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Full text of "The works of Thomas Goodwin"

^y OF pmcETo^ 

OCT 101968 

BX 9315 .G66 1861 v. 10 
Goodwin Thomas, 1600-1680 
The works of Thomas Goodwin 





VOL. X. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

©fttfral ©Ditor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinbubgh. 









VOL. X. 







i'kintkd bt john okeio and son, 

old physic qakdkns. 





Of an nnregenerate man's guiltiness before God, from the impu- 
tation of Adam's first transgression to every person of his 
posterity. ...... 3 


An unregenerate man's guiltiness before God, in respect of that 
corruption of nature with which all mankind is infected, and 
the whole nature of every man is polluted and depraved. . 40 


The corruption of man's whole nature, and of all the faculties of 
his soul by sin ; and first of the depravation of the under- 
standing, which is full of darkness, and blinded, so that it 
caimot apprehend spiritual things in a due spiritual manner. 125 


Of that corruption which is in the practical judgments of unre- 
generate men. . . . . . .179 


That reason in man being corrupted by sin, useth its strength and 
force to advise and contrive the satisfaction of his lusts ; 
whence it is that reason, which should have acted for God, 
now acts for sin and lusts. .... 216 


The vanity of thoughts, being an instance of the abounding sin- 
fulness in one faculty of the soul, the cogitative ; whereby 
the sinfulness of the rest may be estimated. . . 256 




The corruption and defilements of conscience. . . 257 


Of the inclinations and lusts which are in the will and affections, 

after things fleshly and sinful. .... 278 


Wisdom in the hidden part, or practical wisdom concerning 
original sin, founded on David's example and practice, Ps. 
li. 6. — That this sin is matter of repentance as well as onr 
actual sins, and how we are to be humbled for it, and to 
repent of it. . . . . . . 324 


That this state of guilt and natural coiTuption is the condition of 
all men unregenerate, though they make an external profes- 
sion of Christianity.' — A discovery of the several sorts of 
such men, both the ignorant, the profane, and the civil and 
the formal Christian. — And an answer to all those pleas by 
which they excuse, justify, or flatter themselves. . . 377 


That an unregenerate man is highly guilty, by reason of the 

numberless account of actual sins which he daily commits. 429 


An unregenerate man's guiltiness by reason of the aggravations 

of his sinfulness. ..... 489 


Of the punishment of sin in hell. — That the wi'ath of God is the 

immediate cause of that punishment. . . . 490 


VOL. X. 

f '"'H 


X h] f\ -r \ 




Of an %mreg€nerate maiis r/uiltiness before God, from the imputation of Adam's 
first transgression to every person of his posterity. 


The yeneral design and division of the discourse. 

We have seen the state of pure nature, as to the holiness and happiness 
thereof, bj the law of God.* I come now unto man's fallen and lost con- 
dition in a state of sin and wrath, which is the condition of all by nature, 
and whilst in the state of nature. 
My method shall be this : 

I. To handle the sinfulness of all men by nature in respect of their birth- 
sin (which from Augustine we have used to call original sin), both in the 
guilt and corruption thereof. 

II. To treat of it as it is a state, or an abiding condition, and therein to 
discover the several sorts of men remaining unregenerate in the church, and 
of a common profession of Christ : viz. 1, of ignorant persons; 2, profane; 
3, civil and formal Christians ; and to detect the deceits and false pleas which 
each of these have, why they think themselves happy if they should die 
therein. That which I intend therein is a conviction of all these sorts of 
persons (that are the generality of the church) that they are still in the state 
of nature, and, without true regeneration, will eternally perish. 

III. The third is the sinfulness of sin, and the aggravations of it, as in 
sinning against mercies, against knowledge, &c. ; together with the fearful- 
ness of that punishment which is due unto men for the least sin in that 

* In the Discourse of the Creatures, anrl the Condition of their State by Creation 
in Vol. n. of his Works. [Vol. VII. of this edition.— Ed.] 


I. As to the first, my method is, 

iFirst, To shew the first entrance of sin upon all men by Adam's first sin, 
that is, the first imputation of that eoct to all men; and how far the guilt of 
that act is charged on us, and how far it was personal and proper only to him. 

Secondly, To lay open that corruption of nature which hath defiled all oui* 
natures. Concerning which, 1, how it flows from the guilt of that first act; 
2, that it is truly and properly a sin ; then, 3, the gi-eat abounding sinfulness 
thereof; and, 4, the parts thereof in general, as that it is, 

First, A total privation and emptiness of all that is truly good. 

Secondly, Positive inclinations to all evils, which consist in two things : 

1. In lusts, and therein of the nature of lusts, their inordinacj', their sin- 
fulness and deceitfulness. 

2. In an inbred enmity and opposition unto God, and whatever is holy and 
good (which I make the third particular branch of original corruption). 

This in general. 

II. More particularly, I lay open this corruption, as itlsjn the whole man^ 
and in every faculty. 

First, The understanding in blindness, unbelief, practical false reasonings 
and deceits, &c. 

Secondly, The thinking power, the vanity of thoughts. 

Thirdly, The defilement in the conscience. 

Fourthly, The subjection and bondage of the will and afifections unto lusts ; 
then the varieties of these lusts, and of those master-lusts which are in the 
hearts of several men. 


The text explained. — That all men are in a state of sin. — That it is worth our 
inquiry to know how sin, which thus involves all men in it, came into the 
v-orld. — That sin had its entrance by Adanis first transgression. — How 
Adam, being created holy, ivas capable of sinning. 

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and 
so death jjossed upon all men, in whom all have sinned : for until the law 
sin teas in the world : but sin is not imjmted when there {■s no law. Never- 
theless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned 
after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was 
[to] come. — Rom. V. 12-14. 

You read the story of Adam's fall in the third of Genesis, and here you 
have how it concerned his whole posterity, and that illustrated by the anti- 
type of Adam, Jesus Christ, and his conveying righteousness unto his, of 
which Christ God intended Adam to be the type. And in this these two 
are parallel (as in other respects), that look as the story of Christ's birth, 
circumcision, obedience, and sufi"erings, are but barely and nakedly related 
in the three first evangelists, whereas the intent, efficacy, and benefit from 
thence accruing to us, was reserved to be set forth by the apostles in their 
epistles ; so it falls out in this. Moses tells the history of Adam's fall, and 
Paul explains the mystery and consequence thereof. 

That sin hath not only entered in upon the world of mankind, but hath 
universally ovei-flown it for sin,* not a man excepted, is evident in that 
speech, 'all have sinned,' upon which, he says, 'death followed;' yea, this 
* Qu. ' ever since ' ? — Ed. 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 5 

is that which the apostle hath been proving at large all this while in the 
former part of the epistle, chaps, i.-iii. So then (as concluding he says) 
we have proved that both Jew and Gentile (which two then shared the world 
between them) are under sin, all and every one of them : ' Not one righteous,, 
no, not one,' chap. iii. 10. And what need we say any more of it (says he), 
it being such an irrefragable truth, as every mouth must be stopped, and 
'become' (in his own acknowledgment) 'guilty before God,' ver. 19. And 
it might be proved by induction of all men of all ages, and will be at the latter 
day, when the story of all the world shall be ripped up. There is no man in 
whom shineth but the light of nature, that either casts his eye into his own 
bosom, or looks out upon the sons of men, but must acknowledge as much. 

Neither is it any new thing lately befallen the world, but it is the ancient 
brine it hath lain soaked in, steeped in, these six thousand years almost. 
* The whole world lay in wickedness,' in John's time, 1 John v. 19. There 
was not by nature ' any man righteous, no, not one,' in David's time, when 
God looked down from heaven: Ps.. xiv. 2^ 3, * The Lord looked down from 
heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did under- 
stand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become 
filthy; there is none that doth good, no, not one.' Solomon says,. Eccles. 
vii. 27-29, ' Behold, this have I found (saith the preacher), counting one 
by one, to find out the account ; which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not : 
one man among a thousand have I found ; but a woman among all those 
have I not found. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man 
upright; but they have sought out many inventions.' That he viewed men 
and women one by one : ' And, lo, this I found,' says he, ' that they are all 
corrupted.' And therefore at verse 20 he says, * For there is not a just man 
upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not.' So also his speech in his 
prayer, 2 Chron. vi. 36, * If they sin against thee (for there is no man 
which sinneth not), and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over 
before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off 
or near.' If you think the infant times (called the golden, innocent age of 
the world) was free, see what an account the text gives you: ver. 13, * Sin 
was in the world from Adam,' the first man, ' to Moses;' take the account 
shorter, from Adam to the flood. God, whose all-seeing eye runs through 
the whole earth, views every man, yea, every thought in man, brings in this 
bill and account, having viewed them one by one: Gen. vi. 5, 12, 'All flesh 
have corrupted their way upon earth.' Yea, and that so as from the first 
imagination or act the mind puts forth, to the last, ' all and every figment of 
the heart is corrupt.' 

To give you one evidence, which the text suggests, of this universal guilt 
and sinfulness of all men, ' death reigned from Adam to Moses' (or else that 
which is equivalent to death, a change, as in Enoch). It speaks of a mighty 
monarch here, death, the most universal and most lasting monarchy that ever 
was. It reigns, says the text ; its sceptre hath subdued, and brought under, 
all the sons of men: 'Death hath passed upon all men.' Other monarchs 
never subdued all; some outlaws and nations were not overcome; here not a 
man but falls under it. Other monarchies cease and determine; this hath 
lasted in all ages, 'from Adam to Moses ;' so the text says, and experience 
shews, ever since. Take the experience of the present age, not a man alive was 
seven score or eight score years ago ; nay, it comes into your houses, tears 
your children from your dugs, and kills them before your faces, and you 
cannot resist it. Millions come into the world, and but salute their friends, 
and then go weeping out again, so says the text ; that children who actually 
never sinned as Adam did (for that is the meaning of ' not sinning after the 


similitude of Adam's transgi-ession'), do die as well as others. Now, if you 
ask death, as they asked Christ, Mat. xxi. 23, ' By what authority he doth 
these things' — by what title he reigns over all, even over children — the 
text shews his commission, and gives this as the ground of it (which we 
are now a-demonstrating therefore by this effect), that ' all have sinned ;' 
and tells us that * death entered into the world by sin,' being the ' wages' of 
it, Rom. vL 23, and the ' child' of it: James i. 15, ' Then, when lust hath 
conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth 
death.' And to the elect it is ordained, through the grace of God, to be his 
messenger to fetch sin out of the world, as sin was a means to bring it in. 

2. Doubtless it is a matter worth the knowing, and oui* most diligent in- 
quiry, how this deluge of sin and death entered in upon all the world, what 
was the first gap, the fia'st breach made, that let it in ; this universal flood 
that covers the face of the earth, which could never yet be drained and cast 
out ; yea, and what should be the spring that should feed it all this while 
continually in all the thoughts that is from every man's heart, so as it should 
never be dry ? 

The greatest scholars of the world have spent their wits often in the search 
of the original of trifles ; whole volumes are written of the original of other 
things ; but Solomon, the wisest man that ever was, thought this very point 
(namely, how all men came thus universally corrupt) a point of deepest 
wisdom, use, and profitableness : Eccles. vii. 25, ' I applied my heart,' 
says he, 'to know, and to search, to seek out wisdom, and the reason of 
things ;' and above all else, as appears in the next words, ' to know wicked- 
ness and folly, and to find the cause of it,' for that, the former words shew, 
is his meaning. For he says in the nest verses that he took a survey of all 
the world of mankind — women first, with whom he was too much acquainted, 
and then men also — and observed their dispositions: ver. 27, 'And this I 
found,' says he, 'God made man (originally) righteous; but now they are 
all corrupt, and have found out many inventions.' 

And indeed it is our privilege and advantage, who enjoy God's word, to 
know the original of this universal confusion in man's nature, and of the 
misery all are exposed unto; which the wisest men among the heathen, who, 
though they filled the world with complaLats about it, as Plato in the second 
book of his Commonwealth complains that men by their natures are evil, 
and cannot be brought to good ; and TuUy,* as he is cited by Augustine in 
his fourth book against JuUan, ' that man is brought forth into the world, 
in body and soul, exposed to all miseries, prone to evil, and in whom that 
divine spark of goodness, of wit and morality, is oppressed and extinguished :' 
yet they could never dive into the bottom of this universal disease and mis- 
chief. They found that all men were poisoned ; but how it came there they 
none of them did know or could imagine, or would ever have found out, but 
run to false counsel, attributing it to destiny and fate, or some evil planet, its 
having a malign influence into man's nature, or to an evil angel that attended 
upon every man. All which, how short is it of the truth ! 

And together- with this secret now made common to us, the knowledge of 
it is most profitable, yea, and necessary, for us, and is one of the main 
principles, yea, the first, which is committed to the church to be known and 

* Cicero, lib. iii., de Republica, cited by Aiigustiue, lib. iv., contra Julianum, cap. 
xii. p. 226, in torn. vii. oper. ed. Paris, 1571 : — ' In libro tertio de Eepublica, idem 
Tnllius hominem dicit non ut a matre, sed ut a noverca natura editum in vitam, eor- 
pore et nudo, et fragili, et infirmo ; animo autem anxio ad molestias, humili ad 
timores, molli ad labores, prono ad libidines ; in quo tamen inesset tanquani obrutus 
quidam divinus ignis ingenii, et mentis. Quid ad lia?c dicis? Js'on hoc author iste 
male viventium moribus dixit affectum, sed naturam potius accusavit.' 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. ' 7 

believed ; and therefore was the first thing which, next to the creation of the 
world and man, God manifested in the first book that ever he wrote. 

The first query will be, How all men come generally, and universally, and 
continually thus unrighteous, and thereupon exposed to death ? 

The text resolves us, saying, that ' by one man sin did enter into the 
world, and so death passed upon all.' If we had never heard of this same 
one man before, we would all be inquisitive who he should bo. The four- 
teenth verse tells us it was Adam. You have all heard of him who in 
1 Cor. XV. 45 is called ' the first man, Adam,' the first man that ever was 
in the world ; for how could sin by him enter upon all if he had not been 
before all ? Some men otherwise would have been free, if any had been 
before him. And the rest of the verses, from the 14th to the 20th, do 
generally inform us that he committed *a transgression,' ver. 14; * an 
offence,' ver. 15, 17, 18; that 'he sinned,' ver. 16; that 'he disobeyed,' 
ver. 19; and by that transgression, offence, sin, disobedience (call it what 
you will), it comes to pass that all other men are ' made sinners,' ver. 19; 
and that ' the guilt' of that sin ' came upon all men to condemnation.' 

If you ask, how it came to pass that this man should sin, God having 
created him righteous ? As Solomon, Eccles. vii. 29, ' Lo, this only have 
I found, that God hath made man upright ; but they have sought out many 
inventions ;' and as you read of him in the first and second of Genesis, that 
he was created in the image of God ! 

First, I confess I had rather, upon the experience of mine own frailty, fall 
down before the gi'eat God, and acknowledge mine own slipperiness and 
changeableness, as I am a creature, if left to mine own will, and that when 
so left, I am obnoxious to sin, over and above and beyond what corruption 
hath yet swayed me to, than dispute this point out with God or men ; for 
though I came not into the world holy, and endowed with created inclina- 
tions and dispositions contrary unto sin, as Adam did, yet in the course of 
my life I have full often found mine own will hath of and from itself cast 
the balance, and given forth a command for many a sinful act, not merely 
out of that sinful bias and inclination it hath to commit sin, but over and 
above out of that mere mutabihty and fickleness which is in my will to cast 
itself to evil. And when inclinations and assistances unto the contrary have 
been sufficient to preserve me from so sinning, yet mine own will hath deter- 
mined itself to an outward act of evil, so as I could and might resolve the 
act done into that uncertainty and aptness to change and fall, even (as I am 
a creature) to fall into that, which is a step into that nothing we were first 
created out of, namely sin ; so that beyond what the bias or poise which 
corruption sways man unto, it appears that in many passages of a man's life 
a vertibility of will hath been the cause of sin, which is then seen, when 
strong motions and impressions have been to the contrary, as well as im- 
pulses of sin and wickedness (so as the man could not but say he had power 
not to have done it), from whence a man may discern what he himself was 
like to have done, if he had been in Adam's state and case. 

Secondly, That also of James, that it is God's prerogative alone (and no 
person's else but he who is God withal, or one person with God), not to be 
capable of being tempted to evil, so as to be prevailed with by it : James 
i. 13, ' Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God : for God 
cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.' To be ' without 
variableness, or shadow of turning,' ver 17, proves my assertion. It is 
further evidenced by this, that the greatest and holiest creature that could 
be made by God, if but a mere creature, and having no other but that pro- 
vidential assistance due by the law of the creation, was not only capable to 


reel and fall, but was slippery, and might easily totter and fall, and so break 
itself, as a glass without a bottom. 

Neither could this be laid upon God, that he upheld him not ; because to 
have been invincibly kept and preserved by God, was above the due that, as 
creator, God was any way obliged unto, and must have proceeded from a 
principle of an higher kind, namely, his free grace, and was inconsistent with 
his covenant of works ; so as God, in letting him fall, did therein no more 
but only not assist him by such a supernatural aid as was above the law of 
creation, and unto which God therefore was no way bound ; and it was but 
to leave the creature, to shew what as a creature it might will to do, and so 
that it was mutable. Which pi-erogative of God's so to do, who shall deny 
unto him, or put the contrary upon him, as meet to be expected from him, 
when it was a pure act of supernatural grace to have done otherwise ? The 
wisest of men, Solomon, having sought into the nature and original of 
wickedness and madness, lays all at man's door : ' God made man righteous, 
but they found or sought out many inventions,' Eccles. vii. 29. 

Neither is it to be conceived that man's heart was exposed to Satan to in- 
fuse sin, as a piece of fair paper lies exposed to an external hand to cast a 
blot or stain of ink upon it at his pleasure ; no, it must be an act of a man's 
own will, without the consent of which the devil cannot now in our corrupt 
estate force any man to sinning, much less then, when he had no matter in 
Adam to work upon. 

The which mutability God (when Adam was at the best and prime of his 
condition), gave him an extraordinary monitory and warning of; yea, and 
that which was to be as a sacrament thereof unto him, God singled forth of 
the garden he was placed in, two trees : ' the tree of life,' which was ordained 
to seal his constant estate of life and happiness, if he would persist in 
obedience ; * the tree of knowledge of good and evil,' to signify that he was 
mutable from good to evil ; and of this last tree God forbade him to eat, and 
that if he did, he died : Gen. ii. 17, ' But of the tree of knowledge of good 
and evil, thou shalt not eat of it : for in the day thou eatest thereof thou 
shalt surely die ; ' and that therefore he must look to himself, for this was 
his covenant, and the essential terms of it, and therefore sealed up by these 
two sacraments. Now the word disobedience here in the text points us to his 
sin, as it is also charged upon him by God: Gen. iii. 17, ' Because thou hast 
hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree whereof I com- 
manded thee not to eat,' which shews wherein lay the very sin. Adam had 
an express commandment from God, and the light of it, together with the 
principles of the law written in his heart, was in his understanding and 
judgment, ready to have guided him if he would use and ask counsel thereof, 
and attend thereto upon all temptations to the contrary. Neither was it 
possible that if he would have had recourse to those principles, and con- 
sulted with them, that he should have erred, or that his will should have 
inclined to such an act expressly contrary to God's law, if he had continued 
fully to consider what was at hand ready to his view, for neither could error 
befall his understanding, if he would use the light he had in that estate (fov 
then his understanding must be said to have been created by God, not ablo 
to judge of what was good in every action), neither could man's will then 
but fixedly cleave to that which the understanding did think j.good ; only he 
not being taken up into the seeing of God face to face, and so to have his 
understanding possessed with such a sight of God and his will, so filled and 
fixed with the possession of him thereby as he might not cast an eye to look 
and consider whether there might not be some further good as to himself, 
than he was yet possessed of in that condition ; and then this being sug- 

Chap. III.]j in respect of sin and punishment, 9 

gested to him by Satan that there was, he turned a sudden squint eye aside, 
as Lot's wife did hers backwards ; and thus the Scripture expresseth his sin, 
by a not hearkening or attending to the h'ght of the law, and the voice of it 
in his judgment, but an * hearkening to the voice of his wife.' It was a not 
consulting with the command, or not suffering it to speak, or not cleaving 
fixedly to the advice thereof; but his will would have his understanding gad 
and wander with a glance, to see if there might not be something in what 
SatanI suggested. And this very rash incogitant squint was his first slip 
from God, so as after it, when God's law came upon him, and was considered 
by him, yet this sin having first entered, thereupon followed a doubting of 
the truth of what God had said, a jealousy that God kept him from eating 
of that tree out of envy, lest they should bo as God, and so hoping to mend 
his condition another way than by obeying God, and to be free of the service 
of God, which by God's law he was (if he would have happiness from God) 
to be subject unto ; he rather chose to set up for himself, and seek his 
fortune, as we say, and so to be absolutely free as God is. And thus 
thinking he had found out a new trick to be happy, without and beyond 
what that condition would afibrd which God had set him in, he fell into sin 
and misery. And that this was the sin of his fall, is part of Solomon's mean- 
ing, when he saith, ' they sought out new inventions ; ' and having once left 
God, he doth now nothing else but seek a new way to be happy ; but be- 
ing a beggar of himself, finds he cannot himself support himself, and there- 
fore is forced for happiness and comfort to go to every creature to supply 
him, and so is plunged into the worst of servitudes, ' whilst he promised 
himself liberty,' even to be a servant to every creature. This for that one 
man's sin. 


How sin is derived from Adam to all mankind. — What sin it is which is pro- 
pagated by the first man to his posterity. — Whether original sin consists only 
in a corruption of nature, or also in the guilt of Adam's first sin imputed to 
us. — The inqnitation of that sin proved. — Adam, a public person represent- 
ing us. — By ivhat law he came to be so. — The justice and equity of God's 
imputing the first sin of Adam to us all. 

Now there are but two ways to pass sin to another: the one is by way of 
example, as Jeroboam is said to have caused Israel to sin, and as Eve 
caused Adam; or else parlicipatione culpce, by partaking of the sin of another. 
Now by the first way this sin is not derived, for besides that Adam being 
dead 4600 years ago, the force of this example reacheth not to us, nor to 
the multitudes of ages past ; that this was the way of deriving it, is not 
intended in the text, for then not Adam the first man, but Eve and the 
devil, should have been assigned as those by whose offence sin entered into 
the world, in that they were the ' first in the transgression,' and also be- 
cause then children (as the 14th verse of the 12th chapter of the Romans 
affirms) should not be guilty, as yet that verse afiirms they are, in that they 
die. Now God exerciseth no punishment where there is no fault ; also the 
apostle intends a comparison of Adam with Christ, that sin comes by Adam, 
as righteousness by Christ. Now Christ conveys not righteousness to all by 
example, for many persons saved by him lived afore him, as all under the 
Old Testament, as Hkewise infants. This indeed, as is likely, was the way by 
which the most of the angels fell, whom Satan as a head drew into the 


faction with him, and those whom his example prevailed not with did stand, 
and do still, which no man doth, but ' all have sinned.' 

Now concerning the second way how we should come to be partakers of 
Adam's sin, the Scriptures elsewhere tell us it was by propagation natural 
or generation, as David: Ps. H. 5, 'Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and 
in sin did my mother conceive me.' I will not earnestly contend that this 
way is directly expressed in this text, which yet Augustine pressed from the 
word ' entering into the world,' as a lues or contagion, and so passing and 
piercing through, or invading the whole world as it were by stealth ; but 
this may justly be argued for it from the text, that even infant children are 
affirmed here to die upon the account of that first sin's entrance, * who 
sinned not after the similitude of Adam's transgression,' that is, personally; 
which shews this to be the way of conveying this sin, for to them there can 
be no other. And why else were such children circumcised and now baptized, 
both being sacraments of remission of sin and sanctification ? Col. ii. 11-13, 
* In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, 
in putting oft' the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ ; 
buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through 
the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And 
you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he 
quickened together with him, having forgiven you all ti'espasses.' And in- 
deed this to be the way, other scriptures plainly affirm, not only that instance 
of David (though enough, for what could David have done before his con- 
ception that he should be conceived in sin ? and there is the same case of 
all), but Christ plainly affirms it, John iii. 6, ' Whatsoever is born of the 
flesh is flesh,' that is, what is^born of fleshly generation. The first birth (for 
he opposeth it to the second birth) is flesh, that is, sinful ; for flesh he 
opposeth to that grace which in the second birth the Spirit works, called 
spirit there ; and so Paul, Ephes. ii. 3, ' We are all the children of wrath 
by nature.' By nature, is there in part meant the natural course of pro- 
pagating our nature, namely, generation, and conception, and propagation 
natural ; and so Aristotle useth the word (pucig. 

Now, if we be the ' children of wrath' by virtue of our natural birth, then, 
first, children of sin thereby ; for God is not angry with us but for sin. And 
hence it is that because natural conception, by that ordinary law of gene- 
ration, is the way of conveying sin, that therefore all men, all and every one, 
are corrupted ; for to be sure all are born as from him, he being the first man, 
and having committed that sin ere he begat any. And why was it that 
Christ, though the son of Adam, Luke iii. 38, as having the matter of his 
body from him, yet was without sin, and born an holy one ? How came he 
to be free and exempted, but because he was conceived not by natural propa- 
gation from a man, but by the overshadowing of the Most High ? Luke 
i. 35, ' And the angel answered and said unto her. The Holy Ghost shall 
come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : there- 
fore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son 
of God.' So that this remains the only means why men are sinful, that they 
are propagated from Adam after the natural manner of all flesh ; the ground 
whereof you have hereafter. 

The third question and demand will be. What sin it is that is propagated 
and entered upon the world, and of which all men, as soon as they are made 
men by conception or birth, are guilty, by that one man's oftence ? 

To make way for the answer of which we must know that all sins are re- 
duced unto two branches : 1, that which consists in the guilt of some act of 
sin done and perpetrated ; or, 2, an inherent corruption in the heart con- 

Chap. III.] in respect of sin and punishment. 11 

tracted by that guilt. Now it is certain, that whether every man had had 
this original sin or not, that yet ixpon any act of sinning committed by any 
man, there doth and should have entered in that man a depravation of 
nature ; for by sinning a man is made the servant * of iniquity unto iniquity.' 
Kom. vi. 19, ' I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of 
your flesh : for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncloanness, 
and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to 
righteousness, unto holiness.' Which comes to pass not upon that mistaken 
ground that an habit follows upon acts in a philosophical way ; for then it 
must be that many reiterated acts produce such an inclination, and so not 
any one act of sin ; but depravation followeth by way of curse and forfeit- 
ure, even of the spirit of all inherent holiness, because man's having of it 
did hold of a covenant of works, of which more hereafter. Now therefore 
according unto this, Adam sinning, there were two things befell him : 1, an 
everlasting guilt of that act committed, binding him over to death; 2, a for- 
feiture of the Holy Ghost in him, and so of the image of God in holiness, 
and so by consequence the contrary depravation of his nature. Now Adam 
having contracted by his first sin both these to himself, if the question be, 
which of these two, or whether not both of these are the sin that entered, 
and is propagated by birth to all men ? 

The answer is. Both of them. 

First, The guilt of that very act of disobedience, which was lately spoken 
of, so as we all are accounted guilty of it as he, and as truly as if we had 
had a hand in it ; and that (besides what is to follow) appears plainly out of 
Rom. V. 12. For, first, it is said, that ' all have sinned ; ' secondly, the 
16th and 18th verses clear it, for they say, that ' by the offence of that man, 
judgment (that is, the guilt of that offence, whereby they were judged guilty 
as well as he) came on them all to condemn them.' Now God could not 
condemn them for that act, unless he did in justice judge them guilty of it. 
And whereas it is said here, they sinned, the very text viewed and compared 
cleareth its own intendment. A person may be said to have sinned, or to 
have done a thing two ways : 1, when one actually and personally doth it 
himself; and so we did not sin that sin, but Adam only ; for in ver. 14, it 
is said of infants that they * sinned not after the similitudeof his transgi-es- 
sion,' that is, in their own persons ; yet, 2, one may be said to have sinned 
in another. And look as the text gives that part of the distinction, that they 
sinned, not personally as Adam did, so it appositely sets out this other 
Ip' cL, ' in whom all have sinned,' speaking of Adam ; for that may be when 
one actually himself doth it not ; as what a whole body doth, a member of 
the same body may be said to do ; and so the word here, theij sinned, is to 
be understood, that is, they are to be accounted sinners, as the word is in 
1 Kings i. 21, ' That I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders' 
{Heh., sinners), upon what ground you shall hear afterwards ; and besides, I 
must speak presently to this very point again. 

The second thing conveyed is," a corruption of nature, which is a sin that 
is inherent, remaining and residing in us, and conveyed to us from him, as 
a leprosy is from the parent to the child, so as it may be said to be in them. 
Of this Jobspeaks, chap. xv. 14, ' What is man, that he should be clean ? and 
he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? ' And in the 16th 
verse of that chapter, he calls man ' filthy and abominable, drinking in sin 
as water.' In which place you see, that, first, there is a want of righteous- 
ness, which once he was made in; secondly, a contrary uncleanness or 
proneness to sin, and therefore he calls him filthy or greedy of sinning ; and, 
thirdly, this is conveyed by his natural propagation by man and woman ; for 



it is inserted, ' that is born of a woman.' So that now you are to conceive 
thus of it : that Adam committing that act of disobedience, his nature was 
thereby first in himself for ever defiled by it. We often see that one blow 
or fall strikes a man's members out of joint, so as of themselves they ever 
remain so, and so did that fall of his, though but one act of sin. If there- 
fore we also be proved guilty of that act in him, then by the like reason also 
must that nature we receive from him by natural propagation be tainted 
with sin, as his was by virtue of that act ; so as it must first be supposed 
that we are guilty of that act, as the ground and reason why our nature is 
thus infected, that being a consequent thereof, and in part a punishment of 
it, and so as indeed it could not have been infiicted on our natures as a sin, 
unless we be first found guilty of that act of sin itself. 

Now, because this is questioned by some divines, I shall corae next to speak 
unto this great and main proposal, namely. 

Whether original sin doth consist only in a corruption and defilement of 
nature, and want of that first created righteousness ? Or, whether not also 
in the guilt of that first act of sin and disobedience of Adam's, by way of 
imputation derived down unto us, and that as the ground of that corruption 
propagated ? 

That the corruption conveyed is the whole of original sin, and not at all 
the guilt of that first disobedience as imputed to us, is maintained by some, 
but usually (if not generally) by such as withal deny the imputation of 
Christ's righteousness also. And indeed the occasion why they have denied 
the imputation of Adam's sin, hath been for the sake of their other opinion, 
that we are not justified by Christ's righteousness as imputed, but only for 
Christ's sake, and for his righteousness. For they see that if they should 
hold the imputation of Adam's first actual disobedience, that then they might 
as well assent unto the imputation of Christ's righteousness and obedience, 
Adam being Christ's type. 

The point therefore to be proved now is not, that the corruption is con- 
veyed, but that the guilt of the act of his first sin is also derived down to us. 
I shall endeavour it out of this scripture, in Rom. v. 12, 13, &c. (Of the 
conveyance of the corruption itself I shall after speak.) 

Now the proof of this is made up of these particulars laid together. 

1. Let the general order of the apostle's discourse in this epistle about 
about man's sinfulness be considered. In the two first chapters, he had 
shewn how, in respect of actual sins and a state of wrath, first, the Gentiles, 
chap, i., secondly, the Jews, chap ii., are all involved; and then, chap, iii., 
he speaks of both together, Jew and Gentile, laying open that inbred and 
general corruption of nature, concluding that ' all are unrighteous, and fallen 
short of the glory of God.' Now, then, in this fifth chapter, he proceeds to 
shew the source and spring of this corruption, viz., Adam's first sin : ' By 
one man sin entered into the world.' So then, having fully treated of the 
corruption afore, he here orderly next treats of the consequence of the guilt 
of the act, which is the ground of that corruption. 

2. The sin of that one man which he treats of in this chapter was, the act 
of sinning, and not so much the corruption of nature in him, which also 
befell himself, for he termeth it a transgression, ver. 14 ; an ofi'ence, ver. 
15-17 ; and says, that he sinned, ver. 16; and a disobedience, ver. 19; and 
ver. 17, termeth it, that one ofience. 

3. When he says, ' Sin entered into the world by that one man,' he by sin 
means one and the same sin, which by him as the author was first brought 
into the world, the guilt whereof accrued to himself as the perpetrator of it, 
and to his posterity ; so as in that word, * sin entered into the world,' him- 

Chap. III.] in respect of sin and punishiient. 13 

self first is to be undorstood as one of, yea, the head of, this world of man- 
kind which sin entered upon ; and he speaks of the first entrance of sin 
therefore of that sin which was first begnn in himself, and that is evidently 
the guilt of the act here spoken of, and therefore the same sin or guilt is to 
bo understood, which is said that it goes on and is derived to the rest of 
mankind. And if otherwise it be understood, then, whilst Adam's sin is 
spoken of, and that as begun in him, one kind of sin, namely, the guilt of 
the act, but when the sin of the rest of mankind, then another kind of sin, 
viz., the corruption of nature, should be variously intended, which is not 
uniform to the apostle's scope. 

4. He thereupon says, that * death passed upon all,' this sin having first 
entered upon all; that is, death as the effect and punishment of that act of sin 
thus spoken of; and the connection of these two sayings is with an emphasis, 
* and so death passed.' Every word is emphatical to this purpose : 1, passed, 
as a sentence upon a crime foregoing ; and therefore, 2, he adds, xai ovrug, 
and so, which words are causal, or assigning a reason why death and the 
sentence of death passed upon all, even because sin, and that sin of Adam 
had entered first upon all. And look as death seized on Adam for the act 
which he did, so still likewise the same sentence on us all for the same act. 
Now we find that unto that act of disobedience it was that death was threat- 
ened : Gen, ii. 17, ' That day thou eatest thou shalt die.' And look as it 
is one and the same death that seizeth on both Adam and us, so the guilt 
of one and the same sin entered on both. 

5. And to that end he might be understood both to hold forth that sin of 
his to have been the cause of death, and also how sin, and what sin it was 
he intended, in saying it entered upon the world by that man, he further 
indigitates it and repeats it, in that (saith he) ' in whom all have sinned ; ' 
and this fully resolves us. 

For, first, if no more had been said of all men, than that they sinned, 
ii/Mas^Tov, it imports an act of sinning ; he says not, 7nade sinful, but have 
sinned ; therefore his intention is to speak them guilty of that act of his 
first sin, of which he manifestly speaks of afore and after. And further, 
seeing that many of them whom death reigned over were infant children, as 
well as others (for experience sheweth death reigneth over them also), and 
they are part of this world, which sin is said to have entered into, and that 
they are not guilty of any act of their own in themselves, therefore guilty they 
must be supposed of that act (if of any at all), viz., the first sin and dis- 
obedience of Adam (which he, you see, is discoursing of), nor of any other 
can they be supposed guilty in common together with all men else ; so then 
put but rt?^ and have s«n»ecZ together, it must be the guilt of his first sin that is 
intended ; and then the manner of involving children in that guilt can be no 
otherwise than by imputation, for of personal sin in themselves they are 
not guilty- 

6. Farther, to clear this, take the words that follow : ver. 14, ' Death 
reigned,' saith he ' even over them that sinned not after the similitude of 
Adam's transgression.' 

1st, That reif/ning attributed unto death upon sin's entrance hath, as 
Parous observeth upon the words, a respect to those violent prerogative 
extraordinary judgments which were (long before Moses) executed, as the 
flood on the old world, and on Sodom and Gomorrah, &c., in which children 
and infants were involved as well as those of riper years. 

And then, 2dly, those other words, * even over them that sinned not 
after the similitude of Adam's transgression,' is a designing, by a peri- 
phrasis, infant children, and their case and condition, as those that death 


reigneth over, as well as others, though they had never actually or person- 
ally sinned, or in like manner as Adam had done. Now, besides other con- 
siderations, if only inherent corruption were the sin that had been intended, 
upon which it is that death had passed on all, and as that wherein infants, 
as well as those of riper years, are in common and alike involved, then the 
apostle had put no difference between Adam and them ; for concerning that 
sin it might be said of infants that they have inherent corruption in their 
persons, after the similitude that Adam had it in his person ; for it is ex- 
pressly said of it. Gen. v. 3, that ' Adam begat a son in his own image or 
likeness.' And those (with whom in this point I have now to do) all grant 
that same comaption to have been the punishment of that first act of 
Adam's, as well in Adam himself as in us, and so in all these respects 
bearing the very simihtude of that sinful corruption that was in Adam ; but 
it is not so in respect of the guilt of that first act ; we are not sinners in 
respect thereof after the similitude of Adam's transgression therein. So 
then, having first said that nil had sinned, and yet of some of that all, 
namely infants, that they sinned not after the similitude of Adam's trans- 
gression, it is an explication or correction that they are to be understood to 
have sinned, not in their own persons, as Adam did, but that only by way 
of imputation it is yet reckoned to them, which is the only way whereby it 
can be imagined they should be said to have sinned therein. 

And 7. After he had thus connected these two, the first man's sin and 
death, as cause and effect, he plainly sends us to that first curse directed 
against that very fact, ' That day thou eatest ' (which was the first sin) ' thou 
shalt die the death.' And this the scope of his ensuing argumentation 
clearly shews that bis meaning is, that death (then threatened) had, accord- 
ing to the tenor of that threatening upon that man's first sin, seized on all 
the world. His words that follow are these: ver. 13, 14, 'For until the 
law sin was in the world : but sin is not imputed where there is no law. 
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had 
not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of 
him that was to come.' He lays his foundation of arguing thus : children 
and all men die, and death is but for some sin, and all sin must have some 
law it is committed against ; now, what law should that be, says he ? He 
removes any kind of sins forbidden in Moses's law, or contained therein, to 
have been the cause of that death of mankind, yea, of children ; and yet it 
must be a sin against some law that was in the world, which must be the 
cause of that death ; for ' sin is not imputed where there is no law.' Now 
what law is it (that was no part of Moses's law, nor contained therein) 
against which all, even children, should be supposed to have sinned, and by 
vu-tue of which death should pass upon them and all, but that which was given 
to Adam, over and above any other command that is in Moses's law, which 
so expressly threateneth death in it ? That law which he first sinned 
against, namely, in eating the forbidden fruit; and therefore it must be the 
sin against that law which brought in death upon the world, in w^hich law or 
command this curse was in terminis, and expressly annexed, ' that day thou 
eatest thou shalt die.' It is certain, then, that it must be by virtue of this 
law that children die, or by none, for they died when Moses's law was not 
vet given ; so then, when you read that even children died afore Moses as 
well as others, you know what cm'se and what law to attribute it unto, even 
to the first law, and that first curse given to Adam, ' that day thou eatest, 
thou shalt die.'* 

* Faius, the Geneva preacher, together with Calvin, in his comment on these 
■words, resolves the apostle's argument thus : — Si est transgressio in infantibus, est 

Chap. III.] in respect of sin and punishbient. 15 

8. If it prove that the words, ver. 12, are to be read thns, * In whom all 
have sinned,' then the matter is plain that the guilt of that his first act is 
the sin conveyed by imputation, and that we sinned in him. But those that 
are opposite to this great truth catch hold of this, that the words should be 
read, ' in that all have sinned,' and not * in whom ; ' and so our translators 
were pleased to read, although in the margin they also vary it, and say ' in 
whom,' as knowing that this latter might stand as well as the former. 
Now yet, 

1st, Kit be * in that all have sinned,' as taking 'i(p' £, *in that,' as a causal 
particle, yet still it implies that all have sinned, and were guilty of an act of 
sinning, as was argued. 

2dly, Know that Pelagius was the first who brought up that other inter- 
pretation, 'in that, or for that all have sinned.' But Augustine, and all the 
fathers but Theodoret, say, ' in whom,' as meaning Adam, spoken of in the 
words before. 

8dly, The apostle's speech seems an hyperbaton ; for whereas the apostle 
in the beginning of the verse had said, ' As by one man sin entered,' and then 
should in the next sentence have repeated those words, * by one man,' and so 
have gone on to have said, that thus or so death passed on all men by that 
one man, he omits the insertion of it there because of making a repetition, 
yet so as in this his close he emphatically brings it in, and with more advan- 
tage, in adding this as the reason or ground thereof, ' in whom all have 
sinned ;' and so that s'p' u. comes in fully referring to that one man, and to 
that his sin, as by whom he had said sin entered into the world, and death 
with it, as the reason of both.* 

Then, 4thly, compare this sense given but with that speech, 1 Cor. xv. 22, 
' in Adam all die,' this place, Kom. v. 12, ' in whom ail have sinned,' and 
they are parallel ; for look, as he plainly there affirms, that in Adam, as a 
common person, all did die, the same he affirms here of his sin, the cause of 
death, in whom all sinned. If, therefore, in the one place we are said to 
die in him as the consequent of that first sin (and actually in him we did not 
die when he died, for we are alive long after him), then much more it may 
be judged that the apostle intended to say here that we sinned in him then, 
when with the same breath he is proving that death entered upon all men 
upon the entrance of his first sin, so that the one place doth interpret the 
other. And although this here is put last in order of sentences, ' in whom all 
have sinned,' yet it is supposed first in order of causation, thus, in whom all 
having sinned, death hath by that passed on all ; that is, all died in him, 
because they all sinned in him ; for the law given him had said, ' That day 
thou eatest thou shalt die.' For these words there, ' in Adam all die,' do 
refer evidently to that curse in Gen. ii. 17, ' That day thou eatest thou 
shalt die the death,' even that very same curse and law which in the 
seventh consideration I shewed Paul pointed us unto. And if it were that 
by that law it came to pass they then died in Adam, then they must be con- 
sidered in Adam when that was spoken unto him ; and so this must have 
been, by the apostle's application and interpretation of it, God's intention, 
that when he said, ' thou shalt die,' that he included all mankind as con- 
sidered in him when he spake it of and unto him. 

To conclude this, consider but this further parallel of these two places, 
1 Cor. XV., and this Eom. v. 

legis alicujus transgressio ; non est transgressio legis actualia prohibentis, ergo est 
transgressio legis alterius. Lex autem ilia niilla alia est prjeter earn quae violata est 
ab Adamo, qua scilicet probibitus est Adamus Eden de fructu. — Faius in locum. 
* See Cornelius a Lapide in loc. 


1. Adam is in both held forth as Christ's type, as I have in another dis- 
course proved;* so in the Romans expressly, ver. 14, 'Nevertheless death 
reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the 
similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to 
come.' And as expressly, 1 Cor. xv. 45, ' And so it is written. The first man, 
Adam, was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.' 

And 2. Adam and Christ are held forth as public persons in both. First, 
in that 1 Cor. xv. 45, where he is therefore called the first man, not in respect 
of existence, but representation ; for in what respect is Christ there called the 
second man, and Adam the fii'st man, but in the same sense that Christ is 
termed the second ? For they are set together as type and antitype, other- 
wise Cain was in order the first after Adam. So, then, it is spoken in respect 
of his representing all mankind; and so it is of Adam here in this Rom. v., 
for all along the emphasis is put upon this one man: ver. 19, it is said, *by 
the sin of one man,' not one sin; and ver. 12, ' by one man sin entered.' I 
ask, seeing Eve sinned, and sinned first, was 'first in the transgression,' why 
was it not her sin ? yea, and she was a root of propagation as well as Adam, why 
by that one man, Adam, and not Eve ? No reason can be given but because 
Adam was the public person that represented us, and not she ; so also why 
are not other parents as well ? so why not Adam afterwards, but only in his 
first sin committed ? Yet let me add this, that Christ and Adam are made 
public persons in a differing respect in these two places : in 1 Cor. xv. 
47, .48, in respect of qualifications, ' Such as is the fii'st man earthy, such 
are they that are earthy of him.' But here in the Romans in respect of acts, 
or what the one and the other did, and therefore the sin of this one man is 
made the sin of all in him, as the obedience of the other is made the righteous- 
ness of all in him ; as the one for ' justification of life,' so the other for ' con- 
demnation of death,' in whom all have sinned, and in whom all died. And 
indeed it is the law of all nations that the acts of a public person are accounted 
theirs whom they personate ; the heads of the people of Israel sacrificed for 
a murder in the name of the nation, the females were circumcised in the males. 

Lastly, The scope of Paul in this chapter is to set Christ out by the illus- 
tration of Adam his type, in respect of his conveying the righteousness of 
justification; so ver. 16-18 expressly, 'And not as it was by one that 
sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but 
the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's 
offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of 
grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condem- 
nation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life.' And his conveying sanctification to us is made a 
new and distinct business from this, which upon occasion of this he enters 
upon, chap. vi. ver. 15 to 20, and this we argue against the papists. Now 
therefore, if Adam's type in respect of conveying sin be brought to set out 
Christ's justifying of us by his righteousness, then the imputation or charg- 
ing of Adam's disobedience, and so the guilt of the act, mustibe intended, or 
it had not served Paul's purpose ; for if Paul should have intended how 
Adam conveyed the sin of corruption of nature to us, to set forth how Christ 
conveys righteousness to justify us, it would have been foreign to his design, 
for these are things heterogeneal and of difiering uatm-e, and no way parallel. 
But the apostle's words in Rom. v. 19 are express, that in one and the 
same parallel respect it is that we are made sinners in Adam and righteous 

* See the Discourse of the Creatures, and the Couditiou of their State by Creation, 
chaps, viii. and ix. in Vol. II. of his Works. 

Chap, III.] in respect of sin and punishment. 17 

in Christ, ' for as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by 
the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.' And the word xars- 
ardOrjtrav and -/.iraffrad/ifsovrai, made righteous and made sinners, there used, is 
a word noting an act of forensical or outward authority, applied therefore to 
the constituting of elders : Acts vi. B, ' Wherefore, brethren, look you out 
among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, 
whom ye may appoint over this business.' Karasryjsc^/jbsv, the word is. And 
so Titus i. 3, ' But hath in due time manifested his word through preaching, 
which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our 
Saviour.'* Karaar/iaric is the word there too. And so the justification of us by 
Christ's righteousness is an act of power, as when a king makes a man a noble- 
man by patent, constituting him such ; and thus'it is that Adam's sin makes 
us^by nature's letters patents sinful, even by deriving down the guilt of that 
act, which, in Rom. v. 16, is thus expressed, ' The judgment was by one to 
condemnation ;' that the judgment or sentence charging the crime, the guilt 
of the fact upon us, redounds to our condemnation. And so much for this 
great point. 

The next query may be, How and by what law Adam came to be a public 
person representing us? For it will be objected that there only it holds, that 
the act of a public person is reckoned or imputed, when he is chosen by the 
consent of those to whom it is imputed, which Adam was not by any of us. 
To which I answer, 

First, Adam being, as was said, Christ's type, I might ask. How came 
Christ to be a public person ? and who chose him to be so ? To be sure, 
he was not chosen by any of us believers ; and yet it is said, that sin is not im- 
puted to us, because Christ was made sin for us. By God's choice, and his 
own undertaking, 2 Cor. v. 21, Christ was appointed by God, and that by 
virtue of a covenant made with him for all believers, that what he did should 
be theirs : Isa. xhx. 1-8, ' Listen, isles, unto me ; and hearken, ye people, 
from far : The Lord hath called me from the womb ; from the bowels of my 
mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth 
like a sharp sword ; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made 
me a polished shaft ; in his quiver hath he hid me ; and said unto me, Thou 
art my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have 
laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain ; yet 
surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. And 
now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to 
bring Jacob again to him. Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be 
glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And 
he said. It is a light t'ning that thou shouldest 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 salvation unto the 
end of the earth. Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his 
Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, 
to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, 
because of the Lord, that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he 
shall choose thee.' Why may it not satisfy us, then, that by the like reason 
God should choose Adam, being the first that was created, as perfect as ever 
any after could have been, as the first man, the chief? And so God made as 
good a choice in it as men could have done for themselves. And further, 
who being to be the father of all the rest, had the law of nature, as well as 
that of love and conscience (which parents have generally towards their chii- 

Qu. ' Titus i. 5, For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou sliouldcst ordain,' 
&c.? — Ed. ^ /^ 


dren's good as to their own), to poise and oblige him unto faithfulness, to 
whom God gave a law which did concern and bind his posterity in him as 
well as himself, and this covenant was expressly told him and made with 
him : — 1. That he should be able to multiply and fill the earth : Gen. i. 28, 
' And God blessed them : and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, 
and replenish the earth, and subdue it ; and have dominion over the fish of 
the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over every living thing that moveth 
upon the earth.' And, 2, that, standing obedient, he should convey the 
same blessed estate to that his seed, and therefore that same which God 
speaks, Gen. i. 26, ' Let us make man according to our image,' is expounded 
by Solomon, Eccles. vii. 29, of all men in him, ' God made man righteous, 
bat they,' &c. He speaks generally of all in the one and in the other. And 
therefore also, Gen. i. 28, he bids him multiply, and have dominion over all ; 
that is, his seed as well as he should have the same privilege. Yet so, 3, 
as that if he disobeyed God, his seed should die as well as he; so that, 
* That day thou eatest thou shalt die,' was understood by him, and spoken 
to him, as representing all, for it is so opened as the primitive intent of it 
in 1 Cor. xv. 22, 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive.' All are said there to die in him, which could not have been 
unless they had first all lived in him. 

But, secondJtj, to clear this the more, there are three ways by which it 
may be conceived or understood, that he was made a public person. 

1. By the absolute prerogative of God, resolving it wholly into his own 
secret ordination and appointment of him so to be. Thus some. But this 
cuts the knot indeed, but unties it not ; and I dare not wholly put it on that 
account. The covenant with Adam, both for himself and us, was the cove- 
nant of nature, as I have shewn : and it were hard to say, that in such a 
covenant he should use his prerogative alone ; and in some respects this was 
higher (if we suppose it such) than that with Christ, with whom he dealt 
distinctly, fully making known to him all things that concerned that covenant, 
which he also voluntarily undertook for to his Father, as in that place cited 
in Isaiah, and also here appears. 

2. A second way, therefore, is when it is by a covenant, and that so as 
though God's will to have it so, that he should represent us, was the main 
foundation it should be resolved into ; yet so as withal God should plainly 
utter this, and declare it aforehand to him, as he did to Christ in that place 
of Isaiah, ' I will give thee for a covenant to the Gentiles,' &c. Now, there 
is no such record of this, more than what hath been mentioned in the for- 
mer answer, now extant I know of, whereby God declared he would consti- 
tute him such, or laid it explicitly upon him, otherwise than in those parti- 
culars which yet I confess by just and like reason do infer it, so as I would 
not wholly put it upon that account neither ; for we read not of God's say- 
ing this to him in distinct words, nor of his accepting or undertaking so to 
be, namely, a public person, that if he sinned his posterity should siu in 
him. Therefore, 

3. I should think it to be mixed of the two latter, both that God made 
him and appointed him to be a public person, as 1 Cor. xv. 45 (see my 
exposition on those words*), yet not so out of mere will, but that it also had 
for its foundation so natural and so necessary a ground, as it was rather a 
natural than a voluntary thing. And necessary it was he should be so 
appointed, if the law of nature were attainted. And to assert this, I am 
induced, among other grounds, by that which, in handling the state of Adam 
in innocency, I thenf pursued. That his covenant was a natural covenant, 

* In the Discourse of the Creatures, chaps, viii. ix , in vol. ii. of his works, f Ibid. 


and such as according to the law of his creation was due and requisite, and 
founded upon, and consonant to the principles of nature, and therefore I 
judge this law concerning the propagation of man's nature to his posterity 
to be such, and that God did not put forth his pi'erogativo in giving forth 
this alone ; but that it being a part of his covenant by the law of nature, it 
was therefore so well known to him, by the light and law of nature, that he 
needed not have it given him by word of mouth ; though in those fore-men- 
tioned charters, common to him and his posterity, of having dominion over 
the creatures, and begetting in his likeness or kind, it was sufficiently held forth'; 
and so as that threatening was to be understood in the same manner by him, 
'. That day thou eatest thou shalt die,' wherein all mankind are not only 
meant, but expressed by the same law that they are in those words, ' sub- 
due the earth :' Gen. i. 28, ' And God blessed them : and God said unto 
them. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it ; and 
have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and 
over every living thing that moveth upon the earth ; ' which are spoken to 
Adam immediately, and yet meant of his posterity. And it is certain that, iu 
respect of conveying all that which was good, he was a common person ; as 
in that of conveying a lordship over the creatures, a covenant of life to them, 
&c., and by the same reason he was a common person to convey sin too. 
And truly those words, that we are said to be ' children of wrath by nature,' 
I understand not only (though so too) by birth, but even to extend to this 
sense, by the law of nature. See my exposition on those words.* 

Now, the natural necessity upon which this designation of him to be a 
public person was made is this : God had, as author of nature, made this 
the law of nature, that man should beget in his own image or likeness. Look 
what it should prove to be either through his standing or falling afore he 
puts this nature out of his hands ; and this law is in their kind common to 
beasts. So, then, in this first man the whole nature of man being reposited, 
as a common receptacle or cistern of it, from whence it was to flow to others, 
therefore what befalls this nature in him by any action of his, that nature is 
so to be propagated from him, God's ordinance in the law of nature being, 
that all should be made of one blood, which could not have been said of any 
other man than of him (no, not of Noah, because of the mixture of mar- 
riages afore with the posterity of Cain). And thus, also, man's condition 
difiered from that of the angels, of whom each stood as single persons by 
themselves, being all and each of them created by God, immediately, as 
even Adam, the first man, himself was. But all men universally by the law 
of nature were to receive their nature from him in his likeness ; that is, if he 
stood and obeyed, then the image of holiness had been conveyed, as it was at 
first created ; if he fell by sin, then seeing he should thereby corrupt that 
nature, and that that corruption of nature was also to be his sin in relation 
to, and as the consequent of, that act of sin that caused it, therefore, if the 
law of nature were ever fulfilled so as to convey his own image as sinful 
(suppose he should sin), so as it should be reckoned sin in his children, as 
it was in himself, this could not take place, but they must be guilty of that 
act that caused it, so far as it cast it, as well as himself. If indeed any way 
could have been supposed how he might have been bereft of that holiness he 
was created in, without a precedaneous act of sinning as the cause, then 
indeed we might have said that privation of holiness should not have been 
reckoned sin either to himself nor his posterity in that case. This corrup- 
tion of nature, or want of original righteousness, in such case would not 
have been, nor could not have been accounted a sin, (a punishment it might), 

* In Comment, on Ephes., Part ii. [Vol. II. of this Edition of his Works.— Ed.] 


but it comes only to be a sin as it referreth to, and is connected with, the 
guilt of an act of sin that caused that corruption of nature. If, therefore, 
that corruption became truly and properly a sin in them as well as in him 
(and else it hath not ihe formale of his image), he must necessarily be con- 
stituted a public person, representing them even in respect of that act of sin, 
which should thus first infect and pollute their nature in him, or else the 
law of nature will not in this respect have its due effect ; for that which 
makes it a sin is not the want of it simply, but as relating to a forfeiture and 
losing of it by some act those are first guilty of who lose it. Hence, there- 
fore (I repeat the force of my reason again), if he will convey this image 
acquired by his sin as sinful, there must be a guilt of that act of his sin 
which was the cause of it, and therefore he must be a public person in that 
first act of sin ; so as without this, as the case stood, the law of nature could 
not have had its course. See more of this in my sermons on Ephes. ii. 3, 
* Children of wrath by nature.' 
Two objections clog this. 

1. Assertion. Why should not, for the same reason, his actual righteous- 
ness be conveyed ? 

I answer, There is a differing reason : for his acts of righteousness they 
were only means of preserving holiness in him, as causes without which he 
should else lose it (for omission would have lost it as well as commission), 
yet he had it not given him at first from acts of righteousness, but by crea- 
tion and free donation. But this sinful image, considered as sinful, was to 
come in wholly and merely from a sinful act, as the sole eflicient or merito- 
rious cause of it ; and that was it alone could bereave him of it, and which 
alone could make the want of that righteousness to be sin. 

2. The second objection is, Why was not Adam, in others of his sins 
(which also corrupted his nature), a public person, to convey the guilt of 
them with that corruption, as well as this first, seeing the law of nature is 
to beget iu his image ? Yea, why are not other parents public persons also, 
seeing this law to beget in their likeness is theirs as well as Adam's ? 

Ans. 1. It was the first act of sin in Adam that first cast his condition, 
that is, himself and all his posterity, into that utter privation of all righteous- 
ness, which was equally, for the substance of it (if I may use such an expres- 
eion of sin), to be communicated to all mankind; and as in the being of man 
it is in the integral substantial image, not the gradual, that the law of nature 
seizeth on, as to beget an entire whole man, not of such a stature, &c., so 
it is in corruption the integral body of sin, the integral substance of that 
corruption, which is equally to be derived to all, was at first cast and caused 
by that first act of his, and therefore upon that he ceaseth to be a public 
person, for there was wrought in him thereby an utter privation of all right- 
eousness- It was a privation total and integral, that had all sin it ; and, 
therefore, though he by other acts might afterwards corrupt himself more by 
degi'ees, j'ct the law of nature for begetting in his likeness extends not to 
degrees in any kind, but integraJitas, a wholeness of parts ; as to beget a 
whole man, a soul that hath all faculties, a body that hath all members ; 
but the degrees of abilities or stature, that is not in the common law of 
nature ; for else Seth should have been more corrupted than Cain, and the 
latter children of a wicked man than the elder ; and that is a strong argu- 
ment that it is not by mere propagation, but as conveying with it the guilt 
of the first sin. 

And, 2, for other parents ; though they are means to derive down this 
image from him, yet they are not public persons ; nor was it necessary, for 
the condition of all Adam's acts being cast by that first act, and a total 


entire privation of all righteousness, as the common standard of all men's 
original sinfulness, being cast by Adam and his first act of sinning, there 
needed not such constituting other parents as public persons, but only as 
bare instruments by generation (which is but the channel of it) to convey it 
down. For the full scope and extent of the law of nature to convey the 
whole image of sin, for the substantial and integral parts of it, was by bis 
sin enough attained ; and therefore himself ceased upon it to be a public 
person, and other parents are never put iuto that office. And the scope of 
the law of nature is not to convey more or less degrees of siuning, according 
to the degrees of corruption in the parents that beget, as it is not to begat 
children as great or wise as themselves. 

The jiext thing to be spoken unto is the justice and equity of the imputa- 
tion of this first act of sin unto us by God. 

The difi'erence of this our first parent, and that of other parents, why he, 
and not the}', were singled out to represent us, and stand for us, having 
spoken to, even now in answer to an objection, and also afore ; and so 
supposing the justness of that difference, I shall now come to the clearing 
of the justness of this imputation of his first sin to us, and the corruption 
of it. 

Now for this general ground which the t-ext holds out, that he was that 
one man, as hath been shewn, as no father else is said to be. There are 
several ways by which a multitude are reckoned as one man, as included in 
one other man that stands for them. 

First, One that is head of many ; and Adam was the first head and father 
of mankind. Now the elders and first heads of any tribe did still appear as 
public persons in the stead of the rest, as our knights in parliament do for 
a shire, and for kingdoms or nations, only they are chosen by the multitude 
they represent ; but by the law of nature, the first had that privilege by 
nature, and so all the rest of that tribe were looked at as one man, in that 
man that represented them. And this holds good to this day in nations, 
namely, that some one represents a multitude, and stands for a whole cor- 
poration in matters of greatest moment : what such an one passeth, they are 
said to enact. It is Aristotle's maxim. Quod J'acit i^rinceps civitatis, id tola 
facit civitas. Now in this sense all mankind were (upon the principles we 
have given) but as one man in this one man ; and therefore the Scripture 
puts it upon this first man Adam, as from whom we receive the image which 
was in him, and by him left in our nature : 1 Cor. xv. 47-49, ' The first 
man is of the earth, earthy ; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As 
is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy ; and as is the heavenly, 
such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of 
the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.' And he was 
also thereto ordained and made by God in his first creation to represent us ; 
and so what this the head did, is reckoned to us the parts and members of 
him. His will was voluntas totius geueris humani ; his will was the will of 
us all, as the will of the head or chief is of the whole corporation. The 
Scripture declareth him the first man, to have all men in him ; why else is 
Christ termed the last man ? and so all sinned in him, as in that one man. 
And this justly derives the second. 

Secondly, We were all as one man in him, tanquam in orifjine ; so the buds 
or branches are one with the root, and receive their tincture or kind from it ; 
and also may be reckoned to be in it long before they sprout forth. Rebekah 
having two sons in her womb, is said to have two nations, which were to 
spring out of each of them, as the respective roots of them : Gen. xxv. 2b, 
' And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two man- 


ner of people shall be separated from thy bowels.' This is spoken of them 
long afore these nations came forth out from them. And Adam was the root 
of all the world, and had the whole of man's nature in him, tnnquam in ori- 
gine ; and was, as all other things, even as plants, to bring forth in their 
kinds, so he in his kind. We were all made of one blood : Acts xvii. 26, 
' And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face 
of the earth.' And if that blood were tainted in him, the law of nature and 
nations justifies this attainder ; and if the apostle Paul makes use of a law 
of nature, in the case of God's election by grace, to say, ' If the root be 
holy, so are the branches,' Eom. xi. 16 (God having, in his ordinations of 
grace, often taken in the rules and ordinary laws of nature, as I have else- 
where shewn*), this maxim must needs justly hold much more here. If the 
root be sinful and corrupted, so are the branches ; and therefore it is. Gen. 
V. 3, remarkably said of Adam, when fallen, he ' begat his son in his own 
likeness ;' and so, 1 Cor. xv. 47-49, he calls Adam the earthy man, of 
whom are all earthy men ; and as he is (says he) such are they for qualities 
as well as for substance ; and by that common law is that which the apostle 
there adds, * We have borne the image of the earthy man ;' which, though 
spoken in respect of the substance of flesh and blood, yet when fallen, it 
holds good by the same common law to both substance of our nature and 
qualities of our nature ; and because that generation is the means by which 
we spring out of this root, therefore this is the means of propagation. And 
therefore, though Adam's nature personally was afterwards sanctified, and 
GO are many of his sons, that beget children, as Abraham, &c., yet all are 
clill begotten in Adam's sinful image, because a man begets not his like in 
person, but in the common nature ; and the common nature of man, whilst 
betrusted as in common for us, in him and with him, having been in him 
corrupted, therefore, though in his own person his nature was afterwards 
sanctified again, and in others also ; yet men beget their like coiTuption of 
nature, as a grain cast into the ground without chafi" comes up with chaft', 
for that it is the common nature of it to do so ; and a man circumcised 
begets a son with uncircumcision, because it is according to the common 
nature of all to be born so ; so it is here. 

I further add, thiidhj, Suppose that a king should raise up a man out of 
nothing, to a gi'eat and noble condition, which he also gave him not for his 
own person only, but for his seed for ever, might he not make this covenant 
with him, that if he ever turned traitor, he should forfeit all for himself, and 
his posterity likewise to be made slaves ? And would not this law justly 
take hold of them, though they were rot born then ? Yes, God will justify 
his proceedings by this course in the world generally in all kingdoms, which 
shews it is the law of nature, and there is a justice in it, for the law makes 
the blood of a nobleman a traitor, tainted till restored ; it is all the world 
over, it was so in other ages also. Therefore also Esther, a godly woman, 
made a request that not Haman only, who was advanced by the king, but that 
his sons also, should be hanged, and they were so, Esther ix. 12-14. 

Fourthli/, It is an equal rule, that by the same law, by virtue of which 
one may come to receive good freely, he should upon the same terms 
receive the contrary evil deservedly upon offending ; as Job said, * Shall we 
receive good from God, and not evil ?' Job ii. 10 ; so say I. Shouldst thou 
have received the fruit of Adam's obedience in having an holy image con- 
veyed to thee, if thou hadstf stood ; and shouldst thou not have received 
the contrary if he fell through the guilt of his sin ? If God had made the 

* In the Discourse of Electiori, book v.. cap. vii., iu vol. ii. of his works. — [Vol. IX. 
of this Edition.— Ed.] t Qu. ' he had ' '? — En. 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 23 

law only to have received evil upon his offending, who could have found 
fault ? JMuch less when he put him into an estate which would have proved 
so happy for us if he had not offended ? 

Again, fifthly, it was equal, for it was indeed the best way ; for else all 
men should have stood on their own bottom, and after never so long stand- 
ing have been subject to have fallen, and so by the poll every man might 
have fallen off from God ; whereas this is put upon one man s obedience, 
who was as good as any of them. 

Sixthhi, If this course yet seem severity, then consider the goodness of 
God making use of the same rule for the salvation of multitudes of mankind, 
in ordaining Christ in our nature, a second Adam; in like manner sustain- 
ing the persons of multitudes of mankind, undertaking to be a common 
person, representing them to effect a * common salvation,' as Jude terms it, 
for them, ver. 3, that whereas all of mankind, if they had their estate to 
cast in their own hands, would certainly man by man have perished. God, 
according to the same law, whereby man was thus even by the law of nature 
cast and condemned, by the very same law and the equity of it saved us in 
our Mediator, who was ' made sin, that knew no sin, that we might be made 
the righteousness of God in him,' 2 Cor. v. 21, without which all mankind 
would have perished, as Sodom and Gomorrah. But in this very way of 
grace comes a mighty remnant of them (take them first and last) to be 
saved by imputed righteousness, so as God hath turned justice into mercy. 
* By grace we are saved ' this very way. 

Add to these, seventhly, that if all the creatures then upon the earth, and 
the earth itself was cursed for man's sake, as it is. Gen. iii. 17, ' Cm-sed is 
the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat it all the days of thy life ; ' 
and Rom. viii. 20, ' For the creature was made subject to vanity, not will- 
ingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope ; ' and if 
these creatures were not willingly subject to vanity, and if not only the crea- 
tures then alive, but ever after to this day, were thus accursed for man's sake, 
then much more justly is this sin, and the guilt and heavy punishment of it, 
derived to his posterity that came out of his loins, that have a nearer relation 
to him than those creatures had. 

And lastly, if, Heb. vii. 9, 10, Paul says he might truly say, that Levi 
and all his posterity paid tithes in Abraham, for that he was yet in the loins 
of his father, when Melchisedec met him, then may all Adam's posterity be 
as truly said to have committed sin in Adam, for that yet they were in his 
loins when he did eat the forbidden fruit. 


How great every man's sinfulness is in having the guilt of Adam's first trans- 
gression imputed to him. — How far ice are all guilty of his sin. — What the 
aggravations of Adam's first sin were. — Whether they also, as well as the sin, 
are cJiarged upon us. 

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners ; so by the obedience 
of one shall many he made righteous. Moreover, the law entered, that the 
o fence might abound: but ivhere sin abounded, grace did much more abound. 
—Rom. V. 19, 20. 

Before I come to what I mean to speak of out of these verses, I will 
briefly recapitulate what I delivered out of ver. 12 concerning the derivation 


of the guilt of Adam's first sin, and that corruption of nature following 

1. I shewed you that the conduit-pipe, or means and way of conveying 
both these, was only this, coming from him by natural generation ; for to 
this condition the conveying of sin is limited; for otherwise Christ, who came 
from Adam, was his sou, had his matter from him, should have sin pro- 
pagated to him, as well as we. Yet, 

2. Understanding this so as though it be the conduit-pipe, and means 
and condition to caiTy to all from him, yet not sufficient ground or full reason 
alone why it should ; for then, why should not other parents, from whom we 
are thus naturally generated, as well as from him, convey their sin also, 
which God hath said should not be ? Ezek. xviii. 20, ' The soul that 
sinueth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, 
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son : the righteousness of 
the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be 
upon him.' 

Therefore, 3, there is some further ground of this, which holds peculiarly 
in Adam, not in them, which is a covenant struck with him, he being the 
first man, the common cistern, or rather spring of human nature ; such a 
like covenant (in respect of being a common head and fountain of derivation) 
as was made with Christ for those that should come of him by a second 
birth, the fifteenth verse telling us Adam was therein a type of Christ. By 
virtue of which covenant, 

4. We were all one in him (as also Christ's members are in him), and 
that two ways, which in other parents holds not. 

(1.) lu'presentaLii-e. As the tribes in the heads of them, or as one bur- 
gess in parliament repi'esents all the borough, so did Adam all men, as Christ 
also all his members, therefore styled in 1 Cor. xv. 47, the one, ' the first ; ' 
the other, ' the second man ; ' God looking upon all as severally represented 
in these two, as if there had been no more men in the world. As Christ 
was the head of his body, and they one man in him, so were all as one man 
in Adam, the type of Christ therein. 

(2.) We were one in him, ianquain in prima origine et radice, in the same 
sense that two whole nations are said to be in Jacob and Esau whilst in the 
womb, Gen. xxv. 23. Even as the root and the branches make one tree, 
so he the root, we the branches, one man ; as Christ also is, John xv. 1, 
Eom. vi. 5. 

By virtue of which union thus made by covenant, and that founded in 

5. It comes to pass that most justly, and by the right of all kind of law 
ordinarily in force with men, and the law of nature, both the guilt of his 
sin, and the corruption of his nature, should be derived unto us. 

(1.) The guilt of his disobedience, by virtue of the first ways of our being 
one with him, is derived. For it is a law in force with us, and in all nations, 
that what a person representing doth, the persons represented are likewise 
said to do. It is also the law of nations and nature, that if the head doth 
plot, or the tongue speak treason, the whole man is truly said to do it also. 

(2.) The corruption of his nature is derived by virtue of the latter way 
of our being one with him, and that even by the general law of nature ; 
for every root brings forth according to its kind, so Adam in his image, 
Gen. V. 3. 

Only, 6, this covenant comes to be examined, whether justly struck and 
imposed or no? And for that I answered, 

Chap, IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 25 

(1.) That God out of his sovereignty might make it, and impose it with- 
out iijjustice, especially man being innocent, whenas God imposed the like 
in the case of sinful Achan upon the whole nation of the Jews, Achan's sin 
becoming the sin of the whole camp : Joshua vii. 1, * Bat the children of 
Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing : for Achan, the son of 
Curmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the 
accursed thing : and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children 
of Israel.' And this was by virtue of a covenant made with every one for 
them all : Joshua vi. 18, ' And you, in any wise keep yourselves from the 
accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed when ye take of the accursed 
thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.' 

(2.) Yet here is a further equity ; for it is an equal condition, that if we 
should have received good from him if he obeyed, we should receive evil also 
if he disobeyed, especially when all the good itself was given by God him- 
self, the maker of this covenant, and the obedience he required was due in 
itself. If a king should raise a favourite out of nothing, give him all his 
honours for himself upon condition of obedience, yet so as if he rebelled, 
not only he, but his house should perish, he dealt not only equally in this, 
but bountifully both with him and his. 

And yet (3.) there was a farther conveniency in it, and a good provision 
made ; for better it was that all our estates should be ventured into a 
father's hands, the most perfect man that ever was to come, he himself 
being a venturer also ; and so after a while of obedience (viz., after he had 
put our nature once out of his hands, as is probable), then all to be con- 
firmed in grace, than for every man to be left to himself, and after many 
years' obedience left to a possibility of faUing away by the least error and 

7. And, lastly, if you think much that yourselves did not choose him that 
should thus stand for you, I answer you, (1.) That God made as good a 
choice as you could have done, took the best and perfectest of men. And 
(2.) I ask. Who chose Jesus Christ to be a covenant for his people ? Why 
might not God choose in the one as well as the other ? And if you yet 
think it harsh that another's sin should thus be put upon you, I answer you, 
God oflers the righteousness of another to be imputed to you, which you 
never performed ; and lest all men should perish, hath ordained Christ to 
be in like manner a common person for multitudes of mankind ; and Adam 
was his type herein. 

You see how Adam's sin becomes all ours. We cannot deny the debt we 
inherit from him ; God hath a bond, a covenant to shew lor it at the latter 

It is fit now we search what the debt is, how much it comes to, how far 
we are liable to pay it. Now the abounding greatness this sum swells to, 
the apostle intimates in this 20th verse, and shews us the arithmetic we 
must use to cast it up by, the law, which God taught man to this end, and 
brought this new art into the world, that man might by the rules thereof see 
the greatness and multitude of his sins : ' The law enters that the offence 
might abound.' Now in that he says the offence (ro iiuod^zruixa, that 
offence), though he means generally the sinfulness of man, yet especially, as 
by the coherence seems evidently to me, he points at that first sin of Adam 
which he had spoken so often of in the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19lh verses 
under the same name. And having shewed how by that ofleuce, and by 
that one only, which seems, and hath seemed to many, so small a matter, 
that God should condemn all the world for eating of an apple, as one of the 
popes blasphemously said ; — to prevent this, and to shew ihe end of the law 


also, he brings iu these words in this sense, if we did but know what an 
aboundingly heinous and evil sin, even the least, is, and in particular what 
an abounding offence that was, we would not think so. Now that men 
might see it, and acknowledge, and be humbled under it, therefore God sent 
the law into the world, not to make sin to abound the more in itself, but to 
discover the abounding sinfulness of it, and of that particular offence as well 
as of others, as a glass that discovers spots and deformities in itself causeth 

I design to shew what an abounding sin that one offence of Adam was, where- 
of we are all guilt3% 

In the inquiry now into old Adam's debt, three questions are to be dis- 

1. Whether only that offence be imputed, and no more, and why ? For we 
would be charged with as few as we can, the guilt of the least circumstance 
in a sin being more than ever we shall be able to pay. 

2. How far we are guilty of it, whether of all aggravations considerable 
in it? 

3. How great the guilt of it was, as it extends to us ? It ' abounds,' the 
text says ; and this latter is the main thing iu the text, the former makes 
but way for it. 

1. For the first, we are guilty only of that first disobedience in eating of 
the forbidden fruit, and not of his other sins afterwards committed, though 
never so great or many. For still, in ver. 15, 16, &c., it is called ' the 
offence,' ' the disobedience,' and in ver. 16, it is expressly said, that 'judg- 
ment came by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences to 
justification;' where by one he means not one man but one offence, as the 
opposition, many offences, in the next words shew ; his scope being to shew 
the abounding of the gift of grace through and above Adam's sin. He com- 
pares not persons only, but things conveyed ; but ' one ofi'ence ' God lays 
to our charge, no more ; but in Christ ' abundance of righteousness ' for 
many sins. But the guilt of one sin is conveyed by Adam, but through 
Christ there is a justification of us from multitude of offences. And so in 
ver. 17 also, ' For if by one man's oflence death reigned by one ; much 
more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteous- 
ness, shall reign in hfe by one, Jesus Christ.' And there is this demon- 
stration to confirm it, for he could convey sin for no longer time than he 
stood a public person ; and when that ofiice and relation was laid down, then 
he became a private person again, and then sinned for himself alone. Now 
when the second covenant and promise of the second Adam was published, 
which was presently after the fall, then it is evident he was put out of office, 
for otherwise his faith in the promise must have been imputed also to his 
seed ; now God says, Hab. ii. 4, ' The just shall live by faith.' 

And withal, mark the reason why he remained no longer a public person 
after the first sin accomplished ; for the end of his being appointed thus a 
public person for us was but to cast our condition either into an estate of 
sin or righteousness, for our estate was laid as it were at the stake in him, 
and he was to cast the dice, as I may so say, either for the winning or losing 
of all ; and though indeed, to have won all, many righteous throws were re- 
quired, it may be, yet one bad throw lost the game as well as twenty, cast it 
which way it should go ; and therefore God looked at no more, the covenant 
then ended. And if men think that unequal, being to cast but one bad throw, 
so to lose all, we must consider this too, that he had an inclination to what 
was good, none to evil, only a possibility or potentia remota. And to give 
another similitude : as he was made the fountain of natural life for us, 1 Cor. 

Chap. IY.] ' in respect of sin and punishment. 27 

XV. 45, &c., so also of our spiritual. Now for him to have conveyed natural 
life to us, it was necessary he should not live one or two days, but perform 
the continued actions of life, even till he should beget a seed, for had his 
natural life been extinguished before by one death, we had all died in him, 
one death would have been enough. So for the convoying our spiritual life, 
and preserving and continuing the life of grace to us, it was necessary he 
should go on in all the actions of righteousness and obedience ; but one sin- 
ful deadly blow of sin was enough to extinguish all, and so cause us to be 
born dead in sin, as we all are ; so that it is clear, that though he should 
have stood longer as a public person if he had continued righteous, yet this 
ceased upon the first sin. 

2. To the second question, how far we are guilty of it ; I answer, that 
though the guilt of the whole act be imputed to us, and we counted sinners 
by it, as truly guilty of the whole act as he, yet not with so much guiltiness 
as doth arise to him himself, and his share who was the actor. Something 
there is that doth redound to Adam's person therein more than to us. For, 

(1.) There is a personal guiltiness, in that he did the fact, which is more 
than barely to have it imputed, and to be accounted to have done it; though 
we be as truly guilty of the whole act, yet the manner lessens the blame. 
There in ver. 14, speaking of children, who die only for the imputed guilt of 
that sin, and corruption of nature inherent, he speaks as diminutively of 
their guilt in comparison of his ; ' for,' says he, ' death reigned over those 
who sinned not after the similitude of Adam's transgression,' though as truly 
guilty as he ; for they died, yet not hke to him, which is a diminution and 
a lessening, as it were ; as if he had said, though they actually and person- 
ally did it not, or any other sin, sinned not like to him, yet they died. For 
example, to clear this by the second Adam, of whom this was a type, though 
we have his whole righteousness, active and passive, as truly accounted ours 
as it is his, yet it is said to be his, with this peculiar prerogative, that it is 
personally his, as light is the sun's, the stars but borrow it. So as in all 
things he retains a pre-eminence : Col. i. 18, ' And he is the head of the 
body, the church ; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead ; that 
in all things he might have the pre-eminence.' 

(2.) There is this diflerence, as in the manner, which makes it, as hath 
been said, a deeper guiltiness in him, so in this pecuHar aggravation, that 
he may be said to be guilty of the overthrow of the whole world by it, and 
this is peculiarly his ; for none of us, though we be truly guilty of the act, 
yet not of this circumstance, can be said to be the overthrowers of the world, 
as he might. This also may be cleared from the former instance of the 
second Adam, for though a believer hath all Christ's righteousness com- 
municated to him, and enjoys the fruits of it, yet this glory he gives to none, 
that they should be saviours of the world, that is his alone. 

That distinction in logic, concerning the genus communicating its whole 
nature to the species, illustrates both these to scholars ; for it is truly said 
that tola natura generis communicatur singulcB speciei, but not natura generica ; 
it makes not the species a genus as itself. 

3. Now the third thing follows, namely, what a great sin that first sin 
was, as the guilt of it is extended to us, that so we may be humbled 
under it. 

In all great sins there are two things to be considered : 

First, the substance ; secondly, the circumstance of the act. 

First, for the substance of the act, it hath inwards and outwards, an inside 

and an outside. There was an outward act committed, and inward acts as 

the principles of it. 


The outward act seems small ; as it hath usually been said, it was but the 
eating of an apple, stealing of a little fruit. Yet consider, 

(1.) The smallness of the matter or thing forbidden often aggravates the 
offence. To dare to offend the great God in a small matter is not a small 
disobedience. 1 may allude in this to the speech of Naaman's servant to 
him : 2 Kings v. 13, ' And his servants came near and spake unto him, and 
said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee to do some great thing, wouldest 
thou not have done it ? how much rather then, when he saith to thee. Wash 
and be clean?' So in this case. If God had forbidden doing some great 
thing, should he be obeyed ? how much more when he forbids so small a 
thing ? CoQita (says Augustine) quanta fait iniquitas in peccando, cum tanta 
Jaciiilas noii peccaiidl. He gave them leave to eat of all the trees in the gar- 
den, forbade them but that one, even by Eve's confession, Gen. iii. 2, 3, * And 
the woman said unto the serpent. We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the 
garden : but of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God 
hath said. Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' Thus 
Nathan aggi-avated David's sin : 2 Sam. xii. 3, 4, ' But the poor man had 
nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up : 
and it grew up together with him, and with his children ; it did eat of his 
own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto 
him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he 
spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the way- 
faring man that was come unto him ; but took the poor man's lamb, and 
dressed it for the man that was come to him.' He had many lambs of his 
own flock, and yet took that one of another's. Adam had fruit enough, yet 
these would not content him, but he must be tasting forbidden fruit. 

(2.) Sin is to be measured by the law that is given ; for sin being in the 
nature of it, transcjressio legis, the more urgent or greater the law is, the 
greater the transgression. Now that some laws are greater than others, 
Christ implies, when he saith. Mat. xxiii. 23, ' Woe unto you, scribes and 
pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and 
have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith : 
these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.' 

Now, of all laws this was the greatest given to Adam. 

1st, It being given only as a trial and testimony of his obedience in all 
the rest, called therefore symholicum ptrii^ceplum, as being a profession of 
his subjection to God in all the rest ; such as is doing homage by a vassal 
to the lord of the soil, which, though it consists in some petty small rite or 
acknowledgment, the neglect of which (though the least of all to perform), or 
denying to do it, is the loss of what they hold of him, as being the breach 
and highest kind of more than other acts, and greater neglect in other things. 

2dly, The more expressly the will of the lawgiver is manifested in a law, 
the gi-eater the enforcement and obligation is to that law. Now, God's will 
was more expressly manifest in that than any other written in his heart. 

1. His will was more in it, in that there was no reason for it, but the will 
of the lawgiver only ; stelit pro ratione voluntas. Other laws Adam might 
see a reason for ; of this none but God's will trj'ing his obedience. 

2. More expressly, for none else were delivered vied voce but this, as being 
an especial charge above all the rest. Other instructions he had only writ- 
ten in his heart, but this was given by mouth as an especial charge. 

3. None else so expressly threatened with death but it ; yea, that other 
law had its sanction in that threatening given to this. So God's will ap- 
peared to be more in it, because backed with so severe a threatening, a sign 
he was more earnest in it. 

Chap. IV.] in rkspect of sin and punishment. 29 

Secoudhj, Lot us look to the inside of Adam's sin. Now, though the laws 
of men examine not the inwards of an action, as not in murder, not how 
much or little malice or cruelty was in the fact, so it be proved by circum- 
stances it was in any degree wilful murder ; but the law of God looks most 
hereto. And so a sin, which for the outward act is small, may in regard of 
the inwards of it be a great one. As that act of the man gathering slicks 
on the Sabbath day, a small thing in appearance, to get a few sticks to make 
a fire ; but he doing it in contempt of Moses, so as to put Moses into a 
strait, since if for so small a thing he executed or inflicted any punishment, 
he would have been thought a cruel governor by all the people ; but, on the 
other side, if he should pass it by, he opened a way to have the Sabbath 
broken ; so as it was done in high contempt both of God and Moses, and 
this God took notice of especially. And it is in sins as in duties ; a man 
then performs duties best when God is most sanctified in his heart. If you 
would know when you pray best, it is then when you sanctify God in your 
hearts most, with most sanctified apprehensions of him, his greatness, good- 
ness, all-sufiiciency, working a sense of what it is to offend him. So a man 
then sins most when he dishonours God most in his heart. 

Now, then, for the inwards of this action, the sinful acts of his mind in 
it, they were principally ill opinions of God, which were the principles of it, 
which provoke most, and dishonour most. 1st, 111 opinions of a person 
provoke most, for we see men then most provoked when they see they are 
meanly or badly thought of: this incites, and inflames, and blows anger up 
to its height ; and men are angry at ill words given them by other men, but 
so far as they are expressions of their evil opinions of them in their hearts. 
2dl3% And ill opinions of a person dishonour most, for all true honour lies 
in opinion : so much greater is the honour as the opinion is greater. Honos 
therefore is said to be in honorante ; and so on the contrary it is as to dis- 
honour. And God is therefore then dishonoured most when we have dis- 
honourable thoughts of him. Now, they were low and mean under-conceits 
of God that first crept into Adam's heart, and are necessarily to be supposed 
to have been the foundation of this sin in his heart. 

1. He undervalued the Lord in his heart, ceasing to think him any longer 
to be the chiefest good. He would never have done it had he not thought 
he could better his condition without God, and better his condition by that 
means, by the virtue of an apple, whereby he should come better to know 
what was good and evil, than by keeping God's command, which is only true 
wisdom ; and so he thought to be as gods therein. The text expressly 
afiirms this was the main motive, and is set down therefore last, which the 
woman had, Gen. iii. 6. She thought it 'to be desired to make one wise,' 
which, but that the Scripture affirms, a man would scarcely have imagined, 
much less believed, of our first parents, for no wise man now would think 
an apple to have, or that it could have, any virtue in it, such as to make a 
man wise. To better the temper of his body one might imagine it to have 
a virtue, but it was extra splurram the capacity of such a creature to give 
wisdom to the mind. Besides, they might easily think that if it had any 
such virtue in it God had put it in, and then that all wisdom comes from 
him alone, as James says, chap. i. 5, 17, 'If any of you lack wisdom, let 
him ask of God,' &c. And, besides (which aggravates their sin), they had 
already tasted of the goodness and excellency of God, having had some com- 
munion with him. Now, then, to leave a certain infinite good now enjoyed, for 
so uncertain, so unlikely an one, this aggravates his sin above what is in our 
own sins now in our natural condition, for, alas, we never knew, or at least 
never tasted better; therefore, no wonder if we go after the creatures : but 


he knew and had tasted. And this aggravates in like manner a regenerate 
man's sin, because he hath had communion with God ; and then to forsake 
him, and go after the creature, how sinful is it ! 

2. Another ill opinion they had of God was, that God was not faithful and 
true. God had said, ' Ye shall die the death;' the devil had said. No; and 
to hear a creature affirm this confidently, and to be, and exist, and still to 
reason the case, they thought there might be something in it, and this stag- 
gered their faith. Now, to conceive thus of God of all other was the worst, 
foulest, and most dishonourable conceit; for is God 'such an one that he 
should lie' (saith Samuel, 1 Sam. xv. 29), ' or as a man, to repent ?' Nay, 
even men, who are all themselves but a lie and deceitful, yet value their truth 
and faithfulness as their greatest jewel ; and though they acknowledge want 
of excellency other ways, yet they will say they are true, &c. Therefore to 
call Gods truth into question, was worse than undervaluing his other excel- 
lencies ; yea, men that are profane will wipe off the disgrace of a lie given 
them with their dearest blood. And then add to this, their believing the 
devil, contradicting the Lord merely by his own authority, so as his word 
should sway more than God's. This was greater than the prophet's sin in 
believing the old prophet (for which yet God slew him by a lion, 1 Kings 
xiii.), for the old prophet pretended he had a contrary revelation himself, 
having the reputation of a prophet as well as himself. He opposed not his 
bare word and authority to God's, as the devil in this, but pretended a new 
commission, bearing date since, from God himself. 

3. There were jealousies engendered in their hearts, of unworthy designs 
and ends, that God had in prohibiting them; for so the devil suggested, 
' God knows that in the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened, and 
you shall be as gods ;' as if he should have said, God knowing what virtue 
there is in the apple, hath purposely forbidden it, because he would not have 
vou be so happy ; which believed, must needs engender these thoughts, that 
God loved them not so well as they imagined, for he prevented their prefer- 
ment, and so far hated his creature, in not only not wishing it, but keeping 
it from that good it was capable of; which must needs engender hatred 
of God in their heai'ts again, or that perhaps they should imagine he envied 
their happiness, which must argue that they thought that God feared to be 
equalled or matched by them if they should know as much as he, and be as 
God in the knowledge of good and evil. All which thoughts, or any one of 
them to entertain of God, what more dishonourable ? "Whilst they seek to 
be as gods, they would make God as base as the devil, for maUce and envy 
are his two sins. 

4. He sinned against the sovereignty of God, for what was the thing that 
hooked him in ? It was to be as gods ; nothing else could have moved 
them ; and so they thought to be independent of God, no longer under him; 
and though they should sin against him, that they should yet be able to make 
their party good with him. These to have been the thoughts that drew on 
the sin, is argued from the temptation which suggested these things, and did 
engender them, and in the issue prevailed. 


The practical improvements irhi'sh tee should make of these truths delivered. — 
That we should charge ourselves ivith the guilt of Adam's first sin, and be 
humbled in the sense of our guilt of it, as well as for the sim uhich ue 
actually commit ourselves. — That since our first father failed in the trust 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 81 

committed to him, we should not put confidence in any creature, thoutjh most 
noble and excellent. — Froin Adam's example, tiho thus betrayed the trust 
placed in him, v:e should be awakened to be more watchful and more fniUiful 
to any trust reposed in \is for ourselves and posterity. — If the state from 
which Adam fell teas a state of holiness, then no man should he ashamed of 
beivff converted and reyenerated, since it is hut a returniny to that primitive 
condition again. — Since Adam, obtained mercy after haviny so hiyhly and 
heinously sinned, the greatest sinners should be encourayed to hope, and to 
come to God for mercy. 

The first use you ouglit to make of this is, to take upon you the guilt of 
the first act, so far as you have heard it belonged unto you, that so you may 
be humbled before God for your share of guilt in it. And indeed till the 
guilt of Adam's sin be acknowledged as truly as any of your own, and your 
hearts rest satisfied in it, you will not be humbled before God, but will have 
something to plead ; for still it will be said. How came I thus ? who made 
me thus ? And therefore the apostle, endeavouring to humble men, in this 
epistle to the Romans, convinceth them, in -the first and second chapters, 
of evil works ; then in the third chapter, of the evil of their natures ; then 
of the first entrance of sin by Adam's sin, in the fifth chapter; the ignorance 
of which made the Gentiles complain of nature, that is, the God of nature, 
for bringing man into the world prone to evil, void of good. And this like- 
wise makes many people think God made no creatures to destroy them, and 
on that false principle hope to be saved ; both these being alike ignorant how 
that this world of mankind was once righteous as it fell out of God's hands, 
and that God looking on you now can say. They are not as I made them. 
As therefore a potter breaks a vessel that hath poison put into it by another, 
though it be his own vessel, so God justly destroys his own creature when 
corrupted by the devil. Let him therefore be justified, and the creature 
condemned, which cannot be but by the acknowledgment of this; for if we 
go from works to nature, it will be asked. How came my nature thus ? I 
answer, by the guilt of this sin. So David, in acknowledging his sin, Ps. 
li. 4, 5, 'Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy 
sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when 
thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother 
conceive me.' He hath recourse to this, and professedly to this end, that 
God might be justified. It is the speech of a godly divine, that the first 
step to the heavenly paradise is to see and acknowledge that which casts us 
out of the earthly, and that striking one of the last strokes is humbling the 

Now for this let me give you two directions. 

1. If you cannot see reason for it, bring faith with you to believe it, for 
by faith we believe the world was made of nothing, which yet we see, Heb. 
xi. 3, ' By faith Abel oifered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, 
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his 
gifts, and by it he being dead yet speaketh.' Why then we are to believe 
by the same reason that God made man righteous, and that he fell, and we 
ail in him, for faith is the evidence of things not seen. And as one said on 
his deathbed, in acknowledging his sin. The oldest man alive, that we use 
to bring to know landmarks, knows not of this ; so we may say of Adam's 
sin, committed so many ages past. Now, to help your faith, resolve all into 
the wisdom, holiness, and justice of God, who therefore must needs make 
man holy, and justly impute his fall to all his posterity ; and if his wisdom 
cannot clear it at the latter day, when this very thing shall be scanned the 


first of any thing ; if God cannot make his party good against all the world 
in this, and stop all their mouths, so as you shall not he ahle to plead not 
guilty, he must shut up his books, and go no further. Custom, indeed, will 
not carry it, unless the entrance was just, though it doth so with tyrants, but 
God is none. Aud as in the believing Christ's righteousness to be ours, 
believers use to have recourse to inherent righteousness, which is the frait 
of it, to help their faith, so have you to help in this, viz. as to that un- 
righteousness of nature you found in you from the beginning, think some or 
otber cast poison in at the beginning, and that you are guilty of some sin ov 
other, whereof this is the fi'uit. 

2. Let not the commonness hinder your sensible acknowledgment of it. 
Men think because all are guilty it concerns them little ; indeed, if the debt 
were so common as divided amongst you, then it might be slighted (if the 
least part of the guilt of a sin might be), but the whole resides upon every 
man, as if none else were guilty of it but he ; Adam communicating his sin 
as ffemis communicat totani naturam aiilibet speciei, that is, as a general 
nature communicates the whole of its nature to all the kinds which are 
under it. 

Use 2. Did Adam, who, as he was created and fell out of God's hands, 
was the most completely accomplished man with all habihments of wisdom 
and righteousness that ever was, insomuch as God chose him, and thought 
him fully fit to be the sole burgess, head, and root of all mankind, yet did he 
(I say) thus perfect, so foully miscarry and overthrow himself and us, and 
that for so small a trifle, two toys, an apple and a woman ? Then heace 
leani not to put confidence any more in men, or anything in man, be it 
never so excellent. For my part, would I ever have chosen a man (go 
through the bead-roll of them) since men were upon the face of the earth 
(Christ onlv excepted, that was more than man), to whom I would betrust 
my life, mv goods, my portion in eternity, and into whose hands I would 
have put all the good I look for in this world or world to come, it should 
have been none but Adam ; but by woful and lamentable experience we all 
find it, that he, when he had the lives and riches of all mankind ventured in 
him, yea, and himself, the greatest venturer of all the rest, a man judged 
able to have performed what was committed to him, to have steered and 
brought in safe this gi-eat cargo into the haven of life and happiness ; yet he, 
even he, deceived us all, foully and foolishly split himself upon a rock he 
might have avoided, and cast away himself and all. Hereafter trust not in 
anv creature, much less in man ; but trust only in the Lord, who is ' Je- 
hovah, and changeth not,' for all the good you look for to you and yours. 
It is a meditation David hath, Ps. Ixii. 7-9, ' In God is my salvation and 
mv glor\' ; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Trust in him 
at" all times, ve people ; pour out your heart before him ; God is a refuge 
for us. Surelv men of low degi-ee are vanity, and men of high degree are a 
lie; to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than canity.' At 
ver. 9, he concludes that all men, high and low, are vain : ' men of low de- 
gree,' which for their multitude and number might be relied on, are yet 
vanitv ' men of hi^h degree,' who have the government of states committed 
to their charge and trust for their wisdom and authority, yet they are a lie, 
deceitful if leaned on. Remember Adam deceived you all ; lay then all men 
in one balance, and vanity in the other ; they are overswayed even by trifles, 
often moved this way and that way, as our first parents with an apple. 
Therefore, saith David, ver. 7, ' In God is my salvation, the rock of my 
strength and my refuge is in God.' Trust to none but to him, to him only, 
ver. G • and ' trust in him at all times,' ver. 8. Whatsoever your princes 


be, your great men,' your parliaments,* all which, as Adam, arc betrusted 
with your lives and liberties and the gospel, be they never so wise, never so 
holy, leave them not to themselves with these, no more than you would let 
out a brittle bark to sea that had all your lives and goods in her, and leave 
her to herself, to be carried whither every billow and wind would toss her, 
but go to God to be the pilot, pour out your hearts before him : * God is a 
refuge for us,' ver. 8. Desire him to have an hand upon the stern, to guide 
the hearts of princes ; say not thoy are wise, and venturers themselves ; re- 
member Adam, so was he, yet how miscarried he when left to himself ! Oh 
see what need there is to pray for public persons, or any to whom public 
good is betrusted. As you are not to trust them, so not to trust to 3'our- 
selves, your own graces, your hearts, go not in your own strength : Jer. 
xvii. 5, ' Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, 
and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.' 
Tremble to put yourselves upon the occasions of evil. Are you stronger than 
Adam, who had no inclination to evil, nothing but the contrary, and yet 
miscarried, held not out the first brunt ? ' Thus Nehemiah argues in the 
case of marrying strange wives, when he would dissuade the Jews from it, as 
being occasions of evil, Neh. xiii. 26, ' Did not Solomon, king of Israel, sin 
by these things ? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who 
was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel ; neverthe- 
less, even him did outlandish women cause to sin.' Did not Solomon, king 
of Israel, sin by these things ? a man so wise, and one who was beloved of 
his God, nevertheless ' even him did outlandish women cause to sin.' Are 
you more holy than he ? I add more ; did not Adam transgress, whom 
God made king over all the world, and thought him fit to betrust all j'ou 
had with ? Yea he, even he, transgressed. See Eliphaz his collection : Job 
XV. 15, ' Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints ; yea, the heavens are not 
clean in his sight.' God puts no trust in his saints ; his angels W'hom he 
created righteous deceived him ; so did man. How much less confidence is 
there to be put in vain man, which drinketh iniquity like water: Job xv. 16, 
' How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity 
like water ! ' Trust your own hearts no more than you would do the veriest 
thief or adulterer in the world. 

Use 3. Did Adam, being betrusted with all our inheritances, thus foully 
and fearfully by one sinful act overthrow the world ? Then learn we, when- 
soever we are betrusted with anything which concerns the good of succession 
and posterity (as Adam was), to be more faithful, more wary by this his ex- 
ample. How doth all the world rue that one act of his ? Had God 
lengthened his days through all generations, what curses think we would he 
have had thrown at him by his ofispring, made miserable by him, still as he 
rode through ! There is none here but will say. Were I to be in his case, I 
would never undo myself and them as he did. Why, my brethren, let me 
tell you, you that live in this kingdom have many things, yea, as great things 
committed to your trust for the good of your posterity as he had for his. If 
you ask me what ? I answer. Besides many outward hberties and privileges, 
the glorious gospel ; this book, which is all the evidence you and yours have 
to shew for that glorious inheritance in heaven, and the only means to attain 
it, which is so rich a casket as it contains the revenues of Christ's blood. 
This, as to the Jews of old, is committed unto you as yet : Kom. iii. 1, 2, 
' What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumci- 

* This was preached at St Andrew's in Cambridge, 1626, when a parliament was 

VOL. X. O 


sion ? Much every way, chiefly because that unto them were committed the 
oracles of God.' To them were committed the oracles of God, committed 
as a matter of trust to be transmitted to posterity ; for whilst men walk in any 
measure answerable unto the light of it, they are not only converted by it, 
but they whet it on their own and their children's hearts : as Deut. xi. 18-21, 
' Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, 
and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets 
between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of 
them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, 
when thou liest down, and when thou risest up ; that your days may be 
multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware 
unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.' And 
as for God's part, see what a covenant he makes with them that truly turn 
in Jacob : Isa. lix. 20, 'And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them 
that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.' As for me, for my 
part, says he, this I will make good, if men turn in Jacob. The gospel, my 
brethren, is as good as your freehold for you and yours, and God will not 
take it from you till you basely sell it, and carry yourselves unworthy of it : 
what else doth that place import, Prov. xxiii. 23, ' Buy the truth, and sell it 
not' ? God takes it away from no people, or no man till he sell it, as Esau 
did his birthright, or as Adam did his primitive condition for an apple, till 
they lay it to pledge for base lusts. Why else doth he exhort them to buy 
and sell it not ? See this in that example of the Jews, Acts xiii. 46, ' Then 
Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said. It was necessary that the word of 
God should first have been spoken to you ; but seeing ye put it from you, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting hfe, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.' 
The Jews having been the pillar of the truth of God, that had kept it and 
preserved it for many ages, when the gospel came to be preached, and more 
grace and truth discovered, new mines digged up which never saw light 
before, see what Paul and Barnabas say : Acts xiii. 46, ' It was necessary,* 
(mark it) ' necessaiy the word of God should fii'st have been spoken to you ' 
— necessary that it should have been first spoken to them in regard of 
covenant ; but, say they, ' seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves 
unworthy of everlasting Hfe, lo, we turn to the Gentiles,' and so their seed 
are left in darkness unto this day. God put them out of his will, and put 
the Gentiles in, and hath given them all. God doth as a good chapman 
doth with his old customers, they shall have the first offer of it ; but if they 
refuse, and by their contempt of it shew themselves unworthy of it, he goes 
to some other market that will give more than they. Consider also that one 
place, Piom. xi. 20, 22, « Well, because of unbelief they were broken off", and 
thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. Behold therefore 
the goodness and severity of God : on them which fell, severity ; but toward 
thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness : otherwise thou shalt be 
cut off".' 'Because of unbelief they are broken off".' Mark, if thou con- 
tinue. My brethren, let me speak freely to you. The truth hath been pur- 
chased for you, and transmitted to you at a dear rate; it cost Christ his 
blood at first, and it hath cost your forefethers something. In Queen Mary's 
days they bought it with their dearest blood ; since it hath cost many a 
preacher his best blood, spent, though not spilt for it; it cost many a prayer; 
it cost many a converted soul amongst us all their sins ; it hath cost God 
himself much patience, the riches of his forbearance (notwithstanding our 
unworthiness), spent in great deliverances ; and thus you have it yet for you 
and yours. Murderers, will you undo your children ; will you sell it away 
from you by unbelief, by remaining still in your sins ; by corrupting the 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 85 

doctrine of the church, bringing in this more corrupt tenet than that of 
Popery and Arminianism ; sell it away as spendthrifts do their lands, now a 
piece and then a piece ; run so far behind-hand by unworthy walking in it, 
till it fall mortgaged, and then you and yours be undone ? Do, cut-throats, 
do, and let your children's blood, that shall be starved for want of bread, lie 
upon your heads ! 

