Kcek opportunity to revenge themselves upon him... .And for 
an instance of i^raLilude, a gang of robbers that have long in- 
fested the neighboring country, have a particular house 
■whither they resort, and where they meet from time to time, 
to divide theh' booty or prey, and hold their consultations for 
carrying on their pernicious designs. The magistrates and 
officers of the country, after many fruitless endeavors to dis- 
cover their secret haunt and place of resort, at length by 
some means are well infoimed where it is, and are prepared 
■with sufficient force to surprize them, and seize them all, at 
the place of rendezvous, at an hour appointed when they un- 
derstand they will all be there. A little before the arri-al of 
the appointed \t<mv, Avhile the officers with their bands are ap- 
proaching, acme person is so kind to these robbers as to give 
them notice of their danger, so as just to give them opportu- 
nity to escape. They are thankful to him, and give him a 

handful of money for his kindness Now in such instances, 

1 think it is plain, that there is no supposition of a public in- 
jury in that which is the occasion of their a7}gcr ; yea, they 
know the contrary. Nor is there any supposition of public 
good in tliat which excites their gratitude ; neither has pub- 
lic benevolence, or moral sense, consisting in a determination 
to approve of what is for the public good, any influence at all 
in the affair. And though there be some affection, besides a 
sense of uniformity and proportion, that has influence in such 
anger and gratitude, it is not public affection or benevolence, 
but private affection ; yea, that affection which is to the high- 
est degree private, consisting in a man's love of his own 

5. The passion of miffn; in particular, seems to have been 
unluckily chosen as a medium to pro^e a sense and determin- 
ation to delight in virtue, consisting in benevolence, natural 
to all mankind. 

For, if that moral sense which is exercised in anger, were 
that which arose from a benevolent temper of heart, being 
no other than a sense or relish of the beauty of benevolence, 
one would think a disjwsiiion to anc-er should increase, ut 


least in some proportion, as a man had more of a sweet, 
benign, and benevolent temper ; which seems something 
disagreeable to reason, as well as contrary to experience, 
which shews that the less men have of benevolence, and the 
more they have of a contrary temper, the more are they dis- 
posed to anger and deep resentment of injuries. 

And though gratitude be that which many speak of as a 
certain noble principle of virtue, which God has implanted 
in the hearts of all mankind ; and though it be true, there is 
a gratitude, that is truly virtuous, and the want of gratitude 
or an ungrateful temper, is truly vicious, and argues an abom- 
inable depravity of heart (as I may have particular occasion 
to sliew afterwards) yet, I think what has been observed, may 
serve to convince such as impartially consider it, not only that 
not all anger, or hating those which hate us, but also that not 
all gratitude, or loving those which love us, arises from a truly- 
virtuous benevolence of heart. 

Another sort of affections, which maybe properly referred 
to self love, as their source and which might be expected to be 
the fruit of it, according to the general analogy of nature's 
laws, are affections to such as are near to us by the ties of na- 
ture ; that we look upon as those whose Beings we have been 
the occasions of, and that Ave have a very peculiar propriety 
in, and whose circumstances, even from the first beginning of 
their existence, do many ways lead them, as it were, necessa- 
rily, to an high esteem of us, and to treat us with great de- 
pendence, submission and compliance ; and whom the con- 
stitution of the world makes to be united in interest, and ac- 
cordingly to act as one in innumerable affairs, with a com- 
munion in each other's affections, desires, cares, friendships, 
enmities, and pursuits. Which is the case of men's affec- 
tion to their children. And in like manner self love will also 
beget in a man some degree of affections, towards others, 
with whom he has connexion in any degree parallel. As to 
the opinion of those that ascribe the natural affection there is 
between parents and children, to a particular zMs^'mr/ ofnature> 
J shall take notice of it afterwards. 

Vol. II. 3 G 


And as men may love persons and things from self love. 
so may love to qualities and characters arise from the same 
source. Some represent as though there were need of a 
great degree of metaphysical refining to make it out, that meii 
approve of others from self love, whom they hear of at a dis- 
tance, or read of in history, or see represented on the stage, 
from whom they expect no profit or advantage. But perhaps 
it is not considered, that what we approve of in the first place 
is the character, and from the character we approve the per- 
son, and is it a .range thing, that men should, from self love, 
like a temper or character, which in its nature and tendency- 
falls in with the nature and tendency of self love ; and which, 
v.'e know by experience and self evidence, without metaphys- 
ical refining, in the general, tends to men's pleasure and ben- 
efit ? And on the contrary, should dislike what they see 
tends to men's pain and misery ? Is there need of a great 
degree of subtilty and abstraction, to make it out, that a child, 
which has heard and seen much, strongly to fix an idea, of the 
pernicious deadly nature of the rattlesnake, should have aver- 
sion to that species or form, from self love ; so as to have a 
degree of this aversion and disgust excited by seeing even the 
picture of that animal ? And that from the same self love 
it should be pleased and entertained with a lively figure and 
representation of some pleasant fruit which it has often tasted 
the sweetness of ? Or, with the image of some bird, which 
it has always been told, is innocent, and whose pleasant sing- 
ing it has often been entertained with ? Though the child 
neither fears being bitten by the picture of the snake, nor 
expects to eat of the painted fruit, or to hear the figure of the 
bird sing. I suppose none Avill think it difficult to allow, that 
such an approbation or disgust of a child may be accounted 
for from its natural delight in the pleasures of taste and hear- 
ing, and its aversion to pain and death, through self love, to- 
gether with the habitual connexion of these agreeable or ter- 
rible ideas with the form and qualities of these objects, 
the ideas of which are impressed on the mind of the child 
by their images. 


And where is the difficulty of allowing, that a child or man 
may hate the general character of a spiteful and malicious 
man, for the like reason, as he hates the general nature of a 
serpent ; knowing, from reason, instruction and experience, 
that malice in men is pernicious to mankind, as well as spite 
or poison in a serpent ? And if a man may, from self love, 
disapprove the vices of malice, envy, and others of that sort, 
which naturally tend to the hurt of mankind, why may he not 
from the same principle approve the contrary virtues of meek- 
ness, peaceableness, benevolence, charity, generosity, justice, 
and the social virtues in general ; which he as easily and 
clearly knows, naturally tend to the good of mankind ? 

It is undoubtedly true that some have a love to these vir^ 
tues from a higher principle. But yet I think it as certainly 
true, that there is generally in mankind a sort of approbation 
of them, which arises from self love. 

Besides what has been already said, the same thing further 
appears from this ; that men commonly are most affected to- 
wards, and do most highly approve, those virtues which 
agree with their interest most, according to their various con- 
ditions in life. . We see that persons of low condition are es- 
pecially enamored with a condescending, accessible, affable 
temper in the great ; not only in those whose condescension 
has been exercised towards themselves ; but they A\ill be pe- 
culiarly taken with such a character when they have accounts 
of it from others, or when they meet with ii in history or even 
in romance. The poor will most highly approve and com- 
mend liberality. The weaker sex v/ho especially need assist- 
ance and protection, will peculiarly esteem and applaud fortir 
tude and generosity in those of the other sex, they read or 
hear of, or have represented to them on a stage. 

