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Full text of "The whole works of John Flavel, late minister of the gospel at Dartmouth, Devon"




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BX 8915 .F58 1820 v. 1 
Flavel, John, 16307-1691 
The whole works of John 



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THE WHOLE {jr^/^J*. 

WORKS c^t£5 








VOL. I. 




i, i t r 





HOSE of the name of Flavel derive their pedigree from one 
who was the third great officer that came over with William the 
Conqueror ; bnt this worthy Divine was far from that weakness and 
vanity to boast of any thing of that nature, being of the poefs mind, 
who said, 

Et genus, et proavos, et quae nonfecimus ipsi> 

Vix ea nostra voco 

His father was Mr. Richard Flavel, a painful and eminent minister. 
He was first minister at Broomsgrove, in Worcestershire, then at 
Hasler, and removed from thence to Willersey, in Gloucestershire, 
where he continued to 1660, whence he was outed upon the resto- 
ration of King Charles II. because it was a sequestered living, and 
the incumbent then alive : this did not so much affect Mr. Flavel, as 
that he wanted a fixed place for the exercise of his pastoral function. 
He was a person of such extraordinary piety, that those who con- 
versed with him, said, They never heard one vain word drop from 
his mouth. A little before the turning out of the Nonconformist 
ministers, being near Totness, in Devon, he preached from Hosea 
vii. 6. The days of visitation are come, the days of recommence are come 9 
Israel shall knozv it. His application was so close, that it offended 
some people, and occasioned his being carried before some Justices of 
the Peace ; but they could not reach him, so that he was discharged. 
He afterwards quitted that country, and his son's house, which was 
his retiring place, and came to London, where he continued in a 
faithful and acceptable discharge of his office, till the time of the 
dreadful plague in 1665, that he was taken and imprisoned in the 
manner following. He was at Mr. Blake's house in Co vent-Garden, 
where some people had met privately for worship : whilst he was at 
prayer, a party of soldiers brake in upon them, with their swords 
Vol. I. A 


drawn and demanded their preacher, threatening some, and flattering 
others to discover him, but in vain. Some of the company threw a 
coloured cloak over him, and in this disguise he was, together with 
his hearers, carried to Whitehall ; the women were dismissed, but 
the men were detained and forced to he all that night upon the bare 
floor ; and, because they would not pay five pounds each, were sent 
to Newgate, where the pestilence raged most violently, as in other 
places of the city. Here Mr. Flavel and his wife were shut up, and 
seized with the sickness : they were bailed out, but died of the conta- 
gion ; of which their son John had a divine monition given him by 
a dream, as we shall observe in its proper place. Mr. Richard Fla- 
vel left two sons behind him, both ministers of the gospel, viz. John 
and Phinehas. 

John the eldest was born in Worcestershire. It was observable, 
that whilst his mother lay in with him, a nightingale made her nest 
in the out-side of the chamber- window, where she used to sing most 
sweetly. He was religiously educated by his father, and having pro- 
fited well at the grammar schools, was sent early to Oxford, and set- 
tled a commoner in University College. He plied his studies hard, 
and exceeded many of his contemporaries in university learning. 

Soon after his commencing batchelor of arts, Mr. Walplate, the 
minister of Diptford, in the county of Devon, was rendered uncapa- 
ble of performing his office by reason of his age and infirmity, and 
sent to Oxford for an assistant ; Mr. Flavel, though but young, was 
recommended to him as a person duly qualified, and was accordingly 
settled there by the standing committee of Devon, April 27, 1650* 
to preach as a probationer and assistant to Mr. Walplate. 

Mr. Flavel considering the weight of his charge, applied himself to 
the work of his calling with great diligence ; and being assiduous in 
reading, meditation and prayer, he increased in ministerial know- 
ledge daily, (for he found himself that he came raw enough in that 
respect from the university) so that he attained to an high degree of 
eminency and reputation for his useful labours in the church. 

About six months after his settling at Diptford, he heard of an 
ordination to be at Salisbury, and therefore went thither with his 
testimonials, and offered himself to be examined and ordained by the 
presbytery there : they appointed him a text, upon which he preach- 
ed to their general satisfaction ; and having afterwards examined him 
as to his learning, fyc. they set him apart to the work of the mi- 
nistry, with prayer and imposition of hands, on the 17th day of 
October, 1650. 

Mr. Flavel being thus ordained, returned to Diptford, and after 
Mr. Walplate" s death succeeded in the rectory. To avoid all incum- 
brances from the world, and avocations from his studies and ministe- 
rial work, he chose a person of worth and reputation in the parish 
(of whom he had a good assurance that he would be faithful to him- 


self, and kind to his parishioners) and let him the whole tithes much 
below the real value, which was very pleasing to his people. By this 
means he was the better able to deal with them in private, since the 
hire of his labours was no way a hindrance to the success of them. 

Whilst he was at Diptford he married one Mrs. Jane Randal, a 
pious gentlewoman, of a good family, who died in travail of her first 
child without being delivered* His year of mourning being expired, 
his acquaintance and intimate friends advised him to mar- ^ 7 . , jr 
ry a second time, wherein he was again very happy. „ 
Sometime after this second marriage, the people of Dart- 
mouth (a great and noted sea-port in the county of Devon, formerly 
under the charge of the Reverend Mr. Anthony Hartford, deceased) 
unanimously chose Mr. Flavel to succeed him. They urged him to 
accept their call, (1.) Because there were exceptions made against all 
the other candidates, but none against him. (2.) Because, being 
acceptable to the whole town, he was the more like to be an instru- 
ment of healing the breaches among the good people there. (3.) 
Because Dartmouth, being a considerable and populous town, re- 
quired an able and eminent minister, which was not so necessary for 
a country-parish, that might besides be more easily supplied with 
another pastor than Dartmouth. 

That which made them more pressing and earnest with Mr. Flavel* 
was this ; at a provincial synod in that county, Mr. Flavel, though 
but a young man, was voted into the chair as moderator, where he 
opened the assembly with a most devout and pertinent prayer ; he 
examined the candidates who offered themselves to their trials for the 
ministry with great learning, stated the cases and questions proposed 
to them with much acuteness and judgment, and in the whole de- 
meaned himself with that gravity, piety, and seriousness, during his 
presidency, that all the ministers of the assembly admired and loved 
him. The Reverend Mr. Hartford* his predecessor at Dartmouth, 
took particular notice of him, from that time forward contracted a 
strict friendship with him, and spoke of him among the magistrates 
and people of Dartmouth, as an extraordinary person, who was like 
to be a great light in the church. This, with their having several 
times heard him preach, occasioned their importunity with Mr. Fla- 
vel to come and be their minister ; upon which, having spread his 
case before the Lord, and submitted to the decision of his neighbour- 
ing ministers, he was prevailed upon to remove to Darmouth, to 
his great loss in temporals, the rectory of Diptford being a much 
greater benefice. 

Mr. Flavel being settled at Dartmouth by the election of people, 
and an order from Whitehall by the commissioners for approba- 
tion of public preachers, of the 10th of December, 1656, he was 
associated with Mr. Allein Geere, a very worthy, but sickly, man. 
The ministerial work was thus divided betwixt them ; Mr, Flavel was 



to preach on the LorcTs-day at Townstall, the mother-church stand- 
ing upon a hill without the town ; and every fortnight in his turn at 
the Wednesday's Lecture in Dartmouth. Here God crowned his 
labours with many conversions. One of his judicious hearers ex- 
pressed himself thus concerning him ; " I could say much, though 
" not enough, of the excellency of his preaching ; of his seasonable, 
" suitable and spiritual matter ; of his plain expositions of scripture, 
" his taking method, his genuine and natural deductions, his con- 
" vincing arguments, his clear and powerful demonstrations, his 
" heart-searching applications, and his comfortable supports to those 
" that were afflicted in conscience. In short that person must have 
" a very soft head, or a very hard heart, or both, that could sit 
" under his ministry unaffected." 

By his unwearied application to study, he had accquired a great 
stock both of divine and human learning. He was master of the 
controversies betwixt the Jews and Christians, Papists and Protes- 
tants, Lutherans and Calvinists, and betwixt the Orthodox, and the 
Arminians and Socinians ! he was likewise well read in the Contro- 
versies about Church-discipline, Infant-!Baptism, and Antinomi- 
anism. He was well acquainted with the School-divinity, and drew up 
a judicious and ingenious scheme of the whole body of that Theology 
in good Latin, which he presented to a person of quality, but it was 
never printed. He had one way of improving his knowledge, which 
is very proper for young divines; whatever remarkable passage he 
heard in private conference, if he was familiar with the relator, he 
would desire him to repeat it again, and insert it into his Aversaria : 
by these methods he acquired a vast stock of proper materials for his 
popular sermons in the pulpit, and his more elaborate works for 
the press. 

He had an excellent gift of prayer, and was never at a loss in all 
his various occasions for. suitable matter and words ; and, which was 
the most remarkable of all, he always brought with him a broken 
heart and moving affections : his tongue and spirit were touched with 
a live coal from the altar, and he was evidently assisted by the holy 
Spirit of grace and supplication in that divine ordinance. Those who 
lived in his family, say, that lie was always full and copious in prayer, 
seemed constantly to exceed himself, and rarely made use twice of 
the same expressions. 

When the act of uniformity turned him out with the rest of his 
nonconforming brethren, he did not thereupon quit his relation to 
his church, he thought the souls of his flock to be more precious 
than to be so tamely neglected ; he took all opportunities of mi- 
nistring the word and sacraments to them in private meetings, and 
joined with other ministers in solemn days of fasting and humiliation, 
to pray that God would once more restore the ark of his covenant 
unto his afflicted Israel. About four months after that fatal Bartho- 


lomew day, his reverend colleague, Mr. Allein Geere, died ; so that 
the whole care of the flock devolved upon Mr. Flavel, which, though 
a heavy and pressing burden, he undertook very cheerfully. 

Upon the execution of the Oxford act, which banished all non- 
conformist ministers five miles from any towns which sent members 
to parliament, he was forced to leave Dartmouth, to the great sorrow 
of his people, who followed him out of town; and at Townstall 
church-yard they took such a mournful farewell of one another as 
the place might very well have been called Bochim. He removed to 
Slapton, a parish five miles from Dartmouth, or any other corpora- 
tion, which put him out of the legal reach of his adversaries. Here 
he met with signal instances of God's fatherly care and protection, 
and preached twice every LordVday to such as durst adventure to 
hear him, which many of his own people and others did, notwith- 
standing the rigour and severity of the act against conventicles. He 
many times slipped privately into Dartmouth, where by preaching 
and conversation he edified his flock, to the great refreshment of 
his own soul and theirs, though with very much danger, because of 
his watchful adversaries, who constantly laid wait for him, so that he 
could not make any long stay in the town. 

In those times Mr. Flavel being at Exeter, was invited to preach 
by many good people of that city, who for safety chose a wood 
about three miles from the city to be the place of their assembly, where 
they were broke up by their enemies by that time the sermon was 
well begun, Mr. Flavel, by the care of the people, made his escape 
through the middle of his enraging enemies ; and though many of 
his hearers were taken, carried before Justice Tuckfield, and fined ; 
yet the rest, being nothing discouraged, re-assembled, and carrying 
Mr. Flavel to another wood, he preached to them without any dis- 
turbance ; and, after he had concluded, rode to a gentleman's house 
near the wood, who, though an absolute stranger to Mr. Flavel, en- 
tertained him with great civility that night, and next day he return- 
ed to Exeter in safety. Amongst those taken at this time, there was 
a Tanner who had a numerous family, and but a small stock ; he was 
fined notwith standing in forty pounds ; at which he was nothing dis- 
couraged, but told a friend, who asked him how he bore up under 
his loss, That he took the spoiling of his goods joy fully ^ for the sake of 
his Lord Jesus,for whom his life and all that he had was too little. 

As soon as the Nonconformists had any respite from their trouble, 
Mr. Flavel laid hold of the opportunity, and returned to Darmouth, 
where, during the first indulgence granted by King Charles II. he 
kept open doors, and preached freely to all that would come and 
hear him ; and when that liberty was revoked, he made it his busi- 
ness notwithstanding to preach in season and out of season, and sel- 
dom missed of an opportunity of preaching on the LordVday. 
During this time, God was pleased to deprive him of his second wife, 



which was a great affliction, she having been a help-meet for him ; 
and such an one he stood much in need of, as being a man of an in- 
firm and weak constitution, who laboured under many infirmities. 
In convenient time he married a third wife, Mrs. Ann Downe, daugh- 
ter of Mr. Thomas Downe, minister of Exeter, who lived very hap- 
pily with him eleven years, and left him two sons, who are youths of 
great hopes. 

The persecution against the Nonconformists being renewed, Mr. 
Flavel found it unsafe to stay at Dartmouth, and therefore resolved 
to go to London, where he hoped to be in less danger, and to have 
more liberty to exercise his function. The night before be embark- 
ed for that end, he had the following premonition by a dream ; he 
thought he was on board the ship, and that a storm arose which ex- 
ceedingly terrified the : passengers , during their consternation there 
sat writing at the table a person of admirable sagacity and gravity, 
who had a child in a cradle by him that was very fro ward ; he 
thought he saw the father take up a little whip, and give the child a 
lash, saying, Child be quiet, I will discipline, but not hurt thee. Upon 
this Mr, Flavel awaked, and musing on his dream, he concluded, that 
he should meet with some trouble in his passage : his friends being at 
dinner with him, assured him of a pleasant passage, because the wind 
and weather were very fair ; Mr. Flavel replied, That he was not of 
their mind, but expected much trouble because of his dream, adding, 
that when he had such representations made to him. in his sleep, they 
seldom or never Jailed. 

Accordinglv, when they were advanced within five leagues of 
Portland in their voyage, they were overtaken by a dreadful tempest, 
insomuch that betwixt one and two in the morning, the master and 
seamen concluded, that, unless God changed the wind, there was no 
hope of life ; it was impossible for them to weather Portland, so that 
they must of necessity be wrecked on the rocks or on the shore. 
Upon this Mr. Flavel called all the hands that could be spared into 
the cabin to prayer; but the violence of the tempest was such, that 
they could not prevent themselves from being thrown from the one side 
unto the other as the ship was tossed ; and not only so, but mighty 
seas broke in upon them, as if they would have drowned them in the 
very cabin. Mr. Flavel in this danger took hold of the two pillars of 
the cabin bed, and calling upon God, begged mercy for himself and 
the rest in the ship. Amongst other arguments in prayer, he made 
use of this, that if he and his company perished in that storm, 
the name of God would be blasphemed, the enemies of religion 
would say, that though he escaped their hands on shore, yet 
divine vengeance had overtaken him at sen. In the midst of 
prayer his faith and hope were raised, insomuch that he expected a 
gracious answer ; so that, committing himself and his company to 
the mercy of God, he concluded the duty. No sooner was prayer 
ended, but one came down from the deck, crying, j&d'rcerancc ! 


Deliverance! God is a God hearing prayer ! In a moment the wind 
is come fair west ! And so sailing before it, they were brought safely 
to London. Mr. Flavel found many of his old friends there ; 
tand God raised him new ones, with abundance of work, and ex- 
traordinary encouragement in it. During his stay in London, he 
married his fourth wife, a widow gentlewoman, (daughter to Mr. 
George Jeffries, formerly minister of King's-Bridge) out now his 
sorrowful relict. 

Mr. Flavel, while he was in London, narrowly escaped being taken, 
with the reverend Mr. Jenkins, at Mr. Fox's in Moorfields, where 
they were keeping a day of fasting and prayer. He was so near, 
that he heard the insolence of the officers and soldiers to Mr. Jenkins 
when they had taken him ; and observed it in his diary, that Mr. 
Jenkins might have escaped as well as himself, had it not been for a 
piece of vanity in a lady, whose long train hindered his going down 
stairs, Mr. Jenkins, out of his too great civility having let her pass be- 
fore him. 

Mr. Flavel after this, returned to Dartmouth, where with his family 
and dear people he blessed God for his mercies towards him. He 
was in a little time after confined close prisoner to his house, where 
many of his dear flock stole in over night, or betimes on the Lord's- 
day in the morning, to enjoy the benefit of his labours, and spend the 
sabbath in hearing, praying, singing of psalms, and holy discourses. 

Mr. Jenkins, abovementioned, dying in prison, his people gave Mr. 
Flavel a call to the pastoral office among them, and Mr. Reeve's 
people did the like. Mr. Flavel communicated these calls unto his 
flock, and kept a day of prayer with them to beg direction of God in 
this important affair ; he was graciously pleased to answer them by 
fixing Mr. Flavel's resolution to stay with his flock at Dartmouth. 
Many arguments were made use of to persuade him to come to London, 
as, that since he was turned out by the act of uniformity, he had 
had but very little maintenance from his church ; that those at Lon- 
don were rich and numerous congregations ; that he had a family 
and children to provide for ; and that the city was a theatre of honour 
and reputation. But none of these things could prevail with him to 
leave his poor people at Dartmouth. 

In 1687, when it pleased God so to over-rule affairs, that King 
James II. thought it his interest to dispense with the penal laws 
against them, Mr. Flavel, who had formerly been confined to a cor- 
ner, shone brightly, as a flaming beacon upon the top of an hill. Plis 
affectionate people prepared a large place for him, where God blessed 
his labours to the conviction of many people, by his sermons on Rev. 
iii. 20. Behold I stand at the door and AiiocJc. This encouraged him 
to print those sermons, under the title of England's Duty, $c. hop- 
ing that it might do good abroad, as well as in his own congregation. 
He made a vow to the Lord under his confinement, that if lie should 

A 4 


be once more entrusted with public liberty, he would improve it to 
the advantage of the gospel ; this he performed in a most conscien- 
tious manner, preached twice every Lord's-day, and lectured every 
Wednesdav, in which he went over most of the 3d chapter of St John's 
gospel, shewing the indispensible necessity of regeneration. He preach- 
ed likewise every Thursday before the sacrament, and then after exa- 
mination admitted communicants. He had no assistance on sacra- 
men t-davs, so that he was many times almost spent before he distri- 
buted the elements. "When the duty of the day was over, he would 
often complain of a sore breast, an aking head, and a pained back ; 
yet he would be early at study again next Monday. He allowed him- 
self very little recreation, accounting time a precious jewel that ought 
to be improved at any rate. 

He was not only a zealous preacher in the pulpit, but a sincere 
Christian in his closet, frequent in self-examination, as well as in 
pressing it upon others ; being afraid, lest while he preached to others 
he himself should be a cast-away. To prove this, I shall transcribe 
what follows from his own diary. 

" To make sure of eternal life, (said he) is the great business 
" which the sons of death have to do in this world. Whether a 
" man consider the immortality of his own soul, the ineffable joys 
" and glory of heaven, the extreme and endless torments of hell, 
" the inconceivable sweetness of peace of conscience, or the misery 
" of being subject to the terrors thereof; all these put a necessity, 
" a solemnity, a glory upon this work. But, Oh ! the difficulties 
" and dangers attending it ! How many, and how great are these ? 
" What judgment, faithfulness, resolution, and watchfulness doth 
" it require ? Such is the deceitfulness, darkness, and inconstancy of 
" our hearts, and such the malice, policy and diligence of Satan to 
" manage and improve it, that he who attempts this work had need 
? both to watch his seasons for it, and frequently look up to God for 
" his guidance and illumination, and to spend many sad and serious 
" thoughts before he adventure upon a determination and conclusion 
" of the state of his soul. 

" To the end therefore that this most important work may not 
" miscarry in my hands, I have collected, with all the care I can, 
" the best and soundest characters I can find in the writings of our 
" modern divines, taken out of the scripture, and by their labours 
" illustrated and prepared for use, that I might make a right appli- 
" cation of them. 

" 1. I have earnestly sought the Lord for the assistance of his 
" Spirit, which can only manifest my own heart unto me, and shew 
" me the true state thereof, which is that thing my soul doth most 
ff earnestly disire to know ; and I hope the Lord will answer my de- 
" sire therein, according to his promises, Luke xi. 13. John xiv. 26. 

" 2. I have endeavoured to cast out and lay aside self-love, lest 


" ray heart being prepossessed therewith, my judgment sliould be 
« perverted, and become partial on passing sentence on my estate. 
" I have, in some measure, brought my heart to be willing to judge 
" and condemn myself for an hypocrite, if such I shall be found on 
" trial, as to approve myself for sincere and upright. Yea, I would 
" have it so far from being grievous to me so to do, that if I have 
" been all this while mistaken and deceived, I shall rejoice and bless 
ci the Lord with my soul, that now at last it may be discovered to me, 
" and I may be set right, though I lay the foundation new again. 
" This I have laboured to bring my heart to, knowing that thou- 
" sands have dashed and split to pieces upon this rock. And indeed 
" he that will own the person of a judge, must put off the person of 
" a friend. 

" 3. It hath been my endeavour to keep upon my heart a deep 
" sense of that great judgment-day throughout this work; as know- 
<* ing by experience what a potent influence this hath on the con- 
" science, to make it deliberate, serious and faithful in its work ; and 
** therefore I have demanded of my own conscience, before the reso- 
" lution of each question, O my conscience, deal faithfully with me 
*f in this particular, and say no more to me than thou wilt own and 
'• stand to in the great day, when the counsels of all hearts shall be 
" made manifest. 

" 4. Having seriously weighed each mark, and considered where- 
" in the weight and substance of it lieth, I have gone to the Lord in 
" prayer for his assistance, ere I have drawn up the answer of my 
*-' conscience ; and as my heart hath been persuaded therein, so have 
'.' I determined and resolved : what hath been clear to my experience, 
f I have so set down ; and what hath been dubious, I have here left 
" it so. 

" 5. I have made choice of the fittest seasons I had for this work, 
" and set to it when I have found my heart in the most quiet and 
" serious frame. For as he that would see his face in a glass, must 
" be fixed, not in motion, or in water, must make no commotion in 
i( it ; so it is in this case. 

" 6. Lastly, To the end I may be successful in this work, I have 
" laboured all along carefully to distinguish betwixt such sins as are 
*■ grounds of doubting, and such as are only grounds of humiliation ; 
" knowing that not every evil is a ground of doubting, though all, 
" even the smallest infirmities, administer matter of humiliation ; and 
" thus I have desired to enterprize this great business. O Lord, 
" assist thy servant, that he may not mistake herein ; but, if his con- 
" science do now condemn him, he may lay a better foundation whilst 
" he hath time ; and if it shall now acquit him, he may also have 
" boldness in the day of judgment."" 

These things being previously dispatched, he tried himself by the 
scripture marks of sincerity and regeneration ; by this means he at- 


tained to a well-grounded assurance, the ravishing comforts of which 
were many times shed abroad in his soul ; this made him a powerful- 
and successful preacher, as one who spoke from his own heart to 
those of others. He preached what he felt, what he had handled, 
what he had seen and tasted of the word of life, and they felt it also. 

We may guess what a sweet and blessed intercourse he had with 
heaven, from that history we meet with in his Pneumatologia, p. 323. 
which I refer to, and likewise of that revelation he had of his father 
and mother's death, p. 339. He was a mighty wrestler with God 
in secret prayer, and particularly begged of him to crown his ser- 
mons, printed books and private discourses, with the conversion of 
poor sinners, a work which his heart was much set upon. It pleased 
God to answer him by many instances, of which the two that follow 
deserve peculiar notice. 

In 1673, there came into Dartmouth port a ship of Pool, in her 
return from Virginia ; the Surgeon of this ship, a lusty young man 
of 23 years of age, fell into a deep melancholy, which the Devil im- 

? roved to make him murder himself. This he attempted on the 
iOrdVday, early in the morning, when he was in bed with his bro- 
ther ; he first cut his own throat with a knife he had prepared on 
purpose, and leaping out of the K d, thrust it likewise into his sto- 
mach, and so lay wallowing in his own blood, till his brother awaked 
and cried for help. A Physician and Surgeon were brought, who 
concluded the wound in his throat mortal ; they stitched it up how- 
ever, and applied a plaister, but without hopes of cure, because he 
already breathed through the wound, and his voice was become in- 
articulate. Mr. Flavel came to visit him in this condition, and ap- 
prehending him to be within a few minutes of eternity, laboured to 
prepare him for it ; he asked him his own apprehensions of his con- 
dition, and the young man answered, that he hoped in God for 
eternal life. Mr. Flavel replied, that he feared his hopes were ill- 
grounded : the scripture tells us, that no murderer hath eternal life 
abiding in him : self-murder was the grossest of all murder, Sfc. Mr. 
Flavel insisted so much on the aggravations of the crime, that the 
young man's conscience began to fail, his heart began to melt, and 
then he broke out into tears, bewailing his sin and misery, and ask- 
ed Mr. Flavel, If there might yet be any hope for him ? he told him 
there might ; and finding him altogether unacquainted with the na- 
ture of faith and repentance, he opened them to him. The poor 
man sucked in this doctrine greedily, prayed with great vehemence 
to God, that he would work them on his soul, and entreated Mr. 
Flavel to pray with him, and for him, that he might be, though late, 
a sincere gospel-penitent, and sound believer. Mr. Flavel prayed with 
him accordingly, and it pleased God exceedingly to melt the young 
man's heart, during the performance of that duty. He was very loth 
to part with Mr. Flavel, but the duty of the day obliging him to be 


gone, in a few words lie summed up those counsels that he thought 
most necessary, and so took his farewell of him, never expecting to 
see him any more in this world. But it pleased God to order it 
otherwise ; the young man continued alive contrary to all expectation, 
panted earnestly after the Lord Jesus, and no discourse was pleasing 
to him, but that of Christ and faith. In this frame Mr. Flavel found 
him in the evening ; he rejoiced greatly when he saw him come again, 
untreated him to continue his discourse upon those subjects, and told 
him, Sir, the Lord hath given me repentance for this and for all my 
other sins ; I see the evil of them now, so as I never saw them before ! 

I loathe myself! I do also believe, Lord, help my unbelief. I am 
hear-tily willing to take Christ upon his own terms ; but one thing 
troubles me, I doubt this bloody sin will not be pardoned. Will Je- 
sus Christ, said he, apply his blood to one, who has shed his own 
blood? Mr. Flavel told him, that the Lord Jesus shed hisblood for them 
who with wicked hands had shed his own blood, which was a greater 
sin than the shedding of his ; to which the wounded man replied, 

1 will cast myself upon Christ, let him do what he will. In this con- 
dition Mr. Flavel left him that night. 

Next morning his wounds were to be opened, and the Surgeon's 
opinion was, that he would immediately expire : Mr Flavel was again 
requested to give him a visit, which he did, found him in a very se- 
rious frame, and prayed with him. The wound in his stomach was 
afterwards opened, when the ventricle was so much swoln, that it 
came out at the orifice of the wound, and lay like a livid discoloured 
tripe upon his body, and was also cut through ; every one thought 
it impossible for him to live ; however, the Surgeon enlarged the 
orifice of the wound, fomented it, and wrought the ventricle again 
into his body, and, stitching up the wound, left his patient to the 
disposal of providence. 

It pleased God that he was cured of those dangerous wounds in 
his body ; and, upon solid grounds of a rational charity, there was 
ground to believe that he was also cured of that more dangerous 
wound which sin had made in his soul. Mr. Flavel spent many hours 
with him during his sickness ; and when the Surgeon returned to 
Pool, after his recovery, Mr. Samuel Hardy, that worthy minister 
there, thanked Mr. Flavel in a letter, for the great pains he had 
taken with that young man, and congratulated his success, assuring 
him, that if ever a great and thorough work was wrought, it was 
upon that man. 

The second instance is this : Mr. Flavel being in London in 1673, 
his old bookseller, Mr. Boulter, gave him this following relation, viz. 
That some time before, there came into his shop a sparkish gentle- 
man to enquire for some play-books ; Mr. Boulter told him he had 
none, but shewed him Mr. Flavel's little treatise of Keeping the Heart, 
intreated him to read it, and assured him it would do him more good 


than play-books. The gentleman read the title, and glancing upon 
several pages here and there, broke out into these and such other ex- 
pressions, What a damnable Fanatic was he who made this book ? 
Mr. Boulter begged of him to buy and read it, and told him he had 
no cause to censure it so bitterly ; at last he bought it, but told him 
he would not read it. What will you do with it then, said Mr. Boul- 
ter ? I will tear and burn it, said he, and send it to the Devil. Mr. 
Boulter told him, that he should not have it. Upon this the gen- 
tleman promised to read it ; and Mr. Boulter told him, if he disliked 
it upon reading, he would return him his money. About a month 
after, the gentleman came to the shop again in a very modest habit, 
and with a serious countenance, bespoke Mr. Boulter thus ; Sir, I 
most heartily thank you for putting this book into my hands ; I bless 
God that moved you to do it, it hath saved my soul ; blessed be God 
that ever I came into your shop. And then he bought a hundred 
more of those books of him, and told him he would give them to the 
poor who could not buy them, and so left him, praising and admi- 
ring the goodness of God. Thus it pleased God to bless the sermons, 
discourses and writings of Mr. Flavel. 

He never delighted in controversies, but was obliged, contrary to 
his inclination, to write against Mr. Cary, the principal Anabaptist in 
Dartmouth, with whom, however, he maintained a friendly and 
Christian correspondence. When he wrote his Planelogia, or, Blow 
at the Root, he declared to his friends, that though those studies were 
very necessary, he took no pleasure in them, but had rather be em- 
ployed in practical divinity. When he composed his Reasonableness of 
Personal Reformation, he told an intimate acquaintance of his, that 
he seldom had a vain thought to interrupt him, which made him 
hope it would do the more good in the world. He purposed to have 
enlarged his book of Sacramental Meditations, and had most judi- 
ciously stated and handled several cases of conscience on that occasion, 
which he designed to have inserted in the next edition, but lived not 
to finish them for the press. 

Many times, when he preached abroad, he has had letters sent 
him from unknown persons, informing him how God had blessed 
his ministry to their souls, and converted them from being bitter ene- 
mies to religion. This encouraged him when he rode abroad, not 
only to accept of invitations to preach, but many times to offer his la- 
bours unto those that would be pleased to hear him ; though for this 
he had no occasion where he was known, the people being generally 
importunate with him. One day after a long and hard journey, an 
intimate friend of his, out of a tender regard to him, pressed him with 
cogent arguments to forbear preaching at that season, but could not 
prevail with him ; his bowels of compassion to needy and perishing 
souls made him overlook all considerations of himself: he preached 


an excellent sermon, by which there was one converted, as he de- 
clared himself afterwards upon his admission to the Lord's table. 

The last sermon that he preached to his people at Dartmouth, was 
on a public day of fasting and humiliation ; in the close of which he 
was enlarged in such an extraordinary manner, when offering up 
praises to God for mercies received, that he seemed to be in an ec- 
stasy. This happened about a week before his death, and may justly 
be accounted a foretaste of those heavenly raptures that he now en- 
joys amongst the blessed spirits above. 

The last sermon he preached was on the 21st of June, 1691, at 
Ashburton, from 1 Cor. x. 12. Wherefore let him that standeth take 
heed lest he fall. It was a very pathetical discourse, tending to awaken 
careless professors, and to stir them up to be solicitous about their 
souls. After having preached this sermon, he went to Exeter ; and 
at Topsham, within three miles of that city, he presided as modera- 
tor in an assembly of the Nonconformist ministers of Devonshire, who 
unanimously voted him into the chair : the occasion of their meeting 
was about an union betwixt the presbyterians and Independents, 
which Mr. Flavel was very zealous to promote, and brought to so 
great an issue in those parts, that the ministers declared their satisfac- 
tion with the heads of agreement concluded on by the London mi- 
nisters of those denominations. Mr. Flavel closed the work of the day 
with prayer and praises, in which his spirit was carried out with won- 
derful enlargement and affection, 

He wrote a letter to an eminent minister in London, with an ac- 
count of their proceedings, that same day that he died ; providence 
ordering it so, that he should finish that good work his heart was so 
intent upon, before he finished his course. 

The manner of his death was sudden and surprising ; his friends 
thought him as well that day in the evening of which he died, as he 
had been for many years : towards the end of supper he complained 
of a deadness in one of his hands, that he could not lift it to his 
head. This struck his wife and his friends about him with astonish- 
ment ; they used some means to recover it to its former strength, but 
instead thereof, to their great grief the distemper seized all upon one 
side of his body. They put him to bed with all speed, and sent for 
physicians, but to no purpose ; his distemper prevailed upon him so^ 
last, that in a short time it made him speechless. He was sensible ot' 
his approaching death ; and when they carried him up stairs, expres- 
sed his opinion that it would be the last time; but added, I know 
that it will be well with me; which were some of his last words. 
Thus died this holy man of God suddenly, and without pain, not 
giving so much as one groan. He exchanged this life for a better, on 
the 26th day of June, 1691, in the 64th year of his age. 

His corpse was carried from Exeter to Dartmouth, attended by se- 
veral ministers, and a great many othei persons of good quality ; abun- 


dance of people rode out from Dartmouth, Totness, Newton, 
Ashburton, and other places, to meet the corpse ; when it was taken 
out of the hearse at the water side, his people and other friends could 
not forbear expressing the sense of their great loss, by floods of tears, 
and a bitter lamentation. It was interred the same night in Dart- 
mouth church, and next day Mr. George Trosse, a minister of Exeter, 
E reached his funeral-sermon from Elisha's lamentation upon the trans- 
ition of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 12. My father, my father, the chariot of 
Israel, and the horsemen thereof 

We shall conclude with a character of Mr. Flavel. He was a man 
of a middle stature, and full of life and activity : he was very thought- 
ful, and when not discoursing or reading, much taken up in medi- 
tation, which made him digest his notions well. He was ready to 
learn from every body, and as free to communicate what he knew. 
He was bountiful to his own relations, and very charitable to the 
poor, but especially to the household of faith, and the necessitous 
members of his own church, to whom, during their sickness, he al- 
ways sent suitable supplies. He freely taught academical learning to 
four young men whom he bred to the ministry, and one of them he 
maintained all the while at his own charge. He was exceedingly af- 
fectionate to all the people of Dartmouth, of which we shall give 
one remarkable instance; When our fleet was first engaged with the 
French, he called his people together to a solemn fast, and, like a 
man in an agony, wrestled with God in prayer for the church and 
nation, and particularly for the poor seamen of Dartmouth, that they 
might obtain mercy ; the Lord heard and answered him, for not one 
of that town was killed in the fightj though many of them were in 
the engagement. As he was a faithful ambassador to his Master, he 
made his example the rule of his own practice, and was so far from 
reviling again, those that reviled him, that he prayed for those that 
despitefully used him : one remarkable instance of which is as follows : 
In 1685, some of the people of Dartmouth, accompanied too by 
some of the magistrates, made up his effigy, carried it through the 
streets in derision, with the covenant and bill of exclusion pinned to 
it, and set it upon a bonefire, and burnt it ; some of the spectators 
were so much affected with the reproach and ignominy done to this 
reverend and pious minister, that they wept, and others scoffed and 
jeered : it was observable, that at the very same time, though he 
knew nothing of the matter, he was heaping coals of fire of another 
nature upon the heads of those wicked men, for he was then praying 
for the town of Dartmouth, its magistrates and inhabitants; and 
when news was brought him, upon the conclusion of his prayer, 
what they had been doing, he lifted up his prayer unto God for 
them in our Saviour's words, Father, for give them, for they know not 
what they do. 







To his much honoured and beloved Kinsman, Mr. John Flavel, of 
London, Merchant, and his virtuous Consort, the Author wisheth 
Grace, Mercy, and Peace. 


J. F my pen were both able, and at leisure, to get glory in paper, 
it would be but a paper glory when I had gotten it ; but if by dis- 
playing (which is the design of these papers) the transcendent ex- 
cellency of Jesus Christ, I may win glory to hhn from you, to whom 
I humbly offer them, or from any other into whose hands provi- 
dence shall cast them, that will be glory indeed, and an occasion of 
glorifying God to all eternity. 

It is not the design of this epistle to compliment, but to benefit 
you; not to blazen your excellencies, but Christ's; not to ac- 
quaint the world how much you have endeared me to yourselves, but 
to increase and strengthen the endearments betwixt Christ and you, 
upon your part. I might indeed (this being a proper place for it) 
pay you my acknowledgments for your great kindnesses to me and 
mine ; of which, I assure you, I have, and ever shall have, the most 
grateful sense : but you and I are theatre enough to one another, and 
can satisfy ourselves with the inclosed comforts and delights of our 


mutual love and friendship. But let me tell you, the whole world 
is not a theatre large enough to shew the glory of Christ upon, 
or unfold the one half of the unsearchable riches that lie hid in 
him. These things will be far better understood, and spoken of 
in heaven, by the noon-day divinity, in which the immediately il- 
luminated assembly do there preach his praises, than by such a 
stammering tongue, and scribbling pen as mine, which doth but 
mar them. 

Alas ! I write his praises but by moon-light ; I cannot praise 
him so much as by halves. Indeed, no tongue but his own (as 
Nazianzen said of Bazil) is sufficient to undertake that task. What 
shall I say of Christ ? The excelling glory of that object dazzles all 
apprehension, swallows up all expression. When we have bor- 
rowed metaphors from every creature that hath any excellency or 
lovely property in it, till we have stript the whole creation bare of 
all its ornaments, and clothed Christ with all that glory ; when we 
have even worn out our tongues, in ascribing praises to him, alas I 
we have done nothing, when all is done. 

Yet, wo is me ! how do I every day behold reasonable souls 
most unreasonably disaffected to my lovely Lord Jesus ! denying 
love to One, who is able to compel love from the stoniest heart I 
yea, though they can never make so much of their love (would 
they set it to sale) as Christ bids for it. 

It is horrid and amazing to see how the minds of many are capti- 
vated and ensnared by every silly trifle; and how others can in- 
differently turn them with a kind of spontaneity to this object, or 
to that (as their fancy strikes) among the whole universe of beings, 
and scarce ever reluctate, recoil, or nauseate, till they be persuad- 
ed to Christ. In their unconverted state, it is as easy to melt the 
obdurate rocks into sweet syrup, as their hearts into divine love. 

How do the great men of the world ambitiously court the ho- 
nours and pleasures of it ? The merchants of the earth trade, and 
strive for the dear-bought treasures of it ; whilst the price of Christ 
(alas ! ever too low) falls every day lower and lower upon the ex- 
change of this world ! I speak it as a sad truth, if there were no 
quicker a trade (as dead as they say it is) for the perishing trea- 
sures of the earth, than there is for Christ this day in England, the 
exchange would quickly be shut up, and all the trading companies 

Dear Sir, Christ is the peerless pearl hid in the field, Mat. xiii. 
46. Will you be that wise merchant, that resolves to win and com- 
pass that treasure, whatever it shall cost you ? Ah, Sir, Christ is a 
commodity that can never be bought too dear. 

My dear kinsman, my flesh, and my blood; my soul thirsteth 
for your salvation, and the salvation of your family. Shall you and 


I resolve with good Joshua, that whatever others do, " we and 
our families will serve the Lord ;" that we will walk as the re- 
deemed by his blood, shewing forth his virtues and praises in the 
world ? that as God hath made us one in name, and one in affection, 
so we may be one in Christ ; that it may be said of us, as it was of 
Austin and Alippous long ago, that they were .sanguine Christi con- 
ghttinati, glued together by the blood of Christ. 

For my own part, I have given in my name to him long since ; 
wo to me, if I have not given in my heart also; for, should I de- 
ceive myself in so deep a point as that, how would my profession as 
a Christian, my calling as a minister, yea, these very sermons now 
in your hands, rise in judgment to condemn me? which God 

And doubtless, Sir, your eyes have seen both the vanity of all 
creatures, and the necessity and infinite worth of Christ. You 
cannot forget what a vanity the world appeared to you, when in 
the year 1668, you were summoned by the messengers of death 
(as you and all that were about you then apprehended) to shoot 
the gulph of vast eternity; when a malignant * D Thomson'* 
fever and pleurisy (whereof your * physician , 
hath given an account to the world) did r 

shake the whole frame of the tabernacle wherein your soul through 
mercy yet dwells; and long may it dwell there, for the service 
and praise of your great Deliverer. I hope you have not, nor ever 
will forget how vain the world appeared to your eye, when you 
looked back (as it were over your shoulder) and saw how it 
shrunk away from you ; nor will you ever forget the awful appre- 
hensions of eternity that then seized your spirit, or the value you 
then had for Christ ; which things; I hope, still do, and ever will 
remain Avith you. 

And for you, dear cousin, as it becomes a daughter of Sarah, 
let your soul be adorned with the excellencies of Christ, and beau- 
ties of holiness. A king from heaven makes suit for your love ; if 
he espouse your soul now, he will fetch it home to himself at death 
in his chariot of salvation ; and great shall be your joy, when the 
marriage of the Lamb is come. Look often upon Christ in this 
glass ; he is fairer than the children of men. View him believingly, 
and you cannot but like and love him. " For (as p ST? 
" one well saith) love, when it seeth, cannot but cast "' 
" out its spirit and strength upon amiable objects and things love- 
" worthy. And what fairer things than Christ ! O fair sun, and 
u fair moon, and fair stars, and fair flowers, and fair roses, and 
u fair lilies, and fair creatures ! but, O ten thousand, thousand 
<; times fairer Lord Jesus ! Alas, I wronged him in making the 
" comparison this way. black sun and moon ; but fair Lord 

Vol. I, B 


" Jesus ! black flowers, and black lilies and roses ; but O fair, 
" fair, ever fair Lord Jesus ! O all fair things, black, deformed, 
" and without beauty, when ye are set beside the fairest Lord 
" Jesus ! O black heaven, but O fair Christ ! O black angels, but 
" O surpassingly fair Lord Jesus." 

I hope you both are agreed with Christ, according to the articles 
of peace propounded to you in the gospel ; and that you are every 
day driving on salvation work, betwixt him and you, in your fa- 
mily, and in your closets. 

And now, my dear, friends, if these discoveries of Christ, which 
I humbly offer to your hands, may be any way useful to your 
souls, to assist them either in obtaining, or in clearing their in- 
terest in him, my heart shall rejoice, even mine; for none under 
heaven can be more willing, though many are more able, to help 
you thither, than is 


Trom my Study at Dartmouth, KINSMAN AND SERVANT, 

March Htb, 1671. 


(21 ) 


Especially those in the Town and Corporation o/Dartmouth, and I Parts 
adjacent, who have either befriended, or attended these Lectures. 


1VNOWLEDGE is man's excellency above the beasts that pe- 
rish, Psal. xxxii. 9. the knowledge of Christ is the Christian's 
excellency above the Heathen, 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. Practical 
and saving knowledge of Christ is the sincere Christian's excellency 
above the self-cozening hypocrite, Heb. vi. 4, 6. but methodical 
and well-digested knowledge of Christ is the strong Christian's ex- 
cellency above the weak, Heb. v. 12, 13, 14. A saving, though 
sn immethodical knowledge of Christ, will bring us to heaven, 
John xvii. 2. but a regular and methodical, as well as a saving know- 
ledge of him, will bring heaven into us, Col. ii. 2, 3. 

For such is the excellency thereof, even above all other know- 
ledge of Christ, that it renders the understanding judicious, the 
memory tenacious, and the heart highly and fixedly joyous. How 
it serves to confirm and perfect the understanding, is excellently 
discovered by a worthy divine of our own, in these words : 

A young ungrounded Christian, when he ^ t> ■> 
seeth all the fundamental truths, and seeth f r - Baxter s direc- 
good evidence and reasons of them, perhaps tl ° n J '? ™™™rt- 
may be yet ignorant of the right order and ed f°r their establish- 
place of every truth. It is a rare thing to have ment > P* ""• 
young professors to understand the necessary truths methodically ; 
and this is a very great defect : for a great part of the usefulness and 
excellency of particular truths consisteth in the respect they have 
to one another. This therefore will be a very considerable part of 
your confirmation, and growth in your understandings, to see the 
body of the Christian doctrine, as it were, at one view, as the se- 
veral parts of it are united in one perfect frame ; and to know what 
aspect one point hath upon another, and which are their due places. 
There is a great difference betwixt the sight of the several parts of 
a clock or watch, as they are disjointed and scattered abroad, and 
the seeing of them conjointed, and in use and motion. To see 
here a pin and there a wheel, and not know how to set them all 
together, nor ever see them in their due places, will give but little 
satisfaction. It is the frame and design of holy doctrine that must 
be known, and every part should be discerned as it hath its particu- 
lar use to that design, and as it is connected with the other parts. 

By this means only can the true nature of Theology, together 
with the harmony and perfection of truth, be clearly understood, 



And every single truth also will be much better perceived by him 
that seeth its place and order, than by any other : for one truth 
exceedingly illustrates and leads another into the understanding. 
—Study therefore to grow in the more methodical knowledge of 
the same truths which you have received ; and though you are not 
yet ripe enough to discern the whole body of theology in due me- 
thod, yet see so much as you have attained to know, in the right 
order and placing of every part* As in anatomy, it is hard for 
the wisest physician to discern the course of every branch of the 
veins and arteries ; but yet they may easily discern the place and 
order of the principal parts, and greater vessels, (and surely in the 
body of religion there are no branches of greater or more neces- 
sary truth than these) so it is in divinity, where no man hath a 
perfect view of the whole, till he comes to the state of perfection 
with God ; but every true Christian hath the knowledge of all the 
essentials, and may know the orders and places of them all. 

And as it serves to render the mind more judicious, so it causes 
the memory to be more tenacious, and retentive of truths. The 
chain of truth is easily held in the memory, when one truth links 
in another ; but the loosing of a link endangers the scattering of 
the whole chain. We use to say, order is the mother of memory ; 
I am sure it is a singular friend to it : hence it is observed, those 
that write of the art of memory, lay so great a stress upon place 
and number. The memory would not so soon be overcharged with 
a multitude of truths, if that multitude were but orderly disposed. 
It is the incoherence and confusion of truths, rather than their 
number, that distracts. Let but the understanding receive them 
regularly, and the memory will retain them with much more faci- 
lity. A bad memory is a common complaint among Christians : 
all the benefit that many of you have in hearing, is from the pre- 
* sent influence of truths upon your hearts ; there is but little that 
sticks by you, to make a second and third impression upon them. 
I know it may be said of some of you, that if your affections were 
not better than your memories, you would need a very large 
charity to pass for Christians. I confess it is better to have a well 
ordered heart, than a methodical head ; but surely both are better 
than either. And for you that have constantly attended these ex- 
ercises, and followed us through the whole series and deduction of 
these truths, from text to text, and from point to point ; who 
have begun one sabbath where you left another; it will be your 
inexcusable fault, if these things be not fixed in your understand- 
ing and memories, as nails fastened in a sure place : especially as pro* 
vidence hath now brought to your eyes, what hath been so often 
sounded in your ears, which is no small help to fix these truths 
upon you, and prevent that great hazard of them, which com- 


monly attends bare hearing; for now you may have recourse as 
often as you will to them, view and review them, till they become 
your own. 

But though this be a great and singular advantage, yet is not 
all you may have by a methodical understanding of the doctrines of 
Christ: it is more than a judicious understanding them, or faithful 
remembering them, that you and I must design, even the warm, 
vital, animating influences of these truths upon our hearts, without 
which we shall be never the better ; yea, much the worse for know- 
ing and remembering them. 

Truth is the sanctifying instrument, John xvii. 17. the mould 
into which our souls are cast, Rom. vi. 17. according therefore to 
the stamps and impressions it makes upon our understandings, and 
the order in which truths lie there, will be the depth and lasting- 
ness of their impressions and influences upon the heart ; as, the 
more weight is laid uj)on the seal, the more fair and lasting im- 
pression is made upon the wax. He that sees the grounds and 
reasons of his peace and comfort most clearly, is like to maintain 
it the more constantly. 

Great therefore is the advantage Christians have by such metho- 
dical sytems. Surely they may be set down among the desiderata 
Christiawrum, The most desired things pf Christians. 

Divers worthy modern pens have indeed un- * M WW 

dertaken this noble subject before me, some -^ p fr + ni - . f 
more * succinctly, others more f copiously : these . °^ r j-^ J*_ 
have done worthily, and their praises are in the i j ,. j , 

churches of Christ ; yet such breadth there is in . I J . . 
the knowledge of Christ, that not only those ° 
who have written on this subject before me, but a thousand authors 
more may employ their pens after us, and not interfere with, or 
straiten another. 

And such is the deliciousness of this subject, that, were there 
ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never cloy, or 
become nauseous to a gracious heart. We use to say, one thing 
tires, and it is true that it doth so, except that one thing be vii% 
tually and eminently all things, as Christ is ; and then one thing 
can never tire ; for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ, who is 
the delicice humani generis, the delights of the children of men, that 
every time he is opened to believers from pulpit or press, it is as if 
heaven had furnised them with a new Christ ; and yet he is the 
same Christ still. 

The treatise itself will satisfy you, that I have not boasted in 
another man's line, of things made ready to my hand ; which I 
speak not in the least to win any praise to myself from the under- 
taking, but to remove prejudice from it ; for I see more defects in 



it, than most of my readers will see, and can forethink more fault* 
to be found in it, than I now shall stand to tell thee of, or answer 
for. It was written in a time of great distractions ; and didst thou 
but know how oft this work hath died and revived under my hand, 
thou wouldst wonder that ever it came to thine. 

I am sensible it may fall under some censorious (it may be, envi- 
ous) eyes, and that far different judgments will pass upon it; for 
pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli : And no wonder if a treatise of 
Christ be, when Christ himself was to some, " a stone of stum- 
bling, and a rock of offence." I expect not to please every rea- 
der, especially the envious ; magna debet esse eloquentia, quae invitis 
placet. It is as hard for some to look upon other men's gifts with- 
out envy, as it is to look upon their own without pride ; nor will 
I be any further concerned with such readers, than to pity them ; 
well knowing that every proud, contemptuous and envious censure 
is a granado that breaks in the hand of him that casts it. 

But to the ingenuous and candid reader, I owe satisfaction for 
the obscurity of some part of this discourse, occasioned by the con- 
ciseness of the stile ; to which I have this only to say, that I was 
willing to crowd as much matter as I could into this number of 
sheets in thy hand, that I might therein ease thee both in thy 
pains and thy purse. I confess the sermons were preached in a 
more relaxed stile, and most of these things were enlarged in the 
pulpit, which are designedly contracted in the press, that the vo- 
lume might not swell above the ability of common readers. And 
it was my purpose at first to have comprised the second part, viz. 
The application of the redemption that is with Christ unto sinners, in 
one volume, which occasioned the contraction of this; but that 
making a just volume itself, must await another season to see the 
light. If the reader will be but a little the more intent and consi- 
derate in reading, this conciseness will turn to his advantage. 

This may suffice to shew the usefulness of such composures, and 
prevent offence ; but something yet remains with me, to say to the 
readers in general, to those of this town in special, and to the flock 
committed by Christ to my charge more especially. 

1. To readers in general, according as their different states and 
conditions may be ; there are six things earnestly to be requested 
of them. 

(1.) If you be yet strangers to Christ, let these things begin, 
and beget your first accquaintance with him. I assure thee, reader, 
it was a principal part of the design thereof; and here thou wilt 
find many directions, helps, and sweet encouragements, to assist a 
poor stranger as thou art, in that great work. Say not, I am an 
enemy to Christ, and there is no hope of reconciliation ; for here 
thou wilt see, how " God was in Christ reconciling the world to 


« himself." Say not, all this is nothing except God had told 
thee so, and appointed some to treat with thee about it ; " for he 
« hath committed unto us the word of this reconciliation." Say 
not, yea, that may be from your own pity and compassion for us, 
and not from any commission you have for it ; for we u are am- 
bassadors for Christ,' 1 1 Cor. v. 19. 

Say not, O but my sins are greater than can be forgiven : the 
difficulties of my salvation are too great to be overcome, especially 
by a poor creature as I am, that am able to do nothing, no, not to 
raise one penny towards the discharge of that great debt I owe to 
God. For here thou wilt find, upon thy union with Christ, that 
there is merit enough in his blood, and mercy enough in his 
bowels, to justify and save such a one as thou art. Yea, and I 
will add for thine encouragement, that it is a righteous thing with 
God to justify and save thee, that canst not pay him one penny of 
all the vast sums thou owest him; when, by the same rule of 
justice, he condemns the most strict, self-righteous Pharisee, that 
thinks thereby to quit scores with him. It is righteous for a judge 
to cast him that hath paid ninety-nine pounds of the hundred 
which he owed, because the payment was not full ; and to acquit 
him, whose surety hath paid all, though himself did not, and 
freely confess that he cannot pay one farthing of the whole debt. 

(2.) If thou be a self-deceiving soul, that easily takest up thy 
satisfaction about thine interest in Christ, look to it, as thou valuest 
thy soul, reader, that a fond and groundles conceit of thine in- 
terest in Christ do not effectually and finally ob- n , . 
struct a true and saving interest in him. This is ^^? ™ • • **" 
the common and fatal error in which multitudes * . Ul se 
of souls are ensnared and ruined: for look as a P rms s &p e?e P u - 
conceit of great wisdom hinders many from the ' . \ ' , ^ 
attaining of it; so a groundless conceit that , if ,& •/•//*'' 
Christ is already thine, may prove the greatest , , * 9 V ie jj 

obstacle between Christ and thee : but here thou , 7 7 . p , 

•ii . r;.v i ,i ; -ii 4. j • themselves wise at- 

will meet with many rules that will not deceive // ? c 

thee, trials that will open thy true condition to *' 


Thou sometimes reflectest upon the state of thy soul, and en- 

quirest, is Christ mine ? may I depend upon it, that my condition 

is safe ? Thy heart returns thee an answer of peace, it speaks as 

thou wouldst have it. But remember, friend, and mark this line, 

Thy final sentence is not yet come from the mouth of thy Judge; and 

what if after all thy self-flattering hopes and groundless confidence, 

a sentence should come from him quite cross to that of thine own 

]ieart f where art thou then ? what a confounded person wilt thou he % 

Christless, speechless, and hopeless, all at once ! 



O therefore build sure for eternity; take heed lest the loss of 
thine eternal happiness be at last imputed by thee to the deceitful- 
ness and laziness of thine own heart ; lest thy heart say to thee in 
hell, as the heart of Apollodorus seemed in his sufferings to say to 
him, / am the cause of all this misery to thee. 

(3.) If thou be one whose heart is eagerly set upon this vain 
world, I beseech thee take heed, lest it interpose itself betwixt 
Christ and thy soul, and so cut thee off from him for ever. O be- 
ware, lest the dust of the earth, getting into thine eyes, so blind 
thee, that thou never see the beauty or necessity of Christ. The 
god of this world so blinds the eyes of them that believe not. And 
what are sparkling pleasures that dazzles the eyes of some, and the 
distracting cares that wholly divert the minds of others, but as a 
napkin drawn by Satan over the eyes of them that are to be turned 
off into hell? 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 

Some general aims, and faint wishes after Christ you may have ; 
but alas ! the world has centered thy heart, intangled thy affec- 
tions, and will daily find new diversions for them from the great 
business of life ; so that, if the Lord break not this snare, thou wilt 
never be able to deliver thy soul. 

(4.) If thou be a loose and careless professor of Christ, I beseech 
thee, let the things thou shalt read in this treatise of Christ, con- 
vince, shame, reclaim thee from thy vain conversation. Here 
thou wilt find how contrary thy conversation is to the grand designs 
of the death and resurrection of Christ. Oh, methinks as thou 
art reading the deep humiliation, and unspeakable sorrows Christ 
underwent for the expiating of sin, thou shouldest thenceforth 
look upon sin as a tender child would look upon that knife that 
stabbed his father to the heart 1 thou shouldst never whet and 
sharpen it again to wound the Son of God afresh. To such loose 
and careless professors, I particularly recommend the last general 
"use of this discourse^ containing many great motives to reforma- 
tion and strict godliness in all that call upon the name of the Lord 

(5.) If thou hast been a profane and vain person, but now art 
pardoned, and dost experience the superabounding riches of grace ; 
my request to thee is, that thou love Jesus Christ with a more fer- 
vent love than ever yet thou hadst for him. Here thou wilt find 
many great incentives, many mighty arguments to such a love of 
Christ. Poor soul, consider what thou hast been, what the morn- 
ing of thy life was, what treasures of guilt thou laidst up in those 
days; and then think, can such a one as I receive mercy, and 
that mercy not break my heart ? Can I read my pardon, and mine 
eyes not drop ? What ! mercy for such a wretch as I ! a pardon 


for such a rebel! O what an ingenuous thaw should this cause 
upon my heart ! if it do not, what a strange heart is thine. 

Did the love of Christ break through so many impediments to 
come to thee ? Did it make its way through the law, througli the 
wrath of God, through the grave, through thine own unbelief 
and great un worthiness, to come to thee ? O what a love was the 
love of Christ to thy soul ; And is not thy love strong enough to 
break through the vanities and trifles of this world, which intangle 
it, to go to Christ ? How poor, how low and weak is thy love to 
Christ then ? 

(6.) Lastly, Art thou one that hast through mercy at last attain- 
ed assurance, or good hope, through grace, of thy interest in 
Christ? Rejoice then in thy present mercy, and long ardently to 
be with thine own Christ in his glory. There be many things dis- 
persed through this treatise, of Christ, to animate such joy, and 
excite such longings. It was truly observed by a wor- j^ r g -^ 
thy author, (whose words I have mentioned more 
freely than his name in this discourse) That it is in a manner as 
natural for us to leap when we see the new Jerusalem, as it is to laugli 
wlicn we are ticlled : Joy is not under the souFs command when Christ 
kisseth it. And for your desires to be with Christ, what considera- 
tion can you find in this world strong enough to rein them in ? O 
when you shall consider what he hath done, suffered, and pur- 
chased" for you, where he is now, and how much he longs for 
your coming, your very hearts should groan out those words, Phil. 
i. 23. " I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.'" The 
Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient 
waiting for of Christ. 

2. Having delivered my message to the reader in general, I have 
Somewhat more particularly to say to you of this place. 

You are a people that were born under, and bred up with the 
gospel. It hath been your singular privilege, above many towns 
and parishes in England, to enjoy more than sixty years together 
an able and fruitful ministry among you. The dew of heaven lay 
upon you, as it did upon Gideon's fleece, when the ground was 
dry in other places about you ; you have been richly watered with 
gospel-showers ; you, with Capernaum, have been exalted to 
heaven in the means of grace. And it must be owned to your 
praise, that you testified more respect to the gospel than many 
other places have done, and treated Christ's ambassadors with more 
civility, whilst they prophesied in sackcloth, than some other places 
did. These things are praise-worthy in you. But all this, and much 
more than this, amounts not to that which Jesus Christ expects 
from you, and which in his name I would now persuade you to. 
And 6 that I (the least and un worthiest of all the messengers of 


Christ to you) might indeed prevail with all that are Christless 
among you, (1.) To answer the long continued calls of God to 
you, by a thorough and sound conversion, that the long-suffering of 
God may be your salvation , and you may not receive all this grace of 
God in vain. O that the damned might never be set a wondering, 
to see a people of your advantages for heaven, sinking as much 
below many of themselves in misery, as you now are above them 
in means and mercy. 

Dear friends, my heart's desire and prayer to God for you is, 
that you may be saved. O that I knew how to engage this whole 
town to Jesus Christ, and make fast the marriage-knot betwixt 
him and you, albeit after that I should presently go to the place 
of silence^ and see men no more, with the inhabitants of the 
world. Ah sirs ! methinks I see the Lord Jesus laying the mer- 
ciful hand of a holy violence upon you : methinks he calls to you, 
as the angel to Lot, saying, " Arise, lest ye be consumed; And 
" while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, the Lord 
" being merciful unto him. And they brought him without the 
" city, and said, Escape for thy life, stay not in all the plain ; 
u escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed," Gen. xix. 15. 
How often (to allude to this) hath Jesus Christ in like manner 
laid hold upon you in the preaching of the gospel, and will you 
not flee for refuge to him ? Will you rather be consumed, than 
endeavour an escape ? A beast will not be driven into the fire, and 
will not you be kept out ? The merciful Lord Jesus, by his admi- 
rable patience and bounty, hath convinced you how loth he is to 
leave or lose you. To this day his arms are stretched forth to ga- 
ther you, and will you not be gathered ? Alas for my poor neigh- 
bours ! Must so many of them perish at last ? What shall I do for 
the daughter of my people ? 

Lord, by what 'arguments shall they be persuaded to be happy ? 
What will win them effectually to thy Christ? They have many 
of them escaped the pollutions of the world through the know- 
ledge of the Lord and Saviour. They are a people that love thine 
ordinances, they take delight in approaching to God ; thou hast 
beautified many of them with lovely and obliging tempers and disr- 
positions. Thus far they are come, there they stick ; and beyond 
this no power but thine can move them. O thou, to whose hand 
this work is and must be left, put forth thy saving power and re- 
veal thine arm for their salvation; Thou hast glorified thy name 
in many of them ; Lord, glorify it again. 

(2.) *My next request is, that you will all be persuaded, whether 
converted or unconverted, to set up all the duties of religion in 
your families, and govern your children and servants as men that 
must give an account to God for them in the great day. O that 


there were not a prayerless family in this town ! How little will 
their tables differ from the manger, where beasts feed together, if 
God be not owned and acknowledged there, in your eating and 
drinking ? And how can you expect blessings should dwell in your 
tabernacles, if God be not called on there? Say not, you want 
time for it, or that your necessities will not allow it ; for, had you 
been more careful of these duties, it is like you had not been ex* 
posed to such necessities : besides, you can find time to be idle, you 
can waste a part of every day vainly ; Why could not that time be 
redeemed for God ? Moreover, you will not deny but the success 
of all your affairs at home and abroad depends upon the blessing 
of God ; and if so, think you it is not the right way, even to tem- 
poral prosperity, to engage his presence and blessing with you, in 
whose hands your all is ? Say not, your children and servants are 
ignorant of God, and therefore you cannot comfortably join with 
them in those duties, for the neglect of those duties is the cause 
of their ignorance ; and it is not like they will be better, till you 
use God's means to make them so. 

Besides, prayer is a part of natural worship, and the vilest 
among men are bound to pray, else the neglect of it were none of 
their sin. O let not a duty, upon which so many and great bless- 
ings hang, fall to the ground, upon such silly (not to say wicked) 
pretences to shift it off. Remember, death will shortly break up 
all your families, and disband them ; and who then think you will 
have most comfort in beholding their dead? The day of account 
also hastens, and then, who will have the most comfortable appear- 
ing before the just and holy God ? Set up, I beseech you, the an- 
cient and comfortable duties of reading the scriptures, singing of 
psalms, and prayer, in all your dwelling-places. And do all these 
conscientiously, as men that have to do with God ; and try the Lord 
herewith, if he will not return in a way of mercy to you, and restore 
even your outward prosperity to you again. However, to be sure, 
far greater encouragements than that lie before you, to oblige you 
to your duties. 

(3.) More especially, I have a few things to say to you that have 
attended on the ministry, or are under my oversight in a more par- 
ticular manner, and then I have done. And, 

1**, I cannot but observe to you the goodness of our God, yea, 
the riches of his goodness : 

Who freely gave Jesus Christ out of his own bosom for us, and 
hath not withheld his Spirit, ordinances and ministers, to reveal and 
apply him to us. Here is love that wants an epithet to match it : 

Who engaged my heart upon this transcendent subject in the 
course of my ministry among you : a subject which angels study and 
admire, as well as we : 


Who so signally protected and overshadowed our assembly in 
those days of trouble, wherein these truths were delivered to you. 
You then sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his 
fruit was sweet to your taste : his banner over you was love ; your 
bread was then sure, and your waters failed not : Yea, such was 
his peculiar indulgence, and special tenderness to you, that he suf- 
fered no man to do you harm; and it can hardly be imagined 
any could attempt it that had but known this, and no worse than 
this, to be your only design and business : 

Who made these meditations of Christ a strong support, and 
sweet relief to mine, now with Christ, and no less to me, under 
the greatest exercises and trials that ever befel me in this world ; 
preserving me yet (though a broken vessel) for some farther use 
and service to your souls : 

Who in the years that are past left not himself without witness 
among us, blessing my labours, to the conversion and edification 
of many ; some of which yet remain with us, but some are fallen 
asleep : 

Who hath made many of you that yet remain, a willing and 
obedient people, who have in some measure supported the reputa- 
tion of religion by your stability and integrity in days of abounding 
iniquity : My joy and my crown ; so stand ye fast in the Lord I 

Who after all the days of fears and troubles, through which we 
have past, hath at last given us and his churches rest ; " that we 
" being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve 
tt him without fear in righteousness and holiness (which doing, 
" this mercy may be extended to us) all the days of our life.** 

In testimony of a thankful heart for these invaluable mercies, I 
humbly and cheerfully rear up this pillar of remembrance, inscri- 
bing it with EBEN-EZER, and JEHOVAH-JIREH ! 

2dly, As I could not but observe these things to you, so I have 
a few things to request of you, in neither of which I can bear a 
denial, so deeply Christ's, your own, and my interest lie in them. 

(1.) Look to it, my dear friends, that none of you be found 
Christless at your appearance before him. Those that continue 
Christless now, will be left speechless then. God forbid that you 
that have heard so much of Christ, and you that have professed 
so much of Christ, should at last fall into a worse condition than 
those that never heard the name of Christ. 

(2.) See that you daily grow more Christ-like by conversing 
with him, as you do, in his precious ordinances. Let it be with 
your souls, as it is with a piece of cloth, which receives a deeper 
dye every time it is dipt into a vat. If not, you may not expect 
the continuance of your mercies much longer to you. 

(3.) Get these great truths well digested both in your heads and 



hearts, and let the power of them be displayed in your lives, else 
the pen of the scribe, and the tongue of the preacher, are both in 
vain. These things, that so often warmed your hearts from the 
pulpit, return now to make a second impression upon them from the 
press. Hereby you will recover and fix those truths, which, it is 
like, are in great part already vanished from you. 

This is the fruit I promise myself from you : The next age, 
and whatever entertainment it meets with from perhaps will pro- 
others in this Christ-despising age, yet two things duce a race of men 
relieve me ; one is, that future times may pro- of Jiner disposi- 
duce more humble and hungry Christians than tions and a gentler 
this glutted age enjoys, to whom it will be wel- turn, than tills age 
come : the other is, that duty is discharged, and has produced. Ant. 
endeavours are used to bring men to Christ, and Prob» 
build them up in him : wherein he doth and will 
rejoice, who is a well-wisher to the souls of men. 





Opens the Excellency of the Subject. 

1 cor. ii. 2. 

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus 
Christ, and Mm crucified. 

jL HE former verse contains an apology for the plain and familiar 
manner of the apostle's preaching, which was not (as he there tells 
them) with excellency of speech, or of wisdom ; i. e. he studied not 
to gratify their curiosity with rhetorical strains, or philosophical 
niceties. In this he gives the reason, " for I determined not to 
B know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ," §c. * 

tt I determined not to know." *f*] The meaning is not, that he 
simply despised, or contemned all other studies and knowledge ; 
but so far only as they stand in competition with, or opposition to 
the study and knowledge of Jesus Christ. And it is as if he should 
say, it is my stated, settled judgment ; not a hasty, inconsiderate 
censure, but the product and issue of my most serious and exqui- 
site enquiries. After I have well weighed the case, turned it round, 
viewed it exactly on every side, balanced all advantages and dis- 
advantages, pondered all things, that are fit to come into conside- 
ration about it ; this is the result and final determination, that all 
other knowledge, how profitable, how pleasant soever, is not 
worthy to be named in the same day with the knowledge of Jesus 

* Non rzyjO.oyuv, sed ^zoXoyuv. i. e . Not to teach arts and sciences, but religion. 

"t Ou gzwa ra s/osva/ rt £v v/xiv,-— I did not judge it equitable to know with 
marked regard any thing among you. — He does not condemn all other knowledge 
except when it rivals the knowledge of Christ, #c. 


Christ. This, therefore, I resolve to make the scope and end of 
my ministry, and the end regulates the mean ; such pedantic toys, 
and airy notions as injudicious ears affect^ would rather obstruct 
than promote my grand design among you ; therefore, wholly 
waving that way, I applied myself to a plain, popular, unaffected 
dialect, fitted rather to pierce the heart, and convince the con- 
science, than to tickle the fancy. This is the scope of the words, 
in which three things fall under consideration ; 

First, The subject matter of his doctrine, to wit, Jesus Christ 
" I determined to know nothing," i. e. to study nothing myself, 
to teach nothing to you, but " Jesus Christ." Christ shall be the 
centre to which all the lines of my ministry shall be drawn. I have 
spoken and written of many other subjects in my sermons and 
epistles, but it is all reductively the preaching and discovery of Je- 
sus Christ : of all the subjects in the world, this is the sweetest ; 
if there be any thing on this side heaven, worthy our time and 
studies, this is it. Thus he magnifies his doctrine, from the ex- 
cellency of its subject-matter, accounting all other doctrines but 
airy things, compared with this. 

Secondly, We have here that special respect or consideration of 
Christ, which he singled out from all the rest of the excellent 
truths of Christ, to spend the main strength of his ministry upon ; 
and that is, Christ as crucified : and the rather, because hereby he 
would obviate the vulgar prejudice raised against him upon the 
account of his cross ; " For Christ crucified was to the Jews a 
stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness," chap. i. 23. 
This also best suited his end, to draw them on to Christ ; as Christ 
above all other subjects, so Christ crucified above all things in 
Christ. There is, therefore, a great emphasis in this word, " and 
" him crucified." * 

Thirdly, The manner in which he discoursed this transcendent 
subject to them, is also remarkable ; he not only preached Christ 
crucified, but he preached him assiduously and plainly. He 
preached Christ frequently ; " and whenever he preached of Christ 
" crucified, he preached him in a crucified stile." -f* This is the 
sum of the words ; to let them know that his spirit was intent up- 
on this subject, as if he neither knew, nor cared to speak of any 
other. All his sermons were so full of Christ, that his hearers 
might have thought he was acquainted with no other doctrine. 
Hence observe, 

^ * Vehementem habet £ft<paffiv quod adjecit, $ hunc crucifixum. He writes with pecu- 
liar emphasis — And him crucified. Pet Martyr in Loc. 
f Christum crucifixum stylo crucifixo prcedicabat. 


Doet. That there is no doctrine more excellent hi itself, or more ne- 
cessary to be preached and studied, than the doctrine of Jesus 
Christ, and him crucified. 

All other knowledge, how much soever it be magnified in the 
•world, is, and ought to be esteemed but dross, in comparison of 
the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Phil. iii. 8. 
" In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge/ 1 
Col. ii. 3 * 

Eudoxus was so affected with the glory of the sun, that he 
thought he was born only to behold it ; much more should a Chris- 
tian judge himself born only to behold and delight in the glory of 
the Lord Jesus. 

The truth of this proposition will be made out by a double con- 
sideration of the doctrine of Christ. 

First, Let it be considered absolutely, and then these lovely pro- 
perties with which it is naturally clothed, will render it superior to 
all other sciences and studies. 

1st, The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and ker- 
nel of all the scriptures ; the scope and centre of all divine revela- 
tions : both Testaments meet in Christ. The ceremonial law is full 
of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ : the blessed lines of 
both Testaments meet in him; and how they both harmonize, and 
sweetly concentre in Jesus Christ, is the chief scope of that excel- 
lent epistle to the Hebrews, to discover ; for we may call that epistle 
the sweet harmony of both Testaments. This argues the unspeak- 
able excellency of this doctrine, the knowledge whereof must 
needs therefore be a key to unlock the greatest part of the sacred 
scriptures. For it is in the understanding of scripture, much as it 
is in the knowledge men have in logic and philosophy : if a scholar 
once come to understand the bottom-principle, upon which, as 
upon its hinge, the controversy turns, the true knowledge of that 
principle shall carry him through the whole controversy, and fur- 
nish him with a solution to every argument. Even so the right 
knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the 
whole labyrinth of the scriptures. 

2<%, The knowledge of Jesus Christ is ^fundamental hnoidedge ; 
and foundations are most useful, though least seen. The know- 
ledge of Christ is fundamental to all graces, duties, comforts, and 

(1.) It is fundamental to all graces ; they all begin in know- 
ledge ; Col. iii. 10. " The new man is renewed in knowledge. 1 ' 

* He that prefers any knowledge on earth, to this sacred and heavenly knowledge, 
chuseth trash before a treasure. jSavemnt on CqIqss, chap, ii. ver, 5. 


As the old, so the new creation begins in light ; the opening of 
the eyes is the first work of the Spirit ; and as the beginnings of 
grace, so all the after-improvements thereof depend upon this in- 
creasing knowledge, 2 Pet. iii. 18. " But grow in grace, and in 
« the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.'' See how these two, 
grace and knowledge, keep equal pace in the soul of a Christian ; 
in what degree the one increases, the other increases answerably. 

(2.) The knowledge of Christ is fundamental to all duties ; the 
duties, as well as the graces of all Christians, are all founded in the 
knowledge of Christ. Must a Christian believe? That he can 
never do without the knowledge of Christ : faith is so much depend- 
ent on his knowledge, that it is denominated by it, Isa. liii. 11. 
" By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;" and 
hence, John vi. 40. seeing and believing are made the same thing. 
Would a man exercise hope in God ? that he can never do with* 
out the knowledge of Christ, for he is the author of that hope, 
1 Pet. i. 3. he is also its object, Heb. vi. 19. its ground-work and 
support, Col. i. 27. And as- you cannot believe or hope, so neither 
can you pray acceptably without a competent degree of this know- 
ledge. The very Heathen could .say, Non loquendum de Deo sine 
lumine, i. e. Men must not speak of God without light : the true 
way of conversing with, and enjoying God in prayer, is by acting 
faith on him through a Mediator : so much comfort and true ex- 
cellency there is in it, and no more. O then, how indispensible is 
the knowledge of Christ, to all that do address themselves to God 
in any duty ! 

(3.) It is fundamental to all comforts: all the comforts of be- 
lievers are streams from this fountain. Jesus Christ is the very ob- 
ject matter of a believer's joy, Phil. iii. 3. " Our rejoicing is in 
" Christ Jesus." Take away the knowledge of Christ, and a 
Christian is the most sad and melancholy creature in the world : 
again, let Christ but manifest himself, and dart the beams of his 
light into their souls, it will make them kiss the stakes, sing in 
flames, and shout in the pangs of death, as men that divide the 

Lastly, This knowledge is fundamental to the eternal happiness 
of souls : as we can perform no duty, enjoy no comfort, so neither 
can we be saved without it, John xvii. 3. " This is life eternal, to 
" know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast 
" sent." And, if it be life eternal to know Christ, then it is 
eternal damnation to be ignorant of Christ : as Christ is the door 
that opens heaven, so knowledge is the key that opens Christ. The 
excellent gifts, and renowned parts of the moral Heathens, though 
they purchased to them great esteem and honour among men, yet 
left them in a state of perdition, because of this great defect, they 

Vol. I. C 


were ignorant of Christ, 1 Cor. i. 21. Thus you see how funda- 
mental the knowledge of Christ is, essentially necessary to all the 
graces, duties, comforts and happiness of souls. 

3^%, The knowledge of Christ is profound and large ; all other 
sciences are but shadows ; this is a boundless, bottomless ocean ; 
no creature hath a line long enough to fathom the depth of it ; 
there is height, length, depth and breadth ascribed to it, Eph. 
iii. 14. yea, it passeth knowledge. There is * " a manifold wis- 
" dom of God in Christ,'" Eph. iii. 10. It is of many sorts and 
forms, of many folds and plates : it is indeed simple, pure and 
unmixed with any thing but itself, yet it is manifold in degrees, 
kinds and administrations ; though something of Christ be unfold- 
ed in one age, and something in another, yet eternity itself cannot 
fully unfold him. I see something, said Luther, which blessed 
Austin saw not ; and those that come after me, will see that which 
I see not. It is in the studying of Christ, as in the planting of a 
new discovered country; at first men sit down by the sea-side, 
upon the skirts and borders of the land; and there they dwell, 
but by degrees they search farther and farther into the heart of the 
country. Ah, the best of us are yet but upon the borders of this 
vast continent ! 

4tthlg, The study of Jesus Christ is the most noble subject that 
ever a soul spent itself upon; those that rack and torture their 
brains upon other studies, like children, weary themselves at a low 
game; the eagle plays at the sun itself. The angels study this 
doctrine, and stoop down to look into this deep abyss. What are 
the truths discovered in Christ, but the very secrets that from 
eternity lay hid in the bosom of God? Eph. iii. 8, 9. God's 
heart is opened to men in Christ, John i. 18. this makes the gos- 
pel such a glorious dispensation, because Christ is so gloriously re- 
vealed therein, 1 Cor. iii. 9. and the studying of Christ in the 
gospel, stamps such a heavenly glory upon the contemplating soul, 
ver. 18. 

5tMy, It is the most sweet and comfortable knowledge ; to be 
studying Jesus Christ, what is it but to be digging among all the 
veins and springs of comfort? and the deeper you dig, the more 
do these springs flow upon you. How are hearts ravished with the 
discoveries of Christ in the gospel ? what ecstasies, meltings, tran- 
sports, do gracious souls meet there ? Doubtless, Philip's ecstasy, 
John i. 25. evpixapft itfsv, " We have found Jesus," was far be- 
yond that of Archimedes. A believer could sit from morning to 
night, to hear discourses of Christ ; " His mouth is most sweet ," 
Cant. v. 16. f 

* HkvnoiXiktiC, eopia Osx, Multiformes sajnentia Dei. Caryl in Job xi. 6. 
f Every discovery of thy truth is, above all, the plcasantest, most ravishing and 


Secondly, Let us compare this knowledge with all other know- 
ledge, and thereby the excellency of it will farther appear. 

1. All other knowledge is natural, but this wholly superna- 
tural, Mat. xi. 27. " No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; 
" neither knOweth any the Father, save the Son, and he to whom- 
" soever the Son will reveal him." The wisest Heathens could 
never make a discovery of Christ by their deepest searches into 
nature ; the most eagle-eyed philosophers were but ehildren in know- 
ledge, compared with the most illiterate Christians. 

2. Other knowledge is unattainable by many. All the helps and 
means in the world would never enable some Christians to attain 
the learned arts and languages ; men of the best wits, and most 
pregnant parts, are most excellent in these ; but here is the mys- 
tery and excellency of the knowledge of Christ, that men of most 
blunt, dull and contemptible parts attain, through the teaching of 
the Spirit, to this knowledge, in which the more acute and inge- 
nious are utterly blind, Mat. xi. 25. " I thank thee, O Father, 
" Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things 
" from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." 
1 Cor. i. 26, 27. " You see your calling, brethren, how that not 
" many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble 
" are called : but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, 
" to confound the wise," &c. 

3. Other knowledge, though you should attain the highest de- 
gree of it, would never bring you to heaven, being defective and 
lame both in the integrity of parts, the principal thing, viz. Christ, 
being wanting ; and in the purity of its nature : for the knowing 
Heathens grew vain in their imaginations, Rom. i. 21. and in the 
efficacy and influence of it on the heart and life, They held the truth 
in unrighteousness ; their lusts were stronger than their light, Rom. 
i. 18. But this knowledge hath potent influences, changing souls 
into its own image, 2 Cor. hi. 18. and so proves a saving know- 
ledge unto men, 1 Tim. ii. 4. And thus I have in a few particu 
lars pointed out the transcendency of the knowledge of Christ. 

The use of all this I shall give you in a few inferences, on which 
I shall not enlarge, the whole being only preliminary to the doc- 
trine of Christ ; only for the present I shall hence infer, 


* The sufficiency of the doctrine of Christ, to make men wise 
unto salvation. Paul desired to know nothing else ; and, indeed, 

delightful, and even invites and offers itself to every one of its own accord. What ex- 
quisite pleasure is there in that, which lies concealed within the inmost recesses of 
your heart, and is shut up, as it were, with locks and bars ? Brightman on Cant. 
* He is completely learned, who has learned the gospel; but that person is quite 



nothing else is of absolute necessity to be known. A little of this 
knowledge, if saving and effectual upon thy heart, will do thy soul 
more service, than all the vain speculation and profound parts that 
others so much glory in. Poor Christian, be not dejected, because 
thou seest thyself out-stript and excelled by so many in other parts 
of knowledge ; if thou know Jesus Christ, thou knowest enough 
to comfort and save thy soul. Many learned philosophers are now 
in hell, and many illiterate Christians in heaven. 


If there be such excellency in the knowledge of Christ, let it 
humble all, both saints and sinners, that we have no more of this 
clear and effectual knowledge in us, notwithstanding the excellent 
advantages we have had for it. Sinners, concerning you I may 
sigh and say with the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 34. " Some have not the 
" knowledge of Christ, I speak this to your shame." This, O 
this is the condemnation. And even for you that are enlightened 
in this knowledge, how little do you know of Jesus Christ, in com- 
parison of what you might have known of him ? What a shame is 
it, that you should need to be taught the very first truths, " when 
" for the time you might have been teachers of others ?" Heb. v, 
12, 13, 14. " That your ministers cannot speak unto you as 
" spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ," 1 
-Cor. iii. 1, 2. O how much time is spent in other studies, in vain 
discourses, frivolous pamphlets, worldly employments? how littlS 
in the search and study of Jesus Christ. 


How sad is their condition that have a knowledge of Christ, and 
yet as to themselves it had been better they had never had it ! * 
Many there be that content themselves with an unpractical, inef- 
fectual, and merely notional knowledge of him ; of whom the 
apostle saith, " It had been better for them not to have known," 
2 Pet. ii. 21. It serves only to aggravate sin and misery ; for 
though it be not enough to save them, yet it puts some weak 
restraints upon sin, which their impetuous lusts breaking down, 
exposes them thereby to a greater damnation. 


Fourthly, This may inform us by what rule to judge both mi- 
nisters and doctrine. Certainly that is the highest commendation 
of a minister, to be an able minister of the New Testament ; not 

foolish and mad, who seeks for saving knowledge any where else; for here is a large 
field of such knowledge ; here all the treasures of it. Davenant on Colons. 
• Vide Zanch. in Eph, iv, p, 161. de duplici cognilione Wiristu 



of the letter, but of the Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 6. He is the best artist, 
that can most lively and powerfully display Jesus Christ before the 
people, evidently setting him forth as crucified among them ; and 
that is the best sermon, that is most full of Christ, not of art and 
language. I know that a holy dialect well becometh Chrisfs mi- 
nisters, they should not be rude and careless in language or method ; 
but surely the excellency of a sermon lies not in that, but in the 
plainest discoveries and liveliest applications of Jesus Christ. 


Let all that mind the honour of religion, or the peace and 
comfort of their own souls, wholly sequester and apply themselves 
to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Wherefore spend 
we ourselves upon other studies, when all excellency, sweetness, 
and desirableness is concentered in this one ? Jesus Christ is fairer 
than the children of men, the chiefest among ten thousands, " as 
" the apple-tree among the trees of the wood;" Quae faciunt 
divisa beatum, in hoc mixta fiuunt : These things which singly ra- 
vish and delight the souls of men, are all found conjunctly in 
Christ. O what a blessed Christ is this ! * whom to know is eter- 
nal life. From the knowledge of Jesus Christ do bud forth all the 
fruits of comfort, and that for all seasons and conditions. Hence 
Rev. xxii. 2. he is called " the tree of life, which bears twelve 
" manner of fruits, and yields its fruit every month ; and the 
" very leaves of this tree are for healing." In Christ souls have, 
(1.) All necessaries for food and physic. (2.) All varieties of fruits, 
twelve manner of fruits ; a distinct sweetness in this, in that, and 
in the other attribute, promise, ordinance. (3.) In him are these 
fruits at all times, he bears fruit every month ; there is precious 
fruit in Jesus Christ, even in the black month ; winter fruits as 
well as summer fruits. O then study Christ, study to know him 
more extensively. There be many excellent things in Christ, that 
the most eagle-eyed believer hath not yet seen : Ah ! 'tis pity that 
any thing of Christ should lie hid from his people. Study to know 
Christ more intensively, to get the experimental taste and lively 
power of his knowledge upon your hearts and affections : This is 
the knowledge that carries all the sweetness and comfort in it. 
Christian, I dare appeal to thy experience, whether the experi- 
mental taste of Jesus Christ, in ordinances and duties, has not a 

* I am sure, (saith a holy one), the saints at .their best, are but strangers to the 
Weight and worth of the incomparable sweetness of Christ ; he is so new, so fresh in 
excellency every day to those that search more and more into him, as if heaven 
could furnish as many new Christs (if I may so. speak) as there are days betwixt him 
and us; and yet he is one and the same still; O, we love an unknown lover, wheu 
we love Christ. 



higher and sweeter relish than any created enjoyment thou ever 
tastedst in this world? O then separate, devote, and wholly give 
thyself, thy time, thy strength to this most sweet transcendent 


Lastly ) Let me close the whole with a double caution ; one to 
ourselves, who by our callings and professions are the ministers 
of Christ ; another to those that sit under the doctrine of Christ 

First, If this doctrine be the most excellent, necessary, funda- 
mental, profound, noble, and comfortable doctrine*, let us then 
take heed lest, while we study to be exact in other things, we be 
found ignorant in this. Ye know it is ignominious, by the com- 
mon suffrage of the civilized world, for any man to be unacquainted 
with his own calling, or not to attend the proper business of it : 
it is our calling, as the Bridegroom's friends, to woo and win souls 
to Christ, to set him forth to the people as crucified among them, 
Gal. iii. 1. to present him in all his attractive excellencies, that all 
liearts may be ravished with his beauty, and charmed into his arms 
by love : we must also be able to defend the truths of Christ against 
undermining heretics, to instil his knowledge into the ignorant, to 
answer the cases and scruples of poor doubting Christians. How 
many intricate knots have we to untie ? What pains, what skill is 
requisite for such as are employed about our work ? And shall we 
spend our precious time in frivolous controversies, philosophical 
niceties, dry and barren scholastic notions ? -f- Shall we study every 
thing but Christ ? revolve all volumes but the sacred ones ? What 
is observed even of Bellarmine, J that he turned with loathing from 
school divinity, because it wanted the sweet juice of piety, may be 
convictive to many among us, who are often too much in love 
with worse employment than what he is said to loathe. O let the 
knowledge of Christ dwell richly in us. 

Secondly, Let us see that our knowledge of Christ be not a pow- 
erless, barren, § unpractical knowledge : O that, in its passage from 

* Peritum esse, et sine doctrina pietatis periturum : i. e. To be skilled in other things, 
and not in the gospel, is to perish. Augustin. 

-f- We are not to study the niceties of rhetoric, so much as plainness and perspicu- 
ity ; nor are we to speak in a high florid strain, as orators; but with the earnest- 
ness and zeal, and sincerity of the apostles: we are not to talk fine things, but what 
may convince the understanding, and touch the heart. 

\ Quod a studiis scholasticce theologize avertereturjere nausebundus, quoniam succo cere- 
bunt liquide pietatis, Fuligat. in vita Bel. 

§ Beware, lest, while the tree of knowledge daily flourishes and thrives, the tree 
of practice should become barren. Take heed that ye rest not satisfied in the gifts 
of the Spirit, and begin to think nothing of the Spirit himself, the best gift. Ford, 
ay/vb. Sacr. p. 55. 


oar understanding to our lips, it might powerfully melt, sweeten, 
and ravish our hearts ! Remember, brethren, a holy calling never 
saved any man, without a holy heart ; if our tongues only be sanc- 
tified, our whole man must be damned. " We and our people must 
" be judged by the same gospel, and stand at the same bar, and be 
M sentenced to the same terms, and dealt with as severely as any 
" other men : We cannot think to be saved by our clergy, or to 
" come off with a Legit ut clericus, when there is wanting the 
" Credit et vixit ut Christianus ,-" as an eminent * Divine speaks. O 
let the keepers of the vineyard look to, and keep their own vine- 
yard : we have a heaven to win or lose, as well as others. 

Third!//, Let us take heed that we withhold not our knowledge 
of Christ in unrighteousness from the people. O that our lips 
may disperse knowledge and feed many. Let us take heed of the 
napkin, remembering the day of account is at hand-f\ Remember, 
I beseech you, the relations wherein you stand, and the obligations 
resulting thence : Remember, the great Shepherd gave himself 
for, and gave you to the flock ; your time, your gifts are not yours, 
but God's ; remember the pinching wants of souls, who are perish- 
ing for want of Christ ; and if their tongues do not, yet their ne- 
cessities do bespeak us, as they did Joseph, Gen. xlvii. 15. " Where- 
" fore should we die in thy presence ? Give us food, that we may live 
" and not die." Even the sea monsters draw forth their breasts 
to their young ones, and shall we be cruel ! cruel to souls ! Did 
Christ not think it too much to sweat blood, yea, to die for them ? 
and shall we think it much to watch, study, preach, pray, and do 
what we can for their salvation ? O let the same mind be in you 
which was also in Christ ! 

Secondly, To the people that sit under the doctrine of Christ 
daily, and have the light of his knowledge shining round about 

First, Take heed ye do not reject and despise this light. This 
may be done two ways : First, When you despise the means of 
knowledge by slight and low esteems of it. Surely, if you thus 
reject knowledge, God will reject you for it, Hos. iv. 6. It is a 
despising of the richest gift that ever Christ gave to the church ; 
and however it be a contempt and slight that begins low, and 
seems only to vent itself upon the weak parts, in artificial dis- 
courses, and untaking tones and gestures of the speakers; yet, 

* He approves himself a clerk, — but he neither believes nor lives as a Christian. 
Gildas Salvianus, p. 27. 

-f- We may apply to ministers what Tacitus speaks of magistrates, Ita nati estis, ut 
bona viclcH/ue vesira ad rqrublicam jwtineant, i. e. On your good or bad conduct de- 
pends the good or ill of society, 



believe it, it is a daring sin that flies higher than you are aware, 
Luke x. 16. " He that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that 
" despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. 11 Secondly , You des- 
pise the knowledge of Christ, when you despise the directions and 
loving constraints of that knowledge ; when you refuse to be 
guided by your knowledge, your light and your lusts contest and 
struggle within you. O it is sad when your lusts master your light. 
You sin not as the heathens sin, who know not God ; but when 
you sin, you must slight and put by the notices of your own con- 
sciences, and offer violence to your own convictions. And what 
sad work will this make in your souls ? How soon will it lay your 
consciences waste? 

Secondly, Take heed that you rest not satisfied with that know- 
ledge of Christ you have attained, but grow on towards perfection. 
It is the pride and ignorance of many professors, when they have 
got a few raw and indigested notions, to swell with self-conceit of 
their excellent attainments. And it is the sin, even of the best of 
saints, when they see ( Veritas in prqfundo) how deep the knowledge 
of Christ lies, and what pains they must take to dig for it, to 
throw by the shovel of duty, and cry, Dig we cannot. To your 
work, Christians, to your work ; let not your candle go out : se- 
quester j^ourselves to this study, look what intercourses, and cor- 
respondences are betwixt the two worlds ; what communion soever 
God and souls maintain, it is in this way; count all, therefore, 
but dross in comparison of that excellency which is in the know* 
ledge of Jesus Christ. 



Sets forth Christ in his essential and primeval Glorv* 

prov. viii. 30. 

Then was I by him, as one brought up with him : and I was daili/ 
his delight, rejoicing always before him. 

X HESE words are a part of that excellent commendation of 
wisdom, by which in this book Solomon intends two things; 
first, Grace or holiness, Prov. iv. 7. " Wisdom is the principal 
" thing." Secondly, Jesus Christ, the fountain of that grace : and 
look, as the former is renowned for its excellency, Job xxviii. 14, 
15. so the latter, in this context, wherein the Spirit of God des- 


cribes the most blessed state of Jesus Christ, the wisdom of the 
Father, from those eternal delights he had with his Father, be- 
fore his assumption of our nature : " Then was I by him," Sfc, 
that long Evum was wholly swallowed up, and spent in unspeak- 
able delights and pleasures. Which delights were twofold, (1.) 
The Father and Son delighted one in another (from which de- 
lights the Spirit is not here excluded) without communicating 
that their joy to any other, for no creature did then exist save in 
the mind of God, verse 30. (2.) They delighted in the salvation 
of men, in the prospect of that work, though not yet extant, 
verse 31. My present business lies in the former, viz. the mutual 
delights of the Father and Son, one with and in another ; the 
account whereof we have in the text ; wherein consider, 

1. The glorious condition of the non-incarnated Son of God, 
described by the person with whom his fellowship was, " Then 
" was I by him," or with him ; so with him as never was any, in 
his very bosom, John i. 18. the only begotten Son was in the bo- 
som of the Father ; an expression of the greatest dearness and in- 
timacy in the world ; as if he should say, wrapt up in the very 
soul of his Father, embosomed in God. 

2. This fellowship is illustrated by a metaphor, wherein the 
Lord will stoop to our capacities, (as " One brought up with 
"him") the Hebrew word* ^73 X [Amon] is sometimes rendered 
a cunning workman, or curious artist \ as in Cant. vii. 1. which is 
the same word. And indeed Christ shewed himself such an artist 
in the creation of the world ; " For all things were made by him, 
" and without him there was nothing made, that was made, 1 ' 
John i. 3. But Montanus, and others, render it nutricius ; and 
so Christ is here compared to a delightful child, sporting before 
its Father: the Hebrew rootf prny [Shachak,] which our trans- 
lation renders " rejoicing before him," signifies to laugh, play, or 
rejoice; so that, look as parents delight to see their children sport- 
ing before them, so did the Father delight in beholding this dar* 
ling of his bosom. 

3. This delight is farther amplified by the perpetuity and un- 
interruptedness thereof; " I was day by day his delights, rejoicing 
"always before him." { These delights of the Father and the 

* [Amon] Signifies a Skilful Artist ; he is pleased to assume this character, in order 
to shew men, that their conversion is not owing to any strength of their own, but is the 
work of this skilful Artist. Brightman on Qtint. i. 26. 

f [Shachak] Ridere, to laugh ; ludere, to sport ; latari, to rejoice : av6gu*oxa6aS 9 
after the manner of men; he compares himself to a pleasant child, standing before his 
father. Luvat. on this place. 

\ [Jam, Jom Meshacheketh] continually rejoicing. 


Son one in another, knew not a moment's interruption, or dimi- 
nution : thus did these great and glorious persons mutually let 
forth their fullest pleasure and delight, each into the heart of the 
other ; they lay as it were embosomed one in another, entertaining 
themselves with delights and pleasures ineffable, and unconceivable. 
Hence we observe, 

Doct. That the condition and state of Jesus Christ before his in- 
carnation, was a state of the highest and most unspeakable de- 
light and pleasure, in the enjoyment of his Father. 

John tells us he was in the bosom of his Father : * to lie in the 
bosom is the posture of dearest love, John xiii. 23. " Now there 
" was leaning on Jesus 1 bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus 
" loved :" but Christ did not lean upon the Father's bosom, as that 
disciple did in his, but lay in it: and therefore in Isa. xliii. 1. the 
Father calls him, " Mine elect in whom my soul delighteth ;* 
which is-f- variously rendered ; the Septuagint, quern suscepit, 
whom my sold takes, or wraps up : others, complacuit, one that 
highly pleases and delights my very soul : and 2 Cor. viii. 9. he is 
said, in this estate, wherein I am now describing him, to be rich : 
and, Phil. ii. 7. " To be equal with God, and to be in the form of 
" God," (i. e.) to have all the glory and ensigns of the majesty of 
God ; and the riches which he speaks of, was no less than all that 
God the Father hath, John xvi. 14. " All that the Father hath is 
" mine :" and what he now hath in his exalted state, is the same he 
had before his humiliation, John xvii. 5. Now to sketch out (as 
we are able) the unspeakable felicity of that state of Christ, whilst 
he lay in that blessed bosom, I shall consider it three ways, nega- 
tively, positively, and comparatively. 

1. Let us consider that state negatively, by removing from it all 
those degrees of abasement and sorrow which his incarnation 
brought him under : as, 

First, He was not then abased to the condition of a creature, 
which was a low step indeed, and that which upon the matter un- 
did him in point of reputation ; for by this (saith the apostle) " he 
£ made himself of no reputation," Phil. ii. 7. it emptied him of his 
glory. For God to be made man, is such an abasement as none 

* John i. 18. Here is insinuating, metaphorically, the intimate communion of the 
Son of God with the Father, which consists in eternal generation, in the strictest one- 
ness or unity of nature, in the most ardent love, and in communication of the most se- 
cret affairs. Glass. 

f Hieron. Quern approbat, i. e. Whom my soul approves. Pagninus & Mont anus, 
Complacuit aninuz mea, i. e. One that highly delights my soul. The Septuagint, Qusnt 
suscepit anima mea } i. e. Whom my soul takes or wraps up. 


can express : but then not only to appear in true flesh, but also in 
the likeness of sinful flesh, as, Rom. viii. 3. O what is this ! 

Secondly ', Christ was not under the law in this estate. I confess 
it was no disparagement to Adam in the state of innocency, to an- 
gels in their state of glory, to be under law to God ; but it was an 
unconceivable abasement to the absolute independent Being to come 
under law: yea, not only under the obedience, but also under 
the malediction and curse of the law, Gal. iv. 4. " But when the 
" fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a 
f* woman, made under the law." 

Thirdly, In this state he was not liable to any of those sorrow- 
ful consequents and attendants of that frail and feeble state of hu- 
manity, which he afterwards assumed, with the nature. As, (1.) 
He was unacquainted with griefs ; there was no sorrowing or sighing 
in that bosom where he lay, though afterwards he became " a man 
" of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,'' 1 Isa. liii. 3. " A man of 
" sorrows," as if he had been constituted and made up of pure 
and unmixed sorrows ; every day conversing with griefs, as with 
his intimate companions and acquaintance. (2.) He was never 
pinched with poverty and wants, while he continued in that bo- 
som, as he was afterwards, when he said, " The foxes have holes, 
*' and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath 
*' not where to lay his head," Matth. viii. 20. Ah blessed Jesus ! 
thou needest not to have wanted a place to have lain thine head, 
hadst thou not left that bosom for my sake. * (3.) He never un- 
derwent reproach and shame in that bosom, there was nothing 
but glory and honour reflected upon him by his Father, though 
afterwards he was despised, and rejected of men, Isa. liii. 3. His 
Father never looked upon him without smiles and love, delight and 
joy, though afterwards he became a reproach of men, and des- 
pised of the people, Psalm xxii. 6. (4.) His holy heart was never 
offended with an impure suggestion or temptation of the Devil ; 
all the while he lay in that bosom of peace and love, he never 
knew what it was to be assaulted with temptations, to be besieged 
and battered upon by unclean spirits, as he did afterwards, Mat. 
iv. 1. " Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness 
" to be tempted of the Devil." It was for our sakes that he sub- 
mitted to those exercises of spirit, " to be in all points tempted 

* He that ivas in the bosom of his Father ; an expression showing the intimate, close, 
and secret delight and love he had from the Father. How unspeakable is it, that he 
should deprive himself of the sense of it ? to put himself, as it were, out of heaven 
into hell ? this is deeper love than ever we can imagine or conceive : No wonder 
the apostle calls it VtpOlttW)) [pcrisseuon], and vwipftlPltylvm [hi/perpuisseuon] the 
unsearchable riches of grace ; we are never able to go to the bottom of it, but still 
there is more grace and love behind, Mr, Anth. Burgess, led. on John xvii. p. 505. 


" like as we are, that he might be unto us a merciful and faith- 
" ful High-priest,' 1 Heb. iv. 15. (5.) He was never sensible of 
pains and tortures in soul or body, there were no such things in 
that blessed bosom where he lay, though afterwards he groaned 
and sweat under them, Isa. liii. 5. The Lord embraced him from 
eternity, but never wounded him till he stood in our place and 
room. (6.) There were no hidings or withdrawings of his Father 
from him ; there was not a cloud from eternity upon the face of 
God, till Jesus Christ had left that bosom. It was a new thing to 
Christ to see frowns in the face of his Father ; a new thing for him 
to cry, " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" 
Mat. xxvii. 46. (7.) There were never any impressions of his 
Fathers wrath upon him, as there were afterwards : God never 
delivered such a bitter cup into his hands before, as that was, 
Matth. xxvi. 39. Lastly, There was do death, to which he was 
subject, in that bosom. All these things were new things to 
Christ ; he was above them all, till for our sakes he voluntarily sub- 
jected himself unto them. Thus you see what that state was not. 

2. Let us consider it positively ', what it was, and guess by some 
particular considerations (for indeed we can but guess) at the glory 
of it ; as, (1.) We cannot but conceive it to be a state of matchless 
happiness, if we consider the persons enjoying and delighting in 
each other : he was with God, John i. 1. God, you know, is 
the fountain, ocean and centre of all delights and joys : Psal. xvi. 
11. " In thy presence is fulness of joy." To be wrapt up in the 
soul and bosom of all delights, as Christ was, must needs be a 
state transcending apprehension ; to have the fountain of love and 
delight letting out itself so immediately, and fully, and everlast- 
ingly, upon this only begotten darling of his soul, so as it never 
did communicate itself to any ; judge what a state of transcendent 
felicity this must be. Great persons have great delights. 

(2.) Or if we consider the intimacy, dearness, yea, oneness of 
those great persons one with another : the nearer the union, the 
sweeter the communion. Now Jesus Christ was not only near and 
dear to God, but one with him ; " I and my Father are one," 
John x. 30. one in nature, will, love and delight There is in- 
deed a moral union of souls among men by love, but this was a 
natural oneness ; no child is so one with his father, no husband so 
one with the wife of his bosom, no friend so one with his friend* 
no soul so one with its body, as Jesus Christ and his Father were 
one. O what matchless delights must necessarily flow from such 
a blessed union ! 

(3.) Consider again the purity of that delight with which the 
blessed Father and Son embraced each other ; the best creature- 
delights one in another, are mixed, debased, and allayed ; if there 


be something ravishing and engaging, there is also something cloying 
and distasting. The purer any delight is, the more excellent. 
Sow, there are no chrystal streams flowing so purely from the 
fountain, no beams of light so unmixed from the sun, as the loves 
and delights of these holy and glorious persons were : the holy, 
holy, holy Father embraced the thrice holy Son with a most holy 
delight and love. 

(4.) Consider the constancy of this delight ; it was from everlast- 
ing, as in verse 23. and from eternity ; it never suffered one mo- 
ment's interruption. The overflowing fountain of God's delight 
and love never stopped its course, never ebbed ; but as he speaks 
in the text, " I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before 
" him." Once more, consider the fulness of that delight, the per- 
fection of that pleasure ; / was delights : so the word is in its origi- 
nal; not only plural, delights, all delights, but also in the abstract, 
delight itself : as afterwards from the abundance of his sorrows, he 
was stiled, a man of sorrows ; so here, from the fulness of his de-> 
lights : as though you should say, even constituted and made up of 
pleasure and delight. 

3. Once more, let us consider it comparatively, and this state 
will yet appear more glorious, comparing it with either the choicest 
delights that one creature takes in another, or that God takes 
in the creature, or that the creatures take in God : measure 
these immense delights, betwixt the Father and his Son, by either 
of these lines, and you shall find them infinitely short : For, (1.) 
Though the delights that creatures take in each other, be some- 
times a great delight ; such was Jacob's delight in Benjamin, whose 
life is said to be bound up in the lad's life, a dear and high expression, 
Gen. xliv. 30. Such was that of Jonathan in David, whose soul 
was knit with his soul, " and he loved him as his own soul," 1 
Sam. xiii. 1. and such is the delight of one friend in another: 
n there is a friend that is as a man's own soul," Deut. xiii. 6. yet 
all this is but creature-delight, and can in no particular equal the 
delights betwixt the Father and the Son ; for this is but a finite de- 
light, according to the measure and abilities of creatures, but that 
is infinite, suitable to the infinite perfection of the divine Being ; 
this is always mixed, that perfectly pure. (2.) Or if you compare 
it with the delight that God takes in the creatures, it is confessed 
that God takes great delight in some creatures. " The Lord 
" takes pleasure in his saints, he rejoices over them with singing ! 
" and restetli in his love," Zeph. iii. 17. Isa. lxii. 5. But yet there 
is a great difference betwixt his delight in creatures, and his de- 
lights in Christ ; for all his delight in the saints is secondary, and 
for Christ's sake ; but his delights in Christ dire primary, and for 
'his own sake : we are accepted in the beloved, Eph. i. 6. he is be* 


loved, and accepted for himself. (3.) To conclude, compare it 
once more with the delights that the best of creatures take in God, 
and Christ, and it must be confessed that is a choice delight, and 
a transcendent love, with which they love and delight in him ; * 
Psal. lxxiii. 25. " Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and on 
" earth there is none I desire besides thee." What pangs of love, 
what raptures of delight did the spouse express to Christ ? " O thou 
" whom my soul loveth F But surely our delight in God is no 
perfect rule to measure his delight in Christ by : for our love to 
God (at the best) is still imperfect ; that is the burden and con- 
stant complaint of saints, but this is perfect ; ours is inconstant, up 
and down, ebbing and flowing, but this is constant. So then, to 
conclude, the condition and state of Jesus Christ before his incar- 
nation, was a state of the highest and matchless delight, in the en- 
joyment of his Father. The uses follow. 

Use of Information. 


What an astonishing act of love was this then, for the Father 
to give the delight, the darling, of his soul, out of his very bosom, 
for poor sinners ! all tongues must needs pause and falter, that at- 
tempt the expressions of his grace, expressions being here swallow- 
ed up : (i God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
" Son," John hi. 16. Here is a sic without a sicut ; so loved 
them : how did he love them ? nay, here you must excuse the 
tongues of angels ; which of us would deliver a child, the child of 
our delights, an only child, to death for the greatest inheritance 
in the world ? what tender parent can endure a parting pull with 
such a child ? when Hagar was taking her last leave (as she thought) 
of her Ishmael, Gen. xxi. 16. the text saith, " she went and sat 
" her down over against him, a good way off: for she said, Let 
" me not see the death of the child. And she sat over-against 
** him, and lift up her voice, and wept :" though she were none 
of the best of mothers, nor he the best of children, yet she could 
not give up the child. O it was hard to part ! what an outcry did 
David make, even for an Absalom ! wishing he had died for him. 
What a hole (as I may say) hath the death of some children made 
in the hearts of some parents, which will never be closed up in 
this world ! yet surely, never did any child lie so close to a parent's 

* Amo te, JDomine, plusguam meos , plusquam mea,plusquam me, i. e. O Lord, I lore 
thee above all my relations, above all that is mine, above myself. Bern. 

Suppose (saith one) there were a hell betwixt me and Christ, and Christ should 
say, put in thy foot and come tbjrough , or thou shalt have none of me, would I not 


£erm. it. the fountain of life\ 49 

heart, as Christ did to his Father's ; and yet he willingly parts with 
him, though his only one, the Son of his delights, and that to 
death, a cursed death, for sinners, for the worst of sinners. O 
tniranda Dei phUanthropia ! O the admirable love of God to men ! 
matchless love ! a love past finding out ! Let all men, therefore, 
in the business of their redemption, give equal glory to the Father 
with the Son, John v. 23. if the Father had not loved thee, he 
had never parted with such a Son for thee. 


From one wonder let our souls turn to another, for they are 
now in the midst of wonders : adore, and be for ever astonished 
at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners ; that ever he should 
consent to leave such a bosom, and the ineffable delights that were 
there, for such poor worms as we are. O the heights, depths, 
lengths, and breadths of unmeasurable love ! O see, Rom. v. 6, 
7, 8. read, and wonder ; how is the love of Christ commended in 
ravishing circumstances to poor sinners ! * You would be loth to 
leave a creature's bosom, a comfortable dwelling, a fair estate for 
the best friend in the world; your souls are loth to leave their 
bodies, though they have no such great content there ; but which 
of you, if ever you found by experience what it is to be in the bo- 
som of God by divine communion, would be persuaded to leave 
such a bosom for all the good that is in the world? and yet Jesus 
Christ who was embraced in that bosom after another manner than 
ever you were acquainted with, freely left it, and laid down the 
glory and riches he enjoyed there, for your sakes ; and as the Fa- 
ther loved him ; even so (believers) hath he loved you, John xvii. 
22. What manner of love is this! Who ever loved as Christ 
loves ? Who ever denied himself for Christ, as Christ denied him- 
self for us ? 


Hence we are informed, That interest in Jesus Christ is the true 
way to all spiritual preferment in heaven. Do you covet to be in 
the heart, in the favour and delight of God ? Get interest in Jesus 
Christ, and you shall presently be there. What old Israel said of 
the children of his beloved Joseph, Thy children are my children ; 
the same God saith of all the dear children of Christ, Gen. xlviii. 
5, 9- You see among men, all things are carried by interest: 

* It is admirable that Christ should not only put himself out of comfort, but also 
from the enjoyment of that manifested glory and honour he might have retained to 
himself: for he prayeth here for that glory which he had with the Father from the 
beginning of the world : he had it in right, but not in possession ; he voluntarily divest* 
ed himself of that to accomplish our redemption, JZurgess on John xvii. 19. 


persons rise in this world as they are befriended ; preferment goes 
by favour : So it is in heaven, persons are preferred according to 
their interest in the beloved, Eph. i. 9. Christ is the great favou- 
rite in heaven : his image upon your souls, and his name in your 
prayers, makes both accepted with God. 


How worthy is Jesus Christ of all our love and delights ? Yoil 
see how infinitely the Father delighteth in him, how he ravishes 
the heart of God ; and shall he not ravish our hearts ? I present 
you a Christ this day, able to ravish any soul that will but view 
and consider him. 6 that you did but see this lovely Lord Jesus 
Christ! Then would you go home sick of love: surely he is a 
drawing Saviour, John xii. 32. Why do ye lavish away your 
precious affections upon vanity: None but Christ is worthy of 
them: when you spend your precious affections upon other ob- 
jects, what is it but to dig for dross with golden mattocks ? The 
Lord direct our hearts into the love of Christ. O that our hearts, 
loves and delights did meet and concentre with the heart of God 
in this most blessed object ! O let him that left God's bosom for you, 
be embosomed by you, though yours be nothing to God's ; he that 
left God's bosom for you, deserves yours. 


