(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us) Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The works of Thomas Goodwin"

OCT TO 1988 

BX 9315 .G66 1861 v. 2 
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680. 
The works of Thomas Goodwin 







W. LINDSAY ALEXAM)ER, D.D., Professor of ITieology, Congregational Union, 

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

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, D.D., Principal of the New College, Edinburgh. 

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

WILLDVil H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church His- 
tory, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

A2n)RE"\V THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian 
Church, Edinburgh. 





aoiitlj (15enecal preface 














edinburgh : 

printed bt eallantyne and company, 

Paul's work. 


Memoir of Thomas Goodwin, D.D., by Robeut Hallet, D.D., 
Memoir of Thomas Goodwix, D.D., by his Son, 



An Exposition of the Second Chapter of the Epistle to the 
Ephesians, Verses 1-11 — 


I.— Ver. 




1, 2, &c., 



2, . 




—} • 



3, . 



3, . 



3, . 



3, . 



3, . 


















5, . 



6, . 



6, . 



7, . 



7, . 







Seemon XX. — Ver. 7, . 


XXL— ,> 8-10, 


„ XXII.— „ 8-10, 


„ XXIIL— „ 8-10, 


„ XXIV.- „ 11, . 


Exposition of Various Portions of the Epistle to the 

Ephesians — 

To the Reader, .... 
A Sermon on Chap, II. 14-16 — Part I., 
„ » Part II., 

A Sermon on Chap. III. 17, 
The Second Sermon on Chap. III. 16-21, 
A Sermon on Chap. V. 30-32, . 


Patience and its Perfect Work, under Sudden and Sore 
Trials ; being an Exposition of James I, 1-5 — 

Section I., ..... . 429 

II., 436 

„ III, 446 

„ rV., 460 






Thomas, the eldest son of Eichard and Catherine Goodwin, was 
born at Eollesby, a village in the eastern part of Norfolk, within a 
few miles of Yarmouth, on the 5th of October in the year 1600. 
The long and prosperous reign of Elizabeth was then drawing to its 
close, and a considerable number of her subjects, especially in the 
counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, were desirous of obtaining a more 
complete reformation of the Church than that which had been effected 
by her father or her brother. They cherished some hope that in the 
expected reign of a Scottish king, educated under Presbyterian dis- 
cipline, they would see the English Church brought into closer re- 
lations and nearer resemblance to the Keformed Churches of Scot- 
land and the Continent. In these expectations they were bitterly 
disappointed. The ecclesiastical rule of Elizabeth had been oppres- 
sive to them, that of the Stuarts became intolerable. James, on his 
accession, is reported to have said, ' Do I mak the judges ? do I 
mak the bishops? then I mak the law and the gospel.' The Puri- 
tans, ill-treated by James's judges and bishops, were not disposed to 
regard with favour either his ' law ' or his ' gospel.' Thus arose the 
long conflict between the Stuarts and the Puritans. 

During the reign of Elizabeth, several things contributed to the 
prevalence of Puritanism in the eastern counties. Many of the Pro- 
testants of the Netherlands who were driven from their country by 
the Duke of Alva settled in the nearest maritime counties of England, 
and brought their arts and manufactures to the city and neighbour- 
hood of Norwich."^' Thoroughly imbued with Presbyterian principles, 
and holding them tenaciously as they had suffered for them severely, 
they became a source of frequent trouble to the bishops of that dio- 
cese. Their neighbours, associating with them to learn their arts 
of dyeing silk and worsted, were taught also to value their simpler 

* Hanbury's ]Memorials, vol. i., p. 14. 


forms of ecclesiastical government and religious worship. By asso- 
ciating with several of these exiles, Robert Brown was induced to 
separate from the Establishment, and to found a church of the straitest 
sect of Independency.* Barrow, a more consistent man, who suffered 
death for his adherence to the same principles, was the son of a 
Norfolk yeoman resident in the neighbourhood of the exiles.f 

Under the mild rule of Bishop Parkhurst, who, having found an 
asylum at Zurich during the Marian persecution, had become 
attached to Presbyterian principles, the exiles were protected, and 
the Puritans openly favom-ed, until he incurred the censure of Arch- 
bishop Parker. :j: He was then reluctantly compelled to make some 
show of discouraging the Puritans, and to suppress ' the prophesy- 
ings,' or meetings of the people to study the Scriptures. These 
principles, however, during his episcopate increasingly prevailed 
throughout the diocese. He was succeeded in 1576 by Dr Freke, 
an unrelenting persecutor of Puritan ministers.§ In 1583, when 
Whitgift, advanced to the Primacy, enforced more strictly the laws 
against the Pui-itans, it is recorded that of two hundred and thirty- 
three ministers suspended for nonconformity, no less than one 
hundred and twenty-four belonged to the diocese of Norwich. |1 
When the reading of the Book of Sports was enforced, Wren, at that 
time Bishop of Norwich, complained that numbers of clergymen under 
his jurisdiction had refused it; and though some afterwards com- 
plied, there were still thirty who were punished for their pertinacity 
by excommunication.^ In 1634, Laud, then Primate of all England, 
struck at what seemed to him the root of the evil, and ordered the 
descendants of the Dutch exiles to be prosecuted for their noncon- 
formity.** Wren, ever ready to do the work of Laud, is said to have 
expelled from the diocese three thousand manufacturers of woollen 
cloth, of whom some employed as many as a hundred poor people.tf 
In Laud's account of his province in 1635, he complained of the 
many Puritans w^ho still remained in the diocese of Norwich.^]: 
Wren, in reply to one of the articles of his impeachment, in which 

* Hanbury's Memorials, vol. i., p. 19. t Ibid., p. 35. 

J Neal's History of the Puritans, Second Edition, 4to, voL i., p. 221. Life of 
Parker, p. 461. 

§ Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 233. 

II " Dr Scambler, first pastor of the Protestant Church which met secretly in 
London during Mary's reign, was Bishop of Norwich from 1584 to 1597, and en- 
couraged associations among the clergy for the diffusion of religion, until the 
Queen put an end to such proceedings on account of their puritanical tendency." 
— Wilson's Hist, of Dissenting Churches, vol. i., p. 4 ; Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 268, 

H Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 571. ** Heyliu's Life of Laud, p. 276. 

ft Hanbury's Memorials, vol. ii., p. 13. XX Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 685. 


he was charged with suspending, depriving, and excommunicating 
godly ministers, declared that severe measures were necessary, as 
throughout his diocese there was general dislike of the doctrine and 
discipline of the Established Church.* Robinson, the founder of 
Independency, was beneficed in Norfolk, and before his separation 
from the Church, zealously promoted the principles of the Puritans.f 

Though we have no positive inforaiation that the parents of Good- 
win avowedly belonged to the Puritan party, still, from the little 
that we do know of them, there can be no doubt that they were in- 
fluenced by the evangelical principles which so generally prevailed 
in their neighbourhood. They piously educated their son, making 
hira from his infancy acquainted with the Scriptures, and, after the 
manner of the Puritans of that age, dedicating him in his early boy- 
hood to the work of the ministry. 

Three other Goodwins, distinguished for Puritan principles, 
belonged to the same county : Vincent Goodwin, | a zealous and 
devoted minister, suspended for nonconformity by Freke, on his 
accession to the bishopric of Norwich ; Thomas Goodwin, § who 
was for some years the Puritan minister of South Weald, in Essex, 
where 'he was much beloved and eminently useful;' and John 
Goodwin,!! the celebrated Arminian nonconformist, were all natives 
of Norfolk. To the inquiry whether any of them were related to 
the family of Dr Goodwin, I can only reply with Brook, in his 
life of the minister of South Weald, ' we have not been able to 
learn. '^ 

Of his early religious impressions little more is known than may 
be learnt from the brief account in ' The Life of Dr Thomas Good- 
win, composed out of his own papers and memoirs,' and reprinted in 
this edition of his Works. There we learn that he was a child of a 
weakly constitution, and on that account a source of anxiety to his 
pious parents. From the time he was six years old he ' began to 
have some slighter workings of the Spirit of God.' He speaks of 
his ' weeping for sin,' and ' having flashes of joy upon thoughts of 
the things of God.' He was ' affected with good motions and 
affections of love to God and Christ, for their love revealed to man, 
and with grief for sin as displeasing them.' In his seventh year he 
was deeply affected with the reproof of a godly servant of his 
grandfather, with whom he then resided. Being reproved for some 
sinful act, he wept for his sins, and afterwards frequently wept for 

* Hanbury's Memorials, vol. ii., p. 14. 

+ Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 437. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 234. 

§ Brook's Lives of the Puritans, vol. iii., p. 300. 

II Granger's Biographical History. f Brook, vol. iii., p. 301. 


them, when he could weep for nothing else, though he had not 
strength effectually to resist them. The religious feelings of his 
childhood were to him a subject of great interest in later life, as is 
evident from the manner in which he described them. He believed 
at the time that he was truly converted, though subsequent reflec- 
tion, and the experience of a still greater change, induced him to 
form a low estimate of his early impressions. He was undoubtedly 
sincere. As he wept for sin ' privately, between God and himself,' 
he concluded it was not hypocrisy. He prayed earnestly and con- 
fidently, pleading the promise, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father 
in my name, I will do it for you.' It is interesting to inquire — 
What subsequently induced him to conclude that tliese early reli- 
gious emotions of joy and grief, hope, confidence, and love were not 
the elements of true godliness implanted in his heart by the Holy 
Spirit? The alternative suggested was that either these early 
emotions were the beginnings of true religion, of which in his youth 
he suffered serious declension, and afterwards experienced a glorious 
revival, or else they were natural workings of conscience under the 
influence of a good education, and some slighter but not saving 
operations of the Spirit. The latter was his own conclusion. His 
reasons for it were that his good aftections were not strong enough to 
overcome his sinful propensities ; that they made him presumptuous 
and proud, so that he thought he had more grace than others, than 
his relations, or than any inhabitant of his town ; that he could not 
divest himself of a sense of merit which God must accept, and that 
he was suffered to fall into a state of indifference in the early part 
of his college course, when he sought the applause of men rather 
than the honour that cometh from God. Referring to that time, he 
says — ' God was to me as a wayfaring man, who came and dwelt 
for a night, and made me religious for a fit, but then departed from 
me. The Holy Ghost moved upon the waters when the world was 
creating, and held and sustained the chaos that was created, and so 
he does in carnal men's hearts ; witness their good motions at times. 
In a great frost you shall see, where the sun shines hot, the ice 
drops, and the snow melts, and the earth grows slabby; but it is a 
particular thaw only where the sun shines, not a general thaw of all 
things that are frozen. And so it was, that for these lighter impres- 
sions and slighter workings, my heart did grow so presumptuous 
that I thought myself not only to have grace, but more grace than 
my relations.' Whatever may have been the nature of his early 
convictions of sin and strivings of heart, there can be no doubt that 
by them God was preparing him for great usefulness throughout his 


subsequent life. The doctrinal views of godly men are often formed 
and moulded by their personal experience. How tlie religious feel- 
ings of Goodwin affected his creed and disposed him to accept the 
decided though not extreme Calvinism for which he was distin- 
guished, may be learnt from several references to his own experience 
in the memoirs compiled by his son. 

His parents secured for him the best classical education which 
could be obtained in the schools of the neighbourhood, and of which 
he so diligently availed himself, that before he had completed his 
thirteenth year, he entered at Christ's College, Cambridge, as a junior 
sophister, ' a year before the usual time.' Although students then 
matriculated at both Universities at an earlier age than is now cus- 
tomary, Goodwin referred to himself as ' the smallest ' if not the 
youngest in the whole University. The discipline enjoined by the 
original statutes of the University was at that time generally en- 
forced, and the position of a young student was not very different 
from that of an elder boy in one of the public schools of the present 
day. He entered August 25, 1613, eleven years before John Milton 
was admitted into the same College.* 

At that time the Puritan cause had so many adherents both in the 
University and the town, that Cambridge was said to be a ^ nest of 
Pm-itans ; ' Goodwin says 'the whole town was filled with the discourse 
of the power of Mr Perkins' ministry.' This celebrated preacher, 
who had in his youth been notorious for his profligacy and vice, be- 
came a very devoted, earnest, and successful preacher of the gospel, 
which he had found to be the power of God to his own salvation. A 
Fellow of Christ's College, he was not satisfied with promoting the 
spiritual interests of the youth placed under his tuition, but availed 
himself of every opportunity he could find to proclaim to his 
hearers the glorious gospel of Christ. f He zealously preached to the 
neglected prisoners in the castle, many of whom 'gladly received 
the word,' until he was appointed minister of St Andrews, from 
which church no offer of promotion, however advantageous, could 
induce him to remove. Although he died at the early age of forty- 
four, his ministry had produced so lasting an impression upon the 
University, that ten years afterwards, when Goodwin was an under- 
graduate, he being dead was yet speaking — speaking by the recollec- 
tions of his ministry fondly cherished by many, by the influence of 
his writings then exceedingly popular, and by the teaching of his 
pupils who were deeply imbued, with his earnest spirit and evangelical 

• Masson's Life of Milton, p. 87. 

t Fuller's Abel Redivivus ; and Clark's Ecclesiastical History. 


doctrine. "^^ His successor, Mv Paul Baines, also a Fellow of Christ's 
College, was a man of kindred spirit, and equally successful in the 
conversion of souls. Though deprived of his lecture for noncon- 
formity, he continued to preach as he had opportunity, until his 
death in 1617, harassed by persecution, and suffering from actuai 
poverty and want.f He had been made the instrument of the 
conversion of Richard Sibbs, who was at that time lecturing at 
Trinity Church :|: on tliose great truths, which, as expounded in his 
waitings, have since his death proved so helpful and consolatory to 
many devout readers. Preston, who succeeded Sibbs as lecturer at 
Trinity, was then a Fellow of Queen's, devoting himself to the re- 
ligious instruction of his numerous pupils, and preaching as he had 
opportunity, though not without opposition from many who were 
jealous of his rising reputation, and offended by the richness of Cal- 
vinistic doctrine which distinguished all his discourses.§ 

Christ's College, selected for the education of Goodwin, was at 
that time of high standing, both for the number of its students and 
the reputation they had acquired for scholarship and ability. ' Of 
this house,' says Fuller, *it may without flattery be said, Many 
daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all, if we 
consider the many divines who in so short a time have here had 
their education.' The influence of Perkins was long felt in the 
College, as many whom he had instructed became Fellows, six of 
whom when Goodwin entered 'were great tutors, who professed 
religion after the strictest sort.' Of these Mr Bently, a man living 
in the daily expectation of death from apoplexy, seems to have 
deeply impressed the mind of the youth by his holy life and con- 
sistent conversation, Meade, afterwards celebrated for his apocalyp- 
tical researches, had been a Fellow since 1610.|| 

Of Goodwin's tutor, William Power, little is known, and that little 
is not creditable to him. He seems to have been in good repute 
with no party in the University. In Milton's time he was disliked 
by the other Fellows of the College,^ and suspected by many of 

* * But this may be said of Master Perkins, that as physicians order infusions 
to be made by steeping ingredients in them, and taking them out again, so that 
all their strength and vii-tue remain, yet none of the bulk or mass is visible 
therein, he in like manner did distil and soak much deep scholarship into his 
preaching, yet so insensibly that nothing but familiar expressions did appear. 
In a word, his church consisting of the University and town, the scholar could 
hear no learneder, the townsman no plainer sermons.' — Fuller's Abel Redivivus. 

t Brook's Puritans, vol. ii., p. 261 ; and Clark's Lives annexed to his Martyr- 
ology, p. 22. % Clark's Lives annexed to Martyrology. 

§ Ibid. : and Brook's Puritans, vol. ii., p. 352. 

II Masson's Milton, p. 101. T Ibid., p. 154 


being a Jesuit in 'lisguise. At the time of the Earl of Manchester's 
visitation of the ■ University, in February 1643-44, he was ejected 
from his fellowship, and being on his way to deliver his Latin 
lecture as Lady Margaret's Preacher, was hooted by the populace, 
who called out, ' A pope, a pope,' and compelled him to return, glad 
to escape without further injury.* Goodwin says little of his tutor ; 
probably he could say nothing good of him, and knew that others 
said quite enough of evil. 

The religious privileges of Cambridge did not at first produce so 
favourable an impression as might have been expected on the 
mind of the young scholar. His early fears and anxieties respecting 
his salvation seem to have subsided as he devoted himself thoroughly 
and earnestly to his collegiate studies. He was undoubtedly thus 
preparing by scholarly training and literary acquisition for the 
great work assigned him by Providence, of defending and enforc- 
ing evangelical doctrine for the conviction and guidance of many 
teachers of the succeeding age. But the eflect at the time was 
so unfavourable as to lead him to conclude, in the calm review of 
his religious experience, that his earlier convictions and strivings 
with sin were the result of some common, not special and saving 
operations of the Holy Spirit, and had therefore failed in the time 
of temptation. The Puritan theology, as well as the plain and earnest 
manner of the Puritan preachers of Cambridge, became distasteful to 
him. His views, as he intimates, were at that time inclining to Armi- 
nianism,andthe preaching which he admired was that of Dr Senhouse, 
distinguished rather for its ostentatious display of rhetoric than for its 
clear statement of evangelical truth.f Though preserved from gross 
immorality, he was living to himself, laying up stores of information 
for his own glory, labouring in youth that he might obtain high pre- 
ferment in coming years, and especially ambitious of becoming an 
eloquent and popular, rather than an evangelical and useful preacher. 
He was never unfaithful to his religious convictions, but they became 
feeble in his fond endeavom-s to obtain literary distinction and pro- 
fessional eminence. 

When fom'teen years old he received the sacrament ; though con- 
scientiously seeking for evidence of his having received the gi-ace 
of God in truth, he was not satisfied that he had done well in mak- 
ing a profession and engagement of unreserved consecration to the 

* "Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 143. 

t Senhou.se, at that time preacher at St Mary's, was afterwards promoted to 
the bishopric of Carlisle. He preached at the coronation of Charles I. * An 
eloquent man he was reputed, and one that could very well express a passion.' 
• — Heylin's Life of Laud. 


work of the Lord. In hope of obtaining more comfort on the next 
occasion, he carefully prepared for the service with much prayer and 
self-examination ; but just as he was rising from his seat to approach 
the step on which the scholars knelt, his tutor, who could have 
known but little of his religious feelings, observing his juvenile ap- 
pearance and diminutive stature, sent a messenger to forbid him to 
communicate. This was to him a great disappointment, as he ex- 
pected that, after a very careful preparation, the sacrament would 
prove so helpful and strengthening as to prevent him from again 
falling away from God. It was the more humiliating, as he was 
obliged to leave his place in the college chapel and retire in the pre- 
sence of his companions, who were allowed to remain. Being thus 
discouraged, as he says, ' I knew not how to go to God.* He had 
not then attained clear views of the grace of Christ, and, being dis- 
appointed of the help of a sacrament, he could not look by faith from 
the sign to the great truth which it signified and sealed. The effect 
upon his mind was injurious. Although his confidence in his own 
good works was shaken, he found no better faith to take its place. 
He became indifferent to religion, ceased to attend the preaching of 
Dr Sibbs, whom, until that time, he frequently heard, and gave him- 
self to such studies as would enable him to preach in the manner of 
Dr Senhouse, whose ' flaunting sermons ' at St Mary's so excited his 
emulation, that (his words are) ' if God would give me the pleasure I 
desired, and not damn me at last, let him keep heaven to himself. I 
often thought thus with myself. They talk of their Puritan powerful 
preachers, and of Mr Eogers of Dedham, and such others, but I would 
gladly see the man that could trouble my conscience.' 

These thoughts shew that, presumptuous as he was, he was not 
satisfied with the preaching he so passionately admired. It did not 
seem to him the way to heaven, or the thought would not have en- 
tered into his mind of being ' damned for it at last.' How differently 
he learnt to think of ' flaunting sermons,' and of ' Puritan powerful 
preachers,' will hereafter appear. The sincerity of his convictions 
and the justness of his apprehensions of the solemnity of preaching 
the gospel appeared in his condemning himself, in his seasons of 
religious awakening, for the love of fine sermons. The desire to 
preach them he regarded as his easily besetting sin, of which he had 
to repent before God. 

During the remainder of his six years' residence at Christ's Col- 
lege, he seems to have continued very much in the same state of mind. 
At intervals the religious anxieties and feelings of his boyhood were 
revived, and, especially on the recurrence of sacramental occasions, 
he became thoughtful, devout, and sincerely desirous, though in his 


own strength, to make himself a more worthy communicant. But 
throughout, the prevalent desire of his heart was to he distinguished 
as a popular, learned, and eloquent preacher, ' like the great wits of 
St Mary's, who strove to exceed each other in a vain-glorious elo- 
quence.' While such preaching was the object of his laborious 
imitation, it afforded no satisfaction to his conscience or his heart. 
Though his proud spirit would not allow him to become a Puritan 
preacher, his secret conviction was that the Puritans were doing 
God's work. After hearing from his favourite preacher what he calls 
* the eminentest farrago of all sorts of flowers of wit that are found in 
any of the fathers, poets, histories, similitudes, or whatever has the 
elegancy of wit in it,' he heard Dr Preston in the college chapel 
' preaching against it as vain and unedifying.' Although, at the 
time, neither Dr Preston, nor, as he says, ' all angels and men,' could 
have persuaded him ' to alter his studies,' he never forgot the dis- 
courses of the good Puritan. As soon as he was taught by the 
grace of God to ' mortify his master-lust,' the love of applause, he 
was ' never so much as tempted to put in any of his own withered 
flowers w^hich he had gathered.' 

At some time in his college course, but whether after his conver- 
sion, or in one of those seasons of religious aAvakening which fre- 
quently preceded it, is not certain, he went to hear the famous 
Puritan lecturer of Dedham. John Howe, in a lecture ^ on the divine 
authority of the Holy Scriptures,' preached 20th February 1691, 
relates the following anecdote : — ' I think it may be worth our while 
to tell you a short passage which was not long ago told me by a per- 
son, (whose name is well known in London, and, I hope, savoury in 
it yet. Doctor Thomas Goodwin,) at such time as he was President of 
Magdalene College, in Oxford : there I had the passage from him. 
He told me that being himself, in the time of his youth, a student at 
Cambridge, and having heard much of Mr Rogers of Dedham, in 
Essex, purposely he took a journey from Cambridge to Dedham to 
hear him preach on his lecture day, a lecture then so strangely 
thronged and frequented, that to those that came not very early there 
was no possibility of getting room in that very spacious large church. 
Mr Rogers was (as he told me) at that time he heard him, on the 
subject of discourse which hath been for some time the subject of 
mine, the Scriptures. And in that sermon he falls into an expostu- 
lation with the people about their neglect of the Bible ; (I am afraid 
it is more neglected in our days ;) he personates God to the people, 
telling them, " Well, I have trusted you so long with my Bible : you 
have slighted it ; it lies in such and such houses all covered with 
dust and cobwebs. You care not to look into it. Do you use my 

VOL. II. ^ 


Bible SO? Well, you shall have my Bible no longer." And he 
takes up the Bible from his cushion, and seemed as if he were going 
away with it, and carrying it from them ; but immediately turns 
again, and personates the people to God, falls down on his knees, 
cries and pleads most earnestly, " Lord, whatsoever thou dost to us, 
take not thy Bible from us ; kill our children, burn our houses, de- 
stroy our goods ; only spare us thy Bible, only take not away thy 
Bible." And then he personates God again to the people : " Say 
you so ? Well, I will try you a while longer ; and here is my Bible 
for you, I will sec how you will use it, whether you will love it more, 
whether you will value it more, whether you will observe it more, 
whether you will practise it more, and live more according to it." 
But by these actions (as the Doctor told me) he put all the congre- 
gation into so strange a posture that he never saw any congregation 
in his life ; the place was a mere Bochim, the people generally (as it 
were) deluged with their own tears ; and he told me that he himself 
when he got out, and was to take horse again to be gone, was fain 
to hang a quarter of an horn* upon the neck of his horse weeping, 
before he had power to mount, so strange an impression was there 
upon him, and generally upon the people, upon having been thus ex- 
postulated with for the neglect of the Bible.' * 

In his sixteenth year, Goodwin proceeded to the degree of B.A., 
and obtained a high reputation for learning in comparison with many 
who were much older than himself.f 

In 1619, he removed to Catherine Hall ; why he did so does not 
very clearly appear. That house was far inferior to Christ's in its 
literary reputation, the character of its exercises, and the number of 
its scholars. He refen-ed contemptuously to his new residence. Why 
did he choose it? It was distinguished for evangelical religion, but 
I fear that would then have been to him but small inducement to 
make the change. His former tutor was a very quarrelsome man, 
who seems to have disagreed with everybody else with whom he had 
anything to do, but we do not find that he ever quarrelled with 
Goodwin, whose amiable disposition, apparent in the angry contro- 
versies of subsequent years, conciliated many men as quarrelsome as 
even William Power. Besides, having taken his degree, he had no 
reason to care for his unhappy tutor. Possibly he expected to obtain 
earlier promotion where scholars were rare. If this was his object, 
he was not disappointed, for in his twentieth year, when he com- 
menced M.A., he was chosen Fellow and lecturer in the Hall. During 
his fellowship he was associated with four distinguished colleagues, 

* Hunt's Edition of Howe's Works, vol. vi., p. 493. 
t Baker's MS. additions to Calamy, Acad. Reg. 


who afterwards sat with him in the Westminster Assembly — Strong, 
Arrowsmith, Spiirstow, and Pcrne. 

Of these, William Strong,* the author of a celebrated discourse on 
the Two Covenants, afterwards became pastor of an Independent 
church which met for some time in Westminster Abbey. He was 
there buried, but his body was disinterred, on the accession of Charles 
II., and with those of many other eminent men thrown into a pit 
in St ]\Iargaret's Churchyard. John Arrowsmith,t distinguished for 
learning and piety, was appointed Master of St John's, and afterwards 
of Trinity. William Spurstow:j: became Master of Catherine Hall 
in 1644, but lost his situation for refusing to take the engagement. 
He was one of the writers of '■ Smectymnuus,'§ chaplain to Hampden's 
regiment, one of the commissioners at the Savoy conference, and 
vicar of Hackney. He was ejected by the Act of Uniformity, and 
died in 1667. The fourth, Andrew Perne, became the devoted, labo- 
rious, and successful rector of Wilby in Northamptonshire, refusing 
all offers of preferment in London that he might devote his life to the 
people whom he loved, and by whom he was revered and loved as a 
father. 1 1 

The year 1620, in which Goodwin was elected a Fellow of Cathe- 
rine Hall, was to him the most memorable of his life. Soon after 
his appointment, passing St Edmund's Church, (Oct. 2, 1620,) on 
his way to join a party at his old college, while the bell was tolling 
for a funeral, he was persuaded by his companion to stay and hear 
the sermon. Unwilling to remain, he was ashamed to withdraw, as 
he had taken his seat among several scholars. According to his own 
account, he * was never in his life so loath to hear a sermon.' He 
however agreed to stay on hearing that the preacher was Dr Bain- 
brigge,l[ who had the reputation of being a witty man. The sermon, 
which Goodwin had heard before, was foanded on Luke xix. 41, 42, 
' And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 
saying, 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.' The first words of the preacher attracted his attention. 

* Brook's Puritans, vol. iil, p. 196. + Ibid., p. 315. 

% Neal's Puritans, vol. ii., pp. 86, 658. 

§ A book written in reply to Bishop Hall's ' Divine Eight of Episcopacy,' and 
so called from the initials of its writers, Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy 
Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow. 

II Neal's Puritans, vol. ii., p. 465. 

Tl The Master of Christ's CoUege, called Bamhridge in the Life of Goodwin 
compiled by his son, Bainbrigge in the copy of the register given by Masson in 
his Life of Milton, Bamhrigg by Walker in the 'Sufferings of the Clergy/ 
though his relative is in the same account called Bamhridge, 


With the earlier part of his discourse he was affected in the same way 
as he had often been on hearing evangelical sermons. As the preacher 
earnestly enforced the importance of immediately turning to God in 
this the day of grace, before these things should be for ever hidden 
and lost, he was more deeply impressed than he had ever been 
before, and on retiring from the church he told his companion, ' he 
hoped he should be the better for the sermon as long as he lived.' 

Instead of going, as he had intended, with his companion to the 
merry party at Christ's College, he returned to his own rooms in 
Catherine Hall, refusing to spend the evening with his friends, who 
sent a messenger to remind him of his engagement. There, alone, 
he felt as struck down by a mighty power. The hand of God took 
hold of him and would not let him go. His sins were brought to 
his remembrance. He was led by a way he had not known, or, as 
he says, ' he was rather passive all the while than active, and his 
thoughts held under, while that work went on.' His own illustra- 
tion of the manner of his conversion is very appropriate. Appointed 
to preach some two years afterwards in Ely Cathedral, where Dr 
Hills, the Master of his College, held a prebendal stall, he told the 
audience of a man who was converted (meaning himself) and led 
through unknown and intricate paths to God in a manner as won- 
derful ' as if a man were to go to the top of that lantern (alluding 
to the beautiful lantern-tower of the cathedral) to bring him into 
all the passages of the minster, within doors and without, and knew 
not a jot of the way, and were in every step in danger to tread awry 
and fall down.' He often refers to his conversion as a change in 
which he was entirely passive, strangely guided in the dark, and 
* acted upon all along by the Spirit of God.' 

His convictions of sin were very deep, his resolutions very strong, 
his prayers very fervent, and his searchings of heart and of Scripture 
very careful and prolonged ; but the work of the Holy Spirit, though 
so thorough and mighty, proceeded but slowly, more slowly than 
might have been expected, from his sincerity, earnestness, and religious 
education. He was long in being led through the dark and intricate 
passages of the toAver before he was brought into the light of the 
cathedral. He tells us he ' was nearly seven years ere he was 
taken off' from searching in himself for signs of grace, to look 
simply to the grace of God, and to live by faith in Christ. The 
long experience he had in seeking after God in darkness and doubt 
was the method of God to lead him eventually to clearer views of 
evangelical doctrine, and to greater skill in helping others in trouble 
of soul to accept the peace of God which passeth all understanding. 

The instrument by which God led him to the full enjoyment of 


peace and assurance of faith in Christ was Mr Price, a godly Puri- 
tan minister of King's Lynn, whither his parents had removed from 
Rollesby, after he had commenced his college course. Previously 
to his conversion he had known Mr Price, who from open profligacy 
and vice had been brought to the acknowledgment of the truth as it 
is in Jesus. His extraordinary conversion, together with his fervent 
preaching and exemplary life, had rendered him an object of great 
interest in the University. No other man in Cambridge was so 
greatly revered by Goodwin, wlio occasionally went to his religious 
services, and was so affected with his prayers as to continue under 
their solemn impression in bis own private devotions for several 
days together. As these feelings subsided, he often resolved not to 
yield to them lest they should impede his success in that vain- 
glorious style of preaching which he had proposed as the great end 
of his studies and life. 

In the sorrow of his soul he had recourse to the friendship of Mr 
Price, who had then removed to Lynn. The letters of the good 
Puritan led him to cease from man, even from himself, and to look 
simply and directly to Christ his only Saviour, who had died for his 
sins, risen for his justification, and ever lived to make intercession 
for him. Deeply interesting extracts from these letters may be found 
in the Life of Goodwin. The young scholar Avho had so often 
resisted the appeals of Mr Price, and had determined to preach 
against his doctrine when he found an opportunity to do so at Lynn, 
was thus led by that humble and holy man to count all things but 
loss, even his learning and eloquence, for the excellency of the know- 
ledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. 

The convei-sion of Goodwin suggests three important lessons : — 
1. We may observe how completely the strongest passion of his 
soul was subdued by the grace of God. Referring to a maxim of 
Dr Preston, he says, ' Of all others, my master-lust was mortified.' 
By his master-lust he meant no immoral propensity as men regard 
immorality, but his desire to obtain distinction and honour by elo- 
quent preaching. This desire, which by many would be regarded 
as innocent, or even as laudable, appeared to him inconsistent with 
unreserved consecration to the service of God. He no longer sought 
his own things, but the things of the Lord Jesus. From that time, 
he studied, and preached, and lived as not his own, but bought with 
a price, even with the precious blood of Christ. Self-seeking in 
every form, and especially in the form in which it had been his 
easily besetting sin, was abhorrent from his renewed heart. Sur- 
rendering his love of literary distinction and popular applause, he 
also renounced all expectation of preferment in the Church or in the 


Universitj. His preaching assumed a new form. It became the 
simple, earnest, faithful preaching of salvation hy grace through 
faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. When, many years afterwards, he 
was appointed President of Magdalen College, Oxford, he was 
unwilling to accept the appointment, and was induced to do so only 
hy the remembrance of the many instances in which his early 
ministry had been made effectual in the conversion of the scholars of 
Cambridge. Academical preferment, so alluring to him before his 
conversion, never afterwards occupied his thoughts. 

2. The experience of his conversion had considerable influence in 
forming or modifying his theological system. The religious opinions 
of good men are frequently moulded by their experience of the work 
of the Spirit upon their hearts. If they have felt that Spirit coming 
over them in answer to their prayers, and co-operating with their 
own efforts, — if they have been brought to renounce sin, and to 
accept Christ by a process so gradual that every movement of the 
Spirit seems to act simultaneously with their own endeavours, they 
are naturally induced to look favourably upon Arminian views of 
Christian doctrine. So it was with John Wesley, with Fletcher of 
Madeley, and with many other evangelical Arminians. But if, on 
the contrary, they have been unexpectedly stricken with a sense of 
guilt they know not how, and have been brought to feel the power 
of God working upon them without being conscious pf having pre- 
viously sought His grace, so that they have been impelled to re- 
nounce their sins, and made, as by a miracle, to rejoice in Christ, 
they frequently regard the work of the Spirit as subduing their wills, 
not strengthening them, mastering their souls, not co-operating 
with them. In this manner the experience of Augustine, of Martin 
Luther, and of many others, has appeared in the decided character 
of their theology. Good men, on both sides, interpret Scripture by 
the teaching of their own hearts quite as frequently as by the appli- 
ances of logical reasoning or critical learning. 

The experience of Goodwin, as he relates it himself, may illus- 
trate both parts of this statement. It had two sides, one favourable 
to Arminianism, the other to Calvinism ; the former belonging to 
his early strivings, the latter to his decided conversion. His earlier 
religious feelings, closely associated with his own desires and endea- 
vours to become a true Christian, and excited on occasions of special 
devotion, as when he was preparing for the sacrament, led him to 
regard favourably the Arminian doctrine, which was then exciting a 
great deal of controversy in the University. His son ' often lieard 
him say that, in reading the Acts of the Synod of Dort, and taking 
a review of the first workings of grace in himself, he found them 


consonant wltli the Arminian opinions ; but comparing his own ex- 
perience ' (that is, in wliat he regarded liis conversion) ' with the doc- 
trines of the orthodox divines, he found the one perfectly to agree 
with the other. It was this inward sense of things, out of which a 
man will not suffer himself to be disputed, that established him in 
the truths of the gospel.' Whether it be right or wrong to submit 
religious doctrines to this subjective test, few truly religious men 
can refrain from doing so. To this origin we may trace his decided, 
but not extravagant or bigoted Calvinism. 

3. On his being brought through deep and sorrowful convictions 
of sin to the full enjoyment of faith in Christ, his preaching became 
exceedingly useful in the conversion of sinners and the guidance of 
inquirers. He began to speak from the fulness of his heart. He 
preached earnestly, for he preached a full and free salvation which 
had been the life and joy of his own soul. He preached experi- 
mentally, for he preached as he had felt, and tasted, and handled of 
the good word of life. His great desire was to convert sinners to 
Christ ; he thought no more of the applause, reputation, or honour, 
which had. been so precious to him ; he desired to know nothing 
among men, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. God gave testi- 
mony to the word of his grace. The scholars of the University 
crowded to hear him, and many were brought by his preaching to 
the acknowledgment of the truth, of whom not a few became emi- 
nent preachers of the gospel. He soon openly united himself with 
the Puritan party in the University, and zealously promoted its 
interest. On the sudden death of Dr Hills, in 1626, he succeeded 
in obtaining the appointment of Dr Sibbs, preacher at Gray's Inn, 
as Master of Catherine Hall.* 

In 1625, Goodwin was licensed a preacher of the University ,t sub- 
scribing the three articles, which affirm the king's supremacy in all 
matters ecclesiastical and civil, the accordance of the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer with the Word of God, and the scriptural authority of 
the thirty-nine articles ; without which subscription no person was 
suffered to preach, or catechise in any place as a lecturer.^ On the 

* Dr Sibbs, though, ejected from his fellowship and lectureship at Trinity 
Church for nonconformity, retained the mastership of the Hall imtil his death. 
The Pxiritan character of Catherine Hall became so decided, that on the visita- 
tion of the Earl of Manchester in 1644, not one Fellow or Scholar was ejected 
for irreligion, negligence, non-residence, or disaffection to the Parliament. 

+ Reg. Acad. Baker's MS. additions to Calamy. 

J Neal's Puritans, vol. i., p. 430. It appears from a certificate signed 
* Thomas Goodwin, then curate of the said church,' that he was curate of 
St Andrews at the date thereof, April 6, 1628. See Baker's MS. Collec, vol 
vi., p. 192, xvi., 298, aa cited by Brook in his Lives of the Puritans, aa-t. 


death of Dr Preston, who having succeeded Sihbs as lecturer of 
Trinity Church, preferred that sphere of great usefulness to a bishop- 
ric offered him by the Duke of Buckingham, Goodwin was appointed 
to the vacant office, and most zealously, laboriously, and successfully 
devoted his time and strength to promote the spiritual interests of the 
townsmen and the numerous scholars who attended his ministry. 
The Bishop of Ely at first refused to admit him unless he would 
solemnly promise not to preach upon any controverted points of 
divinity'. Without making any such promise, he was eventually 
admitted, and was presented by the king to the vicarage of the same 
church in 1632. In 1630, he proceeded to the degree of B.D. One 
of the first acts of Laud after he had attained the Primacy was to 
require the bishops to watch strictly over the lecturers, and to send 
him an annual report respecting them. White, at that time Bishop 
of Ely, was one of the most zealous of the Primate's adherents. 
Troubled by his interference, and growing dissatisfied with the 
restrictions imposed upon preaching the evangelical truth which he 
had found to be the life of his own soul, he resigned his lectureship 
at Trinity Church in 1634 * as well as his fellowship at Catherine 
Hall, and removed from Cambridge. 

After he left Cambridge, little more is known of him for the 
next five years than his marriage in 1638 to Elizabeth, daughter of 
Alderman Prescot of London. As Baillie accuses him of propagating 
the opinions of the Independents before he went to Holland,! it is 
probable that he was engaged in studying the principles of church 
government, corresponding with Independent ministers in Holland 
and^ew England, preaching as he had opportunity to congregations 
of Separatists, and frequently incurring the risk of fine and imprison- 
ment. During this time the power of Laud was sufficient to suppress 
most of the lectureships, to reduce to subservience the few lecturers 
who retained their situations, and to enforce by severe measures 
uniformity of worship, especially in the dioceses where the bishops 
were imbued with his spirit, or sought to obtain his favour. Many 
godly ministers, wearied with fines, imprisonment, every kind of 

Thomas Edwards, It is not, however, certain that this was the same Thomas 

* He had resigned the vicarage of this church in favour of his friend Dr 
Sibbs in 1G33. Brook's Puritans, vol, ii., p. 417, 

+ ' Master Robinson did derive his way to his Separatist congregation at 
Ley den, a part of them did carry it over to Plymouth in New England ; here 
Master Cotton did take it up and transmit it from thence to Master Thomas 
Goodwin, who did help to propagate it to sundry others in Old England first, 
and after to more in Holland, till now by many hands it is sown thick in divera 
parts of this kingdom,' — Baillie's Dissuasive. 


annoyance, and yet resolved to maintain a good conscience at all 
costs, fled from the country, some to New England, others to such 
Protestant towns on tlie Continent as would afford them liberty of 
worshipping God according to the dictates of their own consciences. 

In some towns of the Low Countries, where many refugees from 
Popish lands had found protection from their persecutors, there 
prevailed, under the free government of the States-General, prin- 
ciples of toleration and religious liberty unknown in any other 
part of the world. In some of these towns English merchant! 
had settled, and as many of them were religious men, they naturally 
sought to obtain the same freedom of worship as their French and 
Flemish neighbours enjoyed. The congregations which they 
formed enjoyed liberties of which their countrymen in England 
were deprived by the j)relatical ascendancy. It was to be expected 
that the Puritan ministers, harassed, silenced, fined in their own 
country, would seek to exercise their ministry among those free con- 
gregations of Holland. So many went over that the attention ol 
Laud was directed to their proceedings, and he made several attempts, 
though in vain,* to reduce them to that uniformity which he had 
thoroughly, as he thought, established throughout England. Pro- 
tected by the tolerance of the Dutch government, they adopted such 
modes of church discipline as seemed to themselves most agreeable 
to Scripture. Though most of their churches were Presbyterian, 
some preferred the Congregational discipline brought into the country 
by Johnson, Ames, Robinson, and their followers. Most of the books 
which at that time were circulated in England in exposition and 
defence of Congregational principles had been written and printed in 
Holland, where they were favourably received and generally read by 
English exiles. 

Goodwin at first settled in Amsterdam,! where he had frequent 
opportunities of conferring with Nye, Burroughs, Bridge, and Symp- 
son, who were afterwards united with him as ' the dissenting breth- 
ren,' or Independents, in the Westminster Assembly. The influence 
of Goodwin over the minds of his brethren, so apparent in later 
years, commenced, there can be little doubt, in the friendly consul- 
tations and inquiries of the society with which they were connected 
at Amsterdam. The teachers being numerous, they agreed to sepa- 
rate, and Goodwin removed to Arnheim,| in Guelderland, where ten 
or twelve English families had previously resided, and obtained per- 
mission from the magistrates to assemble regularly for divine wor- 
ship. The congregation consisted of about one hundred persons, 

* Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 274. 

+ Hanbury's Memorials, vol. ii., p. 42. % Ibid., vol. iii., p. 140. 


over whom Philip Nje had been for some time settled. In the free- 
dom of this society, Goodwin and Nye pursued more extensively 
their inquiries about church order and discipline, and arrived at the 
conclusions which they afterwards clearly stated, and ably defended, 
in the ' Apologetical Narration.' In that work they say — ' We had 
of all men the greatest reason to be true to our own consciences in 
what we should embrace, seeing it was for our consciences that we 
were deprived at once of whatever was dear unto us. We had no 
new commonwealth to frame church government unto, whereof any 
one piece might stand in the other's way to cause the least variation 
from the primitive pattern. We had no state ends or political inte- 
rests to comply with ; no kingdoms of our age to subdue into our 
mould, which yet will be co-existent with the peace of any form 
of civil government on earth ; no preferment or worldly respects to 
shape our opinions for. We had nothing else to do but simply and 
singly to consider how to worship God acceptably, and most accord- 
ing to his Word.' While their principles of church government 
were nearly the same as those of the Brownists, they carried them 
into practice in a very different spirit from that of Robert Brown and 
his adherents. To them, and certainly to Goodwin quite as much 
as to his brethren, the rigid separatism of the first Independents was 
exceedingly offensive. They resolved, as they say, ' not to take up 
our religion by or from any party, and yet to approve and hold what- 
ever is good in any, though never so much differing from us, yea, 
opposed unto us.' Nor did they refuse to acknowledge as members 
of the true church all, to whatever church they might belong, who 
professed themselves believers, and evinced the sincerity of their pro- 
fession by the sanctity of their lives.* 

While he was at Arnheim serious differences arose in the 
Independent church at Rotterdamf between the two ministers 
Bridge and Ward, on the subject of the prophesy ings of private 
members, which had been generally encouraged in the Brownist 
churches. As the controversy produced unhappy dissensions, and 
even unfriendly separation, Goodwin, accompanied by his colleague, 
went thither to compose the differences, and happily succeeded in 
allaying the irritation, and restoring peace to the reunited church. 
Heylin,:}: who exultingly describes this division at Rotterdam as the 
natm-al fruit of the separatist spirit, is obliged to confess, though 

* How firmly Goodwin maintained these liberal views may be seen in his 
thirty-sixth sermon on Eph. i. The consistency of his practice is shewn by 
his kind and liberal proposal to John Howe to unite with his church in Oxford, 
though differing from some of his opinions. See hereafter, p. xxxv. 

t Hanbury's Memorials, vol. iii., p. 140. J Life of Laud, p. 367. 


with a bad grace, that at Arnheim the ministers maintained unity 
among themselves, and harmony among the people. This testimony 
is valuable as coming from ' lying Peter,' the unscrupulous advocate 
of Laud, and not the less so as found in connexion with gross mis- 
representation of Goodwin and his friends. 

^A'^hile Goodwin was studying in Holland the principles and prac- 
tices of the apostolic churches, a great change came over the aspect 
of both civil and ecclesiastical affairs in his native land. During the 
two years of his expatriation, the English government, by its unscru- 
pulous efforts to suppress civil and religious liberty, brought both 
patriots and Puritans to unite in resisting its usurpation. The Long 
Parliament impeached Laud, and invited the return of all who had 
left their country for nonconformity. 

Goodwin soon availed himself of the liberty to return, and, settling 
in London, gathered an Independent church in the parish of St 
Dunstan's-in-the-East.* The site of his meeting-house cannot be 
ascertained, though it was near Thames Street. Over this church he 
presided with much comfort and prosperity for ten years, — that is, 
through the whole time of the civil war, — until in 1650 he was selected 
for the presidency of Magdalene College, Oxford.f 

Wliile engaged in the discharge of the duties of his pastorate, 
Goodwin rose to eminence as a preacher ; and on occasion of the 
solemn fast on the 27th of April 1642, he was selected to preach 
before the House of Commons. The sermon, which was an earnest 
exhortation to promote the work of further reformation in Eng- 
land, was founded on Zech. iv. 6-9. It was printed by order of the 
House, and entitled, ' Zerubbabel's Encouragement to Finish the 
Temple.' This sermon is still worthy of perusal. Its object may be 
inferred from the brief dedication ' to the Honourable House of 
Commons assembled in Parliament.' As that dedication affords 
some illustration of the character and pursuits of its author, who, 
though often engaged in controversy, was far from being the 
fierce controversialist he is sometimes represented, it is here in- 
serted : — 

* Wilson's Dissenting CHurclies, vol. i., p. 214. 

•j- The church thus formed and strengthened by Dr Goodwin became, under 
his successors, and continued for many years, the most important and influen- 
tial of the Independent churches in London. No congregation for many years 
made so large collections for the Independent fund. They erected a commodi- 
ous meeting-house in Lime Street, Leadenhall Street, where they continued to 
worship until 1755, when it was removed to afiord a site for the India House. 
A division then took place, and the more considerable part removed to Miles 
Lane, thence to Camomile Street, and eventually to the Poultry Chapel, where 
the church stiU flourishes imder the able ministry of the Kev. Dr. Spence. 


* Your command giving me the opportunitj, I took tlie boldness 
to urge and to encourage you to clmrch reformation, which is the 
main scope of this sermon, a subject which otherwise, and in all 
other auditories, I have been silent in, and am in no whit sorrjj for 
it. For I account it the most fit and happy season to utter things 
of this nature unto authority itself (although the people likewise are 
to know their duty.) My comfort is, that what I have spoken 
herein, I have for the general (and I have spoken but generals) long 
believed, and have therefore spoken. 

' You are pleased so far to own me as to betrust me with this service 
to be God's mouth in public unto you, and also this sermon of mine 
as to command the publishing of it. Wherefore as in propriety it is 
now become yours more than mine or all the world's, so let it be in 
the use of it. If it shall add the least strengthening to your resolu- 
tions, to keep this purpose for ever in the thoughts of your hearts, I 
have what I aimed at. Go on, worthy fathers, and elders of this 
people, and prosper in (yea, by) this work, without which nothing 
that you do will prosper. But the rest I shall speak to God for you. 
Let me be known to you by no other thing than this : to be one 
whose greatest desires and constant prayers are and have been, and 
utmost endeavours in my sphere shall be, for the making up of the 
divisions of the church in these distracted times with love of truth 
and peace ; and therein, to use David's words, am 

' Wholly at your commanding, 

' Tho. Goodt7IN.' 

In 1643, the celebrated Assembly of Divines met at Westminster, 
of which Goodwin was appointed a member. W^ith him were asso- 
ciated his four companions in exile, Nye, Bridge, Burroughs, and 
Sympson, who Avere generally known as ' the dissenting brethren,' 
on account of their opposition to that uniformity of Presbyterian 
discipline which the Assembly desired to have established throughout 
England. In the several accounts of the proceedings of the Assem- 
bly, Goodwin is frequently mentioned as their leader, and undoubt- 
edly the several documents which they offered were drawn up by 
him. Nye was a powerful speaker. Burroughs an acute reasoner. 
Bridge a persuasive pleader, but Goodwin was the strength of 
the party. Although he took so decided and prominent a part in 
opposition to the cherished opinions of the majority of the Assembly, 
his Christian temper and gentle deportment conciliated the esteem of 
all, even of those who most widely differed from him in the views 
for which he most earnestly pleaded. 


Of all who were present, few were so decidedly opposed to ' the 
dissenting brethren' as the Scottish Commissioners, and of them 
Baillie was certainly quite as earnest as any in his desire to see 
Presbyterian uniformity established in the south as well as the north 
of the island. But he scarcely ever refers to Goodwin without some 
expression of esteem, even when most vexed with his proceedings. 
Thus in Letter xlil, he says — ' While we were sweetly debating, in 
came Mr Goodwin, who incontinent assayed to turn all upside down, 
to reason against all directions. He troubled us so that after long 
debates we could conclude nothing. For the help of this evil we 
thought it best to speak with him in private : so we invited him to 
dinner, and spent an afternoon with him very sweetly. It were a 
thousand pities of that man : he is of many excellent parts.' Baillie 
speaks of his Treatise on Sanctification as one which he must bring 
with him, and calls him and his brethren ' learned, discreet, and 
zealous men, well seen in cases of conscience.'* To him pre-eminently 
may be applied Baillie's words, ' The Independents truly speak much, 
and exceedingly well.'f He was chosen to pray in the solemn 
meeting of seven hours' duration in which the Assembly prepared to 
enter on the debate concerning the discipline of the church.J That 
he usually spoke with remarkable moderation and forbearance may 
be inferred from the fact that on one occasion, Baillie speaks of 
'hotter words than were expected from Goodwin. '§ Every reader of 
the intemperate, vituperative pamphlets of the time, especially in re- 
ference to these discussions, must admire his calm reasoning and free- 
dom from the angry tone and spirit which were generally prevalent, 
and in some degree excused by the excited state of the disputants 
among all parties. 

The estimate formed of his ability and influence by the Court party 
may be inferred from a statement of Whitelock, who says, that in 
January 1643-4, ' Ogle, for the King, wrote to Mr Thomas Goodwin 
and Mr Nye, of the Independent judgment, to make great promises 
to them if they would oppose the Presbyterian government, intended 
by the Scots to be imposed upon England, and much to that purpose. 
These two being persons of great judgment and parts, acquainted 
their friends herewith, and were authorised to continue a correspond- 
ence with Ogle, who gained no ground with them.' || 

In 1644, he and Nye published ' Cotton's Keys of the Kingdom 
of Heaven, and Power thereof, according to the Word of God,' in 
the preface of which they expounded their views of ecclesias- 

• Baillie's Letters and Journals, 1775, vol. i., p. 253. + Ibid., p. 401. 

X Lightfoot's Works, vol. xiii., p. 19. § Letter ill 

II Whitelock's Memorials, p. 76. 


tical goyernment in accordance with those of the New England 

The Directory for Puhlic "Worship being completed hj the Assembly, 
Goodwin was one of the members appointed to present it to the Par- 
liament on the 21st of December IGM.f On February 25, 1645, he 
preached again before Parliament. The discourse, founded on Psalm 
cv. 14, 15, ' He suffered no man to do them wrong : 9/ea, he reproved 
kings for their sakes ; saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my 
prophets no harm^ was ordered to be printed, and entitled 'The 
Great Interest of States and Kingdoms.' 

Few of its members attended the Assembly so regularly as Good- 
win, or took so much interest in its proceedings. In 1647, by an 
order from the House of Lords, he was appointed with Jeremiah 
Whitaker to have the oversight and examination of the papers to be 
printed for the Assembly. % His notes, taken for the most part in 
short-hand, fill fourteen volumes, which are preserved in Dr Wil- 
liams' Library in Redcross Street. 

Under date of 23d May 1649, Whitelock has this entry, ' Upon a 
letter from the General ' (who was then being solemnly welcomed 
and highly feasted at Oxford on his return from putting down the 
levellers) ' for a lecture to be set up in Oxford, and for Dr Reynolds, 
Mr Caryl, and ]\Ir Thomas Goodwin to be lecturers there, referred to 
the committee to have it done.' § 

On the 7th of June 1649, the day appointed by Parliament for 
public thanksgiving for the quelling of the insurrection of the 
levellers, Goodwin and Owen preached before Cromwell and the 
Parliament, at Christ Church in the city. On the following day 
* the hearty thanks of the House were voted for their sermons, and 
it was referred to the Oxford Committee to prefer Mr Thomas Good- 
win and Mr Owen to be Heads of Colleges in that university.' On 
the recommendation of that Committee, it was ordered on the 8th of 
January following that ^ Mr Thomas Goodwin be President of 
Magdalene College in Oxford, and it be referred to the Committee 
of the Universities, how the Heads of Houses in the several Univer- 
sities may be settled and disposed of without trouble to the House.' 
Whoever else were to be promoted by the Committee, the appoint- 
ment of Goodwin to the high and responsible office of President of 
Magdalene was made by order of the House. 