As I think it plain from what has bejen observed, that men 
may approve and be disposed to commend a benevolent tem- 
per, from self love, so the higher the degree of benevolence 
is, the more may they approve of it. Which will account 
for some kind of approbation, from this principle, even of 
love to enemies, viz. as a man's loving his enemies is ais 


evidence of a high degree of benevolence of temper ; the 

degree of it appearing from the obstacles it overcomes. 

And it may be here observed, tliat the consideration of the 
tendency and influence of self love may shew, how men in 
general may approve of justice from another ground, besides 
that approbation of the secondary beauty there is in uniformi- 
ty and proportion, which is natural to all. Men from their 
infancy see the necessity of it, not only that it is necessary for 
others, or for human society ; but they find the necessity of it 
for themselves, in instances that continually occur : Which 
tends to prejudice them in its favor, and to fix an habitual apr 
probation of it from self love. 

And again, that forementioned approbation of justice and 
desert, arising from a sense of the beauty of natural agree- 
ment and proportion, will have a kind of reilex, and indirect 
influence to cause men to approve benevolence, and disap- 
prove malice ; as men see that he who hates and injures 
others, deserves to be hated and punished, and that he who is 
benevolent, and loves others, and does them good, deserves 
himself also to be loved and rewarded by others, as they see 
the natural congruity or agreement and mutual adaptedness 
of these things. And having always seen this, malevolence 
becomes habitually connected in the mind with the idea of 
being hated and punished, which is disagreeable to self love ; 
and the idea of benevolence is habitually connected and asso- 
ciated with the idea of being loved and rewarded by others, 
•which is grateful to self love. And by virtue of this associa- 
tion of ideas, benevolence itself becomes grateful, and the 
contrary displeasing. 

Some vices may become in a degree odious by the influ- 
ence of self love, through an habitual connexion of ideas of 
contempt v/ith it ; contempt being what self love abhors. 
So it may often be with drunkenness, gluttony, sottishness, 
cowardice, sloth, niggardliness. The idea of contempt becomes 
associated with the idea of such vices,both because we are used 
toobservc that those things are commonly objects of contempt, 
and also find that they excite contempt, in ourselves.. ..Some of 


ttiem appear mavks of littleness, i.e. of small abilities, and 
weakness of mind, and insufficiency for any considerable ef- 
fects among mankind By others, men's influence is con- 

tracted into a narrow sphere, and by such means persons be- 
come of less importance, and more insignificant among man- 
kind. And things of little importance are naturally little 
accounted of.. ..And some of these ill qualities are such as 
mankind find it their interest to treat with contempt, as they 
are very hurtful to human society. 

There are no particular moral virtues whatsoever, but what 
in some or other of these ways, and most of them in several 
of these ways, come to have some kind of approbation from 
self love, without the influence of a truly virtuous principle ; 
nor any particular vices, but what by the same means meet 
with some disapprobation. 

This kind of approbation and dislike, through the joint in- 
fluence of self love and association of ideas, is in very many 
vastly heightened by education ; as this is the means of a 
strong, close, and almost irrefragable association, in innumer- 
able instances, of ideas which have no connexion any other 
way than by education ; and of greatly strengthening that as- 
sociation, or connexion, which persons are led into by other 
means ; as any one would be convinced, perhaps more elTect- 
ually than in most other ways, if they had opportunity of any 
considerable acquaintance with American savages and their 


Of Natural Conscience^ and the Moral Sense. 

THERE is yet another disposition or principle, of great 
importance, natural to mankind ; which, if we consider the 
consistence and harmony of nature's laws, may also be looked 
upon as in some sort arising from self love, or self union : 
And that is a disposition in man to be uneasy in a conscious* 


ness of being inconsistent with himself, and as it were, against 
himself, in his own actions. This appears particularly in the 
inclination of the mind to be uneasy in the consciousness of 
doing that to others, wliich he should be angry with them for 
doing to him, if they were in his case, and he in theirs ; or, 
of forbearing to do that to them, which he Avould bo displeased 
with them for neglecting to do to him. 

I have observed from time to time, that in pure love to 
others (i. e. love not arising from self love) there is an union 
of the heart with others ; a kind of enlargement of the mind, 
vhereby it so extends itself as to take others into a man's 
»elf : And therelore it implies a disposition to feel, to desire, 
and to act as though others were one with ourselves. So, 
self love implies an inclination to feel and act as one with our- 
selves ; which naturally renders a sensible inconsistence with 
ourselves, and self opposition, in what we ourselves choose 
and do, to be uneasy to the mind ; which will cause uneasi- 
ness of mind to be the consequence of a malevolent and un- 
just behavior towards others, and a kind of disapprobation of 
acts of this nature, and an approbation of the contrary. To 
do that to another, which we should be angry with him for 
jdoing to us, and to hate a person for doing that to us, which 
we should incline to, and insist on doing to him, if we were 
exactly in the same case, is to disagree with ourselves, and 
contradict ourselves. It would be, for ourselves both to choose 
jind adhere to, and yet to refuse and utterly reject, as it were 
the very same thing. No wonder, this is contrary to nature, 
^o wonder, that such a self opposition, and inward war with a 
man's self, naturally begets unquietness, and raises disturb- 
ance in his mind. 

A thus approving of actions, because we therein act as in 
agreement with ourselves, or as one with ourselves. ...and a 
thus disapproving and being uneasy in the consciousness of 
disagreeing and being inconsistent with ourselves in what we 

do is quite a different thing from approving or disapproving 

actions because in them we agree and are united with Being 
jn general ; which is loving or hating actions from a sense of 
the primary beauty of tnjc virtue, and odiousncss of sin..... 


The former of these principles is private : The latter is pub- 
lic and truly benevolent in the highest sense. The former 
(i. e. an inclination to asjree with ourselves) is a natural prin- 
ciple : But the latter (i. e. an agreement or union of heart to 
the great system, and to God, the head of it, who is all in all 
in it) is a divine principle. 

In that uneasiness now mentioned, consists very much of 
that inward trouble men have from reflections of conscience : 
And when they are free from this uneasiness, and are con- 
scious to themselves, that in vfhat they have acted towards 
others, tl\ey have done the same which they should have ex- 
pected from them in the same case, then they have what is 
called peace of conscience, with respect to these actions.... 
And there is also an approbation of conscience, of the conduct 
of others tov.'ards ourselves. As when v/e are blamed, con- 
demned, or punished by them, and are conscious to ourselves 
that if we were in their case, and they in ours, we should in 
like manner blame, condemn, and punish them. And thus 
men's consciences may justify God's anger and condemna- 
tion. When they have the ideas of God's greatness, their 
relation to him, the benefits they have received from him, the 
n^nifestations he has made of his will to them. Sec. strongly 
impressed on their minds, a consciousness is excited within 
them of those resentments, Avhich would be occasioned in 
themselves by an injurious treatment in any wise parallel. 

