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





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jiiS the tvjo foUoiumg vohwies consist nvholly of sermons^ 
U may be profier to introduce them ivith a feiu prefatory re- 

It was the original design of the Editor, as stated in the 
Proposals, to bring into this collection of President Edwards's 
Worksy every thing ivhich had come before the fmblic from his 
pen. It ivas beside his hofie, to be able to add something from his 
manuscripts ivhich had never before been published. All this., it 
luas thought., might be comprised within the limits of eight octa- 
vo volumes, of five hundred pages or upwards each. This cal- 
culation was not founded upon a minute estimate., nor had it the 
sanction of experience. It was general ; and appears, as we 
have progressed i?i the work, to be inadequate. It would re- 
quire at least another volume to fulfil the original design ; not- 
withstanding the type is smaller than that which at first it was 
proposed to use. For this error in estimate, the Editor is will- 
ing as much blame should attach to him as it deserves. At the 
same time he is consoled with the refection, that, as no injury was 
designed, none actually accrues, to his subscribers. Tlie volumes, 
as they are given, are really worth more, by considerable, than 
the Proposals warranted them to expect. 

As the times were uncomvio^dy difficult, and the subscription 
so small as scarcely to justify a proceeding with the work, it was 
thought, on the whole, not advisable to add another volume. This 
judg7ne7ii met the entire acquiescence of several respectable gen- 
tlemen, particularly friendly to Mr. Edwards's Writings, who 
were consulted on the subject. If however the subscribers are 
d-esirous to have (he work go to the complete extent^ at first in- 









Justification by Faith alone. 



1 HE following things maybe noted in this verse : 
1. That justification respects a man as ungodly : This is evi- 
dent by those words that justijicth the migodly : Which 

words cannot imply less, than that God, in the act of justifica- 
tion has no regard to any thing in the person justified, as god- 
liness, or any goodness m him ; but that nextly or immedi- 
ately before this act, God beholds him only as an ungodly or 
wicked creatui'e ; so that godliness in the person to be justi- 
fied is not so antecedent to his justification as to be the ground 
of it. When it is said that God justifies the ungodly, it is as 
absurd to suppose that our godliness, taken as some goodness 
in us, is the ground of our justification, as when it is said that 
Christ gave sight to the blind, to suppose thsit sight was prior 
Vol. VII. B 


to, and the ground of that act of mercy in Christ ; or as, if it 
should be said, that such an one by his bounty has made a poor 
man rich, to suppose that it vras the wedth of this poor man 
that was the ground of this bounty towards him, and was the 
price by wliich it was procured. 

2. It appears that by him that -vorkcth not^m this verse, is 
not meant only one that does not conform to the ceremonial 
law, because he that iMorktth not, and ih' ungodly, are evidently 
synonymous expressions, or what signify the same ; it appears 
by the manner ot their connexion : If it be not so, to what pm'- 
pose is the latter expression, the ungodly, brought in ? The 
context gives no other occasion for it, but only to show, that 
the grace of the gospel appears, in that God, in justiiication, 
has no regard to any godliness of ours. The foregoing verse 
is, " Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned 
of grace, but of debt." In that verse it is evident that gospel 
grace, consists in the reward's being given without works ; 
and in this verse which immediately follows it, and in sense 
is connected with it, it is evident that gospel grace consists 
in a man's beuig- justified that is ungodly ; by which it is 
most plain, that by him that nvorkelh not, and him that is ungod- 
ly, are meant the same thing ; and that therefore not only 
works of the ceremonial law are excluded in this business of 
justification, but Avorks of morality and godliness. 

3. It is evident in the words, that by that faith, that is here 
apoken of, by which we ai-e justified, is not meant the same 
thing as a course of obedience or righteousness, by the expres- 
sion by which this faith is here denoted, viz^ believing on him 
that jufit'Jies the ungodly. They that oppose the Solifidians, as 
they call them, do greatly insist on it, that we should take 
the words of scripture concerning this doctrine in their most 
natm'al and obvious meaning ; and how do they cry out, of our 
clouding this doctrine with obscure metaphors, and unin- 
telligible figures of speech ? But is this to interpret scripture 
according to its most obvious meaning, when the scripture 
spealis of our believing on hi?n that justijies the ungodly, or the 
breakers of Ids law, to say, that the meaning of it is performing- 
a course of obedience to lus law, and avoiding tlie breaches of 


it ? Believing on God as a justificr, certainly is a dilTerent 
thing from submitting to God as a larjgivtT ; especially a be- 
lieving on him as a justifier of the ungodly or rebels agaviut 
the lawgiver. 

4. It is evident that the subject of justification is looked up- 
on as destitute of any righteousness in himself, by that expresr 
sion, it is counted or imjntted to hiin for righteounTK as. The 
phrase, as the apostle uses it here, and in the context, mani- 
festly imports, that God, of liis sovereign grace, is pleased, in 
his dealbgs with the sinner, to take and regard that which in- 
deed is not righteousiiess,and in one that has no righteousness, 
so, that the consequence shall be the same as if he had right- 
eousness ; (which ip.ay he fron^ the respect that it bears to 
some thing that is indeed righteous.) It is plain that this is the 
force of the expression in the preceding verses. In the last 
verse but one, it is manifest that the apostle lays the stress of 
his argument for the free grace of God, from that text that he 
cites' out of the Old Testament about Abraham, on that word 
counted., or iviputed^ and that this is the thing that he supposed 
God to shew his grace in, viz. in his counting something for 
righteousness, in his consequential dealings with Abraham, 
that was no righteousness in itself. And in the next verse 
which immediately precedes the text, " Now to him that 
worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt," the 
word there translated reckoned, is the same that in the other 
verses is rendered imputed, and counted .;and it is as much as if 
the apostle had said, " As to him that works there is no need 
of any gracious recA'o?zm^ or counting it for lighteousness, and 
causing the rev/ard to follow as if it were a righteousness ; for 
if he has works, he has that which is a righteousness in itself, 
to which the reward properly belongs." This is further ev- 
ident by the words that follow, verse 6. " Even as David also 
describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imput- 
eth righteousness without works." What can here be m.eant 
by imputii^g righteousness without works ; but imputing 
righteousness to him that has none of Itjs own ? Verse 7, 8. 
" Saying, blessed are they.whose iniquities are forgiven, and 


whose sins are covered : Blessed is the man to whom the 
Lord will not impute sin." How are these words of Duvid to 
the apostle's purpose ? Or how ilo they prove any such thing, 
as that righteousness is imputed without works, unless it be 
because the word imfiuted is used, and the subject of the impu- 
tation is mentioned as a simier, and consequently destitute of a 
moral righteousness ? For David says no such thing, as that he 
is forgiven without the works of the ceremoniiU lav/ ; there is 
no hint of the ceremonial law, or reference to it, in the words. 
I will therefore venture to infer this doctrine from the words;, 
for the subject of my present discourses, viz. 



Such an assertion as this, I am sensible, many would be 
ready to cry out of as absurd, betraying a great deal of igno- 
rance, and containing much inconsistence ; but I desire every 
one's patience till I have done. 

In handling this doctrine, I w'ould, 

1. Explain i\\c mcuning o{ it, and shew how I would be 
^inderstood by such an assertion. 

2. Proceed to the consideration of the evidence of the 
truth of it. 

3. Shew how evangelical obedience is concerned in this 

4. Answer objections. 

5. Consider the importance of the doctrine. 

I. I would explain the meaning of the doctrine, or shew 
in what sense I assert it, and would endeavor to evince the 
truth of it : Which may be done in answer to these two in- 
quiries, viz. I. What is meant by being justified ? What is 
meant when it is said, that this is by faith alone, without any 
manner of virtue or goodness " of our o-v\'n ?" 


First, I would shew what jus tilicaticn is, or what I sup- 
pose is meant in scripture by being justified. And here I 
would not at all enlarge ; and therefore to ansAver in short : 

A person is said to be justified, Avhen he is approved of 
God as free from the guilt of sin and its deserved punishment ; 
and as having that righteousness belonging to him that enti- 
tles to the reward of life. That we should take the word in 
such a sense and understand it as the judge's accepting a per- 
son as having both a negative and positive righteousness be- 
longing to him, and looking on him therefore as not only quit 
or free from any obligation to punishment, but also as just and 
I'ighteous.aiid so entitled to a positive rewai'd,is not only most 
agreeable to the etymology and natural import of the word, 
which signifies to make righteous, or to pass one for right- 
eous in judgment, but also manifestly agreeable to the force 
of the word as used in scripture. 

Some suppose that nothing more is mtended in scripture 
by justification, than barely the remission of sins. If it be so 
it is very strange, if v/e consider the nature of the case ; for 
it is most evident and none will deny, that it is vdth respect to 
the rule or law of God that we are vinder, that we are said in 
scripture to be either justified or condemned. Now v/hat is 
it to justify a person as the subject of a law or rule, but to 
judge him or look upon him, and approve him as standing 
right with respect to that rule ? To justify a person in a par- 
ticular case, is to approve him as standing right, as subject 
to the law or rule in that case ; and to justify in general is to 
pass him m judgment, as standing right in a state correspond- 
ent to the law or rule in general : But certainly in order to a 
person's being looked on as standing right with respect to the 
yule in general, or in a state corresponding with the law of God 
more is needful than what is negative, or a not having the 
guilt of sin ; for whatever that lav/ is, vv hether a new one or 
an old one, yet doubtless something positive is needed in order 
to its being answered. We are no more justified by the voice 
of the law, or of him that judges according to it, by a mere par- 
don of sin, than Adam, our first surety, was justified by the law, 
at the first point of his existence, before he had done the work, 


or fulfilled the obedience of the law, or had so rnucli as any- 
trial whether lie would fulfil it or no. If Adam had finished 
his course of perfect obedience, he would have been justified : 
and certainly his justification would have impUed sometlung 
more than what is merely negative ; he would have been ap- 
proved as having fulfilled the righteousness of the law, and 
accordingly would have been adjudged to the reward of it. 
So Christ, our second surety (in whose justification all v.ho 
believe in him, and v.hose surety he is, are virtually justified) 
•was not justified till he had done the work the Father had ap- 
pointed him. and kept the Father's commandments through 
all trials ; and then in his resurrection he was justified. 
When he that had been put to death in the flesh was quicken- 
ed by the Spirit, 1 Pet. iii. 18, then he that i^vas manifest in the 
flesh was justified in the Spirit, I Tim. iii. 16. But God, 
when he justified liim in raising him from the dead, did not 
only release him from his humiliation for sin, and acquit him 
from any further suffering or abasement for it, but admitted 
Hm to that eternal and immortal life, and to the beginning of 
that exaltation that was the reward of what he had done. And 
indeed the justification of a believer is no other tlian his being 
admitted to communion in, or participation of the justification 
of this head and suretj- of all believers ; for as Christ suffered 
the punishment of sin, not as a private person, but as our 
surety ; so when after this suffering he was raised from the 
dead, he Avas therein justified, not as a private person, but as 
the surety and representative of all that should believe in him : 
so that he v,as ndsed again, not only for his own, b\it also for 
our justification, according to the apostle, Rom.iv. 25. " Who 
was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justi- 
fication." And therefore it is that the apostle says, as he does 
in Rom. viii. 34. " Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ 
that died, yea rather, that is risen again." 

But that a believer's justification implies, not only remission 
of sins, or acquittance from the wrath due to it, but also an 
admittance to a title to that glory that is the reward of right- 
eousness, is more directly taught in the scripture, as particu- 
larly in Rom. v. !, 2, where the apostle mentions both these as 


joint benefits implied in justification : " Therefoi'e, being jus- 
tified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Je- 
sus Christ, by whom also we have access into this grace where- 
in we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." So 
remission of sins, and inheritance among them that are sancti- 
fied, are mentioned together as what are jointly obtained by- 
faith in Christ, Acts xxvi. 18. " That they may receive for- 
giveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sancti- 
fied through Mth that is in me." Both these are without 
doubt implied in that passing from death to life, which Christ 
speaks of as the fruit of faith, and which he opposes to condem- 
nation, John V. 24. " Verily I say unto you, he that heareth 
my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting 
life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from 
death to life." I proceed nov,', 

Si'ccndhh To shew what is meant when it is said, that this 
justification is by liUth only, and not by any virtue or goodness 
of our ov/n. 

This inquiry may be subdivided into two, viz. 1. How it is 
by faith. 2. How it is by faith alone, without any manner of 
goodness of ours. 

1. How justification is by ftdth Here the great difficulty 

has been about the import and force of the particle by^ or what 
is that influence that faith has in the affair of justification that 
is expressd in scripture by being justified by faitli.- 

Here, if I may humbly express what seems evident to me, 
though faith be indeed the condition of justification so as noth- 
ing else is, yet this matter is not clearly and sufficiently ex- 
plained by saying that faith is the condition of justification ; 
and that because the word seems ambiguous, both in common 
use, and also as used in divinity : In one sense, Christ alone 
performs the condition of our justification and salvation; in 
another sense, fidth is the condition of justification ; in anoth- 
er sense other qualifications and acts are conditions of salva- 
tion and justification too. There seems to be a great deal of 
ambiguity in such expressions as are commonly used, (which 
yet we are forced to use) such as, conrlition of salvation, what 
is required in order to salvation or iustification, the tern"is of 


tlic cove-neint, trnd the like ; and I believe they are under- 
stood in very different senses by different persons. And 
besides, as the word eondition is very often understood in the 
common vise of language, faith is not the only thing in us that 
is the condition of justi'i cation ; for by the word condition as it 
is very often (and perhaps most commonly) used, we mean any 
thing that may have the place of a condition in a condition- 
al proposition, and as such is truly connected with the conse- 
quent, especially if the proposition holds both in the affirma- 
tive and negative, as the condiLiou is either affimtied or denied. 
If it be that with which, or v.hich being supposed, a thing shall 
be, and without which, or it being denied, a thing shall not be, 
we in such a case call it a condition of that thing : But in this 
sense faith is not the only condition of salvation or justifica- 
tion ; for there are many things that accompany and flow from 
faith, that are things with which justification shall be, and 
without Avhich, it will not be, and therefoi'e are found to be put 
in scripture in conditional propositions with justification and 
salvation, in multitudes of places ; such are, love to God, and 
love to our brethren, forgiving men tlieir trespasses, and many- 
other good qualifications and acts. And there are many othei* 
things besides faith, which are directly proposed to us, to 
be pursued and performed by us, in order to eternal life, as 
those which if they are done, or obtained, we shall have eternal 
life, and if not done, or not obtained, we shall surely perish. 
And if it Avere so, that faith was the only condition of justifica- 
tion in this sense, yet I do not apprehend that to say, that faitli 
was the condition of justification, would express the sense of 
that phrase of scripture, of being justified by faith. There is 
a difference between Leing justified by a thing, and that things 
universally, and necessarily and inseparably attending or going 
with justification ; for so do a great many things tliat we are not 
said to be justified by. It is not the inseparable connexion witl\ 
justification that the Hoiy Giost would signify (or that is nat- 
urally signified) by such a phrase, but some particular influence 
that faith has in the aff.dr,or some certain depeiulance that tliat 
effect has on its influence. 


Some that have been aware of this have supposed that the 
influence or dependence might well be expressed by faith's 
being the instrument of our justitication ; which has been 
misunderstood, ami injuriously represented, and ridiculed by 
those that haw denied the doctrine of justification by faith a- 
lone, as though they had supposed that faith was used as an in- 
strument in the hand of God, whei-eby he performed and 
brought to pass that act of his, viz. approving and justifying the 
believer. Whereas it was not intended that faith was the in- 
strument wherewith God justifies, but the instrument where- 
with we receive justification ; not the instrument wherewith 
tlie justifier acts in justifying, but wheixwith the receiver of 
justification acts in accepting justification. But yet it must be 
owned, that this is an obscure way of speaking, and there must 
tertciinly be some impropriety in calling it an instrument, 
wherev/ith we receive or accept justification ; for the very per- 
sons that thus explain the matter, speak o^ fluth as being the 
reception or acceptance itself; and if so, how can it be the in- 
strument of reception or acceptance ? Certainly there is dif- 
ference between the act and the instrument. And besides, by 
their own descriptions of faith, Christ the mediator by whom, 
and his righteousness by which we are justified, is more di- 
rectly the object of this acceptance and justification, which is 
the benefit arising therefrom more indirectly ; and therefore, 
if faith be an instrument, it is more properly the instrument by 
which we receis'e Christ, than the instrument by which we re- 
ceive justification. 

But I humbly conceive we have been ready to look too far 
to find out what that influence of faith in our justification is, or 
what is that dependence of this efl'ect on faith, signified by the 
expression of being justified by iaith, overlooking that which is 
most obviously pointed forth in the expression, viz. that, the 
case being as it is, (there being a mediator that has purchased 
justification) fiith in this mediator is that which renders it a 
meet and suitable thing, in the sight of God, that the believer, 
rather than others, should have this purchased benefit assigned 
to him. There is this benefit purchased, which God sees it to 
be a more meet and suitable thing that it should be assigned to 

Vol. VII. C 


oome than others, because he sees them differently qualified ; 
that qualification wherein the meetncss to this benefit, as the 
case stands, consists, is that in us by which we are justified. If 
Christ had not come into the world and died, Sec. to purchase 
justification, no qualification whatever in us could render it a 
meet or fit thing that we should be justified : But the case be- 
ing as it now stands, viz. that Christ has actually purchased 
justification by his own blood for infinitely unworthy creatures, 
there may be some certain qualification found in some per- 
sons, that, either from the relation it bears to the mediator and 
his merits, or on some other account, is the thing that in the 
sight of God renders it a meet and condecent thing, that they 
should have an interest in this purchased benefit, and which if 
any are destitute of, it renders it an unfit and unsuitable thing 
that they should have it. The wisdom of God in his constitu- 
tions doubtless appears much in the fitness and beauty of them, 
so that those things are established to be done that are fit to be 
done, and that those things are connected in his constitution 
that are agreeable one to another : So God justifies a believer 
according to his revealed constitution, without doubt, because 
he sees something in this qualification that, as the case stands, 
renders it a fit thing that such should be justified ; v/hether it 
be because faitli is the instrument, or as it were the hand, by 
which he that has purchased justification is apprehended 
and accepted, or because it is the acceptance itself, or what- 
ever. To be justified, is to be approved of God as a 
proper subject of pardon, and a right to eternal life ; and 
therefore, when it is said that we are justified by faith, what 
else can be understood by it, than that faith is that by which we 
are rendered approvable, fitly so, arid indeed, as the case 
stands, proper subjects of this benefit? 

This is something dilicrent from faith's being the condi- 
tion of justification, only so as to be inseparably connected witli 
justification : So are many other things besides faitli ; and yet 
nothing in us but faith renders it meet that Ave should have 
justification assigned to us ; as I shall presently shew how, in 
ansAver to the next inquiry, viz. 

2. Hov/ this is said to be by faith alone, without any manner 
of virtue or goodness of our own. This may seem to some to 


be attended with two difficulties, viz. how this can be said to 
be by faith alone, without any virtue or goodness of ours, when 
faith itself is a virtue, and one part of our goodness, and is not 
only some manner of goodness of ours, but is a very excellent 
qualification, and one chief part of the inherent holiness of a 
Christian? And if it be a part of our inherent goodness or 
excellency (whether it be this part or any other) that ren- 
ders it a condecent or congruous thing that we should have 
this benefit of Christ assigned to us, what less is this than 
what they mean that talk of a merit of congi-uity ? And more- 
over, if this part of our Christian holiness qualifies us in the 
sight of God, for this benefit of Christ, and renders it a fit or 
meet thing, in his sight, that we should have it, why should not 
other parts of holiness, and conformity to God, which are also 
very excellent, and have as much the image of Christ in them, 
and are no less lovely in God's eyes, qualify us as much, and 
have as much influence to render us meet in God's sight, for 
such a benefit as this ? Therefore I answer, 

When it is said, that v/e are not justified by any righteousr 
ness or goodness of our own, what is meant is, that it is not 
out of respect to the excellency or goodness of any qualifica- 
tions or acts in us whatsoever, that God judges it meet that 
this benefit of Christ should be ours ; and it is not in anywise, 
on account of any excellency or value that there is in faith, 
that it appears in the sight of God a meet thing, that he that 
believes should have this benefit of Christ assigned to him, 
but purely from the relation faith has to the person in whom 
this benefit is to be had, or as it unites to that mediator, in and 
by whom we are justified. Here for the greater clearness, I 
would particularly explain myself under several propositions. 
1. It is certain that there is seine union or relation that 
the people of Christ stand in to him, that is expressed in scrip- 
ture, from time to time, by being in Christ, and is represent- 
ed frequently by those metaphors of being members of Christ, 
or being united to him as members to the head, and branches 
to the stock,* and is compared to a marriage union between 

* " Our Saviour compares his mystical body, that is his church, to a vine, 
which his Father, whom he compares to a husbandman, hath planted ; / am 


husband and wife. I do not now pretend to determine of what 
sort this vuiion is ; nor is it necessary to my present purpose 
tx) enter into any manner of dispute about it. If any are dis- 
gusted at the word uniov^ as obscure and unintelligible, the 
word relation equally serves my purpose ; I do not now de- 
sire to determine any more about it, than all, of all sorts, will 
readily allow, viz. that there is a peculiar relation between true 
Christians and Christ, or a certain relation between him and 
them, that there is not between him and others ; which is sig- 
nified by those metaphorical expressions in scripture, of being 
in Christ, being members of Christ, Sec. 

2. This relation or union to Christ whereby Christians are 
said, to be in Christ, (whatever it be) is the ground of their 
right to his benefits. This needs no proof ; the reason of tlie 
thing, at first blush, demonstrates it : But yet it is evident also 
by scripture, 1 John v. 12. " He that hath the Son, hath life ; 
and he that hath not the Son, hath not life."* 1 Cor. i. 30. 
f Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made imto us 
....righteousness." First we must be in him, and then he Avill 
be made righteousness or justification to us. Eph. i. 6. " Who 
hath made us accepted in the beloved." Our being in him is 
the ground of our being accepted. So it is in those unions 
which the Holy Ghost has thought fit to compare this union ,to. 
The union of the members of the body with the head, is the 

ihi true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. To represent to us the union that 
is betwixt Christ and all true Christians, and the influence of grace and spirit- 
ual life, which all that are united to him do derive and receive from him, he 
sets it foith to us by the resemblance of a vine and branches. As there is a 
natural, vital union between the vine and the branches, so there is a spiritual u- 
nion between Christ and true Christans; and this union is the cause of our 
fruitfulness in the works of obedience and a good life. There are some in- 
deed that seem to be grafted into Christ by an outward profession of Christ- 
ianity, who yet derive no influence from him. so as to bring forth fruit, be. 
caufe they are not vitally united to him." Dr. Tillotson, ^d. vol. of Serm. p, 


3y this it appears that the vital union between Christ and true Christians, 
■which is much more of a mystery than the relative union, and necessarily im- 
plies it, was not thought an unreasonable doctrine by one of the greatest di- 
vines on the other side of the question in hand. 


ground of their partaking of the life of the head ; it is tlie 
union of the branches to the stock, which is the ground of 
their partaking of the sap and life of the stock ; it is the 
relation of the wife to the husband, that is the ground of her 
joint interest in his estate ; they are looked upon, hx several 
respects, as one in law : So there is a legal union betv/een 
Christ and true Christians ; so that (as all except vSocinians 
allow) one, in some respects, is accepted far the other by tlie 
Supreme Judge. 

3. And thus it is that faith is that qualification in any per- 
son that renders it meet in the sight of God thut he should be 
looked upon as having Christ's satisfaction and righteousness 
belonging to him, viz. because it is tliat in him which, on his 
part, makes up this union between him and Christ. By what 
has been just now observed, it is a person's being, according 
to scripture phrase, in Christ, that is the ground of having his 
satisfaction and merits belonging to him, and a right to the 
benefits procured thereby : And the reason of it is plain ; it 
is easy to see how a having Christ's merits and benefits be- 
longing to us, follows from our having (if I may so speak) 
Christ himself belonging to us, or a being united to him ; and 
if so, it must also be easy to see how, or in what manner, that, 
in a person, that on his part makes up the union between his 
soul and Christ, should be the thing on the account of which 
God looks on it meet that he should have Christ's merits and 
benefits, from regard to any qualification in him, in this i-es- 
pect, from his doing of it for him, out of respect to the value 
or loveliness of that qualification, or as a reward of the excelj 
lency of it. 

As there is no body but what will allow tliat there is a pe- 
culiar relation between Christ and his true disciples, by which 
they are in some sense in scripture said to be one ; so I sup- 
pose there is no body but what will allow, that there may be 
something that the true Christian does on his part, whereby 
he is active in commg into his relation or union, some of the 
soul of the Christian, that is the Christian's uniting act, or 
that which is done towards this union or relation (or whatever 


any please to call it) on the Christian's part : Now faith I sup- 
pose to be this act. 

I do not now pretend to define justifying faith, -or to deter- 
mine precisely how much is contained in it, but only to deter- 
mine thus much concerning it, viz. That it is that by which 
tlie soul that before was separate and alienated from Christ, 
unites itself to him, or ceases to be any longer in that state of 
alienation, and comes into that forementioned union or relation 
to him, or, to use the scripture phrase, that it is that by 
which the soul comes to Christ, and receives him : And this 
is evident by the scripture's using these very expressions to 
signify faith. John vi. 35, 36, 37, 38, 39. "He that cometh 
to me, shall never hunger ; and he that hdieveth on me, shall 
never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, 
and believe not. All that the Father giveth me, shall co7ne to 
me ; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. 
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine o\vn will, but 
the will of him that sent me." Ver. 40. " And this is the will 
of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the son, and 
believeth on him, may have everlasting life ; and I will raise 
him up at the last day." Chap. v. 38, 39, 40. " Whom he 
hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures, for.... 
they ai'e they which testify of me. And ye will not come un- 
to me, that ye niight have life." Ver. 43, 44. *' I am come 
in my Father's name, and ye receive me not : If imother shall 
come in his own naiue, him ye will receive. How can ye be- 
lieve which receive honor one of another ?" Chap. i. 12. 
" But as many as received Mm, to them gave he power to be- 
come the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." 
If it be said that these are obscure figures of speech, that, 
however they might be well understood of old among those 
that then commonly used such metaphors, yet they are diffi- 
cultly understood now ; I allow that the expressions, recfiving 
Christ, and coming to Christ, are m.etaphorical expressions : 
And if I should allow them to be obscure metaphors ; yet so 
much at least is certainly plain in them, viz. that faith is that 
by which those that before were separated, and at a distance 
from Christ, (that is to say, Averc not so related faid united to 


Mm as his people are) do cease to beany longer at such a 
distance, and do come into that relation and nearness ; unless 
they are so unintelligible, that nothing at all can be understood 
by them. 

God does not give those that beheve an union with, or an 
interest in the Saviour, in reward for faith but only because 
faith is the soul's active uniting with Christ, or is itself the 
very act of unition, on their part. God sees it fit, that in 
order to an union's being estabUshed between two intelligent, 
active beings or persons, so as that they should be looked up- 
on as one, there should be the mutual act of both, that each 
should receive the other, as actively joining themselves one 
to another. God, in requiring this in order to an union with 
Christ as one of his people, treats men as reasonable creatures, 
capable of act and choice ; and hence sees it fit that they only 
that are one with Christ by their own act, should be looked 
u^on as one in law. What is real in the union between Christ 
and his people, is the foundation of what is legal ; that is, it is 
something that is really in them, and between them, uniting 
them, that is the ground of the suitableness of their being ac- 
counted as one by the Judge : And if there be any act or qual- 
ification in believers that is of that uniting nature, that it is 
meet, on that account, that the Judge should look upon them 
and accept them as one, no wonder that upon the account of 
the same act t)r qualification, he should accept the satisfaction 
and merits of the one for the other, as if it v/ere their satisfac- 
tion and merits : It necessarily follows, or rather is implied. 

And thus it is that faith justifies, or gives an interest in 
Christ's satisfaction and merits, and a right to the benefits 
procured thereby, viz. as it thus makes Christ and the believ- 
er one, in tlie acceptance of the Supreme Judge. It is by faith 
that we have a title to eternal life, because it is by faith that Vv^c 
have the Son of God, by whom life is. l"he Apostle John in 
these words, 1 John v. 12. " He that hath the Son, hath life," 
seems evidently to have respect to those words of Christ that 
he gives an account of in his gospel, chap. iii. 36. " He that 
believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life ; and he that be- 
lieveth not the Son, shall not sec life." And in the same 

24 Justification 

places that the scripture speaks of faith as th<; soul's rcceivift^ 
or coming to Christ, it also speaks of this receiving, or conning 
to, or joining Tsith Christ, as the ground of an interest in his 
benefits : To as many as received him, "to them gave he pow« 
er" to become the sons of God. Ye will not come unto me 
" that ye might have life." And there is a wide difference 
betweai its being looked on suitable that Christ's satisfaction 
and merits should be theirs that believe, because an interest in 
that satisfaction and merit is but a fit reward of faith, or a 
Suitable testimony of God's i-iespect to the amiableness and ex- 
cellency of that grace, and its only being looked on suitable 
that Christ's satisfaction and merits should be theirs, because 
Christ and they are so united, that in the eyes of the Judge 
they niay suitably be looked upon and taken as one. 

Although, on the account of faith in the believer, it is, in 
the sight of God, fit and congruous, both that he that believes 
should be looked upon as in Christ, and also as having an hi- 
terest in his merits, in the way that has been now explained ; 
yet it appears that this is very wide from a merit of congruity, 
or indeed any moral congruity at all to either. There is a 
twofold fitness to a state ; I know not how to give them dis- 
tinguishing names, or otherwise, than by calling the one a mor- 
al and the other a wa/zo-a/ fitness. A person has a moral fit- 
ness for a state, when his moral excellency commends him to 
it, or when his being put into such a good state is but a 
fit or suitable testimony of regard or love to the moral excel- 
lency, or value, or aniiableness of iuiy of his qualifications or 
acts. A person has a natural fitness for a state, when it ap- 
pears meet and condecent that he should be in such a state or 
circumstances, only from the natur.J concord or agrecableness 
there is between such qualifications and such circumstances j 
not because the qualifications are lovely or unlovely, but only 
because the qualifications and the circumstances are like one 
another, or do in their nature, suit and agree or unite one to 
another. And it is on this latter account only that God looks 
on it fit, by a natural fitness, that he whose heart sincerely 
unites itself to Christ as his Saviour, should be looked upon as 
united to tliat Saviour, and so having an interest in him ; and 


not fi*om ally moral fitness there is between the excellency of 
such a qualification as faith, and such a glorious blessedness as 
the having an interest in Christ. God's bestowing Christ and 
his benefits on a soul in consequence of fiith, out of regard on- 
ly to the natural concord there is between such a qualification 
of a soul, and such an union with Christ, and mterest in him, 
makes the case very widely different from what would be, if 
he bestowed this from regurd to any moral suitableness : For, 
in the former case, it is only from God's love of order that he 
bestows these things on the account of fuith : In the latter, 
God doth it out of love to the grace of faith itself. God will 
neither look on Christ's merits as ours, nor adjudge his bene- 
fits to us, till we be in Christ ; nor will he look upon us 
being in him, without an active union of our heai'ts and souls 
to him ; because he is a wise being, and delights in order and 
not in confusion, and that things should be together or asunder 
according to their nature ; and his making such a constitution 
is a testimony of his love of order : Whereas if it were out of 
regard to any moral fitness or suitableness between faith and 
such blessedness, it would be a testimony of his love to the act 
or qualification itself : The one supposes this divine constitu- 
tion to be a manifestation of God's regard to the beauty of the 
act of faith ; the other only supposes it to be a manifestation of 
his regard to th6 beauty of that order that there is in uniting 
those things that have a natural agreement, and congruity, and 
unition, the one with the other. Indeed a moral suitableness 
or fitness to a state includes a natural : For it is never so that 
if there be a moral suitableness that a person should be in such 
a state, there is not also a natural suitableness ; but such a 
natural suitableness as I have described, by no means neces- 
sarily includes a moral. 

This is plainly what our divines intend when they say, that 
faith does not justify as a work, or a righteousness, viz. that 
it does not justify as a part of our moral goodness or excellen- 
cy, or that it does not justify as a work in the sense, that man 
was to have been justified by his works by the covenant of 
works, which was to have a title to eternal life given him of 
God in testimony of his pleasedness v/ith his works, or his re- 

VoL. VII. D 


gard to the inherent excellency and beauty of his obedience. 
And this is ccrtciinly what the Apostle Paul means, when he 
so much insists upon it, that we are not justified by works, 
viz. that we are not justified by them as good works, or by any 
goodness, value, or excellency of our works. For the proof 
of this 1 shall at present mention but one thing, (being like to 
have occasion to say what shall make it more abimdunlly mani- 
fest afterwards) and that is, the apostles, from time to time, 
speaking of our not being justified by works, as the thing that 
excludes all boasting, Eph. ii. 9, Rom. iii. 27, and chap. iv. 2. 
Now which way do works give occasion for boasting, but as 
good ? What do men vise to boast of, but of sometliing they 
suppose good or excellent? And on what account do they boast 
of any thing, but for the supposed excellency that is in it ? 

From these things we may learn in what manner faith is 
the only condition of justification, and salvation : For though 
it be not the only condition, so as alone truly to have the place 
of a condition in an hypothetical proposition, in which justifi- 
cation and salvation are the consequent, yet it is the condition 
of justification in a manner peculiar to it, and so that nothing 
else has a parallel influence with it ; because faith includes 
the whole act of unltion to Christ as a Saviour. The entire, 
active uniting of the soul, or the whole of what is called com- 
ing to Christ, and receiving of him, is called faith in scripture ; 
and however other things may be no less excellent than faith, 
yet it is not the nature of any other graces or virtues directly 
to close with Christ as a mediutor, any further than they enter 
into the constitution of justilying faith, and do belong to its na- 

Thus I have explained my meaning in asserting it as a doc- 
trine of the gospel, that we are justified by faith only, without 
any manner of goodness of our own. I now proceed in the 

II. Place, to the proof of it ; which I shall endeavor to 
produce in the following arguments. 

First. Such is our case, and the state of things, that nei- 
ther fcdth, nor any other qualification, or act or course of acts, 
does or can render it suitable or fit that a person should have 
an interest in the Saviour, and so a title to his benefits, on 


account of any excellency therein, or any other way, than 
only as something in him may unite him to the Saviour It 
is not suitable that God should give fallen man an interest in 
Christ and Ms merits, as a testimony of his respect to any 
thing whatsoever as a loveliness in him ; and that bee duse it 
is not meet, till a sinner is actually justified, that any thing in 
him should be accepted of God, as an excellency or amiable- 
Bess of his person ; or that God, by any act, should in any 
manner or degree testify any pleasedness vvith him, or fevor 
towards him, on the account of any thing inlierent in him : 
And that for two reasons, 1. Because the nature of things will 
not admit of it : 2. Because an antecedent, divine constitution 
stands in the way of it. 

1. The nature of things will not admit of it. And this ap- 
pears from the infinite guilt that the sinner, till justified, is un- 
der ; which arises from the infinite evil or heinousness of sin. 
But because this is what some deny, I would therefore first 
establish that point, and shew that sin is a tiling that is In" 
deed properly of infinite heinousness ; and then shew the 
consequence, and shew that, it being so, and so the sinner un- 
der infinite guilt in God's sight, it cannot be suitable, till the 
sinner is actually justified, that God should by any act testify 
any pleasedness with, or acceptance of imy thing, as any excel- 
lency or ami-ibleness of his person, or indeed have any accept- 
ance of him, or pleasedness with him to testify. 

That the evil and demerit of sin is infinitely great, is most 
demonstrably evident, because what the evil or iniquity of sin 
consists in, is the violating of an obligation, the doing contraiy 
to what we are obliged to do, or doing what we should not do ; 
and therefore by how much the greater the obligation is that 
is violated, by so much the greater is the iniquity of the viola- 
tion. But certainly our obligation to love or honor any being 
is great in proportion to the greatness or excellency of that 
being or his worthiness to be loved or honored : We are un- 
der greater obligations to love a more lovely being than a less 
lovely ; and if a being be infinitely excellent and lovely, our 
obligations to love him are therein infinitely great : The mat- 
ter is so plain, it seems needless to say much about it. 


Some have argued strangely against the infinite evil of 
sin, from its being committed against an infinite object, that 
if so, tlien it may as well be argued, that there is also an infi- 
nite value or worthiness in holiness and love to God, because 
that also has an infinite object ; whereas the argument, from 
parity of reason, will carry it in the reverse : The sin of the 
creature against God is ill deserving in proportion to the dis- 
tance there is between God and the creature ; the greatness 
of the object, and the meanness of the subject aggravates it. 
But it is the reverse with regard to the worthiness of respect 
of the creature to God ; it is worthless, (and not worthy) in 
proportion to the meanness of the subject ; so much the 
greater the distance between God and the creature, so much 
the less is the creature's respect worthy of God's notice or re- 
gard. The unworthiness of sin or opposition to God rises 
and is great, in proportion to the dignity of the object and in- 
feriority of the subject ; but on the contraiy, the worth or 
value of respect rises in proportion to the value of the sub- 
ject ; and that for this plain reason, -viz, that the evil of dis- 
respect is in proportion to the obligation that lies upon the 
subject to the object ; which obligation is most evidently in- 
creased by the excellency and superiority of the object ; but 
on the contrary, the worthiness of respect to a being is in pro- 
portion to the obligation that lies on him who is the object, 
(or rather the reason he has) to regard the subject, which cer- 
tainly is in proportion to the subject's value or excellency. 
Sin or disrespect is evil or heinous in proportion to the degree 
of what it denies in the object, as it were takes from it, viz. 
its excellency ivnd worthiness of respect ; on the contraiy, re- 
spect is valuable in propoi'^on to the value of what is given to 
the object in that respect, which undoubtedly (other things 
being equal) is great in proportion to the subject's value, or 
worthiness of regard ; because the subject in giving his re- 
spect, cim give no more than himself to the object ; and 
therefore his gift is of greater or less value in proportion to 
the value of himself 

Hence, (by the way) the love, honor, and obedience of 
Christ towards God, has infinite value, from the excellency 


and dignity of the person in whom these quahfications were 
inherent ; and the reason why we needed a person of infinite 
dignity to obey for us, was because of our infinite ccn.para- 
tive meanness, who had disobeyed, whereby our disobedience 
was infinitely aggravated. We needed one, the Avorthiness 
of whose obedience might be answerable to the unworthiness 
of our disobedience ; and therefore needed one who was as 
great and worthy as we were unworthy. 

Another objection (that perhaps may be thouglit hardly 
worth mentioning) is, that to suppose sin to be infinitely hein- 
ous, is to make all sins equally heinous ; for how can any sin 
be more than infinitely heinous ? But all that can be argued 
hence is, that no sin can be greater with respect to that aggra- 
vation, the worthiness of the object against whom it is com- 
mitted. One sin cannot be more aggravated than another in 
that respect, because in this respect the aggravation of every 
sin is infinite ; but that does not hinder but that some sins 
may be more heinous than others in other respects : As if we 
should suppose a cylinder infinitely long, it cannot be greater 
in that respect, viz. with respect to the length of it ; but yet 
it may be doubled and trebled, and made a thousand fold more, 
by the increase of other dimensions. Of sins tnat are all in- 
finitely heinous, some may be more heinous than others ; as 
well as of divers punishments that are all infinitely dreadful 
calamities, or all of them infinitely exceeding all finite calam- 
ities, so that there is no finite calamity, however great, but 
what is infinitely less dreadful, or more eligible than any of 
them, yet some of them may be a thousand times more dread- 
ful than others. A punishment may be infinitely dreadful by 
reason of the long duration of it ; and therefore cannot be 
greater with respect to that aggravation of it, viz. its length 
of continuance, but yet may be vastly more terrible on other 

Having thus, as I imagine, made it clear, that all sin is 
infinitely heinous, and conseriuently that the sinner, before 
he is justified, is under infinite guilt in God's sight ; it now 
remains that I shew the consequence, or how it follows from 
hence, that it is not suitable that God should give the siimer 


an interest in Christ's merits, and so a title to his benefits, 
from regard to any qualification, or act, or coui-se of acts ia 
him, on the account of any excellency or goodness whatso- 
ever therein, but only as uniting to Christ ; or (which fully 
implies it) that it is not suitable that God, by any act, should, 
in any manner or degree, testify any acceptance of, or pleased- 
ness with any thing, as any virtue, or excellency, or any part 
of loveliness, or valuableness in his ^lerson until he is actual- 
ly already interested in Christ's merits ; which appears by 
this, that from the premises it follows, that before the sinner 
is already interested in Christ, and justified, it is impossible 
God should have any acceptance of, or pleasedness with the 
person of the sinner, as in any degree lovely in his sight, or 
indeed less the object of his displeasure and wrath. For, by 
the "Supposition, the sinner still remtdns infinitely guilty in 
the sight of God ; for guilt is not removed but by pardon : 
But to suppose the sinner already paixioned, is to suppose him 
ah'eady justified ; which is contrary to the supposition. But 
if the sinner still remains infinitely guilty in God's sight, tliat 
is the same thing as still to be beheld of God as infinitely the 
object of his displeasure and wrath, or infinitely hateful in his 
eyes ; and if so, where is any room for any tiling in him, to 
be accepted as some valuableness or acceptableness of him in 
God's sight, or for any act of favor of any kind towards him, 
or any gift whatsoever to him, in testimony of God's respect 
to and acceptance of something of him lovely and pleasing ? 
If we should suppose that it could be so, that a sinner could 
have faith or some other grace in his heart, and yet remain 
separate from Christ ; and it should continue still to be so, 
that he is not looked upon as bemg in Christ, or having any 
relation to him, it would not be meet that that true grace 
should be accepted of God as any loveliness of his person in 
the sight of God. If it should be accepted as the loveliness 
of the person, that would be to accept the person as in some 
degree lovely to God ; but this cannot be consistent with his 
still remaining under infinite guilt, or infinite unworthiness 
in God's sight, which that goodness has no worthiness to bal- 
ance. While God beholds the man as separate from Christ. 


he must behold him as he is in himself ; and so his goodness 
cannot be beheld by God, but as taken with his guilt and hate- 
fulness ; and as put in the scales with it ; and being beheld 
so, his goodness is nothing ; because there is a finite on the 
balance against an infinite, whose proportion to it is nothing. 
In such a case, if the man be looked on as he is in himself, 
the excess of the weight in one scale above another, must be 
looked upon as the quality of the man. These contraries be- 
ing beheld together, one takes from another, as one number 
is subtracted from another ; and the man must be looked up- 
on in God's sight according to the remainder : For here, by 
the supposition, all acts of grace and favor, in not imputing 
the guilt as it is, are excluded, because that supposes a de- 
gree of pardon, and that supposes justification, which is con- 
trary to what is supposed, viz. that the sinner is not already 
justified ; and therefore things must be taken strictly as they 
are : and so the man is still infinitely unworthy and hateful in 
God's sight, as he was before without diminution, because his 
goodness bears no proportion to his unworthiness, and tliere- 
fore when taken together is nothing. 

Hence may be more clearly seen the force of that expres- 
sion in the text, of believing on him that justifieth the ungod- 
ly ; for though there is indeed something in man that is really 
and spiritually good, that is prior to justification, yet there is 
nothing that is accepted as any godliness or excellency of the 
person till after justification. Goodness or loveliness of the 
person in the acceptance of God, in any degree, is not to be 
considered prior but posterior in the oWer and method of 
God's proceeding in tliis affair. Though a respect to the 
natural suitableness between such a qualification, and such a 
state, does go before justification, yet the acceptance even of 
faith as any goodness or loveliness of the believer, folloAvs 
justification : The goodness is on the forementioned account 
justly looked upon as nothing, until the man is justified : And 
therefore the man is respected in justification, as in himself 
altogether hateful. Thus the nature of things will not ad- 
mit of a man's having an interest given him in the merits or 
benefits of a Saviour, on the account of any thing as a right- 
eousness, or virtue, or excellencv in him. 


2. A divine constitution that is antecedent to that which 
establishes justification by a Saviour, (and indeed to any need 
of a Saviour) stands in the way of it, viz. that original consti- 
tution or law which man was put under ; by which constitu- 
tion or law the sinner is condemned, because he is a vio- 
lator of that law ; stands condemned, till he has actually an 
interest in the Saviour, through Avhom he is set at liberty from 
that condemnation. But to suppose that God gives a man an 
interest in Christ in reward for his righteousness or virtue, is 
inconsistent with his still remaining under condemnation till he 
has an interest in Christ; because it supposes, tliat the sinner's 
virtue is accepted, and he accepted for it, beiore he has an inter- 
est in Christ ; inasmuch as an interest in Christ is given as a 
reward of his virtue : But the virtue must first be accepted, 
before it is rewarded, and the man must first be accepted lor 
his virtue, before he is rewarded for it with so great fnd glori- 
ous a reward ; for the very notion of a reward, is some good 
bestowed in testimony of respect to, and acceptance of virtue 
in the person rewarded. It does not consist with the honor 
of the majesty of the king of heaven and earth, to accept of 
any thing from a condemned malefactor, condemned by the 
justiceof his own holy law, till that condemnation be remov- 
ed : And then such acceptance is inconsistent with, and con- 
tradictoiy to such remaining condemnation ; for the law con- 
demns him that violates it to be totally rejected and cast off by 
God. But how can a man continue under this condemnidion, 
i. e. continue vitterly rejected and cast off by God, and yet his 
righteousness or virtue be accepted, and he himself accepted 
on the account of it, so as to have so glorious reward as an in- 
terest in Christ bestowed as a testimony of that acceptance ? 

I know that the answer that will be ready for this, is, that 
we now are not subject to that constitution that muikind were 
at first put under ; but that God, in mercy to mankind, has 
abolished that rigorous constitution or law that they were un- 
der originally, and has put us under a new law, and introduced 
a more mild constitution ; and that the constitution or law it- 
self not remaining, there is no need of supposuig that the 
condemnation of it remains, to stand in tlie way oi the accept- 


ahce of our virtue. And indeed there is no other way of a- 
roiding this difficulty ; the condemnation of the law must 
stand in force against a man till he is actually interested in the 
Saviour, that has satisfied and answered the law, eft'ectually 
to prevent any acceptance of his virtue, befoi-e, or in order to 
such an interest, unless the law or constitution itself be abol- 
ished. But the scheme of those modern divines by whom 
this is maintained, seems to contain a great deal of ab- 
surdity and selfcontradiction : They hold, that the old law 
given to Adam, which requires perfect obedience, is en- 
tirely repealed, and that instead of it we are put under a 
new law, which requires no more tlian imperfect, sincere obe- 
dience, in compliance with our poor, infirm, impotent circum- 
stances since the fall, whereby we are unable to perfoi'm that 
perfect obedience that was required by the first law : For 
they strenuously maintain, that it would be unjust in God to 
require any thing of us that is beyond our present power and 
ability to perform ; and yet they hold, that Christ died to satis- 
fy for the imperfections of our obedience, that so our imper- 
fect obedience might be accepted instead of a perfect. Now, 
how can these things hang togetlier ? I would ask. What law 
tliese imperfections of our obedience are a breach of? If they 
are a breach of no law, then tliey be not sins, and if they be not 
sins, what need of Christ's dying to satisfy for them ? But if 
they are sins, and so the breach of some law, what law is it ? 
They cannot be a breach of their new law, for that requires 
no other than imperfect obedience, or obedience with imper- 
fections ; and they cannot be a breach of the old law, for that 
they say is entirely abolished, and we never were under it ; 
and we cannot break a law that we never were under. They 
say it would not be just in God to exact of us perfect obedience, 
because it would not be just in God to require more of us than 
we can perform in our present state, and to punish us for failing 
of it; and therefore, by their own scheme, the imperfections 
of our obedience do not deserve to be punished. What need 
therefore of Christ's dying to satisfy for them ? What need of 
Christ's suffering to satisfy for that which is no fault, and in its 
own nature deserves no suffering ? What need of Christ's dy- 


ing to purchase that- our imperfect obedience should be ac& 
cepted, when, according to their scheme, it would be unjust in 
itself that any other obedience than imperfect should be re- 
quired? What need of Christ's dying to make way for God's 
accepting such an obedience, as it would in itself be unjust in 
him not to accept ? Is there any need of Christ's dying to per- 
suade God not to do unjustly ? If it be said, that Christ died to 
satisfy that law for us, that so we might not be under that law, 
but might be delivered from it, that so there might be room 
for us to be under a more mild law ; still I would inquire, 
What need of Christ's dying that we might not be under a law' 
that (according to their scheme) it would in itself be unjust 
that we should be imder, because in our present state we are 
not able to keep it ? What need of Christ's dying that we 
might not be under a law that it would be unjust that we should 
be under, whether Christ died or no? 

Thus far I have argued principally from reason, and tlie 
nature of things : I proceed now to the 

Second argument, which is, That this is a doctrine that 
the holy Scripture, the revelation that God has given us of his 
nund and will, by which alone we can ever come to know how^ 
those that have offended God cain be accepted of him, and jus- 
tified in his sight, is exceeding full in : Particularly the A- 
postle Paul is abundant in teaching, that " we are justified by 
" faith alone, without the works of the law." There is n» 
one doctrine that he insists so much upon, and is so particular 
in, and that he handles with. so much distinctness, explaining 
and givinsT reasons, and answering objections. 

Here it is not denied by any, that the apostle does assert, 
that we are justified by faith, without the works of the law, be- 
cause the words are express ; but only it is said, that we take 
his words wrong and understand that by them that never en- 
tered into his heart, in that when he excludes the works of the 
law, we understand him of the whole law of God, or the rule 
which he has given to mankind to walk by; whereas all that 
he intends is the ceremonial law. 

Some that oppose this doctrine indeed say, that the apostle 
sometimes means that it is by faith i. e. an hearty embracing 
the gospel, in its first act only, or without any preceding holy 


Hfe, that persons are admitted into a justified state ; but, say 
they, it is by a persevering obedience that they are continued 
in a justified state ; and it is by this that they are finally justi- 
fied. But this is the same tiling as to say, that a man, on his 
first embracing the gospel, is conditionally justified and par- 
doned : To pardon sin, is to free the sinner from the punish- 
ment of it, or from that eternal misery that is.due to it; and 
therefore, if a person is pardoned or freed from this misery, on 
his first embracing Ihe gospel, and yet not finally freed, but 
his actual freedom still depends on some condition yet to be 
performed, it is inconceivable how he can be pardoned other- 
wise than conditionally ; that is, he is not actually pardoned, 
and freed from punishment, but only he has God's promise 
that he shall be pardoned on future conditions ; God promises 
him, that now, if he perseveres in obedience, he shall be fiual- 
ly pardoned, or actually freed from hell ; which is to make just 
nothing at all of the apostle'^ great doctrine of justification by 
faith alone : Such a conditional pardon is no pardon or justifi- 
cation at all, any more than all mankind have, whether they 
embrace the gospel or no ; for they all have a promise of final 
justification on condition of future, sincere obedience, as much 
as he that embraces the gospel. But not to dispute about this, 
we will suppose that there may be something or other at the 
sinner's first embracing the gospel, that may properly be call- 
ed justification or pardon, and yet that final justification, or re- 
al freedom from the punishment of sin, is still suspended on 
conditions hitherto unfulfilled ; yet they that hold that sinners 
are thus justified on embi-acing the gospel, suppose that they 
are justified by this no otherwise than as this is a leading act of 
obedience, or at least as virtue and moral goodness in them, 
and therefore would be excluded by the apostle as much as any 
other virtue or obedience, if it be allowed that he means the 
moral law, when he excludes the works of the law. And 
therefore, if that point be yielded, that the apostle means the 
moral, and not the ceremonial law only, their whole scheme 
falls to the ground. 

And because the issue of the whole argument from those 
texts in St. Paul's epistles depends on the determination of this 
point, I would be particular in the discussion of it. 


Some of our opponents in this doctrine of justification, 
when they deny, that by the hiw the apostle means the moral 
law, or the whole rule of life which God has given to mankind, 
seem to choose to express themselves thus, that the apostle 
only intends the Mosaic dispensation. But this comes to just 
the same thing as if they said, that the apostle only means to 
exclude the works of the ceremonial laAv ; for when they say, 
that it is intended only that we be not justified by the works of 
the Mosaic dispensation, if they mean any thing by it, it must 
be, that we be not justified by attending and observing what is 
Mosaic in that dispensation, or by what was peculiar to it, and 
wherein it differed from the Christian dispensation ; which is 
the same as that which is ceremonial and positive, and not 
moral, in that administration. So that this is what I have to 
disprove, viz. that the apostle when he speaks of the works of 
the laAv in this affair, means only the works of the ceremonial 
law, or those observances that were peculiar to the Mosaic ad- 

And here it must be noted, that nobody controverts it with 
them, whether the works of the ceremonial law be not includ- 
ed, or whether the apostle does not particularly argue against 
justification by circumcision, and other ceremonial observan- 
ces ; but all that is in question is, whether, when he denies jus- 
justificaton by works of the law, he is to be understood of the 
ceremonial law only, or whether the moral law be not also im- 
plied and intended ; and therefore those arguments that are 
brought to prove that the apostle meant the ceremonial law, 
are nothing to the purpose unless they prove more than that, 
viz. that the apostle meant those only. 

What is much insisted on is, that it was the Judaising 
Christians' being so fond of circumcision, and other ceremo- 
nies of the law, and depending so much on them, which was 
the occasion of the apostle's writing as he does against justi- 
fication by the works of the law. But supposing it were so, 
that their trusting in works of tlie ceremonial law were the 
sole occasion of the apostle's writing, (which yet there is no 
reason to allow, as may appear afterwards ;) if their trust- 
ing in a particular work, as a work of righteousness, was all 


that gave occasion to the apostle to write, how does it follow, 
that therefore the apostle did not upon that occasion write a* 
gainst trusting in all works of righteousness whatsoever? 
Where is the absurdity of supposing that the apostle might 
take occasion, from his observing some to trust in a certain 
work as a work of righteousness, to write to them agcdnst per- 
sons' trusting in any works of righteousness, and tliat it was a 
very proper occasion too ? Yea, it would have' been unavoida- 
ble for the apostle to have argued against trusting in a particu- 
lar work in that quahty of a work of righteousness, which 
quality was general, but he must therein ai-gue against works 
of righteousness in general. Supposing it had been some oth- 
er paiticular sort of works that was the occasion of the apos- 
tle's writing, as for instance, works of charity, and the apostle 
should hence take occasion to write to them not to trust in 
their works, could the apostle by that be understood of no oth- 
er work besides works of charity ? Would it have been absurd 
to understand him as writing against trusting in any work at 
all, because it was their trusting to a particular work that gave 
occasion to his writing ? 

Another thing that is alleged as an evidence that the apos- 
tle means the ceremonial law, when he says, we cannot be jus- 
tified by the works of the law, is, that he uses that argument 
to prove it, viz. that this law that he speaks of was given so 
long after the covenant with Abraham, in Gal. iii. 17. " And 
this, I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God 
in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years af- 
ter, cannot disannul." But, say they, it was only the Mosaic 
administration, and not the covenant of works, that was given 
so long after. But the apostle's argument seems manifestly to 
be mistaken by them. The apostle does not speak of a law 
that began first to have being four hundred and thirty years af- 
ter ; if he did, there would be some force in their objection ; 
but he has respect to a certain solemn transaction, well known 
among the Jews, by the phrase of the giving of the law, which 
was that great transaction at mount Sinai, that we have account 
of in the 19th and 20th chapters of Exodus, consisting espec- 
ially in God's giving the ten commandments, which is the 


moral law, -with that terrible voice, which law he afterwards 
gave ill tables of stone. This transaction, the Jews, in the 
apostles' time misinterpreted ; they looked upon it as God's 
establishing that law as a rule of justification. This conceit 
of their's the apostle brings this invincible argument against, 
viz. that God would never go about to disannul his covenant 
with Abraham, Avhich ^vas plainly a covenant of grace, by a 
transaction with his posterity, that was so long after it, and was 
plainly built upon it : He would not overthrow a covenant of 
grace that he had long before established with Abraham, for 
him, and his seed, (which is often mentioned on the ground of 
God's making them his people) by now establishing a cove- 
nant of works with them at Mount Sinai, as the Jews and juda/- 
ising Christians supposed. 

But that the apostle does not mean works of the ceremoni- 
al law only, when he excludes works of the law in justification, 
but also of the moral law, and all works of obedience, virtue 
and righteousness whatsoever, may appear by the following 

1. The apostle does not only say, that we are not justified 
by the works of the law, but that we are not justified by works, 
using a general term ; as in our text, it is said, to him that 
ivorketh not,, but believe th on him that justijieth. &c. ; and in the 
6th verse, "God impute tli righteousness v/ithout works;" and 
chap. xi. 6, " And if by grace, then it is no more of works, oth- 
erwise grace is no more grace : But if it be of works, then is it 
no more grace ; otherwise work is no more work." So Eph. 

ii. 8, 9, " For by grace are ye saved, through faith not of 

works;" by which there is no reason in the world to under- 
stand the apostle of any other than works in general, as correl- 
ates of a rewai'd, or good works, or works of virtue and right- 
eousness. When the apostle says, we are justified or saved 
not by works, without any such term annexed, as the law, 
or any other addition, to limit the ejipression, what warrant 
has any one to confine it to works of a particular law or in- 
stitution, excluding others ? Are not observances of other di- 
vine laws, works, as well as of that? It seems to be allowed by 
tlic divines in the Arminian scheme, in their interpretation of 


several of those texts where the apostle mentiofis works only, 
without any additions, that he means our own good works in 
general; but then, they say, he only means to exclude any- 
proper merit in those works. But to say the apostle means 
one thing when he says, we be not justified by works, another 
when he says, we be not justified by the works of the law, when 
we find the expressions mixed and used in the same discourse, 
and when the apostle is evidently on the same argument, is 
vtry unreasonable, it is to dodge, and fly from scripture, rather 
than to open and yield ourselves to its teachings. 

2. In the third chapter of Romans, our having been guilty 
of breaches of the moral law, is an argument that the apostle 
uses, why we cannot be justified by the works of the law; be» 
ginning with the 9th verse, there he proves, out of the Old 
Testament, that all are under sin : " There is none righteous, 
no not one : Their throat is an open sepulchre ; with their 
tongues they have used deceit : Their mouth is full of cursing 
and bitterness ; and their feet swift to shed blood." And so 
he goes on, mentioning only tliose things that are breaches of 
the moral law; and then when he has done, his conclusion is, 
in the 1 9th and 20th verses, " Now, we know that whatsoever 
things the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law, 
that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be- 
come guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law, 
shall no flesh be justified in his sight." Tliis is most evi- 
dently his argument, because ail had sinned, (as ii; was said in 
the 9th verse) and been guilty of those breaches of the moral 
law that he had mentioned, (and it is repeated over again after- 
ward, verse 23.) For all have sinned, and come short of the 
glory of God," therefore none at all can be justified by the 
law. Now if the apostle meant only, that we are not justified 
by the deeds of the ceremonial law, what kind of arguing 
would that be : Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, 
their feet are swift to shed blood ;" therefore they cannot be 
justified by the deeds of the Mosaic administration: They are. 
guilty of the breaches of the moral law ; and therefore they 
eannot be justified bythe deeds of the ceremonial law ? Doubt- 
less the apostle's argument is,tiiat the very same lav/ that they 

4l justification 

have broken and sinned against, can never justify them asob" 
servers of it, because every law does not justify, but necessari- 
ly condemns its violators. And therefore our breaches of the 
. 'moral law argue no more, than that we cannot be justified by 
•■ that law that we have broken. 

And it may be noted, that the apostle's argument here is 
the same that I have already used, viz. that as we arc in our- 
selves and out of Christ, we are under the condemnation of 
that original law or constitution that God established with man- 
kind ; and therefore it is no way fit that any thing that we do, 
any virtue or obedience of ours should be accepted, or we ac- 
cepted on the account of it. 

3; The apostle, in the preceding part of this epistle, wher- 
ever he has the phrase, the laii\ evidently intends the moral 
law principally. As in the 12tli verse of the foregoing chap- 
ter ; " For as many as have sinned without law, shall also per- 
ish without law." It is evidently the written, moral law the 
apostle means, by the next verse but one ; " For when the 
Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things con- 
tained in the law ;" that is, the moral law that the Gentiles 
have by nature. And so the next verse, " Which shew the 
work of the law written in their hearts." It is the moral law, 
and not the ceremonial, that is written in the hearts of those 
that are destitute of divine revelation. And so in the 18th 
■ vei-se, " Thou approvest the things that are more excellent ; 
"being instructed out of the law." It is the moral law that 
shews us the nature of things, and teaches us what is exccl- 
' lent ; 20th verse, " Thou hast a form of knowledge and truth 
'*■ in the law." It is the moral law, as is evident by what fol- 
• '-Tows, ver. 22, 23. " Thou that sayest a man should not com- 
'"■''"' mit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhor- 
" rest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege ? Thou that makest thy 
boast of the law, through breaking the law, dishonorest tliou 
God ? Adultery, idolatry, and sacrilege, surely are the break- 
ing of the moral, and not the ceremonial law. So m the 27th 
verse, " And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it 
fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision 
dost transgress the law ?" i. e. The Gentiles, that you despise 


because uftcircumcised, if they live moral and boljr lives, in 
obedienjce to the moral law> shall condemn you though cir- 
cumcised. And so there is not one place in all the preced- 
ing part of the epistle, where the apostle speaks of the law, 
but that he most apparently intends principally the moral 
law ; and yet when the apostle, in continuance of the same 
discourse, comes to tell us that we cannot be justified by the 
works, of the laAV, then they will needs have it, that he means 
only the ceremonial law ; yea, though all this discourse about 
the moral law, shewing how the Jews, as well as Gentiles 
have violated it, is evidently preparatory and introductory to 
that doctrine, chap. iii. 20. " That no flesh," that is none of 
mankind, neither Jews nor Gentiles, " can be justified by the 
works of the law." 

4. It is evident that when the apostle says, we cEinnot be 
justified by the works of the law, he means the moral as well 
as ceremonial law, by his giving this reason for it, that " by 
the law is the knowledge of sin," as Rom. iii. 20. " By the 
deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight ; for by 
the laAv is the knowledge of sin." Now that law by which we 
(iome to the knowledge of sin, is the moral law chiefly and 
primarily. If this argument of the apostle be good, "that 
we cannot be justified by the deeds of the law, because it is by 
the law that we come to the knowledge of sin ; then it proves 
that we cannot be justified by the deeds of the moral law, nor 
by the precepts of Christianity ; for by them is the knowledge 
of sin. If the reason be good, tlien where the reason holds, 
the truth holds. It is a miserable shift, and a violent force 
put upon the words, to say that the meaning is, that by the law 
of circumcision is the knowledge of sin, because circumci- 
sion signifying the taking away of sin, puts men in mind of sin. 
The plain meaning of the apostle is, that as tlie law most 
strictly forbids sin, it tends to convince us of sin, and bring 
our own consciences to condemn us, instead of justifying us ; 
that the use of it is to declare to us our own guilt and unwor- 
thiness, which is the reverse of justifying and approving usj as 
virtuous or worthy. This is the apostle's meaning, if we M'ill 
allow him to be his own expositor ; for he himself, in. thr«; 
Vol. VII. F 


very epistle, explains to us how it is that by the law we have 
the knowledge of sin, and that it is by the law's forbidding sin, 
chap. vii. 7. "I had not known sin, but by the law ; for I had 
not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet." 
There the apostle determines two things; first. That the way 
in which " by the law is the knowledge of sin," is by the law's 
forbidding sin : And secondly, which is more directly still to 
the purpose, he determines that it is the moral law by which 
we come to the knowledge of sin ; " for," says he, " I had not^ 
known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet." 
Now it is the moral, and not the ceremonial law, that says, ■- 
thou shalt not covet : Therefore, when the apostle argues, that> 
by the deeds of the law no flesh living shall be justified, be- 
cause by the law is the knowledge of sin, his argument proves^ ; 
(unless he was mistaken as to the force of his argument) that 
we cannot be justified by the deeds of the moral law. 

5. It is evident that tlie apostle does not mean the ceremo- 
nial law only, because he gives this reason why we have right- 
eousness, and a title to the privilege of God's children, not by 
the law, but by faith, "that the law worketh wrath." Rom. 

iv, IS 16. " For the promise that he should be the heir 

of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through 
the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they 
which are of the law be heirs, fuith is made void, and the prom- 
ise made of none effect. Because the law worketh wrath ; 
For where no law is, there is no transgression. There fore it 
'-, of faith, that it might be by grace." Now the way in which 
the law works wrath, by the apostle's own account, in the rea- 
son he himself annexes, is by forbidding sin, and aggravating 
the guilt of the transgression ; " for," says he, " where no law 
is, there is no transgression:" And so, chap. vii. IS. "That 
sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." 
If, therefore, this reason of the apostle be good, it is much 
stronger against justification by the moral law than the cere- 
monial law ; for it is by tranbgressions of the moral law chief- 
ly that there comes wrath ; for tliey are most strictly forbid 
den, and most terribly threatened. 


6. It is evident that when the' apostle says, we be not justifi- 
ed by the woi*ks of the law, he excludes all our own virtue, 
goodness, or excellency, by that reason that he gives for it, viz. 
« That boasting might be excluded." Rom. iii. 26, 27, 28. 
''* To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: That he 
might be just, and the justifier of him that belicveth in Jesus. 
Where is boasting then ? It is excluded. By what law .'' Of 
works ? Nay ; but by the law of faith. Therefore we con- 
clude, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds 
of the law." Eph. ii. 8, 9. "For by grace are ye saved, 
through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift 
©fGod: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Now 
what are men wont to boast of, but what they esteem theirown 
goodness or excellency ? If we are not justified by the works 
of the ceremonial law, yet how does that exclude boasting, as 
long as we are justified by our own excellency, or virtue and 
goodness of our own^or works of righteousness which we have 

But it is said, that boasting is excluded, as circumcision was 
excluded, which was what the Jews especially used to glory 
in, and value themselves upon, above other nations. 

To this I answer, that the Jews were not only used to boast 
of circumcision, but were notorious for boasting of their moral 
righteousness. The Jews of those days were generally ad- 
mirers and followers of the Pharisees, who were full of their 
boasts of their moral righteousness ; as we may see by the ex- 
ample of the Pharisee mentioned in the 1 8th of Luke, which 
Christ mentions as describing the general temper of that sect: 
" Lord," says he, " I thank thee, tliat I am not as other men, 
an extortioner, nor unjust, nor an adulterer." The works 
that he boasts of were chiefly moral works : He depended on 
the works of the law for justification; and therefore Christ 
tells us, that the publican, that renounced all his own right- 
eousness, " went down to his house justified rather than he." 
And elsewhere Ave read of the Pharisees' praying in the cor- 
ners of the streets, and sounding a trumpet before tliem when 
they did alms. But those works which they so vaiiily boasted 
of v/ere moral works : And not only so, but what the apostle, 


in this very epistle, is condemning tlic Jews for, is their boast- 
ing of the moral law. Chap. ii. 22, 23. " Thou that sayest a 
man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? 
Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege ? Thou 
that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dis- 
honorest tJiou God f" The law here mentioned that they made 
their boast of, was that of which adulteiy, idolatry and sacri- 
lege, were the bleaches, which is the moral law. So that this 
is the boasting which the apostle condemns them for, and 
therefore, if they were justified by the works of this law, then 
how comes he to say that their boasting is excluded? And 
besides, when they boasted of the i-ites of the ceremonial law, 
it was under a notion of its being a part of their own goodness 
or excellency, or what made them holier and more lovely in 
the sight of God than other people ; and if they were not justi- 
fied by this part of their own supposed goodness or holiness, 
yet if they were by anodier, how did that exclude boasting ? 
How Avas their boasting excluded, unless all goodness or ex- 
cellency of their own was excluded. 

The reason given by the apostle why we can be justified 
by fuith only, and not by the woi'ks of the law, in the Sd chap- 
ter of Gal. viz- " That they that are under the law, are under 
the curse," makes it evident that he does not mean the cere- 
monial law only. In that chapter the apostle had paiticularlyin- 
sisted upon it, that Abraham was justified by faith, and that it is 
by f^ith only, and not by the works of the law, that we can be jus- 
tified, and become the children of Abraham, and be made par- 
takers of the blessing of Abraham : And he gives this i-eason for 
it, in the 10th verse : " For as mtmy as arc of the works of the 
law, are under the curse ; for it is written, Cursed is cveiy one 
that continueth not in all things which are Avritten in the hook 
of the law to do them." It is manifest that these words, cited 
from Deuteronomy, are spoken, not only "with regard to the 
ceremonial law, but the whole law of God to mankind, and 
chiefiy the moral law ; and that all mankind are therefore, as 
they are in themselves, under that curse, not only while the 
ceremonial law lasted, but now since that has ceased : And 
therefore all that are justified, are redeemed from that curse. 


isy Christ's bearing it for them ; as there, inverse 13, "Christ 
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a 
curse for us : For it is written, Cureed is every one that hang- 
ethonatree." Now therefore, either its being said so, that 
Jie is cursed that continueth not in all things which are written 
in the book of the law to do them, is a good reason why we 
cannot be justified by the works of that law of which it is so 
said ; or it is not : If it be, then it is a good reason why Sve 
cannot be justified by the works of the moral law, and of the 
whole rule wliich God has given to mankUid to walk by ; for 
the words are spoken of the moral as well as the ceremonial 
law, and reach every command or precept wliich God bus giv- 
en to mankind ; and chiefly the moral precepts, which arie 
most strictly enjoined, and the violations of which in box! i Ncav 
Testament and Old, and in the books ol Moses themselves, arc 
threatened with the most dreadful curse. 

8. The apostle does m like manner argue against our be- 
ing justified by our own righteousness, as he does against be- 
ing justified by the works of the law ; and evidently uses the 
expressions, our oivn righteousness, and works of' (he law, pro- 
miscuously, and as signifying the same thing. It is particu- 
larly evident by Rom. x. 3. " For they, being ignorant of 
God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own 
lighteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the right- 
eousness of God." Here it is plain that the same thing is as- 
serted as in the two last verses but one of the foregoing chap- 
ter. " But Israel, which tollowed after the law of righteous- 
ness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Where- 
fore ? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it Were by 
the works of the law." And it is very unreasonable, upon 
several accounts, to suppose that the apostle, by their own 
righteousness, intends only their ceremonial righteousness. 
For when the apostle warns us against trusting in our own 
„i^ghteousness for justification, doubtless it is fair to interpret 
,ihe expression in an agreement with the other scriptures, where 
Tve are warned, not to think that it is for the sake of our own 
righteousness that we obtain God's favor and blessing : As par- 
ticularly that in Deut. ix. 4, 5, 6. " Speak not thou in thine 


licart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them cut from be- 
fore thee, saying, For my jighteousness the Lord hath 
brought me in to possess this land : But for the wickedness of 
these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee. 
Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine 
heart, dost thou go to possess their land : But for the wicked- 
ness of these nations, the Lord thy God dotli drive them out 
from before thee, tmd that he may perform the word which hp. 
sware unto thy fathers, Abrahcim, It.aac, and jacqb. Under- , 
stand therefore, that the Loi'd thy God giveth thee not this., 
good land to possess it, for thy righteousness ; for thou art a , 
stiffnecked people." None will pretend that here the ex- 
pression thy righteousnen.s^ signifies a ccre^^.onial righteousness 
only, but all virtue or goodness of their own; yea, and the in- 
ward goodness of the heart, as well as the outward goodness of 
life, which appears by the begmning of the 5th verse, " Not 
for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart;" 
and also by the antithesis in the 6tli verse, " Not for thy right- 
eousness, for thou art a stiffnecked people." Their stiffueck- 
edness was their moral wickedness, obstinacy, and perverseness 
of heart: By righteousness, therefore, on the contrary, is meant 
their moral virtue, and rectitude of heart and life. This is 
what I Avould argue from hence, That die expression of our 
own righteousness^ when used in Scripture with relation to the 
favor of God, and when we are warned against looking upon it 
as th3.t by which that favor or the fruits of it, arc obtained, does 
not signify a ceremonial righteousness only, but all maimer of 
goodness of our own. 

The Jews also, in the New Testament, are condemned for 
trusting in their own righteousness in this sense ; Luke 
xviii. 9, Sec. " And he spake this parable unto certain that 
trusted in themselves that they were righteous." This in- 
tends chiefly a moral righteousness ; as appears by the para- 
ble itself, in which we have an account of tlie prayer of the 
Pharisee, wherein the things that he mentions as what he 
trusts in, are chiefly moral qualifications and performances, 
viz. xThathcWvis not an extortioner, imjust, nor an adul- 
terer, kc. 


But we need not go to the writings of other penmen of the 
scripture. If we will allow the Apostle Paul to be his own 
interpreter, he, when he speaks of our own righteousness as 
that which we are not justilied or saved by, does not mean a 
ceremonial righteousness only, nor does he only intend a way 
of religion, and serving God, of our own choosing and fixing 
on, without divine warrant or prescription ; but by our own 
righteousness he means the same as a righteousness of our 
own dbing, whether it be a service or righteousness of God'S' 
prescribing, or cur own unwarranted performing : Let it be 
an obedience to the ceremonial law, or a gospel obedience, or 
what it will, if it be a righteousness of our own doing, it is ex- 
cluded by the apostle in this affair, as is evident by Titus iii. 
3. " Not by works of righteousness which we have done." 

But I would more particularly insist on this text; and there- 
fore this may be the 9th argument. That the apostle, when he 
denies justification by works, and by works of the law, and by 
our own righteousness, does not mean works of the cereinoni- 

al law only, viz. what is said by the Apostle in Tit. iii. 3 7. 

" For v:e ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobe- 
dient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in 
malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after 
that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man ap- 
peared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of re- 
generation, and renewing of the Holy Ghost ; which he shed 
©n us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: That, be- 
ing justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according 
to the hope of eternal life." Works of righteousness that Ave 
"have done are here exckided, as what we are neither saved 
nor justified by. The apostle expressly says, we are not saved by 
them ; and it is evident that when he says this, he has respect 
to the aifiur of justification, and that he means, we are not 
saved by them in not being justified by them, by the next verse 
but one, which is part of the same sentence. " That, being 
justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according t» 
the hope ©f eternal life." 


It is several ways manifest, that the apostle in this text, by 
" M'orks of righteousness which we have done, " does not 
mean works of the ceremonial law only. It appears by the 
third verse, " For vrc ourselves also were sometimes foolish, 
disobedient, deceived, sening divers lusts and pleasures, liv- 
im^ in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." 
These are breaches of the moral laAV, that the apostle observes 
they lived in before they were justified: And it is most plain 
thsit it is this that gives occasion to the apostle to observe, as 
he does in the 5th verse, tliat it was not by works of righteous- 
ness which they had done, that they were saved or justified. 

But we need not go to the context, it is most apparei>t 
from the words themselves, that the apostle does not mean 
works of the ceremomal law only. If he had only said, it is 
»ot by our own works of righteousness, what could we under- 
stand by works of rigliteousness ; but only righteous works, or, 
which is the same thing, good works ? And to say, that it is 
by our own righteous works that we arc justified, though not 
by one particular kind of righteous works, would certainly be 
a coatradiction to such an assertion. But the words are ren- 
dered yet luore strong, plcdn and determined in their sense, 
by those additional words, which ive have done ; which shews 
that the apostle intends to exclude all our own righteous oi 
virtuous works universally. If it should be asserted concern- 
ing any commodity, treasure, or precious jewel, that it could 
not be procured by money, and not only so, but, to make the 
assertion the more strong, it should be asserted with additional 
words, that it could not be procured by money that men pos- 
sess ; how imreasonable would it be after all, to say, that all 
that was meant was, tliat it could not be procured with brass 
money ? 

And what renders the interpreting this text of works of 
the ceremonial law yet more unreasonable, is, tliat these 
works were indeed no works of righteousness but were only 
falsely supposed to be so by the Jews ; and that our opponents 
in this doctrine suppose, is the veiy reason why we be not 
justified by them, because they are not works of righteous- 
ness, or because (the ceremonial law being now abi'ogatcd) 


ihere is no obedience in theiyi. But how absurd is it to say, 
that the apostle, when he says we are not justified by works of 
righteousness that we have done, meant oniy works of the 
ceremonial law, and that for that very reason, becttuse they 
are not works of righteousness ? To iilustrate this by the 
forementiuTied comparison ; If it siiouid be asseited, that such 
a thing could not be procured by money that men possess, 
how ridiculous would it be to say, that the meaning oniy was, 
that it could not be procured by counterfeit money, and that 
for that reason because it was not money. What scrips- 
ture will stand before men, if they will take liberty to man- 
age it thus ? Or what one text is there in the Bible tliat 
may not at this rate be explained away, and perverted t0 
any sense men please ? 

But then furtiier, if we should allow that the ^ipostlc intends 
fxdy to oppose justification by works of the ceremonial law in 
liis text, yet it is evident by the expression he uses, thctt he 
means to oppose it under that notion, or in that .quality of their 
being works of righteousness of o«r own doing. But if the 
apostle argues against our being justified by works of the cer- 
emonial law, under the notion of their being of that nature and 
kind, viz. works of our ov/n doing ; then it will follow tliat 
the apostle's argument is strong against, not only those, but all 
of that nature and kind, even all that are of our own doing. 

If there were no other text in the Bible, about justification 
but this, this would clearly and invincibly prove that we are not 
justified by any of our own goodness, virtue, or righteousness, 
or for the excellency or righteousness of any thing tliat we 
have done in religion 5 because it is here so fully and strongly 
asserted : 'But this text does abundantly confirm otlijer texts 
of the apostle where he denies justification by works of the 
law. There is no doubt can be rationally made, but that 
when the apostle here s^hews, that God ^' saves us accord- 
ing to his mercy," in that he doth not save us by " works of 
righteousness that' we have done,'' verse a, ^id that so we 
«re ''justified by grace," verse 7 : Herein opposing salva- 
i.i<m by wo^ks, and salvation by grace, he mei-ns the same 
•works as he does in other places, v^ere he, iff ^f^ man- 


nei* opposes works and grace : The same works as in Rom. 
xi. 6. " And if by grace, then it is no more of works : ' Oth- 
erwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is 
it no more grace : Otherwise work is no more work." And 
the same works as in Rom. iv. 4. " Now to him that worketh 
is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." And the 
same works that are spoken of in the context of the 24ih verse 
of the foregoing chapter, which the apostle there calls "works 
of the laAv being justified freely by his grace." And of the 
4th chapter, 1 6th verse, Therefore it is of fiiith that it might 
be by grace." Where in the context, the righteousness of 
faith, is opposed to the righteousness of the law : For here 
God's saving us according to his mercy, and justifying us by 
grace, is opposed to saving us by works of righteousness that 
we have done ; in the same manner as in those places, justi- 
fying us by his grace, is opposed to justifying us by works 
of the law. 

10. The apostle could not mean works of the ceremonial 
law only, when he says, we are not justified by the works of 
the law, because it is asserted of the sidnts under the Old 
Testament as well as New. If men are justified by their sin- 
cere obedience, it will then follow that formerly, before the 
ceremomal law was abrogated, men weic justified by the 
works of the ceremonial law as well as the moral. For if we 
are justified by our sincere obedience, then it alters not the case, 
whether the commands be moral or positive, provided they 
be God"s commands, and our obedience be obedience to God : 
And so the case must be just the same under the Old Testa- 
ment, with the works of the moral law and ceremonial, ac- 
cording to the measure of the virtue of obedience there was 
in either. It is true, their obedience to the ceremonial law 
would have nothing to do in the aft'idr of justification, unless it 
was sincere ; and so neither would the a\ orks of the moral law ; 
obedience to the moral law would have been concerned in the 
affair of justification, if sincere ; and so would obedience te 
the ceremonial. If obedience was the thing, then obedience 
to the cerenioniul law, while that stood in force, and obedience 
io the moral law, had just the same sort of concern, accord- 


ing to the proportion of obedience that consists in each ; as 
now under the New Testament, if obedience is what we are 
justified by, that obedience must doubtless comprehend obe- 
dience to all God's commands now in force, to the positive 
precepts of attendance on baptism and tl^e Lord's supper, as 
well as moral precepts. If obedience be the thing, it is not 
because it is obedience to such a kind of commands, but be- 
cause it is obedience. So that by this supposition the saints 
under the Old Testament v eve justified, at least in part, by 
their obedience to the ceremonial law. 

But it is evident that the suints under the Old Testament 
were not justified in any measure by the works of the ceremo- 
nial l-iw. This may be proved, proceeding on the foot of our 
adversary's own interpretation of the apostle's phrase, of the 
works of the law, and supposing him to mean by it only the 
works of the ceremoni.d law. To instance in David, itis evident 
that he was not justified in .anywise by the works of the ceremO' 
nial law, by Rom. iv. 6,7,8. Even as David also describeth," the 
blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteous- 
ness withovit works, saying, Biessed are they whose ini(]uities 
are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to 
whom the Lord will not impute sin." It is plain that the apostle 
is here speaking of justification, bythe preceding verse and by 
all the context ; and the thing spoken of, viz. forgiving inqui- 
ties and covering sins, is %vhut our adversaries themselves sup- 
pose to be justification, and even the whole of justification. 
This David, speakujg of himself, says (by the apostle's inter- 
pretation) that he had witliout works. For it is manifest that 
David, in the words here cited, from the beginning of the 
3 2d Psalm, has a special respect to himself : He speaks of his 
own sins being forgiven and not imputed to him ; as appeare 
by the words that immediately follow. " When I kept si- 
lence, my bones waxed old ; tnrough my roaring all the day 
long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me : My 
moistui'e is turned into the drought of summer. I acknowl- 
edged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid : I 
said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord ; and thou 
foi'gavest the iniquity of my sin." Let us therefore under- 


stand the apostle which way we will) by works, when he says^ 
David " describes the blessedness of the man to whom ihe 
Lord imputes righteousness without works," whether of all 
manner of works, or only works of the ceremonial law, yet it 
is evident at least, that David was not justified by works of the 
ceremonial law. Therefore here is the argument : If our own 
obedience be that by which men are justified, then under the 
Old Testament men were justified partly by obedience to tlie 
ceremonial law (as has been proved ;) but the saints under 
the Old Testament were not justified partly by the works of 
the ceremonial law ; therefore men's own obedience, is not 
that by which they are justified. 

1 1. Another argument that the apostle when he speaks of 
die two opposite ways of justification, one by the works of the 
law, and the other by faith, docs not mean the w^orks of 
the ceremonial law only, may be taken from that place, 
Romans x. 5, 6. " For Moses describeth the righteous- 
ness ^\hich is of the law, that the man which doeth those 
things, shall live by them. But the righteousness Avhich is 
of fcdth, speaketh on this wise," &c. Here two things arc 

First, TTiat the apostle here speaks of the same two oppo- 
site ways of justification, one by the righteousness which is 
the law, the other by faith that he had treated of in the form- 
er part of the epistle ; and therefore it must be the same law 
that is here spoken of. The same law is here meruit as in the 
last verses of the foregoing chapter, where he says the Jews 
had " not attained to the law of righteousness. \V here fore ? 
Because tliey sought it not by faith, bxit as it were by the 
works of the law ;" as is plain, because the apostle is still 
speaking of the same thing ; the words are a continuation of 
the same discourse, as may be seen at first glance, by any one 
that looks on the context. 

Second/., It is manifest that Moses, when he describes the 
righteousness which is of the law, or the way of justification 
by the law, in the words here cited, " He that dotli tliese 
tilings shall live in them," does not speak only, nor chiefly, 
of the works of the ceremonial law ; for none will pretend 


that God ever made such a covenant with man, that he that 
kept the ceremonictl kw should live in i^t, or thut there ever 
was a time, that it wu.s chiefly by the v/orks of the ceremonial 
law that men lived and were jusufied. Yea, h is manifest by 
the forementioned instance of David, mentioned in the 4th 
of Romans, that there never was a time wherein men were 
justified in any measure by the works of the ceremonial lav/ 
as has been just now shevm. Mo^^es thei-efore, in those 
words which, the apostle says, are a description of tlie right- 
eousness which is of the law, cannot mean tlie ceremonial 
law only. And therefoi^ it follows, that when the apostle 
spe.tks of justification by the works of the law, as oppo- 
site to justihcation by fcdth, he does not mean the ceremo- 
nial law only, but also the works of the moral luw, which are 
the things spoken of by Moses, when he says, " he that doth 
these things, shall live in them ;" and which are the tilings 
that the apostle in this very place is aligning that we cannot be 
justified by ; as is evident by the context, the last verses of 
the preceeding chapter : " But Israel, which followed 
Sifter the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the 
law of righteousness. Wherefore ? Because they sought 
it not by fJth, but as it were by the works of the law," Sec. 
And in the 3d verse of this chapter, "For they, being ig- 
norant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish 
their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves 
unto the righteousness of God." 

And further, how can tiic apostle's description that he 
here gives from Moses of this exploded way of justification by 
the works of the law, consist ^vith the Arminiun scheme, of 
9. way of justification by the virtue of a sincere obedience, that 
still remains as the true and only v/ay of justification under the 
gospel. It is most apparent that it is tlie design of the apostle 
to give a description of both the legal rejected, and the evan- 
gelical valid ways of justification, iuthat wherein theydifferjor 
are distinguished the one from tiie other : But how^ is that, 
*' lie that doth those things shall live in them ;" tiiat where- 
in tlie way of justification by the works of tlie lav/ differs, or is 
^stinguished from that in which Clii^iitians under the posw/! 


are justified, according to their scheme ; for still, according 
to them, it may be suid, in the same manner, of the precepts 
of the gospel, he that doth these things, shall live in them : 
Tlic difference lies only in the things to be done, but not at 
all in that, that the doing of them is not the condition of living 
in them, just in the one case, as in the other. The words " He 
tliat doth them, shall live in them," will serve just as well for 
a deii^ription of the latter as the former. By the apostle's 
saying, the righteousness of the law is described thus, he that 
doth these things shu.il live in them ; but the righteousness of 
faith Suith thus, plainly intimates that the righteousness of 
faith saith otherwise, and in mi opposite manner. But besides, 
it" these words ciled from Moses, are actually said by him of 
the moral law as well as ceremonial, as it is most evident they 
are ic renders it still more ;.bsurd to suppose them mentioned 
by the apostle, as the veiy note of distinction between justifi- 
cuiion by a ceremoni.il obedience, and a moral and sincere obe- 
diente, as the Arminians must suppose. 

Thus I have spoken to a second argument, to prove that 
we ^re not justified by any manner of virtue or goodness of 
owe own, viz. that to suppose otherwise, is conti-ary to the 
doctrine that is directly urged, and abundantly insisted on, by 
tlie Apostle Puui in his epistles. 

I now proceed to a 

77:ir( Argument, viz. That to suppose that we are justi- 
fied by our own sincere obedience, or any of our own virtue cr 
goodness, derogates from gospel grace. 

That scheme of jusiification tliat manifestly takes from, or 
diminishes the -^rcice of God, is undoubtedly to be rejected ; 
for it is the declared design of God in the gospel, to exalt the 
freedom and riches of his grace, in that method of justifica- 
tion of sinners, and w; y of admitting them to his favor, and 
the blessed fruits ot it, which it declares. The scripture 
teaches, that the way of justificauori that is appointed in the 
gospel covenant, is appointed as it is, for that end, that free 

grace mis.'ht be expressed and glorified? Rom. iv. 16 

" Therefore it is of fith that it riii,^-ht be by grace.'" The ex- 
ercising and magniiying the iiee grace oi God in the gospel 


eontrivance for tlie justification and salvation of sinners, is evi* 
dently the chief design of it ; and this freedom and liclies of 
the grace of the gospel is every where spoken of in Scripture 
as the chief glory of it. Therefore that doctrine that derogates 
from the free grace of God in justifying sinners, as it is most 
opposite to God's design, so it must be exceedingly offensive 
to him. 

Those that maintain, that we are justified by our own sin- 
cere obedience, do pretend that their scheme does not dimin- 
ish the grace of the gospel ; for they say, that the grace of 
God is wonderfully manifested in appointing such a way and 
method of salvation, by sincere obedience in assisting us to 
perform such an obedience, and in accepting our imperfect 
obedience instead of perfect. 

Let us therefore examine ► that matter, whether their 
scheme, of a man's being justified by his own virtue and sin- 
cere obedience, does derogate from the grace of God or no ; 
or whether free grace is not more exalted, in supposing as we 
do, that we are justified without any manner of goodness of 
our own. In order to this, I will lay down this selfevidcnt 

Proposition, That "whatsoever that be by which the abund- 
ant benevolence of the giver is expressed, and gratitude in 
the receiver is obliged, that magnifies ft ce grace." This I 
suppose none will ever controvert or dispute. 

And it is not much less evident, that it doth both shew 
a more abundant benevolence m the giver when he shews 
kindness without goodness or excellency in the object, to 
move him to it ; and that it enhances the obligation to grati- 
tude in the receiver. 

1. It shews a more al^uiidant goodness in the giver, when 
he shews kindness without any excellency in our persons or 
actions that would move tiie giver to love and beneficence. 
For it certainly shews the more abundant and overflowing 
goodness, or disposition to communicate good, by how much 
the less loveliness or excellency there is to entice benefi- 
cence : The less there is in the receiver to draw good will 
and kindness, it argues the more of the principle of good Avill 
and kindness in the giver ; for one that has but a little of a 


principle of love and bcnevoicnce, may be drawn to do gooii 
and to shew kindness, when there is a great deal to dr..w himj 
or when there is much exceilcncy and loveiine!>i> in the object 
to move i;ood will ; when he v/hose goodness and benevo- 
lence is more abundant, will shew kindness where there is 
less to draw it forth ; for he docs not so much need to buve it 
drawn from without, he has enough of the principle, within, to 
move liim of itself. Where there is aost of the principle, there 
it is most buJicieiit for itself, ^.nd stands in Icc^st need ot some- 
thing without to excite it: Forccruiniy a more abundcjit ^ood- 
ucssmorecoiiilyfiows forth with less to impel or draw it, th.n 
where there is less; or, which is the same tling, the n.oit i^nf 
one is disposed of himself, the less he needs from without him- 
self, to put him upon it, or -^tir him up to it. And tJ^erelore 
Ids kindness appeure the more exceeding gi-eat wJien it is be- 
stowed witnout any excellency or loveliness in tlie receiver, or 
when the receiver is respected in the gift, as wholly without 
excellency: And much more siiil when tlie benevolence of the 
giver not only finds nothing in the receiver to draw it, but a 
great deal of hatefulncssto repel it : The abund;,nceof goodness 
is then manifested, not only in flowing forth without any tiling 
extrinsic to put it forward, but in overcoming great repulsion in 
the object. Ami then does kindness and love appear most 
triumphant, and wondenully great, when the receiver is re- 
spected in tlie gift, as not only wholly without ail excellence 
or beauty to attract it, but altogether, yea, infinitely ^•ile fend 

2. It is apparent also that it enhances the obligation to 
gratitude in the receiver. This is agreeable to the comn:on 
sense of manldnd, that the less worthy or excellent tlie object 
of bcnevoicnce, or tlie receiver of kindness, is, tiie more he is 
obliged, and the greater gratiLude is due. He diereforeis 
most of ail obliged, that receives kindness without any good- 
ness or excellency in himself, but v> ith a total tmd miiversai 
4iatefuJness. And as it is agreeable to the common sense of 
anankind, so it is agreeable to the word of God. How often 
does God in the scripture insist on tlds argument with men, 
to move them to love him, and to acknowledge lus lundness ? 


}low much does he insist on this as an obligation to gratitude, 
that they are so sinful and undeserving, and ill deserving ? 

Therefore it certainly follows, that thai doctrine that teach- 
es, that God, when he justifies a man, c;ijd shews him that 
great kindness, as to give him a right to eternal life, does not 
do it for any obedience, or any manner of goodness of his ; 
but that justification respects a man as ungodly, and wholly 
without any manner of virtue, beauty or excellency. I say, 
this doctrine does certainly more exalt the free grace of God 
in justification, and man's obligation to gratitude to him for 
such a favor, than the contrary cloctiine, viz. That God, in 
shewing this kindness to man, respects him as sincerely obedi- 
ent and virtuous, and as having something in him that is truly 
excellent, and lovely, and acceptable in his sight, and that this 
goodness or excellency of man is the veiy fvuidamental con- 
dition of the bestowment of that kindness on him, or of the 
distinguishing him from others by that benefit. But I hasten 
to a 

Fourth argument for the truth of the docti'ine, " That to 
suppose that a man is justified by his own virtue or obedience, 
derogates from the honor of the Mediator, and ascribes that to 
ftian's virtue that belongs only to the righteousness of Christ:" 

It puts man in Christ's stead, and makes him his own Sa- 
viour, in a respect in which Christ only is the Saviour : And 
so it is a doctrine contrary to the nature and design of the 
gospel, which is to abase man, and to ascribe all the glory of 
our salvation to Christ the Redeemer. It is inconsistent with 
the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's righteousness, which 
Is a gospel doctrine. Here I would, 

1. Explain what we mean by the imputation of Christ's 

2. Prove the thing intended by it to be true. 

3. Shew that this doctrine is utterly inconsistent with the 
docti'ine of our being justified by our own virtue or sincere 

First, I would explain what we mean by the imputation of 
Christ's righteousness. Sometimes the expression is taken 
by our divines in a larger sense, for the imputation of all that 

Vop.. VII. H. 


Christ did and suffered for our redemption, whereby we are 
free from guilt, and stand righteous in tlie sight of God ; and 
so implies the imputation both of Christ's satisfaction and obe- 
dience. But here I intend it in a stricter sense, for the impu- 
tation of that righteousness or moral goodness that consists in 
the obedience to Christ. And by that righteousness being im- 
puted to us, is meant no otlier than this, that that righteous- 
ness of Christ is accepted for us, and admitted instead of that 
perfect inherent righteousness that ought to be in ourselves : 
Christ's perfect obedience shall be reckoned to our account, 
so that we shall have the benefit of it, as though we had per- 
formed it ourselves : And so we suppose that a title to eternal 
life is given us as the reward of this righteousness. The 
scripture uses the word impute in this sense, viz. for reckon- 
ilig any thing belonging to any person, to another person's ac- 
count : As Philemon 18. " If he hath wronged thee, or OW'^ 
cth thee ought, put that on mine account." In the original 
it is T«To f/Aot i»~oyn bnpMte that to me. It is a word of the same 
root with that which is translated impute, Rom. iv. 6. " T« 
whom God imputeth righteousness without works." And it 
is the very same word that is used in Pv^om. v. 13, that is trans- 
lated impute. " sin is not imputed when there is no law." 

The opposers of this doctrine suppose that there is an 
absurdity in it : They say that to suppose that God imputes 
Christ's obedience to us, is to suppose that God is mistaken, 
and thinks that we performed that obedience that Christ per- 
formed. But why cannot that righteousness be reckoned to 
our account, and be accepted for us, without any such absurd- 
ity ? Why is there any more absurdity in it, than in a mer- 
chant's transferring debt or credit from one man's account t* 
another, when one man pays a price for another, so that it 
shall be accepted, as if that oth,er had paid it ? Why is tlierc 
any more absurdity in supposing that Christ's obedience is 
imputed to us, than tliat his satisfaction is imputed ? If Christ 
has suffered the penalty of the law for us, and in our stead, 
then it will follow, that his suffering that penalty is imputed 
to us, i. e. that it is accepted for us, and in our stead, and is 
reckoned to our account, as tliough we had suffered it. But 


trhy may not his obeying the law of God be as rationally reck- 
oned to our account, as his suffering the penalty of the law ? 
Why may not a price to bring into debt, be as rationally 
transferred from one person's account to another, as a price 
to pay a debt ? Having thus explained what we mean by the 
Imputation of Christ's righteousness, I proceed, 

Secondly, To prove that the righteousness of Christ is 
thus imputed. 

1. There is the very same need of Christ's obeying the 
iaw in our stead, in order to the reward, as of his suffering the 
penalty of the law in our stead, in order to our escaping the 
penalty ; and the same reason why one should be accepted on 
our account, as tlie other. There is the same need of one as 
the other, that the law gf God might be answered : One was 
as requisite to answer the law as the other. This is certain, 
that that was the reason why there was need that Christ 
should suffer the penalty for us, even that the law might be 
answered ; for this the scripture plainly teaches. This is 
given as the reason why Christ was made a curse for us, that 
tlie law threatened a curse to us, Gal, iii. 10, 13. But the 
same law that fixes the curse of God as the consequent of not 
continuing in all things written in the law to do them, verse 
10, has as much fixed doing those things as an antecedent of 
living in them, (as verse 12, the next verse but one.) There 
is as much of a connexion established in one case as in the 
other. There is therefore exactly the same need, fram the 
law, of perfect obedience being fulfilled m order to our obtain- 
ing the reward, as there is of death's being suff"ered in order 
to our escaping the punishment ; or the same necessity by 
the law, of perfect obedience preceding life, as there is of dis- 
obedience being succeeded by death. The law is, without 
doubt, as much of an established rule in one case as in the 

Christ by suff'ering the penalty, and so making atonement 
for us, only removes the guilt of our sms, and so sets us in the 
same state that Adam was the first moment of his creation : 
And it is no more fit that we should ubtain eternal life only oi^ 
^at account, than that Adam should have the reward of eter-i 


nul life, or of a confirmed and luialterable state of happiness, 
the first moment of his existence, without any obedience at all. 
Adam was not to have the reward merely on the account of 
his being innocent ; if so, he would have had it fixed upon 
him at once, as soon as ever he was created ; for he was as 
innocent then as he could be : But he was to have the reward 
on the account of his activeness in obedience ; not on the ac- 
count merely of his not having done ill, but on the account of 
his doing well. 

So on the same account we have not eternal life meret 
on the account of being void of guilt, (as Adam was at 
first existence) which we have by the atonement of Christ ; 
but on the account of Christ's activeness in obedience and 
doing well. Christ is our second federal head, and is 
called the second Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 22, because he acted the 
part for us that the first Adam should have done. When he 
had undertaken for us to sUind in our stead, he was looked up- 
on and treated as though he were guilty with our guilt ; and 
by his satisfying or beai'ing the penalty, he did as it were free 
himself from this guilt. But by this the second Adam did 
only bring himself into the state tliat the first Adam was in 
on the first moment of his existence, viz. a state of mere free- 
dom from guilt ; and hereby indeed was free from any obli- 
gation to suiTer punishment : But this being supposed, there 
was no need of something further, even a positive obedience, 
in order to his obtaining, as our second Adam, the reward of 
eternal life. 

God saw meet to place man first in a state of trial, and not 
to give him a title to eternal life as soon as he had made him ; 
because it was his will that he should first give honor to his 
authority, by fully submitting to it, in will and act, and per- 
fectly obeying his law. God insisted upon it, that his holy 
majesty and law should have their due acknowledgment and 
honor from man, such as became the relation he stood in to 
that Being that created him, before he would bestOAv the re- 
wai'd of confi.med and everlasting happiness upon him ; and 
therefore God gave him a law when he.created him, that he 
might have oppoi'tunity, by giving the due honor to his au- 


thorityin obeying it, to obtain this happiness. It therefore 
became Christ, seeing that in assuming man to himself, he 
sought a title to this eternal happiness for him after he had 
broken the law, that he himself should become subject to 
God's authority, and be in the form of a servant, that he might 
do that honor to God's authority for him, by his obedience, 
which God at first required of man as the condition of his 
having a title to that reward. Christ came into the world to 
that end, to render the honor of God's authority and law con- 
sistent with the salvation and eternal life of sinners ; he came 
to save them, and withal to assert and vindicate the honor of 
the lawgiver, and his holy law. Now if the sinner, after his 
sin was satisfied for, had eternal life bestowed upon him with- 
out active righteousness, the honor of his law would not be 
sufficiently vindicated. Supposing this were possible, that 
the sinner himself could, by suffering, pay the debt, and af- 
terwai'ds be in the same state that he was in before his pro- 
bation, that is to say, negatively righteous, or merely with- 
out guilt ; if he now at last should have eternal life bestowed 
upon him, without performing that condition of obedience ; 
then God would recede from his law, and would give the 
promised reward, and his law never have respect and honor 
shewn to it, in that way of being obeyed. But now Christ, by 
subjecting himself to the law, and obeying of it, has done great 
honor to the law, and to the authority of God who gave it. 
That so glorious a person should become subject to the law, 
and fulfil it, has done much more honor to it, than if mere 
man had obeyed it. It was a thing infinitely honorable to 
God, that a person of infinite dignity was not ashamed to call 
him his God, and to adore and obey him as such : This was 
more to God's honor than if any mere creature, of any possi- 
ble degree of excellency and dignity, had so done. 

It is absolutely necessary, that in order to a sinner's being 
justified, the righteousness of some other should be reckoned 
to his account ; for it is declared, that the person justified is 
looked upon as (in himself) ungodly ; but God neither vtill 
nor can justify a person without a righteousness; for justi- 
fication is manifestly ^forensick term, as the word is used in 


■scripture, and the thin;^ a judicial^hinsj, or the act of % 
judge : So that if a person should be justified without a right- 
eousness, the judgment would not be according to truth : 
The sentence of justification would be a false sentence, un- 
less there be a rigliteousness performed that is by the judge 
properly looked upon as his. To say, that God does not justi- 
fy the sinner without sincere, though an imperfect obedience, 
does not help the case ; for an imperfect righteousness before 
a judge is no righteousness. To accept of something that 
falls short of the rule, instead of something else that answere 
the rule, is no judicial act, or act of a judge, but a pure act of 
sovereignty. An imperfect righteousness is no righteousness 
before a judge ; for " righteousness (as one observes) is a rel- 
ative tiling, and has always relation to a law. The formal na- 
ture of righteousness, properly understood, lies in a conform- 
itv of actions to that which is the rule imd measure of them.'* 
Therefore that only is righteousness in the sight a judge that 
answers the law.* The law is the judge's rule : If he par- 

* That it is perfect obedience, tliat is what is called righteousness in 
the New I estament, and that this righteousness, or perfect obedience, is by 
God's fixed unalterable rule, the condition of justification, is from the plain 
evidence ol truth, c;>nfe^std bv a certain great man, that no body will think 
to be a Ikcly person to be blinded by a prejudice in favor of the doctrine 
we are maintaining, and one who did not receive this doctiine, viz. Mr, 
Locke in his Rraionableness oj Christidnity, as delivered in the '•■cripturts, vol. 
2 of his works, page 474 " To one that thus unbiassed reads the Scripture 
what A Jam fell fTom is visible, was the (late cf perfect obedience, which is 
Ci\\&^ jiiitice ill the New Testament, though the word, which in the original 
signifies justice, be translated righteousness.'^ Ibid p. 476. 477. ' For 
righteousness, or an exact obedience to t''e law seems by the Scripture to 
have a claim of right to eternal life ; Rom iv. 4. To him that workcth 1. c. 
ddcs the works of the law is the reward reckoned, not reckoned of grace, but of 
t^cbt. On the other sid°, it seems the unalterable purpose of the divine jus- 
tice, that no unrighteous person, no one that is guiky of any breach of the 
law, should be in paradise ; but that the wages of sin should be to every 
man, as it was to A am. an exclusion of him out of that happy state of im- 
mortality, and bring death upon him And this is so conformable to the 
eternal and established law of right and wrong, that it is spoke of too as it 
could not be otherwise, heie then we have he standing and fixed measures 
oi life and de^th ; immortality and bliss belonging to the righteous. Ihos* 
who have lived in an exact contormity to the law of Godareontof -the 


dons and hides •what really is, and so does not pass sentence 
according to what things are in themselves, he either does 
not act the part of a judge, or else judges falsely. The very 
notion of judging is to determine what is, and what is not, in. 
any one's case. The judge's woi'k is twofold ; it is to deter- 
mine first what is fact, and then whether what is in fact be ac- 
cording to rule, or according to the law. If a judge has no 
rule or law established beforehand, by which he should pro- 
ceed in judging, he has no foundation to go upon in judging, 
he has no opportunity to be a judge ; nor is it possible that 
he should do the part of a judge. To judge without a law, or 
rule by which to judge, is impossible ; for the very notion of 
judging, is to determine Avhether the object of judgment be 
according to rule ; and therefore God has declared, that when 
he acts as a judge, he will not justify the wicked, and cannot 
clear the guilty ; and, by parity of reason, cannot justify with- 
out righteousness. 

And the scheme of the old law's being abrogated and a 
new law introduced, will not help at all in this difficulty ; for 

reach of death ; but an exclusion from paradise and loss of immortality, i^ 
l"he portion of sinners, of all those who have any way broke that law, and 
failed of a complete obedience to it, by the guilt of any one trangression. 
And thus mankind, by the law, are put upon the issues of li^e or death, as 
they are righteous or unrighteous, just or unjust, i. e. exact perfotmers or 
trangressois of the law." Again, in p 477. "The law of works then in 
short is, that law which requires perfect obedience, without any remission or 
abatement ; so that by that law a man cannot be just, or justified, without zn 
exact performance of every tittle. Such a perfect obedience in the New Tes- 
tament, is termed Antaio^vtrj, which we translate righteousness." In which 
last passage it is also to be noted, that Mr. Locke, by the lav/ of works 
does not understand the ceremonial law, but the covenant of works : As be 
more fully expresses himself in the next paragraph but one." W^ere this 
law of works was to be found, the New Testament tells us, viz. in the law 
delivered bv Moses; John. 17. The law was given by Moses, but grace and 
truth cameby jfesus Christ. Chap. vii. 19. Did not Moses give you the law, fays 
our Saviour, and yet none of you ketp the law? And this is the law which he 
speaks of verse 28. This do and thou shall live. This is that which St. Paul 
so often styles the lazv, without any othtr distinction ; Rom ii. 13. Xot the 
hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers nf the law are juilifed. It is 
needless to quote any more places, his episdes are all full of it, especially this 
Co the Romans. 