That Goodwin was well qualified for the office by his learning, 
ability, piety, and habits of business must be readily acknowledged 

* Hanbury's Memorials, vol. ii., p. 259. 

t Baillie's Letters, vol. ii., p. 73 ; Letter Ixxxv. 

X Brook's Puritans, vol. iii., p. 19L § Whitelock's Memorials. 


by all who are acquainted with his life and writings. His early 
training and scholarly acquirements in Cambridge, his successful 
practice as a tutor and lecturer in that University, the biblical and 
theological learning which he had acquired in Holland and in Lon- 
don, his love of all literature as it appeared in the noble library 
which he had diligently collected, were quite suflScient to justify the 
appointment, had he not rendered eminent service to the Common- 
wealth, for which Parliament conferred on him this honourable ex- 
pression of its approbation. That the presidency of a college was 
his appropriate reward, may be inferred from the hopes and en- 
deavours of other colleges to obtain the honour and advantage of 
his government. In 1649, Tillotson, then a scholar in Clare Hall, 
Cambridge, wrote to his friend Mr Henry Eoot, pastor of a Congre- 
gational church at Sowerby, near Halifax, — '■ As for our University 
affairs they are as before 1 came into the country, only wehave^ess hopes 
of procuring Mr Thomas Goodwin for our Master than we then had.'* 

Why he accepted the office so honourably conferred is explained 
by himself in the account of his life published by his son. On leav- 
ing Cambridge he had resigned, '■ for his whole life, all ecclesiastical 
preferment.' He never sought, he never expected to recover it ; but 
he loved to assist godly young men in their studies for the min- 
istry. This was his favourite employment in Cambridge, and in it 
he had been eminently successful. After his return from Holland, he 
had for some years, well-nigh every month, serious and hearty acknow- 
ledgments from several young men who had received ' the light of 
their conversion ' by his ministrations in the University. His great 
motive in accepting the presidency of !^Iagdalene was, not love of 
academical distinction, but the desire ^ to bring in young men that 
were godly, both Fellows and scholars, that should serve God in the 
ministry in after-times.' His chief encouragement, in dependence 
upon God, was the remarkable success of his labours in his former 
university life. 

The separation from the church over which he had presided with 
■uninterrupted comfort and prosperity for nearly ten years was his 
principal difficulty. Three years before, when it was doubtful whether 
toleration would be granted to the Independents, he regarded an 
invitation from Mr Cotton of Boston to labour in New England as a 
call of Providence, and proceeded to secure his passage, and put a 
large part of his valuable library on board the vessel, but at the last 
the entreaty and persuasion of his beloved friends prevailed, and in- 
duced him to remain as their pastor in London. The time to leave 
them was now, as he thought, fully come, but he thought so because 
• Palmer's Nonconformists' Memorial, Second Edit., voL iii., p. 481. 


there was a great work to be done at Oxford, for whicTi he was 
especially qualified h j previous attainments and prolonged experience. 
On his resignation of the pastoral oiSce it must have been a source 
of satisfaction to have been able to commend his church to so able 
and successful a preacher as Mr Thomas Harrison,* his succes- 
sor, under whose ministry the meeting-place in St Dunstan's was 
crowded every Lord's-day. Goodwin had been some time a widower, 
when, in the prospect of returning to college life, he married Mary 
Hammond, of an ancient and honourable Shropshire lineage. Al- 
though he was in his fiftieth year, he selected a lively girl of 
seventeen to be the partner of his college pleasures and cares. 
Though so young, she seems to have made the reverend Pre- 
sident a prudent and excellent wife. There are some strange 
rumours of the austerity and gloom which prevailed in the College 
during his government ; but Goodwin was far enough from being an 
austere and gloomy man. The Independents of the Commonwealth, 
however earnest and devout, were not the most austere of the Puri- 
tans. Owen is said to have been foppish in his dress, and spruce in 
his boots and snake-bands. H Goodwin was not so stylish as his 
friend at Christ Church, he may be recognised, by several well- 
authenticated incidents of his life, as an active, pleasant, genial, and 
even occasionally facetious man. In the account of an interview of 
a young gentleman with the Puritan head of a college given by 
Addison in the ' Spectator' (No. 494), Goodwin may be recognised by 
his nightcaps, for he had become especially careful in protecting his 
brains from the cold.f The exaggeration is founded on the well- 
known anxiety of the President to encourage pious youth whom he 
believed to be prepared and called by Divine grace for the work of 
the ministry. The young gentleman (one of the Henleys of Oxford- 
shire) well-instructed in classical literature, though unaccustomed . to 
religious inquiries, wished to consult the President about entering 
the college. '■ A gentleman,' says the ' Spectator,' ' who was lately a 
great ornament to the learned world, has diverted me more than 
once with an account of the reception which he met with from a very 

* "Wilson's Dissenting Churches, vol. i., p. 221. 

t His son, when in Eome, is said to have been very civilly received by Car- 
dinal Howard, who, referring to his father's work on the Revelation, inquired 
if he had made any further discovery relating to the Pope. An evasive answer 
being returned, referring to the difficulty of understanding so obscure a book, 
the cardinal replied, ' Yes, especially when a man has half-a-dozen nightcaps 
over his eyes.' — Biog. Brit., vol. v., p. 505, note. Wilson, repeating this anec- 
dote, says the porti-ait ' represents him with at least two or three' nightcaps, 
evidently mistaking the President's cap, with its band, for two or three caps. 
History of Dissenting Churches, vol. iii., p. 448. 


famous Independent minister who was head of a college in those 
times. This gentleman was then a young adventurer in the republic 
of letters, and just fitted out for the University witii a good cargo of 
Latin and Greek. His friends were resolved that he should try his 
fortune at an election which was drawing near, in the college of 
which the Independent minister whom I have before mentioned was 
governor. The youth, according to custom, waited on him to be 
examined. He was received at the door by a servant who was one 
of that gloomy generation that were then in fashion. He conducted 
him with great silence and seriousness to a long gallery,* which was 
darkened at noon-day, and had only a single candle burning in it. 
After a short stay in this melancholy apartment, he was led into a 
chamber hung with black, where he entertained himself for some 
time by the glimmering of a taper, until at length the Head of the 
College came out to him from an inner room, with half-a-dozen 
nightcaps upon his head, and religious horror in his countenance. 
The young man trembled ; but his fears increased, when instead of 
being asked what progress he had made in learning, he was exa- 
mined how he abounded in grace. His Latin and Greek stood him 
in little stead ; he was to give an account only of the state of his 
soul, whether he was of the number of the elect, what was the 
occasion of his conversion, upon what day of the month and hour of 
the day it happened, how it was carried on, and when completed. 
The whole examination was summed up with one short question, 
namely, Whether he was prepared for death? The boy, who had 
been bred up by honest parents, was frighted out of his wits at the 
solemnity of the proceeding, and by the last dreadful interrogatory ; 
so that upon making his escape out of this house of mourning, he 
could never be brought a second time to the examination, as not 
being able to go through the terrors of it.' 

To Addison, the idea of a moral, well-conducted young man asked 
to give an account of the time and manner in which he ' had received 
Divine grace ' was amusingly unreal ; but to Goodwin, who looked 
upon that event as the grand reality of his life, it was very natural 
and proper to propose such an inquiry. Had the young gentleman 
not been prejudiced by an introduction to which he was unac- 
customed, he would have perceived little else than kindly and affec- 
tionate interest in the manner of the venerable President. 

Though Goodwin regarded personal religion as of the utmost im- 

* * The long gallery referred to was taken down in 1770 for the improvement 
of the President's lodgings. In the Oxford Almanac for 1730, there is an out- 
side view of it, having only one window with three lights, and as many brackets 
underneath.' — Granget^s Biographical History. 



portance, he was far from being indifferent to the literary reputation 
of his College, or to the secular learning of its scholars. The civil 
wars had brought the University to the brink of ruin ; but under the 
government of the pious and learned men whom Cromwell appointed 
as Heads of Houses, the Colleges speedily regained their former repu- 
tation, and their scholars were prepared to occupy with honour and 
usefulness the most prominent positions of church and state. With 
Owen, appointed Dean of Christ Church at the same time as Goodwin 
was made President of Magdalene, he associated in the closest and 
most confiding friendship, and zealously co-operated in all his endea- 
vours to promote the piety, scholarship, and general welfare of the stu- 
dents. To shew how earnestly they worked together, we have abundant 
evidence. Previously to their time it had been customary to appoint 
the I ellows of the several Colleges to preach in rotation on the Sab- 
bath afternoons in St Mary's Church ; but in order to promote to the 
utmost the religious instruction of the scholars, Owen and Goodwin 
undertook to discharge that duty between them. With what effect 
they did it, Philip Henry could tell us, for he was a student at 
Christ Church at the time. In the memoir of him, his son Matthew 
says, ' He would often mention with thankfulness to God what great 
helps and advantages he then had in the University, not only for 
learning, but for religion and piety. I have heard him speak of the 
prudent method they then took about the University sermons on the 
Lord's-day in the afternoon, that used to be preached by the Fellows 
of Colleges in their course : but that being found not so much for 
edification, Dr Owen and Dr Goodwin performed that service alter- 
nately, and the young Masters that were wont to preach it had a 
lecture on Tuesday appointed them.' * 

But the Sabbath afternoon lecture was a very small part of the 
ministerial labours which were willingly undertaken by Goodwin, 
and carried on with great efficiency during the ten years of his resi- 
dence in Oxford. His useful labours in the earlier years of his 
ministry at Cambridge were resumed in his more prominent position 
in Oxford, and were rendered more efiective by the great reputation 
and influence which through many years he had been gradually 
acquiring. While his interest in pious youth had not diminished, 
he became the honoured pastor and teacher of some of the most able, 
learned, and devout men of the University. He formed a Congre- 
gational church, into which were admitted, among many influen- 
tial citizens and collegians, Mr Thankful Owen, President of St 
John's ; Mr Howell, Master of Jesus ; Theophilus Gale, Fellow of 
Magdalene J Stephen Charnock, Fellow of New College; Blower, 
* Memoir of Philip Henry, by his son, p. 19. 


Fellow of jMagcIalcne; Teriy, Fellow of University College; Mr Moses 
Lownian, the learned expositor of the Apocalypse ; and many others 
then or afterwards distinguished for their learning and dcvotedness 
to evangelical truth. 

There was one member of Magdalene College whose principles and 
piety were such as to give occasion for some surprise that he was not 
attached to the church under the pastorate of liis own President. 
This was John Howe. The explanation is honourable to both 
parties. Goodwin inquired of Howe the reason of his keeping away 
from their communion, and being told that the only reason which 
prevented him from uniting in their fellowship was the stress which 
was laid upon certain peculiarities of church order, of the importance 
of which he was not convinced, Goodwin immediately embraced him, 
and readily agreed to admit him upon liberal and catholic grounds to 
the privileges of their society.* This is one of many proofs that 
Goodwin was not that narrow and bigoted sectary which he has been 
often represented. In few men have there been united more earnest 
devotedness to religious truth with more catholicity in the adminis- 
tration of religious ordinances. Strong as were his convictions of 
truth, he never assumed the airs of infallibility. Decided in his 
views of Independency, he was, I am disposed to think, less sec- 
tarian in practice than most of the early Independents. 

December 22, 1653, he had conferred on him the degree of D.D., 
on which occasion he was described in the register as, In scripti's in 
re theologicd quam plurimis orhi notus. 

Goodwin's labours in the University, onerous as they undoubtedly 
were, did not comprise all that was expected from him in those 
times of excitement and change. To prevent incompetent persons 
from being admitted to the numerous vacant livings in the church, 
thirty-eight ministers, partly Presbyterian, and partly Independent, 
of acknowledged ability, learning, and piety, were appointed to 
examine all candidates for the ministry, and certify their approval 
on just and sufficient reasons.f These were the well-known Triers, 
of whom Goodwin was one of the most diligent and careful in the 
discharge of the important duties of his responsible office. 

The powers of the Commissioners who had been appointed by the 
Long Parliament to visit and regulate the Universities, having lapsed 
with the fall of that government, an ordinance was passed, September 
2, 1654, appointing visitors for both Universities, and the schools of 
Westminster, Winchester, &c.:j: Goodwin was one of the number 
who were authorised to visit all colleges and halls in the Uuiver- 

* Calamy's Life of Howe, pp. 10, 11. 

t Hanbury's Memorials, vol. iii., p. 422. $ Ibid., p. 428. 


sitles and public schools, examining their studies, recommending 
alterations where necessary, correcting abuses, and removing scan- 
dalous offenders. 

On the 4th of September in the same year, Cromwell's second 
Parliament assembled with much formality and state. Goodwin, 
who had become a favourite of the Protector, preached on the occa- 
sion, his Highness (says Whitelock) ' being seated over against the 
pulpit, and the members of Parliament on both sides.' The sermon 
is not extant, but we may infer its subject from the references made 
to it by Cromwell in the speech with which he introduced the pro- 
ceedinsrs of the House: — • 

'■ It hath been very well hinted to you this day that you come hither 
to settle the interests above mentioned, for your work here in the issue 
and consequences of it will extend so far, even to all Christian people.' 

' Truly, another reason, unexpected by me, you had to-day in the 
sermon ; you had much recapitulation of providence, much allusion 
to a state and dispensation of discipline and coiTection, of mercies 
and deliverances — to a state and dispensation similar to ours— to, in 
truth, the only parallel of God's dealing with us that I know in the 
world, which was largely and wisely held forth to you this day, — to 
Israel's bringing out of Egypt through a wilderness by many signs 
and wonders towards a place of rest, I say towards it ; and that 
having been so well remonstrated to you this day, is another argu- 
ment why I should not trouble you with a recapitulation of those 
things, though they are things which, I hope, will never be forgotten, 
because written in better books than those of paper, written, I am 
persuaded, upon the heart of every good man.' 

'■ You were told to-day of a people brought out of Egypt, towards 
the land of Canaan, but through unbelief, murmuring, and repining, 
and other temptations and sins wherewith God was provoked, they 
were fain to come back again and linger many years in the wilder- 
ness before they came to the place of rest.' Cromwell concluded 
his speech with the words, ' I do therefore persuade you to a sweet, 
gracious, and holy understanding of one another, and of your busi- 
ness, concerning which you had so good counsel this day, which, as 
it rejoiced my heart to hear, so I hope the Lord will imprint it upon 
your spirits.'* 

Ten days afterwards, at a solemn fast, when most of the members 
of Parliament were present, Mr Marshall, Dr Goodwin, and Mr 
Cheynell were appointed to preach.f 

During the prosperity of the Independents, under the protection 

* Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, by T. Carlyle. 
t Introduction to Burton's Diary, p. xxxvi. 


of Cromwell, Goodwin and others thought it desirable to publish a 
declaration of th^ir faith and discipline, in order to clear themselves 
from the imputations to which they were subjected through the wild 
and fanatical notions of men who agreed with them in little else than 
in their much misrepresented principle of toleration. On June 15, 
1658,* a preliminary meeting was convened by an invitation which 
seems, as it was signed by Scobell, to have been of an official cha- 
racter, though, according to Neal,f permission to hold the synod was 
reluctantly conceded by Cromwell. On the 29th of September,^ two 
hundred delegates, representing one hundred and twenty churches, met, 
and appointed Goodwin, Owen, Nye, Bridge, Caryl, and Greenhill, to 
draw up a confession of their faith and order. Eventually the con- 
fession, in composing which Goodwin had been much engaged, was 
submitted to a meeting of elders and messengers, held in the Savoy 
on October the 12th, and by them unanimously approved, and pub- 
lished as a declaration of the faith and order owned and practised by 
the Congregational churches in England. 

Before the meeting of this assembly an event occurred which dis- 
appointed many fond hopes of the Independent leaders, who, in the 
enjoyment of court favour, were growing unmindful of their favourite 
text, ' My kingdom is not of this world.' On a stormy 3d of Sep- 
tember, the anniversary which Cromwell never suffered to pass 
unnoticed, that ' rest' from his labours, for which he had so touchingly 
prayed, was mercifully given to the Protector. Goodwin and others, 
in the ante-room, were praying for his recovery, too confidently 
perhaps, for it must have been hard for them to think that he whom, 
as they thought, God had raised up to make England a truly Pro- 
testant country, was about to be removed while his great work was 
unfinished.§ They prayed, perhaps, too eagerly, and even passion- 
ately for his life, for they were but men, and might not have known 
what spirit they were of. It may have been so. I do not say it 
was, for the account is not well authenticated. In the excitement 
caused by their disappointment, Goodwin is reported to have said, in 
the words of Jeremiah, ' Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was 
deceived,' Jer. xx. 7. II If he did say so, he undoubtedly appro- 
priated the words of the prophet in their original signification, as 
expressive of very sore disappointment. That he had any other 
meaning than Jeremiah intended to express is very improbable. I 

* Hanbury's Memorials, vol. iii,, p. 516. + Neal's Puritans, voL ii., p. 506. 

$ Hanbury's Memorials, vol. iii., p. 517. 

§ Echarc'' i History of England ; Ludlow's Memoirs. 

II Birr^ Life of Tillotson, p. 19. — Burnet represents these words as repeated 
by Gr^' ' An at a fast a week after Cromwell's death. If uttered at all, they 
would mean, ' Thou hast suffered us to be deceived.' Own Times, vol. i., p. 114 


am not, however, very anxious to vindicate Goodwin from tlie use of 
incautious language in such an emergency, for the temperament of 
the good man was certainly nei cher lethargic nor stoical. He has been 
often accused of attributing to God an intention to deceive him by ex- 
citing his confident expectation of the recovery of Cromwell, when, 
according to the account of his accusers, he only repeated words 
of Scripture in what he believed to be the scriptural signification. 

As to the oft-repeated story,* that the Protector, shortly before his 
death, asked his chaplain whether a man was safe if he had ever 
been in a state of grace, and that he received the reply that such a 
man was certainly safe for ever ; it is not easy to say what thoughts 
might have risen in the fever of a dying man, or what words might 
have been spoken to allay his disquietude by a kind and sympathis- 
ing minister. The chaplain is sometimes said to have been Good- 
win, sometimes Sterry. One thing, however, is certain — Goodwin 
would not have represented any past experience as a safe ground of 
confidence in the prospect of death. He had learnt another lesson 
in the early struggles and conflicts of his own soul, and his writings 
clearly shew that it was a lesson which he never could have forgotten. 

The great man, whose strong hand had restrained all the elements 
of strife which were ready to rage over the country, being laid in his 
grave, the question of his successor engaged the anxious thoughts of 
the leading men of all parties. Dr Goodwin, with Generals Whalley 
and Gofie, attested upon oath, before the Privy Council, that Oliver 
in his last hours had nominated Richard as his successor, who was 
proclaimed accordingly, to the great joy of the Independents, f 

The Parliament of the new Protector assembled on January 27, 
1688-9, when Goodwin preached at the Abbey, ' where his High- 
ness and the Lords sat together, and the House of Commons sparsijn. 
His text was Ps. Ixxxv. 10, his scope healing, inviting to unity, 
and to mix mercy and truth, righteousness and peace together, to 
give liberty for erroneous consciences, but not so much encom-age- 
ment as to true professors. As soon as he had finished, a Quaker 
rose and spoke at some length. His Highness listened patiently, 
and then passed quietly to the House. 'f 

On the restoration of royalty, Goodwin's work at Oxford was 
finished, and in 1660 he left the University, greatly respected and 
beloved by all Avitli whom he had been connected. He was long re- 
membered with afiectionate regard by those who remained, although 
they for the most part disapproved of his views both of church govern- 
ment and state policy. 

• Neal's Puritans, vol. ii., p. 512. f Guizot's Richard Cromwell, p. 3. 

t Burton's Diary, vol. iii., p. 1. 


He removed to London. The members of his chureh — of whom 
some were compelled to leave the University with him, and others 
greatly preferred his ministry to any they could find in Oxford — 
followed him in sufficient numbers to justify the statement that the 
church, with its pastor, removed to London, at first worshipping 
privately in some place which cannot now be identified. That 
church remains to the present time. From the Revolution, it has 
been accustomed to meet for worship in Fetter Lane ; previously 
to 1732, in a meeting-house, since occupied by the Moravians, and 
subsequently in the building erected for them on the opposite side 
of the street.* Among the pastors of the church have been Thank- 
ful Owen, the successor of Goodwin ; Thomas Goodwin, jun., his 
son ; Stephen Lobb, Thomas Bradbury, and George Bui'der, for 
many years the respected secretary of the London Missionary So- 
ciety. Their present pastor is the Rev. R. G. Harper. 

From this time the life of Goodwin passed quietly, as, submissive 
to the powers that be, he no longer interfered with politics, but gave 
himself wholly to his theological studies and pastoral duties. The 
black Bartholomew's day, which deprived so many of his frienda 
and pupils of their livelihood, brought to him no further trouble, as 
he had previously sustain. d the loss of his fellowship in Eton College.f 
Quietly labouring among his people through the perils of persecution 
and of the awful year of the plague, he was resident in the parish 
of St Bartholomew the Greater, when the fire of London in 1666 
threatened his dwelling. Anxious to preserve his books, dearer to 
him than ever in his comparative seclusion, he removed a large part 
of them to the house of a friend, where it was supposed they would 
be safe, but the conflagration spreading in that direction, destroyed 
them, while those in his own home were preserved from the flames, 
through the care of his intimate friend, Moses Lowman. How severely 
he felt his loss, and yet how meekly he bore it, may be learnt from 
the beautiful exposition he wrote on the occasion, and published 
under the title of ' Patience and its Perfect AVork, under Sudden and 
Sore Trials.':}: He found admonition as well as comfort in the part of 
the library which was spared to him, for he observed that it consisted 

* There was a meeting-house in Fetter Lane previously to the fire of London 
in 1666, in which Mr Turner, the ejected minister of Sunbury in Middlesex, 
preached for some years. The Episcopalians took forcible, possession of it when 
their churches were burnt down, and restored it to its owners when they had 
no further need of it. It consisted of ' four rooms opening into each other, and 
had seventeen pews, with divers benches.' Whether this was the place in which 
Goodwin's church first assembled is uncertain. See Maitland's London, vol. i., 
p. 452 ; "Wilson's Dissenting Churches, vol. iii., p. 420. + Cal. Ace, p. 116. 

X This rare work is reprinted in this volume. 


of religions and theological works, while his books of general litera- 
ture were almost entirely destroyed. After his loss he devoted himself, 
so far as his pastoral duties would allow him, almost exclusively to 
theological studies, writing many of the books which were published 
after his death. In this period of his life, the visions of the Apoca- 
lypse engaged a large proportion of his thoughts, as he looked forward, 
through the dark clouds which seemed to be settling upon his own 
times, to the glorious accomplishment of prophecy, when the Papacy 
should fall, all its alliances be destroyed, and the kingdoms of this 
world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. 

Notwithstanding the Conventicle and Five Mile Act, and the 
persecutions which nonconformist ministers had to suffer, Good- 
win continued in the discharge of his pastoral duties, assisted by his 
faithful friend. Thankful Owen, availing himself of the indulgence 
granted for a short time, and on its repeal quietly persevering in his 
labours. He was suffered to proceed in his useful course unmolested, 
ministering to many who had occupied prominent positions in the 
Commonwealth, until he reached the number of years assigned to 
the man who exceeds the usual term ' by reason of strength.' In 
the eiglitieth year of his age he was seized with a malignant fever, 
and under its power he felt assured that he was dying. But death 
had to him no terror. So far from fearing it, he rejoiced in the 
assurance of faith that he was going to enjoy that blessedness which 
he had so often and so earnestly recommended others to seek, and 
to which for nearly sixty years he had been hopefully looking. His 
friend, Mr Collins, who was at that time pastor of the church which 
he himself had gathered in the east of London on his return from 
Holland, visited him, and prayed that '■ God would return into his 
bosom all those comforts which he had by his ministry of free grace 
poured into so many distressed souls.' The dying saint received 
the answer to that prayer ; his consolations abounded. No dark 
cloud rested upon his last hours ; his end was peace, or rather, holy 
joy and rapture. Among his last sayings are these, '■ I could not 
have imagined I should have had such a measure of faith in this 
hour ; no, I could never have imagined it. My bow abides in 
strength. Is Christ divided? No. I have the whole of His 
righteousness. I am found in Him, not having my own righteous- 
ness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by 
faith of Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave himself for me. Christ 
cannot love me better than he doth. I think I cannot love Christ 
better than I do ; I am swallowed up in God.' Exhorting his two 
sons to be faithful, and in his last moments remembering his mother, 
whose image seemed to come before him after the interval of many 


laborious years, he spake to them of the privilege of the covenant. 
* It cannot be valued too much, nor purchased with a great sum of 
money. It hath taken hold of me. My mother was a holy woman.' 
He seems to have referred to the privilege of having pious parents. 
Were it not for this affectionate remembrance of his mother, I do 
not think we should have known what manner of woman she was. 
It is not the only instance in which pious mothers, having been 
seldom thought of amidst the hurry of a busy life, have been present 
to the last earthly recollections of sons and daughters. He added, 
' Now I shall be ever with the Lord/ and thus sweetly fell asleep in 
Jesus, Feb. 23, 1679. 

He was buried at the east end of the cemetery in Bunhill Fields, 
under a low altar tomb, on which was engraved the following epi- 
taph, composed by Mr T. Gilbert, whom Wood called the general 
epitaph-maker for the Dissenters.* It is now completely obliterated. 
The words inserted in brackets were omitted by order of the censor, 
who must have surpassed, in the power of discovering sedition, the 
worthy official who objected to license ' Paradise Lost ' on account 
of the well-known simile of the sun eclipsed. 























* Calamy says that only two other epitaphs can be identified as his, that of 
Dr Owen and that of Ichabod Chancey. Cal. Ace, p. 573. 















This epitaph has been thus translated by Dr Gibbons : — * 



























* Wilson's Dissenting Churches, vol. iii., p. 431. 




























The -writings mentioned as puMished and preparing for publication 
have fulfilled the prophecy of Gilbert, surviving the perishable in- 
scription on the stone -which the visitor to Bunhill Fields tries in 
vain to identify, and remaining as a lasting monument of all that is 
recorded of him on his grave. The posthumous works were pub- 
lished by James Barron, who had been divinity reader at Magdalene 
College during Goodwin's presidency,* and by his faithful friend, 
Thankful Owen, who succeeded him in the pastoral office, and who, 
a fortnight after his appointment, and immediately after finishing the 
preface to the works of his venerated friend, was suddenly called to 
rejoin him in a higher sphere. f His body, at his own request, was 
laid in the same vault. The inscription on his tombstone is sub- 
joined, as the last expression of a friendship which had survived 
many trials, and suffered no interruption. 

* Cai Ace, p. 98. ' + Wilson's Dissenting Churches, vol. iii., p. 439. 
























Of the character or writings of Dr Goodwin it will be needful to 
say but very few words. His character appears in every page of his 
life, for a more transparent character never shone amidst the imper- 
fections of a changing and eventful life. In the ardour of his colle- 
giate course, in the obtaining and resigning of university honours 
and preferments, in his ministrations when an exile for conscience, in 
the prominent part he took as a member of the Westminster Assem- 
bly, in his government of Magdalene College, and in his persevering 
labours until death as a London pastor, every one who was near 
Goodwin knew what he was and what he meant, what were his opi- 
nions, his feelings, his purposes, and his means of attaining them. 
In an age of great events, in which he w^as specially interested, act- 
ing with and against men of wary device, of evasive policy, and too 
often of deep dissimulation, Goodwin was ever true-speaking and 
out-speaking, trusted by his friends and his opponents too. All par- 
ties could depend upon him, and therefore all parties respected him. 


The commendation of liim by Baillie Is no more than the expression 
of the general feeling of the Presbyterians in the Assembly ; the 
honourable mention of him by Dr Fairfax, Fellow of Magdalene under 
his presidency, is no more than was said of him by the pious confor- 
mists of Oxford University. In an age of bitter controversy scarcely 
is there to be found another man who succeeded in gaining the re- 
spect of all his opponents. Baxter, though undeserving of their 
enmity, made many enemies ; Owen, though upright and honourable, 
alienated some friends ; but who spake ill or thought ill of Thomas 
Goodwin? Baxter was a little of a politician; Owen, not a little; 
but Goodwin had no other policy than the determination to discharge 
to the best of his ability the duties of every situation in which he 
was placed. 

The respect of his opponents was not obtained by any want ot 
decision or show of compromise in the avowal and defence of his own 
opinions. Neither his ecclesiastical polity nor his theological system 
ever had a more uncompromising defender. The misapprehension of 
some respecting him is to be attributed to his firm and decided man- 
ner of expressing his own convictions. Because he spoke so plainly 
as to appear unmistakeably a Calvinist and an Independent, he has 
been regarded as an intolerant Calvinist and a bigoted Independent. 
He was neither. I know no Calvinist of the age so decided as 
Goodwin, who thought so kindly of Baxter and Howe. I know no 
Independent who contended so strenuously as he did, — in opposition 
to the Brownists, — that ever since the Reformation there have been 
^ churches to God in all the Reformed chui-ches.' * He was no 
Brownist, no sectary. He saw, I think, more clearly than Owen or 
any of the early Independents, (unless Burroughs be excepted,) the 
temple of God raised by the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, the Pres- 
byterians, by all Christian people meeting together for the enjoyment 
of religious ordinances. Well might his son say of him, ' His can- 
dour, ingenuous nature, and catholic charity for all good men of dif- 
ferent persuasions, won the hearts of those who had been most averse 
to him.' Men who have laboured most diligently to obtain the truth 
are often the most decided in their own convictions, and the most 
charitable in their construction of other men's opinions. The bigot, 

* Exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, Sermon xxxvi : — * Whereas now 
in some of the parishes in this kingdom, there are many godly men that do 
constantly give themselves up to the worship of God in pubUo, and meet to- 
gether in one place to that end, in a constant way, under a godly minister, 
whom they themselves have chosen to cleave to, — though they did not choose 
him at first, — these, notwithstanding their mixture and want of discipline, I 
never thought, for my part, but that they were true churches of Christ, and 
sister churches, and so ought to be acknowledged.' 


strange as it may seem, is frequently a man of very feeble convic- 
tions. Enough has been said to support the conclusion that Thomas 
Goodwin was a true man ; a truthful, upright, active, painstaking, 
generous, loving, catholic Christian. 

Of his fervent piety I need say nothing. His life is his ' epistle of 
commendation.' And if that be not sufficient, ' he being dead, yet 
speaketh ' by his numerous practical and experimental writings, in 
which the sanctified thoughts and emotions of a renewed heart are 
expressed in appropriate words of truth and soberness. 

Of his writings it may be observed that they have never yet been 
presented to the public in a form worthy of their author, or of their 
merits. Most of them were published after his death, and, like many 
orphans, they have been introduced into the world under great dis- 
advantages. The folio edition, in five volumes, abounds in typogra- 
phical errors and unaccountable inaccuracies. So negligent were the 
editors, that they suff'ered the printers to antedate his death by ten 
years. A great service is done to his memory, as well as to the 
Church of Christ, by giving to the public his works in a readable 
form, free from the errors of previous editions, and though without 
the corrections which he would have made, had he prepared them for 
the press, yet in some degree worthy of his high reputation. 

His writings are not rhetorical. The reason is obvious. He had 
been tempted in his youth to compose such sermons as would gratify 
the bad taste of the age, and secure distinction and popular applause, 
but he was early taught to renounce the love of ornament and dis- 
play as his easily besetting sin. He never again would stoop to 
gather any of the old favourite flowers with which he once loved to 
garnish his discourses. So far as words were concerned, he studied 
nothing but great plainness of speech. This with him was a matter 
of conscience. 

One thing pre-eminently distinguishes the writings of Goodwin. 
He wrote as he felt. His experience found expression in all his prac- 
tical works, and exerted a powerful influence over his theology. It 
made him what he was as a divine, a preacher, and an author. No 
truth satisfied him until he had spiritually discerned it and tasted it, 
and so found it to be the good word of life. His strong convictions, 
Lis personal experience, his unswerving integrity, and his unstudied 
speech, all contribute to expose the inner man, and to make his 
writings the accurate representation of God's work in his own soul. 

As a theological writer, he occupies his own place, which may be 
clearly distinguished from that of any other man of his own or of a 
subsequent age. That place is somewhere between the Puritans be- 
fore the Protectorate and the Nonconformists after the Eestoration. 


He breathes the spirit and speaks the language of Perkins, Sibbs, 
and John Rogers, but his thoughts are kindred to those of Owen 
and Charnock. A Puritan in heart to tlie last, his studies and inter- 
course with eminent men kept him abreast of the scholarly divines 
who were rising to occupy the places of the departing Puritans. Of 
the theologians of the Commonwealth, he has been often compared 
with Owen, and with no other is it easy to find many points of com- 
parison. But these two patriarchs and atlases of Independency, as 
Wood calls them, were in several particulars very unlike. Goodwin 
was more of a Puritan than Owen, Owen more of a Biblical scholar 
than Goodwin. If Owen had more profound critical learning, Good- 
win was not inferior to him in general scholarship. Goodwin had 
his favourite authors, and he loved them fondly; Owen indis- 
criminately read whatever of theology he could lay his hand upon. 
Goodwin concentrated his thoughts upon a given subject; Owen 
spread his widely over it and around it. Both were said to ' hunt 
down a subject,' but Goodwin would drive it into a corner and grasp 
it there ; Owen would certainly find it by searching carefully in 
every place in which it was possible for it to stray. Goodwin haa 
been called diffuse and obscure by some admirers of Owen, but in 
these respects he seems to me the less faulty of the two. There 
are few passages in which his meaning is not obvious, and those 
would probably have been made perspicuous had he revised them. 
With Baxter he had little in common except his catholicity of spirit, 
and in this they were both superior to Owen. The three were fond 
of reasoning, but from different principles and in very different man- 
ner. Goodwin reasoned from his own experience; Owen from his 
critical and devout knowledge of Scripture ; Baxter from the fitness 
of things. Goodwin and Owen are valuable expositors ; but Good- 
win well interpreted Scripture by the insight of a renewed heart — 
Owen, distrusting his own experience, by the patient and prayer- 
ful study of words and phrases. Baxter had neither the tact nor 
patience for a good expositor. All were great preachers : Owen 
preached earnestly to the understanding, Baxter forcibly to the con- 
science, Goodwin tenderly to the heart. Though there was little 
cordiality between Baxter and Owen, they both esteemed Goodwin — 
the former respectfully, the latter affectionately. A man is known 
by his friends. After the Eestoration, Owen associated with the sur- 
viving statesmen of the Commonwealth, and numbered among his 
friends, the Earl of Orrery, the Earl of Anglesea, the Lords Wil- 
loughby, Wharton, and Berkeley. Goodwin passed the serene 
evening of his life in the intimate friendship of learned theologians, 
of whom the dearest to him were Moses Lowman, Theophilus Gale, 


Stephen Charnock, and Thankful Owen. The former three are well 
known for their vast store of theological learning ; and though 
Thankful Owen is not so well known as thej, Dr Owen said of 
him publicly, on announcing his funeral sermon, ' He has not left 
behind him his equal for learning, religion, and good sense.' Such 
were the bosom friends of Dr Groodwin, and they had reason to be 
proud of his friendship, as they were all indebted to him for instruc- 
tion, advice, and paternal superintendence. 






Thomas Goodwin, the eldest son of Richard and Catherine Goodwin, the 
name of whose famUy was Collingwood, was bom October 5, 1600, at Rollesby, 
a little village in Norfolk. He was brought up religiously by his parents, 
and they, devoting him to the ministry of the gospel, gave him also a learned 
education. After some time spent in school, having got the knowledge of 
the Latin and Greek tongues, he was sent to Cambridge, August 25, 1613, 
and placed in Christ's College, under the tuition and instruction of Mr 
WUliam Power, one of the Fellows there. He contumed about sis years in 
that coUege, which flourished in a fulness of all exercises of learning, and in 
the number of scholars, there being two hundred of them : but, a.d. 1G19, 
he left it, and removed to Catherine HaU, the state of which seemed so con- 
temptible to him, there being no more than sixteen scholars, and few acts or 
exercises of learning had been performed for a long time, that though he was 
chosen Fellow, and also lecturer for the year 1620, yet he had some thoughts 
of leaving it again. He had, by an unwearied industry in his studies, so 
much improved those natural abilities which God had given him, that 
though so very young, he had gained a great esteem in the University. But 
aU this time he walked in the vanity of his mind ; and ambitious designs 
and hopes entirely possessing him, all his aim was to get applause, to raise 
his reputation, and in any manner to advance himself by preferments. But 
God, who had destined him to higher ends than what he had projected in his 
own thoughts, was graciously pleased to change his heart, and to turn the 
course of his life to his own service and glory. But as the account of the 
work of the Holy Spirit on his soul will be most acceptable as related by 
himseK, I shall present it in his own words : — 

* Though by the course of nature in my first birth I was not like to live, 
being born before my time, and therefore of a weak constitution, yet God so 


kept and strengthened me, that he preserved me, as David says, when I hung 
upon my mother's breasts ; as one in whom he meant to manifest his grace, 
in the miraculous conversion of my soul unto himself. He did often stir up 
in me in my childish years the sparks of conscience, to keep me from gross 
sins, and to set me ujjon performing common duties. I began to have some 
slighter workings of the Spirit of God from the time I was six years old ; I 
could weep for my sins whenever I did set myself to think of them, and had 
flashes of joy upon thoughts of the things of God. I was affected with good 
motions and affections of love to God and Christ, for their love revealed to 
man, and with grief for sin as displeasing them. This shewed how far good- 
ness of nature might go, as well in myself as others, to whom yet true 
sanctifying grace never comes. But this I thought was grace ; for I reasoned 
within myself it was not by nature. I received the sacrament at Easter, 
when I was fourteen years old, and for that prepared myself as I was able. 
I set myself to examine whether I had grace or not ; and by all the signs in 
Ursin's Catechism, which was in use among the Puritans in the College, I 
found them all, as I thought, in me. The love of God to such a sinner, and 
Christ's dying for me, did greatly affect me ; and at that first sacrament I 
received, with what inward joy and comfort did I sing with the rest the 103d 
Psalm, which was usually sung during the administration ! After having 
received it, I felt my heart cheered after a wonderful manner, tliinking my- 
self sure of heaven, and judging all these workings to be infallible tokens of 
God's love to me, and of grace in me : all this while not considering that 
these were but more strong fits of nature's working. God hereby made way 
to advance the power of his grace the more in me, by shewing me how far I 
might go and yet deceive myself, and making me know that grace is a thing 
surpassing the power of nature ; and therefore he suffered me to faU away, 
not from these good motions, for I could raise them when I would, but from 
the practice of them ; insomuch as then my heart began to suspect them as 

* I made a great preparation for the next ensuing sacrament at Whitsuntide, 
and in the meantime I went to hear Mr Sibbs, afterward Dr Sibbs, then 
lecturer at Trinity Church to the town of Cambridge, whose lectures the 
Puritans frequented. I also read Calvin's Institutions, and oh, how sweet 
was the reading of some parts of that book to me ! How pleasing was the 
delivery of truths in a solid manner then to me ! Before the sacrament was 
administered, I looked about upon the holy men in Christ's College, where I 
was bred ; and how affected was I that I should go to heaven along with 
them ! I particularly remember Mr Bently, a Fellow of that College, who 
was a dear child of God, and so died, and I then looked on him with joy, as 
one with whom I should live for ever in heaven. 

' When I was in my place in the chapel, ready to receive the sacrament, 
being little of stature, the least in the whole University then, and for divers 
years, it fell out that my tutor, Mr Power, seeing me, sent to me that I 
should not receive it, but go out before all the College, which I did. This 
so much damped me, as I greatly pitied myself, but chiefly for this that my 


soul, which was full of expectation from this sacrament, was so unexpectedly 
disappointed of the opportunity. For I had long before verily thought that 
if I received that sacrament, I should be so confirmed that I should never 
fall away. But after this disappointment I left oflf praying, for being dis- 
couraged, I knew not how to go to God. I desisted from going to hear Dr 
Sibbs any more; I no more studied sound divinity, but gave myself to such 
studies as should enable me to preach after the mode, then of high applause 
in the University, which Dr Senhouse brought up, and was applauded above 
all by the scholars. 

* It now fell out that Arminianism was set afoot in Holland, and the rest 
of those Provinces, and it continued hottest at that very time when I was 
thus wrought upon. I perceived by their doctrine, which I understood, 
being inquisitive, that they acknowledged a work of the Spirit of God to 
begin with men, by moving and stirring the soul ; but free-will then from its 
freedom carried it, though assisted by those aids and helps. And this work 
of the Spirit they called grace, sufficient in the first beginnings of it, excit- 
ing, moving, and helping the will of man to turn to God, and giving him 
power to turn, when being thus helped he would set himself to do it : but 
withal they affirmed, that though men are thus converted, yet by the freedom 
of the same will they may, and do, often in time fall away totally ; and then 
upon another fit through the liberty of the will, again assisted with the like 
former helps, they return again to repentance. Furthermore, I am yet to 
tell you how I was withal acquainted during this season with several holy 
youths in Christ's College, who had made known imto me the workings of 
God upon them, in humiliation, faith, and change of heart. And I observed 
that they continued their profession steadfast, and fell not off again. 

'Though the Arminian doctrines suited my own experience, in these 
natural workings of conscience off and on in religion, yet the example of 
those godly youths in their constant perseverance therein made so strong an 
impression upon me, that in my very heart and judgment I thought the 
doctrine of Arminianism was not true ; and I was fixed under a conviction 
that my state was neither right nor sound ; but yet I could not imagine 
wherein it faUed and was defective. But notwithstanding my falling thus 
away, yet I still upon every sacrament set myself anew to examine myself, 
to repent, and to turn to God ; but when the sacrament was over, I returned 
to a neglect of praying, and to my former ways of unregenerate principles 
and practices, and to live in hardness of heart and profaneness. When I was 
thus given over to the strength of my lusts, and further off from all goodness 
than ever I had been, and utterly out of hope that God would ever be so 
good unto me as to convert me ; and being resolved to follow the world, and 
the glory, applause, preferment, and honour of it, and to use all means 
possible for these attainments ; when I was one day going to be merry with 
my companions at Christ's College, from which I had removed to Catherine 
Hall, by the way hearing a bell toll at St Edmund's for a funeral, one of my 
company said there was a sermon, and pressed me to hear it. I was loath to 
go in, for I loved not preaching, especially not that kind of it which good 

Uy memoir of DR THOMAS GOODWIN. 

men used, and which I thought to be dull stuff. But yet, seeing many 
echolars going in, I thought it was some eminent man, or if it were not so, 
that I would come out again. 

* I went in before the hearse came, and took a seat ; and fain would I have 
been gone, but shame made me stay. I was never so loath to hear a sermon 
in my life. Inquiring who preached, they told me it was Dr Bambridge, 
which made me the more willing to stay, because he was a witty man. He 
preached a sermon which I had heard once before, on that text in Luke 
xix. 41, 42. I remember the first words of the sermon pleased me so well 
as to make me very attentive all the wMle. He spake of deferring repen- 
tance, and of the danger of doing so. Then he said that every man had his 
day, it was " this thy day," not to-morrow, but to-day. He shewed also 
that every man had a time in which grace was offered him ; and if he 
neglected it, it was just with God that it should be hidden from his eyes. 
And that as, in things temporal, it was an old saying that every man had an 
opportunity, which if he took hold of he was made for ever ; so in spirituals, 
every man hath a time, in which, if he would know the things which belong 
unto his peace, he was made for ever, but otherwise they would be hid from 
his eyes. This a little moved me, as I had wont to be at other sermons. 
Then he came to shew that the neglect of this had final impenitency, blind- 
ness of mind, and hardness of heart ; concluding with this saying, " Every 
day thou prayest, pray to God to keep thee from blindness of mind, and 
hardness of heart." 

* The matter of the sermon was vehemently urged on the hearer, (whoever 
he was that deferred his repentance,) not to let slip the opportunity of that 
day, but immediately to turn to God and defer no longer; being edged 
with that direful threatening, lest if he did not turn to God in that day, the 
day of grace and salvation, it might be eternally hid from his eyes. I was 
so far affected, as I uttered this speech to a companion of mine that came to 
church with me, and indeed that brought me to that sermon, that I hoped 
to be the better for this sermon as long as I lived. I and that companion 
of mine had come out of our own chambers at Catherine Hall, with a fixed 
design to have gone to some of my like acquaintance at Christ's College, 
where I had been bred, on purpose to be merry and spend that afternoon; 
but as I went along, was accidentally persuaded to hear some of the sermon. 
This was on Monday the 2d of October 1620, in the afternoon. As soon 
as we came out of the church, I left my fellows to go on to Christ's CoUege; 
but my thoughts being retired then, I went to Catherine HaU, and left all 
my acquaintance, though they sent after me to come. 

* I thought myself to be as one struck down by a mighty power. The 
grosser sins of my conversation came in upon me, which I wondered at, as 
being unseasonable at first; and so the working began, but was prosecuted 
still more and more, higher and higher : and I endeavouring not to think 
the least thought of my sins, was passively held under the remembrance of 
them, and affected, so as I was rather passive aU the while in it than active, 
and my thoughts held under, whilst that work went on. 


' I remember some two years after, I preaching at Ely in the minster, as they 
call it, in a turn of preaching for Dr Hills, prebend of that church. Master of our 
College ; I told the auditory, meaning myself in the person of another, that a 
man to be converted, who is ordinarily ignorant of what the work of conversion 
shovdd be, and what particular passages it consists of, was yet guided through 
Jill the dark corners and windings of it, as would be a wonder to think of, 
and would be as if a man were to go to the top of that lantern, to bring 
him into all the passages of the minster, within doors and without, and knew 
not a jot of the way, and were in every step in danger to tread awry and fall 
down. So it was with me ; I knew no more of that work of conversion than 
these two general heads, that a man was troubled in conscience for his sins, 
and afterwards was comforted by the favour of God manifested to him. And 
it became one evidence of the truth of the work of grace upon me, when I 
reviewed it, that I had been so strangely guided in the dark. In all this 
intercourse, and those that follow to the very end, I was acted all along by 
the Spirit of God being upon me, and my thoughts passively held fixed, until 
each head and sort of thoughts were finished, and then a new thought began 
and continued; that I have looked at them as so many conferences God had 
with me by way of reproof and conviction. My thoughts were kept fixed 
and intent on the consideration of the next immediate causes of those fore- 
gone gross acts of sinning. An abundant discovery was made unto me of 
my inward lusts and concupiscence, and how all sorts of concupiscences had 
wrought in me; at which I was amazed, to see with what greediness I had 
sought the satisfaction of every lust. 

'Indeed, natural conscience will readily discover grosser acts against 
knowledge ; as in the dark a man more readily sees chairs and tables in a 
room, than flies and motes : but the light which Christ now vouchsafed me, 
and this new sort of illumination, gave discovery of my heart in all my sin- 
nings, carried me down to see the inwards of my beUy, as Solomon speaks, 
and searched the lower rooms of my heart, as it were with candles, as the 
prophet's phrase is. I saw the violent eagerness, unsatiableness of my lusts; 
and moreover concerning the dispensation of God in this new light, I found 
the apparent di£Ference, by experience of what I had received in former 
tunes. I had before had enlightenings and great stirrings of the Holy 
Ghost, both unto and in the performance of holy duties, prayer, and hearing, 
and the like ; and yet I had not the sinful inordinacy of my lusts discovered, 
which had been the root and ground of all my other sinnings. And these 
forementioned devotions were difiierent also in this respect from the present 
sight of my inward corruptions, that in aU the former, though I felt myself 
much stirred, yet I had this secret thought run along, that God could not 
but accept those real services which I thought I did perform; and so I fell 
into the opinion of merit, which thought I could not get rid of, though the 
common received doctrine taught me otherwise. But now when I saw my 
lusts and heart in that clear manner as I did, God quitted me of that opi- 
nion, which vanished without any dispute, and I detested myself for my 
former thoughts of it. And the sinfulness of these lusts I saw chiefly to lie 


in ungodliness as the spring of them; forasmuch as I had been a lover of 
pleasure more than a lover of God; according to that in Jeremiah, "My 
people have committed two evils : they have forsaken me the fountain of living 
waters, and have made unto themselves cisterns that wiU hold no water." 
And these lusts I discerned to have been acted by me in things that were 
most lawful, answerably unto that sayiijg in Scripture, " The very ploughing 
of the wicked is sin : " and by the clear light thereof, the sinfulness of my 
sin was exceedingly enlarged; for that light accompanied me through all 
and every action that I could cast my remembrance upon, or that my view 
went over. 

* And by and through the means of the discovery of those lusts, a new 
horrid vein and course of sin was revealed also to me, that I saw lay at the 
bottom of my heart, in the rising and working of all my lusts ; namely, that 
they kept my heart in a continual course of ungodliness, — that is, that my 
heart was wholly obstructed from acting towards God any way, or from 
having any holy or good movings at all. 

* God having proceeded thus far, I perceived I was " humbled under hia 
mighty hand," as James speaks, with whom only and immediately I had to 
do, and not with my own bare single thoughts. But God continued orderly 
to possess my thoughts with a further progress as to this subject; I being 
made sensible of God's hand in it, and myself was merely passive : but still 
God continued his hand over me, and held me, intent to consider and pierce 
into what should be the first causes of so much actual sinfulness; and he 
presented to me, as in answer thereunto, — for it was transacted as a conference 
by God with me, — the original corruption of my nature, and inward evil con- 
stitution and depravation of all my faculties; the inclinations and disposed 
nesses of heart unto all evil, and averseness from all spiritual good and accept- 
ableness unto God. I was convinced that in this respect I was flesh, which 
was to my apprehension as if that had been the definition of a man, " that 
which is bom of the flesh is flesh." 

' And here let me stand a -while astonished, as I did then : I can compare 
this sight, and the workings of my heart rising from thence, to be as if I had 
in the heat of summer looked down into the filth of a dungeon, where by a 
clear light and piercing eye I discerned millions of crawling living things in 
the midst of that sink and liquid corruption. Holy Mr Price's comparison 
was, that when he heard Mr Chattertom preach the gospel, his apprehension 
was as if the sun, namely Jesus Christ, shined upon a dunghiU; but my 
sight of my heart was, to my sense, that it was utterly without Christ. How 
much and deeply did I consider that all the sins that ever were committed 
by the wickedest men that have been in the world had proceeded from the 
com^tion of their nature ; or that the sins which any or all men did com- 
mit at any time were from the same root; and I by my nature, if God had 
left me and withdrawn from me, should have committed the same, as any 
temptation should have induced me unto the Hke. But what much afi'ected 
me was a sight and sense that my heart was empty of aU good; that in me, 
that is, in my flesh, there dwelt no good, not a mite of truly spiritual good, 


as the Scripture describes true inherent grace to be some good in us toward 
the Lord our God, which none of my goodness nor ingenuity was, which I 
boasted o£ What is all such goodness to God who is only good, and is the 
only true measure of all that is called good? which is so only so far as it re- 
spects him, as he is holy and good, as of the law it is said, Rom. viL Thus 
at present I was abundantly convinced. 

'But next I was brought to inquire into and consider of what should 
have been the original cause at the bottom of all this forementioned sinful- 
ness, both in my heart and life. And after I had well debated with myself 
that one place, Rom. v. 12, " By one man sin entered into the world, and death 
by him, and passed upon all men, in whom," or in that, "all have sinned :" 
that it was in him they all sinned, for they had not in and of themselves 
sinned actually, as those that die infants, " after the similitude of Adam's 
transgression;" which limitation is cautiously there added by the Apostle, to 
shew that they had not actually sinned of themselves, but are simply in- 
volved in his act of sinning; and that sin wherein we were all involved, as 
guilty of it, is expressly said to be the disobedience of that one man ; for by 
one man's disobedience, many of his children of the sons of men were all 
made sinners, for disobedience notes an act of sinning, not a sinful nature or a 
habit. This caused me necessarily to conceive thus of it, that it was the 
gmlt or demerit of that one man's disobedience that corrupted my nature. 
Under such like apprehensions as these did my spiiit lie convicted so strongly 
of this great truth, that being gone to bed some hours before, and filled with 
these meditations, I in the end of all rose out of bed, being alone, and 
solemnly fell down on my knees before God, the Father of all the family in 
heaven, and did on my own accord assume and take on me the guUt of that 
sin, as truly as any of my own actual sins. But now when I was thus con- 
cluding in my own heart concerning my sinfulness, that all that I had acted 
was wholly corrupt, and that in me there was nothing but flesh, as bom of 
flesh, so that all the actions that came jfrom me were wholly corrupt, and 
in me, that is in my flesh, there dwelt no good thing, Rom. vii., my pro- 
nouncing this conclusion with myself was presently interrupted by the re- 
membrance, which not tiU now did come in full upon me, in this nick of 
time and not before. 