There is such a consciousness as this oftentimes within 
men, implied in the thoughts and views of the mind, which 
perhaps on reflection they could hardly give an account of. 
Unless men's consciences are greatly stupified, it is naturally 
and necessarily suggested ; and does habitually, spontane- 
ously, instantaneously, and as it were insensibly arise in the 
mind. And the more so for this reason, viz. that we have 
not, nor ever had from our infancy, any other way to conceive 
of any thing w'hich other persons act or sufler, or of any thing 
about intelligent, moral agents, but by recalling and exciting 
the ideas of what we ourselves are conscious of in the acts, 
passions, sensations, volitions. Sec. which Me have found in 
our own minds ; and by putting the ideas v. hich we obtain by 


this means, in the place of anolhcr ; or as it were substituting 
ourselves in their place. Thus, we have no conception, ii-^ 
any degree, what understanding, perception, love, pleasure, 
pain, or desire are in others, but by putting ourselves as it 
•nere in their stead, or transfen'mg the ideas we obtain of such 
things in our own minds by consciousness, into their place ; 
making such an alteration, as to degree and circumstances, as 
what we observe of them requires. It is thus in all moral 
things that we conceive of in others, which are all mental, 
and not corporeal things ; and every thing that we conceive 
of, belonging to others, more than shape, size, complexion^ 
situation, and motion of their bodies. And this is the only 
way that we come to be capable of having ideas of any percep- 
tion or act even of the Godhead. We never could have any 
notion what understanding or volition, love or hatred are^ 
either in created spirits or in God, if we had never experi- 
enced what understanding and volition, love and hatred, are in 
our own minds. Knowing what they are by consciousness, we 
can add degrees, and deny limits, and remove changeablencss 
and other imperfections, and ascribe them to God. Which 
is the only way we come to be capable of conceiving of any 
thing in the Deity. 

But though it be so, that men in thinking of others do, as 
it Avere, put themselves in their place, they do it so naturally, 
or rather habitually, instantaneously, and without set purpose, 
that they do it insensibly, and can scarce give any account of 
it, and many would think strange if they were told of it. So- 
it may be in men's substituting themselves in others place in 
such exercises of conscience as have been spoken of ; and the 
former substitution leads to the latter, in one whose con- 
science is not greatly stupifisd. For in all his thoughts of 
the other person, in whatever he apprehends or conceives of 
his moral conduct to others or to himself, if it be in loving or 
hating him, approving or condemning him, rewarding or pun- 
ishing him, he necessarily as it were puts himself in his stead, 
for the forementioned reason ; and therefore the more natu- 
rally, easily and quietly sees whether he, being in his placcj- 
should approve or condcnm, be angry or pleased as he is. 


Natural conscience consists in these two things : 
1. In that v/hich has now been spoken of: That disposi- 
tion to approve or disapprove the moral treatment which 
passes between us and others, from a determination of the 
mind to be easy? or uneasy, in a consciousness of our being 
tonsistent, or inconsistent with ourselves. Hereby we have 
a disposition to approve our own treatment of another, when 
■we are conscious to ourselves that we treat him so as we 
should expect to be treated by him, were he in our case and 
we in his ; and to disapprove of our own treatment of another, 
when we are conscious that we should be displeased, with the 
like treatment from him, if we were in his case. So we in 
our consciences approve of another's treatment of us, if wc 
are conscious to ourselves, that if we were in his case, and he 
in ours, we should think it just to treat him as he treats us ; 
and disapprove his treatment of us, when we are conscious 
that we should think it unjust, if we were in his case. Thus 
xnen's consciences approve or disapprove the sentence of 
their judge, by which they are acquitted or condemned... .. 
But this is not all that is in natural conscience. Besides this 
approving or disapproving from uneasiness as being incon- 
sistent with ourselves, there is another thing that must pre- 
cede it, and be the foundation of it. As for instance, when 
my conscience disapproves my own treatment of another, be- 
ing conscious to myself that were I in his case, I should be 
displeased and angry with him for so treating me, the ques- 
tion might be asked. But what would be the ground of that 
Supposed disapprobation, displeasure and anger, which I am 

conscious would be in me in that case ? That disapprobation 

must be on some other grounds. Therefore, 

2. The other thing ■which belongs to the approbation or 
disapprobation of natural conscience, is the sense of desert) 
■which was spoken of before ; consisting, as was observed, in 
a natural agreement, proportion and harmony between malev- 
olence or injury, and resentment and punishment ; or between 
loving and being loved, between shewing kindness and being- 
rewarded, he. Both these kinds of approving or disapprav- . 
Vol. IL 3 H 


ing concur in the approbation or disapprobation of conscience ; 
the one founded on the other. Thus, when a man's con- 
science disapproves of his treatment of his neighbor, in the 
first place he is conscious that if he were in his neighbor's 
stead, he should resent such trejitment, from a sense of just- 
ice, or from a sense of uniformity and equality between such 
treatment and resentment and punishment, as before explain- 
ed. And then in the next place he perceives, that therefore 
he is not consistent with himself, in doing what he himself 
should resent in that case ; and hence disapproves it, as being 
naturally averse to opposition to himself. 

Approbation and disapprobation of conscience, in the sense 
«ow explained, will extend to all virtue and vice ; to every 
thing whatsoever that is morally good or evil, in a mind which 
does not confine its view to a private sphere, but will take 
things in general into its consideration, and is free from spec- 
ulative error. For, as all virtue or moral good may be re- 
solved into love to others, either God or creatures, so men 
easily see the uniformity and natural agreement there is be- 
tween loving others, and being accepted and favored by others. 
And all vice, sin, or moral evil, summarily consisting in the 
want of this love to others, or in the contrary, viz. hatred or 
malevolence, so men easily sec the natural agreement there 
is between hating and doing ill to others, and' being huted by 
them and suffering ill from them, or from him that acts for 
all and has the care of the whole system. And as this sense 
of equality and natural agreement extends to all moral good 
and evil, so this lays a foundation of an equal extent with the 
other kind of approbation and disapprobation, which is ground- 
ed upon it, arising from an aversion to self inconsistence and 
opposition. For in all cases of benevolence or the contrary to- 
wards others, we are capable of putting ourselves in the place 
of others, and are naturally led to do it, and so of reflecting, 
or being conscious to ourselves, how we should like or dislike 
such treatment from others. Thus natural conscience, if the 
xmderstanding be properly enlightened, and errors and blind- 
ing stupifying prejudices are removed, concurs with the la^T 


df God, and is of equal extent with it, and joins its voice with 
it in every article. 