64 Justification 

an imperfect rigliteousness cannot answer the law of God 
that we are under, whether that be an old one or a new one ; 
for eveiy lav/ I'equires perfect obedience to itself. Evciy 
rule whatsoever requires perfect conformity to itself ; it is a 
contradiction to suppose other\vise. For to say, that there is 
a law that does not require perfect obedience to itself, is to 
say that there is a law that does not require all that it requires. 
That law that now forbids sin, is certainly the law that we are 
now under, (let that be an old one or new one ;) or else it is not 
sin. That which is not forbidden, and is the breach of no law, 
is not sin. But if we are now forbidden to commit sin, then it is 
by a law that we are now under ; for surely we are neither 
under the forbiddings nor commanding of a law that we are 
not under. Therefore, if all sin is now forbidden, then we are 
now under a law that requires perfect obedience ; and there 
fore nothing can be accepted as a righteousness in the sight 
of our Judge, but perfect righteousness. So that our judge 
cannot justify us, unless he sees a perfect righteousness, some 
way belonging to us, either performed by ourselves, or by 
another, and justly and duly reckoned to our account. 

God doth, in tlie sentence of justification pronounce a 
man perfectly righteous, or else he would need a further justi- 
fication after he is justified. His sins being removed by 
Christ's atonement, is not sufficient for his justification ; for 
justifying a man, as has been already shewn, in not merely 
pronouncing him innocent, or \\'ithout guilt, but standing right 
with regard to the rule that he is under, and righteous unto 
life : But this, according to the established rule of nature, 
reason, and divine appointment, is a positive, perfect right- 

As there is the same need that Christ's obedience should 
be reckoned to our account, as that his atonement should ; so 
there is the same reason why it should. As if Adam had per- 
severed, and finished his course of obedience, we should have 
received the benefit of his obedience, as much as now we 
have the mischief of his disobedience ; so in like manner, 
there is reason that we should receive the benefit of the sec- 
ond Adam's obedience, as of his atonement of our disobedir 

By faith alone. es 

ence. Believers are represented in scripture as being so in 
Christ, as that they are legally one, or accepted as one, by the 
Supreme Judge : Christ has assumed our nature, and has so 
assumed all, in that nature that belong to him, into such an 
union with himself, that he is become their Head, and has tak- 
en them to be his members. And therefore, what Christ has 
done in our nature, whereby he did honor to the law and au- 
thority of God by his acts, as well as the reparation to the 
honor of the'Ww by his sufferings, is reckoned to the believ- 
er's account ; so as that the believer should be made happy, be* 
cause it Avas so well and worthily done by his Head, as well as 
freed from being misere^ble, because he has suffered for our 
ill and unv/orthy doing. 

When Christ had once undertaken with God to stand for 
us, and put himself under our law, by that law he was obliged 
to suffer, and by the same law he was obliged to obey : By 
the same law, after he had taken man's guilt upon him, he 
himself being our surety, coUld not be acquitted until he had 
suffered, nor rewarded until he . ad obeyed : But he was not 
acquitted as a private person, but as our head, and believers 
are acquitted in his acquittance ; nor was he accepted to a re- 
ward for his obedience, as a private person, but as our Head, 
and we are accepted to a rev/ard in his acceptance. The 
scripture teaches us that when Christ was raised from the- 
dead, he v/as justified ; which justification, as I have already 
shcvi'n, implies, both his acquittance from our guilt, and his 
acceptance to the exaltation and glory that was the reward of 
his obedience : But believers, as soon as they believe, are 
admitted to partake with Christ in this his justification : Hence 
we are told, that he was " raised again for our justification," 
Rom. iv. 25, which is true, not only of that part of his 
justification that consists in his acquittance, but also his accept- 
ance to his reward. The Scripture teaches us that he is 
exalted, and gone to heaven to take possession of glory in our 
name, as our forerunner, Heb. vi. 20. We are as it were, both 
raised up together with Christ, and also made to. sit together 
Avith Christ, in heavenly places, and in him, Epb. ii. S. 

Vol. Vn. I 


If it be objected here, that there is this reason, why what 
Christ suffered should be accepted on our account, rather than 
the obedience he performed, that he Avas obliged to obedience 
for himself, but was not obliged to suffer but only on our ac- 
count ; to this I answer, that Christ was not obliged, on his 
own account, to undertake to obey. Christ, in his original 
circumstances, was in no subjection to the Father, bemg alto- 
gether equal with him : He was under no obligation to put 
himself in man's stead, and under man's law ;^r to put him- 
self into any state of subjection to God whatsoever. There 
was a transaction between the Father and the Son, that was 
antecedent to Christ's becoming man, and being made under 
the ld.w, wherein he undertook to put himself under the law, 
and both to obey and to suffer ; in wliich transaction these 
things were already virtually done in the sight of God ; as is 
evident by this, that God acted on the ground of that transac- 
tion, justifying and saving shmers, as if the things undertaken 
had been actually performed long before they were performed 
indeed. And therefore, without doubt, in order to tlie esti- 
mating the value and validity of what Christ did and suffered, 
we must look back to that transaction, wherein these things 
were first undertaken, and virtually done in the sight of God, 
and see what capacity and circumstances Christ acted in then, 
and then we shall find that Christ was under no manner of obli- 
gation, either to obey the law, or suffer the penalty of it. After 
this he was equally under obligation to both ; for henceforward 
he stood as our surety or representative : And therefore this 
consequent obligation may be as much of an objection against 
the validity of his suffering the penalty, as against his obedi- 
ence. But if we look to that ori^jiual transaction between the 
Father and the Son, wherein both these were undertaken and 
accepted as viitually done in the sight of the Father, we 
shall find Christ acting with regard to both, as one perfect- 
ly in his own right, and under no mariner of previous obliga- 
tion to hinder the validity of either. 

2. To suppose that all that Christ does is only to make 
atonement Tor us by suffering, is to make him our Saviour 
>>' ' in part. It is to rob him of half his glory as a Saviour, 


For if so, all that he does is to deliver us from hell ; he does 
not purchase heaven for us. The adverse scheme supposes 
that he purchases heaven for us, in the sense, that he satisfies 
for the imperfections of our obedience, and so purchase 
that our sincere inrpcrfect obedience might be accepted as 
the condition of eternal life ; and so purchases an opportuni- 
ty for us to obtain heaven by our own obedience. But to pur- 
chase heaven for us only in this sense, is to purchase it in no 
sense at all ; for all of it comes to no more than a satisfaction 
for our sins,or removing the penalty by suffering in our stead: 
For ail the purchasing they speak of, that our imperfect obe- 
dience should be accepted, is only his satisfying for the sin- 
ful imperfections of our obedience ; or (which is the same 
thing) making atonement for the sin that cur obedience is 
attended with. But that is not purchasing heaven, merely to 
set us at liberty again, that we may go and get heaven by what 
we do ourselves ; all that Christ does is only to pay a debt for 
us; there is no positive purchase of any good. We are 
taught in scripture that heaven is purchased for us ; it is 
c?i\\cd the fitcrchased /lossessio?!, ILph. i. 14. The gospel pro- 
poses the eternal inheritance, not to be acquired, as the first 
covenant did, but as already acquired and purchased. But he 
that pays a man's debt for him, and so delivers him from slav- 
ery, caimotbe said to purchase an estate for him, merely be- 
cause he sets him at liberty, so that henceforward he has an 
opportunity to get an estate by his own hand labor. So that 
according to this scheme, the siants in heaven have no reas- 
on to thank Christ for purchasing heaven for them, or redeem- 
ing them to God, and making Lhem kings and priests, as we 
have an that account that they do, in Rev, v. 9. 

3, Justification by the righteousness and obedience of 
Christ, is a docti'ine that the scripture teaches in veiy full 
terais ; Rom. v. 18, 19. " By the righteousness of one, the 
free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as 
by one man's disobedience many were made sinners : So by 
the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous." 
Here in one verse we are told, that wc have justification by 
Christ's righteousness ; and, that there might be no room to 


understand the righteousness spoken of, merely of Christ's 
atonement by his suflering the penalty, in the next verse it is 
put in other terms, and asserted, that it is by Christ's obedi- 
ence that Ave are made righteous. It is scarce possible any 
thing should be more full and determined: The terms, taken 
singly, are such as do fix their own meaning, and taken to- 
gether, they fix the meaning of each other : The words shew 
that we are justified by that righteousness of Christ that con- 
sists in his obedience, and that we arc made righteous or justi- 
fied by that obedience of his, that is, his rigliteousness, or 
moral goodness before God. 

Here possibly it may be objected, that tliis text means on- 
ly, that we are justified by Christ's passive obedience. 

To this I answer, whether we call it active or passive, it 
alters not the case as to the present argument, as long as it is 
evident by the words, that it is not merely under the notion 
of an atonement for disobedience, or a satistaction for unright- 
eousness, but under the notion of a positive obedience, and a 
righteousness or moral goodness, tliat it justifies us or makes 
us righteous ; because both the words righteoumess and cbe- 
dience are used, and used too as the opposites of sin and diso- 
bedience, and an offence. " Therefore as by the offence of 
one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation : Even 
so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all 
men to justification of life. For as by one man's disobedi- 
ence many were made sinners : So by the obedience of one, 
shall many be made righteous." Now, what can be meant by 
righteousness, when spoken of as the opposite to sin, or mor- 
al evil, but only moral goodness ? What is the rightcosness 
that is the opposite of an offence, but only the behavior that 
is well pleasing ? And m hat can be meant by obedience, when 
spoken of as the opposite of disobedience, or going contra- 
ry to a command, but a positive obeying, and an actual com- 
plying with the command ? So that there is no room for any 
invented distinction of active and passive, to hurt the argu- 
ment froiTi this scripture, as long as it is evident by it as 
any thing can be, that believers are justified by the righteous 
ness and obedience of Christ, upder the notion of his moral 


goodness, and his positive obeying, and actual complying with 
the commands of God, and tliat behavior of his, that, because 
of its conformity to his commands, was well pleasing in his 
sight. This is all that ever any need to desire to have grant- 
ed in this dispute. 

By this it appears that if Christ's dying be here included 
in the Vvords righteousness and obedience^ it is not merely 
as a propitiation, or bearing a penalty of a broken law in our 
stead, but as his voluntary submitting and yeikling hiiu- 
self to those sufferings, was an act of obedience to the Father's 
commands, and so was a part of his pordtive righteousness, oi 
moral goodness. 

Indeed all obedience, considered under the notion of obedi- 
ence or righteousness, is something active, something that 
is done in active and voluntary compliance with a com- 
mand ; whether that which we do in obedience is some- 
thing easy, and something that may be done without suf- 
fering, or whether it be something hard and difficult ; 
yet as it is obedience, or righteousness, or moral good- 
ness, it must be considered as something voluntary and ac- 
tive. If any one is commanded to go through difficulties and 
sufferings, and he, in compliance with this command, volunta- 
rily does it, he properly obeys in so doing ; and as he volunta- 
rily does it in compliance with a command, his obedience is 
as active as any whatsoever. It is the same sort of obedience, 
a thing of the very same nature, as when a man, in compliance 
with a command, does a piece of hard service, or goes through 
hard labor ; and there is no room to distinguish between such 
obedience and other that is more easy, to make a different sort 
of obedience of it, as if it were a thing of quite a different na- 
ture, by such opposite terms as active and passi\ e : All the 
distinction that can be pretended, is that which is between o- 
beying an easy command and a dilftcult one. But is not the 
obedience itself of the same nature, because the commands to 
be obeyed are some of them more difficult than others ? Is 
there from hence any foundation to make two species of obe- 
dience, one active and the other passive ? There is no ap- 
pearance of any such distinction ever entering into the hearts 
of any of the penmen of scripture. 


It is true, that of late, when a man refuses to obey the pre- 
cept of an human law, but patiently yields himself up to suffer 
the penalty of the law, it is called passive obedience : But 
this I suppose is only a modern use of the word obedience ; 
surely it is a sense of the word that the scripture is a perfect 
stranger to ; and it is improperly called obedience, unless 
there be such a precept in the law, that he shall yield himself 
patiently to suffer, to which his so doing shall be an active, 
vohmtary conformity. There may in some sense be said 
to be'a conformity to the law in a person's suffering the pen- 
alty of the law ; but no other conformity to the law is proper- 
ly called obedience to it but an active, voluntary conformity 
to the precepts of it : The word obey is often found in scrip- 
ture with respect to the law of God to man, but never in any 
other sense. 

It is true that Christ's willingly undergoing those suffer- 
ings which he endured, is a great part of that obedience or 
righteousness by which we are justified. The sufferings of 
Christ are respected in scripture under a twofold considera- 
tion, either merely as his being substituted for us, or put in- 
to our stead in suffering the penalty of the law ; and so his 
sufferings are considered as a satisfaction and propitiation for 
sin : Or as he, in obedience to a law or command of the Fath- 
er, voluntai'ily submitted himself to those sufferings, and ac- 
tively yielded himself up to bear them ; and so they are con- 
sidered as his righteousness, and a part of his active obedi- 
ence. Christ underwent death in obedience to the command 
of the Father, Psalm xl. 6, 7, 8. " Sacrifice and offering 
thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened : Burnt of- 
fering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, 
Lo, I come : In the volume of the book is written of me : I 
delight to do thy will ; O my God ; yea, thy law is within 
my heart." John, x. 17, 18. " I lay down my life that I 
might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it 
down of myself : I have power to lay it down, and I have pow- 
er to take it again. This commandment have I received of 
my Father." Johnxviii.il. "The cup which my Father 
hath given me, shall I not drink it ?" And this is part, ancj 


indeed the principal part of that active obedience that we are 
justified by. 

It can be no just objection against this, that that command 
of the Father to Christ, that he should lay down his life, was 
no part of tlie law that we had broken ; and therefore, that his 
obeying this command could be no part"of that obedience that 
he pei'formed for us, because we needed that he should obey 
no other law for us, but only that which we had broken or 
failed of obeying. For although it must be the same legisla- 
tive authoiity, whose honor is repaired by Christ's obedience, 
that we have injured by our disobedience ; yet there is no 
need that the law that Christ obeys should be precisely the 
same that Adam was to have obeyed, in that sense, that there 
should be no positive precepts wanting, nor any added : 
There was wanting the precept about the forbidden fruit, and 
there was added the ceremonial law. The thing required 
was perfect obedience : It is no matter whether the positive 
precepts were the same, if they were equivalent. The posi- 
tive precepts that Christ was to obey, were much more than 
equivalent to what was wanting, because infinitely more diffi- 
cult, particularly the command that he had received to lay 
down his life, which was his principal act of obedience, and 
which above all others is concerned in our justification. As 
that act of disobedience by which we fell, was disobedi- 
ence to a positive precept that Christ never was under, 
viz. that of abstaining from the tree of knowledge of good 
and evil ; so that act of obedience by which principally 
we are redeemed, is obedience to a positive precept that 
Adam never was under, viz. the precept of laying down his 
life. It was suitable that it should be a positive precept, that 
should try both Adam's and Chiist's obedience : Such pre- 
cepts are the greatest and most proper trial of obedience ; 
because in them, the mere authority and will of the legislator 
is the sole ground of the obligation, (and nothing in the na- 
ture of the things themselves;) and therefore they are the 
greatest trial of any person's respect to that authority and will, 

The law that Christ was subject to, and obeyed, was in 
some sense the same that was given to Adam. There are 


innumerable particular duties that are required by tlie la\v 
only condiuonally ; and in such circumstances, are compre- 
hended in some great and general rule of tliat law. Thus, 
for instance, there arc innumerable acts of respect and obedi- 
ence to men, which are required by the law of nature, (which 
was a law given to Adam) which yet be not required absolute- 
ly, but upon many prerequisite conditions ; as, that there 
be men standing in such relations to us, and that they gave 
forth such commands, and the like. So many acts of respect 
and obedience to God are included, in like manner, in the 
moral law conditionally, or such and such things being sup- 
posed ; as Abraham's going about to sacrifice his son, the 
Jews, circumcising their children when eight days old, and 
Adam's not eating tlie forbidden fruit ; they are virtually 
comprehended in that great general rule of the moral law, 
that we should obey God, and be subject to him in whatsoever 
he pleases to command us. Certainly the moral law does as 
much require us to obey God's positive commands, as it re- 
quires us to obey the positive commands of our parents. And 
thus all that Adam, and all that Christ was commanded, even 
his observing the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish worship, 
and his laying dov/n his life, was virtually included in the same 
great law*. 

It is no objection against tlie last mentioned thing, even 
Christ's laying doAvn his life, its being included in the moral 

* Thus Mr. Locke in his Reasonableness of Christianity as delivered in the 
Scuptures, vol. zd. oi his work, p. 478. "Nay, whatever God requires any 
where to be done, without malting any allowance for faith, that is a part of the 
law of works So that forbidding Adam to eat of the tree of kno^'ledge, 
was pan of the law of wo ks. Onlv we must take notice here, that some of 
God's positive commands being for peculiar ends, and suited to particular 
circumstances of times, places and persons, have a limited, and only tempo. 
Tary obligation, by virtue of God s positive injuncton. Such as was that 
pait of Moses' law which concerned the outward worship or politcal consti- 
tution of the Jews, and is called the ceremonial and judaical law " Again, 
p, 479. " Thus hen as to the law in .>hort, the civil and ritual part of the 
law delivered by Moses obliges not Christians, though to the Jews it weie a 
part ot the law of works ; it being a part of the law of nature, that men 
ought to obey every positive law ot God, whenever he shall please to make 
any such addition to the law of his nature." 


law given to Adam ; because that law itself allowed of no oc-^ 
easion for any such thing ; for the moral law virtually includes 
all right acts, on all possible occasions, even occasions that 
the law itself allows not : Thus \ve are obliged by the moral 
law to mortify our lusts,' and repent of our sins, though that 
law allows of no lust to mortify, or sin to repent of. 

There is indeed but one great law of God, and that is the 
same law that says, " if thou sinnest, thou shalt die ;" and 
'^ cursed is everyone that continues not in all things contained 
in this law to do them." All duties of positive institution are 
Tirtually comprehended in this law : And therefore, if the 
Jews broke the ceremonial law, it exposed them to the pen- 
alty of thelaAV, or covenant of works, which threatened, " thou 
shalt surely die." The law is the eternal and unalterable 
rule of I'ightecfusness between God and man, and therefore is 
tlie rule of judgment, by which all that a man does shall be 
either justified or condemned ; and no sin exposes to damna- 
tion, but by the law : So now he that refuses to obey the 
precepts that require an attendance on the sacraments of the 
New Testament, is exposed to damnation, by virtue of the 
law or covenant of works. It may moreover be argued, that 
all sins whatsoever are breaches of the law or covenant of 
works, because all sins, even breaches of the positive precepts, 
as AvcU as others, have atonement by the death of Christ : But 
Tvhat Christ died for, was to satisfy the law, or to bear the 

curse of the law ; as appears by Gal. iii. 10 13, and Rom. 

viii. 3, 4. 

So that Christ's laying down his life might be part of that 
©bediencc by which we are justified, though it was a positive 
precept not given to Adam. It was doubtless Christ's main 
act of obedience, because it was obedience to a com- 
mand that was attended with immensely the greatest diffi- 
culty, and so to a command that was the greatest trial of his 
obedience. His respect shown to God in it, and his honor 
to God's authority was proportionably great : It is spoken 
of in scripture as Chiist's principal act of obedience. Philip. 
n. 7, 8. " But made himself of no reputation, and took 
upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the like- 

Vol. VII. K 


ness of men : And, being found in fashion as a man, he hum- 
bled himself, and became obedient unto death, even tlie 
deatli of the cross." Heb. v. 8. " Though he were a son, 
yet learned he obedience by the things that he suffered." 
It was mainly by this act of obedience that Christ purchased 
so glorious a reward for liimsclf: As in that place in Philippi- 
ans, ii. 8, 9. " He became obedient unto death, even the death 
of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 
and given him a name which is above every name. And it 
therefore follows from what has been already said, that it is 
mainly by this act of obedience that believers in Christ also 
have the reward of glory, or come to partake with Christ in 
his glory. We are as much saved by the death of Christ, as 
. his yielding himself to die was an act of obedience, as we are, 
as it wiis a propitiation for our sins : For as it was not the 
only act of obedience that merited, he having performed 
meritorious acts of obedience through the whole course of liis 
life ; so neither was it the only suffering that was propitiato- 
ly ; all his sufferings through the whole course of lus life 
being pi'opitiatoiy, as Avell as every act of obedience merito- 
rious : Indeed this v/as his principal suffering ; and it was as 
much his principal act of obedience. 

Hence we may see how that the death of Christ did not 
only make atonement, but also merited eternal life ; and 
hence we may see how by the blood of Christ we are not only 
redeemed from sin, but redeemed unto God ; and therefore 
the scripture seems eveiy where to attribute the whole of ScUr 
vation to the blood of Christ : This precious blood is as much 
tlie main price by which heaven is purchased, as it is the miun 
price by which we are redeemed from hell. The positive 
righteousness of Christ, or that price by which he merited, 
was of equal value with that by which he satisfied ; for indeed 
it was the same price. He spilled his blood to satisfy, and by 
reason of the infinite dignity of Ms person, his sufferings 
were looked upon as of infinite value, and equivalent to the 
eternal sufferings of a finite creature: And he spilled his 
blood out of respect to the honor of God's majesty and in subr 
mission to his authority, who had commanded him so to do : 


And his obedience therein was of infinite value ; both because 
of tlie dignity of the person that performed it, and because 
he put himself to infinite expense to perform it, whereby 
the infinite degree of his regard to God's authority ap- 

One would wonder what the Arminians mean by Christ's 
merits. They talk of Chi'ist's merits as much as any body, 
and yet deny the imputaiion of Christ's positive righteous- 
ness. What should there be that any one should merit or de- 
serve any thing by, besides righteousness or goodness ? If 
any thing that Christ did or suffered, merited or deserved any 
thing, it Avas by vii'tue of the goodness, or righteousness, or 
holiness of it : If Christ's sufferings and death merited heav- 
en it must be because there was an excellent righceousness 
and transcendent moral goodness in that act of laying down his 
life : Arid if by that excellent righteousness he merited heav- 
jen for us ; then surely that righteousness is reckoned to our 
account, that we have the benefit of it, or which is the same 
thing, it is imputed to us. 

Thus, I hope I have made it evident, that the righteous- 
Bess of Christ is indeed imputed to us. I proceed now to 

Third and last thing under this argument, that tins doc» 
trine, of the imputation of Christ's righteousness, is utterly 
inconsistent with the doctnne of our being justified by our 
own virtue or sincere obedience. If acceptance to God's fa- 
vor, and a title to life, be given to believers as the reward of 
Christ's obedience, then it is not given as the reward of our 
own obedience. In what respect soever Christ is our Saviour, 
that doubtless excludes our being our own saviours in the 
same respect that Christ is, it will thence follow, that the sal- 
vation of Christ is needless in that respect ; according to the 
apostle's reasoning, Gal. v. 4. " Christ is rendered of no 
effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law." 
Doubtless, it is '. hiist's prerogative to be our Saviour in that 
sense wherein he is our Saviour : And tlierefore if it be 
by his obedience that Ave are justified, then it is not by our. 
pwn obedience. 


Here perhaps it may be sdd, that a title to salvation is not 
directly sjjiven as the reward of our obedience ; for tliat is not 
byany thing of ours, but only by Christ's satisfaction and right- 
eousness ; but yet an interest in that satisfaction and I'ight- 
eousncss is given as a reward of our obedience. 

But tliis does not at all help the case ; for this is to as- 
cribe as much to our obedience as if we ascribed salvation to 
it directly, without the intervention of Christ's righteous- 
ness : For it would be as great a thing for God to give us 
Christ, and his satisfaction and righteousness, in reward for 
our obedience, as to give us heaven immediately ; it would 
be as great a reward, and as great a testimony of respect to 
our obedience : And if God gives as great a thing as salvation 
for our obedience, why could he not as well give salvation it- 
self directly ? And then there would have been no need of 
Christ's righteousness. And indeed if God gives us Christ, 
or an interest in him, properly in reward of our obedience, he 
does really give us salvation in reward for our obedience : For 
the former implies the latter ; yea it implies it, as the greater 
implies tlie less. So that indeed it exalts our virtue and obedi- 
ence more, to suppose that God gives us Christ in reward 
of that virtue and obedience, than if he should give salvation 
without Christ. 

The thing that the scripture guards and militates against, 
is our imagining that it is our own goodness, virtue, or excel- 
lency, that instates us in God's acceptance and favor. But to 
suppose that God gives us an interest in Christ in reward for 
our virtue, ^s as great an argument that it instates us in God's 
favor, as if he bestowed a title to eternal life as its direct re- 
ward. If God gives us an interest in Christ as a rewai-d of 
our obedience, it >vill then follow, that we are instated in 
God's acceptance and favor by our own obedience, antecedent 
to our having an interest in Christ. For a rewarding any 
one's excellency, evermore supposes fayor and and accept-; 
ance on the account of that excellency : It is the very notion 
pf a reward, that it is a good thing, bestowed in testimony of 
respect and favor for the virtue or excellency rewarded. So 
that it is not by virtue of our interest in Christ and his merr 


ats, that we first come into fevor with God, accoi-dinsj to this 
scheme ; for we are in God's favor before we have any intei'- 
est in those merits ; in that we have an interest in those mer- 
its given as a fruit of God's favor for our own virtue. If our 
interest in Christ be the fruit of God's favor, then it cannot be 
the ground of it. If God did not accept us, and had no favor 
for us for our own excellency, he never would bestow so 
great a reward upon us, as a right in Christ's satisfiiction and 
.lighteousness. So that such a scheme destroys itself ; for it 
supposes that Christ's satisft^ction and righteousness are nec- 
essary for us to recommend us to the favor of God ; and yet 
supposes that we have God's favor and acceptance before we 
have Christ's satisfaction and righteousness, and have these 
given as a fi'uit of God's favor. 

Indeed, neither salvation itself, nor Christ the Saviour, are 
given as a rcAvard of any thing in man : They are not 
given as a reward of faith, nor any thing else of ours : We are 
not united to Christ as a reward of our faitli, but have union 
with him by faith, only as faith is the very act of uniting or 
closing on our part. As when a man offers himself to a wo- 
man in marriage, he does not give hi]nself to her as a reward 
of her receiving him in marriage : Her receiving him is not 
considered as a Avorthy deed in her, for which he rewards her 
by giving himself to her ; but it is by her receiving him that 
the union is made, by which she hath him for her husband : 
It is on her part the unilion itself. By these things it appears, 
how contrary to the scheme of the gospel of Christ their 
scheme is, who say that faith justifies as a principle of obedi- 
ence, or as a leading act of obedience ; or (as others) the sum 
and comprehension of all evangelical obedience or virtue that 
is in faith, that is the thing that gives it its justifying influ- 
ence ; and that is the same thing as to say, that we are justi- 
fied by our own, obedience, virtue, or goodness. 

Having thus considered the evidence of the truth of the 
doctrine, I proceed now to the 

III. Thing proposed, viz. "To shew in what sense the 
actsof a Christian life, or of evangelical obedience maybe 
looked upon to be concerned in tliis affair. 


From what has been said already, it is manifcsl that they 
cannot have any concern in this affair as good works, or by- 
virtue of any moral goodness in them; not as works of the 
law, or as that moral excellency, or any part of it, that is the 
answering or fulfilment of that great and universal, and ever- 
lasting law or covenant of works tliat the grc^^t Lawgiver has 
estublishcd, as the highest and imaltcrable rule of judgment, 
which Christ alone answers, or docs any tiling towards it. 

And it having been shewn, out of the scripture that it is 
only by faith, or the soul's receiving and uniting to the Sav- 
iour that has wrought our righteousness, that we are justifi- 
ed ; it therefore remains, that the acts of a Christian life can- 
not be concerned in this afiVdr any otherwise than as they im.- 
ply, c<nd are the expressions of faith, and may be looked upon 
as so many acts of reception of Christ the Saviour. 

But the determining what concern acts of Christian obedi- 
ence can have in justification in this respect, will depend on 
the resolving of another point, viz. Whether any other act 
of faith besides the first act, has any concern in our justifica- 
tion, or hov/ far perseverance in fuith, or the continued and 
renewed acts of faith, have influence in this ufiair. 

And it seems manifest that justification is by the first act 
of faith, in some respects, in a peculiar manner, because a sin- 
ner is actually and finally justified as soon as he has performed 
one act of faith ; and fi.ith in its first act does, virtually at 
le^st, depend on God for perseverance, and entitles to this 
among other benefits. But yet the perseverance of faitli is 
not excluded in this affair ; it is not only certainly connected 
wiih justificution, but it is not to be excluded from that on 
which the justific-ition of a sinner has a dependence, or that by 
which he is justified. 

I have shewn that the way in which justification has a 
dependence on faith, is that it is the qualification on which tlie 
congruity of an interest in the righteousness of Christ de- 
pends, or wherein such a fitness consists. But the considera- 
tion of the perseverance of faith cannot be excluded out of 
thii congruity of an interest in Christ's righteousness, and so 
in the eternal benefits purchased by it, because faith is that by 


Which the soul hath union or oneness with Christ ; and there 
is a natural congruity in it, that they that are one with Christ 
should have a joint interest with him in his eternal benefits ; 
but yet this coufjruity depends on its being an abiding 
union. As it is needful that the branch should abic-e in the 
vine, in order to Its receiving the lasting benefits of the root ; 
so it is necessaiy that the soul should ab'.de in Christ, in or- 
der to its receiving those lasting benefits of God's final accept- 
ance and favor. " John xv. 6, 7. " If a man abide not in me, 
he is cast forth as a branch. If ye abide in me, and my words 
abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done un- 
to you." Verse 9, 10. " Continue ye in my love. Ifye keep 
(or abide) my commandments, ye shall abide in my love : 
Even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide 
in his love." There is the sam.e reason why it is necessary 
that the union with Christ should remain, as why it should be 
begun ; why it should continue to be, as why it should once 
be : If it should be begun without remaining, the beginning 
would be in vain. In order to the soul's being now in a justi-. 
fied state, and now free from condemnation, it is necessary 
tliat it should nov; be hi Christ, and not only that it should once 
have been in him. Rom. viii. 1. "There is no condemna- 
tion to them which are in Chiist Jesus." The soul is saved in 
Christ, as being now in him, when the salvation is bestowed, 
and not merely as rcmem.bering that it once was in him. Phil, 
iii. 9. " That I may be found in him, not having mine own 
righteousness, which is of the law., but that which is through 
the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." 
1 John ii. 28. " And now, little children, abide in him ; that 
when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be a- 
shamed before him at his coming." In order to person's be- 
ing blessed after death, it is necessary not only that they 
should once be in him, but that they should die in him. Rev. 
3tiv. 13. " Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord." 

And there is the same reason why faith, the unitmg qual- 
ification, should remain, in order to the union's remaining ; 
as why it shoidd once be, in order to the union's once being. < 


So that although the sinner is actually and finally justifieSi 
6n the first act of faith, yet the perseverance of faith, evert 
then, comes into consideration, as one thing on which the fit- 
ness of acceptance to life depends. God, in the act of justifi- 
cation, which is passed on a sinner's first believing, has respect 
to perseverance, as being virtually contained in that first 
act of faith ; and it is looked upon, and taken by him that 
justifies, as being as it were a property in that faith that then 
is : God has respect to the believer's continuance in faith, 
and he is justified by that, as t'nough it already were, because- 
by divine establishment it shall follow ; and it being by divine 
constitution connected with that first faith, as much, as if it 
were a property m it, it is then considered as such, and so 
justification is not suspended ; but were it not for this, it 
would be needful that it should be suspended, till the sinner 
had actually persevered in fidlh. 

And that it is so, that God in that act of final justification 
that he passes at the sinner's conversion, has respect to perse- 
verance in fidth, and future acts of faith, as being virtually im- 
plied in that first act, is farther manifest by this, viz. That 
in a sinner's justification, at his conversion there is virtually 
contained a forgiveness as to eternal and deserved punish- 
ment, not only of all past sins, but also of all future infirmi- 
ties and acts of sin that they shall be guilty of ; because that 
first justification is decisive and final. And yet pardon, in 
the order of nature, properly follows the crime, and also fol- 
lows those acts of repentance taid faith that respect the crime 
pardoned, as is manifest both from reason and scripture. 
David, in the beginning of Psal. xxxii. speaks of the forgive- 
ness of sins of his, that were doubtless committed long after 
he was first godly, as being consequent on those sins, and oi\ 
his repentance and faith with respect to them ; and yet this 
forgiveness is spoken of by the apostle in the 4th of Romans, 
as an instance of justification by faith. Probably the sin Da- 
vid there speaks of is the same that he committed in the mat- 
ter of Uriah, and so the pardon the same with that release 
, from death or eternal punishment, that the prophet Nathan 
freaks of. 2 Sam. xii. IT. " The Lord also hath put away 


ttiy sin ; thou 'shalt not die." Not only does the manifesta- 
tion of this pardon follow the sin in the order of time, but the 
pardon itself, in the order of nature, follows David's repent- 
ance and faith with respect to this sin ; for it is spoken of in 
the 32d Psalm, as depending on it. 

But inasmuch as a sinner, in his first justification, is for- 
ever justified and freed from all obligation to eternal pun- 
ishment ; it hence of necessity follows, that future faith and 
repentance are beheld, in that justification, as virtually con- 
Uiined in that first faith and repentance ; because repentuice 
of those future sins, and faith in a Redeemer, with respect 
to them, or, at least, the continuance of that habit and princi- 
ple in the heart that has such an actual repentance and faith 
in its nature and tendency, is now made sure by God's prom- 

If remission of sins, committed after conversion, in the 
order of nature, follows that faith and repentance that is after 
them, then it follows that future sins are respected in the first 
justification, no otherwise than as future faith and repentance 
are respected in it. And future faith and repentance are look- 
ed upon by him that justifies, as virtually implied in the first 
repentance and faith, in the same manner as justification from 
future sins is virtually implied in the first justification ; which 
is the thing that was to be proved. 

And besides, if no other act of faith could be concerned in 
justification but the first act, it will then follow, that Christ- 
ians ought never to seek justification by any other act of faith. 
For if justification is not to be obtained by after acts of faitli, 
then surely it is not a duty to seek it by such acts : And so it 
can never be a duty for persons after they are once converted, 
by faitli to seek to God, or beiievingly to look to him for the 
remission of sin, or deliverance from the guiit of it, because 
deliverance from the guilt of sin is part of what belongs to 
justification. And if it be not proper for converts by faith to 
look to God through Christ for it, then it will follow, that it 
is not proper for them to pray for it ; Christian prayer to 
God for a blessing, is but an expression of faith in God for 
that blessing ; prayer is only the voice of faith. But if these 

Vol. VII. L 


things ai-e so, it will follow that that petitioh of the Lord's 
pi-aycr, Forgive us our clebfA, is not proper to be put up by dis- 
ciples of Christ, or to be used in Christian assemblies ; and that 
Christ improperly directed his disciples to use that petition> 
when they were all of them except Judas, converted before. 
The debt that Christ directs his disciples to pray for the for- 
giveness of, can mean nothing else but the punishment that 
sin deserves, or the debt that we owe to divine justice, the ten 
thousand talents we owe our Lord. To pray that God would 
forgive our debts, is undoubtedly the same thing as to pi-ay 
that God would release us from obligation to due punish- 
ment ; but releasing trom obligation to the punishment due 
to sin, and forgiving the debt that we owe to dinne justice, 
is what appertains to justification. 

And then to suppose that no after acts of faith are concern- 
ed in the business of justification, and so that it is not proper 
for any ever to seek justification by such acts, would be forev- 
er to cut off those Christians that are doubtful concerning their 
first act of faith, from the joy and peace of believing. As the 
business of a justifying fidth is to obtain pardon and peace 
with God, by looking to God and trusting in him for these 
blessings ; so the joy and peace of that faith are in the appre- 
hension of pardon and peace obtained by such a trust. This 
a Christian that is doubtful of his first act of fuith cannot have 
from that act, because by the supposition, he is doubtful 
whether it be an act of faith, and so whether he did obtain par- 
don and peace by that act. The proper remedy, in such a case, 
is now by faith to look to God in Christ for these blessings : 
But he is cut off from this remedy, because he is uncertain 
whether he has warrant so to do ; for he does not know but 
that be has believed already ; and if so, then he has no war- 
rant to look to God by faith for these blessings now, because, 
by the supposition, no new act of faith is a proper means of 
obtaining these blessings. And so he can never properly ob 
tain the joy of faith ; for there are acts of true faith that are 
very weak acts, and the first act may be so as well as others ; 
it may be like the first motion of the infant in the womb ; it 
ip»" be so Aveak an act, tliat the Christian, by examining it; 


may never be able to determine whether it was a true act of 
faith or no ; and it is evident from fact, and abundant experi- 
ence, that many Christians are forever at a loss to determine 
which was their first act of faith. And those saints that have 
a good degree of satisfaction concerning their Ldth, may be 
subject to great declensions and falls, in which case they are 
licible to great fears of eternal punishment ; and the proper 
way of deliverance, is to forsake their sin by repentance, and 
by faith now to come to Christ for deliverance from the de- 
served eternal <punishment ; but this it would not be, if de- 
liverance from that punishment was not this way to be ob- 

But what is a still more plain and direct evidence of what 
lam now arguing for, is that that act of faith that Abraham 
exercised in the great promise of the covenant of grace tha^ 
God made to him, of which it is expressly said. Gal. iii. 6. 
" It was accounted to him for righteousness," which is the 
grand instance and proof that the apostle so much insists up- 
on, throughout the 4th chapter of Romans, and 3d of Gala^ 
tians, to confirm his doctrine of justification by f.ilh alone, 
was not Abraham's first act of faith, but was exerted long 
after he had by faith forsaken his own country, Heb. xi. 8, and 
had been treated as an eminent friend of God. 

Moreover, the Apostle Paul, in the 3d chapter of Philip- 
pians, tells us how earnestly he sought justification by faith, 
or to win Christ and to obtain that righteousness which was 
by the faith of him, in what he did after his conversion. Ver. 
8,9. "For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and 
do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found 
in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the 
law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the right- 
eousness which is of God by faith." And in the two next 
verses he expresses the same thing in other words, and tells 
us how he went through sufferings, and became conformable 
to Christ's death, that he might be a partaker witli Christ in 
the benefit of his resurrection ; which the same apostle else- 
where teaches us, is especially justification. Christ's resur- 
rection was his justification ; in this, he that was put to death 


in the flesh, was justified by the spirit ; and he that was de- 
livered for our offences, rose a^ain for our justification. And 
the apostle tells us in the verses that follow in that 3d chapter 
of Philippians, that he thus sought to attain the righteousness 
which is through the faith of Christ, and so to partake of the 
benefit of his resurrection, still as though he had not already 
attained, but that he continued to follow after it. 

On the whole it appears, that the perseverance of faith is 
necessary, even to the congruity of justification ; and that not 
the less, because a sinner is justified, and perseverance prom- 
ised, on the first act of faith, but God, in that justification, has 
respect, not only to the p-ist act of faith, but to his o^vn prom- 
ise of future acts, and to the fitness of a qualification beheld as 
yet only in his own promise. 

And that perseverance in faith is thus necessary to salva- 
tion, not merely as a nine rjua jwn, or as an universal concom- 
itant of it, but by reason of such an influence and dependence, 
seems manifest by many scriptures ; I would mention two 
or three : Heb. iii. 6. " Whose house arc we, if we hold fast 
the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the 
end." Verse 14 : " For we are made partakers of Christ, if 
we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the 
end." Chap. vi. 12. " Be ye followers of them, who through 
" faith and patience inherit the promises." Rom. xi. 20. 
" Well, because of unbelief they were broken off ; but thou 
standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear." 

And as the congruity to a final justification depends on 
perseverance in faith, as well as the first act, so oftentimes the 
manifestation of justification m the conscience, arises a great 
deal more from after acts, than the first act. And all the dif- 
ference whereby the first act of faith has a concern in this af- 
fair that is peculiar, seems to be, as it were, only auvaccidcntal 
difference, arising from the circumstance of time or it being 
first in order of time, and not from any peculiar respect that 
God has to it, or any influence it has of a peculiar nature, in 
the affair of our salvation. 

And thus it is that a truly Christian walk, and the acts of 
an evangelical, childlike, believing obedience, are concern- 
ed in the affair of our justification, and seem to be sometimes 


.so spoken of in scripture, viz. as an expression cF a persever- 
ingr fuith in the Son of God, the only Si.viour. Faith unices to 
Christ, and so gives a congruity to justification, not merely as 
remaining a dormant principle in the heart, but as being and 
appearing in its active expressions. 

The obedience of a Christian, so far as it is truly evangel- 
ical, and performed with the Spirit of the Son sent forth into 
the heart, has all relation to Christ, the Mediator, and is but 
an expression of the soul's believing unition to Christ. All 
evangelical works, are works of that faith that woikc'Ji by 
love ; and eveiy such act of obedience, wherein it is imvard, 
and the act of the soul is only a new, effective act of i-eception 
of ' hrist, an adherence to the glorious Saviour. Plence that 
of the apostle, Gal. ii. 20. " I live ; yet not I, but Christ liv- 
eth in me ; and the life that I now live in the flesh, is by the 
faith of the Son of God." And hence we are directed, in 
whatever we do, whether in word or deed, to do all in the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ, ol. iii. 17. 

And that God in justification has respect not only to the 
first act of faith, but also to future, persevering acts, in this 
sense, viz. as expressed in life, seems manifest, by Rom. ii. 
17. " For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from 
faith to faith : As it is written. The just shall live by faith." 
And Heb. x. 38, 39 ; " Now the just shall live by faith ; but 
if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition ; but of 
them that believe, to the saving of the soul." 

So that as was before said of faith, so may it be said of a 
childlike, believing obedience, it has no concern in justifica- 
tion by any virtue or excellency in it ; but only as there is a re- 
ception of Christ in it. And this is no more contrary to the 
apostle's frequent assertion of our being justified without the 
works of the law, than to say, that we are justified by faith; 
for faith is as much a work, or act of 'hristian obedience, as 
the expressions of faith, in spiritual life and walk. And 
therefore, as we say that faith does not justify as a work, so 
we say of all these effective expressions of faith. 


This is the reverse of the scheme of our modern divines, 
who hold, that faith justifies only as an act or expression of 
obedience ; whereas, in truth obedience has no concern in jus- 
tification, any otherwise than as an expression of faith. 

I now proceed to the 

IV. Thing proposed viz. " To answer objections." 

Object. 1. We frequently find promises of eternal life and 
salvation, aiid sometimes of justification itself, made toourovm 
virtue and obedience. Eternal life is promised to obedience, in 
Rom. ii. 7. " To tliera, who by patient continuance in well 
doing seek for glory, honor, and immortality ; eternal life ?'^ 
And the like in innumerable other places. And justification 
itself is promised to that virtue of a forgiving spirit and tem- 
per in us, Matth. vi. 14. " For if ye forgive men their trespass- 
es, your heavenly Father will also forgive you : But if ye for- 
give not men their trespasses, neitlier will your Father for- 
give your trespasses." All allow that justification in great 
part consists in the forgiveness of sins. 

To this I answer, 

1. These things being promised to our virtue and obedi- 
ence, argues no more, than that there is a connexion between 
them and evangelical obedience ; which, I have already ob- 
served, is not the thing in dispute. All that can be proved 
bv obedience and salvation being connected in tlie promise, is, 
that obedience and salvation are connected in fact ; v.'hich no- 
body denies ; and whether it be owned or denied, is, as has 
been shewn, nothing to the purpose. There is no need 
that an admission to a title to salvation, should be given on the 
account of our obedience, in order to the promises being true. 
If we find such a promise, that he that obeys shall be saved, 
or he that is holy sh.all be justified ; all that is needful in or- 
der to such promises being true, is, that it be really so, tliat 
he that obeys shall be saved, and that holiness and justifica- 
tion shall indeed go together. That proposition may be a 
truth, that he that obeys shall be saved ; because obedience 
and salvation are connected together in fact ; and yet an ac- 
ceptance to a title to salvation not be granted upon the ac- 
count of any of our own virtue or obedience. What is a prom- 


ise, but only a declaration of future truth, for the comfort 
and encouragement of the person to whom it is declared ? 
Promises are conditional propositions ; and, as has been al- 
i-eady observed, it is not the thing in dispute, whether other 
things besides faith may not have the place of the condition 
in such propositions wherein pardon and salvation are the 

2. Promises may rationally be made to signs and eviden- 
ces of faith, and yet the thing promised not be upon the ac- 
count of the sign, but the thing signified. Thus, for instance, 
human governn^ent may rationally make promises of such and 
such privileges to those that can shew such evidences of their 
being free of such a city, or members of such a corpora- 
tion, or descended of such a family; when it is not at all for 
the sake of that v/hich is the evidence or sign, in itself con- 
sidered, that they are admitted to such a privilege, but only 
and purely for the sake of that which it is an evidence of. 

And though God does not stand in need of signs to know 
whether we have true faith or not, yet our own consciences 
do ; so that it is much for our comfort that promises are made 
to signs of faith. A finding in ourselves a forgiving teinper 
and disposition, may be a most proper and natural evidence to 
our consciences, that our hearts have, m a sense of our own 
utter unworthiness, truly closed and fallen in with the v/ay of 
free and infinitely gracious forgiveness of our sins by Jesus 
Christ ; whence we may be enabled, vi*'! the greater comfort, 
to apply to ourselves the promises of forgiveness by Christ. 

3. It has been just now shown, how that acts of evangel- 
ical obedience are indeed concerned in our justification itself, 
and are not excluded from that condition that justification de- 
pends upon, without the least prejudice to that doctrine of 
justification by faith, without any goodness of our own, that 
has been maintained ; and therefore it can be no objection 
against this doctrine, tliat we have sometimes in scripture 
promises of pardon and acceptance made to such acts of obe- 

4. Promises of particular benefits implied in justification 
and salvation, may especially be fitly made to such expression^: 


and evidences of faith as they have a peculiar natural llkenes« 
and suitableness to. As forgiveness is promised to a forgiv- 
ing spirit in us ; obtaining mercy is fitly promised to merci- 
fulness in us, and the like : And that upon several accounts ; 
they are the most natural evidences of our heart's closing with 
those benefits by faith ; for they do especially shew the sweet 
accord and consent that there is between the heart and these 
benefits ; and by reason of the natural likeness that there is 
between the virtue and the benefit, the one has the greater 
tendency to bring the other to mind ; the practice of the vir- 
tue tends the more to renew the sense, and refresh the hope 
of the blessing promised : And also to convince the con- 
science of the justice of being denied the benefit, if the duty 
be neglected. 

And besides tlie sense and manifestation of divine forgive- 
ness in our own consciences ; yea, and many exercises of 
God's forgiving mercy, as it respects God's fatherly displea- 
sure, that are granted after justification, through the course 
of a Christian's life, may be given as the proper rewards of 
the virtue of a forgiving spirit, and yet this not be at all to the 
prejudice of the doctrine we have maintained ; as will more 
fully appear, when we come to answer another objection here- 
after to be mentioned. 

Oojec:. 2. Our own obedience and inherent holiness, isnec- 
cssary to prepare men for heaven ; and therefore is doubtless 
what recommends persons to God's acceptance, as the heirs 
of heaven. 

To this I answer, 

1. Our own obedience being necessary in order to a pre- 
paration for an actual bcstowment of glory, is no argument that 
it is the thing upon the account of which we are accepted 
to a right to it. God may, and does do many things to pre- 
pare the saints for glory, after he has accepted them as the 
heirs of glory. A parent may do much in its education, to 
prepare a child for an inheritance after the child is an heir j 
yea, there arc many things necessary to fit a child for the ac- 
tual possession of the inheritance, that be not necessary in or" 
der to its having a right to the inheritance. 


i^. If every thing that is necessary to prepare men for glo- 
ay must be the proper condition of justification, then perfect 
holiness is the condition of justification. Men must be made 
perfectly holy, before they are admitted to the enjoyment of 
the blessedness of heaven ; for there must in no wise enter in 
tliere any spiritual defilement. And therefore, when a saiot 
dies he leaves all his sin and corruption when he leaves the body. 

Object. 3. Our obedience is not only indissolubly connect- 
ed with salvation, and preparatory to it, but the Scripture ex- 
pressly speaks of bestowing eternal blessings as rewards for 
the good deeds of the suints. Matth. x, 42. " Whosoever 
shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold 
water only, in the name of a disciple, he shall in no wise lose 
his reward." 1 Cor. iii. 8. " Every man shall I'eceive his 
own reward, accoixling to his own labor. '* And in many oth- 
er places. This seems to militate against the doctrine that 
•has been maintained, two ways : l.The bestowing a reward, 
carries in it a respect to a moral fitness, in the thing reward- 
ed, to the reward ; the very notion of a reward being a bene- 
fit bestowed in testimony of acceptance of, and respect to, 
the goodness or amiableness of some qualification or work 
in the person rewarded. And besides, the scripture seems 
to explain itself in this matter, in Rev. iii. 4. Thou hast 
a few names, even in Sardis, which have not defiled their 
gai'ments : And they shall walk with me in white j for they 
are worthy." This is here given as the reason why they 
should have such a reward, " because they were worthy ; " 
which, though we suppose it to imply no proper merit, yet it 
at least implies a moral fitness, or that the excellency of their 
virtue in God's sight recommends them to such a reward ; 
which seems directly repugnant to what has been supposed, 
viz. That we are accepted, and approved of God, as the lieirs 
«f salvation, not out of regard to the excellency of ourown vir- 
tue or goodness, or any moral fitness therein to such a reward, 
•but on the account of the dignity and moral fitness of Christ's 
"ighteousness. 2. Our being eternally rewarded for our 
•wn holiness and good works, necessarily supposes that our 
future happiness will be greater or smaller, in some proper- 

Vol. VII. M 


tion as our own holiness and obedience are more or less ; and 
that there are different degrees of glory, according to different 
degrees of virtue and good works, is a doctrine very expressly 
and frequently taught us in scripture. But this seems quite 
inconsistent with the saints' all having their future blessed- 
ness as a reward of Christ's righteousness : For if Christ's 
righteousness be imputed to all, and this be what entitles 
each one to glory, thenitis the same righteousness that entitles 
one to glory which entitles another. But if ail have glory as the 
reward of the same righteousness why have not all the same 
glory ? Does not the same righteousness merit as much 
gloiy when imputed to one as when imputed to another ? 

In answer to the ^rs( part of this objection, I would ob- 
serve, that it does not argue that we are justified by our good 
deeds, that we shall have eternal blessings in reward for them, 
for it is in consequence of our justification, that our good 
deeds become rewardable with spiritual and eternal rewards. 
The acceptableness, and so the rewardableness of our virtue, 
is not antecedent to justification, but follows it, and is built en- 
tirely upon it ; which is the reverse of what those in the ad- 
verse scheme of justification suppose, viz. that justification is 
built on the acceptableness and rewardableness of our virtue. 
They suppose that a saving interest in Christ is given as a rc- 
Avard of our virtue, or, (which is the same thing) as a testimo- 
ny of God's acceptance of our excellency in our virtue. But 
the contrary is true, that Gctl's respect to our virtue as our 
amiableness in his sight, and his acceptance of it as rewarda- 
ble, are entirely built on our interest in Christ already establish- 
ed. So that that relation to Christ, whereby believers, in 
scripture language, are siad to be in Christ, is the very foun- 
dation of our virtues and good deeds being accepted of God, 
and so of their being rewarded ; for a reward is a testimony 
of acceptance. For we, and all that we do, are accepted only 
in the beloved, Eph.i. 6. Our sacrifices are acceptable, only 
through our interest in him, and through his worthiness and 
preciousness being as it Avcrc, made ours. 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5. 
« To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed 
ofmcn, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also as lively 


ston«s, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to 
•ffer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus 
Christ." Here a being actually built on this stone, precious 
to God, is mentioned as all the ground of the acceptubleness oi 
eur good works to God, and their becoming also precious in 
his eyes. So, Heb, xiii. 21. " Make you perfect in every 
good work to do his will, working in you that which is AvelJ 
pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ." And hence 
we are directed, whatever we offer to God, to offer it in 
Christ's name, as expecting to have it accepted no other way, 
than from the value that God has to that name. Col. iii. 17. 
" And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by 
him." To act in Christ's name, is to act under him, as our 
head, and as having him to stand for us, and represent us 
God ward. 

The reason of this may be seen, from what lias been already 
said, to shew that it is not meet that any thing in us should be 
accepted of God as any excellency of our persons, until we are 
actually in Christ, and justified through him. The loveliness 
of the virtue of the fallen creatures is notliing in the sight of 
God, till he beholds them in Christ, and clothed with his right- 
eousness. 1. Because till then we stand condemned before 
God, by his own holy lav/, to his utter rejection and abhor- 
rence. And, 2. Because \vc are infinitely guilty before him ; 
and the loveliness of our virtue bears no proportion to our 
guilt, and must therefore pass for nothing before a strict judge. 
And 3. Because our good deeds and virtuous acts themselves 
are in a sense corrupt ; and the hatefulness of the corruption 
of them, if we are beheld as we are in ourselves, or separate 
from Christ, infinitely outweighs the loveliness of that which 
attends the act of virtue itself, the loveliness vanishes into 
nothing in comparison of it : And therefore the virtue must 
pass for nothing, out of Christ. Not only are our best duties 
defiled, in being attended with the exercises of sin and cor- 
ruption, that precede them, and follow them, and are inter- 
iningled with holy acts ; but even the holy acts themselves, 
and the gracious exercises of the godly, though the act most 


simply considered is good, yet take the acts in their measure 
and dimensions, and the manner in which they are exerted, 
and they are corrupt acts ; that is, they are defectively corrupt, 
or sinfully defective ; there is that defect in them that may 
well be called the corruption of them. That defect is proper- 
ly sin, an expression of a vile sinfulness of heart, and what 
tends to provoke the just anger of God ; not because the ex- 
ercise of love and other grace is not equal to God's loveliness ; 
for it is impossible the love of creatures (men or angels) 
should be so ; but because the act is so very disproportionate 
to the occasion given for love or other grace, considering 
God's loveliness, and the manifestation that is made of it, and 
the exercises of kindness, and the capacity of human nature, 
and our advantages (and the like) together. A negative ex- 
pression of corruption may be as truly sin, and as just cause 
of provocation, as a positive. Thus if a man, a worthy and ex- 
cellent person, should, from mere generosity and goodness, 
exceedingly lay out himself, and should, with great expense 
and suffering, save another's life or redeem him from some 
extreme calamity ; and when he had done all, that other per- 
son should never thank him for it, or express the least grati- 
tude any way ; this would be a negative expression of his in- 
gratitude, and baseness ; but is equivalent to an act of ingrati- 
tude or positive exercise of a base, unwortl>y spirit ; and is 
truly an expression of it, and brings as much blame, as if he, 
by some positive act, had much injured another person. And 
so it would be, (only in a less degree) if the gratitude was but 
very small, bearing no proportion to the benefit and obligation ; 
■as if, for so great and extraordinary a kindness, he should ex- 
press no more gratitude than would have been becoming to- 
wards a person that had only given him a cup of water when 
thirsty, or shewn him the way in a journey when at a loss, or 
had done him some such small kindness : If he should come 
to his benefactor to express his gratitude, and should do after 
tliis manner, he might truly be said to act unworthily and odi- 
ously ; he would show a most ungrateful spirit : And his do- 
ing after such a manner might justly be abhorred by all : And 
yet the gratitude, that little there is of it, most siniply consid- 


ered, and so far as it goes is good. And so it is with respect 
to our exercise of love, and gratitude, and other graces, to- 
wards God : They are defectively corrupt and sinful, and tiike 
them as they are, in their manner and measure, might justly 
be odious and provoking to God, and would necessarily be so, 
were we beheld out of Christ : For in that this defect is sin, 
it is infinitely hateful ; and so the hatefulness of the ^ ery 
act infinitely outweighs the loveliness of it ; because all sin 
has infinite hatefulness and heinousness ; but our holi- 
ness has but little value and loveliness, as has been elsewhere 

Hence, though it be true that the saints are rev/arded for 
their good works yet it is for Christ's sake only, and not for 
the excellency of their works in themselves considered, or be- 
held separately from Christ ; for so they have no excellency 
in God's sight, or acceptableness to him, as has now been 
shewn. It is acknowledged that God, in rewarding the holi- 
ness and good works of believers, does in some respect, give 
them happiness as a testimony of his respect to the loveliness 
of their holiness and good works in his sight ; for that is the 
very notion of a reward : But in a very dift'erent sense from 
■what would have been, if man had not fallen ; which would 
have been to bestow eternal life on man, as a testimony of 
God's respect to the loveliness of what man did, considered 
as in itself, and as in man, separately by himself, and not be- 
held as a member of Christ : In which sense also, the scheme 
of justification we are opposing necessarily supposes the ex- 
cellency of our virtue to be respected and rewarded ; for it 
supposes a saving'interest in Christ itself to be given as a re- 
ward of it. , 

Two things come to pass, relating to the saints' reward of 
their inherent righteousness, by virtue of their relation to 
Christ. 1. The guilt of their persons is all done away, and 
the pollution and hatefulness that attend their good works are 
hid. 2. Their relation to Christ adds a positive value and 
dignity to their good works in God's sight. That little 
holiness, and those faint and feeble acts of love, and other 
grace, receive an exceeding value in the sight of Go(i,l)y virtue 


oi God's beholding them as in Christ, and as it were member^ 
of one so infinitely worthy in his eyes ; and that because 
God looks upon their persons as persons of greater dignity 
on this account. Isa. xliii. 4. " Since thou wast precious in my 
sight, thou hast been honorable." God for Christ's sake, and 
because they are members of his own righteous and dear Son, 
■sets an exceeding value upon their persons ; and hence it 
follows, that he also sets a great value upon their good acts 
and offerings. The same love and obedience in a person of 
greater dignity and value in God's sight is more valuable in 
his eyes thcui in one of less dignity. Love and respect (as has 
been before observed) are valuable in proportion to the dignity 
of the person whose love it is ; because, so far as any one gives 
his love to another, he gives himself, in that he gives his 
heart : But this is a more excellent offering, in proportion as 
the person whose self is offered is more worthy. Believers 
are become immensely more honorable in God's esteem by 
virtue of their relation to Christ, than man would have been, 
considered as by himself, though he had been free from sin ; 
as a mean person becomes more honorable when married to 
a king. Hence God will probably reward the little weak, love, 
and poor and exceedingly imperfect obedience of believers in 
Christ, with a more glorious reward than he would have done 
Adam's perfect obedience. According to the tenor of the first 
covenant, the person was to be accepted and rewarded, only for 
the work's sake ; but by the covenant of grace, the work is 
accepted and rewarded, only for the person's sake ; the person 
being beheld antecedently as a member of Christ, and clothed 
with his righteousness. So that though the saints' inherent 
holiness is rev^'arded, yet this very reward is indeed not the 
less founded en the worthiness and righteousness of Christ ; 
None of the value that tneir works have in his sight, nor any 
of the acceptance they have with him, is out of Christ, and 
out of his righteousness ; but his worthiness as Mediator is 
the prime and only found;'tion on which all is built, and the 
universal source whence all arises. God indeed doth great 
things out of regard to the saints' loveliness, but it is only us a 
secondary and derivative loveliness, as it were. When I 


speak of a derivative loveliness, I do not mean only, that the 
qualifications themselves that are accepted as lovely, arc de- 
rived from Christ, and are from his povi^er and purchase ; 
but that the acceptance of them as a loveliness, and all the 
value that is set upon them, and all their connexion with the 
reward, is founded in, and derived from Christ's righteousness 
and worthiness. 

If we suppose that not only higher degrees of glory in 
heaven, but heaven itself, is in some respect given in reward 
for the holiness and good works of the saints, in this seconda- 
ry and derivative sense, it will not prejudice the doctrine we 
have maintained. It is no way impossible that God may be- 
stow heaven's glorywhoUyoutof respect to Christ's righteous- 
ness, aiTd yet in reward for man's inherent holiness, in differ- 
ent respects, and different ways. It may be only Christ's 
righteousness that God has respect to, for his own sake, the 
independent acceptableness and dignity of it, being sufficient 
of itself to recommend all that beUeve in Christ to a title to 
this glory ; and so it may be only by this, that pei'^ons enter in- 
to a title to heaven, or have their prime right to it : And yet 
God may also have respect to the saints' own holiness, for 
Christ's sake, and as deriving a value from Christ's merit, 
which he may testify in bestowing heaven upon them. The 
saints being beheld as members of Christ, their obedience is 
looked upon by God as something of Christ's, it being the obe- 
dience of the members of Christ, and their sufferings are look- 
ed upon, in some vespect, as the sufferings of Christ. Hence 
the apostle, speaking of his sufferings, says, CoL i. 24. " Who 
now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which 
is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh." To the 
same purpose is Matth. xxv. 35. &c. I was an hungred, naked, 
sick, and in prison, &c. And so that in Rev. xi. 8. "And 
their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, 
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also 
our Lord was crucified." 

By the merit and righteousness of Christ, such favor 
of God towards believers, may be obtained as that God, 
T^jay hereby be already, as it were, disposed to make them 

9b justification 

perfectly and eternally happy. But yet this does not hin< 
der, but that God In his wisdom may choose to bestow this 
perfect and eternal happiness in this way, viz. in some 
respect as a reward of their holiness and obedience : It is not 
impossible but that the blessedness may be bestoved as a re- 
ward for that which is done, after that an interest is already 
obtained in that favor which (to speak of God after the man- 
^ ncr of men) disposes God to bestow tlie blessedness. Our 
heavenly Father may already have that favor for achild, where- 
by he may be thoroughly ready to give the child an inherit- 
ance, because he is his child ; which he is by the purchase 
of Christ's righteousness : And yet that does not hinder 
but tliat it should be possible, that the Father may choose to 
bestow the inheritance on the child, in a way of reward for his 
dutifulness, and behaving as becoming a child. And so great 
and exceeding a reward may not be judged more than a meet 
reward for his dutifulness ; but that so great a reward is judg- 
ed meet, does not arise from the excellency of the obedience 

".'" absolutely considered, but from his standing in so near and 
honorable a relation to God, as that of a child, which is obtain- 
ed only by the righteousness of Christ. And thus the reward, 
arises properly from the righteousness of Christ ; though it 
be indeed in some sort the reward of their obedience. As a 
father might justly esteem the inheritance no more than a 
meet reward for the obedience of his child, and yet esteem it 
more than a meet reward for the obedience of a servant. 
The favor whence a believer's heavenly Father bestows the 
eternal inheritance, and his title as an heir, are founded in 

^•' that relation he stands in to him as a child, purchased by 
'Christ's righteousness ; though he in wisdom chooses to" be- 

'■' stow it in such a way, as thcrem to testify his acceptance of the 
umiableness of his own obedience in Christ. 

Believers having a title to heaven by faith, antecedent to 
their obedience, or its being absolutely promised to them bcr 
fore, docs not hinder liut that the actual bestowment of heaven 
may also be a testimony of God's regard to their obedience, 
though performed aftenvards. Thus it was with Abraham, 
the father and pattern of all believers: God bestowed- <lpon 


ilim that blessing of multiplying his seed as the stairs of heav- 
en, and causing that in his seed all the families of the earth 
should be blessed, in reward for his obedience in ofl'ering up 
his son Isaac, Gen. xxii. 16.... 18. "And said, by myself have 
I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, 
and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son ; thai in blessing I 
will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as 
tlie stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea 
shore ; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies ; and 
in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed ; be- 
cause thou hast obeyed my voice." And yet the very same 
blessings had been from time to tiiTie promised to Abraham, 
in the most positive terms, and the promise, with great so- 
lemnity, confirmed and sealed to him ; as chap. xii. 2, 3. 

chap. xiii. 16. chap. xv. 1 7. 8cc. chap. xvii. throughout; 

chap, xviii. 10. 18. 

From what has been said we may easily solve the difficul- 
ty arising from that text in Rev. iii. 4. " They shall Avalk 
with me in white for they are worthy ;" which is parallel with 
that text in Luke xx. 35. " But they which shall be accounted 
worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the 
dead." I allow (as in the objection) that this worthiness does 
doubtless denote a moral fitness to the reward, or that God 
looks on these glorious benefits as a meet testimony of his 
regard to tlie value which their persons and performances 
have in his sight. 

I. God looks oh these glorious benefits as a meet testi- 
mony of his regard to the value which their persons have in 
his sight. But he sets this value upon their persons purely 
for Christ's sake : They are such jewels, and have such pre- 
eiousness in his eyes, only because they are beheld in Christ, 
and by reason of the worthiness of the head they ai-e the mem- 
bers of, and the stock they are grafted into. And this value 
that God sets upon them on this account is so great, that God 
thinks meet, from regard to it, to admit them to such exceed- 
ing glory. The saints, on the account of their relation to 
Christ, are such precious jewels in God's sight, that they arc 
thought worthy of a place in his own crown. Mai. iij. 17, 

Vol. VIL N 


Zech. iv. 1 6. So far as the saints are said to be valuable Iq 
God's sight, upon whatever account they are so, so far may 
they properly be said to be woithy, or meet for that honor 
that is answerable to that value or price which God sets upon 
them. A child or wife of a prince is worthy to be treated 
with ^re at honor ; and therefore if a mean person should be 
adopted to be a child of a prince, or should be espoused to s^ 
prince, it would be proper to say, that she was worthy of such 
an honor and respect, and tliere would be no force upon the 
words in saying, that she ought to have such respect paid her 
for she is worthy, though it be only on the account of her rela- 
tion to the prince that she is so. 

2. From the value God sets upon their persons, for the 
sake of Christ's worthiness, he also sets a high value on their 
virtue and performtmces. Their meek and quiet spirit is of 
great price in his sight. Their fruits are pleasant fruits, 
their offerings are an odour of sweet smell to him ; and tliat 
because of the value he sets on their persons, as has been al- 
ready observed and explained. This pi-eciousness or high 
valuableness of believers is a moral fitness to a reward ; and 
yet this valuableness is all in the righteousness of Christ, that 
is the foundation of it. The thing that respect is had to, is 
not the excellency that is in them separately by themselves, 
or in their virtue by itself, but to the value that in God's ac- 
count arises thereto on other considerations ; which is tlie- 
natural import of the manner of expression in Luke xx. 35. 
" They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world," 
8cc. and Luke xxi. 36. " That ye may be accounted wor- 
thy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to 
stand before the Son of Ms^n". 2 Thess. i. 5. " That ye 
may be counted worthy of tlie kingdom of God, for which ye 
also suffer." 

There is a va^t difference between this scheme, and what 
is supposed in the scheme of those that oppose the doctrine 
of justification by faith alone. This lays the foundation of 
fii*st acceptance with God, and all actual salvation consecjuent 
upon it, wholly in Christ and his righteousness. On the con- 
trary-5 in their scheme a regard to man's own excellency or 


virtue is supposed to be first, and to have the place of the first 
foundation in actual salvation, though not in that ineffectual 
redemption, which they suppose common to all : They lay 
the foundation of all discriminating salvation in man's own 
virtue and moral excellency : This is the very bottom stone in 
this affair ; for they suppose that it is from regard to our vir- 
tue, that even a special interest in Christ itself is given. The 
foundation being thus contrary, the whole scheme becomes 
exceeding diverse and contrary ; the one scheme is an evan- 
■gelical one, the other a legal one ; the one is utterly inconsist- 
-cnt with our being justified by Christ's righteousness, the oth- 
er not at all. 

From what has been said, we may imderstand what has 
been before mentioned, viz. How that not only is that for- 
giveness of sin that is granted in justification indissolubly con- 
nected with a forgiving spirit in us, but there may be many 
exercises of forgiving mercy that may properly be granted in 
reward for our forgiving those that trespass against us : For 
none will deny but that there are many acts of divine forgive- 
ness towards the sdnts, that do not presuppose an unjustified 
state immediately preceding that forgiveness. None vv^ill de- 
ny, that saints that never fell from grace or a justified state, do 
yet commit many sins -which God forgives afterv/ards, by lay- 
ing aside his fatherly displeasure. This forgiveness may be 
in reward for our forgiveness, without any prejudice to the 
doctrine that has been maintained, as well as other mercies 
and blessings consequent on justification. 

With respect to the second part of the objection, that re- 
lates to the different degrees of glory, and the seeming incon- 
sistence there is in it, that the degrees of glory in different 
saints should be greater or less according to their inherent ho- 
liness and good works, and yet, that every one's glory should 
be purchased with the price of the very same imputed right- 

I answer, that Christ, by his righteousness, purchased 
for every one complete and perfect happiness, according to his 
capacity. But this does not hinder but that the saints, being 
i>f various capacities, may have various degrees of happiness. 


and yet all their happiness be the fruit of Christ's purchase. 
Indeed it cannot be properly said that Christ purchased any- 
particular degree of happiness, so that the value ot Christ's 
righteousness in the sight of God, is sufficient to raise a bcr 
liever so high in happiness, and no higher, and so that if the 
believer were made happier, it would exceed the value of 
Christ's righteousness ; but in general, Christ purchased 
eternal life or perfect happiness fipr all, according to tlieir sev- 
eml capacities. The saints are as so many vessels of difier- 
ent sizes, cast into a sea of happiness, where every vessel is 
full ; this Christ purchased for all : Yet it is left to God's 
sovereign pleasure to determine the largeness of the vessel ; 
Christ's righteousness meddles not with this matter. Eph. 
iv. 4. ...7. " There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are 
called in one hope of your calling ; one Lord, one faith, one 
baptism," See. " But unto every one of us is given grace acr 
cording to the measure of the gift of Christ." God may dis- 
pense in this matter according to what rule he pleases, not the 
less for what Christ has done : He may dispense either with- 
out condition, or upon Avhat condition he pleases to iix. It is 
evident that Christ's righteousness meddles not with this mat- 
ter ; for what Christ did was to fulfil the covenant of works ; 
but the covenant of works uid not meddle at all with this : If 
Adam had persevered in perfect obedience, he and his poster- 
ity would have had perfect and full happiness ; every one's 
happiness would have so answered his capacity, that he would 
have been completely blessed ; but Godwould have been at lib- 
erty to have made some of one capacity, and otiiers of another, 
as he pleased. The angels have obtained eternal life, or a state 
of conflrmedglory,bya covenant of works, whose condition was 
perfect obedience ; but yet some are higher in glory thim oth- 
ers, according to the several capacities that God, according to 
his sovereign pleasure, hath given them. So that it being still 
left with God notwithstanding the perfect obedience of the sec- 
ond Adam, to fix the degree of each one's capacity by what rule 
he pleases, he hath been pleased to fix the degree of capacity, 
and so of glory, by the proportion of the saints' grace and fruit-^ 
fulness her^ : He gives higher degrees of glor)', in rcwaix} 


for highex' degrees of holiness and good works, because it 
pleases him ; and yet all the happiness of each saint is indeed 
the fruit of the purchase of Christ's obedience. If it had been 
but one man that Christ had obeyed and died for, and it hiid 
pleased God to make him of a very large capacity, Christ's 
perfect obedience would have purchased that his capacity 
should be filled and then all his happiness might properly be 
said to be the fruit of Christ's perfect obedience ; though if 
he had been of a less capacity, he v/ould not have had so much 
happiness by the same obedience ; and yet would have hcd as 
much as Christ merited for him. Christ's righteousness 
meddles not with the degree of happiness, any othervv^ise than 
as he merits that it should be full and perfect, according to the 
capacity ; And so it may be said to be concerned in the degree 
of happii:iess, as perfect is a degree with respect to imper- 
fect ; but it meddles not with degrees of perfect happi- 

This matter may be yet better understood, if we consider 
that Christ and the whole church of saints are, as it were, one 
body, of which he is the Head, and they members, of differ- 
ent place and capacity ; Now the whole body, head, and mem- 
bers, have communion in Christ's righteousness ; they are 
all partakers of the benefit of it; Christ himself the he:id is 
rewarded for it, and every member is partaker of the benefit 
and reward : But it does by no means follow, that evciy part 
should equally partake of the benefit, but every part in pro- 
portion to its place and capacity ; the head partakes of far 
more than other parts, because it is of a far greater capacity ; 
and the more noble members partake of more than the inferi- 
or. As it is in a natural body that enjoys perfect her.ith, the 
head, and the heart, and lungs, have a greater share of this 
healtli, they have it more seated in them, than the hands and 
feet, because they are parts of greater capacity ; tiicugh the 
hands and feet are as much in perfect health as tho^e nobler 
parts of the body : So it is in the mystical body of Christ, all 
the members are partakers of tlie benefit of the righteousness 
«f the head ; but it is according to the different capacity and 
place they have in the body ; and God detcrniines that place 


and capacity as he pleases ; he makes whom he pleases the 
foot, and whom he pleases the hand, and whom he pleases 
the lungs, Sec. 1 Cor. xii. IS. "God hatlt'set the members 
ever>- one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." And 
God efficaciously determines the place and capacity of every 
membei',bythe difie rent degrees of grace and assistance in the 
.improvement of it hero in this world : Those that he intends 
for the highest yjlacc in the body, he gives them most of his 
Spirit, the greatest share of the divine nature, the Spirit and 
nature of Christ Jesus the head, and that assistimce whereby- 
they perform the most excellent v/orks, and do most abound 
in them. 

Otject. 4. It may be objected against what has been 
supposed, viz. That rewards are given to our good works, on- 
ly in consequence of an interest in Christ, or in testimony of 
God's respect to the excellency or value of them in his sight, 
as built on an interest in Christ's righteousness already oUain- 
ed : That the Scripture speaks of an interest in Christ ,'itself, 
as being -^iven out of respect to our moral fitness. MattTi. ic. 

37 39. " He that loveth father or mother more than me, 

is not worthy of me : He that loveth son or daughter more 
than me, is not worthy of me : He that taketh not up his cross, 
and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth 
his life, shall lose it," 8cc. Worthiness here, at least signifies 
a moral fitness, or an excellency or virtue that recommends : 
And this place seems to intimate as though it Were from res- 
pect to a moral fitness thatmen are admitted even to an union 
with Christ, and interest in him ; and therefore this worthi- 
ness cannot be consequent on being in Christ, and by the im- 
putation of his worthiness, or from any value that is in us, or 
in our actions in God's sight, as beheld in Christ. 

To this I answer, That though persons when they are ac- 
cepted, are not accepted as worthy, yet when they are re- 
jected they are rejected as unworthy. He that does not 
love Christ above other things, that treats him with such 
indignity, as to set him below earthly things, shall be treat- 
ed as unv/orthy of Christ ; his unworthincss of Christ, es- 
pecially in that particular, shall be marked against him, and 


ifllputed to him : And though he be a professing Ghristian, 
and live in the enjoyment of the gospel, and has been visibly 
ingrafted into Christ, and admitted as one of his disciples, as 
Judas was ; y^t he shall be thrust out in wrath, as a punish- 
ment of his vile treatment of Christ. The forementioned 
words do not imply, that if a man does love Christ above father 
and mother, &c. That he should be worthy ; the most they im- 
ply is, that such a visible Chi'istian shall be treated and thrust 
out as unworthy. He that believes is not received for the wor- 
thiness or moral fitness of faith ; but yet the visible Christian is 
cast out by God, for the unworthiness and moral unfitness of 
imbelief. A being accepted as one of Christ's, is not the re- 
ward of believing ; but being thrust out from being one of 
Christ's disciples, after a visible admission as such, is proper- 
ly a punishment of unbelief. John iii. 18, 19. He that 
believeth on him, is not condemned ; but he that believeth 
not, is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the 
name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the con- 
demnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved 
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." 
Salvation is promised to faith as a free gift, but damnation is 
threatened to unbelief as a debt, or pmiishmentdue to unbelief. 
They that believed in the wilderness did not enter into Ca- 
naan, because of the worthiness of their faith ; but God sware 
in his wrath, that they that believed not should not enter in, 
because of the unworthiness of their unbelief. The admitting 
a soul to an union with Christ is an act of free and sovereign 
grao« ; but an excluding at death, and at the day of judgment, 
those professors of Christianity that have had the offers of a 
Saviour and enjoyed great privileges as God's people, is a ju- 
dicial proceeding, and a just punishment of their unworthy 
treatment of Christ. The design of this saying of Christ is to 
make men sensible of the unworthiness of their treatment of 
Christ, that professed him to be their Lord and Sav'iour, and 
set him below father and mother, Sec, and not to persuade ol 
the worthiness of loving him above father and mother. If u 
beggar should be ofiered any great and precious gift, but as 
soon as offered, should travnple it iindci- his fopt, it might hf- 

^04 JUStlFlCAtiOK 

taken from him, as unworthy to have it : Or if a mulefacioF 
should have his pardon offered him, that he might be freed 
from execution, and should only scoff at it, his pardon might 
be refused him, as unworthy of it ; though if he had received 
it, he would not have had it for his worthiness, or as being re- 
commended to it by his virtue ; for his being a malefactor sup- 
poses him unworthy, and its being offered him to have it only 
on accepting, supposes that the king looks for no worthiness, 
nothing in him for which he should bestow pardon as a re- 
ward. This may teach us how to understand Acts xiii. 46. 
" It was necessary that the word of God should first have been 
spoken unto you ; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge 
yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo we turn to the Gen- 
tiles. " 

Object. 5. It is objected against the doctrine of j\isti- 
Scation by faith alone. That repentance is evidently spoken of 
in Scripture as that which is in a special maimer the condition 
of remission of sins : But remission of sins is by all allowed to 
be that wherein justification does (at least) in great part con- 

But it must certainly arise from a misimderstanding of 
what the Scripture says about repentance, to suppose that faith 
and repentance are two distinct things, that in like manner are 
the conditions of justification. For it is most plain from the 
Scripture, that the condition of justification, or that in us by 
which wc are justified, is but one, and that is faith. Faith and 
repentance are not two distinct conditions of justification, nor 
are they two distinct things that together make one condition 
of justification ; but faith comprehends the whole of that by 
which we are justified, or by which we come to have an inter- 
est in Christ, and nothing else has a parallel concern with it 
in the aifair of our salvation. And tlus the divines on the 
other side themselves are sensible of, and therefore they sup- 
pose that that faith that the Apostle Paul speaks of, which he 
says we are justified by alone, comprehends in it repentance. 

And therefore, in answer to the objection, I would say, 
That when repentance is spoken of in scripture as the condi- 
tion of pardon, thereby is not intended any particula*' grace, (Jv 


let properly distinct from faith, that has a parallel influence 
with it in the affair of our pardon or justification ; but by re- 
penance is intended nothing distinct from active conversion, 
(or conversion actively considered) as it respects the term 
from which. Active conversion is a motion or exercise of 
that mind that respects two terms, viz. sin and God : And by 
repentance is meant this conversion, or active change of the 
mind, so far as it is conversant about the term fi'om which, or 
about sin. This is what the word relientance properly signi- 
fies ; which, in the original of the New Testament, is /lAeracoja 
•which signifies ac'iangeofthe ;H^z£/,orwhich is the same thing, 
the turning or the conversion of the mind. Repentance is- 
this turning, as it respects what is turned from. Acts xxvi. 
20. " Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I shewed unto tliem of 
Damascus* and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of 
Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and 
turn to God." Both these are the same turning, but only 
with respect to opposite terms : In the former, is expressed 
the exercise 9f mind that there is about sin in this turning ; in 
the other, the exercise of mind towards God. 

If Ave look over the scriptures that speak of evangelical 
repentance, we shall presently see that repentance is to be 
understood in this sense ; as Matth. ix. 13, "I am not come 
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke xiii. 3. 
" Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'' And chap. 
XV. 7, 10. " There is joy in heaven over one sinner thatrepent- 
eth," i. e:. over one sinner that is converted. Acts xi. 18. 
" Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance 
unto life." This is said by the Christians of the circumci- 
sion at Jerusalem, upon Peter's giving an account of the con- 
version of Cornelius and his family, and their embracing 
the gospel, though Peter had said nothing expressly about 
their sorrow for sin. And again. Acts xvii. 30. " But now 
commandeth all men every where to repent." And Luke 
xvi. 30. " Nay, father Abraham, but if one went to them 
from the dead they would repent." 2 Pet. iii. 9, " The Lord 
is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slack- 
ness, but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any 

Vol. ViL O 


should perish, but that all should come to repentance.** 
It is plain that in these and other phices, by repentance is 
meant conversion. 

Now, it is true, that conversion is the condition of pardon 
and justification : But if it be so, how absurd is it to say, that 
conversion is one condition of justification, and faith anoth- 
er, as though they were distributively distinct and parallel 
conditions ! Conversion is the condition of justification, be- 
cause it is that great change by which we are brought from 
sin to Christ, and by which we become believers in him : 
Agreeable to Matth. xxi. 32. " And ye, when ye had seen 
it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." When 
we are directed to repent, that our sins may be blotted out, it 
is as much as to say, let your minds and hearts be changed, 
that your sins may be blotted out. But if it be said, let your 
hearts be changed, that you may be justified ; and also said, 
believe that you may be justified ; does it therefore follow, 
that the heart's being changed is one condition of justifica- 
tion, and believing another ? But our minds must be chang- 
ed, that we may believe, and so may be justified. 

And besides, evuigelical repentance, being active conver- 
sion, is not to be treated of as a particular grace, properly and 
entirely distinct from faith, as by some it seems to have been. 
What is conversion, but the sinful, alienated soul's closmg 
with Christ, or the sinner's being brought to believe in Christ? 
That exercise of soul that there is in conversion, that respects 
sin, cannot be excluded out of the nature of fidth in Christ : 
"There is something in faith, or closing with Christ that i-e- 
spects sin, and that is evengelical repentance. That repent- 
ance which in scripture is called repentance for the remis- 
sion of sins, is that very principle or operation of the mind 
itself that is called f;ith, so far as it is conversant about sin. 
Justifying faith in a Mediator is conversant about two things : 
It is conversant about sin or evil to be rejected and to be de- 
livered from by the Mediator, and about positive good to be 
accepted and obtained by the Mediator ; as conversant about 
tlie former of these it is evangelical repentance, or repent- 
ance for remission of sins. Sui-ely they must be veiy igno- 


«ant, oi- at least very inconsiderate of the whole tenov of the 
gospel, that think that that repentance by whicli remission 
si sins is obtained, can be completed, as to all that is es- 
sential to it, without any respect to Christ, or application 
©f the mind to the Mediator, who alone h?^ made atone- 
ment for sin. Surely so great a part of salvation as remis- 
sion of sins, is not to be obtained without looking or com- 
ing to the great and only Saviour, It is true, repentance, in 
its more general, abstracted nature, is only a sorrow for sin 
and forsaking ot it, which is a duty of natural religion; but 
«vangelical repentance, or repentance for remission of sins, 
hath more than this essential to it ; a dependance of soul 
•n the Mediator for deliverance from sin, is of the essence 
«f it. 

That justifying repentance has the nature of faitli, seems 
evident by Acts xix. 4. " Then said Paul, John vcriiy bap- 
tized with tlie baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, 
that they should believe on him which should come after him, 
that is, on Christ Jesus." The latter words, " saying unto the 
people, that they should believe on him Sec. are evidently ex- 
egctical of the former, and explain how he preaclied repent- 
ance for the I'emission of sin. When it is said, that he preach- 
ed repentance for the remission of un, saying, that tliey 
should believe on Christ, cajmot be supposed but that it is in- 
tended this Saying, that they should believe in Christ, was as 
directing them what to do that they might obtain the remis- 
sion of sins. So, 2 Tim. ii. 25. "■ In meekness instructing 
those that oppose themselves ; if God perad venture will give 
them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. ' That 
acknowledging of the truth which there is in believing, 
is here spoken of as what is attained in repentance. And 
on the other hand, that faith includes repen-ance in its na- 
ture, is evident by the apostle's speaking of sin as destroy- 
ed in faith. Gal. ii, 18. In the preceding verses the apos- 
tle mentions an objection against the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith alone, viz. that it tends to encourage men in sin, 
and so to make Christ the minister of sin. This objection he 
rejects and refutes with this, " If I build again the tilings that 


I had destroyed, I make myself a transgressor." If sin be dc^ 
stroyed by faith, it must be by repentance of sin included in 
it ; for we know that it is our repentance of sin, or the ubtccvom 
or turning of the mind from sin, that is our destroyingour sin. 
Tiuitin justifying faith that directly respects sin, or the. 
evil to be delivered from by the IVIediatoi-, is as follows : A 
sense of our own sinfulness, and the hatefulness of it and an 
heai'ty acknowledgment of its desert of the threatened punish- 
ment, looking to the free mercy of God in a Redeemer, for de- 
liverance from it and its punishment. 

Concerning this here described, three things may be not- 
ed, 1. That it is the very same with that evangelical repent- 
ance to which remission of sins is promised in scripture. 2. 
That it is all of it of the essence of justifying faith, and is the 
same with that faith, so far as it is conversant about the evil 
to be delivered from, by the Mediutor. 3. That this is indeed 
the proper and peculiar condirion of remission of sins. 

1, All of it is essenti.J to evangelical repentance, and is 
indeed the very thing meant by that repentance, to which re-, 
mission of sins is promised in the gospel. As to the former 
part of the description, viz. a sense of our own sinfulness, and 
the hatefulness of it, and an hearty acknowledgment of its 
desert of wrath, none will deny it to be included in repent- 
ance : But this does not comprehend the whole essence of 
evangelical repentance ; but what follows does also properly 
and essentially belong to its nature, looking to the free mercy 
of God in a Redeemer, for deliverance from it, and from the 
punishment of it. That repentance to which remission is 
promised, not only ahvays has this with it, but it is contained 
in it, as what is of the proper nature and essence of it : And 
respect is ever had to this in the nature of repentance, when- 
ever remission h promised to it ; and it is especially from re- 
spect to this in the nature of repentance, that it has that prom- 
ise made to it. If this hitler part be missing, it fails of the 
nature of that evangelical repentance to which remission of 
sins is promised. If repentance remains in sorrow for sin, 
and does not le.... li to a lookmg to the free mercy of God in 
Christ for ^xirdon, it is not that which is the condition of par- 


don, neither shall pardon be obtained by it. Evangelical re- 
pentance is an humiliation for sin before God ; but the sinner 
never comes and humbles himself before God in any other 
repentance, but that which includes an hoping in his mercy 
for remission : If his sorrow be not accompanied v.ith that, 
there will be no coming to God in it, but a flying further from 
him. There is some worship of God in justiiying repent- 
ance ; but that there is not in any other repentance, but that 
which has a sense of, and faith in the divine mercy to forgive 
^in ; Psalm cxxx. 4. " There is forgiveness with thee, that 
thou mayest be feared." The promise of mercy to a true 
penitent, in Prov. xxviii. 15, is expressed in these terms. 
" Whoso confesseth and forsaketli his sins, shall have mer- 
cy." But there is faith in God's mercy in that confessing. 
The Psalmist, in Psalm xxxii. speaking of the blessedness 
of the man whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is 
covered, to whom the Lord imputes not sin, says, that he ac- 
Icnowledged his sin unto God, his iniquity he did not hide ; 
he said he would confess his trangression to the Lord, and 
then God forgave the iniquity of his sin. The manner of 
expression plainly holds forth, that then while he kept silence 
his bones waxed old, but then he began to encourage himself 
in the mercy of God, when before his bones w;.xed old, while 
he kept silence ; and therefore the Apostie Paul, in the 4th 
of Romans, brings this instc.nce to coniiiin the doctrine of 
justification by faith alone that he liud been insisting on. 
When sin is aright confessed to God, there is always £.ith in. 
that act : That confessing of sin thc.t is joined with despair 
such as was in Judas, is not the coniession to which the 
promise is made. In Acts ii. 38, the direction that was 
given to those that were pricked in their heart with a sense 
of the guilt of sin, was to repent, and be baptized in the 
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. A 
being baptized in the name of Christ for the remission of sins, 
impUed faith in Christ for the remission of sins. Repentance 
for the remission of sins was typified of old by the priest's con- 
fessing the sins of the people over the scape goat, kiying his 
Jxands on him. Lev. xvi. 2 1 , denoting that it is that repent- 


ance ai^d confession of sin only that obtiiins remission, thau 
is made over the scape goat, over Christ, the ereat sacrifice, 
and -with dependance on him. Mr^ny other things mi;^ht be 
produced from the scripture, that do in like manner confirm 
this point; but these may be sufficient. 

2. All the forementioncd description is of the essence of 
justifying faith, and not different from it, so far as it is conver- 
sant about sin, or the evil to be delivered from by the Media- 
tor. For it is doubtless of the essence of justifying faith, to 
embrace Christ as a Saviour from, sin and its punishment ; 
and all that is contained in that act is contained in the nature 
of faith itself: But in the act of embracing Christ as a Saviour 
from our sin and its punishment, is implied a sense of our 
sinfulness, and a hatred of our sins, or a lejecting them with 
abhorrence, and a sense of our desert of tJieir punishment. 
An embracing Christ as a Savio-ar from sin, implies the con- 
trary act towards sin, viz. rejecting of sin. If we fly to the 
light to be delivered from darkness, the same is contraiy to- 
wards daikness, viz. a rejecting of it. In proportion to 
the earnestness or appetite with which we embrace Christ 
as a Saviour from sin, in the same propoition is the abhor- 
rence with which we reject sin, in the same act. Yea, 
if we suppose there to be in the nature of faith as conversant 
about sin^iio more than the hearty embracing Christ as a 
S.iviour from th.; punishment of sin, this act will imply in it 
the whole of the abovementioned description. It implies a 
sense of our oY/n sinfulness. Certainly in the heeirty embrac- 
ing a Saviour from the punishment of our sinfulness, there is 
the exercise of a sense of our sinfulness, or that we be 
sinful : We cannot heartily embrace Christ as a Saviour from 
tl.e punishment of that which we are not sensible we arc guil- 
ty of. There is also in the same act, a sense of our desert of 
the threatened punishment : We cannot heartily embrace 
Chri vt L'.s a Saviour from that which we be not sensible that 
we have deserved : For if we are not sensible that we have 
deserved the punishment, we shall not be sensible that we 
have any need of a Saviour from it, or, at least shall not be 
convinced but that the God that offers the Saviour, unjust^ 


^akes him needful ; and we cannot heartily embrace such an 
offer. And further, there is implied in a hearty embracing 
Christ as a Saviour from punishment, not only a conviction of 
conscience that we have deserved the punishment, such as 
the devils and damned have ; but there is a hearty acknowl- 
edgment of it, v/ith the submission of the soul, so as with the 
accord of the heart, to ovrn that God might be just and worthy 
in the punishnient. If the heart rises against the act or judg- 
ment of God, in holding us obliged to the punishment, when 
he offers us his Son as a Saviour from the punishment, we 
cannot with the consent of the heart receive him in that char- 
acter : But if persons thus submit to the righteousness of so 
dreadful a punishment of sin, this carries in it an hatred of 

That such a sense of our sinfulness, and utter unworthi- 
ness,and desert of punishment, belongs to the nature of saving 
faith, is what the scripture from time to time seems to hold 
forth; as particularly in Matth. xv. 26.... 2S. " But he an- 
swered and said. It is not meet to take the children's bread 
and to cast it to dogs. And she sdd. Truth Lord : Yet the dogs 
eat of the crumbs v.'hich fall fi'om their master's table Then 
Jesus answered, and said unto her, O women, great is thy 
faith." And Luke vii. 6. ...9. '» The centurion sent friends 
to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself, for I am 
not v.'orthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof. Where- 
fore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee ; but 
say in a word, and my servant shall be healed : For I also am 

a man set under authority," 8cc When Jesus heard these 

things, he marvelled at him,- and turned him about, and said 
unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not 
found so great faith, no, not in Israel." And also ver. 37, 38. 
''' And behold, a v/oman in the city, which was a sinner, when 
she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, 
bi'ought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet be- 
hind him weeping, and began to wash his feet, with tears, 
and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his 
feet, and anointed them with the ointment." Together with 


v<jrse 50. " He sidcl unto the womtin, Thy faitli hath saved 
thee ; go in peace." 

These things do not necessarily suppose that repentance 
and faith are words of just the same signification ; for it is on- 
ly so much in justifying faith as respects the evil to be deliv- 
ered from by the Saviour, that is called repentance : And be- 
sides, both repentance and faith, take them only in their gen- 
eral nature, and they are entirely distinct : Repentance is a 
sorrow for sin, and forsaking of it ; and faith is a trusting in 
God's sufficiency and truth : But faith and repentance, as evan- 
gelical duties, or justifying faith, and repentance for remis- 
sion of sins, contain more in them, and imply a respect to a 
Mediator, and involve each other's nature ;* though it be true, 
that they still bear the name of faith and repentance, from 
those general moral virtues, that repentance which is a duty 
of natural religion, and that fiiith, that was a duty required un- 
der the first covenant, that are contained in the evangelical 
act ; which severally appear when this act is considered with 
respect to its different terms and objects, that it is conversant 

It may be objected here, that the scripture sometimes 
mentions faith and repentance together, as if they were en- 
tirely distinct things; as in Mark i. 15. "Repent ye, and 
believe the gospel." But there is no need of understanding 
these as two distinct conditions of salvation, but the words are 
exegetical one of another : It is to teach us after what man- 
ner we must repent, viz. as believing the gospel, and after 
Vrhat manner we must believe the gospel, viz. as repenting : 
These woixis no more prove faith and repentance to be en- 
tirely distinct, than those forementioned. Matth. xxi. 32. 
" And ye when ye had seen it, repented not afterwards, that 
ye might believe him." Or those, 2 Tim. ii. 25. " If per- 
adventure God will give them repentance to the acknowl- 

* .\grecable to this, is what Mr. Locke says in his second Vindication ot 
the Reasonableness of Christia'iity, See. Vol. II, of his works, p. 630, 631, 
" The believing him, therefore, to be the Messiah, is very often, with great 
reason, put both for faith and repentance too, which are sometimes set down 
singly, where one is put for both, as implying the other." 


edging of the truth." The apostle, in Acts xix. 4, seems to 
have reference to these words of John th(f Baptist, " John 
baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the peo- 
ple that they should beiicve," &.c. where the latter words, as 
we have already observcd,m'e to expL^in how he preached re- 
pentance. ' ' 

Another scripture where faith and repentance are men- 
tioned together, is Acts xx. 21. "Testifying both to the 
Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and 
faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ." It may be objected 
that in this place, faith and repentance are not only spoken of 
as distinct things, but having distinct objects. 

To this I answer, that it is true that faith and repentance, 
in their general nature, are distinct things ; and repentance, 
for the remission of sins, or that in justifying faith that re- 
spects the evil to be delivered from, so far as it regards that 
term, which is what especially denominates it repentance, 
has respect to God as the object, because he is the being of- 
fended by sin, and to be reconciled, but that in this justifying 
act, whence it is denominated fuith, does more especially re- 
spect Christ. But let us interpret it how we will, the objec- 
tion of faith being here so distinguished from reptntijice, is 
as much for an objection iigainst the scheme of those that op- 
pose justification by faith alone, as agtjnst this scheme ; for 
they hold that the justifying faith that the Apostle Paul 
speaks of, includes repentance, as has been already ob- 

3. This repentance that has been described, is indeed the 
Special condition of remission of sin. This seems very evident 
by theScripture, as particularly, Mark i. 4. " John did baptise 
in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance, for 
the remission of sins." So, Luke iii. 3. " And he came into 
all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repent- 
ance, for the remission of sins." Luke xxiv. 47. " And that 
repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his 
name among all nations." Acts v. 31. " Him hath God ex- 
alted with his right hand to be a Prince and Saviour, for to 
give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sine" Chap. 

Vol. VII. P 

\u . :fustification 

ii. 38. " Repent, and be baptised every one of you in iht 
name of Jesus C5fcrist, for the remission of sins.'* And chap. 
lii. 19. "Repent ye therefore and be converted, that you'r 
sins may be blotted out." The like is evident by Lev. xxvi. 

40 42. Job xxxiii. 27, 28. Psahti xxxii. 5. Prov. xxviii. 

13. Jer. iii 13, and 1 John i. 9, and other places. 

And the reason may be plain from what has been said. 
We need not wonder that ia faiih which especially re- 
spects sin, should be especially the condition of remission of 
sins ; or that this motion or exercise of the soul, as it rejects 
and flies from evil, and embraces Christ as a Saviour from 
it, should especially be the condition of being free from that 
evil; in like manner, as the same piinciple or monon, as it 
seeks good, and cleaves to Christ as the procurer of that good, 
should be the condition of obtaining that good. Faith with 
respect to good is accepting, and with respect to evil it is re- 
jecting. Yea this rejecting evil is itself an act of acceptance ; 
h is accepting freedom or separation from that evil ; and this 
freedom or separation is the benefit bestowed in remission. 
No wonder that that in faith which immediately respects this 
benefit, and is our acceptance of this benefit, should be the 
special condition of our having it : It is so with respect to all 
the benefits that Christ has purchased. Trusting in God 
through C:hrist for such a particular benefit that we need, ia 
the special condition of our having it : It is so with respect t» 
all the benefits that Christ has purchased. Trusting in God 
through Christ for such a particular benefit that we need is the 
special condition of obtaining that benefit. When we need pro- 
tection from enemies,the exercise of faith with respect to suck 
a benefit, or trusting in Christ for protection from enemies, 
is especially the way to obtain that particular benefit, rather 
than trusting in Christ for something else ; and so of any 
other benefit that might be mentioned. So pi-ayer (which is 
the expression of f. ith) for a particular mercy needed, is es•^ 
pecially the way to obtain that mercy.* 

* If lepeiUaiice justifies, or be that by which wc obtain pardon of si* 

' any other way than this, -t must He -ither as a virtue or rit,hteousness,, or 

wmethin;» amiable in os ; or else it nuist be, iha^o.M49iT0W and .9,on- 


.- JSfo that we see that no argument can be drawn from hence 
gainst the doctrine of justification by faith alone. And 
there is that in the nature of repentance, which peculiarly 
lends to establish the contrary of justification by works : For 
noihing so much renounces our own unworthiness and exceU 
lency, as repentance ; the very nature of it is to acknowledge 
•ur own utter sinfulness and unworthiness, and to renounce 
iour own goodness, and all confidence in self ; and so to trust 
„ln the propitiation of the Mediator, and ascribe all the glory of 
.forgiveness to him. 

Objfcf. 6 The last objection I shall mention, is that par- 
agraph in tlie 2d chapter ol' James, where persons are said 
expressly to be justified by works ; verse 2 1 " Was not 
J Abraham our Father justified by works 1" verse 24. " Ye see 
then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith on- 
ly ;" verse 25. "Was not Rahab the harlotjustified by works ?" 
;.. In ansvv-er to this objection I would, 

1 . Take notice of the greatunfirness of the divines thatop- 
: pose us, in the improvement they make of this passage against 
■, us. All will allow, that in that proposition of St. James, " By 
[vworksaman is justified, and not by faith only," one of the 
I terms, either the word fait/t, or else the word justify^ is not to 
sbe understood precisely in the same sense as the same terms 
f, when used by St. Paul ; because they suppose, as well as we, that 
( it was not the intent of the Apostle James to contradict St. 
s Paul in that doctrine of justification by f-ith alone, that he had 
.instructed the churches in: But if we understand both the 
i terms, as used by each apostle, in precisely the same sense, 
: then what one asserts is a precise, direct, and full contradiction 
of the other, the one affirming and the other denying the very 
•/Same thing. So that all the controversy from this text comes 
i r to this, viz. which of these two terms shall be understood in a 
. ; diversity from St. Paul. They say that it is the vic^d f'cuth ; for 
they suppose, that when the Apostle Paul uses the Avord, and 
makes faith that by which alone we are justified, that then by 

:• ■ - 

■'' itmning what is past, is accepted as some atonemei.t fer it ; both vihich- 
»re equally contrary to the gospel doctrine of justificaion by Christ. 


it is understood a compliance ^vith, and practice of Christian- 
ity in general ; so as to include all saving Christitin virtue and 
obedience. But as the Apostle Ji^mcs uses the uord faith in 
this place, they suppose thereby is to be understood only aa 
assent of the understanding to the truth of gospel doctrines, 
as distinguished from good works, and that may exist separ- 
ate from them, and from all saving grace. We, on the other 
hand, suppose that the word jiufi^o is to be understood in a 
different sense from the Apostle Paul So that they are forc- 
ed to go as far in their scheme, in altering the sense of terms 
from Paul's use of them, as Ave But yet at the same tiine 
that they freely vary the sense of the formpr of them,, viz. 
faith, yet when we understand the latter, viz. justify, in a dif- 
ferent sense from St. Paul, they cry out of us, what necessity 
of framing this distinction, but only to serve an opinion ? At 
this rate a man may maintain any thing, though never so con- 
trary to scriptu-^e, and elude the clearest text in the Bible ! 
Though they do not shew us why we have not as good war- 
rant to understand the word juA/if If in a diversity from St. 
Paul, as they the wovd, faif/i. If the sense of one of the words 
must be varied on either scheme, to make the Apostle 
James's doctrine consistent witli the Apostle Paul's, and the va- 
rying the sense of one term or the other, be all that stands in 
the way of their i.greeing with either scheme, and the vary- 
ing the sense of the latter, be in itself as fuir as of the former, 
then the text lies as fair for one scheme as the other, and can 
no more fairly be an objection against our scheme than theirs. 
And if so, what becomes of ail this great objection from this 
passage in James ? 

2. If there be no more difTiculty in varying the sense of 
one of these terms than another, from any thing in the text it- 
self, so as to make the words suit wi^^h cither scheme, then 
certainly that is to be chosen that is most agreeable to the cur- 
rent of scripture, and other places where the same matter is 
more particularly and fully treated of ; and therefore that we 
should understand the v.'ov(\jusr.^i,' in this passage of James, 
in a sense in some respect diverse from that in which St. 
Paul uses it. For by what has been already said, it may ap- 


pear, that there is no one doctrine in the whole Bible rnore 
fully asserted, explained and urged, than the doctrine of justi- 
fication by faith alone, without any of our own righteousness. 
3. There is a very fiir interpretation of this passage of Sl 
James, that is no way inconsistent with this doctrine of justi- 
fication, which I have shown that other scriptures dosoa- 
bunduntly teach, which interpretation the words themselves 
will as well allow of, as that which the objectors put vipon 
them, ind much better agrees *with the context ; and that is, 
that works are here spoken of as justifying as evidences. A 
man may be said to be justified by that which clears him, or 
vindicates him, or makes the goodness of his cause manifest. 
When a person has a cause tried in a civil court, and is justifi- 
fied or cleared, he may be Sciid in different senses to be clear- 
ed, by the goodness of his cause, and by tlie goodness of the 
evidences of it. He may be said to be cleared by what evi- 
dences his cause to be good. That which renders his cause 
good, is the proper ground of his justification ; it is by that 
that he is himself a proper subject of it ; but eviden- 
ces justify, only as they manifest that his cause is good in 
fact, whether they are of such a nature as to have any influ- 
ence to render it so or no. It is by works that ovn- cause 
appears to be good ; but by faith our cause not only appears 
to be good, but becomes good ; because thereby we are unit- 
ed to *" hrist. That the vfovd juf^fify should be sometimes un- 
derstood to signify the former of these, as well as the latter, is 
agreeable to the use of the word in common speech ; as we 
say such an one stood up to justify another, i. e. he endeavor- 
ed to shew or manifest his cause to be good. And it is cer- 
tain that the word is sometimes used in this sense in scripture 
when speaking of our being justified before God ; as where 
it is said, we shall be justified by our words, Matth. xii. 39. 
"For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words 
thou shalt l)e condemned." It cannot be meant that men 
are accepted before God on the account of their words ; for 
God has told us nothing more phdnly, than that it is the 
heart that he looks at ; and that when he acts as judge to- 
wards men, in order to justifying or condemning, he tries the 


hcait, Jer. xi. 20. " But O Lord of hosts, that judgest right- 
eously, that tricst tJie reins and the heart, let me see thy 
vengeance on them ; for unto thee have I revealed my 
cause." Psalm vii. 8, 9. " The Lord shall judge the peo- 
ple : Judge me O Lord, according to my righteousness, and 
according to mine integrity that is in me. O let the wicked- 
ness of the wicked come to an end ; but establish the just ; 
for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins." Verse 
11. " God judgeth the I'ighteous." And mi^ny other places 
to the like purpose. And therefore men can be justified by 
their words, no otherwise than as evidences or manifestations 
of what is in the heart. And it is thus that Christ speaks of 
the words in this very place, as is evident by the context, verse 
34. 35. " Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the 
heart," fkc. The words, or sounds themselves, are neither 
parts of godliness, nor evidences of godliness, but as signs of 
what is inward. 

God himself, when he acts towards men as judge, in order 
to a declarative judgment, makes use of evidences, and so 
judges men by their works. And therefore, at the day of 
judgment, God will judge men according to their works : 
For though God will stand in no need of evidence to inform 
him what is right, yet it is to be considered, that he will then 
sit in judgment, not as earthly judges do, tofind out Avhat is 
right in a cause, but to declare and manifest what is right ; 
and therefore that day is called by the apostle, " the day of the 
revelation of the righteous judgment of God," Rom. ii. 5. 
To be justified, is to be approved and accepted : But a 
man may be said to be approved and accepted in two rcs- 
. pects ; the one is to be approved really and the other to be 
approved and accepted declaraiively. Justification is twofold i 
, .it is either the acceptance and approbation of the judge itself, 
h'or the manifestation of that approbation, by a sentence or 
: ■ judgment declared' by tl.e judge, either to our own conscien- 
ces, or to the world. If justification be understood in the for- 
mer sense, for the approbation itself, that is only that by 
v.'hich wc become fit to be approved : But if it be understoo<i 


in the latter sense, for the manifestation of this approhation, 
it is by whatever is a proper evidence of that fitness. In tl-ic 
former, faith only is concerned ; liecause it is by that only in 
us that we become fit to be accepted and approved : In the 
latter, whatever is an evidence of our fitness, is alike concern- 
ied. And therefore, take justification in this sense, and then 
faith, and all other graces and good works have a common 
and equal concern in it : For any other grace, or holy act, is 
equally an evidence of a qualification for acceptance or appro- 
bation, as Huth. To justify has always, in common speech, 
signified indifferently, either simply approbation, or testifying 
■ that approbation ; sometimes one, and sometimes the other : 
And that because they are both the same, only as one is out- 
wardly what the other is inwardly. So we, and it may be all 
nations, are wont to give the same names to two things, when 
one is only declarative of the other. Thus som,ctimes judg- 
ing intendsonly judgingin ourthoughts ; at othertlmes, testify- 
ing and declaring judgment. So such words as justify, con- 
demn, accept, reject, prize, slight, approve, renounce, are 
sometimes put for mental acts, at other times, for an outward 
treatment. So in the sense in which the Apostle James seems 
to use the word jnar?/!. for ma?^/f<'s/ative Just?/icat!07?, a man 
is justified not only by ftdth but also by works; as a tree is 
manifested to be good, not only by immediately examining the 
tree, but also by the fruit. Prov. xx. 11. "Even a child 
is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and wheth- 
er it be right." 