Use 4. Was the state of man, as he fell out of God's hands, an estate of 
holiness and righteousness ? Then to turn from sin and become a saint 
again is not a thing men should be ashamed of, or mocked for, for it was your 
primitive and first condition, that which you were all created in ; it is but a 
returning to that which all once were in Adam, and which we ought to be in 
still ; and men are damned because they are not found to be so. Remember, 
holiness is older than sin : ' God made man righteous, but they sought out 
many inventions,' Eccles. vii. 29. Sins are but new inventions and new 
fashions, which though universally received, and so have obtained, yet grace 
and holiness is the ancient fashion and apparel our forefather was arrayed 
with, which till he lost he never met with shame, and though he was naked 
he never knew what it was to be miserable. In Col. iii. 10 the apostle 
useth this motive, and in a manner this resemblance, ' Put on the new man, 
which is created in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.' 
He calls it indeed a 7iew man to be put on, in comparison of this sinful habit, 
and old rags of sin we are now apparelled with. 

Use 5. Are all born into the world sinners and enemies to God ? You 
see, then, that the devil's kingdom is aforehand provided for the maintain- 
ing of it ; his faction is sure to be increased, his army to have fresh supplies 
in every age. Every one born into the world is enrolled into his band, and 
at first fight under his colours. But Christ hath none but who turn from 
the world, and separate from it. You, then, that are for Christ, and the 
advancement of his kingdom, had need bestir yourselves for the increasing 
of his kingdom, seeing all must be won ofi" out of the companies which are 
in the devil's empire. Suppose that, whereas there is in this kingdom a 
strict law that Jesuits should not come into the land, there were a statute 
that none else but such as are Jesuited should come over, were not this 
church in danger ? Now, so is the case here. Every man that cometh into 
this world is for the devil : how, then, should we endeavour to continue a 
seed to God of his friends' children ? Otherwise the world will naturally be 
overgrown with tares. 

Use 6. You have heard what a fearful hideous sin this first sin was, on 
our father Adam's and Eve's part, who were the personal actors of it, and 
by which they overthrew all the world, which (as I then said) was a peeuUar 
guilt residing in their persons. And if it was the aggravation of Jeroboam's 
sin, and stuck by him as a brand, that he 'made all Israel to sin,' 1 Kings 
xiv. 16, then must it much more hold in Adam's sin, and He heavy on them, 
as those that made all the world to sin. We would all be ready to think 
now, that for these two, of all men else, there should nothing remain but a 
certain looking for of vengeance and fiery indignation to devour them ; 
nothing but damnation could certainly be the end of them, so abounding 
was their offence. 

But yet, my brethren, behold and WMider, God offered these two mercy 
and pardon ; yea, and when there was none to be a messenger and an am- 
bassador to bring them the news of it, rather than they should want it, God 
came himself to tell them the news of it, and to preach the gospel to them : 
Gen. iii. 8, 9, ' And they heard the voice of the Lord God, walking in the 
garden in the cool of the day : and Adam and his wife hid themselves from 


the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden. And the 
Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou ? ' He 
calls them out when they ran away from him. He took the pains to examine 
them punctually, and all the partakers in it; was content to put up an 
afiront given him by Adam to his face, that the woman that he gave him had 
ensnared him, for so far was he from asking mercy, as he obliquely, and afar 
off, chargeth God with his fall. Yet when their conscience was, for all their 
shifting, filled with terror for their sin, ver. 10, and he stood trembling by, 
and could not but look every minute when God should fly upon them in 
wrath, yet then God lets drop a word of promise of a second Adam, of whom 
he was a type, that should destroy the kingdom of sin, and cursed works of 
the devil.: ver 15, 'And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and 
between thy seed and her seed : it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt 
bruise his heel.' Yea, and undoubtedly they laid hold upon it by faith, and 
were saved, not's\'ithstanding this sin, which hath abounded so in sinfulness. 
Of the woman it is expressly said that God put enmity between her and the 
devil, such as between wicked men, and Christ and his saints, and therefore 
she (who yet was first in the ti'ansgression, and is put in the greatest blame, 
1 Tim. ii. 14) was saved, and plucked out of the kingdom of Satan ; and 
so likewise Adam ; for God preaching the gospel himself to them both, hav- 
ing first prepared them for mercy by examining their sin, surely this his 
first sermon was not in vain, himself being the preacher. And a church was 
to be called from the beginning of the world, and God's worship set up, and 
a kingdom erected in men's hearts through the preaching of man's fall, and 
the promise of a Mediator, which none but these two knew, and of which, 
therefore, it must be supposed that Adam, as a priest and prophet, instructed 
his children in, as appears from Gen. iv. 3, 4. The first news we hear of. 
his two children is theii- ofierings to God, and God's accepting Abel's : so 
as they were instructed both in the knowledge of the true God, and of the 
second covenant, and Christ revealed therein, of whom sacrifice was a figure. 
And in that Cain, a wicked man, was brought to it as well as Abel, it argues 
it was the force of his education, and his parents' authority and instruction 
brought him to it; yea, and when Abel was dead, the punishment God 
inflicted on Cain argues this, for it was an external excommunication and 
casting him out of the church, which was a real sign to him of God's cast- 
ing him from his favour and kingdom, which filled his heart with terror, as 
it doth excommunicated persons often. I say, he was excommunicated 
out of the church, which could be no other than Adam's family, for so the 
16th verse of chap. iv. e^ddently implies, for it is said, ' Cain went out from 
the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod.' And the opposi- 
tion shews that he went from a communion wherein God manifested his 
presence, to another place where he did not. And the face and presence of 
God is taken in Scripture for the society of the church, where his ordinances 
are received; Psa. xHi. 1, 2, 'As the hart panteth after the water brooks, 
so panteth my soul after thee, God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the 
living God : when shall I come and appear before God ? ' Now, there was 
no family in the world but Adam's, of which he was the head and guide. 

Considering, then, with this the greatness of their sin, what use shall we 
make of all that hath been spoken, but even to admire at the greatness and 
goodness of God's grace, which is the next thing this scripture in Rom. v. 
19, 20 suggests, ' Where sin hath abounded, grace did much more abound.' 
From the beginning of the world to this hour, there is not the like instance 
of the greatness and freeness of God's grace. For if you would go rifle the 
heap of human offences committed from the first to the last, search God's 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 37 

dobt-book wherein all men's sins are registered, you shall find none like to 
this, the sin against the Holy Ghost excepted ; it being (besides other aggra- 
vations) the mother-sin of all sins, as truly as Eve was the mother of all the 
living, as Adam calls her : Gen. iii. 20, ' And Adam called his wife's name 
Eve, because she was the mother of all living.' For, as lust conceived brings 
forth sin, so this sin ihns conceived brought forth the mother of all lust : 
causa causie est ccmsa causatl. And yet, behold mercy and pardon ofleredby 
God to these two for this sin, and that unsought for by them. Kings use 
to hang up the general ringleader in a rebellion, even when they offer pardon 
to all the rest, as an example of their justice and terror to them all. No one 
would have thought that though God might have after published his extent* 
of saving others of mankind through Christ, to the rest of men his seed, as 
being but brought in by Adam to the guilt of this rebellion, that yet neither 
he nor Eve should ever have had the least hope of it; but behold, God, 
instead of making them an example of his justice that way, hath made them 
(as he did Paul) a pattern of the riches of his grace, to toll in the rest of the 
rebels, be their sins never so great. 

That which discoarageth many a poor soul from laying hold of mercy, and 
to put off the promise of grace, as not made to them, is the guilt of some 
great and hideous sin, which, if they themselves had never so and so com- 
mitted, they would and do think that then they might have had mercy. It 
was the case of Cain, the next man to Adam, who, notwithstanding this 
instance of his father before him, yet when he had murdered his brother, he 
thought. Gen. iv. 13, * his sin greater than could be forgiven,' for so inter- 
preters! acknowledge it may be read ; and thus the Greek and Chaldee 
paraphrase translate it. And yet compare but Cain's sin with theirs : Cain 
murdered but one man, his brother, and but his body was murdered by him, 
his soul he could not kill ; but Adam and Eve murdered all men, who were 
their own children, and murdered not their bodies only, but their souls, 
these being born dead in trespasses and sins from their guilt, and the children 
of wrath by reason of that offence : Eph. ii. 1-3, ' And you hath he quick- 
ened, who were dead in trespasses and sins ; wherein in time past ye walked 
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of 
the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience : among 
whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our tlesh, 
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; and were by nature the 
children of wrath, even as others.' 

And tell me now, what can there be in any of thy sins, whosoever thou 
art, that was not in this of our first parents, who yet found mercy at God's 
hands ? If thou sayest thou hast not offended one of the little ones only 
(commandments I mean), but against the great things of the law, Adam did 
so in this, the law of the forbidden tree being the greatest commandment (as 
I formerly shewed) that God gave to man ; yea, and his sin was more also, 
as some divines shew, even against all the commandments. If thou repliest 
again, that thou hast sinned against a great deal of light (which ingredient 
aggravates sin the most of anything), our first parents had the light of the 
law recollected wholly and fully, gathered together in them, as all light was 
in the body of the sun. For Adam was the great and common taper God 
set up for us to light our candles at. And the mind of man is thus called, 
Prov. XX. 27. He had also strength enough to have withstood it, had he 
used it, which we want often when we have light enough. And evident it is, 
that Eve did distinctly consider the law given to the contrary; for before she 
ate, she herself repeated the commandment, with the penalty annexed, to the 
* Qu. ' intent "? — Ed. t Septuagiiit : Hu^m h uItik (/.ou nu a.(p'J^iMa'i f^i. 


serpent, Gen. iii. 2, 3. She did it therefore wittingly, and not out of igno- 
rance ; as Paul excuseth his great sins against the great things of the law, 

1 Tim. i. 13, 'I was a persecutor, and a blasphemer, but I did it ignorantly ;' 
so did not she. The weak light of nature, not joined with strength to do what 
it enjoins, makes the Gentiles' sins so much more sinful, Rom. i. throughout. 
And therefore so much more light, so much more sin ; then how doth their 
light aggravate this of theirs, for disobedience against light is more than 

If thou say, thou hast fallen into thy sin, since thou hast tasted of the 
good word of God, and hast been aftected with it, and the ways of God, 
which is a higher aggravation of a sin than the former, as Peter makes it, 

2 Pet. ii, 21, 'It had been better not to have known the way of righteous- 
ness, than after they have known it, to turn fi'om the holy commandment 
delivered unto them.' He speaks of a tasting and affecting knowledge there. 
Consider, our first parents' was more ; for they had enjoyed certainly sweeter 
communion and fellowship with God then, being created perfect in his image, 
and more near and intimate, than thou hast done ; and, therefore, as David 
takes it heinously, and much more heinously, an injury done him from a 
famiUar friend — Ps, Iv. 12, ' Had he been my enemy, &c., but thou my 
friend, that had took sweet counsel together,' — so might God much more 
resent it of Adam, who had tasted of his goodness, knew what comfort and 
happiness was to be had in him, and yet did forsake him. If thou thinkest 
thou hast tui'ned the gi'ace of God into wantonness, he did much more. 

If thou sayest, thou hast sinned against abundance of kindness and mercy 
received from God, and yet that immediately after that some great favour 
received, thou hast fallen into some gi'eat sin ; so did he, and much more, 
for God had obliged him to him by all the highest ties of friendship. God 
had made Adam his darling and especial favourite at his first creation ; had 
raised him out of nothing but a little before, out of the same dust the rest of 
the creatures (which sprang forth of the earth) were taken out of ; breathed 
into him an immortal soul, reasonable, which they want; set him next him- 
self, over them all in his throne : ' Have dominion,' says he, ' and subdue 
them,' Gen. i. 28; so as God might say to him as he did to David, 2 Sam. 
xii. 7, 8, ' Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over 
Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. And I gave thee thy 
master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the 
house of Israel, and of Judah ; and if that had been too little, I would more- 
over have given unto thee such and such things.' So God might have said 
to Adam : Did I not anoint thee king, gave thee a large dominion, and would 
have done much more also ? Wherefore hast thou despised the command- 
ment of the Lord, in doing evil in his sight ? If thou sayest, thou hast in 
thy sin made others sin, and to fall with thee, and hast carried others into 
the same rebellion, which is a great aggravation, as appears in Jeroboam's 
case, the great aggravation of whose sin was, that he made others to sin, 
1 Kings xiv. 16 ; why, the sin of Adam was much more, for he made men 
to sin, not only by his example, but he derived sin down to them; and he 
did what in him lay to condemn all the world ; and thousands are gone to hell 
for his sin, which sinned not so much as after the similitude of his trans- 
gression, Rom. V. 14. 

Wilt thou say, lastly, thou didst sin willingly and wilfully ? which is a 
great aggravation of sin also ; for as the more God's will is expressed against 
a sin, the greater it is ; so the more our wills are expressed in it, and for it, 
the greater the sin is too, insomuch as many make it essential to sin, that it 
be voluntary, and therefore so much the more sin, by how much more 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 39 

voluntary. Consider that this sin of Adam's was most free, most volun- 
tary, for the devil and his wife were but external means, could not have 
necessitated him to it ; and the devil could not have necessitated them unto 
it ; and so much the more free it must needs be, by how much he had no 
sin within to incline and sway his will to it, no principle for Satan to work 
on, as we all now have ; so that as Paul, being a regenerate man, complains 
to the lessening of his sin, Rom. vii. 17, it is ' not I, but sin that dwelleth 
in me,' Adam, on the contrary, might truly say. It was not sin dwelling 
in me moved me to it, but mine own will only. 

And yet thou seest that, immediately after the commission of this great 
sin, God offered him mercy ; and so he doth thee, if thou wilt lay hold on it, 
and turn to God, as indeed he did. Learn this, and remember it, that as 
you must not think you shall be received to mercy the sooner for the small- 
ness of your sins, so neither be denied it the more for the greatness of them. 
They are not simply your sins, though aggravated with all these circum- 
stances, that keep you from mercy, but your impenitency, hardness of heart, 
going on presumptuously, and saying in your hearts, as they in the begm- 
ning of the next chapter, Rom. vi. 1, ' We may continue in sin, for grace 
will abound.' And let me now turn my speech, and work upon your hearts, 
since the mere guilt of your former sins shall not hinder you from believing, 
and repenting even after Adam's example. Let me expostulate the matter 
with your impenitence and unbeUef, and aggravate it by the consideration of 
his example. You have gone on many years in hardness of heart, and a 
course of rebellion, but so did not he. He immediately, after he had en- 
tered into that rebellious course, upon a proclamation of pardon, relented 
and came in, and laid his weapons down. You have had thousands of pre- 
cious promises of mercy (he had but one) to win your hearts ; proclama- 
tion of pardon after proclamation, that he that runs may read and understand 
them, but so had not he. God let fall but one promise, and that an obscure 
one too ; yet as Benhadad's servants, 1 Kings xx. 33, watched when any 
word should fall from Ahab, that should give them intimation of the least 
of his inclination to pardon, they greedily catched at it, even so did he. 
Adam and Eve having but one promise, and hearing it but once, yet believed 
and repented, though they had no other of mankind before them that gave 
them example or hope that sinners should be received. Now great is the 
force of examples, which, as they illustrate rules, so they confirm precepts ; 
non mimis docent, qiiam pracepta. Therefore former examples help to draw 
in the heart, as well as promises, as in Paul's conversion; but now you 
have not only the example of your first parents' faith, but millions of 
examples of as great sinners as yourselves, hung out by God, as patterns 
and flags of mercy to toll ' you in. Neither need you go to fetch them from 
former ages ; you have some walking in your streets who have been as great 
sinners as you, who j^et have obtained mercy. 

If you object and say, God himself preached to Adam, but so he doth not 
to me ; I answer you, as Peter doth, 2 Pet. i. 19, speaking of the Scrip- 
tures and salvation off"ered in them : though, says he at ver. 17, ye heard 
not God's voice from heaven, which we heard, yet we have as sure a word 
of prophecy ; you have his hand for it ; and you that will not believe when 
Moses, the prophets, and apostles, and ministers, call you to repentance, 
would not, if Christ should come down and preach to you. 

What shall I say more to you ? If you wiU not lay hold on mercy thus 
ofiered, notwithstanding your sins, and repent as Adam did, you shall be 
damned, and so was not he ; yea, and with a greater condemnation than he 
should have been condemned withal, because your means are greater. 


BOOK 11. 

An unregeuerate mans guiltiness before God, in respect of that corruption of 
nature with wJdch all mankind is infected, and the whole nature of every 
man is 2>olluted and depraved. 

That which is bom of the flesh is flesh. — John III. 6. 


The words of the text explained — An enumeration of the several errors concern- 
ing original sin. — Pelagius denied that there was any such thing. — Pighius, 
and some of the schoolmen, though they acknowledge some guilt to accrue to us 
from Adam's flrst sin, yet deny any corrujjlion of nature to be derived from 
it. — The p>apists make it wholly to consist in the want of original righteous- 
ness, excluding concupiscence from being any part, and consequently deny 
what they call the motus pvimi, to be sins. — Others say that this corruption 
hath not infected all the facidties of the soul. — To refute these errors, several 
propositions asserted and proved. — That to every man born into the world 
there is more derived than the guilt of Adam's first sin. — That there is a 
corruption inherent in his nature. — That this corruption is the predominant 
2irinciple of all his actions. — That man's nature is thus totally corrujjted, 

My scope in choosing tliis text is to proceed in discovering the abounding 
sinfulness of man by nature, whereof aheady I have shewn you out of Rom. 
V. 12, the spring and source at which sin first entered upon all mankind, 
' by one man,' and ' one ofience :' by Adam our first father, whose first sin- 
fulness we, as his heirs, appointed by a just and necessary covenant, do 
inherit, as we should have done his righteousness, the particulars of whose 
debts, and the immense vastness of them, I have begun to search into, out 
of the 20th verse of the same chapter, and shewing the abounding sinful- 
ness of that sinful act and ofience, whereof I proved we were all guilty, 
which was tbe spring and flood-gate at which sin entered. 

The next thing which in order I am come to, is to sound that abound- 
ing gulf, bottomless sea, and lake of that corruption and sinfulness of nature 
within all our hearts (the miserable vessels and cisterns of it), this first act 
of sin, as the original spring and source, through the channel and conduit- 
pipe of natural generation, empties itself into and determines in. 

For as I intimated before, and this scripture will more fully inform us, 
we are arrested not only as guilty of that lirst cursed act which he person- 
ally performed, and so in regard of it ai'e termed sinners, and exposed liable 
to God's wi'ath, but also as guilty of an universal, total, sinful defilement, 
spread over all faculties of soul and body, containing in it a privation or 

Chap. L] in respect of sin and punishment. 41 

want of all good, and an inclination to all evil (which our Saviour Christ 
here, and the Scripture elsewhere, calls flesh), which is traduced unto us by 
birth and fleshly generation, ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh,' and 
which infects all mankind, even all that is said to be ' born of flesh,' all that 
is in man : ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh.' 

And that this is Christ's meaning here, appeareth by the coherence of the 
words, for his scope is to convince Nicodemus of the necessity of regenera- 
tion, whereby a man is to be made, and all in man, * spirit,' or ' a spiritual 
man,' as the word spirit may be interpreted : 1 Cor. ii. 15, ' But he that is 
spiritual judge th all things, yet he himself is judged of no man ;' and a man 
is thus made spiritual by the work of the Holy Ghost. ' That which is born 
of the Spirit is spirit;' and he convinceth him by this reason, because all 
that is born in man by the first birth is nothing but flesh, that is, a thing 
contrary (as the opposition to spirit shews) to that which the Holy Ghost 
works. It is a mere lump and mass of sin inhering and sticking in man's 
nature, as you shall hear afterwards when I come to open what this flesh is. 

Before I do that, let me present to your view a link and chain of the con- 
trary errors about original sin, with the doctrines and deductions I shall 
make hence, which will evidently refute those errors, as being diametrically 
opposed unto them. 

All W'hich errors have not been so much in going too far, or in making too 
great a matter of it, but diminishing and extenuating it rather, thereby to 
make way for the extenuating withal, more or less, according as this is ex- 
tenuated, even of the superabounding grace of Christ ; for as long as that 
stands true that is said, Eom. v. 20, that the more man's sinfulness 
abounds, the more God's grace superabouuds, grace being but the remedy 
or medicine of sin, so long it will be charged on those that extenuate and 
lessen man's natural sinfulness, that so far as they do extenuate it, they ex- 
tenuate and make void, and take from the grace of Christ; for he that lessens 
the disease disparageth the virtue of the medicine. 

View but the errors in their several degrees of detracting from it, begin- 
ning at the lowest step or stair. 

First, Pelagius at one stroke dasheth out all the debt, and says that we 
stand bound to God for nothing by reason of it. He denies any communi- 
cation of the guilt of Adam's fact, or corruption of nature thence traduced, 
and says that all the harm Adam did was to bring in a bad example, which 
we all follow, and in no other sense did sin enter upon the world. Suitable 
to which conceit of man's sinfulness is that of Socinus, concerning Christ's 
righteousness and grace through him, that all that Christ did was to give a 
good example, and to shew the way to heaven. 

Secondly, Pighius and some few of the schoolmen they further acknow- 
ledge guilt and binding over all to death by reason of being guilty of the first 
sinful act indeed ; but corruption of nature thence traduced, they acknow- 
ledge not. That look as the papists do acknowledge sanctification or in- 
herent righteousness, but without Christ's righteousness imputed, and so 
diminish from the abounding of grace, so, on the contrary, these aclmow- 
ledge condemnation indeed for Adam's oflence, but without inherent 
coiTuption conveyed, and so detract from man's corruption and sinfulness. 

Thirdly, Some other more secret entrenchments upon the boundless limits 
of God's grace, acknowledge indeed a true and real imputation of the guilt of 
Adam's sin, yea, and also a want of original righteousness, a corruption also 
and disease of nature inherently derived, which is here called flesh, yet they 
circumcise the sinfulness of it, as you shall hear afterwards. 

FourthUj, The papists, though they further acknowledge in this point more 


than those others, viz., that that corruption which is thus in us is a sin, yet 
half the debt they strike out of the account; for making it only to consist in 
the want of original righteousness, they cut off the grossest and greatest part 
of it, denying concupiscence to be a part of it. 

Fifthly, Both they and others do exclude some of the faculties of the soul 
from being infected with it, making fewer debtors in man obliged to death 
by reason of it than indeed there are : so to maintain their detraction from 
tbe sanctifying grace of Christ in conversion in this, as in the former they 
did from the justifying gi-ace of Christ. 

Against all which, in my following discourse, I shall (God assisting) 
oppose and make good these several propositions, diametrically opposite. 

Against the fu-st, that which hath been delivered out of Rom. v. 12 may 

Against the other, out of this text, and other scriptures compared with it, 
take these ensuing conclusions. 

I. That there is something inherently derived to us by birth, called here 
flesh, which is more than simply the guilt of Adam's sinful act committed 
by him. 

II. Which I will prove to be a corruption of our nature ; which, put to- 
gether with the former, contradicteth Pighius his error. 

III. That it is properly a sin ; which contradicts the third error. 
And in shewing the great sinfulness of it, that it is, 

IV. More than a want of righteousness, and also a positive inclination to 
all evil ; which is against the fourth error. 

V. That also it is seated in each particular faculty of soul and body : 
' That which is born of the flesh is flesh,' there is not one thing in man but 
is infected with it ; which is opposite to the last error. 

I. The first is that, by birth, there is more derived than the guilt of 
Adam's sin, something else that sticks in our natures ; for it is here said, 
' that which is born of the flesh is flesh ; ' and for the meaning of the 
words, when he says of flesh, he means, of man after a fleshly manner; but 
by the latter, is flesh, he means not flesh and blood, the substance of man, 
but inherent corruption. For as in the next words, ' that which is born of 
the Spirit is spirit,' spirit, which is the thing begotten, and differs from 
the Spirit which is the begetter, and notes out the new creature of holiness 
wrought in the soul, and inherent there, and therefore is called ' the seed 
of God remaining in him,' 1 John iii. 9, so likewise flesh notes out 
inherent corruption, which is derived by generation, which also is evident 
from Gal. v. 17, ' For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit 
against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other.' Flesh and 
spirit there are put as two inherent qualities, conveyed by these two several 
births, and so are there opposed ; I say, inherent qualities, sticking in 
man's nature ; for the flesh is said to have works or fruits, in Gal. v. 19 : 
' Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these : adultery, for- 
nication,' &c. Whence it appears that this flesh is a rooted thing in man's 
nature, whence operations flow, as buds from a root, which though they be 
transient, yet the root sticks in the earth ; and so it is as to this flesh in 
man's heart. 

Secondly, The scope of Christ shews it, for it is to shew what need, yea, 
necessity, there is of regeneration, which is nothing else but a working of 
new spiritual dispositions in the whole man, called here spirit, without which 
no man shall enter into heaven ; for says Christ, ' that which is born of the 
flesh is flesh,' whereby therefore he must needs mean the clean contrary to 
the spirit of holiness, which is to be wrought in the soul. Now, then, if 

Chap. I.] in respect of sin and punishment. 48 

only a guilt from Adam was derived, and no corruption inherent in the soul, 
we should need only justification, which is properly a doing away of the 
guilt of sin ; but Christ says there is a work of regeneration also required, 
which is a renewing the nature of man, making it of flesh, spirit, regenera- 
tion being a work upon the soul ; therefore flesh notes out a corruption 
sticking in the soul. 

'Thirdly, The manner of the predication here used shews it ; for flesh is 
predicated of man (as he is first born) in the abstract, which if it noted out 
only the act of Adam's sin, could not be. 

So tbat the first doctrine I propound in these terms, which I will severally 
explain, is this, 

That in every man's nature, that is born into the w'orld, there is a mass 
of corruption that inheres or sticks in him, which is the principle of all his 
actions, whence they proceed; yea, which is in some sense the nature of man, 
as being the predominant quahty, which is in all, and guides all. 

And this is directly contrary to the error of those that say Adam's sin is 
only conveyed. This I will particularly explain. 

1st, I say it is corruption; for so this, which is called here flesh, is called 
in Eph. iv. 22, ' the old man, which is corrupt,' &c. Now, then, corrup- 
tion must needs be of something which was good before ; and even so it is, 
God made man righteous, now he is depraved and defiled, his nature is 
corrupted; and instead of being a living body, he is now become as a dead 
body, that hath in it nothing but corruption and putrefaction. I fu'st call 
it corruption, because it is a distinct thing to prove it to be a sin, which I 
will shew afterwards, against such as deny concupiscence to be a sin. 

2dly, It is a corruption which I say sticks or cleaves to a man's nature, 
for so it is said to do expressly, to ' dwell in a man,' Rom. vii. 17, 18. 
* Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in vie. For I 
know that in me (that is, in my flesh) divelleth no good thing : for to will is 
present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not.' So a 
man hath not only acts of sin which are transient, which but come from him 
and so away, but he hath a root and spring of sin dwelling and residing in 
him, and not only adjacent to him, but inhabitant in him; it is not -n-a^a- 
•KiilMivov, rra^d/iiirai , but i>, o/xoDua, a/xa^Tia, peccatum hahituns ; and not only 
so, but encompassing about, and so to be resisted on all hands : Heb. xii. 1, 
' Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great cloud of wit- 
nesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset 
us.' It is svjreoidTaTov afj:,aPT!av, peccaluni facile circumsta)is. Now all this 
implies more than acts. 

3dly, It is a corruption which is the principle, predominant of all his 
actions, whence all his works proceed, as appears from Gal. v. 19, ' Now 
the works of the flesh are manifiest, which are these: adultery, fornication,' 
&c. The flesh is said to have works and fruits, as being a root in man's 
nature, and so it is called: Deut. xxix. 18, * Lest there should be among you 
a root that beareth gall and wormwood ;' Heb. xii. 15, ' Lest any root of 
bitterness springing up, trouble you, and thereby may be defiled.' A root it is 
which brings forth gall and wormwood, that is, bitter fruits of sin, and which 
is therefore said to be an energetical thing, which works in our members, 
and brings forth fruit to death : Rom. vii. 5, ' For when we were in the 
flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members, 
to bring forth fruit unto death.' Bitter fruits : Jer .ii. 19, ' Thine own wicked- 
ness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee : know 
therefore, and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken 
the Lord thy God,' &c. Grapes of gall, and clusters that are bitter: Deut. 


xxxii. 32, ' For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of 
Gomorrah : their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter.' 

4thly, I say, there is a bundle or mass of this corruption, and therefore 
it is called a body that hath multitude of members : Col. ii. 11, 'In whom 
also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting 
ofi" tlie body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.' It is a 
hody of the sins of the flesh, of abounding dimensions, a body that hath 
inwards and outwards, gross and more sensible dispositions to fleshly lusts, 
that war in the members, and also secret entrails of atheism, contempt of 
God, distrust and hatred of God, not discernible to a man, till God's Spirit 
doth cut this anatomy up. And so also Solomon says of it, that there is a 

* bundle of folly in the heart of a child, till the rod fetch it out,' Prov. xxii. 15. 
There is a pack or bundle wrapped up in his heart, a pack of rotten and^corrupt 
wares which sticketh there; for the rod, through God's Spirit working, is said 
to fetch it out; and this in the heart of a child, even before the pack be opened, 
and all the wares be brought to light by actual sins ; for they are said to be 
bound up there till then ; and therefore Augustine says, ImbectUitas mem- 
hroriim in/antinm innocens est, non aninms iiifaiitimn. Yea, and this in the 
very conception ; therefore David says, Ps. ii. 5, ' Behold, I was shapen in 
iniquity ; and in sin did my mother conceive me. ' He means more than 
barely a guilt of Adam's sin, for he says, he was conceived in sin, which 
notes out more than Adam's one sin, spoken of in Rom. v. 18. And that 
he means sin sticking to his inward parts, appears by the next words, 

* Thou requirest truth in the inward parts ;' as if he had said, I have not 
only committed this sinful act of adultery, but there is even in my inward 
parts sin sticking from my very conception ; whereas * thou requirest, 
Lord,' says he, * in the inward parts, truth;' and David's scope is to con- 
fess the spring from whence that his great act of sin sj)rung, even from the 
sin wherein he was conceived. 

5thly, This corruption is, as it were, the very nature of man, and there- 
fore is predicated in the abstract, and implies more than an ordinary quality, 
even such an one as doth explain what the very nature and definition of man 
is ; for it is not said to be fleshly, but flesh, as if it was a thing that doth 
ingredi essentiam et deflnitionem, as if divinity had found out another and a 
further definition of man, that philosophy falls short of. Philosophers define 
man to be mdmal rationale, Christ defines him to be flesh, that is, sin and 
corruption, contrary to grace, this being his very nature, as divinity con- 
siders him now as fallen. And in that it is made the definition of man's 
nature, as it were in the abstract, it argues it is a thing inherent in us. 
But to enlarge a little on this notion. 

1. Definitions are taken from things which are insita vaturd, bred in 
nature ; none but essential properties are ingredients in definitions. 

And 2. Definitions are taken from the most predominant qualities where 
the essence is unknown; so flesh or sinful corruption being a more predomi- 
nant principle in man's nature than reason itself, for it doth not only guide 
all, and even reason itself (as reason doth all in a man by way of influence), 
but which is more, it resides in all of a man, which reason doth not. It is, 
as it were, another form in man's nature, tota in toio ; therefore, says he, 
' that which is born of the flesh is flesh.' It cleaves to all the faculties as 
the seat and sulyect of it, whereas reason hath a seat by itself in the soul, 
distinct from other faculties, though it rules them. 

Yea, and 3, which is more, this corruption it is so essential and predomi- 
nant, and so universally diflused and seated in the whole man, that tbere is 
a mutual predication, as it were, between man and it, aud both in the 

Chap. I.] in respect of sin and punishment. 45 

abstract. And as here you see man's nature, and all that is in it, is call<3d 
Hesh, so, Eph. iv. 22, this corruption is called the man, ' put off the old man ; ' 
that is, not the substance of man's nature, because then Christ had not 
assumed the same nature with us ; and besides, can a man run away from 
himself, or put off himself as he doth his clothes ? No. Therefore by the 
old man is meant the corruption that we have from Adam, called therefore 
old, and the old man, because it is seated in, and guides, and is the nature 
of the whole man, for so it follows, 'which is corrupt,' &c. It is also a 
corruption you see this old man is which is born by the first birth, and there- 
fore also a thing sticking in a man, else why is it said to be put off, as being 
res adjacens, and hanging about him? Therefore also,! Cor. iii. 3, to be 
carnal and to be a man is made the same thing, ' Are ye not carnal and 
fleshly, and walk as men ? ' that is, according to your kind and nature, and 
those carnal properties that stick in you ; not that this corruption is the 
substance of man, for then Christ, being without sin, should be irgcovff/o; ; so 
that this first deduction is every way clear out of the text. 

Now, that man's nature is become thus corrupt, and turned flesh, and a 
bundle of folly and corruption, and that it is their nature, 

I will give you, first, some demonstrations of it ; secondly, reasons. 

I. The first demonstration is taken, 

1. From experience taken from all mankind. 

First, All men sin from their youth. The first act that discovers reason in 
a child hath sin also mingled with it. Take any child and observe him, and 
watch him when the first springings forth and dawnings of reason begin to 
appear, and they are corrupt ; they express reason only in sinning, as in 
readiness to please themselves by doing harm to others, or excusing them- 
selves by lying, and in pride of apparel ; and also their natural inclination 
to revenge is seen, because they are often quieted by seeing the thing beaten 
that hath offended them ; hence the poet of the child, Irani colUrjit, et ponit 

And this the Scripture, upon God's general observation, tells, Gen. viii. 21, 
that they are evil from their youth, from the first thought to the last, which 
argues it is nature in them. If the tree be known by the fruit, much more 
by the first fruits. 

Secondly, All men sin continually ; not only their first actions are such, 
but all are continually such, which shews it is nature, for quod convenit semper, 
est natnrale ; and this God upon the like experience says. Gen. vi. 5, that 
their ' thoughts were evil continually.' 

Thirdly, It is thus not with a few, but with all men, not one excepted, 
which argues it to be a nature also, for quod convenit omni, est naturale ; and 
so. Gen. vi. 12, it is said that ' all flesh hath corrupted their ways.' 

Fourthly, They do all this of their own accord, as the devil is said to sin 
of his own ; they slide into these actions sine impulsore, without example or 
precept ; therefore Solomon, the wise searcher into the cause of things, 
found the original of all iniquity to be this, that they of their own accord 
' sought out many inventions,' Eceles. vii. 29. So likewise in the Proverbs, 
' A child left to himself puts his mother to shame,' Prov. xxix. 15. You 
need not teach him to sin, but only leave him to himself, and he will soon 
shame his mother. Now things that are not natural must have teachers and 
practice before we can learn them ; as take a man that did never swim in his 
life, and he must be taught to swim before he can do it. Though there is in 
man some remote power to it by nature, yet use must be added; but take 
a beast, or take a little whelp, and throw him into the water, and he will 


swim presently, because nature hath taught him. Even so it is in the soul 
to anything which is more than nature, it must have a teacher. 

Fifthly, And not only thus left to themselves do they run into evil, but 
the jMndus et impetus naturcB can hardly be restrained by the best means 
that art or education can aflford. That which cannot be restrained is natural ; 
Natiiram expellas furca, tamen usque recurrit:* if it be bred in the bone, it 
will never be got out of the flesh. Since you see also that sin is natural, for 
it cannot be expelled, all good means of education, admonition, &c., will not 
keep your children from sinning. Though you should bray a fool in a 
mortar, yet he would be a fool still. Indeed, Solomon saith, ' the rod of 
correction will drive it out ; ' but it is not in the means themselves, but in 
the blessing of God upon them, and sanctifying them to that end ; all which 
shews that it is natural, even as the natural spring which is the fountain of 
all these corrupt actions. 

2. This is confirmed also by testimonies, that man' by nature is corrupt. 

1st, By the testimonies of the Gentiles themselves, who knew this out of 
observation and experience, and yet they wanted the light of the law and 
gospel to tell them that ' whatsoever is born of the flesh is flesh.' 

So ^sop compared nature to a garden, that is, mater vitiis, virtiitibus 
noverca ; and Plato, lib. ii. de Rep. homines naturd malos esse, et adduci non 
posse, ut jiistitiam colant. 

2dly, All the world do suppose so much, for there are several offices in 
the world that imply so much by general appointment ; for to what end are 
magistrates appointed in all kingdoms and in all ages, if there had not been 
this corruption of nature to be bridled and restrained ? 

Again, upon this supposition that nature is corrupt, all nations made their 
laws, which were not only to restrain the corruptions then in act and raging, 
but to be left as legacies to posterity, as remedies and medicines, which they 
would not have done had they not conceived the nature that they propa- 
gated unto them to be hereditarily corrupted. Medicina supponit mprbum, 
physic was not found out before diseases ; multitudo legum et medicorum 
cegrotam arguit rempublicam, et immensa ilia volumina legum, quid nisi 
publicce corruptionis tabulm ? 

If you should come into a town, and see many physicians there, you would 
presently conclude that it were a diseased place, or else what should so many 
physicians do there? So if you see so many laws and offices to suppress sin 
and corruption, this argues, cegrotam esse rempublicam, that the government 
is sicklj'. And in that they were made and appointed for after-times, it 
must needs shew that they did presuppose it should be to the end of the 

Again, the calling of the ministry doth argue that men are corrupt, and 
that they will be so to the end of the world, in that Christ hath ordained 
ministers to the end of the world. Now the calling of the ministry is for 
no other end but to watch over men's souls, to exhort them, &c., and by all 
means to keep them from sin, and to beget men to God by the immortal 
seed of the word, which argues^ that men are corrupt, for in heaven there 
shall need no preaching. 

3dly, The law of God given to us by God, sheweth us no less, for the 
law is not given to a righteous man, 1 Tim. i. 9 ; for man being righteous 
at first, was a law to himself; he had no law written, but only the law writ- 
ten in his heart ; and therefore the laws given to us are tabulce nostra corrup- 
tionis, tables and ensigns of our corruption ; and in that also the law is 
given negatively, as that, ' Thou shalt have none other gods but me ;' ' Thou 

* Horatius. 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 47 

shnlt not make to thyself any graven image ;' * Thou shalt not take the name 
of the Lord thy God in vain,' &c. : this shews that man's nature falls cross 
with the law, and is opposite to it, for every negative is founded upon an 
affirmative. Therefore, because man's nature is turned cross to God's law, 
therefore the law is turned cross to it ; and the Lord saith. Thou shalt not 
do this or that, which argues that man's nature is wholly corrupt, and so 
apt to do contrary to that which the law commands. 

4thly, The gospel also tells us as much ; for, 1, Christ was made like to 
us in all infirmities but sin : Heb. iv. 15, ' For we have not an High Priest 
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all 
points tempted like as we are, yet without sin' (speaking of his human nature). 
2. The gospel ofiers Christ to you, not only to justify, but also to sanctify 
you; and therefore it is said, 1 Cor. i. 30, 'But of him are ye in Christ 
Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sancti- 
fication, and redemption.' From whence is plainly inferred, that all men 
by nature are corrupt ; for if the gospel reveal Christ, not only to convey a 
blessed righteousness, whereby we may appear holy and righteous before 
the Lord, but also an inherent righteousness to sanctify our nature, then the 
first Adam brought upon us, not only the guilt of his sin, but also the cor- 
ruption of our nature, and. there is this reason for it, because as it is, Rom. 
V. 13, the first Adam was a ' type of him that was to come,' so that, if the 
second Adam brought righteousness imputed and inherent, then the first 
Adam brought not only guilt, but the corruption of nature also. 

Again, in that Christ is made unto us sanctification, it argues thus 
much ; for if there were no corruption, what needed sanctification ? And 
what need infants, that cannot commit actual sin, to be said to be sancti- 
fied from the womb, as some are ? What need it, I say, if there had been 
no defilement ? 

Again, the remedy must be proportioned to the disease ; and if only 
Adam's sin were conveyed to us, then our justification only were sufficient ; 
but there must be sanctification also, and therefore there is a defilement of 
nature also. And therefore the sacraments of circumcision and baptism 
were ordained even for infants ; and baptism is called ' a washing away of 
the filth of the flesh,' in respect of this natural corruption, 1 Pet. iii. 21. 
All which argues that all men by nature are wholly corrupt. 

Therefore we are hence to take notice, that we are all, as we came into 
the world, corrupt, and our nature is defiled. What is grace, then ? It is 
not only an imputation of the righteousness of Christ, but as you look to be 
saved by Christ's righteousness, so you must look also to get inherent right- 
eousness from Christ, for every remedy must be proportioned to the disease ; 
and therefore if you look to be justified by Christ, you must be sanctified 
also ; and thou that lookest to be saved by thy good works, I tell thee thou 
must have grace within, a root within, which the stony ground wanted ; thou 
must have oil in thy vessels with thy lamps, which the foolish virgins had 
not. Therefore consider whether thou hast a new frame of heart within, and 
art made a new creature. 


What are the reasons or causes of the corruption of man's nature. — That 
Adam's nature icas presently depraved by the commission of his first sin. — 
That if Adam's first act of sin had an influence to corrxipt his nature, it 
hath tlie same influence to deprave ours, we being guilty of the first sin, as 


veil as Adam himself was. — How mans soul, which proceeds not from the 
parents, but is created by God, comes to be corrupted by sin. 

Now, to shew you the grounds why our natures are thus corrupted, and 
not only the guilt of Adam's offence conveyed. 

First, If Adam's nature was stained and corrupted with an inherent cor- 
ruption by the act, then must ours also, if we be guilty of it as well as he, 
by an equal and necessary covenant. The proof of this consequence I 
will prove anon ; but Adam, by the commission and guilt of that first 
actual sin, had, and that necessarily, his nature thus stained and cor- 
rupted ; which proposition I will first prove, the truth of the other being 
built upon it. 

1. iJe facto, That his nature was thus thereby corrupted, and the image 
of God extinguished, it appears by what is spoken of him, as the effect and. 
immediate consequent following on it ; and this by a sensible alteration 
which Adam found in himself, for he found himself naked, and that not only 
in body, to cover which he sewed two fig-tree leaves, as Gen. iii. 7, ' And the 
eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they 
sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.' But he found 
himself naked in soul also : ver. 10, ' And he said, I heard thy voice in the 
garden ; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.' For it 
was such a nakedness as made him afraid of God's wrath, exposed him to it, 
which his bodily nakedness did not ; ' I heard thy voice in the garden ; and 
I was afraid, because I was naked.' Now nakedness is the want of some 
garment which a man should be clothed with ; now if you would know what 
garment it was he wanted, see Col. iii. 10, ' Put on the new man, which is 
renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.' He speaks 
here expressly of the image of God, wherein man was fii'st created ; and 
likens it to a gaiTnent, as the phrase putting on implieth. Now, in Gen. 
i. 26, it is said indeed of Adam, that he was created in God's image, clothed 
with it as with a garment ; and now you see he is stripped of it, he is be- 
come naked, naked in soul, and therefore afraid of God ; and so nakedness 
is used for the want of God's image we were at first created in : 2 Cor. 
V. 2, 3, ' For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with 
our house which is fi'om heaven : if so be that, being clothed, we shall not be 
found naked.' We shall be clothed with glory, if we be found clothed, viz. 
with grace, and not naked. Nakedness is taken for the want of the image 
of God. Neither was Adam only naked, as stripped of this robe of God's 
image ; but. Gen. v. 3, you shall find him clothed with an image, which in 
opposition to God's (wherein at first he was created) is called his own 
twice ; and in the same words, as in the other place. Gen. i. 26, says God 
twice, ' Let us create man according to our own image, our likeness ;' there 
in Gen. v. 3, it is said of Adam, as in opposition, that he begat Seth in his 
image, his likeness ; which image of his, therefore, is differenced from 
Christ's image : 1 Cor. xv. 47-49, ' The first man is of the earth, earthy ; 
the second man is the Lord fi-om heaven. As is the earthy, such are they 
that are earthy ; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are 
heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also 
bear the image of the heavenly.' Adam's image is here distinguished from 
the image of Christ as a diflering thing, as much differing as earth and 
heaven : whereas otherwise, the image which God created Adam in at 
first, is the same which we have from Christ, as appears by Col. iii. 10, 
for the new man is called the image which God created man in at first. This 
you see, de facto, was the immediate consequent of the first sin in him. 

Chap. II. J in respect of sin and punishment. 49 

2. In reason it could not be otherwise, but that that first offence should 
corrupt his nature thus, and deprive him of God's image ; for an act of sin, 
or transgression of the law, though it be a transient thing, yet by whomso- 
ever it be committed, it hath a permanent effect and consequent, and leaves 
behind it a depravation of God's image, and an inherent defilement and cor- 
ruption ; and though it comes out from the soul, yet it casts defilement into 
it : Mat. xv. 18-20, ' But those things which proceed out of the mouth 
come forth from the heart ; and they defile the man. For out of the heart 
proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, 
blasphemies : these are the things which defile a man ; but to cat with un- 
washen hands defileth not a man.' Those evil thoughts which come from 
the heart do defile the man, Christ says, do leave a stain, a corruption, a 
defilement behind them. And this I take to be the evidant meaning of that 
place, Rom. vi. 19, 20, ' As ye have yielded your members servants to un- 
cleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members 
servants to righteousness, unto holiness.' The apostle here brings a most 
effectual motive why men should not serve sin, for, s:iys he, the more you 
serve it, the more you are brought into bondage by it, for every act of service 
you do to it makes your natiu'es more prone to it, fills them with all iniquity 
(for that is the meaning, neither can there be any other, of ' serving iniquity 
unto iniquity'), a new and further stain, and impression, and defilement 
being left upon the soul by every act, as the fruit, consequent, and efl;ect 
that every sinful act ends in ; whereas in serving righteousness, as the con- 
trary, you do not only thereby do that whereof the end is eternal life, but 
increase holiness still in your hearts, every act making the heart more holy, 
and so every sin the heart more sinful : therefore, ver. 22, he says, the 
'fruit is holiness,' besides, 'the end everlasting life.' So that Adam com- 
mitting that act of iniquity, he did not barely commit that single act, and 
there to be an end, but iniquity was the fruit of it, iniquity defiling, cor- 
rupting his heart, and bringing the whole man in bondage into sin, by stain- 
ing his nature with a proneness to all iniquity. So, 2 Peter ii. 19, ' While 
they promise themselves liberty, they themselves are the servants of 
corruption : for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in 
bondage.' This is a rule which all victors observe, that if they overcome, 
they bring in bondage, clap irons and bolts upon a man ; so, says he there, 
doth sin and corruption. When a man's heart hath been overcome and 
foiled by one act of it, it brings all into bondage, casts out that which ruled 
before, and chains the heart to sinful practices for ever after by evil dis- 
positions which it engenders in it. So that Adam's heart being overcom^ 
by that act, his nature was corrupted thereby, and chained to all manner of 
lusts and pleasures. 

But you will say, though indeed custom in sinning may thus change 
Adam's heart, expel grace out, and defile it, as the prophet says, Jer. xiii. 23, 
that being accustomed to do evil, makes the heart defiled as the blackmoor's 
skin, spotted as the leopard's. But will one act do it ? 

I answer, yes ; one act of sin expels all grace, and leaves a proneness or 
bondage to all sin in the heart. 

1. Because the punishment of the least sin is, that a man shall lose all 
grace, and that his nature shall be brought into bondage by it, as Gen. ii. 17, 
' That day thou eatest thou shalt die the death,' all manner of deaths ; not 
death temporal only : that was not then fulfilled; nor of eternal in hell : for 
that follows upon the temporal ; but death spiritual, whereby the soul is 
deprived of spiritual life, and become dead in sin. As a man that commits 

VOL. X. D 


a murder, or an act of high treason against the king, hath his goods and 
life taken from him, so Adam, for that one act of rebellion, wherein he 
committed high treason against God, deserved to have all grace taken from 
him, as indeed he had, Eom. iii. 23, ' For all have sinned and come short 
of the glory of God.' 

But, 2, this is not all ; for this one act of sinning did not only deserve to 
have grace taken away, and to have nature coiTupted, and so taken away 
as a punishment, but it did also by a physical energy expel it, not only by 
a penal, political consequence, but by a physical, causal consequence, even 
as a stab a man gives himself causally separates the soul and body, and 
leaves the carcase a dead thing, or as cold in water expels heat in fire. 

For (1.) it separates betwixt God and a man. Now, as the soul is the 
life of the body, so was God the life of Adam's soul ; and grace in him was 
but the light of God, as the sun shining in his heart, as the beams of the 
sun do in the air, and as lumen est imar/o lucis, so grace in Adam's heart was 
the image of God. Now, as whatsoever comes but between the sun and the 
air, may be said truly to extinguish the light in the air, by cutting the beams 
off from their head, out of which they>anish, so sin coming between God 
and Adam, extinguished the light and life of grace in his heart, and left it 
nothing but sin and a lump of darkness. * 

(2.) It was not only the cause interposing, and so depriving him of God's 
image, but expulsive, as one contrary expels another ; for contraria mutiw se 
expeUunt. Now, every act of sin is contrary to holiness, and it is said to be 
enmity against God and his law : Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is 
enmity against God ; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed 
can be.' If sin be contrary to God's law, so by consequence it is to his 
image ; for the image of God was the lav/ written in Adam's heart. And to 
the same intent it is said, Rom. vii. 23, * But I see another law in my mem- 
bers warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to 
the law of sin which is in my members.' It wars against the law of the 
mind, that is, the image of the law in the mind; the least act of sin dot'.i 
so, and the habit but by the acts ; and so Gal. v. 17, ' For the flesh lustet i 
against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh : and these are coutriiry 
the one to the other ; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would ;' the 
one and the other, and their acts, ax'e said to be contraiy. 

Ohj. But you will say. One contrary expels not another, unless it be 
stronger ; as Christ says, ' The strong man yields not up the house, unless 
a stronger than he comes.' 

Ans. It is true ; but know, that one act of sin is stronger than all created 
grace and holiness in itself, and therefore overcoming the heart, the will, in 
which grace was, expels it. Take all other contrary acts, and they weaken 
their contrary habits, but do not expel them , lut one act of sin not only 
weakens grace, but expels it, for it is stronger. See the strength of the 
power of sin above gi-ace in itself, \\\ the accusing power. Suppose Adam 
had lived in the state of holiness thons'^nds of years, and served God per- 
fectly all that while, one act of sin would have marred all his service, and 
condemned him ; he had lost all as if it had never been. Now, upon the 
same ground it hath as much power to expel grace, and therclore it is called 
'the old leaven,' whereof a little leavens the whole: 1 Crr. v. 6, 7, 'Your 
glorying is not good. Ivnow ye not that a little leave i leaveneth the whole 
lump ? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye miy bo a new lump, as 
ye are unleavened.' It is called the old leaven, because it was that which 
leavened Adam's heai't, and ours from him, expelling grace out. 

If you ask. Whence hath sin this power ? 

Chap. II. | in respect of sin and punishment. 61 

I answer, from the law: 1 Cor. xv. 55, *0 death, where is thy sting? 
grave, where is thy victory ?' From which lav/ grace too in him had its 
strength to justify ; and which law, whilst Adam kept in every part, he kept 
grace in his heart ; hut if a man breaks it in one, he breaks it in all, and so 
that original conformity to the law in a man's nature is expelled, and he 
made prone to olieud in all : James ii. 10, ' For whosoever shall keep the 
whole law, and yet oft'end in one point, ho is guilty of all ;' for as grace was 
held by keeping it, grace must be lost therefore by the breach. 

But, you will say, according to this, grace in a regenerate man's heart 
would be extinguished by every act of sin, whenas it is called the seed that 
remains: 1 John iii. 9. ' Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for 
his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 

I answer, there is not the same case of Adam's grace and a regenerate 
man's, for the strength of Adam's grace was only the law and a legal cove- 
nant, and one breach of it is stronger than all grace given and held by that 
covenant ; but the strength of a regenerate man's grace is the gospel, a nesv 
covenant, backed with the strength of Christ, the power of God : 2 Cor. 
xii. 9, ' And he said unto me. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength 
is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in 
my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.' Grace is there- 
fore made sufficient and strong enough in time to overcome sin and all 
thorns in the flesh, not because in itself it is stronger, but because God's 
power joins with grace, which grace is there called weakness ; and this 
power which joins with grace, sin cuts us not off from the derivation of it, 
because it cuts not off a man from Christ, that is the spring and fountain of 
grace: Rom. viii. 38, 39, ' For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, 
nor angels, &c., shall be able to separate us from the Jove of God which is 
in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Nothing is able to separate us from the love of 
God and Christ. 

For that other proposition, that if Adam's nature was thu? corrupted by 
that act, then must ours, we being guilty of it as well as he ; the conse- 
quence stands upon a treble reason, the one of which is a degree to the 
other, and either enough to prove it. 

First, If it were no more than that Adam was the person representing 
all mankind, what befell him by virtue of anything done 'by him wherein he 
represented us, must befall all as well. Now in that act (as I formerly 
shewed) he represented us all. To give you an instance of this : they say 
that when the devil appears in any shape, representing the person of the 
witch with whom the covenant is made, look what either mischief the devil 
then doth, the witch is said to do it ; and look what hurt seems to befall the 
shape he takes on him, cutting off a member, &c., the same mischief he hath 
power to execute on the witch herself. This hath been related b}' the confes- 
sions of witches, and this is done by a covenant. So now Adam being by a 
just covenant the representative person of all mankind, look what he doth 
they are said to do, and what hurt he sustains by any act he represents us 
in, we sustain also ; as your burgesses in parliament house, if they will do 
such acts whereby the privileges of subjects are infringed and lost, they lose 
not their own rights only, but those of the countries they represent also. So 
Adam being the representative of all mankind, had the privilege and great 
charter by which we all hold our grace ; and he doing this act whereby he 
lost his own, lost ours also. And this reason will hold : suppose we had 
been all alive then, and never in his loins, but had been immediately created 
with him, and had personally all severally had grace in our hearts, yet he 
representing us thus, and having broke the great charter, the law, though but 


in one thing, all had been void, all the rich endowments of grace we held by 
it might and would have been taken from us. 

But add to this, secondhj, that our nature was in him, that he had all 
our stock cemmitted to him, and we to have it paid and derived to us at the 
day of our births ; then since he by this act lost all grace, lost all at one bad 
throw, suppose in that throw he had not represented us, yet his loss had 
been our loss, as the spending of a prodigal father, or feoffee in trust for 
some under age, is the loss of the children and young ones also, and they 
are undone by it ; for nihil- dare potest, quod in se non habet, nothing can give 
■what it hath not. We might have sued him, indeed, but recover nothing 
we could, for as ex nihilo nihil fit in philosophy, out of nothing comes no- 
thing, so where nothing is nothing can be had in law, but the king himself 
loseth his right. 

Add to this, thirdly, that vre -were to have our natures from him by 
natural generation, concerning which God had given this especial law, that 
everything shall bring forth according to its kind ; and God had given this 
power to Adam before he fell, * increase and multipij^' in all which multipli- 
cation of his the law of nature would have taken place, siniile generat simile, 
like begets its like. As his nature before that act had God's image on it, so 
we should have had it conveyed by virtue of that law, so now, on the coe- 
trary, he having contracted a corrupt nature, deprived of grace and filled with 
sin, we must have the same image by the law of nature, though we suppose 
the other considerations cut off. John iii. 6, that which is born of the 
flesh must be flesh ; and. Gen. v. 3, Adam ' begat Seth in his image and 
likeness ;' not only the image of him for substance, but for qualities also, 
therefore both added ; for res dicuntur similes vel dissimiles d qualitutihus, et 
earum privationihus, things are called like or unlike from their qualities and 
the privations of their qualities, and therefore, 1 Cor. xv. 48, such as was 
the earthly man Adam, such are the earthly of him. He speaks there not 
only of him as the conveyer of the guilt of the fact, but also of the likeness 
of his nature in regard of the qualities of it, for he says such. Now that notes 
out and imports a likeness of qualities. Things are denominated such or 
such from their qualities : res tales dicuntur a qualitatibus. And to this the 
Scripture refers us when it argues the case even from the law of nature : Job 
xiv. 4, ' Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one.' Every 
root bearing fruit according to its kind ; he speaks it to this very purpose, 
that because our nature is derived to us from our parents which are unclean, 
therefore ours must be so also. 

So that now join all these reasons in one, and it is a threefold cord to 
pull on this consequence. If it were no more than that we are born of him, 
it were enough, especially seeing he received that grace as a common stock ; 
but most of all because in that act of sinning he represented us, for indeed 
that is the main, principal, radical reason ; and therefore seeing that act 
extinguished grace (as I have proved), we still being guilty of it, and wrapped 
and involved in the guilt of that disobedience as soon as conceived, there- 
fore that efiiect which it had in Adam it hath now in us. 

And though indeed the Scripture ascribes it to natural generation often, 
as here in John iii. 6, it is therefore flesh, because born of the flesh, yet 
that is but the instrumental, accidental cause of it, quod arfit virtute princi- 
palis arjcntis, which acts by the virtue of the principal cause, namely, Adam's 
sin, which carries in it and convej'^s with it the power of that curse which 
God gave against Adam, ' The day thou eatest thou diest ;' and on the day 
we are born and become sons of Adam, that curse seizeth on us, and is 
applied to us by natm-al generation, which makes us men. And therefore 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 63 

you shall find that it is the guilt of that sin which is that which corrupts all 
men's natures, and makes them sinful to the end of the world : Rom. v. 19, 
* By one man's disobedience many were made sinful.' By natural genera- 
tion you are made men indeed, as by the principal cause, for vis proli/ica 
unites soul and body, yet it is the guilt of that one offence that makes men 
sinful to the end of the world. For there he speaks not only of conveying of 
it, for being ' made sinners ' signifies more, implies inherent corruption, and 
by the context it appears, for ver. 12, 13 says, not only ' all had sinned,' 
but ' sin was in the world,' that is, in all mankind, as in a subject. And 
then at the end of that discourse comes in this general conclusion, Rom. 
V. 19, ' For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by 
the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.' So that it is Adam's 
sin that hath an influence into all men's hearts at their births to make them 
sinful, both to be sinners and sin to be in them. 

Generation, indeed, I say, is a means to convey it, because Adam's sin 
seizeth but upon us when we come to be men, for it is said to have ' passed 
upon all men,' Rom. v. 12 ; and because generation makes men men (so 
Eve, Gen. iv. 5, ' I have gotten a man from the Lord,') though God creates 
the soul, and therefore the man begotten is said to be from the Lord in a 
more especial manner than other creatures, yet so as the parents get the 
man, homo rfenerat hominem ; for there is a power of uniting and joining soul 
and body together in semine, which the parents transmit. Therefore the 
depravation of our nature is ascribed to generation, because it presents a fit 
subject for Adam's sin to work on, and to deprive of righteousness ; yet still 
sj as that it was the first of sin extinguished it in Adam, so it is the guilt of 
it deprives us of righteousness, and it is that makes sinful men. 

But you will say. Though, indeed, thus it deprived Adam, because he 
personally then committed it, and it passed actually from him, and so might 
have such an effect, yet being long since past, how can it have the same 
effect ? We may conceive how Cain and Ishmael might be poisoned by it, 
being nigher the fountain. 

I answer, by a similitude taken from the second Adam, whose righteous- 
ness, though long since past, and his death past but once for all — as in 
Heb. ix. 14, 26, ' How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through 
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience 
from dead works to serve the living God ;' ' But now once in the end of the 
world hath he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself — yet 
the power and force of his blood and righteousness hath a real influence for 
ever into men's hearts to sanctify and regenerate. So also Adam's sin, though 
long since committed, hath an efficacy to make men sinful to the end of the 

But you will say. As to Christ's blood and righteousness, that hath such an 
effect, because there is an applier of the power, the Spirit, which works in 
men's hearts by virtue of Christ's death, purchasing a right for him to work, 
which Spirit hath real power in him, and is existing to do it : ' That which 
is born of the Spirit is spirit,' John iii. 6. But what then is the applier, is 
the agent, that so works by virtue of Adam's sin ? 

I answer, there need none but only the guilt of that sin imputed, for that 
naturally cuts the man off from God, who is the fountain of grace, as the sun 
is of light, and comes as a cloud between, so as grace cannot be derived as 
otherwise it should ; it comes as an impediment to hinder the glorious in- 
fluence of God's image. As I shewed the act did in Adam, so the guilt of 
it doth the same thing in us ; therefore it is said, Rom. iii. 23, * All have 
sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' By glory of God is meant in 


general but that life of glory which sin cuts a man off from, so as he cannot 
come to see the gloiy of God, sin separating. And also the image of God 
is called the glory of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. ; which image God would make 
to shine into the man as soon as he is born, but that this comes in, ' he hath 
sinned,' and that as a bar keeps him short of it. This, then, is the reason 
why we are not bom in God's image in holiness, ' All have sinned, and come 
short of the glory of God;' so that, suppose the soul was created holy, and 
then united, yet when it is united, this sin separates it from God, as it did 
Adam, and so it falls short of his glory, as the air doth of light when a cloud 
comes. Or, consider it created at the same instant when it is united, still, 
though God produeeth the soul, yet the union making it guilty of sin, bars 
that influence of the glory of God. 

Neither is this depriving it of this glory a punishment, which God as an 
agent inflicts, or hath any physical influence in working, but it is a coming 
short, as the air doth of light when a cloud intercepts it; the sun causeth 
not the darkness, it would give light, rather it causally doth that; so God 
works not this privation of original righteousness, but Adam's sin stops the 
passage of it, so as it works it as a cause, which though it exist not in the 
act of it, yet in the guilt before God it ever remains, and therefore hath al- 
ways this effect to bring us out of his favour, to separate us from him, and 
upon their separation necessarily follows this want of righteousness, as death 
follows on the separation of soul and body. 

But you will say, Original corruption is not only the want of righteous- 
ness, but a positive pravity, a vicious disposition. 

I answer, it is true it is so, yet so as that positive pravity is a consequent 
of that privation. Look as when the soul is separated from the body, then 
death follows, which is a privation of life; and the corruption of the body 
follows upon that, which sends forth noisome stiuks (which Christ's body, 
though it tasted of death, doth not, for it saw no corruption, Ps. xvi. 10), 
so in the death of the soul, this want of righteousness is necessarily accom- 
panied with positive corrupt disposition, which put forth noisome, stinking 
vapours, actual sins, yet so as the cori'uption is originally inherent there as 
the cause, and as a part of original sin. 

Lastly, You will object, If sin imputed thus extinguisheth righteousness, 
how came it that Christ, that had Adam's sin, and all the sins of the world 
laid on him, yet it had not this eflect ? Wherein lies the difl'erence '? And 
yet it separated him, as appears from his crying out in that manner, Mat. 
xxvii. 46, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' 

I answer, 

1. You must distinguish between imputation voluntarily taken, and in obe- 
dience to God (as Christ did, and therefore only underwent the punishment 
of being made a curse, without sin, to satisfy for sin), and the guilt passing 
necessarily as this doth, which therefore works this effect, Rom. v. 12, ' Sin 
passed upon all.' 

2. Though Christ was made by imputation sin, yet so as he could not be 
said to have sinned in us; but we having sinned once, God laid on him the 
iniquity of us all : Isa. liii. 6, ' All we like sheep have gone astray: we have 
turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity 
of us all.' But Adam's sin is therefore imputed, because we were considered 
as those that sinned in him: Rom. v. 12, 'Wherefore, as by one man sin 
entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, 
for that all have sinned.' And therefore though this imputation of sin 
wrought a separation of the light of God's countenance, the light indeed 
from Christ, yet not the heat and influence of grace ; as metals under 

Chap. III.] in bespect of sin and punishment. 65 

ground, though they are separated from the light of the sun, yet not from 
its influence. 


This corruption of nature is not onhj a misery aud a punishment, but a sin, 
which renders us r/uiUy in the sight of God ; proved to he so by scriptures. — 
As also because our corrupt nature is contrary to God's holiness and his law, 
proved to be sin also from the effects of it. 

I come now in the next place to shew further, that what is meant by flesh 
in John iii. G is not only a corruption, but such a corruption as properly is 
a sin, which God looks upon as sinful, and which makes him therefore to hate ^ 
and loathe us for it. 

But you will say, What need there any such distinct question be made of 
it ? Is it not a granted old truth, a principle every child learns, even acknow- 
ledged by the papists, before baptism, that it is a sin ? 

But indeed the truth is, there is a rotten generation of divines, sprung up 
in this age, which do flatly deny original corruption to be a sin. Acknow- 
ledge they do a guilt of Adam's sin, and a corruption thence derived ; but 
that corruption, they say, is only to be considered as the punishment of the 
first sin, but in itself not properly a sin; malum triste indeed, but not malum 
culpa': our misery, but not our fault. 

Now, we will prove that it is properly a sin, and so accounted by God. 

First, The Scriptures call it not only a sin, but a whole body of sins of the 
flesh: Col. ii. 11, * In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision 
made without hands, in putting off" the body of the sins of the flesh, by the 
circumcision of Christ.' He speaks there of corruption of nature, and he 
calls it a body, that is, a lump, a real subsistent thing, consisting not of one, 
but many sinful members, ' a body of sins ;' and he speaks of this flesh which 
is spoken of in John iii. 6, for he adds, ' a body of sins of the flesh.'- And 
of original corruption too he speaks, for it is that which was put off by cir- 
cumcision and baptism : Col. ii. 11, 12, ' In whom also ye are circumcised 
with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the boJy of the 
sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ ; buried with him in baptism, 
wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of 
God, who hath raised him from the dead.' Now, both those sacraments 
were administered to infants, in whom therefore this body of sins is. 

Secondly, The confession of godly men guided by the Spirit of God, in a 
sense of their own vileness, have acknowledged it to be so ; we may take 
their confessions in this case for truth, for they were from the Spirit. 

St Paul, in Rom. vii., doth not only cry out of this indwelling corruption 
in him as a misery (though so he complains of it under that expression also, 
as at the last verse), but also cries out upon it as a sin: Rom. vii. 17, 18, 
* Now then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I 
know, that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing : for to will 
is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not.' And 
he speaks of it as that which is the cause of all the evil actions he did : ' It 
is not I,' says he, ' but sin that dwells in me ;' he means corruption of nature 
inherent in him. For, 

1. He makes it the root, whence actual sins do spring ; it is sin that does 
it, says he. And the flesh is made such a root also : Gal. v. 19, ' Now the 
works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: aduHery, fornication, 


uncleanness, lasciviousness ; ' for actual sins are there called works, ' works 
of the flesh.' 

2. Because he says, ' Sin dwelling in him.' Now an act is a transient 
thing, corruption only is that which dwells in and cleaves to the heart. 

Thirdhj, In the next words he calls it expressly //csA ; for giving the reason 
of this, he says, ' In my flesh dwells no good thing ; ' so as that which he 
calls sin direlling in the former verse, he calls y7<?67i here in this 18lh verse. 

Fourthhj, He says, there was no good in him ; a privation therefore it is 
of all good and grace, and therefore a sin ; for, ^j>7iYt//o est carentia entitatis. 
dehitcc inesse, it is a want of something in the subject, which ought to be there. 
If, therefore, this good ought to be there (else it is not a privation of it), 
then it is a sin, for it ought to be there by the law of God. 

Fifthly, Observe that St Paul speaks this confidently, not as a man, being 
, so far out of conceit of himself, as he might speak worse of him&elf, than 
was cause, but he knew what he said: ' I know,' says he ; he lets others 
alone to dispute it, he knew it to be so, and this by woful experience. 

Lasthj, He speaks it in a proper, not a metaphorical, sense, for he spake 
in the bitterness of spirit, in bitterness of heart, by way of complaint, when 
men use to speak plainly, therefore his meaning is, that [it] is properly a sin. 

Ohj. Ay, but you will say, St Paul spake this of his nature, as now cor- 
rupted, when he was now a grown man; but the question is of our nature, 
as it comes from the womb. 

Ans. Let us therefore see what David says in his confessions ; you use to 
take men's confessions on the rack, as he was now on the rack, and there- 
fore likely to speak plainly: Ps. li. 5, ' I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin 
did my mother conceive me.' And speaks he this of the guilt of Adam's sin 
only, or of corruption of nature also ? Sure of corruption of nature. 

For, 1, it is argued from his scope and design; for he being to humble 
himself the more for his murder and adultery, confesseth the cause to be sin, 
the sea whence these streams came, to be original corruption. 

2. The next words shew, by the opposition that he speaks of, inherent 
corruption ; for he adds, ver. 6, ' Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward 
parts ; and in the hidden part thou sbalt make me to know wisdom ; ' that 
is, whereas thou requirest, that not only my action, but that my nature, my 
inward parts, should be sincerely holy, I was conceived in sin ; and so my 
inward parts were tainted with it from the womb. And by truth there he 
means grace and sincerity, as opposite to a corrupt heart, as in 1 Cor. v. 7, 
' Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are 
unleavened : for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us : ' where grace, 
the new lump, is opposed to the ' old leaven of wickedness,' that is, original 
corruption, which is the ancient leaven, which we have from the old man, 
with which our natures are soured and leavened. 

3. And, in the third place, not only confession of godly men, but the law 
of God condemns it, which argues it to be a sin. Now, that which is con- 
trary to what God requires, certainly is a sin, that none will deny; for God's 
law is just, and therefore the unconformity to it is unrighteousness, but 
original corruption is the contrary to what God requires ; for God you see 
* requires truth in the inward parts ; ' but this corruption of nature is the want 
of it, and therefore the contrary to what God requires should be in our nature, 
and therefore a sin, and this is David's reason whereby he proves it to be 
a sin. 

Yea, 2dly, it is contrary to grace, and therefore a sin. For, 
1st. One contrary is known by another, contraria contrariis cognoscuntur. 
Now, that which is here called fiesh, is contrary to holiness, and therefore 

Chap. HI. J in respect of sin and punishment. 57 

truly and simply a sin : Gal. v. 17, ' The flesh lusteth against the spirit, for 
they are contrary.' By spirit is meant grace, and these are not so ej/icienter, 
as producing contrary effects, hut furmaliter, in their very nature and being 
so ; for, therefore, they lust one against another, says the apostle, because 
contrary ; tit se res hahet in operari, it a in esse, as things are in acting, so 
are they in their essence. And is not flesh a sin then ? 

2dly, If it be contrary to holiness and grace, then it is contrary to the 
law of God ; for what is holiness but the law of God written in the heart, 
the real living law ? Kom. vii. 23, ' But I see another law in my members, 
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the 
law of sin, which is in my members.' It is called the ' law of the mind,' 
contrary unto which is that original corruption, called therefore the ' law of 
the members, warring against it.' It doth not only put forth contrary acts, 
but it is in itself a contrary law ; and therefore it is said, Rom. viii. 7, 

* Because the carnal mind is enmity against God : for it is not subject to 
the law of God, neither indeed can be.' Here the flesh, or carnal mind, is 
said to be a thing which is not subject to the law of God ; for why ? It is a 
flat law warring against it, and yet the mind of man ought to be subject to 
it, else the apostle would not challenge it, and blame it, for not being sub- 
ject ; and this he speaks of in the nature of it, not only in the efl'ects of it, 
for he ;says it cannot be subject, which implies an opposition in nature, a 
contrariety there. Now, certainly, whatsoever is contrary to the law, and 
is not subject to it, and yet ought to be, is sinful, for sin is only a trans- 
gression of the law : 1 John iii. 4, * Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth 
also the law ; for sin is the transgression of the law.' Sin is a not- subjec- 
tion to the law ; yea, and whatsoever creature sets up a contrary law to the 
law of God, is an enemy to God. Now this flesh is a contrary law, written 
in the mind, which is more than simply an act of rebellion ; and therefore 
the heart of man, in which this law is written, is an enemy to God, because 
there is a kingdom of sin, and laws of sin, set up within a man against God 
and his law, and therefore the apostle says in the same Rom. viii. 7, it is 

* enmity to God ; ' and then God must needs be an enemy to it, and hate it. 
Now God hates nothing but sin. 

Obj. But you will say, A thing that ought to be subject to the law, and 
is not, transgresseth the law indeed ; but how will you prove it ought to be 
subject ? 

A71S. 1. Why doth else the apostle blame it for not being subject ? 

Ans. 2. Why else doth he call it enmity against God, but because it ought 
to be subject, and is not ? That whereas there ought to be the law of God, 
subduing the whole nature of man to God, there is a contrary law subjecting 
it to sin. Now for one to set up contrary laws to those of his prince, and 
so not to be subject, is greater enmity than simply to commit but an act of 

Obj. But you will say, Doth the law of God require and command that my 
nature should be holy ? 

Ans. 1. Yes ; he expressly requires it, in Lev. xi. 44, 45, ' Be holy, for I 
am holy,' says God ; now his nature is so, therefore ought ours to be so too. 

Ans. 2. The law of God reacheth to all that is in man : Heb. iv. 12, ' For 
the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 
sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the 
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the 
heart.' The law of God reacheth to soul, spirit, and understanding : so in 
1 Thes. V. 23, 'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly : and I pray 
God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the 


coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' God sanctify you wholly ; that is, he 
■works grace in your whole man, and keeps your spirit, soul, and body, 
blameless. Mark it, if nature ba not wholly sanctified, it is malum culpa;, a 
thing blameworthy, and therefore it is a sin. 

Obj. But you will say, Upon what ground doth God command our nature 
to be holy ? 

Ans. God having made our nature holy at first, commands it should be 
preserved so ; and he might well do so, for grace was a talent given to keep 
and to increase. Now, in Mat. xxv. 24, we find that God exacts his talents, 
and requires them with advantage, much more the same again. Mat. xxv. 
24-27, ' Then he which had received the one talent, came, and said, Lord, 
I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, 
and gathering where thou hast not strawed : and I was afraid, and went and 
hid thy talent in the earth : lo, there thou hast that is thine. His Lord 
answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest 
that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed : thou 
oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers ; and then at my 
coming I should have received mine own with usury.' So looking on the 
grace he bestowed on thee, he may say, AVhere is the grace I bestowed, &c. 
Adam cannot deny but that he lost it, through his own default, and therefore 
that loss was a sin in him ; and then of us, who are acknowledged guilty of 
his act ; for Adam, in eating the forbidden fruit, was as one that should 
willingly eat a poisoned apple, forbidden him to eat, in which case he com- 
mitted two distinct sins. 

1. In eating an apple, forbidden him particularly, suppose not poisoned. 

2. In destroying himself also, knowing it would poison him. 

Ohj. But they object, the loss of grace was inflicted only by God as a 
punishment of his fault, and therefore not a sin ; as if a man for putting out 
one eye himself hath another eye put out by the judge ; the loss of the 
latter is not his fault that he is wholly blind. 

Ans. 1. It is false that it is merely as a punishment inflicted by God as 
by an external hand, as appears by the former grounds laid. I have shewed 
you that sin doth expel grace after a natural manner, as one contrary expels 
another ; so as this corruption was a natural consequent following the act, 
as death doth upon a stab, or strangling a man's self; the sin itself did it, 
not God merely inflicting it as a punishment. 

Ans. 2. If it were a punishment, yet some punishments are both sins and 

(^hj. But they object that every sin is voluntary, but this corruption of 
nature (though indeed he committed the act willingly) befell him not willing it. 

So I answer, that it was volltum in causa, willed in its cause ; as he that 
hates wisdom is said to love death, he loves it in the cause of it, Prov. viii. 
86, for simply of itself no man loves it, no more did Adam will this corrup- 
tion, or intended it in sinning, but yet he willed that sin which he knew 
would bring this upon him. 

Lastly, If Scripture, godly men, law, and all should not hold proof, the 
etfects would argue it to be a sin. 

See what the apostle says of it, Gal. v. 19, that ' the works of the flesh 
are manifest;' that is, that the works of it are such notorious sins as none 
can deny them but to be such ; and if the fruits of it be such, then reason will 
tell us, though Christ had not told us, that 'the tree is known by the fruit :' 
Mat. xii. 33-35, 'Either luakf^ the tree good, and his fruit good; or else 
make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt : . for the tree is known by his 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punisument. 59 

fruit. generation of vipers, how can yc, being evil, speak good things '? 
for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out 
of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things : and an evil 
man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.' This corruption is 
called an evil treasure, out of which evil actions are produced ; and if they 
be evil, then the tree is evil, and that eodem genere, in the same kind. 

Obj. But they object that of James, 'Lust conceived brings forth sin,' 
James i. 15 ; that is only called sin (say they)%vhich is brought forth by it, 
but it is not so in itself. 

Ans. 1. Thence I argue the contrary, that it is a sin, and ejusdem natiircE, 
of the same nature with what is brought forth, for every thing begets in its 
own likeness, and are ejusdem speciei, of the same kind ; simile general simile, 
like produceth like. If, therefore, that which is begotten be a sin, then the 
lust also. 

Ans. 2. That lust is made to be a sin in ver. 14, in that it tempts men 
to sin. Now, what tempts to sin is sinful ; therefore, ver 13, it is denied of 
God, as abhorred of him, it being a sin to tempt to evil, and it is made all 
one to tempt to evil and to be tempted to evil. 


An inclination and pi-oneness to all sin is in evet-y mans nature. — What are the 
causes which make every mans nature inclined to all -sins? — The impression 
of Adam's sin on all equally. — The mind of man having lost the sight of its 
true happiness, wanders, and seeks its happiness in a thousand false shapes. 
— If all men have all lusts in them, ivhat is the reason that smne men are so 
far from being inclined to some kinds of sin that they have some contrariety 
in their temper to them f — And how it is that a man who hath all lusts in his 
nature is inclined to one sin more than another?- — The reason why men equally 
corrupt in their natures are not equally ivicked in their lives. — Why alt men 
do not commit the sin against the Holy Ghost, 

Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concu- 
piscence. — Rom. VII. 8. 

The general parts of man's inherent corruption thus despatched, as a 
coronis to the second part of this discoux'se, there is one thing to be added 
more to make this complete. Every man is prone to all sin, and hath all 
sins in him. 

As a ground for this I have chosen this scripture, where you have an 
instance, without exception, of one of the best unregenerate men that ever 
was in the world, Paul, who saith of himself that he was, ' as touching the 
righteousness of the law, blameless,' Phil. iii. 6, and in whom, when regene- 
rate, the grace of God was more strongly than in any other, mortifying his 
lusts and corruptions ; and yet he tells us here that he, by woful experience, 
found that all concupiscence was wrought in him. So that, whether he 
speaks of himself as regenerate or unregenerate, either is enough to convince 
us that the best of both have all lusts in them. But in this verse he seems 
to speak of his former estate, and time past of unregeneracy, these words 
being an exposition of his meaning of those words, ver. 5, ' whilst in the 
flesh;' that is, whilst unregenerate, as appears by Rom. viii. 9, 'But ye are 
not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you ;' 
where being in the flesh and in the Spint are opposed. And it is all one 


phrase with being in drink and in love ; that is, overcome of both. ' Whilst 
in the flesh,' saith he in Rom. vii. 5, ' the motions of sins, which were by 
the law,' &c., which is a marriage phrase, that is, evil lusts stirred up and 
begotten by the law, as children by husband and wife, he comparing the 
heart to a woman, and the law to an husband : Rom. vii. 2-4, ' For the 
woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long 
as he liveth ; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her 
husband. So then if, whileWier husband liveth, she be married to another 
man, she shall be called an adulteress : but if her husband be dead, she is 
free from the law ; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to 
another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law 
by the body of Christ '; that ye should be married to another, even to him 
who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.' 
Which law begets motions to sin, which because it would seem very harsh 
to lay such a bastard brood at the law's door, and so this objection would 
arise, that then the law is the cause of sin, therefore he denies it, ver. 7, 
' What shall we say then ? Is the law sin ? God forbid. Nay, I had not 
known sin, but by the law : for I had not known lust, except the law bad 
said. Thou shalt not covet.' Though he says, withal, that it did discover 
sin to him, ' But,' saith he, ver. 8, 'sin, taking occasion by the command- 
ment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin 
was dead.' Which distinction is the same with that which we use in logic, 
causa per se, et causa per accidens. Sin took occasion by the command- 
ment, that is, the law was but the occasional accidental cause ; in the same 
sense that the sun, shhiing upon a dunghill, elevates the vapours, might be 
said to be the cause of all the stinking vapours in it. The sun is not the 
cause, for the vapours were there before ; the sun doth only stir them up, 
and itself remains pure. Or else, look as physic, that stirs the humours 
which lay in the body, it puts in no new, for it is an antidote against them, 
and would purge them out if nature were strong. And in this sense it is 
that the law is said to work all concupiscence, which yet was in the heart 

The point, then, which this text affords, being thus opened, is, that all 
concupiscence is in every man's nature. Sin, he says here, that is, original 
sin, wrought all concupiscence, and of that we are partakers all alike. 

Even the very heathens, the most divine of them, the Stoics, had some 
light into the truth. So Seneca out of them. Omnia in omnibus vitia sunt* 
And, lib. 5, Et cuindi omnes, et ambitiosi et irnpii.f And they give this 
reason, because, vitia sunt conjuncta, they are tied of a knot, and hang on a 
string ; there is a concatenation of them. As in falsehood, iino absurdo 
data, mille sequuntur, so in practice, one sin brings all with it : James 
iii. 16, * For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil 
work.' It is his rule, where envying and strife is (he instanceth but in 
that one, yet) there is confusion, axaTaarao'ia, all out of order, and every evil 
work, that is, his mind is apt to run into every evil work. And the reason 
of that assertion is, because that which is the cause of one sin is the cause 
of all, namely, self-love ; that having the highest room in the heart, is 
advanced into the throne of God's glory in the heart, being the next heir, 
when grace was deposed, and became lord paramount in the heart ; and that 
putting thee upon one sin, puts thee upon another, as occasion is to satisfy 
itself. First, sets afloat one lust, pride, and then another, envy, &c. : 2 Tim. 
iii. 1-4, ' Men shall be lovers of themselves.' And what then ? It is the 
general, and these that follow are its army : ' Covetous, boasters, proud, 
* Seneca Benef. lib iv. p. 320. Ed. Lipsii, Antwerp, 1632. t Itid. lib. v. p. 388. 

Chap. IV. J in rkspect of sin and punishment. 61 

blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural 
affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those 
that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than 
lovers of God ; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.' 
No one sin can be, but where self-love is predominant ; and where it is, it 
will put us upon any sin, break all bonds of nature, to parents, disobedient 
to them, as it follows, and of friendship, unthankful; and of grace, too, unto 
God, unholy, &c. And thus self-love, as gotten within the throne, is the 
ground of all lusts ; as all affection is seated in love, so sin in self-love. 

2. There are three demonstrations of the truth of it. 

(1.) That which is universally contrary to every branch of the law of God, 
is universally prone to all sin. Now whence is it that we oppose anything, 
but because we are desirous of its contrary, and look upon that as an 
hindrance to our desires ? But the sinfulness of man's nature is in all 
things contrary to the law ; as the text shews, that the law wrought all con- 
cupiscence. So as, tain late quam patet lex in prohibendo, conciipiacentia in 
appetendo ; concupiscence is of as large extent in desiring as the law is in 
forbidding. No duty commanded, but man's nature riseth against it; no 
law forbidding sin, but our nature opposeth it, and will not be subject : 
Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' It would be subject to 
nothing ; yea, the light of the law is withheld in unrighteousness, because 
it opposeth man's unrighteousness : Rom. i. 18, ' For the wrath of God is 
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness of men, 
who hold the truth in unrighteousness.' 

(2.) That which is universally contrary to all grace, and the acts of it, is 
prone to all sin. Now, Gal. v. 17, it is said, ' the flesh lusteth against the 
spirit,' viz., in all the lustings of it; no good motions come, but our natures 
damp it ; no good duty we perform, but our nature lames it and deads it, 
and fights against the exercise of the heart in it. Enmity to grace is still 
founded on proneness to sin : Acts xiii. 10, ' And said, full of all subtilty 
and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, 
•wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord ? ' Full of all 
readiness to evil, and an enemy of all righteousness, are joined there ; and 
so in Col. i. 21, ' And you, that were sometimes aHenated, and enemies in 
your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.' Enemies, having 
their minds set in evil works, so that enmity to grace proceeds from a prone- 
ness to sin. 

(3.) There is no sin, but one man or other hath been by nature inchned 
to it : Rom. i. 29-32, ' Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, 
•wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness ; full of envy, murder, debate, 
deceit, malignity ; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, 
boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without under- 
standing, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerci- 
ful : who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such 
things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them 
that do them.' He says, the Gentiles were ' filled with all unrighteousness ; ' 
filled, even as trees with fruit. If not every particular man, with every one 
in some part or other of his life, yet there was no cursed fruit of unricrht- 
eousness, but had appeared in some one or other man's life among them. 
Now there can be no reason given why any man should be naturally prone to 
any sin, but the same reason may be alleged why another man must be also ; 
for we have all the same nature, we are all begotten in the same imaf^e. 
Gen. V. 3. And therefore, Prov. xxvii. 19, ' As face answers to face in 


water, so the heart of man to man ; ' that is, as a man looking in water 
(which was the looking-glass of elder times), as the same lineaments and 
parts of the face in water answer to the real face, so the heart of man to 
man, there being the same image we are all begotten in. And therefore the 
word of God, which speaks against all sin, is resembled to the common 
looking-glass of mankind, James i. 23, that represents every man's face to 
him. And as the parts of the face in every man are one and the same, so 
here in this case too ; and therefore you shall find in Rom. viii. 9, where 
the Scripture speaks of the general corruption of all men's nature, and says, 
• all are under sin.' To prove it, he quotes places where particular corrup- 
tions of particular men are but mentioned ; as of Doeg out of Ps. cxl. 3. 
And what is spoken of the Jews, Isa. lix. 7, which the apostle brings as 
instances to prove the common corruption ; and so manifestly implies, that 
the same sins that are in one, are in the nature of all, Rom. vii. 9 to 18. 

Let us next proceed to the grounds and causes of it ; for all truths are 
more clearly represented, and more amiable, when we see them in their 
causes, and growing on their own stalks. 

1. Adam and Christ are the only common roots of all sin and grace : 
Rom. V. 14-21, ' Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even 
over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, 
who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also 
is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead ; much 
more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, 
Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that 
sinned, so is the gift : for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but 
the fi-ee gift is of many oifences unto justification. For if by one man's 
ofiience death reigned by one ; much more they vrhich receive abundance of 
grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to con- 
demnation ; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all 
men to justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were 
made sinners, so by the obedience by one shall many be made righteous. 
Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound : but where sin 
abounded, -grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto 
death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by 
Jesus Christ our Lord.' And now in ver. 14 Adam the one is made the 
type of the other. Therefore look as Jesns Christ is the fountain of all 
grace, so is Adam the fountain of all sin ; for Adam is made a type of 
Christ in that respect, Rom. v. 14, and in respect of conveying his image, as 
Christ of his : 1 Cor. xv. 49, ' And as we have borne the image of the 
earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.' Which maxim, as it 
should have held of the pure state of Adam, so it doth of his corrupt state ; 
and as Christ conveys all gi-ace to those that are begotten of him, then if 
Adam be a type of Clu'ist, he must convey all sin to those that are of him. 
Now Christ hath all fulness in him : John i. 16, ' And of his fulness have we 
all received, and grace for grace.' And 2 Peter i. 3, ' According as his 
divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godli- 
ness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.' 
Here Christ is said to give us all things belonging to life and holiness. Then 
for Adam, we in like manner receive of him sin for sin. And Jesus Christ 
needed not to convey all grace, except Adam had conveyed all sin ; for 
grace is nothing but the remedy for sin ; and if there were not so many 
sores, there needed not so many plasters ; for every particular grace 
heals but a particular sin. The remedy needs be no larger than the 

Chap. 1Y.] in respect of sin and punishment. 63 

disease. And therefore it is that it is called a body of sin ; Adam's imago 
is so named in Col. iii. 5 : ' Mortify therefore your members which are 
upon the earth ; fornication, uncleanness,' &c. Horn. vi. 6, * Knowing this, 
that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be 
destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.' Why is it called a 
body of sin ? Because it consists of many parts, which in that place of the 
Colossians are called members ; and if any one member were wanting, it 
could not be an image entire, but imperfect. 

2. If we examine the reason Vfhj our nature is inclined to sin, all is and 
must be resolved into this, that it is the impression of Adam's first sin that 
made Judas's nature inclined to covetousness, the disciples to pre-eminence. 
Now Adam's sin hath the same and like impression upon all men's hearts, 
and therefore they are all prone to all these ; for the influence of it is not as 
the influence of a voluntary, but a natural agent, which always works od 
vltiimon potentia, and therefore conveys the same image to all that it doth 
to any, because it works to the utmost of its power. And indeed there is 
this difference between the first and second Adam, that Christ, though he 
conveys all grace, yet not to all ahke for degrees, nor to all at a certain time, 
because his Spirit works it as a voluntary agent, when and how far he will : 
John iii. 8, ' The wind bloweth where it Hsteth, and thou hearest the sound 
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is 
every one that is born of the Spirit.' And it is communicated out of grace 
as a gift : Rom. xv. 15, ' Because of the grace that is given to me of 
God.' But with Adam it is otherwise, for it is said to enter upon the world, 
Rom. V. 12, via necessitatis, in a way of necessity, as a thing which cannot 
be kept out, and therefore hath equal and ahke impression upon all men's 

3. If we consider the state every man's soul is left in by nature, we shall 
find that it must needs be prone, and apt, and ready for every sin. For, 

1st, It hath lost its right way to happiness, and can never find it, and hath 
lost also its true guide, and so now walks in darkness, and knows not whither 
to go, and so is apt and exposed to be led any whither. Therefore conver- 
sion is called turning a sinner from the error of his way : James v. 20, ' Let 
him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall 
save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.' And unregene- 
rate men are called darkness : Eph. v. 8, ' For ye were sometimes darkness, 
but now are ye light in the Lord.' And of such it is said, John xii. 35, that 
'he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes.' And yet still the 
soul is bound for happiness, and is inquiring the way : ' Who will shew us 
any good ? ' Ps. iv. 6. Therefore, being thus wildered, any lust that pro- 
miseth to conduct it to happiness (as all do, therefore called 'deceitful lusts,' 
Eph. iv. 22), it is content to follow, willing to take any guide, being like a 
wildered man in the dark, apt to follow any false fire, and to try every path, 
if finding not true happiness in one, it tries another. Men by nature are 
become children, as in regard of the doctrine of truth, so in regard of the 
way to happiness ; and therefoi-e apt and ready to be carried away, and 
tossed to and fro with every wind of temptation, as the apostle intimates 
Eph. iv. 14. For this see also 2 Tim. iii. 6; speaking of * silly women,' he 
says, they are ' led away with divers lusts ; ' that is, taking any lust to be 
their guide. And because they find this or that lust leads not into the 
right way, therefore they try another; and when they find that brings them 
not to their journey's end, therefore they take another, and so are led by 
divers lusts, and indeed by any. And so in Titus iii. 3, ' For we ourselves 
also were sometimes foohsh, disobedient,' &c. You shall find this reason I 


give now : men, saith he, are fools, avoriroi, injudicious, not able to discern 
what is the way to happiness ; and if they do, yet are disobedient and will 
not take it, and therefore are TrAavt/j/xsvo/, wanderers, and so therefore apt to 
take any lust for guides, and so serve divers lusts and pleasures. Now man 
having lost the right course God set him in, Eccles, vii. 29, seeks out many 
inventions ; and every lust is a new projector ; the heart not knowing whither 
to go, and being deceived by every one, is still fit for any new invention that 
shall be suggested to it. 

2dly, As the understanding hath lost its true guide, so men's lusts are 
become boundless, being once turned out of their right channel, namely, 
God, and the pleasures in him. When man's desires did all run into God, 
then that channel was big enough to hold them ; but now they seek current 
in other channels of sin, and the creatures, which are still too shallow, and 
not able to bound them. The pleasure of no one sin can do it, nor all plea- 
sure of sin can put bounds to our desires, but they will still overflow ; and 
so they still are seeking new currents, and fare prone to any wickedness ; 
as water you know is, which of all elements is hardliest kept in bounds. It 
is Isaiah's comparison, chap. Ivii. 20, ' But the wicked are like the troubled 
sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.' So as by 
reason of the vastness of man's desires, he is still apt to new things, so that 
the same reason that is given why materia prima appetit omnes formas, why 
the first matter desires all forms, namely, because its appetite can be satisfied 
with no one form, but there is a privation and emptiness still ; and there- 
fore it still seeks new, till it meets with the form of the heavens, as our 
philosophy doth inform us (and I make but an allusion of it), which fills and 
satiates it. By the same reason is the soul of man apt for the pleasure of 
any sin, because still none is able to fill it. 

3dlv, Whereas men's desires are thus boundless, there is nothing but the 
law, and conscience possessed of that law, left to keep them in compass, and 
keep them from overflowing, as a mighty bank opposed against them. But 
so it is that the knowledge and conscience of this law doth by accident make 
these lusts swell higher, as a dam doth a river ; and men having broke one 
part of the law down, they are apt to break down another. For as it is in 
James ii. 10, 11, ' For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend 
in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, 
said also. Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, 
thou art become a transgressor of the law.' He that breaks the law in one 
point is guilty of all ; that is, by the same reason he will break all as one, 
so as, but that God says, as to the sea. Stay thy proud waves, still wicked- 
ness would in every man's heart and life overflow, and fill the earth with 

But there are many difficulties and objections against this truth, that 
Adam's sin should convey his image alike unto all, and that all should have 
all concupiscence in them. 

1. As that some sins some men are not inclined unto; as some not to 
drunkenness, yea, they have an antipathy against it. 

2. There are some sins contrary one to another, as prodigality and covet- 
ousness ; and it is impossible a man should be inclined to contraries at once. 

3. There is some one sin which every man is inclined unto more than to 
others, and therefore not to all alike. 

4. Some men are naturally more wicked than others. 

5. Then all should be prone to commit the sin against the Holy Ghost. 
For answer to these, though Adam's sin hath the same and alike influence 

into all, yet it finds not the same subject to work upon. It lights not upon 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 65 

alike constitutions either of body or mind, and therefore, accordingly, hath 
not like effects ; for quicqnid recipitur, reoipitur ad modain recipienlk, what- 
ever is received is received according to the qualification of the receiver. 
For neither are the constitutions of men's bodies nor of their souls alike, 
which two are the weapons or instruments of all sin : Rom. vi. 13, 'Neither 
yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin : but 
yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your 
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.' And hence it comes 
to pass that some men are naturally more wicked than others, and that 
some are prone to some sins that others are not prone unto, or not so 
much as others. 

1. The constitution of sinners' bodies is not alike, which several constitu- 
tions are the tinder and fuel for sins to work in : as choler for anger, melan- 
choly for settled wrath and repinings, sanguine for uncleanness, excess, 
and intemperance ; so some are strong to drink, others are not. But now, 
though the soul must have instruments and organs, and a temperament of 
the body to which it is confined to work by, yet because the first, and 
original, and chief subject of all sin is the soul, therefore it is said ' the 
soul of sinners shall die.' And for this cause therefore it is now apart in 
hell punished for all sins, without the body, till the day of judgment, for till 
then the body is not. It is the indweller in the house, that receives lust in 
at the windows of the eyes, at the wickets of the ears, &c. Therefore every 
man is radically still inclined to all these, be the constitution of his body 
what it will, suppose never so indisposed to any of these sins; so as put 
that soul into another body, it would be as notoriously inclined to them as 
any other man is. As philosophers say of a man that is born blind, that 
there is in him a jjotentia prima, a first power of seeing in his soul, as well 
as of hearing, only the organ or instrument of sight is defective; there 
wants potentia secwida, a second power. So the devil, who is father of all 
sin : 1 John iii. 8, ' He that committeth sin is of the devil ; for the devil 
sinneth from the beginning ; ' John viii. 44, ' Ye are of your father the 
devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do : he was a murderer from the 
beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. 
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and the 
father of it.' Yet the devil, wanting a body, he is not inclined to intemper- 
ance and uncleanness, as men are, and yet he delights in our commission of 
them ; witness his incubi and succuhi. So old men, whose bodies are dry, 
yet dehght in unclean fancies, and envy the pleasure of adulterers ; their 
hearts go with them, and they delight in those who do such things : Rom. 
i. 32, ' Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such 
things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them 
that do them ; ' which argues the mind is that way disposed when the body 
is not. 

Again, 2, the size of men's souls is not alike for the strength and large- 
ness of their parts. Some men's understandings are greater, and their affec- 
tions and stomachs larger, and hence they naturally come to be more 
wicked, though original sin be alike in all. For the more wit there is with- 
out grace, the more wickedness is there too, and accordingly one devil comes 
to be worse than another, as they are said to be : Mat. xii. 45, ' Then goeth 
he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, 
and they enter in and dwell there.' Put the same quantity of poison into 
wine and into water, it will work more violently and poison more speedily in 
the wine than the water ; though the poison be tie same, yet tne spuits tuat 
set the poison a-work are more in the wine. 

VOL. X. E 


Men of lower understandings are given to lusts of body, but men of higher 
understandings to civility and formality, and a desire of honour and applause ; 
and still the more excellent the creature is, the finer food it desires. Chame- 
leons live upon air, and some men's lusts live upon more sublimated objects, 
out of their wisdom contemning base lusts, and seeking for excellencies in 
other things of an higher nature. And hence comes that great diversity 
that is in men's lives, though Adam's sin hath the same influence upon all 
men's hearts. 

3. Some men have their sins drawn out more than others. Thus there 
are many lusts in children which do not shew themselves whilst they are 
children, yet when they are elder they do. Some men's callings draw out 
their sins more, and the objects that they are conversant about sets their 
lusts on working, which is called a season of temptation : Luke viii. 13, 
* And these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation 
fall away,' which is when there comes a fit object to draw out their heart. 
John xii. 4—0, ' Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, 
which should betray him. Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred 
pence, and given to the poor ? This he said, not that he cared for the poor, 
but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.' 
The ointment sold for three hundred pence was a fit object to draw out 
Judas his lust. So Josh. vii. 21, ' Achan said. When I saw among the 
spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and 
a wedge of gold of fifty shekels' weight, then I coveted them, and took them, 
and behold the}' are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver 
under it ;' and that drew out his lust. And it is for this reason holy Agur 
prays so, Prov. xxx. 8, 9, * Remove far from me vanity and lies ; give me 
neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me : lest I be 
full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? Or lest I be poor, and 
steal, and take the name of my God in vain.' So that several dispositions 
are drawn out according to our several conditions. And hence it was that 
John Baptist (Luke iii.) instanceth in this particular sins of their callings, 
and he says to the soldiers, * Exact no more than your due.' And the people 
that were covetous, to them he saith, ' He that hath two coats,' &c. The 
pharisees were oppressors, and sought honour one of another. Now because 
poor men have a shorter tether and compass than great men, therefore it 
may be they have no occasion to have their lusts drawn out ; whereas 
naturally they are as proud and as ambitious as other men, as covetous as 
other men, though their lusts do not appear for want of opportunity, for, I 
say, usually men's lusts are drawn out according to their callings. 

4. God restrains men's lusts, either by wisdom, as is said of Haman, that 
he restrained his, Esther v. 10. Yea, many times one lust restrains 
another, Eccles. iv. 8. ' He restrains himself ' (speaking of a covetous man), 
* and bereaves his soul of good.' One lust eats up another; yea, sometimes 
and often God doth restrain by the immediate work of his own Spirit, by the 
gift of continence ; for there is a spirit put into every man by nature of 
moral virtues, by which the Lord restrains the corruptions of nature. And 
though naturally men are filled with all unrighteousness, and every lust is as 
a hole to let it out, yet God oftentimes stops and plugs up the holes as he 
pleaseth, that they may not run out at every hole. God doth not broach 
every lust in every man, yet so as in some man or other all corruption is 
broached, some in one and some in another, and in all the barrel is no less 
full. And though there be a sluice to keep in the water, though there be a 
less stream, yet there is nevertheless water ; even so, though lusts be re- 
strained, yet there is nevertheless corruption within ; so that God's restrain- 


ing of men's lusts is no argument to prove that therefore they have not all 
sin in them. 