And thus, in particular, we may see in what respect this 
natural conscience that has been described, extends to true 
virtue, consisting in union of heart to Being in general, and 
supreme love to God. For, although it sees not, or rather 
does not taste its primary and essential beauty, i. e. it tastes 
no sweetness in benevolence to Being in general, simply con- 
sidered, or loves it not for Being in general's sake (for noth- 
ing but general benevolence itself can do that) yet this natural 
conscience, common to mankind, may approve of it from that 
uniformity, equality and justice, which there is in it, and the 
demerit which is seen in the contrary, consisting in the nat- 
ural agreement between the contrary and being hated of Be- 
ing in general. Men by natural conscience mjiy see the 
justice (or natural agreement) there is in yielding all to God, 
as we receive all from God ; and the justice there is in being 
his that has made us, and being Avillingly so, which is the 
same as being dependent on his will, and com'brmed to his 
will in the manner of our Being, as wc are for our Being it- 
self, and in the conformity of our will to his will, on whose 
will we are universally and most perfectly dependent ; and 
also the justice there is in our supreme love to God, from his 
goodness. ...the natural agreement tlier.e is between our hav- 
ing supreme respect to him who exercises infinite goodness 
to us, and from whom we receive all v/ell being.. ..Besides 
that disagreement and discord appears worse to natural sense 
(as was observed before) in things nearly related and of great 
importance ] and therefore it must appear v«ry ill, as it res- 
pects the infinite Being, and in that infinitely great relation 
which there is between the Creator and his creatures. And 
it is easy to conceive how that sense which is in natural con- 
science, should see the desert of punishment, which there is 
in the contrary of true virtue, viz. opposition and enmity to 
Being in general. For, this is only to see the natural agree- 
ment there is between opposing Being in general, and being 
opposed by Being in general ; with a consciousness how that 
if we were infinitely great, we should expect to be regarded 


accordinj^ to our greatness, and should proportionably resent 
contempt. Thus natural conscience, if well informed, -\vili 
approve of true virtue, and will disapprove and condemn the 
Avant of it, and opposition to it ; and yet without seeing- the 
true beauty of it. Yea, if men's consciences were fully en- 
lightened, if they were delivered from being confined to a 
private sphere, and brought to view and consider things in 
general, and delivered from being stupified by sensual objects 
and appetites, as they will be at the day of judgment, they 
Avould approve nothing but true virtue, nothing but general 
benevolence, and those affections and actions that are consist- 
ent with it, and subordinate to it. For they must see that 
consent to Being in general, and supreme i-espect to the Be- 
ing of Beings, is most just ; and that every thing which is in- 
consistent with it, and interferes with it, or flows from the 
want of it, is unjust, and deserves the opposition of universal 

Thus has God established and ordered, that this principle 
of natural conscience, which, though it implies no such thing 
as actual benevolence to Being in general, nor any delight in 
such a principle, simply considered, and so implies no truly 
spiritual sense or virtuous taste, yet should approve and con- 
demn the same things that are approved and condemned by 
a spiritual sense or virtuous taste. 

That moral sense which is natural to mankind, so far as it 
is disinterested and not founded in association of ideas, is the 
same with this natural conscience that has been described. 
The sense of moral good and evil, and that disposition to ap- 
prove virtue and disapprove vice, which men have by natural 
conscience, is that moral sense, so much insisted on in the 
writingsof many of late : A misunderstanding of which seems 
to have been the thing that has misled those moralists who 
have insisted on a disinterested moral sense, universal in the 
■world of mankind, as an evidence of a disposition to true vir- 
tue, consisting in a benevolent temper, naturally implanted in 
the minds of all men. Some of the arguments made use of 
by these writers, do indeed prove that there is a moral sense 
•r taste, universal among men, distinct from what arises from 


self love. Though I humbly conceive, there is some confu- 
sion in their discourses on the subject, and not a proper dis- 
tinction observed in the instances of men's approbation of 
virtue, which they produce. Some of which are not to their 
purpose, being instances of thr.t approbation of virtue, that 
was described, Avhich arises from self love. But other instan- 
ces prove that there is a moral taste, or sense of moral good 
and evil, natural to all, which does not properly arise from self 
love- Yet I conceive there are no instances of this kind which 
^lay not be referred to natural conscience, and particularly to 
that which I have observed to be primary in the approbation of 
natural conscience, viz. a sense of desert and approbation of 
that natural agreement there is, in manner and measure in 
justice. But I think it is plain from what has been said, that 
neither this or any thing else wherein consists the sense of 
moral good and evil, which there is in natural conscience is 
of the nature of a truly virtuous taste, or determination of 
raind to relish and delight in the essential beauty of true vir- 
tue, arising from a virtuous benevolence of heart. 

But it further appears from this. If the approbation of 
conscience were the same with the approbation of the inclina- 
tion, of the heart, or the natural disposition and determina- 
tion of the mind, to love and be pleased with virtue, then ap- 
probation and condemnation of conscience would always be ii^ 
proportion to the virtuous temper of the mind ; or rather the 
degree Avould be just the same. In that person who had a 
high degree of a virtuous temper, therefore, the testimony of 
conscience in favor of virtue would be equally full : But he 
that had but little, would have as little a degree of the testi- 
mony of conscience for virtue, and against vice. But I think 
the case is evidently otherwise. Some men through the 
strength of vice in their hearts, will goon in sin against clear- 
er light and stronger convictions of conscience, than others. 
If conscience's approving duty and disapproving sin, were the 
same thing as the exercise of a virtuous principle of the heart, 
in loving duty and hating sin, then i-emorse of conscience will 
be the same thing as repentance ; and just in the same degree 
as the sinner feels remorse of conscience for sin, in the same 


degree is his heart turned from the love of sin to the hatred 
of it, inasmuch as they are the very same thing. 

Christians have the gi'catest reason to beli3vc, from the 
scriptures, that in the future day of the revelation of the right- 
eous judgment of God, when sinners shall be called to answer 
before their judge, and all their wickedness in all its aggra^ 
"vations, brought forth and clearly manifested in the perfect 
light of that day, and God will reprove ihem and set their 
sins in order before them, their consciences will be greatly 
awakened and convinced, their mouths will be stopped, all 
stupidity of conscience will be at an end, and conscience will 
have its full exercise : And therefore their consciences will 
approve the dreadful sentence of the judge against them, 
and seeing that they have deserved so great a punishment, 
will join Avith the judge in condeiraiing them. And this, ac- 
cording to the notion I am opposing, would be tlie same thing 
as their being brought to the fullest repentance ; their hearts 
•being perfectly changed to hate sin and love holiness ; and 
virtue or holiness.of heart in them will be brought to the most 
full and perfect exercise. But hov/ much otherwise, have we 
reason to suppose, it will then be ? viz. That the sin and 
wickedness of their heart will come to its highest dominion 
and completest exercise ; that they shall be wholly left of 
God, and given up to their wickedness, even as the devils are ! 
When God has done waiting on sinners, and his spirit done 
striving with them, he will not restrain their wickedness, as 
he does now. But sin shall then rage in their hearts, as a 
lire no longer restrained or kept under. It is proper for ^i 
judge when he condemns a criminal, to endeavor so to set his 
guilt before him as to convince his conscience of the justice 
x)f the sentence. This the Almighty will do effectually, and 
do to perfection, so as most thoroughly to awaken and con- 
convince the conscience. But if natural conscience, and thp 
disposilion of the heart to be pleased with virtue, were the 
same, then at the same time that the conscience was brought 
to its perfect exercise, the heart would be made perfectly ho- 
ly ; or, would have the exercise of true virtue and holiness 
in perfect benevolence of temper. But instead of this, thcic 


■wickedness will then be brought to perfection, and wicked 
men will become very devils, and accordingly will be sent 
away as cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and 
jhis angels. 