The drift of the apostle does not require that he should be 
understood in any other sense : For all that he aims at, as ap- 
pears by a view of the context, is to prove that good works are 
necessary. The error of those that he opposed was this. That 
good works were not necessary to salvation ; that if they did 
but believe that there was but one God, and that Christ Avasthe 
Son of God, and the like, and were baptised, they Avere safe, 
let them live how they would ; which doctrine greatly tended 
to licentiousness. The evincing of the contrary of this is 
evidently the apostle's scope. 


And that wc should understand the apostle, of works jus* 
tifying as an evidence, and in a declarative judgment, is what 
a due consideration of the context will naturally Icid us to. 
For it is plain, that the apostle is here insisting on works, in 
the quality of a necessary manifestation and evidence of f.iith, 
or as what the truth of faith is shewed or made to appear by : 
As verse 18. '' Shew me thy faith without thy works, ahd I 
will shewthcQ my faith by my works." And when he says, 
Verse 26. " As the body without the spirit is dead, so faitli 
without works is deaciialbo." It is much more rational and 
natural to understand him as speaking of works done as prop- 
er signs and evidences of the reality, life, and goodness of 
faith. Not that the veiy works or actions are properly the 
life of faith, as the spirit in the body ; but il is the active, work- 
ing nature of faith, of which the actions or works done are the 
signs, that is itself the life and spiiit of faith. The sign of a 
thing is often in scripture language said to be that thing ; as 
it is in that comparison by which tlie apostle illustrates it. It 
is not the actions themselves of a body, that are properly the 
life or spirit of the body ; but it is the active nature, of which 
those actions or motions are the signs, that is tlie life of the 
body. That which makes men call any thing alive, is, that 
they observe that it has an active, oper..tive nature in it ; 
which they observe no otherwise than by the actions or mor 
tions that are the signs of it. It is plainly the apostle's aim 
to prove that works are necessary from that, that if faith hath 
not works, it is a sign that it is not a good soit of faith ; which 
would not have been to his purpose, if it was his design to 
shew that it is not by faith alone though of a right sort, that 
we have acceptance with God, but that we are accepted on 
the account of obedience as well as faith. It is evident by the 
apostle's reasoning, that the necessity of works -that he speaks 
of, is not as having a parallel concern in our salvatioB with 
faith ; but he speaks of works only as related to fiith, and ex- 
pressive of it ; which, after all, leaves faith the alone funda- 
mental condition, without any thing else having a parallel con- 
cern with it in this affair ; uid other things conditions, only as 
several expressions and evidences of it. 


That the apostle speaks of works justifying only as a sign 
'«>r evidence, and in God's declarative judgment, is further 
conflniied by verse 21. " VVas not Abi\diam our father justi- 
fied by works, when he had offered up Isaac his son upon ihe 
altar ?" Here the apostle seems plainly to refer to that declar- 
ative judgment of God, concerning Abraham's siiw:erity, man- 
ifested to him, for the peace and assurance of his own con- 
science after his oflering up Isaac his son on the altar, that we 
have account of, Gen. xxii. 12. " Now I know thatthou fear- 
est God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only 
son from me." But here it is plain, and expressed in the 
veiy words of justification or approbation, that this work of 
Abraham's, his offering up his son on the altar, justified him 
as an evidence. When the Apostle James says, we are justi- 
fied by works, he may, and ought to be understood in a sense 
agreeable to the instance he brings for the proof of it : 
But justification in that instance appears by the works of justi- 
fication themselves referred to, to be by works as an evidence. 
And where this instance of Abraham's obedience is cisevt'herc 
mentioned in the Nev/ Testament, it is mentioned as a fruit 
and evidence of his faith. Heb. xi. 17. ^'^ By faith Abra- 
ham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac ; and he that had 
received the promises, ofiered up his only begotten son." 

And in the other instance which the apostle mentions, 
Ycrse 25. " Like v.'ise also was not Rahab the harlot justified 
by works,^ when she had received the messengers, and had 
sent them out another v/ay t" The apostle refers to a declar- 
ative judgment, in that particular testimony which was given 
of God's approbation of her as a believer, in directuig Joshua 
to save her when the rest of Jericho was destroyed, Josh. vi. 
25. " And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her fath- 
er's household, and all that she had ; and she dwelleth in Is- 
lael even unto this day ; because she hid the messengers 
which Joshua sent to spy cut Jericho." This was accepted 
as an evidence and expression of her faith. Heb. xi. 32. " By 
faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them tliat believed 
not, when she had received the spies with peace." The a- 
postle in saying, " Was not Rahab the harlot justified by 

Vol. VII. Q 


works ?" By the manner of his speaking has reference t^ 
something in her histoiy ; but we have no account in her his- 
tory of any other justification of her but this. 

4. If, notwithstcinding, any choose to take justification in 
St. James's precisely as we do in Paul's epistles, for God's ac- 
ceptance or approbation itself, and not any expression of that 
approbation ; what has been already said concerning tlic man- 
ner in which acts of evangelical obedience are concerned in 
the affair of our justification, affords a veiy easy, clear and full 
answer : For if we take works as acts or expressions of faith, 
they arc not excluded ; so a man is not justified by faith only, 
but also by v/orks ; i. e. he is not justified only by faith as a 
principle in th6 heart, or in its first and more immanent acts, 
but also by the effective acts of it in life, which are the ex- 
pressions of the life of faith, as the operations and actions of 
the body are of the life of that ; agreeable to verse 26, 

What has been said in answer to these objections, may al- 
so, I hope, abundantly serve for an answer to that objection, 
that is often made against this doctrine, viz. that it encourag- 
es licentiousness in life. For, from what has been said, wre 
may see that the scripture doctrine of justification by faith 
alone, without any manner of goodness or excellency of ours, 
does in no wise diminish either the necessity or benefit of a 
sincere, evangelical, universal obedience : In that, man's sal- 
vation is not only indissolubly connected with it, and damna- 
tion with the want of it, in those that have opportunity for it, 
but that it depends upon it in many respects ; as it is the way 
to it, and the necessary preparation for it, and also as eternal 
blessings are bestowed in reward for it, and as our justifica- 
tion in our own consciences, and at the day of judgment, de- 
pends on it, as the proper evidence of our acceptable state ; 
and that, even in accepting us as entitled to life in our justi- 
fication, God has respect to this, as that on which the fitness 
of such an act of justification depends : So that our salvation 
does as truly depend upon it, as if we were justified for the 
moral excellency of it. And besides all this, the degree of 
our happiness to all eternity is suspended on, and determined 
by the degree of this. So tliat this gospel scheme of justili- 


nation is as far from encouraging licentiousness, and contsdns 
as much to encourage and excite to strict and universal obe- 
dience, and the utmost possible eminency of holiness, as any 
«cheme that cun be devised, and indeed unspeakably more. 

I come now to the 

V. And last thing proposed, which is, to consider the 
>* importunce of this doctrine." 

I kiK)W there are many that n-.ake as though this controver- 
sy was of no great importance ; that it is chiefly a matter 
©f nice specuicition, depending on certain subtle distinctions, 
which many thi.t make use of them do not understu.nd them- 
selves ; and that the difference is not of such consequence as 
to be worth the being zealous about ; and that more hurt is 
done by raising disputes about it than good. 

Indeed I am far from thinking that it is of absolute neces- 
sity that persons should understand, and be agreed upon, all 
the distinctions needful p..rticularly to explain and defend this 
doctrine against ail cavils and objections ; (though all Christ- 
ians should strive after an increase of knowledge, and none 
should content themselves without some clear and distinct 
understanding in this point :) But that we should believe in 
the general, according to the clear and abundant revelations of 
God's word, that it is none of our own excellency, virtue, or 
righteousness, that is the ground of our being received ft'om a 
state of condemnation into a state of acceptance in G6d's 
sight, but only Jesus Christ, and his righteousness, and wor- 
thiness, received by faith. This I think to be of great impor- 
tance, at least in application to ourselves ; and that for the 
following reasons. 

1. The Scripture treats of this doctrine, as a doctrine of 
vei'y great importimce. That there is a certain doctrine of 
justification by faith, in opposition to justification by the works 
of the law, that the Apostle Paul insists upon as of the great- 
est importance, none will deny ; because there is nothing in 
the Bible more apparent. The apostle, under the inlailible 
conduct of the Spirit of God, thought it worth his most stren- 
uous and zealous disputing about and defending. Ho speaks 
ofthe contrary doctrine as fatal and ruinous to the souls of 


naen, in the latter end of the ninth chapter of Romans, and be- 
ginning of the tenth. He speaks of it as subversive of thc> 
gospel of Christ, and calls it another gospel, and says concern- 
ing it, if any one, " though an angel, from heaven, preach it, 
let him be accursed ;" Gal. i. 6... .9 compared with the follow- 
ing part of the epistle. Certainly we must allow the apostles 
to be good judges of the importance and tendency of doc- 
trines ; at least the Hoiy Ghost in them. And doubtless we 
are safe, and in no danger of harshness and censoriousncss, if 
we only follow him, and keep close to his express teiichings, 
in what we believe and say of the hurtful and pernicious ten- 
dency of any error. Why are avc to blame, or to be cried out 
of, for saying what the Bible has taught us to say, or for believ- 
ing whit the Holy Giiost has taught us to that end that we 
might believe it ? 

2. The adverse scheme lays another foundation of man's 
salvation than God hath laid. I do not now speak of that inef- 
fectual redempdon that they suppose to be universal, and what 
all mankind are equally the subjects of ; but I say, it lays en- 
tirely another foundation of man's actual, discriminating sal- 
vation, or that salvation, v/herein true Christians differ from 
wicked men. We suppose the foundation of this to be 
Christ's worthiness £ind righteousness : On the contrary, that 
scheme supposes it to be men's own virtue ; even so, that 
this is the ground of a saving interest in Christ itself. It 
takes away Cluibt out of the place of the bottom stone, and p\its 
in men's own virtue in the room of him : So that Christ him- 
self in the affair ot distinguishing, actual Scilvation, is laid up- 
on this foundation. And the foundation being so difl'ercnt, I 
leave it to every one to judge whether the difierence between 
the two schemes consists only in punctilios of small conse- 
quence. The foundations being contn.ry, makes the whole 
scheme exc.teciirg diverse and cpposite ; the one is a gospei 
scheme, the other a legal one. 

3. It is in this doctrine that the most essential diflerence 
lies between the covenant of grace and the first coAcnant. The 
adverse scheme of justincalion supposes that wc are justified 
by our worksj in the very same sense wherein man was (o 


have been justified by his works under the first covenant. By 
that covenant our first parents were not to have had eternal 
life given them for any propei; merit in their obedience ; be- 
cause their perfect obedience was a debt that they owed Gcd : 
Nor was it to be bestowed for any proportion between the dig- 
nity of their obedience, and the value of the rev/ard ; but only 
it was to be bestowed from a regard to a moral fitness in the 
virtue of their obedience, to the reward of God's favor ; and a 
title to eternal life v/as to be given them, as a testimony of 
God's pleasedness with their works, or his regard to the in- 
herent beauty of their virtue. And so it is the very same 
way th.it those in the adverse scheme suppose that v.e arc re- 
ceived into God's specicd favor now, and to those saving bene- 
fits that are the testimonies of it. I am sensible the divines 
of that side entirely disclaim the Popish doctrine of merit ; 
and are free to speak of our utter unworthiness, and the great 
imperfection of ail our services : But after all, it is our virtue, 
imperfect as it is, that recommends men to God, by which 
good men come to have a saving interest in Christ, and God's 
favor, rather than others ; and these things are bestowed in 
testimony of God's respect to their goodness. So that wheth- 
er they will allow the term vitrit or no, yet they hold, that 
we are accepted by our own merit, in the same sense though 
not in the same degree as under the first covenant. 

But the great and most distinguishing difiercnce between 
that covenant and tlie covenant of grace is, that by the cove- 
nant of grace we are not thus justified by our own works, but 
only by faitli in Jesus Christ. It is on this account chiefiy 
that the new covenant deserves the name of a covenant of 
grace, as is evident by Rom. iv. iG. " Therefore it is of 
faith, that it might be by grace." And chap. iii. 20, 24. "There- 
fore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified 
in his sight — Being justified freely by his grace, through the 
redemption that is in Jesus Christ." And chap xi. 6. " And 
if by grace, then it is no more of works ; otherwise grace is 
no more grace : But if it be of works ; then it is no more 
grace ; otherwise work is no more work." Gal. v. 4. 
•'Whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen 


from grace" And therefore the apostle when in the same 
epistle to the GuUitians, he speaks of tlie doctrine of justifica- 
tion by works as another gospel, he adds, " which is not an- 
other," chc-p i. verse 6,7 It is no gospel at all ; it is law: 
It is no covenant of grace, but of works: It is not an evan- 
gelical, hut a legal doctrin3. ( ertiinly that doctrine v/hei'e- 
in consists the greatest and most essentii-l difference between 
the covenant of grace and the first covenant, must be a doc- 
trine of great importance That doctiine of the gospel 
by which above all others it is worthy of the name gospel, 
is doubtless a veiy important doctrine of the gospel. 

4 This is the main thing that fallen men stood in need of 
divine revelation for, to teach us how we that have sinned may 
co:ae to be again accepted of God ; or, which is the same 
thing, how the sinner may be justified. Something beyond 
the light of nature is necessary to salvation chiefly on this ac- 
count. Mere natural reason afforded no means by which we 
could come to the knowledge of this, it depending on the 
sovereign pleasm'e of the Being that we had offended by sin. 
This seems to be the great drift of that revelation that God has 
given, and of all those mysteries it reveals, all those great 
doctrines that are peculiarly doctrines of revelation, and above 
the light of nature. It seems to have been very much on 
this account, that it was requisite that the doctrine of the 
Trinity itself should be revealed to us ; that by a discovery 
of the concern of the several divine persons in the great affair 
of our salvation, we might the better understand and see how 
all our dependence in this affair is on God, and our suffi- 
ciency all in him, and not in ourselves ; that he is all in 
all in this business, agreeable to that in 1 (or. i. 29....31 : 
"That no fiesh should glo;y in his presence. But of him 
are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, 
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption : That 
according as it is written, he that gloricth, let liirn gloiy in 
the Lord." What is the gospel, but only the glad tidings of 
a new way of acceptance with God unto life, a way wherein 
shiners may come to be free from the guilt of sin, and ob- 
ttju a title to eLeraal iiic ? And if, when this wav is revealed. 


it is rejected, and another of man's devising be put in the 
room of it, without doul)t it must be an error of great im- 
portance, and the apostle mi^^ht well say it was another gos- 

5. The contrary scheme of justification derogates much 
from the honor of God and the Mediator. I have already 
shewn how it diminishes the glory of the Mediator, in ascrib- 
ing that to man's virtue and goodness, which belongs alone to 
his worthiness and righteousness. 

By the apostle's sense of the matter it renders Christ 
needless, Gal. v. 4. "Christ is become of no effect to you, 
whosoever of you are justified by the law." If that scheme 
of justification be followed in its conenuences, it vitterly over- 
throws the glory of all the great things that have been con- 
trived, and done, and suffered in the work of redemption. 
Gal. ii. 21. " If righteousness come by the law, Christ is 
dead in vain." It has also been already shewn how it dimin- 
ishes the glory of divine grace, (which is the attribute God 
hath especially set himself to glorify in the work of redemp- 
tion ;) and so that it greatly diminishes the obligation to 
gratitude in the sinner that is saved : Yea, that in the sense 
of the apostle, it makes void the distinguishing grace of the 
gospel. Gal. v. 4. Whosoever of you are justified " by the 
law, are fallen from grace." It diminishes the glory of the 
grace of God and the Redeemer, and proporticnably magnifies 
man : It makes him something before God, when indeed he 
is nothing : It makes the goodness and excellency of fidlcn 
man to be something, whicli I have shewn are notliing. I 
have also already shewn, that it is contrary to the truth of 
God in the threatening of his holy law, to justify the sinner 
for his virtue. And whether it were contrary to God's truth 
or no, it is a scheme of things very unworthy of God, that 
supposes that God, when about to -lift up a poor, forlorn male- 
factor, condemned to eternal misery for sinning against his 
Majesty, out of his misery, and to make him unspeakably and 
eternally happy, by bestowing his Son and himself, upon him, 
as it were, sets all this to sale, for the price of his virtue and 
excellency. I know that those we oppose do acknowl^idgc, 


that the price is vci'y disproportionale to the benefit bestoVr* 
ed ; and say, that God's eruce is wonderfully mv.mfc:itcd in 
accepting so little virtue, and bestowing so glorious a reward 
for such imperfect righteousness. But seeing a\c arc such 
infinitely sinful and abOtninuble creatures in Godb sight, and 
by our infinite guilt have brought ourselves inio such wretch- 
ed and deplorable circurastciijccs, and all our rightcourinesses 
are nothing, and ten thou3..nd times worse than noiiiing, (if 
God looks upon them as ihey be in themselves) is it net im- 
mensely more worthy of the infinite majesty and glory of God, 
to deliver and make happy such poor, filthy worms, such 
wretched vagabonds and captives, without i.iny money or pace 
of theirs, or any manner of expectation of any excellency or 
virtue in them, in any wise to recommend them ? Will it not 
betray a foolish, exalting opinion of ourselves, and a mean one 
of God, to have a thought of offering any thing of ours, to re- 
commend us to the favor of being brought from wallowing, 
like filthy swine, in the roire of our sins, and from the enmity 
and misery of devils in the lowest hell, to the state of God's 
dear children, in the everlasting arms of his love, in heavenly 
glory ; or to imagine that that is the constitution of God, that 
wc should bring our filthy rags, Luid ofler them to him as the 
p. 'ice of this ? 

6. The opposite scheme docs most directly tend to lead 
men to trust in their own righteousness for justification, which 
is a thing fatal to the soul. This is what men are of them- 
selves exceedingly prone to do, (and that though they are nev- 
er so much taught the contrary) through the exceeding par- 
tial and high thoughts they have of themselves, und their ex- 
ceeding dulness of apprehending any such mystery as our be- 
ing accepted for the righteousness of another. But this 
scheme docs directly teach men to trust in their own right- 
eousness for justification ; in that it teaches them that this is 
indeed what they must be justified by, being the way of justi- 
fication that God l.iinself has appointed. So that if a man 
had naturally no disposidon to trust in his own righteousness, 
yet if he embraced this sclieme, and acted consistent v. ith it, 
it would lead him to it. But that trusting in our own right- 


eousness, is a thing fatal to the soul, is what the scripture 
plainly teaches us : It tells us, that it will cause that Christ 
profit us nothing, and be of no effect to us, Gal. v. 2. ...4. For 
though the apostle speaks there particularly of circumcision, 
yet (I have shewn already, that) it is not merely being circum- 
cised, but trusting in circumcision as a righteousness, that the 
apostle has respect to. He could not mean, that merely 
being circumcised would render Christ of no profit or effect 
to a pei'son ; for we read that he himself, for certain reasons, 
took Timothy and circumcised him, Acts xvi. 3. And the 
same is evident by the context, and by the rest of the epistle. 
And the apostle speaks of trusting in their own righteousness 
as fathl to the Jews, Rom. ix. 31, 32. " But Israel, which fol- 
lowed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the 
law of lighteousness. V/herefore ? Because they sought it, 
not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law ; for tliey 
stumbled at that stumbling stone." Together with chap. x. 
verse 3. " For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, 
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not 
submitted themselves unto the righteousness of Gcd." And 
this is spoken of as fatal to the Pharisees, in the parable of the 
Phai'isee and the Publican, that Christ spake to them to re- 
prove ihem for trusting in themselves that they were righteous. 
The design of the parable is to shew^ them, that the very Publi- 
cans shall be justified, rather than they ; as appeal's by the re- 
flection Christ makes upon it Luke xviii. 14. "I tell you, 
this man went down to his house justified rather than the 
other ;" that is, this and not the other. The fatal tendency of 
it might also be proved from its inconsistence with the nature 
of justifying faith, and also its inconsistence with the nature 
of that humiliation that the Scripture often speaks of as abso- 
lutely necessary to salvation ; but these scriptures are so ex- 
press, that it is needless to bring any further arguments. 

How far a wonderful and mysterious agency of God'a 
Spirit may so influence some men's hearts, that their prac^ 
lice in this regard may be contrary to their own principles, so 
that they shall not trust in their own righteousness, though 
they profess that men are justified by their ov/n righteousness ; 

Vot.VII. R 


or how far they believe the doctrine of justification by men's 
own righteousness in general, and yet not believe it in a par- 
ticular application of it to themselves ; or how far that error 
which they may have been led into by education, or cunning 
sophistry of otliers, may yet be indeed contrary to the prevail- 
ing disposition of their hearts, and contrary to their practice : 
Or how far some may seem to maintain a doctrine contra- 
ry to this gospel doclfinc of justification, that really do not, 
but only express themselves differently from othcre ; 
or seem to oppose it through their misunderstanding of 
our expressions, or we of theirs, when indeed our real senti- 
ments are the same in the main ; or may seem to differ more 
than they do, by using terms that are without a precisely 
fixed and determinate meaning ; or to be wide in their senti- 
ments from this doctrine, for want of a distinct understand- 
ing of it, whose hearts, at the same time, entirely agree 
with it, and if once it was clearly explained to their under- 
standings, would immediately close with it, and embrace 
it : How far these things may be, I will not determine ; but 
am fully persuaded that great allowances are to be made on 
these and such like accounts, in innumerable instances ; 
though it is raanifest, from what has been said, that the 
teaching and propagating contrary doctrines and schemes ai-e 
of a pernicious and fatal tendencr. 


Joseph's great Temptation and gracious Dehv- 




E have an account here, and in the context, of 
that remarkable behavior of Joseph in the house of Potiphar, 
that was the occasion both of his great affliction, and also af- 
terwards of his high advancement and great prosperity in the 
land of Egypt. The behavior that I speak of, is that Avliich 
was on occasion of the temptation that his mistress laid before 
him to commit uncleanness with her. 

We read in the beginning of the chapter how Joseph, af- 
ter he had been so cruelly treated by his brethren, and sold 
into Egypt for a slave, was advanced in the liouse of Potiphar, 
who had bought him. Joseph was one that feared God, and 
tlierefore God was with him ; and wonderfully ordered things 
for him, and so influenced the heart of Potiphar his master, 
that instead of keeping him as a mere slave, to which purpose 
he was sold, he made him his steward and overseer over his 
house, and all that he had was put into his hands ; insomuch 
tliat we are told, verse 6. '< That he left all that he had in his 
hand ; and that he knew not ought that he had, save the bread 
which he did eat." While Joseph was in these prosperous 
circumstances, he met with a great temptatioii in his master's 
house ; so we are told tliat he, being a goodly person, and 
well favored, his mistress cast her eyes upon and lusted after 
him, and used all her art to tempt him to commit uiiclean- 
ness with her. 


Concerning this temptation, and his behavior under it, 
many things are worthy to be noted. 

We may observe, how great the temptation was that he 
was under. It is to be considered, Joseph was now in his 
youth, a season of life when persons are most liable to be 
overcome by temptations of this nature. And he was in a 
state of unexpected prosperity in Potiphar's house, which has 
a tendency to lift persons up, especially young ones, whereby 
commonly they more easily fall before temptations. 

And then the superiority of the person that laid the temp- 
tation before him rendered it much the greater. She was his 
mistress, and he a servant under her. And the manner of her 
tempting him. She did not only cany herself so to Joseph, 
as to give him cause to suspect tliat he might be admitted to 
such criminal converse with her, that yet might be accompa- 
nied with some apprehension, that possibly he might be mis- 
taken, and so deter him from adventuring on such a proposal ; 
but she directly proposed it to him ; plainly manifesting her 
disposition to it. So that here was no such thing as a suspi- 
cion of her unwillingness to deter him, but a manifestation of 
her desire to entice him to it. Yea, she appeared greatly en- 
gaged in the m?-tter. And there was not only her desire 
manifested to entice him, but her authoi-ity over him to en- 
force the temptation. She was his mistress, and he might 
well imagine, that if he utterly refused a compliance, he 
should incur her displeasure ; and sh.e, being his master's 
wife, had power to do much to his disadvantage, and to ren- 
der his circumstances more uncomfortable in the family. 

And the temptation was the greater, in that she did not 
only tempt him once, but frequently, day by f/o", verse 10. 
And at last became more violent with him. She caught 
him by his garment, saying, lie ivith me : As in the verse of 
the text. 

His behavior was very rcrnarkable under these tempta- 
tions. He absolutely refused any compliance with them : He 
made no reply that manifested us though the temptation had 
gained at all upon him ; so much us to hesiiale about it, 
or at all to (leliberu.lc upon it. Kc complied in no degree, 


either to the gross act she proposed, or any thing tending to- 
wards it, or that should in a lesser degree be gratifying to her 
wicked inclination. And he persisted, I'esolute and unshaken 
under her continual solicitations, verse 10. " And it came to 
pass as she spake to Joseph, day by day, that he hearkened 
not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her." He, to his ut- 
most, avoided so much as being where she was. And the 
motives and principles from which he acted, manifested by 
his reply to her solicitations, are remarkable. 

He first sets before her how injuriously he should act a- 
gainst his master, if he should comply with her proposal : 
" Behold my master.. ..hath committed all that he hath to my 
hand ; there is none greater in this house than I ; neither 
hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou 
art his wife." IJut he then proceeded to inform her of that, 
which above all things, deterred him from a compiiance, viz. 
that it would be great wickedness, and sin against God. " How 
shall 1 do this, and sin against God 1 He would not do any such 
thing, as he would not injure his master ; but that which in- 
fluenced more than all on this occasion, was the fear of sin- 
ning against God. On this account he persisted in his reso- 
lution to the last. 

In the text we have an account of his behavior under the 
last and greatest temptation that he had from her. This 
temptation was great, as we are told it was at a time when there 
was nobody in the house but he and his mistress, verse 11, 
there was an opportunity to commit the fact with the greatest 
secrecy. And at this time it seems that she was more vio- 
lent than ever before. " She caught him by the garment," 
&c. She laid hold on him as though she was resolute to at- 
tain her purpose of him. 

Under these circumstances he not bnly refused her, but 
fled from her, as he would have done from one that was go- 
ing to assassinate, or murder him ; he escaped as for his life. 
He not only would not be guilty of such a fact, but neither 
would he by any meiUis be in the house with her, where he 
should be in the way of her temptation. 


This beliavior of Joseph is doubtless recorded for the in- 
struction of all : Therefore from the words I shall observe 


Xl is our ditiij, 7iot only to avoid (hose thing!) that are them- 
fid'oes sinfidy but c/so, as Jar as may be, those things that lead 
nndexfiosc to sin. 

Thus did Joseph : He not only refused actually to com- 
mit uncleanness with his mistress, who enticed him, but re- 
fused to be there, where he should be in the way of tempta- 
tion, verse 10. He refused to lie by her, or be with her : And 
in the text we are told, he Jied, and got him out ; would by no 
means be in her company. Though it was no sin in itself for 
Joseph to be in the house where his mistress was, but under 
these circumstances it would expose him to sin. Joseph was 
sensible he had naturally a corrupt heart, that tended to be- 
tray him to sin ; and therefore he would by no means be in 
the way of temptation ; but with haste he fled, he ran from 
the dangerous place. In as much as he Avas exposed to sin 
in that house where he was, he fled out of it with as much 
haste as if the house had been all a light of fire, or full of 
enemies, who stood ready with drawn swords to stab him to 
the very heart. When she took him by the garment, he 
left his garment in her hands : He had rather lose his garment 
than stay a moment there, where he was in such danger of 
losing his chastity. 

I say in the doctrine, that pereons should avoid things that 
expose to sin, as far as may be, because the case may be so, 
that persons may be called to expose themselves to tempta- 
tion ; and when it is so, they may hope for divine strength 
iuul protection under temptations. 

The case may be so that it may be a man's indispensable 
duty to undertake an office, or piece of work, that is attended 
with a great deal of temptation. Thus, although ordinarily a 
man ought not to run into that temptation, of being exposed to 
persecution for the true religion, lest the temptation should 
be too hard for him ; but should avoid it as much as may be ; 


(therefore Christ thus directs his disciples, Matth. x. 23. 
" When ye be persecuted in one city flee to another.") Yet 
the case may be so, that a man may be called not to flee from 
persecution, but to run the venture of such a trial, trusting in 
God to uphold him under it. Ministers and magisti-ates may 
be obliged to continue with their people in such circumstan- 
ces, as Nehemiah says, Neh. vi. 11. " Should such a man as 
I flee ?" So the apostles.... 

Yea they may be called to go into the midst of it, to those 
places where they cannot reasonably expect but to meet Avith 
such temptations. So sometimes the apostles did. Paul 
Avent up to Jerusalem, when he knew before hand, that there, 
bondu and afflictions awaited him^ Acts xx. 23. 

So in some other cases, the necessity of affairs may call 
upon men to engage in some business that is peculiarly at- 
tended with temptations. But when it is so, men are indeed 
in this Avay, least exposed to sin ; for they are always safest in 
the way of duty. Prov. x. 9. "He that walketh uprightly, 
walketh surely." And though there be many things by 
which they may have extraordinary temptations, in the affairs 
they have undertaken, yet if they have a clear call to it, it is 
5K) presumption to hope for divine support and preservation 
in it. 

But for persons needlessly to expose themselves to tempta- 
tion, and to do those things that tend to sin, is unwarrantable 
and contraiy to that excellent example we have set before us 
in the text. And that we ought to avoid not only those things 
that are in themselves sinful, but also those things that lead 
and expose to sin, is manifest by the following arguments : 

I. It is a thing very evident and manifest, that we ought 
to use our utmost endeavors to avoid sin, which is inconsist- 
ent with needlessly doing those things that expose and lead 
to sin. That we ought to do our utmost to avoid sin is mani- 
fest, that being the greatest evil ; and^the greater any evil is, 
the greater care, and the more earnest endeavors does it re- 
quire to avoid it. This is plain, and what we by our practice 
?.how, that we are all sensible of the truth of. Those things 
hat appear to us very great and drcadfiil evils, do v.-c usf prr- 


portionably great care to avoid. And therefore the j^reatesl 
evil of all requires the greatest and utmost care to avoid it. 

Sin is an infinite evil, because committed against an infin- 
itely great and excellent Being, and so a violation of infinite 
obligation ; therefore, however great our care be to avoid sin, 
it cannot be more than proportionable to the evil we would 
avoid. Our care and endeavor cannot be infinite, as the evil of 
sin is infinite ; but yet it ought to be to the utmost of our pow- 
er ; we ought to use every method that tends to the avoiding 
of sin. This is manifest to I'eason. 

And not only so but this is positively required of us in .the 
word of God. Josh. xxii. 5. " Take diligent heed to do the 
commandment and the law, which Moses, th^ servant of -the 
Lord, charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in 
all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave un- 
to him, and to serve him with all your soul." Deut. iv-.15, 
16. "Take ye therefore good heed unto youi'selves, lest ye 
corrupt yourselves." Chap. xii. 30. " Take heed to thyself, 
that thou be not snared, &c." Luke xi. 36. " Take heed, and 
beware of covetousncss. 1 Cor. x. 12. " Let him that think- 
eth he standeth, take heed lest he fall." Deut. iv. 9, "Take 
heed to thyself, keep thy soul diligently" These and many 
other texts of scripture, plainly require of us the utmost pos- 
sible diligence and caution to avoid sin. 

But how can he be said to use the utmost possible dili- 
gence and caution to avoid sin, that voluntarily does those 
things, that naturally expose and lead to sui ? How can he be 
said with the utmost possible caution to avoid an enemy, that 
voluntarily lays himself in his way ? How can he be said to .use 
the utmost possible caution to preserve the life of his child, 
that suffers it to go on the edge of precipices or pits ; or to 
play on the borders of a deep gulph ; or to wander in a wood. 
that is haunted by beasts of prey ? 

n. Jt in evident that nve ought to. avoid those things that 
rxfione and lead to nin ; because a due sense of the evil of ■sin, 
and a just hatrrd of it, ivi'l necessarily have this effect upon vs, 
so to do. 


if wc were duly sensible of the evil and dreadful natuvc of 
3in, we should have an exceeding dread of it upon our spirits. 
We should hate it worse than death, and should fear it worse 
than the devil himself ; and dread it even as we dread dam- 
nation. But those things that men have an exceeding dread, 
of upon their spirits, tliey naturally and necessarily keep at a 
great distance from ; atid avoid those things that they appre- 
hend expose to them. As a child that has been greatly ter- 
rified by the sight of any wild beast, will by no means be per- 
suaded to go any where, where it apprehends that it shall be 
exposed to it, or fall in its way; 

Sin in its own nature is infinitely hateful, so in its natural 
tendency it is infinitely dreadful. It is the tendency of all sin 
feternally to undo the soul. Every sin naturally carries hell 
in it ! Therefore all sin Ought to be treated by us as we would 
ti'eat a thing that is infinitely terrible. If it be not so, that any 
One sin, yea, the least sin, do not necessarily bring eternal ru- 
in with it, it is owing to nothing but the free grace and mercy 
of God to uS, and not to the nature and tendency of sin itself. 
But certainly tve ought not to take the less care to avoid sin, 
or all that tends to it, for the freeness and greatness of God's 
tnercy to us, through which there is hope of pardon ; for 
that would be a most Ungrateful and vile abuse of mercy in- 
deed. If it were so, that it were made known to us, that if 
we ever voluntarily committed any particular act of sin, we 
should be damned without any remedy or escape, should we 
Tiot exceedingly dread tlie commission of such sins ? Should 
we not be very watchful and careful to stand at the greatest 
distance from that sin, and from every thing that might ex- 
pose us to' it, and that has any tendency to stir up our lusts, or. 
to betray us to such an act of sin ? Let us then consider, that 
if it be not so, that the next voluntaiy act of known sin shall 
'hecessarily and unavoidably issue in cerUln danlnation, yet it 
will certainly deserve it : We shall thereby really deserve to 
be cast off, without any remedy or hope ; and it can only be!» 
owing to free grace, that it will not certainly and remedilessly 
fee followed with such a punishment. And shall we be guiltir 



of such a vile abuse of God's mercy to us, as to take encour- 
agement from it, the more boldly to expose ourselves to sin ? 

III. // it exiklcnt that ivc ought not only lo avoid sm, but 
tlung that exf-'Ose and lead to sin; because this is the ivay nve 
act in thiv^st that ficrlain to 02ir temporal interest 

Men do not only avoid those things that are themselves the 
hurt and ruin of their temporal interest, but also the things that 
tend to expose to it ; because they love their temporal lives, 
they will not onlyi:ictuallyavoidkilIingthemselves,biit they arc 
very careful to avoid those things that bring their lives into 
danger, though they do not ceitainly know but they may es* 

They are careful not to pass rivers and deep waters op* 
rotten ice, though they do not certainly know that they shall 
fall through and drown ; so they will not only avoid those 
things that would be in themselves the ruin of their estates, 
such as the setting their own houses on fire, and burning 
them up with their substance ; their taking their money and 
throwing it into the sea, • kc. but they carefully avoid those 
things by which their estates are exposed. They are watch- 
ful, and have their eyes about them ; are careful whom they 
deal with ; they are watchful, that they be not overreached in 
their bargains ; that they do not lay themselves open to knaves 
and fraudulent persons. 

If a man be sick of a dangerous distemper, he is careful to 
avoid every thing that tends to increase the disorder ; not only 
what he knows to be mortal in his situation, but other things 
that he fears the consetjuence of, or that may be prejudicial 
to him. Men are in this way wont to take care of their tem- 
poral interest, as what they have a great regard for. And 
therefore if we are not as careful to avoid sin, as we are to 
avoid injury in our temporal interest, it will shew a regardless 
disposition with respect to sin and duty ; or that we do not 
much care though we do sin against God. 

God's glory is surely a thing of as much importance and 
concern as our temporal interest. Certainly we should be 
careful not to be exposed lo sin against the Majesty of heaven 


and earth, as men are wont to be of a few pounds ; yea, the 
latter are but mere trifles, compared '.vith the fonner. 

IV. >l'e are ivont to do thus by our dear uttthlij friends. 
We not only are careful of those things wherein the de- 
struction of tlieir lives, or their hurt and CcJcimity in any re- 
spect do directly consist, but are -careful to avoid tliose things 
that do but remotely tend to it. We are careful to prevent 
and cut off all occasions of their loss or damage in any respect ; 
and are watchful against th3.t v/hich tends in any wise to de- 
prive them of theii- comfort or good nanie ; and the reason is 
because they are very dear to us. In this manner men are 
wont to be careful of the good of their own children, and 
d^reid the approtiches of any mischief thut they apprehend 
they are, or may be exposed to. And we should take it hard 
if our friends did not do thus by us. 

And surely we ought to treat God as a dear friend ; we 
ought to act towards him, as those thc.t have a sincere love and 
unfeigned regard to him ; and so ought to watch and be care- 
ful agttinst all occasions of that which is contrary to his honor 
and glory. If we have not a temper and desire so to do, it will 
show tliat whatever our pretences are, we are not God's sin- 
cere friends, and have no true love to him. 

If we should be offended at any that nave professed friend- 
ship to us, if they treated us in this mnaner, and were no more 
careful of our interest, surely God may justly be offended, that 
we are no more careful of his glory. 

V. We ivould have God in his providence towards us, not 
order these things thai tend to our hurt, or expose our interest ,• 
therefore certainly ive ought to avoid things that lead to sin 
against him. 

We desire and love to have God's providence such to- 
ward us, as that our welfare may be well secured. No man 
loves to live in exposed, uncertain, and dangerous circum- 
stances. While he is so, he lives uncomfortably, in that he 
lives in continual fear. We desire that God would so order 
things concerning us, that we may be safe from fear of evil ; 
and that no evil may come nigh our dwelling; and that be- 
cause we dread culamity. So we do not love the appcaraocc 


and approaches of it ; and love to have it a great distance 
from us. We desire to have God be to us as a Avail of fire 
round about us, to defend us ; and that he would surround us 
as the mountains do the vallies, to guard us from every dan- 
ger or enemy, that so no evil may come nigh us. 

Now this plainly shows, that we ought in our behavior 
towards God to keep at a great distance from sin, and from 
all that exposes to it ; as we desire God in his providence to 
us, should keep calamity and misery at a great distance frora 
us, and not order tliose things that expose our welfare. 

VI, Seeing vje are to firay ive may not be led into tejiifitU' 
iicn ; certainly ive ought not to run ourselves into it. 

This is one request that Christ directs us to make to God 
in that form of prayer which he taught his disciples, "Lead 
us not into temptation." And how inconsistent shall we be 
with ourselves if we pray to God, not to order it so in his 
providence, that we should be led into temptations ; and yet 
at the same time we are not careful to avoid temptation ; but 
bi'iug ourselves into it, by doing those things that lead and 
expose to sin. What selfcoutradiction is there in it, for a 
man to pray to God that he may be kept from that, which he 
takes no care to avoid ? By praying that we may be kept from 
temptation we profess to God, that being in temptation is a 
thing that is to be avoided ; but by running into it, show that 
we choose the contrary, viz. not to avoid it. 

VII. The afiostle directs us to avoid those things that are 
171 themselves lawful, but tend to lead others into sin ; sureljf 
then ive should avoid what tends to lead ourselves into sin. 

The apostle directs to this, I Cor. viii. 9. " Take heed 
lest this liberty of your's become a stumbling block, to them 
that are weak." Rom. xiv. 13. " That no man put a stum- 
blijvg block, or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." \^erse 
15. " But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkx 
est thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat.'' 
Verses 20, 21. " For meat destroy not the work of God. AH 
things indeed are pure ; but it is evil for that man who eateth 
!,vith offence. It is good neither to eat flesh nor to driiik wine, 


^or any thing whereby thy brother stumblethj or is offended, 
or is ipade weak." 

Now if this rule of the apostle be agreeable to the word 
of Christ, as we must suppose, or expunge what he says out 
of the canon of the scripture ; then a like rule obliges more 
strongly in those things that tend to lead ourselves into sin. 

VIII. Thtre are many Jirecepts of scrifiture^that do directly 
and /lositively hnfily^ that we ought to avoid those things that 
tend to sin. 

This veiy thing Is commanded by Christ, Matth. xxvi. 41. 
where he directs us to watch lest we enter into temptation. 
But certainly running ourselves into temptation, is the reverse 
of watching against it. 

Again, we are commanded to abstain from all appeai'ance 
of evil ; i. e. do by sin, as a man does by a thing he hates the 
sight or appearance of ; and therefore will avoid any thing 
that savors of it, or looks like it ; and will not come near it, or 
in sight of it. 

Again, Christ commanded to separate from us, those things 
that are stumbling blocks, or occasions of sin, however dear 
they are to us. Matth. v 29. " If thy right eye offend thee, 
pluck it out and cast it from thee." Verse 30. " And if thy 
right hand offend thee, cut it off." By the right hand offend- 
ing us, is not meant its paining us, but the word in the orig- 
inal signifies, being a stumbling block; if thy right hand 
prove a stumbling block, or occasion to fall ; i. e. an occasion 
to s^in. Those things are called offences or stumbling blocks 
in the New Testament, that are the occasions of falling into 
sin. We ought to avoid running up against stumbling 
blocks ; i. e. we should avoid tliose things that expose us to 
iall into sin. 

Yea, Christ tells us, we must avoid them however dear 
they are to us, though as dear as our right hand or right eye. 
If there be any practice that we have been accustomed to, 
that naturally tends and exposes us to sin, we must have done 
with it ; though we love it ever so Aveil, and are ever so loth to 
part with it, though it be us contrary to our inclination, as to 
cut off our right hand, or pluck out our own right eye, and 


that upon pain of dainn:aion, for it is inlimutcd, that if we d» 
not^ we mu3t go with two hunds and two cyc3 into hcli fire. 

And again ; God took great care to forbid the children of 
Israel those things that tended to lead them into sin. For 
this reason, he forbid them marrying strange wives, Deut. vii. 
3, 4. " Neither shalt thou make marriages with them — for 
they will turn a way thy son from following me, that they 
may serve other gods." For this reaon they were command- 
ed to destroy all those things, that the nations of Canaan had 
used in their idolatry ; and if any were enticed over io idola- 
try, they vvcre to be destroyed without mercy, though ever so 
near and dear friends. They were not only to be parted with 
but stoned w ith stones ; yea they themselves were to fall up- 
on them, and put them to death, though son or daughter, or 
their bosom friend, Deut. xiii. 6, See. " If thy brother, or thy 
son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friendj 
which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, let us 
go and serve other gods, thou shalt not consent unto him, 
neither shall thine eye pity him, neitlier shalt thou spare, 
neither shalt thou conceal him. But thou shalt surely kill 
him. Thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death." 
Again The wise man warns us to avoid those things that 
tend and expose us to sin ; especially the sin of uncleanness. 
Prov. vi. 27. " Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his 
clothes not be burnt ? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet 
not be burnt ? So, whosoever touchcth her, shall not be inno- 
cent," This is the truth held forth; avoid those customs 
and practices that naturally tend to stir up lust. And there 
are many examples in scripture, which have the force of pre- 
cept ; and recorded, as not only worthy of, but demand our 
imitation. The conduct of Joseph in the text is one ; and that 
recorded of King David is anotlier. Psal. xxxix. 1, 2. " I 
said I will t-ke heed to my ways, tliat I sin not with my 
tongue : I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while tlie wick- 
ed is before mc. I was dumb Avith silence, I held my peace, 
even from good." Even from good. ...that is, he was so 
Y/atchful over his words, and kept at such a great distance 
from speaking Avhat might in any way tend to sin, that he' 
avoided, in certain circumstances, speaking what was in itself 
lawful, lest he should be betrayed into tliat which was sinful. 


IX. J firudent sense of our own^ weakness., and exfiosedneas 
io yield to temfiiation^ obliges us to avoid that ivhich leads or ex- 
poses to sin. 

Whoever knows himself and is sensible how weak he 
is ; and his constiint exposcdness to run into sin ; how full of 
corruption his heart is, which, like fuel, is exposed to catch 
fire, and bring destruction upon him ; how much he has in him 
to incline him to sin ; and how unable he is to stand of him- 
self ; who is sensible of this, and has any regard of his duty, 
but will be very Avatchful against every thing that may lead 
and expose to sin ; on this account Christ directed us, Matth„ 
xxvi. 41. To watch and pray lest we enter into temptation." 
The reason there is added, the flesh is weak ! He that in con- 
fidence of his own strength, boldly runs the venture of sin- 
ning by going into temptation, manifests great presumption, 
and a sottish insensibility of his own weakness. " He that 
trusteth in his own heart is a fool." Prov. xxviii. 26. 

The wisest and strongest, and some of the most holy 
men in tlic world, have been overthrown by such means. So 
was David ; so was Solomon. His wives turned away his 
heart. If such persons, so eminent for holiness, were this 
way led into sin, surely it should be a warning to us. Let him 
that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he f,^li. 

I now proceed to the application. 

In one use of exhortation. To exhort all to a covf.liancc vdth 
their duty in this resfiect, not only io avoid sin, but those things 
that lead and expose to sin. 

If it be made out clearly and evidently i"rora reason and 
the word of God, to be our duty so to do, this would be enough 
with all Chriitims. Will a follower of Christ stand object- 
ing and disputing against a thing,' that is irrefragably proved; 
and demonstrated to be his duty ? 

But here some may be ready to inquire, How shall we 
know what things do lead and expose to sin ? Let a man do 
what he will, he cannot avoid sinning, as long as he has such a 
corrupt heart within him. And there is nothing a man can 
do, or turn his hand to," but that lie may find some temptation 
in it. And thoiigh it be true, ?.s it is s^^id in the doctrine, ihat 


a man ought, as far as may be, to avoid those things that, lead 
and expose to sin ; and it is evident by the arguments that 
have been brought, that those things that have special tenden- 
cy to exj)ose men to sin, are what we ought to shun, as much 
as in us Ues : Yet how shall we judge and determine Avhat 
thmgs they are, that have a natural tendency to sin ; or do es- 
pecially lead to it ? 

I would answer in some particulars, which are plain and 
easy, and which cannot be denied without the greatest ab- 

Answer 1. That ivhkh in bordering on those sin ft that the 
lustfi of men'' 8 hearts strongly incline them to^ is of this sort. 
Men come into the world, with many strong and violent lusts 
in their hearts, and and are exceeding prone of themselves to 
to transgress, even in the safest circumstances they can be 
placed in. And surely so much the nearer they are to that 
sin, which they are naturally strongly inclined to, so much the 
more are they exposed. If any of us that are parents, should 
see our children near the brink of some deep pit, or close by 
the edge of the precipice of an high mountain, and not only so, 
but the ground upon which the child stood slipper}',and steep- 
ly descending directly towards the precipice, should we not 
reckon a child exposed in such a case ? Should we not be in 
haste to remove the child from its very dangerous situa- 
tion ? 

It was the manner among the Israelites, to build their 
houses with tlat roofs, so that persons might walk on the tops 
of their houses. And therefore God took care to make it a 
law among them, that every man should have battlements up- 
on the edges of their roofs ; lest any person should fall oif 
and be killed. Deut. xxii. 8. « When thou buildest a new 
house then thou shalt make a bi'ttlement for thy roof, that thou 
bring not blood upon thine house, if any m.Ji fall from tlience." 
And certainly we ought to take the like care that we do not 
fall into sin ; which carries in it eternal death. We should, 
as it were, fix a battlement, a guard to keep us from the edge 
of the precipice. Much more ought we to take care, that wc 
do not go upon a roof that is not or.ly without battlemenU* 
but when it is steep, and we shall n atura Uv ^J < ! i i « 


Men's lusts are like strong enemies, endeavoring to draw 
them into sin. If a man stood upon a dangerous precipice, 
and had enemies about him, pulling and drawing him, en- 
deavoring to throw him down ; v/ould he in such a cascj 
choose, or dare to stand near the edge ? Would he look upoa 
himself safe close on the brink ? Would he not endeavor for 
his own safety, to keep at a distance ? 

; , 2. Those things that tend to feed lusts in the imagination, are 
of this kind. 

They lead and expose him to sin. Those things that have 

. a natural tendency to excite in the mind, the idea or imagina- 
ation of that which is the object of the lust, certainly tend to 
feed and promote that lust. What can be more plain and evi- 

, , dent, than that a prcsentmg the object, tends to stir up the ap- 

^jpetite I Reason and experience teach this. 

Therefore all things, whether they be words or actions, have 
a tendency and expose to sin, that tend to raise and uphold in 
the mind, imaginations or ideas, of those things which the lust 
tends to. It is certainly wrong and unlawful to feed a lust 
even in the imagination. It is quite contrary to the holy- 
rules of God's word. Prov. xxiv, 9. " The thought of foolish 
ness is sin." Matth. v. 28. " Whosoever looketh on a woman 
to lust after her, hath committed adulteiy." A man, by gratify- 
ing his lusts in his imagination and thoughts, may make his 
soul, in the sight of God, to be a hold of foul spirits ; and like a 
cage of every unclean and hateful bird. And sinful imagina- 
tions tend to sinful actions, and outward behavior in the end. 
Lust is always first conceived in the imagination, and then 
brought forth in the outward practice. You may see the pro- 

. gress of it in James i. 15. " Then when lust hath conceived, it 
bringeth forth sin." 

Therefore for a man to do those things that tend to excite 

.. the objects of his lusts in his imagination, he does that which 
has as natural a tendency to sin, as a conception has to a birth. 

: And such things are therefore abominable in the sight of a 
pure and holy God. We are commanded to keep at a great 
distance from spiritual pollution; and to hate even the verv 
" garment spotted with the flesh." Jude 23, 
Vol. VIL T 


3. Thoae things that are the experience and observation of 
mankind shew to be ordinarihj attended orfolloiued with iin, are 
9fthis sort. 

Experience is a good rule to determine by in things of this 
nature. How is it wc know the natural tendency of any thing, 
but only by observation and experience? Men observe and 
find, time after time, that such things are commonly attended 
and followed v>\Xh such other things. And hence mankind 
pronounce of them, that they have a natural tendency to them. 
We have no otlier way to know the tendency of any thing. 
Thus men, by observation and experience, know that the 
warmth of the sun, and showers of rain, are attended with 
the growth of plants of the earth ; and hence they learn, that 
they have a tendency to it. So they find by experience, that 
the bite of some kinds of serpents is commonly followed with 
illness, and often with death. Hence they learn, that the bite 
of such serpents has a natural tendency to bring disorder upo» 
the body, and exposes to death. 

And so, if experience and common observation shows, that 
any particular practice or custom is commonly attended with 
that which is very sinful, we may safely conclude, that such a 
practice tends to sin ; that it leads and exposes to it. 

Thus we may determine, that tavern haunting and gaming 
are things that tend to sin ; because common experience and 
observation show, that those practices are attended with » 
great deal of sin and wickedness. The observation of all 
ages and all nations, with one voice declares it. It shows, 
where tavcnis arc much frequented, for drinking and the likcj, 
they are especially places of sin, of profaneness, and other 
wickedness: And it shows, that those towns, where there is 
much of this, are places where no good generally prevails. 
And it also shows, that those persons that arc given muck 
to frequenung taverns, arc most commonly vicious persons. 
And so of gaming; as playing at cards, experience shows, that 
those persons that practise this, do generally fall into much 
sin. Hence these practices arc become infamous among af. 
sober, virtuous persons. 


4. Another way by which persons may determine of some 
ffnngs, that they lead and expose to sin^ is by their own expert- 
tmce^ or what they have found in themselves. 

If persons have found in themselves, from time to time, 
that they have actually led them into sin, this surely is enough 
to convince them, that such things do actually lead and expose 
to sin ; for what will convince men, if their own experience 
will not ? Thus if men have found, by undeniable experience, 
that any practice or custom stirs up lust in them, and has 
betrayed them into foolish and sinful behavior, or sinful 
thoughts ; they iriay determine that they lead and expose 
to sin. Or if they, upon examining themselves, must own, 
tiiat such a custom or practice has, time after time, had that 
effect upon them, as to dispose them to sins of omission 
of known duty ; such as secret prayer, and make them more 
backward to it ; and also to indispose them to reading and 
religious meditation ; and they, after they have been do- 
ing such or such a thing, have found this has commonly been 
the effect of it, that they have been more apt to cast off prayer, 
or has had a tendency to the neglect of family prayer. Or if 
it seems to lead to unwatchfulness ; they find, f ince they have 
complied with such a custom, they are less watchful of their 
hearts, less disposed to any thing that is serious ; that the 
frame of their mind is more light, and their hearts less on the 
things of another world, and more after vanisy ; these are sin- 
ful effects ; and therefore if experience shov.s a custom or 
practice to be attended with these things, then experience 
shows that they lead and expose to sin. 

5. We jnay detcrmirie whether a thi?ig be of an evil tendeii- 
ey-i or not, by the effect that a?i outflowing of the i^fiirit of God, 
and a general flourishing of religion, has with 7-esfiect to it. 

If a pouring out of the Spirit of God on a people, puts a 
stopto any pi'actice or custom, and roots it out, surely it ar- 
gues, that that practice or custom is of no good tendency ; 
for if there be no hurt in it, and it tends to no hurt, why should 
the Spirit of God destroy it ? The Spirit of God has no ten- 
dency to destroy any thing that is neither sinful, nor has any 
tendency to sin. Why should it ? Why should we suppose 


that the Spirit of God should be an enemy to that -»vhich has 
no hurt in it, nor has any tendency to that which is hurtful ? 
The flourishing of religion has no tendency to abolish or 
expel any thing that is in no way against religion. That which 
is not against religion, religion will not appear against. Re- 
ligion has no tendency to destroy any custom or practice, that 
has no tendency to destroy that. It is a rule that holds in all 
contraries and opposites : The opposition is equal on both 
sides. vSo contrary as light is to darkness, so contrary is dark- 
ness to light. It is equal both ways. So, just so contrary as 
the flourishing of religion is to any custom, just so contrary 
is that custom to the flourishing of religion. That custom 
that religion tends to destroy, that custom, if it prevail, tends 
also to destroy religion. Therefore, if the flourishing of re- 
ligion, and the outpouring of the Spirit of God, tends to over- 
throw any custom that takes place or prevails, we may surely 
determine, that that custom is either in itself sinful, or tends 
and exposes to evil, 

6. JVe may determine, by the effect that a general decay of 
religion has nvith respect to them, whether they be things of a 
sitful tendency or not^ 

If they be things that come with a decay of religion, that 
creep in as that decays, we may determine they are things of 
no good tendency. The withdrawing of good, docs not let in 
good, but evil. It is evil, not good, comes in, as good gradual- 
ly ceases. What is it but darkness that comes in as light 

Therefore, if there be any decay of religion in the town, 
or in particular persons, and upon this any certain customs or 
practices take place and are allowed, which were wholly ab- 
stained from and renounced when religion was in a more 
flourishing state, we may safely conclude that such customs 
and practices are contrary to tlie nature of true religion ; and 
therefore in themselves sinful, or tending to sin. 

7. IVe may in many things detcrtninci ivhcthtr any custom 
be of a good t.-ndency, by considering what the effect would be, if 
it was ojienly and universally owned and firaclised. 

There are many things that some persons practise some- 
what secretly, and are partly hidden in ; and that they plead 


to be not hurtful ; which, if they had suitable consideration 
to discern what the consequence would be, if every body open- 
ly practised the same, it would soon show that the conse- 
quence would be confusion, and a most woful state of things. 
If, therefore, there be any custom, that is of such a nature, 
that it will not bear universal open practice and profession ; 
but if it should come to that^ the least consideration will show 
that the consequence would be lamentable ; we may deter- 
mine that ?/ia^ custom is of an ill tendency. For if there is 
no hurt in it, and it is neither sinful in itself, nor tends to 
any thing sinful, then it is no matter how open and universal 
the world is in it ; for we need not be afraid of that custom's 
being too prevalent and universal, that has no ill tendency 
in it. 

Thus I haA'^e mentioned some general rules, by which to 
determine and judge what things are of a bad and sinful ten- 
dency. And these things are so plain, that for a person to 
deny them, would be absurd and ridiculous. 

I would now, in the name of God, v.'arn all persons to avoid 
such things, as appear by these rules to lead and expose to 
sin. And particularly, I would now take occasion to warn 
our young people, as they would approve themselves fearers 
of God, to avoid all such things in company, that, being tried 
by these rules, will appear to have a tendency or lead to sin. 
Avoid all such ways of talking and acting as have a tendency 
to this ; and follow the example of Joseph in this. 

Not only the most gross acts of uncleanness, but all de- 
grees of lasciviousness, both in talking and acting, are strictly 
forbidden in scripture, as what should not be so much as 
once named among saints or Christii.ns, Gal. v. 9. " Now 
the works of the flesh are manifest, adultery, fornication, un- 
cleanness, lasciviousness." Eph. v. 3,4.5. "But fornica- 
tion, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among 
you, as becometh saints : Neither iilthiness, nor foolish talk- 
ing, nor jesting, which are not convenient : For thLs ye know, 
that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, hath any inherit- 
ance in the kingdom of v hrist, and of God." We should hate 
even the garments spotted with the flesh, i. e. should hate and 


shun all that in the least approaches to any such thing or sa^ 
vers of it. 

And I desire that certain customs that are common a- 
mong young people in the country, and have been so a lonjj 
time, may Le examined by tiiose rules that have been men- 
tioned. That custom in particular, of young people of differ- 
ent sexes lying in bed together I However light is made of itj 
and however ready persons may be to laugh at its being con- 
deinned : If it be examined by the rules that have been men- 
tioned, it will appear past ail contradiction, to be one of those 
things that lead and expose to sin : And I believe what expe- 
rience and fact will show of the consequence and event of it,, 
does abvuidantly bear witness to it. And whoever wisely con- 
siders the matter, must say, that this custom of this country 
(to which it seems to be peculiar, among people that pretend 
to uphold their credit) has been one main thing that has led 
to that growth of uncleanness that has been in the land. And 
so there arc other customs and liberties that arc c"ustomarily 
used among young people in company, that they that use 
them know that they lead to sin. They know that they tend 
to stir up their lusts ; that it does do it ; and this is the very 
end for which they do it, to gratify their lusts in some meas- 
ure. Little do such persons ccnsidel*, what a holy God they 
are soon to be judged by, that nov/ make a mock of sin ; 
who abominates the impurities of their hearts. 

If, therefore, they do actually stir up and feed lust, then 
certainlv they tend to further degrees and more gross acts. 
That which stirs up lust, makes it more violent, and does 
therefore certainly the more expose persons to be over- 
come by it IIovv- evident and undeniable are these things ; 
?.nd how strange that any should cavil against them, or make 
a derision of them I 

Possibly you may be coniident of your own strength, and 
may think witli yourself, that you are not in danger, that there 
is no temptation in ti;ese things, but what you are able easily 
to overcome. But you should consider, that the most self- 
confident arc most in danger. Peter was very confident, that 
he should not deny Christ, but how drcuduilly otherwise 


•VfdA the event I If when others that have fallen into gross 
sins, should be UKjuired of, and should declare how it was 
with them ; doubtless they would say, that they at first 
thought there was no danger ; they were far from the thought 
that ever they should commit such wickedness ; but yet by- 
venturing further and further, they fell at last into the foulest 
and grossest transgressions. And persons may long withstand 
temptation, and be suddenly overcome at last. None so much 
in danger, as the most bold. They are most safe, that are 
most sensible of their own weakness ; and most distrustlul 
of their own hearts, and most sensible of their continual need 
of restraining grace. Young persons with respect to the sin of 
uncleanness, are dealt with by the devil, just as some give an 
account of some sort of serpents charming of birds, and other 
animals down into their mouths. If the serpent takes them 
with his eyes, though they seem to be afiVightcd by it, yet 
they will not flee away, but will keep the serpent in sight, and 
approach nearer and nearer to him, till they fall a prey. 

Another custom that I desire may be examined by the fore- 
mentioned rules, is that of yoving people of both sexes getting 
together in the night, in those companies for mirth and iollity, 
that they call frolics ; so spending the time together till late 
in the night, in their jollity. I desire our young people to 
suffer their ears to be open to what I have to say upon this 
point ; as I am the messenger of the Lord of Hosts to them, 
and not determine that they will not hearken, before they 
have heard what I shall say. I ho])e there are but few persons 
among us so abandoned, as to determine that they will go on 
in a practice, whether they are convinced that it is unlawful or 
not ; or though it should be proved to them to be unlawful h/ 
undeniable arguments. 

Therefore let us examine tJiis custom and practice by 
what has been said. It has been jVroved undeniably, that we 
ought not to go on in a practice that leads and exposes to sin ; 
and rules have been laid down to judge what does thus cx- 
nobc and lead t. it, that I think are plain and undeniable 

Therefore, now let us try this custom by these rules, r'nd 
30(; witetiK'.' it will ber.r the test or not. Certainly a Chi'ir.t- 


ian will not be unwilling to have his practices examined and 
tried by the rules of reason and God's word ; but will rather 
rejoice in it. 

And I desire particularly, that the practice may be tried 
by that sure touchstone of experience. Let it be tried by the 
considerclion of what is experienced in fact abroad in one 
town, and place, and another. This is one of the rules of tri- 
al that have been mentioned, that that custom that the expe- 
rience and observation of mankind shows to be ordinarily at- 
tended or followed Avith sin, may be determined and conclud- 
ed to be unlawful. And if we look abroad in the countiy, I 
doubt not but these two things will be found. 

1. That as to those towns where there is most of this car- 
i-ied on among young people, (as there is more of it in seme 
places than others) it will be found, as a thing that universal- 
ly holds, that the young people there are com.m.only a loose, 
vain, and irreligious generation ; little regarding God, heav- 
en, or hell, or any thing but vanity. And that commonly in 
those towns where most frolicing is carried on, there are the 
most frequent breaking out of gross sins ; foniication in par- 

2. If we try it by persons : If we go through the countiy, 
we shall, for the most part, find, that those persons that 
are greatest frolicers, are most addicted to this practice 
Avhich we are speaking of, they are the persons furthest 
from serious thought, and are the vainest and loosest upon 
other accounts. And whence should this be, if such a prac- 
tice was not sinful, or had not a natural tendency to lead per- 
sons into sin. 

And furthermore, I appeal to the experience of you here 
present, as to what you have found in yourselves. I desire 
those of you that have made pretences of serious religion, and 
saving piety, and have formerly pretended to keep up relig- 
ion in your closet, and your own souls, that you would seri- 
ously ask yourselves, whether or no you have not found, that 
this practice has indisposed you to serious religion, and tak- 
en off your minds from it ? Has it not tended to your neglect 
of secret prayer ? Have you not found, that after you have 

AND Ml^ivE!tA:^dE. io3 

been to a frolic, you have been more backward to that duty ? 
And, if you have not wholly neglected it, have you not found 
that you have been abundantly more slightly, and ready to turn 
it off in any maritier, and glad to have done with it ? And 
more backward to reading and serious meditation, and such 
things ? And that your mind has been exceedingly diverted 
from religion, and that for some time ? 

I do not send you far off to find out whether tlis custom 
be not of bud tendency;. ..not beyond the sea, to some distant 
country ; I send you no further than to your own breast to 
examine your own experience in this matter ; let the matter 
be determined by that. 

And then again, let us try this cuslbm by the cfiect the 
'0iltf)ouring of the Spirit of God on apedple has with respect to 
it. This we arc under great advantage to do ; because tlierc 
has lately been here in this place, the most remark^bie out- 
pouring of the Spirit of God that has ever been in Newxng- 
land, and, it may be, in the world, since the apostles' days. 
And it is known, that before this, that custom of young peo- 
ples' frolicihg did prevail in the town. And here we all 
know the effect it had : It put an end to it,. ..It was a custom, 
that was -vvholly done with....It Svas altogether laid aside ; and 
■wais s6 for several years. 

It 'has been already shown, that there is no account can be 
■given why the Spirit of God, and the flourishing of religidh 
should abolish such a custoto, unless it be because that cus- 
tom is, either in its nature or tendency, an enemy to the Spir- 
it of God and religion. 

The fruits of the Spirit of God are go6d, and I hope there 
are rione that have the blasphemy to say otherwise. And 
therefore it is good that thiS custom should be removed ; for 
this is plainly one of the effects of the Spirit of God. And if 
so, it is because the custom is bad, either in its nature or ten- 
dency ; otherwise there would be no good in its being remov- 
ed. The Spirit of God abolished this custom for this reason, 
because if it had been kept up in the town, it would have had 
a direct tendency to hinder that work that the Spirit was a- 
bout to do amongst us. This was undeniably the reason. 
Vol. VII. U 


Supposing such a custom had been begun and set up by 
the young people all over the town, in the midst of the time 
of the late outpouring of the Spirit, all of a sudden, would any 
wise persons, that have truly the cause of religion at heart, 
rejoice at it ? Would not every one at first thought have con- 
cluded, without any hesitation that it was a thing that 
looked darkly upon the interest of religion, and there was 
great danger that it would take off peoples* minds from relig- 
ion, and make them vtiin ; and so put an end to the flourish- 
ing of religion ? Would not every considerate person in this 
town have thought thus of it ? And if such a custom would 
had an ill tendency then so it will now. 

Objection. The town is not in such circumstances now as 
it was tlien. And though it might have done hurt then, by 
putting an end to the great concern ; yet now it may do no 
hurt: For there is now no such great concern to be put an 
end to by it. 

jittf-Tjer. Though the town is not in such circumstances 
now as it was then, yet it ought to be ; there ought to be as 
much engagedness of mind about religion ; as much concern 
among sinners, tmd as much engagedness among the godly, 
as tlieu : And it is to our shame that there is not. And if such 
a practice would have tended to destroy such a religious con- 
cern, then it certainly tends to prevent it now. It is a rule that 
will hold, that that which has- a tendency to destroy a things 
when it is, tends to prevent it when it is not. And are we not 
praying from sabbath to sabbath, and from day to day, for such 
a concern again ? And do not those of you tliat pretend to 
be converted, that have lately set up this custom y pray for the 
same ? Are you a convert, a saint, and yet not desire that here 
should be any more pouring out of the Spirit of God ? The 
town has cause to be ashamed of such converts, if it has any 
such. And if ye do, why do you do what tends to prevent it ? 

Again, Let this practice be tried by the effect that a gen- 
ei'al decay of religion has with respect to it. Now we have a 
trial ; it is now a time that religion is greatly decayed amongst 
us ; and tlie effect is tliat this custom comes in with this de- 
cay. Young people begin again to set up their old custom of 


frolicing, and spending great part of the night in it, to the vio- 
lation of family orders. What is the reason, if this custom is 
not bad, either in its nature or tendency, that it did not come 
in before, when religion was lively ? Why does it stay till it 
can take the advantage of the withdrawment of religion ? This 
is a sign that it is a custom that shuns a spirit of lively relig- 
ion, as darkness shuns the light, and never comes in until light 

And here again, I would send persons to their own experi- 
ence. How did this practice come in Avith you in particular : 
You that two or three years ago,seerned to be so engaged in re- 
ligion ? Did it not come in, did you not begin to practise it, as 
the sense of religion wore off ? And what is the matter ? Why 
did not you set up the practice then, when your heart was tak- 
en up about reading, meditation, and secret prayer to God ? 
If this do not at all stand in the way of them, and is no hinder- 
ance to them, why was you not engaged in both together ? 
What account can you give of it ? Why did you leave off this 
practice and custom, or abstain from it ? To what purpose is 
this changing ? One while it must be avoided as evil, and an- 
other while practised and pleaded for as good. The making 
such an alteration does not look well, nor will it be for the 
honor of religion in the eye of the world. For whether the 
practice be lawful or not, yet such a thing will surely be im- 
proved to our disadvantage. For your avoiding of it tlien, has 
this appearance, m the eye of the country, that then you con- 
demned it ; and therefore your now returning to it will appear 
to them as backsliding in you. Such changelings are ever 
more in the eye of the world, greatly to the dishonor of the 
profession they are of, let it be what it will. 

Indeed this custom, as it is practised, does not only tend 
to sin, but is in itself very disorderly, sinful, and sltumeful. 
For it is attended late in the night, and in the dead of the night, 
to the neglect of family prayer, and violating all family order, 
which is disorder and profaneness. Is it lawful to rob God of 
his ordinary sacrifices, for the sake of your pleasure, diver- 
sion, and jollity ? Are you of that mind that it is a decent 
thing, that the stated worship of the great God should give 


way to your mirlh, and your diversions ? Is this the way oi 
God's holy children, to talk aft^r this manner ? Those works 
tliat are cotnmonly done in the dead of the night, seem to 
have a blacV mark set upon them by the apostle, and Christ 
ians are exhorted to avoid them, Rom. xiii. 12, 13. " Let us 
cast off the Avorks of darkness, and let us put on the armor of 
ligl^t. Let us walk honestly, as in the day ; not in rioting 
and drunkenness ; not in chambering and wantonness." The 
word here rendered rioting, is of far different signification 
from the term as used in our laws : For the forcible doing, 
and unlawful thing, by three or more persons assembled to- 
gether for that purpose. Words, as they are terms in the 
law, are often used very much beside their common significa- 
tion. But the word here properly signifies, a disorderly con- 
vention of persons to spend tlieir time together in pleasure 
and jollity. So the word is commonly used in scripture, 
Prov. xxiii. 20. " Be not amongst riotous eaters of flesh." 
Prov. xxviii. 7. "He that is a companion of riotous men, 
shameth his father." Luke 3cv. 13. « Wasted his substance 
with riotous living." 

Again, a black mark seems to be set on such in scripture, 
as in 1 Thcss. V. 5... .8. "Ye are all children of the light, 
and children of the day : We are not of the night, nor of 
darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others ; but let 
us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in tlie 
night ; and they that be drunk, are drunken in the night. 

Many of you tliat have lately set up this practice of frol- 
icing and jollity, profess to be children of the light and 
of the day; and not to be the children of darkness. There- 
fore walk as in the day ; and do not those works of darkness 
that are commonly done at unseasonable hours of the night. 

Such things are not only condemned by the apostle, but are 
looked upon as infamous through the world in all ages among 
sober sort of people ; and all past writings show it. There 
fore it is a thing of bad report, and so forbidden, Phil. iv. 8, 
« Whatsoever things are of good report ; if tliere be any vir 
tuc, any praise, think on thcjc things. 


Object, I. But the vv'ise man allows of this practice, when 
lie says, Eccles. iii. 4. " There is a time to mourn, and a 
time to dance." 

Anaiver. This is nothing to the purpose ; for the utmost 
that any can pretend that it proves, is denying it to be lawful, 
and allowing it may be used under some circumstances. ; but 
not at all, that dancing and other things used by oi^r young 
people in their frolics are lawful in those circumstances, any 
more than what is said in the same chapter, verse 3, " tliere 
is a time to kill," proves that it is lawful for a man to commit 

To deny that dancing, under any circimistances v/hatever, 
was lawful, would be absurd : For there was a religious danc- 
ing in the Jewish church, that was a way of expressing their 
spiritual mirth. So David danced before the Lord. And he 
calls upon others to praise God in the dance. So there may 
be other circumstances wherein dancing may not be unlawful. 
But all this makes nothing to the present purpose ; to prove 
that this particular custom, that we have been speaking of 
among our young people, is not of a bad tendency. And be- 
sides, when the wise man says, there is a time to dance, th.at 
does not prove, that the dead of the night is the time for it. 
The same wise man doth not justify carnal mirth, butcon- 
jdemns it, Eccles, ii. 2. "I said of laughtex', it is mad ; and of 
mirth, what doth it ?" 

Object. 2. If we avoid all such things, it will be the way 
for our young people to be ignorant how to behave themselves 
in company. 

Answer. But consider what this objection comes to. It 
certainly comes to this, viz. That the pouring out of the 
Spirit of God upon a people, tends to banish all good conduct, 
good breeding, and decent behavior from among them ; and to 
sink them down into clownishness and Inirbarity. And if such 
a pouring out of the Spirit of God, a-.; has been amongst usj 
should be continued, it would tend to have this effect ; for 
that we have seen by experience. The Spirit of God did ac- 
tually put an end to this practice among us. 


But Avho is it amongst us that is not ashamed to make 
such an objection ? Will any of our young converts talk thus? 
Will you that think you were converted by the late pouring 
out of the Spirit of God, and are made holy persons, heirs of 
eternal life, talk so blasphemously of it ? 

If our young people are resolute still to go on, notwithstand- 
ing all that has been said, I hope that those of them that call 
themselves converted, will first find out some rational, satisfy- 
ing answer to the arguments that have been used against it 
This at least may be reasonably expected of tliem, seeing they 
make such a profession. You have this day been partaking 
ofthe sacram.ent of the Lord's supper, and therein solemnly 
renewed your profession. 

If after such light set before you, and such mercy given, 
you will go on, be it known to you, that your eating now, and 
at other times, will prove only an eating and drinking judg- 
ment to yourselves. 

And I desire heads of families, if they have any govern- 
ment over their children ; or any command of their own 
houses, would not tolerate their children in such practices, 
nor suffer such conventions in their houses. 

I do not desire that young people should be abridged of 

any lawful and proper liberties But this custom can be of 

no benefit or service in the world ; it tends only to mis- 

Satan doubtless would be glad to have such an interest 
amongst us as he used to have ; and is therefore striving to 
steal in, while we are sleeping ; but let us rotise up ourselves, 
and vigorously oppose his encroachments. 

I shall repeat those wordsof the"apostle,Rom. xiii. 12, ...14. 
and leave them to the serious consideration of all persons, old 
and young : " The night is far spent, the day is at hand ; let 
us therefore cast oft" the works of darkness, and let us put on 
the armor of light. I-.ct us walk honestly as in the day, not 
in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wan- 
tonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the 
lusts thereof." 


Men naturally God's Enemies. 

ROMANS V. 10. 


JL HE apostle, from the beginning of the epistle to 
the beginning of this chapter, hath insisted on the doctrine of 
justification by faith alone. And having particularly spoken 
to that, in this chapter he goes on to consider the benefits that: 
are consequent on justification. And there are three that flow 
from justification, which are here spoken of, viz. peace with 
God, present happiness, and hope of glory. Peace witli God 
is mentioned in the first verse. " Thei-efore being justified 
by faith we have peace with God, tlirough our LoiyI Jesus 
Christ." In the following verses he speaks, of present bless- 
edness, and hope of glory, as benefits accompanying justifica- 
tion. " By whom also we have access by faith into this grace, 
wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." 

And concerning this benefit of the hope of glory, the apos- 
tle does particularly take notice of two things, viz. the blessed 
nature of this hope, and the sure ground of it. 

l.He insists on the blessed nature of this hope, in that it 
enables us to glory in tribulations. This excellent nature of 
true Christian hope is described in the following words : 
" And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing 
that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience, 
and experience hope ; and hope maketh not ashamed, because 
the love of God n shed abroad in our hearts by the Holv 


Ghost, which is i^iven unto us," verse 3... .5. q. d. Through 
hope of a blessed reward, that will abundantly more than 
make up for all tribulatio;), we are enabled to bear tribulation 
with patience ; patiently bearing, and patiently waiting for the 
reward. And patience works experience ; for when we thus 
bear tribulation with patient waiting for tlie reward, this brings 
experience of the earnest of the reward, viz. the earnest of th6 
Spirit, in our feeling the love of God shed abroad in our hearts 
by the Holy Ghost. So that our hope does not make us asham- 
ed; though we rlo bear tribulation, our hope is not tlisappoint- 
cd ; for in the midst of our tribulation, we experience those 
blessed incomes of the Spirit in our souls, that make even 
a time of tribulation sweet to us ; and is such an earnest as 
abundcintly confirms our hope ; and so experience works hope- 
2. The apostle takes notice of tiie sure and abundant 
};round there is for this hope ; or the a:bundant evidence wc 
have, that Vve shall obtain the gloiy hoped for, in that peace 
we have with God, in our justification through Christ's 
blood ; because that while we were withoiit strength, in 
due time Christ died for us ; while we were ungodly alid 
sinners, enemies to God and Christ, verse 6.... 10. The apos- 
tle's argument is exceeding clear and strong : That if God 
has done already so great a thing for us, as to give us Christ, 
to die and shed his precious blood for us, which v/as vastly the 
greatest thing, we need not doubt but that he will bestow lifb 
upon us, after all this is already ddne. It is but a smalt 
thing for God actually to bestow eternal life, after it is pufJ 
chased, to what it is for him to give his own Son to die, 16 
purchase it. The giving Christ to purchase it, v/as virtual- 
ly all ; it included the whole grace of God in salvation. Wheh 
Christ had purchased salvation at such a dear rate, all the dif- 
ficulty was got through, all Avas virtually over and done. It is 
a small thing, in comparison, for God to bestow salvation^ 
after it has been thus purchased at a full price. Sinners that 
are justified by the death of Christ, are already virtually sav- 
ed : The thing is, as it were, done ; what remains is no 
more than the necessary consequence of what is done. Christ 
when he died made ati end of sin ; and when he rose from tht 


*dtiacl, he did virtually rise with the elect ; he brought them up 
from death with him, and ascended into heaven with them. 
And therefore, when this is already done, and we are thus re- 
conciled to God through the death of his Son, we need not 
fear but that we shall be saved by his life. The love of God 
appears much more in his giving his Son to die for sinners, 
than in giving eternal life after Christ's death. 

The giving of Christ to die for us is here spoken of as a 
much greater thing, than the actual bestowment of life, on 
two accounts. 

1 . That this is all that has any difficulty in it. 

2. When God did this for us, he did it for us as sinnert 
and enemies. But in actually bestowing salvation on us uftei 
we are justified, we are not looked upon as sinners. Afte.' 
we are justified, God does not look on us any longer as sin- 
ners, but as perfectly righteous persons ; lie beholds no ini- 
quity in us. We are no more enemies, for then we are recon- 
ciled. When God gave Christ to die for the elect, he look 
ed on them as they are in themselves ; but in actually bestow- 
ing eternal life, he does not look on them as they are in them- 
selves, but as they are in Christ. 

There are three epithets used in the text and context, lu 
appertaining lo sinners as they are in tliemselves. 

1 , They are lo'uhout strengthy they cannot help themselve..., 
verse 6. ...8. 

2, They are uvgodly, or sinners. 

3, They are enernics, as in the text. 


A'attiral Men are God's Enemies. 

God, though the Creator of all things, yet has son; - 
enemies in the world. 

Men in general will own, that they are, or have been sir> 
ners. There are few, if any at all, whose consciences are l 
blinded as not to be sensible they have been guilty of sin. Ar. . 
most sinners will own that they have bad hearts. They \\;. . 
own that they do not love God so much as they should d(i^ 

Vol.. VII. W 


and that they are not so thankful as they ought to he for 
mercies ; and that in many things they fail. And yet few of 
them are sensible that they are God's enemies. They d» 
not see hoAr they can be truly so called ; they are not sensible 
that they wish God any hurt, or endeavor to do him any. 

But wc see that the scripture speak of them as enemies to 
God. So in our text, and elsewhere, " And you that were 
sometimes alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked 
works." Col. i. 21. '< The carnal mind is enmity against 
God." Rom. vii. 7. 

And that all natural, or unregenerate men arc indeed so, 
is what I shall endeaA-or now particularly to show. Which I 
propose to do m the following method : 

1. I shall show, in what respects they are enemies to God.' 

2". To how great a degree they ai'e enemies. 
-5. TV'hy they are enemies. 

4. I shall answer some objections. 

1 . I am to show, in what respects they are enemies to 

1. Their enmity appears in thejr judgments ; in the judg- 
ment and esteem they have of God. They have a very mean 
esteem of God. Men are ready to entertain a good esteem of 
those with whom riiey arc friends : They are apt to think 
highly of their qualities, to give them their due praises ; and 
if there be defects, to cover them. But those to whom they 
are enemies, they are disposed to have mean thoughts of; 
they ar£ apt to entertain a dishonorable opinion of them ; they 
■will be ready to look contemptably upon any thing that is 
praiseworthy in tliem. 

So it is with natural men towards God. They entertain 
ver>' low and contemptible thoughts of God. Whatever hon- 
or and respect they may pretend and make a show of towards 
God if their practice be examined, it will show, that they do 
certainly look upon him to be a Being, that is but little to bo 
regarded. Thcy think him one that is worthy of very little 
honor and respect, not worthy to be much taken notice cf. 
The language of their hearts is, " Who is the Lord, that I 
should obey his voice ?" Exod. v. 2. " What is the Almight%% 

^Ql)"s ENEMIES. 16^; 

tihat we should serve him ? and what profit should we have if 
we pray unto him r" Job. xxi. 15. They count him worthy 
neither to be loved nor feared. They dare not behave with 
that slight and disregard towards one of their fellow creatures, 
when a little raised above them in power and authority, as 
they dare and do towards God. They value one of tlieir 
squa^ls much mere than God, and are ten times more afraid 
of offending such an one, than of displeasing the God that 
Jnade them. They cast such exceeding contempt on God, us 
to prefer every vile lust before liim, And every worldly en- 
joyment is set higher in their esteem than God. A morsel of 
meat, or a few pence of worldly gain, is preferred before 
him. God is set last and lowest in the esteem of natural men. 

2. They are enemies in the natural relish of their souls. 
They have an inbred distaste and disrelish of God's per- 
fections. God is not such a sort of being as they would 
have. Though they are ignorant ofGod, yet from "syhat they 
hear of him, and from wiiat is manifest by the light of 
nature of God, they do not like him. By his being en- 
dowed with such attributes as he is, they have an aversion 
to him. They hea;* God is an infinitely holy pure, and 
righteous Being, and they do not like him upon this ac<- 
count ; they have no relish of such kiod of qualifications ; 
they take no deUght in contemplating them. Jt would be a 
mere task, a bondage to a natural man, to be obUged to set 
himself to contemplat<j these attiibutes of God. They see 
no manner of beauty or loveliness, nor taste any swe^etness in 
them. And upon the account .of their distaste of these perfec- 
tions, they dislike all thp other of his attributes^ T^ey have 
greater aversion to lum because he is omniscient and knows 
all things ; because his omniscience is an holy pn^uscience. 
They are not pleased that he is omrapotent, and can do what- 
ever he plfeases ; because it is a holy omnipotence. They 
are enemies even to his mercy, because it is a holy mercy. 
They do not like his immutability, because by this he never 
will be otherwise than he is, an infinitely holy God. 

It is from this disrelish that natural men have of the attri- 
!?utes of God, that they do not love to have much to <^o with 


God. The natural tendency of the heart of man is to fly from 
God, and keep at a distance from him ; and get as far off as 
possible from God. A natunJ man is averse to communion 
with God, and is naturally disinclined to those exercises of re« 
ligion wherein he has immediately to do uitii God. It is said 
of wicked man, " God is not in all his thoughts," Psal. x. 4. 
It is evident that the mind of man is naturally averse to think- 
ing about God ; and hence, if any thoughts of God be sug- 
gested to the mind, they soon go away ; such thoughts are 
not apt to rest in the minds of natural men. If any thing is 
eaid to them of God, they are apt to forget it : It is like seed 
that falls upon the hard patli» it does not at all enter in, and 
the fowls of the air soon catch it away ; or like seed that falls 
upon a rock. Other things will stick ; but divine things do, 
as it were, rebound ; and if they were cast into the mind, they 
meet with that there which soon thrusts them out again i 
they meet with no suitable entertainment but are soon chased 

Hence also it is that natural men are so difficultly per- 
suaded to be constant in the duty of secret prayer. They 
would not be so averse to spending a quarter of an hour, night 
and morning, in some bodiiy labor, but it is because they ar^ 
averse to a work wherein they have so immediately to do 
with God, and they naturally love to keep at a distance from 

3. Their -vvills are contrary to his will, God's will and 
theirs arc exceeding cross the one to the other. God wills 
those things that they hate, and are most averse to; and 
they will those things that God hates. Hence they oppose 
God in their wills i They set up their wills agdnst the will 
of God. There is a dreadful, violent, and obstinate opposi- 
tion of the will of natural men to the will of God. 

They are very opposite to the commands of God. It is 
from the enmity of the will, that " the carnal mind is not sub- 
ject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Kom, vii. 7. 
Hence natural men are enemies to (iod's government. They 
arc not loyal subjects, but enemies to God, considered as Lord 
of the world. They arc ciuire enemies to God's authority, 


4. They are enemies to God in their affections. There 
is in every natural man a seed of malice against God : Yea, 
there is such a seed of this rooted in the heart of man natur- 
ally. And it does often dreadfully break forth and appear. 
Though it may in a great measure Ue hid in secure times, 
when God lets men alone, and they meet with no great dis- 
turbance of body or muid ; yet if God does but touch men a 
little mtheir consciences, by manifesting to them a liule of his 
wrath for their sins, this often times brings out the principle 
of malice against God, which is exercised in dreadful heart- 
risings, inward wranglings and quarreUngs, and blasphemous 
thoughts ; wherein the heart is like a viper, hissing, and spit- 
ting poison at God, There is abundance of such a principle 
in the heart. And however free from it the heart may seem 
to be when let alone and secure, yet a very' little thing will set 
it in a rage. Temptations will show what is in the heart. 
The altei'ation of a man's circumstances will often discover 
the heart : A change of circumstance will bring that out 
which was hid before, Pharaoh had no more natural enmity 
against God than other men ; and if other natural men had 
been in Pharaoh's circumstances, the same corruptions would 
have put forth themselves m as dreadful a manner. The 
Scribes and Pharisees had naturally no more of a principle of 
malice in their hearts against Christ than other men ; and 
other natural men would, in their case, and having as little 
restraint, exercise as much malice agijnst Christ as they did. 
When wicked men come to be cast into hell, then their mal- 
ice against God will appear. Then will it appear what dread- 
ful malice they have in their hearts. Then their hearts will 
appear as full of malice as hell is full of fire. But when wick- 
ed men come to be in hell, there will be no new corruptions 
put into their hearts ; but only old ones will then break forth 
without restraint. That is all the difference between a wick- 
ed man on earth and a wicked man in hell, that in hell there 
will be more to stir up the exercise of corruption, and less to 
restrain it than on earth ; but tliere will be no new corruption 
put in, A wicked man will have no principle of corruption 
in hell, but what he carried to hell with him. There are now 


the seeds of all the inalic&that will be exercised then, 'fhe 
malice of damned spirits is but a branch of the root, that is in 
the hearts of natural men now. A natural man has a heart 
like the heart of a devil ; but only as corruption is more under 
restraint in man than in devils. 

5. They are enemies in their practice. " They walk 
contrary to hiai." Lev. xxvi. 2 1 . Their enmity against God 
does not lie still, but they are exceeding active in it. They 
are engaged in a war against Qod. Indeed tliey cannot hurt 
God, he is so much above them ; but yet they do what they 
can. They oppose themselves to his honor and glory : They 
oppose themselves to the interest of his kingdom in the world; 
They oppose themselves to the will and command of God ; 
and oppose him in his government. They oppose God in his 
works, and in his declared designs ; while God is doing one 
work, they are doing the contrary, and as much as in them 
lies, counter working ; God seeks one thing, and they seek 
directly the contrary. They list under Satan's banner, and are 
his willing soldiers in his opposing the kingdom of God. 

I proceed now, 

I L To say something with respect to the degree of, this 
enmity ; tending in some measure to show, how great ene- 
mies natural men are to (^od. 

1. They have no love to God ; their enmity is mere en- 
mity, without any mixture of love. A natural man is wholly 
destitute of any principle of love to (^od, .and never had the 
least exercise of this love. Some natural men have had bet- 
ter natural tempers than others ; and some are better educat- 
ed than others ; and some live a great deal more soberly 
than others ; but one has no more love to God than another ; 
for none have the least spark of that. The heart of a natural 
man is as destitute of love to God, as dead, stiff, cold corpse is 
.^f vital heat. " I know you, that ye have not the love of God 
in you." John v. 43. 

2. Every faculty and principle of action is wholly under 
ihe, dominion of enmity against God. The nature of man ia 
-vvholly infected with this enmity against God. He is tainted 
with it throughout, in all Ms faculties and principles. Am' 


eOD's ENEMIES, 16'7 

^dt only so, but every faculty is entirely and perfectly subdued 
ander it, and enslaved to it. This enmity against God has 
the absolute possession of the man. The Apostle Paul, 
speaking of what he was naturally, says, " I am carnal, sold 
under sin." Rom. vii. 14. 

The understanding is under the reigning power of this 
enmity against God, so that it is entirely darkened and blind- 
ed with regard to the glory and excellency of God. The 
will is wholly under the reigning pOAver of it. All the affec- 
tions are governed by enmity against God : There is not one 
affection, nor one desire, that a natural man has, or that he is 
ever stirred up to act from, bui what contains in it enmity a- 
gainst God. A natural man is as full of enmity against God, 
as any viper, or any venomous beast, is full of poison. 

3. The power of the enmity of natural men against God, 
is so great, that it is insuperable by any finite power. It has 
too great and strong a possession of the heart, to be overcomo^ 
by any created power. Natural men cannot overcome their 
own enmity, let them strive never so much Avith their own 
hearts. Indeed, a natural man never sincerely strives to 
root out his enmity against God ; his eudeavors are hypocrit- 
ical : He deKghts in his enmity, and chooses it. Neither can 
athers do it, though tliey sincerely, and to their utmost, cn- 
(ieavor to overcome this enmity. If godly friends and neigh- 
bors labor to persuade them to cast away their enmity, and be- 
come friends to God, they cannot persuade them to it. Though 
ministers use never so many arguments and entreaties, and 
set forth the loveliness of God, and tell them of the goodness 
♦f God to them, and hold forth to them God's own gracious 
mvitations, and intrsat them never so earnestly to cast off 
their opposition and enmity, and to be reconciled, and be- 
come friends, yet they cannot overcome it t Still they ■v.ill be 
as bad enemies to God as ever they were. The tongue of 
nien or of angels cannot persuade them to relinquish their op- 
position to God. Miracles will not do it. How many miracles 
S.d the children of Israel see in the vvilderness ! Yet their 
enmity against God remained, as appeared by their often mur- 
muring. And how often did Christ use miracles to this cn^ 


without effect ? But the Jews yet obatinately stood out. " O 
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and 
stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I 
have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth 
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." Matth- 
xxiii. 37. And how great did the enmity of these people ap- 
pear to be after all ; how spiteful and venomous were their 
hearts towards Christ, as appears to be after all ; how spiteful 
and venomous were their hearts towards Christ, as appears 
by their cruel treatment of him in his last sufferings ! 

They are mortal enemies to God, i. e. They have that en- 
mity in their hearts, that strike;? at the life of God. A man 
may be no friend to another, and may have an ill spirit towards 
him, and yet not be bis mortal enemy : His enmity will be 
satisfied and glutted with something short of the death of the 
person. But it is not so with natural men with respect to 
God , they are mortal enemies. Indeed natural men can- 
not kill God. They have no hope of it, and so make no at- 
tempts. It has ever been looked upon so much above their 
power, that, it may be, it is not thought of. But this is no 
argvunent that this is not the tendency of the principle. 

Natural men are enemies to the dominion of ('od ; and 
their nature shows their good will to pull him down out of 
heaven, and dethrone him if they could 1 Yea, they are ene* 
roies to the being of God, and would be glad if there was no 
God, and therefore it necessarily follows, that they would kill 
him, and cause that there should be none, if they could. 

" The fool hath said in his heart, there is no (iod," Psal. 
xiv. 1. This soying in his heart, there is no God, implies in 
it, not only an aptness to question the being of God, but it im- 
plies that he incUnes it should be so. His heart says, i.e. his in- 
clination says. The words in the original are thus ; " The 
fool hath said in his heart, no God." The words, there is^ are 
in the original, but were put in by the translators. Now, if 
■we read the words so, " The fool hath said in his heart, no 
God," they will perhaps show the Psalmist's meaning more 
fully than as they are now translated. " The fool hath said 
in his henrt, no God," That is, I would have none, I do not 

^OD'^ ENEMIES. , i69 

desire any, I wish there was none ; that would suit !rty in" 
clination best. That is the lang-uage of the inciiaaiions of a 
natural man ; no ' ^o;!. Let there be no God for me, let me 
have no God ; let the world be emptied of a-(iod, he stands 
in my way. And hence he is an Atheist in his heart, he is 
ready to think there is none ; and that also is ready to be the 
language of his heart, " There is no God." 

The viper's poison is deadly poison ; and when he bites, 
he seeks the precious life. And men are in this respect a 
generation of vipers. Their poison, which is enmity against 
God, seeks the life of G#)d. " O generation of vipers." 

Matth. iii. 7. " The wicked arc estranged from the womb 

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent." Psal. Iviii 3, 4. 
" For their vine is the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Go- 
morrah ; their q-rapes are the grapes of gall, their clusters 
are bitter. Th^ir wine is the poison of dragons, and the cru- 
el venom of asps," Deut. xxxii. 32, 33. 

The divine nature being immortal, and infinitely out of 
our reach, there is no other trial possible, whether the enmi- 
ty that is naturally in the heart against God, be mortal or no, 
but only for God to take on him the human nature and be- 
come man, so as to come within man's reach, tliat they should 
be capable of killing him. There can be no other experi- 
ment but this. And this trial there has been. And what has 
been the event ? Why, when once God became man, and 
came down to dwell here among such vipers as fallen men, 
they hated hiiTi and persecuted him ; and never left him till 
they had imbrued their hands in his blood. There was a 
multitude of them that appeared combined in this design. 
Nothing would Jo, but he must be put to death. All cry out, 
'* Crucify him, cruciiy him. Away with him." They had 
rather Barabbas, who greatly deserved death, should live, 
than he should not die. Nothing would i-estrain them from 
it ; even all his preaching, and all his miracles ; but they 
would kill him. And it was not the ordinary kind of execution 
that would satisfy them ; but it must be the most cruel, and 
most ignominious they possibly could invent. And they, in 
the time of it added to it, and aggravated it as much as ever 
Vol. VIT. X 


they could, by mocking him, and spitting on him, and scourg- 
ing hiiTj. This shows what the nuture und tendency of man'e 
enmity against God is ; here it appeared in its true colors. 

5. Natural men are greater enemies to God than they are 
to any other being whatsoever. Natural men may be very 
great enemies to their fellow creatures, but not so great as 
they are to God. There is no other being that so much 
stands in sinners way, in those things that they chiefly set 
their hearts upon, as (-od. Men are wont to hate their ene- 
mies in proportion to two things, viz. their opposition to what 
they look upon to be their interest, and tlieir power and abil- 
ity. One that is looked upon a great and powerful enemy, 
will be more hated than one that is weak and impotent. But 
none of their enemies are so powerful as God. 

Man's enmity to other enemies may be got over : Time 
may wear it out, and they may be reconciled and be friends. 
But natural men, without a mighty work of God to change 
their hearts, will never get over their enmity against God. 
They are greater enemies to God than they are to the devlL 
Yea, they treat the devil as their friend and master, and joia 
in with him against God. " Ye are of your father the devil, 
and the lusts of your father ye will do : He was a murderer 
from the beginning," John viii. 44. 

I now proceed, 

in. To show why, or on what account they are enemies 
to God. 

The general reason is, That God is opposite to them i^ 
the worship of their idols. 

The apostacy of man does summaiily consist in departing 
from the true God to idols ; forsaking his Creator, and setting 
up other things in his room. 

When God at first created man, he was united to his Crea- 
tor ; the God that made him was his God. The true God 
was the object of his highest respect, and had the ^wssessioa 
of his heart. Love to God was the principle in his hearty 
that ruled over all other principles; and every tlung in the 
soul was wholly in subjection to it. But when man fell, he 
departed from the true God, and the union that was between 


4)JLS heart and his Creator was broken : He wholly lost the 
principle of love he had to God. And henceforward man 
clave to other gods. He gave that respect to the creature 
which is due to the Creator. When Cod ceased to be the 
object of his supreme love and respect, other things of course 
became the objects of it. 

Man will necessarily have something that he respects as 
his God. If man does not give his highest respect to the: 
God that made him, there will be something else that has the 
possession of it. Men will either worship the true God, or 
some idol : It is impossible it should be otherwise ; some' 
thing will have the heart of man. And that Avhich a mao 
gives bis heart to, may be called his god ; and therefore, 
when man by the fall extinguished all love to the true Cod,, 
he set up the creature in his room. 

And so man came tg be at enmity against the true C;od, 
For having lost his esteem and love of the true Cod, and set 
up other gods in his room, and in opposition to him ; and God 
still demanding their worship, and opposing them in their 
worship of those false gods ; and rnan continuing still to wor- 
ship idols, enmity necessarily fol ows. 

That which a man chooses for his god, he sets his heart 
mainly upon. And nothing will so soon excite enmity as op- 
position in that which is dearest. A man will be the greatest 
enemy to him Avho opposes him in what he chooses for his 
god : He will look on none as standing so much in his way, as 
he that would deprive him of his god. " Ye have taken away 
jny gods ; and what have I more ?" Jiidg. xviii. 24. A man 
in this respect cannot serve two masters that stand in compe- 
tition for his service. And not only if he serves one, he can- 
not serve the other, but if he cleaves to one he will necessa- 
rily hate the other. " No man can serve two masters : For 
either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will 
hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God 
and mammon," Matth. vi. 24, And this is the veiy reason 
that men hate God. In this case it is as when two kings set 
up in one kingdom in opposition one to the otlier ; and they 
both challenge the same throne, and are competitors for the 


same crown ; they thatare loyal, hearty subjects to the one, will 
necessui ily be enemies to the other. It always happens so, 
nor indeed can it be other.vise. 

As that which is a man's god, is the object of his highest 
love ; so that God, who chiefly opposes liim in it, must be the 
object of his greatest hatred. 

The gods whicii a natural man worships, instead of the 
God that made him, are himself and the world. He has 
•withdrawn his esteem and honor from God, and proudly ex- 
alts himself as Satan did : He was not willing to be in such 
subjection ; and therefore rebelled, and set up himself for 
God. So a natural man in the proud and high thoughts he has 
of himself, sets up himself upon t od's throne. And he gives 
his heart to the world, worldly riches, and worldly pleasures, 
and worldly honors ; they have the possession of that regai-d 
wh.ich is due to C:-od. The apostle sums up all the idolatry 
of wicked men in their love of the world. "Love not the 
■world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man 
love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all 
thai is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust' of the eye, 
and the piide of iile, it not of the -Father, but is of the world.'* 
I John ii. 15, 16. And the Apostle James observes, that a 
man must necessarily be the enemy of the true God, if 
he be a friend of the world. " Know ye not that the friend- 
ship of the world is enmily with Gud I Whosoever therefore 
will be a friend of the world, is the enemy ot God. ' James iv. 

All the sin that men commit, is what they do in the ser- 
vice of their idols : There is no one act of sin, but what is an 
act of service to some false god. And therefore wherein so- 
ever God opposes sin in them, he is opposite to their worship 
of tlteir idols ; on which r.ccount they arc enemies to God. 

God opposes them in their service of their idols in the 
folio ing respects. 

1. He maniltsts his utter abhorrence of their worship of 
their idols. Their idols are v/hat they love above all things ; 
they would by no means part with them. This \\ ickedncss 
is sweet unto them, Jobxx. 12. If you take them away 
what have they more ? If ihey lose their idols, tliey lose their 


ail. To rend away their idols from them v/ould be more 
grievous to them, than to rend body and soul asmidcr ; it is 
like rending their heart in twain. They love their idolatry ; 
but God does not approve of it, but exceedingly hates it ; he 
hat^s it implacably, and will by no means be rcccnciled to it ; 
and therefore they hate him. God declares an infinite hatred 
of every act of sin which they do ; or every act that tjliey do 
in the service of their false gods. He approves of it in I'.o part, 
but hates it all. He declares himself to be an holy God, and 
a jealous God ; a God that is very jealous of his ov/n honor ; 
and that greatly abhors the giving that honor to another. 

2. He utterly forbids their cleaving to those idols, v.nd all 
the service that they do to them. He not only shows that he 
dislikes it, but he utterly forbids it ; and demands that they 
should worship him, and serve him only, and give their heart:, 
wholly to him, without tolerating any competitor. He allows 
tlieni to serve their idols in no degree ; but requires them to 
east them away utterly, and pay no more worship to them at 
anytime. He requires a final parting v/ith their idols. Not only 
that they should refrain from them for a while, but cast them 
away forever, and never gratify their idolatrous respect to 
th&m any more. This is so exceeding contrary to them, and 
what they are so averse to, and so obstinate in their refusal ol, 
that they are enemies to God for it. They cannot endure 
God's commands, because they forbid all that which their 
hearts are so engaged in. And as they hate God's command's, 
30 they hate him whose commands they are. 

3. He threatens them with cverlastingdamnation for their 
service of their idols. He threatens them for their past idola- 
tiy. He threatens them with his eternal wrath, for their hav- 
ing departed from him, and their h.uving chosen to themselves 
other gods. He threatens them for that disposition they have 
in their hearts to cleave to other gods : He threatens the 
least degrees of that respect which they have in their hearts 
to their idols. He manifests that he will not tolerate any re- 
gard to them, but has fixed eternal death, as the wages of ev- 
ery degree of it. And he will not release them from their 
guilt ; he holds them to their obligations ; he will not acquit 


them at all ; and he will accept of no atonement that they eap 
make. He will not forgive them, whatever they clo in relig- 
ion ; whatever pains they take; whatever tears tliey shed. 
He will accept of no money or price that ihey have to offer. 

And he threatens every future act of their idolatry. He 
not only forbids them ever to be guilty of the least act, but 
forbids tiiem on p. in of eternal damnation. So strictly does 
God prohibit them lri;m the service of tJieir idols, that are so 
dear to them, that are their all, and which they would on no 
account part with. He threatens them with everlasting wrath 
for all exercises of inordinate love of worldly profit ; for aU 
manifestations of inordinate regard to worldly pleasures, or 
worldly honors. He threatens them with everlasting torments 
for their selfexaltation. He requires them to deny them- 
selves, and renounce themselves, and to abase themselves at 
his feet, on pain of bearing his wrath to all eternity. 

The strictness of God's law is a principal cause of man's 
enmity against God. If God were a God that did not so much 
hate sin ; if he weve one who would allow them in the gratifi- 
cation of their lusts, in some degree : And his threatening^ 
were not so awful against all indulgence of their lust ; if his 
threatenings were not so absolute ; if his displeasure could be 
appeased by a few tears, and a little reformation, or the like ; 
they would not be so great enemies, nor hate him so much as 
they do now. But God shows himself to be an implacable 
enemy to their idols, to every degree of their service of them ; 
and has threatened everlasting wrath, infinite calamity for all 
that they do in the service of their lusts ; and holds them 
bound under his wrath therefor. And this makes them irre- 
concilable enemies to him. 

For Lhis reason the Scribes and Pharisees were such bitter 
enemies to Christ, because he showed himself to be such an 
enemy to iheir pride, and conceit of their own wisdom, and 
their selfrighteousness, and inordinate affection of their own 
honor, which was their God. Natural men are enemies to 
God, because he is so opposite to them in that in which they 
place their all. If you go to take away that which is very 
dear to a man, notliiug will provoke him more. God is infi- 


j'utely opposite to that in which natural men place all their 
delight, and all their happiness, viz. their gods. He is an en- 
emy to that which natural men value as their greatest honor 
and highest dignity ; and which they trust wholly to, that 
"which is all their dependence, viz. their own righteousness. 

Hence natural men are greater enemies to God than they 
are to any other being. Some of their fellow creatures may 
stand very much in their way wiih regard to some things they 
set their hearts upon ; but God opposes them with respect 
to all their idols, and those gods which arc their all. And 
then God's opposition to their idols, which are above all 
things dear to them, is infinitely great. None of our fel- 
low creatures over oppose us in any of our interests so much 
as God opposes wicked men in their idolati y ; lor God has 
an infinite opposition against it. His infinite opposition. 
is manifested by his threatening an infinite punishment, viz. 
Jiis dreadful wrath to all eternity, misery without end. Hence 
we need not wonder that natural men are enemies to God. 

Having thus shown, in some measure, why natural me» 
are God's enemies, I proceed to the last thing proposed. 

IV. To consider and make answer to some objections, 
that some may be ready to make against this. 

Natural men do not generally conceive themselves to be 
so bad: They have not this notion of themselves, that they 
iu"e enemies to God. And therefore when they hear such 
doctrine as this taught them, they stand ready to make ob- 

Object. 1. Some natural men may be ready to say, I do not 
Imow that I feel any such enmity in my heart against God as 
Is spoken of. I am not sensible that I am such a dreadful en- 
emy, so as to hate God, and to have a mortal enmity against 
him ; and to have a disposition, if I could, to kill him. I feel 
no such thing in myself, and why should I think that I have 
such a thing in me ? If I have such enmity, why do not I feel 
it ? If I am a mortal enemy, why should I not know it better 
than any body else ? How can others see what is in my heart 
better than I myself ? If I hate one of my fellow creatures, 
and have a spirit against him, I can feel it inwardly working. 
To sueh an objection I would, 


AriQ. 1. If you do but observe yourself, and search your 
ovvn heart, unless you are strani^ely blinded, you may be sen- 
aiblc of these things wherein enmit)' does fundamentally con- 
sist. As parlicularly, you may be sensible that you hc;ve at 
least had a low and conleniprible esteem ct God ; and that 
you in your esteem set the trifles and var;ities of this world 
far above him ; so as to esteem the enjoymeni of these things 
far before the enjoyment of God, and to value these things 
better than his love. And you may be sensible that you de- 
spise the authority of God, and value his commands and his 
honor but very little. Or if by some meuns you have blind- 
ed yourself now, so as to think you do regar.l them nowj 
doubtless you can look back and sec that you have not regard- 
ed them. You may be sensible that you have had a disrelish 
and aversion towards God ; an opposition to thinking of God, 
or to have any thing to do with him ; so that it would have 
been a veiy uncomfortable task to have been confined to it for 
any time ; and that when the vanities of the world, at the same 
time, have been very pleasing to you ; and you have been 
all swallowed up in them, while you have been averse to the 
things of religion. 