5. God broacheth sin in a methodical manner, making one sin the punish- 
ment of another: 2 Thes. ii. 9-12, 'Even him, whose coming is after the 
working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all 
deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish ; because they received 
not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause 
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie ; that 
they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in 
unrighteousness.' Rom. i. 21-24, 28-32, ' Because that, when they knew 
God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their imaginations, 
and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, 
they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an 
image made Hke to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, 
and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, 
through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between 
themselves. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, 
God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not 
convenient : being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, 
covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, 
whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors 
of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant- 
breakers, without natural aftection, implacable, unmerciful : who knowing 
the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of 
death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.' And 
sometimes when one lust is let out, and a man gives his heart full scope in 
that, then it may be God lets out another to restrain that. 

6. Corrupt nature is not in every man capable of committing the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, unless there hath been some further qualification 
added that makes him capable of it, as enlightening, &c., yet there is the 
seed of it in every man's nature ; but a man never commits that sin without 
having first had supernatural light, against which he hath sinned, which 
light, therefore, except a man have, he is not capable of committing 
that sin. For it is not bare knowledge required to it, but knowledge with 
assent ; not yvuxsig, but s-Trlyvuaig : Heb. x. 26, * For if we sin wilfully after 
that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more 
sacrifice for sins.' Therefore Christ says to the pharisees, John ix. 41, ' If 
ye were blind, ye should have no sin ; but now ye say, We see ; therefore 
your sin remaineth ;' that is, that great sin against the Holy Ghost, which 
some of them did commit. 

7. Whereas it is said that one lust is contrary to another, and therefore 
men are not prone to all sin ; I answer, that though men are not inclined' 
unto every sin at all times and on all occasions, yet at several times they 
are drawn out to them. Oftentimes men that have been most prodigal in 
their youth have proved most covetous in their old age ; and yet it may be 
said of such that radically they are inclined to both at once. As now, take 
a man that hath the disease of an ague upon him, or when his fit begins, 
there is heat and cold rooted at the same time in the disease ; there is a 
radical disposition to violent heat and violent cold, which is rooted in the 
nature of the disease, but yet they cannot be let out both together, but suc- 
cessively, first the cold fit, then the hot fit. So take a man inclined to 
covetousness and prodigality, and they cannot both break out at once. So 
a man that is ambitious, sometimes he bows to the basest of men. And it 
is often seen that by fits these contrai'ies are let loose. 


Lastly, "Whereas it is objected, in some men there is an antipathy against 
some sins, as Saul hated witches, and Julian the apostate hated drunkards 
and plays, &c., and therefore all are not inclined to all sins ; I answer, this 
antipathy is not moral but physical, either because their bodies will not bear 
it, or for some other incommodity they find in it ; for we see that Sauljwent 
to witches in a strait, whereby it appears that he did not hate the sin as it 
was a sin. 


That since there is so great a corruption in our natures, ire should be very earnest 
to have it purrfed out. — What is the way and means by which we may be 
purified. — If this corruption be not only a misery, but a sin, we must not 
think it enonyh to make sad complaints of it, but we must in a more special 
manner humble ourselves for it in the sight of God. — Since all kinds of sin 
are in our nature, tee should watch and pray that we fall not into tempta- 
tion. — All that are enlightened by the gospel, should take care that they do 
not sin against the Holy Ghost. 

If it be a corruption which is inherent, sticking in and cleaving unto our 
natures, a defilement made connatural to us, as all things are we have by 
birth ; — 

Use 1. The use may be of exhortation,' to purge and cleanse ourselves, 
and our natures daily from it ; and this concerns all, especially regenerate 
men. I say, to purge yourselves, for if it were no more than that it is a 
corruption and a defilement that is in you, this naturally calls upon you to 
throw it out. What is there that belongs to thee that hath any filth in it, 
but you purge and cleanse daily : your hands and outward parts, because 
they contract dirt daily, you daily wash and cleanse them ; your clothes you 
wear about 3'ou, that do but hang on you, you daily wash, brush, and rub 
them ; your houses you live in, which are not so near you as your clothes, 
you sweep and garnish daily; nay, your streets you walk in, and that you 
tread upon, you yet cleanse weekly ; and all these because they contract a 
filthiness and defilement. Let me say to you all, as our Saviour Christ 
doth, Luke xi. 39, 40, ' Now do ye pharisees make clean the outside of the 
cup and platter ; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is 
within also ?' Do you make clean the outside of your cups, &c., and suffer 
your inward parts to remain full of filthiness and corruption ? The other 
are external things, and contract but an external filthiness, which yet Christ 
says defiles not a man, Mat. xv. 20. But this which is in thy nature is in- 
trinsecal, and there by birth, and a rooted filthiness in thee, which con- 
tinually casts out mire and dirt : Mat. xv. 18-20, ' But those things which 
proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. 
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, 
thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies : these are the things which defile a 
man ; but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.' So that these 
pollutions light not on you by accident, and externally cast on you, as dirt 
on your clothes, &c., but spring up in your hearts, and these defile the man 
indeed ; as Christ says, these make thee a filthy, loathsome, and abominable 
person ; these make your minds and consciences defiled, Titus i. 15 ; and 
these lusts also make you abominable : Titus i. 16, * They profess that they 
know God ; but in works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient, 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 69 

and unto every good work reprobate.' Will you not, then, purge them ? 
This, therefore, is a use proper to the first doctrine which I have handled, 
and so the Scripture enforceth it, using that metaphor of purging, 1 Cor. 
V. 7, as having relation to the working out of that inward corruption which 
sticks in us by nature. So David, having acknowledged the filthiness of 
his nature by birth, and the uncleanness of it : Ps. li. 5, ' Behold, I was 
shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me ;' he cries out 
upon it, ' Purge me with hyssop, and create a clean heart within me,' ver. 7. 
And so Paul, in the place before cited : 1 Cor. v. 7, ' Purge out the old 
leaven,' says he. Look, as leaven is a corrupt tainture and sourness in the 
dough, so is there answerably a corruption in the soul, and this ab orifjlne, 
from your birth, from the old Adam, which, because it is a corruption, 
therefore purge ; for that is a metaphor hath still reference to corruption, 
mingled or blended with something which is good in itself, but spoiled whilst 
that is in it, because it is the old leaven that hath been there so long, and 
therefore there is so much of it, and is now so deeply rooted. Therefore 
go about speedily to cast it out ; it is high time to begin : Jer. iv. 14, 
* Wash thy heart, Jerusalem : how long shall thy vain thoughts be in 
thee ?' "Thy filthiness hath been there long enough : an old sore that hath 
festered, and was from thy nativity, and thou never didst dress it yet, never 
purged or washed it yet ; and so after a long expectation, God says, Jer. 
xiii. 27, * I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of 
thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the field : Woe unto 
thee, Jerusalem, wilt thou not be made clean ? when shall it once be ?' 
God thinks it long that you should all be filthy from the womb, and never 
so much as once go about to cleanse you. And, therefore, methinks you 
hearing this doctrine, that there is such a corruption and filthiness in your 
natures, the next thought you should have about it should be, I am indeed 
thus from my birth ; oh when shall I begin to purge myself ? 

And it being a corruption of thy nature, a filthiness of flesh and spirit, as 
it is called, 2 Cor. vii. 1, which sticks both in soul and body, seated princi- 
pally in the heart, out of which all defiled things come, therefore, I say, be 
sure the thing thou principally labourest to cleanse be thy heart and thy 
natural disposition. It is a folly to purge the streams of thy Ufe, and ne- 
glect the fountain whence all springs. Cleanse that which is within,' says 
our Saviour Christ, ' and then that which is without will be clean also,' Mat. 
xxiii. 26. ' Thou blind pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup 
and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.' Take a sow and 
cleanse her from her mire without, yet her swinish disposition remaining, 
she cannot be said to be clean, but a filthy creature still, because it is her 
nature again and again to wallow in the mire, 2 Pet. ii. 22. There are a gene- 
ration of men purge themselves from the grosser filth of outward evils, and 
think that is enough ; but let them consider that this corruption is inherent 
in their natures, and though their outward mire be washed off, and they 
leave gross sins, yet they may be filthy swine still ; and therefore Solomon 
says, ' There are a generation that are pure in their own eyes, who are not 
washed from their filthiness,' Prov. xxx. 12. Cleansed they were from 
something others are defiled with, how else could they be clean in their 
own eyes, as gross sinners are not ? but yet their original corruption and 
filthy natures still remaining, from which they were not washed, they are 
not clean. 

But you will say. If it be my nature, how can I be purged of it ? 

I answer, it is not the substance of thy nature, but a corrupt defilement 
cleaves to it ; for in the phrase of purging there is impHed a separation of 


some filthiness from something that is good, for that which is nothing but 
naughtiness and filthiness cannot be said to be purged ; for as election is out 
of a mass refused, so purging from a mass that is good ; and so all the things 
which this phrase is drawn from and alludes unto implies thus much, as the 
' purging out of leaven,' 1 Cor. v. 7. The leaven is one thing, and the sub- 
stance of the dough another, which is good : so that allusion, Mai. iii. 3, 4, 
' And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver : and he shall purify the sons 
of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may off"er unto the 
Lord an ofiering in righteousness. Then shall the offerings of Judah and 
Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former 
years.' There is something which is naught mingled with what is good, 
dross with the substance of gold, and the purging is the severing of these 
two ; and as the gold hath a faces mingled with it, which it hath from its 
original as it comes out of the womb of the earth, so the nature and sub- 
stance of man hath, since the fall, a dross and inherent defilement, which is 
mingled and incorporated with the soul. I may say so without absurdity, 
for it is a body of sin and death : Rom. vii. 24, ' wretched man that I am ! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? ' Now, therefore, this 
purging is not the taking away of any of the substance, or what is created 
by God in the soul, but only the defilement. The purges which physicians 
give carry away something that is good with the bad humours, and the fire 
that consumes the dross causeth some of the gold to perish, and therefore, 
1 Peter i. 7, faith is said to be much more precious than gold which perish- 
eth, when it is tried in the fire, for some of the gold perisheth, but not a 
shred or grain of thy fixith ; and so this purging takes nothing away but only 
the corruption, not a jot of the substance which God created perisheth : Isa. 
xxvii. 9, ' By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; and this 
is all the fruit to take away his sin ; when he maketh all the stones of the 
altar as chalk-stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall 
not stand up.' The prophet speaks of this purging, which I now exhort to, 
as it is wrought by affliction : ' by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; 
and this is all the fruit to take away the sin,' that is, all it takes away im- 
pairs not the substance of thy soul ; so that when I say it is a purging of thy 
nature, my meaning is, it is a severing the corruption which now is in thee 
by nature from the substance of thy soul, which God made. I exhort you 
to purge out nothing else ; for, my brethren, you have a substance made by 
God, endued with natural faculties, all which are good, and sin is the spoil 
and corruption of them, as the dross is the spoil of the gold and silver, if it 
be not severed from it, as ill humours are the spoil and corruption of the 
body, if they be not severed from it and purged out. And therefore that 
should be a motive to you, to purge yourselves from this filth, because it is 
the spoil of that which is good in thee. God loseth a creature, a noble 
creature, by reason of it, and this is an argument Christ useth, Luke xi. 39, 
40, why they should wash their hearts as well as their cups, ' Did not God, 
that made that which is without, make that which is within also?' namely, 
their hearts. Their hearts were of God's making, and it is the corruption 
which spoils the creature that God made, and destroys it. Now, therefore, 
purge yourselves, and wash your hearts as well as your cups ; for why 
shouldst thou suffer that which is naught to spoil that which is good in thee 
for want of purging it out? Thou hast a good wit, it may be, which God 
hath made ; a wisdom and a large understanding. Is it not pity it should 
be spoiled ? Why, thou art born with a corruption cleaving to it, which, if 
thou severest it not, will be the spoil of it that it shall be good for nothing, 
but, as silver when the dross is in it, is fit to make nothing of, but crum- 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 71 

bles and breaks.^ Titus i. 15, be baving said tbat men's minds and con- 
sciences arc defiled, be adds, vcr. 10, tbat tbey are 'reprobate to every good 
work' ; and tberelbre now (Jod sball be forced to reject tbeui, and to destroy 
tbe creature tbat be batb made, if tbou wilt not purge out tby delileuient 
from tbee. Jei*. vi. 30, wben be laboured to purge tbem and tbey would 
not, it is said, ' Reprobate silver sball men call tbem, for tbe Lord batb 
rejected tbem.' Tbougb tbere was a substance wbicb was good in tbem, 
wbicb God migbt regard as bis creature, yet, tbeir dross remaining, be could 
have no use of tbem ; tbey being reprobate in tbemselves to every good work, 
God would reject tbem also : as a vessel wbicb a man cannot get tbe tilth 
out of be dasbetb against tbe walls and breaks : 2 Tim. ii. 21, ' Tbere are 
vessels of honour, and vessels of dishonour ; if a man purge himself, he 
shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and 
prepared to every good work.' 

Observe, first, that tbere are vessels of several sorts, and the clay and 
fashion is from God, the potter. Now, bow come some to be vessels of dis- 
honour, tbat is, of damnation, and wrath, and confusion of face ; some of 
honour and glory, namely, salvation ? for so honour is taken, Rom. ii. 10, 
Why, sa3's tbe apostle, ' if a man purge himself, tben he shall become a vessel 
of honour,' for all have a defilement in them by nature, none become vessels 
of honour but those tbat purge tbemselves ; and why ? Because none else can 
God emplo}' in tbat honourable employment of his service, for so a man be- 
comes sanctified and meet for his master's use. God caunot use tbe other 
about his business, no more than you can do with an unclean vessel to drink 
in, and so he is fain to lay you aside as vessels wherein be bath no pleasure : 
Hosea viii. 8, ' Israel is swallowed up: nov7 shall they be among tbe Gentiles 
as a vessel wherein is no pleasure ; ' and not only so, but to break you in 
pieces like a potter's vessel, Ps. ii. 9, so tbat unless you mean to lose all 
that is good in you, aud lose God a creature, purge yourselves from all filthi- 
ness of the flesh and spirit. Only be sure to make thorough work ; and 
above all, endeavour to purge corruption out of thy heart aud nature, as well 
as out of tby actions, for, take what pains thou wilt to purge thyself from 
gross actions, thou sbalt still be reckoned a filthy person, as one that hath 
no part in Christ: John xiii. 8, ' If I wash thee not, thou bast no part with 
me.' Thou art but an outside, as civil men be who purge themselves from 
adultery, &c., but within are full of uncleanness, &c. ' Jerusalem,' says 
God, Jer. iv. 14, ' wash tby heart. How long shall thy vain thoughts 
lodge within thee ? ' Not tby hands only, and the outward converse, but tby 
heart and the evil tboughts must be purged ; and therefore says David, Ps. 
Ii. 7, 'Create a clean heart within me.' Apprehending his corruption, it 
would not content him to be kept clean from wallowing any more in un- 
cleanness, but he rests not till his heart be wasbed from the defilement he 
left behind in it, and from those unclean fancies, the impression of that sin 
renewed in him day by day. And therein lies the difference of hypocrites 
and believers, the foolish and wise virgins, as they are called. Mat. xxv. 2. 
Virgins tbey are both called, as keeping themselves undefiled from some cor- 
ruptions and adulterous practices which others are given to. And so virgin 
is used in opposition to the Romish whore : Rev. xiv. 4, ' These are they 
which were not defiled with women ; for they are virgins. These are they 
which follow the Lamb whitbersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from 
among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.' Only the 
wise virgins purify their hearts as well as their bands ; but the foolish, though 
virgins in regard of being clear from common whorings aud adulteries of the 
world, yet their hearts were unclean within, their folly lying in this, that 


they purged the streams and not the fountains, which is a vain and foolish 
labour ; so therefore Christ calls pharisees fools : Luke xi. 40, ' Ye fools, did 
not he that made that which is without make that which is within also ?' 
And therefore you shall find that difference between true believers and tem- 
poraries in 2 Peter i. 4, ' Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and 
precious promises : that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, 
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' And 
2 Peter ii. 20, ' For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world 
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again 
entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning.' 
There is a riddance in both of defilement, but the one is said barely to 
escape pollution, ra /xidcificcTa, the other corruption through lust ; the one 
inward, the other outward, the mire external only, for so 2 Peter ii. 22 in- 
terprets it, comparing them to swine ; but the other are cleared from internal 
pollutions, for, on the contrary, they are to be partakers of a divine nature. 

Ohj. But you will say, How shall I get this corruption out, seeing it is in 
my nature ? Jer. xiii. 23, ' Can a blackmoor change his skin ?' This is my 
skin, the natural dye which I brought with me into the world ; or, ' Can a 
leopard change his spots ? ' Though they be but spots, yet how shall I be 
able to get them out ? 

Ans. I indeed confess there is nothing in nature can do it ; there is no 
creature, that is simply a creature, can do it. A toad cannot empty itself of 
poison, because it is incorporated into it, so neither canst thou empty thyself 
of sin because it is incorporated into thee ; it is blended in thy nature, and 
there is nothing but that which is contrary can expel a contrary. Now, there 
is nothing contrary to sin in thee ; yea, there is no creature can do it for 
thee : Jer. ii. 22, ' Though thou wash thyself with nitre, and take much 
soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before thee,' &c. Take all the soap in 
the world, such as you use to wash your clothes with, and it will not do it ; 
yea, take all your legal sacrifices with which they did use to purge and ex- 
piate sin, and it will not do it : Heb. x. 1—4, ' For the law having a shadow 
of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with 
those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers 
thereunto perfect. For then would the}' not have ceased to be ofi'ered ? be- 
cause that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience 
of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins 
every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should 
take away sins.' There the apostle saith, sacrifices could not purchase sin, 
for if they could (saith he) they would not have been offered every year, but 
would have ceased, because they that were once purged should have no more 
conscience of sin ; and therefore (he saith) ' it was impossible that the blood 
of bulls and goats should take away sin,' yea, if all the world had been 
offered for a sacrifice it could not have done it. Again, the law of God 
could never do it (though this be a help to our nature), yet it could not 
purge sin ; it might indeed break us all to pieces, it might bray thee as in a 
mortar, and yet thou wouldst be a fool still, thy folly would not depart from 
thee, Prov. xxvii. 22. Therefore, Rom. viii. 7, where, having spoken of this 
corruption in the former chapter, he saith the law could not free a man from 
it, in that it is weak through the flesh. All this will not fetch corruption out, 
as if you should take wheat and beat it to pieces in a mortar, yet it would 
continue to be wheat still though it were broken ; so, though the law might 
break thee to pieces, yet thy corruption would still remain in thee. 

What way, then, is there to purge it ? You shall see in the next words: 
Rom. viii. 3, when ' the law could not do it, God sent his Son.' God sent 

Chap. V.] in respect op sin and punishment. 73 

one from heaven on purpose to come down to do this office here upon earth, 
to be a refiner, to purge men from their sins, Mai. iii. 3. Jesus Christ hath 
his work here upon earth ; and as men have their several employments, so 
hath Christ his, to purge and purify men from sin. And there is not one 
of this employment in heaven and earth but he, and those that he purifieth 
are the sons of Levi, all Christians, who are by him ' made kings and 
priests unto God the Father,' Rev. i. 6 ; and these he purgeth, and fetcheth 
the dross away, that they may ofier to the Lord offerings of righteousness, 
and acceptable sacrifices. Therefore, if you would be purged, and have your 
dross fetched oflP, here is a refiner, and here is fuller's soap, Mai. iii. 2. 
Bring hither therefore your filthy souls, he can purge them ; there is nothing 
else can do it, for it is his proper business ; he was sent of purpose to do it. 
As if you would have some great work done, that never a man in England 
can do it, you would send for a tradesman beyond sea ; yea, even when 
there was not one upon earth could do it, God sent to heaven for his Son 
to come down to purge away sin. 

Obj. But how doth he do it ? 

Aus. He doth it, Jirst, by his blood ; there was nothing else could do it. 
It is that which purges your consciences from dead works : as Heb. xi. 14, 
' How much more shall' the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit 
offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to 
serve the Uving God ?' There is in every part of our nature a mass of cor- 
ruption, a bundle of folly, Prov. xv. 22. But how shall that be got out ? 
See 1 John iii. 8, it is said there, that Christ appeared ' to destroy,' to untie 
' the works of the devil.' He is the fountain opened for a separation of sin 
and uncleanness, Zech. xiii. 1, to purge and purify the sons of men, and it 
is his blood that doth all this. 

Again, secondhj, this power he communicated by his Spirit. When this 
refiner, Mai. iii, 2, and the fuller's soap, that is, his Spirit, does join, then 
such a man is purified indeed ; therefore the Holy Ghost is compared to tire, 
which purgeth the heart from all the dross which we brought with us into 
the world. He is this fuller's soap, and there is^none hke it in the world ; 
and if the Spirit seize upon the heart once, he will purify it thoroughly. 
Therefore do you as David did'; when he saw he could not do it of himself, 
he went to God for the assistance of his Spirit : ' Purge me, Lord,' saith 
he, Ps. li. 7. So, 1 Peter i. 2, this work is attributed to the Spirit. In 
1 Peter i. 22, ' Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through 
the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another 
with a pure heart fervently.' 

Thirdly, The Spirit is conveyed to us in the word ; therefore the apostle, 
1 Peter i. 22, they had ' purified their souls in obeying the truth.' If thou 
wouldst be pure in heart, be frequent in the word ; therefore our Saviour 
saith, ' You are clean through the word that I have spoken to you ; ' for the 
Spirit goes with the word, and that washes and purifies the heart. But you 
must be sure you obey it then ; therefore it is said, they purified their 
hearts in obeying the truth. It is not enough to hear a sermon, but you 
must eat it down, take in what it commands, and then it will purge your 
heart. Ps. cxix. 9, ' Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his ways '? By 
ruling himself according to thy word.' Take the word and digest it, squeeze 
the juice of it into thy heart, and it will purge thee from all contrary cor- 

Fourthly, Of all parts in the word, the promises have the most virtue in 
them, they do purge most of all : 2 Peter i. 4, ' Whereby are given to us 
exceeding great and precious promises : that by these ye might he partakers 


of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world 
through lust ;' 2 Cor. vii. 1, ' Having therefore these promises, dearly 
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all hlthiness of the flesh and spirit, 
perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' Do but thoroughly di'ink down the 
promises, and they will purge thy heart. 

Fij'tkly, God giveth power to some graces to do it. 

As, 1, faith is a special means to purge thy heart. Acts sv. 9, for it brings 
home the promises so to thy heart, as it is purged by them ; as when a man 
comes to consider of his privileges, that he is the son of God in Christ, 
2 Cor. vi. 18, and also considering, that if he be the son of God, then he 
must be like him. Now knowing that God is pure, this makes him labour 
by all means to purge himself; so likewise when the soul considers, I have 
a new husband, now I am married unto Christ, and therefore I must labour 
to be pure. So likewise when the soul by faith considers, I am now the 
temple of God, and he walks in it, and therefore I must not make it a den of 
thieves : 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20, ' What ! know ye not that your body is the 
temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye 
are not your own ? For ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God 
in your body, and your spirit, which are God's.' And indeed, ' holiness 
becomes his house for ever,' Ps. xciii. 5. 

2. The Lord gives his power to hope: 1 John iii. 2, ' He that hath this 
hope purities himself.' So that, hast thou a hope ever to come to heaven ? 
Then thou wilt fall to washing and scouring of thy nature. By this you see 
how you may be pure : go to Christ, bathe in his blood, pray for the Spirit, 
obey the word, squeeze out the juice of the promises, and these will be 
excellent helps to purge your hearts. 

And there are certain times when this is to be done. 

Especiall}', 1, young men they should do it : ' How shall a young man 
cleanse his ways ?' Ps. cxix. 9 ; ' Remember thy Creator in the days of thy 
youth,' Eccles. xii. 1. God speaks not to old men, there is not such a place 
to them in all the Scripture where God salth so to them ; therefore set about 
the work betimes, and take the best opportunity. It is good to purge the 
body in the spring, it is good to purge the kingdom in the spring of a king's 
reign, and it is good to purge the heart in the spring of thy youth, before 
old age come upon thee. 

2. Again, when God stirs thy heart at the hearing of the word, or with a 
good motion of his Spirit, then it is good purging. They say it is good purg- 
ing in a rainy day, because then the humours are stirring, and they will go 
away the easier. Now there are times, Ezek. xxiv. 13, when God comes to 
purge you. Oh then do you fall a cleansing of yourselves ; for God would 
then purge you, would you but join with him. Yet it is the Spirit that 
must indeed do it after all : 1 Peter i. 22, ' Seeing ye have purihed your 
souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the 
brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.' 

Obj. But what is it to purge yourselves ? 

Ans. It implies three things. 

First, To loose thy heart from sin. As if you would purge a cloth, you 
steep it in the water to loosen the defilement of it ; if you would purge 
silver, you put it into the fire to loosen the dross from it ; if you would 
purge the chaff from the wheat, you thresh it first, that you may loosen it ; 
so if you would purge sin, you must labour to loosen it from the heart ; 
therefore it is said, that Christ came for this purpose: Zech. xiii. 1, ' In that 
day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.' Christ was to come 


to work a separation from sin and uncleanness ftLou wast bound up in the 
band of iniquity, and Christ came forth to loose the band, and to untie thee 
from it, when it was incorporated into thee : 1 John iii. 8, * He that com- 
mitteth sin is of the devil ; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For 
this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the 
works of the devil.' He came to untie the band, and to destroy the works 
of the devil. 

Sc'co)ulhj, Purging implies a taking away of the dross ; for it is but a folly 
to put the gold into fire, if you let the dross lie upon it and keil it again ; it 
is but a folly to thresh the wheat, if you do not winnow and fan it, and 
thoroughly purge the floor. Even so you must do in this ; you must purge 
out the corruption, for this is ' all the fruit' of purifying, ' to take away the 
sin : ' Isa. xxvii. 9, * By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; 
and this is all the fruit to take away his sin ; when he maketh all the stones 
of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and the 
image shall not stand up.' This is to purge yourselves from sin, to lay it 
aside, as it is James i. 21, ' Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness and super- 
fluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which 
is able to save your souls.' For it is but an excrement ; if naughtiness 
could have an excrement, sin should be it. And there is this scum in you 
which must be boiled out, Ezek. xxiv. 11, 12 ; you must not let it boil in 
again, but you must fetch it out; even as merchants do in boiling and scum- 
ming of new wines, so must you, when the scum of your corruptions rise, 
you must purge it out. 

Thirdly, You being purged, you must keep yourselves pure from the pol- 
lutions of the world, and not so much as touch the unclean thing : 2 Cor. 
vi. 17, ' Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith 
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you.' And 
being once purged, you must walk carefully, even as a man walking in a 
miry lane, that you do not spatter yourselves again. John xvii. 15, ' I 
pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou 
shouldst keep them from the evil.' 1 John v. 18, ' We know that whosoever is 
born of God sinneth not ; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, 
and that wicked one toucheth him not.' Thou hast put on thy clothes, and 
washed thy feet, and wilt thou wallow in the mire again ? 

Obj. But how shall I get it loosened and purged, and what shall I do to 
keep it clean ? 

Ans. To get it loosened, 

First, Get a dislike of sin. As if we would loosen two friends that are 
knit together in a common bond of friendship, the only way is to get a dislike 
of one another, and then they will soon part. So to loosen sin, get an ill 
opinion of it ; which that you may, consider what the word speaks against 
it, and think of sin as it speaks of it, and it is able to engender in thee 
an ill opinion of sin ; therefore hear the word much, read it much, digest 
it much. 

Secondly, Humble thyself much for sin, get thy heart broken and melted; 
for it is said of Joshua, that when he humbled himself, his heart melted at 
the word. Now, when you put gold into the fire, when it is melted, you 
may easily take the dros's from it. So you may deal with your corruptions: 
James iv. 8, ' Draw nigh to God, and "he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse 
your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.' But 
how shall they so do ? Verse 9, ' Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep : let 
your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.' 

Again, that you may purge sin. The special means is, to labour to 


strengthen the inward man ; for there is in every man vis ejectiva, an expul- 
sive faculty, to expel and purge out corruptions. Now, vphat is the reason 
that any man dies, but only because this power is not strong enough to cast 
out the deadly humours ? Even so to purge out sin, thou must strengthen 
the inward man, labour to get grace, as faith, joy, hope, to strengthen and 
make the inward man more lively ; for sin is but an outward man, an excre- 
ment which the inward man will soon shake off, and purge it out, even as 
nature doth a scab ; for all grace purgeth the heart, and maketh it to cast 
out corruption, therefore labour to purge it out. 

Use 2. When thou hast purged out thy sins, keep thyself clean. I have 
read a story of a fuller and a collier, and as fast as the fuller purged his 
cloth the collier fouled it again, because they lived both in one house. Even 
so is it with us, by reason of the nearness of the flesh, and the regenerate 
part in us, and therefore it is the harder to keep ourselves clean. But that 
thou mayest, 

First, Keep thyself from evil thoughts, for they defile the man : Mat. xv. 
18-20, ' But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from 
the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil 
thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 
these are the things which defile a man : but to eat with unwashen hands 
defileth not a man.' The more thou entertainest these thoughts, the more 
thy heart will be corrupted. 

Secondlij, Keep thyself from evil speeches, because * evil words corrupt 
good manners,' 1 Cor. xv. 33. Thou canst not gargle them in thy mouth, 
but some of them will go down. 

Thirdly, Take heed of ill company, for that will defile the man. In the 
time of the law, if a living man touched a dead man, he was unclean. Take 
heed therefore of conversing with dead men, for it will defile thee; as when 
thou hast prayed, and taken pains with thy heart, and brought it into some 
good frame, when thou comest into ill company, they will cool thee again. 

Fourthhj, Take heed of all occasions of evil abuse of things lawful, even 
they also will make thee impure, because it is a means to draw out the im- 
purity of thy heart; therefore if thou be defiled, as Titus i. 15, 'Unto the 
pure all things are pure : but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is 
nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.' Then all 
those things that draw out the corruption of thy heart, though they be things 
lawful, yet use them not, for often by lawful recreations men gather defile- 
ment, even as a man by telling of money defileth his hands with it. 

And also, to stir you up to this duty, consider these motives : 

1. Unless thou purge thyself, thou hast no part in Christ: John xiii. 8, 
* Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him. 
If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.' If Christ have not washed 
thy heart, thou hast no part in him. Christ was made fit to loose sin in us, 
therefore if sin be not dissolved in thee, thou hast no part in him. 

2. This purging distinguisheth a godly man from an hypocrite. An hypo- 
crite washeth the outward man : Pi-ov. xxx. 12, ' Though they are pure in 
their own eyes, yet they are not washed from their filthiness.' But now a 
child of God washeth his heart; therefore if thou wilt have comfort by this 
distinction, labour to purge thyself, and to get the core of sin out. 

3. Without this thou shalt never see God : Ps. xxiv. 3, 4, ' Who shall 
ascend into the hill of the Lord ? and who shall stand in his holy place ? 
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart ; who hath not lift up his soul 
unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully;' only he that hath clean hands, and a 
pure heart, shall be received into God's tabernacle. Now, thou art impure. 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 77 

and dost thou think ever to come to God ? No ; God will have no such come 
to him. 

4. For outward blessings, till thou purge thyself, God will not many times 
bestow them upon thee. It may be God hath a heart to do it, but thou 
hast an impure heart, and therefore canst not receive them: Ps. Ixxiii. 1, 
' God is good only to such as have clean hearts.' He knows if he should 
give thee outward blessings they would defile thee. I will shut up all there- 
fore with that exhortation, James iv. 8, ' Draw nigh to God, and he will draw 
nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners ; and purify your hearts, ye 
double-minded.' God will never draw nigh unto you unless you purge 
yourselves. But how shall we do it ? He tells you in the next verse, ' Be 
afflicted, and mourn.' Go to Christ, bring faith with you ; go to Christ, and 
desire him to purge thee; labour to drink down the word deep into thy soul, 
and this will be a means to purge thy heart; and for all this thou wilt not 
be clean. Mark, with what God concludes all the Scriptures, ' He that is 
filthy, let him be filthy still,' Rev. xxii. 11. As if he had said, Go and see 
what will come of it, see who will have the worst of it ; but this know, that 
when God comes to purge thee, and thou wilt not, he will never strive to 
purge thee more: Jer. vi. 30, God would have purged them, and they would 
not ; therefore ' reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath 
rejected them;' and then thou wilt be found at last to be a vessel of wrath, 
and so wilt be dashed in pieces. Therefore think this seriously with your- 
selves : If I be found in my natural defilement, not purged, the Lord will 
dash me to pieces, and I shall never be found a vessel of honour fit for my 
Master's use. Therefore labour to be earnest to be in Christ, that purify- 
ing virtue may go out from him, and thou mayest bring forth fruit in him: 
John XV. 2, ' Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and 
every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more 
fruit.' And then God will purge thee ; and the more thou drawest to Christ, 
the more purging thou shalt have, and the more God will cut off the old 
branches of sin in thee. 

Use 3. If this corruption be not only a misery befallen our nature, but 
also truly and properly in itself a sin, then let me exhort you, in a true and 
thorough sense of it, not only to cry out and complain of it (as men use to 
do of miseries), but in an especial manner to humble yourselves for it, when 
you come into God's presence. 

1. I say, to be truly and thoroughly sensible of it ; for otherwise you can 
neither truly complain of it as a misery, nor be humbled for it as a sin, of 
which corruption and distemper of nature yet the most men have been and 
are (like men in a mortal and deadly sickness) insensible. So far were some 
of the Stoics and heathens of old, and atheists of these times, from thinking 
it a misery, as consequenter natures vivere was with ihem fceUcltatisJinem attin- 
gere, to live according to nature was to attain the end of happiness, like brute 
beasts, following the swing of nature and corrupt reason, as the truest guide 
to happiness; whence haply it was that some in the primitive times thought 
fornication and uncleanness could be no sin (because it was an action so 
agreeable to nature), no more than in beasts, w'hich do according to their 
kind. And indeed where nothing but nature itself sat the judge upon itself, 
we need not wonder at so favourable a sentence. But in those among us 
Christians who have had the true glass of God's word to discover the de- 
formity and depravation of their natures unto them, I do much more wonder 
to hear them bolster themselves, and lay the foundation of their hopes for 
heaven in the goodness and sweetness of their natures, smoothness and 
ingenuousness of their dispositions ; yea, and that so far as to put it into 


the balance against the exorbitancies and gross enormities of their lives, 
thinking their actual sins will not damn them, their inclinations being so 
good and towardly. 

Others, if further convinced, so as not to justify themselves by the false 
supposed goodness of it, yet so as at least to excuse themselves by the bad- 
ness of it, which they are forced to acknowledge, laying all upon the devil 
and their natures ; it is their natural inclination and disposition to do so, 
and we are all flesh and blood, and what other can be expected of them ? 
This is their talk ; so far are and were all these sorts of men from laying it 
to heart and being truly sensible of it. Better shall it fare with those more 
ingenuous heathens, who were not only sensible of this disease of nature, but 
complained of it as a woful misery. So Tully, lib. ii. de Rep., as quoted by 
Augustine, lib. iv. contra Julian.* laments the miserable condition of mankind. 
Quern natiira noverca in lucem edidit, corpore undo, fragili, infirmo, animo ad 
molestias anxio, ad. tiinores hitmili, ad labores dehili, ad libidines proclivi, in 
quo divinus ignis sit obrutits, ingenium et mores. But yet all this acknow- 
ledgment ended in a mere complaint, and that not in particular so much, 
bewailing it in themselves (which only humbles), but in the general, as the 
common condition ; neither, indeed, was it so much an humble complaint of 
this misery, as a proud expostulation and upbraiding of nature, that is, the 
God of nature, as a stepfather, for making them so as they thought ; 
which acknowledgment, though it might humble them in regard of their car- 
riage one towards another, as considering they were subject to the like 
miseries other men were, yet it brought them not upon their knees for it 
before God, but flushed them rather against him ; and therefore com- 
plain they did (as Titus Vespasian f when dying), that the frame of nature 
should so soon be dissolved by death (God's sergeant and executioner), not 
considering that it was originally set wrong, not by God, but their own de- 
fault, and so went continually wrong, insomuch that God was provoked to 
break the workmanship that he had made, considering it would not be 

Others among us Christians there are acknowledge it not only a misery, and 
themselves miserable men in particular in regard of it, but also humbly 
acknowledge it before God, as a misery that not he, but they in their first 
fathers have brought upon themselves ; so as, indeed, their natures are 
justly thus corrupted, and therefore humbly sue to him for pity and deHver- 
ance, as beggars do to those that are able to help them, as maimed persons 
do to a physician. 

Use 4. But yet, my brethren, in the fourth place, that which I am to ex- 
hort vou to is not only to be thus particularly sensible of it, and so to com- 
plain of it, and that not only as a misery that is justly befallen you, as the 
just debt of the first sin you are guilty of, but further than all this, to lay it 
to heart as a sin, and accordingly to humble yourselves before it as low as 
hell, with a heart broken, confounded, and a mouth put in the dust ; for it is 
one thing so far to be humbled for it, as a man that hath brought himself 
into miserj-, and so laments himself, and so sues out to God for help and 
pity, or as a wounded patient doth to the physician, and another thing to be 
humbled before God for it, as a traitor before his prince, or a guilty person 
before his judge, so as to acknowledge that, though that cursed root of 

* See the Citation afore in Book I. 

t Deinde ad primara statim mansionem febrim nactns cum inde lectica transfer- 
retur, suspexisse dicitur dimotis plagulis ccelum, multumque conqusestus, eripi sibi 
vitam immerenti : neque enim extare ullum suum factum poenitendum excepto dun- 
taxat uno. — Suetonius in Vita Titi Vesp. c. 10. 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 79 

original corruption had never sprouted forth into actual sin, yet it, and him- 
self for it, did deserve to be stubbed up, and to be cast into hell, merely 
because it was naturally so poisoned and embittered, and envenomed with 
such dispositions as are truly sinful and hateful in God's most holy and all- 
seeing eye. 

Now thus to humble a man's soul for it contains four things in it. 

1. To be particularly sensible of the evil and misery of it, for no aflfection 
stirs to anything, be it good or evil, till we apprehend it so ; as not love, so 
not grief, and sensible we must be of it. This particularly, not barely as the 
common condition of all mankind, for that keeps men rather off from 
humbling themselves. We think ourselves to be the more excused, as from 
thankfulness for mercies others have a share in, so from the guilt of sins 
which are common to others. Therefore, I say, a man must be particularly 
sensible of it, that though all the world complain not of these wounds and 
festered sores we brought into the world with us, yet let us Iny them open 
befoi-e the throne of God from day to day, as if no man else in the world 
had the like bad nature to ours. 

2. To be humbled requires such a sensible acknowledgment and laying 
open of this misery as to have a man's mouth stopped, and nothing to say 
for one's self by way of excuse how it befell us ; and therefore that to be 
truly humbled is expressed by being confounded, and not able to open the 
mouth any more : Ezek. xvi. 63, ' That thou mayest remember, and be con- 
founded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when 
I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.' 
The heathens, therefore, though sensible of it, were not humbled for it, be- 
cause they complained of nature for bringing them forth so ; and indeed, if 
we apprehend we are fallen into misery, and not through our own default, 
we think we deserve pity and help, and complain of those that afford it not. 
But to be humbled is not simply to be sensible of and complain of a misery, 
and to seek and cry out for help, but to complain of ourselves, through 
whose default it is befallen us, and that justly. And then the creature be- 
gins to be humbled before God, for then, though God be of a pitiful nature 
and ready to help, yet our misery being befallen us by our own default, we 
then apprehend him not bound by the laws of pity to succour us, but that 
he may justly say, You may thank yourselves for it. Now, all must confess 
their original depravation as a thing befallen them, wherein they have no- 
thing to say by way of excuse ; and though, indeed, none can help it or avoid 
it (for we are born so), yet it comes by our default, sinning in Adam ; and 
therefore the apostle, Eom. iii. 19, speaking of the general depravation of the 
natures and lives of all mankind, as there he expressly out of Ps. xiv. doth, 
from ver. 10 to 19 ; says he, ver. 19, ' that every mouth may be stopped,' 
have nothing to say. Why, I am thus unrighteous, and that there is no fear 
of God before my eyes. 

But yet, 3, this is not all ; for simply to acknowledge a misery which needs 
pity, delivering us from it, suppose befallen us justly, doth not thoroughly 
humble or bring the creature low enough before God, as now it ought to be. 
But when the creature shall come in and acknowledge this corruption, not 
only a misery but also a sin, and that therefore he needs not only pity, be- 
cause this befell him through his own default, but that he deserves wrath 
instead of mercy, as being his sin, that it is not only deservedly befallen 
him by reason of the guilt of Adam's sin that he cannot rid himself out 
of, but also that in itself it deserves a worse misery, eternal death. And 
thus also should all mankind humble themselves before God for this corrup- 
tion : Rom. iii. 19, * Now we know that what things soever the law saith, 


it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, 
and all the world may become guilty before God.' All the world, in regard 
of a natural righteousness spoken of before, even children and all ; all the 
world must become guilty, that is, in their own acknowledgment, before God, 
not only have their mouths stopped (if it were a misery so they might be), 
but also that they are guilty, that is, as signifies in the original, subject to 
the wrath and judgment of God. Therefore, Eph. ii. 3, speaking of that 
natural corruption brought by nature, he says, ' By nature we were the chil- 
dren of wrath,' that is, by reason of the corruption of our natures, which he 
there speaks of ; for, as Whitaker well observes, he brings it after he had 
described the corruption in their lives in the former words, as the cause 
whence that sprung. And having spoken of both in ver. 1 in general, in 
these words, ' dead in trespasses,' that is, sins actual deserving death, and in 
sins, namely, of natural corruption, 1, he shews particularly the trespasses of 
the lives, ver. 2, 3 ; and, 2, adds the other part of their sinfulness, which 
was the cause of the corruption of their natures. They were by nature the 
children of wrath ; that is, not only deserving wrath in regard of their lives, 
but also of their very natures ; for to be a child of wrath is to deserve wrath, 
as Judas is called ' the child of perdition,' John xvii. 12. 

4. But in that true and kind humiliation which I exhort you to, there is 
a fourth thing required, not simply to judge and acknowledge a man's self 
subject to wrath for the sin, but to look on a man's self with loathing and 
detestation for it ; for you shall find humbling a man's self so expressed : 
' They shall loathe themselves for their sins,' Ezek. xxxvi. 31. Were this 
corruption simply a misery that had befallen them, though justly, yet if it 
were no more, one would not loathe himself for it, no, no more than a man 
doth his own fiesh, though full of boils and diseases. He hates not his 
flesh, because he looks on those diseases as a misery only befallen it ; 
neither to be humbled, for it is merely to apprehend that wrath due to it 
as to a sin, for that may be, where no love of God is, out of self-love ; but to 
humble thyself for it, is to look upon this disease, and even to hate thy 
own self for it, to look upon it as God doth, not only as a thing that 
deserves his wrath, but which he abominates, cannot endure to have any 
communion with, as contrary to him and his law ; and so now to look on 
thyself for it with the same eye, to account thyself not only a guilty person, 
but a filthy, loathsome, abominable, vile person, contrary tq God as a crea- 
ture, which, if God would not, thou couldst find in thy heart to destroy. 
And thus Job humbled himself for the corruption of his nature, Job xlii. 6, 
having seen, ver. 5, the holiness of God's nature : ' Now mine eye hath seen 
thee,' says he ; and then reflecting his eye upon himself, his filthy nature, 
he abhorred himself; for in regard of this corruption, a man is not only a 
miserable person in God's eye, — Rom. vii. 24, ' Oh wretched man that I am ! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? ' and so he is the object 
of pity, — but man is a sinful creature, and so an object of wrath, Eph. ii. 8, 
yea, an abominable person : Job xv. 16, ' How much more abominable and 
filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water ? ' He is the object of 
hatred and loathing ; he speaks there of man in regard of original native 
corruption ; for, ver. 14, he saith, ' What is man, that he should be clean ; 
and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? ' 

And now to press this on you, having shewn what it is to humble your- 
selves for it. If you have cause thus to humble yourselves, loathe and 
abhor yourselves for anything, then much more for the corruption of your 
nature. Single out the grossest sin that ever thou hast committed, which 
hath brought thee lowest on thy knees, and hath cost thee most sighs and 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 81 

sobs, which thou hast drenched and watered with most tears, and compare 
it but with the evil disposition of thy heart and nature, which was the root 
that cursed fruit grew on; and whereas thou hast bestowed a thousand tears 
on the one, thou hast cause to shed millions of tears for this, and to wish 
indeed that thy head were a fountain of tears, Jer. ix. 1, to weep day and 
night, because thy heart is a ' fountain of sin,' that casts out filth both day 
and night, Jer. vi. 7. 

Consider, 1, that actual sin was but a bud sprung from this root; that 
the cause, this gross sin but the effect ; the grossest sin that ever thou 
committedst, simply considered, is but the effect of thine inbred corruption. 

But this is not all ; I may add, compare it with many, I dare not say all, 
thy gross sins, simply considered, as fruits out of this root and stalk they 
grew on, and thou hast as much cause to be humbled for the badness of thy 
nature as for them : though indeed thou shouldst do well to put both 
together, and humble thy soul for thy actual sins the more, because they 
are the offspring of so cursed and hateful a mother ; and for the corruption 
of thy nature, because it is the mother of so cursed a brood. And if thou 
sayest. Why, but my actual sins are infinite in number, surpassing my 
knowledge, more than the sands ; so is the wickedness of thy heart and 
nature past thy knowledge : Jer. xvii. 9, ' The heart is deceitful, and despe- 
rately wicked above all things : who can know it ? ' an abounding depth, 
which thou canst never guage the bottom of. 

And that thou mayest see this to be true, view it, 1st, in the general 
nature of it ; and 2dly, in the particular parts of it. 

First, In the general ; consider, 

1. That it is the root, yea, the mother of all those thy actual sins, the 
womb from whence they sprang, and where they were conceived. The 
apostle rips up the womb of it when he says, ' "When lust hath conceived, it 
brings forth sin,' James i. 15. Though temptation and occasion may be 
the midwife to help to bring sin forth, yet this is the mother ; and therefore. 
Gal. V. 19, 20, he says that adultery, fornication, &c., all that cursed cata- 
logue he there musters up, he says they are the fruits of the flesh, that is, 
of inherent, native corruption ; that is the root, these the fruits. So Christ 
also calls it the evil treasure, out of which all sins are brought, the treasure 
or mine whence they are all taken : Mat. xii. 35, ' And an evil man out of 
the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.' Not that they are ready 
minted, but in the ore or bullion, as it were ; yet so as no sin is brought 
forth that hath not its materials there, for it is brought forth out of that 
treasury. And if it be thus the mother-root and treasury of all sin, have 
you not cause to be humbled for it as much, as simply for all other sins ? 
Doth not Paul set out the foulness of the ' love of money,' by calling it 'the 
root of all evil ' ? 1 Tim. vi. 10. Is not this much more odious, that it is 
the root, as of all other, so of covetousness itself; that bitter root spoken of, 
Heb. xii. 15, that bears all the gall and wormwood that grows up in our 
lives ? Take any poisoned root, and you will find the least piece of it hath 
as much strength of poison in it as all the leaves and branches. Of every 
action, yea, of all actions, it may be said, thou bearest not the root, but this 
root bears thee. The sea hath more waters in it than all the rivers that 
come from it, and infinitely more dirt at the bottom of it than it casts forth. 
Now unto this doth Isaiah compare original sin in comparison to actual : 
Isa. Ivii. 20, « But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, 
whose waters cast up mire and dirt.' 

And if it be the mother, then as the devil is therefore called ' that wicked 

VOL. X. F 


one,' xar' i^oyj,v, John viii. 34, because he is the father of sins, all sins 
being called his works, 1 John iii. 8, there, in a higher demonstration, the 
great blame will be cast upon the mother of all sin, by how much it is more 
near and intimate (as to our hearts), the cause thereof, nourishing, breeding, 
cherishing of them more than Satan doth. As Rome being the mother of 
fornication, all nations being drunk with her cup, and therefore shall be 
rewarded double : Rev. viii. 24, ' In her are found all the blood of the slain ; ' 
yea, and the souls of men ; so shall this sin be arraigned at the latter day 
to have been the great whore and mother of fornication, in whom shall be 
found all the sins that ever thou didst commit. Yea, as Christ to his glory 
shall present himself, and say, ' Lo, here I am, and the children thou hast 
given me,' so at that day, after that all thy sins have been set in order 
before thee, as Ps. 1. 20, then shall this great beldame be brought in with all 
her blood ; and then cursed shall be the womb that bare them, and those 
lusts which as paps did give them suck. 

A mother it is, that conceives and brings forth often, yea, without a father, 
which other mothers cannot ; so as the devil shall not need, neither doth he 
indeed tempt us to every sin we commit. This womb is never barren, but 
fruitful of itself; neither is it the mother of all only by succession, or alone 
hneal descent, as Adam is accounted the father of all mankind, and Eve the 
mother of all living ; but every sin comes immediately out of the loins of this 
mother. David lays his adultery and murder upon his being born in sin. 
It is the great traitor, that hath a hand in every treason to the end of the 
world ; though I confess it is much more increased, and the treasury is 
enlarged by custom in sinning ; yet so, as Paul says, when any sin is com- 
mitted, it is that sin that dwells within him that doth it, even this inherent 
corruption : Rom. vii. 20, ' Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I 
that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.' And though indeed God punisheth 
often one sin with another (as Stapleton objects), yet so as still this is the 
sin by which and for which we are so punished, the immediate cause of both; 
and inclines us as well to that sin which is the punishment, as it had done 
to that other sin for which this punishment is inflicted ; only God, in letting 
out corrupt nature, observes a method, broacheth one after another, but this 
sin inclines us alike immediately unto all. 

But, 2, this is not all thou art to consider in it for the humbling of thee. 
It hath not only been actually the cause of all the sins thou hast committed, 
but virtually, and radically, and potentially, it is the seminal root of millions 
more, even of all manner of sin, which thou never actedst, God restraining 
thee, so as thou hast seen the least part of the villnny of it. And indeed it 
is caiLsa xmiversalis mahntm, the universal canse of all evils, even as God is 
of all good, not only because he is the cause of all the good that is, but 
because he is potentially the cause of millions of worlds which lie in his 
power to create ; so this potentially is the cause of new worlds of sins. So, 
though it can act but one sin at a time, yet potentially it would and might 
inchne thee to any other sin, and might hale to contrary lusts at once, so as 
when we sin there is still more in nature than can be acted. Therefore, 
Mat. xii. 34, a man that is wicked is said to speak out of the abundance of 
the heart, which argues there is still more in the heart — an abundance there 
which the mouth speaks not ; — so actual sin is brought out of that treasury, 
ver. 35, and there is far more store in the treasury and warehouse than 
brought out into the shop. Yea, I say, look not only on thine own sins, but 
go out into the world and view all kinds of sins ever acted (as indeed the 
lives of men have been a comment on this text), spoken of Rom. i. Wliat- 
ever the word forbids they are all in thee virtually, for the sin of thy nature 

Chap. V,] in bespect of sin and punishment. 88 

would be the like cause of them all. For as when he wondered that Saul 
prophesied, one that stood by said, 'Yea, but who is the father of them?' 
1 Sam. X. 11, 12. His meaning was, wonder not at him, but consider that 
it is God who is the fether of the prophets, who is able to make these stones 
to prophesy. So do I say, when thou seest so many villanies that thou 
never committedst, I ask, but who is the mother of them ? Even the same 
m-iginal corruption that is in the sect.* So as multi Marii in urto Casare, so 
nndti Judtc in uno peccato. As there are many Caius Mariuses in one Cassar, 
so there are many Judases in one sin, that sin of thy nature. But a pair of 
shears went betwixt thy nature and theirs. If the sins in the world be not 
enough to inform thee, go down to hell ; this sin is the image of the devils, 
they ai*e but wild ones, we are tame by God's restraint, yet both of the same 

Use 5. If it be so, that every man, by the corruption of his nature, is in- 
clined to all sin, then * watch and pray that you fall not into temptation,' 
Mark xiv. 38. For if thou hadst but one lust, viz., love of money, then 
shouldst thou, as the apostle speaks, have temptations enow, even many 
foolish and hurtful lusts : 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10, ' But they that will be rich fall 
into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root 
of all evil : which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, 
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.' Now, it will be much 
more so when thou art addicted to all lusts. My brethren, the world is full 
of snares, and men walk upon them. To some men their table is a snare, 
to others credit, lust, &c., and therefore no wonder if men fall into tempta- 
tion and a snare. It is said sin compasseth men about, Heb. xii. 1, so 
that, let a man go which way he will, sin will be sure to meet with him : yea, 
whatsoever we put our hands to, recreation, meats, &c., they are all defiled 
whilst the heart is defiled, and thy corruption runs out to every creature 
thou usest. The heart dasheth against no object, but thy lusts, like sparks 
of fire out of a torch struck against a post, do in multitudes fly out. There- 
fore, trust not thine heart ; fear in all thy ways lest sin meet thee. There- 
fore, watch in prayer, for thine heart hath a thousand chinks for flies to come 
in at. Take heed in good company that thou be not presumptuous, and in 
bad company that thou be not scandalous. In prosperity take heed lest thy 
heart be full, and thou deny God, and in adversity lest thy heart run out 
into unlawful courses. Vv^^hen thou art at a feast put thy knife to thy throat, 
&c., Prov. xxiii. 2. If thou walk in the street, make a covenant with thine 
eyes, lest lusts steal in. Job xxxi. 1, for lusts are apt to be drawn out in 
every one of these things. In a word, watch in all things, as 2 Tim. iv. 5 ; 
keep thy heart up as thou wouldst do a man given to company from his old 
companions : if he get but out, he then flies out into all excess. So will thy 
heart, there will be no stopping of it. Keep it up, and let it not slip the 
collar, for thou wilt not easily get it in again. Pray also to the Lord not to 
give thee up to temptation, for thou being filled with all unrighteousness, if 
God do but take away his hand from the hole, there is no lust but will be 
apt to leak out. Labour also to get all grace stamped upon your hearts, as 
you have all sin there ; and arm yourselves with resolution against every sin, 
as 1 Peter v. 9, for he that hath no rule over his spirit is like a city without 
walls, any temptation may break in. And if a breach be made, mend up 
the wall again as soon as you can, for it is as the breach of waters which is 
not easily stopped. And if you would not fall into sin, be still in the exercise 
of some grace, and then, saith the apostle, you shall never fall. 

* Qu. 'thyself ?-Ed. 


Use 6. If it be so that there are the seeds of all sin in us, then you that 
have light take heed that you do not sin against the Holy Ghost. The Gen- 
tiles indeed are not capable of it ; but you that have the Spirit of God mov- 
ing your hearts in the word, that have received the hnowledge of the truth, 
take heed lest you sin wiUingly : Heb. x. 26, 27, ' For if we sin wilfully after 
that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more 
sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery in- 
dignation, which shall devour the adversaries.' Which is the sin that David 
prays against : Ps. xix. 13, ' Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous 
sins : let them not have dominion over me.' He calls it the great offence, 
a sin greater than presumptuous sins, for against them he had prayed in the 
words afore. And doubtless where the gospel is much preached, and many 
are converted to Christ, many fall into this sin, and more do than we think 
of. Therefore, you that are of younger years, whom God deals with, and 
convinceth you of his ways, of the truth of them, and of the sincerity of the 
gospel, take heed how you resist these motions, for though this resisting be 
not the sin against the Holy Ghost, yet it is a fearful step to it. And know 
this, when God comes to thy bedside morning and evening, talks with thee, 
persuades thee of the truth and goodness of the ways of grace, and thon 
refusest, thou sinnest against the Holy Ghost, though thou dost not commit 
that sin which we usually call the sin against the Holy Ghost ; but such sins 
are a step to it. 

Take heed also how thou speakest against the people of God, contrary to 
thy own knowledge and conscience, for those dogs that will out of wanton- 
ness fall upon sheep, when they have tasted their blood, will kill them in 
earnest. So there is many a man that will begin to speak against the people 
of God for some other end at first, but at last God may give them up to the 
malice of their own hearts ; and so thou dost not only run into inevitable 
danger, but there is the sorest punishment of all other belongs to thee : ' How 
much sorer punishment,' &c., Heb. x. 29, and therefore it is said, Mat. xxi. 
40, 44, ' The Lord will come and miserably destroy those wicked men ;' and 
ver. 44, ' Whosoever shall fall on that stone shall be broken ;' that is, ordi- 
nary sinners that rush against Christ shall be broken by him ; ' but on whom 
this stone shall fall,' that is, he that shall out of malice sin against Christ (for 
that sin is nothing else but revenge against God, that is the form of it), ' he 
shall grind them to powder.' As if a glass fall upon a stone, it will be broken, 
but if a rock fall upon it, it will grind it to powder. I speak not to discourage 
any ; but as the apostle, fearing lest some would be discouraged at the de- 
livery of this doctrine, said, Heb. vi. 9, so say I, ' We are persuaded better 
things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.' 


A (jcneral division of the corruption of man's nature into the several paHs of 
it, a privation of all goodness, and an. inclination to all evil. — That there 
is in man fallen, an emptiness of all that is good, proved ; and that all the 
faculties vf his soul are void of that righteousness which ought to be in them. 

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 
But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while ice ivere yet siymers, 
Christ died for us. For if, when we irere enemies, we were reconciled to 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment. 85 

God by the death of his Son: much more, being recgnciled, we shall be saved 
by his life.— lio^.' V. G, 8, 10. 

I have demonstrated the greatness of the sinfulness of the natural inhe- 
rent defilement in man, which is here called flush, of which I have dis- 
coursed more generally, and but comparatively only, both as compared with 
our gross sins ; or, secondly, as compared with all a man's other sins. 
Now we M ill consider it in the parts of it, more absolutely as it is in itself. 
It is our present business to view and cut up and anatomize this body 
of sin, which, viewed in the Inmp and gross only, seems not so ugly ; 
which anatomy is either into the more general parts of it, which express 
the nature of it, as it is in all the faculties ; or, secondly, into the particular 
parts of it, as it hath diversely corrupted each faculty, as it is darkness in 
the understanding, lust in the will and aflfections, &c. And so I shall cut 
up every particular vein, and let you see what corrupt blood runs there ; in 
each severally. 

Now the more general parts of it, which express its general nature, are (as 
they are usually dissected by divines) two. 

First, A total and utter emptiness and privation of all that righteousness 
and true holiness which God first created in man, and which the law of God 

And, secondly, a positive sinful inclination to all that is contrary to grace, 
namely, a proneness to all sin, of what kind soever, which any law of God 
forbids ; which positive sinfulness is divided into two parts : 1, the inordi- 
nate lustings of the faculties after things earthly, fleshly, sinful ; 2, an en- 
mity unto God, and unto what is holy. Or, if you will, you may quarter 
this our inherent sinfulness into four parts, and that according to the sec- 
tion of the most curious anatomist, the apostle Paul, as it is to be seen 
Rom. V. ver. 6 to 11, where, to set forth the greatness of the love and 
grace of God in Christ, he aggravates the disease of our natures and condi- 
tion, of which grace was the remedy ; for, as the greatness and desperate- 
ness of the disease commends the remedy, so ' God commends his love' 
(they are his words, ver. 8), ' in that whilst,' Jirst, ' without strength,' 
secondly, ' ungodly,' ver. 6, thirdly, ' sinners,' ver. 8, yea, * enemies,' ver. 9, 
' Christ died for us.' 

"Which may seem to import out four degrees of the corruption of their 
natures and lives, for whom Christ died, especially of their natures, as the 
first of them, ivithout strength, implies; which gradation plainly compre- 
hends the full distemper of man in the general nature of it. And these 
degrees may come under our former division, wherein are distinguished the 
corruption of nature into that, which is (1.) privative, which the apostle's 
words, unyodly and ivithout strength, import ; (2.) the positive part of it, 
which includes, 1st, the inclination and disposition of sinners to all evil ; 
2dly, enmity to God, and all that is good ; but we will take them as the 
apostle hath set them down, in so many several degrees of our sinfulness. 

The first and lowest degree is weakness, dadivn'a, which implies want of 
power and ability, as to help itself, and to come out of that condition, so 
unfitly* to be used in the service of God ; for, 1 Cor. xv. 43, the same word 
is used to express a dead carcase, that is buried and sown in weakness, so 
as that dead trunk is unable to stir, and is unfit to be used any way, and is 
fit for nothing but to be buried ; so are we as ' dead in sins and trespasses,' 
Eph. ii. 1, so as we could stand God no way in stead, nor help ourselves, 
but were fit for nothing but to be buried in hell, which is our own place. 
* Qu. ' unfitness '?— Ed. 


The second is ungodliness, as being wholly cut off and estranged from 
God, and all the life of grace, which was the cause of our impotency ; and 
as there is not one spark of grace left, so there is an awkwardness and un- 
appliableness to what is good, yea, a renunciation, denying of what is good, 
as well as a weakness and unfitness for it ; both which, as being primi- 
tive,* I make the two parts of the first general head, viz., an emptiness of 
all good. 

The third degree is, that they are sinners. As they have nothing in them- 
selves which leads them to God, or which can be employed for God, they 
are thereby also become prone and inclined to sin, and nothing else ; for 
sinners properly notes out one in whom the habitual disposition to sin 

The fourth degree, which is further than this, is, that they are enemies, 
and that is in their natures too, ' enemies in their minds,' Col. i. 21, as 
fighting against all the means that should deliver them out of this condition, 
opposite to God and all godliness, in themselves irrecoverable. They are 
not simply such as are ungodly, and so will do nothing for God, or without 
strength, as unable only, but enemies to him and all his ways. 

And both these last are positive acts, and so to be reduced as the parts 
of the second general head. 

The first branch of inherent corruption is an emptiness of whatever is 
holy and good in the several degrees of it. Rom. vii. 18, that which is here 
called flesh, is an emptiness of all good and grace ; and is not this a great 
accusation laid to the charge of our natures, if it can be proved that there is 
nothing good in them, not a spark or dram of the least godliness, or grace, 
or power to do any good ? Hath not this cause to humble a man, and pull 
down all the fly-blown conceits of ourselves, that by nature thou hast nothing 
in thee which should make thee acceptable in the eyes of God, but that thou 
art a lump of terra damnata, as the chemists call it, namely, that which is the 
dross of their distillations, out of which they have distilled all that is good 
or useful, or rather, to use the Scripture comparison, cursed earth ? Heb. 
vi. 7, 8, ' For the earth, which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, 
and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth 
blessing from God : but that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, 
and is nigh unto cursing ; whose end is to be burned.' Cursed earth, I 
say, which hath not one good seed in it, able to bring forth nothing but 
briars and thorns, not one good herb meet for the dresser's use ; this is 
nigh to cursing, and the end of it is to be burned. Our natures are like the 
basket of rotten figs, as God compares the Jews, Jer. xxiv. 2, 3, which were 
bad, and very bad, as they could not be eaten, good for nothing but to be 
seized on as bad wares, and openly burned ; for you use to preserve nothing 
but that which hath some goodness in it ; neither would God destroy infants 
and damn them for ever, if there was any goodness in them. As in Isa. 
Ixv. 8, a vine that hath but one cluster of grapes on it, * one says. Destroy 
it not, for there is a blessing in it,' some good and blessed thing which it is 
a pity to have destroyed. And so likewise, in 1 Kings xiv. 13, because 
Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, had ' some good thing in him towards the 
Lord his God,' therefore God had a care of him to keep him from the evil 
that was to come, and brought him to the grave in peace. Ay, but thou 
hast no good thing towards the Lord thy God in thee, and therefore thou 
hast cause to judge thyself not worthy to live, and mayest wonder that thou 
wert not destroyed ere this ; and it may humble thee, for nothing lifts up 
but an opinion of some goodness in one ; and, therefore, the contrary may 
* Q,u. 'privative"? — Eu. 

Chap. VI. J in respect of sin and punishment. 87 

bring thee as low as nothing, to reckon every creature in their kind better 
than thyself ; for they retain most of their native goodness which God put 
into them, and are good for those ends they were at first appointed ; but thou 
(to use Christ's comparison) art as salt whenas it hath lost all its savour, 
and is fit for nothing but the dunghill, because, though it hath a being still, 
yet it hath lost its goodness to that good end for which it was appointed. 
And so thou, being at first seasoned with grace, whereby thou shouldst have 
glorified God, which was the adequate end for which thou wert created, 
having now lost that seasoning, art now good for nothing (though thou hast 
a being in thee still), for, honum et finis convertuntur, nothing is good far- 
ther than it tends to its end ; and so far as it is unfit for its end it is said 
to grow naught. Now thou art by nature altogether unserviceable for God, 
to glorify him ; and therefore all that is in thee is naught ; yea, and as thou 
hast cause to humble thyself, and think ill of thyself for this, so also to hate 
thyself; for we naturally love nothing but what is good. 

Now to prove and make this good unto you. 

First, Consider that one place, Rom. vii. 18, ' For I know that in me 
(that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing : for to will is present with 
me ; but how to perform that which is good I find not.' Says St Paul, ' In 
me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing,' that is, no grace ; for the 
goodness he there speaks of is a spiritual goodness, opposite to sin : ver. 17, 
' Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.' And St 
Paul speaks this of his unregenerate part, which he calls flesh, and though 
he being regenerate, and having another / in him, as he says in the 17th verse, 
which gave ground to that blessed distinction, ' In me (that is, in my flesh) 
dwells no good thing,' as implying that there was something in him that was 
not flesh, that had some good thing in it ; yet take a man as born into the 
world, and not born again, and he is nothing but flesh : ' That which is born 
of flesh is flesh,' that is, there is not that thing in him which is not flesh, 
and therefore there is no good at all in him. And therefore. Job xi. 12, he 
is called ' empty or hollow man,' as it is in the original, and in the margin 
so noted; void and empty of all wisdom, much more of spiritual wisdom, 
grace, and goodness; and this by birth, for it is said, that he is ' born as 
empty of it as a wild ass's colt.' In the next words, he is a mere empty thing 
in respect of any good. And answerably the apostle speaks, Rom. iii. 10-12, 
* As it is written. There is none righteous, no, not one : there is none that 
understandeth ; there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone 
out of the way, they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that 
doeth good, no, not one.' There is none righteous, none that hath the least 
spark or part of righteousness or true wisdom; for, ver. 18, he says, ' The 
fear of God is not before their eyes,' which yet you know is the 'beginning 
and first step to wisdom, Prov. i. 7, that is, to grace and righteousness. 
And if you will see reason for it, 

1. Adam lost all grace and goodness by his fall, and therefore we too, and 
so our natures must needs be brought forth stripped of all. Now if Adam 
did not lose all grace at his first sinning, then it must have been with him 
as with a regenerate man now in the state of grace when he sins, of whom 
the apostle says, ' The seed of God remains in him,' 1 John iii. 9. And if 
so, then Adam needed not to have been born again, and so nor we, if any 
such seed remained, which was not wholly expelled ; for to be born again is 
to have the immortal seed put into us, 1 Peter i. 23, and Christ says, there- 
fore we ' must be born again,' that is, by a new work of the Holy Ghost. 
We must have this seed sown anew in us, because we are nothing but flesh, 
which flesh hath no good in it ; and therefore it is said, the new man must 


be created again, Col. iii. 10, which is renewed in knowledge after the image 
wherein God created him at first, as having now in his corrupt state wholly 
put it off, as was the condition of Adam after his fall ; who says of himself, 
Gen. iii. 10, that he was naked, as having lost every piece of that image, and 
so had no goodness to cover him, as I proved afore. 

2. If Adam, then we all by nature have not the Spirit of God dwelling in 
us, and then we have no gi'ace, not the least spark dwelling in us ; and so 
e contra, if we had the least grace, then also we must have the Spirit dwelling 
in us ; for as the sun maintains light, so the Spirit, grace ; and as, take the 
sun out of the world, and all the beams of light vanish, so take the Spirit 
away, and you take all grace away also, for he is the * Father of lights,' and 
* God of all grace.' Now what saith the apostle ? Rom, viii. 9, ' You are not 
in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you.' And 
so if the Spirit of God dwelt in us by nature, then (according to the apostle's 
argument; by nature we were not in the flesh ; but so we are all in the flesh, 
and in the gall of bitterness, as a fish in water, even flesh itself. For being 
in the flesh is used to express our natural estate, as Rom. vii. 5, ' For when 
we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work 
in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death.' Whilst we were in the 
flesh, that is, whilst we were unregenerate in our natural condition, and 
therefore during that state the Spirit of God dwells not in us. And in Jude 
19, speaking of carnal men, he says, they are ' sensual and have not the 
Spirit,' that is, dwelling in them; and if so, then no good thing, no grace 
dwells there. 

And if this be true, have you not cause to humble yourselves for this 
nature of yours, as above measure sinful '? For it is not a bare negation of 
grace that is in you, but an emptiness and privation, which is carentia en- 
titatis dehitcE inesse, the want of a goodness which you ought to have ; for 
this grace which thou wantest ought to be in thee, and that not only by the 
mere law of nature, as the power of seeing ought to be in that eye that is 
born destitute of it, but it ought to be there by the law of God, which re- 
quires that all grace should be in thee, and that you should be filled with 
grace, and abound therein, enriched with every grace, and nothing wanting. 
But now in thy nature there is not any one kind of grace, nor any one 
degree, no, not the least ; and therefore thou art to humble thyself, as in this 
respect guilty of as many sins as there are graces and degrees of graces 
wanting, for the want thereof is a sin, be it but of the least. If that servant 
was condemned that did not increase the talent given him, though he brought 
his master his own again, Mat. xsv. 24, how much more thou who hast lost 
it all ! especially seeing every grace is so precious a talent, which God gave 
man at first, and no creature else. As faith is called * precious faith,' 
2 Peter i. 1, so love may be called precious love, which also he gave him as 
a token of his dearest love, as his image and picture to remember him by. 

Yea, and further, look how many parts and branches of graces there were 
at fii-st implanted, and they are innumerable, so many sins art thou guilty 
of. Now there are innumerable graces : 2 Peter i. 3, ' According as his 
divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godli- 
ness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.* 
There is a bundle of them, all things belonging to godliness ; he speaks of 
them as of many, these many, several limbs of that glorious image. And 
Christ tells us, that a good man hath a ' good treasure ' in his heart. A 
treasure notes out variety and abundance ; yea, look how many several 
branches there are of the law affirmative, look how many several duties God 
requires, so many several graces there are, for grace is but the law written 

Chap. VI.] m eespect of sin and punishment. 89 

in the heart. So many sins art thou to humble thyself for, in that thou 
wantest all these graces through the ungodliness of thy nature. 

And now as for these particular parts of it before mentioned, wherein this 
emptiness consists, first, a want of strength ; secondly, ungodliness ; I will 
speak something of them, though not much. 

First, You see it is a want of strength to anything that is good, uoknia, 
which word being taken from a dead corpse, as the word is used, 1 Cor. 
XV. 43, may well befit us, in regard of this emptiness of all that is good. 

For, 1, it is not only the weakness of men in a consumption or sickness, 
that have some life or strength, though joined with much feebleness, for this 
is said of regenerate men, Heb. xii. 12, 'Wherefore lift up the hands that 
hang down, and the feeble knees.' Strengthen the hands that hang down, 
as unable to stir to what is good, and the feeble knees, which is spoken of 
such as were regenerate men, that had some strength, yet feebleness joined 
with it. That as a man that is weak, and yet hath some life, yet through 
weakness is scarce able to stir, or when he comes to raise himself, falls down 
again in a swoon ; such may be the case of regenerate men, that have some 
lite, as being indeed more than flesh, as was the case of St Paul, Rom. 
vii. 18, ' To will is present with me ; but how to perform I know not,' not 
having strength wherewithal, for ' in my flesh dwells no good thing,' that is, 
no strength to do any good. 

Neither, 2, is it only as the weakness of a man out of joint, all his bones 
being displaced, though this also is most true : for, Gal. vi. 1, when a man 
ialls into sin, set him in joint again, says the apostle, xocra^-l^iTs, for that 
fall breaks all, and so weakens a man for whatever is good. 

But, 3, it is as the weakness of a dead man, for so the word aGkviia is 
used, 1 Cor. xv. 43, and so we are said to be dead in sins, Eph. ii. 1, not 
having the least principle of life to stir to what is good.* 

Yea, 4, it is not only a want of an active principle to stir, but also a want 
of a passive fitness, an unwieldiness and unfitness to be used or employed. 
So it is with a dead man, and so with us ; therefore it is said of us, 2 Cor. 
iii. 5, ' Not that we are sulficient, oux 'iTtavol sa/xiv, of ourselves to think any 
thing as of ourselves ; but our sufiiciency is of God.' Ujjapt, unfit for to 
think anything, it is not only a want of sufficiency, as if we had strength, 
but only so weak as it were not sufficient ; but, further, it is inidonietas, 
inaptitudo (as Beza reads it), an unwieldiness to it. Therefore we are said 
not to be meet vessels till this corruption is purged out, for God's use, to 
be employed for him : 2 Tim. ii. 21, ' If a man therefore purge himself from 
these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's 
use, and prepared unto every good work.' And in Ps. xiv. 3, and E,om. 
iii. 12, we are said to become unprofitable, rty^^tt(J)&7i6a.v, unfit for use ; and 
in the Hebrew of the psalm it is, spumce instar putruerunt, as Beza observes, 
become even as putrefied froth. Froth in itself is unfit for anything, much 
more putrefied froth, which until sweetened can be put to no use. Or, as 
the prophet compares us, Ezek. xv. 3, 4, we are hke the wood of a vine 
which you cannot make a pin of to hang anything on, so nor of our nature, 
but we are ' reprobate to every good work : ' Titus i. 16, ' They profess 
that they know God ; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and 
disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.' And this the word 
dadiviia plainly imports. 

Secondly, A second and further degree of emptiness of good is, that our 
natures are ungodly. As the other notes out an impotency and weakness to 

* See bis exposition on Eph, ii. 1, in vol. i. of bis works, [Vol. II. of this 
Edition — En.] 


any good in general, agreeable to any part of the law, this more particularly 
aa unability and averseness of mind to sanctify God (for whom and by 
whom are all things), either in our hearts or lives; so that suppose we have 
strength to do any good things, tending to the good of ourselves and others, 
to be good subjects and good commonwealth's men ; suppose we had strength 
and heart to all duties of righteousness to men and ourselves, and do them 
as exactly as ever Adam should have done, and should give our bodies to be 
burnt for the common good (as some of the heathen Romans sacrificed their 
lives for the good of their country) ; yet, as St Paul says of wanting charity, 
' it is nothing,' so may I say, we still being without godliness, may truly be 
said to be empty of all good, and all this to be nothing. For as God him- 
self is said by way of eminency to be only good, — ' There is none good but 
God,' Mat, xix. 17, (for no creature is good olherwise than as it hath a derived 
goodness from him), — so indeed nothing in man can be said to be good, un- 
less it ariseth from a principle of godliness in us, which springs from God, 
and tends to him again. Therefore is that distinction made, 1 Kings, 
xiv. 13, ' And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him ; for he only of 
Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good 
thing toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.' Abijah is 
said to have ' some good thing in him ; ' but how ? ' Towards the Lord his 
God.' And oppositely it is expressed of Israel, Hosea x. 1, 'Israel is an 
empty vine, he bringelh forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude 
of his fruit he hath increased the altars ; according to the goodness of his 
land they have made goodly images.' Israel is said to be an empty vine, 
whenas yet in the next words it is said to have brought forth fruit to itself; 
how then empty ? Because, though it was fruitful, yet it was not fruitful to 
God, as those are who are united to Christ: Rom. vii. 4, 'Wherefore, my 
brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ ; that 
ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, 
that we should bring forth fruit unto God.' So let what goodness soever be 
in thee, either of ingenuousness of nature, or parts of wisdom or moral 
virtues, as Hosea vi. 4, hypocritical Ephraim is said to have goodness in 
him, as empty ears of corn on the house-tops are called corn, yet if godli- 
ness be wanting, which is as the kernel in the husk, a man is empty of 
goodness still; and the reason is, because finis et bonum convertuntur, all 
things that tend to any end receive goodness fi'om their end they tend to. 
Now God was the immediate adequate end for which our nature was made, 
viz. to sanctify him ; and therefore if that be wanting in thy nature which 
should carry thee on to him as the end, then all thy nature ceaseth to be 
good, notwithstanding that any other goodness, serving for other subordinate 
ends, may seem to be in it. 

Now I Will but in brief explain to you what this ungodliness is, which I 
will do, 

First of all, in the general. 

Secondly, In the particulars. 

I. In general. It is a want and emptiness of those dispositions and 
abilities in our natures, whereby once we were enabled and inclined to 
sanctify God as God. 

1. I call it a want of that which once we had, for otherwise we could no 
more be called ungodly, than the stones can be termed blind. And there- 
fore at the first God planted in our natures such dispositions, whereby we 
were inclined thus to sanctify him, which he planted in no creature else 
except the angels. But as in the body, to the other members it is necessary 
there should be an eye to behold things without itself ; so besides, among 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment.- 91 

the rest of the creatures it was requisite that there should be some made, 
that might behold God in all his works, aud sanctify him in all, which men 
and angels were made to do. Therefore I express what this ungodliness is 
a want of, namely, to sanctify God as God ; for so, Horn. i. 21, ♦ Because 
that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were 
thankful,' &c. It is expressed, ' they worshipped him not as God ;' for 
as if we do not fear, reverence, and honour a king as a king, we dis- 
honour him ; so if we do not so sanctify God as we ought to do, we do it 
not at all. Now, then, God is sanctified as God when ho is known and 
exalted above all, in all the faculties of soul and body : Ps. xlvi. 10, ' Be 
still, and know that I am God : I will be exalted in the earth ; ' that is, 
conceive aud apprehend of me as I am in myself, with such thoughts as are 
lit to be had of my greatness, holiness, majesty, &c., and accordingly exalt 
me above all, set me up above all things in your desires, fears, loves, and 
rejoicings, and as a commander of all, as your chiefest good and chiefest 
end. When you do so, then you sanctify him as God. 

Now because the mind and heart of man is no way able, nay, utterly unwill- 
ing to do this, therefore we are by nature ungodly persons, without religion, 
and therefore also without God in this world : Eph. ii. 12, ' That at that 
time ye were without Christ, being aUens from the commonwealth of Israel, 
and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without 
God in the world.' As a blind man is said to be without the sun, because 
he sees it not, or an evil servant without a master, when he is not disposed 
to love, fear, or do anything in reverence to him ; so now are we so cut off 
from God every way, and estranged from him, as Col. i. 20, that it is with 
us as if there were no such God in the world, and it is thus with us as to 
every faculty. So the apostle Paul, applying that place of the psalmist to 
this corruption of man's nature, Rom. iii. 11, 18, 'There is none that under- 
standeth, there is none that seeketh after God. There is no fear of God before 
their eyes.' He says, there is none of them who either understands God, 
or seeks after him, or fears him; neither, first, are their understandings 
capable of such sanctified thoughts as are to be had of him ; neither, 
secondly, are their wills capable of being moved to set the man a-work to 
seek after him ; neither, thirdly, will his affections be stirred with sanctified 
fear, or love, or joys in him ; for if any affection was apt to stir, it would 
be fear. Now, he says, that the fear of him is not before their eyes ; so as 
all faculties are empty of this ability to sanctify God at all as God, till God 
by his exceeding precious promises iu Christ makes us again partakers of a 
divine and God-like nature, 2 Peter i. 4, and by a new covenant makes us 
new hearts to be able to know him, Jer. xxxi. 33, 34, and xxiv. 7, and puts 
his fear into our hearts, Jer. xxxii. 40, for by nature there is none of these 
there, but we are lumps of all ungodliness, and every faculty, we see, is 
empty of all good. 

II. And for particulars, it were infinite to go over all the ungodliness in 
the nature of man. 

1. For the speculative judgment and understanding is so far corrupted 
and darkened as it would of itself, if left to itsell, think there is no God: Ps. 
xiv. 1, ' The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.' Fools, not idiots, 
but all unregenerate men (for he speaks there of the universal corruption of 
man's nature), having sayings in their hearts, there is no God. And if 
such thoughts be dispelled by light put into corrupt nature, as Rom. 
i. 19, 20, by God himself manifested out of the creatures, his eternal power 
and Godhead, yet by nature they are but as men groping in the dark. Acts 
xvii. 27, and the wisest of them confessed but an unknown God, ver. 23 ; 


and though men have this glimmering light, yet they became vain in their 
imaginations, Rom. i. 21. If not thinking him, as the Gentiles did there. 
Acts xvii. 29, like the creatures, yet their hearts are filled with under-con- 
ceits of him, they know him not as God, limiting his power, as they did, 
Ps. Ixxviii. 41, ' Yea, they turned back, and tempted God, and limited the 
Holy One of Israel.' How did they limit God ? Why, by lessening his 
power: ver. 19, ' Yea, they spake against God : they said, Can God furnish us 
a table in the wilderness ? ' And though they saw he smote the rock, ver. 20, 
yet ' can he give bread also ? ' thought they. Unregenerate men secretly deny 
God's providence : Hosea ii. 8, ' For she did not know that I gave her corn, 
and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold,' &c. Unregenerate 
men are not able to see that it is God who is the great householder of the 
world, that layeth in all the provision which the earth bears : or else they 
deny his omniscience, saying, as they in Job xxii. 13, 14, • Thou sayest. 
How can God know ? can he judge through the dark cloud ? He walks in 
the circuit of the heavens,' &c. 

And if these conceits be dispelled in the speculative part, as in us that 
know the word, yet unregenerate men knowing God notionally, sanctify him 
not in their thoughts, according to their knowledge, for they think not of 
him daily : Ps. x. 4, ' God is not all in their thoughts.' Men spend the 
dearest of their thoughts on honours, pleasures, riches, but God is not 
found amongst all their thoughts ; and though they can I'emember and think 
of everj' toy and trifle that belongs to them, — ' Can a woman forget her 
ornaments,' as things she cannot be without ? ' but my people have forgot 
me days without number,' Jer. ii. 32, — yea, and if the thoughts of God will 
needs come in and thrust themselves upon them, yet the thoughts of him 
are but, as Ahab spoke to Elijah, 1 Kings xxi. 20, ' Hast thou found me, 
mine enemy ? ' So they wish they could forget God, because he damps 
their mirth. Rom. i. 28, they like not to retain God in their knowledge ; 
or they say (as it is in Job), ' Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge 
of thy ways,' Job xxi. 14. 

2. For their practical judgments, those whereby their lives are guided 
and steered, it is most certain, that however they profess they know him, 
yet they deny him, Titus i. 16. Deny him they do in their works, and there- 
fore first in their practical judgments, which is the court where all acts are 
first passed ere they come forth to action ; and so those that can discourse 
of God and all his attributes, are yet utterly ignorant of him : Jer. ii. 8, 
'They that handle the law' (open it and expound it, and God in it), 
yet ' knew me not.' There are certain fixed principles which the whole man 
is guided by, contrary to what else he knows of God ; and there are sayinga 
in the heart, that there is no such God as the word describes him to be. 
Thus in Ps. x., what is the reason that is there given whj'^ a wicked man 
doth persecute the poor ? ver. 2 ; curseth and deceives, speaks lies, ver. 7 ; 
and secretly lies in wait to murder the innocent, ver. 8, 9. Why, ver. 11, 
' He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten, he will never see it.' And 
would men else commit sins in secret, which they dare not do before men, 
if they had not this principle as most certain in their hearts ? And so in 
Ps. 1., the hypocrite who knew God well enough in his speculative under- 
standing, ver. 16, yet, ver. 18-20, is full of theft, adultery, evil speaking 
and slander ; and what is the reason ? ' Thou thoughtest I was a God like 
thee,' that would approve of thy ways and courses, and as one who delights 
in the same ways himself. They imagined God like themselves, and by 
this principle they walk from day to day, and think their estates to be as 
good as the best ; and this is the reason why men are secure and careless, 

Chap. VI.] in rkspect of sin and punishment. 93 

and settled upon the lees of all kind of sins, and grow old in them : Zeph. 
i. 12, ' They are settled on lees ; and say in their hearts, God will neither 
do good nor evil.' Though indeed men speak not this, nor profess this, yea, 
know the contrary, yet this is the rule they go by, and therefore men grow 
old in sin, secure and fearless. 

And in their wills and aflections they are utterly taken off from him ; 
seek him the}'^ will not, to inquire for him, Zeph. i. 6, much less draw nigh 
to him, as unto their chiefest good : Zeph. iii. 2, ' She drew not near to 
her God,' but can be content to live estranged from him from the womb, 
Ps. Iviii. 3 ; and go a whoring from him, Ps. Ixxiii. 27 ; after their lovers, 
and after them thej'' will go, Hosea ii. 5 ; loving of pleasures, even every 
vanity, rather than God, 2 Tim. iii. 4 ; forsaking God, Jer. ii. ; though a 
spring, and that of living waters, that offers itself as a spring, and is per- 
petual ; and they are so averse from God, as they will rather dig for water, 
for muddy water, and that in broken cisterns, than come to this spring, 
contemning all the goodness that is in him, and having empty pleasures in 
this life to live upon, as it is in Job xxi., spending their days in wealth. Sec, 
ver. 13. They say to God, * Depart from us ' (we are well enough), ver. 14 ; 
'We desire not the knowledge of thee or 'thy ways,' whereby we may 
come to enjoy thee, ver. 14 ; for ' what is the Almighty,' what excellency or 
goodness is there in him, ' that we should serve him ? ' that is, what worth 
is there in God that might allure us to serve him, and what advantage would 
it be to us if we should pray to him ? What good is got by our acquaintance 
and fellowship with him ? And as they contemn his goodness, so also his 
greatness and power ; and as they care not for his friendship, so neither for 
his hatred and all he can do unto them. Therefore, Ps. x. 13, they are 
said to contemn God; and Ps. xxxvi. 1, their daring to offend him shews 
as much, proclaims to all the world, that ' there is no fear of God before 
their eyes.' They say so in their heart, saith David, ' there is no fear of 
God before their eyes;' and I cannot but judge so, saith he, for the thing 
speaks it. When men dare swear and be drunk, lie, whore, and break Sab- 
baths, contemn the saints, and do thus from day to day, it speaks in all un- 
godly men's hearts that there is no fear of God before their eyes. They fear 
not to offend him to his face, when their consciences tell them he looks on. 
Thus they are said to sin to God's face. Gen. xiii. 13 ; they sinned before 
Jehovah, as it were before the presence of a judge, yea, hardening them- 
selves against his fear ; and if they may be brought to fear or seek him (as 
out of self-love they may), yet it is not for himself: Hosea vii. 16, they 
' return, but not to the Most High.' Fear his goodness they do not, and for 
himself they do not seek him, as godly men are said to do; and if they do 
draw nigh to him, yet it is out of flattery : Ps. Ixxviii. 34. ' When he slew 
some of them, then they sought him,' ver. 36, but they did but flatter him. 
They seek not his friendship for itself ; ver. 87, ' their hearts were not right 
with him ; ' so as, though ' they draw nigh with their lips, yet their hearts 
are far from him,' Isa. xxix. 13. It is not out of a delight in his goodness 
and holiness, so as to take him to be their portion : Job xxvii. 10, ' Will 
the hypocrite delight himself in the Almighty?' And though men may 
seem to delight, as Isa. Iviii. 2, ' they take delight in approaching to God,' 
out of a carnal sweetness they find in his mercy, &c., yet it is no such de- 
light in God, as considered in his holiness and purity, and therefore they 
continue not to do so long. ' Will he pray always ? ' saith Job. And why 
not always ? Because he delights not in God, Job xxvii. 10. And for doing 
him any service, first, they cannot if they would : Rom. vii. 8, ' They that 
are in the flesh cannot please God.' Serve him they may with a form of 


godliness, but not in the life and power of it : Josh. xxiv. 19, they thought 
they could, but Joshua tells them they could not ; for he is a holy God, 
whom nothing but holy and spiritual service, out of a pure heart and single 
eye, will content. Jer. iv. 21, But these are wise to do evil, but to do 
good know not how to go about it: if they could, yet they would not, for 
they have no hearts for anything but for sin : Jer. xxii. 17, ' But thine eyes 
and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent 
blood, and for oppression, and for violence to do it.' And though in some 
fit they take up resolutions to serve God, as in Deut. v. 29, yet even then 
God doth complain they want hearts to set seriously to it, and therefore are 
soon weary. Amos viii. 5, ' When will the Sabbath be gone,' or prayer be 
over ? They will not always pray, Job xxvii. 10. And take them out of 
their fits, and they desire not to hear of their duties, or to come nigh any 
ordinance wherein God is manifested, as in Job xxi. 14, ' We desire not the 
knowledge of thy ways.' 


The ohjections ansicered icJdch are made agamst the doctrine : 1. That those 
excellent qualities and endovmients of mind ivhich are in men unre{ienerate 
evidence that their natures are not destitute of all good. 2. That there are 
in the natural conscience of men principles of good directing theyn, and in 
their ivills some inclining dispositions to what the law of God commands, and 
therefore that man's nature is not utterly empty of all goodness^i — In answer 
to the first, that though there is a natural goodness in such endowments, 
yet heing seated in the corrupt nature of man, they are tainted and infected by 
it, uhich spoils all that goodness which otheruise is in them. — In answer to the 
second objection, that the light <f natural conscience hath not the same real 
goodness as the laiv hath, hut is only a picture and sJiadoiv of it ; that those 
principles of morality and honesty in the conscience do not result from nature, 
hit are owing to a higher cause ; that God, for the preserving of order in the 
tvorld, hath instilled them into man ; and that this is a common benefit of 
his mediation. 

We have seen how full of ungodliness the heart and nature of man is. 
Now against this truth there is much objected, how that much good may be 
found mingled with the natures of men unregenerate. I will ascend in the 
objection by degrees. 

Ohj. 1. Not only many excellent abilities and endowments of mind con- 
cerning things natural and political (which I will not much insist on, yet 
mention), such was the wisdom of Ahithopel, whose counsel in matters of 
state was as the oracle of God, 2 Sam. xvi. 23. Such is still in manual 
trades, whereof wicked men have been inventors, as Cain and Tubal-Cain, 
the first inventors of tillage and working in brass, &c.. Gen. iv. 22. All 
which being gifts from God, for he teacheth men direction to till the 
ground, Isa. xxviii. 26, 28. They plough (as I may allude to it) with his 
heifer, and his spirit fills men with wisdom to work on brass, which was 
Tubal-Cain's invention ; and he gives wisdom to statesmen to rule mon- 
archies and kingdoms, 1 Kings iii. from 9 to 13. All these, I say, being 
gifts from him, must needs be granted to be good : ' Every good and per- 
fect gift comes from above,' James i. 17. These, therefore, are good, and 
yet they have place in wicked men's hearts. 


Ayia. But the answer to this is easy, and therefore I will not insist on it, 
namely : 

1. That indeed these are good thinf^s, and are therefore ornaments to corrupt 
nature; but yet they are good only, but as every creature is said to be good, 
1 Tim. iv. 4, with anatural created goodness, butwhichreacheth no higher. Now 
many such good things we grant to be in men, though devils by nature, as the 
substance and faculties of their souls ; and so these good endowments which 
are superinducted and infused by the Spirit of God for the good of men, 
whilst these live in societies together, without these several endowments the 
world could not stand, nor a city be inhabited. But when it is said there is 
no good in the nature of man, such a goodness is meant as, in Rom. vii. 12, 
is attributed to the law, which is there said to be 'just, holy, and good ;' so 
that a spiritual holy goodness is denied to be in man's nature, such as might 
make us acceptable to God. We deny not but there is much natural 
created goodness, such as is in other creatures, which yet God hath no pleasure 
in, when they are not found in the way of righteousness, that is, joined with 
holiness and righteousness. * He hath no pleasure in man's legs,' Ps. 
cxlvii. 10, that is, by a synecdoche, in no outward enjoyment of body or 
mind ; they are all but as gold rings in a swine's snout, as Solomon speaks of 
the beanty of the body without grace, Prov. xi. 22. So these beauties of 
the mind are but as pearls in a toad's head, and so lose their excellency, or 
are but as flowers stuck on a dead corpse. 

2. So as though in themselves these endowments have this natural good- 
ness in abstracto, or abstractedly considered, as they are in their own nature, 
yet take them in concrete, as they are seated in a corrupt mind, they are 
unclean and abominable things in the sight of God. For why ? All these 
gifts are poisoned and infected, yea, and make the source of sin the greater, 
and to work the more strongly. As wine when it is poisoned, though the 
wine be good, yea, and good against poison, yet when poison is in it, it adds 
strength to the poison, and makes it work more violently and speedily ; so 
all wisdom and good gifts that are in them make them the more wicked. 
The wisdom of the flesh is ' enmity against God,' Rom. viii. 7. God there- 
fore looks upon all these as things that make his enemies stronger against 
him ; and therefore you that are scholars, and have good gifts, natural and 
acquisite, yet you wanting grace, these make you so much more abominable 
in God's eyes. God looks upon you as stronger enemies, and so you will 
prove ; as Agur says of himself, having gifts in him, Prov. xxx. 2, that he 
was by nature ' more brutish than any man,' than others that had not so 
large parts. The finest, freshest tempers are aptest to take the plague or 
small-pox, and be fullest of boils and sores when these diseases doth take 
them, and the purest clothes take gi-eatest and deepest stains ; so the finest 
and most acute wits are capable of the fullest* and greatest sins. Do not 
then think that God will spare thee for them ; thou thinkest it pity so fine, 
so green a wit, having such workmanship bestowed upon it, should be 
burned ; nay, but thy green wit makes the fire the hotter. 

Ohj. 2. But yet the objection which in this point presseth us most is, 
that in man's nature there are not only such things as these which are natu- 
rally good, but which seem to participate of a higher kind of goodness, even 
a conformity in some measure to the law ; and such a kind of goodness is 
found both in men's minds and wills. 

Ans. 1. In the mind and conscience there are principles and seeds of 
divine light and of the truth of the law sown, which have the same efl'ects 
in them that the law hath : Rom. ii. 14, ' The Gentiles do by nature the 
* Qu. ' foulest ' ?— Ed. 


things of the law, and shew the eifect (or work) of the law written in their 
hearts.' For doth the law condemn sin ? So doth this light, and fights 
against it. Doth the law take part with what is good ? So doth this also, 
and cannot be bribed or hired to do otherwise ; so that eadem prastat officia, 
this li,t(ht hath the same efiects in the heart which the law hath, as appears 
from Rom. i. 18, ' For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all 
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteous- 
ness.' It is called truth, and that such as OTp])Oseth. unrighteousness, and 
therefore men imprison it ; and it is not a principle of natural truth only, 
whereby we know the works of God, but such as whereby we know the 
divine truth, and many parts of the will of God, and therefore it must needs 
be good ; for verum et bonuni, truth and goodness, are twins. What is true is 
good ; yea, and look what kind of truth anything hath in it, such a kind of 
goodness. Now this being more than natural truth, must needs have more 
than natural goodness in it ; having the truth of the law in it, it must needs 
have the goodness of the law, and so be holy as the law is, and just and good. 
2. There is in every man some part of this truth ; it is in all more or less, 
both in good and bad ; for the wrath of God is said to be revealved against 
all men for detaining this truth. The Gentiles had it written in their hearts, 
Rom. ii. 14, and therefore some holy thing is in the nature of man. Yea, 3, 
as it should seem by nature also ; for he says, ' the Gentiles do by nature 
the things of the law,' &c. And Jude 10, speaking of ungodly men that sin 
against their light grossly, he says, they ' corrupt themselves in things they 
know naturally ; ' that is, commit such foul sins (for that is to corrupt them- 
selves, Deut. xiv. 15, 25) as are against the natural knowledge of their 
minds. And doth not nature teach you the contrary ? says Paul, 1 Cor. 
xi. 14. Yea, 4, this abides there, dwells there, for it is written in their 
heart; so as Augustine* saith, Non ipsa iniquitas delet, sin razeth it not out. 

2. Answerable to these sparks of truth in the mind, there are also inclina- 
tions, dispositions, stamps, and impressions upon the will to some good, 
conformable to the law, that same h(pvla, bona indoles, the philosophers 
observe and'speak so much of, those good dispositions, of ingenuity, modesty, 
love to those that love them, as Christ says of the Gentiles, Luke vi. 32, the 
characters of which appearing in the young man, made Christ love him, 
Mark x. 21 ; and these are indeed not transient, but habitual dispositions, 
as was of justice in Cato, of whom it is said, Cum recte fecerit, aliter facere 
non j)otuit ; and therefore continency, as a common thing to good and evil 
men, is called a gift, 1 Cor. vii. 7. 

This seems to be a great difficulty, for much of this is true which hath 
been spoken ; it requires therefore a large digression to give answer there- 
unto, for which we will consider and inquire into these four things concern- 
ing this light of conscience and moral virtues. 

I. What kind of goodness is in their true and proper nature, abstractly 

II. Their original and spring, whence they came to be in man's nature, 
whether as the endowments of nature, so as they may justly be called ours. 

III. Their manner of inhering in man's nature, how entertained therein ; 
for qnicquid recipitur, recipitur ad modiun recipientis. 

IV. Tlieir manner of working therein, whether their acts be properly and 
truly good. 

All which will clear the point, that there is no such good dwelling there 
as seems to be objected. 

I. Take this light at its best, abstractedly considered in its own true, 
* Lib. ii. Confess. 

Chap. VII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 97 

naked, real, abstracted nature and essence ; and though I acknowledge it a 
creature of God's, and therefore good with a natural kind of goodness, yet I 
deny it to be good with that kind of goodness which the law hath in it, Bom. 
vii. 12, whatsoever hath been said to the contrary notwithstanding. 

To examine which, let us have recourse to the places alleged. We shall 
find, and it is observable to this purpose, that the apostle calls not this 
light, Rom. ii. 15, ' the law written in the heart,' but only ro t^yov toD v6/moj 
y^azrov, ' the written work of the law ; ' that is, something which produceth 
many effects, which the law also hath, but yet it is not of the same nature 
•with the law, for it is proper only to the works of regeneration to have the 
law written in the heart ; that is, such a Hght and disposition which hath 
the same holy and spiritual nature that the law hath, as grace in a godly 
man's heart is said to have ; therefore, Jer. xxxi. 33, ' But this shall be the 
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel : After those days, eaith 
the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.' Thus to 'write 
the law in the heart,' is said to be from the new covenant, &c. To illustrate 
this by a similitude (which, though it doth not omnibus quad rare, as none 
do, yet will explain the thing), we see that in some beasts that are sagaciores, 
of quicker fancies, there are some things more than sense, which are umbrce 
rationis, as we use to call them, as in elephants, &c. Yea, also, quondam 
umbra of some virtues, as of chastity, &c., both which are so called, be- 
cause by virtue of these they do many works of reason and above sense ; 
that is, the same things which reason in men produceth ; yet these shew not 
a true principle of reason written there, but only rd sf/a, the works of rea- 
son ; that is, some effects answering to it. So in men's unregenerate minds 
there is extant also umbra legis, a shining and glimmering of the law, a light 
that is the image of it, as lumen est litcis, as splendour is of light, or which 
rather we may call the picture of it (the true real light of which is only 
written in the regenerate), whereby they do rd rou vofMv, things of the law, 
that is, some things about the law, or which the law commands, the out- 
wards of it ; or as Beza hath it, eadem officia prcestat, qua legis sunt facit : 
as it forbids sin, so doth this light ; as it condemneth for sin, so also doth 
this light condemn them for sinning. 

Now, to prove that this light that is thus in them is but as it were a 
shadow or picture of the law, and therefore not of the same nature with the 
law, that word used, Rom. ii, 20, is observable : ' An instructor of the 
foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the 
truth in the law.' Speaking of the light of the law in a learned Jew, being 
unregenerate, he says he hath ,w6p<pojsiv, a form of knowledge, and of the 
truth of the law, which, as it signifies the system of the law in his brain, or 
the object of his knowledge, so also doth withal intimate the slightness of 
his knowledge for the kind of it, that it is but a form, a picture, an idea of 
it, and this he speaks of in comparison to the real thing itself and power of 
it ; for so in 2 Tim. iii. 5. the word f/^o^ipajsig is used, and this so in respect 
of those answerable tinctures and impressions of piety and virtue which in 
the objection are said to be in the will. * Having a form of godliness,' says 
the apostle, ' but denying the power of it,' that is, the thing itself, and the 
powerful effects of it. As that goodness which is in their wills is there said 
to be but a form and picture of true godliness, so in this place of Rom. ii. 
20 the light in their understanding is said to be but ' a form of knowledge.' 
The word is the same. Now if the light that is engendered and lighted, as 
it were, immediately from the law itself, be but /iop^wrr;;, a picture of the 
truth, then much more is the weak divine light of nature, that is but a weak 

VOL. X. G 


resemblance or shadow of the law. And that it is no more, and not of the 
same real nature with the law, appears by the weak effects of it, for in ver. 
21, 22, 23 all this knowledge did not enable them to keep the law, but they 
broke it notwithstanding. But though it should be granted to do the same 
things which the law doth, yet the powerful energy of it is wanting, which is 
to sanctify the heart, which, when the real Ught of the law itself, the truth 
itself, comes into the heart, it doth sanctify : John xvii. 17, ' Sanctify them 
thi'ough the truth : thy word is truth.' But here the very conscience itself 
it is seated in remains (as I shall shew more fuUy afterwards) still impure : 
Titus i. 15, ' Their consciences are defiled.' And this is not said of it in 
part only (as if in part only it remained defiled), for it is spoken in opposi- 
tion to a regenerate man, whose conscience remains defiled but in part, but 
this wholly ; whereas, had it a real contrariety to sin, as grace and true 
holiness hath, — Gal. v. 17, 'These are contrary,' — it could not come to 
reside in man's nature till sin were in part mortified, and the conscience 
purified by grace, which in an unregenerate man it is not, for both this light 
and those moral dispositions are symbolical with our natural defilement, and 
are compatible with it in the conscience not yet emptied of sin. 