' The interruption was made by these intervening thoughts, that I had 
forgot myself, and should wrong myself to end in this conclusion; for I had 
had abundance of experience, as I thought, of the workings of true grace, 
enlightenings and ravishments of spirit and of faith in Christ, at sacrament 
and at other times. I recalled the course of my spirit untU I was towards 
thirteen years old, for I was not thirteen when I came to the University; 
and I recalled to my remembrance, that during that space when I was seven 
years old, my grandfather, whom I lived with, had a servant, who observing 
some sin in me, reproved me sharply, and laid open hell-torments as due to 
me, whither, he said, I must go for such sins, and was very vehement with 
me; and I was accordingly afi"ected with thoughts of God and matters of 
religion from thenceforth. I was indeed but in my infancy, in respect of my 


knowledge of religion, having childish thoughts, which I began to build my 
hopes on. For my conscience was opened with the sight of my sins when I 
committed any, and from that time I began to weep and mourn for my sins, 
and for a while to forbear to commit them, but found I was weak, and was 
overcome again; but I could weep for my sins when I could weep for 
nothing : and I doing this privately between God and myself, concluded it 
was not hypocrisy. I thought of Hezekiah's example, who turned to the 
wall and wept, and how it moved God; for I was brought up to read the 
Scriptures from a child, and I met with that promise of our Saviour's, 
" Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, I will do it for you :" 
and that made me confident, for to be sure I would use his name for what- 
ever I would have of God. Yet still I fell into sins, renewing my repent- 
ance for them. As Paul says, when I was a child, my thoughts were as a 
child, and I judged that whatever is more than nature must be grace ; and 
when I had my afi"ections any way exercised upon the things of the other 
world, thought I, This is the work of God, for the time was I had no such 

' And thus my younger time was at times spent ; but God was to me as a 
wayfaring man, who came and dwelt for a night, and made me rehgious for 
a fit, but then departed from me. The Holy Ghost moved upon the waters 
when the world was creating, and held and sustamed the chaos that was 
created, and so he does in carnal men's hearts; witness their good motions 
at times. In a great frost, you shall see, where the sun shines hot, the ice 
drops, and the snow melts, and the earth grows slabby ; but it is a particular 
thaw only where the sun shines, not a general thaw of all things that are 
frozen. But so it was, that for these lighter impressions and slighter work- 
ings, my heart did grow so presumptuous, that I thought myself not only to 
have grace, but more grace than my relations, or any inhabitant of the town 
that I knew of, and this for the time I was a schoolboy before I came to the 

* When I was past twelve years old, towards thirteen, I was admitted into 
Christ's College in Cambridge, as a junior sophister, a year before the usual 
time of standing; and there being the opportunity of a sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper, appointed to be administered pubUcly in the College, and all 
of that form that I was now in being taken into receiving, I was ashamed 
to go out of the chapel alone and not receive, and so I adventured to obtrude 
myself upon that ordinance with the rest. I had set myself to the greatest 
preparation I could possibly make, in repenting of my sms and examining 
myself, and by meditations on the sufi'erings of Christ, which I presumed to 
apply to myself, with much thankfulness to God. And that which now, since 
I came to that College, had quickened and heightened my devotion, was, that 
there remained still in the College six Fellows that were great tutors, who 
professed religion after the strictest sort, then called Puritans. Besides, the 
town was then filled with the discourse of the power of Mr Perldns' ministry, 
still fresh in most men's memories; and Dr Ames, that worthy professor of 
divinity at Franeker, who wrote Furitanismus Anglicanus, had been Fellow 


of that College, and not long before my time had, by the urgency of the 
Master, been driven both from the College and University. The worth and 
hoUncss of that man are sufficiently known by what he did afterwards in the 
Low Countries. These Puritan Fellows of that College had several pupils 
that were godly, and I fell into the observation of them and their ways. I 
had also the advantage of Ursin's Catechism, which book was the renowned 
summaries of the orthodox religion, and the Puritan Fellows of the College 
explained it to their pupils on Saturday night, with chamber prayers. This 
book I was upon this occasion acquainted with ; and against the time of the 
forementioned sacrament, I examined mysehf by it, and I found, as I thought, 
all things in that book and my own heart to agree for my preparation. 

* As I grew up, the noise of the Arminian controversy in Holland, at the 
Synod of Dort, and the several opinions of that controversy, began to be 
every man's talk and inquiry, and possessed my ears. That which I 
observed, as touching the matter of my own religion, was, that those godly 
Fellows, and the younger sort of their pupils that were godly, held constantly 
to their strict religious practices and principles, without falling away and 
decUning, as I knew of I judged them to be in the right for matter of 
religion, and the Arminians in the wrong, who held falling away ; yea, and 
I did so far reverence the opinions of the orthodox, who are against the 
power of free-will, and for the power of electing grace, that I did so far judge 
myself as to suspect I had not grace because of my so often falling away; 
whereof I knew not any probablier reason that it was not true grace which I 
had built upon, than this, that still after sacraments I fell away into neglects 
of duties and into a sinful course, which those godly youths I had in my eye 
did not. 

* But that which chiefly did serve most to convince me, was the powerful 
and steady example of one of those godly Fellows in the College, Mr Bently, 
who was a man of an innocent, meek, humble spirit and demeanour, ajid an 
eminent professor of religion in the greatest strictness, whose profession was 
further quickened and enhanced by this, that he lived in a continual fear of 
death, having had two fits of an apoplexy that laid him for dead, and daily 
expecting a third. This blessed man I observed and reverenced above all 
other men but Mr Price, who then was of the University, an eminent example 
of conversion in the eyes of all, and who was afterwards minister of the 
gospel in Lynn Kegis. I remember that when I came to the prayers, I 
used to have usually great stirrings of affections and of my bodily spirits to 
a kind of ravishment, and so I continued in private devotion for a week 
after; yet still all those impressions proved to be but morning dew, and 
came to nothing, and I utterly forbore to pray privately, or exercise any 
other good duty, and so all my religion was soon lost and came to nothing. 
But again, when the time of the next sacrament came, I renewed the former 
exercises, and then I grew into a love of the good scholars of the College, both 
of Fellows and others, and began to continue more constant in duties for a 
longer time together. 

* And I left going to St Mary's, the university church, whore were all the 


florid sermons and strains of wit in which that age abounded, the great wits 
of those times striving who of them should exceed each other. But from 
these the work I had the next sacrament upon me did so far withdraw me, 
as for eight weeks together I went with the Puritans of that College to hear 
Dr Sibbs, whose preaching was plain and wholesome ; and to improve my 
time the better before sermon began, I carried with me Calvin's Institu- 
tions to church, and found a great deal of sweetness and savouriness in that 
divinity. In those weeks I kept constantly to private prayer, and calling to 
mind the sweetness of this course, of those eight weeks in these exercises, 
and acquainting myself more with the youths of that CoUege who held 
steadfast in their profession. Oh, how did I long for the receiving of the 
next sacrament, in which I hoped the body and blood of Christ received 
with due preparation, which I endeavoured to make to the utmost of my 
ability, would confirm me in the way I had begun and continued in so long, 
and would strengthen me for ever from falling into the same way of liking 
florid and scholastic sermons. 

' I went to chapel for the sacrament, as I was wont to do, and expected 
no other but to receive it ; but in the nick, when every communicant was 
rising to go to kneel at the step, as the manner was, my tutor, Mr Power, 
(who was the only tutor that ever I had,) sent a messenger to me to com- 
mand me out of the chapel, and to forbear to receive; which message I 
received with extreme dolour of heart and trouble ; but he beiag my tutor, 
I obeyed him. But upon this disappointment I was so discouraged, that 1 
left off private prayer for the first week after, and at last altogether, and 
from thence after went constantly to St Mary's, where the flaunting sermons 
were; and though I never fell into the common sins of drunkenness or 
whoredom, whereunto I had temptations and opportunities enough, yet I 
returned unto the lusts and pleasures of sinning, but especially the ambition 
of glory and praise, prosecuting those lusts with the whole of my soul. And 
though I did not walk in profane ways against religion, yet with a lower 
kind of enmity against good men and good things, resolving to have preached 
against those at Lynn and their ways, and to have taken part with the 
whole town against them ; which my wicked spirit was too eager and fitted 
to do by the studies I had pursued; it came to this at last, that if God 
would give me the pleasure I desired, and the credit and preferment I pur- 
sued after, and not damn me at last, let him keep heaven to himself; and I 
often thought thus with myself, They talk of their Puritan powerful preach- 
ing, and of Mr Rogers of Dedham, and such others, but I would gladly see 
the man that could trouble my conscience. 

'When God now by a true work of grace effectually converted me to him- 
self, the vanity of my former religion was, by serious reflections on these 
passages mentioned, sufficiently manifested. The deficiency of the root of 
all my devotions did also abundantly add to the discovery. For God did 
vouchsafe me a new and further light into the bottom of my heart, to 
discern that self-love and self-flattery, acted by the motives of the word so 
far as they will extend, were but the roots of all these gaudy tulips which I 


counted grace : and I needed no other scripture than that in the parable, 
together with my own heart, for the proof of it : Mark iv. 5, 6, " Some fell 
upon stony ground, where it had not much earth ; and immediately it sprang 
up, because it had no depth of earth : but when the sun was up, it was 
scorched; and because it had 'no root, it withered away." And with this 
one blast, and thus easily, did the flower of all my former devotions wither 
and come to nought, because they wanted moisture in the heart to nourish 

' By the prospect of all these heads of sinning which I lay under, I was 
surrounded and shut up, and saw no way to escape : but together with the 
sight of all this sinfulness, hell opened his mouth upon me, threatening to 
devour and destroy me ; and I began withal to consider the eternity of time 
that I was to pass through under this estate, that it was for ever and ever. 
But though I was subjugated and bound over to these apprehensions, yet 
God kept me from the soreness of his wrath, and its piercing my soul 
tlirough and through : that though I had a solid and strong conviction of 
God's wrath abiding on me, as being in a state of unbelief, yet my soul 
suffered not the terrors of the Almighty, though I lay bound as it were 
hand and foot, subacted under the pressure of the guilt of wrath, or of 
being subject to the just judgment of the Lord, as the word is to be trans- 
lated, Rom. iii. 19. How long my soul lay filled with these thoughts, I per- 
fectly remember not ; but it was not many hours before God, who after we 
are regenerate is so faithful and mindful of his word, and his word of pro- 
mise, as to suffer us not to be tempted above what we are able, but will with 
the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it ; 
and he loving us with the same love as we are his own dear elect, does not 
often suffer a destroying apprehension to continue long upon us, but out of 
the same faithfulness and pity to us finds a way to escape. 

I do not speak now of temptations, but of the just conviction which 
many such souls have, previous unto their believing. See what God says, 
Ezek. xvi., of the whole body of his elect church, comparing their condition 
to that of a child born dead, and covered over with blood, as it came out 
of the womb, the navel not cut, neither washed in water, but in this plight 
cast out into the open field, as a child that was dead, among the carcases. 
And therefore God, when he was said to have compassion on him, said to 
him, Live, which implies that he was dead. In this plight was my soul, 
dead in sins and trespasses from my nativity, and firom thence so continuing 
to that very day, together with that heap of actual sins, that were the con- 
tinual ebullitions of original sin. And no eye pitied me or could help me, but 
as God there, in Ezek. xvi., on the sudden, — for it is spoken as a speedy word, 
as well as a vehement earnest word, for it is doubled twice, 'yea, I said unto 
you. Live,' — so God was pleased on the sudden, and as it were in an instant, 
to alter the whole of his former dispensation towards me, and said of and to 
my soul, Yea, live ; yea, live, I say, said God : and as he created the world 
and the matter of all things by a word, so he created and put a new life and 
spirit into my soul, and so great an alteration was strange to me. 


' The word of promise which he let fall Into my heart, and which was but 
as it were softly whispered to my soul ; and as when a man speaks afar off, 
he gives a still, yet a certain sound, or as one hath expressed the preachings 
of the gospel by the apostles, that God whispered the gospel out of Zion, 
but the sound thereof went forth over the whole earth : so this speaking of 
God to my soul, although it was but a gentle sound, yet it made a noise 
over my whole heart, and filled and possessed all the faculties of my whole 
soul. God took me aside, and as it were privately said unto me, Do you now 
turn to me, and I will pardon all your sins though never so many, as I for- 
gave and pardoned my servant Paul, and convert you unto me, as I did Mr 
Price, who was the most famous convert and examijle of religion in Cam- 
bridge. Of these two secret whispers and speeches of God to me, I about a 
year after did expressly tell Mr Price, in declaring to him this my conversion, 
while it was fresh with me, as he well remembered long ; and I have since 
repeated them to others I know not how often, for they have ever stuck in 
my mind. And examples laid before us by God do give us hope, and are 
written and proposed unto us : Rom. xv. 4, " For whatsoever things were 
written to us aforetime were written for our learning, that we through 
patience and comfort of the ScriiDtures might have hope ;" and we use to 
allege examples, not only to illustrate and explain rules, but to prove und 
confirm them. That God pardoned such a man in such a condition, is often 
brought home unto another man in the same condition, and impliedly con- 
tains a secret promise, that so he may do to me, says the soul in the same 
condition. And I remember that I, preaching at Ely two years after, 
urged to the people the example of Paul (which I was before referred to) as 
an example to win others, in having in my eye and thoughts the said ex- 
perience of God's dealing with me in the same kind ; and that the examples 
of such are to be held forth by God, as flags of mercy before a company of 
rebels to win them in. 

* Now as to tliis example of Paul, it was full and pertinent for that pur- 
pose for which God held it out to me ; I then considered with myself the 
amplitude of my pardon, that it involved all sorts of sins of the highest 
nature, in which Paul had so walked as he was even upon the narrow brink 
of suming against the Holy Ghost. And God suggested unto me that he 
would pardon me all my sins, though never so great, for boldness, hardness 
of heart, and heinousness of sinning, as he had pardoned Paul, whose story 
of forgiveness I was referred unto ; and also that he would change my heart, 
as he had done Mr Price's, who was in all men's eyes the greatest and most 
famous convert, known to the whole University of Cambridge, and made the 
greatest and notedest example that ever was, of a strange conversion to God, 
and who was the holiest man that ever I knew one or other, and was then 
preacher at King's Lynn, whither my parents had removed from Eollesby, and 
then lived there. 

' The confirmations which myself have had, to judge that these instructions 
and suggestions were immediately from God, were these : — 

'1. I considered the posture and condition of my spirit, and that this sug- 


gcstion took mc when my heart was fixed, and that unmovcably, in the con- 
trary persuasions, not only that I was guilty of those sins, and had continued 
in them to that time, but that I was in a damned estate, without hope for 
remedy : and when God had set a guard upon me as the prisoner of hell, 
then came in these contrary apprehensions and impressions as it were in an 
instant ; which impressions also were so deep and rooted in my heart, that I 
remembered them ever since. And I did accordingly acquaint Mr Price at 
Lynn, a year and a half after this, setting them on upon my heart, in 
rehearsing to him the story of my conversion, which he exceedingly ap- 
proved of. 

* 2. It was a word in its proper season, like that which was spoken to 
Abraham, the father of all the faithful, and which ran in a proverb among 
the Jews : ' In the mount the Lord will be seen,' or ' provide ;' which they 
apply to the immediate remedy wliich God does use to afford out of pity to 
a man in a strait or distress, and which none but himself can give remedy to. 
It is a word fitted and proper to such an occasion, and peculiar to the case 
of the person ; a word that was quick and sudden, and interrupting all con- 
trary expectations and fears, as the manner of the speech was, 'Abraham, 
Abraham,' as a man that speaks in haste to prevent any contrary fears. It is 
a word spoken in season, which Christ himself was taught by God to speak 
to distressed souls, Isa. 1. 4. 

' 3. This that was suggested to me was not an ungrounded fancy, but the 
pure word of God, wliich is the ground of faith and hope. It was the pro- 
mise and performance of God's forgiving of Paul the most heinous sins that 
ever any convert committed who was saved ; for he. was the chiefest of 
sinners, as himself confesses. And this instance was directed unto me, as 
the most pertinent to my case that I could elsewhere have found in the 
Book of God, 

' 4. In considering the consequents and effects that followed after God's 
speaking to me, I was hopefully persuaded it was from God, for the things 
were fulfilled which God had spoken of. For, first, I felt my soul, and all 
the powers of it, as in an instant, to be clean altered and changed in the dis- 
positions of them ; even as our own divines of Great Britain do set out in 
their discourse of the manner of conversion in the effect of it. Secondly, I 
found from the same time the works of the devil to be dissolved in my 
heart in an eminent manner, my understanding enlightened, my wUl melted 
and softened, and of a stone made flesh, disposed to receive, and disposed to 
turn to God. And, thirdly, I found my spirit clothed with a new nature, 
naturally inclining me to good ; whereas before it was inclined only to evil, 
I found not only good motions from the Spirit of God, as he was pleased to 
incite me formerly, not only flushings and streamings of affection, which 
soon vanish, or stu-ring my bodily spirits with joy, when I applied myself to 
a holy duty, but I found a new indweller, or habitual principle of opposition 
to, and hatred of sin indwelling, so as I concluded with myself that this 
new workmanship wrought in me was of the same kind as to matter of holi- 
ness with that image of God expressed, Eph. iv. 23, 24, but more expressly 


affirmed, Col. iii. 10. It was this one disposition that at first comforted me, 
that I saw and found two contrary principles, of spirit against flesh, and 
flesh against spirit : and I found apparently the difference of the opposition 
that only conscience makes against a lust, and that which the spirit — that is, 
the new work of grace in a man's heart — makes against the flesh. That the 
spirit not only contradicted and checked, but made a real natural opposition, 
such as fire does to water ; so that the spirit did as truly lust against the 
work of the flesh, as the flesh against that of the spirit. And this diS'erence 
I found not by reading, or hearing any one speak of it, but, as Austin did, I 
perceived it of myself, and wondered at it ; for I may say of this combat, 
that it is proper and peculiar to a man that is regenerate. It is not in God 
or Christ, who are a fulness of holiness ; not in devils, for they are all sin ; 
not in good angels, for they are entirely holy ; not in wicked men, for they 
have no grace in them, to fight with their corruptions after such a manner. 
Fourthly, The consequent of this that fell out in my heart was an actual 
turning from all known sins, and my entertaining the truth of all godliness, 
and the principles of it, as far as I received it from the word of God, and 
the best examples of godly men I lived withal. And in general, I took this 
course through God's direction and assistance, that I looked back upon my 
sinful estate, and took a summary survey of my chiefest sins and lusts; and I 
found them to be love of pleasure more than of God, corrupt ends, especially 
of vain-glory and academic praise, which I sought with my whole soul : and 
God was pleased to direct me to take up, as the rule of my turning to him, 
A sincere aim at his glory as the rule of all my inward thoughts, words, 
actions, desires, and ends whatsoever. And in this it pleased God to direct 
and assist me, to consider asunder all the sorts of actions I had gone through 
in my life, and to take them asunder in particulars, every one in order, but 
especially the principallest of them. 

' And here, in the first place, I considered what was the aim and drift of 
my studies, which I had spent my whole time upon : and having been de- 
voted by my parents for the work of the ministry, I considered what it was 
did serve most to the glory of God in the work of the ministry, and that 
overturned all the projects and designs of my heart hitherto, which were the 
dearest of all to me ; so dear, that I would certainly rather not have lived, 
than have forsaken that interest. The University in those times was addicted 
in their preaching to a vain-glorious eloquence, wherein the wits did strive 
to exceed one another; and that which I most of all affected, in my foolish 
fancy, was to have preached, for the matter thereof, in the way that Dr Sen- 
house of St John's, afterwards made bishop, did exceed all men in. I instance 
in him, to explain the way and model that I set up, because his sermons, 
five or six of them, are in print, and because it is the eminentest farrago 
of all sorts of flowers of wit that are found in any of the fathers, poets, his- 
tories, similitudes, or whatever has the elegancy of wit in it; and in the 
joining and disposing of these together, wit was the eminent orderer in a 
promiscuous way. His way I took for my pattern, not that I hoped to 
attain to the same perfection, I coming far behind-hand of all the accom- 


plishments he abounded in. But I set him up in my thoughts to imitate 
as much as I was able; and about such collections as these did I set my 
studies until I should come to preach. 

* But this way of his did soon receive a fatal wound, Dr Preston opposing 
it, and preaching against it, as vain and unedifpng. His catechetical sermons 
in the chapel of that College it fell out I heard whilst unregenerate ; but 
they moved me not to alter my studies, nor should all the world have per- 
suaded me to have done it, nor all angels, nor men; but my heart, upon 
this my turning to God and setting his glory as my resolved end of all my 
actions and ways, did soon discover to me the unprofitableness of such a de- 
sign ; and I came to this resolved principle, that I would preach wholly and 
altogether sound, wholesome words, without affectation of wit and vanity of 
eloquence. And in the end, this project of wit and vain-glory was wholly 
sunk in my heart, and I left all, and have continued in that purpose and 
practice these threescore years; and I never was so much as tempted to put 
in any of my own withered flowers that I had gathered, and valued more 
than diamonds, nor have they offered themselves to my memory to the 
bringing them into a sermon to this day, but I have preached what I thought 
was truly edifjing, either for conversion of souls, or bringing them up to 
eternal life : so as I am free to profess that great maxim of Dr Preston, in 
his sermon of humiliation, on the first of the Ephesians, " that of aU other, 
my master-lust was mortified." 

* I observed of this work of God on my soul, that there was nothing of 
constraint or force in it, but I was carried on with the most ready and will- 
ing mind, and what I did was what I chose to do. With the greatest free- 
dom I parted with my sins, formerly as dear to me as the apple of my eye, 
yea, as my life, and resolved never to return to them more. And what I did 
was from deliberate choice ; I considered what I was doing, and reckoned with 
myself what it would cost me to make this great alteration. I considered 
the common opinion the world had of those ways of purity and holiness, 
and walked according to them. But though I considered what the common 
course and vogue of the world was concerning the ways of one that would be 
a true convert and sincere to God, yet they hindered me not at all. The 
weeds that entangled me in those waters, I swam and broke through, with 
as much ease as Samson did his withes; for I was made a vassal and a 
perfect captive to another binding, such as Paul speaks of, when he says he 
went bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem; and I said within myself, of aU my 
old companions. What do you breaking my heart? I am not ready to be 
bound only, but to give up my life, so as I may serve God with joy in these 
ways. I parted with all my lusts, not as Lot's wife, looking back on what 
I departed from ; but with my whole soul and whole desires, not to return 
more to the enjoyment of any lust, and casting down all those childish ima- 
ginations of preferment, such as scholars do generally aim at and promise to 
themselves, and to attain which they make their aim, and the card of their 
life they sail by. All these fell, and Hke bubbles broke and vanished to 
air; and those which I counted my strongest holds and imaginations, "and 

VOL. II. e 


everytting that exalteth itself, was brought into captivity and obedience to 
Christ," 2 Cor. x. 5. And I was brought in my own thoughts to be content 
■with the meanest condition all my days, so as I might fulfil the course of 
my life, though never so mean, with uprightness and sincerity towards God. 

' I took my leave for my whole life of all ecclesiastical preferments ; and 
though afterwards I was President of ]\Iagdalene College, my great motive 
to it, from the bottom of my heart, was the fair opportunity of doing good 
in my ministry in the University, and that it might be in my power to bring 
in young men that were godly, both Fellows and students, that should serve 
God in the ministry in after-times. And after such as were godly did I 
inquire and seek, and valued such when I found them as the greatest jewels. 
And when I failed of such, it was a great affliction to me ; but this was my 
heart and endeavour, as my own soul and conscience bears me witness, 
though I did and might fall short of this my own aim in some particular 
persons. And this principle I brought with me from Catherine Hall in 
Cambridge, where I had my first station, and where I was the instrument 
of the choice of that holy and reverend man, Dr Sibbs, to be Master of that 
College, and of most of the Fellows of that College in those times, as Dr 
Arrowsmith, and Mr Pen of Northamptonshire, to name no more. And I 
was the more fixedly established in the practice of this, that after I had 
been seven years from Cambridge, coming out of Holland, I had for some 
years after, well-nigh every month, serious and hearty acknowledgment from 
several young men, who had received the light of their conversion by my 
ministry while I was in the University of Cambridge. And this was the 
great encouragement I had to return again to a university, having enjoyed 
so frequent a testimony of the fruit of my labours while I was preacher at 
Cambridge ; and what the success has been at Oxford, I leave to Chiist tUl 
the latter day. 

* But the most eminent property of my conversion to God, I have been 
speaking of, was this, that the glory of the great God was set up in my heart 
as the square and rule of each and every particular practice, both of faith 
and godliness, that I turned unto ; and of all signs of sincerity, there is, nor 
can be, none clearer than this, witness our Saviour Christ's speech, John viL 
18, "He that seeketh Ms glory that sent him, the same is true, and no 
unrighteousness is in him." Christ speaketh it of himself, who is the truth 
itself and speaketh of himself out of his own experience of what he did 
who is the truth itself; and the glory of God is God himself, who doth all 
things for himself : and therefore he that acteth thus predominantly for God 
above aU other ends, must necessarily be judged truly righteous. Nor can 
any man extract that out of his heart which is not in it. Now there is not 
the least spark of the glory of God in the heart of man unregenerate, and 
therefore cannot be extracted out of it, no, not the least spark. Take a flint, 
and strike it against steel or iron, and you shall have sparks struck out ; but 
if you take a piece of ice never so great, and strike it against a stone, or any 
other material, you shall not have a spark, for there is none in it, nor any 
disposition towards it. I remember that when I heard Dr Preston describing 


tnie spiritual cLange of heart, (it was upon Rom. xii. 2, " Be ye transformed 
by the renewing of your minds,") he spoke in this manner, " It is," said he, 
" when upon the change of a man's utmost end, there is a change made upon 
the whole man, and all the powers of his soul ;" which when I had duly con- 
sidered, I judged I never had anything more punctual, remembering this 
work of God upon myself at first. For, as he then discoursed it, " if a man 
changes but unto one particular end, and has but one particular and limited 
end, the effect is answerable, it is but partial so far as that end serves to : as 
if a man that had a humour of prodigality, and now thinks it concerns him 
to be sparing and covetous, this change of his end being but particular, has 
but a narrowed effect, namely as to sparing and care to keep his money, not 
to spend it lavishly ; but godliness, the height of Avhich lies in a respect to 
God and his glory above all things else, hath a general, yea, universal end, 
which extends its influence upon all things." 

* Hence my task, from this principle, proved to be to survey and go over 
every particular kind of act, both what I must forbear, and for what end, 
and with what heart, as also to observe each particular practice of godliness, 
which I wretchedly had altogether for a long while lived in neglect of; 
and hereabout I began with what I was to forbear and practise no longer, 
but alter my course in : as, first of all, my sins I had lived in ; and therein I 
fixed upon this summary of my whole life, that I had made lusts and pleasures 
my only end, and done nothing with aims at the glory of God ; and therefore 
I would there begin my turning to him, and make the glory of God the 
measure of all for the time to come.' 

This is the account which my dear father drew up concerning the work 
of the Holy Ghost on his soul, in converting him to God. He left it with 
a design, as himself said, to give from his own experience a testimony of the 
difference between common grace, which by some is thought sufiicient, and 
that special saving grace, which indeed is alone sufficient, and always invincibly 
and effectually prevails, as it did in him, and endured through a long life, 
and course of various temptations and trials, unto the end. In the first 
enlightenings and workings of conscience, he experienced how far common 
grace might go, and yet fail at last, as it did in him, to an utter withering 
and decay. In the other work on his soul, he felt an extraordinary divine 
power changing it, and entirely subduing it to God ; a work that was lasting 
and victorious to eternity. I have often heard him say, that in reading the 
acts of the Synod of Dort, and taking a review of the first workings of 
common grace in him, he found them consonant with the Arminian opinions ; 
but comparing his own experiences of eflficacious grace with the doctrines of 
the orthodox Protestant divines, he found the one perfectly to agree with 
the other. It was this inward sense of things, out of which a man will not 
suffer himself to be disputed, that established him in the truths of the 
gospel, and possessed him with a due tempered warmth and zeal to assert 
and vindicate them with such arguments and reasons as the truth is never 
destitute of to resist gainsayers. 


It was many years before he came to have a clear knowledge of the 
gospel, and a full view of Christ by faith, and to have joy and peace in believ- 
ing. ' A blessed age this is,' said he in his latter years, ' now the time of 
faith is come, and faith is principally insisted on unto salvation. In my 
younger years, we heard little more of Christ than as merely named in the 
ministry and printed books. I was diverted from Christ for several years, 
to search only into the signs of grace in me. It was almost seven years ere 
I was taken off to live by faith on Christ, and God's free love, which are 
alike the object of faith.' His thoughts for so long a time were chiefly 
intent on the conviction which God had wrought in him, of the heinousness 
of sin, and of his own sinful and miserable state by nature ; of the difference 
between the workings of natural conscience, though enlightened, and the 
motions of a holy soul, changed and acted by the Spirit, in an effectual 
work of peculiar saving grace. And accordingly he kept a constant diary, of 
which I have above a hundred sheets, wrote with his own hand, of observa- 
tions of the case and posture of his mind and heart toward God, and suitable, 
pious, and pathetical meditations. His sermons being the result of these, 
had a great deal of spiritual heat in them, and were blessed by God to the 
conviction and conversion of many young scholars, who flocked to hia 
ministry : as my reverend brother, Mr Samuel Smith, minister of the gospel 
at Windsor, told me, that his reverend father, then a young scholar in 
Cambridge, acknowledged mine to have been blessed by God as an instrument 
of his conversion, among many others. 

As it was that holy minister of Jesus Christ, Mr Price of Lynn, with 
whom my father maintained a great intimacy of Christian friendship, and 
of whom he said that he was the greatest man for experimental acquaintance 
with Christ that ever he met with; and as he poured into his bosom his 
spiritual complaints, so it was he whose conference by letters and discourse 
was blessed by God to lead him into the spirit of the gospel, to live by faith 
in Christ, and to derive from him life and strength for sanctification, and 
all comfort and joy throiigh believing. 

' As for trials of your own heart,' wrote Mr Price to him in one of his 
letters, ' they are good for you ; remember only this, that Christ in whom 
you believe hath overcome for you, and he will overcome in you : thd reason 
is in 1 John iv. 4. And I say trials are good for you, because else you 
would not know your own heart, nor that need of continual seeking unto God. 
But without those trials your spirit would soon grow secure, which of all 
estates belonging to those that fear God is most dangerous and most uncom- 
fortable. Therefore count it exceeding cause of joy, not of sorrow, when 
you are exercised with any temptations, because they are tokens of your 
being in Christ; which being in him Satan would disquiet, and carnal rea- 
son would call in question. Yet stand fast in the liberty of Christ, main- 
tain the work of God's free love, which his good Spirit hath wrought in you. 
Say unto the Lord : Lord, thou knowest I hate my former sinful course ; 
it grieveth me I have been so long such a stranger xmto thee, my Father. 
Thou knowest now I desire to believe in Jesus Christ, I desire to repent of 


my sins, and it is the desire of my heart to do thy will in all things. Find- 
ing those things in your heart, cast yourself upon the righteousness of Christ, 
and fear nothing ; for God will be a most merciful God in Christ unto you. 
Strive but a little while, and thou shalt be crowned ; even so, come, Lord 
Jesus, come quickly. Amen.' 

In another of his letters he thus wrote to him : — 

* All your complaints are good, and will bring abundance of thankfulness 
in the end ; for, mark it, in the Scripture, where the saints of God have 
complained for want of Christ, or any good thing from God in Christ, they 
have had ere long their hearts and tongues filled with thanksgivings and 
praise, Eom. vii. 24, 25. It is the surest state for our deceitful hearts to be 
kept in awe, and not to be as we would be, in perfection of grace. God 
knows the time when it will be best to fill us with his love, and to ravish 
us with his favour in Christ. In the meantime let us go on in faith, looking 
every moment for that day of gladness wherein Christ shall manifest a fuller 
sight of his blessed presence. I pray you fight it out valiantly by faith in 
Christ against base unbelief and proud humility. I do assure you, and dare 
say it, you may by faith in Christ challenge great matters at God's hands, 
and he will take it well at your hands : yea, the more you can believe for 
yourself in Christ, the better it wiU be taken at the throne of grace. Now 
the Lord give you of his Spirit to help you in all things. The Lord keep 
your Spirit in Christ, full of faith and love to immortality.' 

In another letter he thus wrote : — 

* Your last complaint made in your letter of yourself is from spiritual 
insight of your un regenerate part. It is wholesome, for it being loathed and 
abhorred, makes Christ in his righteousness and sanctification more glorious 
in your eyes daily. If this were not, pride and security would start up and 
undo you. Besides, I find you have great assistance from God in Christ. 
He ministers much light to you both of knowledge and comfort ; and there- 
fore you had need of some startling evils, to make you depend upon God's 
grace for the time to come, lest you should rest in that which is past. Let 
the Lord do what he will with our spirits, so he drive us from the liking our- 
selves in any sin, and make us long after Christ, to be found in him, and in 
his righteousness.' 

In another he wrote thus : — 

* Your letter is welcome to me, and your state also matter of rejoicing 
tmto me, however it may seem unto you for the present. Know you not 
that the Lord is come to dweU in your heart, and now is purging you and 
refining you ; that you may be a purer, and also a fitter temple for his Spirit 
to dwell in ? All these things concerning the right framing of your spirit 
will not be done at once, but by little and little, as it shall please our gracious 
God in Christ to work for his own glory. Yet this you may have remaining 
ever unto you, as an evidence of God's everlasting love, that the marks of 
true chosen ones are imprinted upon you, and truly wrought within you : for 
your eyes are opened to see yourself utterly lost ; your heart is touched with 
a sense and feeling of your need of Christ, which is poverty of spirit ; you 


hunger and thirst after Christ and his righteousness above all things ; and it 
is the practice of your inward man to groan and sigh, to ask and seek for 
reconciliation with God in Christ. These things you have to comfort you 
against sin and Satan, and all the doubts of your own heart. Therefore 
when you fear that all is but hypocrisy, to fear is good and wholesome, but 
to think so is from the flesh, carnal reason, Satan, darkness, because it is 
against that truth which hath taken place in your heart, merely of God's 
free favour towards you in Jesus Christ. As for slips and falls, so long as 
your purpose is in all things to do the will of God, and to judge yourself for 
them, so soon as you find yourself faulty, fear nothing ; for these will stick 
by you to humble you, and to make you loathe yourself the more, and to 
long after the holiness of your blessed Saviour, which is imputed unto you 
for your holiness in the sight of God.' 

It was thus this gracious minister of Christ, Mr Price, poured the balm of 
the gospel into his wounded soul, and God blessed it to heal and comfort it. 
These truly evangelical instructions turned his thoughts to Christ, to find 
that relief in him which he had in vain sought from all other considerations. 
' I am come to this pass now,' wrote my father in a letter to him, ' that signs 
will do me no good alone ; I have trusted too much to habitual grace for 
assurance of justification ; I tell you Christ is worth all.' Thus coming 
unto Christ, his weary soul found rest, when in all its unquiet motions it 
could not find it anywhere else. 

But the account of this work of faith I shall give, as I have done the 
other, in his own words : — 

*It fell out, that soon after my being humbled for sin, the doctrine of justi- 
fication through Christ by faith came into my thoughts. But my spirit was 
turned off from it by this prejudice, that it had been the common deceit 
ordinarily of carnal men, when they continued in their sins, and so I might 
be deceived in that way and course; and I remembered that I had been 
also deceived in believing on Christ crucified with joy and ravishment in my 
carnal state ; and that remembrance was from time to time a hindrance to 
me from going to Christ ; and I was pitched on this great principle, that if 
I found I were sanctified, as I plainly did, I then was certainly justified. 
But I did not think my sanctification to be my justification, but an evidence 
of it only ; and thus my spirit was set upon examining the inherent work in 
me wrouf'ht by the Spirit ; and I pursued after mortification of lusts, and of 
holiness within, and then I thought I should have the comfort of justification, 
or of being justified. And thus I was kept from going to Christ actually; 
though I dealt with God and his mercy in Christ, as having done all that 
was on his part to be done, in redeeming and reconciling us, and so I dealt 
immediately with God, and his pure mercy and free grace. But as it fell 
stron"-ly into my thoughts, that there was a necessity of Christ's righteous- 
ness to justify me, as well as of his grace which had sanctified me; and the 
course God took to convince m.e of it, and to set me a-work about it, was 
this. He used the very conviction which I had of original sin from Adam, 
in the two branches of it ; the guilt of Adam's actual transgression imputed 


to me, and the corniption of my nature thence derived. I had had a mighty 
and large conviction, and deep sense of these, and that all lusts were sins ; 
and this mightily helped me clearly to take in the absolute necessity of justi- 
fication by Christ's righteousness, and to discern the perfect difference of ifc 
from sanctification, and the necessity of it, and I gloried in it. I began to 
reflect that Jesus Christ was the head for salvation, as Adam had been for 
sin and condemnation : and that therefore as there were two branches of 
sin and condemnation derived to me from Adam, — the one an imputation of 
his fact to me, the other a violent and universal corruption of nature inherent 
in me, — just so it must be in Christ's salvation of me ; and hence I must have 
an imputation of his righteousness for justification, as well as a holy nature 
derived from him for sanctification ; which righteousness of Christ for justifi- 
cation was perfect, though my sanctification was imperfect. The notion of 
this did mightUy and experimentally enlighten me.' 

He now altered his way of preaching, which before had been for the 
most part, if not wholly, for conviction and terror. But now his experience 
of the refreshing comforts which the knowledge of Christ, and free justifica- 
tion by his righteousness alone, afforded him, made him zealous to preach 
the gospel for the consolation of consciences afflicted as his had been. And 
this was according to the directions given him by that great man, and lively 
preacher of the gospel, the reverend Dr Sibbs, who by my father's interest 
Hmong the Fellows had been chosen Master of Catherine Hall, and who 
familiarly said to him one day, * Young man, if you ever would do good, you 
must preach the gospel and the free grace of God in Christ Jesus.' As he 
called his sermons of the Glory of the Gospel, printed in this fifth volume of 
his works, his Frimitice Evangelicce, or his evangelical first-fruits, so the 
only copy of them was preserved by a remarkable providence. The port- 
manteau in which they were was by a thief cut off from my father's horse 
in the dark of the evening, just against St Andrew's Churchyard in Holborn. 
The clerk or sexton coming on the Lord's-day morning to ring the bell, 
found a bundle of papers tied up with a string, lying at the foot of a great 
tree. In it there were some acquittances, which Mr Leonard Green, a book- 
seller of Cambridge, who had accompanied my father to London, had from 
some of his customers. It was by these only the clerk could know to whom 
the bundle did belong, and so he brought it to Mr Green, which he was 
the more careful to do because he was his particular friend. 

He was chosen in 1628 to preach the lecture to the town of Cambridge 
at Trinity Church. Dr Buckridge, Bishop of Ely, at first made some diffi- 
culty of admitting him to it, unless he would solemnly promise, in pursuance 
of the Elng's proclamation, not to preach about any controverted points in 
divinity. My father alleged that the most essential articles of the Christian 
faith being controverted by one or other, such a promise would scarce leave 
him any subject to preach on : that it was not his Majesty's intention to in- 
hibit him or any other from preaching against the gross errors of Popery. 
After some opposition, he was admitted lecturer, and so continued till 1634, 
when being in his conscience dissatisfied with the terms of conformity, he 


left the University and his preferments. As he acted herein with all sin- 
cerity, following the light which God had given him, and the persuasions of 
his own mind and conscience, in which no worldly motives had any part, — 
for if he had hearkened to them, they would have swayed him to a contrary 
course, — so I have heard him express himself with great joy of faith, and 
thankfulness and praise of the faithful love of Jesus Christ to him, in perform- 
ance of that promise, Luke xviii. 29, 30, 'And he said unto them, Verily 
I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, 
or -wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive 
manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlast- 

' I freely renounced,' said he, ' for Christ, when God converted me, all those 
designs of pride, and vain-glory, and advancement of myself, upon which my 
heart was so strongly set that no persuasions of men, nor any worldly con- 
siderations, could have diverted me from the pursuit of them. No, it was the 
power of God alone that prevailed to make me do it. It was he alone made 
me willing to live in the meanest and most afflicted condition, so that I might 
serve him in all godly sincerity. I cheerfully parted with all for Christ, and 
lie hath made me abundant compensation, not only in the comforts and joya 
of his love, which are beyond comparison above all other things, but even 
in this world. What love and esteem I have had among good men, he gave 
me. He alone made my ministry in the gospel acceptable, and blessed it with 
success, to the conversion and spiritual good and comfort of many souls.' 

A.D. 1638, he married Mrs Elizabeth Prescott, the daughter of Alder- 
man Prescott : of the other two, one was married to Sir William Leman 
of Northaw, the other to Sir Nicholas Crisp of Hammersmith. He was 
very happy in a woman of such a sweet temper, lively wit, and sincere piety, 
as endeared her to all that knew her. And he was happy in an only 
daughter he had by her, Elizabeth, who was married to Mr John Mason, a 
citizen of London. In natural endowments of mind, and, which is far more 
to be valued, in grace and piety, she was a lively image of her parents. She 
lost her mother when she was about ten years of age, and died two years 
before her father's death. 

The persecution growing hot in England, my father resolved to remove 
into some foreign country, where he might exercise his ministry in the 
gospel, and enjoy the ordinances of Christ according to his conscience, which 
he could not do in his own native land. He went over into Holland in 
1639, settled at last at Arnheim, and was pastor of the English church in 
that city. During his abode there, some differences arising in the EngHsh 
church at Rotterdam, my father and the elders of the church at Arnheim went 
thither, and God was pleased to bless their brotherly advice and counsel to 
compose the differences, and to re-establish the disturbed peace of that 
church. After some years' continuance in Arnheim, he returned into 
England, was pastor of a church in London, and by an ordinance of Parlia- 
ment, June 12, 1643, appointed to be a member of the venerable Assembly of 
Divines at Westminster, The debates about church government and disci- 


pline which arose in that synod are not so proper to be inserted in the life 
of a particular person. I shall only take notice that he took a brief account 
of every day's transactions, of which I have fourteen or fifteen volumes in 
8vo, wrote with his own hand. And his way of arguing was with such 
modesty and Christian meekness, that it procured the esteem of those who 
diflfered from him and the other dissenting brethren in their judgment. 

In the year 1647, he had invitations from the Reverend Mr John Cotton, 
in whom grace and learning were so happily conjoined, and other worthy 
ministers in New England, to come over thither, which he was so much in- 
cUned to do as he had put a great part of his library on shipboard. But 
the persuasions of some friends, to whose counsel and advice he paid a great 
deference, made him to alter his resolution. 

In the year 1649, he married Mrs Mary Hammond, descended from the 
ancient famUy of the Hammonds in Shropshire, whose ancestor was an officei 
in the army of William, Duke of Normandy, when he invaded England, a.d. 
1066. Though she was but in the seventeenth year of her age, she had the 
gravity and prudence of a matron. Her conjugal affection, her tender care, 
her wise administration of the affairs of her family, the goodness of her dis- 
position, and, more than all this, her grace and piety, have left an honourable 
remembrance of her among all that knew her. He had by her two sons, 
the eldest of whom is yet living ; the other, whose name was Richard, died 
in a voyage to the East Indies, whither he was sent a year after his father's 
death by the East India Company, as one of their factors. She also bore to 
him two daughters, who died in their infancy. 

In the same year 1649, he was admitted President of Magdalene College 
in Oxford, where he made it his business to promote piety and learning. 
His candour, ingenuous nature, his catholic charity for all good men though 
of different persuasions, won the hearts of those who had been most averse 
to him. In conferring any places of preferment at his disposal, he was not 
biased by affection to a party, but bestowed them where he saw goodness 
and merit. Those who continued Fellows of the College many years after 
he left it, Mr Brown, Mr Byfield, and Dr Fairfax, retained an affection and 
esteem for him, and always spoke of him with an honourable mention. He 
was not only president of a college, but pastor of a church, which consisted 
of persons of piety and learning : Mr Thankful Owen, President of St John's; 
Mr Francis Howell, Master of Jesus College; Mr Theophilus Gale, Mr Stephen 
Charnock, Mr Blower, Mr Barron, Mr Terry, Mr Lowman, and many others. 
Upon the Revolution in 1660, he resigned his place of President to Dr 
Oliver, and removed to London, where he was pastor of the same church which 
he had gathered in Oxford, a great part of the members of it following 
him to that city. In the faithful discharge of this office, and labour in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, he continued till his death. 

It was now he lived a retired life, spent in prayer, reading, and meditation, 
between which he divided his time. He read much, and the authors which he 
most valued and studied were Augustine, Calvin, Musculus, Zanchius, Parseus, 
Waleus, Gomarus, Altingius, and Amesius ; among the school-men, Suarez 


and Estius. But the Scriptures were what he most studied ; and as he had 
furnished his library with a very good collection of commentators, he made 
good use of them. And as the Scriptures are an inexhaustible treasure of 
divine knowledge, so by an eager search into them, and comparing one with 
another, he discovered those truths which are not to be found in other authors. 
The love and free grace of God, the excellencies and glories of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, were the truths in which his mind soared with greatest delight. 
And it was not merely a speculative pleasure, but these truths were the life 
and food of his soul ; and as his heart was affected with them, he wrote 
them with a spiritual warmth that is better felt than expressed. Though 
he read much, yet he spent more time in thinking ; and it was by intense 
thought that he made himself master of the subject of his discourse. 

In that deplorable calamity of the dreadful fire at London, 1666, which 
laid in ashes a considerable part of that city, he lost above half his library, 
to the value of five hundred pounds. There was this remarkable, that that 
part of it which was lodged very near the place where the fire began, and 
which he accounted irrecoverably lost, was by the good providence of God, 
and the care and diligence of his very good and faithful friend, Mr Moses 
Lowman, though with extreme hazard, preserved from the flames. But the 
other part, which he thought might have been timely secured, being lodged 
at as great a distance as Bread Street, was, by the negligence of the person 
whom he sent on purpose to take care of them, all burned. I heard him say 
that God had struck him in a very sensible place ; but that as he had loved 
his library too well, so God had rebuked him by this affliction. He blessed 
God he had so ordered it in his providence that the loss fell upon those books 
which were of human learning ; and that he had preserved those of divinity, 
which were chiefly of use to him. As the exercise of faith, and of patience, 
which is the fruit of it, gave him relief, so on this occasion he meditated and 
wrote a discourse of ' Patience and its Perfect Work,' printed soon after. 

In February 1679, a fever seized him, which in a few days put an end 
to his life. In all the violence of it, he discoursed with that strength 
of faith and assurance of Christ's love, with that holy admiration of free 
grace, with that joy in believing, and such thanksgivings and praises, as he 
extremely moved and affected all that heard him. That excellent man, Mr 
Collins, — Avho was then pastor of the same church that he had formerly been 
pastor of, and with its consent, though unwilling at first to part with him, 
he removed to Oxford, 1649, and which is now under the pastoral care of 
his worthy son and of Mr Bragg, — praying earnestly for him, offered up this 
petition, ' That God would return into his bosom aU those comforts which 
he had by his ministry of free grace poured into so many distressed souls.' 
My dear father felt this prayer answered in the abundant comforts and joys 
with which he was fiUed. He rejoiced in the thoughts that he was dying, 
and going to have a full and uninterrupted communion with God. ' I am 
going,' said he, ' to the three Persons, with whom I have had communion : 
they have taken me; I did not take them. I shall be changed in the twink- 
ling of an eye ; all my lusts and corruptions I shall be rid of, which I could 


not be here ; those croaking toads will fall off in a moment.' And mentioning 
those great examples of faith, Heb. xi., * All these,' said he, ' died in faith. 
I could not have imagined I should ever have had such a measure of faith 
in this hour ; no, I could never have imagined it. My bow abides in strength. 
Is Christ divided 1 No, I have the whole of his righteousness ; I am found 
in him, not in my own righteousness, which is of the law, but in the righteous- 
ness which is of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, who loved me, and 
gave himself for me. Christ cannot love me better than he doth ; I think I 
cannot love Christ better than I do; I am swallowed up in God.* 

Directing his speech to his two sons, he exhorted them to value the privi- 
lege of the covenant. ' It hath taken hold on me,' said he ; ' my mother was 
a holy woman ; she spake nothing diminishing of it. It is a privilege can- 
not be valued enough, nor purchased with a great sum of money,' alluding 
to the words of the chief captain to Paul, Acts xxii. 28. Then he exhorted 
them to be careful that they did nothing to provoke God to reject them. 
* Now,' said he, ' I shall be ever with the Lord.' With this assurance of 
faith and fulness of joy, his soul left this world, and went to see and enjoy 
the reality of that blessed state of glory, which in a discourse on that subject 
he had so well demonstrated. He died February 1679, and in the eightieth 
year of his age. 





And you hath he quickened, 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 chil- 
dren of disobedience : 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. 
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 
even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, 
(by grace ye are saved ;) and hath raised us up together, and made tts 
sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus : that in the ages to come 
he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward 
us through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and 
that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God : not of works, lest any man 
should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in 
them. — Vek. 1-10. 

The first seven, or, if you will, ten verses of this chapter are woven so into 
one piece with what went before in the preceding chapter, that to begin with 
any division of the parts of this chapter as distinct from the former, were to 
make that rent worse which already hath been made for many ages, in part- 
ing these words from the matter contained in the latter end of the first chap- 
ter, viz., in the midst, ere it came to a full joint, and by too hasty a making 
a second chapter to begin at these words. Let the reader look back, and take 
notice that these seven verses do continue to make but one entire sentence, 
though the largest in the book of God, which began at the 18th or 19 th 
verse of the first chapter, and arrive not at any full period until the 8th verse 
of this chapter. 

In the 19 th verse of the first chapter, he began to set out in a way of 
praying for them — to the end that they might be the more apprehensive of 



the greatness and necessity of the things he uttered — the exceeding great- 
ness of that power which had already begun, and was engaged to perfect, that 
salvation which consisted in that riches of glory he had mentioned in the 
verses before, even according to the working of that mighty power which he 
had wrought in Christ, in raising him up to glory : as whom God had set up 
a pattern and prototype of what was to be done in us and for us, until the 
fuU accomplishment of our salvation. From thence therefore, — that is, from 
the 19th verse, — his drift and scope was to make a parallel comparison be- 
tween what was done in Christ our head, and us his members, that so in 
Christ's glory, as in a lively pattern and idea already perfected and com- 
pleted, we might the better view what God had and would do for us, and 
what a great and glorious salvation was ordained to us, to the praise of his 
great power and rich grace towards us. Now that first piece of the parallel 
on Christ's part he hath finished in the four last verses of the first chapter, 
in which he largely sets forth the power which began to shew itself in Christ's 
resurrection, and continued to glorify itself in placing him at God's right 
hand, and then draws to the life that glory of Christ which, as a head to 
his church, God had bestowed upon him. Which the Apostle having per- 
fected, he proceeds in the first seven verses of this chapter to finish the coun- 
terpane or second draught, the antitype, which answereth to this original, 
that parallel which is on our part, and which concerneth the completing of 
our salvation, interweaving thereinto a magnifying that rich mercy, great love, 
and exceeding rich grace of God manifested therein ; to magnify which, as 
the conclusion in the 7th verse tells us, was God's ultimate design, and the 
Apostle's chief scope. Now to draw out the particulars wherein these two 
parallels meet : — 

In Christ's exaltation there were three things more eminent. 1. The 
terminiLS d, quo, the state or condition out of which he was raised ; even 'from 
the dead,' says the 20th verse. 2. The terminus ad quern, the opposite sub- 
lime state of life and glory he advanced him into ; raised him, and ' made 
him to sit at his right hand in the heavenhes.' The glory whereof he sets 
out in the rest of the chapter, ' far above principalities,' &c. ; shewing withal 
how in all this he was our head, and so a pattern to us, ver. 22. And, 3. 
the author hereof, God, and the exceeding greatness of his power, which ia 
set out by the infinite distance and disproportion of these two states. 

Then, in us and our salvation, which answereth this pattern, there are an- 
swerably three things more eminently set out by the Apostle in these first 
Reven verses : — 

1. Terminus cb quo, the state and condition of us all by nature, which God 
saves and raises us out of; a state of death, both in sin, and in respect of 
condemnation to wrath and punishment, the deplorable and inextricable 
misery of which state he sets out most briefly, exactly, and comprehensively 
in the three first verses. 

2. The salvation itself, and terminus ad quern he raiseth us up unto out 
of this condition, which he sets forth in all the eminent parts and degrees 
thereof, in three works answering to those wrought in Christ our pattern : 
he quickens, raiseth, and causeth us to sit together in Christ in heavenly 
places ; which summarily comprehends the whole of our salvation first and 
last, and all expressed in the very same words he had used of Christ. This 
in the fifth and sixth verses. 

And, 3. he sets out the author of this to be God, and God alone, — as 
in that of Christ he had also done, — and in him maguifies, not only the 
same exceeding greatness of power shewn in this work on us that was shewn 

£PH. II. 1-10.] TO THE KPHB3IANS. 3 

in Christ, -which is tacitly implied by the likeness of type and antit3rpe, but 
further, and more eminently, his rich mercy, hii great love, his kindness, and 
the exceeding riches of grace more illustriously and conspicuously shining 
therein; and the cause of all, ver. 5, to shew fortf the exceeding riches of 
which, as his great design, was the principal and ultimate end of our great 
God, — as the 7th verse, which is the conckision of all, tells us, — that moved 
him thus to cast the contrivement of bringing us his sons to glory, from out 
of such a depth of misery and wretchedness, to such a height of glory and 
blessedness by such several steps. And this is the more general sum and 
coherence of these words, and of the Apostle's scope therein, which more 
briefly is to set out and greaten these three things to us : — 1, The greatness 
of that misery we lay in. 2. The greatness of that salvation out of that 
misery which is ordained unto us. 3. The greatness of that love, mercy, 
kindness, grace in God, which are the causes of this salvation. 