But supposing natural conscience to be what has been de- 
scribed, all these difficulties and absurdities are Avholly avoid- 
ed. Sinners, when they see the greatness of the Being, whom 
they have lived in contempt of, and in rebellion and opposi- 
tion to, and have clearly set before them tiieir obligations to 
him, as their Creator, preserver, benefactor, &c. together 
"with the degree in which they have acted as enemies to him, 
may have a clear sense of the desert oi their sin, consisting in 
the natural agreement there is between such contempt and 
opposition of such a Being, and his despising and opposing 
tliem ; between their being and acting as so great enemies to 
such a God, and their suffering the dreadful consequences of 
his being and acting as their great enemy : And their being 
conscious within themselves of the degree of anger, M'hich 
■nould naturally arise in their own hearts in such a case if 
they v.ere in the place and state of their judge. In order to 
these things there is no need of a virtuous benevolent temper, 
relishing and delighting in benevolence, and loathing the con- 
trary. The conscience may see the natural agreement he- 
tween opposing and being opposed, between hating and be- 
ing hated, without abhorring malevolence from a benevolent 
temper of mind, or without loving God from a view of the 
beauty of his holiness. These things have no necessary de- 
pendence one on the other. 


Of particular Instincts of Nature^ 'which in some 
respects resemble Virtue. 

THERE are various dispositions and inclinations natural to- 
Bien, wlxich depend on particular laws of nature, determining 


their minils to certain affections and actions towards particu- 
lar objects ; which laws seem to be established chiefly fo«- 
the preservation of mankind, though not only for this, but al- 
so for their comfortably subsisting in the world. Which dis- 
positions may be called instincts. 

Some of these instincts respect only ourselves personally ; 
such are many of our natural appetites and aversions. Some 
of them are not wholly personal, but more social, and extend 
to others ; such ai"e the mutual inclinations between the sexesj 
See Some of these dispositions arc more external and sensi- 
tive ; such are some of our natural inclinations thr\t are per- 
sonal.. ..as those that relate to meat and drink. And of this 
sort also are some dispositions that are more social, and in 
some respects extend to others ; as, the more sensitive incli- 
nations of the sexes towards each other. Besides these in- 
stincts of the sensitive kind, there are others that are more 
internal and mental ; consisting in affections of the mind, 
-which mankind naturally exercise towards some of their fel- 
low creatures, or in some cases towards men in general. 
Some of tiiese instincts that are mental and social, are what 
may be called kind affections ; as having something in them 
of benevolence, or a resemblance of it. And others are of a 
different sort, having something in them that carries an angry 
appearance ; such as the passion of jealousy between the 
sexes, especially in the male towards the female. 

It is only the former of these two last mentioned sorts, that 
it is to my purpose to consider in this place, viz. those natur- 
al instincts which appear in benevolent affections, or which 
liave the appearance of benevolence and so in some respects 
resemble virtue. These I shall therefore consider ; and 
shall endeavor to shew that none of them can be of the nature 
of true virtue. 

That kind affection which is exercised towards those who 
are near one to another in natural relation, particularly the 
love of parents to their children, called natural affection, is 
by many referred to instinct. I have already considered this 
sore of love as an affection that arises from self love ; and in 
that \ lew, and in that supposition have shewn, it cannot bt 


of the nature of true virtue. But if any think, that natural 
affecticn is more properly to be referred to a particular in- 
stinct of nature, than to self love, as its cause, I shall not think 
It a point worthy of any controversy or dispute. In my opin- 
ion, both are true, viz. that natural affection is owing to nat- 
ural instinct, and also that it arises from self love. It may be 
said to arise from instinct, as it depends on a law of nature. 
But yet it may be truly reckoned as an affection arising from 
self love ; because, though it arises from a law of nature, yet 
that is such a law as according to the order and harmony ev- 
ery where observed among the laws of nature, is connected 
with, and follows from self love, as was shewn before. How- 
ever, it is not necessary to my present purpose, to insist on 
this. For if it be so, that natural affection to a man's chil- 
dren or family, or near relations, is not properly to be ascribed 
to self love, as its cause, in any respect, but is to be esteemed 
an affection arising from a particular independent instinct of 
nature, which the Creator in his wisdom has implanted in 
men for the preservation and well being of the world of man- 
kind, yet it cannot be of the nature of true virtue. For it has 
been observed, and I humbly conceive, proved before (Chap. 
II.) that if any Being or Beings have by natural instinct, or 
any other means, a determination of mind to benevolence, ex- 
tending only to some particular persons, or private system, 
however large that system may be, or however great a num- 
ber of individuals it may contain, so long as it contains but an 
infinitely small part of universal existence, and so bears no 

proportion to this great and universal system such limited 

private Ijenevolence, not arising from, nor being subordinate 
to benevolence to Being in general, cannot have the nature of 
true virtue. 

However, it may not be amiss briefly to observe now, that 
it is evident to a demonstration, those affections cannot be of 
the nature of true virtue, from these two things. 

First, That they do not arise from a principle of virtue 

A principle of virtue, I think, is owned by the most consider- 
able of late writers on morality to be general benevolcQce ov 

Vol.. II. o I 


public affection : And I think it has been proved to be unu..; 
of heart to Being simply considered ; -which implies a dispo- 
sition to benevolence to Being in general. Now by the sup- 
position, the affections -vve are speaking of do not arise from 
this principle ; and that, Avhether we suppose 'they arise from 
self love, or from particular instincts ; because cither of 
those sources is diverse from a principle of general benevo- 
lence. And, 

. Secondhj, These private affections, if they do not arise front 
general benevolence, and they are not conliected with it in 
their first existence, have no tendency to produce it. This 
appears from what has been observed : For being not de- 
pendent on it, their detached and unsubordinate operation 
rather tends to, and implies opposition to Being in general, 
than general benevolence ; as every one sees and owns with 
respect to self love. And there ai'e the very same reasons 
why any other private affection, confined to limits infinitely 
short of universal existence, should have that influence, as 
■well as love that is confined to a single person. Now upon 
the whole, nothing can be plainer than that affections which 
do not arise from a virtuous principle, and have no tendency 
to true virtue, as their effect, cannot be of the nature of true 

For* the reasons which have been given, it is undeniably 
true, that if persons by any means come to have a benevolent 
affection limited to a party that is very large, or to the coun- 
try or nation in general, of ^\Jlich they are a part, or the pub- 
lic community they belong to, though it be as large as the 
Roman empire was of old, yea, if there could be an instinct or 
other cause determining a person to benevolence towards the 
whole world of mankind, or even all created sensible natures 
throughout the universe, exclusive of union of heart to gen- 
eral existence and of love to God, nor derived from that 
temper of mind which disjwses to a supreme regard to hii)», 
nor subordinate to such divine love, it cannot be of the nature 
of true virtue. 