If Christ be the beloved darling of the Father's soul, think what 
a grievous and insufferable thing it is to the heart of God, to see his 
dear Son despised, slighted, and rejected by sinners : verily, there is 
no such cut to the heart of God in the whole world. Unbelievers 
trample upon God's darling, tread under foot him that eternally 
lay in his bosom, Heb. x. 29. Smite the Apple of his eye, and 
how God will bear this, that parable, Mat. xxi. 37, to 40, will in- 
form you ; surely he will miserably destroy such wretched sinners. 
If you would study to do God the greatest despight, there is none 
like this. What a dismal word is that ; 1 Cor. xvi. 22. " If any 
" man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Ma- 
<c ranatha," (i. e.) let the great curse of God lie upon that man 
till the Lord come. O sinners ! you shall one day know the price 
of this sin ; you shall feel what it is to despise a Jesus, that is able 
to compel love from the hardest heart. O that you would slight 
him no more ! O that this day your hearts might fall in love with 
him ! I tell you, if you would set your love to sale, none bids so 
lair for it as Christ. 

2. Use of Exportation 

1. To saints : If Christ lay eternally in this bosom of love, and yet 
was content to forsake and leave it for your sakes ; then, (1.) Be you 


ready to forsake and leave all the comforts you have on earth for 
Christ: famous Galleacius left all for this enjoyment. Moses 
left all the glory of Egypt : Peter, and the other Apostles left all, 
Luke xviii. 28. But what have we to leave for Christ in com- 
parison of what he left for us ? Surely Christ is the highest pat- 
tern of self-denial in the world. (2.) Let this confirm your faith 
in prayer : If he, that has such an interest in the heart of God, 
intercede with the Father for you, then never doubt of audience 
and acceptance with him ; surely you shall be accepted through 
the beloved, Eph. i. 6. Christ was never denied any thing that 
he asked, John xi. 42. the Father hears him always ; though 
you are not worthy, Christ is, and he ever lives to make interces- 
sion for you, Heb. vii. 25. 

(3.) Let this encourage thy heart, O saint, in a dying hour, and 
not only make thee patient in death, but in a holy manner im- 
patient till thou be gone ; for whither is thy soul now going, but 
to that bosom of love whence Christ came ? John xvii. 24. " Fa- 
" ther, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with 
<c me where I am :" and where is he but in that bosom of glory 
and love where he lay before the world was ? ver. 5. O then let 
every believer encourage his soul ; comfort ye one another with 
these words, I am leaving the bosom of a creature, I am going to 
the bosom of God. 

2. To sinners, exhorting them to embrace the bosom-son of 
God : Poor Wretches ! Whatever you are, or have been ; what- 
ever guilt or discouragement at present you lie under ; embrace 
Christ, who is freely offered to you, and you shall be as dear to God 
as the holiest and most eminent believer in the world : but if you 
still continue to despise and neglect such a Saviour, sorer wrath is 
treasured up for you than other sinners, even something worse 
than dying without mercy, Heb. x. 28. O that these discoveries 
and overtures of Christ ? lay never come to such a fatal issue with 
any of your souls, in vhose eyes his glory hath been this day 
opened ! 

Vol. I. D 

5% THE -FOUNTAIN - of life. serm. iii» 


Opens the Covenant of Redemption betwixt the Father and 
the Redeemer. 

Is a. liii. 12. 

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall 
divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul 
unto death : and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he 
bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 

JlN this chapter, the gospel seems to be epitomized; the subject- 
matter of it is the death of Christ, and the glorious issue there- 
of: by reading of it, the Eunuch of old, and many Jews since, 
have been converted to Christ. Christ is here considered abso- 
lutely, and relatively ; Absolutely, and so his innocency is indus- 
triously vindicated, ver. 9. Though he suffered grievous things, 
yet not for his own sins, " for he had done no violence, neither 
" was any deceit in his mouth ;" but relatively considered in the 
capacity of a surety for us : so the justice of God is so fully vindicat- 
ed in his sufferings ; ver. 6. " The Lord hath laid upon him the 
" iniquity of us all.'' 1 How he came to sustain this capacity and 
relation of a surety for us, is in these verses plainly asserted to be 
by his compact and agreement with his Father, * before the worlds 
were made, verse 10, 11, 12. 

In this verse we have, 1. His work. 2. His reward. 3. The 
respect or relation of each to the other. (1.) His work, which was 
indeed a hard work, to pour out his soul unto death, aggravated by 
the companions, with whom, being numbered with transgressors ; the 
capacity in which, bearing all the sins of the elect, " he bare the 
" sins of many ;"" and by the manner of his bearing it, viz. meek- 
ly, and forgivingly, " he made intercession for the transgressors ; 
This was his work. (2.) The reward or fruit which is promised 
him for this work, " therefore will I divide him a portion with 
" the great, and he will divide the spoil with the strong ;" where- 
in is a plain allusion to conquerors in war, for whom are reserved 
the richest garments, and most honourable captives to follow the 

* Norton's Orthodox Evangelist^ p. 41. The call of the Lord Jesus unto office, in- 
cludes election on the Father's part, and acceptation on the Mediator's part, and is 
set down after the manner of mutual transaction between God and Christ ; whereby 
he was designed thereunto, as it were by way of covenant. If his soul should set 
itself an offering for sin, (for so, according to the original, do good authors read the 
text) " he shall see his seed, prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall pros- 
• per in his hand," verse 10, 


conqueror, as an addition to his magnificence and triumph ; these 
were wont to come after them in chains, Isa. xlv. 14. see Judges v. 
3. (3.) The respect or relation betwixt that work and this triumph : 
some will have this work to have no other relation to that glory, 
than a mere antecedent to a consequent : others give it the respect 
and relation of a meritorious cause to a reward. It is well observ- 
ed by Dr. Featly, that the Hebrew particle pb which we render 
therefore, noting order, is not worth so much contention about it, 
whether it be the order of casualty, or mere antecedency ; neither 
do I foresee any absurdity in calling Christ's exaltation the reward 
and fruit of his humiliation : however, it is plain, whether one or 
other, it is that the Father here agrees and promises to give him, if 
he will undertake the redemption of the elect, by pouring out his 
soul unto death ; of all which this is the plain result : 

Doct. That the business of man! s salvation was transacted upon 
covenant terms, betwixt the Father andthe Son, from all eternity. 

I would not here be mistaken, as though I were now to treat of 
the covenant of grace, made in Christ betwixt God and us ; it is 
not the covenant of grace, but of redemption, I am now to speak 
to, which differs from the covenant of grace, in regard of the fe- 
derates ; in thiSj it is God the Father, and Jesus Christ, that mu- 
tually covenant ; in that, it is God and man : they differ, also in 
the preceptive part ; in this it is required of Christ that he should 
shed his blood, in that it is required of us that we believe. They 
also differ in their promises ; in this, God promises to Christ a name 
above every name, ample dominion from sea to sea ; in that, to us, 
grace and glory : so that these are two distinct covenants. * 

The substance of this covenant of redemption is, dialogue- wise, 
expressed to us in Isa. xlix.-)- where, (as divines have well observed) 
Christ begins, at the first and second verses, and shews his com- 
mission, telling his Father, how he had both called, and prepared 
him for the work of redemption ; The Lord hath called me from the 
womb — he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword, and made me a po- 
lished shaft, &c. q. d. by reason of that superabundant measure of 
the spirit of wisdom and power wherewith I am anointed and filled ; 
my doctrine shall, as a sword, pierce the hearts of sinners ; yea, 
like an arrow, drawn to the head, strike deep into souls standing 
at a great distance from God and godliness. 

* The author writes in the popular style of the last age. However, later wri- 
ters, for very important reasons, have rejected the distinction as not only inaccurate* 
but as pregnant with consequences highly inimical to the sovereignty of grace. See 
Witsius de Oeconomia Fcederum, Boston s View of the Covenant of Grace, and Gib's Sacred 
Contemplations. Editor. 

f Vide Goodwin's Triumph of Faith. 



Having told God how ready, and fit he was for his service, he 
will know of him what reward he shall have for his work, for he 
resolves his blood shall not be undervalued ; hereupon, verse 3. 
the Father offers him the elect of Israel for his reward, bidding low 
at first (as they that make bargains use to do) and only offers him 
that small remnant, still intending to bid higher : But Christ will 
not be satisfied with these, he values his blood higher than so : 
therefore, in verse 4. he is brought in complaining, " I have la- 
" boured in vain, and spent my strength for nought," q. d. This 
is but a small reward for so great a suffering, as I must undergo ; 
my blood is much more worth than this comes to, and will be suf- 
ficient to redeem all the elect dispersed among the isles of the Gen- 
tiles, as well as the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Hereupon 
the Father comes up higher, and tells him, he intends to reward 
him better than so ; and therefore, verse 6. says, " It is a light 
" thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of 
" Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel ; I will also give 
" thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salva- 
" tion to the ends of the earth." Thus is the treaty carried on 
betwixt them, transacting it after the manner of men. 

Now, to open this great point, we will here consider, (1.) The 
persons transacting one with another. (2.) The business transact- 
ed. (3.) The quality and manner of the transaction, which is 
federal. (4.) The articles to which they agree. (5.) How each 
person performs his engagement to the other. And, Lastly, The 
antiquity or eternity of this covenant transaction. 

(1.) The persons transacting and dealing with each other in 
this covenant ; and indeed they are great persons, God the Father, 
and God the Son ; the former as a Creditor, and the latter as a 
Surety. The Father stands uDon satisfaction, the Son engages to 
give it. If it be demanded, why the Father and the Spirit might 
not as well have treated upon our redemption, as the Father and 
Son ! It is answered, Christ is the natural Son of God, and there- 
fore fittest to make us the adopted sons of God. Christ also is the 
middle person in the Trinity, and therefore fittest to be the me- 
diator and middle person betwixt us and God. * The Spirit 
hath another office assigned him, even to apply, as Chrisf s vice- 
gerent, the redemption designed by the Father, and purchased by 
the Son for us. 

(2.) The business transacted betwixt them ; and that was the 
redemption and recovery of all God's elect : our eternal happiness 
lay now before them, our dearest and everlasting concerns were 
now in their hands : the elect (though not yet in being) are here 

— ■ — — ■ — * 

* Vide Robert's Medulla Bib. p. 1577, et Lys. Test. p. 83, 84. 


considered as existent, yea, and as fallen, miserable, forlorn 
creatures : * How these may again be restored to happiness (salva 
justitia Dei) without prejudice to the honour, justice and truth of 
God ; this, this is the business that lay before them. 

(3.) For the manner, or quality of the transaction, it wasjede- 
ral, or of the nature of a covenant ; it was by mutual engagements 
and stipulations, each person undertaking to perform his part in 
order to our recovery. 

We find each person undertaking for himself by solemn pro- 
mise; the Father promiseth that he will " hold his hand, and 
" keep him," Isa. xlii. 6. The Son promiseth, he will obey his Fa- 
ther's call to suffering, and not " be rebellious, 1 ' Isa. 1. 5. And, 
having promised, each holds the other to his engagement. The 
Father stands upon the satisfaction promised him ; and, when the 
payment was making, he will not abate him one farthing, Rom. 
viii. 32. " God spared not his own Son," i. e. he abated nothing 
of the full price he was to have at his hands for us. 

And as the Father stood strictly upon the terms of the cove- 
nant, so did Christ also ; John xvii. 45. " I have glorified thee 
" on earth, (saith he to the Father) I have finished the work 
" thou gavest me to do ; and now, Father, glorify me with thine 
" own self." As if he had said, Father, the work is done, now 
where is the wages I was promised ? I call for glory as my due, as 
much my due as the hire of the labourer is his due, when his work 
is done. 

4. More particularly ; we will next consider the articles to which 
they do both agree ; or, what it is that each person doth for him- 
self promise to the other. And, to let us see how much the Father's 
heart is engaged in the salvation of poor sinners, there are five 
things which he promiseth to do for Christ, if he will undertake 
that work. 

First, He promiseth to invest him, and anoint him to a three- 
fold office, answerable to the misery that lay upon the elect as so 
many bars to all communion with, and enjoyment of God ; for, if 
ever man be restored to that happiness, the blindness of his mind 
must be cured, the guilt of sin expiated, and his captivity to sin 
led captive : answerably, Christ must, " of God, be made unto 
" us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption," 1 
Cor. i. 30. And he is made so to us as our Prophet, Priest, and 

* The external cause of that satisfaction, which the Father decreed, and the Son 
made, was the miserable state we were in, upon the account of our sins, which justly- 
deserved eternal punishment, and bound us over unto it : we being in this forlorn 
condition, the God of mercy had compassion on us, and for our sakes, the Son of 
God underwent all that punishment which we deserved to suffer ; in order that we 
might be restored to our first happiness. Synap. purior. Theol. p. 350. 



King ; but he could not put himself into either of these ; for if so, 
he had acted without commission, and consequently all he did had 
been invalid ; Heb. v. 5. " Christ glorified not himself to be made an 
" High-Priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son." A 
commission therefore to act authoritatively, in these offices, being 
necessary to our recovery, the Father engages to him to seal him 
such a threefold commission. 

He promiseth to invest him with an eternal and royal Priesthood, 
Psal. ex. 4. " The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent ; Thou 
u art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec." This 
Melchisedec being King of Righteousness, and king of Salem, that 
is, Peace, had a royal priesthood ; and his descent not being reck- 
oned, it had an adumbration of eternity in it, and so was more 
apt to type and shadow forth the priesthood of Christ than Aaron's 
was, Heb. vii. 16, 17, 24, 25. as the apostle accommodates them 

He promiseth moreover to make him a Prophet, and that an 
extraordinary one, even the Prince of prophets ; the chief 
Shepherd, as much superior to all others, as the sun is to the lesser 
stars ; so you have it, Isa. xlii. 6, 7. "I will give thee for a 
*' light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, 11 #c. 

And not only so, but to make him king also, and that of the 
whole empire of the world ; so Psal. ii. 6, 7, 8. " Ask of me, and 
" I will give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the ut- 
" most ends of the earth for thy possession. 11 Thus he promiseth 
to qualify and furnish him completely for the work, by his investi- 
ture with this threefold office. 

Secondly, And forasmuch as he knew it was a hard and difficult 
work his Son was to undertake, a work that would have broken 
the backs of all the angels in heaven, and men on earth, had they 
engaged in it ; therefore he promiseth to stand by him, and assist 
and strengthen him for it : so, Isa, xlii. 5, 6, 7. *' I will hold thy 
" hand," or take hold of thee with my hands, for so it may be ren- 
dered, * i. e. I will underprop and support thy humanity, when it 
is even overweighted with the burden that is to come upon it, and 
ready to sink down under it ; for so you know the case stood with 
him, Mark xiv. 34. and so it was foretold of him, Isa. liii. 7. 
" He was oppressed, 11 Sfc. and indeed the humanity needed a 
prop of no less strength than the infinite power of the Godhead : 
the same promise you have in the first verse also, " Behold my ser- 
" vant whom I uphold." 

Thirdly, He promiseth to crown his work with success, and 

* I, -whose power is boundless and infinite, will so befriend and support thee t 
that all thy enemies shall not be able to hurt thee. Marlot, on th.is place. 


bring it to an happy issue, Isa. liii. 10. " He shall see his seed, he 
" shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall pros- 
" per in his hand." He shall not begin, and not finish ; he shall 
not shed his invaluable blood upon hazardous terms ; but shall 
see and reap the sweet fruits thereof ; as the joyful mother forgets 
her pangs, when she delightfully embraces and kisses her living 

Fourthly, The Father promiseth to accept him in his work, though 
millions should certainly perish, Isa. xlix. 4. " Surely (saith he) 
" my work is with the Lord." And, verse 5. " I shall be glori- 
" ous in the eyes of the Lord." His faith hath therein respect to 
this compact and promise. Accordingly, the Father manifests the 
satisfaction he had in him, and in his work, even while he was 
about it upon the earth, when there came such a " voice from the 
" excellent glory, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
" well pleased." 

Fifthly, As he engaged to reward him highly for his work, by 
exalting him to singular aud super-eminent glory and honour, when 
he should have dispatched and finished it. So you read, Psal. ii. 
7. " I will declare the decree ; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou 
" art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." It is spoken of the 
day of his resurrection, when he had just finished his sufferings. 
And so the apostle expounds and applies it, Acts xiii. 32, 33. For 
then did the Lord wipe away the reproach of his cross, and invest- 
ed him with such glory, that he looked like himself again. As if 
the Father had said, now thou hast again recovered thy glory, and 
this day is to thee as a new birth-day. 

These are the encouragements and rewards proposed and pro- 
mised to him by the Father. This was the joy set before him," 
(as the apostle phraseth it in Heb. xii. 2.) which made him so pa- 
tiently to " endure the cross, and despise the shame." 

And in like manner Jesus Christ restipulates, and gives his en- 
gagement to the Father ; that, upon these terrns, he is content to 
be made flesh, to divest, as it were, himself of his glory, to come 
under the obedience and malediction of the law, and not to refuse 
any, the hardest sufferings it should please his Father to inflict on 
him. So much is implied in Isa. 1. 5, 6, 7. " The Lord hath open- 
" ed mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away 
" back ; I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them 
" that pulled off the hair ; I hid not my face from shame and spit- 
" ting : For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be 
" confounded ; I have set my face as a flint, and I know that I 
a shall not be ashamed." When he saith, I was not rebellious, 
*nnra he meaneth, I was most heartily willing, and content to 



accept the terms ; for there is a Meiosis in the words, and much 
more is intended than expressed. And the sense of this place is 
well delivered to us in other terms, Psal. xl. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. " Then 
a said I, Lo I come, I delight to do thy will, O God, thy law is 
" within my heart." 1 O see with what a full consent the heart of 
Christ closeth with the Father's offers and proposals ; like some 
echo, that answers your voice twice or thrice over. So doth 
Christ here answer his Fathers call, " I come, I delight to do thy 
ii will ; yea, thy law is in my heart. " And thus you see the arti- 
cles to which they both subscribed, or the terms they agreed on. 

(5.) I will briefly shew how these articles, and agreements were 
on both parts, performed, and that precisely and punctually. For, 
(1.) The Son having thus consented, accordingly he applies him- 
self to the discharge of his work. He took a body, in it fulfilled 
all righteousness, even to a tittle, Matth. iii. 15. And at last his 
oul was made an offering for sin, so that he could say as it is, 
?John xvii. 4. " Father, I have glorified thee on earth, I have 
" finished the work thou gavest me to do." He went through 
all the parts of his active, and passive obedience, cheerfully and 
faithfully. (2.) The Father made good his engagements to Christ, 
all along, with no less faithfulness than Christ did his. He pro- 
mised to assist, and hold his hand, and so he did; Luke xxii. 23. 
" And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthen- 
" ing him." That was one of the sorest brunts that ever Christ 
met with ; this was seasonable aid and succour. He promised to 
accept him in his work, and that he should be glorious in his eyes ; 
so he did : for -he not only declared it by a voice from heaven, 
Luke iii. 22. " Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well 
" pleased •" But it was fullv declared in his resurrection and as- 
cension, which were a full discharge and justification of him. He 
promised him that " He should see his seed," and so he did ; for 
his very birth-dew was as the dew of the morning; and ever 
since his blood has been fruitful in the world. He promised glo- 
riously to reward and exalt him ; and so he hath, Phil. ii. 9, 10, 
11. and that highly and super-eminentlv, " giving him a name 
" above every name in heaven and earth." Thus were the articles 

(6.) Lastly, When was this compact made betwixt the Father 
and the Son? I answer, it bears date from eternity. * Before this 
world was made, then were his delights in us, while as yet we had 
no existence, but only in the infinite mind and purpose of God, 

* Antequnm ab omnibus retro senilis tempora fluere inciperent, decrcvk Deus hanc nnhis 
'alutis gratiam per Christum conferre : i. e. From all eternity. God decreed to bestow 
on us the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 


who had decreed this for us in Christ Jesus, as the apostle speaks, 
2 Tim. i. 9- What grace was that which was given us in Christ be- 
fore the world began, but this grace of redemption, which was 
from everlasting thus contrived and designed for us, in that way 
which hath been here opened ? Then was the council, or consul- 
tation of peace betwixt them both, as some take that scripture, 
Zech. vi. 13. 

Next let us apply it to ourselves. 

Use 1. The first use that offers itself to us from hence, is the abun- 
dant security that God hath given the elect for their salvation , and that 
not only in respect of the covenant of grace made with them, but also 
of this covenant of redemption made with Christ for them ; which in- 
deed is the foundation of the covenant qf grace. God's single promise 
is security enough to our faith, his covenant of grace adds, ex abun- 
danti, farther security ; but both these viewed as the effects and fruits 
of this covenant of redemption, make all fast and sure. In the co- 
venant of grace, we question not the performance on God's part, but 
we are often stumbled at the grand defects on our parts. But when 
we look to the covenant of redemption there is nothing to stag- 
ger our faith, both the federates being infinitely able and faithful 
to perform their parts ; so that there is no possibility of a failure 
there. Happy were it, if puzzled and perplexed Christians would 
turn their eyes from the defects that are in their obedience, to the 
fulness and completeness of Christ's obedience ; and see themselves 
complete in him, when most lame and defective in themselves. 

2. Hence also to be informed, that God the Father, and God the 
Son, do mutually rely and trust to one another in the business of our 
redemption. The Father relies upon the Son for the performance of 
his part ; as it is, Isa. xlii. 1. " Behold my servant, whom I uphold." 
Montanus * turns it, on whom I lean or depend. As if the Father 
had said, behold what a faithful servant I have chosen, in whom 
my soul is at rest : I know he will go through with his work, I 
can depend upon him. And, to speak plain, the Father so far 
trusted Christ, that upon the credit of his promise to come into the 
world, and in the fulness of time to become a sacrifice for the elect, 
he saved all the Old-Testament saints, whose faith also respected a 
Christ to come; with reference whereto, it is said, Heb. xi. 39, 
40. " That they received not the promises, God having provided 
" some better things for us, that thev without us should not be 
" made perfect," i. e. without Jesus Christ manifested in the flesh, 
in our times ; though believed on, as to come in the flesh, in their 
times. And as the Father trusted Christ, so doth Christ, in like 
manner, depend upon, and trust his Father. For, having per- 

* ia "fTariK Innitar in eo. Montanus. 


formed his part, and left the world again, he now trusteth his Fa- 
ther for the accomplishment of that promise made him, Isa. liii. 10. 
" That he shall see his seed," fyc. He depends upon his Father 
for all the elect that are left behind, yet unregenerated, as well as 
those already called, that they shall be all preserved unto the hea- 
venly kingdom, according to that, John xvii. 11. "And now I 
" am no more in the world, but these are in the world ; and I 
" come unto thee : holy Father, keep, through thine own name, 
" those whom thou hast given me. 11 And can it be imagined, that 
the Father will fail in his trust, who every way acquitted himself so 
punctually to the Son ? It cannot be. 

Use 3. Moreover, hence we infer the validity and unquestionable 
success of Christ's intercession in heaven for believers. You read, Heb. 
vii. 25. " That he ever lives to make intercession ; and, Heb. xii. 
24. " That his blood speaks for good things for them." Now, 
that his blood shall obtain what it pleads in heaven for, is undoubt- 
ed, and that from the consideration of this covenant of redemp- 
tion. For here you see that the things he now asks of his Father, 
are the very same which his Father promised him, and covenant- 
ed to give him, before this world was. So that, besides the in- 
terest of the person, the very equity of the matter speaks its suc- 
cess, and requires performance. Whatever he asks for us, is as 
due to him as the wages of the hireling, when the work is ended ; 
if the work be done, and done faithfully, as the Father hath ac- 
knowledged it is, then the reward is due, and due immediately ; and 
no doubt but he shall receive it from the hands of a righteous God. 

Use 4. Hence, in like manner, you may be informed of the con- 
sistency of grace with full satisfaction to the justice of God. The 
apostle, 2 Tim. i. 9. tells us, "We are saved according to his own 
" purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the 
3! world began. 11 i. e. According to the gracious terms of this co- 
venant of redemption ; and yet you see notwithstanding, how 
strictly God stands upon satisfaction from Christ ; so then, grace 
to us, and satisfaction to justice, are not so inconsistent as the 
Socinian adversaries would make them ; what was debt to Christ, 
is grace to us : when you hear men cry out, Here is grace indeed ! 
pay me all, and I will forgive you ; remember, how all mouths are 
stopt with that one text, Rom. iii. 24. " Being justified freely by 
" his grace ;" and yet he adds, " through the redemption that is 
« in Christ. 11 

Use 5. Again, Hence judge of the antiquity of the love of God to 
believers ! what an ancient friend he hath been to us ; who loved 
us, provided for us, and contrived all our happiness, before we 
were, yea, before the world was. We reap the fruits of this co- 
venant now, the seed whereof was sown from eternity ; yea, it is 



not only ancient, but also most free : no excellencies of ours could 
engage the love of God ; for as yet we were not. 

Use 6. Hence judge, How reasonable it is that believers should em- 
brace the hardest terms of' obedience unto Christ, who complied with 
such hard terms for their salvation : they were hard and difficult 
terms indeed, on which Christ received you from the Father's hand : 
it was, as you have heard, to pour out his soul unto death, or not 
to enjoy a soul of you. Here you may suppose the Father to say, 
when driving his bargain with Christ for you : 

Father. My Son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that 
have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice ! 
Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the 
eternal ruin of them : What shall be done for these souls ? And 
thus Christ returns. 

Son, O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that 
rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them 
as their Surety ; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they 
owe thee ; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-rec- 
konings with them ; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather 
choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it : upon me, my 
Father, upon me be all their debt. 

Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must 
reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements ; if I spare them, 
I will not spare thee. 

Son. Content, Father, let it be so ; charge it all upon me, I am 
able to discharge it : and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, 
though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so 
indeed it did, 2 Cor. viii. 9. " Though he was rich, yet for our 
" sakes he became poor 1 ') yet I am content to undertake it. Blush, 
*' ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces ; judge in your- 
selves now, hath Christ deserved that you should stand with him 
for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and 
complain, this is hard, and that is harsh ? O if you knew the grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for 
you, you could not do it. 

Use 7. Lastly, How greatly are we all concerned to make it sure 
to ourselves, that we are of this number which the Father and the 
Son agreed for before the world was ; that we were comprehended in 
Christ s engagement and compact with the Father f 

Obj. Yea, but you will say, who can know that, there were no 
witnesses to that agreement. 

Sol. Yes, We may know, without ascending into heaven, or 
prying into unrevealed secrets, that our names were in that cove- 
nant, if, (1.) You are believers indeed; for all such the Father 
then gave to Christ, John xvii. 8. " The men that thou gavest me 


u (for of them he spake immediately before) they have believed 
" that thou didst send me." (2.) If you savingly know God in 
Jesus Christ, such were given him by the Father, John xvii. 6. 
" I have manifested thy name unto the men thou gavest me." By 
this they are discriminated from the rest, verse 25. " The world 
" hath not known thee, but these have known," fyc. (3.) If you 
are men and women of another world ; John xvii. 16. " They 
" are not of the world, as I am not of the world." May it be 
said of you, as of dying men, that you are not men and women 
for this world, that you are crucified and dead to it, Gal. vi. 14. 
that you are strangers in it? Heb. xi. 13, 14. (4.) If you keep 
Christ's word, John xvii. 6. " Thine they were, and thou gavest 
" them me ; and they have kept thy word." By keeping his 
word, understand the receiving of the word, in its sanctifying ef- 
fects and influences into your hearts, and your perseverance in the 
profession and practice of it to the end, John xvii. 17. " Sanctify 
" them through thy truth, thy word is truth/ 1 John xv. 7. " If 
" ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what 
" ye will." Blessed and happy is that soul upon which these bles- 
sed characters appear, which our Lord Jesus hath laid so close to- 
gether, within the compass of a few verses, in this xvii. chapter of 
John. These are the persons the Father delivered unto Christ, 
and he accepted from the Father, in this blessed covenant. 


Opens the admirable love of God in giving his own Son 

for us. 

john iii. 16. 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c. 

JL OU have heard of the gracious purpose and design of God, to 
recover poor sinners to himself by Jesus Christ, and how this de- 
sign of love was laid and contrived in the covenant of redemption, 
whereof we last spake. 

Now, according to the terms of that covenant, you shall hear 
from this scripture, how that design was by one degree advanced to- 
wards its accomplishment, in God's actual giving or parting with 
his own Son for us : " God so loved the world, that he gave," $c. 

The whole precedent context is spent in discovering the nature 
and necessity of regeneration, and the necessity thereof is in this 



text urged and inferred from the peculiar respect and eye God had 
upon believers, in giving Christ for them ; they only reaping all 
the special and saving benefits and advantages of that gift : " God 
" so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that 
u whosoever believeth in him should not perish." 
In the words are to be considered, 

1. The original spring or fountain of our best mercies, the love 
of God. The love of God is, either benevolent, beneficent, or cora- 
placential. His benevolent love, is nothing else but his desire and 
purpose of saving, and doing us good ; so his purpose and grace to 
Jacob is called love, Rom. ix. 13. " Jacob have I loved ;" but this 
being before Jacob was, could consist in nothing else but the gra- 
cious purpose of God towards him. His beneficent love, is his ac- 
tual doing good to the persons beloved, or his bestowing the ef- 
fects of his love upon us, according to that purpose. His complex 
cential love, is nothing else but that delight and satisfaction he 
finds in beholding the fruits and workings of that grace in us, 
which he first intended for us, and then actually collated or be- 
stowed on us. This love of benevolence, is that which I have 
opened to you, under the former head, God's compact with Christ 
about us, or his design to save us on the articles and terms therein 

The love of beneficence, is that which this scripture speaks of; 
out of this fountain Christ flowed to us, and both ran into that of 
complacency; for therefore he both purposed and actually be- 
stowed Christ on us, that he might everlastingly delight in be- 
holding the glory and praise of all this reflected on himself, by his 
redeemed ones. This then is the fountain of our mercies. 

2. The mercy flowing out of this fountain, and that is Christ ; 
The mercy, as he is emphatically called, Luke i. 72. The marrow, 
kernel, and substance of all other mercies. He gave his* only 
begotten Son : This was the birth of that love, the like whereunto 
it never brought forth before, therefore it is expressed with a 
double emphasis in the text, the one is the particle htm so ; " he 
so loved the world ;" here is a sic without a sicut : How did he 
love it? Why, he so loved it; but how much, the tongues of 
angels cannot declare. And moreover, to enhance the mercy, lie 
is stiled his only begotten Son : to have given a Son had been 
wonderful ; but to give his only begotten Son, that is love inex- 
pressible, unintelligible. 

3. The objects of this love, or the persons to whom the eternal 

* Hie igitur unigenili nomen. £/x^ar/X0» est ad probandam in nos amor's divini v»?>em>'n- 
tiam. i. e. This strong epithet, of only begotten, is given in order to heighten tho 
exceeding greatness of the love of God towards us. Balling, on this place. 


Lord delivered Christ, and that is the [World.] This must re- 
spect the elect of God in the world, such as do, or shall actually 
believe, as it is exigetically expressed in the next words, " That 
" whosoever believes in him should not perish :" Those whom he 
calls the world in that, he stiles believers in this expression ; and 
the word [World] is put to signify the elect, because they are scat- 
tered through all parts, and are among all ranks of men in the 
world; these are the objects of this love; it is not angels, but 
men, that were so loved; he is called p/Aavfywrog, a Lover, a 
Friend of Men, but never cpiXayfcXog, or piXoxlisog, the Lover or 
Friend of Angels, or creatures of another species. 

4. The manner in which this never-enough celebrated mercy 
flows to us, from the fountain of divine love, and that is most free- 
ly and spontaneously. He gave, not he sold, or barely parted from, 
but gave. Nor yet doth the Father's giving imply Christ to be 
merely passive ; for as the Father is here said to give him, so the 
apostle tells us, Gal. ii. 20. That he gave himself, " who loved 
" me, and gave himself for me :" The Father gave him out of 
good will to men, and he as willingly bestowed himself ' on that 
service. Hence the note is, 

Doct. That the gift of Christ is the highest and fullest nia?ii- 
Jestation of the love of God to sinners, that ever was made 
from eternity to them. 

How is this gift of God to sinners signalized in that place of the 
apostle, 1 John iv. 10. " Herein is love ; not that we loved God, 
u but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for 
" our sins ?" Why doth the apostle so magnify this gift in saying, 
" Herein is love," as if there were love in nothing else ! * May we 
not say, that to have a being, a being among the rational crea- 
tures, therein is love ? To have our life carried so many years like 
a taper in the hand of Providence, through so many dangers, and 
not yet put out in obscurity, therein is love ? To have food and 
raiment, convenient for us, beds to lie on, relations to comfort us, 
in all these is love ? Yea, but if you speak comparatively, in all 
these there is no love, to the love expressed in sending or giving 
Christ for us : These are great mercies in themselves ; but com- 
pared to this mercy, they are all swallowed up, as the light of can- 
dles when brought into the sun-shine. No, no, herein is love, 

* God loves all his creatures : and among these he especially loves those he hath 
endowed with reason, and of those he loves more especially those who are members 
of the Only-begotten.. How much more the Only-begotten himself! Jag. T. 9. 
on John, 


that God gave Christ for us. And it is remarkable, that when the 
apostle would shew us, in Rom. v. 8. what is the noblest fruit 
that most commends to men the root of divine love that bears it, 
he shews us this very fruit of it that I am now opening ; " But 
" God, saith he, commendeth his love towards us, in that while 
" we were yet sinners, Christ died for us :" this is the very flower 
of that love. 

The method into which I will cast this precious point, shall be 
this : (1.) To shew how Jesus Christ was given by the Father. 
(2.) How that gift is the fullest and richest manifestation of the 
love of God that was ever made to the world. (3.) And then 
draw forth the uses of it. 

1. How was Jesus Christ given by the Father, and what is im- 
plied therein. 

You are not so to understand it, as though God parted with his 
interest and property in his Son, when he is said to give him ; he 
was as much his own as ever. When men give, they transfer pro- 
perty to another ; but when God had given him, he was, I say, 
still as much his own as ever : but this giving of Christ implies, 

(1.) His designation and appointment unto death for us; for so 
you read, that it was done " according to the determinate counsel 
" of God," Acts ii. 23. Look, as the Lamb under the Law was 
separated from the flock, and set appart for a sacrifice ; though it 
were still living, yet it was intentionally, and preparatively given, 
and consecrated to the Lord : so Jesus Christ was, by the counsel 
and purpose of God, thus chosen, and set apart for his service : 
and therefore in Isa. xlii. 1. God calls him his Elect, or chosen One. 

(2.) His giving Christ, implies a parting with him, or setting 
him (as the French hath it) at some distance from himself for 
a time. There was a kind of parting betwixt the Father and the 
Son, when he came to tabernacle in our flesh: so he expresseth 
it, John xvi. 28. " I came forth from the Father, and am come 
" into the world ; again, I leave the world and go to the Father.'" 
This distance that this incarnation and humiliation set him at, 
was properly as to his humanity, which was really distant from 
the glory into which it is now taken up, and in respect of manifes- 
tation of delight and love, the Lord seemed to carry it as one at 
a distance from him. Oh ! this was it that so deeply pierced, 
and wounded his soul, as is evident from that complaint, Psal. 
xxii. 1, 2. " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 
" Why art thou so far from the words of my roaring ? O my 
" God, I cry in the day-time, but thou nearest not," fyc. 

(3.) God's giving of Christ, implies his delivering him into the 
hands of justice to be punished; even as condemned persons are, 


by sentence of law, given or delivered into the hands of execution- 
ers. So Acts ii. 23. " Him, being delivered by the determinate 
" counsel of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have 
" slain :" and so he is said, Rom. viii. 32 " To deliver him up 
" to death for us all." The Lord, when the time was come that 
Christ must suffer, did, as it were, say, O all ye roaring waves of 
my incensed justice, now swell as high as heaven, and go over his 
soul and body ; sink him to the bottom ; let him go, like Jonah, 
his type, into the belly of hell, unto the roots of the mountains. 
Come all ye raging storms, that I have reserved for this day of 
wrath, beat upon him, beat him down, that he may not be able 
to look up, Psal. lx. 12. Go justice, put him upon the rack, tor- 
ment him in every part, till all his u bones be out of joint, and his 
" heart within him be melted as wax in the midst of his bowels," 
Psal. xxii. 14. And ye assembly of the wicked Jews and Gentiles, 
that have so long gaped for his blood, now he is delivered into 
your hands ; you are permitted to execute your malice to the full : 
I now loose your chain, and into your hand and power is he de- 

(4.) God's giving of Christ, implies his application of him, with 
^all the purchase of his blood, and settling all this upon us, as an 
inheritance and portion, John vi. 32, 33. " My Father giveth you 
" the true bread from heaven ; for the bread of God is he which 
" cometh down from heaven, and giveth light to the world." 
God hath giveth him as bread to poor starving creatures, that by 
faith they might eat and live. And so he told the Samaritaness, 
John iv. 10. " If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is 
" that saith unto thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have ask- 
" ed of him, and he would have given thee living water." Bread 
and water are the two necessaries for the support of natural life ; 
God hath given Christ, you see, to be all that, and more, to the 
spiritual life. 

2. How this gift of Christ was the highest, and fullest manifesta- 
tion of the love of God, that ever the world saw : * and this will 
be evidenced by the following particulars : 

(1.) If you consider how near and dear Jesus Christ was to the 
Father ; he was his Son, " his only Son," saith the text ; the Son 
of his love, the darling of his Soul : His other Self, yea, one with 
himself; the express image of his person ; the brightness of his 
Father's Glory : In parting with him, he parted with his own 

* God might have redeemed us in another way, (for I suppose it is opus liberi 
consiliij a free dispensation : but God so loved the world, i. e. he took this way, 
that we might love Christ as well as believe in him. He might have redeemed 
us so much in another way, but he could not oblige us so much in another way. 
Manton on Jude, p, 108, Mr. Wall in his None but Christ. 

6ERM. IT. 


heart, with his very bowels, as I may say. " Yet to us a Son is 
" given," Isa. ix. 6. and such a Son as he calls " his dear Son,"* 
Col. i. 13. A late writer tells us, that he hath been informed, that 
in the famine in Germany, a poor family being ready to perish 
with famine, the husband made a motion to the wife, to sell one 
of the children for bread, to relieve themselves and the rest : The 
wife at last consents it should be so ; but then they began to think 
which of the four should be sold ; and when the eldest was na- 
med, they both refused to part with that, being their first-born, 
and the beginning of their strength. Well, then they came to the 
second, but could not yield that he should be sold, being the very 
picture and lively image of his father. The third was named, but 
that also was a child that best resembled the mother. And when 
the youngest was thought on, that was the Benjamin, the child of 
their old age ; and so were content rather to perish altogether in 
the famine, than to part with a child for relief. And you know 
how tenderly Jacob took it* when his Joseph and Benjamin were 
rent from him. What is a child, but a piece of the parent wrapt 
up in another skin? And yet our dearest children are but as 
Strangers to us, in comparison of the unspeakable dearness that 

was betwixt the Father and Christ. Now, that he should 

ever be content to part with a Son, and such an only One, is such 
a manifestation of love, as will be admired to all eternity. And then, 

(2.) Let it be considered, To what he gave him, even to death, 
and that of the cross ; to be made a curse for us ; to be the scorn 
and contempt of men ; to the most unparalleled sufferings that 
ever were inflicted or borne by any. It melts our bowels, it breaks 
our heart, to behold our children striving in the pangs of death : 
but the Lord beheld his Son struggling under agonies that never 
any felt before him. * He saw him falling to the ground, grovel- 
ing in the dust, sweating blood, and amidst those agonies turning 
himself to his Father, and, with a heart-rending cry, beseeching 
him, " Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass," Luke xxii. 42. 
To wrath, to the wrath, of an infinite God without mixture ; to 
the very torments of hell was Christ delivered, and that by the 
hand of his own Father. Sure then that love must needs want a 
name, which made the Father of mercies deliver his only Son to 
such miseries for us. 

(3.) It is a special consideration to enhance the love of God in 
giving Christ, that in giving him he gave the richest jewel in his 
cabinet ; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value, 
Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is : He is the 
better half of heaven ; and so the saints account him, Psal. lxxiii. 

* Christ's pain was sorer than all pains put together. Aquinas* 

Vol. I. E 


£5. " Whom have I in heaven but thee ?" Ten thousand thousand 
worlds, saith one, * as many worlds as angels can number, and then 
as a new world of angels can multiply, would not all be the bulk 
of a balance, to weigh Christ's excellency, love, and sweetness. O 
what a fair One ! what an only One ! what an excellent, lovely* 
ravishing One, is Christ ! Put the beauty often thousand paradises, 
like the garden of Eden, into one ; put all trees, all flowers, all 
smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in 
one ; O what a fair and excellent thing would that be ? And yet 
it should be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ, than 
one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains 
of ten thousand earths. Christ is heaven's wonder, and earth's 

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious 
thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners ; and, as great, as love- 
ly, as excellent as his Son was, yet not to account him too good to 
bestow upon us, what manner of love is this ! 

(4.) Once more, let it be considered on whom the Lord bestow- 
ed his Son : upon angels ? No, but upon men. Upon man his 
friend ? No, but upon his enemies. This is love ; and on this 
consideration the apostle lays a mighty weight, in Rom. v. 8, 9, 10* 
" But God (saith he) commendeth his love towards us, in that 
" while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, — When we 
" were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his 
" Son." Who would part with a son for the sake of his dearest 
friends ? but God gave him to, and delivered him for enemies : O 
love unspeakable ! 

(5.) Lastly, Let us consider how freely this gift came from him : 
It was not wrested out of his hand by our importunity ; for we as 
little desired as deserved it : It was surprising, preventing, eternal 
love, that delivered him to us : " Not that we loved him, but he 
" first loved us," 1 John iv. 19. Thus as when you weigh a 
thing, you cast in weight after weight, till the scales break ; so 
doth God, one consideration upon another, to overcome our 
hearts* and make us admiringly to cry, what manner of love is 
this ! And thus I have shewed you what God's giving of Christ is, 
and what matchless love is manifested in that incomparable gift. 

Next we shall apply this, in some practical corollaries. 

Corollary 1. Learn hence, The exceeding preciousness of souls, and 
at what a high rate God values tliem, that he will give his Son, hitt 
only Son out of his bosom, as a ransomfor them. Surely this speaks 
their preciousness : God would not have parted with such a Son for 
small matters : all the world could not redeem them ; gold and 

• Cfiristus et ccelum nonpatinntur hyjyerbQlen. Christ and heaven can suffer no hyperbole. 


silver could not be their ransom ; so speaks the apostle, 1 Peter 
i. 18. " You were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver 
" and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ." Such an es- 
teem God had for them, that rather than they should perish, Je- 
sus Christ shall be made a man, yea, a curse for them. Oh then, 
learn to put a due value upon your own souls : do not sell that 
cheap, which God hath paid so dear for i Remember what a trea- 
sure you carry about you ; the glory that you see in this world is 
not equivalent in worth to it. Matth. xvi. 26. " What shall a 
" man give in exchange for his soul ?" 

Corollary 2. If God has given his own Son for the world, then 
it follows, that those for whom God gave his own Son, may warrant- 
ably expect any other temporal merciesfrom him. This is the apostle's 
inference, Rom. viii. 32. " He that spared not his own Son, but 
" delivered him up for Us all ; how shall he not* with him, free- 
" ty gi ye us aU things ?" And so 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22. " All is yours, 
" for ye are Christ's." i. e. They hold all other things in Christ, 
who is the capital, and most comprehensive mercy. 

To make out the grounds of this comfortable deduction, let 
these four things be pondered, and duly weighed in your thoughts. 
(1.) No other mercy you need or desire, is, or can be so dear to 
God, as Jesus Christ is : he never laid any other thing in his bo- 
som as he did his Son. As for the world, and the comforts of it, 
it is the dust of his feet, he values it not ; as you see by his provi- 
dential disposals of it ; having given it to the worst of men. " All 
the Turkish empire," saith Luther, " as great and glorious as it 
is, is but a crumb which the master of the family throws to the 
dogs.'" * Think upon any other outward enjoyment that is valua- 
ble in your eyes, and there is not so much comparison betwixt it 
and Christ, in the esteem of God, as is betwixt your dear children 
and the lumber of your houses, in your esteem. If then God has 
parted so freely from that which was infinitely dearer to him than 
these ; how shall he deny these, when they may promote his glo- 
ry, and your good ? (2.) As Jesus Christ was nearer the heart of 
God than all these ; so Christ is, in himself, much greater and 
more excellent than all of them : Ten thousand worlds, and the 
glory of them all, is but the dust of the balance, if weighed with 
Christ. These things are but poor creatures, but he is over all, 
God blessed for ever, Rom. ix. 5. They are common gifts, but 
he is the Gift of God, John iv. 10. They are ordinary mercies, but 
he is The mercy, Luke i. 72. As one pearl, or precious stone is 
greater in value than ten thousand common pebbles. Now, if 

* Totum Turcicum imperium, quantum quantum est, mica tantwn est, quam fakr* 
familias projictt cfhibus. Luther. 



God has so freely given the greater, how can you suppose he should 
deny the lesser, mercies ? Will a man give to another a large inhe- 
ritance, and stand with him for a trifle ? how can it be ? (3.) 
There is no other mercy you want, but you are entitled to it by 
the gift of Christ ; it is, as to right, conveyed to you with Christ. 
So, in the fore-cited 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22, 23. " the world is yours, 
" yea, all is yours ; for ye are Christ's. 1 ' So 2 Cor. i. 20. " For 
" all the promises of God in Christ, in him they are yea, and in 
him, amen." With him he hath given you all things, g/g avoXavtiv, 
1 Tim. vi. 17. rich!?/ to enjoy : the word signifies rem aliquam cum 
Icetttia percipere, to have the sweet relish and comfort of an enjoy- 
ment. So have we in all our mercies, upon the account of our 
title to them in Christ. (4.) Lastly, If God has given you this 
nearer, greater, and all-comprehending mercy, when you were ene- 
mies to him, and alienated from him; it is not imaginable he 
should deny you any inferior mercy, when you are come into a 
state of reconciliation and amity with him. So the apostle reasons, 
Rom. v. 8, 9, 10. " For if, when we were enemies, we were recon- 
" ciled to God, by the death of his Son ; much more being recon- 
" ciled, we shall be saved by his life." And thus you have the 
second inference with its grounds. 

Corollary 3. If the greatest love hath been manifested in giving 
Christ to the world, then it follows, that the greatest evil and wick- 
edness is manifested in despising, slighting, and rejecting Christ. It 
is sad to abuse the love of God manifested in the lowest gift of pro- 
vidence ; but, to slight the richest discoveries of it, even in that 
peerless gift, wherein God commends his love in the most taking 
and astonishing manner; this is sin with a witness. Blush, O 
heavens, and be astonished, O earth ; yea, be ye horribly afraid ! 
No guilt like this. The most flagitious wretches among the bar- 
barous nations are innocent, in comparison of these. But, are 
there any such in the world ? Dare any slight this gift of God ? 
Indeed, if men s words might be taken, there are few or none that 
dare do so ; but if their lives and practices may be believed, this, 
this is the sin of the far greater part of the christianized world. 
"Witness the lamentable stupidity and supineness >• witness the con- 
tempt of the gospel ; witness the hatred and persecution of his 
image, laws and people. What is the language of all this, but a 
vile esteem of Jesus Christ ? 

And now, let me a little expostulate with those ungrateful souls, 
that trample under foot the Son of God, that value not this love 
that gave him forth. What is that mercy which you so contemn 
and undervalue ? is it so vile and cheap a thing as your enter ain- 
ment speaks it to be ? is it indeed worth no more than this in your 
eyes ? Surely you will not be long of that opinion ! Will you be of 


that mind, think you, when death and judgment shall have tho- 
roughly awakened you ! Oh, no : Then a thousand worlds for a 
Christ ! as it is storied of our crooked-backed Itichard, when he 
lost the field, and was in great danger by his enemies that pressed 
upon him ; Oh now, (said he) a kingdom for a horse ! Or think 
ye, that any beside you in the world are of your mind ? you are 
deceived, if you think so, " To them that believe he is precious," 
through all the world, 1 Pet. ii. 7. and in the other world they 
are of a quite contrary mind. Could you but hear what is said of 
him in heaven, in what a dialect the saved of the Lord do extol 
their Saviour ; or could you but imagine the self-revenges, the self- 
torments, which the damned suffer for their folly, and what a va- 
lue they would set upon one tender of Christ, if it might but again 
be hoped for ; you would see that such as you are the only des- 
pisers of Christ.* Beside, methinks it is astonishing, that you 
should despise a mercy in which your own souls are so dearly, so 
deeply, so everlastingly concerned, as they are in this gift of God. 
If it were but the soul of another, nay, less, if but the body of 
another, and yet less than that, if but another's beast, whose life 
you could preserve, you are obliged to do it ; but when it is thy- 
self, yea, the best part of thyself, thine own invaluable soul, that 
thou ruinest and destroyest thereby, Oh, what a monster art thou, 
to cast it away thus ! What ! will you slight your own souls ? care 
you not whether they be saved, or whether they be damned ? is it 
indeed an indifferent thing with you which way they fall at death ? 
have you imagined a tolerable hell ? is it easy to perish ? are you 
not only turned God's enemies, but your own too ? Oh see what 
monsters sin can turn men and women into ! Oh the stupifying, 
besotting, intoxicating power of sin ! But perhaps you think that 
all these are but uncertain sounds, with which we alarm you ; it 
may be thine own heart will preach such doctrine as this to thee : 
Who can assure thee of the reality of these things ? why shouldest 
thou trouble thyself with an invisible world, or be so much con- 
cerned for what thine eyes never saw, nor didst ever receive the 
report from any that have seen them? Well, though we cannot 
now shew you these things, yet shortly they shall be shewn you ; 
and your own eyes shall behold them. You are convinced and 
satisfied that many other things are real which you never saw : but 
be assured, That " if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and 
" every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence 

• Fy, fy, saith one, upon this condemned and foolish world, that will give so 
little for Christ and salvation : Oh ! if there were but a free market proclaimed of 
Christ and salvation in that day, when the trumpet of God shall awaken the dead, 
how many buyers would be there ? God send me no more happiness but that which 
the blind world (to their eternal woe) letteth slip through their fingers. 



w of reward, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salva-, 
" tion, which at first began to be spoken to us by the Lord, and 
" was confirmed to us by them that heard him, God also bearing 
" them witness F" Heb. ii. % 3, 4. But if they be certain, yet 
they are not near ; it will be a long time before they come. Poor 
soul ! how dost thou cheat thyself? It maybe not by twenty parts 
so long a time as thy own fancy draws it forth for thee ; thou art 
not certain of the next moment. 

And suppose what thou imaginest : What are twenty or forty 
years when they are past ? yea, what are a thousand years to vast 
eternity ? Go trifle away a few days more, sleep out a few nights 
more, and then lie down in the dust ; it will not be long ere the 
trump of God shall awaken thee, and thine eyes shall behold Je- 
sus coming in the clouds of heaven, and then you will know the 
price of this sin. Oh, therefore, if there be any sense of eter- 
nity upon you, any pity or love for yourselves in you ; if you have 
any concernments more than the beasts that perish, despise not 
your own offered mercies, slight not the richest gift that ever was 
yet opened to the world ; and a sweeter cannot be opened to all 


Of Christ's wonderful Person. 

John i. 14. 
And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us, &c. 

jL OU have heard the covenant of redemption opened. The 
work therein propounded by the Father, and consented to by 
the Son, is such as infinitely exceeds the power of any mere crea- 
ture to perform. He that undertakes to satisfy God, by obe- 
dience for man's sin, must himself be God ; and he that performs 
such a perfect obedience, by doing, and suffering all that the law 
required, in our room, must be man. These two natures must 
be united in one person, else there could not be a concourse or 
co-operation of either nature in his mediatory works. How these 
natures are united, in the wonderful person of our Immanuel, is 
the first part of the great mystery of godliness :* a subject studied 

* The incarnation is the miracle of miracles ; a testimony against unbelievers. Isa. 
yii. 14. and a document to believers. None can declare his generation, Isa. liii. 8. 
Neither can any declare his incarnation, his name is secret, Judges xiii. 18. Won- 


and adored by angels ! and the mystery thereof is wrapped up in 
this text. Wherein we have, 

First, The incarnation of the Son of God plainly asserted. 

Secondly, That assertion strongly confirmed. 

(1.) In the assertion we have three parts. 

1. The Person assuming', « AoXog, the Word,* i. e. the second 
Person or Subsistent in the most glorious Godhead, called the 
Word, either because he is the scope or principal matter, both of 
the prophetical and promissory word; or because he expounds 
and reveals the mind and will of God to men, as verse 18. The 
only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath 
declared or expounded him. 

2. The Nature assumed, <r« f g, Flesh, i. e. the entire human na- 
ture, consisting of a true human soul and body. For so this word 
cafe, in Rom. iii. 20. and the Hebrew word *iwz which answers 
to it, by an usual Metcmomy of a part for the whole, is used, Gen. 
vi. 12. And the word Flesh is rather used here, than Man, on 
purpose to enhance the admirable condescension and abasement 
of Christ; there being more of vileness, weakness, and opposi- 
tion to spirit in this word, than in that, as is pertinently noted by 
gome. Hence the whole nature is denominated by that part, and 
galled flesh. 

3. The assumption itself, sXsi/sro, he was made ; not fiiit, he was, 
(as Socinus would render it, designing thereby to overthrow the 
existence of Christ's glorified body now in heaven) but factus est, 
it was made, i. e. he took or assumed the true human nature (cal- 
led flesh,-)* for the reason before rendered) into the unity of his 
divine person, with all its integral parts and essential properties ; 
and so was made, or became a true and real man, by that assump- 
tion. The apostle speaking of the same act, Heb. ii. 16. uses 
another word, He took on him, sw/Xa/x/3ai/sra/, fitly rendered he took 
on him, or he assumed ; which assuming, though inchoative, it was 
the work of the whole Trinity, God the Father, in the Son, by 
\he Spirit, forming or creating that nature; as if three sisters 
should make a garment betwixt them, which only one of them 
wears : yet, terminatiye, it was the act of the Son only : it was he 

derful, Isa. ix. 6. A name that no man knoweth, viz. perfectly, but himself. The 
Trinity is the greatest, the incarnation the next mystery. Norton's Orthodox Evan- 
gelist, p. 58. 

* Word, a real substance, or person ; and not a word, spoken or uttered. Ful- 
gent. Book I. 

f The Evangelist chose to use the word, Flesh, instead of Man, that it might 
the more appear how far the Word that was God, humbled himself, when he was 
made Flesh. For there is manifestly more of Vileness, and greater opposition to 
Spirit implied in the word Flesh than in the word Man. Maccovius's Common Places 



only that was made flesh. And when it is said, he was made flesh, 
misconceive not, as if there was a mutation of the Godhead into 
flesh ; for this was performed, * " not by changing what he was, 
" but by assuming what he was not," as Augustine well expresseth 
it. As when the scripture, in a like expression, saith, " He was 
" made sin," 2 Cor. v. 21. and made a curse, Gal. hi. 13. the 
meaning is not, that he was turned into sin, or into a curse ; no 
more may we think here the Godhead was turned into flesh, and 
lost its own being and nature, because it is said he was made flesh. 
This is the sum of the assertion. 

(2.) This assertion [" that the word was made flesh,""] is strong- 
ly confirmed. He " dwelt among us," and we saw his glory. This 
was no phantasm, but a most real and indubitable thing. For, 
i*%7}W(to> sv r u '.uv, pitched his tent, or tabernacled with us. And we 
are eve- witnesses of it. Parallel to that, 1 John i. 1, % 3. " That 
" which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we 
" have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our 
" hands have handled, of the Word of life, SfC declare we unto 
i( you." Hence note, 

Doct. That Jesus Christ did really assume the true and perfect 
nature of man, into a personal union with his divine nature, and 
still remains true God, and true mem, in one person for ever. 

The proposition contains one of the deepest mysteries of godli- 
ness, f 1 Tim. iii. 16. A mystery? by which apprehension is 
dazzled, invention astonished, and all expression swallowed up. If 
ever the tongues of angels were desirable to explicate any word of 
God, they are so here. Great is the interest of words in this doc- 
trine. We walk upon the brink of danger. The least tread awry 
may ingulph us in the bogs of error. Alius would have been con- 
tent, if the council of Nice would but have gratified him in a let- 
ter, o/xo«r/o5, and c/mi&io;. The Nestorians also desired but a letter, 
Gicboy^o;, ^ioroy.cg. These seemed but small and modest requests, 
but, if granted, had proved no small prejudice to Jesus Christ, 
and his truths. I desire therefore the reader would, with greatest 

* iVon. mutando quod erat, ssd assumendo, quod no7i erat. Aug. 
f The incarnation is God's work, whereby the Son of God, (according to the 
oeconomy of the divine counsel of the Father, of the Son, and of the holy Spirit) 
humbling and abasing himself, took from the Virgin Mary, by the power and effi- 
cacy of the holy Spirit upon her ; real, entire, perfect, holy Flesh ; yet so as that 
that Flesh had no proper subsistence without the Son of God, but was really borne 
and carried about by him ; the two entire natures being united among themselves, 
without any change of the one into the other, without confusion, without division, 
and inseparably, fyc. Whence is constituted the person of Christ, God- man.- • » 
Synapsis purioris Thea. 



attention of mind, apply himself to these truths. It is a doctrine 
hard to understand, and dangerous to mistake. I am really of 
his mind that said,* * It is better not touch the bottom, than not 
6 keep within the circle i 1 Melius est nescire centrum, quam non te- 
nere circulum. He did assume a true human body ; that is plainly 
asserted, Phil. ii. 7, 8, SfC. Heb. ii. 14, 16. In one place it is 
called taking on him the seed of Abraham, and in the text, flesh. 
He did also assume a true human soul, this is undeniable by its 
operations, passions, and expiration at last, Matth. xxvi. 38. and 
xxvii. 50. And that both these natures make but one person, is as 
evident from Rom. i. 3, 4, " Jesus Christ was made of the seed 
" of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of 
f< God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the re- 
" surrection from the dead." So Rom. ix. 5. " Of whom, as 
" concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed 
" for ever. Amen. 1 '* But that you may have a sound and clear 
understanding of this mystery, I will (1.) Open the nature; 
(2.) The effects ; and (3.) The reasons or ends of this wonderful 

First, The nature of this union. There are j,j na + ure f 

three illustrious and dazzhng unions in scrip- ^ liypost aticil 
ture : that or three persons m one God, lessen- . *j ■, 

tially. That of two distinct natures, and per- ' ' ^ 
sons ; by one spirit Mystically : and this of two distinct natures in 
one person, Hypostatically. This is my task to open at this time : 
and, for the more distinct and perspicuous management thereof, I 
shall speak to it both negatively and positively. 

1. Negatively. Think not when Christ as- * r , consub- 

sumed our nature, that it was united consubstan- . .. ™ 
tially, so as the three persons in the Godhead are *" 

united among themselves. They all have but one and the same 
nature and will ; but in Christ are two distinct natures and wills, 
though but one person. 

% Nor yet that they are united Physically, at Not , kall 
soul and body are united in one person ; tor death * ° ** 

actually dissolves that ; but this is indissoluble. So that when his 
soul expired, and his body was interred, both soul and body were 
still united to the second person as much as ever. 

3. Nor yet is it such a mystical union, as is between , r , . « 

Christ and believers. Indeed that is a glorious ™ ^" 

* Reason (saith one) can never shew itself more reasonable, than in ceasing 
to reason about things which are above reason. Whatsoever is concealed from us, 
that we are not to pry into. But we are not to overlook what is plain and mani- 
fest. Prosper, 


union ; but though believers are said to be in Christ, and Christ 
in them, yet they are not one person with him. They are not 
christed into Christ, or godded into God, as blasphemous Fa- 
milists speak. 

Secondly, Positively. But this assumption of which I speak, is that 
whereby the second Person in the Godhead did take the human 
nature into a personal union with himself, by virtue whereof the 
manhood subsists in the second person, yet without confusion, both 
making but one person, Qewfywros, or Itnmanuel, God with us. 

So that though we truly ascribe a two-fold nature to Christ, yet 
not a double person ; * for the human nature of Christ never sub- 
sisted separately and distinctly, by any personal subsistence of its 
own, as it doth in all other men, but from the first moment of con- 
ception, subsisted in union with the second person. 

To explicate this mystery more particularly, let it be considered ; 

First, The human nature was united to the second person mira- 
culously and extraordinarily, being supernaturally framed in the 
womb of the Virgin, by the over-shadowing power of the Highest, 
Luke i. 34, 35. By reason whereof it may truly and properly be 
said to be the fruit of the womb, not of the loins of men, nor by 
man. And this was necessary to exempt the assumed nature from 
the stain and pollution of Adam's sin, which it wholly escaped; 
inasmuch as he received it not, as ail others do, in the way of or- 
dinary generation, wherein original sin is propagated : but this 
being extraordinarily produced,, was a most pure and holy thing, 
Luke i. 35. And indeed this perfect shining holiness, in which it 
was produced, was absolutely necessary, both in order to its union 
with the divine Person, and the design of that union ; which was 
both to satisfy for, and to sanctify us. The two natures could not 
be conjoined in the person of Chirst, had there been the least taint 
of sin upon the human nature. For God can have no fellowship 
with sin, much less be united to it. Or, supposing such a conjunc- 
tion with our sinful nature, yet he being a sinner himself, could 
never satisfy for the sins of others ; nor could any unholy thing 
ever make us holy. " Such an High-priest therefore became us 
" as is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," Heb. vii. 
26. And such an one he must needs be, whom the Holy Ghost 
produces in such a peculiar way, to aytov, that holy thing. 

Secondly, As it was produced miraculously, so it was assumed in- 
tegrally ; that is to say, Christ took a complete and perfect human 

• The human nature is not, ioio6\j6tcc1gs subsisting of itself, nor did the human 
nature exist before it was assumed ; but so soon as the flesh existed, it was the flesh 
of the Word of God. And so the person of Christ is one, in which there are two 
distinct tilings, but not two distinct persons, Greg. Naz. in Theodoret, Dialogue 2. 


soul and body, with all and every faculty and member pertaining 
to it. And this was necessary (as both * Austin and -f- Fulgentius 
have well observed) that thereby he might heal the whole nature 
of that leprosy of sin, which hath seized and infected every mem- 
ber and faculty. Tlavra, avsXufSsv iva ifavra ayia^. " He assumed 
" all, to sanctify all ;" as Damascen expresseth it. He designed 
a perfect recovery, by sanctifying us wholly in soul, body, and 
spirit ; and therefore assumed the whole in order to it. 

Thirdly, He assumed our nature, as with all its integral parts, so 
with all its sinless infirmities. And therefore it is said of him, Heb. 
ii. 17. " That it behoved him," xara <rr<xvra ofj,otu$Y}vcu, accord- 
ing to all things (that is, all things natural, not formally sinful, J 
as it is limited by the same apostle, Heb. iv. 15.) to be made like 
unto his brethren. But here our divines so carefully distinguish 
infirmities into personal and natural Personal infirmities are such 
as befal particular persons, from particular causes, such as dumb- 
ness, blindness, lameness, leprosies, monstrosities, and other de- 
formities. These it was no way necessary that Christ should, nor 
did he at all assume ; but the natural ones, such as hunger, thirst, 
weariness, sweating, bleeding, mortality, fyc. which though they 
are not in themselves formally and intrinsically sinful ; yet are they 
the effects and consequents of sin. They are so many marks, that 
sin hath left of itself upon our natures. And on that account 
Christ is said to be sent " in the likeness of sinful flesh," Rom. viii. 
3. Wherein the gracious condescension of Christ for us is mar- 
vellously signalized, that he would not assume our innocent na- 
ture, as it was in Adam before the fall, while it stood in all its 
primitive glory and perfection ; but after sin had quite defaced, 
ruined, and spoiled it. 

Fourthly, The human nature is so united with the divine, as 
that each nature still retains its own essential properties distinct. § 
And this distinction is not, nor can be lost by that union. So that 

* Aug. de Civit, Dei. lib. 10. cap. 27. p. 586. 

f Fulgent, ad Tra 1. 1. p. 251. Damasc. lib. 3. cap. 20. 

j The natural pollution and original defilement of sin, which cleaves to human 
nature in general, could not infect the human nature of Christ, because the Holy 
Spirit, according to his own manner of working, had made it absolutely undefiled 
and impeccable, or, incapable of committing sin i and such a perfect and sinless na- 
ture it behoved to be, in which our sins, with their defilement and guilt, were to be 
done away. Trel. Instit. p. 58. 

§ By this union of the human with the divine nature, the human nature is not 
raised to the same perfection with the divine, nor changed into it, nor confounded 
with it ; as if what is any way peculiar to the divine, were communicated to the 
human nature : but that the one always did, and doth, remain totally distinct from 
the other; the human, to wit, consisting of a finite body, and of a soul, the same, 
as to substance and essential powers, with other men's. JBradshaw on Justificatim, 
p. 79. 


the two understandings, wills, powers, tyc. viz. The divine and 
human, are not confounded; but a line of distinction runs be- 
twixt them still in this wonderful person. It was the heresy of 
the Eutychians, condemned by the council of Chalcedon, to af- 
firm, that there was no distinction betwixt the two natures in 
Christ. Against whom that council determined, that they were 
united aguvo^vruc, without any immutation or confusion. 

Fifthly, The union of the two natures in Christ, as an insepara* 
hie union ; so that from the first moment thereof, there never was, 
nor to eternity shall be, any separation of them. 

Doubt. If you ask how the union remained betwixt them, when 
Christ's human soul and body were separated from each other upon 
the cross ? Is not death the dissolution of the union betwixt soul 
and body ? 

Resolution. True, the natural union betwixt his soul and body 
was dissolved by death for a time, but this hypostatical union re- 
mained even then as entire and firm as ever : for, though his soul 
and body were divided from each other, yet neither of them from 
the divine nature. Divines assist our conception of this mystery, 
by an apt illustration.* A man that holds in his hand a sword 
sheathed, when he pleaseth, draws forth the sword ; but still 
holds that in one hand, and the sheath in the other, and then 
sheaths it again, still holding it in his hand : so when Christ died, 
his soul and body retained their union with the divine nature, 
though not (during that space) one with another. 

And thus you are to form and regulate your conceptions of this 
great mystery. Some adumbrations and imperfect similitudes of it 
may be found in nature. Among which some -f- commend that 
union which the soul and body have with each other ; they are 
of different natures, yet both make one individual man. Others J 
find fault with this, because both these united make but one com- 
plete human nature; whereas, in Chrisfs person, there are two 
natures, and commend to us a more perfect emblem, viz. That of 
the Cyon and the tree or stock, which have two natures, yet make 
but one tree. But then we must remember that the Cyon wants a 
root of its own, which is an integral part, but Christ assumed our 
nature integrally. This defect is by others § supplied in the Mi- 

* Tollehis gives us a fine illustration of it ; " Even as a man, (says he) holding a 
" sword sheathed, when he pleaseth, draws forth the sword ; but still holds that in 
" one hand, and the sheath in the other, [and then sheaths it again, still holding 
" it in his hand :] so the Divine Person separated the soul from the human body, 
" as it were a sword drawn out of its sheath, but still he held both united to him- 
" self; but by the resurrection he re-joined the soul to the body, as when one 
" puts the sword in the scabbard." 

f Justin Martyr. \ Alex. Alex. § Roberts of the covenant. 


sletoe and the Oak, which have different natures ; and the Misletoe 
subsists in union with the Oak, still retaining the difference of na- 
ture ; and though making but one tree, yet bears different fruits. 
And so much to the first thing, namely, the nature of this union. 
Secondly, For the effects, or immediate results ,™ j, •. .» 

of this marvellous union, let these three be well , , ,. 7 J . 
considered. hypostahcalumon. 

1. The two natures being thus united in the person of the Me- 
diator, by virtue whereof the properties of each nature are attribu- 
ted, and do truly agree in the whole person ; so that it is proper 
to say, the Lord of glory was crucified, 1 Cor. ii. 8. and the 
blood of God redeemed the Church, Acts xx. 28. that Christ 
was both in heaven, and in the earth at the same time, John 
iii. 13. 

Yet we do not believe that one nature doth transfuse or impart 
its properties to the other, * or that it is proper to say the divine 
nature suffered, bled, or died ; or the human is omniscient, omni- 
potent, omnipresent ; but that the properties of both natures, are so 
ascribed to the person, that it is proper to affirm any of them of him 
in the concrete, though not abstractly. The right understanding 
of this would greatly assist, in teaching the true sense of the fore- 
named, and many other dark passages in the scriptures. 

2. Another fruit of this hypostatical union, is the singular ad- 
vancement of the human nature in Christ, far beyond and above 
what it is capable of in any other person, -f- it being hereby re- 
plenished and filled with an unparalleled measure of divine graces 
and excellencies ; in which respect he is said to be " anointed above, 
or before his fellows," Psal. xiv. 8. and so becomes the object of 
adoration and divine worship, Acts vii. 59. This the Socinians 
oppugn with this argument : He that is worshipped with a divine 
worship, as he is Mediator, is not so worshipped as God ; but Christ 
is worshipped as Mediator. But we say, that to be worshipped as 
Mediator, and as God, are not opposite, but the one is necessarily 
included in the other; and therein is further included the ratio 

formalis sub qua I of thdt divine religious worship. 

3. Hence, in the last place, follows, as another excellent fruit 

* The properties of both natures maybe attributed to the whole person of Christ, ia 
the concrete ; the Son of man, who is a Person consisting of two natures, is every- 
where present, is eternal, is adorable, that is, he is to be adored according to his divine 
nature, to which these properties (of omnipresence, eternity, praise-worthiness) are ap- 
plicable : we adore indeed the Deity incarnate, but the Divinity itself is the only per- 
fect object of our worship. 

f Tbe human nature being thus assumed above all other created natures, is, by vir- 
tue of this assumption, lifted up to the highest possible pitch of dignity ; Heb. i. 4, 5 ? 
6. B>-adskaiu on Justification, p. 79. 

J The formal ground upon which the worship of Christ, as Mediator, is founded. 


of this union, The concourse and co-operation of each nature to his 
mediatory works ; for in them he acts according to both natures : 
the human nature doing what is human, viz. suffering, sweating, 
bleeding, dying ; and his divine nature stamping all these with infi- 
nite value ; and so both sweetly concur unto one glorious work and 
design of mediation. Papists generally deny that he performs any 
of these mediatory works as God, but only as man ; but how bold- 
ly do they therein contradict these plain scriptures ? See 2 Cor. v. 
10. Heb. ix. 14, 15. And so much as to the second thing pro- 
pounded, viz. the fruits of this union. 

Thirdly, The last thing to be opened is the grounds and reasons 

m, „ of this assumption. And we may say, touching 

Ihe reasons oj ^ nj That the h uman na ture was not as- 
the hypostaticalu- gumed ^ any intrinsical per f e ction of the God- 
head, not to make that human nature itself per- 
fect. The divine did not assume the human nature necessarily^ 
but voluntarily ; not out of indigence, but bounty ; not because it 
was to be perfected by it, but to perfect it, by causing it to lie as 
a pipe, to the infinite all-filling fountain of grace and glory, of 
which it is the great receptacle. And so, consequently, to quali- 
fy and prepare him for a full discharge of his mediatorship, 
in the offices of our Prophet, Priest, and King. Had he not this 
double nature in the unity of his person, he could not have 
been our Prophet: For, as God, he knows the mind and will of 
God, John i. 18. and hi. 13. and as man he is fitted to impart it 
suitably to us, Deut. xviii. 15, 16, 17, 18. compared with Acts 
xx. 22. 

As Priest, had he not been man, he could have shed no blood ; 
and if not God, it had been no adequate value for us, * Heb. iL 17. 
Acts iii. 28. 

As King, had he not been man, he had been an heterogeneous, 
and so no fit head for us. And if not God, he could neither rule 
nor defend his body the Church. 

These then were the designs and ends of that assumption. 

Use 1. Let all Christians rightly inform their minds in this truth 
of so great concerment in religion, and hold it Just against all subtle 
adversaries, that would wrest it from them. The learned Hooker 
observes, that the dividing of Christ's person, which is but one, 
and the confounding of his natures, which are two, hath been the 
occasion of those errors, which have so greatly disturbed the peace 
of the church. The Arians denied his deity, levelling him with 

* He made satisfaction in his human nature ; but then the worth, the excellency, 
efficacy and application of that satisfaction flow from the divine nature. Ames, Bell. 
Mnerv. lib. 5. 


other mere men. The Apollinarians maimed his humanity. The 
Sabellians affirmed, that the Father and Holy Ghost were incar- 
nated as well as the Son ; and were forced, upon that absurdity, by 
another error, viz. denying the three distinct persons in the God- 
head, and affirming they were but three names. The Eutychians 
confounded both natures in Christ, denying any distinction of them. 
The Seleusians affirmed, that he unclothed himself of his huma- 
nity when he ascended, and hath no human body in heaven. The 
Nestorians so rent the two names of Christ asunder, as to make 
two distinct persons of them. 

But ye (beloved) have not so learned Christ. Ye know he is, 
(1.) True and very God; (2.) True and very man; that, (3.) these 
two natures make but one person, being united inseparably ; (4.) 
that they are not confounded or swallowed up one in another, but 
remain still distinct in the person of Christ. Hold ye the sound 
words which cannot be condemned. Great things hang upon all 
these truths* O suffer not a stone to be loosed out of the foun- 

Use 2. Adore the love of the Father ; and the Son, who bid so high 
for your souls, and at this rate were contented you shoidd be recovered. 

1. The love of the Father is herein admirably conspicuous, who 
so vehemently willed our salvation, that he was content to degrade 
the darling of his soul to so vile and contemptible a state, which 
was, upon the matter, an undoing to him, in point of reputation; 
as the apostle intimates, Phil. ii. 7. If two persons be at a variance, 
and the superior, who also is the wronged person, begin to stoop 
first, and say, you have deeply wronged me, yea, your blood is not 
able to repair the wrongs you have done me : however, such is my 
love to you, and willingness to be at peace with you, that I will 
part with what is most dear to me in all the World, for peace-sake ; 
yea, though I stoop below myself, and seem, as it were, to forget 
my own relation and endearments to my own son, I will not suffer 
such a breach betwixt me and you. John iii. 16. " God so loved 
" the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." 

2. And how astonishing is the love of Christ, that would make 
such a stoop as this to exalt us ! * Oh, it is ravishing to think, he 
should pass by a more excellent and noble species of creatures, re- 
fusing the angelic nature, Heb. ii. 16. to take flesh ; and not to 
solace and disport himself in it neither, nor experience sensitive 
pleasures in the body ; for, as he needed them not, being at the 
fountain-head of the highest joys, so it was not at all in his design, 

* No body raises another lying low, without first stooping down, and bowing him- 
self to the ground. Nierom, 


but the very contrary, even to make himself a subject capable of 
sorrows, wounds, and tears. * It was, as the apostle elegantly ex- 
pressed! it, in Heb. h. 9- o<rw; u*^ rsavrog yzv<rr,Ta,i Qavccrz ; that he 
might sensibly taste what relish death hath, and what bitterness is 
in those pangs and agonies. Now, 01 1 that you would get your 
hearts suitably impressed and affected with these high impressures 
of the love both of the Father and the Son ! How is the courage 
of some noble Romans celebrated in history, for the brave adven- 
tures they made for the commonwealth ; but they could never 
stoop as Christ did, being so infinitely below him in personal dig- 

Use 3. And here infinite wisdom has also left a famous and 
everlasting mark of itself; which invites, yea, even chains the 
eyes of angels and men to itself, -f* Had there been a general 
council of angels, to advise upon a way of recovering poor sinners* 
they would all have been at an everlasting demur and loss about it. 
It could not have entered their thoughts, (though they are intelli- 
gencers, and more sagacious creatures) that ever mercy, pardon, 
and grace, should find such a way as this to issue forth from the 
heart of God to the hearts of sinners. Oh, how wisely is the me- 
thod of our recovery laid ! so that Christ may be well called, " the 
" power and wisdom of God," 1 Cor. i. 24 ; forasmuch as in him 
the divine wisdom is more glorified than in all the other works of 
God, upon which he hath impressed it. Hence it is, that some 
of the schoolmen affirm, (though I confess myself unsatisfied with 
it) that the incarnation of Christ was in itself so glorious a demon- 
stration of God's wisdom and power, and thereupon so desirable in 
itself, that though man had not sinned, yet Christ would have 
been made man. 

Use 4. Hence also we infer the incomparable sweetness of the Chris- 
tian religion , that shews poor sinners such a fair t foundation to rest 
their trembling consciences upon. While poor distressed souls look 
to themselves, they are perpetually puzzled. That is the cry of a 
distressed natural conscience, Micah vi. 6. " Wherewith shall I 
u come before the Lord ?" the Hebrew is mrv enpx how 
shall I prevent or anticipate the Lord ? J and so Montanus renders 

* The Son of God therefore took flesh, that he might be capable of suffering in 
human nature, which he could not have done in the Divine, which is incapable of 
suffering. Theod. 

•f- It must surpass human, or even angelical understandings, to conceive, or, if con- 
ceived, to hope for such a deliverer : wherefore, if a sinner, sensible of the divine male- 
diction due to his sins, were left to himself, by searching to find out such relief, the 
more he laboured in the search, the more would he throw himself headlong into a 
boundless abyss of horror and desperation. Bradshaw on Justification, p. 74. 

| [Ju-dom] Antivertit, anticipavit, obvenit. Buxlorf. 


it, in quo prceoccupabo Dominum ? Conscience sees God arming 
himself with wrath, to avenge himself for sin ; cries out, Oh, 
how shall I prevent him; if he would accept the fruit of m\ ho- 
dy, (those dear pledges of nature,) for the sin of my soul, he 
should have them. But now we see God coming down in flesh, 
and so intimately united our flesh to himself, that it hath no pro- 
per subsistence of its own, but is united with the divine person : 
hence it is easy to imagine what worth and value must be in that 
blood ; and how eternal love, springing forth triumjmantly from 
it, flourishes into pardon, grace, and peace* Here is a way in 
which the sinner may see justice and mercy kissing each other, 
and the latter exercised freely, without prejudice to the former. 
All other consciences, through the world, lie either in a deep 
sleep in the devil's arms* or else are rolling (sea sick) upon the 
waves of their own fears and dismal presages. Oh, happy are 
they that have dropped anchor on this ground, and not only 
know they have peace, but why they have it ! 

Use 5. Of how great concernment is it, that Christ should have 
anion with our particular persons, as well as with our common na- 
ture ? For by this union with our nature alone, never any man was, 
or can be saved. Yea, let me add, that this union with our natures, 
is utterly in vain to you, and will do you no good, except he 
have union with your persons by faith also. It is indeed infinite 
mercy, that God is come so near you, as to dwell in your flesh ; 
and that he hath fixed upon such an excellent method to save poor 
sinners. And hath he done all this ? is he indeed come home, 
even to your own doors, to seek peace ? doth he vail his unsup- 
portable glory under flesh, that he might treat the more familiar- 
ly ? and yet do you refuse him* and shut your hearts against him ? 
then hear one word, and let thine ears tingle at the sound of it : 
Thy sin is hereby aggravated beyond the sin of devils, who never 
sinned against a mediator in their own nature ; who never despised, 
or refused, because indeed, they were never offered terms of 
mercy, as you are. 

And I doubt not but the devils themselves, who now tempt you 
to reject, will, to all eternity, upbraid your folly for rejecting this 
great salvation, which in this excellent way is brought down, even 
to your own doors. 

Use 6. If Jesus Christ has assumed our nature, then he is sensibly 
touched with the infirmities that attend it, and so hath pity and 
compassion for us, under all our burdens. And indeed this was one 
end of his assuming it, that he might be able to have compassion on 
us, as you read, Heb. ii. 17, 18. "Wherefore in all things it be- 
" hoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be 
* a merciful and faithful High-priest, in things pertaining to God,, 

Vol. I, F 


" to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he 
" himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them 
" that are tempted." O what a comfort is this to us, that he who 
is our High-Priest in heaven, hath our nature on him, to enable 
him to take compassion on us ! 

Use 7. Hence we see, to what a height God intends to build up 
the happiness of man, in that he hath laid the foundation thereof so 
deep, in the incarnation of his own Son. 

They that intend to build high, use to lay the foundation low. 
The happiness and glory of our bodies, as well as souls, are found- 
ed in Christ's taking our flesh upon him : for, therein, as in a 
.model or pattern, God intended to shew what in time he resolves 
to make of our bodies ; for he will ft^aay^an^m, transform our 
vile bodies, and make them one day conformable to the glorious 
body of Jesus Christ, Phil. hi. 81. This flesh was therefore as- 
sumed by Christ, that in it might be shewn, as in a pattern, how 
God intends to honour and exalt it. And indeed, a greater ho- 
nour cannot be done to the nature of man, than what is already 
done, by this grace of union ; nor are our persons capable of 
higher glory, than what consists in their conformity to this glorious 
head. Indeed the flesh of Christ will ever have a distinct glory 
from ours in heaven, by reason of this union ; for being the body 
which the Word assumed, it is two ways advanced singularly 
above the flesh and blood of all other men, viz. subjectively, and 
objectively : Subjectively, it is the flesh and blood of God, Acts 
xx. 28. and so hath a distinct and incommunicable glory of its 
own. And objectively, it is the flesh and blood which all the 
angels and saints adore. But though in these things it be superemi- 
nently exalted, yet it is both the medium and pattern of all that 
glory which God designs to raise us to. 

Use 8. Lastly, How wonderful a comfort is it, that he who dwells 
in our flesh is God ? What joy may not a poor believer make out of 
this ? what comfort one made out of it> I will give you in his own 
words, " t see it a work of God, (saith he) that experiences are 
" all lost, when summonses of improbation 3 to prove our charters 
<c of Christ to be counterfeit, are raised against poor souls in their 
" heavy trials. But let me be a sinner, and worse than the chief 
" of sinners, yea, a guilty devil, I am sure my well-beloved is 
" God, and my Christ is God. And when I say my Christ is 
a God, I have said all things, I can say no more. I would I 
" could build as much on this, My Christ is God, as it would bear : 
" I might lay all the world upon it" 

God and man in one person ! Oh ! thrice happy conjunction ! 
As man, he is full of experimental sense of our infirmities, wants, 
and burdens ; and, as God, he can support and supply them all. 



The aspect of faith upon this wonderful Person, how relieving, how 
reviving, how abundantly satisfying is it ? God will never divorce 
the believing soul, and its comfort, after he hath married our na- 
ture to his own Son, by the hypostatical, and our persons also, by 
the blessed mystical union. 


Of the Authority by which Chiiist, as Mediator, acted. 

John vi. 27. 

For him hath God the Father sealed. 

X OU have heard Christ's compact, or agreement with the Fa- 
ther, in the covenant of redemption ; as also what the Father did* 
in pursuance of the ends thereof, in giving his Son out of his bo- 
som, SfC. also what the Son hath done towards it, in assuming flesh. 
But though the glorious work be thus far advanced, yet all he 
should act in that assumed body, had been invalid and vain, with- 
out a due callj and commission from the Father so to do : which 
is the import of the words now before you. 

This scripture is a part of Christ's excellent reply to a self-ended 
generation, who followed him, not for any spiritual excellencies 
that they saw in him, or soul-advantages they expected by him, 
but for bread. Instead of making his service their meat and drink, 
they only served him, that they might eat and drink. Self is a 
thing may creep into the best hearts and actions ; but it only pre- 
dominates in the hypocrite. These people had sought Christ from 
place to place, and having at last found him, they salute him 
with an impertinent compliment, " Rabbi, whence earnest thou 
" hither ?" verse 25. Christ's reply is partly dissuasive, and part- 
ly directive, He dissuades them from putting the secondary and 
subordinate, in the place of the principal and ultimate end ; not to 
prefer their bodies to their souls, their fleshly accommodations to 
the glory of God. " Labour not for the meat that perisheth. r ' 
Wherein he doth not take them off from their lawful labours and 
callings ; but he dissuades them, first, from minding those things 
too intently : and, secondly, he dissuades them from that odious sin 
of making religion but a pretence for the belly. 

And it is partly directive, and that in the main end and business 
of life. " But labour for that meat which endureth to eternal life ;* 



to get bread for your souls to live eternally by. And, that he 
might engage their diligence in seeking it to purpose, he shews 
them not only where they may have it, [" which the Son of man 
u shall give you"] but also how they may be fully satisfied, that he 
hath it for them, in the clause I have pitched on ; " For him hath 
" God the Father sealed." 

In these words are three parts observable. 

1. The Person sealing or investing Christ with authority and 
power ; which is said to be God the Father. Though all the per- 
sons in the Godhead are equal in nature, dignity and power, yet 
in their operation there is an order observed among them ; the Fa- 
ther sends the Son, the Son is sent by the Father, the Holy Ghost 
is sent by both. 

2. The subject in which God the Father lodges this authority, 
[Him] that is, the Son of man. Jesus Christ, he is the argwrov 
dexltxot, the first receptacle of it ; and he must here be understood 
exclusively. God the Father hath so sealed him, as he never sealed 
any other before him, or that shall arise after him. No name is given 
in heaven, or earth, but this name by which we are saved, Acts iv. 
12. " The government is upon his shoulders," Isa. ix. 

3. Here is farther observable, the way and manner of the Fa- 
ther's delegating and committing this authority to Christ ; and that 
is, by sealing him. Where we have both a metonymy, the symbol 
of authority being put for the authority itself, and a metaphor, seal- 
ing, which is a human act, for the ratifying and confirming an in- 
strument, or grant, being here applied to God. Like as princes, 
by sealed credentials, confirm the authority qf those that are sent by 
them ; as the Dutch Annotators well express the meaning of it. 
Hence we note, 

Doct. That Jesus Christ did not qf himself undertake the work 
of our redemption, but "was solemnly sealed unto that work by 
God the Father. 

When I say, he did not of himself undertake this work, I mean 
not that he was unwilling to go about it, for his heart was as fully 
and ardently engaged in it, as the Father's was : so he tells us, 
Psal. xl. 7. " Lo, I come to do thy will, O God ; thy law is in my 
" heart." But the meaning is, he came not without a due call, 
and full commission from his Father. And so it is to be under- 
stood in opposition to intrusion, not voluntary susception ; and 
this is the meaning of that scripture, John viii. 24. " I proceeded 
" and came from God ; neither came I of myself, but he sent 
" me." And this the apostle plainly expresseth, and fully 


clear;* Heb. v. 4, 5. " And no man taketh this honour to himself, 
" but he that is called of God, as was Aaron : so also, Christ glorified 
« not himself to be made an High-priest ; but he that said un- 
" to him, Thou art my Son.' 1 And on the account of these 
sealed credentials, he received from the Father, he is called the 
Apostle and High-priest of our profession, Heb. iii. 1. i. e. one 
called and sent forth by the Father's authority. Our present bu- 
siness, then, is to open Christ's commission, and to view the great 
seal of heaven by which it was ratified. 

And, to preserve a clear method in the explication of this great 
truth, into which your faith and comfort is resolved, I shall, 

Fir sty Shew what was the work and office to which x\\t Father 
sealed him. 

Secondly, What his sealing to this work doth imply. 

Thirdly, How, and by what acts, the Father sealed him to it. 

Fourthly, Why it was necessary that he should be thus sealed 
and authorized by his Father ; and then improve it in its proper 
uses. . 

First, What was that office, or work, to which his Father seal- 
ed him ? I answer, more generally, he was sealed to the whole 
work of mediation for us, thereby to recover and save all the elect, 
whom the Father had given him ; so John xvii. 2. " It was to 
" give eternal life to as many as were given him : it was " to bring 
" Jacob again to him,"" Isa. xlix. 5. or as the apostle expresses 
it, 1 Pet. iii. 18. " That he might bring us to God." More par- 
ticularly, in order to the sure, and full effecting of this most glori- 
ous design, he was sealed to the offices of a Prophet, Priest, and 
King, that so he might bring about and compass this work. 

1. God sealed him a commission to preach the glad tidings of 
salvation to sinners. This commission Christ opened and read in 
the audience of the people, Luke iv. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. " And 
" when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was 
" written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath 
" anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me 
" to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the cap- 
" tives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty 
" them that are bruised ; to preach the acceptable year of the 
" Lord. And he closed the book, <Sfc. And he began to say un- 
" to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. ,,, 

2. He also sealed him to the priesthood, and that the most ex- 
cellent ; authorizing him to execute both the parts of it, viz. ob- 
latory and intercessory. He called him to offer up himself a sacrifice 

* That there can be no other tiling inferred from this expression of the apostle, 
but this, that Christ was called to the office of Mediator, by him whose Son he was. 
Cameron's Myrotheca, p. 317. 



for us. * I have power (saith he) to lay down my life; this 
" commandment have I received of my Father,"" John x. 18. 
And upon that account, his offering up of his blood is, by the 
apostle, stiled an act of obedience, as it is, Phil. ii. 8. " He became 
f* obedient unto death." He also called him to intercede for us ; 
Heb. vii. 21, 24, 25. " These priests were made without an oath ; 
" but this with an oath ; by him that said unto him, The Lord 
u sware, and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever :" because 
his sacrifice is virtually continued, in his living for ever to make 
intercession, as it is, verse 24. Yea, 

3. He called him to his regal office ; he was set upon the high- 
est throne of authority by his Father's commission, as it is, Matth. 
xxviii. 18. " All power in heaven and earth is given to me." To 
all this was Christ sealed and authorized by his Father. 

Secondly ', What doth the Father's sealing of Christ to this work 
and office imply ? There are divers things implied in it : As, 

1. The validity and efficacy of all his mediatory acts. For, by 
virtue of this his sealing whatever he did was fully ratified. And 
in this very thing lies much of a believer s comfort and security ; 
forasmuch as all acts done without commission and authority (how 
great, or able soever the person that doth them is, yet) are in them- 
selves null and void. But what is done by commission and autho- 
rity, is authentic, and most allowable among men. Had Christ 
come from heaven, and entered upon his mediatory work without 
a due call, our faith had been stumbled at the very threshold ; but 
this greatly satisfies. 

2. It imports the great obligation lying upon Jesus Christ to be 
faithful in the work he was sealed to: for, the Father, in this 
commission, devolves a great trust upon him, and relies upon him 
for his most faithful discharge thereof. And, indeed, upon this 
very account Christ reckons himself specially obliged to pursue the 
Father's design and end, John ix. 4. " I must work the works of 
" him that sent me." And John v. 30. H I seek not mine own 
" will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." Still his 
eye is upon that work and will of his Father. And he reckons 
himself under a necessity of punctual and precise obedience to it; 
and, as a faithful servant, will have his own will swallowed up in 
his Father's will. 

3. It imports Christ's complete qualification, or instrumental 
fitness to serve the Father's design and end of our recovery. Had 
not God known him to be every way fit, and qualified for the 
work, he would never have sealed him a commission for it. Men 
may, but God will not seal an unfit, or incapable person, for his 
work. And, indeed, whatever is desirable in a servant, was emi- 
nently found in Christ : for faithfulness, none like him. Moses 


indeed was faithful to a pin, but still as a servant : but Christ as a 
Son, Heb. iii. £. He is the faithful and true witness, Rev. i. 5. 
For zeal, none like him. The zeal of God's house did eat him up, 
Jphn ii. 16, 17. He was so intent upon his Fathers works that he 
forgot to eat bread, counting his work his meat and drink, John 
iv. 32. Yea, and love to his Father carried him on through all his 
work, and made him delight in the hardest piece of his service ; 
for he served him as a Son, Heb. iii. 5, 6. All that ever he did was 
(lone in love. For zvisdom, none like him. The Father knew him 
to be most wise, and said of him before he was employed, " Be- 
" hold my servant shall deal prudently," Isa. Iii. 13. To conclude, 
for self-denial, never any like him ; he sought not his own glory, 
but the glory of him that sent him, John viii. 50. Ha I he not 
been thus faithful, zealous, full of love, prudent, and self-denying, 
he had never been employed in this great affair. 

4. It implies Christ's sole authority in the church, to appoint 
and enjoin what he pleaseth ; and this is his peculiar prerogative. 
For, the "commission God sealed him in the text, is a single, not 
a joint commission ; he hath sealed him, and none beside him. 
Indeed there were some that pretended a call and commission from 
God; but all that were before him were thieves and robbers,* 
that came not in at the door, as he did, John x. 8. And he him- 
self foretels, that after him some should arise, and labour to de- 
ceive the world with a feigned commission, and a counterfeit seal, 
Matth. xxiv. 24. " There shall arise false Christs, and false pro- 
" phets, and shall shew great signs and wonders : insomuch, that 
" if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect." But 
God never commissioned any besides him, neither is there any 
other name under heaven, Acts iv. 12. Thus you see how the 
validity of his acts, his obligation to be faithful, his complete qua- 
lifications, and sole authority in the church, are imported in 
his sealing. 

Thirdly, Let us enquire how God the Father sealed Jesus Christ 
to this work, and we shall find that he was sealed by four acts of 
the Father. 

1. By solemn designation to this work. He singled him out and 
set him apart for it: and therefore the prophet Isaiah, chap. xlii. 1. 
calls him God's elect, f And the apostle Peter, 1 Pet. ii. 4. Chosen 
of' God. This word which we render Elect,% doth not only signify 

* All that came before me (that is, whom I did not send, but who fan unsent, 
giving themselves out for the Messiah) are thieves and robbers; after their guile- 
ful manner, they "have contrived certain false doors to heaven, by which they h^ve 
thrown men down headlong into the abyss of everlasting misery. JJkhricus. 

| TTfi Elect, i. e. choice, surpassing, ... tell .- . 

j »fce the Jjutc/i annotations on tuis place. 



one that in himself is eximious, worthy, and excellent, but also 
one that is set apart and designed, as Christ was, for the work of 
mediation. And so much is included in John x. 36. where the 
Father is said to sanctify him, i. e. to separate, and devote him to 
this service. 

2. He was sealed, not only by solemn designation, but also super* 
eminent and unparalleled sanct'ification. He was anointed, as well 
as appointed to it. The Lord filled him with the Spirit, and that 
without measure, to qualify him for this service. So Isa. lxi, 1, % 
3. " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anoint- 
ed me to preach ," &c. Yea, the Spirit of the Lord was not only 
upon him, but he was full of the Spirit, Luke iv. 1. and so full 
as was never any beside him ; for God M anointed him with the oil 
of gladness, above his fellows," Psalm xlv. 7. Believers are his 
fellows, or co-partners of this Spirit:* they have an anointing 
also, but not as Christ had ; ■)■ in him it dwelt in its fulness, in theni 
according to measure. It was poured out on Christ, our Head, 
abundantly, and ran down to the hem of his garment. " God gave 
# not the Spirit to him by measure," John iii. 34, God filled 
Christ's human nature, to the utmost capacity, with all fulness of 
the Spirit of knowledge, wisdom, love, Sfc. beyond all creatures, 
for the plenary and more effectual administration of his mediator- 
ship : he was full extensively r , with all kinds of grace ; and full 
intensively, with all degrees of grace. " It pleased the Father 
" that in him should all fulness dwell, Col. i. 19. as light in the 
sun, or water in a fountain, that he might not only fill all things, 
as the apostle speaks, Eph. i. 22. but that he might be prompt, ex- 
pedite, and every way fit to discharge his own work, which was 
the next and immediate end of it : so that the holy oil that was 
poured out upon the head of kings and priests, whereby they were 
consecrated to their offices, was but typical of the Spirit, by which 
Christ was consecrated, or sealed, to his offices \. 

3. Christ was sealed by the Father's immediate testimony from 
heaven, whereby he was declared to be the person whom the Father 
had solemnly designed and appointed to this work. And God gave 
this extraordinary testimony of him at two remarkable seasons ; the 
one was just at his entrance on his public ministry, Mat. iii. ult. the 

* From Christ come the name Christians, which is as much as to say, Partakers 
of an holy unction : True Christians have not merely the name without the thing ; 
but they who are called by the name of Christians have the anointing which the 
name imports. Glass. 

f These gifts, considered absolutely, and in themselves, were finite ; even as the 
human nature of Christ itself was finite; yet in respect of us, they were indeed with- 
out measure. Dr. Alt. Explication of the Catechism. Part II. p. 170. 

| Exod, xxx. 23, 24, 25, 50, 31, 32. 


other but a little before his sufferings, Matth. xvii. 5. This voice 
was not formed by such organs and instruments of speech, as ours 
are, but by creating a voice in the air * which the people heard sound- 
ing therein : by this God owned, approved, and as by a seal rati- 
fied his work. 

4. Christ was sealed by the Father, in all those extraordinary 
miraculous works wrought by him, in which the Father gave yet 
more full and convincing testimonies to the world, that this was he 
whom he had appointed to be our Mediator. These were convic- 
tive to the world, that God had sent him, and that his doctrine was of 
God. " God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost 
" and power, who went about doing good, and healing all that 
" were oppressed of the devil ; for God was with him," Acts x. 38. 
And so, John v. 36. " I have a greater witness than that of John ; 
" for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same 
" works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent 
" me." Therefore he still referred those that doubted of him, or 
of his doctrine, to the seal of his Father, even the miraculous works 
he wrought in the power of God, Matth. xi. 3, 4, 5. And thus 
the Father sealed him. 

Fourthly and lastly, We will enquire why it was necessary Christ 
should be sealed by his Father to this work : and there are these 
three weighty reasons for it. 

1. Else he had not corresponded with the types which prefigured 
liim, and in him it teas necessary that they should be all accomplished. 
You know, under the Law, the kings and high priests had their 
inaugurations by solemn unctions ; in all which this consecration, or 
sealing of Christ to his work, was shadowed out : and therefore you 
shall find, Heb. v. 4, 5. " No man taketh this honour to himself, 
" but he that is called of God, as was Aaron :" so also (mark the 
necessary correspondency betwixt Christ and them) " Christ glori- 
" fied not himself to be made an High Priest ; but he that said 
" unto him, Thou art my Son." 

2. Moreover, hereby the hearts of believers are the more engaged 
to love the Father, inasmuch as it appears hereby that the Fathers 
love, and good will to them, was the original and spring of' their re- 
demption. For had not the Father sealed him such a commission, 
he had not come ; but now he comes in the Father's name, and in the 
Father's love, as well as his name ; and so all men are bound to as- 
scribe equal glory and honour to them both, as it is, John v. 23. 

3. And especially Christ would not come without a commis- 
sion, because, else you had no ground for your faith- in him. How 
should we have been satisfied that this is indeed the true Messiah, 

* Caryl on Job i, 7. 


except he had opened his commission to the world, and shewed his 
Father's seal annexed to it ? If he had come without his credentials 
from heaven, and only told the world that God had sent him, 
and that they must take his bare word for it, who could have rest- 
ed his faith on that testimony ? And that is the true meaning of 
that place, John v. 31. " If I bear witness of myself, my witness 
" is not true.'" How so ? You will say, doth not that contradict 
what he saith, John viii. 14. " Though I bear record of myself, yet 
■" my record is true." Therefore you must understand truth, not 
as it is opposed to reality ; but the meaning is, if I had only given 
you my bare word for it, and not brought other evidence from 
my Father, my testimony had not been authentic and valid, ac- 
cording to human laws ; but now all doubtings are precluded. 
Let us next improve this. 

Inf. 1. Hence we infer the unreasonableness of infidelity, and how 
little rejecters of Christ can have to pretend for their so doing. 
You see he hath opened his commission in the gospel, shewn the 
world his Father s hand and seal to it, given as ample satisfaction 
as reason itself could desire, or expect ; yet even his own received 
him not, John i. 11. And he knew it before-hand, and therefore 
complained by the prophet, Isa. liii. 1. " Who hath believed our 
report r" kc. Yea, and that he is believed on in the world, is by 
the apostle put among the great mysteries of godliness, 1 Tim. hi. 
16. A man that well considers with what convincing evidence 
Christ comes, would rather think it a mystery, that any should not 
believe. But, Oh the brutish obstinacy, and devilish enmity, that 
is in nature to Jesus Christ ! Devilish did I say ? You must give 
me that word again, for he compelled the devil's assent ; " We 
" know thee, whom thou art. 1 ' And it is equally as wonderful 
to see the facility that is in nature to comply (meanwhile) with any, 
even the most foolish imposture. Let a false Christ arise, and he 
shall deceive many, as it is, Matth. xxiv. 24. Of this Christ com- 
plains, and not without great reason, John v. 43, " I am come in 
" my Father's name* and ye receive me not : If another come in 
" his own name, him will ye receive," q. d. You are incredulous 
to none but me : every deceiver, every pitiful cheat, that hath but 
wit, or rather wickedness, enough to tell you the Lord hath sent 
him, though you must take his own single word for it, he shall 
obtain and get disciples ; but though \ come in my Father's name, 
i. e. shewing you a commission signed and sealed by him, doing 
those works which none but a God can do, yet ye receive me not. 
But in all this, we must adore the justice of God, permitting it to 
be so, giving men up to such unreasonable obstinacy and hardness. 
It is a sore plague that lies upon the world, and a wonder that we, 
all are not ingulphed in the same infidelity. 

Inf. % If Christ was sealed to his work by his Father, then liow 


great is the sin of those that reject and despise such as are sent and 
sealed by Jesus Christ ? For look, as he came to us in his Father's 
name, so he hath sent forth, by the same authority, ministers in his 
name ; * and as he acts in his Father's, so they in his, authority. 
" As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent 
* them into the world," John xvii. 18. And so, John xx. 21. " As 
u my Father hath sent me, so have I sent you.'' You may think 
it a small matter to despise or reject a minister of Christ, (a sin, in 
the guilt whereof, I think no age hath been plunged deeper than 
this ;) but hear, and let it be a warning to you for ever : in so doing 
you despise, and put the slight both upon the Father that sent Je- 
sus, and upon Christ that sent them : so that it is a rebellion, that 
however it seems to begin low in some small piques against their 
persons, or some little quarrels at their parts and utterance, tones, 
methods or gestures ; yet it runs high, even to the fountain-head of 
the most supreme authority. You that set yourselves against a 
minister of Christ, set yourselves against God the Father, and God 
the Son ; Luke x. 16. " He that heareth you, heareth me ; and he 
K that despiseth you, despiseth me ; and he that despiseth me, de- 
" spiseth him that sent me" God expects that you behave your- 
selves, under the word spoken by us, as if he himself spake it ; yea, 
he expects submission to his word in the mouths of his ministers 
from the greatest on earth. And therefore it was that God so se- 
verely punished Zedekiah, " because he humbled not himself before 
" Jeremiah the prophet, speaking from the mouth of the Lord," 
& Chron. xxxvi. 12. God was angry with a great king for not 
fumbling himself before a poor prophet. Yet here you must dis- 
tinguish both of Persons, and of Acts, f This reverence and sub- 
mission is not due to them as men, but as men in office, as Christ's 
ambassadors ; and must involve that respect still in it. Again, we 
owe it not to them, commanding or forbidding in their own names, 
but in Christ's, not in venting their own spleen, but the terrors of 
the Lord ; and then to resist is a high rebellion and affront to the 
sovereign authority of heaven. And, by the way, this may instruct 
ministers, that the way to maintain that veneration and respect that 
is due to them, in the consciences of their hearers, is by keeping 
close to their commission. 

* This form of the mission of the Apostles by Christ, evidently enough shews the 
dignity of their office, in their authority and power, which was supreme and incompa* 
rable. Cameron. 

f As if a master of a family should first prescribe to his servant what he should order 
to be done in the family, and then should say, Whoso heareth you, heareth me ; it 
would not thence follow, that it is impossible for that servant to depart from what his 
Master had prescribed to himj or whenever he should do so, he should be obeyed. 
Cameron, Myroth. p. 130. 


Inf. 3. Hence also we infer, how great an evil it is to intrude 
into the office of the ministry without a due call. It is more than 
Christ himself would do ; he glorified not himself: the honours and 
advantages attending that office, have invited many, to run before 
they were sent But surely this is an insufferable violation of Christ's 
order. Our age hath abounded with as many church-levellers as 
state-levellers. I wish the ministers of Christ might at last see and 
consider, what they were once warned of by a faithful watchman : 

• I believe (saith he *) God hath permitted so many to intrude into 

* the ministers 1 calling, because ministers have too much meddled 
c with, and intruded into other men's callings.' 

Inf. 4. Hence be convinced of the great efficacy that is in all gos~ 
pel ordinances duly administered : For Christ having received full 
commission from his Father, and by virtue thereof having instituted 
and appointed these ordinances in the church, all the power in hea- 
ven is engaged to make them good, to back and second them, to 
confirm and ratify them. Hence, in the censures of the church, you 
have that great expression, Matth. xviii. 18. " Whatsoever ye bind 
" or loose on earth, shall be bound or loosed in heaven." And so, 
for the word and sacraments, Matth. xxviii. 18, 19, 20. %< All power 
" in heaven and earth is given unto me : Go therefore, fyc. They 
are not the appointments of men ; your faith stands not in the wis- 
dom of men, but in the power of God. That very power, God 
the Father committed to Christ, is the fountain whence all gospel 
institutions flow. And he hath promised to be with his officers, 
not onlv the extraordinary officers of that age, but with his mi- 
nisters, in succeeding ages, to the end of the world. O therefore, 
when we come to an ordinance, come not with slight thoughts, but 
with great reverence, and great expectations, remembering Christ is 
there to make all good. 

Inf. 5. Again, here you have another call to admire the grace and 
love, both of the Father and Son to your souls : It is not lawful to com- 
pare them, but it is duty to admire them. Was it not wonderful 
grace in the Father to seal a commission for the death of his Son, 
for the humbling him as low as hell, and in that method to save 
vou. when you might have expected he should have sealed your 
'Mittimus for hell, rather than a commission for your salvation ? 
he might rather have set his irreversible seal to the sentence of 
your damnation, than to a commission for his Son's humiliation 
for you. And no less is the love of Christ to be wondered at, 
that would accept such a commission, as this for us, and receive 
this seal, understanding fully (as he did) what were the contents 

* Mr. Strong. 


of that commission, that the Father delivered him thus sealed^ and 
knowing that there could be no reversing of it afterwards. 

O then, love the Lord Jesus, all ye his saints, for still you see 
more and more of his love breaking out upon you. I commend 
to you a sealed Saviour this day ; O that every one that reads these 
lines might, in a pang of love, cry out with the enamoured spouse, 
Cant. viii. 6. " Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy 
" arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; 
" the coals thereof are coals of fire, which have a most vehement 
" flame." 

Inf. 6. Once more ; Hath God sealed Christ for you ? Then 
draw forth the comfort of his sealing for you, and be restless till yc 
also be sealed by him. 

1. Draw out the comfort of Christ's sealing for you. Remem- 
ber that hereby God stands engaged, even by his own seal, to al- 
low and confirm whatever Christ hath done in the business of our 
salvation. And on this ground you may thus plead with God : 
Lord, thou hast sealed Christ to this office, and therefore I depend 
upon it, that thou allowest all that he hath done, and all that he 
hath suffered for me, and wilt make good all that he hath pro- 
mised me. If men will not deny their own seals, much less wilt 

2. Get your interest in Christ sealed to you by the Spirit, else 
you cannot have the comfort of Christ's being sealed for you. 
Now the Spirit seals two ways, Objectively and Effectually ; the first 
is by working those graces in us, which are the conditions of the 
promises : the latter is by shining upon his own work, and help- 
ing the soul to discern it, which follows the other, both in order 
of nature, and of time. And these sealings of the Spirit are to be 
distinguished, both ex parte subjecti, or the quality of the person 
sealed, which always is a believer, Eph. i. 13. for there can be 
no reflex, till there have been a direct Act of faith ; and ex parte 
materia?, by the matter of which that comfort is made : which if 
it be of the Spirit, is ever consonant to the written word, Isa. viii. 
20. And partly ab effectis, by its effects : for it commonly pro- 
duces in the sealed soul, great care and caution to avoid sin, Eph. 
iv. 30. Great love to God, John xiv. 22. Readiness to suffer any 
thing for Christ, Rom. v. 3, 4, 5. Confidence in addresses to 
God, 1 John v. 13, 14. and great humility and self-abasement; 
as in Abraham, who lay on his face when God sealed the covenant 
to him, Gen. xvii. 1, 2, 3. This, O this brings home the sweet 
and good of all, when this seal is super-added to that. 



Of the Solemn Conseckation of the Mediator. 

John xvii. 19. 
And for their sokes I sanctify myself. 

tiESUS Christ being fitted with a body, and authorized by 
a commission, now actually devotes, and sets himself apart to his 
work. In the former sermon you heard what the Father did ; in 
this you shall hear what the Son hath done towards the farther ad- 
vancement of that glorious design of our salvation : He sanctified 
himself for our sokes. Wherein observe, (1.) Christ's sanctifying of 
himself. (2.) The end or design of his so doing. 

1. You have Christ's sanctifying of himself. The word ayia?w 
is not here to be understood for the cleansing, purifying, or making 
holy that which Was before unclean and unholy, either in a moral 
sense, as we are cleansed from sin by sanctification ; or in a cere- 
monial sense, as persons and things were sanctified under the law ; 
though here is a plain allusion to those legal rites ; But Christ's 
sanctifying himself, imports, (1.) His separation, or setting apart to 
be an oblation or sacrifice. So Beza, nempe ut sacerdos et victima, 
as the priest and sacrifice. I sanctify myself, imports, (2.) His con- 
secration, or dedication qf himself to this Jtoly use and service.* So 
the Dutch Annotations, I sanctify myself, (i. e.) / give up myself 

for a holy sacrifice. And so our English Annotations, / sanctify, 
(i. e.) I consecrate and voluntarily offer myself a holy and un- 
blemished sacrifice to thee for their redemption. And thus Undef 
the Law, when any day, person, or vessel, was consecrated and de- 
dicated to the Lord, it was so entirely for his use and sendee, that 
to use it afterward in any common service, was to profane and pol- 
lute it, as you see Dan. v. 3. 