If you look into your heart, it is there plain to be seen, 
that there in an enmity in your will, that your will is contrary 
to God's will ; for you have been opposing the will of God all 
your life long. These things are plain in natural men ; it is 
nothing but some great delusion that can hide tliem from you. 
And these things are the foundation of all enmity ; if these 
things be in you, all the rest that we have spoken of will fol- 
low of course. 

2. One reason why you have not more sensibly felt the 
exercises of malice against God is, that your enmity is now- 
exercised partly in your unbelief of God's being ; and this 
prevents its appearing in other ways, that otherwise it would. 
Man has naturally a praiciple of Atheism in him ; an indis- 
position to realize God's being, and a disposition to doubt of it. 
The being of God does not ordinarily seem real to natural 
men. All the discoveries that there are of God's being, in 
his works, will not overcome the principle of Atheism that is 

GOlO*3 ENEMIES, 177 

in the heat-t. And thoui^h they seem in some measure to be 
rationally convinced, yet it does not appear real ; the convic« 
tlon is faint, there is no strong conviction impressed on the 
mind, that there is a God : And oftentimes they are ready to 
think that there is none. Now this will prevent the exercise 
of this enmity thi;t otherwise would be felt ; particularly, it 
may be an occasion of there not being those sensible exercis- 
es of hatred, that otherwise there would be. 

It may in some measure be illustrated by this : If you had 
ft rooted malice against another man, a principle that had been 
long established there ; if you should hear that he was dead, 
and so should conceive that he had no being, the sensible 
workings of your malice would not be felt, as when you real- 
ized it that he was alive, or that there was such a person ; and 
that although there be the same thing in the foundation, which 
Would appear, if you should afterwards hear the news contra- 
dicted, and perceive that your enemy was still alive ; you 
would feel the same workings of hatred that you did before. 
And when you thought he was dead, you might feel the ex- 
ercise of your enmity, in being glad of it. And thus your not 
realizing it, that Clod has a being, may prevent those sensible 
workings of hatred, that otherwise you would have. If wick- 
ed men in this world were sensible of the reality of Cod's be- 
ing, as the wicked are in another, they would feel more of 
that hatred, that men in another world do. The exercise 
of corruption in one way, may, and often does prevent it 
working in other ways. As covetousness may prevent the 
exercise of pride, so atheism may prevent malice ; and 
yet it maybe no argument of there being any the less of a prin- 
ciple of enmity in the heart ; for it is the same enmity work- 
ing in another way. The same enmity that in this world 
works by atheism, will in another world where there will be 
no room for Atheism, work by malice and blasphemy. The 
»ame mortal enmity that, if you saw there wasa(-od, might 
make you to wish him dead, and to desire, if it were possible, 
to kill hira, may now dispose and incUne to thiiik there is 
none. Men are very often apt to think things are so as they 
Would have them to b«. The same principle disposes you t^ 

Vol. VIL Y 


think God has no life, which, if you knew he had, voidd diSPt* 
pose you, if it were possible, to tuke it away. 

3. If you think that there is a God, yet you do not realize 
it, that he is such a C^od as he is. You do not realize it, that he 
is so holy a " od as he is : You do not realize it, that he has 
such an hatred of sin as indeed he has. You do not realize it, 
tliat he is so just a God as he is, that ■will by no means clear 
the guilty. But that in the Psalms is applicable to you ; 
" These things hast thou done, and I kept silence : Thou 
thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." PsaK 
1. 21. So tliat if you think there is a God, you do not think 
there is such a God as there is. And your atheism appears 
in this, as well as in tlanking there is no God. For that God 
that you think there is, is not that God that indeed is, but 
another, one ol your own feigning, the fruit of your own vain, 
deluded imagination. So that your objection arises from this, 
that you do not find such a sensible hatred against tliat God 
which you have foniied, to suit yourself; a god that you like 
better than the true < Jod. But this is no argument that you 
have not bitter enmity against the true God ; for it was your 
enmity against the true God, and your not liking him, that has 
put you upon forming up another in your imagination, that 
you like better. It is your enmity against those attributes of 
God's holiness and justice, aiid the like, that has put you up- 
on conceiting another, who is not so holy as he is, and does 
not hate sin so much, and will not be so strictly just in pun- 
ishing It ; and whose wrttth against sin is not so terrible. 

But if you was sensible of the vanity of your own conceits, 
and that God was not such an one as you have imagined ; but 
that he is, as he is indeed, an infinitely holy, just, sin hating, 
and sin revenging C od, who will not tolerate nor endure the 
worship of idols, you would be much more liable to feel the 
sensible exercises of enmity against him, than you are now. 
And this experience confirms. For we see that when men 
come to be imdcr convictions, and to be made sensible that 
God is not as they have heretofore imagined ; but that he i« 
such a jealous, sin hating God, and whose wrath against sin is 
so dreadful, they are much more apt to have sensible exercise* 
of enmity against (iod than before.- 

eOD's ENEMIES. 179 

4, Your having always been taught thatGodis infinitely 
above you, and out of your reuch, has prevented your enmity's 
being exercised in those ways that otherwise it would have 
been. You have always from your infancy been taught, that 
God is so high, that you cannot hurt him ; that notion has 
grown up with you. And hence you be not sensible, that you 
have any disposition to hurt him ; because it has been con- 
ceived so impossible, that it has not come into your mind. 
And hence your enmity has not been exercised in revengeful 
thoughts ; because revenge has never found any room here j 
it has never found any handle to take hold of; there has been 
no conception of any such thing, and hence it has lain still, 
A serpent will not bite, or spit poison at that which it sees at 
a great distance ; which if it saw near, would do it immedi- 
ately. Opportunity shows what men be often times, whether 
friends or enemies. Opportunity to do, puts men in rrind of 
doing ; wakens up such principles as lay dormant before. 
Opportunity stirs up desire to do, where there was before a 
disposition that without opportunity would have lain still. If a 
man has had an old grudge against another, and has a fair opr 
portunity to be revenged, this will revive his malice, and wak- 
en up a desire of revenge. 

If a great and sovereign prince i-ijures a poor man, and 
though what he does is looked upon very cruel, that will not 
ordinarily stir up that passionate revenge, as if he sustained 
no bigger an injury from one of his equals, because he is so 
much above him, and out of his reach. Many a man ihat has 
appeared calm and meek when he has had no power in his 
hands, and has not appeared, either to himself or others, to 
have any disposition to these and those cruel acts ; that yet af- 
terwards, when he came to have opportunity by unexpected 
advancement or otherwise, has appeared like a ravenous wolf, 
or devouring lion. So it was with Hazael. " And Hazael 
said, why weepeth my lord ? And he answered, because I 
know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel : 
Their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men 
wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and 
rip up their women with child. And Hazael said, but what 


thv servant a dog, that ho should do this great thing^ I And 
Elisha answered, the Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be 
king over Syria." 2 Kings viii. 12, 13. Hazael was then a ser- 
vant ; he- had no power in his hands to do as he pleased ; and 
so that cruel disposition that was in him had lain hid, and 
he did not himself imagine that it was there : But afterwards^ 
when he became king of Syria and was absolute, and had 
none to control him ; then it broke out and appeared, and he 
did as the prophet had foretold. He committed those very 
acts of cruelty, that he thought it was not in his heart to do. 
And it was want of opportunity that was the thing that made 
the difference. It was all in his heart before ; He was such 
a dog then as to do this thing, but only had not had opportu- 
nity. And therefore when he seems supprised that the proph- 
et should say so of him, all the reason the prophet gives is, 
" The Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be king over 

And some natural men are such dogs as to do things, if 
they had opportunity, which they do not imagine it is in their 
hearts to do. You object against your having a mortal hatred 
against God ; that you never felt any desire to kill him. But 
one reason has been, that it has always been conceived so im- 
possible by you, and you have been so sensible how much de- 
sires would be in vain, that it has kept doAvn such a desire. 
But if the life of God w^ere within your reach, and you knew 
it, it would not be safe one hour. Who knows what thoughts 
would presently arise in your heart by such an opportunity, 
and what disposition would be raised up in your heart I Who 
would trust your heart, that there would not presently be such 
thoughts as these, though they are enough to make one trem- 
ble to mention them ? " Now I have opportunity to set my- 
self at liberty.,. ..that I need not be kept in continual slavery 
by the strict law of God. Then I may take my liberty to walk 
in that way I like best and need not be continually in such slav- 
ish fear of God's displeasure. And God has not done well by 
me in many instances. He has done most unjustly by me, in 
holding me bound to destruction for unbelief, and other tilings 
which I cannot help JIc has shown mercy to others, and re-- 


fused it to me. I have now an opportunity to deliver myself, 
and there can be no danger of my being hurt for it : (^od will 
not be alive to revenge it. And then there will be no God 
for us to be terrified about, and so keep us in slavery." 

Who would trust your heart, that such thoughts would 
not arise ? And others much more horrid ! Too dreadful to 
be mentioned I And therefore I forbear. Those natural men 
are foolishly insensible of what is in their own hearts, who 
think there would be no danger of any such workings of 
heart, if they knew they had opportunity. 

5, You little consider how much your having no more of 
the sensible exercises of hatred to God, is owing to a being 
restrained by fear. You have always been taught what a 
dreadful thing it is to hate God. And you have been taught 
what a dreadful being God is, and how terrible God's displeas- 
ure is ; that God sees the heart, and knows all the thoughts ; 
and that you are in his hands, and he can make you as miser- 
able as he pleases, and as soon as he pleases. And these 
things have restrained you : And the fear that nas risen from 
these things, has kept you from appearing what you are ; it 
has kept down your enmity, and made that serpent afraid to 
show its head, as otherwise it would do. If a man were whol- 
ly under the power of an enemy, though he were never so 
much of an enemy to him, he would be afraid to exercise his 
hatred in outward acts, unless it were with great disguise.... 
And if it be supposed that such an enemy, in whose power he 
was, could see his heart, and know all his thoughts, and ap- 
prehended that he would put him to a terrible death, if he saw 
the workings of malice there, how greatly would this restrain I 
He would be afraid so much as to believe himself, that he hat- 
ed his enemy ; but there would be all manner of smothering, 
disguise, antl hypocrisy, and feigning even of thoughts and 

Thus your enmity has been kept under restraint ; and 
thus it has been from your infancy. You have grown up in it, 
so that it has become an habitual restraint. You dare not so 
much as think you hate God. If you do exercibe hatred, you 
kave a disguise for it, whereby you endeavor even to hide it 


from your own conscience ; and so have all along deceived 
yourself. An:l your deceit is very old and habicual ; and 
hence you are so difficultly convinced. But this has been only 
restraint: It has been no mortification. But there has been an 
eniniry against God in its full strength. It has been only re- 
straiiieJiikc an enemy thatdurst not rise up and show himself. 

6. One reason why you have not felt more sensible haired 
to God, mciy be because you have not had much trial of what 
is in your heart. It may be God has hitherto in a great meas- 
ui-e, let you alone. The enmity that is in men's heaits a* 
gainst God, is like a serpent, which, if he he let alone, lies 
still ; but if any body disturbs it, will soon hiss, and be enrag- 
ed, and show its serpentine spiteful nature. 

Nut.vithstmdinii; the good opinion you have ')f yourself, 
yet a little trial would show you to be a viper, an d your heart 
would be set all on rage against God. One thing that re- 
strains you now is your hope. You hope to receive m-iny 
things from God. Your own interest is concerned ; you hope 
to make great gains of God. So that both hope and fear op- 
erate together, to restrain your enmity from such sensible ex- 
ercises as otherwise would be. But if once hope were gone, 
you would soon show what you were : You would soon feel 
your enmity against v ^od in a rage. 

7. If you pretend that you do not feel enmity against God, 
and yet act as an enemy, you may certainly conclude, that it ig 
not because you are no enemy, but because you do not know 
your own heart. Actions are the best interpreters of tlie dis- 
position : They show, better than any thing else, what the 
heart is. It must be because you do not observe your own be- 
havior, that you question whether you arc iui enemy to God, 

What other account can you give of your own carriage, 
but only your being God's enemy ? What other can be givep 
of your so opposing God in your ways; walking so exceed- 
ing contrary to Lim, contrary to his counsels, contrary to his 
commands, and contrary to his glory ? What other account 
can be given of your casting so much contempt upon God ; 
your setting him so low ; your acting so much against his 
authority, and against his kingdom imd interest in the world ? 


What other account can be given of your so setting your 
yifili in opposition to (iod's will, and that so obstinately, for so 
long a time, against so many wuinings as you have had ? What 
other account can be given of your joining so much with Sa- 
tan, in the opposition he is making to the kingdom of God in 
the world ? And that ycu will join with him against Cod, 
though it be so much against your own interest, and though 
you expose yourself by it to everlasting misery ? 

Such like behavior in one man towards another, would be 
looked on as sufficient evidence of a mu.n's being an enemy 
to another. If he should be seen to behave thus from time 
to time, and that it was his constant manner, none would 
want any better evidence, that he was an enemy to his neigh- 
bor. If you yourself had a servant that carried it towards 
you, as you do towards God, you would not think there was 
need of any greater evidence of his being your enemy. 
If your servant should manifest so much contempt of you ; 
should disregard your commands as much as you do the com- 
mands of God; and should go so directly contrary ; should 
in so many ways act the veiy reverse of your commands ; and 
should seem to set himself in ways tliat were contrary to your 
will so obstinately and incorrigibly, without any amiCndment 
from your repeated calls and warnings, and threatenings ; 
and should act so cross to you duy and rjght, as you do to God ; 
when you sought one thing, he would seek the contrary; 
when you did any work, he would, as much as in him lay, un- 
do and destroy your work ; and should continually drive at 
such ends, as tended to overthrow the ends you aimed at ; 
when you sought to bring to pass any design, he would en- 
deavor to overthrow your design ; and should set himself as 
much against your interest, as you do yourself against God's 
honor. And you should moreover see him, from time to 
time, with others that were your declared mortal enemies ; 
and making them his counsellors so much as you do the dev- 
ils, God's declared mortal enemies : And hearkening to their 
counsels, as much as you do to Satan's temptations : Should 
you not think you had sufficient evidence that he was your en- 
enjy indexed ?^.^ 


Therefore consider seriously your ovm ways, and weigh 
your own behavior. " How canst thou say, I am not polluted? 
See thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done, Jer. 
iii. 23. 

Object. II. Natural men may be ready to object, the 
respect they show to God, from time to time. This makes 
many to think that they arc far from being; such enemies to 
God. They carry it respectfully towards God : They pray 
to him in secret, and do it in as humble a manner as they are 
able. They attend on public worship, and take a great deal 
of pains to do it in a decent manner. It seems to them that 
they show God a great deal of respect; they use many very 
respectful terms in their prayer ; they give him all the hon- 
or they can ; they are respectful in their manner of speaking* 
aiKl in their voice, and their gestures, and the like. 

But to this, I 

Answer^ That all this is done in mere hypocrisy. All this 
seeming respect is feigned, there is no sincerity in it ; there 
is external respect but no respect in the heai-t ; there is 
a show, and nothing else. You only cover your' enmity 
with a painted vail. You put on the disguise of a friend, but 
in your heart you are a mortal enemy for all that. There is 
external honor, but inward contempt ; there is a show of 
friendship and- regard, but inward hatred. You do but de- 
ceive yourself with your show of respect, and endeavor to 
deceive God ; not considering God looks not on the outward 
appearance, but he looks on the heart. 

Here consider particularly. 

1. That much of that seeming respect which natural mea 
show to God, is owing to their education. They have been 
taught from their infancy that they ought to show great re- 
spect to God They have been taught to use respectful lan- 
guage, when speaking about God, and to behave with solem- 
nity, when attending on these exercises of religion, wherein 
they have to do with God. They, from their childhood, have 
seen that this is the manner of others, when they pray to God, 
to use reverential expressions, and a reverential behavior be- 
fore him. And their show of respect, which they make t» 
God, is owing, in a great measure, to this. 


Those who are brought up in places where they have com- 
monly, from their infancy, heard men take the name of God 
i.i vain, and swear, and curse, and blaspheme ; they learn to 
do the same, and it becomes habitual to them so to do. And 
it is the same way, and no other that you have learned to be- 
have respectfully towards God ; not that you have any more 
respect to God than they ; but they have been brought up 
one way, and you another. In soa>e parts of the world, men 
are brought up in the worship of idols of silver, and gold, and 
wood, and stone, made in the shape of men and beasts. " They 
&ay of them, Let the men tliat sacrifice, kiss the calves," Hos. 
xiii. 2. In some parts of the world they are brought up to 
v>^orship serpents, and are taugln from their infancy to carry 
it with great respect to them And in some places they are 
brought up in worshipping the devil, who appears to them 
in a bodily shape ; and to behave with a show of great i-ever- 
ence and honor towards him. And what respect you show 
to God has no better foundation ; it comes the same way, and 
is worth no more. 

2. That show of respect which you make is forced. You 
come to God, and make a great show of respect to him, and 
use very respectful terms, with a respectful, reverential tone 
and manner of speaking ; and your countenance is grave and 
solemn ; and you put on an humble aspect ; and you kneel, 
and use humble, respectful postures, out of fear. You are 
afraid that C od will execute his wrath upon you ; and so you 
feign a great deal o£ respect, that he may not be angry with 
you. " Through the greatness of thy power shall thine ene- 
mies submit themselves unto thee," Psal. Ixvi. 3. In the 
original it is, " shall thine enemies lie to thee." It is render- 
ed therefore in the margin, " shall yield feigned obedience 
unto thee." All that you do in religion is forced and feigned. 
Through the greatness of God's power, you yield feigned 
obedience. You are in God's power, and he is able to destroy 
you ; and so you feign a great deal of respect to him, that he 
might not destroy you. As one might do towards an enemy 
that had taken him captive, though he at the same time would 
Vol. VII. Z 


gladly make his escape, if he could, by taking away the life 
of him who had taken him captive. 

3. It is not real respect that moves you to benave so to- 
wards God ; you do it because you hope you shall get by it,' 
It is respect to yourself, and not respect to God, that moves 
you. You hope to move God to bestow the rewards of liis 
children by it. You are like the Jews who followed Christ, 
an.l called him Rabbi, and would make him a king. Not 
that they honored him so much in their hearts, as to think 
him worthy of the honor of a king, or that they had the re- 
spect of sincere subjects ; but they did it for the sake of the 
loaves. " Jesus perceived that they would come and take 
him by force to make him a king. And when they had found, 
him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, 
when camest thou hither ? Jesus answered, and said unto 
them. Verily, verily, I say unto you. Ye seek me, not because 
yovi saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, 
and were filled. " John vi. 15 25, 26. 

These things do not argue but that you are implacable en- 
emies to God notwithstanding. If you examine your prayers 
and other duties, your own consciences will tell you that tlie 
seeming respect which you have shown to (iod in them, has 
been only in hypocrisy. That oftentimes you have set forth 
in your prayers, that viod was a great God, and glorious God, 
an infinitely holy C.od, as if you greatly honored him on the 
account of these attributes ; and you, at the same time, had 
no sense in your heart of the greatness and gloriousness of 
God, or of any excellency in his holiness. And so your own 
consciences will tell you, that you have often pretended to be 
thankful ; you have told God, that you thanked him that you 
was alive, and thanked him for these and tliose mercies, when 
you have not found the least jot of thankfulness in your heart. 
And so you have told God of your own unworthincss, and set 
forth what a vile creature you was, when you have had n© 
humble sense of your own unworthiness. 

And if these forementioned restraints were tin-own off, 
you would soon throw ofi' all your show of respect. Take 
away fear, and take away a regard to your own interest, an4 


chere would soon be an end to all those appearances of love, 
honor and reverence, which now you make. All these things 
are not at all inconsistent with the most implacable enmity. 

The devil himself made a show of respect to Christ, wiien 
■he was afraid that he was going to torment him ; and when 
jhe hoped to persuade Christ to spare him longer. " When 
he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with 
a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou 
son of Cod most high ? I beseech thee torment me not." 
Luke viii. 28. 

Object III, Some may perhaps object against this doctdne 
of their being God's enemies, the religious affections they have 
sometimes experienced. They may be ready to say, That 
when they have come before God in prayer, they have not on- 
ly used respectful terms and gestures, but they have prayed 
with affection ; their prayers have been attended with tears, 
which they are ready to think showed something in the heart 

Ansvjer. These affections have risen from other causes, 
and not from any true respect to God. 

As particularly. 

1. They have risen from selfiove, and not loye to Cod, 
If you have wept before God, from the consideration of your 
own pitiful case, that has been because you loved yourself, 
and not because you had any respect to God, And if your 
tears have been from sorrow for your sins, you have mourned 
for your sins, because you have sinjied against yourself, and 
not because you have sinned against God. " When you fasted 
and mourned, did ye at all fast unto me, even unto Me ]'" 
Zech. vii. 5, 

2. Pride and a good thought of themselves, very common- 
ly has a great hand in the affections of natural men. They 
have a good ophiion of what they are doing when they are 
praying ; and the reflection on that affects diem ; they are af- 
fected with their own goodness. Man's selfrighteousness often 
occasions tears. An high opinion of thcmrielves before God, 
and an imagination of their being persons of great account 
with him, has affected them in their transactions with Cod. 

There is commonly abundance of pride in the midst of 
tears, and pride is, in a great measure, the source of them. 


And then they are so far from being an argument that you be 
not an enemy to God, that on the contrary, they are an argu- 
ment that you be. In your veiy tears, you are in a vain con- 
ceit of yourself, exalting yourself against God. 

3. The affections of natural men do often arise from 
wrong conceits that they have of God, They conceive of 
God, after the manner they do of men, as though he were a 
being liable to be wrought upon in his affections. They con- 
ceive of him as one whose heart could be di*awn, whose af- 
fections can be overcome by what he sees in them. They con- 
ceive of him as being taken with them and their performan- 
ces ; and this works on their affections ; and thus one tear 
draws another, and their affections increase by reflection. 
And ofieniimes they conceive of God as one that loves them, 
and is a friend to them ; and such a mistake may work much 
on their aflcctions. But such affections that arise towards 
God, as they conceit him to be, is no argument that they have 
not the same implacable hatred towards (..od, considered as 
he really is. There is no concluding that men are not ene- 
mies, because they are affected and shed tears in their prayers, 
and the like, Saul was very much affected when David ex- 
postulated with him about pursuing after him and seeking to 
kill him. Diivid's words wrought exceedingly upon Saul's 
affections. " And it came to pass when David had made an 
end of speaking these Avords unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this 
thy voice, my Son David ? And Saul lifted up his voice and 
wept," 1 Sam. xxiv. 16, and chap, xxvi, 1. Sec. He was so 
affected that he wept aloud, and called David his Son, though 
he was just before seeking his life. But this affection of 
Saul's was no argument that he did not still continue in his 
enmity against David. He was David's mortal enemy before, 
and sought his life, and so he did afterwards. It was but a 
pang ; his ennaity was not mortified or done away. The next 
news we hear of Saul is, that he was pursuing David, and 
seeking his life again. 


This shall be of instruction, in several inferences. 
Inf. I. If it be so that natural men are God's enemies, 
then hence we may Icani, hov,' much we are indebted to God 


for his restraiuin;^ grace. If all natural men are God's enemies, 
what would they not do if they were not restrained 1 For what 
has one that is an enemy within himself, or in his dispobition 
to restrain him from acting against him that he is an eneniy 
to ? Hatred will not restrain a man fi'om acting any thing 
whatsoever against him that is hated. Nothing is too bad 
for hatred, if it be mere hatred, and no love ; nothing is too 
bad for that to do towards the object of it. Hatred shows no 
kindness either in doing or forbearing. Only hatred will 
rever make a man forbear to act any thing whatsoever against . 
God ; for the very nature of hatred is to seek evil. But wick- 
ed men as has been shown, are mere enemies to God. They 
have hatred, without any iove at all. And hence natural men 
have nothing within them, in their own nature to restrain 
them from anything that is bad, be it never so bad ; and 
therefore their restraint must not be owing to nature, but to 
restraining grace. And therefore whatever wickedness we 
have been kept from, it is not because we have not been bad 
enough to commit it ; but it is God has restrained us, and 
kept us back from sin. There can be no worse principle than 
a principle of hatred to ( od. The devils in heil do not do 
any thing from any worse principle than this And there can 
be no principle that will go furtiier in wickedness than this, if 
it be neither mortified nor restr^aned. But it is not mortifi- 
ed in natural men ; and therefore all that keeps them from 
any degree of v/ickedness is restrained. If we have seen oth- 
ers do things tiiat we never did ; and il tliey have done worse 
than we, this is owing to restraining grace. If we have 
not done as bad as Pharaoh, it is ovviug to tiivine restraints. 
If we have not done as bad £is Judus, or as the Scribes and 
Pharisees, or as bad as Herod, or Simon Magus, it is because 
God has restrained our corruption. If we have ever heard or 
read of any that have done worse than we ; if we have not 
gone the length in sinning that the most wicked pirates or 
carnal persecutors have gone, this is owing to restraining 
grace. For we are all naturally the enemies of God as much 
as they. If we have not committed the unpardonable sin, it 
is owing to restraining grace. There is no worse principle 


in exercise in that sin, than enmity against God, Therein 
the entire fountain, and all the foundation of the sin against 
the Holy Ghost, in that enmity against God that we all have m 
us, and naturally reigns in us. 

It is not -vve oursi-.lves that restrain ourselves from the 
commission of the greatest imaginable wickedness ; for en- 
mity against God reigns in us and over us ; we ai-e under the 
power and dominion of it, and are sold under it. We do not 
restrain that which reigns over us. A slave, as long as he 
.continues a mere slave, cannot control his master. " He that 
committeth sin, is the servant of sin." Job viii. 34. So that 
the restraint of this our cruel tyrant is owing to God and not 
to us. What does a poor impotent subject do to restrain 
the absolute lord that has him wholly under his power ? 

How much will it appear that the world is indebted to the 
restraining grace of God, if we consider that the world is full 
of enemies to ■ od 1 The world is full of inhabitants ; and 
almost all are God's enemies, his implacable and mortal ene- 
mies. What therefore would they not do ; what work would 
they not make if God did not restrain them ? 

God's work in the restraint that he exercises over a wick- 
ed world, is a glorious work. God's holding the reins upon 
the corruptions of a wicked world and setting bounds to their 
•wickedness, is a more glorious work than his ruling the rag- 
ing of the sea, and setting bounds to its proud waves, and 
^ayin^, 'i/i/ii^rto ^hall thou coiw and no further. In hell dodlets 
the wickedness of wicked spirits have the reins to rage without 
restraint ; and it would be in a great measure upon earth as 
it is ip hell, did not God restrain the wickedness of the world. 

But iu order to the better understanding how it is owing 
to the i-estruining grace of (^od, that we are kept and with- 
held from the highest acts of sin, I would here observe sevei'- 
al things. 

1 . Whenever men are withheld from sinning by the com- 
mon influence of God's Spirit, they are withheld by restimin- 
ing grace. If sinners arc awakened sinners, and are made 
sensible of the great guilt that Jiin brings, and that it exposes 
to a dreadful punishment j they, under such circumstancGS^ 


dare not allow themselves in wilful sin : God restrains them 
by the convictions of his Spirit ; and therein their being kept 
from sin is owing to restraining grace. And sinners that live 
under the gospel, that are not awakened sinncs, hut in a great 
measure secure, yet commonly have some deii;vfes of the in- 
fluence of God's Spirit, with his ordinances iniiuencing natur- 
al conscience. And though they be not suflficient thorouf^hly 
to rouse them out of security, or make them reform, yet they 
keep them from going such lengths in sin, as othei-wise 
they might do. And when it is thus, this is restraining >'race. 
They are very stupid and sottish, yet they would be a great 
deal more so, if God should let them wholly alone. 

2. All the restraints that men are under from the word 
and ordinances, is from restraining grace. The word and or- 
dinances of God might have some degree of influence on 
men's natural principles of selflove, to resti'ain them from 
sin, without any degree of the influence of God's Spirit ; 
but this would be the restraining grace of Cod ; for God's 
goodness to a sinful world, appears in his giving his word to 
be a restraint on the wickedness of the world. When men are 
restrained by fear of those punishments that the word of God 
threatens ; or by the warnings of the word, or by the offers 
and promises of it ; when the word of God works upon hope, 
©r upon fear, or natural conscience, to restrain men from sin, 
this is the restraining grace of God. When Ave are restrain- 
ed thus, it is owing to the mercy of God that we are re- 
strained. It is an instance of God's mercy, that he has re- 
vealed hell to restrain men's wickedness ; and that he has re- 
vealed a way of salvation and a possibility of eternal life. 
This is a thing that has great influence on men to restrain 
them from sin ; and this is the restraining grace of God, 

3. When men are restrained from sin by the light of na- 
ture, this also is restraining grace. If men are destitute of 
the light of God's word, yet the light of natural conscience 
teaches, that sin brings guilt, and exposes to punishment. 
The light of nature teaches, that there is a God who governs 
the world, and will reward the good and punish the evil. 
When men are rrstrained bv this, thev are to attribute their 


restraints to the restraining grace of God ; for it is Cod who 
is the author of the light of nature, as well as the light of rev- 
elation. He in mercy to mankind, makes known many things 
by natural light to work upon men's fear and sclilove to 
.restrain their corruptions. 

4. When God restrains men's corruptions by his provi- 
dence, this is restraining grace. And that whether it be his 
general providence, or his providence in ordering the sta.e of 
mankind ; or his particular providence, or providejitial dis- 
posals towards them in particular. 

(1.) God doth greatly restrain the corruption of the world 
by ordering the state of mankind. He has set mankind here 
in a mortal state, and that is a great restraint on their corrup- 
tion. He hath set mankind in a state of probation for eterni- 
ty, and that is a great restraint to corruption. God hath so 
ordered the 'state of mankind, that ordinarily many kinds of 
sin and wickedness are disgraceful, and what tend to the hurt 
of a man's chai*acter and reputation amongst his fellow men ; 
and that is a great restraint. He hath so disposed the world 
that many kinds of wickedness are many ways very contrary to 
men's temporal interest ; and that is a great restraint. God 
has so disposed the state of mankind, that they are led to pro- 
hibit many kinds of v.ickedness by human laws j and that 
is a great resti'aint. God hath set up a church in the world, 
made of those, who, if they are answerable to their profession, 
have the fear and love of God in their hearts ; and they, by 
holding forth light and the word of Cod, and keeping up the 
ordinances of God in the world, and by w^irning others', are 
a great restraint to the wickedness of the world. 

But in all these things the restraining grace of God ap- 
pears. It is God's mercy to mankind, that he has so ordered 
their state, that they should have so many things, by fear 
and a regard to their own interest, to restrain their corrup- 
tions. It is God's mercy to the world, that the state of man- 
kind here does so difler in that respect from the sute of the 
damned in hell ; where men will have none of these tliinge 
to restrain them : They will not be in such circumstances 
that will so influence their hope and fear to restrain them 
from sin. 

GOD's; ENEMIES. 195 

The wisdom of God, as well as the attributes of God's 
grace, greatly appears in thus disposing things for the re- 
straining the wickedness of men. 

(2.) God doth greatly restrain the corruptions of men by 
his particular providence, or providence towards particular 
persons, by placing men in such circumstances as to lay them 
under restraints. And to this it is often owing that some nat- 
ural men never go such lengths in sinning, or are never guilty 
of such atrocious wickedness as some others, that providence 
has placed in different circumstances. If it were not for 
this, many thousands of natural men, who now live sober 
and orderly lives, would do as Pharaoh did. The reason why 
tliey do not, is, that providence has placed them in diffei'ent 
circumstances. If they were in the same ciixumstances as 
Pharaoh was in, they would do as he did. And so, if in the 
same circumstances as Manasseh, as Judas, as Nero." But 
providence restrains their corruptions, by putting them in 
such circumstances as not to open such a door or outlet for 
their corruptions as he did to them. So some do not do such 
horrid things as others ; they do not live such horribly vicious 
lives as some others, because providence has restrained them., 
by ordering that they should have a better education than oth- 
ers. Providence has ordered that they should be the children 
of pious parents, it may be, or should live where they sliuuld. 
enjoy many means of grace ; and so providence has laid them 
under restraints. Now this is restraining grace. The attri- 
bute of God's grace is exercised in thus restraining persons 
in providence. 

And oftentimes God restrains men's corrup'dons by par- 
ticular events of providence. By particular afflictions they 
are brought under, or by particular occurrences, whereby God 
does, as it were, block up men's way in their course of sin, or 
in some wickedness that they had devised, and that otherwise 
they would perpetrate. Or something happens unexpected, to 
hold men back from that which they were about to commit. 
When men are restrained thus, it is God that restrains them. 
Thus God restrained David by his providence from shedding 
blood as he intended to do. " Now therefore, my Lord, as 
Vol. VII. 2 A 


the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath 
withholden thee from condn,^ to shed blood, and from aveng- 
ing tliyself with thine own hand " 1 Sam. xxv. 26. God 

■withheld it from him no otherwise than by ordering it so in 
his providence, that Abigail should come, and by her wisdom 
should cool and pacify him, and persuade him to alter his pur- 
pose. See verses 32, 33, 34. 

5. Godly persons are greatly indebted to restraining 
grace, in keeping them from dreadful acts of sin. So it was 
in that instance of David, that has been just mentioned. God- 
ly persons, when God has left, and has not restrained them, 
have fallen into dreadful acts of sin. So did David in the 
case of Uriah, Lot, Peter^ And when other Godly persons 
are kept from falling into such sins, or much worse sins than 
tliese, it is owing to the restraining grace of God. Merely 
having a principle of grace in their hearts, or merely their be- 
ing godly person^, without God's presence to restrain them, 
mil not keep them from great acts of sin. That the godly do 
not fall into the most horrid sins that can be conceived of, 
is owing, not so much to any inconsistence between their fall- 
ing into such sins, and the having the principle of grace in the 
heart, as it is owing to the covenant mercy of God, whereby 
he has pr mised never to leave nor forsake his people ; and 
that he will not suffer them to be tempted above what they 
are able ; but with the temptation will make a way for them 
to escape. If saving grace restrains men from great acts of 
sin, this is owing to God, who gives such exercises of grace at 
that time when the temptation comes, that they are restrained. 
Let not the godly therefore be insensible of their iedebted- 
ness to the restraining grace of God, Though the godly can- 
not be said to be enemies to God, because a principle of en- 
mity does not rei!-,n ; yet they have the very same principle 
and seed of enmity in them, though it be mortified. Though 
it be not in reigning power, yet it has great strength ; and is 
too strong for them without God's almighty power to help 
them against it. Though they be not enemies to (Jod, be- 
cause they have another principle, besides a principle of enmi- 
ty, viz. a principle of love, yet their old man, the body of sin 


and death, that yet remains in them, is a mortal enemy to Cod. 
Corruption in the godly is not a whit better than it is in the 
wicked. The corruption in them is of as bad a nature every 
whit as that which is in a mortal enemy to Clod : It aims at 
the life of God v/herevcr it is. And though it be not in reign- 
;'jng power, yet it would dreadfully rage wereit not for God's 
restraining grace. 

God gives his restraining grace to both natiK'al men and 
godly men ; but only there is this diiTerence, God gives 
his restraining grace to his children in the way of covenant 
mercy ; it is pai-t of the mercy promised to them in his cove- 
nant. God is faithful and will not leave them to sin in like 
manner as wicked men do, otherwise they would do every 
whit as bad. 

Let not therefore the godly attribute it to themselves, oi 
merely to their own goodness, that they are not guilty of such 
horrid crimes as they hear of in others : Let them consider, it 
is not owing to them, but to food's restraints. 

Thus all both godly and ungodly- may learn from this doc- 
trine, their great indebtedness to the restraining grace of God. 

I now proceed to 

Inf. 11. Hence we may learn the reason why natural 
men will not come to Christ : For they do not come because 
they will not come. Ye will not come to me that ye might have 
lifr, John v. 40. When we say that natural men are not will- 
ing to come to Christ, it is not meant that they are not will- 
ing to be delivered from hell ; for without doubt, no natural 
man is willing to go to hell. Nor is it meant that they are not 
willing that Christ should keep them from going to hell„ 
Without doubt, natural men that are under awakenings, do 
often greatly desire this. But if they do desire it, this docs 
not argue that they are willing to come to Christ ; for not- 
withstanding their ciesire to be delivered from hell, yet their 
hearts do not close with Christ, but are averse to him. They 
see nothing in Christ wherefore they should desire him ; no 
beauty nor comeliness to draw or incline their hearts to him. 
And they are not willing to take Christ as he is ; they would 
fain divide Christ. There are some things in him that they 


like, and others that they greatly dislike ; but consider him 
as he is, and as he is offered to them in the gospel, and they 
will not have him. They are not willing to accept of Christ 
as he is offered ; for in doing so, they must of necessity part 
with all their sins ; they must sell the world, and part with 
their own righteousness. But they arc not willing to do that ; 
they had rather, for the present, run the venture of going to 
hell than do that. 

When men are truly willing to come to Christ, they are 
freely willing. It is not what they are forced and driven to 
by threatenings ; but they are willing to come, and choose to 
come without being driven. But natural men have no such 
free willingness ; but, on the contrary, have an aversion. 
And the ground of it is that which we have heard, viz. That 
they are enemies to God. Their having such a reigning en- 
mity against (.iod, makes them obstinately refuse to come to 
Christ. If a man is an enemy to God, he will necessarily be 
an enemy to Christ too ; for Christ is the son of God ; he is 
inlinitely near to God, yea he is God. He has the nature of 
God, as well as the nature of man. He is a Saviour appointed 
of God. God anointed him,, and sent him into the world. 
And in doing what he did in the w^ork of redemption, he 
wrought the works of God. He always did those things that 
pleased God ; and all that he does as a Saviour, is to the glory 
of God. And one great thing that he aimed at in his redemp- 
tion, was to deliver them from their idols which they had 
chosen, and bring them to God. The case being so, and sin- 
ners being enemies to God, they will necessarily be opposite 
to coming to Christ ; for Christ is of God, and as a Saviour, 
seeks to bring them to God only : But natural men are not of 
God, but are averse to him. 

Inf, III. From this doctrine we may learn, how dreadful 
the condition of natural men is. 1 heir state is a state of en- 
mity with God. If we consider what God is, and what men 
are, it will be easy for us to conclude, that such men as are 
God's enemies, must be miserable. Consider, ye that are 
enemies to God, how great a God he is that ye are enemies to. 
He is the <;t.ernal God : The God that hlls heaven and earth, 


and whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain. He is the 
God that made you ; the God in whose hand your breath is, 
and whose are all your ways ; the God in whom you live, and 
move, and have your being ; the God who has your soul and 
body in his hands every moment. 

You would look on yourself as in very unhappy circum- 
stances, if your neighbors were all your enemies, and none of 
your fellow creatures were your friends. If every body were 
set against you, and all despised and hated you, you would be 
ready to think, you had better be out of the world than in it. 
But if it be such a calamity to have enmity maintained be- 
tween you and your fellow creatures, what is it when you and 
the Almighty God are enemies one to another ? What avails 
either the friendship or enmity of your neighbor, poor little 
worms of the dust, that are about you, in comparison of the 
friendship or enmity of the great God cf heaven and earth ? 

(1.) If you continue in your enmity a little longer there Avill 
be a mutual enmity between God and you to all eternity, God 
will appear to be your dreadful and irreconcilable enemy. 
And you know not how soon it will come to this. If you 
should die an enemy to God, there will be no such thing as 
any reconciliation after death. Cod Avill then appear in hat- 
red of you. As you are a mere enemy to God, so God will 
then appear a mere enemy to you ; he will appear in perfect 
hatred without any love, and without any pity, and without any 
mercy at all. As you hate God, he will hate you. And 
that will be verified of you : Mij koul loathed ihem, and 
their soul abhorred me, Zech. xi. 8. And then God will be 
your enemy forever. If you be not reconciled so as to be- 
come his friend in this life, Cod never will become your 
friend after death. If you continue an enemy to God till 
death, Cod will continue an enemy to you to all eternity. 
There will nothing avail to reconcile Cod to you hereafter. 
You will find that you cannot move the heart of Cod by any 
of your cries. You will have no mediator offered you ; there 
■will be no dsy's man bewixt you. So that it becomes you to 


consider what it will be to have (Jod your enemy to all etewu- 
ty, without aiiy possibility of being reconciled. 

Consider, what will it be to have this enmity to be mutual 
or maintained forever on both sides ? For as God will forever 
continue an enemy to you, so you will forever continue an en- 
emy to God. If you continue God's enemy until death, you 
will always be his enemy. And after death your enmity will 
have no restraint, but it will break out and rage without con- 
trol. W hen you come to be a firebrand of hell, you will be a 
firebrand in two respects, viz. As you will be all on fire, full 
of the fire of God's wrath : And also as you will be all on a 
blaze with spite and malice towaixls God. You will be as full 
of the fire of malice, as you will with the fire of divine ven- 
geance ; and both will make you full of torment. Then you 
will appear as you are, a viper indeed. You are now a viper, 
but under great disguise ; a wolf in sheep's clothing ; but 
then your mask will be pulled off; you shall lose your gar- 
jnents, and walk naked. Rev. xvi. 15. Then will you as a 
serpent, spit poison at ( od, and vent your rage and malice in 
fearful blasphemies. Out of that mouth, out of which, when 
you open it, will proceed flames, will also proceed dreadful 
blasphemies against God. That same tongue, to cool which 
you will wish for a drop of water, will be eternally employed in 
cursing and blaspheming Cod and Christ. And that not from 
any new corruption being put into your heart, but only from 
God's withdrawing his hand ftx)m restraining your old corrup- 
tion. And what a miserable way will this be of spending 
your eternity ! 

(2.) Consider what will be the consequence of a mutual 
enmity between God and you, if it be contini>ed. Now you find 
yourself left alone ; you find no very terrible event, but there 
will be great changes. Though hitherto you have met with 
no veiy great changes, yet they will come. After a little 
while, dying time will come ; and then what will be the con- 
sequences of this enmity ? (iod, whose enemy you are, has 
the frame of your body in his hands. Your tunes arc in liis 
hand ; and he it is that appoints your bounds. And when he 
sends death to arrest you, and change your countenance, and 

god's enemies. 199 

dissolve your frame, and take you away from all your earthly 
friends, and from all that is dear and pleasant to you in the 
world ; what will be the issue then of C,od and you being ene- 
mies one to another ? Will not you then stand in need of C od's 
help ? Would not he be the best friend in such a case, 
Avorth more than ten thousand earthly friends ? If God be your 
enemy, then whom will you betake yourself to for a fi lend ? 
When you launch forth into the boundless gulph of eternity, 
then you will need some friend to take care of you; but if 
God be your enemy, where will you betake yourself? Your 
soul must go naked into anodier world, in eternal separation 
from all worldly things ; and you will not be able to dispose 
of yourself ; your soul wi 1 not be in its own power to defend 
or dispose of itself. Will you not then need to have «. od 
for a friend, into whose hands you may commend your spirit ? 
And how dreadful Avill it be to have God for your enemy 
then ? 

The time is coming when the frame of this world shall be 
dissolved. Christ shall descend in the clouds of heaven, in 
the glory of his Father ; and you, v/ith all the rest of man- 
kind, must stand before the judgment seat of God. Then 
what will be the consequence of this mutual enmity between 
God and you 1 If (;od be your enemy, who will stand your 
Mend ? Who else v/ill be able to help you, and what will you 
do ? And what will be the event of Ciod's being your enemy 
then? Now, it maybe, it does not appear to be very terrible 
to you to have God for your enemy ; but when such changes 
as these are brought to pass, it will greatly alter the appear- 
ance of things. Then God's favor will appear to you of in- 
finite worth. They, and they only will then appear happy, 
who have the love of God ; and then you will know that God's 
enemies are miserable. 

But under this head, consider more particularly several 

(I.) What God can do to his enemies. Or rather, what can 
he not do ? How miserable can he, who is almighty, make his 
enemies, and those that he is an enemy to ? Consider, you 
that are enemies to God, whether or no you shall be able to 


make xouy part good with him. " Do we provoke the'Lord 
to jealousy ? Arc we stronger than he ?" 1 Cor. x. 22. Have 
you such a conceit of your own strength as that you think to 
trj' it out with (.od ? Do you intend to run the risk of an en- 
counter with him ? Do you imagi'ne that your hands can be 
strong, or your heart endure ? Do you think you shall be 
■well able to defend yourself ? Or will you be able to escape 
out of his hand ? Or do you think to harden your own heart 
and fortify yourself with courage, and Set yourself to bear ? 
And do you think that you shall be able to uphold your spirits 
"when God acts as an enerhy towards you ? If so, then gird up 
your loins and prepare to meet God and see what the event 
will be. Therefore thus will I do unto thee...." And because 
I Avill do this unto thee, prep:ire to meet thy God..." Amos 
iv. 12. Is it not in vain to set the briars and thorns in battle 
against God ? Is it not like setting dry briars and thorns in 
battle array against devouring flames ; which, though they 
seem to be armed with natural weapons, yet the fire will pass 
througrh them, and burn them together ? See Isa. xxvii. 4. 

And if you endeavor to support yourself under God's 
wrath, cannot God lay so much upon you as to sink and crush 
you ? Cannot he lay you under such miseiy as to cause your 
spirit quite to fail ; so that you shall find no strength, to resist 
him, or to uphold yourself ? Why should a little v.orm think 
of supporting himself against an omnipotent adversary ? Has 
not he that made you, and gave you your strength, and your 
courage, got your strength and courage in his hands ? Is it 
an hard thing for him to overcome it ? Consider God has 
made your soul ; and he that made it knows how to punish it 
to what degree he will. He can fill it with misery ; he can 
bring what degree of sorrow, and anguish, and horror he will. 
And he that made your body can bring what torments he will 
upon it. He has made eveiy vein and sinew ; and has every 
one in his hands, and he can fill every one as full of torments 
as he will. God, who made you, has given you a capacity to 
bear /torment ; and he has that capacity in his hands ; and he 
can enlarge it, and make you capable of more misery, as much 
more as he will. If God hates any one, and sets himself 


iga'mst him as his enemy, what cannot he do with him ? How 
dreadful must it be to fall into the hands of such an enemy 1 
Surely, " It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the liv- 
ing '"od." Heb, X 31, 

2. If Tod be your mere enemy, you may rationally con- 
clude that he will act as such in his dealings with youi We 
have already observed that you are a mere enemy to God ; 
that is, have enmity without any love or true respect. So, if 
you continue to be so, God will appear to be your mere ene- 
my ; and will be so forever without being reconciled. But 
if it be so, he will doubtless act as such. If he eternally hates 
you, he will act in his dealings with you as one that hales you 
with mere hatred, without any love or pily. The proper 
tendency and aim of hatred, is the misery of the object hated ; 
misery, and nothing else. So that you may expect God will 
make you miserable, and that you will not be spared ; for 
sparing is not the effect of hatred, but of pity and mercy, 
which is a quite different thing from enmity. 

Now God does not act as your mere enemy ; if he corrects 
you, it is in measure. He now exercises abundance of mer- 
cy to you. He threatens you now, but it is in a way of warning, 
and so in a merciful way. He now calls and invites, and 
strives vi^ith you, and waits to be gracious to you. But 
hereafter there will be an end of all these things : In another 
world God will cease to show you mercy. 

3. If you will continue God's enemy, you may rationally 
conclude that God will deal with you so as to make it appear 
how dreadful it is to have God for an enemy. It is very dread- 
ful to have a mighty prince for an enemy. The turat/i of a 
fang is as the roar ivs^ of a liov^ Prov. xix. 12. But if the 
wrath of a man,a fellow worm, be so terrible,what is the wrath 
of God ! And God will doubtless show it to be immensely 
more dreadful. If you will be an enemy, God will make you 
know that it is not a light thing to be an enemy to him, and 
have him for an enemy to you. C-od will doubtless glorify 
himself as an enemy, in his dealings with those to whom he is 
an enemy. That is, he will act so as to glorify those attributes 
which he exercises as an enemy ; which are his majesty, his 

Vol. VII. 2 B 


posrcr and justice. God wiH deal so vith you as to glorily 
tliesc attributes m your destruction. His great majesty, his 
*»Tul jiistjce, and mighty power, shall be showed upon you. 
**■ Wliat if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his 
povyer ]tno%Tn, endured with much long suffering the vessels 
of wrath fitted to destruction." Rom. ix. 22. 

(4.) Consider what God has said he will do to his encmiesv 
He has decJared that they sliall not escape, but that be wMI 
surely punish them. " Thine hand shall find out all thine 
enemies, thy right hund shall find outallthose that hate thee/' 
Psal. xxi. 8. " AEd repayeth them that hate him to their 
face, to destroy them : He will not be slack to him that hateth 
Mm, he will repay him to his face," Deut» fii. 10. "The 
Lord shall woitrtd tlie head of his enemies, r-nd the hairy scalp 
of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses." Psa], 
ixviii, 21. 

Yea, God hath sworn, tliat he will be avenged on them ; 
and that in a most awful and tb'eadful manner. " For I lift 
up my hand t-o heav^fn, and say, I live forever. If I whet say 
gUtteriiig sword, and mine hiuid take hold on judgment ; I 
will render veagcaBce to mine enemiest and I will reward 
; them thai: hate mc I will make mine arrows di*unk with 
; hloodi (and my sword shall devour flesh) and that with the 
.foltopd of thf. slain....from the beginning of revenges on the en- 
efny." Deut. xxxii. 40, 41, 42. The terribleness of that 
destruction tliat God will bring on his enemies, is here vari- 
ously set forth. As pai'ticulai'ly in God's " whetting his glit- 
tering swoi-d," <iB one that prepares himself to do some great 
execution. " His hands take hold on judgment," to signify 
...tliat be will surely reward them as they deserve.^ "^ He 
will render vengeance to- his enemies, and reward tlic-m that 
hate him." i. c. He will vender their full reward ; he will ijot 
fail or come^ short. As in the forcmentioned place it was said 
he would not be slack in this matter. " I will make mine ar- 
ro'Vi's drunk with blood." This signifies tlie greatness af the 
destruction. It shall not be a little of their blood that slvall 
satisfy ; buL bis arrows shall be glutted with their blood. 
' And his sword sliall devour flesh." That is, it sjiall moke 


dreadful waste of it. Hereby is very lively set forth tbe ter- 
rible manner in which God will one day i-ise up and execute 
yengeance on his enemies. 

Again, tlie totality and perfection of their destruction is 
represented in th« following words : "^ The wicked shall per- 
ish, the enemies of the J^ord ^hall be as tiie fat of laiiibs, they 
jsball consume ; i^to spioke sliall they consume away,"' Psal. 
xxxvii. 20. The fat of lambs, when it is burnt in the iircj. 
burns all up ; there is not so much as a cinder left ; it all con- 
jumes into smoke. This is made use of here to represent 
the perfect desti'uction of God's enemies in his wrath. So 
Qod hath promised Christ, that he would make his enemies 
his footstool, Psal. ex. I. i. e. He would pour the greatest 
contempt upon tliem, and as it were tread them under foot. 

Consider that ajl the^e tilings will be executed on you if 
you continue Gpd's pnemjes. 

Inf.lW. Jfitbe so, that natural men are God^s enemies, 
hence we may leam how justly God may refuse to show you 
mercy. For is God obliged to show mercy to his enemies ? 
Is God bound to set his Ipvp on them that have no love to him ; 
but hate him with perfect hatred ? Is Cod Iwund to come and 
dwell with them that have an aversion tp him, and choose to 
keep at a distance from him, and fly from hirn as one that is 
hateful to tliem ? If you earnestly dpsire the salvation of your 
soul, is God bound to comply witli your desires, when you do 
always i-esist and oppose his will ? Is Cod bound tp be per- 
suaded and overcome by your prayers, when you are obstinate 
in your opposition to him, and refuse to yield obedience to 
him ? Is God bound to put honor upon you, ;md to advance 
you to such dignity as tq be a child of the king of kings, imd 
the heir of the kingdom of glory, while you at the same time 
have God in the greatest (Tontempt, and set liiui too low to 
have the lowest place in your heart ? Is God bound to spare 
your life, and deliver you from eternal death, v.hcn you are a 
mortal enemy to God, and would, if you could, destroy the be- 
ing of God ? Is God obliged to set lus great and tran- 
scendent, love on you, so as to give you benefits purchased ^ 


the blood of his own Son, -when your heart is all the while 
full of that enmity that strikes at the life of God ? 

This doctrine affords a strong argument for the absolute 
sovereignty of (.od, with respect to the salvation of sinners. 
If God is pleased to show mercy to his haters, it is certainly 
fit that he should do it in a sovereign way, without acting as 
any way obliged. God will show mercy to his mortal ene- 
mies ; but then he will not be bound, he will have his liberty 
to choose the objects of his mercy ; to show mercy to what 
enemy he pleases, and punish and destroy which of his haters 
he pleases. And certainly this is a fit and reasonable thing. 
It is fit that God should distribute saving blessings in this 
way, and in no other, viz. in a sovereign and arbitrary way. 
And that any body ever thought of, or devised any other way 
for God to sh )w mercy, than to have mercy on whom he 
would have mercy, must arise from ignorance of their own 
hearts, whereby they were insensible Avhat enemies they nat- 
urally are to Ciod. 

But considerhere the following things, 

1. How causelessly you are enemies to God. You have 
no manner ot reason for it, either from what God is, or from 
what he has done You have no reason for this from what he 
is, for he is an infinitely lovely and glorious being ; the foun- 
tain of all excellency : All that is amiable and lovely in the 
universe, is originally and eminently in him. Nothing can 
possibly be conceived of, that could be lovely in God, that is 
not in him, and that in the greatest possible degree, even in- 

And you have no reason for this, from what God has done. 
For he has been a good and bountiful C^od to you. He has 
exercised abundance of kindness to you ; has carried you from 
the womb, preserved your life, taken carq of you, and provid* 
ed for you all your iiib long. He has exercised great patience 
and loMffsuftcring towards you. If it had not been for the 
kindness of • odto you, what would have become of you ? What 
M'ould have become of your body? And what, before tliis time, 
would have become of your soul ? And you are now, every 
day, and hour, maintained by the goodness and bounty of CJod. 


Every new breath you draw, is a uew gift of God to yoiu 
How causelessly then are you such dreadful enemies to God ? 
And how justly might God, for it, eternally deprive you of all 
mercy, seeing you do thus requite Cod for his mercy and 
kindness to you ? 

2. Consider how you would resent it, if others were such 
enemies to you as you are to God. If they had their hearts 
so full of enmity to you ; if they treated you with such con- 
tempt, and opposed you^ as you do God ; and injured you so 
much as you do God, how would you resent it ? Do you not 
hnd that you are apt greatly to resent' it, when any oppose you, 
and show an ill spirit towards you ? And though you excuse 
your own enmity against God from your corrupt nature that 
you brought into the world with you, which you could not 
help, yet you do not excuse others for being enemies to you 
from their corrupt nature that they brought into the world, 
which they could not help ; but are ready bitterly to resent it 
notw ith standin g. 

Consider therefore, if you, a poor, unworthy, unlovely 
creature, do so resent it, when you be not loved, but hated, 
how may God justly resent it when you are enemies to him, an 
infinitely glorious being ; and a being froni whoni you have 
received so much kindness ? 

3. How unreasonable it is for you to imagine that you can 
oblige God to have respect to you by any thing that you can do, 
continuing still to be his enemy 1 If you think you have pray- 
ed and read, and done consideraljle for God ; yet who cares for 
'.he seen>ing kindness of an er.^my ? 

What value would you yourself set upon it, if a man should 
seem to cary it respectfully to you, with a fair face, talking 
smooth, and making a show of friendship ; when you knew, 
at the same time, that he was iawardly your mortal enemy ? 
Would you look upon yourself obliged for such respect and 
kindness ? W^oi^d you not rather abhor it ? \Vould you count 
such respect to be valued, as Joab's towards Amasa, who took 
him by the beard, and kissed him, and said, art thou in health, 
my brother ? And smote him at the same time under the fifth 
rib, and killed him ? 


What if you do pray to God, is God obliged to hear the 
prayers of an eneiny ? What if yon have taken a great deal of 
pidns, is God obliged to give heaven for the prayers of an enr 
emy ? God may justly abhor ypur prayers, and all that you do 
in religion, us the flattery ofamortal enemy. No Mondcr God 
does not accept any thing from the hands of an enemy. 

Inf. V. Hence we may jearn how wonderful is the love 
that is manifested in giving Christ to die for us. Tor this love 
is love to enemies. That is taken notice of in the text, "While 
we were enemies, wc were reconciled to God by the death &f 
his Son." How wonderful was the love of God the Father in 
giving such a gift to such, who notonly were such as could not 
be profitable to him, and such as could merit nothing from him, 
and poor little worms of the dust ; but were his enemies, and 
^emics to so great a degree \ They had that enmity that aim- 
ed at his life ; yet so did he lore them, that he gave his own 
Son to lay down his own life to save their lives. Though they 
had thatenmity that sought topuUGod down out of his throne^ 
yet (Jod so lovc-tl them, that he sent down Christ from heaven^ 
from his throne there, to be in the form of a servant ; and in- 
stead of a throne of glory^ gave him to be nailed to the crosa^ 
and to be laid in the grave, that so we might be brought to a 
throne of glory. 

How MKjndei'ful was the love of Christ in thus exercising, 
dying love to his enemies! That he should so love those thai 
hated him, with hatred that sought to take away his life, so as 
voluntarily to lay down his life, that they might have lif« 
through him. *' Herein is love ,- not that Ave loved him, but 
that he loved us, and laid down his life for us," 

Ir-f. VI, If we are all naturally God's enemies, hence we 
may learn what a spirit it becomes us to be of towards our en- 
emies. Though we arc enemies to God, yet we hope that 
God has loved us ; and we hope that Christ has died for us ; 
and we hope that God has forgiven or will foiigive us, and wiH 
do us good, and bestow infinite mercies and blessings upon us, 
so as fo make us happy forever. All this mercy, we hope has 
been, or v/ill be exercised towards us while enemies. 


Certainly then, it Avill not become us to be bitter in our 
spirits against those that are enemies to us, and have injured 
and ill treated us, and though they have yet an ill spirit to- 
wards us. Seeing we depend so much on God's forgiving us, 
though enemies, we should be of a spirit of forgiveness to- 
wards our enemies. And therefore our Saviour inserted it in 
that prayer -which he dictat-edasa generr.I directory to all; 
" Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," to enforce 
the duty upon us, and to show us how reasonable it is. And 
we ought to love them even while enemies ; for so we hope 
God hath done to us. We should be the children of onr Fa- 
ther, who is kind to the imthankful and evil, Luke vi. 55. 

If wc refuse thus to do, and arc of another spirit, we may 
justly expect that God will deny iis his mcrcy^j as he has 
threatened ! "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heav- 
enly Father will also forgive you ; but if ye forgive not mer. 
their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your tres- 
passes." Matth^ vi 14, 5 5. The same we have in tlic parable 
ofthe man who owed his lord ten thousand iulents. M^irth. 
xviii, 2o...,.35, 


I'iie true Chrisiian's Life, a "fourne.y toioard:, 



Jl he apostle is here setling forlh the excellencies of 
the grace of faith, by the glorious effects and happy issue of it 
in the saints of the Old Testament. He had spoken in the 
preceding part of the chapter particularly of Abel, Enoch, 
Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. Having enume- 
rated those instances, he takes notice that " these all died in 
faith, not having received the promises, but having seen 
them afar off, and vvere persuaded of them, and embraced 
them, and confessed that tliey were strangers," Sec. 

In these words the apostle seems to have a more particu- 
lar respect to Abraham and Sarah, and their kindred that 
came with them from Haran, and irovn Ui of the Chaldees, by 
the 15th verse, where the apostle says, '■'■ and truly if they had 
been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they 
might have had opportunity to have returned." It was they 
that upon God's call left their own country. 

Two things may be observed in the text. 

1. What these saints con lessed of themselves, viz. " that 
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." 

Thus we have a particular account concerning Abraham. 
•^' I am a stranger and sojourner with you." Gen. xxiii. 4. 


And it seems to have been the general sense of the patriarchs, 
by what Jacob says to Pharaoh. " And Jacob said to Pharaoh, 
the days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and 
thirty years : Few and evil have the days of the years of my 
life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of 
the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." Gen, 
xlvii. 9. " I am a stranger and a sojourner with thee, as all 
my fathers were." Psal. xxxix. 2, 

2. The inference that the apostle draws from hence, viz. 
that they sought another country as their home. " For they 
that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek a country," 
In confessing that they were strangers, they plainly declared, 
that this is not their country j that this is not the country 
where they are at home. And in confessing themselves to be 
pilgrims, they declared plainly, that this is not theu* settled 
abode ; but that they have respect to some other countiy, that 
they seek and are travelling to as their home. 


This life ought so to be s^ient by us, as to be only a journey tovjardi 

Here I would observe, 

I. That we ought ?iot to rest in the world and- its e7ijoyme?its, 
but should desire heaven. 

This our hearts should be chiefly upon and engaged about. 
We should seekjirst the kingdojn of God, Matth. vi. 33. He 
that is on a journey, seeks the place tliat he is journeying to. 
We ought above all things to desire a heavenly happiness : to 
go to heaven, and there be with God, and dwell with Jesus 
Christ. If we are surrounded with many outward enjoyments, 
and things that are very comfortable to us ; if we are settled in 
families, and have those good friends and relations that are very 
desirable ; if we have companions whose society is delightful 
to us ; if we have children that are pleasant and Jiopeful, and 
in whom we see many promising qualifications ; if we live by 
good neighbors; have much of the respect of others; have 
a good name ; are generally beloved where we are known ; 

Vol. VII, 2 C 


and have comfortable and pleasant accommodations; yet we 
ought not to take our rest in these things. We should not be 
■willing to have these things for our portion, but should seek a 
higher happiness in another world. V/e should not merely 
seek something else in addition to these things, but should be 
so far from resting in them, that we should choose and desire 
to leave these things for heaven ; to go to God and Christ there. 
We should not be willing to live here always, if we could, in 
the same strength find vigor of body and mind as when in youth, 
or in the midst of our days ; and always enjoy the same pleas- 
ure, and dear friends, and other earthly comforts. We should 
choose and desire to leave them all in God's due time, that we 
might go to heaven, and there have the enjoyment of God. — 
We ought to possess them, enjoy and make use of them, with 
no other viev/ or aim^ but readily to quit them whenever we are 
called to it, and to change them for heaven. And when we 
arc called away from them, we should go cheerfully and wil- 

He that is going a journey, is not wont to rest in what he 
meets with that is comfortable and pleasing on the road. If 
be passes along through pleasant places, flowery meadows, or 
shady groves ; he docs not take up his content in these things. 
He is content only to take a transient view of these pleasant ob- 
jects as he goes along. He is not enticed by these fine appear- 
ances to put an end to his journey, and leave off the thought of 
proceeding : No ; but his journey's end is in his mind ; that 
istlie great thing that he aims at. So if he meets with com- 
fortiible and pleasant accommodations on the road at an inn, yet 
he does not rest there; he entertains no thoughts of settling 
there. He considers that these things are not his own, and 
that he is but a stranger; that that is not allotted for his home. 
And when he has refreshed himself, or tarried but for a night, 
he is for leaving these accommodations, and going forward, 
and getting onward towards his journey's end. And the thoughts 
of coming to his jouiney's end, are not at all grievous to him. 
He dues not desire to be travelling always and never come to 
his joarney's end; the thoughts of that would be discoumging 
to him, i3ut it is pleasant to him to tlunk, that so much of the 


way is gone, that he is now nearer home ; and that he shall 
presently be there ; and the toil and fatigue of his journey will 
be over. 

So should we thus desire heaven so much more than the com- 
forts and enjoyments of this life, that we should long to change 
these things for heaven. We should wait with earnest desire 
for the time when we shall arrive at our journey's end. The 
apostle mentions it as an encouraging, comfortable consider- 
ation to Christians, when they draw nigh their happiness, — 
" Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."' 

O.ur hearts ought to be loose to these things, as it is M'ith a 
man that is on a journey. However comfortable enjoyments 
are, yet Ave ought to keep our hearts so loose from them, as 
cheerfully to part with them, whenever God calls. " But this 
I say, brethren, the time is short. It remaineth,, that both 
they that have wives, be as though they had none ; and they 
that weep, as though they wept not ; and they that rejoice, as 
though they rejoiced not ; and they that buy, as though they 
possessed not ; and they that use this world, as not abusing it ; 
for the fashion of this world passeth away." 1 Cor. 29, 30, 3 1 . 

We ought to look upon these things as only lent to us for a 
little Avhile, to serve a present turn ; but we should set our 
hearts on heaven as our inheritance forever. 

II. We ought to seek hcavcTi, by travellwg in the tvarj thai 
leads thither. 

The way that leads to heaven is the way of holiness. We 
should choose and desire to travel thither in this way and in no 
other. W^e should part with all those sins, those carnal appe- 
tites that are as weights, that will tend to hinder us in our trav- 
elling towards heaven. " Lpt us lay aside every weight, and 
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with pa- 
tience the race set before us, Heb. xii. 1 , However pleasant 
any practice, or the gratification of any appetite may be, we 
must lay it aside, cast it away; if it be any hinderance, and 
stumblingblock in the way to heaven. 

We should travel on in a way of obedience to all God's 
commands, even- the difficult as well as the easy commands. 
We should travel on in a way of selfdenial ; denying all our 


sinful inclinations and interests. The way to lieavcu is ascend- 
ing ; we must be content to travel up hill, though it be hard 
and tiresome, though it be contraiy to the natural tendency and 
bias of our flesh that tends downward to the earth. We should 
folio Av Christ in the path that he has gone in. The way that 
he travelled in was the right way to heaven. We should take 
up our cross and follow him. We should travel along in the 
same way of meekness and lowliness of heart ; in the same 
way of obedience and charity, and diligence to do good ; and 
patience under afflictions. The way to heaven is a heavenly 
life ; we must be travelUng towards heaven in a way of imita- 
tion of those that are in heaven. In imitation of the saints and 
angels there, in their holy employment, in their way of spend- 
ing their time, in loving, adoring, serving, and praising God 
and the Lamb. This is the path that we ought to prefer before 
all others, if we could have any other that we might choose. 
If we could go to heaven in a way of carnal living, in the way 
of the enjoyment and gratification of our lusts, we should rath- 
er prefer a way of holiness and conformity to the spiritual self- 
denying rules of the gospel. 

III, We s/iould travel on in this way in a laborious manner. 

The going of longjournies is attended with toil and fa- 
tigue ; especially if the journey be through a wilderness. 
Persons, in such a case, expect no other than to suffer hard- 
ships and weariness in travelling over mountains and through 
bad places. 

So we should travel in this way of holiness, in a laborious 
manner, improving our time and strength to surmount the 
difficulties and obstacles that are in the way. The land that 
we have to travel through is a wilderness ; there are many 
mountains, rocks, and rough places that we must go over in 
the way ; and there is a necessity that we should lay out our 


IV. Ctir ivholc lives ought to be sficnt in traveling this read. 
1. We ought to begin early. Tliis should be the first 

concern and business that persons engage in when they comr 
to be capable of acting in the world in doing any business. 


When they first set out in the world, they should set out on 
this journey. And 

2. We ought to travel on in this way with assiduity. It 
ought to be the work of every day to travel on towards heaven. 
We should often be thinking of our journey's end ; and not 
only be thinking of it, but it should be our daily work to travel 
on in the way that leads to it. 

As he that is on a journey is often thinking on the place 
that he is going to, and it is his care and business every day to 
get along ; to improve his time, to get towards his joumey's 
end. He spends the day in it i it is the work of the day, 
whilst the sun serves him. And when he has rested in the 
night, he gets up in the morning, and sets out again on his 
journey ; and so from day to day, till he has got to his jour- 
ney's end. Thus should heaven be continually in our thought; 
and the immediate entrance or passage to it, viz.death, should 
be present with us. And it should be a thing that we famil- 
iarize to ourselves ; and so it should be our work every day, 
to be preparing for death, and travelling heavenward. 

3, We ought to persevere in this way as long as we live : 
We should hold out in it to the end. 

" Let us run with patience the race that is set before us," 
Heb. xii. 1 . Though the road be c ifficult, and it be a toilsome 
thing to travel it, we must hold out with patience and be 
content to endure the hardships of it. If the journey be long, 
yet we must not stop short ; we should not give out in dis- 
couragement, but hold on till we are arrived at the place wc 
seek. We ought not to be discouraged with the length and 
difficulties of the way, as the children of Israel were, and be 
for turning back again. All our thought and design should 
be to get along. We should be engaged and resolved to press 
forward till we arrive. 

V. We ought to be continually grc-.vmg in hclincss ; and in 
that respect coming nearer andnearer to heaven. 

He that is travelling towards a place, comes nearer and 
nearer to it continually. So we should be endeavorhig to 
come nearer to heaven, in being more heavenh' ; becoming 


more and more like the inhabitants of heaven, and more and 
more as we shall be when we have arrived there, if ever that 

We should endeavor continually to be more and more, as 
we hope to be in heaven, in respect of hoUness and conformi- 
ty to Ciod. And with respect to light and knowledge, we 
should labor tobe growing continually in the knowledge ofCiod 
and Christ, and clear views of the glor)' of God, the beauty of 
Christ, and the excellency of divine things, as we come near- 
er and nearer to the beatific vision. 

We should labor to be continually growing in divine love ; 
that tliis may be an increasing flame in our hearts, till our 
hearts ascend wholly in this flame. We should be growing 
in obedience, and in heavenly conversation ; that we may do 
the will of Cod on earth as the angels do in heaven. 

We ought to be continually growing in comfort and spir- 
itual joy ; insensible communion with Cod and Jesus Christ. 
Our path should be as " the shining light, that shines more 
and more to the perfect day." Prov. iv. 18. 

We ought to be hungering and thirsting after righteous- 
ness ; after an increase in righteousness, " As new born 
babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow 
thei'eby." 1 Pet. ii. 2. And we should make the perfection 
of heaven our mark. We should rest in nothing short of this, 
but be pressing towards this mark , and laboring continually 
to be coming nearer and nearer to it. " This one thing I do, 
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth 
unto those things that arc before, I press toward the mark, 
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Phil. iii. 13, 14. 

^'I. ./7/t o(her co72cer?:s of life ought to be entirchj subordi' 
nate to thi.'^. 

As Avhen a man is on a journey, all the steps that he takes 
are in order to further him on his journey ; and subordinate 
to that aim of getting to his journey's end. And if he carries 
money or provision with him, it is to supply him in his jour- 
ney. So we ought wholly to subordinate all our other busir 
ness, and all our temporal enjoyments to this aff'air of travel- 


ling to heaven Journeying towards heaven, ought to be our 
only work and business, so that all we have and do, should be 
in order to that. When we have worldly enjoyments we 
should be ready to part with them, whenever they are in the 
way of our going toward heaven. We should sell all this 
world for heaven. When once any thing we have becomes a 
clog and hinderance to us, in the way heavenward, we should 
quit it immediately. W^hen we use our worldly enjoyments 
and possessions, it should be with such a view and in such a 
manner as to further us in our way heavenward. Thus we 
should eat, and drink, and clothe ourselves. And thus should 
we improve the conversation and enjoyment of friends. 

And whatever business we are setting about ; whatever 
design we are engaged in, we should inquire with ourselves, 
whether this business or undertaking will forward us in our 
way to heaven ? And if not, we should quit our design. 

We ought to make use of worldly enjoyments, and pursue 
worldly business in such a degree and manner as shall have 
the best tendency to forward our journey heavenward, and no 

I shall offer some reasons of the doctrine. 

I. This ivorkl is not our abiding place. 

Our continuance in this world is but very short. Man's 
days on the earth are as a shadov/. It was never designed by 
God this world should be our home. We were not born into 
this world for that end. Neither did God give us these tempo- 
ral things, that we are accommodated with for that end. If 
God has given us good estates ; if we are settled in families, 
and God has given us children, or other friends that arc very 
pleasant to us ; it is with no such view or design, that we 
should be furnished and provided for here, as for a settled a- 
bode ; but with u design that we should use them for the 
present, and then leave them again in a very litt?fc time. 

If we are called to any secular business ; or if we arc 
charged witli the care of a family ; with the instruction and 
education of children, we are called to these things vrith a de- 
sign that we shall be called from them again, and not to be our 
everlasting employment. So tl\at if v.-e improve our lives to 


any other purpose, than as a journey towards heaven, all our 
labor will be lost. If we spend our lives in the pursuit of a 
temporal happiness ; if we set our hearts on riches, and seek 
happiness in them ; if we seek to be happy in sensual pleas- 
ures ; if we spend our lives in seeking the credit and esteem 
of men ; the goodwill and respect of others ; if we set our 
hearts on ouv children, and look to be happy in the enjoyment 
of them, in seeing them well brought up, and well settled, £cc, 
All these things will be of little significancy to us. Death 
will blow up all our hopes and expectations, and will put an 
end to our enjoyment of these things. The places that have 
known us will know us no more : And the eye that has seen us 
shall see us no more. We must be taken away forever firom 
all these things ; and it is uncertain when ; it may be soon af- 
ter we have received them, and are put into the possession of 
them. It may be in the midst of our days, and from the midst 
of our enjoyments. And then where will be all our worldly 
employments and enjoyments, when we are laid in the silent 
grave ! " So man lieth doAvn and riseth not again, till the 
jieavens be no more." Job xiv. 12. 

II. The future world ivuh designed to be our settled and ev- 
erlasting abode. 

Here it ^vas intended that we should be fixed ; and here 
alone is a lasting habitation, and a lasting inheritance and en- 
joyment to be had. We are designed for this future world. 
We are to be in two states ; the one in this world, which is 
an imperfect state ; the other, in the world to come. The 
present state is short and transitoi*^- ; but our state in the oth- 
er world is everlasting. When we gO' into another world, 
t'lere we must be to all etei^nity. And as we are there at first, 
so we must be without change. 

Our state in the future world, therefore, being eternal, 
is of so exceeftingly greater importance than our state in this 
world, that it is worthy that our state here, and all our con- 
cerns in this world should be wholly subordinate to it. 

III. Heaven is that place alone inhere our higheaC end and 
'".l^hest good if to be obtained. 


God' hath made us for himself. Of Gcd, and through God, 
end to God arc all tln7ii(s. Therefore then do wc attain to our 
highest end when wc are brought to (iod : But that is by be- 
ing- brought to heaven ; for that is God's throne ; that is the 
place of his special presence, and of his residence. There is 
but a very imperfect union with C;od to be had in this world ; 
a very imperfect knowledge of God in the midst of abundance 
of darkness ; a very imperfect conformity to God, mingled 
with abundance of enmity and estrangement. Here we can 
sei-ve and glorify God, but in an exceeding imperfect mianner; 
our service being mingled with much sin and dislionor to 

But when we get to heaven, (if ever that be) there we shall 
be brought to a perfect union with God. There we shall have 
clear views of Cod. We shall sec face to face, and know as 
we are known. There we shall be fully conformed to God, 
without any remainder of sin. We shall be like him, for we 
shall sec him as he is. There we shall serve Cod perfectly. 
^^'c shall glorify him in an exalted manner, and to the utmost 
of the powers and capacity of our nature. Then we shall per- 
fectly give up ourselves to Cod. Then will our hearts be 
pure and holy offerings to God ; offered all in a flame of di- 
vine love. 

In heaven alone is the attainment of our highest good. 
God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The en- 
joyment of him is our proper happiness ; and is the only hap- 
piness with which our souls can be satisfied. 

To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better 
than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than 
fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children, or the 
company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shad- 
ows ; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are 
but scattered beams ; but God is the sun. These are but 
streams ; but God is the fountain. These arc but drops ; 
but God is the ocean. 

Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a jour- 
ney tov.-ards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking 
our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives ; 
Vol.. VIJ. 2 D 


and we should subordinate all other concerns of life to it. 
Why should we labor for any thing else ; or set our hearts on 
anything else but that which is our proper end and true happi- 
ness ? 

IV. Our fxresent state, and all that belongs to it,are designed 
by him that made all things, to be wholly in order to anothrr 

This world was made for a place of preparation for anoth- 
er world. Man's mortal life was given him only here, that he 
might be prepared for his fixed state. And all that God has 
here given us, is given to this purpose- The sun shines up- 
on us ; the rain falls upon us ; the earth yields her increase 
to us ; civil and ecclesiastical affairs, family affairs, and all 
our personal concerns are designed and ordered in a subordi- 
nation to a future world, by the maker and disposer of all 
things. They ought, therefore, to be subordinated to this by 


I. In a vse of instruction. 

I . This doctrine may teach us moderation in our mourmng- 
for the loss of dear friends, who, while they lived, ijnproved 
their lives to right fiurfioses. 

If they lived a holy life, then their lives were a journey to- 
vvai'ds heaven. And why should we be immoderate in mourn- 
ing when they are got to their journey's end ? Death to them, 
though it appears to us with a frightful aspect, is a great bles- 
sing. Their end rs happy, and better than their beginning. 
" The day of their death is better to them than the day of 
their birth." Eccl. vii. 1. While they lived they desired 
heaven, and chose it above this world, or any of the enjoy- 
ments of it. They earnestly sought and longed for heaven ; 
and why should we grieve that they have obtained it. 

Now they have got to heaven, they have got home. They 
never were at home before. They have got to their Father's 
house. They find more comfort a thousand times, now they 
are got home, than they did in their journey. While they 


were on their journey, they underwent much labor and toil. 
It was a wilderness that they passed through ; a difficult road. 
-There were abundance of difficulties in the way; mountains 
and rough places. It was a laborious, fatiguing thing to trav- 
el the road. They were forced to lay out ihemselves to get 
along ; and had many wearisome days and nights : But now 
they have got through ; they have got to the place they 
sought ; they are got home ; got to their everlasting rest. 
They need to travel no more ; nor labor any more ; nor en- 
dure any more toil and difficulty ; but enjoy perfect rest and 
peace ; and will enjoy them forever, " And I heard a voice 
from heaven, saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead 
which die in th-e Lord, from henceforth : Yea, saith the Spir- 
it, that they may rest from their labors ; and their works do 
follow them." Rev. xiv. 13. They do not mourn that they 
are got home, but greatly rejoice. They look back upon the 
difficulties, and sorrows, and dangers of life, rejoicing that 
they have got through them all. 

We are ready to look upon death as though it were a ca- 
lamity to them •; we are ready to mourn over them with tears 
of pity ; to think that those that were so dear to us, should be 
in the dark, rotting grave ; that they should there turn to cor- 
ruption and worms ; that they should be taken away from 
their dear children, and other pleasant enjoyments ; and that 
they never should have any part more in any thing under the 
sun. Our bowels are ready to yearn over them, and we are 
ready to look upon it, as though some sorrov. ful thing had be- 
fallen them ; and as though they were in awful circumstanc- 
es. But this is owing to our infirmity that we are ready thus 
to look upon it. They are in a happy condition. They are 
inconceivably blessed. They do not mourn, but rejoice with 
exceeding joy. Their mouths are filled with joyful songs ; 
they drink at rivers of pleasure. They find no mixture of 
grief at all, that they have changed their earthly houses and 
enjoyments, and their earthly friends, and the company of 
mortal mankind, for heaven. They think of it v. ithout any 
degree of regret. 


This is an evil world in comparison to that they are noM- 
in. Their life here if altended with the best circumstunces 
that any earthly life ever was, was attended with abundimcc 
that was adverse and afflictive ; biit now there is an end to all 
adversity. " They shall hunger no more, nor thirst any more ; 
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat For the 
Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them,and 
shall lead them unto living fountains of waters ; and God 
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. vii. 16, 17. 

It is true we shall see them no more while here in this 
world, yet we ought not immoderately to mourn for that ; 
though-it used to be pleasant to us to see them ; and though 
their company was sweet ; for we should consider ourselves as 
but on a journey too ; we should be travelling towards the 
same place that they are gone to ; and why should we break 
our hearts with that, that tbcy have got there before us ; when 
we are following after them as fast as we can ; and hope, as 
soon as ever we get to our journey's end, to be with them 
again ; to be with them in better circumstances, than ever we 
were with them while here ? A degree of mourning for neai* 
relations when departed, is not inconsistent with Christianity, 
but very agreeable to it : For, as long as wc arc flesh and 
blood, no other can be expccted,than that we shall have animal 
propeiii^itics and affections. But we have not just reason to 
be overborne and sunk in spirit, when the death of near friends 
IS attended with these circumstances ; we should be glad they 
are got to heaven, our mourning should be mingled with joy. 
*' Cut I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concern- 
ing them that are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others 
that have no hope." Thes. iv, 13. i.e. That they should not 
sorrow as the heathen, that had no knowledge of a future 
happiness, nor any certain hope of any thing for themselves or 
their friends, after they were dead. This appears by the fol- 
lowing verse ; " For if wc believe that Jesus died and rose a- 
gain, even so them also wliii h sleep in Jesus, will God bring 
with him." 

2. Jf it be so, that our lives ouglU lo be onkj a j'jurnc'j Co- 
■wardii hfave7i ; how HI do they iTn/ir'^vc thtir lives y (hatjjicnd 
ihem in irarelli?7Cf (C'l'ards hcU ? 


Some men spend theii- whole lives, from their infancy to 
their dying day, in goinsj down the broad way to destruction. 
They do not only draw nearer to hell in length of time, but 
they every day grow more ripe for destruction ; they are more 
assimilated to the inhabitants of the infernal world. While 
others press forv/ard in the strait and narrow way to life, and 
laboriously travel up the hill towards Zion, against the inclina- 
tions and tendency of tlie flesh ; these run with a swift career 
down towards the valley of eternal death ; towards the lake of 
fire; towards the bottomless pit. This is the employment of 
every day, with all wicked men ; the whole day is spent in it. 
As soon as ever they awake in the morning, they set out anew 
towards he. 1, and spend every waking moment in it. They 
begin in early days before they begin to speak. " The wicked 
are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as 
they are born, speaking lies." Psalm xlviii. 4. They hold on 
in it with perseverance. Many of them that live to be old, are 
never weary in it ; if they live to be an hu!:dred years old, they 
will not give over travelling in the way to hell till they arrive 
there. And all the concerns of life are subordinated to this 
employment. A wicked man is a servant of sin ; his powers 
and faculties are all employed in the service of sin, and in fit- 
ting for hell. And all his possessions are so used by him, as 
to be subservient to the same purpose. Some men spend 
their lime in treasuring up wratli against the. day of wrath. 
Thus do all unclean persons, that live in lascivious practices in 
secret. Thus do all malicious persons. Thus do all profane 
persons, that neglect duties of reliyiou. Thus do all unjust 
persons ; and those that are fraudulent and oppressive in their 
dealings. Thus do all backbiters and revilers. Thus do all 
covetous persons, that set their hearts chiefly on the riches of 
this world. Thus do tavernhaunters, and frequenters of evil 
company ; and many other kinds of pcvsons that might be 
mentioned. Thus do far the greater part of men; the bulk 
of inankind are hasting onward in the broad way to destruction. 
The way, as broad as it is, is, as it were, tilled up with the mul- 
titude that are going with one accord this way. And they are 
every day going into hell out of this broad way by thousands. 


Multitudes arc continually flowing down inlo the great lake of 
fire and brimstone, out of this broad way, as some mighty 
river constantly disembogues its water into the ocean. 

3. Hence ivhcii /in-.s^ns are co7ivertedythcy do but begin their 
•worki and net out in the ivay they have to go. 

They never till then do any thing at that work which their 
■whole lives ought to be spent in ; which we have now shown 
to be travelling towards heaven. Persons, before conversion, 
never take a step that way. Then does a man first set out on 
his journey, Avhen he is brought home to Christ ; and he is 
but just set out in it. So far is he from having done his work, 
that he then only begins to set his face towards heaven. His 
journey is not finished ; he is then only first brought to be 
willing to go to it, and begins to look that way ; so that his 
care and labor, in his Christian work and business, is then but 
begun, which he must spend the remaining part of his life in. 

Those persons do ill, who, when they are converted, and 
have obtained a hope of their being in a good condition, do not 
strive as earnestly as they did before, while they were under 
awakenings. They ought, henceforward, as long as tliey live, 
to be as earnest and laborious as ever; as watchful and care- 
ful as ever ; yea, they should increase more and more. It is 
no just objection or excuse from this, that now they have not 
the same to strive for as before ; before they strove that they 
might be converted, but that they have obtained. Is there 
nothing else that persons have as much reason to strive, and 
lay out their strength for, as their own safety ? Should we not 
be as willing to be diligent that we may serve and glorify God, 
as that we ourselves may be happy ? And if we have obtained 
grace, yet there is not all obtained that may be. It is but a 
very little grace that we have obtained ; we ought to strive 
that we may obtain more. We ought to strive' as much that 
we may obtain the other degrees that arc before, as we did to 
obtain that small degree that is behind. The apostle tells us, 
that he forgot what was behind, and reached forth towards what 
was before. Phil. iii. 13. 

Yea, those that are converted, have now a further reason 
to strive for grace th?n they had before j for now they have 


tasted, and seen something of the sweetness and excellency of 
it. A man that has once tasted the blessings of Canaan, has 
more reason to press forward towards it than he had before. 
And, then, they that are converted, should strive that 
they may make their calling and election sure. All those that 
are converted, are not sure of it ; and those that are sure of it, 
do not know that they shall be always so ; and still seeking 
and serving God with the utmost diligence, is the way to 
have assurance, and to have it maintained. 

II. Use may be of exhortation ; so to spend the present life 
that it may only be a journey towards heaven. 

Labor to be sanctified, and to obtain such a disposition of 
mind, that you may be willing and desirous to change this 
world, and all the enjoyments of it for heaven. Labor to have 
your heart taken up so much about heaven and heavenly en- 
joyments, as that you may rejoice at any time when Cod calls 
you to leave your best earthly friends, and those things that 
are most comfortable to you here, to go to heaven, there to 
enjoy God and Christ. 

Be persuaded to travel in the way that leads to heaven, 
viz. in a way of holiness and sclfdenial, mortification, in a way 
of obedience to all the commands of God, in a way of follow- 
ing Christ's example, in a way of heavenly life, or imitation 
of the saints and angels that live in heaven. Be content 
to travel on in this way, in a laborious manner, to endure all 
the fatigues of it. Begin to travel it without delay, if you 
have not already begun it ; and travel in it with assiduity. 
Let it be your daily work from morning to night, and hold out 
in it to the end ; let there be nothing that shall stop or dis- 
courage you, or turn you aside from this road. Labor to be 
growing in holii^ess, to be coming nearer and nearer to heav" 
en, in that you are more and more as you shall be when you 
get there, (if ever that be.) And let all other concerns be 
subordinated to this great concern of getting forward toward 
heaven. Consider the reasons that have been mentioned why 
you should thus spend your life. Consider that the world is 
not your abiding place, and was never so intended by God. 
Consider how little a while vou are to be here, and how little 


worlh your while it is to spend your life to any other pur- 
pose. Consider that the future world is to be your ever- 
lasting abode ; and that the enjoyments and concerns of this 
•world, have their being only and entirely in order to another 
world. And consider further for motive. 

1 . Jh'VJ ivortlnj in liraTtm that ij'Air life ah^nikl be ivhclly spent 
as a journey toivards it. 

To what better purpose can you spend your life, whether 
you respect your duty or your interest ? What better end can 
you propose to your journey than to obtain heaven ? Here 
you are placed in this world,in this wilderness, and have your 
choice given you, thut you may travel which way you 
please. And there is one way that leads to heaven. Now, 
can you direct your course better than this way ? ^yhat 
can you choose better for your journey's end ? All men have 
some aim or other in living. Some mainly seek worldly 
things ; they spend their days in the pursuit of these things. 
But is not heaven, where is fulness of joy forever and ever, 
much more worthy to be sought by you ? How can you better 
employ your strength, and use your means, and spend your 
days, than in travelling the road that leads to the everlasting 
enjoyment of God ; to his glorious presence ; to the city of 
the New Jerusalem ; to the heavenly mount Zion : Where 
;dl your desires will be Tilled, and no danger of ever losing 
your happiness ? 

No man is at home in this world, whether he choose heav- 
en or not ; yet here he is but a transient person. Where can 
you choose your hon-.e liCtter than in heaven ? The rest and 
gloiy of heaven is so great, that it is worthy we should desire 
it above riches ; above our father's houses, or our own ; above 
husband or wife, or children, or all earthly friends. It is wor- 
thy that we should subordinate these things to it, and that 
we should be ready, clieerfuUy, to part with them for heaven, 
whenever God calls. 

2. lliis i.i the nvaij to have death comfortable to us. 

If we spend our lives so as to be only a journeying towards 
iieavcn, this will be the way to have death, that is the end of 
the journey, and entrance into heaven, not terrible but com- 


This is the way to be free from bondage, through the fear 
of death, and to have the prospect and forethought of death 
comfortable. Does the traveller think of his journey's end 
with fear and terror, especially when he has been many days 
travelling, and it be a long and tiresome journey ? Is it terri- 
ble to liim to think that he has almost got to his journey's 
end ? Are not men rather wont to rejoice at it ? Were the 
children of Israel sorry, after forty years travel in the wilder- 
ness when they had almost got to Canaan ? This is the way to 
have death not terrible when it comes. It is the way to be able 
to part with the world without grief. Does it grieve the trav- 
eller when he has got home, to quit his staff and load of pro- 
vision that he had to sustain him by the way ? 

3. JVq more of your life nvill be pleasant to think of vjhen 
you come to die, than has been spent after this manner. 

All of your past life that has been spent as a journey to-* 
wards heaven, will be comfortable to think of on a death bed, 
and no more. If you have spent none of your life this way, 
your whole life will be terrible to you to think of, unless you 
die under some great delusion. You will see tlien, how that 
all of your Ufe that has been spent otherwise is lost. You will 
then see the vanity of other aims, that you may have propos- 
ed to yourself. The thought of what you here possessed and 
enjoyed in the world,willnot be pleasant to you, unless you can 
think withal, that you have subordinated them to this purpose. 

4. Consider that those that are willing thus to spend their 
lives as a journey ioivards heaven, may have heaven. 

Heaven, as high as it is, and glorious as it is, is attainable 
for such poor worthless creatures as we are. We, even such 
worms, may attain to have for our home, that glorious region 
that is the habitation of the glorious angels ; yea, the dwelling 
place of the glorious Son of God ; and where is the glorious 
presence of the great Jehovali. And we may have it freely ; 
there is no high price that is demanded of us for this privilege. 
We may have it without money and without price ; if we are 
but willing to set out and go on towards it ; are but willing 
to travel the road that leads to it, and bend our course that way 

Vol.. VII. 9 E 


as long as we live ; we may and shall have heaven fcfr oar 
eternal resting place. 

5. Let it be considered.^ that if our lives be not a journey to* 
•wards heaven^ they tvill be a journey to hell. 

We cannot continue here always, but we must go some- 
where else. All mankind after they have been in this world 
a little while, go out of it, and there are but two places tliat they 
go to ; the two great receptacles of all that depart out of this 
world ; the one is heaven ; whither a few, a small number 
in comparison, travel ; the way that leads hither, is but thinly 
occupied with travellers. And the other is hell, whither the 
bulk of mankind do throng. And one or the other of these 
mu6t be our journey's end ; the issue of our course in this 

I shall conclude by giving some directions : 

1. Labor to get a sense of the vanity of this worM, or the 
vanity of it on account of the little satisfaction that is to be en- 
joyed here ; and on account of its short continuance, and un- 
serviceableness when we most stand in need of help, viz. on a 
death bed. 

All men, that live any considerable time in the world, see 
abundance that might convince them of the vanity of the 
world, if they would but consider. 

Be persuaded to exercise consideration, when you see and 
hear, from time to time, of the death of others. Labor to 
turn your thoughts this way. See if you can see the vanity of 
this world in such a glass. If you were sensible how vain a 
thing this world is, you would see that it is not worthy that 
your life should be spent to the purposes thereof ; and all is 
lost that is not some way aimed at heaven. 

2. Labor to be much ac<juaintcd ivith heaven. 

If you are not acquainted with it, you will not be likely t» 
spend your life as a journey thither. You will not be sensi- 
ble of the worth of it ; nor will you long for it. Unless you 
areinuch conversant in your mind with a better good, it will 
be exceeding difficult to you to have your hearts loose from 
these things, and to uie them only in subordination to some- 


jLhing else, and to be ready to part witli them for the sake of 
that better good. 

Labor therefore to obtain a realizing sense of a heavenly 
world, to get a firm belief of tlie reality of it, and to be very 
much conversant with it in your thoughts, 

3. Seek heaven only by Jesus Christ. 

Christ tells us that he is the way, and th& truth and the 
life, John xiv. 6. He tells us that he is the door of the sheep. 
" I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved ; 
and go in and out, and find pasture," John x. 9. If we there- 
fore, would improve our lives as a journey towards heaven, 
v;e must seek it by him, and not by our own righteousness ; 
as expecting to obtain only for his sake, looking to lum, hav- 
ing our dependance on him only for the purchase of heaven^ 
and procuring it for us by his merit. And expect strength 
to walk in a Avay of holiness, tlie way that leads to heaven, on- 
ly from him. 

4. Let Christians helfi one another in going this journey. 
There are many ways that Christians might greatly help 

and forward one another in their way to heaven, by religious 
conference, and otherwise. And persons greatly need help 
in this way, which is, as I have observed, a difficult way. 

Let Christians be exhorted to go this journey, as it were 
in company, conversing together while their journey shall end, 
and assisting one another. Company is very desirable in a 
journey, but in none so much as in this. 

Let Christians go united, and not fall out by the way, 
which would be the way to hinder one another ; but use all 
means they can to help one another up the hill. 

This is the way to be more successful in travelling, and to 
have the more joyful meeting at their Father's house in glory, 


True Grace distinguished from the Experience of 

JAMES ii. 19. 


V-'BSERVE in these words.... 1. Something that some 
depend on, as an evidence of their good eslate,and acceptance, 
as the objects of God's favor, viz. a speculative faith, or belief 
of the doctrines of religion. The great doctrine of the exist- 
ence of one only God is particularly mentioned ; probably be- 
cause this was a doctrine wherein especially there was a visi- 
ble and noted distinction between professing Christians and 
the heathens, amongst whom the Christians, in those days, 
were dispersed : And therefore this was what many trusted 
in, as what recommended them to, or at least was an evidence 
of, their interest in the great spiritual and eternal privileges, 
in which real Christians were distinguished from the rest of 
the world. 

2, How much is allowed concerning this faith viz. That it 
is a good attainment ; *' Thou doest well." It was good as it 
was necessary. This doctrine was one of the fundamental doc- 
trines of Christianity ; and, in some respects, above all others, 
fundamental. It was necessaiy to be believed, in order to sal- 
vation : And a being without the belief of this doctrine, espe- 
cially in those that had such advantage to know, as they had, 
whom the apostle wrote to, would be a great sin, and what 
would vastly aggravate their damnation. This belief was also 
good, as it had a good tendency in many respects. 


3, What is implicilly denied concerning it, viz. That it is 
any evidence of a person's being in a sinte of salvation. The 
whole context shews this to be the design of the apostle in the 
words: And it is p.\rticularly manifest by the conclusion of 
the verse ; which is the 

4. Thing observable in the Avords, viz. The argument by 
which the apostle proves, that this is no sign of a state of 
grace, viz. that it is found in the devils. They believe that 
there is one Cod, and that he is a holy, sinhating God ; and 
that he is a Cod of truth, ai:id Aviil fulfil his threatcnings, by 
which he has denounced future judgments, and a great increase 
of misery on them ; and that he is an Almighty God, and able 
to execute his threatened vengeance upon them. 

Therefore the doctrine I infer from the words, to make 
the subject of my present discourse, is this : 

Nothing in the mind of man, that is of the same nature 
with what the devils experience, or are the subjects of, is any 
sure sign of saving grace. 

If there be any thing that the devils have, or find in them- 
selves, which is an evidence of the saving grace of the Spirit of 
God, then the apostle's argument is not good ; which is plain- 
ly this : That which is in the devils, or which they do, is no 
certain evidence of grace. Butthe devils believe that there is 
one God. Therefore, thy believing that there is one God, is 
no sure evidence that thou art gracious. So that the whole 
foundation of the apostle's argument, lies in that proposition ; 
that which is in the devils, is no certain sign of grace. 

Nevertheless, I shall mention two or three further rea- 
sons, or arguments, of the truth of this doctrine. 

I. The devils have no degree of holiness ; and therefore, 
those things which are nothing beyond what they are the sub- 
jects of, cannot be holy experiences. 

The devil once was holy ; but when he fell he lost all his 
holiness, and became perfectly wicked. He is the greatest 
sinner, and, in some sense, the father of all sin. John viii. 44. 
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father 
ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode 
not in the truth ; because there wa;; no truth in him : "When 


he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own ; for he is a liar, and 
the father of it." 1 John iii. 8. " He that committeth sin is of 
the devil ; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." He is 
spoken of, as by way of eminence, " the wicked oke." So 
Matth. xiii, 19, « Then cometh the wicked one, and catch- 
eth away that which was soAvn in his heart." verse 38. " The 
tares are the children of the wicked oiie." 1 John ii. 1 3. "I 
Write unto you young men, because yc have overcome the 
wicked one." Chap. iii. 12. " Not as Cain who was of that 
•wicked one." Chap. v. 18. ''• Whosoever is born of God 
keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." So 
the devils are called evil spirits, unclean spirits, powers of 
darkness, rulers of the darkness of the world, and wickedness 
itself. Eph. vi. 12. "For we wrestle not against flesh and 
blood ; but against principalities, against powers, against the 
rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wicked- 
ness in high places." 

Therefore, surely, those things which the minds of devils 
are the subjects of, can have nothing of the nature of true ho- 
liness in them. The knowledge, and understanding which 
they have of the things of God and religion, cannot be of the 
nature of divine and holy light, nor any knowledge that is mere- 
ly of the same kind. No such impi'essions as are made on 
their hearts can be of a spiritual nature. That kind of sense 
which they have of divine things, however great, cannot he a 
holy sense. Such affections as move their hearts, however 
powerful, cannot be holy affections. If there be no holiness in 
tliem,as they are in the devil, there can be no holiness in them 
as they are in man ; unless something be added to them be- 
yond what is in them, or they are in the devil. And if any 
thing be added to them, then they are not the same things ; 
but are something beyond what devils are the subjects of ; 
which is contrary to the supposition ; for the pFoposition which 
I am upon, is, that those things which are of the same nature, 
and nothing beyond what devils are the subjects of, cannot be 
holy experiences. It is not the subject that makes the affec- 
tion, or experience, or quality, holy ; but it is the quality that 
make, the subject holy. 


And if those qualities and experiences which the devils are 
the subjects of, have nothing of the nature of holiness in them, 
then they can be no certain signs that persons who have them 
are holy or gracious. There is no certain sign of true grace, 
but those things which are spiritual and gracious. It is God's 
image, that is, his seal and mark, the stamp by which those that 
are his are known. But that which has nothing of the natiu-e 
of holiness, has nothing of this image. That which is a sure 
sign of grace, must either be something which has the nature 
and essence of grace, or is flowing from, or some way belong- 
ing to its essence : i'or that which distinguishes things one 
from another, is their essence, or something appertaining to 
their essence ; and therefore, that which is sometimes found 
wholly without the essence of holiness or grace, can be no es' 
sential, sure, or distinguishing mark of grace. 

II. The devils are not only absolutely without all true holi- 
ness, but they are not so much as the subjects of any common 

If any should imagine that some things maybe signs of 
grace which are not grace itself, or whieh have nothing of the 
nature and essence of grace and holiness in them ; yet,certain- 
ly, they will allow that the qualifications, which are sure evi- 
dences of grace, must be things, that are near akin to grace, 
or having some remarkable affinity with it. But the devils are 
not only wholly destitute of any true holiness ; but they are at 
the greatest distance from it, and have nothing in them in any 
wise a kin to it- 
There are many in this world, who are wholly destitute of 
saving grace, who yet have common grace. They have no 
true holiness, but, nevertheless, have something of that which 
is called moral virtue ; and are the subjects of some degree 
of the common influences of the Spirit of God. It is so with 
those in general, that live under the light of tr.e gospel, and 
are not given up to judicial blindness, and hardness. Yea, 
those that arc thus given up, yet have some degree of restrain- 
ing grace while they live in this world ; without which, the 
earth could not bear them, and they would in no measure, be 
tolerable member? of human society. But when any are 

23.: TRUE GR\CE. 

damned, or cast into hell, as the devils arc, God wholly with- 
draws his restraining grice, and all merciful influences of his 
Spirit whatsoever, and they have neither saving grace nor com- 
mon grace ; neither the grace of the Spirit, nor any of the 
common gifts of the Spirit ; neither true holiness, nor moral 
virtue of any kind. Hence arises the viust increase of the exer- 
cise of Viickcdncss in the hearts of men, when they arc damn- 
ed. And herein is the chief ditfeience between the damned in 
hell, and \mrcgeneratc and graceless men in this world. Not 
that wicked men in this world have any more holiness or true 
virtue than the damned, or that wicked men, when they leave 
this world, have any principles of wickedness infused into 
them ; but when men are cast into hell, God perfectly takes 
away his Spirit from them, as to all its merciful, common in- 
fluences, and entirely withdraw s fiom them all restraints of his 
Spirit and good providence. 

III. It is unreasonable to suppose, that a person's being in 
any respect as the devil is, should be a certain sign tliat he is 
very unlike and opposite to him ; and, hereafter, shall not have 
his part with him. True saints are extremely unlike and 
contrary to the devil, both relatively and really. They are so 
relatively. The devil is the grand rebel ; the chief enemy of 
God and Christ ; the object of God's greatest wrath ; a con- 
demned malefactor, utterly rejected and cast off by him ; for- 
ever shut out of his presence ; the prisoner of his justice; 
an everlasting inhabitant of the infernal world. The saints, 
on the contrary, are the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem ; 
members of the family of the glorious King of heaven ; the 
children of Cod ; the brethren and spouse of his dear Son ; 
heirs of God ; joint heirs with Christ ; kings and priests unto 
God. And they are extremely uifterent really. The devil, 
an account of his hateful nature, and those accursed disposi- 
tions which reign in him, is called Satan ; the adversary ; abad- 
don and apollyon ; the great destroyer ; the wolf ; the roar- 
ing lion ; the great dragon ; the old serpent. The saints are 
represented as God's holy ones ; his anointed ones ; the ex- 
cellent of the earth ; the meek of the earth ; lambs and 
doves ; Chrbt's little children ; having the image of God, 


pure in heart ; God's jewels ; lilies in Christ's garden ; 
plants of paradise ; stars of heaven ; temples of the living 
GOD. The saints, so far as they are saints, are as diverse from 
the devil, as heaven is from hell' ; and much more contrary 
than light is to darkness ; and the eternal state that they are 
appointed to, is answerably diverse and contrary. 

Now it is not reasonable to suppose, that a being, in any 
respect as Satan is, or the being the subject of any of the same 
properties, qualifications, affections or actions, that are in him, 
is any certain evidence that persons are thus exceeding differ- 
ent from him ; and in circumstances so diverse, and appointed 
to an etei'nal state, so extremely contrary in all respects. 
Wicked men are in scripture called "the children of the dev- 
il." Now is it reasonable to suppose, that men's being in any 
respect as the devil is, can be a certain sign that they are not 
his children, but the children of the infinitely holy and blessed 
God ? We are informed, that wicked men shall, hereafter, 
have their part with devils ; shall be sentenced to the same 
everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels. 
Now, can a man's being like the devil in any respect, be a 
sure token that he shall not have his part with him, but with 
glorious angels, and with Jesus Christ, dwelling with hia:^ 
where he is, that he may behold and partake of his glory ? 


The first use may lie in several inferences, for our instruc- 
tion. , 

I. From what has been said, it may be inferred, by parity 
of reason, that nothing that damned men do, or ever will ex- 
perience, can be any sure sign of grace. 

Damned men are like the devils ; are conformed to them 
in nature and state. They have nothing better in them than 
the devils ; have no higher principles in their hearts ; expe- 
Tience nothing, and do nothing of a more excellent kind : As 
they are the children and servants of the devil, and as such 
shall dwell with him, and be partakers with him, of the same 
misery. As Christ says, concerning the saints in theirfuture 

Vol. VII. 3 F 


state, Matth.xxii. 30, that " they shall be as the anp-cls of Gocf 
in heaven." So it may be said concerning uni^odly men, in 
their future state ; that they shall be as the fulku, kicked ioi- 
gels in hell. 

Each of the forementicncd reasons, given to shew the truth 
of the doctrine, with respect to devils, holds good with respect 
to damned men. Damned men have no degree of hoiincss ; 
and therefore, those things which ai-e nothing beyond what 
tfiey have, cannot be holy experiences. So it is true that the 
damned men are not only absolutely destitute of all true lioli- 
ness, but they have not so much as any common grace. And 
lastly, it is unreasonable to suppose, tliat a person's being in 
any respect as the damned in hell are, should be a certain sign 
that they are very uniike.and opposilc to them, and hereafter 
shall not have their portion with them. 