If what is called natural aflcction, arises from a particular 
natural instinct, so, much more indisputably, docs that mutual 


affection which naturally arises between ihe sexes. I agree 
with HiUchcson and Hume in this, that there is a foundation 
laid in nature for kind affections between the sexes, that are 
truly diverse from all inclinations to sensitive pleasure, and do 
not properly arise from any such inclination. There is doubt- 
less a disposition both to a mutual benevolence and mutual 
complacence, that are not naturally and necessarily connected 
with any sensitive desires. But yet it is manifest such affec- 
tions as are limited to opposite sexes, are from a particular 
instinct, thus directing and limiting them ; and not arising 
from a principle of general benevolence ; for this has no ten- 
dency to any such limitaiion. And though these affections 
do not properly arise from the sensitive desires which are be- 
tween the sexes, yet they are implanted by the Author of na- 
ture chiefly for the same purpose, viz. the preservation or 
continuation of the world of mankind, to make persons willing 
to forsake father and mother, and all their natural relations in 
the fomilies where they were born and brought up, for the 
sake of a stated union with a companion of the other sex, and 
to dispose to that union in bearing and going through with 
that series of labors, anxieties, and pains requisite to the Be- 
ing, support and education of a family of children. Though 
not only for these ends, but partly also for the comfort of man- 
kind as united in a marriage relation. But I suppose, few (if 
any) will deny, that the peculiar natural dispositions there are 
to mutual affection between the sexes, arise from an instinct 
or partictilar law of nature. And therefore it is manifest 
from what has been said already, that those natural disposi- 
tions cannot be of the nature of true virtue. 

Another affection which is owing to a particular instinct, 
implanted in men for like purposes with other instincts, is 
that pity which is natural to mankind, when they see others 
in great distress. It is acknowledged, that such an affection 
is natural to mankind. But I think it evident, that the pity 
\<rhich is general and natural, is owing to a particular instinct, 
and is not of the nature of true virtue. I am far from saying, 
that there is no such thing as a truly virtuous pity among 
mankind. For I am far from thinking, that all the pity or 


mercy which is any Ivhere to be found among them, arises 
merely from natural instinct, or, that none is to be found, 
which arises from that truly virtuous divine principle of gen- 
eral benevolence to sensitive Beings. Yet at the same time 
I think, this is not the case with all pity, or with that disposi- 
tion to pity which is natural to mankind in common. I think 
I may be bold to say, this does not arise from general benev- 
olence, nor is truly of the nature of benevolence, or properly 
called by that name. 

If all that uneasiness on the sight of others extreme dis- 
tress, which we call pit-. , were properly of the nature of be- 
nevolence, then they who arc the subjects of this passion, 
must needs be in a degree of uneasiness in being sensible of 
the total want of happiness, of all such as they would be dis- 
posed to pity in extreme distress. For that certainly is the 
most direct tendency and operation of benevolence or good 
•will, to desire the happiness of its object. But now this is not 
the case universally, where men are disposed to exercise pity. 
There are many men, with whom that is the case in respect 
to some others in the world, that it would not be the occasion 
of their being sensibly affected with any uneasiness, to know 
they were dead (yea men who are not influenced by the con- 
sideration of a future state, but view death as only a cessation 
of all sensibility, and consequently an end of all happiness) 
who yet would have been moved with pity towards the same 
persons, if they had seen them under some very extreme an- 
guish. Some men would be moved with pity by seeing a 
brute creature under extreme and long torments, Avho yet 
suffer no uneasiness in knowing that many thousands of them 
every day cease to live, and so have an end put to all their 
pleasure, at butchers sliambles in great cities. It is the na- 
ture of true benevolence to desire and rejoice in the prosper- 
ity and pleasure of the object of it ; and that, in some propor- 
tion to its degree of prevalence. But persons may greatly 
pily those that are in extreme pain, whose positive pleasure 
ihev may still be very indifferent about. In this case a man 
may be much moved and affected with uneasiness, who yet 
-«vould be affected with no sensible joy in seeing signs of lh» 


same person's or Being's enjoyment of very high degrees of 

Yea, pity may not only be -without benevolence, but may 
consist with true malevolence, or with such ill will as shall 
cause men not only not to desire the positive happiness of an- 
other, but even to desire his calamity. They may pity such 
an one when his calamity goes beyond their hatred. A man 
may have true malevolence towards another, desiring no pos- 
itive good for him, but evil ; and yet his hatred not be infinite, 
hut only to a certain degree. And when he sees the person 
whom he thus hates, in misery far beyond his ill will, he may 
then pity him ; because then the natural instinct begins to 
operate. For malevolence will not overcome the natural in- 
stinct, inclining to pity others in extreme calamity, any fur- 
ther than it goes, or to the limits of the degree of misery it 
wishes to its object. Men may pity others under exquisite 
torment, when yet they would have been grieved if they had 
seen their prosperity. And some men have such a grudge 
against one or another, that they would be far from being un- 
easy at their very death, nay, would even be glad of it. And 
when this is the case with them, it is manifest that their heart 
is void of benevolence towards such persons, and under the 
power of malevolence. Yet at the same time they are capa- 
ble of pitying even these very persons, if they should see 
them under a degree of misery very much disproportioned 
to their ill will. 

These things may convince us that natural pity is of a na- 
ture very difTerent from true virtue, and not arising from a 
disposition of heart to general benevolence ; but is owiog to a 
particular instinct, which the Creator has implanted in man- 
kind, for the same purposes as most other instincts, viz. chief- 
ly for the preservation of mankind, though not exclusive of 
their well being. The giving of tliis instinct is the fruit of 
God's mercy, and an instance of his love of the world of man- 
kind, and an evidence that though the world be so sinful, it is 
not God's design to make it a world of punishment ; and 
therefore has many ways made a merciful provision for men's 
relief in extreme calamities : And among others has given 


Biankiod in general a disposiuon to pity ; the natural exer- 
cises whereof extend beyond those whom we are in a near 
connexion with, especially in case of great calamity ; because 
commonly in such cases men stand in need of the help of 
ethers beside their near frierids> and because commonly those 
calamities which are extreme, without relief, tend to men's 
destruction. This may be given as the reason why men are 
so made by the author of nature, that they have no instinct in- 
clining as much to rejoice at the sight of others great pros- 
perity and pleasure, as to be grieved at their extreme calam- 
ity, viz. because they do not stand in equal necessity of such 
an instinct as that in order to their preservation. But if pure 
benevolence were the source of natural pity, doubtless it 
\yGuld operate to as great a degree in congratulation, in cases 
of others great prosperity, as in compassion towards them in 
great misery. 

The instincts God has given to m.ankind in this world, 
which in some respects resemble a virtuous benevolence, are 
agteeable to the state that God designed mankind for here, 
•where he intends their preservation, and comfortable subsist- 
ence. But in the world of punishment, where the state of 
the wicked inhabitants will be exceeding difterent, and God 
wjjl have none of these merciful designs to answer, there, 
we have great rec.son to think, Avill be no such thing as a dis- 
position to pity, in any case ; as also there will be no natural 
affection toward near relations, and no mutual aftection be- 
tween opposite sexes. 

To conclude what I have to say on the natural instinct dis- 
poning men to pity others in misery, I would observe, that 
this is a source of a kind of abhorrence in men of some vices, 
as cruelly and oppression ; and so, of a sort of approbation of 
the contrary virtues, humanity, mercy, kc. Which aversion 
and approbation, however, so far as they arise from this cause 
only, are not from a principle of true virtue. 



iChe Reasons lo/ry those things that ha'oe been men* 
tioned, 'which have not the Essence of Firlue^ 
have yet by many been mistaken for True Virtue. 