In this long discourse, continued through so many verses of this and the 
former chapter, the Apostle is enforced to make an liyperhaton, a disturbed 
and disjointed order of speech, wherein one thing thrusts back another that 
should come next; those things that should, according to usual law of 
speech, follow near one another, are transposed and set far off; and so he 
leaves sentences imperfect, which are a long while after made full. For, 
whereas in the 18th and 19th verses of that first chapter he had thus begun, 
' That you may know what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us- 
ward, who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he 
wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own 
right hand in the heavenly places,' according to the ordinary way of speech 
he should then have next subjoined, * and you hath he quickened, who were 
dead in sins,' &c. Before he arrives at this, he first runs out into a large 
field of discourse, setting forth the glory of Christ and his relation of head- 
ship to his church, and minds not, as it were, what according to the law of 
speech was next. But when he returns to his first design again, and begins 
to bring in this other part in this second chapter, which immediately was to 
have cohered with the 19th and 20th verses, and should make the reddition 
and parallel complete, ' and you that were dead in sins and trespasses,' he 
runs out again as largely, in three verses, to paint out that wretched condi- 
tion in all the causes and effects of it, and to set out also the grace of God , 
even before he adds that verse, 'you hath he quickened,' which was to 
govern and complete those words, 'you that were dead,' &c., for the word 
quickened is not in the first verse ; insomuch as when he addeth that in 
ver. 5, he makes an emphatical repetition, ' even when you were dead hath 
he quickened,' for a supply. Yea, and whereas he had in the beginning of 
this discourse — so I must caU it, rather than one sentence — set himself to 
magnify the exceeding greatness of God's power, and that attribute only, 
manifested both in Christ the pattern, and the salvation of us that believe, 
as the counterpane ; and accordingly he should, when he came to this work 
of God upon us, which answereth to that on Christ, in a correspondency 
have said, God, that is thus exceeding great in power, hath in like manner 
out of the like power quickened you that were dead, &c., he quite leaves out 
here the explicit mention of that attribute, and instead thereof falls to mag- 
nify the exceeding riches of mercy and love in God. * But God, who is rich 
in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead 
in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ : by grace ye are saved.' 
And so again at the 7 th verse, ' to shew forth the exceeding riches of his 
grace,' (he mentions not power,) &c 


Now the reason of all tMs long and disturbed way of discoursing was, 1st, 
because he was fuU of matter, and wrapt into things ; the Holy Ghost filled 
and extended his mind to such a vastness, he saw so many things at once, 
and so far into everything he was to speak of, all which were necessary to 
be taken in to illustrate each other, that wherever the Holy Ghost broached 
Mm, and gave vent to his spirit, the plenty of matter about that particular 
gushed out abundantly, and p/e?io gurgite ; and still new matter coming in, 
strove to get out before what was next. And yet, 2dly, he was guided 
therein to do it, to the setting out the matter he would set forth to the 
greater advantage, which he preferred to the ordinary laws of speech ; for 
hereby you have as many things as were possible crowded up into one 
period, whereof each was necessary, serving to set forth the other, and aU 
the whole ; and that we also might have all that belonged to any one of 
those heads to be spoken of set together in one view, to give at once a full 
prospect of each. Thus he first possesseth us with that infinite glory of our 
Head, Christ, and what belonged to him, with an intimation of uniformity 
and conformity to him ; and then he sets out as largely the fulness of misery 
God raiseth us out of into that glory with Christ ; and then enlargeth upon 
the grace and love in God that raiseth us hereto, loading both with the 
richest epithets, <fec. All which, when set together, do infinitely illustrate 
and set forth the one the other. And, 3dly, that in this reddition or parallel 
on our part, he mentions not the power of God, as in the other, but only 
falls to magnify grace, — besides the more particular account and observation 
upon it to be given in the due place, — it was because he had shewed the 
engagement of power sufficiently in the 19th verse, which the reader's mind 
would therefore carry along with him, and the matter itself necessarily in- 
cluded it ; as also to hold forth, that besides this of power, that also of 
grace, mercy, love, kindness, and aU in God, were as deeply engaged. He 
meets with new attributes that discover themselves and appear in it ; and 
above all, grace and mercy, which was the supreme original cause, and which 
God's design was to magnify as chief, and as his utmost end, more than and 
above power, or any other attribute, or all other attributes ' that are mani- 
fested in this work, as that which did set power and all else on work ; hereby 
the more to take their hearts with that which God values in his heart most, 
the grace and love in himself. And this also, because grace and mercy more 
eminently ajipears in that Avork that is in us, and in the saving us ; but 
power more eminently in that on Christ, as it is in him. Thus artificial is 
the Apostle to set out his matter to the fuUest advantage, when he neglecteth 
art in speech most. — This in general of the whole seven verses. 


To begin with his description of the state of nature in the three first verses; 
and therein let me first give you the general scope thereof. 

The Apostle is larger in the setting forth the greatness thereof, than he is 
in those other two heads that follow. And, as in the parallel on Christ's 
part, he enlargeth most upon the terminus ad quern, the gloiy he was ad- 
vanced to ; on the contrary, in that of ours, he spends most of his discourse 
upon the terminus a quo, the state of death we are raised out of And his 
scope and drift therein was double : — 

I. To set out the exceeding greatness of power which is put forth in our 
salvation, and especially in that which is already done for us in our quicken- 
ing and conversion, as a pawn of what foUows. And that is most Illustrated 
and made manifest by the consideration of the difficulties and opposition 


from that state we lay in before. Whereas, on the contrary, the greatness of 
that power shewn in Christ, which hath perfected all in hiui already, was 
seen and di'awn forth most in the bestowing upon a man ciuciiied in so much 
weakness, so groat a glory, and investing him with so great a power. 

Now, to set out the greatness of this power that goes to quicken us, every 
word in this description of our natural state doth serve : — 

1. Not only ' dead,' without any principle of life to raise themselves, — and 
■what a power must go to quicken one that is dead ! — but ' dead in sins and 
trespasses,' in sins of all sorts; dead, and dead again, with 'ten thousand 
deaths, for every sin is a death ; like a man that is not only killed with one 
stab or mortal wound, but his body is full of thrusts throughout Ms vitals, 
a hundred, yea, a thousand stabs. And then — 

2. Though dead to that life he is to be raised unto, yet alive to sin, a life 
that is contrary, and which is habitually strengthened by long custom; for 
the text says, 'in which we walked.' And this life of sin is first to be taken 
away, and seeks to the utmost to preserve and defend itself. And — 

3. There are, besides, three great hindrances, over and above this, to be 
overcome, in the doing of which the greatness of the power of God is shewn. 
Here is — 

First, A correspondency with the world, which all men by nature hold : 
they are carried with the multitude and crowd of all other men ; they ' walk 
according to the course of this world,' — and there are many engagements to 
the men of this world, — that gang and stream of unregenerate men, that carry 
and hurry men with them, as men in a crowd are carried, and assimilate men 
to themselves; all these, saith he, do environ and besiege all in a man. And 
in that respect, to fetch a man out from his natural condition is as much as 
to fetch a man out of the Great Turk's court, out of his dominions, in a 
hostile way; therefore it is made a mighty business to overcome the world. 
We are therefore said to be ' delivered' as by strong hand — as the word im- 
plies. Gal. i. 4 — ' out of this present evil world.' The good opinion of men, 
correspondency with friends, honour from men, — ' How can ye believe,' saith 
Christ, ' which receive honour one of another,' John v. 44, — how strong cords 
are these ! how do these fetter and entangle us ! The stream of most of the 
world is against us, and then the weeds of cori'espondency hang about us. 
Therefore, to overcome the world is made the effect of an almighty power, in 
1 John iv. 4 ; ' Stronger is he that is in you, than he that is in the world ;' 
otherwise we should never have come out of it, or from among them. But 
then — 

Secondly, There is a more potent adversary, stronger than flesh and 
blood, and than all these — the devil, to whom God hath given man up by 
nature ; that ' strong man,' as he is called. Matt. xii. 29, as I opened it be- 
fore on the 18th verse of the former chapter ; he will never yield a man up. 
And he is a prince of a greater army, whereof the least is stronger than all 
men ; and he hath power, and hath a permissive commission from God. He 
is the spirit that worketh effectually in the children of disobedience ; he 
fails not in his working, men are taken captive at his will. And to fetch a 
man out of his kingdom, and to overcome and bind this strong man, this 
is yet more. ' In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, 
according to the prince of the power of the air, that works effectually,' &c. 

Well, but, thirdly, here is yet a worse, and nearer, and stronger enemy 
than either of both these — those of a man's own household, his own lusts : 
* in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.' 
And there are as many of these lusts as there be creatures, or several motiona 


of our immortal spirits within us. And these are natural, yea, our nature, 
as the next words tell us ; 'by nature,' &c. To alter the whole course and 
frame of nature, how hard is it ! To part with any one lust, how difficult ! 
Much more to crack all these heart-strings, to pluck up all these roots ! 
You may as soon turn the sun in his course, change a leopard, or turn a 
blackamoor, that yet hath but his blackness in his skin ; but these lusts possess 
all the inwards. They are lusts bred and seated in the flesh, — and what power 
shall fetch that out of the bones, as the proverb is ? — yea, in the mind, 
which is yet more inward ; yea, they possess the whole man, and all that is 
in him, flesh, and mind, and will, and all ; ' wills of the flesh and of the 
mind.' And then, besides all these, whoever delivers you hath, or must 
have had, the wrath of the great God to overcome and satisfy, which is more 
than all this ; for you are ' children of wrath,' &c. And thus all this de- 
scription here comes in to illustrate the greatness of that power towards us 
spoken of, ver. 19. 

II. Observe his scope in reference to what follows, to illustrate the great- 
ness of God's grace in raising us up to the condition we have in Christ, and to 
be made conformable to him ; which he doth by way of paralleling what we 
were before by nature, and after in Christ, together ; and you may observe 
how exactly one answereth to the other. You may remember, — and indeed 
all may read it in the words themselves, — you that heard it opened, how 
that our Lord and Saviour Christ, in ver. 20-23 of the first chapter, is set 
forth as a head, raised up to a glorious kingdom, set at the right hand of 
God in heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and every 
name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come ; 
and that he hath all things put under his feet ; that he is the head of his 
church, and filleth his body. And to be a member of this head, a part of 
this church, doth the Apostle insinuate, is that condition you are raised up 
ko. Now to set forth this, mark how artificially he winds in, by way of 
opposition, what a miserable condition they were in before. Is Christ your 
fiead now, saith he, and hath God raised him up on purpose so to be 1 Are 
you set in heaven with him 1 Why, Satan was your head before, or at least 
your king. And he describeth Satan in terms parallelly opposite to what he 
had said of Christ ; for it is evident that he doth allade, in setting forth 
their natural condition in subjection to Satan, to what he had said before of 
the advancement of Christ their head, and then their advancement to Christ, 
that is such a head as he had described. And let us but parallel a little the 
description of both, that we may see the difference of this change in this 
respect : — 

First, He describeth Christ as a Head, that had principality and power 
under him, whereby is meant the angels good and bad. But before you were 
in Christ, whUst in your natural condition, whom were you under then ? 
Saith he, under Satan, instead of Christ : for though the devil was not a 
head to you, — he doth not indeed call him so, because that is too natural a 
relation to be given to him, that is proper to Christ, — yet he was af%wf, a 
prince to you ; and, saith he, he is the ' prince of the power ' — he useth the 
same word as he did of Christ, Christ was over ' principality and power ' — 
' of the air.' And what means he by ' prince of the power of the air V 
That great devil, that prince, that hath all devils under him ; all which 
devils he calleth potuer, in the singular number, because they all do service 
unto him ; and as they went out as one man, so they go on with one power. 
They are called, Eph. vi., principalities and powers. 

And, secondly, if you look up to him, that is, Jesus Christ, your Head, 

Era. II. 1-1 O.J TO THE EPHESIAN3. 7 

' above all principality and power/ he is set ' in heavenly places' also; so saith 
ver. 20 of chap. i. But where is the scut of the devil's power, tliat was your 
I)rince before 1 It is but in the air ; it is brought in on purpose — it is no- 
where almost in the Scripture brought in but here — to make up the parallel, 
by way of contrary illustration. He that is your head now, saith he, he is 
one that sits in heavenly places, whither you yourselves shall come, for he 
sits there in your stead ; here is your advancement now. But the devil, his 
power is in the air, and so is nearer to hurt you ; and yet but in this air, the 
lower heaven, and therefore all the happiness you could have had under him 
was but in things aerial, in things worldly, no higher ; and when you had 
enjoyed a while this his dominion, this air to breathe in, then you must have 
gone to the fire with this devil and his angels. This was your condition by 
iiature. How great a change is there in this respect ! 

Thirdly, Jesus Clmst being your Head, you are his body now, and so he 
doth fill you. So ver. 23, ' The church, which is his body, the fulness of 
him that filleth all in all.' And as Jesus Christ is ordained thus to fill you 
with all grace and glory in this estate, so then, when you were in your un- 
regenerate condition, the devil filled you ; for he is the spirit that worketh 
efi"ectually in the children of disobedience, — the phrase comes in likewise on 
purpose, — he filled their hearts, as Christ doth the other. ' Why hath Satan 
filled thine heart I ' It was, you know, the expression of Peter to Ananias, 
and it is all one with what is here said, he ' works eflfectually ' in them, for 
it is done by filling them with himself. And withal he insinuateth this : 
Did the devil work effectually in you then 1 Then how effectual and mighty 
was the working of our Lord and Saviour Christ, when he raised you up 
from this death and condition, and plucked you out of the snare of Satan, 
that took you captive at his will. 

So much now for the second thing that these words have an aspect to, as 
they refer to the 19th verse of the first chapter. 

Then these words, which lay forth our unworthiness and our vileness, 
come in also on purpose to illustrate the fountain of all the mercy we re- 
ceive, and that is the free grace of God in Christ. He beginneth it with a 
but. * But God, who is rich in mercy.' That ever God, saith he, should 
contrive such ways of mercy, for creatures so vile, so miserable ! And what 
infinite mercy was it to pluck such men out of that condition ! Yea, be is 
so full of it, you see, he had run out a large discourse before without interrup- 
tion, and he was long before he recovered himself; but when once he begins 
to talk of the grace of God, there he breaks off, sentence after sentence, to 
bring that in abruptly. After he had long discoursed of the grace of God 
in Christ in the 19th verse, and of man's misery here in these 1st, 2d, and 
3d verses, when he makes a reddition of the grace of God towards us, he 
brings it in, ' But God, who is rich in mercy.' Well, he should have gone 
on here, but he brings this in abruptly, ' by grace you are saved.' And 
then he goes on again, ' and hath raised us up together, and made us sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ.' And then he comes in with the grace 
of God again, and again, a fourth time. So that the great scope of laying 
open the miserable condition of man by nature, was to set off the rich mercy, 
the grace, the love of God, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And let 
me add this, to make up this complete : having mentioned free grace as the 
fountain of all, when he had thus humbled them, laid them in the dust, he 
then brings upon them the weight of all the benefits in the former chapter. 
You that were thus dead in sins and trespasses, you were chosen in Christ 
before the world was, unto adoption, &c. And man's misery here by nature 


comes in to illustrate all those benefits too. Election to holiness, ver. 4 ; 
predestination to adoption and glory, ver. 5 ; the fountain of all these ia 
said to be the glory of his grace, ver. 6 ; then redemption and forgive- 
ness, ver. 7 ; then effectual calling, ver. 8 ; the power of it, ver. 1 9 ; then 
heaven and glory, ver. 11; the riches of which he speaks of, ver. 18; the 
earnest of that heaven, the Spirit, ver. 14; and then, last of all, Christ the 
Head. And for whom, saith he, is all this 1 For you that were ' dead in 
sins and trespasses,' and who before ' walked according to the course of this 
world, according to the prince of the power of the air.' And thus, I say, 
mentioning the free grace of God, he brings upon them the weight of all the 
benefits in the former chapter, to break their hearts in pieces. And this is 
the wonderful artifice of the Holy Ghost in the Apostle, in the order and 
station of these words, which are the centre both of all before and of all that 
follow after ; for having described all these benefits, see how these words do 
by a contrary parallel answer to them too. He told them first, that they 
had a being in Christ ; for so when I opened the words in the 4th verse, I 
shewed that was the meaning of it. We were in Christ, had a being in 
him. * Ye are in Christ Jesus,' saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. i. 30. And their 
being was to holiness, they were ordained to it when first they were ordained 
to being. But now, on the contrary, saith he, your very being is a death in 
sin, it is the esse, it is the constitution of it. However, spiritual death i3 
that being which a man hath being fallen. 

Again, answerable to adoption of children, which you are predestinated 
unto, saith he in these words, you were before 'children of disobedience.' 
Instead of having an inheritance in glory, saith he, you were ' children of 
wrath,' and that by nature, and that was all your portion. And instead of 
having the Holy Spirit, the earnest of that inheritance, you had a spirit that 
wrought effectually in you, the earnest of hell, the devil himself, and his 
wicked angels. This was your condition before, and thus it answereth the 
benefits before. And you were so fast shut up in this condition, that no 
power in heaven and earth, but only that of God's, and of Christ's, could de- 
liver you. You were internally dead, and how could dead men rise 1 exter- 
nally environed with the power of the world, of hell, and of your own lusts. 

This, my brethren, is the coherence of these words, which I thought meet 
in the entrance of this exercise to be more large in, especially because of so 
artificial an elegancy which certainly the Holy Ghost akneth at here. And 
so I shall come to the particular application of them. 

The misery of man by nature, as I said, is the sum of these three first 
verses ; and it is his natural condition that is here laid open, as the closure 
of all shews : ' and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' 
And so is all this intended to shew what we are by nature, and whilst we are 
in that natural condition. It is set out to us, first, in respect of sins ; they, 
you know, are mentioned; 'sins and trespasses.' Secondly, punishment; that 
is mentioned in the term here expressly, and both included in the word, 
* dead in sins.' For though he mentioneth the ' course of the world,' and the 
' prince of the power of the air,' and the like, yet being ' dead in sins' is the 
eminent thing, the depth of our misery ; therefore in the reddition, ver. 5, 
he only mentioneth that again, ' even when we were dead in sins, hath he 
ipiickened us.' The mercy lay in that respect. You may divide the words 
in particular thus : — 

I. Here is their internal, habitual estate and condition, or the essential con- 
stitution thereof, as I may so call it; they are 'dead in sins and trespasses.' 
You know that death and life are two several states and conditions of man- 

EpH. II. 1-10] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 9 

kind ; when a man is dead, he is put eternally into another state and condi- 
tion than he was in wliilst living. 

II. Here is the outward constant course of these men in their conversation, 
that was the concomitant of that state. And that that is intended in the 2d 
and 3d verses is clear by the very words, for he calleth the one ' walking,' 
and the other, ' having our conversation.' Therefore I distinguish it as the 
Apostle himself doth. Now that is aggravated by three things^ as the causes 
of their evil conversation : — 

1. There is the exemplary cause, which is the weakest, and yet it is a cause. 

* In which we walked ' — namely, in sins, for of that he had spoken before — 

* according to the course of this world.' 

2. There is the outward efficient cause, — that is, Satan ; ' the prince of 
the power of the air.' 

3. There is the inward efficient moving cause — their own lusts ; ' fulfilling 
the desires of the flesh and of the mind,' which you have in the 3d verse. 
And therein you see how exact he is. He describeth both the corruption of 
man's nature under one general term, as it is called flesh ; ' had our conver- 
sation,' saith he, ' in the lusts of the flesh,' — that is, of corrupt nature, taken 
in the general, with all the lusts of it. But then he doth subdivide them : 
there is ' the desires of the flesh,' which are the sensual lusts of the body ; 
and there is ' the lusts of the mind.' Which two do part all the wickedness 
of man's nature, they divide it between them. 

III. And then, lastly. Here is the punishment that is due to each of these sins, 
the wrath of God ; ' children of wrath by nature.' And this, saith he, is the 
general common condition ; you were so that are Gentiles, and we were thus 
that are Jews : he turns it from one to the other, and there is no diff"erence 
between either the one or the other ; this is our condition, we were children 
of wrath as well as you, and you were children of wrath as well as we were. 
— And so you have the division of the words. 

I now come to open the first, their inward state and condition ; 'dead in 

I will not mention many scriptures to prove it to you ; you know enough 
already. ' Let the dead bury the dead,' ho,. I shall only instance in that 
one text. Col. ii. 13. And, as I observed long ago, in opening the first chap- 
ter, the epistle to the Colossians is to the epistle to the Ephesians like Mark 
to Matthew, almost in all sort of passages. He had said in this second 
chapter to the Ephesians, ' Ye are dead ;' he did not say, ' in sins and tres- 
passes,' for iv in the original is not in ; and it might have borne ' dead to sins 
and trespasses,' as some have been mistaken in it. But now compare it with 
Col. ii. 13. There you have the particle h in the Greek expressly, ' dead in 
sins.' And so the one, as in other passages so in this, explains the other. 

Now, in opening and handling this, I shall not run out into a large com- 
monplace — for that is not to expound — of what are the symptoms of spiritual 
death ; you have had them in books printed : stiflFuess, and coldness, and 
senselessness, and the like. I shall not enlarge upon these at all, but I shall 
speak as an interpreter ; and therein, because it is the most comprehensive 
expression, I must therefore open what the Apostle intendeth, what is com- 
prehended in this word death. 

And, first, let me observe this upon it, that though there are many other 
expressions which man's natural estate is set forth by, yet, as I said before, 
there was no expression so full for the Apostle's purpose, speaking of the 
power that raised up Jesus from death to life, and so raised us up too, to fol- 
low the metaphor ; so there was no expression would so fully have laid open 


the misery of man by nature, the intrinsical state and condition of man, in a 
comprehensive way, all sorts of "vvaj^s, as this. You know it was the first 
original curse, that whereby God exj^ressed all the curse, ' In the day thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die the death.* And therefore here, you see, 
when Paul would express himself to the uttermost, — as for certain he sets 
himself to do, — he saith, you are ' dpad in sins and trespasses.' And though 
other expressions might in some respect manifest and illustrate the grace of 
God more ; as to call a man an enemy to God, as the ApostJe elsewhere doth, 
which illustratcth the grace of God in respect of pardon, which to be dead 
in sins and trespasses, or condemned to death for sin, also doth ; yet to say 
a man is dead in them, that expresseth more our misery, and our inextri- 
cable condition, and our inability to get out of it. The truth is, my breth- 
ren, death, take it in a natural way, is the sum of all evil, for it is the depri- 
vation of all good ; so take it in a spiritual way, it is comprehensively all 
evil whatsoever. The utmost misery that can befall a man, as he is a natural 
man, what is it 1 It is to die. ' A li\'ing dog,' saith Solomon, ' is better 
than a dead lion.' A worm is better than a man when he is dead, take him 
as he is a man, if he should not rise again. Death strips him of all excel- 
lencies proper to a man, makes him worse than a stock or stone ; for when 
he is dead he stinketh, which a stock or stone doth not. Therefore, the 
Apostle, to set f^^rth our spiritual misery, takes that expression rather than 
any other. And though it is but a similitude, yet know this for a general 
truth and a certain rule, that all similitudes taken from outward, bodily, or 
worldly things, and assumed up to spiritual, the spiritual are the realities, 
and the other are but the shadows. Run over all the course of spiritual 
things that belong to that other world, and all outward things that they are 
compared unto, they are but the shadows of them. As Christ is said to be a 
vine, but a ' true vine,' the other is but a shadow : so this being a spiritual 
death, bodily death and aU the evils thereof are but the shadows of it. That, 
look as when we say of beer or wine that hath lost its spirits that it is dead, 
yet this is but a poor death in comparison of seeing a man die, or a prince : 
so, to say a man is dead, speaking of his body, it is even to say dead drink, 
in comparison of a dead man, if you wiU compare it with this death, the 
death of his soul in sins and trespasses. The death of a man is infinitely 
more than the death of a beast, the death of a king more than the death 
of other men, — we sjjeak now in a natural way, — but the death of the 
soul of a man in sin is infinitely more than the death of the body, by how 
much the more the soul transcendeth the body, and our spiritual condition 
transcendeth our natural life ; which it doth as far as a man — taken in him- 
self, or take the body simply considered, without relation at all to the soul — 
doth transcend a beast. And so now that is the reason why the Apostle 
singleth out this expression of ' death' to express our natural condition by, 
rather than any other whatsoever. 

Now, in the second place, to describe this death, though but in the 
general first, and so come to particulars, which the Apostle intendeth — 

This death of the soul is not a j^hysical death. The death of the body is 
a physical, natural death; for when the body dies, all the actions of life that 
wore once in it cease : but all actions of life, of all sorts of life, do not cease 
in the soul when it is thus dead in sin; for if so, the soul should lose under- 
standing, will, and afi'ections, and ail, which is impossible it should, for then 
it must cease to be a soul. It is not therefore a jjhysical death that the 
Arminians' objections tend to. Say they, a man is not wholly dead. Why? 
Because he understandeth and he willeth. It is true it is not a physical 

EpH. II. 1-10.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 11 

death, but it is a moral death, — that is, in respect of the holy actings and 
well-being of the soul. That, look as the soul, while it is in the body, is 
the well-being of the body, the body hath all its excellencies from the soul; 
BO there is answerably in the soul of man, according to the original constitu- 
tion of that first making, a soul of that soul, and a life springing from it ; 
there was the Spirit of God; and therefore they are said in the 19th verse 
of the Epistle of Jude to be without the Spirit. There was the image of 
God, there was the life of God; it is the very expression the Apostle 
useth, Eph, iv. 18. It is the summary of spiritual life. It is called the 
life of God. Now what is it makes God live a happy life? He liveth in 
himself. Such was the life of the soul; it was to live in that God that 
livelh in himself, to live that life that he liveth. It is therefore called the 
life of God, because it lay in the union of the soul with God, which was 
wrought by the Holy Ghost. And also as, you know, in the body there are 
spirits that unite ; so there is an image of God, holiness and righteousness, 
by which God in innocency was united to the spirit of a man, without 
which in the state of grace he would not be united to a man, nor would 
dwell in him; that as the kingdom of God is said to consist in righteousness 
and peace, so this life of God consisteth in joy, in righteousness, in peace, 
and in happiness, as in God himself And all the actions that a man per- 
formeth, having this principle of life, tend to communion with God and 
enjoyment of him, and therefore are actions of life. Now then, this death 
is the separation of the soul from God, and the extinction of this image of 
God in a man, and cutting off all sorts of influence from God to him, either 
of comfort or of holiness, further than by the creatures. God may comfort 
him by the creatures, but he doth no way comfort him by himself. And 
therefore, if you mark it, the Apostle, to shew the kind of this death, what 
it is, saith it is a death in sin. And what is sin? The death of the soul, 
because it cuts a man off from that principle of life; that as natural death 
is the separation of the soul and body, and the extinction of the vital spirits, 
8o, saith the prophet Isaiah, chap. lix. 2, ' Your sins have separated between 
God and you;' and hence they come to be ' strangers from the life of God,' 
as it is, Eph. iv. 18. 

Now, God is not driven, nor was not driven out of man's soul by sin in a 
natural way, as the soul is out of our bodies. When the body hath a wound, 
and is struck to the heart, the soul goes out, like as the spider doth when 
the cobweb is broke; neither doth the soul go voluntarily out at any time, 
but in a natural way, when bodily spirits faU : but God goes out by virtue 
of his own law. ' The strength of sin is the law,' as the Apostle saith, 
1 Cor. XV. 56. And therefore, when man stood upon the legal covenant 
only, as soon as ever he broke the least of God's laws, by God's law he died, 
and God was gone; but the strength of grace is the gospel, so that now, 
though we sin, being in the state of grace, yet God goes not away ; his Spirit 
may be grieved, but departeth not. The Apostle, explaining this death, 
saith we are * dead in sir.s.' When he had spoken of our pattern, Christ, 
chap, i 19, 20, and the power that wrought in raising him up, he saith, it 
was a raising up liis body from corporal death ; but yours was not so, saith 
he, your death was spiritual, it was a death in sin. Only this you may 
observe by the way, that even the bodily actions and sufferings of our Lord 
and Saviour Christ prevail to spiritual effects; the very raising of his body, 
there was a virtue in it to raise souls out of a death in sin. It is strange 
that a bodily action or passion, or whatever else, should have a spiritual 
virtue in it, there being such an infinite disproportion between that which 


is bodily and tliat which is spiritual. What is the reason? Because this 
man, Christ Jesus, was a spiritual man, and though he took flesh and blood 
and a body to save us, yet that spiritual body of his in heaven was ordained 
to him ; the second Adam, saith the Apostle, was made ' a quickening 
spirit.' And therefore this body that was thus spiritual, of so transcending 
a glory, as it must needs be by the Second Person dwelling in it, advancing 
it above the rank of all reasonable creatures, as a man's soul would the body 
of a beast if it were put into it : hence all his actions have a spiritual vhtue 
in them; the raising his body up will raise you up from the death of sin. 
But that by the way. 

Now to explain more particularly this death. It is, you see, a death in 
sin. Sin hath two evils in it : there is the guilt of sin, and there is the 
power of sin ; and in both these respects a man in his natural estate is dead 
in sin. 

1. He is dead in respect of the guilt of every sin he committeth; as a 
condemned man that is guilty of murder, or the like, we say he is a dead 
man. You shall find in Heb. ix. 14, — it is a pertinent place to this purpose, 
— that the blood of Christ is said to ' purge our consciences from dead works.' 
Every sin is a dead ivorh, and here it is spoken evidently in respect of sin, 
because he sj^eaks of purging the conscience; now the conscience is that 
which is the subject of all the guilt of sin. And therefore now in Hos. xiii. 1 
you have an excellent place for it: 'When Ephraim oflTended in Baal, he 
died,' saith he, — that is, from that time came upon him a sentence of death 
and condemnation; the state stood still, lived a long time after, but it re- 
ceived the fatal sentence for the bin it then committed. 

2. A man is dead in sin in respect of the power of sin. There is a two- 
fold death, in respect of the power of sin, in every man by nature. My 
brethren, I must enlarge upon this, because it is that whereby the Apostle 
doth illustrate the grace of Christ in quickening us, in freeing us from all 
these sorts of death, for he intendeth them all. There is, first, a privative death; 
and, secondly, there is a positive death, or rather a positive life, that followeth 
upon that privative death. 

There is, first, a pnvative death. Every sin, as it is a dead work to a man's 
conscience, binding it over unto guilt, so it works a death in him in respect 
of the power of sin, disenabling him to good and making him more active 
and lively to sin, which is his death : for the more lively he is made to sin, 
the more dead he still groweth. Why ? Because he is lively to that which 
is indeed his death. For that I shall give you another place ; it is in Heb. 
vi 1. I choose these places the rather, because they open and are parallel 
one to another. As he had said before, the blood of Christ ' purgeth our 
consciences from dead works,' calling every sin so in respect of the guilt of it, 
so here he calleth them dead works in respect of the power of sin ; ' repent- 
ance from dead works.' 

Now, ray brethren, as there is this double death, — the one of the guilt, and 
the other of the power of sin, — so there is a double life we are restored unto 
by Christ. There is, first, a life of justification from the death of guilt, 
which is called a ' passuig from death to life ; ' which is a greater change 
upon a man, (not a change in a man,) in respect of his estate, than for a man 
condemned to die to receive a pardon, that you may say now he is a living 
man, whereas before he was a dead man. And, secondly, there is a life of 
sanctif cation, a spiritual life. Now, first, you have a justification of life, 
opposed to a condemnation, and to a death, as you shall find it in Eom. v., 

Eril. 11. 1-10.] TO THE EPHES1AN3. 13 

comparing ver. 12 witli ver. 18. In the IStli verse, saith he, 'As by the 
offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by 
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men to justification of 
life.' ilark it, here justification is called a man's life ; and compare now 
but the verses before : ver. 12, 'By one man sin entered, and death by sin, 
and so death passed' — as a sentence, namely, before men died — 'upon all men.' 
And that which in this 12th verse he calleth death, m. the 18th he call- 
eth judgment; 'judgment came upon all men to condemnation.' There is 
a death therefore of condemnation, and there is a justification of life. Then, 
secondly, there is a life of sanctification also, opposed to the power of sin and 
the death that the power of sin bringeth ; for that I shall not need to insist 
upon. ' You hath he quickened,' saith my text afterwards ; and what is that 
quickening but giving you faith, creating a new workmanship, as we shall 
find when we come to open those words that follow ? 

Now the question will be. Whether that the Apostle, when he saith we 
are ' dead in sins and trespasses,' doth in this phrase include both, or which 
more chiefly ? 

I answer, he certainly includeth both ; for, in the first place, when he had 
said in the first verse, ' dead in sins and trespasses,' he doth in the close of 
this description say, we are all ' by nature children of wrath,' — that is, 
obnoxious unto wrath, unto condemnation for every sin, and that is all one 
and to be dead men in sin. It appears likewise by that parallel place, CoL 
ii. 13, which epistle and this of the Ephesians, as I said, are as the Evan- 
gelists, the one explaining the other. You shall find there, that their being 
dead in sin is spoken in respect of guilt clearly ; yea, and their being quickened 
with Christ is spoken in respect of their justification by Christ. Kead but 
the words. ' And you, being dead in your sins,' — there is the guilt of sin, — 
' and the uncircumcision of your flesh,' — there is the corruption of nature and 
the power of sin, — ' hath he quickened together with him.' Wherein lay 
that quickening ? ' Having forgiven you all trespasses.' Therefore, forgive- 
ness of sins and justification, being a taking off of the sentence, and acquit- 
ting a man from death, and pronouncing a man free from it, is part of that 
quickening. Hence it is, that as in sanctification we receive the virtue of 
Christ's resurrection, so we are said to be justified by virtue of his resur- 
rection. ' He rose again for our justification ; ' by his quickening we are 
quickened. You shall find in Eom. vii., when a man is humbled for sin, he 
dies. ' Sin revived,' saith he, ' and I died,' — that is, I apprehended myself to 
be a dead man, dead in sins and trespasses. Then cometh Jesus Christ and 
works faith in the man, and so raiseth him up to a justification of life, and 
now the man Uveth again. But how doth he live 1 He liveth by faith. 
' The life which I live, it is by faith,' saith he, laying hold of the free grace 
of God, and justification by my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The 
Apostle here intends both, for his scope is to illustrate to the uttermost 
the grace of God towards us in quickening us ; and as in quickening us by 
Christ, he intendeth freeing us from all sorts of death, so in saying we are 
' dead in sins and trespasses,' he includeth all sorts of death also. 

But if you ask which is principally intended here ; I answer, principally, 
and in a special manner, is intended the death in respect of the 'power of sin. 
And my reason is this, because this verse refers to the 19th of the first 
chapter. According to the mighty power which works in us, according to 
the power which wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead : 
* And you, being dead,' saith he, * hath he quickened.' So here in this first 


verse, and in ver. 5. Therefore, in Col. ii., thougli it be applied to forgive- 
ness, yet there is the power of sin mentioned too. ' You were dead,' saith 
he, 'in the uncircumcision of the flesh ;' — that is, in their original corruption, 
in the powder of sin, as well as in the guilt of it. Therefore, afterwards in 
this chapter he magnifies the grace of God, in respect of making a new 
workmanship in him, ' created in Christ to good works,' a new principle of 
life. So that, I say, the Apostle's chief scope is, to hold forth a death in 
respect of the power of sin. And so I have opened to you what is meant 
by life and death. 

There is a third death, which is the consequent of both these, which is 
certainly meant too, and is the consummation of both these : and that is 
death eternal; even eternal death is but a being dead in sin. What is the 
great executioner of men in hell 1 The truth is, it is purely the guilt of a 
man's own sin, and the wrath of God joining with it, that which he lived in 
here. I will give you a plain similitude for it. A fish liveth naturally in 
the water ; take that water, and heat it, and put the fish into it, the fish dies, 
even in the very same water it lived in. The Apostle speaks in a manner 
the same, Eom. vii. : The law came ; and sin revived, and I died. So that 
in hell itself, God shall need no other executioner but only thine own sins, 
set on fire by his wrath, to boU thy soul. Men shall but then die in their sins, 
and their sins will be the instrument. They are like gunpowder, as I may 
express it, which the sparks of God's wrath falling into blows up. There- 
fore why doth the Apostle say, 1 Cor. xv. 56, 'The sting of death is sin?' 
He speaks in relation to hell after death. But because sin is that eternal 
sting, you know it is said the ' worm that dies not.' Observe the analogy : 
when a man is dead, his body breedeth worms ; so the sins that are in a 
man's conscience, they are as so many worms that prey upon that dead soul 
for ever in hell. Here in this life, men sit but in the shadow of death, 
where men have a little light in this shadow, to play by, or work by, or sing 
by ; here they have the creatures, and God puts comforts in the creatures 
to draw out men's lusts; but in hell, when God shall take away all comforts, 
take away all creatures, there shall be ' utter darkness,' the ' blackness of 
darkness,' which is the expression for death, as light is for life. 

Now I will make but an observation or two, though this discourse hath 
had observations strewed amongst it all the way. 

Ohs. 1. — Look, first of all, therefore, upon evei-y sin as death. ' He that 
hateth me,' saith Wisdom, Pro v. viiL 36, and will follow other ways, 'loveth 
death.' If a man apprehends he is doing that which he knows will be his 
death, it is the greatest argument in the world to shun it ; all in nature 
riseth up in him. What! will you have me catch my death? Will you 
bring me to my grave 1 Let us all think so of sin. But you will say, A man 
that is regenerated, he sins not unto death. It is true that is not the issue 
of it ; what is the reason 1 Because another's death went for it, and that is 
the death of Christ. And let that move thee more than the other shall give 
thee liberty to sin ; let a holy ingenuity move thee. It was his death that 
was the death of thy death. 

Ohs. 2. — Observe again, That sin only hills the soul. The devil himself 
could not kill the soul, nothing but sin could do it. All the devils in hell 
could not have taken that spiritual life from us in Adam, had not he him- 
self laid it down. He might, in respect of spiritual life, say, as Christ did. 
No man takes my life from me, but I lay it down. There is no death 
but in sin, and man sinneth not but of himself. It is true, when men sin. 

EpH. II. 1-10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 15 

the devil tempts them; but there is no death unless men sin. Nay, my 
brethren, the -wrath of God alone could not kill the soul, if it were not for 
sin. The wrath of God seized upon Christ, he having sin laid upon him, 
but his soul died not, * Dead in sins,' saith the Apostle. Nothing indeed 
properly kills the soul but sin, because nothing doth utterly cut off the soul 
from God but sin. And, as I said before, in hell it is sin that is the pitch 
in the barrel that makes it burn, it is sin in the conscience that makes the 
fire; God's wrath comes upon it, but it is that which burns. Therefore they 
are called 'vessels of wrath,' because vessels of sin. 



And you hath he quickened, who were dead in sins and trespasses; wherein 
in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, &c. — Vee. 1, 
2, &c. 

The coherence of these words I did largely give the last day. For the general 
scope, they are the application of the common misery of mankind unto these 
Ephesians, and unto the Jews also, ver. 3. And it is a description of it under 
all sorts of considerations : both of sin — they were ' dead in sins and trespasses ;' 
and, secondly, of punishment — they were ' by nature children of wrath.' 
Or else, to take a more particular division, here is — 

I. The internal state, condition, and constitution of every man by nature : 
he is in a state of death, and he is ' dead in sins and trespasses.' 

II, Here is his misery, in respect of his outward convei-sation and his con- 
stant course : ' walking,' ver. 2 ; ' having his conversation,' ver, 3. And this 
outward conversation of theirs, and the sinfulness and misery thereof, is set 
forth to us by three caiises of it. 

I opened the last day the first, the inward state expressed here by death ; 
and it is a death, you see, in sin. It is not a physical death of the soul, for 
the soul is immortal, and all things immediately made by God never die; 
that is a certain truth : and therefore the soul and the faculties of it remain 
stQl, as we all see by experience. It is therefore a moral death ; namely, 
in sin, as here the Apostle distinguisheth it, in respect, not of the being, but 
of the well-being. The life of the soul is in God, and it is sin only that 
separateth between God and us : and as death is the separation of soul 
and body, so sin, being the separation of God and the soul, hence it is 
called a death, a death in sin, or by sin. For God, he is ' the fountain of 
life ; ' you have that expression, Ps. xxxvi. 9. And of his Son Jesus Christ 
it is said, 1 John v. 12, ' He that hath the Son, hath life ; and he that hath 
not the Son, hath not life.' You must know this, that the soul of man lives 
not in itself, it was made to live in another, and it was made to live in God; 
and the truth is, when God shall take not only himself away, but all things 
else, the soul dies, as the fire does when the fuel is taken away; therefore 
men die in hell. Now then, this death is but cutting ofi" God from a man, 
and all influence from God. And look, how many ways that God had or 
hath an influence into men's souls by a spiritual way, so many lives a man 
had whilst he had the image of God in him, and so many deaths he hath by 
sin, and in sin. Now there is a threefold life from God, that I mentioned 
not last day, though the heads of the death I mentioned then. 

There is, first, the favour of God, the good-will of God towards a man, 
that God doth bear good-will to one, and accepteth him ; and therein lies his 
life : Ps. XXX. 5, ' In thy favour is life ; ' the word is, * in thy good-will,' or 
' in thy acceptation is life.' And therefore now to be out of favour with God 
is to be a dead man. So great a God is God, so great a sovereign, as his 
favour or disfavour kills or makes alive. 

EpH. II. 1, 2, tkc.J TO TUK EPHESIANS, 17 

Then, secondly, to have comfort and joy in God, therein life lieth likewise, 
spiritual life : Ps. Ixiii , ' That I may see tliy glory,' vcr. 2. So it follows, 
*Thy loving-kindness is better than life,' ver. 3. The seeing and enjoying of 
the glory of God and his loving-kindness is called life, yea, better than Life : 
Ps. xxiL 26, ' Your heart shall live for ever.' And compare it with Ps. Ixix. 
32, ' Your heart shall live ;' the words before interpret it, ' shall be glad.' 

Then, thirdly, there is a life of grace and holiness, the image of God, 
■which is communicated from God, by which we are enabled to enjoy him, 
and for want of which carnal men cannot enjoy him. Eph. iv. 18, ' They 
are strangers from the life of God.' It is clear that the special meaning of 
the * life of God ' there is the life of holiness, the image of God ; for he 
speaks of corruption, the contrary to it, in the verses before ; and in the 
same verse he saith that they are strangers from the life of God, through 
ignorance, and the hardness of their hearts, being given up to all uncleanness. 
And in the 24th verse, he saith that the image of God is created in right- 
eousness. So that indeed the image of God is there especially the life of 
God, in ver. 18. 

Now then, as there is a threefold life from God, which is the fountain of 
life, so answerably there is a threefold death by sin. 

There is, first, a death of guilt. Every sin casteth a man out of the 
favour of God, and that is death, bindeth a man over to the wrath of God. 
If that the wrath of a king be as messengers of death, as it is, Pro v. xvi. 14, 
— that is, it is as good as a warrant sealed up for a man condemned, for hia 
execution, — then much more the wrath of God. ' Thou art but a dead man,' 
saith God to Abimelech, Gen. xx. 3 ; that is, thou art guilty of death, by 
reason of this fact of thine. 

Then, in the second place, there is a death in respect of the power of sin, 
and that answereth to that life of holiness we have from God, the image of 
God. In Col. ii. 12, he saith they were ' dead in the uncircumcision of their 
flesh ;' that is, in respect of the power of sin, corruption of nature derived 
by birth, and increased by actual sin : for both are meant, putting the sign 
for the thing signified. For the changing of the heart and mortifying cor- 
ruption is called circumcising the heart ; and, on the contrary, the corrup- 
tion itself is called the ' uncircumcision of the flesh.' The one you have 
in Deut. x. 16, the other in that CoL ii 12. 

Thirdly, there is a death in respect of joy and comfort. Now though 
wicked men live in respect of comfort from God — that is, from the creature 
- — whilst they are here in this world, yet they are dead in respect of receiving 
any comfort in God. ' Not only so,' saith the Apostle, ' but we joy in God,' 
E,om. v. 11, or pursue after that joy; either the one or the other every 
Christian doth, as after his life. But now every carnal man is cut off from 
God, both from the comfort that is in God himself, or the pursuit after it. 
And though they have comfort in the creatures, and therefore do as it were 
sit but in the shadow of death, as the phrase is, Luke i. 79 ; yet when hell 
Cometh, then all comforts, all creatures, all their ' good things,' as it is said, 
Luke xvi. 25, their pomp departs from them, and then men die, and that sin 
in the comfort of which they live will be their greatest executioner, as I 
shewed the last day. 

Now then, if the question be. Which of these deaths are meant when he 
saith of these Ephesians, they were ' dead in sins and trespasses 1 ' I answer, 
the first and second ; that is, a death in respect of guilt, being under the 
disfavour of God, and in respect of the power of sin ; but not the third death, 
or as the Scripture calleth it, in reference to our natural dying, the second 



death. He dotli not mean they were dead in that respect, for they could not 
be dead in tliat respect, because they Avere not yet in hell, had not execution 
done upon them ; only by way of inchoation, by way of beginning, they were 
dead in that respect, they were under the beginnings of it, they were under 
the fear of death all their life long ; and they were cut off from receiving 
comfort in God, and so in that respect they were privatively dead, though the 
fulness of the execution of it was not come. Now then, the text speaks here 
especially of those two first deaths, and more especially of the second. And 
that is clear, as I shewed in the former discourse, because this death refers to 
that quickening power which raised them up in their conversion, the same 
that raised up Jesus Christ, as appears by the coherence both in the 5th 
verse following, and in the 19th verse of the former chapter. 

Now when it is said, they were ' dead in sins and trespasses,' there is 
this question moved by interpreters : What distinction there is between sins 
and trespasses 1 Or whether actual sins only, or corruption of nature be also 
meant 1 

Zanchy upon the place saith, actual sins are only meant. And his reasons 
are these : First, because, saith he, the word 'zapacrru),ix,a(Si, which is trans- 
lated ' trespasses,' doth signify actual sins ; manu aberrai^e, to err with one's 
hand in working, or the like. Secondly, because in the second verse it is 
said, ' in which ye walked.' Now you do not walk in original sin, but in 
actual sin, saith he. And his third reason is, because it is said, ' sins and 
trespasses' in the plural, whereas original sin is one great sin. 

But to me it seems — I shall give but my judgment in it — that both are 
meant, and my reasons are these (I shall answer his by and by) : — 

First, From the coherence ; for the death here must needs answer to the 
quickening. Now the quickening is the infusion of a new habit, a new spirit 
of life ; therefore the death of sin must needs be in respect of corruption, 
and the power of sin in a man. Sin is opposite to that new life, as a 
death, which not only was traduced from Adam, but is increased by every 
actual sin ; every actual sin makes a man anew a dead man, in respect of the 
power of it; I mean one that is in an unregenerate condition, for I speak of 
such a man. 

Secondly, That original sin is meant and intended appears by that in Col. 
ii. 13, Avhich epistle interj^rets this, where he saith they were 'dead in the 
uncircumcision of the flesh.' 

And then, thirdly, as in ver. 3 he saith they were ' children of wrath by 
nature ;' so when he saith in this first verse they were ' dead in sins and 
trespasses,' his meaning is, in respect of their natures also. 

And then again, if that actual sins were only meant, I do not see how 
the power of sin here at all should be intended, which yet it is evident is 
principally intended, because it is opposed to a spiritual life infused into 
the soul. 

Now to answer his reasons. He saith, * in which ye walked,' therefore 
actual sins are intended. It is true they are, but not onlj' : that makes that 
actual sins are intended, but other things make that original sin or corrup- 
tion of nature is intended. 

Secondly, Whereas he saith that the word translated trespasses signifies 
actual sins only, yet let me add this. In Piom. v. 17, there speaking of 
Adam's sin, he calls it tQj rra.oa'KTCi'.j.arij that sin which we are all guilty of, 
original sin. No author useth this word rruiuT-u'j.a for sin, but only the 
Scripture ; and, as I take it, the first time the Scripture useth it, is applying 
it unto Adam's sin. It signifies a fall properly, as some would have it, or an 

EpH. II. 1, 2, iLc] TO THE EPHESIANS. 19 

aberration with the hand, for the derivation may be from both. Hence you 
call it Adam's full. 

And then, whereas he saith it is sins in the plural, therefore not original 
sin, I answer, that original sin is sins in the plural ; for original sin and the 
corruption of nature hath all sins in it ; it is the guilt of Adam's sin, and it 
is the guilt of a body of sin ; so it is called, Rom. vii. And if the first word, 
translated trespasses, should be only meant of actual sins, yet notwithstand- 
ing, the word translated sins is general, and will include both. — So much for 
the clearing of that. 

Obs. 1. — I gave an observation or two the last day. One was this : That 
the soul could die by nothing but by sin. I will not enlarge upon that. 
Satan himself could not kill it ; only it was in man's will to sin against God, 
and so to kill himself It was and is self-murder in every man, which of all 
sins else is accounted the greatest, next to the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
as certainly it is the greatest sin that can be committed : yet every man 
knieth himself spiritually whenever he sinneth. 

Obs. 2. — And then, again, the second thing I observed was this : That in 
every sin, in a man's natural estate, there is a killing virtue. He doth not 
say, ' dead in sin,' but he saith, ' dead in sins and trespasses,' of all sorts. 
And the truth is, the word translated trespasses is in its signification often- 
times lighter sins, sins of ignorance, of infirmity. * If a man fall by occasion 
into a fault,' saith the Apostle, it is the same word, in Gal. vi. 1, from ■s-aaa 
and TT/'-TCt), manu aberrare, when a man doth a thing unawares, doth it with 
his hand, and his hand slippeth. So that it is not only Adam's sin that kills 
us, — that is the observation I make, — but it is every sin that a man com- 
mitteth ; I mean, that is a natural man. That a man's sin who is in the 
state of grace is not unto death, is by reason of the death of Christ, and the 
Holy Ghost in him, though in itself it tendeth unto death. But every sin, 
the least a man committeth, makes a man a dead man in all those respects 
mentioned ; it binds him over unto death, casteth him out of the favour of 
God yet more ; and not only so, but it adds a new power, it makes him tha 
child of death more than he was before. And so I shall solve that question 
which necessarily falleth into the words, — for I shall still profess to handle 
but what is necessary to open them, — Whether there be degrees of this 
spiritual death, yea or no ? I answer. Yes, there are, as there are degrees of 
life. Saith Christ, John x. 10, 'I came that they might have life, and have 
. it more abundantly.' So, though a man is born dead, yet he is capable of 
being dead more abundantly, and that in respect of the power of sin, and 
that of death in it. 

But you will say unto me, for the privative part, death is the privation of 
life, and one man cannot be said to be dead more than another. 

I answer, it is true here, in respect of life that he hath been deprived of, 
one man is as dead as another ; but in respect of raising again unto life, in 
order unto that, one man may in that respect be more dead than another, — 
even the privative part of original corruption, — that is, further off from being 
raised again, that there must be a greater power to restore that man than 
another. As for instance, a man may be killed with one wound that strikes 
him to the heart, or otherwise, and that takes away his life, as much as ten 
thousand wounds ; but if you should give him so many wounds after he was 
dead, if this man were to be raised again, here was so much the more power; 
he had in this respect so many deaths, which the power of God must salve, 
and cure, and supply, and overcome, and heal all these wounds, the least 
whereof were mortal. And so likewise, as it is in the body, one man is not 


more dead than another, yet in order to raising again such a one as Lazams, 
that had been dead four days and did stink in the grave, it is, and so Martha 
thought, harder to raise such a one. So it is of men that continue in sin. 
And therefore now our thankfulness should be the greater, by how much the 
more we continued longer in sin, or had our souls more wounded. 

Then again, as there are degrees of this death in respect of privation, so 
likewise in the positive part ; for there is a positive part of this death. You 
know it is called a ' body of death,' Rom. vii. 24. A dead carcass hath no 
similitude to express this positive part of this original sin, as it is a death : 
my reason is this, because there is no active living principle still remaining 
in a dead carcass, but there is an active li\'ing principle still remaining in the 
soul ; that lives a natural life still, only, being deprived of the life of God, it 
positively works into all ways of death and sin. Now then, there may be 
degrees of this death, one man may still increase the power of sin, and he 
doth so by every actual sin he commits, a proneness to dead works ; so you 
know actual sins are called, as I opened it before. — And so much for the 
second observation. 