II. Wc may hence infer, that no degree of speculative 
knowledge of things of religion, is any certain sign of saving 
grace. The devil, before his fall, was among those bright and 
glorious angels of heaven, which arc represented as morning 
stars and flames of fire, that excel in strength and wisdom. 
,And though he be now become sinful, yet his sin has not abol- 
ished the faculties of the angelic nature ; as when man fell, 
he did not lose the faculties of the human nature. Sin destroys 
spiritual principles, but not the natural faculties. It is true, 
sin, when in full dominion, entirely prevents the exercise of 
the natural faculties, in holy and spiritual understanding ; and 
lays many impediments in the way of their proper exercise in 
other respects : it lays the natural faculty of reason, under 
great disadvantages, by the many and strong prejudices which 
the mind is bronght under the power^of: And in fallen men, 
the faculties of the soul, are doubtless greatly impeded in their 
exercise, through that great weakness and disorder of the cor- 
poreal organ, which it is strictly united to ; which is the con- 
sequence of sin. But tliere seems to be nothing in the nature 
of sin or moral corruption, that has any tendency to destroy 
the natural capacity, or even to diminish it, properly speaking. 
If sin were of such a nature, as necessarily to have that tend- 
ency and effect; then it might be expected that wicked men, in 


« fahU'c state, where they are given up entirely to the unre- 
strained exercise of their corruptions and lusts, and sin is, in 
all respects, brought to its greatest perfection in thcin, would 
have the capacity of their souls gj-eatly diminished : ^Miich 
we have no reason to suppose ; but rather on the contrary, 
ihat their capacities are greatly enlarged, and that their actual 
knowledge is vastly increased ; and that even with respect to 
the Divine Being, and the things of religion, and the great 
concerns of the immortal souls of men ; and that with regard 
to these things, the eyes of wicked men arc opened ; and they, 
in some respects, emerge cut of darkness into clear light, 
when they go into another world. 

The greatness of the abilities of the devils, may be argued 
from the representation in Eph. vi. 12. " We wrestle not a- 
gainst flesh and blood, but against principalities, against pow- 
ers," kc. The same may also be ai-gued from what the 
scripture says of Satan's suhiiity. Gen. iii. 1. 2 Cor. xi. 5. 
Acts xiii. iO. 

And as the devil has a faculty of understanding of large ca- 
pacity, so he is capable of great speculative knowledge, of 
the things of God, and the invisible and eternal world, as well 
as other things ; and must needs aclually have a great under- 
standing of these things ; as these are the things wjiich have 
always been chiefly in his view ; and as his circumstances 
from his first existence, have bce^i such as have tended chiefly 
to engage him to attend to these things. Before his fail he was 
one of those angels who continually beheld the face of the Fa- 
ther, which is in heaven. Aud sin has no tendency to destroy 
the memory ; and, therefore hixs no tendency to blot out of it 
any speculative knowledge that was formerly there. 

As the devil's svibtilty shews his great capacity, so the 
way in which his subtilty is exercised and manifested, which 
is principally in his artftii management, with respect to things 
of religion; his exceeding subtle representations, insinuations, 
reasonings, and temptations, concerning these things, demon- 
strates his great actual understanding of tlcm. As in order 
to the being a very artful disputiint in any science, though it 
,be only to confound and deceive such as are conversant iu the 


science, a person had need to have a great and extensive ac- 
quaintance with the things which pertain to that science. 

Thus the devil has, undoubtedly, a great degree of specu- 
lative knowledge in divinity ; having been as it were, educat- 
ed in the best divinity school in the universe, viz. the heaven 
of heavens. He must needs have such an extensive and accu- 
rate knowledge concerning the nature and attribxites of God, 
as we, worms of the dust, in our present state, are not capable 
of. And he must have a far more extensive knowledge of the 
works of God, as of the work of cretition in particular ; for he 
was a spectator of the creation of this visible world ; he was 
one of those morning stars that we read of. Job. xxxviii. 4, 5, 
6, 7. "....who sang together, and of those sons of (,-od that 
shouted for joy, when v od laid the foundations of the earth, 
and laid the measures thereof, and stretched the line upon it.'* 
And so he must have a very great knowledge of God's works 
of providence : He has been a spectator of the series of these 
works from the begiiming : He has seen how God has gov- 
erned the world in all ages : He has seen the whole train of 
God's wonderful successive dispensations of providence to.- 
wards his church, from generation to generation. And he has 
not been an indifferent spectator j but the great opposition 
which there has been between God and him, in the whole 
course of those dispensations, has necessarily greatly engaged 
his attention in the strictest observation of them. He must 
have a great degree of knowledge concerning Jesus Christ as 
the Saviour of men, and the nature and method of the work of 
redemption, and the wonderful wisdom of Cod in this contriv- 
ance. It is that work of God wherein, above all others, God 
has acted in opposition to him, and in which he has chiefly set 
himself in opposition to God It is with relation to thisaffuir, 
that that mighty warf\ire has been maintained, which has been 
carried on between Michael and his angels, and the devil and 
his angels, through all ages from the beginning of the world, 
and especially since Christ appeared in the Avorld. The devil 
has had enough to engage his attention to the steps of divine 
wisdom in this work ; for it is to that wisdom he has opposed 
Jiis subtilty j and he has seen and found, to his great disap- 


pointment, and unspeakable torment, how divine wisdom, as 
exercised in that work, has baffled and confounded his devices. 
He has a great knowledge of the things of another world ; 
for the things of that world are in his immediate view. He has 
a great knowledge of heaven ; for he has been an inhabitant 
of that world of glory ; and he has a great knowledge of hell, 
and the nature of its misery ; for he is the first inhabitant of 
hell ; and above all the other inhabitants, has experience of 
its torments, and has felt them constantly, for more than fifty- 
seven hundred years. He must have a great knowledge of the 
holy scriptures ; for it is evident he is not hindered from 
knowing what is written there, by the use he made of the 
words of scripture in his temptation of our Saviour. And if he 
can know, he has much opportunity to know, and must needs 
have a disposition to know, with the greatest exactness ; that 
he may, to greater effect, pervert and wrest the scripture, ajid 
prevent such an effect of the word of God on the hearts of 
men, as shall tend to overthrow his kingdom. He must have 
a great knowledge of the nature of miniiind ; their capacity ; 
their dispositions, and the corruptions of their hearts : For he 
has had long and great observation and experience. The 
heart of man is what he had chiefly to do with in his subtle 
devices, mighty efforts, restless and indefatigable operations 
and exertions of himself from the beginning of the world.... 
And it is evident that he has a great speculative knowledge of 
the nature of experimental religion, by his being able to imi- 
tate it so artfully, and in such a manner, as to transform him- 
self into an angel of light. 

Therefore it is manifest, from my text and doctrine, that 
no degree of speculative knowledge of things of religion, is 
any certain sign of true piety. Whatever clear notions a man 
may have of the attributes of God, and doctrines of the Trin- 
ity ; the nature of the two covenants ; the economy of the 
persons of the Trinity, and the part which each person has in 
the affair of man's redemption ; if he can discourse never so 
excellently of the offices of Christ, and the way of salvation by 
him, and the admirable methods of divine wisdom, and the 
harmony of the various attributes of God m that way ; if he 


can talk never so clearly and exactly of the method of the jus* 
tification of a sinner, and of the nature of conversion, and tho 
operations of the Spirit of God in applying the redemption of 
Christ ; giving good distinctions ; happily solving diiricultics, 
and answering objections, in a manner tending greatly to the 
enlightening of the ignorant; to the edification of the clunchof 
God, and the conviction of gains^yers, and the great increase 
of light in the world : If he has more knowledge of this sort 
than himdreds of true saints of an ordinary education, and 
most divines, yet all is no certain evidence of any degree of 
saving grace in the heart. 

It is true, the scripture often speaks of knowledge ofdivino 
things, as what is peculiar to true saints ; as in John xvii. 
" This is Hfo eternal, that they might know thee, the only 
true God, and Jesus Christ, whomjthou hast sent." Matth. 
xi. 27. " No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither 
knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whom-r 
soever the Son will reveal him." Psalm, ix. 10. " They that 
know thy name, will put their trust in thee." 'Philip, iii. 8. 
" I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowl- 
edge of Christ Jesus my I^ord." But then -we must under- 
stand it of a different kind of knowledge, from that speculative 
understanding which the devil has to so great a degree. It 
will also be allowed, that the spiritual, saving knowledge of 
God and divine things greatly promotes speculative knowl- 
edge, as it engages the noind in its search into things of this 
kind, and much assists to a distinct understcUiding of them, 
so that, other things being equal, they that have spiritual 
knowledge, are much more likely than others to have a good 
doctrinal acquaintance with things of religion, but yet such 
acquiiintance may be no distinguishing characteristic of true 

III. It may also be inferred from what has been observed, 
that for persons merely to yield a speculative assent to the 
doctrines of religion as true, is no certain evidence of a state 
of grace. My text tells us, that the devils believe, and as they 
believe that tlicre is one God, so they believe the truth of the 
The devil is ortlicdox in his 


lalth ; he believes the true scheme of doctrine ; Lc is no 
Deist, Sociniun, Arian, Pelagian, or Antinomian ; the articles 
of his faith are all sound, and v/hat he is thoroug;hly estab- 
lished in. 

Therefore for a person to believe the doctnnes of Christ- 
. ianity, merely from the influence of things speculative, or 
from the force of arguments, as discerned only by specula- 
tion, is no evidence of grace. 

Though it is probably a very rare thing for unregeneratc 
men to have a strong persuasion of the truth of the doctrines of 
religion, especially such of them as are very mysterious, and 
much above the comprehension of reason : Yea, it is manifest, 
that we have no warrant to determine, that it can never be so, 
or to look upon such a persuasion, as an infallible evidence of 
grace ; and that no person can safely determine his state to be 
good from such an evidence. Yet if he, not only himself, seems 
to be veiy confident of the truth of Christianity and its doc- 
trines, but is able to argue most strongly for the proof of them ; 
yet in this he goes nothing beyond the devil, Vr ho, doubjtless, 
has a great liuo%v ledge of the rational arguments, by whicn the 
truth of the Christian religion, luid its several principles are 

And, therefore, when the scripture speaks oi believhi^ that 
Jesus is the Son of God, as a sure evidence of grace, as ia 
1 John V. 1, and other places, it must be understood, not of a 
mere speculative assent, but of another kind and manner of 
believing, which is called the fi^ith of God's elect. Titus i. 1. 
There is a spiritual conviction of the truth which is, a believ- 
ing with the whole heart, peculiar to true saints, of which I 
would speak particularly by and by. 

IV. It may be inferred from the doctrine which has beep 
insisted on, that it is no certain sign, that persons are savingly 
converted....that they have been subjects of very great distress 
and terrors of mind, through apprehensions of God's wrath, 
and fears of damnation. 

That the devils are the subjects of great terrors through 
apprehensions of God's wrath, and fears of future effects of it, 
j^ implied in my textjwhich spsaks not only of their believing, 


but trembling. It must be no small degree of terror, which 
should make those principalities and powers, those mighty, 
proud and sturdy beings to tremble. 

There are many terrors, that some persons, who are con- 
cerned for their salvation, are the subjects of, which are not 
from any proper awakenings of conscience, or apprehensions 
of truth, but from melancholy, or frightful impressions on 
their imagination, or some groundless apprehensions, and the 
delusions, and false suggestions of Satan. But if they have 
had never so great and long continued terrors, from real awak- 
enings and convictions of truth, and views of things as they are; 
this is no more than what is in the devils, and will be in all 
wicked men in another world. However stupid and senseless 
most ungodly men are now, all will be effectually awakened at 
last : There will be no such thing as slumbering in helL 
There are many that cannot be av/akened by the most solemn 
warnings and awful threatenings of the word of God, the most 
alaimning discourses from the pulpit, and the most aM'akening 
and awful providences ; but all will be thoroughly awakened 
by the sound of the last trumpet, and the appearance of Christ 
to judgment, and all sorts v/ill then be filled with most amazing 
terrors, from apprehensions of truth, and seeing things as they 
be ; when " The kings of the earth and the great men, and 
the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, 
(such as were the most lofty and stout hearted, most ready to 
treat the things of religion with contempt) shall hide them- 
ticlves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains ; and say 
to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the 
face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of 
the I^amb : For the great day of his wrath is come, and who 
shall be able to stand ?" Rev. vi. 15, 16, 17. 

Therefore, if persons have first been awakened, and then 
afterwards have had comfort and joy, it is no certain sign that 
their comforts are of the right kind, that they were preceded 
by very great terrors. 

V. It may be further inferred from the doctrine, That no 
work of the law on men's heai'ts, in conviction of guilt, and 
just desert of punishment, is a sure argument that a person 
has been savingly converted. 


Not only are no awakenings and terrors any certain evidence 
of this, but no mere legal work whatsoever, though carried to 
the utmost extent that it can be ; nothing wherein there is no 
grace or spititual light, but only the mere conviction of natural 
conscience, and those acts and operations of the mind which 
are the result of this ; and so are, as it were, merely forced by 
the clear light of conscience, without the concurrence of the 
heart and inclination with that light : 1 say, these things are no 
certain sign of the saving gx-ace of Cod, or that a person was 
ever savingly converted. 

The evidence of this, from my text and doctrine, is demon- 
strative ; because the devils are the subjects of these things ; 
and all wicked men that shall finally perishjwill be the subjects 
of the same. Natural conscience is not extinguished in the 
damned in hell ; but, on the contrary, remains, and is there ill 
its greatest strength, and is brouglit to its most perfect exer- 
cise ; most fully to do its proper office as Ciod's vicegerent in 
the soul, to condemn those rebels against the King of heaven 
and earth, and manifest God's just wrath and vengeance, and 
by that means to torment them, and be as a never dying worm 
■within thenio Wretched men find means in this world to blind 
the eyes and stop the mouth of this vicegerent of a sinreveng- 
ing (jod ; but they shall not be able to do it always. In another 
world, the eyes and mouth of conscience will be fully opened^ 
God will hereafter make wicked men to see and know these 
things which now they industriously hide their eyes from ; Isa. 
Xxvi, 10, 1 1 " Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he 
not learn righteousness : In the land of Uprightness will he 
deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord..., 
Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see : But they 
shall see and be ashamed for their envy at the people, yea, 
the fire of thine enemies shall devour them." We have this 
expression often annexed to God's threatenings of wrath to 
his enemies ; " And they sliall know that I am the Lord ;" 
This shall be accomplished by their woful experience, and 
clear light in their consciences, whereby they shall be made 
Co know, whether they will or not, how great and terrible, 


holy and righteous a God jehovah is, whose authority thdy 
have despised ; and they shall know that he is righteous and^ 
holy in their destruction. This all the ungodly v ill be con- 
vinced of at the day of judgment, by the bringing to light all 
their wickedness of heart and practice, and setting all their sins 
with all their aggravations, in order, not only in the view of 
others, even of the whole world, but in the view of their 
own consciences. This is threatened. Psalm 1. 21. " These 
things thou hast done, and I kept silence : Thou thoughtest 
that I was altogether such a one as thyself : But I will re- 
prove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." Com- 
pare this with the four first verses of the psalm. The end of 
the day of judgment is not to find out what is just, as it is with 
human judgments, but it is to manifest what is just ; to make 
known God's justice in the judgment which he will execute, 
to men's own consciences, and to the world. And therefore 
that day is called " the day of wrath, and revelation of the 
righteous judgment of God." Rom. ii. 5. Now sinners often 
cavil against the justice of God's dispensations, and particular- 
ly the justice of the punishment which God threatens for their 
sins, excusing themselves, and condemning God : But when 
God comes to manifest their wickedness in the fight of that 
day, and to call them to an account, they will be speechless ; 
Mattli. xxii. II, 12. " And when the king came in to see the 
guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wed- 
ding garment : And he saith unto him, friend, how camest 
thou in hither not ha\'ing a wedding garment ? and he was 
speechless," When the King of heaven and earth comes to 
judgment, their consciences will be so perfectly enlightened 
and convinced by the allsearching li^^ht they shall then stand 
in, that their mouths will be effectually stopped, as to all ex- 
cuses for themselves, all pleading of their own I'ighteousness 
to excuse or justify them, and all objections against the justice 
of their judge, that their conscience will condemn them only, 
and not God. 

Therefore it follows from the doctrine, that it can be no 
certain sign of grace, that persons have had great convictione 
of sin — have had their sins of life, with their aggravations, re- 


Tfiarkably set before them, so as greatly to affect and terrify 
them ; and withal, have had a great sight of the wickedness of 
their hearts, and been convinced of the greatness of the sin of 
unbelief, and of the inexcusableness and heinousness of their 
most secret spiritual iniquities ; and have been brought to be 
convinced of the utter insufficiency of their own righteousness, 
and to despair of being recommended to God by it ; have been 
as much brought off from their own righteousness, as ever any 
are under a mere legal humiliation ; have been convinced 
that they are wholly without excuse before God, and deserve 
damnation, and that God would be just in executing the threat- 
ened punishment upon them, though it be so dreadful. All 
these things will be in all the ungodly at the day of judgment, 
when they shall stand with devils, at the left hand, and shall be 
doomed, as accursed, to everlasting fire with them. 

Indeed there will be no submission in them. Their con- 
science will be freely convinced that God is just in their con- 
demnation, but yet their wills will not be bowed to God's jus- 
tice. There will be no acquiescence of mind in that divine at- 
tribute — no yielding of the soul to God's sovereignty, but the 
highest degree of enmity and opposition. A true submission 
of the heart and will to the justice and sovereignty of (od, is 
therefore allowed to be something peculiar to true converts, 
being something which the devils and damned souls are, and 
ever will be far from ; and which a mere work of the law, and 
convictions of conscience, however great and clear, will never 
bring men to. 

When sinners are the subjects of great convictions of con- 
science, and a remarkable work of the law, it is only a transac- 
ting the business of the day of judgment in the conscience be- 
fore hand : God sits enthroned in the conscience, as at the last 
day he will sit enthroned in the clouds of heaven ; the sinner 
is arraigned, as it were, at God's bar, and God appears in his 
awful greatness, as a just and holy, sinhating, and sin reveng- 
ing God, as he will then. The sinner's iniquities are brought 
to light. ...his sins set in order before him. ..the hidden things 
of darkness, and the counsels of the heart are made manifest 
....as it will be then : Many witnesses [do, as it were, rise up 


ajjainst tlie sinnenincler convictions of conscience, as they will 
against the wicked at the day of judgment : And the bookK 
are opened, particularly the book of God's strict and holy la'.r, 
is opened in the conscience, and its rules applied for the con- 
demnation of the sinner ; which is the book that will be open- 
ed at the day of judgment, as the grand rule of judgment, to 
all such wicked men as have lived under it : — And the sen- 
tence of the law is pronounced against the sinner, and the jus- 
tice of the sentence made manifest, as it will be at the day of 
judgment. The conviction of a sinner at the day of judgment, 
will be a work of the law, as well as the conviction of con- 
science in this world ; and the v.-ork of the law (if the work be 
merely legal) besure, is never carried further in the conscien- 
ces of sinners no%v, than it will be at that tfey, when its work 
will be perfect, in thoroughly stopping the sinner's mouth. 
Rom. iii. 1 9. " Now we know, that M'hsit things soever the law 
saith, it saith to them who are under the laAv ; that every 
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty 
before God." Every mouth shall be stopped by the law, either 
now or hereafter, and all the world shall become sensibly guil- 
ty before God. ...guilty of death. ...deserving of damnation. And, 
therefore, if sinners have been the subjects of a great work of 
the law, and have thus become guilty, and their mouths have 
been stopped ; it is no certain sign that ever they have been 

Indeed, the want of a thorough sense of guilt, and desert of 
punishment, and conviction of the justice of God, in threaten- 
ing damnation, is a good negative sign ; it is a sign that a per- 
son never was converted, and truly brought, with the whole 
soul, to embrace Christ, as a Saviour from this punishment : 
For it is easily demonstrable, that there is no such thing as 
entirely and cordially accepting an offer from God,of a Saviour 
from a punishment that he threatens, which we think we do 
not deserve. But the having such a conviction is no certain 
sign, that persons have true faith, or have ever truly received 
Christ as their Saviour. And if persons have great comfort, 
joy and confidence, suddenly let into tlieir mind.s, after great 
convictions, of such a kind as has been mentioned, it is no in- 


fallible evidence that their coraforts are built on a good i'ounda- 

It is manifest therefore, that too much stress has been laid 
by many persons on a great work of the law, preceding their 
comforts ; who seem not only to have looked on such a work 
of the law, as necessary to precede faith, but also to have es- 
teemed it as the chief evidence of the truth and genuineness of 
succeeding faiiii and comforts. By this means, it is to be feared 
very many have been deceived, and established in a false hope. 
And what is to be seen in the event of things, in mullitudes of 
instances, confirms this. It may be safely allowed, not to be 
so unusual for great convictions of conscience to prove abor- 
tive, and fuil of a good issue, as for less convictions ; and that 
more generally, when the Spirit of God proceeds so far with 
sinners, in the work of the law, as to give them a great sight of 
their hearts, and of the heinousness of their spiritual iniquities, 
and to convince them that they are without excuse, and that 
all their righteousness can do nothing to merit God's favors, 
but that they lie justly exposed to God's eternal vengeance 

without mercy, a work of saving conversion follows But we 

have no warrant to say, it is universally so, or to lay it down 
as an infallible rule, that when convictions of conscience have 
gone thus far, saving faith and repentance will surely follow. 
If any should think they have ground for such a determination, 
because they cannot conceive what end God should have in 
carrying a work of conviction to such a length, and so prepar- 
ing the heart for faith, and, after all, never giving saving faith 
to the soul ; I desire it may be considered, where will be the 
end of our doubts and difficulties, if we think ourselves suffi- 
cient to determine so positively and particularly concerning 
God's ends and designs in what he does. It irtay be asked 
such an objector, what is God's end in giving a sinner any de- 
gree of the strivings of his Spirit, and convicUon of conscience, 
when he afterwards suffers it to come to noihing, and to prove 
in vain ? If he may give some degree that may finally be in 
vain, who shall set the bounds, and say how great the degree 
shall be ? Who can, on sure grounds, determine, that when a 
sinner has so much of that conviction, which the devils and 


damned in hell Jiavc, true faiih and eternal sa'va'don \vill be 
the certain conseciuenec. This we may certainly determine^ 
.that, if the apostle's argument in the text be good, not any 
thing whatsoever, that the devils have, is ce^'tainly connected 
.•with such a conse'iuence. Seeing sinners, while such, are ca- 
pable of the most perfect convictions, and will have them at 
the day of judgment, and in hell ; who shall say, that God nev- 
er shall causfe reprobates to anticipate the future judgment 
and damnation in that respect ? And if he does so, who shall 
say to him, what docst thou ,? or call Iwm to account concern- 
ing his ends in so doing. Not but that many possible wise 
ends mif^ht be I'aought of, and mentioned, if it were needful, 
or I had i;iow room for it. — The Spirit of God is often quench- 
ed by the exercise of the wickedness of men's hearts, after he 
has gone far in a work of c^pnviction ; so that their convictions 
never have a good issue. And who can say that sinners, by 
the exercise of their opposition and enmity against God, 
(which is not a,t all mortilied by the greatest legal convictions, 
neither in the damped in hell, nor sinners on earth) may not 
provoke God to take his Spirit from then^, even after he has 
proceeded the greatest length in ^ wprk of conviction ? Who 
can say, that God never is provoked to destroy some, after he 
has brought them, as it were, through the wilderness, even to 
the edge of the land of rest ? As he slew some of the Israelite?, 
even in the plains of Moab. 

And let it be considered, vvhere is our warrant in scripture, 
to make use of any legal convictions, or any method or order 
of successive events in a work of the law, and consequent com- 
forts, as a sure sign of regeneration. The spripture is abun- 
dant, in expressly mentioning evidences of grace, and of a 
state of favor with Cod, as characteristics of the true saints : 
But where do we ever find such things as these amongst those 
evidences? Or where do we find any other signs insisted on, 
besides grace itself, its nature, exercises, and fruits ? These 
were the evidences that Job relied upon : These were the 
things that the Psalmist every where insists upon, as eviden- 
ces of his sincerity, and particularly in the cxixth psalm, froru 

tlie beginning to the end : These were the si?;ns"that Hezcki- 
ah trusted to in his sickness. 

These were the characteristics given of those that are truly 
happy, by our Saviour, in the beginning of liis sermon in the 
mount : These are the things that Christ mendons, as the 
true evidences of being his real disciples, in his last and dying: 
discourse to his disciples, in the xivth, xvth, and xvith chapters 
ofJohn, andin his intercessory prayer, chap, xvii :.. ..These 
are the things which the Apostle Paul often speaks of as evi-- 
dences of his sincerity, and sure title to a crown of glory : 
And these are the things he often mentions to others, in his- 
epistles, as the proper evidences of real Christianity, a justifi- 
ed state, and a title to glory. He insists on the fruits of the 
Spirit ; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, 
faith, meekness, temperence, as the proper evidences of be- 
ing - hrist's, and living in the Spirit : Gal, v. 22. ...25. It is 
that charity, or divine love, which is pure, peaceable, gentle, 
easy to be intreated, full of mercy, &c. that he insists oh, as 
the most essential evidence of true godliness ; without which, 
all other things are nothing. Such are the signs which the a- 
postle James insists on, as the proper evidence of a truly wise 
and good man : James iii. 17. " The wisdom that is from A- 
bove is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be in- 
treated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and 
without hypocrisy." And such are the signs of true Christian- 
ity, which the Apostle John insists on throughout his epistles. 
And we never have any where in the Bible, from the begin- 
ning to the end of it, any other signs of godUness given than 
3uch as these. If persons have such things as these apparent- 
ly in them, it ought to be determined that they are truly con- 
verted, witliout its being insisted that it be first knov/n what 
steps or method the Spirit of God took to introduce these 
things into the soul, which oftentimes is altogether untracea- 
ble. All the works of God are, in some respects, unsearcha- 
ble : but the scripture often represents the works of the Spir- 
it of God as peculiarly so. Isa. xl. 13 " Who hath directed 

the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor, ' hath taught 
him ?'* Eccl. xi. v. " As thou knowest not what is the way of 

9AH TRUE grace; 

the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that 
is with child ; so thou knowest not the works of God, who 
maketh all.".... John iii. 8. " The wind bloweth where itiisteth, 
and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence 
it Cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one that ib born 
of the Spirit." 

VI. It follows from my text and doctrine. That it is no cer- 
tain sign of grace, that persons have earnest desires and long- 
ings after salvation. 

The devils, doubtless, long for deliverance from the misery 
they suffer, and from that greater misery which they expect. 
If they tremble tlirough fear of it, they must, necessarily, ear- 
nestly desire to be delivered from it. Wicked men are, in 
scripture, represented as longing for the privileges of the 
righteous, when the door is shut, and they are shut out from 
among them ; they come to the door, and cry, Lord, Lord, 
open to us. Therefore we are not to look on all desires, or 
all desires that are v?ry earnest and vehement, as certain cvi-* 
dences of a pious heart. There are earnest desires of a relig- 
ious nature, which the saints have, that are the proper breath- 
ings of a new nature, and distinguishing qualities of true saints. 
But there are also longings which unregenerate men may 
have, which are often mistaken for marks of godliness. They 
think they hunger and thirst after righteousness, and have 
earnest desires after God and Christ, and long for heaven j 
when indeed, all is to be resolved into desires of salvation from 
selflove ; and so is a longing which arises from no higher 
principles thaii the earnest desires of devils. 

VII. It may be inferred from what has been observed, That 
persons who have no grace may have a great apprehension of 
an external glory in things heavenly and divine, and of whatso- 
ever is external pertaining to things of religion. 

If persons have impressed strongly on their minds ideas of 
that sort which are obtained by the external senses, whether 
they are of that kind that enter by the ear, as any kind of sound; 
whether it be the most pleasant music, or words spoken of ex- 
cellent signification ; words of scripture, or any other, imme- 
diately suggested, as though they were spoken, though thejr 

,TRUE grace; M 

^eftm to bd never so suitable to their case, or adapted to the 
subject of their meditations. Or whether they are of that kind 
that are obtained by the eye, as ideas of a visible beauty and 
glory, a shining light, and external glory of heaven, golden 
streets,walls and gates of precious stones, splendid palaces, glo- 
rious inhabitants shining forth as the sun, a most magnificent 
throne surrounded by angels and saints in shining ranks ; or 
any thing external, belonging to Jesus Christ, either in his 
humbled state, as of Jesus har.ging on the cross, with his crown 
of thorns, his wounds open, and blood trickling down ; or in his 
glorified state, with awful majesty, or ravishing beauty and 
sweetness in his countenance, his face shining above the 
brightness of the sun, and the like : These things are no 
©ertain signs of grace. 

Multitudes that are now in hell, will have ideas of the ex- 
ternal gloi-y that pertains to things heavenly, far beyond what 
ever any have in this world. They will see all that external 
glory and beauty, in which Christ will appear at the day of 
Judgment, when the sun shall be turned into darkness before 
him ; which, doubtless, will be ten thousand times greater 
than ever was impressed on the imagination of either saints or 
sinners in this present state, or ever was conceived by any- 
mortal man. 

Vlil. It may be inferred from the doctrine, that persons 
who have no grace may have a very great and affecting sense 
of many divine things on their hearts. 

The devil has not only great speculative knowledge, but 
he has a sense of many divine things, which deeply affects 
him, and is most strongly impressed on his heart. As, 

1. The devils and damned souls have a great sense of the 
vast importance of the things of another world. They are in 
the invisible world, and they see and know how great the 
things of that world are : Their experience teaches them in 
the most affecting manner. They have a great sense of the 
worth of salvation, and the worth of immortal souls, and the 
vast importance of those things that concern men's etei*nal 
welfare. The parable in the latter end of the 16th chapter of 
Luke, teaches this, in representing the rich man in hell, asin= 

Vol. VII. 3 H 

2i0 TRUE GRACg. 

treating that Lazarus might be sent to his five brothers, to t€9^ 
tify unto them, lest they should come to that place of torment. 
They who endure the torments of hell have doubtless a most 
lively and affecting sense of the vastness of an endless eternity, 
and of the comparative momentarinessof this life;and the van- 
ity of the concerns and enjoyments of time. They are con- 
vinced effectually, that all the things of this world, even those 
that appear greatest and most important to the inhabitants of 
the earth, are despicable trifles, in comparison of the things of 
the eternal world. They have a great sense of the preciousness 
of time, and of the means of grace, and the inestimable value 
of the privileges which they enjoy who live under the gos- 
pel. They are fully sensible of the folly of those that go on in 
sin ; neglect their opportunities ; make light of the counsels 
and warnings of God ; and bitterly lament their exceeding 
folly in their own sins, by which they have brought on them- 
selves so great and remediless misery. When sinners, by wo- 
ful experience, know the dreadful issue of their evil way, they 
will mourn at the last, saying, how have I hated instruction, 
and my heart despised reproof, and ha^'e not obeyed the voice 
of ray teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed 
me I....Prov, iv. 11....I3. 

Therefore, however true godliness is now attended with a 
great sense of the importance of divine things, and it is rare 
that men that have no grace do maintain such a sense in any> 
steady and persevering manner; yet it is manifest those things 
are no certain evidences of gi^acc. Unregenerate men may- 
have a sense of the importance of the things of eternity, and"' 
the vanity of the things of time ; the worth of immortal souls -y, 
the preciousness of time and means of grace, and the folly of 
the way of allowed sin : And may have such a sense of those 
things, as may deeply affect them, and cause them to mourn 
for their own sins, and be much concerned for others ; though 
it be true, they have not these things in the same manner, and 
in all respects from the same principles and views as godly men 
have them. 

2. Devils and damned men have a strong and most affecting 
sense of the awful greatness and majesty of God. The awful 


-majesty of God is greatly made manifest in the execution of 
divine wrath, which they are the subjects of. The making 
this known, is one thing God has in design in his vengeance 
on his enemies. Rom. ix. 22. " What if God, willing to shew 
his wrath, and make his power known, endured with 
much long suffering the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruc- 
tion." The devils tremble before this great and terrible God, 
and under a strong sense of his awful majesty. It is greatly 
manifested to them, and damned souls now ; but shall be man- 
ifested in a further degree, in that day, when the Lord Jesus 
shall be revealed from heaven, in flaming fire, to take ven- 
geance upon them ; and when they shall earnestly desire to fly, 
and be hid from the face of him that sits on the throne, 
(" which shall be, because of tlie glory of his majesty." Isa. 
ii. 10) and when they shall Ije punished with everlasting de- 
struction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glo- 
ry of his power. When Christ comes at the last day, in the 
glory of his Father, every eye shall see him in that glory, (in 
this respect, that they shall see his terrible nnajesty) and they 
also that pierced him. Rev. i. 7. Both those devils, and wick- 
ed men, which tormented and insulted him when he appear- 
ed in meanness and ignominy, shall then see him in the glory 
of his Father. 

It is evident, therefore^ that a sense of God's terrible ma- 
jesty is no certain evidence of saving grace ; for we see that 
wicked men and devils are capable of it ; yea, many wicked 
men in this world have actually had it. This is a manifesta- 
tion which God made of himself, in the sight of that wicked 
congregation at Mount Sinai, which they saw, and were deep- 
ly afi"ected with, so that all the people that were in the camp 

3. Devils and damned men have some kind of conviction 
and sense of all the attributes of God, both natural and moral, 
that is strong and very affecting. 

The devils know God's almighty power ; they saw great 
manifestation of it, when they saw God lay the foundation of 
the earth, See. and were much affected with it ; and they have 
seen innumerable other great demonsti-ations of his power ; 


as in the universal delutjc, the destruction of Sodom, the 
•wonders in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the uilderness ; 
the causintj the sun to stand stiil in Joshua's time and niany 
others. And they had a very affecting manifcstaiion of (Jod' 3 
mighty power on themselves, in casting all their host down 
from heaven into hell ; and have continual affecting experi- 
ence of it, in God's reserving them in strong chains of dark- 
ness, and in the strong puins they feel, and will hereafter have 
far more affecting experience of it,when they shall be punish- 
ed from the glory of Gcd's power, with that mighty destruc- 
tion which they now tremble in expectation of. So the devils 
have a great knowledge of the wisdom of God : They have 
had unspeakably more opportunity and occasion to observe it 
in the work of creation, and also in the worjis of providence, 
than any mortal man has ever had ; and have been themselves 
the subjects of innumerable affecting maifestg.tions pf it, in 
God's disappointing and confounding them in thejr most sub- 
tle devices, in so wonderRil and amazing a manner. So they 
see and find the infinite purity an4 holiness of the divine nature 
in the most affecting manner, i^s this appears in his infinite ha- 
tred of sin, iu what they feel of the dreadful effects of that 
hatred. They know already by what they suffer, and will 
know hereafter to a greater degree, and far more affecting 
manner, that such is the opposition of God's nature to sin, 
that it is like a consuming fire, that burns with infinite vehe- 
Tuence against it ; they wiU feel the vehement h.cat of that fire 
in a very dreadful manper. They also will sec the holiness 
of (iod, as exercised in hi? love to righteousness and holiness, 
in what they will see of the rew-ard of the righteousness of 
Christ, and the holiness of his people, in the glory of Christ 
and his clnirch ; which also will be very affecting to devils 
and wicked men. And the exact justice of God will be man- 
ifested to them in the clearest and strongest, mos tconvincing 
and most affecting light, at the day of judgment ; when they 
will also see great and affecting demonstrations of the riches 
of his grace, in the marvellous fruits of his love to the vessels 
of mercy ; when they shall sec them at the right hand of Christ 
shining as the sun in the kingdom of tlipir father, and shall 


hear the blessed sentence pronounced upon them ; and will 
be deeply affected with It, as seems naturally implied in Luke 
3.iii. 28, 29. The devils know God's truth, and therefore they 
believe his threatenings, and tremble in expectation of their 
accomplishment. And wicked men that now doubt his truth, 
and dare not trust his word, will hereafter, in the most convin- 
cing, affecting manner, find his word to be true in all that he 
has threatened, and will see that he is faithful to his promises 
in the rewards of his saints. Devils and damned men know 
that God is eternal and unchangeable ; and therefore they des- 
pair of there ev^r being an end to their masery. 

Therefore it is manifest, that merely persons' having an af- 
fecting sense of some, or even of all God's attributes, is no 
certain sign that they have the true grace of God in their 

Ohject. Here possibly some may object against the force of 
the foregoing reasoning, That ungodly men in this world are 
in exceeding different circumstances from those which the 
devils are in, and from those which wicked men Avill be in, at 
the day of judgment ; those tilings which are visible and pres- 
ent to these, are now future and invisible to the other ; and 
Y^icked men in this world are in the body, that clogs and hin- 
ders the soul, and are encompassed with objects that blind and 
stupify them ; and therefore it does not follow, that because 
the wicked in another world have a great apprehension and 
lively sense of such and such things without grace, that un- 
godly men in their present state may have the same. 

Am. To this I answer... .It is not s'jpposed that ever men 
in this life have all those things which have been mentioned, 
to the same degree that the devils und damned have them. 
None supposes that ever any in this life have terrors of con- 
science to an equal degree with them. It is not to be suppos- 
ed that any mortal man, whether godly or ungodly, has an c- 
qaal degree of speculative knowledge with the devil. And, 
as was just now observed, the wicked, at the day of judgment, 
will have a vastly greater idea of the external glory of Christ 
than ever any have in the present state. So, doubtless, they 
will have a far greater sense of God's av,^ful greatness and ter- 


rible majesty, than any could subsist under in this frail state 
So we may well conclude, that the devils and wicked men in 
hell have a greater and more affecting senue of the vastness of 
eternity, and (in some respects) a greater sense of the import- 
ance of the things of another world, than any here have, and 
they have also longings after salvation to au higher degree 
than any wicked men in this world. 

But yet it is evident, that men in this world may have things 
of the same kind with devils and damned men. The same 
sort of light in the understanding, the same views, and the 
same affections.. ..the same sense of things. ...the same kind of 
impressions on the mind, and on the heart. If the objection 
3s against the conclusiveness of the reasoning that has been 
made use of to prove this, it is against the conclusiveness of 
that reasoning which is the apostle's, more properly thanmine. 
The apostle judged it a conclusive argument against such as 
thought their believing there Avas one God, an evidence oi 
their being gracious, that the devils believed the same. So 
the argument is exactly the same against such as think they 
have grace, because they believe God is aholy God, or because, 
they have a sense of the awful majesty of God. The same 
may be observed of other things that have been mentioned. 
My text has reference not only to the act of the understanding 
of devils in believing, but to that affection of their hearts, 
■which accompanies the views they have ; as trembling is an 
effect of the affection of the heart; which shews, that if men 
have both the same views of understanding, and also the same 
affections of heart, that the devils have, it is no sign of grace. 

And as to the particular degree, to which these things may 
be carried in men, in this world, without grace, it appears not 
to be safe to go about so to ascertain and fix it, as to make use 
of itas an infalUb.le rule to determine men's state. I know 
•not where we have any rule to go by to fix the precise degree, 
in which God, by his providence, or his common influences on 
the mind, will excite in wicked men in this world, the same 
views and raffections which the wicked have in another world ; 
which, it is manifest, the former are capable of as well as the 
latter, having the same faculties and principles of soul; and 


■which views and affections, it is evident, they often are actual- 
ly the subjects of in some degree. ..some in a greater, and 
some in a less degree. The infallible evidences of grace, 
which are laid down in scripture, are of another kind ; they 
are all of a holy and spiritual nature, and, therefore, things of 
tliat kind, which a heart, that is wholly carnal and corrupt, 
cannot receive, or have any experience of. I Cor ii. 14 

I might also here add, that observation and experience, in 
very many instances, seem to confirm what scripture and 
reason teach in these things. 

The second use may be of selfexaminaiion. 
Let the things which have been observed put all on examin- 
ing themselves, and enquiring whether they have any better 
evidences of saving grace, than such as have been mentioned. 
We see how the infallible Spirit of God, in the text, plainly 
represents the things the devils are the subjects of, as no sure 
sign of grace. And we have now, in some instances, observ- 
ed how far the devils and damned men go, and will go, in 
their experience. ...their knowledge of divine things. ...their be- 
lief of truth.. ..their av/akenings and terrors of conscience..., 
their convictioa of guilt, and of the justice of God, in their e- 
ternal, dreadful damnation. ...their longings after salvation.,., 
tiieir sight of the external glory of Christ, and heavenly things 
....their sense of the vast importance of the things of religion, 
and another world. ...their sense of the awful greatness and ter- 
rible majesty of God, yea, of all God's attributes. These 
things may well put us on serious selfexamination, whether 
we have any thing to evidence our good estate, beyond what 
the devils are the subjects of. Christ said to his disciples, 
" Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the 
Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the king- 
dom of heaven." So the Spirit of Christ, in his Apostle James, 
docs, in effect, say, in my text, except what you experience in 
your souls go beyond the experiences of devils, ye shall, in no 
case enter into the kingdom of God. 

Here it may be, some will be ready to say, I have something 
besides all these things, which have been mentioned ; I have 
things which the devils have not, even love and joy. 

25ft TRUE grace: 

I answer, you may have something besides the experience's 
of devils, and yet nothing beyond them. Though the experi- 
ence be different, yet it may not be owing to any different 
principle, but only the different circumstances, under which 
these principles are exercised. The principles, from whence 
the forementioned things in devils and damned men do arise, 
are these two ; natural understanding and selflove. It is from 
natural understanding or reason that they have such a decree 
of knowledge in divine things and such a belief of them. It 
is from these principles of natural understanding and selflove, 
as exercised about their own di-spositions and actions, and God 
as their judge,that they have natural conscience,and have such 
convictions of conscience as have been spoken of. It is from 
tliese principles that they have such a sense of the im.portancc 
of the things of religion and the eternal world, and such long- 
ings after salvation. It is from the joint exercise of these 
two principles that they are so sensible of the awful majesty of 
God, and of all the attributes of the divine nature, and so great- 
ly affected with them : Audit is from these principles, joined 
with external sense, the wicked, at the day of judgment, will 
have so great an apprehension of, and will be so greatly affect- 
ed by, the external glory of Christ and his saints. And that 
you have a kind of love, or gratitude and joy, which devils 
and damned men have not, may possibly not arise from any 
other principles in your heart different from these two, but 
only from these principles, as exercised in different circum- 

As for instance, your being a subject of the restraininc7 
grace of God and being under circumstances of hope, and the 
receipt of mercy. The natural understanding and selflove ot 
devils possibly might affect them in the same manner, if tlicy 
were in the same circumstances. If your love to God, has its 
first source from nothing else than a supposed immediate di- 
vine witness, or any other supposed evidence, that Christ died 
for you in particular, and that God loves you, it springs from 
no higher principle than selflove, which is a principle that 
reigns in the hearts of devils. Selflove is sufficient, without 
:*race, to cause men to love those that love them; or that they 


iniagme love them, and make ra.uch of them ; Luke vi. 
32. ♦' For if ye love them which love you, what thank have 
you ? For sinners also love those that love them." And 
would not the hearts of devils be filled with great joy, if they, 
by ally means should take up a confident persuasion that God 
had pardoned them, and was become their friend, and that they 
should be delivered from that wrath which they now are in 
trembling expectation of ? If the devils go so far as you have 
heard, even in their circumstances, being totally cast off, and 
given up to unrestrained wickedness,being without hopc,know- 
ing that God is aiid ever will be their enemy, they suffedng 
his wrath without mercy ; how far may we reasonably suppose 
they might go, in imitation of gi-ace and pious experience, if 
they had the same degree of knowledge, as clear views, and as 
strong conviction, under circumstances of h(jpe, and ofi'ers of 
mercy ; and being the subjects of common grace, restraining 
their corruptions, and assisting and exciting the m.tural prin- 
ciples of reason, conscience, &:c. Such thiiit^s as devils are the 
subjects of ; such great conviction of conscience ; such a 
sense of the importance of eternal things; such affecung 
views of the awful majesty,greutness, power, holiness, justice, 
and truth of God, and such a sense of his gretit grace to the 
saints, if they, or any thing like them., should be in the heart 
of a sinner, in this world, at the same time that he, from some 
strong impression on his im&ginatiou of Christ appearing to 
him, or sweet v/ords spoken to him, or by some other m^ns, 
has suddenly, after great terrors, imbibed a strong confidence, 
that now this great God is his friend and father, has released 
him from all the misery he feared, and has promised him 
eternal happiness ; I say, such things would, doubtless, vastly 
heighten his ecstasy of joy, and raise the exercise of natural 
gratitude, (that principle from whence sinners love those that 
love them) and would occasion a great imitation of many gra- 
ces in strong exercises. Is it any wonder then, that multi- 
tudes under such a sort of affection are deceived ? Especi dly 
when they have devils to help forward the delusion, whose 
great subtilty has chiefly been exercised in deceiving man- 
kind, through all past generations. 
VoL.VIT. 2 I 

258 TRUE GRA.CE. -^ 

Enquiry. Here possibly some may be ready to enquire, iS 
there may be so many things uhichmenmay experience from 
no higher principles than are in the minds and hearts of dev- 
ils ; -what are those exorcises and affections, that are of a high- 
er nature, vhich I must find in my heart, and which I may 
justly look upon as sure signs of the saving grace of C od's 

An;}. I answer ; those exercises and affections which are 
good evidences of grace, differ from all that the devils are 
the subjects of, and all that can arise from such principles as 
are in their hearts, in two things, viz. their foundation and 
their tendency. 

1 . They differ in theii» foundation, or in that belonging to 
them, which is most fundamental in them, and the foundation 
of all the rest which pertains to them, viz. an apprehension or 
sense of the supreme holy beauty and comeliness of divine 
things, as they ai'e in themselves, or in their own nature. 

This the devils and damned in hell are, and forever will be 
entirely destitute of; this the devils once had, while they stood 
in their integrity ; but this t*hcy wholly lost when they fell : 
And this is the only thing that can be mentioned, pertaining to 
the devil's apprehension and sense of the Divine Being, that 
he did lose. Nothing else belonging to the knowledge of God, 
can be devised, that he is destitute of. It has been observed, 
that there is no one attribute of the divine nature, but what he 
is sensible of, and knows, and has a strong and very affecting 
conviction of ; and this, I think is evident and undeniable. 
But the supreme beauty of the divine nature he is altogether 
blind to : He sees no more of it than a man born perfectly blind 
does of colors. The great sight he has of the attributes of God 
gives him an idea and strong sense of his awful majesty, but no 
idea of his beauty and comeliness. Though he has seen s& 
much of God's worderful works of power, wisdom, holiness, 
justice, and truth, and his wonderful works of grace to man- 
kind, this so many thousand years, and has had occasion to ob- 
serve them with the strongest attention ; yet all serves not to 
give him the least sense of his divine beauty. And though the 
devils should contimie to exercise their mighty powers of mind 


with the strongest intention ; and should take things in all 
possible views, in every order and arrangement, yet they nev- 
er will see this. So little akin is the knowledge they have to 
this, that the great degrees of that knowledge bring them no 
nearer to it. Yet the more knowledge they have of God, of 
that kind, the more do they hatte God. That wherein the 
beauty of the divine nature does most essentially consist, viz. 
his holmess or moral excellency appears, in their eyes,further- 
est from beauty : It is on that very acco^unt, chiefly, that he 
appears hateful to them. The more holiness they see in him, 
the more hatefnl he appears : The greater their sight is of his 
holiness, the higher is their hatred of him raised. And be- 
cause of their hatred of his holiness, they hate him the more, 
the more they see of his other attributes. They would hate 
a holy being whatever his other attributes were, but they hate 
such a holy being the worse for his being infinitely wise, and 
infinitely powerful. Sec. more than they wt)uki do, if they saw 
in him less power and less wisdom. 

The wicked at the day of judgment, will see every thing 
else In Christ but his beauty and amiableness. There isno one 
quality or property of his person that can be thought of, but 
v;hat will be set before them in the strongest light at that day, 
but only such as consist ia this. They will see him coming in 
the clouds of heaven in power and great gl-ory ; in the glory 
of his Father. They will have that view of his external glory 
Avhich is vastly beyond what we can have any imagination of: 
And they will have the strongest and most convincing demon- 
strations of all his attributes and perfections. They will have 
a sense of his great majesty, that will be, as it were, infinitely- 
affecting to them. They shall be made to know effectually that 
he is the Lord, They shall see what he is, and what he does ; 
his nature and works shall appear in the sirongest view. 
But his holy and infinite beauty and amiableness, which is all 
in all, and without which every other quality and property is 
nothing, and worse than nothing, they will see nothing of. 

Therefore, it is a sight or sense of this that is the thing 
wherein does fundainentally consist the difference between 
those things in which the saving grace of God's Spirit ccnsists> 


and the experiences of devils and damned souls, Thisia the 
foundation of every thing else that is distinguishing in tru^ 
Christi.in experience. This is the foundation of the faith of 
excellency of the things exhibited in the gospel, or sense of 
the divine beauty and amiableness of the scheme of doctrine 
there exhibited, that savingly convinces the mind that it is inr 
deed divine, or of ( ^od. This account of the matter is plainly 
implied ; 2 Cor. iv. 5, 4. " But if our gospel be hid, it is hid 
to them that are lost : In v.hom the God of this world hath 
blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of 
the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, 
should shine unto them." And v. 6. " For God, who com- 
jnanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined ii^ 
our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of tlie gloiy 
of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." It is very evident that 
a saving belief of the gospel is here spoken of by the apostle, 
as avi..ing from a view of the divine glory or beauty of the 
things it exhibits. It is by this view tliut the soul of a true 
convert is enabled, savingly, to seethe suflficieicy of Christ for 
his salvation He that has his eyes open to behold the divine 
superlative beauty and loveliness of Jesus Christ, is convinced 
of his sufficiency to stand as a mediator between him, a guilty, 
heli deserving wretch, and an infinitely holy God, in an ex- 
ceeding different manner than ever he can be convinced by all 
the arguments that are made use of by the most excellent au- 
thors or preachers. 

When he once comes to see Christ's divine loveliness, ho 
wonders no more that he is thought wortliy by Cod the Fa- 
ther to be accepted for the vilest sinner. Now it is not diffi« 
cult for him to conceive how the blood of Christ should be es- 
teemed, by God, so precious, as to be worthy to be accepted 
as a compensation for the greatest siiis. The soul now prop- 
erly sees the preciousnessof Christ, and so does properly see 
and understand the very ground and reason of his acceptable? 
ness to God, and the value Cod sets on his blood, obedience, 
and intercession. This satisfies the poor guilty soul, and gives 
it rest ; when the finest and most elaborate discourses about the 
sufiiciency of Christ, and suitableness of the way of SiUvation. 


would not do it. When a man then comes to see 6ie proper 
foundation of faith and affiance with his own eyes, then he be- 
lieves savingly. " He that seeth the Son, and believeth on 
him, hath everlasting life." John vi 40. When Christ thus 
jnanifests God's name to men, then " they believe that all 
]things, whatsoever God has given to Christ, are of him, and 

believe that Christ was sent of God." John :^vii. 6, 7, 3 

And " they that thus know Christ's nanxe will trust in bim." 
Psalm ix. 10. In order to true faith in Jesus Christ, the Son 
of Cod is revealed in men. Gal, i. 15, 16. And it is this sight 
of the divine beauty of Christ that bows the wills and draws 
the hearts of men. A sight of the greatness of God, in his 
attributes, may overwhelm men, and be more than they^an 
endure ; but the enmity and opposition of the heart may re- 
Xnain in its full strength, and the will remain inflexible, where- 
as one glimpse of the moral and spiritual glory of God, and 
supreme araiableness of Jesus Christ, shining into the heart, 
overcomes and abolishes this opposition, and inclines the soul 
to Christ, as it were, by an omnipotent power ; so that now, 
not only the understanding, but the will, and the whole soul, 
receives and embraces the Saviour. This is most certainly 
the discovery, which is the first internal foundation of a saving 
faith in Christ, in the soul of the true convert; and not on hav- 
ing of it immediately suggested and revealed to the soul by a 
text of scripture, or any immediate outward or inward witness, 
that Christ loves him, or that he died for him in particular, and 
is his Saviour ; so begetting confidence and joy, and a seeming 
love to Christ because he loves him ; by which sort of faith 
and conversion (demonstratively vain and counterfeit) multi- 
tudes have been deluded. The sight of the glory of God, in, 
the face of Jesus Christ, works true supreme love to God. 
This is a sight of the proper foundauon of supreme love to 
God, viz. the supreme loveliness of his nature ; and a love to 
him on this ground is truly above any ihing that can come 
from a mere principle of selflove, which is in the hearts of 
devils as well as men. And this begets true spiritual and ho- 
ly joy in the soul, which is indeed joy in God, and glorying ia 
him, and not rejoicing in ov-rselves. 


This fught of the beauty of divine things will excite true de- 
sires and 'ongingsof soul after those things; not like the long* 
ings of devils, or any such forced desires, as those of a man ia 
great danger of death, after some bitter medicine that he hopes 
win save his life ; but nataral, free desires, the desires of ap- 
petite. ...the thirslings of u new nature, as a newborn be^be de- 
sires the mother's breast, and as a hungry man longs for some 
pleasant food he thinks of ...or, as the thirsty hart pants after 
the cool and clear stream. 

This sense of divine beauly is the first thing in the actual 
chauge made in the soul in true conversion, and is the founda- 
tion of every thing else belonging to that change, as is evident 
by those words of the apostle. ...2 Cor. iii. 18. «' But we all, 
with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, 
are ch;vnged into the same image, from glory to glory, even as 
by the Spirit of the Lord." 

2. Truly gracious affections and exercises of mind differ 
from such as are coimterfeit, which arise from no higher prin- 
ciples than are in the hearts of devils in their tendency, and 
that in these two respects. 

(1.) They are of a tendency and influence very contrary to 
that which was especially the devil's sin, even pride. That 
pride v/as in a peculiar manner, the devil's sin, is manifest 
from 1 Tim. iii. 6. " Not a novice, lest, being lifted up with 
pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil." False and 
delusive experiences ever more tend to this, though often- 
times under the disguise of great and extraordinaiy humility. 
Spidtual pride is the prevailing temper and general character 
of hypocrites, deluded with false discoveries and affections..... 
They are, in general, of a disposition directly contraiy to those. 
two things belonging to the Christian temper, directed to by 
the apostle ; the one in Rom. xii. 16. '< Be not wise in your 
own conceit ;" and the other in Phil. ii. 5. " Let each esteem 
others better than themselves.".. ..False experience is conceit- 
ed of itself, and affected v/ith itself. Thus he that has false 
humility is much affected to think how he is abased before 
God, He that has false love is affected, when he thinks of 
the greatness of his love. The very food and nourishment cf 


false expverience is to view itself, and take much notice of it- 
self ; and its very breath and life is to talk, much of itself, or 
some way to be shewing itself. Whereas truly gracious 
views and affections are of a quite contrary tendency ; they 
nourish no selfconceit....no exalting; conceit of the man's own 
righteousness, experience, or privileges....no high conceit of 
his humiliLitions. They incline to no ostentation, nor selfex- 
altation, under any disguise whatsoever. But that sense of 
the supreme, holy beauty and glory of God and Christ, which 
Is the foundation of them, and that only mortifies pride, and 
truly humbles the soul. It not only cuts off some of the 
outermost branches, (causing many branches to grow out 
where but one was before) but it strikes at the very root of 
pride. ..it alters the very nature and disposition of the heart. 
The light of God's beauty, and that alone, truly shews the. 
soul its own deformity, and effectually inclines it to exalt God 
and abase itself. 

(2 ) These gracious exercises and affections differ from the 
other in their tendency to destroy Satan's interest. I. In the 
person himself, in their tendency to cause the soul to hate ev- 
ery evil and false way, and to produce universal holiness of 
heart and life, disposing him to make the service of God, and 
the promoting of his glory and the good of mankind, the very 
business of his life ; whereas those false discoveries and af- 
fections have not tliis effect. There may, indeed, be great 
zeal, and a great deal of what is called religion ; but it is not 
atruly Christian zeal... .it is not a being zealous of good works ; 
their religion is not the sei'vice of God. ...it is not a seeking 
and serving God, but, indeed, a seeking and serving them- 
selves Though there may be a change of life, it is not a 

change from every wicked way to a uniform Christian life 
and practice, but only a turning the stream of corruption from 
one channel to another. Thus the Apostle James distin- 
guishes, in our context, a true faith from the faith of devils ; 
James ii. 19, 20...." Thou beiievest that there is one God; 
the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O 
vain man, that faith without works is dead ?" And thus the 
Apostle John distinguishes true communion with God ; 

364 TRUE CRACt. 

I lohn i. 6, r. « If ^7e say that we have fellowship with hiitt, 
and walk ift darkness, we lie, and do not the truth ; but if wfe 
•walk in the light, as h6 is in the light, wfi have fellowship one 
/^■•ith another, and the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all 
sin." By this he distinguishes true spiritual knowledge, 
chap ii. 3, 4. " Hereby we do know that we know him, if 
we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, 
and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is 
not in him." And hereby the same apostle distinguishes true 
love, chap. iii. 18,19. " Let us not love in word, neither in 
tongue, but in deed [in work, as the word signifies] and in 
truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and 
shall assure our hearts before him." 

2. Truly gracious experiences have a tendency to destroy 
Satan's interest in the world. 

False religion, consisting in the counterfeits of the opera- 
tion of the Spiiit of God, and in high pretences and great ap- 
pearances of inward experimental religion : When this pre- 
vails among a people, though, for the present, it may surprise 
many, and may be the occasion of alarming and awakening^ 
some sinners, yet in the final issue of things, tends greatly to 
wound and weaken the cause of vital religion, and to strength- 
en the interest of Satan, desperately to harden the hearts oi 
sinners, exceedingly to fill the world with prejudice against 
the power of godliness, to promote infidelity and licentious 
principles and practices, to build up and make strong the dev- 
il's kingdom in the world, more tlicin open vice aid profane- 
ness, or professed Atheism, or public persecution, and per- 
haps more than any thing else whatsoever. 

But it is not so with true religion in its genuine beauty. 
That, if it prevails in great power, will douljlless excite the 
rage of the devil, and many other enemies of religion :.,., 
However, it gives great advantage to its friends, and exceed- 
ingly strengthens their cause, and tends to convince or con- 
found enemies. True religion is a divine light in the souls 
of the Scdnts ; and, as it shines out in the conversation before 
men, it tends to induce others toglorily God. There is noth- 
ing like it (as to means) to awaken the consciences of men, to 


convince infidels, and to stop the mouths of gajinsayers. 
Though men naturally hate the power of godliness, yet when 
they see the fruits of it, there is a witness in their consciences 
in its favor. " He that serveth Christ in righteousness, and 
peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, is acceptable to God, and ap- 
proved of men," Rom. xiv. 17, 18. The prevailing of true 
religion ever tends to the honor of religion in the world, 
though it commonly is the occasion of great persecution. It 
is a sure thing ; the more it appeai-s and is exemplified in the 
view of the vi^orld, the more will its honor, and the honor of its 
author, be advanced. Phil, i, 1 1. " Being filled with the fruits 
of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the gloryand 
praise of God." 

The third use may be of exhortation, to seek those distin- 
guishing qualifications and aftections of ^oul which neither the 
devil, nor any unholy beings has or can have. 

How excellent is that inward virtue and religion which con- 
sists in those ! Herein consists the most excellent experien- 
ces of saints and angels in heaven Herein consists the best 
experience of the man Christ Jesus, whether in his humbled 
or glorified state. Herein consists the image of God ; yea, 
this is spoken of in Scripture, as a communication of some- 
thing of Cod's own beauty and excellency.,.. A participation of 
the divine nature, 2 Peter i. 4. A partaking of his holiness, 
Heb. xii. 10, A partaking of Christ's fulness, John i. 16. 
Hereby the saints are filled with all the fulness of God, Eph„ 
iii. 18, 19 Hereby they have fellowship with both the Fath- 
er and the Son, 1 John i. S ; that is, they communicate with 
them in their happiness. Yea, by means of this divine virtue, 
there is a mutual indwelling of God and the saints ; I John 
iv. 16. " God is love ; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth 
in God, and God in him." 

This qualification must render the person that has it excel- 
lent and happy indeed, and doubtless is the highest dignity 
and blessedness of any creature. This is the peculiar gift of 
God, which he bestows only on his special favorites. As to 
silver, gold, and diamonds, earthly crowns and kingdoms, he 
Vol. Vn. 2 K. 


often throws them out to those that he esteems as dogs and 
Bwine ; but this is the pecuUar blessing of his clear children. 
This is what flesh and blood cannot impart, and w hat aH the 
devils in hell cannot work the least degree of, in any heart ; it 
is God alone can bestow it. This was the special benefit 
which Christ died to procure for his elect, the most excellent 
token of his everlasting love ; the chief fruit of his great la- 
bors, and the most precious purchase of his blood. 

By this, above all other things, do men glorify God. By 
this, above all other things, do the saints shine as lights in the 
world, and arc blessings to mankind. And this, above all 
things, tends to their own comfort ; from hence arises that 
«' peace which passcth all understanding," and that " joy 
which is imspeakable, and full of glory." And this is that 
which will most certainly issue in the eternal salvation of 
those that have it. It is impossible that the soul wherein it is 
should sink and perish. It is an immortal seed.. ..it is eternal 
life begun ; and therefore they that have it can never die. It 
is the dawning of the light of glory....it is the daystar risen 
in the heart, that is a sure forerunner of that sun's rising 
which will bring on an everlasting day. This is that water 
which Christ gives, which is in him that drinks it " a well of 
water springing up into everlasting life ;" John iv. 14. It is 
something from heaven, is of a heavenly nature, and tends to 
heaven. And those that have it, however they may now wan- 
der in a wilderness, or be tossed to and fro on a tempestuous 
ocean, shall certainly arrive in heaven at last, where this heav- 
enly spark shall be increased and perfected, and the souls of 
the saints all be transformed into a bright and pure flame, and 
they shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Fath- 
,cr. Amen. 


The Excellency of Chriss. 



X HE visions and revelations that the Apostle John 
had of the future events of God's providence are here intro- 
duced with a vision of the book of God's decrees, by which 
those events were foreordained ; which is represented in the 
1st verse of this chapter, as a book in the right hand of him 
that sat on the throne, " written within and on the back side, 
and sealed with seven seals." Books in the form in which 
ihey were wont of old to be made, were broad leaves of parch- 
ment or paper, or something of that nature, joined together at 
one edge, and so rolled up together, and then sealed, or some 
way fastened together, to prevent their unfolding and opening. 
Hence we read of the roll of a book, Jer, xxx\i. 2. It seems 
to have been such a book that John had the vision of here ; 
and therefore it is said to be " written within and on the back 
side," i. e. on the inside pages, and also on one of the outside 
pages, viz. that that was rolled in, in the rolling of the book up 
together. And it is said to be " sealed with seven seals," to 
f jgnify that what was written in it was perfectly hidden and 


secret ; or that God's decrees of future events are sealed, and 
shut up from all possibility of being discovered by creatures, 
till God is pleased to make them known. We find that seven 
is Oiten used in scripture as the number of perlection, to sig- 
nify the superlative or most perfect degree of any thing; 
which probably came from that, that on the seventh day God 
beheld the works of the creittion finished, and rested and re- 
joiced in them, as being complete and perfect. 

Wheu John saw this book, he tells us, he " saw a strong an- 
gel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the 
book, and to loose the seals thereof ? And no man in heaven, 
nor in earth, neithei* wnder the earth, was able to open the 
book, neither to look thereon-'' And that he wept much, be- 
cause " no man was found worthy to open the book, neither to 
look thereon," And then he tells us how his tears were dri- 
ed up, viz. that " one of the elders said unto him. Weep not; 
behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed," kc. as 
in the text. Though no man nor angel, nor any mere crea- 
ture, was found either able to loose the seals, or worthy to be 
admitted to the privilege of reading the book ; yet this was de- 
clared, for the comfort of this beloved disciple, that Christ 
■was found both able and worthy. And we have an account in 
the succeeding chapters how he actually did it, opening the 
seals in order, first one, and then another, reveaUng what 
God had decreed should come to pass hereafter. And we 
have an account in this chapter, of his coming and taking the 
book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne, and 
of the joyful praises that were sung to him in heaven and 
earth on that occasion. 

Many things might be observed in the v/ords of the text ; 
but it is to my present purpose only to take notice of the two 
distinct appellations here given to Christ. 

1. He is called a Lion. Behold^ the Lion of the tribe of Ju- 
dah. He seems to be called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, in 
allusion to what Jacob said in his blessing of the tribes on liis 
death bed ; who, when he came to bless Judah, compares him 
to a lion, Gen. xlix. 9. " Judah is a lion's whelp ; from the 


prey, my son, thou art gone up : He stooped down, he couch- 
ed as a lion, and as an old lion ; who shall rouse him up V* 
And also to the standard of the camp of Judah in the wilder- 
ness, on which was displayed a lion, according to the ancient 
tradition of the Jews. It is much on account of the valiant 
acts of David, that the tribe of Judah, of which David was, is 
in Jacob's prophetical blessing compared to a lion ; but more 
especially with an eye to Jesus Cluist, who also was of that 
tribe, and was descended of David, and is in our text called 
^* the root of David ;" and therefore Chrigt is here called "the 
lion of tlie tribe of Judah." 

2. He is called a Za7«i5. John v/as told of a lion that had 
prevailed to open the book, and probably expected to see a 
lion in his vision ; but while he is expecting, behold a Lamb 
appears to open the book, an exceeding diverse kind of crea- 
ture from a lion. A lion is a devourer, one that is wont to 
make terrible slaughter of others ; and no creature more 
easily falls a prey to him than a lamb. And Christ is here 
represented not only as a lamb, a creature very liable to be 
slain, but a " Lamb as he had been slain," that is, with the 
marks of its deadly wounds appearing on it. 

That which I would observe from the v/ords, for the sub- 
ject of my present discourse, is this, viz. 

" There is an admirable conjunction of diverse excellen- 
cies in Jesus Christ. 

The lion and tlie-^kmb, though very diverse kinds of crear 
tures, yet have each their peculiar excellencies. The lion 
excels in strength, and in the r.mjesty of his voice: The lamb 
excels in meekness and patience, besides the excellent nature 
of the creature as good for food, and yielding that which is fit 
for our cloathing, andbeing suitable to be offered in sacrifice 
to God. But we see that Christ is in the text compared to 
both ; because the diverse excellencies of both wonderfully 
meet in him. 

In handling this subject, I would, 

First, Shew wherein there is an admirable conjunction of 
<iiverse excellencies in Christ. 


Secondlii, How this admirable conjunction of excellencies 
appears in Christ's acts. 

And then make application. 

First, I would shew wherein there is an admirable con- 
junction of diverse excellencies in Jesus Christ. Which ap- 
pears in three things. 

I. There is a conjunction of such excellencies in Christ, 
as, in our munner of conceiving, are very diverse one from 

IL There is in him a conjunction of such really diverse 
excellencies, as otherwise would have seemed to us utterly 
incompatible in the same subject. 

\\l. Such di\'erse excellencies are exercised in him to- 
wards men, that otherwise would have seemed impossible to 
be exercised towards the same object. 

L There is a conjunction of such excellencies in Christ, 
as, in our manner of conceiving, are very diverse one from 
another. Such are the various divine perfections and excel- 
lencies that Christ is possessed ot Christ is a divine person, 
or one that is God ; and therefore has all the attributes of God. 
The difference there is, between these, is chiefly relative, and 
in our manner of conceiving of them. And those that in this 
sense are most diverse, do meet in the person of Christ. 
I shall mention two instances, 

1. There do meet in Jesus Christ infinite highness and in- 
finite condescension. Christ, as be is God, is infinitely great 
and high above all. He is higher than the kings of the earth : 
For he is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is higher than 
the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven. 
So great is he, that all men, all kings and princes, are as 
worms of the dust before him ; all nations are as the drop of 
the bucket, and the light dust of the balance ; yea, and angels 
themselves are as nothing before him. He is so high, that he 
is infinitely above any need of us ; above our reach, that we 
cannot be profitable to him ; and above our conceptions, that 
we cannot comprehend lum.Prov. xxx. 4. " What is his name, 
or what is his son's name, if thou canst tell ?" Our under- 



atatidings, if we stretch them never so far, cannot reach up to 
his divine glory. Job xi. 8. "It is high as heaven, what 
canst thou do ?" Christ is the Creator and great possessor of 
heaven and earth : He is sovereign Lord of ail : He rules 
over the whole universe and doth whatsoever pleaseth him : 
His knowledge is without bound : His wisdom is perfect, 
and what none can circumvent : His power is infinite, and 
none can resist him : His riches are immense and inexhausti- 
ble : His majesty is infinitely awful. 

And yet he is one of infinite condescension. None are so 
low or inferior, but Christ's condescension is sufficient to take 
a gracious notice of them. He condescends not only to tlie 
angels, humbling himself to behold the things that are done 
in heaven, but he also condescends to such poor creatui^es as. 
men ; and that not only so as to take notice of princes and 
great men, but of those that are of meanest rank and degree, 
the " poor of the world." James ii. 5. Such as are com- 
monly despised by their fellow creatures, Christ does not des- 
pise. 1 Cor. i. 28. " Base things of the world, and things 
that are despised, hath God chosen." Christ condescends to 
take notice of beggars, Luke xvi. 22, and of servants, and peo- 
ple- of the most despised nations : In Christ Jesus is neither 
" Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free." Col. iii. 11. He that 
is thus high, condescends to take a gracious notice of little 
children, Matth. xix. 14. " Suffer little children to come un- 
to me." Yea, which is much more, his condescension is suf- 
ficient to take a gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful 
creatures, those that have infinite ill deservings. 

Yea, so great is his condescension, that it is not only sufii- 
cient to take some gracious notice of such as these, but suffi- 
cient for every thing that is an act of condescension. His 
condescension is great enough to become their friend : It is 
great enough to become their companion, to unite their souls 
to him in spiritual marriage : It is great enough to take their 
nature upon him, to become one of them, that he may be one 
with them : Yea, it is great enough to abase himself yet lower 
for them, even to expose himself to shame and spitting ; yea, 


to yiel<l ill') himseli" to an ignoTninious death for them. And 
■what act of condescension can be conceived of greater? Yet 
such an act as this, has his condescension yielded to, for those 
that are so low and mean, dcErpicablc and unworthy 1 

Such a conjunction of such infinite highness and low con- 
descension, in the same person, is admirable. We see, by man- 
ifold instances, what a tendency a high station has in men, to 
make them to be of a quite contrary disposition. If one worm 
be a little exalted above another, by having more dust, or a 
bigger dunghill, how much does he make of himself 1 What 
a distance does he keep from those that are below him I And 
a little condescension is what he expects should be made 
much of, and greatly acknowledged. Christ condescends to 
wash our feet ; but how would great men, (or rather the big- 
ger \vorms) account themselves debased by acts of fai' less 

2. There meet in Jesus Christ, infinite justice and infinite 
grace. As Christ is a divine person, he is infinitely holy and 
just, infinitely haling sin, and disposed to execute condign 
punishment for sin. He is the Judge of the world, and is the 
inrmitely just judge of it, and will not at all acquit the wicked, 
or by any means clear the guilty. 

And yet he is one that is infinitely gracious and mercifuL 
Though his justice be so strict with respect to all sin, and ev- 
ery breach of the law, yet he has grace sufficient for every sin- 
ner, and even the chief of sinners. And it is not only sufficient 
for the most unworthy to show them mercy, and bestow some 
good upon them, but to bestow the greatest good ; yea, it is 
sufficient to bestow all good upon them, and to do all things, 
for them. There is no benefit or blessing that they can re- 
ceive so great, but the grace of Christ is sufficient to bestow if 
on the greatest sinner that ever lived. And not only so, but 
so great is his grace, that nothing is too much as the means 
of this good : It is sufficient not only to do great things, but 
also to suftcr in order to it ; and not only to suffer, but to suf- 
fer most extremely even unto death, the most terrible of nat- 
ural evils; and not only deatli, but the most ignominious and 


tormenting, and every way the most terrible death that m.en 
could inflict ; yea. and greater sufferings than men could in- 
flict, who could only torment the body, but also those suffer- 
ings in his soul, that were the more immediate fruits of the 
wrath of God against the sins of those he undertakes for. 

II. There do meet in the person of Christ such really di- 
verse excellencies, which otherwise would have been thought 
utterly incompatible in the same subject ; such as are conjoin* 
ed in no other person whatever, either divine, human, or an- 
gelical ; and such as neither men nor angels would ever have 
imagined could have met together in the same person, had it 
not been seen in the person of Christ. I would give some in- 

1. In the person of Christ do meet together infinite glory, 
and the lowest humility. Infinite glory and the virtue of hu'- 
mility, meet in no other person but Christ. They m.cct in no 
created person ; for no created person has infinite glory : Ard 
they meet in no other divine person but Christ. For though 
the divine nature be infinitely abhorrent to pride, yet humili- 
ty is not properly predicable of God the Father, and the Ho- 
ly Ghost, that exist only in the divine nature ; because it is a 
proper excellency only of a created nature 5 for it consists rad- 
ically in a sense of a comparative lowness and littleness before 
God, or the great distance between God and the subjcctof this 
virtue ; but it would be a contradiction to suppose any such 
thing in God. 

But in Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, these tv/o 
diverse excellencies are sweetly united. He is a person infi- 
nitely exalted in glory and dignity. Phil. ii. G. <' Being in 
the form of God, bethought it not robbery to be equal witii 
God." There is equal honor due to him with the Father. 
John V. 25. " That all men should honor the son, even as 
they honor the Father." God himself says so to him, " Thy 
throne, O God, is forever and evei*." Heb. i. 8. And there 
is the same supreme respect and divine worship paid to Iiim 
by the angels of heaven, as to God the Father ; as there. vcr?e 
6, " Let all the angels of God worship him." 

Vol,. VIT. 2 L 


But however he is thus above all, yet he is lowest of all irr 
humility. There never was so great an instance of this vir- 
tue among either men or angels, as Jesus. None ever was so 
sensible of the distance between God and him, or had a heart 
so lowly before God, as the man Christ Jesus, Matth. xi. 29, 
What a wonderful spirit of humility appeared in him, when 
he was here upon earth in all his behavior ! In his content- 
ment, in his mean outward condition, contentediy living in the 
family of Joseph the carpenter, and Mary his mother, for thir- 
ty years together, and afterwards choosing outward meanness, 
poverty and contempt, rather than earthly greatness ; in his 
washing his disciples' feet, and in all his speeches and deport- 
ment towards them ; in his cheerfully sustaining the form of 
a servant through his whole life, and submitting to such im- 
mense humiliation at death ! 

2. In the person of Christ do meet together infinite maj' 
esty and transcendent meekness. These again are two quali- 
fications that meet together in no other person but Christ. 
Meekness, properly so called, is a virtue proper only to the 
creature : We scarcely ever find meekness mentioned as a di- 
vine attribute in scriptui'e ; at least not in tlie New Testa- 
ment; for thereby seems to be signified, a calmness and qui- 
tjtncss of spirit, arising from humility in mutable beings that 
are naturally liable to be put mto a ruffle by the assaults of a 
tempestuous and injurious world. But Christ being both 
God and man, hath both infinite majesty and superlative 

Christ was a person of infinite majesty. It is he that is 
spoken of. Psalm xlv. 3. " Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, 
O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty." It is he 
that is mighty, that rideth on the heavens, and in his excel- 
lency on the sky. It is he that is terrible out of his holy pla- 
ces ; who is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than 
the mighty waves of the sea ; before whom a fire goeth, and 
burneth up his enemies round about ; at whose presence the 
earth doth (iuake, and the hills do melt ; who sitteth on the 
circle of the earth, and all the inhabitants thereof are as grass 


tioppers; who rebukes the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth 
up the rivers ; whose eyes are as a flame of fire, from whose 
pi-esence, and from the glory of whose power, the wicked 
shall be punished with everlasting destruction ; who is the 
blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 
lords, that hath heaven for his throne and the earth for hi§ 
footstool, and is the high and lofty One, who inhabits eternity^ 
whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of whose do- 
minion there is no end. 

And yet he was the most marvellous instance of meekness, 
and humble quietness of spirit, that ever was ; agreeable to 
the prophecies of him. Mattli, xxi 4, 5. " All this was done, 
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, 
saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King com- 
eth unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the 
foal of an ass." And, agreeable to what Christ declares of 
himself, Matth. xi. 29. " I am meek and lowly in heart." 
And agreeable to what was manifest in his behavior here in 
this world : For there was never such an instance seen on 
earth, of a meek behavior, under injuries and reproaches, 
and towards enemies ; who, when he was reviled, reviled not 
agcun J who was of a wonderful spirit of forgiveness, was 
ready to forgive his worst enemies, and prayed for them with 
fervent and effectual prayers. With what meekness did he 
appear when in the ring of soldiers that were contemning and 
mocking him, when he was silent and opened not his mouth, 
but went as a lamb to the slaughter. Thus is Christ a lion in 
majesty, and ^. Iamb in meekness. 

3. These meet in the person of Christ ; the deepest rever- 
ence towards God, and equality with God. Christ, when he 
was here on earth, appeared full of holy reverence towards the 
Father: He paid the most reverential worship to him, pray- 
ing to him with postui-es of reverence. Thus v/a read of his 
"kneeling down and praying." Lukexxii. 41. 'Fhis be- 
came Christ, as he was one that had taken on hiin the hu- 
man nature ; but at the same lime he existed in the di\ ine na- 
ture i whereby his person was in all respects equal to the 


person of the Father. God the Father hath no attribute or 
perfection that the Son hath not, in equal degree, and equal 
glory. These things meet in no other person but Jcsu5 

4. There are conjoined in the person of Christ infinite 
tvcrthiness of good, and the greatest patience under sufferings 
of evil. He was perfectly innocent, and deserved no suftering. 
He deserved nothing from Cod by any guilt of his own ; and 
he deserved no ill from men. Yea, he was not only harmless 
and undeserving of suffering, but he was infinitely worthy, 
worthy of the infinite love of the Father, worthy of infinite 
and eternal happiness, and infinitely worthy of all possible es- 
teem, love, and service from ail men. And^et he was per- 
fectly patient under the greatest sufferings that ever M'cre en- 
dured in this world. Heb, xii. 2. "He endured the cross, 
despising the shame." He suffered not from his Father for 
his faults, but ours ; and he suffered from men not for his 
faults, but for those things on. account of vvhicli he was infi- 
nitely worthy of their love and honor ; which made his pa- 
tience the more wonderful and the more glorious. 1 Pet. ii. 
20, &c. " For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your 
faults, ye shall take it patiently ? But if when ye do well, and 
suffer for it, ye take it patiently ; this is acceDtal)le with God. 
For even hercuntp were ye called ; becau^Christ also suf- 
fered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his 
steps ; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his moutli ; 
%vho, when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when he suffer- 
ed, he threatened not ; but committed himself to him that 
judgeth righteously, who, his ownself, bare our sins in his 
own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live 
unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed." There 
is no such conjunction of innocence, worthiness and patience 
under sufferings, as in the person of Christ. 

5. In the person of Christ are conjoined an exceeding spir- 
it of obedience, with supreme dominion over heaven and 
earth. Christ is the Lord of all things in two respects : He 
5 3 so, as he is Godman and mediator ; and so his dominion is 


appointed, and given of the Father, and is by delegation from 
Cod, and he is as it were, the Father's vicegerent. But he 
is Lord of all things in another respect, viz. as he is (by his 
original nature) God ; and so he is by natural right the Lord 
■of all, and Supreme over all as much as the Father. Thus, 
he has dominion over the world, not by delegation, but in his 
own right : He is not an under God, as the Arians suppose^ 
but, to all intents and purposes, Supreme God. 

And yet in the same person is found the greatest fepirit of 
obedience to the commands and lav.' of God that ever was in 
the imiverse ; which was manifest in his obedience here in. 
this world. John xiv. 31, " As the Father gave me command- 
ment, even so I do." John xv. 10, " Even as I ha-ve kept 
rny Father's commandments, and abide in his love." The 
greatness of his spirit of obedience appears in the perfection 
of his obedience, and in his obeying commands of such ex- 
ceeding difficulty. Never any one received commands from 
God of such difficulty, and that were so great a trial of obedi- 
ence, as Jesus Christ. One of God's commands to him was, 
that he should yield himself to those dreadful sufferings that 
he underwent. See John x. 18. « No man taketh it from 
me, but I lay it down of myself."...." This commandment re- 
ceived I of my Father." And Christ was thoroughly obedi- 
ent to this command of God. Heb. vi. 8 . " Though he were 
a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things that he suffer- 
ed." Philip, ii- 8. " He humbled himself, and became fobe- 
dient unto death, even the death of the cross." Never was 
there such an instance of obedience in man nor ange! as this, 
though he that obeyed was at the same time Supreme I,ord of 
both angels and men. 

6, in the person of Christ are conjoined absolute sovereign- 
ty and perfect resignation. This is another unparalleled con- 
junction. Christ, as he is God, is the absolute sovereign of the 
world ; he is the sovereign disposer of events. The decrees 
of God are all his sovereign decrees ; and the woi'k of crea- 
tion, and all God's works of providence, are his sovereign 
works. It if, he that worketli all things according to the coun- 


sel of his own will. Col. i. 16,17. "By him, and through 
him, and to him, are all things," John v. 17. " The Father 
worketh hitherto, and I work." Matth, viii. 3. " I will, be 
thou clean." 

But yet Christ was the most wonderful instance of resigna- 
tion that ever appeared in the world. He was absolutely imd • 
perfectly resigned when he had a near and immediate pros^ 
pcct of his terrible sufferings, and the dreadful cup that he was 
to drink, the idea and expectation of which made his soul ex- 
ceeding sorrowful, even unto death, and put him into such an 
»gony that his sweat was as it were great drops or clots of 
blood, falling down to th« ground ; but in such circumstai^- 
ces he was wholly resigned to the will of God. !^Iatth. xxvi. 
39. " O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from 
ine. Nevertheless, not as I uilt, but as thou wilt." Vcr. 42. 
•" O my father, if this cup may not pass from me, a>:cept I 
tirink it, thy will be done." 

7, In Christ do meet together selfsufficicncy, and an entirp 
trust and reliance on God ; which is another conjunction pe- 
culiar to the person of Christ. As he is a divine person, he 
is self sufficient, standing in need of nothing : All creatures 
are dependent on him, but he is dependent on none, but is ab- 
solutely independent. His proceeding from the Father, in his 
eternal generation of filiation argues no proper dependence 
on the will ef the Father ; for that proceeding was natural 
and necessary, and not arbitrary. But yet Christ entirely 
trusted in God : His enemies say that of him, ♦' He trusted in 
God that he would deliver him," Matth, xxvii. 43. And the 
apostle testifies, 1 Pet. ii. 23. " That he committed himself 
to God." 

in. Such diverse excellencies are expressed in him to- 
wards men, that otherwise would have seemed impossible to 
be exercised towards the same object ; as particularly these 
three, justice, mercy, and truth. The same that are men- 
tioned Psalni Ixxxv. 10. " Mercy and truth are met togeth- 
er, righteousness and peace have kissed each other." The 
strict justice of God, and even his revenging justice, rjid that 


Sgainst the sins of men, never was so gloriously manifested a"^ 
in Christ. He manifested an infinite regard to the attribute of 
God's justice, in that, when he had a mind to save sinners, he 
was willing to undergo such extreme sufferings, rather thaa 
that their salvation should be to the injury of the honor of that 
attribute. And as he is the judge of the world, he doth him- 
self exercise strict justice ; he will not clear the guilty, nor at 
all acquit the wicked in judgment. And yet hov/ wonderfully 
is infinite mercy towards sinners displayed in him I And what 
glorious and ineffable grace and love have been, and are exer- 
cised by him, towards sinful men ! Though he be the just 
judge of a sinful world, yet he is also the Saviour of the world. 
Though he be a consuming fire to sin, yet he is the light and 
life of sinners. Rom. iii. 25, 26. " Whom God hath set forth 
to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his 
righteousness for the remission of sins that arc past, through 
the forbearance of God ; to declare I say, at tliis time his right- 
eousness, that he might be just, and the justificr of him which 
believeth in Jesus." 

So the immutable truth of God, in the thrcatenings of his 
law agahist the sins of men, was never so manifested as it is 
in Jesus Christ ; for there never was any other so great a iriai 
of the unalterablencss of the truth of God in those thrcaten- 
ings, as when sin came to be imputed to his oA\Ti Son, And 
then in Christ has been seen already an actual complete ac- 
complishment of those thrcatenings which never has been, 
nor will be seen in any other instance ; because the eternity 
that will be taken up in fulfilling those thrcatenings on otliersy 
never will be finished. Christ manifested an infinite regard- 
to this truth of God in his sufferings., And, in his judging- 
the world, he makes the covenant of works, that contains those 
dreadful thrcatenings, his rule of judgment ; he will see to it, 
that it is not infringed in the least jot or tittle ; he will do- 
nothing contrary to the thrcatenings of the law, and their 
complete fulfilment. And yet in him we have many great 
and precious promises, promises of perfect deliverance froni 
the penalty of the law. And this is the promise that he hath 


promised us, even eternal life. And in him are all the proTri'^ 
ises of God, Yea, and Amen. 

Having thus shown wherein there is an admirable conjunc- 
tion of excellencies in Jesus Christ, 1 now proceed. 

Secondly y To shew how this admirable conjunction of excel- 
lencies appears in Christ's acts. 

I. It appears in what Christ did in taking-on him our na- 
ture. In this act his infinite condescension wonderfully ap- 
peared, that he that was God should become man ; that the 
Word should be made flesh, and should take on him a nature 
infinitely below his original nature 1 And it appears yet more 
remarkably in the low circumstances of his incarnation. He 
■was conceived in the womb of a poor young woman, whose 
poverty appeared in that, when she came to oficr sacrifices for 
her purification, she brought what was allowed of in the law 
only in case of poverty ; as Luke ii. 24 : " According to that 
■which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or 
two young pigeons." This was allowed only in case the per- 
son was so poor that she was not able to offer a lamb. Levit, 
xii. ». 

And though his infinite condescension thus appeared in the 
manner of his incarnation, yet his divine dignity also appeared 
in it ; for though he was conceived in the womb of a poor vir- 
gin, yet he was there conceived by the power of the Holy 
Ghost. And his divine dignity also appeared in the holiness 
of his conception and birth. Though he was conceived in 
the womb of one of the corrupt race of mankind, yet he was 
conceived and born without sin ; as the angel said to the bless- 
ed Virgin, Luke i. 35. " The Holy Ghost shall come upon 
thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee ; 
therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall 
be called the Son of God." 

His infinite condescension marvellously appeared in the 
manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable, be- 
cause there was no room for them in the inn. T he inn was 
taken up by others, tliat v.ere looked upon as persons of great- 
er account. The blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, 


■#as turned or shut out. Though she was in such necessitous 
circumstances, yet those that counted themselves her betters 
would not give place to her ; and therefore, in the time of her 
travail, she was forced to betake herself to a stable ; and when 
the child was born, it was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and- 
laid in a manger ; and there Christ lay a little infant ; and 
there he eminently appeared as a lamb. But yet this feeble 
infant, that was born thus in a stable, and laid in a manger, was 
born to conquer and triumph over Satan, that roaring lion. 
He came to subdue the mighty p>owers of darkness, and make 
a shew of them openly ; and so to restore peace on earth, and 
to manifest God's good will towards men, and to bring glory 
to God in the highest ; according as the end of his birth was 
declared by the joyful songs of the glorious hosts of angels, ap- 
pearing to the shepherds at the same time that the infant lay 
in the manger ; whereby his divine dignity was manifested. 

II, This admirable conjunction of excellencies appears in 
the acts and various passages of Christ's life. Though Christ 
dwelt on the earth in mean outward circumstances, whereby 
his condescension and humility especially appeared, and his 
majesty was veiled ; yet his divine dignity and glory did, in 
many of his acts, shine through the veil, and it illustriously ap- 
peared, that he was not only the Son of man, but the great God. 

Thus in the circumstances of his infancy, his outward 
meanness appeared ; yet there was something then to shew 
forth his divine dignity, in the wise men's being stirred up to 
come from the east to give honor to him, their being led by 
a miraculous star, and coming and falling down and worship- 
ping him, and presenting him with gold, frankincense, and 
myrrh. His humility and meekness wonderfully appeared in 
his subjection to his mother and reputed father when he was 
a child : He therein appeared as a lamb. But his divine glo- 
ry broke forth and shone, whe«, at twelve yearsold, he disput- 
ed with the doctors in the temple. In that he appeared, in 
some measure, as the Lion of the Tribe ofJudah. 

And so, after he entered on his public ministry, his marvel- 
lous humility and meekness was manifested) in ius choosing to 
Vol. VII. 2M 


appear in such mean outward circumstances, and in being so 
contented in them, when he was so poor that he had not where 
to lay his head, and depended on the charity of some of his fol- 
lowers for his subsistence ; as appears by Luke viii. at the be- 
ginning ; as also in his meek, condescending, and familiar 
treatment of his disciples ; in his discourses with them, treat- 
ing them as a father his children ; yea, as friends and compan- 
ions ; and in his patient bearing such affliction and reproach, 
wnd so many injuries from the Scribes and Pharisees, and oth- 
ers : In these things he appeared as a lamb. And yet he at 
the same time did many ways shew forth his divine majesty 
and glory, particularly in the miracles that he wrought, which 
were evidently divine works, and manifested omnipotent pow- 
er, and so declared him to be t/ie Lion of the tribe of Judah, 
His wonderful and miraculous works plainly shewed him to 
be the God of nature ; in that it appeared by them that he 
bad all nature in his hands, and could lay an arrest upon it, and 
t^top, and change its course as he pleased. In healing the sick, 
and opening the eyes of the blind, and unstopping the ears of 
the deaf, and healing the lame ; he shewed that he was the 
God that framed the eye, and created the ear, and was the au- 
tlior of the frame of man's body. By the dead's rising at his 
command, it appeared thai he was the author and fountain ot 
life, and that *' God the Lord, to whom belong the issues from 
death." By his walking on the sea in a storm, when the 
waves were raised, he shewed himself to be that God spoker. 
of, Job ix. 8. " That treadeth on the M'avcs of the sea," By 
!iis stilling the storm, and calming the rage of the sea, by his 
powerful command, saying, " Peace, be still," he shewed 
himself to be he that has the command of the universe, and to 
be that God that brings things to pass by the word of his pow- 
er, that speaks and it is done, that commands and it stands 
fast ; and he that is spoken of. Psalm Ixv. 7. " Who stilleth 
the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves." And Psalm 
cvii. 29. " That maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves 
thereof are still." And Psalm IxKxix. 8. 9, " O Lord God 
of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee, or to thy faith- 


fulness round about thee ? Thou rulest the ragmg of the sea ; 
when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them." Christ, by 
casting out devils, remarkably appeared as the Lionofthe tribe 
ofJudah, and showed that he was stronger than that roaring 
lion, that seeks whom he may devour. He commanded them 
to come out, and they were forced to obey. They were terri- 
bly afi-aid of him ; theyiall down before him, and beseech him 
not to torment them : He forces a whole legion of them to 
forsake their old hold, by his powerful word ; and they could 
not so much as enter into the swine Avithout his leave. He 
shewed the glory of his omniscience, by telling the thoughts 
of men ; as we have often an accovmt. Herein he appeared 
to be that God spoken of, Amos iv. 1 3. " That declareth un- 
to man what is his thought." Thus, in the midst of his mean- 
ness and humiliation, his divine glory appeared in his mira- 
cles, John ii. 11. " This beginning of miracles did Jesus in 
Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory." 

And though Christ ordinarily appeared without outward 
glory, and in great obscurity, yet at a certain time he threw off 
the veil, and appeared in his divine majesty, so far as it could 
be outwaidly manifested to men in this frail state, when he 
was transfigured in the mount. The Apostle Peter speaks ol 
it, 2 Pet. i. 16, 17. Speaking there of himself, as one that 
^vas an " eye witness of his majesty, when he received from 
God the Father, honor and glory, when there came such a. 
voice to him from the excellent glory, This Is my beloved Son, 
in whom I am well pleased ; which voice that came from 
heaven they heard, wiien they were with hini in the holy 

And at the same time that Christ was wont to appear in such 
meekness, condescension, and humility, in his familiar dis- 
courses with his disciples, appearing therein as tlie Lamb of 
God ; he was also wont to appear as the Lioii of the Tribe of 
Judah^ with divine authority and majesty, in his so sharply re- 
buking the Scribes and Pharisees, and other hypocrites. 

HI. This admirable conjunction of excellencies remarka- 
bly appears in his offering up himself a sacriHce for sinners in 


his last sufferings. As this was the greatest thirjg in all the 
work of redemption, the greatest act of Christ in that work.; 
so in this act especially does there appear that admirable con- 
junction of excellencies that has been spoken of. Christ nev- 
er so much appeared as a lamb, as when he was slain : " H'e 
came like a lamb to the slaughter," Isaiah iiii. 7, Then he Avas 
offered up to God as a lamb without blemish, and without spot: 
Then especially did he appear to be the antitype of the lamb of 
the passover : 1 Cor. v. 7. " Christ our passover sacrificed for 
us." And yet in that act he did in an especial manner appear 
as the Lion of the tribe of Judah ; yea, in this above all oth- 
er acts, in many respects, as may appear in the following 

1. Then was Christ in the greatest degree of his humilia- 
tion, and yet by that, above all other things, his divine glory 
appears. Christ's humiliation was great, in being bom in 
such a low condition, of a poor virgin, and in a stable: His 
humiliation was great, in being subject to Joseph the carpen- 
ter, and Maiy his mother, and afterwards living in poverty, so 
as not to have where to lay his head, and in suffering such 
manifold and bitter i-eproaches as he suffered, while he went 
about preaching and working miracles ; but his humiliation 
was never so great as it was in his last sufferings, beginning 
-with his agony in the garden, until he expired on the cross. 
Never was he subject to such ignominy as then ; never did he 
suffer so much pain in his body, or so much sorrow in his soul; 
never was he in so great an exercise of his condescension, hu- 
mility, meekness, and patience, as he was in these last suffer- 
ings ; never was his divine glory and majesty covered with so 
thick and dark a veil ; never did he so empty himself, and 
make himself of no reputation, as at this time ; and yet never 
was his divine glory so manifested by any act of his, as in that 
act, of yielding himself up to these sufferings. When the 
fruit of it came to appear, and the mystery and ends of it to be 
unfolded in the issue of it, then did the glory of it appear ; 
then did it appear as the most glorious act of Christ that ever 
he exercised towards the creature. This act of his is celebrat- 


©d by the angels and hosts of heaven with peculiar praises, 
as that which is above all others glorious, as you may see in 
the context, verse 9, Sec. " And they sung a new song, say- 
ing. Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals 
thereof ; for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by 
thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and 
nation ; and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests ; 
and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard 
the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the 
beasts, and the elders i and the number of them was ten thou- 
sand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ; saying, 
with a loud voice, Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive 
power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and 
glory, and blessing." 

2. He never in any act gave so great a manifestation of 
love to God, and yet never so manifested his love to those 
that were enemies to God, as in that act. Christ never did 
any thing whereby his love to the Father was so eminently 
manifested, as in his laying down his life, under such inex- 
pressible suiFerings, in obedience to his command, and for the 
vindication of the honor of his authority and majesty ; nor 
did ever any mere creature give such a testimony of love to 
God as that was ; and yet this was the greatest expression of 
all of his love to sinful men, that were enemies to God ; 
Bom. v. 10. " When we were enemies, we were reconciled 
to God, by the death of his Son." The greatness of Christ's 
love to such appears in nothing so much as in its being dying 
love. That blood of Christ ihat was sweat out, and fell in 
great drops to the ground, in his agony, was shed from love 
to God's enemies and his own. That shame and spitting, 
that torment of body, and that exceeding sorrow, even unto 
death, that he endured in his soul, was what he underwent 
from love to rebels against God, to save them from hell, and 
to purchase for them eternal glory Never did Christ so emi- 
nently shew his regard to God's honor, as in offering up him- 
self a victim to revenging justice, to vindicate God's honor : 
And yet in this above all, he manifested his love to them that 


dishonored God, so as to bring such guilt on thcmsch"'es, that 
nothing less than his blood could atone for it. 

3. Christ never so eminently appeared for divine justice, 
and yet never suffered so much from divine justice, as when 
he offered up himself a Sacrifice for our sins. In Christ's great 
sufferings, did his infinite regard to tb.e honor of God's jus- 
tice distinguishingly appear ; for it was from regard to that, that 
he thus humbled himself : And yet in these sufferings, Christ 
■was the mark of the vindictive expressions of that very justice 
of God. Revenging justice then spent all its force upon him, 
on the account of our guilt that was laid upon him; he was 
7K)t spared at all ; but God spent the arrows of his vengeance 
upon him, which made iiim sweat blood, and cry out upon the 
cross, and probably rent his vitals, broke his heart, the fount- 
ain oi blood, or some other internal blood vess,sls, and by the 
violent fermentation turned his blood to water : For the blood 
and water that issued out of his side, when pierced by the 
spear, seems to have been extravasated blood ; and so there 
might be a kind of literal fulfilment of that in Psalm xxii. 1 4. 
" I am poured out like water, and all ray bones are out of 
joint: My heart is hke wax, it is melted in the midst of my 
bowels." And this was the way and means by which Christ 
stood up for the honor of God's justice, viz. by thus suffering 
its terrible executions. For when he had undertaken for 
sinners, and had substituted himself in their room, divine jus- 
tice could have its due honor no other way than by his suffer- 
ing its revenges. 

In this the diverse excellencies that meet in the person of 
Christ appeared, viz. his infinite regard to CJod's justice, and 
such love to those that have exposed themselves to it, as 
induced him thus to yield himself a sacrifice to it. 

4. Chi-ist's holiness never so illustriously shone forth as it 
did in its last sufferings ; and yet he never was to such a de- 
gree treated as guilty. Christ's holiness never had such a 
trial as it had then ; and therefore never had so great a mani- 
festation. When it was tried in this furnace, it came fortli as 
gold, or as silver purified seven times. His holiness thea 


above all appeared in his steadfast pursuit of the honor of 
God, and in his obedience to him ; for his yielding himself 
unto death was transcendenily the greatest act of obedience 
that ever was paid to God by any one since the foundation of 
the world. 

And yet then Christ was in the greatest degree treated as 
a wicked person. He was apprehended and bound as a male- 
factor. His accusers represented him as a most wicked 
wretch. In his sufferings before his crucifixion, he was treat- 
ed as if he had been the worst and vilest of mankind ; and then 
he was put to a kind of death, that none but the v/orst soil of 
malefactors were wont to suffer, those that were most abject 
in their persons, and guilty of the blackest crimes. And he 
suffered as though guilty from God himself, by reason of our 
guilt imputed to him ; for he was made sin for us, who knew 
no sin ; he was made subject to wrath, as if he had been sin- 
ful himself: He was made a curse for vis. 

Christ never so greatly manifested his hatred of sin, as 
against God, as in his dying to take away the dishonor that sin 
had done to God ; and yet never was he to such a degree 
subject to the terrible effects of God's hatred to sin, and wrath 
against it, as he was then. In this appears those di\'crse ex- 
cellencies meeting in Christ, viz. love to God, and grace to 

5. He never was so dealt with as unworthy as in his last 
sufferings, and yet it is chiefly on account of them that he is 
accounted worthy. He was therein dealt with as if he had 
not been worthy to live : They cry out, " Away with him i 
Away with him I Crucify him." John xiv. 15. And they 
prefer Barabbas before him. And he suffered from the Fa- 
ther, as one whose demerits were 'infinite, by reason of our 
demerits that were laid upon him. And yet it v;as especial- 
ly by that act of his, subjecting himself to those sufferings, 
that he merited, and on the account of which chiefly he was 
accounted worthy of the glory of his exaltation, Philip, ii, 8. 
9. " He humbled himself, and became obedient unto tli^; 
death ; wherefore God hath highly exalted him," And w«^ 


see that it is on this account chiefly that he is extolled as wof« 
thy by saints and angels in the context ; " worthy," 3ay they> 
" is the lamb that was slain." This shews an admirable con- 
junction in him of infinite dignity, and infinite condescension 
and love to the infinitely unworthy. 

6. Christ in his last sufferings suffered most extremely 
from those that he was then in his greatest act of love to. He 
never suffered so much from his Father, (tliough not from 
any hatred to him, but from hatred to our sins) for he then 
forsook him, (as Christ on the cross expresses it) or took away 
the comforts of his presence ; and then " it pleased the Lord 
to bruise him, and put him to grief," as Isaiah liii. 10. Aiid 
yet never gave so great a manifestation of love to God as tlien, 
as has been already observed. So Christ never suffered so 
much from the hands of men as he did then ; yet never was 
so high an exercise of love to men. He never was so ill 
treated by his disciples ; who were so unconcerned about 
his sufferings, that they would not watch witli him one hour, 
in his agony ; and when he was apprehended, all forsook him. 
and fled, except Peter, who denied him with oaths and curses. 
And yet then he was suffering, shedding his blood, and pour- 
ing out his soul unto death for them. Yea, he probably was 
then shedding his blood for some of them that shed his blood : 
He was dying for some that killed him ; whom he prayed for 
while they were crucifying him j and were probably after- 
wards brought home to Christ by Peter's preaching. Com- 
pare Luke xxiii. 34. Acts ii. 23, 36, 37, 41, and chapter iii. 
17, and chapter iv. 4. This shews an admirable meeting of 
justice and grace in the redemption of Christ. 

7. It v/as in Christ's last suffering, above all, that he was 
delivered up to the power of his enemies ; and yet by tliese, 
above all, he obtained victory over his enemies. Christ nev- 
er was so in his enemies' hands, as in the time of his last suf- 
ferings. They sought his life bcibi'e ; but from time to time 
they were restrained, and Christ escaped out of tlieir hands i 
and this reason is given for it, that his time was not yet come ; 
but now they were suffered to work their will upon him j he 


was in a great degree delivered up to the malice and cruelty 
of botli wicked men and devils ; and therefore when Christ's 
enemies came to apprehend him^ he says to them, Luke xxii. 
53. "But when I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretch- 
ed forth no hand against me ; but this is your hour and the 
power of darkness." 

And yet it was principally by means of those sufferings 
that he conquered and overthrew his enemies. Christ never 
so effectually bruised Satan's head, as when he bruised his 
heel. The weapon with which Christ warred against the 
devil, and obtained a most complete victory and glorious tri- 
umph over him was the cross, the instrument and weapon 
with which he thought he had overthrown Christ, and brought 
on him shameful destruction. Col. ii. 14,15. "Blotting 
out the hand writing of ordinances.. ..nailing it to his cross ; 
and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew 
of them openly, triumphing over them in it." In his last suf- 
ferings, Christ sapped the very foundations of Satan's king- 
dom ; he conquered his enemies in their own territories, and 
beat them v/ith their own weapons ; as David cut off" Goliath's 
head with his own sword. The devil had, as it were, swal- 
lowed up Christ, as the whale did Jonah ; but it was deadly 
poison to him ; he gave him a mortal wound in his own bow- 
els ; he was soon sick of his morsel, and forced to vomit him 
up again ; and is to this day heart sick of what he then swal- 
lowed as his prey. In those sufferings of Christ was laid the 
foundation of all that glorious victory that he has already ob* 
tained over Satan, iiithe overthrow of his heathenish kingdom 
in the Roman empire, and all the success the gospel has had 
since ; and also of all his future and still more glorious victo- 
ry that is to be obtainTjd in all the earth. Thus Sampson's rid- 
dle is mo^t eminently fulfilled, Judges xiv. 14. " Out of the 
eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweet- 
ness." And thus the true Sampson does more towards the 
destruction of his enemies at his death than in his life ; in 
yielding up himself to death, he pulls down the temple of 
Dagon, and destroys many thousands of his enemies, even 

Vol. VII. ^ N 


trhilc they are making themselves sport in his sufferings ; 
and so he whose type was the ark, pulls down Dagon, and 
breaks off his head and hands in his own temple, even while 
he is brought in there as Dagon's captive. 

Thus Christ appeared at the same time, and in the same 
act, as both a lion and a lamb. He appeared as a lamb in the 
hands of his cruel enemies ; as a lamb in the paws, and be- 
tween the devouring jaws, of a roaring lion ; yea, he was a 
lamb actually slain by this lion ; and yet at the same time, as 
the Lion of the tribe of Judah^ he conquers and triumphs over 
Satan, destroying his own devourer ; as Sampson did the lion 
that roared upon him, when he rent him as he would a kid. 
And in nothing has Christ appeared so much as a lion in glo- 
rious strength destroying his enemies, as when he was brought 
as a lamb to the slaughter. In his greatest weakness he was 
most strong ; and when he suffered most from his enemies, 
he brought the greatest confusion on his enemies. 

Thus this admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies 
was manifest in Christ, in his offering up himself to God in 
his last sufferings. 

IV. It is still manifest in his acts, in his present state of 
exaltation in heaven. Indeed, in his exalted state, he most 
eminently appears in a manifestation of those excellencies, oa 
the account of which he is compared to a lion ; but still he 
appears as a lamb. Rev. xiv. 1. "And I looked, and lo, a 
Lamb stood on Mount Sion j" as in his state of humiiiaiion 
he chiefly appeared as a lamb, and yet did not appear without 
manifestations of his divine majesty and power, as the Lion of 
the tribe of Judah. Though Christ be now at the right hand 
of God, exalted as King of heaven, and Lord of the universe ; 
yet as he still is in the human nature, he still excels in humili- 
ty. Though the man Christ Jesus be the highest of all crea- 
tures in heaven, yet he as much excels them all in humility, as 
he doth in glory and dignity ; for none sees so much of the 
distance between God and him as he does. And though he 
now appears in such glorious majesty and dominion in heav- 
en, yet he appears as a lamb in condescending, mild and sweet 


treatment of his saints there ; for he is a Lamb still, even in 
the midst of the throne of his exaltation ; and he that is the 
shepherd of the whole flock is himself a Lamb, and goes be- 
fore them in heaven as such. Rev- vii. 17. " For the Lamb, 
which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall 
lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes. Though in heaven every 
knee bows to him, and though the angels fall down before 
him, adoring him, yet he treats his saints with infinite conde- 
scension, mildness and endearment. And, in his acts towards 
the saints on earth, he still appears as a Lamb, manifesting 
exceeding love and tenderness, in his intercession for them, 
as one that has had experience of affliction and temptation i 
He has not forgot what these things are ; nor has he forgot 
how to pity those that are subject to them. And he still man- 
ifests his lamblike excellencies, in his dealings with his saints 
on earth, in admirable forbearance, love, gentleness and com» 
passions, instructing, supplying, supporting and comforting 
them, often coming to them, and manifesting himself to them 
by his Spirit, that he may sup with them, and they with him, 
admitting them to sweet communion with him, enabling 
them with boldness and confidence to come to him and sol- 
ace their hearts in him. And in heaven Christ still appears, 
as it were, with the marks of his wounds upon him ; and so 
appears as a Lamb as it had been slain ; as he was represent- 
ed in vision to St. John, in the text, when he appeared to open 
the book sealed with seven seals, which is part of the glory of 
his exaltation. 