THE first reason that may be given of this, is, tliat al* 
though they have not the specific and distinguishing nature 
and essence of virtue, yet they have something that belo7ig^ 

to the general nature o^\'\vX.\\e. The general nature bf true 

virtue is love. It is expressed both in love of benevolence 
and complacence ; biit primarily in benevolence to persons 
and Beings, and consequently and secondarily in complacence 
in virtue. ...as has been shewn. There is sometliing of the 
general nature of virtue in those natural affections and princi- 
ples that have been mentioned, in both those respects. 

In many of these natural affections there is something of 
the appearance of love to persons. In some of them there 
appears the tendency and effect of benevolence, in part. Oth* 
ers have truly a sort of benevolence in them, though it be a 
private benevolence, and in several respects falls short of 
the extent of true virtuous benevolence, both in its nature and 

The last mentioned passion, natural to mankind in their 
present state, viz. that of pity to others in distress, though not 
properly of the nature of love, as has been demonstrated, yc^ 
has partly the same influence and effect with benevolence. 
One effect of true benevolence is to cause persons to be un* 
easy, vi^hen the objects of it are in distress, and to desire their 
relief. And natural pity has the same effect. 

Natural gratitude, though in every instance wherein it ap* 
pears it is not properly called love, because persons may be 
moved with a degree of gratitude towards persons on certain 
occasions, Avhom they have no real and proper friendship foi*, 
as in the instance of Sciul towards David, once and attain, after 


David's sparing his life, when he had so fair an opportunity to 
kill him : Yet it has the saine or like operation and effect 
■with friendship, in part, for a season, and with regard to so 
much of the welfare of its object, as appears a deserved re- 
quital of kindness received. And in other instances it may 
liave a more general and abiding influence, so as more prop- 
erly to be called by the name of love. So that many times 
men fi'om natural gratitude do really with a sort of benevo- 
lence love those who love them.. From this, together with 
some other natural principles, men may love their near 
friends, love their own party, love their country, Sec. 

The natural disposition there is to mutual afl'ection between 
the sexes, often operates by what may properly be called love. 
There is oftentimes truly a kind both of benevolence and 
complacence. As there also is between parents and chil- 

Thus these things have something of the general nature of 
Virtue, which is love ;* and especially the thing last mention- 
ed has something of a love of benevolence. What they arc 
essentially defective in, is, that they are private in their na- 
ture, they do not arise from any temper of benevolence to 
Being in general, nor have they a tendency to any such effect 
in their operation. But yet agreeing with virtue in its gene- 
ral nature, they are beautiful wiihin their own private sphere, 
i. e. they appear beautiful if we confine our vicv/s to that prir 
vate system, and while we shut all other things they stand in 
any relation to, out of our consideration. If that private sys- 
tem contained the sum of universal existence, then their be- 
nevolence would have true beauty ; or, in other M'ords, would 
be beautiful, all things considered ; but now it is not so. These 
private systems are so far from containing the sum of univer- 
sal Being, or comprehending all existence which we stand 
related to, that it contains but an infinitely small part of it. 
The reason why men are so ready to take these private affec- 
tions for true virtue, is the narrowness of their views ; and 

♦ It claims to be considered, whether these things can be of the nature of 
•»irtue, even according to the distinctions the author has made Ed. 


above all, that they are so ready to leave the divine Being out 
ot their view, and to neglect him in their consideration, or to 
regard him in their thoughts, as though he were not pi'operly 
belonging to the system of real existence, but as a kind of 
shadov/y, imaginary Being. And though most men allow 
that there is a God, yet in their ordinary view Of things, his 
Being is not apt to come into the account, and to have the in- 
fluence and effect of a real existence, as it is with other Beings 
which they see, and are conversant with by their external 
senses. In their views of beauty and deformity, and in the 
inward sensations of displicence and approbation which rise 
in their minds, it is not a thing natural to them to be under 
the influence of a view of the Deity, as part of the system, 
and as the head of the system, and he Avho is all in all, in com- 
parison of whom all the rest is nothing, and with regard to 
whom all other things are to be viewed, and their minds to be 
accordingly impressed and affected. 

Yea, Ave are apt through the narrowness of our views, in 
judging of the ber.uty of affections and actions to limit our 

consideration to only a small part of the created system 

When private aff'ections extend themselves to a considerable 
number, we are very ready to look upon them as truly virtu- 
ous, and accordingly to applaud them highly. Thus it is 
•with respect to love to a large party, or a man's love to his 
country. For though his private system contains but a small 
part even of the world of mankind, yet being a considerable 
number, through the contracted limits of the mind and the 
narrowness of his views, they are ready to fill his mind and 
engross his sight, and to seem as if they Avere all. Hence 
among the Romans love to their country was the highest vir- 
tue ; though this affection of theirs, so much extolled among 
them, was employed as it were for the destruction of the rest 
of the world of mankind. The larger the number is, that pri- 
vate affection extends to, the more apt men are, through the 
narrowness of their sight, to mistake it for true virtue ; be- 
cause then the private system appears to have more of the 
image of the universal system. Whereas, when the circle 

Vol. II. 3 K 


it extends to, is very small, it is not so apt to be looked upon 
virtuous, di- not so virtuous. As, a man's love to his own 

x\nd this is the reason why self love is by nobody mistaken 
for true virtue. For though there be something of the gen- 
eral nature of virtue in this, here is love and good will, yet 
the object is so private, the limits so narrow, that it by no 
means engrosses the view ; unless it be of the person him- 
self, who, through the greatness of his pride, may imagine 
himsslf as it were (.'//. The minds of men are large enough 
to take in a vastly greater extent ; and though self love is far 
from being useless in the world, yea, it is exceeding necessary 
to society, besides its directly and greatly seeking the good of 
one, yet every body sees that if it be not subordinate to, and 
regulated by, another more extensive principle, it may make 
a man a common enemy to the system he is related to. And 
though this is as true of any other private affection, notwith- 
standing its extent may be to a system that contains thousands 
of individuals, and those private systems bear no greater pro- 
portion to the whole of universal existence, than one alone, 
yet they bear a greater proportion to the extent, to the view 
and comprehension of men's minds, and are more apt to be 
regarded as if they were «//, or at least as som.e resemblance 
of the universal system. 

Thus I have observed how many of these natural princi- 
ples, which have been spoken of, resemble virtue in its pri- 
inary operation, which is benevolence. Many of them also 
liave a resemblance of it in its secondary operation, which is 
its approbation of and complacence in virtue itself. Several 
kinds of approbation of virtue have been taken notice of, as 
common to mankind, which are not of the nature of a truly 
virtuous approbation, consisting in a sense and relish of the 
essential beauty of virtue, consisting in a Being's cordial uni- 
on to Being in general, from a spirit of love to Being in gen- 
eral. As particularly, the approbation of conscience, from a 
sense of the inferior and secondary beauty which there is in 
virtue, consisting in uniformity, and from a sense of desert, 
consisting in a sense of the natural agreement of loving; and 


being beloved, shewing kindness and receiving kindness. So 
from the same principle, there is a disapprobation of vice, 
from a natural opposition to deformity and disproportion, and 
a sense of evil desert, or the natural agreement there is be- 
tween hating and being hated, opposing and being opposed, 
Sec. together with a painful sensation naturally arising in a 
sense of self opposition and inconsistence. Approbation of 
conscience is the more readily mistaken for a truly, virtuous 
approbation, because by the wise constitution of the great gov- 
ernor of the world (as was observed) Avhen conscience is well 
informed, and thoroughly awakened, it agrees with the latter 
fully and exactly, as to the object approved, though not as to 
the ground and reason of approving. It approves all virtue, 
and condemns all vice. It approves true virtue, and uideed 
approves nothing that is against it, or that falls short of it ; as 
was shewn before. And indeed natural conscience is im- 
planted in all mankind, there to be as it were in God's stead, 
and to be an internal judge or rule to all, whereby to distin- 
guish right and wrong. 