2. The end of his so sanctifying himself \for their sokes, and 
that they might be sanctified^'] where you have the Finis cujus, 
the end for whom, for their (i. e.) for the elect's sake, for them 
whom thou gavest me ; and the Finis cm, the end for which, that 
they might be sanctified. Where you also see that the death of 
Christ wholly respects us ; he offered not for himself as other 
priests did, but for us, that we may be sanctified. Christ is so in 

* To sanctify, is to separate or set apart for divine uses. Brentius on this place. 

f The meaning then is this, I sanctify myself, i. e. for their sakes I die, that they by my 
death may be filled with the Spirit of holiness, and may become holy vessels of God, bjr 
the Spirit of <?od revealed. Marlorat, on this place. 


love with holiness, that at the price of his blood he will buy it for 
us. Hence the observation is ; 

Doct. That Jesus Christ did dedicate, and wholly set himself 
apart to the work of a Mediator, for the elect's sake* 

This point is a glass, wherein the eye of your faith may see Jesus 
Christ preparing himself to be offered up to God for us, fitting him- 
self to die. And to keep a clear method, I shall open these two 
tilings, in the doctrinal part; First, what his sanctifying himself 
implies : Secondly, How it respects us. 

First, What is implied in this phrase, " I sanctify myself,* 
And there are seven things carried in it. 

1. This phrase [" I sanctify myself"] implies the personal union 
of the two natures in Christ ; for what is that which he here calls 
himself, but the same that was consecrated to be a sacrifice, even 
his human nature ? This was the sacrifice. And this also was 
himself: So the apostle speaks, Heb. ix. 14. " He through the 
" eternal Spirit, offered up himself to God, without spot." So 
that our nature, by that assumption, is become himself. Greater 
honour cannot be done it, or greater ground of comfort proposed to 
us. But having spoken of that union in the former sermon, shall 
remit the reader thither. 

2. This sanctifying, or consecrating himself to be a sacrifice for 
us, implies, the greatness and dreaqfulness of that breach which sin, 
made betwixt God and us. You see no less a sacrifice than Christ 
himself must be sanctified to make atonement. Judge of the 
greatness of the wound by the breadth of the plaister. " Sacrifice 
" and offering, and burnt-offering for sin, thou wouldest not ; but 
" a body hast thou prepared me," Heb. x. 5. All our repent- 
ance, could we shed as many tears for sin, as there have fallen 
drops of rain since the creation, could not have been our atone- 
ment : " But God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself" 
And had he not sanctified Christ to this end, he would have sanc- 
tified himself upon us, in judgment and fury for ever. 

3. This his sanctifying himself, implies his free and voluntary un- 
dertaking of the work. It is not, / am sanctified, as if he had been 
merely passive in it, as the lambs that typed him out were, when 
pluckt from the fold ; but it is an active verb he useth here, * / 
sanctify myself; he would have none think that he died out of a 
necessity of compulsion, but out of choice: therefore he is said 
to " offer up himself to God, Heb. x. 14. And John ix. 18. 

'Eyw aytafy) spavrov. 


" I lay down my life of myself; no man taketh it from me." 
And although it is often said his Father sent him, and gave him ; 
yet his heart was as much set on that work, as if there had been 
nothing but glory, ease, and comfort in it ; he was under no con- 
straint, but that of his own love. Therefore, as when the scrip- 
ture would set forth the willingness of the Father to this work, it 
saith, God sent his Son, and God gave his Son: so when it would 
set forth Christ's willingness to it, it saith, he offered up himself 
gave himself, and, here in the text, sanctified himself. The sacri- 
fice that struggled, and came not without force to the altar, was 
reckoned ominous and unlucky by the Heathen: our Sacrifice 
dedicated himself; he died out of choice, and was a free-will 

4. His sanctifying himself implies his pure and perfect holiness ; 
that he had no spot or blemish in him. Those beasts that prefigured 
him, were to be without blemish, and none else were consecrated 
to that service. So, and more than so, it behoved Christ to be, 
Heb. vii. 26. " Such an High-Priest became us, who is holy, 
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners :" And what it became 
him to be, he was. Therefore in allusion to the lambs offered 
under the law, the apostle calls him a Lamb without blemish, or spot, 
1 Pet. i. 19. Every other man hath a double spot on him, the 
heart-spot, and the life-spot; the spot of original, and the spots 
of actual sins. But Christ was without either, he had not the spot 
of original sin, for he was not by man ; he came in a peculiar way 
into the world, and so escaped that : nor yet of actual sins ; for, 
as his nature, so his life was spotless and pure, Isa. liii. 9. " He 
" did no iniquity." And though tempted to sin externally, yet 
he was never defiled in heart or practice ; he came as near as he 
could for our sakes, yet still without sin, Heb. iv. 15. If he sanc- 
tifies himself for a sacrifice, he must be as the law required, pure 
and spotless. 

5. His sanctifying himself for our sakes, speaks the strength of his 
love, and largeness of his heart to poor sinners, thus to set himself 
wholly and entirely apart for us : so that what he did and suffered, 
must all of it have a respect and relation to us. He did not (when 
consecrated for us) live a moment, do an act, or speak a word, but it 
had some tendency to promote the great design of our salvation. 
He was only and wholly, and always doing your work, when con- 
secrated for your sakes. His incarnation respects you ; Isa. ix. 6. 
" For to us a child is born, to us a son is given." And he would 
never have been the son of man, but to make you the sons and 
daughters of God. God would not have come down in the like- 
ness of sinful flesh, in the habit of a man, but to raise up sinful 
man unto the likeness of God. Ail the miracles he wrought 


were for you, to confirm your faith. When he raised up Laza- 
rus, John xi. 42. " Because of the people which stand by, I said 
" it, that they might believe that thou hadst sent me." While 
he lived on earth, he lived as one wholly set apart for us : and 
when he died, he died for us, Gal. iii. 13. " he was made a curse 
*' for us."" When he hanged on that cursed tree, he hanged 
there in our room, and did but fill our place- When he was 
buried, he was buried for us : for the end of it was, to perfume 
our graves, against we come to lie down in them. And when he 
rose again, it was, as the apostle saith, " for our justification,'* 
Rom. iv. 25. When he ascended into glory, he protested it was 
about our business, that lie went to prepare places for us : and if it 
had not been so, he would have told us, John xiv. 2. And now 
he is there, it is for us that he there lives ; for he " ever lives to 
11 make intercession for us," Heb. vii. 25. And when he shall 
return again to judge the world, he will come for us too. " He 
" comes (whenever it be) to be glorified in his saints, and ad- 
mired in them that believe," 2 Thess. i. 10. He comes to gather 
his saints home to himself, that where he is, there they all may be 
in soul and body with him for ever. Thus you see how, as his 
consecration for us doth speak him set apart for our use ; so he did 
wholly bestow himself, time, life, death, and all upon us ; living 
and dying for no other end, but to accomplish this great work of 
ssalvation for us. 

6. His sanctifying himself for us plainly speaks the vicegerency of 
his death, that it was in our room or stead. When the priest con- 
secrated the sacrifice, it was set apart for the people. So it is said 
of the scape-goat ; " And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon 
" the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities 
" of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their 
" sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send 
" him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness," Levit. 
xvi. 21. Thus Isa. liii. 6, 7. He stood in our room, to bear our 
burden. And as Aaron laid the iniquities of the people upon the 
goat, so were ours laid on Christ ; it was said to him in that day, 
On thee be their pride, their unbelief, their hardness of heart, 
their vain thoughts, their earthly-mindedness, §c. Thou art 
consecrated for them, to be the sacrifice in their room. His death 
was in our stead, as well as for our good. And so much his sanc- 
tifying himself [for us] imports. 

7. His sanctifying himself, imports the eoctraor dinar iness of his 
person : for it speaks him to be both Priest, Sacrifice, and Altar, all 
in one : a thing unheard of in the world before. So that this name 
might well be called Wonderful. I sanctify myself: I sanctify, ac- 
cording to both natures; myself, i. e. my human nature, which was 

Vol. I. G 


the sacrifice upon the altar of my divine nature ; for it is the altar 
that sanctifies the gift. As the three offices never met in one person 
before, so these three things never met in one priest before. The 
priests indeed consecrated the bodies of beasts for sacrifices, but 
never offered up their own souls and bodies as a whole burnt-of- 
fering, as Christ did. And thus you have the import of this 
phrase, / sanctify myself for their sokes. 

Secondly, I shall shew you briefly the habitude and respect that 
all this hath to us ; for unto us the scriptures every where refer it. 
So in 1 Cor. v. 7. " Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." 
Eph, v. 2. " He loved the church, and gave himself for it." See 
Tit. ii. 14. This will be made out, by a threefold consideration of 
Christ's death. And, 

1. Let it be considered, that he was not offered up to God for 
his own sins ; for he was most holy. Isa. liii. 9. No iniquity was 
found in him. Indeed, the priests under the law offered for them- 
selves, as well as the people ; but Christ did not so, Heb. vii. 27. 
" He needed not daily, as those High-priests, to offer up sacrifice, 
u first for his own sins, and then for the people's." And indeed 
had he been a sinner, what value or efficacy could have been in 
his sacrifice ? He could not have been the sacrifice, but would 
have needed one. Now, if Christ were most holy, and yet put to 
death, and cruel sufferings, either his death or sufferings must be 
an act of injustice and cruelty, or it must respect others, whose per- 
sons and cause he sustained in that suffering capacity. He could 
never have suffered or died by the Father's hand, had he not been 
a sinner by imputation. And in that respect, as Luther speaks, 
he was the greatest of sinners ; or, as the prophet Isaiah speaks, 
all our sins were made to meet upon him ; not that he was intrinsi- 
cally, but was made so, so, by imputation, as is clear from 2 Cor. v. 
21. " He was made sin for us, who knew no sin." So that hence 
it is evident, that Christ's death, or sacrifice, is wholly a respective 
or relative thing. 

2. It is not to be forgotten here, that the scriptures frequently 
call the death of Christ a price, 1 Cor. vi. 20. and a ransom, Mat. 
xx. 28. or counterprice *. To whom then doth it relate, but to 
them that were, and are in bondage and captivity ? If it was to 
redeem any, it must be captives : but Christ himself was never in 
captivity ; he was always in his Father's bosom, as you have heard ; 
but we were in cruel bondage and thraldom, under the tyranny 
of sin and Satan : and it is we only that have the benefit of this 

3. Either the death of Christ must relate to believers, or else he 

* A'jtpov, avrfkiflgov, i, e. pretium, pretium ex adverso respondens. 


must die in vain. As for the angels, those that stood in their in^ 
tegrity needed no sacrifice, and those that fell, are totally excluded 
from any benefit by it: he is not a Mediator for them. And 
among men that have need of it, unbelievers have no share in it, 
they reject it ; such have no part in it. If then he neither died 
for himself, as I proved before, nor for angels, nor unbelievers ; 
either his blood must be shed with respect to believers, or, which 
is most absurd, and never to be imagined, shed as water upon the 
ground, and totally cast away ; so that you see by all this, it was 
for our sakes, as the text speaks, that he sanctified himself. And 
now we may say, Lord, the condemnation was thine, that the justi- 
fication might be mine ; the agony thine, that the victory might be 
mine ; the pain was thine, and the ease mine ; the stripes thine, and 
the healing balm issuing from them mine ; the vinegar and gall 
were thine, that the honey and sweet might be mine ; the curse was 
thine, that the blessing might be mine ; the crown of thorns was 
thine, that the crown of glory might be mine ; the death was thine, 
the life purchased by it mine ; thou paidst the price that I might 
enjoy the inheritance. 

We come next to the inferences of truth deducible from this 
point, which follow. 

Inference 1. If Jesus Christ did wholly set himself apart for be- 
lievers, how reasonable is it that believers should consecrate and set 
themselves apart wholly for Christ ? Is he all for us, and shall we 
be nothing for him ? What he was, he was for you ? Whatever he 
did, was done for you ; and all that he suffered, was suffered for you. 
O then, " I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, pre- 
" sent your bodies," i. e. your whole selves, (for so body is there* 
synecdochically put to signify the whole person) I say, present 
" your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which 
" is your reasonable service,'" Rom. xii. 1. As your good was 
Christ's end, so let his glory be your end. Let Christ be the 
" end of your conversation,' 1 Heb. xiii. 7. As Christ could say, 
To me to live is you ; so do you say, " For us to live is Christ," 
Phil. L £1. O that all who profess faith in Christ, could subscribe 
cordially to that profession, Rom. xiv. 8. " None of us liveth tp 
" himself, and no man dieth to himself; but whether we live, we 
" live to the Lord ; and whether we die, we die to the Lord ; 
u so then whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." This is to 
be a Christian indeed. What is a Christian, but an holy dedi- 
cated thing to the Lord ? And what greater evidence can there be, 

* Synedoche Hcbraka^ pr9 vos-met ipsos totos ; i, e. your whole persons. ,SYc P*- 
reus in loc. 




that Christ set himself apart for you, than your setting yourselves 
apart for him ? 

This is the marriage covenant, Hos. iii. 3. " Thou shalt be for 
u me, and not for another ; so will I be for thee.'" Ah, what a 
life is the life of a Christian ; Christ all for you, and you all for 
him. Blessed exchange ! Soul, (saith Christ) all I have is thine, 
Lord, (saith the soul) and all I have is thine. Soul, (saith Christ) 
my person is wonderful, but what I am, I am for thee : my life 
was spent in labour and travail, but lived for thee. And Lord, 
(saith the believer), my person is vile, and not worth thy accept- 
ing ; but such as it is, it is thine ; my soul, with all and every 
faculty ; my body, and every member of it, my gifts, time, and 
all my talents are thine. 

And see that as Christ bequeathed and made over himself to 
*ou, so ye, in like manner, bestow and make over yourselves to 
im. He lived not, neither died (as you hear) for himself, but 
you. O that you, in like manner, would down with self, and 
exalt Christ in the room of it. * Wo, wo is me, (saith one) that 
' the holy profession of Christ is made a shewy garment by many 
4 to bring home a vain fame ; and Christ is made to serve men's 

* ends. This is to stop an oven with a king's robes. Except men 
e martyr and slay the body of sin, in sanctified self-denial, they 
c shall never be Christ's martyrs and faithful witnesses. O if I 
1 could be master of that house-idol, myself, mine own, mine 

* own wit, will, credit, and ease, how blessed were I ! O but we 
4 have need to be redeemed from ourselves, rather than from the 
c devil and the world. Learn to put out yourselves, and to put 
c in Christ for yourselves. I should make a sweet bargain, and 

* give old for new, if I could shuffle out self, and substitute 
' Christ my Lord in place of myself ; to say, not I, but Christ ; 

* not my will, but Chrisfs ; not my ease, not my lusts, not my 

* credit, but Christ, Christ. — O wretched idol, myself, when shall 
« I see thee wholly decourted, and Christ wholly put in thy room ? 
« O if Christ had the full place and room of myself, that all my 

* aims, purposes, thoughts aod desires would coast and land upon 
c Christ, and not upon myself 

He set himself apart for you believers, and no others ; no, not 
for angels, but for you : Will ye also set yourselves apart pecu- 
liarly for Christ ? be his, and no others ? Let not Christ and the 
world share and divide your hearts in two halves betwixt them ; 
let not the world step in and say, half mine. You will never do 
Christ right, nor answer this grace, till you can say, as it is, Psal. 
lxxiii. 9.O. " Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and on earth 
" there is none that I desire in comparison of thee." None but- 
Christ, none but Christ, is a proper motto for a Christian. 


He left the highest and best enjoyments, even those in his Fa- 
ther's bosom, to set himself apart for death and suffering for you : 
Are you ready to leave the bosom of the best and sweetest enjoy- 
ments, you have in this world, to serve him ? If you stand not 
habitually ready to leave father, mother, wife, children, lands, 
yea, and life too, to serve him, you are not worthy of him, Matt, 
x. 37. 

He was so wholly given up to your service, that he refused not 
the worst and hardest part of it, even bleeding, groaning, dying- 
work ; his love to you sweetened all this to him ; Can you say so 
too ; do you " account the reproaches of Christ greater riches 
" than the treasures of Egypt, as Moses did ?" Heb. xi. 26. 

He had so entirely devoted himself to your work, that he could 
not be at rest till it was finished : he was so intent upon it, that he 
" forgot to eat bread," John iv. 31, 32. So it should be with you; 
his service should be meat and drink to you. To conclude : 

He was so wholly given up to your work and service, that he 
would not suffer himself to be in the least diverted, or taken oft* 
from it : and if Peter himself counsel him to favour himself, he 
shall hear, " Get thee behind me, Satan." O happy were it if 
our hearts were but so engaged for Christ ! In Galen's time it was 
proverbial, when they would express the impossibility of a thing, 
You may as soon take off a Christian from Christ. Thus you see 
what use you should make of Christ's sanctifying himself for you. 

Inf. 2. If Christ hath sanctified or consecrated himself for us ; 
learn hence, what a horrid evil it is, to use Christ or his blood, as a 
common and unsanctijied thing. Yet so some do, as the apostle 
speaks, Heb. x. 29. The apostate is said to tread upon the Son 
of God, as if he were no better than the dirt under his feet, and 
to count his blood an unholy (or common) thing. But wo to them 
that do so, they shall be counted worthy of something worse than 
dying without mercy, as the apostle there speaks. 

And as this is the sin of the apostate, so it is also the sin of all 
those that without faith approach, and so profane the table of the 
Lord, unbelievingly and unworthily handling those awful things. 
Such " eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the 
" Lord's body," 1 Cor. xi. 29. Whereas the body of Christ was 
a thing of the deepest sanctification that ever God created ; sancti- 
fied (as the text tells us) to a far more excellent and glorious pur- 
pose than ever any creature in heaven or earth was sanctified. It 
was therefore the great sin of those Corinthians, not to discern it, 
and not to behave themselves towards it, when they saw and 
handled the signs of it, as became so holy a thing. 

And as it was their great sin, so God declared his just indigna- 
tion against it, in those sore strokes inflicted for it. As they dis» 



cerned not the Lord's body, so neither did the Lord discern their 
bodies from others in the judgments that were inflicted. And, as 
one well observes, God drew the model and platform of their pu- 
nishment, from the structure and proportion of their sin. And 
truly, if the moral and spiritual seeds and originals of many of 
our outward afflictions and sicknesses were but duly sifted out, 
possibly we might find a great part of them in the bowels of this 

The just and righteous God will build up the breaches we make 
upon the honour of his Son, with the ruins of that beauty, strength 
and honour which he hath given our bodies. O then, when you 
draw nigh to God in that ordinance, take heed to sanctify his name, 
by a spiritual discerning of this most holy, and most deeply sancti- 
fied body of the Lord ; sanctified beyond all creatures, angels or 
men, not only in respect of the Spirit which filled him, without 
measure with inherent holiness, but also in respect of its dedica- 
tion to such a service as this, it being set apart by him to such 
holy, solemn ends and uses, as you have heard. 

And let it, for ever, be a warning to such as have lifted up 
their hands to Christ in a holy profession, that they never lift up 
their heel against him afterwards by apostasy. The apostate treads 
on God's dear Son, and God will tread upon him for it. " Thou 
" hast trodden down all that err from thy statutes," Psal. cxix. 

Inf. 3. What a choice pattern of love to saints have we here be- 
fore us ! Calling all that are in Christ to an imitation of him, even 
to give up ourselves to their service, as Christ did ; not in the same 
kind, so none can give himself for them, but as we are capable. 
You see here how his heart was affected to them, that he would 
sanctify himself as a sacrifice for them. See to what a height of 
duty the apostle improves this example of Christ, 1 John iii. 16. 
" Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his 
" life for us; and we ought also to lay down our lives for the 
" brethren.'" Some Christians came up fairly to this pattern in 
primitive times ; Priscilla and Aquila laid down their necks for 
Paul, Rom. xvi. 4. i. e. eminently hazarded their lives for him ; 
and he himself could " rejoice, if he were offered up upon the sa- 
*' crifice and service of their faith,"' 1 Phil. ii. 17. And in the 
next times, what more known, even to the enemies of Christianity, 
than their fervent love one to another ? Ecce quam mutito se di- 
iiguiit, et mori volunt pro alterutris ! See how they love one ano- 
ther, and are willing to die one for another ! 

But alas ! the primitive spirit is almost lost in this degenerate 
age : instead of laying down life, how few will lay down twelve- 
pence for them ? I remember, it is the observation of a late Wor- 


thy, upon Mat. v. 44. That he is persuaded there is hardly that 
man to be found this day alive, that fully understands and fully 
believes that scripture. O, did men think what they do for them, 
is done for Christ himself, it would produce other effects than 
are yet visible. 

Infer. 4. Lastly, If Christ sanctified himself, that we might be 
sanctified by [or in] the truth ; then it will follow, by sound con- 
sequence, That true sanctification is a good evidence that Christ set 
apart himself to die for us. In vain did he sanctify himself (as to 
you) unless you be sanctified.* Holy souls only can claim the be- 
nefit of the great Sacrifice. O try then, whether true holiness 
(and that is only to be judged by its conformity to its pattern, 
1 Pet. i. 15. " As he that called you is holy, so be ye holy") ; whe- 
ther such a holiness as is, and acts (according to its measure) like 
God's holiness, in the following particulars, be found in you. 

1. God is universally holy in all his ways ; so Psal. cxlv. IT. 
" His works are all holy :* whatever he doth, it is still done as 
becomes a holy God : he is not only holy in all things, but at all 
times unchangeably holy. Be ye therefore holy in all things and 
at all times too, if ever you expect the benefit of Christ's sanctify- 
ing himself to die for you. 

O brethren, let not the feet of your conversation be as the feet 
of a lame man, which are unequal, Prov. xx. 7. Be not some- 
times hot, and sometimes cold ; at one time careful, at another 
time careless ; one day in a spiritual rapture, and the next in a 
fleshly frolic : but be ye holy sv >aa<sri amgpopri, 1 Pet. i. 15. " in all 
"manner of conversation," in every creek and turning of your 
lives : and let your holiness hold out to the end. " Let him that 
" is holy, be holy still,? Rev. xxi. 11. Not like the hypocrite's 
paint, but as a true natural complection. 

2. God is eocemplarily holy, Jesus Christ is the great pattern of 
holiness. Be ye examples of holiness too, unto all that are about 
you. " Let your light so shine before men, that they may see 
" your good works," Matth. v. 16. As wicked men infect one 
another by their examples, and diffuse their poison and malignity, 
wherever they come ; so do ye disseminate godliness in all places 
and companies ; and let those that frequently converse with you, 
especially those of your own families, receive a deeper dye and 
tincture of heavenliness every time they come nigh you, as the 
cloth doth by every new dipping into the vat. 

* Nor did Christ so sanctify himself for us, that we should continue to be wick- 
ed, and strangers to the communion of the Spirit, and his sanctifying influences. 
Whosoever are void of this, in vain promise themselves intercourse with Chris k 
Muse, on this place. 



8. God delights in nothing- but holiness, and holy ones ; he hath 
set all his pleasure in the saints. Be ye holy herein, as God is 
holy. Indeed, there is this difference betwixt God's choice and 
yours ; he chuses not men, because they are holy, but that they 
may be so ; so you are to chuse them for your delightful compa- 
nions, that God hath chosen and made holy. " Let all your de- 
" lights be in the saints, even them that excel in virtue," Psal. 
xvi. 3. 

4. God abhors and hates all unlioliness ; do ye so likewise that 
ye may be like your Father which is in heaven. And when the 
spirit of holiness runs down this upon you, a sweeter evidence the 
world cannot give, that Christ was sanctified for you. Holy ones 
may confidently lay the hand of their faith on the head of this 
great sacrifice, and say, " Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."'* 

Of the Nature of CHRIST'S Mediation. 

1 Tim. ii. 5. 
And one Mediator betwixt God and Man, the man Christ Jesus. 

fjB'REAT and long preparations bespeak the solemnity and 
greatness of the work for which they are designed ; A man that 
had but seen the heaps of gold, silver and brass, which Da- 
vid amassed in his time, for the building of the temple, might 
easily conclude before one stone of it was laid, that it would be a 
magnificent structure. But lo, here is a design of God as far 
transcending that, as the substance doth the shadow. For, in- 
deed, that glorious temple was but the type and figure of Jesus 
Christ, John ii. 19, 21. and a weak adumbration of that living, 
spiritual temple which he was to build, cementing the lively stones 
thereof together with his own blood, 1 Pet. ii. 5, 6. that the 
great God might dwell and walk in it, 2 Cor. vi. 16. The pre- 
parations for that temple were but of few years, but the consul- 
tations and preparations for this were from eternity, Prov, viii. 31. 
And as there were preparations for this work (which Christ dis- 
patched in a few years) before the world began ; so it will be mat- 
ter of eternal admiration and praise, when this world shall be dis- 
solved. What this astonishing glorious work is, this text will in- 
form you, as to the general nature of it : it is the work of media- 


tion betwixt God and man, managed by the sole hand of the man 
Christ Jesus*. 

In this scripture (for I shall not spend time to examine the 
words in their contexture) you have a description of Jesus the Me- 
diator : and he is here described four ways, viz. by his work or 
office, a Mediator ; by the singularity of his mediation, one Medi- 
ator ; and by the nature and quality of his person, employed in 
this singular way of mediation, the man ; and lastly, his name 
Jesus Christ. 

1. He is described by the work, or office he is employed a- 
bout Mstf/nj;, a Mediator, a middle person. So the word imports 
a fit, indifferent, and equal person, that comes between two per- 
sons that are at variance, to compose the difference and make 
peace. Such a middle, equal, indifferent person is Christ ; a 
day's man, to lay his hand upon both ; to arbitrate and award justly 
and give God his due, and that without ruin to poor man. 

2. He is described by the singularity of his mediation, one 
Mediator, and but one. Though there be many mediators of 
reconciliation among men, and many intercessors in a petitionary 
way, betwixt God and man ; yet but sig Ifcrmg, one only media- 
tor of reconciliation betwixt God and man : and it is as needless 
and impious to make more mediators than one, as to make more 
God.s than one. There is one God, and one Mediator betwixt God 
and men. 

He is described by the nature and quality of his person, a/fywroc, 
yjttog, &c. the man Christ Jesus. This description of him by one 
nature, and that the human nature also (wherein, as you shall see 
anon, the Lord especially consulted our encouragement and com- 
fort) ; I say, his being so described to us, hath, through the corrup- 
tion of men, been improved to the great dishonour of Jesus Christ, 
both by the Arians and Papists.-f The former took occasion 
from hence to affirm, that he was but ^iXog av^pwrog, a mere man. 

The latter allow him to be the true God, but on this weak 
ground affirm, that he performed not the work of mediation as 
God, but only as man. Thus what the Spirit ordered for our 
comfort, is wickedly retorted to Christ's dishonour ; for I doubt 
not but he is described by his human nature in this place ; not 
only because in this nature he paid that ransom (which he speaks 
of in the words immediately following) but especially for the 

* God is most holy, Man a lump of iniquity. Extremes meet not but by their 
middle ; sinful man can never have communion with, or enjoyment of God, but in, 
and by a Mediator. 

f Wherefore, think ye, has he added the term, man: but to express that na- 
ture, whereby Christ is mediator. Bdlarmine on the Mediation of Ckrist t book V. 
chap. 3. vol. 2. 


drawing of sinners to him ; seeing he is the man Christ Jesus, 
one that clothed himself in their own flesh; and to encourage 
the faith of believers, that he tenderly regards all their wants and 
miseries, and that they may safely trust him with all their concerns, 
as one that will carefully mind them as his own, and will be for 
them a merciful and faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to 

4. He is described by his names ; by his appellative name Christ, 
and his proper name Jesus. The name Jesus, notes his work about 
which he came ; and Christ, the offices to which he was anointed ; 
and in the execution of which he is our Jesus *. " In the name 
" Jesus, the whole gospel is contained, it is the light, the food, 
" the medicine of the soul," as one speaks. The note from 
hence is, 

Doct. That Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator betwixt 
God and men. 

" Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant," 
Heb. xii. 24. " And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New 
" Testament," Sfc. Heb. ix. 14. I might shew you a whole 
vein of scriptures running this way ; but to keep a profitable and 
clear method, I shall shew, 

First, What is the sense of this word Metfirjjs, a Mediator, f 

Secondly, What it implies, as it is applied to Christ. 

Thirdly, How it appears that he is the true and only Mediator 
betwixt God and men. 

Fourthly, In what capacity he performed his mediatory work. 

First, What is the sense and import of this word Ms<rirr,c, a Me- 
diator ? The true sense and importance of it, is a middle Person, 
or one that interposes betwixt two parties at variance, to make 
peac? betwixt them. So that as Satan is medium disjungens, a me- 
dium of discord ; so Christ is medium conjungens, a medium of con- 
cord and peace. And he is such a Mediator, both in respect of 
his person and office ; in respect of his person, he is a Mediator ; 
i. e. one that hath the same nature both with God and us, true 
God, and true man ; and in respect of his Office or work, which 
is to interpose, to transact the business of reconciliation between us 

* Ic nomine JESU totum latet Evangelium ; hoc nomen est lux, cibus, et medicina 
aninuE. Glassius. 

f We call one, a Mediator, who interposes either between parties at variance, or 
in some degree only united, so as to reconcile the one, and unite the other more 
strictly by a new covenant. The name of mediator, in its proper signification, is 
ijot tiie name of a substance, but the name of an office or employment ; wherefore, 
the substance and execution of tbe office do not constitute two kinds of mediation, 
but one and the same. Ames, BcUarm, Enerv. lib. V. p. 117. 


and God. The former some call his .substantial, the latter his 
energetical, or operative mediation : Though I rather conceive 
that which is called his substantial mediation, is but the aptitude 
of his person to execute the mediatorial function ; and that it doth 
not constitute two kinds of mediation. His being a middle person, 
fits and capacitates him to stand in the midst betwixt God and us. 
This, I say, is the proper sense of the word ; though Mstirng, a 
Mediator, * is rendered variously ; sometimes an umpire or arbi- 
trator ; sometimes a messenger that goes betwixt two persons ; 
sometimes an interpreter, imparting the mind of one to another ; 
sometimes a reconciler or peace-maker. And in all these senses 
Christ is the Msovrrjc, the middle person in his mediation of recon- 
ciliation or intercession; i. e. either in his mediating, by suffering 
to make peace, as he did on earth ; or to continue, and maintain 
peace, as he doth in heaven, by meritorious intercession. Both 
these ways he is the only Mediator. And he manageth this his 

1. As an umpire or arbitrator -j- ; one that layeth his hands upon 
both parties, as Job speaks, chap. ix. 33. so doth Christ, he lay- 
eth his hands (speaking after the manner of men) upon God, and 
saith, Father, wilt thou be at peace with them, and re-admit them 
into thy favour ? if thou wilt, thou shalt be fully satisfied for all 
that they have done against thee. And then he layeth his hand 
upon man, and saith, Poor sinner, be not discouraged, thou shalt 
be justified and saved. 

% As a messenger or ambassador, so he came to impart the mind 
of God to us, and so he presents our desires to God ; and in this 
#ense only Socinus would allow Christ to be Mediator. But therein 
he endeavours to undermine the foundation, and to exclude him 
from being Mediator by a suretiship ; which is, 

3. The third way of his mediation. So the apostle speaks, 
Heb. vii. he is zyfoog J, the surety, or pledge. Which, as the 
learned David Pareus well expresseth it, is one that engageth to 
satisfy another, or gives caution or security by a pledge in the hand 
for it. And indeed, both these ways, Christ is our mediator by 
suretiship, viz. in a way of satisfaction, coming under our obliga- 
tion to answer the law ; this he did on the cross and in a way of 
caution, a surety for the peace, or good behaviour. But to be more 
explicit and clear, I shall, 

* Christ is called a Mediator, both as he is a middle person, and as he is one who 
mediates ; he is middle in person; he mediates by office. Trelcat. Instit. p. 98. 

T "MiGir^g. An Umpire, Arbitrator, a midsman, a reconciler. 

+ 'E.yFvog is a surety, one that engages for another, by pledge in hand. From 
yvioy, which signifies hand, and tv in, as if it were, ss/ yvtu), in hand; or, as Suidas 
would have it, from yor l} or yce/a the earth which is firm, stable, immoveable. 


Secondly, In the next place enquire, what it implies and carries 
in it, for Christ to be a Mediator betwixt God and us. And there 
are, mainly, these five things in it. 

1. At the first sight, it carries in it a most dreadful breach and 
jar betwixt God and men ; else no need of a Mediator of reconciia- 

tion. There was indeed a sweet league of amity once between them, 
but it was quickly dissolved by sin ; the wrath of the Lord was 
kindled against man, pursuing him to destruction, Psal. v. 5. " Thou 
" hatest all the workers of iniquity ." And man was filled with 
unnatural enmity against his God, Rom. i. 30. dsosvfsig, haters of 
God ; this put an end to all friendly commerce and intercourse be- 
tween him and God. Reader, say not in thy heart, that it is. 
much, that one sin, and that seemingly so small, should make such a 
breach as this, and cause the God of mercy and goodness so to ab- 
hor the works of his hands, and that as soon as he had made man : 
for it was a heinous and aggravated evil. It was upright, perfect 
man, created in the image of God, that thus sinned: he sinned 
when his mind was most bright, clear and apprehensive ; his con- 
science pure and active ; his will free, and able to withstand any 
temptation : his conscience pure and undefiled ; he was a public a? 
well as a perfect man, and well knew that the happiness or misery 
of his numberless offspring was involved in him. 

The condition he was placed in, was exceeding happy : no ne- 
cessity or want could arm and edge temptation : he lived amidst 
all natural and spiritual pleasures and delights, the Lord most de- 
lightfully conversing with him ; yea, he sinned while as yet his 
creation-mercy was fresh upon him ; and in this sin was most hor- 
rible ingratitude : yea, a casting off the yoke of obedience almost 
as soon as God had put it on. God now saw the work of his hands 
spoiled, a race of rebels now to be propagated, who, in their suc- 
cessive generations would be fighting against God : he saw it, and 
his just indignation sparkled against man, and resolves to pursue 
him to the bottom of hell. 

2. It implies, a necessity of satisfaction and reparation to the jus- 
tice of God. For the very design and end of this mediation was to 
make peace, by giving full satisfaction to the party that was wronged. 
The Photinians, and some others, have dreamed of a reconcilia- 
tion with God, founded not upon satisfaction, but upon the ab- 
solute mercy, goodness, and free-will of God. " But concerning 
" that absolute goodness and mercy of God, reconciling sinners to 
" himself, there is a deep silence throughout the scriptures * : n 
and whatever is spoken of it, upon that account, is as it works to 

f Be absoluta enim bonitate f el voiuntate salvandi, scriptura mogis muta est quanx 
piscis. Dietetic, 


us through Christ, Eph. i. 8, 4, 5. Acts iv. 12. John vi. 40. And 
we cannot imagine, either how God could exercise mercy to the 
prejudice of his justice, which must be, if we must be reconciled 
without full satisfaction * ; or how such a full satisfaction should 
be made by any other than Christ. Mercy, indeed, moved in 
the heart of God to poor man ; but from his heart it found no 
way to vent itself for us, but through the heart-blood of JesuS 
Christ: and in him the justice of God was fully satisfied, and the 
misery of the creature fully cured. And so, as -f- Augustine speaks, 
" God neither lost the severity of his justice in the goodness of 
" mercy, nor the goodness of his mercy in the exactness of his 
" seventy ." But if it had been possible God could have found 
out a way to reconcile us without satisfaction, yet it is past doubt 
now, that he hath pitched and fixed on this way. And for any 
now to imagine to reconcile themselves to God by any thing but 
faith in the blood of this Mediator, is not only most vain in itself, 
and destructive to the soul, but most insolently derogatory to tha 
wisdom and grace of God. 

And to such I would say, as J Tertullian to Marcion, whom ha 
calls the murderer of truth, " spare the only hope of the whole 
<w world, O thou who destroyest the most necessary glory of our 
u faith V All that we hope for is but a phantasm without this. 
Peace of conscience can be rationally settled on no other founda- 
tion but this ; for God having made a law to govern man, and 
this law violated by man ; either the penalty must be levied on the 
delinquent, or satisfaction made by his surety. As good no law, 
as no penalty for disobedience ; and as good no penalty, as no 
execution. He therefore that will be made a mediator of reconci- 
liation betwixt God and man, must bring God a price in his hand, 
and that adequate to the offence and wrong done him, else he will 
not treat about peace ; and so did our Mediator. 

3. Christ being a Mediator of reconciliation and intercession, 
implies the infinite value of his blood and sufferings, as that which 
in itself was sufficient to stop the course of God's justice ', and render 
him not only placable, but abundantly satisfied and well pleased, 
even with those that before were enemies. And so much is said of it 
Col. i. 21, 22. " And ye that were sometimes alienated, and ene- 
" mies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in 

* From these positions, it follows, that neither the perfect nature nor perfect 
justice of God can allow any transgression of the law to pass without full satisfaction. 
Bradshaw on Justification, p. 68. 

f Nee in bonitate misericordi<z perdit judicii severitatem ; nee in judicando cum severi* 
tate mniltit inisericordite bunitatem. Aug. in Psal. 100. 

t Parcc unicce spei totius orbis, tu qui dcslruis necessarium decus Jidcu Tertul. lib. 
de Carne Christi. 


" the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and 
" unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight." Surely, that 
which can cause the holy God, justly incensed against sinners, to 
lay aside all his wrath, and take an enemy into his bosom, and 
establish such an amity as can never more be broken, but to rest 
in his lovej and to joy over him with singing, as it is, Zeph. hi. 17. 
this must be a most excellent and efficacious thing. 

4. Christ's being a Mediator of reconciliation, implies the ardent 
love and large pity that filled Ms heart towards poor sinners. For 
he doth not only mediate by way of entreaty, going betwixt both, 
and persuading and begging peace ; but he mediates, (as you have 
heard) in the capacity of a surety, by putting himself under an obli- 
gation to satisfy our debts. O how compassionately did his heart 
work towards us, that when he saw the arm of Justice lifted up to 
destroy us, would interpose himself, and receive the stroke, though 
he knew it would smite him dead ! Our Mediator, like Jonah his 
type, seeing the stormy sea of God's wrath working tempestuously, 
and ready to swallow us up, cast in himself to appease the storm. 
I remember how much that noble act of Marcus Curtius is cele- 
brated in the Roman history, who being informed by the oracle, 
that the great breach made by the earthquake could not be 
closed, except something of worth were cast into it, heated with 
love to the commonwealth, he went and cast in himself. This 
was looked upon as a bold and brave adventure. But what was 
this to Christ ? 

5. Christ being a Mediator betwixt God and man, implies as the 
fitness of his person, so his authoritative call to undertake it. And 
indeed the Father, who was the wronged person, called him to be 
the umpire and arbitrator, trusting his honour in his hands. Now 
Christ was invested with this office and power virtually, soon after 
the breach was made by Adam's fall ; for we have the early pro- 
mise of it, Gen. iii. 15. Ever since, till his incarnation, he was a 
virtual and effectual Mediator ; and, on that account, he is called, 
" the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world,' 1 Rev. xiii. 8. 
And actually, from the time of his incarnation. But having dis- 
cussed this more largely in a former discourse, I shall dismiss it 
here, and apply myself to the third thing proposed, which is, 

Thirdly, How it appears that Jesus Christ is the true and only 
Mediator betwixt God and men. I reply, it is manifest he is so, 

1. Because he, and no other, is revealed to us by God. And if 
God reveal him, and no other, we must receive him, and no other 
as such. Take but two scriptures at present, that in 1 Cor. viii. 5. 
" The heathen have many gods, and many lords," i. e. many great 
gods, supreme powers and ultimate objects of their worship ; and 
lest these great gods should be denied by their immediate and un- 


hallowed approaches to them, they therefore invented heroes, demi- 
gods, intermediate powers *, that they were as agents, or lord- 
mediators betwixt the gods and them, to convey their prayers to 
the gods, and the blessings of the gods back again to them. " But 
" unto us (saith he) there is but one God, the Father, of whom 
" are all things, and we by him," i. e. one supreme essence, the 
first spring and fountain of blessings, and one Lord, i. e. one Media- 
tor, " by whom are all things, and we by him." By whom are all 
things which come from the Father to us, and by whom are all 
our addresses to the Father : So Acts iv. 12. " Neither is there 
" salvation in any other ; for there is none other name under 
" heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." No 
other name *(-, i. e. no other authority, or rather, no other person 
authorized under heaven, i. e. the whole world : for heaven is not 
here opposed to earth, as though there were other intercessors in 
heaven besides Christ : no, no, in heaven and earth God hath 
given him, and none but him, to be our Mediator. One sun is 
sufficient for the whole world ; and one Mediator for all men in 
the world. So that the scriptures affirm this is he, and exclude 
all others. 

2. Because he, and no other, is fit for, and capable of this of- 
fice. Who but he that hath the divine and human nature united 
in his single person, can be a fit dayVman to lay his hand upon 
both ? Who but he that was God, could support under such suf- 
ferings, as were, by divine justice, exacted for satisfaction ! Take a 
person of the greatest spirit, and put him an hour in the case 
Christ was in, when he sweat blood in the garden, or uttered that 
heart-rending cry upon the cross, and he had melted under it as 
a moth. 

3. Because he is alone sufficient to reconcile the world to God 
by his blood, without accessions from any other. The virtue of 
his blood reached back as far as Adam, and reaches forward to 
the end of the world ; and will be as fresh, vigorous, and effica- 
cious then, as the first moment it was shed. The sun makes day 
before it actually rises, J and continues day sometimes after it is 
set : so do doth Christ, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for 

* All the intercourse and communion between the gods and men is by means of 
demi-gods. Pint. 

T Ovo/xa srsgov, other name, i. e. other power, or authority of any whatever. 
By name, the thing itself is understood, even Christ himself; UVO rov Zgaimf, 
under heaven, i. e. any where ; for heaven is not here opposed to earth, as if there 
were other saviours besides Christ in heaven, but not on earth ; but in the Htbiew the 
expression is a pleonasm. Beza on this place. 

J The sun, before he is seen, illuminates the world. 


ever; so that he is the true and only Mediator betwixt God and 
men r no other is revealed in scripture ; no other is sufficient 
for it ; no other needed beside him. 

Fourthly, The last thing to be explained is, in what capacity he 
executed his mediatory work. 

About which we affirm, according to scripture, that he per- 
forms that work as God-man, in both natures*. Papists, in de- 
nying Christ to act as Mediator, according to his divine nature, 
do at once spoil the whole mediation of Christ of all its efficacy, 
dignity and value, which arise from that nature, which they 
deny to co-operate, and exert its virtue in his active and passive 
obedience. They say, the apostle, in my text, distinguishes the 
Mediator from God, in saying, " there is one God and one Me- 
diator." We aptly reply, that the same Apostle distinguishes 
Christ from man, Gal. i. 1. " Not by man, but by Jesus Christ.'" 
Doth it thence follow that Christ is not true man ? Or that ac- 
cording to his divine nature only, he called Paul ? But what need 
I stay my reader here ; Had not Christ, as Mediator, power to 
lay down his life, and power to take it up again? John x. 17, 18. 
Had he not, as Mediator, all power in heaven and earth to insti- 
tute ordinances, and appoint officers ? Matt, xxviii. 18. to baptize 
men with the Holy Ghost and fire ? Matt. iii. 11. to keep those 
his Father gave him in this world? John xvii. 12. to raise up the 
saints again in the last day ? John vi. 54. Are these, with many 
more I might name, the effects of the mere human nature? Or, 
were they not performed by him as God-man ? and besides, how 
could he, as Mediator, be the object of our faith, and religious 
adoration, if we are not to respect him as God-man ? • But I long 
now to be at the application of this : and the first inference from 
it, is this, 

Inference 1. That it is a dangerous thing' to reject Jesus Christ 
the only Mediator betwixt God and man. Alas ! there is no other 
to interpose and screen thee from the devouring fire, the everlasting 
burnings ! O it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living 
God! And into his hands you must needs fall, without an in- 
terest in the only Mediator. Which of us can dwell with devour- 
ing fire? Who can endure the everlasting burnings? Isa. xxxiii. 
14. You know how tlrey singed and scorched the green tree, 
but w r hat would they do to the dry tree? Luke xxiii. 31. In- 
deed, if there were another plank to save after the shipwreck ; 

* The divine, without the human nature, or the human nature without the 
divine, is not mediatorial ; but between the divine alone, and the human nature 
alone, the human divinity, and divine humanity, is mediatorial. Aug. Horn. 2. The 
appellations respecting his office, are due to Christ according to both natures. 
Ames. Bellarm, Enerv. chap. 5. 


any other way to be reconciled to God, besides Jesus the Medi- 
ator, somewhat might be said to excuse this folly ; but you are 
shut up to the faith of Christ, as to your last remedy, Gal. iii. 23. 
You are like starving beggars, that are come to the last door. O 
take heed of despising, or neglecting Christ ! if so, there's none 
to intercede with God for you ; the breach betwixt him and you 
can never be composed. I remember* here, the words of Eli, to 
his profane sons* who caused men to abhor tlie offerings of the 
Lord, 1 Sam. ii. 25. " If one man sin against another, the judge 
" shall judge him ; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall 
" intreat for him ? v The meaning is, common trespasses betwixt 
men, the civil magistrate takes cognizance of it* and decides the 
controversy by his authority, so that there is an end of that 
strife ; but if man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat or ar- 
bitrate in that case ? Eli's sons had despised the Lord's sacrifices *, 
which were sacred types of Christ, and the stated way that men 
had then to act faith on the Mediator in. Now, (saith he) if a 
man thus sin against the Lord, by despising Christ shadowed out 
in that way, who shall intreat for him ? what hope, what remedy 
remains ? 

I remember, it was the saying of Luther, and he spake it with 
deep resentment, Nolo Deum absolutum, " I will have nothing to 
" do with an absolute God," i. e. with God without a Mediator. 
Thus the Devils have to do with God: but will ye, in whose 
nature Christ is come, put yourselves into their state and case ? 
God forbid ! 

Inf. 2. Hence also be informed, how great an evil it is to join 
any other Mediators, either of reconciliation, or meritorious inter- 
cession with Jesus Christ. O this is a horrid sin, and that which 
both pours the greatest contempt upon Christ, and brings the surest 
and sorest destruction upon the sinner ! I am ashamed my pen 
should English what mine eyes have seen in the writings of Pa- 
pists, ascribing as much, yea, more to the mediation of Mary 
than to Christ, with no less than blasphemous impudence, thus 
commenting upon scripture : " What is that which the Lord 
" saith, I have trod the wine-press alone, and of the people 
" there was no man with me ? True Lord, there was no man 
" with thee, but there was a woman with thee, who received all 
" these wounds in her heart which thou receivedst in thy body-" 
I will not blot my paper with more of this, but refer the learned 
reader as under f, where he may (if he have a mind to see more) 

* They had trampled on sacrifices, and all the laws of God : and thus, as far a* 
in them lay, had taken away all relief and means of safety. Grotius on this place. 
f Martialis Argentinensis, lib, 1. cap. 4. fol. 15. Vincent, Brun. in meditat.fest. 

Vol. I. H 



be informed, not only what blasphemy hath dropped from single 
pens, but even from councils, to the reproach of Jesus Christ, and 
his blood. 

How do they stamp their own sordid works with the peculiar 
dignity and value of Christ's blood ; and therein seek to enter at 
the gate which God hath shut to all the world, because Jesus 
Christ the prince entered in thereby, Ezek. xliv. 2, 3. He entered 
into heaven in a direct immediate way, even in his own name, 
and for his own sake ; this gate, saith the Lord, shall be shut to 
all others ; and I wish men would consider it, and fear, lest while 
they seek entrance into heaven at the wrong door, they do not 
for ever shut against themselves, the true and only door of happi- 

Inf. 3. If Jesus Christ be the only Mediator of reconciliation 
betwixt God and men ; then reconciled souls should thankfully as* 
cribe all the peace, favours, and comforts they have from God, to 
their Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever }^ou have had free admission, 
and sweet entertainment with God in the more public ordinances, 
or private duties of his worship ; when you have had his smiles, his 
seals, and with hearts warmed with comfort, are returning from 
those duties, say, O my soul, thou mayest thank thy good Lord 
Jesus Christ for all this ! had not he interposed as a Mediator of 
reconciliation, I could never have had access to, or friendly com- 
munion with God to all eternity. 

Immediately upon Adam's sin, the door of communion with God 
was locked, yea, chained up, and no more coming nigh the 
Lord : not a soul could have any access to him, either in a way of 
communion in this world, or of enjoyment in that to come. It was 
Jesus the Mediator that opened that door again, and in him it is 
that we have boldness, and access with confidence, Eph. iii. 12. 
'* We can now come to God by a new and living way, consecrated 
* 6 for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh," Heb. x. 
520. The vail had a double use, as Christ's flesh answerably hath : 
it hid the glory of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and also gave entrance 
into it. Christ's incarnation rebates the edge of the divine glory 
and brightness, that we may be able to bear it and converse with 
it ; and it gives admission into it also. O thank your dear Lord 
Jesus for your present and future heaven ! these are mercies which 
daily emerge out of the ocean of Christ's blood, and come swim- 
ming in it to our doors. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ ! 

Inf. 4. If Jesus Christ be the true and only Mediator, both of 
reconciliation and meritorious intercession betwixt God and men, 

JB. Virginis, Colon. 1559. p. 11. Liber Contionum Dilingce, Anno 1573. ConciU 
Trident. Sess. 25. Psalt, Maria?, Anno 1573. p. 29. 


how safe and secure then is the condition and state of believers t 
Surely, as his mediation, by sufferings, hath fully reconciled, so his 
mediation, by intercession, will everlastingly maintain that state of 
peace betwixt them and God, and prevent all future breaches. 
" Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our 
" Lord Jesus Christ," Rom. v. 1. It is a firm and lasting peace, and 
the Mediator that made it, is now in heaven to maintain it For ever, 
and prevent new jars, Hek ix. 24. " There to appear in the pre- 
" sence of God for us ;" according to the custom of princes and 
states, who, being confederated, have their agents residing in 
each others courts, who upon all occasions appear in the presence 
of the prince, in the name and behalf of those whom they repre- 
sent, and negociate for. 

And here it is proper to reflect upon the profound and incom- 
prehensible wisdom of God, who hath made an advantage to us, 
even out of our sin and misery. Come, see and adore the wisdonl 
of our God, that hath so improved, reduced, and disposed the fall 
of Adam, as to make a singular advantage thereby to advance 
his offspring to a better state ! It was truly said by one of the an- 
cients upon this account, " That Job was a happier man on the 
" dunghill, than Adam was in paradise *." His holiness indeed 
was perfect, his happiness was great : but neither of them perma- 
nent and indefeasible, as our happiness by the Mediator is. So 
that, in the same sense some divines call Judas's treason, fcelix 
scelus, a happy wickedness: we may call Adam's i'dM, Jbelix lapsus, 
a happy fall, because ordered and over-ruled by the wisdom of God, 
to such an advantage for us. And to that purpose Austin some- 
where sweetly speaks, " -j* O how happily did I fall in Adam, who 
" rose again more happy in Christ r Thus did the Lord turn 
a poison into an antidote, thus did that dreadful fall make way for 
a more blessed and fixed state. Now are we so confirmed, fixed, 
and established in Christ, by the favour of God, that there can be 
no more such fatal breaches, and dreadful jars betwixt God 
and his reconciled ones for ever. The bone that is well set, is 
stronger where it is knit, than it was before. Blessed be God for 
Jesus Christ ! 

Inf. 5. Did Jesus Christ interpose betwixt us and the wrath of God, 
as a Mediator of reconciliation ? did he rather chuse to receive the 
stroke upon himself, than to see us ruined by it ? How well then 
doth it become the people of God, in a thankful sense of this grace, 
to interpose themselves betwixt Jesus Christ and the evils they see like 
to Jail upon his name and interest in the world ? O that there were 

m Fcelicior Job in sterquilinio, quam Adamus in Paradiso. 

f quam fceliaiter cecidi in kdamo. qui post lapsumjielieius resurrexi in Christo, Aug 



but such a heart in the people of God ! I remember it is a saying of 
Jerom, when he heard the revilings and blasphemings of many 
against Christ, and his precious truths, " * O (said he) that they 
" would turn their weapons from Christ to me, and be satisfied 
" with my blood !" And much to the same sense is that sweet 
one of Bernard, " f Happy were I, if God would vouchsafe to 
" use me as a shield." And David could say, " The reproaches 
" of them that reproached thee, fell on me, Psal. lxix. 9. Ten 
thousand of our names are nothing to Christ's name : his name is 
TtaXov ovofia, a worthy name ; and no man that gives up his name as 
a shield to Christ, but shall thereby secure and increase the true 
honour of it. And though wicked men, for the present may be- 
spatter them, yet Jesus Christ will take it out of the dirt, (as one 
speaks), wipe it clean, and give it us again f. Oh, it is the least 
one can do, to interpose ourselves and all that is dear to us, be- 
twixt Christ and the wrath of men, when he (as you hear) inter- 
posed himself betwixt you and the eternal wrath of God ! 


The first Branch of Christ's Prophetical Office, consisting 
in the Revelation of the Will of God. 

Acts hi. 22. 
A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your 
Brethren, like unto me ; him shall ye hear in all things, whatso* 
ever he shall say unto you. 

XXAVING, in tbe former discourses, shewn you the solemn 
preparations, both on the Father's part, and on the Son's, for 
the blessed design of reconciling us by the meritorious mediation, 
of Christ ; and given you a general prospect of that his mediation, 
in the former sermon; method now requires, that I proceed to 
shew how he executes this his mediation, in the discharge of his 
blessed offices of Prophet, Priest and King. 

His prophetical office consists of two parts ; one external, consist- 
ing in a true and full revelation of the will of God to men, accord- 

* Utinam in me convertant tela, ct meo sanguine satientur. Jer. 

•f- Bonum est mihi, si dignetur Deus me uti pro clypeo. Bern. 

% Oh, if I could be a bridge over the water for my Lord Jesus to walk upon, and 
keep his feet dry ! Oh, if my poor bit of heaven could go between my Lord and 
blasphemy and dishonour ! said another worthy. 


ing to John xvii. 6. " I have manifested thy name to the men 
" thou gavest me." The other in illuminating the mind, and open- 
ing the heart to receive and embrace that doctrine. The first part 
is contained in the words before us ; " A prophet shall the Lord 
* your God raise up," fyc. 

Which words are those of Moses, recorded in Deut. xviii. 15. 
and here, by Peter, pertinently applied to Christ, to convince the 
incredulous JeWs, that he is the true and only Messiah, and the 
great Prophet of the church ; whose doctrine it was highly dan- 
gerous to contemn, though out of the mouths of such (otherwise 
contemptible) persons as he and John were. And it is well observed 
by Calvin, he singles out this testimony of Moses, rather than any 
other, because of the great esteem they had for Moses, and his 
writings, beyond any others. Now in the words themselves are 
two general parts. 

First, Christ, according to the prophetical office, described. 

Secondly, Obedience to him, as such a prophet, strictly enjoined. 

First, Y ou have here a description of Christ in his prophetical 
office ; " A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you 
" of your brethren, like unto me." Where Christ is described, 

I. By his title, Prophet, and that, princeps prophetarum, the prince 
of the prophets, or the great and chief shepherd, as he is stiled, 
Heb. xiii. 10. 1 Pet. v. 4. It belongs to a prophet to expound 
the law, declare the will of God, and foretel things to come: 
all these meet, and that, in a singular and eminent manner, in 
Christ our prophet, Matth. v. 21, &c. John i. 18, 1 Pet. i. 11. 

4. He is described by his type; a prophet like unto Moses, 
tvho therein typified and prefigured him. But is it not said of 
Moses, in Deut. xxxiv. 10. " that there arose not a prophet since 
Ci in Israel, like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face r* 
True, of mere men there never arose so great a prophet in Israel, 
as Moses was ; either in respect of his familiarity with God, or of 
his miracles which he wrought in the power of God* : but Moses 
himself was but a star to this sun. However, in these following 
particulars, Christ was like him. He was a prophet that went be- 
tween God and the people, carried GocTs mind to them, and re- 
turned theirs to God, they not being able to hear the voice of 
God immediately f, Deut. xviii. 16, 17. "According to all that 
** thou desirest of the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day of the 
" assembly, saying, Let me not again hear the voice of flie Lord 
** my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die 

* Not like, in the following particulars, namely, his familiarity with God, and 
miracles. Est. on this place. 

f They who dreaded that majesty of God Speaking from heaven, could not be 
afraid to hear it, when in flesh, and made like themselves. 



*' not 1 " And upon this their request, God makes the promise 
which is cited in the text ; verse 17, 18. " They have well spoken 
" that which they have spoken : I will raise them up a prophet like 
" unto thee," &c. Moses was a very faithful prophet, precisely 
faithful, and exact in all things that God gave him in charge, even 
to a pin of the tabernacle. " Moses verily was faithful in all his 
" house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were 
" to be spoken after : but Christ as a Son over his own house, 1 ' 
Heb. hi. 5, 6. Again, Moses confirmed his doctrine by miracles, 
which he wrought in the presence, and to the conviction of gain- 
savers. Herein, Christ our Prophet is also like unto Moses, who 
wrought many, mighty, and uncontrolled miracles, which could 
not be denied, and by them confirmed the gospel which he preach- 
ed. Lastly, Moses was that prophet which brought God's Israel 
out of literal Egypt, and Christ his out of spiritual Egypt, where- 
of that bondage was a figure. Thus he is described by his likeness 
to Moses, his type, 

3. He is described by his stock and original, from which, ac- 
cording to his flesh, he sprang ; " I will raise him up from among 
* thy brethren. Of Israel, as concerning the flesh, Christ came," 
Rom. ix. 5. And " it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Ju- 
" dah," Heb. vii. 14. He honoured that nation by his nativity. 
Thus the prophet is described. 

Secondly, Here is a strict injunction of obedience to this Prophet, 
Him shall ye hear in all things, fyc. By hearing, understand 
obedience. So words of sense are frequently put in scripture, to 
signify those affections that are moved by, and use to follow those 
senses. And this obedience is required to be yielded to this pro- 
phet only, and universally, and under great penalties*. It is re- 
quired to be given to him only, for so [him] in the text must be 
understood, as exclusive of all others. It is true, we are command- 
ed to obey the voice of his ministers, Heb, xiii. 17. But still it is 
Christ speaking them, by whom we pay our obedience : He that 
lieareth you, heareth me : We obey them in the Lord, i. e. com- 
manding or forbidding in Christ's name and authority. So when 
God said, Deut. vi. 13. [" Thou shak serve Him, w J Christ ex- 
pounds it exclusively, Matth. iv. 10. " Him only shalt thou serve." 
He is the only Lord, Jude 4. and therefore to him only our obe- 
dience is required. And as it is due to him only, so to him uni- 
versally ; " Him shall ye hear in all things :" his commands are to 
be obeyed, not disputed. A judgment of discretion indeed is al- 
lowed to Christians, to judge whether it be the will of Christ or 

* Him shall ye hear, i. e. Him only ; so thou shalt serve him, Deut. vi. 13. is ex- 
plained, Him only, Matth. iv. 10. 


no. We must " prove what is that holy, good, and acceptable 
" will," Rom. xii. 2. " His slice}) hear his voice, and a stranger 
" they will not follow : they know his voice, but know not the voice 
" of strangers," John x. 4, 5. But when his will is understood 
and known, we have no liberty of choice, but are concluded by it, 
be the duty commanded never so difficult, or the sin forbidden ne- 
ver so tempting : and this is also required severely, under penalty 
of being destroyed from among the people, and of God's requiring 
it at our hands, as it is in Deut. xviii. i. e. of revenging himself in 
the destruction of the disobedient. Hence the observation. 

Doct. That Jesus Christ is called and appointed by God to be 
the great Prophet and teacher of the Church. 

He is anointed to preach good tidings to the meek, and sent to 
bind up the broken hearted, Isa. lxi. 1. When he came to preach 
the gospel among the people, then was this scripture fulfilled, 
Matt. xi. 27. " Yea, all things are delivered him of his Father ; so 
" as no man knoweth whom the Father is, but the Son, and he to 
" whom the Son will reveal him." All light is now collected 
into one body of light, the Sun of righteousness ; and he " en- 
" lighteneth every man that cometh into the world," John i. 9. 
And though he dispensed knowledge variously, in times past, 
speaking in many ways and divers manners, to the fathers ; yet 
now the method and way of revealing the will of God to us is 
fixed and settled in Christ : In these last times he hath spoken to us 
by his Son. 

Twice hath the Lord solemnly sealed him to this office, or ap- 
proved and owned him in it, by a miraculous voice from the most 
excellent glory, Matth. iii. 17. and Matth. xvii. 5. 

In this point there are two things doctrinally to be discussed and 
opened, viz. What Christ's being a Prophet to the church implies : 
and how he executes and discharges this his office. 

First, What is implied in Christ's being a Prophet to the church : 
And it necessarily imports these three things. 

1. The natural ignorance and blindness of men in the things, of 
God. This shews us that " vain man is born as the wild ass's colt." 
— The world is involved in darkness : The people sit as in the re- 
gion and shadow of death till Christ arise upon their souls, Matt. 
iv. 15, 16, 17. It is true, in the state of innocency man had a 
clear apprehension of the will of God, without a Mediator : but 
now that light is quenched in the corruption of nature, " and the 
" natural man receiveth not the things of God," 1 Cor. ii. 14. * 

* Heavenly things exceed the capacity of reason, for they are above what is call- 
ed right reason j they contradict the wisdom of the flesh, for they are contrary to 

H4 T 


These things of God are not only contrary to corrupt and carnal 
reason, but they are also above right reason. Grace indeed useth 
nature, but nature can do nothing without grace. The mind of a 
natural man hath not only a native blindness, by reason whereof 
it cannot discern the things of the Spirit, but also a natural enmity, 
Rom. viii. 7. and hates the light, 1 John iii. 19, 20. So that until 
the mind be healed, and enlightened by Jesus Christ, the natural 
faculty can no more discern the things of the Spirit, than the sen- 
sitive faculty can discern the things of reason. The mysteries of 
nature may be discovered by the light of nature ; but when it eomes 
to supernatural mysteries, there, omnis Platonicorum caligavit 
siibtilitus, as Cyprian somewhere speaks, the most subtle, search- 
ing, penetrating wit and reason, is at a loss. 

2. It implies the divinity of Christ, and proves him to be true 
God ; forasmuch as no other can reveal to the world, in all ages, 
the secrets that lay hid in the heart of God, and that with such 
convincing evidence and authority. * He brought his doctrine 
from the bosom of his Father ; John i. 18. " The only begotten 
" Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him." 
The same words which his Father gave him he hath given us, 
John xvii. 8. He spake to us that which he had seen with hi* 
Father, John viii. 38. What man can tell the bosom-counsels and 
secrets of God ? Who but he that eternally lay in that bosom can 
expound them ? 

Besides, other prophets had their times assigned them to rise* 
shine, and set again bv death, Zech. i. 5. " Your fathers, where 
" are they ? And do the prophets live for ever ?* But Christ is 
a fixed and perpetual sun, that gives light in all ages of the world : 
for he is " the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," Heb. xiii. 
8. Yea, and the very beams of his divinity shone with awful ness 
upon the hearts of them that heard him ; so that his very enemies 
were forced to acknowledge, that, " never any man spake like 
" him," John vii. 46, 

depraved reason : Nature stands in need of grace, for the right disposing of the 
mind to receive a supernatural object ; and grace uses nature, that by strength of mind, 
clearness of judgment, and the light of good education, greater progress may be made 
in the study of the sacred writings. Reynold. Animulis homo. 

* If the doctrine of Christ, and his discourses be examined, it will be as clear as 
sunshine, that his words are not the words of a man, or some prophet, but of the 
Father himself, that is, of the true God. For Christ not only brought his gospel 
and doctrine from the bosom of the Father, but likewise he taught, not as the 
Pharisees and other mere men, but W£ z^zfiav s^oov, as one having divine authori- 
ty, Luke iv. 23. which his enemies, the officers sent by the Pharisees, confessed in, 
these words, " Never man spake like this man:" therefore as his words are the 
words of the Father, and were not spoken with human, but divine authority, so it is 
certain, that he must be the true God, since a divine effect argues a divine cause ; and 
since there is but one only true God, Christ must be one, and, co-essential with the 
Father. Diettricus Analysis Evang.par. 3. p. 34 i. 


3. It implies Christ to be the original and fountain of all that 
light which is ministerially diffused up and down the world by 
men. Ministers are but stars, which shine with a borrowed light 
from the sun : so speaks the apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7. " For God, 
" who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined 
" into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory 
" of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." Those that teach men, 
must be first taught by Christ. All the prophets of the Old, and 
all the prophets, pastors, and teachers of the New-Testament, have 
lighted their candles at his torch : it was Christ that " gave them) 
" a mouth and wisdom," Luke xxi. 15. What Paul received from 
the Lord, he delivered to the church, 1 Cor. xi. 23. Jesus Christ 
is the chief Shepherd, 1 Pet. v. 4. and all the under-shepherds re- 
ceive their gifts and commissions from him. These things are ma- 
nifestly implied in Christ's prophetical office. 

Secondly, We shall next enquire how he executes and discharges 
this his office, or how he enlightens and teaeheth men the will of 
God. And this he hath done variously, gradually, plainly, pow- 
erfully, sweetly, purely, and fully. 

1. Our great Prophet hath revealed unto men the will of God 
variously ; not holding one even and constant tenor in the mani- 
festations of the Father's will, but as the apostle speaks, ^oXv/mpu^ 
jttti Tokvloorru;, at sundry times, and in divers manners, Heb. i. 1. 
Sometimes he taught the church immediately, and in his own per- 
son, John xviii. 20. He declared God's righteousness in the great 
congregation, Psal. xxii. 22. And sometimes mediately, by his 
ministers and officers, deputed to that service by him . So he dis- 
pensed the knowledge of God to the church before his incarna- 
tion ; it was Christ that in the time, and by the ministry of Noah, 
went and preached to the spirits in prison, as it is 1 Pet. iii. 19 ; 
that is, to men and women then alive, but now separated from the 
body, and imprisoned in hell for their disobedience. And it was 
Christ that was with the church in the wilderness, instructing and 
guiding them by the ministry of Moses and Aaron, Acts vii. 37, 
58 ; and so he hath taught the church since his ascension. He 
cannot now be personally with us, having other business to do for 
us in heaven ; but, however, he will not be wanting to teach us 
by his officers, whom, for that end, he hath set and appointed in 
the church, Eph. iv. 11, 12. 

2. He hath dispensed his blessed light to the church gradually. 
The discoveries of light have been coXu/^wc, that is, in many parts 
or parcels ; sometimes more obscure and cloudy ; as to tlw? Old- 
Testament believers, by visions, dreams, Urim, Thummim, vocal 
oracles, types, sacrifices, &c. which, though comparatively, were 
but a weak glimmering light, and had no glory compared *to that 
which now shines, 2 Cor. iii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. yet it was sufficient 


for the instruction and salvation of the elect in those times ; but 
now is light sprung up gloriously in the gospel-dispensation : " And 
" we all with open face, behold as in a glass, the glory of the 
" Lord." It is to us not a twilight, but the light of a perfect day ; 
and still is advancing in the several ages of the world. I know 
more (saith Luther) than blessed Austin knew ; and they that 
come after me, will know more than I know. 

3. Jesus Christ, our great Prophet, hath manifested to us the 
will of God plainly and perspicuously. When he was on earth 
himself, he taught the people by parables, and " without a parable 
" he spake nothing, 1 ' Matt. xiii. 3, 4. He clothed sublime and 
spiritual mysteries in earthly metaphors, bringing them thereby to 
the low and dull capacities of men, speaking so familiarly to the 
people about them, as if he had been speaking earthly things to 
them, John iii. 12. And so (according to his own example) 
would he have his ministers preach, " using great plainness of 
" speech," 2 Cor. iii. 12. and by manifestation of the truth, 
" commending themselves to every man's conscience," 1 Cor. iv. 
& * Yet not allowing them to be rude and careless in expresssion, 
pouring out indigested, crude, unmethodical words ; no, a holy 
serious, strict, and grave expression befits the lips of his ambas- 
sadors : and who ever spake more weightily, more logically, per- 
suasively than that apostle, by whose pen Christ hath admonished 
us to beware of vain affections and swelling words of vanity ? But 
he would have us stoop to the understandings of the meanest, and 
not give the people a comment darker than the text ; he would 
have us rather pierce their ears, than tickle their fancies ; and 
break their hearts than please their ears. Christ was a very plain 

4. Jesus Christ discovered truth powerfully ; speaking " as one 
" having authority, and not as the Pharisees, ,, Matt. vii. 29. 
They were cold and dull preachers, their words did even freeze 
betwixt their lips ; but Christ spake with power ; there was heat 
as well as light in his doctrine : and so there is still, though it be 
in the mouth of poor contemptible men, 2 Cor. x. 4. " The wea- 
" pons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, 
" to the casting down of strong holds : it is still quick and powerful, 
(i sharper than a two edged-sword ; and piercing, to the dividing 
" asunder of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, 1 ' Heb. iv. 
12. The blessed apostle imitated Christ; and being filled with his 

* But the apostle does not design by this apology, that teachers should take the 
liberty to throw out every low, sordid expression, or whatever comes into their 
heads, without sense, method, solidity and judgment ; for who a greater awakener 
of men's consciences than he ? or who a stronger convincer of their judgments by 
the weight of his arguments ? who, with a sweet, but heavenly power, captivates 
the affections. Reynold. 


Spirit, spake home and freely to the hearts of men. So many 
words, so many claps of thunder, (as one * said of him) which 
made the hearts of sinners shake and tremble in their breasts-. All 
faithful and able ministers are not alike gifted in this particular ; 
but, surely, there is a holy seriousness and spiritual grace and ma- 
jesty in their doctrine, commanding reverence from their hearers. 

5. This Prophet, Jesus Christ, taught the people the mind of 
God in a sweet, affectionate, and taking manner : his words made 
their hearts burn within them, Luke xxiv. 32. It was prophesied 
of him, Isa. xlii. 2. " He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his 
" voice to be heard on high. A bruised reed he shall not break, 
" and smoking flax he shall not quench. He knew how to speak a 
" word in season to the weary soul, 1 ' Isa. lxi. 1. " He gathered the 
" Lambs with his arms, and gently led those that were with young," 
Isa. iv. 11. How sweetly did his words slide to the melting hearts 
about him ! he drew with cords of love, with the bands of a 
man : he discouraged none, upbraided none that were willing to 
come to him : his familiarity and free condescensions to the most 
vile and despicable sinners, were often made the matter of his re- 
proach. Such is his gentle and sweet carriage to his people, that 
the church is called the Lamb's wife, Rev. xix. 7. 

6. He revealed the mind of God purely to men ; his doctrine 
had not the least dash of error to debase it ; his most enviously 
observant hearers could find nothing to charge him with: he is 
" the faithful and true witness," Rev. i. 5. and he hath com- 
manded his ministers to preserve the simplicity and purity of the 
gospel, and not to blend and sophisticate it, 2 Cor. iv. 2. 

7. And lastly, He revealed the will of God perfectly and fully, 
keeping back nothing needful to salvation. So he tells his disciples, 
John xv. 15. " All things that I have heard of my Father, I have 
" made known unto you." He was " faithful as a Son over his 
" own house," Heb. iii. 6. Thus you have a brief account of 
what is implied in this part of Christ's prophetical office, and how- 
he performed it. 

Inference 1. If Jesus Christ, who is now passed into the heavens, 
be the great Prophet and Teacher of the church ; hence we may 
justly infer the continual necessity of a standing ministry of the 
church : for by his ministers he now teacheth us, and to that intent 
hath fixed them in the church, by a firm constitution, there to re- 
main to the end of the world, Matt, xxviii. 20. He teacheth men 
more personally, but ministerially. His ministers supply the want 

* Augustine wished to have heard Paul from the pulpit, whom he called Christ's 
trumpet, and God's cloud; so many words, so many claps of thunder seemed tq 
sound in his ears. 

126 The fouktain of life\ serm. ix. 

of his personal presence, 2 Cor. v. 10. " We pray yon in Christ's 
" stead." These officers he gave the church at his ascension, i. e. 
when he ceased to teach them any longer with his own lips ; and 
so set them in the church, that their succession shall never totally 
fail : for so the word sfcro, he hath set, 1 Cor. xii. 28. plainly im- 
plies. They are set by a sure establishment, a firm and unalter- 
able constitution, even as the times and seasons , which the Father 
hath put [sQiro] in ins own power : it is the same word, and it is 
well they are so firmly set and fixed there ; for how many adver- 
saries in all ages have endeavoured to shake the very office itself? 
pretending that it is needless to be taught by men, and wresting 
such scriptures as these to countenance their error, Joel ii. 28, 29. 
* I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh : and your sons and 
" daughters shall prophesy," §c. And Jer. xxxi. 34. " These 
" shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man 
" his brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for they shall all know 
" me from the least of them to the greatest of them." As ta 
that of Joel, it is answered, That if an Old-Testament prophecy 
may be understood according to a New-Testament interpretation, 
then that prophecy doth no way oppose, but confirm the gospel 
ministry. How the apostle understood the prophet in that his 
prophecy, may be seen in Acts ii. 17. when the Spirit was poured 
out on the day of Pentecost upon the apostles. And surely he 
must be a confident person indeed, that thinks not an apostle to be 
as good an expositor of the prophet, as himself. And for that in 
Jer. xxxi. we say, 

1. That if it conclude against ministerial teachings, it must 
equally conclude against Christian conferences. 

2. We say that cannot be the sense of one scripture which con- 
tradicts the plain sense of other scriptures : but so this would, Eph. 
iv. 11, 12. 1 Cor. xii. 28. 

3. And we say, the sense of that text is not negative, but com- 
parath-e. Not that they shall have no need to be taught any truth, 
but no such need to be taught the first truths : That there is a God, 
and who is this true God : They shall no more teach every 
" man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ! for they shall all 
" know me. 11 To conclude, God hath given ministers to the 
church for the work of conversion and edification, " till we all 
" come into the unity of the faith, to a perfect man," Eph. iv. 
11, 12. So that when all the elect are converted, and all those 
converts become perfect men; when there is no error in judg- 
ment or practice, and no seducer to cause it, then, and not till 
then, will a gospel ministry be useless. But (as it is well observed) 
there is not a man that opposes a gospel ministry, but the very 
being of that man is a sufficient argument for the continuance of it. 


Inf. 2. If Christ be the great Prophet of the church, and such 
a Prophet ; then it follows, That the weakest Christians need not be 
discouraged at the dulness and incapacity they find in tiiemselves : 
for Christ is not only a patient and condescending teacher, but he 
can also, as lie hath often done, reveal that to babes, which is hid 
from the wise and learned, Matth. xi. 25. " The testimonies of the 
" Lord are sure, making wise the simple," Psal. xix. 7. Yea, and 
such as you are, the Lord delights to choose, that his grace may 
be the more conspicuous in your weakness, 1 Cor. i. 26, 27. You 
will have nothing of your own to glory in ; you will not say, as a 
proud wretch once said, Ego et Dens metis ; " I and my God did 
** this." Jesus Christ affects not social glory, he will not divide 
the praise with any. Well then, be not discouraged ; others may 
know more, in other things than you, but you are not incapable 
C>f knowing so much as shall save your souls, if Christ will be your 
teacher, in other knowledge they excel you: but if ye know 
Jesus Christ, and the truth as it is in him, one drop of your 
knowledge is worth a whole sea of their gifts : one truth sucked 
by faith and prayer from the breast of Christ is better than ten 
thousand dry notions beaten out by racking the understanding. 
It is better in kind, the one being but natural, the other super- 
natural, from the saving illuminations and inward teachings of the 
Spirit : and so is one of those better things that accompany salvation- 
It is better in respect of effects ; other knowledge leaves the heart 
as dry, barren, and unaffected, as if it had its seat in another 
man's head ; but that little you have been taught of Christ, sheds 
down its gracious influences upon your affections, and slides 
sweetly to your melting hearts. So that as one " preferred the 
" most despicable work of a plain rustic Christian, * before all the 
" triumphs of Alexander and Caesar ;" much more ought you to 
prefer one saving manifestation of the Spirit, to all the powerless 
illuminations of natural men. 

Inf. 3. If Christ be the great Prophet and teacher of the 
church ; it follows, That prayer is a proper mean for the increase 
of knowledge: Prayer is the golden key that unlocks that treasure. 
When Daniel was to expound that secret which was contained in 
the king's dream, about which the Chaldean magicians had racked 
their brains to no purpose ; what course doth Daniel take ? Why, 
" he went to his house, (saith the text, Dan. ii. 17, 18.) and 
" made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah his 
" companions ; that they would desire mercies of the God of hea- 
" ven concerning his secret." And then was the secret revealed 
* — — — - — — — — 1 ' « 

* Si mihi duretur optio, eligerem Christiani rustici sordidissimum et maxime agrcste opus* 
prce omnibus victvriis et triumphis Alexaudri et Csesaria, 


to Daniel. Luther was wont to say *, " Three things made a di- 
" vine ; meditation, temptation, and prayer.'' 1 Holy Mr. Brad- 
ford was wont to study upon his knees. Those truths that are got 
by prayer, leave an unusual sweetness upon the heart. If Christ 
be our teacher, it becomes all his saints to be at his feet. 

Inf. 4. If Christ be the great Prophet and teacher of the church, 
We may thence discern and judge of doctrines, and it may serve us 
as a test to try them by. For such as Christ is, such are the doc- 
trines that flow from him : every error pretends to derive itself from 
him ; but as Christ was holy, humble, heavenly, meek, peaceful, 
plain and simple, and in all things alien, yea, contrary to the 
"wisdom of the world, the gratifications of the flesh ; such are the 
truths which he teacheth. They have his character and image 
engraven on them. Would you know then whether this or that 
doctrine be from the Spirit of Christ or no ? Examine the doctrine 
itself by this rule. And whatsoever doctrine you find to encourage 
and countenance sin, to exalt self, to be accommodated to earth- 
ly designs and interests, to wrap and bend to the humours and 
lusts of men ; in a word, what doctrine soever directly, and as a 
proper cause makes them that profess it carnal, turbulent, proud, 
sensual, fyc. you may safely reject it, and conclude this never 
came from Jesus Christ. The doctrine of Christ is after godli- 
ness ; his truth sanctifies. There is a Gustus Spiritual-is judicii, a 
spiritual taste, by which those that have their senses exercised, can 
distinguish things that differ. " The spiritual man judgeth all 
" things," 1 Cor. ii. 15. " His ear tries words, as his mouth 
" tasteth meats," Job xxxiv. 3. Swallow nothing (let it come 
never so speciously) that hath not some relish of Christ and holi- 
ness in it. Be sure, Christ never revealed any thing to men, that 
derogates from his own glory, or prejudices and obstructs the ends 
of his own death. 

Inf. 5. And as it will serve us for a test of doctrines, so it serves 
for a test of ministers ; and hence you may judge who are autho- 
rized and sent by Christ the great Prophet, to declare his will to 
men. Surely those whom he sends have his Spirit in their hearts, 
as well as his words in their mouths. And according to the mea- 
sures of grace received, they faithfully endeavour to fulfil their 
ministry for Christ, as Christ did for his Father : " As my Father 
" hath sent me (saith Christ) so send I you," John xx. 21. They 
take Christ for their pattern in the whole course of their ministra- 
tion, and are such as sincerely endeavour to imitate the great 
Shepherd, in these six particulars following : 

1. Jesus Christ was a faithful Minister, the " faithful and true 

» ■ i — — — ' ■» 

• Tnofaciunt theologum, meditatio, tenlatio et precatio* Luther, 


" witness," Rev. i. 5. He declared the whole mind of God to 
men. Of him it was prophetically said, Psal. xl. 10. " I have not 
" hid thy righteousness within my heart ; I have declared thy faith- 
" fulness, and thy salvation ; I have not concealed thy loving 
" kindness and thy truth from the great congregation." To the 
same sense, and almost in the same words, the apostle Paul pro- 
fessed, in Acts xx. 20. " I have kept back nothing that was pro- 
" fitable unto you ; and ver. 35. " 1 have shewed you all things." 
Not that every faithful minister doth in course of his ministry* 
anatomize the whole body of truth, and fully expound and apply 
each particular to the people : No, that is not the meaning, but of 
those doctrines which they have opportunity of opening, they do 
not out of fear, or to accommodate and secure base low ends, with- 
hold the mind of God, or so corrupt and abuse his words, as to 
subject truth to their own, or other men's lusts : " They preach 
" not as pleasing men, but God," 1 Thess. ii. 4. " For if we yet 
" please men, we cannot be the servants of Christ," Gal. i. 10. 
Truth must be spoken, though the greatest on earth be offended. 

2. Jesus Christ was a tender-hearted Minister, full of compassion 
to souls. He was sent to bind up the broken in heart, Isa. lxi. 1. 
He was full of bowels to poor sinners. " He grieved at the hard- 
" ness of men's hearts, Mark iii. 5. He mourned over Jerusalem, 
<c and said, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ! how oft would I have gath- 
" ered thy children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings P 
Matth. xxiii. 27. His bowels yerned when he saw the multitude, 
as sheep having no shepherd, Matth. ix. 37. These bowels of 
Christ must be in all the under shepherds. " God is my witness, 
" (saith one of them) how greatly I long after you all*, in [or 
" after the pattern of j the bowels of Christ Jesus," Phil. i. 8. 
He that shews a hard heart, unaffected with the dangers and mi- 
series of souls, can never shew a commission from Christ to autho- 
rize him for ministerial work. 

3. Jesus Christ was a laborious painful Minister, he put a ne- 
cessity on himself to finish his work in his day ; a work infinitely 
great, in a very little time ; John ix. 4. " I must work the works of 
" him that sent me, while it is day : the night cometh, when no man 
" can work." O how much work did Christ do in a little time 
on earth ! " He went about doing good," Acts x. 38. He was 
never idle. When he sits down at Jacob's well, to rest himself, 
being weary, presently he falls into his work, preaching the gospel, 
to the Samaritaness. In this must his ministers resemble him; 
" striving according to his working, that worketh in them mightily," 

* la here is put for inflar, as, like unto, after the manner or pattern of, $c. 


Col. i. 28* 29- An idle minister seems to be a contradiction in 
adjecto ; as who should say, a dark light. 

4. Jesus Christ delighted in nothing more tlian the success of his 
ministry ; to see the work of the Lord prosper in his hand, this was 
meat and drink to him. When the seventy returned, and re- 
ported the success of their first embassy* " Lord, even the devils 
" are subject to us through thy name !" " Why, (saith Christ) 
" I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven* As if he had 
said, You tell me no news, I saw it when I sent you out at first • 
I knew the gospel would make work where it came. " And in 
" that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit," Luke x. 17, 18, 2L And is 
it not so with those sent by him ? do not they value the success of 
their ministry at a high rate ? It is not (saith one) the expence, 
but the recoiling of our labours back again upon us, that kills us. 
Ministers would not die so fast, nor be grey-headed so soon, could 
they but see the travail of their souls. " My little children, (saith 
P Paul) of whom I travail again in birth, caX;v w&va, till Christ be 
" formed in you 3 " Gal. iv. 19. As for those that have the name 
of shepherds only, who visit the flock only once a year* about 
shearing time ; who have " the instruments of a foolish shepherd," 
(forcipes et mulctra) the shears and pail, Zech. xi. 15. woeful will 
be their condition at appearing of this great Shepherd, 

5. Jesus Christ teas a minister that lived up to his doctrine : Ms 
life and doctrine harmonised in all things. He pressed to holiness 
in his doctrine, and was the great pattern of holiness in his life, 
Matt. xi. 28. " Learn of me, I am meek and lowly." And such 
his ministers desire to approve themselves, Phil. iv. 9. "What 
* ye have heard, and seen in me, that do." He preached to their 
eyes, as well as ears. His life was a comment on his doctrine. 
They might see holiness acted in his life,, as well as sounded by 
his lips. He preached the doctrine, and lived the application. 

6. And lastly, Jesus Christ was a minister that minded and 
maintained sweet, secret communion with God, fir all his constant 
public labours. If he had been preaching and healing all the day, 
yet he would redeem time from his very sleep to spend in secret 
prayer ; Matt. xiv. 23. " When he had sent the multitude away, 
" he went up into a mountain apart to pray, and was there alone." 
O blessed pattern ! Let the keepers of the vineyards remember 
they have a vineyard of their own to keep, a soul of their own 
that must be looked after as well as other men's. Those that, in 
these things, imitate Christ, are surely sent to us from him, and 
are worthy of double honour : They are a choice blessing to the 

SEItM. X. 



The second Branch of Christ's Prophetical Office, consist- 
ing in the Illumination of the Understanding. 

Luke xxiv. 45. 
Then opened he their understandings, &c. 

JVNOWLEDGE of spiritual things is well distinguished into 
intellectual and practical: the first hath its seat in the mind, 
the latter in the heart. This latter, divines call a knowledge 
peculiar to saints ; and, in the apostle's dialect, it is ucrsgg^ov rqg 
ymtfeug Xgisx Itj<», Phil. iii. 8. " The eminency, or excellency of the 
" knowledge of Christ." 

And indeed, there is but little excellency in all those petty no- 
tions which furnish the lips with discourse, unless by a sweet and 
powerful influence they draw the conscience and will to the obedi- 
ence of Christ. Light in the mind is necessarily antecedent to the 
sweet and heavenly motions and elevations of the affections : For 
the farther any man stands from the light of truth, the farther he 
must needs be from the heat of comfort. Heavenly quickenings 
are begotten in the heart, while the sun of righteousness spreads 
the beams of truth into the understanding, and the soul sits under 
those its wings ; yet all the light of the gospel spreading and dif- 
fusing itself into the mind, can never savingly open and change 
the heart, without another act of Christ upon it ; and what that 
is, the text informs you ; Then opened he their understandings, 
that they might understand the scriptures. 

In which words we have both an act of Christ upon the disciples' 
understandings, and the immediate end and scope of that act. 

1. Christ's act upon their understandings : He opened their un- 
derstandings. By understanding is not here meant the mind only, 
in opposition to the heart, will, and affections, but these were open- 
ed by and with the mind. The mind is to the heart, as the door 
to the house : what comes in to the heart, comes in at the under- 
standing, which is introductive to it ; and although truths sometimes 
go no farther than the entry, never penetrate the hearts, yet, here, 
this effect is undoubtedly included. 

Expositors make this expression parallel to that in Acts xvi. 14. 
« The Lord opened the heart of Lydia." And it is well observ- 
ed, that it is one thing to open the scriptures, that is, to expound 
them, and give the meaning of them, as Paul is said to do in Acts 
xviii. 3. and another thins; to open the mind or heart, as it is here. 

Vol. I. I 


There are, as a learned man truly observes, two doors of the soul 
barred against Christ ; the understanding by ignorance ; and the 
heart by hardness : both these are opened by Christ. * The for- 
mer is opened by the preaching of the gospel, the other by the in- 
ternal operation of the Spirit. The former belongs (o the first 
part of Christ's prophetical office, opened in the foregoing sermon : 
the latter, to that special internal part of his prophetical office, to 
be opened in this. 

And that it was not a naked act upon their minds Only, but that 
their hearts and minds did work in fellowship, being both touch- 
ed by this act of Christ, is evident enough by the effects mention- 
ed, ver. 52, 53. " They returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 
" and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God." 
It is confessed, that before this time Christ had opened their hearts 
by conversion ; and this opening is not to be understood simply, 
but secundum quid, in reference to those particular truths, in which, 
till now, they were not sufficiently informed, and so their hearts 
could not be duly affected with them. They were very dark in 
their apprehensions of the death and resurrection of Christ ; and 
consequently their hearts were sad and dejected about that which 
had befallen him, ver. 17. But when he opened the scriptures and 
their understandings and hearts together, then things appeared 
with another face, and they returned, blessing and praising God. 

2. Here is farther to be considered, the design and end of this 
act upon their understandings : That tliey might understand the 
scriptures : *f Where let it be marked, reader, that the teachings 
of Christ, and his Spirit, were never designed to take men off from 
reading, and studying, and searching the scriptures, as some vain 
notionists, have pretended, opposing those things which are sub- 
ordinated, but to make their studies and duties the more fruitful, 
beneficial, and effectual to their souls ; or that they might this way 
receive the end or blessing of all their duties. God never intended 
to abolish his Word, by giving his Spirit ; and they are true fana- 
tics (as Calvin upon tins place calls them) that think, or pretend 
so. By this means he would at once impart more light, and make 
that they had before more operative and useful to them, especially 
in such a time of need as this was. Hence we observe, 

* It is he who opens our hearts by his law. Capel. specil. p. 57. 

■}• God does not give the Spirit to his people, on purpose to abolish his Word, but 
rather to render the word effectual and profitable to them; and therefore the fanatics 
falsely, under pretext of revelation, take a liberty to slight the scriptures. Calvin on 

this place. 


Doct. That the opening of the mind and heart, effectually to re- 
ceive the truths of God, is the peculiar prerogative and office of 
Jesus Christ. 

One of the great miseries under which lapsed nature labours^ 
is spiritual blindness. * Jesus Christ brings that eye-salve which 
only can cure it; Rev. iii. 18. " I counsel thee to buy of me eye- 
" salve, that thou mayest sec " Those to whom the Spirit hath 
applied it, can say, as it is 1 John v. 20. " We know that the Son 
" of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we 
" may know him that is true ; and we are in him that is true, 
" even in his Son Jesus Christ : this is the true God, and eter- 
" nal life. 

f " To the spiritual illumination of a soul* it suffices not that 
" the object be revealed, nor yet that man, the subject of that 
u knowledge, have a due use of his own reason ; but it is further 
" necessary that the grace and special assistance of the holy Spirit 
" be superadded, to open and mollify the heart, and so give it a 
" due taste and relish of the sweetness of spiritual truth." By- 
opening the gospel, he reveals truth to us, and, by opening the 
heart, in us. Now, though this cannot be without that, yet it is 
much more excellent to have truth revealed in* us, than to us. 
This divines call proccipuiim v.lud airolsXeffpa muneris prophetici ; 
" the principal perfective effe tof the prophetical office," the special 
blessing promised in the new covenant, Hel viii. 10. " I will put 
" my laws in their mind, and write them in th -- hearts." 

For explication of this part of Christ's prophetical office, I shall 
as in the former, shew what is included in the opening of their 
understanding, and by what acts Christ performs it. And, 

First, Give you a brief account of what is included in this act 
of Christ ; take it in the following particulars. 

1. It implies the transcendent nature of spiritual things, far 
exceeding the highest flight and reach of natural reason. Jesus 
Christ must by his Spirit open the understandings of men, or they 
can never comprehend such mysteries. Some men have strong 
natural parts, and by improvement of them are become eagle-eyed 
in the mysteries of nature. Who more acute than the heathen 

* The eyes of the blind must be anointed with eye-salve, by which man, being cured 
of his blindness, is restored to spiritual sight, das. Phil. 2 part. p. 340. 

f Ad pcrfectam et propriam rerum supernaturalium cognitionem, non svfficere ex parte 
objecti revelationem, nee ex parte subjecti debitum usum rationis, sed insuper requiri gra- 
iiam Christi, et speciale adjulorium Spiritus Sancti quo cor aperiatur, emolliatur, et super- 
naturalis veritatis dulcedinis recte habeat proportionam S%'V et gustum spiritualis judicii, 
Reynold. Animal. Homo. p. 23. 



sages ? Yet, to them the gospel seemed foolishness, 1 Cor. i. 20. 
Austin confesses, that before his conversion, he often felt his spi- 
rit swell with offence and contempt of the gospel ; and he despi- 
sing it, said dedignabar esse parvulus ; "he scorned to become a 
" child again.'" Brad war dine, that profound doctor, learned 
usque ad stuporem, even to a wonder, professes that when he read 
Paul's epistles, he contemned them, because in them he found not 
a metaphysical wit. Surely, it is possible a man may, with Beren- 
garius, be able to dispute de omni scibili, of every point of know- 
ledge ; to unravel nature from the cedar in Lebanon, to the hyssop 
on the wall ; and yet be as blind as a bat in the knowledge of 
Christ. * Yes, it is possible a man's understanding may be im- 
proved by the gospel, to a great ability in the literal knowledge of 
it, so as to be able to expound the scriptures orthodoxly, and en- 
lighten others by them, as it is Mat. vii. 22. The Scribes and Pha- 
risees were well acquainted with the scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment ; yea, such were their abilities, and esteem among the peo- 
ple for them, that the apostle stiles them the princes of this world, 
1 Cor. ii. 8. And yet notwithstanding Christ truly calls them blind 
guides, Mat. xxiii. Till Christ open the heart, we can know no- 
thing of him, or of his will, as we ought to know it. So experi- 
mentally true is that of the apostle, 1 Cor. ii. 14, 15. " The natu- 
" ral man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they 
" are foolishness to him ; neither can he know them, because 
* they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual, judgeth 
" all things ; yet he himself is judged of no man." The spiritual 
man can judge and discern the carnal man, but the carnal man 
wants a faculty to judge of the spiritual man : as a man that car- 
ries a dark lanthorn, can see another by its light, but the other 
cannot discern him. Such is the difference betwixt persons whose 
hearts Christ hath, or hath not opened. 

2. Christ's opening the understanding, implies the insufficiency 
of all external means, how excellent soever they are in themselves, 
to operate savingly upon men, till Christ by his power opens the 
soul, and so makes them effectual, f What excellent preachers 

* The most refined and ingenious sort of unregenerate men have nothing in 
them which is more excellent than con.jaon grace ; and common grace leaves them 
in the state of nature, under the power of sin, and in the very suburbs of hell, 
wholly at the command of Satan. And if any man think otherwise, let him take 
heed that every thought doth not nail him fast to that unregenerate and cursed state 
for evermore. Dr. Chynelles Divin. Trin. p. 410, &c. 

•f- We maintain a twofold manner of prophetic teaching, the one immediate, the 
ether mediate ; by the former, with some help of the latter, men's minds may be en- 
lightened, and their hearts inclined to the obedience of faith : by the latter neither of 
these effects can be produced without the help of the former, Synopsis jmrior, Theoi. 
disp. XXVI. 518. 


were Isaiah and Jeremiah to the Jews ? The former spake of 
Christ more like an Evangelist of the New than a Prophet of the 
Old Testament ; the latter was a most convictive and pathetical 
preacher : yet the one complains, Isa. liii. 1. " Who hath believed 
" our report ? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed p* 
The other laments the successlessness of his ministry, Jer. vi. 18. 
" The bellows are burnt, the lead is consumed of the fire, the 
" founder melteth in vain." Under the New Testament, what peo- 
ple ever enjoyed such choice helps and means, as those that lived 
under the ministry of Christ and the apostles ? Yet how many re- 
mained still in darkness ? Matt. xi. 27. " We have piped to you, 
" but ye have not danced ; we have mourned unto you, but ye 
" have not lamented.'" Neither the delightful airs of mercy, nor 
the doleful ditties of judgment, could affect or move their hearts. 

And indeed if you search into the reason of it, you will be sa- 
tisfied, that the choicest of means can do nothing upon the heart, 
until Christ by his Spirit open it, because ordinances work not as 
natural causes do : for then the effect would always follow unless 
miraculously hindered ; and it would be equally wonderful, that all 
that hear should not be converted, as that the three children should 
be in the fiery furnace so long, and yet not be burned : no, it works 
not as a natural, but as a moral cause, whose efficacy depends on 
the gracious and arbitrary concurrence of the Spirit. " The wind 
" bloweth where it listeth," John iii. 8. The ordinances are like 
the pool of Bethesda, John v. 4. At a certain time an angel came 
down and troubled the waters, and then they had a healing virtue 
in them. So the Spirit comes down at certain times in the word, 
and opens the heart ; and then it becomes the power of God to sal- 
vation. So that when you see souls daily sitting under excellent 
and choice means, and remain dead still, you may say as Martha 
did to Christ of her brother Lazarus, Lord, if thou hadst been here 
they had not remained dead. If thou hadst been in this sermon, it 
had not been so ineffectual to them. 

3. It implies the utter impotency of man to open his own heart, 
and thereby make the word effectual to his own conversion and 
salvation. He that at first said, " let there be light," and it was 
so, must shine into our hearts, or they will never be savingly en- 
lightened. * £ Cor. iv. 4, 6. A double misery lies upon a great 
part of mankind, viz. Impotency and Pride. They have not only 
lost the liberty and freedom of their wills, but with it have so far 
lost their understanding and humility as not to own it. But, alas ! 

* It must therefore be acknowledged, that such is our insufficiency of ourselves in 
all respects that the heavenly dpctrine cannot be unprofitable to us, or have its due effect, 
except so far as the Spirit both forms our minds to understand it, and our hearts ta 
submit to it. Calvin on this place. 

I 3 


Man is become a most impotent creature by the fall ; so far from 
being able to open his own heart, that he cannot know the things 
of the Spirit, 1 Cor. ii. 14. cannot believe, John vi. 44. cannot 
obev, Rom. viii. 7. cannot speak one good word, Matt. xii. 34. 
cannot think one good thought, 2 Cor. iii. 5. cannot do one good 
act, John xv. 5. O what a helpless, shiftless thing is a poor sin- 
ner ! Suitably to this state of impotence, conversion is in scripture 
called regeneration, John iii. 3. a resurrection from the dead, Eph. 
ii. 5. a creation, Eph. ii. 10. a victory, £ Cor. x. 5. Which doth 
not only imply man to be purely passive in his conversion to God, 
but a renitency, and opposition made to that power which goes 
forth from God to recover him. 

Lastly, Christ's opening the understanding imports his divine 
power, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself. Who 
but God knows the heart ? * Who but God can unlock and open 
it at pleasure ? No mere creature, no not the angels themselves, 
who for their large understandings are called intelligencies, can 
command or open the heart. We may stand and knock at men's 
hearts, till our own ake ; but no opening till Christ come. He 
can fit a key to all the cross wards of the will, and with sweet effi- 
cacy open it, and that without any force or violence to it. These 
things are carried in this part of his office, consisting in opening the 
heart : which was the first thing propounded for explication. 

Secondly, In the next place, let us see by what acts Jesus Christ 
performs this work of his, and what way and method he takes to 
open the hearts of sinners. 

And there are two principal ways, by which Christ opens the 
understandings and hearts of men, viz. by his Word and Spirit. 

1. By his word ; to this end was Paul commissioned and sent to 
preach the gospel, Acts xxvi. 18. " To open their eyes, and turn 
" them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to 
u God.'" The Lord can, if he pleases, accomplish this imme- 
diately ; but though he can do it, he will not do it ordinarily witta 
out means, because he will honour his own institutions. Therefore 
you may observe, that when Lydia's heart was to be opened, 
" there appeared unto Paul a man of Macedonia, who prayed him, 
" saying, come over into Macedonia, and help us," Acts xix. 9. 
God will keep up his ordinances among men : and though he hath 
not tied himself, yet he hath tied us, to them. Cornelius must 
send for Peter : God can make the earth produce corn, as it did 
at first, without cultivation and labour ; but he that shall now ex- 
pect it in the neglect of means, may perish for want of bread. 

* He alone, whose throne is in heaven, has access into, and can instruct the 


2. But the ordinances in themselves cannot do it, as I noted 
before ; and therefore Jesus Christ hath sent forth the Spirit, who 
is his Proreoc, his vicegerent, to carry on this work upon the hearts 
of his elect. And when the Spirit comes down upon the souls in 
the administration of the ordinances, he effectually opens the heart 
to receive the Lord Jesus, by the hearing of faith. He breaks in 
upon the understanding and conscience by powerful convictions and 
compunctions ? so much that word, John xvi. 8. imports, " He 
" shall convince the world of sin ;" convince by clear demonstra- 
tion *, such as inforces assent, so that the soul cannot but yield it to 
be so ; and yet the door of the heart is not opened, till he has 
also put forth his power upon the Avill, and, by a sweet and secret 
efficacy, overcome all its reluctions, and the soul be made willing 
in the day of his power. When this is done, the heart is opened : 
saving light now shines in it ; and this light set up, the Spirit in 
the soul is, 

1. A new light in which all things appear far otherwise than they 
did before. The names Christ and sin, the words heaven and hell 
have another sound in that man's ears, than formerly they had. 
When he comes to read the same scriptures, which possibly he had 
read a hundred times before, he wonders he should be so blind as 
he was, to overlook such great, weighty, and concerning tilings 
as he now beholds in them ; and saith, Where Avere mine eyes, that 
I could never see these things before ? 

2. It is a very affecting light ; a light that hath heat and power- 
ful influences with it, which makes deep impressions on the heart. 
Hence they whose eyes the great Prophet opens, are said to be 
" brought out of darkness into his marvellous light," 1 Pet. ii. 9. 
The soul is greatly affected with what it sees. The beams of light 
are contracted and twisted together in the mind; and being re ? 
fleeted on the heart and affections, soon cause them to smoke and 
burn. " Did not our hearts burn within us, whilst he talked with 
" us, and opened to us the scriptures ?" 

3. And it is a growing light, like the light of the morning 
which " shines more and more unto the perfect day," Prov, iv. 18. 
When the Spirit first opens the understanding, he doth not give 
it at once a full sight of all truths, or a full sense of the power, 
sweetness and goodness of any truth ; but the soul in the use of 
means grows up to a greater clearness day by day : its knowledge 
grows extensively in measure, and intensively in power and efficacy. 

* To fJ>rj dvvarov aXXwg £%siv aXX' xIoj XsyofMv. Demonstration is an argu- 
ment shewing the impossibility of a thing's being otherwise than as we affirm.— 

1 4 


And thus the Lord Jesus by his Spirit opens the understanding. 
Now the use of this follows in five practical deductions. 

Inference 1. If this be the work and office of Jesus Christ, to 
open the understandings of men ; hence we infer the miseries that 
lie upon those men, whose understandings, to this day, Jesus Christ 
hath not opened ; of whom we may say, as it is, Deut. xxix. 4, 
* To this day Christ hath not given them eyes to see." Natural 
blindness, whereby we are deprived of the light of this world, is 
sad ; but spiritual blindness is much more so. See how dolefully 
their case is represented, 2 Cor. iv. 8, 4. " But if our gospel be 
"hid, it is hid to them that are lost : whose eyes the God of 
" this world hath blinded, lest the light of the glorious gospel of 
" Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them :" 
he means a total and final concealment of the saving power of the 
word from them. Why, what if Jesus Christ withhold it, and 
will not be a prophet to them, what is their condition ? Truly no 
better than lost men. It is hid roig oMToWupmit, to them that are 
to perish, or be destroved. This blindness, like the covering of 
the face, or tying the handkerchief over the eyes, is in order to 
their turning off into hell. More particularly, because the point is 
of deep concernment, let us consider, 

1. The judgment injlicted, and that is spiritual blindness. A sore 
misery indeed ! Not an universal ignorance of all truths, O no ! 
in natural and moral truths they are oftentimes acute, and sharp- 
sighted men ; but in that part of knowledge which wraps up eter- 
nal life, John xvii. 2. there they are utterly blinded : as it is said 
of the Jews, upon whom this misery lies, that blindness in part is 
happened to Israel. They are learned and knowing persons in other 
matters, but they know not Jesus Christ ; there is the grand and 
sad defect. 

2. The subject of this judgment, the mind, which is the eye of 
the soul. If it were put upon the body, it would not be so consi- 
derable ; this falls immediately upon the soul, the noblest part of 
man, and upon the mind, the highest and noblest faculty of the 
soul, whereby we understand, think, and reason. This in scrip- 
ture is called vnevfLa the spirit, the intellectual, rational faculty, 
which the philosophers call ro rfytfrtwkoP) the leading directive fa- 
culty ; which is to the soul what the natural eye is to the body. 
Now the soul being the most active and restless thing in the world, 
always working, and its leading, directive power blind, judge what 
a sad and dangerous state such a soul is in ; just like a fiery, high- 
mettled horse, whose eyes are out, furiously carrying his rider up- 
on rocks, pits and dangerous precipices. I remember Chrysostom, 
speaking of the loss of a soul, saith that the loss of a member of 
the body is nothing to it ; for, saith he, If a man lose an eye, ear, 


hand or foot, there is another to supply its want : Omnia Deus de~ 
dit dupHcia, " God hath given us those members double ;" animam 
vero unam, " but he hath not given us two souls, 1 *' that if one be 
lost, yet the other may be saved. Surely it were better for thee, 
reader, to have every member of thy body made the seat and sub- 
ject of the most exquisite racking torments, than for spiritual blind- 
ness to befal thy soul. Moreover, 

3. Consider the indiscernableness of this judgment to the soul on 
whom it lies : they know it not, no more than a man knows that 
he is asleep. Indeed it is " the spirit of a deep sleep poured out 
" upon them from the Lord," Isa. xxix. 10. like that which befel 
Adam when God opened his side, and took out a rib. This ren- 
ders their misery the more remediless : " Because ye say you see, 
" therefore your sin remained!," John ix. 41. Once more, 

4. Consider the tendency and effects of it. What doth this tend to 
but eternal ruin ? for hereby we are cut off from the only remedy. 
The soul that is so blinded, can never see sin, nor a Saviour ; but, 
like the Egyptians, during the palpable darkness, sits still, and 
moves not after its own recovery. And as ruin is that to which 
it tends, so in order thereto, it renders all the ordinances and du- 
ties under which that soul comes, altogether useless and ineffectual 
to its salvation. He comes to the word, and sees others melted by 
it, but to him it signifies nothing. O what a heavy stroke of God 
is this ! Most wretched is their case, to whom Jesus Christ will 
not apply this eye-salve, that they may see. Did you but under- 
stand the misery of such a state, if Christ should say to you, as he 
did to the blind man, Mat. xx. 33. " What wilt thou that I should 
" do for thee ?" You would return as he did, " Lord, that my 
" eyes may be opened." 

Life)'. 9, If Jesus Christ be the great Prophet of the church, 
then surely he will take special care both of the church and the under 
shepherds appointed by him toj'eed them : else both the objects and 
istruments upon and by which he executes his office, must fail and 
consequently this glorious office be in vain. Hence he is said 
" to walk among the golden candlesticks,'" Rev. i. 13. and Rev. 
ii. 1. " to hold the stars in his right hand. 11 Jesus Christ instru- 
mentally opens the understandings of men by preaching of the gos- 
pel ; and whilst there is an elect soul to be converted, or a convert 
to be farther illuminated, means shall not fail to accomplish it by. 

Infer. 3. Hence you that are yet in darkness, may be directed 
to whom to apply yourselves for saving knowledge. It is Christ 
that hath the sovereign eye-salve, that can cure your blindness * ; 

* So thick is that cataract which is grown over the eye of our understanding 
that none but God can remove it. Christ was sent to be a light to the Gentiles. 


he only hath the key of the house of David ; he opens, and no 
man shutteth. O that I might persuade you to set yourselves in 
his way, under the ordinances, and cry to him, " Lord, that my 
" eyes may be opened." Three things are marvellously encouraging 
to you so to do. 

1. God the Father hath put him into this office, for the cure 
of such as you be, Isa. xlix. 6. (i I will give thee for a light to the 
6i Gentiles, that thou may est be my salvation to the end of the 
" earth." This may furnish you with an argument to plead for a 
cure. Why do you not go to God, and say, Lord, didst thou 
give Jesus Christ a commission to open the blind eyes ? Behold me, 
Lord, such a one am I, a poor, dark, ignorant soul. Didst thou 
give him to be thy salvation to the ends of the earth ? No place 
nor people excluded from the benefit of that right ; and shall I 
still remain in the shadow of death ? O that unto me he might be 
a saving light also ? The best and most excellent work that ever 
thou wroughtest, brings thee no glory till it comes into the light ! 
O let me see and admire it ! 

2. It is encouraging to think, that Jesus Christ hath actually 
opened the eyes of them that were as dark and ignorant as you are. 
He hath revealed those things to babes, that have been hid from the 
wise and prudent, Mat. xi. 25. f* The law of the Lord is perfect, 
" making wise the simple," Psal. xix. 7. And if you look among 
those whom Christ hath enlightened, you will not find < ; many 
" wise after the flesh, many mighty or noble ; but the foolish, 
* c weak, base, and despised ; these are they on whom he hath 
u glorified the riches of his grace," 1 Cor. i. 26, 27. 

3. And is it not yet farther encouraging to you that hitherto he 
hath mercifully continued you under the means of light f Why is 
not the light of the gospel put out ? Why are times and seasons of 
grace continued to you, if God have no farther design of good to 
your souls ? Be not therefore discouraged, but wait on the Lord 
in the use of means, that you may yet be healed. 

Quest. If you ask, What can we do to put ourselves into the way 
of the Spirit, in order to such a cure ? 

Sol. I say, though you cannot do any thing, that can make the 
gospel effectual, yet the Spirit of God can make those means you 
are capable of using effectual, if he please to concur with them. 
And it is a certain truth, that your inability to do what is above 
your power, doth no ways excuse you from doing what is within 
the compass of your power to do. I know no act that is saving, 
can be done without the concurrence of spiritual grace ; yea, and 
no act that hath a remote order and tendency thereto, without a 

so he enlightens the medium ; and to open the eyes of the bind, so he heajs the 
organ ; he is the only oculist ; firming Heal Christian, p. 30. 


more general concourse of God's assistance : but herein he is not 
behind-hand with you. Let me therefore advise, 

1. That you diligently attend upon an able, faithful, and search- 
ing ministry. Neglect no opportunity God affords you ; for how 
know you but that may be the time of mercy to your soul ? If he 
that lay so many years at the pool of Bethesda, had been wanting 
but that hour when the angel came down and troubled the waters, 
he had not been healed. 