Obs. 3. — A third observation I give, and I shall but touch it, is this : 
There is a great deal of difference between a regenerate man and an unregene- 
rate, and that in respect of this expression, ' dead in sins and trespasses.' 
' Even when ye were dead,' saith he, ver. 5. And ye being ' dead in sins and 
trespasses,' when sometime ' ye walked in them,' saith my text. So that 
now to be dead in sins and trespasses is proper to an unregenerate man. 
But now take a regenerate man, and you cannot say he is dead in sins and 
trespasses ; this you may say indeed, that he hath a body of death in him, — 

* Who shall deliver me from this body of death 1 ' — but the man is quickened, 
he hath life in him, he hath a state of life, he is passed from death to life. 
He hath indeed a body of death, as the living, you know, were joined to the 
dead, or as if a man should have a body that is half-dead. But it is clear 
by the context here that it is proper to the state of unregeneracy to be dead 
in sins and trespasses. Therefore you shall find the expressions that the 
Scripture useth of regenerate men to be otherwise. As he saith he hath 
a ' body of death,' so he calleth it a sleep, not a being dead, Eph. v. 14, 

* Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.' For my part, I have 
long since thought that scripture meant and spoken to regenerate men; and 
my reason is this, because before and after he speaks to the Ephesians, as 
children of light, not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of 
darkness, but to reprove them rather, ver. 11. And in the 15th verse, the 
verse after the 14th, ' See ye walk circumspectly.' And between these two 
he interposeth, ' Awake thou that sleepest,' &c. That is. Thou that art a 
child of light, and art a regenerate man, if there be any such amongst you, 
and that are fallen amongst the dead, and that converse with carnal people 
in their carnal way ; he not among graves, saith he, but rise, and Christ shall 
give you life. I quote it for this, that they are said to be asleep ; as there 
in the Canticles, ' I sleep, but my heart waketh.' She waked, but yet so as 
she might be said to be asleep ; as the five virgins slept, but dead they were 
not. And in a regenerate man things may be ready to die, as in Rev. iii. 2, 
' Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die ; ' but still they 
never come to be ' dead in sins and trespasses,' but if they be once alive in 
Christ, as death hath no more dominion over them, no more hath this death 
dominion over them. — And so I have done wholly with this first verse. 

i now come to the second verse. There is one thing I forgot to mention, 
that is this. There is a very great controversy upon that first ■'erse ; 

EpH. II. 1, 2, (kc] TO THE EPHESIANS. 21 

Whether, yea or no, every unregcnerate man be a dead man, in respect of all 
ability to do good? Whether there be no principle of life in him, yea or 
no 1 Whether he be not as a man asleep or wounded 1 It is a controversy 
both with the Papists and with the Remonstrants. But because I have 
slipped it, I will refer it to the 5th verse, where I shall meet with it ; and 
therefore I will now go on to the second verse : — 

Dead in sins and trespasses; wherein in time past ye walked according to 
the course of this world. 

Now in this second verse here is — 
I. A continued course of life ; expressed by 'walking.' 
II. The path in which they walked ; ' in sins and trespasses.' 

III. The guides which they were guided hy in walking : — 

1. The world, the 'course' of it. 

2. The devil, the 'prince of the power of the air.' 

3. The flesh, which in Rom. viii. is called ' walldng after the flesh.' 
First, Their continued course, exjiressed hy ' walking.^ It is strange that 

dead men should walk ; we call it, if a dead man appear, walking ; it would 
ati'right us all to see a dead man walking ; yet, you see, dead men here are 
said to walk. Walking, therefore, first of all, importeth life : though it be a 
death in sin, yet it is a life in sin too. Col. iii. 7, ' In which ye also walked 
some time, when ye lived in them.' And so, in 1 Tim. v. 6, ' She is dead, 
whilst she liveth.' That I may open this unto you, you must know that sin 
is in itself but a mere privation of spiritual life, yet it is a privation in a 
positive being that liveth. The soul is alive as it is a soul, all the activity 
of it remaineth still, no naturals are taken away ; it is dead only in respect 
of God and spiritual good. It is not in this as it is in the death of the 
body, that there is no life remaining ; yes, here is a life remaining, but it is 
not life spiritual. It is as if you should suppose the reasonable soul only 
left a man, and that the fancy of man, the sensitive soul, remains still such 
as in beasts, or higher, for it is higher raised in a man, which hath all the 
powers of reason in it still. So it is here. Now then, walking in sin fol- 
lows upon being alive ; for this soul having all its inclinations, all its desires 
still, only it is cut off from the life of God and communion with him, must 
live ; in itself it cannot live, God hath so ordered the soul of man that it 
should not live in itself, it must live in something else ; it is like the 
stomach, if it hath not meat it dies ; or as fire, if it hath not fuel it dies ; in 
respect of the well-being of it. Now this soul that liveth a natural life, being 
cut off* from the life of God, estranged from it, its activity must work some- 
where ; therefore now it falls upon the pleasures of sin, and all its comfort 
lies in sin. Therefore, Ep-h. iv. 18, 19, we read that the soul being estranged 
from God through the ignorance that is in them, they have given themselves 
over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. The soul 
must have comfort, therefore having it not in God, it wiU run out some other 

And hence now, tbey are not only said to be dead in sin, but to be alive 
in sin too, which is a strange contradiction, but it is not in the same respect. 
They are dead in sin in respect of God, being cut off from life in him ; but 
they are alive in sin too. Why? Because all the comfort of their lives lies 
in what comes in by sin, and by inordinate affections, even as it is distin- 
guished by our Saviour Christ, John ix. 40. When he told the Pharisees 
they were blind, say they, 'Are we blind?' Blind they were, utterly blind, 
there was a sight in respect of which they were utterly blind; for the natural 
man perceiveth not the things of God j yet saith Christ, ' If you did not see. 


you. had no sin.' So you may say here, they are dead in respect of God, but ir 
they were not alive, they would have no sin. And therefore as they are 
dead in sin, so they are alive in sin too ; yea, and it is their hfe ; and the 
more life, the more activity any one's soul hath, the more sinful he is. In 
that Col. iii. 7, the place I quoted even now, saith he, ' in which ye walked, 
whilst you lived in them.' They are dead in sin, as here, and they are there 
said to be alive in sin too. And you see likewise that their having life, 
and having all the comfort of their Kves lying in sinning, and all their acti- 
vity running out that way, it is the cause of their walking in sin ; ' in which 
ye walked,' saith he, * whilst ye lived in them.' The Apostle indeed speaks 
philosophically; as we say, there is the operation, and power from which it 
flows ; there is actus primus, and actus secundus. So here, the reason, saith 
he, why ye walk in sin is because you live in sin. The one is the cause, the 
other is the effect. 

As, on the contrary, why doth the godly man walk in the Spirit 1 Read 
Gal. V. 25, ' If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.' Hence, 
therefore, because whilst a wicked man is dead in one respect, he is yet alive 
in sin, (all his life, his comfort — for life is taken for comfort, as in Luke xiL 
15 — Heth in sinning,) he is said to walk in it. There is only this difference : 
they need no exhortations to walk in sin, but we need exhortations to walk 
in the Spirit, though we live in the Spirit. "Why? Because we are natu- 
rally dead in sin, and we have a body of death in us, and we have no more 
hfe nor actings of life than is infused into us. It importeth then, you see, 
a life ; for that the soul hath, notwithstanding it is thus dead ; yea, and a 
life in sin, though it is dead in sin, because it is cut off from the life of God. 
And, indeed, their being dead in sin is the cause of their living in sin ; and 
their hving in sin, or having a life of sin, is the cause of their walking in sin. 
Therefore the Apostle fitly joins these together, being dead in sins and tres- 
passes, in which you ivalked. 

I will only add this, that their living in sin is only in this life, this walk- 
ing in sin is only while they are in via, while they are viatores, while they aro 
in their way ; therefore, it is said, they shall perish in their waj^, or from 
their way, Ps. ii. I do not say they do not sin hereafter ; but in hell, though 
men sin, — that is, though their actions are contrary to the law, — yet it is not 
their life ; and the reason is this, because then they are stripped from aU 
objects whatsoever; therefore the soul dies, for it cannot live in itself And 
though men set up themselves here, yet in hell they are lost in themselves : 
therefore they are said to be lost creatures ; not only dead creatures, in 
respect of hving in any thing else, but they are lost to their own ends, 
there is no way to accomplish any end in hell ; therefore the creature is lost, 
it is undone, the creature dies there. Only whilst it liveth here in this world 
it may live in sin and walk in sin ; hereafter it shall not. 

Now then this word, ' in which ye walked,' sets out their miserable con- 
dition. We may consider it in a twofold notion. First, as it sets out their 
miserable estate in respect of sin, how sinful it was, for that is one scope 
of it ; the Apostle would let them see how sinful their hves had been. And 
this phrase of walking doth exceedingly express the sinfulness of a man's 
condition in his conversation. Secondly, it may be considered as it is aii in- 
fallible character and sign of an unregtnerate estate. And both are intended ; 
for his scope is to humble these Ephesians under the sight of their sinful- 
ness ; and to do it, he doth express their lives to be a walking in sin. And 
the other is as clearly expressed and held forth; 'in which ye walked some- 

EpH. II. 1, 2, (fec.J TO THE EPHESIAN8. 23 

time,' implying that now they did not ; and therefore it is a proper character 
of an unrcgcneiatc man for to walk in sin. 

For the^Vs^; as tliis phrase, ivalking in sin, is here put to express tho 
abundancy of sin that was in them, it implies, in the first place, that all 
their life and every act thereof was sinful; they could not act or walk out of 
sin ; there was not a step in their way but was sinful. And, my brethren, 
every thought is a step, every power, and faculty, and motion is a step ; 
a man walketh by every desire, by every thought, by every purpose, by 
every end and passion that stirreth in him. I may compare the ungodly 
soul of a sinner to those black worms that walk upon so many feet : so 
doth the soul walk ; every power and faculty of it is a foot, and there is not 
the least motion but it is a step. Now, did they walk in nothing but sin ] 
Could they not get out of it 1 What abundance of sin must then this rise 
up to, as the Apostle here representeth it 1 Every thought and every ima- 
gination in the heart was evil, continually evil ; for it was a walking. This 
is that which the Apostle here expresseth ; they were never out of sinning 
in some path or other, they were never out of that circuit, go whither they 

In the second place, walking implieth that as every action of theirs was 
a sin, every thought, and the like, so it implies that they luere never idle, 
they never stood still ; but this soul of theirs was continually doing some- 
thing, and all that was sin. Saith the first Psalm, ' Blessed is the man that 
walketh not in the way of the ungodly;' the Hebrew word that is there put 
for ungodly or sinner signifies restless. The word is opposed unto quietness, 
in Job xxxiv. 29. And therefore walking and restless are in Ps. i. joined 
together ; ' walk in the way of the restless,' that is, of the ungodly, that are 
continually restless, continually going up and down. In Isa. Ivii 20, the 
wicked are like the troubled sea, that cannot rest, whose waters cast up 
mire and dirt. So that now the meaning is this, they hurried up and down, 
for indeed it is not an ordinary walking, it is but a tumbling up and down. 
As Seneca said well of a man that had done no good in his life, that he had 
but tumbled up and down in the world, like a ship, saith he, that hath been 
tossed up and down in the sea, but never sailed ; so this walking is not a 
proper walking, it is but a restlessness, a continual activity. And in Eccles. 
vi. 9, you shall find there that the word walking is put for restlessness. 
' Better,' saith he, ' is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the spirit; ' 
the word in the original is, than the walking of the spirit ; his meaning ia 
this, than for a man to be always desiring, and his spirit continually wander- 
ing up and down for new desires and objects ; he speaks of the restlessness 
of a covetous man, that is continually looking down for more, walking up 
and down. And then again, ' in which ye walked ;' he saith not, in one sin 
only, but ' in sins and trespasses,' that is, in all sorts of sin. 

And, fourthly, walking with the greatest security, for so walking impHeth, 
as men that walk in the highway, or in their gardens, thinking nothing. He 
knoweth not, saith Solomon, Prov. vii. 23, speaking of the foolish man, that 
it is for his life. * Walking" implies a secure condition too, and such was 
yours, saith he. And, fifthly, delighting in nothing else, that the word im- 
plies too ; as men walk for recreation, as they walk up and down in their 
gardens to refresh themselves, so, saith he, do you. It is an observable 
thing that in Scripture men's continuing in sin is expressed by all sorts 
of postures. In Ps. i., you have three, ' walketh in the counsel of the un- 
godly, standeth in the way of sinners, and sitteth in the seat of the scornful.' 


And elsewhere it is called * wallowing in the mire,' and the ' world lying 
in wickedness/ the phrase there, lying, is put for lying down, as in Luke 
ii. 12. For variety of postures is that which causeth delight and ease in 
man, he could not be always in one posture ; and here walking is put for 
them aJl. And then again, sixthly, 'in which you walked' — that is, you 
walked in them as those that would not be put out of their way, you went 
on obstinately and perversely, for so an imregenerate man doth. In that first 
Psalm, as he is said to ' walk in the counsel of the ungodly,' so to * stand in 
the way of sinners ;' one would think that walking and standing are opposite, 
but the meaning is, he persisted in it; it implies only a firmness and steadi- 
ness, he would not be put out of it. And then again, walking implies a 
going from strength to strength. In Ps. Ixxxiv. 7, it is said that the 
godly go from strength to strength, till they appear before God in Zion ; so 
the wicked go from strength to strength, and increase in it. 

Then, eighthly, walking, they departed from God all the while. I remember 
once a man that was turned to God, when he had considered Ms miserable 
condition, this was the sum of all that was set upon his spirit : ' I have run 
from God,' saith he, ' all my days.' A man in sin still goes from God all his 
days, and there is still a further elongation; it is therefore called a departing 
from the living God, a turning the back upon him, and not the face. Lastly, 
it is called a walking, because at last they should have arrived at a miserable 
journeys end. The end, saith the Aj^ostle, is death. It is therefore called 
the Avay of death, Prov. iL 18, v. 5. 'Their steps,' saith he, 'take hold of 
death.' And therefore now they are fitly joined here, dead in sin, and walk- 
ing in sin; for the issue of all sin, the end of the journey, is death; they 
walk but as nien do through a green meadow to execution. — And so much 
now for that part of the phrase, walking in sin, as it expresseth their sinful- 
ness and their miserj^ 

Secondly, We are to consider it as it is a character of an unregenerate 
condition. It is proper to men whilst unregenerate to walk in sin; after- 
wards they walk in good works, as the expression is in the 10th verse of 
this chapter; they 'walk in the Spirit,' as elsewhere it is. That this is his 
scojje, to set forth the character of an unregenerate man in this expression, is 
clear too. You see he coupleth it w^'th being ' dead in sins and trespasses :' 
so that he that is dead in sin walketh in sin ; and he that walketh in sin is 
dead in sin. And it is evident, likewise, by the word of distinction, ' some- 
time ye Avalked,' — for this observation now explaineth, only the word some- 
time, — but not now that God hath turned you. The first Psalm was on pur- 
pose made to distinguish carnal men from godly men in DaAdd's time. The 
world then magnified others, and thought those that had riches and estates, 
<tc., blessed. ' Blessed is the man,' saith he, ' that walketh not in the counsel 
of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of siimers;' whose way shall perish, 
saith he in the latter end of that psalm ; but the way of the godly is known 
to the Lord. Now, a carnal man walketh in sin, not only because all his 
actions are nothing else, because he performs all wdth deUght, securely, 
and the like, but because there is usually some one way, some one tract in 
his life which may discover him an unregenerate man to himself, if he nar- 
rowly search his way. ' Search me,' saith David, Ps. cxxxix. 23, ' and know 
my heart, and see if there be any way of wickedness in me,' implying that 
there is in unregenerate men; and if he had had it, he had been an unre- 
generate man. And the reason is this : look, whatsoever principle of Life is 
within, the walking and way of a man wUl be such; for no man can hve 
without deli-ht, and delight is his life; if his life lie in sin, he will certainly 

EfH. II. 1, 2, (kc] TO THE EPHESIANS. 25 

walk in some sin or other. And though, he may be scared out of his way, 
and fall into the ways of God for a while, yet notwithstanding, as it is in 
Ps. cxxv. 5, there are crooked ways maintained, for which God leads them 
forth at last Avith the workers of iniquity. A godly man may fall into the 
ways of sinners, yet he walketh not in them. And a wicked man may strike 
into the ways of godly men for a while, as Judas did, yet walketh in the 
ways of sin. Like to the planets, as Jude compares them, though they go 
with the common motion of the heavens, yet they have a secret motion of 
their own, so it is with carnal professors. You may know it likewise by 
this : what a man sets up for his chiefest end, — and it is a certain thing that 
a carnal man's end is carnal, — that is his way ; so it is called in 2 Pet. ii. 1 5, 
' They follow the way of Balaam.' What was that ? He ' loved the wages 
of unrighteousness.' And so much now for the opening of that. Although 
every action of an unregenerate man is sinful, and it is a walking in sin ; 
yet, to discover him to be an unregenerate man to all the world at the latter 
day, and unto himself now, if he would search himself, God leaveth him to 
walk in some way. Therefore let every man examine the haunts of his 
heart, which for recreation's sake he walketh in, and the hke. — And so much 
for that phrase. 

Now I come to the guides; for all this is but still proper to the text. 
Here are three guides. Here is — 

1. The world ; 'according to the course of this world,' saith he. 
First, What is meant by world here 1 Some interpreters say the things 
of the world are here meant; as often in Scripture the world is taken for 
the things of the world, as 1 Cor. vii. 31, 'using the world, as not abusing 
it;' 1 John ii. 15, 'Love not the world, nor the things of it.' And so, they 
Bay, the meaning is this : men that are worldly, and seek after worldly things. 
That was your case and your condition whilst you were in unregeneracy. 
But certainly that is not the meaning of it ; because following the world — 
that is, worldly objects, and worldly pleasures, and the things of the world 
— is evidently included in the 3d verse, where he saith, 'fulfilling the lusts 
of the flesh ;' for to fulfil the lusts of the flesh and to walk after the world 
is all one ; for the objects of a man's lusts are the world, and some things in 
it or other. Therefore you shall find in that 1 John ii. 15, when he had 
said, ' Love not the world, nor the things of it,' he adds, ' All in the world is 
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.' He calleth 
the objects of the world the lusts, because that they are the objects of 
lusts; as the doctrine of faith is called faith, because it is the object of faith. 
Therefore here now ' woi-ld' is to be taken strictly for the men of the world; 
as when he saith, ' The whole world lieth in wickedness,' 1 John v, 19; and, 
'The world wiU love its own,' John xv. 19. It is usual in Scripture. And 
so now, my brethren, by the way, do but take notice of this : that there is a 
mistake, I have perceived it often in many men's speeches; they say they 
love not the world, and they are not for the world, and they are not worldly, 
because, say they, we love not riches, and the like. But ivorld is not only 
nor chiefly taken — when flesh and devil are joined with it, as here; and, as 
you know you use to say, there are three enemies, the world, the flesh, 
and the devil; by flesh are meant all the lusts that are set upon the things 
of the world, — now world is not taken in this division for the things of the 
world, but it is taken for the carnal men of the world. Therefore, if thou 
joinest with the carnal men of the world, thou art a man worldly in that 
sense ; thou art a man under the power of that enemy, therefore under the 
power both of flesh and devil too. Men understand not that vow they made 


in baptism, to renounce the world, tlie flesh, and the devil : the world is not 
only the things of the world, but it is the men of the world ; yea, it is strictly 
and properly so taken, and not for the other, in that yow, and so not here. 

Now then, by world here is meant all carnal men, live they where they 
■will, in the church, or wherever else; all the heap, the fry, and the cluster 
of them. These are the world, and these will all join together, as I shall 
shew by and by. And there doth arise a strength from the union of one 
with another in their ways and courses, and in their rage against godliness 
and the power of it. As in coals, though every coal hath fire in it, yet lay 
all these coals together and the fire is strengthened : so there is an intension 
from the union of all the parts, from the connexion of this world. So that 
now the collection of all carnal men in one and the same principles, practices, 
and ways, these are meant here by the world. 

Then, secondly, for that word, course of the world, I shall open that 
briefly. You must know this, that that word in the Greek which is here 
translated, ' the course of the world,' itself in the original signifies the 
world — 'according to the world of the world;' both these words, both a/w» 
and -/.CaiMog, signify the world in Scripture. God hath ' delivered us out of 
this evd world,' Gal. i. 4 ; it is the same word that is here translated course. 
' Be not conformed to the world,' Eom. xiL 2 ; it is the same word that is 
translated 'course of the world' here. Now when that word which is trans- 
lated ' course' is distinct from the word ' world,' it implies two things. First, 
itimphes an age, or a time in which men live, and the word ' world' implieth 
persons. And so then here is one meaning of the text. They lived accord- 
ing to the course of the world, — that is, according to the time, according to the 
age of the world that then was, or of men in the world that then were. 
Every age hath almost a new dress, though it is the same world, and stUl 
carnal men live according to it. But yet, secondly, it signifies that custom, 
that manner, that mould and trade of life, that the world, or generality of 
carnal men, — take the stream, the gang, as I may call it, of men in a cluster, 
— walk by and hold forth; the opinions and practices that are in the world. 
Thus, in Eom. xii. 2, ' Be not conformed to the world ;' it is the same word 
that is translated ' course' here ; it is the custom of the world, — and the 
Apostle speaks it in matter of worship, — the shape of the world. First, the 
word there, ' be not conformed,' is, ' be not cast into the figure of the world.' 
Therefore, in 1 Cor. vii. 31, it is said, 'The fashion' — the schema, it is the 
same word — 'of the world passeth away.' There is a fashion, a mould, that 
the world is cast into, and every age almost casts the world into a new 
mould, and men conform themselves to it, and are apt so to do. So that 
now clearly the meaning is but this : that these Ephesians, whilst unregene- 
rate, walked according to the custom of the world ; they did de facto as the 
most of the world did ; for their judgments, they were ruled by the same 
principles the world were ruled by; they judged as the world did, they cried 
up what the world magnified, walked in the same counsels, framed their 
lives to the same pattern, configured themselves to the fiishion of the world; 
and the stream, and course, and tide of it carried them, being dead men, as 
the stream useth to carry dead fish. This is plainly and clearly, in a word, 
the meaning of this here, 'they walked according to the course of this world.' 
Look what the world then was, such were they, and that in two respects, as 
interpreters well observe : — 

First, they were such for their morals; they walked in the same sins, the 
same vices, that the Gentiles walked in. Eph. iv. 17, 'Walk not as other 
Gentiles ;' so they had done. And therefore they are called by Peter, (2 

EpII. II. 1, 2, Ac] TO THK EPHESIANS. 27 

Peter ii. 20,) ' the defilements of tlae world / because the world defile them- 
selves and live in them. 

And then again, secondly, in respect of religion, which, Zanchy saith, is 
principally here meant and intended; that worship, that idolatry, which 
then they were zealous for, and were carried away with the stream. And 
how the world went with Epliesus in this respect you may read at large in 
Acts xix. 34, 3o. There you may see how the gang went. ' They all with 
one voice, for the space of two hours together, cried out. Great is Diana of 
the Ephesians.' And all the world knows, saith the town-clerk, that this city 
of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image 
which fell down from Jupiter. Now this is that the Apostle aims at, and 
Zanchy gives some three or four reasons for it : because afterwards, in this 
epistle, which he wrote to these Ephesians, he saith they were strangers from 
God, aliens from the promise, and now made nigh ; they were then Gentiles. 
' Eemember that ye were Gentiles,' saith he, not only Gentiles for your 
morals, but for idolatry, and for all sorts of idolatry. You may see in that 
Acts xix. what a mighty torrent there was, what zeal for their false worship ; 
they broke through with rage. * They rushed,' saith the text, ' with one 
accord' — uno impetii — ' into the theatre.' Thus the world went at Ephesus,. 
and thus the Ephesians were carried. You have the like in 1 Cor. xii. 2 ; 
for when he tells them of their unregenerate estate, still he hath an eye unto 
that : ' You know,' saith he, ' that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these 
dumb idols, even as ye were led.' The word is emphatical, you were carried 
away with madness, with the stream ; and, saith he, in point of religion men 
are easily led. 

So that now you have clearly what the Apostle here intendeth, when he 
saith, ' In which ye walked, according to the course of the world,' — viz., all the 
principles of the world that then were, the things that the world then cried 
up, the ways of the world, and the sins that the world then lived in. Now 
then, to come to some observations from hence, for all this is for exposition. 

Obs. 1. — The first observation is this. That in all ages, there is and uill 
he a combination of carnal men, in a xiniformity and conformity of ways 
and courses. They will all cling together ; these Ephesians did so, and the 
course of the world, the stream runs still, and will do while the world is. 

And the reason of it in one word is this : in every man there is the same 
common nature and the same lusts and the same corrupt principles; origi- 
nally there is in every one the seeds of them all. And therefore in 1 Peter 
iv. 2, the lusts that are in every man's heart are called the lusts of men ; not 
only a man's own lusts, but the lusts of others : 'That ye should no longer 
live to the lusts of men,' saith he. And the hearts of men savour the same 
things that one another do. ' In Matt. xvi. 23, ' Thou savourest the things of 
men,' saith Christ, speaking to Peter, in whom the devil had then stirred up 
an unregenerate part. Now what was in him in part is in all mankind; they 
savour the things of men, one of another. It is the same like phrase that 
is used in Eom. viii. 1, they savour the things of the flesh, and there- 
fore ' walk after the flesh ;' so they savour the things of men, therefore 
they walk after men and the course of the world. What most men are for 
and rehsh in their judgments, that every carnal man is for, and they all 
agree in their judgments. Now, in 1 Cor. ii. 12, saith the Apostle, 'We 
have not received the spirit of this world.' Mark it, there is a common spirit 
of the world in every man, not the spirit that is in him, but the spirit of 
the world, that doth possess one and the same, and all sorts of men more or 
less. But, saith he, ' we have received the Spirit of God.' Now as that 


Spirit leadeth the saints into the same truths, for the substance ; so the spirit 
of the world leads wicked men, in their judgments, in their principles, prac- 
tices, and opinions : therefore you shall have them cry up the same thing, 
magnify the same thing, one that another doth. There is a spirit in them 
that is presently capable of what the world saith, of worldly understanding; 
therefore the children of the world, as they are called, Luke xvi. 8, are said 
to be wiser in their generation than che children of light ; because they have 
another kind from the children of God, and they are wiser in that kind, and 
with the like kind of wisdom. I shall not need to enlarge upon it. Now 
iHl these men, meeting with the same kind of principles one with another, 
from the collection of them together cometh a union, a strength, and a 
prevalency. As I said before, a company of coals laid together, what a 
mighty heat do they cause ! The sea being a collection of waters, from the 
nnion of the sea what a vast body is it ! how it tumbleth up and down ! 
You shall have it tumble this way, and then that way, and all the waters 
will go that way. And thus it is with the world. And their being thus 
joined together in one corporation or body, as I may call it, it makes that 
mighty rage against the power of godliness, and their zeal, for they are 
zealous, not only for themselves, but one for another, for their own principles. 
And, my brethren, you must know this, that the reason why this world is 
thus combined together in all ages is this : because it is under the power 
of Satan ; so it follows in the text, ' according to the course of the world,' 
and, * the prince of the power of the air.' For it is the devil that makes 
that gang, though they do not see it. They are a sea, being united toge- 
ther, and of themselves they tumble one way; but if the wind comes and 
bloweth upon that sea, how it rageth, how strong are the streams then! 
There is a breath, a spirit ; the spirit of the power of the air, the word signi- 
fies, — as I shall open when I come to it, — viz., the devil sendeth forth an 
influence whereby, as the wind that boweth the trees which way it bloweth, 
so he boweth and swayeth the hearts of the multitude one way. For he is 
a monarch, a prince ; therefore he doth not divide, but the world is subject 
to him as to a monarch, therefore they are still carried one way; there is one 
course, one stream, which still the world hath, for he is the god and prince 
of the world. And the devil is cunning in it so to do ; you know he doth 
not divide his own kingdom, and he can do no hurt upon men but by the 
world, or at least he doth a great deal of hurt that way ; therefore he carries 
them in one stream, sways them, bows them one way, I shall give you an 
instance for it. When Popery was to be set up, it is said. Rev. xiii. 3, that 
'all the world wondered after the beast.' Nay, in Kev. xvii. 13, it is said, 
that the kings of the earth did agree to give their power to the beast ; the 
maddest act that could be, for kings to subjett their power to the Pope. 
They were no way constrained to it, it was but a tacit agreement. What was 
the reason 1 Why, the devil was in it. So chap. xiii. 4, the dragon, the devil, 
gave that power he had in the Roman empire unto the Pope, and made the 
kings of the earth thus to agree, to be all of one mind ; and so he swayed the 
world thus one way, that the whole world ran wondering after the beast. The 
devU, I say, hath a mighty hand in this. When all the coals lie together, they 
make a great fire ; but if bellows come, they make the fire much more intense. 
Obs. 2. — In the second place, you may consider these words not simply, 
but as the world is a great cause of prevailing upon the hearts of men. 
Take you Ephesians singly ; you walked, saith he, according to the course 
of the world. Every carnal man squareth his course to it, he is carried 
down with the stream. The world, as I said, is a sea, wherein all men may 

EpH. II. 1, 2, (fee] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 29 

find themselves to be of a like nature, and agree in the same lusts. Now, 
take a carnal man, when he grows up in this world from a child, he is as a 
drop in that sea, he mingleth in that sea; and which way the sea goes, he goes 
with it ; he finds them suitable to his principles, and the world finding hiin 
suitable to them, hugs him, embraces him : and thus it comes to that mighty 
jjower and prevalency, especially Satan working together with it. And men 
are apt to please others, to live to the lusts of men, 1 Pet. iv. 2 ; to receive 
honour one from another, John v. 44, and the examples of the most : for 
what the most do, all will do ; these have great influences upon men. 
Therefore, man being a sociable creature as he is, he goes with the drove of 
the rest of mankind ; and the world being before him, and having been 
always before him, he gi'ows up to it, is moulded into it, and so is carried 
with the stream that carrieth to perdition and destruction. It is a hard 
matter therefore, my brethren, to be converted and turned to God ; it is hard 
for a man to come out of this world, to swimi against this stream, to bear 
the contradiction of sinners, as it is said of Christ, Heb. xii. 3 ; to be a man 
alone, a w'onder to the world, for the world will observe anything that 
differs from them. It is a hard matter to be crucified to this world ; the 
meaning is, the world, when a man leaveth it, and forsaketh it in any of the 
common courses of it, looks upon him as a lost man, let him have never so 
much learning, as Paul had. — And so much for a second observation. 

Obs. 3. — A third observation is this. That the general course of most men 
in the world, they are courses which if a man wdll live by, he shall be an 
unregenerate man. Let the world be never so refined, let a man be made 
never so much a temporary believer, — for the truth is, the world hath had 
many refinements, and new fashions and dresses, put upon it since this 
Ephesian world, wherein the devil was worshipped, — yet still there shall be 
so much of carnal principles left, which if a man walk by, he shall be no 
better than an unregenerate man ; for here he describeth their unregeneracy 
by walking according to the course of this world. Christ distinguisheth, in 
that Luke xvi. 8, the children of this world from the children of light. It 
is therefore called the present evil world. Therefore Christ, that made a 
prayer for his disciples to the end of the world, — for he prayed not only for 
his apostles, but for all that should believe in his name, — ' Keep them,' 
saith he, ' from the evil that is in this world.' And, in 1 John v. 19, ' The 
whole world lieth in wickedness.' And, therefore, everywhere you have 
opposed the things of God and the things of men. ' Thou savourest not 
the things of God, but the things of men,' saith Christ to Peter, Matt, xvi 
23. The spirit of the world and the Spirit of God are opposed, 1 Cor. ii. 
12. * The things that are in great esteem with men are an abomination unto 
God,' Luke xvi. 15 ; that is, not but that the world may turn to many 
things that are good, but still there shall be something left, that if a man 
will walk according to the latitude, according to the most, he shall be an 
unregenerate man, he shall cry up that which is abominable unto God. 
Therefore, my brethren, take it for a certain sign of an unregenerate estate, 
to be carried thus along with the stream, and to be moulded to the same 
principles the generality of the most of men are ; and the generality of the 
most of men are civil men. It is a sign, I say, of death ; ' dead in sins and 
trespasses, wherein ye walked according to the course of this world.' A fish 
that is alive will and can swim against the stream, but a fish that is dead 
the stream carries it along with it. And the truth is, he that walketh in 
the world, walketh with Satan. Why 1 It is clear, ' according to the course 
of the world, according to the prince,' saith he. As those that walk with 


the saints walk with God, so he that walketh with the world, certainly he 
walketh with Satan, though he sees it not, nor knows it. I might likewise 
enlarge upon this, that men that are holy walk contrary to the world, but 
I will not stand upon it. 

Obs. 4. — Another observation is this, and it is proper to the text, for I 
shall give you no other. It is one of the greatest mercies in our salvation 
and redemption, to be delivered from this world, to be turned out of it, to 
be turned from the opinions and practices of it, from the stream of it. This 
is clearly the Apostle's scope here, for all this is but to magnify the mercy 
and the grace of God. God, saith he, ver. 4, who is rich in mercy, according 
to his rich grace quickened us, and raised us, and pulled us out of this world. 
I will give you but a scripture for it, and so pass from it : Gal. i. 4, speaking 
of Christ, saith he, ' who gave himself for our sins.' What to do 1 Surely 
some great matter ? ' That he might deliver us from the present evil world.' 
There is never a vain tradition that thou suckest in, — and there are I know 
not how many traditional sins that men receive in, traditional ill opinions that 
men have of the ways of God, a company of apocryphal sins, as I may say, 
received from their fathers down from one age unto another, which men suck 
in, — to be delivered from any of these cost the blood of Christ. Therefore 
now, not only thy being pulled out of the world at first, when first converted, 
but to be turned from any carnal principle the rest of the world goes on in, 
and perhaps some godly men too, is a fruit of the redemption of Christ. I 
will give you a clear place for it : 1 Peter 118,' Forasmuch as ye know 
that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from 
your vain conversation received by tradition from our fathers, but with the 
precious blood of Christ.' He speaks to the Jews, for Peter wrote to the 
Jews that were dispersed throughout Pontus, Galatia, &c. Now they had 
received a world of traditions from their fathers, which had made their con- 
versation, even in the worship of God, in many particulars, vain ; they had 
washmgs and the like, in religious respects. Bless God, saith he, that he 
hath redeemed you from all these traditions, and hath shewed you the mercy 
to clear up your judgments in them. This is the fruit, saith he, of the 
blood of Christ ; nothing else could have done it. Our Lord and Saviour 
Christ therefore spent a great deal of time to work out these traditions ; as 
he spent his blood for it, so he spent a great deal of his breath for it, as 
appeareth by many of his sermons, especially that in Matt. v. 

I have but a word to open, and that is this : ' according to the course of 
this world ;' and so in other places still you shall find it, 'from this present 
evil w^orld,' (fee. Now there is a double sense of it, which will afibrd us an 
observation or two, and so I will end. 

Either it is caUed this world in opposition to that to come, as in the 
former chapter ; ' tliis world,' saith he, ' and that to come.' Or else, ' this 
world ' hath a relation to that present age, because he speaks of these Ephe- 
sians, they Kved according to the course of that world then, as other unre- 
generate men afterward ; let the v/orld alter never so much, they live still 
according to the most, and the most will still be corrupt. And there ia 
something besides : that which is translated now, signifies the age, the spirit 
that now works, that is, in this age. I shall join both in one observation, 
and it is this : — 

Obs. — That though the world do alter in several ages in the course and 
the fashion of it, yet still it will be the world. And it will be so far the 
world, for the generality of the principles of it, that if men should live ac- 
cording to them, they would be unregenerate. Let the world fiter never so 

EpH. II. 1, 2, (fee] TO THE EPHBSIANS. 81 

much, — rs indeed since Christ's time the -world hath had mighty alterations, 
— yet still it will be the world. They lived according to the age of that 
•world, and were nnregenerate men, and others will do so too, still as the 
voild alters, as it })uts on new dresses, new fashions ; one generation cometh, 
and another passeth ; there is no new thing under the sun for substance, 
still the same corruption goes on. You must know this, my brethren, that 
Christ, when he went up to heaven, he had a kingdom to come, he meant to 
make a new world, and step by step to alter that world that was then when 
these Ephesians lived, to alter it by degrees, till he take the kingdom unto 
himself, and make ' a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth right- 
eousness.' Saith Christ, in John xii. 31, 'Now is the judgment of this 
world ;' that is, now I begin it. The world had continued before in one 
■way for three thousand years, and there had been no alteration in matter of 
religion; but 'now is the judgment of this world;' that is, the reformation 
of it. And Christ did then begin to mould it, to fashion it, to throw down 
heathenism, and set up Christianity ; and he will be still doing of it to the 
end of the world, whilst it is Satan's world. There is a world to come, 
"which is called ' new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous- 
ness,' 2 Peter iii. 13. And the kingdoms of the world are to become the 
kingdoms of Jesus Christ, as Rev. xi. 15. But it is spoken at the end of 
the world, and of the end of the world, for it is spoken at the end of the 
seventh trumpet, which ends all, and the history of the church begins at 
the next chapter. 

Now though Christ hath taken to himself the kingdoms of the world 
fully and completely, though he make mighty alterations and judgments in 
it, and is still throwing out Satan by degrees, yet it is Satan's world still, 
that which the Apostle here speaks of in opposition to that which is to 
come. Now, I say, this world, let it turn Christian world, as it did, yet it 
will still be the world, it will still be an evil world, it will still lie in wicked- 
ness, it will still so far hold forth unregenerate principles, that if a man will 
walk according to the common stream, he will be damned, that is certain ; 
and let the world be refined never so much, so it will be, till Christ make 
new heavens and a new earth. When the empire turned Christian, one 
Christian said to another, — it is a famous speech in ecclesiastical history, — 
' Oh now,' saith he, ' we shall have j^ersecution cease, for the Emperor and 
all the world is turned Christian.' ' But,' saith the other, ' the devil is not 
turned Christian for all this.' And this world is the devil's world, beheve 
it, brethren, for the generality of men. And therefore, in Rev. xii., when 
heathenism was thrown down, the dragon and all his angels with him were 
cast out of heaven ; one would have thought there would have been much 
joy; but, saith the text, ver. 12, 'Woe to the inhabitants of the earth!' 
Why 1 Because ' the devil is come down amongst you,' with a new rage ; 
and he went on still to persecute those that lived according to the command- 
ment of Jesus. 

And therefore now, notwithstanding all refinements, though there come 
new schemes, yet you shall still have the generality so far corrupt that they 
will be the world still, and they will oj^pose the power of religion still. In 
Bom. xiL 2, the Apostle did lay a very strict injunction upon the Church of 
Rome — who did Kttle keep it, but the Holy Ghost did it by way of prophecy 
beforehand — that they should not conform themselves unto the world ; he 
speaks it principally in respect of their worship ; yet they did not observe 
that injunction. When heathenism was gone, and the world was turned 
Christian, then all the world went wondering after the beast, except those 


•whose names were wiitten in the book of life, Eev. xiii. 8. And when there 
is a reformation from Popery, as the Holy Ghost prophesied of Popery itself, 
and that apostasy, in 1 Tim. iv. 1 ; therefore he saith, ' that in the latter 
times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, which 
speak lies in hypocrisy.' Which place a learned man hath most excellently 
opened to be meant of the Popish times. So, in 2 Tim. iii. 1, he speaks of 
another fry, when Popery was off the stage, at least when it was declining, 
and he distinguisheth it from the other, which were to be in the latter 
days, but these are to be in the last days. * In the last days,' saith he, 
* perilous times shall come ; ' and so he names a company of men — covetous, 
boasters, &c. — that shall set up a form of godliness, and deny the power of 
it. The fry still, even of those, will be of them that are naught ; and then, 
saith L3, as in respect of the power of religion, they will resist the truth, as 
Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. So that now still, as the world alters, 
let it alter its principles, by reason that Christ will still get ground of the 
world ; yet it will stdl retain so much, that if men will walk according to 
the common principles most of the world go by, they will be unregenerate 
men. Therefore every man is to learn to be, as Noah was, ' righteous in 
his generation.' 

I have but one or two things more to say, and so I will end. ' According 
to the course of the world, and the prince of the power of the air.' I shall 
not now go about to shew you simply why he is called the prince of the 
power of the air, and the like. I will but make one general observation, 
and which is necessary for me now to make, because of the coherence of the 
former matter : — 

Obs. — The world under the gospel, you see, was to have a great deal of 
alteration. The cunning of Satan is, still to apply himself to this world and 
the course of it, and secretly and cunningly to rule by the course of it, or 
with the course of it. In all the changes of the world, let there be never so 
many, still Satan will fall in : as you know he did, when he was thrown 
down from heaven. When heathenism was gone, and Christianity came up, 
the devil in appearance turneth Christian too, all the vogue runneth for 
Christianity. But what doth he 1 Then he goes and gathers all the semi- 
nals of heresy that had been sown in the primitive times, and hatcheth them 
all up, and makes Antichrist. When he could not uphold himself under 
the heathenish world, then he comes and giveth his throne to the beast. 
Still the devil's design is to creep in, and to turn as the world turneth, and 
to be dealing still with unregenerate men, to hold up so much carnality as he 
may still maintain a persecution against the saints, if possibly he may obtain 
so much. This is his manner, and this hath been his way in all the turnings 
of the world 

EpH. II. 2.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 33 


According to the prince of the power of the aii', the spirit that now w(yrTceth in 
the children of disobedience. — Ver. 2. 

The habitual estate of every man by nature the Apostle mentioneth in the 
first verse, in the person of these Ephesians : * Ye,' saith he, ' who were dead 
in sins and trespasses.' Here, in the second verse, he cometh to lay open 
what manner of conversation they had actually in their lives : * In which 
sins,' saith he, ' in time past ye walked ; ' having three guides, which in this 
their walking they were led by : — 

1. The world ; ' according to the course of this world.' 

2. Satan, the devil ; ' according to the prince of the power of the air, the 
spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.' 

3. The lusts of the flesh — that is, the corruption of their own hearts, acted 
and stirred up by these ; ' among whom also we had our conversation in 
times past, in the lusts of our flesh,' &c. 

I have despatched this first guide, ' according to the course of this world.* 
I shall now come to this second, ' according to the prince of the power,' &c. 

The Apostle's general scope in these words is to hold forth these three 
things : — 

1. The misery of these Ephesians, and of all men by nature, in respect of 
subjection unto Satan, that they being children of disobedience, Satan, as a 
prince, ruleth over them and governeth them. 

2. That as the world, so that Satan is a cause of that sinfulness that is in 
the hearts and lives of men. As the world is a cause, according to which 
men shape their courses naturally, as the most of unregenerate men do, — 
that is, the exemplary cause, — so the devil is the impelling cause. He is a 
cause, both as a prince and as a spirit : ' according to the prince of the 
power of the air, the spirit that worketh,' &c. 

3. To wind in a description, upon this occasion, of the greatness of Satan's 
kingdom, which he doth on purpose to illustrate and shew their misery the 
greater and the more. He is not contented to shew their subjection to 
Satan, but he doth it under the notion of a kingdom. * According,' saith 
he, ' to the prince of the power of the air,' or of the spirit, or the spirit ' that 
works in the children of disobedience.' 

And the scope of aU these three particulars tended to this, to stir up their 
hearts to give God thanks for that great deliverance, which in turning them 
to God he had wrought in them and for them. ' For God,' saith he, ver. 4, 
' who is rich in mercy, even when we were dead in sins and trespasses,' — and 
thus in subjection unto Satan, — ' hath delivered us,' &c. We find that, in 
Col. i. 13, turning unto God is called a 'translating us from the power of 
darkness into the kingdom of his Son.' By the ' power of darkness ' there, 
he especially meaneth the kingdom of Satan, for he is the ruler of darkness, 
as you have it in the 6th chapter of this epistle, ver. 12. And therefore it 



is opposed to the kingdom of Ms Son, because there is a prince over that 
kingdom — that is, the great prince of this power of darkness — who hath set 
up a kingdom against his Son. 

Now the Apostle had shewed, in the 19th verse of the first chapter, — that' 
you may see the coherence, and how one thing hangs with another, — the 
exceeding great power that had thus wrought in them, and thus translated 
them. He had likewise, in the 20th and 21st verses, shewed what a glorious 
kingdom God hath set up for his Son. ' The power which he wrought in 
Christ,' saith he, ' when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own 
right hand in the heavenly places, far above aU principality and power, might 
and dominion, and every name that is named, and hath put all things under 
his feet,' &c. Now he tells them that they, being converted, are placed in 
this kingdom with Christ. That you have in the 6th verse of this second 
chapter : ' He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in hea- 
venly places in Christ Jesus.' Therefore now, to take their hearts so much 
the more, he shews them that Satan hath an opposite kingdom to this of 
Christ's, under the power of which they were ; and a kingdom it was, and 
a power he had, and a power that worketh, and worketh effectually. You 
may see it, saith he, in the children of disobedience to this day, and you 
yourselves would have been the same. And therefore they were to bless 
God for that great change, for that power that had thus wrought in them, 
and translated them out of the devil's kingdom, — which at best, saith he, is 
but in the air, and will have an end with the air, — whereas now, saith he, 
you are set together with Christ in that kingdom which God hath given 
his Son. We sit together ' in heavenly places ' with him. — So now you have 
both the scope of the words, and the general aspect of them. 

I shall principally do these two things which eminently the text holds forth, 
and they are two parts, as I may divide them, that these words faU into : — 

The first is, to shew you what a kingdom Satan hath, as here it is de- 
scribed, which the Apostle had in his eye to wind in, in way of opposition to 
that kingdom which Christ hath described in the 21st and 22d verses of the 
former chapter. And — 

The second is, to shew how that Satan rules and reigns in the hearts of 
unregenerate men, is the cause of sin in them, and they walk according to 
tliis prince, he being a spirit, he and his angels, which do work, and work 
effectually in the hearts of the children of disobedience ; and once wrought 
in them. 

Or, if you will, you may divide the words thus, for they may be divided 
in a twofold manner ; here are two periods, though in the Greek the sentence 
is continued, yet according to the periods there must be two sentences 
made. He is said to be the prince of the power of the air, and the spirit, or 
the prince of the spirit — for either wiU. stand, according as interpreters give 
the sense — that worketh in the children of disobedience. Here, then, are two 
parts of this kingdom in these two sentences — 1. He is the prince of the 
power of the air. 2. He is the pi'ince of the spirit that works in the children 
of disobedience. The devil, you know, hath two titles, in respect of his 
kingdom, given him, and it was given him or acknowledged by his com- 
petitor, Christ himself. He is first called the prince of devils, that is im- 
phed in the first sentence ; he is the prince of the power of the air. And 
then, secondly, he is called the prince of this world, or of the men of the 
world ; that is included in the second sentence, the prince of that spirit that 
worketh in the children of disobedience. 

This division you may take, because the one holdeth forth eminently the 


one, the other holds forth more eminently the other. Or, if you will, you 
may take the former division ; the one shews what a kingdom he hath, the 
other what influence he hath in the hearts of men unregenerate in point of 
sinning. And indeed the one is interwoven in the other. 

I shall begin with the first sentence : lie is a prince of the power of the 
air. The only difficulty of the phrases is, what is meant by power, and what 
by air. 

By power, some understand, in the abstract, that princedom or governmenx 
he hath in the air : and by ai?; by a double synecdoche, they understand 
this lower world and the men in it; and so understand that universal 
power and princedom that is committed unto the gi'eat devil here in this 
world, both over men, and over his natives, his complices, evil angels. In 
Rev. xvi. you shall find that when the seventh angel poured out his vial, 
ver. 17, — which is that vial that ends all the enemies of Christ, and bringeth 
in the day of judgment, or the thousand years that go before it, — it is said, 
he ' poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the 
temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done ; ' that is, there was an 
end of all, because this last vial is to be upon the universal power of the 
devil, which meant is by air; because as air circleth all things round, so it 
takes in the whole. The other vials had been poured out but upon part of 
the kingdom of the beast and of the devil, but this is upon the air, and so 
upon his whole power. 

And another sense, which indeed cometh aU to one, is, that here, by the 
* power of the air,' is meant not simply his government or power committed 
to him over the air whereof he is the prince, in the abstract, but that thereby 
is meant in a more peculiar manner his devils, his angels as they are called. 
It is put for the angels that have this power, whereof he is the prince ; which 
angels live and fly up and down in the air, as the most accommodate place 
for their residence. And so it would rather seem to be here understood, be- 
cause it would hold forth something distinct from what is said in the second 
sentence ; now his power over men, over the children of disobedience, the 
Apostle expresseth that in the second sentence ; therefore here, in this first, by 
the ' power of the air,' he meaneth, in a more peculiar, eminent manner, those 
airy spirits that are principalities, and powers, and rulers with him in this 
world, and are the spirits that do work under him in the children of disobe- 
dience. So that now by ' power of the air ' is meant that united kingdom, 
that body of angels, — I may call them a political body, — under this one prince, 

The only objection against this interpretation is this, that it is called poiver, 
in the singular number, and that therefore the angels that have power under 
him should not be meant. 

But that is easily taken off, for it is all these as united into one kingdom ; 
as we call an army sent from Spain, the power of Spain — that is, so many 
men ; or an army that cometh under the command of one general against 
another nation, we call it such a force, or such a power cometh. In Col. i. 
13, there it is put in the singular number too. As in chap. i. 21 of this 
epistle, Christ is said to be the head of all ' principality and power,' — it is 
not principalities and powers, — and yet there he meaneth not only govern- 
ment, but the persons in the government. In Exod. xiv. 28, that which in 
the Hebrew is, ' all the host of Pharaoh were drowned,' the Septuagint ren- 
ders it in the singular number, all the ' power ' of Pharaoh, meaning his whole 
army, or the men of that army ; and so it doth the like in Exod. xv. 4. And 
so now here, l^ovala, the power of the air which he is « afX"", prince of, 


though sometimes they differ, yet sometimes they are put one for and with 
another, as in 1 Cor. xv. 24. That which is in other places Swd/jLug, is there 
ij e^oua/a. And SO now the meaning of it is this : he is the prince of the 
power of the air, — that is, of all that body of angels that are united into a 
kingdom under him, and are in the air, which is the seat of their kingdom 
and of their rule, and are the spirits that do work in the children of disobe- 

And so now ' air ' doth note out the local place where they are, for king- 
doms have denomination from the place ; as we say, the king of Spain, or 
the kingdom of Spain, or the power of Spain, that is, which is in Spain, of 
men living there : so here, the prince of the power of the air is the prince 
of those angels that are united into one power and kingdom in the air, hav- 
ing that for their seat. 

And that I may add a little more confirmation to this, according to the 
analogy of Scripture phrase ; you heard before that the * host ' of Pharaoh is 
called the ' power ' of Pharaoh ; so in Matt. xxiv. 29, that which is there 
translated the ' host ' of heaven, in the Greek is the ' powers ' of heaven. 
The whole creation, my brethren, is divided — or at leastwise all that is above 
the earth where men live — into three parts, and every one of them have their 
t^ovalag, have their powers, that are inhabitants of it. There is the highest 
heavens, where God, blessed for ever, and his angels are ; there is the starry 
heavens ; and there is the air of this sublunary world : and in respect of the 
earth, these are sometimes all called heaven, the highest heaven is called the 
third heaven. Now, to all these there are hosts, or powers, or a power, 
which is all one, that is in Scripture attributed to them that be the inhabi- 
tants thereof; they are set forth under that title and name. God hath his 
throne in the highest heavens, and in 1 Kings xxii. 19 you shall read there 
of the * host of heaven,' namely all his holy and blessed angels that were there 
gathered about him, and the Septuagint there translates it likewise the 
' powers of heaven.' Then there is the starry heavens, where the sun, and 
moon, and stars are, and they rule the day and the night, whereof the sun is 
the prince ; you shall find likewise that they are called the host of heaven, as 
in Ps. xxxiiL 6, and the Septuagint translates it in the same place, ' power.' 
Then here is the air, you see, that is the third, and that hath a host in it 
too, but it is of devils, whereof this great devil is the prince, it is the seat of 
his kingdom, it is the power of the air. And so much now for that. And 
that by the power of the air should be meant the wicked angels as united 
into one body, as joining and concurring in one power, one army ; this, I say, 
makes the sense more full and comprehensive, holdeth forth something dis- 
tinct from that which follows in the next words where his subjects are men- 
tioned, namely the ' children of disobedience,' and sets forth the kingdom of 
Satan to the full in all its variety, in all its subordinations. He is a prince, 
under him he hath a power; these work upon men, the children of disobe- 
dience. — So now you have the phrases in these words opened unto you. 