It has also been observed, how that virtue, consisting in be- 
nevolence, is approved, and vice, consisting in ill will, is dis- 
liked, from the influence of self love, together with associa- 
tion of ideas, in the same manner as men dislike those quali- 
ties in things without life or reason, with which they have al- 
ways connected the ideas of hurtfulness, malignancy, perni- 
ciousness ; but like those things with v/hich they habitually 
connect the ideas of profit, pleasantness, comfortableness. Sec. 
This sort of approbation or liking of virtue, and dislike of 
vice, is easily mistaken for true virtue, not only because those 
things are approved by it that have the nature of virtue, and 
the things disliked have the nature of vice, but because here 
is much of resemblance of virtuous approbation, it being 
complacence from love ; the difference only lying in this, 
that it is not from love to Being in general, but from self 

There is also, as has been shewn, a liking of some virtues^ 
and dislike of some vices, from the influence of the natural in- 
stinct of pity. This, men are apt to mistake for the exercise 


of true virtue, on many accounts. Here is not only a kind of 
complacence, and the objects of complacence are what have 
the nature of virtue, and the virtues indeed very amiable, 
such as humanity, mercy, tenderness of heart. Sec. and the 
contrary very odious ; but besides, the approbation is not 
merely from self love, but from compassion, an affection 
that respects others, and resembles benevolence, as has been 

Another reason, Avhy the things which have been mention- 
ed are mistaken for true virtue, is, that there is indeed a true 
negative moral goodness in them. By a negative moral good- 
ness, I mean the negation or absence of true moral evil 

They have this negative moral goodness, because a being 
without them v/ould be an evidence of a much greater moral 
evil. Thus, the exercise of natural conscience in such and 
such degrees, wherein appears such a measure of an awaken- 
ing or sensibility of conscience, though it be not of thp nature 
of real positive virtue or true moral goodness, yet has a nega- 
tive moral goodness ; because in the present state of things, it 
is an evidence of the absence of that higher degree of wicked- 
ness, which causes great insensibility or stupidity of con- 
science. For sin, as was observed, is not only against a spir- 
itual and divine sense of virtue, but is also against the dictates 
of that moral sense which is iii natural conscience. No won- 
der, that this sense being long opposed and often conquered, 
grows weaker. All sin has its source from selfishness, or 
from self love, not subordinate to regard to Being in general. 
And natural conscience chiefly consists in a sense of desert, 
or the natural agreement between sin and misery. But if 
self were indeed all, and so more considerable than all the 
world besides, there would be no ill desert in his regarding 
himself above all, and making all other interests give place to 
private interest. And no wonder that men by long acting 
from the selfish principle, and by being habituated to treat 
themselves as if they were all, increase in pride, and come as 
it were naturally to look on themselves as all, and so to lose 
entirely the sense of ill desert in their making all other inter- 
ests give place to their own And no wonder that men by 


often repeating acts of sin, without punishment, or any visible 
appearance of approaching punishment, have less and less 
sense of the connexion of sin with punishtnent. That sense 
Avhich an awakened conscience has of the desert of sin, con- 
sists chiefly in a sense of its desert of resentment of the Dei- 
ty, the fountain and head of universal existence. But no 
wonder that by a long continued worldly and sensual life, 
men more and more Jose all sense of the Deity, who is a spir- 
itual and invisible Being. The mind l^eing long involved in, 
and engrossed by sensitive objects, becomes sensual in all its 
operations, and excludes all views and impressions of spiritual 
objects, and is unfit for their contemplation. Thus the con- 
science and general benevolence are entirely different princi- 
ples, and sense of conscience differs from the holy compla- 
cence of a benevolent and truly virtuous heart. Yet wicked- 
ness may, by long habitual exercise, greatly diminish a sense 
of conscience. So that there may be negative moral good- 
ness, in sensibility of conscience, as it may be an argument of 
the absence of that higher degree of wickedness, which caus- 
eth stupidity of conscience. 

So with respect to natural gratitude, though there may be no 
virtup merely in loving them that love us, yet the contrary may 
be an evidence of a great degree of depravity, as it may argue 
a higher degree of selfishness, so that a man is come to look 
upon himself as all, and others as nothing, and so their respect 
and kindness as nothing. Thus an increase of pride dimin- 
ishes gratitude.. ...So does sensuality, or the increase of sensu- 
al appetites, and coming more and more under the power 
and impression of sensible objects, tends by degrees to make 
the mind insensible to any thing else ; and tiiose appetites 
take up the whole soul ; and through habit and custom the 
water is all drawn out of other channels, in which it naturally 
Hows, and is all carried as it were into one channel. 

In like manner natural affection and natural pity, tliough 
not of the nature of virtue, yet may be diminished greatly by 
the increase of those two principles of pri<lc and sensuality, 
and as the consequence of this, being habitually disposed to 
envy, malice, Sec. These lusts when they prevail to a hioh 


ilegree may overcome and diminish the exercise of those nat- 
ural principles : Even as they often overcome and diminish 
eommon prudence in a man, as to seeking his own private 
interest, in point of health, wealth or honor, and yet no one 
•will think it proves that a man's being cunning, in seeking his 
©wn personal and temporal interest has any thing of the na- 
ture and essence of true virtue. 

Another reason why these patural principles and affections 
are mistaken for true virtue, is, that in several respects they 
have the same effect which true virtue tends to ; especially 
iu these two ways 

1. The present state of the world is so ordered and consti- 
tuted by the wisdom and goodness of its supreme ruler, that 
these natural principles for the most part tend to the good of 
the world of mankind. So do natural pity, gratitude, parent- 
al affection, Sec. Herein they agree with the tendency of gen- 
eral benevolence, which seeks and tends to the general good. 
But this is no proof that these natural principles have the 
nature of true virtue. For self love is a principle that is ex- 
ceeding useful and necessary in the world of mankind. So 
ure the natural appetites of hunger and thirst, Sec. But yet 

nobody will assert, that these have the nature of true virtue. 

2. These principles have a like effect with true virtue in 
this respect, that they tend several ways to restrain vice, and 
prevent many acts of wickedness. So, natural affection, love 
to our party, or to particular friends, tends to keep us from acts 
of Injustice towards these persons ; which would be real wick- 
edness. Pity preserves from cruelty, which would be real 
and great moral evil. . Natural conscience tends to restrain 
sin in general, in the present state of the world. But neither 
can this prove these principles themselves to be of the nature 
of true virtue. For so is this present state of mankind order- 
ed by a merciful God, that men's self love does in innumerable 
respects res