2. Satisfy not yourselves with hearing, but consider what you 
hear. Allow time to reflect upon what God hath spoken to you. 
What power is there in man more excellent, or more appropriate 
to the reasonable nature, than its reflective and self-considering 
power ? There is little hope of any good to be done upon your 
souls, till you begin to go alone, and become thinking men and 
women : Here all conversion begins. I know, a severer task can 
hardly be imposed upon a carnal heart. It is a hard thing to bring 
a man and lumself together upon this account : but this must be, 
if ever the Lord do your souls good. Psal. iv. 4. " Commune 
with your own hearts. 1 ' 

3. Labour to see, and ingenuously confess the insufficiency of all 
your other knowledge to do you good. What if you had never so 
much skill and knowledge in other mysteries ? What if you be 
never so well accquainted with the letter of the scripture ? What if 
you had an angelical illumination ? This can never save thy soul. 
No, all thy knowledge signifies nothing till the Lord shew thee by 
special light the deplorable sight of thy own heart, and a saving 
sight of Jesus Christ, thy only remedy. 

hvf. 4. Since then there is a common light, and special saving 
light, which none but Christ can give, it is therefore the concern- 
vient, of every one of you to try what your light is. " We know, 
" (saitli the apostle, 1 Cor. viii. 1.) that we all have knowledge.'" 
O but what, and whence is it ? Is it the light of life springing from 
Jesus Christ, that bright and morning star, or only such as the de- 
vils and damned have ? These lights differ, 

1. In their very hind and natures. The one is heavenly, super- 
natural, and spiritual ; the other earthly, and natural, the effect 
of a better constitution or education, James iii. 15, 17. 

2. They differ most apparently in their effects and operations. 
The light that comes in a special way from Christ, is humbling, 
abasing, and soul-emptying light : by it a man sees the vileness of 
his own nature and practice, which begets self-loathing in him ; 
but natural light, on the contrary, puffs up, exalts, and makes the 
heart swell with self-conceitedness, 1 Cor. viii. 1. 

The light of Christ is practical and operative, still urging the soul, 
yet lovingly constraining it to obedience, No sooner did it shine 


into Paul's heart, but presently he asks, " Lord, what wilt thou 
" have me to do ?" Acts ix. 6. It brought forth fruit on the Co- 
lossians, from the first day it came to them, Col. i. 6 ; but the 
other spends itself in impractical notions, and is detained in un- 
righteousness, Rom. i. 18. The light of Christ is powerfully 
transformative of its subjects, changing the man, in whom it is, 
into the same image, from glory to glory, 2 Cor. iii. 18. But com- 
mon light leaves the heart as dead, as carnal and sensual, as if no 
light at all were in it. 

In a word, All saving light endears Jesus Christ to the soul ; 
and as it could not value him before it saw him, so when once he 
appears to the soul in his own light, he is appreciated and endeared 
unspeakably : then none but Christ ; all is but dung, that he may 
win Christ : none in heaven but him, nor in earth desirable in 
comparison of him. But no such effect flows from natural com- 
mon knowledge. 

3. They differ in their issues. Natural common knowledge 
vanisheth, as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. xiii. 8. It is but a May- 
flower, and dies in its month. " Doth not their excellency that 
" is in them go away?* Job iv. 21. But this that springs from 
Christ is perfected, not destroyed by death : it springs up into 
everlasting life. The soul in which it is subjected, carries it away 
with it into glory. John xvii. 2. this light is life eternal. Now 
turn in, and compare yourselves with these rules : l'et not false 
light deceive you. 

Inf. 5. Lastly, How are they obliged to love, serve, and honour Je- 
sus Christ, whom he hath enlightened with the saving knowledge of 
himself? O that with hands and hearts lifted up to heaven, ye would 
adore the free grace of Jesus Christ to your souls ? How many 
round about you have their eyes closed, and their hearts shut up ! 
How many are in darkness, and there are like to remain, till they 
come to the blackness of darkness, which is reserved for them ? O 
what a pleasant thing is it for your eyes to see the light of this 
world ! But what is it for the eye of your mind to see God in 
Christ ? To see such ravishing sights as the objects of faith are ? 
and to have such a pledge as this given you of the blessed visions of 
glory ? for in this light you shall see light. Bless God, and boast 
not : rejoice in your light, but be proud of it ; and beware ye sin 
not against the best and highest light in this world. If God were 
so incensed against the Heathens for disobeying the light of nature, 
what is it in you to sin with eyes clearly illuminated with the 
purest light that shines in this world? You know, God charges 
it upon Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 9- that he turned from the way of 
obedience after the Lord had appeared to him twice. Jesus Christ 


intended when lie opened your eyes, that your eyes should direct 
your feet. Light is a special help to obedience, and obedience is u 
singular help to increase your light. 


The Nature and necessity of the Priesthood of Christ. 

Heb. ix. 23. 

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in tlie 
Heavens should be purified with these ; but the heavenly things 
themselves with better sacrifices than these. 

©ALVATION (as to the actual dispensation of it) is revealed 
by Christ as a Prophet* procured by him as a Priest, applied by 
him as a King. In vain it is revealed, if not purchased; in vain 
revealed and purchased, if not applied. How is it revealed, both 
to us, and in us, by our great Prophet, hath been declared. And 
now, from the prophetical office, we pass on to the priestly office 
of Jesus Christ, who as our Priest, purchased our salvation. In this 
office is contained the grand relief for a soul distressed by the guilt 
of sin. When all other reliefs have been essayed, it is the blood 
of this great sacrifice, sprinkled by faith upon the trembling con- 
science, that must cool, refresh, and sweetly compose and settle 
it Now, seeing so great a weight hangs upon this office, the 
apostle industriously confirms and commends it in this epistle, and 
more especially in this ninth chapter ; shewing how it was figured 
to the world by the typical blood of the sacrifices, but infinitely 
excels them all : and as in many other most weighty respects, so 
principally in this, that the blood of these sacrifices did but purify 
the types or patterns of the heavenly things ; but the blood of this 
sacrifice purified or consecrated the heavenly things themselves,, 
signified by those types. 

The words read, contains an argument to prove the necessity of 
the offering up of Christ, the great sacrifice, drawn from the pro- 
portion betwixt the types, and the things typified *. If the sanc- 

* He concludes the foregoing argument on the necessity of redemption, from 
the proportion between the types and the heavenly things : for, if the things typi- 
cally sacred, behoved to be purified with typical blood ; surely, the heavenly 
things behoved to be purified by blood so much more excelling that other, as these 
things themselves excel their earthly types. The reason is plain : because, what pro- 
portion there is between the types and the things typified, must likewise take place 
as to the blood that consecrates them. Parous on this place. 


tuarv, merev-seat, and all things pertaining to the service of the 
tabernacle, were to be consecrated by blood; those earthly, but 
sacred types, by the blood of bulls and lambs* §c. much more 
the heavenly things shadowed by them, ought to be purified or 
consecrated by better blood than the blood of beasts. The blood 
consecrating these, should as much excel the blood that conse- 
crated those, as the heavenly things themselves do, in their own 
nature, excel those earthly shadows of them. Look, what pro- 
portion there is between the type and anti-type, the like porportion 
also is betwixt the blood that consecrates them ; earthly things with 
common, heavenly things with the most excellent blood. 

So then, there are two things to be especially observed here : 
First, The nature of Christ's death and sufferings : It had the na- 
ture, use and end of a sacrifice ; and of all the sacrifices the most 
excellent. Secondly, The necessity of his offering it up : it was 
necessary to correspond with all the types and prefigurations of it 
under the law : but especially it was necessary for the expiating of 
sin, the propitiating of a justly incensed God, and the opening a 
way for reconciled ones to come to God in. The point I shall 
give you from it is, 

Doct. That the sacrifice of Christ, our High-priest, is most ex* 
cellent in itself, and most necessary for us. 

Sacrifice? * are of two sorts, eucharistical, or thaiik-offerings, in 
testification of homage } duty and service ; and in token of grati- 
tude for mercies freely received ; and ilastical, or expiatory, for 
satisfaction to justice, and thereby the atoning and reconciling of 
God. Of this last kind was the sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ 
for us : to this office he was called by God, Heb. v. 5. In it he 
was confirmed by the unchangeable oath of God, Psal. ex. 4. for 
it, he was singularly qualified by his incarnation, Heb. x. 6, 7. 
and all the ends of it he has fully answered, Heb. ix. 11, 12. 

My present design is, from this scripture, to open the general 
nature and absolute necessity of the priesthood of Christ; shewing 
what his priesthood implies in it, and how all this was indispensably 
necessary in order to our recovery from the deplorable state of sin 
and misery. 

First then, we will consider what it supposes and implies ; and 
then, wherein it consists. And there are six things which it either 
pre-supposeth, or necessarily includeth in it. 

* Of sacrifices, some are typical, others are the very things signified by the 
type : and both are of two sorts, lAasiza, expiatory, or govap/j/xa, *• e « thanks- 
giving. Lucas Trelcat, p. 78. 


1. At first sight, it supposes marts revolt and fall from God ; and 

a dreadful breach made thereby betwixt God mi * s 

, , . i j r J . n Ike nature of 

and him, else no need of an atoning sacrifice. ch ifs vr iesU 
" If one died for all, then were all dead,'* 2 , , K 

Cor. v. 14. dead in law, under sentence to die, " 

and that eternally. In all the sacrifices, from Adam to Christ, this 
was still preached to the world, that there was a fearful breach 
betwixt God and man ; and even so, that justice required our 
blood should be shed. And the fire flaming on the altar, which 
w r holly burnt up the sacrifice, was a lively emblem of that fiery 
indignation that should devour the adversaries. But above all, 
when Christ, that true and great Sacrifice, was offered up to God, 
then was the fairest glass that ever was in the world, set before us, 
therein to see our sin and misery by the fall. 

2. His priesthood supposes the unalterable purpose of God to take 
vengeance for sin * ,• he will not let it pass. I will not determine 
what God could do in this case, by his absolute power ; but I think 
it is generally yielded, that, by his ordinate power, he could do no 
less than punish it in the person of the sinner, or of his surety. 

Those that contend for such a forgiveness, as is an act of charity, 
like that whereby private persons forgive one another, must at once 
suppose God to part with his right, cedendo dejure suo *(-, and also 
render the satisfaction of Christ altogether useless, as to the pro- 
curement of forgiveness ; yea, rather an obstacle, than a means to 
it. Surely, the nature and truth of God oblige him to punish 
sin j. " He is of purer eyes than to look upon iniquity ," Heb. i. 
13. And beside, the word is gone out of his mouth, that the 
sinner shall die. 

3. The priesthood of Christ pre-supposeth the utter impotency of 
men to appease God, and recover his favour by any thing he could do 
or suffer. Surely God would not come down to assume a body to 
die, and be offered up for us, if at any cheaper rate it could have 
been accomplished ; there was no other way to recover man and 
satisfy God. Those that deny the satisfaction of Christ, and talk of 
his dying to confirm the truth, and give us art example of meekness, 
patience, and self-denial, affirming these to be the sole ends of his 
death, do not only therein root up the foundations of their own 
comfort, peace and pardon, but most boldly impeach and tax the 

* The reader may find this case learnedly and solidly handled by Dr. Twisse y 
Vindic. gratia, digres. 8. 

f By betraying the cause of justice, in departing from his own eternal and neces- 
sary rights. 

| In no other way can God's hatred of sin be made to appear, than by inflicting 
th« deserved punishment, Brad, on Justific. p. 01. 


infinite wisdom. God could have done all this at a cheaper rate : 
the sufferings of a mere creature are able to attain these ends : the 
deaths of the martyrs did it. But who by dying can satisfy and re- 
concile God ? what creature can bring him an adequate and pro- 
portionable value for sin ? yea, for all the sin that ever was, or 
shall be transmitted to the natures, or committed by the persons, of 
all God's elect, from Adam, to the last that shall be found alive at 
the Lord's coming ? surely, none but Christ can do this. 

4. Chrisfs priesthood implies the necessity of his being" God- 
man *. It was necessary he should be a man, in order to his pas- 
sion, compassion, and derivation of his righteousness and holiness to 
men. Had he not been a man, he had had no sacrifice to offer, no 
soul or body to suffer in. The Godhead is impatible, immortal, 
and above all those sufferings and miseries Christ felt for us. Be- 
sides, his being man, fills him with bowels of compassion, and tender 
sense of our miseries : this makes him a merciful and faithful High- 
priest, Heb. iv. 15. and not only fits him to pity, but to sanctify us 
also ; for " he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are 
" both of one," Heb. ii. 11, 14, 17. And as necessary it was our 
High-priest should be God, since the value and efficacy of our sa- 
crifice results from thence. 

5. The priesthood of Christ implies the extremity of his sufferings. 
In sacrifices, you know, there was a destruction, a kind of annihi- 
lation of the creature to the glory of God. The shedding of the 
creature's blood, and burning its flesh with fire, was but an um- 
brage, or faint resemblance of what Christ endured, when he 
made his soul an offering for sin. 

And lastly, It implies the gracious design of God to reconcile us 
at a dear rate to himself in that he called and confirmed Christ in 
his priesthood by an oath, and thereby laid out a sacrifice, of infinite 
value, for the world. Sins, for which no sacrifice is allowed, are 
desperate sins ; and the case of such sinners is helpless : But if God 
allow, yea, and provide a sacrifice himself, how plainly doth it speak 
his intentions of peace and mercy ? These things are manifestly 
pre-supposed, or implied in Christ's priesthood. 

" -f- This priesthood of Christ is that function, wherein he 
" comes before God, in our name and place, to fulfil the law, 

* Hence, therefore, it appears, how necessary it was that Christ the Mediator should 
be both God and Man : had he not been Man, he would not have been a fit sacrifice : 
and had he not been God, that sacrifice would not have been of sufficient efficacy. 
Ames. Med. p. 92. 

■f- SaccrdoUum Christi estfunctio qua coram Deo apparet, ut legem ab ipso acceptam nostra 
nomine observet, seipsum victimam reconciliationis pro nostris peccatis ipsi ojf'erat, suaque 
apud Deum intercessione opem ijysius pcrennem, ac donationem Sjriritus Sancti nobis inv 
pelret, at que ejficaciter appiicet. Synopsis purioris Theol. p. 518. 


" and offer up himself to him a sacrifice of reconciliation for our 
" sins ; and by his intercession to continue and apply the purchase 
" of his blood to them for whom he shed it :" All this is contain* 
ed in that famous scripture, Heb. x. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, IS, 14. 
Or, more briefly, the priesthood of Christ is that whereby he ex* 
piated the sins of men, and obtained the favour of God for them, 
Col. i. 20, 22. Rom. v. 10. But because I shall insist more largely 
upon the several parts and fruits of this office, it shall here suffice 
to speak this much as to its general nature ; which was the first 
thing proposed for explication. 

Secondly, The necessity of Chrisfs priesthood comes next to be 
opened. Touching which, I affirm, according to the scriptures, 
it was necessary, in order to. our salvation, that such a Priest should, 
by such a sacrifice, appear before God for us. 

The truth of this assertion will be cleared by these two principles, 
which are evident in the scripture, viz. That God stood upon full 
satisfaction, and would not remit one sin without it : and that fallen 
man is totally incapable of tendering him any such satisfaction; 
therefore Christ, who only can, must do it, or we perish. 

1. God stood upon full satisfaction, and would not remit one sin 
without it. This will be cleared from the nature of sin ; and from 
the veracity and wisdom of God. 

(1.) From the nature of sin, which deserves that the sinner should 
suffer for it. Penal evil, in a course of justice, follows moral evil. 
Sin and sorrow ought to go together ; betwixt these is a necessary 
connection, Rom. vi. 13. " The wages of sin is death." 

(2.) The veracity of God requires it The word is gone out of 
his mouth ; Gen. ii. 17. " in the day that thou eatest thereof, 
" thou shalt surely die :" certo ac statim moricris. From that time 
he was instantly and certainly obnoxious and liable to the death of 
soul and body. The law pronounces him cursed, " that continues 
" not in all things that are written therein to do them, 11 Gal. iii. 9. 
Now, though man's threatenings are often vain and insignificant 
things, yet God's shall surely take place ; " not one tittle of the 
" law shall fail, till all be fulfilled, 11 Matt. v. 18. God will be true 
in his threatenings, though thousands and millions perish. 

(3.) The wisdom of God, by which he governs the rational 
world, admits not of a dispensation or relaxation of the threaten- 
ings without satisfaction * : for, as good no king, as no laws for 
government ; as good no law, as no penalty ; anct as good no pe- 
nalty, as no execution. To this purpose one well observes ; " It 
" is altogether indecent, especially to the wisdom and righteous- 
" ness of God, that that which provoketh the execution, should 

* Dr. Reynolds on PsaL ex. p, 409. 

Vol. I. K 


" procure the abrogation of his law ; that that should supplant and 
P undermine the law, for the alone preventing whereof the law 
" was before established. " How could it be expected, that men 
should fear and tremble before God, when they should find them- 
selves more scared than hurt by his threats against sin ! So then 
God stood upon satisfaction, and would admit no treaty of peace, 
on any other ground. 

Object. Let none here object, that reconciliation upon this only 
score of satisfaction, is derogatory to the riches of grace ; or that 
we allow not God what we do men, viz. to forgive an injury freely * 
without satisfaction. 

Sol. Free forgiveness to us, and full satisfaction made to God by 
Jesus Christ for us, are not atfupara, things inconsistent with each 
other, as in its proper place shall be more fully cleared to you. 
And for denying that to God which we allow to men ; you must 
know, that man and man stand on even ground: man is not 
capable of being wronged and injured by man, as God is by man, 
there is no comparison between the nature of the offences. 

To conclude, man only can freely forgive man ; in a private 
capacity, so far as wrong concerns himself; but ought not to do 
so in a public capacity, as he is judge, and bound to execute justice 
impartially. God is our Law-giver and Judge : he will not dis- 
pense with violations of the law, but strictly stands upon complete 

2. Man can render to God no satisfaction of his own, for the 
wrong done by his sin. He finds no way to compensate and make 
God amends, either by doing, or by suffering his will. 

(1.) Not by doing : this way is shut up to all the world ; none 
can satisfy God, or reconcile himself to him this way ; for it is 
evident our best works are sinful ; " All our righteousness is as 
" filthy rags, 1 ' Isa. lxiv. 6; And it is strange any should imagine, 
that one sin should make satisfaction for another. If it be said, 
not what is sinful in our duties, but what is spiritual, pure and 
good, may ingratiate us with God? it is at hand to reply, that 
what is good in any of our duties, is a debt we owe to God, yea, 
we owe him perfect obedience ; and it is not imaginable how we 
should pay one debt by another ; quit a former by contracting a 
new engagement. If we do any thing that is good, we are be- 
holden to grace for it, John xv. 5. 2 Cor. iii. 5. 1 Cor. xv. 10. 
In a word, those that have had as much to plead on that score as 
any now living, have quitted, and utterly given up all hopes of 
appeasing and satisfying the justice of God, that way. It is like, 
holy Job feared God, and eschewed evil as much as any of you ; 
yet he saith, Job ix. 20, 21. " If I justify myself, mine own 
* mouth shall condemn me ; if I say I am perfect, it shall also 


" prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not 
" know my soul ; I would despise my life." It may be David 
was a man as much after the heart of God as you ; yet he said, 
Psal. cxliii. 2. " Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in 
" thy sight shall no man be justified." It is like Paul lived as holy, 
heavenly, and fruitful a life as the best of you, and far, far beyond 
you ; yet he saith, 1 Cor. iv. 4. " I know (or am conscious to 
" myself) of nothing, yet am I not hereby justified." His sincerity 
might comfort him, but could not justify him. And what need 
I say more ? The Lord hath shut up this way to all the world ; 
and the scriptures speak it roundly and plainly : Rom. iii. 20. 
" Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be j usti- 
" fled in his sight. 1,1 Compare Gal. iii. 21. Rom. viii. 3. 

(2.) And as man can never reconcile himself to God by doing, 
so neither by suffering : that is equally impossible ; for no suffer- 
ings can satisfy God, but such as are proportionable to the offence 
we suffer for. And if so, an infinite suffering must be borne : I 
say infinite, for sin is an infinite evil, objectively considered, as it 
wrongs an infinite God. Now sufferings may be said to be infi- 
nite, either in respect of their weight, exceeding all bounds and 
limits ; the letting out of the wrath and fury of an infinite God : 
or in respect of duration, being endless and everlasting. In the 
first sense, no creature can bear an infinite wrath, it would swal- 
low us up. In the second, it may be borne as the damned do ; but 
then, ever to be suffering, is never to have satisfied. 

So that no man can be his own priest, to reconcile himself to 
God by what he can do or suffer. And therefore, one that is able 
by doing and suffering, to reconcile him, must undertake it, or we 
perish. Thus you see plainly and briefly the general nature and 
necessity of Christ's priesthood. 

From both these, several useful corollaries, or practical deduc- 
tions, offer themselves. 

Corollary 1. This shews, in the first place, the incomparable ex- 
cellency of the reformed Christian religion above all other religions, 
known to, or professed in the world. What other religions seek, 
the Christian religion only finds, even a solid foundation for true 
peace and settlement of conscience. While the Jews seek it in vain 
in the law ; the Mahometan in his external and ridiculous obser- 
vances ; the Papist in his own merits ; the believer only finds it in 
the blood of this great Sscrifice ; this, and nothing less than this, 
can pacify a distressed conscience, labouring under the weight of its 
own guilt. Conscience demands no less to satisfy it, than God de- 
mands to satisfy him. The grand inquest of conscience is, is God 
satisfied ? If he be satisfied, I am satisfied. Woful is the state of 
that maji, that feels the worm of conscience nibbling on the most 



tender part of the soul, and hath no relief against it ; that feels 
the intolerable scalding wrath of God burning within, and hath 
nothino- to cool it. Hear me, you that slight the troubles of con- 
science, that call them fancies and melancholy whimsies ; if you 
ever had had but one sick night for sin, if you had ever felt that 
shame, fear, horror, and despair which arc the dismal effects of 
an accusing and condemning conscience* you would account it an 
unspeakable mercy to hear of a way for the discharge of a poor 
sinner from that guilt : you would kiss the feet of that messenger 
that could bring you tidings of peace ; you would call him blessed, 
that should direct you to an effectual remedy. Now, whoever 
thou art, that pinest away in thine iniquities, that droopest from 
day to day under the present wounds, the dismal presages of con- 
science, know that thy soul and peace can never meet, till thou 
art persuaded to come to this blood of sprinkling. 

The blood of this sacrifice speaks better things than the blood 
of Abel. The blood of this sacrifice is the blood of God, Acts xx, 
28. invaluably precious blood, 1 Pet. i. 18. One drop of it in- 
finitely excels the blood of all mere creatures, Heb. x. 4, 5, 6. 
Such is the blood that must do thee good. Lord, I must have such 
blood (saith conscience) as is capable of giving thee full satisfaction, 
or it can give me no peace. The blood of all the cattle upon a 
thousand hills cannot do this. What is the blood of beasts to 
God ? the blood of all the men in the world can do nothing in 
this case. What is our polluted blood worth ? No* no, it is the 
blood of God, that must satisfy both thee and me. 

Yea, Christ's blood is not only the blood of God, but it is blood 
shed in thy stead, and in thy place and room. Gal. iii. 13. " He 
" was made a curse for us." And so it becomes sin-pardoning 
blood, Heb. ix. 22. Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14. Rom. iii. 26. and con- 
sequently, conscience-pacifying, and soul-quieting blood, Col. i. 
20. Eph. ii. 13, 14. Rom. iii. 26. O bless God, that ever the 
news of this blood came to thine ears. With hands and eyes lifted 
up to heaven, admire that grace that cast thy lot in a place where 
this joyful sound rings in the ears of poor sinners. What had thy 
case been, if thy mother had brought thee forth in the deserts of 
Arabia, or in the wastes of America I Or that if thou hadst been 
nursed up by a popish father, who could have told thee of no 
other remedy when m distress for sin, but to go such a pilgrimage, 
to whip and lash thyself, to satisfy an angry God ! Surely the 
pure light of the gospel shining upon this generation, is a mercy 
never to be duly valued, never to be enough prized. 

Corollary 2. Hence also be informed of the necessity qfjuith, in 
order to a state and sense of peace with God: for to what purpose is the 
blood of Christ our sacrifice shed, unless it be actually and personally 


applied, and appropriated by faith ? You know when the sacrifices 
under the law were brought to be slain, he that brought it was to 
put his * hand upon the head of the sacrifice, and so it was ac- 
cepted for him, to make an atonement, Lev. i. 4. not only to sig- 
nify, that how it was no more his, but God's, the property being 
transferred by a kind of manumission ; nor yet that he voluntarily 
gave it to the Lord as his own free act ; but principally it noted 
the putting off his sins, and the penalty due to him for them, upon 
the head of the sacrifice : and so it implied in it an execration, as 
if he had said, upon thy head be the evil. So the learned ob- 
serve ; the ancient Egyptians were wont expressly to imprecate, 
when they sacrified ; if any evil be coming upon us or upon Egypt, 
let it turn and rest upon this head, laying their hand, at these words, 
on the sacrifice's head. And upon that ground, saith the f Histo- 
rian, none of them would eat of the head of any living creature. 
You must also lay the hand of faith upon Christ your sacrifice, not 
to imprecate, but apply and appropriate him to your own souls, he 
having been made a curse for you. 

To this the whole gospel tends, even to persuade sinners to ap- 
ply Christ, and his blood to their own souls. To this he invited 
us, Matth. xi. 28. " Come unto me all ye that labour, and are 
" heavy laden, and I will give you rest." For this end our sacri- 
fice was lifted up upon the altar ; John iii. 14, 15. " As Moses 
" lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man 
¥ be lifted up : that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
" but have everlasting life." The effects of the law, not only 
upon the conscience, filling it with torments, but upon the whole 
person, bringing death upon it, are here shadowed out by the 
stingings of fiery serpents ; and Christ by the brazen serpent which 
Moses exalted for the Israelites, that were stung, to look unto. 
And as by looking to it they were healed ; so by believing, or 
looking to Christ in faith, our souls are healed. Those that looked 
not to the brazen serpent, died infallibly ; so must all that look 
not to Jesus, our sacrifice, by faith. It is true, the death, of Christ 
is the meritorious cause of remission, but faith is the instrumental 
applying cause % ; and as Christ's blood is necessary in its place, so 
is our faith in its place also. For to the actual remission of sin, and 
peace of conscience, there must be a co-operation of all the causes 

* And he shall put his hand, signifying that he casts his sins and the punishment 
due to them, upon the head of the victim ; as among the Greeks tif rqv aunt 
XttpaX^v, upon his bead, is a kind of imprecation. Drusius and Menochius. 

f Herod. 2. 39. 

\ It is a rule, that where there is a total and «ufficient cause in act, there the 
effect must needs follow. But if they be partial causes, then the causes which suo 
««ed in order, do not produce their complete effect, umtil the last cause be in act. 

K 3 


of remission and peace. As there is the grace and love of God for an 
efficient and impulsive cause, and the death of Christ our sacrifice, 
the meritorious cause ; so of necessity there must be faith, the in- 
strumental cause. And these con-causes do all sweetly meet in 
their influences, and activities, in our remission, and tranquillity 
of conscience ; and they are all (suo genare) in their kind and place 
absolutely necessary to the procuring and applying of it. 

What is the need that the blood of Christ is shed, if I have no 
interest in it, no saving influences from it ? O be convinced, this 
is the end, the business of life. Faith is the Phoenix-grace, as 
Christ is the Phamix-mercy. He is the gift, John iv. 10. And 
this is " the work of God," John vi. 29. The death of Christ, 
the offers and tenders of Christ, never saved one soul in them- 
selves, without believeing application. But, wo is me ! how do I 
see sinners, either not at all touched with the sense of sin, and so 
being whole, need not the physician ; or if any be stung and 
wounded with guilt, how do they lick themselves whole with their 
own duties and reformations ! As physicians say of wounds, let 
them be kept clean, and nature will find balsam of its own to heal 
them : If it be so in spiritual wounds, what need Christ to have 
left the Father's bosom, and come down to die in the quality and 
nature of a sacrifice for us ? O if men can but have health, plea- 
sure, riches, honours, and any way make a shift to still a braw- 
ling conscience, that it may not check or interrupt them in these 
enjoyments, Christ may go where he will for them. 

And I am assured, till God shew you the face of sin, in the 
glass of the law, make the scorpions and fiery serpents, that lurk 
in the law, and in your own consciences, to come hissing about 
you, and smiting you with their deadly stings, till you have had 
some sick nights, and sorrowful days for sin, you will never go 
up and dowi> seeking an interest in the blood of his sacrifice 
with tears. 

But, reader, if ever this be thy condition, then wilt thou know 
the worth of a Christ ; then wilt thou have a value for the blood 
of sprinkling. As I remember it is storied of our crook-backed 
Richard, when he was put to a rout in a field-battle, and flying 
on foot from his pursuing enemies ; he cried out, O now saith he, 
a kingdom for a horse. So wilt thou cry, A kingdom for a Christ ; 
ten thousand worlds now, if I had them, for the blood pf sprint- 

Corollary 3. Is Christ your High-priest, and is his priesthood so 
indispensably necessary to our salvation ? Then freely acknowledge 
your utter impotency to reconcile yourselves to God by any thing you, 
can do, or suffer ; and let Christ have the whole glory of your re- 
covery ascribed to him. It is highly reasonable that he that laid 


down the whole price, should have the whole praise. If any man 
think, or say, he could have made an atonement for himself, he doth 
therein cast no light reproach upon that profound wisdom which laid 
the design of our redemption in the death of Christ. But of this I 
have spoken elsewhere. And therefore, 

Corollary 4. In the last place, I rather chuse to persuade you to 
see your necessity of this priest, and his most excellent sacrifice ; 
and accordingly to make use of it. The best of you have polluted 
natures, poisoned in the womb with sin ; those natures have need 
of this sacrifice, they must have the benefit of this blood to pardon 
and cleanse them, or be eternally damned. Hear me, ye that 
never spent a tear for the sin of nature ; if the blood of Christ be 
not sprinkled upon your natures, it had been better for y u, that 
you had been the generation of beasts, the offspring of dragons 
or toads. They have a contemptible, but not a vitiated sinful 
nature, as you have. 

Your actual sins have need of the priest, and his sacrifice, to 
procure remission for them. If he take them not away by the 
blood of his cross, they can never be taken away, they will lie 
down with you in the dust ; they will rise with you and follow 
you to the judgment seat, crying, We are thy works, and we will 
follow thee. All thy repentance and tears, couldst thou weep as 
many as there be drops in the ocean, can never take away sin. 
Thy duties, even the best of them, need this sacrifice. It is in 
the virtue thereof that they are accepted of God. And were it 
not that God had respect to Christ's offering, he would not re- 
gard, or look towards thee, or any of thy duties. Thou couldst 
no more come near to God, than thou couldst approach a de- 
vouring fire, or dwell with everlasting burnings. 

Well then, say, I need such a price every way. Love him in 
all his offices. See the godness of God in providing such a sacri- 
fice for thee. Meat, drink, and air, are not more necessary to 
maintain thy natural life, than the death of Christ is to give and 
maintain thy spiritual life. 

O then, let thy soul grow big whilst meditating of the useful- 
ness and excellency of Christ, which is thus displayed and unfold- 
ed in every branch of the gospel : And, with a deep sense upon 
thy heart, let thy lips say, Blessed be God for Jesus Christ 




Of the Excellency of our High-Priest's Oblation, being the 
first Act or Part of his Priestly Office. 

Heb. x. 14. 

For by one offering, he hath perfected for ever them that are 

.AFTER this more general view and consideration of the priest- 
hood of Christ, method requires that we come to a nearer and 
more particular consideration of the parts thereof; which are his 
oblation and intercession, answerable to the double office of the 
High-priest, offering the blood of the sacrifices without the holy 
place, which typed out Christ's oblation ; and then once a year 
bringing the blood before the Lord into the most holy place, pre- 
senting it before God, and with it sprinkling the mercy-seat, 
'wherein the intercession of Christ (the other part or act of his 
priesthood) was in a lively manner typified to us. 

My present business is to open and apply the oblation of Christ ; 
the efficacy and excellency whereof is excellently illustrated, by 
a comparison with all other oblations, in the precedent context, 
and with a singular encomium commended to us in these words, 
from the singularity of it * It is but one offering ; one not only 
specifically, but one numerically considered ; but once offered, and 
never more to be repeated : for Christ dieth no more, Rom. vi. 9. 
He also commends it from the efficacy of it ; by it he hath perfect*, 
ed it, i. e. not only purchased a possibility of salvation, but all that 
we need to our full perfection. It brings in a most intire, com- 
plete and perfect righteousness : all that remains to make us per- 
fectly happy, is but the full application of the benefits procured 
by this oblation for us. Moreover, it is here commended from 
the extensiveness of it ; not being restrained to a few, but applicable 
to all the saints, in all the ages and places of the world : for this 
indefinite, tliem tliat that sanctified, is equivalent to an universal, 
and is as much as if he had said, To all and every saint, from the 
beginning to the end of the world. Lastly, He commends it from 
its perpetuity ; it perfects for ever ; that is, it is of everlasting effi- 
cacy : it shall abide as fresh, vigorous and powerful to the end of 

* Christ's offering is not only one in kind, but in number, because there can be 
bo other offering of him but by means of death, and therefore the distinction be- 
tween a bloody and unbloody sacrifice is false. Trelcat. Jnstit. p. 79. 


the world, as it was the first moment it was offered up. All runt 
into this sweet truth : 

Doct. That the oblation made unto God by Jesus Christ, U of 
unspeakable value, and everlasting efficacy, to perfect all them 
tJtat are, or shall be sanctified, to the end of the world. 

Out of this fountain flow all the excellent blessings that believers 
cither have, or hope for. Had it not been for this, there had 
been no such things in rerum natura, as justification, adoption, sal- 
vation, &c. peace with God and hopes of glory, pardon of sin, and 
divine acceptation : these and all other our best mercies, had been 
but so many entia, rationis, mere conceits. A man, as one saith, 
might have happily imagined such things as these, as he may golden 
mountains, and rivers of liquid gold, and rocks of diamonds : but 
these things could never have had any real existence extra rnentem, 
had not Christ offered up himself a sacrifice to God for us. It is 
" the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered up 
" himself without spot to God, that purges the conscience from 
" dead works," Heb. ix. 14. that is, from the sentence of con- 
demnation and death, as it is reflected by conscience, for our works 

His appearing before God as our priest, with such an offering 
for us, is that which removes our guilt and fear together : " He 
* appeared to put away sin by fche sacrifice of himself," Heb. ix. 
29. Now, forasmuch as the point before us is of so great weight 
in itself, and so fundamental to our safety and comfort, I shall en- 
deavour to give you as distinct and clear an account of it, as can 
consist with that brevity which I must necessarily use. And there- 
fore, reader, apply thy mind attentively to the consideration of this 
excellent Priest that appears before God, and the sacrifices he 
offers, with the properties and adjuncts thereof; the pe?~son before 
whom he brings, and to whom he offers it ; the persons for whom 
he offers ; and the end for which this oblation is made. 

First, The Priest that appears before God with an oblation for 
us, is Jesus Christ, God-man : the dignity of whose person digni- 
fied, and derived an inestimable worth to the offering he made. 
There were many priests before him, but none like unto him, 
either for the * purity of his person, or the perpetuity of his priest- 
hood : they were sinful men, and offered for their own sins, a3 
well as the sins of the people, Heb. v. 3. " but he was holy, harm- 
" less, undefiled, separate from sinners," Heb. vii. 2. He could 
stand before God, even in the eye of his justice, as a lamb without 

* So oblations were offered up in a pure vessel, Isa, lxvi. 20. Eaten, 


spot. Though he made his soul an offering for sin, " yet he had 
" done no iniquity, nor was any guile found in his mouth," Isa. 
liii. 9, and indeed his offering had done us no good, if the least 
taint of sin had been found on him. They were mortal men, that 
H continued not by reason of death," Heb. vii. 23. but Christ is 
" a Priest for ever," Psal. ex. 4. 

Secondly, The oblation or offering he made, was not the blood of 
beasts, but his own blood, Heb. ix. 12. And herein he trans- 
cended all other priests, that he had something of his own to offer ; 
he had a body given him to be at his own dispose, to this use 
and purpose, Heb. x. 10. he offered his body :" yea, not only 
his * body, but his " soul was made an offering for sin," Isa. liii. 
10. We had made a forfeiture of our souls and bodies by sin, and 
it was necessary the sacrifice of Christ should be answerable to the 
debt we owed. And when Christ came to offer his sacrifice, he 
stood not only in the capacity of a priest, but also in that of a sure- 
ty : and so his soul stood in the stead of ours, and his body in the 
stead of our bodies. Now the excellency of this oblation will 
appear in the following adjuncts and properties of it. This oblation 
being for the matter of it, the soul and body of Jesus Christ, i 

1. Invaluably precious. So the apostle styles it, 1 Pet. i. 19. 
" Ye were redeemed npudt ai'tan, with the precious blood of the 
*< Son of God :" and such it behoved him to offer. For it being 
offered as an expiatory sacrifice, it ought to be equivalent, in its 
own intrinsic value to all the souls and bodies that were to be re- 
deemed by it. And so it was, and more also: for there was a 
redundancy of value, an overplus of merit, which went to make a 
purchase for the redeemed; as will be opened in its place. So 
that, as one rich diamond is more worth than a thousand pebbles : 
one piece of gold, than many counters ; so the soul and body of 
one Christ, are much more excellent than all the souls and bodies 
in the world, 

And yet I dare not affirm f, as some do, that by reason of the 

* Bilson and Feverdentius affirm, that Christ only offered up his body, not his soul, 
upon this weak ground, that if he had offered up both, he had not offered one, but 
two sacriffces. Against whom the learned Parker, in his excellent book de descensu, 
urgefh my text, and thus frees it from that corrupt gloss. He says, fine reasoning 
this ; as if the whole burnt-offering had not been one sacrifice, because it was made 

up of many parts. Christ's sacrifice is called one, not by opposing his body to hi* 

soul, but by opposing his once offering of both body and soul, to these many sacri- 
fices, which, by the law of Moses, were offered up, not once, but frequently. Parker 
dc descensu, lib. 111. p. 146. 

f That alone can have the nature of punishment, which is inflicted by a judge 
according to law ; but it is not agreeable to a law which threatens death, that, for 
the violation of it, that only should be inflicted which causes shedding a drop of 
blood. John Cumeron, p. 564. 


infinite preciousness of Christ's blood, one drop thereof had been 
sufficient to have redeemed the whole world : for if one drop had 
been enough, why was all the rest, even to the last drop, shed ? 
Was God cruel, to exact more from him than was needful and 
sufficient : Besides, we must remember, that the passions of Christ, 
which were inflicted on him as the curse of the law, these only 
are the passions which are sufficient for our redemption from the 
curse of the law ; now it was not a drop of blood, but death which 
was contained in the curse : this therefore was necessary to be in- 
flicted. But surely as none but God can estimate the weight and 
evil of sin, so none but he can comprehend the worth and pre- 
ciousness of the blood of Christ, shed to expiate it. And being 
so infinitely precious a thing which was offered up to God, it 

2. Needs be a most complete and all-sufficient oblation, fully to 
expiate the sins of all for whom it was offered, in all ages of the 
world. The virtue of this sacrifice reacheth backward as far as 
Adam, and reacheth forward to the last person of the elect spring- 
ing from him. That the efficacy of it thus reacheth back to 
Adam, is plain : for, on the account thereof, he is stiled " The 
" Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," Rev. xiii. 8. 

And to the same sense a judicious * expositor understands those 
words of Christ, John viii. 58. " Before Abraham was, I am." 
And, look, as the sun at mid day extends his light and influence, 
not only forward towards the West, but also backward towards the 
East, where he arose ; so did this most efficacious sacrifice reach 
all the elect in the virtue of it, who died before Christ came in 
the flesh. It is therefore but a vain cavil, that some make against 
the satisfaction of Christ, to render it needless, when they say, 
many were saved without it, even as many as were saved before the 
death of Christ. •}• For they say, the effect cannot be before the 
cause, which is true of physical, but not of moral causes ; and such 
was Christ's satisfaction. As for example, a captive is freed out 
of prison from the time that his surety undertakes for him, and 
promises his ransom ; here the captive is actually delivered, though 
the ransom that delivered him be not yet actually paid. So it 
was in this case ; Christ had engaged to the Father to satisfy for 
them, and upon that security they were delivered. 

And the virtue of this oblation not only reaches those believers, 
that lived and died before Christ's day, but it extends itself for- 
ward to the end of the world. Hence Heb. xiii. 8. Christ is said 

* The efficacy and grace of Christ, as he is the Redeemer of the world, is com- 
mon to all ages. Calvin on this place. 

f A natural cause goes before its effect, in respect of time, not so, a moral cause. 
Cameron's works, }). 56. 


to be " the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ;" i. e. " * He is 
" not so a Saviour to us that now live, as that he was not their 
" Saviour also, that believed in him, before us, from the begin- 
* ning : yet not so a Saviour both to them and us, as that he shall 
«.' not be" the same to all that shall believe on him to the world's 
« end." 

To the same sense are those words, Heb. xi. 40. rightly para- 
phrased; "God having provided some better thing for us, that 
" they without us should not be made perfect :" q. d. God hath 
appointed the accomplishment of the promise of sending the Mes- 
siah, to be in the last times f, that they (viz. that lived before 
Christ) should not be perfected, that is, justified and saved by ony 
thing done in their time, but by looking to our time, and Christ's 
satisfaction made therein ; whereby they and we are perfected to- 
gether. No tract of time can wear out the virtue of this eternal 
Sacrifice. It is as fresh, vigorous, and potent now, as the first 
hour it was offered. And though he actually offer it no more, 
yet he virtually continues it by his intercession now in heaven ; for 
there he is still a Priest. And therefore, about sixty years after 
his ascension, when he gave the Revelation to John, he appears 
to him in his priestly garment, Rev. i. 13. " Clothed in a garment 
" down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle :" 
in allusion to the priestly ephod, and curious girdle. 

And as the virtue of this oblation reaches backward and for- 
ward, to all ages, and to all believers, so to all the sins of all be- 
lievers, which are fully purged and expiated by it : this no other 
oblation could do. The legal sacrifices were no real expiations, but 
rather remembrances of sins, Heb. ix. 9, 12. Heb. x. 3. And all 
the virtue they had, consisted in their typical relation to this sa- 
crifice, Gal. in. 23. Heb. ix. 13. And," separate from it, were 
altogether weak, unprofitable, and insignificant things, Heb. yii. 
18. But this blood cleanseth from all sins, 1 John i. 7. all sin, 
originating, or originated, or actual, flowing from them both. It 
expiates all fully, without exception, and finally, without revoca- 
tion. So that by his being made sin for us, we are made not 
only righteous, but " the righteousness of God in him," 2 Cor. 
v. 21. 

3. And lastly, to name no more ; being so precious in itself, 
and so efficacious to expiate sin, it must needs be a most grateful 
oblation to the Lord, highly pleasing and delightful in his eyes. 
And so indeed it is said, Eph. v. 2. " He gave himself for us, an 

* Nunc servator non est ita ut olim nonjuerit ; at que ut nonjit senator in *ttmiim— 
Camer. Myrothec. p. 337. ' 
f Dixon on this place. 


44 offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smelling savour*. 1 * 
Not that God took any delight or content in the bittter suffering* 
of Christ, simply and in themselves considered ; but with relation 
to the end for which he was offered, even our redemption and 

Hence arose the delight and pleasure God had in it ;. this made 
him take pleasure in bruising him, Isa. liii. 10. God smelled a sa- 
vour of rest in this sacrifice. The meaning is, that as men are 
offended with a stench, and their stomachs rise at it, and on the 
contrary delighted with sweet odours and fragrancies ; so the bles- 
sed God speaking after the manner of man, is offended, and 
filled with loathing and abhorrence by our sins; but infinitely 
pleased and delighted in the offering of Christ for them, which 
came up as an odour of sweet smelling savour to him, whereof the 
costly perfumes under the law were types and shadows. This was 
the oblation. 

Thirdly, This oblation he brings before God, and to him he of- 
fers it up : So speaks the apostle, Heb. ix. 14. " Through the eter- 
" nal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God." As Christ 
eustained the capacity of a surety, so God of a creditor, who 
exacted satisfaction from him ; that is, he required from him, as 
our surety, the penalty due to us for our sin. And so Christ liad 
to do immediately with God, yea, with a God infinitely wronged, 
and incensed by sin against us. To this incensed Majesty, Christ 
our High-priest approached, as to a devouring fire, with the sacrifice. 

Fourthly, The parsons for whom, and in whose stead he offered 
himself to God, was the whole number of God's elect -j-, which 
were given him of the Father, neither more nor less: So speak 
the scriptures. He laid down his life for the sheep, John x. 15, 
for the church, Acts xx. 28. for the children of God, John xi. 50, 
51, 52. It is confessed, there is sufficiency of virtue in this Sa- 
crifice to redeem the whole world, and on that account some di- 
vines affirm he is called the " Saviour of the world," John iv. 42. 
et alibi. We acknowledge also, that he purchased the services of 
others, besides the elect, to be useful to them, as they many ways 
are. In which sense J others take those scriptures that speak so 

* Smelling is attributed to God, to denote his being well pleased, his compla- 
cency, and favourable acceptance, as a man is refreshed and delighted with a good 
smell: — to this belongs the Hebrew expression, r~)irP3 D11, favour of rest or 
of sweetness, which is often applied to the sacrifices offered to God, Exod. xix. 
25. Lev. i. 19. Glass. Philolog. Sacra. 

f Divines teach that Christ died sufficiently for all, efficaciously for the elect 
Cameron, as aboveYf. 535. 

f Mr. strong. 


universally of the extent of his death. We also acknowledge that 
the elect being scattered in all parts, and among all ranks of men 
in the world, and unknown to those that are to tender Jesus 
Christ to men by the preaching of the gospel; the stile of the 
gospel (as it was necessary) is by such indefinite expressions suited 
to the general tenders they are to make of him : but that the effi- 
cacy and saving virture of this all-sufficient sacrifice, is co-extended 
with God's election, so that they all, and no others can, or shall 
reap the special benefits of it, is too clear in the scriptures to be 
denied, Eph. v. 23. John xvii. 2, 9, 19, 20. John x. 26, 27, 28, 
1 Tim. iv. 10. 

Fifthly, The design and end of this oblation was to atone, pa-* 
cify, and reconcile God, by giving him a full and adequate com- 
pensation or satisfaction for the sins of these his elect : so speaks 
the apostle, Col. i. 20. " And having made peace, through the 
" blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; 
" by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in 
" heaven." So 2 Cor. v. 19- " God was in Christ, reconciling 
" the world to himself." Reconciliation is the making up of that 
breach caused by sin, between us and God, and restoring us again 
to his favour and friendship. For this end Christ offered up him- 
self to God; I say, not for this end only, but more especially; 
hence it is called ika^og, a propitiation ; and so the Seventy ren- 
der that place, Numb. xv. iXaa^vog xgioc, the propitiating ram. But 
here I would not be mistaken, as though the reconciliation were 
made only between us and God the Father, by the blood of the 
cross ; for we were reconciled by it to the whole Trinity. Every 
sin being made against the divine Majesty, it must needs follow, 
that the three Persons, having the same divine essence, must be 
all offended by the commission, and so all reconciled by the expia- 
tion and remission of the same. But reconciliation is said to be 
with the Father, because, though the works of the Trinity, ad 
extra, be undivided, and what one doth, all do ; and what is done 
to one, is done to all ; yet by this form and manner of expresssion 
(as a learned* man well observes), the scriptures point out the 
proper office of each Person. The Father receives us into favour ; 
the Son mediates, and gives the ransom which procures it; the 
Spirit applies and seals this to the persons and hearts of believers. 
However, being reconciled to the Father, we are also reconciled 
to the Son, and Spirit, as they are one God in three Persons. 
And if it be objected, that then Christ offered up a sacrifice, or 
laid down a price to reconcile us to himself; I shall more fairly 
and directly meet with, and satisfy that objection, when I come 

* Zanch. de tribus Elohinu 


to speak of Christ's satisfaction, which is one of the principal fruits 
of this excellent oblation. For the present, this may inform you 
about the nature and precious worth of Christ's oblation. The 
uses whereof follow in these five practical inferences. 

Inference 1. Hence it follows, That actual believers are fully 
freed from the guilt of their sins, and shall never more come wider 

The obligation of sin is perfectly abolished by the virtue of this 
sacrifice. When Christ became our sacrifice, he both bare, and 
bare away our sins. First, They were laid upon him, then ex- 
piated by him: so much is imported in that word, Heb. ix. 2& 
" Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many *." To bear, 
the word is a full and emphatical word, signifying not only to 
bear, but to bear away. So John i. 29. " Behold the Lamb of 
" God, o apiuv, that taketh away the sins of the world ;" not only 
declaratively, or by way of manifestation to the conscience ; but 
really, making a purgation of sin, as it is in Hebrews i. 3. 
xofoaygiAov Koiqdufizvos, word for word, a purgation being made, and 
not declared only. Now, how great a mercy is this, " that by 
" him, all that believe should be justified from all things from which 
" they could not be justified by the law of Moses," Acts xiii. 39- 
What shall we call this grace? surely, we should do somewhat 
more than admire it, and faint under the sense of such a mercy. 
" Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered," 
Psal. xxxii. or, O the blessedness or felicities of him that is pardoned ! 
who can express the mercies, comforts, happiness, of such a state as 
this? Reader, let me beg thee, if thou be one of this pardoned 
number, to look over the cancelled bonds, and see what vast sums 
are remitted to thee. Remember what thou wast in thy natural 
estate : possibly thou wast in that black bill, 1 Cor. vi. 3. What, 
and yet pardoned ! full and finally pardoned, and that freely, as to 
any hand that thou hadst in the procurement of it ! what canst thou 
do less, than fall down at the feet of free grace, and kiss those feet 
that moved so freely towards so vile a sinner ? It is not long since 
thy iniquities were upon thee, and thou pinedst away in them. 
Their guilt could by no creature-power be separated from thy souk 
Now they are removed from thee, as far as the East from the West, 
Psal. ciii. 11. So that, when the East and West, which are the 
two opposite points of heaven, meet, then thy soul and its guilt 
may meet again together. 

• The Greek word avvjviyxsiv, signifies to lift up, or carry upwards -. so the Syriac, 
tZusafcv xcci ccvr,nyMiv y he carried and took upwards. JSeza's Greek Annot. on 1 Pe* 
ii. 24. The verb HWJ is of the same signification. 


O the unspeakable efficacy of Christ's sacrifice, which extends 
to all sins ! 1 John i. 7. " The blood of Christ cleanseth" from 
all sins, sins past and present, without exception. And some di- 
vines of good note affirm, all sins to come also ; for, (saith Mr. 
Paul Blains), original sin, in which all future sins are, as fruits in 
the root, is pardoned ; and if these were not pardoned, they 
would void and invalidats former pardons. And lastly, it would 
derogate from the most plenary satisfactidn of Christ. But the 
most say, and I think, truly, that all the past sins of believers are 
pardoned, without revocation, all their present sins without excep- 
tion ; but not their sins to come by way of anticipation : and yet 
for them there is a pardon of course, which is applied on their 
repentance, and application of Christ's blood ; so that none of 
them shall make void former pardons. O let these things slide 
sweetly to thy melting heart. 

Inf. 2. From this oblation Christ made of himself to God for 
our sins, we infer the inflexible severity of divine Justice, which 
could be no other way diverted from us, and appeased, but by the 
blood of Christ. If Christ had not presented himself to God for 
lis, Justice would not have spared us : And if he do appear before 
God as our surety* it will not spare him ; Rom. viii. 32. " He 
" spared not his own Son, but delivered him up to death for us all." 
If forbearance might have been expected from any, surely it might 
from God, " who is very pitiful, and full of tender mercy ," James 
v. 11. yet God in this case spared not. If one might have expected 
sparing mercy and abatement from any, surely Christ might most 
of all expect* it from his own Father ; yet you hear, God spared 
not his own Son. Sparing mercy is the lowest degree of mercy, 
yet it was denied to Christ : he abated him not a minute of the 
time appointed for his suffering, nor one degree of wrath he was 
to bear ; nay, though in the garden Christ fell upon the ground, 
and sweat dodders of blood, and in that unparalleled agony scrued 
up his spirit to the highest intention, in that pitiful cry, " Father 
" if it be possible, let this cup pass ;" and though he brake out 
upon the cross, in that heart-rending complaint, " My God, my God, 
" why hast thou forsaken me ?" yet no abatement ; Justice will 
not bend in the least ; but having to do with him on this account, 
resolves upon satisfaction from his blood. If this be so, what is 
the case of thy soul, reader, if thou be a man or woman that hast 
no interest in this sacrifice ? For if these things be done in (Christ) 
the green tree, what will be done to (thee) the dry tree ? Luke xxiii. 
31. " * That is, if God so deal with me, that I am not only in- 

n yzvrfai sv v/miv axoLOKoig xcu traffris bixcuodvvri; ^Q'Toinvrog vSifTlfiSVOiS* 
Thus Theophilact beautifully paraphrases on that passage. 


w noceht, but like a green and fruitful tree, full of all delectable 
" fruits of holiness , yet if the fire of his indignation thus seize 
" upon me, what will be your condition, that are both barren 
" and guilty, void of all good fruit, and full of all unrighteousness," 
and so like dry seary wood, are fitted as fuel to the fire ? Con- 
eider with thyself, man, how canst thou imagine thou canst sup- 
port that infinite wrath that Christ grappled with in the room of 
God's elect ! He had the strength of a Deity to support him, Isa. 
xlii. 1. " Behold my servant whom I uphold." He had the fulness 
of his Spirit to prepare him, Isa. lxi. 11. He had the ministry of 
an angel, who came post from heaven to relieve him in his agony, 
Luke xxii. 43. He had the ear of his Father to hear him, for he 
cried, " and was heard in that he feared," Heb. v. 7. He was 
assured of the victory, before the combat ; he knew he should be 
justified, Isa. 1. 8. and yet for all this he was sore amazed, and 
sorrowful even to death, and his heart was melted like wax in 
the midst of his bowels. If the case stood thus with Christ, not- 
withstanding all these advantages he had to bear the wrath of 
God for a little time ; how dost thou think, a poor worm as thou 
art, to dwell with everlasting burnings, or contend with devouring 
fire ? Luther saw ground enough for what he said, when he cried, 
out, " I will have nothing to do with an absolute God*," i. e* 
with a God out of Christ : for, " it is a fearful thing to fall into 
" the hands of the living God." Wo and alas for evermore to 
that man who meets a just and righteous God without a Mediator ! 
Whoever thou art that readest these lines, I beseech thee, by the 
mercies of God, by all the regard and love thou hast to thy own 
soul, neglect not time, but make quick and sure work of it. Get 
an interest in this sacrifice quickly, what else will be thy state when 
vast eternity opens to swallow thee up ? what wilt thou do, man, 
when thine eye-strings and heart-strings are breaking ? O what a 
fearful shriek will thy conscience give, when thou art presented 
before the dreadful God, and no Christ to screen thee from his 
indignation ! Happy is that man who can say in a dying hour, as 
one did f, who being desired, a little before his dissolution, to give 
his friends a little taste of his present hopes, and the grounds of 
them, cheerfully answered, I will let you know how it is with me : 
then stretching forth his hand, said, 

" Here is the grave, the wrath of God, and devouring flame, 
" the just punishment of sin, on the one side: and here am I, 
" a poor sinful soul, on the other side : but this is my comfort, 
" the covenant of grace, which is established upon so many sure 
" promises, hath saved all. There is an act of oblivion passed in 

1 — ■ ■■ .. — - — i a ■ ii ii — 

* Nolo Deum absolutum, f Mr. William Lyford. 

Vol. t L 


" heaven: I will forgive their iniquities, and their sins will I 
M remember no more. This is the blessed privilege of all within 
" the covenant, among whom I am one." O it is sweet at all times, 
especially at such a time, to see the reconciled face of G od, through 
Jesus Christ, and hear the voice of peace through the blood of 
the cross. 

Inf. 3. Hath Christ offered up himself a sacrifice to God for us ? 
Then let us improve, in every condition, this sacrifice, and labour 
to get hearts duly affected with such a sight as faith can give us of 
it. Whatever the condition or complaint of any Christian is, the 
beholding the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, 
may give him strong support, and sweet relief. Do you complain 
of the hardness of your hearts, and want of love to Christ ? behold 
him as offered up to God for you ; and such a sight, (if any in the 
world will do it) will melt your hard hearts. Zech. xii. 10. 
u They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and shall 
" mourn." It is reported of Johannes Milius, that he was never 
observed to speak of Christ and his sufferings, but his eyes would 
drop. Art thou too little touched and unaffected with the evil of 
sin ? Is it thy complaint, Christian, that thou canst not make sin 
bear so hard upon thy heart as thou wouldst ? consider but what 
thou hast now read ; realize this sacrifice by faith, and try what 
efficacy there is in it to make sin for ever bitter as death to thy 
soul. Suppose thine own Father had been stabbed to the heart 
with such a knife, and his blood were upon it, wouldst thou de- 
light to see, or endure to use that knife any more ? sin is the knife 
that stabbed Christ to the heart; this shed his blood. Surely, 
you can never make light of that which lay so heavy upon the soul 
and body of Jesus Christ. 

Or is your heart prest down even to despondency, under the 
guilt of sin, so that you cry, how can such a sinner as I be par- 
doned ? my sin is greater than can be forgiven ? " Behold the 
" Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." Re- 
member that no sin can stand before the efficacy of his blood. 
1 John i. 7. " The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." 
This sacrifice makes unto God full satisfaction. 

Are you at any time staggering through unbelief? filled with 
unbelieving suspicions of the promises? Look hither, and you 
shall see them all ratified and established in the blood of the cross, 
so that hills and mountains shall sooner start from their own basis 
and centers, than one tittle of the promise fail: Heb. ix. 17, 

Do you at any time find your hearts fretting, disquieted, and 
impatient under every petty cross and trial? See how quietly 
Christ your sacrifice came to the altar, how meekly and patiently 


he stood under all the wrath of God and men together. This 
will silence, convince, and shame you. 

In a word, here you will see so much of the grace of God, and 
love of Christ, in providing and becoming a sacrifice for you : you 
will see God taking vengeance against sin, but sparing the sinner : 
you will see Christ standing as the body of sin alone ; for, " he was 
" made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of 
" God in him :" that whatever corruption burdens, this, in the 
believing application, will support ; whatever grace is defective, 
this will revive it. 

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ 


Of the Intercession of Christ our High-priest, being the 
second Act or Part of his Priestly Office. 

Heb. vii. 25. 

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come 
unto God by Jiim, seeing he ever liveih to make intercession for 

JtXAVING dispatched the first part, or act of Christ's priest- 
hood, consisting in his Oblation ; we come to the other branch of 
it, consisting in his * Intercession, which is nothing else but the 
virtual continuation of Ins offering once made on earth ; that being 
medium reconciliationis, the means of reconciling; this, medium 
ajyplkationis, the way and means of his applying to us the benefits 
purchased by it. 

This second part, or branch of his priesthood, was typified by 
the High-priest's entering with the blood of the sacrifice and sweet 
incense into the holy place : Lev. xvi. 12, 13, 14. " And he shall 
" take the censer full of burning coals of fire, from off the altar 
" before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten 
" small, and bring it within the vail. And he shall put the fat* 
" cense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the in- 
" cense may cover the mercy-seat that is upon the testimony, that 
" he die not. And he shall take the blood of the bullock, and 
" sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy-seat, eastward, 1 ' fyc. 

* Seeing the redemption which he wrought is the foundation of his intercession, 
« — i — therefore the scripture uses to mention the redemption and the intercession, 
as two inseparable parts of Christ's sacrifice. Ravanella on th* word intercede. 



Christ's offering himself on earth, answered to the killing of the 
sacrifice without ; and his entering into heaven, there to intercede, 
was that which answered to the priest's going with blood, and his 
hands full of incense, within the vail. So that this is a part, yea, 
a special part of Christ's priesthood ; and so necessary to it, that if 
he had not done this, all his work on earth had signified nothing ; 
nor had he been a priest, i. e. a complete and perfect priest, if he 
had remained on earth, Heb. viii. 4. because the very design and 
end of shedding his blood on earth had been frustrated, which 
was to carry it before the Lord into heaven. So that this is the 
principal perfective part of the priesthood : he acted the first part 
on earth, in a state of deep abasement, in the form of a servant ; 
but he acts this in glory, whereto he is taken up, that he may 
fulfil his design in dying, and give the work of our salvation 
its last completing act. So much is imported in this scripture, 
which tells us, by reason hereof, he "is able to save to the ut- 
Si termost," fyc. 

The words contain an encouragement to believers, to come to 
God in the way of faith, drawn from the intercession of Christ in 
heaven for them. In which you may take notice of these principal 

1. The quality of the persons here encouraged, who are describ- 
ed by a direct act of faith, as poor recumbents that are going out 
of themselves to God by faith ; but conscious of great unworthi- 
ness in themselves, and thence apt to be discouraged. 

2. The encouragement propounded to such believers, drawn 
from the ability of Jesus Christ, in whose name they go to the 
Father, to save them to the uttermost, i. e. fully, perfectly, com- 
pletely ; for so this emphatical word, ug to camXsg *, signifies, the 
saving us wholly, thoroughly, completely, and altogether ; giving 
our salvation its last act and completion. 

3. The ground or reason of this his saving ability : " Seeing he 
" ever liveth to make intercession ;" i. e. he hath not only offered 
up his blood to God upon the tree, as a full price to purchase par- 
don and grace for believers ; but lives in heaven, and that for ever, 
to apply unto us, in the way of intercession, all the fruits, bles- 
sings, and benefits, that that precious blood of his deserves, and 
hath procured us a price for them. The words thus opened, the 
point I shall single out, from among many that lie in them, as most 
suitable to my design and purpose, is this ; 

* The Greek words [JE/J TO iravr&eg, and */£ ro diy)VM£g,~] differ in their em- 
phasis, but not as to the subject-matter. For the latter properly signifies a perpetuity of 
time : The other not only this, but perfection in all respects. Cameron, 


Doct. That Jesus our High-priest lives Jor ever, in the capacity 
erf a potent Intercessor, in heaven for believers. 

Here we will enquire, First, What it is for Christ to be an in- 
tercessor. Secondly, By what acts he performs that work in heaven. 
Thirdly, Whence the potency and prevalency of his intercession 
is. Fourthly, and lastly, How he lives for ever to make interces- 
sion for us. 

First, What it is for Christ to be an intercessor for us. To in- 
tercede in general, is to go betwixt two parties, to intreat, argue, 
and plead with one for the other. And of this there are two sorts % 
1. Ex charitate, nt fratres, that whereby one Christian prays and 
pleads with God for another, 1 Tim. ii. 1. 2. Ex officio mediato- 
rio, that whereby Christ, as an act of office, presents himself be- 
fore God to request for us. Betwixt these two is this difference, 
that the former is performed not in our own, but in another's 
name ; we can tender no request to God immediately, or for our 
own sake, either for ourselves, or for others : John xvi. 23. " What- 
" soever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. r> 
But the latter, which is proper to Christ, is an intercession with God 
for us, in his own name, and upon the account of his own proper 
merit ; the one is a private act of charity, the other a public act 
of office; and so he is our advocate or court friend, as Satan is 
our accuser or court-adversary. Satan is o ctvndixog, one that charges 
us before God, 1 Pet. v. 8. and continually endeavours to make 
breaches between us and God. Christ is o ^a§axXr,rog 9 our attor- 
ney, or advocate, that pleads for us, and continues peace and 
friendship between us and God, 1 John ii. 2. " If any man sin, 
" we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righte- 
" ous." 

And thus to make intercession, is the peculiar and incommuni- 
cable prerogative of Jesus Christ, none but he can go in his own 
name to God. And in that sense we are to understand that place, 
Ezek. xliv. 2, 3. " Then said the Lord unto me, This gate shall 
" be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by 
" it, because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, 
" therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince, the prince he 
" shall sit in it, to eat bread before the Lord," fyc. The great 
brt>ad gate, called here the princess gate, signifies that abundant 
and direct entrance that Christ had into heaven by his own merits, 
and in his own name * ; this, saith the Lord, shall be shut, no 
man shall enter in by it ; all other men must come thither, as it 
were, by collateral or side doors, which looked all towards the 

* See Deodati, and our English Annot. on this place. 



altar, viz. by virtue of the Mediator, and through the benefit of 
his death imputed to them. 

And yet, though God hath for ever shut up and barred this way 
to all the children of men, telling us that no man shall ever have 
access to him in his own name, as Christ the Prince had ; how do 
some, notwithstanding, strive to force open the Prince's gate*? 
So do they, that found the intercession of saints upon their own 
works and merits, thereby robbing Christ of his peculiar glory ; but 
all that so approach God, approach a devouring fire ; Christ only, 
in the virtue of his blood, thus comes before him, to make inter- 
cession for us, 

Secondly, We will enquire wherein the intercession of Christ in 
heaven consists, or by what acts he performs his glorious office 
there. And the scriptures place it in three things : 

1. In his presenting himself before the Lord in our names, and 
upon our account-]-, So we read in Heb. ix. 28. " Christ is entered 
" into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." 
The apostle manifestly alludes to the High-priest's appearing in the 
holy of holies, which was the figure of heaven, presenting to the 
Lord the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, which were on his 
breast and shoulders, Exod. xxviii. 9, 12, 28, 29. To which the 
church is supposed to allude in that request, Cant. viii. 6. " Set me 
" as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm." Now the 
very sight of Christ, our High-priest in heaven, prevails exceed- 
ingly with God, and turns away his displeasure from us. As 
when God looks upon the rainbow, which is the sign of the cove- 
nant, he remembers the earth in mercy: so when he looks on 
Christ, his heart must needs be towards us, upon his account ; and 
therefore in Rev. iv. 3. Christ is compared to a rainbow encom- 
passing the throne. 

Christ performs his intercession-work in heaven J, not by a 
naked appearing in the presence of God only, but also by presenting 
his blood, and all his sufferings to God, as a moving plea on our ac- 
count. Whether he makes any proper oral intercession there, as he 

* Peter Lombard, book iv. dist. 45. 

f We must see what is meant by his appearing for us before God : This has respect 
to the types of the ancient High-priest, who, having entered within the vail, was 
said to appear before God for the people, in regard he presented himself before 
God with the blood of the goat that was the sin-offering : and by his prayers, re- 
quested, as a supplicant, that he should be propitious to his sins, and these of the 
people, not for the sake of the blood of that goat, but of that which was represented 
by it, the blood of Christ the Mediator to be shed afterwards. Doct. Parens on this 

\ By willing and prudently desiring, as formerly on earth, so also when with his 
Father in heaven, he insists that the virtue and efficacy of his death may be applied 
to our salvation. Synopsis purioris Theol. p. 546. 


did on earth, is not so clear ; some incline to it, and think it is coun- 
tenanced by Zechariah, chap. i. 12, 13. Where Christ our Inter- 
cessor presents a proper vocal request to the Father, in the behalf 
of his people ; saying " O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not 
" have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the cities of Judah, against 
" which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years ? 
" And the Lord answered him with good and comfortable words." 
And so Acts ii. 23. as soon as he came to heaven, he is said (and 
that is the first fruits of his intercession) to obtain the promise of the 
Holy Ghost. But sure I am, an interceding voice is by an usual 
prosopopcia attributed to his blood ; which in Heb. xii. 24. is said 
* to speak better things than that of Abel." Now Abel's blood 
and so Christ's, do cry unto God, as the hire of the labourers 
unjustly detained, or the whole creation, which is in bondage, 
through our sins, is said to cry and groan in the ears of the Lord, 
Jam. v. 4. Rom. viii. 22. not vocally, but efficaciously. A rare 
illustration of this efficacious intercession of Christ in heaven, we 
have in that famous story of Amintas *, who appeared as an advo- 
cate for his brother iEchylus, who was strongly accused, and very- 
likely to be condemned to die. Now Amintas having performed 
great services, and merited highly of the common- wealth, in whose 
service one of his hands was cut off in the field ; he comes into 
the court in his brother's behalf, and said nothing, but only lifted 
up his arm, and shewed them cubitum sine ma?iu, an arm without 
a hand, which so moved them, that, without a word speaking, they 
freed his brother immediately. 

And thus if you look into Rev. v. 6. you shall see in what pos, 
ture Christ is represented, visionally there, as standing between 
God and us ; " And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, 
" and the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb 
" as it had been slain ;" i, e. bearing in his glorified body the marks 
of death and sacrifice -f\ Those wounds he received for our sins on 
earth, are, as it were, still fresh bleeding in heaven : a moving and 
prevailing argument it is with the Father, to give out the mercies 
he pleads for. 

3. And lastly, He presents the prayers of his saints to God, with 
his merits ; and desires that they may for his sake be granted. He 
causes a cloud of incense to ascend before God with them, Rev. 
vii. 3. All these were excellently typified out by the going in of 
the High-priest before the Lord, with the names of the children 
of Israel on his breast, with the blood of the sacrifice, and his 

* Mian Hist, book 5. chap. 1 9. f Deodati on this place, 



hands full of incense, as the apostle explains them in Heb. vii. and 
Heb. ix. 

Thirdly, And that this intercession of Christ is most potent, suc- 
cessful, and prevalent with God, will be evinced, both from the 
qualification of this our Advocate, from his great interest in the 
Father, from the nature of the place he useth with God, and from 
the relation and interest believers have, both in the Father to whom, 
and the Son by whom this intercession is made. 

1. Our intercessor in the heavens is every way able and fit for 
the work he is engaged in there. Whatever is desirable in an ad- 
vocate, is in him eminently. It is necessary that he who under- 
takes to plead the cause of another, especially if it be weighty and 
intricate, should be wise, faithful, tender-hearted, and one that 
concerns himself in the success of his business. Our Advocate 
Christ, wants no wisdom to manage his work ; he is the wisdom 
of God, yea, only wise, Jude 9,5. There is much folly in the best 
of our duties, we know not how to press an argument home with 
God ; but Christ hath the art of it. Our business is in a wise 
hand : he is no less faithful than wise ; therefore he is called 

* a faithful High-priest, in things pertaining to God,"" Heb. ii. 
17. He assures us we may safely trust our concerns with him, 
John xiv. 9. " In my Father s house are many mansions ; if it 
" were not so, I would have told you ;" q. d, Do you think I 
could deceive you ? men may cheat you, but I will not ; your own 
hearts may and daily do deceive you, but so will not I. And for 
tender-heartedness, and sensible feelings for your conditions, 
there is none like him : Heb. iv. 15. " For we have not an High- 

* priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmi- 
" ties ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without 
" sin.'" We have not one that cannot sympathize, so it is in the 
Greek * : and on purpose that he might the better sympathize with 
us, he came as near to our conditions, as the holiness of his nature 
could permit. He suffered himself to be in all points tempted like • 
as we are, sin only excepted. 

And then for his concernment and interest in the success of his 
suit ; he not only reckons, but hath really made it his own interest, 
yea, more his own than it is ours : For now by reason of the mys- 
tical union, all our wants and troubles are his, Eph. i. 93. yea, his 

* MTj&A'a/xsvov ffu/£z;a6riva.i. Though he cannot weep or grieve now as he did 
on earth, yet he can love now as much as ever he loved ; and therefore he looks down 
from heaven upon every particular member ; he seeth that this man wants this grace, 
and that man wants that; and the other is in danger of this corruption, or that tempta- 
tion, and be is daily carrying on the cure. You see not your Physician, he stands 
out of your sight; but he seeth you, and it is he that doth all for you that is done. 
Baxter s Treatise of conversion. 


own glory and completeness, as Mediator, is deeply interested in 
it ; and therefore we need not doubt but he will use all care and di- 
ligence in that work. If you say, so he may, and yet not speed for 
all that, for it depends upon the Father's grant : True, but then, 

% Consider the great interest he hath in the Father, with whom 
he intercedes. Christ is his dear Son, Col. i. 13. the beloved of his 
soul, Eph. i. 6. Betwixt him and the Father, with whom, when 
he intercedes, there is an unity, not only of nature, but will; 
and so he always hears him, John xi. 42. Yea, and he said to 
his dear Son, when he came first to heaven, " Ask of me, and I 
f will give thee," Psal. ii. 8. Moreover, 

He must needs speed in his suit, if you consider the nature of 
his intercession, which is just and reasonable for the matter, urgent 
and continual, for the manner of it. The matter of his request is 
most equal : what he desires is not desired gratis, or upon terms 
unbecoming the holiness and righteousness of God to grant ; he 
desires no more but what he has deserved, and given a valuable 
consideration to the Father for. And so the justice of God doth, 
not only not oppose, but furthers and pleads for the granting and 
fulfilling his requests. 

Here you must remember, that the Father is under a covenant 
tie and bond to do what he asks ; for Christ having fully perform- 
ed the work on his part, the mercies he intercedes for, are as due 
as the hire of the labourer is, when the work is faithfully dona 
And as the matter is just, so the manner of his intercession is ur- 
gent and continual. How importunate a suiter he is, may be ga- 
thered from that specimen given of it in John xvii. and for the 
constancy of it, my text tells us, " he ever lives to make interces- 
" sion:" It is his great business in heaven, and he follows it 
close. And to close all, 

4. Consider who they are for whom he makes intercession: 
The friends of God, the children of God ; those that the Father 
himself loves, and his heart is propense and ready enough to grant 
the best and greatest of mercies to : which is the meaning of John 
xv. 26, 27. " The Father himself loveth you." And it must needs 
be so, for the first corner stone of all these mercies was laid by the 
Father himself in his most free election. He also delivered his 
Son for us ; and " how shall he not with him freely' give us all 
" things ?" Rom. viii. 32. So then there can remain no doubt 
upon a considering heart, but that Christ is a prevalent and suc- 
cessful intercessor in heaven. There only remains one thing more 
to be satisfied, and that is, 

Fourthly, In what sense he is to live for ever to make intercession. 
Shall he then be always at his work ? employed in begging new 
favours for us to eternity ? How then shall the people of God be 


perfect in heaven, if there be need of Christ's intercession to eter- 
nity for them ? 

I answer, by distinguishing the essence and substance of Christ's 
offices, from the way and manner of administration. In the first 
sense it is eternal : for his mediatory kingdom, as to the essence of 
it, is to abide for ever ; Christ shall never cease to be a Mediator ; 
the church shall never want a head ; for " of his kingdom, there 
" shall be no end, 11 Luke i. 33. however, Christ, as a Mediator, 
being employed in a kind of subordinate way, 1 Cor. iii. 23. when 
he shall have accomplished that design for which he became a 
Mediator, " Then shall he deliver up the kingdom (in the sense 
u we spake before) to the Father, and so God shall be all in all," 
1 Cor. xv. 24. Then shall the divinity of Christ, which was so 
emptied and obscured in his undertaking this temporary dispensa- 
tory kingdom, be more gloriously manifested, by the full posses- 
sion, use, and enjoyment of that natural, divine, eternal kingdom, 
which belongs to all the three co-essential and co-equal persons, 
reigning with the same power, majesty, and glory, in the unity of 
the Divine Essence, and common acts, in all, and over all, infi- 
nitely and immutably for ever. 

And so Christ continues to be our Mediator ; and yet that af- 
fords no argument that our happiness shall be incomplete, but ra- 
ther argues the perfection of the church, which thenceforth shall 
be governed no more as it now is, nor have any farther use of ordi- 
nances, but shall be ruled more immediately, gloriously, tri- 
umphantly, and ineffably in the world to come. The substance 
of his Mediatorship is not changed, but the manner of the admi- 
nistration only. 

Use 1. Doth Christ live for ever in heaven to present his blood 
to God in the way of intercession for believers ? How sad then is 
their case ', that have no interest in Chrisfs blood; but instead of 
pleading for them, it cries to God against them, as the despisers and 
abusers of it ! Every unbeliever despises it : The apostate treads 
it under foot. He that is an intercessor for some, will be an ac- 
cuser of others. To be guilty of a man's blood is sad ; but to have 
the blood of Jesus accusing and crying to God against a soul, is un- 
speakably terrible. Surely when he shall make inquisition for 
blood, when the day of his vengeance is come, he will make it appear 
by the judgments he will execute, that this is a sin never to be ex- 
piated, but vengeance shall pursue the sinner to the bottom of hell. 
Ah ! what do men and women do, in rejecting the gracious offer of 
Christ ! what, tread upon a Saviour ! and cast contempt, by unbelief 
and hardness of heart, upon their only remedy ! I remember I have 
read of a harlot that killed her child, and said that it smiled upon 
her when she went to stab it. Sinner ; doth not Christ smile upon 


thee in the gospel ? And wilt thou, as it were, stab him to the 
heart by thine infidelity ? Wo, and alas for that man, against 
whom this blood cries in heaven ! 

Use 2. Doth Christ live for ever to make intercession ? Hence let 
believers fetch relief, and draw encouragement against all the causes 
and grounds of their fears and troubles ; for surely this answers 
them all. 

1. Hence let them be encouraged against all their sinful infirmi- 
ties, and lamented weaknesses. It is confessed these are sad things ; 
they grieve the Spirit of God, sadden your own hearts, cloud 
your evidences; but having such a High-priest in heaven, can 
never be your ruin. 1 John ii. 1, 2. " My little children, these 
" things write I unto you, that you sin not : and if any man sin, 
" we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righte- 
" ous." [My little children.] Children, especially little chil- 
dren, when first beginning to take the foot, are apt to stumble at 
every straw ; so are raw, young and unexperienced Christians : 
but what if they do ? Why though it must be far from them to 
take encouragement so to do from Christ and his intercession, yet 
if by surprizal they do sin, let them not be utterly discouraged : 
for we have an Advocate, he stops whatever plea may be brought 
in against us by the Devil, or the law, and answers all by his sa- 
tisfaction : he gets out fresh pardons for new sins. And this Ad- 
vocate is with [the Father :] he doth not say with his Father, 
though that had been a singular support in itself, nor yet with our 
Father, which is a sweet encouragement singly considered, but 
with [the Father] which takes in both, to make the encourage- 
ment full. Remember, you that are cast down, under the sense 
of sin, that Jesus, your friend, in the court above, " is able to 
" save to the uttermost.' 1 Which is, as * one calls it, a reaching 
word, and extends itself so far, that thou canst not look beyond 
it. " Let thy soul be set on the highest mount that any creature 
" was ever set on, and enlarged to take in view the most spacious 
" prospect both of sin and misery, and difficulties of being saved, 
" that ever yet any poor humble soul did cast within itself; yea, 
" join to these all the hindrances and objections that the heart of 
" man can invent against itself and salvation : lift up thine eyes, 
" and look to the utmost thou canst see ; and Christ, by his inter- 
" cession, is able to save thee beyond the horizon and utmost com- 
" pass of thy thoughts, even to the utmost'''' 

2. Hence draw abundant encouragement against all heart-straiU 
enings, and deadness of Spirit in prayer. Thou complainest thy 
heart is dead, wandering, and contracted in duty : O, but remem- 
ber Christ's blood speaks, when thou canst not ; it can plead for thee, 

* Goodwin's Triumph, p. 263. 


and that powerfully, when thou art not able to speak a word for 
thyself : to this sense that scripture speaks, Cant. iii. 6. " Who is 
" this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, per- 
" fumed with myrrh, and frankincense, with all powders of the 
** merchant F" The duties of Christians go up many times, as pil- 
lars or clouds of smoke from them, more smoke than fire, prayers 
smoked and sullied with their offensive corruptions ; but, remem- 
ber, Christ perfumes them with myrrh, <$•<?. He, by his inter- 
cession, gives them a sweet perfume. 

3. Christ's intercession is a singular relief to all that come unto 
God by him, against all sinful damps and slavish fears from the jus- 
tice of God *. Nothing more promotes the fear of reverence ; nothing 
more suppresseth unbelieving despondencies, and destroys the 
spirit of bondage. So you find it, Heb. x. 19, 20, 21. " Having 
" therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest, by the 
u blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath conse* 
* c crated for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh ; and 
" having a High-priest over the house of God, let us draw near 
" with a true heart, si/ «rX«jgopo©/a w&aHf, in full assurance of faith :" 
or let us come unto God, as a ship comes with full sail into the 
harbour. O what a direct and full gale of encouragement doth 
this intercession of Christ give to the poor soul that lay a-ground, 
or was wind-bound before ? 

4. The intercession of Christ gives admirable satisfaction and 
encouragement to all that come to God, against the fears of de- 
serting him again by apostasy. This, my friends, this is your 
principal security against these matters of fear. With this he re- 
lieved Peter, Luke xxii. 31, %% " Simon, (saith Christ) Satan 
" hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat ; but I 
" have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not," q. d. Satan will 
fan thee, not to get out thy chaff, but bolt out thy flour : his 
temptations are levelled against thy faith ; but fear not, my prayer 
shall break his designs, and secure thy faith against all his at- 
tempts upon it. Upon this powerful intercession of Christ, the 
apostle builds his triumph against all that threatens to bring him, 
or any of the saints, again into a state of condemnation. And see 
how he drives on that triumph, from the resurrection, and session 
of Christ at the Father's right hand ; and especially from the work 

* If Jesus be the Mediator of the new covenant, believers may go with bold- 
ness, and look the justice of God in the face ; for your debt is satisfied. So long as 
a man is in debt, he steals by the prison door in the dark : but if his surety have 
paid the debt, he dares come (as you say) and whet his knife at the compter door. 
Christ, your surety, hath paid the debt ; you may go with boldness, and look 
justice in the face, the Devil and all the Serjeants of hell in the face. Mr. W. M. 
in his treatise of Christ and the covenant, p. 9€, 


of intercession, which he lives there to perform : Horn. viii. 34, 
35. " Who is he that condemneth. It is Christ that died; yea, 
" rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, 
*' who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us 
*' from the love of Christ ?" 

5. It gives sweet relief against the defects and wants that yet are 
in our sa notification. We want a great deal of faith, love, heaven- 
ly-mindedness, mortification, knowledge. We are short and want- 
ing in all. There are i^g^ara, the remains, or things wanting, 
as the apostle calls them, 1 Thess. iii. 10. Well, if grace be but 
yet in its weak beginnings, and infancy in thy soul, this may 
encourage, that by reason of Christ's intercession, it shall live, grow, 
and expatiate itself in thy heart. He is not only the author, but 
the finisher of it, Heb. xii. 2. He is ever begging new and fresh 
mercies for you in heaven ; and will never cease till all your wants 
be supplied. He saves si; ro xavrs'ksg, to the uttermost, i. e. as I told 
you before, to the last, perfective, completing act of salvation. So 
that this is a fountain of relief against all your fears. 

Use 3. Doth Christ live for ever to make intercession ? Then let 
those who reap on earth the fruits of that his work in heaven, draw 
instruction thence about the following duties, to which it leads them 
as by the hand. 

1. Do not forget Christ in an exalted state*. You see though 
he be in all the glory above, at God's right hand, and enthroned 
king, he doth not forget you : he, like Joseph, remembers his 
brethren in all his glory. But, alas, how oft doth advancement 
make us forget him ? As the Lord complains in Hosea xiii. 5, 6. 
" I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought : 
" but when they came into Canaan, according to their pastures, so 
" were they filled : they were filled, and their heart was exalted ; 
" therefore have they forgotten me." As if he had said, O my 
people, you and I were better acquainted in the wilderness, when 
you were in a low condition, left to my immediate care, living by 
daily faith ; O then you gave me many a sweet visit ; but now you 
are filled, I hear no more of you. Good had it been for some 
saints, if they had never known prosperity. 

2. Let the intercession of Christ in heaven for you, encourage 
you to constancy in the good ways of God. To this duty it sweetly 

* He doth not forget us, though he he exalted to his glory, for he is not like the 
poor silly creatures that cannot bear exaltation without being puffed up, and forget- 
ting both themselves, their friends, and their God. No, his exaltation is spiritual 
and heavenly, perfecting his human nature to the greatest height it is capable of, — 
he never was more tender of Jerusalem when he wept over it, or of bis people when 
he wept, bled, and died for them, than he is now tender over his in glory. Mr. 
Baxter '$ Treatise of Conversion^ ;>. 184, 


encourages also, Heb. iv. 14. " seeing then that we have a great 
" Hio-h-priest tliat is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of 
" God, let us hold fast our profession." Here is encouragement 
to perseverance on a double account. One is, that Jesus, our 
head, is already in heaven ; and if the head be above water, the 
body cannot drown. The other is from the business he is there 
employed about, which is his priesthood ; he is passed into the 
heavens, as our great High-priest, to intercede, and therefore we 
cannot miscarry. 

4. Let it encourage you to constancy in prayer : O do not ne- 
glect that excellent duty, seeing Christ is there to present all your 
petitions to God ; yea, to perfume as well as present them. So the 
apostle, Heb. iv. 16. infers from Christ's intercession ; " Let us 
" therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may 
" obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. r> 

4. Hence be encouraged to plead for Christ on earth, who con* 
tinuully pleads for you in heaven. If any accuse you, he is there 
to plead for you : and if any dishonour him on earth, see that you 
plead his interest, and defend his honour. Thus you have heard 
what his intercession is, and what benefits we receive by it. 
Blessed be God for Jesus Christ. 


A Vindication of the Satisfaction of Christ, as the first 
Effect or Fruit of his Priesthood. 

Gal. hi. 13. 

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a, 

curse for us. 

10U have seen the general nature, necessity and parts of 
Christ's priesthood, viz. oblation and intercession. Before you 
part from this office, it is necessary you should farther take into 
consideration the principal fruits and effects of his priesthood; 
which are, complete satisfaction and the acquisition or purchase of 
an eternal inheritance. The former, viz. The satisfaction, made by 
his blood, is manifestly contained in this excellent scripture before 
us, wherein the apostle (having shewn before, at ver. 10. that 
whosoever " continues not in all things written in the law, to do 
" them, are cursed)' 1 declares how, notwithstanding the threats 
of the law, a believer comes to be freed from the curse of it, name- 


ly, by Christ's bearing that curse for him, and so satisfying God's 
justice, and discharging the believer from all obligations to punish*, 

More particularly, in these words you have the believer's dis- 
charge from the curse of the law, and the way and manner there- 
of opened. 

1. The believers discharge ; Christ hath redeemed us from the 
curse of the law. The law of God hath three parts, commands, 
promises, and threatenings or curses. The curse of the law is its 
condemning sentence, whereby a sinner is bound over to death, 
even the death of soul and body. The chain, by which it binds 
him, is the guilt of sin ; and from which none can loose the soul 
but Christ. This curse of the law is the most dreadful thing ima- 
ginable ; it strikes at the life of a sinner, yea, his best life, the 
eternal life of the soul : and when it hath condemned, it is inexo- 
rable, no cries nor tears, no reformation nor repentance can loose 
the guilty sinner ; for it requires for its reparation that which no 
mere creature can give, even an infinite satisfaction. Now from 
this curse Christ frees the believer ; that is, he dissolves the 
obligation to punishment, cancels the hand-writing, looses all the 
bonds and chains of guilt, so that the curse of the law hath no- 
thing to do with him for ever. 

2. We have here the way and manner in and by which this is 
done ; and that is by a full price paid down, and that price paid 
in the room of the sinner *, both making up a complete and full 
satisfaction. He pays a full price, every way adequate and propor- 
tionable to the wrong. So much this word, -/j/xag tfyyooatfev, which 
we translate redeemed, imports; he hath bought us out, 
or fully bought us ; that is, by a full price. This price with 
which he so fully bought or purchased our freedom from the curse, 
is not only called Xt/7gou, Mat. xx. 28. or ransom, but more emphati- 
cally av1i\v1gov, in 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6. which might be translated an 
adequate or fully answerable ransom. And so his freeing us by this 
price, is not only expressed by jjyo^acag rw @sw 7)>au$, " Thou hast 
" bought us to God by thy blood," Rev. v. 9. but sgrr/ooasev r^ug, 
he hath fully, perfectly, bought us out. 

And as the price or ransom paid was full, perfect, and sufficient 
in itself; so it was paid in our room, and upon our account: so 
saith the text, -f* " By his being made a curse for us," the meaning is 

* As he who is free, redeems a captive by substituting himself in his room, and 
by putting on the chains, the other puts them off: so Christ was willing to be ob- 
noxious to the fulfilling of the law that be might acquire immunity to us. Calv, 
on Gnl. iv. 

f He is said to be made a curse and to be made sin : but he is not made the curse 
itself, to wit, formally, but our curse was imputed to him. Cyril, 


not, that Christ was made the very curse itself, changed into a 
curse ; no more than when the word is said to be made flesh, the 
divine nature was converted into flesh, but it assumed or took flesh ; 
and so Christ took the curse upon himself; therefore it is said, 
2 Cor. v. 21* " He was made sin for us who knew no sin ;" that is, 
our sin was imputed to our surety, and laid upon him for satisfac- 
tion. And so this word j«rsg [for] implies a substitution of one, 
in the place and stead of another. Now the price being full, and 
paid in lieu of our sins, and thereupon we fully redeemed or de- 
livered from the curse, it follows, as a fair and just deduction, 

Doct. The death of Christ hath made a full satisfaction to God 
for all the sins of his elect. 

" He (to wit our surety, Christ) was oppressed, and he was a£. 
* c flicted," saith the prophet, Isa. lii. 7. it may be fitly rendered, 
(and the words will bear it without the least force) it was exacted^ 
and answered. But how, being either way translated, it establish- 
eth the satisfaction of Christ, may be seen in our learned Annota- 
tions on that place. So Col. i. 14. " In whom we have anoXvrpojgit 
u dia rx a i 'tare; redemption through his blood, even the forgive- 
ifc ness of sin." Here we have the benefit, viz. redemption inter- 
preted by way of opposition, " even the remission of sins;" and 
the matchless price that was laid down to purchase it, the blood of 
Christ. So again, Heb. ix. IS. " By his own blood he entered 
" once into the holy place, having obtained aiuviav 'Avrougiv, eternal 
" redemption for us." Here is eternal redemption, the mercy 
purchased : his own blood, the price that procured it. 

Now forasmuch as this doctrine of Christ's satisfaction is so 
necessary, weighty, and comfortable in itself, and yet so much 
opposed and intricated by several enemies to it ; the method I 
shall take for the clearing, establishing, and preparing it for use, 
shall be, 

Fiist, To open the nature of Christ's satisfaction, and shew 
what it is. 

Secondly, To establish the truth of it, and prove that he made 
full satisfaction to God for all the sins of the elect. 

Thirdly, To answer the most considerable objections made 
against it. 

And lastly, To apply it. 

First, What is the satisfaction of Christ, and what doth it imply ? 

Wh t dSv ' ^ answer, satisfaction is the act of Christ, God-man 9 

f f f • presenting himself as our surety in obedience to 
J l ' God and love to us ; to do and to suffer all that tlie 


law required of us: thereby freeing us from the wrath and curse 
due to us for sins. 

1. It is the act of God-man*; no other was capable of giving 
satisfaction for an infinite wrong done to God. But by reason of 
the union of the two natures in his wonderful person, he could 
do it, and hath done it for us. The human nature did what was 
necessary in its kind ; it gave the matter of the sacrifice : the divine 
nature stampt the dignity and value upon it, which made it an 
adequate compensation : so that it was opus faavbyxov, the act of 
God-man ; yet so, that each nature retained its own properties, 
notwithstanding their joint influence into the effect. If the angels 
in heaven had laid down their lives, or if the blood of all the men 
in the world had been poured out by justice, this could never have 
satisfied ; because that ag/w<r/j, worth and value which this sacri- 
fice hath, would have still been wanting. " It was God that re- 
" deemed the church with his own blood," Acts xx. 18. If God 
redeem with his own blood, he redeems as God-man, without 
any dispute. 

2. If he satisfy God for us, he must present himself before 
God, as our surety, in our stead, as well as for our good ; else 
his obedience had signified nothing to us ; to this end he was 
" made under the law," Gal. iv. 4. comes under the same obli- 
gation with us, and that as a surety, for so he is called, Heb. vii. 
22. Indeed his obedience and sufferings could be exacted from 
him upon no other account. It was not for any thing he had 
done that he became a curse. It was prophesied of him, Dan. ix* 
26. " The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself;" and 
being dead, the scriptures plainly assert it was for our sins, and 
upon our account: so 1 Cor. xv. 3. " Christ died for our sins, 
" according to the scriptures." 

And it is well observed by our divines, who assert the vicege- 
rency and substitution of Christ in his sufferings, that all those 
Greek particles which we translate [for] when applied to the suf- 
ferings of Christ do note the meritorious, deserving, procuring 
cause of those sufferings. So you find, Heb. x. 12. " He offered 
" one sacrifice uvsg a^aormv^ for sins." 1 Pet. iii. 18. " Christ 
" once suffered, crag/, for sins." Rom. iv. 25. " He was deliver- 
" ed, &a, for our offences." Mat. xx. 28. " He gave his life a 
" ransom, ai/r/, for many." And there are that confidently af- 
firm this last particle is never used in any other sense in the whole 

* This satisfaction had in it sufficient and in some respect infinite value. I In 
respect of the person offering it, who was God. 2. In respect of what be offered ; 
for he offered himself, God and man. 3. In respect of the manner of offering, in 
which there was a certain divine perfection in regard of the bypostatical (or perso- 
nal union). Ames, medul. p. 98. 

Vol. I. M 


book of God ; as " an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,"" i. e. 
one in lieu of another. Just as those whom the Greeks called 
■avr^v^joi } men that exchanged their lives, or gave life for life, 
staking down their own to deliver another's, as Philumene did for 
Aristides. And so the poet Virgil speaks ; 

Sijratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit* 

And indeed, this very consideration is that which supports tli6 
doctrine of imputation, the imputation of our sins to Christ, and 
the imputation of Christ's righteousness unto us, Itom. v. 19. For 
how could our sins be laid on him, but as he stood in our stead ? 
or his righteousness be imputed to us, but as he was our surety, 
performing it in our place * ; so that to deny Christ's sufferings in 
our stead, is to lose the corner-stone of our justification, and over- 
throw the very pillar which supports our faith, comfort and salva- 
tion. Indeed if this had not been, he would have been the righte- 
ous Lord, but not the Lord our righteousness, as he is stiled, Jer. 
xxxiii. 16. So that it was but a vain distinction, to say it was^/or 
Our good, but not in our stead: for had he not been in our stead, 
we could not have had the good of it. 

3. The internal moving cause of Christ's satisfaction for us, was 
his obedience to God, and love to us. That it was an act of obe- 
dience, is plain from Phil. ii. 8. " He became obedient unto 
w death, even the death of the cross." Now obedience respects a 
command, and such a command Christ received to die for us, as 
himself tells us, John x. 18. " I lay down my life of myself; I 
j* have power to lay it down, and power to take it again : this 
* c commandment have I received of my Father." So that it was 
an act of obedience with respect to God, and yet a most free and 
spontaneous act with respect to himself. And that he was moved 
to it out of pity and love to us, himself assures us: Gal. v. 2. 
" Christ loved us, and gave himself for us an offering and a sacri- 
" fice to God." Upon this Paul sweetly reflected, Gal. ii. 20. 
" Who loved me arid gave himself for me." As the external 
moving cause was our misery, so the internal was his own love and 
pity for us. 

4. The matter of Christ's satisfaction, was his active and passive 
obedience to all the law of God required -(*. I know there are 
some that doubt whether Christ's active obedience have any place 

* This special imputation is the admission of the merit of another instead of that 
which ought to be in the criminal himself. Bradsliaw on Jiist. p. 47. 

f For if through Christ's passive obedience alone imputed, we are accounted free 
from all the guilt, of the sins of every one of us of whatever kind, whether of com- 
mission or omission ; to what purpose should the active obedience of the same person 
be further imputed for justification, Bradshaw. in epjs. lib. de Justif. 



here, and so whether it be imputed as any part of our righteous- 
ness. It is confessed, that scripture most frequently mentions his 
passive obedience, as that which made the atonement, and pro- 
cures our redemption, Matth. xx. 28. and xxvi. 28. Rom. hi. 24, 
25. and elsewhere: but his passive obedience is never mentioned 
exclusively, as the sole cause, or matter of satisfaction. But in 
those places where it is mentioned by itself, it is put for his whole 
obedience, both active and passive, by an usual trope ; and in other 
scriptures it is ascribed to both, as Gal. iv. 4. he is said, " to be 
" under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." Now 
his being " made under the law" to this end, cannot be restrain- 
ed to his subjection to the curse of the law only, but to the com- 
mands of it also. So Rom. v. 19. " As by one man's disobedience, 
" many were made sinners ; so by the obedience of one, shall 
" many be made righteous." It were a manifest injury to this 
text also, to restrain it to the * passive obedience of Christ only. 
To be short, this twofold obedience of Christ, stands opposed to a 
twofold obligation that fallen man is under ; the one to do what 
God requires* the other to suffer what he hath threatened for dis- 
obedience. We owe him active obedience as his creatures, and pas- 
sive obedience as his prisoners. Suitably to his double obligation, 
Christ comes under the commandment of the law, to fulfil it actively, 
Matth. iii. 15. and under the malediction of the law, to satisfy it 
passively. And whereas it is objected by some, if he fulfilled the 
whole law for us by his active, what need then of his passive obe- 
dience ? We reply, great need ; because both these make up that 
one, entire, and complete obedience, by which God is satisfied, 
and we justified. If Is a good rule of Alsted, obedientia Christi est 
una copulativa; the whole obedience of Christ, both active and 
passive, make up one intire perfect obedience ; and therefore there 
is no reason why one particle, either of the one, or of the other, 
should be excluded. 

5. The effect and fruit of this his satisfaction, is our freedom, 
ransom, or deliverance from the wrath and curse due to us for our 
sins. Such was the dignity, value, and completeness of Christ's 
satisfaction *[-, that in strict justice it merited our redemption and 
full deliverance ; not only a possibility that we might be redeemed 
and pardoned, but a right whereby to be so, as the learned Dr. 
Twiss judiciously argues. If he be made a curse for us, we must 

* There is a twofold obedience of Christ, answering man's twofold obligation 
since the fall : the active for the fault committed ; the passive for the penalty incur- 
red, or both the former answering for both the latter. Trel. as above. 

f Christ acquired a right to give forgiveness of sins ; but not such a right by which 
merely they may be forgiven, but such that, in justice they ought to be all forgiven to 
those for whom satisfaction is made by his death. See TwUse de permits, lib. 2, 



then be redeemed from the curse, according to justice ; so the 
apostle argues, Rom. iii. 25, 56. " 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 
" forbearance of God ; to declare, I say, at this time, his righte- 
u ousness, that God might be just, and the justifier of him that 
" believeth in Jesus." Mark the design and end of God in ex- 
acting satisfaction from Christ, it was to declare his righteousness 
in the remission of sin to believers ; and lest we should lose the 
emphatical word, he doubles it, to declare, I say, his righteousness. 
Every one can see how his mercy is declared in remission : but he 
would have us take notice, that his justification of believers is an 
act of justice; and that God, as he is a just God, cannot condemn 
the believer, since Christ hath satisfied his debts. This attribute 
seems to be the main bar against remission ; but now it is become 
the very ground and reason why God remits. O how comfort- 
able a text is this ! Doth Satan or conscience set forth thy sin in 
all its discouraging circumstances and aggravations ? God hath set 
forth Christ to be a propitiation. Must justice be manifested, sa- 
tisfied and glorified ? So it is in the death of Christ, ten thousand 
times more than ever it could in thy damnation. Thus you have 
a brief account of the satisfaction made by Jesus Christ. 

Secondly, We shall gather up all that hath been said to establish 
the truth of Christ's satisfaction ; proving the reality of it, that it 
is not an improper, catachrestical, fictitious satisfaction, by divine 
acceptilation, as some have very diminutively called it ; but real, pro- 

Eer, and full, and as such accepted by God. b For his blood is the 
lood of a Surety, Heb. vii. 22. who came under the same obligations 
of the law with us, Gal. iv. 4. and though he had no sin of his own, 
yet standing before God as our Surety, the iniquities of us all 
were laid upon him, Isa. liii. 6. and from him did the Lord, with 
great severity, exact satisfaction for our sins, Rom. viii. 32. punish 
them upon his soul, Matth. xxvii. 46. and upon his body, Acts ii. 
23. and with this obedience of his Son, is fully pleased and satis- 
fied, Eph. v. 2. and hath in token thereof raised him from the 
dead, and set him at his own right hand, 1 Tim. iii. 16. and for 
his righteousness-sake acquitted and discharged believers, who shall 
never more come into condemnation, Rom. viii. 1, 34. All this 
is plain in scripture ; and our faith in the satisfaction of Christ, is 
not built on the wisdom of man, but the everlasting sealed truth 
of God : yet such is the perverse nature of man, and the pride of 
his heart, that whilst he should be humbly adoring the grace of 
God, in providing such a Surety for us, he is found accusing the 
justice, and diminishing the mercy of God, and raising all the ob- 
jections which Satan and his own heart can invent, to overturn 


that blessed foundation upon which God hath built up his own ho- 
nour, and his people's salvation. 

Thirdly, In the next place, therefore, we shall reject those doc- 
trines, and remove the principal of those objections that are found 
militating against the satisfaction of Christ. 

And, in the first place, we reject with deep abhorrence that 
doctrine, which ascribes to man any power, in whole, or in part, 
to satisfy God for his own, or other men's sins. This, no mere 
creature can do by active obedience, were it so complete that he 
could never sin in thought, word, or deed, any more, but live the 
most holy life that ever any lived : for all this would be no more 
than his duty as a creature, Luke xvii. 10. and so can be no satis- 
faction for what he is by nature, or hath done against God as a 
sinner. Nor yet by suffering ; for we have offended an infinite 
God, and can never satisfy him by our finite sufferings. 

We also, with like detestation, reject that doctrine which 
makes the satisfaction of Christ either impossible, or fictitious, and 
inconsistent with grace, in the free pardon of sin. Many are the 
cavils raised against Christ's satisfaction ; the principal are such as 
these that follow : 

Object. The doctrine of Christ' *s satisfaction is absurd, for Christ 
(say we) is God ; if so then, God satisfies himself than which what 
can be more absurd to imagine ? 

Sol I answer, God cannot properly be said to satisfy himself; 
for that would be the same thing as to pardon, simply, without 
any satisfaction. But there is a twofold consideration of Christ ; * 
one in respect of his Essence and Divine Nature, in which sense 
he is the object both of the offence, and of the satisfaction made 
for it. Another in respect of his person and ceconomy, or office ; 
in which sense he properly satisfies God, being in respect of his 
manhood another, and inferior to God, John xiv. 28. The blood 
of the man Christ Jesus is the matter of the satisfaction ; the Di- 
vine Nature dignifies it, and makes it of infinite value -f\ A cer- 
tain family had committed treason against the king, and are all 
under the condemnation of the law for it ; the king's son moved 
with pity and love, resolves to satisfy the law, and yet save the fa- 
mily ; in order whereunto he marries a daughter of the family, 
whereby her blood becomes royal blood, and worth the blood of 
the whole family whence she sprang ; this princess is by her hus- 

* It is one thing to treat of Christ's divinity according to its nature, considered 
distinctly by itself: another thing to treat of it as in his person. TrelcaU 

f Christ, according to his divine nature, is one with God ; as man he is one with 
us : on the other part, as God, he is at a distance from us : as man, or by volun- 
tary ceconomy, at a distance from God. Idem. Hid. See Dawn, vn Col. 103. and 
Cameron, p. 561. 



band executed in the room of the rest. In this case the king satis- 
fies not himself for the wrong, but is satisfied by the death of ano- 
ther, equivalent in worth to the blood of them all. This similitude 
answers not to all the particulars, as indeed nothing in nature doth, 
"or can; but it only shews what it was that satisfied God, and how 
it became so satisfactory. 

Object. If Christ satisfied by paying our debt, then he should have 
endured eternal torments ; for so we should, and the damned shall. 

Sol. We must distinguish betwixt what is essential, and what is 
accidental in punishment. The primary intent of the law is repa- 
ration and satisfaction ; he that can make it at one intire payment 
(as Christ could and did) ought to be discharged. He that cannot 
(as no mere creature can) ought to he for ever, as the damned do, 
under sufferings. 

Object. If God will be satisfied for our sins before he pardon them, 
liow then is pardon an act of grace. 

Sol. Pardon could not be an act of pure grace, if God received 
satisfaction from us ; but if he pardon us upon the satisfaction re- 
ceived from Christ, though it be of debt to him, it is of grace to us : 
for it was grace to admit a Surety to satisfy, more grace to provide 
him, and most of all to apply his satisfaction to us, by uniting us to 
Christ, as he hath done. 

Object. But God loved us before Christ died for us ; for it was 
the love qf God to the world that moved him to give his only-begot- 
ten Son. Could God love us, and yet not be reconciled and satisfied ? 

Sol. God's complacent love is indeed inconsistent with an unre- 
conciled state : He is reconciled to every one he so loves. But his 
benevolent love, consisting in his purpose of good, may be before 
actual reconciliation and satisfaction. 

Object. Temporal death, as well as eternal, is a part of the curse, 
if Christ have fully satisfied by bearing the curse for us, how is it, 
that those for whom he bare it, die as well as others f 

Sol. As temporal death is a penal evil, and part of the curse, so 
God inflicts it not upon believers ; but they must die for other 
ends, viz. to be made perfectly happy in a more full and immediate 
enjoyment of God, than they can have in the body : and so, death 
is theirs by way of privilege, 1 Cor. hi. 22. They are not deatKs by 
way of punishment. The same may be said of all the afflictions 
with which God, for gracious ends, now exercises his reconciled 
ones. Thus much may suffice to establish this great truth. 

Inference 1, If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God 
for all the sins of the elect, then certainly there is an infinite evil in, 
sin. since it cannot be expiated but by an infinite satisfaction. Fools 
make a mock at sin, and there are but few souls in the world that 
pre duly sensible of, and affected with its evil ; but certainly, if God 


should damn thee to all eternity, thy eternal sufferings could not 
satisfy for the evil that is in one vain thought. * It may be you 
may think this is harsh and severe, that God should hold his crea- 
tures under everlasting sufferings for sin, and never be satisfied 
with them any more. But when you have well considered, that 
the object against whom you sin, is the infinite blessed God, which 
derives an infinite evil to the sin committed against him; and 
when you consider how God dealt with the angels that fell, for 
one sin, and that but of the mind ; (for having no bodily organs, 
they could commit nothing externally against God :) you will alter 
your minds about it. O the depth of the evil of sin ! If ever you 
will see how great and horrid an evil sin is, measure it in your 
thoughts, either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, 
who is wronged by it ; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who 
died to satisfy for it ; and then you will have deeper apprehensions 
of the evil of sin. 

Inf. 2. If the death of Christ satisfied God, and thereby re- 
deemed the elect from the curse : then the redemption of souls is 
costly ; souls are dear things, and of great value with God. " Ye 
" know, (says the apostle,) that ye were not redeemed with cor- 
" ruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, 
«' received by tradition ; but with the precious blood of the Son of 
" God, as of a lamb without spot," 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. Only the 
blood of God is found an equivalent price for the redemption of 
souls. Gold and silver may redeem from Turkish, but not from 
hellish bondage. The whole creation sold to the utmost worth of 
it, is not a value for the redemption of one soul. Souls are very 
dear ; he that paid for them found them so : yet how cheaply do 
sinners sell their souls, as if they were but low priced commodities ! 
but you that sell your souls cheap, will buy repentance dear. 

Inf. 3. If Christ's death satisfied God for our sins, how unparal: 
leled is the love of Christ to poor sinners ! It is much to pay a pe- 
cuniary debt to free another, but who will pay his own blood for 
another ? We have a noted instance of j- Zaleucus, that famous 
Locrensian lawgiver, who decreed, that whoever was convicted of 
adultery, should have both his eyes put out. It so fell out that 
his own Son was brought before him for that crime : hereupon the 

* By this death of Christ we are greatly excited both to caution, and to detes- 
tation of sin. For it must surely be a deadly evil which could not be otherwise 
cured than by Christ's death. What man therefore, seriously considering that his 
sins were no other way expiated than by the blood of the very Son of God, will not 
tremble at the thoughts of trampling, as it were, on that most precious blood by 
daily sinning ? Davtn. on Col. chap. i. ver. 20. 

f Valerius, book vi. chap. 5. 



people interposing, made suit for his pardon. At length the fa- 
ther, partly overcome by their importunities, and not unwilling to 
shew what lawful favour he might to his son, he first put out one 
of his own eyes, and then one of his son's ; and so shewed himself 
both a merciful father, and a just lawgiver ; so tempering mercy 
-with justice, that both the law was satisfied, and his son spared. 
This is written by the historian as an instance of singular love in 
his father, to pay one half of the penalty for his son. But Christ 
did not divide, and share in the penalty with us, but bare it all. 
Zaleucus did it for his son, who was dear to. him ; Christ did it 
for enemies, that were fighting and rebelling against him : Rom. 
v. 8. " While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." " O 
" would to God (said a holy one) I could cause paper and ink to 
" speak the worth and excellency, the high and loud praises of our 
<f Brother ransomer ! O the ransomer needs not my report ; but 
" O if he would take it, and make use of it ! I should be happy 
u if I had an errand to this world but for some few years, to spread 
" proclamations, and out-cries, and love-letters of the highness 
*' [the highness evermore] of the ransomer, whose clothes were 
* c wet, and dyed in blood ; howbeit, that after that, my soul and 
" body should go back to their mother nothing." 

Inf. 4. If Christ by dying, hath made full satisfaction, then 
God is no loser in pardoning the greatest qf sinners, that believe 
in Jesus ; and consequently his justice can he no bar to their justifi- 
cation and salvation. He is just to forgive us our sins, 1 John i. 
9- What an argument is here for a poor believer to plead with 
God ! Lord, if thou save me by Jesus Christ, thy justice will be 
fully satisfied at one full payment ; but if thou damn me, and re- 
quire satisfaction at my hands, thou canst never receive it : I shall 
make but a dribbling payment, though I lie in hell to eternity, and 
shall still be infinitely behind with thee. Is it not more for thy 
glory to receive it from Christ's hand, than to require it at mine ? 
One drop of his blood is more worth than all my polluted blood. O 
how satisfying a thing is this to the conscience of a poor sinner that 
is objecting the multitude, aggravations, and amazing circumstances, 
of his sins, against the possibility of their being pardoned ! Can such 
a sinner as I be forgiven ? Yes, if thou believest in Jesus, thou 
mayest ; for so God will lose nothing in pardoning the greatest 
transgressors: " Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord 
" there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption," Psal. 
cxxx. 7. i. e. a large stock of merit lying by him in the blood of 
Christ, to pay him for all that you have done against him. 