Now I shall come to that which is instead of observations, — that is, to 
explain to you this same kingdom of Satan, for the Apostle's scope is to hold 
that up here. And, first, you see that Satan hath a kingdom, and it is the 
great kingdom that is set up against the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The 
Apostle therefore, as he had described Jesus Christ as a mighty king over all 
principality and power, in the 20th and 21st verses of the former chapter; so 
here he holdeth forth the opposite kingdom Satan hath, consisting both of 
men and angels, made up of those two, the one in the air, the other dwell- 
ing in the earth. His great competitor, Christ, acknowledgeth him to have a 


kingdom : Matt. xii. 26, ' If Satan be divided against Satan, how shall his 
kingdom stand 1 ' Yea, and he had the start of his kingdom in the world 
before Christ came into it, carried the world before him for many thousand 

It is supposed by some, and indeed rationally and probably, — by Zanchy, 
whom I account the best of Protestant writers in his judgment, and Likewise 
by Suarez, the best of school-men, — that upon the very setting up, or at least- 
wise upon the notice that the angels had of the setting up of a kingdom for 
the man Christ Jesus, predestinated to come, (which whether it was without 
the faU predestinated, as some, or upon supposition of the fall, as others, yet 
so much might be revealed to them,) and that the human nature was to be 
assumed up into the Second Person, and he to be the head of all princi- 
pality and power, and that angels and men should have their grace from 
him ; this, they say, being declared to be the wUl of God, their very refusing 
of this kingdom, and to be subject unto Christ as man thus assumed, was 
their first sin ; and that now, in opposition hereunto, they did set up another 
kingdom against him. Thus, I say, these writers that I have mentioned do 
think, and they allege that place in the Epistle of Jude, ver. 6, where the 
sin of the angels being described, it is said, ' they kept not their first estate, 
but left their own habitation,' which, say they, is not there brought in as 
their punishment ; they left that station God had set them in, and they left 
their dwelling in heaven, to set up a kingdom here below in opposition to 
Christ, and so to have an independent kingdom of themselves; for which 
God hath condemned them into eternal torment and to hell, and ' delivered 
them into chains of darkness, to be reserved imto judgment,' 2 Peter ii. 4. 
And to set up this great kingdom is their business, and therefore they now 
do associate themselves together, not out of love, but as becometh rational 
creatures that would drive on a project and a design. Our Saviour Christ 
in that place, Matt, xii., speaks of it as the great end that Satan prosecuteth. 
Satan, saith he, will not cast out Satan, for that would divide his kingdom, 
and he is tender of that, that is his great design. 

I will not much insist upon it, only I will give you the grounds that they 
go upon, besides this mentioned. That place in John viii. 44, where Christ 
lays open both the devil's sin, and the sin of the Jews. The sin of the Jews 
was, that they would not receive that truth which Christ had delivered to 
them, as he tells them, ver. 45, ' Because I tell you the truth, you believe 
me not,' and not receiving it, they sought to kill him. Now if you ask what 
that truth was that Christ had so much inculcated to them, you shall see at 
ver. 25 what it is. They asked him there who he was. ' Even the same,' 
saith he, ' that I have told you from the beginning,' the Messiah, the Son of 
God ; and saith he, in the next verse, ' He that sent me is true, and I speak 
to the world those things which I have heard of him;' and, ver. 28, When 
you have crucified me, some of you shall know it, — for some were converted, 
or at least they saw it more eminently to their hardening, — ' You shall know 
that I am he.' This he caUeth the truth, ver. 32 : You, saith he, speaking 
to his disciples, ' shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.* 
Now the truth is the Son of God. ' If the Son make you free, you shall be 
free indeed,' ver. 36. This was the great truth that these Jews would not 
receive. Now he tells them likewise, ver. 44, that Satan, their father the 
devH, ' abode not in the truth.' He was the first, saith he, that opposed and 
contradicted this great truth, and would not be subject to God who revealed 
this, nor would he accept, or embrace, or stand, or continue in this, he 
would quit heaven first ; and so from hence came he to be a murderer, a 


hater of this man Christ Jesus, and of this kingdom, and of mankind ; for 
he that hateth God, or he that hateth Christ, is, in what in him lieth, a 
murderer of him, and he shewed it in falling upon man. And they back it 
with this reason why it should be so meant : because otherwise the devil's 
sin, which he compares theirs unto, had not been so great as theirs, there 
had not been a likeness between the sin of the one and the other. His sin 
had only been telling of a lie, a Lie merely in speech, and theirs had been a 
refusing of that great truth, Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Head, and so the 
devil's sin would have been less than theirs ; whereas he is made the great 
lather of this great lie, of this great stubbornness to receive Christ, and to 
contradict this truth ; and this, saith he, he hath opposed from the beginning, 
with all his might, and he setteth your hearts a- work to kill me. But, I say, 
1 will not stand upon this, because I only deliver it as that which is the 
opinion of some, and hath some probability. 

However this is certain, whatsoever his sin was, he hath now, being fallen, 
set up his kingdom in a special manner against Christ. And so Christ hath 
been the great stumbling stone ; the angels fell upon it, and men fall upon 
it. So that indeed the first quarrel was laid in this, God himself proclaimed 
it at the very beginning. And a little would make one think, that there was 
something before, when God denounced the sentence against the serpent. 
' The seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head,' which though spoken 
to the serpent, comes in by way of curse, as striking at the very spirit of the 
devil's sin. He shall break thy head, saith he ; thou wouldest have lifted 
up thyself, he shall crush thee. God, I say, proclaimed the war, and the 
quarrel hath continued from the beginning of the world to this day, and will 
do until Satan be put out of this air; for so long he is to have his kingdom, 
though Christ beateth him out of it every day in the world, and so will con- 
tinue to do, till he hath won the world from him, and then he will chain him 
up in the bottomless pit. Therefore saith Christ in Luke xi. 20, ' If I with 
the finger of God cast out devils,' — the devil hath a kingdom, saith he, he had 
said that before, — then know that the kingdom of God, that great kingdom 
prophesied of which the Son of man should have from God, is come amongst 
you. In John xii. 28, * I have glorified my name,' saith God, ' and I will 
glorify it ; ' what followeth thereupon as the consequence of it 1 Saith 
Christ, ' Now shall the prince of this world be cast out ; ' his kingdom shall 
go do^vn, that is the way by which God wiU glorify himself I will glorify 
myself, saith he, — that is, I will throw down that kingdom which the devils 
possess. When the seventy returned, and rejoiced that the devils were sub- 
ject to them in Christ's name, saith he, ' I saw Satan ' — I saw him before, 
this was in mine eye — 'falling from heaven like lightning;' and that is the 
great thing in Christ's eye, to bring down the devil's kingdom. 

The truth is, the reason that God suffered Satan, and indeed hath given 
a kingdom to him by way of permission, is this : he would set up the greatest 
enemy that could be supposed his Son Jesus Christ could have, strengthened 
with a multitude of angels, having gained all mankind, — for so he had at 
first setting up of this kingdom ; there was a law that not a man should be 
bom in this world but he should be a subject of his kingdom, — and Jesus 
Christ had not one person upon earth ; he might have angels in heaven indeed. 
Now this God did, that he might shew forth the glory of the kingdom of 
his Son, in ruining this great enemy and destroying this great kingdom; for 
this is the great kingdom that Christ hath in his eye. Alas ! the ruining of 
earthly kingdoms, the Roman monarchy, and the like, it is but a petty busi- 
ness to the breaking of this kingdom, this great head, which is as the 


primum mobile that turns about all the kingdoms of the world. — That is the 
first observation. 

The second thing which you may observe out of the words likewise, is this, 
that this kingdom is a monarchy. Here is a prince, one great devU over 
other devils, ' the power of the air;' and over men, * the children of disobedi- 
ence ;' and this kingdom set up against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
This is a truth which both heathens and others acknowledge. Trismegistus 
hath it, as in Lactantius' second book of Divine Institutions ; he speaks of 
evil spirits and good spirits, and of the evil spirits he saith there was one chief 
devil. And it was a tradition likewise amongst the Jews, and owned by 
Christ himself, in that of Matt, xii., who called him the ' prince of devils.' 
And there are testimonies by some that those that were magical amongst the 
heathen, when they could not raise a spirit, they would call upon that chief 
devil, whom they durst not name, that he would send one to them. I only 
speak it for this, that amongst them this was a tradition, that there was one 
great deviL When I handled that of ' principality and power ' in the 20th 
verse of the first chapter, I remember I shewed then that, take the power of 
angels in heaven simply, it is in respect of them an aristocracy ; it is a 
monarchy in respect of Christ indeed. But come down to hell, and there it 
is a monarchy ; he is both prince of devils, and prince of this world too, as 
Matt. ix. 34, xii. 24; John xii. 31. 

How he cometh to be thus the monarch, we will not stand disputing. 
The school-men have many things upon it. He was the most excellent of all 
the rest, and the order of nature still continued though they fell ; as in a 
man's soul, though he fall into sin, yet that order that the powers of the soul 
were set in it at first continueth still ; the understanding still guideth the will, 
and the will the affections. Or perhaps he was the ringleader of them all ; 
and therefore when his punishment, and that in respect to his first sin, is men- 
tioned, it is said, ' Go into the fire prepared' — prepared so long ago, even from 
his first sinning — ' for the devil and his angels.' The style of the punishment 
runs as the style of the sin runs, for it is spoken in respect of the sin. The 
devil had sinned, and his angels that cleave unto him therein; therefore the 
punishment runs, ' prepared for the devU and his angels ; ' prepared, I say, 
for him even from his first sinning, as being the ringleader of them all in 
that first sin. And so indeed Grotius interpreteth that in John viiL 44, 
* He is a liar, and the father of it;' he is, saith he, o 'jrari]^ uitrov, a father 
of that kind, of all the devils that lied. A father, how 1 Not by generation, 
but as in Gen. iv. 20, he that first invented brass is said to be the father of 
such as work in brass; and he that invented tents, the father of such as 
dwell in tents. And so now by the just ordination of God, they having 
sinned with him, are all thus subjected to him; he remains a prince over 
them. The devils sinned with a head, we sinned in a head. And they thus 
uniting willingly to one monarchy, their chiefest end being to uphold the 
business of their kingdom, as I shall shew anon, therefore that this may be 
carried on uniformly and one way, that there may be one uniform spirit still, 
and that they may be guided in all ages by it, to breathe in one kind of 
activity into the children of disobedience, they have all subjected themselves; 
partly I say by their own voluntary subjection, and partly by the ordination 
of God, and the excellency of that angel above all the rest. He is called 
' that dragon ' in Rev. xx., the article is put three times there : ' that dragon, 
that serpent, that old.' And though other devils may be called devils, — 
though some say that we read nowhere that any are called devils but thia 
great devil; the others are called demons, but they are not called diaboli. 


and they are called unclean spirits and the like, — but this title, ' who is the 
devil and Satan,' is proper and peculiar to him. As there is a whole Anti- 
christ, one eminent Antichrist, though there be many Antichrists ; so there 
is one whole dragon, one great devil, though there be many others under him. 

You shall read in Ezek. xxix. 3, — it is an excellent allusion, — that Pharaoh 
king of Egypt is called the great dragon ; the like you have in Isa. li. 9. 
Xow in Ps. Ixxiv. 13, 14, compared with this, you shall find it said, that 
God gave his people the heads of the dragons for meat; meaning the Egyp- 
tians. (It was meat for their faith to live upon, to see the great works that 
God did for them.) They are called the little dragons, but Pharaoh is 
called the great dragon. As this was a type of our deliverance out of the 
kingdom of Satan, so the type runs on : as Pharaoh, though aU the rest of 
the Egjrptians were dragons, yet he was that great dragon ; so there is one 
great devil, who is prince of all the rest. And between him and Jesus Christ 
it is, that this, not competition on Christ's part, — that is too mean a word to 
be used in this business, — but he is set up, and hath set up himself against 
oiir Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore now, when Christ came into 
the world, the devil, having had quiet possession of the kingdoms of the world 
in aU ages, — you know he had been worshipped as the god of the world, — 
he began to smeU that this man was the Sun of God ; and in his temptation 
of him, if you look into Luke iv., he doth offer him aU these kingdoms. If 
thou be the Messiah, saith he, I know it is a kingdom that thou comest for, 
and that is the quarrel between thee and me ; thou shalt have it, saith he, 
with ease ; they are aU given imto me, do but hold it of me, do but worship 
me. He would have compounded the business of this kingdom with the 
man Christ Jesus. This great devil, that old serpent that tempted Adam, 
tempteth the second Adam ; and this was the decision of the controversy and 
quarrel, Christ told him with indignation that God only mu.st be worshipped. 
Now this same great devil, this same prince, he is the supreme, and the 
others, ' powers of the air,' are but sent out by him, as I may allude to what 
Peter speaks. Therefore in 2 Cor. xdL 7, Paul saith a messenger of Satan 
was sent to buffet him. It was not the great devil, but an angel, a messen- 
ger of his whom he sent. 

Now, between this prince and these under-devils that are rulers of the 
world under him, as they are called, Eph. vi. 12, there seems in Scripture 
to be held forth this difference, that they are much fixed to places, I do not 
say to persons. It is a thing observed in that Mark v. 12, when the legion 
of devils were to be cast out of the man, the text saith that ' they besought 
him much' — there is an emphasis put upon it — ' that he would not send them 
away out of the country.' Why ? Because, as Cartwright and others well 
observe, they woidd stiU continue there, where they had been familiar with 
men, and knew their dispositions and manners, and therefore knew how to 
lay their temptations ; and it would have been a great disadvantage, they 
thought, to them to be sent out of that coimtry, and so have been put to 
seek out another. Therefore the devil's punishment, when he goes out of 
one, is said to be, that he * walketh in dry places,' — that is, in places where 
he finds little work. But now this great devil, he goes up and down the 
earth, as being he that giveth direction to aU the rest. It is that which 
interpreters* observe out of Job, where he is said to come from 'compassing 
the earth to and fro.' He is the general vizier of the world. 

Thirdly, All these agree in one. That is clear out of the text too, for, if 
* SanctiuB in Job. 


you mark it, they are not called ' powers of the air,' though they are so many 
of them, but they are called ' power,' in the singular number, because they 
do agree with one united design to carry it on. And they are not called 
' spirits,' but one spirit ; ' the spirit that worketh,' &c. Or, at least, there 
is one common spirit comes from them all, one spirit and one power, be- 
ciiuse they all agree to set up sin, and to pull down the kingdom of Jesus 
Christ, all that possibly they can. This agreement of theirs, to give you but 
one instance of it, appears in that legion that was in one man, in Mark v. 
and in Luke viii. These did not act one member of him one way, and others 
of them another, but they all agree to act the whole man one way. And 
again, when at their request Christ gave them leave to enter into the swine, 
there were two thousand swine, therefore at least there were two thousand 
devils, for it is said, ' they entered into them,' All these agreed still in one 
project, they carried these swine all of them headlong into the sea; one 
devil doth not carry one swine one way, and another another way, but they 
entered into them, they all agreed to carry them headlong into the sea. 

And the reason why they are thus united is this, because they are united 
in one extrinsical common end, which is to them the supreme end of all the 
rest, to which they lay down all lower, particular, intrinsical ends of their 
own, all ambition in themselves, or whatsoever else. The devils are proud 
enough, yet their hatred to God and to Christ, and their zeal to their own 
kingdom, in the public and general, is made their supreme end. Revenge 
against God is certainly their main sin, as he that sins against the Holy 
Ghost, having received the sentence of condemnation within himself, revenge 
against God is his main lust. Therefore they being united in this end, 
which is extra se, and concerneth the public cause of them all, as I may call 
it, hence they lay aside all their lower ends, and they agree to attain that 
end. And therefore, though they cause divisions amongst men, as they did 
between Abimelech and the men of Sichem, and so they do in kingdoms ; 
yet they all agree in this one end of hatred to God, and therefore in the 
putting of men upon sin in the uttermost ways they can. 

My brethren, what should this teach us ? Give me leave to do that by the 
way, as I go. Is there union in hell under one prince, Satan? and shall 
there not be union amongst saints, under one Head, Christ Jesus, who have a 
nearer relation to Christ, not as a Prince only, but as a Head 1 The devil 
is not properly a head to these as members. Our Saviour Christ, you know, 
prayed for his disciples, and so for all others that are saints, that they might 
be one, as he is one ; and they shall certainly be one, one day. Shall not 
Christ now unite us more one to another that are saints, than our own lusts and 
corruptions should sever and divide 1 I said likewise, that among the devils 
all lower ends fall down to the pubKc, they are united in one end, ext7U se, 
out of themselves, for the advancement of their kingdom : should it not be 
so amongst saints 1 And therefore the apostle, because the saints agree in 
one common end, saith, though they differ in opinions and practices — and he 
speaks in matters of worship — one eateth and another doth not ; yet they 
both do it to the Lord. And certainly, my brethren, when men see them 
to aim at the same common end, the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, 
the great substantials of it, differences in matters of opinion and practice 
ought not to make any disunion ; it doth not in hell itself. And likewise it 
should teach us to prefer the public good to our private ends. The devils, 
you see, prefer the public good, as I may call it, of their kingdom — for so it 
is to them — to their lower ends, though they are proud enough. Therefore 


now, for the safety of a kingdom, for the advancement of a kingdom, of a 
church, and these are mighty things, men should let all their petty ends bow 
and vail, and not go about to hinder the carrying on of such a work. 

Fourthly, This kingdom of theirs, and these angels he speaks of, they have 
a great power in them. They are therefore called ' the power of the air ;' 
he doth not call them angels or spirits only, but power. And elsewhere they 
are called principalities and powers. Eph. vL 12, 'We wrestle not,' saith 
he, ' against flesh and blood.' Alas ! the power of kings, and armies, and 
men is nothing. But we fight ' against principalities and powers,' against 
spiritual wickednesses, against devils, that infinitely exceed all the sons of 
men. And the word is not only h\jvdfj.ig, potentia physica, a physical power, 
of understanding and insinuation, &c., but it is s^ovs/a, it is authority too. 
For his natural power, Satan is called the ' strong man,' Matt. xii. 29 ; ' a 
lion,' 1 Pet. V. 8, of all beasts the strongest, the fiercest. I will not insist 
much upon it ; for their authority, ' principalities and powers,' and the word 
' power' here includes both. The consideration of this should teach us — 
for I shall stUl make meditations and observations as I go along that are 
usefiil and practical — to depend upon our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
and to be afraid, in respect of what power Satan may have, to carry a man 
on to sin. They are not only ' powers' in themselves, but they are ' power' 
like'nise ; they all concur. Small things, if they all unite, have a great deal 
of strength in them. ConcordiA parvce res crescunt. But if strength shall 
unite, what a strength will it be ! How should we therefore live by faith 
upon the Lord Jesus Christ ! We are weak creatures of ourselves, but in 
him we are strong. How should we walk fearful of being ensnared by Satan ! 
How should we walk with all the armour of God continually about us ! 

But they are not only powers thus in respect of physical power, but in 
respect of authority. Ail power is of God, and Satan's power is of God, at 
least by permission. He himself said, Luke iv. 6, that this world was de- 
livered unto him, and therein he spake truth. It was indeed delivered to 
him, — that is, by God's permission : though he lied in this, when he said, I 
give the kingdoms of the world to whomsoever I wiU ; for that is God's 
prerogative. Indeed he gave it to Antichrist, as I shaU shew you anon ; 
but it is God's sole prerogative to give the kingdoms of the world to whom- 
soever he will ; so Dan. iv. But Satan had them by permission, as Christ 
gave leave to the devils to enter into the svrme ; it is a word of permission. 
Now he hath a kind of a propriety in wicked men, whilst they continue in his 
kingdom. In Luke xi. 21, 22, a wicked man is called his own house, and 
his own goods ; and they are said to be his captives, taken captive at his 
•will. And therefore some interpret that place, when Christ did come to cast 
those legions of devils out of the man, saith he, ' What have I to do with 
thee 1 ' — that is, What hurt have I done thee 1 I am in this man that I have 
possessed, I possess but my own, and this is my castle ; why shouldest thou 
come to torment me before my time 1 Am I not in mine own 1 And he 
hath them by conquest : 2 Peter ii. 19, * Of whom a man is overcome, of 
him he is brought in bondage.' And God hath permitted him to have all 
this power, and to have so long possession of it, as he hath had in the 
world ; for if he had not suffered this great enemy to be set up, his Son's 
kingdom had not been so glorious in the overthrowing of it as it will be. 

Now, my brethren, see the mercy of God in freeing and delivering those 
from this power whom he hath translated into the kingdom of his Son. Our 
Saviour Christ hath redeemed us ; not that the price was paid to Satan, but 
to God ; for so he hath pulled us from the power of darkness by redemp- 


tion, Col. i. 13. And how doth ho do it 1 By being in some respects sub- 
jeot to the power of Satan. You know the expression Christ hath, Luke 
xxii. 53, * This is your hour, and the power of darkness.' That is, By your 
means, you Jews, to wliom God hath given this hour, — for wicked men 
have but an hour, the saints of God shall have the day of it, — the devU, who 
is the prince of darkness, and is that great power of darkness, (as you may 
see by comparing this with that Col. i. 1 3, where by ' power of darkness ' 
the devil's kingdom ia intended,) cometh thus to have a power over me, to 
crucify me, to kill me, which is the thing he aims at. Now Jesus Christ, 
being in this respect subject to the power of Satan, — for otherwise he was 
not subject; 'the prince of this world cometh,' saith he, 'and hath nothing 
in me ; ' nothing in him to tempt him, or to subdue him that way, but it 
was the devil's plot to have him crucified, and he stirred up the Romans, 
and Pilate, and all these Jews, for the crucifying of him, and he subjected 
himself so fjir to the will of Satan, — and by this he hath delivered us out of 
the power of darkness. Yea, though his kingdom is thus great, God useth 
poor flesh and blood, men, we that pray and preach, to overcome him, and 
we do it. In Rev. xii., ' There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels 
fought against the dragon ; and the dragon fought and his angels, and pre- 
vailed not.' By Michael's angels are not meant only the angels of heaven, 
but men, the saints on earth too. Why? Because, at the 11th verse, it is 
said, ' they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,' — which cannot be meant 
of the angels, — ' and they loved not their lives unto the death ;' that is, 
they gave away that part of their lives to death that was to come, and by 
this they overcame the devd. 

The last thing that is here is, the place of this princes dominion, the air. 
He is * prince of the power of the air.' The denomination of kingdoms is 
from the place where themselves and their subjects live, and by ' air ' is 
meant this elementary, this sublunary world, and especially the airy part of 
it, the interstitium between heaven and earth. 

Hesiod, speaking of the devils, saith, ' Being clothed with air, they run 
up and down.' It is the place where they are. And if the devil appear, all 
his workmanship, his apparitions, his visions is air condensed. He took 
Christ up into an exceeding high mountain. Why there ? That he might 
in the air make a brave prospect of all the kingdoms of the world, for it was 
done by an outward vision ; all his power lies there. Some have thought 
there might be an allusion to it when he is called Beelzebub, the god of 
flies ; for the air is as full of them as of flies in the summer. Sure we are, 
they are called the ' fowls of the air,' Luke viii. 5, 1 2 compared. There is a 
story reported by Frantzius, of a holy man in Germany, that that night that 
the great massacre was in France, he knowing nothing thereof, he saith he 
saw spirits in the air ; and therefore certainly, saith he, there is some great 
thing done in the world this night. My brethren, there is such an affinity 
between air and spirits, that the good angels, — though they are not called the 
powers of the air, for heaven is their place, and they are those that behold 
the face of God, — yet when they come down to mmister, they are compared to 
the meteors of the air, as it is a good observation of Cameron upon Heb. 
i 6. In Ps. civ. 4, ' He makes his angels spirits, and his ministers flames 
of fire.' He speaks both of angels, saith he, and he speaks of meteors 
in the air, wdnds, and flames of fire that are in the air; for the motion 
of angels is as lightning, which is the nearest tiling to compare them to. 
That he speaks there of meteors is clear, because he speaks of the works of 
God in the elementary world, which, in Heb. i., he applies to the good 


augels, namely, then when they are in the air, sent forth as ministering 
spirits ' to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.' But now, 
though they are as meteors in the air, — for he compares them to w^ind, sent 
up and down by God, and to flames of fire, — yet that is not their place. But 
take these bad angels, as they are as wind, as meteors in the air, so the air 
is their proper place, or at least that place which their kingdom is in ; 
therefore now, if they do not possess men's bodies, or the like, they fly up 
and down in the air. It is the ' prince of the power of the air.' 

There is a great dispute, and I confess I am yet exceeding doubtful, and 
know not well how to determine it, and that is this. Whether, yea or no, 
the ordinary place for these devils be hell, the abyssus, the deep, as it is 
called, which certainly is a differing place from the air ; for when they were 
here in the air in this world, they desired that they might not be thrown 
into the deep ; that is, into hell, into the abyssus which is put for hell, Rev. 
XX. 3, where it is said the devil was taken and cast into abyssus ; it is the 
same word that is used in Luke viii. 31. Whether, I say, that the ordinary 
place for their abode is to be in hell ; but by way of liberty only, now and 
then for tentation, or the like, as God is pleased to let them out, they are in 
the air, for whilst they are in the air they cannot be in this abyssus, for the 
reason I now mentioned 1 Or whether, yea or no, that the ordinary seat of 
them is the air, and that therefore they are called the spirits of the power of 
the air ? I say, it is a very hard thing to determine, because indeed the 
Scriptures do seem to speak both one way and another way ; and how to 
reconcile them perfectly, for my part, I confess I fully know not. For, in 
2 Peter ii. 4, it is said that he * spared not the angels that sinned, but cast 
them down to heU, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be re- 
served unto judgment.' And so, in Jude, ver. 6, ' He hath reserved them in 
everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.' Yet, 
on the other side, say the devils unto Christ, ' Art thou come to torment us 
before our time ? ' as having the day of judgment in their eye. They knew 
not indeed when the day of judgment should be, yet they knew it was not 
yet. And they adjured Christ by his truth and faithfulness : ' I adjure 
thee by God,' saith he, ' that thou torment me not ; ' that is, I adjure thee 
by that righteousness and faithfulness of God, who, in his sentencing of us 
to condemnation, hath given us time till the day of judgment, that thou 
torment us not now. For Christ being the Son of God, they knew not but 
that he might shew his prerogative upon those — themselves being but few — 
devils that were there, which makes them therefore so submissive. 

The Scriptures, therefore, looking thus to both ways, I say, it is exceeding 
hard to determine. I only refer you to what Mr Mead hath written in his 
Diatribe, where he handles both that place in Peter and that in Jude. And 
he saith that the word in Peter, ' he hath cast them down to hell,' doth not 
necessarily signify a present throwing them down to hell, but a judging of 
them to hell. And so they are ' reserved in chains to the day of judgment ;' 
that is, in the mean season he lets them be in the air. As we say of a judge, 
when he condemns a man to be hanged, that he hath hanged the man, 
though the man be not hanged a long time after : so God judged them unto 
hell, and impressed upon their consciences a receiving of judgment and an 
everlasting sentence of condemnation, which they shall never be freed from. 
Therefore the devil, you see, when he prayed unto Christ, Mark v., — for the 
devil prayed then, as wicked men do when their consciences are fired, — he 
prayed, not that they might be kept from torment altogether, but that they 


might not be tormented before their time. The truth is, that both may 
stand. I will give you but that reconciliation which I have had in my 
thoughts ; that is this : that their kingdom is only in the air, and when they 
are thrown into hell by God, — as it may be sometimes some of them are, at 
his pleasure, — then they are not in their kingdom. If the great devil be 
thrown into hell, his power ceaseth ; for the devils do not torment one 
another, nor wicked souls at present ; for how is it said that the fire is ' pre- 
pared for the devil and his angels 1 ' Therefore, though they may be some- 
times in hell, and let loose again, to rove up and down here below, — as God 
sometimes lets them loose, — carrying their chains about them ; yet, notwith- 
standing, their kingdom is only in the air, and although, I say, they are 
thrown into heU sometime, yet they may be let loose again. 

You have a clear place for that, Rev. xx. 3. It is said there that Satan 
was sealed up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years, because God, during 
that glorious time of a thousand years, would not have the saints tormented ; 
and afterwards he is let loose again, till at last he is cast into that lake 
where he is chained down for ever. And certainly, my brethren, let him 
now go up and do"\vn in the air, he carrieth his chain with him, — that is, a 
chain of guilt, — and his hell is about him. The place is clear, James iii. 6, 
' The tongTie,' saith he, ' is set on fire of hell,' that is, of the devil, who is 
called hell, not only as being condemned to hell, but as carrying hell about 
him. There is a chain that chains them to hell, that they cannot come out ; 
and if that by permission they are let out at any time, they are in chains 
still. As men sentenced to death have chains put upon them, and where- 
ever they go, they carry those chains along with them : so God judged, 
sentenced the devils unto hell ; and when they were cast to hell, that is, 
judged to hell, he clapped chains upon them, which they carry up and down 
with them wherever they are. And this likewise is certain, that they are 
not in their full torment. It is said that they do now ' believe and tremble,' 
tremble at what is to come ; and they say, ' Do not torment us before the 
time ;' and there is a reserve. ' They are reserved,' saith the Apostle. And 
in 2 Peter ii. 9, as wicked men are said to be ' reserved unto the day of 
judgment :' so they are said likewise to be ' reserved unto the great day.' 
Therefore they are not in fuU torment, there is a reservation of a great deal 
yet to come. 

The reason why they are thus permitted to be in the air, and are not in 
full torment, is this : because his ministry is to ' work in the children of 
disobedience ;' that is, that which God permits him to do, which we may 
say is his ministry designed him by God. Now he being designed to work, 
— as the text saith he ' works in the children of disobedience,' — of necessity 
he must be in the ' air ;' for if he were in hell, he could not work at such a 
distance. It is proper to Christ, who is the King and Head of his Church, 
though in heaven, to work in a man's heart here upon earth. Satan cannot 
do the like ; therefore to the end he may work upon men, he is in the air. 
And therefore to be in the ' air,' and to ' work in the children of disobedi- 
ence,' are equivalent. 

And then again, if he were in fuU torment, it is certain likewise he could 
not be busy to tempt ; and the reason is clear, for the fulness of God's wrath 
which men shall have in heU takes up all the intention ; insomuch as some 
divines say, that therefore there is no sinning in an active way in hell, be- 
cause they are only sufferers. I remember, it is a notion that Parker hath 
[n his Descension into Hell. The wrath of God would distract the creature, 


when it cometli in the fulness of it. Now the devil hath all his wits about 
him, all his wiles, all his methods ; therefore certainly they are not in full 

And likewise, if they had not ease, yea, a pleasure in wickedness in some 
respect, they would not be so busy ; for they have lusts and desires. ' The 
lusts of your father the devil,' saith Christ, ' ye will do. Now then, when 
they have put men upon what they do desire, there is a satisfaction of their 
lusts, and there is in some respects some pleasure arising, that sets them on 
work. And this may seem to be one difference between the place of men's 
souls departed, that go to hell, that are in a place of torment, as it is called, 
Luke xvi., and the devil's place. God having not appointed them a ministry 
to work in the children of disobedience, as he hath done the devUs ; hence 
therefore they are in torment, in that torment, though not such as shall be 
when soul and body are joined together. Therefore now, though they sin, 
yet they do it not de merito, they shall not answer for all that which is done 
in hell ; the text is clear in that of the Corinthians ; ' to answer for what is 
done in the body,' saith he. But now the devUs, they being appointed a 
ministry, having liberty to be, not in the deep always, but in the air, and in 
a respect having some ease, hence therefore they go on de merito. Why else 
are the angels said to be judged ? You know it is said, the saints shall judge 
the angels. What ! only for the first great sin, and not for their putting 
men upon all the sins since ? Then one man would have more sins than the 
great devil, if the devil were to be judged only for that first great sin. They 
shall be judged, I say, for what they have done, from the very first sin they 
committed. And though they are in terviino, that is, they are not in ma 
in respect of the sentence of condemnation itself; yet, not-withstanding, in 
respect of ease they are in the way, and in termino only in respect of the 
sentence. And as those that sin against the Holy Ghost, and have received 
the sentence of condemnation in themselves, they are in that respect in hell 
as well as the devils ; yet because they are but in the frontiers of it, they 
have but the first fruits, not the fulness of torment ; therefore they go on 
still de merito, adding guilt to guilt, and so do the devUs too. 

Now, my brethren, to conclude this discourse concerning Satan and his 
kingdom, with summing up to you, shortly and briefly, the greatness of this 
kingdom of his. His kingdom, you see — 

1. For the form of it, it is a monarchy : he is the 'prince of the power 
of the air.' 

2. For the subjects of it : as Christ hath for his subjects ' things visible 
and invisible, things in heaven and things in earth,' Col. i. 1 6 ; so this great 
devil hath for subjects of this kingdom things invisible — his own natural 
complices, of the like nature with him ; they are called here, ' the power of 
the air ;' and he hath things visible — ' the children of disobedience,' which 
are his slaves, which he hath overcome, namely, the sons of men. 

3. For the multitude of his subjects, he hath more than Christ by far : 
of mankind we are sure, what of angels we know not. He is the great and 
catholic king, he hath had all the world ; you see, the world and the devi' 
go together in the text ; and he that walketh according to the world, walketh 
according to Satan ; and. Rev. xii. 9, he is said to be the dragon that had 
* deceived the whole world.' 

4. It is such a kingdom as doth not consist only in outward command, 
but comes in that somewhat near the kingdom of Christ ; for he works in- 
wardly. So saith the text here, he ' works in the children of disobedience ;' 
he doth it invisibly. Only, I say, he is not a head, he hath not that influence 


Christ hath; but influence he hath, by insinuating himself into men's spirits; 
he works in them, which no monarch can do, nor which all his agents can do. 

5. For his success which he aims at, which is to carry men on to sin, the 
text saith, he ' works in them ;' that is, he works effectually in them. 

6. For continuance of time, as I said before, he had the start of Christ in 
this world, for he had j)ossession of all mankind, and he thought he had 
them all under lock and key ; for that which bringeth every man into the 
world made him a child of the devil. 

7. He hath given place to none, as other princes do ; nay, he himself was 
worshipped in the world, not as king only, but as a god. And therefore, in 
Rev. xii. it is said that he and his angels were in heaven. Why 1 Because 
they were worshipped as gods. * And he was cast out into the earth, and 
his angels were cast out with him.' When Constantine turned Christian, all 
the world turned Christian too ; then all his devils were thrown down from 
having that worship as they always had before. 

But, my brethren, when he ceased to be a god, he still being the prince 
of this world, that he might imitate God, who hath set up his Son Jesus 
Christ, he likewise hath set up his son, Antichrist, the beast of Rome, whose 
kingdom and the devil's are in many things just alike. I remember I shewed 
you, when I handled those particulars mentioned in the 20th and 21st verses 
of the first chapter, a parallel between the pride of the devil and the pride 
of the Pope, in taking upon him to be as Christ, and that parallel held a 
great way in all those particulars. Now let us parallel the devil's Idngdom 
and Antichrist's kingdom. For the devil told our Saviour Christ, that he 
had power to give the world to whom he would ; and God did give him power 
to raise up one king, and the greatest kingdom that ever was ; for that State 
of Rome, whereof the Pope is the head, is the greatest kingdom, and hath 
been of longest continuance of any other. In Rev. xiii., when the devil 
himself was cast out from being god of the world, he takes up another plot, 
and the text saith, ver. 2, that the dragon did give the beast his power, and 
his seat, and great authority. All power of kings and magistrates is of God, 
Rom. xiii. But the truth is, Antichrist's kingdom, and all his hierarchy, it 
is of the devil ; he raised him up in imitation of Christ ; he is the eldest son 
of Satan, as Christ is the eldest son of God. And when himself could not keep 
his kingdom any longer, as he had done, to be immediately worshi2:)ped, then 
he sets up the Pope, the greatest cheat that ever was in the world, a son of 
his own raising, after whom the whole world ran a-wondering. 

Now as the devil hath two sorts of subjects, — his natural subjects of his own 
kind, the angels, his fellow-peers ; and men, which are his slaves, — so hath 
the Pope. Therefore in Rev. xiii. you find two beasts, one in the 11th verse 
arising with two horns lilce a lamb, that is the Pope and his clergy, those 
evil angels, for ministers should be angels ; there is his ecclesiastical power. 
And then he is the head of the kings of the earth ; there is his secular power. 
He hath a double power under him, a double bodj^, even as the devil here 
hath. And, my brethren, they are ordered to fall together. When the vial 
was poured out upon the air. Rev. xvi., which is the whole universal power of 
the devil, it is said that ' Babylon came up into remembrance before God.' 
And Rev. xix. 20, it is said, 'The beast was cast into the lake which burneth 
with fire and brimstone.' There is the beast that goes into the lake; the 
devil goes after him. Rev. xx. 10, 'The devU that deceived the world was 
cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet 
were.' But in the meantime, though the devil be a king, yet he is a miserable 
king, for his very kingdom is his prison : if he could break through the heavens 


and run away from God, he would ; but he cannot, he is under chains, and 
he is under torment likewise, though not in fulness of torment. 

And, my brethren, to make an observation or two upon it : — 

He is but the prince of the air, first ; but our Lord and Saviour Christ, 
he is the prince in heaven, his throne is in heaven, as Heb. i. hath it, and 
Eph. L 19, 20. And Jesus Christ is our intercessor, and our prayers go to 
heaven, the devil cannot meddle with them, he cannot intercept them, though 
he be prince in the air ; the Holy Ghost carries them up ; he holds, as I may 
Aay, one hand in our heart, and another in Christ's. Nay, not only Christ 
Ls in heaven, and the devil but in the air, but we are ' set in heavenly places 
with Christ,' Eph. iL 6. Therefore, as the Apostle saith, what shall sepa- 
rate us from the love of God 1 Shall principalities or powers, good angels 
or bad ? 

You may observe likewise, that Satan hath no kingdom when the air shall 
cease, when this world shall be at an end. Jesus Christ vnll put down all 
power and rule, and God will be all in all ; that is, he will be all in heaven, 
and all in hell too, every way he wUl be all. 

My brethren, fear not this prince of the air, for Jesus Christ himself, 
when he ascended into heaven, went through this air, this kingdom of the 
devils, and spoiled these principalities and powers ; that is, virtually, he 
took their kingdom from them ; and himself, a man, went to heaven per- 
sonally in the sight of them all, leading them all captive in triumph at his 
chariot. And, as a father well saith, he purified the air, as he went, of these 
unclean spirits ; that is, by virtue of this ascension of his he hath so triumphed 
over them, that they shall never do his people hurt, nor ever keep their souls 
from heaven. 

I have thus largely opened to you the kingdom of Satan, as these words 
hold it forth ; for I have kept punctually to them, and that because the 
Apostle intended to set out this kingdom here in opposition to the kingdom 
of Christ, which he had described in the 19th and 20th verses of the former 

I should likewise shew you how he is a cause of sin, and how all vricked 
men walk according to this prince, and how this prince worketh in them, as 
beins children of disobedience. But that I reserve for the next discourse. 

EpH. IL 2.] TO THK EPHESIAiiS. 4 9 


According to the pHnce of the power of the air, the spirit that now toorketh in 
the children of disobedience. — Vee. 2. 

The Apostle's scope in general is, to set forth, the misery of aU unregenerate 
men, brought home to these Ephesians by way of application, yet so as every 
man in his natural condition may see his own estate by it. Men walk in sin 
whilst they are unregenerate ; ' in which ye walked,' saith he ; and they have 
three guides. They have the world ; ' according to the course of this Avorld.' 
They have the devil; ' according to the prince of the power of the air,' etc. 
And, last of all, ' the flesh,' our own con-upt hearts. 

In opening of these words, as they relate to the Apostle's scope, I reduced 
them to these three heads : — 

The first is. That Satan hath a kingdom opposite unto Christ's, which the 
Apostle therefore a little enlargeth upon in these words — he is ' the prince of 
the power of the air ; ' having in his eye to describe Satan's kingdom in op- 
jjosition to that kingdom of Christ's which he had held forth in two or three 
verses before, namely, in ver. 20, 21 of the former chapter. 

The second is, That aU men in the state of unregeneracy are subjects of 
that kingdom and of that prince, and do live accordingly. And that is im- 
ported in the coherence of these words, 'in which ye walked according to 
the prince of the power of the air,' &c. 

The third is, "\Miat hLs power over these his subjects is 1 It is more in- 
trinsical, by working in them ; he is the prince of a spirit that worketh in 

I may add this in the fourth place. Because that the working of this spirit 
is in them, and so to demonstrate unto men that all carnal men are under 
the power of Satan, there had need be some evidence of it ; therefore the 
Apostle addeth, ' that worketh now in the children of disobedience.' He 
points to some more eminent children of disobedience, ia whom apparently, 
to the eyes of these Ephesians, or of any man enlightened by the Holy Ghost , 
the spirit of the devil doth appear : and, saith he, ye all had your conversa- 
tion among these, and you were imder his power more or less, as every un- 
regenerate man is. 

I have despatched the first, the description of the kingdom of Satan, as it 
is held forth in these words. I come now to the second, repeating nothing 
of what I have said ; and the sum of it is this, that all uni-egenerate men are 
subjects of this kingdom, or this prince ; which, I say, is imported in these 
words, ' in which ye walked ' — viz., when ye were unregenerate — ' according 
to the prince of the power of the air.' In that they are said to walk after 
this prince, or according to this prince, it importeth him to be their prince 
according to whose 'niU they live. 

I wiU open the phi-ase a little, and then I wiU give you such observations 
as shall be both to explain the thing further, and to quicken our hearts, 
voii. n. D 


How are unregenerate men said to ' walk according to the prince of the 
power of the air,' or according to Satan as their prince ? 

In the first place, men are said to walk after their prince when they walk 
after his example. Regis ad exemplum, after the example of the prince the 
whole kingdom follows. 

K it be said that the devil's example is not visible, therefore that cannot 
be the meaning of it, that they ' walked after the prince of the power of the 
air,' that is, after his example ; my brethren, it is true his example is no*- 
visible, and men do not de indmtria imitate this devil. Yet, notwithstand- 
ing, whilst they do the same works that the devil himself, if he were incar- 
nate, or supposing him to be clothed with flesh and blood, and that he were 
to live in this world and to be conversant amongst men as one man is with 
another, according to the laws of human kind — if, I say, they walk so as he 
wovdd walk supposing him such, so long they may be said to walk after his 
example ; they do by his instinct the same things he would do. There is a 
notable place for this in John viii. 44 : ' You are,' saith Christ, speaking 
to the Jews, * of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will 
do.' Yea, at the 39 th verse saith he, ' If you were Abraham's children, you 
would do the works of Abraham.' They pretended to be Abraham's children, 
and they pretended to do the works of Abraham ; but Christ tells them they 
were of their father the devil, and that they did his works. At the 30th 
verse, saith he, ' I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and ye do 
that which ye have seen with your father,' meaning the devil. A strange 
parallel this ! It is certain that our Saviour Christ did do what he saw with 
his Father ; for the Father doth nothing but what he sheweth the Son, as he 
saith, John v. 20. Yea, but, saith he, although you do not visibly see what 
the de%il doth, yet you do the same things as if you had conversed with him, 
and been acquainted with him, as if you had seen him as children see their 
fathers. This is his scope. ' The lusts of your father ye will do,' saith he ; 
and as I do that which I have seen with my Father, so ye do that which ye 
have seen with your father. Abraham walked before God, and was upright, 
as eyeing God in aU things. Wicked men, indeed, do not walk thus before 
Satan, as eyeing him ; yet they walk in the same steps, as if they saw what 
the devil doth, and what he would do. 

Then again, in the second place, they are said to walk after the prince of 
the power of the air, not only because materially they do the same things the 
devil doth and would do, but because they satisfy his lusts, and his will over 
them, in all that they do. ' The lusts,' saith he, ' of your father ye will do,' 
ver. 44. You do not only the same things which he doth, but which he 
desires you should do ; and so you gratify him in all that you do, and you 
fulfil his pleasure more than you do your own. They are not said to fulfil 
their own lusts so much as the lusts of their father the devil. 

And then, in the third place, not only they do what he would have them 
do, but they do it after a commanding power of his. A friend may do what 
a friend desu'es ; but yet he doth not walk after him as a priace. But now, 
all carnal men in the world do walk after Satan as their prince ; they do not 
only what he desireth they should do, but he hath a commanding power over 
them, for that being a prince evidently imjDhes. And therefore, in 2 Tim. 
ii. 26, they are said to be * taken captive at his wiU.' And in Acts xxvi. 18, 
when men are converted, they are said to be delivered, to be turned ' from 
the power of Satan.' 

And so now you have the phrase opened — what it is to walk after the 
prince of the power of the air, I only add this, because he speaks chiefly of 

EpU. 11. 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 51 

the grecat devil. He doth not immediately command in all men's hearts, — 
fox- it is imjiossible he should, — as Christ doth ; therefore Christ is called a 
Head as well as a Prince, so is not Satan ; yet he sends out lesser devils 
that do command in men's hearts. As suppose there were those here in 
England that should act all the king of Spain's counsels, or the Pojie's coun- 
sels, and what he commandcth, though what is done here is not immediately 
done by either of these, yet if it be done by those agents that are sent out 
by the king of Spain, or by those emissaries that are sent out from Rome, 
they may be said to walk after their prince, or to walk after the beast ; those, 
I mean, that do obey their directions : so it is here. 

I come now to some observations, that will further open the words. 

Obs, 1. — The first observation is this : That this great kingdom of Satan^s 
especially lies, for the matter of it, in sin. It is clear out of the coherence : 
' Ye were dead,' saith the Apostle, ' in sins and tresjjasses, in which ye walked 
according to the prince of the power of the air.' His princedom therefore 
lies in matter of sin ; and men are subject to him as to a prince, chiefly as 
they walk in sin. As the kingdom of Christ consisteth not in meat and 
drink, but in righteousness aud peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ; so 
Satan's kingdom lies not in disposing of riches or honours, simply so con- 
sidered, further than in order some way to the advancing of his own kingdom, 
and as men sin in the pursuit of them. It was a lie the devil told Christ, 
when he said he had all the kingdoms of the world to disj^ose of; that is 
proper only to God, as you have the expression in Dan. iv. But now, as 
the Pope pretends to a spiritual power, and saith he hath power in temporals 
in orditie ad spiiitualia, in order unto spirituals ; so the devil and these 
rulers of the world, they are ' spiritual wickednesses,' as they are called, 
Eph. vi, ; but yet in order to advance this their spiritual kingdom of sin, 
they do deal in the great affairs of the world, and in turning things up and 
down ; but yet still, I say, their kingdom properly, the object-matter of it, 
lies in matter of sin ; and therefore' in Eph. vi. 1 2, if you mark it, they are 
said to be the ' rulers of the Avorld of this darkness,' — so the Avords are to be 
read, — that is, they are rulers only of the darkness of the world, that is, the 
sin of the world. And were it not for sin, they should have no power over 
men. ' The prince of this world cometh,' saith Christ, ' and he hath no- 
thing in me,' because Christ had no sin. Satan's kingdom doth not lie 
hereafter to torment men, for then we might fear him. ' Fear htm that can 
cast both body and soul into hell.' Torment, the punishment of sin in heU, 
is God's work ; but the devil's proper work is sin. 

Now, my brethren, it is thus, both in Satan's intention, and in his con- 
stant course to this day. When he first set up his kingdom, he did not aim 
so much to have the disposure of aU the honours and glory in the world, — 
though in order to advance his kingdom he hath done it, and he hath had 
it, — but his principal aim was to set sin up in the world against God. 
Therefore, in 1 John iii. 8, sin is called the work of the devil ; that is, it is 
his great project, his great design. And the Apostle speaks there of Satan's 
kingdom in men's hearts : for he saith that Christ came to dissolve the 
work of the devil, therefore not in his owia heart, but in men's. Every 
kingdom, you know, hath an interest of state ; and if men be true to their 
interest, they follow it close and pursue that above all things else. Why, 
the interest of state that is in Satan's kingdom is to advance sin. There- 
fore while you A\alk in sin, you walk according to the p>rince of the power of 
the air. 

There is this difference between us poor men, that are by nature the 


captives of tMs great prince, and tlie prince himself. We are gulled the most 
extremely that can be ; onr design is to have riches, honours, and pleasures 
here in the world. We do not aim to sin, unless it be such as have sinned 
against the Holy Ghost. We would be glad to have these things without 
sin. But because we aim at these things, and cannot attain them without 
sin, therefore it is that we sin. But it is otherwise with Satan ; for to have 
men sin against God is his great design ; it is the kingdom that he hath set 
up. Therefore now we are like a company of poor silly rebels that are led 
into the field by an arch traitor, and some go for plunder and spoil ; but he 
goes to vex his prince, to oppose him, to rebel against him. And that is the 
great design of this great monarch the devU. 

Now, mj brethren, the meditation that you may have for your use from 
hence is this, and it is, next to the glory of God and the dishonour of God, 
the greatest consideration can be had iu the world to deter a man from sin ; 
consider but this : that by sinning ye do pleasure the devil ten thousand 
tunes more than yourselves. Therefore saith Christ, ' his lusts ye will do ;" 
and when ye do his lusts, that which he would have you do, you give him 
satisfaction, you bring him in pleasure, you advance his kingdom. It is the 
motive that John useth why men should not sin. Sin, saith he, is the devil's 
work, and will you advance his design 1 1 John iii. 8. If you mark the 
coherence, it is clearly so. And it is the work of Christ to dissolve sin. 
' He hath appeared,' saith he, ' to dissolve the work of the devU,' in the same 
place. So that now, as Christ's kingdom and his power lies, and the intent 
of it is, to dissolve sin ; so the devil's kingdom and his aim is to set up sin. 
AU his comings in are by men's sinnings. It is not man's end to sin, but it 
is Satan's. Nay, my brethren, let me say this unto you, that Satan doth 
not aim so much at your damnation as he doth aim you should sin, though 
he aims at your damnation too ; for he hates man, but he hateth God more. 
In the damnation of the creature, therein is God glorified ; but in the sm of 
the creature, thereby God is dishonoured, and thereby Satan is therefore the 
more gratified. And therefore we should learn from hence this great lesson, 
to hate sin more than damnation : for it is certain the devil himself is 
pleased more with your sin than mth your damnation, for he is the prince 
of it. ' Walking in sin,' saith he, ' accordmg to the prince,' &c. 

Obs. 2. — A second observation, which will clear and explain what we are 
upon, is this : That only those, and all those that ivalk in sin, be it the least, 
are subjects unto Satan ; ' in which ye walked according unto the prince/ 
&c. In 1 John ui. 8, 9, the place I quoted even now, ' he that committeth 
sin is of the devil ;' and being of the devil, he is on the devil's side, he is 
of his party ; that phrase of Christ's interprets it, ' he that is not with me.' 
^e that committeth sin is with the devil ; and so he that walketh in it, the 
comforts of his life come in by it, makes a trade of it, be it the least. And 
John gives this very reason why every man that committeth sin thus is of 
the devil ; ' for the devU,' saith he, ' sinneth from the beginning.' What is 
the meaning of that 1 He that continueth in any sin, saith he, is of the 
devil ; because that hath been the devil's practice, it is that which makes 
him a devil, his having sinned from the beginning, — not having sinned at 
the beginning, but his continuing in sin, going on in a constant course of it. 
And then again, he saith, he that is born of God hath a new nature that 
cannot agree with it. But I add this reason to it also : because if that 
Satan's kingdom lies in sm, as you heard before, then where sin reigneth, 
Satan reigneth. The case is clear ; for if his kingdom lieth in it, where 
that reigns, he must needs reign. And therefore to be servants of sin, as in 

Eril. II. 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 53 

Kom. \i. 20, is all one and to be the servants of Satan ; as to be the servants 
of righteousness, as you have it there, is all one and to be servants unto 
Christ. And therefore in Acts xxvi. 18, instead of saying, to turn men 
' from sin unto God,' you have it, to turn men ' from the power of Satan 
unto God / because Avhere sin reigns, there Satan reigns. 

There is this likewise may be added to explain it : Satan's kingdom, you 
see, lies in sin, and the bounds of his kingdom lie in the dominion of any 
sin. And therefore now, although he doth not carry on all men to all sins, 
yet, notwithstanding, if sin have but dominion in a man that he walketh in 
it, then Satan hath a dominion. Though he doth not carry men on to aU 
degrees of sinning, yet still his kingdom is maintained in them, as concern- 
ing the persons that are the subjects of his kingdom, they come within the 
bounds of it ; for the bounds of Satan's kingdom lie in this, when sin reign- 
eth, when men walk in it, let it be any sin, though never so small. The 
truth is, God doth not let men be so wicked as Satan wovild have them ; we 
must not understand it so, that Satan is such a prince that hath so his will 
as whatsoever he would have men do, they do. But he is such a prince as 
having a company of discontented rebels under him, he suffers them all to 
walk by their own laws ; yet look, what is peculiarly the law of his kingdom 
or commonwealth, — for so I call every man's heart, — he holds them to that 
law, he hath power to put them upon that sin. He is a tyrant that hath 
not a kingdom of one kind, as amongst men, but he hath variety of dominions, 
some greater, some lesser, for so I may call the hearts of several men unre- 
generate ; yet still, be it the smallest sin, if a man walks in it, he comes 
within the verge of his kingdom, his person is in his kingdom, and in that 
snare the devil takes him captive at his will, and so he is his j^rince. My 
brethren, sin is the devil's viceroy ; he is the chief prince indeed. And 
though it be but a petty viceroy, it keeps the devil's tenure, and the devil 
hath power according to the common law God affords him, to put men on to 
that sin which their pecuhar humour is addicted unto. And therefore sin is 
called the ' snare of the devil,' 2 Tim. ii. 26, in which men are ' taken captive at 
his will.' Now any one lust is a snare ; and as a bird that is taken in a snare 
by the fowler, — for the word here, ' taken captive,' is venatu cajyto, to take 
alive by hunting, — the bird may hang by one string or cord, and he hath 
her by that at his will : so any one sin — for corrupt nature venteth itself 
in several men several ways — is a snare, and it is a snare of the devil. You 
may see that in 1 Tim. vi. 9, ' They that will be rich fall into a snare,' when 
their heart is set upon it ; it holds in any sin, instance in what you will. 