V. And, lastly. This admirable conjunction of excellencies 
will be manifested in Christ's acts at the last judgment. He 
then, above all other times, will appear as the Lion of the tribe 
ofJudah in infinite greatiiess and majesty, when he shall come 
in the glory of his Father, with all the holy angels, and the 
earth shall tremble before him, and the hills shall melt. This 
is he, spoken of Rev. xx. U, that shall " sit on a great white 
throne, before whose face the earth and heaven shall flee 
away." He will then appear in, the most dreadful and amaz- 


ing maimer to the wicked: The devils tremble at the tlioughts 
of that appearance ; and v/hen it shall be, the kings and the 
great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the 
mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, shall 
hide themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mount- 
ains, and shall cry to the mountains and rocks to fall on them 
and hide them from the face and wrath of the Lamb. And none 
can declare or conceive of the amazing manifestations of 
wrath in which he will then appear towards these ; or the 
trembling and astonishment, the shrieking and gnashing of 
teeth, witli which they shall stand before his judgment seat, 
and receive the terrible sentence of his wrath. 

And yet he will at the same time appear as a Lamb to his 
saints: He will receive them as friends and brethren, treating 
them with infinite mildness and love : There shall be nothing 
in him terrible to them ; but towards them he will clothe 
himself wholly with sweetness and endearment. The church 
shall then be admitted to him as his bride : That shall be her 
v/edding day : The saints shall all be sweetly invited to come 
with him to inherit the kingdom, and reign in it with him to 
all eternity. 


I. From this doctrine we may learn one reason why Christ 
li called by such a variety of names, and held forth under such 
a variety of representations in scripture. It is the better to 
signify and exhibit to us that variety of excellencies that meet 
together, and are conjoined in him. Many appellations are 
mentioned together in one verse, Isa. ix. 6. "For unto us a 
Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government 
shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Fa- 
ther, the Prince of Peace." It shews a wonderful conjunction 
of excellencies, that the same person should be a Son, born 
and given, and yet be the everlasting Father, without begin- 


ning or end ; that he should be a Child, and yet be he whose 
name is Counsellor, and the mighty God ; and well may his 
name, in whom such things are conjoined, be called Won- 

By reason of tlie same wonderful conjunction, Christ is 
represented by a gi-eat variety of sensible things, that are on 
some account excellent. Thus in some places he is called a 
Sun, as Mai. iv. 2, inothers a Star, Numb. xxiv. 17. And he 
is especially represented by the Morning Star, as being that 
which excels all other stars in brightness, and is the forerun- 
ner of the day, Rev. xxii. 16. And, as in our text, he is com- 
pared to a lion in one verse, and a lamb in the next, so some- 
times he is compared to a roe, or a young hart, another crea- 
ture most diverse from a lion. So in some places he is called 
a rock, in others he is compared to a pearl : In some places 
he is called a man of war, and the Captain of our Salvation, in 
other places he is represented as a bridegroom. In the sec- 
ond chapter of Canticles, the 1st verse, he is compared to a 
rose and lily, that are sweet and beautiful flowers ; in the next 
verse but one, he is compared to a ti'ee, bearing sweet fruit- 
In Isai. liii. 2, he is called a Root out of a dry ground ; but 
elsewhere, instead of that, he is called the Tree of Life, that 
grows (not in a dry or barren ground, but) " in the midst of 
the paradise of God." Rev. ii. 7. 

II. Let the consideration of this wonderful meeting of di- 
verse excellencies in Chi'ist induce you tp accept him, and 
close with him as your Saviour. As all m.anner of excellen» 
cies meet in him, so there are concurring in him all manner 
of arguments and motives, to 'move you to choose him for your 
Saviour, and every thing that tends to encourage poor sinners 
to come and put their trust in him. His fulness and all suf- 
ficiency as a Saviour gloriously appear in that variety of excel- 
lencies that has been spoken of. 

Fallen man is in a state of exceeding great misery, and is 
helpless in it ; he is a poor weak creature, like an infant, car/i 
out in its blood, in the day that it is bom : But Christ is the J.i- 
on of the tribe ofJudah; he is strong, though we are weak ; he 


hath prevailed to do that for us which no creature else could 
do. Fallen man is a mean, despicable creature, a contempti- 
ble worm ; but Christ who has undertaken for us, is infinitely 
honorable and worthy. Fallen man is polluted, but Christ is 
infinitely holy : Fallen man is hateful , but Christ is infinitely 
lovely: Fallen man is the object of God's indignation, but 
Christ is infinitely dear to him : We have dreadfully provok- 
ed God, but Christ has performed that righteousness that is 
infinitely precious in God's eyes. 

And here is not only infinite strength and infinite worthi- 
ness, but infinite condescension ; and love and mercy, as great 
as power and dignity : If you are a poor, distressed sinner, 
whose heart is ready to sink for fear that God never will have 
mercy on you, you need not be afraid to go to Christ, for feai* 
tliat he is either unable or unwilling to help you : Here is a 
strong foundation, and an inexhaustible treasure, to answer 
the necessities of your poor soul; and here is infinite grace 
and gentleness to invite and embolden a poor, unworthy, fear- 
ful soul to come to it. If Christ accepts you, you need not 
fear but that you will be safe ; for he is a strong lion for your 
defence : And if you come, you need not fear but that you 
shall be accepted ; for he is like a lamb to all that come to 
him, and receives tliem with infinite grace and tenderness. It 
is true he has awful majesty ; he is the great God, and is in- 
finitely high above you ; but there is this to encourage and 
embolden the poor sinner, that Christ is man as well as God ; 
he is a creature, as well as the Creator ; and he is the most 
humble and lowly in heart of any creature in heaven or eartli. 
This may well make the poor, unworthy creature bold in com- 
ing to him. You need not hesitate one moment ; but may 
run to him, and cast yourself upon him ; you will certainly be 
graciously and meekly received by him. Though he be a li- 
on, he will only be a lion to your enemies, but he will be a 
lamb to you. It could not have been conceived, had it not 
been so in the person of Christ, that there could have been so 
much in any Saviour, tliat is inviting, and tending to encourage 
sinners to trust in him. Whatever vour circumstances are> 


you need not be afraid to come to such a Saviour as this : Be 
you never so wicked a creature, here is worthiness enough : 
Be you never so poor, and mean, and ignorant a creature, 
there is no danger of being despised ; for though he be so 
much greater than you, he is also immensely more humble 
than you. Any one of you that is a father or mother, will not 
despise one of your own children that comes to you in dis* 
tress ; much less danger is there of Christ despising you, if 
you in your heart come to him Here let me a little expos- 
tulate with the poor, burdened, distressed soul. 

1. What are you afraid of, that you dare not venture your 
soul upon Christ ? Are you afraid that he cannot save you ; 
that he is not strong enough to conquer the enemies of your 
soul ? But how can you desire one stronger than the " mighty 
God ?" as Christ is called, Isa. ix. 6. Is there need of great- 
er than infinite strength ? Are you afraid that he will not be 
willing to stoop so low as to take any gracious notice of you ? 
But then, look on him, as he stood in the ring of soldiers, ex- 
posing his blessed face to be buffeted and spit upon by them I 
Behold him bound, with his back uncovered to tliose that 
smote him ! And behold him hanging on the cross I Do you 
think that he that had condescension enough to stoop to these 
things, and that for his crucifiers, will be unwilling to accept 
you if you come to him ? Or, are you afraid, that if he does 
accept you, that God the Father will not accept him for 
you ? But consider, will God reject his own Son, in whom his 
infinite delight is, and has been, from all eternity, and that is 
so united to him, that if he should reject him, he would re- 
ject himself? • 

2. What is there that you can desire should be in a Saviour, 
that is not in Christ ? Or, wherein should you desire a Saviour 
should be otherwise than Christ is ? What excellency is there 
wanting ? What is there that is great or good ? What is there 
that is venerable or winning ? What is there that is adorable 
or endearing ? Or, what can you think of, that would be en- 
courageing, that is not to be found in the person of Christ ? 
Would you have your Saviour to be great and honorable, be^' 


cause you are not -willing to be beholden to a mean person ? 
And is not Christ a person honorable enough to be vorthy that 
you should be dependant on him ? Is he not a person high 
enough to be worthy to be appointed to so honorable a work 
as your salvation ? Would you not only have a Saviour that is 
of high degree, but would you have him, notwithstanding his 
exaltation and dignity, to be made also of low degree, that he 
might have experience of afflictions and trials, that he might 
learn by the things that he has suffered, to pity them that suf- 
fer and are tempted ? And has not Christ been made low 
enough for you ? And has he not suffered enough? Would 
you not only have him have cxpeiience of the afflictions you 
now suffer, but also of that amazing wrath that you fear here' 
after, that he may know how to pity those that are in danger of 
it, and afraid of it ? This Christ has had experience of, which 
experience gave him a greater sense of it, a thousand times, 
than you have, or any man living has. Would you have your 
Saviour to be one that is near to God, that so his mediation 
might be prevalent with him ? And can you desire him to be 
nearer to God than Christ is, who is his only begotten Son, of 
the same essence with the Father ? And would you not only- 
have him near to God, but also near to you, that you may have 
free access to him ? And would you have him nearer to you 
than to be in the same nature, and not only so, but united to 
you by a spiritual union, so close as to be fitly represented by 
the union of the wife to the husband, of the branch to the vine, 
of the member to the head ; yea, so as to be looked upon as 
one, and called one spirit ? For so he will be united to you, if 
you accept him. Would you have a Saviour that has given 
some great and extraordinary testimony of mercy and love to 
sinners, by something that he has done, as well as by what he 
says ? And can you thmk or conceive of greater things than 
Christ has done ? Was it not a great thing for him, who was 
God, to take upon him human nature; to be- not only God, 
but man, thenceforward to all eternity I But would you look 
upon suffering for sinners to be a yet greater testimony of love 
to sinners, than merely doing, though it be never so cxtraordi- 


li'lry a thincjthat he has done ? And avouM you desire that a 
Saviour should suffer rriore than Christ has suffered for sin- 
ners ? What is there wanting, or what would you add if you 
could, to make him rhbre fit to be yoiu* Saviour ? 

But farther, to induce you to accept of Christ as your Sav- 
ibur, consider two things particularly. 

1. How much Christ appears as the Lamb of God in his in- 
vitations to you to come to him and trust in him. With what 
sweet gi'ace and kindness does he from time to time call and 
invite you ; as Prov. vlii. 4. " Unto you, O men, I call, and 

rny voice is to the sons of men." And Isa. Iv. 1 3, " Ho 

every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that 
hath no money ; come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine 
and milk without money, and without price." How gracious- 
ly is he here inviting every ori^ that thirsts, and in so repeat- 
ing his invitation ovei* and over, "Come ye to the waters; 
come, buy and eat, yea, come !" And in declaring the excellen- 
cy of that entertainment v/hich he invites you to accept of, 
" Come, buy wine and milk ;" and in assuring you that your 
poverty, and having nothing to pay for it, shall be no objec- 
tion, " Come, he that hath no money, come without money, 
and without price !" And in the gracious arguments and ex- 
postulations that he uses with you ! As it follows, *' Where- 
fore do ye spend money for that which is not bread ? And your 
labor for that which salisfieth not ? Hearken diligently unto 
me, and eat ye that V/hich is good, and let your soul delight 
itself in fatness." As much as to say, " It is altogether need- 
less for you to continue laboring and toiling for that which can. 
never serve your turn, seeking rest in the world, and in your 
own righteousness :....I havemade abundant provisionfor you, 
of that which is really good, and will fully satisfy your desires, 
and answer your end, and stand ready to accept of you : You 
need not be afraid ; if you will come to me, I will engage to 
see all your wants supplied, and you made a happy creature." 
As he promises in the third vei'se, " Incline your ear, and 
come unto me : Hear, and your soul shall live, tind I will 
make an everlasting covenant witli you, even the sure mer* 

Vol. VII. 2 O 


cies of David." And so, Prov. ix. at the beginning. Hovr 
gracious and sweet is the invitation there ! " Whoso is sim- 
ple, let him turn in hither ;" let you be never so poor, igno- 
rant, and blind a creature, you shall be welcome. And in the 
following words, Christ sets forth the provision that he has 
made for you, " Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine 
whicli I have mingled." You are in a poor famishing state, 
and have nothing wherewitli to feed your perishing soul ; 
you have been seeking something, but yet remain destitute : 
Hearken, how Christ calls you to eat of his bread, and to drink 
of the wine that he hath mingled 1 And how much like a lamb 
does Christ appear in Matth. xi. 28,.. ..30. " Come mito 
liie, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I Avill give you 
rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am 
meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls, 
lor my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." O thou poor 
distressed soul 1 Whoever thou art, that art afraid that you 
never shall be saved, consider that this that Christ mentions 
is your very case, when he calls to them that labor, and arc 
heavy laden ! And how he repeatedly promises you rest if you 
come to him ! In the 28th verse he says, " I will give you 
rest." And in the 29th verse, " Ye shall find rest to your 
souls." This is what you want. This is the thing you have 
Ijeen so long in vain seeking after. O how sweet would rest 
be to you, if you could but obtain it 1 Come to Christ, and you- 
shall obtain it. And hear how Christ, to encourage you, rep- 
resents himself as' a lamb ! He tells you, that he is meek 
and lowly in heart ; and are you afraid to come to such an 
one 1 And again. Rev. iii. 20. " Behold I stand at the door 
and knock : If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I 
will come in to him, and I will sup with him, and he with 
me." Christ condescends not only to call you to him, but he 
comes to you; he comes to your door, and there knocks. He 
might send an officer and seize you as a i*ebel and vile male- 
factor ; but instead of that, he comes and knocks at your door, 
and seeks that you would receive him into your house, as your 
friend and Saviour. And he not only knocks at your door. 


Ijut he stands there waiting, while you are backward and un- 
willing. And not only so, but he makes promises what he 
•vvill do for you, if you will admit him, what privileges he wiil 
admit you to; he will " sup with you and you with him." 
And again, Rev. xxii. 16, 17. " I am the root and the off- 
spring of Diivid, and the bright and morning star. And the 
Spirit and the bride say. Come: And let him that hearcth,say, 
Come : And let him that is athirst, come : And whosocve;- 
will, let him come and take of the water of life freely." Hov/ 
does Christ here graciously set before you his own winning, 
attractive excellency 1 And how does he condescend to declare 
to you not only his own invitation, but the invitation of the 
Spirit and the bride, if by any means he might encourage you 
to come !. And how does he invite every one ihat will, that 
they may "take of the waters of life freely," that they may 
take it a free gift, however precious it be, and though it be 
the water of life ! 

2. If you do come to Christ, he v,-ill appear as a lion, in his 
glorious pov/er and dominion, to defend you. All those ex- 
cellencies of his, in which he appears as a lion, shall be yours, 
and shall be employed for you in your defence, for your safety, 
and to promote your glory ; he will be as a lion to light a- 
gainst your enemies : He that touches you, or offends you, 
v/ill provoke his wrath, as he that stirs up a lion. Unless 
your enemies can conquer .this lion, they shall not be able to 
■destroy or hurt you ; unless they are stronger than he, they 
shall not be able to liinder your happiness. Isa. xxxi. 4. 
" For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me. Like as the lion and 
the young- lion roaiing on liis prey, when a multitude of 
shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of 
their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them ; so shall 
the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for 
the hill thereof," 

III. Let what has been said be improved to induce you to 
love the Lord Jesus Christ, and choose him for your friend 
and portion. As there is such an admirable meeting of di- 
verse excellencies in Christ, so there is every thing in him to 


render him worthy of your love and choice, and to '.vin and en- 
gage it. Whatsoever there is or can be, that is desirable to 
be in a friend, is in Christ, and that to the highest degree that 
can be desired. 

Would you choose a friend that is a person of great dignity ? 
It is a thing taking with men to have those for tlieir friends 
that are much above them, because they look upon themselves 
honored by the friendship of such. Thus, how taking would 
it be with an inferior maid to be the object of the dear love of 
some great and excellent prince. But Christ is infinitely 
above you, and above all the princes of the earth ; for he is 
King of kings. So honorable a person as this offers himself 
to you, in the nearest and dearest friendship. 

And would you choose to have a friend not only great but 
good ? In Christ, infinite greatness and infinite goodness meet 
together, and receive lustre and glory one from another. His 
greatness is rendered lovely by his goodness. The greater 
any one is without goodness, so much the greater evil; but 
when infinite goodness is joined with greatness, it ren- 
ders it a glorious and adorable greatness. So, on the oth- 
er hand, his infinite goodness receives lustre from his 
greatness. He that isof great understanding and ability, and is 
Avithal of a good and excellent disposition, is deservedly more 
esteemed than a lower and lesser being, with the same kind 
inclination and good will. Indeed, goodness is excellent 
in whatever subject it be found ; it is beauty and excellency 
itself, and renders alt excellent that are possessed of it ; and 
yet more excellent when joined with greatness ; as the very 
same excellent qualities of gold do render the body in which 
they are inherent more precious, and of greater value, when 
joined with greater than when with lesser dimensions. And 
how glorious is the sight to see him who is the great Creator 
;.nd supreme Lord of heaven and earth, full of condescension, 
and tender pity and tncrcy, towards the inean and \m'nM3rthy I 
His almighty power, and infinite majesty, and scIfsufBciency, 
render his exceeding love and grace the more surprising. 
And how do his condescension and compassion-i endear his 


majesty, power and dominion, and render those attributes 
pleasant, that would otherwise be only terrible ! Would you 
not desire that your friend, though great and honorable, should 
be of such condescension and grace, and so to have the way 
opened to free access to him, that his exaltation above yoii 
might not hinder your free enjoyment of his friendship ? 

And would you choose not only that the infinite greatness 
and majesty of your friend should be, as it were, mollified and 
sweetened with condescension and grace ; but would you al- 
so desire to have your friqnd in your own nature, that he 
might be brought nearer to you ? Would you choase a friend 
far above you, and yet as it were upon a level with you too ? 
TThough it be taking with men to have a near and dear friend 
of superior dignity, yet there is also an inclination in them to 
have their friend a sharer with them in circumstances.) Thus 
is Christ. Though he be the great God, yet he has, as it 
were, brought himself down to be upon a level with you, so a:: 
to become man as tiiou art, that he might not only be your 
Lord, but your brother, and that he might be the more fit to 
be a companion for such a worm of the dust. This is one 
end of Christ's taking upon him man's nature, that his peo- 
ple might be under advantages for a more familiar converse 
%vith him, than the infinite distance of the divine nature would 
allow of. And upon this account the church longed for 
Christ's incarnation, Cant. viii. 1. " O that thou wert as my 
brother, that sucked the breast3 of my mother 1 When I 
should find thee without, I would kiss thee, yea, I should not 
be despised." One design of God in the gospel, is to bring 
us to make God the object of our undivided respect, that he 
may engross our regard every way, that whatever natural in- 
clination there is in our souls, he may be the centre of it ; that 
God may be all in all. But there is an inclination in the crea- 
ture, not only to the adoration of a Lord and Sovereign, but 
to complacence in some one as a friend, to love and delight. 
in some one that may be conversed with as a companion. 
And virtue and holiness do not destroy or weaken this inclina- 
tion of our nature. But so hath God contrived in the affair 


of our redemption, that a divine pei'son may be tlie object evci; 
of this inciination of our nature. And in order hereto, such 
an one is come down to us, and has taken our nature, and is 
become one of us, and calls himself our friend, brother and 
companion. Psalm cxxii. 8. "For my brethren and com- 
panions' sake, v,ill I now say. Peace be within thee." 

But is it not enough to invite and encourage to free access 
to a friend so great »nd high, that he is one of inliiiite conde- 
scending grace, and also has taken your own nature, and i> 
become man? But would you further, to embolden and win 
you, have him a man of woiiderful meekness and humility I 
Why, such an one is Christ ! He is not only become man for 
you, but far the meekest and most humble of all men, the 
greatest instance of these sweet virtues that ever was, or will 
be. And besides these, he has all otlier human excellencies 
in the highest perfection. Thescj indeed, are no proper ad- 
dition to his divine excellencies. Christ has no more excel- 
lency in his person, since his incarnation, than he had before ; 
for divine excellency is infinite, and cannot be added to : Vci 
his human excellencies are additional manifestations of his 
glory and excellency to us, and are a,dditional recommenda- 
tions of him to our esteem and love, who are of finite com- 
prehension. Though his human excellencies are but com- 
munications and reflections of his divine ; and though this 
light, as reflected, falls infinitely short of the divine fountain 
of light in its immediate glory; yet the reflection shines not 
•without its proper advantages, as presented to our view and 
affection. As the glory of Christ appears in the qualifications 
of his human nature, it appears to us in excellencies that arc 
of our own kind, that are exercised in our own way and man- 
ner, and so, in some respects, are peculiarly fitted to invite 
our acquaintance and draw our affection. The glory of Christ, 
as it appears in his divinity, though it be far brighter, yet doth 
it also more dazzle our eyes, and exceeds the strength or 
comprehension of our sight : But as it shines in the human 
excellencies of Christ, it is brought more to a level with our 
conceptions, and suitableness to our nature and manner, ye- 


retaining a semblance of the same divine I^eauty, and a savor 
of the same divine sweetness. But as both divine and human 
excellencies meet together in Christ, they set off and recom- 
mend each other to us. It is what tends to endear the divine 
and infinite majesty and holiness of Christ to us, that these are 
attributes of a person that is in our nature, that is one of us, 
that is become our brother, and is the meekest and humblest 
of men ; it encourages us to look lipon these divine perfect- 
ions, however high and great, yet as what we have some near 
concern in, and more of a right to, and liberty freely to enjoy. 
And on the other hand, how much more glorious and surpris- 
ing do the meekness, the humility, obedience and resignation, 
and other human excellencies of Christ appear, when we con- 
sider that they are in so great a person, as the eternal Son of 
God, the Lord of heaven and earth ! 

By your choosing Christ for your friend and portion, you 
will obtain these two infinite benefits, 

1. Christ will give himself to you, with all those various 
excellencies that meet in him, to your full and everlasting en- 
joyment. He will ever after treat you as his dear friend ; and- 
you shall ere long be where he is, and shall behold his glory, 
and shall dwell with him, in most free and intimate commu- 
nion and enjoyment. 

When the saints get to heaven, they shall not merely see 
Christ, and have to do with him as subjects and servants with 
a glorious and gracious Lo:tl and Sovereign, but Christ will 
entertain them as friends and brethren. This we may learn 
from the manner of Christ's convening with his disciples here 
on earth : Though he was their sovereign Lord, and did not 
refuse, but required their supreme respect and adoration, yet 
he did not treat them as earthly sovereigns are went to do 
their subjects ; he did not keep them at an awful distance ; 
but all along conversed Avith them with the most friendly fa- 
miliarity, as a father amongst a company of children, yea, as 
with brethren. So he did with the twelve, and so he did with 
Mary, Martha and Lazarus. He told his disciples, that he 
did not call thctn servants, but friends ; and v,-c read of one of 


them that leaned on his bosom. And doubtless he wUrito'' 
treat his disciples with less freedom and endearment in heav- 
en : He will not keep them at a greater distance for his being 
in a state of exaltation ; but he will I'ather take them into a 
state of exaltation with him; This Avill be the improvement 
Christ will make of his own glory, to make his beloved friends 
partakers with him, to glorify them in his glory, as he says to 
his Father, John xviij 22, 23. " And the glory which thou 
hast given me, have I given them, that they may be one<evcn 
as we are one ; I in them," he. We are to consider, that 
though Christ is greatly exalted, yet lie is exalted, not as a 
private person for himself onh7, but as his people's head ; he 
is exalted in their name, and upon their account, as the first 
fruits, and as representing the whole harvest. He is not ex- 
alted that he may, be at a greater distance from them, but that 
they may be exalted, with him. The exaltation and honor of 
the liead is not to make a greater distance between the head 
and the members; but the members have the same relation 
and union with the head they had Ijefore, and are honored with 
the head ; and instead of the distance being greater, the union 
shall be nearer and more perfect. When believers get to 
heaven, Christ will conform them to himself; as he is set 
dov> on his Father's throne, so they shall sit down with him 
on his throne, and shall in their measure be made like him. 

When Christ was going to heaven, he comforted his disci- 
ples with that, that after a while, he would come again, and 
take them to himself, that they might be with him again. 
And we are not to suppose that when the disciples got to heav- 
en, they found him keeping a greater distance than he used 
to do. No, doubtless, he embraced them us friends, and wel- 
comed them to his and their Father's house, and to his and 
their glory. They that had been his friends in this world, 
that had been together with him here, and had together par- 
taken of sorrows and troubles, are now welcomed by him to 
rest, and to partake of glory with him. He took them and 
led them into his chambers, and shewed them all his glory ; 
as he prayed, John xvii. 24. Father. I will that they also 


iji-hom thou hast given me, be with me, that they may behold 
ihe gloiy which thou hast given me." And he led them to 
his living fountains of waters and made them partake of his 
delights ; as he prays, John xvii. 13. " That my joy may be 
fulfilled in themselves ;" and set them down with him at his 
table in his kingdom, and made them partake with him of his 
dainties, according to his promise, Luke xxii, 30, and led 
them into his banqueting house, and made them to drink new 
wine with him in the kingdom of his heavenly Father ; as he 
foretold them when he instituted the Lord's supper. Matth. 
xxvi. 29. 

Yea, the saints' conversation with Christ in heaven shall 
not only be as intimate, and their access to him as free, as of 
the disciples on earth, but in many respects much more so: 
For in heaven, that vital union shall be perfect, which is exceed- 
ing imperfect here. While the saints are in this world, there 
are great remains of sin and darkness, to separate or disunite 
them from Christ, which shall then all be removed. This is 
not a time for that full acquaintance, and those glorious mani- 
festations of love which Christ designs for his people hereaf- 
ter ; which seems to be signified by Christ's speech to Mary- 
Magdalene, when ready to embrace him, when she met him. 
after his resurrection. John xx. 17. " Jesus saith unto her. 

Touch me not ; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." 

When the saints shall see Christ's glory and exaltation in 
heaven, it will indeed possess their hearts with the greater ad- 
miration and adoring respect, but will not awe them into any 
separation, but will serve only to heighten their surprise and 
joy, v/hen they find Christ condescending to admit them to 
such intimate access, and so freely and fully communicating 
himself to them. 

So that if we choose Christ for our friend and portion, we 
shall hereafter be so received to him, that there shall be noth- 
ing to hinder the fullest enjoyment of him, to the satisfying 
the utmost cravings of our souls. We may take our full 
swing at gratifying our spiritual appetite after these holy pleas- 
ures. Christ will then say, as in Cant. v. 1, " "Eat, O friend*!; 
Vol. VIT. 2P 


drink, yea, drink abundantly, G beloved." And this shall beoti!' 
entertainment to all eternity ! There shidl never be any end of 
this happiness, or any thing to interrupt our enjoyment of it, 
or in the least to molest us in it ! 

2. By your being united to Christ, you will have a more 
glorious union with, and enjoyment of God the Father, than 
otherwise could be. For hereby the saints' relation to God 
becomes much nearer ; they are the children of God in an 
higher manner than otherwise could be. For, being mem- 
bers of God's own natural Son, they are in a sort partakers of 
his relation to the Father: They are not only sons of God by 
regeneration, but by a kind of communion in the sonship of 
the eternal Son.. This seems to be intended. Gal. iv. 4, 5, 6. 
•-' God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the 
^aw, to redeem them that are under the law, that we might 
receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God 
hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying,. 
Abba, Father.".. ..The church is the daughter of God, not on- 
ly as he hath begotton her by his word and Spirit, but as she 
is the spouse of his eternal Son, 

So \ve, being members of the Son, are partakers in ouv 
measure of the Father's love to the Son, and complacence in 
him. John xvii. 23. " I in them, and thou in me. ...Thou 
hast loved them as thou hast loved me." And verse 26. 
"That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them." 
And chapter xvi. 27. " The Father himself loveth you, be- 
cause ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out 
from God." So we shall, according to our capacities, be par- 
takers of the Son's enjoyment of God, and have his joy fulfill- 
ed in ourselves, John xvii. 13. And by this means we shall 
come to an immensely higher, more intimate, and full enjoy- 
ment of God, than otherwise could have been. For there is 
doubtless an infinite intimacy between the Father and the Son ; 
which is expressed by his being in the bosom of the Father. 
And saints being in him, shall, in their measure and manner, 
partake with him in it, and the blessedness of it. 


And thus is the affair of our redemption ordered, that 
thereby we are obliged to an immensely moi'e exalted kind of 
union with God, and enjoyment of him, both the Father and 
the Son, than otherwise could have been. For Christ being 
united to the human nature, we have advantage for a more 
free and full enjoyment of hira, than we could have had if he 
had remained only in the divine nature. So again, we being 
united to a divine pei'son, as his members, can have a more 
intimate union and intercourse with God the Father, who is 
only in the divine nature, than otherwise could be. Christ, 
who is a divine person, by taking on him our nature, descends 
from the infinite distance and height above us, and is brought 
nigh to us ; whereby we have advantage for the full enjoy- 
ment of him. And, on the other hand, we, by being in Christ, 
a divine person, do as it were ascend up to God, through the 
infinite distance, and have hereby advantage for the full en= 
joyment of him also. 

This was the design of Christ to bring it to pass, that he, 
and his Father, and his people might all be united in one. 
John xvii. 21, 22, 23. "That they all may be one, as thou, 
Father, art in me, and I in thee ; that they also may be one in 
us ; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the 
glory which thon hast given me, I have given them, that they 
may be one, even as we are one ; I in them, and thou in me, 
that they may be made perfect in one." Christ has brought 
it to pass that those that the Father has given should be 
brought into the household of God ; that he and his Father, 
and his people, should be, as it were, one society, one family ; 
that the church should be as it were admitted into the society 
of the blessed Trinity. 


Ruth's Resolution, 

RUTH i. 16. 


X HE things that we have the history of, in this book 
of Ruth, seem to be inserted into the canon of the scripture^ 
especially on two accounts. 

Firsts Because Christ was of Ruth's posterity. The Ho- 
ly Ghost thought fit to take particular notice of that marriage 
of Boaz with Ruth, whence sprang the Saviour oi the world. 
"We may often observe it, that the Holy Spirit that indited the 
scriptures, often takes notice of little things, minute occurren- 
ces, that do but remotely relate to Jesus Christ. 

Secondly^ Because this history seems to be typical of the 
calling of the Gentile church, and indeed of the conversion of 
every believer. Ruth was not originally of Israel, but was a 
Moabitess, an alien from the commonwealth of Israel : But 
she forsook her own people, and the idols of the Gentiles, to 
worship the God of Israel, and to join herself to that people : 
Herein she seems to be a type of the Gentile church, and al- 


so of every sincere convert. Ruth was the mother of Christ : 
He came of her posterity : So the church is Christ's mother, 
as she is represented, Rev. xii. at the beginning. And so al- 
so is every true Christian his mother. Matth.xii. 50. "Who- 
soever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the 
same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Christ is what 
the soul of every one of the elect is in travail with, in the new 
birth. Ruth forsook all her natural relations, and her own 
country, the land of her nativity, and all her former posses- 
sions there, for the sake of the God of Israel ; as every true 
Christian forsakes all for Christ. Psalm xlv. 10. " Hearken, O 
daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear ; forget also 
thine own people, and thy Father's house." 

Naomi was now returning out of the land of Moab, into 
the land of Israel, with her two daughters in law, Orpah and 
Ruth ; who well represent to us two sorts of professors of re- 
ligion : Orpah that sort that indeed make a fair profession, 
and seem to set out well, butcontinue but for a while, and then 
turn back ; Ruth that sort that are sound and sincere, and 
therefore are stedfast and persevering in the way that they 
have set out in. Naomi, in the preceding verses, represents 
to these her daughters the difficulties of their leaving their 
own country to go with her. And in tlus verse may be ob- 

1. The remarkable conduct and behavior of Ruth on this 
occasion ; with what inflexible resohition she cleaves to Na* 
omi, and follows her. When Naomi first arose to return 
from the country of Moab into the land of Israel, Oi'pah and 
Ruth both set out with her ; and Naomi exhorts them both to 
return : And they both of them wept, and seemed as if they 
could not bear the thoughts of leaving her, and appeared as if 
they were resolved to go with her. Verse 10. " And they 
said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy peo- 
ple." Then Naomi says to them again, " Turn again, my 
daughters, go your way," 8cc. And then they were greatly 
affected again, and Orpah returned and went back. Now 
Ruth's stedfastness in her purpose had a greater trial, but yet 


is not overcome : "She clave unlo her," verse 14. Then 
Naomi speaks to her again, verse 15. "Behold thy sister in 
law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods ; return 
thou after thy sister in law." And then she shews her im- 
moveable resolution in the text and following verse. 

2. I would particularly observe that wherein the virtuous- 
ness of this her resolution consists, viz. that it was for the sake 
of the God of Israel, and that she might be one of his people, 
that she was thus resolved to cleave to Naomi : " Tliy people 
shall be my people ; and thy God my God." It was for God's 
sake that she did thus : And therefore her so doing is aftcr- 
Avards spoken of as a virtuous behavior in her, chap. ii. 11. 12, 
" And licaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been 
shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law, 
since the death of thine husband ; and liow thou hast left thy 
father, and thy mother, and the land of thv nativity, and art 
come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The 
Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of 
the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to 
trust." She left her father and mother, and the land of her 
nativity, to come ai)d trust under the shadow of God's wings ; 
and she had indeed a full reward given her, as Boaz Avished ; 
for besides immediate spiritual blessings to her own soul, and 
eternal rewards in another world, she was rewarded with plen- 
tiful and prosperous outward circumstances in the family of 
Boaz ; and God raised up David and Solomon of her seed, 
and established the crown of Israel (the people that she chose 
before her own people) in her posterity ; and (which is much 
more) of her seed he raised up Jesus Chi'ist, in whom all the 
families of the eai-th are blessed. 

From the words thus opened I observe this for the subject 
of my present discourse. 

" When those that we have formerly been conversant with, 
are turning to God, and joining themselves to his people, it 
ought to be our firm resolution, that we will not leave them ; 
but that their people shall be our people, and their God our 


It is sometimes so, that of those that have been conversant 
one with another, that have dwelt together as neighbors, and 
have been often together as companions, or have been united 
in near relation, and have been together in darkness, bondage, 
and misery, in the service of Satan, some are enlightened, ana 
have their minds changed, are made to see the great evil of 
sin, and have their hearts turned to God, and are influenced by 
the holy Spirit of God, to leave their company that are on Sa- 
tan's side, to go and join themselves with that blessed com- 
pany that are with Jesus Christ ; they are made willing to for- 
sake the tents of wickedness, to dwell in the land of upright- 
ness with the people of God. 

And sometimes this proves a final parting or separation bc-» 
tween them and those that they have been formerly convers">nt 
Avith. Though it may be no parting in outward respects, they 
may still dweH together, and may converse one with another ; 
yet in other respects, it sets them at a great distance one from, 
another : One is a child of God, and the other the enemy of 
God ; one is in a miserable, and the other in a happy condi- 
tion ; one is a citizen of the heavenly Zion, the other is under 
condemnation to hell. They are no longer together in those 
respects wherein they used to be together : They used to be 
of one mind to serve sin, and do Satan's work ; now they are 
of contraiy minds. They used to be together in worldliness 
and sinful vanity ; row they are of exceeding different dispo- 
sitions. They are separated as they are in different king- 
doms ; the one remains in the kingdom of darkness, the oth- 
er is translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. And 
sometimes they are finally separated in these respects ; while 
one dvseils in the land of Israel, and in the house of God ; the 
other, like Orpah, lives and dies in the land of Moab. 

Now it is lamentable when it is thus : It is awful, being 
parted so ; it is doleful, when of those that have formerly been 
together in sin, some turn to God, and join themselves with 
his people, that it should prove a parting between them and 
their former companions and acquaintance. It should be our 
firm and inflexible resolution in such a case, that it shall b& 


no parting, but that we will follow them, that their peopie 
shall be our people, and their God our God ; and that for the 
following reasons. 

I. Because their God is a glorious God. There is none 
iike him, who is infinite in glory and excellency : He is the 
most high God, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing 
wonders : His name is excellent in all the earth, and his glo- 
ry is above the earth and the heavens ; Among the Gods there 
is none like unto him ; there is none in heaven to be compar- 
ed to him, nor are there any among the sons of the mighty 
that can be likened unto him. Their God is the fountain of 
all good, and an inexhaustible fountain ; he is an allsufficient 
God ; a God that is able to protect and defend them, and do 
all things for them : He is the king of glory, the I^ord strong 
and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle : A strong rock, and an 
high tower. There is none like the God of Jeshurun, who 
rideth on the heaven in their help, and in his excellency on the 
sky : The eternal God is their refuge, and underneath arc 
the everlasting arms : He is a God that hath all things in his 
hands, and does whatsoever he pleases : He killeth and mak- 
eth alive ; he briiigeth dot.n to the grave and bringeth up ; 
he makethpoor and maketh rich : The pillars of the earth are 
the Lord's. Their God is an infinitely holy God: There is 
none holy as the Lord. And he is infinitely good and merci- 
ful. Many that others worship and serve as gods, are cruel 
beings, spirits that seek the ruin of souls ; but this is a God 
that delighteth in mercy ; his grace is infinite, and endure? 
forever : He is love itself, an infinite fountain and ocean of it. 

Such a God is their God ! Such is the excellency of Ja- 
cob ! Such is the God of them who have forsaken their sins 
and are converted ! They have made a wise choice who have 
chosen this God for their God. They have made an happy 
exchange indeed, that have exchanged sin, and the world, for 
such a God ! 

They have an excellent and glorious Saviour, who is the 
only begotten Son of God ; the brightness of his Father's glo- 
ry ; one in whom God from eternity had infinite delight ; ?. 


Saviovu'. of infinite love ; one that has shed his own blooJ, and 
jnade his soul an offering for their sins, and one that is able to 
save them to the uttermost. 

II. Their people are an excellent and happy people. God 
has renewed them, and instamped his own image upon them, 
and made them partakers of his holiness. They are more 
excellent than their neighbors, Prov. xii. 26. Yea, they are 
the excellent of the earth, Psalm xvi. 3. They are lovely in 
the sight of the angels ; and they have their souls adorned 
with those graces that in the sight of God himself arc of 
great price. 

The people of God arc the most excellent and happy soci- 
ety in the world. That God whom they have chosen for their 
(^.od, is their father ; he has pardoned all their sins, and they 
are at peace with him ; and he has admitted them to all the 
privileges of his children. As they have devoted themselves 
to Ciod, so God has given himself to them: He is become 
their salvation, and their portion : His power and mercy, and 
all his attributes, are theirs. They are in a safe state, free 
from all possibility of perishing : Satan has no power to 
destroy them. God carries them on eagles' wiMgs, far above 
Satan's reach, and above the reach of all the enemies of their 
souls. God is with them in this world ; they have his gra- 
cious presence : God is for them ; who then can be against 
them ? As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so Je- 
hovah is rotmd about them. God is their shield, and their ex- 
ceeding great reward ; and their fellowship is Avith the Fath- 
er, and with his Son Jesus Christ : And they have the divine 
promise and oath, that in the world to come they shall dwell 
for ever in the glorious presence of Cod. 

It may well be sufficient to induce us to resolve to cleave to 
those that forsake tr.eir sins and idols, to join themselves with 
this people, that C/od is with them, Zech. viii. 23, "Thus 
saith the Lord of hosts, '' In those days it shall come to pass, 
that ten men shall take holdout ol' all languages of the nations,. 
even shall take hold of the skirl of him iliat is a Jew, sayings 
We will go with you : For we have heard that God is with 
Vol.. VIT. 2 Q 


you." So should persons, as it were, take hold of the skirt of 
their neighboi^ aiid companions that have turned to God, 
and resolve that they will go with thera, because God is with 

III. Happiness is no where else to be had, but in their 
God, and with their people. There are that are called gods 
many, and lords many. Some make gods of their pleasures ; 
some choose Mammon for their god ; some make gods ot 
their own supposed excellencies, or the outward advantages 
ihcy have above their neighbors : Some choose one thing for 
their god, and others another : But men can be happy in no 
other god but the God of Israel : He is the only fountain of 
happiness. Other gods cannot help in calamity ; nor can 
any of them afford what the poor empty soul stands in need of. 
Let men adore those other gods never so much, and call upon 
them never so earnestly, and serve them never so diligently, 
they will nevertheless remain poor, wretched, unsatisfied, un- 
done creatures. All other people are miserable, but that 

people whose God is the Lord The world is divided into two 

societies : There are the people of God, the little flock of Je- 
sus Christ, that company that we read of, Rev.xiv. 4. " These 
are they which were not defiled with women ; for they are vir- 
gins : These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever 
he gocth : These were redeemed from among men, being the 
first fruits unto God, and to the Lamb :" And there are those 
that belong to the kingdom of darkness, that are without 
Christ, beijig aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, stran- 
gers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and with- 
out God in the world. All that are of this latter company are 
wretclied and undone ; they are the enemies of God, and un- 
der his wrath and condemnation : They are the devil's slaves. 

1 hat serve him blindfold, and arc befoole/1 and ensnared by 
him, and hurried along in the broad way to eternal perdition. 

IV. When those that we have formerly been conversant 
with are turning to God and to liis people, their example 
ought to influence us. Their example should be looked up- 
vn as the call of God tons, to do as they have done. Gpd. 


when he changes the heart of one, calls upon another ; espe- 
cially docs he loudly call on those that have bci-n their friends 
and acquaintance. We have been influenced by their exam- 
ples in evil ; and shall we cease to follow them, when they 
make the wisest choice that ever they made, and do the best 
thing that ever they did ? If we have been companions with 
them in worldliness, in vanity, in unprofitable and sinful con- 
versation, it will be an hard case, if there must be a parting 
now, because we be not willing to be companions with them 
in holiness and true happiness. Men are greatly influenced 
by seeing one another's prosperity in other things. If those 
that they have been much conversant with, grow rich, and ob- 
tain any great earthly advantages, it awakens their ambition, 
and eager desire after the like prosperity : How much more 
should they be influenced, and stirred up to follow them, and 
be like them, when they obtain that spiritual and eternal hap- 
piness, that is infinitely of more worth than all the prosperity 
and glory of this world ! 

V. Our resolutions to cleave to and follow those that ai-e 
turning to God, and joining themselves to his people, ought to 
be fixed and strong, because of the great difficulty of it. If 
we will cleave to them, and have their God for our God, and 
their people for our people, we must mortify and deny all our 
lusts, and cross every evil appetite and inclination, and forever 
part with all sin. But our lusts are many and violent. Sin is 
naturally exceeding dear to Us ; to part with it is compared to 
plucking out our right eyes. Men may refrain from wonted 
ways of sin for a little while, and may deny their lusts in a par- 
lial degree, with less dlfhculty ; b\it it is heartrending work, 
filially to part with all sin, and to give our dearest lusts a bill 
of divorce, utterly to send them away. But this we must do, 
if we would follow those that are truly turning to God: Yea, 
we must not only forsake sin, but must, in a sense, forsake all 
, the world, Lidve, xiv. 35. " Whosoever he be of you that for- 
saketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.'* That 
is, he must forsake all in his heart, and must come to a thor- 
uugh disposition and readiness actually to quit all for God, and 


the glorious spiritual privileges of his people, whenever the 
case muy require it ; and that without any prospect of any 
thing of the like nature, or any worldly thing whatsoever, to 
make amends for it ; and all to go into a strange country, a 
land that has hitherto been unseen ; like Abraham, who being 
called of God, " went out of his own country, and from his 
Idndred, and from his father's house, for a land that God 
should shew him, not knowing whither he went." 

Thus, it was a hard thing for Ruth to forsake her native, 
country, and her father and mother, her kindred and acquaint- 
ance, and all the pleasant things she had in the land of Moab, 
to dwell in the land of Israel, where she never had been. Na- 
omi told her of the difficulties once and again. They were too 
hard lor her sister Orpah ; the consideration of them turned 
her back after she was set out. Her resolution was not fain 
enough to overcome them. But so firmly resolved was Ruth, 
that she brake through all ; she was stedfast in it, that, let the 
difficulty be what it would, she would not leave her mother in 
law. So persons had heed to be very firm in their resolution 
to conqiier the difficulties that are in the way of cleaving to 
them that are indeed tm;ning from sin to God. 

VI. Our cleaving to them, and having their God for oui 
God, and their people for our people, depends on our resolu- 
tion and choice ; and thai in two respects. 

!. The firmness of resolution in using means in order to 
it, is the way to have means effectual. There are moans ap- 
pointed in order to our becoming somfe of the true Israel, and 
having their God for our God ; and the thorough use of these 
means is the v;ay to have success ; but not a slack or slighty 
use of them. And that we may be thorough, there is need of 
titiength of resolution, a firm and inflexible disposition, and. 
bout of rnind to be universal in the use of means, and to do 
what we do with our might, and to persevere in it. Matth.xi. 12. 
<< The kingdom of heaven suflbreth violence, and the violent 
lake it by force." 

2. A choosing of their God, and their people, with a full 
dctcrniination, and with the whole soul, is the condition of an 


union with them. God gives every man his choice in this 
matter; as Orpah and Ruth had their choice, whether they 
would go with Naomi into the land of Israel, or stay in the 
land of Moab, A natural man may choose deliverance from 
hell ; but no man doth ever heartily choose God and Christ, 
and the spiritual benefits that Christ has purchased, and .the 
happiness of God's people, till he is converted. On the con- 
trary, he is averse to them ; he has no relish of them ; and is 
wholly ignoraj^t of the inestimable worth and value of them. 

Many carnal men do seem to choose these things, but do 
it not really ; as Orpah seemed at first to choose to forsake 
Moab to go into the land of Israel: But when Naomi came 
^o set before her the difficulty of it, she went back ; and there- 
by shewed, that she was not fully determined in her choice, 
and that her whole soul was not in it, as Ruth's was. 


The use that I shall make of what has been said, is to move 
sinners to this resolution, with respect to those amongst us 
that have lately turned to God, and joined themselves to the 
flock of Christ; It is so, through the abundant mercy and 
grace of God to us in this place, that it may be said of many of 
you that are in a Christless condition, that you have lately been 
left by those that were formerly with you in such a state. 
There are those that you have formei'ly been conversant v.ith, 
that have lately forsaken a life of sin and the service of Satan, 
and have turned to God, and fled to Christ, and joined them- 
selves to that blessed company that are with him. They for- 
merly were with you in sin and in misery ; but now they are 
with you no more, in that state or manner of life : They are 
changed, and have fled from the wrath to come : They have 
chosen a life of holiness here, and the enjoyment of God here- 
after. They were formerly your associates in bondage, and 
were with you in Satan's business ; but now you have their 
company no longer in these things. Many of you have seen 
those that you live with under the same roof, turning from be- 


ihg any longer with you in sin, to be with the people of Jesus 
Christ. Some of you that are husbands, have had your wives; 
and some of yoii that are wives, have liad your husbands ; 
some of you that are children, have had your parents ; and 
parents have had your children; many of you have had your 
brothers and sisters ; and raahy your near neighbors, and 
acquaintance, and special friends ; many of you that are young 
have had your companions : I say, many of you have had 
those that you have been thus concerned with, leaving you, 
forsaking that doleful life, and wretched state, that you still 
continue in. God of his good pleasure, and wonderful grace, 
hath lately caused it to be so iu this place, that multitudes 
have been forsaking their old abodes in the land of Moab, and 
under the gods of Moab, and going into the land of Israel, to 
put their trust under the wings of the Lord God of Israel. 
Though you and they have been liearly related, and have dwelt 
together, or have been often together, and inlimately acquaint- 
ed one with another, they have been taken, and you hitherto 
left ! O let it not be the foundation of a final parting ! But ear- 
nestly follow them ; be firm in your resolution in this matter. 
Do not do as Orpah did, who, though at first she made as 
though she would follow Naomi, yet when she had the diffi- 
culty of it set before her, went back: But say as Rutli, "I 
will not leave thcc ; but where thou goest, I will go : Thy 
people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Say as 
she said, and do as she did. Consider the excellency of 
their God, and their Saviour, and the happiness of their peo- 
ple, the blessed stale that they are in, and tlie doleful state that 
yovi are in. 

You that and old sinners, that have lived long in the ser- 
vice of Satan, have lately seen some that were with you, that 
have travelled with you in the paths of sin these many years, 
that with you enjoyed great means and advantages, that have 
had calls and warnings with you, and have with you passed 
through remarkable times of the pouring out of God's Spirit 
in this place, and have hardened their hearts and stood it out 
with you, and with you have grown old in sin ; 1 say, you have 


seen some of them turning to God, i. e. you have seen those 
evidences of it in them, whence you may rationally judge that 
it is so. O let it not be a final parting ! You have been thus 
long together in sin, and under condemnation ; let it be your 
firm resolution, that, if possible, you will be with them still, 
now they are in a holy and happy state, and ihat you will fol- 
low them into the holy and pleasant land. 

You that tell of your having been seeking salvation for ma- 
ny years, though, without doubt, in a poor dull way, in com- 
parison of what you ought to have done, you have seen some 
that have been with you ^n that respect, that were old sinners, 
and old seekers, as you are, obtaining mercy. God has lately 
roused them from their dullness, and caused them to alter 
their hand, and put them on more thorough endeavors ; and 
they have now after so long a time, heard God's voice, and 
have fled for refuge to the rock of ages. Let this awgkcn 
earnestness and resolution in you. Resolve that you will not 
leave them. 

You that are in your youth, how many have you seen of 
yom* age and standing, that have of late hopefully chosen God 
for their God, and Christ for their Saviour ! You have followed 
them in sin, and have perhaps followed them into vain com- 
pany ; and will you not now follow them to Christ ? 

And you that are children, there have lately been some of 
your sort that have repented of their sins, and have loved tlie 
Lord Jesus Christ, and trusted in him, and are become God's 
children, as we have reason to hope : Let it stir you up to re- 
solve to your utmost to seek and cry to God, that you may have 
the like change made in your hearts, that their people may be 
your people, and their God your God, 

You that are great sinners, that have made yourselves dis- 
tinguishingly guilty by the wicked practices you have lived in, 
there are some of your sort that have lately (as we have rea- 
son to hope) had their hearts broken for sin, and have forsak- 
en it, and have trusted in the blood of Christ for the pardon 
.of it, and have chosen an hoh life, and luive betaken them- 


Selves to the ways of wisdom: Let it excite and encourage 
vou resolutely to cleave to them,aHd fearnestly to follow lhem< 
Let the follov^-lng things be here considered. 

1 . That your soul is as precious as theirs. It is immortal 
as theirs is ; and stands in as much need of happiness, and can 
as ill bear eternal misery. You were born in the same miser- 
able condition that they were, having the same wrath of God 
abiding on you. You must stand before the same judge ; 
who will be as strict in judgment with you as with them ; and 
your own righteousness will stand you in no more stead be- 
fore him than theirs ; and therefore you stand in as absolute 
necessity of a Saviour as they. Carnal confidences can no more 
answer your end than theirs ; nor can this world or its enjoy- 
ments serve to make you happy without God and Christ, 
more than them. When the bridegroom comes, the foolish 
virgins stand in as much need of oil as the wise, Matth, xxv 
at the beginning. 

2. Unless-you follow them in their turning to God, their 
conversion vfill be a foundation of an eternal separation be- 
tween you and them. You will be in different interests, and 
in exceeding different states, as long as you live ; they the 
cliildren of God, and you the children of Satan ; and you will 
be parted in another world: When you come to die, there will 
be a vast separation made between you. Luke xvi. 26. "And 
besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fix- 
ed ; so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot ; 
neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." 
And you will be parted at the day of judgment. You will be 
parted at Christ's first appearance in the clouds of heaven. 
While they are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in 
the air, to be ever v/ith the Lord, you will remain below, con- 
fined to this cursed ground, that is kept in store, reserved un- 
to fire, against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly 
men. You will appear separated from them, while you stand 
before the great judgment seat, they being at the right hand, 
while you are set at the left. Matth. xxv- 32, 33. "And 
•)cfore him shall be gathered all nations ; and he shall scpa- 


rate them one from another, as a shepherd cUvideth his sheep 
from the goats ; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, 
but the goats on the left." And you shall then appear in ex- 
fceeding different 'circumstances : While you stand with devils 
in the image and deformity of devils, and in ineffable horror 
and amazement, they shall appear in glory, sitting on thrones, 
as assessors with Christ, and as such passing judgment upon 
you, 1 Cor. vi. 2. And what shame and confusion will then 
cover you, when so manyof your contemporaries, your equals, 
your neighbors, relations and companions, shall be honored, 
and openly acknowledged, and confessed by the glorious Judge 
of the universe, and Redeemer of saints, and shall be seen by 
you sitting with him in such glory, and you shall appear to 
have neglected your salvation, and not to have improved youv 
opportunities, and rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, the same 
pw'son that will then appear as your great judge, and you shall 
be the subjects of such wrath, and, as it were, trodden down 
in eternal contempt and disgrace ! Dan. xii. 2. " Some shall 
rise to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting; 
contempt." And what a wide separation will the sentence 
that shall then be passed and executed make between you and 
them ? When you shall be sent away out of the presence of 
the Judge, with indignation and abhorrence, as cursed and 
loathsome creatures, and they shall be sweetly accosted and 
invited into his glory as his dear friends, and the blessed of 
his Father ? When you, with all that vast throng of wicked 
and accursed men and devils, shall descend with loud lament- 
ings, and horrid shrieks into that dreadful gulf of fire and 
brimstone, and shall be swallowed up in that great and ever- 
lasting furnace ; while they shall joyfully, and with sv/eet 
songs of glory and praise, ascend with Christ, and all that 
beauteous and blessed company of saints and angels, into eter- 
nal felici'y, in the glorious presence of God, and the sweet 
embraces of his love ; and you and they shall spend eternity 
in such a separation, and imraense'y different circumstuiicesi 
And that however you have been intimately acquidnted und 
nearly related, closely urdted and nuituaily conversant her* in 
Vor,. VIT. '^ U. 


this world ; and how much soever you have taken delitj^ht in 
each others' company! Shall it be so after you have been to- 
gether a great while, each of you in undoing yourselves, en- 
hancing your guilt, and heaping up wrath, that their so wisely 
changing their minds and their course, and choosing such 
happiness for themselves, should now at length be the begin- 
ning of such an exceeding and everlasting separation be- 
tween you and them ? How awful will it be to be part- 
ed so 1 

3. Consider the great encouragement that God gives you^ 
earnestly to strive for the same blessing that others have ob- 
tained. There is great encouragement in the word of God 
to sinners to seek salvation ; in the revelation, that we have of 
the abundant provision made for the salvation even of the chief 
of sinners, and in the appointment of so many means to be 
used with and by sinners in order to their salvation ; and by 
the blessing which God in his word connects with the means 
of his appointment. There is hence great encouragement 
for all, at all times, that will be thorough in using these 
means. But now God gives extraordinary encouragement in 
his providence, by pouring out his Spirit so remarkably 
amongst us, and bringing savingly home to himself all sorts, 
young and old, rich and poor, wise and unwise, sober and vi- 
cious, old selfrip;hteous seekers, and profligate livers: No sort 
arc exempt. There is now at this day amongst us the loudest 
call, and the greatest encouragement, and the widest door 
open to sinners, to escape out of a state of sin and condemna- 
tion, that perhaps God ever granted in New England. Who 
is there that has an immortal soul, that is so sottish as not to 
improve such an opportunity, and tliat will not bestir himself 
with all his might now? How unseasonable is negligence, and 
how exceeding unseasonable is discouragement, at such a day 
us this ! Will you be so stupid as to neglect your soul now I 
Will any mortal amongst us be so unreasonable as to lagg be- 
hind, or look back in discouragement, when God opens such 
ndoor? Let every single person be thoroughly awake ! Le^ 


eyery one encourage himself now to press forward, and fly for 
his life ! 

4. Consider how earnestly desirous they that have obtain- 
ed are that you should follow them, and that their people 
should be your people, and their God your God. They desire 
that you should partake of that great good that God has given 
them, and that unspeakable and eternal blessedness that he 
has promised them: They wish and long for it. If you do 
not go with them, and are not still of their company, it will 
not be for want of their willingness, but your own. That of 
Moses to Hobab is the language of every true saint of your ac- 
quaintance to you. Numb, x. 29. " We are journeying un- 
to the' place of which the Lord said, I will give it you : Come 
thou with us, and we will do thee good ; for the Lord hath 
spoken good concerning Israel." As Moses, when on his 
journey through the wilderness, followed the pillar of cloud 
and fire, invited Hobab, that he had been acquainted with, and 
nearly allied to, out of the land of Midian, where Moses had 
formerly dwelt with him, to go with him and his people 
to Canaan, to partake with them in the good that God had 
promised them ; so do those of your friends and acquaintance 
invite you, out of a land of darkness and wickedness, w.here 
they have formerly been with you, to go with them to the 
heavenly Canaan. The company of saints, the true church 
of Christ, invite you. The lovely bride calls you to the mar- 
riage supper. She hath authority to invite guests to her own 
wedding ; and you ought to look on her invitation and desii-e, 
as the call of Christ the bridegroom ; for it is the voice of his 
Spirit in her, Rev. xxii, 17. " The Spirit and the bride say, 
Gome." Where seems to be a reference to what had been 
said, chapter xix. 7, 8,9. "The marriage of the Lamb is 
come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was 
granted, that she should be arrayed in line linen, clean and 
white ; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And 
he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to 
the marriage supper of the Lamb." It is with respect to this 
her marriage supper, that ^he, from the motion of t!ie Spirit 


of the LaiTib in her, says, Come. So that you are invited on 
allhunds; all conspire to call you. God the Father invites 
you : This is the Kinp^ that has made a marriage for his Son ; 
and he sends forth his servants, the ministers of the gospel, 
to invite the guests. And the Son himself invites you : It is 
he that speaks, Rev. xxii. 1 7. « And let him that heareth say, 
Come ; and let him that is athirst, come ; and whosoever will, 
let him come." He tells us who he is in the foregoing verse, 
" I Jesus, the root and offspring of David, the bright and 
i-norning star." And God's ministers invite you, and all the 
church invites you ; and there will be joy in the presence of 
the angels of God that hour that you accept the invitation. 

5. Consider what a doleful company that will be that be 
left after this extraordinary time of mercy is over. We have 
reason to think that there will be a number left. We read 
that when Ezekiel's healing waters increased so abundantly, 
and the healing effect of them was so very general ; yet there 
were certain places, where the waters came, that never were 
healed. Ezek. xlvii. 9, 10, 1 1. " And it shall come to pass, 
that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever 
the rivers sliall come, shall live. And there shall be a very 
f-rcat multitude of fish, because these waters shall come 
thither; for they shall be healed, and every thing shall live 
whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that 
tli.c fishers shall stand upon it, from Engedi even unto lui- 
cglaim ; they shall be a place to spread foriii nets : Their 
l;sh shall be according to their kinds, as tiie fish of the great 
t-.ca exceeding many. But the miry places thereof, and the 
iravshes thereof, shidi not be healed, thoy shall l)e givti; lo 
salt." And even in the apostles' times, when there wus sucli 
v/ondcrful success of the gospel, yet wherever they came there 
were some that did not believe. Acts xiii. 48. "And v.'lieD 
(ho (ientiles heard this, tliey \vvv<' glad, and glorified the woixl 
of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life, 
believed." And chapter xyviii. '?■<. *' ^nd some !>cli';\ ed, 
and some b'-lievivl no'." 


So we have no reason to expect but there will be some 
left amongst us. It is to be hoped it will be but a small com- 
pany : But what a doleful company will it be ! How darkl>- 
and awfully will it look upon them ! If you shall be of that 
company, how well may your friends and relations lament 
over you, and bemoan your dark and dangerous circumstan- 
ces ! If you would not be one of them, make haste, delay not, 
and look not behind you. Shall all sorts obtain, shall every 
fine press into the kingdom of God, while you stay loitering' 
behind in a doleful undone condition ? Shall every one take 
heaven, while you remain with no other portion but this world? 
Now take up that resolution, that if it be possible you -will 
r.leave to them that have fled for refuge to lay hold of the 
liope set before them. Count the cost of a thorough, violent- 
and perpetual pursuit of salvation, and forsake all, as Rutli 
Ibrsook her own country, and all her pleasant enjoynienls in it, 
Do not do as Orpah did ; who set out, and then was disccur- 
iiged, and went back : but hold out with Ruth through all dis- 
couragement and opposition. When you consider others that 
have chosen the better part, let that resolution be ever firm 
with you : " Where thou gocst, I will go ; where thou lodg-. 
est I will lodge: Thy people shall be my people, ?.m\ thy God 
my God," 


The Jumce of God in the Damnation of Sinners. 

ROMANS iii. 19 


JL HE TDMn subjectof the doctrinal part of this epistlci 
IS the free grace of God in the salvation of men by Jesus 
Christ ; especially as it appears in the doctrine of justification 
by faith alone. And the more clearly to evince this doctrine, 
and shew the reason of it, the apostle, in the fii-st place, estab- 
lishes that point, that no flesh living can be justified by the 
deeds of the law. And to prove it, he is veiy large and par- 
ticular in shewing, that all mankind, not only Gentiles but 
Jews, are under sin, and so under the condemnation of the 
law ; which is what he insists upon from the beginning of the 
epistle to this place. He first begins with the Gentiles ; and 
in the first chapter shews that they are under sin, by setting 
forth the exceeding corruptions and horrid wickedness that 
overspread the Gentile world : And then through the second 
chapter, and the former part of this third chapter, to the text 
and following verse, he shews the same of the Jews, that they 
also are in the same circumstances with the Gentiles in this 
regard. They had an high thought of thcmselve?, because 

JUSTICE OF GOD, &e. 327 

they were God's covenant people, and circumcised, and the 
children of Abraham. They despised the Gentiles as pollut- 
ed, condemned, and accursed ; but looked on themselves, on 
account of their external privileges, and ceremonial and mor- 
al righteousness, as a pure and holy people, and the children 
of God, as the apostle observes in the second chapter. It was 
therefore strange doctrine to them, that they also were un- 
clean and guilty in God's sight, and under the condemnation 
and curse of the law. The apostle does therefore, on account 
of their strong prejudices against such doctrine, the more par- 
ticularly insist upon it, and shews that they are no better than 
the Gentiles ; and as in the 9th verse of this chapter, " What 
then ? Are we better than they ? No, in no wise ; for we have 
before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under 
sin." And to convince them of it, he then, produces certain 
passages out of their own law, or the Old Testament, (whose 
authority they pretend a great regard to) from the 9 th verse 
to the verse wherein is our text. And it may be observed, 
that the apostle, j?rs^, cites certain passages to prove that man- 
Rind are all corrupt, in the 10th, 1 1th, and 12th verses : " As 
it is written, There is none righteous, no not one : There is 
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become 
unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not one." Sec 
ondhjy The passages he cites next, are to prove, that not only 
all are corrupt, but each one wholly corrupt, as it were all over 
unclean, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet ; 
and therefore several particularpartsof the body are mention- 
ed, as the throat, the tongue, the lips, the moutli, the ieet ; 
verses, 13, 14, 15. " Their throat is an open sepulchre ; 
with their tongues they have used deceit ; the poison of asps 
is under their lips ; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitter- 
ness : Their feet are swift Lo shed blood." And, T/urdIy,He 
quotes other passages to shew, that each one is not only all 
over corrupt, but corrupt to a desperate degree, in the I6ih, 
17tli, a!id 18th verses; in which the exceeding degree of their 
corruption is shewn, bwth by affirming and denying : By af- 


Irmatively expressing the most pernieious nature and tenden- 
cy of their wickedness, in the 16th verse : "Destruction and 
•misery are in their ways." And then by denying all good oi' 
godliness of them, in the 17th and Idth vci*ses, "And the 
way of peace have they not known : There is no fear of God 
before their eyes." And then, lest the Jews should think 
these passages of their law do not concern them, and that on- 
ly the Gentiles are intended in them, the apostle shews, in the 
verse of the text, not only, that they are not exempt, but tliav 
they especially must be understood : " Now we know that 
■whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them who arc un- 
der the law." By those that are under the law is meant the 
Jews ; and the Gentiles by those that are without law ; as ap- 
pears by the 12th verse of the preceding chapter. There is u 
special reason to understand the law, as speaking to and of 
them, to whom it was immediately given. And therefore the 
Jews would be unreasonable in exempting themselves. And 
if we examine the places of the Old Testament whence these 
passages are taken, we shall see plainly that special respect is 
had to the wickedness of the people of that nation, in every 
one of them. So that the law shuts all up in universal and 
desperate wickedness, that evcrij mouth may be stopjicd ; the 
mouths of the Jews, as well as of the Gentiles, notwithstand- 
ing all those privileges by which they were distinguished 
from the Gentiles, 

The things that the law says, are sufficient to stop the 
mouths of all mankind, in two respects. 

1. To stop them from boasting of their righteousness, as 
the Jews were wont to do ; as the apostle observes in the 23d 
verse of the preceding chapter That the apostle has re- 
spect to stopping their mouths in this respect, appears by the 
27th verse of the context, " Where is boasting then ? It is ex- 
cluded." The law stops our mouths from making of any 
plea for life, or the favor of God, or any positive good, from 
our own righteousness. 

2. To stop them from making any excuse for ourselves, 
'ir objection agiunst the execution of the sentence of the law. 


or Uie infliclion of the punishment that it threatens. That it 
is intended, appears by the words immediately following, 
« That all the world may become guilty before God." That 
is, that they may appear to be guilty, and stand convicted be- 
fore God, and justly liable to the condemnation of his law, as 
guilty of death, according to the Jewish way of speaking. 

And thus the apostle proves, that no flesh can be justified 
in God's sight by the deeds of the law ; as he draws the con- 
clusion in the following verse ; and so prepares the way for 
the establishing of the great doctrine of justification by faith 
alone, which he proceeds to do in the next verse to that, and 
in the following part of the chapter, and of the epistle. 


" It is just with God eternally to cast off and destroy sin- 

For this is the punishment which the law condemns 

to ; which the things that the law says, may well stop every 
mouth from all manner of objection against. 

The truth of this doctrine ijo^ay appear by the joint consid- 
eration of two things, viz. man's sinfulness, and God's sov- 

I. It appears from the consideration of man's sinfulness. 
And that whether we consider the infinitely evil nature of all 
sin, or how much sin men are guilty of. 

1. If we consider the infinite evil and heinousness of sin 
in general, it is not unjust in God to inflict what punishment 
is deserved ; because the very notion of deserving punish- 
ment is, that it may be justly inflicted : A deserved punish- 
ment and a just punishment are the same thing. To say that 
one deserves such a punishment, and yet to say that he does 
not justly deserve it, is a contradiction ; and if he justly 
deserves it, then it may be justly inflicted. 

Every crime or fault deserves a greater or less punisljn^ 
ment, in proportion as the crime itself is greater or less. IF 
any fault deserves punishment, then "O much the greater the 

Vol.. VU. ': S 



fault, so much the greater is the punishment deserved. Tiie 
fauUy nature of any thing is the formal ground and reason oi 
its desert of punishment ; and therefore the more any thing 
hath of this nature, the more punishment it deserves. And 
therefore the terribleness of the degree of punishment, let it 
be never so terrible, is no argument against the justice of it, if 
the proportion doi:s but hold between the heinousness of the 
crime and the dreadfulness of the punishment ; so that if there 
be any such thing as a fault infinitely heinous, it will follow 
that it is just to inflict a punishment for it that is infinitely 

A crime is more or less heinous, according as we are un- 
der greater or less obligations to the contrary. This is selfev- 
ident ; because it is herein that the criminalness or faultiness 
of any thing consists, that it is contrary to what we are obliged 
or bound to, or what ought to be in us. So the faultiness of 
one being's hating another, is in proportion to his obligation 
to love him. The crime of one being's despising and casting 
contempt on another, is proportionably more or less heinous, 
as he was under greater or less obligations to honor him. 
The fault of disobeying another, is greater or less, as any one 
is under greater or less obligations to obey him. And tliere- 
fore if there be any being that we are under infinite obligations 
to love, and honor and obey, the contrary towards him must 
he infinitely faulty. 

Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being, is in pro- 
portion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority ; for 
that is the very meaning of the words. When we say any 
one is very lovely, it is the same as to say, that he is one very 
much to be loved : Or if we say such a one is more honorable 
than another, the meaning of the words is, that he is one thai 
we arc more obliged to honor. If we say any one has great 
authority over us, it is the same as to say, that he has great 
right to our subjection and obedience. 
^ But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he hath infin- 
•te excellency and beauty. To have infinite excellency and 
beauty, is the same thing as to have infinite loveliness. He 


is a Being of infinite greatness, majesty, and glory ; and there- 
fore is infinitely honorable. He is infinitely exalted above the 
greatest potentates of the earth, and highest angels in heav- 
en ; and therefore is infinitely more honorable than they. 
His authority over us is infinite ; and the ground of his right 
to our obedience is infinitely strong ; for he is infinitely worthy 
to be obeyed in himself, and v/c have an absolute, universal, 
and infinite dependance upon him< 

So that sin against God, being a violation of infinite obliga- 
tions, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving of 
infinite punishment Nothing is more agreeable to the com- 
mon sense of mankind, than that sins committed against any 
one, must be heinous proportionably to the dignity of the be- 
ing offended and abused ; as it is also agreeable to the word 
of God, 1 Sam. ii. 25. " If one man sin against another, the 
judge shall judge him ;" (i. e. shall judge him, and inflict a 
finite punishment, such as finite judges can inflict) ; " but if 
a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him V This 
was the aggravation of sin that made Joseph afraid of it, 
Gen. xxxix. 9. " How shall I commit this great wickedncssj 
and sin against God ?" This was the aggravation of David's 
sin, in comparison of which he esteemed all others as nothing, 
because they were infinitely exceeded by it. Psalm li. 4, 
" Against thee, thee only have I sinned.".. ..The eternity of 
the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite ; and it 
renders it no more than infinite, and therefore renders no 
more than proportionable to the heinousness of what they arc 

If there be any evil or faultiness in sin against God, there 
is certainly infinite evil : For if it be any fault at all, it has an 
infinite aggravation, viz. that it is against an infinite object. 
Ifitbeever so small upon other accounts, yet if it be any 
thing, it has one infinite dimension ; and so is an infinite evil. 
Which may be illustrated by this : If we suppose a thing to 
have infinite length, but no breadth and thickness, but to be 
only a mere mathematical line, it is nothing ; but if it have 
any breadth and thickness at all, though never so small, vet if 


it have but one infinite dimension, viz. that of length, the 
quantity of it is infinite ; it exceeds the quantity of any thing, 
hovt'cver broad, thick and long, wherein these dimensions are 
all finite. 

So that the objections that are made against the infinite 
punishment of sin, from the necessity, or rather previous cer- 
tainly of the fi:turition of sin, arising from the decree of God, 
or unavoidable original corruption of nature, if they argue any 
thing, do not argue against the infiniteness of the degree of 
the faultiness of sin directly, and no otherwise than they argue 
against any faultiness at all: For if this necessity or certainty 
leaves any evil at all in sin, that fault roust be infinite by 
reason of the infinite object. 

But every such objector as would argue from hence, that 
there is no fault at all in sin, confutes himself, and shews his 
own insincerity in his objection. For at the same time that 
he objects, that men's acts are necessary, from God's decrees, 
and original sin, and that this kind of necessity is inconsistent 
with faultiness in the act, his own practice shews that he does 
not believe what he objects to be true : Otherwise why does 
lie at all blame men ? Or why are such persons at all dis- 
pleased with men, for abusive, injurious, and ungrateful acts 
towards them ? Whatever they pretend, by this they shew 
that indeed they do believe that there is no necessity in men's 
acts, from divine decrees, or corruption of nature, that is in- 
consistent with blame. And if their objection be this. That 
this previous certainty is by God's own ordering, and that 
where God orders an antecedent certainty of acts, he transfers 
all the fault from the actor on himself ; their practice shews, 
that at the same time they do not believe this, but fully believe 
tlic contrary : For when they are abused by men, they are 
displeased with men, and not with God only. 

The light of nature teaches all mankind, that when an in- 
jury is voluntary, it is faulty, without any manner of consider- 
ation of what there might be previously to determine the fu- 
turiiion of thut evil act of the will. And it really teaches this 
as niuch to tliose that object and cavil most as to others ; as 


their universal practice shews. By which it appears, that 
such objections are insincere and perverse. Men will men- 
tion othei''s corrupt nature in their own case, or when they are 
injured, as a thing that aggravates their crime, and that where- 
in their faultiness partly consists. How common is it for per- 
sons, when they look on themselves greatly injured by anoth- 
er, to inveigh against him, and aggravate his baseness, by say- 
ing, " He is a man of a most perverse spirit : He is naturally 
of a selfish, niggardly, or proud and haughty temper : He is 
one of a base and vile disposition." And yet men's natural, 
corrupt dispositions are mentioned as an excuse for them, with 
respect to their sins against God, and as if they rendered them 

2. That it is just with God eternally to cast off wicked men, 
may more abundantly appear, if we consider how much sin 
they are guilty of From what has been already said, it ap- 
pears, that if men were guilty of sin but in one particular, that 
is sufficient ground of their eternal rejection and condemna- 
tion: If they are sinners, that is enough : Merely this might 
be sufficient to keep them from ever lifting up their heads, 
and cause them to smite on their breasts, with the publican 
that cried "God be merciful to me a sinner." But sinful men 
are not only thus, but they are full of sin ; full of principles of 
sin, and full of acts of sin : Their guilt is like great mountains, 
heaped one upon another, till the pile is grown up to heaven. 
They are totally corrupt, in every part, in all their faculties, 
and all the principles of their nature, their understandings, 
and wills; and in all their dispositions and affi^ctions, their 
heads, their hearts, are totally depraved ; all the membevs of 
their bodies are only instruments of sin; and all their senses, 
seeing, hearing, tasting, he- are only inlets and outlets of sin, 
channels of corruption. There is nothing but sin, no good 
at all. Rom.^vii. 18. "In me, that is in my flesh, dwells no 
good thing." There is all manner of wickedness. There 
are the seeds of the greatest and blackest crimes. There are 
principles of all sorts of wickedness against men ; and there 
is all wfckedness against God. There is pride ; there is en- 


inity; there is contempt; there is quarrelling; there is 
atheism ; there is blasphemy. There are these things in ex- 
ceeding strength; the heart is under the power of them, is 
sold under sin, and is a perfect slave to it. There is hardheart- 
edness, hardness greater than that of a rock, or an adamant 
stone. There is obstinacy and perverseness, incorrigible - 
ness and inflexibleness in sin, that will not be overcome by 
threatenings or promises, by awakenings or encouragements, 
by judgments or mercies, neither by that which is terrifying, 
nor that which is winning : The very blood of God will not 
win the heart of a Avicked man. 

And there is actual wickednesses without number or meas- 
ure. There are breaches of every command, in thought, 
word, and deed ; a life full of sin ; days and nights filled up 
with sin ; mercies abused, and frowns despised ; mercy and 
justice, and all the divine perfections, trampled on ; and the 
lienor of each person in the Trinity trod in the dirt. Now if 
one sinful word or thought has so much evil in it, as to deserve 
eternal destruction, how do ihey deserve to be eternally cast off 
and destroyed, that are guilty ot so much sin ! 

II. If with man's sinfulness, we consider God's sovereign- 
ty, it may serve further to clear God's justice in the eternal 
rejection and condemnation of sinners, from men's cavils and 
objections. I shall not now pretend to determine precisely, 
what things are, and what things are not, proper acts and ex- 
ercises of God's holy sovereignty ; but only, that God's sov- 
ereignty extends to the following things. 

1. That such is God's sovereign power and right, that he 
is originally under no obligation to keep men from sinning ; 
but may in his providence permit and leave them to sin. He 
•was not obliged to keep either angels or men from falling. It 
is unreasonable to suppose, that God should be obliged, if he 
makes a reasonable creature capable of knowing his will, and 
receiving a law from him, and being subject to his moral gov- 
ernment, at the same time to make it impossible for him to 
sin, or break his law. lor if God be obliged to this, it de- 
stroys all use of any commands, laws, promises or thtcaten- 


ings, and the very notion of any moral government of God 
over those reasonable creatures. For to what purpose would 
it be, for God to give such and such laws, and declare his holy 
will to a creature, and annex promises and threatenings to 
move him to his duty, and make him careful to perform it, if 
the creature at the same time has this to think of, that God is 
obliged to make it impossible for him to break his laws ? How 
can God's threatenings move to care or watchfulness, when, 
at the same time, God is obliged to render it impossible 
that he should be exposed to the threatenings ? Or, to what 
purpose is it for God to give a law at all ? For, according to 
this supposition, it is God, and not the creature, that is xmder 
the law. It is the lawgiver's care, and not the subject's, to see 
that his law is obeyed ; and this care is what the lawgiver is 
absolutely obliged to. If God be obliged never to permit a 
creature to fall, there is an end of all divine laws, or govern- 
ment, or authority of God over the creature ; there can be no 
manner of use of these things. 

God may permit sin, though the being of sin will certainly 
ensue on that permission : And so, by permission, he may dis- 
pose and order the event. If there were any such thing as 
chance, or mere contingence, and the very notion of it did not 
carry a gross absurdity, (as might easily be shown that it does) 
it would have been very unfit, that God should have left it to 
mere chance, whether man should fall or no. For, chance, if 
there should be any such thing, is uiidesigning and blind. 
And certainly it is more fit that an event of so great import- 
ance, and that is attended with such an infinite train of great 
consequences, should be disposed and ordered by infinite 
■wisdom, than that it should be left to blind chance. 

If it be said, that God need not have interposed to render 
it impossible for man to sin, and yet not leave it to mere con- 
tingence or blind chance neither ; but might have left it with 
man's free will, to determine whether to sin or no : I answer, 
if God did leave it to man's free will, without any sort of dis- 
posal, or ordering in the case, whence it should be previously 
certain how that free will, should determine, then still thai 


first determination of the v'ill must be merely contingent or 
by chance. It could not have any antecedent act of the will 
to determine it ; for I speak now of the very first act or mo- 
tion of the will, respecting the affair tliat may be looked upon 
as the prime ground and highest source of the event. To 
suppose this to be determined by a foregoing act is a contra- 
diction. God's disposing this determination of the will by his 
permission, does not at all infringe the liberty of the creature : 
It is in no respect any more inconsistent with liberty, than 
mere chance or contingence. For if the determination of the 
will, be from blind, undesigning chance, it is no more from the 
agent himself, or from the will itself, than if we suppose, iu 
the case, a wise, divine disposal by permission. 

2. It was fit that it should be at the ordering of the divine 
wisdom and good pleasure, whether every particular man 
should stand for himself, or whether the first father of man- 
kind should be appointed as the moral and federal head and 
representative of the rest. If God has not liberty in this mat- 
ter to determine either of these two as he pleases, it must be 
because determining that the first father of men should repre- 
sent the rest, and not that every one should stand for himself, 
is injurious to mankind. For if it be not injurious to man- 
kind, how is it unjust ? But it is not injurious to mankind ; 
for there is nothing in the nature of the case itself, that makes 
it better for mankind that each man should stand for himself, 
than that all should be represented by their common father ; 
as the least reflection or consideration will convince any one. 
And if there be nothing in the nature of the thing that makes 
the former better for mankind than the latter, then it will fol- 
low, that mankind are not hurt in God's choosing and appoint- 
ing the latter, rather than the former ; or, which is the same 
thing, that it is not injurious to mankind* 

3. When men arc fallen, and become sinful, God by his 
sovereignty has a right to determine about their redemption 
as he pleases. He has a right to determine whether he \\ill 
redeem any or no. He might, if he had pleased, have left all 
ro perish, or might have redeemed all. Or, he may redeem 


3ome, and leave others ; an.' if he doth so, he may lake whom 
he pleases, and leave whom he pleases. To suppose that all 
have forfeited his favor, and deserved to perish, and to sup- 
pose that he may not leave any one individual of them to per- 
ish, implies a contradiction ; because it supposes that such an 
one has a claim to God's favor, and is not justly liable to per- 
ish ; which is contrary to the supposition. 

It is meet that God should order all these things according 
to his own pleasure. By reason of his greatness and glory^, 
by which he is infinitely above all, he is worthy to be sover- 
eign, and that his pleasure should m all things take place : 
He is worthy that he should make himself his end, und Hiat 
he should make nothing but his own wisdom his rule in pur- 
suing that end, without asjking leave or counsel of any, tind 
without giving any account of any of his matters. It is fit 
that he that is absolutely perfect, and infinitely wise, ana he 
fountain of all wisdom, should determine every thing L-y his 
own will, even things of the greatest importance, such a.s t.he 
eternal salvation or damnation of sinners, it is meet that ne 
should be thus sovereign, because he is the first being, the 
eternal being, whence all other beings are. He is the Creator 
of all things ; and all are absolutely and universally depeiid- 
ent on him ; and therefore it is nieet that he should act as the 
sovereign possessor of heaven and earth, 


In the improvement of this doctrine, I would first direct 
myself to sinners that are afraid of damnation, in a use of con- 
viction. This may be matter of conviction to you, that it 
would be just and righteous with God eternally to reject and 
destroy you. This is what you are in danger of : You that 
ire aChristless sinner are a poor condemned creature : God's 
wrath still abides upon you; and the sentence of condemna- 
tion lies upon you: You are in Ciod's hands, and it is uncer- 
tain what he will do with you. You are afraid what wii! ije- 
:ome of you: You are afraid that it will be your portion to 
Vol, VIT, 2 T 


suffer eternal burnings ; and your fears are not without 
grounds ; you have reason to tremble every moment. But 
let you be never so much afraid of it, let eternal damnation be 
never so dreadful, yet it is just: God may nevertheless do it, 
and be righteous, and holy, and glorious in it. Though eter- 
nal damnation be what you cannot bear, and how much soever 
your heart shrinks at the thoughts of it, yet God's justice may 
be glorious in it The dreadfulness of the thing on your part, 
and the greatness of you dread of it, do not render it the less 
righteous on God's part. If you think otherwise, it is a sign 
that you do not see yourself, that you are not sensible what sin 
is, nor how much of it you have been guilty of. 
Therefore for your conviction, be directed, 

Firsts To look over your past life : Inquire at the mouth 
of conscience, and hear what that has to testify concerning it. 
Consider what you are, what light you have had, and what 
means you have lived under ; and yet how have you behaved 
yourself ! What have those many days and nights, that you 
have lived, been filled up with? How have those yeai's, that 
have rolled over your heads, one after another, been spent ? 
What has the sun shone upon you for, from d^^y to day, while 
you have improved his light to serve Satan by it ? What has 
God kept your breath in your nostrils for, and given you meat 
and drink, from day to day for, that you have spent tliat life 
and strength that have been supported by them, in opposing 
God and rebellion against him ? 

How many sorts of wickedness have you been guilty of? 
How manifold have been the abominations of your Ufc ? What 
profaneness and contempt of God has been exercised by you ? 
How little regard have you had to the scriptures, to the word 
preached, to sabbaths, and sacraivicnts ? How profanely have 
you talked, many of you about those things that arc holy ? Af- 
ter what manner have many of you kept God's holy day, not re- 
garding the holiness of the time, not caring what you thought 
of in it? Yea, you have not only spent the time in worldly, 
vain and unprofitable thoughts, but in immoral thoughts ; 
phasing yourself with the reflection of past acts of wickedness. 


and in contriving new acts. Have not you spent much holy- 
time in gratifying your lusts in your imaginations ; yea, not 
only holy time, but the very time of God's public worship, 
when you have appeared in God's more immediate presence ? 
How have you not only not attended to the worship, but have 
in the mean time been feasting your lusts, and wallowing 
yourself in abominable uncleanness ? Hew many sabbaths 
have you spent, one after another, in a most wretched man- 
ner? Some of you not only in worldly and wicked thoughts, 
but also a very wicked outward behavior ! When you on sab- 
bath days have got along with your wicked companions, how 
has holy time been treated among you 1 What kind of conver- 
sation has there been 1 Yea, how have some of you, by a very 
indecent carriage, openly dishonored and cast contempt on the 
sacred services of God's house, and holy day 1 And what you 
have done some of you alone, what wicked practices there 
have been in secret, even in holy time, God and your own con- 
sciences know. 

And how have you behaved yourself in the time of family 
prayer ! And what a trade have many of you made of absent- 
ing yourselves from the worship of the families you belong 
to, for the sake of vain company ! And how have you continu- 
ed in the neglect of secret prayer ! Wherein wilfully living in 
a known sin, going abreast against as plain a command as any 
in the Bible ! Have you not been one that has cast off fear, and 
restrained prayer before God ? 

What wicked carriage have some of you been guilty of 
towards your parents ! How far have you been from paying 
that honor to them that God has required I Have you not even 
harbored ill will and malice towards them? And when they 
have displeased you, have wished evil to them? Yea and shown 
your vile spirit in your behavior ? And it is well if you have 
not mocked them behind their backs ; and like the cursed 
Ham and Canaan, derided your parents' nakedness instead of 
covering it, and hiding your eyes from it. Have not some of 
you often disobeyed your parents, yea, and refused to be sub- 
ject to them? It is a wonder of mercy and forbearance, 


that that has not before now been accomplished on you, l*rov, 
xxxi. 17. " The eye that mocketh at his father, and refuseth 
to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, 
and the young eagles shall eat it/* 

What revenge and malice have you been guilty of towards 
your neighbors ? How have you indulged this spirit of the 
devil, hating others, and wishifig evil to them, rejoicing when 
evil befel them, and grieving at others' prosperity, and lived 
in such a way for a long time ! Have not some of you allowed 
a passionate, furious spirit, and behaved yourselves in your an- 
ger, more like wild beasts than like Christians ! 

What covetousness has been in many of you ? Such has 
been your inordinate love of the world, and care about the 
things of it, that it has taken up your heart; you have allow- 
ed no room for God and religion ; you have minded the world 
more than your eternal salvacion. For the vanities of the 
■world you have neglected reading, praying and meditation : 
For the things of the world, you have broken the sabbath : 
For the world you have spent a great deal of your time in 
quarrelling: For the world you have envied and hated your 
neighbor: For the world you have cast God, and Christ, 
and heaven, behind your back: For the world you have sold 
your own soul: You have, as it were, drowned your soul in 
worldly cares and desires : You have been a mere earthworm, 
that is never in its element but when grovelling and buried in 
the earth. 

How much of a spirit of pride has appeared in you, which 
is in apeculiar manner the spirit and condemnation of the dev- 
il I How have some of you vaunted yourselves in your appar- 
el ! Others in their riches ! Others in their knowledge and 
abilities 1 How has it galled you to see others above you I 
How much has it gone against the grain for you to give oth- 
ers their due honor ! And how have you shown your pride by 
setting up your wills, and in opposing others and stirring up 
and promoting division, and a party spirit in public affi^irs J 

How sensual have you been ! Are there not some here 
that have debased themselves below the dignity of human na- 


Hire, by wallowing in sensual filthiness, as swine in the ftiire, 
or as filthy vermin feeding with delight on rotten carrion ? 
What intemperance have some of you been guilty of ! How 
much of your precious time have you spent at the tavern, and 
in drinking companies, when you ought to have been at home 
seeking God and your salvation in your families and closets I 

And what abominable lasciviousness have some of you 
been guilty of i How have you indulged yourself from day to 
day, and from night to night, in all manner of unclean imag^ 
inations I Has not your soul been filled with them, till it has 
become an hold of foul spirits, and a cage of every unclean 
and hateful bird ? What fbul mouthed persons have some of 
you been, often in lewd and lascivious talk and unclean songs, 
wherein were things not fit to be spoken 1 And such company, 
where such conversation has been carried on, has been youf 
delight. And what unclean acts and practices have you defil- 
ed yourself with ! God and your own consciences know what 
abominable lasciviousness you have practised in things not fit 
to be named, when you have been alone ; when you ought t6 
have been reading or meditating, or on your knees before God 
in secret prayer. And how have you corrupted others, as well 
as polluted yourselves 1 What vile uncleanness have you 
practised in company! What abominations have you been 
guilty of in the dark 1 Such as the apostle doubtless had res- 
pect to in Eph. V. 1,2. " For it is a shame even to speak of 
those things that are done of them in secret." Some of you 
have corrupted others, and done what in you lay to undo their 
souls, (if you have not actually done it) ; and by your vile prac- 
tices and examples have made room for Satan, and invited his 
presence, and established his interest, in the town where you 
have lived. 

What lying have some of you been guilty of, especially in 
childhood ! And have not your heart and lips often disagreed 
since you came to riper years ? What fraud, and deceit, and 
Unfaithfulness, have many of you practised in your dealings 
with your neighbors that your own heart is conscious to, if you 
have not been noted for it by others ! 


And how have some of you behaved yourselves in your 
family relations ! How have you neglected your children's 
fiouls ! And not only so, but have corrupted their minds by 
your bad examples ; and instead of training them up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord, have rather brought 
them up in the devil's service I 

How have some of you attended that sacred ordinance of 
the Lord's supper without any manner of serious preparation, 
and in a careless, slighty frame of spirit, and chiefly to com- 
ply with custom 1 Have you not ventured to put the sacred 
symbols of the body and blood of Christ into your mouth, 
while at the same time you lived in ways of known sins, and 
intended no other than still to go on in the same wicked prac- 
tices ? And, it may be, have sat at the Lord's table with ran- 
cor in your heart against some of your brethren that you have 
sat there with. You have come even to that holy feast of love 
among God's children, with the leaven of malice and envy in 
your heart ; and so have eat and drank judgment to yourself. 

What stupidity and sottishness has attended your course 
©f wickedness ; which has appeared in your obstinacy under 
awakening dispensations of God's word and providence. And 
how have some of you backslidden after you have setout in re- 
ligion, and quenched God's Spirit after he had been striving 
with you ! And what unsteadiness, and slothfulness, and great 
misimprovement of God's strivings with you, have you been 
ehargeable with, that having long been subjects of them ? 

Now, can you think when you have thus behaved yourself, 
that God is obliged to shew you mercy ? Are you not, after all 
this, ashamed to talk of its being hard with God to cast you off? 
Does it become one that has lived such a life, to open his 
mouth lo excuse himself, or object against God's justice in Jiis 
condemnation, or to complain of it as hard in God not to give 
him converting and pardoning grace, and make him his child, 
and bestow on him eternal life 1 Or to talk of his duties and 
great pains in religion, and such like things, as if such perform- 
ances were worthy to be accepted, and to draw God's heart to 
such a creature ! If this has been your manner, does it not 


shew how little you have considered yourself, and how little a 
sense you have had of your own sinfulness ? 

Secondly^ Be directed to consider, if God should eternally 
reject and destroy you what an agreeableness and exact mutu- 
al answerableness there would be between God's so dealing 
•with you, and your spirit and beliavior. There would not on- 
ly be an equality, but a similitude. God declares, that his 
dealings with men shall be suitable to their disposition and 
practice. Psalm xviii 25. 26. " With the merciful man, 
thou wilt shew thyself merciful : With an upright man, thou 
wilt shew thyself upright : With the pure, thou wilt shew 
thyself pure ; and with the froward, thou wilt shew thyself 
fi-oward." How much soever you dread damnation, and arc 
affrighted and concerned at the thoughts of it ; yet if God 
should indeed eternally damn you, you would but be met with 
in your own way ; you would be dealt with exactly according 
to your own dealing : God would but measure to you in the 
same measure in which you mete. Surely it is but fair that 
you should be made to buy in the same measure in which you 

Here I would particularly shew, 1. That if God should 
eternally destroy you, it would be agreeable to your treatment 
of God. 2. That it would be agreeable to your treatment of 
Jesus Christ. 3. That it would be agreeable to your behav- 
ior towards your neighbors. 4. That it would be according 
to your own foolish behavior towards yourself. 

I. If God should forever cast you off, it v/ould be exactly 
agreeable to your treatment of him. That you may be sensi- 
ble of this, consider, 

1. You never have exercised the least degree of love to 
God ; and therefore it would be agreeable to your treatment 
of him if he should never express any love to you. When 
God converts and saves a sinner, it is a wonderful and un- 
speakable manifestation of di\'ine love. Vv hen a poor lost 
soul is brought home to Christ, and has all his sins forgiv- 
en him, and is made a child of God, it will take up a whole 
eternity to express and declare the greatness of that love. 


And why should God be obliged to express such wonder£g^ 
love to you, who never exercised the least degree of love to 
him in all your life ? You never have loved God, who is infin- 
itely glorious and lovely ; and why then is God under obliga- 
tion to love you who are all over deformed and loathsome as si 
filthy worm, or rather a hateful viper ? You have no benevo- 
lence in your heart towards f jod ; you never rejoiced in God's 
happiness ; if he had been miserable, and that had been possi- 
ble, you would have liked it as well as if he were happy ; you 
would not have cared how miserable he was, nor mourneu for 
it, any more than you now do for the devil's being miserable : 
And why then should Cod be looked upon as obliged to take 
30 much care for your happiness, as to do such great tilings 
for it, as he doth for those that ai'e saved ? Or why should 
God be called hard, in case he should not be careful to save 
50U from misery ? You care not what becomes of God's glo- 
ry ; you are not distressed how much soever his honor seems 
to suffer in the world : And why should Ciod care any more 
for your welfare ? Has it not been so, that if you could but 
proinote your private interest, and gratify your own lusts, you 
cared not how much the glory of God suffered ? And why 
may not God advance his own glory in the ruin of your wel- 
fare, not caring how much your interest suffers by it ? You 
never so much as stirred one step, sincerely making the glo- 
ry of God your end, or acting from real respect to him : And 
•why then is it hard if God do not do such great things for you, 
as the changing your nature, raising you from spiritual death 
to life, conquering the powers of darkness for you, translating 
you out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his 
dear Son, delivering you from eternal misery, and bestowing 
eternal glory upon you ? You do not use to be willing to dcnj 
yourself for God ; you never cared to put yourself out of your 
way for Christ : Whenever any thing cross or difficult came 
,in your way, that the glory of C od was concerned in, it has 
been your manner to shun it, and excuse yourself from it : 
You did not care to hurt yourself for Christ, that you did not 
.see worthy of it : And why tlien must it be looked upon ?k 


such a hard and cruel thing, if Christ has not been pleased tp 
spill his blood and be tormented to death for such a sinner, 

2. You have SiUghted and made light of God ; and why 
,then may notGod justly slight you ? When sinners are sensi- 
Lie in some measui'e of their misery, they are ready to think 
it hard that God will not take more notice of them ; that he 
will see them in such a lamentable distressed condition, be- 
holding their burdens and tears, and seem to slight it, and 
manifest no pity to them. Their souls they think are pre- 
cious : It would be a dreadful thing if thej should perish, and 
burn in hell for ever. They do not see through it, that God 
should make so lightof their salvation. But then, ought they 
not to consider, that as their souls are precious, so is God's 
honor precious ? The honor of the infinite God, the great 
•King of heaven and earth, is a thing of as great importance, 
(and surely may justly be so esteemed by God) as the happi- 
ness of you, a poor little worm. But yet you have slighted 
that honor of God, and valued it no more than the dirt under 
your feet. You have been told that such and such things 
were contrary to the will of an holy God, and against his hon- 
or ; but you cared not foj that. God called upon you, and exr 
horted you to be more tender of his honor ; but you went on 
without regai'ding him. Thus have you slighted God ! And 
yet, is it hard that God should slight you ? Are you more 
honorable than God, that he must be obliged to make much of 
you, how light soever you make of him and his glory ? 

And you have not only slighted God in time past, but you 
slight him still. You indeed now make a pretence and shew 
of honoring him in your prayers, and attendance on other ex- 
ternalduties, and bya sobercountenance,and seeming devoul- 
ness in your words and behavior ; but it is all mere dissem- 
bling. Thai downcast look and seeming reverence, is not 
from any honor you have to Gud in your heart, though you 
would have it go so, a,nd would have God take it so. You that 
have not believed in Christ, have not the least jot of honor to 
God ; thut shew of it is merely forced and what you are driven 
*o by fear, like those mentioned in Pbalm lx\i, 3. " Throij^li 

Vol. VII. 2 U 


the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit them- 
selves to thee." In the original it is, " shall lie unto thee ;'* 
that is, yield feigned submission, and dissemble respect and 
honor to thee. There is a rod held over you that makes you 
seem to pay such respect to God. This religion and devo- 
tion, even the very appearance of it, would soon be gone, and 
all vanish away, if that were removed. Sometimes it may be 
you weep in your prayers, and in your hearing sermons, and 
hope God will take notice of it, and take it for some honor ; 
but he sees it to be all hypocrisy. You weep for yourself ; 
you are afraid of hell ; and do you think that that is worthy 
that God should take much notice of you, because you can cry 
when you are in danger of being damned ; when at the same 
time you indeed care nothing for God's honor ? 

Seeing you thus disregard so great a God, is it a heinous 
thing for God to slight you, a little wretched, despicable crea- 
ture ; a worm, a mere nothing, and less than nothing ; a vile 
insect, that has risen up in contempt against the Majesty of 
heaven and earth ? 

3. Why should God be looked upon as obliged to bestow 
salvation upon you, when you have been so ungrateful for the 
mercies he has bestowed upon you already ? God has tried 
you with a great deal of kindness, and he never has sin- 
cerely been thanked by you for any of it. God has watched 
over you and preserved you, and provided for you, and 
followed you with mercy all your days ; and yet you have 
continued sinning against him. He has given you food and 
raiment, but you haA-e improved both in the service of sin. 
He has preserved you while you slept ; but when you arose, it 
was to return to the old trade of sinning. God, notwithstand- 
ing this ingratitude, has still continued his mercy ; but his 
kindness has never won your heart, or brought you to a more 
grateful behavior towards him. It may be you have received 
many remarkable mercies, recoveries from sickness, or pres- 
ervations of your life, when at one time and another exposed 
by accidents, when, if you had died, you would have gone di- 
rectly to hell : But you never had any true thankfulness for 
any of tliese mercies. God has kept you out of hell, and con- 


tinuedyour day of grace, and the offers of salvatioB> this so 
long a time ; and that, it may bej while you did not regard 
your own salvation so much as to go in secret and ask God for 
it : And now God has greatly added to his mercy to you, by 
giving you the strivings of his Spirit, whereby you have a 
most precious opportunity for your salvation in your hands. 
But what thanks has God received for it? What kind ofre» 
turns have you made for all this kindness ? As God has mul- 
tiplied mercies, so have you multiplied provocations. 

And yet now are you ready to quarrel for mercy, and to 
find fault with God, not only that he does not bestow more 
mercy, but to contend with him, because he does not bestow 
infinite mercy upon you, heaven with all it contains, and even 
himself, for your eternal portion. What ideas have you of 
yourself, that you think God is obliged to do so much for you, 
though you treat him so ungratefully for his kindness that you 
have been followed with all the days of your life ? 

4. You have voluntarily chosen to be with Satan in his en- 
mity and opposition to God ; how justly therefore might you 
be with him in his punishment ? You did not choose to be on 
God's side, but rather chose to side with the devil, and have 
obstinately continued in it, against God's often repeated calls 
and counsels. You have chosen rather to hearken to Satan 
than to God, and would be with him in his work : You have 
given yourself up to him, to be subject to his power and gov- 
ernment, in opposition to God, How justly therefore may 
God also give you up to him, and leave you in his power, to 
accomplish your ruin ? Seeing you have yielded yourself to 
his will, to do as he would have you, surely God may leave 
you in his hands to execute his will upon you. If men will 
be with God's enemy, and on his side, why is God obliged to 
redeem them out of his hands, when they have done his work ? 
Doubtless you would be glad to serve the devil, and be God's 
enemy while you live, and then to have God your friend, and 
to deliver you from the devil, when you come to die. But 
will God be unjust if he deals otherwise by you ? No surely ! 
It will be altogether and perfectly just, that you should have 


your portion with him with vrhom you have chosen your work ; 
and that you should be in his possession to whose dominion 
you have yielded yourself ; and if yoU cry to God for deliver- 
ance, he may most justly give you that answer, Judges, x. 14. 
" Go to the gods which ye have chosen." 

5. Consider how often you have refused to hear God's 
calls to you, and how just it would therefore be, if he should 
refuse to hear you when you call upon him. You are ready, 
it may be, to complain that yoii have often prayed, and earn- 
estly begged of God to shew you mercy, and yet have no an- 
swer of prayer : One says, I have been constant in prayer for 
so many years, and God has not heard me. Another says, I 
have done what 1 can ; I have prayed as earnestly as I am able ; 
I do not see how I can do more ; and it will seem hard if af- 
ter all I am denied. But do you consider how often God has 
called, and you have denied him ? God has called earnestly 
and for a long time ; he has called, and called again in his 
word, and in his providence, and you have refused. You was 
not uneasy for fear you should not shew regard enough to his 
calls. You let him call as loiid, and as long as he would ; for 
your part, you had no leisure to attend to what he said ; you 
had other business to mind ; you had these and those lusts to 
gratify and please, and worldly lusts to attend ; you could not 
afford to stt^nd considering of what God had to say to you. 
When the mimstfers of Christ that he sent on that errand, 
have stood and pleaded with you, in his name. Sabbath after 
Sabbath, and have even spent their strength in it, how little 
was you moved by it ! It did not alter you, but you went on 
still as you used to do ; when you went away, you returned 
again to your sins, to your lasciviousness, to your vain mirth, 
to your covetousness,to your intemperance, and tliat has been 
the language of your heart and practice. Exod. v. 2. " Who 
is the J^ord, that 1 should obey his voice ?" Was it no crime 
for you to refuse to hear when God called ? And yet is it now 
very hard that God does not hear your earnest calls, and that 
though your calling on God be not from any respect to him, 
but merely from selflove ? The devil would beg as earnestly 


as you, if he had any hope to get salvation by it, and a thous- 
and times as earnestly and yet be as much of a devil as he is 
now. Are your calls more worthy to be heard than God's ? 
Oris God more obliged to regard what you say to him, than 
you to regard his commands, counsels and invitations to you ? 
What can have more justice in it than that in Prov. i. 24, Sec. 
"Because I have called, and ye have refused, I stretched out 
my hand, and no man regarded; "but ye have set at nought 
all my counsel, and would none of my reproof : I will also 
laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh ; 
when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction 
cometh as a whirlwind ; when distress and anguish cometh 
upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not an- 
swer ; they iShall seek me early, but they shall not find me." 

6. Have you not taken encouragement to sin against God, 
on that very presumption, that God would show you mercy 
when you sought it ? And may not God justly refuse you that 
mercy that you have so presumed upon ? That has been what 
you have flattered yourself with, and that which has made you 
bold to disobey God, viz. that though you did so, yet God would 
shew you mercy when you cried earnestly to him for it : How 
righteous therefore would it be in God, to disappoint such a 
wicked presumption ? It was Upon that very hope that you 
dared to affront the Majesty of heaven so dreadfully as you 
have done ; and can you now be so sottish as to think that God 
is obliged not to frustrate that hope ? 

When a sinner takes encouragement to neglect that secret 
prayer that God has commanded, and to gratify his lusts, and 
to live a carnal and vain life, and thwart God, and run upon 
him, and contemn him to his face, thinking with himself, " If 
I do so, God would not damn me ; he is a merciful God, and 
therefore when I seek his mercy he will bestow it upon me ;" 
must God be accounted hai"d because he will not do according 
to such a sinner's presumption ? Cannot he be excused from 
showing such a sinner mercy when he is pleased to seek it, 
without incurring the charge of being unjust ? If this be the 
tase, God has no liberty to vindicate his own honor and maj- 


esty ; but must lay himself open to all manner of affronts, and 
yield himself up to the abuses of vile men, and let them diso- 
bey, despise and dishonor him, as much as they will ; and 
when they have done, his mercy and pardoning grace must 
not be in his own power and at his own disposal, but he must 
be obliged to dispense it at their call : He must take these 
bold and vile contemners of his majesty, when it suits them 
to ask it, and must forgive all their sins, and not only so, but 
must adopt them into his family, and make them his children, 
and bestow eternal glory upon them. What mean, low and 
strange thoughts have such men of God, as think thus of him? 

Consider that you have injured God the more, and have 
been the worse enemy to him, for his being a merciful God. 
So have you treated that attribute of God's mercy I How just 
is it therefore that you never should have any benefit of that 
attribute ! 

There is something peculiarly heinous in sinning against 
the mercy of God more than other attributes. There is such 
base and horrid ingratitude, in being the worse to God, be- 
cause he is a being of infinite goodness and grace, that it 
above all things renders wickedness vile and detestable. This 
ought to win us, and engage us to serve God better ; but in- 
stead of that, to sin against him the more, has something in- 
expressibly bad in it, and does in a pccuUar manner enhance 
guilt, and incense wrath ; as seems to be intimated in Kom. 
ii. 4, 5. "Or despiscst thou the riches of his goodness, and 
forbearahce, and long suffering ; not knowing that the good- 
ness ot God ieadeth thee to repentance ? But after thy hard- 
ness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath 
against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judg- 
ment of God." 