Inf. 5. Lastly, If Christ hath made such a full satisfaction as you 
have heard, How much is it the concernment of every soul, to aban- 
don all thoughts of satisfying God for his own sins, and betake him- 


self to the blood of Christ, the ransomer, by faith, that in that blood 
they may be pardoned? It would grieve one's heart to see how 
many poor creatures are drudging aud tugging at a task of repen- 
tance, and revenge upon themselves, and reformation, and obedience, 
to satisfy God for what they have done against him : And alas ! it 
cannot be, they do but lose their labour ; could they swelter their 
very hearts out, weep till they can weep no more, cry till their 
throats be parched, alas, they can never recompence God for one 
vain thought ; for such is the severity of the law, that when it is 
once offended, it will never be made amends again by all that we 
can do : it will not discharge the sinner, for all the sorrow in the 
world. Indeed, if a man be in Christ, sorrow for sin is something, 
and renewed obedience is something; God looks upon them favour- 
ably, and accepts them graciously in Christ : but out of him they 
signify no more than the intreaties and cries of a condemned male- 
factor, to reverse the legal sentence of the judge. You may toil 
all the days of your life, and at night go to bed without a candle. 
To that sense that scripture sounds, Isa. 1. 11. " Behold, all ve 
" that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks ; 
" walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that you have 
" kindled : This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in 
" sorrow." By fire, and the light of it, some understand the 
sparkling pleasures of this life, and the sensitive joys of the crea- 
tures : but generally it is taken for our own natural righteousness, 
and all acts of duties, in order to our justification by them before 
God. And so it stands opposed to that faith of recumbency spoken 
of in the verse before. By their compassing themselves about with 
these sparks, understand their dependance on these their duties, and 
glorying in them. But see the fatal issue, Ye shall lie dozen in 
sorrow, that shall be your recompence from the hand of the Lord ; 
that is all the thanks and reward you must expect from him, for 
slighting Christ's, and preferring your own righteousness before 
his. Reader, be convinced, that one act of faith in the Lord Jesus 
pleases God more than all the obedience, repentance, and strivings 
to obey the law, through thy whole life, can do. And thus you 
have the first special fruits of Christ's priesthood, in the full satis- 
faction of God, for all the sins of believers. 



Of the blessed Inheritance purchased by the Oblation of 
Christ, being the second Effect or Fruit of his Priesthood. 

Gal. iv. 4, 5. 
But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, 
made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were 
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 

X HIS scripture gives us an account of a double fruit of Christ's 
death, viz. the payment of our debt, and the purchase of our 

1. The payment of our debt, expressed by our redemption, or 
buying us out from the obligation and curse of the law, which 
hath been discoursed in the last exercise. 

2. The purchase of an inheritance for those redeemed ones, ex- 
pressed here by their receiving the adoption of sons ; which is to 
be our present subject. Adoption is either civil, or divine. Of the 
first, the civil law gives this definition : that it is, 

" * A lawful act, an imitation of nature, invented for the com- 
" fort of them that have no children of their own. Divine adop- 
" tion is that special benefit whereby God, for Christ's sake, ac- 
" cepteth us as sons, and makes us heirs of eternal life with him." 

•f Betwixt this civil and sacred adoption, there is a twofold agree- 
ment, and disagreement. They agree in this, that both flow from 
the pleasure and good-will of the adoptant ; and in this, that both 
confer a right to privileges, which we have not by nature : but in 
this they differ, one is an act imitating nature, the other transcends 
nature ; the one was found out for the comfort of them that had no 
children ; the other for the comfort of them that had no father. 
This divine adoption is, in scripture, either taken properly for that 
act or sentence of God, by which we are made sons, or for the 
privileges with which the adopted are invested : and so it is taken 
Rom. viii. 23. and in this scripture now before us. We lost our 
inheritance by the fall of Adam ; we receive it, as the text speaks, 
by the death of Christ, which restores it again to us by a new and 
better title. The doctrine hence, is this, 

* Adoptio est actus legitimus, imitans naturam, repertus ad corum solatium, qui liberos 
non habent. Adoptio est beneficium, quonos Dens propter Christum in filios recipit, etjacit 
nos cum ipso hceredes vitce teterna. Ravanel. 

f Here therefore adoption is taken (as redemption is in Rom. iii. 25.) for actual 
possession. For as, at the last day, we will perceive the fruit of our redemption, 
so now we perceive, &c. Calvin on this place. » 


Doct. That the death of Jesus Christ hath not only satisfied for 
our debts, but over and above purchased a rich inheritance for 
the children of' God. 

" For this end, or cause, he is the Mediator of the New Testa- 
" ment; that, by means of death, lor the redemption of the 
u transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which 
" are called, might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, 1 ' 
Pleb. ix. 15. 

We will here, First, See what Christ paid. Secondly, What he 
purchased. Thirdly, For whom. 

First, What Christ paid. Our * divines comprise the virtue and 
fruits of the priesthood of Christ in these two things, viz. Solutio 
debiti, ct acquisitio hazreditatis, payment and purchase. Answera- 
bly, the obedience of Christ hath a double relation, relatio legalis 
justitia?, the relation of a legal righteousness; and adequate and ex- 
actly proportioned price. And it hath also in it ratio superlegalis 
meriti, the relation of a merit over and beyond the law. 

To object (as some do) " •(• the satisfaction of Christ was more 
" than sufficient," according to our doctrine, " and therefore 
" could not be intended for the payment of our debt," is a sense- 
less cavil. For surely, if Christ paid more than was owing, he 
must needs pay all that was owing to divine Justice. And truly it 
is but a bad requital of the love of Jesus Christ, who, beside the 
payment of what he owed, would manifest his bounty by the redun- 
dancy of his merit, which he paid to God to purchase a blessed in- 
heritance for us. This overplus of satisfaction (which was the 
price of that inheritance I am now to open) is not obscurely hint- 
ed, but plainly expressed twice in Rom. v. 15. " But not as the 
" offence, so also is the free gift : for if through the offence of 
« one many be dead, zjoXXu /iaX\ov 9 much more the grace of God, 
« and the gift of grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, 
" empiffgsvte, hath abounded or flowed abundantly unto many." 
So ver 17. " For if by one man's offence, death reigned by one 
" to/.Xw }Lu\yw, much more they which receive rr\v Ksoitfciav, the 
" overflowings, or abundance of grace, and of the gift of righte- 
" ousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." In both J 
which places Christ and Adam are compared as the two roots or 
common heads of mankind, both agreeing in this property of 
communicating their conditions to those that are theirs ; yet there 

* Parker de descensu 1. 3. p. 79. Dr. Reynolds on Psal. ex. Cameron, p. 
363, #c. 

f Satisfactio Christi fuit plus quam sujficiens, non igitur, ex debito, non ex obligato. 
Fevard. dialog. 5. p. 382. 

J Dutch Annotations on this place. Deodat. on this place. 


is a great deal of difference betwixt them ! for in Christ the power 
is all divine, and therefore infinitely more active and effectual: 
He communicates abundantly more to his, than they lost in 
Adam ; so that his blood is not only sufficient to redeem all those 
that are actually redeemed by it, but even the whole world also. 
And were there so many worlds of men as there are men in the 
world, it would be sufficient for them also; and yet still there 
would be an overplus of value : for all those worlds of men would 
rise but to a finite bulk ; but this blood is infinite in its worth and 
dignity. Since then there is not a whole world, no not half, 
but the far less part redeemed by the blood of Christ, which was 
sufficient for so many ; great must be the surplusage and re- 
dundancy of merit ? Here our divines rightly distinguish betwixt 
the substance and accidents of Christ's death and obedience. Con- 
sider Christ's suffering, as to the substance of it, it was no more 
than what the* law required; for, neither the justice, nor love of 
the Father would permit that Christ should suffer more than what 
was necessarv for him to bear, as our Surety ; but, as to the cir- 
cumstances, the person of the sufferer, the cause and efficacy of 
his sufferings, $c. it was much more than sufficient : a superlegale 
meriium, a merit above and beyond what the law required ; for, 
though the law required the death of the sinner, who is but a 
poor contemptible creature, it did not require that one, perfectly 
innocent, should die ; it did not require that God should shed his 
blood : it did not require blood of such value and worth as this 
was. I say, none of this the law required, though God was 
pleased, for the advancement and manifestation of his justice and 
mercy in the highest, to admit, and order this, by way of com- 
mutation, admitting him to be our awi^vyjtg, or ransomer, by dy- 
ing for us. And, indeed, it was a most gracious relaxation of 
the lawf , that admitted of such a commutation as this ; for hereby 
it comes to pass, that justice is fully satisfied, and yet we live and 
are saved ; which, before, was a thing that could not be imagined. 
Yea, now we are not only redeemed from wrath, by the ade- 
quate compensation made for our sins by Christ's blood and suffer- 
ings, substantially considered ; but entitled to a most glorious inhe- 
ritance, purchased by his blood, considered as the blood of an 
innocent, as the blood of God, and therefore as most excellent 
and efficacious blood, above what the law demanded. And this 

* Quod substantiam pcerus nihil plus perpessus est Christus quam quodper legem debeba- 
tur ; quoad circumstanlias autem, patientis personam, patiendi causam passionis efficaciam, 
plus quam svfficicns satisfactio Chrisli a nobus dicitur. Parker de descensu, 1. 8. 

f They who have written of the relaxation of laws, observe, that these are the 
best relaxations to which is annexed commutation or compensation]. Grotius on, 
satisfaction, chap. 5, 


is the meaning of Athanasius, when he saith, "* That Christ re- 
" compensed, or made amends for small things with great :" he 
means not, that sin, considered absolutely, and in itself, is small ; 
O no, but compared with Christ's blood, and the infinite excel- 
lency and worth of it, it is so. And f Chrysostom, to the same 
purpose, " Christ paid much more (saith he) than we owed, and 
" so much more, as the immense ocean is more than a small drop. - " 
So that it was rightly determined by holy Anselm : " No man 
M (saith he) can pay to God what he owes him ; Christ only paid 
" more than he owed him."*' By this you see, how rich a treasure 
lies in Christ, to bestow in a purchase for us, above what he paid 
to redeem us ; even as much as his soul and body were more worth 
than ours, for whom it was sacrificed ; which is so great a sum, 
that all the angels in heaven, and men on earth, can never com- 
pute and sum up, so as to shew us the total of it And this was 
that inexhaustible treasure that Christ expended, to procure and 
purchase the fairest inheritance for believers. Having seen the 
treasure that purchased, let us next enquire into the inheritance 
purchased by it 

Secondly, This inlieritance is so large, that it cannot be surveved 
by creatures ; nor can the boundaries and limits thereof be des- 
cribed, for it comprehends all things ; 1 Cor. iii. 22 J. " All is 
w yours, ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." Rev. xxi. 7. 
" He that overcomes shall inherit all things. r> And yet I do not 
think, or say, that Dominium fundatur in gratia, that temporal 
dominion is founded in grace : no, that is at the cast and disposal of 
Providence. But Christ, by his death, hath restored a right to all 
things to his people. 

But, to be more particular, I shall distribute the saints inheri- 
tance, purchased by Christ, into three heads ; all temporal good 
things, all spiritual good things, and all eternal good things are 

1. All temporal good things. 1 Tim. vi. 7. " He hath given us 
" all things richly to enjoy §."' Not that they have the possession^ 
but the comfort and benefit of all things : others have the sting, 
gall, wormwood, baits and snares of the creature; saints only 
have the blessing and comfort of it. So that this little that a 

* Christum parva magnis pensasse. Athanas. de passione et cruce. 

f Mullo phira quam. debemus Chrisins pro nobis solvit, tantoque plura, quanto guttulam 
exiguam pelagxis excellit immensum. 

\ The whole world belongs to the faithful. Aug. 

§ Christ merited for us all supernatural good things, and all aids, whether pre- 
venting, or subsequent ; and all those things, though they are things extrinsical to us, 
which bear the relation of means to our salvation. Vincent. Austricens. dc habit. Christ, 
grat. prcslect. q. 5. p. 259. 


righteous man hath, is (in this among other respects) belter than the 
treasures of many wicked: which is the true key to open that dark 
savins of the apostle, 2 Cor. vi. 10. N As having nothing, and 
" Vet possessing all things." They only possess, others are posses- 
seel by the world. The saints utuntur mundo, et fruuntur Deo y 
" use the world, and enjoy God" in the use of it. Others are de- 
ceived, defiled, and destroyed by the world ; but these are refreshed 
and furthered by it. 

2. All spiritual good things are purchased by the blood of Christ 
for them ; as Justification , which comprises remission of sins and 
acceptance of our persons by God: Rom. iii. 24. " Being justified 
" freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ. 1 ' 
Sanetification is also purchased for them ; yea, both initial and pro- 
gressive sanetification : for of " God, he is made unto us, not only 
" wisdom and righteousness, but sanetification also," 1 Cor. i. 30. 
These two, viz. our justification and sanetification, are two of the 
most rich and shining robes in the wardrobe of free grace. How 
glorious and lovely do they render the soul that wears them J These 
are like the bracelets, and jewels Isaac sent to Rebecca. Adoption 
into the family of God is purchased for us by his blood ; " For ye 
" are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Cbrist, ,, Gal. iii. 26\ 
Christ, as he is the Son, is hoeres natus^ " the heir by nature ;" as 
he is Mediator, he is hoeres constitutus, " the heir by appointment," 
appointed heir of all things, as it is, Heb. i, 2. By the Sonship of 
Christ, we being united to him by faith, become sons ; and if sons, 
then heirs. " O what manner of love is this, that we should be 
" called the sons of God V 1 John iii. 1. That a poor beggar 
should be made an heir, yea, an heir of God, and joint heir with 
Christ ! Yea, that very faith, which is the bond of union, and 
consequently, the ground of all our communion with Christ, is 
the purchase of his blood also : 2 Pet. i. 1. "To them that have 
" obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness 
" of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." This most precious 
grace is the dear purchase of our Lord Jesus Christ ; yea, all that 
peace, joy, and spiritual comfort, which are sweet fruits of faith, 
are with it purchased for us by this blood. 

So speaks the apostle in Rom. v. 1, 2, 3. " Being justified by 
u faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus 
" Christ," &c. Moreover the Sjririt himself, who is the author, 
fountain, and spring of all graces and comforts, is procured for 
us by his death and resurrection: Gal. iii. 13, 14. " Christ hath 
u redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for 
" us ; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a 
" tree : that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Geii- 
11 tiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise 


« of the Spirit through faith." That Spirit that first sanctified, 
and since hath so often sealed, comforted, directed, resolved, 
guided, and quickened your souls, had not come to perform any 
of these blessed offices upon your hearts, if Christ had not died. 

3. All eternal good things are the purchase of his blood. Heaven, 
and all the glory thereof, is purchased for you that are believers, 
with this price. Hence that glory, whatever it be, is called " an 
" inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, 
" reserved in heaven for you :" To the lively hope whereof you 
are begotten again, " by the resurrection of Christ from the dead," 
1 Pet. i. 3, 4. Not only present mercies are purchased for usj 
but things to come also, as it is, 1 Cor. iii. 22. Man is a prudent 
and prospecting creature, and is not satisfied that it is well with 
him for the present, unless he have some assurance it shall be well 
with him for time to come. His mind is taken up about what 
shall be hereafter ; and from the good or evil things to come, he 
raiseth up to himself vast hopes or fears. 

Therefore to complete our happiness, and fill up the uttermost 
capacity of our souls, all the good of eternity is put into the ac- 
count and inventory of the saints estate and inheritance. This 
happiness is ineffable ; it is usually distinguished into what is essen- 
tial, and what is accessory to it. The essentials of it, as far as we 
in our embodied state can conceive, is either the objective, subjective, 
ox formal happiness to be enjoyed in heaven. 

The objective happiness is God himself, Psal. lxxiii. 25. " Whom 
have I in heaven but thee f If it could be supposed (saith one) 
that God should withdraw from the saints in heaven, and say, Take 
heaven, and divide it among you ; but as for me, I will withdraw 
from you ; the saints would fall a weeping in heaven, and say, Lord, 
take heaven, and give it to whom thou wilt ; it is no heaven to us, 
except thou be there : Heaven would be very Bochim to the saints 
without God. In this, our glory in heaven consists, to be ever 
with the Lord, 1 Thess. iv. 17. God himself is the chief part of a 
sainfs inheritance ; in which sense, as some will understand, Rom. 
viii. 1. they are called heirs of God. 

The subjective glory and happiness is the attemperation and 
suiting of the soul and body to God. This is begun in sanctifica- 
tion, and perfected in glorification. It consists in removing from 
both all that is indecent, and inconsistent with a state of such com- 
plete glory and happiness, and in superinducting and clothing it 
with all heavenly qualities. 

The immunities of the body are its freedom from all natural 
infirmities ; which as they come in, so they go out with sin. 
Thenceforth there shall be no diseases, deformities, pains, flaws, 


monstrosities ; their good physician death hath cured all this, and 
their vile bodies shall be made like unto Christ's glorious body, 
Phil. iii. 21. and be made a spiritual body, 1 Cor. xv. 44. For 
affiUfv, like the chariots of Aminadab ; for beaut?/, as the top of 
Lebanon ; for incorruptibility, as if they were pure spirits. 

The soul also is discharged and freed from all darkness and ig- 
norance of mind, being now able to discern all truths in God, 
that chrystal ocean of truth. The leaks of the memory stopt for 
ever ; the roving of the fancy perfectly cured ; the stubbornness 
and reluctancy of the will for ever subdued, and retained in due 
and full subjection to God. So that the saints in glory shall be 
free from all that now troubles them ; they shall never sin more, 
nor be once tempted so to do, for no serpent hisses in that paradise ; 
they shall never grieve nor groan more, for God shall wipe away 
all tears from their eyes. They shall never be troubled more, for 
God will then recompense tribulation to their troublers, and to 
them that are troubled, rest; they shall never doubt more, for 
fruition excludes doubting. 

The formal happiness is the fulness of satisfaction resulting from 
the blessed sight and enjoyment of God, by a soul so attempered 
to him, Psal. xvii. 15. " When I awake I shall be satisfied with 
" tliy likeness." This sight of God, in glory, called the beatifical 
vision, must needs yield ineffable satisfaction to the beholding soul, 
inasmuch as it will be an intuitive vision. The intellectual or men- 
tal eye shall see God, 1 John iii. 2. The corporeal glorified eye 
shall see Christ, Job xix. 26, 27. What a ravishing vision will 
this be ! and how much will it exceed all reports and apprehen- 
sions we had here of it ! Surely one half was not told us. It will 
be a transformative vision, it will change the beholder into its own 
image and likeness. " We shall be like him, for we shall see him 
" as he is," 1 John iii. 2. As iron put into the fire, becomes all 
fiery ; so the soul, by conversing with God, is changed into his 
very similitude. It will be an appropriative vision ; " Whom I shall 
" see for myself," Job xix. 26, 27. In heaven interest is clear and 
undoubted ; fear is cast out : no need of marks and signs there ; 
for what a man sees and enjoys, how can he doubt of? It will be 
a ravishing vision ; these we have by faith are so, how much more 
those in glory? How was Paul transported, when he was in a 
visional way wrapt up into the third heaven, and heard the un- 
utterable things, though he was not admitted into the blessed so- 
ciety, but was with them, as the angels are in our assemblies, a 
stander-by, a looker-on. If a spark do so inflame, what is it to 
lie down like a Phoenix in her bed of spices ! Like a Salamander 
to live and move in the fire of love ! It will also be an eternal vi- 
sion ; vacabimus et videbimus, (as Augustus said) we shall then be 


at leisure for this employment, and have no diversions from it 
for ever. No evening is mentioned to the seventh day's sabbath ; 
no night in the new Jerusalem. And therefore, 

Lastly, It will be a fully satisfying vision : God will then be all in 
all, Etiam ipsa curiositas satietur, " Curiosity itself will be satis- 
" fied." The blessed soul will feel itself blessed, filled, satisfied in 
every part. Ah, what a happiness is here ! to look and love, to 
drink and sing, and drink again at the fountain head of the highest 
glory ! And if at any time its eye be turned from a direct to a reflex 
sight Upon what it once was, how it was wrought on, how fitted 
for his glory, how wonderfully distinguished by special grace from 
them that are howling in flames, whilst himself is shouting aloud 
upon his bed of everlasting rest ; and this will enhance the glory. 

And so also will the accessories of this blessedness be ; The place 
where God is enjoyed, the empyrean heaven, the city of God, whi- 
ther Christ ascended, where the great assembly are met. Paradise 
and Canaan were but the types of it ; more excelling and trans- 
cending the royal palaces of earthly princes, than they do a pigeon- 
hole. The company also with whom he is enjoyed, adds to the glory. 
A blissful society indeed ! store of good neighbours in that city. 
There we shall have familiar converse with angels, whose appear- 
ances now are insupportable by poor mortals : There will be sweet 
and full closings also betwixt the saints ; Luther and Zuinglius are 
there agreed. Here they could not fully close with one another, 
and no wonder, for they could not fully close with themselves. But 
there is perfect harmony and unity ; all meeting and closing in 
God, as lines in the centre. This is a blessed glimpse of your in- 

Thirdly, All this is purchased for believers : hence it is called, 
u the inheritance of the saints in light," Col. i. 12. " All is yours, 
" for ye are Christ's," that is the tenure, 1 Cor. iii. 23. So 
Rom. viii. 30. " Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; 
" and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justi- 
" fied, them he also glorified." Only those that are sons, are heirs, 
Rom. viii. 17. The unrighteous shall not inherit, 1 Cor. vi. 9. 
" It is the Father's good pleasure, to give the kingdom to the 
" little flock," Luke xii. 32. 

Inf. 1. Hath Christ not only redeemed you from wrath, but 
purchased such an eternal inheritance also by the overplus of his 
merit for you ? O how well content should believers then be with their 
Jot of providence in this life, be it what it will f Content did I say ? 
I speak too low ; overcome, ravished, filled with praises and thanks- 
givings ; how low, how poor, how afflicted soever for the present 
they are. O let not such things as grumbling, repining, fretting at 
providence, be found, or once named among the expectants of this 

Vol. I. N 


inheritance ! Suppose you had taken a beggar from your door, and 
adopted him to be your son, and made him heir of a large inheri- 
tance, and after this he should contest and quarrel with you for a 
trifle ; could you bear it ? How to work the spirit of a saint into 
contentment with a low condition here, I have laid down several 
rules in another discourse *, to which, for the present I refer the 

Infer. 2. With what weaned affections should the people of God 
walk up and down this world, content to live, and willing' to die f 
For things present are theirs if they live, and things to come are 
theirs if they die. Paul expresses himself in a frame of holy in- 
differency, Phil. i. 23. " Which to chuse I know not." Many of 
them that are now in fruition of their inheritance above, had vitam 
in patientia, mortem in desiderio, " Life in patience, and death in 
desire," while they tabernacled with us. " O (cried one) what would 
" I give to have a bed made to my wearied soul in Christ's bosom ? 

" 1 cannot tell you what sweet pain and delightful torments 

" are in his love ; I often challenge time for holding us asunder ; 
" I profess to you, I have no rest till I be over head and ears in 
" love's ocean. If Christ's love (that fountain of delights) were laid 
" open to me as I would wish, O how overcome would this my 
* c soul be ! I half call his absence cruel ; and the mask and vail on 
" his face a cruel covering, that hideth such a fair, fair face from 
" a sick soul. I dare not challenge himself, but his absence is a 
" mountain of iron upon my heavy heart. O when shall me meet ! 
" How long is the dawning of the marriage-day ! O sweet Lord 
" Jesus, take wide steps ! O my Lord, come over mountains at 
" one stride ! O my beloved, flee like a roe, or young hart upon 
u the mountains of separation ! O if he would fold the heavens 
" together like an old cloak, and shovel time arid days out of the 
" way, and make ready in haste the Lamb's wife for her husband ! 
" Since he looked upon me, my heart is not mine own." 

Who can be blamed for desiring to see that fair inheritance 
which is purchased for him ! But, truly, should God hold up the 
soul by the power of faith, from day to day, to such sights as 
these, who would be content to live a day more on earth ! How should 
we be ready to pull down the prison walls, and not have patience 
to wait till God open the door ! As the Heathen said, 

Victurosquc dii celant, ut vivere durent. 

And truly the wisdom of God is in this specially remarkable, 
in giving the new creature such an admirable crisis, and even tem- 
per, as that scripture, 2 Thess. iii. 5. expresses, " The Lord direct 

* A Saint indeed. 


" your hearts into the love of God and patient waiting for Christ. " 
Love inflames with desire, patience allays that fervor. So that 
fervent desires (as one happily expresses it) are allayed with meek 
submission; mighty love with strong patience. And had not God 
twisted together these two principles in the Christian's constitution, 
he had framed a creature to be a torment to itself, to live upon a 
very rack. 

Inf. 3. Hence we infer the impossibility of their salvation that 
know not Christ, nor have interest in his blood. Neither Heathens, 
nor merely nominal Christians, can inherit heaven. I know some 
are very indulgent to the Heathen, and many formal Christians 
are too much so to themselves : but union by faith with Jesus 
Christ, is the only way revealed in scripture, by which we hope 
to come to the heavenly inheritance. I know it seems hard, that 
such brave men, as some of the Heathens were, should be damn- 
ed : but the scripture knows no other way to glory, but Christ put 
on, and applied by faith. And it is the common suffrage of mo- 
dern sound divines, that no man, by the sole conduct of nature, 
without the knowledge of Christ, can be saved. There is but one 
way to glory for all the world, John xiv. 6. " No man cometh to 
" the Father but by me." Gal. iii. 14. " The blessing of Abraham 
" comes upon the Gentiles through faith. 11 Scripture asserts the 
impossibility of being or doing, any thing that is truly evange- 
lically good, out of Christ, John xv. 5. " Without me ye can do 
" nothing. 11 And Heb. xi. 6. " Without faith it is impossible to 
" please God. 11 

Scripture every whqjp connects and chains salvation with voca^ 
tion, Rom. viii. 30. and vocation with the gospel, Rom. x. 14. 
To those that plead for the salvation of Heathens, and profane 
Christians, we may apply that tart rebuke of Bernard, that while 
some labour to make Plato a Christian, he feared they therein did 
prove themselves to be Heathens. 

Inf. 4. How greatly are we all concerned to clear up our title to 
the heavenly inheritance ! It is horrible to see how industrious 
many are for an inheritance on earth, and how careless for heaven. 
By which we may plainly see how vilely the noble soul is depres- 
sed by sin, and sunk down into flesh, minding only the concernments 
of the flesh. Hear me, ye that labour for the world, as if heaven 
were in it ; what will ye do when at death you shall look back over 
your shoulder, and see what you have spent your time and strength 
for, shrinking and vanishing away from you ? When you shall 
look forward, and see vast eternity opening its mouth to swallow 
you up ; O then what would you give for a well-grounded assur- 
ance of an eternal inheritance ! 

O, therefore, if you have any concernment for your poor souls ; 

N % 


if it be not indifferent to you what becomes of them, whether they 
be saved, or whether they be damned, " give all diligence to 
" make your calling and election sure, 1 ' 2 Pet. i. 10. " Work out 
" your own salvation with fear and trembling ; for it is God that 
" worketh in you both to will and to do of his own good pleasure," 
Phil. ii. 12. Remember it is salvation you work for, and that is 
no trifle, Remember, it is your own salvation, and not another's. 
It is for thy own poor soul that thou art striving ; and what hast 
thou more ? 

Remember, now God offers you his helping hand ; now the 
Spirit waits upon you in the means, but of the continuance thereof 
you have no assurance ; for it is of his own good pleasure, and not 
at yours. To your work, souls, to your work. Ah, strive as men 
that know what an inheritance in heaven is worth. 

And, as for you that have solid evidence that it is yours ; O, 
that with hands and eyes lifted up to heaven, you would adore that 
free grace, that hath entitled a child of wrath to a heavenly inheri- 
tance ! Walk as becomes heirs of God, and joint heirs with 
Christ. Be often looking heaven-ward when wants pinch here. 
O look to that fair estate you have reserved in heaven for you, 
and say* I am hastening home ; and when I come thither, all my 
wants shall be supplied. Consider what it cost Christ to purchase 
it for thee ; and with a deep sense of what he hath laid out for 
thee, let thy soul say, 

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ 


Of the Kingly Office of Christ, as it is executed spiritually 
upon the Souls of the Redeemed. 

2 Cor. x. 5. 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteih 
itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity 
every thought to the obedience of Christ 

TT E now come to the Regal office, by which our glorious Me- 
diator executes and discharge th the undertaken design of our 
redemption. Had he not, as our Prophet, opened the way of life 
and salvation to the children of men, they could never have 
known it ; and if they had clearly known it, except, as their Priest, 


he had offered up himself, to impetrate and obtain redemption for 
them, they could not have been redeemed virtually by his blood ; 
and if they had been so redeemed, yet had he not lived in the ca- 
pacity of a King, to apply this purchase of his blood to them, they 
couM have had no actual, personal benefit by his death ; for what 
lie revealed as a Prophet, he purchased as a Priest ; and what he 
so revealed and purchased as a Prophet and Priest, he applies as a 
King : first subduing the souls of his elect to his spiritual govern- 
ment ; then ruling them as his subjects, and ordering all things in 
the kingdom of Providence for their good. So that Christ hath a 
twofold kingdom, the one spiritual and internal, by which he sub- 
dues and rules the hearts of his people ; the other providential and 
external, whereby he guides, rules, and orders all things in the 
world, in a blessed subordination to their eternal salvation. I am 
to speak from this text of his spiritnal and internal kingdom. 

These words are considered two ways, either relatively or abso- 
lutely. Considered relatively, they are a vindication of the apostle 
from the unjust censures of the Corinthians, who, very unworthi- 
ly, interpreted his gentleness, condescension, and winning affabi- 
lity, to be no better than a fawning upon them for self-ends ? and the 
authority he exercised, no better than pride and imperiousness. 
But hereby he lets them know, that as Christ needs not, so he 
never used such carnal artifices : The weapons of our warfare (saith 
he) are not carnal, but mighty, through God, &c. 

Absolutely considered, they hold forth the efficacy of the gos- 
pel, in the plainness and simplicity of it, for the subduing of re- 
bellious sinners to Christ : and in them we have these three things 
to consider, 

1. The oppositions made by sinners against the assaults of the gos- 
pel, viz. imaginations, or reasonings, as the word \o\t<rpxg, may be 
fitly rendered. He means the subtleties, slights, excuses, subter- 
fuges, and arguings of fleshly-minded men ; in which they fortify 
and entrench themselves against the convictions of the word * : 
yea, and there are not only such carnal reasonings, but many 
proud, high conceits with which poor creatures swell, and scorn 
to submit to the abasing, humble, self-denying way of the gospel. 
These are the fortifications erected against Christ by the carnal 

2. We have here the conquest which the gospel obtains over 
sinners, thus fortified against it; it casts down and overthrows, 
and takes in these strong holds. Thus Christ spoils Satan of his 

* He makes use of the word strong hold, by an elegant metaphor, to express every 
thing in which the enemies of the gospel trust, fortify and exalt themselves against 
the truth of the heavenly word; such as carnal wisdom, learning, and eloquence. 




armour in which he trusted, by shewing the sinner that all this can 
be no defence to his soul against the wrath of God. But that is 
not all : in the next place, 

3. You have here the improvement of the victory. Christ doth 
not only lead away these enemies spoiled, but brings them into 
obedience to himself, i. e. makes them, after conversion, subjects 
of his own kingdom, obedient, useful, and serviceable to himself; 
and so is more than a conqueror. They do not only lay down their 
arms, and fight no more against Christ with them ; but repair to 
his camp, and fight for Christ, with those reasons of theirs that 
were before employed against him : as it is said of Jerom, Origen, 
and Tertullian, that they came into Canaan, laden with Egyptian 
gold ; i. e. they came into the church full of excellent learning and 
abilities, with which they eminently served Jesus Christ. " * O 
" blessed victory, where the conqueror, and conquered, both tri- 
" umph together P* And thus enemies and rebels are subdued, 
and made subjects of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, Hence the 
doctrinal note is, 

Dock That Jesus Christ exercises a Kingly power over the souls 
of all whom the gospel subdues to his obedience. 

No sooner were the Colossians delivered out of the pow r er of 
darkness, but they were immediately translated into the kingdom 
of Christ, the dear Son, Col. i. 13. 

This kingdom of Christ, which is our present subject, is the in- 
ternal spiritual kingdom, which is said to be within the saints, 
Luke xvii. 20, 91. " The kingdom of God is within you." Christ 
sits as an enthroned king in the hearts, consciences, and affections 
of his willing people, Psal. ex. 3. And his kingdom consists in 
" righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,' 1 Rom. xiv. 17. 
and it is properly monarchical, as appears in the margin -f\ 

In the prosecution of this point, I will speak doctrinally to these 
three heads. 

First, How Christ obtains the throne in the hearts of men. 

Secondly, How he rules in it, and by what acts he exercises his 
kingly authority. 

Thirdly, What are the privileges of those souls over whom 
Christ reigns. And then apply it. 

First, We will open the way and manner in which Christ ob- 

* beata victoria^ ubi victi cum victoribus simul triumphant ! Meyer in loc. 

f This internal government is monarchical, and it must be so; for the right of 
governing men's consciences belongs to none but him, who is both infinitely wise 
znd most powerful ; neither hath Christ in this government any vicegerent, to 
whom his power and authority are committed. 


tains a throne in the hearts of men, and that is by conquest * : for 
though the souls of the elect are his by donation, and right of re- 
demption ; the Father gave them to him, and he died for them ; 
•yet Satan hath the first possession : and so it fares with Christ, as 
it did with Abraham, to whom God gave the land of Canaan by 
promise and covenant, but the Canaanites, Perizites, and sons of 
Anak, had the actual possession of it, and Abraham's posterity 
must fight for it, and win it by inches, before they enjoy it. The 
house is conveyed to Christ by him that built it, but the strong 
man armed keeps the possession of it, till a stronger than he comes 
and ejects him, Luke xi. 20, 21, 22. Christ must fight his way 
into the soul, though he have a right to enter, as into his dearly 
purchased possession. And so he doth ; for when the time of re- 
covering them is come, he sends forth his armies to subdue them ; 
as it is Psal. ex. 3. " Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy 
" power." The •(• Hebrew may as fitly be rendered, and so is by 
some, " in the day of thine armies ;" when the Lord Jesus sent 
forth his armies of prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, 
under the conduct of his Spirit, armed with that two-edged sword, 
the word of God, which is sharp and powerful, Heb. iv. 12. But 
that is not all : he causes armies of convictions, and spiritual trou- 
bles, to begird and straiten them on every side, so that they know 
not what to do. These convictions, like a shower of arrows, strike, 
point-blank, into their consciences ; Acts ii. 37. " When they heard 
" this, they were pricked to the heart, and said, Men and brethren, 
" what shall we do ?" Christ's arrows are sharp in the hearts of his 
enemies, whereby the people fall under him, Psal. xlv. 5, 6. By 
these convictions he batters down all their loose vain hopes, and 
levels them with the earth. 

Now all their weak pleas and defences, from the general mercy 
of God, the example of others, fyc. prove but as paper- walls to 
them. These shake their hearts, even to the very foundation, 
and overturn every high thought there, that exalts itself against 
the Lord. This day, in which Christ sits down before the soul, 
and summons it by such messengers as these, is a day of distress 
within : yea, such a day of trouble, that none is like it. But 
though it be so, yet Satan hath so deeply entrenched himself in 

* For unlimited power, even in the way of vicegerency, can be competent to no 
man : there is also a certain kind of union which excludes all vicegerency : such as 
that of Father and Son, husband and wife : for certainly here substitution cannot 
take place. Maccov. loc. Com.}}. 641. 

t aVl "^Vrr In die exercitus tui. To wit, When having sent forth thy apostles 
and qther teachers of the church, thou wilt, by the sound of thy gospel, gather toge- 
ther and constitute to thyself a kingdom. Mollier on this place. 



the mind and will, that the soul yields not at the first summons, 
till its provisions within are spent, and all its towers of pride, and 
walls of vain confidence, be undermined by the gospel, and shaken 
down about its ears : and then the soul desires a parley with Christ. * 
O now it would be glad of terms, any terms, if it may but save 
its life : let all go as a prey to the conqueror. Now it sends many 
such messengers as these to Christ, who is come now to the very 
gates of the soul ; mercy, Lord, mercy, O were I but assured 
thou wouldest receive, spare, and pardon me, I would open to 
thee the next moment ! Thus the soul is " shut up to the faith of 
" Christ, as it is, Gal. iii. 23. and reduced now to the greatest 
strait and loss imaginable ; and now the merciful King, whose only 
design is to conquer the heart, hangs forth the white flag of 
mercy before the soul, giving it hopes it shall be spared, pitied, 
and pardoned, though so long in rebellion against him, if yet it 
will yield itself to Christ. Many staggerings, hesitations, irresolu- 
tions, doubts, fears, scruples, half-resolves, reasonings for and 
against, there are at the council-table of man's own heart, at this 
time. Sometimes there is no hope ; Christ will slay me, if I go 
forth to him, and then it trembles. But then, who ever found 
him so that tried him ? Other souls have yielded, and found mer- 
cy beyond all their expectations. O but I have been a desperate 
enemy against him. Admit it, yet thou hast the word of a King 
for it ; " Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous 
" man his thoughts ; and let him turn to the Lord, and he will 
" have mercy on him ; and to our God, for he will abundantly 
" pardon him," Isa. lv. 7. 

But the time of mercy is past, I have stood out too long : yet 
if it were so, how is it that Christ hath not made short work, and 
cut me off? set fire, hell fire to my soul, and withdrawn the 
siege ? Still he waiteth that he may be gracious, and is exalted 
that he may have compassion. A thousand «uch debates there are, 
till, at last, the soul considering, if it abide in rebellion, it must 
needs perish ; if it go forth to Christ, it can but perish : and be- 
ing somewhat encouraged by the messages of grace sent into the 
soul, at this time, such as in Heb. vii. 25. " Wherefore he is able 
" to save to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him ;" and, 
John vi. 37. " He that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out ;" and 
in Matt, xi. 28. " Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy 
" laden> and I will give you rest, 1 ' It is, at last, resolved to open 
to Christ ; and saith, " Stand open ye everlasting gates, and be ye 
" opened ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come 
" in." Now, the will spontaneously opens to Christ : that royal 
fort submits and yields ; all the affections open to him. The* will 
brings Christ the keys of all the rooms in the soul. Concerning 


the . ' impliant entrance of Christ into the soul, we may say, as 
the Psalmist rhetorically speaks concerning the triumphant entrance 
of Israel into Canaan, Psal. cxiv. 5, 6. " The mountains skipped 
<< like rams, and the little hills like lambs ; what aileth thee, O 
" thou sea, that thou fleddest ? Thou Jordan, that thou wast 
f 6 driven back ?" So here, in a like rhetorical triumph, we may- 
say, the mountains and hills skipped like rams, and the fixed and 
obstinate will, starts from its own basis and centre; the rocky 
heart rends in twain. A poor soul comes into the word, full of ig- 
norance, pride, self-love, desperate hardness, and fixed resolutions 
to go on in its way : and, by an hour's discourse, the tide turns, 
Jordan is driven back. What aileth thee, thou stout will, that 
thou surrenderest to Christ ! thou hard heart, that thou relentest, 
and the waters gush out ? And thus the soul is won to Christ ; 
he writes down his terms, and the soul willingly subscribes them. 
Thus it comes in to Christ by free and hearty submission, desiring 
nothing more than to come under the government of Christ, fof 
the time to come. 

Secondly > Let us see how Christ rules in the souls of such as sub- 
mit to him. And there are six things in which he exerts his kingly 
authority over them. 

1. He imposes a new law upon then?, and enjoins them to be severe 
and punctual in their obedience to it *. The soul was a Belialite 
before, and could endure no restraint ; its lusts gave it laws. " We 
" ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, serving divers 
H lusts and pleasures, 1 ' Tit. hi. 3 Whatever the flesh craved, 
and the sensual appetite whined after, it must have, cost what it 
would ; if damnation were the price of it, it would have it, pro- 
vided it should not be present pay. Now, it must not be any 
longer avopog 0;w, aXX 'swopog ru Xg/?w, without law to God ; but 
under law to Christ. Those are the articles of peace which the soul 
willingly subscribes in the day of its admission to mercy, Mat. xi. 
29. " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. 11 This " law 
" of the spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus makes them free 
" from the law of sin and death," Rom. viii. 2. Here is much 
strictness, but no bondage; for the law is not only written in 
Christ's statute-book, the bible, but copied out by his spirit upon 
the hearts of his subjects, in correspondent principles ; which 
makes obedience a pleasure, and self-denial easy. Christ's yoke 
is lined with love, so that it never galls the necks of his people : 

* It is proper to Christ, who rules absolutely and monarchic-ally over the souls 
and consciences of men, to bind them by his own authority. None but Christ can 
do it, 1. Because this authority of Christ is infinite. 2. Because it is the authority of 
a husband which cannot be communicated to any other, 1 Co*, ix. 21, 22. 


1 John v. 3. u His commandments are not grievous. 1 " The soul 
that comes under Christ's government, must receive law from 
Christ ; and under law every thought of the heart must come. 

2. He rebukes and chastises souls for the violations and transgres- 
sions of his law. That is another act of Chrisfs regal authority : 
" whom he loves he rebukes and chastens," Heb. xii. 6, 7. These 
chastisements of Christ are either by the rod of providence upon 
their bodies, and outward comforts, or upon their spirits and in- 
ward comforts. Sometimes his rebukes are smart upon the out- 
ward man, 1 Cor. xi. 30. " for this cause, many among you are 
" weaklv and sick, and many sleep." They had not that due re- 
gard to his body that became them, and he will make their bodies 
to smart for it. And he had rather their flesh should smart, than 
their souls should perish. Sometimes he spares their outward, 
and afflicts their inner man, which is a much smarter rod. He 
withdraws peace, and takes away joy from the spirits of his people. 
The hidings of his face are sore rebukes. However, all is for 
emendation, not for destruction. And it is not the least privilege 
of Chrisfs subjects to have a seasonable and sanctified rod to 
reduce them from the ways of sin : PsaL xxiii. 3. " Thy rod and 
" thy staff, they comfort me.' 1 Others are suffered to go on stub- 
bornly in the way of their own hearts ; Christ will not spend a rod 
upon them for their good, will not call them to account for any 
of their transgressions, but will reckon with them for all together 
in hell. 

3. Another regal act of Christ, is the restraining and keeping 
hack his servants from iniquity, and withholding them from those 
courses which their own hearts would incline, and lead them to ; for, 
even in them, there is a spirit bent to backsliding, but the Lord in 
tenderness over them, keeps back their souls from iniquity, and that 
when they are upon the very brink of sin : " My feet were almost 
" gone, my steps were well nigh slipt," Psal. lxxiii. 2. Then 
doth the Lord prevent sin, by removing the occasion providen- 
tially, or by helping them to resist the temptation, graciously assist- 
ing iheir spirits in the trial, so that no temptation shall befal them, 
but a way of escape shall be opened, that they may be able to bear 
it, 1 Cor.' x. 13. And thus his people have frequent occasions to 
bless his name for his preventing goodness, when they are almost 
in the midst of all evil. And this I take to be the meaning of 
Gal. v. 16. " This, I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall 
" not fulfil the lusts of the flesh ;" tempted by them, you may be, 
but fulfil them ye shall not ; my spirit shall cause the temptation to 
die, and wither away in the womb, in the embryo of it, so that 
it shall not come to a full birth. 


4. He protects them in Ids ways *, and suffers them not to relapse 
from him into a state of' sin, and bondage to Satan any more. In- 
deed, Satan is restless in his endeavours to reduce them again to 
his obedience; he never leaves tempting and soliciting for their 
return ; and where he finds a false professor he prevails ; but Christ 
keeps his, that they depart not again. John xvii. 12. " All that 
" thou hast given me I have kept, and none of them is lost, 
" but the son of perdition." They are " kept by the mighty 
" power of God, through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 5. Kept, 
as in a garrison, according to the importance of that word. None 
more solicited, none more safe than the people of God. They 
are " preserved in Christ Jesus," Jude i. It is not their own grace 
that secures them, but Christ's care, and continual watchfulness. 
" -f- Our own graces left to themselves would quickly prove but 
" weights, sinking us to our own ruin," as one speaks. This is his 
covenant with them, Jer. xxxii. 4. " I will put my fear 'in their 
" hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Thus, as a king 
he preserves them. 

5. As a king he rewards their obedience, and encourages their sin- 
cere service. Though all they do for Christ be duty, yet he hath 
united their comfort with their duty ; ?« this I had, because I kept 
" thy precepts," Psal. cxix. 5(i. They are engaged to take this 
encouragement with them to every duty, that he whom they seek 
" is a bountiful rewarder of such as diligently seek him," Heb. xL 
6. O what a good master do the saints serve ! Hear how a king 
expostulates with his subjects, Jer. ii. 31. '* Have I been a barren 
" wilderness, or a land of darkness to you ?" q. d. Have I been 
such a hard master to you ? Have you any reason to complain of 
my service ? To whomsoever I have been strait-handed, surely I 
have not been so to you. You have not found the ways or wages 
of sin like mine. 

6. I He pacifies all inward troubles, and commands peace when 
their spirits are tumultuous. This " peace of God rules in their 
" hearts," Col. iii. 15. it doth fioa.Sivciv act the part of an um- 

* Christ and all his little ones, under his two wings, and in the compass or cir- 
cle of his arms, are so sure, that cast him and them in the bottom of the sea, he 
shall come up again, and not lose one. An odd one cannot, nor shall be lost in the 

f Perfectinnes sibi relictce, sunt pondera ad ruinnm. Gers. 

| It acts the part of an umpire or judge among the other affections, for this is 
the meaning of the word figccZzvsiv : when therefore, these tumultuous passions, 
anger, hatred and revenge rise in our hearts, this peace of God ought to do its of- 
fice, i. e. put an end to these tumults like the judge in ancient games. Uaven. 
in Col. 


pire, in appeasing strife within. When the tumultuous affections 
are up, and in a hurry ; when anger, hatred, and revenge begin to 
rise in the soul, this hushes and stills all. " I will hearken (saith 
" the church) what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak 
" peace to his people, and to his saints," Psal. lxxv. 8. He that 
saith to the raging sea, be still, and it obeys him ; he can only 
pacify the disquieted spirit. They say of frogs, that if they be 
croaking never so much in the night, bring but a light among 
them, and they are all quiet : such a light is the peace of God 
among our disordered affections. These are Christ's regal acts. 
And he puts them forth upon the souls of his people, powerfully, 
sweetly, suitably. 

(1.) Powerfully: whether he restrains from sin, or impels to 
duty, he doth it with a soul determining efficacy : for " his king- 
" dom is not in word, but in power," 1 Cor. iv. 20. And those 
whom his Spirit leads, go bound in the spirit, to the fulfilling and 
discharge of their duties, Acts xx. 22. And yet, 

(2.) He rules not by compulsion, but most sweetly. His law is 
a law of love, written upon their hearts. The church is the 
Lamb's wife, Rev. xix. 7. " a bruised reed he shall not break, 
" and smoking flax he shall not quench," Isa. xlii. 2, 3. " I be- 
" seech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ," saith the 
apostle, 2 Cor. x. 1. For he delighteth mfree, not in forced obe- 
dience. He rules Children, not slaves ; and so his kingly power is 
mixed with fatherly love. His yoke is not made of iron, but gold. 

(3.) He rules them suitably to their natures in a rational way ; 
Hos. xi. 4. " I drew them with the cords of a man, with bands 
" of love ;" i. e. in a way proper to convince their reason, and 
work upon their ingenuity. And thus his eternal kingdom is ad- 
ministered by his Spirit, who is his prorex, or vicegerent in our 

Thirdly, and lastly, we will open the privileges pertaining to 
all the subjects of this spiritual kingdom. And they are such as 

1. These souls, over whom Christ reigns, are certainly and fully 
set free from the curse of the law. " If the Son makes you free, 
" then are you free indeed," John viii. 36. I say not, they are 
free from the law as a rule of life ; such a freedom were no pri- 
vilege to them at all : but free from the rigorous exactions, 
and terrible maledictions of it; to hear our liberty proclaimed 
from this bondage, is the joyful sound indeed, the most blessed 
voice that ever our ears heard. And this all that are in Christ 
shall hear ; " If we be led by the Spirit, we are not under the law," 
Gal. v. 18. " Blessed are the people that hear this joyful sound," 
Psal. lxxxix. 15. 


2. Another privilege of Christ's subjects, is, freedom from the 
dominion of sin. Rom. vi. 14. "Sin shall not reign over them ; 
for they are not under the law, but under grace." One heaven 
cannot bear two suns ; nor one soul two kings : when Christ takes 
the throne, sin quits it. It is true, the being of sin is there still ; 
its defiling and troubling power remains still ; but its dominion is 
abolished. O joyful tidings ! O welcome day ! 

3. Another privilege of Christ's subjects, is, protection in all the 
troubles and dangers to which their souls or bodies are exposed. 
44 This man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into 
" our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces," Mic. v. 5. 
Kings owe protection to their subjects : none so able, so faithful in 
that work as Christ ; all " thou gavest me, I have kept, and none 
" is lost," John xvii. 12. 

4. Another privilege of Christ's subjects, is, a merciful and ten- 
der bearing of their burdens and infirmities. They have a meek and 
patient king ; " Tell the daughters of Sion, thy king cometh meek 
44 and lowly ;" Mat. xxi. 5. Mat. xi. 29. " Take my yoke, and 
44 learn of me, for I am meek and lowly." The meek Moses 
could not bear the provocations of the people, Numb. xi. 12. but 
Christ bears them all : " He carries the lambs in his arms, and 
44 gently leads them that be with young," Isa. xlii. 11. He is one 
that can have compassion upon the ignorant, and them that are 
out of the way. 

5. Again, Sweet peace, and tranquillity of soul, is the privilege of 
the subjects of this Jcingdom : for this kingdom " consisteth in 
44 peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," Rom. xiv. 17. And till souls 
come under his sceptre, they shall never find peace : " Come unto 
44 me, ye that are weary, I will give you rest." Yet do not mis- 
take, I say not, they have all actual peace, at all times : no, they 
often break that peace by sin ; but they have the root of peace, the 
ground- work and cause of peace. If they have not peace, yet they 
have that which is convertible into peace at any time. They also 
are in a state of peace, Rom. v. 11. " Being justified by faith, we 
have peace with God." This is a feast every day, a mercy which 
they only can duly value, that are in the depths of trouble 
for sin. 

6. And lastly, everlasting salvation is the privilege of all over 
whom Christ reigns. Prince and Saviour are joined together, Acts 
v. 31. He that can say, " thou shalt guide me with thy coun- 
44 sels," may add what follows, " and afterwards bring me to glo- 
46 ry," Psal. lxxiii. 24. Indeed, the kingdom of grace doth but 
breed up children for the kingdom of glory. And to speak as the 
thing is, it is the kingdom of heaven here begun. The difference 


betwixt them is not specifical, but only gradual: and therefore 
this, as well as that, bears the name of the kingdom of heaven. 
The king is the same, and the subjects the same. The subjects of 
this are shortly to be translated to that kingdom. Thus I have 
named, and indeed but named, some few of those inestimable 
privileges of Christ's subjects. We next apply it. 

Inference 1. How great is their sin and misery who continue in 
bondage to sin and Satan, and refuse the government of Christ ! 
Who had rather sit under the shadow of that bramble, than under 
the sweet and powerful government of Christ. Satan writes his 
laws in the blood of his subjects, grinds them with cruel oppression, 
wears them out with bondage to divers lusts, and rewards their 
service with everlasting misery. And yet how few are weary of it, 
and willing to come over to Christ ! " Behold (saith one of Christ's 
u heralds *) Christ is in the field, sent of God to recover his right 
" and your liberty. His royal standard is pitched in the gospel, 
" and proclamation made, that if any poor sinners, weary of the 
" Devil's government, and laden with the miserable chains of his 
" spiritual bondage, (so as these irons of his sins enter into his 
" very soul, to afflict it with the sense of them) shall thus come 
" and repair to Christ, he shall have protection from God's justice, 
" the Devil's wrath, and sin's dominion ; in a word, he shall have 
" rest, and that glorious," Isa. xi. 10. 

And yet how few stir a foot towards Christ, but are willing to 
have their ears bored, and be perpetual slaves to that cruel tyrant ? 
O when will sinners be weary of their bondage, and sigh after 
deliverance ! If any such poor soul shall . read these lines, let them 
know, and I do proclaim it in the name of my royal Master, and 
give him the word of a King for it, he shall not be rejected by 
Christ, John vi. 37. Come, poor sinners, come, the Lord Jesus 
is a merciful King, and never did, nor will hang up that poor 
penitent, that puts the rope about his own neck, and submits to 

Inf. % How much doth it concern us to enquire and know whose 
government we are under, and who is king over our souls ; whether 
Christ or Satan be in the throne, and sways the sceptre over our souls f 

Reader, the work I would now engage thy soul in, is the same 
that Jesus Christ will thoroughly and effectually do in the great 
day. Then will he gather out of his kingdom every thing that 
offends, separate the tares and wheat, divide the whole world into 
two ranks or grand divisions, how many divisions and subdivisions 
soever there be in it now. It nearly concerns thee therefore to know 
who is Lord and King in thy soul. To help thee in this great 

* Gurnal's Christian armour, p. 218. 


work, make use of the following hints ; for I cannot fully prose- 
cute these things as I would. 

1. * " To whom do you yield your obedience ? His subjects 
and servants ye are to whom ye obey," Rom. vi. 16. It is but a 
mockery to give Christ the empty titles of Lord and King, whilst 
ye give your real service to sin and Satan. What is this but like 
the Jews, to bow the knee to him, and say, Hail master, and cru- 
cify him ? " Then are ye his disciples, if ye do whatsoever he 
" commands you," John xv. 14. He that is Christ's servant in 

jest, shall be damned in earnest Christ doth not compliment with 
you ; his pardons, promises, and salvation are real ; O let your 
obedience be so too ! Let it be sincere and universal obedience ; 
this will evidence your unfeigned subjection to Christ. Do not dare 
to enterprize any thing, till you know Christ's pleasure and will, 
Rom. xii. 2. Enquire of Christ, as David did of the Lord, 1 Sam. 
xxiii. 9, 10. 11. Lord, may I do this or that? or shall I forbear? 
I beseech thee tell thy servant, 

2. Have you the power of godliness, or a form of it only ? There be 
many that do but trifle in religion, and play about the skirts and 
borders of it; spending their time about jejune and barren contro- 
versies : but as to the power of religion, and the life of godliness, 
which consist in communion with God in duties and ordinances, 
which promote holiness, and mortify their lusts, they concern not 
themselves about these things. But surely " the kingdom of God. 
" is not in word, but in power," 1 Cor. iv. 20. It is not meat 
and drink, ( i. e. dry disputes about meats and drinks) " but righte- 
" ousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ; for he that 
" in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and ap- 
" proved of men, 1 ' Rom. xiv. 17, 18. O I am afraid when the 
great host of professors shall be tried by these rules, they will 
shrink up into a little handful, as Gideon's host did. 

3. Have ye the special saving knowledge of Christ ? All his sub- 
jects are translated out of the kingdom of darkness, Col. i. 13. The 
devil, that ruleth over you in the days of your ignorance, is called 
the ruler of the darkness of this world ; his subjects are all blind, 
else he could never rule them. As soon as their eyes be opened, they 
run out of his kingdom, and there is no retaining them in sub- 
jection to him any longer. O enquire then whether you are brought 
out of darkness into this marvellous light ! do you see your condi- 

* O how many of us would have Christ divided into halves, that we might take 
the half of him only ; his office, Jesus, and salvation ? But Lord is a cumbersome 
word, and to obey, and work out our own salvation, and perfect holiness, is the 
cumbersome and stormy north side of Christ, and that we eschew and shift off. 


tion, how sad, miserable, wretched it is by nature ? do you see 
your remedy, as it lies only in Christ, and his precious blood? 
Do you see the true way of obtaining interest in that blood by 
faith ? doth this knowledge run into practice, and put you upon 
lamenting heartily your misery by sin ? thirsting vehemently after 
Christ and his righteousness ? striving continually for a heart to 
believe and close with Christ ? This will evidence you indeed to 
be translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of 

4. With whom do you delightfully associate yourselves ? Who are 
your chosen companions f You may see to whom you belong by the 
company you join yourselves to. What do the subjects of Christ 
among the slaves of Satan? If the subjects of one kingdom be in 
another king's dominion, they love to be together with their own 
countrymen, rather than the natives of the place ; so do the ser- 
vants of Christ They are a company of themselves, as it is said, 
Acts iv. 23. " They went to their own company/' I know the 
subjects of both kingdoms are here mingled, and we cannot avoid 
the company of sinners except we go out of the world, 1 Cor. v, 
10. but vet all your delights should be in the saints and in the ex- 
cellent of the earth, Psal. xvi. 3. 

5. Do you live holy and righteous lives ? If not, you may claim in* 
terest in Christ as your King, but he will never allow your claim, 
" The sceptre of his kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness," Psal. 
xlv. 6. If ye oppress, go beyond, and cheat your brethren, and 
yet call yourselves Christ's subjects, what greater reproach can yk 
study to cast upon him ? What is Christ the King of cheats ? 
Doth he patronize such things as these ? No, no, pull off your 
vizards, and fall into your own places ; you belong to another 
prince, and not to Christ. 

Inf. 3. Doth Christ exercise such a kingly power over the souls 
of all them that are subdued by the gospel to him ? O then let alt 
that are under Chrisfs government zvalk as the subjects of such a 
King * Imitate yourKing ; the examples of kings are very influen- 
tial upon their subjects. Your King hath commanded you not only 
to take his yoke upon you, but also to learn of him, Matth. xi. 29. 
Yea, and " if any man say that he is Christ's, let him walk even 
" as Christ walked," 1 John ii. 6. Your King is meek and pa- 
tient, Isa. liii. 7. as a lamb for meekness : shall his subjects be lions 
for fierceness ? Your King was humble and lowly ; Matth. xxi. 5. 
" Behold thy King cometh meek and lowly." Will you" be 
proud and lofty ? Doth this become the kingdom of Christ ? Your 

* Regis ad exemplum omnis co?nponitv.r orbis. The whole world follow the example 
of the Prince, 


King was a self-denying King ; he could deny his outward com- 
forts, ease, honour, life, to serve his Father's design, and accom- 
plish your salvation, 2 Cor. viii. 9. Phil. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 
Shall his servants be self-ended, and self-seeking persons, that will 
expose his honour, and hazard their own souls for the trifles of 
time? God forbid. Your king was painful, laborious, and dili- 
gent in fulfilling his work, John ix. 3. Let not his servants be 
lazy and slothful. O imitate your King, follow the pattern of 
your King : this will give you comfort now, and boldness in the 
day of judgment, if as he was> so ye are in this world, 1 John 
iv. 17. 


Of the Kingly Office of Christ, as it is providentially exe- 
cuted in the World, for the Redeemed. 

Eph. i. 22. 

And hatli put all things under his feet, and gave him to he the head 
over all things to the church. 

JL HE foregoing verses are spent in a thankful and humble ado- 
ration of the grace of God, in bringing the Ephesians to believe 
in Christ. This effect of that power that raised their hearts to be- 
lieve in Christ, is here compared with that other glorious effect of 
it, even the raising of Christ himself from the dead : both these 
owe themselves to the same efficient cause. It raised Christ front 
a low estate, even from the dead, to a high, a very high and glori- 
ous state ; to be the head both of the world, and of the church ; 
the head of the world by way of dominion, the head of the church 
by way of union, and special influence, ruling the world for the 
good of his people in it. " He gave him to be the head over all 
" things to the church. 7 ' 

In this scripture let these four things be seriously regarded. 

1. The dignity and authority committed to Christ; " He hath 
" put all things under his feet ;"* which implies, full, ample and 
absolute dominion in him, and subjection in them over whom he 
reigns. This power is delegated to him by the Father : for be- 
sides the essential, native^ ingenite power and dominion over all, 
which he hath as God, and is common to every person in the 
Godhead, Psal. xxii. 28. there is a mediatory dispensed authority, 
which is proper to him as Mediator, which he receives as the re- 
ward or fruit of his suffering, Phil. ii. 8. 

Vol. I. O 


2. The subject recipient of this authority, which is Christ, and 
Christ primarily, and only : he is the /xdutov dzxnxov, first receptacle 
of all authority and power. Whatever authority any creature is 
clothed with, is but ministerial and derivative, whether it be politi- 
cal, or ecclesiastical. Christ is the only Lord, Jude, ver. 4. The 
fountain of all power. 

3. The object of this authority, the whole creation ; all things 
are put under his feet : he rules from sea to sea, even to the utmost 
bounds of God's creation, " Thou hast given him power over all 
" flesh/' John xvii. 2. all creatures, rational, and irrational, ani- 
mate, and inanimate, angels, devils, men, winds, seas, all obey him. 

4. And especially, take notice of the finis cui, the end for which 
he governs and rules the universal empire ; it is for the church, i. e. 
* for the advatage, comfort, and salvation of that chosen remnant 
he died for. He purchased the church ; and that he might have 
the highest security that his blood should not be lost, God the Fa- 
ther hath put all things into his hand, to order and dispose all as 
he pleaseth. For the furtherance of that his design and end, as he 
bought the persons of some, so the services of all the rest ; and 
that they might effectually serve the end they are designed to, 
Christ will order them all in a blessed subordination and subservi- 
ency thereunto. Hence the point is, 

Doct. That all the affairs of the kingdom of providence are 
ordered and determined by Jesus Christ, for the special ad- 
vantage, and everlasting good of his redeemed people. 

John xvii. 2. " As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that 
u he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." 
Hence it comes to pass, that " all things work together for good 
" to them that love God, to them that are called according to 
" his purpose," Rom. viii. 28. 

That Jesus Christ hath a providential influence upon all the af- 
fairs of this world is evident, both from scripture assertions, and 
rationed observations, made upon the actings of things here below. 

The first chapter of Ezekiel contains an admirable scheme or 
draught of providence. There you see how all the wheels, i. e. 
the motions and revolutions here on earth, are guided by the spirit 
that is in them. And, ver. 26. it is all run up into the supreme 
cause ; there you find one like the Son of man, which is Jesus 
Christ, sitting upon the throne, and giving forth orders from 
thence for the government of all : and if it were not so, how is it 
that there are such strong combinations, and predispositions of 

* He obtains this dominion for the good of his church. Grotius in loc. 


persons and things to such ends and issues, without any communi- 
cations of councils, or holding of intelligence with one another? 
As in Israel's deliverance out of Egypt, and innumerable more in- 
stances have appeared. Certainly, if ten men, from several places, 
should all meet at one place, and about one business, without any 
fore-appointment among themselves, it would argue their motions 
were secretly over-ruled by some invisible agent. Plow is it that 
such marvellous effects are produced in the world by causes that 
carry no proportion to them ? Amos v. 9- and 1 Cor. i. 27. and 
as often, the most apt and likely means are rendered wholly in- 
effectual? Psal. xxxiii. 16. In a word, if Christ hath no such 
providential influx, how are his people in all ages preserved in the 
midst of so many millions of potent and malicious enemies, 
amongst whom they live as sheep in the midst of wolves ? Luke x. 
3. How is it that the bush burns, and yet is not consumed? 
Exod. hi. £. 

But my business, in this discourse, is not to prove that there is a 
Providence, which none but Atheists deny. I shall chuse rather 
to shew by what acts Jesus Christ administers this kingdom, and 
in what manner ; and what use may be made thereof. 

First, He rules and orders the kingdom of Providence, by sup- 
porting, permitting, restraining, limiting, protecting, punishing, 
and rewarding those over whom he reigns providentially. 

1. * He supports the world, and all creatures in it, by his 
power. " My Father works hitherto, and I work," John v. IT. 
" And in him (that is, in Christ) all things consist," Col. i. 17. 
It is a considerable part of Christ's glory to have a whole world 
of creatures owing their being and hourly conservations to him. 
The parts of the world are not coupled and fastened together as 
the parts of the house, whose beams are pinned and nailed to each 
other ; but rather as several rings of iron, which hang together 
by the virtue of a loadstone. This goodly fabric was razed to 
the foundation when sin entered, and had tumbled into everlasting 
confusion, had not Christ stept in to shore up the reeling world. 
For the sake of his redeemed that inhabits it, lie doth and will 
prop it by his omnipotent power. And when he hath gathered 
all his elect out of it into the kingdom above, then will he set fire 
to the four quarters of it, and it shall lie in ashes. Meanwhile, he 

* The world is continued on account of the Church which is in it; otherwise the 
heaven and earth would be burnt up in one moment ; because the whole world is 
not worth one grain of wh^it : as it is indeed full of blasphemy and impiety, un- 
less the Church supported the world by word and prayer, all things would be de- 
stroyed instantly. Luther in Genesis xxx. 

Both the curse of the first covenant, and the blessing of the second, secure the 
continuation of the world, until God's purposes relating to the objects of both be 
accomplished in it. Editor. 



is " given for a covenant to the people, to establish the earth," 
Isa. xlix. 8. 

2. He permits and suffers the Worst of creatures in his dominion, 
to be and act as they do. " The deceived, and the deceiver, are 
" his," Job xii. 16. Even those that fight against Christ and his 
people, receive both power and permission from him. Say not, 
that it is unbecoming the most Holy to permit such evils, which 
he could prevent if he pleased. For as he permits no more than 
he will over-rule to his praise, so that very permission of his, is 
holy and just. Christ's working is not confounded with the crear 
ture's. Pure sun-beams are not tainted by the noisome vapours of 
the dunghill on which they shine. His holiness hath no fellow- 
ship with their iniquities ; nor are their transgressions at all 
excused bv his permissions of them. " He is a rock, his work is 
" perfect, but they have corrupted themselves," Deut. xxxii. 4, 5. 
This holy permission is but the withholding of those restraints 
from their lusts, and denying those common assistances which he 
is no way bound to give them. Acts xiv. 16. " He suffered all 
" nations to walk in their own ways/' And yet should he permit 
sinful creatures to act out all the wickedness that is in their hearts, 
there would neither remain peace nor order in the world. And 

3. He powerfully restrains creatures by the bridle of providence, 
from the commission of those things, to which their hearts are 
prepense enough, Psal. Ixxvi. 10. " The remainder of wrath thou 
* wilt restrain," or * gird up; letting forth just so much as shall 
Serve his holy ends, and no more. And truly this is one of the 
glorious mysteries of Providence, which amazes the serious and 
considerate soul ; to see the spirit of a creature fully set to do mis- 
chief; power enough, as one would think, in his hand to do it, 
and a door of opportunity standing open for it ; and yet the effect 
Strangely hindered. The strong propensions of the will are 
inwardly checked, as in the case of Laban, Gen. xxxi. 24. or a 
diversion, and rub is strangely cast in their way ; as in the case of 
Sennacherib, 2 Kings xix. 7, 8. so that their hands cannot perform 
their enterprizes. Julian had two great designs before him, one 
was to conquer the Persians, the other to root out the Galileans, 
as he, by way of contempt, called the Christians: but he will 
begin with the Persians first, and then make a sacrifice of all the 
Christians to his idols. He doth so, and perishes in the first 
attempt. O the wisdom of Providence I 

4. Jesus Christ limits the creatures in their acting, assigning them 
their boundaries and lines of liberty ; to which they may, but be- 

*1Jnn accinges, Montanus* 


yond it cannot, go. Rev. ii. 10. " Fear none of these things that 
" ye shall suffer ; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into 
" prison, and ye shall have tribulation ten days." They would have 
cast them into their graves, but it shall only be into prisons: 
They would have stretched out their hands, upon them all ; no, 
but only some of them shall be exposed : They would have kept 
them there perpetually ; no, it must be but for ten days, Ezek. 
xxii. 6. " Behold, the princes of Israel were in thee, every one 
" to their power to shed blood."" They went as far as they had 
power to go, not as far as they had will to go. Four hundred and 
thirty years were determined upon the people of God in Egypt ; 
and then, even in that very night, God brought them forth ; for 
then " the time of the promise was come," Acts vii. 17. 

5. The Lord Jesus providentially protects his people amidst a 
world of enemies and dangers. It was Christ that appeared unto 
Moses in the flaming bush, and preserved it from being consumed. 
The bush signified the people of God in Egypt ; the fire flaming 
on it, the exquisite sufferings they there endured : the safety of the 
bush, amidst the flames, the Lord's admirable care and protection 
of his poor suffering ones. None so tenderly careful as Christ 
" as birds flying, so he defends Jerusalem," Isa. xxxi. 5. i. e. as 
they fly swiftly towards their nests, crying when their young are in 
danger, so will the Lord preserve his. They are " preserved in 
" Christ Jesus, Jude 1. as Noah and his family were in the ark. 
Hear how a Worthy of our own expresses himself on this point % 

" That we are at peace in our houses, at rest in our beds ; that 
" we have any quiet in our enjoyments, is from hence alone. 
;< Whose person would not be defiled, or destroyed ? whose ha- 
" bitation would not be ruined ? whose blood almost would not 
" be shed, if wicked men had power to perpetrate all their con- 
" ceived sin ? It may be, the ruin of some of us hath been con- 
" ceived a thousand times. We are beholden to this Providence, 
" of obstructing sin, for our lives, our families, our estates, our 
" liberties, and whatsoever is or may be dear to us. For may we 
" not say sometimes with the Psalmist, Psal. lvii. 4, My soul is 
" among lions, and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even 
" the sons of men, whose teeth are spears, and their tongue a sharp 
" sword ? And how is the deliverance of men contrived from such 
" persons ? Psal. viii. 6. God breaks their teeth in ilieir moutlts, even 
" the great teeth of the young lions. He keeps this fire from burn- 
" ing, — some he cuts off and destroys : some he cuts short in their 
" power : some he deprives of the instruments whereby alone they 
" can work : some he prevents in their desired opportunities, or 

* Dr. Owen on Indwelling Sin. 




" diverts by other objects for their lust ; and oftentimes causeth 
" them to spend them among themselves, one upon another. We 
" may say, therefore, with the Psalmist, Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, 
" how manifold are thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made them all ; 
f* the earth is full of thy riches? 

6. He punishes the evil doers, and repays, by providence into 
their own lap, the mischiefs they do, or but intend to do, unto 
them that fear him. Pharaoh, Sennacherib, both the Julians, and 
innumerable more, are the lasting monuments of his righteous re- 
tribution. It is true, a sinner may do evil an hundred times, and 
his days be prolonged ; but oft-times God hangs up some eminent 
sinners in chains, as spectacles and warnings to others. Many a hea- 
vy blow hath Providence given to the enemies of God, which they 
were never able to recover. Christ rules, and that with a rod of 
iron, in the midst of his enemies, Psal. ex. 2. 

7. And lastly, He rewards by Providence the services done to 
him and his people. Out of this treasure of Providence God re- 
pays oftentimes those that serve him, and that with a hundred-fold 
reward now in this life, Matth. xix. 29- This active, vigilant Pro- 
vidence hath its eye upon all the wants, straits, and troubles of 
the creatures : but especially upon such as religion brings us unto. 
What huge volumes of experiences might the people of God write 
upon this subject ? and what a pleasant history would it be, to read 
the strange, constant, wonderful, and unexpected actings of Pro- 
vidence, for them that have left themselves to its care ? 

Secondly, We shall next enquire how Jesus Christ administers 
this providential kingdom. 

And here I must take notice of the means by which, and the 
manner in which he doth it. The means, or instruments, he uses 
in the governing the providential .kingdom, (for he is not person- 
all present with us himself), are either angels or men ; " the an- 
f( gels are ministering creatures, sent forth by him for the good of 
" them that shall be heirs of salvation,'" Heb. i. 14. Luther tells 
us, they have two offices, superius carter e, t inferius vigilare, 
" to sing above and watch beneath." These do us many invi- 
sible offices of love. They have dear and tender respects and love 
for the saints. To them, God, as it were, puts forth his chil- 
dren to nurse, and they are tenderly careful of them whilst they 
live, and bring them home in their arms to their Father when 
they die. And as angels, so men are the servants of Providence ; 
yea, bad men as well as good. Cyrus, on that account, is called 
God's servant: they fulfil his will, whilst they are prosecuting 
their own lusts. " The earth shall help the woman," Rev. xii. 16". 
But good men delight to serve Providence ; they and the angels 
are fellow-servants in one house, and to one master, Rev. xix. 10, 


Yea, there is not a creature in heaven, earth, or hell, but Jesus 
Christ can providentially use it and serve his ends, and promote 
his designs by. it. But whatever the instrument be Christ uses, of 
this we may be certain, that his providential working is holy, judi- 
cious, sovereign, profound, irresistible, harmonious, and to the 
saints peculiar. 

1. It is holy. Though he permits, limits, orders and over- 
rules many unholy persons and actions, yet he still works like him- 
self, most holily and purely throughout. " The Lord is righte- 
" ous in all his ways, and holy in all his works, Psal. cxlv. 17. it 
is easier to separate light from a sun-beam, than holiness from the 
works of God. The best of men cannot escape sin in their most 
holy actions; they cannot touch, but are defiled. But no sin 
cleaves to God, whatever he hath to do about it. 

2. Christ's providential working is not only most pure and holy, 
but also most wise and judicious. Ezek. i. 20. " The wheels are 
" full of eyes :" They are not moved by a blind impetus *, but in 
deep counsel and wisdom. And, indeed, the wisdom of Providence 
manifests itself principally in the choice of such states for the people 
of God, as shall most effectually promote their eternal happiness. 
And herein it goes quite beyond our understandings and compre- 
hensions. It makes that medicinal and salutiferous, which we judge 
as destructive to our comfort and" good, as poison. I remember, it 
is a note of Suarez -f, speaking of the felicity of the other world : 
" Then (saith he) the blessed shall see in God all things and cir- 
" cumstances pertaining to them, excellently accommodated and 
" attempered ;" then shall they see that the crossing of their de- 
sires was the saving of their souls ; and that otherwise they had 
perished. The most wise Providence looks beyond us ? It eyes the 
end, and suits all things thereto, and not to our fond desires. 

3. The providence of Christ is most supreme and sovereio-n. 
" Whatsoever he pleaseth, that he doth in heaven and in earth, 
" and in all places," Psal. cxxxv. 6. " He is Lord of lords, and 
" King of kings,'*'' Rev. xix. 16. The greatest monarchs on earth 
are but as little bits of clay J, as the worms of the earth to him : 
they all depend on him, Prov. viii. 15, 16. " By me kings reign, 
" and princes decree justice ; by me princes rule, nobles, even all 
" the judges of the earth." 

* Nbn ceeco impetu voluuniur rotce. 

f Beatus in Deo videt res omnes accommodates ad se pertinentes, et omnes circumstan- 
tias, accommodatas. Suarez. 

\ His head, (Cant. v. 1 1.) gold of gold ; which intimates the incomparable excel- 
lency of Christ's kingdom ; gold on his head, is an ensign of royalty, of which crowns 
were made : therefore the expression, Gold of gold, seems to be of the same import 
with King of kings. JSrig/itnuin on Cant. 



4. Providence is profound and inscrutable. The judgments of 
Christ are " a great deep, and his footsteps are not known," Psal. 
xxxvi. 6. There are hard texts in the works as well as in the 
words of Christ. The wisest heads have been at a loss in inter- 
preting some Providences, Jer. xii. 1, 2. Job xxi. 7. The angels 
had the hands of a man under their wings, Ezek. i. 8. i. e. they 
wrought secretly and mysteriously. 

5. Providence is irresistible in its designs and motions ; for all 
providences are but fulfillings and accomplishments of God's im- 
mutable decrees. Eph. i. 11. " He works all things according to 
*' the counsel of his own will." * Hence Zech. vi. 1. the instru- 
ments by which God executed his wrath, are called " chariots 
" coming from betwixt two mountains of brass," i. e. *(* " the 
<e firm and immutable decrees of God." When the Jews put 
Christ to death, they did but do what " the hand and counsel of 
" God had before determined to be done," Acts iv. 28. so that 
none can oppose or resist providence. " I will work, and who 
"shall let it?" Isa. xliii. 13. 

6. The providences of Christ are harmonious. There are secret 
chains, and invisible connections betwixt the works of Christ. 
We know not how to reconcile promises and providences together, 
nor yet providences one with another; but certainly they all work 
together, Roin. viii. 28. as adjuvant causes, or con-causes standing 
under, and working by the influence of the first cause. He doth 
not do, and undo ; destroy by one providence, what he built by 
another. But, look, as all seasons of the year, the nipping frosts, 
as well as the halcyon days of summer, do all conspire and conduce 
to the harvest ; so it is in providence. 

7. And lastly, The providences of Christ work in a special and 
peculiar way for the good of the saints. His providential is subor- 
dinated to his spiritual kingdom. " He is the Saviour of all men, 
" especially of them that believe," 1 Tim. iv. 1. These only have 
the blessings of providence. Things are so laid and ordered, as 
that their eternal good shall be promoted and secured by all that 
Christ doth. 

Inference 1. If so, See then, in the first place, to whom you are 
'beholden for your lives, liberties, comforts, and all that you enjoy in 
this world. Is it not Christ that orders all for you ? Pie is, indeed, 
in heaven, out of your sight ; but though you see him not, he sees 
you, and takes care of all your concerns. When one told Silen- 
tiarius of a plot laid to take away his life, he answered, Si Deus mei 
curam non habet, quid vivo ? " If God take no care of me, how 

* By mountains he understands the bidden counsels of God. Calvin* 
f Firmissima et imcrutabilia Dei consilia. Drusius. 


" do I live f how have I escaped hitherto ? u In all thy ways ac- 
" knowledge him," Prov. iii. 6. It is he that hath espied out that 
state thou art in, as most proper for thee. It is Christ that doth 
all for you that is done. He looks down from heaven upon all 
that fear him ; he sees when you are in danger by temptation, and 
casts in a providence, you know not how, to hinder it. He sees 
when you are sad, and orders reviving providences, to refresh 
you. Pie sees when corruptions prevail, and orders humbling 
providences to purge them. Whatever mercies you have received, 
all along the way you have gone hitherto, are the orderings of 
Christ for you. And you should carefully observe how the pro- 
mises and providences have kept equal pace with one another, and 
both gone by step with you until now. 

Inf. 2. Hath God left the government of the whole world in 
the hands of Christ, and trusted him over all ? Then do you aho 
leave all your particular concerns in the hands of Christ too, and 
know that the infinite wisdom and love, which rules the world, 
manages every thing that relates to you. It is in a good hand, and 
infinitely better than if it were in your own. I remember when 
* Melanchton was under some despondencies of spirit about the 
estate of God's people in Germany, Luther chides him thus for it, 
ii Let Philip cease to rule the world."" It is none of our work to steer 
the course of providence, or direct its motions, but to submit quiet- 
ly to him that doth, There is an itch in men, yea, in the best of 
men, to be disputing with God : *' Let me talk with thee of thy 
" judgment, 1 ' saith Jeremiah, chap. xii. 1, 2. Yea, how apt are 
we to regret at providences, as if they had no conducency at all to 
the glory of God, or to our good, Exod. v. 22. yea, to limit pro- 
vidence to our way and time ? Thus, the " Israelites tempted 
" God, and limited the holy One," Psal. lxxviii. 18, 41. How 
often also do we, unbelievingly, distrust providence as though it 
could never accomplish what we profess to expect and believe? 
Ezek. xxxvii. 11. " Our bones are dry, our hope is lost; we are 
" cut off for our part. r> So Gen. xviii. 13, 14. Isa. xl. 17. There 
are but few Abrahams, among believers, who " against hope, be- 
lieved in hope, " giving glory to God," Rom. iv. 20. And it is 
but too common for good men to repine and fret at providence, 
when their wills, lusts, or humours are crossed by it : this was the 
great sin of Jonah. Brethren, these things ought not to be so ; 
did you but seriously consider, either the design of providence, 
which is to bring about the gracious designs and purposes of God 
upon you, which were laid before this world was, Eph. i. 11. or 
that it is a lifting up of thy wisdom against his, as if thou couldst bet- 

• Monendus est Fhilipput %U desinat esse rector mundi. Welch. Adam. 


ter order thine affairs, if thou hadst but the conduct and manage- 
ment of them ; or that you have to do herein with a great and 
dreadful God, in whose hands you are as the clay in the potters 
hands, that he may do what he will with you, and all that is yours, 
without giving you an account of any of his matters, Job xxxiii. 
13. or whether providence hath cast others, as good, by nature, as 
yourselves, tumbled them down from the top of health, wealth, 
honours and pleasures, to the bottom of hell ; or, lastly, did you 
but consider how often it hath formerly baffled and befooled your- 
selves ; vou would retract, with shame, your rash, headlong censures 
of it, and enforce you, by the sight of its births and issues, to 
confess your folly and ignorance, as Asaph did, Psal. lxxiii. 22. 
I say, if such considerations as these could but have place with you 
in your troubles and temptations, they would quickly mould your 
hearts into a better and more quiet frame. 

O that I could but persuade you to resign all to Christ. He is a 
cunning workman *, as he is called, Prov. viii. 30. and can effect 
what he pleaseth. It is a good rule, De operibus Dei non estjudi- 
candum, ante quintum actum. " Let God work out all that he 
" intends, but have patience till he hath put the last hand to his 
" work, and then find fault with it, if you can." You have heard 
of the patience of Job, " and have seen the end of the Lord," 
James v. 11. 

Inf. 3. If Christ be Lord and king over the providential king-, 
dom, and that, for the good of his people, let none that are Chris fs 
henceforth, stand in a slavish fear of creatures. It is a good note 
that * Grotius hath upon my text ; " It is a marvellous consolation 
" (saith he) that Christ hath so great an empire, and that he go- 
" verns it for the good of his people, as a head consulting the good 
" of the body." Our head and husband, is Lord-general of all 
the hosts of heaven and earth; no creature can move hand or 
tongue without his leave or order : the power they have is given 
them from above, John xix. 11, 12. The serious consideration 
of this truth will make the feeblest spirit cease trembling, and set 
it a singing ; Psal. xlvii. 7. " The Lord is king of all the earth, 
" sing ye praises with understanding f that is, (as some well para- 
phrase it) every one that hath understanding of this comfortable 
truth. Hath he not given you abundant security in many express 
promises, that all shall issue well for you that fear him? Rom. 
viii. 28. " All things shall work together for good, to them that 
" love God,' 1 And Eccl. viii. 12. verily " it shall be well with 

* It has two significations : An experienced artificer or workman, and a workman 
excelling in bis art. Glass. 

f Magna consolatio, quod tantum imperium habct is, qui id exercet ecclasice beno, stctft 
caput consulit corporu Grotius. 


" them that fear God," even with them that fear before him. And 
suppose he had not, yet the very understanding of our relation to 
such a king, should, in itself, be sufficient security : for, he is the 
* universal f supreme, J absolute, || meek, merciful, § victorious, 
and ^[ immortal king. 

He sits in glory, at the Father's right hand ; and, to make his 
seat the easier, his enemies are a footstool for him. .J. His love 
to his people is unspeakably tender and fervent, he that touches 
them, " touches the apple of his eye," Zech. ii. And, it is 
hardly imaginable, that Jesus Christ will sit still, and suffer his 
enemies to thrust out his eyes. Till this be forgotten, the wrath of 
man is not feared; Isa. Ii. 12, 13. "He that fears a man that 
w shall die, forgets the Lord his Maker. 11 He loves you too well 
to sign any order to your prejudice, and without his order, none 
can touch you. 

Inf. 4. If the government of the world be in the hands of 
Christ, Then our engaging and entitling of Christ to all our affairs 
and business, is the true and ready way to their success and pro- 
sperity. If all depend upon his pleasure, then sure it is your wis- 
dom to take him along with you to every action and business ; it is 
no lost time that is spent in prayer, wherein we ask his leave, and 
beg his presence with us : and, take it for a clear truth, that which 
is not prefaced with prayer, will be followed with trouble. How 
easily can Jesss Christ dash all your designs, when they are at the 
very birth and article of execution, and break off, in a moment, all 
the purposes of your hearts ? It is a proverb among the Papists, 
that Mass and meat hinder no man. The Turks will pray five 
times a day, how urgent soever their business be. Blush you that 
enterprize your affairs without God : I reckon that business as 
good as done, to which we have got Christ's leave, and engaged his 
presence to accompany us. 

Inf. 5. Lastly, Eye Christ in all the events of providence ; see 
his hand in all that befals you, whether it be evil or good. " The 
M works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have 
" pleasure therein, 11 Psal. cxi. 2. 

How much good might we get, by observation of the good or 
evil that befals us throughout our course ! 

1. In all the evils of trouble and afflictions that befal you, eye 
Jesus Christ : and set your hearts to the study of these four things 
in affliction. 

(1.) Study his sovereignty and dominion ; for he creates and forms 

* Psal. ii. 8. f Prov. viii. 15. \ Rev. i. 18. || Matth. xxi. 5. 

§Psal. xlv. 4. ^ 1 Tim.i. 17. 

4 See my Saint indeed. 


them : they rise not out of the dust, nor do they befal you casual- 
ly; but he raises them up, and gives them their commission, 
Jer. xviii. 11. " Behold, I create evil, and devise a device against 
" yon." He elects the instrument of your trouble ; he makes 
the rod as afflictive as he pleaseth ; he orders the continuance and 
end of your troubles ; and they wiH not cease to be afflictive to you, 
till Christ say, Leave off, it is enough. The Centurion wisely 
considered this, when he told him, Luke vii. 8. " I have soldiers 
" under me, and I say to one, Go, and he goeth ; to another, 
" Come, and he cometh :" meaning, that as his soldiers were at 
his beck and command, so diseases were at Christ's beck, to coin* 
and go as he ordered them. 

(2.) Study the wisdom of Christ in the contrivance of your trou- 
bles* And his wisdom shines out many ways in them, it is evident in 
ehusing such kinds of trouble for you : this, and not that, because 
this is more apt to work upon, and purge out the corruption that 
most predominates in you : In the degrees of your troubles, suffer- 
ing them to work to such a height, else not reach their end ; but no 
higher, lest they overwhelm you. 

(3.) Study the tenderness- and compassions of Christ over his. 
afflicted. O think if the devil had but the mixing of my cup, how 
much more bitter would he make it ! There would not be one 
drop of mercy, no, not of sparing mercy in it, which is the low- 
est of all sorts of mercy : but here is much mercy mixed with my 
troubles ; there is mercy in this, that it is no worse. Am I af- 
flicted ? " It is of the Lord's mercy I am not consumed," Lam. iii. 
2. It might have been hell as well as this ; there is mercy in his 
supports under it. Others have, and I might have been left to 
sink and perish under my burdens. Mercy, in deliverance out of 
it ; this might have been everlasting darkness, that should never 
have had a morning. O the tenderness of Christ over his af- 
flicted ! 

(4.) Study the love of Christ to thy soul, in affliction, Did he not 
love thee, he would not sanctify a rod to humble or reduce thee, 
but let thee alone to perish in thy sin. Rev. iii. 19- " Whom I 
" love, I rebuke and chasten." This is the device of love, to re- 
cover thee to thy God, and prevent thy ruin. O what an advan- 
tage would it be thus to study Christ, in all your evils that befal 
you ! 

2. Eye and study Christ in all the good you receive from the 
hand qf providence. Turn both sides of your mercies, and view 
them in all their lovely circumstances. 

(1.) Eye them in their suitableness : how conveniently pro- 
vidence hath ordered all tilings for thee. Thou hast a narrow heart, 
and a small estate suitable to it : Hadst thou more of the world, it 


would be like a large sail to a little boat, which would quickly 
pull thee under water : thou hast that which is most suitable to theo 
of all conditions. 

(2.) Eye the reasonableness of thy mercies, how they are timed to 
an hour. Providence brings forth all its fruits in due season. 

(3.) Eye the peculiar nature of thy mercies. Others have common, 
thou special ones ; others have but a single, thou a double sweet- 
ness in thy enjoyments, one natural from the matter of it, another 
spiritual from the way ill which, and end for which, it comes. 

(4.) Observe the order in which providence sends your mercies. 
See how one is linked strangely to another, and is a door to let in 
many. Sometimes one mercy is introductivc to a thousand. 

(5.) And lastly, Observe the constancy! of them, " they are new 
" every morning," Lam. i'li. 23. How assiduously doth God visit 
thy soul and body ! Think with thyself, if there be but a suspen- 
sion of the care of Christ for one hour, that hour would be thy 
ruin. Thousands of evils stand round about thee, watching when 
Christ will but remove his eye from thee, that tkey may rush in 
and devour thee. 

Could we thus study the providence of Christ in all the good and 
evil that befals us in the world, then in every state we should be 
content, Phil. iv. 11. Then we should never be stopt, but fur- 
thered in our way by all that falls out ; then would our experience 
swell to great volumes, which we might carry to heaven with us ; 
and then should we answer all Chrisfs ends in every state he 
brings us into. Do this, and say, 

Tlianks be to God for Jesus Christ. 


Of the Necessity of Christ's Humiliation, in order to the 
Execution of all these his blessed Offices for us ; and par- 
ticularly of his Humiliation by Incarnation. 

Phil. ii. 8. 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and 
became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. 

jL OU have heard how Christ was invested with the offices of 
prophet, priest, and king, for the carrying on the blessed design 
of our redemption ; the execution of these offices necessarily 
required that he should be both deeply abased, and highly exalted. 
He cannot, as our Priest, offer up himself a sacrifice to God for us* 


except he be humbled, and humbled to death. He cannot, as a 
Kin «-, powerfully apply the virtue of that his sacrifice, except he be 
exalted, yea, highly exalted. Had he not stooped to the low estate 
of a man, he had not, as a Priest, had a sacrifice of his own to 
offer ; as a Prophet, he had not been fit to teach us the will of 
God, so as that we should be able to bear it ; as a King, he had 
not been a suitable head to the church : and, had he not been 
highly exalted, that sacrifice had not been carried within the vail 
before the Lord. Those discoveries of God could not have been 
universal, effectual and abiding. The government of Christ could 
not have secured, protected, and defended the subjects of his 

• The infinite wisdom prospecting all this, ordered that Christ 
should first be deeply humbled, then highly exalted : both which 
states of Christ are presented to us by the apostle in this context. 

He that intends to build high, lays the foundation deep and 
low. Christ must have a distinct glory in heaven, transcending 
that of angels and men, (for the saints will know him from all 
others bv his glory, as the sun is known from the lesser stars.) 
And, as" he must be exalted infinitely above them, so he must 
first, in order thereunto, be humbled and abased as much below 
them : " His form was marred more than any man's ; and his 
" visage more than the sons of men.' 1 The ground colours are a 
deep sable, which afterwards are laid on with all the splendour 
and glory of heaven. 

Method requires that we first sprak to this state of Humiliation, 

And, to that purpose, I have read this scripture to you, which 
presents you the Son under an (almost) total eclipse. He that was 
beautiful and glorious, Isa. iv. 2. yea, glorious as the only begotten 
of the Father, John i. 14. yea, * the glory, James ii. 1. yea, the 
splendour and " brightness of the Father's glory, 11 Heb. i. 3. was 
so vailed, clouded, and debased, that he looked not like himself; 
a God, no, nor scarce as a man; for, with reference to this 
humbled state, it is said, Psal. xxii. 6. " I am a worm, and no 
" man:" q. d. rather write me worm, than man: I am become an 
object among menf, as that word, Isa. liii. 3. signifies. This hu- 
miliation of Christ we have here expressed in the nature, degrees, 
and duration or continuance of it. 

1. The nature of it, graws/vwtfsv suvrov, he humbled himself. 

* The Hebrew words Ilia 1 :'! ^^h in Isa. iv. 2. literally, signify, for beauty and 
for glory. The words Inffa Xpi$x rr,g ba^iS, in James ii. 1. signify, Jesus Christ, tfic 
glory ; and avavyac/JjO, rra oo^g, the brightness <f glory. 

I The scorn of men, an abject among men. 


1. The word imports both a real and voluntary abasement* 
Real ; he did not personate a humbled man, nor act the part of 
one, in a debased state, but was really, and indeed humbled ; 
and that not only before men, but God. As man, he was hum- 
bled really, as God in respect of his manifestative glory: and, as 
it was real, so also voluntary : -j* It is not said he was humbled, 
but he humbled himself: he was willing to stoop to this low and ab- 
ject state for us. And, indeed, the voluntariness of his humilia- 
tion made it most acceptable to God, and singularly commends the 
love of Christ to us, that he would chuse to stoop to all this ig- 
nominy, suffering, and abasement for us. 

2. The degrees of his humiliation ; it was not only so low as 
to become a man, a man under law; but he humbled himself to 
become " obedient to death, even the death of the cross." Here 
you see the depth of Christ's humiliation, both specified, it was unto 
death, and aggravated, even the death of the cross : not only to be- 
come a man but a dead corpse, and that too hanging on a tree, 
dying the death of a malefactor. 

8. The duration, or continuance of this his humiliation : it con- 
tinued from the first moment of his incarnation, to the very mo- 
ment of his vivification and quickening in the grave. So the terms 
of it are fixed here by the apostle ; from the time he was found in 
fashion as a man, that is, from his incarnation, unto his death on 
the cross, which also comprehends the time of his abode in the 
grave ; so long his humiliation lasted. Hence the observation is, 

Doct. That the state of Christ, from his conception to his 
iesurrection, was a state of deep abasement and humiliation. 

We are now entering upon Christ's humbled state, which I shall 
cast under three general heads, viz. his humiliation, in his incarna- 
tion, in his life, and in his death. My present work is to open 
Christ's humiliation, in his incarnation, imported in these words, 
He was found in fashion as a man. By which you are not to con- 
ceive that he only assumed a body, as an assisting form, to appear 
transiently to us in it, and so lay it down again. J It is not such 
an apparition of Christ in the shape of a man, that is here intend- 

* But he speaks not of a feigned and counterfeit, but of a true and real humilia- 
tion. Zanch. in loc. 

f He was not humbled by another, like the fallen angels who were by God 
thrown headlong into the infernal pit. Ibid. 

\ In these few words he confirms the things he had said before of the true nature 
of man (which he calls the form of a servant) assumed by the Son of God into unity 
of person, by which he was made like to men iu all things, sin excepted. Zanch. 


ed ; but his true and real assumption of our nature, which was a 
special part of his humiliation ; as will appear by the following par- 

I. The incarnation of Christ was a most wonderful humiliation 
of him, inasmuch as thereby he is brought into the rank and order 
of creatures, who is over all, " God blessed for ever,' 1 Rom. ix. 
5. This is the astonishing mystery, 1 Tim. iii. 16. that God 
should be manifest in the flesh ; that the eternal God should truly 
and properly be called the Man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. ii. 5. It 
was a wonder to Solomon, that God would dwell in that stately 
and magnificent temple at Jerusalem, 2 Chron. vi. 18. " But will 
ifc God in very deed dwell with men on earth ! Behold the hea- 
" ven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee ; how much 
" less this house which I have built ?" But it is a far greater wonder 
that God should dwell in a body of flesh, and pitch his tabernacle 
with us, John i. 14. It would have seemed a rude blasphemy, 
had not the scriptures plainly revealed it, to have thought, or 
spoken of the eternal God, as born in time ; the world's Creator 
as a creature ; the Ancient of Days, as an infant of days. 

The Heathen Chaldeans told the king of Babel, that the " dwei- 
" ling of the gods is not with flesh," Dan. ii. 11. But now God 
not only dwells with fleshj but dwells in flesh; yea, was made 
flesh, and dwelt among us. 

For the sun to fall from its sphere, and be degraded into £ 
wandering atom ; for an angel to be turned out of heaven, and be 
converted into a silly fly or worm, had been no such great abase- 
ment ; for they were but creatures before, and so they would abide 
still, though in an inferior order or species of creatures. The 
distance betwixt the highest and lowest species of creatures, is but 
a finite distance. The angel and the worm dwell not so far asun- 
der. But for the infinite glorious Creator of all things, to become 
a creature, is a mystery exceeding all human understanding. The 
distance betwixt God and the highest order of creatures, is an in- 
finite distance. He is said to humble himself, to behold the things that 
are done in heaven. What a humiliation then is it, to behold the 
things in the lower world ! but to be born into it, and become a 
man ! Great indeed is the mystery of godliness. " Behold, (saith 
" the prophet, Isa. xl. 15, 18) the nations are as the drop of a 
" bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance ; he 
" taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before 
" him are as nothing, and they are accounted to him less than no- 
" thing, and vanity. 11 If, indeed, this great and incomprehensible 
Majesty will himself stoop to the state and condition of a creature, 
we may easily believe, that being once a creature, he would expose 
himself to hunger, thirst, shame, spitting, death, or any thing but 


sin. For that once being a man, he should endure any of these 
things, is not so wonderful, as that he should become a man. 
This was the low step, a dee}) abasement indeed ! 

2. It was a marvellous humiliation to the Son of God, not only 
to become a creature, but an inferior creature, a man, and not 
an angel. Had he taken the angelical nature, though it had been 
a wonderful abasement to him, yet he had staid (if I may so 
speak) nearer his own home, and been somewhat liker to a God, 
than now he appeared, when he dwelt with us : for angels are the 
highest, and most excellent of all created beings : For their nature, 
they are pure spirits ; for their zvisdom, intelligences ; for their dig- 
nity, they are called principalities and powers ; for their habitations, 
they are stiled the heavenly host ; and for their employment^ it is to 
behold the face of God in heaven. The highest pitch, both of our ho- 
liness and happiness in the coming world, is expressed by this, 
we shall be /tfa/ysXo/, " equal to the angels*" Luke xx. 36. As 
man is nothing to God, so he is much inferior to the angels; so 
much below them, that he is not able to bear the sight of an angel, 
though in a human shape, rendering himself as familiarly as may 
be to him, Judges xiii. 22. When the Psalmist had contemplated 
the heavens, and viewed the celestial bodies, the glorious lumina- 
ries, the moon and stars which God had made, he cries out, Psal. 
viii. 5. " What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of 
" man that thou visitest him !" Take man at his best when he 
came a perfect and pure piece out of his Maker's hand, in the state 
of innocency : yet he was inferior to angels. They always bare 
the image of God, in a more eminent degree than man, as being 
wholly spiritual substances, and so more lively representing Godj 
than man could do, whose noble soul is immersed in matter, and 
closed up in flesh and blood: yet Christ chuseth this inferior 
order and species of creatures, and passeth by the angelical nature ; 
Heb. ii. 16. " He took not on him the nature of angels, but the 
seed of Abraham." 

3. Moreover, Jesus Christ did not only neglect the angelical, 
and assume the human nature ; but he also assumed the human 
nature, after sin had blotted the original glory of it, and wither- 
ed up the beauty and excellency thereof. For he came not in our 
nature before the fall, whilst as yet its glory was fresh in it ; but 
he came, as the apostle speaks, Rom. viii. 3. " In the likeness of 
" sinful flesh," i. e. in flesh that had the marks, and miserable 
effects, and consequents of sin upon it. I say not that Christ as- 
sumed sinful flesh, or flesh really defiled by sin. That which was 
born of the Virgin was a holy thing. For by the power of the 
Highest (whether by the energetical command and ordination of 
the Holy Ghost, as some ; or by his benediction and blessing, I 

Vol. I. P 


here dispute not) that whereof the body of Christ was to be form- 
ed) was so sanctified, that no taint or spot of original pollution re- 
mained in it. But yet though it had not intrinsical native unclean- 
ness in it, it had the effects of sin upon it ; yea, it was attended 
with the whole troop of human infirmities, that sin at first let into 
our common nature, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, pain, mor- 
tality, and all these natural weaknesses and evils that clog our mi- 
serable natures, and make them groan from day to day under 

By reason whereof, though he was not a sinner, yet he looked 
like one : and they that saw and conversed with him, took him 
for a sinner ; seeing all these effects of sin upon him. In these 
things he came as near to sin as his holiness could admit. O what 
a stoop was this ! to be made in the likeness of flesh, though the 
innocent flesh of Adam, had been much ; but to be made in the 
iikeness of sinful flesh, the flesh of sinners, rebels ; flesh, though 
not defiled, yet miserably defaced by sin ! O what is this ! and who 
can declare it ! And indeed, if he will be a Mediator of reconci- 
liation, it was necessary it should be so. It behoved him to assume 
the same nature that sinned, to make satisfaction in it. Yea, these 
sinless infirmities were necessary to be assumed with the nature, 
forasmuch as his bearing them was a part of his humiliation, and 
went to make up satisfaction for us. Moreover, by them our 
High-Priest was qualified from his own experience, and filled with 
tender compassion to us. 

But O the admirable condescensions of a Saviour, to take such a 
nature ! to put on such a garment when so very mean and ragged ! 
Did this become the Son of God to wear ? O grace unsearchable ! 

4. And yet more, by this his incarnation he was greatly hum- 
bled, inasmuch as this so vailed, clouded, and disguised him, that 
during the time he lived here, he looked not like himself, as God ; 
but as a poor, sorry, contemptible sinner, in the eyes of the 
world ; they scorned him. This fellow said, Matth. xxvi. 61. 
Hereby " he made himself of no reputation," Phil. ii. 6. It 
blotted his honour and reputation. By reason hereof he lost all 
esteem and honour from those that saw him, Matth. xiii. 55. 
"Is not this the carpenter's son ?" To see a poor man travelling 
up and down the country, in hunger, thirst, weariness, attended 
with a company of poor men ; one of his company bearing the bag, 
and that which was put therein, John xiii. 29- Who that had 
seen him, would ever have thought this had been the Creator of 
the world, the Prince of the kings of the earth ? " He was des- 
" pised, and we estsemed him not."" Now which of you is there 
that would not rather chuse to endure much misery as a man, than 
to be degraded into a contemptible worm, that every body treads 


upon, and no man regards it ? Christ looked so unlike a God in 
this habit, that he was scarce allowed the name of a man ; a worm 
rather than a man. 

And think with yourselves now, was not this astonishing self- 
denial ? That he, who from eternity, had his Father's smiles and 
honours, he that from the creation was adored, and worshipped 
by angels, as their God, must now become a footstool for every 
miscreant to tread on ; and not to have the respects due to a man ; 
sure this was a deep abasement. It was a black cloud that for so 
many years darkened, and shut up his manifestative glory, that it 
could not shine out to the world; only some weak rays of the 
Godhead shone to some few eyes, through the chinks of his hu- 
manity ; as the clouded sun sometimes opens a little, and casts 
some faint beams, and is muffled up again. '•' We saw his glory, 
" as of the only begotten Son :" but the world knew him not, 
John i. 14. If a prince walk up and down in a disguise, he must 
expect no more honour than a mean subject. This was the case 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, this disguise made him contemptible, 
and an object of scorn. 

5 Again, Christ was greatly humbled by his incarnation, inas- 
much as thereby he was put at a distance from his Father, and 
that ineffable joy and pleasure he eternally had with him. Think 
not, reader, but the Lord Jesus lived at a high and unimitable 
rate of communion with God while he walked here in the flesh : 
but yet to live by faith, as Christ here did, is one thing ; and to 
be in the bosom of God, as he was before, is another. To have 
the ineffable delights of God perpetuated and continued to him, 
without one moment's interruption from eternity, is one thing; 
and to have his soul sometimes filled with the joy of the Lord, and 
then all overcast with clouds of wrath again ; to cry, and God not 
hear, as he complains, Psal. xxxii. 2. nay, to be reduced to such 
a low ebb of spiritual comforts, as to be forced to cry out so bit- 
terly, as he did, Psal. xxii. 1. " My God, my God, why hast 
" thou forsaken me? 1 ' This was a thing Christ was very unac- 
quainted with, till he was found in habit as a man. 

6. And lastly, It was a great stoop and condescension of Christ 
if he would become a man, to take his nature from such obscure 
parents, and chuse such a low and contemptible state in this world 
as he did. He will be born, but not of the blood of nobles, but of 
a poor woman in Israel, espoused to a carpenter : yea, and that 
too, under all the disadvantages imaginable; not in his mother's 
house, but an inn ; yea, in the stable too. He suited all to that 
abased state he was designed for ; and came among us under all the 
humbling circumstances imaginable : " You know the grace of 
" our Lord Jesus Christ (saith the apostle) how that though he 



'* was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor," 2 Cor. viii. 9. 
And thus I have shewn you some few particulars of Christ's humi- 
liation in his incarnation. Next we shall infer some things from 
it that are practical. 

Inference 1. Hence we gather the fulness and completeness of 
Chrisfs satisfaction, as the sweet first-fruits of his incarnation. Did 
man offend and violate the law of God ? Behold, God himself is be- 
come man to repair that breach, and satisfy for the wrong done. The 
highest honour that ever the law of God received, was to have 
such a person as the man Christ Jesus is, to stand before its bar, 
and make reparation to it. This is more than if it had poured out 
all our blood, and built up its honour upon the ruins of the whole 

It is not so much to see all the stars in heaven overcast, as to see 
one sun eclipsed. The greater Christ was, the greater was his hu- 
miliation ; and the greater his humiliation was, the more full and 
complete was his satisfaction ; and the more completeness there is 
in Christ's satisfaction, the more perfect and steady is the believer's 
consolation. If he had not stooped so low, our joy and comfort 
could not be exalted so high. The depth of the foundation is the 
strength of the superstructure. 

Inf. 2. Did Christ for our sakes stoop from the majesty, glory and 
dignity he was possessed of in heaven, to the mean and contemptible 
state of a man P What a pattern of self-denial is here presented to 
Christians ? What objection against, or excuses to shift off this duty, 
can remain, after such an example as is here propounded ? Brethren, 
let me tell you, the pagan world was never acquainted with such an 
argument as this, to press them to self-denial. Did Christ stoop, 
and cannot vou stoop ? did Christ stoop so much, and cannot you 
stoop at the least ? Was he content to become any thing, a worm, 
a reproach, a curse ; and cannot you digest any abasement ? Do 
the least slights and neglects rankle your hearts, and poison them 
with discontent, malice and revenge ; O how unlike Christ are 
you ! Hear ; and blush in hearing, what your Lord saith in John 
xiii. 14. " If I then your Lord and Master, wash your feet; ye 
" ought also to wash one another's feet." " The example obliges 
u not, (as * a learned man Avell observes) to the same individual 
" act, but it obliges us to follow the reason of the example ;" i. e. 
after Christ's example, we must be ready to perform the lowest 
and meanest offices of love and service to one another. And in- 
deed to this it obliges most forcibly ; for it is as if a master, seeing 
a proud, sturdy servant, that grudges at the work he is em- 

* Obh'gat nos ad rationem exempli, magis quam ad individuum actum. Chamier. Tom. 
5.1. 19. c. 7.V 


ployed about, as if it were too mean and base, should come and 
take it out of his hand ; and when he has done it, should say, 
doth your Lord and Master think it not beneath him to do it ; and 
is it beneath you ? I remember it is an excellent saying that * Ber- 
nard hath upon the nativity of Christ : saith he, " What more 
" detestable, what more unworthy, or what deserves severer 
" punishment, than for a poor man to magnify himself, after he 
" hath seen the great and high God, so humbled, as to become a 
« little child ? It is intolerable impudence for a worm to swell with 
«' pride, after it hath seen majesty emptying itself; to see one so 
" infinitely above us, to stoop so far beneath us." O how con- 
vincing and shaming should it be ! Ah how opposite shoul 1 pride 
and stoutness be to the spirit of a Christian ! I am sure nothing 
is more so to the spirit of Christ. Your Saviour was lowly, meek, 
self-denying, and of a most condescending spirit ; he looked not 
at his own things, but yours, Phil. ii. 4. And doth it become 
you to be proud, selfish, and stout ? I remember Jerom, in his 
epistle to Pamachius, a godly young nobleman, advised him to be 
eyes to the blind, feet to the lame ; yea, saith he, if need be, I 
would not have you refuse to cut wood, and draw water for the 
saints : And what, saith he, is this to buffeting and spitting upon, 
to crowning with thorns, scourging and dying ! Christ did undergo 
all this, and that for the ungodly. 

Inf. 3. Did Christ stoop so low as to become a man to save its ? 
Then those that perish under the gospel, must needs perish xvithout 
apology. What would you have Christ do more to save you ? Lo, 
he hath laid aside the robes of majesty and glory, put on your own 
garments of flesh, come down from his throne, and brought salvation 
home to your own doors. Surely, the lower Christ stooped to save 
us, the lower we shall sink under wrath that neglect so great salva- 
tion. The Lord Jesus is brought low, but the unbeliever will 
lay him yet lower, even under his feet : he will tread the Son of 
God under foot, Heb. x. 28. For such (as the apostle there speaks) 
is reserved something worse than dying without mercy. What pleas 
and excuses others will make at the judgment-seat, I know not ; 
but once, it is evident, you will be speechless. And, as *)* one 
well observes, the vilest sinners among the Gentiles, nay, the 
devils themselves, will have more to say for themselves than you. 

I must be plain with you ; I beseech you consider, how Jews, 
Pagans, and Devils will rise up in judgment against you. The 

* Quid magis indignum, quid detestandum amplius, quid gravius puniendum, quam ut 
videns Deum parvulum factum, homo $e viagnificet ? Intolerabilis est impudentia, ut ubi 
sese exinanioit majestas, vermicuhis infletur. et intumescat. Bern. Serm. 1. de Nativ. 

f Vide Morning Exercise at St. Giles's in the Fields, p. 256. 