Obj. If it be objected that this light fights against sin as an enemy, 
and likewise men's unrighteous natures against it, and therefore they are 

I ansuer, that it being but the picture of the law, it is contrary to sin, 
representative, representatively, not essentialiter, essentially. It hath a verbal 
testimonial contrariety in speaking against it, but not a real natural con- 
trariety to work against it, as one contrary doth against another, so as to 
expel and overcome sin, for it is but the form of truth, it wants the power 
of it. And no wonder that though it be not the real law men yet hate it, 
for as grace makes a man hate the appearance of sin, so sin hates this 
shadow and appearance of truth and goodness ; as it is said of the panther, 
that it hates a man so deadly that it seizeth and preys not only upon a man 
but the picture of him. This ground thus laid, the answer to the former 
objection is clear ; for whereas, Rom. i. 18, it is called truth, I expound it 
by this Rom. ii. 20, that is, but as it were a form of the truth, the picture 
of the truth which was in the heart of our fii-st parents. And if you ask why 
hath it the same name, I answer, because that pictures used to have the 
same name given them that the persons they represent have. You say, that 
is the king, that the queen, speaking of their pictures, and therefore I ac- 
knowledge in the same sense it is said to be truth, wherein also it is 
called goodness, but being but the form of truth it is also but the form of 
goodness. And so, Hos. vi. 4, the hght tinctures of good that were wrought 
in Ephraim, which yet soon vanished, are called goodness : ' Thy goodness 
is but as the morning cloud,' &c., yet is really but the umbra of it thus 
expressed ; not but that these moral dispositions and hght of conscience are 
a real thing created by God, but that, being compared with the light of a 
regenerate man's mind, they are but the picture of it, as aurichaJchum is a 
real metal, yet but the resemblance of gold, and so called false gold. 

And whereas it was objected that it is more than simply natural truth, and 
therefore hath more than a natural goodness as other creatures have ; — 

I ansuer, confessing it hath, but yet still falling short of the truth and 
goodness that is in the law, and pure light of conscience in a godly man ; 
for as in a picture there is a double truth and goodness, the one natural in 
the colours which are laid on, when they are true and good, and the other 
artificial as it is a picture, which is by so much the more said to be true and 
good by how much it is more like him it was made for, but yet it cannot 

Chap. YII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 99 

be said to have the goodness which is in the man himself, so this form of 
truth hath not only a natural goodness which is in all creatures, but also a 
further goodness which you may call moral, or what you please, so you do 
not attribute the goodness of holiness to it, which is attributed to the law, 
whereof this is but the picture. And consider withal, what things of the 
law they are the resemblance of. As pictures represent but the outward 
lineaments, so this but the letter of the law ; not the law itself comprehen- 
sively taken, but rd tou v(iimj\j, some things about the law, outward acts, and 
such light reacheth no farther. Therefore that Jew Paul speaks of he says 
was partaker of the ' letter ' of the law, Rom. ii. 27, as the Gentiles only of 
TO. Tov vo/xou, that is, the outward rind of the precepts of it, in what is to be 
done for the matter, the corpse of it, as I may so speak, for, 2 Cor. iii. 6, 
the law is said to have been to them only the ministration of the letter, and 
therefore St Paul says of himself, that when he was a pharisee, Rom. vii. 6, 
that he ' served God according to the oldness of the letter, not in newness 
of the spirit.' Now, the letter of the law, severed from the spirit of it, can- 
not be said to be holy or good in that sense the law is (tor, ver. 12, ' the 
law,' says he, ' is holy, spiritual, and good '), no more than the body of a 
man can be said to be living when the soul is gone, for when the perform- 
ance of any duty is severed from the right end, and from right motives, to 
God, it is but ' bodily exercise, not ' godliness,' 1 Tim. iv. 8, and therefore 
this light not directing unto, nor expressing the spirit of the law, and not 
exciting a man upon right motives, nor raising up all in man to God, it is not 
so much as the picture of the holiness of the law, but only of the letter, which, 
severed from the spirit is not holy, for the law is not totum homogeneum, but 
heterogenenm, consisting of letter and spirit, body and soul, and therefore quic- 
quid dicitur de toto, iion dicitur de quallbet 'parte, what is said of the whole to- 
gether is not said apart of every part. And suppose it did express the 
inwards of the law, yet still it is but the picture comparatively with the light 
in a godly man, which Christ calls ''the light of life,' John viii. 12, that is, 
the living real spiritual law, whereas the other is but dead and lifeless, and 
can be said no more to be holy than the letters wherewith the holy and 
spiritual law was wi'itten in upon the stones can have that name, which 
comparison the scripture seems to allude to : Jer. xxxi. 32, 33, ' I will take 
away the heart of stone ' (alluding to the stone the law was written in), * I 
will write the law in your hearts, and make them hearts of flesh,' sanctified, 
altered, and made spiritual and holy as the law is. 

Or, suppose it be the real law, as it may seem in troubled consciences it is 
by the real effects of it ; Rom. vii. 9, ' For I was alive without the law once ; 
but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.' When it kills 
and condemns, yet this is only the literal effects of it ; so as still these effects 
may be called but literal effects, and occasional effects of it, for it is the 
letter that kills ; the holy spiritual effects of it are to raise the heart up to 
God, to sanctify the heart, and these this light wants, 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

Therefore, to conclude, this light of conscience and those moral disposi- 
tions are no more acceptable to God, or good in his sight, than a Jew in 
the letter was to him, Rom. ii. 29. When the spirit in him was wanting, 
his praise is of men, not of God, and therefore, as the exposition shews, was 
not approved of by God. Nay, further, these appearing good dispositions,, 
in regard of the persons they are in, may be said to be abominable : Prov. 
xxi. 27, ' The sacrifice of the wicked ' (because a wicked man) ' is abomin- 
able,' much more * when he brings it with an evil heart.' 

Use. These truths, though they seem but notions, yet they much serve 
and tend to practice ; for do not these acts of enlightened and natural con- 


science deceive many therefore to think they have grace ? Many, because 
they have been troubled for sin, therefore conceive their estate good, or 
because conscience checks and fights against sin, so as the light which God 
sets up as a candle to ' search the chambers of the belly,' Prov. xx. 27, to 
find out their sinfulness, occasionally deceives them ; but let them consider 
that this argues no holiness or sanctification, for you see it falls short of it. 

But especially men do think their estates good, if they follow their con- 
science in anything that is right ; but consider that we may do so, and yet 
not be holy men ; for the sampler cannot be better than the copy; no man's 
actions are better than his light which is the rule of them ; they may be, 
and are, worse. The light itself you see is not holy, suppose your actions 
were framed exactly to it, as some think St Paul's were, by that speech. 
Acts sxiii., yet as he did sin in all he did, for all he kept to the rules of his 
conscience, yea, he says, he was the greatest of sinners ; so may you be. 
Therefore content not yourselves with that light, and practice answerable, 
as civil men do, but get the light of life, the law written in the heart, and to 
be transformed in your minds, to prove what is the acceptable will of God ; 
get the newness of the spirit, that you may serve God, who is a Spirit, in 
spirit and truth. 

And for those shows of moral virtues, consider, you may be garnished 
with them, and swept by the light of conscience from gross sins, and yet 
remain empty of grace ; as it is said in the parable, Mat. xii. 44. And 
therefore many that trusted in them are in the end given up to gross sins, 
and then all these washy, slight virtues, not being rooted in the heart by the 
the Spirit of sanctification, are washed off; for, Luke viii. 18, it is said, 
* From him shall be taken away that which he seemed to have.' 

II. Having discovered that this light of natural conscience falls short of 
true holiness in the nature and kind of it, let us, in the second place, inquire 
into the tenor of its conveyance to us, whether as a legacy bequeathed by 
nature, or as a mere endowment bestowed from some other good hand, 
pitying our poverty and nakedness. And herein that the mind, and the 
faculty in which this light is received, is a natural faculty, and an appurte- 
nance of nature, must not be denied ; but yet whether this light itself be in 
man as an appurtenance that goes by the tenor of nature, with our natures, 
as the faculty of the soul, and corruption or flesh now doth, is questioned 
by some ; yea, and they are denied to be so much as the ruins of the former 
image left unextinguished by Adam's sin, so to be derived to us by birth, 
and the right thereof, and it may be some more than probable demonstra- 
tion of it. 

First, That the experience both of the partiality of this light in all, and 
the unequal division and distribution of it to Adam's posterity, may seem 
to give in some evidence to this, that it is not of nature's inheritance, but 
moveable, and so lost, and restored again by a new gift. 

For if it was left as relics of the former image to be derived to us, as unex- 
tinguished by Adam's sin, 

1, What reason can be given why there should be left a light to see some 
kind of sins to be sins, rather than to discern others, which are as gross ? 
Jude 10, it is said of evil men, that ' they speak evil of things they know not ;' 
and ' in what they know naturally, they corrupt themselves,' which implies 
they know but some things naturally, and others not. Now there can be no 
reason given why Adam's sin extinguished light concerning some sins, but 
the same reason may as strongly be urged, that it is of itself a ruined and 
razed out light concerning all sins, if, de novo, it was not some way repaired. 

2. Why are these sparks of light so unequally shared and parted if they 

Chap. YII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 101 

had been left in Adam's soul to have been derived to us ? Some of the 
heathens had more, as Socrates, some less ; some are in a manner as brute 
beasts, others have more noble and elevated minds. Other gifts of know- 
ledge and understanding in the mind, being personal, may therefore come 
to be unequally distributed ; but this light, if it was natural, and left as the 
ruins of the former image, it would surely be much more alike in all than 
we see it is ; for Adam begat in his own image, that is, of what was left in 
him, Gen. v. 3. 

Second! I/, The Scriptures may further incline us thus to think, as that place 

(1.) In the 3d of John, ' That which is born of the flesh is flesh ; ' that is, 
all that is derived to man by virtue of his birth is possessed and filled with 
nothing but flesh and corruption, both substance and faculties ; so that if 
those sparks of literal light (as I choose with the Scriptures to call it) be 
more than flesh, as is objected, and will easily be granted, then I atfirm that 
they are not derived, as raked up in the ashes of our nature, and so by birth, 
but struck in by some external hand, which fetches this fire from heaven, as 
of old the poets feigned, which discovers the nakedness of our grandmother 
Eve's nature, and grandfather Adam's, to the full and utmost ; so that now 
take the faculties of the soul, with their bare birthright-dowry only, and 
there is not only no good thing that is holy, but not so much as these 
shadows of what is good derived to us as native indwellers ; but as nature 
brings us forth naked in our bodies, and covered all over with menstruous 
blood, so (as the allusion is in Ezek. xvi. 5) also in our souls it would not have 
left so much as those fig-tree leaves, either of literal light or moral virtues, to 
cover us withal : ' That which is born of the flesh is flesh.' 

(2.) That phrase, Rom. ii. 14, proves the same thing, where this light is 
said to be written in men's hearts, for writing is opus artijicis, non naturce, a 
work of art, not of nature. These characters are written, not bom with us ; 
we by nature have but ahrasas tabulas, tables in which everything is razed 
out ; it is the new work of some second hand hath took the pains to write 
them there ; and therefore the Syriac calleth conscience tira, from a word 
that signifies fonnavit, plmvit, hath formed or drawn anything in picture, 
because it is the table on which these principles are written. 

And if the question be. By what means this light should come to be de 
novo derived unto us ? 

(3.) For a third ground, let us consider that place, John i. 9, where he 
says, that Christ ' enlighteneth every man that comes into the world.' To 
understand which place, let us view the frame of the chapter, from ver. 
1 to 15. 

First, He shews what Christ is in himself and in his person. 

Secondly, What he is and hath been in his dispensation towards the world. 

1st, Before the fall, what he was both to all creatures, they were made by 
him, ver. 3 ; especially to man, that life and light of grace which was in man 
in innocency was from him, ver. 4. 

2dly, What he is to men since the fall. 

First, When that light in man and the image of God was extinguished and 
turned into darkness, he is become the hght of the world, and shines into 
that darkness which else would want all light : ver. 5, ' And the Kght shineth 
in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not ; ' so as all light is now 
from him, renewed and dispensed by him, which he shews more particularly, 
going over all the degrees of light which now shines to men. 

(1.) That common light in all mankind: ver. 9, 'He is the true light, 
that lighteth every man that comes into the world.' 

(2.) That especial light of the knowledge of the law and gospel, which he 


had dispensed to his own kinsmen and countrymen the Jews, ver. 10, who 
yet received him not. But then, 

(3.) In those that did believe he comes with a further light than both 
these : ver. 1^5-17, ' But as many as received him, to them gave he power 
to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name : which were 
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of 
God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld 
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and 
truth. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the 
law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ ; ' yet so 
as even that natural light (which I may so call in comparison of the other) 
* which lighteth every man that comes into the world,' ver. 9, is also from 
Christ, the second Adam, as a fruit of his mediation ; here we light all our 
lights, which otherwise would be caca hmiina, but blind lights. 

Now, that that speech is spoken of that common light vouchsafed to all 
mankind appears, 

1. That he says not only in general, that it is a light that ' enhghteneth 
every man,' which is general enough, but further adds, ' which cometh into 
the world ; ' that is, every man that is born into the world ; and this is in 
opposition to that saving light, which only those that are bom of God receive, 
ver. 13. 

Then also the series of those three degrees of light afore mentioned, argues 
this to be meant of common light vouchsafed to Jews and Gentiles. 

2. He speaks of this light as restored by him since the fall in man's nature 
corrupted ; therefore, 

First, When he speaks of the light given man in innocency, he says in the 
time past, ' He was the light of men;' but now of this light he speaks in the 
present tense, which shines and enlighteneth. 

Secondly, That in verse 5 he says this light shines in darkness, not com- 
prehending or embracing it. It is evident he speaks of man's nature now as 
corrupted, and not as created at first, nor as I'egenerated by grace, there being 
nothing but darkness covering the deep heart of man, as once that deep. Gen. 
i. 2, till Christ says, ' Let there be light,' by a new work, and as a common 
print* of his mediation. 

Thirdly, That this is spoken especially of that light whereby we understand 
bonum et malum, good and evil, and not of that only whereby we understand 
verum etfalsum, truth and falsehood (though I think it true of that also), 
appears in that it is such a light as the darkness of man's sinful nature com- 
prehends or receives not, but labours to avoid, as discovering their darkness 
unto them (which it doth), not the knowledge of natural truths. 

Fourthly, This light must either be understood of light in natural truths, 
or moral, or both. If of that in natural, then I argue, If light of under- 
standing to discern of other things be from Christ, then much more to descry 
those which are moral ; and hence now it comes so unequally to be divided 
and dispensed to men that ' come into the world,' as all common benefits of 
his death are ; and yet the Scripture for all this calls it natural, as in Rom. 
ii. 14. St Paul expresseth it in opposition to that other light which is vouch- 
safed from the preaching of the word, which is not a privilege vouchsafed to 
all, as this is to every man that comes into the world ; and therefore that 
term of natural light is distinguished from the other, as being in men want- 
ing the light of the word, left to mere nature, and as being the common 
privilege to men, and ' every man that comes into the world.' 

And of this light, brought thus de novo into the dark lanthorn of man's 
* Qu. ' fruit ' •?— Ed. 

Chap. VII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 103 

mind, may that place be understood, Prov. xx. 27, where Solomon says, that 
* the spirit that is in man is the candle of the Lord, searching the chambers 
of the belly,' or the heart, — so it is in the original, — which is not meant of the 
natural faculty of reason in common, for it is described by a peculiar office 
of looking and searching into a man's own heart ; and therefore surely it 
peculiarly means this light of conscience, whereby a man reflects upon him- 
self. And the meaning seems to me to be, that whereas a man hath many 
rooms or chambers in his soul, several faculties, upper and higher rooms, 
understanding, will, and aflections, and all filled and taken up with some- 
thing or other ; all which rooms now are in the state of corruption, Adam 
having left them in the dark, and as bare walls ungarnished; so also with- 
out light, though not in regard of seeing what is done within them, in ordlm 
natura, that is, materially, what thoughts and desires are there (for so a 
man differs from a beast, 1 Cor. ii. 12), but in regard of what is good or 
evil in those thoughts and desires in ordlne moris. And thus though a man 
had a reflecting faculty left, as in order to the first, yet in regard of discern- 
ing the good or evil of what was done or acted in these chambers, a man 
should be still in darkness, if God did not set up a candle of a seminal light, 
a spirit or disposition inspirited, therefore called spirit ; as Job xxxii. 8, 
' There is a spirit in man, and this is the inspiration of the Almighty which 
gives understanding,' that is, quickness and abihty, which is as a candle of 
the Lord's, not innate, but brought in anew, as such lights that are by a new 
inspiration from the Almighty. 

Fourthly, To evince that these are not the appurtenances of nature derived 
by birth, let us consider the end for which this light is appointed, and brought 
thus in by Christ ; and thus it may seem to be (as also moral virtues are) a 
means to curb and restrain, control and rebuke, corrupt nature, and the 
swelling forms of it. It is not there as a native inhabitant, but as a garrison 
planted in a rebellious town by the great Governor of the world, to keep the 
rebellion of the natives within compass, who else would break forth into pre- 
sent confusion. In the 14th Psalm, David, speaking of the corruption of 
man by nature, vers. 1-3, after this question, Whether there be not some 
knowledge to discover their evil doings to them ? yes, says he, ' have they 
no knowledge,' ver. 4, 'which eat up my people as bread?' Yes; and 
therefore, ver. 5, ' they are often in fear,' God having placed this there to 
overcome them with fear, and by that to restrain them from many outrages 
against God's people, whom in their desires, and sometimes practice, they 
eat up as bread. Therefore this knowledge is put in as a bridle to corrupt 
nature, as a hook was put into Sennacherib's nostrils, Isa. xxxyii. 29, to rule 
and tame men, and overcome them with fear. That as it is said of the horse 
and the mule, Ps. xxxii. 9, David there compares our nature, for the out- 
rageous fury of it, if left to itself, without this understanding as the bridle of 
it: 'Be not as the horse, and mule, that have no understanding; whose 
mouth,' says he, ' must be held in by bit and bridle, lest they come near 
thee ;' that is, kick and fling, and hurt thee. So would man's nature, there 
would be no Ho with them, no man could come near another. If they had 
no knowledge, they would eat up one another, and the church, as bread : 
but there is their fear, says he, that is, thence it comes to pass they are kept 
in awe. God puts in knowledge and conscience as a bridle ; which, as a 
bridle that curbeth a horse, is no part of the nature of it, it being to break 
its nature ; so also this infused light ; only by nature we have a tender part 
or faculty of mind, as a horse hath a mouth which is sensible of the guides 
of this bit or light when God holds the reins hard, as sometimes he doth. 


First, You have seen how this light of conscience, suppose it had been de- 
rived by nature, yet it is not holy. 

But, secondly, that it is not only not holy, but that it is not there from 

III. Now, consider what inherency this light hath in the mind, or what 
entertainment it hath, and you will see it cannot be said to dwell there. It 
never becomes naturalised, as I may speak, in man's nature, into a subject 
suitable to it; but as it is a stranger by birth, it hath a stranger's entertain- 
ment, and is not admitted or incorporated into the society of man's heart ; 
not enfranchised, or as a naturalised free denizen, only it crowds in there by 
force of arms, and so holds residence ; for it comes thus to judge and reprove 
only, and men entertain it, as the Sodomites did Lot, saying. Gen. xix. 9, 
* Tliis fellow comes in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge.' Nay, the 
heart of man deals more unrighteously, imprisoning it in unrighteousness, 
yMTiyJi), Rom. i. 18, aflbrding it not a dwelling-house, but a prison, to be 
in ; so as it dwells not there, but is imprisoned rather. The Scripture tells 
us that the darkness in man receives it [not], John i. 5 ; nay, puts it away, not 
willing to entertain it: 1 Tim. i. 19, ' Holding faith, and a good conscience; 
which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck.' 
'Ac7W(Ta/i.3vo/, putting away a good conscience, so as it cannot properly be 
called theirs, it being neither from nature, nor owned by or received as a 
nature in their hearts ; whereas true grace and light in a godly man, though 
it be not in him by nature, is made a new nature in him ; therefore he being 
partaker of it, is said to be ' partaker of a divine nature,' 1 Peter i. 4, 
there being such a connection between him and grace and the light of it, as 
is between natural dispositions and the subject they are in. But it is not 
so in an unregenerate mind, as to the light that is in it, and therefore for 
all this light the conscience still remains defiled ; for as it takes away no in- 
herent sinfulness, but restrains it only and curbs it, so it cannot be said to 
dwell there. 

IV. Suppose this light had such an admittance, and was naturalised, yet 
by that inherence or admittance it hath in the subject of natural conscience 
it would be defiled, for, Titus i. 15, 'Unto the impure all things are 
impure, because their minds and consciences are impure.' Mark it, he 
instanceth in the best part of them, their conscience, which defiles all that 
come near it, as well as any faculty else, and worse, for, as in the old law, 
if an unclean thing did but touch a thing, otherwise in itself clean, yet it 
was defiled by it, Hag. ii. 14. So (says God) are this people, and therefore 
all that belongs to them ; so now in the present case, if this light but comes 
into their consciences and becomes theirs, it is polluted. And indeed nature 
in other things shews as much, for, qiiicquid recipitur, recijiitur ad viodum 
reciplentis. What is more pure than the hght of the sun, which shines on a 
dunghill and is not defiled, because it admits of it not at all ? But if it shines 
on a thing that can receive it, as on a red glass, it presently is dyed red, 
the shine of it hath the tincture of the glass; so this light, either it is beaten 
back by the darkness which receives it not, and then it is not theirs, or if 
it be received, yet their conscience being impure, it becomes impure ; there- 
fore. Mat. vi. 22, the eye of man, that is, which is in man, which gives light 
to the whole and is his guide, is called evil, and darkness, that is sinful, 
though mixed with some light : Mat. vi. 23, ' But if thine eye be evil, thy 
whole body shall be full of darkness.' 

Use 1. See then the mercy and goodness of God and Christ now to the 
darkened condition of man ; consider, he lights a candle, and holds it there 
in your hearts for you to see to work by, without which a man would be as 

Chap. VII. ] in respect of sin and punishment. 105 

a horse and mule, yea, as a wild ass, Job xi. 12, so man is bom ; which, as 
it is the most stupid of creatures, empty of those shadows of reason other 
creatures have, so are we of those shadows of goodness, and therefore of 
ourselves we would be wild and ravenous, eating up one another, but that 
God hath put a bit into our tender part, our consciences. All fierce crea- 
tures have still some tender part left, without which they could not be ruled, 
as a horse a mouth to put in a bit, a bear a snout to put in a ring, else none 
might come near them ; so hath man a conscience. And that which shews 
God aimed at the good of mankind in it appears by this, that the light of 
those principles which tend most to the preservation of mankind are most 
deeply impressed and set on, as against murder, for which, of all sins else, 
their consciences use most to trouble them, &c., insomuch as Dionysius 
Halicarnasseus says that within the walls of Rome, for 020 years, none were 
found killed by a private hand ; and therefore this sin and the guilt of it 
alh'ights the conscience most, because it is most against the good of mankind. 

And consider, if God had not put this viceroy into the heart, what villanies 
would the world be filled with ! Our case would be as the case of Israel when 
they had no king — ' Everyman did what was good in his own eyes,' Judges 
xvii. 6. — So, if there was not this king and viceroy, this garrison in man, 
whose voice is vox Dei, every man would do what is good in his own eyes ; 
but God hath put it in to tame men, and hereby cuts short even the spirit 
of princes, takes ofi' their edge and fury, Ps. Isxvi. 11, by terrifying their 
consciences. Hereby Herod's malice against John was restrained, for he 
feared him being holy, Mark vi. 20 ; hereby God kept Abimelech from de- 
filing Sarah, Gen. xx. 

tlse 2. See the corruption of man's nature, that admits not, but as it were 
by constraint, so much as of the light of conscience, though it be but a pic- 
ture. As it is one of the utmost expressions of holiness, to * avoid the 
appearance of evil,' so it is a sign of the sinfulness of man's nature to hate 
the appearance of God. As the hatred of the panther is argued to be 
greater because it seizeth not on a man only, which other beasts do, but it 
will seize also on the image of a man, which no other beast will ; so it argues 
the wildness of man's nature, that it hates not the law and grace only, which 
is the image of God, but even this truth, which is but the picture of this 

Use 3. Is the light of conscience a work of Christ ? Then take heed how 
you deal with it. It was put into you if possible to keep you from hell, 
or that you might be kept from sins, and so have the less punishment ; but 
it occasions the aggravation of all your sins by men abusing it. But con- 
sider, that to imprison this truth in unrighteousness, what a sin it is, Rom. 
i. 18, which men do when they will not sufier it to break forth into practice. 
Of all Herod's sins this is made the greatest, that he put John in prison, 
who preached to him to instruct him, Luke iii. 20. And so this is that 
which God took so heinously at the Gentiles' hands, and for which his wrath 
is therefore to be revealed against them, that they imprisoned the light of 
their consciences, Rom. i. 18. And if to resist the power of a magistrate 
is to resist the power of God, then to resist the conviction of conscience, 
which is placed as a viceroy for the good of them that do well, and to be a 
terror to the wicked, is to resist God, for the judgment of conscience is the 
Lord's. And this also is to change the truth of God into a lie, for a man's 
actions being the interpreter of his mind, when that truth which is within is 
not discovered in our actions, we tell a lie ; and though things done errone- 
ously are sins, and therefore errors and ignorances were sacrificed for in the 
old law, yet if against light it is much more sin ; and yet how do men sin 


even against light till they be past feeling, as those in Eph. iv. 18, 19, who 
lived in unnatural uncleanness, oppression, contrary to the common light of 
nature, which, therefore, is made the aggravation of their sinfulness, Jude 
10, to ' corrupt themselves in what they know naturally.' Therefore God 
gave them up to reprobate minds, not discerning good and evil, Rom. i. 28, 
and in the end they do act as brute beasts (as in that place of Jude), so that 
there is not a principle to work upon by the word, and their light is taken 
from them, and they are left in the dark and carried hoodwinked to hell by 
the devil, as he that is in the dark knows not whither he goes. And you 
that have been troubled in conscience, and know the bitterness of sin, and 
yet fall to sin again, though your consciences have broke forth again upon 
you as much as ever, take heed how you go on. Though at present your 
consciences may be drunk and asleep, and the light imprisoned, yet know 
that this light will one day break prison and rage, and as a madman that 
when he is awake is more mad than when he lay down, so will your roused 
conscience be more terrifying than ever. 


The second part of original corruption, enmity unto God, and to all that is 
good. — We became enemies to God, violating all obligations which were 
upon us to love and serve him. — This enmity is in our natures and hearts, 
and shewn also in outward acts of hostility. 

'And you, that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked 
works, yet now hath he reconciled^' — Col. I. 21. 

We have seen how our natures by sin are deprived of all good. We are 
now to consider the positive part of original corruption, which hath two 
especial branches. 

1. An averseness, contrariety, or enmity unto God, which follows upon 
our aversion from him. We are not only turned from God, but turned 
enemies against him. 

2. An inordinate conversion from God to the creatures, and the pleasures 
of sin as their chiefest good and their utmost end, which is in Scripture 
expressed unto us by lusts. 

So the apostle reduceth the whole to these four degrees, Rom. v., that we 
are dead men, without strength, ungodly, sinners, enemies. The privative 
part being despatched, this, therefore, now remains to be as the conclusion 
more amply treated of, to make this first general part of this discourse entire, 
and the total sum of our iniquity full. 

Now, first, for explication of this enmity in man's heart and nature against 
God, there is a twofold enmity found amongst men, one against another, 
the like proportion unto which holds here, one directly and setly intended, 
the other indirect and by way of resultancy. 

1. Direct and intended, when a man's aim is to ruin or to oppose and 
vex such a man. Or, 

2. Indirect, when a man doth that which provoketh, or tends to diminish 
from another, when yet a man hath no such direct aim against bis person, &c., 
in his thoughts that do carry him on to it. Which double kind of enmity 
is exempltied by men's ofiences against states or princes set over them. 

Thus, 1, those are enemies that maliciously and setly plot and contrive 
treason, ruin, &c., in an hostile way. 

Chap. VIII. J in respect of sin and punishment. 107 

And, 2, those are enemies, too, that do contrary to the laws, to the de- 
clared will of a prince or state. So with us, a felon that stealeth for his lust, 
yet is to be arraigned as one that acted contrary to the king's crown and 
dignity, though he should plead he never aimed at the king, or intended to 
diminish aught from him, yet doing what is contrary to his law, on which 
his sovereignty is stamped, he is arraigned and condemned as an enemy to 
the king. 

Now of that first kind of direct and set opposition against God, none are 
found to be guilty but the devil, who is called the enemy, the adversary ; or 
men that sin against the Holy Ghost, whose sin is direct revenge against 
God, and who do despite to the Spirit of grace. But that indirect and implied 
enmity is common to the nature of man, and is the subject of this discourse. 
Let no man, therefore, think to shift, and say, I am an enemy to God ! 
God forbid ; I never in sinning aimed at hurt or injury to him, I had him 
not in my thoughts ; but if there be an indirect enmity, it is charge enough 
to justify the accusation. Men are executed and put to death by a state, 
as well for acts against law, which do involve the honour of the prince, as 
for acts of open or secret hostility. So as men are children or servants of 
the devil, either, 1, directly, that give up their souls to him, as witches ; or, 
2, that do his work, though their aim is not to serve him as their father ; 
and yet because they do his lusts, Christ termed them such : John viii. 44, 
' Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.' 

Now I lay this for a fundamental maxim all along this discourse, that all 
that are not for God, or are against that which his law and will is for, &c., 
are enemies, and justly so accounted. God is so great, so sovereign, that 
if thou pleasest him not, he accounts thee an enemy ; if thou beest not sub- 
ject to him, thou art a rebel. As kings, yea, favourites, thinking theni- 
selves so great, that if any be not wholly theirs, if any way not for them, if 
any man veils not, stoops not, their spirits rise against them as enemies, as 
Haman's did against Mordecai, Esther iii. 6 ; and so, in like manner, ' Art 
thou not king ?' says Jezebel to Ahab, 1 Kings xxvii. 7, and therefore 
judged it an affront to him to be denied anything. In like manner. Am I 
not God ? says the Lord. K there be any averseness of spirit shewn to 
kings, it is interpreted enmity, because their greatness expects all should 
serve and be subject to them. Now the greatness of God is such, as it ne- 
cessarily and justly draws this on with it. Hence the carnal mind is said 
to be enmity against God : Rom. viii. 7, 8, * Because the carnal mind is 
enmity against God ; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed 
can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.' So that 
not to please God, not to be subject to his law, to be any way strange or 
averse to him, nay, not to be for him, is enmity ; yea, and enmity against 
him. Thus Christ says, ' He that is not with me is against me.' And, 
Rom. i., those that ' glorified God not as God,' ver. 21, are termed ' haters 
of God,' ver. 25. 

This being premised, I come to [open the particulars of this enmity of 
ours to God. 

First, In the degrees of it. I shall need to seek no further than the 
words of this text in the Epistle to the Colossians, (it being fuller to this 
purpose than any other scripture I meet withal), as noting out unto us three 
degrees and grounds of this enmity, wherein it consists ; in that, 1 , 
estranged ; 2, enemies in minds ; 3, in evil works. For whereas there are 
three, and but three, grounds of all friendship among men ; when, 1, there 
are certain mutual ties and bonds of relations, by which two are obliged and 
tied together in friendship, as husband and wife, father and child, &c. ; or, 


2, there is likeness of mind, which is indeed the soul and life of all true 
friendship, for all friendship is grounded on likeness {simile (jaudet simili). 
S. The third ground of friendship is mutual expressions and manifestations of 
that good will and agreement of minds, by kind offices of friendship, without 
which no friendship can long endure, but dies and goes out, as fire without 
fuel to feed it. Now all these three, when they meet together, must needs 
make up the entirest friendship that can be, even a threefold cord twisted, 
which cannot easily be broken. 

But now (if you observe it) you shall find in the text three grounds of 
this enmity, directly answering to these three of friendship (for friendship 
and enmity being contraries, they have answerably contrary grounds, contra- 
riorum contraria est ratio). For, first of all, in the word alienated, dmrjXXo- 
T^iuiji,svoi, or estranged, there is implied, that we are obliged to God by some 
bonds of friendship, and that yet we are fallen off from him, and entered 
into league and friendship with some other, so as he is thereby provoked ; 
for the apostle makes it the first degree of this enmity. Secondly, instead 
of agreement in mind and good will, there is an eiunitij, a contrariety in the 
mind. Thirdly, instead of kind offices of friendship, which should be tokens 
of that good will, as love, &c., there is nothing but evil works arising from 
the mind, every one of which contains in it enmity and contrariety against 
God ; and therefore all these meeting in one, as they do here, must needs 
likewise argue the enmity full. 

And, Jirst, we are therefore enemies, because by nature estranged ; for 
notwithstanding God hath bound all men to himself at their first creation in 
Adam, but especially all us that live in the visible church, by all the nearest 
and strongest bonds of friendship that are to be found on earth ; yet we 
have forsaken him, and live estranged, and have sought out other friends 
contrary unto him. And if this is enough to provoke men to enmity, much 
more God ; yea, and by how much nearer the bonds are, the greater enmity 
ariseth upon the breach. None are greater enemies, when fallen out, than 
those that have been most obliged and nearest friends ; and this is the first 
degree, which I will further explain. 

1. Mankind should, by that estate they were created in, have enjoyed a 
most holy and blessed communion, familiarity, and intercourse of acquaint- 
ance with the great God of heaven and earth, as may appear by some pas- 
sages betwixt God and Adam, Gen. ii. 19, 22, 23. Sure I am, that to all 
us that live in the visible church, God offers acquaintance daily, notwith- 
standing that our first breach in Adam, who, when he heard God's voice, 
walking in the garden, Gen. iii. 8, 9, hid himself, as one who would not 
have been spoken withal. God would yet be acquainted with us all ; for to 
that end serve his ordinances ; his word, wherein he speaks unto and woos 
us ; prayer, wherein he would have us draw nigh to him. But we, besides 
that estrangement of our forefather, are estranged even from the womb : Ps. 
Iviii. 3, ' The wicked are estranged from the womb ; they go astray as soon 
as they be born, speaking lies.' And at last we come in our hearts to say 
with those in Job, ' Depart from us, we will not have the knowledge of thee 
or thy ways,' Job xxii. 17. Acquaintance in this kind refused, provokes 
men that are but equals, much more God, the infinite God. Yea, my breth- 
ren, every sin committed is made the deeper act of enmity by reason of 
this bond broken by it. See how David takes a wrong from one that had 
been of his acquaintance, more heinously by far than if he had ever been a 
professed enemy : Ps. Iv. 12-14, ' For it was not an enemy that reproached 
me, then I could have borne it ; neither was it he that hated me, that did 
magnifj- himself against me, then I would have hid myself from him. But 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 109 

it was thou, a man, mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We 
took sweet .counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.' 
Had it been mine enemy, I could have borne it, says he ; but it was thou, 
my familiar friend, my equal ; we took sweet counsel once together. A 
wrong from such a person David could not brook. Had we indeed been 
created enemies at first, God would not have regarded our estrangement, nor 
our wronging him, for no other could have been looked for ; but you have 
heard it was otherwise ; and yet he and we are not equals, there is an infi- 
nite disproportion ; and yet this is not all. For, 

2. God being the great King of heaven and earth, obliged us to him as 
his especial favourites, at our first creation, above all the inferior creatures, 
raising us up out of nothing, and out of the same dust they were taken out 
of; he breathed into us an immortal reasonable soul, which yet they want, 
and set us next himself in his throne over them all. Yet Adam, his favom-ite, 
and we in him, disobeyed him, in that which was God's especial charge to 
the contrary, in eating the forbidden fruit. How infinitely more are kings 
incensed if their favourites prove traitors than if inferior subjects are so ? 
And is not God provoked so too the more by these many favours abused by 
us ? Yes, certainly. See how heinously he took David's adultery at his 
hands, more than he would at the hands of an inferior subject, because he 
was his especial favourite: 2 Sam. xii. 7-9, 'And Nathan said to David, 
Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king 
over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul ; and I gave thee 
thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee 
the house of Israel and of Judah ; and if that had been too little, I would 
moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou 
despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? Thou hast 
killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy 
wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.' Did 
not I anoint thee king ? says God ; gave thee the house of Israel and Judah ? 
and would have done much more for thee. Wherefore hast thou despised 
the commandment of the Lord in doing evil in his sight ? Was not this 
now just our case in Adam in eating the forbidden fruit ? and in our own 
particular too whilst unregenerate, breaking and despising all those holy and 
righteous laws which God hath given ? 

And 3. By creation we were all the sons of God, as Adam is called, Luke 
iii. 34. For God stamped his own image on us ; therefore we were his sons 
when others but his creatures. Yet Adam, our forefather, fought like a 
rebellious Absalom to disthronise God ; that he should be as God was his 
temptation to sin, Gen. iii. 5. We set up other gods, making our bellies, 
that is, every earthly vanity, as a god, Philip, iii. 18, 19. And this rebellion 
of ours, as children against God our Father, the breach of this bond pro- 
vokes to deeper enmity than the violation of any of the former : 2 Sam. 
xvi. 12, when Shimei cursed David, Oh, says he, ' if my son seek my life, 
how much more may this Benjamite ? ' And God takes it so too at our hands 
very heinously : Isa. i. 2, ' Hear, heavens ; and hearken, earth : I have 
brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.' This was res 
inaudita, a thing unheard of; and therefore he complains to these senseless 
creatures of it. 

4. We w re by the law of creation espoused unto God in some respect : 
Jer. xxxi. 31, 32. ' Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make 
a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah ; not 
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I 
took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which my 


covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord,' 
God speaking of the old covenant, the covenant of works ; and so Adam's 
covenant is involved, he sa^^s, ' though I am an husband to them.' He 
therein shews, by what he was to the Jews, what he was to Adam then. 
But as Adam's heart at first ran a-whoring after an apple, so ours, whilst 
unregenerate, after every vanity. We are lovers of pleasures, riches, credit, 
&c., more than of God ; and therefore doth the Sci-ipture challenge us as 
adulterers and adulteresses, as James iv. 4, ' Ye adulterers and adulteresses, 
know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God ? whosoever 
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.' We are called 
adulterers, as those that had forsaken our first husband (as God is called, 
Hosea ii. 7, by the church), and had entered into league with the world, and 
other strange lovers, as it follows in both those places. Adultery, we all 
know, is the breach of the marriage knot, which being the nighest tie upon 
earth (as both the first and the second Adam's speech doth testify : ' For 
this cause shall a man forsake father and mother,' &c.), therefore the breach 
of this knot causeth the deepest enmity; so it is with men : ' Jealousy,' saith 
Solomon, Prov. vi. 35, 'is the rage of a man.' Jealousy, as you all know, 
is that enmity which ariseth from the breach of the marriage knot, as it also 
is taken there, as'appears by the former verses. And this jealousy is rage ; 
the deepest that can be, more than anger, fury, or wrath. It notes out 
unpacifiedness ; for it follows, ' He will not spare in the day of vengeance ; 
thouch thou givest him many gifts, yet he will not rest contented.' And God 
is ' a jealous God ; ' so he styles himself, and takes this breach of our mar- 
riage bond as heinously, and more, as he hath reason, than men: Jer. 
iii. 1-3, ' They say. If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and 
become another man's, shall he return unto her again ? shall not that land 
be greatly polluted ? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers ; yet 
return again to me, saith the Lord. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, 
and see where thou hast not been lien with : in the ways hast thou sat for 
them, as the Ai-abian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with 
thy whoredoms, and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been 
withholden, and there hath been no latter rain ; and thou hadst a whore's 
forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.' You, says he, if you put away a 
wife, and she becomes another man's, will not own her again ; ' but thou 
hast played the whore,' &c. As if God had said. Judge betwixt me and you. 

1st, Consider that God did not put us off, but we forsook him first, freely 
and causelessly. God offered no wrong, no unkindness. 

2dly, Nay, there could not be any jealousies or suspicions (which often 
arise among friends) ; for God is not subject to the least shadow or appear- 
ance of turning. God shall clear it at the latter day, as he doth Jer. ii. 5, 
'What iniquity have you,' or your forefather Adam, 'found in me ?' Did I 
forsake you first ? or could it be conceived that I was glad to be rid of you ? 
No ; it was on your part free, on my part causeless ; and your enmity to me 
is so continued. Nay, 

3dly, This was at first, and is continued still at the persuasion of God's 
utter enemy, and ours, the devil. One word, nay, a lie of his, prevailed more 
than all these cords of love. 

And so much for the first degree, noted out in the word alienated, namely, 
that we have broken all the bonds of friendship whereby we were obliged ; 
both of acquaintance, the nearest bond of friendship civil ; of favourites to a 
prince, the highest bond in friendship political ; of children to a father, the 
nearest in friendship natural ; of a wife unto her husband, than which there 
is no greater obligations. 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 1 VI 

All relations of friendship may be reduced to one of these four; and these 
instances are, suinma in quolihet genere, et refjulce reliquorum, the hij^hest in 
each of these four, and the measures of the rest. Neither were these bonds 
bare resemblances, but real, and which God useth to express the nearest 
obligation between us, and which yet cannot express it. God looks upon us 
as obliged to him by all these bonds ; as those that should be to him as his 
spouse, children should carry themselves as his especial favourites, friends ; 
and therefore in every act of sinning, he will charge the breach of all these bonds 
upon all our consciences : Rom. vii. 2, 3, * For the woman which hath an 
husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth : but if the 
husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, 
while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called 
an adulteress : but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that 
she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.' The apostle 
expressly says, that a woman once married is bound to her husband as lono 
as he and she live, and if she become another man's she should be in every 
act called an adulteress. Now not only in this tie of marriage, but in all the 
rest of their bonds betwixt God and us, it is true that time can never wear 
them out. God [never dies, nor we, but are immortal ; therefore these 
relations hold, and whilst we sin, are daily broken, and we do therefore con- 
tinually provoke him to enmity. 

Secondly, But yet, in the second place, there is a further ground and degree 
of a far deeper enmity betwixt God and us, for there is an internal contra- 
riety and enmity in our minds, which is deeper than the former. For as in 
friendship outward relations, ties and bonds are but the body of it, it is 
inward good will that is the soul and life, and that must join hearts together. 
Therefore a friend is called, Deut. xiii. 6, * a man's own soul,' and reckoned 
as sometimes nearer to men than all relations. The other externals of 
friendship are but as solder or lead that joins glasses together that is 
quickly melted ; and so it would be with these if this inward good will doth 
not animate them. And therefore, also, by the rules of contraries, it is so 
in causing enmity ; though the breach of outward relations doth deeply pro- 
voke, yet we see it true amongst men, that when notwithstanding them, 
they perceive a secret good will continued to them in the party offending, 
they are ready to pass by, and so pardon such wrongs ; yea, and so doth 
God, for notwithstanding his children who are regenerated, are more deeply 
obliged and engaged to him than all creatures, men, and angels besides ; yet 
because even when they offend, they bear inward and secret good will to God 
for all that, doing what they hate, what they approve not, and grieving they 
should offend God whom they love above all, God therefore passeth by, and 
putteth up abundance of injuries, as he did in David, accounting him a man 
according to his own heart, that is, a faithful friend to him, notwithstanding 
many outward breaches of the nearest bonds that could be. But now in 
men unregenerate, there being not only an external breach of such near 
bonds of friendship, but also an inward enmity, contrariety, that fills the 
mind, it must needs most deeply provoke, for it is full enmity indeed. 

I will open this as a second and further degree. God created us at the first 
in his own image or likeness, both in mind and will ; which image consisted 
in an agreement of mind, liking and approving that holiness he did, and 
also choosing it in our wills, embracing it in our affections ; whence good 
will did arise betwixt God and us. And when two minds agree thus in 
virtue, Aristotle says, it makes up perfect friendship, he making 6/xov6ia. and 
hvoicx^ meeting in virtue, to be the strongest ground of friendship, and to be 
the essence of it. And so this being an argument between God and us about 


holiness (for the image of God in us is created after God in holiness and 
righteousness, Eph. iv. 24), it must needs be so too. But now, on the con- 
trary, there is an enmity in the mind, we neither in mind or judgment 
approving that holiness, nor in our w-ills choosing it ; but we in both liking 
and following the clean contrary, namely, every sin and evil work, for to 
that purpose is the phrase used in the text emphatically, ' enemies in the 
mind, in evil works,' therefore enemies in our miads, because our minds are 
in evil works ; which phrase implies that the mind is wholly set upon and 
inclined and disposed unto evil. As when a man is said to be in love, that 
is wholly taken up with it, given to it. Like phrase unto which also is that, 
aninuis est in patinis, his mind is in his dishes ; even so that phrase used 
here, the mind in evil works (as it is in the original), for every evil work, as 
you shall hear anon, contains direct enmity against God in it ; therefore 
now, I say, this must make perfect enmity. And further to confirm it, that 
there is this enmity in the mind, in men unregenerate, in Acts xiii. 10, it is 
said of Elymas (and what is true of one wicked man in regard of his nature, 
ot which we now speak, is true of all), that he was an enemy to all right- 
eousness, and full of all readiness unto evil, as the word padiov^ylag signifies, 
an enemy in his mind to all righteousness, because his mind was prone, 
ready and set to all evil ; so that the same reason is given for that his 
enmity, which is here in Col. i. 21. And Simon Magus also (after the same 
manner of phrase used in the text) is said to be in the gall of bitterness : 
Acts viii. 23, ' For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in 
the bond of iniquity.' Which phrase implies that his whole heart, and the 
frame of it, is steeped deeply, and seasoned in works which are as gall to us, 
viz. enmity against God, for he is rather said to be in this gall, than it in 
him, to shew that bis nature is only full of it, and abounded, and was over- 
come by it ; as a man is said to be in the water, when he is drowned in it, 
or in drink, when he is overcome with it. 

I might be large in running over all the faculties, and shewing how this 
enmity resides in them all. 

As first of all in the judgment, the reasoning and understanding part of 
the mind, of which principally the text speaks, h biavoia, which implies that 
all the thoughts, reasonings, and devisings which are within the mind of man, 
are against God and his ways, and altogether for sin and evil works which 
are enmity against him. And is not that argaed to be deadly enmity, whea 
there is nothing but plotting, devising, and using one's wits against another? 
Yet each is this here ; yea, in these reasonings lies the strength of the 
enemy, by reason of which the inferior faculties are encouraged, backed, and 
maintained in their opposition. And therefore, 2 Cor. x. 5, he compares 
these reasonings in the mind of man unto high forts, bulwarks, or towers, 
strongholds which are cast up to maintain and hold siege against the know- 
ledge and obedience of Christ. 

Neither, 2, is the will free of this enmity ; for though indeed the will is 
not mentioned directly and expressly in the text, but only the reasoning part, 
yet it is not because the will is free, but rather because that, of all other 
faculties, the understanding might be least suspected ; seeing wicked men in 
their reasonings, in the speculative understanding, are for the truth often, 
and against evil works, though again in the practical (which the apostle 
means here) it is clean contrary with them. All enmity lies principally in 
the will, and even common people when they express enmity, they call it 
ill-uill. And so in John viii. 44, lusts of enmity and malice against God 
and Christ (of which Christ there speaks), and which he calleth the devil's 
lusts, are made acts of the will, both because they are called (as in the devils 


they are found) lusts. Now, in the devil, lusts are inclinations and acts 
principally of the will, as also because Christ saith there of the phariseos, 
* You are of your father the devil, and his lusts ye will do.' The word in the 
original is %Xsti ironiv ; and answerably wicked men are said to be haters of 
God, Rom. i. 30, Exod. xx. 5. 

Yea, 3, it is seated in the whole man, and whatsoever is in man, as may 
appear by comparing these two scriptures : John iii. 6, ' That which is 
born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' 
Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is 
not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' In the first, Christ 
says, * what is born of the flesh is flesh.' In saying that which is born, &c., 
he shews that there is not that thing in man which comes of fleshly genera- 
tion, but it is wholly tainted with flesh, sin, and corruption, even the will 
and all parts. And in Rom. viii. 7, you may see what the nature of this 
flesh or corruption is, and what it brings with it to every faculty. It is said 
to be enmity against God, pgov)),a.a aa^nhg. Some translate it the wisdom 
of the flesh, because that indeed is principally meant ; but the word doth in 
the signification generally extend itself to the several acts of each faculty 
tending towards this object, as I could shew by other scriptures. So that the 
meaning of the Holy Ghost is to shew how that every act of every faculty, 
understanding, will, and afiections, all which are tainted with flesh, are 
enmity against God. It is said so in the- abstract, because it is in the very 
nature of the flesh, in each faculty, to be so ; even as it is the nature of a 
wolf to be at enmity with a lamb. 

And so much likewise of the second ground and degree of enmity ; it is 
inherent in the mind, and in every faculty thereof. 

Thirdly, Now did this enmity lie and rest there only, and break forth no 
farther, nor manifest itself in acts of enmity, it were less full. But as Aris- 
totle makes it a condition of true friendship, iit sit manifesta nee otiosa, that 
it be manifested by expressions of love, or else it is idle, worthless friendship ; 
so likewise to make up the measure of this enmity full, it remains that I 
shew the manifestation of this enmity in the mind in regard of evil works 
mentioned in the text, and which the mind, as you have heard it, is set on 
and wholly given unto. The mind of man unregenerate doth bring forth 
nothing else continually but evil works, which do contain in them direct and 
express enmity against God ; every sinful act contains in ifc enmity against 
God. That forenamed place, Rom. viii. 7, is express for both, where it is 
said that (p^ovri/xa aa^xog, that is (as I said before), the least stirring, desire, or 
act of any faculty, even the wisdom of a man, the best and purest act the 
mind brings forth, the wisest thought an unregenerate mind thinks, is enmity 
against God. And so, Isa. iii. 8, their doings are said to be ' against the 
Lord,' and to * provoke the eyes of his glory,' for (besides that every sin is 
aggravated by being the breach of all bonds) it contains a further and directer 
enmit}'- in it, as both these places do imply ; for it is denominated to be 
enmity in the abstract, which doth imply that it is in the nature of it, and is 
said to provoke the eyes of his glory, as being against him. Now let us exa- 
mine the reason given there in the following words, and it will appear so, 
for therefore the apostle says, it is enmity against God, because it is directly 
against God's law, and will not be subject. And because some men may say. 
What is this to God ? he is one thing, and his law another ; it touches not 
him. Yes, verily, -and that exceeding nearly, in a double respect. 

1. Because upon every moral law of God his sovereignty, his prerogative 
royal, is enstamped and engaged in it. His being God and sovereign Lord lies 
at the stake ; for the law is enforced upon that ground, ' I am the Lord thy 

VOL. X. H 


God.' So the commandments begin, he commanding us, as he is God, and by 
his divine authority, to submit to those laws : the main end and intent of all 
those laws being, that men should acknowledge God's sovereignty over them. 
Now, therefore, in this case the breach and thwarting of the least of these 
with full consent of mind and will, is flat rebellion, a gainsaying his sove- 
reignty, a direct and immediate opposing his prerogative royal, denying him 
to be God. And therefore, Titus i. 16, they are said in works to deny him. 
Now we all know whatsoever is done thus against the sovereignty of a king 
is an act of high treason ; whatsoever doth flatly deny the king to be king is 
open rebellion. And therefore every evil work may well be said to be against 
God, and to provoke the eyes of his glory, for it debaseth, tendeth to impair 
and entrench upon his prerogative royal, his glory, and sovereignty. But 
this is not all ; it is flat enmity, hath some contrariety in the nature, form, 
and essence of it, to God's most holy and pure nature. Because, 

2. God hath enstamped his own image on his laws. For God's laws, 
especially his first command, is but the copy and extract of God's most holy, 
righteous, and blessed will, and many of the commands are the copy of his 
most holy nature, as that of his first command, as such which he in his 
nature is inclined to will and command ; and therefore his law is called holy 
as he is holy, and being written in the heart doth renew us in his image. 
"WTiatsoevev act, therefore, is done against this law, and hath a contrariety 
thereunto, hath in the nature of it a contrariety unto the nature of God ; 
which, my brethren, being so, and the mind of man unregenerate continually 
producing such acts, needs must this enmity be deep in this regard. But, 

3. This indirect enmity (as I may so call it) which is terminated in the 
breach of the law, proceedeth in the end to more immediate and direct acts 
of enmity against God himself, and breaketh forth into such at last, as occa- 
sion is given from collateral enmity ; it launcheth out unto direct enmity 
against God, and all that would bring us to him. For although man's nature 
at first in sinning aims but at pleasure, and not to injure God (only it is 
against him, as being his Sovereign, who hath commanded the contrary), yet if 
God come to discover his offence taken at these their sins, then corrupt nature 
is apt to shew itself in a direct enmity. So that as by reason of every evil 
work there is an enmity taken up by God against us, so also further, when 
God goes about to reclaim us herefrom, to discover his sovereignty and dis- 
pleasure against us, then there ariseth further active enmity in us against 
him. If light comes from him that these our works are evil, then presently 
we hate the light : John iii. 19, ' And this is the condemnation, that light is 
come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their 
deeds are evil.' If God makes himself known to us to be our Lord and King, 
we like not the knowledge of him : Rom. i. 28, ' And even as they did not 
like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate 
mind, to do those things which are not convenient.' If he discovers himself 
to be our judge that threateneth us for these courses, then we hate him : 
Prov. viii. 36, ' But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul ; all 
they that hate me love death.' Wisdom, that is, Christ, that would reclaim 
men from sinning, says. If they refuse him they hate him, and love death. 
It is spoken consecutively, for in sinning they love that which causeth death, 
and so in sinning too they do that which will produce hatred of God, and end 
in it when he comes to reckon with them. We either slight him or hate 
him ; either we contemn his judgments, or wish he were not. If he punish 
us, our hearts rise against him as against an enemy, and murmur as Cain's 
did, and accordingly we quarrel with all such means as might reduce us into 
subjection to him. 

Chap. IX. ] in respect of sin and punishment. 11 { 


Some considerations propounded wliich do more evidence how great the enmity 
of man's nature is against God. — 2'hat it is uninterruptedly continued. — 
That it is implacable. — That it is an universal hatred against God, and all 
that hath any relation to him. — We should try our state, by examining our- 
selces whether ice continue enemies to God or not. — What are the signs by 
ivhich it may be known / 

Unto all this we may add three considerations more concerning the mani- 
festation of this enmity in the mind, and you shall see the depth, length, and 
breadth thereof, abounding in all three dimensions, even above measure. 

First of all, it is continued without interruption even from the very begin- 
ning of a man's days, whenas the mind of man begins to put forth any acts 
at all : Jer. xxxii. 30, ' For the children of Israel and the children of Judah 
have only done evil before me from their youth ; for the children of Israel 
have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the 
Lord.' They have only provoked me to anger from their youth by the 
work of their hands ; they had done nothing else from the very beginning. 
And as it is said of Jerusalem in the following verses, that that city had been 
a provocation to him from the very first day that it was built, so it is true of 
every man unregenerate, that from the very day wherein he was born he hath 
been a provocation unto God by the works of his hands. And I pray you 
consider it, the deadliest enemy that ever was, was not always plotting, act- 
ing, and practising hostility ; there is a truce sometimes, a laying down of 
weapons, by reason of other employments. Ay, but this enmity never 
hath a cessation of arms, and hereby appears the length and continuation 
of it. 

Again, secondly, it is so deep an enmity that is thus seated in the mind, 
as no time, no means that can be used, no persuasions or threatenings, can 
of themselves reconcile them, or wear this enmity out, until God doth extend 
his mighty power and slay this enmity, &c. And why ? Because it is seated 
in the mind, in nature, as in Rom. viii. 7 it is called enmity itself, which is 
not, nor cannot be, made subject. It is in the nature of the corrupt mind to 
be an enemy to God, as it is in the nature of a wolf to be an enemy to a 
lamb ; and therefore nature so remaining, it will never yield unless it be 
changed. Men may be enemies to one another and yet reconciled, because 
it is not seated in their natures, but only occasioned (it may be) by some 
outward occasional difference and variance, as appears in suits of law be- 
twixt man and man, which therefore composition will end ; and the cause 
being taken away, they prove as good friends as ever. Ay, but this enmity 
will never be at an end unless God changeth the mind ; no composition, no 
parley or treaty of peace can end it. Nay, a man cannot endure to hear of 
ending it, but falls out with all the means, the word. Spirit, and light of 
his own conscience that persuades him to it; shunning, hating, resisting all 
means of ending it ; hating to be reformed, Ps. 1. 17 ; hating even recon- 
ciliation itself; casting all God's laws behind their backs, as it is there 
expressed ; that is, dealing with all the persuasions and messengers that come 
from God to treat about the peace, even as Jehu did with those which came 
from Jehoram, saying, ' What have I to do with peace ?' And all this with 
a deep inbred pride and stubbornness in the mind and will, scorning to yield 
or stoop, Ps. X. 4. Insomuch as God is said, James iv. 6, to resist, to 
withstand, avrirdaeirai, or jostle him, even to throw him down to hell. 


Lastly, It is an universal hatred in regard of the manifestation of it, mani- 
festing enmity against God, and all his friends that stand in any relation of 
nearness to him continually, as it meets with any of them, or as occasion is 

1. An enmity to God, there being ever and anon reasonings in the dis- 
coursive part that there is no God ; denying, or despising, or abusing all 
that the mind knows of God ; his grace, turning it into wantonness, Jude 5 ; 
despising the riches of his goodness and long-suffering, Rom. ii. 4 ; mocking at 
his omniscience in such thoughts or words as these : ' Tush, God sees it not ' ; 
Ps. X. 11, 'He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten : he hideth his face, 
he will never see it.' And if the understanding be convinced, yet desires 
arise in the will. Would there were no God ! And is not that deadly enmity, 
thus to reason against God's being ? or knowing that he is, to abuse him ? 
or wishing the destruction of God ? Rom. i. 30. The Gentiles are therefore 
called haters of God, because ' when they knew God, they glorified him not 
as God' in their heart, ver. 21, 25. 

2. Again, it is an enmity to all the friends of God. Let him send 
prophets, and after them his own Son crucified ; let him dispense to them 
the preaching of tbe gospel, and that as the only means to reconcile them ; 
yet they hearing this, out of the hardness of their hearts, turn ' enemies to 
the cross of Christ,' as it is expressly said, Philip, iii. 18, 19. Let the Lord 
deal with them by his Spirit, and that about their own eternal good ; as if 
he came as an enemy, they resist him evermore, and all his good motions : 
Acts vii. 51, 'Ye stiff-necked and uneircumcised in heart and ears, ye do 
always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye.' By the light 
of their consciences the truth they detain, and that unrighteously, like an 
enemy in prison : Rom. i. 18, ' For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven 
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in 
unrighteousness.' If God speaks to them by his faithful ministers, ' mine 
enemy,' say they, ' hast thou found me?' as Ahab said to Elijah, 1 Kings 
xxi. 20. And as he said also to another prophet, ' I hate him, for he never 
prophesies good to me,' 1 Kings xxii. 8, so do they say of God. Doth he 
send his children among them ? There is an ancient enmity sown betwixt 
these and them : Gen. iii. 15, ' And I will put enmity between thee and the 
woman, and between thy seed and her seed.' And this enmity manifests 
itself in all indignities and injuries. 

Use. Because the apostle makes this as one especial character and brand 
of an unregenerate estate, to be enemies unto God, the use shall be of trial 
and examination of our estates hereby. Now, it is certain that we all, even 
that profess ourselves Christians, are born enemies as well as Gentiles, for 
we came all from Adam, from whom descends this enmity, as you have heard 
before. And howsoever men may think and carry the matter outwardly in 
their profession, yet the Scripture tells us, and the latter day will find it so, 
that God hath but few friends in the world, and whole swarms of enemies 
that lie and lurk even in the visible church, u-zivavTiou:, underhand adver- 
saries, Heb. X. 27, whom nothing but the word applied and their own con- 
sciences can accuse and find out ; yea, and the worst enemies are those of 
God's own household. And this one consideration added to the former, 
namely, that we are born enemies in our minds, and that it is sealed in our 
natures, may make even the best of us to look about us, and to suspect our 
estates, for hereupon it will necessarily follow that it is not all the privileges 
'outward which we Christians have above Gentiles that can alter our estates, 
for we are born such, even such enemies to God as a wolf is to a lamb, 
enemies in our minds. As, therefore, take a wolf when it falls first from the 

Chap. IX.] in respkct or sin and punishment. ' 117 

dam, put it into a lamb's skin, keep it up in the fold with the sheep, let it, 
if it be possible, feed off the same food with the sheep, tame it, do all what 
you will, it remains a wolf still, and therefore an enemy unto a lamb ; neither 
will ever a lamb and it be reconciled till either that wolf becomes a lamb, or 
the lamb a wolf. Just so, take one of us when we are new dropped from 
the womb, give us a Christian ear-mark (baptism) ; bring us up in the same 
visible church with others ; put us into a Christian coat, the profession of 
Christianity ; let us feed and partake of the same word and sacraments with 
others ; nay, let us by all these means seem outwardly never so much tamed, 
civilised, outwardly and formally conformable to good duties ; yet still we 
may remain, as Christ saj's, ' inwardly ravening wolves :' Mat. vii. 15, ' Beware 
of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they 
are ravening wolves.' We are still where we were, unless there be a further 
work to change the nature ; and not only such an one as proceeds from good 
motions and moral persuasions of the word and Spirit, for what can these 
barely work, when we are of ourselves such irreconcileable enemies in our 
minds as hath been delivered ? A treaty of peace argues not reconciliation, 
nor will in this case ever effect it. But it must be such a work as the all- 
powerful arm of God hath a hand in, slaying this enmity, and changing the 
bent and frame of the mind, naturally set on evil works, unto the contrary 
good, by putting in new principles, friendlike dispositions unto God and all 
his ways. And, my brethren, if this be wanting, we remain still in the gall 
and bitterness of our natures, as Peter told Simon Magus, Acts viii. 23, for 
all that it is said he was baptised, believed, wondered at what he saw the 
apostles do, was conformable to Christian duties, for he was a helper with 
Philip, as it is in the 13th verse ; and all this while he was an undiscovered 
enemy. And, as I said before, that until the nature of a wolf be changed, 
and it be made a lamb, or a lamb a wolf, they can never be reconciled ; so 
neither God nor we enter into a covenant of reconciliation till either God 
become such an one as we, which is impossible, or we become partakers of 
the divine nature, and be thus inwardly changed in some measure into his 
image. ' Can two walk together,' saith the prophet, ' and not agree ?' Amos 
iii. 3. Surely no. And whereas many will further plead, and say, that 
they could never perceive any such matter ; that either they were enemies 
to God in mind, they never meant him hurt, but they have loved him, 
feared him ever since they can remember ; neither can they perceive that 
God is an enemy to them, but loves them, clothes them, feeds them. They 
taste of his kindness daily, and therefore they have good cause to think that 
there is mutual love between them. But for answer to this I would have 
men further consider, as for this dealing of God towards you, that God is 
exceeding kind to his enemies, as our Saviour saith, Mat. v. 45, making the 
sun to rise on the good and bad, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust ; 
and therefore also he bids us be kind to our enemies. And also, as it is in 
Job xxxi. throughout, God forbears with, yea, and heaps abundance of bless- 
ings on one that is his utter enemy; yet it is but as the king reprieving a 
condemned traitor, letting him enjoy his lands and livings, but reserving 
him still, as it is at the 30th verse, to the day of wrath. Therefore, all 
these are no arguments of a man's reconciliation through Christ. 

If any are discovered here to be such, let them not stand out still shifting, 
and pleading Not guilty, but deal plainly with their own souls, and lay it to 
heart, that they may seek out for peace betimes. And let this one considera- 
tion move them, that it must and shall be confessed one day, at the day of 
death, or in hell ; and then they will confess it, with this addition, that they 
were enemies to themselves in that they confessed it no sooner, whilst recou- 


ciliation was offered. It were better for a traitor to confess at the bar, when 
he hears of a pardon, than at the gallows. 

The first sign cf being enemies and unreconciled to God, is strangeness to 
him, and unto the life of God. Strangers to God are yet enemies ; for ye 
see that being estranged is made a degree of enmity in the text, and in Job 
xxii. 21, 'Acquaint thyself with him' (says one of Job's friends to him), 
* and be at peace ;' implying that whosoever is at peace with God must be 
acquainted with him. Strangeness indeed between two that never were 
familiar friends breeds not enmity, it is not a sign of it ; but if you see two 
that once were familiar and acquainted now to walk aloof one fi-om another, 
and though they have occasion to meet often, yet to can-y themselves strange 
one to another. Surely (you say) they are fallen out. And so if you see man 
and wife live asunder, never come at, speak of, or seem much to care for one 
another : There is a breach certainly, that is your next thought. Why, so 
it is here, for God and we once were acquainted. Let me apply this now. 

1. Is God a stranger to your thoughts ? That whereas every trifle, 
learning, credit, riches, pleasures, and cares of the world, thoughts of these 
things, plotting for them, are very familiar with you, the first that call you 
up in a morning, take up your minds, converse with you all day, and lie 
down in your bosom at night ; but as for God, thoughts of him, or contriv- 
ings how to please or to glorify him, are little or ' not in all your thoughts,' 
as it is spoken of a wicked man, Ps. x. 4 ; or if the thoughts of him chance 
to come in, yet it is not welcome as the thought or sight of a friend is, but 
as of a judge, or as of a master that comes in on the sudden upon a negligent 
servant, and you wish he was further off'; then are you strangers to God. 

2. Or are you strangers to those more special duties in which communion 
is to be enjoyed with him ? Why is it you are so strange ? The truth of 
it is, you are enemies. Can you go whole weeks, months, and never speak 
to him by secret and intimate prayer, so as to take him alone, as you would 
do a friend, into a corner, and there pour out your heart before him, and tell 
him all your secrets ? Or if you do ' draw nigh to him with your lips,' yet 
are not * your hearts far from him' ? There are millions that could never 
yet say that God and their hearts were brought together in a sweet close, 
nor do know what it means to talk with God as a friend, as Moses did. Such 
are strangers. 

3. Ai'e you strangers to and from the life of God ? as it is made the note 
of a wicked man, Eph. iv. 18. There is a blessed, holy, and spiritual life 
which God and Christ are the fountain of, which they live ; as it is said of 
Christ, Rom. vi. 10, ' For in that he died, he died unto sin once ; but in 
that he liveth, he liveth unto God.' A life which all the saints and angels 
live in heaven, not depending on what is here in this world ; and it is begun 
in a Christian here : 1 John v. 12, ' He that hath the Son hath life ; and 
he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Now, try and search thy- 
self what objects are thy affections most quickened and kept up in life with : 
omnis vita gustu ducitur. What dost thou savour and relish ? Are you 
utter strangers to such a spiritual life ? It may be a life natural, of eating 
and drinking, maiTying and giving in marriage, &c. ; or it may be a life of 
reason, fitting you to converse with men ; or further, a formal life, in regard 
of religious duties, in the letter of them ; as Rom. vii. 6, ' But now we are 
delivered from the law, that being dend wherein we were held ; that we 
should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.' But 
have you an inward life of gi'ace, influences and comings-in, from recourses 
to and communions with Christ (as Paul says he had, Gal. ii. 20), quick- 
ening you in all these, and above all these, as that which you reckon your 

Chap. IX.] in respect of sin and punishment. 119 

life, more than all these ? If you want it, you are strangers to the life of 

4. Lastly, you are enemies to God if you be strangers to the things of 
God, his graces, converses with a soul in secret, which God gives his friends 
and children as love-tokens : 1 Cor. ii. 12, ' Now we have received, not the 
spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God ; that we might know the 
things that are freely given to us of God.' God hath many secrets which 
he makes known to them that are his friends, John xv. 15; and Ps. xxv. 14, 
' The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him ; and he will shew them 
his covenant.' But now when we hear experimental discoursings of such 
near and intimate dealings of God, as how he draws the heart to believe ; 
when we hear of change of heart, of regeneration, of the new birth, &c., 
and of the signs of these made plain to us out of the word, do we hear and 
entertain them as strange, or as known things to us ? Or do not our hearts 
think the same that the Athenians said of Paul's doctrine ? Acts xvii. 20, 
* For thou briugest certain strange things to our ears : we would know 
therefore what these things mean.' So do not our hearts think secretly of 
such sermons. What mean these things? these being strange things to our 
ears : * I have written to him the excellent things of my law, but they were 
counted as a strange thing,' as God in the prophet complains, Hosea. viii. 12. 
All this argues we are yet strangers, and therefore unreconciled. 

A second note of enmity to God, is not only this strangeness mentioned, 
but too much inward entire affection to or friendship with the world. The 
Scripture makes this enmity with God, though men think not so : James 
iv. 4, ' Know ye not,' says James there, ' ye adulterers and adulteresses, that 
friendship with the world is enmity with God ? ' By icorld there he means 
not only the corruptions of the world, or the sins of it (as Peter calls them), 
but the things of the world, such as are in themselves the good blessings of 
God, as honour, riches, credit, learning, &c., as appears by the foregoing 
verses ; for he speaks of such things as men ask, and use to receive at the 
hands of God. And whereas men might say. These are the good blessings of 
God ; and to love them and rejoice in them, will God take this so heinously? 
Yes, if it be inordinate. He tells them it is adultery spiritual, for of that he 
speaks : ' ye adulterers and adulteresses.' Is it not adultery in a wife to 
cleave in her heart unto, to delight in, and converse with, as with a husband, 
not only one that is an absolute enemy of her husband's, but one whom her 
husband otherwise respects and loves ? Potiphar loved Joseph well, for he 
gave him charge over all things in his house ; yet whenas Potiphar's wife 
enticed him to adultery, Joseph tells her that though his master had com- 
mitted all things else to him, and kept nothing back but her, whom he 
reserved to himself; and therefore see how incensed Potiphar was, but upon 
the opinion that he would have defiled her. Adultery breeds the greatest 
enmity. It is not the having these, or the using these things, that is a sign 
of enmity ; it is the very phrase by which the apostle expresseth himself, 
allowing us the use of the world: 1 Cor. vii. 31, 'And they that use this 
world, as not abusing it ; for the fashion of this world passeth away.' Upon 
occasion of this was founded that ancient distinction of tUi and //•««, tising 
the creature, but enjoyimj God. Not the lordship of the world, but the 
friendship of the world, breeds the quarrel, and is the enmity. You may 
use these things as servants, not as friends, reserving and keeping your 
hearts to God alone as to your husband. Aristotle says that -joXu^iXla, 
cannot stand with true friendship, that is, a man cannot have many friends 
in an entire and true amity ; but friendship is always but between two. As 
you cannot serve, so nor be friends unto God and Mammon too. If a master 


will not bear it, a friend much less. It is a sad speech which concerns us 
all to look to, that in 1 John ii. 15, ' Love not the world, neither the things 
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is 
not in him.' He professeth to speak not of gross sins only, but any vanity 
in the world, the things of the world ; and he is peremptorily conclusive in 
it, to pronounce the love of the Father not to be in that heart which affects 
and delights therein more than in God, or in whose heart love to God pre- 
vails not over love to them. Now, if an husband observes his wife to take 
all her care for another man, and that she is always speaking of him, and 
glad to hear from him, and jolly in this other's company, but in his own 
little, or coy to himself, or glad when she is out of his company ; but in- 
ordinately delighting in the other's, conversing whorishly with him ; this 
breeds jealousy and enmity. Let us look to our hearts, and judge betwixt 
God and them. 

A third note whereby they may be discovered to be enemies, is not being 
subject to the law of God. So Rom. viii. 7, a'carnal miud is therefore there 
said to be ' enmity against God; because it is not subject to the law of God.' 
In Luke xix. 27, Christ calls those his enemies, that would not have him reign 
over them, that is, that would not be subject unto his laws. And the reason 
is, because God's sovereignty lies at the stake, and is despised, God giving 
every command as he is God and sovereign Lord. And again, he that lives 
not by his laws, lives by the laws of sin, as they are called, Rom. vii. 21. 
He is subject to the devil, God's enemy, lives a subject to his kingdom, and 
this is open and manifest enmity to God. Now in the first verse carnal men 
are said to be married to the law of God, Rom. vii. 1, 2. At the first 
creation the law and man's heart were as wife and husband, and the knot 
still holds ; but there is a hellish life now between them, for his heart, as the 
lawful wife, ought to be subject, but his heart will not. The law commands 
something that is clean contrary to his heart's lusts, and it will not submit 
if it were to die for it. The law urgeth upon his heart the Sabbath, strictly 
to be kept in thoughts, words, and actions ; it is death to his heart to be 
kept thus in, it will out and find its own pleasures that day. I might in- 
stance in a great deal more. I refer myself to men's consciences ; doth not 
the law by the light of your consciences urge some duty upon you, be it 
private prayer, &c., which you will no way be subject to, cannot endure to 
hear of it, wishing that commandment scraped out, or that you had never 
had the knowledge of it ? crying as they in Job xxi. 14, ' Depart from us, we 
will not the knowledge of thy laws.' And though the heart be convinced, yet 
it will not yield, but secretly says, as they in the prophet, * What the will 
of the Lord is, we will not do.' So as the law in some particular finds not 
a tractable, loving, obedient wife of their heart, as grieving for ofiending in 
the least particular (as it doth find a regenerate man's heart to be), or as 
standing out in nothing ; and therefore the law begets not on their hearts 
unfeigned and constant desires to obey in all things, strong purposes, daily 
strivings, mournings, which at last should bring forth obedient perform- 
ances, as it doth in a regenerate man's heart. But it begets stubbornness, 
rebellion, hating to be reformed, the more eagerness of lust to the contrary 
of what the law commands. So it is in the 5th verse, the motions of sin 
which were by the law brought forth fruit unto death. It is a marriage 
phrase, implying that the law begat stronger desires to sin, and that which 
the law forbade ; these were the children which were begotten by the law on 
his heart, as a woman is said to have children by her husband. 

A fourth note of a state of enmity is daily and willingly harbouring, 
nourishing, fostering, and maintaining of one of God's enemies in practice or 

Chap. IX.] in respect of sin and punishment, 121 

fancy, openly or secretly. Not only he that commits high treason is a 
traitor by our state constitution, but also he that wittingly or willingly (for 
otherwise unwittingly a good subject may) houseth or harbouretli a traitor, 
and continueth to do it, let proclamation say what it will to the contrary, 
and gives loving welcome and entertainment to such an one that is an enemy, 
as if he were a friend. In John xix. 12, the Jews accusing Christ under the 
notion of a rebel and an enemy to Caesar, when they saw Pilate but willing 
to release him, they terrify Pilate with this state axiom, ' If thou lettest 
this man go, thou art none of Caesar's friend ; ' nay, we know that if one be 
but a suspected person, if in this case a man harbour him, he shews himself 
no good well-wilier to a state. Let us now judge betwixt God and our own 
souls. Every sin is a proclaimed enemy to God by his word, yea, and to be 
our enemy also, as Peter says, which fights against our souls, 1 Peter ii. 11, 
* Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from 
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.' Is there now any such sin which 
we know to be a sin (for that condition must be added, as I said before, a 
true subject may harbour a traitor unwittingly), be it covetousness, pride, or 
any inordinate pleasure ; and do we house it, make it our sweetest com- 
panion in our daily thoughts, and that which lies next our hearts, in whose 
converse and enjoying of which we spend many an hour with sweetest con- 
tentment ? He that doth this is an open and convicted enemy. Nay, I go 
farther, is he but a suspected person ? Are they suspected by thee to be 
sins ? and yet dost thou, without examining of them, thoroughly entertain 
them friendly, and receive them into thy heart and life ? It is no good sign. 
Nay more, do we stand with them all in terms of enmity, at daggers' drawing 
as we use to say ? And if you come within me, I will kill you ; and if they 
do get in (as sin dwells in the best), yet do we complain of them, bring them 
forth before God as we would a traitor or enemy, arraign them, accuse them, 
and say, Lord, here is an enemy both of mine and thine, a cursed Achaii 
that troubleth all in me, that would shroud itself under my roof, and thinks 
there to have entertainment ? But stone it. Lord, and let Israel stone it, 
let eveiy sermon fling a stone at it, let every prayer knock it down. Do we 
deal thus with our known sins daily, or as oft as we are assaulted ? Or, on 
the contrary, do we hide them, as the woman did the spies in the bottom of 
the well, covering them with strawy pretences ? If we let these enemies of 
God's go thus, we are argued to be none of his friends. 

The last note of enmity to God, is enmity to the children and ways of 
God. And what surer note or sign can there be of direct enmity and fight- 
ing against God, as it is termed, Acts v. 39, than an enmity thus born in 
heart, or manifested in word or actions against anything that seems to be of 
God's side, or to take his part, or that stand in any relation of friendship or 
Hkeness with God, be they either his ways, his children, or his ministers ? 
These men bear the devil's colours, stand in the forefront, and therefore are 
more easily discovered, this being one of the farthest degrees and most 
apparent sign of enmity that can be ; for many, though fallen out with 
another, yet still love well enough his servants, his wife, his children, his 
friends. But as love is argued to be the stronger, the more it is difi"used 
{propter quern alia dilvjlmus, ipse magis amaticr : he for whose sake we love 
other things besides him, is more beloved of us), so is it in hatred. It is 
argued that he is greatly and deeply hated, against whose person we do not 
bear only direct hatred, but collateral also, it falling upon and extending it- 
self to all that are any way near him for his sake. As they say of the 
panther, that therefore it is the deadliest enemy to mankind of any other 
creature, because it will prey even upon the very image and likeness of a 


man, which other beasts will not do, though there are many will seize on 
man himself. 

Men have indeed the name of holiness in their mouths with a seeming 
reverence ; but yet still the reality of it, the power of it, the thing itself, can- 
not be endured by them. So long as it is wrapped up in a bundle, viewed in 
the general, men profess they love it ; but break it up, come to the par- 
ticular duties of it, and then they cannot away with it ; or, in the abstract 
they love it, but in the concrete, as it resides in any particular subject or 
person, they hate it. Set the picture of a lamb to a company of wolves, and 
they will never stir at it ; but let a living lamb come, they tear it presently. 
So let a living saint come among these haters of godliness, a holy man 'in 
the concrete, their hearts rise presently, then they rage, storm, and speak 
all manner of evil of him, as it is in Mat. v. 10, 11. And is it not for the 
same reason they do so, which Christ gives there, viz. ' for righteousness' 
sake ' ? 

I know there are few or none so wicked to persecute any, as knowing 
them to be Christ's, and under that notion (that is peculiar to those that 
sin against the Holy Ghost), yet it is that which is from Christ which men 
do persecute ; for it is he who lives, prays, speaks in holy men, that ap- 
pears in all that is good in them ; and therefore Christ will say to them, as 
to those at the latter day, that were ignorant of it, ' Inasmuch as you did 
it to one of these, you did it to me.' Men see not Christ now ; but did 
they know him, they would not oppose such as are any way like him. • But 
when he shall appear, and men shall know what strain he was of, men will 
confess that they hated and persecuted him, in persecuting his saints. 

There are yet a third sort of men that lie in the enmity of their natures, 
and in an unreconciled estate, living in the visible church, who are not only 
much restrained, and bite their enmity in, but who, by means of an inferior 
work of the word and Spirit of God upon their hearts, are brought to seek 
unto God for friendship, yea, and do much for him in outward actions, 
side and take part with his friends ; and yet their hearts being unchanged, 
the cursed enmity of their nature remaining unkilled and not taken away, 
they lie still in the gall of bitterness. For instance, look to those in Ps. 
Ixxviii. 31-37, ' When he slew them, then they sought him ; and they re- 
turned, and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was 
their rock, and the high God their Redeemer. Nevertheless, they did flat- 
ter him with their mouth, and lied unto him with their tongues. For their 
heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.' 
It is said that they sought the Lord early as their Redeemer, whilst he 
was a-slaying of them ; yet they did but flatter him with their mouths, &c. 
A flatterer, you know, difi'ers from a friend, in that he pretendeth much 
kindness, yet wants inward good will, doing it for his own ends. And so do 
many seek God, that yet he accounts as enemies ; for they seek him whilst 
they see themselves in his lurch. 

Now it is harder to discover these than the former, because they pretend 
much friendship, and externally (it may be) do as many outward kindnesses 
as the true friends ; as flatterers will abound in outward kindnesses as much 
as true friends, nay, often exceed them, because they may not be discovered. 
Now if none of the former signs reach to them, nor touch them, then there 
is no better way left than to search into the grounds of all they do, and to 
examine whether it proceeds from true, inward, pure, and constant good- 
will, yea or no, or self-respects? As now when we see an ape do many 
things that a man doth, how do we therefore distinguish those actions in 
the one and in the other ? Why, by the inward principles from whence they 

Chap. IX. j in respect of sin and punishment. 123 

spring, by saying, that they proceed from reason in the one, but not so in 
the other. If, therefore, it can be evinced, that all that any man seems to 
do for God, comes not from good-will to him, it is enough to convince 
them to be persons unreconciled ; for whenas all outward kindnesses and 
expressions of friendship proceed not from friendlike dispositions and pure 
good will, but altogether from self-respects, it is but feigned flattery, even 
among men ; and when discovered once, it breeds double hatred. And 
there is much more reason it should do so with God, because he being a 
God that knows the heart, to flatter him it is the greater mockery ; for that 
is it which chiefly provoketh men to hate such as dissemble friendship, be- 
cause there is mockery joined with it. Now that God accounteth every one 
that doth not turn to him out of pure good will a flatterer, is plain by these 
words, in Ps. Ixxviii. 36, 37, ' Notwithstanding, they did but flatter him, 
and dealt falsely in his covenant ;' yea, and Christ saith, Mat. xii. 30, that 
' he that is not with him is against him.' If men's hearts be not inwardly 
for God, and with him, as a friend would be to a friend, in their actions, 
he esteems them against him. ' Thy heart,' says Peter to Simon Magus, 
' is not right before the Lord,' Acts viii. 22, and therefore he tells him, he 
was ' still in the gall of bitterness.' 

But thinkest thou, man, that art guilty of these things, that thou shalt 
escape ? to use the apostle's own words, Pi.om. ii. 3, ' And thinkest thou this, 
man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou 
shalt escape the judgment of God ?' No ; God, that is a righteous God, and 
judgeth every man according to his deeds, shall render to the contentious, roig 
i^ s^idsiag, that is, those that have contentiously dealt with him, and carried 
themselves as enemies in opposing him and his, according to their deeds 
(they shall have enough of it) ; he ' will render indignation and wrath, tribu- 
lation and anguish,' to every such soul. Are men strange to God, and care 
not for him, will not be acquainted with him now ? The day will come he 
will carry himself as strange to them ; and when a good look from him 
would be worth a world, he shall angrily say, ' Depart from me, ye workers 
of iniquity, I know you not,' Mat. vii. 23. Will men stand out, and will 
not submit to his most holy, just, and righteous laws, but will live hke rebels 
and lawless persons, and not be subject to him ? Upon their own perils be 
it. Let them hear their dooms pronounced by Christ's own mouth : Luke 
xix. 27, ' These mine enemies, that would not I should reign over them, 
bring them hither, and slay them before my face.' He will see execution 
done himself. 

Are men friends of pleasure also more than of God, as the apostle speaks 
of the world, or any thing in the world, as James speaks, adulterers and 
adulteresses ? Then, as it is said, Prov. vi. 34, ' Jealousy is the rage of a 
man ;' and it is the rage of God more than anger, it notes out unpacified- 
ness ; ' Will he spare in the day of his vengeance '?' Is it not said, Ps. 
Ixxiii. 27, ' Thou hast destroyed, Lord, all those that go a-whoring from 
thee.' He speaks of it as of a thing already done, because God would 
assuredly do it, and therefore it was as good as done. 

Are men nourishers and maintainors of any sin, that they know is a pro- 
claimed enemy of God in his word ; sparing, cherishing that that God hates, 
and which he hath in his word appointed to destruction ? Let them but 
hear what the prophet says to Ahab in the like case, for the letting go of 
Benhadad, and apply it to this purpose : 1 Kings xx. 42, ' And he said unto 
him. Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man 
whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, 


and thy people for his people.' Because thou hast let one go, that the 
Lord had appointed to destruction, therefore thy life shall go for its life. 

To conclude : Are men enemies to the children of God ? You touch the 
apple of his eye. You had better have a millstone hanged about your 
necks, and thrown into the midst of the sea, than to have offended one of 
these little ones. Every scoff, wry look, rising in thy heart, when God 
shall charge it on thy conscience, will sink thee down, down into the bot- 
tom of hell. In Zech. xii. 2, 7, he compares the church unto a burden- 
some stone ; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, 
though all the earth should be gathered together against it ; and unto an 
hearth of fire ; and wicked men that oppose them, unto wood, and a sheaf, 
thinking to quench that fire ; but that fire shall devour all the people round 

Or, do men oppose the word of God ? Let them know that it is an ar- 
moury and storehouse of weapons, that God hath in readiness to revenge 
all disobedience : 2 Cor. x. 4-6, ' For the weapons of our warfare are not 
carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; cast- 
ing down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against 
the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obe- 
dience of Christ ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, 
when your obedience is fulfilled.' It hath enough of its own to revenge 
its own quarrel. 

Chap. I.] in respect of sin and punishment. 12{ 


The corruption of marl's whole nature, and of all the faculties of his soul In/ 
sin ; and first of the depravation of the understanding, which is full of dark- 
ness and blinded, so that it cannot apprehend spiritual things in a due 
spiritual manner. 

And the very God ofj)eace sanctify you wholly : and I pray God your whole 
spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. — 1 Thes. V. 23. 


The ivords of the text explained. — That all the faculties of the soul, even the 
mind, are ivholly corrupted, proved from the expressions concerning it in 
Scripture, and from the equal extent both of sin and grace. 

These words have no coherence or dependence with the foregoing, for the 
conclusion of the epistle doth begin with them. They are a prayer for the 
working and perfecting that sanctification in them unto which he had ex- 
horted, and which God had begun to work. Concerning which yoa have 
these things. 

1. The author of this sanctification, God, to whom Paul prays to work 
and perfect it. And in prayer believers use to suit their invocation to God, 
according to the nature of the blessing they seek for. James i. 5, * If any 
of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,' ver. 17, ' the Father of lights.' So 
if we pray for mercy and comfort, then we are to call upon God, as the Father 
of mercies and God of all consolation, as Paul doth, 2 Cor. i. 3, ' Blessed be 
God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and 
the God of all comfort.' Yet still we are to use such expressions, both as 
motives to move God out of his fulness to bestow what we ask, and as a 
strengthening to our own faith. And accordingly here in the text, when 
Paul asks sanctification at God's hands, he looks up to him as ' the God of 
peace.' Sin is nothing else but a disorder and confusion of all the powers of 
our souls, whereby they are turned rebels, and will not be subject to God : 
Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' And these powers of our 
souls are also turned enemies one to another. Hence there is in our souls a 
confusion, an axaraffT-atr/a, James iii. 16, so that lusts war in our members. 
James iv. 1, ' From whence come wars and fightings among yo.u ? Come 
they not hence, even of your lusts, that war in your members ? ' Whereas 
now sanctification puts all into their right order again, and so causeth peace ; 
and that kingdom where it comes, and is set up, is peace and righteousness : 
Rom. xiv. 17, ' For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but right- 
eousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.' As the end of other king- 
doms is by laws to put subjects in order, and to bring them to and to keep 


them in peace, so it is the end of grace and righteousness also ; therefore he 
desires God to shew himself such a God, a God of peace, in sanctifying them 
throughout more and more, by putting all the powers of the soul into their 
right fi-ame and order. For so, 

2. You have expressed the subject of this sanctification in its full extent, 
not themselves only, but everything in them ; expressed first in general, 
not simply to sanctify you, but throughout, o/.otO.uc., which is more than 
6>.o;, for it seems to signify not only totus homo, the whole man, but totum 
hominis, the whole of man, all in man ; also it signifies sanctifying them to 
the end o'/.og Ti/.og. Then, secondly, he expresseth the subject of this sancti- 
fication, particularly by an enumeration of the particular and chief parts of 
which man's nature consists, ' spirit, soul, and body ;' for as the whole man 
is usually divided into soul and body, which division, to be true, death proves, 
so he divides that -which we call the soul into soul and spirit, which division, 
to be right, the word of God makes good : Heb. iv. 12, ' For the word of 
God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing 
even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, 
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.' Piercing to the 
dividing of soul and spirit. By soul he means those inferior faculties and 
powers of the mind, the internal senses and afi'ections, fancy, anger, desire, 
&c., which, being the more gross part, common to beasts ; and the other, 
beino more sublime, viz. the judgment, conscience, &c., these he terms 
spirit. Even as those more sublime, active, nimble parts of the body which 
run in our bloods and cause all the motion in us, we call spirits, in compari- 
son of the rest of the body, though they are parts of it ; so this more sublime 
part of the soul, wherein we partake with angels, is called, in comparison of 
the other, the spirit of the mind : Eph. iv. 23, * And be renewed in the 
spirit of your mind.' Where it is put for a part of the mind, and not for 
anything superadded, as, I confess, sometimes spirit is taken for those sparks 
of moral light and \nrtues in the conscience and will. But here spirit signi- 
fies that natural power of the mind which is the strength and quintessence of 
it. Neither, thirdly, doth he content himself with reckoning thus up all the 
parts in a threefold division, but because every one of these contain many 
particulars in them, as the spirit hath in it the understanding, memory, 
judgment, conscience, &c., the body many members ; therefore to shew that 
all m every one of these are to be sanctified, he adds another word, ' that 
TOur whole spirit,' 6/.oxX7;5ov, tola sors, every portion of it, as it signifies, 
which words are as full as can be imagined to express that the whole man, 
bodv, soul, and all, and everything in man, is to be sanctified and restored ; 
the'want of which integrity that ought to be in them all, he says, is a sin, 
and blameworthy, therefore he adds ' that they may be kept blameless.' So 
that there are two doctrines which naturally and principally arise out of 
these words. 

Obs. 1. That every part and faculty of soul and' body in a man un- 
sanctified are wholly and throughout corrupted and defiled, for else they 
needed not sanctification. 

Ohs. 2. That true sanctification is also universal. 

And these two doctrines may be proved by the same reasons. But I shall 
(as my method leads me) speak only to the first. 

Now, as I have shewed before, that this corruption is universal in regard 
of all sin, or that all sin is in every man's nature, so now I am to prove that 
this con-uption is in all parts of our nature ; for this is a difiering conside- 
ration from the other, as it is one thing to have all diseases, and another 
thincT to have all parts diseased, which may be so by but one disease. 

Chap. I.J in eespect of sin and punisument. 127 

1. We have a clear proof for this from the testimony even of the pharisees 
themselves, who though they were much corrupted in judgment, in regard of 
discerning into' man's corruption, thinking and teaching lust to be no sin, 
rot it may seem there was in them a relic and glimpse of the total coiTup- 
tion of every man's nature, by a speech which they cast out concerning the 
man born blind : John ix. 34, ' They answered and said unto him. Thou 
wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us ?' Thou wert alto- 
gether, oXoc, bom in sin. This indeed they seem only to apply unto such, 
whom in their birth God had branded with some defect, as he had this man with 
blindness, yet we may justly take it from those extenuators of corruption, as 
a remainder of that truth which from their forefathers had been derived to 
them, but which they had corrupted, and limited only to such, as unto whom 
some mishap had befallen in their birth. Now I cite this to prove, not that 
men are born in sin, but that the whole man, oXog, is so. 

2. We have plain scriptures which evidence it. 

1st, It is called ' the old man.' Why ? Because it overspreads every 
part in man ; it is not called the old understanding only, or old will, but the 
old man, because all the powers and parts that go to make a man are tainted 
with it, and therefore all things do become new, when a man is regenerated : 
2 Cor. V. 17, * Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : old 
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new;' that is, all 
in a man's nature. All things were old, corrupted, and naught, and there- 
fore all becomes new. And to this purpose it is observable (which is 
observed by some) that the Scripture, speaking of the subject of this corrup- 
tion, speaks not as of the person of men only, but of the faculties in man, 
as implying not totus homo, the whole man only, but totum. Jwmims, all that 
is in man : Gal. iii. 22, ' But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, 
.that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that be- 
lieve.' The Scripture (says he) hath shut up all, rd -Trdvra, all things under 
sin ; so that the word implies not only all men, "Travrsg, but all things in man. 
So likewise Christ expresses it, John iii. 6, ' That which is born of the flesh 
is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' He doth not only 
say, that he that is bom of the flesh is flesh, but that which is bom of the 
flesh is flesh, to ysysvrifievov, there being not that thing in man, who is bom 
of flesh by fleshly generation, but is corrupted. And therefore, 

2dly, We find all parts in man termed flesh. So the mind of the most acute 
knowers (for of such he there speaks) is termed, Col. ii. 18, ' Intruding into 
those things which he hath not seen, vainly pufied up by his fleshly mind.' 
It is a mind of flesh. And answerably that wisdom, whereby in our walk- 
ing we are guided, is termed wisdom of the flesh : 2 Cor. i. 12, ' For our 
rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and 
godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have 
had our conversation in the world.' Nay, the conscience, which seems least 
to be corrupted, is yet said to be defiled : Titus i. 15, ' But unto them that 
are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure ; but even their mind and con- 
science is defiled.' And now these are the noble parts of the spirit ; 
and as these, so the will is of the flesh also: Eph. ii. 3, * Among whom also 
we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling 
the desires of the flesh and of the mind.' It is m ^sXri/MaTa 7r,g cdoxo;, xai 
ruv hiawiujv, the wills of the flesh and of the mind. And in another scrip- 
ture the will of the Gentiles is flatly opposed to the will of God : 1 Peter iv. 
2, 3, ' That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the 
lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our lives may 
suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasci- 


viousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banqueting, and abominable 
idolatries.' Where the apostle persuades them to live no longer 'to the 
lusts of men,' which, ver. 3, is interpreted ' working the will of the Gentiles,' 
but to the will of God. And our afifections also are called the lusts and 
passions of the flesh : Gal. v. 24, ' And they that are Christ's have crucified 
the flesh, with the afi'ections and lusts.' And 1 Peter ii. 11, ' Dearly beloved, 
I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which 
war against the soul.' And these make up that which in my text is called 
soul. And last of all, the flesh or body is said to be corrupted and filthy, 
as well as the spirit or soul ; so 2 Cor. vii. 1, ' Having therefore these pro- 
mises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh 
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' And sin is said to reign 
in the body : Eom. vi. 12, ' Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, 
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof ; ' which is taken as distinct from 
the soul, for it is added mortal, which the soul is not. And if we look on 
all the members of the body, they shew their corruption, they being fit 
weapons for unrighteousness, even all the members of the body. The eyes 
are full of adultery : 2 Peter ii. 14, ' Having eyes full of adultery, and 
that cannot cease from sin : beguiling unstable souls : an heart they have 
exercised with covetous practices ; cursed children.' The tongue is a 
world of evil : James iii. 6, ' And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity ; 
so is the tongue amongst our members, that it defileth the whole body, 
and setteth on fire the course of nature ; and it is set on fire of hell.' 
The feet are swift to shed blood, and the throat an open sepulchre : 
Eom. iii. 13-15, ' Their throat is an open sepulchre : with their tongues 
they have used deceit : the poison of asps is under their lips ; whose mouth 
is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood.' To 
conclude, they are said to be full of all unrighteousness, full of all readiness 
to evil : Acts xiii. 10, ' full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of 
the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the 
right ways of the Lord ? ' He doth not speak of the fulness of actual sin, 
as a tree is said to be full of fruit, as the phrase is used, Eom. i. 29, ' Being 
filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, mali- 
ciousness ; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers.' 
But here in Acts xiii. 10, the fulness is understood, tanqnam plenitudo vmis, 
as a vessel is full of liquor. Elymas his soul and body was full of readi- 
ness to evil, which denotes inward dispositions thereunto. Neither doth he 
(as there he speaks of it) call it a fulness in regard of all the parts of un- 
righteousness only, for that is after added besides, ' full of all unrighteous- 
ness ;' not only all readiness to evil, but full of all. And therefore in this 
regard onr depraved nature is compared to a corrupt tree, whereof we know 
both root, and branch, and bark, and all to be poisoned if the tree is so : 
Mat. vii. 17, 18, ' Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit ; but 
a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth 
evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.' And so is 
every sprig and faculty in man that brings forth any act or motion, as fruit, 
be it the understanding, will, &c. ; all is corrupt, bark and body, and all. 
And this sin in our nature is called a^a^r/a hvi^lsrarog, that which begirts 
all our faculties : Heb. xii. 1, * "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed 
about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and 
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race 
that is set before us.' Now for the reasons and demonstrations of this truth, 
that every part in man is corrupted and infected by sin, and so ought to be 


First, In general. The dominion and extent of power, both of grace and 
sin, are commensurate; and their dominions are of equal compass; and whore 
they come they give laws to every member and subject that which is within 
their dominions, for both are said to reign, and both are of a spreading 
nature over all. Grace is compared to leaven, because it leavens the whole 
lump : Mat. xiii. 33, ' The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a 
woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.' 
And sin and corruption of nature is compared to leaven also : Gal. v. 7-9, 
' Ye did rnn well ; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth ? 
This persuasion cometh not of him that called you. A little leaven leaveneth 
the whole lump.' 1 Cor. v. G, 8, ' Your glorying is not good. Know ye not 
that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ? Therefore let us keep the 
feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness ; 
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.' Grace, where it 
comes, comes in as life, and as the soul doth into the body, and informs all 
in that body it comes into, and accordingly we see all parts to live in a living 
man; and, on the contrai-y, this corruption of our nature is as death, which 
is as general also as life, for it is the privation of it. And habitus et pri- 
vatio vcrsantur circa idem, the habit and privation belong to the same sub- 
ject. But, 

Secondhi, More particularly to demonstrate this. If habitual grace and 
sanctification was seated in every part of the first Adam, and of the human 
nature of Christ, and begins to be in every faculty of a regenerate man, then 
is every faculty by nature corrupted. The consequence is strong, not only 
for the reason before given in general, that grace and sin are of a hke extent, 
but more particularly it may be demonstrated from them severally. 

1. If grace begun reacheth to every part of a regenerate man, then did sin 
before corrupt all ; for that sanctification is but the restoring of every part 
to its health and integrity again. Now, if any part were whole, it would not 
need the physician nor cure. 

2. That sin is thus seated in every part, may be proved by experiment, 
drawn from the state of a regenerate man. We feel that there is a combat 
against the work of grace in every part ; darkness and unbelief in the under- 
standing fights against light and faith : ' Lord, I beHeve, help my unbelief,' 
says that poor man in the Gospel, Mark ix. 24. Grace in the will fights 
against sin in the will ; the flesh in the will lusteth against the spirit in the 
will : Gal. v. 17, ' For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit 
against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other ; so that ye 
cannot do the things that ye would.' I say, in the will ; for the apostle 
infers from what he had said, that thence it was that they could not do the 
things which they would. It is not a fight of one faculty against another, 
but of the same faculties against themselves, and this through the whole man. 

3. The consequence is also strong, that if the grace which was in Adam, 
when innocent, did reach to every part of his nature, then that sin, after he 
had fallen, hath the same extent; for the corruption of our natures is but 
the privation of that grace which was in him, and therefore is in every part 
wherein that grace was. Privatio eat in eodem sahjecto in quo habitus : pri- 
vation is in the same subject wherein the habit was before. 