The greater the mercy of God is, the more should you be 
engaged to love him, and live to his gloiy. But it has been 
contrariwise with you ; the consideration of the mercies of 
God being so exceeding great, is the thing wherewith you 
have encouraged yourself in sin. You have heard that the 
mercy of God was without bounds, that it was sufficient to 
pardon the greatest sinner, and you have upon that very ac- 


count ventured to be a very great sinner. Though it was very 
oiFensive to God, though you heard that God infinitely hated 
sin, and that such practices as you went on in were exceeding 
contrary to his nature, will and glory, yet that did not make 
you uneasy; you heard that he Avas a very mercitul God, and 
had grace enough to pardon you, and so cared not how offen- 
sive your sins were to him. How long have some of you 
gone on in sin, and what great sins have some of you been 
guilty of, on that presumption I Your own conscience can 
give testimony to it, that this has made you refuse God's calls, 
and has made you regardless of his repeated commands. 
Now, how righteous would it be if God should swear in his 
wrath, that you should never be the better for his being infi- 
nitely merciful ! 

Your ingratitude has been the greater, that you have not 
only abused the attribute of God's mercy, taking encourage^ 
ment from it to continue in sin, but you have thus abused this 
mercy, under that very notion of its being exercised towards 
you, in a supposition that God would exercise infinite mercy 
to you in particular ; which consideration should have espe- 
cially endeared God to you. You have taken encouragement 
to sin the more, from that considei-ation, that Christ came in- 
to the world and died to save sinners ; that thanks has Christ 
had from you, for enduring such a tormenting death for his 
enemies ! Now, how justly might it be so, that God should re- 
fuse that you should ever be the better for his Son's laying 
down his life ! It was because of these things that you put oft° 
seeking salvation : You would take the pleasure of sin still long^ 
er, hardening yourself with that, that mercy was infinite, and 
it would not be too late if you sought it afterwards ; now, how 
justly may God disappoint you in this, and order it so that it 
shall be too late I 

7. How have some of you risen up against God, and in the 
frame of your minds opposed him in his sovereign dispensa^- 
tions! And how justly upon that account might Cod oppose 
you, and set himself against you I You never yet would 
submit to God; never could willingly comply with it, that 


God should have dominion over the world, and that he should 
govern it for his own glory, according to his own wisdom. 
You, a poor wornn, a potsherd, a broken piece of an earthen 
vessel, have dared to find fault and quarrel with God. Isa. 
xlv. 9. " Wo to him that strives with his maker. Let the 
potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth : Shall the clay- 
say to him that fashioneth it. What makest thou ?" But yet 
you have ventured to do it. Rom. ix. 20. " Who art thou, 
O man, that repUest against God ?" But yet you have thought 
.you was big enough ; you have taken upon you to call God to 
an account, why he does thus and thus ; you have said to Je- 
hovah, What dost thou ? 

.If you have been restrained hy fear from openly venting 
your opposition and enmity of heart against God's govern- 
ment, yet it has been in you : You have not been quiet in the 
frame of your mind ; you had the heart of a viper within, and 
have been ready to spit venom at God ; and it is well if some- 
times you have not actually done it, by tolerating blasphemous 
thoughts and malignant risings of heart against him ; yea, and 
the frame of your heart in some measure appeared in an im- 
patient and fretful behavior. 

Now, seeing you have thus opposed God, how just is it 
that God should oppose you? Or is it because you are so 
much better, and so much greater than God, that it is a crime 
for God to make that opposition against you that you do against 
him?* Do you think you ought to appropriate the liberty of 
making opposition to yourself as being your prerogative, so 
that you may be an enemy to God, but God must by no means 
be an enemy to you, but must be looked upon under obligation 
nevcrtlieless to help you, and save you by his biood, and bes- 
tow his best blessuigs upon you ? 

Consider how in tlie frame of your mind you have thwart- 
ed God in those very exercises of mercy towards others that 

• The reader will not understand from this manner of speaking, that Mr. 
;Edwards would be underitood to say, t at God has at any time, or in any 
view, the same mora! feclingb towards the smner, that the sinntr has townrd-> 


you are seeking for yourself. God's exercising his infinite 
grace towards your neighbors, has put you into an ill frame, 
and it may be, set you into a mere tumult of mind : How just- 
ly therefore may Qod refuse ever to exercise that mercy to- 
wards you ! Have you not thus opposed God's shewing mercy 
to others, even at the very time when you pretended to be ear- 
nest with God for pity and help for yourself ? Yea, and while 
you was endeavoring to get something wherewuth to recom- 
mend yourself to God ? And will you look to God siiil with a 
challenge of mercy, and contend with him for it notwithstand- 
ing ? Can yuu who have such an heart, and have thus behaved 
yourself, come to God for any other than mere sovereign 
mercy ? 

n. If you should be forever cast off by God, it would be 
agreeable to your treatment of Jesus Christ, It would have 
been just with God if he had cast you off forever, without 
ever making you the offer of a Saviour. But God hath not 
done that, but has provided a Saviour for sinners, and offered 
him to you, even his own Son Jesus Christ, who is the only 
Saviour of men : AH that be not forever cast off are saved by 
him : God offers men salvation through him, and has promis- 
ed us, that if we come to him, we shall not be cast off. But 
you have treated, and still treat this Saviour after such a man- 
ner, that if you should be eternally cast off by God, it would be 
most agreeable to your behavior towards him ; which appears 
by this, viz. 

" That you reject Christ, and will not have him for your 

If God offers you a Saviour from deserved punishment, 
and you will not receive him, then surely it is just that you 
should go without a Saviour. Or is God obliged, because you 
do not hke this Saviour, to provide you another? It, when he 
has given an infinitely honorable and glorious person, even his 
only begotten Son, to be a sacrifice for sin, in the fire of his 
wrath, and so provided salvation, and this Saviour is offered to 
you, you be not suited in him, and refuse to accept him, is 
God therefore unjust if he does not save you ? Is he obliged 
Vol. VU. 2 W ' 


to save you in a way of your own choosing, because yoxi do not 
like the way of his choosing? Or will you charge Christ with 
injustice because he does not become your Saviour, when at 
the same time you will not have him when he offers himself tj» 
you, and beseeches you to accept of him as a Saviour ? 

I am sensible that by this time many persons are ready to 
open their mouths in objection against this. If all should 
speak what they now think, we should hear murmuring ali 
over the meetinghouse, and one and another would say, " I 
cannot see how this can be, that I be not willing that Christ 
should be my Saviour, when I would give all the world that 
he was my Saviour : How is if possible that I should not be 
willing to have Christ for my Saviour, when this is what I 
am seeking after, and praying for, and striving for, as for my 
life ?" 

Here therefore I would endeavor to convince you, that you 
are under a gross mistake in this matter. And, 1st, I would 
«ndeavor to shew the weakness of the grounds of your mis- 
take. And 2dly, To demonstrate to you, that you have re- 
jected, and do wilfully reject Jesus Christ. 

1 . That you may see the weakness of the grounds of your 
mistake, consider, 

1st, There is a great deal of difference between a willing- 
ness not to be damned, and a being willing to receive Christ 
for your Saviour. You have the former ; there is no doubt 
to be made of that; No body supposes that you love misery 
so well as to choose an eternity of it ; and so doubtless you are 
willing to be saved from eternal misery. But that is a very 
different thing from being wilUng to come to Christ : Persons 
very commonly mistake the one for the other, but they are 
quite two things. You may love the deliverance, but hate the 
deliverer. You tell of a willingness ; but consider what is the 
object of that willingness : It does not respect Christ ; the way 
of salvation by him is not at all the object of it ; but it is wholly 
terminated on your escape from misery. The inclination of 
your will goes no further than self, it never reaches Christ. 
You are willing not to be miserable ; that is, you love your- 
self, and there your will and choice terminate. And it is bu* 


a vain pretence and delusion to say or think, that you are will- 
ing to accept of Christ. 

2d, There is certainly a great deal of difference between a 
forced compliance and a free willingness. Force and fi'ee- 
dom cannot consist together. Now that willingness that you 
tell of, whereby you think you are willing to have Christ for a 
Saviour, is merely a forced thing. Your heart does not go out 
after Christ of itself, but you are forced and driven to seek an 
interest in him. Christ has no share at all in your heart; 
there is no mannerof closing of the heart with him. This forc- 
ed compliance is not what Christ seeks of you ; he seeks afree 
and willing acceptance, Psalm ex. 3. " Thy people shall be 
willing in the day of thy power." He seeks not that you should 
receive him against your will, but with a free will. He seeks 
entertainment in your heart and choice And, 

If you refuse thus to receive Christ, how just is it that 
Christ should refuse to receive you? How reasonable arc 
Christ's terms, who offers to save all those that willingly, or 
with a good will, accept of him for their Saviour! Who can 
rationally expect that Christ should force himself upon any 
man to be his Saviour ? Or what can be looked for more rea- 
sonable, than that all that would be saved by Christ, should 
heartily and freely entertain him ? And surely it would be 
very dishonorable for Christ to offer himself upon lower 

But I would now proceed, 

2. To shew that it is really so, that yoti are not willing t<j 
have Christ for a Saviour, To convince you of it, consider, 

1st, How impossible it is that you should be willing to ac- 
cept of Christ as a Saviour from the desert of a punishment 
that you are not sensible you have deserved. If you are tru* 
ly willing to accept of Christ a^ a Saviour, it must be as a sac- 
rifice to make atonement for your guilt: Christ came into the 
world on this errand, to offer himself as an atonement, to an- 
swer for ouf desert of punishment. But how is it possible 
that you should be willing to accept of Christ as an atonement 
"-^r that guilt that you be nf»t sensible that you have ? How can 


you be willing to have Christ for a Saviour from a desert 
of hell if you be not sensible that you have a desert of 
hell ? If you have not really deserved everlasting burnings in 
hell, then the very offer of an atonement for such a desert is 
an imposition upon you- If you have ho such guilt upon you, 
then the very offer of a satisfaction for that guilt is an injury, 
because it implies in it a charge of guilt that you are free 
from. Now therefore, it is impossible that a man that is not 
convinced of his guilt can be willing to accept of an offer ; be- 
cause he cannot be willing to accept the charge that the offer 
implies : That he looks upon as injurious. A man that is 
not convinced that he has deserved so dreadful a punishment, 
cannot willingly submit to be charged with it ; if he think he 
is willing, it is but a mere forced, feigned, business ; because 
in his heart he looks upon himself greatly injured ; and there- 
fore he cannot freely accept of Christ, under that notion of a 
Saviour from that guilt, and frohi the desert of such a punish- 
ment ; for such an acceptance Is an implicit owning that he 
does deserve such a punishment. 

I do not say, but that men may be willing to be saved from 
an undeserved punishrnent ; they may rather not suffer it than 
suffer it: But a inan cannot be willing to accept one at God's 
hands, under the nolion of a Saviour from a punishment de- 
served from him that he thinks he has not deserved ; it is im- 
possible that any one should freely allow a Saviour under that 
notion. Such an one cannot like the way of salvation by 
Christ ; for if he thinks he has not deserved hell, then he will 
think that freedom from hell is a debt; and therefore cannot 
willingly and heartily receive it as a free gift. If a king should 
condemn a man to some exceeding tormenting death, which 
the condemned person thought himself not deserving of, but 
looked upon the sentence unjust and cruel, and the king, 
when the lime of execution drew nigh, should offer him his 
pardon, under the nodon of a very great act of grace and clem- 
ency, the condemned person never could willingly and hearti- 
ly allow it under that notion, because he judged himself un- 
justly condemned. 


Now by this it is evident that you are not willins^ to accept 
i»f Christ as your Saviour; because you never yet had such a 
sense of your own sinfulness, and such a conviction of your 
great guilt in God's sight as to be indeed convinced that you 
lay justly cohdemned to the punishment of hell. You never 
was convinced that you had forfeited all favor, and was in 
God's hands, and at his sovereign arid arbitrary disposal, to be 
either destroyed or saved, just as he pleased. You never yet 
was convinced of the sovereignty of God. Hence are there 
so many objections arising against the justice of your punish- 
ment from original sin, and from God's dfecrees, from mercy 
shown to others, and the like. 

2f/, That you be not sincerely willing to accept of Christ 
as your Saviour, appears by this. That you never have been 
convinced that he is sufficient for the work of your salvation. 
You never had a sight or sense of any such excellency or wor- 
thiness in Christ, as should give such great value to his blood 
and his mediation with God, as that it was sufficient to be ac- 
cepted for such exceeding guilty creatures, and those that 
have so provoked God, and exposed themselves to such amaz- 
ing wrath. A saying it is so, and a customary yielding and al- 
lowing it to be as others say, is a very different thing from be- 
ing really convinced of it, and a being made sensible of it in 
your own heart. The sufficiency of Christ depends upon, or 
rather consists in his excellency. It is because he is so ex- 
cellent a person that his blood is of sufficient value to atone 
for sin, and it is hence that his obedience is so worthy in God*s 
sight ; it is also hence that his intercession is so prevalent ; 
and therefore those that never had any spiritual sight or sense 
of Christ's excellency, cannot be sensible of his sufficiency. 

And that sinners be not convinced that Christ is sufficient 
for the work he has undertaken, appears most manifestly when 
they are under great convictions of their sin; and danger of 
God's Avrath. Though it may be before they thought they 
could allow Christ to be sufficient, (for it is easy to allow any 
one to be sufficient for our defence at a time when we see no 
'^nger) yet when they come to be sensible of their guilt and 


God's wrath, vhat discouraging thoughts do they entertain 1 
How are they ready to draw towards despair, as if there were 
no liope or help for such wicked creatures as they 1 The rea- 
son is, They have no apprehension or sense of any other way 
that God's majesty can be vindicated, but only in their mis- 
ery. To tell tliem of the blood of Christ signifies nothing, it 
docs not relieve their sinking, despairing hearts. This makes 
it most evident that they are not convinced that Christ is suf- 
ficient to be their Mediator. 

And as long as they are unconvinced of this, it is impossi- 
ble they should be willing to accept of him as their Mediator 
and Saviour. A man in distressing fear will not willingly be- 
take himself to a fort that he judges not sufficient to defend 
him from the enemy* A man will not willingly venture out 
into the ocean in a ship that he suspects is leaky, and Avill sink 
before he gets through his voyage. 

3i, It is evident that you are not willing to have Christ for 
your Saviour, because youhave so mean an opinion of him, that 
you durst not trust his faithfulness. One that undertakes to 
be the Saviour of vSouls had need be faithful ; for if he fails in 
such a trust, how great is the loss ! But you are not convinced 
of Christ's faithfulness ; as is evident, because at such times 
as when you are in a considerable measure sensible of your 
guilt and God's anger, you cannot be convinced that Chi'ist is 
willing to accept of you or that he stands ready to receive you 
if you should come to him, though Christ so much invites you 
fo come to him, and has so fully declared that he will not re- 
ject you, if you do come ; as particularly, John vi. 37. " Him 
that Cometh to mc, I will in no Vr-ise cast out." Now, there 
is no man can be heartily willing to trust his eternal welfare m 
the hands of an unfaithful person, or one whose faithfulness he 

4/A, You are not willing lo be saved in that way by Christ, 
as is evident, because you are not willing that your own good- 
ness should he set at nought. In the way of salvation by 
Christ, men's own goodness is wholly set at nought ; there is 
no account at all made of it. Now you cannot be willing to he 


saved in a way wherein your own goodness is set at nought, as 
is evident by that, that you make much of it yourself. You 
make much of your prayers and pains in religion, and are oft-^ 
len thinking of them ; how considei'able do tiiey appear to you, 
when you look back upon them ! And how much are some of 
you in thinking how much niore you have done than some 
others, and in expecting some respect or regard that God 
should manifest to what you do ? Now, if you make so muclj 
of what you do yourself, it is impossible that you should be 
freely willing that God should make notlung of it. As we 
may see in other things ; if a man is proud of a great estate, 
or if he values himself much upon his honorable office, or his 
great abilities, it is impossible that he should like it, and 
heartily approve of it, that others should make light of these 
things and despise them. 

Seeing therefore that it is sp evident that you refuse to 
accept of Christ as your Saviour, why is Christ to be blamecj 
that he does not save you ? Christ has offered himself to you 
to be your Saviour in time past, and he continues offering him- 
self still, and you continue to reject him, and yet complain that 
he does not save you So strangely unreasonable, and incon- 
sistent with themselves, are gospel sinners 1 

But I expectthat there are many of you that in your hearts 

still object ; your mouths be not stopped Such an objection 

as this, is probably now in the hearts of many here present. 

Object. If it be so, that I am not willing to have Christ for 
my Saviour, yet 1 cannot make 7uy self willing. 

But I would give an answer to this objection by laying down 
two things, that must be acknowledged to be exceeding evi- 

1. It is no excuse, that you cannot receive Clu-ist of your- 
self, unless you would if you could. This is so evident of it- 
self, that it scarce needs any proof. Certuhdy if persons 
would not if they could, it is just the same thing as to the 
blame that lies upon them, whether they can or cannot. If 
you were willing, and then found that you cc ild not, your be- 
ing unable would alter the case, and might he some •♦'xcuse i 


because then the defect would not be in your will, but only in 
your ability : But as long; as you will not, it is no matter what 
the ability is, whether you have ability or no ability. 

If you be not willing to accept of Christ, it will follow that 
you have no sincere willingness to be willing ; because the 
will always necessarily approves of, and rests in its own acts. 
To suppose the contrary would be to suppose a contradiction; 
it would be to suppose that^ man's will is contrary to itself, 
or that he wills contraiy to what he himself wills. So that as 
you are not willing to come to Christ, and cannot make your- 
self willing, so you have no sincere desire to be willing; and 
therefore may most justly perish without a Saviour. There 
is no excuse at all for you ; for say what you will about your 
inability, the seat of your blame lies in your perverse will, that 
is an enemy to the Saviour. It is in vain for you to tell of 
your want of power, as long as your will is found defective. If 
■A man should hate you, and devour you, and exalt himself and 
smite you in the face, and tell you that he did it voluntarily, 
and because he had a mind to, but only should tell you at the 
same time, that he hated you so much, that he could not help 
choosing and willing so to do, would you take it the more pa- 
tiently for that ? Would not your indignation be rather stirred 
up the more ? 

2. If you would be willing if you could, that is no excuse, 
unless your unwillingness to be willing be sincere. That 
which is hypocritical, and does not come from the heart, but 
is merely forced, ought wholly to be set aside, as worthy of no 
consideration; and that Ijecause comnion sense teaches, that 
that which is not hearty but hypocritical is indeed nothing, be- 
ing only a shew of what is not ; but that which is good for 
nothing,ought to go for nothing. But if you set aside all that 
is not free, and call nothing a willingness, but a free hearty 
willingness, then see how the case stands, and whether or no 
you have not lost all your excuse for standing out agidnst the 
calls of the gospel. You say you would make yourself wiping 
to accept if you could ; but i'. is not from any t;ooil piinciple 
rhat you are willing for that ; it is not from any free hiciiiiation.. 


Or true respect to Christ, or any love to your duty, or any spir- 
it of obedience, or from the inliuence of any manner of real 
respect, or tendency in your heart, towards any thing that is 
good, or from any other principle than such as is in the hearts 
of devils, and would make them have the same sort of willing- 
ness in the same circumstances. It is therefore evident, that 
there can be no goodness in that woulding to be willing to 
come to Chi'ist : And that which has no goodness cannot bean 
excuse for any badness. If there be no good in it, then it sig- 
nifies nothing, and weighs nothing, when put into the scales 
to counterbalance that which is bad. 

Sinners therefore spend their time in foolish arguing and 
objecting, making much of that which is good for nothing, 
making those excuses that be not worth offering. It is in 
vain to keep making objections : You stand justly condemn- 
ed : The blame lies all at your door : Thrust it off from you 
as often as you will, it will return upon you : Sew fig leaves 
as you will, your nakedness will appear : You continue wil- 
fully and wickedly rejecting Jesus Christ, and will not have 
him for your Saviour, and therefore it is sottish madness in 
you to charge Christ with injustice that he does not save you. 
Here is the sin of unbelief 1 Thus the guilt of that great 
sin lies upon you 1 If you never had thus treated a Saviour, 
you might inost justly have been damned to all eternity : It 
would but be exactly agreeable to your treatment of God. But 
besides this, when God, notwithstanding, has offered you his 
own dear Son, to save you from this endless misery you had 
deserved, and not only so, but to make you happy eternaljy ip 
■the enjoj-ment of himself, you refused hini, and would not 
have him for your Saviour, and still refuse to comply with the 
offers of the gospel ; what can render any person more inex- 
cusable ? If you should now perish foreyer, what can you have 
to say ? 

Hereby the justice of God in your destruction appears in 
two respects. 

1. It is more abundantly manifest that it is just that you 
should be destroyed. Justice never appears so c-o:ispicuou$ 
Vni.. VIT. 5 X 


as it does after refused and abused mercy. Justice in damna- 
tion appears abundantly the more clear and bright, after a wil- 
ful rejection of offered salvation. What can an offended 
prince do more than freely offer pardon to a condemned male- 
factor ? And if he refuses to accept of it, will any one say that 
his execution is unjust ? 

2. God's justice will appear in your greater destruction. 
Besides the guilt that you would have had if a Saviour never 
had been offered, you bring that great additional guilt upon 
you, of most ungratefully refusing offered deliverance. 
What more base and vile treatment of God can there be, than 
for you, when justly condemned to eternal misery, and ready 
to be executed, and God graciously sends his own Son, who 
comes and knocks at your door with a pardon in his hand, and 
not only a pardon, but a deed of eternal glory ; I say, what can 
he worse, than for you, out of dislike and enmity against God 
and his Son, to refuse to accept those benefits at his hands ! 
How justly may the anger of God be greatly incensed and in- 
creased by it I When a sinner thus ungratefully rejects mer- 
cy, his last error is worse than the first ; this is more heinous 
than all his former rebellion, and may justly bring doM n more 
fearful wrath upon him. 

The heinousness of this sin of rejecting a Saviour espe- 
cially appears in two things, 

1, The greatness of the benefits offered ; which appears 
in the greatness of the deliverance, which is from inexpressi- 
ble degrees of corruption and wickedness of heart and life, 
the least degree of which is infinitely evil ; and from mistry 
that is everlasting ; and in the greatness and glory of the in- 
heritance purchased and offered, Heb. ii. o. " How shall we 
escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?" 

2. The wonderfulness of the way in which these benefits 
are procured and offered. That God should lay help on his 
own Son, when our case was so deplorable that help could be 
had in no mere creature ; and that he should undertake for 
us, and should come into the world, and take upon him our 
mature, and should not only appear in a low state of life, bi:'. 


should die such a death, and endure such torments and con- 
tempt for sinners while enemies how wonderful is it ! And 
what tongue or pen can set forth the greatness of the ingrati- 
tude, baseness, and perverseness that there is in it, when a 
perishing sinner that is in the most extreme necessity of sal- 
vation, rejects it, after it is procured in such a way as this ! 
That so glorious a person sliould be thus treated, and that 
when he comes on so gracious an errand ! That he should 
stand so long offering himself, and calUng, and inviting, as he 
has done to many of you, and all to no purpose, but all the 
while be set at nought ! Surely you might justly be cast into 
hell without one more offer of a Saviour I Yea, and thrust 
down into the lowest hell ! Herein you have exceeded the 
very devils ; for they never rejected the offers of such glori- 
ous mercy ; no, nor of any mercy at all. This will be the 
distinguishing condemnation of gospel sinners, John iii. 18. 
^* He that believeth not, is condemned already, because he 
hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of 

That outward smoothness of your carriage towards Christ, 
that appearance of respect to him in your looks, your speech- 
es and gestures, do not argue but that you set him at nought 
in your heart. There may be much of these outward shews 
of respect, and yet you be like Judas, that betrayed the Son of 
man with a kiss ; and like those mockers that bowed the 
knee before him, and at the same time spit in his face. 

III. If God should forever cast you off and destroy you, it 
would be agreeable to your treatment of others ; it would be 
no other than what would be exactly answerable to your behav- 
ior towards your fellow creatures, that have the same human 
nature, and are naturally in the same circumstances with you, 
and that you ought to love as yourself. And that appears es- 
pecially in two things, 

1. You have many of you been opposite in your spirit to 
the salvation of others. There are several ways that natural 
men manifesta spirit of opposition against the salvation of oth- 
^r souls. It sometimes appears by a fear that their compan* 


ions, acquaintance," and equals, will obtain mercy, and so be- 
come unspeakably happier than they. It is sometimes man- 
ifested by an uneasiness at the news of others' having hopeful- 
ly obtained. It appears when persons envy others for it, and 
dislike them the more, and disrelish their talk, and avoid their 
company, and cannot bear to hear theii- religious discourse, 
cind especially to receive warnings and counsels from them.' 
And it oftentimes appears by their backwardness to entertain 
charitable thoughts of them, and their being difficultly brought 
to believe that it is really so, that they have obtained mercy, 
and a forwardness to listen to any thing that seems to contra* 
diet it. The devil hated to own Job's sincerity, Job i. 7. &c. 
and chap. ii. verses 3, 4, 5. There appears very often much 
of this spirit of the devil in natural men. Sometimes they 
are ready to make a ridicule of others' pretended godliness : 
They speak of the ground of others' hopes, as the enemies of 
the Jews did of the wall that they built. Neh. iv. 5. " Now 
Tobiah the Amonite was by him, and he said, That which 
they biuld,if a fox go up, he shall even breakdown their stone 
wall. There are many that join with Sanballat and Tobiali, 
and are of the same spirit with them. There always was, and 
always will be, an enmity between the seed of the serpent and 
the seed of the woman. It appeared in Cain, who hated his 
brother, because he was more acceptable to God than him- 
self ; and it appears still in these times, and in this place. 
There are m.any that are like the elder brother, who could not 
bear it that the prodigal, when he returned, should be received 
with such joy and good entertainment, and was put into a fret 
by it, both against his brother that had returned, and his father 
that made him so welcome, Luke xv. 

Thus have many of you been opposite to the salvation of 
others, that stand in as great necessity of it as you. You have 
been against tlieir being delivered from everlasting misery, 
that can bear il no better than you ; not because their salva- 
tion would do you ariy hurt, or their damnation help you, any 
otherwibe than as it would gratify that vile spirit that is so 
much like the spirit of the devil, who, because he is misera* 


ble himself, is unwilling that others should be happy. How 
just therefore is it that God should be opposite to your sal- 
vation ? 

If you have se little love or mercy iii you as to begrudge 
your neighbor's salvation, w horn you have no cause to hate, 
but the law of God and nature requires you to love ; why is- 
God bound to exerc'ise such infinite love ajid mercy to you, as 
to save you at the price of his own blood, that he is no way 
bound to love, but that have deserved his hatred a thousand and 
a thousand times ? You are not willing that others should be 
converted, that have behaved themselves injuriously towards 
you ; and yet, will you count it hard if God does not bestow 
converting gi-ace upon you that have deserved ten thousand 
limes as ill of God, as any of your neighbors have of you ? 
You are opposite to God's shewing mercy to these, and those 
that you think have been vicious persons, and are very unwor- 
thy of such mercy. Is others' unworthinesg a. just reason 
why God should not bestow mercy on them ? And yet will God 
be hard, if, notwithstanding all your unworthiness, and the 
abominablenessof your spirit and practice in his sight, he does 
not show you mercy ? You would have God bestow liberally 
on you, and upbraid not; but yet, when he shews mercy to 
others, you are ready to upbraid as soon as you hear of it ; vot . 
immediately are thinking with yourself how ill they have be- 
haved themselves ; and it maybe your mouths on this occasion • 
are open, enumerating and aggravating the sins they have been 
guilty of. You would have God bury all your faults, and 
wholly blot out all your transgressions ; but yet if he bestows 
mercy on others, it may be you will take that occasion to rake 
up all their old faults that you can think of. You do not much 
Inflect on and condemn yourself for your baseness and unjust 
spirit towards others, in your opposition to their salvation ; 
you do not quarrel with yourself, and condemn yourself for 
this ; but yet you, to your heart, will quarrel with God, and 
condemn him, and fret at his dispensations, because you tliink 
he seems opposit": to shewing mercy to you. One would think 


that the consideration of these things should for ever stop your 

2. Consider how you have promoted others' damnation. 
Many of you, by the bad examples you have set, by corrupt- 
ing the minds of others, by your sinful conversation, by leading 
them into sin, or strengthening them in sin, and by the mis- 
chief that you have done in human society other ways, that 
might be mentioned, have been guilty of those things that 
have tended to others' damnation. You have heretofore ap- 
peared on the side of sin and Satan, and have behaved yourself 
so as much to strengthen their interest, and have been many- 
ways accessory to others' sins, have hardened others' hearts and 
thereby have done what has tended to the ruin of their souls. 

And without doubt there are those here present that have 
■been in a great measure the means of others' damnation. 
Though it is true that it is determined of God whom he will 
save, and whom not, from all eternity, yet one man may really 
be a mean of others' damnation as well as salvation. Christ 
charges the scribes and pharisees with this, Matth. xxiii. 13. 
" Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men ; for ye 
neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are en- 
tering, to go in." We have no reason to think that this con- 
gregation has none in it that are cursed from day to day by 
poor souls that are roaring out in hell, whose damnation they 
-have been a mean of, or have greatly contributed to. 

There are many that contribute to their own children's 
damnation, by neglecting their education, and setting them 
bad examples, and bringing them up in sinful ways: They 
take 8ome care of their bodies, but take but little care of their 
poor souls ; they provide for them bread to eat, but deny them 
the bread of life, that their famishing souls stand in need of» 
And are there no such parents here that have thus treated 
their children ? If their children be not gone to hell, it is not 
because they have not done what has tended to their des- 
truction. Seeing therefore you have had no more regard to 
others' salvation, and have promoted their damnation, how 
justly mig.ht God leave you to perish j-ourself ? 


IV, If God should eternally cast you off, it would but b^ 
agreeable to your own behavior towards yourself : And that 
in two respects ; 

1, In being so careless of your own salvation. You have 
refused to take care for your salvation, as God has counselled 
and commanded you from time to time ; and why may not 
God neglect it, now you seek it of him ? Is God obliged to be 
more careful of your happiness, than you are, either of your 
own happiness or his glory ? Is God bound to take that care 
for you, out ot love to you, that you will not take for yourself, 
either from love to yourself, or regard to his authority ? How 
long, and how greatly, have you neglected the welfare of your 
precious soul, refusing to take pains and deny yourself, or put 
yourself a little out of your way for your salvation, while God 
has been calling upon you I Neither your duty to God, nor 
love to your own soul, were enough to induce you to do little 
things for your own eternal welfare ; and yet do you now ex- 
pect that God should do great things, putting forth almighty 
power, and exercising infinite mercy for it ? You was urged 
to tuivc care for your salvation, and not to put it off: You was 
told that that was the best time, before you grew older, and 
that it might be, if you v/ould put it off, God would not hear 
you afterwards ; but yet you would not hearken ; you would 
run the venture of it. Now how justly might God order it so, 
that it should be too late, leaving you to seek in vain ? You 
was told, that you would repent of it if you delayed ; but you 
would not hear: How justly therefore may God give yoa 
cause to repent of it, by refusing to show you mercy now ? If 
God sees you goirv^^ on in ways contrary to his commands and 
his glory, and requires you to (orn^ake them, and tells you that 
they are ways thai tend to the destruction of your own soul, 
and therefore counsels you to avoid them, and you refuse ; 
how just would it be if God should be provoked by it, hence- 
forward to be as careless of the good of your soul as you are 

2. You have not only neglected your salvation, but you 
have wiiiuliy tiken direct coui'ses to undo yourself. You iiuve 


gone on in those ways and practices that have directly tended 
to your damnation, and have been perverse and obstinate in it. 
You cannot plead ignorance ; you had all the light set before 
you that you could desire : God told you thatyou was undoing 
yourself ; but yet you would do it : He told you that the path 
vou was going in led to destruction, and counselled you to 
avoid it ; but you would not hearken : How justly therefore 
may God leave you to be undone ! You have obstinately per- 
sisted to travel in the way that leads to hell for a long time, 
contrary to God's continual counsels and commands, till it 
may be at length you are almost to your journey's end, and are 
Gome near to hell's gate, and so begin to be sensible of your 
danger and misery ; and now account it unjust and hard if God 
will not deliver you ? You have destroyed yourself, and des- 
troyed yourself wilfully, contrary to God's repeated counsels, 
yea, and destroyed yourself in fighting against God : Now 
therefore, why do you blame any but yourself if you are de- 
stroyed ? If you will undo yourself in opposing God, and 
while God opposes you by his calls and counsels, and, it may 
be too, by the convictions of his Spirit, what can you object 
against it, if God novv' leaves you to be undone ? You would 
have your own way, and did not like that God should oppose 
, you in it, and your way was to ruin your own soul : How just 
therefore is it, if, now at length, God ceases to oppose you, 
and falls in with you, and lets your soul be ruined ; and as you 
would destrov yourself, so should put to his hand to destroy 
you too ! The ways you went on in, had a natural tendency to 
your misery : li you would drink, poison in opposition to God, 
and in contempt of him and his advice, whom can you blame 
but yourself if you are poisoned, ard so perish ? If you would 
run into the fire against all reslrcdnts both of God's n;ercy 
and authority, you must even blame yourself if you arc hun.l. 
Thus 1 have proposed some things to your consideration, 
which, if you are not exceeding blind, senseless, and perverse, 
will stop your mouth, and convince you that you stand justly 
condemned before God, and that he would in no wise deal 
hardly with you, but altogetlier justly, in denTinjr you luiy 


mercy, and in refusing to hear your prayers, let you pray nev- 
er so earnestly, and nevei so often, and contiiiue in it never so 
lon^; and that God may utterly disregard your tears and 
moans, your heavy heart, your earnest desires, and great en- 
deavors ; and that he may cast you into eternal destruction, 
without any regard to your welfare, denying you converting 
grace, and giving you over to Satan, and at last cast you into 
the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, to be there to 
eternity, having no rest day nor night, forever glorifying his 
justice upon you, in the presence of the holy angels and the 
presence of the Lamb. 

Object. But here many may still object, (for I am sensible 
it is an hard thing to stop sinners' mouths) "God shews mer- 
cy to others that have done these things as well as I, yea, that 
have done a great deal v.'orse than I." 

Ans I. That does not prove that God is any way bound to 
shew mercy to you, or them either. If God does bestow it on 
others, he does not bestow it on them because he is bound to 
bestow it: He might if he had pleased, with glorious justice, 
have denied it them. If God bestows it on some, that does 
not prove that he is bound to bestow it on any ; and if 
he is bound to bestow it on none, then he is not bound to 
bestow it on you. God is in debt to none ; and if he gives 
to some that he is not in debt to, because it is his pleas- 
ure, that does not bring him into debt to others. It alters not 
the case as to you at all, whether others have it or have it not: 
You do not deserve damnation the less, than if mercy never 
had been bestowed on any at all. Matth. xx. 15. "Is thine 
eye evil, because I am good V 

2. If this objection be good, then the exercise of God's 
mercy is not in his own right, and his grace is not his own to 
give. That which God may not dispose of as he pleases, is 
not his own ; for that which is one's own, is at his own dispo=> 
sal ; but if it be not God's own, then he is not capable of mak» 
ing a gift or preaent of it to any gne ; it is impossible to c^ive 
^ debt. 

Vol. VIJ. 3 Y 


What is it that you would make of God? Must tiie great. 
God be tied up to that, that he must not use his ou'n pleasure 
in bestowing his own gifts, but if he bestows them on onci 
must be looked upon obliged to bestow them on another? Is 
not Ciod worthy to have the same right, with respect to the 
gifts of his grace, that a man has to his money or goods ? Is 
it because God is not so great, and should be more in subjec- 
tion than man, that this cannot be allowed him ? If any ot you 
ijee cause to shew kindness to a neighbor, do all the rest oi" 
your neighbors come to you, and tell you, that you owe them 
"so much as you have given to such a man ? But this is the way 
that you deal with God, as though God were not worthy t« 
have as absolute a property in his goods, as you have in yours. 

At this rate God cannot make a present of any thing ; he 
has nothing of his own to bestow : If he has a mind to shew 
peculiar favor to some, or to lay some particular persons un- 
der peculiar obligations to him, he cannot do it; because he has 
no special gift, that his creatures stand in great need of, and that 
would tend greatly to their happiness, at his own disposal. If 
this be the case, why do you pray to God to bestow saving 
grace upon you ? If God does not fairly deny it to you, because 
he bestows it on others, then it is not worth your while to pray 
for it, but you may go and tell him that he has bestowed it ou 
these and those, as bad or Avorse than you, and so demand it of 
him as a debt. And at this rate persons never need to thank 
God for salvation, when it is bestowed ; for what occasion is 
there to thank God for that which was not at his own disposal^ 
and that he could not fairly have denied ? The thing at bottom 
is, that men have low thoughts of God, and high thoughts of 
themselves; and therefore it is that they look upon God as 
having so little right, and they so much, Matth. xx. 15. " Is 
it not lawful for me to do what 1 will with mine own ?" 

3. God may justly shew greater respect to others than ts» 
youjfor you have shown greater respect to others than to God. 
You have shown greater respect to men than to God, You 
have rather chosen to offend God than oRcnd men. God onT 
fy shews a greater respect to others, that arc by nature your 


equals, than to you ; but you have sho^vn a greater respect to 
those that are infinitely inferior to God than to him. You 
have shown a greater regard to wicked men than to God ; you 
have honored them more, loved them better, and adhered to 
them rather than to him. Yea, you have honored the devil) 
in many respects, more than God: You have chosen his will 
and his interest ; rather than God's will, and his glory : You 
have chosen a little worldly pelf, rather than God: You have 
set more by a vile lust than by him : You have chosen these 
livings, and rejected God : You have set your hearts on these 
things, and cast God behind your back : And where is the in- 
justice if God is pleased to shew greater respect to others 
than to you, or if he chooses others and rejects you? You have 
shown great respect to vile and worthless things, and no res- 
pect to God's glory ; and why may not God set his love on 
others, and have no respect to your happiness? You have 
shewn great respect to others and not to God, that you are laid 
under infinite obligations to respect above all ; and why may 
not God shew respect to others, and not to you, that never 
have laid him under the least obligation ? 

And will you not be ashamed, notwithstanding all these 
things, still to open your mouth, to object and cavil about the 
decrees of God, and other things that you cannot fully under- 
stand I Let the decrees of God be what they will, that alters 
not the case as to your liberty, any more than if God had only 
foreknown. And why is God to blame for decreeing things J 
How unbecoming an infinitely wise Being would it have been 
to have made a world, and let things run at random, withoutdis- 
posing events, or foreordering how they should come to pass ? 
And what is that to you, how God has foreordered things, as 
long as your constant experience teaches you, that that doea 
not hinder your liberty, or your doing what you choose to do. 
This you know, and your daily practice and behavior amongst 
men declares that you are fully sensible of it, with respect to 
yourself and others: And still to object, because there are some 
things in God's dispensations above your understanding, is ex- 
ceeding unreasonable. Your own conscience charges you 


"vrith great guilt, and with those things that have been mention* 
ed, let the secret things of God be whut they will. Your con- 
science charges you with tliose vile dispositions, and that base 
behavior towards God, that you would at any time most highly 
resent in your neighbor towards you, and that not a whit the 
less for any concern those secret counsels and mysterious dis- 
pensations of God may have in the matter. It is in vain for 
you to exalt yourself against an infinitely great, and holy, and 
just God. If you continue in it, it will be to your eternal 
shame and confusion, when hereafter you shall see at whose 
door all the blaine of your misery lies. 

I will finish what I have to say to natural men in the appli- 
cation of this doctrine with a caution not to improve the doc- 
trine to discouragement. For though it would be righteous 
in ' 'od forever to cast you off, and destroy you, yet it will also 
be Justin God to save you, in and through Christ, who Ijas 
macle complete satisfaction for all sin. Rom. iii. 25, 26. 
<^' Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith 
in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of 
sins that are past, through the tbrbearance of (>od ; to de- 
clare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be 
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Yea, 
Gk)d may, through this Mediator, not only justly, but honora- 
bly shew you mercy. The blood of Christ is so precious, that 
it is fully sufficient to pay that debt that you have contracted, 
and perfectly to vindicate the divine Majesty from all that dis- 
honor that has been cast upon it, by those many great sins of 
yours that have been mentioned. It was as great, and indeed 
a much greater thing, for Christ to die, than it would have 
been for you and all mankind to have burnt in hell to all eter- 
nity. Of such dignity and excellency is Christ in the eyes of 
God, that, seeing he has suffered so much for poor sinners, 
God is willing to be at peace with them, however vile and un- 
worthy they have been, and on how many accounts soever the 
punishment would be just. So that you need not be at all 
discouraged from seeking mercy, for there is enough ip 


Indeed it would not become, the glory of God's majesty t« 
shew mercy to you that have been so sinful and vile a crea-. 
iure, for any thing that you have done, for such worthless and 
despieable things as your prayers, and other religious perform- 
ances ; it would be very dishonorable and unworthy of God so 
to do, and it is in vain to expect it : He will shew mercy onlf 
on Christ's account, and that, according to his sovereign pleas- 
ure, on whom he pleases, when he pleases, and in what man- 
ner he pleases. You cannot bring him under the obligation 
by your works ; do what you will, he will not look on himself 
obliged. But if it be his pleasure, he can honorably shew 
mercy through Christ to any sinner of you all, not qne in this 
congregation excepted. 

Therefore here is encouragement for you stiil to v^eek and 
wait, notwithstanding all your wickedness ; agreeably to Sam- 
uel's speech to the childlien of Israel, when they were terrifi- 
ed w4th the thunder and rain that God sent, and their guilt 
slai-ed them in the face, 1 Sam. xii. 20. " Fear not ; ye have 
done all this wickec'ness ; yet turn not aside from following 
the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your hearts." 

I would conclude this discourse by improving the doctiine, 
in the second place, very briefly to put the godly in mind of 
the wonderfulness of the grace of God towards them. For 

such were some of you The case was just so with you as 

you have heard ; you had such a wicked heart, you lived such 
a wicked life, and it would have been most just with God for 
ever to have cast you off: But he has had mercy upon you } 
he hath made his glorious grace appear in your everlasting 
salvation. You have behaved yourself so as you have heard 
towards God : You had no love to God ; but yet he has exer- 
cised unspeakable love to you : You have contemned God, 
and set light by him ; but so great a value has God's grace set 
on you and yeur happiness, that you have been redeemed at 
the price of the blood of his own Son : You chose to be with 
Satan in his service ; but yet God hatii made you a joint heir 
with Christ of his glory. You was ungrateful for past mer- 
cies j but yei'Godnot only continue<i those mercies, but be- 

G?« JUSTICE Of (5oB, Sec. 

stowed unspeakably greater mercies upon you : You rcfuse<l 
to hear when God called ; but yet God heard you when you 
cfelled: You abused the infiniteness of God's mercy to cncourv 
age yourself in sin against God ; but yet God has manifested 
the infiniteness of that mercy, in the exercises of it towards 
yifU'-t You have rejected Christ, and set him at nought ; and 
yet he is become your Saviour : You have neglected your 
own salvation ; but God has not neglected it : You have de- 
stroyed yourself ; but yet in God has been your help. Go^ 
has magnified his free grace towards you, and not to others ; 
because he has chosen you, and it hath pleased him to set hh 
love upon you. 

O 1 what cause is here for praise ? What obligations arc 
upon you to bless the Lord, who hath dealt bountifully with 
yx)u,and to magnify his holy name ? What cause to praise him 
in humility to walk, humbly before God ; and to be conform- 
ed to that in Ezek. xvi. 63 : " That thou maycst remember 
and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, be- 
cause of thy shame, when I am pacified towards thee for all 
tliat thou haist done, saith the Lord God 1" You should nev- 
er open your mouth in boastings or selfjustification : You 
should lie the lower before God for his mercy to you. But 
you have reason, the more abundantly for your past sins, to 
open your mouth in God's praises, that they may be continu- 
ally in your mouth, both here and to all eternity, for his rich, 
unspeakable, and sovereign mercy to you, whereby he, and he* 
alone, hath made you to uifier from others. 


The future Punishment of the Wicked unavdidab'ie; 
and intolerable. 

EZEKIEL xxil. 14. 


IN the former part of this chapter, we have a dreadful 
Otaloguc of the sins of Jerusalem ; as you may see from the 
first to the thirteenth verse. In the thirteenth, which is the 
verse preceeding the text, God manifests his great displeas- 
ure and fearful wrath against them for those their iniquities. 
<" Behold, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain 
which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in 
the midst of thee." The expression of God's smiting his 
hand, signifies the greatness of his anger, and his preparing 
l^iimsclf, as it were to execute wrath answerable to their hein- 
ous crimes. It is an allusion to what we sometimes see in 
men when they are surprised, by seeing or hearing of some 
horrid offence, or most intolerable injury, which very much 
stirs their spirits, and animates them with high resentment ; 
on such an occasion they will rise up in wrath and smite their 
hands together, as an expression of the heat of their indigna- 
tion, and full resolution to be avenged on those who have com- 
piitted the injury; as in chap, xxi, 17. " I will also sjni^u 
* Dated April 174J. 


mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest : I the 
Lord have said it " 

Then, in the text, the punishment of that people is repre- 

1. The nature of their punishment is more generally rep- 
resented in that therein God will undertake to deal with themj: 
God here threatens to deal with the sinners in Jerusalem. 
The prophets could do nothing with them. God had sent 
them one after another ; but those sinners were loo strong 
for them, and beat one, and killed another. Therefore now 
God himself undertakes to deal with them. 

3. Their punishment is more particularly represented ia 
three things, viz. The intolerableness, the remedilessness, 
and the unavoidableness of it. 

(1.) The intolerableness of it : Can thine heart endure ? 

(2.) The remedilessness, or the impossibility of their do- 
ing any thing for their own relief : Can thine hands be strong ? 

(3.) The unavoidableness of it : J the Lord have sfiokcn if, 
and nvill do it. 


Since God hath undertaken to deal with impenitent sin- 
ners, they shall neither shun the threatened misery, nor deliv- 
er themselves out of it, nor can they bear it. 

In handling this doctrine, I shall, 1. Show what is impli- 
ed in God"s undertaking to deal with impenitent sinners, 
2. That therefore they cannot avoid punishment. 3. That 
they cannot in any measure deliver themselves from it, or do 
any thing for their o\m relief under it. 4. That they cannot 
bear it. 5. I shall answer an inquiry; and then proceed to 
the use. 

I. I shall show what is impUed in God's undertaking to 
deal with impenitent sinners ....Others are not able to deal 
with them. They baffle all the means used with them by 
those that are appointed lo teach and to rule over them. 
They will not yield to paiunts, or to the counsels, warning^'. 


or reproofs of ministers : They prove obstinate and stiff- 
hearted. Therefore God undertakes to deal with them 

This implies the following things : 

1. That God will reckon with them, and take of them sat» 
isfiction to his justice. In this world God puts forth his au- 
thority to command them ; and to require subjection to him. 
In his commands he is very positive, strictly requiring of them 
the performance of such and such duties, and as positively for- 
bidding such and such things which were contrary to their 
duty. But they have no regard to these commands, (jod 
continues commanding, and they continue rebelling. They 
make nothing of God's authority, (iod threatens, but they 
despise his threatenings They make nothing of dishonor- 
ing God ; they care not hew much their behavior is to the 
dishonor of God. He offers them mercy, if they will repent 
and return ; but they despise his mercy as well as his wrath, 

God calleth, but they refuse Thus they are continually 

plunging themselves deeper and deeper in debt, and at the 
same time imagine they shall escape the payment of the debt, 
and design entirely to rob God of his due. 

But God hath undertaken to right himself. He will reck- 
on with them ; he hath undertaken to see that the debts due 
to him are paid. All their sins are written in his book ; not 
one of them is forgotten, and every one must be paid. If God 
be wise enough, and strong enough, he will have full satisfac- 
tion : He \\ill exact the very uttermost farthing. He under- 
takes it as his part, as what belongs to him, to see himself 
righted, wherein he hath been wronged, Deut. xxxii. 35. 
" To me belongeth vengeance." Ibid.yii \0. " He will not 
be slack to him that hateth him ; he will repay him to his 

2. He hath undertaken to vindicate the honor of his Majes- 
ty. His Majesty they despise. They hear that he is a great 
God ; but they despise his greatness ; they look upon him 
worthy of contempt, and treat him accordingly. They hear 
of him by the name of a great King ; but his authority they 
regard not, and sometimes trample upon it for years together, 
' Vol. VII. 2 Z 


Bvit God hath not left the honor of his Majesty wholly to 
their care. Though they now trample it in the dust, yet that 
is no sign that it will finally be lost. If God had left it whoUy 
in their hands, it would indeed be lost. But God doth not 
leave his honor and his glory with his enemies ; it is too pre- 
cious in his eyes to be so neglected. He hath reserved the 
care of it to himself: He will see to it that his own injured 
Majesty is vindicated. If the honor of God, upon which sin- 
ners trample, finally lie in the dust, then it will be because he 
is not strong enough to vindicate himself. He hatli sworn 
that great oath in Numb. xiv. 21. "As truly as I live, all the 
earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." 

Sinners despise his Son, and trample him under their feet. 
But he will see, if he cannot make the glory of his Son appear, 
with respect to them ; that all the earth may know how evil a 

thing it is to despise the Son of God God intends that all 

men and angels, all heaven and all earth, shall see whether he 
be sufficient to magnify himself upon sinners v/ho now despise 
him. He intends that the issue of things with respect t» 
them shall be open, that all men may see it. 

3. He hath undertaken to subdue impenitent sinners, 
fheir hearts while in this world are very unsubdued. They 
lift up their heads and conduct themselves very proudly and 
contemptuously, and often sin with an high hand. They set 
their mouths against the heavens, and their tongues walk 
through the earth. They practically say as Pharaoh did, 
" Who is the Lord ? I know not the Lord, neither will I obey 
his voice." Job xxi. 41." They say to God, Depart from us^ 
for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." 

Some, who cover their sin with specious show, who put 
on a face of religion, and a demure countenance and behav- 
ior, yet have this spirit secretly reigning in their breasts. 
Notwithstanding all their fair show, and good exLernal car- 
riage, they despise God in their hearts, and have the weapons 
of war about them, though they arc secret enemies, and carry 
their swords under their skirts. They have most proud, stub- 
born, and rebellious hearts, which are ready to rise in opposi- 


tion, to contend with him, and to find fault with his dispensa- 
tions. Their hearts are full of pride, enmity, stubbornness, 
and blasphemy, which work in them many ways, while they 
sit under the preaching of the word, and while the spirit of 
God is striving with them ; and they always continue to op- 
pose and resist God as long as they live in the world ; they 
neverlay down the weapons of their rebellion." 

But God hath undertaken to deal with them and to subd\ie 
them ; and those proud and stubborn hearts, which will not 
yield to the power of God's word, shall be broken by the pow- 
er of his hand. If they will not be willing subjects to the 
golden sceptre, and will not yield to the attractives of his love, 
they shall be subject to the force of the iron rod, whether they 
will or no. 

Them that proudly set up their own righteousness, and 
their own wills against God, God hath undertaken to bring 
down ; and without doubt, it will be done. He hath under- 
taken to make those who are now regardless of God, regard 
him. They shall know that he is Jehovah. Now they will 
not own that he is the Lord ; but they shall know it. Isa. xxvi. 
1 1 " Lord, when thine hand is lifted up, they will not see : 
But they shall see." 

Now wicked men not only hate God, but they slight him 5 
they are not afraid of him. But he will subdue their contempt. 
When he shall come to take them in hand, they will hate him 
still ; but they will not slight him ; they will not make light 
of his power as they now do ; they will sec and feel too much 

of the infinity of his power to slight it They arc now wont to 

slight his wrath ; but then they will slight it no more, they 
will be infinitely far from it, they will find by sufficient expe- 
rience that his wrath is not to be slighted : They will learn 
this to their cost, and they never will forget it. 

4. God hath undertaken to rectify their judgments. Now 
they will not be convinced of those things which God tells 
them in his word. Ministers take much pains to convince 
them, but all is in vain. Therefore God will undertake to 
convince them, and he will do it effectually Now they will 


not be convinced of the trnth of divine things. They have in> 
deed convincing argumenlb set before tliem ; they hear and 
see enough to convince them ; yet so prone are they to unbe- 
lief and Atheism, that di\ine things never seem to them to be 
real. But God will hereafter make them seem real. 

Now they are always doubting of the truth of the Scrip- 
tures, questioning whether they be the word of God, and 
^vhether the threatenings of Scripture be true. But God 
hath undertaken to convince them that those threatenings are 
true, and he will make them to know that they are true, so 
that they will never doubt any more for ever. They will be 
convinced by dear experience Now they are always ques- 
tioning whether thee be any such place as heli. They hear 
much about it, but it always seems to them like a dreanv But 

God will make it seem otherwise than a dream Now they 

are often told of the vanity of the world ; but we may as well 
preach to the beasts, to pi rsuade them of the vanity of earth- 
ly things. But God will undertake to convince them of this j 
he will hereafter give them a thorough conviction of it, so 
that they shall have a strong sense of the vanity of all these 

Now ministers often tell sinners of the great importance 
of an interest ui Christ, and that that is the one thing needful. 
They are also told the folly of delaying the care of their souls, 
and how much it concerns them to improve their opportunity. 
But the instructions of ministers do not convince them, there- 
fore ( od will undertake to convince them. 

Impenitent sinners, while in this world, hear how dread- 
ful hell is. But they will not believe that it is so dreadful as 
ministevs represent. They cannot think that they sliall to 
all eternity suffer such exquisite and horrible torments. But 
they shall be taught and convinced to purpose, that the repre- 
sentations mini^jters give of those torments, agreeable to the 
word of God, are no bugbears ; and that the wrath of God is 
indeed as dreadful as they declare Since God hath under- 
taken to deal with sinners, and to rectify their judgments in 
these matters, he will do it thoroughly ; for his work is per- 


feet ; when he undertakes to do things, he doth net do them 
by lialves ; therefore before he shall have done with sinners, 
he will convince them effectually, so that they shall never be 
in danger of relapsing into their former errors any more. 
He will convince them of their folly and stupidity in enter- 
taining such notions as they now entertain. 

Thus God hath undertaken to deal with obstinate unbe- 
lievers. They carry things on in great confusion ; but we 
need not be dismayed at it: Let us wait, and we shall see that 
God will rectify things. Sinners will not always continue to 
rebel and despise with impunity. The honor of God will in 
due time be vindicated ; and they shall be subdued and con- 
victed, and shall give an account. There is no sin, not so 
much as an idle word that they shall speak, but they must give 
an account of it; Matth. xii, 36. And their sins must be ful- 
ly balanced, and recompensed, and satisfaction obtained. Be- 
cause judgment against their evil works is not speedily exe- 
cuted, their hearts are fully set in them to do evil. Yet God 
is a righteous judge ; he will see that judgment is executed 
in due time. 

I come now, 
II. To show, that therefore impenitent sinners shall not 
avoid their due punishment. ...God hath undertaken to inflict 
it ; he hath engaged to do it; he takes it as his work, as what 
properly belongs to him, and we may expect it of him. If ho 
hath sworn by his life, that he will do it ; and if he hath pow- 
er sufficient ; if he is the living God, doubtless we shall see it 
done. And that God hath declared that he will punish im- 
penitent sinners, is manifest from many scriptures ; as Deut. 
xxxii. 41. "I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and 
will reward them that hate me." Deut. vii. lu. " He will 
not be slack to him that hatcth him : He will repay him to his 
face." Exod. xxxiv. 7. " That will by no means clear the 
guilty." Nahum i. 3. " The Lord is slow to anger, and 
great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked." 


God saith in the text, "I the Lord have spoken it, and 
yfiW do it;" which leaves no room to doubt of the actual 
fulfihnent of the threatening in its utmost extent. ...Some 
wicked men have flattered themselves, that although God hath 
threatened very dreadful things to wicked men fov their sins, 
yet in his heart he never intends to fulfil his threatenings, but 
©nly to terrify them, and make them afraid, while they live. 
But Avould the infinitely holy God, who is not a man that he 
should lie, and who speaketh no vain words, utter himself in 
4his manner: I t/ie Lord have s/ioken it, and ivill do it ; I have 
not only threatened, but I will also fulfil my threatenings ; whetl 
at the same time these words did not agree with his heart, but 
he secretly knew that though he had spoken, yet he intended 
not to do it? Who is he that dares to entertain such horrid 
blasphemy in his heart? 

No ; let no impenitent sinner flatter himself so vainly and 
foolishly. If it were indeed only a man, a being of like impo- 
tency and mutability with themselves, who had undertaken to 
deal with them ; they might perhaps with some reason flatter 
themselves, that they should find some means to avoid the 
threatened punishment. But since an omniscient, omnipo- 
tent, immutable God hath undertaken, vain are all such hopes. 

There is no hope that possibly they may steal away to 
heaven, though they die unconverted. There is no hope that 
they can deceive God by any false show of repentance and 
faith, and so be taken to heaven through mistake ; for the 
eyes of God are as a {lame of fire ; they perfectly see through 
every man ; the inmost closet of the heart is all open to him. 

There is no hope of escaping the threatened punishment 
by sinking into nothing at death, like brute creaures. Indeed^ 
many wicked men upon their deathbeds wish for this. If it 
were so, death would be nothing to them in comparison with 
what it now is. But all such wishes are vain. 

There is no hope of their escaping without notice, when 
they leave the body. There is no hope that God, by reason 
of the multiplicity of aft'airs which he hath to mind, will hap- 
pen to overlook them, and not take notice of Uiem, when the^r 


jcdme to die; and so tha.t their souls will slip away privately, 
and hide themselves in some secret conicr, and so escape di- 
vine vengeance. 

There is no hope that they shall be missed in a crowd at 
the day of judgment, and that they can have opportunity to 
hide themselves in some cave or den of the mountains, or ia 
any seci'et hole of the earth ; and that while so doing, they 
•will not be minded, by reason of the many things which will be 
the objects of attention on thatday.... Neither is there any hope 
that they will be able to croud themselves in among the mul- 
titude of the saints at the right hand of the Judge, and so go 
to heaven undiscovered....Nor is there any hope that God will 
alter his mind, or that he will repent of what he hath said ; for 
he is not the son of man that he should repent. Hath he said, 
and shall he not do it ? Hath he spoken, and shall he not 
make it good ? When did God ever undertake to do any thing 
and fail ? 

I come now, 

III. To show, that as impenitent sinners cannot shun the 
threatened punishment ; so neither can they do any thing to 
deliver themselves from it, or to relieve themselves under it. 
This is implied in those words of the text, Can thine hands be 
strong? It is with our hands that we make and accomplish 
things for ourselves. But the wicked in hell will have no 
strength of hand to accomplish any thing at all for them- 
selves, or to bring to pass any deliverance, or any degree of 

1. They will not be able in that conflict to overcome their 
enemy, and so to deUver themselves. God, who will then 
undertake to deal with them, and will gird himself with mighi 
to execute wrath, will be their enemy, and will act the part of 
an enemy with a witness ; and they will have no strength to op- 
pose him. Those who live negligentof their souls under the 
light of the gospel, act as if they supposed, that they should 
be able hereafter to make their part good with God. 1 Cor, 
>:. 22. " Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy ? Are we 


stronger than he ?".... But they will have no power, no might 
to resist that omnipotence, which will be engaged against 

2. They will have no strength in their hands to do any- 
thing to appease God, or in the least to abate the fierceness of 
his wrath. They will not be able to offer any salisfaclion : 
They will not be able to procure God's pity. Though they 
cry, God will not hear them. They will tind no price to of- 
fer to God, in order to purchase any favor, or to pay any part 
of their debt. 

3. They will not be able to find any to befriend them, and 
intercede with God for them. They had the offer of a medi- 
ator often made them in this world ; but they will have no of- 
fers of such a nature ir hell. None will befriend them. They 
■will have no friend in hell ; all there will be their enemies. 
They will have no friend in heaven : None of the saints or an- 
gels will befriend them ; or if they should, it would be to no 
purpose. There will be no creature that will have any pow- 
er to deliver them, nor will any ever pity them. 

4. Nor will ihey ever be able to make their escape. They 
•will find no means to break prison and flee. In hell they wili 
be reserved in chains of darkness for ever and ever. Male- 
factors have often found means to break prison, and escape the 
hand of civil justice. But none ever escaped out of the prison 
of hell, which is God's prison. It is a strong prison : It is be- 
yond any finite powei', or the united strength of all wicked 
men and devils, to unlock, or break open the door of that pris- 
on. Christ hath the key of hell; "he shuts and no man 

5. Nor will they ever be able to find any thing to relieve 
them in hell. They will never find any resting place there ; 
any place of respite; any secret corner, which will be cooler 
than the rest, where they may have a little respite, a small 
abatement of the extremity of their torment They never 
will be able to find any cooling stream or fountain, in any part 
of that world of torment; no, nor so much as a drop of water 
t6 cool their tongues. They will find no company to gha 


them any comfort, or to do them the least good. They will 
find no place, where they can remain ind rest, and take 
breath for one minute : For they will be tormented with fire 
and brimstone; and will have no rest day nornight for ever 
and ever. 

Thus impenitent sinners will be able neither to shun the 
punishment threatened, nor to deliver themselves from it, nor 
to find any relief under it, 

I come now, 

IV. To show, that neither will they be able to bear it. 
Neither will their hands be strong to deliver themselves from 
it, nor will their hearts be able to endure it. It is common 
with men, when they meet with calamities in this world, in 
the first place to endeavor to shun them. But if they find, 
that they cannot shun them, then after they are come, they 
endeavor to deliver themselves from them as soon as thej 
can ; or at least, to o^-der things so, as to deliver themselves 
in some degree. But if they find that they can by no means de- 
liver themselves, and see that the case is so that they must 
bear them; then they set themselves, to bear them: They 
fortify their spirits, and take up a resolution, that they will 
support themselves under them as well as they can. They 
clothe themselves with all the resolution and courage they are 
masters of, to keep their spirits from sinking under their ca- 

But it will be utterly in vain for impenitent sitiners to 
think to do thus with respect to the torments of hell. They 
will not be able to endure them, or at all to support them- 
selves under them: The torment will be immensely beyond 
their strength. What will it signify for a worm, which is 
about to be pressed under the weight of some great rock, to 
be let fall with its whole weight upon it, to coliectits strength, 
to set itself to bear up the weight of the rock, and to preserve 
itself from being crushed by it ? Much more in vain will it be 
for a poor damned soul, to endeavor to support itself under 
;he weight of the wrath of Almighty God. What is the 

Vol. VII. 3 A 


strength of man, who is but a worm, to support himsel? 
against the power of Jehovah, and against the fierceness of his 
wrath ? What is man's strength, when set to bear up against 
the exertions of infinite power? Matth. xxi. 44. " Whosoev- 
er shall fall on this stone shall b^ broken ; but on whomsoever 
it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." 

When sinners hear of hell torments, they sometimes think 
with themselves : Well, if it shall come to that, that I must 
go to hell, I will bear it as well as I can : As if by cloathing 
themselves with resolution and firmness of mind, they would 
be able to support themselves in some measure : When alas ! 
They will have no resolution, no courage at all. However, 
they shall have prepared themselves, and collected their 
strength ; yet as soon as they shall begin to feel that wrath, 
their hearts will melt and be as water. However, before they 
may seem to harden their hearts, in order to prepare them- 
selves to bear, yet the first moment they feel it, tlieir hearts 
will become like wax before the furnace. Their courage and 
resolution will be all gone in an instant ; it will vanish away 
like a shadoAv in the twinkling of an eye. The stoutest and 
most sturdy will have no more courage than the feeblest in- 
fant : Let a man be an infant, or a giant, it will be all one. 
They will not be able to keep alive any courage, any strength, 
any comfort, any hope at all. 

I come now as was proposed, 

V. To answer an enquiry which may naturally be r^sed 
concerning these things. 

Enquiry. Some may be ready to say, If this be the case, 
if impenitent sinners can neither shun future punishment, nor 
deliver themselves from it, nor bear it ; then what will become 
of them ? 

Answer. They will wholly sink down into eternal death. 
There will be that sinking of heart, of which we now cannot 
conceive. We see how it is with the body when in extreme 
pain. The nature of the body will support itself for a consid- 
erable time under very great pain, so as to keep from wholly 


sinking. There will be great struggles, lamentable groans 
and panting, and it may be convulsions. These are the strug- 
glings of nature to support itself under the extremity of the 
pain. There is, as it were, a great loathness in nature to yield 
to it ; it cannot bear wholly to sink. 

But yet sometimes pain of body is so very extreme and 
exquisite, that the nature of the body cannot support itself un- 
der it ; however loath it may be to sink, yet it cannot bear the 
pain ; there are a few struggles, and throws, and pantings, 
and it may he a shriek or two, and then nature yields to the vi- 
olence of the torments, sinks down, and the body dies. This 
is the death of the body. So it will be with the soul in hell ; 
it will have no strength or power to deliver itself; and its tor- 
ment and horror will be so great, so mighty, so vastly dispro- 
portioned to its strength, that having no strength in the least 
to support itself, although it be infinitely contrary to the nature 
and inclination of the soul utterly to sink ; yet it will sink, it 
will utterly and totally sink, without the least degree of re- 
maining comfort, or strength, or courage, or hope. And 
though it will never be annihilated, its being and perception 
will never be abolislied ; yet such will be the infinite depth of 
gloominess that it wiU sink into, that it will be in a state of 
death, eternal death. 

The nature of man desires happiness ; it is the nature of 
the soul to crave a^d tkirst after wellbeing ; and if it be under 
misery, it eagerly pants after relief; and the greater the mis- 
ery is, the more eagerly doth it struggle for help. But if all 
relief be withholden, all strength overborn, all support utter- 
ly gone ; then it sinks into the darkness of death. 

We can conceive but little of the matter ; we cannot con- 
ceive what that sinking of the soul in such a case is. But to 
help your conception, imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery 
oven, all of a glowing heat, or into the midst of a glowing 
brickkiln, or of a great furnace, where your pain would be as 
much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a 
coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that your 
body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of five, as 


full within and without as a bright coalof fire, all the while fuU 
of quick sense ; what horror would you feel at the entrance of 
$uch a fui-nace ! And how long would that quarter of an hour 
seem to you 1 If it were to be measured by a glass, how long 
woi'ld the glass seem U be a running I And after you had en- 
dured it for one minute, how overbearing would it be to you 
to think that you had it to endure the other fourteen ! 

But what would be the effect on your soul, if you knew 
you must lie there enduring that torment to the full for twen- 
tyfour hours ! And how much greater would be the effect, if 
you knew you must endure it for a whole year ; and how vast- 
ly greater still, if you knew you must endure it for a thousand 
years 1 O then, how would your hearts sink, if you thought, if 
you knew, that you must bearit for ever and ever ! That there 
would be no end ! That after millions of millions of ages, 
your torment would be no nearer to an end, than ever it was ; 
and that you never, never should he delivered! 

But your torment in hell will be immensely greater than 
this illustration represents. How then will the heart of a 
poor creature sink under it I How utterly inexpressible and 
inconceivable must the sinking of the soul be in such a case i 

This is the death threatened in the law. This is dying in 
t^ie highest sense pf the word. This is to die sensibly; to 
die and know it ; to be sensible ol the gloom of death. Thi^ 
is to be undone; this is worthy of the name of destruction. 
This sinking of the soul under an infinite weight, which it 
cannot bear, is the gloom of hell. We read in scripture of the 
blackness of darkness ; this is it, this is the very thing. WiP 
read in scripture of sinners being lost, and of their losing their 
souls: This is the thing intended; this is to loose the soul : 
They that are the subjects of this are utterly lost. 


This subject may be applied in an use o{ ati^akenivg to im- 

Ppnitent sinners What h^itli been said under this doctrine is 

for thee, O impenitcnL sinner, O poor wrttch, who art iu the 


/same miserable state in which thou earnest into the world, ex- 
cepting that thou art loaded with vastly greater guilt by thine 
actual sins. These dreadful things which thou hast heard are 
for thee, who art yet unconverted, and still remainest an alien 
and stranger, without Christ and without God in the world. 
They are for thee, who to this day remainest an enemy to God, 
and a child of the devil, even in this remarkable season, when 
others both here and elsewhere, far and near, are flocking to 
Chi-ist ; for thee who hearest the noise, the fame ot these 
things, but knowest nothing of the power of godliness in thine 
own heart. 

Whoever thou art, whether young or old, little or great, 
if thou art in a Christless, unconverted state, this is the M^rath, 
this is the death to which thou art condemned. This is the 
wrath that abideth on thee ; this is the hell over which thou 
hangest, and into which thou art ready to drop every day and 
every night. 

If thou shalt remain blind, and hard, and dead in sin a little 
longer, this destruction will come upon thee : God hath spok- 
en and he will do it. It is vain for thee to flatter thyself with 
hopes that thou shalt avoid it, or to say in thine heart, perhaps 
it will not be ; perhaps it will not be just so ; perhaps things 
have been represented worse than they are. If thou wilt not 
be convinced by the word preached to thee by men in the 
name of God, God himself will undertake to convince thee. 
Ezek. xiv. 4, 7, 8. 

Doth it seem to thee not real that thou shalt suff"er such a, 
dreadful destruction, because it seems to thee that thou dost 
not deserve it ? And because thou dost not see any thing so 
horrid in thyself, as to answer such a dreadful punishment ?.... 
Why is it that thy wickedness doth not seem bad enough to 
deserve this punishment ? The reason is, that thou loyest 
thy wickedness ; thy wickedness seems good to thee ; it ap>. 
pears lovely to thee ; thou dost not see any hatefulness in it, 
or to be sure, any such hatefulness as to answer such misery. 

But know, thou stupid, blind, hardened wretch, that God 
doth noi see, as thou seest with thy polluted eyes : Thy sin.s 


in his sight are infinitely abominable Thou knowest that 

thou hast a thousand and a thousand times made light of the 
Majesty of God. And why should not that Majesty, which 
thou hast tlius despised, be manifested in the greatness of thy 
punishment I Thou hast often heard what a great and dread- 
ful God Jehovah is ; but thou hast made so lightof it, that thou 
hast not been afraid of him, thou hast not been afraid to sin 
against him, nor to go on day after day, by thy sins, to provoke 
him to wrath, nor to cast his commands under foot, and tram- 
ple on them. Now- why may not God, in the greatness of thy 
destruction, justly vindicate and manifest the greatness of that 
Majesty, which thou hast despised I 

Thou hast despised the mighty power of God ; thou hast 
not been afraid of it. Now why is it not fit that God should 
show the greatness of his power in thy ruin. What king is 
there who will not show his authority in the punishment of 
those subjects that despise it ! And who will not vindicate his 
royal Majesty in executing vengeance on those that rise in re- 
bellion ? And art thou such a fool as to think that the great 
King of heaven and earth, befoi'c whom all other kings are 
so many grasshoppers, will not vindicate his kingly Majesty 
on such contemptuous rebels as thou art !...,Thou art very 
much mistaken if thou thinkest so. If thou be regardless of 
God's Majesty, be it known to thee, God is not regardless of 
his own Majesty ; he taketh care of the honor of it, and he 
will vindicate it. 

Think it not strange that God should deal so severely with 
thee, or that the wrath which thou shalt suffer should be so 
great. Tor as great as it is, it is no greater than that love of 
God which thou hast despised. The love of God, and his 
grace, condescension, and pity to sinners in sending his Son 
into the world to die for them, is every whit as great and won- 
derful as this inexpressible wrath. This mercy hath been 
held forth to thee, and described in its wonderful greatness 
hundreds of times, and as often hath it been offered to thee ; 
but thou wouldst not accept Christ ; thou wouidst not have 
this great love of God ; thou despisedst God's dying love ; 


thou trampledst the benefits of it under foot. Now why 
shouldst thou not have wrath as great as that love and mercy 
which thou despisest and rejectest ? Doth it seem incredible 
to thee, that God should so harden his heart against a poor 
sinner, as so to destroy him, and to bear him down with infin- 
ite power and merciless wrath ? And is this a greater thing 
than it is for thee to harden thy heart, as thou hast done, 
against infinite mercy, and against the dying love of God ? 

Doth it seem to thee incredible, that God should be so ut- 
terly i-egardless of the sinner's welfare, as so to sink him into 
an infinite abyss of misery ? Is this shocking to thee ? And is 
it not at all shocking to thee, that thou shouldst be so utterly 
regardless as thou hast been of the honor and glory of the in- 
finite God ? 

It arises from thy foolish stupidity and senselessness, and 
is because thou hast an heart of stone, that thou art so sense- 
less of thine own wickedness, as to think that thou hast not de- 
served such a punishment, and that it is to thee incredible that 

it will be inflicted upon thee But if, when all is said and 

done, thou be not convinced, wait but a little while, and thou 
■wilt be convinced : God will undertake to do the work which 

ministers cannot do Though judgment against thine evil 

works be not yet executed, and God now let thee alone : Yet 
he will soon come upon thee with his great power, and then 
thou shalt know what God is, and what thou art. 

Flatter not thyself, that if these things shall prove true, 
and the worst shall come, thou wilt set thyself to bear it as 
well as thou canst. What will it signify to set thyself to bear, 
and to collect thy strength to support thyself, when thou shalt 
fall into the hands of that omnipotent King, Jehovah ? He that 
made thee, can make his sword approach unto thee. His 
sv'ord is not the sword of man, nor is his wrath the wrath of 
man. If it were, possibly stoutness might be maintained un- 
der it. But it is the fierceness of the wrath of the great GotU 
who is able lo baiRc and dissipate all thy strength in a moment. 
He can fill thy poor soul with an ocean of wrath, a deluge of 
fire and brimstone ; or he can make it ten thousand times 


fuller of torment than ever an oven was full of fire ; and at 
the same time, can fill it with despair of ever seeing any end 
to its torment, or any rest from its misery : And then where 
will be thy strength ? What will become of thy courage then'? 
What will signify thine attempts to bear ? 

What art thou in the hands of the great God, who made 
heaven and earth by speaking a word ? What art thou, when 
dealt with by that strength, which manages all this vast uni- 
verse, holds the globe of the earth, directs all the motions of 
the heavenly bodies from age to age, and, when the fixed time 
shall come, will shake all to pieces ?... .There are other wick- 
ed beings a thousand times stronger than thou : There are 
the great Leviathans, strong and proud spirits of a gigantic 
stoutness and hardiness. But how little are they in the hands 
of the great God ! they are less than weak infants ; they are 
nothing, and less than nothing in the hands of an angry God, 

as will appear at the day of judgment Their hearts will be 

broken ; they will sink ; they will have no strength nor cour- 
age left ; they will be as weak as water ; their souls will sink 

down into an infinite gloom, and abyss of death and despair 

Then what will become of thee, a poor worm, when thoushalt 
fall into the hands of that God, when he shall come to show 
his wrath, and make his power known on thee ? 

If the strength of all the wicked men on earth, and of all 
tlie devils in hell, were united in one, and thou wert possessed 
of it all; and if the courage, greatness, and stoutness of all 
their hearts were united in thy single heart, thou wouldst bo 
nothing in the hands of Jehovah, If it were all collected, and 
thou shouldst set thyself to bear as well as thou couldst, all 
would sink under his great wrath in an instant, and would be 
utterly abolished : Thine hands would drop down at once, and 

thine heart would melt as wax The great mountains, the 

firm rocks, cannot stand before the power of God ; as fast as 
they stand, they are tossed hither and thither, and skip like 
lambs, when God appears in his anger. He can tear the eartii 
in pieces in a moment ; yea, he can shatter the whole unx- 


veMe, and dash it to pieces at one blow. How then will thine 
hands be strong, or thine heart endure I 

Thou canst not stand before a lion of the fores^ ; an angrj^ 
urild beast, if stirred up, wiU easily tear such an one as thou 
art in pieces. Yea, not only so, but thou art crushed before 
the moth- A little thing, a little worm or spider, or som^ 
such insect, is abl6 to kill thee. What then canst thou do in 
the hands of God ? It is vain to set the briers and thorns ia 
fcattle array against glowing flames ; the points of thorns, 
though sharp, do nothing to withstand the fire. 

Some of you have seen buildings on fire ; imagine there* 
fore with yourselves, what a poor hand you would make at 
fighting with the flames, if you were in the midst of so great 
and fierce a fire. You have often seen a spider, or some oth- 
er noisome insect, when thrown into the midst of a fierce fire, 
and have observed how immediately it yields to the force of 
the flames. There is no long struggle, no fighting against 
the fire, no strength exerted to oppose the heat, or to fiy from 
it ; but it immediately stretches forth itself and yields ; and. 
the fire takes possession of it, and at once it becomes full of 

fire, and is burned into a bright coal Here is a little image 

of what you will be the subjects of in hell, except you repent 
and fly to Christ. However you may think, that vou will for- 
tify yourselves, and bear as well as you can ; the first moment: 
you shall be cast into hell, all your strength will sink and bp 
utterly abolished. To encourage yourselves, that you will set 
yourselves to bear hell torments as well as you can, is just as 
if a worm, that is about to be thrown into a glowing furnace; 
should swell and fortify itself, and prepare itself to fight the 

What can you do with lightnings ? What doth it signify- 
to fight with them ? What an absurd figure would a poor 
■weak man make, who, in a thunderstorm, should expect aflash 
of lightning on his head or his breast, and should go forth 
sword in hand to oppose it ; when a stream of brimstone 
would, in an instant, drink up all his spirits and his life, ^nd 
raelt his sv>'brd ! 

Vol.. VI T. 1 E 


Consider these things, all you enemies of God, and reject- 
ors of Christ, whether you be old men and women, Christless' 
heads of families, or young people and wicked children. Be 
assured, that if you do not hearken and repent, God intends to 
show his wrath, and make his power known upon you. He 
intends to magnify himself exceedingly in sinking you down 
in hell. He intends to show his great majesty at the day of 
judgment, before a vast assembly, in your misery ; before a 
greater assembly many thousandfold than ever yet appcai-ed 
on earth ; before a vast assembly of saints, and a vast assem- 
bly of wicked men, a vast assembly of holy angels, and before 
all the crew of devils. God will before all these get himself 
honor in your destruction ; you shall be tormented in the 

presence of them all Then all will see that God is a great 

God indeed ; then all will see how dreadful a thing it is to sin 
against such a God, and to reject such a Saviour, such love 
and grace, as you have rejected and despised. All will be fill- 
ed with awe at the great sight, and all the saints and angels 
will look upon you, and adore that majesty, aiid that mighty 
power, and that holiness and justice of God, which shall ap^ 
pear in your ineffable destruction and misery. 

It is probable that here are some, who hear me tliis day, 
■who at this very moment are unawakened, and are in a great 
degree careless about their souls. I fear there are some 
among us who are most fearfully hardened : Their hearts 
are harder than the very rocks. It is easier to make impres- 
sions upon an adamant than upon their hearts, I suppose 
some of you have heard all that I have said with ease and qui- 
etness : It appears to you as great big sounding words, but 
doth not reach your hearts. You have heard such things 
many times : You are old soldiers, and have been too much 
used to the roaring of heaven's cannon, to be frighted at it. 
It will therefore probably be in vain for me to say any thing 
further to you ; I will only put you in mind that ere long God 
will deal with you. I cannot deal with you, you despise what 
T say ; I have no power to make you sensible of your danger 


and misery, and of the dreadfulness of the wrath of God. The 
attempts of men in this way have often proved vain. 

However, God hath undertaken to deal with such men as 
you are. It is his manner commonly first to let men try their 
utmost strength ; particularly to let ministers try, that thus 
he may show ministers their own weakness and impotency ; 
and when they have done what they can, and all fails, then 

God takes the matter into his own hands So it seems by 

your obstinacy, as if God intended to undertake to deal with 
you. He will undertake to subdue you ; he will see, if he 
cannot cure you of your senselessness and regardlessness of 
his threatenings. And you will be convinced ; you will be 
subdued effectually ; your hearts will be broken with a wit- 
ness ; your strength will be utterly broken, your courage and 
hope will sink. God will surely break those who will not 

bow God, having girded himself with his power and wrath, 

hath heretofore undertaken to deal with many hard, stubborn, 
senseless, obstinate hearts ; and he never failed, he always did 
his work thoroughly. 

It will not be long before you will be wonderfully changed. 
You who now hear of hell and the wrath of the great God, and 
■sit here in these seats so easy and quiet, and go away so care- 
less ; by and by will shake, and tremble, and cry out, and 
shriek, and gnash your teeth, and will be thoroughly convin- 
ced of the vast weight and importance of these great things, 
which you now despise. You will not then need to hear ser- 
mons in order to make you sensible ; you will be at a suffi- 
•cient distance from slighting that wrath and power of God, of 
which you now hear with so much quietness and indifference* 


The Eternity of Hell Tormeilt^- 

arATTHEW XXV. ^6. 


IN this chapter we have the most particular descrip* 
lion of the day of judgment, of any that we have in the whol^ 
Bible. Christ here declares, that when he shall hereafter ait 
on the throne of his glory, the righteous and the wicked shall 
'be set before him, and separated one from the other, as a shep- 
herd divideth his sheep from the goats. Then we have an 
'account how both will be judged according to their works j 
how the good works of the one and the evil works of the oth- 
*r will be rehearsed, and how the sentence shall be pronounc- 
ed accordingly. We are told what the sentence will be on 
each, and then in the verse of the text, we have an account of 
the execution of the sentence on both the righteous and the 
wicked. In the words of the text is the ascount of the exe- 
cution of the sentence on the wicked or the ungodly : Con- 
cerning which, it is to my purpose to observe two things. 

1. The duration of the punishment on which they are here 
said to enter : It is called cvcrlastwg punishment. 

2. The time of their entrance on this everlasting punish- 
ment ; viz. after the day of judgment, at the end of the 
\vorld, when uli these things that are of a temporary continu- 

* Sated April, 1739. 


ance shall have come to an end, and even those of them that 
are most lasting, the frame of the world itself ; the earth 
which is said to abide forever ; the ancient mountains and ev« 
erlasting hills ; the sun, moon and stars. When the heavens 
shall hav« waxed old like a garment, and as a vesture shall be 
changed, then shall be the time when the wicked shall enter 
on their punishment. 

Doctrine. The misery of the wicked in hell will be ab- 
solutely eternal. 

There are two diverse opinions that I mean to oppose in 
this doctrine. One is. That the eternal death that wicked mea 
are threatened with in scripture, signifies no more than eternal 
annihilation ; that men will be the subjects of etei-nal death, 
as they will be slain, and their life finally and forever be extin- 
guished by God's anger ; that God will punish their wicked- 
ness by eternally abolishing their being, and so that they shall 
suffer eternal death in this sense, that they shall be eternally 
dead, and never more come to life. 

The other opinion which I mean to oppose, is. That though 
the punishmentof the wicked shall consist in sensible misery, 
yet it shall not be absolutely eternal ; but only of a very lon^ 

Therefore to establish the doctrine in opposition to these 
different opinions, I shall undertake to show, 

I. That it is not contrary to the divine perfections to in- 
•^ct on wicked men a punishment that is absolutely eternaL 

IL That the eternal death which God threatens, is not an* 
:^hilatioDy but an abiding sensible punishment or misery. 

in. That this misery will not only continue for a very 
Jong time, but will be absolutely without end. 

IV. That various good ends will be obtained by the eter- 
f^al punishment of the wicked. 


I. I am to show that it is not contrary to the divine perfec- 
tions to inflict on wicked men a punishment that is absolutely 

This is the sum of the objections usually made against 
this doctrine, That it is inconsistent with the justice, and es- 
pecially with the mercy of God. And some say, If it be strict- 
ly just, yet, how can we suppose that a merciful God can bear 
eternally to torment his creatures ? 

1. Then I shall briefly show. That it is not inconsistent 
•with the justice of God to inflict an eternal punishment. To 
crvince this, I shall use only one argument, viz. that sin is hein- 
ous enough to deserve such a punishment, and such a pun» 
ishment is no more than proportionable to the evil or demerit 
<jf sin. If the evil of sin be infinite, as the punishment is, then 
it is manifest that the punishment is no more than proportion- 
able to the sin punished, and is no more than sin deserves. 
And if the obligation to love, honor, and obey God be infinite, 
then sin which is the violation of this obligation, is a violation 
of infinite obligation, and so is an infinite evil. Agwn, if God 
be infinitely worthy of love, honor, and obedience, then our 
obligation to love, and honor, and obey him is infinitely great. 
So that God being infinitely glorious, or infinitely worthy of 
our love, honor, and obedience ; our obligation to love, honor, 
and obey him, and so to avoid all sin, is infinitely great. Again, 
our obligation to love, honor, and obey God being infinitely 
great, sin is the violation of infinite obligation, and so is an in- 
finite evil. Once more, sin being an infinite evil, deserves an 
infinite punishment, an infinite punishment is no more than it 
deserves : Therefore such punishment is just ; which was 
the thing to be proved. There is no evading the force of this 
reasoning, but by denying that God, the sovereign of the uni- 
verse, is infinitely glorious ; which I presume none of my 
hearers will adventure to do. 

2. I am to show, That it is not inconsistent with the mer- 
cy of God, to inflict an eternal punishment on wicked men. 
It is an unreasonable and unscriplural notion of the mercy of 
God, that he is merciful in such a sense that lie cuuaot beaf 


that penal justice should be executed. This is to conceive of 
the mercy of God as a passion to which his nature is so subject 
that God is liable to be moved, and afiected, and overcome by- 
seeing a creatux'e in misery, so that he cannot bear to see jus- 
tice executed ; which is a most unworthy and absurd notion, 
of the mercy of God, and would, if true, argue great weakness. 
It would be a great defect, and not a perfection, in the Sover- 
eign and Supreme Judge of the world, to be merciful in such 
a sense that he could no bear to have penal justice executed. 
It is a very unscriptural notion of the mercy of God. The 
scriptures every where I'epresent the mercy of God as free and 
sovereign, and not that the exercises of it are necessary, s» 
that God cannot bear justice should take place. The scrip- 
tures abundantly speak of it as the glory of the divine attribute 
of mercy, that it is free and sovereign in its exercises; and 
not that it is so, that God cannot help but deliver sinners from 
misery. This is a mean and most unworthy idea of the divine 

It is most absurd also as it is contrary to plain fact. For 
if there be any meaning in the objection, this is supposed in it^ 
that ail misery of the creature, whether just or unjust, is m. 
itself contrary to the nature of God. For if his mercy be of 
such a nature, that a very great degree o: ri-.iocry, though 
just, is contrary to his nature ; then it is only to add to the 
inercy, and then a less degree of misery is contrary to his na- 
ture ; agvdn to add further to it, and a still less degree of mis- 
ery is contrary to his nature. And so, the mercy of God be- 
ing infinite, all misery must be contrary to his nature ; which 
we see to be contrary to fact; for we see that God in his 
providence, doth indeed inflict very great calamities on man- 
kind even in this life. 

However strong such kind of objections against the eter- 
nal misery of the wicked, inay seem to the curnal, senseless 
hearts of men, as though it were against God's justice and 
inercy ; yet their seeming strength, and its seeming to be in- 
credible that God should give over any of his creatures to such 
a dreadful calamity, as eternal, helples;; misery and torment. 


altogether arises from a want of a sense of the infinite evii, 
odiousness and provocation that there is in sin. Hence it seems 
to us not suitable that any poor creature should be the subject 
of such misery, because we have no sense of any thing abom- 
inable and provokinij in any creature answerable to it. If we 
had, then this infinite calamity would not seem unsuitable. 
For one thing would but appear answerable and proportiona- 
ble to another, and so the mind would rest in it as fit and suit- 
able, and no more than what is proper to be ordered by the 
just, holy and good Governor of the world. 

That this is so we may be convinced by this consideration, 
viz. that when we hear or read, as sometimes we do, of very 
horrid things committed by some men, as for instance, some 
horrid instance of cruelty, it may be to some poor innocent 
child, or some holy martyr; when we read or hear how such 
and such persons delighted themselves in lortuiing them with 
lingering torments ; what terrible distress the poor innocent 
creatures were in under their hands for many days together; 
and their cruel persecvUors, having no regard to their shrieks 
and cries, only sported themselves with their misery, and 
would not vouchsafe even to put an end to their lives : I say, 
•when we hear or read of such things, we have a sense of the 
evil of them, and they make a deep impression on our minds. 
Hence it seems just, and not only so, but every way fit and 
suitable, that God should inflict a very terrible punishment on 
persons who have perpetrated such wickedness : It seems no 
way disagreeable to any perfection of the Judge of the woi-ldj- 
■we can think of it without being at all shocked. The reason 
is, that we have a sense of the evilof their conduct, and a sense 
of the proportion there is between the evil or demerit of their 
conduct and the punishment. 

Just so if we saw a proportion between the evil of sin and 
eternal punishment, if we saw something in wicked men iliat 
should appear as hateful to us, as eternal misery appears 
dreadful ; something that should as much stir up indignation 
and detestation, as eternal misery does terror; all objections 
against this doctrine would vanish at once. Though now it 

Eternity of hell torments. 401 

seem incredible ; though when we hear of it and are so often 
told of it, we know not how to realize it ; though when we 
hear of sUch a degree and duration of^ torments as are held 
forth in this doctrine, and think what eternity is, it is ready to 
seem impossible, that such torments should be inflicted on 
poor feeble creatures by a Creator of infinite mercy: yet this 
arises principally from these two causes, (1.) That it is so 
contrary to the depraved inclinations of mankind, they are so 
arerse to the truth of this doctrine, they hate to believe it, and 
cannot bear it should be true. (2.) That they see not the 
suitableness of eternal punishment to the evil of sin ; they see 
not that eternal punishment is proportionable and no more 
than proportionable to the demerit of sin. 

Having thus sht>wn that the eternal punishment of the 
wicked is not inconsistent with the divine perfections, I shall 
now proceed further, and show that it is so far from being ip- 
consistent v.ith the divine perfections, that those perfections 
evidently require it ; i. e. they require that sin should have so 
great a punishment, either in the person who has committed 
it, or in a surety ; and thei'efore with respect to those who be- 
lieve not in the surety, and have no interest in him, the divine 
perfections require tliat this punishment should be inflicted on 

This appears, as it is not only not unsuitable that sin should 
be thus punished ; but it is positively suitable, decent, and 
proper. If tliis be made to appear, that it is positively suitable 
that sin should be thus punished, then it will follow, that the 
perfections of God require it; for certainly the perfections of 
God requii'e that that should be done which is proper to be 
done. The perfection and excellency of the nature of God 
require that that should take place which is perfect, excellent 
and proper in its own nature. But that sin should be punish- 
»ed eternally is such a thing ; which appears by the fallowing 

1. It is suitable that God should infinitely hate sin, and be 
an infinite enemy to it. Sin, as I have before shown, is an in- 
finite evil, and therefore is infmitelv odious and deteptahle. It 

Vol.. VIT. r. C 


is proper thut God should hate every evil, and hate it accor<i- 
ing to its odious and detestable nature. And sin being infi- 
nitely evil and odious, it is proper that God should hate it in- 

2. If infinite hatred of sin be suitable to the divine charac- 
ter, then the expressions of such hatred are also suitobleto his 
character. . If it be suitable that God should hate sin, then it 
b suitable he should express that hatred. Because that which 
is suitable to be, is suitable to be expressed ; that which is 
lovely in itself, is lovely when it appears. If it be suitable 
that God should be an infinite enemy to sin, or that he should 
hate it infinitely, then it is suitable that he should act as such 
an enemy. No possible reason can be given why it is not suit- 
able for Grod to act as such an one, as it is suitable for him to 
be. If it be suitable that he should hate and have enmity 
against sin, then it is suitable for him to express that hatred 
and enmity in that to which hatred and enmity by its own na- 
ture tends. ...But certainly hatred in its own nature tends to 
opposition, and to set itself against that which is hated, and to 
procure its evil and not its good : And that in proportion to 
the hatred. Great hatred naturally tends to the gi-eat evil, and 
infinite hatred to the infinite evil of its object,. 

Whence it follows, that if it be suitable that there should 
be infinite hatred of sin in God, as I ha^-e shown it is, it is suit- 
able that he should execute an infinite punishment on it ; and 
so the perfections of God require that he should punish sin 
■with an infinite, or which is the same thing, with an etenud 

Thus we see not only the great-objection against this doc- 
trine answered, but the truth of the doctrine established by 

I now proceed further to establish it by considering the 
remaining particulars under the doctrine. 

II. That eternal death or punishment which God threat- 
ens to the wicked, is ivot annihilation, but im abiding seusibl<? 
punishment or misery. 


The truth of this proposition will appear by the following 

1. The scripture every where represents the punishment 
of the wicked, as implying very extreme pains and sufferings; 
t>ut a slate of annihilation is no state of suffering at all. Per- 
sons annihilated have no sense or feeling of pain or pleasure, 
and much less do they feel that punishment which carries in it 
an extreme pain or suffering. They no more suffer to eter- 
nity than they did suffer from eternity. 

2. It is agreeable both to scripture and reason to suppose, 
that the wicked will be punished in such a manner, that they 
shall be sensible of the punishment they are under; that they 
should be sensible that now God has executed and fulfilled 
what he threatened, and which they disregarded, and would 
not believe ; that they should know themselves that justice 
takes place upon them ; that they should see and find that God 
vindicates that Majesty which they despised ; that they should 
see that God is not so despicable a being as they thought him 
to' be; that they should be sensible for v/hat they are punish- 
ed, while they are under the threatened punishment ; that 
they should be sensible of their own guilt, and should remem- 
ber their former opportunities and obligations, and should see 
their own folly and God's justice. If the eternal punishment 
threatened be eternal annihilation, when it is inflicted, they 
will never know that it is inflicted ; they will never know that 
God is just in their punishment, or that they have their des- 
erts. And how is this agreeable to the scripture, in which 
God threatens, that he will repay the wicked to his face, Deut. 
vii. 10. And to that in Job xxL 19.20. Speaking there of 
God's punishing wicked men, it is said, "God rewardeth him, 
and he shall know it ; his eyes shall see his destruction, and 
he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty." And to that in 
Ezekiel xxii. 21, 22. "Yea, I will gather you, and blow up- 
on you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the 
midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the fur- 
nace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall 
know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you." 


And how it is agreeable to that expression so often annexed 
to the threatenings of God's wrath against wicked men, ^nd 
ye shall knoiv that lam the Lord ? 

S. The scripture teaches, that the Wicked will suffer dif- 
lerent degrees of torment, according to the different aggrava- 
tions of their sins. Matth v. 22. " Whosoever is angry with 
his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judg- 
ment ; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be 
in danger of the council ; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, 
shall be in dangier of hellfire." Here Christ teaches us, that 
the torments of \yicked men will be different in different per- 
sons, according to the different degrees of their guilt. It shall 
be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, for Tyre and 
Sidon, than for the cities where most of Christ's mighty works 
were wrought. Again, our Lord assures us. That he that 
knoweth his Lord's will, and prepareth not himself, nor doth 
according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But 
he that knoweth not, and committeth things worthy of stripes, 
shall be beaten with few stripes. These several passages of 
scripture prove, that there will be different degrees of pun- 
ishment in hell ; which is utterly inconsistent with the suppo- 
sition, that that punishment consists in annihilation, in which 
there can be no degrees, but is the same thing to every one 
who is a subject of it. 

4. The scriptures are veiy express and abundant in this 
matter, That the eternal punishment of the wicked will con- 
sist in sensible misery and torment, aiid not in annihilation. 
What is said of Judas is worthy to be observed here, " It had 
been good for that man if he had not been born ;" Matth. xxvi. 
24. This seems plainly to teach us, that the punishment of 
the wicked is such that their existence, upon the whole, is 
ivorse than nonexistence. But if their punishment consists 
merely in annihilation, this is not true. The wicked, in their 
punishment, are said to nveefi. and nvail^ and gnash their teeth ; 
which implies not only real existence, but life, knowledge, 
and activity, and that they are in a very sensible and exquis- 
ite manner afl'ected with their punishment. In Isuiah xxxiij^ 


14. Sinners in the state of their punishment are repre- 
sented (0 dwell with everlasting burnings. But if they are 
only turned into nothing, where is the foundation for this 
representation ? It is absurd to say, that sinners v\ill dwellwith 
annihilation ; for there is no dwelling in the case. It is also 
absurd to call annihilation a burning^ which implies a state of 
existence, sensibility, and extreme pain ; whereas in annihi- 
lation, there is neither one nor another of these The state 

of the future punishmentof the wicked is evidently represent- 
ed to be a state of existence and sensibiihy, when it is said, 
that tliey shall be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone. How 
can this expression with any propriety be understood to mean 
a state of annihilation ?....Yea, they are expressly said to ha-ve 
no rest day nor night, but to be tormented with fire and brim- 
stone for ever and ever. Rev. xx. 10. But annihilation is a 
state of rest, a state in which not the least tormeyit can possibly 

be suffei-ed The rich man in hell lifted iifi his eyes being in 

torment, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, 
and entered into a particular conversation with Abraham j all 
which proves^ that he was-not annihilated. 

The spirits of ungodly men before the resurrection are 
not in a state of annihilation, but in a state of miseiy ; they 
are spirits in prison, as the Apostle saith of them that were 
drowned in the flood, 1 Pet. iii. 19, ....And this appears very 
plainly from the instance of the rich man before mentioned, 
if we consider him as representing the wicked in their sepa- 
rate state between death and the resurrection. But if tlic 
wicked even then, are in a state of torment, much more will 
they be, when they shall come to suffer that which is the 
proper punishment of their sins. 

Annihilation is not so great a calamity but that some men 
have undoubtedly chosen it, rather than such a state of suffer- 
ing as they have been in even in this life. This was the case 
of Job, a good man, Burt if a good man in this world may suf- 
fer that which is worse than annihilation, doubtless the prop- 
er punishment of the wicked, in which God means to mani- 
fest his peculiar abhorrence of their wickedness^ will be a ca- 


lamity vastly greater still ; and therefore cannot be annihila- 
tion. That must be a very mean and contemptible testimo- 
ny of God's wrath towards those who have rebelled against 
his crown and dignity, have broken his laws, and despised 
both his vengeance and his grace, which is not so great a ca- 
lamity as some of his true cliildren have suffered in life. 

The eternal punishment of the wicked is said to be the 

second deathy once and again, as Rev. xx. 14. and xxi. 8 It 

is doubtless called the second death in reference to the death 
of the body ; and as the death of the body is ordinarily attend- 
ed M'ith great pain and distress, so the like, or something 
vastly greater, is implied in calling the eternal punishment of 
tlie wicked the second death ; and there would be no propriety 
in calling it so, if it consisted merely in annihilation. And 
this second death wicked men will suffer ; for it cannot be 
called the second death with respect to any other than men j 
it cannot be called so with respect to devils, as they die no 
temporal death, which is the first death. In Rev. ii. U. it is 
said, " He that overcometh, shall not be hurt of the second 
death ;" implying, that all who do not overcome their lusts, 
but live in sin, shall suffer the second death. 

Again, wicked men will suffer the same kind of death 
with the devils ; as in verse 25th of the context, " Depart, ye 
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his an- 
gels." Now the punishment of ihe devil is not annihilation, 
but torment ; he therefore trembles for fear of it; not for fear 
of being annihilated, he would be glad of that. What he is 
afraid of is torment, as appears by Luke viii, 28. Where he 
cries out, and beseeches Christ, that he would not torment 
him before the time : And it is said, Rev. xx. 10. The dev- 
il that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brim- 
stone, where the bcust and the false prophet arc, and shall be 
ioTirenied day and night, for ever and ever. 

It is strange how men will go directly against so plain and 
fiUl revelations of scripture, as to suppose, notwithstanding 
all these things, that the eternal punishment threatened agains* 
the wicked signifies no more than annihilation. 


III, As the future punishment of the wicked consists in- 
sensible misery ; so it shall not only continue for a very long 
time, but shall be absolutely v/iihout end. 

Of those who have held that the torments of hell are not 
absolutely eternal, there have been two sorts. (1.) Some 
suppose, that in the threatenings of everlasting punibhnient, 
the terms used do not necessarily import a proper cicinity, 
but only a very long duration. (2.) Others suppose, that if 
they do import a proper eternity, yet we cannot necessarily 
conclude thence, that God will fulfil his threatenings. 
Therefore I shall. 

First, Show that the threatenings of eternal punishment 
do very plainly and fully import a proper, absolute eternity, 
and not merely a long duration. 
This appears, 

1. Because when the scripture speaks of the %vicked's be- 
ing sentenced to their punishment at the time when all tem- 
poral things are come to an end, it then speaks of it as ever- 
lasting, as in the text, and elsewhere It is true that the tcrai 

for ever is not always in scripture used to signify eternity. 
Sometimes it means, as long as a man liveth. In this sense 
it is said, that the Hebrew servant, who chose to abide with 
his master, should have his ear bored, and should serve his 
master for ever Sometimes it means, during the continu- 
ance of the state and church of the Jews. In this sense, sev- 
eral laws, which were peculiar to that church, and were to 
continue in force no longer than that church should last, are 
called statittes for ever. See Exod. xxvii. 21. chap, xxviii. 

43, 8cc Sometimes it means as long as the world stands. 

So in Eccles. i. 4, One generation passeth away, and anoth- 
er generation cometh ; but the earth abidethybr ever. 

And this last is the longest temporal duration that such a 
term is ever used to signify. There is no instance of using 
such a term, for a longer duration, when it signifies a tempo- 
ral duration : Fo^ the duration of the world is doubtless the 
longest of any of those things that are temporal, as its begin- 
ning was the earliest of any of those things that are temporal. 


Therefore when the scripture speaks of things as beiti^ be- 
fore the foundation of the world, it means that they existed 
from eternity, and before the beginning of time. So those 
things which continue after the end of the world, are eternal 

things, and are after the end of time Doubtless when the 

temporal world is at an end, there will be an end to temporal 
things. When the time comes that heaven and earth are 
shaken and removed, those things that remain will be things 
that cannot be shaken, but will remain for ever. Heb. xii, 

26, 27 This visible world contains all things that are seen 

and are temporal ; and therefore when that is at an end, there 
will be an end of all things that are temporal, and therefore 
the things that remain after that will be eternal. 

But the punishment of the wicked will not only remain 
after the end of the world, but is called everlasting after that; 
as in the text, " These shall go away into everlasting punish- 
ment." So in 2 Thess. i. 9, 10. « Who shall be punished 
■with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord; 
and from the glory of his power ; when he shall come to be 

glorified in his saints," Sec Now, what can be meant by a 

thing's being everlasting, after all temporal things are come 
to an end, but that it is absolutely without end ? 

2. Such expressions ai-e used to set forth the duration of 
the punishment of the wicked, as are never used in the scrip- 
tures of the New Testament to signify any thing but a prop- 
er eternity. It is said, not only that that punishment shall 
be for ever, but for ever and ever. Rev. xiv. 11. ; "The 
smbke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.".... 
Rev. XX. 10. ; " Shall be tormented day and night, for ever 
and ever .".... Doubtless the New Testament has some expres- 
sion to signify a proper eternity, of which it has so often occa- 
sion to speak. But it is ignorant of any higher expression 
than this: If this do not signify an absolute eternity, there is 
Done that does. 

3. The scripture uses the same way of speaking to zet 
forth the eternity of the punishment of the wicked, that it us- 
es to set forth the eternity of the happiness of the righteov.s, 


cr the eternity oi"God himself. Mallh, xxv. 46. These shall 
■^o away into cvtrlaotidg punishment ; but the righteous into 
iife eternal.....T\\e words everlastvig and cttrnaL in the orij^in- 
al, are the very sume. Rev. xxii. 5. And khey (tlie suinLs) 
ehuil reign forever and ever.. And the scripture hus no high- 
er expression to signify the eternity oi God himself, then that 
of hib being for ever and ever ; as Rev., iv. 9. " To him \vho 
sat on the throne, who hveth for ever and ever," apd in the 
10th verse, and in chap. v. 14, and ciiap. x. 6, and chup, 
XV. 7. 

Again, tlve scripture expresses God's eternity by this, that 
it shall be for ever, after the world is come to an end ; Psalm 
cii. 26, ii7. *' They shall perish, but thou shait endure : Yea, 
all of thera shall wax old like a. garment ; as a vesture shalt 
thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art 
the same, and thy years shall have no end." 

4. The scripture says, that witlced men shall not be deliv- 
orcd, till they h.^ve paid the uttermost fwrth.iag ox their debt ; 
Matth. V. 2&. Nor till they have paid the last mite ; Luke x, 
59, i, e. the utmost tlvit is de,served, and all mercy is excluded 
by this expression. But we have^hovv'n that they deserve ajri 
infinite, an endless punbhmcnt. 

5. The scripture says absolutely, that their punishment 
shall not have an :end.; Markix, 44. "Where their worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Novv', it will not do 
to say, that the meaning is, Their worm shall live a great 
while, or that it shall be a great while before their hre is 
quenched. If ever the time comes.that their worm shall die; 
if ever there shall be a quenching of the fire at all, then it is 
not true that their worm dieth not, and that the fire is not 
quenched. For if there be a dying of the worm, and a a ucnch- 
ing of the fire, let it be at what time it will, nearer or furlher 
off, it is equally. contrary to such u negation, it Liith ?}<it, it is 
not quenched. 

Secondly, There ai:e, others, who allovrjtfir.t the e.xpres- ' 
sions of the ihreatenings do denote a proper eternity ; but 
;^en, they say, it doth not certainly follow, that the punish- 

Vol. VIL :; D ' 


inent will really be eternal ; because, say they, God may- 
threaten, and yet not fulfil his threatenings. Though they 
allow that the threatenings are positive and peremptory, -with- 
out any reserve, yet they say, God is not obliged to fulfil abso- 
lute positive threatenings, as he is absolute promises, becaus© 
in promises a right is conveyed that the creature to whom 
the promises are made will claim ; but there is no danger of 
the creature's claiming any right hy a threatening There- 
fore I am now to show, That what God has positively declai*- 
cd in this matter, does indeed make it certain, that it shall be 
as he has declared. To this end, I shall mention two tbuigs : 

1. It is self evidently contrary to the divine truth, positive- 
ly to declare any thing to be real, whether past, present, or ta 
come, which God at the same time knows is not so. Abso- 
lutely threatening that any thing shall be, is the same as ab- 
solutely declaring that it is to be. For any to suppose, that 
God Libsolutcly declares that any thing will be, which he at 
the same time knows will not be, is blasphemy, if there be 
any such thing as blasphemy. 