Jew may say, I had a legal yoke upon me, winch neither I nor 
my fathers were able to bear ; Christ invited me only into the gar- 
den of nuts, where I might sooner break my teeth with the hard 
shells of ceremonies, than get the kernel of gospel-promises. — In 
the best of our sacrifices, the smoke filled our temple ; smoke only 
to provoke us to weep for a clearer manifestation. We had but 
the old edition of the covenant of grace, in a character very darkly 
intelligible : You have the last edition, with a commentary of our 
rejection, and the world's reception, and the Spirit's effusion. You 
had all that heart could wish. — I perish eternally, may the poor Pa- 
gan say, without all possibility of reconciliation, and have only sin- 
ned against the covenant of works ; having never heard of a gospel- 
covenant, nor of reconciliation by a Mediator. O had I but heard 
one sermon ! had Christ but once broke in upon my soul, to con- 
vince me of my undone condition, and to have shewn a righteous- 
ness to me ! But woe is me ! I never had so much as one offer of 
Christ. — But so have I, must you say that refuse the gospel : I have, 
or might have heard thousands of sermons ; I could scarce escape 
hearing one or other shewing me the danger of my sin, and my ne- 
cessity of Christ. But notwithstanding all I heard, I wilfullv re- 
solved I would have nothing to do with him. I could not endure 
to hear strictness pressed upon me : It was all the hell I had upon 
earth, that I could not sin in quiet. — Nay, may the devil himself 
say, it is true, I was ever since my fall maliciously set against God. 
But alas ! as soon as I had sinned, God threw me out of heaven, 
and told me he would never have mercy upon me : and though I 
lived in the time of all manner of gracious dispensations, I saw sa- 
crifices offered, and Christ in the flesh, and the gospel preached ; 
yet how could all this chuse but enrage me the more, to have God, 
as it were, say, Look here, Satan, I have provided a remedy for 
sin, but none for thine ! This set me upon revenge against God, 
as far as I could reach him. But alas ! alas ! had God entered 
into any covenant with me at all ; had God put me on any terms, 
though never so hard for the obtaining of mercy ; had Christ 
been but once offered to me, What do you think would I not 
have done ? eye. 

O poor sinners ! Your damnation is just, if you refuse grace 
brought home by Jesus Christ himself to your very doors. The 
Lord grant this may not be thy case who readest these lines. 

Inf. 4. Moreover ; hence it follows, that none doth, or can love 
like Christ : His love to man is matchless. The freeness, strength, 
antiquity, and immutability of it, puts a lustre on it beyond all ex- 
amples. Surely it was a strong love indeed, that made him lay 
aside his glory, to be found in fashion as a man, to become any 
thing, though never so much below himself, for our salvation. 


We read of Jonathan's love to David, which passed the love of 
women ; of Jacob's love to Rachel, who for her sake endured the 
heat of summer, and cold of winter ; of David's love to Absalom ; 
of the primitive Christians love to one another, who could die one 
for another : but neither had they that to deny which Christ had, 
nor had he those inducements from the object of his love that they 
had. His love, like himself, is wonderful. 

Inf. 5. Did the Lord Jesus so deeply abase and humble himself 
for us ? What an engagement hath he thereby put on us, to exalt 
and honour him, who for our sokes zaas so abused ? It was a good 
saying of * Bernard, " By how much the viler he was made for me, 
" by so much the dearer he shall be to me." And O that all, to 
whom Christ is dear, would study to exalt and honour him, these 
four ways. 

1. By frequent and delightful speaking of him, and for him. 
When Paul had once mentioned his name, he knows not how to 
part with it, but repeats it no less than ten times in the compass of 
ten verses, in 1 Cor. i. It was Lambert's motto, " None but Christ, 
" none but Christ." It is said of Johannes Milius, that after 
his conversion, he was seldom or never observed to mention the 
name of Jesus, but his eyes would drop ; so dear was Christ to 
htm. Mr. Fox never denied any beggar that asked an alms in 
Christ's name, or for Jesus' sake. Julius Palmer, when all con- 
cluded he was dead, being turned as black as a coal on the fire, at 
iast moved his scorched lips, and was heard to say, Sweet Jesus, 
and fell asleep. Plutarch *f- tells us, that when Titus Flaminius 
had freed the poor Grecians from the bondage with which they 
had been long ground by their oppressors, and the herald was to 
proclaim in their audience the articles of peace he had concluded 
for them, they so pressed upon him, (not being half of them able 
to hear), that he was in great danger to have lost his life in the 
press; at last, reading them a second time, when they came vb 
understand distinctly how their case stood, they shouted for joy, 
crying, Swnjo, Swttjp, " a Saviour, a Saviour," that they made the 
very heavens ring again with their acclamations, and the very birds 
fell down astonished. And all that night the poor Grecians, with 
instruments of music, and songs of praise, danced and sung about 
his tent, extolling him as a god that had delivered them. But 
surely you have more reason to be exalting the Author of your sal- 
vation, who, at a dearer rate, hath freed you from a more dread- 
ful bondage. O ye that have escaped the eternal wrath of God, 

* Quanto pro me vilior, tanto mihi charior. Bern, 
f Plutarch in vita Titi Flaminiu 



by the humiliation of the Son of God, extol your great Redeemer, 
and for ever celebrate his praises ! 

2. By acting your faith on him, for whatsoever lies in the jiro~ 
mises yet unaccomplished. In this you see the great and most diffi- 
cult promise fulfilled, Gen. iii. 15. " The seed of the woman shall 
66 break the serpent's head ;" which contained this mercy of Christ's 
incarnation for us in it : I say, you see this fulfilled ; and seeing that 
which was most improbable and difficult is come to pass, even 
Christ come in the flesh, methinks our unbelief should be re- 
moved for ever, and all other promises the more easily believed. 
It seemed much more improbable and impossible to reason, that 
God should become a man, and stoop to the condition of a crea- 
ture, than being a man, to perform all that good which his incar- 
nation and death procured. Unbelief usually argues from one of 
these two grounds, Can God do this ? or Will God do that ? It 
is questioning either his power or his will ; but after this, let it 
cease for ever to cavil against either. His power to save should 
never be questioned by any that know what sufferings and infinite 
burdens he supported in our nature : and surely his willingness to 
save should never be put to a question, by any that consider how 
low he was content to stoop for our sakes. 

3. By drawing nigh to God with ddight, " through the veil of 
" Christ's flesh," Heb. x. 19- God hath made this flesh of Christ 
a veil betwixt the brightness of his glory and us : it serves to rebate 
the unsupportable glory, and also to give admission to it, as the veil 
did in the temple. Through this body of flesh, which Christ as- 
sumed, are all decursus et rccursus gratiarum, " outlets of grace 
<' from God to us ; and through it, also, must be all our returns 
« to God again." It is made the great medium of pur communion 
with God. 

4. By applying yourselves to him, under all temptations, wants 
and troubles, of what kind soever, as to one that is tenderly sensible 
of your case, and most willing and ready to relieve you. O remem- 
ber, this was one of the inducements that persuaded and invited him 
to take your nature, that he might be furnished abundantly with ten- 
der compassion for you, from the sense he should have of your infir- 
mities in his own body *, Heb. ii. 17. " Wherefore in all things 
" it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might 
" be a merciful and faithful High-priest, in things pertaining to 
" God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." You 
know by this argument the Lord pressed the Israelites to be kind 

* Hiud ignara mafi, miscris svccurere disco. Lirg. 
Like you, an alien in a land unknown, 
I learn to pity woes, so like mine own. Dryden. 


to strangers ; for, (saith he) " you know the heart of a stranger, 1 * 
Exod. xxii. 9- Christ, by being in our nature, knows experi- 
mentally what our wants, fears, temptations, and distresses are, 
and so is able to have compassion. O let your hearts work upon 
this admirable condescension of Christ, till they be filled with it, 
and your lips say, 

Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ. 


Of Cheist's Humiliation in Iiis Life. 

Phil. ii. 8. 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and be~ 
came obedient to death, even the death of the cross. 

JL HIS scripture hath been once already under consideration, 
and, indeed, can never be enough considered : It holds forth the 
humbled state of the Lord Jesus, during the time of his abode on 
earth. The sum of it was delivered you before in this point : 

Doct. That the state of Christ, from his conception to his resur- 
rection, zcas a state of deep debasement and humiliation. 

The humiliation of Christ was proposed to you under these three 
general heads or branches; of his humiliation in his incarnation; 
his humiliation in his life ; and his humiliation in his death. How 
be was humbled by incarnation, hath been opened above in the 
18th sermon. How he was humbled in his life, is the design of 
this sermon : yet expect not that I should give you here an exact 
history of the life of Christ. The scriptures speak but little of the 
private part of his life, and it is not my design to dilate upon all 
the memorable passages that the evangelists (those faithful narra- 
tors of the life of Christ) have preserved for us ; but only to ob- 
serve and improve those more observable particulars in his life, 
wherein especially he was humbled : and such are these that 

First, The Lord Jesus was humbled in his very infancy, by his 
circumcision according to the law. For bein^ of the stock of Israel, 
he was to undergo the ceremonies, and submit to the ordinances 
belonging to that people, and thereby to put. an end to them ; for 
so it became him to fulfil all righteousness. Luke ii. 21. " And 


*S when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the 
" child, his name was called Jesus." Hereby the Son of God was 
greatly humbled, especially in these two respects. 

1. In that hereby he obliged himself to keep the whole law *, 
though he was the Law-maker ; Gal. v. 3. " For I testify again to 
" every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole 
" law." The apostle's meaning is, he is a debtor in regard of duty, 
because he that thinks himself bound to keep one part of the cere- 
monial law, doth thereby bind himself to keep it all ; for where all 
the parts are inseparably united, (as they are in the law of God) we 
pull all upon us, by engaging or meddling with any one. And he 
that is a debtor in duty to keep the whole law, quickly becomes a 
debtor in regard of penalty r , not being able to keep any part of it. 
Christ therefore coming as our surety, to pay both those debts, the 
debt of duty, and the debt of penalty to the law ; he, by his cir- 
cumcision, obliges himself to pay the whole debt of duty by fulfilling 
all righteousness : and though his obedience to it was so exact and 
perfect, that he contracted no debt of penalty for any transgression 
of his own ; yet he obliges himself to pay the debt of penalty which 
he had contracted, by suffering all the pains due to transgressors. 
This was that intolerable yoke that none were able to bear but 
Christ, Acts xv. 10. And it was no small measure of Christ to 
bind himself to the law, as a subject made under it : For he was the 
Law-giver, above all law : and herein that sovereignty of a God 
(one of the choice flowers in the crown of heaven) was obscured and 
veiled by his subjection. 

2. Hereby he was represented to the world not only as a subject, 
but also as a sinner : for though he was pure and holy, yet this ordi- 
nance passing upon him, seemed to imply as if corruption had in- 
deed been in him, which must be cut off by mortification. For 
this was the mystery principally intended by circumcision f : it 
served to mind and admonish Abraham, and his seed, of the na- 
tural guiltiness, uncjeanness, and corruption of their hearts and 
nature. So Jer. iv. 4. «' Circumcise yourselves unto the Lord, 
" and take away the foreskins of your hearts, ye men of Judah ;" 
i. e. the sinfulness and corruption of them. Hence the rebellious 
and unmortified are called « stiff-necked and uncircumcised in 
" heart," as it is Acts vii. 51. And as it served to convince of 
natural uncleanness, so it signified and sealed " the putting off the 

* Christ was circumcised and presented, (Luke {' u 22.) because he became subject, 
not only to the eternal and moral law, but also to the ceremonial and every other di- 
vine law. Ames. Meditat. 101 . 

f Such ceremonial observations were so many acknowledgments of sin ; therefore 
Christ, who was made sin for us, conformed to them very suitably. Ames, Meditat. 
p. 101. 


u body of the sins of the flesh," as the apostle phraseth it, CoL 
ii. 11. Now, this being the end of God in the institution of this 
ordinance for Abraham and his ordinary seed, Christ, in his infancy, 
by submitting to it, did not only veil his sovereignty by subjection, 
but was also represented as a sinner to the world, though most 
holy and pure in himself. 

Secondly, Christ was humbled by persecution, and that in the 
very morning of his life : he was banished almost as soon as born. 
Matth. ii. IS. " Flee into Egypt (saith the angel to Joseph) and 
" be thou there until I bring thee word, for Herod will seek the 
" young child to destroy him."" Ungrateful Herod ! was this 
entertainment for a Saviour ? what, raise a country against him, 
as if a destroyer •, rather than a Saviour, had landed upon the coast ? 
what, deny him the protection of those laws, under which he was 
born, and that before he had broken the least punctilio of them ? 
The child of a beggar may claim the benefit and protection of 
law, as his birth-right ; and must the Son of God be denied it ! 
But herein Herod fulfilled the scriptures, whilst venting his own 
lusts ; for so it was foretold, Jer. xxxi. 15. And this early per- 
secution was not obscurely hinted in the title of the 22d Psalm, 
that psalm which looks rather like a history of the New, than a 
prophecy of the Old Testament ; for as it contains a most exact 
description of Christ's sufferings, so it is fitted with a most suitable 
title, To the chief musician upon Aijeleth Shdliar, which signifies 
the Hind of the morning, or that deer which the Hunter rouses 
betimes in the morning, and singles out to hunt down that day ; 
and so they did by him, as the 16th verse will tell you ; for, (saith 
he), " Dogs have compassed me, the assembly of the wicked have 
" enclosed me." Upon which Musculus sweetly and ingeniously 
descants : " * O what sweet venison," (saith he), " is the flesh of 
" Christ ! abundantly sweeter to the believing soul, than that 
" which the nobles of this world esteem most delicate : and lest it 
w should want the highest and richest savour to a delicate palate, 
" Christ, our hart, was not only killed, but hunted to the purpose 
" before he was killed ; even as great men use, by hunting and 
M chasing, before they cut the throat of the deer, to render its 
" flesh more sweet, tender, and delicate :" Thus was Christ 
hunted betimes out of the country he was born in. And, no 
doubt but where such dogs scent and wind the Spirit of Christ in 

* vcre cervinam Christi carnem, animce fideli longe sapidicrem ea, quam hnjus mnndi 
nobiles in deliciis habeiit. Ac ne quid saporic ac gustui delicato deesset, nan simpliciter ac- 
cisa est nostra cervn, scd antea bene agitata : quemad modem solent magnates, vtvando et 
agitando, antequam capiant et occidant, carnem cervinam suaviorem, molliorcm, ac dehca- 
tiorem reddere. Muse, in loc. 


any, they would pursue them also to destruction, did not a gra- 
cious Providence rate them off. But to return, how great a hu- 
miliation is this to the Son of God, not only to become an infant, 
but in his infancy, to be hurried up and down, and driven out of 
his own land as a vagabond ! 

Thirdly, Our Lord Jesus Christ was yet more humbled in his 
life, by that poverty and outward meanness which all along attend- 
ed his condition : he lived poor and low all his days, so speaks the 
apostle, 2 Cor. viii. 9. " Though he was rich, yet for our sakes 
t* he became poor ;"" so poor, that he was never owner of a house 
to dwell in, but lived all his days in other men's houses, or lay in 
the open air. His outward condition was more neglected and des- 
titute than that of the birds of the air, or beasts of the earth ; so 
he told that scribe, who professed such readiness and resolution to 
follow him, but was soon cooled, when Christ told him, Matth. 
viii. 20. " The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
" nests ; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." 
It was a common saying among the Jew r s, when the Messiah comes, 
he -will not find a place to sit dozen in * Sometimes he feeds upon 
barley-bread and broiled fish ? and sometimes he was hungry, and 
had nothing to eat, Mark xi. 12. As for money, he was much a 
stranger to it ; when the tribute-money was demanded of him, he 
and Peter were not so well furnished to make half-a-crown betwixt 
them to pay it -f-, but must work a miracle for it, Matt. xvii. ult. 

He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, Mat. xx. 28. 
not to amass earthly treasures, but to bestow heavenly ones. His 
great and heavenly soul neglected and despised those things, that 
too many of his owti too much admire and prosecute. He spent 
not a careful thought about those things that eat up thousands and 
ten thousands of our thoughts. Indeed he came to be humbled, 
and to teach men by his example the vanity of this -world, and pour 
contempt upon the ensnaring glory of it; and therefore went 
before us in a J chosen and voluntary poverty : yet he lived 
not a mendicant life neither ; but was sometimes fed by ordinary, 
and sometimes by miraculous and extraordinary ways. He had 
wherewith to support that precious body of his, till the time was 

• This passage is manifestly taken from among these which the Jews, even then, 
carried about as traditions of the fathers, coneerning the coming of the Messiah ; 
and is applied accordingly : such was the saying of the Gemarists, that when he 
came, there would not be a place for him to sit down, or to rest his body on. Heinsius 
«n t'iis passage. 

The word far^P, which in Matth. xvii. 27. is rendered a piece of money, contained 
two drachma, and was in value 25. 6d. 

t Christ's poverty was not in consequence of any singular vow, or like that of a 
mendicant. Ames. Med. p. 104. 


come to offer it up to God ; but would not indulge and pamper 
that flesh, which lie purposely assumed to lie humbled in. 

Fourthly, Our dear Jesus was yet further humbled in his life, 
by the horrid temptations wherewith Satan assaulted him, than 
which nothing could be more grievous to his holy heart. * The 
Evangelist gives us an account of this in Luke iv. from the first to 
the fourteenth verse : in which context you find how the bold and 
envious spirit meets the Captain of our salvation in the field, comes 
up with him in the wilderness, when he was solitary, and had not 
a second with him, verse 1. there he keeps him fasting forty days 
and forty nights, to prepare him to close with his temptation : all this 
while Satan was pointing and edging that temptation, with which 
at last he resolves to try the breast of Christ by a home thrust, 
verse 2. By this time he supposes Christ was hungry, (as indeed 
he was) and now he thought it was time to make his assault, which 
he doth in a very suitable temptation at first, and with variety of 
temptations, trying several weapons upon him afterwards. But 
when he had made a thrust at him with that first weapon, in 
which he especially trusted, " command that these stones may be 
" made bread,* 1 verse 3. and saw how Christ had put it bv, verse 
4. then he changes postures, and assaults him with temptations to 
blasphemy, even " to fall down and worship the Devil.'" But 
when he saw he could fasten nothing on him, that he was as pure 
fountain-water in a chrystal phial, how much soever agitated and 
shaken, no dregs, or filthy sediment would rise, but he remained 
pure still : I say, seeing this, he makes a politic retreat, quits the 
field for a season, verse 13. yet leaves it cum animo revertendi, 
with a resolution to return to him a^ain. And thus was our blessed 
Lord Jesus humbled by the temptations of Satan : and what can 
you imagine more burdensome to him that was brought up from 
eternity with God, delighting in the holy Father, to be now shut 
into a wilderness with the Devil, there to be baited so many days, 
and have his esas fitted, though not defiled, with horrid blasphemy ; 
quantum mutatus ab illo f O how was the case altered with Christ ! 
from what, to what was he now come? A chaste woman would 
account it no common misery to be dogged up and down, and soli- 
cited by some vile ruffian, though there were no danger of de- 

A man would account it no small unhappiness to be shut up five 
or six weeks together with the Devil, though appearing in a hu- 
man shape, and to hear no language but that of hell spoken all 

* It is the fittest and most ordinary season for Satan to tempt, when he sees men 
hungering and thirsting after temporal things; as the fowler prepares his net especially 
in the winter season, when the birds have nothing to eat. Ht.ipleUnis prompt, p. 418, 


that time ; and the more holy the man is, the more would he be 
afflicted to hear such blasphemies malignantly spat upon the holy 
and reverend name of God; much more to be solicited by the 
devil to join with him in it. This, I say, would be accounted no 
small misery for a man to undergo. How great a humiliation then 
must it be to the great God, to be humbled to this ! to see a slave 
of his house, setting upon himself the Lord ! His jailor coming to 
take him prisoner, if he can ! A base apostate spirit, daring to 
attempt such things as these upon him ! Surely this was a deep 
abasement to the Son of God. 

Fifthly, Our blessed Lord Jesus was yet more humbled in his 
life than all this* and that by his own Sympathy with others, under 
all the burdens that made him groan. For he, much more than 
Paul, could say, who is afflicted, and I burn not f He lived all his 
time as it were in an hospital among the sick and wounded. And 
so tender was his heart, that every groan for sin, or under the ef- 
fects of sin, pierced him so, that it was truly said, " himself bare 
" our sicknesses, and took our infirmities," Matth. viii. 16, 17. It 
was spoken upon the occasion of some poor creatures that were 
possessed by the devil, and brought to him to be dispossessed. It 
is said of him, John xi. 33. " That when he saw Mary weeping, 
" and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in 
" the Spirit, and was troubled. 11 And verse 35. Jesus wept : yea, 
his heart flowed with pity for them that had not one drop of pity 
for themselves. Witness his tears spent upon Jerusalem, Luke 
xix. 41, 42. He foresaw the misery that was coming, though 
they never foresaw, nor feared it. O how it pierced him to 
think of the calamities hanging over that great city ! Yea, he 
mourned for them that could not mourn for their own sins. 
Therefore it is said, Mark iii. 5. " He was grieved for the hard- 
" ness of the people's hearts. 11 So that the commendation of a 
good physician,' that he doth as it were die with every patient, was 
most applicable to our tender-hearted Physician. This was one of 
those things that made him " a man of sorrows, and acquainted 
" with grief. 11 For the more holy any is, the more he is grieved 
and afflicted for the sin of others ; and the more tender any man is, 
the more he is pierced with beholding the miseries that lie upon 
others. And it is sure, never any heart more holy, or more sen- 
sible, tender and compassionate than Christ's. 

Sixthly, Lastly, That which yet helped to humble him lower, 
was the ungrateful, and most base and unworthy entertainment 
the world gave him. He was not received or treated like a Saviour, 
but as the vilest of men. One would think that he who came 
from heaven, " to give his life a ransom for many, 11 Matt. xx. 28. 
He that was, " not sent to condemn the world, but that the world 


" through him might be saved," John iii. 17. He that came " to 
" dissolve the works of the devil," 1 John iii. 8. knock off the 
chains, " open the prison-doors, proclaim liberty to the captives, 1 ' 
Isa. lxi. 1. I say, when such a Saviour arrived, O with what accla- 
mations of joy, and demonstration of thankfulness, should he have 
been received ? One would have thought they should even kiss the 
ground he trod upon : but instead of this, he was hated, John xv. 
IS. He was despised by them, Matt. xiii. 55. So reproached, 
that lie became " the reproach of men, 11 as who should say, a 
corner for every one to spit in ; a butt for every base tongue to> 
shoot at, Psal. xxii. 6. Accused of working his miracles by the 
power of the devil, Mat. xii. 24. He was trod upon as a worm, 
Psal. xxii. 6, They buffeted him, Matt. xxvi. 67. smote him on 
the head, Matt, xxvii. SO. arrayed him as a fool, ver. 20. spat in 
his face, ver. 30. despised him as the basest of men, " this fellow 
" said, 11 Matt. xxvi. 61. One of his own followers sold him, ano- 
ther forsware him, and all forsook him in his greatest troubles, 
All this was a great abasement to the Son of God, who was not 
thus treated for a day, or in one place, but all his days, and in all 
places. " He endured the contradiction of sinners against him- 
" self. 11 In these particulars I have pointed out to you something 
of the humble life Christ lived in the world. From all these par- 
ticulars some useful inferences will be noted. 

Inference 1. From the first degree of Christ's humiliation, in 
submitting to be circumcised, and thereby obliging himself to ful- 
fil the whole law, it folio weth, that justice itself may set both hand 
and seal to the acquittances and discharges of believers. Christ 
hereby obliged himself to be the law's pay-master, to pay its utmost 
demand ; to bear that yoke of obedience that never any before him 
could bear. And as his circumcision obliged him to keep the whole 
law ; so he was most precise and punctual in the observation of it* : 
so exact, that the sharp eye of Divine Justice cannot espy the least 
flaw in it ; but acknowledges full payment, and stands ready to 
sign the believer a full acquittance. Rom. iii. 15. " That God 
" may be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus." 
Had not Christ been thus obliged, we had never been discharged. 
Had not his obedience been an intire, complete, and perfect thing, 
our justification could not have been so. He that hath a precious 
treasure, will be loth to adventure it in a leaky vessel : wo to the 
holiest man on earth, if the safety of his precious soul were to be 
adventured on the bottom of the best duty that ever he performed. 

* Justification is one individual perfect act, of which all, who are interested in it, 
partake equally. IKoleb, 


But Chlidfs obedience and righteousness is firm and sound j a bot- 
tom that we may safely adventure all in. 

Inf. 2. From the early flight of Christ into Egypt, we infer, 
That the greatest innocency and piety cannot exempt from persecu- 
tion and injury. Who more innocent than Christ Q And who more 
persecuted ? The world is the world still. " I have given them thy 
" word, and the world hath hated them," John xvii. 14. The 
world lies in wait as a thief for them that carry this treasure ; 
they who are empty of it may sing before him, he never stops 
them : but persecution follows piety, as the shadow doth the bod}-. 
2 Tim. iii. 12. " All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must 
" suffer persecution.' 1 Whosoever resolves to live holy, must never 
expect to live quietly. It is godliness, and godliness in Christ 
Jesus, i. e. such as is derived from Christ, true godliness ; and 
it is true godliness as it is manifested in practice. All that will live 
godly, that will exert holiness in their lives, which convinces and 
galls the consciences of the ungodly. It is this enrages, for there 
is an enmity and antipathy betwixt them : and this enmity runs 
in the blood ; and it is transmitted with it from generation to 
generation, Gal. iv. 29. " As then, he that was born after the 
flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit ; even so it is 
now." Mark, so it was, and so still it is. " * Cain's club is still 
" carried up and down crimsoned with the blood of Abe}," said 
Bucholtzer ; but thus it must be, to conform us unto Christ : and 
O that your spirits^ as well as your conditions, may better harmo- 
nize with Christ. He suffered meekly, quietly, and self-denyingly ; 
be ye like him. Let it not be said of you* as it is of the hypocrite, 
whose lusts are only hid, but not mortified by his duties, that he is 
like & flint, which seems cold; but if you strike him, he is all 
fiery. To do well, and suffer ill, is Christ-like. 

Inf. 3. From the third particular of Christ's humiliation, I infer, 
that such as are full of grace and holiness, may be destitute and, 
empty of creature-comforts. What an overflowing fulness of grace 
was there in Christ ? and yet to what a low ebb did his outward 
comforts sometimes fall ? and as it fared with him, so with many 
others now in glory with him, whilst they were in the way to that 
glory ; 1 Cor. iv. 11. " Even to this present hour, we both hunger, 
M and thirst, and are naked, and buffeted, and have no certain dwell- 
" ing-place." Their souls were richly clothed with robes of righte- 
ousness, their bodies naked or meanly clad. Their souls fed high, 
even on hidden manna, their bodies hungry. Let us be con- 
tent (saith Luther) with our hard fare ; for do we not feast with 
angels upon that bread of life? Remember, when wants pinch 

* Multi adhuc sunt, %ui clavem san^xdm Abelti rubentem tircumfcrunt. Bucholtz, 


hard, that these fix no marks of God's hatred upon you. He 
hath dealt no worse witli you than he did with his own Son. Nay, 
which of you is not better accommodated than Christ was ? If you 
be hungry or thirsty, you have some refreshments J you have beds 
to lie on ; the Son ot man had not where to lay his head ; the 
Heir of all things had sometimes nothing to eat. And remember 
you are going to a plentiful country, where all your wants will be 
supplied ; " poor in the world, rich in faith, and heirs of the 
" kingdom which God hath promised," James ii. 5. The mean- 
ness of your present, will add to the lustre of your future con- 

Inf. 4. From the fourth particular of Christ's humiliation in 
his life, by Satan's temptations, we infer, That those in wlwm 
Satan hath no interest, may have most trouble from him in this 
•zcorld, John xiv. 30. " The Prince of this world cometh, and hath 
* nothing in me. 1 ' Where he knows he cannot be a conqueror, he 
will not cease to be a troubler. This bold and daring spirit ad- 
ventures upon Christ himself; for doubtless he was filled with 
envy at the sight of him, and would do what he could, though to 
no purpose, to obstruct the blessed design in his hand. And it was 
the wisdom and love of Christ to admit him to come as near him 
as might be, and try all his darts upon him ; that by this experi- 
ence he might be filled with pity to succour them that are tempt- 
ed. And as he set on Christ, so much more will he adventure 
upon us ; and but too oft comes off a conqueror. Sometimes he 
shoots the fiery darts of blasphemous injections. These fall as 
flashes of lightning on the dry thatch, which instantly sets all in 
a combustion. And just so it is attended with an after thunder- 
clap of inward horror, that shivers the very heart, and strikes all 
into confusion within. 

Divers rules are prescribed in this case to relieve poor distressed 
ones. One adviseth to think seriously on that which is darted 
suddenly, and to do by your hearts as men used to do with young 
horses, that are apt to start and boggle at every thing in the way ; 
we bring them close to the things they fright at, make them look 
on them, and smell to them, that time and better acquaintance 
with such things, may teach them not to start. Others advise to 
diversions of the thoughts, as much as may be, to think quite ano- 
ther way. These rules are contrary to one another, and I think 
signify but little to the relief of a poor soul so distressed. 

The best rule, doubtless, is that of the apostle, Eph. vi. 16; 
" Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be 
" able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.' 1 Act your 
faith, my friends, upon your tempted Saviour, who passed through 

Vol. I, Q 


temptations before you : and particularly exercise faith on three 
tilings in Christ's temptations. 

1. Believingly consider, how great variety of temptations were 
tried upon Christ ; and of what a horrid blasphemous nature that 
was, Jail doom and worship me. 

g. Believingly consider, that Christ came off a perfect conqueror 
in the day of his trial, beat Satan out of the field. For he saw 
what he attempted on Christ was as impossible as to batter the body 
of the sun with snow-balls. 

8. Lastly, Believe that the benfits of those his victories and 
conquests are for you ; and that for your sakes he permitted the 
tempter to come so near him : as you find, Heb. ii. 18. 

Object. Heb. iv. 15. If you say, true, Christ was tempted as well 
as I ; but there is a vast difference betwixt his temptations and 
mine: for the prince of this world came, and found nothing in 
him, John xiv. 13. He was not internally defiled, though externally 
assaulted ; but I am defiled by them as well as troubled. 

Sol. This is a different case. True, it is so, and must be so, or 
else it had signified nothing to your relief. For had Christ been 
internally defiled, he had not been a fit Mediator for you; nor 
could you have had any benefit, either by his temptations, or suf- 
ferings for you. But he being tempted, and yet still escaping the 
defilement of sin, hath not only satisfied for the sins you commit 
when tempted, but also got an experimental sense of the misery of 
your condition, which is in him, (though now in glory) as a spring 
of pity and tender compassion to you. Remember, poor tempted 
Christian, " the God of peace shall shortly tread Satan under thy 
" feet," Rom. xvi. 20. Thou shalt set thy foot on the neck of 
that enemy : and as soon as both thy feet are over the threshold of 
glory, thou shalt cast back a smiling look, and say, now, Satan, do 
thy worst ; now I am there where thou canst not come. Mean 
while, till thou be out of his reach, let me advise thee to go to Jesus 
Christ, and open the matter to him ; tell him how that base 
spirit falls upon thee, yea, sets upon thee, even in his presence : in- 
treat him to rebuke and command him off: beg him to consider 
thy case, and say, Lord, dost thou remember how thy own heart 
was once grieved, though not defiled, by his assaults ? I have grief 
and guilt together upon me. Ah Lord, I expect pity and help 
from thee ; thou knowest the heart of a stranger, the heart of a 
poor and tempted one. This is singular relief in this case. O try it ! 

Inf. 5. Was Christ yet more humbled, by his own sympathy 
with others in their distresses ? Hence we learn, that a compassionate 
spirit, towards such as labour under burdens of sin, or afflic- 
tion, is Christ-like, and truly excellent: this was the Spirit of 
Christ : O be like him ! Put on as the elect of God, bowels of 


mercy, Col. iii. 12. " Weep with them that weep, and rejoice 
" with them that rejoice," Rom. xii. 15. It was Cain that said, 
" Am I my brother's keeper ?" Blessed Paul was of a contrary 
temper, 2 Cor. xi. 29. " Who is weak, and I am not weak ? Who 
is offended, and I burn not ?" Three things promote sympathy in 
Christians, one is the Lord's pity for them ; he doth as it were suf- 
fer with them ; " in all their afflictions he was afflicted * ;" Isa. 
lxiii. 9- Another is, the relation we sustain to God's afflicted 
people : they are members with us in one body, and the members 
should have the same care of one another, 1 Cor. xii. 25. The 
last is, we know not how soon ourselves may need from others, 
what others now need from us. " Restore him with the spirit of 
" meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted," Gal. 
vi. 1. 

Inf. 6. Did the world help on the humiliation of Christ by their 
base and vile usage of him ? Learn hence, that the judgment the 
world gives of* persons, and their worth, is little to be regarded. 
Surely it dispenses its smiles and honours very preposterously and 
unduly, in this respect, among others, the saints are styled persons, 
u of whom the world is not worthy," Heb. xi. 38. i. e. it doth not 
deserve to have such choice spirits as these are, left in it, since it 
knows not how to use or treat them. It was the complaint of 
f Salvian, above eleven hundred years ago ? " if any of the nobility 
" (saith he) do but begin to turn to God, presently he loseth the 
" honour of nobility ! O in how little honour is Christ anion «• 
" Christian people, when religion shall make a man ignoble ! So 
u that (as he adds) many are compelled to be evil, lest they should 
" be esteemed vile." And indeed, if the world gives us any help 
to discover the true worth and excellency of men by, it is by the 
rule of contraries, for the most part. Where it fixes its marks of 
hatred, we may usually find that which invites our respect and 
love. It should trouble us the less to be under the slights and dis- 
respects of a blind world. " I could be even proud upon it, (saith 
" | Luther) that I see I have an ill name from the world." And 
Jerom § " blessed God that counted him worthy to be hated of the 
" worlcl." Labour to stand right in the judgment of God, and 
trouble not thyself for the rash and headlong censures of men. Let 

* In all the afflictions, losses, and troubles that befal believers, Christ saith, Half 
mine : yea, he not only bears half, but all the burden, and more than all; for he bears 
us and our burdens too. O that more of his Spirit dwelt in his people. We are, or 
have been, or may be what he is. 

f Si quis ex nobilitate converti ad Deum cceperit, statim honorem nobilitatis amiltit. 
quantulus in Christiano populo honor Christi est ubi religio ignobilitatemfacit ! Salv. lib. 
4. de Gub. Dei. 

\ Superbusjio, quod video nomen pessimum mihi, crescere ; gaudeo rehellis dici. Luth, 

5 Gratias ego Deo meo, quod dignus sum, quern mundus oderit. Hieroa, 



wicked men, saith one. cut the throat of my credit, and do as 
they Bke best wil hen the wind of their calumnies, hath 

blown awav mv good name from me in the way to heaven, I know 
Christ wil v name out of the mire, and wash it, and restore 

it to me again. 

21 the whole of Christ's humiliation in his life, learn 
you to pass through all the troubles of your life with a contented, 
composed spirit, m Christ your fore-runner did. He wa? perseeu- 
ted, and bare it meekly : poor, and never murmured ; tempted, and 
never yielded to the temptation : :.nd reviled not again. 

When ye therefore pass through anv of these trials, look to Jesus, 
and consider him. See how he that passed through those things 
before you, managed himself in like circumstances ; yea, not only 
beat the way by his pattens, and example for you, but hath in every 
one of those conditions left a blessing behind him, for them that 
follow his steps. 

Thanks be to Godjbr Jesi. 


Q( CLnr.'s Humiliation unto Death, in his first preparative 

Act for it. 

Johx xvii. 11. 

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in tlie world ; and 
I come to thee : Holy Father, keep througfi thine own name, those 
whom thou hast given me; that tJiey may be one, as we are. 

▼ ▼ E now come to the last and lowest step of Christ's humilia- 
tion, which was in his submitting to death, even the death of 
the cross. Out of this death of Christ the life of our soul 
spnnes up; and in this blood of the cross, all our mercies swim to 
us. Ine blood 1 1 runs deep to some eyes ; the judicious 

believer sees multitudes, multitudes of inestimable blessings in it 
iris crimson fisJastsi ve to sit down ; and concerning the 

death of C rist, I shall take distinctly into consideration the pre- 
^tions made for it : the nature and quality of it ; the deportment 
1;: :.c.t •:.■-. 2'-. • :^ Jesus; titefimeral tolcmmtie* with which he 
was buried; and lastly, the blessed designs and glorious ends of liis 

The prepar I Iris death were six. Three on his own part, 

and three more by his enemies. The preparations made by himself 
for it, were the solemn recommendation of his friends to his Fa- 


ther ; the institution of a commemorative sign, to perpetuate and 
refresh the memory of his death in the hearts of his people, till he 
come again. And his pouring out his soul to God, by prayer in 
the garden ; which was the posture he cho^e to be found in, when 
they should apprehend him. 

This scripture contains the first preparative of Christ for death, 
whereby he sets his house in order, prays for his people, and 1 
ges them before he dies. The love of Christ was ever tender and 
strong to his people ; but the greatest manifestations of it was at 
parting. And this he manifested two ways especially ; viz. in leav- 
ing singular supports, and grounds of comfort with them in his 
heavenly sermon, in chap. xiv. xv. xvi. and in pouring out his soul 
most affectionately to the Father for them in this heavenly prayer, 
chap. xvii. In this prayer he gives them a specimen, or samp.-, 
that his glorious intercession-work, which he was just then going 
to perform in heaven for them. Here his heart overflowed, for 
he was now leaving them, and going to the Father. The last 
words of a dving man are remarkable, how much more a dying 
Saviour ? I shall not launch out into that blessed ocean of precious 
matter contained in this chapter, but take immediately into consi- 
deration the words that I read, wherein I find a weighty petition, 
strongly followed and set home with many mightv arguments. 

1. We have here Christ's petition, or request in behalf of his 
people, not only those on the place, but all others that then did, 
or afterwards should believe on him. And the sum of what he 
here requests for them is, that his Father would keep them through 
his name. Where you have both the mercy, and the means o 
taining it. The mercy is to be kept. Keeping implies danger. 
And there is a double danger obviated in this request ; danger in 
respect of sin, and danger in respect of ruin and destruction. To 
both these the people of God he open in this world. 

The means of their preservation from both is the name, i. e. the 
power of God. Tins name of the Lord is that •• strong tower to 
" which the righteous fly, and are safe,"* Frov. xviii. 10. Alas ! 
It is not vour own strength or wisdom that keeps you, but ft 
kept by the mighty power of God. This protecting power of ( 
doth not, however, exclude our care and diligence, but implies 
it ; therefore it is added, •* Ye are kept bv the mighty power of 
4 * God, through faith, unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 5. God keeps his 
people, and yet they are to keep themselves in the love of I 
Jude, ver. 21. to keep their hearts with all diligence, Prov. iv 
This is the sum of the petition. 

% The arguments with which he urgeth and presses on this re- 
quest, are drawn partly from his o:cn condition, u I am no. more in 
% * the world T i- * I ■* g° m g to °^ e i withki a verv few hours I 

Q 6 



shall be separated from them, in regard of my corporeal presence. 
Partly from their condition : " but these are in the world ;" i. e. I 
must leave them in the midst of danger ; and partly from the joint 
interest his Father and himself had in them; " Keep those' that 
" thou hast given me: 1 ' with several other most prevalent pleas, 
which, in their proper places, shall be anon produced, and display- 
ed, to illustrate and confirm this precious truth which this scripture 
affords us, 

Doct. That the fatherly care, and tender love of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, was eminently discovered in that pleading prayer he 
poured ontfor his people at his parting with them. 

It pertained to the priest and father of the family to bless the 
rest, especially when he was to be separated from them by death. 
This was a rite in Israel. When good Jacob was grown old, and 
the time was come that he should be gathered to his fathers, then 
u he blessed Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseth, saying, God, before 
" whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which 
" fed me all my life long unto this day, the angel which redeem- 
* ed me from all evil, bless the lads," Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. This 
was * a prophetical and patriarchal blessing : not that Jacob could 
bless as God blesses ; he could speak the words of blessing, but he 
knew the effect, the real blessing itself depended upon God. And 
though he blessed autlwritatively, yet not potestatively ; i e. he could 
as the mouth of God, pronounce blessings, but could not confer 
them -f\ Thus he blessed his children, as his father Isaac had also 
blessed him before he died, Gen. xxviii. 3. and all these blessings 
were delivered prayer-wise, 

Now when Jesus Christ comes to die, he will bless his children 
also, and therein will discover how much dear and tender love he 
had for them : (i Having loved his own, which were in the world, 
<< he loved them to the end," John xiii. 1. The last act of Christ 
in this world, was an act of blessing, Luke xxiv. 50, 51. 

To prepare this point for use, I will here open, First, The 
mercies which Christ requested of the Father for them. Secondly, 
The arguments used by him to obtain these mercies. Thirdly, Why 
he thus pleaded for them when he was to die, Fourthly, and last- 

* Jacob desired to bless his sons, not with a common, but with a prophetic and 
patriarchal blessing; for he knew that he only could speak the words, but the ef- 
fect depended on another : therefore lie sought the blessing from him, with whom 
speaking and doing are one and the same thing, i. e. God himself. Ainsworth in Inc. 

f Blessing is either potestative, which is to confer temporal blessings by a mere 
act of the will; or authoritative, which is, by virtue of one's office, to pray for, 
jnd to pronounce temporal or eternal blessings to be conferred by God,. Pareui. 


ly, How all this gives full evidence of Christ's tender care and love 
to his people. 

First, We will enquire what those mercies and special favours 
were, which Christ begged for his people, when he was to die. 
And, we find, among others, these five special mercies desired for 
them, in this context. 

1. The mercy of preservation, both from sin and danger : so in 
the text ; " Keep, through thine own name, those whom thou hast 
" given me :" which is explained, ver. 15. "I pray not that thou 
" shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep 
" them from the evil. 11 We, in ours, and the saints that are 
gone, in their respective generations, have reaped the fruit of this 
prayer. How else comes it to pass, that our souls are preserved 
amidst such a world of temptations, and these assisted and advan- 
taged by our own corruptions ? How is it else, that our persons are 
not ruined and destroyed amidst such multitudes of potent and 
malicious enemies, that are set on fire of hell ? Surely, the preser- 
vation of the burning bush, of the three children amidst the 
flames; of Daniel in the den of lions; are not greater wonders, 
than these our eyes do daily behold. As the fire would have cer- 
tainly consumed, and the lions, without doubt, have rended and 
devoured, had not God, by the interposition of his own hand, 
stopped and hindered the effect ; so would the sin that is in us, 
and the malice that is in others, quickly ruin our souls and bodies, 
were it not that the same hand guards and keeps us every moment. 
To that hand, into which this prayer of Christ delivered your souls 
and bodies, do you owe all your mercies and salvations, both tem- 
poral and spiritual. 

% Another mercy he prays for, is the blessing of union among 
themselves. This he joins immediately with the first mercy of pre- 
servation, and prays for it in the same breath, verse 11. " That 
" they may be one, as we are. 11 And well might he join them 
together in one breath ; for this union is not only a choice mercy 
in itself, but a special means of that preservation he had praved for 
before : their union with one another, is a special means to preserve 
them all. 

3. A third desirable mercy that Christ earnestly prayed for, was, 
that his "joy might be fulfilled in them, 11 verse 13. He would 
provide for their joy, even when the hour of his greatest sorrow 
was at hand ; yea, he would not only obtain joy for them, but a 
full joy : " that my joy might be fulfilled in them. 11 It is as if he 
had said, O my Father, I am to leave these dear ones in a world 
of troubles and perplexities ; I know their hearts will be subject to 
frequent despondencies ; O let me obtain the cordials of divine joy 



for them before I go : I would not only have them live, but live 
joyfully ; provide for fainting hours reviving cordials. 

4. And as » continued spring to maintain all the forementioned 
mercies, he prays " they all may be sanctified through the word 
" of truth, verse 17. i. e. more abundantly sanctified than yet they 
were, by a deeper radication of gracious habits and principles in 
their heart. This is a singular mercy in itself, to have holiness 
spreading itself over and through their souls, as the light of the 
morning. Nothing is in itself more desirable. And it is also a sin- 
gular help to their perseverance, union and spiritual joy, which 
he had prayed for before, and are all advanced by their increasing 

5. And lastly, as the complement and perfection of all desirable 
mercies, he prays, " that they may be with him, where he is, to 
" behold his glory," verse 24. This is the best and ultimate privi- 
lege they are capable of. The end of his coming down from hea- 
ven, and returning thither again, all runs into this, to bring many 
sons and daughters unto glory. You see Christ asks no trifles, no 
small things for his people; no mercies, but the best that both 
worlds afford, will suffice him on their behalf. 

Secondly -, Let us see hpw he follows his requests, and with what 
arguments he pleads with the Father for these things : and, among 
others, I shall single out six choice ones, which are urged in this 
text, or the immediate context. 

The first argument is drawn from the joint interest, that both 
himself, and his Father, have in their persons, for whom he prays, 
f* All mine are thine, and thine are mine," verse 10. As if he 
should say, Father, behold, and consider the persons I pray for, 
they are not aliens, but Christians : yea, they are thy children as 
well as mine ; the very same on whom thou hast set thy eternal 
love, and in that love hast given them to me ; so that they are both 
thine and mine : great is our interest in them, and interest draws 
care and tenderness. Every one cares for his own, provides for, 
and secures his own. Property, (even amongst creatures) is fun- 
damental to our labour, care, and watchfulness ; they would not 
so much prize life, health, estates, or children, if they were not 
their own, Lord these are thine own by many ties or titles : O 
therefore keep, comfort, sanctify, and save them, for they are 
thine. What a mighty plea is this ? Surely, Christians, your in- 
tercessor is skilful in his work, your advocate wants no eloquence 
or ability to plead for you. 

The second argument, and that a powerful one, treads as I may 
say, upon the very heel of the former, in the next words, " And 
" I am glorified in them ;" q. d. my glory and honour are infinite- 
ly dear to thee ; I know thy heart is entirely upon the exalting and 


glorifying of thy Son. Now, what glory have I in the world, but 
what conies from my people ? Others neither can, nor will glorify 
me; nay, I am daily blasphemed and dishonoured by them : these 
are they from whom my active glory and praise in the world must 
rise. It is true, both thou and I have glory from other creatures 
objectively ; the works that we have made, and imprest our power, 
wisdom and goodness upon, do so glorify us : and honour we have 
from our very enemies accidentally ; their verv wrath shall praise 
us: but for active and voluntary praise, whence conies this but 
from the people that were formed for that very purpose ? Should 
these then miscarry and perish, where shall my manifestative and 
active glory be ? and from whom shall I expect it ? So that here 
his property and glory are pleaded with the Father, to prevail for 
those mercies ; and they are both great, and valuable things with 
God. What dearer, what nearer to the heart of God ? 

Arg. 3. And yet, to make all fast and sure, he adds, in the be- 
ginning of this verse 11. a third argument, in these words, 
k * And now I am no more in the world. 11 Where Ave must consi- 
der the sense of it, as a proposition, and the force of it, as an ar- 
gument. This proposition, " I am no more in the world," is not 
to be taken simply and universally, as if, in no sense, Christ 
should be any more in this world : but only respectively, as to his 
corporeal presence ; this was, in a little time, to be removed from 
his people, which had been a sweet spring of comfort to them, in 
all their troubles. But now it might have been said to the pensive 
disciples, as the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, a little before 
Elijah's translation, " Know ye not that your master shall be taken 
" from your heads to-day ?" This comfortable enjoyment must 
be taken from them ; this is the sense. And here lies the ar- 
gument; Father, consider the sadness and trouble I shall leave 
my poor children under. Whilst I was with them, I was a sweet 
relief to their souls, whatever troubles they met with ; in all doubts, 
fears, and dangers, they could repair to me ; and in their straits 
and wants I still supplied them : they had my counsels to direct 
them, my reproofs to reduce them, and my comforts to support 
them ; yea, the very sight of me was an unspeakable joy and re- 
freshment to their souls : but now the hour is come, and I must 
be gone. All the comfort and benefit they had from my presence 
among them, is cut off: and, except thou do make up all this to 
them another way, what will become of these children, when their 
Father is gone ? What will be the case of the poor sheep, and ten- 
der lambs, when the shepherd is smitten ? Therefore, O my Fa- 
ther, look thou after them, see to them, for they are thine as well 
as mine ; I am glorified in them, and now leaving then), and re. 
moving out of this world from them. 


Arg. 4. And yet, to move and engage the Father's care and 
love for them, he subjoins another great consideration, in the very 
next words, drawn from the danger he leaves them in ; " But 
" these are in the world." The world is a sinful, infecting, and 
unquiet place ; it lies in wickedness : And a hard thing it will be 
for such poor, weak, imperfect creatures to escape the pollutions 
of it ; or, if they do, yet the troubles, persecutions, and strong op- 
positions of it they cannot escape. Seeing therefore I must leave 
thine own dear children, as well as mine, and those from whom 
the glory is to rise, in the midst of a sinful, troublesome, dangerous 
world, where they can neither move backward nor forward, with- 
out danger of sin or ruin : O, since the case stands so, look after 
them, provide for them, and take special care for them all. Con- 
sider who they are, and where I leave them. They are thy chil- 
dren, to be left in a strange country ; thy soldiers, in the enemies 
quarters ; thy sheep, in the midst of wolves ; thy precious treasure, 
among thieves. 

Arg. 5. And yet he hath not done, for he resolves to strive 
hard for the mercies he had asked, and will not come off with a 
denial ; and therefore adds another argument in the next words, 
And I come to thee. As his leaving them was an argument, so his 
coming to the Father is a mighty argument also. There is much 
in these words, / come to thee. [/,] thy beloved Son, in which thy 
soul delighteth ; I, to whom thou never deniedst any thing. It is 
not a stranger, but a son ; not an adopted, but thine only begotten 
Son. It is I that [co???e.] I am now coming to thee apace, my Fa- 
ther. I come to thee swimming through a bloody ocean. I come, 
treading every step of my way to thee in blood, and unspeakable 
sufferings ; and all this for the sake of those dear ones I now pray 
for ; yea, the design and end of my coming to thee, is for them. I 
am coming to heaven in the capacity of an advocate, to plead 
with thee for them. And I come to [Thee] my Father, and their 
Father ; my God, and their God. Now then, since I, that am so 
dear, come through such bitter pangs, to thee, so dear, so tender- 
hearted a Father ; and all this on their score and account : Since I 
do but now, as it were, begin, or give them a little taste of that 
intercession- work, which I shall live for ever to perform for them 
in heaven ; Father, hear, Father, grant what I request. O give 
a comfortable earnest of those good things which I am coming to 
thee for, and which I know thou wilt not deny me. 

Arg. 6. And, to close up all, he tells the Father how careful he 
had been to observe, and perform that trust which was committed 
to him ; " While I was with them in the world, I kept them in 
" thy name ; those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of 
" them is lost, but the son of perdition," ver. l& 


And thus lies the argument : Thou committedst to me a certain 
number of elect souls, to be redeemed by me ; I undertook the 
trust, and said, if any of these be lost, at my hand let them be re- 
quired, I will answer for them every one to thee. In pursuance 
of which trust, I am now here on the earth, in a body of flesh. 
I have been faithful to a point. I have redeemed them (for he 
speaks of that as finished and done, which was now ready to be 
done) I have kept them also, and confirmed them hitherto ; and now, 
Father, I commit them to thy care. Lo, here they are, not one 
is lost, but the son of perdition, who was never given. With how 
great care have I been careful for them ! O let them not fail now ; 
let not one of them perish. 

Thus you see what a nervous, argumentative, pleading prayer 
Christ poured out to the Father for them at parting. 

Thirdly, The next enquiry is, why he thus prayed and pleaded 
with God for them, when he was to die ? 

And certainly it was not because the Father was unwilling to 
grant the mercies he desired for them : No, they came not with 
difficulty, nor were they wrestled by mere importunity, out of the 
hand of an unwilling and backward person. For, he tells us, 
John vi. 27. " The Father himself loveth you,'" i. e. he is propense 
enough of his own accord to do you good. But the reasons of 
this exceeding importunity, are, 

1. He foresaw a great trial then at hand; yea, and all the after- 
trials of his people as well as that. He knew how much they would 
be sifted, and put to, in that hour, and power of darkness, that was 
coming. He knew their faith would be shaken, and greatly stag- 
gered by the approaching difficulties, when they should see their 
Shepherd smitten, and themselves scattered, the Son of man deliver- 
ed into the hands of sinners, and the Lord of life hang dead upon 
the tree, yea, sealed up in the grave. He foresaw what straits his 
poor people would fall into, betwixt a busy devil, and a bad heart ; 
therefore he prays and pleads with such importunity and ardency 
for them, that they might not miscarry. 

2. He was now entering upon his intercession-work in heaven, 
and he was desirous in this prayer to give us a specimen, or sam- 
ple, of that part of his work, before he left us ; that by this we 
might understand what he would do for us, when he should be 
out of sight. For this being his last prayer on earth, it shews us 
what affections and dispositions he carried hence with him, and sa- 
tisfies us, that he who was so earnest with God on our behalf, 
such a mighty pleader here, will not forget us, or neglect our 
concerns in the other world. Yet, reader, I would have thee 
always remember, that the intercession of Christ in heaven is car- 
ried much higher than this ; it is performed in a way more suitable 


to that state of honour to which he is now exalted. Here he used 
prostrations of body, cries and tears in his prayers : there, his in- 
tercession is carried in a more majestic way, and with more state, 
becoming an exalted Jesus. But yet in this he hath left us a spe- 
cial assistance, to discover much of the frame, temper, and work- 
ing of his heart, now in heaven towards us. 

3. And lastly, he would leave this as a standing monument of 
his father-like care, and love to his people, to the end of the 
world. And for this it is conceived Christ delivered this prayer so 
publicly, not withdrawing from the disciples to be private with 
God, as he did in the garden ; but he delivers it in their pre- 
sence, " These things which I speak in the world," ver, 13. This 
jfac&qtfae, with the circumstances of place, [i?i the zcorld~\, doth 
plainly speak it to be a public prayer. And not only was it pub- 
licly delivered, but it was also, by a singular providence, recorded 
at large by John, though emitted by the other evangelists ; that so 
it might stand to all generations, for a testimony of Christ's tender 
care and love to his people. 

Fourthly, If you ask how this gives evidence of Christ's tender 
care and love to his people ? which is the last enquiry ; I answer, 
in few words, for the thing is plain and obvious ; it appears in 
these two particulars. 

1. His love and care was manifested in the choice of mercies for 
them. He doth not pray for health, honour, long life, riches, 
&c. but for their preservation from sin, spiritual joy in God, sanc- 
tification and eternal glory. No mercies but the very best in God's 
treasure will content him. He was resolved to get all the best 
mercies for his people ; the rest he is content should be dispensed 
promiscuously by Providence : but these he will settle as an heri- 
tage upon his children. O see the love of Christ ! look over all 
your spiritual inheritance in Christ, compare it with the richest, 
fairest, sweetest inheritance on earth ; and see what poor things 
these are to yours. O the care of a dear father J O the love of a 
tender Saviour ! 

2. Besides, what an evidence of his tenderness to you, and great 
care for you, was this, that he should so intently, and so affection- 
ately mind, and plead your concerns with God, at such a time 
as this was, even when a world of sorrow encompassed him on 
every side ; a cup of wrath mixed, and ready to be delivered into 
his hand : at that very time when the clouds of wrath grew black, 
a storm coming, and such as he never felt before ; when one would 
have thought, all his care, thoughts, and diligence, should have 
been employed on his own account, to mind his own sufferings ? 
No, he doth as it were forget his own sorrows, to mind our peace 
and comfort. O love unspeakable ! 


Corollary 1. If this be so, that Christ so eminently discovered hi* 
care and love for his people, in this his parting hour ; then hence 
we conclude, The perseverance of the saints is unquestionable*. Do 
you hear how he pleads ! how he begs ! how he fills his mouth 
with arguments ! how he chuseth his words, and sets them in or- 
der, how he winds up his spirit to the very highest pitch of zeal 
and fervency ? and can you doubt of success ? Can such a Father 
deny the importunity, and strong reasonings and pleading of such 
a Son ; O, it can never be ! he cannot deny him : Christ hath the 
art and skill of prevailing with God : He hath (as in this ap- 
pears) the tongue of the learned. If the heart or hand of God 
were hard to be opened, yet this would open them ; but when the 
Father himself loves us, and is inclined to do us good, who can 
doubt of Christ's success ? " That which is in motion, is the more 
" easily moved ■J*.* The cause Christ manageth in heaven for us is 
just and righteous. The manner in which he pleads is powerful, 
and therefore the success of his suit is unquestionable. 

The apostle professeth, 2 Cor. i. 3. " We can do nothing against 
u the truth." He means it in regard of the bent of his heart J ; 
he could not move against truth and righteousness. And if a 
holy man cannot, much less will a holy God. If Christ undertake 
to plead the cause of his people with the Father, and use his ora- 
tory with him, there is no doubt of his prevailing. Every word 
in this prayer is a chosen shaft, drawn to the head by a strong and 
skilful hand ; you need not question but it goes home to the white, 
and hits the mark aimed at. Doth he pray, " Father, keep, 
" through thine own name, those thou hast given me ?" Sure 
they shall be kept, if all the power in heaven can keep them. O 
think on this, when dangers surround your souls or bodies, when 
fears and doubts are multiplied within: when thou art ready to 
say in thy haste, All men are liars, I shall one day perish by the 
hand of sin or Satan ; think on that encouragement Christ gave 
to Peter, Luke xxii. 31. " I have prayed for thee." 

Corollary 2. Again, hence we learn, that argumentative prayers 
are excellent prayers. The strength of every thing is in its joints ; 
there lies much of the strength of prayer also : how strongly joint- 
ed, how nervous and argumentative was this prayer of Christ. 
Some there are indeed, that think we need not argue and plead 
in prayer with God, but only present the matter of our prayers to 
him, and let Christ alone (whose office it is) to plead with the Fa- 

* By this, that observation is crossed ; Nemo diu tutus, purkulo jrroximus : None 
can be long safe, that dwells near to danger : for hereby they are safe in the midst 
of danger. 

f Quicquid est in motu, facile movetur. 

j We can do that, which we can do justly. 


ther ; as if Christ did not present our pleas and arguments, as well 
as simple desires to God ; as if the choicest part of our prayers 
must be kept backj because Christ presents our prayers to God. 
No, no, Christ's pleading is one thing, ours another : " * His and 
" ours are not opposed, but subordinate ;" his pleading doth not 
destroy, but makes ours successful. God calls us to plead with 
him, Isa. i. 18. " Come now let us reason together.' 1 " God (as 
u one *f* observes) reasoneth with us by his word and providences 
" outwardly, and by the motions of his Spirit inwardly : but we 
" reason with him by framing (through the help of his Spirit) cer- 
" tain holy arguments, grounded upon allowed principles, drawn 
" from his nature, name, word, or works. 11 And it is condemn- 
ed as a very sinful defect in professors, that they did not plead the 
church's cause with God ; Jer. xxx. 13. " There is none to plead 
" thy cause that thou mayest be bound up. 11 What was Jacob's 
wrestling with the angel, but his holy pleading and impor- 
tunity with God? and how well it pleased God, let the event 
speak, Gen. xxxii. 24. Hos. xii. 4. " As a prince he prevailed, 
" and had power with God." On which instance, a Worthy J 
thus glosseth : " Let God frown, smite or wound, Jacob is at a 
" point, a blessing he came for, and a blessing he will have ; " I 
" will not let thee go, (saith he) unless thou bless me." His limbs, 
" his life might go, but there is no going from Christ without a 
" pawn, without a blessing." This is the man, now what is his 
speed ? The Lord admires him, and honours him to all genera- 
tions. " W T hat is thy name ?" saith he ; q. d. I never met with 
such a man, titles of honour are not worthy of thee : thou shalt 
be called, not Jacob a shepherd with men, but Jacob a prince with 
God. Nazianzen said of his sister Gorgonia, That she was mo- 
destly impudent with God ; there was no putting her off with a 
denial. The Lord, on this account, hath honoured his saints with 
the title of, His recorders ||, men fit to plead with him, as that word 
[masVir] signifies : Isa. lxii. 6. " Ye that make mention of the 
" Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest." It notes the office 
of him that recorded all the memorable matters of the king, and 
used to suggest seasonable items and memorandums of things to be 

By these holy pleadings, " the King is held in his galleries," as 
it is Cant. vii. 5. I know we are not heard, either for our much 
speaking, or our excellent speaking ; it is Christ's pleading in hea- 
ven, that makes our pleading on earth available : but yet surely, 
when the Spirit of the Lord shall suggest proper arguments in 

* Subordi?iata non pugnant. f Mr. Corbet, of Prayer. 

\ Dr. Harris, in his Sermon on Luke xviii. 6, 7, 8. 

[i C^TOfftn Rememorantcs, vel % qui nmnistifaciunt res Domini, Mont. 


prayer, and help the humble suppliant to press them home belie v- 
lngly and affectionately *, when he helps us to weep and plead, 
to groan and plead, God is greatly delighted in such prayers. 
" Thou hast said, I will surely do thee good," said Jacob, Gen. 
xxxii. 12. It is thine own free promise ; I did not go on mine 
own head, but thou badest me go, and encouragedst me with this 
promise. O this is pleasing to God, when by his spirit of adop- 
tion we can come to God, crying, Abba Father ; Father, hear, 
forgive, pity, and help me. Am I not thy child, thy son, or 
daughter ? To whom may a child be bold to go, with whom may 
a child have hope to speed, if not with his father ? Father, hear 
me. The fathers of our flesh are full of bowels, and pity their 
children, and know how to give good things to them, when they 
ask them. When they ask bread or clothes, will they deny them ? 
And is not the Father of spirits more full of bowels, more full of 
pity ? Father, hear me. This is that kind of prayer, which is 
melody in the ears of God. 

Corollary 3. Wltat an excellent pattern is here, for all that hav6 
the charge and government of others committed to them, whether ma- 
gistrates, ministers, or parents, to teach them liow to acquit them- 
selves towards their relations, when they come to die ? 

Look upon dying Jesus, see how his care and love to his people 
flamed out, when the time of his departure was at hand. Surely, 
as we are bound to remember our relations every day, and to lay 
up a stock of prayers for them in the time of our health, so it be- 
comes us to imitate Christ in our earnestness with God for them, 
when we die. Though we die, our prayers die not with us : they 
out-live us, and those we leave behind us in the world, may reap 
the benefit of them, when we are turned to dust. 

For my own part, I must profess before the world, that I have 
a high value for this mercy, and do, from the bottom of my heart, 
bless the Lord, who gave me a -religious and tender father -f-, who 
often poured out his soul to God for me : he was one that was in- 
wardly acquainted with God ; and being full of bowels to his chil- 
dren, often carried them before the Lord, prayed and pleaded with 
God for them, wept and made supplications for them. This stock 
of prayers and blessings left by him before the Lord, I cannot but 
esteem above the fairest inheritance on earth. O it is no small 
mercy to have thousands of fervent prayers lying before the Lord, 
filed up in heaven for us. And O that we would all be faithful to 

* The heart cries to God more by groans than by words, and more by tears than by 
speaking. Aug. Mr. R. A. vind. 

f Mr. Richard Flavel, a faithful and laborious preacher of the gospel, at Haseler 
in Warwickshire, and afterwards in Wiilersay in Gloucestershire, now with God. 


this duty f surely our love, especially to the souls of our relations, 
should not grow cold when our breath doth. O that we would 
remember this duty in our lives, and, if God give opportunity and 
ability, fully discharge it when we die ; considering, as Christ did, 
we shall be no more, but they are in this world, in the midst of a 
defiled, tempting, troublesome world ; it is the last office of love 
that ever we shall do for them. After a little while we shall be 
no longer sensible how it is with them ; for, (as the church speaks 
Isa. lxiii. 16. " Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel acknow- 
*' ledgeth us not") what temptations and troubles may befal them, 
we do not know. O imitate Christ your pattern. 

Corolla?-?/ 4. To conclude ; Hence we may see^ what a high es* 
teem and precious value Christ hath of believers ; this was the trea- 
sure which he could not quit, he could not die till he had secured 
it in a safe hand : " I come unto thee, holy Father, keep through 
" thine own name those whom thou hast given me. fl 

Surely believers are dear to Jesus Christ ; and good reason, for 
he hath paid dear for them : let his dying language, this last fare- 
well, speak for him, how he prized them. The Lord's portion 
" is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance," Deut. xxxii. 9* 
" they are a peculiar treasure to him, above all the people of the 
" earth," Exod. xix. 5. What is much upon our hearts when 
we die, is dear to us indeed. O how precious, how dear should 
Jesus Christ be to us ! Were we first and last upon his heart ; did 
he mind us, did he pray for us, did he so wrestle with God about 
us, when the sorrows of death compassed him about ? How much 
are we engaged, not only to love him, and esteem him, whilst 
we live, but to be in pangs of love for him, when we feel the 
pangs of death upon us ! to be eyeing him, when our eye-strings 
break! To have hot affections for Christ, when our hands and 
feet grow cold ! The very last whisper of our departing souls should 
be this, ♦ 

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ 



The second preparative Act of Christ for his own Death, 

1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25, 

*-The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took 
bread : and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, 
eat ; this is my body, which is broken for you ; this do in remenu 
brance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when 
he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my 
blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 

V^HRIST had no sooner recommended his dear charge to the 
Father, but (the time of his death hastening on) he institutes his 
last supper, to be the lasting memorial of his death, in all the 
churches, until his second coming; therein graciously providing 
for the comfort of his people, when he should be removed out of 
their sight. And this was the second preparative act of Christ, in 
order to his death : he will set his house in order, and then die. 

This his second act manifests no less love than the former. It is 
like the plucking off the ring from his finger, when ready to lay 
his neck upon the block, and delivering it to his dearest friends, 
to keep that as a memorial of him : " Take this, fyc. in remem- 
" brance of me." 

In the words read, are four things noted by the apostle, about 
this last and lovely act of Christ, viz. the Author, Time, Institution, 
and End of this holy, solemn Ordinance. 

1. The author of it*, The Lord Jesus: It is an effect of his 
lordly power, and royal authority; Matth. xxviii. 18. "And Jesus 
• came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto 
" me in heaven and earth : Go ye therefore." The government 
is upon his shoulders, Isa. ix. 6. He shall bear the glory, Zech. 
vi. 13. Who but he that came out of the bosom of the Father, 
and is acquainted with all the counsels that are there, knows what 
will be acceptable to God ? And who but he can give creatures, 
by his blessing, their sacramental efficacy and virtue ? Bread and 
wine are naturally fit to refresh and nourish our bodies ; but what 
fitness have they to nourish souls ? Surely none, but what they 
receive from the blessing of Christ that institutes them. 

2. The Time when the Lord Jesus appointed this ordinance. 
" In the same night in which he was betrayed :" it could not be 
sooner, because the passover must first be celebrated ; nor later, for 

* The authority of him who gives the precept, is the reason of the precept. 

Vol. I. R 


that night he was apprehended. It is therfore emphatically ex- 
pressed iv rr\ wxrt, in that same night, that night for ever to be re- 
membered. He gives, that night, a cordial draught to his disciples 
before the conflict : he settles, that night, an ordinance in the 
church, for the confirmation and consolation of his people, in all 
generations, to the end of the world. By instituting it that night, 
he gives abundant evidence of his care for his people, in spending 
so much of that little, very little, time he had left, on their ac- 

3. The Institution itself; in which we have the memorative, 
significative, instructive signs> and they are bread and wine ; and 
the glorious mysteries represented and shadowed forth by them, 
viz. Jesus Christ crucified; the proper New-Testament nourish- 
ment of believers. Bread and wine are choice creatures, and do 
excellently shadow forth the flesh and blood of crucified Jesus; 
and that both, in their natural usefulness, and manner of prepa- 
ration. Their usefulness is very great ; bread is a creature neces- 
sary to uphold and maintain our natural life ; therefore it is called 
the staff of bread, Isa. hi. 1. because as a feeble man depends and 
leans upon his staff, so do our feeble spirits upon bread. Wine 
was made to cheer the heart of man, Judg. xi. 13. They are 
both useful and excellent creatures ; their preparations, to become 
so useful to us, are also remarkable. The corn must be ground 
in the mill, the grapes torn and squeezed to pieces in the wine- 
press, before Ave can either have bread or wine. And when all 
tliis is done, they must be received into the body, or they nourish 
not. So that these were very fit creatures to be set apart for this 
use and end. 

If any object, It is true, they are good creatures, but not pre- 
cious enough to be the signs of such profound and glorious myste- 
ries : it was worth creating a new creature, to be the sign of the 
new covenant. 

Let him that thus objects, ask himself, whether nothing be pre- 
cious without pomp ? The preciousness of these elements is not so 
much from their own natures, as their use and end; and that 
makes them precious indeed. A loadstone at sea is much more ex- 
cellent than # diamond, because more useful. A penny-worth of 
wax applied to the label of a deed, and sealed, may in a minute 
have its value raised to thousands of pounds. These creatures re- 
ceive their value and estimation on a like account. Nor should it 
at all remain a wonder to thee, why Christ should represent him- 
self by such mean and common things, when thou hast well con- 
sidered that the excellency of the picture, is its similitude and 
conformity to the original ; and that Christ was in a low, sad, and 
Very abased state, when this picture of him was drawn ; he was 


then a man of sorrows. These then, as lively signs, shadow forth 
a crucified Jesus, represent him to us in his red garments. This 
precious ordinance may much more than Paul, say to us, " I al- 
" ways bear about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus :* 
That is the thing it signifies. 

4. Lastly take notice of the use, design, and end of this institu- 
tion. E/g rqv s/inv umpvyttv, in remembrance, or for a memorial of 
me. O there is much in this ; Christ knew how apt our base 
hearts would be to lose him, amidst such a throng of sensible objects 
as we here converse with ; and how much that forgetfulness of 
him and of his sufferings, would turn to our prejudice and loss ; 
therefore doth he appoint a sign to be remembered by : " As oft as 
" you do this, ye shew forth the Lord's death till he come." 
Hence we observe, suitable to the design of this discourse, 

Doct. That ike sacramental memorial Christ left with his people, 
is a special mark of his care and love for them *. 

What ! To order his picture (as it were) to be drawn when he 
was dying* to be left with his spouse ! To rend his own flesh, and 
get abroach his own blood to be meat and drink for our souls ! O 
what manner of love was this ! It is true, his picture in the sacra- 
ment is full of scars and wounds : but these are honourable scars, 
and highly grace and commend it to his spouse, for whose dear sake 
he here received them. 

" They are marks of love and honour f.' n And he would be 
so drawn, or rather he so drew himself, that as oft as his people 
looked upon the portraiture of him, they might remember, and 
be deeply affected with those things he here endured for their 
sakes. These are the wounds my dear husband Jesus received for 
me. These are the marks of that love which passes the love of 
creatures. O see the love of a Saviour! This is that heavenly 
Pelican that feeds his young with his own blood. We have read 
of pitiful and tender women that have eaten the flesh of their own 
children, Lam. iv. 10. But where is that woman recorded, that 
gave her own flesh and blood to be meat and drink to her chil- 
dren ? Surely the spouse may say of the love of Christ, what Da- 
vid in his lamentations, said of the love of Jonathan, " Thy love 
•* to me was wonderful, passing the love of women* But to pre- 
pare the point to be meat indeed, and drink indeed to thy soul, I 

* Our Lord, while in life, for commemorating his death, ordered the cele- 
brating of a representation of his sacrifice. Aug. 
| Heec sunt insignia laudis. 


shall discuss briefly these three things, and hasten to the applica- 

First, What it is to remember the Lord Jesus in the sacrament. 

Secondly, What aptitude there is in that ordinance, so to bring 
him to our remembrance. 

Thirdly, How the care and love of Christ is discovered, by leaving 
such a memorial of himself with us. 

* Remembrance, properly, is the return of the mind to an ob- 
ject, about which it hath been formerly conversant ; and it may so 
return to a thing, it hath conversed with before, two ways ; specu- 
latively and transiently ; or affectingly, and permanently. A spe- 
culative remembrance, is only to call to mind the historyof such a per- 
son, and his sufferings : that Christ was once put to death in the flesh. 
An affectionate remembrance, is when we so call Christ and his death 
to our minds, as to feel the powerful impressions thereof upon our 
hearts. Thus, Mat. xxvi. 75. " Peter remembered the word of 
" the Lord, and went out, and wept bitterly ." His very heart 
was melted with that remembrance ; his bowels were pained, he 
could not hold, but went out and wept abundantly. Thus Joseph, 
when he saw his brother Benjamin, whose sight refreshed the me- 
mory of former days and endearments, was greatly affected, Gen. 
xliii. 29, 30. " And he lift up his eyes, and saw his brother Ben- 
" jamin, his mother's son : and said, Is this your younger brother, 
" of whom ye spake to me ? and he said, God be gracious to 
" thee ray son. And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yern 
*! upon his brother, and he sought where to weep ; and he enter- 
u ed into his chamber, and wept there." Such a remembrance of 
Christ is that which is here intended. This is indeed a gracious 
remembrance of Christ : the former hath nothing of grace in it. 
The time shall come when Judas that betrayed him, and the 
Jews that pierced him, shall historically remember what was done ; 
Rev. i. 7. " Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall 
" see him ; and they also which pierced him ; and all kindreds of 
" the earth shall wail because of him." Then I say, Judas shall 
remember ; This is he whom I perfidiously betrayed. Pilate shall 
remember ; This is he whom I sentenced to be hanged on the tree, 
though I was convinced of his innocency. Then the soldiers shall 
remember ; This is that face we spit upon, that head we crowned 
with thorns ; Lo, this is he whose side we pierced, whose hands 
and feet we once nailed to the cross. But this remembrance will 
be their torment, not their benefit. It is not therefore a bare his- 

* Memory is a power of renewing and recollecting those ideas, which formerly 
were impressed, but -afterwards vanished ; it is called by one name, Remembrance. 
Keckarman. Synt. Phys. 1. 4. c. 6. p. [mini] 556 . 


torical, speculative, but a gracious, affectionate, impressive remem- 
brance of Christ, that is here intended : and such a remembrance 
of Christ supposes and includes, 

1. The saving knowledge of him. We cannot be said to re- 
member what we never knew ; nor to remember, savingly, what 
we never knew savingly. There have been many previous, sweet 
and gracious transactions, dealings, and intimacies betwixt Christ 
and his people, from the time of their first happy acquaintance 
with him : much of that sweetness they have had in former consi- 
derations of him, and hours of communion with him, is lost and 
gone ; for nothing is more volatile, hazardous, and inconstant, 
than our spiritual comforts : but now at the Lord's table, there our 
old acquaintance is renewed, and the remembrance of his good- 
ness and love refreshed and revived : " We will remember thy 
" love more than wine ; the upright love thee," Cant. i. 4. 

2. Such a remembrance of Christ includes faith in it. With- 
out discerning Christ at a sacrament, there is no remembrance of 
him ; and, without faith, no discerning Christ there. But when 
the precious eye of faith hath spied Christ, under that vail, it pre- 
sently calls up the affections, saying, " Come see the Lord." These 
are the wounds he received from me. This is he that loved me, 
and gave himself for me. This is his flesh, and that his blood ; 
He oculus, sic Me manus, &c. so his arms were stretched out upon 
the cross to embrace me ; so his blessed head hung down to kiss me. 
Awake my love, rouse up my hope, flame out my desires ; Come 
forth, O all ye powers and affections of my soul ; come, see the 
Lord. No sooner doth Christ by his Spirit call to the believer but 
faith hears; and discerning the voice, turns about, like Mary, 
saying, Rabboni, my Lord, my Master. 

3. This remembrance of Christ includes suitable impressions 
made upon the affections, by such a sight and remembrance of 
him : and therein lies the nature of that precious thing which 
we call communion with God. Various representations of Christ 
are made at his table. Sometimes the soul there calls to mind the 
infinite wisdom, that so contrived and laid the glorious and myste- 
rious design and project of redemption : the effect of this is wonder 
and admiration, O the manifold wisdom of God ! Eph. iii. 10. 
O the depths, the heighths, the length, the breadth of this wis- 
dom ! I can as easily span the heavens as take the just dimensions 
of it. Sometimes a representation of the severity of God is made 
to the soul at that ordinance. O how inflexible and severe is 
the justice of God ! What, no abatement ! no sparing mercy ; 
no, not to his own Son ? This begets a double impression on the 



(1.) Just and deep indignations against sin * Oh cursed sin ! It 
was thou usedst my dear Lord so ; for thy sake he underwent all 
this. If thy vileness had not been so great, his sufferings had not 
been so many. Cursed sin ! thou wast the knife that stabbed him : 
thou the sword that pierced him. Ah what revenge it Avorks ! I 
remembered that it is storied of one of the kings of France, that 
hearing the bishop (as I remember it was Remegius) read the his- 
tory of Christ's trial and execution, and hearing how barbarously 
they had used him, he was moved, with so tragical and pathetical 
a history, to great indignation against Pilate, the Jews, and the 
rude and bloody soldiers, and could not contain himself, but cried 
out, as the bishop was reading, " O that I had been there with 
" my Frenchmen, I would have cut all their throats who so bar- 
*< barously used my Saviour. 1 ' 

To allude to this : when the believer considers and remembers, 
that sin put Christ to all that shame and ignominy, and that he 
was wounded for our transgressions, he is filled with hatred of sin, 
and cries out, O sin, I will revenge the blood of Christ upon thee ! 
thou shalt never live a quiet hour in my heart. And, 

(2.) It produces an humble adoration of the goodness and 
mercy of God, to exact satisfaction for our sins, by such bloody 
stripes, from our surety. Lord, if this wrath had seized on me, 
as it did on Christ, what had been my condition then ! If these 
things were done in the green tree, what had been the case of the dry 

Sometimes representations -[-, (and not common ones), are made 
of the love of Christ, who assumed a body and soul, on purpose 
to bear the wrath of God for our sins. And when that surpassing 
love breaks out in its glory upon the souls, how is the soul trans- 
ported and ravished with it ! crying out, what manner of love is 
this ! here is a love large enough to go round the heavens, and 
the heaven of heavens ! Who ever loved after this rate, to lay 
down his life for enemies ! O love inutterable and inconceivable ! 
How glorious is my love in his red garments ! Sometimes the fruits 
of his death are there gloriously displayed ; even his satisfaction 
for sin, and the purchase his blood made of the eternal inheri- 
tance s And this begets thankfulness and confidence in the soul. 
Christ is dead, and his death hath satisfied for my sin. Christ is 
dead, therefore my soul shall never die. Who shall separate me 
from the love of God ? These are the fruits, and this is the nature 
of that remembrance of Christ here spoken of. 

* Great is the bitterness of sin, which caused so much bitterness of suffering, 

f When you look to the Lord, do you think yourself conversant among mortals, 
and not rather transported, as it were, instantly into heaven. Ckrysost. horn. I. 5. 


Secondly, Wheat aptitude or condecency is there in this ordinance, 
to bring Christ so to remembrance ? 

Much every way * ; for it is a sign, by him appointed to that 
end, and hath (as divines well observe) a threefold use and consi- 
deration, viz. as it is memorative, signifiedtive, and instructive. 

1. As it is memorative, and so it hath the nature and use of a 
pledge or token of love, left by a dying to a dear surviving friend. 
And so the sacrament, as was said before, is like a ring pluckt off 
from Christ's finger, or a bracelet from his arm; or rather his 
picture from his breast, delivered to us with such words as these ; 
" As oft as you look on this, remember me ; let this help to keep 
" me alive in your remembrance when I am gone, and out of your 
< c sight." It induces to it also, 

2. As it is a signr/icaiive sign, most aptly signifying both his 
bitter sufferings for us, and our strict and intimate union with him ; 
both which have an excellent usefulness to move the heart, and its 
deepest affections, at the remembrance of it. The breaking of the 
bread, and shedding forth the wine, signify the former ; our eating, 
drinking, and incorporating them, is a lively signification of the 

3. Moreover, this ordinance hath an excellent use and advan- 
tage for this affectionate remembrance of Christ, as it is an instruc- 
tive sign. And it many ways instructs us, and enlightens our 
mind, particularly in these truths, which are very affecting things. 

1. That Christ is the bread on which our souls live, proper meat 
and drink for believers, the most excellent New-Testament food. 
It is said, Psal. lxxviii. 25. " Man did eat angels food :" he means 
the manna that fell from heaven, which was so excellent, that if 
angels, who are the noblest creatures, did live upon material food, 
they would choose this above all to feed on. And yet this was but 
a type and weak shadow of Christ, on whom believers feed. 
Christ makes a royal feast of his own flesh and blood, Isa. xxv. 6. 
all our delicates are in him. 

2. It instructs us that the New Testament is now in its full force, 
and no substantial alteration can be made in it, since the testator 
is dead, and by his death hath ratified it. So that all the excellent 
promises and blessings of it are now fully confirmed to the believ- 
ing soul, Heb. ix. 16, 17. All these, and many more choice truths, 
ace we instructed in by this sign : And all these ways it remembers 
us of Christ, and helps powerfully to raise, warm, and affect our 
hearts with that remembrance of him. 

* As oft as this supper is celebrated, so oft Christ, as it were, is beheld dying on the 
cross. Aug. in Fsal. xxi. 



Thirdly, The last enquiry is, How Christ hath, hereby, left such 
a special mark of his care for, and love to his people. And that 
will evidently appear, if you consider these five particulars. 

1. This is a special mark of the care and love of Christ, in as 
much as hereby he hath made abundant provision for the confir- 
mation and establishment of the faith of his people to the end of 
the world. For this being an evident proof that the New Testa- 
ment is in its full force, (Matth. xxvi. 28. " This is the cup of 
" the New Testament in my blood,") it tends as much to our 
satisfaction, as the legal execution of a deed, by which we hold and 
enjov our estate. So that when he saith, Take, eat, it is as much 
as if God should stand before you at the table with Christ, and all 
the promises in his hand ; and say, / deliver this to thee as my deed. 
What think you, doth this promote and confirm the faith of a be- 
liever ? if it doth not, what doth ? 

2. This is a special mark of Christ's care and love, in as much 
as by this he hath made like abundant provision for the enlarge- 
ment of the joy and comfort of his people. Believers are at this 
ordinance, as Mary was at the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, 
Matth. xxviii. 8. Come, reader, speak thy heart, if thou be one 
that heartily lovest Jesus Christ, and hast gone many days, possibly 
years, mourning and lamenting because of the inevidence and clou- 
diness of thine interest in him ; who hast sought him sorrowing, 
in this ordinance, and in that, in one duty, and another: if at 
last Christ should take off that mask, that cruel covering (as one 
calls it) from his face, and be known of thee in breaking of bread : 
suppose he should, by his Spirit, whisper thus in thine ear as thou 
sittest at his table, Dost thou indeed so prize, esteem, and value me 9 
Will nothing but Christ and his love content and satisfy thee? then 9 
as sweet, lovely, and desirable as I am, know that I am thine : 
take thine own Christ into the arms of 'thy faith this day : Would 
not this create in thy soul, a joy transcendent to all the joys and 
pleasures in this world ? What thinkest thou of it ? 

3. Here is a signal mark of Christ's care and love, in as much 
as this is one of the highest, and best helps for the mortification 
of the corruption of his people. Nothing tends more to the kil- 
ling of sin, than this doth. Christ's blood, as it is food to faith, 
so it is poison to our lusts, O what a pill is wrapt up in that 
bread ! what an excellent potion is in that cup to purge the soul ? 
One calls that table, an altar, on which our corruptions are sacri- 
ficed and slain before the Lord. For how can they that there see 
what Christ suffered for sin, live any longer therein ? 

4. Moreover his care and love appear in providing an ordinance 
so excellently adapted, to excite and blow up his people's love into 
a lively flame. When Joseph made himself known to his bre^ 


thren, " I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold, be not griev- 
" ed :" O ! what showers of tears and dear affections were there ? 
how did they fall upon each others necks ! so that the Egyptians 
wondered at the matter. How doth the soul (if I may so speak) 
passionately love Jesus Christ at such a time ? O what a Christ is 
my Christ ! " The fairest among ten thousand." What hath he 
done, what hath he suffered for me ! what great things hath my 
Jesus given, and what great things hath he forgiven me : A world, 
a thousand worlds cannot shew such another. Here the soul is 
melted down by love at his feet ; it is pained with love. 

5. To conclude ; Christ's care and love are further manifested 
to his people, in this ordinance, as it is one of the strongest bonds 
of union betwixt them that can be: 1 Cor. x. 17. " We being 
" many, are one bread, and one body ; for we are all partakers of 
" that one bread." And though, through our corruptions, it 
falls out, that what was intended for a bond of union proves a bone 
of contention, yet, in as much as by this it appears how dearly Christ 
ioved them ; for as much also as here they are sealed up to the 
same inheritance, their dividing corruptions here slain, their love 
to Christ, and consequently to each other, here improved ; it is 
certainly one of the strongest ties in the world, to wrap up gracious 
hearts in a bundle of love. 

And thus I have dispatched the doctrinal part of this point. The 
improvement of it is in the following inferences. 

Inference 1. Did Christ leave this ordinance with his church to 

preserve his remembrance among his people : Then surely Christ 

foresaw, that, notwithstanding tvhat he is, hath done, suffered, and 

promised yet to do for his people, they will for all this be still apt to 

forget him. 

A man would think that such a Christ should never be one 
whole hour together out of his people's thoughts and affections: 
that wherever they go, they should carry him up and down with 
them, in their thoughts, desires, and delights : that they should 
let their thoughts work towards Christ as the longing thoughts of 
her that is with child do work after that she longs for : that they 
should lie down with Christ in their thoughts at night, and when 
they awake be still with him : that their very dreams in the night 
should be sweet visions of Christ, and all their words savour of 

But O the baseness of these hearts ! Here we live and converse 
in a world of sensible objects^ which, like a company of thieves, rob 
us of our Christ, and lay the dead child in his room. Wo is me, 
that it should be so with me, who am so obliged to love him ! 
Though he be in the highest glory in heaven, he doth not forget 
us ; he hath graven us upon the palms of his hands ; we are con* 


tinuaHy before him. He thinks on us, when we forget him. The 
whole honour and glory paid him in heaven by the angels, cannot 
divert his thoughts one moment from us; but every trifle that 
meets us in the way, is enough to divert our thoughts from him. 
Why do we not abhor and loathe ourselves for this ? What ! Is it 
a pain, a burden, to carry Christ in our thoughts about the world ? 
As much a burden, if thy heart be spiritual, as a bird is burdened 
by carrying his own wings. 

Will such thoughts intrude unseasonably, and thrust greater 
things than Christ out of our minds? For shame, Christian, for 
shame, let not thy heart play the wanton, and gad from Christ af- 
ter every vanity. In heaven nothing else takes up the thoughts of 
saints to eternity ; and yet there is no tiring, no satiety. O learn 
to live nearer that heavenly life. Never leave praying and striving, 
till thou canst say as it is, Psal. lxiii. 5. " My soul shall be satisfied 
" as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee 
" with joyful lips ; whilst I remember thee on my bed, and medi- 
" tate on thee in the night watches." 

Inf. 2. Hence also we infer, that sacrament-seasons are heart- 
melting seasons ; because therein the most affecting and heart-melt- 
ing recognitions and representations of Christ are made. As the 
gospel offers him to the ear, in the most sweet, affecting sounds of 
grace ; so the sacrament to the eye, in the most pleasing visions that 
are on this side heaven. 

There, hearts that will not yield a tear under other ordinances, 
can pour out floods : Zech. xii. 10. " They shall look upon me 
" whom they have pierced, and mourn." Yet I dare not affirm, 
that every one whose heart is broken by the believing sight of 
Christ there, can evidence that it is so by a dropping eye. No, 
we may say of tears, as it is said of love, Cant. viii. 7. If some 
Christians would give all the treasures of their houses for them, 
they cannot be purchased : yet they are truly humbled for sin, and 
seriously affected with the grace of Christ. For the support of 
such, I would distinguish, and have them to do so also, betwixt 
what is essential to spiritual sorrow, and what is contingent. Deep 
displeasure with thyself for sin, hearty resolutions and desires of 
the complete mortification of it, this is essential to all spiritual 
sorrow ; but tears are accidental, and in some constitutions rarely 
found. If thou hast the former, trouble not thyself for want of 
the latter, though it is a mercy when they kindly and undissem- 
bledly flow from a heart truly broken. 

And surely, to see who it is that thy sins have pierced, how 
great, how glorious, how wonderful a Person that was, that was 
so humbled, abased, and brought to the dust, for such a wretched 
thing as thou art, cannot but tenderly affect the considering soul 


If it was for a lamentation in the captivity, " that princes were hang. 
" ed up by the hands, and the faces of the elders not reverenced," 
Lam. v. 12. And if at the death of Abner, David could lament, 
and say, * a prince, and a great man is fallen in Israel this day," 
52 Sam. iii. 38. ]f he could pathetically lament the death of Saul 
and Jonathan, saying, " Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who 
"clothed you in scarlet; the beauty of Israel is slain upon the 
" high places . ,v> Ah ! how much more should it affect us, to see 
the beauty of heaven fallen, the Prince of life hang dead upon a 
tree ! O let the place where you assemble to see this sight of your 
crucified Jesus, be a Bochim, a place of lamentation. 

Inf. 3. Moreover hence it is evident, that the believing' mid affec- 
tionate remembrance of Christ, is of singular advantage at all 
times to the people of God. For it is the immediate end of one of 
the greatest ordinances that ever Christ appointed to the church. 

To have frequent recognitions of Christ, will appear to be singu- 
larly efficacious and useful to believers, if you consider, 

1. If at any time the heart be dead and hard, this is the likeliest 
means in the world to dissolve, melt, and quicken it. Look hither 
hard heart ; hard indeed if this hammer will not break it. Behold 
the blood of Jesus. 

2. Art thou easily overcome by temptations to sin ? This is the 
most powerful restraint in the world from sin : Rom. vi. % 
" How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? w 
We are crucified with Christ, what have we to do with sin ? Have 
such a thought as this, when thy heart is yielding to temptation. 
How can I do this, and crucify the Son of God afresh ! Hath he 
not suffered enough already on earth ; shall I yet make him groan 
as it were for me in heaven ! Look, as David poured the water 
brought from the well of Bethlehem, on the ground, though he was 
athirst, for he said, it is the blood of the men ? i. e. they eminently- 
hazarded their lives to fetch it ; much more should a Christian pour 
out upon the ground, yea, despise and trample under foot, the 
greatest profit or pleasure of sin ; saying, Nay, I will have nothing 
to do with it, I will on no terms touch it, for it is the blood of 
Christ : it cost blood, infinite, precious blood to expiate it. If 
there were a knife in your house that had been thrust to the heart 
of your father, you would not take pleasure to see that knife, much 
less to use it. 

3. Are you afraid your sins are not pardoned, but still stand 
upon account before the Lord ? What more relieving, what more 
satisfying, than to see the cup of the New Testament in the blood 
of Christ, which is " shed for many for the remission of sins? 
" Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ? It is 
« Christ that died, 11 


4. Are you staggered at your sufferings, and hard things you 
must endure for Christ in this world? Doth the flesh shrink back 
from these things, and cry, spare thyself? What is there in the 
world more likely to steel and fortify thy spirit with resolution and 
courage, than such a sight as this ? Did Christ face the wrath of 
men, and the wrath of God too ? Did he stand as a pillar of brass, 
with unbroken patience, and stedfast resolution, under such 
troubles as never met in the like height upon any mere creature, 
till death beat the last breath out of his nostrils ? And shall I shrink 
for a trifle ? Ah, he did not serve me so ! I will arm myself with 
the like mind, 1 Pet. ii. 2. 

5. Is thy faith staggered at the promises ? Canst thou not rest 
upon a promise ? Here is what will help thee against hope to be- 
lieve in hope, giving glory to God. For this is God's seal added to 
his covenant, which ratines and binds fast all that God hath spoken. 

6. Dost thou idle away precious time vainly, and live unusefully 
to Christ in thy generation ? What more apt both to convince and 
cure thee, than such remembrance of Christ as this? O when 
thou considerest thou art not thine own, thy time, thy talents are 
not thine own, but Christ's ; when thou shalt see thou art bought 
with a price (a great price indeed) and so art strictly obliged to 
glorify God, with thy soul and body, which are his, 2 Cor. 
v. 14. This will powerfully awaken a dull, sluggish, and lazy 
spirit. In a word, what grace is there that this remembrance of 
Christ cannot quicken ? What sin cannot it mortify ? What duty 
cannot it animate ? O it is of singular use in all cases to the people 
of God. 

Inf. 4. Lastly we infer ; Though all other things do, yet Chiist 
neither doth, nor can grow stale. Here is an ordinance to preserve 
his remembrance fresh to the end of the world. The blood of 
Christ doth never dry up. The beauty of this rose of Sharon is 
never lost or withered. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for 
ever. As his body in the grave saw no corruption, so neither can 
his love, or any of his excellencies. When the saints shall have 
fed their eyes upon him in heaven, thousands and millions of 
years, he shah be as fresh, beautiful, and orient as at the begin- 
ning. Others beauties have their prime, and their fading time ; 
but Christ abides eternally. Our delight in creatures is often most 
at first acquaintance ; when we come nearer to them, and see more 
of them, the edge of our delight is abated : but the longer you 
know Christ, and the nearer you come to him, still the more do 
you see of his glory. Every farther prospect of Christ entertains 
the mind with a fresh delight. He is as it were a new Christ every 
day, and yet the same Christ still. 

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ. 



The third preparative Act of Christ for his own Death, 

Luke xxii. 41, 42, 43, 44. 
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled 
dozen, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this 
cup from me : nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. And 
there appeared an. angel unto him from heaven, strengthening 
him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly : and his 
sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the 

X HE hour is now almost come, even that hour of sorrow, which 
Christ had so often spoken of. Yet a little, a very little while, and 
the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. He hath af- 
fectionately recommended his children to his Father. He hath set 
Ins house in order, and ordained a memorial of his death to be left 
with his people, as you have heard. There is but one thing more to 
do, and then the tragedy begins. He recommended us, he must also 
recommend himself by prayer to the Father ; . and when that is done, 
he is ready, let Judas with the black guard come when they will. 

This last act of Christ's preparation for his own death, is con- 
tained in this scripture ; wherein we have an account, 1. Of his 
prayer. % Of the agony attending it. 3. His relief in that agony, 
by an angel that came and comforted him. 

1. The prayer of Christ; in a praying posture he will be found 
when the enemy comes ; he will be taken upon his knees : he was 
pleading hard with God in prayer, for strength to carry him 
through this heavy trial, when they came to take him. And this 
prayer was a very remarkable prayer, both for the solitariness of it, 
he withdrew about a stone's cast, verse 41. from his dearest inti- 
mates, no ear but his Father's shall hear what he had now to say; 
and for the vehemency and importunity of it; these were those 
ixcnjgfafe Heb. v. 7. strong cries that he poured out to God in the 
days of his flesh. And for the humility expressed in it ; he fell 
upon the ground, he rolled himself as it were in the dust, at his 
Father's feet And in divers other respects it was a very remark- 
able prayer, as you will hear anon. 

c 2. This scripture gives you also an account of the agony of 
Christ, as well as of his prayer, and that a most strange one : such 
as in all respects never was known before in nature. It was a sweat 
as it had been blood, which, [as] is neither an hyperbole, as some 
would make it: nor yet a similitude of blood, as others fancy, 


but a real bloody sweat For so [as] is sometimes taken for the 
very thing itself, as John i. 14. And as a * worthy divine of our 
own well notes, that if the Holy Ghost had only intended it for 
a similitude or resemblance, he would rather have expressed it, as 
it were drops of water, than as it were drops of blood, for sweat 
more resembles water than blood. 

3. You have here his relief in this his agony, and that by an angel 
dipatehed post from heaven to comfort him. The Lord of angels 
now needed the comfort of an angel. It was time to have a little 
refreshment when his face and body too stood as full of drops of 
blood, as the drops of dew are upon the grass. Hence we note, 

Doct. That oar Lord Jesus Christ was praying to his Father in 
an extraordinary agony, when they came to apprehend him in 
the garden. 

To open and explain this last act of preparation on Christ's part 
for our use. I shall at this time speak of these particulars. First, 
The place where he prayed. Secondly, The tithe when he prayed. 
Thirdly, The matter of his prayer. And lastly, The manner how 
he prayed. 

First, For the circumstance of place -f*, where was this last and 
remarkable prayer poured out to God ? It was in the garden : St. 
Matthew tells us it was called Gethsemane, which signifies, (as 
Pareus on the place observes) " the valley of fatness, viz. of olives, 
" which grew in that valley or garden most plentifully." This 
garden lay very near to the city of Jerusalem. The city had twelve 
gates, five of which were on the east side of it, among which the 
most remarkable were the fountain gate, so called of the fountain 
Siloe. Through this gate Christ rode into the city in triumph, 
when he came from Bethany, the other was the sheep-gate, so' 
called from the multitude of sheep driven in at it for the sacrifice, 
for it stood close by the temple ; and close by this gate was the 
garden called Gethsemane, where they apprehended Christ, and 
led him through this gate, as a sheep to the slaughter. Betwixt 
this garden and the city, ran the brook Cedron, which rose from 
a hill upon the south, and ran upon the east part of the city, 
between Jerusalem and the mount of olives : and over this brook 
Christ passed into the garden, John xviii. 1. To which the 
Psalmist alludes in Psal. ex. 7. " He shall drink of the brook in the 
fct way ; therefore he shall lift up the head." For this brook running 

* Mr. Ambrose, Looking to Jesus. 

f In locum Gethsemane, Gr. "Xptgiov ; reddunt villam, vel jncedium dictum Gethsemane,. 
Heb. tD'ODU? m quod sonat vulkm ± lugwuiUinerape ckarumquce nimirumistic uberius 
l>roicniebanl. Par, 


through the valley of Jehosaphat, that fertile soil, together with 
the filth of the city which it washed away, gave the waters a black 
tincture, and so fitly resembled those grievous sufferings of Christ, 
in which he tasted both the wrath of God and men. 

Now, Christ went not into this garden to hide, or shelter him- 
self from his enemies. No, that was not his end ; for if so, it had 
been the most improper place he could have chosen, it being the 
accustomed place where he was wont to pray, and a place well 
known to Judas, who was now coming to seek him, as you may 
see, John xviii. 2. " And Judas, which betrayed him, knew the 
" place, for Jesus oft times resorted thither with his disciples." 
So that he repairs thither, not to shun, but to meet the enemy ; 
to offer himself as a prey to the wolves, which there found him, 
and laid hold upon him. He also resorted thither for an hour or 
two of privacy before they came, that he might there freely pour 
out his soul to God. So much for the circumstances of place where 
he prayed. 

Secondly, We shall consider the time when he entered into this 
garden to pray * : and it was in the shutting in of the evening : for 
it was after the passover and the supper were ended. Then (as 
Matthew hath it, chap. xxvi. 36.) Jesus went over the brook into 
the garden, betwixt the hours of nine and ten in the evening, as 
it is conjectured ; and so he had betwixt two and three hours time 
to pour out his soul to God. For it was about midnight that Judas 
and the soldiers came and apprehended him there. So that it being 
immediately before his apprehension, it shews us in what frame 
and posture Christ desired to be found : and by it he left us an ex- 
cellent pattern, what we ought to do, when imminent dangers are 
near us, even at the door. It becomes a soldier to die fighting, 
" and a minister to die preaching -J-," and a Christian to die pray- 
ing. If they come, they will find Christ upon his knees, wrest- 
ling mightily with God by prayer. He never spent one moment 
of the time of his life idly ; but these were the last moments he had 
to live in the world, and here you may see how they were filled up 
and employed. 

Thirdly, Next let us consider the matter of his prayer, or the 
things about which he poured out his soul to God in the garden, 
that evening. And verse 42. informs us what that was : he pray- 
ed, saying, " Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me ; 
" nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." These words 

* At that time, viz. at the approach of the evening, after the celebration of the Pass- 
over and Eucharist, having given thanks, they sang a hymn. Par. in locum, 
f Oporlet theologum cmcionantem mori. 


are involved in many difficulties, as Christ himself was when he 
littered them. By the ci/p, understand that portion of sorrows 
then to be distributed to him by his Father. Great afflictions and 
bitter trials are frequently expressed, in scripture, under the me- 
taphor of a cup. So, that dreadful storm of wrath upon the 
wicked, in Psal. xi. 6. " Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, 
" fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest ; this shall be the 
" portion of their cup," i. e. the punishment allotted to them by 
God for their wickedness. And an exceeding great misery, by a 
large or deep cup. So Ezek. xxiii. 32, 33. " Thou shalt drink 
" of thy sister s cup deep and large : thou shalt be laughed to 
" scorn, and had in derision ; it containeth much. Thou shalt 
" be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonish- 
" ment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. 11 And 
when an affliction is compounded of many bitter ingredients, sting- 
ing and aggravating considerations and circumstances, then it is 
said to be mixed. " In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and 

* the wine is red, (noting a bloody trial) it is full of mixture, and 

* he poureth out the same, but the dregs thereof all the wicked 
" of the earth shall wring them out and drink them :* i. e, they 
shall have the worst part of the judgment for their share. Thus, 
afflictions and calamities are expressed by the metaphor of a cup ; 
great calamities by a deep and large cup ; afflictions compounded 
of many aggravating circumstances, by a mixed cup. And from 
the effect it hath on those that must drink it, is called a cup of 
trembling, Isa. lvii. IT. " Thou hast drunken at the hand of the 
« Lord, die cup of his fury, the dregs of the cup of trembling. 11 
Such a cup now was Christ's cup ; a cup of wrath ; a large and 
deep cup, that contained more wrath than ever was drunk by any 
creature, even the wrath of an infinite God. A mixed cup, 
mixed with God's wrath and man's in the extremity. And all 
the bitter aggravating circumstances that ever could be imagined ; 
great consternation and amazement ; this was the portion of his 

By the passing of the cup from him, understand his exemption 
from suffering that dreadful and horrid wrath of God, which he 
foresaw to be now at hand. For as the coming of the cup to a 
man, doth, in scripture-phrase, note his bearing and suffering of 
evil, as you find it, Lam. iv. 21. " Rejoice and be glad, O daugh- 
" ter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz ; the cup also 
" shall pass through unto thee ; thou shalt be drunken, and make 
" thyself naked ;" which is an ironical reproof of the Idumeans, 
the deadly enemies of the Jews, who wickedly insulted over them, 
when the cup was at their mouths : as if the Lord had said, you 
have laughed and jeered at my people, when my hand was on 


them ; you rejoiced to see their calamities : well, make yourselves 
merry still if you can, the cup shall pass through unto thee ; thy 
turn is coming, then laugh if thou canst. So, on the contrary, 
the passing away of the cup, notes freedom from, or our escaping 
of those miseries. And so Christ's meaning, in this conditional 
request, is, Father, if it be thy will, excuse me from this dread- 
ful wrath ; my soul is amazed at it. Is there no way to shun it ? 
Cannot I be excused? Or if it be possible, spare me. This is 
the meaning of it; But then here is the difficulty, how Christ, 
who knew God had from everlasting determined he should drink 
it, who had compacted and agreed with him in the covenant of 
redemption so to do, who came (as himself acknowledges) for that 
end into the world, John xviii. 37. who foresaw this hour all 
along, and professed when he spake of this bloody baptism with 
which he was to be baptized, that he was " straitened till it was 
" accomplished, 1 '' Luke xii. 50. How (I say) to reconcile all this 
with such a petition, that now when the cup was delivered to 
him, it might pass, or he excused from suffering ; this is the knot, 
this is the difficulty. 

What ! did he now repent of his engagement ? Was all he said 
before but a flourish, before he saw the enemy ? Doth he now 
begin to wish to be disengaged, and that he had never undertaken 
such a work? Is that the meaning of it? No, no, Christ never 
repented of his engagement to the Father, never was willing to let 
the burden lie on us, rather than on himself ; there was not such 
a thought in his holy and faithful heart ; but the resolution of this 
doubt depends upon another distinction^ which will clear his 
meaning in it; 

1st, You must distinguish of prayers. Some are absolute and 
peremptory; and so to have prayed that the cup might passj 
would have been chargeable with such absurdities, as were but 
now mentioned : others are conditional and submissive prayers, " If 
u it may be, if the Lord please. 11 And such was this, if you be 
willing ; if not, I will drink it. But you will say, Christ knew 
what was the mind of God in that case ; he knew what transac- 
tions had of old been betwixt his Father and him ; and therefore 
though he did not pray absolutely, yet it is strange he would pray 
conditionally it might pass. Therefore in the 

%d Place, you must distinguish of the natures according to which 
Christ acted. He acted sometimes as God, and sometimes as man. 
Here he acted according to his human nature ; simply expressing 
and manifesting in this request the reluctancy it had at such suffer- 
ings : wherein he shewed himself a true man, in shunning that 
which is destructive to his nature. 

As Christ had two distinct natures, so two distinct wills. Anci 

Vol. I. S 


(as one well observes) in the life of Christ, there was an intermix- 
ture of power and weakness, of the divine glory, and human frail- 
ty. At his birth a star shone, but he was laid in a manger. The 
devil tempted him in the wilderness, but there angels ministered 
to him. As man he was deceived in the fig-tree, but as God he 
blasted it. He was caught by the soldiers in the garden, but first 
made them fall back; So here, as man he feared and shunned 
death ; but as God-man he willingly submitted to it. 

" It was (as * Deodatus well expresses it) a purely natural de- 
" sire, mere man, by which for a short moment he apprehended 
" and shunned death and torments ; but quickly recalled himself* 
" to obedience, by a deliberate will, to submit himself to God. 
" And besides that, this desire was but conditional, under the will 
" of God, accepted by Christ ; but from the contemplation of 
u which he was a while diverted by the extremity of horrors ; 
" therefore there was no sin in it, but only a short conflict of na- 
" ture, presently overcome by reason, and a firm will : or a small 
" suspension, quickly overcome by a most strong resolution, Fi- 
u nally, this sacred deliberation in Jesus was not made simply, or 
" in an instant, but with a short time, -and with a counterpoise, 
" which is the natural property of the soul in its motions, and vo- 
u luntary actions." 

In a word, as there was nothing of sin in it, it being a pure and 
sinless affection of nature ; so there was much good in it, and that 
both as it was a part of his satisfaction for our sin, to suffer in- 
wardly such fears, tremblings, and consternations : and as it was a 
clear evidence, that he was in all things made like unto his brethren, 
except sin. And lastlv, as it serves notably to express the grievous- 
ness and extremity of Christ's sufferings, whose very prospect and 
appearance, at some distance, was so dreadful to him. 

If the learned reader desire to see what is further said oil this 
point, let him read what the judicious and learned Parker, in his 
excellent book de descensu -f-, hath collected upon that case. 

Fourthly, Let us consider the manner how he prayed, and 
that was, 

1. Solitarily, He doth not here pray in the audience of his 
disciples, as he had done before, but went at a distance from them. 
He had now private business to transact with God. He left some 
of them at the entering into the garden ; and for Peter, James, 
and John, that went farther with him than the rest, he bids them 
remain there, while he went and prayed \. He did not desire 

* Deodati Annot. in Mat. xxvi. 59. 
f Parker de descensu, lib. 3. p. 192, &c. 

t He seeks relief to grief, by prayer, in which, that he might be more at liberty, be 
retires a little. 


them to pray with him, or for him ; no, ho must tread the wine- 
press alone. Nor will he have them with him, possibly lest it should 
discourage them to see and hear how he groaned, sweat, trembled, 
and cried, as one in an agony, to his Father. 

Reader, there are times and cases, when a Christian would not 
be willing, that the deafest and most intimate friend he hath in the 
world, should be privy to what passes betwixt him and his God. 

2. It was an humble prayer ; that is evident by the postures into 
which he cast himself : sometimes kneeling, and sometimes pros- 
trate upon his face. He creeps in the very dust, lower he cannot 
fall ; and his heart was as low as his body. He is meek and low- 
ly indeed. 

3. It was a reiterated prayer ; he prays, and then returns to the 
disciples, as a man in extremity turns every way for comfort: so 
Christ prays, " Father, let this cup pass," but in that the Father 
hears him not; though as to support he was heard. Being denied 
deliverance by his Father, he goes and bemoans himself to his 
pensive friends, and complains bitterly to them, " my soul is ex- 
" ceeding sorrowful even imta death." He would ease himself a 
little, by opening his condition to them; but alas, they rather in- 
crease than ease his burden. For he finds them asleep, which oc- 
casioned that gentle reprehension from him, Mat. xxvi. 40. 
" What, could you not watch with me one hour ?" What, not 
'watch with me ? Who may expect it from you more than I ? Could 
you not watch ? lam going to die for you, and cannot you watch 
with me ? What ! cannot you watch with me one hour ? Alas ! 
what if I had required great matters from you ? What : not an 
hour, and that the parting hour too ! Christ finds no ease from 
them, and back again he goes to that sad place, which he had 
stained and purpled with a bloody sweat, and prays to the same 
purpose again. how he returns upon God over and over, as if 
he resolved to take no denial ! But, however, considering it must 
be so, he sweetly falls in with his Father's will, Thy will be done. 

4. And lastly, It was a prayer accompanied with a strange and 
wonderful agony : so saith verse 44. " and being in an agony, he 
" prayed more earnestly ; and his sweat was it were great drops 
" of blood falling down to the ground." Now he was red indeed 
in his apparel, as one that trod the wine-press. "It was not a 
" faint thin dew, but a clotted sweat *, ^o ( a/3o/ a//xard?," dodders of 
blood falling upon the ground. It is disputed whether this sweat 
was natural or preternatural. That some in extremity have sweat 
a kind of bloody thin dew, is affirmed. I remember f Thuanus 

* Non Jv.it sudor diaphoreticus % sed crassus et grumosus. 

f Dux quidem indigno mortis nwtu ad^o cuncussus in anirno fuit > ul sanguincum 
sv&OT&n ato eorpore fudM. Thuan. lib. 1 1 . 



gives us two instances that come nearest to this, of any thing I 
ever observed or heard of. " The one was a captain, who by a 
" cowardl v and unworthy fear of death was so overwhelmed with 
" anguish, that a kind of bloody dew or sweat stood on all his body. 
" * The other is of a young man condemned for a small matter to 
" die bv Sixtus V. who poured out tears of blood from his eyes, 
and sweat blood from his whole body." 