4. The consequence is strong too, that if in the nature of Christ grace was 
in every part of it, then sin is so in our natures ; for the end of Christ's 
assuming and sanctifying our natures was to condemn sin in the flesh : Rom. 
viii. 3, ' For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, 
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned 

VOL. X. I 


sin in the flesh ;' that is, by sanctifying onr nature in his person, and by 
the righteousness of that his nature he takes away the sin of ours, and there 
was no part of that his nature which he sanctified to any other end : John 
xvii. 19, * And for their salies I sanctify myself, that they also might be 
sanctified through the truth.' And in this Romans viii. says the apostle at 
verse 2, ' The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free 
from the law of sin and death.' He had complained in chapter vii. of a law 
of sin in his members, which would be there to his dying day ; now, says he, 
my comfort is that a contrary law of grace and life was in Christ to take away 
the guilt of it. So that every part in Christ being sanctified with a law of 
life, was to take away the law of sin in eveiy part of us. Now, it remains 
to be proved that every part of human nature in Adam and in Christ was 
sanctified, and also that every part of it in a regenerate man begins to be 
made holy. This I demonstrate two ways. 

First, You shall see how the one follows from the other, so as if it be true 
of any it is true of all. 

Secondly, I will give the general reasons for it. 

1. I say, the one follows necessarily upon the other : for, 

1st, If every part in a regenerate man be sanctified, then every part of 
human nature was sanctified in Adam, and e contra; for it is the same image 
that is restored and created anew which was created at fii'st, only with this 
difi'erence (as one observes), Adam was oXug, sanctified, but not oXonXug ; 
but we, though not oXuic, that is, wholly and perfectly, j-et &/.o-£Xi?, that is, 
to the end. Now, that every part in a regenerate man is sanctified, appears 
by that common experiment, which yet is peculiar to regenerate men, that 
there is a combat in every part between flesh and spirit, seated in all the 
faculties, as I proved before. 

2dly, If every part of human nature was sanctified in Christ, then it is so 
in us, and e contra ; for he took flesh to sanctify ns: John xvii. 19, ' For 
their sakes I sanctify myself;' and Heb. ii. 11, 14, 17, ' For both he that 
sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one : for which cause he is 
not ashamed to call them brethren. Forasmuch then as the children are 
partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same ; 
that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that 
is, the devil. 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.' It is 
said of Christ and us there, that he who sanctifieth and we that are sancti- 
fied are of one, that is, of one nature in every part ; for, ver. 17, we are said 
to be like in all things. He took our nature, and every part of it, to sanctiy 
it, that we might be made partakers of his sanctification, and so might be 
of one, agree and be alike to him ; and that there might want no part in his 
sanctification, he wanted no part of our nature. And even in this sense we 
may understand that scripture in Eph. i. 23, of Christ's fiUing all in all ; 
he fills all in all his children from his own fulness. Now he is full of grace 
and truth : John i. 10, ' He was in the world, and the world was made by 
him, and the world knew him not.' And he took our natures to sanctify 
them, and therefore all he took was sanctified ; therefore he is called that 
holy thing : Luke i. 85, ' The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 
power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing, 
which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.' 

2. Now, I shall assign the reasons which may evince that grace was and 
is seated in Christ and Adam, in and through every part of them, and so 
ought to be in us. 


1st, Because God hath made all in man to glorify himself, not as other 
creatures only, hut by shewing forth those virtues and graces which he 
stamped on man above all other works of his hands : 1 Cor. vi. 20, ' Glorify 
God in yonr body, and spirit too ;' Ps. ciii. 1, ' Bless the Lord, my soul; 
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.' God therefore gave abili- 
ties at first to man thus to glorify God in his whole soul ; for as we cannot 
love him till he love us, so neither can we glorify him unless he implant in 
every faculty holiness and grace lirst, whereby we have abilities to do so. 

2dly, The whole nature of man, and every part of it, in its pure and right 
constitution, was made subject to the law of God, and therefore was entirely 
holy. And therefore thus was the entire nature of Adam and of Christ con- 
stituted, for indeed if anything had been in Adam and Christ not subjected 
to the law, it had been enmity to God ; for that is the reason which the 
apostle gives of the carnal mind's being enmity against God : Rom. viii. 7, 
' Because the carnal mind is enmity against God ; for it is not subject to 
the law of God, neither indeed can be.' But now there being nothing of 
this enmity neither in Adam, while innocent, nor in Christ, no part in them 
was lawless. And this is evident too from the word of God's judging every^ 
creature in man : Heb. iv. 12, 13, * For the word of God is quick and 
powerful, and sharper than any two-eged sword, piercing even to the dividing 
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discemer 
of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that 
is not manifest in his sight : but all things are naked and opened unto the 
eyes of him with whom we have to do.' And everything in man which is 
thus tried and judged by the word, ought to be agreeable and subject to it 
in its first original frame. And it is yet more clearly proved if we consider 
that when Christ declares the sum of the law, he reckons up all in man : 
Mark xii. 29, 30, ' And Jesus answered him. The first of all the command- 
ments is. Hear, Israel ; The Lord our God is one Lord : and thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all 
thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.' Lest 
anything should be left out, Christ adds, icith all thy strength. If this, then, 
be the law, as Christ says it is, then this law was originally written in the 
whole soul, and every part of it, in Adam, and so in Christ too, of whom it 
is said, that the law was in his heart, Ps. xl. 8. And w4iat is indeed the 
sanctification of the understanding and will but the writing of the law there, 
which God promises to do under the new covenant? Jer. xxxi. 33, ' But this 
shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel : After those 
days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in 
their hearts ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.' Now, to 
write the law in the heart, is to put such dispositions in whereby a man may 
live according to it. And thus the law was written on all in man in his pri- 
mitive condition ; and now, alas ! since his fall, the contrary law of sin is 
written upon all in his heart. 

3dly, God hath made and ordained spiritual objects and acts for every 
faculty of soul and body, and therefore he gave to Adam at first answerable 
spiritual dispositions in all his faculties, for between every faculty and its 
object there must be a suitableness ; and as the natural man receives not 
the things of the Spirit, for, says the apostle, they are spiritually discerned, 
1 Cor ii. 14, so neither can any faculty, if not sanctified, be in a spiritual 
manner carried to or be conversant about spiritual things. Therefore if God 
did provide spiritual objects /or all in man, then surely he put spiritual dis- 
positions into all those powers of his soul. Now, that God did provide 
spiritual objects for every faculty, is easy to be demonstrated by all the par- 


ticulars. For the understanding, there are things of the Spirit; for the will, 
spiritual good things; for conscience, spiritual motives, &c. 

4thly, God made all in man capable of glory, therefore he made everything 
in man holy; for since God would glorify all that is in man, so that even so 
much as our bodies shall be ' made like his glorious body,' Philip, iii. 21, 
all in man must therefore be sanctified ; for indeed no vessel is capable of 
glory till it be prepared, Rom. ix, 23, and made meet, Col. i. 13. And 
therefore since the understanding, will, memory, and all shall be glorified, 
all these powers of the soul must be first sanctified. And therefore now 
grace and holiness being introduced into every faculty of the soul, shews 
that all in man is infected with sin, since the disease and the remedy are of 
equal extent. 


Arrfuments to prove that not only the inferior powers of the soul, but the supreme, 
the understandinci and mind, are corrupted. — TJuit tlie mind itself is called 
flesh as well as the other. — Arguments from reason further to evince it. 

It is not only the inferior powers of the soul which this plague of sin hath 
seized, but the contagion hath ascended into the higher region of the soul. 
It is this supreme, sublime, and noble part (which is not to be found in 
beasts), the understanding, judgment, and conscience, which the apostle in 
this 1 Thes. v. 23 means by spirit, as needing renovation and sanctification, 
as much as the lower faculties in man. And in this sense spiiit is also taken : 
1 Cor. ii. 11, ' Fur what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit 
of man which is in him ?' Where sinrit of man signifies the knowing and 
discerning part in man ; and in the same meaning it is to be understood 
when it is distinguished from soul, as here in this 1 Thes. v. 23, and in 
other places. 

Since I design to shew how all the several faculties of our souls are by sin 
depraved, that which I am to begin with is the highest and noblest of them 
all — the spirit of man. And this, then, is the first proposition I will prove. 

Prop. That the most supreme, most spiritual facult}- in man's mind, the 
understanding power of man, is corrupted, and needs renewing. 

This is a doctrine had need be proved, because to a carnal understanding, 
not enlightened by the word, this hath always been, and is, the greatest 
paradox. So it was to the heathen philosophers, and to many of the school- 
men also, though called Christians ; who, though indeed they did acknow- 
ledge dregs to lie at the bottom of the aftections in the lower part of the soul, 
which sometimes, when stirred and joggled by outward temptations, do mud 
and corrupt the mind ; yet that sublime and noble faculty, according to their 
opinion of it, was in itself most pure, and the clearest of all the rest. And 
therefore they say, Reason did still direct, advise, and persuade us to the 
best things, and was in itself a pure \-irgin. And thus the pharisee also 
judged: Rom. ii. 17-19, 'Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the 
law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the 
things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law ; and art 
confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them 
which are in darkness.' They boasted they knew God's will, and were confi- 
dent because they were guides to the blind, a light of them in darkness ; 
therefore, of all things else, they thought least that their understandings were 
Corrupt and blinded : John ix. 40, ' And some of the pharisees which were 

Chap. II ] in respect of sin and punishment. 133 

with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also ?' When 
they heard Christ speaking of blindness even in them that see, said these 
men, ' Are we blind also ?' Of all the imputations else they wondered at 
this the most ; and indeed when blind reason, which thinks it sees, is judge, 
it is not strange that this corruption of the understanding should be a won- 
der to it. For reason being the supreme faculty of all the rest, which 
judgeth all else, and is judged of none but itself, by reason of its nearness 
to itself it least discerns itself. As a man's eye, which though it may see 
the deformity of another member, yet not the bloodshot that is in itself, but it 
must have a glass by which to discern it. And so, though even corrupt 
nature discerns the rebellions of the affections and sensual part of man by its 
own light, as the heathens did, and complained thereof, yet it cannot discern 
the infection and defilement that is in the spirit itself, but the glass of the 
word is the first that discovereth it ; and when that glass is also brought, 
there had need be an inward light of gi'ace, which is opposite to this cor- 
ruption, to discover it. And therefore the Holy Ghost doth most of all 
inculcate this depravation of the mind, and express it with the greatest em- 
phasis. When he would shew how impure unbelievers are, who yet profess 
that they know God, says he, 'Even their mind and conscience is defiled,' 
Titus i. 16. They least of all suspected these parts (which are not flesh) 
to be tainted, because they know God and have some light in them. There- 
fore now, in opposition to this their conceit, he mentions only the mind 
and conscience as being impure, and that with an emphasis, vmA \hZ'., %ai 
(!vi/:!d/]aig, ' even their mind and conscience is defiled.' And there is almost 
no place where he speaks setly of the corruption of nature, but vcv; or 
didvoia comes in, and is sometimes alone mentioned and put for all the rest: 
so Eph. ii. 3, 'Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.' _ Eph. 
iv. 17, 18, 'lliat ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the 
vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated 
from "the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the 
blindness of their heart.' Col. i. 21, ' And you, that were sometime alien- 
ated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he hath reconciled.' 
Enemies, h tyj havola, in the mind ; and so, when he speaks of renewing, 
he exhorts them to be renewed in the spirit of their mind,' Eph. iv. 23. 
He instances in that for all the rest. 

Now for the proof of the spirit of the mind being depraved in man, besides 
those places that speak of the particular corruptions of it, which I reserve 
till I come to treat of them, I will name but one or two places more which 
speak of the corruption of the mind in general. 

1. We find that flesh is attributed to this as well as to any other faculty. 
The understanding, the natural understanding of man, is called flesh and 
blood : Mat. xvi. 17, ' Flesh and blood hath not revealed this,' says Christ. 
You may know what faculty he speaks of by the act which he ascribes, or 
rather denies to it, revealinq, which is proper unto the light of the mind. 
And now this light and acumen he calls flesh, that is, corruption, as well a? 
any other. And heresy also, which is seated in the understandmg, is yet 
said to be a fruit of the flesh. Gal. v. 20. This evil fruit grows upon that 
branch or faculty, which is indeed the top branch of all the rest, and yet it 
is not so high but flesh or corruption, as ill sap, ascends and comes to it ; 
and therefore all the wisdom of it is called fleshly, 2 Cor. i. 12 ; and itself 
is termed mind of the flesh: Col. ii. 18, 'Vainly puffed up by his fleshly 
mind.' • • i 

Nor is it privatively corrupted only with ignorance, but positively also 
with corrupt diseases, habitual evil dispositions: 1 Tim. vi. 4, 5, ' He is 


proud, knowing nothing, but doating about questions and strifes of words, 
whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of 
men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,' &c. He doth not only say 
their minds are destitute of the truth, so as they assent not to wholesome 
doctrine, but he says their minds are corrupt, sick, and diseased, vo/ruiv, sick 
about vain questions, longing for them as a diseased stomach doth for any 
trash. And this distemper of the mind the apostle in another place calls 
an itch after fables : 2 Tim. iv. 3, 4, ' But after their own lusts shall they 
heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ; and they shall turn away 
then- ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.' And 2 Tim. ii. 
25, 26, ' la meekness instructing those that oppose themselves ; if God per- 
adventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth ; and 
that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the de^dl, who are taken 
captive by him at his will.' The apostle there speaking of the repentance 
of those who opposed the gospel, he calls that their repentance, dvarri-^uaig, 
a recover}^ out of not an ordinary sickness, but perfect frenzy, unto health 
and sobriety, which shews that the mind was diseased and frantic before, 
and that this was the cause of its opposing the truth. 

2. As I have proved this infection of the mind by sin from Scripture, so 
now I will demonstrate it by reasons. 

1st, If the spirit, and judgment, and higher faculties of the soul, were not 
corrupted, but only the inferior ; if not the spirit, as well as the soul of man, 
was depraved, then the image of the devil in the proper lineaments of it 
would not appear in wicked men ; then his chief and main sins would not 
be found in them, which yet they are. If we consider this great evil one, 
Satan, he is a spirit, and hath no sensual or bodily lusts, either of unclean- 
ness, drunkenness or gluttony in him, but his wickedness is 'spiritual 
wickedness,' for which reason the hellish powers of darkness have that pecu- 
liar name given them : Ephes. vi. 12, ' For we wrestle not against flesh and 
blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the 
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' And 
why is the wickedness of the devil called spiritual, but because it is rooted 
in a spirit, and all his sins are seated in his understanding and will ? What 
is the devil's great sin but pride, the womb whereof is chiefly the under- 
standing ? And this sin of pride was the devil's condemnation and ruin : 
1 Tim. iii. 6, * Lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation 
of the devil.' It was this pride which fumed up into the devil's head and 
made him reel out of heaven. Of such sins as these men are also guilty, 
and prone to them as well as the devils. Our proud contentious wisdom is 
called devilish : James iii. 15, ' This wisdom descendeth not from above, but 
is earthly, sensual, devilish.' And all that envy, malice, lying, and dissem- 
bling, which though in the will, yet are rooted in the understanding, are in 
this scripture mentioned by the apostle as bearing the same devilish resem- 
blance. And these, and such like lusts which are in wicked men, Christ 
calls the lusts of their father the devil : John viii. 44, • Ye are of your father 
the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. When he speaketh a he, 
he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and the father of it.' When the 
devil tells a lie, he speaks it of his own, as being an act of the mind against 
'!tself. And so blasphemy, and all blasphemous thoughts and expressions 
concerning God, are said, as well as all other vain thoughts, to proceed out 
of our hearts: Mat. xv. 19, 'For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, 
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.' These 
blasphemies, as they are acts of the mind, are more agreeable to the devil's 
sins than murders, fornications, &c. 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 135 

2dly, lu the first sin of our first parents (whereby onr natures became 
tainted) the judgment and uuderstanding had a great, if not the first and 
main stroke ; and, thei'efore, if by that act sin entered on our natures, the 
understanding, which was so deeply guilty, deserved to be punished and 
wounded us deeply as any other. Now examiuc what was the main object 
which drew on that sin, and which was aimed at in it ; it was an apprehended 
excellency in the understanding ' to know good and evil,' that they might, as 
the}"^ conceived, be like unto God ; and the original of their being deceived, was 
in listening and assenting to the devil rather than God ; for twice when the 
apostle speaks of that sin, he expresseth it as an error in judgment, as their 
being deceived : 2 Cor. xi. 3, ' He beguiled Eve through subtlety ;' that is, 
his wit deceived her. Their sin, therefore, consisted primarily in error : 1 Tim. 
ii. 14, ' And Adam was not deceived ; but the woman being deceived, was in 
the transgression.' iSo that the woman's being deceived, may seem to have 
been the first wicket which let sin in ; or, if it be not so, yet, however, it is 
mentioned as the main cause and subject of that first sin ; and from this 
deceit it was, that corrupt opinions of God were engendered in their minds, 
to imagine foolishly that he envied them a happier estate, as I have before 
shewed. Now, then, if the understanding was (as it appears to have been) one 
of the chief, if not the chief party in this sin, then certainly that act of the 
understanding was the cause of that corruption which is in us ; and there- 
fore this faculty must needs be much, if not most corrupted ; this faculty 
must receive one of the greatest wounds, and be punished with one of the 
greatest losses. For if God said, ' The soul that sins shall die,' then that 
faculty in the soul, which you see sinned mainly, must die, that is, must 
lose the life of holiness which was in it before. The schoolmen's reason why 
the body is most corrupted, was, because that sin is conveyed by bodily gene- 
ration, not considering that this was only the conduit-pipe ; but Adam's first 
sin was the spring and cause ; and therefore the corruption of the faculties 
is to be measured by the stroke which the parts and faculties of his soul had 
in it. Her eye, indeed, and taste, helped forward the act ; for she saw the 
apple to be good and desirable : Gen. iii. 6, ' And when the woman saw 
that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a 
tree to be desired to make one wise ; she took of the fruit thereof, and did 
eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.' But now the 
lust of the understanding, and the deceit therein, had first poisoned all, or 
a mere apple could never have so enticed them, but it was conceived to have 
virtue in it to give the knowledge of good and evil ; the devil candying it over 
with such a specious appearance ; and hence it was that the apple became so 
alluring. Therefore if it be the influence and punishment of Adam's sinful 
act which causeth that corruption of nature which is in us, as I«have proved, 
then, in a just and meet punishment, those faculties must needs be mainly 
corrupted in Adam, and so in us (though indeed his sin corrupted all in 
him, and in us too), that had the greatest stroke in his sinning, which I 
have proved his understanding to have had. 

3dly, If we consider the nature of grace, and of sin, and how they are 
expressed to us in Scripture, as being both of them of a spiritual nature, it 
is evident that therefore they must have the most spiritual subject. They 
are not as dregs and lees that go down to the bottom, but as light and dark- 
ness which swim above, and are in the finer and sublimer parts of the soul, 
and mostly possess and lodge in its higher regions ; for, indeed, as it is reason 
that renders us capable of sin, and of grace, which brutes are not, rea- 
son, therefore, is the chief seat of them both. We find also, that grace is com- 
pared to hght, as corruption (which is the privation of it) to darkness. Thus 


even the state of grace is called light, and the state of nature, darkness : 
Eph. V. 8, ' For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the 
Lord.' As he calls grace light, so them he calls the children of light, that 
being the principal and prevailing principle in them. And the strength and 
power of sin also is said to lie in darkness, which is opposite to this light : 
Col. i. 13, ' Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and trans- 
lated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.' That from which we are deli- 
vered is called the power of darkness ; and the kingdom of Christ, into which 
we are translated, is called light : ver. 12, ' which hath made us meet to be 
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.' And that the power of 
sin lies in darkness, is clear from this, that the strength of a man lies in 
wisdom and reason, and grace animating that reason : Prov. xxiv. 5, ' A 
wise man is strong ; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.' So now 
corrupted reason, which is darkness, is the strength of sin ; and the cause 
why the devil rules so in men, is from the darkness of their minds : Eph. 
vi. 12, ' For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principa- 
lities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against 
spiritual wickedness in high places.' And when the apostle would express 
how opposers of the truth are recovered out of the devil's snare, he puts it 
upon their having repentance to acknowledge the truth : 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26, 
' In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradven- 
ture will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that 
they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken 
captive by him at his will.' When they have lu-dvoiav, a changed mind to 
acknowledge the truth ; when they have found the way out of those thick 
mists of darkness with which they were covered, and in which the devil kept 
them ; when they a\,av7:-^o)6iv, are recovered out of that disease, lethargy, 
and indeed frenzy of the mind, and, like the prodigal, are come to them- 
selves again ; then the devil's snare is broke, who before, through their igno- 
rance, blindness, and madness, did what he would with them. Now if grace 
be light, and sin be darkness (and, indeed, what is the life of grace and 
glory both, but light ? and sin and hell, but darkness ?), then they have 
their principal seat in that faculty to which light properly belongs, as to 
the understanding it doth ; from which higher part of the soul, as from a 
sun above, it might difluse its influence and heat to all the lower faculties. 
And if the understanding power of man be the subject of the light of grace, 
it is also of the darkness of sin, since both light and darkness belong to the 
same faculty, according to what our Saviour says. Mat. vi. 22, 23, ' The 
light of the body is the eye : if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole 
body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be 
full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how 
great is that darkness ?' Which proves my assertion, that not only the 
lower, but the nobler faculties in man, the understanding and mind, are 
depraved with sin. 

4thly, If we consider that the production and increase of grace is said to 
be a work wrought and transacted in the understanding, and first beginning 
there, then certainly it follows that this faculty is mainly, if not principally, 
corrupted. But now the work of grace is expressed to us : Acts xxvi. 17, 
18, to be the ' opening the ej^es, and turning men from darkness to light ;' 
and so when men are raised (whether by a new life, from the death of sin, or 
by an awakening out of a sinful backsliding, I will not now dispute), what is 
the life which comes into them? Ephes. v. 14, 'Wherefore he saith. Awake 
thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.' 
And indeed the life of grace is originally nothing but light ; John viii. 12, 


'Then spake Jesus again unto them, sayincr, 'I am the light of the world : 
he that Ibllowcth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life' 
As grace there is called the light of life, so answerably in those words : John 
i. 4, 'In him was life, and the life was the light of men.' Light is inter- 
preted to mean that grace which we had in innoccney ; that whereas Christ 
is said in ver. 3 to have given all things being, so to man he gave that life 
and image which he had in himself as second person. ' In him was life, and 
the life was the light of men,' so that the life of grace is principally light ; 
and if so, the understanding is one of the chief vitals, the priinwn vlccns, 
that which first lives, as the heart is in man ; and therefore the death of sin 
is also mainly seated in the understanding ; as this is the first faculty which 
is quickened by grace, so it was the first that died by sin. And this is one 
of the first faculties which is enlivened, and by means of it the rest have life 
produced in them ; and therefore when the apostle Paul exhorts to put off 
the old man still more, and to put on the new — that is, to get the whole man 
changed — he puts this in between both, as the means of both, ' Be renewed 
in the spirit of your minds :' Ephes. iv. 22-24, ' That ye put off concerning 
the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the de- 
ceitful lasts ; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put 
on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holi- 
ness.' And when he exhorts us to be transformed, which meaus that the 
frame of our whole man should be changed, he directs how it is done, viz., 
by the renewing of the mind, that so we may prove (or in true judgment 
allow of) the will of God : Rom. xii. 2, ' And be not conformed to this 
w-orld : but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may 
prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God ;' which ex- 
presseth thus much, that when the mind is once wrought upon and renewed, 
there is a conformity to God wrought in the whole soul, as, ' If the eje be 
single, the whole body is full of light,' Mat. vi. 22. Not that barely the 
light doth the work by filUng all our powers, but the Holy Ghost by that 
light changeth the whole man. As the heavens by their light convey their 
heat and influences, so heat and life, and quickening in the will and affec- 
tions, are conveyed into them by the light of the mind. If, then, the reno- 
vation must thus necessarily be begun in the understanding, then certainly 
that faculty of all other is primarily and most deeply depraved. 

Sthly, This will also appear, if we add to all the former this consideration, 
that the main and proper end of one of the offices of Jesus Christ, for which 
it was appointed, is to cure the defects of the understanding. He hath but 
three offices, king, priest, and prophet ; and as a prophet his office is to 
work on the understandings of men, and to heal the defects in them. As a 
prophet he removes our ignorance, and therefore is called a teacher : Mat. 
xxiii. 8, 10, ' But be not ye called rabbi : for one is your Master, even 
Christ ; and all ye are brethren. Neither be ye called masters : for one is 
your Master, even Christ.' The word is 6 xa^jj/Tj^'/^;, doctoror teacher. 
And as Christ is a teacher to instruct our blind and ignorant minds, in him 
are therefore * hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge,' Col. ii. 3, that 
he might dispense them to us. And the same apostle in another scripture, 
reckoning up the main benefits which we have by Christ, puts in wisdom as 
one and the first : 1 Cor. i. 30, ' But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of 
God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and 
redemption.' Well, and if we consider too all the instructions, reproofs, 
and doctrines in the word, what are they but as so many plasters which 
Christ lays to our heads to cure our diseased judgments, and by healing them 
to heal all the other faculties ? All those wholesome words are principally 


applied to the understanding, as to that part in us which is as sick or most 
sick of any, and by that they work on the other. 

6thly, It is the defect and pravity of the mind which is the original and 
root of all sin in the other powers of our souls ; nay, a corrupt understanding 
IS the immediate cause and first mover in most sins, and the prime subject 
of many, and those the greatest sins, and therefore certainly it is deeply 

1. The darkness of the 'understanding is the author of that rebellion 
which is in the will and aftections, for therefore doth the will and sensual 
appetite seek out so inordinately the pleasures of sin, because the mind is 
ignorant of God, knows him not, and so is a stranger to him, and can have 
no fellowship 'odth him ; for it is ignorance of God estrangeth us from him, 
since all fellowship and friendship is grounded upon knowledge, and all 
friendly intercom-se is chiefly transacted by the help of it, and therefore rea- 
sonable creatures are only capable of friendship, which beasts are not. That 
we may then have communion with God, the knowledge of him is necessary ; 
and accordingly the first and main thing which God doth, when he enters us 
into the covenant of grace, is to teach us to know him : Jer. xxxi. 33, 34, 
' But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; 
After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, 
and write it in their hearts ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my 
people. And they shall teach no more everj' man his neighbour, and every 
man his brother, sa3-ing, Know the Lord : for they shall all know me, fr'om 
the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord : for I will for- 
give their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.' It is ignorance 
therefore which keeps men from fellowship with God, and want of that fel- 
lowship makes every faculty in man shift for itself, hunt and seek about in 
other things, in the pleasure of sin and variety of lusts, to find that happi- 
ness and delight which the blinded soul cannot see or discern to be in God. 
Men are therefore estranged from God, because they know him not, and then 
they are abandoned to all manner of sins: Eph. iv. 17-19, 'This I say 
therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gen- 
tiles walk, in the vanity of their mind ; having the understanding darkened, 
being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, 
because of the blindness of their heart : who, being past feeling, have given 
themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.' 
Mark, it is said that they are ' alienated from God through iguorance, be- 
cause of the blindness of their hearts,' and thence it follows that 'they gave 
themselves over to lasciviousness.' 

2. The darkness of the mind is not only thus negatively (as depriving the 
soul of the knowledge of God) the root of all sin, but it is positively the 
immediate cause of most con-uptions in men's lives. Thus Paul mentions 
fleshly wisdom as tlie cori'upt principle by which men lead their lives, and 
as the main opposite principle unto grace : 2 Cor. i. 12, ' For our rejoicing 
is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, 
not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conver- 
sation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards.' There is a fleshly 
practical wisdom which enables men to do much mischief, and therefore 
wicked men are said to be wise to do evil : Jer. iv. 22, ' For my people is 
foolish, they have not known me ; they are sottish children, and they have 
none understanding : they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no 
knowledge.' And indeed this carnal wisdom is the cause of the greatest 
part of wickedness in the world : Isa. xlvii. 10, ' For thou hast trusted in 
thy wickedness : thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy 

Chap. II,] in respect of sin and punishment. 139 

knowledge, it hath perverted thee ; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, 
and none else besides me.' What practices do corrupt opinions put men 
upon ? How do they hold them in the snare of the devil ? How do cor- 
rupt principles in the practical understanding secretly steer men, and do all 
covertly, and with underhand dealing, when yet the contrary principles keep 
a noise in the conscience and speculative part ? Corrupt reasonings and 
false judgments of things are the chief movers and actors in all our sinnings : 
Eph. ii. 3, ' Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, 
in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; 
and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' They are said 
to fulfil the wills of rujv diaiioiojv, of the miud, of the reasonings, as well as of 
the flesh, the sensual part. And really thus it is with men, that though 
they are convinced in their speculative understandings that there is a God, 
and that it is best to serve and worship him, &c., yet there is a corrupt 
principle in their practical judgments which will deny and renounce all this, 
and act contrary to it ; and men will still walk in the vanity of their minds, 
Eph. iv. 17 ; that is, vain principles are their guide. 

3. The understanding itself is the subject of many sins, and the chief 
transactor of them, and though usually they affect the will also, yet they are 
seated there principally. As pride hath its chief place in the mind, and there- 
fore the apostle Paul describes it by a being putted up with a fleshly mind : 
Col. ii. 18, ' Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility, 
and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not 
seen, vainly putted up by his fleshly mind.' So idolatry, heresy, blasphemy, 
hypocrisy, infidelity, evil surmisings, seeking after credit, and praise, and 
glory, which is an aerial thing, a sublimated object of the understanding ; in 
fine, all inordinacies after any excellencies, of which the understanding only 
judgeth, all these sins are principally seated in it ; and all the evil thoughts, 
wicked devisings, sinister and hypocritical ends, which set unregenerate men 
on work in all their ways, these are all seated in the understanding. And 
these sins are both the great swaying sins in men's lives, of longest con- 
tinuance, of mightiest strength and of highest guilt ; which I add, to shew 
the deep corruption of the understanding, and as motives to mortify them, 
having them in our eye, searching them out, and also humbling ourselves 
for them. 

1st, These sins in the understanding are the most swaying of all other ; 
they are of a larger extent and compass, and a man hath more occasions to 
please them than others, and therefore they command most, and bear the 
greatest sway in a man's life. As to instance in one of them, credit and 
glory of a name, a man seeks to uphold it, and is mindful of it continually ; 
yea, for the sake of it a man will abstain from many a gross sin, and some 
attections and lusts are starved to feed and nourish this, and it keeps other 
sins under ; and, in short, acts a part in every thing, whenas other lusts do 
but occasionally, and at some times exert themselves. 

2dly, These sins in the understanding are the strongest of all other. The 
strongholds which exalt themselves are sins seated in the mind, and there- 
fore called reasonings, which exalt themselves against God : 2 Cor. x. 4, 5, 
' For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to 
the pulling down of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high 
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into 
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.' And, therefore, these 
sius are the strongest holds, because they are founded in the reason, which 
argues for them, defends and justifies them, when other lusts have no shew 
or colour of reason, and have little or nothing to say and plead for them- 


selves. When Christ was here on earth, what was the strongest lust which 
kept men from coming to him and believing ? It was pride and vain glory. 
What was it they stuck at most ? Disgrace, and renouncing the credit of 
their learning, and foregoing hopes of preferment and wealth, and abandon- 
ing the correspondency of their friends by losing their esteem. Here it was 
they stuck most, and all these are sins of the understanding. 

3dly, These sins are of most continuance. When the body decays and 
the temper alters, other lusts wither, but not these in the mind and spirit, 
which are as green and fresh in old age as in youth ; ay, and as men grow 
in years, Ihese sins grow more strong and lively in them. 

4thly, These sins are of the deepest guilt, for, corruptio optimi est pessima, 
the best things corrupted became the worst of all, as a stain is worse on a 
fine cloth than a coarse. And, therefore, as the understanding is the most 
excellent part: in man, and the very spirit of the soul, and the image of God 
is chiefly wrought there, so the corruption of it is worse than that of the 
other faculties : ' If the eye be dark, how great is that darkness,' Mat. vi. 23. 
And besides all this, it is in these sins of the mind that we resemble the 
devil, whenas in other sins we are only like unto the beasts. 


Tlie difference betiveen the natural defects in men's minds, caused bij the fall and 
sin, and those which are spiritual defects. — That men's natnrai imperfections 
in understanding and reason would hare been much greater if they were not 
healed by the common goodness of God to men. — Y^et, notwithstanding, how 
deficient men are in the knowledge of ciril and natural things ; and therefore 
they must be much more so as to such which are spiritual. 

Having proved in the general that even the spirit of man, or his more 
sublime part, the understanding, is defiled, I now come to shew, in the par- 
ticular, instances wherein this corruption of the mind doth consist. To make 
the way clear to my discourse, I premise these two propositions. 

Prop. 1. There is a diff'erence between the wounds and natural defects 
which the fall of Adam hath given the mind, and the sinful defilements 
which it hath contracted from his fall. 

For as in the body there are many defects which in themselves are miseries 
indeed, but not defilements, and which may humble a man as punishments 
but not as sins ; such are lameness, blindness, &c. ; so in the faculties of 
the soul, and in this of the understanding especially, besides the defilements 
of it, there are many wants, imperfections, and weaknesses, which simply in 
themselves considered may rather be thought miseries than sins, as weak- 
ness of memory, ignorance in human sciences, &c., the principles whereof 
Adam had, who gave names to beasts according to their natures ; and we 
should have inherited them from him. That you may understand this fur- 
ther, consider that Adam's mind (as the best of men's minds also now are) 
was enriched with two several endowments: 1, the sanctifying light of the 
law viritten in the heart, whereby he knew God, and how he ought to serve 
him; and, 2, much other additional knowledge and wisdom, which should 
seem as handmaids unto this former, and attend upon it, as knowledge in 
the nature of the creatures, which God gave also to Solomon, an heart as 
large as the sea, and as many notions in it as sands on the sea-shore, all 
which, though sanctified, as being guided and ordered by the other, yet was 
not (as simply in itself considered) sanctifying knowledge. Now therefore 

Chap. III.] in ukspect of sin and punishment. 141 

the understanding of man since the fall hath answerablj received two wounds. 
It is not only stripped of that sanctifying light utterly and wholly, but those 
rich hangings and adorning attendants are gone too ; and therefore they are 
repaired since the fall by two several remedies, viz. gifts, and the grace of 
spiritual knowledge ; gifts of knowledge and wisdom you shall find where 
grace is not. Thus the heathens had the imperfections of the mind repaired 
in natural and civil knowledge as much as we. And unregenerate men also 
have spiritual gifts : Eph. iv. 8, ' He led captivity captive, and gave gifts 
unto men ; ' Ps. Ixviii. 18, * Thou hast received gifts for men ; yea, for the 
rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.' But these 
gifts are not grace, for they heal not the mind nor rectify the crooked and 
perverse dispositions of men ; as Solomon says, Eccles. i. 15, ' That which 
is crooked cannot be made straight.' And there is grace and sanctifying 
light where these gifts are wanting, and therefore the absence of them is not 
a sin, for many of those whom God chooseth and sanctifieth want these rich 
endowments of the mind, which are as the handmaids to the great mistress 
of all — grace ; and where that is not, they all signify nothing to the real 
purpose of our salvation : 1 Cnr. xiii. 1,2,' Though I speak with the 
tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sound- 
ing brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, 
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge ; and though I have all faith, 
so that I could remove mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing.' 

My intent is not to run over the defects in naturals which are in the mind, 
so much as the defilements of it in regard of spirituals ; and we shall follow 
herein the example of Scripture, which takes notice of the defilement of the 
conscience, and mind, and memory, but not of the natural weakness of them : 
Titus i. 15, ' But even their mind and conscience is defiled.' Now it is 
these wants that are healed by sanctification, into which we are to enquire, 
and for the healing of which the apostle prays in this, 1 Thes. v. 23, and 
the healing of which are essentially necessary to salvation. 

The use of this proposition laid down may be to ease the complaints of 
many poor souls, who have the defilements of their spirits more healed than 
the defects and imperfections of them ; who have weak memories, shallow 
understandings and capacities, and meaner gifts than other men ; and who 
yet have more of that knowledge wherein the image of God consists. Col. 
iii. 10, than those other men have who excel them in wisdom and gifts. 
Though they be fools in worldly wisdom, yet they err not in the way of holi- 
ness : Isa. XXXV. 8, ' And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall 
be called the way of holiness ; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it 
shall be for those : the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.' 
And, indeed, if we look to the purpose of God's election, he hath not chosen 
the wise, but the foolish things of this world : 1 Cor. i. 26, 27, ' For ye 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 ; and God hath chosen the weak 
things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.' And if so, 
what though thou hast natural defects in thy mind, why shouldst thou be 
cast down ? Thou mayest have a weak memory, perhaps, yet if it can and 
doth remember good things as well or better than other, then it is a sanctified 
memory, and the defilement is healed, though the imperfection of it is not ; 
and though thou art to be humbled for it as a misery, yet not to be dis- 
couraged, for God doth not hate thee for it, but pities thee ; and the like 
holds good, and may be said as to the want of other gifts. 

As a godly man who hath grace may be defective as to these gifts, so 


■wicked men may have the imperfections of their understandings more healed 
by gifts than a godly man, and yet the defilements of them, which are opposed 
to sanctification, may still remain utterly untaken away ; and thus unre- 
generate men may exceed those who are sanctified, as to such gifts : Luke 
XV. 8, ' For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the 
children of light.' They are said to be wiser in their generation than the 
children of light ; that is, than those who have a sanctified light in their 
minds. Yet consider the distinction there put, which is, that they are but 
■wiser in their generation ; that is, in their kind and sphere ; and this is no 
more than what is common and usual ; for every creature in its own kind 
may have a farther insight into a thing than another, which is yet more 
noble, hath. Thus many beasts, in sight, and smell, and taste, and fancy, 
put down and exceed a man ; as an eagle excels us in sight, an ape in taste, 
and dogs in smelling; yet a man hath reason, which recompenseth and over- 
balanceth all. And thus, wicked men in their kind, that is, so far as their 
generation reacheth, which is common to both, and in such gifts which both 
partake of, may exceed the godly ; but yet these are children of light in the 
Lord, though not in the world ; and the other are children of light in the 
world, but darkness in the Lord : Eph. v. 7, 8, ' Be not ye therefore partakers 
■with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord': 
walk as children of light.' Such ungodly men, who have such gifts and eminent 
parts, are as the crocodiles, which, according to the report of them, are 
quick-sighted on land, but dull-sighted in the water ; so tliese are quick and 
sharp-witted in all things hut what belong to their peace. 

Projj. 2. These wounds and defects of the mind in natural and civil 
things, if searched to the bottom, and considered what they would be, if not 
healed in most men, more or less, by especial gifts from God, will appear to 
be very great. 

Most of that light which men have in them is a borrowed light from God, 
and more than nature, now fallen, hath bequeathed and left us. And, indeed, 
that portion which, as sons of Adam, we may claim as derived to us by 
virtue of that first law still in force, increase and multiply, whereby we are 
men, would be found exceeding small, did not God, pitying us out of his 
abundance, add to our stock de novo, and help us to trade with it. If there- 
fore we reflect how little of natural light at tho most we have, and how much 
of that little is helped by superadded gifts from God, we shall find our loss 
as to these natural abilities to be great, and our remaining stock to be very 
little and inconsiderable. It is true, indeed, we have, and must have, under- 
standing and reason ; for this being the difference between us and beasts, 
without it we could not be men : Ps. xxxii. 9, ' Be ye not as the horse, or 
as the mule, which have no understanding ; whose mouth must be held in 
with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.' Without understanding 
we could neither be capable of sin, not obnoxious to punishment for it, nor 
sensible of any guilt ; and therefore sin doth not deprive us of all under- 
standing, since (as Prosper* assigns it as a reason) that faculty concurs to 
the commission of it. 

It is also true, that as to other creatures, according as they have objects 
proportioned for them, God hath given answerably an instinct to know and 
discern what is good for them in their kind ; so to men also God hath given 
to know the things of a man, in order to the upholding their natural and 
civil being in this world ; and therefore a wisdom in their generation is pro- 
per to men as such. And how far these common fundamental principles of 
reason should reach, and be improved, it is hard to determine. 
* Prosper, lib. iii. de vocat. Gentium. 

Chap. III.] in respkct of sin and punishment. 143 

That Adam's sin hath not tho same influence into all men's understand- 
ings, which it hath into theirs who are born fools, it is not as if these idiots 
were more guilty of Adam's sin, and more obnoxious to the curse and mis- 
chiefs of it than others, but that in those who have the remainders of a 
natural light, and use of reason, the works of God might appear, in fitting 
them at least for civil business and employments of the world ; and thus 
our Lord Jesus Christ speaks and argues in the case of the man born blind : 
John ix. 2, 3, ' And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, 
this man, or his parents, that he was born blind ? Jesus answered, Neither 
hath this man sinned, nor his parents : but that the works of God should 
be made manifest in him.' 

But, however, let us view the understandings of the wisest men in natural 
or civil things, which belong to the present life; let us sound and fathom them 
to the bottom, and we shall find that all is exceeding shallow, and that they 
are but clung bladders, not blown to the wideness for which they were made 
to stretch. If we consider the knowledge of nature, how short-sighted are 
the wisest of men in it? Solomon, who excelled all others in wisdom, who was 
the great dictator in natural philosophy, who discoursed from the hyssop 
on the wall to the trees of the forest, 1 Kings iv. 33, yet when he comes to 
sum up the reckoning, he puts this at the foot of the account, that what is 
wanting cannot be numbered : Eccles. i. 15, ' That which is crooked cannot 
be made straight ; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.' He 
who was so wise, saw that the defects of his knowledge overpassed all 
arithmetic, and yet he had notions as many as the sands of the sea, 
1 Kings iv. 20. 

If we consider the knowledge of those things which are necessary to the 
maintenance and support of man's life, or to the upholding of civil govern- 
ment, which are good for man's body, either in physic or diet, or which are 
for the increase of his estate and credit, or which are necessary for the com- 
munities of mankind to settle order and government among men, how 
ignorant are the wisest of men in all these ? Solomon says thus in the 
general : Eccles. vi. 12, ' For who knoweth what is good for man in this 
life, all the days . of his vain life, which he spendeth as a shadow ? for who 
can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun ?' What is good fur 
man (says he) in this life ? He doth not speak of the world to come, but 
the present. And common experience proves Solomon's assertion, for those 
who have most extended their wits to the preservation of their healths, have 
destroyed them by errors and mistakes. Those ways which the wisest of 
men have pitched on, as the nearest and shortest cuts to riches and honours, 
have proved the loss of both : Eccles. ii. 13, 14, ' Then I saw that wisdom 
excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. The wise man's eyes are 
in his head ; bnt the fool walketh in darkness : and I myself perceived also 
that one event happeneth to them all.' Though indeed wisdom exceeds folly, 
as much as light doth darkness, yet one event happens to all, and the wise 
are poor and disgraced as well as fools ; and to what end and purpose then 
is the wisdom of the greatest and bravest men ? 

And after all, the most of that knowledge unto which men attain in these 
things fore-mentioned is from a new gift of God. They cannot understand 
and manage so much as husbandry without his instruction, but it is God who 
teacheth them discretion, how to order their corn in sowing and threshing 
it : Isa. xxviii. 24-26, * Doth the ploughman plough all day to sow ? Doth 
he open and break the clods of his ground ? When he hath made plain the 
face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, 
and cast in the principal wheat, and the appointed barley, and the rye in 


their place ? For his God dolh instruct him to discretion, and doth teach 
him.' Tims the knowledge of the nature of things, and of the application 
and use of them in profitable inventions for human life, is the gift of God, 
which the old world did acknowledge when anything which is now common 
among us was first invented ; for they honoured them as gods who found 
out ploughing, &c., sowing, music, &c. And this gave occasion to the 
idolatry of those times, who worshipped the authors of such inventions, as 
thinkintr them more than men, and that it was some especial divine assistance 
enlightened them in it. 

And if thus in natural and civil things men's minds were so defective as 
to need God to help their wit and invention, much more great must be the 
deficiencv of man's understanding in things moral and divine and the aids 
from God more apparent which supply those defects. If we reflect on the 
heathens, what was the light which the wisest of them had ? It was mostly 
in duties of the second table of God's law; and they had but little prints of 
knowledge concerning the duties of the first table, and those soon blotted or 
worn out: Rom. i. 21, 28, 'Because that, when they knew God, they 
glorified him not as God, neither were thankful ; but became vain in their 
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. And even as they did 
not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate 
mind, to do those things which are not convenient.' And of those prints 
which they had of this first table of God's law, if you ask how they came to 
be set upon their minds, the apostle tells us they were written: Rom. ii. 15, 
* Which shew the work of the law written in iheir hearts, their conscience 
also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else ex- 
cusing one another.' And how were they written, but by God's own finger, 
as he writ the law on the tables of stone ? The knowledge of God which 
they had it was manifest in them : Rom. i. 19, * Because that which may be 
known of God is manifest in them : for God hath shewed it unto them.' 
And how was it manifest ? Why, God had shewed it to them, and that not 
only materially, by creating the world, though that be the means instanced 
in, but also by teaching them to read in this great volume of the creation, 
and learning them to spell his eternal power and Godhead out of that book ; 
as the printer, who barely prints a book, doth not manifest to all men what 
is in it; but it is what the master, who teacheth to read and understand it, 
doth. And so God in this case doth the like ; and therefore the wisdom 
which the wisest of the heathens had, is called the wisdom of God : 1 Cor. 
i. 21, 'For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew 
not God, it pleased God by the fooHshness of preaching to save them that 

But now if you bring the sharpest understandings to read and apprehend 
the things written and revealed in God's other book, his word, they cannot 
do it without a supernatural light and assistance. And there is want of this 
light to teach men to know these truths, even in a speculative and notional 
manner, such as unregenerate men may have. For was not the mere narra- 
tion, the bare story of them, foolishness to the heathen, because they had 
not this light to enable them to do so much, as mere reading amounted to ? 
as 1 Cor. i. and ii. Was it not matter of derision to the Athenians ? Acts 
xvii. 32, ' And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some 
mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.' And 
why ? Because though they heard these things, yet their quick wits, not 
enli'Thtened by the Spirit, could not apprehend them. And therefore the 
Scripture is said not to be of private interpretation : 2 Peter i. 20, ' Know- 
inf^ this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpreta- 

Chap. III.] in respect of sin and punishment. 145 

tion;' i.e. no private understanding, nor the sharpest wit, if not assisted by 
the Holy Ghost, can understand them, for their meaning cannot be explained 
without help of the public secretary of heaven who wrote them at first : 
2 Peter i. 21, ' For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man ; 
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' And 
when Christ himself was the preacher, he opened their understandings that 
they might understand the Scriptures, for without this his preaching was not 
enough: Luke xxiv, 45, 'Then opened ho their understanding, that they 
might understand the scriptures.' Though we attain to knowledge of the 
letter of the word, and of the meaning of holy writ, as unregenerate men 
do attain other knowledge ; yet we could not gain this but by gifts dispensed 
upon Christ's ascension, which qualify men, not to be apostles only, but 
teachers and interpreters of the word : Eph. iv. 8, 11, ' Wherefore he saith, 
When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto 
men. And he gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets ; and some, evan- 
gelists ; and some, pastors and teachers.' And if it be said. May not men 
understand the historical matters of fact laid down in the word, as well as 
they understand other histories, by the strength of their natural wit and 
reason ? I answer, yes, they may, but yet not so as to apprehend the design 
of the sacred story, or the holy use for which it was wrote, to instruct men 
in it, which is the chief mind and intent of the Holy Ghost. This they 
cannot understand without supernatural assistance ; or if they could com- 
pass in their thoughts, the meaning of the history of the Bible, and those 
discourses which, by way of illustration, run in the golden veins of the Scrip- 
tures concerning natural things and political, wherein much of Job and of 
the Proverbs is spent, yet they can never penetrate the spiritual mysteries 
of the gospel. These are the things of God, which he hath peculiarly given 
to his children, and they are above the reach or capacity of the minds of 
other men : 1 Cor. ii. 9-12, ' But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God 
hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto 
us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of 
God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man 
which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit 
of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit 
which is of God ; that we might know the things which are freely given to 
us of God.' The inward work of the Spirit, and the mysteries of free grace, 
are such things which the wisest of men cannot understand so much as in 
the letter of them. Thus Nicodemus could not imagine what the new birth 
should mean : John iii. 3, 4, * Jesus answered and said unto him. Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the king- 
dom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he 
is old ? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?' 
No ; the vision of all these things is become as the woixls of a book that is 
sealed : Isa. xxix. 11, 12, ' And the vision of all is become unto you as the 
words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, 
saying, Read this, I pray thee : and he saith, I cannot ; for it is sealed : 
and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying. Read this, I 
pray thee : and he saith, I am not learned.' What though you deliver it to 
one who is learned, and ask him to read it, yet he cannot, and why ? Because 
it is sealed, and no one in heaven or earth is worthy to open the seals of 
these hidden and closed treasures of grace, but Christ alone, and without his 
key no man can come to know them. Or if an unregenerate mind could be 

VOL. X. K. 


supposed to arrive so far as to know them and understand their meaning, 
yet they can never assent to them without a work of the Holy Ghost on the 
soul : 1 Cor. xii. 3, * And that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but 
by the Holy Ghost.' He speaks it of common gifts : ver. 1, ' Now concern- 
ing spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.' He shews that 
the very changing of their opinions, that they should think the gods whom 
they before worshipped to be no gods, and assent to this, that Jesus was the 
Lord, that even this was from the power of the Holy Ghost, without whom 
they could not have attained to so much. And yet farther, if the under- 
standings of men were filled with all this light, and needed not any new 
assistance to the attainment of all knowledge, not only natural, civil, and 
moral, but divine and spiritual also in the letter, yet still the defilement, the 
corruption of the mind might remain, yes, and doth continue in men who 
are enlightened in all these. So that suppose in none of these the mind had 
received any wound or darkness, so as to need no new light, or suppose that 
a man hath received all this knowledge from the Holy Ghost, yet there is a 
farther knowledge required than all this, which till it be wrought, the under- 
standing may truly be said still to be defiled and blind, and to know nothing 
as it ought to know. 


What are the sinritual wants and defilements in men's understandings, which 
can be healed only by true regeneration. — They cannot have a spiritual dis- 
cerning of spiritual things. — This proved from Scripture, which expresseth, 
not only that such things are hid from them, that they have something over 
their eyes which hinders the sight, but that there is darkness in the eye of 
the mind itself. 

Having discoursed of those natural wounds which the understanding hath 
received by the fall, I now come to treat of the spiritual wants and defile- 
ments, which are healed by true sanctification, saving and spiritual know- 

1. The first spiritual defect in man's understanding, is that blindness and 
inability to know and discern spiritual things spiritually, as a regenerate man 
doth : 1 Cor. ii. 14, * But the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, 
because they are spiritually discerned.' You know what spiritual things are, 
viz., the things which God hath revealed by his Spirit for your peace, those 
things which are necessary for you to know, if you be saved : Luke xix. 42, 
' If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which 
belong unto thy peace ; but now they are hid from thine eyes !' There they 
are called the things belonging to our peace. Now to know them spiritually, 
is, in brief (to express it to vulgar capacities), so to know them, as to know 
the true way of making our peace with God by them. Thou mayest know 
them so as expressed to others, and be afiected with them also, and yet make 
no application of them to thine own use, good, and benefit, and then thou 
dost not spiritually understand them ; for so to understand them is to know 
them, as they are in themselves, and in that true and full manner, and to 
that end they are revealed by the Holy Ghost in the word ; and therefore 
we do not spiritually discern the nature of these things, if we do not see the 
true, right, particular way wherein we may come to salvation by them ; be- 
cause that was the mind of Christ and of the Holy Spirit in revealing them. 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 147 

Now, then, to see sin and a man's own sinfulness, so as to be thoroughly 
humbled for it, and to have the heart broken off from all sin, and from put- 
ting any trust in himself ; as Job and Paul had a sight of it, with such an 
effect of it upon them : llom. vii. 13, 14, ' Was then that which is good 
made death unto me ? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, 
working death in me by that which is good ; that sin, by the commandment 
might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual : 
but I am carnal, sold under sin.' This is to see it in a spiritual manner, 
and to behold the excellence of Christ, and the necessity of his righteousness 
with such an eye as he doth, who accounts all but dross and dung in com- 
parison, and seeks to be found in him, not having his own righteousness, as 
Paul did : Philip, iii. 8, 9, ' Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss 
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I 
have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may 
win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which 
is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteous- 
ness which is of God by faith.' This is a spiritual knowledge of Christ. To 
know the promises of free grace and mercy, so as to see the way fully open, 
for himself or any such poor sinner to have a share in it ; this is spiritually 
to discern the infinite riches of free grace ; to see the strictness of that holi- 
ness which God requires ; to approve that good perfect and acceptable will' 
of God ; to know how we are to serve him in all duties, in such a manner 
as God, who is a Spirit, and who is infinitely holy, commands ; to see good 
and full reason for an absolute necessity of doing this ; to see beauty, excel- 
lence, and happiness in performing it. This is to know the law as the saints 
know it : Rom. vii. 12, 14, ' Wherefore the law is holy, and the command- 
ment holy, just, and good. For we know that the law is spiritual : but L 
am carnal, sold under sin.' Now such thoughts and apprehensions as the- 
saints have of these things unregenerate men cannot have, their under- 
standings being so blind, as they do not and cannot enter into them. This 
blindness and utter inability to discern spiritual things is the first subject of 
my discourse, which I am to explain, and prove to you, and you will the bet- 
ter apprehend what it is, if first I lay open the several degrees of it,, accord- 
ing as the Scripture sets it forth to us. 

(1.) The Scripture tells us that spiritual things are hidden from the eyes- 
of men who are in their natural condition : Luke xix. 42., ' If thou hadst 
known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy 
peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes.' Mat. xi. 25, ' At that time^ 
Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,, 
because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast re- 
vealed them unto babes.' They are hid, i. e. they are as far from our finding 
out as things are which are on purpose laid aside in places where our eyes 
can never come to spy them or find them out ; so as, suppose a man had a 
mind to find them, and know them, yet he might search to eternity and 
never light on them, unless God revealed them. Thus speaks Christ to 
Peter, Mat. xvi. 17, * Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona ; for flesh and blood 
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' There- 
fore they are called the wisdom of God, and not only so, but in mystery too : 
1 Cor. ii. 7, ' But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hid- 
den wisdom, which God had ordained before the world unto our glory.' They 
are such a mystery, which is as far from our ability to find out, as the thoughts 
of the most deep-hearted men are ; which instance the apostle useth to illus- 
trate it in ver. 9-12, ' But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God 


hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto 
us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things 
of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man 
which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit 
of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit 
iwhich is of God ; that we might know the things that are freely given to us 
d)f God.' Ay, these deep things of God's heart are farther from a natural 
jnan's search and scrutiny than the deepest thoughts of the wisest man on 
■earth are : for, what says Solomon, who best knew wisdom, and the utmost 
extent of it ? That though the heart of a man be deep, yet a man of under- 
"Standing may fathom it : Prov. xx. 5, ' Counsel in the heart of man is hke 
deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.' He instanceth 
there in the thoughts of a man, because of all things in the world they are 
'most unsearchable. But though these may be searched into, yet what man 
can penetrate the counsels of God's heart? Eom. xi. 34, ' For who hath 
known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor ?' And upon 
this he breaks forth into that great exclamation : ver. 33, ' Oh the depth of 
•the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are 
his judgments, and his ways past finding out !' But though this is a great 
•degree of spiritual blindness, that men are unable to make the fu'st disco- 
•very of 'the things of God, and it may be easily granted that they are so ; 
yet you will say. When these spiritual things are once published, and made 
known and common, and laid before men's eyes, as in the Scriptures they 
;are, then a man is able to discern them. Therefore, 

(2.) Consider what farther the Sciipture says in this matter. It not only says 
'that men sit in darkness, bu± (to leave all under expressions) it tells us that 
we are darkness itself: Eph. v. 8, 'For ye were sometimes darkness,' &c. 
^ow, a man who is in the dai'k, especially if he carry darkness about with him 
■too, though the thing he looks for be laid just before him, not concealed, but 
brought out, yet he is unable to see it. For that which makes all things 
manifest is light, says the apostle : 1 Cor. iii. 13, 'Every man's work shall 
be made manifest : for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed 
by fire ; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.' And 
hinien est actus perspicid, saith philosophy. But now he doth not say, we are 
in the dark, but darkness. There are some creatures which, though they be 
in the dark, have an innate light by which they can see things, as cats have; 
but we are not only in the dark, but darkness itself. God hath put into the 
mind of man wherewith to see .other things, a light which philosophers call 
inteUectus ac/ens, which doth irradiate those images that are received from the 
senses, so as a man carries a candle in his head, and not only an eye able to 
see, which they call intelleetus jMssibiUs. But as to spiritual things we want 
this, and instead of a. light we cany darkness in our heads, which must be 
dispelled by nev/ light, brought in over and above the propounding and pub- 
lishing of the object: Acts xiii. 41, 'Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and 
perish : for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no 
wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.' Paul having plainly and 
openly preached to them Christ, and the gospel, and forgiveness of sins in 
the former verses, thus concludes his sermon with this caution, that they 
should h.eware lest that came upom them which was spoken by the prophet, that 
though they should have eternal life and salvation set before them in a clear 
light, yet they should perish because they did not believe it. Therefore it 
is not bare declaring or propounding the things of the gospel that will serve 
the turn, for these men heard it preached and published with the clearest 
evidence. The gospel, though preached never so plainly, may be still hid to 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin ani> punishment. 149 

them which are lost : 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4, ' But if onr gospel be hid, it is hid to them 
that are lost : in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them 
which believe not, lest the light of the gloriou's gospel of Christ, who is the 
image of God, should shine unto them.' And, indeed, as to see with bodily 
eyes, it is not only necessary that an object be before us, but that we have 
light also shining into the room where we are, so it is not enough that wo 
have the truths of the gospel rationally proposed, but it is also needful that 
a light shines into our minds to illuminate them. Who hath not experience 
that a spiritual reason and argument which convinceth a man to-day, yet 
shall not have the same effect upon him on the morrow, though as strongly 
urged ? And why ? But because a new light is required to set it on. Thus 
a man looks comfortably upon his graces and evidences for heaven to-daj', 
but the next day, or perhaps but an hour after, he sees nothing but darkness 
and discomfort; and though he doth recal his former thoughts, jei he can- 
not see things as he did before. What is the reason ? Because that light 
which before made his graces and evidences visibly apparent is now with- 
drawn, though the eye of his mind be the same, and the object where it was. 

(3.) Consider that if the object is propounded, and light shine round a man, 
yet if his eyes be shut or closed up he is not able to see anything. There- 
fore the Scripture, to shew a further degree of our inability to discern spiri- 
tual things, says that men have veils, scales, and films before their eyes. 
The dirt and muck of this world doth not only, by being daubed over them, 
hinder the sight, but the god of this world hath blinded them lest the light 
should shine into them : 2 Cor. iv. 4, ' In whom the god of this world hath 
blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious 
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.' And veils 
are over their hearts too, that as we say of the eye that it is blood-shot, so 
we may of the heart that it is sin-shot. This veil was over the Jews' hearts 
when Moses was read : 2 Cor. iii. 14, 15, ' But their minds were blinded : 
for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away, in the reading of 
the Old Testament : which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this 
day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.' Though at the great 
turning of that people unto Christ this veil shall be taken away, ver. 16, 
* Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.' 
The falling of the scales from Paul's eyes at his conversion was a type of 
opening the eyes of his mind, for upon them there was an hard film too. 
There is upon the minds of men a 'jrui^uaic, or callousness : Eph. iv. 18, 
' Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God 
through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their 
heart.' The world is 'rruoMoig, and there is this foreskin of flesh upon the 
eye to be cut away. 

(4.) Consider that the Scripture seems not to rest here, but expresseth the 
weakness and incapacity of the mind to know spiritual things to be yet greater. 
One (as you know) who hath a veil and scales before his eyes, to be restored 
to his sight, needs no more than to have them removed, as Paul saw well 
enough when his scales were fallen off. And why ? Because he had an 
eye under those scales which still retained the faculty of seeing. But, indeed, 
and in truth, there wants a power, an ability, and faculty in the minds of 
unregenerate men to see and discern spiritual things, which power must 
therefore be created anew. Our understandings must not only have the 
scales of sin removed, but a new eye must, as it were, be put into them. 
Now, though art may remove the scales, yet it can never make a new eye 
when it is once put out ; and we are not as one that hath contracted blind- 
ness by a film or skin over the eye, but we are born blind, and so are in- 


curable by all the arts of reason. We have our blindness from the womb, 
and to heal such an one is a miracle indeed, John ix. 32. It was never 
heard of from the beginning of the world that one born blind received sight, 
because the organ of sight is wanting, and there must be a new creation of 
an eye in such a man, which is a work that none but God can do. We are 
not yet to think that this defect of sight is the same in a man as in a stone, 
&c., for a man hath an understanding, which, without renovation, may have 
some apprehension of spiritual things ; but to know them spiritually, to see 
them as they ought to be seen, and are to be seen, the best mind unrenewed 
is incapable. And therefore there must be a new disposition put in, which 
is to the understanding as the organ of the eye is to the faculty of seeing, 
which elevates and enableth it to see that which of itself it hath not a power 
to discern. The Scriptures accordingly call conversion not only a turning 
from darkness to light, and opening the eyes : as Acts xxvi. 18, ' To open 
their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins,' &c. But 
conversion is also expressed as giving us eyes to see : Deut. xxix. 4, ' Yet 
the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears 
to hear, unto this day.' And in another place it is styled giving us an 
understanding : 1 John v. 20, ' And we know that the Son of God is come, 
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true.' 
He hath given us an understanding that we may know him, ha ytvuiaytwixiv. 
1. It is not natural, for it is a gift, and that proper only to some, as it is declared 
to us by Christ himself: Mat. xiii. 11, 'He answered and said unto them. 
Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, 
but to them it is not given.' So in 1 Cor. ii. 12, ' Now we have received, 
not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might 
know the things that are freely given to us of God.' 2. That which is given 
is not barely light, but btdvoia, an understanding to know, which imports not 
an act only, but a power and ability to produce acts of knowledge, for other- 
wise those words, /ra ytvm%oiiJ.iv, 'that we may know him,' would not have 
been added ; for if by the former hawia he had not meant the faculty of 
knowing, but only the act, then his sense would be, he hath given us to 
know that we may know, which would be a tautology. 

So that now this want and defect in the mind is not of light external only, 
or a denial of revealing the objects themselves, but it is the want of an in- 
ward ability ; and the deficiency is in the understanding itself, as is plain 
from what Paul says : 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' But the natural man receiveth not the 
things of the Spirit of God ; for they are foolishness unto him : neither can 
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' The natural man 
(saith he), that is, one that hath but natural abilities and is not regenerate, 
and made a spiritual man, as they are opposed one to the other ; this natural 
man doth not receive the things of God. Now, since the understanding is 
made as a window to let in all that comes into the soul, all the beams of 
knowledge, whence is it that spiritual things have not admission ? "Why, 
because there is a stop, and that stop is in a deficiency of the understanding, 
that it cannot receive them. 

The defilement, then, of men's understandings is an utter blindness, and 
want of the true spiritual knowledge of spiritual things. You must only 
remember, and take this along with you, that this blindness is only in regard 
to spiritual things, and such spiritual things as are peculiarly possessed and 
enjoyed by the saints, and freely given them of God ; for these things, and 
the spiritual disceVning of them, are appropriated by the apostle to them in 
1 Cor. ii. 12, 14, 'Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 151 

the Spirit which is of God ; that we might know the things which are freely 
given to us of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, 
because they are spiritually discerned.' He says, the natural man receives 
them not. What things are they which he doth not receive ? Such as are 
spiritual, and peculiar to believers, such as God's free grace and love in 
Christ, such as Christ and his righteousness, such as all those blessings of 
the covenant of grace which Christ hath purchased, and which accompany 
an interest in him, such as the work of grace and regeneration, and how we 
may serve God acceptably in that state ; these are the objects which we 
mean, and in respect to which we say, the understandings of unregenerate 
men are utterly blind as to the spiritual knowledge of them. 

But if spiritual things be more largely extended to comprehend all things 
whatever which are revealed in the Scriptures by the Spirit, as the wrath of 
Gcd against sin and sinners, the outward acts of sin forbidden by the law, 
the many discourses, moral or natural, which are laid down in the word of 
God, and run in the veins of it, and which fall under the common sense and 
light of conscience ; of all these an unregenerate man, without any new 
creation in his mind and judgment, may have a knowledge by the assistance 
of the common light of the Spirit, who wrote the Scriptures, and hid these 
treasures in those mines. There is yet this difference, that an unregenerate 
man hath only the notion of these things, without the warmth or life, or 
knowing how to make use of them ; but a believer hath both. 


The reasons why an unregenerate man cannot spiritually discern spiritual things^ 
because there is so great a disproportion between the object and the faculty ; 
because an ability to know such things was part of the image of God in 
Adam., which being lost utterly by sin, cannot be restored but by a renewing 
of tlie mind itself in regeneration. 

I have explained how defective the mind is in the apprehension of things 
which are spiritual. I shall now assign the reasons why things of such a 
nature cannot be conceived nor discerned by a man in his unregenerate 

1. The first reason may be drawn from the vast distance and difference 
that there is between the object and the faculty. The things ai'e spiritual, 
and so above the reach of mere nature, and the man without grace is purely 
natural, and if so, he hath then but natural abilities ; and therefore there 
must be an addition of an higher power, to raise the understanding to con- 
ceive of them in that manner as they ought to be apprehended. For, 7iihil 
agit idtra suam spheram, nothing acts beyond the sphere of its activity ; and 
therefore what is natural cannot mount up to spiritual things, they being so 
much above it. And besides, it is an axiom which holds good even in 
nature, that between the object and the faculty there must be a proportion ; 
and it is for this reason that bodily eyes cannot see and discern a spirit in its 
own spiritual nature, unless it be clothed with some bodily shape, because 
there is no proportion between a body and spirit. Though indeed a bodily 
eye may be elevated, and helped to see that which is afar off and out of 
sight, as by optic-glasses we do, and Stephen's eyes, by extraordinary optics, 
saw Christ in heaven. Acts vii. 53, yet still it must be a body which is so 
seen ; but that bodily eyes should see a spirit, unless presented in some 


bodily shape, this cannot be. No more can a man's understanding, being 
but natural, see spiritual things, there being not only a vast distance between 
them (as Solomon says of wisdom, that it is above the reach of a fool : Prov. 
xxiv. 7, ' Wisdom is too high for a fool ; he openeth not his mouth in the 
gate ;') for this might be helped ; but there is a disproportion in the very 
nature of the things themselves, because those which are spiritual are of a 
higher sphere and order of beings, and therefore there must be higher prin- 
ciples than what are purely natural to understand them spiritually, i. e. in 
their native life, and colour, and lively representation, as spiritual. Clothed 
they may be under similitudes, and pictured out, and by this help a natural 
man may view them. And Christ, expressing the mysteries of grace by such 
sensible metaphors, says that he spake earthly things to them, as conde- 
scending in his way and form of speech to their earthly minds and appre- 
hensions: John iii. 12, ' If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe 
not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things ?' The things 
themselves were spiritual and heavenly, for he had been discoursing of re- 
generation ; but he calls them earthly, because he expressed them by such 
similitudes as here in this chapter he represents to Nicodemus that change 
of nature which the Spirit of God works under the notion of a new birth : 
— John iii. 3, ' Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of 
God,' — which Christ did to assist the understanding of Nicodemus in this 
matter. And the apprehensions of godly men are helped by such representa- 
tions; but they farther penetrate the deep and mysterious nature of the 
spiritual things themselves, whilst others look no further than the picture, 
the outward shape and colour which is laid over them ; but the things them- 
selves in their heavenly nature they never see, nor can see. If I speak 
earthly things (says Christ) you hardly understand them, as Nicodemus did 
not, much less will it then be possible to understand those which are 
heavenly (as Christ argues there), i.e., in an heavenly manner, or spiritually. 
And really in that Paul, 1 Cor. ii. 14, puts in so carefully this distinction 
between natural and spiritual, this argues evidently a new power to be re- 
quired in the natural man that may be suitable to spiritual things. Nay, he 
doth not only name a different object materially, i. e., spiritual things, but a 
different act about such objects, and the formal manner in which they are to 
be apprehended, which is spiritually : 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' But the natural man 
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto 
him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' 
This gi'eat difference, then, not only in the objects but in the acts, infers a 
difference between the faculties or powers, for potenticB distinguuntur per actus 
et ohjecta, powers are distinguished by their objects and acts; and as a 
natural faculty exerts natural actions about natural objects, it is a spiritual 
faculty which is conversant in a spiritual manner about spiritual things. 

2. That a man remaining in his state of nature cannot duly understand 
spiritual things, is also evident from this reason, because such an understand- 
ing is part of that image which was lost in Adam, and utterly lost, and there- 
fore cannot be in any man till it be restored, and he be renewed in his mind. 
As Adam could not have had it at first, if God had not created it, so now, 
being lost, it cannot be in any man till it be anew created in his mind : Col, 
iii. 10, ' And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after 
the image of him that created him.' The new man is said to be created after 
God's image, 'iig hmyvuaiv, in knowledge, or unto knowledge, so that there 
must be a new creation of an understanding power, that we may know God 
and spiritual objects. Now if those sparks of knowledge which are left in 
human nature, and are struck into it before any renovation, were of the samg 

Chap. V.J in respect of sin and punishment. 153 

kind, and gave an ability to know God, and the things of God, as we ought, 
then there would need no more but adding new fuel to these sparks by 
bringing new objects, and throwing them in to enkindle them, and make 
them blaze. But the apostle says plainly, that there is need of a new 
creation, and therefore that knowledge or power of knowing which regenerate 
men have is not of the same kind with those little sparks which glimmer in 
unregenerate men. Yea, and therefore Christ, when he would assign a 
reason of Nicodemus his ignorance, and withal shew an absolute need of 
the new birth, he plainly asserts an impossibility of ever seeing God without 
it : John iii. 3-7, ' Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say 
unto thee. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old ? can he 
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born ? Jesus 
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water 
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is 
born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
Marvel not that I said unto thee. Ye must be born again.' Christ affirms a 
man not regenerate, to be so far from entering into the kingdom of God, 
that unless new dispositions be conveyed into his mind, he is incapable of 
seeing it. For, says he, that which is born of the flesh is but flesh ; and 
what is spirit must be born of the Spirit. Now by spirit is meant a new 
radical power in the soul, from which actions proceed, and on which fruits 
do grow : Gal. v. 17-22, ' For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the 
spirit against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other ; so 
that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led by the spirit, 
ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which 
are these : adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witch- 
craft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy- 
ings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like : of the which I tell 
you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such 
things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is 
love, joy, peace, long-sufiering, gentleness, goodness, faith.' Flesh and 
spirit are there opposed as two opposite principles, producing contrary 
efiects, and bring forth such difi"erent fruits as those there mentioned. _ Now 
flesh is a principle rooted in a natural man, and therefore so must spirit he 
too in one who is spiritual. And being such inward radicated principles, 
they clog and obstruct one another's actions, as contrary habits use to do, 
that you cannot do what you would. And that this spirit is new powers 
put into the soul, is evident also from this, that acts are ascribed to this 
spirit, and there are fruits of the spirit enumerated, as well as of the flesh. 
Now in the soul there is nothing but either acts, or habits, or dispositions. 
A new act is not that spirit which is new born in a man, for all acts come 
from the Spirit, and therefore presuppose it ; and therefore it must be a new 
principle and root, and power put in. 

Now, therefore, for a man to be born again in his understanding, is to 
have such a spirit, that is, a new principle of spiritual knowledge wrought 
in his soul, which if he want, he cannot see God's kingdom, or the things 
which belong unto it, for they are spiritual and heavenly, and require an 
heavenly spiritual eye. Yea, and this may be added, that if that which is 
called spirit be wrought by regeneration in any faculty, it is in the under- 
standing, for that is part of the reason of its name ; why it is called spirit ? 
that it is seated in the spirit of the mind, and that this is renewed : Eph. 
iv. 23, ' And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.' 



An ohjection propounded, If unregenerate men know nothing of spiritual things, 
how is it then that the Scripture speaks of their knowing them, and sinning 
against the light of them? — The answer to it. That they know nothing as 
they ought to know it. — That it is but a false knowledge. — That it may be 
said. That seeing tliey do not see ; and understanding, they do not understand; 
they are yet ignorant, in comparison of that clear knowledge which the re- 
generate have. 

I intend further to proceed in clearing and explaining the blindness and 
ignorance which is in the mind of unregenerate men, and will shew what 
kind of knowledge of spiritual things it is, which a natural understanding 
wants, that I may prove wherein the true sanctification of the soul consists. 
And this I intend to do by framing an answer to an objection which is ready 
to stick in men's minds, and is commonly brought, and so is obvious, and 
lies in our way. And the answering it will be a second way and course of 
demonstrating this truth. 

Obj. The objection is this : ' Have all the workers of iniquity no know- 
ledge ? ' as the Psalmist says, Ps. xiv. 4, ' Have all the workers of iniquity 
no knowledge ? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon 
the Lord,' And are they ignorant not only of those things revealed, which 
are contained in the law, but also of the truth of things revealed in the 
gospel ? How is it then that the apostle speaks of those who sin wilfully 
after they have received the knowledge of the truth ? Heb. x. 26, 27, ' For 
if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, 
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for 
of judgment and :fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.' 
Which there is meant of the gospel revealing the blood of Christ, and the 
fruits and benefits of it, as appears by their sin against it : ver. 29, ' Of how 
much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who bath 
trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the cove- 
nant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite 
unto the Spirit of grace ? ' Doth not Peter also speak of those who have 
known the way of righteousness, who yet turn from that holy commandment ? 
2 Peter ii. 20-22, * For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world 
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again 
entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the 
beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of 
righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy com- 
mandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according 
to the true proverb. The dog is turned to his own vomit again ; and the sow 
that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.' Are there not those who pro- 
fess they know God as much as those who are sanctified, and yet deny him in 
works ? Titus i. 16, ' They profess that they know God ; but in M^orks they 
deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work 
reprobate.' They profess all the truths, ways, practices, that godly men do, 
and yet have their minds defiled, and are called unbelievers. Are we blind 
also ? say the Pharisees with wonderment : John ix. 40, 41, ' And some of 
the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, 
Are we blind also ? Jesus said unto them. If ye were blind, ye should have 
no sin : but now ye say, We see : therefore your sin remaineth.' They 
thought they were able to see into the highest or deepest mysteries as far 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment. 165 

as any other men. Yea, doth not Paul make a supposition of a separation 
between understanding all mysteries, and having all knowledge, and yet 
wanting grace, and having no charity ? And doth not experience evince 
thus much ? 2 Cor. xiii. 1-3, ' This is the third time I am coming to you. 
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I 
told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present the second time ; and 
being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all 
others, that, if I come again, I will not spare : since ye seek a proof of 
Christ speaking in me, which to you- ward is not weak, but is mighty in 
you." ; 

Ans. The answer unto this objection will farther clear and evidence this 
great truth of which we are discoursing, viz. the inability of an unregenerate 
man's understanding to apprehend spiritual things. 

1. Therefore in the general, let us but consider, as a foundation of what 
follows, that the Scripture acknowledgeth indeed as much as hath been ob- 
jected, and yet withal tells us, that seeing, they do not see, and hearing, 
they do not hear ; speaking of understanding these mysteries of the kingdom 
of heaven, which are the spiritual things that we speak of: Mat. xiii. 13—16, 
* Therefore speak I to them in parables : because they seeing, see not ; and 
hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is ful- 
filled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and 
shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. For 
this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and 
their eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, 
and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should 
be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they 
see : and your ears, for they hear.' In which words our Saviour makes 
both these, viz. seeing spiritual things, and yet an utter blindness as to the 
true discerning of them, to be consistent in the same persons, and to stand 
very well together. We have to the same purpose another Scripture in 
Isa. xiii. 18-20, ' Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who 
is blind, but my servant ? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent ? who is 
blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant ? Seeing many 
things, but thou observest not ; opening the ears, but he heareth not.' Who 
is so blind as my servant ? says God, and he who is perfect, having all 
knowledge at his finger's ends, and so is able and ready to express it unto 
others, and can by outward instruction be an instrument to open their ears 
to hear what he himself hears not ? And seeing many things, says God, yet 
thou observest them not, i. e. thou indeed seest them not to any good pur- 
pose. So that none are more blind than they who have the most knowledge. 
But you will say, This is a riddle ; how can these things be ? Why, truly, 
in no way can these things be reconciled, unless it be acknowledged that 
there is a knowledge of spiritual things which unregenerate men may, and 
do attain to, and yet that there is a knowledge of the same things, which, 
without a change of their minds, they can never acquire : which knowledge, 
because they want, therefore they are said to be blind. As it is said of the 
Samaritans, that they feared God, and yet it is spoken of the same men, that 
they feared not the Lord : 2 Kings xvii. 32-34, ' So they feared the Lord, 
and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, 
which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the 
Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they 
carried away from thence. Unto this day they do after the former manners : 
they fear not the Lord, neither do they after their statutes, or after their 
ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the Lord commandeth 


the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel.' Now what is the reason, 
that what is in appearance contradictory, is thus asserted of them, but be- 
cause that fear of God, which was truly so, was utterly wanting in them ; and 
that fear indeed which they ought to have had, they were absolutely destitute 
of? So also it is as to the knowledge of spiritual things, which in some sort 
an unregenerate man may have, and yet know nothing of them, as they 
ought to be known by him, to a saving purpose and effect. 

That you may see this more fully in the general notion of it, consider what 
the Scripture says in this point, as it makes that knowledge which unregene- 
rate men have to be no knowledge, in comparison of that which they want: 
llom. iii. 10-12, ' As it is written. There is none righteous, no, not one : 
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable ; 
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.' The apostle there speaking of 
the general corruption of mankind, doth as truly say, there is none that 
understandeth, as that there is none who seeketh after God, and as that 
there is none who is righteous ; so as you may as well say, an unregenerate 
man is capable of true righteousness, as of a true understanding of spiritual 
things. The apostle James answerably distinguisheth between a dead and 
living faith : chap. ii. 17, 18, ' Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, 
being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works : shewme 
thy faith without th}' works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.' An 
unactive faith is dead, and it is a working faith that is alive ; so there is a 
knowledge, which, in comparison of working knowledge, that influenceth the 
heart and life of a man by its convincing clearness and evidence, is as a dead 
eye compared to a living one, which is only equivocally called an eye, but 
is not really and naturally so. The eye of an unregenerate mind is a dead 
eye, which, though it may have the semblance of inward light in it, yet it 
is really dull and dead; and it is only the living eye of an understanding 
spiritually enlightened, which hath in it the light of life of which Christ 
speaks : John viii. 12, ' Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am 
the light of the world : he that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but 
shall have the light of life.' And now, upon all these accounts, it is no wonder 
if the dead knowledge of the unregenerate is reckoned as none, in comparison of 
the other living knowledge. This knowledge of the holy man is emphatically 
called so, as if the other was none at all ; this getting away deservedly the 
name : Prov. ix. 10, ' The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom : and 
the knowledge of the holy is understanding.' It is spoken there with an 
emphasis : the knowledge of the holy is understanding, as if that of other 
men was to be reckoned as none. And, indeed, since all their knowledge 
doth not arrive to the right end, but they miss of that salvation and happi- 
ness which the spiritually enlightened attain, it may be said to be nothing but 
blindness, wandering, and error. Thus God says of those who entered not 
into his rest, that they err in their hearts, and have not known his ways : 
Ps. xcv. 10, 11, 'Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and 
said, It is a people that do err in their hearts, and they have not known my 
ways : Unto whom I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my 
rest.' Well, but more particularly. 

(1.) This first the Scripture tells us expressly, that though unregenerate 
men know never so much, yet they know nothing as they ought to know it : 
1 Cor. viii. 1-3, ' Now as touching things ofi'ered unto idols, we know that 
■we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And 
if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he 
ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.' If 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment. 157 

a man bavo all knowledge, and it makes him proud, he knows nothing as ho 
ought to know it. The reason why he is not humbled by his knowledge, is 
because his knowledge is faulty, it is not such as it should be ; for if it 
were such it would humble his heart. Now, because there is w-anting iu 
such a man the knowledge which ought to be, therefore the Scripture and 
God reckons it as if it were not at all. 

(2.) The Scripture calls that which an unregenerate man hath, a false 
knowledge, in comparison of that which he ought to have : 1 John ii. 3, 4, 
' And hereby we do Imow that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, 
and the truth is not in him.' He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his 
commandments, is a liar, i. e. if he says he knows God, and is not wrought 
into the obedience of what he knows, that man lies. Now, he could not be 
challenged with a lie if his knowledge was true ; for therefore he lies, because 
he says he knows God, when in deed and in truth he doth not. Therefore 
James calls that faith which consists only in such a knowledge as this, a dead 
faith : chap. ii. 17, ' Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.' 
It is not therefore dead, because it works not, but therefore it works not, be- 
cause it is dead. And why is it dead, but because the spirit, the life, the 
animating form of knowledge is wanting ? As a dead eye is said to be an 
eye, yet equivocally and improperly in comparison of a living eye ; so hath 
this false dead knowledge that name given to it very improperly, for true 
knowdedge hath eternal life joined with it : John xvii. 3, ' And this is life 
eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ 
whom thou hast sent ;' Ps. cxix. 144, * The righteousness of thy testimonies 
is everlasting : give me understanding, and I shall live.' Give me under- 
standing, says he, i.e. such as is in deed and in truth such, and I shall live. 
The true effects of knowledge are wanting therefore in that which unregenerate 
men have, and this is sufficient to argue it to be false. If one should bring 
you a stone, and tell you it is a loadstone, and yet it wants the essential 
property of the true to draw iron after it, you would reject it as a counterfeit 
one, not but that it is true stone, yet it is not a true loadstone. Or if one 
should bring a drug to you, and you find it works not, nor stirs in you when 
you have taken it, you would say that it was not true and right. Thus in 
knowledge, that is a true knowledge of things spiritual, which draws the heart 
after it, and works in and upon that heart. And, therefore, so immediate 
is the connection between true knowing and doing, that the one is put for the 
other : Jer. xxii. 15, 16, ' Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in 
cedar ? did not thy father eat and di-ink, and do judgment and justice, and 
then it was well with him ? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; 
then it was well with him.' Speaking of the obedience of good Josiah, * He 
reheved the oppressed,' &c. Was not this, says God, to know me ? Thus 
he puts knowing for doing. And so there is a hearing and a learning which 
draws the heart to come unto Christ : John vi. 44, 45, ' No man can come 
to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him : and I will raise 
him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets. And they shall be 
taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath 1 earned of 
the Father, cometh unto me.' Every one that hath heard and learned of the 
Father, cometh unto me ; and this hearing and learning is the Father's draw- 
ing. Such is the effect of true spiritual knowledge, which the knowledge of 
the unregenerate wants, and therefore is defective in the essential property 
of uue knowledge. 



The difference between the knowledge that an unregenerate man hath of spiritual 
things, and the knowledge of one regenerate. — That it doth not consist only 
in degrees, or in the addition of a greater measure of knowledge to one than 
to the other, nor in that the knowledge of the one is speculative, but of the 
other practical. — Though this is some part, yet it is not the whole of the dif- 
ference. — Reasons assigned for it. 

Now, then, from all that hath been discoursed in the preceding chapter, 
it is apparent that there is a difference, and a great one too, between that 
knowledge which is in an unregenerate man, whose understanding and judg- 
ment hath not received any light from heaven, and that knowledge which is 
in a man whose whole spirit is sanctified ; yea, and so great and vast a 
difference, as the one is said to be no knowledge in comparison of the other. 
That therefore which remains for me to do, is to shew you this their differ- 
ence, and wherein it lies ; and this not only in the effects of them, which are 
more apparent, but in the causes, principles, and nature of them, which 
make them to differ, and from which you shall see how those differing effects 
flow. Let us a little inquire into them. 

1. Some say that the difference between sanctifying knowledge, and that 
in the minds of men unregenerate, lies only in degrees of knowledge, and 
not at all in kind, i. e. that both are of the same nature, and have the same 
acts and objects, but the one is a greater knowledge, and the other less ; as 
heat in water is the same kind of heat that heat in fire is, but hath not the 
same degree ; for fire is more intensively hot. As therefore heat in water 
may be boiled up to so high a degree as to expel the form of water, and bring 
in the form of fire, so may, and is (say they) the knowledge in an unregene- 
rate man, when converted, actuated so far, and made so intense, as it expels 
sin and darkness ; and thus having attained to a certain degi-ee, that proves 
sanctifying now, which was not so before. And so even in this sense, unre- 
generate men may be said to be blind, because they want that degree of 
knowledge which a man sanctified hath ; as a man that can see, yet not very 
well, is called purbfind, though not stone-bliud. And thus the apostle calls 
him blind, who is ^u-uwra^wi', that neither doth nor can see afar off: 2 Peter 
i. 9, ' But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and 
hath forgotten that he was purged from all sins.' Now, indeed, this differ- 
ence between them is true, but it is not all. It is true, indeed, because 
a regenerate man, when converted, knows all he did before, and, moreover, 
hath a farther degree of knowledge added ; a more full, strong, intense degree 
of knowledge than he had before when unconverted ; he hath now a more 
complete conviction ofjthings, whereof himself was not, and no other man is, 
so fully persuaded. But yet this is not all ; for if the difference lay only in 
adding more degrees of knowledge, then why is a man that hath many 
reasons in his mind to convince him of such a truth or practice, yet uncon- 
vinced and unconvei-ted ? Why is not his heart wrought on effectually, 
whenas one that hath perhaps one motive or consideration impressed on 
him, yet is wrought on powerfully by it ? As is the case of many a poor 
Christian, who hath not so many notions of the truths of the gospel, nor can 
discourse so readily of them, nor say so much for himself as the other mere 
speculative Christian, and yet his will is more moved by what he knows, and 
his heart affected more. Therefore certainly it is not simply an addition of 
more degrees that doth the business, as if it were the same case ; as in 


physic, that though the taking of twenty grains of such a drug may not work, 
yet if one or two more be added, it will. There is a faith (Christ tells us), 
and so consequently a knowledge, that the least grain of it, even as small as 
a gi-ain of mustard seed, is powerful to save : Mat. xiii. 31, 32, * The king- 
dom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and 
sowed in his field : which indeed is the least of all seeds ; but when it is 
grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the 
birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.' Such is the nature 
of grace, and so of sanctifying knowledge too ; and therefore the difference 
between that and common gi-ace and knowledge consists not only in degrees ; 
there is the smoking flax, which though it breaks not forth into fire, yet is 
true grace, and shall get the victory : Mat. xii. 20, ' A bruised reed shall 
he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judg- 
ment unto victory.' And there is a knowledge, which though it hath more 
light, yet it hath not heat answerable to cause a smoke, which the other hath, 
which argues a farther difference than what is merely gradual, and that dif- 
ference to be in the nature of the knowledge itself. 

2. A second difference assigned is taken from the several and differing 
seats and parts of the understanding, in which the knowledge of the one and 
the other is said to reside, and take possession of ; so as the nature of their 
subjects being diverse, they are said in this respect also to be different. It 
is in short thus : the knowledge which unregenerate men have, though it be 
a habit in the mind, yet it is fixed only in the outwardmost and upper part 
of the understanding, into which all things knowable do come, and may 
come, vphose oflice is barely to take a view of things, and contemplate them, 
and there is an end, and it hath no more to do. This we call the specula- 
tive understanding, or barely knowing knowledge. But, then, besides this, 
there is another room or part of our understanding, whose office it is to 
judge of the goodness of all things, which you know so as to move your 
wills and affections to the things which you apprehend and esteem best for 
you, and to guide you in your actions. This is called the practical under- 
standing, or working and affecting knowledge. Now, they say, that into this 
part of the understanding in unregenerate men, the knowledge of spiritual 
things never enters, and it receives them not, but they are shut up only in 
the other. But now in a regenerate man the knowledge of spiritual things 
is chiefly seated in the practical understanding, whose office, privilege, pre- 
rogative, and place it is to guide and steer all. And this is the reason why 
the one barely knows these things, and the other knows them not so* as to 
be affected with them ; for though an unregenerate man's speculative eye be 
opened, yet his practical eye is shut ; and so seeing, he sees them not ; but 
in a regenerate man God opens both eyes, that he sees them fully to all 
purposes. To clear this farther, I thus express it : in your judgments there 
are two several courts kept, and two judges in those courts. The office of 
the one, viz. that which sits in the speculative court, is barely to inquire 
into the truth of things, and their goodness, only in the general, and to 
examine this merely in comparing truth with truth, by notional principles of 
reason, and so to go no further. As an angel hath an understanding power 
to judge intemperance and uncleanness to be evil and sinful, as well as men 
do, or as they themselves do know pride to be so, but yet they barely know 
this, for they are uncapable of inclinations or affections to such vices ; so 
a gentleman hath an understanding capable of knowing the mystery of a 
trade, as well as he who lives upon it ; but yet this doth not direct him to 
work on it, or to live by it. Now, besides this general court which takes all 
* Qu. ' knows them so ' '? — Ed. 


things knowable into consideration, there is anotlier court kept by another 
judge, the practical understanding, whose office it is to inquire, what of all 
the things a man knows is best for him, on which to spend his chief inten- 
tion and aflections. 

And that by which this judge measures things, and the rules by which he 
goes in examining them, is what is most profitable, or pleasant, or fittest for 
me upon all occasions and actions, and accordingly passeth sentence; which 
sentence all the rest which is in a man stands unto, and puts in execution. 
Now, then, to apply this to the thing in hand : take an unregenerate man, 
and in him the judge of the first court, viz. his speculative understanding, 
or knowing knowledge, which inquires but into the truth of things, may be 
enlit'htened with much knowledge of those which are spiritual, and be in- 
formed of those notional rules of tnith whereby to judge aright of the ways 
both of sin and grace, and to pass this sentence also, that the ways of grace 
are best, and that this is a certain truth, and that the ways of sin are worst; 
and that to swear and be profane, to steal or to be drunk, to lie or cheat, do 
deserve death, and bring damnation. But then when any particular practice 
of a sin, and a bill about it, comes to be read in the second court, where the 
practical understanding sits judge, whose office is to examine what is best 
for him to be done, whether to commit such a sin, or to practise such a 
duty; this judge being judge for the man (as the other was for the truth), 
and examining all by principles of pleasure, &c., self-love being the pleader 
and swayer of this judge, rev?rseth the sentence of the former court, and 
passeth one quite contrary. We have an instance of the judgment and sen- 
tence which the first judge and court pronounceth in Rom. i. 32, ' Who, 
knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are 
worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do 
them.' We have an instance of the sentence of the other court in Rom. 
ii. 1, ' Therefore thou art inexcusable, man, whosoever thou art that 
judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for 
thou that judgest dost the same things.' He that passed the former judg- 
ment and sentence against such wicked practices, yet doth the same things. 
Now, before he acts thus, there must first be a sentence passed, for the un- 
derstanding must assent to every action of a man ; and therefore now the 
other judge, or part of the understanding, being corrupt, gives a verdict 
clean contrary to the first, viz., that he may do those things which by his 
first speculative judgment he had condemned, and thinks he shall escape : 
Rom. ii. 3, ' And thinkest thou this, man, that judgest them which do 
such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of 
God ■? ' So that by reason of these two several judges in a man he con- 
demns himself in what he formerly allowed : Rom. xiv. 22, ' Hast thou 
faith •? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not 
himself in that thing which he alloweth.' But now in a regenerate man 
here is the difiereuce, that both these judges are enlightened and informed, 
and ao one and the same way in their sentence, and an act passeth against 
every act of sin, and for the performance of every known duty in both courts; 
and so this man is aftected and stirred, and hath the knowledge in the active 
and working, which the other hath not. Though often in an unregenerate 
man the judge of the practical-, court may pass a sentence to forbear a sin, 
or to do a ^ood duty, yet it is extorted by the clamour and importunity of 
the conscience, which is the judge of the other court ; as the unjust_ judge 
did the poor widow right in her cause, and pronounced sentence in her 
favour, beinc moved by her importunity, though otherwise he cared not for 
Tioht or wronc : Luke xviii. 4, o, ' And he would not for a while : but after- 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. IGl 

ward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man ; yet, 
because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lost by her continual 
coming she weary me.' 

But though there be much use of this distinction, yet this is not all the 
difference between one and the other. There are indeed two such distinct 
acts and offices of man's understanding, though it is all but one faculty, in- 
somuch as many who know things speculatively know them not practically 
at all ; as many scholars. They are like physicians, who know by the rules 
of physic that such meat is ill and unwholesome, and yet will follow the rule 
of pleasure, and eat it, if delicious, though hurtful to the health. So that 
indeed to have the mind and understanding practically enlightened, is a 
new and distinct work of the Holy Ghost, which all have not, who yet have 
much knowledge. But yet this is not all the difference between the know- 
ledge of a regenerate and unregenerate man. 

1. Because even flnregenerate men have their understandings practically 
wrought on by spiritual things, i. e. they have a working light, an affecting 
knowledge set up in them, to cause them to do much, as well as to know 
much : 2 Peter ii. 20, * For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the 
world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they 
are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with 
them than the beginning ;' and Heb. vi. 4-6, ' For it is impossible for those 
who were once 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, if they shall fall away, to renew them 
again unto repentance ; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God 
afresh, and put him to an open shame.' They are said to be enlightened, 
and to taste, i.e. with such a knowledge as lets in a taste of the powers of the 
world to come, though this be a distinct and further work than barely to teach 
men to know them. 

2. Because if herein lay all the difference, then at least one part of the un- 
derstanding might be said as fully to be sanctified in an unregenerate as a 
regenerate man, seeing the speculative understanding in both the states hath 
but the same light, the difference being only in the practical ; whereas the 
apostle prays here, in 1 Thes. v. 3, that the whole spirit be sanctified. 


That there is a vast difference between the knoivledge of a man unregenerate, and 
that which a holy soul hath of spiritual things. — It is demomtrated, and the 
causes of it assigned. 

We must search out some greater and more distinguishing difference be- 
tween the knowledge which unregenerate men have of spiritual things and 
that of the regenerate, than any before mentioned. We must find out such 
a difference as may make it appear, that though an unregenerate man know 
never so much, whether speculatively or practically, yet there is a knowledge 
of both these sorts in one sanctifyingly enlightened, which he utterly wants. 
We must inquire out that there is a difference even in their speculation of 
spiritual things, as well as in the working or practical knowledge, and that a 
new habit and principle of regeneration must be infused into our understand- 
ings to produce true knowledge in both kinds. 

1. As to the speculative knowledge, that there is a difference, I demonstrate 

VOL. X. Ii 


thus, and withal assign the causes of it. Where there is a different represen- 
tation of the thing to be known, there is a different knowledge of that thing. 
For example, if a man be represented to us but in his picture, though never 
so lively, or if we have a description of his good conditions but by hearsay 
only, it is a faint, dead knowledge, and vastly different from what we have 
when we behold and are acquainted with the man himself, as we all see by 
experience. And there is a plain reason of it, for the cause by which we come 
to have the knowledge of things is this, that there is a likeness, a similitude, 
a resemblance, and image of the thing which we know brought to our minds, 
and imprinted there; as it is thus in seeing things, so in knowing too. Now, 
therefore, as those resemblances, species, and shapes of things formed and 
drawn in our minds do differ, so must our knowledge also. But the image 
or resemblance of the man, which my mind takes of him when I see himself 
and am acquainted with him, is of another kind from that which my mind 
took of him when I saw but his picture, or heard him described by another, 
the one being called s^wcies propria, his own proper representation, the other 
species alicnn, a foreign and borrowed one. To apply this, then, to the pur- 
pose in hand ; such and so great a difference is there between a regenerate 
man's knowing and viewing spiritual things, and an unregenerate man's 
knowing thera, though he be never so much enlightened, for the images, the 
likenesses, the resemblances, the representations of them do differ in this 
manner before said. For the ideas or images, which in a regenerate man's 
understanding be formed and fashioned, are taken, and begotten from the pre- 
sence, real representation, and sense of the things themselves as really, truly 
in their native proper being, and spiritual hue, and shape presented to them, 
as things bodily are to the eyes of your bodies ; which they are not to any 
unregenerate man in the world ; but the most enlightened among them have 
them only by hearsay, or by some exact picture drawn of them. So God in 
his holiness and purity was at first known to Job only by what he had 
heard of it, but afterward by his own sight : Job xlii. 5, 'I have heard of 
thee by the hearing of the ear ; but now mine eye seeth thee.' It was not 
a knowledge engendered barely by hearsay, but by God's revealing his face, 
and the beauty of his holicess to him, which humbled him. God also, in 
his fatherly love and kindness in Christ, is only thus known : John vi. 45, 
46, ' It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. 
Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh 
unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, 
he hath seen the Father.' No man hath seen the Father but he who is of 
God, i.e. who is regenerate, and taught by him. And such a real represen- 
tation of those deep thoughts of God in pardoning as a Father, those bowels 
of mercy hanging out in him, a natural man never saw as the regenerate do. 
Thus also Jesus Christ and his righteousness, which is his glory, are repre- 
sented in a real true manner to a believer : 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' But we all with 
open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into 
the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.' It 
is beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, not in a representation taken 
from a bare picture, but a real image of the person as that in a glass is, and 
which represents his glory in that manner as no picture can describe it. So 
that he is said to reveal himself to a man : John xiv. 21, 'He that hath my 
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that 
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will mani- 
fest myself to him.' And he is also said to dwell in our hearts by faith : 
Eph. iii. 17-19, ' That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye 
being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints 

Chap. YIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 1G3 

what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love 
of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might he filled with all the ful- 
ness of God.' By this means we are truly acquainted with him, and have 
real communion with him, as a man hath with his friend. And as to the 
work of grace, a regenerate man knows it not only by hearsay, as you see the 
picture of an herb in some herbal, but he beholds grace growing in the gar- 
den of his own heart. Thus Christ, speaking of grace and regeneration in 
John iii., expresseth himself: ver. 11, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 
we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen, and ye receive not 
our witness.' We testify (says he) what we know, and have seen, whenas 
temporaries see but the counterfeit of these things in their hearts. They 
have but a ' form of godhness,' not ' the power,' 2 Tim. iii. 5, and therefore 
know not what the real thing means ; and therefore their apprehensions of it 
must needs be differing from those of a believer, who sees and feels it in 
himself. Now, if you would know the reason of this difference in the pro- 
ductive causes : 

1. A regenerate man hath the Spirit of God dwelling in him, which a 
man unregenerate hath not ; that Spirit to whom all things are continuallj 
present, though absent from us ; and, therefore, he dwelling in the man, can 
set those things before him. He who calls things that are not, as if they 
were, can also present to us things absent, and represent them as they are.. 
Nor can he only do this, but also open our eyes and put a principle into us 
to behold those things which he placeth bare and naked to our sight. This, 
is an art peculiar to himself, which no angel nor creature can imitate. The 
devil, indeed, shewed Christ the glory of the world, and fancy in men asleep 
paints out things to them, but still they represent not the things themselves,. 
but only the pictures of them ; but now the Spirit of God reveals the glory 
of Christ as in a glass : 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' Beholding as in a glass,' says he,, 
• the glory of the Lord.' And it is by the Spirit of the Lord this is done,, 
for it follows ' As by the Spirit of the Lord.' And so God is said to reveal 
these things by his Spirit : 1 Cor. ii. 9-12, ' But, as it is written. Eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the 
things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath 
revealed them unto us by his Spirit : for the Spirit seareheth all things, yea,, 
the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save 
the spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man,, 
but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the worlds 
but the Spirit which is of God ; that we might know the things that are 
freely given to us of God.' The things God hath prepared, — ^justification, 
adoption, sanctification, glory, — all these are prepared from everlasting, 
which things eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have they entered into 
the heart of a man, that is, a natural man, for he opposeth him to us icho love 
him. Now, his meaning then is, that there is such a revelation, such a 
species, form, and image of these things in their minds (who love God, and 
have them revealed by his Spirit), as their eyes never saw, nor ever came 
into their minds who are natural men. That is, the species propria:, the true 
proper images of the things they never received, however they may have 
them from other men's reports. Their eyes may see them, as so described, 
and their ears hear them, as so reported, and they may see them too by the 
pictures drawn by the Holy Ghost, and represented by him in the Word of 
God; for the Holy Ghost in so doing (as in enlightening of temporaries) deceives 
them not, as a painter doth not who draws the true picture of a man ; yet 
still the spiritual, living, and real manner of presenting these things to the 
mind the Holy Ghost vouchsafes to none but unto those who love God, and 


€0 are regenerate ; it is to them and them only this favour is conferred. These 
things, as to this manner of discovering them, are hid from the wise and 
prudent of the world, and revealed only to babes, for to them only it pleaseth 
the Spirit of God to manifest them : Mat. xi. 25, 26, ' At that time Jesus 
answered and said, I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, be- 
cause thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes. Even so. Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.' 