Indeed, it is very true, that there is no obligation on God, 
arising from the claim of thecreuture,as there is in promises. 
They seem to reckon the wrong Avay, who suppose the neces- 
sity of the execution of the threatcnhig to arise from a proper 
obligation on God to the creature to execute consequent oa 
his threatening. For indeed the certainty of the executioa 
arises the other way, viz. on the obligation there was on tlic 
omniscient God, in threatening, to conform his threatening to 
what he knew would be future m execution. Though, strict- 
ly speaking, God is not properly obliged to the creature to ex- 
ecute, because he has threatened, yet he was obliged not ab* 
solutely to threaten, if at the same time he kncAv that he 
should not, or would not fulfil, because this would not have 

been consistent with his truth So that from the truth of 

God there is an inviolable connexion between positive threat- 
enings and execution. They that suppose that God absolute- 
ly threatened, or positively declared, that he would do contra- 
ry to what he knew would come to pass, do therein suppose 


that lie absolutely threatened contrary to what he knew to be 
ti-uth. And how any one can speak contrary to what he knows 
to be truth, in declaring, promising, or threatening, or any 
other way, consistently with inviolable truth, is inconceivable. 

Threatenings are significations of something ; and ii'they 
are made consistently with truth, they are true significations, 
or significations of truth, or significations of that which shall 
be. If absolute threatenings are significations of any thing, 
they are significations of the futurity of the things threatened. 
But if the futurity of the things threatened be not true and re- 
al, then how can the threatening be a true signification ? And 
if God, in them, speaks contrary to what he knows, and con- 
trary to what he intends, how he cun speak true is inconceiv- 

Absolute threatenings are a kind of predictions ; and 
though God is not prGi>erly obliged by any claim of ours to 
fulfil predictions, unless they are of the nature of promises ; 
yet it certainly would be contrary to truth, to predict and say 
such a thing would come to pass, which he knew at the same 
time would not come to pass. Threatenings are declarations 
of something future, and they must be declarations of future 
truth, if they are true declarations. Its being future alters 
not the case any more than if it were present. It is equally 
contrary to truth, to declare contrary to what at the same time 
is known to be truth, whether it be of things past, present, or 
to come ; for all are alike to God. 

Beside, we have often declarations in scripture of the fu- 
ture eternal punishment of the Avicked, in the proper form of 
predictions, and not in the form of threatenings. So in ihe 
text. These shall go away into everlasting punishment. So 
in those frequent assertions of eternal punishment in the Rev- 
elation, some of which I have already quoted. The Revela- 
tion is a prophecy, and is so called in the book itself; so are 
those declarations of eternal punishment The like declara- 
tions v.'e have also in many other places of scripture. 

2. The doctrine of those who teach, that it is not certain 
■p.at God win fulfil those ubsolute threatening^, is blasphe- 


iBous another way ; and that is, as God, according to their 
snpposiiion, was obliged to make use oi a fallacy to goveri* 
the world. They own, that it is needful that men should ap- 
prehend themselves liable to an eternal punishment, that they 
might thereby be restrained from sin, and thatG.-)d has threat- 
ened such a punishment, for the vei^ end that they might be- 
lieve themselves- exposed to it. But what an unworthy opin- 
ion does this, convey of G»d ami his governmeTit, of his infin- 
ite majesty, and wssdoin, and all sufficiency !.... Beside, they 
suppose, that though God has raade use of such a lldlacy, yetS 
it is not such an one but that th( y have detected him in it. 
Thougli God intended men should believe it to be certain, 
that sinners are liable to an eternal punishment ; yet they 
suppose, that they have been so cunning as to find out that it 
is not certviin ; and sO that God had not laid his design so deep, 
but that such cunning men as they can discern the cheat, and 
defeat the design ; because they have found out, that there is 
no necessary connexion betw cen the threatening of eternal 
pvmishnier.t, and the execution of that threatening. 

Considering tiiesc things, it is not greatly to be wondered 
at, that the gicat Archbishop Tillotson, who has made so great 
a figure among the new fashioned divines, should advance 
such an opinion as this ? 

Before I conclude this head, it may be proper for me to 
answer an objection or two, that may arise in the minds of 

. I. It rnay be here said, Wc have instances wherein God 
hath not fulfilled his threaienings ; as his threatening to Adt 
am, and in him to mankind, that they should surtlu die, if they 
should eat the forbidden fruit. 1 answer, it is not true that 
God did not fulfil that threatening : He fulfilled it, and will 

fulfil it in every jot and tittle When God said, " Thou shall 

surely die," if we respect spiritual death, it was fulfilled in 
Adam'h person in the day that he ate. God immediately took 
uway his image, his Holy Spirit, and original righteousness, 
which was the highest anci best life of our first parents ; and 
they were immediately in a doleful state of spiritual deatji,, 

ETERNrnr of hell torments. 4ia 

If we respect temporal death, that was also fulfilled : He 
brought death upon himself and all his posterity, and he vir- 
tually suffered that death on that very day on which he ate. 
His body was brought into a corruptible, mortal, and dying 

condition, and so it continued till it was dissolved If we look 

at eternal death, and indeed all that death which was compre- 
hended in, the threatening, it was, properly speaking, fulfilled 
in Christ. When God said to Adam, If thou eaiest, thou 
shalt die, he spake not only to him, and of him personally ; 
but the wortls respected mankind, Adam and his race, and 
doubtless were so understood by him. His offspring were to 
be looked upon as sinning in him, and^so should die with him. 
The words do as justly allov/ of an imputation of death as of 
sin ; they are as well consistent with dying in a surety as widi 
sinning in one. Therefore, the threatening is fulfilled in the 
death of Christ, the surety. 

2. Another objection may arise from God's threatening 
to Nineveh. He threatened, that in forty days Nineveh 

should be destroyed, which yet he did jict fulfil I answer, 

that threatening could justly be looked upon no otherwise 
than as conditional. It was of the nature of a warning, and 
not of an absolute denunciation. Why was Jonah sent to the 
Ninevites, but to give them warning, that they might have 
opportunity to repent, reform, and avert the approaching des- 
truction ? God had no other design or end in sending the 
prophet to them, but that they might be warned and tried by 
him, as God warned the Israelites, and warned Judah and Je- 
rusalem before their destruction. Therefore the prophets, 
together with their prophecies of approaching destruction) 
joined earnest exhortations to repent and reform, that it might 
be averted. 

No more could justly be understood to be certainly threats 
ened, than that Mineveh should be destroyed in forty days, con- 
tinuing as it zuas. For it was for their wickedness that that 
destruction was threatened, and so the Ninevites took it. 

Therefore, when the cause Avas removed, the effect ceased 

\t v.T.? cor»trary to God's knov.-n manner, to threaten punish-* 


ment and destruction for sin here in this world absolutely) so 
that it should come upon the persons threatened unavoidably, 
let them repent and reform and do what they would ; agreea- 
bly to Jer. xviii. 7, 8. " At what instant I shall speak con- 
cerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and 
to pull down, and to destroy it ; if that nation against whom 
I have pronounced turn from their evil I will repent of the 
evil that I thought to do unto them." So that all threatenings 
of this nature had a condition implied in them, according to 
the known and declared manner of God's dealing. And the 
Kinevites did not take it as an absolute sentence or denuncia- 
tion : If they had they would have despaired of any benefit 
by fasting and reformation. 

But the threatenings of eternal wrath are positive and ab- 
solute. There is nothing in the word of God from which we 
can gather any condition. The only opportunity of escaping 
is in this world ; this is the only state of trial wherein we 
have any ofiers of mercy, or there is any place for repentance. 
IV. I shall mention^everal good and important ends, which 
will be obtained by the eternal punishment of the wicked. 

1. Hereby God vindicates his injured majesty. Wherein 
^nners cast contempt upon it, and trample it in the dust, God 
vindicates and honors it, and makes it appear, as it is indeed, 
infinite, by showing that it is infinitely dreadful to contemn or 
bffend it. 

2. God glorifies his justice. The glory of God is the 
greatest good ; it is that which is thec"hief end of the crea- 
tion ; i'- is a thing of greater importance than any thing else. 
But this is one way wherein God will glorify himself, as in 
the eternal destruction of ungodly men, he will glorify his 
justice. Therein he will appear as a just governor of the 
world. The vindictive justice of God will apppear strict, 
exact, awful, and terrible, and therefore glorious. 

3. God hereby indirectly glorifies his grace on the vessels 
of mercy. The saints in heaven will behold the torments of 
the damned : " The sn\oke of their torment ascendeih up for 
ever and ever." Isa. l.wi. 24. " And they shall go forth and 


look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed 
against mc : For their worm shall not die, neither shall their 
fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all 
flesh." And in Rev, xiv. 10. It is said, that they shall be 
tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the pres- 
ence of the Lamb. So they vv^ill be tormented in the presence 
also of the glorified saints. 

Hereby the saints will be made the more sensible how 
great their salvation is. When they shall see how great the 
misery is from which God hath saved them, and how great a 
difference he haih made between their state, and the state of 
others, who were by nature, and perhaps by practice, no more 
sinful and ill deserving than they, it will give them more of 
a sense of the wonderfulncss of God's grace to them. Every 
time they look upon the damned, it will excite in them a- 
lively and admiring sense of the grace of God, in making 
them so to differ. This the apoetle informs us is one end of 
the damnation of ungodly men ; Rom. ix. 22, 23. *' What if 
God, willing to shew his virra<,h, and to make his power known, 
endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted 
to destruction : And that he might make known the riches of 
Ma glory on the vessels of wercv, which he had afore prepar- 
ed unto glory ?" The view of the misery of the damned will 
double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints in 

4. The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness ol 
the saints for ever. It will not only make them more sensi- 
ble of the greatness and freeness of the grace of God in their 
happiness ; but it will really make their happiness the great- 
er, as it will make them more sensible of their own happi- 
ness ; it will give them a more lively relish of it ; it will 
make them prizei it more, W^hen they see others, who were 
of the same nature, and born under the same circumstances, 
plunged in such misery, and they so distinguished, O it will 
make them sensible how happy they are. A sense of>the opr 
posite misery, in all cases, greatly increases the relish of any 
joy or pleasure. 


The si(5jht of the wondcrfx:! power, the great iindclreadfui 
jTiajesty, and awful justice aud holiness of God, inanifcblcd ir 
the eternal punishmentof ungodly men, will make iheui prize 
his favor and love vastly the more ; und thty will be so much 
the move happy in the enjoyment of it. 


1 . From what hath heeji said, we may learn the folly ami 
tuadncss of the greater part of mankind, in that for the sake 
of present momentary gratification, Uijey run the venture of 
enduring all these eternal torments. Tlicy prefer a small 
pleasure, or a little wealth, or a little earthly honor and greats 
ness, which can last hut for a moment, to an escape from ihi* 
punishineiit. If it he true that the torments of hell are eter?- 
nal, what will it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and 
lose his own soul ; or what shall a man give in exchange for 
his soul ? What is there in this world, which is not a trifle, 
and lighter than vanity, in comparison with ihesp eternal 
things ? 

How mad are men, who so often hear of these things anu 
pretend to believe tliciu ; who can live but a little \^ hile, a 
few years ; who do lot even expect to live here longer than 
others of their spcri&s ordinarily do; and who yet are careless 
about what becomes of ihcmsclvcs in another world, wher;e 
there is no change and no end i liow mad ar£ they, when tliey 
hear that if they go en in sin, tliey sJiallhe.eteriKdly misera-^ 
ble, that they are j>ot moved by it, but hear it with as much 
carelessness and coldness as if they w.ere Xio way concerned in 
the matter ; when they know «ot but that it may be their 
case, that they may be suftcring these torments beiore a week 
is at an end, and that if it should be £o, it would be no sir^ngc 
thing, no other than a common thing 1 

How can men be so careless of such a matter as their own 
eternal and desperate dcstrucion and torment ! \Vhat a 
sU'iitige stupor and senselessness possesses the hearts of men 1 
How conjmon a thing is it to sec jv.cn, who are told from Sab- 


<l)ath to Sabbath of eternal misery, and who arc as mortal as 
other men, so careless about it, that they seem not to be at all 
restrained by it from whatever their souls lust after ! It is not 
half so much their care to escape eternal misery, as it is tp 
get money and land, and to be considerable in the world, and 
to gratify their senses. Their thoughts are much more ex- 
ercised about these things, and much more of their care and 
concern is about them. Eternal misery, though they lie every 
day exposed to it, is a thing neglected, it is but now and then 
thought of, and then with a great deal of stupidity, and not 
with concern enough to stir them up to do any thing consid- 
erable in order to escape it. They are not sensible that it is 
worth their while to take any considerable pains in order to it. 
And if they do take pains for a little while, they soon leave 
off, aud something else takes up their thoughts and con- 

Thus you v/ill see it to be among young and old. Multi- 
tudes of those who are in youth, Iccxd a careless life, taking 
little care about their salvation. So you may see it to be 
among persons of middle age. So it is still with many, when 
advanced in years, and when they certainly draw near to the 
grave. Yet these same persons will seem to acknowledge, 
that the greater part of men go to hell and suffer eternal mis- 
ery, and this through carelessness about jt. However they 
will do the same. How sti'ange is it that men can enjoy them- 
selves and be at rest, when they are thus hanging over eter- 
nal burnings ; at the same time, having no lease or their lives, 
and not knowing how soon the thread by which they hang 
will break, nor do they pretend to know ; and if it breaks, 
they are gone, they are lost for ever, and there is no remedy ! 
Yet they trouble not them.selves much about it ; nor will they 
hearken to those who cry to them, and intreat them to take 
care for themselves, and hibor to get out of that dangerous 
condition : They are not willing to take so much pains : 
They choose not to be diverted from amusing themselves with 
those toys and vanities which they have in hand. Thus well 
zaight the wise man say, as in Eccles. ix. 3. " The heart of 
Vol. Vn. 3 E 


the sons of men is full of evil. Madness is in their hear^ 
■ivhile they live ; and after that they go to the dead." 

How much wiser are those few, who make it their maia 
business to lay a foundation for eternity, to secure their sal- 
vation 1 

2. I shall improve this subject in an use of exhortation t* 
sinners, to take care to escape these eternal torments If 
they be eternal, one would think that would be enough t# 
awaken your concern, and excite your diligence. If the pun- 
ishment be eternal, It is ii^nite, as we said before ; and 
therefore no other evil, no death, no temporary torment that 
ever you heard of, or that you can imagine, is any thing in 
comparison with it, but is as much less and less considerable, 
not only as a grain of sand is less than the whole universe, but. 
as it is less than the boundless space which encompasses the 
universe. Therefore here, 

(1.) Be entreated to consider attentively how great and 
awful a thing eternity is. Although you cannot comprehend 
it the more by considering, yet you may be made more sen- 
sible that it is not a thing to be disregarded. Do but consid- 
er what it is to suffer extreme torment for ever and ever; 
to suffer it day and night, from one day to another, from on© 
year to another, from one age to another, from one thous- 
and ages to another, and so adding age to age, and thousands 
to thousands, in pain, in v/ailingand lamenting, grooming and 
shrinking, and gnashing your teeth ; with your souls full of 
dreadful grief and amaz^ement, with your bodies and every 
member full of racking tcu'turc, without any possibility of get- 
ting ease ; without any possibility of moving God to pity by 
vour cries ; without any possibility of hiding yourselves from 
him ; without any possibility of diverting your thoughts fronx 
your pain ; without any possibiiiiy of obtaining any manner 
of mitigation, or help, or change for the better any way. 

(2.) Do but consider how dreadful despair will be in such 
torment. How dismal will it be, when you are under these 
racking torments, to know assuredly that you never, never 
•.•Irali be deliverr^ from them ; to have no hope : When you 


Sliall wisli that you might but be turned into nothing, butshaH 
.have no hope of it ; when you shall wish that you might be 
turned into a toad or a serpent, but shall have no hope of it ; 
when you would rejoice, if you might but have any relief, af- 
ter you shall have endured these torments millions of ages, 
but shall have no hope of it ; when after you shall have worn 
out the age of the sun, moon, and stai's, in your dolorous 
groans and lamentations, without rest day or night, or one 
minute's ease, yet you shall have no hope of ever being de- 
livered ; when after you shall have worn out a thousand more 
9uch ages, yet yon shall have no hope, but shall know that you 
are not one whit nearer to the end of your tom>ents ; but that 
still there are the same groans, the same shrieks, the same 
doleful cries, incessantly to be ma<ie by you, and that the 
smoke of your torment shall still ascend up for ever and everj 
and that yoefr souls, which shall have been agitated with the 
wrath of God all this while, yet will still exist to bear more 
wrath.; your bodies, which shall have been burning and roast- 
ing all this while in these glowing flames, yet shall not have 
been consumed, but will remaiii to roast through an eternity 
yet, which will not have been at all shortened by what shall 
have been past. 

You may by considering make yourselves more sensiblifc 
than you ordinarily are ; but it is a little you can conceive csf 
what it is to haxe no hope in such torments. 

How sinking would it be to you, to endure such pain as 
you have felt in this world, mthout any hopes, and to knovy 
that you never should be delivered from it, nor have one min- 
ute's rest 1 You can now scarcely conceive how doleful that 
would be. How mnch more to endure the vast weight of the 
wrath of God without hope! The more the damned in hell 
think of the eternity »f their torments, the mere amazing muU 
it appear to them ; and alas ! They are not able to avoid 
thinking of it, they will not be able to keep it out of their 
minds. Their tortures will net divert them from it, but 
will fix their^ attention to it. O how dreadful will eternity 
appear to them after they shall have been thinking on it 


for ages together, and shall have had so long an experience of 
their torments !....The damned in hell will have two infinites 
perpetually to amaze them, and swallow them up : One is 
an infinite God, whose wrath they will bear, and v/hom they 
will behold their perfect and irreconcilable enemy. The 
other is the infinite duration of their torment. 

If it were possible for the damned in hell to have a com- 
prehensive knowledge of eternity, their sorrow and grief 
would be infinite in degree. The comprehensive view of so 
much sorrow which they must endure, would cause infinite 
grief for the present. Though they will not have a compre- 
hensive knowledge of it, yet they will doubtless have a vastly 
more lively and strong apprehension of it than we can have 
in this world. Their torments will give them an impression 
of it. A man in his present state, without any enlargement! 
of his capacity, would have a vastly more Uvely impression of 
eternity than he has, if he were only under some pretty 
sharp pain in some member of his body, and were at the 
same time assured, that he must endure that pain for ever. 
His pain would give him a greater sense of eternity than other 
men have. How much more will those excruciating tor- 
ments, which the damned will suffer, have this effect ! 

Beside, their capacity will probably be enlarged, their un- 
derstandings will be quicker and stronger in a future state ; 
and God can give them as great a sense and as strong an im- 
pression of eternity, as he pleases, to increase their grief and 

O be intreated ye that are in a Christless state, and are go- 
mg on in a way to hell, that are daily exposed to damnation, 
to consider these things. If you do not, it will surely be but 
a little while before you will experience them, and then you 
■will know how dreadful it is to despair in hell ; and it may- 
be before this year, or this month, or this week, is at an end ; 
before another Sabbath, or ever you shall have opportunity to 
hear another sermon. 

(3.) That you may effectually escape these dreadful and 
eternal torments, be intreated to flee to, and embrace him who 


tame into the world for the very end of saving sinners from 
these torments, who has paid the whole debt due to the divine 
law and exhausted eternal in temporal sufferings. What 
great encouragement is it to those of you who are sensible 
that you are exposed to eternal punishment, that there is 
a Saviour provided, who is able and who fi-eely offers to save 
you from that punishment, and that in a way which is per"- 
fectly consistent with the gloiy of God, yea which is 
more to the glory of God than it would be if you should 
suffer the eternal punishment of hell. For if you should 
suffer that punishment you would never pay the whole of the 
debt. Those who are sent to hell tiever will have paid the 
whole of the debt which they owe to God, nor indeed a part 
which bears any proportion to the whole. They never will 
have paid a part which bears so great a proportion to the 
whole, as one mite to ten thousand talents. Justice therefore 
never can be actually satisfied in your damnation; but it is 
actually satisfied in Christ. Therefore he is accepted of the 
Father, and therefore all who believe are accepted and justi- 
fied in him. Therefore believe in him, come to him, commit 
your souls to him to be saved by him. In him you shall be 
safe from the eternal torments of hell. Nor is that all : But 
through him you shall inherit inconceivable blessedness and 
glory, which will be of equal duration with the torments of 
hell. For as at the last day, the wicked shall go away into ev- 
erlasting punishment, so shall the righteous, or those who 
trust in Christ, go into life eternal. 


the Unreasonableness of Indeiermindtion in R\ 

\ KINGS, xviii. 21. 


It is the manner of God, before he bestows any sig- 
nal or remarkable mercy on a people, first to prepare them 
for it ; and before he removes any awful judgments which he 
hath brought upon them for their sins, first to cause them to 
forsake those sins which procured those judgments. We 
have an instance of this in the chapter wherein is the text. 

It was a time of sore famine in Israel. There had been 
neither rain nor dew for the space of three years and six 
xnonthsi. This famine was brought upon the land for their 
idolatry. But God was now about to remove this judgment ; 
and therefore, to prepare them for it, sent Elijah to convince 
them of the folly of idolatry, and to bring them to repentance 

of it In order to this, Elijah, by the command of the Lord, 

goes and shows himself to Ahab, and directs him to send and 
gather all Israel to him at Mount Carmel, and all the proph- 
ets of Baal, four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the 

• Dated Jane, 1734. 


groves that eat at Jezebel's table, four hundred, that they 
might determine the matter and bring the controversy to an 
issue, whether Jehovah or Baal were God To this end, Eli- 
jah proposes, that each should take a bullock, that he should 
take one, and the prophets of Baal another, that each should 
cut his bullock in pieces, lay it on the wood, and put no fire 
under ; and that the God who should answer by fire should be 
concluded to be God. 

The text contains an account of what Elijah said to all the 
people at their first meeting, and of their silence : " And Eli- 
jah came unto all the people, and said. How long halt ye be- 
tween two opinions ? If the Lord be God, follow him ; but if 
Baal, then follow him," To which the people, it seems,, 
made no reply. In these words, we may observe, 

I. How Elijah expostulates with the people about their 
halting so long between two opinions ; in which expostulatioa 
may be observed, 

(1.) What the two opinions were, between which they 
halted, viz. Whether the Lord were God, or wheiher Baal 
were God. The case in Israel seems to have been this ; 
there were some who were altogether for Baal and wholly re- 
jected the true God ; of which number, to be sure, were Jez^ 
ebel and the prophets of Baal. And there were some among 
them who were altogether for the God of Israel, and wholly 
rejected Baal ; as God told Elijah, that " he had yet left in 
Israel seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal, 
and whoie mouths had not kissed him," 1 Kings xix, 18. 

But the rest of the people hailed between two opinions 
They saw that some were for one, and some for the other, and 
they did not know which to choose ; and, as is commonly the 
case when difference of opinion prevails, there were many 
who had no religion at all ; they were not settled in anything ; 
the different opinions prevalent in Israel dlstr9.cted and con- 
founded them Many who professed to believe in the true 

God, were yet very cold and indifferent, and many were wav 
ering and unsettled. They saw that the king and queen were 
for Baal ; and Baal's parly was the prevailing party ; but 


.their forefathers had been for the Lord ; and they knew not 
■jvhlch was right. Thus they halted between two opinions. 

(2.) In this expostulation is implied the unreasonableness 

of their thus halting between two opinions " How long halt 

ye between two opinions ? If the Lord be God, follow hina ; 
but if Baal, then follow him." Which implies that they ought 
to determine one way or the other. 

2. We may observe their silence on this occasion : " And 
the people answered him not a word," as being convicted in 
their own consciences of the unreasonableness of their being 
for so long a time wavering and unresolved : They had noth- 
ing to reply in excuse for themselves. 

Doctrine. The unresolvedness of many persons in re- 
ligion is very unreasonable. 

1. Prop. Many persons remain exceedingly undetermin- 
ed with respect to the things of religion. They are very 
much undetermined in themselves whether to embrace relig- 
ion or to reject it Many who are baptised, and make a pro- 
fession of religion, and se.em to be Christians, are yet in their 
own minds halting between two opinions : They never yet 
came fully to a conclusion whether to be Christians or not. 
They are taught the Christian religion in their childhood, and 
have the Bible, the word preached, and the means of grace 
all their days, yet continue, and grow up, and many grow old, 
in an unresolvedness, whether to embrace Christianity or not ^ 
and many continue imresolved as long as they live. 

1 . There are some persons who have never come to a set- 
tled determination in their own minds, whether or no there be 
any truth in religion. They hear of the things of reUgioii 
from their childhood all their days ; but never come to a con- 
clusion in their own minds, whether they be real or fabulous. 
^Particularly, some have never come to any determination in 
their own minds, whether there be any such thing as conver- 
sion. They hear much talk about it, and know that many pre- 
tend to be the subjects of it ; but they arc never resolved 


whether all be not.mere designed hypocrisy and imposture, oi' 
the mere notions of whimsical persons. 

Some never come to any determination whether the Scrip- 
tures be the word of God, or whether theybe the invention of 
men ; and whether the story ccncerning Jesus Christ be any- 
thing but a fuble. They fear it is true, but sometimes very- 
much doubt of it. Sometimes, when they hear arguments for 
it, they give an assent to it, that it is true ; but upon every 
little objection or temptation arising, they call it in question ; 
and are always wavering and never settled about it. 

So it seems to have been with many of the Jews in Christ's 
time ; they were always at a loss what to make of him, wheth- 
er he were indeed the Christ, or whether he were Elias, or 
one of the old prophets, or a mere impostor. John x. 24, 25. 
'• Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, 
How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, 
tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye be- 
lieved not."... .Some have never so much as come to a resolu- 
tion in their own minds, whether there be a God or not. 
They know not that there is, and oftentimes very much doubt; 
of it. 

2. There are some who never have come to any deter- 
mination in their own minds whether to embrace religion in 
the practice of it. Religion consists not merely, or chiefly iu 
theory or speculation, but in practice. It is apractical thing ; 
the end of it is to guide and influence us in our practice ; and 
coniidered in this view, there are multitudes who never have 

come to a conclusion whether to embrace i-eligion or not 

It is probably pretty general for m.en to design to be reUgious 
some lime or otherbefore they die ; for none intend to go to 
hell. But they still keep it at a distance ; they put it off from 
time to time, and never come to any conclusion which deter- 
mines them in their present practice. And some never so 
much as fix upon any time. They design to be religious 
some time before they die, but they know not when. 

There are many who have always hitherto continued unre- 
s&ived about the necessity of striving and being earnestly en- 
Vol. VIL 3 F 


gag-ed foi' salvation. They flatter themselves that they maj- 
obtain salvation, though they be not so earnestly engaged ; 
though they mind the world and their worldly affairs more 
tiian their salvation. They are often told how necessary it is 
that they make haste and not delay, that they do v/hatever 
their hand findstli to do with their might, that they b^^ violent, 
that a dull, slack way of seeking salvation is never like to be 
effectual. But of these things they are never thoroughly con- 
vinced. Some seem to resolve to be in earnest, and seem to 
set out with some engagedness of mind ; but soon fail, be- 
cause they have never been fully convinced of the necessity 
of it. 

Many have never come to a determination Avhat to choose 
for their portion. There are but two things v/hich God of- 
fers to mankind for their portion : One is this world, with the 
pleasures and profits of sin, together with eternal misery en- 
suing : The other is heaven and eternal glory, with a life of 
selfdenial and respect to all the commands of God preceding. 
Many, as long as they live, come to no settled determination 
■which of these to choose. They must have one or the other, 
they cannot have both ; but they always remain in suspense, 
and never make their choice. 

They would fain have heaven and this world too ; they 
wrould have salvation and the pleasures and profits of sin too. 
But considering heaven and the world, as God offers themj 
they will have neither. God offers heaven, only with the self- 
denial and difficulty which arc in the way to it ; and they are 
not willing to have heaven on these conditions. God offers 
the world and the pleasures of sin to men not alone, but with 
eternal misery in connexion with them ; and so neither are 
they willing to have the world. They would fain divide heav- 
en from the holiness and selfdcnial which are the way to it, 
and from the holiness which reigns in it, ajid then they would 
be glad to have heaven. They would fain divide sin from hell, 
and then they would fully determine for ever to cleave to sin. 

But God will not make such a division for them. They 
must have one or the other of these for their portion, as Goci 


offers ; and therefore they never make any choice at all In'- 

deed they do practically and in eflect choose sin and hell. 
But thsy do not come to any resolution in their oivn niind$ 
which they will have for their portion, whether heaven and ho- 
liness, or the v/oiid and hell : They are always wavering and 
halting between two opinions. Sometimes they seem to de- 
termine for the one, and sometimes for the other. In times 
wherein they meet with no ditliculty, or temptation, and can, 
as they say, do their duty-.vithout hurting themselves, or much 
crossing their carnal inclinations, they seem to choose heav- 
en and holiness. At other times, wherein they meet with 
difTiculiy in the way of duty, and great temptations of v/orldly 
profiLS or pleasares arc laid before them, then they choose the 

world, and let hsaven and holiness alone There are among 

us vast multitudes, before whom these two things have been 
set hundreds of times, who have never to tUis day come to a 
■determination which to have. 

So they have never yet determined which shall be their 
master, Avhether God or mammon. There are but few who 
have undertaken the service of God, and are come to a resolu- 
tion and preparedness of mind to serve God and follow Christ 
at all times, and to whatever difficulties it may expose them. 
Yet at the same time neither are they determined that they 
will continue to serve Satan: They are afraid to draw up such 
a conclusion. Thus many spend away their lives \\ithout 
making their choice, putting that off, though they do in the 
mean time practically choose the service of Satan. These 
are the persons of whom the Apostle James speaks in chap. 
i. 8. " The doubleminded man is unstable in ail his ways." 

II. To continue thus undetermined and unresolved in the 
things of religion, is very unreasonable, and that upon the fol- 
lowing accounts. 

1. The things of religion are things wherein we are to the 
highest degree interested. The truth or falsehood of the doc- 
trines of religion concerns us to the highest degree possible. 
It is no matter of r.idifference to us whether ti)ere be r. God 


or not; or whether tlie scriptures be the word of God ; or 
whether Christ be the son of God ; or whether there he any 
such thiijg as conversion. It make-s infinite odds to us wheth- 
er these things be so or not» Thei'efore we are under the 
greatest obligation in point of interest to resolve in cur minds 
whether they be true or false. They who are undetermined 
whether there be any truth in religion, and are contented to 
be so, not inquiring, nor thoroughly using the means to-be de- 
termined, act very unreasonably. They remain in doubt 
whether there be any such thing as an heaven or hell ; are 
quiet and easy to continue ignorant in this matter ; are not 
engaged in their minds to come to a determination ; do not 
search and inquire v/hat arguments there ai-e to prove any 
such things ; nor diligently weii^h and consider the force of 
them ; but busy their minds about other things of iiinniicly 
less importance ; and act as if they thought it did not much 
concern them, whether there be a future and eternal state. 

If they think that there is notj.yet it is a matter of so great 
importance, that no wise man would rest until he had satisfi- 
ed himself; because if there be such a future state as the 
scriptures tell us of, then we must have our part in it, either 
in a state of eternal rewards, or in a state of eternal punish- 
ment. So it is no matter of indifierence to us what wc have 
for our portion, whether this world with hell, or a life of holi- 
ness and selfdenial with heaven. These opposite portions 
relate not merely to a few days in this world, but they relate 
lo eternity. !t is infinite madness therefore not to come to a 

So it is no matter of indifference what master we serve j. 
■whether God or mammon; or what interest we will pursue, 
whether our temporal or eternal interest ; or which we pre- 
fer, the commands of God, or our pleasures, our ease and con- 
venience. Doubtless it will make a vast odds one way or the 
other. We ought therefore to come to some determination 
•which we will choose. 

2. Gcd hath made us reasonable creatures, and capable of 
'rationally determining for oui-selvcs. God hath made us ca> 


pAble of a good acquaintance with those things which do espe- 
cially concern our interest. Doubtless God hath made man 
capable of discovering the truth in raattersof religion, of com- 
ing to a good determination m tnese questions, whether the 
scriptures be the word of God, whether there be a future 
state, and the like. The resolution of these questions, which 
it so much concerns us to determine;- is not above our capaci- 
ties. God hath not set these things beyond the extent of our 

So God hath made us capable of making a wise choice for 
ourselves, as to the life which we shall choose to lead. He 
hath given man so much understanding, as to make him ca- 
pable of determining which is best ; to lead a life of selfdeni- 
al and enjoy eternal happiness, or to take our swing in sinful 
enjoyments and burn in hell forever. The question is of no 
difficult determination. It is so far from being a matter too 
hard for our reason, that the reason of a child is sufficient to 
determine this matter. Therefore men in remaining undeter- 
mined in these Ynatters, do not act as reasonable creatures, but 
make themselves like "the horse and the mule, which have 
no understanding," Psalm xxxii. 9, 

3. God puts into our hands an happy opportunity to deter- 
mine for ourselves. What better opportunity can a man de- 
sire to consult his own interest, than to have liberty to choose 
his own portion ? God setteth life and death before us. Deut. 
XXX. 19. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against 
you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and 
cursing ; therefore choose hfe, that thou and thy seed after 
thee may live," See also Ezek. xviii. 31, 32, and chap, xxxiii. 
1 1. What better opportunity can we desire for securing to 
ourselves the greatest good, than to have eternal life and 
unchangeable happiness set before us, and offered to our 
choice ? Therefore those who neglect coming to a resolution, 
act unreasonably, because they stand so much in their own 
iight, and miss so glorious an opportunity. 

4, The things among which we are to make our choice 
-we but few in number ; there are but two portions set before 


MS) one of which must be our portion ; either life or deaths 
«ither blessing or cursing; either a life of universal and per- 
severing obedience witii eternal glory ; or a worldly, carnal, 
mcked life, with eternal misery. If there were many terms 
in the offer made us, many things of nearly an equal value, 
one of which we must choose, to remain long in suspense and 
■undetermined would be more excusable ; there would be 
-more reason for long deliberation before we should fix. But 
there are but two terms, there are but two states in another 
world, in one or the other of which we must be fixed to all 

And there are but two states in this world, a state of sin, 
and a state of holiness, a natural state, and a converted state. 
There is but one vvay in which we can come to life, which 
renders the determination of reason much the easier. There 
are but two masters, to one of which we must be reputed the 
servants, Baal and Jehovah, God and mammon: There are 
but two competitors for the possession of us, Christ and the 
devil. There are but two paths, in one of which you are to 
travel, either in the strait and narrow way which Icadeth 
unto life, or the broad way which leadeth unto destruction. 

This shows the unreasonableness of those who live under 
light, and have thexjffcrs of the gospel made to them, and yet 
remain from year to year unfixed and undetermined, halting 
between two opinions, 

5. God hath given us all needed helps to determine us. 
We have all needed helps to determine cur understandings, 
as to the truth of the things of religion, as whether there be a 
God, whether the scriptures be the word of God, whether 
there be a future state, 8cc, We are not left in the dark as to 
these things, as the poor heathen arc, who. are under great 
disadvantages to come to the knowledge of the truth, though 
they be not under an impossibility, for ihni may hafihj feel af- 
ter God andfnd him, Acts xvii. 27. But we have a clear sun- 
shine to guide us, we have a particular description of those 
things which are set before us for truth, and have great op»> 
i^nrtnnity to examine them. The scripture lies open before 


us, and all the doctrines of the gospel are particularly set forth, 
with the reasons on Vvhich their evidence is founded. ^Ve 
may search and try their force and sufficiency, as we will. 

We have great helps to a wise and rational determination 
in our choice ; to determine whether it be best for us to choose- 
a life of sin or a life of holiness, the service of God or the ser- 
vice of Baal. We have very, plainly set before us the advan- 
tages of both sides ; the loss and gain are particularly stated, 
Christ hath dealt by us faithfully, and hath told us what we 
shall get, and what we shall lose, by being his followers. 
He hath also told us what we shall get, and what we shall lose 
by a life of sin. He hath not dealt by us deceitfully. He hath, 
not pretended greater advantages in godliness than there real- 
ly are, nor greater disadvantages or dangers in sin. John xiv. 
2. "In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not 
so, I would have told you." 

He hath told us plainly that we must take up the cross 
daily and follow him ; that we must hate father and mother;, 
and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, and our own 
life also, in order to become his disciples ; and that we must 
cut off our right hands, and pluck out our right eyes, in order 
to enter into heaven. Thus wre have a fair opportunity to 
count the cost on both sides, and are directed so to do ; Luke 
xiv. 28. ^ow unreasonable therefore is it for men who have 
all these helps and advantages, to remain in suspense, and to 
come to no conclusion whether they will be Christians or 
heathens, whether they will be for God or the devil ; though 
they have lived under the preaching of the word and offers of 
the gospel for many years. 

6. We have no reason to expect to be under better advan- 
tages to determine hereafter than we are now. We never 
shall have a clearer revelation of gospel truth ; never shall- 
have the advantages and disadvantages of both sides more 
plainly set before us, than they are already in the word o£ 
God ; nor are we ever like to be under better advantages 
to know what will be best for us, and most for our inter- 
i^st. Those therefore who delay, gain nothing by their de- 


lays, but give Satan more opportunity to darken their minds, 
to deceive them, and lead them astray in their choice. There- 
fore their delay of coming to a resolution is unreasonable. 

7. If they come not to a determination in this life, God 
will determine for them, and appoint them their portion with 
the wicked. If sinners, by refusing to choose either life or 
death, either heaven or hell, could thereby avoid both, or if 
in this case the matter would remain undetermined till they 
should determine it ; the folly and unreasonableness of de- 
laying a deteiTuination would not be so great. But that is 
not the case ; if they go on halting between -two opinions, 
God will determine for them, and that quickly ; he will deter- 
mine where their portion shall be, viz, among the unbeliev- 
ers, in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone forever. 
God will not wait upon them always, to see what they will 
choose ; but he will put an issue to the matter by his unalter- 
able sentence. Therefore it becomes all, if they ai*e afi-aicl 
to have their lot assigned them in hell, to come soon to a de- 

8. Delay in this case is unreasonable, because those who 
delay know not how soon the opportunity of choosing for 
themselves will be past. This opportunity will last no lon- 
ger than life ; when once life is past, they will no more have 
the offer made tliem ; the sentence will be past ; the matter 
will be issued. 

Those who delay their choice in this world will be glad to 
choose afterwards ; then they will not be at all at a loss 
which to choose ; they will be able easily to determine. 
The judgments of sinners who are departed this life, are 
soon resolved whether there be any truth in religion or not ; 
they can soon determine which is best and most eligible, a 
life of obedience and selfdenial, with heaven for a reward, or 
a life of irreligion and sin, with hell for a punishment. Now 
they no longer halt between two opinions ; but it is too late, 
their opportunity is past ; they are ready too late. They 
would give all the world for another opportunity to choose ; 
they wquld then soon come to a determination. But it will 
not be granted them. 



1. Let this put every one upon examining himself, 
whether or no he have ever yet come to a full determination 
in the affair of religion. 

First. Inquire whether or no you have ever yet come to 
a full determination vi^ith respect to the truth of the things of 
religion. Have you ever been fully convinced ? Is it a ques- 
tion wliich has been answered and determined with you, 
whether there be a future state ; or does it yet remain a ques- 
tion with you unresolved ? Are you not yet to seek whether 
there be any future state, and whether or no the story about 
Jesus Christ be any more than a fable ? Here I desire you to 
note two things. 

I. If the main reason why you assent to the truth of relig- 
ion be that others believe so, and you have been so instructed 
from your childhood ; you are of those with whom the truth 
of religion yet remains undetermined. Tradition and. edu- 
cation will never fix and settle the mind in a satisfactory and 
•ffectual belief of the truth of religion. Though men, taking 
religion upon trust, may seem to give a full assent to the truth 
©f religion, and not to call it in question ; yet such a faith will 
not stand a shock ; a temptation easily overthrows it ; The 
reason of man, in time of trial, will not rest on so poor evi- 
ilence as that. 

There are multitudes who seem to grant the truth of relig- 
ion, with Avhom tlie main foundation of their faith is the tradi- 
tion of their fathers, or the profession of their neighbors ; and 
it is to be feared, it is so v/ith many who count themselves 
good Christians. But as to all such persons as never have 
seen any other evidence to satisfy them, either of the truth or 
falsehood of religion, they are they that halt between two opin- 
ions. The same may be said of those ^Yho are unstable in 

Vol, VIL 3G 


their disposition with regard to Christ or the things which he 

2, If you are fully come to a determination concerning the 
things of religion, that they are true, they will be of weight 
with you above all things in the world. If you be really con- 
vinced that these things are true, that they are no fabl«, but 
reality, it is impossible but that you must be influenced by 
them above all things in the world ; for these things are so 
great, and so infinitely exceed all temporal things, that it can- 
not be otherwise. He that really is convinced that there is a 
heaven and hell, and an eternal judgment ; that the soul, as 
soon as parted from the body, appears before the judgment 
seat of God; and that the happiness and misery of a future 
state is as great as the scripture represents it ; or that God is 
as holy, just and jealous, as he hath declared concerning him-< 
self in his Avord ; I say, he that is really convh)ced and hath 
settled it with himself that these things are certainly true ;. 
will regard them and be influenced by them above all things 
in the world. He will be more concerned by far how he shall 
escape eternal damnation, and have the favor of God and eter- 
nal life, than how he shall get the world, gratify the flesh, 
please his neighbors, get honor, or obtain any temporal advan- 
tage whatsoever. His main inquiry will not be, what shall I 
eat, and what shall I drink, &.c. but he will seek first the king- 
dom of God and his righteousness. 

Examine yourselves therefore by this : Are not your 
hearts chiefly set upon tlie world, and the things of it ? Is it 
not more your concern, care and endeavor to further your 
outwai-d interest, than to secure an interest in heaven ? And 
is not this the very reason that you have never seen the reali- 
ty of eternal things ? 

Skcondly. Inquire whether you have ever yet come to 
a determination about religion with respect to the practice of 
it ; whether you have chosen heaven with the way to it, viz, 
the way of obedience and selfdenial, before this world and the 
ways of sin; whether you have determined upon II as m(isl 


eligible, to devote yourselves to the service of God. Here I 
shall mention three or four things which are signs that mea 
halt between two opinions in this matter. 

1. To put off duty till hereafter. When persons love to 
keep their duty at a distance, engage not in it for the present, 
but choose to keep at a little distance from it j when they 
think of engaging in religion in better earnest in a little time, 
when they shall so and so be under better conveniences for it, 
but do it not now, do not make haste without delay; when 
they are very good intenders, concerning what they will do to- 
morrow, but very poor performers today ; when they say, aS 
Felix, " Go thy way for this lime, when I have a convenient 
season I will call for thee ;" when these things are so, it is a 
«ign that they halt between two opinions, and have never as 
yet come to a full determination with respect to the practice 
of religion. Those that have once fully determined that re- 
ligion is necessary and eligible, will not desire to put it oil', but 
Avill make it their present and immediate business. 

2. It is a sign of the same tliing when persons are strict 
and conscientious in some things, but not in all, not universal 
in their obedience ; do some duties, but live in the omission 
of others ; avoid some sins, but allow themselves in others ; 
are conscientious with respect to the duties of worship, pub- 
lic and private, but not in their behavior to their neighbors ; 
are not just in their dealings, nor conscientious in paying their 
debts ; nor do to others as they would that they should do to 
them ; but have crooked, perverse Wc.; s in their dealings 
among m.ankind. 

The same may be said when they are just in their deal- 
ings and trade with men, but are not conscientious in other 
things ; indulge sensual appetites, drink to excess, or allow 
themselves in wanton practices : Or are honest and temper- 
ate, but licentious in using their tongues, backbiting and re- 
proaching their fellow men, 2 Tim. iii. 6, 7. 

3. Itis asign that you halt between two opinions, if you some- 
times are wont to be considerably engaged in religion, but at 
©ther times neglect it ; sometimes forming a resolution to be 


in good earnest, then dropping it again ; sometimes seeming 
to be really engaged in seeking salvation, and very earnest in 
religious duties ; at other times wholly taken up about the 
things of the world, while religion is neglected, and religious 
duties are omitted. 

These things show that you are yet unsettled, have never 
yet come to a full determination concerning religion, 'out are 
halting between two opinions, and therefore are thus unsubie 
in all your ways, and proceed thus by fits and starts in relig- 
ion," James i. 6, 7, 8. " But let him ask in faith, nothing wav- 
ering : For he that wavereth is like a wave of the bea, driven 
with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he 
shall receive any thing of the Lord. A doubieminded rndi is 
•unstable in all his ways." If your determinadon were fixed 
in religion, you would be more steady in your practice. 

4. It is a sign that you are halting between two opinions, 
if it be your manner to balk your duty whenever any notable 
dilBculty comes in the way, considerably cross to your inter- 
est, or very inconsistent vvith your ease or convenience, or 
your temporal honor. Whatever zeal you may seem to have, 
whatever concern about the things of reli;^ ion, and however 
strict you be in ordinary, you have never, if this be your man- 
ner, come to a full determination; have never lully made 
choice of religion and the benefits of it for your only portion ; 
and at best have got no further than king Agrippa, who was 
almost persuaded to be a Christian, Acts xxvi. 28. You are 
in the state of the stony ground hearers, you have no root in 
yourselves, and like a tree without root, are easily blown dowri 
by every wind. 

II. I shall conclude with an earnest exhortation to all, no 
longer to halt between two opinions, but immediately to come 
to a determination whether to be Christians or not. Let me 
insist upon it, that you now make a choice, whether you will 
have heaven, with a life of universal and persevering obedi- 
ence for your portion ; or hell, with a life spent in the pursuit 
of this w©rld. Consider those things which have been said. 


shewing the unreasonableness of continuing in such irresolu- 
tion about an affair of infinite importance to you, and as to 
which you have so short an opportunity to make your choice. 
Consider two things in addition to what hath been ah-eady 

L Those who live under the gospel, and thus continue 
undetermined about religion, are more abominable to God 
than the heathen. God had rather that men should either be 
Christians or downright heathens. He hates those persons 
who continue from year to year, under the calls, and warn- 
ings, and instructions, and intreaties of God's word ; who yet 
can be brought to nothing ; who will come to no determina- 
tion at all ; will neither be Christians nor heathens. These 
are they who are spoken of in Rev. iii. 15, 16. "I know thy 
works, that thou art neither cold nor hot : I would thou wert 
cold or hot: So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither 
cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my month." Ezek. xx. 
39. " As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God, 
Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye 
will not hearken unto me ; but pollute ye my holy name no 
more with your gifts, and with your idols." These are they 
spoken of in 2 Tim. iii. 7. Ever learning and never coming 
to the knowledge of the truth." 

2, If you still refuse to come to a 'determination whether 
to be Christians or not, how just will it be, if God shall give 
you no further opportunity 1 If you refuse to make any choice 
at all ; and after all that hath been done to bring you to it, in 
setting life and death, so often before you, in calling and warn- 
ing you, if you will not come to a determination, how just will 
it be, if God shall wait no longer upon you, if he shall, by his 
unalterable sentence, determine the case himself ; if he shftll 
fix your state with the unbelievers, and teach you the truth and 
eligibleness of religion, by sad and fatal experience, when it 
will be too late for you to choose your portion, and the offer 
¥?ill be no more made you ! 


Wnbeliemrs contemn the Glory and Excellency oj 

ACTS iv. II. 


In the foregoing chapters we have an account of the 
♦utpouring of the Holy Ghost on the apostles at Pentecost, 
and of the extraordinary effects of it, in their speaking boldly 
in the name of Jesus, and speaking many strange languages, 
and so being made the instruments of the sudden conversion 
of vast multitudes. And in the chapter immediately preceding 
there is an account how Peter and John miraculously healed 
a man who had been a criple from his birth ; which, together 
with the word which they spake to the people that flocked to- 
gether on the occasion, was the means of a new accession to 
-the church ; so that the number of them that heard the word 
and believed, as we are told in the fourth verse of this chapter, 
was about five thousand. 

This sudden and extraordinary progress of the gospel 
greatly alarmed the priests and scribes, and other chief men 
among the Jews ; so that they laid hands on Peter and John, 
and put them in hold, and the next day brought them forth to 

• Dated, May 1736. 


appear bsfore them, and called them to an account for what they 
had done. They asked them particularly by what power, or b/ 
what name they had wrought the miracle on the impotent man. 
Upon which Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, makes answer, 
" Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel. ...Be it known 
unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name 
of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God 
raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here 
before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought 
by you buildert, which is become the head of the corner." In 
the verse of the text the apostle mentions to them as now ful- 
filled, that in the 11 8th Psalm verse 22. « The stone which 
the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner," 
This text, in that psalm, the apostle applies to them : 

1. By telling them. This is the siojie, i. e. this person of 
whom he had spoken in the foregoing verse, viz. Jesus Christ 
of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, and whom God had 
raised from the dead. 

2. By telling them, that they were the builders spoken of. 
They, before whom the apostle then was, and to whom he was 
speaking, were rulers and elders and scribes of the people, 
the high priest and other priests. They, as they were set ta 
be rulers and teachers among God^s people, by their office, 
were called to be builders of the church of God. 

3. By telling them, that they had set this stone at nought. 
They had so done by refusing to accept of him. Christ came 
to his own, and his own received him not ; and not only so, 
but they had openly manifested the greatest contempt of him. 
They had mocked him, scourged and spit upon him, and in 
derision crowned him with a crown of thorns, and array2d 
hiai in a mock robe, and then had put him to a most ignomin- 
ious death. 

4. By telling them, that notwithstanding this, he was be- 
come the head oi the corner. In spite of all that they could 
do, he had obtained the chief place in the building. God had 
made him the main foundation of it, by raising him from the 
dead, and so putting great honor upon him, and by pourinj; 


out his Spirit, and enduing his disciples with extraordinary 
gifts, and by suddenly converting so many thousands to be the 
followers of Christ. They put him to death that he might 
have no followers, concluding that that w^ould utterly put an 
end to his interest in Judea. But they were greutly disappoint- 
ed; For the gospel had incomparably greater success after 
Christ's death than before. God had accomplished that very 
thing which they endeavored to prevent by Christ's crucifix- 
ion, viz. Christ's being believed in and submitted to, as the 
great Prophet of God and Prince of his people. 


Unbelievers set nothing by all the glory and excellency in 

I. They set nothing by the excellency of his person, 
Christ is a great and glorious person, a per-on of infinite wor- 
thiness, on which account he is infinitely esteemed and loved 
of the Father, and is continually adored by the angels. But un- 
believers have no esteem at all of him on that account. They 
have no value at all of hi-n on account of his being the Son of 
God. He is not set the higher in their esteem on the account 
of his standing in so near and honorable a relation to God the 
Father. He is not valued at all the more for his being a di- 
vine person, or one that is God. By his having the divine na- 
ture, he is infinitely exalted above all created beings. But he 
is not at all exalted by it in their esteem. They set nothing 
by his infinite Majesty. His glorious brightness and great- 
ness excite not any true respect or reverence in them. 

Christ is the holy one of God : He is so holy that the heav- 
ens are not pure in his sight. He is possessed of all that holi- 
ness which is the infinite beauty and loveliness of the divine 
nature. But an unbeliever sets nothing by the holiness of 
Christ. Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God, 
as he is called, 1 Cor. i. 24. But an unbeliever sets nothing 
hy his power and wisdom. The Lord Jesus Christ is full oT 


grace and mercy ; the meixy and love of God appear no where 
else so brightly and gloriously as they do in the face of Jesus 
Christ. But an unbeliever sets no value at all upon the infi- 
nite grace of Christ. 

Neither do unbelievers set any thing by those excellent 
virtues which appeared in Christ's human nature when he 
was upon earth. He was holy, harmless, undefiled. and sep- 
arate from sinners ; he was meek and lowly of heart; he was 
patient under afflictions and injuries ; when he was reviled, he 
reviled not again. But unbelievers set nothing by these things 
in Jesus Christ. They very often hear how excellent and 
glorious a person Christ is; they are told of his holiness, and 
grace, and condescension, and meekness, and have the excel- 
lencies of Christ plainly set forth to them ; yet they set all at 

II. They set nothing by his excellency in his work and of- 
fice. They are told how glorious and complete a Mediator 
he is, how sufficient to answer all our necessities, and to save 
sinners to the uttermost; but they make light of it all; yea they 
make nothing of it. They hear of the wonderful wisdom of 
God in contriving such a way of salvation by Christ, they have 
the manifold wisdom of God set forth to them; but they set 
nothing by this wisdom, nor do they make any account of the 
excellency of this way of salvation. 

The unbeliever heai's what a wonderful thing it was, that 
he who was in the form of God, and esteemed it no robbeiy to 
be equal with God, should take upon him the human nature* 
and come and live in this world in a mean and low condition , 
but he makes nothing of this. He hears much of the dying 
love of Christ to sinners, how wonderful it was that so glorious 
a person, who is infinitely above the angels, should so set hir-; 
love on such worms of the dust, so much below him, on such 
sinful creatures, who were his enemies, as to come and be 
made a curse for them, and die a cruel and ignominious death 
in.tlieir stead ; but he sets nothing by all this. This dying- 
iove of Christ is a thing of no account with hitn ; those great 

Vol. VII. 3 H ' 


things that Christ hath done and suffered are with him light 
matters, things of no weight at all. 

Unbelievers not only set little by the glory and excellency 
of Christ, but they set nothing by these things. NotAvithstand- 
mg all the shows and pretences which many natural men 
make of respect to Christ, by speaking honorably of Christ in 
their prayers, and in their common conversation, and by com- 
ing to sacraments, and attending other ordinances of Christ ; 
yet indeed they do not set so much by all tlie glory and excel- 
lency of Christ, either the glory of his person, or the glory of 
his work as a SaviouTj as they do by the smallest earthly en- 

I proceed now to mention some evidences of the truth of 
this doctrine. 

1. They never give Christ any honor on the account of 
this his glory and excellency. They may, and often do pay 
Christ an external and seeming respect ; but tliey do not hon- 
or Christ in their hearts. They have no exalting thoughts of 
Christ, no inward respect or reverence towards him ; they 
have indeed no honorable, respectful thoughts of Christ. All 
their outward worship is only feigned ; none of it arises from 
any real honor or respect in their hearts towards Christ. It is 
either only for fashion's sake, and in compliance with custom, 
or else it is forced, and is what they are driven to by fear, as 
we read, Psalm Ixvi. 3. " Through the greatness of thy pow- 
er shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee." In the 
original it is, shall thine mcviies lie unto thee^ i. e. yield a feign- 
ed obedience. Through the greatness of Christ's power, and 
for fear of his wrath, his enemies, who have no respect or hon- 
or for him in their hearts, will lie to him, and make a show of 
respect when they have none. 

An unbeliever is not sensible that Christ is worthy of any 
glory, and therefore does not at all seek the glory of Christ in 
any thing that he does ; he does nothing that he does in relig- 
ion, out of respect to Christ's glory, but wholly for other 


ends ; which shows that he sees not Christ to be worthy of 
any glory. Christ is set last and lowest in the heart of an un- 
i)eliever. He has high thoughts of other things ; he has high 
thoughts of creature objects and earthly enjoyments, but mean 
and low thoughts of Christ. He has more honorable thoughts 
of that which is but mere dirt and dung, than he has of Jesus 

The unbeliever shows the mean and contemptible thoughts 
that he has of Christ, in refusing to accept of him, and in shut- 
ting the door of his heart against him, Christ stands at th-e 
door and knocks, and sometimes stands many years knocking 
at the door of his heart, and he refuses to open to him. Now 
itcertainly shows that men have a very mean thought of a per- 
son, when they shut him out of their doors. Unbelievers 
show the mean and dishonorable thoughts they have of Christ, 
in that they dare not trust him„ They believe not what he 
says to be true ; they will not trust the word of Christ, so far 
as the word of one of their honest neighbors, or of a servant 
"whom they have found to be faithful. It also appears that 
they have no real honor for Christ in their hearts, in that they 
refuse to obey his commands. They do nothing that they do 
from a spirit of obedience to him ; and that external obedience 
which they render, is but a forced, feigned obedience, and not 
from any respect to Christ's authority or worthiness to be 

2. They have no love to him on the account of his glory 
and excellency. If they did set any thing by all the glory and 
excellency of Christ, or if they saw any excellency or glory in 
in Christ, they would have some measure of love to Christ. 
But the truth is, they see no form or comeliness in Christ, and 
hence they have no love at all to Christ: An unbeliever never 
exercises one act of true love to Christ. All that he is told of 
the glory of Christ, of his divine perfections, of his holiness, 
his meekness, and grace, has no influence at all to draw forth 
any love. The display of these things doth no more draw 
forth love out of the heart of an unbeliever, than it drav/s forth 
love from the stones and rocks-. 


A natural man hath no love of benevolence towards Chvist. 
Notwithstanding all that is declared to him of the excellency 
of Christ, he has no good will towards Christ. He rejoices 
not in his glory and happiness ; he would not care what be- 
came of Christ, if he could but escape hell. If Christ should 
be dethroned, or made miserable, or should cease to be, he has 
not so much good will to Christ, as would make him concern- 
ed about it. And if the kingdom and interest of Christ in the 
■world should go to ruin, it would be no wise grievous to the 
unbeliever, provided his own interest could be secure. 

So also an unbeliever has no love of complacency in Jesus 
Chiist for his excellency. He takes no delight in the view 
or consideration of any of that glory and excellency of Christ 
of which he is told. He is told that it is exceedingly beauti- 
ful and glorious ; but he sees nothing entertaining in it ; he 
takes no pleasure in the view of any thing that he can see in 
Christ : The thoughts of the glory of Christ are nowise en- 
tertaining to him : He has no delight in the thoughts of it, or 
an any contemplations upon it. He takes delight in think- 
ing of these and those earthly objects ; but when he comes to 
turn his mina upon Jesus Christ, if ever he so does, this is to 
him a dry and barren subject ; he finds nothing there to feed 
and delight his soul ; no beauty or loveliness to please or grat- 
ify him. 

3. Unbelievers have no desires after the enjoyment of 
Christ. H they did set any thing by the glory and excellency 
of Christ, they would have some desires after him on account 
of that excellency ; especially when he is offered to them, and 
is from time to time set forth as the proper object of their 
choice and desires. That which men prize, they are wont to 
desire, especially if it be represented to them as attainable, 
and as fit and suitable for them. But unbelievers have no de- 
sires afier the enjoyment of Christ. They desire to be deliv- 
ered from hell, but they desire not to enjoy Christ, 

They have no idea of any happiness to be had in the en- 
joyment cf Christ : They cannot conceive what happiness 


there can be in beholdinj^ Christ and being with him, in seeing 
his holiness, and contemplating his wonderful grace and di- 
vine glory. They have no relish for any such thing, nor ap- 
petite after it, 

4. They show that they set nothing by the glory and ex- 
cellency of Christ, in that they seek not at all a conformity to 
that glory and excellency. A natural man may seek to be ho- 
ly, but it is not for holiness' sake, it is only that he may escape 
wrath. He has no desires after holiness, nor is it indeed ho- 
liness that ho seeks, because he is all the while an enemy to 
holiness. A natural man has no desires to have his soul con- 
formed to the glorious beauty and excellency of Christ, nor to 
have his image upon him; 

If he in any degree prized or delighted in the excellencies 
of Christ, he would necessarily desire to be like him so ikr as 
he could. This we sec in ourselves and in all men : When 
we see any qualifications in others that are pleasing to us, and 
that we set by, it is natural for us to endeavor to imitate them, 
and to seek to be in those things conformed to those persons. 
Hence men are apt to learn of those of whom they have a 
great esteem ; they naturally fall into an imitation of their 
ways and manner of behavior. But natural men feel within 
themselves no disposition or inclination to learn of Christ, or 
to imitate him. Their tempers and dispositions remain quite 
contrary to Christ's, neither do they grow at all better or more 
conformed to Christ, but wax worse and worse. 2 Tim. iii. IS', 
" Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse." 


1. This doctrine may teach us the heinousness of the siii 
of unbelief, as this sin sets all the glory and excellency of 
Christ at nought. It often appears strange to natural men, 
that unbelief should be spoken of as such a heinous and crying- 
fiin. They cannot see such evil in it. There are other sins 
vhich often trouble natural men's consciences, when this sin 


of unbelief troubles them not at all, thou5j;h it be that which 
brings far greater guilt upon them, than those sins about 
■which they are more troubled. 

This that has been now said may show why unbelief is 
spoken of as such a heinous sin, as it is, John iii. 18. and chap, 
xvi. 9. and 1 John v. 10. For thereby all the glory and excel- 
lency of Christ is set at nought, though it be so great, though 
it be infinite, though it be the glory of the godhead itself, and 
though it has been so gloriously manifested in what Christ has 
done and suffered. Natural men in their unbelief cast con- 
tempt on all this glory, and tread it under foot, as being no- 
thing worth. Their unbelief treats the excellency of Christ 
as being of less value than the meanest earthly enjoyments. 

II. This doctrine may convict natural men in four partic- 

1. Hereby you may be convinced of the greatness of your 
guilt. Consider how great and excellent that person is, 
whom you thus set at nought. Contempt of any person is 
heinous in proportion to the worthiness and dignity of the per- 
son contemned. Though we are but men, and worms of the 
dust, and very vile, sinful creatures ; yet we take it grievous- 
ly when we are despised. Consider how you yourselves are 
ready to resent it, when any of your neighbors seem to slight 
you, and set light by what you say and do, and to make no ac- 
count of it, but to treat you as if you were good for nothing, or 
not worth minding. Do you take this well of your neighbors 
and equals, when you observe any thing of this nature ? Are 
you not ready to look upon it with resentment, to think veiy 
ill of it, and to judge that you have great cause to be offended ? 

But if it be such a crime to despise you and set you at 
nought, what is it to set at nought the eternal, infinitely glori- 
ous Son of God, in comparison with whom you, and all nations, 
are nothing and less than nothing, and vanity ? You dislike it 
much to be contemned by your equals ; but you would take it 
yet more grievously to be despised by your inferiors, by those 
ivhom on every account you much excel... ..What a crime is 


it then for a vile, sinful worm, to set at nought him who is the 
brightness of the glory of the King of kings 1 

It would be a crime inexpressibly heinous, to set litdc by 
the glory and excellency of such a person ; but it is more so, 
to set yiothing at alt by it, as you do. You have no value at all 
for it, as has been shown. And this is the more aggravated, 
as Christ is a person whom you so much need, and a» he came 
into the world out of infinite grace to sinners, to lay down his 
life to deliver them from hell, and purchase for them eternal 
glory. How much has Christ done and suffered, that you 
might have opportunity to be saved ! Yet you set nothing by 
it all ; you set nothing by the blood of Christ, even by that 
blood that was shed for such poor sinners as you are, and that 
is offered to you for your salvation. But you trample under 
foot the blood of the Son of God. If Christ had come into the 
world only to teach us, it would have been a heinous thing to 
trample under foot his word and instructions. But when he 
came to die for us, how much more heinous is it to trample 
under foot his blood I 

Men take it hardly to have any of their qualifications or ac- 
tions despised, which they esteem commendable. But espe- 
cially do they highly resent it when others slight their kind- 
ness. And above all when they have put themselves out of 
their way, and have denied themselves, and suffered consider- 
ably to do others a kindness ; then to have their kindness des- 
pised and set at nought, is what men would above all things 
resent. How heinous then is it, and how exceedingly pro- 
voking to God must it be, thus to s«t at nought so great kind- 
ness and love of Christ, when, from love to sinners, he suffer- 
ed so much ? 

Consider how highly the angels, who are so much above 
you, do set by the glory and excellency of Christ, by whiciv 
you set nothing. They admire and adore the glory of Christ, 
and cease not day nor night to praise the same in the most ex- 
alted strains. Rev. V. II. 12. " And I beheld, and I heard 
the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the 
beasts, and the elders : And the number of them w-as tea 


thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ; 
saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was shun^ 
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and 
honor, and glory, and blessing." The saints admire the ex- 
cellency of Christ, and the glorious angels admire it, and ev- 
ery creature in heaven and earth, but only you unbelieving 
children of men. 

Consider not only how much the angels set by the glorj' of 
Christ, but how much God himself sets by it ; for he is the 
darling of Heaven, he was eternally God's delight ; and be- 
cause of his glory God hath thought him worthy to be appoint- 
ed the heir of all things, and hath seen fit to ordain that all 

men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father Is he 

thus worthy of the infinite esteem and love of God himself i 
And is he woi-thy of no esteem from you ? 

2. Hereby you may be convinced of your danger. You 
must needs think that such guilt will bring great wrath : 
Doubtless God is dreadfully provoked by your thus despisin^r 
Jesus Christ. Dreadful destruction is denounced in Scrip- 
ture against those that despise only the disciples of Christ, 
Matth, xviii. 6. What destruction then will come on them 
that despise all the glorious excellency of Christ himself ! 

Consider that you not only have no value for all the glory 
and excellency of Christ ; but you are enemies to him on 
that very account. The very ground of that enmity and op- 
position which there is between your hearts and Jesus Christ, 
is. the glorious perfections and excellencies that there are in 
Jesus Christ. By being such an holy and excellent Saviour, 
he is contray to your lusts and corruptions : If there were a 
Saviour offered to you that was agreeable to your corrupt na- 
ture, such a Saviour you would fall in with the ofler of ; such 
a Saviour you would accept. But, Christ being a Saviour of 
such purity, holiness, and divine perfection, this is the cause 
why you have no inclination to him, but are offended in him. 

Instead of being a precious stone iii your eyes, he is u 
stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to you. That heis a 
Saviour who hath manifested such divine perfections in -wlrju 


he hath done and suffered, is one principal reason why you set 
nothing by him. Consider how provoking this must needs 
be to God the Father, who has given his only begotten Son for 
your salvation ; and what wrath it merits from the Son whom 
you thus treat. And consider how you will hereafter bear 
this wrath. 

Consider that however Christ be set at nought by you, yet 
he shall be the head of the corner, and that even with respect 
to you. Though you set him low, yet he shall be exalted with 
respect to you. It is but a vain thing for you to make light 
of Christ and treat him with contempt. How much soever 
you contemn him, you cannot break his bands asunder, nor 
cast his cords from you. You will still be in his hai>ds. 
While you despise Christ, God Avill despise you, and the Lord 
will have you in derision. God will set his king on his holy 

hill of Zion in spite of all his enemies ; Psalm ii. 1 6, 

Though you say we will not have this man to reign over us, 
yet Christ will rule over you ; Psalm ex. 2. " Rule thou in 
the midst of thine enemies." If you will not submit to the 
sceptre of his grace, you shall be subject to the rod of his 
wrath, and he <vill rule you v/ith a rod of iron j Psalm ii. 9, 
10, 11, 12. 

3. You may hence be led to see how worthless many of 
those things in yourselves are, that you have been ready to 
make much of. Particularly if it be so that you set nothing 
by all the glory of Christ, then what are those desires that you 
have after Christ good for ? And that willingness that you 
think you find to come to Christ ?. ...Sinners are often wont to 
excuse themselves in their unbelief with this, that they sec 
not but that they are willing to come to Christ, and would 
gladly come to him if they could, and have great desires to 
come to him. And they make much of such a, willingness 
and such desires, as though God were unjust to punish them 
for not coming to Christ, when they would gladly come to 
Christ if they could. But this doctrine shows that your wil- 
lingness and desires to come to Christ are not worthy to be 
mentioned as any excuse : For they are not from any respect 

Vol. VIL 'si 


to Christ, but are merely forced : You at the same time set 
Christ at nought ; or set nothing by all his excellency and 

So you may hence learn the worthlessness of all your pains 
and endeavors after C hrist. When sinners have taken a 
great deal of pains to get an interest in Christ, they are wont 
tb make a righteousness of it ; little considering that at the 
very time they are taking so much pains to get an interest ih 
Christ, they set nothing at all by Christ for any glory or ex- 
cellency that there is in him ; but set him wholly at nought, 
and seek him out of respect to their own interest. 

4. Hence learn how justly God might for ever refuse to 
give you an interest in Christ. For why should God give yo"d 
any part or interest in him whom you set at nought, all whose 
glory and excellency you value not in the least, but rather 
trample it under your feet, and prefer the dirt before it. 

Why should God ever give you any interest in him whom 
you so despise ? Seeing you despise him, how justly might 
you be obliged to go without any interest in him ! How justly 
might you be refused any part in that precious stone, whose 
preciousness youmake no account of, and esteem no more 
than that of the stones of the street l....Is God obliged to caat 
such a pearl before swine who will trample it under their feet ? 
Is God obliged to make you possessors of his infinitely glorli- 
ous and dear Son, when at the same time you count him not 
worth the having, for the sake of any worth or excellency that 
there is in him j but merely because you cannot escape hell 
••vithout him ? 


lie Folly of Looking Back injleeing out of Sodom.. 

LUKExvii. 32. 


V^HRIST is here foretelling his coming in his king, 
.^om in answer to the question which the Pharisees asked him, 
viz. IVihu the kingdom of God should co?7te. And in what he 
says of his coming, he evidently has respect to two things, his 
coming ut the destruction of Jerusalem, and his coming to the 
general judgment at the end of the world. He compares his 
coming at those times to the coming of God in two remarka- 
ble judgments that were past ; first, to that in the time of the 
flood ; " and as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also 
in the days of the Son of Man." Next, he compares it to the 
destruction of Sodom aiKl Gomorrah; "likewise also, as it 
was in the days of Lot, even thus shall it be in the day whea 
the Son of IVLin is revealed." 

Then he immediately proceeds to direct his people how 
they should behave themselves at tlie appearance of the sig- 
nal of the approach of that day, referring especially to the de- 
struction of Jerusalem. " In that day, he which shall be up-^' 
on the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come 
down to take it away : And he that is in the field, let him like^ 
wise not return back." In which words Christ shows that 
tliey should make the utmost haste to flee and get out of the 

• Dated May 1735. 


city to the mountains, as he commands. Matth. xxiv, 15. &c. 
" When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation 
spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, then 
let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains ; let him 
which is in the housetop not come down to take any thing out 
of the house, neither let him which is in the field turn back 
to take his clothes." 

Jerusalem was like Sodom, in that it was devoted to de- 
struction, by special divine wrath, as that was ; and indeed to 
a more terrible destruction than Sodom was. Therefore the 
like direction is given concerning fleeing out of it with the ut- 
most haste, without looking behind, as the angel gave to Lot, 
when he bid him flee out of Sodom. Gen. xix. 17. " Escape 
for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the 
plain."... .And in the text Christ enforces his counsel by the 
instance of Lot's wife. He bids them remember her, and 
take warning by her, who looked back as she was fleeing out 
of Sodom, and became a pillar of salt. 

If it be inquired why Christ gave this direction to his peo- 
ple to flee out of Jerusalem, in such exceeding haste, at the 
first notice of the signal of her approaching destruction ; I 
answer, it seems to be, because fleeing out of Jerusalem was 
a type of fleeing out of a state of sin. Escaping out of that 
unbelieving city typified an escape out of a state of unbelief. 
Therefore they were directed to flee without staying to take 
any thing out of their houses, to signify with what haste and 
greatness of concern we should flee out of a natural condition, 
that no respect to any worldly enjoyment should prevent or 
delay us one moment, and that we should flee to Jesus Christ, 
the refuge of souls, our strong rock, and the mount of our de- 
fence, so as in fleeing to him, to leave and forsake heartily all 
earthly things. 

This seems to be the chief reason also why Lot was direct- 
ed to make such haste, and not to look behind; because hi^5 
fleeing out of Sodom was designed on purpose to be a type of 
our fleeing from that state of sin and misery in v. hich we nat- 
urally are. 



We ought not to look back when wc are fleeing out of 

Sodom The following i-easons may be sufficient to support 

this doctrine : 

1. That Sodom is a city full of filthiness and abominations. 
It is a filthy and abominable city ; it is full of those impuri- 
ties that are worthy to be had in the utmost abhorrence and 
detestiition by ^11. The inhabitants of it are a polluted com- 
pany, tliey are all under the power and dominion of hateful 
lusts. All their faculties and affections are polluted with 
those vile dispositions that are unworthy of the human nature, 
that greatly debase it, that are exceedingly hateful to God and 
dreadfully incense his anger. Every kind of spiritual abomi- 
nation abounds iu it : In Sodom there is all filthiness that can 
be thought of. There is nothing so hateful and abominable 
but that there it is to be found, and there it abounds. 

Sodom is a city full of devils and all unclean spii'its ; there 
they have their rendezvous, and there they have their domin- 
ion. There they and those that are like unto them, do sport 
and wallow themselves in filthiness, as it is said of mystical 
Babylon, Rev. xviii. 2. Babylon, is become the habitation of 
devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every 
unclean and hateful bird : Who would be of such a society ? 
Who would not flee from such a city with the utmost haste, 
and never look back upon it, and never have the least incli- 
nation of returning, or having any thing to do there any more ? 

Some in Sodom may seem to cary a fair face, and make a 
fair outward show ; but if we could look into their hearts, 
they are every one altogether filthy and abominable. We 
ought to flee from such a city, with the utmost abhorrence of 
the place and society, with no desires to dwell longer there, 
and never to discover the least inclination to return to it ; but 


should be desirous to get to the greatest possible distance from 
it, that we might in no wise be partakers in her abominations. 

2. We ought not to look back when fleeing out of Sodom, 
because Sodom is a city appointed to destruction. The cry 
of the city hath reached up to heaven. The earth cannot bear 
such a burden as her inhabittuits are ; she will therefore dis- 
burden herself of them, and spue them out. God will not suf- 
fer such a city to stand ; he will consume it. God is an holy 
God, and his nature is infinitely opposite to all such unclean- 
ness as Sodom is full of ; he vvill therefore be a consuming 
fire to it. The holiness of God will not suffer it to stand, and 
the Majesty and justice of God require that the inhabitants of 
that city, who thus offend and provoke him, be destroyed. 
And God will surely destroy them ; it is the immutable and 
irreversible decree of God. He hath said it, and he vill do it. 
The decree is gone forth, and so sure as there is a God, and 
he is Almighty, and able to fulfil his decrees and ihreatenings, 
so surely will he destroy Sodom. Gen. xix. 12, ; 3. "What- 
soever thou hast in this city, bring them out of this place ; for 
we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen 
great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord hath sent us 
to destroy it." And verse 14. " Up, get ye out of this place, 
for the Lord will clestroy this city." 

This city is an accursed city ; it is destined to ruin. 
Therefore, as we would no: be partakers of her curse, and 
would not be destroyed, we should flee out of it, and not look 
behiijd us, Rev. xviii. 4. " Come out of her, my people, that 
ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her 

3. We ought not to look back when fleeing out of Sodom, 
because the destruction to which it is appointed is exceeding, 
ly dreadful ; it is appointed to utter destruction, to be wholly 
and entirely consumed. It is appointed to suffer the wrath of 
the great God, which is to be poured down from God upon it, 
like a dreadful storm of fire and brimstone. This city is to 
bp filled full of the wrath of God. Every one that remains in 
it shall have the fire of God's wrath come down on his head 

m FLEieiNG out OF SOt)OM. isf 

and into his soul : He shall be full of fire, and full of the wratfi' "^ 
of the Almighty. He shall be encompassea with fire without 
and full of fire within : His head, his heart, his bowels, and all 
his limbs shall be full of fire, and not a drop of water to cool 

Nor shall he have any place to fiee to for relief. Go where 
ho will, there is the fire of God^s wrath : His destruction, 
and torment will be inevitable. He shall be destroyed 
without any pity. He shall cry aloud, but there shall bo 
none to help, there shall be none to regard his lamenta- 
tions, or to afford relief. The decree is gone forth, and the 
days come when Sodom shall burn as an oven, and all the in- 
habitants thereof shall be as stubble. As it was in the literal 
Sodom, the whole city was full of fire ; in their houses there 
was no safety, for they were all on fire ; and if they fled out 
into the streets, they also were full of fire. Fire continually 
came down out of heaven every where. That was a dismal 
time. What a cry was there then in that city, in every pari 
of it I But there was none to help ; they had no where to go, 
where they could hide their heads from fire : They had none 
to pity or relieve them. If they fled to their friends, they 
could not help them. 

Now, with what haste should we flee from a city appointed 
to such a destruction ! And how should we flte without look- 
ing behind us 1 How should it be our whole intent, and what 
we with all our minds and might are engaged about, to get at 
the greatest distance from a city in such circumstances ! Hovr 
far should' we be from thinking at all of returning to a city 
which has such wrath hanging over it ! 

4. The destruction to which Sodom' is appointed is an 
universal destruction. None that stay in it shall escape : 
None will have the good fortune to be in any by corner, where 
the fire will not search them out. All sorts, old and young, 
great and small, shall be destroyed. There shall be no ex- 
ception of any age, or any sex, or any condition, but all shall 
perish together. Gen. xix. 24, 25. " Then the Lord r?ined 
upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the 


Lord out of heaven, and he overthrew those cities and all th^ 
plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which ^•rc\ 
upon the ground." We therefore must not longer delay or 
look behind us ; for there is no place of safety in Sodom, nor 
in all the plain on which Sodom is built. The mountain of 
of safety is before Us, and not behind us. 

5. The destruction to which Sodom is appointed is an ev- 
erlasting dcstiniction. This is said of the literal Sodom, that 
it suffered the vengeance of eternal hre, Jude vii. " Even as 
Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like man- 
ner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after 
strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the ven- 
geance of eternal fire/' That destruction that Sodom and 
Gomorrah suffered was an eternal destruction : Those cities 
were destroyed, and have never been built since, and are not 
capable of being rebuilt ; for the land on which they stood at 
the time of their destruction sunk, and has been ever since 
covered with the lake of Sodom or the dead sea, or as it is 
called in scripture, t/te salt sea^ This seems to have been 
thus ordered on purpose to be a type of the eternal destruction 
of ungodly men. So that fire by which they were destroyed 
is called eternal fire, because it was so typically, it was a type 
of the eternal destruction of ungodly men ; which iriay be in 
part what is intended, when it is said in that text in Jude, that 
they were set forth for an example, or for a type or representa- 
tion of the eternal fire in which all the ungodly are to be con- 

Sodom has in all ages since been covered with a lake 
which was first brought on it by fire and brimstone, to be A 
typeof the lake of fire and brimstone in which ungodly men 
shall have their part forever and ever, as we read Rev. xx, 15, 
and elsewhere. 

We ought not therefore to look back when fleeing out of 
Sodom, seeing that the destruction to which it is appointed is 
an eternal destruction J for this renders the destruction infi- 
nitely dreadful. 


6. Sodom is a city appointed to swift and sudden destruc- 
tion. The destruction is not only certain and inevitable, and 
infinitely dreadful, but it will come speedily. " Their judg» 
ment lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not ;" 
r2 Pet. ii. 3. And so Deut. xxxii. 35, " The day of their ca- 
lamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them 
make haste." The storm of wrath, the .black clouds of divine 
vengeance even now every moment hang over them, just 
ready to break forth and come down in a dreadful manner up- 
on tliem. God hath already whet his sword, and bent his bow, 
anc'tnade ready his arrow on the string. Psalm vii. 12. There- 
fore we should make haste, and not look behind us. For if 
we linger and stop to look back, and flee not for our lives, 
there is great danger that we shall be involved in the common 

The destruction of Sodom is jiot only swift, but will come 
suddenly and imexpectedly. It seems to have been a fair 
morning in Sodom on the morning that it was destroyed. 
There is notice taken of the time when the sun rose that morn- 
ing. Gen. xix. 23. It seems that there wpre nocloudslo be seen, 
no appearance of any storm at all, much less a storm of fire and 
brimstone. The inhabitants of Sodom expected no such 
thing ; even when Lot told his sons in law of it, they would not 
believe it; Gen. xix. 14, They were making merry ; their 
hearts were at ease, they thought nothing of such a calamity 
at hand. But it came at once, as travail upon a woman with 
child, and there was no escape ; as it is observed in the con- 
text, v. 28, 29. "They did eat, they drank; they bought, 
they sold ; they planted, they byilded ; but the same day that 
Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from 
heaven, and detroyed them all." 

So it is with wicked men ; Psalm Ixxiii. 19. " Kow are 
they brought into desolation in a moment ; they are utterly 
consumed with terrors." If therefore we linger and look 
back, we may be suddenly overtaken and seized ^yith destruc- 

Vol. VIL 3 K 


7. There is nothing in Sodom that is worth looking back 
upon. All the enjoyments of Sodom will soon perish in the 
common destruction, all will be burnt up. And surely it is 
not worth the while to look back on things that are perishing 
and consuming ir. the flames, as it is with all the enjoyments 
of sin ; they are all appointed to the fire. Therefore it is 
foolish for any who are fleeing out of Sodom to hanker any- 
more after them ; for when they are burnt up, what good can 
they do ? And is it worth the while for us to return back for 
the sake of a moment's enjoyment of them, before they are 
burnt, and so expose ourselves to be burnt up with themi'l 

loot's wife looked back, because she remembered the 
pleasant things that she left in Sodom. She hated to leave 
them ; she hankered after them ; she could not but look back 
with a wishful eye upon the city, where she had lived in such 
ease and pleasure. Sodom was a place of great outward plen- 
ty; they ate the fat, and drank the sweet. The soil where 
Sodom was built was exceedingly fruitful ; it is said to be as 
the garden of God, Gen. xii. 10. And fulness of bread was one 
of the sins of the place, Ezek. xvi. 49. 

Here Lot and his wife lived plentifully ; and it was a place 
•where the inhabitants wallowcl in carnal pleasures and de- 
lights. But however much it abounded in these things, v/hat 
were they worth now, when the ciiy was burning ? Lot's wife 
was very foolish in lingering in her escape, for the sake of 
things which were all on fire. So the ei>joyments, the profits, 
and pleasures of sin, have the wrath and curse of God on them ; 
Biimstone is scatter'xl on them : Hellfire is I'eady to kindle 
on them. It is not therefore, worth while for any person to 
look back after such things. 

8. Wc are warned by messengers sent tons from God to 
make haste in our flight from Sodom, and not to look behind 
us. God sends to us his ministers, the angels of the church- 
es, on this grand errand, as he sent the angels to warn Lot 
and his wife to flee for their lives, and to say and do as we have 
account in Gen, xix- 15, 16. If we delay or look back, now 
that we have had such fair warning, we shall be exceedingly 
nexcusable and monstrously foolish. 



The use that I would make of this doctrine is, to warn 
those who are in a natural condition to flee out of it, and by no 
means to look back. While you are out of Christ, you are 'm 
Sodom. The whole history of the destruction of Sodom, Avith 
all its circumstances, seems to be inserted in the scriptures 
for our warning, and is set forth for an example, as the Apos- 
tle Jude says. It, in a lively manner, typifies the case of natur- 
al men, the destruction of those that continue in a natural state 
and the manner of their escape who flee to Christ. The 
Psalmist, when speaking of the appointed punishment of un- 
godly men, seems evidently to refer to the destruction of Sod* 
cm, in Psalm xi. 6. " Upon the wicked God shall rain snare^j 
fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; this shall be the 
portion of their cup." 

Consider therefore what the state is that you are to get out 
of, you that are seeking an interest in Christ : You are to flee 
out of Sodom. Sodom is the place of ycur nativity, and the 
place where you have spent your lives hitherto. You are cit- 
izens of that city which is full of filthiness and abomination 
before God, thai polluted and accursed city. You belong to 
that impure society. You not only live among them, but you 
are of them, you are some that have committed those abomi- 
nations, and have so provoked God as you have heard. It is 
you that I have all this while been speaking of under this doc- 
trine ; you are the inhabitants of Sodom. Perhaps you may 
look on your circumstances as not very dreadful ; but yo% 
dwell in Sodom. Though you may be reformed, and appear 
with a clean outside, and a smooth face to the world ; yet as 
long as you are in a natural condition, you are impure inhabi- 
tants of Sodom. 

The world of mankind is divided into two companies, or, 
is I may say, into two cities : There is the city of Zion, tlve 


church of God, the holy and beloved city ; and there is Sodomj 
that polluted and accursed city, which is appointed to destruc- 
tion. You belong to the latter of these. How much soever 
you may look upon yourselves better than some others, yet 
you are of the saine city ; the same company with fornicators, 
and drunkards, and adulterers, and common swearers, and 
highwaymen, and pirates, and Sodomites. How much soev« 
er you may think yourselves disting'.iished, as long as you are 
out of Christ you belonsr to the very same society ; you are of 
the company, you join with them, and are no better than they, 
any otherwise than as you have greater restraints. You are 
considered in the sight of God as fit to be ranked with them. 
You and they are altogether the objects of the loathing and 
abhorrence of God, and have the wrath of God abiding on 
you ; you will go with them and be destroyed with them, if 
you do not escape from your present state. Yea, you are of 
the same society and the same company with the devils, for 
Sodom is not only the city of wicked men, but it is the hold of 
every foul spirit. 

You belong to that city that is appointed to an awful, inev- 
itable, universal, swift, and sudden destruction ; a city that 
hath a storm of fire and wrath hanging over it. Many of you 
are convinced of the awful state you are in while in Sodom, 
and are making some attempts to escape from the wrath which 
hangs over it. Let such be warned by what hath been said, to 
escape for their lives, and not to look back. Look not back, 
unless you choose to have a share in the burning tempest that 
is coming down on that city. Look not back in remembrance 
of the enjoyments which you have had in Sodom, as hunker- 
ing after the pleasant things which you have had there, after 
the ease, the security, and the pleasure which you have there 

Remember Lot's wife ; for she looked back, as being loath 
Utterly and for ever to leave the ease, the pleasure and plenty 
•which she enjoyed in Sodom, and as having a mind to return 

i.o them again : Remember what became of her Remem- 

jjcr the children of Israel in the wilderness, who were desir- 


eiis of going back again into Egypt, because they remember^ 
ed the leeks and onions, &c. of Egypt ; Numb. xi. 5. » We 
remember the flesh which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cu- 
cumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and 
the garlick." Remember what was the issue of their hanker- 
ing. You must be willing for ever to leave al! the ease, and 
pleasure, and profit of sin, to forsake all for salvation, as Lot 
forsook all, and left all he had, to escape out of Sodom. And 
further to enforcfe this Avarning, let me intreat all you who are 
in this state, to consider these several things which I shall now 
mention : 

L The destruction of which you are In danger is infinitely 
more dreadlui than that destriiction of the literal S6dom from 
which Lot fled. The destruction of Sodom and Gomdrt-ah in 
a storm of fire and brimstone, was but a shadow of the destruc- 
tion of ungodly men in hell, and is no more to it than a shadow 
era picture is to a reality, or than painted fire is to real fire. 
The misery of hell is set forth by various shadows and images 
in Scripture, as blackness of darkness, a never dying worm, a 
furnace of fire, a lake of fire and brimstone, the torments of 
the valley of the son of Hinnom, a storm of fire and brimstone. 
The reason why so many similitudes are made use of, is be- 
cause none of them are sufficient. Any one does but partly 
and very imperfectly represent the truth, and therefore God 
makes use of many. 

You have therefore much tnore need to make haste in 
your escape, and not to look behind you, than Lot and his wife 
had when they fled out of Sodom ; for you are every day and 
every moment in danger of a thousand times more dreadful 
storm coming on your hieads, than that which came on Sodom, 
when the Lord rained brimstone and fire from the Lord out 
of heaven upon them ; so that it will be vastly more sottish 
in you to look back than it was in Lot's wife. 

2. The destruction you are in danger of is not only great- 
er than the temporal destruction of Sodom, but greater than 
the eternal destruction of the inhabitants of Sodom. For how- 
ever well you may think you have behaved yoursrJves, yoc 


who have continued impenitent under the glorious gospel, 
have sinned more, and provoked God far more, and have great- 
er guilt upon you, than the inhabitants of Sodom ; although 
you may seem to yourselves, and perhaps to others, to be very- 
harmless creatures. Matth. X. 15. Verily I say unto you, it 
shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day 
of judgment, than for that city. 

3. Multitudes, while they have been looking back, have 
been suddenly overtaken and seized by the storm of wrath. 
The wratli of God hath not delayed, while they have delayed j 
it has pot waited at all for them to repent, to turn about and 
flee ; but has presently seized them, and they have been p.ist 

hope When Lot's wife looked back, she was immediately 

-destroyed. God had exercised patience towards her before. 
When she lingered at the setting out, the ani:els pressed herj 
her husband and children, to make haste. Not only so, but 
when they y^et delayed, they laid hold on her hands, and 
brought her forth, and sether without the city, the Lord being 
merciful to her. But now when, notwithstiUiding this mercy, 
and the warnings which had been given her, she looked backj 
Crod exercised no more patience towards her, but proceeded 
in wrath immediately to put her to death. 

Now God has in like manner been merciful to you. You 
in time past have been lingering ; you have been warned by 
the angel of your danger, and pressed to make haste and flee ; 
yet you have delayed. And now at length God hath, as it were, 
laid hold on you, by the convictions of his Spirit, to draw you 
out of Sodom ; therefore rtivcyvb'r Lot's viff. If now after 
all, you should look back, when God hath been so merciful to 
you, you will have reason to fear, that God will suddenly de- 
stroy you, and wait no longer on you. Multitudes when they 
have been looking back and putting off" to another opportuni- 
ty, they have never had another opportunity ; they have been 
suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. 

4. If you look back, and live long after it, there will be 
great danger that you will never get any further. The only 
way to seek salvation is to press forward, with all your mightj 


and still to look and press forward, never to stand still or slack- 
en your pace When Lot's wife stopped in her flight, and 

stood still in order that she might look, her punishment was, 
thut there she was to siand for ever ; she never got any far- 
ther ; she never got beyond that place ; but there she stood 
as a pillar of salt, a durable pillar and monument of wrath, for 
her folly and wickedness. 

So it very often is with backsliders, though they may live 
% considerable time after. When they look back, after they 
have been taking paiiis for their salvation, they loose all, they 
put themselves under vast disadvantages ; by quenching the 
Spirit of God, and losing their convictions, they dreadfully 
harden their own hearts and stupify their souls, make way for 
discouragements, dreadfully strengthen and establish the in- 
terest of sin in their hearts, many ways give Satan great ad- 
vantages to ruin them, and provoke God oftentimes utterly to 
leave them to hardness of heart. When they come to look 
back, their souls presently become dead and hard like Lot's 
wife's body : And if this be the case, though they liv^e long 
after, they never get any further ; it is worse for them than 
if they were immediately damned. When persons in fleeing- 
out of Sodom look back, their last case is far worse than the 

first ; Matth. xii. 43, 44, 45 And experience confirms that 

none ordinarily are so hard to be brought to repentance as 

5. it may well stir you up to flee for your lives, and not to 
look behind you, when you consider how n-any have lately fled 
to the mountain, while you yet remain in Sodom. To what 
multitudes hath God given the wisdom to flee to Christ, the 
mountain of safety ! They have fled to the little city Zoar, 
which God will spdre and never destroy. How many have 
you seen of all sorts resorting out of Sodom thither, as believ- 
ing the word of God by the angels, that God would surely de- 
stroy that place. They are in a safe condition ; they are got 
out of the reach of the storm ; the fire and brimstone can do 
them no hurt there. 


But you yet remain in that cursed city among that accurs- 
ed company. You are yet in Sodom, which God is about so 
terribly to destroy, where you are in danger every minute oi 
having snares, fire, and brimstone, come down on your Iiead .... 
Though so many have obtained, yet you have not obtained de- 
liverance. Good has come, but you have seen none of it. 
Others are happy, but no one knows what will become of you : 
You have jio part nor lot in that glorious salvation of souls, 
which has lately been among us. ...The consideration of this 
should stir you up effectually to escape, and in your escape to 
press forward, still to press forward, and to resolve to press 
forward for ever, let what will be in the way, to hearken to no 
temptation, and never to look back, or in any wise slacken or 
abate your endeavors as long as you live, but if possible to in- 
crease in them more and more. 

6. Backsliding after such a time as this*, will have a vast- 
ly greater tendency to seal a man's damnation than at another 
time. The greater means men have, the louder calls, and 
the greater advantages they are under, the more dangerous is 
backsliding, the more it has a tendency to enhance guilt, te 
provoke God, and to harden the heart. 

We, in this land of light, have long enjoyed greater advan- 
tages than the most of the world. But the advantages which 
persons are under now for their salvation, are perhaps tenfold 
to what they have been at such times as we have oidinarily 
lived in ; and backsliding will be pi'oportionably the greater 

sin, and the more dangerous to the soul You have seen 

God's glory and his wonders amongst us, in a most marvel- 
lous manner of late. If therefore you look back after this, 
there will be great danger that God will swear in his wrath, 
that you shall never enter into his rest; as God sware con- 
cerning them that were for going back into Egypt, after they 
had seen the wonders which God wrought for Israel. Numb, 
xiv. 22, 23. " Because all those men that have seen my glo- 
ry and my miracles that I did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, 
and have tempted me now these ten times, and have no* 

• The time of the revival cf Religion at Northampton, A. D. i73£* 


hearkened to my voice ; surely they shall not see the land 
which I sware unto their fathers, neitiier shall any of them 
that provoked me see it.". ...The wonders that we have ?een 
among us of late, have been of a more glorious nature than 
those that the children of Israel saw in Egypt and in the wil- 

7. We know not but that great part of the wicked world 
are, at this day, in Sodom's circumstances, when Lot fled out 
bfitj having some outward, temporal destruction hanging 
over it. It looks as if some great thing were coming ; the 
state of things in the world seems to be ripe for some great 
revolution. The world has got to such a terrible degree of 
wickcdnessj that it is probable the cry of it has, by this 
time, reached up to heaven ; and it is hardly probable that God 
will suffer things to go on, as they now do, much longer. It 
is likely that God will ere long appear in awful Majesty to 
vindicate his own cause ; and then none will be safe that are 
out of Christ. Now therefore every one should flee for his 

life, and escape to the mountain, lest he be consumed We 

cannot certainly tell what God is about to do, but this we may- 
know, that those who are out of Christ are in a most unsafe 

8. To enforce this warning against looking back, let me 
beseech you to consider the exceeding proncness which there 
is in the heart to it. The heart of man is a backsliding heart. 
There is in the heart a great^ove and hankering desire after 
the ease, pleasure, and enjoyments of Sodom, as there was in 
Lot's wife, by which persons are continually liable to tempta- 
tions to look back. The heart is so much towards Sodom, 
that it is a difficult thing to keep the eye from turning that way, 
and the feet from tending thither. When men under convic- 
tions are put upon fleeing, it is a mere force, it is because God 
lays hold on their hands, as he did on Lot's and his wife's, and 
drags them so far. But the tendency of the heart is to go 
back to Sodom again. 

Persons are very prone to backsliding, also through dis- 
couragement. They are apt to be discouraged. The heart 
Vol. VII. "S L 


is unsteady, soon tired, soon i^ives out, is apt to listen to dis- 
couraging^ temptations. A little diffiGulty and delay soon 
overcome its feeble resolutions. And discouragement tenda 
to backsliaing : It weakens persons' hands, lies as a dead 
■weight on their hearts, and makes them drag heavily ; and if 
it continue long, it very often issues in security and senseless- 
ness. Convictions are often shaken offtliat way ; they begin 
first to go off with discouragement. 

Backsliding is a disease that is exceeding secret in its way 
of working. It is a flattering distemper ; it works like a con- 
sumption, wherein persons often flatter themselves that they 
are not worse, but something better, and in a hopeful way to 
recover, till a few days before they die. So backsHding com- 
monly comes on gradually, and steals on men insensibly, and 
they still flatter themselves that tliey are not backslidden. 
They plead that they are seeking yet, and they hope they have 
not lost their convictions. And by the time they find it out, 
and cannot pretend so any longer, they are commonly so far 
gone, that they care not much if they have losi their convic- 
tions. And when it is come to that, it is commonly a gone 
case with persons as to those convictions. 

Thus they blind themselves, and keep themselves insensi- 
ble of their own disease, and so are not terrified with it, nor 
awakened to use means for relief, till it is past cure. 

Thus it is that backsliding commonly comes upon persons 
that have for some time been under any considerable convic- 
tions, and afterwards lose them. Let the consideration of 
this your danger excite you to the greatest care and diligence 
to keep vour hearts, and to watchfulness and constant prayev 
against backsliding. And let it put you upon endeavors ta 
strengthen your resolutions of guarding against every thing 
that tends to the contrary, that you m^'y indeed hold out to tho 
snd, for C/icn ahaU you knoWf i/i/oujuUoiv on to knaiv the Lord, 


^od Glorijied in Man's Dependanct\ 

1, CORINTHIANS i. 29, 30, 31. 


J. HOSE Chnstians to whom the apostle directed this 
epistle, dwelt in a part of the world where human wisdom was 
in great repute ; as the apostle observes in the 22d verse of 
this chapter. " The Greeks seek after wisdom." Corinth 
was not far from Athens, that had been for many ages the 
most famous seat of philosophy and learning in the world. 

The apostle therefore observes to them, how that God, by 
the gospel, destroyed and brought to nought their human wis- 
dom. The learned Grecians, and their great philosophers, 
by all their wisdom did not know God : They were not able 
to find out the truth in divine things. But, after they had 
done their utmost to no eft'ect, it pleased God at length to re- 
veal himself by the gospel, which they accounted fooUshness, 
He " chose the foolish things of the world to confound the 

* This was the first piece the author published 1731. 


wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things 
which are mighty, and the base things of the world, and things 
that are despised, yea, and things which are not, to bring to 
nought the things that are." And the apostle informs them 
why he thus did, in the verse of the text, That nojiesh should 
glory in his firescnce., isfc 

In which words may be observed, 

1. What God aims at in the disposition of things in the af- 
fair of redemption, viz. thdt man should not glory in himself, 
but alone in God ; That no Jlesh should glory in his presence, 

thatj according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him 

glory in the Lord. 

2. How this end is attained in the work of redemption, viz. 
by that absolute and immediate dependence which men have 
upon God in that work, for all their good. Inasmuch as. 

First, All the good that they have is in and through 
Christ ; He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sancti^ca- 
Hon, and redem/uion. All the good of the fallen and redeem- 
ed creature is concerned in these four things, and cannot be 
better distributed than into them ; but Christ is each of them 
to us, and we have none of them any otherwise than in him. 
He is made of God unto us wisdom : In him are all the proper 
good and true excellency of the understanding. Wisdom 
was a thing that the Greeks admired ; but Christ is the true 
light of the world, it is through him alone that true wisdom is 
imparted to the mind. It is in and by Christ that we have 
righteousness : It is by being in him that we are justified, have 
our sins pardoned, and are received as righteous into God's 
favor. It is by Christ that we have sanctification : We have 
in him true excellency of heart as well as of understanding ; 
and he is made unto us inherent, as well as imputed righteous- 
ness. It is by Christ that we have redemption, -or actual de- 
liverance from all misery, and the bestowment of all happi- 
ness and glory. Thus wc have all our good by Christ, who. 
is God. 


Secondly. Another instance wherein our dependence on 
God io;' all our good appears, is this, That it is God that has 
given us Chi-ist, that we might have these benefits through 
him ; he, of God is viadc unto ua wisdom, righteousness, iS'c. 

Thirdly. It is of him that we are in Christ Jesus, and 
come to have an interest in him, and so do receive those bless- 
ings which he is made unto us. It is God that gives us faith 
whereby we close with Christ. 

So that in this verse is shewn our dependence on each per- 
son in the Trinity for all our good. We are dependent on 
Christ the Son of God, as he is our wisdom, righteousness, 
sanctification, and redemption. We are dependent on the 
Father, who has given us Christ, and made him to be these 
things to us. We are dependent on the Holy Ghost, for it is 
of him that ii).' are in Christ Jesus ; it is the Spirit of God that 
gives faith in him, whereby we receive him, and close with 


" God is glorified in the work of redemption in this, that 
there appears in it so absolute and universal a dependence of 
the redeemed on him." 

Here I propose to shew, 1st. That there is an absolute 
and universal dependence of the redeemed on God for all 
their good. And 2dly. That God hereby is exalted and glo- 
rified in the work of redemption, 

I. There is an absolute and universal dependence of the re- 
deemed on God. The nature and contrivance of our redemp- 
tion is such, that the redeemed are in ervery thing directly, 
immediately, and entirely dependent on God : They are de- 
pendent on him for all, and are dependent on him every way. 
The several ways wherein the dependence of one being 
U^av be upon another for its good, and wherein the redeemed 


cf Jesus Christ depend on God for all their f^ood, are these, 
viz. That they have all their good of him, and that they have 
all through him, and that they have all in hlui : That he be 
the cause and original whence all their good comes, therein it 
is of him ; and that he be the medium by which it is obtained 
and conveyed, therein they have it through him ; and that he 
be that good itself that is given and conveyed, therein it is in 

Now those that are redeemed by Jesus Christ do, in all 
these respects, very directly and entirely depend on God for 
tlieir all. 

First, the redeemed have all their goodof God ; God is the 
great author of it ; He is the first cause of it, and not only so, 
but he is the only proper cause. 

It is of God that we have our Redeemer : It is God that 
has provided a Saviour for us. Jesus Christ is not only of God 
in his person, as he is the only begotten Son of God, but he is 
from God, as we are concerned in him, and in his office of Mcr 
diator : He is the gift of God to us : God chose and anointed 
him, appointed him his work, and sent him into the world. 

And as it is God that gives, so it is God that accepts the 
Saviour, As it is God that provides and gives the Redeemer 
to buy salvation for us, so it is of God that that salvation is 
bouglrt : lie gives the purchaser, and he affords the thing 

It is of God ihat Christ becomes ours, that we are brought 
IB him, and are united to him : It is of God that we receive 
iaith to close with him, that we may have an interest in him. 
Eph. ii. 8. " For by grace y-e are saved, through faith ; and 
that not of yourselves, it is the gift of (iod." It is of God that 
ve actually do receive all the benefits that Christ has purcha- 
sed. It is God that pardons and justifies, and delivers from 
going down to hell, and it is his favor that the redeemed are 
received into, and are made the objects of, when tliey are jus- 
tified. So it is God that delivers from the dominion of sin, 
and cleanses us from our filthiness, and changes us from our 
deformitv. It is of God that the redeemed do receive all their 


true excellency, wisdom, and holiness ; and that t\\-o waysy 
viz. as the Holy Ghost, by whom these things aie immediate- 
ly wrought, is from God, proceeds from him, and is sent by 
him ; and also as the Holy Ghost himself is God, by whose 
operation and indwelling, the knowledge of divine things, 
and a holy disposition, and allgraccrare conferred and upheld. 
And though means are made use of in conferring gi^ace on 
men's souls, yet it is of God that we have these means of 
grace, and it is God that makes them effectual. It is of God 
that we have the holy scriptures ; they are the word of God. 
It is of God that we have ordinances, and their efficacy de- 
pends on the inmiediate influence of the Spirit of God. The 
ministers of the gospel are sent of God, and all their sufficien- 
cy is of him. 2 Cor. iv. 7. " We have this treasure in earth- 
en vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, 
and not of us." Their success depends entirely and abso» 
lutely on the immediate blessing and influence of God. 

The redeemed have all, 
1. Of the grace of God. It was of mere grace that God 
gave us his only begotten Son. The grace is great in propor- 
tion to the dignity and excellency of what is given : The gift 
was infinitely precious, because it was a person infinitely wor- 
thy, a person of infinite glory j and also because it was a per- 
son infinitely near and dear to God. The grace is great in 
proportion to the benefit we have given us in him : The bene- 
fit is doubly infinite, in that in iiim we have deliverance from 
an infinite, because an eternal misery ;and do also receive eter- 
nal joy and glory. The grace in bestowing this gift is great 
in proportion to our un worthiness to whom it is given ; in- 
stead of deserving such a gift, we merited infinitely ill of 
God's hands. The grace is great according to the manner of 
giving, or in proportion to the humiliation and expence of the 
method and means by which way is made for our having of 
the gift. He gave him to us dwelling amongst us ; he gave 
him to us incarnate, or in our nature ; ho gave him to us ia 
Qiir nature, in the like infirmities, in which we have it in our 


fallen state, and which in us do accompany, r^nd are occasioned 
by the sinful corruption of our nature. He i;ave hi:n to us in 
a low and afllicted state ; anc) not only so, but he gave him tcx 
us slain, tliut he might be a feast for our souls. 

The grace of tiod in bestowing this j^ift is most free. It 
was what God was under no obiigaiion to bestow : He might 
have rejected fallen man, as he did the fallen angels. It was 
what we never did any thing to merit: It was given while we 
were yet enemies, and before we had so much as repented. It 
was from the love of God that saw no excellency in us to at- 
tract it; and it was widiout expectation of ever being requit- 
ed for it. 

And it is from mere grace that the benefits of Christ are 
applied to such and such particular persons. Those that are 
called and sanctified arc to attribute it alone to the good pleas- 
ure of God's goodness, by which they are distinguished. He 
is sovereign, and hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, 
and whom he will, he hardens. 

Man. hath now a greater dependence on the grace of God 
than he had before the fall. He depends on the free goodness 
of God for much more than he did then : Then he depcmied 
on God's goodness for conferring ti e reward of perfect obedi- 
ence : for God was not obliged to promise and bestow that re- 
ward : But now we are dependent on the grace of God for 
much more : We stand in need of grace, not only to bestow 
p-lory upon us, but to deliver us from hell and eternal wrath. 
Under the first covenant wc depended on God's goodness to 
pive us the reward of righteousness ; una so we do now. And 
not only so, but we stand in need of God's Iree and sovereign 
erace to give us that righteousness ; and yet n