These are rare and strange instances, and the trtfth of them de- 
pends upon the credit of the relator ; but certainly for Christ whose 
bodv had the most excellent crasis and temperament, to sweat 
clotted blood, or globules of blood, as some render it ; and that in 
a cold night, when others needed a fire within doors to keep them 
warm, John xviii. 18. I say, for him to sweat such streams through 
his garments, falling to the ground on which he lay, must be con- 
cluded a preternatural thing. And indeed, it was not wonderful 
that such a preternatural sweat should stream from all parts of his 
body, if you do but consider what an extraordinary load pressed 
his soul at that time, even such as no mere man felt, or was able 
to stand under, even the wrath of a great and terrible God, in the 
extremity of it. " Who (saith the prophet Nahum, chap. i. 6.) 
" can stand before his indignation ? And who can abide in the 
" fierceness of his anger ? His fury is poured out like fire, and 
" the rocks are thrown down by him." 

The effects of this wrath, as it fell at this time upon the soul of 
Christ in the garden, are largely and very emphatically expressed 
by the several Evangelists who wrote this tragedy. Matthew tells 
us, his soul was " exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," Matth. 
xxvi. 38. " The word f signifies beset with grief round about. 1 ' 
And it is well expressed by that phrase of the psalmist, " The sor- 
" rows of death compassed me about, the pains of hell got hold 
" upon me." Mark varies the expression, and gives it us in ano- 
ther word no less significant and full, Mark xiv. 33. " He began 
" to be sore amazed and very heavy," J " Sore amazed, it imports 
" so high a degree of consternation and amazement, as when the 
" hair of the head stands up through fear/' Luke hath anotlier 
expression for it in the text ; he was e» aywta, in an agony. An 
agony is the labouring and striving of nature in extremity. And 
John gives it us in another expression, John xii. 27. " Now is my 

* Juvenis ob levem casuu?n y a Sirto V. ad mortem damnatus, jrrez doloris vehementia, 
iacrymas cruentas sudasse, et sanguine?n pro sudore e toto corpore mittere visus est. Thuan, 
lib. 80. 

t Uiet'/.wrog, undequaque tristis. Beza. 

J 'E'/Ja/jLjSiKjdai, medici vocant horripUationem ; %cu ct,dr,/jumiv t gravissime ange- 
batur. Beza, 


«< soul troubled.* The original word is a very full word. And it 
is conceived the Latins derive that word which signifies hell, from 
this, by which Christ's troubles are here expressed. * This was the 
load which oppressed his soul, and so straitened it with fear and grief, 
that his eyes could not vent or ease sufficiently by tears; but the 
innumerable pores of his body are set open, to give vent by letting 
out streams of blood. And yet all this while, no hand of man was 
upon him. This was but a prelude, as it were, to the conflict that 
was at hand. This bloody sweat in which he prayed, was but as 
the giving or sweating of the stones before a great rain. Now he 
stood as it were, arraigned at God's bar, and had to do immediate- 
ly with him. And you know " it is a fearful thing to fall into the 
" hands of the living God. 1 ' The uses of this follow in this 

Inference 1. Did Christ pour out his soul to God so ardently in 
the garden, when the hour of his trouble was at hand ? Hence we 
infer, That prayer is a singular preparative for ; and relief under, 
the greatest troubles. 

It is sweet, when troubles find us in the way of our duty. The 
best posture we can wrestle with afflictions in, is to engage them 
upon our knees. The naturalist tells us, if a lion find a man 
prostrate, he will do him no harm. Christ hastened to the garden 
to pray, when Judas and the soldiers were hastening thither to 
apprehend him. O ! wljen we are nigh to danger it is good for 
us to draw nigh to ouF God. Then should we be urging that 
seasonable request to God, Psal. xxii. 11. "Be not far from me, 
" for trouble is near ; for there is none to help." Wo be to him, 
whom death or trouble finds afar off from God. And as prayer 
is the best preparative for troubles, so the choicest relief under 
them. Griefs are eased by groans. The heart is cooled and dis- 
burdened by spiritual evaporations. You know it is some relief if 
a man can pour out his complaint into the bosom of a faithful 
friend, though he can but pity him ; how much more to pour out 
our complaints into the bosom of a faithful God, who can both 
pity and help us ; Luther was wont to call prayers the leeches of 
his cares and sorrows ; they suck out the bad blood. It is the title 
of Psal. cii. A prayer for the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and 
poureth out his complaint before the Lord. It is no small ease to 
open our hearts to God. When we are as full of grief, as Elihu 
was of matter, let us say as he did, Job xxxii. 19. " Behold, Lord, 
# my heart is as wine which hath no vent, it; is ready to burst as 
" new bottles. I will speak that I may be refreshed." 

* Tiragaxrai, U nde Tartarus^ quia terret omnia, 



To go to God when tbou art full of sorrow, when thy heart is 
ready to burst within thee, as it was with Christ in this clay of his 
trouble ; and say, Father, thus and thus the case stands with thy 
poor child ; and so and so it is with me ; I will not go up and 
down complaining from one creature to another, it is to no pur- 
pose to do so ; nor yet will I leave my complaint upon myself : but 
I will tell thee, Father, how the case stands with me ; for to whom 
should children make their moan, but to their Father ? Lord, I 
am oppressed, undertake for me, What thinkest thou, reader, 
of this? Is it relieving to a sad soul? Yes, yes; if thou be a 
Christian that hast had any experience this way, thou wilt say there 
is nothing like it ; thou wilt bless God for appointing such an ordi- 
nance as prayer, and say, Blessed be God for prayer: I know 
not what I should have done, nor how in all the world I should 
have waded through the troubles I have passed, if it had not been 
for the help of prayer, 

Inf. 2. Did Christ withdraw from the disciples to seek God by 
prayer ? Thence it follows, That the company of the best men is 
not always seasonable. Peter, James, and John, were three ex- 
cellent men, and yet Christ saith to them, Tarry ye here, while I 
go and pray yonder. The society of men is beautiful in its season, 
and no better than a burden out of season. I have read of a good 
man, that when his stated time for closet-prayer was come, he would 
say to the company that were with him, whatever they were, 
Friends, I must beg your excuse for a while, there is a friend zvaits 
to speak with me. The company of a good man is good, but it 
ceases to be so, when it hinders the enjoyment of better company. 
One hour with God is to be preferred to a thousand days enjoy- 
ment of the best men on earth. If thy dearest friends in the world 
intrude unseasonably betwixt thee and thy God, it is neither rude 
nor unmannerly to bid them give place to better company ; I mean, 
to withdraw from them, as Christ did from the disciples, to enjoy 
an hour with God alone. In public and private duties we may 
admit of the company of others to join with us ; and if they be such 
as fear God, the more the better : but in secret duties, Christ and 
thou must whisper it over betwixt yourselves ; and then the com- 
pany of the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, that is as thine own 
soul, would not be welcome. " When thou prayest, enter into 
" thy closet ; and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy 
" Father which is in secret,'' Mat. vi. 6. It is as much as if Christ 
had said, See all clear ; be sure to retire in as great privacy as may 
be ; let no ear but God's hear what thou hast to say to him. This 
is at once a good note of sincerity, and a great help to spiritual 
liberty and freedom with God. 

Inf 3. Did Christ go to God thrice upon the same account ? 


Thence learn, That Christians should not be discouraged, though 
they have sought God once and again, and no answer of peace comes. 
Christ was not heard the first time, and he goes a second : he was 
not answered the second, he goes the third and last time, yet was 
not answered in the thing he desired, viz. that the cup might pass 
from him; and yet he hath no hard thoughts of God, but re- 
solves his will into his Father's. If God deny you in the things 
you ask, he deals no otherwise with you than he did with Christ. 
" O my God (saith he) I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest 
" not ; and in the night, and am not silent/ 1 Yet he justifies 
God, " but thou art holy, 11 Psal. xxii. 2. Christ was not heard 
in the thing he desired, and yet heard in that he feared, Heb. v. 7. 

The cup did not pass as he desired, but God upheld him, and 
enabled him to drink it. He was heard as to support, he was not 
heard as to exemption from suffering : his will was expressed con- 
ditionally ; and therefore though he had not the thing he so de- 
sired, yet his will was not crossed by the denial. But now, when 
we have a suit depending before the throne of grace, and cry to 
God once and again, and no answer comes ; how do your hands 
hang down, and your spirits wax feeble ! 

Then we complain with the church, Lam. iii. 8, " When I cry 
" and shout, he shutteth out my prayers ; thou coverest thyself 
" with, a cloud, that our prayers cannot pass through. 11 Then, 
with Jonah we conclude *< we are cast out of his sight. 11 Alas ! 
we judge by sense according to what we see and feel ; and cannot 
live by faith on God, when he seems to hide himself, put us off, 
and refuse our requests. It calls for an Abraham's faith, to 
" believe against hope, giving glory to God. 11 If we cry, and no 
answer comes presently, our carnal reason draws a headlong hasty 
conclusion. Sure I must expect no answer : God is angry with 
my pravers : The seed of prayer hath lain so long under the 
clods, and it appears not ; surely it is lost, I shall hear no more 
of it. 

Our prayers may be heard, though their answer be for the 
present suspended. As David acknowledged, when he coolly con- 
sidered the matter, Psal. xxxi. 22. " I said in my haste, I am cut 
" off from before thine eyes ; nevetheless thou heardest the voice 
" of my supplication, when I cried unto thee. 11 No, no, Christi- 
an ; a prayer sent up in faith, according to the will of God, cannot 
be lost, though it be delayed. We may say of it as David said of 
Saul's sword, and Jonathan's bow, that they never returned empty. 

Inf. 4. Was Christ so earnest in prayer, that he prayed himself 
into a very agony? Let the people of God blush to think how unl'ika 
their spirits are to Christ, as to their prayerjYamcs. 



O what lively, sensible, quick, deep, and tender apprehensions 
and sense of those things about which he prayed, had Christ ? 
Though he saw his very blood starting out from his hands, and 
his clothes died in it : yet being in an agony, he prayed the more 
earnestly. I do not say Christ is imitable in this ; no, but his 
fervour in prayer is a pattern for us, and serves severely to rebuke 
the laziness, dulness, torpor, formality, and stupidity, that are in our 
prayers. How often do we bring the sacrifice of the dead before 
the Lord ! how often do our lips move, and our hearts stand still ! 
O how unlike Christ are we ! his prayers were pleading prayers \ 
full of mighty arguments and fervent affections. O that his peo- 
ple were in this more like him ! 

Inf. 5. Was Christ in such an agony before any hand of man 
was upon him, merely from the apprehensions of the wrath of 
God, with which he now contested ? " Then surely it is a dread- 
" ful thing to fall into the hands of the living God ; for our God 
" is a consuming fire." 

Ah, what is divine wrath, that Christ staggered when the cup 
came to him ! Could not he bear, and dost thou think to bear it ? 
Did Christ sweat clots of blood at it, and dost thou make light of 
it ? Poor wretch, if it staggered him, it will confound thee. If it 
made him groan, it will make thee howl, and that eternally. 
Come, sinner, come ; dost thou make light of the threatenings of 
the wrath of God against sin ? Dost thou think there is no such 
matter in it, as these zealous preachers make of it? Come look 
here upon my text, which shews thee the face of the Son of God 
standing as full of purple drops under the sense and apprehension 
of it, as the drops of dew that hang upon the grass. Hark how he 
cries, " Father if it be possible, let this cup pass." O any thing of 
punishment rather than this. Hear what he tells the disciples ; 
" My soul, (saith he,) is sorrowful even to death : amazed, and 
very heavy.'" Fools make a mock at sin, and the threatenings. 
that lie against it. 

Inf. 6. Did Christ meet death with such a heavy heart ? Let the 
hearts of Christians be the lighter Jo?' this, when they come to die. 
The bitterness of death was all squeezed into Christ's cup. He was 
made to drink up the very dregs of it, that so our death might be 
the sweeter to us. Alas ! there is nothing now left in death that 
is frightful or troublesome, beside the pain of dissolution, that na- 
tural evil of it. I remember it is storied of one of the martyrs, that 
being observed to be exceeding jocund and merry when he came 
to the stake, one asked him, What was the reason his heart was 
so light, when death, (and that in such a terrible form too) was 
before him ? O said he, my heart is so light at my death, because 
Christ's was so heavy at his death. 


Inf. 7. To conclude, what cause have all the saints to love 
their dear Lord Jesus with an abounding love ? Christian, open the 
eyes of thy faith, and fix them upon (Christ, in the posture he lay 
in the garden, drenched in his own blood ; and see whether he 
be not lovely in these his dyed garments. He that suffered for us 
more than any creature could or did, may well challenge more 
love than all the creatures in the world. O what hath he suffer- 
ed, and suffered upon thy account ! it was thy pride, earthliness, 
sensuality, unbelief, hardness of heart, that laid on more weight in 
that day that he sweat blood. 


The first Preparation for Cheist's Death, on his Enemies* 
Part, by the treason of Judas. 

Matth. xxvi. 47, 48, 49, 

And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and 
with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the 
chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him 
gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is 
he ; hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said 9 
Hail master ; and kissed him. 

A. HE former sermons give you an account how Christ improved 
every moment of his time, with busy diligence, to make himself 
ready for his death. He hath commended his charge to the Fa- 
ther, instituted the blessed memorial of his death, poured out his 
soul to God in the garden, with respect to the grievous suffer- 
ings he should undergo ; and now he is ready, and waits for the 
coming of the enemies, being first in the field. 

And think you that they were idle on their parts ? No, no, their 
malice made them restless. They had agreed with Judas to betray 
him. Under his conduct, a band of soldiers was sent to appre- 
hend him. The hour, so long expected, is come. For " while 
" he yet spake," saith the text, " lo, Judas, one of the twelve, 
" came, and with him a great multitude, with swords and 
f< staves." 

These words contain the first preparative act, on their part, for 
the death of Christ, even to betray him, and that by one of his 
own disciples. Now they execute what they had plotted, ver. 14, 
15. And in this paragraph you have an account, 1. Of the traitor, 
who he was. 2. Of the treason, what he did. & Of the man- 


ner of its execution, how it was contrived and effected. Lastly, 
Of the time, when they put this hellish plot in execution. 

1. We have here a description of the traitor- and it is remark- 
able how carefully the several Evangelists have described him, both 
by his name, surname, and office, " Judas, Judas Iscariot, Judas 
t* Iscariot, one of the twelve;" that he might not be mistaken for 
Jude or Judas the apostle. God is tender of the names and repu- 
tations of his upright-hearted servants. His office, " one of the 
" twelve,* 1 is added to aggravate the fact, and to shew how that 
prophecy was accomplished in him, Psal. xli. 9. " Yea, mine own 
" familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, 
" hath lift up his heel against me." Lo, this was the traitor, and 
this was his name and office. 

2. You have a description of the treason, or an account what 
this man did. He led an armed multitude to the place where 
Christ was, gave them a signal to discover him, and encouraged 
them to lay hands on him, and hold him fast. This was that hel- 
lish design which the devil put into his heart, working upon that 
principle, or lust of covetousness, which was predominant there. 
What will not a carnal heart attempt, if the devil suit a tempta- 
tion to the predominant lust, and God withhold restraining 
grace ! 

3. You have here the way and manner in which the hellish 
plot was executed. It was managed both with force and with 

fraud, He comes with a multitude, armed with swords and staves, 
in case they should meet with any resistance. And he comes to him 
with a kiss, which was their signal, lest they should mistake the man. 
For they aimed neither at small nor great, save only at the King 
of Israel, the King of glory *. Here was much ado, you see, to take 
a harmless Lamb, that did not once start from them, but freely 

, offered himself to them. 

4. And lastly, When this treasonable design was executed upon 
Christ And it was executed upon him while he stood among his 
disciples, exhorting them to prayer and watchfulness, dropping 
heavenly and most seasonable counsels upon them. " While he yet 
" spake, lo, Judas, and with him a multitude, came witli swords 
" and staves." Surely, it is no better than a Judas*s trick, to dis- 
turb and afflict the servants of God in the discharge of their du- 
ties. This was the traitor and his treason ; thus it was executed 
and at this time. Hence we observe, 

* What need was there of arms against one who was unarmed ? who, if be had 
pleased to exert his power could not he overcome by any arms. To what purpose 
was a. sign ? to prevent mistaking the person, because it was night. D. Parens 
in loc. 


Doct. That it was the lot of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be betray, 
ed into the hands of his mortal enemies, by the assistance of a, 
false and dissembling friend. 

Look, as Joseph was betrayed and sold by his brethren ; David 
by Achitophel, his old friend; Samson by Delilah, that lay in his 
bosom; so Christ by Judas, one of the twelve; a man, his friend, 
his familiar, that had been so long conversant with him : he that 
by profession had lifted up his hand to Christ, now by treason lifts 
up his heel against him ; he bids the soldiers bind those blessed 
hands, that not long before had washed the traitor's feet. 

In the point before us, we will, 

First, Consider Judas, according to that eminent station and 
place he had under Christ. 

Secondly, We will consider his treason, according to the several 
aggravations of it. 

Thirdly, We will enquire into the cause or motives that put him 
upon such a dreadful, hellish design as this was. 

Fourthly, and lastjy, we will view the issue, and see the event 
of this treason, both as to Christ and as to himself. And then 
apply it. 

First, As for the person that did this, he was very eminent by 
reason of that dignity Christ had raised him to. For, 

1. He was one of the twelve ; one retained not in a more general, 
and common, but in the nearest, and most intimate and honour- 
able relation and service to Jesus Christ. There were in Christ's 
tjme several sorts and ranks of persons that had relation to him. 
There were secret disciples ; men that believed, but kept their sta- 
tions, and abode with their relations in their callings. There were 
seventy also whom Christ sent forth ; but none of these were so 
much with Christ or so eminent in respect of their place, as the 
twelve ; they were Christ's family, day and night conversant with 
him : it was the highest dignity that was conferred upon any : and 
of this number was Judas. The ancients have much extolled the 
apostolical dignity. Some stiled these twelve, pedes Christi, the 
feet of Christ ; because they, as it were, carried Christ up and down 
the world. Others, oculi Dei, the very eyes of God ; they were 
his watchmen, that took care for the concernments of his name 
and gospel in the world. Others, mammce ecclesioc, the breasts of 
the church ; they fed and nourished the children of God by their 
doctrine. Now, to be one of this number, one of the twelve, 
what a dignity was this. 

2. Yea, he being one of the twelve, was daily conversant with 
Christ: often joined with him in prayer, often sat at his feet, 
hearing the gracious words that came out of his mouth. It was 


one of Austin's three wishes, that he had seen Christ in the flesh : 
Judas not only saw him but dwelt with him, travelled with him, 
and eat and drank with him. And during the whole time of his. 
abode with him, all Christ's carriage towards him was very obliging 
and winning ; yea, such was the condescension of Christ to this 
wretched man, that he washed his feet, and that but a little before 
betrayed him. 

3. He was a man of unsuspected integrity among the apostles. 
When Christ told them, One of you shall betray me ; none 
thought on him, but every one rather suspected himself; Lord, 
is it I ? saith one, and so said they all ; but none pointed at Judas, 
saying, Thou art he, 

4. To conclude, in some respect, he was preferred to the rest. 
For he had not only a joint commission with them to preach the 
gospel to others, (though, poor unhappy wretch, himself became 
a cast-away) but he had a peculiar office, he bare the bag, i. e. he 
was Almoner, or the steward of the family, to take care to pro- 
vide for the necessary accommodations of Christ and them, Now 
who could ever have suspected, that such a man as this should 
have sold the blood of Christ for a little money ? that ever he 
should have proved a perfidious traitor to his Lord, who had called 
him, honoured him, and carried himself so tenderly towards him ? 
And yet so it was; " Lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and 
" with him a multitude :"" O whither will not a busy devil and a 
bad heart carry a man ! 

Secondly, But what did this man do? and what are the just ag- 
gravations of his fact ? Why, he most basely and unworthily sold 
and delivered Christ into his enemies hands, to be butchered and 
destroyed ; and all this for thirty pieces of silver. 

Blush, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth, at this ! In this 
fact, most black and horrid aggravations appear. 

1. Judas had seen the majesty of a God on him whom he be- 
trayed. He had seen the miracles that Christ wrought, which 
none but Christ could do. He knew that by the finger of God 
he had raised the dead, cast out devils, healed the sick. He could 
not chuse but observe and see the rays and awful beams of divine 
majesty shining in his very face, in his doctrine, and in his life ; 
to betray a man, to sell the blood of the poorest innocent in the 
world, is horrid ; but to sell the blood of God, O what is this ! 
Here is a wickedness that no epithet can match ! Yea, 

% This wickedness he committed after personal warnings and 
premonitions given him by Christ, he had often told them in 
general, that one of them should betray him, Mark xiv. 20. He 
also denounced a dreadful woe upon him that should do it, ver. 
SI. " the Son of man goeth indeed, as it is written of him; but 



" wo to that mail by whom the Son of man is betrayed ; good had it 
" been for that man if he had never been born. 11 This was spoken 
in Judas's presence. And one would have thought so dreadful a 
doom as Christ passed upon the man that should attempt this, 
should have affrighted him far enough from the thoughts of such 
a wickedness. Nay, Christ comes nearer to him than this, and told 
him he was the man : For when Judas (who was the last that put 
the question to Christ) asked him, " Master, is it I ?" Christ's 
answer imports as much as a plain affirmation, " Thou hast said, 1 * 
Matt. xxvi. 25. Moreover, 

3. He doth it not out of a blind zeal against Christ, as many of 
his other enemies did ; of whom it is said, 1 Cor. ii. 8. " That had 
" they known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory :" 
but he did it for money to make his market of Christ. He sold 
Christ as a man would sell an ox, or a sheep to the butcher for pro- 
fit. He was fully of the mind of the Pope, whose motto was * 
" The smell or savour of gain is sweet, let it arise out of what it 
" will. 11 If he can get any thing by Christ's blood, it shall be a 
vendible commodity with him. " What will ye give me, (saith he) 
" and I will betray him ?" Matt. xxvi. 15. 

4. He sells him, and he sells him at a low rate too ; which shew- 
ed how vile an esteem he had of Christ. He is content to part 
with him for thirty pieces of silver. If these pieces, or shekels, 
were the shekels of the sanctuary, they amounted but to three pounds 
fifteen shillings -f\ But it is supposed they were the common she- 
kels, which were mostly used in buying and selling ; and then his 
price, that he put upon the Saviour of the world, was but one 
pound seventeen shillings and sixpence. A goodly price (as the 
prophet calls it) that he was valued at ! Zech. xi. 12, 13, I confess, 
it is a wonder, he asked no more ; knowing how much they longed 
for his blood ; and that they offered no more for him : how then 
should the scriptures have been fulfilled ? O what a sale was this ! 
to sell that blood, which all the gold and silver in the world is not 
worth one drop of, for a trifle ! still the wickedness of the fact rises 
higher and higher. 

5. He left Christ in a most heavenly and excellent employment, 
when he went to make this soul-undoing bargain. For if he went 
away from the table, as some think, then he left Christ instituting 
and administering those heavenly signs of his body and blood : 
there he saw, or might have seen, the bloody work he was going 
about, acted as in a figure before him. If he sat out that ordi-» 
nance, as others suppose he did, then he left Christ singing an 

* Suavis odor lueri ex re qualibet. 
+ Godw. Antiq. lib. 6. p. 20J. 


heavenly hymn, and preparing to go where Judas was preparing 
to meet him. When the Lord Jesus was in the most serious and 
heavenly exercise, the wretch slinked away from him into the city, 
or else went under pretence to buy some necessaries *. But his de- 
si on was not to buy, but to sell, whatever his pretences were. 

6. What he did, was not done by the persuasions of any. The 
high-priest sent not for him, and without doubt, was surprised 
when he came to him on such on errand. For it could never enter 
into any of their hearts, that any of his own disciples could ever 
be drawn into a confederacy against him. No, he went as a vo- 
lunteer, offering himself to this work : which still heightens the 
sin, and makes it out of measure sinful. 

7. The manner in which he executes his treasonable design adds 
further malignity to the fact. He comes to Christ with fawning- 
words and carriage, " Hail, Master, and kissed him.'" Here is 
honey in the tongue, and poison in the heart. Here is hatred hid 
under lying lips. This was the man, and this was his fact. Let us 

Thirdly, The cause and motives of this wickedness, how he 
came to attempt and perpetrate such a villany. Maldonate the 
Jesuit criminates the Protestant divines, for affirming that God 
had a hand in ordering and over-ruling this fact f . 

But w£ say, that Satan and his own lust was the impulsive cause 
of it : that God, as it was a wicked treason, permitted it ; and as it 
was a delivering Christ to death, was not only the permitter, but 
the wise and holy director and orderer of it, and by the wisdom of 
his providence over-ruled it, to the great good and advantage of 
the church ; in respect of which happy issue, Judas' s treason is 
called fcelix scehts, " a happy wickedness." Satan inspired the mo- 
tion, Luke xxiii. 3, 4. " Then entered Satan into Judas, surnamed 
" Iscariot, and he went his way," &c. his own lusts, like dry tin- 
der, kindled presently : his heart was covetous ; there was pre- 
disposed matter enough for the devil to work on, so that it was but 
touch and take. Ver. 25. They covenanted to give him money,, 
and he promised, &c. 

The holy God disposed and ordered all this to the singular bene- 
fit and good of his people ; Acts iv. 28. they did whatsoever " his 

* Without doubt he went from Bethany, where the Lord then was, and either with- 
drew privately, or under pretence of buying necessaries. Pareus. 

f In so far as it was Koobotiiiy i. e. a betraying, it was the deed of Judas, tempted 
by Satan ; in so far as it was xuoaboffig, i. e. a delivering up, it was the effect of 
God's secret purpose, relating to the redemption of the church. Surely God was not 
a careless permitter of that whole work, but a most wise orderer and director of it. 


" hand and counsel had before determined to be done."* And by 
this determinate counsel of God, he was taken and slain, Acts ii. 
23. Yet this no ways excuses the wickedness of the instruments : 
for what they did, was done from the power of their own lusts, 
most wickedly; what he did was done in the unsearchable depth 
of his own wisdom, most holy. God knows how to serve his own 
ends by the very sins of men, and yet have no communion at all 
in the sin he so over-rules. If a man let a dog out of his hand in 
pursuit of a hare, the dog hunts merely for a prey ; but he that lets 
him go, uses the sagacity and nimbleness of the dog to serve his 
own ends by it. Judas minded nothing but his own advantage to 
get money ; God permitted that lust to work, but over-ruled the 
issue to his own eternal glory, and the salvation of our souls. 

Fourthly and lastly, But what was the end and issue of this fact ? 
As to Christ, it was his death ; for the hour being come, he doth 
not meditate an escape, nor put forth the power of his Godhead to 
deliver himself out of their hands. Indeed he shewed what he 
could do, when he made them go back and stagger with a word. 
He could have obtained more than twelve legions of angels to have 
been his life-guard; one of whom had been sufficient to havo 
coped with all the Roman legions : but how then should the scrip- 
tures have been fulfilled, or our salvation accomplished ? No, he 
resists not, but Judas, delivering him into their hands at that time, 
was his death. 

And what got he as a reward of his wickedness ? It ended in the 
ruin both of his soul and body. For immediately a death-pang of 
despair seized his conscience ; which was so intolerable, that he ran 
to the halter for a remedy ; and so falling headlong, he burst asun- 
der, and all his bowels gushed out, Acts i. 18. And now he that 
had no bowels for Christ, hath none for himself. As for his soul, 
it went to its own place, ver. 25. even the place appointed for 
the son of perdition, as Christ calls him, John xvii. 12. His name 
retains an odious stench to this day, and shall to all generations : 
it is a bye- word, a proverb of reproach. This was his end ; we 
will next improve it. 

Corollary 1. Hence in the first place we learn, That the greatest 
professors had need to be jealous of their own hearts, and look well to 
the grounds ami principles of their professions. One of the ancients 
would have had this epitaph engraven upon Judas's tomb-stone, 
si; i[hi n; opuw £u<rs/3'/j; g?w, i. e. " Let every one that beholds me, 
" learn to be godly indeed, to be sincere in his profession, and 
" to love Christ more unfeignedly than I did." O professors, 
look to your foundation, and build not upon the sand, as this poor 
creature did. That is sound advice, indeed, which the apostle 

OQO the fouxtain or life. SEmr. xxnt 

gives, 1 Cor. x. 12. " Let him that thinks he standeth, take heed 
" lest he fall/ 1 O beware of a loose foundation *. If you begin 
your profession as Judas did, no wonder if it shall end as his did. 

1. Beware therefore that you hold not the truth in unrighte- 
ousness : Judas did so : he knew much, but lived not up to what he 
knew, for he was still of a worldly spirit in the height of his pro- 
fession. His knowledge never had any saving influence upon his 
heart, he preached to others, but he himself was a cast-away. 
He had much light, but still walked in darkness. He had no 
knowledge to do himself good. 

2. Beware you live not in a course of secret sin. Judas did so^ 
and that was* his ruin. He made a profession indeed, and carried 
it smoothly, but he was a thief, John xii. 6. He made no con- 
science of committing the sin, so he could but cover and hide it 
from men. This helped on his ruin, and so it will thine, reader, 
if thou be guilty herein. A secret way of sinning, under the covert 
of profession, will either break out at last to the observation of 
men, or else slide thee down insensibly to hell, and leave thee there 
only this comfort, that no body shall know thou art there. 

3. Beware of hypocritical pretences of religion to accommodate 
self-ends. Judas was a man that had notable skill this way. He 
had a mind to fill his own purse, by the sale of that costly oint- 
ment which Mary bestowed upon our Saviour's feet. And what a 
neat cover had he fitted for it, to do his business clearly ; Why, 
saith he, " This might have been sold for three hundred pence, 
" and given to the poor.'' Here was charity to the poor, or 
rather poor charity ; for this was only a blind to his base self-ends. 
O Christian, be plain-hearted, take heed of craft and cunning in 
matters of religion : This spoiled Judas. 

4. Beware of self-confidence. Judas was a very confident man 
of himself. " Last of all, Judas said, Master, is it I ?" Matth. xxvi< 
25. But he that was last in the suspicion was first in the trans- 
gression. " He that trusteth in his own heart, is a fool," saith 
Solomon, Prov. xxviii. 26. Such a fool was this great professor. 
It wall be your wisdom to keep a jealous eye upon your own hearts* 
and still suspect their fairest pretences. 

5. If you will not do as Judas did, nor come to such an end as 
he did, " take heed you live not unprofitably under the means of 
grace. Judas had the best means of grace that ever man enjoyed. 
He heard Christ himself preach, he joined often with him in prayer, 
but he was never the better for it all ; it was but as the watering 
of a dead stick, which will never make it grow, but rot it the 
sooner. Never was there a rotten branch so richly watered as he 

* Debtiefundamentumfallit opus, 


was. O it is a sad sign and a sad sin too, when men and women 
live under the gospel from year to year, and are never the better. 
I warn you to beware of these evils, all ye that profess religion. 
Let these footsteps by which Judas went down to his own place, 
terrify you from following him in them. 

Corollary 2. Learn hence also, That eminent knowledge and pro- 
fession put a special and eminent aggravation upon sin*. Judas 
Iscariot, one of the twelve. Poor wretch ! better had it been for 
him, if he had never been numbered with them, nor enlightened with 
so much knowledge as he was endowed with : for this rent his con- 
science to pieces, when he reflected on what he had done, and 
presently run into the gulph of despair. To sin against clear light, 
is to sin with an high hand. It is that which makes a sad waste of 
the conscience. That, without doubt, which now torments this 
poor soul in hell, is that he should go against his light, against 
his profession, to gratify a base lust to his eternal ruin. Had he 
known no better, it had been more excusable. Those that had a 
hand in the death of Christ, through mistake and ignorance, were 
capable to receive the pardon of their sin by that blood they so 
shed, Acts iii. 17, 19- compared. Take heed therefore of abusing 
knowledge, and putting a force upon conscience. 

Corollary 3. Learn hence in the third place, That unprincipled 
professors will sooner or later become shameful ajjostatcs. Judas 
was an unprincipled professor, and see what he came to ; ambition in- 
vited Simon Magus to the profession of Christ, he would be s/; ^ya; f 
" some great one," and how quickly did the rottenness of his prin- 
ciples discover itself in the ruin of his profession ? That which 
wants a root, must needs wither, as Christ speaks, Matth. xiii. 20, 
21. That which is the predominant interest, will prevail, and 
sway with us in the day of our trial. Hear me, all you that pro- 
fess religion, and have given your names to Christ ; if that pro- 
fession be not built upon a solid and real work of grace upon your 
hearts, you shall never honour religion, nor save your souls by it. 
O it is your union with Christ, that, like a spring, maintains your 
profession. " So much as you are united to Christ, so much 
" constancy, steadiness, and evenness, you will manifest in the 
" duties of religion, and no more f. 7 * 

O brethren, when he that professes Christ for company, shall be 
left alone as Paul was ; when he that makes religion a stirrup to help 
himself into the saddle of preferment and honour, shall see that 
he is so advanced to be drawn forth into Christ's camp and endure 
the heat of the day, and not to take his pleasure ; in a word, when 

* The least violation of conscience is a very great sin, dmes. 
fifioiimur </uatenus unimur. 

Vol. I. T 


he shall see all things about him discouraging and threatening, his 
dearest interest on earth exposed for religion's sake, and he hath 
no faith to balance his present losses with his future hopes ; I say, 
when it comes to this, you shall then see the rottenness of many 
hearts discovered ; and Judas may have many fellows, who will part 
with Christ for the world, as he did. O therefore look well to 
your foundation. 

Corollary 4. Moreover, in this example of Judas you may read 
this truth ; That men and women are never in more imminent dan- 
ger, than when they meet with temptations exactly suited to their 
master-lusts, to their own iniquity. O pray, pray, that ye may be 
kept from a violent suitable temptation. Satan knows that when a 
man is tried here, he fails by the root. The love of this world was 
all along Judas'* master-sin, and some conjecture he was a married 
man, and had a great charge ; but that is conjectural : this was his 
predominant lust. The devil found out this, and suited it with a 
temptation which fully hit his humour, and it carries him imme- 
diately. This is the dangerous crisis of the soul. Now you shall 
see what it is, and what it will do. Put money before Judas, and 
presently you shall see what the man is. 

Corollary 5. Hence, in like manner, we are instructed, That no 
man knows where he shall stop, when he first engages himself' in a 
way of sin *. 

Wickedness, as well as holiness, is not born in its full strength, 
but grows up to it by insensible degrees. So did the wickedness 
of Judas. I believe, he himself never thought he should have 
done what he did : and if any should have told him, in the first 
beginning of his profession, Thou shalt sell the blood of Christ for 
money, thou shalt deliver him most perfidiously into their hands 
that seek his life ; he would have answered as Hazael did to Elisha, 
" But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great 
" thing ?" 2 Kings viii. 13. His wickedness first discovered itself 
in murmuring and discontent, taking a pique at some small mat- 
ters against Christ, as you may find, by comparing John vi. from 
verse 60 to 70. with John xii. from verse 3 to 9. but see to what 
it grows at last. That lust or temptation that at first is but a little 
cloud as big as a man's hand, may quickly overspread the whole 
heaven. It is our engaging in sin, as in the motion of a stone 
down the hill, vires acquirit eundo, "it strengthens itself by going;" 
and the longer it runs, the more violent. Beware of the smallest 
beginnings of temptations. No wise man will neglect or slight the 
smallest spark of fire, especially if he see it among many barrels 

* Nemo repenteJU turpissimus^ i. e. No person suddenly becomes most profligate. 


of gun-powder. You carry gun-powder about you, O take heed 
of sparks. 

Corollary 6. Did Judas sell Christ for money ? Wliut a potent 
conqueror is the love of this world ! How many hath it cast down 
wounded? What great professors have been dragged at its chariot 
wheels as its captives ? Hymenaeus and Philetua, Ananias and Sap- 
phira, Demas and Judas, with thousands and ten thousands, since 
their days, led away in triumph. It " drowns men in perdition," 
1 Tim. vi. 9. In that pit of perdition, this son of perdition fell, 
and never rose more. O you that so court and prosecute it ; that 
so love and admire it ; make a stand here ; pause a little upon this 
example; consider to what it brought this poor wretch, whom I 
have presented to you dead, eternally dead, by the mortal wound 
that the love of this world gave him : it destroyed both soul and 
body. Pliny tells us, that the Mermaids delight to be in green 
meadows, into which they draw men by their enchanting voices; 
but, saith he, there always lie heaps of dead men's bones by them. 
A lively emblem of a bewitching world ! Good had it been for many 
professors of religion, if they had never known what the riches, and 
honours, and pleasures of this world meant. 

Corollary 7. Did Judas fancy so much happiness in a little money, 
that he would sell Christ to get it ? Learn then, That which men 
promise themselves much pleasure and contentment in the way of 
sin, may prove the greatest curse and misery to them that ever befel 
them in the world. Judas thought it was a brave thing to get 
money ! he fancied much happiness in it : but how sick was his con- 
science as soon as he had swallowed it ! O take it again, saith he ! 
It griped him to the heart. He knows not what to do, to rid himself 
of that money. Give me children, saith Rachel, or I die : she hath 
children, and they prove her death. O mortify your fancies to 
the world ; put no necessity upon riches. " They that will be 
" rich, fall into temptations, and many hurtful lusts, which drown 
" men in perdition,' 1 1 Tim. vi. 9. You may have your desires 
with a curse. He that brings home a pack of fine clothes infected 
with the plague, has no such great bargain of it, how cheap soever 
he bought them. 

Corollary 8. Was there one, and but one of the twelve, that pro- 
ved a Judas, a traitor to Christ ? Learn thence, That it is a most 
unreasonable thing to be prejudiced at religion, and the sincere pro- 
feasors of it, because some that profess it prove naught and vile. 

Should the eleven suffer for one Judas ? Alas, they abhorred 
both the traitor and his treason. As well might the High-priest 
and his servants have condemned Peter, John, and all the rest, 
whose souls abhorred the wickedness. If Judas proved a vile 
wretch, vet there were eleven to one that remained upright : if 



Judas proved naught, it was not his profession made him so, but 
his hypocrisy ; he never learned it from Christ. If religion must 
be charged with all the miscarriages of its professors, then there is 
no pure religion in the world. Name that religion among the 
professors whereof there is not one Judas. Take heed, reader, of 
prejudices against godliness on this account. The design of the 
devil, without doubt, is to undo thee eternally by them. " Wo 
" to the world because of offences," Matth. xviii. 7. And what 
if God do permit these things to fall out, that thou mayest be har- 
dened in iniquity, confirmed in sin by such occasions, and so thy 
destruction brought about this way: Blessed is he that is not 
offended at Christ. 

Corollary 9. Did Judas, one of the twelve, do so ? Learn thence, 
That a drop of grace, is better than a sea of' gifts* Gifts have some 
excellency in them, but the way of grace is the more excellent way* 
1 Cor. xii. 31. Gifts, as one saith, are dead graces, but graces are 
living gifts. There is many a learned head in hell. These are 
not the things that accompany salvation. Gifts are the gold that 
beautifies the temple ; but grace is as the temple which sanctifies 
the gold. One tear, one groan, one breathing of an upright heart, 
is more than the tongues of angels. 

Poor Christian, thou art troubled that thou canst not speak and 
pray so neatly, so handsomely, as some others can ? but canst thou 
go into a corner, and there pour out thy soul affectionately, 
though not rhetorically, to thy Father? trouble not thyself. It 
is better for thee to feel one divine impression from God upon thy 
heart, than to have ten thousand fine notions floating in thy head ; 
Judas was a man of parts ; but what good did they do him ? 

Corollary 10. Did the devil win the consent of Judas to such a 
design as this ? Could he get no other but the hand of an apostle 
to assist him? Learn hence, That the policy of Satan lies much in 
tJie choice of Ms instruments he works by. No bird, (saith one) like 
a living bird to tempt others into the net. Pelagius Socinus, $c. 
were fit for that work the devil put them upon. * Austin told an 
ingenious young scholar, " The devil coveted him for an orna- 
« ment." He knows he hath a foul cause to manage, and there- 
fore will get the fairest hand he can to manage it with the less 

Corollary 11. Did Judas, one of the twelve, do this? Then cer- 
tainly, Christians may approve and join with such men on earth, 
whose faces they shall never see in heaven. The apostles held com- 
munion a long time with this man, and did not suspect him. O please 
not yourselves therefore, that you have communion with the saints 

* Cajnt aba te ornari JUiabolus. 


here, and that they think and speak charitably of you. " All the 
" churches shall know, (saith the Lord) that I am he that search- 
" eth the heart and reins, and will give to every man as his work 
(i shall be," Rev. ii. 23. In heaven we shall meet many that wo 
never thought to meet there, and miss many we were confident 
we should see there. 

Corollary 12. Lastly, Did Judas, one of the twelve, a man so 
obliged, raised and honoured by Christ, do this ? Cease then from, 
man, be not too confident, but beware of men. " Trust ye not in 
M a friend, put no confidence in a guide, keep the door of thy lips 
" from her that lieth in thy bosom, 11 Mic. vii. 5. Not that there is 
no sincerity in any man, but because there is so much hypocrisy in 
many men, and so much corruption in the best of men, that we may 
not be too confident, nor lay too great a stress upon any man. 
Peter's modest expression of Sylvanus is a pattern for us ; " Sylvanus*, 
" a faithful brother unto you (as I suppose 11 ) 1 Pet. v. \% The time- 
shall come, saith Christ, that " brother shall betray brother to 
" death, 11 Mat. x. 11. Your charity for others may be your duty, 
but your too great confidence may be your snare. Fear what others 
»ay do, but fear thyself more. 


The second and third Preparatives for the Death of Christ, 
by his illegal Trial and Condemnation. 

Luke xxiii. 23, 24. 

And they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be 
crucified; and the voices of them and of the chief priests pre- 
vailed, And Pilate gave sentence tliat it should be as they re* 

d UDAS has made good his promise to the high-priest, and deli- 
vered Jesus a prisoner into their hands. These wolves of the even- 
ing, no sooner seize the Lamb of God, but they thirst and long to 
be sucking his precious innocent blood ; their revenge and malice 
admit no delay, as fearing a rescue by the people. 

When Herod had taken Peter, he committed him to prison, 
" intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people *," Acts 

• In so great a mixed multitude it was easy to raise a tumult, if the people had 
thought so great a prophet was murdered, contrary to aH law and justice. Par* in 
Matth. xxvi. 5. 


xii. 4. But these men cannot sleep till they have his blood, and 
therefore the preparation of the passover being come, they resolve 
in all haste to destroy him ; yet lest it should look like a down- 
right murder, it shall be formalized with a trial. This his triad 
and condemnation are the two last acts by which they prepared for 
his death, and are both contained in this context; in which we 
may observe, 1. The indictment. 2. The sentence to which the 
judge proceeded. 

1. The indictment drawn up against Christ, wherein they ac- 
cuse him of many things, but can prove nothing. They charge 
him with sedition and blasphemy, but falter shamefully in the 
proof. However, what is wanting in evidence, shall be supplied 
with clamour and importunity. For saith the text, " They were 
" instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified ; 
" and their voices prevailed :" When they can neither prove the 
sedition and blasphemy they charged him with, then, Crucify him, 
Crucify him, must serve the turn, instead of all witnesses and 

The sentence pronounced upon him ; Pilate gave sentence, that it 
should be as they required : i. e. he sentenced Christ to be nailed to 
the cross, and there to hang till he was dead. From both these 
we may observe these two doctrinal conclusions. 

Doct. 1. That the trial of Christ for his life, was managed most ma~ 
liciously, and illegally against him, by his unrighteous judges. 

Doct. 2. Though nothing could be proved against our Lord Jesus 
Christ worthy of death, or of bonds ; yet he was condemned to 
be nailed to the cross, and there to hang till he died. 

I shall handle these two points distinctly in their order, begin- 
ning with the first, namely, 

Doct. 1. That the trial of Christ for his life, was managed most ma- 
liciously and illegally against him, by his unrighteous judges. 

Reader, here thou mayest see the Judge of all the world stand- 
ing himself to be judged ; he that shall judge the world in righte- 
ousness, judged most unrighteously ; he that shall one day come 
to the throne of judgment, attended with thousands, and ten thou- 
sands of angels and saints, standing as a prisoner at man's bar, and 
there denied the common right which a thief or murderer might 
claim, and is commonly given them. 

To manifest the illegality of Christ's trial, let the following par- 
ticulars be needfully weighed. 


1. That he was inhumanly abused, both in words and actions, 
before the court met, or any examination was taken of the fact : 
for as soon as they had taken him, they forthwith bound him, and 
led him away to the High-priest's house, Luke xxii. 54. And there 
they that held him, mocked him, smote him, blind-folded him, 
struck him on the face, and bid him prophesy who smote him ; 
and many other things blasphemously spake they against him, ver. 
63, 64, 65. How illegal and barbarous a thing was this ? When. 
they were but binding Paul with thongs, he thought himself abused 
contrary to law, and asked the centurion that stood by, " Is it law- 
" ful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncon- 
" demned ?" q. d. Is this legal ! What, punish a man first, and 
judge him afterwards ! But Christ was not only bound, but horri- 
bly abused by them all that night, dealing with him as the lords of 
the Philistines did with Samson, to whom it was sport to abuse 
him. No rest had Jesus that night ; no more sleep for him now 
in this world : O it was a sad night to him : and this under Caia- 
phas\s own roof. 

2. As he was inhumanly abused before he was tried, so he was 
examined and judged by a court that had no authority to try him. 
Luke xxii. 66. " As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, 
M and the chief priests, and the scribes came together and led 
" him into their council.'" This was the ecclesiastical court, the great 
Sanhedrim, which, according to its first constitution, should consist 
of seventy grave, honourable, and learned men ; to whom were to 
be referred all doubtful matters, too hard for inferior courts to 
decide. And these were to judge impartially and uprightly for 
God, as men in whom was the Spirit of God, according to God's 
counsel to Moses, Numbers xi. 16, &c. In this court the righteous 
and innocent might expect relief and protection. And that is 
conceived to be the meaning of Christ's words, Luke xiii. 33. "It 
" cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem ;* that is, there 
righteousness and innocency may expect protection. But now, 
contrary to the first constitution, it consisted of a pack of mali- 
cious Scribes and Pharisees, men full of revenge, malice, and all 
unrighteousness : and over these Caiaphas (a head fit for such a 
body) at this time presided. And though there was still some face 
of a court among them, yet their power was so abridged by the 
Romans, that they could not hear and determine, judge and con- 
demn in capital matters, as formerly. For as * Josephus their own 
historian informs us, Herod in the beginning of his reign took 
away this power from them ; and that scripture seems to confirm 

* Antiq. lib. 1 4. cap. 205. 



it, John xviii. 31. " It is not lawful for us to put any man to 
" death ;" and therefore they bring him to Pilate's bar. He alsq 
understood him to be a Galilean; and Herod being Tetrarch of 
Galilee, and at that time in Jerusalem, he is sent •:> him, and by 
him remitted to Pilate. 

3. As he was at first heard and judged by a court that had nq 
authority to judge him ; so when he stood at Pilate's bar, he was 
accused of perverting the nation, and denying tribute to Caesar, 
than which nothing was more notoriously false. For as all his doc- 
trine was pure and heavenly, and malice itself could not find a 
flaw in it ; so he was always observant of the laws under which 
he lived, and scrupulous of giving the least just offence to the civil 
powers. Yea, he not only paid the tribute himself though he 
might have pleaded exemption, but charged it upon others as 
their duty so to do, Mat. xxii. 24. " Give unto Caesar the things 
" that are Caesar's.' 1 And yet with such palpable untruths is Christ 

4. Yea, and what is more abominable and unparalleled ; to 
compass their malicious designs, they industriously labour to suborn 
false "witnesses to take away his life, not sticking at the gros- 
sest perjury, and manifest injustice, so they might destroy him. 
So you read, Mat. >:xvi. 59. " Now the chief priests and elders, 
" and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus to put 
u him to death." Abominable wickedness ! for such men, and 
so many, to complot to shed the blood of the innocent, by known 
and studied perjury ! What will not malice against Christ trans- 
port men to ? 

5. Moreover, the carriage of the court was most insolent and 
base towards him during the trial : for whilst he stood before them 
as a prisoner, yet uncondemned, sometimes they are angry at 
him for his silence ! and when he speaks, and that pertinently to 
the point, they smite him on the mouth for speaking, and scoff at 
what he speaks*. & To some of their light, frivolous and en- 
" snaring questions, he is silent, not for want of an answer, but 
" because he heard nothing worthy of one." And to fulfil what the 
prophet Isaiah had long before predicted of him ; " He was op- 
" pressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth : he 
" is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her 
" shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth,' 1 Isa. liii. 7. 
As also to leave us a precedent when to speak, and when to be 
silent, when we for his name sake shall be brought before gover- 
nors : for such reasons as these he sometimes answers not a word, 

* Quia indignant responso judicat majvjestamjalsitatem; non dtfensione desti tutus , 
sed ut impleretur prophetee oraculum. Par. 


and then they are ready to condemn him for a mute. C( Answcrest 
" thou nothing ? (saith the high-priest) what is it that these wit- 
" ness against thee 7" Mat. xxvi. 62. " Hearest thou not how 
" many things they witness against thee ?" saith Pilate, Matp 
xxvii. 13. 

And when he makes his defence in words of truth and sober- 
ness, they smite him for speaking, John xviii. 22. " And when he 
" had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by, struck 
" Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, answerest thou the 
•" high-priest so ?" And what had he spoken to exasperate them ? 
Had he spoken impertinently ? Not at all ; what he said was but 
this, when they would have had him ensnare himself with his own 
Jips : " Jesus answered, I spake openly in the world, I ever taught 
" in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always 
" resort, and in secret have I said nothing. Whv askest thou me ? 
■" Ask them that heard me, behold they know what I said ;*" q. d. 
I am not obliged to accuse and ensnare myself, but you ought to 
proceed secundum allegata et probata, according to what is alleged 
and proved. Did he deserve a blow on his mouth for this ? O 
who but himself could have so patiently digested such abuses I 
Under all this he stands in perfect innocency and patience, making 
no other return to that wretch that smote him, but this, " If I 
" have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil : but if well, why 
f c smitest thou me ? 

6. Lastly, To instance in no more : he is condemned to die by 
that very mouth which had once and again professed he found no 
fault in him. He had heard all that could be alleged against 
him, and saw it was a perfect piece of malice and envy. When 
they urge Pilate to proceed to sentence him ; " Why, saith he, what 
* 4 evil hath he done ?" Mat. xxvii. 23. Nay, in the preface to the 
very sentence itself, he acknowledges him to be a just person, Mat. 
xxvii. 24. " When Pilate saw he could prevail nothing, but that 
" rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed hia 
" hands before the multitude, and said, I am innocent of the 
* ; blood of this just person, see ye to it." Here the innocency of 
Christ brake out like the sun wading out of a cloud, convincing the 
conscience of his judge that he was just ; and yet he must give sen- 
tence on him, for all that, to please the people. 

Inference 1. Was Christ thus used when he stood before the 
great council, the scribes and elders of Israel? Then surely 
" great men are not always wise, neither do the aged understand 
" judgment," Job xxxii. 9. Here were many great men, manjR 
aged men, many politic men in council ; but not one wise or good, 
man among them. In this council were men of parts and learn- 
ing, men of great abilities, and by so much the more pernicious^ 


and able to do mischief. Wickedness in a great or learned man, 
is like poison given in wine, the more operative and deadly. 
Christ's greatest enemies were such as these. Heathen Pilate 
had more pity for him than superstitious Caiaphas. Luther tells us, 
that his greatest adversaries did not rise out of the ale-houses or 
brothel-houses, but out of monasteries, convents, and religious houses. 

Inf. % Hence also we learn, That though we are not obliged to 
answer every captious, idle, or ensnaring question, yet we are bound 
faithfully to own and confess the truth, when we are solemnly called 

It is true, Christ was sometimes silent, and as a deaf man that 
heard not ; but when the question was solemnly put, " Art thou 
" the Christ, the Son of the blessed ? Jesus said, I am, 1 ' Mat. xiv. 
61, 62. He knew that answer would cost his life, and yet he 
durst not deny it. On this account the apostle saith, " he wit- 
" nessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate," 1 Tim. vi. 13. 
Herein Christ hath ruled out the way of our duty, and by his own 
example, as well as precept, obliged us to a sincere confession of 
him, and his truth, when we are required lawfully so to do, i. e. 
when we are before a lawful magistrate, and the questions are not 
curious or captious ; when we cannot hold our peace, but our . 
silence will be interpretatively a denying of the truth ; finally, 
when the glory of God, honour of his truth, and edification of 
others, are more attainable by our open confession, than they can 
be by our silence ; then must we with Christ, give direct, plain, 
sincere answers. 

It was the old Priscillian error, to allow men to deny or dis- 
semble their profession, when an open confession would infer dan- 
ger. But you know what Christ hath said, Mat. x. 33. " Who- 
" soever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my 
" Father which is in heaven." Christ will repay him in his own 
coin. It was a noble saying of courageous * Zuinglius, " What 
w deaths would I not chuse ? What punishment would I not un- 
" dergo ? Yea, into what vault of hell would I not rather chuse to 
" be thrown, than to witness against my conscience ? Truth can 
never be bought too dear, nor sold cheap. The Lord Jesus, you 
see, owns truth with the imminent and instant hazard of his life. 
The whole Cloud of witnesses have followed him therein, Rev. 
xiv. 1. We ourselves once openly owned the ways of sin; and 
shall we not do as much for Christ, as we then did for the devil ? 
Did we then glory in our shame, and shall we now be ashamed of 
our glory ? Do not we hope Christ will own us at the great day ? 

* Quas non oportet inortes prteligere ? Quod non supplicium potiusjerre ? Into in quam 
prnf'undam inf'a-ni abyssum non intrare, quam contra conscientiam attestare ? Zuing. 


Why, if we confess him, he also will confess us. O think on the 
reasonableness of this duty. 

Inf. 3. Once more, hence it follows, That to bear the reviling*, 
contradictions, and abuses of men, with a meek, composed, and even 
spirit, is excellent and Christ-like. He stood before them as a lamb ; 
he rendered not railing for railing ? he endured the contradictions 
of sinners against himself. Imitate Christ in his meekness. He 
calls you so to do, Mat. xi. 28. This will be convincing to your 
enemies, comfortable to yourselves, and honourable to religion: 
and as for your innocency, God will clear it up as Christ's was. 

You have heard the illegal trial of Christ, how insolently it was 
managed against him ; well, right or wrong, innocent or guilty, 
his blood is resolved upon ; it is bought and sold before-hand ; and 
if nothing else will do it, menaces and clamours shall constrain 
Pilate to condemn him. Whence our second note was, 

Doct. 2. That though nothing could be proved against our Lord 
Jesus Christ worthy of death or of bonds ; yet was he condemn* 
ed to be nailed to the cross, and there to hang till he died. 

For the explication of this, I shall open the following particulars. 
First, Who gave the sentence. Secondly, Upon whom it was given. 
Thirdly, What sentence it was that was given. Fourthly, In what 
manner Christ received it. 

First, Who, and what was he, that durst attempt such a thing 
as this ? Why, this was Pilate, who succeeded Valerius Gratus in 
the presidentship of Judea, (as * Josephus tells us) in which trust 
he continued about ten years. This cruel, cursed act of his against 
Christ was in the eighth year of his government. Two years after, 
he was removed from his place and office by Vitellius, president 
of Syria, for his inhuman murdering of the innocent Samaritans. 
Tins necessitated him to go to Rome to clear himself before 
Caesar; but before he came to Rome, Tiberius was dead, and 
Caius in his room. Under him, saith -f Eusebius, Pilate killed him- 
self. I " He was a man not very friendly or benevolent to the 
" Jewish nation, but still suspicious of their rebellions and insur- 
" rections ; this jealous humour the priests and scribes observed, 
" and wrought upon it to compass their design against Christ/" 
Therefore they tell him so often of Christ's sedition, and stirring 
up the people ; and that if he let him go, he is none of Caesar's 

* Josephus, lib. 18. Ant Judoeae, quarto ad cap. 7. 

f Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 7. 

J Nbn admodum amicus Judceorum genti, propterea quod earn suspeclam haberet anuno 
?rga Casaremi huncpulant sacerdotes commodumfore ipsorum propositi , &c. Bucer. in 
Mat. xxvii. 


friends ; which very consideration prevailed with him to do what 
he did. But how durst he attempt such a wickedness as this, 
though he had stood ill in the opinion of Caesar ? What ! give judg- 
ment against the Son of God ? for it is evident, by many circum- 
stances in this trial, that he had many inward fears and convictions 
upon him, that he was the Son of God * : By these he was scared, 
and sought to release him, John xix. 8, 1% the fear of a Deity fell 
upon him ; his mind was greatly perplexed, and dubious about 
this prisoner whether he was a God or a man. And yet the fear 
of Caesar prevailed more than the fear of a Deity ; he proceeds to 
give sentence. 

O Pilate ! thou wast not afraid to judge and sentence an inno- 
cent, a known innocent, and one whom thou thyself suspectest 
at least to be more than man ! But see in this predominancy of 
self-interest, what man will attempt, and perpetrate, to secure 
and accommodate self. 

Secondly , Against whom doth Pilate give sentence? against % 
malefactor ? No, his own mouth once and again acknowledged 
him innocent. Against a common prisoner? No, but one whose 
fame no doubt had often reached Pilate's ears, even the wonder- 
ful things wrought by him, which none but God could do : one 
that stood before him as the picture, or rather as the body, of in- 
nocency and meekness. Ye have condemned and killed the just, 
and he resisteth you not, Jam. v. 6. Now was that word made 
good, Psal. xciv. 21. " They gather themselves together against 
" the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.'' 1 

Thirdly , But what was the sentence that Pilate gave ? We have 
it not in the form in which it was delivered: but the sum of it was, 
that it should be as they required. Now what did they require ? 
why, crucify him, crucify him. So that in what formalities soever 
it was delivered, this was the substance and effect of it, / adjudge 
Jesus of Nazareth to he nailed to the crass, and there to hang till 
he be dead. Which sentence against Christ was, 

1. A most unjust and unrighteous sentence : the greatest perver- 
sion of judgment and equity that was ever known to the civilized 
world, since seats of judicature were first set up. What ! to 
condemn him before one accusation was proved against him ? And if 
what they accused him of (that he said he was the Son of God) had 
been proved, it had been no crime, for he really was so ; and there* 
fore no blasphemy in him to say he was. Pilate should rather have 
come down from his seat of judgment, and adored him, than sat 

* Having heard the name of the Son of God, his mind was smitten with a re- 
ligious awe ; and being struck with the fear of a Deity, he was perplexed and in 
suspense, thinking himself in present danger, as at the brink of » pit. Marlot. in lou 


there to judge him. O it was the highest piece of injustice that 
ever our ears heard of ! 

% As it was an unrighteous, so it was a cruel sentence, delivering 
up Christ to their wills. This was that misery which David so 
earnestly deprecated, Psal. xxvii. 12. " O deliver me not over to 
u the will of mine enemies." But Pilate delivers Christ over to 
the will of his enemies, men full of enmity, rage, and malice, 
whose greatest pleasure it was to glut themselves with his blood, 
and to satiate their revengeful hearts with such a spectacle of misery. 
For lo, as soon as these wolves had gripped their prey, they were 
not satisfied with that cursed, cruel, and ignominious death of the 
cross, to which Pilate had adjudged him, but they are resolved he 
shall die over and over ; they will contrive many deaths in one ; 
now they say as a tyrant did once, moriatur, ut sentiat se morl ; 
" let him die, so as he may feel himself to die.'" To this end 
they presently strip him naked ; scourge him cruelly ; array him in 
scarlet, and mock him ; crown him with a bush of plaited thorns ; 
fasten that crown upon his head by a blow with a cane, which set 
them deep into his sacred temples ; sceptered him with a reed, 
spat in his face, stript off his mock-robes again ; put the cross upon 
his back, and compelled him to bear it. All this, and much 
more, they express their cruelty by, as soon as they had him de- 
livered over to their will. So that this was a cruel sentence. 

3. As it was a cruel, so it was a rash and hasty sentence. The 
Jews are all in haste ; consulting all night, ?nd early up by the 
break of day in the morning, to get him to his trial. They spur 
on Pilate, with all arguments they can to give sentence. His trial 
took up but one morning, and a great part of that was spent in 
sending him from Caiaphas to Pilate, and from Pilate to Herod, 
and then back again to Pilate ; so that it was a hasty and headlong 
sentence that Pilate gave. He did not sift and examine the matter, 
but handles it very slightly. The trial of many a mean man hath 
taken up ten times more debates and time than was spent about 
Christ. " * They that look but slightly into the cause, easily pro- 
" nounce and give sentence."" But that which was then done in 
haste, they have had time enough to repent for since. 

4. As it was a rash and hasty, so it was an extorted, forced sen*- 
tencef. They squeeze it out of Pilate by mere clamour, importu- 
nity, and suggestions of danger. In courts of judicature, such 
arguments should signify but little ; not importunity, but proof, 
should carry it : but timorous Pilate bends like a willow at this 

* Qui id pauca respiciant, facile pronunciont. 

f By menaces they extort from him the condemnation of Cbrist. Calvin, 


breath of the people : he had neither such a sense of justice, nor 
spirit of courage, as to withstand it. 

5. As it was an extorted, so it was an hypocritical sentence, mask- 
ing horrid murder under a pretence and formality of law. It must 
look like a legal procedure to palliate the business. Loth he was 
to condemn him lest innocent blood should clamour in his con- 
science ; but since he must do it, he will transfer the guilt upon 
them, and they take it ; " his blood be on us, and on our children 
" for ever,"" say they. Pilate calls for water, washes his hands 
before them, and tells them, " I am free from the blood of this 
" just person." But stay ; free from his blood, and yet condemn 
a known innocent person ? Free from his blood, because he wash- 
ed his hands in water ? No, no, he could never be free, except 
his soul had been washed in that blood he shed. O the hypocrisy 
of Pilate ! Such juggling as this will not serve his turn, when he 
shall stand as a prisoner before him, who now stood arraigned at 
his bar. 

6. And lastly, As it was an hypocritical, so it was an unrevoked 
sentence : it admitted not of a reprieve, no, not for a day ; nor 
doth Christ appeal to any other judicature, or once desire the least 
delay ; but away he is hurried in haste to the execution. Blush, 
O ye heavens ! and tremble, O earth ! at such a sentence as this ! 
Now is Christ dead in law ; now he knows whether he must be 
carried, and that presently. His soul and body must feel that, the 
very sight of which put him into an agony but the night before. 

Fourthly, and lastly, In what manner did Christ receive this cruel 
and unrighteous sentence? He received it like himself, with ad- 
mirable meekness and patience. He doth as it were wrap himself 
up in his own innocencv, and obedience to his Father's will, and 
stands at the bar with invincible patience, and meek submission. 
He doth not at once desire the judge to defer the sentence, much 
less fall down and beg for his life, as other prisoners use to do at 
such times. No, but as a sheep he goes to the slaughter, not 
opening his mouth. Some apply that expression to Christ, Jam. 
v. 6. " Ye have condemned and killed the Just, and he resisteth 
" you not." From the time that Pilate gave sentence, till he was 
nailed to the cross, we do not read that ever he said any thing, 
save only to the women that followed him out of the city to Gol- 
gotha : and what he said there, rather manifesting his pity to them, 
than any discontent at what was now come upon him ; " Daugh- 
" ters of Jerusalem, (saith he) weep not for me, but weep for 
" yourselves and for your children," Luke xxiii. 28, Sfc. O the 
perfect patience and meekness of Christ. The inferences from 
hence are. 

Inference 1. Do you see what was here done against Christ, under 


pretence of law ? What cause have we to pray Jar good laws y and 
righteous executioners of them? 

O ! It is a singular mercy to live under good laws, which pro- 
tect the innocent from injury. Laws are hedges about our lives, 
liberties, estates, and all the comforts we enjoy in this world. 
Times will be evil enough, when iniquity is not discountenanced and 
punished by law ; but how evil are those times like to prove when 
iniquity is established by law ! As the Psalmist complains, Psal. xciv. 
20. " It was the complaint of Pliny to Trajan, that whereas 
" crimes were wont to be the burden of the age, now laws were so ; 
" and that he feared the commonwealth which was established, 
" would be subverted by laws *." It is not likely that virtue will 
much flourish, when " judgment springs up as hemlock in the fur- 
rows of the field," Hos. x. 4. How much therefore is it our con- 
cernment to pray, that " judgment may run down as a mighty 
" stream ?" Amos v. 24. " That our officers may be peace, and 
" our exactors righteousness ?" Isa. lx. 17. It was not therefore 
without great reason, that the apostle exhorted, that " supplica- 
" tions, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for 
u all men ; for kings, and all that are in authority, that we may 
" lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty," 
1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. Great is the interest of the church of God in 
them ; they are instruments of much good or much evil. 

Inf. 2. Was Christ condemned in a court of judicature? How 
evident then is it, that there is a judgment to come after this life ? 
Surely things will not be always carried as they are in this world. 
When you see Jesus condemned, and Barabbas released, conclude, 
that a time will come when innocency shall be vindicated, and wicked- 
ness shamed. On this very ground, Solomon concludes, and very 
rationally, that God will call over things hereafter at a more righ- 
teous tribunal : " And moreover, I saw under the sun the place of 
''judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righte- 
" ousness, that iniquity was there. I said in my heart, God shall 
" judge the righteous, and the wicked : for there is a time there 
" for every purpose and for every work," Eccles. iii. 16, 17. 
Some indeed, on this ground, have denied the divine providence ; 
but Solomon draws a quite contrary conclusion, God shall judge : 
Surely, he will take the matter into his own hand, he will bring 
forth the righteousness of his people as the light, and their just 
dealing as the noon-day. It is a mercy, if we be wronged in one 
court, that we can appeal to another where we shall be sure to be 
relieved by a just impartial Judge. " Be patient therefore, my 

* Olim criminibusjjnm Irgifrus labor atur ; et metuendum est, ne respublicafwidata, sit 
legibus evcrsa. Pliu. ad Trajan. 


" brethren (saith the apostle) until the coming of the Lord, 11 
James v. 6, 7, 8. 

Inf. 3. Again, here you see how conscience may be over-borne and 
run dawn by a fleshly interest- Pilate's conscience bid him beware, 
and forbear : his interest bid him act ; his fear of Caesar was more 
than the fear of God. But O I what a dreadful thing is it for 
conscience to be ensnared by the fear of man ? Prov. xxix, %5. 
To guard thy soul, reader, against this mischief, let such conside- 
rations as these be ever with thee. 

1. Consider how dear those profits, Or pleasures cost, which 
are purchased with the loss of inward peace ! There is nothing in 
this world good enough to recompense such a loss, or balance the 
misery of a tormenting conscience. If you violate it, and prostitute 
it for a fleshly lust, it will remember the injury you did it many 
years after ; Gen. xlii. 21. Job xiii. 26. It will not only retain 
the memory of what you did, but it will accuse you for it : Mat. 
xxvii. 4. It will not fear to tell you that plainly, which others 
dare not whisper. It will not only accuse, but it will also condemn 
Vou for what you have done. This condemning voice of conscience 
is a very terrible voice* 

You may see the horror of it in Cain, the vigour of it in Judas* 
the doleful effects of it in Spira, It will, from all these its offices, 
produce shame, fear, and despair, if God give not repentance to 
fife. The shame it works will so confound you, that ycu will not 
be able to look up; Job xxxi. 14 Psal. i. 5. The fear it works 
will make you wish for a hole in the rock to hide you ; Isa. ii. 9. 
10, 15, 19. And its despair is a death-pang. The cutting off of 
hope, is the greatest cut in the world. O 1 who can stand under 
such a load as this ? Prov. xvii. 14. 

2. Consider the nature of your present actions; they are seed 
sown for eternity, and will spring up again in suitable effects, re- 
wards, and punishments, when you that did them are turned to 
dust. Gal. vi. 7. " What a man sows, that shall he reap :" And 
as sure as the harvest follows the seed time, so sure shall shame, 
fear, and horror, follow sin, Dan. xii. 2. What Zeuxis, the fa- 
mous limner, said of his work, may much more truly be said of 
ours, ccternitati pingo, I paint for eternity, said he, when one ask- 
ed him why he was so curious in his work. Ah I how bitter will 
those things be in the account and reckoning, which were pleasant 
in the acting and committing ? It is true, our actions, physically 
considered, are transient ; how soon is a word or action spoken or 
done, and there is an end of it ? But morally considered, they are 
permanent, being put upon God's book of account. O ! therefore 
take heed what you do : so speak 3 and so act, as they that must give 
an account. 


3. Consider, how by these things men do but prepare for their 
own torment in a dying hour. There is bitterness enough in 
death, you need not add more gall and wormwood to increase the 
bitterness of it. What is the violencing and wounding of con- 
science now, but the sticking so many pins or needles in your death- 
bed, against you come to lie down on it ? This makes death bitter 
indeed. How many have wished in a dying hour, they had rather 
lived poor and low all their days, than to have strained their con- 
sciences for the world ? Ah ! how is the face and aspect of things 
altered in such an hour. 

No such considerations as these had any place in Pilate's heart ; 
for if so, he would never have been courted, or scared in such am 
act as this. 

Inf. 4. Did Christ stand arraigned and condemned at Pilate's 
bar ? Then the believer shall never be arraigned and condemned at 
God's bar. This sentence that Pilate pronounced on Christ gives 
evidence that God will never pronounce sentence against such : for 
had he intended to have arraigned them, he would never have suf- 
fered Christ, their surety, to be arraigned and condemned for them. 
Christ stood at this time before a higher judge than Pilate ; he stood 
at God's bar as well as his. Pilate did but that which God's own 
hand and counsel had before determined to be done, and what 
God himself, at the same time, did ; though God did it justly and 
holily, dealing with Christ as a creditor with a surety ; Pilate most 
wickedly and basely, dealing with Christ as a corrupt judge, that 
shed the blood of a known innocent to pacify the people. But cer- 
tain it is, that out of his condemnation flows our justification : and 
had not sentence been given against him, it must have been given 
against us. 

O what a melting consideration is this ! that out of his agony 
comes our victory ; out of his condemnation, our justification ; out 
of his pain, our ease ; out of his stripes, our healing : out of his 
gall and vinegar, our honey ; out of his curse, our blessing ; out 
of his crown of thorns, our crown of glory ; out of his death, our 
life : if he could not be released, it was that you might. If Pilate 
gave sentence against him, it was that the great God might never 
give sentence against you, If he yielded that it should be with 
Christ as they required, it was that it might be with our souls as 
well as we can desire. And therefore, 

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. 

Vol, I; U 



Chjeust's memorable Address to the Daughters of Jerusa- 
lem, in his Way to the Place of his Execution. 

Luke xxiii. 27, 28, &c. 

And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, 
•which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning untd 
them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for me, but weep 
for yourselves, and for your children. 

X HE sentence of death once given against Christ, the execution 
quickly follows. Away they lead him from Gabbatha to Golgotha, 
longing as much to be nailing him to the cross, and feeding; 
their eyes with his torments, as the eagle doth to be tearing 
the flesh, and drinking the blood of that lamb she hath seized 
in her talons, and is carrying away to the top of some rock to de- 

The Evangelist here observes a memorable passage that fell out 
in their way to the place of execution ; and that is, the lamenta- 
tions and w T ailing of some that followed him out of the city, who 
expressed their pity and sorrow for him most tenderly and com- 
passionately : all hearts were not hard, all eyes were not dry. 
" There followed him a great company of people, and of women, 
" which also bewailed and lamented him," &c. 

In this paragraph we have two parts, viz. the lamentation of 
the daughters of Jerusalem for Christ, and Christ's reply to them. 

Is The lamentation of the daughters of Jerusalem for Christ. 
Concerning them, we briefly enquire who they were, and why 
they mourned. 

(1.) Who they were ? The text calls them " * daughters, i. e. 
" inhabitants of Jerusalem ; for it is a Hebraism ; as daughters of 
" Zion, daughters of Israel." And it is like the greatest part of 
them were women; and there were many of them, a troop of 
mourners, that followed Christ out of the city towards the place 
of his execution, with lamentations and wailings. 

(2.) What the principle, or ground of these their lamentations 
was, is not agreed by those that have pondered the story, -f Some 
are of opinion their tears and lamentations were but the effects and 
fruits of their more tender and ingenuous natures, which were 

Qvyurpsg lzpx<fakr\[J» i. e. mulieres Hieresolyvxitance ; Hebraismus : sic Jdice 
Tsionis. Piscat. in loc. 
f Mr. Anthony Burgess, Spiritual refining, p. 120. 



moved and melted with so tragical and sad a spectacle as was now 
before them. It is well observed by a * judicious author, " That 
" the tragical story of some great and noble personage, full of he- 
" roical virtue and ingenuity (yet inhumanely and ungratefully 
" used) will thus work upon ingenuous spirits who read or hear 
" of it, — which when it reaches no higher, is so far from being 
" faith, that it is but a carnal and fleshly devotion, springing from 
" fancy, which is pleased with such a story and the principles of 
" ingenuity stirred towards one, who is of a noble spirit, and yet 
" abused. Such stories use to stir up a principle of humanity in 
" men unto a compassionate love ; which Christ himself at his 
" suffering found fault with, as being not spiritual, nor raised 
" enough in those women that went weeping to see the Messiah 
" so handled. Weep not for me, (saith he) i. e. weep not so much 
*' for this, to see me so unworthily handled by those for whom I 
'" die."" This is the principle from which some conceive those 
tears to flow. 

But f Calvin attributes it to their faith, " looking upon these 
<c mourners as a remnant reserved by the Lord in that miserable 
" dispersion ; and though their faith was but weak, yet he judges 
" it credible that there was a secret seed of godliness in them, 
" which afterwards grew to a maturity, and brought forth fruit 
And to the same sense others give their opinion also. 

2. Let us consider Christ's reply to them ; " weep not for me, 
" ye daughters of Jerusalem," fyc. Strange, that Christ should 
forbid them to weep for him, yea for him under such unparalleled 
sufferings and miseries. If ever there was a heart-melting object 
in the world, it was here. who could hold, whose heart was 
not petrified, and more obdurate than the senseless rocks ? This 
reply of Christ undergoes a double sense and interpretation, suit- 
able to the different construction of their sorrows. Those that look 
upon their sorrows as merely natural, take Christ's reply in a ne- 
gative sense, prohibiting such tears as those. They that expound 
their sorrows as the fruit of faith, tell us, though the form of 
Christ's expression be negative, yet the sense is comparative, as 
Mat. ix. 13. "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice," i. e. mercy 
rather than sacrifice. So here, weep rather upon your your own ac- 
count, than mine ; reserve your sorrows for the calamities coming 
upon yourselves and your children. You are greatly affected, 1 
see, with the misery that is upon me ; but mine will be quickly 

* Dr. Thomas Goodwin, in his Triumph of Faith, p. 38. 

f Videmus guosdnm non Juisse oblitns doctrince et miraculorum Christi. Sic in misera 
ilia dissipatione exiguas sibi rcliquias servavit Dexis. Quamvis autem imbecillajv.it istarum 
mulierum Jides, creiiibile tamen est, occultum Juisse pieUUu semen, unde po ilea terme* 
vrodiit, Calvin, 



over, yours Will lie long. In which he shews his merciful and 
compassionate disposition, who was still more mindful of the 
troubles and burdens of others than of his own. 

And indeed, the days of calamity coming upon them and their 
children were doleful days. What direful and unprecedented 
miseries befel them at the breaking up and devastation of the city* 
who hath not read or heard ? And who can refrain from tears that 
hears or reads it ? 

Now, if we take the words in the first sense, as a prohibition of 
then* merely natural and carnal affections, expressed in tears and 
lamentations for him, no otherwise than they would have been 
Upon any other like tragical story ; then the observation from it 
will be this, 

Doct. 1. That melting affections and sorrows, even finm the 
sense and consideration of the sufferings of Christ, are no 
infallible signs of grace. 

If you take it in the latter sensej as the fruit of their faith, as 
tears flowing from a gracious principle ; then the observation will 
be this, 

Doct. 2. That the believing meditation of what Christ suffered for 
us, is of great force and efficacy to melt and break the heart. 

I shall rather chuse to prosecute both these branches, than to 
decide the controversy ; especially since the notes gathered from 
either may be useful to us. And therefore I shall begin with the 
first, viz. 

Doct. 1. That melting affections and sorrows, even from the senst 
of Christ's sufferings, are no infallible marks qf grace. 

In this point I have two things to do, to prepare it for use. 

First, To shew, what the melting of the affections by way of 
grief and sorrow is. 

Secondly b That they may be so melted, even upon the account of 
Christ, and yet the heart remain unrenewed. 

First, What the melting of the affections, by way of grief and 
sorrow, is. 

Tears are nothing else but the juice of a mind oppressed, and 
squeezed with grief. Grief compresses the heart ; the heart so com- 
pressed and squeezed, vents itself sometimes into tears, sighs, groans, 
4"C. and this is two-fold : gracious, and wholly supernatural ; or 
Common, and altogether natural. The gracious melting or sorrow 


of the soul, is likewise two-fold ; habitual or actual. Habitual 
bodily sorrow is that gracious disposition, inclination, or tendency 
of the renewed heart to mourn and melt, when any just occasion 
js presented to the soul that calls for such sorrow. It is expressed, 
Ezek. xxxvi. 26. " By taking away the heart of stone, and giving 
f 6 a heart of flesh ;" i. e. a heart impressive, and yielding to such 
arguments and considerations as move it to mourning. 

Actual sorrow is the expression and manifestation of that its in- 
clination upon just occasions ; and it is expressed two ways, either 
by the internal effects of it, which are the heaviness, shame, 
loathing, resolution, and holy revenge begotten in the soul upon 
the account of sin : or also by more external and visible effects, as 
sighs, groans, tears, fyc. the former is essential to godly sorrow, 
the latter contingent and accidental, much depending upon the 
natural temperature and constitution of the body. 

Natural and common meltings are nothing else but the effects of 
# better temper, and the fruit of a more ingenuous spirit, and easier 
constitution, which shews itself on any other, as well as upon 
spiritual occasions : as Austin said, he could weep plentifully when 
lie read the story of Dido. The history of Christ is a very tragical 
and pathetical history, and may melt an ingenuous nature, where 
there is no renewed principles at all. So that, 

Secondly r , Our affections may be melted, even upon the score 
and account of Christ ; and yet that is no infallible evidence of a 
gracious heart. And the reasons for it are, 

1. Because we find all sorts of affections discovered by such as 
have been no better than temporary believers. The stony-ground 
hearers in Mat. xiii. 20. " received the word with joy ;" and so 
did Johns hearers also, who for " a season rejoiced in his light," 
John iii. 85. Now, if the affections of joy under the word may 
be exercised, why not of sorrow also ? If the comfortable things 
revealed in the gospel may stir up the one, by a parity of reason, 
the sad things it reveals may answerably work upon the other. 
Even those Israelites whom Moses told they should fall by the 
sword, and not prosper, for the Lord would not be with them, 
because they were turned away from him ; yet when Moses re- 
hearsed the message of the Lord in their ears, they mourned great- 
ly, Numb. xiv. 39. I know the Lord pardoned many of them 
their iniquities, though he took vengeance on their inventions; 
and yet it is as true, that with many of them God was not well- 
pleased, 1 Cor. x. 5. Many instances of their weeping and mourn- 
ing before the Lord we find in this sacred history ; and yet their 
hearts were not stedfast with God. 

2. Because though the object about which our affections and 
passions are moved, may be spiritual ; yet the motives and prin- 



ciples that set them on work, may be but carnal and natural ones. 
When I see a person affected in the hearing of the word, or prayer, 
even unto tears, I cannot presently conclude, surely this is the 
effect of grace ; for it is possible, the pathetical quality of subject- 
matter, the rhetoric of the speaker, the very affecting tone, and 
modulation of the voice, may draw tears as well as faith working 
upon the spirituality, and deep concernment the soul hath in those 

Whilst Austin was a Manichee, he sometimes heard Ambrose ; 
and, saith he, " I was greatly affected in hearing him, even, unto 
" tears many times :" howbeit, it was not the heavenly nature of 
the subject, but the abilities and rare parts of the speaker that so 
affected him. And this was the case of EzekiePs hearers, chap, 
xxxiii. 32. 

Again, 3. These motions of the affections may rather be a fit 
and mood, than the very frame and temper of the soul. Now 
there is a vast difference betwixt these ; there are times and sea- 
sons, when the roughest and most obdurate hearts may be pensive 
and tender * : but that is not its temper and frame, but only a fit, 
a pang, a transient passion. So the Lord complains of them, Hos. 
vi. 4. " O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee ? O Judah, what shall 
" I do unto thee ? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as 
" the early dew, it goeth away." And so he complains, Psal. 
lxxviii. 34, 35, 36. " When he slew them, then they sought him : 
" and they returned and enquired early after God. And they re- 
" membered that God was their rock, and the most high God their 
" redeemer ; nevertheless they did natter him with their lips, and 
" lied unto him with their tongues." For had this remembrance 
of God been the gracious temper of their souls, it would have 
continued with them ; they would not have been thus wavering ; 
thus hot and cold with God, as they were. Therefore we con- 
clude, that we cannot infer a work of grace upon the heart, simply 
and merely from the meltings and thaws that are sometimes upon 
it. And hence, for your use, I shall infer, that, 

Inference 1. If such as sometimes feel their hearts thawed and 
melted with the consideration of the sufferings of Christ, may yet 
be deceived ; What cause have they to Jear and tremble, whose 
hearts are as unrelenting as the rocks, yielding to nothing that is 
proposed, or urged upon them f How many such are there, of whom 
we may say, as Christ speaks of the inflexible Jews, " We have 
" piped unto you, but ye have not danced ; we have mourned unto 
" you, but you have not lamented? 1 '' Mat. xi. 17. They must in- 

* Ma tantitm dicuntur inesse aninue, quce insuntyer moduvi quietis, i. e. These things 
alone are said to be in the soul, which are in it habitually. 


evitably come short of heaven, who come so short of those that 
do .come short of heaven. If those perish that have rejoiced 
under the promises, and mourned under the threats of the word ; 
what shall become of them that are as unconcerned, and untouch- 
ed by what they hear, as the seats they sit on, or the dead that 
lie under their feet ? Who are given up to such hardness of heart, 
that nothing can touch or affect them ? One would think, the 
consideration of the sixth chapter to the Hebrews should startle such 
men and women, and make them cry out, Lord, what will become 
of such a senseless, stupid, dead creature as I am ? If they that 
have been enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and 
were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good 
word of God, and the powers of the world to come, miy, not- 
withstanding such high raised affections as these, so fall away, that 
it shall be impossible to renew them again by repentance, what 
shall we then say, or think of his estate, to whom the most pene- 
trating and awakening truths are no more than a tale that is told ? 
The tire and hammer of the gospel can neither melt nor break 
them ; they are iron and brass, Jer. vi. 28, 29- 

Inference 2. If such as these may eternally miscarry ; then let 
all look carefully to their foundation , and see that they do not bless 
themselves in a thing of nought. It is manifest from 1 Cor. x. 12. that 
many souls stand exceeding dangerously, who are yet strongly 
conceited of their own safety. And if you please to consult those 
scriptures in the margin *, you shall find vain confidence to be a 
ruling folly over the greatest part of men ; and that which is the 
utter overthrow, and undoing of multitudes of professors. 

Now there is nothing more apt to beget and breed this vain soul- 
undoing confidence, than the stirrings and meltings of our affec- 
tions about spiritual things, whilst the heart remains unrenewed 
all the while. For (as a grave divine *)* hath well observed) such a 
man seems to have all that is required of a Christian, and herein 
to have attained the very end of all knowledge ; which is opera- 
tion and influence upon the heart and affections. 

Indeed (thinks such a poor deluded soul) if I did hear, read, 
or pray, without any inward affections, with a dead, cold, and 
unconcerned heart ; or if I did make a shew of zeal and affec- 
tion in duties, and had it not, well might I suspect myself to be a 
self-cozening hypocrite ; but it is not so with me, I feel my heart 
really melted many times, when I read the sufferings of Christ ; 
I feel my heart raised and ravished with strange joys and comforts, 
when I hear the glory of heaven opened in the gospel : Indeed if 

* Gal. vi. 5, 4. John viii. 54. Rom. ii. 18, 19, 21. Mat. xxv. 11, 12. Mat, 
vii. 22. f Mr. Anthony Burgess. 



it were not so with me, I might doubt the root of the matter is 
wanting ; but if to my knowledge, affections be added ; a melting 
heart joined with a knowing head, then I may be confident all is 
well. I have often heard ministers cautioning and warning their 
people not to rest satisfied with idle and unpractical notions in 
their understandings, but to labour for impressions upon their 
hearts ; this I have attained., and therefore what danger of me ? 
I have often heard it given as a mark of a hypocrite, that he hath 
light in his head, but it sheds not down its influence upon the 
heart : whereas in those that are sincere, it works on their heart 
and affections: So I find it with me, therefore I am in a most 
safe estate. O soul ! of all the false signs of grace, npne more dan- 
gerous than those that most resemble true ones ; and never doth 
the devil more surely and incurably destroy, than when transform- 
ed into an angel of light. What if these meltings of thy heart be 
but a flower of nature ? What if thou art more beholden to a 
good temper of body, than a gracious change of spirit for these 
things ? Well, so it may be. Therefore be not secure, but fear, 
and watch. Possibly, if thou wouldest but search thine own heart 
in this matter, thou mayest find, that any other pathetical, mo- 
ving story, will have the like effects upon thee. Possibly too, 
thou mayest find, that, notwithstanding all thy raptures and joys 
at the hearing of heaven, and its glory, yet after that pang is over, 
thy heart is habitually earthly, and thy conversation is not there. 
3For all thou canst mourn at the relations of Christ's sufferings, 
thou art not so affected with sin, that was the meritorious cause of 
the sufferings of Christ, as to crucify one corruption, or deny the 
next temptation, or part with any way of sin that is gainful, or 
pleasurable to thee for his sake. 

Why now, reader, if it be so with thee, what art thou the bet- 
ter for the fluency of thy affections ? Dost thou think in earnest, 
that Christ hath the better thoughts of thee, because thou canst 
shed tears for him, when notwithstanding thou every day piercest 
and woundest him ? O ! be not deceived. Nay, for ought I 
know, thou mayest find, upon a narrow search, that thou puttest 
thy tears in the room of Christ's blood, and givest the confidence 
and dependence of thy soul to them ; and if so, they shall never 
do thee any good. 

O therefore search thy heart, reader be not too confident : take 
not up too easily upon such poor weak grounds as these, a soul-un- 
doing confidence. Always remember the wheat and tares resem- 
ble each other in their first springing up ; that an egg is not liker to. 
an egg, than hypocrisy, in some shapes and forms into which it can 
cast itself, is like a genuine work of grace. O remember that 
among the ten virgins, that is, the reformed professors of religion 


that have cast off and separated themselves from the worship and 
defilements of Antichrist, five of them were foolish. 

There be first, that shall be last ; and last, that shall be first, 
JMat. xix. 30. Great is the deceitfulness of our hearts, Jer. xvii. 9- 
And many are the subtleties and devices of Satan, 2 Cor. xi. 3. 
Many also are the astonishing examples of self-deceiving souls re- 
corded in the word. Remember what you lately read of Judas. 
Great also will be the exactness of the last judgment. And how 
confident soever you be, that you shall speed well in that day, yet 
still remember that trial is not yet past. Your final sentence is 
not yet come from the mouth of your Judge. This I speak not to 
affright and trouble, but excite and warn you. The loss of a soul 
is no small loss, and, upon such grounds as these, they are every 
day cast away. 

This may suffice to be spoken to the first observation, built on 
this supposition, that it was but a pang of mere natural affection in 
them. But if it were the effect of a better principle, the fruit of 
their faith, as some judge; then I told you, the observation from 
it would be this, 

Doct. That the believing meditation of what Christ suffered for 
us, is of great force and efficacy to melt and break the heart. 

It is promised, Zech. xii. 10. that " they shall look upon him 
*' whom they have pierced, and mourn for him, as one mourn- 
" eth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one 
"that is in bitterness for his first-born.' 1 Ponder seriously, here, 
the spring and motive, They shall look upon me ; it is the eye of 
faith that melts and breaks the heart. The effect of such a sight of 
Christ ; they shall look and mourn ; be in bitterness and sorrow. 
True repentance is a drop out of the eye of faith ; and the measure 
or degree of that sorrow caused by a believing view of Christ. To 
express which, two of the fullest instances of grief we read of, are 
borrowed ; that of a tender father, mourning over a dear and 
only son ; that of the people of Israel, mourning over Josiah, that 
peerless prince, in the valley of Megiddo. 

Now to shew you how the believing meditation of Christ, and 
his sufferings, come kindly and savingly to break and melt down 
the gracious heart, I shall propound these four considerations of 
the heart-breaking efficacy of faith, eveing a crucified Jesus. 

First, The very realizing of Christ and his sufferings by faith, ia 
a most affecting and melting thing. Faith is a true glass that re- 
presents all those his sufferings and agonies to the life. It presents 
them not as a fiction, or idle tale, but as a true and faithful narra- 
tive. This (saith faith) is a true and faithful saying, that Christ 


was not only clothed in our flesh ; even he that is over all, God 
blessed for ever, the only Lord, the Prince of the kings of the 
earth, became a man ; but it is also most certain, that in this body 
of his flesh, he grappled with the infinite wrath of God, which fil- 
led his soul with horror and amazement ; that the Lord of life did 
hang dead upon the tree ; that he went as a lamb to the slaughter, 
and was as a sheep dumb before the shearer ; that he endured all 
this, and more than any finite understanding can comprehend, in 
my room and stead ; for my sake he there groaned and bled ; for 
my pride, earthliness, lust, unbelief, hardness of heart, he endured 
all this. I say, to realize the sufferings of Christ thus, is of great 
power to affect the coldest, dullest heart. You cannot imagine the 
difference there is in presenting things as realities, with convincing 
and satisfying evidences, and our looking on them as a fiction or 

Secondly, But faith can apply as well as realize; and if it do so, 
it must needs overcome the heart. 

Ah ! Christian, canst thou look upon Jesus as standing in thy 
room, to bear the wrath of a Deity for thee ? Canst thou think on 
it, and not melt ? That when thou, like Isaac, wast bound to the 
altar, to be offered up to justice, Christ, like the ram, was caught 
in the thicket, and offered in thy room. When thy sins had raised 
a fearful tempest, that threatened every moment to entomb thee 
in a sea of wrath, Jesus Christ was thrown over to appease that 
storm ! Say, reader, can thy heart dwell one hour upon such a 
subject as this ? Canst thou with faith, present Christ to thyself, as 
he was taken down from the cross, drenched in his own blood, and 
say, These were the wounds that he received for me ; this is he that 
loved me, and gave himself for me : out of these wounds comes 
that balm that heals my soul ; out of these stripes my peace : When 
he hanged upon the cross, he bore my name upon his breast, like 
the high priest. It was love, pure love, strong love to my poor 
soul ; to the soul of an enemy that drew him down from heaven, 
and all the glory he had there, to endure these sorrows in soul and 
body for me. 

O you cannot hold up your hearts long to the piercing thoughts 
of this, but your bowels will be pained, and, like Joseph, you will 
seek a place to vent your hearts in. 

Thirdly, Faith cannot only realize and apply Christ, and his 
death, but it can reason and conclude such things from his death, 
as will fill the soul with affection to him, and break the heart in 
pieces, in his presence. When it views Christ as dead, it infers, 
Is Christ dead for me? then was I dead in law, sentenced and 
condemned to die eternally ; 2 Cor. v. 14. " If one died for all, 
" then were all dead." How woeful was my case when the law 


had passed sentence on me ? I could not be sure when I lay down, 
but that it might be executed before I rose ; nothing but a puff of 
breath betwixt my soul and hell. 

Again, Is Christ dead for me ? then I shall never die. If he be 
condemned, I am acquitted. " Who shall lay any thing to the 
" charge of God's elect ? It is God that justifieth, it is Christ that 
" died," Rom. viii. 34. My soul is escaped as a bird out of the 
snare of the fowler ; I was condemned, but am now cleared ; I 
was dead, but am now alive; O the unsearchable riches of Christ! 
O love past finding out ! 

Again, Did God give up Christ to such miseries and sufferings 
for me ? * How shall he with-hold any thing from me ? He that 
" spared not his own Son, will doubtless with him freely give me 
" all things," Rom. viii. 32. Now I may rest upon him for pardon, 
peace, acceptance, and glory for my soul. Now I may rely 
upon him safely for provision, protection, and all supplies for my 
body. Christ is the root of these mercies ; he is more than all 
these, he is nearer and dearer to God than any other gift. O 
what a blessed, happy, comfortable state hath he now brought my 
soul into ! 

To conclude, Did Christ endure all these things for me ? then 
it is past doubt, he will never leave nor forsake me : It cannot be 
that after he has endured all this, he will cast off the souls for 
whom he endured it. Here the soul is evangelically broken, con- 
sidering the mercies that emerge and flow to it out of the sea of 
Christ's blood. 

Fourthly, and lastly, Faith can not only realize, apply, and in- 
fer, but it can also compare the love of Christ in all this, both 
with his dealings with others, and with the soul's dealing with 
Christ, who loved it. To compare Christ's dealings with others, 
is most affecting : he hath not dealt with every one, as with me ; 
nay, few there are that can speak of such mercies as I have from 
him. How many are there that have no part nor portion in his 
blood ? Who must bear that wrath in their own persons, that he 
bare himself for me ! He espied me out, and singled me forth to be 
the object of his love, leaving thousands and millions still unre- 
conciled ; not that I was better than they, for I was the greatest of 
sinners, far from righteousness, as unlikely as any to be the object 
of such grace and love : my companions in sin are bft, and I am 
taken. Now the soul is full, the heart ffrows biff, too biff to con- 
tain itself. 

Yea, faith helps the soul to compare the love of Christ to it, with 

* He who sent his Son, hath sent down the Spirit, and promised his favour; Is there 
any thing so great that he will refuse ? Prosp. 


the returns it hath made to him for that love. And what, my 
soul I hath thy carriage to Christ been, since this grace that wants 
a name, appeared to thee ? Hast thou returned love for love ? 
Love suitable to such love ? Hast thou prized, valued, and esteemed 
this Christ, according to his own worth in himself, or his kind- 
ness to thee ? Ah no, I have grieved, pierced, wounded his heart 
a thousand times since that, by my ingratitude ; I have suffered 
every trifle to jostle him out of my heart ? I have neglected him 
a thousand times, and made him say, Is this thy kindness to thy 
friend ? Is this the reward I shall have for all that I have done, 
and suffered for thee ? Wretch that I am, how have I requited the 
Lord ! This shames, humbles and breaks the heart. 

And when from such sights of faith, and considerations as these, 
the heart is thus affected, it affords a good argument, indeed, that 
thou art gone beyond all the attainments of temporary believers ? 
flesh and blood hath not revealed this. 

Inference 1. Have the believing meditations of Christ, and his 
sufferings, such heart-melting influences ? Then sure there is but 
little faith among men. Our dry eyes and hard hearts are evidences 
against us, that we are strangers to the sights of faith. 

God be merciful to the hardness of your hearts. How is Christ 
and his love slighted among men! How shallow doth his blood 
run to some eyes ?. O that my head were waters, and mine eyes 
fountains of tears for this ! What monsters are carnal hearts ? We 
are as if God had made us without affections, as if all ingenuity 
and tenderness were dried up. Our ears are so accustomed to 
the sounds of Christ, and his blood, that now they are become as 
common things. If a child die, we can mourn over our dead ; 
but who mourns for Christ as for an only son ? We may say of 
faith, when men and women sit so unaffected under the gospel, as 
Martha said of Christ concerning her brother Lazarus, If thou 
(precious faith) hadst been here, so many hearts had not been 
dead this day, and in this duty. Faith is that burning-glass which 
contracts the beams of the grace, and love, and wisdom, and 
power of Jesus Christ together, reflects these on the heart, and 
makes it burn ; but without it, we feel nothing savingly. 

Inf. 2. Have the believing meditations of Christ, and his suf- 
ferings, such heart-melting influences ? Then surely the proper order 
of raising the affections, is to begin at the exercise of faith. It 
grieves me to see how many poor Christians strive with their own 
dead hearts, endeavouring to raise and affect them, but cannot ; they 
complain and strive, strive and complain, but can discover no love to 
the Lord, no brokenness of heart ; they go to this ordinance and 
that, to one duty and another, hoping that now the Lord will 
affect it, and fill the sails; but come back disappointed and 


ashamed, like the troops of Tenia. Poor Christian, hear me one 
word; possibly it may do thy business, and stand thee in more 
stead, than all the methods thou hast yet used. If thou wouldst 
indeed get a heart evangelically melted for sin, and broken with 
the kindly sense of the grace and love of Christ, thy way is not to 
force thy affections, nor to vex thyself, and go about complaining 
of a hard heart, but set thyself to believe, realize, apply, infer, 
and compare by faith as you have been directed ; and see what thia 
will do: " They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and 
" mourn." This is the way and proper method to raise the heart, 
and break it. 

Inf. 3. Is this the way to get a truly broken heart ? Then let 
those tiled have attained brdkenness of heart this way, bless the Lord 
whilst they live, for so cJioice a mercy ; and that upon a double 

1. For as much as a heart so affected and melted, is not attain- 
able by any natural or unrenewed person ; if they would give all 
they have in the world, it cannot purchase one such tear, or groan 
over Christ; mark, what characters of special grace it bears, in 
the description that is made of it, in that forementioned place* 
Zech. xii. 10. Such a frame as this is not born with us, or to be 
acquired by us ; for it is there said to be poured out by the Lord 
upon us, " I will pour upon them, 1 ' §c. There is no hypocrisy 
or dissimulation in these mournings, they being compared to the 
mourning of a man for his only son : and sure parents hearts are 
not untouched when they behold such sights. 

Nature is not the principle of it, but faith ; for it is there said, 
they shall look on me ; i. e. believe and mourn. Self is not the 
end and centre of these sorrows ; it is not so much for damning 
ourselves, as for piercing Christ : " They shall look on me whom. 
" they have pierced, and shall mourn ;" so that this is sorrow 
after God, and not a flash of nature, as discoursed in the former 
point. Therefore you have cause to bless the Lord, whilst you 
live for such a special mercy as this is. And, 

2. As it is the right, so it is the choicest, and most precious gift 
that can be given you ; for it is ranked among the prime mercies 
of the new covenant, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. This shall be the cove- 
nant ; "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I 
" put within you ; and I will take away the stony heart out of your 
" flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." What wouldest thou 
have given sometimes for such a heart as now thou hast, though it 
be not yet as thou wouldest have it? And however you value and 
esteem it, God himself sets no common value on it: for mark 
what he saith of it, Psal. li. 17. * The sacrifices of God are a 
11 broken heart : a broken and a contrite spirit. O God, thou wilt 


" not despise ; v i. e. God is more delighted with such a heart, 
than with all the sacrifices in the world; one groan, one tear, 
no win a- from faith, and the spirit of adoption, are more to him, 
than the cattle upon a thousand hills. And to the same sense he 
speaks again, Isa. lxvi. 1, 2. " Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is 
" my throne, and the earth is my footstool : Where is the house 
" that ye build to me ? And where is the place of my rest ? — But 
** to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a con- 
< ; trite spirit, and trembleth at my word ;" q. d. All the magnifi- 
cent temples and glorious structures in the world, give me no 
pleasure in comparison of such a broken heart as this. 

O then, for ever bless the Lord, that hath done that for you, 
which none else could do, and which he has done but for few be- 
sides you. 


Of the Nature and Quality of Christ's Death. 

Acts h. 23. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of 
God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified, and slain. 

JlXAVING considered, in order, the preparative acts for the 
death of Christ, both on his own part, and on his enemies part, 
we now come to consider the * death of Christ itself, which was 
the principal part of his humiliation, and is the chief pillar of our 
consolation. Here we shall in order consider, 

First, The kind and nature of the death he died. 

Secondly, The manner in which he bare it, viz. patiently, soli- 
tarily, and instructively; dropping divers holy and instructive 
lessons upon all that were about him, in his seven last words upon 
the cross. 

Thirdly, The funeral solemnities at his burial. 

Fourthly, and lastly, The weighty ends and great designs of his 
death. In all which particulars, as we proceed to discuss and open 
them, you will have an account of the deep debasement and hu- 
miliation of the Son of God. 

In this text, we have an account of the kind and nature of that 

* The death of Christ was the last step of his humiliation ; by which he under- 
went the most grievous, the most dreadful, and the greatest punishment for the 
sins of men. Ames, 


death which Christ died : as also of the causes of it, both princi- 
pal and instrumental. 

First, The kind and nature of the death Christ died, which is 
here described more generally, as a violent death, Ye have slain 
him : and more particularly, as a most ignominious, cursed, dis- 
honourable death ; ye have crucified him. 

Secondly, The causes of it are here likewise expressed : and that 
noth principal and instrumental. The principal cause, permitting, 
ordering, and disposing all things about it, was the determinate 
counsel and fore-knowledge of God. There was not an action or 
circumstance but came under this most wise and holy counsel and 
determination of God. 

The instruments effecting it vexe their wicked hands. * This 
fore-knowledge and counsel of God, as it did no way necessitate 
or enforce them to it ; so neither doth it excuse their fact from the 
least aggravation of its sinfulness. It did no more compel or force 
their wicked hands to do what they did, than the mariner's 
hoisting up his sails, to take the wind to serve his design, compels 
the wind. And it cannot excuse their action from one circum- 
stance of sin ; because God's end and manner of acting was one 
thing, their end and manner of acting another. His, most pure 
and holy ; theirs, most malicious and daringly wicked. Idem quod 
duojaciunt, non est idem. To this purpose a grave divine well ex- 
presses it. 

In respect of God, Christ's death was justice and mercy. In re^ 
spect of man, it was murder and cruelty. In respect of himfelf, it 
"was obedience and humility -f\ Hence our note is, 

Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ was not only put to death, but 
to the worst of' deaths, even the death of the cross. 

To this the apostle gives a plain testimony, Phil. ii. 8. " He 
" became obedient to death, even the death of the cross ;" where 
his humiliation is both specified ; he was humbled to death ; and 
aggravated by a most emphatical reduplication, even the death of 
the cross. So Acts v. 30. " Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a 
" tree :" q. d. it did not suffice you to put him to a violent death, 
but you also put him to the most base, vile and ignominious death ; 
" you hanged him on a tree." 

On this point we will discuss these three particulars, viz. The 

* The Jews cannot be excusable, for they acted not in obedience to the secret 
purpose of God ; but, being excited by hatred and corrupt affections, they slew tha 
innocent Jesus, contrary to the law. Pareus. 

f Morning Exercises at St. Giles's, p, 289. 


nature or kind, the manner and reasons of Christ's death upon the 

1. I shall open the kind or nature of his death, by shewing you 
that it was a violent, painful, shameful, cursed, slow, and succourless 

First, It was a violent death that Christ died. Violent in itself* 
though voluntary on his part. K He was cut off out of the land of 
" the living," Isa. liii. 8. And yet " he laid down his life of him- 
" self; no man took it from him," John x. 17. I call his death 
violent, because he died not a natural death, i. e. he lived not 
till nature was consumed with age, as it is in many ^who live till 
their, balsamum radicate, i§ radical moisture," like the oil in the 
lamp, be quite consumed, and then go out like an expiring lamp. 
It was not so with Christ : for he was but in the flower and prime 
of his time when he died. And indeed, he must either die a violent 
death, or not die at all ; partly, because there was no sin in him, 
to open a door to natural death ; as it doth in all others. Partly? 
because else his death had not been a sacrifice acceptable and 
satisfactory to God for us. That which died of itself was never 
offered up to God ; but that which was slain, when it was in its 
full strength and health. The temple was a type of the body of 
Christ, John ii. 19- Now, when the temple was destroyed, it did 
not drop down as an ancient structure decayed by time, but was 
pulled down by violence, when it was standing in its full strength; 
Therefore he is said to suffer death, and to be put to death for us in 
the flesh, 1 Pet. iii. 18. That is the first thing. It was a violent., 
though a voluntary death. For violent is not oppossed to volun- 
tary, but to natural. 

Secondly, The death of the cross was a most painful death. In- 
deed in this death were many deaths, contrived in one. The 
cross was a rack as well as a gibbet. The pains which Christ suf- 
fered upon the cross, are by the apostle emphatically stiled rac, udivag 
r* ^amrs, Acts ii. 24. " The pains of death :" but properly they 
signify the pangs of travail : yea, the birth-pangs, the most acute 
sorrows of a travailing woman. His soul was in travail, Isa. liii. 
his body in bitter pangs ; and being as Aquinas speaks, optime com- 
plectionatus, of the most excellent crasis, exact and just tempera- 
ment ; his senses were more acute and delicate than ordinary ; and 
all the time of his suffering, so they continued ; not in the least 
blunted, dulled, or rebated, by the pains he suffered. 

" The death of Christ, doubtless, contained the greatest and 
" acutest pains imaginable * : because these pains of Christ alone? 

* Continebat pcenas maximns, quia miseriam Ulam Mam aguabqt, qua hominum peccaf 
merebantur. Ames, gaeditat. 


" were intended to equalize all that misery which the sin of men 
" deserved," all that pain which the damned shall, and the elect 
deserve to feel. Now, to have pains meeting at once upon one 
person, equivalent to all the pains of the damned ; judge you what 
a plight Christ was in. 

Tli'irdhj, The death of the cross was a shameful death : not only 
because the crucified were stripped quite naked, and so exposed 
as spectacles of shame; but mainly, because it was a kind of death 
which was appointed for the basest, and vilest of men. 

The free-men when they committed capital crimes, were not 
condemned to the cross. No, that was looked upon as the death 
appointed for slaves *. Tacitus calls it servile suppUcium, the pun- 
ishment of a slave : and to the same sense Juvenal speaks, pone 
crucem servo, put the cross upon the back of a slave. As they had 
a great esteem of a free-man, so they manifested it, even when they 
had forfeited their lives, in cutting them off by more honourable 
kinds of death. This, by hanging on the tree, was always ac- 
counted most ignominious. To this day we say of him that is 
hanged, He dies the death of a dog : and yet it is said of our Lord 
Jesus, Heb. xii. 2. He not only endured the cross, but also despised 
the shame. Obedience to his Father's will, and zeal for our sal- 
vation, made him digest the shame of it, and despise the baseness 
that was in it. 

Fourtlily, The death of the cross was a cursed death. Upon that 
account he is said to be " made xuraoa, sl curse for us ; For it is 
" written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," Gal. hi. 
13. " His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but 
" thou shalt in any wise bury him that day ; for he that is hang- 
" ed is accursed of God f ." * The very symbol of lifting them up 
betwixt heaven and earth carried much shame in it. For it im- 
plieth this in it, that the person so used, was so execrable, base, 
and vile, that he deserved not to tread upon the earth or touch 
the surface of the ground any more. And the command for bury- 
ing them that day, doth not at all mitigate, but rather aggravates 
this curse : speaking the person to be so abominable, that as he is 
lifted up into the air, and hanging between heaven and earth, as 
unworthy ever to set foot more upon the earth ; so when dead, 
they were to hasten to bury him, that such an abominable sight 

* Vide T.ypsium de cruce^ I. 1. c. 11. Ingenui hominis nulla est estimatio. 

Homer in his 21st Odysse, calls this death M xa^a^Ge, i. e . impure; and 
Eustathius /x/aso',, i. e . base. 

f This is appointed, not in honour of the burial of the dead body, but to the 
end that such a body, which was accursed, might be quickly removed from the sur- 
face of the earth, that so the earth might not be defiled. IVius Bwfrerius. 

Vol. I. X 


might be removed as soon as might be, from before the eyes of 
men ; and that the earth might not be defiled, by his lying on the 
surface of it, when taken down. 

However, as the learned Junius hath judiciously observed, this 
curse is only a ceremonial curse ; for otherwise it is neither in it- 
self, nor by the law of nature, or by civil law, more execrable than 
any other death. And the main reason why the ceremonial law 
affixed the curse to this, rather than to any other death, was 
principally with respect to the death Christ was to die. And 
therefore, reader, see and admire the providence of God, that 
Christ should die by a Roman, and not by a Judaic law. For cru- 
cifying, or hanging on a tree, was a Roman punishment, and not 
in use among the Jews. But the scriptures cannot be broken. 

Fifthly, The death of the cross was a very slow and lingering 
death. They died leisurely. Which still increaseth and aggra- 
vated the misery of it. If a man must die a violent death, it is a 
favour to be dispatched : as they that are pressed to death, beg 
for more weight. And it is a favour to those that are hanged, to 
be smitten on the breast, or plucked by the heels by their friends. 
On the contray, to hang long in the midst of tortures, to have 
death coming upon us with a slow pace, that we may feel every 
tread of it, as it comes on, is a misery. 

The tyrant that heard the poor martyr was dead under his first 
torments, said, as one disappointed, Evasit, " He hath escaped 
" me." For he intended to have kept him much longer under 
torments. And it was the cruel counsel of another to his execu- 
tioner ; " Let him die so as he may feel himself how he dies *." 
And surely in this respect it was worse for Christ, than any other 
that ever was nailed to the tree. For all the while he hanged 
there, he remained full of life and acute sense. His life departed 
not gradually, but^was whole in him to the last. Other men die 
gradually, and, towards their end, their sense of pain is much 
blunted. They faulter, and expire by degrees, but Christ stood 
under the pains of death in his full strength, -f* His life was whole 
in him. This was evident by the mighty out-cry he made when 
he gave up the ghost, which argued him to be full of strength, 
contrary to the experience of all other men. Which made the 
centurion when he heard it, to conclude, " Surely this was the 
" Son of God," Mark xv. 37, 39. 