•2. A regenerate man hath a new principle of faith infused into him, which 
one unregenerate wants ; and by this faith he hath a sight of spiritual things 
which the other hath not. It is the light of this faith which, as it gives sub- 
sistence to things hoped for, Heb. xi. 1, so it elevates and helps out our 
sight to see things which are otherwise invisible, which principle the unre- 
generate wanting fall short in the sight of them. They, wanting this new 
eye, cannot receive the real representation of them, as a sore eye cannot bear 
to behold the sun in its glory. It is therefore made a difference between 
l)elievers and others, that they are able to behold with open face the glory of 
the Lord, which others cannot, 2 Cor. iii. 18. And to the same purpose 
Christ speaks, when he says that the world cannot receive the Spirit : John 
xiv. 17, ' Even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because 
it seeth him not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him, for he dwelleth 
with 3'ou, and shall be in you.' He means as to the business of knowledge ; 
' The world ' (says he) ' cannot receive him, for it seeth him not, neither 
knoweth him,' nor these his effects, nor real representations of spiritual 

From what hath been discoursed we may make these deductions or in- 

1. Then unregenerate men may truly be said to want the real knowledge 
of spiritual things, and to want even that true speculative or knowing know- 
ledge, which is to be had of them. For knowledge of a thing by hearsay, or 
by the picture of it, beside that it is often subject to error and misconceit, 
since the likeness which our minds frame to themselves from such represen- 
tations proves other than the thing itself is indeed and in truth, when we 
iCome to see it ; and hence there are such misconceits and mistakings of the 
work of grace in unregenerate men's minds. But I say, besides this, if we 
could suppose the conceptions and thoughts answerable to the description 
given, or the picture drawn, yet this knowledge, compared with that which a 
man hath when he seeth the thing itself, may be said to be no knowledge. 
In ordinary speech no man saith he knows a man when he hath but heard 
of him, and hath not seen him, nor is acquainted with him ; so, nor can they 
be said to know spiritual things who have seen but the pictures or descrip- 
tions of them. For they do not know them spiritually (as the apostle says, 
1 Cor. ii. 14), that is, in a manner answerable to their natures, and as they 
are to be known ; that is, in their native colour, and hue, and proper like- 
ness, so as to form such conceits in our minds of them as are homogeneal, 
and proportioned to the things. 

2. Hence it also appears, that there is something known by a godly man 
concerning spiritual things, w'hich is not, nor can be known by any other, 
nor yet can be expressed by himself to another. And the reason of it is evi- 
dent ; for let a man see the liveliest picture that is, and the best description, 
and afterward see the man so pictured or described, he then seeth some- 
thing which he saw not before, and something, too, which could not be pic- 
tured nor expressed ; so that there is a difierence, for something remains 
unknown in the thing which cannot be drawn in the picture ; as something 
there is in fire which cannot be painted, viz., the heat ; something in the 

Chap. VIII,] in respect of sin and punishment. 1C5 

snn which cannot be delmeated, viz. the light and glory of it, which no 
cjlours are bright enough to resemble ; something there is in man which 
can be represented iu no picture, viz. his soul and Hfe ; nay, something in 
his countenance cannot be drawn, viz. some peculiar lively features ; so 
that still there is something wanting in the picture which is supplied by the 
sight of the thing. Now, then, answerably there is something in God, and 
Christ, and in the work of gi-ace, which all the expressions of the tongues of 
men and angels, all openings of Scriptures do not, and cannot make known, 
unless the Spirit strike in with his art, and use all these as glasses to repre- 
sent the things to you, as he doth to the saints. The native glory of them 
goes beyond expressions, which all fall short of the life; and yet a man, 
who hath seen the things, can but use the hke expressions, if he would go 
about to describe them (which expressions, one who hath not seen the 
things, may use as well as he), but yet he knows more than he can express. 
Now, therefore, if it be asked (as often it is). Is there so great a difference 
between one knowledge and the other ? why ! then express it to us, let 
us hear distinctly what it is ; what is it you see, which we do not ? 
what have you apprehensions of, which we are not able to conceive, as well 
as you ? To this what answer can a regenerate man make, for he seeth 
what cannot be painted or described, and therefore to make it known to the 
other man, he must lend him his eyes, for nothing else will be able to make 
him see it ; as, for example, there are two talking about a country, whereof 
the one hath seen a map of it, knows its situation, fashion of things, cus- 
toms, &c., or hath heard all these described as fully as can be expressed ; 
the other hath travelled through the country, and seen all its cities, cus- 
toms, and fashions with his own eyes. If he that never travelled should 
say, what is it you know which I know not ? the traveller is able to express 
nothing to him which he hath not heard, and is able to relate ; but yet that 
traveller is very well assured that there is a great deal of difference between 
his knowledge and what the other hath, and that he knows something which 
the other doth not, nor can know, unless he went into the country as he 
hath done. Thus also a man hath heard a lesson in music, which he may 
prick out to another, with all the grounds of it, but yet unless he hath heard 
the tune sung, which another man hath, there is something of which he is 
ignorant about the music of it, which that other man knows, which yet he 
cannot express to him. Thus, likewise in spiritual matters, there is a new 
name given which none knows but he who receives it, Eev. ii. 18 ; that is, 
there is something in it which he cannot express to another, for if he could, 
then that other might know as well as he. And thus, too, when the apostle, 
1 Cor. ii. 14, 15, speaks of this differing knowledge, * the spiritual man,' 
says he, ' discerneth all things, and is discerned of none ;' that is, what he 
knows none can enter into the secret of. He knows all that others can, but 
what he knows further, they cannot, nor can he express. 

3. Hence it comes to pass, that the knowledge which a godly man hath 
of spiritual things is an evident, infallible, satisfying knowledge, but it is not 
so in others. 

(1.) It is evident, because he sees the things themselves, which leaves a 
true living likeness of themselves in the mind. Faith, therefore, being the 
subsistence of things hoped for, is also the evidence of things not seen, Heb. 
xi. 1. The sight, then, of a real true thing leaves an evidence behind it 
that it is true. Christ having a real true body appeals to the judgment of the 
senses to testify that it was so. What though a man's eye may be deceived 
by apparitions, and in dreams things are so lively painted out in our fancies, 
that men think they see, and hear, and eat ? yet this prejudiceth not, but 


that a man who eats true meat knows infallibly he is not deceived. Sure I 
am, says the man born blind (when his eyes were opened), John ix. 25, 
that ' whereas I was blind, now I see.' Other men may think spiritual 
things to be true, because of their fine and exact coherence, and the whole 
system of them is so fair a story ; but a godly man knows them to be true, 
and gives a certain infallible assent to the story, whereof he is an eye-wit- 
ness, for he sees the things done and acted in his own heart : 1 John v. 20, 
* And we know the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understand- 
ing, 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 eternal life ;' 1 John 
ii. 3, 4, ' And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his com- 
mandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his command- 
ments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him ;' and you have (says the 
apostle) ' Christ crucified before your eyes,' Gal. iii. 1. 

(2.) It is a satisfying knowledge. When a man sees but pictures of 
things, or but by hearsay, the mind is not satisfied, but desires to see fur- 
ther, as the queen of Sheba did, when she heard of Solomon's wisdom, 
1 Kings X. 1, 6, 7 ; one who hath seen but the pictures of anatomy is not 
contented till he sees a real body cut up ; one who sees a country described, 
is not satisfied in his knowledge till he hath travelled through it. When a 
man sees the things, then, and not till then, doth his mind rest satisfied. 
Though he may desire indeed to see more about them, yet he is satisfied 
that this is the true thing itself which he sees and knows, he is assured that 
grace can be no other thing than what he sees and feels it to be. And 
though he may come to have greater degrees of knowledge, and to see more 
into it, yet still he shall find it to be no other thing than what at present he 
apprehends it to be. So then he seeth into the farthest end and meaning 
of the word of truth, which another doth not : 2 Cor. iii. 13, ' And not as 
Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not 
stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.' 


The uses of the doctrine. We by this see hotv malignant an evil sin is, which 
infects the whole man, and how great a work regeneration is, which cures and 
restores a soxd so totally depraved, — That it deeply concerns us to search into 
our hearts, that we may know the evil which is in us. 

We have seen that the whole nature of man is depraved by sin, and that 
the direful contagion hath not only fallen on the lower animal faculties, but 
hath ascended to the higher, the mind, and understanding. Now the uses, 
and practical improvement we may make, are these. 

Use 1. Is all and every part in man corrupted ? This gives us a sad dis- 
covery how great an evil sin is. You account that a very malignant disease 
which reacheth but to one member, if it spoils it, or makes it useless ; if it 
lames but a joint, or takes away an eye. How much greater, and more dan- 
gerous is this spiritual disease, which extends itself to all that is in man, and 
vitiates his whole nature ! It is therefore compared to such bodily diseases, 
which spread over all the parts, to a leprosy (for by that it was typified in 
the ceremonial law) that goes over all the body. You account that a poi- 
sonous creature, and loathe it, which hath poison but in one part, as ser- 
pents have it only in their stings, and vipers in their teeth, so as when they 
are taken out, the rest is not poisonous. But this poison of sin hath soaked 

Chap. IX.] in respect of sin and punishment. 167 

all, and pierced through every part of us. It is in our souls, as the soul is 
in the body, as it were tola in toto, et tola in qualihet parte, the whole of sin 
is in the whole soul, and in every part too. If we look but to one part, the 
tongue, James says of it, there is a world of evil in that little member : James 
iii. 5, C, ' Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. 
Behold how great a matter a httle fire kindleth ! And the tongue is a tire, 
a world of iniquity : so is the tongue amongst our members, that it detileth 
the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature ; and it is set on fire 
of hell.' How many worlds hast thou then in thy whole man, which, though 
in itself is but a little world, yet contains in it many worlds of sin ! If thy 
tongue hath in it so much evil, what hath thy will, thy understanding, thy 
desires ? These are more active than that little part of thine, though it be 
so moveable. They never lie still, but are always working. They have 
more distempers in them than are in all the parts of thy body, which, ac- 
cording to physicians' reckoning, amount to so vast a number. If there are 
(as they say) three hundred several diseases incident to the eye, there are 
more in the eye of thy soul. Look inward, then, and sagaciously search out 
all those noisome distempers, which are in all thy faculties, and loathe thyself 
at the sight of them. 

Use 2. If the whole soul be infected with such a desperate disease, what a 
great and difficult work is it to regenerate, to restore men again to spiritual 
life and vigour, when every part of them is seized by such a mortal dis- 
temper ! How great a cure doth the Spirit of God effect in restoring a soul 
by sanctifying it ! To heal but the lungs or the liver, if corrupted, is 
counted a great cure, though performed but upon one part of thee ; but all 
thy inward parts are very rottenness : Ps. v. 9, ' For there is no faithfulness 
in their mouth, their inward part is very wickedness ; their throat is an open 
sepulchre, they flatter with their tongue.' How great a cure is it then to 
heal thee ! Such as is only in the skill and power of God to do. And the 
universal medicine he makes use of is the gospel, by which all the diseases 
of the soul are healed : the blind, the lame, the deaf, and all other are re- 
stored by receiving the gospel : Mat. xi. 5, ' The blind receive their sight, 
and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are 
raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.' 

Use 3. Be you all exhorted to search into your own hearts, and make it 
your most inquisitive study to know the variety of corruptions which are 
in them. 

This is an use as proper to this doctrine as any other, and this I premise 
to all that is to follow in the discovery of the corruption of our nature, that 
in all the rest of the particulars, you may have this use in your eye. And, 
indeed, that you may know what is in man, and so have an exact knowledge 
of yourselves, is the principal design for which I fixed on this subject ; and 
therefore, in all that I shall say in the prosecuting it, I desire you to keep 
this use in your sight, and to search still in your hearts, as any particular 
corruption is discovered, to find whether it be in you, or not. I thought 
best to premise ere I go any farther, and the rather do I set you on work thus 
beforehand, with some general directions how to inquire into your hearts, 
that having first tried what work you can make of it yourselves, you may be 
better able to understand the discoveries of particular defilements, which 
hereafter I shall make, you having first taken a view of such particulars in 
your own hearts, which will make them good, and evidence the truth of 
them to yon. And here it may be truly said, that of all discourses, and dis- 
coveries," they are the most difficult, which are concerning the inward work- 
ings of grace and sin. As no study is more hard than anatomy, which 


disconrseth of the parts of man's body, unless a man hath seen first some 
body cut up, and then none is more easy, certain, and evident ; so also it is 
in an anatomy lecture of the soul, and heart ; and therefore the figures I shall 
draw and cut of the understanding, will, and afiections in the following dis- 
course, will be difficult to understand, unless you withal, as T shall go along, 
look inward to see in your own hearts those several parts of coiTuption, which 
the pictures, though never so well drawn, will otherwise but darkly represent. 
To do thus, will perhaps be a work very difficult to some, who never yet were 
acquainted with themselves, who have had their eyes turned outwards all their 
lives, and never turned them inward to look into their hearts. I remember 
Julius Scaliger hath a saying, that there be two things in philosophy, which 
do conceal, and hide themselves from man's understanding. Ens primum, et 
Materia prima. The first being, or God, and the first matter of all things, 
or that chaos, and confused heap. Gen i. 1, out of which all things were 
made. The one is incomprehensible, /)ro/)?er summam suam p)erJectionem, by 
reason of his infinite perfection ; the other is unperceptible, propter summam 
suam imperfectionem, because of its greatest imperfection. This is true in 
divinity also, and as to our present purpose, that God and a man's heart 
are things most unsearchable : God, because of the infinite purity that is in 
him : Rom. xi. 33, '0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and know- 
ledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past find- 
ing out !' How Httle a portion is heard of him ? says Job : Job xxvi. 14, 
' Lo, these are parts of his ways, but how little a portion is heard of him ? 
but the thunder of his power who can understand ?' And the heart is un- 
searchable, because it is a vast deep chaos of all confusion, and disorder, and 
hath bundles, Prov. xxii. 15, yea, worlds of folly in it ; Jer, xvii. 9, ' The 
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know 
it ?' None but God that made it, who is greater than our hearts, and yet 
he hath appointed means, whereby we may be helped to know, and search 
them, which I shall now enumerate. 

1. God hath put a Ught of conscience within you, which, though it is in 
every man by nature, yet it is a candle set up, and Hghted at the sun, which 
' enlightens every man that comes into the world :' John i. 9, compared with 
Prov. XX. 27, ' The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the 
inward parts of the belly.' The chambers of the belly some read it. So 
that, as in a man's body, when cut up, you find several rooms prepared for 
the various animal offices, vital, natural, &c., as in anatomy we see, and these 
distinguished by several partitions, as the midrifi", the diaphragm, &c., 
thus is it also in the soul of man, where there are spirit, soul, understand- 
ing, will, afiections, &c., as so many difi"erent chambers. Now that light of 
conscience God hath placed in these dark rooms, to manifest all that is in 
them ; and though he hath framed your bodies so, as there is not a case- 
ment made to see through it what entrails and inward parts a man hath, yet 
he hath made one for the soul : 1 Cor. ii. 11, ' For what man knoweth the 
things of a man, save the spirit of man, which is in him ?' 

2. Because this light of natural conscience is very dim, and by it you can 
discern bat very little of what is in your hearts, therefore God also hath 
given you his word, which is a quicker discemer of the thoughts and intents 
of the heart : Heb. iv. 12, ' For the word of God is quick, and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder 
of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discemer of the 
thoughts and intents of the heart.' It divides between soul and spirit, and 
cuts the heart open, so as to make a nice and accurate dissection, and shews 
everjthing that is in it, and all that is done there. It is the most sharp 

Chap. IX.] in eespect of sin and punishment. 1G9 

anatomising knifo which can be used, as it is compared in Heb. iv. 12. 
It hath the key of knowledge, as Christ calls it, rriv xXiiha. r^; yi/wffsw;, and 
the lock for which it is made is man's heart, of which the several faculties 
are the wards. And as it opened Lydia's heart, it opens all ours, and 
discovers what is within ; as the apostle speaks of prophesying, that it hath 
such an effect : 1 Cor xiv. 24, 25, ' But if all prophesy, and there come in 
one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged 
of all : And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest ; and so falling 
down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a 

3. Because natural conscience, enlightened by the word, is not enough, 
therefore God farther renews in his children the spirit of their minds, Eph. 
iv. 23, as to put off, so to discern the corruptions of the old man, which are 
in him through lusts. The spiritual corruptions whereof, which are essen- 
tially contrary to the spiritual workings of grace, are not, nor can be dis- 
cerned, by any other eye than one so renewed. It is the spiritual man which 
discerneth all things, 1 Cor. ii. 15. Conscience, indeed, discerns the gross 
defilements of the soul ; but itself being defiled, Titus i. 16, and muddied 
like muddy water, you cannot see your face distinctly in it, so as to descry 
the less perceivable blemishes. 

4. Because this renewed spirit also is but imperfect, and therefore dim- 
sighted, and indeed the light of conscience, and of the word, and of the 
sanctified soul too, all put together, of themselves can do little or nothing 
without the light of God's Spirit, therefore God hath appointed his own 
Spirit to be in us, to search our hearts : Jer. xvii. 10, ' I the Lord search 
the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and 
according to the fruit of his doings.' And for this reason David, when he 
had done all that he could, calls upon God to try and search him. And 
when the light of this spirit enters in but at a cranny of the soul, it mani- 
fests those defilements in it which were before unseen ; as the sunbeams 
shining into a dark room, shew those little dusts or motes in the air which 
were undiscerned ; nay, the chairs and stools in it could hardly be seen 

Now, having all these helps, set upon the search of your hearts and spirits. 
Though they be desperately wicked, and every part corrupted, even the spirit 
itself, which should discern and pass judgment on things, yet you have 
superior aids whereby you may be sufliciently assisted. Keep your hearts 
and consciences pure from gross defilements, else it will be impossible to 
find out spiritual corruptions of the spirit and judgment, into which yet we 
are first and chiefly to inquire. If a looking-glass be dirty, little can be seen 
in it, but if it be rubbed clean, and kept clear, we may discern the least 
spots. Make further use of the Hght of the word to discover what is in you. 
The apostle Paul, though he could not but discern grosser lusts, sensual 
lusts ha him by the light of nature, yet by that help alone he could not 
perceive those which were spiritual, till the spiritual light of the law came 
and manifested them, and he saw not how all concupiscence was in him till 
then : Rom. vii. 7-9, * What shall we say then ? Is the law sin ? God 
forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law : for I had not known 
lust, except the law had said. Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occa- 
sion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. 
For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once : 
but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.' Grow in grace, 
and increase in the light of it, and be sure to keep that quick-sighted. If 
you do not grow in grace, you will not be able to see perfectly and clearly, 


2 Peter i. 5-9. But a man increasing in grace, and walking in the Spirit, 
will be able to see the least mote of sin that flies up and down in his heart, 
which another man, though regenerate, yet if he arrive not to such a growth 
and spiritual walking, will not see. Pray for the Spirit of God also to help 
you. Because Laodicea was deceived in the knowledge of her heart and 
state, she is counselled to take eye salve, and to anoint her eyes with it : 
Eev. iii. 17, 18, ' Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, 
and have need of nothing ; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and 
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me 
gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich ; and white raiment, that 
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; 
and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.' When Job 
was sensible that he knew not all of himself which he ought, he goes to God 
to instruct him : Job xxxiv. 32, ' That which I see not, teach thou me ; if 
I have done iniquity, I will do no more.' And last of all, be diligent and 
constant in this exercise of searching your hearts ; the more you exercise your 
eyes, the quicker they will be in seeing. Use light, and have light. Exer- 
cising of the spiritual senses produceth an habit of discerning good and evil : 
Heb, V. 14, * But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even 
those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good 
and evil.' 

But further to instruct you in this duty and art, I will shew what it is to 
search the heart, and teach the skill of cutting it open, and rightly anato- 
mising it, and what in every faculty is especially to be searched for. The 
true searching of the heart I thus define : It is a reflex act of the mind and 
conscience renewed, whereby a man, assisted by the light of the word and 
Spirit, doth discern, and judge of the spiritual good and evil that is in his 
heart, and in every faculty of it, both severally and jointly together. 

1. It is a reflex act. of the mind, wherein the mind looks inward and comes 
home to itself. For in the direct acts of the mind, a man is carried out to 
things without himself ; but this calls in his thoughts to view his own soul. 
And this is one of the chiefest excellencies of the reasonable creature, wherein 
it doth so much transcend beasts, that it is able to turn its eyes inward, 
and judge of its own thoughts and desires, what they are, and to what they 
tend. This, 1 say, is proper only to man and angels : 1 Cor. ii. 11, ' Who 
knows the things of a man ?' the spirit of a man doth this, but not that 
which is in beasts. This, of all acts, is also the noblest, and in the exercise 
of it consists man's honour and wisdom. As in mathematics, a circular 
figure is better and stronger than any other, because it returns into itself, so 
that every part bears up another, so reflex thoughts, returning in upon our- 
selves, are wiser, stronger, and safer. In this too the image of God much 
consists, I mean that image which is in the natural faculties of the soul, that 
as God doth know himself, we also are able to know ourselves. 

2. I add, of the mind renewed and assisted. For though every man hath 
this reflecting power in him since the fall, yet it is dimmed and weakened 
more than other direct acts, which are yet dim enough ; and therefore we 
know all other things better than ourselves, and of all else we know least what 
is done in our own bosoms. The heathens, therefore, could say that y\/o}9i 
ciauTov, was of all other the hardest lesson. Man, by sin, becoming like the 
beast which perisheth, has lost this ability, whereby he was chiefly distin- 
guished from the brutes, more than any other. When man had God's image 
of holiness, he understood God and himself best of any other, but now, alas, 
it is the least part of his knowledge ! You shall see a poor soul, mean in 
abilities of wit, or accomplishments of learning, who is ignorant in all things 

Chap. IX. j in respect of sin and punishment. 171 

else, who knows not how the world goes, nor upon what wheels states turn ; 
who yet, being renewed and assisted by the Spirit of God, knows more clearly 
and experimentally his own heart, than all learned men in the world do 
theirs, and knows more of grace and sin in it. And though the other may 
better discourse philosophically of the acts of the soul, and the dependence 
of them one on another, yet this poor man sees more into the corruptions of 
it than they all. 

3. I add, ivherebij a man knows the spiritual good or evil in the heart, for 
that is the object to be searched into. It is not only what his thoughts and 
purposes are for the matter of them ; for ask any man, and he can tell you 
what he thinks at any time ; but there is a further thing to be looked into : 
the good, or evil, the frame, the temper, the inclination of all either to sin 
or to godliness. We are to feel the pulse of the heart, and to discern by 
its beating whether it be sound or diseased, and with what particular dis- 
temper it is most aifected. And herein lies the great and difficult work. 
Any man's pulse tells him that his heart beats, and he may feel whether the 
motion be orderly or irregular, but it is a physician's skill to guess at the 
disease, and know the temper of the blood by it ; and it is a Christian's skill 
to know and judge the like of his soul and spirit. Now the word, when it 
searcheth the heart, reads not a philosophy lecture upon it, but shews the 
evils whicn are in it. It is not the nature of the heart simply, and the 
dependence of one faculty on another, but the wickedness and deceitfulness 
which God there points out to be known, Jer. xvii. 9, 10. 

4. I add, in every facultij, for then thou seest thy sins in their causes, 
when thou seest from whence every sin hath its rise in thee, from whence 
its first motion is, wherein its strength lies, and how sin carries things within 
thee. How it runs through thy understanding in devising, projecting, and 
approving of it, through thy will in consenting to it, through thy affections 
which are inflamed with it, till at last it works in the members to execution. 
Then thou knowest how sinful thy heart is, when thou seest how all the 
several wheels in it turn still to evil, and how one wheel moves another, so 
that thou sinnest with a joint concurrence of them all to the wicked action. 
And in all this it especially concerns thee to search out the pollution of thy 
spirit, of thy understanding, judgment, and will ; how far they are guilty in 
the commission of the sin, which will serve to aggravate or lessen the sin so 
much the more as they are found to have a greater or lesser hand in it. 
For as the sins of princes are greater than those of other men, because they 
are their rulers, so are the sins of these superior faculties of a higher guilt, 
because it is their duty, and they are placed, to guide the rest. And it 
concerns thee the more to be strictly inquisitive into these sins, because of 
all other they most conceal themselves, and as their operations are more 
strong, so with less noise, as poison works more strongly in the head than 
the stomach, though it be perceived more there than in the head. Inquire 
thou into the sins of these ringleaders in thee ; and as in case of treason, 
the state, the government inquires most after the plotters and contrivers of 
it, so look thou not so much to the members of the body, and the lusts which 
war in them, as unto that corrupted judgment and will in thee that devised 
the means to satisfy those lusts, which fed them with thoughts and fancies, 
which were privy to the first contrivance of the treason, and gave way, and 
consented to it. The lusts which war in the members are but weapons, 
instruments, Rom. vi. 19. You must therefore look to the higher powers 
of sin in the soul, to the throne of unrighteousness there, whose agents 
those lusts are. 

If a man would rightly understand a state or a commonwealth, it is not 


euough to know and view what proclamations come out, what decrees, and 
orders are made, what factions are in it, what transactions of alfairs, what 
armies raised, &c., for this all in a kingdom know; but he who would be an 
exact statesman must also know what passeth at council board, what the 
consults and deliberations are, what was the design of such acts and procla- ' 
mations, and to what end they were made, what ends such or such a potent 
faction hath, with what colours they hide their secret intentions, and into 
what principles of state all may be resolved. This is so to understand a 
state, as few do, and for want of this knowledge how amiss do vulgar capa- 
cities judge of public actions. Thus also if you would understand the state 
of your souls, you must diligently and especially mark what passeth at 
council board in the understanding, the sight of which is enough to amaze 
us, if we saw but by what devilish principles and atheistical consultations all 
is guided and swayed, and into which our actions may be resolved, what most 
base, and filthy ends rule us, and what petty, slight, foolish motives we have, 
what ungodly reasonings and deliberations pass through us, and how con- 
trary to the rules of conscience, which notes all, as God's sworn secretary, 
and how all is overruled by our corrupt reasonings, let conscience say what it 
will in opposition ; I say, if we saw all this, it would amaze any of us ; and 
this is that which I mainly intend to shew in the following discourse, when 
I shall come to particulars. This is indeed to search a man's heart, and 
to know it, for the wickedness of it lies especially in deceitfulness, and that 
deceitfulness consists in the juggling tricks of the mind, which are least dis- 
cerned by us. 

5. I add, in each of these faculties apart. For when the apostle speaks of 
the word's powerful searching the heart, how doth he express it ? As 
' dividing between the soul and spirit : ' Heb. iv. 12, ' For the word of God 
is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even 
to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and 
is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.' The meaning of 
which phrase I understand thus, that the soul and spirit is divided, when we 
consider them apart, and severally, when we remark what evil is in the spirit 
apart, and in the soul apart; that is, in the judgment and affections. They 
join in the action, and the influences which they have are intricately involved 
and twisted in every act which comes from us ; but this is the way to untwist 
them, viz, to dissever, and to view apart what a man's thoughts, reasonings, 
motives, and devisings are in such a business, which thoughts, reasonings, 
&c., the apostle there calls the marrow of the action. Then after this view, 
what the desires, or fears, or inflammations of passions are by which thou 
•wert acted in the doing it, which are but the bones of it, and are indeed but 
guided and acted by those ends, reasonings, and conclusions, which the heart 
made. And, accordingly (as you see), the apostle instanceth only in the 
intents and thoughts, which are acts of the understanding and will. And 
so at the day of judgment, what is it God will bring to light ? Not passions 
so much, and actions (though these also shall be manifested), as the counsels 
of the heart : 1 Cor. iv. 5, ' Therefore judge nothing before the time, until 
the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, 
and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts ; and then shall every man 
have praise of God.' Passions are but the veins and arteries, in which our 
intentions and ends, as the blood and spirits, do move, when the mind, 
which is as the heart itself, hath by reasoning and agitating things in itself, 
hatched, and forged those designs and ends, as the real heart doth spirits 
by motion. Take an affection which you have stirred, and examine it, and 
you will find a reason of it, a meaning of it, and that there is some end acts 

Chap. X.] in respect of sin and punishment. 173 

it, and stirs in it. And it is the end also which makes an action good or 
bad ; and as God is said to look to the meaning of the spirit in us, Rom. 
viii. 27 ; that is, to every sigh, groan, and desire, so also to the meaning of 
flesh in us, what our carnal ends and motives are ; therefore we should look 
most especially to them. 

Now, as you are to divide thus between soul and spirit, thoughts, intents, 
and passions, and to view them apart, so you must also view them jointly and 
together in every action, and consider not only what aflfections you have, which 
may deceive, but consider withal what thoughts, considerations, motives 
ever stirred them up, and moved in them ; then you know the heart aright. 
Do not simply look to your thoughts, but see what motives prevail with the 
heart, and stir the will, and afiections, and what motives or suggestions put 
in by conscience, or the word, lie as dead drugs, and work not. This is to 
search the heart. So if thou mournest for sin, search the spring of thy 
sorrow, and look what consideration moved it in thee, and do so likewise in 
other thy actions. 

I do speak this before you all, that all deceit lies in this, either men view 
their hearts undivided in the gi'oss, and do not divide between soul and spirit, 
or else they view them only apart, and not in that dependence, or at least 
concurrence the one hath with the other. They look upon good affections 
as on Ezekiel's wheels, and because they turn outwardly to good, they rest in 
them, not seeing, nor so much as inquiring, what spirit moves within those 
wheels, what motives, intents, considerations, act and inform them. The 
truth is, the heart is a maze or labyrinth, and if you would find the way 
into all its windings, you must be guided by a clue or thread drawn through 
them all. And when you view any action, you must go through understand- 
ing, will, and affections, and not only see that they concur to it, but the 
manner of their concurrence ; search the chambers of the heart, not only 
one room to see what is done there, and what thoughts and fancies are in 
the outward room (which is a room that all come into, both good and bad), 
but from thence go into the privy chamber, and hear what principles, say- 
ings, dictates, reasonings you are guided by, what resolutions you fix on, 
what aims you have. Then go down to the affections, and view how they, 
as agents, act their parts, and see all this time how conscience is imprisoned 
as in a dungeon, Rom. i. 18, being withheld in unrighteousness, while they 
act all in the dark : 1 Cor. iv. 5, ' Therefore judge nothing before the time, 
until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of dark- 
ness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts ; and then shall 
every man have praise of God.' He calls the counsels of the heart the 
hidden works of darkness, and whilst conscience is thus imprisoned, it may 
call, and cry till it be hoarse, but it shall not be heard. 


That the error of the pa]nsts is by this doctrine evinced, who place sin only in 
the lower faculties of the soul. — That we should be sensible of the defects 
of our minds, and if ice have any natural endowments of soul, we must 
praise and thank God alone for them. — We who have the discoveries of the 
gospel, and a sjnritual light to discern the things of it, should much more 
bless God. 

As we have not only proved this corruption to have overspread the whole 
soul, but in particular have demonstrated that the superior faculties are 


in a high degree infected, and have also shewn wherein the depravation of 
the understanding consists, let us now farther consider what practical infer- 
ences and uses this doctrine will afford us. 

Use 1. We see, then, how great an error it is of the papists, and some 
others, who assert that the higher parts of the soul are not touched nor 
tainted with sin, but they thrust it all down to the inferior, and to the sen- 
sual appetite ; and they answerably interpret the combat between the flesh 
and spirit, which is spoken of in Rom. vii. 23 and Gal. v. 17, to be but the 
rebellion of the senses, and animal appetite against reason, the one of which 
(they say) is meant by flesh, the other by spirit ; and as thus they make the 
conflict to be between soul and body, they answerably place the whole or 
greatest part of religion in bodily worship. All their acts of mortification 
are to keep under the body, whilst the soul lies neglected, as not needing 
any remedy or help. But we have not so learned Christ, nor so little know 
ourselves ; and therefore as we feel our superior faculties depraved by sin, we 
most of all are humbled for, and strive against the spiritual corruptions of 
our minds, such as ignorance, unbelief, atheism, pride, darkness of appre- 
hension, and dulness of heart and aflections in the ways and worship of 
God, and hypocrisy, and base selfish ends, by which we find ourselves apt 
to be swayed and biassed in our best actions ; we find not only sensual lusts 
warring in our members, but atheism against the knowledge of God, dark- 
ness against divine light, and unbelief against faith. It is true, indeed, sins 
of the understanding are least discernible, for the law in our members is 
more clamorous and impetuous, and sensual things do more sensibly affect 
us ; but yet the other sins of the mind, though more stilly, and with less 
noise, yet do more constantly assault us and prevail. It is true also of the 
combat between flesh and spirit, that it is less sensible in the superior facul- 
ties of the soul than in the inferior ; because, not only grace, but the light of 
nature and conscience make resistance against the lusts of our senses and 
fleshly appetites, but natural conscience doth not oppose the spiritual lust- 
ings of the mind. It doth not check pride, unbelief, selfishness, &c., as it 
doth drunkenness, adultery, and other lusts of the flesh ; but yet it is in the 
combat between sin and grace in the mind, and understanding, and will, that 
a godly man's courage and resolution against sin most shines, and his vic- 
tory over it shews most illustrious ; and it is also for those spiritual wicked- 
nesses in the mind that a godly man is most humbled. And as he also 
professeth that it is not bodily worship which can take away the guilt of sin, 
so neither can the keeping under and torturing the body only, cast out the 
powers of sin. You may pray, and cry your eyes out, but sin will not flow 
out with your tears ; you may fast down all your spirits and flesh, and yet, 
though bodily lusts may hereby be lean, yet pride and hypocrisy may grow 
the fatter. The papists shew also their corruption in this, that it is all their 
care and business to keep people in ignorance and darkness, and such a prac- 
tice is suitable to their corrupt principles and errors, which by this means 
they may maintain undiscovered, as darkness hides all things. But we who 
love and teach the truth, are also for light ; and so far are we from thinking 
ignorance to be the mother of devotion, that we reckon it among the daugh- 
ters of sin, and account grace to be spiritual light in the mind, as well as 
holiness in the heart and affections. We open to the people the treasures 
of divine knowledge, and we exhort men to seek it, since without it the 
heart cannot be good, as Solomon speaks: Prov. xix 2, 'Also, that the 
soul be without knowledge, it is not good ; and he that hasteth with his feet, 

Lhe 2. Let us be sensible of all those before-mentioned defects and im- 

Chap. X.] in respect of sin and punishment. 175 

perfections of our understandings. Hast thou parts, and learning, and know- 
ledge in natural or civil affairs, or hast thou spiritual gifts ? know whom 
to thank for them. They grew not out of thy corrupt nature, which is too 
vile and base a soil to produce any thing that is good, but it is God who, 
out of his bounty and riches of goodness, hath endowed thee with them ; 
and he holds the candle to thee whilst thou readest and understandest, for 
so the mind of man is called : Prov. xx. 27, ' The spirit of man is the candle 
of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.' What doth Agur 
acknowledge with much humility, though he was a teacher of others ? Prov. 
XXX. 2, ' Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the under- 
standing of a man.' * I am brutish since I was a man' (as some read it), 
' and have not the understanding of a man by nature.' It is God who in- 
spires a nobler, quicker spirit into some, and from thence ariseth the differ- 
ence of men's understandings : Job xxxii. 8, ' But there is a spirit in man ; 
and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.' Wisdom 
goes neither by greatness of birth, nor the advantages of education, for great 
persons may have wise men about them, to inform them, who yet are not 
able to instil into them wisdom, nor can make them wise : Job xi. 12, ' For 
vain men would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt ;' and 
a wild ass's colt is the most indocible creature of all other. Neither doth 
wisdom come merely by age and experience : Job xxxii. 9. ' Great men are 
not always wise : neither do the aged understand judgment. There is a 
spirit in man, and an inspiration of the Almighty, which giveth him under- 
standing.' View but your own pictures in fools, and tell me what hath put 
the difference between you and them. If you say a various temper of body, 
it is true, indeed, it hath a hand in it, but yet what fogged the oil in them, 
which should have afforded fuel to the light of mind, so that the candle 
burns blue in them ? What was it produced that cloudy temper in them ? 
Was it not Adam's sin ? Why might it not have had the like effect on thee ? 
It was God only that gave thee finer blood and spirits, that the light of thy 
mind might burn more clear and bright. And if you think temper is the 
only cause of this difference, do but look on Nebuchadnezzar, a great and 
wise king, and yet how soon is his heart changed from a man's to a beast's ! 
Dan. iv. 16, ' Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart 
be given unto him, and let seven times pass over him.' And so he was 
driven from men, as not having reason enough to converse with them. And 
what was his case might be thine, for that which befalls one man for sin, 
might befall all by reason of the first sin. But God was graciously pleased 
not to deal thus with men, though he might justly have done so ; and as 
though he might annihilate men for sin, and take their beings away, yet he 
doth not, no not in hell. So neither doth he take away their understand- 
ings, no, not from the devils ; for how, then, should they be punished with 
the sense of his wrath ? And yet that punishment, which is inflicted, is a 
destruction of their well-being, and therefore is called destruction, though 
their being still remains. So in this life God deprives not men of their under- 
standings, for how then should they be men ? Yet because they want the 
goodness of understanding, the holiness of it, therefore they are often in 
Scripture said to have no understanding : Isa. xxvii. 11, ' When the boughs 
thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set 
them on fire ; for it is a people of no understanding : therefore he that made 
them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them 
no favour ;' Rom. iii. 11, ' There is none that understandeth, there is none 
that seeketh after God.' 

In the mean time, it is a great obligation that lies on those who have parts 


to employ them for God, who preserves them when sin might have taken 
them utterly away, And this may humble men too, who are most proud of 
knowledge, and are pulied up, whenas it is not their own, but borrowed from 
God. Much of man's wit now depends upon the right tempering of the 
dust, with which he is clothed, and so is but a flower of the grass, which 
each man lays down in the grave ; for the compass of understanding with 
which men shall arise into the other world is from another account. And 
this should also teach men to depend on God for their knowledge and 
learning, and the increase of them, for alas, they cannot secure to themselves 
all their wit or learning. The parts of their mind are as subject to decay 
as the beauties of the face, and may be wasted and lost as well as them or 
their estates ; and indeed men who presume on them, or who use them not 
for God, we see ordinarily bereft of them, and prove fools and sots in the 
end, or at least they die despised and forgotten. 

Use 3. Raise your hearts unto thankfulness to God by all these steps 
which follow. 

1. Bless God, that he hath brought thee to those times and places where 
the gospel is preached, and the great truths of it are laid open and made 
plain to thee. This is one mercy, and a great one, for without such a dis- 
covery thou couldst never have found them out. God made trial of the 
utmost men's wits could do for some thousands of years among the Gentiles, 
but they bewildered themselves in their inventions : 1 Cor. i. 21, ' For after 
that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased 
God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.' They had 
quite lost themselves in all their vain inquiries, and therefore (says the 
apostle) after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, 
he set out the gospel to be preached, to reveal, what they could not search 
out. They had, indeed, some knowledge of God, but yet even that was not 
their own, but a borrowed wisdom received from God. God indeed aflbrded 
them some light to grope after him : Acts xvii. 27, ' That they should seek 
the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not 
far from every one of us.' But they were so far from knowing God by all 
this wisdom, that by their abuse of it they were put further ofl", and became 
vain in their imaginations, and did not glorify God as God ; and so with all 
their wit they were but fools : Rom. i. 20-22, * For the invisible things of 
him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the 
things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead ; so that they are 
without excuse : Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not 
as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and 
their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they be- 
came fools.' This would have been thy case, and thus it would have been 
also with thee, if God had not made the light of his gospel to shine for thy 
better direction. It is then great goodness that God hath revealed himself 
so clearly and fully to men in his word, and 'tis a great mercy to thee that 
thou shouldst ever come where these great truths, and of such high concern- 
ment to thy soul, are spoken of, and preached. God hath not dealt thus 
with every man, nay, not with every nation, as be hath with thee ; but when 
he leaves kincrdoms, whole multitudes of people together, to sit in sad dark- 
ness, thou standest in his light. 

2. Bless God, if he hath farther given thee an insight into these truths 
by enlightening thy understanding, which (as hath been discoursed) was na- 
turally "dark, and blind, and had no spiritual discerning. If thou beginnest 
to conceive of things spiritual better thnn others, or than thyself did some 
time ac'o, it is God^who hath put a new light into thy mind, and it is a gvtat 


merc}', which thou shouldst, with the hij^hest praises, acknowledge. For 
remember that in thyself thou art but darkness, as all other men are whom 
God hath not enlightened, as he hath thee ; and, therefore, many, who, though 
wiser than thee in the world, and attentive hearers also, yet understand not 
60 much as thou. The first ground in the parable which received the seed 
of the word : Mat. xiii. 4, ' And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way- 
side : and the fowls came and devoured them up ;' what was it but such 
hearers, who do not understand ? ver. 19, ' When any one heareth the word 
of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then conieth the wicked one, and 
catcheth away that which was sown in his heart : This is he which received 
seed by the way-side.' And the most hearers are such, who do not so much 
as conceive in the general notions, the truth of spiritual things. They can- 
not conceive that there is such a thing as regeneration, much less what it 
is, as was the case with Nieodemus. There are those who walk in darkness, 
though the light shines round about them, who are ignorant under all the 
means of knowledge, because of the blindness of their heart, and therefore 
they walk in darkness, and know not whither they go : John xii. 35, ' Then 
Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you : walk while ye 
have the light, lest darkness come upon you : for he that walketh in dark- 
ness, knoweth not whither he goeth.' If thou seest light in the Lord, bless 
him for those eyes which he hath given thee, whilst he hath denied them 
to others. 

3. But now if God hath proceeded farther in mercy toward thee, and not 
only hath revealed these truths to thee, and not to others in other places, 
and times, and hath given thee a new light w^hereby thou seest those things, 
which thyself saw not before, though thou wert an auditor, and heardest 
them before ; but if God hath gone farther, and renewed thy mind also, and 
put in a new principle to see things aright, to see thy misery, so as to be 
truly humbled for it, to see Christ, so as to prize him above all the world, 
to see what the truth is in Jesus ; i. e. what that truth of grace, and regene- 
ration is which Jesus requires of thee, and to see this in thy own heart too ; 
for this thou hast farther cause to be thankful. Thou canst now say, I 
know God and Christ, and am not deceived, for he hath given me an under- 
sta'ding on purpose to know him, so as no wicked man knows him : 1 John 
V. 20, ' And we know the Son of God is come, and hath given us an under- 
standing, that we ma}' 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 eternal life.' 
This is a higher mercy, and favour bestowed on thee, and therefore greatly 
bless God for it. For though thou mightest have had a new light, whereby 
thou mightest have come to see things which thou never sawest before, yet 
thou mightest not have had a new' understanding. They of whom the apostle 
speaks in Heb. vi. 4, were enlightened anew indeed, but yet they were not 
renewed in the spirit of their minds, for that is proper only to the godly, 
who never fall away ; it is peculiar to them alone, as to have a new light, 
and new objects, so to have a new eye. 

Use 4. See and admire the great and wonderful work which God effects 
in regenerating our natures. How great and difficult is the work of grace, 
wherein Christ must not only be at the trouble, and cost of purchasing, by 
his blood, truths to be revealed, but he must send his Spirit to reveal and 
bring them to light, and then he must be at the cost to set up a candle by 
which to read them, and when all is done, he must find yqu eyes with which 
to read. And then he must also take the pains to teach you himself; he 
cannot set under-ushers to do this office, but when you have eyes given, you 
must be all taught by himself too. 

VOL. X. M 


If the knowledge thus of spiritual truths be not in any manner in us, no 
not so much as a power to receive these things savingly into our minds, then 
certainly the work is God's, and wholly his. Men think, indeed, that to 
subdue their affections and to curb their lusts, a great and mighty power is 
necessary, but as for knowledge they think that they have at command 
enough of it, and more than they can tell what to do with, and that it is 
sufficiently easy. But consider that to make thee able to know spiritual 
things savingly costeth God as much as any other work that passeth on thy 
soul, and therefore Paul in every epistle prays for it. Thus he prays for the 
Ephesians, chap. i. 16-18, ' Cease not to give thanks for you, making men- 
tion of you in my prayers ; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 
knowledge of him : the eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that 
ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the 
glory of his inheritance in the saints.' Thus he prays for the PhiHppians, 
chap. i. 9, ' And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more 
in knowledge and in all judgment.' Thus he prays for the Colossians, chap. 
i. 9, ' For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray 
for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will 
in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.' And therefore, whenever thou 
goest to God in prayer hereafter, forget not to ask this eye-salve of him : 
Rev. iii. 18, 'I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou 
mayest be rich ; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that 
the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and anoint thy eyes with eye- 
salve, that thou may see.' What is that but his Spirit to anoint thine eyes, 
that thou mayest see things aright, and judge of things that differ '? Re- 
member that Christ is a prophet for thee as well as a king and priest, and 
that when all his benefits are reduced but to four heads, wisdom is put in as 
one, and one of the chief also : 1 Cor. i. 80, 31, 'But of him are ye in 
Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctification, and redemption : that, according as it is written, He that 
glorieth let him glory in the Lord.' 



Of that corruption which is in the practical judgments of unrciianerale men. 


The nature of practical knowledge explained. — The different jadrfments tohich 
men nuregenerate and regenerate have of spiritual things. 

I HAVE proved that the mind and understanding is corrupt ; that it is dark 
as to any apprehensions of the things of God ; I have explained -wherein 
this blindness consists, and what are the causes of it ; I have described the 
difference there is between the speculative knowledge of a godly man and 
of one nuregenerate ; it now remains that I should plainly draw the lines 
of difference that is between the practical judgments, or working knowledge 
of one and the other concerning spiritual things. This is necessary to be 
done, because men whose minds are not renewed by the Spirit of God have 
some kind of judgment or practical knowledge about divine ti'uths, which yet 
doth not arise to that knowledge which the regenerate have, and also because 
that the chief end of these truths, if known aright, is to operate on our hearts 
and to set them a-work. 

Now herein, that I may carry things clearly before me, it is necessary that 
I lay open to you, 

First, In general the nature of that kind of knowledge which we call prac- 
tical, that is, which works in and upon a man's will and affections by what 
we know; and then, 

Secondly, Come particularly to shew the difference which is between this 
kind of knowledge in one who is savingly enlightened, and another who is 

First, In the general, to explain what practical knowledge is. It is said 
to be so in two respects. 

1. Then knowledge is practical, when it affects, moves, and stirs the will 
and affections to the thing which it knows. I put in this, to the thing which 
it knows, to set one difference between it and barely knowing knowledge. For 
in speculative knowledge our minds are wholly taken up and delighted with 
the bare knowledge and speculation of the thing ; and though the knowledge 
may and doth affect us, for it produceth such a pleasure, yet not the things 
which we know. But when we know things in that manner as that our wills 
and affections are moved and stirred to the things themselves, as well as to 
the desire of or delight in the knowledge of them, it is called practical know- 
ledge. Or, 

2. It is called practical when it is such a knowledge as is able to guide, 
manage, and direct our wills and affections, and other faculties in us, in the 
practice and exercise of such actions, whereby we may come to enjoy the 
thing which we desire. To give an instance by which this may the more 
fully be cleared to you ; — 


A man may liavo learned the art of music, and know how songs are made, 
and all the rules of harmony by which they arc composed, and he may be 
much delighted with this knowledge, and yet not have a mind to have a 
lesson played, nor be much affected if he hear one, but he rests satisfied 
barely in the knowledge of the art itself. This now is a bare knowing 

Another man, who knows not so well the art of music, yet when he hears 
a lesson he understands the harmony, and is pleased and much affected with 
it. This now is a practical knowledge, an affecting knowledge, because by 
it his affections are carried to the thing itself perceived. 

But yet, thirdly, it is a new business to teach this man, thus affected to 
music, the art of playing upon an instrument, and to instil into him such a 
knowledge and fancy as may guide his fingers aright to play a lesson which 
he understands, the art of which consists more in knowledge than in nimble- 
ness of fingers. This also is a farther degree of practical knowledge. 

Now, to apply this to things spiritual, 

A man may have the whole frame of divinity and of spiritual truths in his 
head, and yet they may have no influence on his heart. He may have a 
form of knowledge and yet feel no power of it : Rom. ii. 20, ' An instructor 
of the foohsh, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and of 
the truth in the law.' lie may have a pattern of wholesome words, 2 Tim. 
i. 13, and yet have no experience of the things signified by them. Nay, he 
may be much delighted with such knowledge, and not have his heart affected 
with the things themselves which he knows in divinity. Though he knows 
what the true nature of love to God is, and of hatred of sin, yet his heart is 
not excited to love God or to hate sin. Though he knows Christ and grace, 
yet he doth not love, nor desire them, nor dehght in them. Now this is a 
mere knowing knowledge. 

But when he hath such a knowledge, as both works upon his mind and 
will, and stirs them and inflames them to those things which he knows, and 
makes him earnestly desirous of the attainment of God's favour and love, 
and of Christ's righteousness, &c. ; and also sets him a-work, and guides him 
in those practices, ways, and means which God hath appointed for the 
attaining of them, sach as faith and repentance, so as he knows how to 
do them, and how to frame himself and all in him as instruments in the 
practice of them ; both these kinds of knowledge are called practical 
knowledge, and the one of them you may call affecting knowledge, and the 
other guiding knowledge. And you shall find in Scripture such a knowledge 
spoken of as causeth you to love the things you know according to the worth 
of them. Thus, there is a knowledge to love the things which are excellent : 
Phil. i. 9, 10, ' And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and 
more in knowledge, and in all judgment ; that ye may approve things that 
are excellent ; that ye may be sincere, and without offence till the day of 
Christ.' And there is a knowledge, too, which guides you in doing such 
duties, whereby you may attain those things which are excellent, as is plainly 
supposed in Jer. iv. 22, ' For my people is foolish ; they have not known 
me, they are sottish children, and they have none understanding : they are 
wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.' There is a know- 
ledge implied in this text to do good. 

Now, unregenerate men may and do come to have such a knowledge of 
spiritual things as affects them with the things which they know, as thoso 
hearers which are represented by the stony ground in the parable, received 
the word with joy : Mat. xiii. 4, 5, 20, 21, ' And when he sowed, some seeds 
fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up : some lell 

Chap. I.] in rkspect of sin Aii.) punishment. 181 

upon stony pkces, where they had not much earth ; and forthwith they 
sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. But he that received 
the seed into stony places, tlie same is he that heareth the word, and anon 
with joy receiveth it : yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a 
while ; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by 
and by he is offended.' And they have also such a knowledge which directs 
and acts them in many holy practices, as Herod, enlightened by the preach- 
ing of John the Baptist, did many things : Mark vi. 20, ' For Herod feared 
John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him ; and 
when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.' It is then 
needful to inquire into the difference of this knowledge, as it is in a person 
regenerate and one who is not so. 

1. I will begin to examine the difference in that knowledge which affects 
them with the things that they know. And, 

First, In general, I will assign the reasons and causes how and why we 
come to be affected with the things which we know, by our knowledge of 
them. There are two things concur to this. 

1. We are tlien ntlected with the things which we know, when we look 
upon them and consider them not only as good, but as things of which we 
are persuaded that they are good for us, and that they concern ourselves, 
and make for our own ends, purposes, and desires. Observe it in your own 
hearts when you will, and you shall find that you pass by many things, which, 
though you know to be good, yet you regard them not ; but when your mind 
lights on anything which it apprehends suitable to your present purposes 
and desires, then you are affected with it, and presently seize on it. As 
it is not every stone, though a good one, that will move, and draw the iron 
after it, but the loadstone only, because it hath a particular affinity, likeness, 
and sympathy unto iron in nature, and that stirs the iron presently ; so is it 
as to the objects of the mind. It is not what is good, but what hath a suit- 
ableness to our thoughts and desires, and what we apprehend to be best for 
ns, which stirs us. The devils know the blood and death of Christ to be the 
only remedy against sin and its guilt, and the only means to purchase the 
greatest good ; but because this is represented to them no way in relation 
to them, nor as concerning them at all, therefore they are not moved at the 
news of it ; so that practical knowledge is such as convinceth and persuadeth 
the mind that a thing is good and best for us. But, 

2. If besides this conviction by reason, there accompany this persuasion 
a real taste, relish, and sense of the sweetness, goodness, and worth of the 
thing which we apprehend good for us, let in at our understandings, so as we 
really find, taste, and perceive it to be so, then we are stirred and affected 
indeed with it. And where this is wanting, though there be a large convic- 
tion that the things are good for us, yet since this is but from bare and naked 
apprehensions taken up from others, without our own tasting them to be so, 
this conviction, though it may breed some lazy desires and faint wishes in 
ns, yet none of them so strong as to be lasting. And therefore we shall find 
by experience that if two things, whereof one hath less goodness, be presented 
to us, yet if we have a real taste and sense of the goodness of it let into the 
soul, it moves us more than the naked relation or consideration of that thing 
which is of greater worth, whereof we have not a taste; as the sight or taste 
of a piece of the meanest bread stirs an hungry man's appetite more than 
the empty narrations of the greatest feast. And therefore still you will find 
that all the reasons and motives which sway with you, and effectually move 
you, may be resolved into some principle or conclusion whereof you have had 
a real sense and taste, and all the reasonings built thereon move in the force 


and power of it. And the reason of this is, because indeed nothing moves us 
but reahties, for our wills and affections are real things, and full of weight ; 
and therefore it must be a real taste of the goodness of things -which moves 
them, and not mere notions, and pictures, and empty descriptions of things 
by words. Such as is the cause, such will be the effect ; and therefore a 
mere notional knowledge will not work really upon us, but notionally only. 

That knowledge, then, which works upon us, hath a taste and real sense of 
the things known joined with it. And indeed God hath placed wisdom and 
understanding in men to supply that office to the will and affections whicli 
the tongue doth to the appetite and stomach, to take a taste of things, and 
to relish their sweetness, and to discern what goodness is in them, and so 
to admit and receive them. To be wise, therefore, and to taste, are signified 
by the same word in the Latin tongue, viz. sapere, and so in the Greek too 
some have translated <p^on7v, to savour or taste; in Rom. viii. 5, ' For they 
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh ; but they that are 
after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.' Some interpret the ^Aord (p^o-joZoi, 
do taste, savour, or relish the things of the flesh. And Elihu, speaking of 
knowing things, says that the ear tries words as the mouth tastes meats : 
Job xxxiv. 3-4, ' Hear my words, ye wise men ; and give ear unto me, ye 
that have knowledge : for the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. 
Let us choose to us judgment ; let us know among ourselves what is good.' 
And so taste and knowledge are joined together in Psalm xxxiv. 8, ' taste 
and see that the Lord is good : blessed is the man that trusteth in him.' 
And tasting, and being enlightened, are also put together : Heb. vi. 4, 5, 
' For it is impossible for those who were once 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 ;' that is, 
who are so enlightened as also to take in a relish of the goodness and sweet- 
ness of the things. This only is to be added, that there are some things 
whose goodness our understandings taste immediately, as the pleasures of 
the body, which yet, because the soul (where judgment hath its seat) receiveth 
them in, therefore the soul by the understanding judgeth them good, and so 
may be said to taste them, and this is scievtia gustus, a knowledge of taste. 
There are other things ^^hich the judgment itself immediately tasteth, as 
honour, credit, revenge, &c., and finds a sweetness in these, as our senses 
do in other objects. And the reason why God hath given the mind this 
power of tasting things is, because otherwise it could not come to know the 
sweetness of things as they are in themselves ; as a man cannot be said to 
know truly the sweetness of meat unless he hath tasted it, because till then 
be knows it not with that sense which is made to receive the sweetness of 
it, and discern it, and make report of it to the rest. So a blind man is not 
said to know colours, unless he apprehend them as they are to be apprehended 
by their proper sense, which is sight; and so the understanding tastes its 
objects as well as the senses do. 

Now, then, to apply all this unto spiritual knowledge, as there is a good- 
ness and sweetness in spiritual things, even the greatest, so this is no way 
to be tasted but by means of the understanding, neither is the soul ever to 
purpose eflected with them till it tastes their goodness and sweetness : 
1 Peter ii, 2, 3, 'As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, 
that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that fhe Lord is gracious.' 
We are there said to desire, if so be that we have tasted how good the Lord 
is, or otherwise our desires are not stirred. And so the apostle Paul prays 
for the Philippians, that love may abound in them, so as to approve the 
things which are excellent, and with affectation to discern things that differ ; 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 188 

and how was this to be ? In spiritual knowledge and sense, for the word is 
doxifjbdl^iiv : Philip, i. 9, 10, ' And this I pray, that your love may abound 
yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment ; that yc may approve 
things that are excellent ; that ye may be sincere, and without oflence, till 
the day of Christ.' ' In all judgment,' i.e. in all sense ; that is, as truly and 
really to perceive the goodness of things spiritual by a true and proper sense 
and taste, as senses have perception of their objects. And therefore also 
that knowledge which a regenerate man hath of good and evil is called exer- 
cising of his senses : Heb. v. 14, ' But strong meat belongeth to them that 
are of full age, even to those who by reason of use have their senses exercised 
to discern both good and evil.' The word is didx^itsig ; and so the sight of 
God is joined with a taste of his goodness in Psalm xxxiv. 8, ' taste and 
see that the Lord is good : blessed is the man that trusteth in him.' It is 
of this kind of knowledge too that Christ speaks to the woman of Samaria : 
John iv. 10, ' Jesus answered and said unto her. If thou knewest the gift of 
God, and who it is that saith to thee. Give me to drink; thou wouldst have 
asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.' ' If thou knew- 
est,' saith he, 'the gift of God,' i.e. the water of life, which is known as 
water useth to be by the taste and sweetness of it, ' thou wouldst have 
asked it.' To this purpose also Solomon speaks in Prov. xxiv. 13, 14, 
' My son, eat thou honey, because it is good ; and the honey-comb, which 
is sweet to thy taste. So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul : 
when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation 
shall not be cut off.' The knowledge of wisdom is both a sweetness at the 
present, which revi-ards it, and hath an expectation of a future good, of which 
it shall not be disappointed. Thus likewise in Isaiah the prophet, speaking 
of that excellent spirit of wisdom wdiich is in Christ, expresseth of him that 
he shall be of a quick scent or smell in the fear of the Lord : Isa. xi. 3, 'And 
shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord : and he shall 
not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his 
ears,' as it is in the Hebrew. And the apostle, speaking of spiritual things, 
expresseth that they have a savour which goes along with them : 2 Cor. ii. 14, 
' Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and 
maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.' 


How far m.en unregenerate apprehend and judge the goodness of sjnritual things. 
— How far it all comes short of the knowledge and judgment vjhich a holy 
soul hath of them. 

These things in general being premised, I now come more particularly by 
the application of these generals, to inquire out the true difference of this 
affecting knowledge as to spiritual things in the regenerate and unregenerate, 
so as to discern wherein true sanctifying knowledge, as it affects the heart in 
a different manner from any other, consists. 

1. Let us examine how far unregenerate men apprehend and judge spiri- 
tual things to be good. 

2. How far they judge them good for them. 

8. How far they taste them and their goodness. 

1. How far do unregenerate men apprehend and judge spiritual things to 
be good ? It cannot be denied but that they may in the general apprehend 
spiritual things to be good, and the best things too. This much is implied 


in that heathen speech of Medea in the poet, That she saw and judged other 
things to be better than what she practised.* And Balaam's magnifying the 
blessed state of the righteous, evidently argues the same thing : Num. xxiii. 
10, ' Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part 
of Israel ? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be 
like his.' Now, the apprehension of that good which manifests itself in 
persons truly godly, and how happy they are and shall be, may aflfect wicked 
men with such thoughts and wishes as Balaam had, to envy and desire their 
condition. And so, on the contrary, they may judge and esteem the ways 
of sin the worse ways of the two, when in the general they are compared 
one with the other, and yet choose and practise them for all that ; knowing 
the judgment of God, and that what they do deserves death, and therefore 
that the things are evil, yet they will do them : Rom. i. 32, ' Who knowing 
the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of 
death, not only do the same things, but have pleasure in them that do them.' 

Yet this, for difierence sake, is to be added even concerning their appre- 
hension of the goodness of these things in the general, that it is one thing 
to assent unto that goodness, which is said to be in and is spoken of things, 
whilst it is no otherwise represented than in a bare general proposition, and 
another thing it is to assent to their goodness when the things themselves 
come to be presented in real performances and enjoyment. An unregene- 
rate man may, and oftentimes doth strongly assent to all the goodness which 
is, or can be said of spiritual things, whilst it is but represented in a mere 
notion, and in expression of words propounded in the abstract, but when 
thS things come to be acted or enjoyed, he is unable to apprehend them as 
good. It is thus too in other instances, for take the veriest coward in 
the world, and commend, and set out true valour to him, and tell him what 
noble and heroic actions the great commanders of the world have done, and 
what a glorious thing it is to imitate them ; he assents to all that is thus 
said, or can be said of them, and as truly joins in magnifying all as the 
noblest spirit doth, yea, and his spirit is much raised with this fair idea of 
heroic virtue, wishing that he were like them, and might have the honour of 
such achievements. His mind is elevated and stirred by the representation 
as well as the noblest spirit ; but let him be brought into the wars, and let 
the least of the like brunts and encounters in which those heroes were en- 
gaged look him really in the face, his apprehensions, and esteem of the 
excellence of valour, and of the glory of a conqueror, sinks and falls, and 
vanisheth into base thoughts of saving his skin whole, though it be with 
shame. Such difference is there between our apprehension of the goodness 
of things conceived in the abstract notion and mere idea, and our thoughts 
of the same things when they come to be acted. As the man in the fable 
who wished for death, but when death came to him, really appearing, he 
wished him gone again. 

To apply this now to our present purpose. Take an unregenerate man, and 
he will acknowledge the holy duties of the law to be good. To sanctify 
the Sabbath in the strictness of it, to have our speeches savoury, to pray 
with our families, to contemn the world, to deny ourselves, to be patient in 
afflictions ; such dispositions and actions as these, whilst viewed and con- 
ceived in mere abstract propositions, and in the notion, as you hear of them 
in sermons, are accounted most amiable, excellent, and worthy ; and so they 
are acknowledged, and you resolve to do them ; as wholesome and good laws, 
when propounded in parliaments, and viewed only as they are yet in black 

* Meas aliud suadet, virleo meliora proboque, 
Deteriora sequor.— Ovid. Metamorph. lib. vii. 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 165 

and white, are assented to and applauded. But when any of these holy 
practices come really and particularly to be done hy you, or when they 
appear in the lives of others in the concrete, any of you who are unregene- 
rate want light to see, judge, or acknowledge them to be good and excellent 
indeed and in truth; and though to the notional abstract goodness of them, 
as barely in the thesis, your consciences may and do still assent, yet to the 
real goodness of them they do not, but they hate it, and fly in the face of 
it, or account it folly and madness, and accordingly despise and vilify it. 
Thus, also, when the blessed condition of the saints, and heaven, and the 
glory of it is painted lively, and set out to men in a quick representation, 
and so they apprehend in the notion and idea all those glorious things which 
are spoken of that city of our God, who desires not, as Balaam did, to 
die the death of the righteous, if they might but go thither ? But were it 
possible that an unregenerate man should be admitted into heaven, admitted, 
if I may so speak, but upon trial and liking, as some monasteries admit 
their novices ; yet, when once those pure and undefiled beams of light, which 
kindle joy that passeth understanding in the spirits of just men made pure 
and perfect ; when once, I say, those beams should come to be darted upon 
the eyes of his understanding, and by those windows be let in upon the rest 
of his soul, he would not be able to behold them, he could not endure them, 
but would seek to shun them, more than the night owl doth the day. 

2. But if they could assent to their real goodness, as well as they did to 
it when appearing in the notion only, yet unless they be able to apprehend 
it thus to be truly good /or them, that knowledge works not to any purpose. 
Though a sore eye may have sight enough to judge the light in itself to be 
good and amiable, and that it is a pleasant thing, yet it cannot judge it so 
lor itself, for it vexeth it ; so suppose an unregenerate man could assent 
that indeed spiritual things, when really represented, were the best, yet he 
could not judge that they were the best for hira. Though upon considera- 
tion he may think, that to draw near to God, and to live upon communion 
with him affords the truest pleasure, yet his heart being carnal, and so not 
having any gust of this spiritual pleasure, he cannot judge it to be the best 
for him. Bat David's heart and sense being spiritual, he could say really : 
Ps. Ixxiii. 28, ' But it is good for me to draw near to God : I have put my 
trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.' It is as if he 
should have said, I account it my present happiness, and what is best for 
me now to do, and I can wish no other happiness than to live in the pre- 
sence and enjoyment of God day and night. But no unregenerate men have 
such thoughts and judgment, of which we have an instance in Balaam, whose 
heart being carnal, and his wisdom sensual, though he judged the state of 
the righteous better in itself than his own, yet for the present, while he could 
in this world enjoy the pleasures of sin, he desired it not, because indeed 
he knew not how he could find at present more comfort in that condition of 
the righteous, than in the pleasures of sin and wages of unrighteousness : 
2 Pet. ii. 13-15, 'And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they 
that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime : spots they are and blemishes, 
sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you ; 
having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin ; beguiling un- 
stable souls : an heart they have exercised with covetous practices ; cursed 
children : which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following 
the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteous- 
ness.' When Balaam indeed should die, and must then part with all these 
things in this world which he loved and admired, which are but for a season, 
and must then receive death, the wages of all ; it is then he desires the death 


of the righteous and to possess their happiness : Num. xxiii. 10, * Who can 
count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel ? Let 
me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.' 

Now the reason of all this is, because a man judgeth those things best for 
him which are most suitable those dispositions with which his spirit is 
seasoned, and which most answer his present desires, purposes, and aims. 
For that happiness which we find in things ariseth from their suitableness 
to us, and not merel_y out of the goodness of the things themselves. There- 
fore, though we may apprehend the things in themselves best of all ; yet, if 
we do not perceive them suitable to us, we cannot judge them good for us, 
as the cock in the fable, who preferred a barley-corn before a diamond, be- 
cause that he could eat, but the other could not feed him. Thus a man who 
is sick, though he knows that solid meat is sweeter and better to a man in 
health, yet he cannot judge it to be so for him, as long as his palate remains 
vitiated, and his stomach distempered. Now the Scripture tells us that the 
wisdom of all unregenerate men is thus depraved: James iii. 15, ' This wis- 
dom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devihsh ;' that all 
their perception and judgment is seasoned with nothing but flesh, and so 
vitiated: Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity against God : for 
it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' And now then 
it is no wonder if they judge the things of the flesh to be better for them, 
because more agreeable to their corrupt senses and appetites. 

Obj. If now it be further asked, and the case put, and query made, That 
though indeed a man unregenerate cannot apprehend spiritual things as good 
for him in the condition wherein he is, yet knowing, that to one whose soul 
is restored to health and grace, spiritual things are better than the pleasures 
of sin, he maj therefore judge that so they would be to him, if he was once 
renewed in his mind; and from this judgment of the thing, he may come to 
be set on work to seek, and desire it. As a man that is sick, though he 
cannot now judge meat to be best for him while he is so, j-et he may judge 
that in health it may be so, and so desire to have it, -when he shall be re- 
stored to that condition. 

Ans. To this I answer, It is true that such a notional apprehension and 
conviction he may have which may thus work, yet it is not strong enough 
so to afiect him as to overcome the difficulties, and to sweeten the use of 
the means, by which they ma}' obtain that good, as in a regenerate man it 
doth. For, though in the general and abstract notion, they apprehend all 
which is mentioned in the objection, yet really and truly they do not affect 
the thing itself, for when the means of gi'ace come to be used, which should, 
as physic, restore them to that health, their judgments disapprove, and dis- 
like even them, and they do not, nor cannot judge it best to use them con- 
stantly, and diligently. That phj'sic which should expel the noxious humour, 
and recover them, they cannot get do^vn, though they should die for it, be- 
cause their palates and their stomachs are both against it. In a word, though 
they conceive spiritual things to be tru3, and good, and some desires of pos- 
sessing them ma}' be stirred, yet when come to the point, and must use 
means to obtain them, then upon the trial, it appears that all their appre- 
hension, and judgment, doth not, nor cannot really affect them to purpose ; 
for their minds disallow, disapprove, distaste, and fight against all the means 
of their own recovery, or of the acquisition of these desired good things, and 
both their palates and stomachs, their judgments and wills, rise against the 
means and workings of grace in them, and cannot but do so. They cannot 
be brought to get the healing physic down, or to keep and retain it, though 
they know that otherwise they must die. The wisdom of their flesh is 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 1S7 

enmity against Goil, and his law, and bis grace, and all the means of it, 
Rom. viii. 7; and therefore, this wisdom is death, because it thus resists the 
means of life. Thus, they cannot judge the use of the means to be good for 
them, when really they come to use them ; nay, the very light and workings 
of the Spirit of God in their reasonings, their reasonings oppose : 2 Cor. x. 
4, 5, ' For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through 
God to the pulling down of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and 
every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring- 
ing into captivity every thought to the obedience to Christ :' And what is 
the cause why they do thus ? Because nothing can judge, and judging, 
desire the destruction of itself, and therefore abhors any mixture of its con- 
trary ; and therefore flesh, and corrupt nature, which possesseth the judg- 
ments of men unregenerate, cannot pass such a sentence, as to judge the 
state of grace better for it, so as to set him efi'ectually on work to seek it, 
and to admit of it, for that would be to the ruin of itself. As though water 
be a baser element than fire, yet when fire comes to change it into itself, the 
form of water will hold its own, and make the utmost resistance, and cannot 
but do it ; so it is in this case too. 

A stronger instance of what I have said cannot be given than is to be found 
even in a man regenerate, who, though he hath grace begun in him, and 
knows, not notionally only, but tastingly and really, the pleasm-es of that 
state to be greater and better than those of sin, yet still so far as he is un- 
renewed in his judgment, and the spirit of his mind, so far doth that fleshly 
mind approve the ways of sin as best, and the ways of grace as of less worth, 
and the renewed part in his mind fights against the means of grace in a man's 
own heart, and disallows of them as if they were not best for him. How 
much more then must his mind, and judgment, who is nothing but flesh, and 
who never tasted that the other state is better, and who never came in that 
full manner to assent unto this indeed, that the estate of grace is best for 
him, how much more, I say, must his judgment and heart fight against 
these things. 

3. Last of all, though notionally an unregenerate man may be convinced 
that the other state of grace would be better for him, yet because he wants 
a judgment of taste of the betterness of it, he cannot strongly be aftected to 
it, so as to leave those things of which he hath always had so sweet a taste, 
in exchange. To prove this we need go no farther than the' instance of the 
young man in Mat. xix. 16-22, ' And, behold, one came and said unto him. 
Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life ? And 
he said unto him. Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, 
that is God : but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He 
saith unto him. Which ? Jesus said. Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt 
not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal, Thou ^halt not bear false witness. 
Honour thy father and thy mother : and. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself. The young man saith unto him. All these things have I kept fi-om my 
youth up : what lack I yet ? Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, 
go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have trea- 
sure in heaven ; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard 
that saying, he went away sorrowful ; for he had great possessions.' He 
had a great conviction of the goodness and excellence of salvation, and he 
notionally knew it better than all the world, and not in itself only, but for 
him if he could attain it, and therefore he comes earnestly to make the ques- 
tion. What shall I do to be saved ? and he comes with a seeming resolution 
to do anything which Christ should enjoin ; but yet, when it came to the trial, 
he would not buy his eternal life so dear, as at the price of all that he had 



ia the world, because he had not such a real taste of the pleasure and sweet- 
ness of that life as might prevail on him so to do. He had not (I say) such 
a lively sense of it, as should be sufficient to sweeten the means (which yet 
he inquired for) that were necessary to obtain it ; but he knew, and relished 
really the goodness of his worldly enjoyments, and possessions, which was 
the reason that he could not find in his heart to forego them, and that he 
preferred them above that salvation, whose delights he had never yet really 
experienced. From this cause it was, that all the apprehensions and desires 
which he had of eternal [hfe], though they wrought on him a little, yet in the 
issue came to nothing : ' he went away exceedingly sorrowful, for he had great 
possessions,' which he loved better, and judged better for him than salvation 
itself. For it is not bare conceits, and notional apprehensions of things 
absent not yet attained, which can sway more, or affect us more, than the 
real tasting of present pleasures which are to be foregone. Our wills and 
affections being realities, and things full of weight, it must be a real appre- 
hension and sense that can move and stir them. 

Object. But it will be further objected that it is said of those who fall away, 
:ind therefore were never regenerated, that they are not only enlightened, but 
that they taste the world to come : Heb. vi. 4, 5, ' For it is impossible for 
those who were once 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.' They have tasted the good 
word of God, i. e. the goodness of those things which the word reveals. 

Am. To this I answer, that there is a twofold goodness of the things 
represented in the word, which is revealed to us therein. The one is the 
good which comes by the things, the other is the goodness of the things 
themselves. For as other things, so those which are spiritual too, have an 
intrinsecal, essential, proper goodness and excellency in their own nature, 
severed from all the outward conveniences which proceed from them and 
accompany them. Thus, iu friendship, there are the personal good qualities 
and conditions of the man, and there are besides some outward benefits 
which may haply be gotten by his friendship, as promotion to some desired 
and expected honour and dignity, or freedom from some feared evils, or some 
other ends and use which a man may have of his friend, wherein he may 
stand him in stead. Thus also in marriage there are the personal excellen- 
cies of the wife,* her beauty, and the goodness and amiableness of her nature 
and carriage, and also her virtues and graces which are inherent in her per- 
son ; and there is also her portion and dowry, and the advantageous alli- 
ances which come with her. And so now to speak to the present instance, 
as there is the sweetness of the meat itself, and the sweetness of the sauce 
which it is served up in, so in the word spiritual things are with a double 
goodness propounded and revealed to us. There are the good things which 
come by Christ through believing, as freedom from hell, pardon of sin, peace 
with God, and a happy condition spoken of and promised with it, and we 
are told that we cannot have one without the other ; but besides this, there 
is also the internal excellence, the personal worth, the glory of the things 
themselves, the proper goodness of them conceived in their spiritual nature. 
Now, since the word sets out both these kinds of goodness to us, an unre- 
generate man may taste of the one but not of the other. They may relish 
the sweetness of the sauce with which they are dished up, but not of the 
meat itself. In sin, there is the bitterness of the sauce, that is, the direful 
effects and concomitants of it : horror of conscience, shame, fear of punish- 
ment, and the threatenings and the miseries with which God hath dished 
sin up to all those who shall eat the fruit of their doings ; and this bitter- 

Chap. II.] in ukspkct of sin and ruNisnMiiXT. ISO 

noss of sin wicked meu may and do taste : Jer. ii. 19, ' Thine own wicked- 
ness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall rejjrove thee : know there- 
fore and see that it i? an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the 
Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.' 
But wicked meu never see nor taste the evil that is in sin itself", nor are they 
sensible of it nor moved with it. They see not nor abhor that evil in sin 
which God and holy men do, which puts their mouths out of relish with it 
for ever. For when that bitter sauce is not tasted by the unregenerate, 
when they have not the sense of those bitter efiects in sin, but the same siu 
of which they were afraid and shy before is presented in the pleasure of it, 
without its former tasted bitterness, they fall to it as eagerly and as much as 
ever. In spiritual duties, likewise, there is peace of conscience which ac- 
companies the performance of them, and hence the thoughts of men mav 
excuse and pacify guilty fears upon the doing of a duty, as well as accuse 
upon a neglect of it, or the commission of a sin : Rom. ii. 15, * Which shew 
the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing 
witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one 
another.' Now, this sauce of good duties which satisfies the gnawing worm 
of conscience, an unregenerate man may rehsh, but to the meat itself, the 
goodness of the holy exercise, he hath no mind nor stomach. But Christ, on 
the contrary, delighted in the holy work itself, and found a sweetness in it : 
John iv. 32-34, ' But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know 
not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought 
him ought to eat ? Jesus saith unto them. My meat is to do the will of him 
that sent me, and to finish his work.' Nay, farther, those who are not true 
and real believers on Christ, though they find a sweetness in his benefits, 
yet they see not his own proper excellencies, nor delight in his personal 
goodness. God sets out to us in the word, in and with Christ, freedom 
from hell, discharge from the guilt of sin, and the pardon of sin, which is as 
the sauce to the bread of life and heavenly manna, Christ himself. Now, 
those who never arrive to true faith and holiness, having their mouths em- 
bittered wdth the nauseous sauce of sin, may find sweetness in Christ as to 
these good efiects mentioned, and yet have no pleasing sense of his excellent 
person, of the joys of communion with him, that relish of his love, which 
the church, in Cant. i. 2, says is better than wine ; of that taste of the goou- 
ness of God in himself, of which David so much speaks of: Ps. xxxiv. 8, 
' taste and see that the Lord is good : blessed is the man that trusteth in 
him ;' and Paul intimates, when he says that we do not only rejoice in hope 
of the glory of God, but in God himself: Rom. v. 2, 11, ' By whom also we 
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of 
the glory of God. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.' 

Now, in a word, to shew you the reason of this difi'erence, I need only 
present to you this consideration, that there is in an unregenerate man a 
principle of self-love, which seasons his palate, and his judgment, and there 
is nothing more in him ; but in a person regenerate theie is more, there is 
a new divine spiritual power of discerning spiritual things put in, and super- 
added both to his judgment, and to the self-love in his heart. Now% then, 
that principle of self-love makes men unregenerate capable of tasting the 
goodness and sweetness of the sauce ; that is, those motives and arguments 
which in the word are drawn from the good or evil which we all get by 
spiritual things ; but there being a farther goodness and sweetness in the 
things themselves, which is of a more transcendent nature (for they are 
good not only because they bring us such benefits v/ith them, but they are 


first SO in themselves, and as they tend to glorify God) to relish this aright, 
a principle beyond all that is natural in men, a principle that is congenial to 
God, and his things, and so suited to them, is requisite. Though this is to 
be added, that a regenerate man having self-love, yet rightly tempered, tastes 
of both these kinds of sweetness, which spiritual things aiford, for both meat 
and sauce were made for him. 

From hence also it will now appear by way of inference or deduction, 

1. That even the affecting knowledge of an unregenerate man, which may 
a Uttle stir and warm his heart, is not that true knowledge of spiritual things 
which he ought to have, because he knows not that true, internal, proper 
goodness which is in them, which is indeed to know the thing as it is to be 
known, which also is the apostle's meaning when he says that they are 
spiritually discerned : 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' But the natural man receiveth not the 
things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can 
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,' i. e. in that spiritual 
goodness and worth which is in the things themselves. For as it is in 
affections, so it is in knowledge, that they are not said to be true unless 
they be suitable to the nature of those things which we affect ; thus to love 
a man only for some advantage I may have from him, to love a wife for her 
portion, or to satisfy lust, is not love, it is not said to be true love, because 
it is not agreeable to that which in all these ought principally to be beloved, 
viz. their personal goodness and qualities. Thus neither is our knowledge 
true, unless we know that in the things, which is principally to be known of 
them, for till then the thing is not known as it is. As therefore we shewed 
that unbelievers in their speculative knowledge of spiritual things could not 
be said truly to know them, because they know but the pictures, not the 
things themselves ; so, practically, they know them nof, when they know 
affectionately only the accidental goodness which comes by the things, and 
not the true proper goodness of the things themselves. 

2. It may be inferred, that because they do not taste the proper goodness 
of spiritual things, or because they have [not] a tasting knowledge of that 
<70odness, therefore in this respect also they cannot be said to have true 
knowledge. For here again, unless a thing is known by that knowledge 
which is proper to it, it is not known tnily. A man cannot be said to know 
the sweetness of meat who wants the power of tasting it, because he is not 
able to know it with that sense which God hath appointed to receive it, and 
to make report of it to the rest. A man cannot be said to know music, and 
its charming harmony, who knows only the composure, but never heard a 
tune, because the hearing is the sense which God hath made the judge of it. 
And so though you may know there is a farther goodness in spiritual things 
than what only comes by them, yet if you taste not of that goodness also, 
you may be said not yet to know it, because you want the inward spiritual 
sense, which is homogeneal to them, which is proper to know, and judge of 
them, and which God hath appointed for that office. 


That men nnreqenerate are utterly destitute of that wisdom, and holy skill to do 
qood, which men reyenerate have. — Wherein this wisdom or holy art consists. 
— Proved that ungodly men want it. 

Having thus discoursed of the first part of practical knowledge, which 
influenceth men with affections to spiritual things, and haviog assigned th^ 


difference of this knowledge in those who arc nnregenerate, from that which 
a sanctified mind hath, let us now consider the other part, which guides 
men in the practice of holy duties, which is called wisdom to do good as 
well as to love what is good : Jcr. iv. 22, ' For my people is foolish, they 
have not knowTi me ; they are sottish children, and they have none under- 
standing: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.' 
That we may the better understand this, we must in the general consider 
that to new and holy obodience two things are required. 

1. That our wills, and affections, and the other powers in us, which are 
as instruments and tools to be employed in it, be made fit for such a busi- 
ness and work ; that they be made fit to pray, and to hear, and to sanctify 
the Sabbath, and God's name also in the worship of him, &c. : Eom. 
vi. 13, ' Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness 
unto sin : but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are ahve from the 
dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.' Their 
being instruments supposeth a fit disposition in them for such an use, and 
this fitness, readiness, and preparedness to be used in such services is their 
proper sanctification. 

2. Besides this fitness in them, there is required in the mind or judg- 
ment, wisdom, and skill to manage, turn, and wield these weapons right in 
the practice of holy duties, which is called wisdom to do good, and is neces- 
sary to direct us in the doing it. And by it we walk exactly, not as fools, 
but as wise: Eph. v. 14-17, ' Wherefore he saith. Awake thou that sleepest, 
and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.' ' See then that ye 
walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because 
the days are evil.' ' Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the 
will of the Lord is.' There is a light which we are to receive from Christ, 
needful to instruct us how to take our steps in due order ; there is a wisdom 
required to know how to guide our feet, and to walk : Eph. v. 8, ' For ye 
were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord : walk as child- 
ren of light.' And this is called practical knowledge. I will make the 
thing more clear by some easy example : if a man would fence aright, he 
must not only have fit weapons which are not too heavy for him, and which 
are of a fit fashion to be used, but he must have skill also to know how to 
be able to M'ield them, wherein lies the main of that art. If a man should 
go to play on an instrument, it is not necessary only that he should have a 
hand which is nimble, and quick, and apt to move fast, and to fall readily 
on such stops, which readiness is gained by use and exercise, and to this 
answers the sanctification of the will and affections ; but he must have the 
art and skill also imprinted on his fancy and understanding, which may still 
upon all occasions guide those fingers aright, else he can never play well. 
And the excellency too which men attain in their several trades comes from 
the excellency of their fancies. Thus, in sanctification there is a holy art, 
and skill implanted in the mind to direct the will and affections in all the 
acts of obedience ; and this we call practical knowledge. 

Now to this skill two things concur. 

1. To know all the rules, and fashion, and manner of doing things aright. 
As when a man takes an apprentice he gives him rules, and shews him how 
he should handle those instruments with which he is to work, but yet this 
is not knowledge enough; for a scholar who skills not a stroke of the mecha- 
nical work, and knows not how to turn his hand in it, may learn presently 
all the rules, and yet be as far off the knowledge of the trades as any other. 

2. There is required a practical skill, a sleight, and cunning in the fancy, 


and in the exercise of the hands, which use makes perfect. There is neces- 
sary such a practised art to know the ditference of wares at first sight, or to 
know how to guide the hand in such or such businesses, and to use tools 
proper for the work. 

That we may make application of all this to the purpose in hand. The 
difierence between the practical knowledge which is in a regenerate man, and 
one who is not so, lies in this, 

1. That an unregenerate man wants the skill and holy art to perform reli- 
gious duties, though they may know all the rules of practice as fully as the 
other : James iv. 17, ' Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doth 
it not, to him it is siu.' 2 Peter ii. 20, 21, ' For if after they have escaped 
the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, they arc again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end 
is worse with him than the beginning. For it had been better for them not 
to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to 
turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.' Rom. ii. 20, ' An 
instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of know- 
ledge and of the truth in the law.' Isa. Iviii. 2, ' Yet they seek me daily, 
and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and for- 
sook not the ordinance of their God : they ask of me the ordinances of jus- 
tice : they take delight in approaching to God.' But a godly man, besides 
the knowledge of the rules and ways of righteousness, knows how to walk in 
them ; he hath a particular skill and art of holiness (which an unregenerate 
man wants), as a farther art infused into him to guide his heart in all the 
parts of a godly behaviour, and in the several passages of duties. He hath 
a skill to discern the difference of good and evil, as he finds or meets with 
either of them in his heart and life : Heb. v. 14, ' But strong meat belong- 
eth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their 
senses exercised to discern both good and evil.' He can distinguish true 
and good wares from those which are false, real genuine holiness from what 
is seemingly so, but counterfeit. Indeed, men as to all human faculties or 
arts, get by use a skill in them, besides the rules which they have learned ; 
but this art of holiness is not acquired by custom or exercise, but God puts 
it into a godly man's heart, as part of his stock, the first day that he con- 
verts him, though he may, and doth gain more of it afterward by exercise ; 
so that, though he learns not more rules of holy living than he knew 
before ; yet his skill in praying, or in the performance of any other duty, in- 
creaseth, and this proves it to be a distinct thing from the mere knowledge 
of the rules themselves. As for prayer, let a man have never so many rules 
in his head, yet all these canuut help him to make an acceptable prayer ; but 
there is a farther skill required, called a spirit of prayer, which God only can 
infuse : Zech. xii. 10, ' And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon 
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications, and they 
shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him 
as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one 
that is in bitterness for his first-born.' Rom. viii. 26, ' Likewise the Spirit 
helpeth our infirmities ; for we know not what we should pi'ay for as we 
ought : but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which 
cannot be uttered.' We know not how to pray as we ought ; we cannot 
make a prayer, nor so much as frame one petition ; but it is the Spirit who 
teacheth antl helps us, by giving us this skill, and he alone. And so for the 
love of God too, though we may all know the rules about it, yet we are ig- 
norant of the skill how to produce such an act of love, and turn the will in 
it, and guide it aright, till it be taught us by God : 1 Thes. iv. 9, ' But as 

Chap. III.] in kkspect of sin and punishment. 193 

touching brotherly love, yc need not that I write unto you ; for ye yourselves 
are taught of God to love one another.' And if we cannot love one another 
without being thus instructed, much less can wo love God himself; and 
therefore read through the Psalms, and you shall still find that David hath 
recourse to God for this particular practical skill, though he knew rules 
enough already ; and he asks of God to bestow this art upon him, as being 
the peculiar prerogative of God's people : Ps. xxv. 4, 5, ' Shew me thy ways, 
Lord ; teach me thy paths. Load mo in thy truth, and teach me ; for 
thou art the God of my salvation : on thee do I wait all the day,' He prays 
for instruction : ' Shew me thy ways,' says he. Now, what teaching means 
he ? To have the rules of godly walking only revealed to him ? No ; but 
to have a skill to walk, and to order his steps in his particular actions. 
' Lead me in thy trath' (says he), in the way that I should choose, as thou 
teachest thy saints, and them only, to do : ver. 12, ' The meek will he guide 
in judgment ; and the meek will he teach his way. What man is he that 
feareth the Lord ? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.' 
They only have this secret, and all others are ignorant of it : ver. 14, ' The 
secret of the Lord is with them that fear him ; and he will shew them his 
covenant.' And their light is such as guides them in all their walking : Luke 
i. 78, 79, ' Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring 
from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and 
in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.' God doth 
imprint this skill in every servant and apprentice which he takes, and he 
doth not so to any other. It is in our indentures that he should do so, for 
he hath bound himself by covenant : Jer. xxxi. 33, ' But this shall be the 
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, After those days, saith 
the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, 
and will be their God, and they shall be my people.' And it is a skill which 
all the ministers can never teach you. Our preaching may read lectures to 
you, and fill your heads with rules, which you may be able to teach others 
too ; but the right art of doing duties according to those rules, none can 
teach you but God. This particular skill, or wisdom to do (for as all practices 
of trades lie in a skill of the mind, so doth this also), all unregenerate men 
want : Jer. iv. 22, ' For my people is foolish, they have not known me, they 
are sottish children, and they have none understanding : they are wise to do 
evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.' They are wise to do evil ; 
they have working heads that way, and are perfect masters of that sleight 
and cunning, but to do good they have no practical knowledge at all ; and 
that I take to be the meaning of the phrase, Titus i. 16, ' They profess 
that they know God ; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and 
disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.' They profess to know 
God, and so how to fear him, but are to every good work aoax//a,o/ ; that is, 
* void of judgment,' for so the word signifies, and in that meaning it is taken : 
Ptom. i. 28, ' And even as they did not like to retain God in their know- 
ledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which 
are not convenient.' 'Eig db6-/.ifiov vovv, or to a mind void of judgment, were 
they abandoned. The apostle, in Titus i. 16, shews the variousness or dif- 
ference of their knowledge, from what is in a man godly, that though it be 
of practical things, yet it is not a practical knowledge, which is able to guide 
them. And it is the meaning of the Holy Ghost, in Eom. xii. 2, ' And be 
not conformed to this world ; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your 
mind, that ye may prove what is thn,t good, and acceptable, and perfect will 
of God.' Our minds must be renewed, he to ho-/j[j,dtiiv, to prove and to make 

VOL. X. N 


trial of the will of God, and to try how well we can do it. And that a man 
may know the thing, and all that belongs to its nature and use, and yet be 
ignorant to do it, we have a common instance ; for a man may have all direc- 
tions how to temper such a potion, and what drugs should go into it, but 
to discern what drugs are good, and to have the skill to temper them 
rightly together, is quite another thing, and there is more required to it, for 
a physician, who can do the one, is unable to do the other, and therefore an 
apothecary's business and work is very different from his. Thus now, 
though you may know all the parts of a prayer, and what is to be put into 
your petitions, or thanksgivings, to render them acceptable, yet to know how 
to temper j'our prayers right, to discern true spiritual desires, which may be 
put in, and to distinguish them from such as are carnal and unlawful in 
your hearts, which, if mingled with the prayer, would spoil it, this is a dis- 
tinct art, and is a true Christian's skill. A man who never was at sea, nor 
saw a ship in his life, may know all the art of mariners, and rules of navi- 
gation, which may carry a man on any voyage, for he may learn them at 
home by his own chimney, and yet he would want that skill to guide a ship 
which a poor sailor hath, who knows not so many rules as he. Thus a man 
may be learned in divinity, and know all the rules of a Christian's duty 
and practice, in all conditions of life, and yet when he comes to put these 
rules into action, he may be at a loss how to steer his course aright in any 
one of them. 

Ohj. But you will say, Do not nnregenerate men know how to pray, &c. ? 
Whence is it, then, that they can pray with apparent fervency, and can so 
freely speak their minds in prayer? Why, they put me down quite (will 
many a poor soul say) in zeal, and readiness of expression, and therefore 
they know how to make prayers, as well as to give rules. 

Ans. I answer, there are two things in every duty : the inward work and 
outwork, the inside and outside of it, bodily exercise, as the apostle calls 
it, and godliness, which is the carnage of the heart in the duty. The first is 
but little available, it is the second that hath the force and virtue in it : 
1 Tim. iv. 8, ' For bodily exercise profiteth little ; but godliness is profitable 
unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is 
to come.' There is in a duty, as in the law which commands it, the letter 
and the spirit. There is in the law the outward part of it, and the inward 
spirit, and life, and form of it : Eom. vii. 6, ' But now we are delivered from 
the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in new- 
ness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.' And there is in a duty 
the external performance, which is the oldness of the letter, and the life and 
warmth of the heart, which is the newness of spirit. Now to have gifts 
and skill to perform the outwork, is nothing in comparison ; but the great 
and difficult art is to guide the heart aright in prayer in a spiritual manner, 
so as God, who is a Spirit, may accept it. This skill all nnregenerate men 
in the world want, for they have but a form of godliness, which is no more the 
thing itself, than a picture is a man. Therefore the apostle says in Rom. 
xii. 2, that we must be renewed to know that good, acceptable will of God ; 
TO ayaShv, that good, to know it, i. e. to be able to make such an experiment, 
and trial in performance as to produce a prayer that shall be acceptable to 
God, which no unregenerate man can do. They may put in materials, as 
drugs, M'hich are good, but they spoil all in the tempering, minghng no 
spirits with them. Or, as a painter may have skill to draw the picture of a 
man, but still it is but the outside ; the inward veins and nerves are not visible 
in his piece; or though he may figure them, yet he cannot paint the spirits, 
much less the motions, turnings, and affections, the various postures and 

Chap. IV.J in eespect of sin and punishment. 195 

carriage of the soul in any action, for he wants that divine skill, that plas- 
tic or formative art, whereby God framed us in the womb, and drew and 
limned all these. Thus an unregenerate man may shadow out all the externally 
appearing parts of a prayer, but the inward vital parts he cannot form ; the 
life, and the heat, and the several motions of the soul praying in faith, he 
cannot draw, for he wants the art of the Spirit of God, who doth all this in 
a godly man's heart, when he prays. And therefore, to be able to produce 
such an acceptable piece of work is ascribed to knowledge and light in the 
soul, which is made peculiar to believers, as being the work of the Spirit ini 
them : Eph. v. 8, ' For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light 
in the Lord : walk as children of light ;' Heb. xii. 28, ' Wherefore we re- 
ceiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we' 
may serve God acceptablj', with reverence and godly fear.' The word 
acceptabhj still is used, and this acceptable service chiefly lies in aholy skill 
to manage the mind and heart of a man in the performance of every duty ; 
and this skill is a peculiar light which unregenerate men . have not, and 
therefore know not how to produce the spiritual secret motions of good 
duties, or the carriages of a man's spirit in them. 

It is not enough neither to play the holy lesson, and to strike all the 
strokes with all the graces nimbly and quickly ; but it is requisite to have 
skill to choose out good and true strings, suitable holy affections, and to have 
an ear to discern when they jar or are flat, being not wound up high enough 
(which God's ear regards and takes notice of), and accordingly to tune the 
heart aright. This art is- proper only to . a holy soul, and one unregenerate 
is entirely defective in it. 


Tl vat wicked men, wanting this true uiadom, are fools. — This demonstrated hy' 
considering the nature of wisdom, of all the parts of which ungodly men are 
f roved to he destitute. 

Unto you, men, I call ; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple,, 
understand wisdom; and, ye fools, he ye of an understanding heart. Hear, for 
I will speak of excellent things, and the opening of my lips shall he right 
things.— Vbo\. VIII. 4-6. 

Here are some called fools, and a proclamation is made to them, and it is 
a word so disgraceful as I make no question, that there are many here, who, 
thinking; as they in Jer. viii. 9, ' Are not we wise ?' will be desirous to know 
who are meant. Unto all of us in our state of nature, wisdom proclaims 
this, for her voice is to the sons of men, ver. 4. Because men regard and 
matter it not to be called fool by one who is not wise himself, therefore, 
that they maybe obhged to regard what is declared of them, wisdom itself is 
brought in as making this declaration: ver. 1, * Doth not wisdom cry, and 
understanding put forth her voice ?' Wisdom, with her own voice, proclaims 
us all to be fools. 

Ohs. The words, then, of the text afford us this observation, both of our- 
selves and other men, that all by nature, or in the state of nature, are fools. 
This is the next thing of which I am to discourse, in discovering how de- 
praved men's judgments are by sin, that their minds are emptied of all true, 
solid wisdom, and are filled with nothing but folly. This is here asserted 
of all men in general ; and it is easy to prove, by induction of particulars, 


that those, who, of all others, think they have reason to be excepted out of 
this catalogue, are yet included in it. 

1. Learned men, and those who are the most skilled in human know- 
ledge, and so are accounted the wisest, as they make wisdom their profession, 
yet they are termed fools ; and it is asserted of them also, that in the end 
they prove themselves no otherwise : Rom. i. 21—23, ' Because that when 
they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but 
became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory 
of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and 
to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.' 

2. If we consider the most politic and wisest statesmen, who can rule 
and overturn kingdoms by their wits, yet all their deep wisdom is but folly, 
and comes to nothing : 1 Cor. ii. 6, ' Howbeit we speak wisdom among them 
that are perfect ; yet not the wisdom of this world, or of the princes of this 
world, that come to nought.' 

3. If we look on the most civil sober-carriaged men, who live free from 
the grossest sins, and profess religion, and who are virgins, free from common 
pollutions, and can pray and preach, yet these wanting grace are termed 
foolish virgins, Mat. xxv. 3. 

But again you will ask, What wisdom doth he speak of, and mean, and 
imply that we want, when he thus calls us all fools, for there is much 
wisdom acknowledged in many other places of Scripture to be in unregene- 
rate men ? 

1. They are wise enough in their generation : Luke xvi. 8, ' And the 
Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely : for the 
children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light ;' 
that is, they are wiser in their kind of wisdom, but it is not the best wis- 
dom. As the crocodile is quick-sighted on the land, but dim-sighted in the 
water, so they in earthly things are wise enough, but this their worldly wis- 
dom is foolishness in God's account : 1 Cor. iii. 19, ' For the wisdom of 
this world is foolishness with God : for it is written, He taketh the wise in 
their own craftiness.' God speaks this upon his own knowledge, for he 
knows their thoughts are vain ; they think godly men to be fools : 1 Cor. ii. 
14, ' But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for 
they are foolishness unto him; neither can be know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned.' But God and his saints know them to be so. Now, 
all wisdom is to be measured by God's wisdom, for prmnim in quolibet genere 
est mensura reliquorwn, the first in every kind is the measure of all the rest, 
and God is primarily and originally wise : 1 Tim. i. 17, ' Now, unto the King 
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only vise God, be honour and glory for ever 
and ever. Amen.' Therefore what he esteems foolishness is certainly so. 

2. They are wise enough to do evil, Jer. iv. 22, but ' to do good they 
have no understanding.' A man who can speak well to men, or hath a 
notable cunning head to contrive and bring about any villany, because his 
wit lies that way, is yet very dull in any matter of religion, and is utterly 
ignorant how to pray, or to do God any service which is required of him : 
Ilom. vi. 19, ' I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of 
vour flesh:: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, 
and to iniquity unto iniquity ; even so now yield your members servants to 
righteousness unto holiness.' 

3. They may be so wise as to know much in matters of salvation, when 
yet they are not wise to salvation, which is the true wisdom recommended 
to us by one who very well knew what it was: 2 Tim. iii. 15, 'And that 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 197 

from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make 
thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.' 

And now, again, you will ask. How came we thus to be all fools ? The 
answer is easy and ready, we were all born so : Job xi. 12, ' For vain man 
would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt ;' which of all 
creatures is the most dull and stupid. But, what ! were we all made thus ? 
No, certainly. We are not fools of God's making, for he created us in his 
image, which especially consists in knowledge and true wisdom : Col. iii. 10, 
* And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the 
image of him that created him.' How, then, hath man, who at first was 
wise, become a fool ? Why, truly, Adam, our great-grandfather, played the 
fool by sinning, which is the greatest folly in the world : Prov. v. 22, 23, 
' His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holdea 
with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction ; and in the 
greatness of his folly he shall go astray.' And so Adam befooled himself 
and all his posterity. Ay, but you will say, many, though they play the fool 
once, yet they become wiser by it. It is true they do so, if they have any 
wit left ; but Adam by sinning quite lost all that he had, and that justly, for 
his sin was in coveting to get more knowledge than was meet for him. He 
would have been as a God, and so he was justly punished with the loss of 
what he had, and aiming at the shadow he lost the substance. But you will 
say, Foolish fathers beget wise children, and therefore, though he was a fool, 
it will not follow of course that we should be so, I answer, yes, it will, 
because that wisdom was given him as a stock and treasure, to be kept for 
us all, and so losing it we of consequence lost it also. 

But that we may farther and more particularly demonstrate unto you the 
folly which is in wicked men, let us consider what true wisdom is. 