Ohs. 3. — The last observation that I shall make is only this, which is 
the apostle's scope also : The misery that all unregenerate men are in that 
walk in sin. It is the apostle's scope here to strike their hearts with the 
depth of that misery which they lay in by nature ; and to express it to them, 
he shews they were subjects of that great kingdom of Satan. My brethren, 
let me speak sadly to all our hearts. Every man falls either under the king- 
dom of Christ or under the kingdom of Satan ; and we do this hour, this 
moment, actually stand members either of the one or of the other ; there is 
not a third kingdom, as there is not a third place to go to. Our Saviour 
Christ, in Luke xi. 23, when he discoursed of Satan's kingdom and of his 
own, — of Satan's kingdom, ver. 18, ' His kingdom,' saith he, 'is not divided 
against itself;' of his own kingdom and of God's, ver. 10, 'If I with the 
finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come 
upon you ;' here are two kingdoms, — now, ver. 23, he tells them plainly 
every man must fall to one of these kingdoms, there is no neutrality : ' Hi 


that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not ^vith me 
scattereth ; ' he falleth to that scatterer, he that is the great destroyer, as he 
is called, Rev. ix. 11. As it is in war, you must take part either with the 
one side or with the other, there must be no neuters ; so it is here, they are 
so engaged, and such an irreconcUableness there is, that men must fall, and 
they do fall, one way or other. 

And let me add this further : That we were all born under Satan's kingdom 
is as certain as that we are ; and that till by an almighty power we are 
rescued out of that kingdom, and translated into the kingdom of his Son, 
we must remain in it, and we walk in it. Now therefore consider with your- 
selves, it is a matter of the greatest haj^piness, or uuhappiness, of men born 
into this world, under what kingdom they are born, and are cast to live. 
What an infinite misery is it to the poor Grecians and their children to 
be born under the tjTanny of the Great Tiirk ! and what a happiness to be 
born in these western parts ! for stUl, the more western and northward, the 
more freedom have the subjects, and the more eastern, the more tyranny. 
It is a matter of great concernment what king a kingdom hath : ' Woe to 
thee, O land, when thy king is a child,' Eccles. x. 16 ; and, ' When the 
wicked bear rule, the people mourn,' Prov. xsix. 2. Now if God from hea- 
ven should curse a man, if Christ himself should utter the greatest curse 
that ever he uttered, what would that curse be? Let the devil be his king, 
and let the devd rule over him. You shaU find in Scripture that it is thus : 
Ps. cix. 6, ' Set thou a wicked man over him ;' the Septuagint renders it, 
' Set that wicked one over him,' using the same word John useth in his first 
epistle, chap. ii. 13, 6 rrovriBog, that wicked one, the devil : and saith he, in 
the very next words in the psalm, ' Let Satan stand at his right hand' — he 
is that wicked one ; let him be both his ruler to carry him on to sin, and 
when he hath done, let him be his accuser too : for so alwaj'S the witnesses 
that accused a man stood on his right hand ; therefore, in Zech. iii. 1, you 
read, when Satan would accuse Joshua the high priest, he stood at his right 

Now, my brethren, whose curse is this, and upon whom did it fall ? It is 
the first curse in that psalm in which the prophet begins to curse, that that 
same wicked one should be set in oflSce over him, as some translate it, and 
that Satan should stand at his right hand, — that is, when he had carried 
him on to e\il, then to accuse him, and so destroy him body and soul. 
Whose is this curse 1 My brethren, plainly this curse is against Judas, and 
therefore is spoken in the person of Christ. (And by the way, I take it, 
you have no psalm that hath this kind of cursing in it, but it is David bear- 
ing the type of Christ, or prophesying immediately of Christ.) How do you 
prove that ? Look into Acts i. and you shall find that the very words of 
this psalm are applied to Judas, and that by the Apostle Peter. * It is writ- 
ten in the book of Psalms,' saith he, ' Let his habitation be desolate, and his 
bishopric let another take,' — the very next words in that 109th psalm, — and 
so he goes on. Now, that this did immediately concern Judas appears by 
this : for the apostle in Acts i. saith that another apostle was to be chosen 
in the room of Judas, which all the world could not have revealed had not 
the Holy Ghost revealed that his aim in this psalm was personally to curse 
Judas. And this curse is the curse of Jesus Christ, who is able to curse. 
When Christ from heaven would curse a man, Set the devil over him, saith 
he ; and it was fulfilled, the Scripture saith Satan entered into Judas. As 
the swine, when the devils entered into them, were carried headlong into the 
sea, so Judas fell 'headlong,' saith Acts i. 18. And he carried him on to 

Eril. il. 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 55 

hang himself; for after he had been his ruler fo carry him on to sin, then 
he was his accuser to God ; and he never left until he had a commission 
from God to tempt him to undo himself. You see, my brethren, that the 
heaviest curse that Christ himself from heaven pronounceth against his great 
enemy, he that was a traitor to him, that delivered him up to be crucified, 
is this, that the devil should rule over him. 

Will you now but consider, in a word or two, what a king you have. Alas ! 
in being a servant of sin, sin is but a moral king, a metaphorical king ; but 
the devil is a real king, a personal king, a creature subsisting and existing 
as yourselves ; therefore we are said to be ' taken captive at his will.' He 
hath an understanding and a will, and out of that understanding he rules 
and guides thee, as one reasonable creature rules and guides another. And 
what art thou but a poor captive ? Thou hast but a little of thy will, he 
hath his will ; thou art but taken captive, like the ox that goes to the slaugh- 
ter, or as a bird that hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his 
life, as Solomon speaks. Do but consider with yourselves ; — for, as I said 
before, this is certain, though we hear not the devil, nor see him, nor feel him, 
yet whilst we he in the state of nature, or walk in the least sin, the devil is 
our piince, and he serves his turn upon us ; — consider, I say, we are all men, 
and man is a noble creature, he scorns to be led captive. Why, thou art led 
captive by Satan. ' Ye were carried away,' as the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. xii. 2, 
' imto dumb idols, according as ye were led.' And thou art deceived and 
gulled by it, for thou hast but a petty project in sinning ; he hath the greatest 
design in the world, he acts another part ; his design is to set up sin against 
God directly and immediately. Poor creatures, that is not our design imme- 
diately. Therefore he is said to ' deceive the nations,' Eev. xx. ; and he 
deceived Eve, 2 Cor. xi. 3. Now man, as he scorns to be led, so of all things 
else he scorns to be deceived. There was never such a gull put upon the 
world as this ; therefore it is said, the mystery of iniquity wrought. They 
that brought in Popery knew not themselves what they did ; but the devil 
knew, he designed it, it wrought in a mystery. So now the mystery of ini- 
quity works in all men, and the truth is, they do not know the bottom of it, 
the depths of Satan in it, they do not know the bottom of the design. 

And as we are thus deceived, so we serve one of another nature. It was 
a law in Israel that they should not have a king that was a stranger, one of 
another nation, but that they should choose one from among their brethren 
to be their king, Deut. xvii. 15. Why, Satan is not a prince of your own 
nature, he is not of flesh and blood. We fight not with flesh and blood, 
saith the Apostle, but with spiritual wickednesses. It is therefore to us poor 
men, as I may so compare it, just such a bondage as the Israelites were in 
under Pharaoh. Pharaoh was king over his Egyptians, they were his natural 
subjects, they had a comfortable life under him, as the natural Turks have 
under the Great Turk ; but we are like the Israelites, whom he made to serve 
with rigour; or as the poor Grecians, and other Christians, that are slaves 
and captives to the Turk — he is of another nature from them. So is this 
devil; his own devils have a natural kingdom with him, therefore he doth 
temper it so to them as that he doth not oppose them, for then they would 
divide from him ; and therefore Christ saith, if Satan should cast out Satan, 
his kingdom would be divided, and not be able to stand. But we, poor 
creatures, are as the beasts that are taken, as Jude expresseth it, at his plea- 
sure, and are under a prince of another nature. And not only so, but we 
serve an utter enemy that perfectly hates us, and that seeks to destroy us. 
In Eev. is. 11, those same locusts there spoken of had a king. But wha.. 


manner of king had they ? Even such, yea, the same king as we have ; it 
was the ' angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue,' 
saith he, ' is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue his name is ApoUyon,' — that 
is, the destroyer. His aim is nothing but to destroy and to undo us ; there- 
fore he seeks whom he may delude. And when he useth his authority to 
carry us on to sin, then he goes to God and accuseth ; when that wicked 
one ruleth over a man, then he standeth on his right hand and is an accuser. 
Therefore he is said to have the power of death, not because he is a tormen- 
tor, but because he hath a commission from God to carry a man on to sin, 
and then to urge his commission. 

My brethren, let us therefore come in to Jesus Christ ; he is a king of our 
own nature. In all probability, as I shewed before, it was a motive to the 
angels to set up a kingdom against Christ, because they would not be sub- 
ject to one of another nature. It may therefore well be a motive unto us 
to come in and subject ourselves unto Christ. Why ? Thou shalt have a 
kmg that is of thine own nature ; and whereas the other is a destroyer, he 
will be a saviour; whereas the other is an accuser, he will be an interceder. 

I should likewise shew you the Apostle's scope is thankfulness ; but I 
reserve that till we come to those words, ' He hath made us sit together in 
heavenly places in Christ.' For it is a great change to be translated from 
the kingdom of Satan and to sit together with Christ in his kingdom, which 
is the state of every Christian. 

And so much now for that second head, — viz., That every unregenerate man 
is a subject of Satan's kingdom, and their misery in that respect, — which is 
clearly the Apostle's scope, — and that they ' walk according to the prince of 
the power of the air.' 

I come now to the third head, and that is this : The spirit that now 
worketh in the children of disobedience. 

Here are three things for the parts of these words. Here is the spirit 
that luorketh; here is the time when, noio ; here are the persons in whom, the 
childreti of disobedience. I must first open the phrases, before I can come 
to the things I shall speak out of it. And — 

First, What is meant by ^ spirit that worketh V The difl&culty of open- 
ing this lieth in this : because in the Greek it is the genitive case, as we call 
it ; that is, if you would translate it rightly, ' the prince of the power of 
the air, of the spirit that worketh.' And so here being three genitive cases 
coming together, ' of the power, of the air, of the spirit,' it makes the words 
the more difficult. There are some, and you see our translators took part 
with them, that say it is a change of the case ; that the gejjitive case is put 
for the accusative, that is thus, ' in which ye walked according to the prince,' 
saith he, and if you would know what that prince is, he is ' the spirit that 
worketh,' &c. And it is true that there are instances in Scripture that one 
case is sometimes put for another. But the truth is, it is both hard and 
not so usual ; and therefore, unless there be a necessity of it, I would not 
square the meaning here by that transj)osition of the case. And there is 
this reason for it besides, because that the great devil, who is this great 
prince, doth not work in every child of disobedience aU those works that 
are WTOught by other devils m them. Eather, therefore, it must be meant 
that he is the prince either of the spirits, or of a spirit, that doth work in 
them. And so the sense will run in a natural way, 'the prince of the power 
of the air, the prince of the spirit that now worketh in the children of dis- 

Now then, if you take it so, it hath •> double meaning. Either spirit is 


taken here pro spiritic spirante, that is, the spirit that breathcth ; or />?'o 
spuitit spirato, that is, the spirit that is breathed into men. That is, it is 
either taken exegetically for the words before, ' the power of the air,' — that is, 
those lesser devils that arc under this great devil, that are his spirits, and 
that go and work in men by his du'ections, he being the prince of them, and 
ordering them so to do, — or else it is taken for that common joint gale that 
these devils have in the hearts of wicked and carnal men, especially those 
that are eminently the children of disobedience. He is the prince of both 
these spirits. 

First, I say spirit is either taken for the devils themselves, that arc under 
this great prince, whom he setteth on work. And so the Apostle explaineth 
what he meant by the ' power of the air ; ' they are spirits, saith he, sent out 
by the great devil to work in the hearts of the children of disobedience. 
And they are called 'spirit' in the singular number, as they were before 
called ' the power of the air' in the singular number, because they are united 
into one body, they do join with one force under this great devU ; they work 
one way and as one spirit, especially in respect of a common spirit, of which 
we shall speak anon, that they breathe into the hearts of the children of 
disobedience ; they carry things on by a common design. And that ' spirit ' 
is taken thus in the singular number, although there be many of these 
devUs, is clear from I^Iatt. viii., and Mark v. from ver. 7 to 14, and Luke 
viii. 29. When Christ cast out a whole legion of devils — for so many they 
were — out of one man, yet that whole legion speaks in the singular number 
mito Christ, ' Torment me not,' ver. 7. And Christ speaks in the singular 
number to him, after he had told him they were many, ' Come out, thou 
unclean spirit,' ver. 9 ; and, ver. 10, ' He besought him that he would not send 
them away;' he and thein. Though they were many, yet still they were 
called one spirit. And therefore this is one meaning of it, that there are a 
world of devils here in the air, which ar« spirits who jom all together in one 
body under this great prince, and work in the children of disobedience. If 
you would know, saith the Apostle, what I mean by the ' power of the air,' 
I mean the spirits — which are called spirit for the reasons I told you of — 
that do now work in the children of disobedience. 

But there is a second interpretation, which indeed, for my part, I rather 
think is the meaning of this place, although we need exclude neither, for 
both senses are fully taken in. When he saith, he is the prince of the 
spirits, or of a spiiit, that now worketh, &c., he doth not mean only by 
' spirits,' the devils, that work as spirits in men ; but he meaneth that 
infusion, that spirit, as I may so call it, that general, common, special spirit, 
— for I may call it both special and common, — that the devUs do raise up in 
wicked men against Christ and against God ; a common active prmciple 
which the devils do all raise, whereof Satan, the prince, is the ^olus, the god 
of all these winds he letteth loose, and they all blow one way : and that 
common gale that comes from them all, and that by the great prince's direc- 
tion, that is said to be the spirit that worketh. The Syriac doth father this 
interpretation, for it putteth in the word 'and,' — 'and of the spirit,' that is, 
* the prince of the power of the air, and of the spirit that worketh,' &c. 

Now I shall shew you, both that spint is so taken in Scripture, and that 
it seems to be taken so here too. 

1. It is so taken in Scripture, Gen. xli. 38. There Pharaoh, speaking in 
the language of his conjurers that dealt with the devils, whom they took 
for gods, saith, ' Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit 
of God is 1 ' And, Dan. iv. 8. 9, Nebuchadnezzar useth the same word of 


Daniel : * A man,' saith he, ' in whom is the spirit of the holy gods;' that is, 
he hath the infusion, the inspiration of the gods, which indeed were their 
devils, who were then the gods of the world, and wrought in the soothsayers 
and in their sibyls, as amongst the heathens they did. Both Pharaoh, you 
see, and Nebuchadnezzar use the same language, and there spirit is put for 
the infusion of the devils in them. So now that spirit that breatheth in a 
man, that giveth him understanding, it is called a spirit, Job xxxii. 8, ' There 
is a spirit in a man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth under- 
standing.' And so in Rev. xix. 10, 'The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit 
of proiDhecy.' He means not the Holy Ghost only, but a prophetic gift 
inspired by the Holy Ghost. So here, by sjnrit is not only meant the devils 
that breathe, but that common spirit — spiritus spiratus, as I may call it — 
that the devil raiseth up in the hearts of men, and putteth into their sjjirits, 
and transformeth them to. 

Now, that which makes me think the Apostle had this in his eye is this, 
because he doth put two articles, and not only so, but he addeth the word 
now. And the Apostle seems to point at some more eminently wicked. 
That you may know, saith he, that men are under the power of the devil, do 
but observe now, now in this age ; do you not see what a spirit works in 
men that are eminently wicked, the children of disobedience'? Although 
you do not see it in all unregenerate men, yet you may, saith he, see it in 
some evidently to be the devil, by the spirit that worketh in them, because 
the stream riseth higher than the fountain, beyond reason, beyond the spirits 
of men ; for so their rage against Jesus Christ and his saints in those primi- 
tive times, the spirit that then wrought, was beyond the spuits of men : 
there could be no reason, no account given of their persecuting those that 
professed Christ; for they persecuted the Christians, and did not understand 
what they were, but the devil did. He raised a mighty spirit, a general stream, 
whereof some eminent men that weje children of disobedience were the ring- 
leaders that carried on all the rest. The devils went, by a common blast that 
they breathed into men, and carried the world before them, against Christ 
and against the apostles and saints ; you may see how it works, saith he. 

And so now, my brethren, in the first words, when he saith, ' ye walked 
according to the prince of the power of the air,' he meaneth the ordinary 
sinfulness that is in all unregenerate men, being under the power of Satan. 
But in these latter words he meaneth a special spirit, that is yet a common 
and general spirit, that worketh in the cbildren of disobedience, which is set 
up against Jesus Christ and the purity of his worship, as then it was, and 
against the commandment of the Lord Jesus. This same special spirit, that 
yet is one gale in the hearts of men, Satan is the prince of it, and your 
lesser devils go all one way, and under that persecute the saints, having 
direction from this great devil ; therefore he is said to be the prince of the 
spirits. And the AjDostle brings it in to this end and purpose, to let them 
see, though they were now converted, yet, saith he, had you lived in your 
former condition, this spirit would have breathed in you ; you may even see 
what manner of men you would have been, how the devU would have jaded 
you, by the spirit that now worketh in the world : you would have been 
acted by the same spirit ; for whilst you were under the devil's kingdom 
you might have been raised up — though all men are not, yet you might have 
been raised up — to the same height that he now worketh in them. 

There is one objection why that this spirit infused, this raised spirit in 
men, should not be meant here ; and it is Piscator's objection. I wUl give 
you an answer to it, and shew you that both may very well be intended, and 


00 come to observations. This latter interpretation is Zanchy's, though he 
expresscth it only in general, a flatus, an inspiration, or the breath of Satan. 
But Piscator's objection against this interpretation is this. That cannot be 
meant, saith he ; for the spirit here is said to worh in the children of dis- 
obedience ; therefore the spirit here must be meant a person or persons, and 
therefore the devils themselves only. And he backs it with this, because 
in 1 Cor. xii. 6, speaking of the Holy Ghost as a person, he is said to ' work 
all in all,' which argueth him to be the Third Person in the Trinity. 

For that I answer, that this hindereth not but still by spirit here may be 
meant that raised spirit that is from the devils themselves, that inspiration 
of them, and infusion of them ; because I find that the same word that is 
used here of working, is applied to other things than persons, that is, to 
spirits too, infused. 2 Thess. ii. 7, * The mystery of iniquity now worketh ; 
it is the same word. What was this mystery of iniquity ? You shall find 
in 1 John iv. 3 : ' The spirit of Antichrist,' saith he, ' whereof you have heard 
that it should come, and even now is come into the world.' That is, the 
truth is, saith he, the devil beginneth to raise up the beginnings of that 
spirit of Antichrist amongst Christians, which shall one day work up to a 
height ; it worketh now, saith he. And indeed it may be that this very 
spirit was one part of the Apostle's meaning that he points at. Look out, 
Christians, saith he ; see what a spirit there is among them, making way for 
corruption in the worship and truth of God ; look among the heathens, see 
what a mighty spirit there is, the devil in both, he is the prince of both 
these. Now, in Ptom. vii. 5, likewise, because you will say it is not said 
to work in us ; yea, but there it is said that ' the motions of sins,' hrioyuro, 
'did work in our members ;' it is the same word that is here. It is applied 
then, you see, to other things than to persons. Therefore, I say, that is no 
objection but this latter should also be meant. For my part, I say, I take 
in both — the one as the cause, the other as the effect. He is a prince of a 
comijany of devils that are spirits, and work as spirits in the cliildren of dis- 
obedience ; and they raise up a common spirit. And that you may know 
the devils work, saith he. Do but see now how they work in the children of 
disobedience, and such would you have been, if God had not freed you ; you 
would have had the same spirit they had, and been led by him more or less. 
This is the Apostle's scope. The like phrase of speech you have in 2 Cor. iv. 
13, ' We have received the same spirit of faith.' What means he by ' spirit of 
faith' there 1 He means both spiritum spirantem, the Holy Ghost that puts 
faith into me, who is called therefore the Spirit of faith ; and he means also 
the grace of faith, the infusion of the Holy Ghost, whereby I do actually be- 
lieve. Many like instances may be brought to prove that ' spirit ' implies 
both ; therefore, for my part, I take in both, the one and the other. 

So now you have these three parts of the words. First, you have here a 
spirit that works, whereof he is the prince, taken both for his devils, that are 
spirits and work by him ; taken also for that common infusion which his 
devils breathe into men. Secondly, you have the time ; ' that now worketh.' 
Thirdly, the persons in whom ; ' in the children of disobedience.' Now, I 
shall give you some observations, if you take either one sense or the other ; 
for both are intended, the one as the cause, the other as the effect, and as a 
demonstration of the misery of man by nature, which these Ephesians them- 
selves may see in those that are eminently the children of disobedience, in 
whom the devil raiseth such a spirit. 

Obs. — First, If you take it for his being a prince of spirits that thus 
worketh, I shall give you these observations, which shall further explain it. 


First, that it relates to their manner of working, that they work as spirits in 
men. And the Apostle doth insinuate this for two ends : the one, to shew 
the manner of their working ; the other, to shew the advantage of their 
working. They work as spirits, for the manner of their working, in the 
children of disobedience ; and for their advantage, — they have mighty ad- 
vantage upon it, — and therefore to shew it, in Eph. vi. 12, he saith, 'We 
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against sjoiritual wickednesses,' 
that is, wickednesses that are spirits. I shall explain it to you by de- 
grees. God did make man under angels, as he hath made other creatures 
under man ; though not in the like inferiority, yet in a proportionable dis- 
tance. Now, this is a certain rule, amongst all God's works, take the whole 
chain of them from first to last, that in the subordination of several creatures, 
the higher one creature riseth above another it is able to do all that is below 
it, all that is excellent, yea, and hath a power to do more ; as now, all the 
senses that a beast hath, man hath, and he hath reason besides. Then for 
the manner of their working, which is the point I would explain : the angels 
being spirits, aU the ways which one man hath to work upon another, the 
angels have the same, and more. What are the ways that a man hath to 
work upon another 1 He can do it by speech, and he can do it by present- 
ing objects externally ; and he can do it by threatening, or by punishment, 
or the like. But the devil can do all this and more. He can appear as a 
man doth, and convey himself unto a man by speech ; and not only so, — for 
this is but working upon a man, this is not working in him, — but the devil 
can creej) into the fancy, he can creep into the humours, and into the passions 
of a man's body, which depend much upon his humours, and can act them; 
therefore he can work in us. ^Nly brethren, one angel cannot work in another; 
one devil doth not possess another. Why ? Because they are creatures of a 
like rank. And therefore as one man commixnicateth his mind to another, 
and cannot creep into a man to suggest it secretly and indiscernibly, because 
man and man are creatures of a like rank ; so are angels. Michael and the 
de-\dl disputed indeed about the body of Moses, as one man doth with 
another ; but one angel cannot undiscemibly work in another. And there- 
fore there is this difference between the devil's working in us, and that which 
one man worketh upon another. One angel may work upon another, and 
persuade him thus and thus, but he cannot work in him ; but the devil, 
being an angel, and an angel being a superior creature to man, hath a way 
of communicating himself to man which one man hath not to another. Yet 
he hath not that way that God hath, for he doth not know the heart ; but 
he can work upon the fancy and upon the passions. The will is joined to 
the affections and passions, and he can work upon them. The understanding 
is joined to the fancy ; he can work upon that, and so work upon the under- 
standing. He can work in us ; yet, notwithstanding, it is not as God doth. 

K you ask me, what it is he can do in us ? I will answer in a word, be- 
cause it hath been spoken to heretofore — 

He can, first, undiscemibly, as a spirit, ^mt into you what thoughts he will, 
suggest anything ; he can imprint it upon the fancy, and the understand- 
ing will take it off presently. In John xiii. 2, it is said, the devil ' put it 
into the heart of Judas to betray Christ ; ' he wi-ought in him. He can take 
away thoughts, and put in thoughts ; he can take them away, for he can divide 
the thoughts. In Luke viii. 12, the devils are compared to fowls — alou 
Tov Aoyoii — that take away, that snatch away \iolently the seed that is sown ; 
he will not only steal them away, but doth it violently; divide the thoughts 
of a man at a sermon, and make him think of somewhat else. And he is 


the envious one that sowoth tares in the night, and undisccrnibly ; as seed, 
you know, is sown in the ground undiscernibly, especially in the night. He 
can put into us what he will. And, my brethren, let me add, he would not 
have power to work in us, unless we had sinned. If he had been perfect, 
and we perfect, he might have wrought in us, and suggested to our spirits 
undiscernibly ; but, as I take it, this same working in us is not only a note 
of difference f^om what one angel can do to another, but it is a note of dif- 
ference of what Satan, being fallen, could have done to Adam, or to Christ 
himself, who were perfectly holy. He could not come to Eve, though he 
was a foul unclean spirit, and work in her, he could not put a thought in her 
undiscernibly, for that had been his best way; and he could not then take 
the shape of a man or a woman to talk in, because the image of God was 
not yet defaced in man, and therefore he comes and talks to her in the shape 
of a serpent ; and she knowing the nature of that beast, knew that he was 
next door to reason, and so he might speak, and that deceived her. And so 
for Christ himself, he comes and makes visible apparitions, but we read not, 
nor do I know any good warrant or ground for it, that that unclean spirit 
should come and work in him. But now, we being sinners, he can, especially 
those that are his own, work in them undiscernibly, put in any thoughts, or 
take any thoughts out of their minds. 

He can, in the second place, when he sees that that thought which he 
hath put in doth take, that a man's will doth a little come off to it, he can 
then, and he doth, — and God permitteth him to do it to ungodly men, — enter 
into them, and 2^ossess them, as a man dwelleth and possesseth his own house ; 
for so the comparison is, Luke xi., that he dwells there as in his own castle. 
And as he entered into the body of the swine and carried them headlong 
into the sea, so he entereth into men, and doth possess their spirits ; and he 
joineth with their spirits, and strengtheneth all those consents to sm in them. 
He is only said to enter into Judas, Luke xxii. 3, for though he was in Judaa 
before, yet when he cometh to put a man on upon any great sin, he is said 
to enter into him, as he did enter into the swine, — for it is the same word, 
— because he joineth with his spirit to carry him on in it, as if another soul 
should come into a man. 

And not only so, but he is able to fill a man's heart, — as Acts v. 3, — as wine 
filleth a man's veins, and giveth him new spirits and strength ; or as wind 
doth fill the bagpipe : for the hearts of unregenerate men, they are, as I may 
call them, the devil's instruments in this respect, he breathes into them, and 
blows them up. He cannot, indeed, put affections into them, but he can 
blow them up when once consent is given. You may read of a good angel 
in Dan. xi. 1 ; saith he, I am with the king of the Medes, to confirm and 
strengthen him in his purpose to deliver the Jews : both these words are used. 
So can Satan, when he hath put in a temptation to a man, — you see he is 
able to suggest it, being a spirit, — when he hath put in his suggestion, then 
he entereth, especially when a man is his own, and giveth place to him. If 
a man be a saint, he hath leave to enter for that time, and he can confirm, and 
strengthen that resolution, and hold him in it, and join with him, and so the 
man shall have a superadded strength, another spirit in him beside his own. 
Therefore in Mic. ii. 11, speaking of fidse prophets, he saith, they do 'wait 
in the spirit, and lie.' It is the same phrase that is used of a man's walking 
in the Holy Ghost, when the Holy Ghost strengtheneth him. And the 
devil did use to come into Ahab's prophets ; he was a lying spirit in them ; 
they ' walk in the spirit, and He.' I speak it for this, that he can thus blow 
up and fill up a man's spirit. I should have added a middle, between entering 


and putting into the heart, — that is, he can provoke men, inflame them. 
' The tongue,' saith James, ' is set on fire of hell ; ' and it is said expressly of 
David, in 1 Chron. xxi. 1, that Satan provoked him to number Israel. 

And not only this, but he can effectually prevail. He can by all these 
means work in us ; first, work indiscernibly in a man ; secondly, having 
right, as in wicked men he hath, he can enter and dwell there, as in his 
house or castle ; thii'dly, when he hath provoked and stirred up the affections 
and passions, when the wiU hath consented, he can strengthen that wUl, and 
so strengthen it that he shall prevail and work effectually ; for so the word 
here implies. In 2 Thess. ii. 10, speaking of Satan's working upon the 
learned part of the Popish party that know the truth, and hate it, ' his com- 
ing,' saith he, ' is with aU dcceivableness of unrighteousness, that they 
might aU be damned.' The doctrine is so laid to men's corrupt hearts, that 
it deceiveth them, and deceiveth them effectually. Therefore in 2 Chron. 
xviii. 21, it is said there by God himself, 'Thou shalt go and entice him, 
and thou shalt prevail.' And you know, he was presently a Ijing spirit, 
and prevailed over aU Ahab's prophets, and over Ahab himself. And he 
doth it with a kind of command, for he is a prince too ; therefore they are 
said to be taken captive at his will. — And so much now for the manner of 
his working, which this phrase, ' he worketh in them,' implieth ; and what I 
have said is necessary to open it. 

Now, the Apostle's scope is likewise to hold forth all the advantages he 
hath as a spirit. He is an active spirit ; for spirits are active. ' The horses 
of Egypt are not flesh but spirit.' I shall not now stand to open the ad- 
vantages, for time would fail me. 

The observation I shall make from hence is this : That though the devil 
worketh in men thus, and works effectually, yet so as all their sms are their 
own still. Why else are thej'^ called children of disobedience 1 He ' work- 
eth,' saith he, 'in the children of disobedience ;' and they walk in sin, though 
the devil thus work, and doth work in all the sins of men. For that which 
we translate ' our life is a continual warfare,' the Septuagint renders it ' a 
continual temptation.' 

The reason why, though the devil thus work, yet it is all our sin, is this : 
because that the devil doth not thus enter into us or join with our spirits to 
confirm us, tiU our wills are come to a consent; we give place first. And 
then when he doth confirm, stUl the will of a man is free, he is but strength- 
ened in it ; he may cause the waters to swell, but he cannot turn them back. 
It is evident in Ananias, 'Why hath Satan filled thine heart?' You will 
say. Did not Satan work in him? How could he help it? Yet it is made 
his sin, for that he gave way to the devil; for he gave way at the first, and 
then the devil entered in and filled him. Another instance for it is that in 
2 Tim. ii. 26 ; he saith, we are taken captive aUve, J^wyg jj/xivo/, as the word 
is derived from thence ; the meaning is this, they are ahve when they are 
taken, and they are taken willingly by him ; though at his wiU, yet with 
their own will too. They are not moved as dead stocks, but they are moved 
as having a living active principle in them, their own wiU. No man sinneth, 
my brethren, because Satan commandeth him ; for we do not see that Satan 
commandeth us, for he works undiscernibly, but we sin because of what is 
propounded to us: as no man doth sin because God decrees him to sin, 
therefore no man can excuse himself with that; so no man can excuse him- 
self with this, that Satan worketh in him. 

And so much now for that first interpretation, that here, by spirit, Ls 
meant the devils, who, as spirits, work in the children of disobedience. 


I come now to a second interpretation, which is taken for the effect of 
these devils, that common spirit that they raised in those times in the children 
of disobedience, which the Apostle bringeth as an instance, tliat themselves 
might see how it wrought. Do not you see, saith he, how it worketh, what a 
spuit there is working in men against God, and against Christ 1 The devil 
is the prince of it. I opened it before, I shall now give you some observa- 
tions about it. 

Obs. — The first is this : That besides the common ordinary walking of 
men in their particular lusts, walking in sin, according to their prince, the 
devil, their king, — for in every sin that a man ordinarily committeth, he 
walketh according to this prince, and his mind and will he doth, — besides 
that, I say, there is a special spirit, which yet is a common spirit in another 
sense, that is, because it breatheth in a general way in men ; yet I call it 
special, because it is superadded, over and above the natural inclination that 
men ordinarily have to the ways of sin, — there is a special spirit, raised up 
by the devils in the children of disobedience. 

I shall make this evident to you by parts. I take these Ephesians for an 
instance, for to me the Apostle seems to point to that spirit that wrought 
among them. In Acts xix., when Paul was at Ephesus, you shall find there 
what a spirit was raised, all the whole city upon a sudden were gathered 
together, and were all filled with confusion, and the text saith, ' the greater 
part knew not wherefore they were come together.' They would have haled 
Paul before the judgment-seat, and having caught Gains and Aristarchus, 
his companions, ' they rushed with one accord into the theatre ;' and all this 
while they knew not for what. And then, for the space of about two hours, 
they all with one voice cried up their goddess Diana, and cried out against 
Jesus Christ ; alas ! they knew not Jesus Christ. But why did they cry up 
their goddess thus 1 Why, the devil was in it. Do not you see, saith the 
Apostle, how the spirit works ? If you read the Apologies of Tertullian, and 
others that wrote in the primitive times, you shall still find them telling the 
heathens thus : Why do you persecute us 1 WTiat is the matter 1 Ycu 
understand not our way. You can let other sects alone, why do you meddle 
with us 1 It is nothing but a name you persecute, you know no more. Yea, 
but, my brethren, the devil knew more, and so raised up a common spirit 
amongst them against the Christians. 

The devil doth raise up in several ages — that should have been another 
part of the observation — a several kind of spirit, yet still the same devil. 
Do you not see, saith he, the spirit that now worketh 1 Why, the spirit of 
heathenism wrought then in a bitter opposition unto Christ ; and the spirit 
of Antichrist wrought then. The spirit of Antichrist is now in the world, 
saith John. And these both wrought in one, wrought against Christ. The 
devil had then two strings to his bow. Among the heathens he had a spirit 
that wrought to advance his kingdom, and to keep him up as long as could be 
as the god of the world ; and if that failed, then he had the spirit of Anti- 
christ, that was then a- working too : and many of the Christians themselves, 
that were good, understood not this, for it was a mystery. And, my breth- 
ren, such is his cunning still, if the scene alters, he alters his spirit that he 
breatheth into men ; he will breathe in new principles, such as the world shall 
close withal ; and he will be still sure so to state the quarrel as that he may 
vent his malice against many of the saints, if he cannot against all. He 
made way, through I know not how many errors, that if the world should 
happen to turn Chiistian, he might raise up such a persecution against those 
that would oppose those corruptions, more or less, as possibly could be. 


Therefore in Eev. xii., -when lie was tlirown down from Leaven to earth, — 
as lie was when heathenism was gone, — he found a way to persecute those 
that kept the commandment of Christ and the testimony of Jesus ; for there 
was then so much corruption brought in and found in the churches by the 
working of this spirit, that God stirred up some or other still, in their several 
ages, to bear witness against it : and against these the devil raised a spuit, 
as being the witnesses of Jesus and such as kept some of the commandments 
of God, which others did not. The apostle John, in the place I quoted 
even now, saith, the spirit of Antichrist is now in the world, 1 John iv. 3. 
Paul saith, it was a mystery ; the apostle John, that he is to come into the 
world, nay, that even now he is in the world. I see his horns are budding, 
saith he ; and that spirit that breatheth now in heathenism shall work up 
to the very same, when the world shall turn Chiistian, in Antichrist. Now, 
this was a mystery, yet the devil knew what he did, he drove it on, and 
carried on this common spirit, and that among Christians themselves m those 
primitive times, even- when the heathens did oppose them. So now, as it is 
said of the Holy Ghost, in 1 Cor. xii, that he hath variety of gifts, but 
there is one spirit, that worketh all in all ; so in several ages there are 
several spirits infused, and principles that men are led by, but yet so as still 
they shall be against some jjart of the commandment of Jesus ; and it is the 
same spirit that still worketh all in all. 

And why is such opposition called a spirit ? 

Because, my brethi-en, things are carried with spirit oftentimes more than 
with reason. Saith Paul, ' I was exceedingly mad against the saints,' Acts 
xxvi. 11. And I think there are few that are mad but there is some kind 
of possession or obsession of Satan. ' I was mad,' saith he, and madness, 
you know, is to go in a thing against reason, and beyond reason, beyond 
the nature of the thing itself : and that is, because the devil is in it ; for he 
carries it as a prince, and therefore he carries it as by a spirit that he sttrreth 
in them. 

And it is called a spirit, too, because it is active, and high, and violent. 
In Rev. xvi. 13, speaking of those emissaries of Kome, that, when Antichrist 
is brought to his last throw for his subsistence, — and if he loseth that, he is 
gone, — he sendeth out, (the devil and Antichrist together, for they are said 
to come out of the mouth of both,) he calls them spirits ; they shall be 
nimble agents, that should have a world of zeal. What is the reason 1 They 
are said to be ' spirits of devils,' and were therefore more active than men 
of themselves would have been. And Satan was the prmce of them, for 
they ' came out of the great dragon;' and they ' go forth to all the kings of 
the earth, to gather them to the battle of that great day.' And how nigh it 
is, God knows. 

Now as it is a special spirit, thus raised, — I have shewn you that it is 
called a spirit, and a spirit that altereth as the scene altereth, — so it is a 
general spirit, a common spirit, wherein, saith he, the children of disobedience 
do agree. The reason, my brethren, why his kingdom is a monarchy, and 
why they have one prince, — by what the Scripture seemeth, both in this 
and other places, to hold forth to me, — is this. Because there is one great 
de\il, that is the old serpent ; he hath the great head, the great wit, and 
inventeth what to do still, in all the turns and agitations and motions of the 
world, and accordingly directs. As Pharaoh — who was a type of the great 
devil and his monarchy, and the Egyptians are the little dragons, as they 
are called, Ps. Ixxiv. — gave the counsel, ' Come,' saith he, ' let us deal wisely :' 
so Satan is, as it were, the great dictator, and all the lesser devils take from 


him what he doth judge, and breathe a common sj)iiit into men in whom 
they work. And therefore he is said here to be the prince of a spirit. The 
reason why it is one spirit Ls, because there is one prince of them that doth 
guide and direct all the other spirits to go thus one way, and to make one 
common gale in the hearts of men. In that Rev. xvi. 13, 14, they are said 
to be three spirits ; yet all agree in one, they all came out of the mouth of 
the dragon too, for he was the prince of them, the great devil ; for by the 
great dragon there, I take it, the great de\'il is meant, for the little devils are 
in that phrase, ' he and his angels.' And a breath came from this prince, 
and the other devils, he saith, were three ; that is, many, or more than one, 
men acted by the devil ; yet they all agreed together in one project and 
design, which was, to go forth to the kings of the earth, and of the whole 
world, to gather them to battle against Christ. For when Antichrist shall 
be put to it, he will get the assistance of heathens, and Turks, and all ; all 
shall join together against the battle of the great day. 

When our Lord and Saviour Christ was crucified," it is clear, then he 
breathed a common breath. Herod and Pilate were one against another, yet 
conspired in crucifpng of Christ. Why 1 Because there was a prince in the 
world, and though he had nothing in, or against Christ, yet he ruled their 
hearts imanimously. Therefore, in Ps. iL, ' Why do the heathen rage, and 
the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together 
against the Lord, and against his anointed V The truth is, the devil was in 
them. * This is your hour,' saith Christ, * and the power of darkness ;' that 
is, the devil, who is the power of darkness, hath power over me, by means 
of you. 

Now, my brethren, it is a spirit likewise which, if the godly wise do 
beedfully observe, may be discerned. The Apostle saith so much. Do you 
not see it work, saith he, in the children of disobedience ? You may see it 
by the nature and carriage of things, that Satan carries them on. — And so 
much for the interpretation of those words, ' the spirit that worketh.' 

I come to The Time; ' that now worketh.* Some put it for etiamnum, that 
still worketh ; but I think that is not the meaning of it, for it refers to that 
present spirit that then was, which, as I said, Satan was the prince of; 
' which now worketh.' It may have relation also to the times of the gospel, 
in comparison of former times. In John xiL 31, saith Clirist, ' Now is the 
judgment of this world;' that is, now is the time of the gospel, when this 
world is to be reformed, and the prince of this world is cast out. Now, 
because that is the now when the prince of this world is cast out, there- 
fore this is the nov) wherein the devil being cast out, being vexed, raiseth up 
a spirit in the children of disobedience. And he is more active a thousand 
times than he was in the Old Testament. It is true, Satan under the New 
Testament hath less power than he had under the Old ; for the kingdom of 
Christ cometh stUl more and more upon him, and spoils his plots, eats them 
out ; but yet his activeness, his working, is more by far. Aid the reason is 
this, because the devil is enraged ; for still as Christ goes, and casts him out 
of his kingdom, or out of men's hearts, the more he ragetL In !Mark ix. 
2Q, when the unclean spirit was to be cast out, the text saith, ' he cried, and 
rent him sore.' And in Piev. xiL 12, when the devil, that great dragon, was 
cast out, thrown from heaven, it is said, ' he is come down, having great 
wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time.' And if he had 
milUons of years, they would be a short time to him. But when he saw him- 
self thrown do%\Ti, it was to him as the beginning of the day of judgment, 
•which he thinketh is approaching. And still, my brethren, the more he is 



confounded, the more he is enraged, and the more active he is ; therefore he 
saith, ' the spirit that now worketh.' 

You shall see this, by comparing the instruments he doth employ in one 
age, and in others, successively, that come after. In Eev. ix., there comes 
out of the bottomless pit a company of locusts, whose king Avas the devil ; 
these were, as some thixik, the Saracens; or, as others, those preaching friars, 
that were some himdreds of years ago sent abroad to uphold the Pope's 
kingdom. For my part, I think, the Holy Ghost did carry on the story of. 
both, even in that first part of the prophecy. Now you shall find in Rev. 
xvi, when Antichrist cometh to his last cast, his agents then are not locusts, 
but ' frogs,' and so raised that they are caUed ' spirits,' because they are more 
nimble and active than those locusts were ; for the devil stiE, as his time 
grows shorter and shorter, begins to work more furiously and more fiercely, 
bestirs himself more in the spirits of men. Those locusts were too didl crea- 
tures, therefore now he hath frogs, he meaneth the Jesuits, who are a nimble 
company of men, men of spirit, full of activeness, that can, hke frogs, leap 
into kings' chambers, and can be in the water and on the land, deal in 
church and deal in commonwealth ; and these he calleth spirits. The locusts, 
I say, those preaching friars, were too dull for his turn, now in this last cast. 
And, my brethren, it is good to learn of an enemy. Still as our time draws 
shorter, let us work the more. ' Exhort one another,' saith he, Heb. x. 25, 
' and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.' And if you will 
have it more full, 1 Cor. vii. 29, ' The time is short.' Therefore let us im- 
prove it to the uttermost. The de\il, you see, doth so j he acteth and work- 
eth more now than he did before, because he knoweth he hath but a short 
time. — And so much now for the time. 

I have now nothing to speak to but The Persons; 'that worleth in the chil- 
dren of disobedience.' I must, as I use to do, a little open the phrase. 

It is a Hebraism, * sons of disobedience.' The Jews do use in common 
speech to apply the words, sons and children, to many things ; as, son of 
captivity, that is, a captive. A sou of the resurrection, saith the gospel ; 
that is, those that shall rise again, and shall be begotten by the resurrection ; 
for it is a begetting again, and so they are sons of it. It importeth, as the 
phrase is here, one that hath addicted himself to disobedience. As wisdom 
is said to be 'justified of her children,' Matt. xi. 19; — there are sons of wis- 
dom, that is, those that have given up their souls to be led by wisdom, 
that have been converted by Christ; — so here, those that have addicted them- 
selves to disobedience, to sin, they are called sons of disobedience. You have 
the like in Ps. Ixxxix. 22, ' The son of wickedness shall not afflict him.' So, 
sons of violence. I shall not need to open that much, I shall speak of it 
when I come to handle ' sons,' or ' children of wrath,' in the next words. 

The only question is this : whether he meaneth all sorts of unregenerate 
men ? or whether he meaneth some special sort, in whom the devil in those 
times raised up a special spirit ? 

The truth is, it is hard to determine it ; the context seems to carry both. 
In Scripture phrase — I shall speak a little to the latter — a child of disobe- 
dience notes out one that is more eminently wicked than others, a son of 
iniquity ; and it is aU one with that which in the Old Testament was called 
a son of Belial, which phrase you have often ; and you never have it used 
but it noteth out one more wicked than ordinarily the generahty of mankind 
are. Sons of Belial are men without a yoke, that have broke the bounds, as 
the prophet expresseth it, for so the word signifies. Still when they are 


mentioned, I say, it notes a special sort of wicked men. I shall quote the 
places: — Deut. xiii. 13; 1 Sam. ii. 12, the sons of Eli are called sons of 
Belial, being more eminently wicked than others ; so in Judges xix. 22 ; 
one given to drunkenness is called a daughter of Belial, 1 Sam. i. 16. Those, 
therefore, that either in respect of living in profaneness, or in respect of op- 
position to God and Christ, are more eminent than others, are especially 
sons of Belial ; yea, they are called even Belial itself. And, in 2 Cor. vi. 15, 
BeUal is called the devil himself ; even as in the New Testament the devil 
is called ' that wicked one.' And answerably, one that is more eminently 
wicked is called a devil ; as in that speech of Christ, who saith of Judas that 
he was a devil. 

The word 'disobedience' is dvsiduai, an obstinacy of heart, that a man hath 
stood out persuasions. So as now it doth import such kind of men likewise 
as have received the truth, or have heard of the truth, yet obey it not, but 
do the contrary. ' I have stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gain- 
saying people,' Eom. x, 21 ; those are called disobedient — it is the same 
word — which have had God's hand stretched out to them. You have many 
places for it : Rom. ii. 8, and Titus i. 16,' In works they deny him,' saith he, 
' and are disobedient,' — it is the same word here, — ' and to every good work 
reprobate.' And in Heb. iv. 6, 11, it is used for unbelief. 

Now, if it be taken in a large sense, as perhaps in Eph. v. 6, it is taken 
for aU unregenerate men ; ' for which the wrath of God cometh upon the 
children of disobedience : ' then the observation in a word is this. It cometh 
in here by way of difference from Satan's working in godly men and in un- 
regenerate men. He worketh in the children of disobedience, that is, he 
ordinarily prevaileth with them, I mean for those lusts they are addicted to ; 
he ruleth them, as it is spoken in that curse concerning Judas, Ps. ciz. He 
prevaileth over them, he works effectually in them, — take that, I say, which 
is their proper and special way of sinning, that which their spirits are ad- 
dicted to, — they are, as I may so express it, his working shop, they are called 
his house where he dwelleth. * I wiU go, and return to my house,' saith he, 
when he was cast out there, in Luke xi. 24. He works as an enemy in the 
people of God, but in these as a prince. He works as a t3Tant in those, and 
prevails often over them for acts ; but in these as a conqueror, taking them 
captive at his will. My brethren, I take it, that there is this difference set by 
God between those that are godly and regenerate men, translated into the 
kingdom of Chi-ist ; and unregenerate men, who are members of the king- 
dom of Satan. It is true, indeed, he cannot carry all unregenerate men to 
all the sins he would, because, like a tyrant, he applies himself to the 
several humours of men, and that by God's ordination; yet so, as the com- 
mon law that God aUoweth him to rule over them with, it is in respect of 
their peculiar lust, and peculiar sin. Look, what a man's snare is, the devil 
hath him at his will, as the expression is, 2 Tim. ii. 26. Bat now, if he 
come to deal with a godly man, he ordinarily asketh leave : Luke xxii. 31, 
he ' hath desired,' he hath sought to winnow thee, speaking of Peter, when 
the devU carried him on to that great sin against Christ. But when he 
comes to unregenerate men, they are his subjects, his natives, his proper 
goods ; and he enters into them as into his own house. And the reason of 
it is this. Because the saints are translated into the kingdom of Christ, 
therefore if he will deal with them, he must come like a party into another 
kingdom, into another's quarters, where he hath not ordinarily the power 
and the rule ; and what hath he to do with another man's servant? That is 


the law. A regenerate man is Christ's free man, therefore, but by special 
permission from God, to exercise his children, he doth not so come to tempt 
them as to carry them on to great sins. 

Now if it be meant, as I take it rather it is, of men eminently wicked, 
that are the ringleaders of all the devil's kingdom ; then, in a word, here is 
the observation : — 

Obs. 1. — That Satan in his kingdom hath several sorts of sinners, and 
there are some in whom the devil's breath is so strong that a man may smell 
it ; as a holy man may savour the Spirit of God in another man that is holy. 
You may see how it worketh, saith he, in some of the children of disobedi- 
ence, that are the ringleaders — and so instances — of the bondage that all the 
rest are in. I say, of unregenerate men, there are several sizes of them ; yea, 
the same man, as he grows wickeder, so he hath more devils. ' He brought 
with him seven devils worse than himself * You make him,' saith Christ, 
* ten times more the child of Satan ' than he was. I quote it for this, to 
shew you there are several sizes of wicked men, though the meaning is, that 
of every generation of men, the second is worse than the first ; for otherwise 
how could they make him worse than themselves 1 But they making him a 
jiroselyte, the curse of God, when they had made him so, made him worse. 
But I wUl not stand upon that. 

Ohs. 2. — The second observation is this : That which makes men eminently 
wicked, and the spirit thus of the devil to work in them, more than in others, 
it is an unpersuadableness. They have been dealt withal by God, and by 
the preaching of the gospel ; they have had some hints, some hearsays of it ; 
and they refuse that light, and wiU not believe that truth. And for this dis- 
obedience, doth the Lord give them up to Satan, to rule in them more fuUy, 
and to transform his spirit into them. In 2 Thess. ii. 10, he cometh with 
aU deceivableness of unrighteousness. But in whom is it ? In them that re- 
ceive not the truth in the love of it. 

Now, my brethren, in a word, this is the Apostle's scope plainly to me. 
Saith he, Whilst you were unregenerated, you lived in the devil's kingdom. 
And though you were not opposite to the gospel of Christ then, and had not 
that spirit which you see now worketh in some; why? because you never 
heard of the gospel before ; ye turned, when ye first heard it : yet you may 
see what you would have been, if God had not turned you. That spirit that 
you see now worketh in men eminently wicked, — by which you may see that 
the devil hath a hand over men, — that spirit. If you had gone on, would 
have wrought in most of you too. So that his scope is, to hold forth the 
spirit that was more eminently in some men that were sinners amongst them, 
or perhaps in the generality of men, that did conspire in one way of wicked- 
ness, to let them see what themselves would have been. And, my brethren, 
we are apt to forget our natural condition. Let us make just that use of it 
the Apostle here dotL We think we should not have been so bad, we should 
never openly have done thus and thus, as others do. Oh, but remember and 
consider this, that whilst you walked in sin you were under the prince of 
the power of the air; and look, what spirit you see now works in the chil- 
dren of disobedience, had you not turned unto God, had you been unteach- 
able and unpersuadable, the same spirit would have been in you. So that 
now what wickedness is abroad in the world, all men that are turned to God 
may make use of it : The like would have been my heart, I should thus have 
been the slave of the devil ; as these are carried headlong, so should I have 


And, my brethren, let me add this last : Though he speaks thus of such, 
and saith they are children of disobedience, yet he caUs them not the sons of 
perdition : he calls them children of wrath indeed, in respect of their present 
state, namely, in the next words; but he calls them not sons of perdition, as 
for the future ordained to destruction. Then, although men should have great 
high spirits against, and be unteachable, and unpersuadable to the truth of 
God and ways of religion, yet pray for them, seek to God for them. Though 
they are children of disobedience for the present, yet it follows not that they 
are children of perdition, as Judas is called. In 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25, saith he, 
* The minister of God must be gentle, in meekness instructing those that 
oppose themselves ; if God peradventure will give them repentance, that 
they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil,' — that though now 
they are under the spirit of Satan, and he hath a snare upon them, and out 
of that they do oppose, yet in meekness instruct them ; they are children 
of disobedience, thou canst not say they are children of perdition. — So much 
now for the opening of this text. 



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 
hy nature the children of wrath, even as others. — Ver. 3. 

The Apostle, in this and the two former verses, doth set himself to give an 
exact description of all men unregenerate ; and as he is comprehensive in the 
doctrine about it, so he is as comprehensive also in the application. He had 
shewn two of the causes, that were external, of all that sinfulness that is in 
unregenerate men : the world, in the 2d verse, and the devil. And now he 
Cometh to that third, which is the flesh, or natural corruption. There were but 
two sort of persons in the world, that shared the world between them, and 
they were the Jews and the Gentiles : and the Apostle doth apply all the 
doctrine of man's unregenerate condition by nature to both these. And as 
men that read lectures of anatomy do not only give the doctrine of the parts 
of a man's body, but they exemijlify it in having a body cut up before them ; 
so the Apostle here doth not simply lay down the corrupt estate of man's 
heart by nature, but he applies it, exemplifies it, and that both unto the Jew 
and the GentUe, he shares this common condition between them : ' wherein 
in time past ye walked,' speaking of the Gentdes, ver. 2 ; ' among whom 
also we all had our conversation,' speaking of the Jews, in this 3d verse. 

These words I have read unto you, which concern that third and last 
cause of all sin in men, namely, their natural corruption, which is called 
flesh, divide themselves generally into two parts : — 

1. The 2Jerso7is that he speaks this of; 'we aU.' 

2. The description he gives of the state of nature, in respect of inbred 
corruption, and the fruits of it in these Ephesians. 