Sixthly, It was a succourless and helpless death to Christ. Some- 
times they gave to malefactors amidst their torments, vinegar and 

* Moriatur, ut sentiat sc mori. 

f Christ retained life and strength so long as he pleased, and laid them down 
when he pleased. Ames, 


myrrh, to blunt, dull, and stupify their senses. And if they 
hanged long, would break their bones to dispatch them out of their 
pains. Christ had none of this favour. Instead of vinegar and 
myrrh, they gave him vinegar and gall to drink, to aggravate his 
torments. And for the breaking of his bones he prevented it, 
by dying before they came to break his legs. For the scriptures 
must be fulfilled, which say, Not a bone of him shall be broken. 

This now was the kind and nature of that death he died. Even 
the violent, painful, shameful, cursed, slow, and succourless death 
of the cross. An ancient punishment both among the Ro- 
mans and Carthaginians *. But in honour of Christ, who died 
this death, Constanstine the Great abrogated it by law, ordaining 
that none should ever be crucified any more, because Christ died 
that death. 

Secondly \ As to the manner of the execution. They that were 
condemned to the death of the cross, (saith -f- a learned Antiquary 
of our own) bare their cross upon their own shoulders, to the 
place of execution. They were stripped of all their clothes, for 
they suffered naked. And then were fastened to the cross with 

The manner how that was done {, one gives us in these 
words, They stretched him out (meaning Christ) like another 
Isaac upon his own burden, the cross ; that so they might take mea- 
sure of the holes. And though the print of his blood upon it, gave 
them the true length of his body ; yet how strictly do they take it 
longer than the truth. Thereby at once to crucify and rack him. 
Then being nailed, like as Moses lifted up the serpent, so was the 
Son of man lifted up. And when the cross, with the Lord fasten- 
ed on it, fell into its socket, or basis, it jerked the whole, and every 
part of his sacred body. And the whole weight hanging upon his 
nailed hands, the wounds by degrees grew wider and wider : till 
at last he expired in the midst of those tortures. 

And that the equity of their proceedings might the better ap- 
pear to the people, the cause of the punishment was written in 
capital letters, and fixed to the tree over the head of the malefac- 
tor. Of this appendant to this kind of death, I shall speak dis- 
tinctly in the next sermon, before I come to handle the manner 
of his death : there being so much of providence in that circum- 
stance, as invites us to spend more than a few transient thoughts 
upon it. Meanwhile, in the next place, 

Thirdly, We will enquire briefly into the reasons why Christ 

* Sozom, lib. 1 . cap. 8. 

f Godwin's Antiq. 1. 5. sect. 3. p. 192. 

| Herles' Contemplat, of Christ's passion. 

X 8 


died this, rather than any other kind of death. And amongst 
others, these three are obvious. 

First, Because Christ must bear the curse in his death, and a 
curse by law was affixed to no other kind of death, as it was to this. 

The learned Masius upon Joshua ii. 29. commenting upon the 
death of king Ai, who was hanged upon the tree, until the even- 
ing, tells us, " * That the principal reason of the malediction 
M and execrableness of his death was, because the death of Christ 
* 6 was prefigured in that mystery." Christ came to take away the 
curse from us by this death ; and so must be made a curse. On 
him must all the curses of the moral law lie, which were due to 
us. And that nothing might be wanting to make it a full 
curse, the very death he died, must also have a ceremonial curse 
upon it. 

Second!?/, Christ died this, rather than any other kind of death ; 
to fulfil the types, and prefigurations that of old were made with 
respect to it All the sacrifices were lifted up from the earth, 
upon the altar. But especially the brazen serpent prefigured this 
death, Numb. xix. 9. Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it 
upon a pole. And, saith Christ, John iii. 14. " As Moses lifted 
" up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lift- 
" ed up," that so he might correspond with that lively type, made 
of him in the wilderness. 

Thirdly, Christ died this, rather than any other death, because 
it was predicted of him, and in him must all the predictions, as well 
as types, be fully accomplished. The psalmist spake in the person 
of Christ, of this death, as plainly as if he had rather been writing 
the history of what was done, than a prophecy of what was to be 
done, so many years afterwards, Psal. xxii. 16, 17. " For dogs 
" have compassed me about, the assembly of the wicked have in- 
" closed me : they pierced my hands and feet ; I may tell all my 
" bones ; they look and stare upon me." Which hath a manifest re- 
ference to the distension of all his members upon the tree, which 
was a rack to him. So Zech. xii. 10. " They shall look upon me, 
" whom they have pierced." Yea, Christ himself had foretold 
the death he should die, in the forecited, John iii. 14.. saying, 
" He must be lifted up," i. e. hanged between heaven and earth. 
And the scriptures must be fulfilled. 

Thus you have a brief account both of the kind, manner, and 
reasons of this death of Christ. The improvement of it, you 
have in the following inferences of truth, deducible from it. 

* Potissima causa malcdictionis hujvA est, quia Christies i?i wjsterio prcesignabatur, 


Inference 1. Is Christ dead? and did he die the violent, painful, 

shameful, cursed, slow, and succourless death of , ■, . 

the cross ? Then surely there is forgiveness ,. ,. •, 

7vlth GocL and plenteous rederni)t'i<))i fitr the >>'rc(U- ,. ,r * . 

. ,. . fr ,7 x -,j i /, i, , ,- lt for the greatest 

est of sinners ; that byjaitk apply the blood of the ,J ,. . & . 

cross to their poor guilty souls. So speaks the ** 

apostle, Col. i. 14. " In whom wu have redemption through his 

"blood, even the forgiveness of sins." And 1 John i. 7. "The 

" blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin." Two things will make 

this demonstrable. 

First, That there is a sufficient efficacy in this blood of the cross, 
to expiate the greatest sins. 

Secondly, That the efficacy of it is designed and intended by 
God for believing sinners. How clearly do both these propo-. 
sitions lie in the word ? 

First, That there is sufficient efficacy in the blood of the cross, 
to expiate and wash away the greatest sins. This is manifest, for 
it is precious blood, as it is called, 1 Pet. i. 18. " Ye were not re- 
" deemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold ; but with 
" the precious blood of the Son of God." This preciousness of 
the blood of Christ riseth from the union it hath with that person, 
who is over all, God blessed for ever. And on that account is 
stiled the blood of God, Acts xx. 28 : and so it becomes royal, 
princely blood : Yea, such for the dignity, and efficacy of it, as 
never was created, or shall ever run in any other veins but his. 
The blood of all the creatures in the world, even a sea of human 
blood bears no more proportion to the precious and excellent 
blood of Christ, than a dish of common water, to a river of liquid 
gold. On the account of its invaluable preciousness, it becomes 
satisfying and reconciling blood to God. So the apostle speaks, 
Col. i. 20. " And (having made peace through the blood of his 
" cross) by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, 
" whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." The 
same blood which is redemption to them that dwell on earth, is con- 
firmation to them that dwell in heaven. Before the efficacy of 
this blood, guilt vanishes, and shrinks away as the shadow before 
the glorious sun. Every drop of it hath a voice, and speaks to the 
soul that sits trembling under its guilt better things than the blood 
of Abel, Heb. x. 24. It sprinkles us from all evil, i. e. an unquiet 
and accusing conscience, Heb. x. 22. For having enough in it 
to satisfy God, it must needs have enough in it to satisfy con- 

Conscience can demand no more for its satisfaction, nor will it 
take less than God demands for his satisfaction. And in this blood 
is enough to give both satisfaction. 



Secondly, As there is sufficient efficacy in this blood to expiate 
the greatest guilt -, so it is as manifest, that the virtue and efficacy 
of it, is intended and designed by God for the use of believing 
sinners. Such blood as this was shed, without doubt, for some 
weighty end, that some might be the better for it. Who they 
are for whom it is intended, is plain enough from Acts xiii. 39. 
u And by him all that believe, are justified from all things, from 
" which they could not be justified by the law of Moses." 

That the remission of the sins of believers was the great thing 
designed in the pouring out of this precious blood of Christ, ap- 
pears from all the sacrifices that figured it to the ancient church. 
The shedding of that typical blood, spake a design of pardon. 
And the putting of their hands upon the head of the sacrifice, 
spake the way and method of believing, by which that blood was 
then applied to them in that way ; and is still applied to us in a 
more excellent way. Had no pardon been intended, no sacrifices 
had been appointed. 

Moreover, let it be considered, this blood of the cross is the 
blood of a surety ; that came under the same obligations with us, 
and in our name or stead shed it : and so of course frees and dis- 
charges the principal offender, or debtor, Heb. vii. 22. Can God 
exact satisfaction from the blood and death of his own Son, the 
surety of believers, and yet still demand it from believers ? It can- 
not be. " Who (saith the apostle) shall lay any thing to the 
" charge of God's elect ? It is God that justifieth. Who shall 
" condemn ? It is Christ that died," Rom. viii. 33, 34. And 
wlr, are faith and repentance prescribed as the means of pardon ? 
Why doth God every where in his word, call upon sinners to re- 
pent, and believe in this blood ? encouraging them so to do, by 
so many precious promises of remission ; and declaring the inevi- 
table ana eternal ruin, of all impenitent, and unbelieving ones, who 
despise and reject this blood ? What, I say, doth all this speak, but 
the possibility of a pardon for the greatest of sinners ; and the cer- 
tainty of a free^ foil, and final pardon for all believing sinners? O 
what a joyful sound i- this ! What ravishing voices of peace, par- 
don, grace, and acceptance, come to our ears from the blood of 
the cross? 

The greatest guilt that ever was contracted upon a trembling, 
shaking conscience, can stand before the efficacy of the blood of 
Christ no more, than the sinner himself can stand before the justice 
of the Lord, with all that guilt upon him. 

Reader, the word assures thee, whatever thou hast been, or 
art, that sins of as deep a dye as thine, have been washed away 
in this blood. " I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, injurious ; but 
" I obtained mercy," saith Paul, 1 Tim. i. 13. But it may be 


thou wilt object ; this was a rare and singular instance, and it is 
a great question whether any other sinner shall find the like grace 
that he did. No question of it at all, if vou believe in Christ as 
he did ; for he tells us, ver. 16. " For this cause I obtained mercy, 
" that in me first, Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, 
" for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to 
" life everlasting." ' So that upon the same grounds he obtained 
mercy, you may obtain it also. 

Those very men who had a hand in the shedding of Christ's 
blood, had the benefit of that blood afterwards pardoning them, 
Acts ii. 36. There is nothing but unbelief and impenitency of 
heart can bar thy soul from the blessings of this blood. 

Inf. 2. Did Christ die the cursed death of the cross for believers, 
then, though there be much of pain, there is nothing of curse in the 
death of the saints. It still wears its dart, by which it strikes; but 
hath lost its sting, by which it hurts and destroys. A serpent that 
hath no sting, may hiss and affright, but we may take him in our 
hand, without danger. Death poured out all its poison, and lost 
its sting in Christ's side, when he became a curse for us. 

But what speak I of the innocency and harmlessness of death to 
believers? It is certainly their friend and great benefactor. As 
there is no curse, so there are many blessings in it. " Death is 
" yours," 1 Cor. iii. 22. Yours as a special privilege and favour. 
Christ hath not only conquered it, but is more than a conqueror ; 
for he hath made it beneficial, and very serviceable to the saints. 
When Christ was nailed to the tree, then he said as it were to 
death, which came to grapple with him there, " O death, I will 
" be thy plague ; O grave, I will be thy destruction :" and so he 
was ; for he swallowed up death in victory, spoiled it of its power. 
So that, though it may now affright some weak believers, yet can- 
not hurt them at all. 

Inf. 3. If Christ died the cursed death of the cross for us, how cheer- 
fully should zve submit to, and bear any cross for Jesus Christ ? He 
had his cross, and we have ours * ; but what feathers are ours com- 
pared with his ? His cross was a heavy cross indeed, yet how pa- 
tiently and meekly did he support it ! " he endured his cross," we 
cannot endure or bear ours, though they be not to be named witli 
his. Three things would marvellously strengthen us to bear the 
cross of Christ, and bring up a good report upon it in the world. 

First, That we shall carry it but a little way. Secondly, Christ 
bears the heaviest end of it. Thirdly, Innumerable blessings and 
mercies grow upon the cross of Christ. 

* Omnis Ckristianus est crucianus, i. e. Every Christian is a cross-bearer, 


First, Vfe shall bear it but a little way. It should be enough to 
me (saith * a holv one) that Christ will have joy and sorrow halfers 
of the life of the saints. And that each of them should have a 
share of our davs, as the night and day are kindly partners of 
time, and take it up betwixt them. But if sorrow be the greediest 
halfcr of our days here, I know joy's day shall dawn, and do more 
than recompense all our sad hours. 

Let mv Lord Jesus, (since he will do so) weave my bit-and-span 
length of time -with white and black ; well and woe. — Let the rose 
be neighbour with the thorn. — " When we are over the water, 
Ci Christ shall cry? down crosses, and up heaven for evermore; 
" down hell, and down death, and down sin, and down sorrow ; 
" and up glory, up life, up joy for evermore. It is true, Christ 
u and his cross are not separable in this life ; howbeit Christ and 
6i his cross part at heaven's door : for there is no house-room for 
fc - crosses in heaven. One tear, one sigh, one sad heart, one fear, 
" one loss, one thought of trouble cannot find lodging there.'" — 
Sorrow and the saints are not married together ! or suppose it was 
so, heaven shall make a divorce. Life is but short, and there- 
fore crosses cannot be long. Our sufferings are but for a while, 
1 Pet. v. 10. They are but the sufferings of the present time, 
Rom. viii. 18. 

Second!?/* As we shall cany the cross of Christ but a little way, 
so Christ himself bears the heaviest end of it. And as one hap- 
pily expresses, he saith of their crosses, half' mine. He divideth 
sufferings with them, and takes the largest share to himself. — 
" O how sweet a sight (>aith one sweetly) is it to see a cross be- 
u twixt Christ and us. To hear our Redeemer say, at every sigh, 
" at every blow, and every loss of a believer, half mine. For they 
" are called the sufferings of Christ, and the reproach of Christ, 
" Col. ii. 24. Heb. xi. 26. As when two are partners or owners 
" of a ship, half of the gain, and half of the loss, belongeth to 
'• either of the two. So Christ in our sufferings, is half gainer, 
" and half loser, with us : yea, the heaviest end of the black tree 
" lieth on your Lord. It falleth first upon him, and but rebounds 
u from him upon you :" " The reproaches of them that reproached 
" thee, are fallen upon me," Psal. lxiv. 9- Nay, so speak as 
the thing is, Christ doth not only bear half, or the better part, 
but the whole of our cross and burden. Yea, he bears all, and 
more than all; for he bears us and our burden too, or else Ave 
would quickly sink, and faint under it. 

* If twenty crosses be written for you in God's book, they will come at last to nine- 
teen, and after that to nothing. Put your head betwixt Christ's breasts for evermore, 
and his own soft hand shall dry your face, and wipe away your tears. 


Thirdly, As we have not far to carry it, and Christ carries the 
heaviest part; yea, all the burden for vis; yea, us and our burden 
too; so, in the last place, it is reviving to think what an innumera- 
ble multitude of blessings and mercies are the fruit and offspring 
of a sanctified cross. Since that tree was so richly watered with 
the blood of Christ; what store of choice, and rich fruits doth it 
bear to believers? 

Our sufferings (saith one) are washed in the blood of Christ, as 
well as our souls. " For Christ's merits bought a blessing to the 
" crosses of the sons of God. Our troubles owe us a free passage 
u through him. Devils, and men, and crosses, are our debtors ; 
" and death, and all storms are our debtors, to blow our poor 
" tossed bark over the water freight-free : and to set the travellers 
" in their own known ground. Therefore we shall die, and yet 
" live. — I know no man hath a velvet cross, but the cross is made 
" of what God will have it ; but verily, howbeit, it be no war- 
" ran table market to buy a cross, yet I dare not say, O that I had 
u liberty to sell Christ's cross, lest therewith also I should sell joy, 
" comfort, sense of love, patience, and the kind visits of a bride- 
" groom. — I have but small experience of sufferings for Christ, but 
k * let my Judge and witness in heaven, lay my soul in the balance 
" of justice; if I find not a young heaven, and a little paradise of 
u glorious comforts, and soul-delighting love-kisses of Christ in 
" suffering for him and his truth. — My prison is my palace, my 
" sorrow is with child of joy ; my losses are rich losses, my pain 
" easy pain, my heavy days are holy days and happy days. I may 
" tell a new tale of Christ to my friends. — O what owe I to the 
" file, and to the hammer, and to the furnace of my Lord Jesus ! 
" who hath now let me see how good the wheat of Christ is, that 
" goes through his mill, and his oven, to be made bread for his 
" own table. Grace tried is better than grace, and more than 
" grace. It is glory in its infancy. 

" Who knows the truth of grace without a trial. — O how little 
" getteth Christ of us, but what he winneth (to speak so) with 
" much toil and pains ? And how soon would faith freeze without 
" a cross ? Bear your cross therefore with joy.'" 

Inf. 4. Did Christ die the death, yea, the worst of deaths for 
us? Then it follows, that our mercies arc brought forth with great 
difficulty ; and that which is szveet to us in the fruition, was costly, 
and hard to Christ in the acquisition. Surely, upon every mercy we 
have this motto written, The price of Blood, Col. i. 14. " In whom 
" we have redemption through his blood :" Upon which a late 
neat * writer delivers himself thus. " The way of grace is here 

* Locker on Col. 


" considerable ; life comes through death ; God comes in Christ ; 
" and Christ comes in blood : the choicest mercies come through 
" the greatest miseries ; prime favours come swimming in blood to 
" us. Through a red sea Israel came to Canaan. Many a man 
" lost bis life, and much blood shed ; the very land flowing with 
" milk and honey was first made to flow with blood, ere Israel 
" could inherit the promise. Seven nations were destroyed, ere 
" the land of Canaan was divided to the Israelites, Acts xiii. 19. — 
" Sin makes mercy so deadly hard to bring forth. To christen 
" every precious child, every Benjamin, Benoni, every son of 
" God's right-hand, a son of sorrow and death to her that brings 
" him forth. Adam's sweets had no bitter till he transgressed 
*' God's will : one mercy did not die to bring forth another, till 
e( he died. But oh ! how should this raise the value of our mer- 
w cies ? What, the price of blood, the price of precious blood, the 
" blood of the cross ! O what an esteem should this raise ! 

" Things (as the same ingenious author adds) are prized rather 
" as they come, than as they are. Far fetched and dear bought 
" makes all the price, and gives all the worth with us weak crea- 
" tures. Upon this ground the scripture, when it speaks of our 
" great fortune, tells the great price it cost, as eyeing our weak- 
u ness, who look more at what things cost, than at what they 
" are. And as knowing if any thing will take with us, this will, 
" To him tliat loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own, 
« blood, Rev. i. 5. 

" Man is a legal creature, and looks much at what is given for 
" a thing. . What did this cost ? Why, it cost Christ's own 
" blood. Colour is more than the cloth with us, and scarlet colour 
" is a general taking colour with us : and therefore is Christ's gar- 
" ment dipped in blood, and he admired in this habit. Who is 
" this that cometh from Edom, with garments dyed red from 
« Bozra ?" 

Beware then you abuse not any of the mercies that Christ 
brought forth with so many bitter pangs and throes. And let all 
this endear Christ more than ever to you, and make you in a deep 
sense of his grace and love, to say, 

Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ. 



Of the signal Providence, which directed and ordered the 
Title affixed to the cross of Christ. 

Luke xxiii. 38. 

And a Superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, 

and Latin, and Hebrew; This is the King of the Jews. 

JlJEFORE I pass on to the Manner of Christ's death, I shall 
consider the title affixed to the cross; in which very much of 
the wisdom of Providence was discovered. It was the manner of 
theRomans, that the equity of their proceedings might the more 
clearly appear to the people, when they crucified any man, to pub- 
lish the cause of his death, in a table written in capital letters, and 
placed over the head of the crucified. And that there might be 
at least, a shew and face of justice in Christ's death, he also shall 
have his title or superscription. 

The worst and most unrighteous actions labour to cover and 
shroud themselves under pretension of equity. Sin is so shameful 
a thing, that it cares not to own its name. Christ shall have a table 
written for him also. This writing one evangelist calls the Accusa- 
tion, a ma, Matth. xxvii. 37. Another calls it the Title, r/rXo; t 
John xix. 19. Another the Inscription or Superscription, vriypuyn 
so the text. And another the Superscription of his Accusation^ 
svr/pa<pv} r?is curias, Mark xv. 26. In short, it was a fair legible wri- 
ting, intended to express the fact or crime, for which the person 

This was their usual manner, though sometimes we find it was 
published by the voice of the common cryer. As in the case of 
* Attalus the martyr, who was led about the amphitheatre, one 
proclaiming before him, This is Attalus the Christian, But it was 
customary and usual to express the crime in a written table, as the 
text expresses it. Wherein these three things offer themselves to 
your consideration. 

First, The character or description of Christ, contained in that 
writing. And he is described by his kingly dignity : -f* This is the 
King of the Jews. The very office, which but a little before, 
they had reproached and derided, bowing the knee to him in mock- 
ery, saying, Hail King of the Jews : the Providence of God so 
orders it, that therein he shall be vindicated and honoured. This 

* Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 5. c. 1. 

f The full title was, This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jeivs. Par. 


is the King of the Jews : Or, as the other evangelists complete it, 
This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. 

Secondly, The person that drew his character or title. It was 
Pilate; he that but now condemned him: he that was his judge, 
shall be his herald, to proclaim his glory. For the title is honour- 
able. Surely, this was not from himself, for he was Christ's enemy ; 
but rather than Christ should want a tongue to clear him, the 
tongue of an enemy shall do it. 

Thirdly, The time when this honour was done him : It was 
when he was at the lowest ebb of his glory ; when shame and re- 
proach were heaped on him by all hands. When all the disciples 
had forsaken him, and were fled. Not one left to proclaim his 
innocency, or speak a word in his vindication. Then doth the 
providence of God as strangely, as powerfully, over-rule the heart 
and pen of Pilate *, to draw this title for him, and affix it to his 
cross. Surely we must look higher than Pilate in this thing, and 
see how Providence serves itself by the hands of Christ's adversa- 
ries. Pilate writes in honour jrf Christ, and stiffly defends it too. 
Hence our observation is, 

Doct. 1. That the dignity of Christ was openly proclaimed, 
and defended by an enemy ; and that, in the time of his 
greatest reproaches and sufferings. 

To open this mystery of providence to you, that you may not 
stand idly gazing upon Christ's title, as many then did ; we must, 
First, Consider the nature and quality of this title. Secondly, What 
hand the Providence of God had in this matter. Thirdly, And 
then draw forth the proper uses and improvements of it. 

First, To open the nature and quality of Christ's title or inscrip- 
tion ; let it be thoroughly considered, and we shall find, 

First, That it was an extraordinary title, varying from all ex- 
amples of that kind ; and directly crossing the main design and 
end of their own custom. For, as I hinted before, the end of it 
was to clear the equity of their proceedings, and shew the people 
how justly they suffered those punishments inflicted on them for 
such crimes. But lo, here is a title expressing no crime at all, 
and so vindicating Christ's innocency f. This some of them per- 
ceived, and moved Pilate to change it, not, This is, but, This is he 
that said, / am the King of the Jews. In that, as they conceived, 

* Perhaps the title was written according to custom, but our thoughts must rise 
higher, even to the purpose of God, who would, by the writing of Pilate, have Christ 
publicly proclaimed King of the church. Par. 

f This was very remarkable, that a title was affixed which imported no ignominy. 


lay his crime. O how strange and wonderful a thing was this ! 
But what shall we say ! it was a day of wonders and extraordinary 
things. As there was never such a person crucified before, so 
there was never such a title affixed to the cross before. 

Secondly, As it was an extraordinary, so it was a public title, both 
written and published with the greatest advantage of spreading it- 
self far and near, among all people, that could be, " for it was writ- 
" ten in three languages *, and to those most known in the world 
" at that time." The Greek tongue was then known in most 
parts of the world. The Hebrew was the Jews native language. 
And the Latin the language of the Romans. So that it being 
written both in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, it was easy to be un- 
derstood both by Jews and Gentiles. 

And indeed, unto this the providence of God had a special eye, 
to make it notorious and evident to all the world ; for even so all 
things designed for public view, and knowledge were written. Jo- 
sephus tells us of certain pillars, on which was engraven in letters of 
Greek, and Latin, " It is a wickedness for strangers to enter into 
" the holy place +." So the soldiers of Gordian, the third emperor, 
when he was slain upon the borders of Persia, raised a monu- 
ment for him, and engraved his memorial upon it, in Greek, Latin, 
Persic, Judaic, and Egyptiac letters, that all people might read 
the same. And as it was written in three learned languages, so 
it was exposed to view in a public place ; and at that time, when 
multitudes of strangers, as well as Jews, were at Jerusalem ; it was 
at the time of the passover ; so that all things concurred to spread 
and divulge the innocency of Christ, vindicated in this title. 

Thirdly, As it was a public, so it was an honourable title. Such 
was the nature of it, saith + Bucer ; that in the midst of death, 
Christ began to triumph by it. And by reason thereof, the cross 
began to change its own nature, and instead of a rack, or engine of 
torture, it became a throne of majesty. Yea, it might be called 
now, as the church itself is, The pillar and ground of' truth ; for it 
held out much of the gospel, much of the glory of Christ ; as that 
pillar doth, to which a royal proclamation is affixed. 

Fourthly, It was a vindicating title : it cleared up the honour, 
dignity, and innocency of Christ, against all the false imputations, 
calumnies, and blasphemies, which were cast upon him before, by 
the wicked tongues, both of Jews and Gentiles. 

They had called him a deceiver, an usurper, a blasphemer ; they 
rent their clothes, in token of their detestation of his blasphemy ; 

.. * Tribus Unguis toto orbe tunc vulgatissimis, scribi voluit ; lit ab omnibus legi, 6t in- 
tellig i pot u it. Pareus. 

f In locum sanctum in -recti alwdgenis nefas est. 

| Huccr in loc, 


because he made himself the Son of God, and King of Israel. But 
now in this, they acknowledged him to be both Lord and Saviour. 
Not a mock king, as they had made him before. So that herein 
the honour of Christ was fully vindicated. 

Fifthly > Moreover it was a. predicting and presaging title *. Evi- 
dently foreshewing the propagation of Christ's kingdom, and the 
spreading of his name and glory among all kindreds, nations, 
tongues, and languages. As Christ hath right to enter into all 
the kingdoms of the earth, by his gospel, and set up his throne in 
every nation : so it was presaged by this title that he should do so. 
And that both Hebrews, Greeks, and Latins should be called to 
the knowledge of him. Nor is it a wonder, that this should be 
predicted by wicked Pilate, when Caiaphas himself, a man every 
way as wicked as he, had prophesied to the same purpose, John 
xi. 51, 52. For being High-Priest that year, he prophesied, 
That Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, 
but that also he should gather together in one, the children of God 
that were scattered abroad. Yea, many have prophesied in Christ's 
name, who, for all that, shall never be owned by him, Matth. vii. 22. 

Sixthly, And lastly, It was an immutable title. The Jews en- 
deavoured, but could not persuade Pilate to alter it. To all their 
importunities he returns this resolute answer, " What I have writ- 
" ten, I have written ;" as if he should say, Urge me no more. 
I have written his title, I cannot, I will not, alter a letter, a point 
thereof. " Surely the constancy of Pilate at this time can be at- 
" tributed to nothing but divine special Providence -J-." Most 
wonderful ! that he, who before was as unconstant as a reed 
shaken by the wind, is now as fixed as a pillar of brass. 

And yet more wonderful, that he should write down that very 
particular in the title of Christ, This is the King of the Jews, 
which was the very thing that so scared him but a little before, and 
was the very consideration that moved him to give sentence. What 
was now become of the fear of Caesar ? that Pilate dares to be 
Christ's herald, and publicly to proclaim him, The King of the 
Jews. This was the title. 

Secondly, We shall next enquire what hand the Divine Provi- 
dence had in this business. 

And indeed, the providence of God in this hour, acted glori- 
ously, and wonderfully, these five ways. 

First, In over-ruling the heart and hand of Pilate in the draught 
and stile of it, and that contrary to his own inclination. I doubt 

* He would have it written in three languages, that this might be a presage of the 
future calling, not only of all the Hebrews, but also of all the Gentiles to the kingdom 
of Cfirist. Par. 

| Hac Pilati conslanlia divina providential tribucnda est. Calvin. 


not but Pilate himself was ignorant of, and far enough from de- 
signing that which the wisdom of providence aimed at in this mat- 
ter *. He was a wicked man, and had no love to Christ. He had 
given sentence of death against him ; yet this is he that proclaim- 
ed him to be Jesus, King of the Jews. It so over-ruled his pen, 
that he could not write what was in his own heart and intention, 
but the quite contrary ; even a fair and public testimony of the 
kingly office of the Son of God, This is the King of the Jews. 

Secondly, Herein the wisdom of Providence was gloriously dis- 
played, in applying a present, proper, public remedy to the re- 
proaches and blasphemies which Christ had then newly received 
in his name and honour. The superstitious Jews wound him, and 
Heathen Pilate prepares a plaister to heal him : they reproach, he 
vindicates; they throw the dirt, he washes it off. Oh the pro- 
found and inscrutable wisdom of Providence ! 

Thirdly, Moreover, Providence eminently appeared at this time 
in keeping so timorous a person, a man of so base a spirit, that 
would not stick at any thing to please the people, from receding, 
or giving ground in the least to their importunities. Is Pilate be- 
come a man of such resolution and constancy ? whence is this ? but 
from the God of the spirits of all flesh, who now flowed in so 
powerfully upon his spirit, that he could not chuse but write ; and 
when he had written, had no more power to alter what he had 
written, than he had to refuse to write it. 

Fourthly, Herein also much of the wisdom of Providence ap- 
peared, in casting the ignominy of the death of Christ upon those 
very men who ought to bear it. Pilate was moved by divine 
instinct, at once to clear Christ, and accuse them. For it is as if 
he had said, you have moved me to crucify your king, I have cru- 
cified him, and now let the ignominy of his death rest upon your 
heads, who have extorted this from me. He is righteous, the 
crime is not his but yours. 

Fifthly, And lastly, The providence of God wonderfully disco- 
vered itself (as before was noted) in fixing this title to the cross of 
Christ, when there was so great a confluence of all sorts of people 
to take notice of it So that it could never have been more ad- 
vantageously published, than it was at this time. So that we may 
say, How wonderful are the works of God ! " His ways are in the 
" sea, his paths in the great deeps ; his footsteps are not known :" 
His providence hath a prospect beyond the understandings of all 

* The Divine Providence which ov«r-ruled the pen of Pilate, had far higher views. 


Inference 1. Hence it follows, That the providence of our God 
can, and often doth over-rule the counsels and actions of the worst 
of men to his own glory. 

It can serve itself by them that oppose it, and bring about the 
gldiy and honour of Christ, by those very men, and means, which 
are designed to lay it in the dust. " Surely the wrath of man shall 
" praise thee," Psal. lxxvi. 10. The Jews thought when they 
crowned Christ with thorns, bowed the knee, and mocked him, 
led him to Golgotha and crucified him ; that now they had utterly 
despoiled him of all his kingly dignities ; and yet even there he is 
proclaimed a king. Thus the dispersion of the Jews, upon the 
death of Stephen, spread the gospel far and near, " For they went 
" every where preaching the word," Acts viii. 4. Thus Paul's 
bonds for the gospel fell out to the furtherance of the gospel, Phil. 
i. 12. O the depth of Divine Wisdom ! to propagate and establish 
the interest of Jesus Christ, by those very means that seem to im- 
port its destruction : that extracts a medicine out of poison ! How 
great a support should this be to the faith of God's people ! When 
all things seem to run cross to their hopes and happiness ! " Let 
* IsraeF therefore hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is 
" mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption," Psal. cxxx. 7. 
i. e. He is never at a loss for means to promote and serve his own 

Inf. 2. Hence likewise it follows, That the greatest services per- 
formed to Christ accidentally and undesignedly, shall never be ac- 
cepted nor rewarded of God. Pilate did Christ an eminent piece of 
service. He did that for Christ that not one of his own disciples at 
that time durst do ; and yet this service was not accepted of God, 
because he did it not designedly for his glory, but from the mere 
over-rulings of providence. 

If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted, according to what 
a man hath, saith the apostle, 2 Cor. viii. 12. The eye of God 
is first and mainly upon the will ; if that be sincere and right for 
God, small things will be accepted ; and if not, the greatest shall 
be abhorred. So 1 Cor. ix. 17. If I do this thing (i. e. preach 
the gospel) willingly, I have a reward ; but if against my will, a 
dispensation is committed to me, q. d. If I upon pure principles of 
faith and love, from my heart, designing the glory of God, and 
delighting to promote it by my ministry, do cheerfully and willing- 
ly applv myself to the preaching of the gospel, I shall have ac- 
ceptance and reward with God; but if my work be a burden* to 
me, and the service of God esteemed as a bondage, why then pro- 
vidence may use me for the dispensing of the gospel to others, but 
I myself shall lose both reward and comfort. As it doth not ex- 
cuse my sin, that God can bring glory to himself out of it ; so 


neither doth it justify an action that God hath praise and honour 
accidentally by it. Paul knew that even the strife and envy in 
which some preached Christ, should turn to his salvation; and 
yet he was not at all beholden to them for promoting his salvation 
that way. So Pilate here promotes the honour of Jesus Christ to 
whom he had no love, and whose glory he did not at all design in 
this thing ; and therefore hath neither acceptance nor reward with 

O therefore, whatever you do for Christ, do it heartily, design- 
edly, for his glory : of a ready and willing mind ; with pure and 
sincere aims at his glory ; for this is that the Lord more respects, 
than the greatest services by accident. 

Inf. 8. Would not Pilate recede from what he had written on 
Christ's behalf? How shameful a thing is it for Christians to re- 
tract what they have said or done on Chris fs behalf '? When Pilate 
had asserted him to be king of the Jews, he maintained his asser- 
tion, and all the importunity of Christ's enemies shall not move 
him an hairs breadth from it. " What I have written, I have 
" written, 1 ' q. d. I have said it, and I will not revoke it. Did 
Pilate say, " What I have written, I have written :" and shall not 
we sav, What we have believed, we have believed : and what we 
have professed, we have professed ? "What we have engaged to 
Christ, we have engaged. We will stand to what we have done 
for him : we will never recant our former ownings of and appear- 
ances for Christ. 

As God's election, so your profession must be irrevocable. O 
let him that is holy be holy still. That counsel given by a reverend 
divine in this case, is both safe and good. " Be sure, (saith he) 
c - you stand on good ground, and then resolve to stand your 
" ground against all the world. Follow God, and fear not men. 
" Art thou godly ! repent not whatsoever thy religion cost thee. 
" Let sinners repent, but let not saints repent. Let saints repent of 
" their faults, but not of their faith : of their iniquities, but not 
" of their righteousness. Repent not of your righteousness, lest 
" you afterward repent of your repentance. — Repent not of your 
" zeal, or your forwardness, or activity in the holy ways of the 
" Lord. — Wish not yourselves a step farther back, or a cubit 
" lower in your stature, in the grace of God. Wish not any 
" thing undone, concerning which God will say, Well done." 

In Galen's time it was a proverbial expression, when any one 
would shew the impossibility of a thing ; you may as soon turn a 
Christian from Christ as do it. 

A true heart-choice of Christ is without reserves, and what is 
without reserves, -will be without repentance. There is a stiffness 
and stoutness of spirit which is our sin. But. this is our glory, in 
Vol. I. Y 


the matters of God, saith Luther, I assume this title, Cedo nulli 9 
" I yield to none :" If ye be hot and cold, off and on ; profess, 
and retract your profession. He that condemned Christ with his 
lips, will condemn you by his example. Resolute Pilate shall be 
your judge. 

Inf. 4. Did Pilate affix such an honourable, vindicating title to 
the cross? Then the cross of Christ is a dignified cross. Then the 
cross and sufferings of Christ are attended with glory and honour. 
Remember when your hearts begin to startle at the sufferings and 
reproaches of Christ, there is an honourable title upon the cross 
of Christ. And as it was upon his, so it will be upon your cross 
also, if ye suffer for Christ. Moses saw it, which made him 
esteem the very reproaches of Christ, above all the treasures of 
Egypt, Heb. xi. 26. How did the maryrs glory in their sufferings 
for Christ ! calling their chains of iron, chains of gold ; and their 
manacles, bracelets. \ 

I remember it is storied of * Ludovicus Marsacus, a knight of 
France, that when he, with divers other Christians of an inferior 
rank and degree in the world, were condemned to die for religion, 
and the goaler had bound them with chains, but did not bind him, 
being a more honourable person than the rest: he was offended 
greatly by that omission, and said, " Why do not you honour me 
" with a chain for Christ also, and create me a knight of that il- 
" lustrious order ?" 

" To you (saith the apostle) it is given in the behalf of Christ, 
" not only to believe, but also to suffer for his sake," Phil. i. 29. 
There is a two-fold honour attending the cross of Christ ; one in 
the very sufferings themselves ; another, as the reward and fruit of 
them. To be called out to suffer for Christ, is a great honour. 
Yea, an honour peculiar to the saints. The damned suffer from 
Christ, the wicked suffer for their sins. The angels glorify Christ 
by their active but not by their passive obedience. This is reserved 
as a special honour for saints. 

And as there is a great deal of honour in being called forth to 
suffer on Christ's account; so Christ will confer special honour 
upon his suffering saints, in the day of their reward, Mat. x. 32. 
" He that confesses me before men, him will I confess also before 
" my Father which is in heaven." O Sirs, one of these days the 
Lord will break out of heaven, with a shout, accompanied with 
myriads of angels, and ten thousands of his saints, those glittering 
courtiers of heaven. The heavens and earth shall flame and melt 
before him ; and it shall be very tempestuous round about him ; 

* Cur me non quoque torque donas, ct illustris illius ordhus militem non crcas ? Thuan. 


the graves shall open, the sea and earth shall yield up their dead. 
You shall see him ascending the awful throne of judgment, and 
all flesh gathered before his face ; even multitudes, multitudes that 
no man can number. And then to be brought forth by Christ be- 
fore that great assembly of angels and saints : and there to have an 
honourable mention and remembrance made of your labours, and 
sufferings, your pains, patience and self-denial, of all your suffer- 
ings, and losses for Christ ; and to hear from his mouth, Well 
dune, good and faithful servant : O what honour is this ! Yet this 
shall be done to the man that now chuses sufferings for Christ, 
rather than sin ; That esteems his reproaches greater riches than the 
treasures of' Egypt. 

I tell you, It is an honour the angels have not. I make no 
doubt, but they would be glad, (had they bodies of flesh as we 
have), to lay their necks on the block for Christ. But this is the 
saints peculiar privilege. The apostles went away from the council 
rejoicing, that they were honoured to be dishonoured for Christ : 
Or, as we translate it *, " counted worthy to suffer shame for him," 
Acts v. 41. Surely, if there be any stigmata laudis, " marks of ho- 
nour," they are such as we receive for Christ's sake. If there be 
any shame that hath glory in it, it is the reproach of Christ, and 
the shame you suffer for his name. 

Inf. 5. Did Pilate so stiffly assert and defend the honour of 
Christ ? What doubt can then be made of the success of Chrisfs in- 
terest, and the prosperity of his cause : when the very enemies thereof 
are made to serve it ? 

Rather than Christ shall want honour, Pilate, the man that 
condemned him, shall do him honour. And as it fared with his 
person, just so with his interest also. How often have the people 
of God received mercies from the hands of their enemies ? Rev. 
xii. 16. " The earth helped the woman, 11 i. e. wicked men did the 
church service. So that this may singularly relieve us against all 
our despondencies and fears of the miscarriage of the interest of 

That people can never be ruined, who thrive by their losses ; 
conquer by being conquered ; multiply by being diminished : 
Whose worst enemies are made to do that for them, which friends 
cannot or dare not do. See you a Heathen Pilate proclaiming the 
honour and innocency of Christ ; God will not want instruments 
to honour Christ by. If others cannot, his very enemies shall. 

Inf. 6. Did Pilate vindicate Christ in drawing up such a title 
to be affixed to his cross ? then hence it follows, That God will, 
sooner or later, clear up the innocency and integrity of his people, who 

* On vtso ra oxoacrfee aula y.arr^ioj^ffuv arz/xacr^ca/. 


commit their cause to him. Christ's name was clouded with many 
reproaches ; wounded through and through, by the blasphemous 
tongues of his malicious enemies. He committed himself to him 
that judgeth righteously, 1 Pet. ii. 2& and see how soon God vin- 
dicates him. That is sweet and seasonable counsel for us, when 
our names are clouded with unjust censures, Psal. xxxvii. 5, 6. 
" Commit thy way unto the Lord ; trust also in him, and he shall 
<f bring it to pass. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the 
14 light, and thy judgment as the noon day." Joseph Mas ac- 
cused of incontinency ; David of treason ; Daniel of disobedience ; 
Elijah of troubling Israel ; Jeremiah of revolting ; Amos of . 
preaching against the king; the Apostles of sedition, rebellion, and 
alteration of laws ; Christ himself of gluttonv, sorcery, blasphemy, 
sedition ; but how did all these honourable names wade out of their 
reproaches, as the sun out of a cloud ! God cleared up their ho- 
nour for them even in this world. " Slanders (saith one) are but 
" as soap, Which though it soils and daubs for the present, yet it 
" helps to make the garment more clean and shining. 91 " When 
ii hair is shaven, it comes the thicker, and with a new increase ; 
" so when the razor of censure hath (saith * one) made your heads 
" bare, and brought on the baldness of reproach, be not discou- 
" raged, God hath a time to bring forth your righteousness as the 
" light, by an apparent conviction, to dazzle and discourage your 
" adversaries." 

The world was well changed, when Constantine kissed the hol- 
low of Paphnutius* eye, which was ere while put out for Christ. 
Scorn and reproach is but a little cloud, that is soon blown over. 
But suppose ye should not be vindicated in this world, but die 
under a cloud upon your names ; be sure God will clear it up, and 
that to purpose in that great day. Then shall the righteous, 
(even in this respect) shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of 
their Father. Then every detracting mouth shall be stopped, and 
no more cruel arrows of reproach shot at the white of your repu- 

Be patient therefore, my brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. 
" The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute 
" judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly, of all 
" their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed. And 
" of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken 
" against him," Jude 14, 15. Then shall they retract their cen- 
sures, and alter their opinions of the saints. If Christ will be our 
compurgator, we need not fear who are our accusers. If your 
names, for his sake, be cast out as evil, and spurned in the dirt ; 

* Manton on James, p. 2i 

I I.M. xxviit. the fountain of life. 343 

Christ will deliver it you again in that day whiter than the snow hi 

Inf. 7. Did Pilate give this title to cart the reproach of his death 
upon the Jews, and clear himself of it ? How natural is it to men to 
transfer the fault of their own actions from themselves to others ? 
For when he writes, This is the King- of the Jews, he wholly 
charges them with the crime of crucifying their king*: and it is 
as if he had said, Hereafter let the blame and fault of this action 
lie wholly upon your heads, who have brought the guilt of his 
blood upon yourselves and children. 

I am clear, you have extorted it from me. () where shall we 
find a spirit so ingenuous, to take home to itself the shame of its 
own actions, and charge itself freely with its own guilt* ? Indeed 
it is the property of renewed, gracious hearts to remember, confess, 
and freely bewail tlipir own evils, to the glory of God : and that is 
a gracious heart indeed, which in this case judge th, that the glory, 
which by confession, goeth to the name of his God, is not so much 
glory lost to his own name, but it is the power of grace moulding 
our proud natures into another thing, that must bring them to his. 


Of the manner of Christ's Death, in respect to the Solita- 
riness thereof. 

Zech. xiii. 7. 

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is 
my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts ; smite the slicpherd, and the sheep 
shall be scattered; and I will thru mine hand upon the little ones. 

XN the former sermons, we have opened the nature and kind of 
death Christ died ; even the cursed death of the cro^s. Wherein, 
nevertheless his innocency was vindicated, by that honourable title 
providentially affixed to his cross. Method now requires that we 
take into consideration the manner in which he endured the cross, 
and that was solitarily, meekly, and instructively. 

* Because you desired that T should crucify your king, I have crucified him ; the 
ignominy shall henceforth be yours, who extorted this from me. Cbfe. on Maltli. 
xxvii. 27. 

f For saints, when their hearts are renewed, are not ashamed, by repentance, to 
acknowledge their ignominious faults and ignominy, to the glory of God : nothing is 
lost to us, which redounds to his honour. Brightman on Cant. 



His solitude in suffering is plainly expressed in this scripture now 
before us, it cannot be doubted, but the prophet in this place speaks 
of Christ, if you consider Matth. xxvi. 31. where you shall find these 
words applied to Christ by his own accommodation of them, " Then 
" said Jesus unto them, all ye shall be offended because of me this 
" night, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep 
" shall be scattered." Besides, the title here given [God's fellow] 
is too big for any creature in heaven or earth besides Christ. 

In these words we have four things particularly to consider. 
First, The commission given to the sword by the Lord of hosts. 
Secondly, The person against whom it is commissioned. Thirdly, 
The dismal effect of that stroke. Fourthly and lastly, The graci- 
ous mitigation of it. 

First, The commission given to the sword by the Lord of hosts. 
" Awake, O sword, and smite, saith the Lord of hosts." The 
Lord of hosts, at whose beck and command all the creatures are. 
Who, with a word of his mouth, can open all the armories in the 
world, and command what weapons and instruments of death he 
pleaseth, calls here for the sword ; not the rod, gently to chasten ; 
but the sword to destroy. The rod breaks no bones, but the 
sword opens the door to death and destruction. The strokes and 
thrusts of the sword are mortal ; and he bids it awake. It signifies 
both " to rouse up," as one that awakes out of sleep, and " to 
" rouse or awake with triumph and rejoicing." So the same word 
is rendered, Job xxxi. 29. Yea, he commands it, " to awake 
" and smite * " And it is as if the Lord had said, Come forth of 
thy scabbard, O sword of justice, thou hast been hid there a long 
time, and hast, as it were, been asleep in thy scabbard, now 
awake and glitter, thou shalt drink royal blood, such as thou never 
sheddest before. 

Secondly, The person against whom it is commissioned, " my 
" shepherd, and the man that is my fellow -f\" This shepherd 
can be no other than Christ, who is often in scripture stiled 
" a Shepherd, yea, the chief Shepherd, the Prince of pastors." 
Who redeemed, feeds, guides, and preserves the flock of God's 
elect, 1 Pet. v. 4. John x. 11. This is he whom he also stiles the 
man his fellow \. Or his neighbour, as some render it. And so 
Christ is, with respect to his equality and unity with the Father, 
both in essence and will. His next neighbour. His other self. 
You have the sense of it in Phil. h. 6. He was in the form of God, 
and thought it no robbery to be equal with God. 

* 113? — Evigilavit, suscitavit. Buxtorf. Incitavit ad agendum. Stockius. 
f Pastorem vocat Christum, ctg^i'rroifj.zvcc, animarum nostrarum. D. Par. 
% CD1* 1113 byi— E< super virum prorimum meum. Montanus. 


Against Christ his fellow, his next neighbour, the delight of his 
soul, the sword here receives its commission. 

Thirdly, You have here the dismal consequent of this deadly 
stroke upon the shepherd. And that is the scattering of the 
sheep. By the sheep understand here, that little flock, the dis- 
ciples, which followed this shepherd till he was smitten, i. e. ap- 
prehended by his enemies, and they were scattered, i. e dispersed ; 
they all forsook him and fled. And so Christ was left alone, 
amidst his enemies. Not one durst make a stand for him, or own 
him in that hour of his danger. 

Fourthly, And lastly, Here is a gracious mitigation of this sad 
dispersion, " I will turn my hand upon the little ones." By little 
ones he means the same that before he called sheep ; but the ex- 
pression is designedly varied, to shew their feebleness and weak- 
ness, which appeared in their relapse from Christ. And by turning 
his hand upon them, understand God's gracious reduction, and 
gathering of them again after their sad dispersion, so that they shall 
not be lost, though scattered for the present. For after the Lord was 
risen, he went before them into Galilee, as he promised, Matth. 
xx vi. 31. And gathered them again by a gracious hand, so that 
not one of them was lost but the son of perdition. 

The words thus opened, I shall observe suitably to the method 
I have proposed. 

Doct. That Christ's dearest friends for soolc and left him alone, 
in the time of his greatest distress and danger. 

This doctrine containing only matter of fact, and that also so 
plainly delivered by the pens of the several faithful Evangelits, I 
need spend no longer time in the proof of it, than to refer you to the 
several testimonies they have given to it. But I shall rather chuse 
to fit and prepare it for use, by explaining these four questions. 

First, Who were the sheep that were scattered from their 
shepherd, and left him alone? 

Secondly, What evil was there in this their scattering? 

Thirdly, What were the grounds and causes of it ? 

Fourthly, and lastly, What was the issue and event of it ? 

First, Who were these sheep that were dispersed and scattered 
from their shepherd when he was smitten. It is evident thev 
were those precious elect souls that he had gathered to himself, 
who had long followed him, and dearly loved him, and were dear- 
ly beloved of him, They were persons that had left all and fol- 
lowed him, and, till that time, faithfully continued -with him in 
his temptations, Luke xxii. 28. And were all resolved so to do, 



though they should die with him, Matfch. xxvi. 35. These were 
the persons. 

Second!?/, But were they as good as their word? Did they indeed 
stick faithfully to him ? No, they all forsook him and fled. These 
sheep were scattered. This was not indeed a total and final 
apostasy, that is the fall proper to the hypocrite, the temporary 
believer, who, like a comet, expires when that earthly matter is 
spent that maintained the blaze for a time. 

These were stars fixed in their orb, though clouded and overcast 
for a time. This was but a mist or fog, which overspreads the 
earth in the morning till the sun be risen, and then it clears up 
and proves a fair day. But though it was not a total and final 
apostasy ; yet it was a very sinful and sad relapse from Jesus Christ, 
as will appear by considering the following aggravations and cir- 
cumstances of it. For, 

First, This relapse of theirs was against the very articles of 
agreement, which they had sealed to Christ at their first admission 
into his service ; he had told them, in the beginning, what they 
must resolve upon, Luke xiv. 26, 27. " If any man come to me, 
" and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, 
" and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot 
" be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and 
" come after me, cannot be my disciple." Accordingly they sub- 
mitted to these terms, and told him they had left all and followed 
him, Mark x. 28. Against this engagement made to Christ, they 
now sin. Here was unfaithfulness. 

Secondly, As it was against the very terms of their admission, so 
it was against the very principles of grace implanted by Christ in 
their hearts. They were holy sanctified persons, in whom dwelt 
the love and fear of God. By these they were strongly inclined to 
adhere to Christ, in the time of his sufferings, as appears by those 
honest resolves they had made in the case. Their grace strongly 
inclined them to their duty, their corruptions swayed them the 
contrary way. Grace bid them stand, corruption bid them fly. 
Grace told them it was their duty to share in the sufferings as 
well as in the glory of Christ. Corruption represented these suf- 
ferings as intolerable, and bid them shift for themselves whilst they 
might. So that here must needs be a force and violence offered 
to their light, and the loving constraints thereof ; which is no small 

For though I grant it was a sudden, surprising temptation, yet 
it cannot be imagined that this fact was wholly deliberate ; nor that, 
for so long time, they were without any debate or reasonings about 
their duty. 

Thirdly, As it was against their own principles, so it was much 



against the honour of their Lord and Master. By this their sinful 
flio-ht they exposed the Lord Jesus to the contempt and scorn of his 
enemies. Tins some conceive is imported in that question which 
the High-priest asked him, John xviii. 19. " The High-priest 
" then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine." He ask- 
ed him of his disciples, how many he had, and what was become 
of them now ? And what was the reason they forsook their 
master, and left him to shift for himself when danger appeared ? 
But to those questions Christ made no reply. He would not ac- 
cuse them to their enemies, though they had deserted him. But, 
doubtless, it did not a little reflect upon Christ, that there was not 
one of all his friends that durst own their relation to him, in a time 
of danger. 

Fourthly, As it was against Christ's honour, so it was against 
their own solemn promise made to him before his apprehension, to 
live and die with him. They had passed their word, and given 
their promise that they would not flinch from him, Matt. xxvi. 35. 
" Peter said to him, though I should die with thee, yet will I not 
" deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples." This made it 
a perfidious relapse. Here they break promise with Christ who 
never did so with them. He might have told then when he met 
them afterwards in Galilee, as the Roman soldier told his general, 
when he refused his petition after the war was ended, / did not 
serve you so at the battle of Actium. 

Fjfthiy, As it was against their solemn promise to Christ, so it 
was against Christ's heart-melting expostulations with them, which 
should have abode in their hearts while they lived. For when 
others that followed him went back, and walked no more with 
him, Jesus said to these very men, that now forsook him at last, 
Will ye also go away? There is an emphasis in [ye] q. d. What, 
ye that from eternity were given to me ! Ye whom I have called, 
loved, and honoured above others, for whose sakes I am ready and 
resolved to die. " Will ye also forsake me ?" John vi. 67. What- 
ever others do, I expect other things from you. 

Sixthly, As it was against Christ's heart-melting expostulations 
with them, so it was against a late direful example presented to 
them in the fall of Judas. In him, as in a glass, they might see 
how fearful a thing it is to apostatize from Christ. They had 
heard Christ's dreadful threats against him. They were present 
when he called him the son of perdition, John xviii. 11. They had 
heard Christ say of him, " Good had it been if he had never been 
" born. 11 An expression able to scare the deadest heart. They 
saw he had left Christ the evening before. And that very day, in 
which they fled, he hanged himself. And yet they fly. For all 
this they forsake Christ. 


Seventhly r , As it was against the dreadful warning given them in 
the fall of Judas, so it was against the law of love, which should 
have knit them closer to Christ, and to "one another. 

If to avoid the present shock of persecution, they had fled, yet 
surely they should have kept together, praying, watching, en- 
couraging, and strengthening one another. This had made it a 
lesser evil: but as they all forsook Christ, so they forsook one 
another also ; for it is said, John xvi. 32. " They shall go every 
" man to his own, and leave Christ alone," (i. e. saith Beza) 
every man to his own house, and to his own business. They for- 
sook each other, as well as Christ. O what an hour of temptation 
was this ! 

Eighthly, and lastly, This their departure from Christ, was ac- 
companied with some offence at Christ. For so he tells them, 
Matt. xxvi. 31. " All ye shall be offended because of me this 
a night. -11 The word is, G%a\ba\i6Qr,te<sk, you shall be scandalized 
at me, or in me *. Some think the scandal they took at Christ 
was this, that when they saw he was fallen into his enemies' hands, 
and could no longer defend himself; they then began to question 
whether he were the Christ or no, since he could not defend him- 
self from his enemies. Others, more rightly, understand it of their 
shameful flight from Christ, seeing it was not now safe to abide 
longer with him. That seeing he gave himself into their hands, 
they thought it advisable to provide as well as they could for them- 
selves, and somewhere or other, to take refuge from the present 
storm, which had overtaken him. This was the nature and qua- 
lity of the fact. We enquire, 

Thirdly, Into the grounds and reasons of it. Which were 

Firstj God's suspending wonted influences and aids of grace from 
them. They were not wont to do so. They never did so afterwards. 
They would not have done so now, had there been influences of 
power, zeal, and love from heaven upon them. But how then should 
Christ have borne the heat and burden of the day ? How should 
he tread the wine-press alone ? How should his sorrows have been 
extreme, unmixed, succourless (as it behoved them to be) if they 
had stuck faithfully to him in his troubles ? No, no, it must not 
be ; Christ must not have the least relief or comfort from any crea- 
ture ; and therefore, that he might be left alone, to grapple hand 
to hand with the wrath of God, and of men ; the Lord for a time 

* They thought, either that he was not the Christ, as they had hitherto believed, be- 
cause he could not defend himself from his enemies, or that it was not advisable, fw 
his sake, to expose themselves to the hazard of death. Pareus. 


with-holds his encouraging, strengthening influences from them ; 
and then, like Samson when he had lost his locks, they were 
weak as other men. 

" Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," saith 
the apostle, Eph. vi. 10. If that be with-held, our resolutions 
and purposes melt away before a temptation, as snow before 
the sun. 

Secondly, As God permitted it, and with-held usual aid from 
them ; so the efficacy of that temptation was great, yea, much 
greater than ordinary. As they were weaker than they were used 
to be, so the temptation was stronger than any they had yet met 
withal. It is called, Luke xxii. 53. " Their hour and the power 
" of darkness." A sifting, winnowing hour, ver. 46. O it was 
a black and cloudy day. Never had the disciples met with such 
a whirlwind, such a furious storm before. The devil desired but 
to have the winnowing of them in that day, and so would have 
sifted and winnowed them, that their faith had utterly failed, had 
not Christ secured it by his prayer for them. So that it was an 
extraordinary trial that was upon them. 

Thirdly and lastly, That which concurred to their shameful re- 
lapse, as a special cause of it, was the remaining corruptions that 
were in their hearts yet unmortified. Their knowledge was but 
little, and their faith not much. Upon the account of their 
weakness in grace, they were called little ones in the text. And as 
their graces were weak, so their corruptions were strong. Their 
unbelief, and carnal fears grew powerfully upon them. 

Do not censure them, reader, in thy thoughts, nor despise them 
for this their weakness. Neither say in thy heart, Had I been 
there as they were, I would never have done as they did. They 
thought as little of doing what they did, as you, or any of the 
saints do ; and as much did their souls detest and abhor it : but here 
thou may est see, whither a soul that fears God may be carried, if 
his corruptions be irritated by strong temptations, and God with- 
holds usual influences. 

Fourthly and lastly, Let us view the issue of this sad apostasy of 
theirs. And you shall find it ended far better than it began. 
Though these sheep were scattered for a time, yet the Lord made 
good his promise, in turning his hand upon these little ones, to 
gather them. The morning was over-cast, but the evening was 

Peter repents of his perfidious denial of Christ, and never denied 
him more. All the rest likewise returned to Christ, and never 
forsook him any more. He that was afraid at the voice of a dam- 
sel, afterwards feared not the frowns of the mighty. And they 
that durst not own Christ now, afterwards confessed him openly be- 


fore councils, and rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer 
for his sake, Acts v. 41. They that were now as timorous as 
hares, and started at every sound, afterward became as bold as 
lions, and feared not any danger, but sealed their confession of 
Christ with their blood. For though, at this time, they forsook 
him, it was not voluntarily, but by surprisal. Though they forsook 
him, they still loved him ; though they fled from him, there still 
remained a gracious principle in them ; the root of the matter was 
still in them, which recovered them again. 

To conclude: Though they forsook Christ, yet Christ never 
forsook them : he loved them still ; '-Go tell the disciples, and tell 
" Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee," Mark xvi. 7. q. d. 
Let them not think that I so remember their unkindness, as to 
own them no more : No, I love them still. 

The use of this is contained in the following inferences." 

Inf. 1. Did the disciples forsake Christ, though they had such 
strong persuasions and resolutions never to do it ? Then we see, 
That self-confidence is a sin too incident to the best of men. They 
little thought their hearts would have proved so base and deceitful, 
as they found them to be when they were tried. " Though all 
" men forsake thee (saith Peter) yet will not I." Good man, he 
resolved honestly, but he knew not what a feather he should be in 
the wind of temptation, if God once left him to his own fears. 

Little reason have the best of saints to depend upon their inhe- 
rent grace, let their stock be as large as it will. The angels left to 
themselves, quickly left their own habitations, Jude 6. Upon 
which, * one well observes, That the best of created perfections, 
are of themselves defectible. Every excellency without the prop 
of divine preservation, is but a weight which tends to a fall. The 
angels in their innocencv, were but frail, without God's sustenta- 
tion ; even grace itself is but a creature, and therefore purely de- 
pendent. It is not from its being and nature, but from the as- 
sistance of something without it, that it is kept from annihilation. 
What becomes of the stream, if the fountain supply it not ? What 
continuance hath the reflection in the glass, if the man that looks 
into it, turn away his face ? The constant supplies of the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ, are the food and fuel of all our graces. The best 
men will shew themselves but men if God leave them. He who 
hath set them up, must also keep them. It is safer to be humble 
with one talent, than proud with ten ; yea, better to be an humble 
worm, than a proud angel. Adam had more advantage to main- 
tain his station than any of you. For though he were left to the 
liberty of his own mutable and self-determining will ; and though 

■ Mr. Jenkin, in he. 


he was created upright, and had no inherent corruption to endanger 
him, yet he fell. 

And shall we be self-confident, after such instances of human 
frailty ! Alas, Christian ! What match art thou for principalities 
and powers, and spiritual wickedness ! " Be not high-minded, but 
u fear." When you have considered well the example of * Noah, 
Lot, David, and He/ekiah, men famous and renowned in their 
generations, who all fell by temptations; yea, and that when one 
would think they had never been better provided to cope with 
them. Lot fell after, yea, presently after the Lord had thrust 
him out of Sodom, and his eyes had seen the direful punishment 
of sin. Hell, as it were, rained upon them out of heaven. Noah, 
in like manner, immediately after God's wonderful, and astonish- 
ing preservation of him in the ark ; when he saw a world of men 
and women, perishing in the floods for their sins. David, after 
the Lord had settled the kingdom on him, which for sin he rent 
from Saul, and given him rest in his house. Hezekiah was but just 
up from a great sickness, wherein the Lord wrought a wonderful 
salvation for him. Did such men, and at such times, when one 
would think no temptations should have prevailed, fall ; and that 
so foully ? Then " let him that thinks he standeth, take heed lest 
" he fall." O be not high-minded, but fear. 

Inf. 2. Did Christ stand his ground, and go through with his 
suffering- work, when all that had followed him, forsook him? 
Then a resolved adherence to God, and duty, though left alone, 
without company or encouragement, is Christ-like, and truly ex- 
cellent. You shall not want better company, than that which hath 
forsaken you in the way of God. Elijah complains, 1 Kings xix. 10. 
" They have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and 
" slain thy prophets with the sword ; and I, even I only, am left, 
" and they seek my life, to take it away." And yet all this did 
not damp or discourage him in following the Lord ; for still he 
was very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts. 

Paul complains, 2 Tim. iv. 16. " At my first answer no man 
" stood by me, all men forsook me : nevertheless the Lord stood 
" with me." And as the Lord stood by him, so he stood by his 
God alone, without any aids or support from men. How great 
an argument of integrity is this ! He that professes Christ for com- 
pany, will also leave him for company. But to be faithful to 
God, when forsaken of men ; to be a Lot, in Sodom ; a Noah, 
in a corrupted generation ; oh, how excellent is it ! It is sweet to 
travel over this earth to heaven, in the company of the saints, 
that arc bound thither with us, if we can ; but if we can meet no 

* Gen. ix. 21, 22. and xix, ?G. 2 Sam. xi,2. 2 Kings xx. 12. 


company, we must not be discouraged to go on. It is not unlike, 
but before you have gone many steps farther, you may have cause 
to sav, as one did once, Never less alone, than when alone. 

Inference 3. Did the disciples thus forsake Christ, and yet were 
all recovered at last ? Then, though believers are not privileged from 
backs-tidings, yet they are secured from final apostasy and ruin. 
The new creature may be sick, it cannot die. Saints may fall, but 
they shall rise again, Micah vii. 8. The highest flood, of natural 
zeal and resolution, may ebb, and be wholly dried up; but saving 
grace is " a well of water, still springing up into everlasting life," 
John iv. 14. God's unchangeable election, the frame and con- 
stitution of the New Covenant, the meritorious and prevalent in- 
tercession of Jesus Christ, do give the believer abundant security 
against the danger of a total and final apostasy. " My Father, 
" which gave them me, saith Christ, is greater than all : and none 
" is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand,' 1 John x. 29- 

And again, " The foundation of God standeth sure, having 
" this seal ; the Lord knoweth who are his," 2 Tim. ii. 19. Every 
person committed to Christ by the Father, shall be brought by 
him to the Father, and not one wanting. 

God hath also so framed and ordered the new covenant, that 
none of those souls, who are within the blessed clasp and bond of 
it can possibly be lost. It is settled upon immutable things : and 
we know all things are as their foundations be, Heb. vi. 18, 19. 
Among the many glorious promises contained in the bundle of 
promises, this is one, " I will not turn away from them, to do them 
" good ; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not 
" depart from me."" 

And as the fear of God in our hearts, pleads in us against sin, 
so our potent intercessor in the heavens pleads for us with the Fa- 
ther ; and by reason thereof, we cannot finally miscarry, Rom. 
viii. 34, 35. Upon these grounds, we may (as the apostle in the 
place last cited doth) triumph in that full security which God hath 
given us ; and say, What " shall separate us from the love of God ?" 
Understand it either of God's to us, as Calvin, Beza, and Martyr 
do ; or of our love to God, as Ambrose and Augustine do : it is 
true in both senses, and a most comfortable truth. 

Inference 4. Did the sheep fly, when the shepherd was smitten ; 
such men, and so many forsake Christ in the trial ? Then learn 
how sad a tldng it is for the best of men to be left to their own 
carnal fears in a day of temptation : This was it that made those 
good men shrink away so shamefully from Christ in that trial : 
" The fear of man brings a snare," Prov. xxix. 25. In that snare 
these good souls were taken, and for a time held fast. 

Oh what work will this unruly passion make, if the fear of God 


do not over-rule it ! Is it not a shame to a Christian, a man of faith 
to see himself out-done by an Heathen ? Shall natural conscience 
and courage make them stand and keep their places in times of 
danger ; when we shamefully turn our backs upon duty, because 
we see duty and danger together ? 

When the emperor Vespasian had commanded Fluidius Priscus 
not to come to the senate ; or, if he did, to speak nothing but 
what he would have him ; the senator returned this brave and noble 
answer, " * That as lie was a senator, it was fit he should be at the 
" senate ; and if, being there, he were required to give his advice, 
" he would speak freely, that which his conscience commanded 
" him." The emperor threatening that then he should die ; he 
returned thus, " Did I ever tell you that I was immortal ? Do you 
" what you will, and I will do what I ought. It is in your power 
" to put me to death unjustly, and in me to die constantly." O 
think, what mischiefs your fears may do yourselves, and the dis- 
covery of them to others. O learn to trust God with your lives, 
liberties, and comforts, in the way of your duty ; and at what time 
you are afraid trust in him : and do not magnify poor dust and ashes, 
as to be scared, by their threat, from your God and your duty. The 
politic design of Satan herein, is to affright you out of your coverts, 
where you are safe, into the net. I will enlarge on this no farther ; 
I have f elsewhere laid down fourteen rules for the cure of this, in 
what of mine is public. 

Inf. 5. Learn hence, How much a man may differ from himself 
according as the Lord is with him, or withdrawnfrom him. The 
Christian does not always differ from other men, but sometimes 
from himself also : yea, so great is the difference betwixt himself and 
himself, as if he were not the same man. And where is he that 
doth not so experience it ? Sometimes bold and courageous, des- 
pising dangers, bearing down all discouragements in the strength 
of zeal, and love to God : at another time faint, feeble, and dis- 
couraged at every petty thing. Whence is this but from the differ- 
ent administrations of the Spirit, who sometimes gives forth more, 
and sometimes less, of his gracious influence. These very men 
that flinched now, when the Spirit was more abundantly shed 
forth upon them, could boldly own Christ before the council, and 
despised all dangers for his sake. 

A little dog, if his master be by, and encourage him, will ven- 
ture upon a greater beast than himself. Peter stood at the door 
without, when the other disciple, (or one of the other disciples, 

* Charron, of wisdom, p. 358. 
+ A Saint indeed. 


as the Syriac turns it, and * Grotius approves it as the best), i. e. 
one of the private disciples that lived at Jerusalem, went in so bold- 
ly, John xviii. 16, 17. We are strong or weak, according to the 
deo-rees of assisting grace. So that as you cannot take the just 
measure of a Christian by one act, so neither must they judge of 
themselves, by what they sometimes feel in themselves. 

But when their spirits are low, and their hearts discouraged, they 
should rather say to their souls, " Hope in God, for I shall yet 
" praise him :" It is low with me now, but it will be better. 

Inf. 6. Was the sword drawn against the Shepherd, and he left 
alone to receive the mortal strokes of it ? How should all adore both 
the justice and mercy of God so illustriously displayed herein ! Here 
is the triumph of divine justice, and the highest triumph that ever 
it had, to single forth the chief Shepherd, the man that is God's 
fellow, and sheathe its sword in his breast for satisfaction. No won- 
der it is drawn and brandished with such a triumph ; awake rejoic- 
ingly, O sword, against my Shepherd, SfC. For in this blood shed 
by it, it hath more glory than if the blood of all the men and women 
in the world had been shed. 

And no less is the mercy and goodness of God herein signalized, 
in giving the sword a commission against the Man, his fellow, ra- 
ther than against us. Why had he not rather said, Awake, O 
sword, against the men that are mine enemies ; shed the blood of 
them that have sinned against me, than smite the Shepherd, and 
only scatter the sheep. Blessed be God, the dreadful sword was 
not drawn and brandished against our souls ; that God did not set 
it to our breasts ; that he had not made it fat with our flesh, 
and bathed it in our blood ; that his fellow was smitten, that 
his enemies might be spared. O what manner of love was this ! 
Blessed be God therefore for Jesus Christ, who received the fatal 
stroke himself ; and hath now so sheathed that sword in its scab- 
bard, that it shall never be drawn any more against any that be- 
lieve in him. 

Inf. 7. Were the sheep scattered when the Shepherd was smit- 
ten ? Learn hence, That the best of men know not their own strength 
till they come to the trial. Little did these holy men imagine such 
a cowardly spirit had been in them, till temptation put it to the 
proof. Let this therefore be a caution for ever to the people of 
God. You resolve never to forsake Christ, you do well ; but so 
did these, and yet were scattered from him. You can never take a 
just measure of your own strength, till temptation have tried it. It 
is said, Deut. viii. 2. that God led the people so many years in the 

* One of the other disciples, not any one of the twelve, but some other, an inhabi- 
tant of Jerusalem, not so well known to be a favourer of Jesus. Grotius. 


wilderness, to prove them ; and to know them, (i. e. to make them 
know) ivhat was in their hearts. Little did they think such un- 
belief, murmurings, discontents, and a spirit bent to backslidings, 
had been in them ; until their straits in the wilderness gave them 
the sad experience of these things. 

Inf. 8. Did the dreadful sword of divine justice smite the 
Shepherd, God's own fellow ; and at the same time the flock, 
from whom all its outward comforts arose, were scattered from 
him? Then learn, That the holiest of men have no reason either 
to repine or despond, though God should at once strip them of all 
their outward and inward comforts together. He that did this by 
the man his fellow, may much rather do it by the man his friend. 
Smite my Shepherd: there is all comfort gone from the inward 
man ; Scatter the sheep ; there is all comfort gone from the out- 
ward man. What refreshments had Christ in this world, but such 
as came immediately from his Father, or those holy ones now scat- 
tered from him ? In one day he loseth both heavenly and earthly 
comforts. Now, as God dealt by Christ, he may, at one time or 
other, deal with his people. You have your comforts from heaven ; 
so had Christ, in a fuller measure than ever you had, or can have. 
He had comforts from his little flock ; you have your comforts 
from the society of the saints, the ordinances of God, comfortable 
relations, $c. Yet none of these are so firmly settled upon you, 
but you may be left destitute of them all in one day. God did 
take all comfort from Christ, both outward ancf inward ; and are 
you greater than he ? God sometimes takes outward, and leaves 
inward comfort ; sometimes he takes inward, and leaves outward 
comfort : but the time may come, when God may strip you of 

This was the case of Job, a favourite of God, who was blessed 
with outward and inward comforts; yet a time came when God 
stripped him of all, and made him poor to a proverb, as to all out- 
ward comfort ; and the venom of his arrows drank up his spirit, 
and the inward comforts thereof. 

Should the Lord deal thus with any of you, how seasonable and 
relieving will the following considerations be ? 

First, Though the Lord deal thus with you, yet this is no new 
thing ; he hath so dealt with others, yea with Jesus Christ that 
was his fellow. If these things were done in the green tree, in 
him that never deserved it for any sin of his own, how little reason 
have we to complain ? Nay, 

Secondly, Therefore did this befal Jesus Christ before you, that 
the like condition might be sanctified to you, when you shall be 
brought into it. For therefore did Jesus Christ pass through such 
varieties of conditions, on purpose that he might take away the 

Vol. I. Z 


curse, and leave a blessing in those conditions, against the time 
that vou should come into them. Moreover, 

Thirdly, Though inward comforts and outward comforts were 
both removed from Christ, in one day, yet he wanted not support 
in the absence of both. How relieving a consideration is this ! 
John xvi. 32. " Behold, (saith he) the hour cometh, yea, is now 
" come that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall 
ii leave me alone ; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is 
" with me." With me by way of support, when not by way of 
comfort. Thy God, Christian, can in like mannner support thee, 
when all sensible comforts shrink away together from thy soid and 
body in one day. 

Lastly, It deserves a remark, that this comfortless forsaken con- 
dition of Christ, immediately preceded the day of his greatest glory 
and comfort. Naturalists observe, the greatest darkness is a little 
before the dawning of the morning. It was so with Christ, it may 
be so with thee. It was but a little while and he had better com- 
pany than theirs that forsook him. Act therefore your faith upon 
this, that the most glorious light usually follows the thickest dark- 
ness. The louder vour groans are now, the louder your triumphs 
hereafter will be. The horror of your present, will but add to the 
lustre of vour future state. 


Of the manner of Christ's Death, in respect of the Pa- 
tience thereof, 

Is a. liii. 7. 

He IMS oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his 
mouth : he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep 
before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. 

OW pur Lord Jesus Christ carried on the work of our re- 
demption in his humble state, both in his incarnation, life, and 
death, hath in part been discovered in the former sermons. I have 
shewed you the kind or nature of that death he died ; and am now 
engaged, bv the method proposed, to open the manner of his death. 
The solitariness or loneliness of Christ in his sufferings, was the 
subject of the last sermon. The patience and meekness of Christ 
in his sufferings, come in order, to be opened in this. 

This chapter treats wholly of the sufferings of Christ, and the 


blessed fruits thereof. Hornbeck * tells us of a learned Jew, 
« that ingenuously confessed this very chapter converted him to 
" the Christian faith. And such delight he had in it, that he read 
" it more than a thousand times over." Such is the clearness of 
this prophecy, that he who penned it, is deservedly stiled the 
evangelical prophet I cannot allow time to annalize the chapter; 
but my work lying in the seventh verse, I shall speak to these two 
brandies or parts of it, viz. The grievous sufferings of Christ, and 
the glorious ornament he put upon them. 

First, Christ's grievous sufferings; " he was afflicted, and he 
" was oppressed, brought to the slaughter, and shorn as a sheep," 
" i. e. he lost both fleece and blood, life, and comforts of life. 
" He was oppressed; 11 the \ word signifies both " to answer and 
" oppress, humble or depress." The other word, rendered afflict- 
ed, signifies " to exact and afflict," and so implies Christ to stand 
before God, as a surety before the creditor; who exacts the .ut- 
most satisfaction from him, by causing him to suffer according to 
tlie utmost rigour and severity of the law. It did not suffice that 
he was shorn as a sheep* i. e. that he was stripped and deprived of 
his riches, ornaments and comforts ; but his blood and life must 
go for it also. He is brought to the slaughter. These were his 
grievous sufferings. 

Secondly, Here is the glorious ornament he put upon those grie- 
vous sufferings, even the ornament of a meek and patient spirit. 
He opened not his mouth : but went as a sheep to be shorn, or a lamb 
to the slaughter. The lamb goes as quiet to the slaughter-house, 
as to the fold. By this lively and lovely similitude, the patience of 
Christ is here expressed to us\ Yet Christ's dumbness and silence 
is not to be understood simply, but universally ; as though he spake 
nothing at all when he suffered ; for he uttered many excellent and 
weighty words upon the cross, as you shall hear in the following 
discourses ; but it must be understood respectively, i. e. he never 
opened his mouth repiningly, passionately, or revengefully, under 
his greatest tortures and highest provocations. Whence the 
note is, 

Doct. That Jesus Christ supported the burden, of his sufferings, 
with admirable patience and meekness of spirit. 

It is a true observation, that meekness inviteth injury, but al- 
ways to its own cost. And it was evidently verified in the suffer- 

* Ingenue prqfiteor Mud ipsum caput adjtdem Christianam me addtixisse y nam plus ?«i7- 
lies Ulud caput perlegi. Hornbcck contra Jud. lib. 6. cap. I. p. 408. 

t 7731*3 Respondil. Humiliavit. Demisit. Depressit. tl*>3 ExegU. Buxtorf. 

\ That he may the more commend Christ's patience and meekness, as his glo- 
rious ornament, he compares him to a sheep and a lamb, yfurlori in Uc. 

z % 


ings of Christ. Christ's meekness triumphed over the affronts and 
injuries of his enemies, much more than they triumphed over him. 
Patience never had a more glorious triumph, than it had upon the 

The meekness and patience of his spirit, amidst injuries and pro- 
vocations, is excellently set forth in 1 Pet. ii. 22, 23. " Who did 
" no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth : who when he 
" was reviled, reviled not again ; when lie suffered he threatened 
" not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." 

In this point we have these three things to open doctrinally. 

1. The burden of sufferings, and provocations that Jesus Christ 
was oppressed With. 

2. The meekness and admirable patience with which he sup- 
ported that burden. 

3. The causes and grounds of that perfect patience which he 
th(ffl exercised. 

First, The burden of sufferings and provocations which Christ 
supported, was very great ; for on him met all sorts and kinds of 
trouble at once, and those in their highest degrees and fullest 
strength. Troubles in his soul, and these were the soul of his 
troubles. His soul was laden with spiritual horrors and troubles, 
as deep as it could swim, Mark xiv. 33. " He began to be sore 
" amazed and very heavy." The wrath of an infinite dreadful 
God beat him down to the dust. His body full of pain and ex- 
quisite tortures in every part. Not a member or sense but was the 
seat and subject of torment. 

His name and honour suffered the vilest indignities, blasphe- 
mies, and horrid reproaches that the malignity of Satan and wick- 
ed men could belch out against it. He was called a blasphemer, 
seditious, one that had a devil, a glutton, a wine-bibber, a friend 
of publicans and harlots, the carpenter s son, this fellow. He that 
was GooTs fellow, as you heard lately, now this fellow. Contempt 
was poured upon all his offices. Upon his kingly office, when 
they crowned him with thorns, arrayed him with purple, bowed 
the* knee in mockery to him and cried, " Hail king of the Jews." 
His prophetical, office, when they blinded him, and then bid him 
" prophesy who smote him." His priestly office, when they re- 
viled him on the cross, saying, " He saved others, himself he 
" cannot save."" They scourged him, spit in his face ; and smote 
him on the head and face. Besides, the very kind of death they 
put him to, was reproachful and ignominious ; as you heard 

Now all this, and much more than this, meeting at once upon 
an innocent and dignified person ; one that was greater than all ; 
that lay in the bosom of God ; and from eternity had his smiles 


and honours; upon one that could have crushed all his enemies 
as a moth ; I say, for him to bear all this, without the least dis- 
composure of spirit, or breach of patience, is the highest triumph 
of patience that ever was in the world. It was one of the greatest 
wonders of that wonderful day : 

Secondly, And that is the next thing we have to consider, even 
this almighty patience and unpatterned meekness of Christ, sup- 
porting such a burden with such evenness and steadiness of spirit. 
Christian patience, or the grace of patience, is an ability or power 
to suffer hard and heavy thing*, according to the will of God. 

It is a power, and a glorious power, that strengthens the suffer- 
ing soul to bear. It is our passive fortitude, Col. i. 11. " Strength- 
" ened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all 
" patience, and long-suffering with joy fulness ;" i. e. strengthened 
with the might or power of God himself: Or such as might appear 
to be the proper impress and image of that divine power, which is 
both its principle and pattern. For the patience which God exer- 
cises towards sinners, that daily wrong and load him, is called 
power, and great power, Numb. xiv. 17. " Let the power of my 
" Lord be great, as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is long- 
" suffering, forgiving," &c. Hence it is observed, Prow xxiv. 
10. That the loss or breaking of our patience under adversity, 
argues a decay of strength in the soul. " If thou faint in the day 
" of adversity, thy strength is small." 

It is a power or ability in the soul, to bear hard, heavy, and dif- 
ficult things*. Such only are the objects of patience. God hath 
several sorts of burdens to impose upon his people. Some heavier, 
others lighter; some to be carried but a few hours, others many 
days ; others all our days : some more spiritual, bearing upon the 
soul ; some more external, touching or punishing the flesh imme- 
diately ; and the spirit by way of sympathy : and sometimes both 
sorts are laid on together. So they were at this time on Christ. His 
soul burdened as deep as it could swim ; full of the sense, the bit- 
ter sense and apprehension of the wrath of God : his body filled 
with tortures : in every member and sense grief took up its lodg- 
ing. Here w r as the highest exercise of patience. 

It is a power to bear hard and heavy things, according to the 
will I of God. Considering it in that respect, patience, the Chris- 
tian grace, differs from patience the moral virtue. So the apos- 
tle describes it, 1 Pet. iv. 19. " Let them that suffer according to 
" the will of God, 11 &c. i. e. who exercise patience graciously, as 
God would have them. 

* These two virtues, viz. uto/xov/j, i. e. patience, and {AaXfoQ-j/Utict, i. e. meekness, are 
inseparable concomitants of that strength and fortitude, which the Spirit bestows on us 

Z 3 


And then our patience is, as Christ's most exactly was, according 
to the will of God ; when it is as extensive, as intensive, and as 
protensive as God requires it to be. 

First, When it is as extensive, as God would have it. So was 
Christ's patience. It was a patience that stretched and extended 
itself to all, and every trouble and affliction, that came upon him. 
Troubles came upon him in troops, in multitudes. It is said, Psal. 
xl. 12. " Innumerable evils have compassed me about.' 1 Yet he 
found patience enough to receive them all. It is not with us. 
Our patience is often worn out. And like sick people, we fancy, 
if we were in another chamber, or bed, it would be better. If it 
were any other trouble than this, we could bear it. Christ had 
no exceptions at any burden his Father would lay on. His patience 
was as large as his trouble, and that was large indeed. 

Secondly, It is then according to the will of God, when it is as 
intensive as God requires it to be, i. e. in the apostle's phrase, Jam. 
i. 4. When it hath its perfect work, or exercise ; when it is not only 
extended to all kinds of troubles; but when it works in the high- 
est and most perfect degree. And then may patience be said to be 
perfect (as it was in Christ) when it is plenum sui, et prohibens alien}, 
full of itself, and exclusive of its opposite. Christ's patience was 
full of itself, (i. e.) it included all that belonged to it. It was full 
of submission, peace, and serenity ; full of obedience and compla- 
cency in his Father's will. He was in a perfect calm. As a lamb 
or sheep, (saith the text) that howls not, opposes not, but is dumb 
and quiet. And as his external behaviour, so his internal frame 
and temper of soul was most serene and calm. Not one repining 
thought against God. Not one revengeful thought against man 
once ruffled his spirit, " Father forgive them, for they know not 
" what they do," was all the hurt he wished his worst enemies. 
And as it included all that belonged to it, so his perfect patience 
excluded all its opposites. No discontents, murmurings, despon- 
dencies had place in his heart. So that his patience was a most in- 
tensive, perfect patience. And as it was as extensive, and as inten- 
sive, so it was, 

Thirdly, As protensive as God required it to be, (i. e.) it held 
out to the end of his trial. He did not faint at last. His troubles 
did not out-live his patience. He indeed was strengthened with 
all might unto all patience, and long-suffering. This was the pa- 
tience of Christ our perfect pattern. He had not only patience but 

Thh'dly, In the last place, let us inquire into the grounds and 
reasons of this his most perfect patience. And if you do so, you 
shall find perfect holiness, wisdom, fore-knowledge, faith, heaven- 


lv-mindediiess, and obedience, at the root of this perfect pa- 

Firsts This admirable patience and meekness of Christ, was the 
fruit and offspring of his perfect holiness. His nature was tree from 
those corruptions, that ours groan and labour under; otherwise he 
could never have carried it at this rate. Take the meek Moses 
who excelled all others in that grace, and let him be tried in that 
very grace, wherein he excels, and see how tw unadvisedly he may 
" speak with his lips," Psal. cvi. 33. Take a Job, whose famous 
patience is trumpeted and resounded over all the world ; ye have 
heard of the jyatience of Job ; and let him be tried by outward and 
inward troubles, meeting upon him in one day ; and even a Job 
may curse the day wherein he was born. Envy, revenge, discon- 
tent, despondencies, are weeds naturally springing up in the cor- 
rupt soil of our sinful natures, " I saw a little child grow pale with 
" envy, 1 ' said Austin*. And the spirit that is in us, lusteth unto 
envy, (saith the apostle) Jam. iv. 5. The principles of all these 
evils being in our natures, they will shew themselves in time of trial. 
The old man is fretful and passionate. But it was otherwise with 
Christ. His nature was like a pure chrystal glass, full of pure 
fountain water, which though shaken and agitated never so much, 
cannot shew, because it hath no dregs. " The prince of this world 
" cometh, and hath nothing in me,' 1 John xiv. 30. No principle of 
corruption, for a handle to temptation. Our high-priest was holy, 
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. vii. 26. 

Secondly, The meekness and patience of Christ proceeded from 
the infinite wisdom with which he was filled. The wiser anv man 
is, the more patient he is. Hence meekness, the fruit, is deno- 
minated from patience, the root that bears it, Jam. hi. 13. " The 
M meekness of wisdom." And anger is lodged in folly, its pro- 
per cause, Eccl. vii. 9. " Anger resteth in the bosom of fools." 
Seneca •(• would allow no place for passion in a wise man's breast. 
Wise men use to ponder, consider, and weigh things deliberately 
in their judgments, before they suffer their affections and passions 
to be stirred and enraged. Hence come the constancy and serenity 
of their spirits. As wise Solomon hath observed, Prov. xvii. 27. 
" A man of understanding is of an excellent (or as the Hebrew is) 
" a cool, spirit. 11 

Now wisdom filled the soul of Christ. He is wisdom in the ab- 

* Vidi zelantcm parvulum. Aug. 

f If we believe that neither great, nor frequent anger, takes place in tiie mind 
of the wise man ; why may we not free him from the whole of this passion, S,'n w 
on passion. 

Z 4 


stract, Prov. viii. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom, Col. 
ii. 3. Hence it was that he was no otherwise moved with the re- 
vilings and abuses of his enemies, than a wise physician is with the 
impertinencies of his distempered, and crazy patient. 

Thirdly, And as his patience flowed from his perfect wis- 
dom and know ledge, so also from his Jbre-hnowledge. He had a 
perfect prospect of all those things from eternity, which befel him 
afterwards. They came not upon him by way of surprisal. And 
therefore he wondered not at them when they came, as if some 
strange thing had happened. He foresaw all these things long be- 
fore, Mark viii. 31. " And he began to teach them, that the Son 
" of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, 
" and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed." Yea, he had 
compacted and agreed with his Father to endure all this for our 
sakes, before he assumed our flesh. Hence, Isa. 1. 6. " I gave my 
" back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the 
" hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting." 

Now look as Christ in John xvi. 4. obviates all future offences 
his disciples might take at suffering for his sake, by telling them 
before-hand what they must expect. " These things (saith he) 
" I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember 
" that I told you of them :" So he, foreknowing what himself 
must suffer, and having agreed so to do, bare those sufferings with 
singular patience. " Jesus therefore knowing all things that should 
" come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, whom seek 
" ye ?" John xviii. 4. 

Fourthly, As his patience sprang from his fore-knowledge of 

his sufferings ; so from his faith which he exercised under all that 

he suffered in this world. His faith looked through all those 

black and dismal clouds, to the joy proposed, Heb. xii. % He knew 

that though Pilate condemned, God would justify him, Isa. 1. 4, 

5, 6, 7, 8. And he set one over-against the other : he balanced 

the glory, into which he was to enter, with the sufferings, through 

which he was to enter into it. He acted faith upon God for divine 

support and assistance under suffering, as well as for glory, the 

fruit and reward of them, Psal. xvi. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. I have set 

(or as the apostle varies it) "I foresaw the Lord always before 

" me ; because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 

" Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth." There is 

faith acted by Christ, for strength to carry him through. And 

then it follows, " My flesh also shall rest in hope ; for thou wilt 

<{ not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy 

" one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life. In 

" thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right-hand there are plea- 

" sures for evermore." There is his faith acting upon the glory 


into which lie was to enter, after he had suffered these things : this 
filled him with peace. 

Fifthly, As his faith, eying the glory into which he was passing, 
made him endure all things ; so the licuvcnUnc.sv of his Spirit also 
filled him with a heavenly tranquillity and calmness of spirit under 
all his abuses and injuries. It is a certain truth, that the more hea- 
venly any mans spirit is, the more sedate, composed and peaceful. 
« As the higher heavens (saith * Seneca) are more ordinate and 
" tranquil ; there are neither clouds nor winds, storms nor tempests ; 
" they are the inferior heavens that lighten and thunder : the 
" nearer the earth the more tempestuous and unquiet : even so 
" the sublime and heavenly mincl is placed in a calm and quiet 
« station." 

Certainly that heart which is sweetened frequently with heaven- 
ly, delightful communion with God, is not very apt to be imbitter- 
ed with wrath, or soured with revenge against men. The peace 
of God doth Cp«£sus/i/, appease and end all strifes and differences, 
as an umpire : so much that word, Col. iii. 15. imports. The 
heavenly Spirit marvellously affects a sedate and quiet breast. 

Now, never was there such a heavenly soul on earth, since 
man inhabited it, as Christ was : he had most sweet and wonder- 
ful communion with God: he had meat to eat, which others, 
yea, and those his greatest intimates, knew not of. The Son of 
man was in heaven upon earth, John iii. 13. Even in respect of 
that blessed heavenly communion he had with God, as well as in 
respect of his immense Deity : and that his heart was in heaven 
when he so patiently endured and digested the pain and shame of 
the cross is evident from Heb. xii. 2. " For the joy set before him, 
" he endured the cross, despising the shame." See where his eye 
and heart were, when he went as a lamb to the slaughter. 

Sixthly, And lastly, As his meekness and patience sprang from 
the heavenliness and sublimity of his spirit ; so likewise, from the 
complete and absolute obedience of it to his Father's will and plea- 
sure : he could most quietly submit to all the will of God, and never 
regret at any part of the work assigned him by his Father. For 

ou must know, that Christ's death in him was an act of obedience ; 

e all along eyeing his Father's command and counsel in what he 
suffered, Phil. ii. 7, 8. John xviii. 11. Fsal. xl. 6, 7, 8. Now 
look, as the eyeing and considering the hand of God in an afflic ] 
tion, presently becalms and quiets a gracious soul ; as you see in 
David, 2 Sam. xvi. 11. " Let him alone, it may be God that hath 

* Pars superior mundi est ordinatior y ac propinqua sideribus, nee in nubcm cogitur^nec 
in tempestatem impeltitw, necversatur in turbiuem; omni lumultu caret; inferior a fulminant. 
Eo'km modo sublimit animus quietus semper est t et in station? t ranqv.il! a cdlticatitir. Seneca. 



" bid him curse David ;" So much more it quieted Jesus Christ, 
who was privy to the design and end of his Father, with whose will 
he all along complied ; looking on Jews and Gentiles but as the in- 
struments ignorantly fulfilling God's pleasure, and serving that 
oreat design of his Father ; this was his patience, and these the 
grounds of it. 

Use 1. I might variously improve this point ; but the direct ana 
main use of it is, to press us to a Christ-like patience in all our suf- 
ferings and troubles. And seeing in nothing we are more gene- 
rally defective, and that defects of Christians herein, are so preju- 
dicial to religion, and uncomfortable to themselves ; I resolve to 
wave all other uses, and spend the remaining time wholly upon this 
branch ; even a persuasive to Christians unto all patience, in tribula- 
tions ; to imitate their lamb-like Saviour. Unto this (Christians) 
you are expressly called, 1 Pet. ii. 21, 22. " Because Christ also 
" suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow 
" his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his 
" mouth ; who when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when he 
" suffered, he threatened not ; but committed himself to him that 
" judgeth righteously."" Here is your pattern ; a perfect pattern ! 
a lovely and excellent pattern ! Will you be persuaded to the imi- 
tation of Christ herein ? Methinks I should persuade you to it : 
yea, every thing about you persuades to patience in your sufferings, 
as well as I : look which way you will, upward or downward, in- 
ward or outward, backward or forward, to the right-hand, or to 
the left, you shall find all things persuading and urging the doc- 
trine of patience upon you. 

First, Look upwards, when tribulations come upon you : look to 
that sovereign Lord, that commissionates and sends them upon you. 
You know troubles do not rise out of the dust, nor spring out of 
the ground, but are framed in heaven, Jer. xviii. 11. " Behold 
" I frame evil, and devise a device against you." Troubles and 
afflictions are of the Lord's framing and devising, to reduce his 
wandering people to himself: much like that device of Absalom, in 
setting JoaVs field of corn on fire, to bring Joab to him, 2 Sam. 
xiv. 30. In the frame of your afflictions, you may observe much 
of divine wisdom in the choice, measure, and season of your troubles : 
sovereignty, in electing the instruments of your affliction ; in mak- 
ing them as afflictive as he pleaseth ; and in making them obedient 
both to his call, in coming and going, when he pleaseth. Now, 
could you in times of trouble look up to this sovereign hand, in 
which your souls, bodies, and all their comforts and mercies are ; 
how quiet would your hearts be ! Psal. xxxix. 9. " I was dumb, 
" and opened not my mouth, because it is thy doing." 1 Sam. iii. 
18. " It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." Oh, 


when we have to do with men, and look no higher, how do our 
spirits swell and rise with revenge and impatience ! But if you once 
come to see, that man as a rod in your Father's hand, you will 
be quiet; Psal. xlvi. 10. "Be still,' and know that I am God ;" 
q. d. consider with whom you have to do ; not with your fellow, 
hut with your God, who can puff you to destruction with one blast 
of his mouth ; in whose hand you are, us the clay in the potter's 
hand. It is for want of looking up to God in our troubles, that 
we fret, murmur, ami despond at the rate we do. 

Secondly, Look downward, and see what is below you, as well as 
up to that which is above you. You are afflicted, and you cannot 
bear it. Oh ! no trouble like your trouble ! never man in such a 
case as you are ! Well, well, cast the eye of your mind downward, 
and see those who lie much lower than you. Can you see none on 
earth in a more miserable state than yourselves ? Are you at the 
verv bottom, and not a man below you ? sure there are thousands 
in a sadder case than you on earth. What is your affliction ? 
Have vou lost a relation ? others have lost all. Have you lost an 
estate, and are become poor ? Well, but there are some you read 
of, Job xxx. 4, 5, 6, 7. " Who cut up mallows by the bushes, 
" and juniper-roots for their meat. They are driven forth from 
" among men, they cried after them as after a thief. They dwell 
" in the cliffs of the vallies, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. 
" Among the bushes they braved, under the nettles they were 
" gathered together/' What difference, as to manner of life, do 
you find between the persons here described, and the wild beasts, 
that herd together in a desolate place ? Are you persecuted and 
afflicted for Christ's sake? What think you of their sufferings, 
Heb. xi. 36, 37. " Who had trial of cruel mockings ; yea, more- 
" over of bonds and imprisonments : they were stoned, they were 
" sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, they 
" wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, 
" afflicted, tormented." And are you better than they ? I know 
not what you are ; but I am sure, these were such " of whom the 
" world was not worthy, " ver. 38. 

Or are your afflictions more spiritual and inward ? Say not the 
Lord never dealt more bitterly with the soul of any, than he hath 
with yours. What think you of the case of David, Heman, Job, 
Asaph, whose doleful cries, by reason of the terrors of the Al- 
mighty, are able to melt the stoniest heart that reads their stories ? 
the Almighty was a terror to them : the arrows of God were within 
them ; they roared by reason of the disquietne»s of their hearts. 

Or are your afflictions outward and inward together ; an afflicted 
soul in an afflicted body ? Are you fallen, like the shin in which 
Paul sailed, into a place where two seas meet ! Well, si> it was with 


Paul, Job, and many other of those worthies gone before you. 
Sure you may see many on earth who have been, and are in far 
lower and sadder states than yourselves. 

Or if not on earth, doubtless, you will yield there are many in 
hell, who would be glad to change conditions with you, as bad as 
you think yours to be. And were not all these moulded out of 
the same lump with you ? Surely, if you can see any creature be- 
low you, especially any reasonable being, you have no reason to 
return so ungratefully upon your God, and accuse your Maker of 
severity ,• or charge God foolishly. Look down, and you shall see 
grounds enough to be quiet. 

Thirdly, Look inward, you discontented spirits, and see if you 
can find nothing there to quiet you. Cast your eye into your own 
hearts ; consider either the corruptions or the graces that are there. 
Cannot you find weeds enough there, that need such winter- 
weather as this to rot them? Hath not that proud heart need 
enough of all this to humble it ? That carnal heart need of such 
things as these to mortify it ? That backsliding, wandering heart 
need of all this to reduce and recover it to its God ? " If need be, 
" ye are in heaviness," 1 Pet. i. 6. O Christian ! didst thou not 
see need of this before thou earnest into trouble ? Or hath not God 
shewn thee the need of it since thou wast under the rod ? It is 
much thou shouldest not see it ; but be assured, if thou dost not, 
thy God doth : he knows thou wouldest be ruined for ever, if he 
should not take this course with thee. 

Thy corruptions require all this to kill them. Thy lusts will 
take all this, it may be more than this, and all little enough. And 
as vour corruptions call for it, so do your graces too. Wherefore 
think ye the Lord planted the principles of faith, humility, pa- 
tience, fyc. in your souls ? What, were they put there for nothing ? 
Did the Lord intend they should lie sleeping in their drowsy ha- 
bits ? Or were they not planted there in order to exercise ? And 
how shall they be exercised without tribulations ? Can you tell ? 
Doth not " tribulation work patience, and patience experience, 
" and experience hope P" Rom. v. 3, 4. Is not " the trial of 
" your faith much more precious, than of gold which perishes," 
1 Pet. i. 7. O look inward, and you will be quiet. 

Fourthly, Look outward, and see who stands by and observes 
your carriage under trouble. Are there not many eyes upon you ? 
yea, many envious observers round about you. It was David's re- 
quest, Psal. v. 8. " Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because 
" of mine enemies ;" or, as the Hebrew word there might be ren- 
dered, because of mine observers or watchers. There is many an 
envious eye upon you. To the wicked there can scarcely be an 
higher gratification and pleasure, than to see your carriage under 


trouble so like their own ; for thereby they are confirmed in their 
prejudices against religion, and in their good opinion of them- 
selves. These may talk and profess more than we ; but when 
they are tried, and put to it, it appears plainly enough, their reli- 
gion enables them to do no more than we do ; they talk of heaven's 
glory, and their future expectances; but it is but talk, for it is 
apparent enough their hopes cannot balance a .small affliction, with 
all the happiness they talk of. Oh, how do you dishonour Christ 
before his enemies, when you make them think all your religion 
lies in talking of it ! Consider who looks on. 

Fifthly, Look backward, and see if there be nothing behind you 
that may hush and quiet your impatient spirits ; consult the multi- 
tude of experiences past and gone ; both your own and others. Is 
this the first strait that ever you were in ? If so, you have reason 
to be quiet, yet to bless God that hath spared you so long, when, 
others have had their days filled up with sorrow. But if you have 
been in troubles formerly, and the Lord hath helped you ; if you 
have past through the fire, and not been burnt ; through the wa- 
ters, and not drowned; if God hath stood by you, and hitherto 
helped you. O what cause have you to be quiet now, and pa- 
tiently wait for the salvation of God ! Did he help you then, and 
cannot he do so now ? Did he give waters, and cannot he give 
bread also ? Is he the God of the hills only, and not the God of 
the vallies also ? O call to mind the days of old, the years of the 
right-hand of the Most High. " These things I call to mind, 
" therefore I have hope, 1 ' Lam. iii. 21. Have you kept no re- 
cords of past experiences ? How ungrateful then have you been to 
your God, and how injurious to yourselves, if you have not read 
them over in such a day as this ? for to that end were they given 

O when you shall consider what a God he hath been to you, at 
a pinch ; how faithfully Jehovah-jireh hath stood by you ; that this 
is not the first time your hearts and hopes have been low ; as well 
as your condition, and yet God hath raised you again ; surely you 
will find your present troubles made light, by a glance back upon 
your past experiences. 

Sixthly, Look forward, to the end of your troubles ; yea, look 
to a double end of them, the end of their duration, and the end of 
their operation. Look ye to the end of their duration, and that is 
just by you; they shall not be everlasting troubles, if you be such 
as fear the Lord. " The God of all grace, who hath called us 
" unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have [suffer- 
" ed a while] make you perfect,'' 1 Pet. v. 10. " These light af- 
" flictions are but for a moment," 2 Cor. iv. 18. They are no 
more comparatively, with that vast eternity that is before you. 


Alas ! what are a few days and nights of sorrows, when they are 
past ? Are they not swallowed up as a spoonful of water in the 
vast ocean ? But more especially look to the end of their operation. 
What do all these afflictions tend to and effect ? Do they not work 
out an exceeding weight of glory ? Are you not by them made 
" partakers of his holiness F" Heb. xii. Is not this all the fruit to 
take away your sins ? What, and be impatient at this ; fret and 
repine, because God is, this way, perfecting your happiness ? O 
ungrateful soul ! Is this a due requital of that love that disdains 
not to stoop to so low an employment, as to scour and cleanse your 
souls, that they might be shining vessels of honour to all eternity ? 

O look forward to the end of your troubles : the end of their 
duration and operation. 

Seventhly, Look to the right-hand, and see how you are shamed, 
convinced and silenced by other Christians ; and it may be such 
too, as never made that profession you have done ; and yet can not 
only patiently bear the afflicting hand of God, but are blessing, 
praising, and admiring God under their troubles ; whilst you are 
sinning against, and dishonouring him under smaller ones. It may 
be you will find some poor Christians that know not where to have 
their next bread, and yet are speaking of the bounty of their God ; 
while you are repining in the midst of plenty. Ah ! if there be 
any ingenuity in you, let this shame you. If this will not, then, 

Eighthly, Look to your left-hand, and there you will see a sad sight, 
and what one would think should quiet you. There you may see 
a company of wicked, graceless wretches, carrying themselves under 
their troubles, but too much like yourselves. What do they more, 
than fret and murmur, despond and sink ; mix sin with their af- 
flictions, when the rod of God is upon them? 

It is thne for thee to leave off, when thou seest how near thou 
art come to them, whom thou hopest thou shalt never be ranked 
and numbered with. Header, such considerations as these, I am 
persuaded, would be of singular use to thy soul at such a time, but 
above all, thine eyeing the great pattern of patience, Jesus Christ ; 
whose Lamb-like carriage, under a trial, with which thine is not 
to be named the same day, is here recommended to thee. O how 
should this transform thee into a lamb, for meekness also ! 



Of the Instructivencss of the Death of Christ, in his seven 
last Words ; the first of which is here illustrated. 

Luke xxiii. 34. 
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for the?/ know not what 
they do. 

jL HE manner in which Christ died hath already been opened 
in the solitude and patience in which he died. The third, to wit, 
the instructivencss of his death, now follows, in these seven ex- 
cellent and weighty sayings, which dropped from his blessed lips 
upon the tree, whilst his sacred blood dropped on the earth from 
his wounded hands and feet ; so that on the cross he exercised both 
his priestly and prophetical office together, redeeming us by his 
blood, and instructing us by his words. 

These seven words of Christ upon the cross are his last words, 
with which he breathed out his soul. The last words of a dying 
man are remarkable ; the scripture puts a remark upon them, 
2 Sam. xxiii. 1. " Now these be the last words of David." How 
remarkable are the last words of Christ. 

These words are seven in number ; three directed to his Father, 
and four more to those about him. Of the former sort this is one, 
Father, forgive them, $c. In which we have, First, The mercy de- 
sired by Christ, and that is forgiveness. Secondly, The persons for 
whom it is desired, [Them,] that is, those cruel and wicked persons 
that were now imbruing their hands in his blood. And, Thirdly, 
The motive or argument urged to procure that mercy from his Fa- 
ther, for they lenow not what they do. 

First, The mercy prayed for, that is, forgiveness ; Father, for- 
give. Forgiveness is not only a mercy, a spiritual mercy, but one 
of the greatest mercies a soul can obtain from God, without which, 
whatever else we have from God, is no mercy to us *. So great 
a mercy is forgiveness, that David calls him Blessed, or rather ad- 
mires the blessedness of him, "whose transgression is forgiven, 
u whose sin is covered." This mercy, this best of mercies, he re- 
quests for them, Father, forgive them. 

Secondly, The persons for whom he requests forgiveness, are 
the same that with wicked hands crucified him. Their fact was 
the most horrid that ever was committed by men : they not only 

*D1X nU'N Felicitates hominis, i. e. O the happiness of the man. Montanus. 


shed innocent blood, but the blood of God ; the best of mercies is 
by him desired for the worst of sinners. 

Thirdly, The motive or argument urged to procure this mercy 
for them, is this 5t /or they know not what they do. As if he should 
say. Lord, what these poor creatures do, is not so much out of 
malice to me as the Son of God ; but it is from their ignorance. 
Did they know who, and what I am, they would rather be nailed 
to the cross themselves, than do it. To the same purpose the apos- 
tle saith, 1 Cor. ii. 8. " Whom none of the princes of this 
a world knew ; for had they known it, they would not have cru- 
" cified the Lord of glory. 1 ' Yet this is not to be extended to all 
that had an hand in the death of Christ, but to the ignorant mul- 
titude, among whom, some of God's elect Avere, who afterwards 
believed in him, whose blood they spilt, Acts iii. 17. " And now, 
" brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it." For them 
this prayer of Christ was heard. Hence the notes are, 

Doct. 1. That ignorance is the usual cause of enmity to Christ. 

Doct. 2. That there is forgiveness with God, for such as oppose 
Christ through ignorance. 

Doct. 3. That to forgive enemies, and beg 'forgiveness for them > 
is the true character and property of the Christian spirit. 

These observations contain so much practical truth, that it would 
be worth our time to open and apply them distinctly ; 

Doct. 1. That ignorance is the usual cause of enmity to Christ. 

" These things (saith the Lord) will they do, because they have 
" not known the Father, nor me," John xvi. 3. What thing 
doth he mean ? Why, kill and destroy the people of God, and 
therein suppose they do God good service, (i. e.) think to oblige 
and gratify the Father, by their butchering his children. So Jer. 
ix. 3. " They proceed from evil to evil ; and have not known me, 
" saith the Lord," q. d. Had they the knowledge of God, this 
would check and stop them in their ways of wickedness ? and so 
Psal. lxxiv. 20. " The dark places of the earth are full of the ha- 
" bitations of cruelty." 

Three things must be inquired into, viz. what their ignorance 
of Christ was. Whence it was. And how it disposed them to 
such enmity against him. 

First, What was their ignorance who crucified Christ ? Igno- 


ranee is two-fold, simple, or respective*. Simple ignorance is not 
supposable in those persons, for in many things they were a know- 
ing people. But it was respective, particular ignorance, Rom. ix. 
25. " Blindness in part is happened to Israel.' 1 They knew many 
other truths, but did not know Jesus Christ; in that their eyes 
were held. Natural light they had ; yea, and scripture light they 
had; but in this particular, that this was the Son of God, the Sa- 
viour of the world, therein they were blind and ignorant. 

But how could that be ! Had they not heard at least of his mi- 
raculous works? Did they not see how his birth, life and death, 
squared with the prophecies, both in time, place, and manner? 
Whence should this their ignorance be when they saw, or at least 
might have seen, the scriptures fulfilled in him ; and that he came 
among them in a time when they were big with expectations of the 
Messiah ? 

It is true, indeed, they knew the scriptures ; and it cannot but 
be supposed the fame of his mighty works had reached their ears : 
But yet, 

First, Though they had the scriptures among them, they mis- 
understood them ; and did not rightly measure Christ by that right 
rule. You find, John vii. 52. how they reason with Nicodemus 
against Christ ; u Art thou also of Galilee ? Search, and see : for 
" out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." Here is a double mistake: 
First, They supposed Christ to arise out of Galilee, whereas he was 
of Bethlehem, though much conversant in the parts of Galilee : 
And, Secondly, They thought, because they could, find no prophet 
had arisen out of Galilee, therefore none should. 

Another mistake that blinded them about Christ, was from their 
conceit that Christ should not die, but live for ever, John xii. 34. 
" We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever : and 
" how sayest thou, the Son of man must be lifted up ? who is the 
" Son of man ?" That scripture which probably they urge against 
tlie mortality of Christ, is Iaa. ix. 7. " Of the increase of his go- 
" vernment and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of 
" David," &c In like manner, John vii. 27. we find them in ano- 
ther mistake ; " We know this man whence he is ; but when Christ 
ic cometh, no man knoweth whence he is." This, likely, pro- 
ceeded from their misunderstanding of Micah v. 2. " His goings 
" forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Thus were 
they blinded about the person of Christ, by misinterpretations of 

Secondly, Another thing occasioning their mistake of Christ, was 
the outward meanness and despicableness of his condition. They 

* a-rXwj, vel xnra n. 
Vol. I. A a 


expected a pompous Messiah, one that should come with state and 
glory, becoming the king of Israel. But when they saw him in 
the form of a servant, coming in poverty, not to be ministered 
unto, but to minister, they utterly rejected him : " We hid as it 
" were our faces from him ; he was despised, and we esteemed 
" him not," Isa. liii. 3. Nor is it any great wonder these should 
be scandalized at his poverty, when the disciples themselves had 
such carnal apprehensions of his kingdom, Mark x. 37, 38. 

Thirdly, Add to this, their implicit faith in the learned rabbies 
and doctors, who utterly misled them in this matter, and greatly 
prejudiced them against Christ. " Lo, (said they) he speaketh 
" boldly, and they say nothing to him. Do the rulers know indeed 
" that this is the very Christ ?" They