1. Wisdom is more than knowledge, and then folly is more than ignorance, 
and many are witty who yet are not wise. The apostle makes this distinc- 
tion between wisdom and knowledge : 1 Cor. xii. 8, ' For to one is given 
by the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the 
same Spirit ;' where by word is meant utterance, and by knowledge a man's 
being conversant about the truths, or falseness of things, but wisdom is con- 
cerned about their goodness or profitableness. That is wisdom's property 
to inquire into, and discern what is best and most advantageous ; and that 
not in the general, but what is so to a man's self. It is the part of a pru- 
dent man (saith Aristotle) rightly to consult about those things which are 
good and profitable to himself. So that as knowledge enlargeth itself to all 
truths, and to whatever may be known to be good in the general, wisdom 
contents itself with those things which are profitable and useful ; so Job 
speaks of wisdom as that which will make a man profitable to himself: Job 
XX. 2, ' Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be pro- 
fitable to himself?' As also Solomon advises a man to be wise for himself: 
Prov. ix. 12, 'If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou 
scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.' That is, if thou have grace and true 
wisdom, it will guide thee, as all true wisdom doth, to such things only as 
tend to thine own good and benefit, and thou wilt be wise to thyself. Now, 
though unregenerate men have never so much knowledge, yet because it 
enlightens not to discern what is good and profitable for them, but their 
lusts carry them to what is hurtful and pernicious, or which profits not in 
the latter end, therefore they are called fools : 1 Tim. vi. 9, 'But they that 
will be rich fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and 
hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.' There we see 
foolish and hurtful lusts are joined together, as being one and the same. 


2. It is not things less profitable, or good for some particular ends only, 
that true wisdom seeks out for and inquires after, but that which is the 
chiefest good, the general universal good, which contains in it all true hap- 
piness, and will stand a man in stead at all times, and upon all occasions. 
This is true wisdom, to search out and pursue such a good as this. Thus 
(Ai'istotle says) he is absolutely a prudent man who reasons and acts about 
a common or general end or good, but he who only exercises himself about 
a particular one, is only prudent in some sort or certain kind. A man may 
be a wise soldier, able to lead an army, but that being but a particular end 
and good, he may be a fool in other things. A man may be wise to get 
riches, or to screw himself up into preferments, which are things profitable 
for a man's self, but yet these serving only for a particular end, and whilst 
a man is in this world, for they avail not at the day of death, therefore even 
such a man proves himself a fool in the end, that he made no better nor 
more lasting provisions for his happiness: Jer. xvii. 11, 'As the partridge 
sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not ; so he that getteth riches, and not 
by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be 
a fool.' But now grace and godliness are profitable for all things, and that 
also at all times : 1 Tinu iv. 8, ' For bodily exercise profiteth little : but 
godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, 
and of that which is to come.' Whether we die or live, whatever condition 
we are or may be in, grace will render us happy. This, therefore, is the true 
wisdom, to seek grace, and the love and favour of God above all things ; 
this is true wisdom, and therefore called wisdom unto salvation, 2 Tim. iii. 
15. Take, therefore, the poorest Christian, the most ignorant and simple 
man, one who is a mere fool in all manner of worldly business, yet if his 
mind be exercised in seeking after the chiefest good, and busied about that 
one thing necessary, the saving of his soul (which one necessary thing Christ 
calls the better part : Luke x. 42, ' But one thing is needful : and Mary 
hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.') He 
is become truly wise, though otherwise a fool. Though he is a fool, he shall 
not err in respect of holiness, when God teacheth him : Isa. xxxv. 8, ' And 
an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of 
holiness ; the unclean shall not pass over it ; but it shall be for those : the 
wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.' Solomon, on the con- 
trary, was a wise man, and used his wisdom to find out what was that good 
for the sons of men, and he went over all pleasures here below ; but, however, 
he was befooled in it, and he laid hold on folly in doing so : Eccles. ii. 3, 
* I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine (yet acquainting mine 
heart with wisdom), and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that 
good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the 
days of their life.' The philosophers also spent all their brains in seeking out 
the chiefest happiness for man, but because they missed it, placing it some 
in riches, some in pleasures, some in honours, &c., therefore herein they 
are proclaimed fools : Rom. i. 22, ' Professing themselves to be wise, they 
became fools.' 

3. True wisdom, as it finds the true and most general good, so it directs 
to the best means for the attainment of this end ; therefore Solomom says 
that wisdom is profitable to direct : Eccles. x. 10, ' If the iron be blunt, 
and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength : but wis- 
dom is profitable to direct.' Now, what are those means? To believe in 
Christ in the first place, and to love and fear God, and to live in holy obe- 
dience, and to serve him sincerely. And to make use of these means was 
the conclusion to which Solomon's wisdom in the end came : Eccles. xii. 13, 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 199 

* Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God, and keep his 
commandoieuts : for this is the whole duty of man.' And accordingly, God 
himself tells us that this is wisdom and understanding, to keep the statutes 
which he hath given to us: Deut. iv. 5, 6, 'Behold, I have taught you 
statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that je 
should do so in the laud whither you go to possess it. Keep therefore and 
do them ; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the 
nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation 
is a wise and understanding people.' And so in Eph, v. 17, ' Wherefore be 
ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.' Prov. 
xxviii. 7, ' Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son : but he that is a companion 
of riotous men shameth his father.' He who knows the ways of wisdom, 
then, is convinced of the necessity of Christ, of regeneration, of faith in 
Christ, and to be strictly holy, and such an one is wise. But he who is 
ignorant of these, and would search out other means of his happiness, is 
a fool. When Solomon would find out the true causes of folly, and wherein 
it consists, for that is the matter of his search, in Eccles. vii. 25, * I applied 
mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason 
of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and mad- 
ness :' when I say he would find out the original and nature of folly, he 
says, ver. 29, * Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; 
but they have sought out many inventions.' That is to say, Man hath been 
80 foolish as to seek other means to be happy than what are appointed by 
God, and so are only true, and right, and ett'ectual. 

4. That wherein especially wisdom consists, is when a man is enabled to 
choose that best end and good, and the fittest and most successful means 
to obtain it. The chiefest part of prudence lies in a due application to work, 
not only to consult, for this wicked men can do, but to judge what is best 
to be done, and to set about the doing it in the properest manner. Thus 
Solomon says, Prov. xiii. 10, ' Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge : 
but a fool layeth open his folly.' A wise man worketh or dealeth with 
knowledge, that is, orders all his actions and works by it, and keeps- himself 
to this as his rule : Prov. xv. 2, ' The tongue of the wise useth knowledge 
aright : but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.' And so we are 
commanded to walk exactly according to rule : Eph. v. 15, ' See then that 
ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.' The word is d-AoifSuig, ex- 
quisitely, exactly, so as not to swerve a tittle from the rule. A wise man 
is enabled with skill to walk according to his pattern, but a fool now cannot 
keep himself to any pattern. Now, then, because all wicked men walk not 
according to the rule of the word, but reject God's commandments, therefore 
they are said to be utterly destitute of all true wisdom : Jer. viii. 9, ' The 
wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken : lo, they have rejected 
the word of the Lord ; and what wisdom is in them ?' And therefore wis- 
dom cries to men as being fools, and reproves them for not choosing the 
fear of the Lord : Prov. i. 20, 22, 29, ' Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth 
her voice in the streets. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? 
and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge ? For 
that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.' 



In xoliat particulars the foJhj of unregenerate men consists. — That they are un- 
capable of considering of things. 

Having thus described to you, only in the general, wherein true wisdom 
consists, I will come to some particulars wherein this folly of wicked men, 
or their want of wisdom, consists and discovers itself. 

1. It consists in an unability to consider of things. 

(1.) In an unability to reflect and consider on their own ways and estate. 
Fools cannot turn the eyes of their minds inward, but as Solomon says, they 
run through the ends of the earth : Prov. xvii. 24, ' Wisdom is before him 
that hath understanding ; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.' 
As beasts and madmen, children, they make no inward remarks on them- 
selves, but pass over their times without reflecting upon the griefs or joya 
which they have had. Their thoughts being dispersed and scattered cannot 
be called in and home to themselves, to consider their condition, and to be 
intent on it. For still as wisdom is wanting, the reflecting power is wanting 
also. It is made one particular of folly not to consider what it doth: Eccles. 
V. 1, ' Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more 
ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools ; for they consider not that 
they do evil.' And truly, such folly is there in the hearts of the unregene- 
rate, their eyes look outward only to things abroad in the world, but they 
call them not in to view their own actions and estates, and seldom or never 
enter into any serious consideration of them : Jer. viii. 6, * I hearkened and 
heard, but they spake not aright : no man repented him of his wickedness, 
saying. What have I done ? every one turned to his course, as the horse 
rusheth into the battle.' They are madmen, and when they turn to the 
wisdom of the just, then, and not till then, they come to themselves, as the 
prodigal did. And indeed the chiefest part of wisdom lies in knowing a 
man's self; and he would be a fool, who minded all business which passed in 
the world, whilst he neglected his own. 

(2.) A fool is uncapable of considering the issues and consequences of 
things, and what will come of such ways and courses which he takes, and 
what will be the end of them. Providence and foresight is the chiefest part 
of wisdom : Prov. xxii. 3, ' A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth 
himself: but the simple pass on and are punished.' A wise man knows 
the paths of drunkards, whither they lead, and that he who lays hold on a 
whorish woman takes hold on hell, and that in choosing sin he chooseth 
death : Prov. viii. 36, ' But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul ; 
all they that hate me love death.' And he knows that to walk in the high 
ways of wisdom, is to depart from hell beneath ; but a fool, he knows not, 
nor considers this : Deut. xxxii. 28, 29, * For they are a nation void of coun- 
sel, neither is there any understanding in them. Oh that they were wise, that 
they understood this, that they would consider their latter end !' Foolish 
man will not consider his latter end, and what condition he will be in at the 
day of death and judgment. An adulterer who is led away, like a fool, by 
his lust, never thinks what will be the sad consequences and bitter fruits : 
Prov. vii. 21-28, ' With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with 
the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an 
ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks ; till a dart 
strike through his liver ; or as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not 
that it is for his life.' But a wise, godly man sees things in the causes, and 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 201 

foresees tho effects ; he sees the punishment in tho sin, whilst a foolish, 
wicked people never consider it, and know not the judgment of the Lord : 
Jer. viii. G— 9, ' I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man 
repented him of his wickedness, sayincj, What have I done ? every one turned 
to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven 
knoweth her appointed times ; and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, 
observe the time of their coming ; but my people know not the judgment of 
the Lord. How do you say. We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with 
us ? Lo, certainly in vain made he it ; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 
The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken : lo, they have re- 
jected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in them ?' 

(8.) A fool is unable to consider fit times, and seasons, and opportunities 
wherein things fall out to him, or are to be done by him. Indeed, to con- 
sider circumstances is the chiefest thing in which wisdom consisteth, as it is 
said of the wise men, that they knew the times : Esther i. 13, ' Then the king 
said to the wise men, who knew the times, for so was the king's manner 
towards all that knew law and judgment.' Ungodly men then are fools, who 
know not the times of their visitation, who do not apprehend when it is the 
day of grace, and when a time of salvation comes : Jer. viii. 7, 8, ' Yea, the 
stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times ; and the turtle, and the 
crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming ; but my people 
know not the judgment of the Lord. How do ye say, We are wise, and the 
law of the Lord is with us ? Lo, certainly in vain made he it ; the pen of 
the scribes is in vain.' The judgment of the Lord ; that is, the season of 
faith, repentance, and conversion, the season of averting God's wrath and 
vengeance from them ; this they know not ; but when God calls to fasting, 
weeping, and mourning, they run out into all excess of riot, and this is their 
great misery: Eccles. viii. 6, 7, ' Because to every purpose there is time and 
judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth 
not that which shall be : for who can tell him when it shall be ? ' But he 
who is wise shall know time, and judgment, and so be safe. There are 
times wherein heaven is offered to them, as there was a time M'hen the king- 
dom might have been settled on Saul ; but they regard them not, as he did 
not consider and discern his opportunity, and so lost it: 1 Sam. xiii. 13, 14, 
* And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly : thou hast not kept 
the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee ; for 
now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 
But now thy kingdom shall not continue : the Lord hath sought him a man 
after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over 
his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded 
thee.' It was his folly made him not discern it. But be who sees his time, 
and opportunity, and strikes in with it : Prov. x. 5, ' He that gathereth in 
summer is a wise son : but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth 
shame.' And therefore an ant is reckoned a wise creature, but the unre- 
generate are fools in neglecting their season of grace. Thus also they know 
not the proper season of duties, when to pray, and when to hear, &c. They 
know not that in the first place they should seek the kingdom of God, and 
then next in order mind their worldly affairs, and follow their callings : Mat. 
vi. 33, * But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and 
all those things shall be added unto you.' They therefore act all things 
rashly, and confusedly ; and this is made the property of a fool ; when he enters 
into the temple, and should hear, then to fall a-reading, or praying, this is 
the sacrifice of a fool, because out of season. 

(4.) A fool is unable to make use of a rule in any particular case. Give 


rules to them, and see what ahsurdities they will commit. Bum vitant vitia, 
in contraria cnrrunt. While they avoid one error, they run into others of 
the contrary extreme. You cannot by any direction teach a fool to make a 
cross. Thus let an unregenerate man have never so much knowledge and 
instruction, yet he is not directed by it in his particular course, to bring forth 
actions pleasing and acceptable to God ; as though you give a fool the exactest 
relations of a way, yet when he comes to make use of them, and to take his 
journey, in every turning or by-lane he mistakes and bewilders himself: 
Eccles. X. 3, ' Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wis- 
dom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.' A fool when 
he walks in the way, all his instructions fail him ; he may tell the way, and 
give it to others, but how to take it himself he knows not. Thus an ungodly 
man, though he is instructed by the word, what the way is wherein he should 
go, yet he will miss it, for he wants the Spirit of God to say to him on all 
occasions, This is the way, walk in it, which is promised to those whom God 
loves, and takes care of: Isa. xxx. 21, 'And thine ears shall hear a word 
behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to 
the right hand, and when ye turn to the left ; ' and as Solomon says, the 
■wisdom of the prudent is to know his way : Prov. xiv. 8, ' The wisdom of 
the prudent is to understand his way : but the folly of fools is deceit,' not 
the way in general only, but his way, wherein he should steer his course. 
And answerably the apostle exhorts us to walk exactly, Eph. v. 15, dx^ilSuig, 
according to a rule. It is not wisdom to understand the will of the Lord 
only, but to be able to walk by that rule ; for a man may get rules, and yet 
not know how to turn his heart or hand to them. 

(5.) A fool is stupid, and insensible, and lays not anything to heart. 
Fools cannot have strong or serious thoughts, for they cannot be intent on 
anything, and therefore they are always merry, and will laugh even at the 
wagging of a straw : Eccles. vii. 4-6, ' The heart of the wise is in the house 
of mourning : but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better 
to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. 
This also is vanity.' The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, to 
sorrow upon every great and just occasion ; but if a fool lays anything to 
heart, they are trifles, the loss of a bauble, or a foolish word spoken ; but 
tell them such a friend is dead, or that the Spaniards are on the coast, and 
they art not all moved. Denounce threateniugs to an adulterer or drunkard, 
and they will soon shake them off, and the most terrible things spoken in the 
word of God sink not at all into them, but they pass on till they are punished 
at last: Prov. xxii. 3, 'A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: 
but the simple pass on, and are punished.' They will lay the loss of trifles 
to heart, but not the loss of God's favour. They will be troubled for petty 
matters, whilst they are not concerned at God's anger, nor the suflerings of 
his people, nor the miseries and ruins of the churches of Christ abroad. 
They do not weigh, nor ponder in their minds, but forget the afflictions of 
Joseph, drinking wine in bowls : Amos vi. 6, ' That drink wine in bowls, and 
anoint themselves with the chief ointments : but they are not grieved for the 
affliction of Joseph.' When God comes with armies into their country, or 
wastes it with fire, or a plague, still they are careless, as those in Isa. xhi. 
24, 25, ' Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Isi-ael to the robbers ? did not 
the Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? for they would not walk in 
his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath 
poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle : and it 
hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not ; and it burned him, yet 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment. 203 

he laid it not to heart.' And indeed it is no wonder that they lay not God's 
judgments to heart, who make light of sin, that deserves, and brings them : 
Prov. xiv. 9, ' Fools make a mock at sin : but among the righteous there is 


That another particular wherein their follij is manifest is in their false jud/j- 
ments. — They deceive themselves in the estimate they make of thinys and 

2. The second main thing wherein the folly of unregenerate men consists 
is their false judgments. In judging and esteeming of what is good and 
profitable for themselves, they are deceived by many false rules. And folly 
or false judging of things is called in the general by Christ, and Paul, judging 
according to the appearance, xar' o-^iv ; that is, according to what things 
outwardly seem to be : John vii. 24, ' Judge not according to the appearance, 
but judge righteous judgment.' And by the apostle it is styled judging, Kara, 
'jtooGU'Trov, according to the first show and semblance of things, the first blush and 
view of them : 2 Cor. x. 7, ' Do ye look on things after the outward appear- 
ance ? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself 
think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.' And again 
it is called by Christ judging, -/.ara edexa, according to the flesh : John 
viii. 15, 'Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man after the flesh ; ' that 
is, according to the outward bark and rind, not piercing into the marrow, 
nor searching the soul of the thing within, the inward virtues and qualities. 
Christ speaks upon occasion of their judging of him by his outside, because 
they saw him clothed with flesh, and hidden under the poor appearance of 
a carpenter's son, encompassed with the same infirmities that men are, 
overcast with disgraces, and soiled with poverty, therefore thought of him 
but as of an ordinary man, and were otieuded at him and his followers. 
And Paul also, in that 1 Cor. x. 7, speaks to the Corinthians upon occasion 
of their false judging of preaching, which they estimated by flaunting and 
outward eloquence ; and because Paul's preaching was rude, and not hand- 
somely dressed up, though full of the depths of wisdom, they contemned 
him. Thus an unregenerate man foolishly judges according to the outward 
face of things, and so is deceived ; as a countryman, who sees the sun, and 
thinketh it to be no bigger than a platter, whenas it exceeds the earth in 
magnitude; he judgeth according to appearance, and not by rules of art, and 
so is mistaken. Now the false rules by which men are guided in thus judg- 
ing are many. 

(1.) They judge those things best for them which are present before them, 
and may presently be enjoyed, though but a while, and are so inconsiderate 
as to prefer them to those that are afar off, and out of sight, and but in 
hopes, though infinitely better, and of eternal duration. They are so foolish 
as to prefer the devil's and the world's present pay above all God's promises, 
and his recompence of reward. They act thus merely out of folly, for wisdom 
only enableth a man to see and apprehend the goodness of things afar oti' and 
out of sight ; but fools, and children, and beasts look only to what is before 
them, and present in their view. Take a child, and look what he hath in 
his hand he will hardly be brought to part with it for all your promises, and 
hopes given him of something better, unless you present it before him to ex- 
change with him, for he wants wisdom to judge of the goodness of what he 


sees not. Hence also it is always one fruit of folly and weakness to be im- 
patient, and that it cannot stay for a thing, wisdom being wanting to content 
and quiet the mind till the thing for which it longs is come ; hence you see 
children and fools, whom nothing but present things will satisfy, cry till they 
see and enjoy what they would have. So this same 7iow, the present time, 
sways all unregenerate men, as it swayed and prevailed with Esau : Gen. 
XXV. 30-32, ' And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that 
same red pottage : for I am faint : therefore was his name called Edom. 
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, 

1 am at the point to die ; and what profit shall this birthright do to me ? ' He 
had a sense of nothing but what might satisfy his present needs and desires, 
and as for his birthright, he thought he should have no use of it till his 
father's death ; it was a thing to come, and a type of heaven, and so he sells 
it. Thus do wicked men sell heaven, and purchase to themselves eternal 
destruction to enjoy present pleasures, or to avoid present sulFerings : 2 Tim. 
iv. 10, * For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and 
is departed into Thessalonica ; Crescens to Galatia, Titus into Dalmatia.' 
There lay the motive and inducement : he had present offers and oppor- 
tunities of riches and preferments, though with the shipwreck of a good 
conscience. Whereas grace enableth a man to bear present inconveniences, 
and to forbear present pleasures, looking to things to come ; so says Paul, 

2 Cor. iv. 16-18, ' For which cause we faint not; but though our outward 
man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light 
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, 
but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are tem- 
poral ; but the things which are not seen are eternal.' For this cause (says 
he) we faint not ; though our outward man perish, though our credit decays, 
our estate consumes, and our strength wastes, yet it is well enough with us 
as long as the inward man is renewed. He judged not according to the 
appearance and outside of things, and therefore though he suffered afflictions 
at present, yet he saw a glory beyond them attending him, and that these 
light afflictions wrought for him that far more weighty glory, while he looked 
not at the things which are seen ; thus he judged. There is the reason of 
all ; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which 
are not seen (says he), thus we judge of our afflictions, and of the glory 
which is to come. And after this rate he speaks also in another place : 
Rom. viii. 18, ' For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not 
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.' 

(2.) Fools are misled to judge of things by the easiness or difficulty of 
attaining them, and they prefer things easy before those which are hard and 
difficult. Fools are presently discouraged if you tell them of bugbears in 
the way, and so are idle and sluggish, and will not stir: Prov. xxvi. 13-15, 

* The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way ; a lion is in the streets. 
As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. 
The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom ; it grieveth him to bring it again 
to his mouth.' A slothful man is loath to bring his hand to his mouth, and 
every slothful man is a fool: ver. 16, ' The sluggard is wiser in his own 
conceit than seven men that can render a reason.' But wise men, knowing 
wisdom to be their strength, are not discouraged with difficulties, but dare 
attempt and venture on great things : Eccles. vii. 19, * Wisdom strengtheneth 
the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city ;' Prov. xxi. 22, 

* A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength 
of the confidence thereof.' Now, to apply this to the purpose, unregenerate 

Chap. VI. J in respect of sin and punishment. 205 

men, because the way to bell is easy, tbey go with the stream of their own 
hearts, and the rest of the world, and they sail thither with a fair wind, and 
need not row much against the stream, and therefore tbey choose this as the 
easier way ; but the way to heaven being difficult, and disgraces, scotl's, the 
enmity and rage of the world, calamities and sufi'erings, being in that way, 
they say a lion is there, and danger, and they will not stir a foot thither, 
Prov. xxvi. 13. They therefore decline those ways all that ever they can. 
They say the cities are all walled which lie between them and heaven, and 
that there are great and armed enemies to stop them in their passage. 
Thug they will say to themselves for discouragement, speaking as the spies 
did to discourage the Jews from going into Canaan : Num. xiii. 28, ' Never- 
theless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, 
and very great : and, moreover, we saw the children of Anak there.' There 
are such great lusts to be overcome (says the man to himself), which will 
require much battering, and much prayer and fasting must be used to cast 
some devils out ; and some lusts are so sweet that there can be no such thing 
as parting with them, some are so strong that there is no throwing them ; 
this is impossible to be done, and it is hard to require it; as the disciple said 
to Christ, when he told them that they must deny themselves all things for 
his sake, ' These are hard sayings.' They will therefore content themselves 
with a common care of serving God, so much as they can perform with ease, 
and as will stand with their lusts. And as for strictness of sanctifying the 
Sabbath, praying privately, and constant keeping down every lust, and fight- 
ing against it, and watching over the heart at all places and times, these are 
hard sayings to them, which they cannot bear, and so they are diverted and 
put ofi' from such holy ways, and condemn such strictness as impossible to 
flesh and blood. This is their folly ; for wisdom is too high for a fool, and 
so he lets it alone as a thing out of his reach, Prov. xxiv. 7. 

(3.) Fools judge of things by their outward adornings, and as they are set 
out to show, those to be the best men who have the gayest clothes. As 
children fancy such books to be best which have the most gays in them, and 
those the best horses which have the most bells and trappings, so do unre- 
generate men judge of themselves and others. Thus they judge of other 
men ; let a man be never so holy, yet if poor, or disgraced in the world, or 
if he hath not great parts, they despise him : Eccles. ix. 15, ' Now there 
was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city ; 
yet no man remembered that poor man.' If the Messiah, if Christ himself, 
come among them, yet if clothed as a carpenter's son, and meanly attended 
but by fishermen, though he speaks as never man spake, and act as never 
man did, yet they are ofiended at him. Our Saviour, speaking to this false 
opinion had of him and his kingdom, says, The kingdom of God comes not 
with pomp, so it is in the original, fj^ira cragar^jfl/^o'swj, but it is within you : 
Luke xvii. 20, ' And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the king- 
dom of God sh6uld come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God 
cometh not with observation.' So they think, too, them the happiest men 
who are most rich : Ps. x. 3, ' For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, 
and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.' They judge them 
most happy who have an afliuence of earthly good, who have fair wives, who 
have preferment or applause in the world, &c. Thus they will judge of 
sermons by the floridness of the words, thus they will judge of the preacher 
by his voice and way of delivery, and that he who makes most noise hath 
most eloquence, and that a discourse is best which hath most flashing, 
flaunting wit, as the Corinthians judged of their teachers, 2 Cor. x. 7. 
They judged according to appearance ; and because Paul was weak and rude 


in utterance, because lie had not a majestic presence and lofty way of speak- 
ing, they regarded him not : 2 Cor. x. 10, * For his letters (say they) are 
weight}^ and powerful ; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech con- 
temptible.' They prefer a tinkling cymbal, him who makes a fine noise 
before him. How far is such a vain spirit from the wisdom of a man godly, 
who as one who comes to a feast regards not the music but the meat, so he 
comes to a sermon not to please his fancy but to feed his soul ! And in all 
other things unregenerate men glory in vanity, and an empty show, as fools 
do in a new gay coat or in a rattle, or anything which makes a noise. They 
rejoice in the applause of the world, in a good bargain, a fair house, more 
than in a good ministry ; in the glory of their town and the state of their 
magistrates more than in the holiness, grace, and gifts of their ministers. 
Thus they have the property of a fool, which is made to consist in glorying 
in outward things: 2 Cor. xi. 16, ' I say again, Let no man think me a fool: 
if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.' 

(4.) Fools judge of things by the quantity, and not the quality and worth 
of them. Thus they use to do both as to magnitude and multitude, gi'eat- 
ness and number of things. If you ofler a fool, or a child, a small piece of 
gold, and a bigger one of silver, or two or three pieces of silver, he will 
choose that which is biggest, or most, not what is most valuable. Thus do 
unregenerate men judge by greatness ; look which way the great ones, the 
rulers do go, look what opinions they hold, what judgment they are of, or 
what courses they take, the same they therefore approve. And as they 
judge of men thus, so also of their own performances. They think for the 
length, and breadth, and bulk of their duties to have them accepted : Isa. 
i. 11, ' To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith 
the Lord : I am full of the burnt-ofierings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; 
and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.' 
When they imagined by reason of the number of their sacrifices to be 
favourably received, to what purpose (says God) is your multitude of 
sacrifices ? 

(5.) Things that are in appearance and show like each other, though in 
worth and virtue difi"ering, a fool cannot distinguish. Brass and gold, be- 
cause both glister, and look of the same colour, both are alike to him. And 
thus is it with unregenerate men, who taking common grace for saving 
grace, because there is a likeness, civility and good nature for the holy 
divine nature, checks of conscience for the combat of flesh and spirit, judge 
that they are well enough as long as they find these things in themselves. 


Their foil y also appears in the ill choice ivhich they viake of things.' 

We are next to consider men's folly as discovering itself in the choice of 
thin<^s. They are very earnest and eager in the pursuit of what is of little 
or no importance, but neglect that which is the main and greatest concern. 

1. They choose to do unnecessary things in the first place, and neglect 
those which are most necessary, and put them off to the last. Is not this 
the part of a fool ? If a man should go to London to get a pardon, or about 
some great suit at law, and should in the first place spend the most or 
chiefest of all his time in seeing the lions at the Tower, the tombs in West- 
minster Abbey, or the streets and buildings of the city, or in visiting friends, 
and put the other off to the last, would he not be a fool ? Christ, who was 

Chap. VII.] in REsrECT of sin and punishment. 207 

wisdom itself, judged it folly in Martha to be busy about many things, and 
to neglect the main, that one thing necessary. It is not necessary to bo 
rich, or learned, or great, though we have cause to bless God if we obtain 
them ; but God's favour, and Christ, and grace are absolutely necessary ; 
therefore, says Christ, * first seek the kingdom of God :' Mat. vi. 33, ' But 
seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these 
things shall be added unto you.' So he, as Wisdom, directs us. 

2. He is a fool who chooseth to commit his happiness to uncertainties, 
rather than the greatest certainty which he might have. How foolish is that 
man, who makes a bankrupt a feoffee in trust for all his estate, who can 
give him no security, but is likely to break and run away, when he might 
have good security for all ? Thus do all unregenerate men, who trust in 
uncertain riches, in their credit and preferments here, as their happiness : 
1 Tim. vi. 17, ' Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not 
high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth 
us richly all things to enjoy.' What is the counsel which the apostle kindly 
gives us, that we should not trust in uncertain riches, which have wings, 
and are like to fly away to-morrow, but in the living God, who gives us all 
things richly to enjoy ? There is a double opposition, riches are not all- 
sufficient, but God is he who gives all things, and that richly. Or if they 
were sufficient, yet they are uncertain ; but God is the living God, This 
accordingly is a motive made of establishing a sure covenant : Isa. Iv. 3, 
' Incline your ear, and come unto me : hear, and your soul shall live ; and 
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of 
David.' I will (says God) make an everlasting covenant with thee, even the 
sure mercies of David, which will never fail thee, as all other things will, 
which have wings, and will leave thee in the lurch. 

3. He who provides not for all conditions, and all times which he is to 
run through, will be found to be a fool in the end, and he to be the only 
wise man who doth so. Therefore Christ called the rich man/oo/, because 
he thought indeed whilst he lived he should do well enough, having goods 
for many years ; but suppose thou, diest this night (says Christ) what a mis- 
taken, disappointed fool wilt thou be ? Then he is proved a fool indeed : 
Luke xii. 19, 20, * And I will say to my soul. Soul, thou hast much goods 
laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But 
God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee : 
then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided ? ' And so to 
the same purpose is Jer. xvii. 9, 10, ' The heart is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked : who can know it ? I the Lord search the heart, 
I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and accord- 
ing to the fruit of his doings.' However a deceitful heart may flatter him, 
and make him presume that he is happy in a present prosperous state of 
things, yet when God comes to try him, and to make a change in his con- 
dition, he will prove him to be a poor deluded fool. But he is called a wise 
man, who makes provisions against all events. Thus, that steward is said 
to have done wisely, who made himself friends, that when his master should 
turn him out of doors, might receive him : Luke xvi. 8, ' And the Lord 
commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely : for the chil- 
dren of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.' 
He did wisely (says Christ) in his generation. And I say to you, make you 
friends here of God, and Christ, and the saints; spend thy strength, money, 
credit, and all for them ; that when you fail they may receive you, that you 
may be welcome to heaven when you are turned out here : ver. 9, ' And I 
say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrichteous- 


ness ; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.' 
That when you are turned out of house, and home, you may have still a 
refuge, come what will, and can come ; that when the tower of your earthly 
greatness, and the magazine of your riches is taken, you may have God as 
a strong tower to run to, and be safe : Prov. xviii. 10, ' The name of the 
Lord is a strong tower : the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.' Thus 
a regenerate, man is truly wise, who provides a refuge, which will serve him 
at all times, and in all estates, and so he can never be miserable. Though 
all things be overturned, he will still fall on his feet, whenas another man 
ventures his all in a false and deceitful bottom. 

4. He who hath not the wit to choose a small present inconvenience to 
avoid a greater for time to come, is a fool ; and he who can suffer a small 
one, thereby to prevent a greater, is a wise man : 2 Tim. ii. 3, 7, ' Thou 
therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Consider what 
I say ; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.' Endure hard- 
ship here a while (says he), labour a while, and sow, expecting reward after- 
ward; and because wisdom only enableth to do this, therefore he adds. The 
Lord gire tJcee understandinf/. This course Moses took, who chose to suffer 
rather than sin : Heb. xi. 24-2G, ' By faith Moses, when he was come to 
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather 
to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin 
for a season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ gi-eater riches than the 
treasures in Egypt : for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.' 
But wicked men who love sin, who regard iniquity in their hearts, choose 
iniquity rather than affliction : Job xxxvi. 21, ' Take heed, regard not ini- 
quity : for this bast thou chosen rather than affliction.' He shrinks at a 
scoff' rather than at being damned, and can be content, and suffer himself 
to be jeered out of heaven, and hissed out of paradise. 

5. He who in his bargains exchangeth away precious things for trifles is 
a fool, and indeed you use to call such fools' bargains, and a fool and a child 
are easily cheated. Well, thus do men sell their time, which is their money 
given them to purchase eternity, and they sell it for things unsatisfying, 
they sell themselves for nought : Isa. lii. 3, * For thus saith the Lord, Ye 
have sold yourselves for nought, and ye shall be redeemed without money.' 
They sell their right in heaven for a mess of pottage, as Esau did : Heb. 
xii. 16, ' Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for 
one morsel of meat sold his birthright.' And they sell themselves, as Ahab, 
to work wickedness. The pleasures of sin are their wages, and they are 
content to sell their souls, and all to enjoy this world. '\Miereas he who 
made over all he had to buy the truths of salvation, that inestimable pearl, 
is called a wise merchant-man : Mat. xiii. 45, 46, * Again, the kingdom of 
heaven is like unto a merchant-man seeking goodly pearls : who when he 
had found one pearl of gi-eat price, he went and sold all that he had, and 
bought it.' But a fool (saith Solomon) hath a price in his hand, and no 
heart to it : Prov. xvii. 16, ' Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool 
to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it ?' He hath a good bargain 
offered him, and as it were pinned to his back, and yet passeth it by. Fools 
are easily cheated, and so is a man who hath no grace, by the devil. If he 
hath heard a sermon, and comes home with his heart fuU-fi-aught with rich 
pearls and treasure, and full of the precious motions of God's Spirit, the 
devil comes and pats worldly cares in his head, and steals the world away, 
and so cheats him : Mark iv. 15, 19, ' And these are they by the way-side, 
where the word is sown ; but when they have heard, Satan cometh imme- 
diately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts : and the 

Chap, VIII.j in respect of sin and punishment. 209 

cares of this world, and the dcceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other 
things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.' 

Their folly is also evident from the event and issue of all their actions. 

The folly of wicked men is not only manifest in their false judgment and 
inconsiderate choice of things, but it is clearly apparent in the event and 
issue of all their actions, which proves them to be fools in the end : Jer. 
xvii. 11, 'As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not, so he 
that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his 
days, and at his end shall be a fool.' 

1. He who doth all things in vain, and so that he will certainly lose all 
his labour, is a fool. It is for this reason the apostle gives the Galatians 
that title, because they went about to invalidate and frustrate all their labour 
in receiving and understanding the truths of the gospel, and all their pains 
in suflfering for the sake of them : Gal. iii, 1-4, ' foolish Galatians, who 
hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes 
Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified among you ? this only 
would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by 
the hearing of faith ? Are ye so foolish ? having begun in the Spirit, are 
ye now made perfect by the flesh ? Have ye suffered so many things in 
vain, if it be yet in vain ?' And thus do all unregenerate men, not profane 
ones only, who take pleasure in sin, and bring forth fruit whereof they have 
reason to be ashamed, — Rom. vi. 21, ' What fruit had ye then in those 
things whereof ye are now ashamed ? for the end of those things is death ; ' 
— but the best of them, who profess religion, and do many duties and 
suffer much for Christ, and have lamps, and seem to watch for the coming 
of our Lord, yet they lose the end of all their labour, and all proves vain for 
want of doing a little more or going on a little further. They fall away at 
last, wanting grace in the heart, and therefore those virgins who had not oil 
in their lamps. Mat. xxv., are called foolish, because though they waited the 
bridegroom's coming, yet they had not grace nor principles in their hearts. 
So to those, too, who tell Christ that they did many things in his name, yet 
all is in vain, because they did it not to him. In vain are all your new 
moons and observances, says God to those in Isa. i. 13, '14, * Bring no more 
vain oblations ; incense is an abomination unto me ; the new moons and 
sabbaths, the calling of assemblies I cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even 
the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul 
hateth : they are a trouble unto me ; I am weary to bear them.' And 
themselves complain that they were diligent in their religious performances, 
fasted, &c., to no purpose : Isa. Iviii. 3, ' Wherefore have we fasted, say 
they, and thou seest not ? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou 
takest no knowledge ? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, 
and exact all your labours.' What was it rendered all their duties unavail- 
ing ? Why, they retained their old sins, which spoiled all. Such a fool 
was Herod, who, upon John Baptist's preaching, did many things gladly, but 
lost all for an Herodias. Such a fool was Jehu, who, though he had a zeal, 
yet spoiled all his work for want of doing a little more. Such a fool was Joash, 
who walked in all God's ways many years, and yet made shipwreck in the haven ; 
and a small matter it was which turned him from following the ways of God, 

VOL. X. o 


in which he had made so good a beginning; he was moved only by the flat- 
teries, bowings, and cringing of his wicked courtiers to him : 2 Chron. xxiv. 
17, 18, ' Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah and made 
obeisance to the king : then the king hearkened unto them. And they left 
the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols : 
and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.' Such 
fools are they too who run in a race, and yet, for want of dieting themselves 
or horses, or taking a little more pains, lose it ; but the fipostle Paul is so 
wise as to take care to do his business effectually : 1 Cor. ix. 24-27, ' Know 
ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize ? 
So run that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery 
is temperate in all things : now, they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, 
but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly : so fight I, 
not as one that beateth the air : but I keep under my body, and bring it 
into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I 
myself should be a castaway.' He also who begins to build, and is not able 
to finish, is called a foolish builder, for all his work and charge is but in 
vain. Thus those who set out fair in a profession of religion, and do many 
things, but go not on to perfection, of all fools they are the worst. For 
others, though in the issue they are wretched, mistaken fools, yet whilst 
they live here they enjoy the pleasures of sin, and are beloved of the world. 
But these forbear the most sins, and endure much at men's hands, and are 
hated for their profession of religion, which yet doth them no good, but 
proves vain in the end. They are like those who have bestowed much cost 
in a sickness, and yet die at last for want of expending a little more, which 
would save their lives ; or they resemble those, who, after having been at 
great charges and trouble to commence and carry on a suit at law, yet starve 
their cause and lose it, because they will not be at the expense of a little 
more money in it. 

2. He is a fool in the event, whose supposed happiness proves his misery. 
Thus is it with the wicked ; and God, who delights to confound the pride and 
glory of men, makes them wise and happy the backward way, as men say of 
gains : Isa. xliv. 25, ' That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh 
diviners mad ; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge 
foolish.' God makes all their boasted knowledge foolishness ; and when they 
use all wits and counsels to make themselves happy, misery and sorrow is 
the efiect. God makes their own counsels and ways to be their ruin : Prov. 
V. 22, ' His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be 
holden with the cords of his sins.' Prov. i. 32, ' For the turning away of 
the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.' 
Those courses whereby they thought in their great wisdom to advance them- 
selves are turned against them. Thus, when Jeroboam thought to secure 
his usurped kingdom, by setting up golden calves at Bethel, they proved his 
ruin : 1 Kings xii. 26-30, 'And Jeroboam said in his heart. Now shall the 
kingdom return to the house of David : if this people go up to do sacrifice 
in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people 
turn again unto their lord, even unto Eehoboam king of Judah, and they 
shall kill me, and go again to Eehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the 
king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them. It is 
too much for you to go up to Jerusalem : behold thy gods, Israel, which 
brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, 
and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin : for the people 
went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.' Thus Ahaz, when he 
thought that he did right in sacrificing to the gods of Syria, acted to his de- 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 211 

straction, as well as of all Israel : 2 Chron. xxviii. 23, ' For ho sacrificed 
unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him : aud he said. Because the 
gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they 
may help me : but they were the rain of him and of all Israel.' Men by 
lying aud unjust dealing bring themselves into greater straits, and do but 
steal a card whereby to lose the whole game. They by their own subtle 
wicked tricks oftentimes so besiege themselves that they cannot escape : Hos. 
vii. 2, ' And they consider not in their hearts, that I remember all their 
wickedness : now their own doings have beset them about, they are before 
my face.' You who plot against God's ministers shall be taken in your own 
nets, aud God will confound you, as he did all your forefathers, and your 
great-grandsire Satan, in all their plots. He thought by crucifying Christ 
to have been quiet, and that very thing proved his undoing. Thus, whilst 
you dig to undermine the godly, the earth falls on your own heads. The 
Egyptians thought themselves wise in following the Israelites through the 
Red Sea, for they were on foot and themselves had chariots, and so they 
thought that God must destroy the Israelites also if he brought the sea in. 
But wherein they dealt proudly and presumptuously, God was above them. 

3. He who is led with vain promises is a fool that feeds himself with what 
is not. Now, even in matters of the world, wicked men are apt to do so. 
They hearken to everything but God's word, and believe anything which will 
pretend to shew and direct them unto a happiness here : Ps. xlix. 11-13, 
' Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their 
dweUing-places to all generations ; they call their lands after their own names. 
Nevertheless, man being in honour abileth not : he is like the beasts that 
perish. This their way is their folly : yet their posterity approve their say- 
ings. Selah.' And yet thus in other things, too, they believe their own 
vain hearts in all that they tell them : Prov. xiv. 15, ' The simple believeth 
every word : but the prudent man looketh well to his going.' They will 
believe every word which makes for them, nay they will promise themselves 
safety, though they go on in those sins which lead apparently to ruin : Deut. 
xxix. 19, 20, ' And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, 
that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk 
in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst : the Lord 
will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall 
smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book 
shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.' 
They will speak peace to themselves when kingdoms are a-destroying : Jer. 
vi. 14, ' They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people shghtly, 
saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.' They promise themselves 
riches and honours, and that they will go to such a city and get wealth, 
when combustions are in the world, and God is bringing judgments on the 
earth. They promise themselves the continuance of their pleasures : Isa. 
Ivi. 12, ' Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with 
strong drink ; and to mon-ow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.' 
And for all this they will trust their own word ; and then they will take any 
slight evidence for heaven, and believe that every good word, and any work 
of civiUty and moral good deed, give them a sufficient title to the place. 

We are next to consider what efi'ects this folly produceth in the hearts of 
unregenerate men, which indeed are innumerable. 

1. They are ashamed of nothing. Though you expose the unreasonable- 
ness of their doings, and shew how senseless they are in all their actions, 
yet they care not ; though you make it appear that in the whole conduct of 
their hves they are void of true wisdom, though you expose them dressed up 


in their fools' coats, yet they have not the wit to discern it. They boast of 
that with which they are deservedly reproached, and make their shame their 
glory. Thus men will triumph in their sins, and glory in having been drunk 
themselves, or in having made others so. They will boast of their deceiv- 
ing and going beyond others. They will glory in their oaths as a genteel 
accomplishment, and swear, and say they will swear. Thus they declare 
their sins as Sodom : Isa. iii. 9, ' The show of their countenance doth wit- 
ness against them ; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. 
Woe unto their soul ! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.' And 
what is their shame they publish as their glory, so far are they from being 
ashamed of those things which should cover them with blushes : Jer. vi. 15, 
* Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination ? nay, they 
were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush : therefore they shall fall 
among them that fall : at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, 
saith the Lord.' 

2. They are self-willed. Reason being down in them, wilfulness and ob- 
stinacy ariseth in its room. They are resolved in their lewd courses, and 
will be wicked only because they will : John viii. 44, ' Ye are of your father 
the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do : he was a murderer from 
the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth Tin] him. 
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : fur he is a liar, and the 
father of it.' Prov. ii. 13-15, 'Who leave the paths of uprightness, to 
walk in the ways of darkness ; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the 
frowardness of the wicked. Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in 
their paths.' 

3. They are inconstant in all their actions, and, as fools, are driven some- 
times this way, sometimes the other, as every wind turns, or a various 
humour prevails : Eccles. v. 4, ' When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer 
not to pay it ; for he hath no pleasure in fools : pay that which thou hast 
vowed.' What in a good mood they purposed, in another humour they 
resolve against, and will not do it ; and as it is folly to do thus, God hath 
no pleasure in such fools. When they have taken up purposes, they after- 
wards meet with some reason or other, of which they never thought, to make 
them alter them. They in one moment purpose to repent, to turn to God, 
and lead another course of life, which the next moment they forget, or mind 
it not. Thus as fools, semper incipiimt vivere, are always beginning to live 
well, but never do it, but are unstable in their ways : James i. 8, ' A double- 
minded man is unstable in all his ways.' 

4. Unteachableness is another property of fools. They are always un- 
teachable ; therefore it is said, Prov. v. 23, ' He shall die without instnic- 
tion, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.' Not that instruc- 
tion is not given him, he dies not without it in that sense, but because he 
will never take it ; and it is the greatness of his folly makes him do so. 

It is one degree of wisdom to take good counsel, though it be a farther 
degree to be able to give it ; therefore, Prov. xii. 15, ' He that hearkeneth 
to counsel is wise. But a wicked man will not hearken to counsel ;' not to 
what God says, and the word says, nor what the rod of affliction says. He 
knows not the meaning of blows neither (as fools and beasts do not), and 
therefore he is incorrigible : Prov. xvii. 10. ' A reproof entereth more into a 
wise man, than an hundred stripes into a fool.' He also is as little sensible 
of mercies : Deut. xxxii. 6, ' Do ye thus requite the Lord, foolish people, 
and unwise ? Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee ? Hath he not 
made thee, and established thee ?' Nothing will reclaim a fool ; bray him 
in a mortar, his folly will not depart from him. 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 218 

5. Confidence in his own way is the mark of a fool. He thinks not only 
God's way folly, 1 Cor. ii. 14, as seeing no reason of people's desiring spi- 
ritual sermons, and the sincere milk of the word, nor of all the spiritual 
practices godly men live in, but accounts their lives madness. But they are 
also confident in their own way, thinking it good : Prov. xiv. 16, ' A wise 
man fearelh, and departeth from evil ; but the fool rageth and is confident.' 
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil ; that is, seeing what will be 
the issue of such courses, being told of it he forbears, as David did, when 
Abigail met him ; but a fool rageth and is confident ; that is, is distempered 
in his passion, and resolute in what he will do, and goes on ; for it is said 
at the twelfth verse, * There is a way which seemeth right unto a man ; but 
the end thereof are the ways of death.' Persecuting Paul is therefore said 
to be mad against the church, i. e. confident as mad men are ; and madness 
is but the excess of folly. 

6. Fools still follow their own minds as their guides in all they do ; for 
wisdom being wanting, which should be the guide, they must needs follow 
the next principle in them, which is their lusts and desires ; and look what 
they have a mind to do, that they will do, and will please themselves in all, 
and are unable to deny themselves, for they want reason to put into the 
balance something that might overrule their passion. Therefore, all the 
delight of a fool is to discover his heart ; he poureth it out, for he follows 
his own heart in all his actions : Prov. xv. 2, ' The tongue of the wise useth 
knowledge aright ; but the mouth of fools poureth out foohshness.' Prov. 
xviii. 2, ' A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may 
discover itself.' He hath no delight in understanding but to discover his 
heart ; that is, to follow his own human inventions. Therefore fools are 
always self-willed, and so are wicked men also. They follow their lusts in 
all, and are unable to deny themselves of petty foolish desires ; in matters 
of greatest consequence for the church or place he lives in, he will not deny 
himself a petty desire and end ; that is, a foolish one, and which he himself 
is ashamed to manifest to others, shall sway him more than a thousand per- 
suasions and reasons. They will rather hazard kingdoms, their estates and 
families, than not have their will and lusts, as their malice on a man they 
hate, &c. That foolish king would rather lose his kingdom, life and all, 
than submit to the king of Babel ; because, forsooth, the Jews would mock 
him ; and how many hazard their souls upon the same ground ? So Herod 
values it not to cut John Baptist's head off, and what was his reason ? A 
foolish one ; his oath's sake, and for their sakes about him. Fools are also 
self-willed, for, reason being down, will is up ; so 1 Tim. vi. 9, ' But they 
that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and 
hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.' They will be 
rich, and so commit many foolish lusts ; run into base ways of saving or 
getting money,'"ridiculous to all that know them.. The lusts of their father 
they will do : John viii. 44, ' Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts 
of your father ye will do : he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode 
not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a 
lie, he speaketh of his own ; for he is a liar, and the father of it.' Did they 
but follow 'reason as their guide, their wills might be wrought off; but they 
follow their lusts, and so are obstinate in their ways. 



The uses of the preceding doctrine: That all men should examine themselves, 
whether the signs of this folly are not in them, and consider the misery and 
danger of such a condition. — How we are to become wise. 

Use 1. The first use is to all men in the estate of nature, that they would 
try and examine themselves by all that hath been spoken, whether they do 
not find in themselves hitherto all want of this true wisdom, and hitherto 
to have been fools. Let this be the beginning of wisdom in you, and the first 
fruit of it, to consider your estates, which fools do not ; and you that never 
yet knew yourselves to be unregenerate, but your ways are right in your own 
eyes, of all fools you are the worst. There is more hope of a fool than of 
such, as Solomon says, Prov. xxvi. 12, ' Seest thou a man wise in his own 
conceit ? there is more hope of a fool than of him.' 

1. Consider the misery of that condition ; for whilst thou art in it, God 
can take no pleasure in thee ; he delights not in thee : Eccles. v. 4, ' When 
thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it ; for he hath no pleasure 
in fools : pay that which thou hast vowed.' God hath no pleasure in fools, 
and therefore will not communicate himself nor his secrets, nor give his 
Son in marriage to them, unless they become wiser; for who that is wise 
would keep company with a fool, or marry a fool, or tell his mind to a 

2. Consider the danger of being in that estate, and of dying a fool. Know 
that M'hilst thou art such thou canst never enter into heaven, and hast no 
portion in that inheritance there ; for fools inherit not, neither by God's 
laws nor man's ; and though you hope to go to heaven as well as the best, 
yet this conceit of yours puts you but into a fool's paradise, for heaven is a 
paradise was never made for fools. Honour is not seemly for a fool, says 
Solomon : Prov. xxvi. 1, ' As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest : so 
honour is not seemly for a fool,' much less is heaven, and to be a king, 
seemly for him. That is not all ; but if thou art a fool, hell and destruction 
is a-preparing for thee, and thou art fit for nothing else : Prov. xxvi. 3, ' A 
whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.' That 
is fitter for him than honour ; hell than heaven ; nay, God will, instead of 
delighting in thee, rejoice and laugh at thy destruction : Prov. i. 22-26, 
' How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity ? and the scorners de- 
light in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge ? Turn you at my reproof: 
behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words 
unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused ; I have stretched out my 
hand, and no man regarded ; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and 
would none of my reproof : I also will laugh at your calamity ; I will mock 
when your fear cometh ;' as thou didst make sin a sport, God will make thy 
torment a sport to him. 

Use 2. Of direction how thou art to become wise. 

1. Apprehend and acknowledge that thou art a fool, 1 Cor. iii. 18 ; that 
is the first lesson wisdom teacheth a man, that so he may be wise. Appre- 
hend thy condition ; go not on as a fool, gaping and being careless, and 
thinking thy ways right when they are not. What says Agur, a wise man, 
when converted ? Prov. xxx. 2, * Surely I am more brutish than any man, 
and have not the understanding of a man.' And so Paul, for all his wit and 
learning, confesseth that he was foolish in all his ways ; that all his ways 
were folly : Titus iii. 3, ' For we ourselves also were sometimes foohsh, dis- 


obedient, decoivcd, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and 
envy, hateful, and hating one another.' 

2. Go to God to give thee wisdom to turn thy heart : if any man lack wis- 
dom, let him go to God for it : James i. 5, ' If any of you lack wisdom, let 
him ask of God, that givcth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it 
shall be given him.' 

3. Go to God in Christ, and for Christ, who is made wisdom to us as well 
as all other things : 1 Cor. i. 30, ' Bat of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of 
God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and re- 
demption' : therefore, Isa. ix. 6, he is called ' the mighty Counsellor.' As 
we became fools in Adam, so we must recover our wits by Christ, and by 
being born of him ; and it is of all cures the greatest to cure one who is born 
a fool ; therefore go to Christ, for none else can do it. 

4. Turn to the wisdom of the just. Luke i. 17, it is said, that John 
turned men to the wisdom of the just : ' And he shall go before him in the 
spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, 
and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people pre- 
pared for the Lord.' Do thou turn to the wisdom of the just, /. e. frame 
thy opinions according to the word, and the opinion of holy men ; lean not 
to thy own wisdom and carnal understanding, thereby to judge of the ways 
of God, or trust not to the opinions of carnal man ; but come in, and sub- 
mit thy judgment to the wisdom of God, and of good men. He that is a 
fool begins then to be wise, when he, apprehending himself to be a fool, will 
listen to what wisdom speaks. Frame, then, thy judgment of the work of 
grace, and of holiness, and of the worth of grace ; and what the way to 
heaven is, by what God says, and what thou seest wise, and holy men pro- 
fess and practice. What says God ? Isa. viii. 19, 20, ' And when they shall 
say unto you. Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards 
that peep and that mutter : should not a people seek unto their God ? for 
the living to the dead ? To the law and to the testimony : if they speak 
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' Do thou 
go to the law and to the testimony, and lean to the commandment ; think 
upon all occasions, and in all straits. My wisdom is to stick close to it, 
and if I go astray, it is the greatness of my folly. Those ways carnal rea- 
son sees no reason for, yet do thou take God's judgments for them, and 
bring every thought into the obedience of Christ. Know that the Scrip- 
tures are only able to make thee wise unto salvation ; take, then, their coun- 
sel, as David did : Ps. cxix. 24, ' Thy testimonies also are my delight and 
my counsellors.' Take God's judgment in what is best for thee ; if he will 
have thee poor, be content : lean not to thy own wisdom, as Solomon says, 
Prov. iii. 5, ' Trust in the Lord with all thine heart : and lean not unto 
thine own understanding.' Take also the judgment of holy men as to spi- 
ritual things, for they have had experience of them, and therefore ought to 
be believed in their own art : Prov. ix. 10, ' The fear of the Lord is the 
beginning of wisdom : and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.' 
Isa. XXXV. 8, * And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be 
called the way of holiness ; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall 
be for those : the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.' 
And do thou justify wisdom too, and stand up in defence of its ways. Mat. 
xi. 19. 



That reason in man being corrupted by sin, useth its strength and force to advise 
and contrive the satisfaction of his lusts; ivhence it is that reason, which should 
have acted for God, now acts for sin and lusts. 


Lf}, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright ; but they have 
sought out maiiy inventions. — Eccles. VII. 29. 

Now I am next to speak of the corruptions of reason itself, and to discover 
to you what great assistance, and manifold and several concurrences and 
orders, it gives to the power and kingdom of sin within us. 

And indeed, however we may think that reason in us fights against and 
opposeth our lusts, yet the truth is, that but for carnal reason sin would 
not know how to do ; for as reason of state doth all in kingdoms, so fleshly 
reason in us. No man sins, no man goes to hell, without reason. 

Now the assistance reason gives to sin is double. First, As a counsellor, 
to advise to, and plot for the acting of it and satisfying its desire, which out 
of this text we shall speak to. 

Secondly, As a protector and defender of the power and kingdom of sin, 
against all the assaults and invasions that the word and knowledge of God 
might make against it. This corrupt reason doth, by gathering to itself 
many carnal pleas for men's bad courses and estates, as also by gathering up 
together all the discouragements and objections against the ways of grace 
that ever it can, as out of the 2 Cor. x. 4 we shall have occasion more 
largely to insist on, he there comparing reasonings, Aoy/ff/x&is, to the strong- 
holds that are in a kingdom to defend it, where all the weapons and armoury 
lies ; and so indeed in reason doth the utmost strength of sin consist. 

Now,_/7rsf, concerning that counselling and plotting assistance which reason 
affords. This text mentions it, and indeed lays the fault and the blame of 
the wickedness that is in man's heart to the reasonings and inventions that 
are therein, and thereby chooseth to express their corruptions and the causes 
of them. 

The word translated here inventions, which indeed are acts of reason, is 
the same with that in ver. 25, which they have translated reason, and the 
Septuagint translate it '/.oyi<sij.b-ji, and most Latin interpreters ratiocinia, 
reasonings. The word in the Hebrew is jniJ3U?r7, which signifies a cun- 
nicg artificial invention, as the same word is used 2 Chron. xxvi. 15, and 
his scope you may see to be to give the reason and cause of those many 
villanies in men's lives, and to see the depth of them ; I saw all men cor- 
rupted, and I searched out the reason and cause of that folly and wickedness, 
and depth of villany discovered to be in them, and it all lies in invention, in 

Chap. I.j in respect of sin and punishment. 217 

wily, cunning wickedness ; and (says he) this I found, that though God made 
man upright in the image of God at first, yet now being fallen, and deprived 
of that image, and so of that blessedness in communion with God, like 
sharks cast oflf by their friends, and cut short of that inheritance they were 
ordained for, they live by their wits, and that reason which they have left 
they use in manifold and several sinful practices. It loads them into many 
crooked ways and by-paths, * they have sought out many inventions.' 

Now for the proof of this I will give you but these arguments. 

1. Man, you all know, is a reasonable creature; and as he himself was 
principally ordained for action, so to help him therein reason was principally 
given him to guide and steer him. So that as God works all things accord- 
ing to counsel, — Eph. i. 11, * In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, 
being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things 
after the counsel of his own will,' — so as he hath a reason for everything he 
doth, though he manifest it not,— Job xxxiii. 13, ' Why dost thou strive 
against him ? for he giveth not account of any of his matters ; ' — so also man 
being created in the image of God, doth work all things according to counsel 
also, and useth reason in all, such as it is, for that is part of that image of 
God which is a likeness to his essence which is not razed out. 

And therefore, 2, now man is corrupted, reason still remains and is used 
in all. For sin hath not made man a beast, he useth reason in all his sin- 
ful actions, otherwise they would not be sins ; and therefore, in man now 
fallen, the estate of nature is called a kingdom, though of sin, as truly as 
the other is a kingdom of grace. And every king must have his privy 
councillors to advise, and plot, and manage his affairs ; and such is reason 
now unto sin, as well as once it was to grace. For sin, as it enters upon the 
same territories and possessions which grace in Adam once had, so it keeps 
up the same form of government for substance, and turns out no officers, but 
all keep their former places. Our affections and members are as the com- 
mon soldiers and people: so Rom. vi. 19, ' I speak after the manner of men, 
because of the infirmity of your flesh : for as ye have yielded your members 
servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield 
your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.' Our lusts are as 
laws, and axioms of state ; and reason, who was sole privy councillor afore, 
and master of all the ports and strongholds, keeps his place still. Only as 
sin hath gained the rest to be for it, all our lusts to be laws of sin, all our 
members to be weapons of unrighteousness, so reason also to be a counsellor 
and plotter for sin, and which is as true and faithful to that wicked purpose 
as ever it was before to God. And therefore, Ps. Ixxxi. 12, to give a man 
up to his heart's lusts is all one as to give him up to his own counsels : Ps. 
Ixxxi. 12, ' So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust : and they walked 
in their own counsels;' and the lusts of sin are therefore called the lusts, r^g 
diam'ag. Eph. ii. 2, ' Wherein in time past ye walked according to the 
course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the 
spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,' even of reason and 
that discoursing faculty within us. 

And in the 1 Cor. iv. 5, the counsels of the heart are there mentioned as 
those things which shall especially be discovered and judged at the latter 
day : ' Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who 
both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make mani- 
fest the counsels of the heart ; and then shall every man have praise of God.' 

Now reason is gained to be for sin. 

1. By reason of that blindness I have discovered to be in it, to discern, 
and taste of the goodness of things spiritual, so to know them as to make 


deeper impression of their goodness, than the pleasures sin propounds ; and 
thus knowing no better, it must be for them. 

And, 2, by reason also of that unbelief even of those first principles of grace 
and godliness, which it should have recourse unto in all our actions, and 
should reason from them. 

Now, the fii'st office of reason is to advise and counsel upon all occasions 
what is best to be done. With it a man's heart always adviseth, and unto it 
are brought all deliberate actions to have reason's approbation, and broad 
seal to them, ere they pass to execution ; and though indeed it hath lost the 
power of sole propounding, which in the estate of grace it had, no aflfection 
stirring without it, yet all motions still must have their grant from it, ere 
they get act into execution. 

But self-love being the viceroy, lord paramount in this kingdom of sin 
(for when God was deposed from being our utmost end, ourselves succeeded 
as next heirs), therefore now the main and chief principle, that practical 
reason which guides us in our actions (for of that we speak), is self-love, and 
all the power and force that reason hath is turned and bent to advance and 
set it up, to maintain and uphold its prerogative. And now, then, that 
self-love is made a man's utmost end, and is the lord paramount and chief 
governor in this new erected kingdom of sin, therefore reason now must 
needs be guided by it on all occasions. Therefore that reason which now 
we consult with and employ when we crave to do anything, that practical 
reason (for of that I speak ; not of that reason whereby we dispute, but of 
that reason only which is to and for a man's self), all the force, counsel, 
and strength reason hath in us, bends itself that way. And this brings me 
to the third head. 

That, 3, self-love being now become man's sole and utmost end in all he 
doth, God being deposed, and ourselves having succeeded as next heirs, 
and so are become ourselves lord paramount, and king in this kingdom, 
therefore it must needs gain for itself all that reason that is in us which is 
called practical, whereby we are guided in our actions, whereof we now speak. 
For the definition of practical reason that guides us is that which reasons 
for some end ; for as we work always for an end, so the reason which guides 
us in working must reason to and for that end.* Therefore self-love being 
made our utmost end, all the reason we have in us (whereby we do any- 
thing) is wholly turned for it, and hath its eye on it, as the mariner on the 
compass, whereby to steer, it reasons wholly for it, and to it, and from it. 
For that which is a man's end is thit which always sways a man's reason 
when he comes to do anything, so as by this means sin hath gained all the 
reason which is in men 


Hon' reason affords all assistance to the encouragement of sin. — By what prin- 
ciples it is herein acted, and what motives it uselh. 

These grounds being laid, you shall see the corrupt dealings of reason in 
us, how it affords all its assistance for sin ; and first we will see what prin- 
ciples reason is most effectually guided by. Now the first office of reason 
is to advise and counsel upon all occasion what is best to be done, for with 
it the heart adviseth upon all occasions, and unto it are all deliberate actions 

* Idem est ultimus finis ad rationem practicam, quod prima principia ad rationem 
speculativam. — Aquinas, 1, 2, qu. 90, art. 3. 

Chap. II.j in respect of sin and punishment. 219 

brought, to have reason's approbation and broad seal set to them. Now, 
therefore, when we come seriously to advise with reason what is best to be 
done, whether we should do this or that, refuse this or choose this; to what 
principles hath reason recourse in the advice it gives ; doth it go to the prin- 
ciples of the word, and make them its counsellors, as David did, Ps. cxix. 
lOi, 105, to see whatit judgeth of such an action or cause, or do the rules, 
the motives, the persuasions thereof prevail with reason ? No ; because 
God is not a man's end, nor do we believe the principles of his word ; but 
reason now, as corrupted, looks and adviseth with a man's own heart, a;jd 
considers what ends, what present desires or occasions a man hath ; look 
how things do suit with our present occasions, or conduce to our own ends, 
and seem to please our present desires, those corrupt reason, and fleshly 
■wisdom jutlgeth best. And these principles are the new inventions which 
men have sought out. So that as the holy wisdom of God, whereby he doth 
all he doth, looks into himself for the reason of all his actions, and to nothing 
out of himself; and therefore he is said to work all according to the counsel 
of his own will, his holy ends being the principles his wisdom is wholly 
swayed by in all, so as his will is the rule of all reason ; so reason now 
having set up a man's self for its end, it looks for the reason of everything 
in itself, and judgeth not those things to be best which are best in them- 
selves, but which are best for himself and his corrupt desires, and the pre- 
sent constitution of his heart and condition. 

As therefore whilst God was a man's end, as in the state of innocency, or 
when he becomes a man's end, as in the estate of grace, then all the parti- 
cular directions God espresseth his will in become laws and principles to 
consult with in all a man's actions, which he is sure never to swerve from ; 
and then all the motives w^hich are drawn from God, which the word lays 
down to persuade us, become efiectual reasons to move us to anything, for 
they had all reference and relation to that first principle reason looks to, God 
being his utmost end. Now, on the clean contrary, a man's self being become 
his utmost end, look how many corrupt desires he hath to be satisfied and 
pleased, look how many by-ends he hath whose turns are to be served, too 
many principles he hath which corrupt reason, fleshly wisdom, hath an eye 
unto, according to which it guides you, and counsels you in all your actions. 
If the things you are to do be suitable to them, it adviseth you to put them 
in execution, to set upon them, and also all motives drawn from pleasing 
your lusts and ends become strong reasons, efi"ectual arguments to persuade 
you to do anything. So that now, I having told you that all true principles 
of godliness are extinguished, you see the principles and reasons which a 
man in his actions is guided by, are lusts, and by-ends, and motives drawn 
from them. These are the principles you go by ; with these reason consults, 
from these reason argues upon all occasions, when anything is to be done 
by us. And therefore, in Ps. Ixxxi. 12, to be given up to their lusts, and 
their own hearts' counsels, are all one, because reason in all consults 
with lusts. 

To make this clear to you by instances out of the word. 

1. If riches be a man's end, what principle is that his reason in all his 
actions consults with ? Paul tells you it : 1 Tim. vi. 5, * Perverse disput- 
ings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain 
is godliness : from such withdraw thyself.' They suppose that gain is godli- 
ness ; that is, they lay that for a rule, a principle, that they advise with, 
and have recourse to, and frame their actions by ; however men do not 
profess so much, yet this they lay for a ground, this they truly think and 
believe ; whereas, says the apostle, there is another principle we are guided 


by in all estates and conditions, that godliness is great gain. Now this 
principle being laid in the heart, when in a matter of unjust gain a man 
comes to advise with his reason whether it be better to obey God than get 
money, whether it be better to increase godliness or his estate, to forsake or 
leave otf some practice of godliness or lose his estate, his heart supposing 
gain better than godliness, because it suits with his desires and disposition 
of his heart more, this being his principle, he lets godliness go, as the 
young man in the Gospel and Demas did. Now there is the like reason of 
honour, pleasure, &c. 

So also if a man be to profess godliness, and sees he must take up some 
religion, what principles doth reason consult with, how far be shall shew 
himself in the cause ? Why he consults with his own ends : Eccles. vii. 16, 
' Be not righteous over much ; neither make thyself over wise : why 
shouldst thou destroy thyself? ' In the loth verse he had named a shrewd 
temptation that stumbles many in the world : ver. 15, 'All things have I 
seen in the days of my vanity : there is a just man that perisheth in his 
righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his 
wickedness.' They see a righteous man perish in bis righteousness, 
trodden down and oppressed, and a wicked man that prolongs his days in 
his wickedness, and it is a means to save him. Two conclusions are drawn 
thence, the one by corrupt reason, the other by the Spirit. What principle 
doth carnal reason then gather from it ? It is this : take heed, be not righteous 
over much, nor over nice, nor wiser than the rest of the world, says flesh ; 
why the principle which reason guides him by is to preserve himself whole 
by taking a moderate course, destroy not thyself; he thinks that too much 
religion would destroy his credit, &c. The other opposite conclusion the 
Spirit draws : ver. 17, ' Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish : 
why shouldest thou die before thy time ? ' So that the principles men advise 
with are themselves and their own ends. 

So when a man hath his enemy in his power to hurt him, the principle 
carnal reason consults with is quite different from what godly reason is 
guided by. 

When David had Saul in his power, what was David's principle his rea- 
son consulted with ? 1 Sam. xxiv. 6, ' And he said unto his men, The Lord 
forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to 
stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.' 
The Lord forbid that I should do this thing; how shall I do it, and sin 
against God ? for God was his end. But what was Saul's principle, which 
he would have consulted with in the like advantage ? If the question had 
been asked whether it had been best in such a case to kill David, what 
would Saul have thought ? ' If a man find his enemy, will he let him go well 
away ?' Saul thought in his reason he were a fool that would do it. This 
was a principle in his heart he should have gone by. 

So for pleasing men when they command one thing and God another. 
This was the principle the apostles in their hearts stuck to and reasoned 
fi-om : it is better to obey God than man, Acts v. 29 ; but when the Jews 
were to move Pilate to crucify Christ, when he knew him to be a righteous 
man, what principle do they work upon, and /rom what do they draw their 
reason to move him ? John xix. 12, ' And from thenceforth Pilate sought to 
release him : but the Jews cried out, saying. If thou let this man go, thou 
jirt not Caesar's friend : whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against 
Cfesar.' If thou lettest this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend ; they knew 
that was an argument to carnal reason which would prevail. 

And therefore, now, if you are to move a carnal man in any business, 

Chap. II. ] in respect of sin and punishment. 221 

would you speak reason to him so as to prevail, you must speak to save lust, 
to save the end that he hath in his aim and purpose ; for they are the prin- 
ciples in his heart, and what is drawn from thence is effectual to move, else 
not. Thus when Balak would persuade Balaam to curse the people of God, 
what reason doth he use ? Numb. xii. IG, 17, ' I will promote thee to very 
great honour ; ' and ver. 37, ' And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not ear- 
nestly send unto thee to call thee ? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am 
I not able indeed to promote thee to honour ? ' Am I not able to promote 
thee to honour ? He speaks reason to him that suited and was agreeable. 

So when the Jews consulted among themselves what they should do with 
Christ, what was the prevailing reason and argument to put him to death ? 

1. Say they, ' The inheritance shall be ours,' Luke xx. 14. 

2. Say they. All will believe in him, and the Piomans shall come and take 
away our place and nation, and so we must lose all : John xi. 48, ' If we let 
him thus alone, all men will believe on him ; and the Romans shall come and 
take away both our place and nation; ' and so in John vii. 4. Christ's carnal 
friends there urge a carnal rule they went by of credit to move him to preach, 
John vii. 3, 4"; and thus, too, when any man turns to God, what reason and 
arguments doth he find his heart stick at most, what principles doth his 
reason argue from ? I shall be cast out of the synagogue, says one ; that is 
the reason moved some not to profess faith in Christ : John xii. 42, ' Never- 
theless, among the chief rulers also many believed on him ; but because of the 
Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the syna- 
gogue.' I shall lose my friends, says another; my preferment, says a third; 
and these are reasons with them why they should not turn to God. And on 

. the contrary, we see by experience that the motives out of the word, and 
which are reasons drawn from the principles thereof, move not, because we 
believe not those principles ; but reason hath other it looks unto and con- 
sults with, viz., its own corrupt ends, and those motives having no connec- 
tion with such ends, therefore they move not, are no arguments to them, nay, 
they are foolishness : 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' But the natural man receiveth not the 
things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can 
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned ; ' that is, he sees no 
reason in them, because the principles they are drawn from are not believed, 
for reason is that which sees the dependence and connection of one thing 
with and from another. 

But, 2, this is not all that reason doth, but when a man hath pitched upon 
an end to be acquired, reason is farther employed to invent and to look out 
for such fit means whereby those ends may be accomplished. Sin could do 
little if it were not for the help of reason ; for as the speculative understand- 
ing, when a thing is propounded to be proved, invents and starts up mediums 
and notions to prove it, so the practical is set on work to find out ways and 
means, and to consider what will best conduce to such an end. And this 
ofiice of corrupted reason is especially meant here in this place the devices 
and arts of the heart, to bring sinful enterprises to pass ; fur he here means 
nets and snares to catch men ; and these inventions are many, they are 
infinite, not to be numbered. Insomuch as the way of a serpent is on a 
stone, so is the way of a man with a maid, full of infinite plots, Prov. xxx. 19 ; 
and herein corrupt reason is exceeding witty, ' wiser in their generation than 
the children of light.' How ready was the wit of a woman, Jezebel, when 
Ahab himself knew not what to do, how rational to take away, to get in 
Naboth's vineyard, to plot his death ; but that would not be enough, for had 
he been simply killed, his son would inherit, but if he should die as a traitor, 
then his goods should be forfeited. See how she plots it: 1 Kings xxi. 9, 10, 


' And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on 
high among the people ; and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear 
witness against him, saving. Thou didst blaspheme God and the king : and 
then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.' 

How witty was Joseph's mistress, and sudden to invent a way to be re- 
Yen<7ed on Joseph, when he left his coat with her, to turn the enticing to 
adultery upon him ! 

How subtle were Daniel's enemies to plot against him when he stood in 
their way ! They knew they could charge him in nothing but in the matter 
of his God, and they knew him constant in prayer ; therefore got this con- 
fii-med by the king, that whosoever put up any petition to any but the king 
should be put to death. 

What an invention was it that Simeon and Levi had to accomplish their 
revenge upon the men of Shechem for the rape of Dinah, to have them all 
circumcised first, that so when they were sore they might fall upon them ! 
Many and infinite are the inventions of corrupt reason to do mischief. 

3. Our lusts use wit and reason to make compositions of pleasures for 
them, to mingle a spiced cup of many sweet ingi-edients, artificially com- 
posed, to improve creatures to the uttermost ; so Solomon used not only his 
power, but his wit also, to make inventions to please himself: Eccles. ii. 
4-9, ' I made me great works ; I builded me houses ; I planted me vine- 
yards ; I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all 
kind of fruits ; I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that 
brin^eth forth trees ; I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born 
in my house ; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above 
all that were in Jerusalem before me ; I gathered me also silver and gold, 
and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces ; I gat me men- 
singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical 
insh-uments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than 
all that were before me in Jerusalem : also my wisdom remained with me.' 

4. Reason serves our lusts in discerning the fittest opportunity of accom- 
plishing our lusts and ends ; so Herodias did, who had watched how to do 
John a' mischief, Mark xvi. 19, but finding Herod in a good mood, and so 
large in promising to give whatever was asked, she takes the opportunity of 
craving John Baptist's head ; and it was suddenly thought of, for straight- 
way the maid came in again, ver. 25. So, Prov. vii., the adulteress takes 
the opportunity of her husband's being abroad; so, Mat. xxvi. 16, Judas 
sought opportunity to betray Christ. 

■•5. Men have inventions to conceal their sins. So had Joseph's brethren 
by his coat, to conceal their selling their brother, and inventing a cunning 
lie with it ; so had David in making Uriah drunk, to conceal his adultery. 
As men have arts to cover the deformities of their bodies, so also of their 
souls. Therefore their wicked ends in sinning they strive most to conceal. 


That mans reason, which should direct him in his actions, is depraved, and 
therefore misguides him. 

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt; they have 
done abominable ivorks ; there is none that doth good. — Psalm XIV. 1. 

I have discovered unto you the folly which is in men's hearts. The next 

Chap. III.J in respect of sin and punishment. 223 

which both these words and my scope (which is to go on to lay open the 
corruption of man's heart by nature) pi-esonts to be spoke of, is the vain 
reasonings which accompany that folly. 

Now, when I speak of the vain reasonings of man's mind, understand me 
not to intend the reasonings or discussing and arguing of things in their 
speculations, which in their speeches, and discourses, and writings they dis- 
cover; for these are often right and true, though yet therein there are and 
may be infinite errors, which the mind of man is subject to. Witness all 
the errors which the most of the world are divided and carried away with, 
which are infinite to reckon up. Only let this in the general be said and 
acknowledged, that look what errors and vain reasonings any man's mind 
engenders, or is taken with, the same every man's mind would be if left to 
itself, there being no more privilege to exempt or free it from being prone 
to any error, or false reasoning in judgment, than to any sin or error in 

But I will limit myself to those false reasonings which men are led aside 
by, and misguided in their practice, and in their ways and courses; for in 
these it is certain that every man is guided by some reasoning or other, 
though a false one ; and the cause of all errors in the life is some error in 
the heart : Ps. xcv. 10, ' Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, 
and said. It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known 
my ways.' It is a people do err in their hearts, for the practical understand- 
ing hath its reasonings as well as the speculative. 

Now, all reasonings and discourses of the mind are made up of two things: 
1, some general principles or general axioms which the mind takes for granted, 
and into which all its opinions, and apprehensions, and reasonings of things 
may be resolved; 2, conclusions and consequences derived and drawn out of 
them, and founded on them. 

Answerably are those vain reasonings (whereby he is misled in his course, 
of which only I speak) made up, and consist of vain and erroneous principles, 
and unbelief of the true ones, which are the foundations of a godly course ; 
which principles, contrary to the true, are the grounds of all theii* evil courses 
and ways. 

Secondly, They are made up of false arguments, collections, and deduc- 
tions, which their minds gather to themselves to strengthen them in their 
evil courses and estates. 

Now, as a foundation to speak of the first, I have chosen these words, as 
wherein you have the axle-tree whereon all wickedness is founded and turns : 
a fundamental error in the first principle of all piety, which is to believe 
there is a God, and what manner of God he is, which the fool here spoken 
of doth not only not believe, but there is a positive principle and grounded 
apprehension of the contrary, a saying in the heart there is no God. 

And by the fool here spoken of is not meant some particular man only, 
but the psalmist's scope is to describe the general corruption in all mankind, 
for so he goes on : Ps. xiv. 1-3, ' The fool hath said in his heart. There is 
no God. They are corrupt ; they have done abominable works ; there is 
none that doth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children 
of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They 
are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy ; there is none that doth 
good, no, not one ;' and so it is quoted by the apostle, Rom. iii. 10. And 
he places unbelief and error in this main principle, as the foundation of all 
that corruption that follows, and therefore puts it in the fore-front ; and 
though it be but one of those corrupt principles his mind by nature is 
poisoned with, yet it is a most principal and fundamental one ; for as God 


is the foundation, and prop, and shorer up of all being in the world, so 
that there is a God is the main pillar whereon, in the heart, all religion sub- 
sists. And therefore these words will fitly serve as a bottom to a general 
discourse of that unbelief of all the first principles of godliness, and contrary 
false principles which are in the minds of all men, whence all errors in their 
life proceed. 

To this purpose the doctrine I raise is : 

Obs. That there is in the hearts of all men a secret unbelief of the very 
first principles of true godliness ; and not only so, but contrary sayings and 
dictates of the heart, which are the foundation of all corruption in their lives. 

I will both explain and prove it. I will premise but these two considera- 
tions to make way. 

1. That as in all matters of knowledge there are always some common 
and general truths, which are as a few seeds of light, which, when sown and 
received into the mind of them that begin to learn, do multiply in such 
becfinners' understandings, and increase into many other notions. Thus 
scholars find it in all sciences and arts they learn, that they meet with some 
general truths, which virtually contain all particulars; and so also the apostle 
tells you it is in the doctrines of religion, and you find it so, that there are 
certain principles of the doctrine of Christ: Heb. vi. 1, ' Therefore, leaving 
the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection ; not 
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith 
towards God.' Now, as it is so in the matter of the knowledge of religion 
and the form thereof, so also in the matter of the practice and power of it. 
There are some general principles which, if they have true and sound root- 
in" in the heart and practical understanding, they do mould and frame anew, 
and have influence into all their actions, one of which the apostle clearly to 
this purpose intimates : Heb. xi. G, ' But without faith it is impossible to 
please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he 
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' ' He that will come to God ;' 
that is, part with sin, and all the world, and all things in it, and join him- 
self in covenant to obey him alone in all things, there are two principles, says 
he, must be riveted into his heart first, viz. 1, that God is ; 2, that he is a 
rewarder of them that seek him. 

This you may also see in popery and the mystery of iniquity. 

There are certain principles both of the doctrine and practice of it, cer- 
tain principles of the doctrine of antichrist and of the oracles of Satan (I call 
them so in opposition to those of Christ), which if admitted and acknow- 
ledged, you thereby at once acknowledge all particulars in popery to be 
true. Those principles are two : that the church cannot err, and that theirs 
is the true church ; for then all that church teacheth must be assented unto 
as true. 

So also in the practice of their religion, entertain but into your heart an 
opinion of merit, and justification by works, &c., and it will set all in a man, 
if thoroughly believed, to abound in all the practices which their religion 
dictates, such power and influence hath one small principle in men's hearts 
upon all their actions. But now, on the contrary, Luther, seeing the heinous- 
ness of sin, and thereupon the inability of all in him to justify him, this 
principle being laid and once admitted, he altered all his opinions and prac- 
tices : such power hath one principle laid in speculative or practical under- 
standing to alter a man's judgment and course. And thus now auswerably 
is it. In the power and practice of sinning in men's hearts and lives, for 
which, though there is little reason can be brought, yet the practical under- 
standing wanting faith in some principles, and being poisoned secretly with 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 225 

the contrary, henco come all, and proceed all, the aberrations of men's hearts 
and lives, and into those they may be resolved. And as all kingdoms have 
fundamental laws, which are as the bases, and props, and pillars on which 
all other laws do rest and spring, as we see ours hath, and as all states have 
certain common axioms of state they guide all their counsels by, and frame 
and cut out all their projects unto, and which they never cross or swerve 
from ; so hath the kingdom of sin also fundamental principles, whence all 
wickedness flows, and on which the laws of sin are founded, which, when 
they are once overthrown, the kingdom of sin is dissolved, so that as the 
foundation of all coming to God is a belief that God is, and that he is a 
rewarder of those that seek him, so, on the contrary, the foundation of all 
departing from God is unbelief of this and such like principles. So says the 
apostle : Heb. iii. 12, ' Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an 
evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.' 

And, secondly, this is farther to be added, that those first and common 
principles of piety and godUness come not to have interest and power in the 
heart till they be believed, for that is the only right and true way of appre- 
hending them ; for they are all things not seen. For who hath seen God at 
any time ? So as to be convinced fully there is a God, it must be done by 
faith, so says the apostle in that place in the Hebrews, you must believe, as 
that God is, so that he will reward those that seek him. You must have 
faith to rivet this thoroughly in your minds, for it is a thing not seen, it is 
to come ; and so that there is a judgment for wicked men is a thing not seen, 
but to be believed by faith. 

So, then, those which are thus the first and common principles of all true 
piety, are no way apprehended truly but by faith, which is, as the apostle 
says, the evidence or conviction of things not seen ; and though they may be 
and are known without faith, yet the heart is not persuaded of them till faith 
comes in ; for as the principles of arts and sciences are not to be proved by 
reason, but are such as the mind at first propounding assents unto, for else 
reason would have no bottom to rest on, so these first practical active prin- 
ciples of piety are not apprehended by reason, neither are they evident to 
the mind at the first blush, for they are things not seen, and therefore if the 
heart do truly assent to them, faith must be wrought, which as an optic 
glass may represent them and make them visible. For who hath seen God 
at any time ? And that he will reward those that seek him, and with how 
great a reward, is a thing to come, not yet seen. That he will render ven- 
geance to all that do evil, who sees it, nay, who sees not the contrary ? For 
all happens alike to all, Eccles. ix. 3, and therefore the heart of man is full 
of evil. Now, therefore, though there is some knowledge of these things 
which may be wrought in the minds of men, yet if these principles become 
active, and guide them in their lives, they must have faith to rivet and 
• fasten these common known truths in them : Heb. xi. 6, he must believe 
that God is, &c. He must have faith to assent to that, if ever it draws his 
heart to him. 


That the reason, ivhereof man so much boasts, is so cormpt and false, that the 
first principles of religion are not really believed by him. — The demonstra- 
tions of it. 

Now, that which I am to demonstrate is this, that these common first 

VOL. X. P 


principles are not believed by men ; but the heart is more thoroughly per- 
suaded of the contrary, that men say in their hearts there is no God. Though 
the text instanceth only in that, yet it affords bottom to discourse of all other 
the like principles, for this is the chief of all the rest, and the other depend 
on this. 

So that the unbelief of the heart, and the false principles of it, is that I 
mean to treat of ; and I will first prove that there is in the hearts of all men 
by nature this unbelief, and then 1 will explain what it is. First, I will give 
you demonstrations, then reasons of it. And fii'st, demonstrations drawn 
from experience. 

1. We find that when a godly man, or any other, hath any new, serious, 
strong, convincing demonstration come into his mind, that shews him more 
fully and clearly there is a God and a day of judgment, he shall find some- 
thing in the heart that entertains such a new thought as a strange thing, as 
we use to do such things we were in suspense of afore. That, as the Athe- 
nians said, when Paul preached God and Christ to them, ' Thou bringest 
strange things to our ears,' so you may, if you search your hearts diligently, 
hear them thus "whispering, when in secret your hearts are confirmed in a 
real manner in any of those common truths. This may seem to be the 
meaning of Ps. Iviii. 10, 11, ' The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the 
vengeance : he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a 
man shall say. Verily there is a reward for the righteous : verily he is a 
God that judgeth in the earth,' when there shall be, says the psalmist in the 
10th verse, an evident demonstration of God's vengeance on the wicked, 
and the deliverance of the godly by some hand upon them. This new de- 
monstration shall have this efi"ect. So that a man even carnal, and others 
shall say, Veril}' there is a reward for the righteous, and doubtless there is a 
God that judgeth the earth. They are two common principles, and com- 
monly received in the notion, yet when there comes to be a real demonstra- 
tion of them indeed, men begin to believe it as if they had not believed it 
afore ; for so it comes in as a resolution to a doubt, a determination of a con- 
troversy, doubtless there is a God that judgeth the earth. 

2. When any man is converted to God, and comes to God upon these 
common principles, yet these common principles, which all take for granted, 
he learns over anew, as if he had never believed them, as if he had learned 
nothing j'et, or at least not as he should do, he is fain to begin at Christ's 
cross-row again, to learn his catechism, that old former persuasion that there 
is a God, and a Christ, and a day of judgment, he finds not to be a founda- 
tion sure enough of a godly life, but he lays every stone anew. He estab- 
lisheth his heart in these truths afresh in another manner, for though he 
knew the same things afore, and had some persuasion of them afore, and 
never doubted perhaps, or called them into question, because they were 
generally received by others, yet now, when these shall be made the gi'eat 
beams in the building, and bear the weight of all a godly life, when a man 
builds all his hopes, ways, and concerns on them, he sees the former per- 
suasions before to be too weak and rotten, which afore he saw not, because 
they were not put to any stress. Set pins in a wall, and let them hang 
never so loosely, yet if you hang no weight on them, they will seem to stand 
as firm as any, whenas yet the least jog would shake and throw down. So 
these principles were barely believed in the notion, and then they seemed as 
firm in their hearts as in the godliest man's heart ; but when a man comes to 
part with all his pleasures upon the hopes of pleasures in heaven, to give up 
all his riches for treasures there, when this weight comes to be hung upon 
his persuasions and belief of these truths, he sees he must get them riveted 

Chap. IV.] in respect of sin and punishment. 227 

in, and fastened in by a new principle of faith, and so he believes all these 
over anew. Though the things believed are the same, yet the ratio credendl, 
the ground of believing (which is the form of faith), the reason and medium 
of apprehending the truth, is new. But now, when ho is converted to God, 
the ratio credeiuli is a light from the Holy Ghost presenting them really to 
him, and as from God, which faith only apprehends, and which in certainty 
exceeds all the other. The other are but a sandy foundation, this Hght only 
is the rock, and therefore though in Rom. i. 19, 20, the apostle affirms that 
the invisible things of God are clearly seen from the creation, — Rom. i. 19, 
20, ' Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them ; for 
God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the 
creation of the world arc clearly seen, being understood by the things that 
are made, even his eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without 
excuse,' — ^}'et in Heb. xii. 5, G, he says that all these are further and anew 
apprehended by faith when a man comes to God : Heb. xii. 5,6, 'By faith' 
Enoch was translated that he should not see death ; and was not found, because 
God had translated him : for before his translation he had this testimony, . 
that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him : for 
he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of' 
them that diligently seek him'.' By it a man must apprehend anew that the' 
worlds were made, and that God is, and is a rewarder of them that seek him ;: 
for the other knowledge would not be enough to persuade the soul etfectu-- 
ally to come unto God, and to livo to him. 

3. When God leaves any man to the doubtings of his own ■ heart, and; 
darlmess of it, he finds he calls all these former principles of truth intO' 
question, and cannot by all arguments find his heart established in them. 
How many men, when converted, are exercised with doubtings whether there 
be a God, or a Christ, or a world to come ? For when a man begins to- 
believe in earnest, and to make these principles the grounds of a^ godly life, 
then the darkness of the heart discovers itself, and not before ; and the devil 
stirs it up, knowing that hereby he undermines the foundation, llbw., I say, 
these doubts were there always ; only now they are discovered, and' if' these- 
discover themselves in a man after he begins to believe, as usually they do, 
then much more did they lurk and reign in the heart afore ; and how much 
more are they in those that have no faith to establish their hearts at all ? 
When the shadow of the persuasion of these things was in the heart, 
unbelief fought not with, it ; but when the true substance of things hoped 
for comes in,, then unbelief is up in arms, and a man finds all those sha- 
dows vanish. 

Now there would not be room, nor place, nor entertainment for such 
objections, and though thrown in by Satan, yet they would not stick, unless; 
there was much unbelief, much matter to work upon. 

4. Though such doubts in the mind do not actually appear above ground, 
nor muster themselves in the field, yet the stronger any man grows in faith, 
the more he complains of unbelief: Mark ix. 24, 'And straightway the 
father of the child cried out, and said with tears. Lord, I believe ; help thou 
mine unbelief.' For a man finds these doubtings hke pioneers under ground 
at work, when all is fair above. Atheism and unbelief are of all corruptions 
the most secret, and discovered only by the true apprehension, and thorough 
belief of the contrary ; and therefore the strongest Christians, and as men 
grow in grace, they discern these most. Therefore, surely these are the 
fundamental bottom corruptions of all in a man's heart. As it is the clearest 
light of the truth which discovers the foundation of an error, and the lines 
where error and truth part, so it is the clearest faith that discovers unbelief; 


and if faith thus discovers it, then surely it is in all men's hearts, though 
they see it not. It is for want of faith that the generality of men think they 
have so little unbelief ; whereas if men would build upon nothing but sure 
earth and firm faith, they would find all the earth above ground to be but 
made earth, that would crack and sink presently. 

And as the strongest Christians complain of it, so did Christ still of all 
else complain of this concerning his disciples. you of little faith, says 
he : Luke xii. 28, ' If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the 
field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven : how much more will he clothe 
you, ye of httle faith ?' and if ye had but as much faith as a grain of mus- 
tard seed, says he : Mat. xvii. 20, * And Jesus said unto them, Because of 
your unbelief : for verily I sa}' unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mus- 
tard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place, 
and it shall remove ; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.' He speaks 
it often in case of doubting the power of God, and not of justifying faith 
only ; and so to Mary he says, if thou wouldst believe but the power of God : 
John xi. 40, ' Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst 
believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God ?' Thus God also complains of 
his people : Num. xiv. 11, ' And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will 
this people provoke me ? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all 
the signs which I have shewed among them ?' God speaks it in case of doubt- 
ing his power to subdue their enemies. Now, then, that which God, and 
Christ, and strongest Christians complain of, is certainly in men's hearts. 

5. If all these speak it not, yet look upon men's lives and actions, and 
the carriages of their hearts in time of trial and temptation, when their be- 
lief in these principles is put to the stress. 

Look upon men's actions, which are the most true interpreters and com- 
ments of their hearts, as David says: Ps. xxxvi. 1, 'The transgression of 
the wicked saith in my heart, there is no fear of God before his eyes ;' that 
is, it evidently argues it. However they profess they fear God, and think 
they do, yet their wickedness argues there is no fear of God. So I say, 
men's actions argue there is no faith of the first principles, either of pro- 
mises or threatenings, which is the meaning of that place, Titus i. 16, ' They 
profess that they know God.; but in works they deny him, being abominable, 
and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.' Thej^ profess they 
know God, and believe him, but in works they deny him ; that is, to be that 
God they seem to believe he is, and in works they do it, because their works 
argue they do so ; and those works proceed from something within which 
denies it ; for a man is most serious in his constant action, quicquid opera- 
tiir, operatur ut est, as it is in being, so is it in working ; therefore, if 
there was not a real principle within them which denied God, their works 
would not be the works of atheists ; for upon the belief and granting of 
such and such principles, such and such conclusions necessarily follow. 
They do so in other things, as God argues : Mai. i. 6, 'A son honoureth his 
father, and a servant his master : if then I be a father, where is mine 
honour ? and if I be a master, where is my fear ? saith the Lord of hosts 
unto you, O priests, that despise my name : and ye say. Wherein have we 
despised thy name ?' If I be a Father, where is my honour ? that is, if 
you believed this heartily, as you profess you do, and as other children 
believe these and these men to be their parents, you would demean your- 
selves to me accordingly ; you would ask my blessing every day, and call 
me Father morning and evening ; you would have recourse to me as to a 
father, trust me in straits and difficulties as a father. So if you believe I am a 
master, then where is my fear ? How dare you daily do contrary to what I 


command, and that when conscience tells you that you do so ? If a master 
says, Go, his servant goeth; if Come, he cometh ; but you leave undone what I 
command, and slight me in all. Certainly you do not believe that I am your 
master, for then obedience of consequence would follow ; for to other mas- 
ters, whom you seriously make account to be so, service and observance doth 
follow ; a servant doth fear his master, says God there. In a like manner God 
speaks : Jer. v. 21-2-1, ' Hear now this, foolish people, and without under- 
standing, which have eyes and see not, which have ears and hear not ; fear 
ye not me, saith the Lord ? Will ye not tremble at my presence, which have 
placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree that it can- 
not pass it ; and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not 
prevail ; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it. But this people 
liath a revolting and a rebellious heart : they are revolted and gone. Nei- 
ther say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth 
rain, both the former and the latter in his season : he reserveth unto us the 
appointed weeks of the harvest.' Fear you not me ? Will you not tremble 
every time you think of me ? who have placed the sand for the bound of the 
sea, &c. ; you say you all believe this ; why, then, says God, will you not 
fear me ? And so, says he, when you consider that I am he that feeds you, 
and clothes you, and give you rain, and provide for you ; that could when I 
would restrain the rain ; will you not love and serve me ? But, says God, 
you have rebellious hearts ; neither say you. Let us fear the Lord who gives 
us rain. To fear him is indeed a natural conseqaence upon it, and they 
would do so if they believed it indeed, and in earnest, that they depended 
on him for all ; for others, you see, who do so depend upon you, do fear and 
regard you, and therefore if you apprehended it indeed, you would fear me. 
But he tells them they were a people without the understanding and belief 
of this, ver. 21 ; and that, seeing they did not see, that though they had 
some light into these principles, yet indeed they did not believe them, and 
see them by faith, as Moses saw God, and the saints see him, for therefore 
they believe not, says Christ, because they see not with their eyes : John 
xii. 39, 40, ' Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again. 
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart ; that they should not 
see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and 
I should heal them.' 

6. So also, that in times of distress, when the anchor should stay the ship 
as in a storm, that then men's hearts fail them, though confident afore, this 
is a demonstration of a natural unbelief in them. When troubles approach, 
or great ones threaten, then men are afraid, and their hearts an-e moved as 
the leaves of trees. Thus was it with the disciples : Mark iv. 40, ' And he 
said unto them, Why are ye so fearful ? How is it that you have no faith ?' 
It was want of faith. Why are you so fearful ? How is it you have no faith ? 
Did not the Messiah go with you ? It was because they believed it not, that 
they were so afraid, that their hearts fainted, as Jacob's did for the same 
reason : Gen. xlv. 26, ' And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is 
governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he be- 
lieved them not.' Thus Mary, who could believe that Lazarus should rise 
at the latter day, and all men else, yet that her brother should rise now pre- 
sently, she knew not how to believe it ; he might not have died, indeed, she 
thought ; but he was now four days dead, and stunk : John xi. 23, 24, 32, 
39, ' Jesus saith unto her. Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto 
him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Then 
when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his 
feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not 



died. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that 
was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh ; for he hath been 
dead four days.' Her faith now failed in this time of extremity ; so also 
men can in their health believe the salvation of their souls, and can trust 
God for salvation, it being a thing they are not presently to enjoy ; but let 
them be in a small worldly strait, they distrust God in itj and let them come 
to be sick, then when their trusting God for salvation comes to be present, 
they are as doubtful of that as anything else. 
Now the reasons of it are, 

1. Man's nature will believe nothing but what if sees ; so Mark xv. 32 : 
' Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and 
believe. And they that were crucified with him, reviled him.' John vi. 30, 
' They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may 
see, and believe thee ? What dost thou work ?' Now the first principles 
are not seen, as no principles of arts and sciences are to be proved, for then 
reason would have no bottom to rest on. And so now these first practical 
principles of piety not being apprehended by reason, nor sight, therefore 
faith must be wrought, which is the evidence of things not seen. God is out 
of our sight ; who hath seen him at any time ? his judgments are out of sight : 
Ps. X. 5, ' His ways are always grievous ; thy judgments are far above out of 
his sight : as for all his enemies, he pufleth at them.' Hell and heaven men 
see not. But you will say, that the apostle expresseth that his Godhead is 
clearly seen : Rom. i. 20, ' For the invisible things of him from the creation 
of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even his eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse ;' and 
wrath revealed from heaven : ver. 18, ' For the wrath of God is revealed 
from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold 
the truth in unrighteousness.' I answer, that all those glimmerings are not 
of force enough to overcome the contrary darkness ; no, nor can the word of 
God itself do it, till faith comes with its optic glass, and makes them real, 
and evident, and puts them out of question, so as if ever they become 
active to guide our lives, they must be apprehended by a new principle. 
Therefore it is written, Heb. xi'. 6, he that comes to God, must have faith 
to believe even that God [isj, which yet is clearly seen so far, as to leave men 

2. These being such transcendent things above our thoughts, there is a 
dulness in man to believe them, and we cannot raise our thoughts so high. 
It is called a slowness of heart in us : Luke xxiv. 25, ' Then he said unto 
them, fools, and slow of heart to beheve all that the prophets have spoken !' 
Insomuch as Christ says, John v. 43, ' I am come in my Father's name, and 
ye receive me not : if another shall come in his own name, him ye will re- 
ceive ;' if another come in his own name, him you will receive, any but me 
you would accept. Wisdom is too high, too far above, so out of reason's 
reach, to believe it as it is to be believed, so that though the folly that is in 
us makes us believe every vain promise else of our hearts, every fable, — 
Prov. xix. 15, ' The simple believeth every word, but the prudent man 
looketh well to his going,' — we will not believe fiii-m and solid truths. 
Wisdom is too high for a fool, and men are loath to extend their eyesight to 
see so far off"; it wearies and dulls them, and therefore though we see, we 
can scarce believe, though signs be wrought : John xii. 37, ' But though he 
had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.' 

3. These spiritual truths are contrary to a man's heart, and ways, and 
course. Now self-love being in the mind and understanding, it keeps it off 
from assenting to what it apprehends evil to itself. Now to beheve there is 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 231 

a God, and a bell, &c., are contrary to it. For he is a judge, and therefore 
men like not to receive the knowledge of him, and believe him not : Rom. 
i. 28, ' And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God 
gave them over to a i*eprobate mind, to do those things which are not con- 
venient.' So 2 Thes. ii. 12, this reason is given why they believed not, 
because they had pleasure in unrighteousness ; 2 Thes. ii. 12, ' That they 
all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in un- 
righteousness.' As love makes us credulous, 1 Cor. xiii. 7, ' beareth all 
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things,' we 
beheve good of those we love, so self-love renders us incredulous ; there- 
fore Christ says. Though I tell you, you will not believe : Luke xxii. 67, 
* Saying, Art thou Christ ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, 
you will not believe.' 

4. Unbelief was the chief of man's first sin. Their first miscarrying was 
not believing God's word, and therefore they especially wounded our nature 
with unbelief ; and faith being extinguished, the contrary principles have 
come to possess the mind : 2 Cor. iv. 4, ' In whom the god of this world 
hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glori- 
ous gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.' 
Satan hath power to blind their minds with contrary principles. 

What are the principles of godliness which a wicked man believes not. 

Now the main principles of a godly life which the heart of man believes 
not, and the contrary principles to them, which do sway and prevail with 
the heart, are sundry and diverse. 

1. We naturally believe not that there is a God, but the contrary. For 
this I produce not this place only, but the tenth psalm, where we have the 
same truth laid down, yea, and that as the spring and source of all those 
villanies and oppressions which there are reckoned up. He speaks in that 
psalm of great and potent oppressors and politicians, who see none on 
earth greater than themselves, none higher than they, and think therefore 
they may impnne prey upon the smaller, as beasts use to do ; and in the 
fourth verse this is made the root and ground of all, that God is not in all 
his thoughts : Ps. x. 4, ' The wicked through the pride of his countenance 
will not seek after God : God is not in all his thoughts ;' the words are 
diversely read, and all make for this sense. Some read it, ' No God in all 
his crafty presumptuous purposes;' others, 'AH his thoughts are, there is 
no God.' The meaning whereof is not only that among the swarm and 
crowd of thoughts that fill his mind, the thought of God is seldom to be 
found, and comes not in among the rest, which yet is enough for the pur- 
pose in hand ; but farther, that in all his projects and plots, and consulta- 
tions of his heart (the first reading of the words intends), whereby he 
contrives and lays the plot, form, and draught of all his actions, he never 
takes God or his will into consideration or consultation, to square and frame 
all accordingly, but proceeds and goes on in all, and carries on all, as if 
there were no God to be consulted with. He takes not him along with 
him, no more than if he were no God ; the thoughts ol him and his will 
sways him not. As you use to say, when a combination of men leave out 
some one they should advise with, tlaat such an one is not of their counsel, 



is not in the plot, so nor is God in their purposes and advisings, they do all 
without him. But this is not all the meaning, bi;t farther, all their thought 
is, that there is no God. This is there made the bottom, the foundation, 
the groundwork and reason of all their wicked plots and injurious projects, 
and deceitful carriages and proceedings, that seeing there is no God or 
power above them to take notice of it, to regard or requite them, therefore 
they may be bold to go on. That whereas Solomon says in tbat very case 
there is a higher than the highest regardeth it : Eccles. v. 8, ' If thou seest 
the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice 
in a province, marvel not at the matter ; for he that is higher than the high- 
est regardeth, and there be higher than they.' They think not so, ver. 11 
of that 10th Psalm, ' He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten ; he 
hideth his face, he will never see it.' 

Enemies on earth he sees none can do him any hurt ; all his distressers 
he puffs at them, and then vainly imagining that there is no God^ he thinks 
that he may go on presumptuously, for, says he, I shall never be removed ; 
and tell him of God's judgments, why, if there be no God, what need he fear 
any ? he is far enough out of their gun-shot to reach him, they are far out 
of his sight : ver. 5, ' His ways are always grievous ; thy judgments are far 
above out of his sight : as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.' That is, 
he sees them not, as we do not things that are high and far above us, and 
he, wanting faith, which is the optic-glass of things not seen, he believes 
them not ; and that he believes this great fundamental error that there is no 
God, you may see by all his thoughts and ways, they declare that he thinks 
there is no God ; that this is the sum verdict they give in, they speak and 
declare so much. And if this principle be laid in men's hearts (as you see it 
is), then no wonder that they are so wicked, for if there be no God, there is 
not, nor can be, any sin, and then no judgment, and then men may do what 
they will. Q^iod lihet, licet his. As when there was no king in Israel, every 
man did what was good in his own eyes ; so when men think there is no 
God, their own lusts are their laws, and riches and preferments their gods, 
and gain in all these is all their godliness. 

Or, 2, if men be sensible there is a God, and so come to have some re- 
spect to him in their actions, yet all those glorious attributes wherein he 
hath represented himself to us, as principles of our obedience to him, they 
believe not, in deed and in truth ; and this is the ground also of all their 

(1.) They believe not really that he is a God omniscient, and sees and 
regards us in all. Though men profess this, yet when they come to commit 
secret sins their hearts think not so, for contrary thoughts are the ground of 
their impiety. And this very thing God, who searcheth the hearts, hath 
revealed to us ; the ancients of Israel, the rulers in Israel, — Ezek. viii. 
9, 10, 12, ' And he said unto me. Go in, and behold the wicked abomina- 
tions that they do here. So I went in, and saw : and, behold, every form of 
creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of 
Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. Then said he unto me, Son 
of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the 
dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery ? for they say. The Lord 
seeth us not ; the Lord hath forsaken the earth,' — who know God and all his 
attributes, they sacrificed in secret to idols, whilst they professed the true 
God openly. And what is the cause of this ? God gives this as a reason, 
* For they say. The Lord seeth us not.' That thou shouldst commit un- 
cleanness in secret thou wouldst not do afore a child, or tell that He thon 
wouldst not have discovered or known, is it not from this principle embolden- 

Chap. V.j in respect of sin and punishment. 233 

ing thee, God sees me not ? Would Gebazi have told that lie which he did, 
if he had believed the spirit of his master went with him ? Would men in 
secret lay plots to overturn churches, and states, and societies, to oppress 
God's people, to advance themselves, if they believed God to be wiser than 
themselves, or that he did see them, and delighted to shew his wit in con- 
founding them ? Isa. xxix. 13-3 6, 'Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch 
as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their hps do honour 
me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is 
taught by the precepts of men : therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a 
marvellous work amongst this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder ; 
for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of the 
prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their 
counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say. Who 
seeth us ? and who knoweth us ? Surely your turning of things upside 
down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay : for shall the work say of him 
that made it. He made me not ? or shall the thing framed say of him that 
framed it. He had no understanding ?' God speaks there of those that did 
profess him and call upon him, ver. 13 ; wise men whom God would con- 
found in their plots, ver. 14 ; the wisdom of the wise shall perish, for, ver. 
15, they digged deep to hide counsel from the Lord ; their gunpowder 
plots and underminings are in the dark, and they look round about them, 
and they discern none that sees them, and therefore they say. Who sees us 
and who knows us ? Ps. x. 11, ' He hath said in his heart, God hath for- 
gotten : he hideth his face, he will never see it.' Ps. xciv. 7, ' Yet they say, 
The Lord shall not see : neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.' 

(2.) If men believed the greatness and sovereignty of God, and power of 
his wrath, would they fear the fury of the oppressor daily, as God complains, 
Isa. li. 12, 13, them that can kill but the body, yea, that cannot do that 
neither long or often, for he is one that shall die, and then have no longer 
powder to hurt, and he before may have his horns cut short, may be blasted 
and wither as the grass, and his spirit cut short, so as where now is the fury 
of the oppressors ? wilt thou fear him, says God there, and doest thou forget 
the Lord thy Maker, who hath power to kill body and soul, who dies not ? 
fearest thou not to fall into the hands of the Hving God ? Isa. li. 12, 13, ' I, 
even I, am he that comforteth you : who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid 
of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass ; 
and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, 
and laid the foundations of the earth : and hast feared continually every day, 
because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy ? and 
where.is the fury of the oppressor ?' If thou didst believe his greatness, thou 
wouldst fear him, for what dost Ihou fear the oppressor ? If thou hadst but 
as strong and deep apprehensions of his power over thee, as thou hast of a 
powerful enemy, thou wouldst not fear a poor weak man more than God. 
But that thou forgettest thy Maker, thou wouldst not do it ; for if one greater 
than thy oppressor comes, that is able to oppress both him and thee, thou 
would slight even him, whom but now thou fearedst, and sUght him as much 
as thou didst God before. 

(3.) Men do not beHeve he is so great and terrible a God as they profess 
him to be. For would they then come with loose, irreverent, scattered, and 
careless thoughts into his presence, and offer the sacrifice of fools, if they 
believed he were in heaven and they on earth? That is, that there were such 
a distance and infinite disproportion between God and them, would they 
offer the blind, the lame, such prayers as neither their understandings are 
intent upon nor their affections ? If they believed he were so great a king. 


and his name so dreadful, they would not come into his presence so negli- 
gently ; you would not do thus to your governors, says God : Malachi i. 8, 
* And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil ? and if ye offer the 
lame and sick, is it not evil ? offer it now unto thy governor ; will he be 
pleased with thee, or accept thy person ? saith the Lord of hosts.' That is, 
if you believed my greatness, as you believe their power and sovereignty over 
you, you would bring other hearts and sacrifices into my presence. 

And in Ezek. v. 3, God puts them in mind of his greatness, to rectify this 
their slighting of him, implying therefore necessarily thereby, that the want 
of the belief of this was the cause of their careless and irreverent worship : 
Ezek. V. 3, ' Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them 
in thy skirts.' 

So also in Isa. li, 13 (as I shewed under the last head), the reason why 
men fear the fury of great men, when they oppress them, or command one 
thing, and God another, is because they forget his greatness and believe it 
not. ^ Who art thou, says God there, who fearest the fury of the oppressor, 
who is yet but a man, who can therefore but kill the body ? and a mortal 
man too, that must die as well as thou, and it may be before thee, or who 
however hath no longer power after his death to hurt, and whose power may 
be blasted ere he dies ; or if not, yet his fury may cease towards thee, and 
his spirit be cut short ; for says God there, ' Where is the fury of the oppres- 
sor ?' that is, thou seest it comes to nothing often, and that all their threats 
vanish ; why is it then, says God, thou forgettest me thy Maker, who there- 
fore am able to destroy all that is in thee, both body and soul, for I made 
both, who am the great God who hath stretched forth the heavens, &c. '? 
When I tell thee I am he that comforteth thee, and will back thee, and bid 
thee not fear, ver. 12, how comes it thou fearest them more than me ? 
Is it because thou forgettest me and my greatness ? for therefore he puts 
them in mind of it ; and that it is so it is evident. For if one whom thou 
apprehendest greater than thy oppressor, who is able to overrule and oppress 
both him and thee, should but say as much as God doth, thou wouldst 
dread thy former oppressor no longer ; and therefore this shews that thy fear- 
ing him is because thou behevest not God's greatness. 

(4.) If they beheve that God doth see and is able to punish, yet men 
think him a God slack, and careless, and regardless of then- ways, and not 
so certain, and sure, and just ^an avenger as they profess he is ; that is 
another principle in their hearts, which is a ground of their impiety : 2 Peter 
iii. 4, 9, ' And saying, Where is the promise of his coming ? for since the 
fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of 
the creation. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men 
count slackness ; but is long-suflering to us-ward, not wiUing that any should 
perish, but that all should come to repentance.' God deferring his coming 
to punishment, Peter says that God herein is not slack, as men count slack- 
ness, implying that men indeed think so, and they interpret his long-sufler- 
ing slackness ; and they say in their heart, God will neither do good nor evil, 
as if he regarded nothing : Zeph. i. 12, ' And it shall come to pass at that 
time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that 
are settled on their lees ; that say in their heart. The Lord will not do good, 
neither will he do evil.' Hence they think that they may do what they will 
for all him, for as they look for little good from him, but only in the 
creatures, so they look for little hurt from him ; he will do neither, say they. 
And hence now their hearts come to be set upon evil : Eccles. viii. 11, 
' Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore 
the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.' This principle 

Chap. V.] in respect of sin and punishment. 235 

is not only the ground why they venture upon many evil acts again and 
again, but of a bent and resolute and fixed purpose in mind still to go on in 
evil courses, so in Ps. x., when the sinner had often sinned, and had heard 
nothing of it, he thought God regardless ; He hath forgotten it, saith he, 
Ps. X. 11, and as he hath done so he will do, and he will never requite it, 
he minds not these things. 

(5.) Men tbink in their hearts that God is like to them, that if he be such 
a God of judgment as it is said he is, certainly it is to those that are difl'er- 
ent from him ; but certainly he is a God of the same mind and judgment 
with us ; and look what pitch of obedience and religion pleaseth us, pleaseth 
him also. He is not so strict as men make him : so Malachi ii. 17, they 
reasoned and put this dilemma on him, which strengthened them in their 
courses : Mai. ii. 17, * Ye have wearied the Lord with your words : yet ye 
say, Wherein have we wearied him ? When ye say, Every one that doeth 
evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them ; or, Where is 
the God of judgment ? ' They say, every one that doeth evil is good in the sight 
of the Lord, that is, though a man doth evil, i.e. is given to some ill course, 
be a worldling, or a drunkard, or a swearer now and then, yet God is not so 
strict a God as you make him, he may be in his favour for his good meaning, 
for God looks to the heart. Or if not so (for it is a dilemma), Where is the 
God of judgment? that is, either he is a God thus favourable, or else not 
such a God of judgment, so holy, and so severe as you prophets make him. 
For we see not, nor find him to be so ; where is the God of judgment ? 
The truth is, you have wearied him, says the prophet, that is, tired out his 
long- sulfe ring which he hath been exercising all this while ; so inPs. 1. The 
very ground and spring of that profaneness and lewdness in the hypocrite's 
heart and life (who thought though he was an adulterer and a slanderer, yet 
he pleased God by his sacrifices), was this thought (says God), that I was like 
to thee : Ps. 1. 21, ' These things hast thou done, and I kept silence : thou 
thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself : but I will reprove 
thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.' That is, thou thoughtest 
me a God, who, if he were to live and converse on earth, would suit himself 
with thee, justify thy courses, and approve all well. 

(6.) Men naturally believe not the word of God, neither the promises nor 
threatenings of it. It was the ground of the first sin that ever was com- 
mitted. Hath God said you shall die ? Gen. iii. 1, he made a question of it 
to her, and she began to stagger, because [she sawj a creature subsist, and 
yet call God's word into question, and therefore she thought she might eat 
and live also. And as it was the ground of the first sin, so of all ever since ; 
for if men believed the word, and writs we serve upon their consciences here 
out of the word (when they know themselves), as they do the writs that come 
out of courts, and attachments from the king or others, it would make them 
fear, and tremble, and put a stop to their courses. Would the swearer be 
so loud if in earnest he believed God will not hold him guiltless that takes 
his name in vain ? Would men be covetous, be fornicators, drunkards, &c., 
if they believed that the wrath of God comes upon such ? 

The rich man in hell, Luke xvi., whose brethren lived in the bosom of 
the church, and heard Moses read and preached, and all the promises and 
threatenings which in Deut. xxviii. and elsewhere are made, yet he feared 
they would come to hell. Why, says Abraham, they have Moses and the 
prophets to tell them, and testify to them aforehand, a cloud of witnesses 
more likely to persuade than if one should come from the dead. But they 
would not be persuaded, the rich man thought, by them, for he had woful 
experience of it in himself; for when Abraham says, ' Let them hear them,' 


nay, says he, ' but if one come from the dead they would repent.' Nay, 
says Abraham again, * if they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither 
will they be persuaded by one rising from the dead.' The reason men 
repent not is because they are not persuaded. Luke xvi. 31, ' And he said 
unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be 
persuaded though one rose from the dead.' The word is 'KnodriGov-ai. That 
same word is used to express the persuasion of faith whereby we believe 
things are : Heb. xi. 13, ' These all died in faith, not having received the 
promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and 
embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the 
earth.' Having seen the promises afar off, they were first persuaded, that 
is, of the truth and reality of them, and then applied and embraced them. 
Now, then, his brethren would not so much as be persuaded of the truth of 
the threatenings, and Moses and the prophets would not sink into them. 
Thus Christ also tells the Jews : John v. 40, 47, ' For had ye believed 
Moses, ye would have believed me : for he wrote of me. But if ye believe 
not his writings, how shall ye believe my words ?' Ye believe not Moses 
his writings (says he), not in earnest, so as to be guided by them. The 
cause of all the murmuring in the people of Israel so often, and that they 
hearkened not to his voice, and despised the promised land, was, they 
believed not God's word, nor the truth and faithfulness of it : Ps. cvi. 24, 25, 
' Yea, they despised the pleasant land ; they believed not his word ; but 
murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord,' and 
they in Heb. iv. are made a type of all unregenerate men, who believe not 
the promises of heaven, for still you shall find their unbelief there mentioned ; 
and they failed not only in the application to themselves that they should 
not enter, but of the truth itself, the seriousness of God's meaning in it, as 
appeared by the story. You know who it was, even wicked Ahaz, who 
refused a promise and a sign when it was offered him, Isa. vii. 10-13. The 
reason was, he was loath to take that course of trusting and depending upon 
a promise to go that way to work; he not only distrusted, but refused God's 
bond, would not take it, though God offered a sign and seal to it. And as 
for promises, so for threatenings, how do men slight them ? Jer. xvii. 15, 
' Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now;' as also in Isa. v. 19, 
' That say. Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it : 
and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we 
may know it.' A parallel place to it, let him make haste that we may see 
it, they speak it in a daring, desperate, unbelieving manner; he hath threat- 
ened long, let him come, we would fain see it once ! Thus that oppressor, 
too, in Ps. X. 5, behaves himself; as for God's judgments, of all else, he 
fears them least, they are far out of sight, so as he cannot see them ; and if 
he doth, they seem small as stars do, he cannot believe they are so great. 

(7.) Men believe not that there is a world to come, wherein evil men shall 
be punished and godly men rewarded, nor a day of judgment, nor a resur- 
rection. You think you believe all these things well enough, they are in 
your creed. Martha, she professed she knew her brother should rise in the 
resurrection of the last day : John xi. 24, ' Martha saith unto him, I know 
that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day,' but yet Christ 
saw her faith staggering in the truth of this in deed and in truth, else he 
would never have after that profession posed her so in her creed, and cate- 
chised her again in this general article. Whosoever liveth and believeth in 
me shall never die ; believest thou this ? ver. 25, 26, * Jesus said unto her, 
I am the resurrection, and the life : he that believeth on me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live : and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall 

Chap. V.j in respect of sin and punishment. 237 

never die. Believest thou this ? ' She had said it even now, and yet Christ 
asks her again if she believed it, though, had she believed it, she would not 
have thought her brother could not be raised now, because he stank. Christ 
tells her that she did not believe it, as he had said and intimated to her, 
ver. 40; yet she had some faith. How much more is this true in wicked 
men, whose not believing the world to come is the cause they take out 
their fill here ! That speech of the Jews, Isa. xxii. 13, ' Let us eat and 
drink, for to-morrow we shall die,' is interpreted and applied by the Holy 
Ghost to the resurrection : 1 Cor. xv. 32, ' If after the manner of men i have 
fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me if the dead rise not ? 
let us eat and drink ; for to-morrow we die.' Because they denied that in 
their hearts, and any life hereafter, therefore they thought it was best to take it 
out here, and that it was folly to do otherwise. Thus also the rich man 
did, who is put in mind of this his atheism in hell : Luke xvi. 25, 'But 
Abraham said. Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good 
things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou 
art tormented.' Remember thou receivedst thy good things in thy lifetime; 
that is, all the good things thou didst look for or expect. And he acknow- 
ledgeth as much, in that he would have Lazarus go, and testify to his brethren 
that there was another world, and a place of torment. He knew the want 
of belief of this brought him thither, and therefore prescribes it as a remedy 
to prevent their coming ; and this in like manner in Mai. iii. 14 is made the 
cause of their neglect of holy duties and seeking God : ' You say it is in vain 
to serve God, and what profit is there in keeping his ordinance ? ' There is 
no reward for the righteous, nothing to be got by it ; they could see none 
here, and much less did they look for any hereafter, what good will it then 
do us ? say they, and now therefore we call the proud happy, say they, and 
the presumptuous they carry the world afore them, and for whom the world 
was made, seeing happiness is only to be had here, and that wicked men 
are advanced, ver. 15 ; and they seeing this, they said in their hearts there 
is no reward, and thought there was none to come neither. And yet they 
scarce discerned their unbelief of this future state (as many speeches are to 
be interpreted), for they said, wherein had they spoke against God: ver. 13, 
' Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord : yet ye say, What 
have we spoken so much against thee ? ' 

And that this is a principle in men's hearts that guides them thus, and 
that also upon the same ground, is evident by that of Solomon in Eccles. ix. 
He had shewn in chap. viii. how that the wicked are rewarded with the work 
of the righteous, that the righteous are unprosperous, and e contra, and in 
ver. 2 of chap. ix. ; how here one event was to all: Eccles. ix. 2, 'AH things 
come alike to all : there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to 
the good, and to the clean, and to the unclean ; to him that sacrificeth, and 
to him that sacrificeth not : as is the good, so is the sinner ; and he that 
sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.' And he says there was no greater 
evil than this, for the event and issue of this God's dealing was, that thereby 
the hearts of the sons of men was full of evil and madness whilst they live, 
and it is the occasion they go so many of them to hell when they die ; and 
why ? Because God's dealing thus engenders such thoughts as these, that 
whilst a man lives there is hope indeed of some good and happiness, but in 
the world to come there is no recompence to godly courses^ which they ex- 
press by this proverb, that a living dog is better than a dead lion: ver. 4, 
' For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope : for a living dog is 
better than a dead lion ; ' that is, the meanest condition of men here is better 
than the best hereafter, so as they had rather be a rustic clown now than 


a king in heaven ; they have no knowledge of hereafter, and knowing they 
shall die, think it is best taking it out here. They believe there is no reward 
hereafter, unless it may be to be spoken well of for a while ; they saw that, but 
no other, and that is soon forgotten, and therefore they are set upon evil here, 
and here they prepare only for this world, and this though they know they 
shall die; not young men only, who may hope to live long, but old men also, 
when they know they cannot live long, and have a foot in the grave, yet they 
are most worldly. Whence is it ? Is it not from this principle, that they 
think not of any reward beyond this world, which God's dealings confirm 
them in ? I have known those persons who have had this distinct thought 
in their minds, that let them but have their pleasure here, and let God keep 
heaven to himself, so he would not damn them ! Thus that cardinal said thai 
he would not lose his portion in Paris for that in paradise ! 

Did we believe but these first principles, as we do other things of like 
nature in this world, we would be other men ; did we believe there were 
another world after this, in which we must live for ever, as all profess they 
do, men would not take up their rest here, they would not lay out all their 
money, that is, their endeavours, time, and care, upon the settling and assur- 
ing a happy condition here, and spend no thoughts or time to provide all 
necessai'ies and friends in the world to come. We see that men who believe 
they shall shortly go into another land, send their goods thither, and care 
not how things go at home, as you do not when you know you are to remove 
into another house, and your landlord hath given you warning. And yet 
now God gives you warning by sickness to dislodge from this world, why do 
you not then look out for another house and better habitation ; why are your 
thoughts and care still employed to repair the decayed house which you are 
leaving ? But the truth is, men believe it not ; so Solomon tells us, Eccles. 
iii. 21, * Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit 
of the beast that goeth downward to the earth ? ' which is not the speech of 
an atheist, but of Solomon complaining that none believe it or know it, but 
think all befalls a man and a beast alike. Men's works shew that they do 
not heartily beheve death and judgment ; for if men did believe the short- 
ness of their time to get grace in when they are old, as men believe the 
shortness of the time when the sun grows low, they would not defer to make 
their calling sure. Did men believe that all the seed they sow to the Spirit, 
all the prayers they make, and good they do, will come up again in a full 
crop of reward at the great harvest of the world, and that as they sow they 
shall reap, as husbandmen do believe when they cast their corn into the 
ground, thsy would sow fewer sins, and more good duties, and more good 
speeches ; but men think all cast away because it comes not up presently : 
Mai. iii. 14, ' Ye have said. It is vain to serve God ; and what profit is it 
that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before 
the Lord of hosts ? ' If men believed that in parting with credit, wealth, 
&c., they should have an hundred-fold; as they believe if they put their 
money out, and venture it with such a company, they shall gain half in half ; 
if men believed this as the other, they would certainly venture all for heaven ; 
if men believed evil times were coming, and that these times would cause 
judgments (as you beUeve winter will come when summer is gone, and so 
lay up provision, and provide winter suits)^ you would provide for such a 
great and terrible day. 

Chap. VI.] in respect of sin and punishment. 239 


Some objections answered. — In ivhat sense it may he affirmed that all wicked 
men are atheists. — That wicked men are wanting in giving a heart-assent to 
the first principles and fundamental truths of religion, as well as they are 
defective in the application of them to themselves. 

There are some objections which may be urged against the truth of the 
doctrine which I have deUvered, which I now come to answer. 

Obj. If these sayings were in men's hearts, then all men should be heretics 
and atheists ; and besides, do not all profess the contrary principles, yea, 
and not only so, but assent to and contend for all those particular truths 
which are deduced out of them, and zealously defend all those branches of 
our religion which spring from them ? 

To all which I briefly answer : 

First, Whereas you say all should be heretics, I answer, that there is a 
twofold atheism and heresy, one direct and professed, conceived and ex- 
pressed in so many words contrary to these principles, and there are few 
such : but then there is an atheism is indirect, and manifested but by way 
of consequence, when that is yielded to by the heart, which overthrows what 
a man hath owned and assented to in his mind ; and so many deny God in 
their works : 2 Peter ii. 1, * But there were false prophets also among the 
people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall 
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and 
bi'ing upon themselves swift destruction.' So as what in words they yielded 
unto, they in deed and in truth deny again. We may say in this case as 
divines do of papists, who, though in words they do profess Christ and 
assent to all the articles of the creed, yet withal they admit and hold such 
opinions to uphold their cursed practices as do deny him to be come in the 
flesh : 1 John iv. 3, ' And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ 
is come in the flesh is not of God : and this is that spirit of antichrist, 
whereof you have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in 
the world.' And therefore their assenting to this truth, that Christ is come 
in the flesh, doth not free them from being antichrists, and to be justly called 
so, yea, and as justly as the Jews are, for they do strip him of all the ends 
he came into the world for. Thus, though men assent to this truth in direct 
terms propounded, that there is a God and a world to come, yet seeing they 
yield to such courses as cannot stand with a true assent thereto, therefore 
they may be termed atheists and heretics in that sense, as the papists are 
called antichrist, who are they that in Rev. xi. 1 are to tread down the holy 
city forty months, and possess the outward court of the people, that is, the 
profession of the church. They are notwithstanding called Gentiles : Rev. 
xi. 2, ' But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it 
not ; for it is given unto the Gentiles : and the holy city shall they tread 
under foot forty and two months.' 

And whereas, second, it is said men profess these principles, I answer, 
there is such an assent given to these truths as shall cause a man to profess 
them ; for that you do, being carried away with the common cry of all those 
you live amongst ; as they believed for the saying of the woman, John iv. 39, 
so you take them for granted, and never question, being brought up in them, 
and taught to say so, and because they are universally received ; just such 
an assent it is as the Turks have to their Alcoran, and therefore as they, so 
we profess these things as true. And look, as the stream riseth no higher 


than the fountain, so doth this assent, as it is engendered by common 
opinion in men's minds, so it ariseth to common confession. But now when 
a man shall be put upon all those practices, which are the necessary conse- 
quences of those principles, to alter all a man's course and life upon these 
grounds'that there is a God, and that he is a rewarder of those that seek 
him, herein men fall short, for these principles have not interest enough in 
the heart to prevail so far. 

And therefore, tJdrdhj, as from common opinion and general consent men 
receive these principles, they do in like manner assent to all the branches of 
religion which spring from them, to all the consequences of speculation and 
doctrine which are thence deduced, and think them true for their concatena- 
tion, and linking together, and harmony, and correspondency one with 
another, and so out of those principles contend for them, and accord to them, 
reason for them, and say if these be true, then are these likewise. As many 
mathematicians do for Copernicus's demonstrations, which were framed and 
reared upon this, that the earth moves and the heavens stand still, wherein 
yet he makes all the phenomena of sun, moon, and stars good upon that 
supposition, and yet the first principle itself, not being fully believed nor 
proved and evidenced to a man's mind, but the contrary, a man would not 
venture or hazard much upon the truth of them all ; no more will men for 
the truth they profess they believe, because they stagger in their belief of the 
principles themselves, which are to be apprehended by faith, and then all 
that are built on them are so too. But otherwise men will not die for them, 
and hold them fast as their lives, and part with all for them ; nor do they 
frame their lives to them, so as though they yield to all the consequences of 
them, of speculation and doctrine, yet not of practice, which those put them 

Ohj. 2. But you will, in the second place, further object, that men will 
say, they have laid their ears to their hearts, but yet they never heard them 
say so, they never had such distinct contrary thoughts come into their minds. 
Surely, if there were such principles and sayings, which do thus guide all 
their lives, they should know them ; but, on the contrary, thoughts that there 
is a God &c., do often fill their minds, and are frequent with them, and come 
in when they are about to sin. 

I answer, that men may verily think they believe these things, and per- 
ceive no contrary thoughts, and yet indeed do not believe them ; nay, the 
contrary sayings shall yet be the chief engines that do turn their hearts about, 
and all the wheels of them. 

For, first, there is a clear instance of it in John v. 45-47, ' Do not think 
that I will accuse you to the Father : there is one that accuseth you, even 
Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have be- 
lieved me : for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall 
ve believe my words ?' The Jews they thought they beUeved Moses well 
enough, for Christ says they trusted in him, and thought his writings the 
word of God, so as they put confidence in them ; yet, says Christ, it is evi- 
dent you do not believe his writings, for you would then believe me also, but 
because that cannot stand with your lusts and greatness you will not do it : 
verse 44, ' How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and 
seek not the honour that cometh from God only ?' The consequences, there- 
fore, of believing Moses' writings they yield not unto, as indeed wanting true 
belief of them and of their truth. 

And, secondly, you must know that these principles of atheism discover 
not themselves in direct opposite thoughts much, which you may take notice 
of, for they say little to the contrary of the great truths of religion, but work 

Chap. YL] in respect of sin and punishment. 241 

underhand to the contrary. You hear them not disputing against the truth 
in the schools of your speculative understandings ; no, there the word of 
God is heard, and they arc silent there, but at the court of the heart thoro 
they plot and act, and procure all acts that pass, all a man's deeds to be 
clean contrary. These possess the ears of the will and afiections, and so slily 
guide all and carry all afore them. And herein lies the very depth of the 
heart's deceitfulness, which, Jer. xvii., the prophet says no man can know. 
They say in their hearts there is no God, — it is added, in the heart, to note 
out the secrecy of it. Why, but you will say, if they be so prevalent we 
should know and discover them. I answer, the heart is deceitful, who can 
know it ? 

For, thirdly, yet further to clear this to you, you must know that the first 
principles whereby our minds are guided in judging of things, are seldom or 
never drawn out into actual thoughts by themselves, so as you may view 
them alone. And if in anything the heart's deceitfulness is discovered it is 
in this, that all things should be thus carried in the heart, and yet the chief 
agents and principles never appear. 

For, first, those first principles wherewith our minds being fully possessed 
are guided by them, are seldom or never drawn forth, and formed into ex- 
phcit, distinct, actual thoughts, so as to consider them apart by themselves ; 
and yet implicitly they have a hand in all a man's actions, so as a man 
hence comes seldom to take notice of them. For example now, this is a 
common principle, even children are guided by it, that the whole is greater 
than one part ; therefore, bring half an apple to a child and a whole one to 
choose, and he takes the whole and refuseth the half, his mind being guided 
by that principle ; and yet he hath not that thought drawn out by itself, that 
the whole is bigger than the half, therefore I will choose it ; yet that is in 
his mind that doth it. So now this is a principle that all the world in 
sinning is guided by, that there is no God ; but the meaning is not that 
when men sin, they have such an actual, explicit, distinct thought by itself; 
no, and yet but for such an one in the heart men would never sin. Even, 
also, as men that speak Latin, the rules they make it by they seldom think 
of them, and yet one that heard them would say, surely their minds are guided 
by such rules in all. So when men produce such deformed actions of sin 
and wickedness, though they have not this thought still in their eye and 
view, there is no God, &c., yet he that sees their actions would say that all 
these actions argue such principles to be in their hearts; they are inbred 
there, and by them men are guided in all, so as if you would resolve all your 
actions into their first principles, you would say it were so. So when in 
Ps. X. 4 it is said, as some read it, that ' all his thoughts are, there is no 
God,' the meaning is not that he actually thinks explicitly of nothing else, 
but virtually all his thoughts are so. So as these principles are as a spring 
in a watch, which moves least itself, yet the force of it doth all. Movet, 
quum ipsmn sit immobile. 

And, secondly, as first principles move thus unseen, so the acts of unbelief 
also ; for as the acts of faith are most secret, and yet most strong and power- 
ful, so are the acts of unbelief. Faith being the bottom and foundation of 
all graces, it lies like an anchor under water, or as a foundation under ground ; 
as it is of things not seen, so also itself is a thing least seen and discerned, 
and is mostly seen but in the effects, and so therefore it is distinguished and 
discovered to us in the word. How many do believe, and yet we discern 
no faith in them ? How do we walk by it, live by it, pray, preach, work in 
our callings by it, so as all good works are the fruits of it, and yet we have 
not distinct, immediate thoughts of justifying faith in all thest. Nothing so 

VOL. X. Q 


secret as the acts of faith. What ado is there among godly men what should 
be that act that justifies, and what should be the ground of it, &c., and yet 
all have it, and yet it is not discerned. Now as it is in the bottom grace of 
all the rest, so it is in the bottom corruption of all the rest, unbelief; it is 
the root of all, and therefore it is under ground. It doth all, hath an influ- 
ence into every action, hud yet we discern it not ; but we see such a thing 
is in our hearts rather by the effe(;ts than otherwise, as we do faith also. 
And the bottom of corruption is much less discernible than the foundation 
of gi-ace, for grace is light and discovers itself, but corruption is darkness ; 
and if the heart be deceitful, who can know it ? Then, certainly, what lies 
at the bottom of all is least discernible, and so unbelief doth. 

Why, but you will say, We have many distinct thoughts to the contrary, 
viz., that there is a God; many considerations which aim to curb us, be- 
cause there is a God and a hell. 

I answer, 1. That, as in a believer, there often come in a thousand ob- 
jections against his faith, and his heart is filled with doubting thoughts, and 
to his thinking with nothing else, when yet secretly faith works in all its 
actions against them, and the acts thereof, which are not discerned, do pre- 
vail with his heart still to go on to obey God, and cleave to him, and to fear 
him, more than all those doubts that keep a noise can prevail to the contrary. 

I have told you of an estate of men, who walk in darkness and have no 
light, yea, souls that will complain that they call all into question, whether 
there be a God, or the Scriptures be true, or themselves in God's favour ; 
and they have no thought in view but such as causes them to doubt of all 
these, and yet even they walk more closely with God in such an hour than 
when they are freed from all these, and thereby they shew that they believe 
these truths, even when they seem to deny them, which they could not do, 
but that faith and the principles of it work the most strongly in them. When 
faith says least it often doth most. 

So, on the contrary, in men whose hearts are filled with many convictions 
from the light of nature and the world that there is a God, and a hell, and 
such thoughts glare in their eyes, yet secretly the unbelief of all these pre- 
vail, and have a greater hand in their hearts, and they by reason of the other 
more glaring light discern it not. 

But you will say. How can these two stand together in the heart ? I 
answer 3'ou out of this psalm : this you may see in this very psalm, the 
psalmist confidently afiirms, that wicked men say there is no God, you see 
in the first verse. Now, because men would object and say. How can that 
be ? Have not men knowledge that there is a God, and many serious thoughts 
about him ? Yes, says he, ver. 4, 5. He makes there the objection him- 
self, and says they have, and that such knowledge as awes them and terrifies 
them often ; there is their fear, for God was in the generation of the just. 
So even the Gentiles knew God, when yet they glorified him not as God, 
and therefore the apostle adds, that the fruit of all this was only to leave 
them without excuse. So that though there be such light and sparkling 
thoughts in the mind, yet it is not so powerful as the contrary darkness and 
unbelief, which doth not onh' stand together with it in the same heart, but 
prevails more than it; and still they are corrupt for all that, the one, viz. 
the knowledge of the principles of the truth, only so prevails, and wins but 
so much ground as to give warning of the contrary detestable falsehood, so 
as they shall be without excuse, and therefore it speaks loudest, for it can 
do nothing else but speak, but the other doth all, and gives laws to the man. 

But you will ask, May two such contradistinct principles be in the mind 
at once ? 

Chap. YI.j in kespect of sin and punishmknt. 243 

I answer, yc3 ; j'ca, and the psalmist himself affirms so much in this four- 
teenth Psalm ; for whcnas ho had said in the first verse, that the fool says 
in his heart there is no God, ho notwithstanding, by way of prevention of 
this \QYy objection, grants that they have knowledge, and many sad and 
serious thoughts and apprehensions of God and his wrath; so verses 4, 5, 
' Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge ? who eat up my people as 
they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. There were they in great fear: 
for God is in the generation of the righteous.' Have they no knowledge ? 
There is the objection. Yes, says he, there is their fear, for God is in the 
generation of the just ; that is, God discovei's himself to their consciences, 
not in his works only, but in his people, whom they oppress, and in his 
ordinances, which in their congregations they are conversant about, and that 
fears and awes their consciences often ; yet so as still this knowledge doth 
not exclude, but that in their hearts the contrary principles remain still, and 
sway them, whence all their corrupt actions spring. For according as these 
two contrary principles have place in their hearts, accordingly have they con- 
trary effects in their hearts also ; for these principles of atheism, having the 
chiefest interest, and being deeplier rooted, do still guide and sway all in 
the heart ; but the other have not that firm rooting in the heart, so as to 
sway all in it, yet prevail so far as to make them without excuse, Rom. i. 20, 
and to awe them in their evil courses, to which end they are placed there. 
And because these contrary serious apprehensions of the Godhead cannot 
prevail, therefore they are more clamorous than the other, and seem to be 
more busy, and make most noise, being opposers of the other, and con- 
testing against them, and yet are oppressed by the darkness in the heart, 
and therefore do seem to cry loudest. 

If, then, there be in the heart such unbelief of these first principles, then 
when any man is converted to God, a man must have a new work of faith 
wrought in him, a new peculiar light from God whereby to apprehend and 
to assent to these first principles anew, as if he had never yet believed them. 
You that live in the bosom of the church, you take all these things for 
granted, and think you need learn them no more, you having learned them 
at first ; but I tell you, when faith once comes into your hearts, these 
ordinary common things you knew before are all new to you, and you give 
a new assent to them. So says the apostle : Heb. xi. 6, ' He that cometh 
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that 
seek him.' And what kind of faith doth he speak of there, wherewith he 
that Cometh to God must believe those generals ? He speaks of that faith 
which is peculiar to God's elect, whereby the just do live, to work which is 
a work of power as great as to create the world. This I prove to you by 
the coherence and scope of the apostle. In the 10th chapter he had said, 
at the 38^h and 39th verses, that the just do live by faith, and that they 
that want it do draw back. But we are not such ; for, says he, we are of 
them that believe to the saving of the soul ; and then after a general de- 
finition of it, he shews what acts this faith puts forth, he tells you that by 
this saving faith we do not only believe in Christ for salvation, but by it we 
also believe the world was made, ver. 3 ; by it we believe that God is too, 
ver. 6. 

But you will further object, that it is not unbelief of the generals and first 
principles that wicked men fail in or want, which is the cause of the corrup- 
tion in their lives ; for James says of him that hath no works, that he believes 
there is a God, and so do the devils : James ii. 17-19, ' Even so faith, if it 
hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say. Thou hast faith, 
and I have works : shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew 


thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God ; thou 
doest -well : the devils also believe, and tremble.' But they fail in not ap- 
plying by faith these generals, to believe and rest on God as their God. 
They uelieve there is a hell, but they fail in not believing and applying the 
threatenings to themselves that they shall go thither ; as in Kom. i. 32, 
' Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things 
are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that 
do them ;' Piom ii. 1, * Therefore thou art inexcusable, man, whosoever 
thou art that judgest : for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest 
thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.' He knew in general 
the judgment of God, but thought he should escape it. 

For answer, many things are to be considered and laid together. 

1. That indeed it is most true, that besides a bare, naked belief of the 
generals, special faith and application is to be made, and therein lies the very 
life of faith, whereby I believe not only that there is a God, but I believe in 
God. It is the papists' error to think otherwise, and therefore there are 
three things required to faith : (1.) to understand the promise ; but that is 
not enough, that they know them; but (2.) it is necessary to assent to the 
truth and goodness of them ; and (3.) then to embrace them or apply them 
to themselves : Heb. xi. 13, ' These all died in faith, not having received 
the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, 
and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on 
the earth.' For as ere any conclusion can be drawn in reasoning, there 
must be a major and a minor proposition, so to make up the act of faith, and 
to bring forth those holy fruits which are the consequences and conclusions 
of it in men's lives, that faith may be a working faith, it is necessary there 
be an application of generals to themselves. 

2. It is also true that wicked men do more commonly and more easily give 
some kind of assent to the generals, as that all such and such threatenings 
are true, when they cannot endure application, no, not the thoughts of it, 
but self-love comes between, and shelters the blow with self- flattery, and 
some forced shift or other, to exclude itself out of the general ; and therefore 
James expresseth their faith rather by the general than otherwise, to believe 
there is a God, &c. ; for without application such generals work not, yet 
wicked men do fail in the belief of the general. For, 

8. Though that applying act of faith is necessarily required, and is a far- 
ther thing, yet it is the truth and strength of our assent to the general that 
hath the great influence into our lives, to draw forth such conclusions of 
practice. My meaning is, it is the belief of the general which hath the chief 
stroke in setting men a- work. For as in reasoning the chief weight of the 
conclusion depends on the major, and the truth of it, though a minor is re- 
quired, so also here in the working of faith, though application of generals 
is necessary, yet the main thing that stirs the heart is the particular appli- 
cation. But yet though that applying special act of faith is required neces- 
sarily, and is to be added to the general, yet still it is the strength and truth 
of my belief of the general, that hath the main and great influence and stroke 
in the heart to set it on work, and which draws out the application ; even as 
the conclusion, though it depends upon the minor proposition, yet especially 
on the major as the foundation of it. Yea, and the strength of my appre- 
hension of the truth and goodness of God, and his promises in the general, 
is partly, nay, mainly, the cause of the particular act of application, and 
much helps to draw the heart to seek God, and to trust him ; yea, and the 
cause why men come not truly in to seek and serve God, is because they 
fall short in believing his goodness, mercv, and wrath, such as indeed they 

Chap. VII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 245 

are in the general notion of them, Hob. xi. 6. Therefore what says the 
psalmist ? Ps. ix. 10, ' And they that know thy name will put their trust 
in thee : for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.' Those 
that know thy name — that is, truly apprehend and believe what a gracious, 
just, merciful, powerful, all-sufficient God thou art, and able to make them 
happy — they will trust in thee. And the reason men do not is, the}' fail in 
the general knowledge and faith of this ; therefore the name of God, /. e. 
the mercy that is in him, is the main ground of faith, because mercy and 
redemption is with him : Ps. cxxx. -1,7,* But there is forgiveness with thee, 
that thou mayest be feared. Let Israel hope in the Lord : for with the 
liOrd there is mercy, aad with him is plenteous redemption.' Did men 
believe it strongly enough, as they did who said, ' We have heard that the 
kings of Israel are merciful kings,' they would put ropes about their necks, 
and submit themselves. 


That the truth of faith assentiiiff unto the first fjeneral principles of reHgion, 
ivhich wicked men irant, hath a great infiicence on practical godliness, where 
theg are sincerely and heartily believed. 

That the truth of faith believing things in the' general hath the main 
influence, may many ways be evidenced. 

1. There is something in that which the papists urge, namely, that the 
Scriptures usually express saving faith by that act of it whereby we believe 
but the generals ; though they make use of it to a wrong end, namely, to shew 
that to believe things in the general, without application, is enough to salva- 
tion, which is most false. But yet thus much may be thence gathered, that 
general faith hath a great influence in believing, and the workings of the 
heart ; so Peter's faith is expressed by a belief in the general that Jesus was 
the Son of God, and Christ tells him that was the rock he would build his 
church upon: Mat. xvi. 16, 17, ' And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou 
art Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto 
him. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas : for flesh and blood hath not revealed 
it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' So in Acts viii. 37, ' And 
Philip said. If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he 
answered and said, I beheve that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' So 
Christ catechiseth Mary in the belief of the generals : John xi. 26, ' And 
whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest thou 
this ? ' and she expresseth her faith again in this : ver. 27, ' She saith unto 
him, Yea, Lord : I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which 
should come into the world.' For their firm, and strong, and full assent to 
these generals was a great cause of coming and cleaving to him, and follow- 
ing of him ; as our best divines interpret these speeches. 

2. We find by experience that when men come to make use of their faith 
in any particular business, weakness of assent to the general, and doubting 
of the greatness of God's power and mercy in the general, is secretly the 
thing as much stuck at as anything else. So David called the promise itself 
into "question, 'AH men are liars,' Samuel and all. Thus when they were 
put to it for victuals, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness ? say they, 
Ps. Ixxviii. 19, * Yea, they spake against God : they said. Can God furnish 
a table in-the wilderness ?' So also when that man did not believe that there 
should be such plenty of corn, why, says he, if God should make windows 


in heaven it could not be : 2 Kings vii, 2, ' Then a lord, on whose hand the 
king leaned, answered the man of God, and said. Behold, if the Lord would 
make windows in heaven, might this thing be ? And he said, Behold, thou 
shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.' 

And, on the contrary, we find that in difficulties, that which chiefly bore 
the stress, hath been belief in general, though not excluding the other. So 
in Abraham's faith, after he beheved God's willingness to make good the 
promise of Isaac and of Christ in him, he considered God able to do it : 
Rom. iv. 17-21, ' As it^is written, I have made thee a father of many nations ; 
before him whom he believed, even God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth 
those things which be not, as though they were : who against hope believed 
in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that 
which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he 
considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years 
old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb : he staggered not at the 
promise of God through unbelief, but wa=; strong in faith, giving glory to 
God ; and being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able to 
perform.' A God that quickeneth the dead, that is especially noted. There- 
fore Christ also asketh the blind men, whether they believed his ability to 
heal them : Mat. ix. 28, ' And when he was come into the house, the bhnd 
men came to him : and Jesus saith unto them. Believe ye that I am able to 
do this ? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.' He put that question, because 
he knew it stuck most there, yea, and when men are afflicted with the greatness 
of their sins, that mercy which whilst they saw not the heinousness of sin 
they presumed so much on, now they stick at, as thinking their sins greater. 
So Cain did : Gen. iv. 13, 11, IG, ' And Cain said unto the Lord, My 
punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out 
this day from the face of the earth ; and from thy face shall I be hid ; and 
I shall be a fugitive and vagabond in the earth : and it shall come to pass, 
that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And Cain went out from the 
presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.' 
We find that still as new convictions of things in the general come in, that 
still as they are enlarged, and a man hath farther insight into them, accord- 
ingly a man's heart is affected and set on work. When a man comes to have 
large apprehensions of the greatness of God (as Job had when God revealed 
himself), of the day of judgment, of eternity, these mightily carry on the 
heart, thou^'h I confess never without ap]Dlication, for I do not exclude it. 
When Moses saw God, and when Job saw him, and when Isaiah saw his 
glory, this sight made great impressions, and as those apprehensions were 
enlarged, so were their hearts also. Thus also the more convictions of 
God's mercy in pardoning a man hath, the more is special faith strengthened. 
So as I say belief in the general hath that great and strong influence upon 
our hearts and actions. 

4. Hence it is certain that unregenerate men fail in their assent to the 
general, whereby they believe the greatness of God's mercy and all-suffi- 
ciency, and of his wrath, and not only in applying these things to them- 
selves. Though therein I confess they mainly fail also, for self-love steps 
in and flatters them they shall escape, and with shifts of distinctions wards the 

For, 1, if they believed there were a hell and another world, and the vast- 
ness of eternity, and greatness of God's wrath, and of God himself, as they 
seem to do at least, they would not trust to such slender grounds why they 
think they shall escape ; it would make them willing to have their estates 
searched to the bottom, it would make them wary, and fearful upon what 

Chap. VII. ] in respect of sin and punishment. 247 

bridge they ventured to pass over that dreadful lake, whereinto if they fall, 
they are plunged all over for eternity, and they would not venture on the 
rotten grounds of civility and formal performances, which breaks and cracks 
in the midst in the end under those that trust to them. 

If they believed a world to come, which within few years they must enter 
into, as Noah believed that within an hundred and twenty years the flood 
should come, it would make them fearful, as it did him, and move them to 
prepare an ark, as he did, though so long before : Heb. xi. 7, ' By faith 
Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, pre- 
pared an ark to the saving of his house ; by the which he condemned the 
world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.' But as they 
believed not the flood, so nor do men now another world ; or if they believed 
there was a heaven (which if they so seriously thought they were not 
ordained for hell, they do withal believe was prepared for them), if, I say, 
they did know and believe in the general but the least part of what they 
profess they know of it, what manner of men would they be in all holiness ? 
Which argues their belief fails in the general ; yet had they but the devil's faith, 
they would behave themselves otherwise, for they tremble when they think 
of God, but these do not. 

The second demonstration that they fail not in the application only, but the 
general, is, that when the application is made as clear to them as the general, 
yea and more, yet they are not moved, but deny the conclusion. Come to 
drunkards or adulterers that live in their sins, ask them if they believe, 
that no such shall inherit the kingdom of God till they be washed and 
sanctified, — 1 Cor. vi. 9-11, ' Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not 
inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor 
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor efieminate, nor abusers of themselves with 
mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extor- 
tioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you : 
but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of 
the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,' — and ask them if such be 
not some of them, and you are not yet washed, but wallow in these sins as 
the sow in the mire, and this application is so evident as it cannot be 
denied. Now the conclusion must necessarily follow, unless there be a 
failing in the assent of the mind to one of those propositions. Now, the 
application that they are so is undeniable, therefore the most fault and fail- 
ing is in not believing the general, viz. that all such shall go to hell, till 
they be washed ; neither do they assent to the greatness of the misery of 
men there in hell. 

But you will object, that James, describing the faith of the unregenerate, 
says they believe in the general. Thou believest that God is ; so do the 
devils, and tremble : James ii. 19, ' Thou believest there is one God ; thou 
doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.' I answer, (1.) It is true 
that men do ordinarily more easily give some kind of assent to the generals, 
than make application to them, for that is a further and a harder work to flesh 
and blood, as appears in all the threatenings, to which till they be applied 
they seem to assent, and therefore James chooseth to express to us the 
common faith of men, by general belief without application. Yet, (2.) That 
general faith is not true, and such as it ought, for he tells them, it is a dead 
faith when it works not. Were it a living, true, assent to the general, it 
would not lie in the brain, and not stir at all, but it would work some way. 
For even the faith of devils works trembUng, which thine doth not : so ver. 
20, know, says he, thy faith is a dead faith, it works not : ver. 20, ' But wilt 
thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead ? ' The fault is 


not only that it is a general faith, but that it is but a dead faith. And 
therefore, (3.) You must know, that those acts of belief in a regenerate man, 
whereby he believes there is a God, that the promises and threatenings are 
true, though but in the general do spring from a new work of faith, from the 
same work and habit that justifying faith doth spring from, because that root 
that the other belief springs from is dead, therefore it brings forth no fruits, 
no works ; but in a godly man there is a living root and faith, therefore in the 
Heb, xi. 6, when he says, he that comes to God must believe that he is, what 
faith speaks he of but that faith which is peculiar to God's elect, whereby the 
just do live ? Which I prove by the coherence and scope of the apostle, from 
the 38th, 39th verses of the 10th chapter, where he had said the just do live 
by faith, which faith those that draw back have not, and wanting do draw back, 
but we are of those that believe to the saving of the soul. He speaks then 
of living, saving faith, and then, after a general definition, wherein he shews 
you that all things to be believed are the object of it, he instances : (1.) Iii 
believing that the world was made, ver. 3 ; (2.) that God is, ver. 6. So 
that the eye of faith stands us not in stead only to see Jesus Christ, and to 
apply him and the promises of salvation, but even also to help us to believe 
as we ought the very general principles laid down in the word, to believe that 
there is a Jesus Christ, and a God, and such promises, for it is faith where- 
by we live, and so whereby we perform all the acts of spiritual Hfe. 

And as it is an act of life to see and discern our meat, and to discern the 
goodness of it as well as to eat and digest it, so it is an act of spiritual life 
to beheve in general that God is, and that his promises are true, as well as 
to apply them : Heb. xi. 13, ' These all died in faith, not having received the 
promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and 
embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the 
earth.' By faith they are said (1.) to have seen the promises ; and that is an 
act of faith ; (2.) to have been persuaded of the truth of them, and both 
these are but general acts, whereby they believed that there were such pro- 
mises, and that they were true ; and then, (3.) they embraced them, that 
is, laid hold of them for themselves, joined their souls to them, which is 
that special act of faith, yet so as the other two were branches of the same 
root, acts of the same faith, and where 'the first two are in truth, they are 

But you may object against this truth, that there are common notions in 
the hearts of all men, apprehensions enough that there is a God, so as to 
assent to it, as by the hearing of the word, so by seeing his works, wherein 
the characters of his eternal godhead are clearly seen and evidently appear : 
Kom. i. 20, ' For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world 
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even bis 
eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse.' What need 
is there then of a new work of faith to convince men of it ? or how can it be 
the object of faith, seeing faith is of things not seen ? 

For answer. Even the schoolmen* themselves do acknowledge, that though 
it may by reason be proved there is a God, and though it is clearly seen, 
yet that these must be apprehended by faith also. 

1. Because those common notions implanted in man's minds, though these 
sparks be much increased by addition of many reasons and arguments out of 
God's works and word, and made a great blaze, yet they are not of force to 
expel the contrary darkness that is in the heart, and atheistical principles of 
unbelief, which are engendered there. Now that they cannot expel it, is 
evident, for unbelief is a corruption in nature, and therefore is rooted out by 
* Aquinas seciuida secundre. — Qii. ii., Art. 4. 

Chap. VII. J in respect of sin and punishment. 249 

nothing but by its contrary faith ; till therefore that peculiar work and light 
of faith comes, the other prevails not. The other is but of force to make 
men inexcusable, as it did the Romans, Rom. i. 20, but to take away the 
evil heart of unbelief, which causeth us to depart from God, this light of 
nature, though never so advanced, cannot. But he that comes to God, and 
is drawn to him, must believe that he is, by a new act of Aiith. 

2. Though Adam saw God in his works and extraordinary revelations 
more fully than all mankind, by those common notions and all the helps 
added to it, can do, yet for all that he principally saw God by a spiritual light, 
if not of faith, yet such as was over and besides the other. So as suppose 
there had been no creature made but himself, no vestigium or footstep of 
God to be seen in anything, yet by faith immediately he would have known 
and apprehended him, so as though Adam could have proved by reason 
that the world was made by God, j'et he first believed it above and beyond 
reason. For God intended faith to be, though not the sole, yet the great 
and principal hght and means to apprehend these things by, and only added 
the other as helps, to add some more weight to the balance, when faith 
had first cast it ; that faith might give a reason of things, he appointed the 
other as starlight, to accompany the greater light of faith. Now then, though 
there be in the heart common notions put in by God, whereby to see and 
argue out of his work and words that there is a God, yet the main light is 
wanting; and till that light Adam lost arise in the heart again (as it doth, we 
being no less complete, in the second, as in the first Adam), the natural 
dai-kness of the heart is not expelled, but men stray and depart from God, 
an d know not whither they go ; and all the light that is or can be added to 
the common notions in a man's natural estate, all the arguments that are 
brought into the mind out of God's word and works, are but as so many 
stars in a dark night. Though there be many of them, yet they dispel not 
the darkness till the light of faith come. 

An evident instance of this we have in ecclesiastical story, where a whole 
council of bishops laboured with a philosopher to convince him of the first 
principles of religion, and they could not by arguing convince him of them ; 
but a poor man standing by, after all rehearsing them in a bare narration, 
God giving him a new principle of faith, he assented immediately. 

And whereas it was in the second place objected, that faith is the evidence 
of things not seen ; and therefore if the Godhead be clearly seen by the light 
of nature in his works, it is not the object of faith : I answer, 1, that God 
is of himself invisible, and what the world was made of, the apostle tells 
you, is not seen: Heb. xi. 3, * Through faith we understand that the worlds 
were framed by the word of God, so that ^things which are seen were not 
made of things which do appear,' only God hath made himself visible two 

1. The one more mediately in his works, and to the light of nature, 
which is more dim, and weak, and brokenly, and but by way of arguing by 
consequence. So as there is yet a necessity of seeing him farther and more 
clearly by faith, and immediately, as revealed in his word, whereby we see- 
ing him who is invisible (as it is said of Moses : Heb. xi. 27, ' By faith he 
forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king : for he endured, as seeing 
him who is invisible '), we see by a farther light that there is a God, and 
how great and glorious, and thereby have that insight into him which 
the light of nature, coming both to his word and works, could never have 

2. I answer, that though the same God is evidenced by these common 
principles, and further the word to them, yet the ratio form alis credcndi, which 


is the form and essence of faith, is not the same, i. e. the ground of believ- 
ing it and manner of representing it is not the same in the one and other. 
As those that never saw the king, but have read his proclamations and seen 
his palace and attendants, believe there is a king, but yet not after that 
manner that courtiers do who stand before him, and see his face every day, 
such diflference is there between the assent of the natural man out of the 
word and works, and of a believer, that there is a God. Believing Moses by 
faith saw God who is invisible. 


The Uses. — We should employ nil our wit and reason for God. — What need 
we have that Christ should he made wisdom to iis. — How useful rational 
gifts are in the church. — We should not wonder at the springing up of here- 
sies. — We shoidd not harbour nor give them entertainment. 

Use 1. If carnal reason in us is thus gained to take sin's part, to be for 
it, and helpful to it, let us consider, then, what a great engagement it is on 
any of us who have wit and parts, and abilities of mind, to turn to God, 
that they may not be used against him. If men of wit and learning are not 
good, they will have more sinful inventions than other men. Thus a traitor, 
if he be witty and politic, proves the most dangerous. Reason, as it makes 
you capable of sinning (for beasts, by the want of it, are limited to a few 
objects), so it enlargeth affections to sin, and assists to find out means for 
the accomplishment. Thou who art a cunning, witty sinner, wilt in hell 
curse thy brain, as well as thy heart, for ruining thee. It was Solomon's 
wit which undid him ; and knowledge perverteth many men : Isa. xlvii. 10, 
' For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness : thou hast said. None seeth me. 
Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee : and thou hast said 
in thine heart, I am, and none else besides me.' 

Use 2. By this corruption of reason thus perverting men's minds, and 
turning their best wisdom into folly, we see how much need we have that 
Christ should be made wisdom to us, that we may be truly wise to purpose, 
to all the ends of our salvation. We are naturally fools ; and it is that rea- 
son to which we trust, of which we so much boast, and in which we pride 
ourselves, which befools us. Would we be cured of this our folly, we 
must go 'to Christ for instruction, for his being wisdom to us is the only 
remedy which can help us against the] vain and foolish reasonings of our 
own hearts. 

Use 3. Is reason in men so much depraved, and all its acts turned to a 
wrong way and use ? We see, then, how useful in the church of Christ such 
gifts are that are rational, and which may encounter with the carnal reason- 
ings of wicked men ; which reasonings, because they are the strongholds 
wherein they fortify themselves, there are but two ways of opening the gates 
upon them, either to break them open, or to pick the locks, and make a new 
key to the wards. Now answerably there are two gifts in the church. 
There are some sons of thunder, who come with a mighty wind, and carry 
all before them, and break open the doors of men's hearts ; others they go 
about to pick the wards, by convincing them, and beating them from their 
strongholds. If you would catch rabbits, you find it necessary not only to 
• lay nets, but to get them out of their holes ; if you would catch fish, you 
do not only lay nets, but beat with poles, to drive them out of their lurking 
places in the banks. Thus to catch men's souls also (aa Christ says he 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 251 

would make his disciples fishers of men), it -s needful not only to use mo- 
tives and exhortations, but by strength of arguments to drive them out of 
those carnal reasonings wherein they conceal and strengthen themselves. 

Use 4. We see what need ministers have of the almighty assistance of 
God in their preaching ; considering that they are to encounter with, and 
overthrow, so mighty and potent an enemy as carnal reason is. Christ 
told his disciples that thoy were to bear witness of him when he was absent : 
John XV. 27, * And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with 
me from the beginning.' They upon it began to be full of sorrow : John 
xvi. G, 7, ' But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled 
your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go 
away : for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I de- 
part, I will send him unto you.' For they thought it an impossible task for 
them, poor, ignorant, fishermen, to overturn the world, and to persuade men 
that their estates were naught, and to believe in a crucified man absent whom 
they saw not. This v/as a story which the Athenians hooted at as ridiculous ; 
but for their comfort he tells them that his Spirit should accompany them, 
to convince the world of sin, &c. ; to convince, that is, to overcome their car- 
nal reason, and gainsaying, for so the word signifies ; and this as he brought 
it in for the comfort of the apostles, so of all ministers to the end of the 
world. It had been folly and madness else for any man to have attempted 
to be a minister. But such extraordinary help had the apostles from Christ, 
that it is said men could not resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he 
spake : Acts vi. 10, ' And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the 
Spirit by which he spake.' As he had wisdom to convince them, so if he 
had not had the Spirit to have gone with it, they had resisted ; for while we 
bring reason only Reason can oppose it. Let us weave our nets never so 
close, a cunning iJifeked man will find holes to get out at ; except the Holy 
Ghost comes down and stops all. We have need of much wisdom to know 
men's starting holes, as Saul said concerning David : 1 Sam. xxiii. 22, 23, 
' Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt 
is, and who "hath seen him there : for it is told me that he dealeth very 
subtilely. See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking-places where 
he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will 
go with you : and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will 
search him throughout all the thousands of Judah.' Thus, too, the hearts 
of men are very deceitful and cunning, and ministers have need of a great 
deal of wisdom to search out all their windings and turnings ; and this they 
can never do, unless the wisdom of the Spirit of God assists them. 

Use 5. We may hence derive a demonstration for the truth of our reli- 
gion and profession thereof. There is no truth of the gospel, but all the 
reason in a man is against it ; and yet we see carnal men are forced to stoop 
to it. It is contrary to their wills, and contrary to their reasons; and it is 
a question which is strongest in them, and yet they yield. Jt is. an argu- 
ment whereby Paul proves his apostleship, that the weapons of our warfare, 
says he, are not carnal, but mighty through God : 2 Cor. x. 4, 5, * For the 
weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pull- 
ing doMTi of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing 
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing .into captivity 
every thought to the obedience of Christ.' We do not war after the flesh, 
that is, we do not take in the help of carnal reason, and what may please the 
flesh, and draw it in as a party to join with us, as all other false religions do, 
as Mahometism, which accommodates itself to the dispositions of all sorts, 
and so allures them ; and as popery also doth, which strokes and pleaseth 

2'j2 an unregenerate man's guiltiness before god, [Book V. 

corrupt nature ; but the gospel goes clean contrary, and crosseth it, and yet 
prevails and conquers where it comes, which is a sign God is with it. There- 
fore, says Paul, our weapons are mighty through God, which appears in this, 
that they cast down strongholds ; and so when you shall see a man that is 
wise, strong, and hath much to plead and say for his carnal natural estate, 
that could vie learning and civil righteousness and outward privileges with 
the proudest ; when you shall see such an one come and have all his books 
(that I may so allude) in the market-place, and make open profession that 
he was deceived and misled, and that he yields to the power of religion, 
which the wise of the world account foolishness, it is a mighty demonstra- 
tion of the truth of the gospel. When a man who had wit and parts, and an 
opportunity of rising by them, renounceth them all for Christ, it is a great 
evidence of the truth and power of religion ; why else doth Paul so often tell 
the story of his conversion, how strong he was in the other way, and could 
have said as much for pharisaism and the Jews' religion as the best of them ? 
He was not a fool in that sect, for be profited in it more than any, and he 
was strong in his way, for he thought verily he ought to persecute the gos- 
pel of Christ, and yet God turned him. And this amazed them all ; they 
knew not what to say to it, that so strong a town as this should yield, and 
be forced to do so. It half persuaded Agrippa to come in and yield up his 
keys also, and Festus had no put-off but this, ' Too much learning hath made 
thee mad,' says he to Paul. And it was on this account that Paul so 
triumphs, where are the disputers of this world with all their reasons ? 
1 Cor. i, 20, ' Where is the wise ? where is the scribe ? where is the dis- 
puter of this world ? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?' 
And thus did Luther triumph, when he said that that pen should strike off 
the pope's triple crown from his head. ^ 

U^e 6. Let us not be offended if heresies arise, and o^ositions against 
the truth, and those backed strangely too, seeing there are such mighty rea- 
sonings in their hearts. Some opinions in popery a poor believer would 
think so gross, that surely nothing could be said for them, as worshipping 
of images, justification by our own righteousness, and merit of good works ; 
who that hath a clear eye of faith, and hath seen his estate, could imagine 
any thing could be found out to colour such gross errors as these ? But 
yet read Bellarmine, read the Jesuits, and what fair tales do they tell for 
themselves ; that as the Scripture foretold, they have not only delusions, 
but strong delusions : 2 Thes. ii. 11, ' And for this cause God shall send 
them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie ;' such delusions as 
catch not fools and silly women, but the great and the wise of the world ; that 
it is foretold by Christ that, if possible, the elect should be deceived : Mat. 
xxiv. 24, ' For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall 
shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they shall 
deceive the very elect,' should probabilities be brought. And so likewise semi- 
Pelagianism, how strongly is it backed ; popery being but childishness to it ! 
What armies of places of Scripture cunningly perverted, what reasons, what 
harmony is there in the plot of it, what depths, though depths of Satan ? as 
the apostle says : Rev. ii. 24, ' Bat unto you I say, and unto the rest in 
Thyatira, As many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known 
the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put upon you none other burden.' 

Use 7. We may from hence see the mighty wisdom of Jesus Christ, who 
knows all these reasonings, and will fully silence and confute them all at last, 
which all the learning, all the wit this world hath, could never do ; still it is 
said of Christ that he knew their reasonings: John vi. 61, 'When Jesus 
knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth 

Chap. VIII.] in bespect of sin and punishment. 253 

this offend you ?' Luke v. 22, ' But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, 
he answering said unto them. What reason ye in your hearts ?' How did 
he nonplus the pharisees when he was here on earth, that thoy would ask 
him no more questions ! The enemies of the gospel think to outface up, 
and to outreason us, and think they have the victory, hut at the latter day 
he will come on purpose to convince all the^ world, Jude 14, 15. He will 
then at once cut asunder all controversies, and easily decide them, and dis- 
cover the secret intents and reasonings of the heart. Then he will answer 
all men's cavils and objections against his ways and his children, whose lives 
they thought to be madness and folly. Then he will convince them that 
their estates were naught, that they are justly damned, which now they will 
not acknowledge, and he will then send them to hell convinced, and will so 
silence them that they shall not have a word to say ; and though they now 
cavil at the word, yet then they shall have nothing to reply against him, but 
shall be struck perfectly dumb: Mat. xxii. 12, 'And he saith unto him, 
Friend, how earnest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment ? And 
he was speechless.' And then Christ will deal by reason with them, and 
not with power only, and therefore their judgment is called but rendering a 
reason : 1 Peter iv. 5, ' Who shall give account to him that is ready to 
judge the quick and the dead.' It is in the original. Wicked men now think 
strange at the saints, as seeing no reason for what they do, and are strength- 
ened in their own ways, thinking reason to be on their side, therefore they 
shall have a reason at last sufficient to answer all theirs : Isa. xli. 21, 
* Produce your cause, saith the Lord ; bring forth your strong reasons, saith 
the king of Jacob.' Job xxxviii. 3, ' Gird up now thy loins like a man ; for 
I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.' 

Use 8. Is to search into your hearts, to find out this unbelief, which is the 
ground and bottom of all corruption in you. When you look on your lives, 
you see gross sins committed ; when you look into your hearts, you find 
strong lusts up and warring in your members ; and it is well you see them, 
and find any contesting against them. But how durst these lusts be so bold, 
unless they were secretly backed and encouraged by the supreme power, viz. 
the atheistical principles in the heart, which are the abettors of them. 
Therefore dig, and search still into your hearts, and resolve all into their 
first principles, and you will find it true that atheism and unbelief are at the 
bottom. And this know, the more you see this experimentally true, the 
more you gi'ow in grace. To see that lusts are sins is not ordinary, but to 
see these springs and abettors of all lusts is a degree further. And also 
take notice of the deceitfulness of your hearts, which lies in this, that there 
should be so much seemingly in it for these principles, and yet the contrary 
do all. So now every stud in this building must become new; these main 
foundations must be laid new, viz. to believe that God is, that he is merci- 
ful, that he is all-sufficient, that his promises are true, all things must be- 
come new. Nature brings not one stud that is able to bear the weight of a 
godly life ; none of the old will serve, and he only is converted to God who 
experimentally hath learnt over the articles of our Christian profession. 

Use 9. Let us be humbled for this atheism and unbelief which by nature 
is in all of our hearts. Of all corruptions what can be greater? Therefore it 
is called the evil heart of unbelief: Heb. iii. 12, ' Take heed, brethren, lest 
there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living 
God. Of all traitors we account Jesuits the worst, because they deny the 
king's supremacy, and indeed the very opinion is treason, and therefore the 
law is against them for their very profession. Now, Titus i. 16, ' They pro- 
fess that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable and 


disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.' Such is unbelief that 
denies God, so that unbelief in effect says there is no God, or, at least, 
denies his just and royal titles. Now, indeed, although you profess not so 
much with your mouth, but come to church and profess all we would have 
you, 3'et this in your hearts do shew, as there are church papists and 
Jesuits, so there are church atheists. I find that for the atheism in men's 
hearts, God expresseth himself most provoked and weary of the sons of men. 
So, Mai. ii. 17, 'Ye have wearied the Lord with your words ; yet ye say. 
Wherein have we wearied him ? When ye say. Ever}' one that doth evil 
is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or. Where is 
the God of judgment?' You have wearied me, saith the Lord, and yo say. 
Wherein have we wearied him? Why, says he, search your hearts and you 
shall find, for you say. Where is the God of judgment ? So your words 
have been stout against me ; you say, It is in vain to serve the Lord ; that 
is, you believe not that there is a God who is the rewarder of him that seeks 
him. So also Isa. vii., when Ahaz would not trust God, and take a sign and 
promise of him, what says the prophet ? vor. 1 3, ' It is a small thing for you 
to weary men, but will you weary my God also ?' It tires out his patience 
exceedingly. It is called speaking against him : Ps. Ixxviii. 19, ' Yea, they 
spake against God : they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness ? ' 

Use 10. You may hereby see how little nature brings to the great work of 
grace, and what a distance is between the one estate and the other, for if we 
believe not the first prhiciples as we should, but must have a new principle 
to apprehend them with ere we come to God, then there is an infinite inca- 
pacity of the work of grace ; for if you go to teach men any science, if they 
deny the first principles, there is no hope, contra ncgantem prlncipia non 
est dhputandum. Now we deal with hearts that secretly do deny the principles 
on which all our motives and persuasions to hoHness are grounded, and 
so rooted by denying them, that, till by a new work of faith they appre- 
hend them, we shall never work upon them. 

There are two principles in the heart at once, that there is a God, and 
that there is none ; and accordingly there are differing conclusions and 
efi'ects, and that according to that interest and place they have in the heart : 
the one is rooted in corrupt nature, namely, that there is no God, and there- 
fore you see all actions swayed by it ; the other, viz. that there is a God, is 
put in to give warning as a prophet, and to make them without excuse, and 
is weak, and hath no power, stroke, nor authority in the heart, which listens 
not to it, it endeavours to extingaish it. So as if a man come to be con- 
verted, a new principle of faith must bo wrought to apprehend these things 
strongly and powerfully, so as to prevail against and overcome the contrary, 
or else the heart is never changed. 

Use 11. Are there any here troubled with thoughts of atheism, with 
objections against the truth of Scripture, and of our religion ? Wonder not 
at it : think not therefore your case desperate, or such as no man's is, for I 
tell you all men by nature are atheists, and that doth but discover itself in 
thy haste which lies hid in all men's hearts. For every sin a man commits 
ariseth from such a principle, and they discover it in their works, but in 
thee it discovers itself in thy thoughts. To thee this devil of atheism takes 
a shape and appears to afi'right thee, but in other men this devil rules and 
reigns in their hearts and lives. He only appears not to them, that is all 
the difference. 

Others profess there is a God, and find no doubts in them, but shew they 
believe it not in their lives. Thou professest thou canst not believe there is 
a God in thy thoughts, yet look to thy course, and thou shewest that thou 

Chap. VIII.] in respect of sin and punishment. 255 

believest there is one (for usually the devil troubles none with those thoughts 
but such as have true faith wrought), for dost thou not walk fearful of sin, 
or of omitting of any duty ? Art thou not careful to come to every ordi- 
nance ? Why, if thj' heart did not secretly believe there were a God, and 
strongly too, these considerations would not come from thee ; and therefore 
let such look to their lives and practices, and not to the inward exercises of 
their spirits. 

Use 12, If the heart be. thus possessed with atheism and unbelief, take 
heed of admitting doubts, and sufl'ering them to lie unanswered in the heart, 
for they secretly weaken faith, and back and strengthen the other party. 
Men's hearts are apt to gather doubts from the dispensation of things in the 
world, that all falls alike to all, that the wicked prosper. David had well 
nigh his faith struck up with this objection : Ps. Ixxiii. 2, 3, ' But as for me, 
my feet were almost gone : my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was 
envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.' But make 
known such doubts, and get answers to them, for in suffering them to har- 
bour in the heart you conceal Jesuits that deny the king's supremacy. 

Use 13. We may see what need there is of coming often where God is 
known, into the assembly of the saints, where he is spoken of, worshipped, 
and served, for God appears in the generation of the just, in their lives, 
speeches, and in his ordinances, so that if an unbeliever comes in he is con- 
vinced God is among them : 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25, ' But if all prophesy, and 
there come in one that believe th not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of 
all, he is judged of all : and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest ; 
and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God 
is in you of a truth.' Let us pray often, and meditate often, and renew 
acquaintance with God, for all these leave deep impressions of a God upon 
the mind behind them. Let us observe his providence in the world, and 
see, and study his wisdom, power, &c. For all these are means to strengthen 
in us the principles which are contrary to atheism and unbelief. 

Use 14. If any of you be free from such thoughts, bless God ; for such are 
in thy heart God might hold thee to thy catechism, to thy ABC, all thy 
days, that when thou shouldst be taken up with thinking how to serve and 
please him, and how to make it sure that he is thine, that so thou mayest 
be going on to perfection, God might exercise thee and suffer thee to be 
posed and nonplussed, and to stumble at the principles, whether there be a 
God or no ; so he doth deal in many a soul ; and believe it, there is matter 
enough in thee for this. 

Use 15. Wonder not if men in time of trial forsake the truth, and that 
they are such children, tossed to and fro with every wind of error, willing 
to embrace every opinion, and assent not to wholesome words. Consider 
they assent not in deed and in truth to the first principles ; and if they be 
not riveted into them, how should they stick to the truth, whenas all truth 
hangs on them ? 



The vanity of thoughts, being an instance of the abounding sinfulness in one 
facuUij of the soul, the cogitative; ivherehj the sinfulness of the rest may be 

[This Book, with a few verbal alterations, was published by the author as a 
separate treatise, under the title, ' The Yanity of Thoughts.' In that 
form it is given in the present edition. Vol. III. p. 507, and is therefore 
omitted here. — Ed.1 



Tlie corruption and defilements of conscience. 

Unto tJoe pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and un- 
believing is nothing pure ; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. — 
Titus L 15. 


The conscience is false in tlte performance of its office. — -It indulgeth some sins 
though it be severe against others. — It tells a man but part of his duty. — It 
is very scrupulous of observing its own traditions, while it neglects the insti- 
tutions of God. — It urgeth only carnal motives. — It invents arguments to 
jitstify a sin. 

If there be anything good in man it is his conscience, which yet the apostle 
pronounceth defiled. How: the light of natural conscience hath no true 
goodness in it I have before shewn,* and how all the acts of it fall short of 
grace, I have in another treatise, of the differences between natural con- 
science and true grace, demonstrated, t Now here only I shall shew the 
positive defilements of conscience in some particulars, and shall frame the 
demonstration from the false and corrupt carriage of it in its office, and 
abuse of its power committed to it, which power, though it be from God (as 
the authority of all magistrates is), yet being seated in and committed to a 
corrupt and defiled faculty, as conscience is here in the text said to be, it 
proves false to God, and though it be from God, and is his ofiicer, yet it is 
not for him, nor true to him, as it ought, and as true grace is, which is 
God's image. 

1. Conscience is exceeding partial in its office, in winking attand indulg- 
ing some sins, which are favourites of the heart, and great with, it, when it 
will be exceeding strict and severe against those of the lower sort and rank, 
and by a show of justice and severity against them, colour its countenancing 
of those other. Thus we find Saul's conscience exceeding strict in a matter 
of the ceremonial law : 1 Sam. xiv. 34, ' And Saul said, Disperse yourselves 
among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, 
and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat ; and sin not against 
the Lord in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man 
his ox with him that night, and slew them there.' But his conscience never 
scruples to eat God's people as bread (as David speaks, Ps. xiv. 4), to kill 
fourscore and five of God's priests, to seek the blood of David, an innocent 
man ; his conscience, though so squeamish in other things, yet never strains 
at all this, though he is rebuked for it by his own son again and again. The 

* Book II. chap. vii. of this Discourse. 

t Which belongs to the Discourse of Eegeneration and the New Creatuje in MS. 

VOL. X. R 


Pharisees, they also mightily pretended conscience : Mat. xxvii. 6, 'And the 
chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them 
into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.' And yet it was the same 
money which these hypocrites gave unto Judas to betray that blood. Thus 
conscience, which is God's vicegerent, and betrusted with the execution of 
his laws, as to some of them will be very severe, in others lax. It ought 
to be as God's mouth, and speak truly and faithfully ; but on the contrary, 
it is like those priests of whom God complains : Mai. ii. 7-9. ' For the 
priest's lips should speak knowledge, and they should seek the law at his 
mouth ; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed 
out of the way ; ye have caused many to stumble at the law ; ye have cor- 
rupted the covenant of Levi, saith tbe Lord of hosts : therefore have I also 
made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have 
not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.' It is partial in the 
law, and will become a judge of the law, not a judge according to law. It 
will urge the statute against some sins, and turn them out of their places, 
but it will not look on the statutes which are in force against other sins, but 
wink at them, and suffer them to hold their places still. Thus a mere 
natural conscience will be partial in its actings, when grace and a sanctified 
conscience will not do thus, but urgeth the law indifferently, and judgeth 
impartially, and will let no sin escape. We trust, says Paul, that we have 
a good conscience, for we desire to live well in all things : Heb. xiii. 18, 
' Pray for us : for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing 
to live honestly.' 

Now the reason why a natural conscience is thus unequal is, because of its 
defilement ; it is out of order, and humorous, as a stomach which is longing 
and craving for some kind of meat, and loathes other, though wholesome. 
And why doth it so, but because it is foul, or custom makes conscience to 
be thus unequal ? When a sin hath never been committed by a man before, 
conscience will fly in the face of a man for it ; but a sin which a man prac- 
tises every day, and with which conscience is made familiar, it will let alone, 
and never trouble the man for it. And on the contrary, a duty which a 
man hath customarily performed, if he neglect it, conscience will much 
trouble him for it ; but as to one which hath been long neglected, it will be 
quiet. Many such reasons may be given of these false and partial dealings 
of conscience, and God acting men's consciences by a common providence, 
gives them more scope for one sin than another, as he sees cause, and 
therefore some men make no conscience of swearing, talking lewdly. Sabbath- 
breaking, &c., when yet they will startle at murder, stealing, adultery, and 
perjury. But now in the government which God exercises over a godly 
man's conscience, his vicegerent is punctual to exercise the whole of its 
commission, and will check the man for every sin ; God's design being to 
save him from all sin, and to have an uniform obedience from him. 

2. The corrupted conscience is partial in telling a man what is his duty, 
and herein it is unjust to God as well as in the former instance. For it will 
be content, and let a man alone quietly, though he neglects the greatest part 
of that obedience and service which he owes unto God. It will wink and 
take no notice, nay, is well enough satisfied, though God hath but half his 
due. It is like that steward who was so unjust to his master, that when an 
hundred pound was owing to him, bid the creditor set down fifty, and crossed 
the debt when but half of it was paid. Thus conscience will excuse a man 
of half the debt due to God, and accept the payment of a part for the whole. 
If the man prays, and performs the ceremony of that service, conscience will 
be contented, though he do it never so lazily, and in a most careless and 

Chap. I.] in respect of sin and punishment. 259 

perfunctory manner. It will be content with the mere bodily service, though 
the soul hath little or no part in it ; and therefore though God's name is not 
sanctified in the performance, yet it will excuse and give an acquittance for 
the payment of the duty. If the man hath but prayed to-day, it is no great 
matter how he did it, and his conscience gives him a discharge of having 
done the work. Thus they in Malachi offered the lame and the blind, and 
yet their consciences were never troubled for being so defective : Mai. i. 8, 9, 
' And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil ? and if ye offer the 
lame and sick, is it not evil ? offer it now unto thy governor ; will he be 
pleased with thee, or accept thy person ? saith the Lord of hosts. And 
now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us : this hath 
been by your means : will he regard your persons ? saith the Lord of hosts.' 
Nay, they wondered that they should be charged with despising of God, or 
any neglect of him : vers. 6, 7, ' A son honoureth his father, and a servant 
his master : if then I be a father, where is mine honour ? and if I be a 
master, where is my fear ? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, priests, that 
despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name ? Ye 
offer polluted bread upon mine altar ; and ye say. Wherein have we polluted 
thee ? In that ye say. The table of the Lord is contemptible.' Now God 
reckons this a great corruption in conscience, and therefore he calls them 
deceivers and cheaters who dealt thus with him: ver. 14, 'But cursed be 
the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth 
unto the Lord a corrupt thing : for I am a great King, saith the Lord of 
hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.' This kind of con- 
science Saul had, who destroyed only the lean kine, and yet pleads that in 
doing so he had done the will of the Lord,, and thought he deserved a dis- 
charge : 1 Sam. xv. 9, ' But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best 
of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the failings, and the lambs, and all 
that was good, and would not utterly destroy them : but everything that was 
vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.' Now what is the reason that 
conscience acts thus deficiently in its duty ? Why, truly, it is because its 
light falls short of God's glory and holiness, and therefore thinks anything 
good enough for him, and that a small matter will serve him. It was upon 
this principle that the Israelites thought they could serve God sufliciently 
well ; for they imagined they could perform the outward service, and thought 
anything would please. No, says Joshua ; he is a holy God, too holy for 
you to please with such your services : Joshua xxiv. 19, 21, 'And Joshua 
said unto the people. Ye cannot serve the Loi'd : for he is an holy God ; he 
is a jealous God ; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. And 
the people said unto Joshua, Nay ; but we will serve the Lord.' 

But now a good conscience is faithful to God, and will refuse such broken 
and cracked pieces for payment, and calls for whole money, for a whole 
sacrifice, entire services, and spiritual lively prayers. It knows that the law 
is spiritual, and the light of a good conscience is spiritual too, and therefore 
calls for spiritual sacrifices ; and though it may give allowance for failings, 
as God himself doth, yet it will have good and current money, and God 
must be worshipped in spirit and in truth, or else it accounts not the duty 

3. A corrupted conscience will be often exceedingly scrupulous of its own 
traditions and the traditions of men, when it is lame and negligent in things 
which the word enjoins. It will be exact to keep a man to its own private 
edicts and orders, when it lets the public statutes be broken. Thus the 
pharisees were very nicely wary of eating with unwashen hands, when they 
laid aside the commandments of God, as Christ tells them : Mark vii. 6-9, 


' He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you 
hypocrites, as it is written. This people honoureth me with their lips, but 
their heart is far from me. Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching 
for doctrines the commandments of men. For, laying aside the command- 
ment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups : 
and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them. Full well 
ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.' 
And thus persons popishly aflected, prefer holidays before the Sabbath, and 
account to eat flesh on a Friday a greater sin than uncleanness. Thus hy- 
pocritically scrupulous were the Jews, who would not at the time of the 
passover's approaching enter into Pilate's hall lest they should be defiled : 
John xviii. 28, ' Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judg- 
ment : and it was early ; and they themselves went not into the judgment 
hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover.' Yet 
this was a thing which was never forbidden even by the ceremonial law, 
which doth not make the coming into any heathen house a defilement ; 
and yet when they scrupled this, which was never prohibited, neither by the 
moral nor ceremonial law, they made no conscience of shedding the innocent 
blood of Christ. And thus you shall see men now to be very scrupulous 
about the observance of any old order or human custom, or anything which 
they have vowed to perform, or in the practice of which they have been edu- 
cated, whilst they will not be much careful about the neglect of the great 
things of the law ; and thus they will act out of a principle of conscience also. 
They will take more care not to eat before the sacrament than to prepare 
for the receiving of it. Thus conscience is exceedingly corrupt, in taking 
exactly its own taxes and impositions, whilst it suffers God's customs to be 

4. A corrupt conscience will make use of arguments drawn from self- 
interest and its lusts, and urge carnal motives to persuade the man to do a 
good action. It useth not right, but fleshly means, to make the duties of 
religion pass freely, and to get them currently down. Whereas, it is the 
ofiice of a good conscience not only to perform the holy action, but to stir a 
man to do it upon holy grounds and reasons ; not only to propound duties 
as God's commands, but to offer motives from God to persuade us to dis- 
charge them. But now a corrupt conscience, though it proposeth a right 
thing to be done, yet presseth the doing it from wrong principles and argu- 
ments ; and though the matter is good, yet it gets the enemies' voices to bear 
and carry it out. That God may have his due, it gathers his rents, but yet 
forceth the payment of them by violent courses ; it frightens the man to 
give in his arrears by threatening to sue* him out to an arrest ; it drives 
him on to his duty only by terror, and representing God as cruel or a tyrant, 
which wrongs God as much as if the dues were not paid. For even in com- 
mon converse among men, when the thing moved for a man migjit be a kind- 
ness to him, yet the motioning of it for him may be in such a manner as to 
do him a real injury. It may be moved upon considerations so prejudicial 
as to make him wish that it had never been propounded, and to move him 
to choose rather that he had not objected than to get it so. The motives 
may prove disadvantageous^ when the thing to be done would be a kindness. 
It is in this manner that a corrupt conscience wrongs God, by urging us to 
do our duty to him by carnal arguments, by such reasons only as stir and 
prevail with corrupt nature, by urging us with fear and trouble of mind, with 
the shame and miseiy which will unavoidably follow, if such a sin be com 
mitted, or such a duty is not done. It will make use of or strike in with 
such reasons as these only, to keep us from a sin, or to put us upon the 

Chap. I.] in respect of sin and punishment. 261 

duty ; or if it propounds other arguments, as the glory of God, and consider- 
ations drawn from his love, yet it offers them but for fashion's sake. For 
it being its office to propound what is suggested to it, it may and doth some- 
times lay such reasons as these before the man, yet for show rather than so 
as to prevail. Look as a pci-son interested, who promiseth to propound and 
recommend many to a place of office or trust ; some he offers to the choice 
but faintly, and as knowing beforehand that they will not please the com- 
pany, and as such, too, that he is not hearty for ; but when he comes to 
others, he not only propounds them, but presseth earnestly and zealously for 
them. Thus conscience will put in holy and spiritual motives among the 
rest, but the stress and emphasis is put upon those which are carnal, which 
will work with flesh in the man. Spiritual motives are like wooden ordnance, 
brought out for show only ; but those which are charged and let off are such 
as are suited to corruption, and whose bullets will pierce, and strike, and 
sink into self-love, and the heart is not moved till their force eomes. And 
the reason is, because conscience being corrupt itself, these arguments are 
most suitable to it. These arguments of the law it understands well enough, 
and therefore as men use such reasons as are suitable to their brains, and 
which they naturally invent, and of which they are apprehensive ; so natural 
conscience will not employ spiritual arguments or motives, because it natu- 
rally doth not engender them, and not suiting its mould, they seldom come 
in ; but the carnal motives and arguments do, and these weapons it can wield 
when the other are too strong and heavy for it. And it finds also, that 
having to do with flesh, nothing but such agreeable motives will take with it, 
and therefore directing its speech to the heart that it may prevail, it speaks 
in the flesh's language of reward or punishment. In a word, a eorrupt con- 
science always deals by way of bribery or flattery, or threatening, and there- 
fore is corrupt, though the duties which it propounds be good. 

5. As conscience useth motives drawn from some lusts or other in the 
heart to enforce its injunctions, and to make them to be obeyed, so to gratify 
these lusts again, conscience will join with them to colour and countenance 
such actions, which are done chiefly out of lusts and ill ends. Some con- 
sideration of conscience or other will be found out to help them, and make 
them out to be acts of conscience. So when Herod was about to commit 
that great sin of killing John the Baptist, which he did chiefly to please 
Herodias and those who were with him, and that against his conscience too, 
yet conscience itself strikes in to help the action forward, and seeing his sin- 
ful will would have it done, suggests his oath to him as a thing to be made 
conscience of. And therefore it is said that he did it for his oath's sake : 
Mark vi. 26, 'And the king was exceeding sorry, yet for his oath's sake, and 
for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.' He made con- 
science of his promise and oath, forsooth, in it I Thus conscience joined 
with his lusts to help forward a wicked act against conscience. Thus also 
Saul's conscience told him that he ought not to sacrifice till Samuel came, 
and yet to please the people he did it, because they began to be scattered 
from him: 1 Sam. xiii. 11, 'And Samuel said. What hast thou done? And 
Saul said. Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that 
thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered 
themselves together to Michmash.' But yet conscience would come in with 
some consideration which might warrant it, and he would pretend at least 
that he could not find in his heart to go to war before he had prayed : ver. 
12, ' Therefore, said I, the Philistines will come down upon me to Gilgal, 
and I have not made supplication unto the Lord : I forced myself therefore, 
and off'ered a burnt offering.' So that now, if conscience can but find out 


some little consideration to humour and please it, it will be satisfied with 
the act, and gives its warrant for it, though it be gross, and though sinful 
lusts are the actors and managers of the whole affair, so to combine and join 
in acts of higher treason against God. 

6. Corrupt conscience will be bribed to find out arguments, and to plead 
(which is yet more) in justification of actions utterly unlawful. And is not 
that a corrupt judge which justifies the wicked ? This is conscience, which 
not only like a corrupt lawyer may be feed and hired to plead an ill cause, and 
find out some law or other for it — as they who crucified Christ would not 
do it without a colour of law : John xix. 7, ' The Jews answered him, We 
have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the 
Son of God' — but it is an ill judge which is bribed to give sentence for a 
wicked cause to justify it. Thus all true judgment is ruined, when it is 
swayed and carried wholly by affection : peril otime judicium,, cum res transit 
in affectum ; and hence men call evil good, and good evil : Isa. v. 20, ' Woe 
unto them that call evil good, and good evil ; that put darkness for light, 
and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.' And 
we see in many instances that conscience, by reason of the defilement which 
is in it, is ready to prove the lawfulness of a sinful action by false argu- 
ments, when the heart is once inclined to the sin. Thus a man newly 
come out from heathenism, and having his heart yet touched and warped 
toward his former idols and idolatrous practices, and bearing some reverence 
to the rites of his old superstition, would comply with the Gentiles in a part 
of their worship (as eating in the idol's temple), though not in the whole of 
it. And though eating things sacrificed to idols in the very temple was as 
flat idolatry as could be, and proved to be so by the apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 
X. 14, 15, yet some, to hold a fair correspondency with the heathen, or to 
avoid persecution, would find out some shuffling reason or other to maintain 
their doing so. What arguments did their consciences find out, that an 
idol was nothing in the world, and that therefore whatever they did about it 
was but frivolous and insignificant : 1 Cor. viii. 4, ' As concerning there- 
fore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we 
know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God 
but one.' But some did stumble at the practice, as having a conscience of 
the idols, and so being convinced that what they did in respect to it touched 
upon idolatry, 1 Cor. viii. 7. And yet, as for those persons, their consciences 
were apt to be confirmed in such a practice by the example of others, and 
they were ready to join with any argument that might give them confidence 
to do it. This the apostle refers to, 1 Cor. viii. 10, ' For if any man see thee 
which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the con- 
science of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are 
offered to idols ? ' And if, when conscience is only weak, it may be thus 
defiled and perverted, much more when it is wholly corrupt, as in wicked 
men, much more will they take encouragement from any invented reasons of 
their own, or example of others, to practise that to which they are inclined, 
and will strive to fashion their opinions to their lusts, and mould them 
answerably ; and therefore a corrupt conscience is afraid to have more light 
admitted into it for its better information, whereas a godly soul gives itself 
up to God to be instructed by him. 

Chap. II.] in respect of sin and punishment. 263 


That conscience is cornipt in respect of that false peace which it speaks to a 
man when there is indeed no peace to him. It soothes a man always with 
thoughts of peace, without first f/ivinfi him any trouble of mind. — It speaks 
peace, not from. Christ's blood, and riglUeousness, but from its own righteous- 
ness and good works. 

Another eflfect which natural conscience hath in unregenerate men about 
what is good, and which bears a resemblance to what is in the regenerate, is 
peace of mind, and excusing themselves. We will now examine what the 
actings are of unregenerate men's conscience in this respect, and make it 
appear to be greatly corrupt in doing this its office. 

1. It speaks peace to the man when there is no reason or ground for it, 
and when there is no solid peace in the soul, as God says there is not in 
any wicked man : Isa. Ivii. 21, ' There is no peace, saith my God, to the 
wicked.' And therefore though the depraved conscience may calm, and lay 
asleep the disquiets and tumults of the mind, yet this peace of natural con- 
science is rather a not being troubled than true peace, ease rather than 
peace. Thus a man in debt thinks all is well if he hears of no suit entered 
against him, no sergeant to attack him, no writ out for him ; but all this is 
only quietness from being troubled, not peace with his adversary. But a 
godly man's conscience is not only at peace, but it hath peace with God 
through faith : Rom. v. 1, ' Therefore, being justified by faith, we have 
peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' A godly man's conscience 
receives an acquittance (which it hath to shew) from Christ's satisfaction, 
and God's receiving the atonement : Rom. v. 1, 11, compared, ' By faith we 
have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And not only so, 
but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have 
now received the atonement.' But an unregenerate conscience never received 
this, nor can the ungodly produce such an acquittance, and indeed they never 
seek after it. 

2. It is not a peace that comes after a war, after an apprehension of their 
being enemies unto God, and then reconciled to him through Christ. No ; 
but they usually have always been at peace, and know not what spiritual 
trouble of mind is. Thus Paul, when in the highest malice and persecution 
against the church, was undisturbedly at rest in his own mind, having never 
apprehended what it was to sin against God, nor the greatness of his wrath : 
Rom. vii. 9, 10, ' For I was alive without the law once ; but when the com- 
mandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which 
was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.' All their peace is but a 
stupid security, such as they had in Hosea vii. 2, ' And they consider not 
in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness : now their own doings 
have beset them about, they are before my face.' 

3. As it is quietness rather than peace, so the eflfects of it answerably are 
rather negative than affirmative ; and though they are not troubled at the 
thoughts of God, nor with the sad apprehensions of his justice and wrath, 
yet all this doth not cause them to rejoice in God. Their false peace of 
conscience doth not bring in their greatest comforts, as true peace in a godly 
man doth : Rom. v. 11, ' Having peace with God,' says he, ' we joy in God.' 
And 2 Cor. i. 12, ' For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, 
that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the 
grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abun- 


dantly to you- wards.' A godly man's peace in the thoughts of God's favour 
brings him in abundance of joy. I use to say, natural conscience is a killing 
witch, not an healing one ; though it can give real troubles and wounds, yet 
it can never afford inward healing joys. The letter kills, says the apostle ; 
the power of it that way is real, and greater than to make alive : 2 Cor. iii. 6, 
' Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament ; not of the 
letter, but of the spirit ; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.' 
It bath more power given it to destruction than to edification. It gives 
such torments when it accuseth, as all the good or evil things in this world 
cannot counterpoise. But the comfort which it gives in excusing is weak, 
and faint, and negative only. It keeps the heart quiet, that it may enjoy 
outward comforts of life without disturbance, and that is all the comfort 
which it affords. 

4. The peace wliich natural conscience pronounceth is not from the true 
foundation, from reconciliation with God by Christ's blood, and justification 
by his righteousness, but it derives its peace and quiet from doing, from 
good works, from some duties performed. It builds it-s peace upon these, 
because it is satisfied, and pleased with doing what is required. It gives 
you a quietus est, upon the plea of your own righteousness, and having done 
what the law demands. This was the peace and satisfaction of mind which 
the young man had, who pronounced peace to himself from what he had 
done : Mat. xix. 16-20, ' And, behold, one came and said unto him. Good 
Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life ? And he 
said unto him. Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that 
is, God : but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith 
unto him, Which? Jesus said. Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not 
commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. 
Honour thy father and thy mother : and. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself. And the young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept 
from my youth up : what lack I yet ? ' Thus a natural man will not fetch 
his sentence of discharge from the court of faith, but of works; but a regene- 
rate man derives his comfort and joy from believing : Rom. xv. 13, ' Now 
the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that j-e may 
abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.' And faith, having 
first sprinkled the blood of Christ on the conscience, purgeth it from 
the guilt of sin : Heb, ix. 14, • How much more shall the blood of Christ, 
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge 
your conscience from dead works to serve the living God,' Heb. xii. 24, 
• And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprink- 
ling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.' It is the voice of that 
blood in the conscience which speaks those good things to a man, and 
sprinkieth the conscience itself, and purgeth it from dead works, even those 
which the man trusted in before, ere the conscience can speak true peace. 
But natural conscience speaks peace out of its own court as a judge, whereas 
it should pronounce it but as a witness, which having received the sentence 
out of the court of faith, may then set its hand to it, and confirm it. It 
may indeed out of its own court excuse a man in regard of such a particular 
fact, as Abimelech's conscience did : Gen. xx, 4, 5, ' But Abimelech had 
not come near her: and he said. Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous 
nation ? Said he not unto me, She is my sister ? and she, even she herself 
said. He is my brother. In the integrity of my heart, and innocency of my 
hands, have I done this.' But it cannot justify the man, as Paul says, 
that though his conscience knew nothing of evil by him, but judged him 
to be as touching the law blameless, yet he professeth that he was not 

Chap. III.] in respect of sin and punishment. 2G5 

hereby justified, but he waited for that sentence out of another court 
of free grace, and to be pronounced on the account of Christ's satisfac- 
tion, and of his rii^hteousness, and God's imputation of it, and faith's 
receiving, and applying it : Philip, iii. 4-9, ' Though I might also have 
confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof 
he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock 
of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews ; as touching 
Ihe law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the 
righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to 
me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things 
but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for 
whom I have sufiered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, 
that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own right- 
eousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith.' 


That a natural mans conscience is very corrupt, and plays false in the resist- 
ance which it makes against sin. — What conflicts between the light of con- 
science and lusts nnregenerate men may have. — The difference of this from 
the conflict in a godly man's heart against sin, set out as to the causes of the 
combat, the quarrel itself, and the issue of the fight. 

I come now to those other effects of a natural conscience which have ex- 
ceeding much affinity with the most inward workings and efiicacy of grace 
itself in the heart of the regenerate. 

1. A natural conscience causeth an inward conviction, combat, and strife 
ia the heart against sin ; it fights against it, and raiseth a reluctancy and 
displicency of it. Thus Darius was displeased with himself for his ill and 
unjust act in condemning Daniel to be cast into the lions' den : Dan. vi. 14, 
' Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with him- 
self, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him ; and he laboured till the 
going down of the sun to deliver him.' Thus Herod too was troubled for 
his rash oath, and found a reluctancy in his conscience to the murder of 
John the Baptist : Mat. xiv. 7-9, ' Whereupon he promised with an oath 
to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of 
her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the 
king was sorry : nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with 
him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.' Now, unregenerate men 
finding in themselves such an opposition against greater and more enormous 
crimes, they vainly imagine that this is the true conflict between flesh and 
spirit in them, and take it for that renowned battle (and it is indeed the 
most renowned battle in the world that ever was fought), which is said to 
be only in a regenerate man; and we find it recorded, Rom. vii. 21-23, ' I 
find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For 
I delight in the law of God after the inward man : but I see another law in 
my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into 
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.' Gal. v. 17, ' For the 
flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh ; and these 
are contrary the one to the other : so that ye cannot do the things that ye 
would.' And so like are the impressions of these two contrary principles, 
that unregenerate men reading these two chapters are presently ready to 
fancy that they find the very same within them. And yet a sensible differ- 


ence there is, wliich the experience of all saints finds, especially they who 
before conversion have had active, busy consciences, which have striven 
with them, and fought many a stout battle in their hearts. And yet when 
that new principle of grace hath come into the field, they have found the 
course, and order, and array of the fight clean altered from the former. 
Like unto Hebekah, who found two children sensibly fighting in her womb, 
they cry out in a surprisal of astonishment, ' Why am I thus?' as she did. 
Gen. XXV. 22, ' And the children struggled together within her : and she 
said. If it be so, why am I thus ? And she went to inquire of the Lord.' 
She wondered at it, and was amazed what it should mean, as never having 
heard that any other women bearing children were so affected, who, though 
they might feel children stir in their womb, yet not two together so as they 
did. Thus when godly men come to have experience of two contrary wills, 
two contrary lustings about the same object, such a division in the heart as 
cannot be matched or paralleled by any instance else, they wonder at it, and 
inquire into the meaning of it, as she did. And this they often perceive even 
in their first quickening, when grace begins to spring within them. Such an 
instance Austin gives us in the story of his own conversion,* where, speak- 
ing of what he felt in his heart when he was first turned to God, and of the 
differing and divided pulse of his heart towards sin, which he found in the 
first symptoms of his conversion, his words are memorable to this purpose : 
I found (says he) two wills : the one the old will, which I had before to sin, 
the other a new will ; the one carnal, and