I ^\ill begin first with the persons : — 

Our holy Apostle had a care in the application of this doctrine to wind in 
the Jews as well as the Gentiles. He named the Gentdes twice in the for- 
mer verses, ' you hath he quickened, that were dead,' ver. 1 ; * wherein in 
times past past ye walked,' ver. 2. And he nameth the Jews as often in 
this 3d verse, ' among whom we had our conversation ; ' ' and were by 
nature the children of wrath, even as others.' He had stUl carried along in 
this epistle what God doth both unto Jews and Gentdes : he carries the 
state of both along with him in everything he handles. When he had 
spoken in the first chapter of the great benefits of redemption, he applies it 
both to the Jews and also to the Gentiles. To the Jews, ver. 1 1, ' In whom also 
we have obtained an inheritance, that we should be to the praise of his glory, 
that first trusted in Christ.' He applies it to the Gentiles, ver. 13, 'In whom 
ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your 
salvation : in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit 
of promise.' Now, as in the matter of redemption, and all the benefits of it, 
he applies it unto both ; so he takes the like and the same course in the 
matter of corruption, and of our natural condition. 

And besides that reason which many interpreters give why he doth so, 


namely, because he would not seem to upbraid the Gentiles, as the Jews were 
wont to do, who called them ' sinners of the GentUes,' Gal. ii. 15, but that 
he and his countrymen were as bad as they, — I say that is not the only 
reason, but it was to shew the freeness of God's grace to save the Jews as 
well as the Gentiles. For his scope, why he doth mention the state of 
nature so exactly, and apply it thus to both these sorts of persons, is to illus- 
trate the free grace of God. Saith he, in the next verse, ' But God, who is 
rich in mercy, for his great mercy wherewith he loved us, even when we 
were dead in sins, hath quickened us; by grace ye are saved.' So that he 
would shew that all, both Jews and Gentiles, needed it. You shall find 
likewise he takes the same course in his epistle to the Romans. In the first 
chapter he proves that the Gentiles were all corrupted; and in the second 
chapter he convinceth them, and proveth, that the Jews were so also. In the 
third chapter he concludeth that all were sinners : there is no difference, 
saith he, ' all have come short of the glory of God ;' and, ' there is none 
righteous, no, not one.' And to what end was all this ? It was to glorify 
the gi-ace of God, as it follows, ver. 24, ' Being justified freely by his grace,' 
&c. And then again he doth apply it to the Jews, and he speaks as hard 
words, and harder of them than he doth of the Gentiles, and of both in 
respect of their conversations. The poor Gentiles, they were led away, he 
saith, by the world and by the devil ; he applies that part of man's misery 
unto them. But when he comes to the Jews, ' Ye were by nature the chil- 
dren of wrath,' saith he ; and, ' Ye have had your conversation in the lusts of 
the flesh.' He shews the internal cause of corruption when he applies it unto 
them. And what is the reason? You must know this, that first, for their 
conversations, the Jews would not so much as converse with the Gentiles; 
they called them ' sinners of the GentUes,' Gal. ii. They would not so much 
as eat with them, as you read in Acts x. that Peter would not, and accord- 
ing to the ceremonial law he ought not. And so in John iv., when Christ 
conversed with the Samaritan woman, there was a wonder at it. But saith 
the Apostle here, you Jews that stand so much upon this privilege, and 
therefore think yourselves holier, look to your natural estate, and you are of 
the same number with the Gentiles ; ' among whom we also all had our con- 
versation in times past.' They stood likewise upon their privilege that they 
were a holy seed, and that they were the children of God, and that all 
of them were so by birth ; you know, they said they were of the seed of 
Abraham, and ' we have Abraham to our father.' He batters down that too ; 
* We were by nature,' saith he, 'the children of wrath, even as others.' And 
therefore now he applies it thus to the persons of the Jews. 

Now, all the controversy is this, and it is a thing that interpreters diffei 
in, that seeing the word here which we translate, ' among whom,' may 
be also interpreted as weU, ' in which,' whether of these two should be here 
intended? The question then is, whether 'among whom' refer to the per- 
sons, — that is, ' We Jews walked among you Gentiles, had our conversations 
like to you?' — or whether the meaning be that 'we Jews walk in the same 
sins f ' In which we also had our conversation,' as referring unto sins and 
trespasses, 'wherein in times past ye walked, ver. 1, 2. 

I for my part think the Holy Ghost writes the Scripture so as to take in a 
comprehensive meaning; and it hath been a rule that I have observed all 
along in interpreting this, and shall in aU other Scriptures. I think he in- 
tended both. For to say both of these Jews, that as for their persons they 
are to be reckoned among the Gentiles, among the same number, ' among 
whom we also ;' and to say they walked in the same sins and in the same lusts; 


it makes the scope and the sense more full, it makes up the likeness of their 
condition the more and the greater. His scope was to humble the Jews 
in both respects, that though they stood upon it that they were a privileged 
people, yet, saith he, you are to be reckoned among the Gentiles, ' among 
whom we also walked.' And he would prove that they were to be reckoned 
among them, because they walked in the same sins ; ' in which we also walked 
as well as they.' 

So that now these words that are translated ' among whom,' note out two 
things : — 

1. The manner of their conversation, that they walked ad eundem modum ; 
or, as the Vulgar translation hath it, ad quem modum, in the same sins. 
Quemadmodum vos, itcl et 7ios. Look, as they Gentiles walked, so did ye Jews. 

2. It imports also that their persons are to be reckoned in the same num- 
ber ; ex eodem numero, they are in the same number ; and are to be put in 
eodem albo, in the same rank and catalogue* with the Gentiles. 

Now, there is an objection or two against either interpretation ; for I take 
in both, therefore I must remove the objections against both. 

The first objection, that by h olg should not be meant, ' in which sins,' is 
this. For, say they that are of another mind, then it should have been in 
the feminine gender, h ah, smce raTi dfiairiaig was the last word mentioned 
in the first verse ; therefore if it referred to sins, it shoidd have been in the 
feminine gender. 

But that receiveth an easy answer ; for as there is dfiaoTiaig, so there is 
vapa':TTuj/j,aai, namely, 'trespasses,' in the neuter gender. But the answer 
that Estius gives is this, that it refers to both, though the one be the neuter 
and the other the feminine gender ; yet when he makes the participle, he 
saith it refers unto both ; therefore that interpretation, ' in which,' will stand. 

Then again, as for that other, ' among whom,' as our translation renders 
it, that that is more especially meant is clear, because the nearest connexion 
doth carry it, the other is a more remote connexion. For if it be, ' in which 
sins,' it must refer to the first verse, and there comes in between the whole 
second verse ; but if it refer to the persons, ' among whom,' then it referreth 
in the next coherence : ' among whom ' — namely, which children of disobedi- 
ence — ' we all had our conversation,' which are the words just before. 

But there is this objection against that, say they that are of another mind. 
All the Jews were not children of disobedience ; for ' children of disobedience' 
doth imply persons eminently wicked in a more special manner, as ' chil- 
dren of Belial' did. Now, the apostle saith, ' among whom all we had our 
conversation ;' now, say they, all the Jews had not their conversation among 
children of disobedience ; there were some more eminently children of dis- 
obedience amongst the Jews, as well as amongst the Gentiles. This is the 
objection against that interpretation. 

But the answer is easy ; for, in the first place, ' children of disobedience' 
doth not only note out men eminently wicked, but it is the common expres- 
sion given unto unregenerate men. In chap. v. 6, ' For which things,' saith 
he, * the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience.' 

Neither, secondly, will it foUow in the connexion that all the Jews should 
have been children of disobedience ; but indeed this will follow, that they 
are to be reckoned of the same rank with them ; all unregenerate men shall 
belong, and do belong, unto the same kingdom with the highest and emi- 
nentest sinners that are. Therefore, saith he, never boast yourselves ; if you 
be children of disobedience, if you walked among them, you were of that 
company, of that drove. 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHE8IANS. 73 

And indeed and in tnith, thirdly, the Jews were in a more peculiar man- 
ner the children of disobedience than the Gentiles were. What is the reason? 
Because they had the law — they are still called a stiflF-necked jjeople, which 
is not applied to the Gentiles. Disobedience is in a more special manner 
attributed unto them, because they had the means, especially when the gos- 
pel came upon them. 

So now, the interpretation being fully cleared, that ' among whom' refer- 
reth to both, and the reason also why it referreth to ' in which,' — for I must 
give you a reason of it, that ' in which sins ye walked' is also meant, — the 
reason of it is this, because that in Col. iii. 7, which is a parallel epistle to 
this, there it is, ' in which ye walked, whilst ye lived in them,' referring unto 
sins. And so the Syriac also renders it ; 'in which,' viz., 'in which sins ye 
also walked.' And it makes the Likeness between the Jews and Gentiles to 
be more full ; for then his meaning is plainly this : we that are Jews had a 
lilce condition with the Gentiles, first, in respect of conversation ; we all 
walked in the same sins, we had a like condition in respect of the lusts of 
the flesh : ' in which also we all had our conversation, in the lusts of the 
flesh.' And we had a likeness of condition in respect of natural corrup- 
tion, which is the ground of all ; ' and were by nature the children of wrath, 
as well as others.' And so now, having cleared this interpretation, that it 
refers to both, yet especially to the latter, I come to the observations out of it. 

There is one great observation which I will not now insist on, but refer it 
tm we come to those words, ' were by nature children of wrath, even as 
others,' namely this, that original corruption is universal to all mankind, 
both Jew and Gentile. That observation is proper to those words, therefore 
I omit it here. 

But here he speaks of the likeness of the Jew to the Gentile, and that 
they are to be reckoned among them, the Jews all one with the Gentiles, in 
respect of their conversation ; that is the thing that these first words hold 
forth, ' among whom we also had our conversation,' 

First, then, if the interpretation be that they are to be reckoned of the same 
number with the Gentiles, then I make these two observations upon it : — 

Obs. 1. — First, Though there be several sizes of unregenerate men, several 
sorts of them, yet they that are the best of them are to be reckoned, and 
they are to reckon themselves, and Jesus Christ at the latter day will reckon 
them, even among the worst. He had spoken of the highest children of dis- 
obedience in the verses before, that were more eminently such, — for I take 
that interpretation also in, — and it followeth, ' among whom we all had our 
conversation.' There may, I say, be several sizes of unregenerate men, 
yet all shall be reckoned of one sort. It is a consideration may mightily 
strike us. Let men be never so civil, let men be temporary believers and 
profess religion with never so much strictness, if they be unregenerate they 
will be reckoned among the children of disobedience. ' Among whom we,' 
saith Paul, putting in himself, who had his ' conversation according to the 
law, blameless.' No man could say black was his eye. He professed that 
he walked according to his conscience all his days ; yet I am to be reckoned, 
saith he, and had my conversation among, and shall be accounted of that 
number, with the highest children of disobedience. It is an excellent obser- 
vation that a late critic hath made : that in the Old Testament, especially in 
the book of Proverbs, where hell is mentioned or spoken of, as it is often, the 
word in the Hebrew signifies the Place of the Giants. ' They shall go down 
into hell,' that is, to the place of the giants. That was the term that the 
Jews did anciently give to hell. What is the meaning of that ? You know 


that the giants of the old world were the eminent, grand wicked men. Gen. 
vL 5, ' The wickedness of man was great upon earth.' And he saith there 
were giants that did corrupt their ways before him ; and the earth was filled 
with violence. Now, the flood came and swept all these giants away, and 
carried them all to hell. And because such a cluster of them went there all 
at once, hell had its name from thence ; and whoever went to heU, though 
he were a Jew, though he were never so strict, if unregenerate he went to 
the place of the giants, he went among wicked men ; and so they are to be 
reckoned here. Nay, the gospel speaks higher words of hell, as in relation 
to whom wicked men shall be gathered. Matt. xxv. 41. He speaks to all 
unregenerate men, that shall be found so at the latter day, that died in that 
estate, though there be never so many sizes of them, Go into the fire, pre- 
pared for the devn and his angels. They are not only gathered to the giants, 
but they are gathered to their great prince, Satan. They walked according 
to the prince of the air, and they shall go to hell, where the prince of the 
fire is, when he is there — a poor prince, when he is there. And God will 
bring forth men so, though they walk among the drove of his children in 
profession now, yet if they walk in by-lanes, God will rank them at the lat- 
ter day, yea, often in this world, with the workers of iniquity. In Ps. cxxv. 
5, * As to such as turn aside to their crooked ways,' that walk in by-lanes of 
sin, ' the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity.' They 
do walk after them here before God, and God will manifest so much before 
he hath done. The Lord, saith he, shall lead them forth with the workers 
of iniquity. 

And the reason, my brethren, why they are to be reckoned among them, 
and as walkers among them, though they sever themselves from them in re- 
spect of external conversation, is, because they agree in the same internal 
principle of sin. They walk in lusts, every unregenerate man doth ; refine 
him how you will, it is certain he doth. Now, the fellowship that men have 
with other wicked men, lies not so much in keeping company personally 
with them, as it lies in walking in the same lusts and in the same sins, 
smaller or greater. ' Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark- 
ness.' Fellowship lies in the works more than in the persons ; it lies in the 
consent, as Ps. 1. 18. 

And then, again, there is this observation, but you need not make a dis- 
tinct one of it, that those, even among Christians, — for there is the same 
reason, — that live in the same lusts that the Gentiles do, they shall all be 
reckoned as Gentiles before God. ' Among whom,' saith he, ' we aU had our 
conversation in the lusts of the flesh.' If they live in lusts, they are said to 
live as Gentiles ; for lusts are called in a more peculiar manner the ' lusts 
of the Gentiles.' My brethren, in Rev. xi. 2 you find that the holy city is 
to be given up to the GentUes, to tread down for a certain time. Whom 
doth he mean there by GentUes 1 Why, he meaneth indeed and in truth the 
Popish Christians ; for it is a preparatiom to the killing of the witnesses, 
which is in that chapter, which is clear shall be done by the beast ; and you 
know who the beast is. He saith, ver. 7, that ' the beast that ascendeth 
out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome 
them, and kill them.' Now he caUeth them, though they jjrofess Chris- 
tianity, Gentiles ; and the prophets of old used the same language, Jer. ix. 
26. There is but this difference, saith he, between you Jews that are wicked 
and the Gentiles : they are uncircumcised in the flesh, and ye are uncircum- 
cised in the heart. And let me add this further, for I fear it is a thing to 
be fulfilled, and I have feared it many years, that when once the temple 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 75 

of God i3 measured, — and the reed is in men's hands, doing it now, and hath 
been a good while, — and the altar of worship, and the worshippers, them 
that worship therein, as it is Eev. xL 1 ; that then this temple wiU be given 
up to these Gentiles to be trodden down ; and why 1 Because there is so 
great an outward court laid to this temple. The temple should consist of 
those that are priests and saints ; but the reformed churches have laid too 
great an outward court, which are as bad as Gentiles : therefore, saith he, 
seeing they stand upon GentUe ground, the Gentiles shall re-enter again. 
He saith that the court that was without the temple was not to be measured; 
for they are not fit to be worshippers, though they be Christians ; for it is 
given to the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot. And 
therefore now, as Musculus well observeth, for us to boast against the Papists, 
We are the reformed churches ; yet, for the multitude and shoal of Christians 
to walk in the same lusts, they are, saith he, to be accounted to live even 
Popishly ; as these Jews are reckoned to live heathenishly, whilst they walk 
in the same lusts the Gentiles did. And though men are not idolaters, as 
the Papists are ; yet, notwithstanding, whilst they walk in their lusts, they 
are idolaters stilL For you shall find, in CoL iii. 5, the Apostle, speaking 
there of covetousness, and uncleanness, and the like, saith he, ' which are 
idolatry.' Some indeed read it, ' which is idolatry,' and so refer it only to 
covetousness ; ' and covetousness, which is idolatry.' But other copies are, 
' which are idolatry,' referring to ' fornication, and vmcleanness, and evil con- 
cupiscence, and covetousness, which are idolatry ; ' because indeed they do 
set up idols in their hearts which they worship ; for every lust setteth up 
another thing beside God ; and it is as truly GentUism, as truly idolatry, as 
Popish or heathenish idolatry is ; only this devil of idolatry takes a shape, 
and appears visibly to them and in them, but it is invisibly in the hearts of 
others. — And so much now for that first observation from those words, 
' among whom we also walked.' 

Obs. 2. — I will give you a second, and that is this : That there is no ligJit 
or means will do corrupt nature good. Are the Jews born under the light 
of the law 1 Had they the light of the gospel come upon them also by John 
Baptist, and by Christ, and by the apostles, and do they remain still and 
walk in their lusts ? I say, no means will do corrupt nature good. And in 
Rom. viiL you have a place for it. ' The law,' saith he, ' was weak through 
the flesh,' ver. 3. Go and inform men never so much with the law, and 
though it seem to be a strong thing to work upon a man, to tell him of 
hell, ttc., yet, saith he, it is ' weak through the flesh.' That natural corrup- 
tion that is in a man will never be wrought upon by it, it will hinder the 
working of the physic, be it never so strong ; flesh wiU, corruption will. 
Isa. xxvi 10, let them live in a land of uprightness, they will deal unjustly, 
and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. The Jews here had aU 
these means, yet they remained still in the same unregenerate condition. 
Men may restrain indeed, the gospel may do so, and the law may do so, re- 
strain corruption in men, yet they will please the lusts of the flesh still, they 
will walk in them ; and if not in the grosser lusts of the flesh, yet they will 
walk in the lusts of the mind. There are other spiritual lusts in the under- 
standing, that, let corrupt nature be cooped up never so much, let the gospel, 
let the law, all grapple with it, it will be corrupt nature still. ' Among whom 
also we' — we Jews, that had all those means — ' had our conversation in the 
lusts of the fiesL' 

065. 3.— I will add a third observation, and that is this : That no privi- 
leges whatsoever men can have will save them from an unregenerate condition. 


The law, and having the privileges thereof, will not do it ; neither will the 
gospel, and all the privileges thereof, do it. The privileges of the law wotdd 
not do it, you see by this text, and you may have it more clear in Rom. iL 
25, and so to the end. ' Circumcision,' saith he, 'verily profiteth, if thou keep 
the law : but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncir- 
cumcision. For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circum- 
cision which is outward in the flesh ; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and 
circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose 
praise is of God, and not of men.' The law, you see, will not do it. And 
the gospel wiU not do it, though the gospel uncaseth men much more. There 
was a kind of ceremonial typical holiness under the law, whereby aU the 
seed of Abraham were holy unto God ; but when the gospel came, it uncased 
them. "What saith John Baptist, when he began first to preach the gospel ? 
* Think not,' saith he, ' to say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our 
father.' And it was prophesied of Christ, when his day should come to 
preach the gospel, that he should do it much more : Mai. iii. 1, * I will send 
my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me,' — that is, John Bap- 
tist, for so it is applied. Matt. xi. 10, — ' even the messenger of my covenant, 
whom ye delight in ; behold, he shaU come. But who may abide the day of 
his coming 1 for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap ;' and he. shall 
sit in his shoj), saith he, in his church, *as a refiner and purifier of silver; 
and he shall purify the sons of Levi.' He came and purified the church 
more and more ; tells them, except their righteousness exceed the righteous- 
ness of the scribes and Pharisees, they shall not enter into the kingdom of 
God. And, my brethren, this you shall find, that stiU the higher and purer 
the gospel riseth in the light of it, the more unregenerate men wiU be dis- 
covered, and their privileges which they possess in the church of Goal be 
taken from them. Not only ignorance and profaneness, but civility ; yea, in 
the' end it will rise so high that aU temporary believers shall be discovered 
in that glorious new Jerusalem. There shall not be a man there that 
maketh a lie ; not only not a man that telleth a lie, but not a man that 
maketh a lie ; that is, not a man whose heart is not changed, not a man 
that is in the least degi-ee a Gentile ; and aU unbelievers shall be without. 
StUl as the gospel goes higher, it uncases men the more, and discovers the 
vanity of such outward privileges as these are, and wiU thrust them out. 
— So much now for the first thing in the text, ' Among whom we.' 

Among whom we all. — I must speak a little to that word ' all,' and it .shall 
be but a little ; that is, all we Jews, or more especially, aU we that are be- 
lievers, converted of the Jews ; saith he, ' we all,' aU we apostles, we were 
once unregenerate men, and we lived in that state and condition, and in the 
same lusts that ye Gentiles did ; and all the converts among the Jews they 
did so too. 

Now you Will say unto me. Were there none of these that were holy even 
from their infancy ? 

Yes, my brethren, it may be there were some, but there were but a very 
few. You know John Baptist was ; but aU, that is, the generality, for the 
most part even aU the behevers that lived among us, they were for some time 
in a natural and unregenerate condition. 

But there is a special reason why it was spoken of the Jews in the 
Apostle's time, ' we all j' for the truth is this, in the Old Testament you 
shall find very few conversions ; you do not read when Isaac was converted : 
you read, indeed, that Abraham had a call, for the text saith he was an 
idolater : but take Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses, and you shall 


read nowhere of their conversion ; whereas ye have abundance of stories of 
conversions in the New Testament : but in the Old Testament, the truth is, 
God wrought much even from their infancy ; although that speaks of con- 
version too ; for the prophet saith that Levi turned many from their iniquity 
whilst he kept the covenant, Mai. ii. G ; and in Ps. li., David saith, ' sinners 
shall be converted unto thee.' But yet before the times of the gospel, before 
the time of John Baptist's preaching, the truth is, there was then such a cor- 
ruption generally among the Jews, that they were in a manner, as it were, all 
left in their natural condition, there were very few godly among them, that 
so the fruit of the gospel might the more appear. I will give you but one 
text for it, Luke i. 17. It is said there of John that when he should come 
to preach, he should ' turn the hearts of the children to their fathers ;' that 
is, whereas Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all those holy and godly fathers, 
had been for justification by grace, they had rested upon the Messiah, the 
promise of God, and had turned to God, and served him truly ; these Jews 
were so generally corrupted, that tlie whole nation needed a new conversion, 
to be of the old fathers' religion ; therefore it is said he shoidd ' turn the 
hearts of the children to their fathers.' 

But then, again, there is a third answer. ' We all ;' he shews not so 
much, de facto, what all were, or in a strict word, or in strict terms that all 
the Jews had been unregenerate for a long while before they were turned ; 
but his scope is to shew what the generality of them were, and what all 
would have been ; the same nature would have wrought the same effect, had 
not the grace of God come and put the difference. 

I should likewise speak a little to these words, in times 2^ast ; but I shall 
meet with it so often, as in ver. 11, ' Remember, that ye being in time past 
Gentiles in the flesh ;' and in the next words hkewise, ' and were the chil- 
dren of wrath :' and the observation I have upon it I will not now insist 
upon, but rather come to what foUoweth. And so now I come to these other 
words — 

We all had our conversation in times j^ast in the lusts of our flesh, fulfill- 
ing the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; and were hy nature the children 
of wrath, even as others. 

Here is an exceeding exact description of the corruption of man's heart 
and conversation by nature. And the Apostle hath a double scope in it. 
His scope is — 

First, to shew the pedigree of causes of all that corruption that is in men 
while they are unregenerate ; as he had shewn the world to be a cause, and 
the devil to be a cause, so here the flesh, the cause of causes, he putting 
this difference between the causes, that Satan and the world are but external 
causes. ' We walk according to the course of the world, and according to 
the prince of the power of the air ;' but when he speaks of the lusts of the 
flesh, he speaks of that as the internal cause : ' We walk in the lusts of the 
flesh,' &c. You have here, my brethren, aU the causes of sin in men's lives. 
You have sin in the heraldry of the causes of it. We have it emblazoned 
here as fuUy as can be desired. For — 

1. Here is flesh, corrupt nature, which sticks in us, which is as the root 
and fountain. 

2. Here are lusts, which are the first-bom of that flesh, of that corruption, 
that are the immediate ebullitions, the boilings, the springings up from that 

3. Here is a division of the several sorts of lusts ; he doth not only call 
them lusts, in the plural, because they are many, but he gives us their several 


sorts. There are lusts of tlie flesli, or the body, the sensual part, wherein 
the soul partaketh with the body ; and there are the lusts of the mind, the 
superior part, whose actings are abstracted from the body. Then there is 
the outward conversation. The flesh begets lusts, and the lusts bring forth 
a corrupt conversation ; ' we had our conversation in the lusts of the flesh ;' 
they are as the streams, or the springings that lusts from the fountain make. 
And the conversation, the badness of that, he setteth forth two ways. (1.) 
By the constancy of it ; that all an unregenerate man's courses are nothing 
else but sin — they walked in it, had their whole conversation in it. (2.) That 
it is nothing else but a fulfilling of some lust or other ; ' fulfilling,' saith he, 
'the desires of the flesh and of the mind.' 

4. Because it will be said, man is a reasonable creature, and hath an un- 
derstanding and a will, and is not led to an action as beasts are, by brutish 
and unreasonable passions, — can lusts carry a reasonable man on alone in a 
brutish way, as beasts are led? — therefore he tells you that the truth is, 
that these lusts have all of them, before they come to act, the consent of 
the will ; and therefore what he calleth lusts in the first j)art of the dis- 
course, — ' had our conversation in the hists of the flesh,' — he varies the phrase 
in the next, ' doing the wills of the flesh,' so it is in the Greek, ra SsX^j^ara 
r^s (Saoxhc.. But doth the will move without the understanding ? No, there 
is the will of the mind too, tuv diamiJii, it is in the plural too. Take all the 
intellectual powers in a man, they are all corrupt, they have all their lusts, 
and they aU concur through their corruption to dictate to the wiU to yield 
to all these lusts. But then — 

5. The question will be, how do we come to be thus corrupt ? What is 
the cause of aU this ' flesh,' which is the cause of lusts, and which is seated 
thus in the will and understanding, and which causeth all men's sins in their 
lives'? If you ask me how you come by it, I will tell you, saith the 
Apostle ; you had it by nature. We were aU the children of wrath by nature, 
therefore we were sinful by nature ; for the object of God's wrath and anger 
is only sin. That is one scope. 

But a second scope the Apostle hath is, as to shew the causality of sin 
in this its pedigree, that flesh is the original of lusts, those lusts are the 
original of all the wicked conversation in us, to which the will consents, and 
the understanding also ; so likewise his scope is to afi'ord matter of humilia- 
tion to those Ephesian GentUes and the Jews also, and so to all mankind, 
and to magnify the free grace of God the more ; and therefore he doth set 
forth corrupt nature in the full and most exact manner that we find in all 
the book of God ; as, when I open the particulars, will appear. I thought to 
have done it now by way of .analysis, but I shall not be able then to come 
to the particular exposition of these words, ' had our conversation in the 
lusts of our flesh,' which I would make an end of ; therefore I will reserve it 
till the last of all, where it will come in as welL I am to open three things : — 

1. What is meant hj flesh. 

2. What is meant by lusts of the flesh. 

3. What this importeth, to have our conversation in the lusts of the flesh. 
First, what is meant hj flesh ? I must do two things in that : — 

1. What the thing itself is that is meant by flesh, namely, that corrup- 
tion of nature original 

2. The reason of the phrase, why this original corruption is termed the flesh. 
I shall do both these, as briefly as possibly I can. And — 

First, For the thing itself, I will give you but this brief description or 
definition of it, and give you Scripture for eveiy word of it, or for the chief 

EpH. II. 3.] TO Tira EPIIESIANS. 79 

branches of it. It is a sinful disposition in man's nature, that is become his 
nature, -svhereby it is empty of all good, yea, opposite to it, to all good that 
is towards God, and containeth in it the seeds and princiijles of all sins 
■whatsoever. This in a word is meant by ' flesh.' Now to make this out — 

1. I say it is a corrupt disposition, or bias, as I may so call it, in the 
nature of man, in the whole nature of man. It is not the substance of man's 
nature ; for then, when it was said, ' The Word was made flesh,' the meaning 
were, that the Word was made sin, if that flesh and corruption had been the 
substance of man's nature, and Jesus Christ and we had not been of the 
same nature as he was man. In John iii. 6, saith Christ, ' That which is 
born of the flesh is flesh.' He evidently meant here by ' flesh ' a distinct 
thing from the nature of man ; for he saith that ' that which is born of the 
flesh is flesh,' even as he saith that ' that which is bom of the Spirit is 
spirit.' By ' spirit ' in the last words, he meaneth a differing thing from 
Spirit in the first words ; so when he saith, * is flesh,' he meaneth a differing 
thing from that which is bom of flesh. The one notes out the substance ; the 

O ... 

other, the adjunct disposition of it. 

Wliich disposition is yet now become man's nature, — that is, as natural 
dispositions are, — and all this emptiness of good, and seeds of all evil : there- 
fore the next words tell us, that he is by nature, as I shall open it afterwards 
in part, the chUd of wrath. And as there is a divine nature, that hath the 
seeds of all good in it, all things belonging to life and godliness, 2 Peter i. 
3, 4, — compare but the verses together; it is called the divine nature, and it 
is said to have all things belonging to life and godliness, — so this corrupt 
nature of ours, on the contrary, is a disposition to all evil I say, a disposi- 
tion. And therefore, although this corrupt nature of man is sometimes called 
'flesh ;' yet you shall find in other scriptures it is said to be ' fleshly,' and 
said to be ' carnal.' Though it be called flesh in the abstract, for some 
reasons, yet to shew it is but a disposition in man's nature, not the substance 
of his nature, therefore he is said to be fleshly; as in Rom. vii. 14, ' I am 
carnal,' — it is the same word, but only there is an adjective; he saith not, I 
am flesh, but, I am carnal, — ' sold under sin.' As that spirit which is bom 
of the Spirit is called the spiritual man in Scripture ; so that which is bom 
of the flesh, and called flesh, is called the carnal man in Scripture. 1 Cor. 
iii. 3, 'Are ye not carnal 1' And, 1 Peter ii. 11, they are called 'fleshly 
lusts ; ' because this flesh is but an adjunct, it is but a corrupt quality, or 
corrupt disposition, that clingeth to man's nature. — ^And so much now for 
the first part of the definition. 

2. It makes man's nature empty of all good dispositions whatsoever; it 
importeth an emptiness, a vacuity of all good. What saith the Apostle, Rom. 
vii. 1 ' In my flesh dweUeth no good thing.' And yet if ever in any man's 
flesh, in his unregenerate part, there had reason to have been some good 
thing, there was as much reason it should have been in Paul's unregenerate 
part as ever in any one's. Why 1 Because there was so much grace mingled 
wdth it. Yet all that grace could never kill it, never work good in it, so long 
as it remained ; it might destroy it, but it could never teach the unregene- 
rate part good, or work the least good in it. Nay, it is not only an empti- 
ness of all good, but it is an enmity to all good ; as you have it, Rom. viiL 
7. He saith that the fleshly mind, or <pp6vr,aa, — the least stirrings of the 
flesh in any act, — is enmity against God. And — 

3. It containeth in it the mass, it is the seed, the seminary of all sort of 
sin whatsoever. For that I will give you that place in Col. ii. 1 1, ' The 
body of the sins of the flesh.' It is a whole body of sin. What is the mean- 


ing of tliat 1 In a word thus : go take a child's body, and it hath all the 
parts ; though they are not so big as a man's that is gxown up, yet it hath 
all the parts of a man. So go, take that corruption that lies in the heart of 
every child, it is a whole body of sin, it is perfect for parts, indeed the Ihnbs 
may grow greater and greater, as men grow wickeder; for this original cor- 
iniption, I mean, this vicious disposition, is increased in men ; but yet, not- 
withstanding, it is not increased by adding new parts of corruption to it, 
but the seeds of all were at the first, and it still groweth greater and greater. 
So you see here, as briefly as I can, what Jiesh is. 

That which hath exercised my thoughts most is why it is called Jlesh. 
I find that the Old Testament did use it from the very first. Gen. vi. 3. 
When God gives the reason there why he would destroy man, and indeed the 
very sons of God, they that professed themselves to be the sons of God, but 
were all generally unregenerate, but Noah, and one or two more that be- 
longed to his family, he gives this reason for it, expresseth it thus : ' The 
Lord said. My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is 
flesL' By ' flesh ' here he doth not mean that man is a frail creature ; but 
he speaks of him as he is sinful, as he is corrupt, and his meaning is this : I 
see, saith he, that man is nothing but flesh, that his whole nature is nothing 
but a resisting and an opposmg of my Spirit ; and therefore my Spirit shall 
not always strive with him for that he is flesh. Yet, ' his days shall be a 
hundred and twenty years,' not\vithstanding they were so generally cornipt. 
And that he meaneth by ' flesh ' the corrupt nature of man, I have much to 
make plain, but I shall in a word manifest it. It is not only because it is 
alleged as a cause of the flood, and because it is brought in as ojDposite to 
the Spirit ; but in the 5th verse he sheweth the fruits of this ' flesh.' ' God 
saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every ima- 
gination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.' And then 
compare with it chap, viii 21. He had given a reason here in this 6th 
chapter why he would bring the flood ; and, mark it, the reason must be general, 
for the flood destroyed infants as well as those of riper years, and therefore he 
gives a reason that shaU reach infants, and all : and he saith, they were flesh. 
Now in the 8th chapter, ver. 21, he giveth a reason why he would not any 
more bring the flood ; and what is it ? ' The Lord said in his heart, I will 
not curse the ground any more for man's sake ; for the imagination of man's 
heart is evil from his youth,' or infancy. There are some inter2)reters that 
read it thus : I vnM not destroy it, although the imagination of man's heart 
is evil ; before, indeed, I destroyed the world because man is flesh, and be- 
cause the imaghiation of his heart is continually evil from his youth ; yet, 
although I did it once, I will not do it again. It comes all to one, the 
meaning is this : I have now received a sacrifice, I smell the savour of the 
blood of Christ in Noah's sacrifice ; therefore for his sacrifice' sake I will be 
patient with man ; for he is corrupt, and I must bring I know not how many 
floods to wash away liis corruption, therefore I wiU be patient. I only bring 
it for this, to shew that the word ' flesh ' is used for original sin. I might 
be large in this. 

Only, by the way, let me observe this one thing ujDon it : that the old 
world, you see, was weU instructed in the doctrine of original corruption. 
God reveals it plainly to Noah, gives it for a reason of the flood. And there 
was good reason why it should be then weU known, because that the world 
had fallen not many hundred years before in Adam, and Adam hved nine 
hundred of them to teU the story of it. So that indeed the doctrine of 
man's corruption was perhaps more rife and quick in those times, than in 


after-times it was unto the very Jews themselves. Now then, the Old 
Testament having used the word ' flesh,' our Saviour Christ continues it ; 
and in John iii. 6, giving the reason why that every man must be born again, 
or he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, he tells them, because every 
man by his first birth is nothing but flesh, — that is, nothing but corruption, 
nothing but sin, ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh,' — therefore of 
necessity men must be born again. And the apostles after Christ did use it, 
and the New Testament in the epistles commonly useth it, and putteth it for 

But now to give you the reasons of this appellation in a word or two : — 
First, it is called flesh in distinction from, and in opposition to S2nrit. 
The Jews did call things flesh that were not spirit. Hence therefore now, 
if it were a substantial spirit that flesh was distinguished from, look what 
kind of spirit that any thing was diff'erenced from, in that sense we are to 
anderstand flesh in distinction from it. I shall give you but one instance, 
though I could give you a great many. You know that God is a Spirit, 
and that Jesus Christ had in his person both a human and a divine nature : 
the divine nature, that is called Spirit ; and the human natitre, that is called 
flesh. There is a multitude of instances for it : ' It is the Spirit that quick- 
eneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.' That is, it is his Godhead putteth all the, 
influence into his humanity ; if he had been man alone, it would not have 
done it. He was put to death in the flesh, and quickened in the Spirit. But 
the most express place is in Rom. i. 3, 4. He saith he came ' of the seed of 
David according to the flesh,' but he was raised by the ' Spirit of holiness,' 
that is, by his Godhead. Man himself hath a spirit in him, his soul : hence 
therefore his body is, in opposition to the soul, called flesh, 2 Cor. vii. 1, 
* Let us cleanse ourselves from all pollution of flesh,' — that is, of bodily lusts, 
— ' and of spirit,' that is, of the soul, which the soul exerciseth without depend- 
ence upon the body. So in Ps. Ixxix. 2, the bodies of the saints are called the 
flesh of the saints. Yea, the very gospel itself, because it hath a spiritual- 
ness in it, is called spirit, and the law is called flesh. The gospel, in 2 Cor. 
iii. 8, is called ' the ministration of the Spirit.' And, Gal. iii. 3, ' Did you 
begin in the Spirit, and will you end in the flesh 1 ' or, will you be ' per- 
fected in the flesh?' That is, by adding the law to the gospel, which was 
the thing they endeavoured. Now then the word ' flesh' being still used in 
opposition to and in distinction from ' spirit,' whether taken in a substantial 
sense, or otherwise, hence, because that the new creature, which is begot by 
the Holy Ghost, is called spirit, — ' that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,' — 
hence therefore the contrary quality, that corrupt nature that lusteth 
against this spirit, and is opposite unto it, is called flesh. And as that 
spirit is the bundle of all graces, so this flesh is the bundle of folly that is 
bound up in the heart of man, a whole bundle of it, a mass of corruption. 
'The law,' saith Paul, 'is spiritual, but I am carnal,' Ptom. viL 14. All cor- 
ruption opposite to the law is called carnality or flesh, because the holy law 
is spiritual. 

But, secondly, there is another reason why it is called flesh ; and that is, 
because this corrupt nature of ours doth confine us to things fleshly, as to 
our objects ; that is, that all the powers and faculties of soul and body shall 
only mind the things of the flesh — but I do not mean things of the body 
when I say so, — whereas spirit, the new creature, hath for its object all sort 
of spiritual things. I do found this upon Rom. viii. 5 ; saith he there, 
'They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they 
that are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit.' It is a saying in 

VOL. II, s 


philosophy, and it is a true one, that facuUates distingmmtur per actus et 
objecta, all natural faculties are distinguished by their objects. So is flesh 
and spirit, grace and corruption. And because corrupt nature hath the things 
of the flesh for its object, hence it is called flesh; and because that there are 
spiritual things -which are the object of grace and holiness, which are spiri- 
tual things, hence that is called a spirit. 

Now, my brethren, let me tell you that by the things of the flesh is not 
meant only things of the body, or belonging to the body, or the object of 
bodily lusts, but all outward things whatsoever, all creature-comforts; yea, I 
may say, all creatures, take God and Christ out of them, and they are all 
the things of the flesh. The Apostle exj^resseth it there, in Col. iii. 2, when 
he calleth them ' earthly things,' which our earthly members are set upon ; 
for corrujjt nature confines us to things on earth, confines us to things of 
this world : spiritual things, that are of another world, the natural man hath 
no suitableness to them. And by ' things of the flesh ' is not meant only 
gross sins, which are called ' the works of the flesh,' Gal. v. 19 ; but all creature- 
comforts whatsoever, all dignities, all excellencies, honours, riches, all the 
glories of the world, that do so much take up the minds of men, are called 
the things of the flesh ; and to these doth corrupt nature suit us and carry 
us on. 2 Cor. v. 16, ' Henceforth know we no man after the flesh.' ' After 
the flesh,' referreth both unto the things known, and to the manner of know- 
ing them. To the things knoivn, which is that which is to our purpose, — that 
is, we value no man by his outward privileges and dignities; we value no 
man by honours, riches, or greatness, or by what he is in this world. So 
likewise, in Rom. xv. 27, when they had sent a contribution to them at Je- 
rusalem, saith Paul, they did partake of your ' carnal things,' — that is, of your 
fleshly thmgs ; he calleth their riches and estates things that are fleshly. So 
in 1 Cor. ix. 11. And you have the like in another place, ' I will not glory 
in the flesh.' And there is a phrase in Gal. vi. 12, of making ' a fair show 
m the flesh,' — that is, in fleshly things, in anjrthing but in God and in Christ. 
The Jews did call whatsoever was outward, flesh and fleshly. The very 
ceremonial law therefore the Apostle calls * a carnal commandment,' a fleshly 
commandment, Heb. vii. 16. And so he calls the duties of it the works of 
the flesh, though they were the institutions of God; yet because they had 
an outwardness in them, in regard of the gospel, he calleth them flesh. 
I allege it for this, that all things that were outward were called flesh 
among the Jews; yea, the works of the moral law, if a man would aflTect to 
be never so holy, if he take away aiming at God as the principal, and if he 
will go and trust in them when they are done, they are all flesh, they are 
things of the flesh. What saith the apostle, Phil. iii. 4 ? 'If any have 
reason to be confident in the flesh, much more I.' I had cause to trust in 
the flesh. He had relation to that speech in Jer. xvii. 5, ' Cursed is the 
man that maketh flesh his arm ;' which is, not only to make man his confi- 
dence, but anything ; for Paul interpreteth it here, my own righteousness, and 
whatsoever I did, all the works of the law, it is all but flesh, all the privi- 
leges, if you go and sever Christ from them. 

Now, my brethren, consider what I say : corrupt nature then hath for 
its object all the things of the flesh. Take spiritual out of the law and the 
duties of it, take the new creature out of it, and take Jesus Christ out of it, 
and it is all flesh, and corrupt nature will suit with them all ; it may be wound 
up to the works of the law, to a seeking and an aflecting of blamelessness, 
&c. The very works of the gospel, if you will let them be carried on for 
self-ends, they are all the works of the flesh, and things of the flesh ; if you 


will trust in what you do, they become things of tlie flesh. Take a man that 
is a temporaiy believer, and he may be wound up to the ways and things of 
the gospel, yet he turns them all to the things of the flesh, and corrupt nature 
remaining, flesh will suit with all these. 

And then again, a third reason why it is called flesh is this : because it is 
propagated by natural generation ; John iii. 6, ' That which is born of the 
flesh is flesh,' — the thing that is bom or begotten hath, the name of the beget- 
ter, — ' that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' That which is bom of the 
flesh — that is, by a fleshly way of generation — is flesh, is corruption. 

And let me make this observation of it. Sin, you know, is the work of 
Satan : * Ye are of your father the devil,' saith he. Why 1 Because he is 
the remote cause. Original sin hath not its denomination from him, for 
he hath not that influence into sin which the Holy Ghost hath in work- 
ing grace in us ; therefore he would not say, that which is of Satan in you 
is corruption; but because that generation is the next and immediate or 
proximate cause, therefore it beareth. the name ' flesh,' because it is born 
of flesh, and flesh is the immediate cause of it. And hence it was that 
circumcision was in the foreskin of the flesh ; and it is called flesh pecu- 
liarly in Rom. ii. 28. And I could give you other scriptures, as Lev. xv. 2, 
and Ezek. xxiii. 20. 

Then agaui, in the fourth place, it is called flesh in respect of the more 
visible seat and subject of corrupt nature, in which it is most seen ; visibly 
it is in the flesh, it is in the lusts of the body of all sorts and kinds. The 
Scripture doth give j^ou denominations not always from the more principal 
part, but it gives the denomination from what is visible, as speaking ad vul- 
gits, to the people ; as, for example, the nature of man consists of body and 
soul. The soul is a spirit, you know, but the body is flesh. Usually in 
Scripture the name that is given to man is ' flesh.' ' The Word was made 
flesh.' ' In his sight shall no flesh h- justified;' that is, no man. Here you 
see the body carries away the denomination. It is not that man hath not a 
soul, and that that is not the more principal part, but because the flesh is 
the more visible part, that which we behold, in which the soul dwelleth. 
Hence therefore the Scripture calleth man ' flesh.' Answerably, though sin 
is as much, and much more in our will and understanding than it is in sensual 
lusts; yet, notwithstanding, because that original sin is seen most in sensual 
lusts which have their seat in the flesh, hence it is caUed flesh ; the denomi- 
nation of the whole ariseth from thenee. And let me give you this observa- 
tion by the way : that the devils, though they have the same corruption in 
their understanding and will that we have, and we the same that they have, — 
for, saith he, ' Ye are of your father the devU, and his lusts ye will do,' — yet 
they are not called ^es/i^y, neither are they called ^esAy but they are called, 
in Eph. vi. 12, ' spiritual wickednesses.' Why 1 Because they have no bodily, 
no sensual lusts in them, which in a visible way should carry away the de- 
nomination. But because in man's nature there is another part in which 
sin is more visibly seen, which eminently is called lust, which is original cor- 
ruption, therefore it is in a more peculiar manner called 'flesh.' — And so 
much now for the reasons of the denomination. I will give you an obser- 
vation or two : — 

Obs. — In the first place, my brethren, we may from hence take a direc- 
tory for the Immhling of ourselves. Here you see, in those words, ' having 
our conversation in the lusts of the flesh,' there are three things the Apostle 
holds forth to every man to consider, when he would humble himself before 
God. In the first place, he discovers to him his flesh ; that is, his corrupt 


nature, having the seeds of all sin in him. Which corrupt nature, he tells 
him, in the second place, is an active principle in him, it is the cause of all 
the lusts in his heart, and all the evil in his conversation. It is an active 
principle that is never idle ; for though itself is indeed but a mere privation, 
yet because it is a privation in an active subject, as man's soul is, hence there- 
fore it is never quiet. In Rom. vii. 5, he saith, that when he was in the 
flesh, the motions of sin wrought, they had force in his members to carry 
him on to evU ; and in ver. 8 he giveth the name of sin above all else to 
this original corruption by way of eminency. ' Sin,' saith he, ' wrought 
in me all concupiscence.' What doth he mean by sin? Most plainly 
original sin. Why 1 Because that which works concupiscence, which 
brings forth lusts, that must needs be original corruption. ' Sin wrought,* 
saith he. I speak it for this, it is an active principle, therefore he 
calleth that the great sin of all the rest ; he giveth it the name of sin above 
all the rest, not only because it hath the seeds of all sin in it, but because it 
is the worker, the great mother of all the abominations. As Babylon is 
called the mother of all the abominations in Europe, all idolatries come from 
thence ; so this is the great mother of all the abominations in man's heart. 
Therefore, in the same Rom. vii. 1 3, he calleth it ' sin above measure,' though 
he means sin in the general, and actual sin too ; but yet original sin he 
especially speaks of, and carrieth along in that discourse ; it is, saith he, 
' above measure sioful,' for it is the mother of all abominations, and works 
all concupiscence ; and therefore this humbled Paul more, and so it should 
do us. 

And, my brethren, it is a predominant principle too ; that is clear in the 
text also : for all our lusts, and all our sms, they are not so much called the 
lusts of the man, as the lusts of the flesh ; because that flesh, that corruption, 
is now the predominant principle in every man's nature : therefore aU sina 
are called the ' fruits of the flesh,' so in Gal. v. They are called the * deeds 
of the flesh,' so in Rom. viii. And we are said to be ' in the flesh,' Rom. vii. 
5. And not only the flesh to be in us, but as a man is said to be in drink, 
or in love, that is, he is overcome with it. It is a predominant principle. 
And indeed, though Aristotle gave the definition of a man, that he was a 
reasonable creature, having an understanding and a will ; yet divinity tells 
us plainly that man is flesh, if you will speak theologically, take Christ's 
definition, and it is so. Whyl Because look what flesh is to him, as he is 
man, that sin is to him now ; it is his nature, it is his form. Therefore, if 
I would define a man, I would define him to be a fleshly creature, as Aris- 
totle defined him a rational creature ; therefore, in 1 Cor. iii. 3, saith the 
Apostle, Ye walk as men ; are ye not carnal 1 And to be carnal and fleshly 
is all one. When thou hast seen, therefore, corrapt flesh as the root of all, 
then go and look to thy lusts, aU the corruption that is in thy life, it is from 
the stirring of lusts in thee ; all the corrui^tion in the world is said to be 
through lusts, 2 Peter i. 4 ; therefore go and look especially to them. 

And, lastly, then go to thy actions ; or, if you wUl, begin at your actions, 
and so go to your lusts, and next to the flesh : for, indeed, there is the pedi- 
gree of sin. If a man would be humbled, let him view his actions, let him 
look into his heart, see all his lusts and aU the engines that act them ; and 
when he hath done, let him go down to the spawn of all, and then to that 
birth which was the means of conveying it. 

Ki'U. IL 3.J TO THE EPHliSIAiiS. 85 


Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts 
of our flesh, fulfilling the desires [or, the wills\ of the flesh and of 
the mind ; and were hy nature the children of wrath, even as others. 
— Ver. 3. 

I HAVE formerly told you that in these three first verses of this second 
chapter, there is an exact description of the state of man by nature, so com- 
plete and so compendious a one as is nowhere else together, that I know, 
in the whole Book of God. 

I did cast the whole into these three generals : — 

I. Here is the internal habitual estate, which in that state of nature men 
stand and lie in ; they are ' dead in sins and trespasses.' 

II. Here is their external conversation, with all the three causes — the 
world, flesh, and Satan — which do pervert them ; ' wherein,' saith he, ' in 
time past ye walked.' There is — 

1. The exemplary cause, the weakest; 'according to the course of this 

2. The outioard efficient and inciter, or procatartical cause, — that is, Satan ; 
according to the ' prince of the power of the air.' There is — 

3. The inward cause, the lusts of our ovv^n hearts ; ' fulfilling the desires 
of the flesh and of the mind,' &c. 

III. Here is the misery and the punishment that is the consequent of 
both, — that we are ' children of wrath ; ' we Jews, saith the Apostle, as well 
as others, and all mankind. 

The last thing I fell upon was, the description of that third and last 
cause, of all the corruption in men's conversation : ' Having our conversa- 
tion in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the 
mind,' &c. 

In opening of this third cause, which is the corruption of nature, I told 
you that the Apostle's scope was to shew the pedigree of all these causes. 
Here is — 

1 . The root whence all spring ; * our flesh,' a body of sin. Which flesh — 

2. Begetteth lusts, which are the first-born buds of original corruption 
inherent in us ; ' the lusts," saith he, ' of our flesh.' And then you have — 

3. The division of these. They are either — 
(1.) The lusts of the body, sensual lusts. Or — 

(2.) The lusts of the mind, of the understanding and superior part. And 
then he telleth you — 

4. What is the spring, both of this flesh and this inherent corruption, 
that produceth these lusts, which lusts we obey, and all our conversation 
by nature is nothing else but the fulfilling of these lusts ; he saith, it is our 
birth, we have it by nature. So he tells us in the next words, ' and are 
the children of wrath by nature, even as others.' 

And as he tells us the order of corruption thus, and the pedigree of it, 


of pure and mere corruption so considered, so he sliews the order of the 
causes in the course of nature, according to the subordination of the facul- 
ties one to another. !Man hath an understanding, and man hath a will, 
and there is no lust fulfilled but there is a consent of the will first given 
thereunto. And therefore that which he calls lusts in the first part of the 
words, ' in the lusts of our flesh,' when it comes to the fulfilling of them, he 
talis them the tvills of the flesh ; so it is in the original and in your margins. 

And so you have the analysis of the words. 

I left in these words, in the lusts of our flesh, and I shall proceed in 
them. There are four things to be explained : — 

I. What is meant by 'flesh.' 

II. Why it is called 'flesh ; ' for there is not a particle, nor a word, that 
is in vain here. 

III. WJiat are the lusts of our flesh, and the sinfulness of them. 

IV. What it is to have our conversation in these lusts. 
I. What is meant by flesh. 

I told you, by it is meant that inherent corruption which sticks in us, 
and overspreadeth all the powers both of soul and body. ' That which is 
born of the flesh is flesh.' 

When I handled this, I did two things : — 

1. I gave you an account of the phrase and the reasons of it, why inhe- 
rent corruption is called flesh. It was called so by Moses, in Gen. vi., and 
it was called so by Christ, and so the apostles used it. 

2. I described the thing itself, and I told you it was a mass, or a bundle, 
or body of sinful dispositions in man's nature, which were become his 
nature, whereby the whole man and all the powers thereof were empty of 
all good ; and it contained within it the seeds and the inclinations to all 
sins whatsoever. It is caUed the ' body of the sins of the flesh,' Col. ii. 

I will not stand to repeat what I then delivered, but will proceed to — 

II. Why is it called our flesh ? 

When God made man, it is said he made him in his image ; as the grace 
that Adam had, it was God's, it was his image. But you read in Gen. iv., 
when man was fallen, he is said to beget Seth in his image ; the style is 
altered fi'om God's image to his image. An account may easily be given 
why it is called Adam's image, because that he sinned, and contracted it 
to himself But why is it called ours, as here ' our flesh 1 ' The truth is, 
because we are the miserable subjects of it. So, why is it called our flesh, 
but because we are the miserable subjects of it, because it is our nature 1 
Though we have it from our parents, that is derived to us by them, yet 
being our nature it is of all things properly ours ; for there is nothing so 
properly ours as what is our nature, and what is ourselves. As therefore 
heU is called a sinner's place, as you have it, Acts i., so corruption and flesh 
is called our flesh ; we possess nothing but sin. Yea, Paul caUeth it hun- 
self : ' In me,' saith he, ' that is, in my flesh ; ' he doth not only call it 
flesh, but he calls it himself. And — 

2. It is called our flesh in opposition to God's work. ' Let no man,' saith 
James, * when he is tempted, say he is tempted of God ; ' he is tempted of 
his own lusts, of his own flesh. ' Of his own lusts,' that is the phrase there, in 
James i. 13, 14. It is spoken there in opposition to the work of God in us ; 
it is not that wMch at first God created us in. And — 

3. It is called our flesh in opposition to the grace that is in us. When 
the devil is said to sin, he is said to sin ' of his own,' John viii. 44. And in 
Jude, ver. 1 6, carnal men are said to walk after their own lusts. But if any 


grace be spoken of that is in us, how runs the style of that? I have done 
thus and thus, saith Paul, and yet not I, but the grace of God that is in nic. 
I know a man in Christ, saith he, was thus and thus ; not of myself will I 
glory, but of that man in Christ. The phrase that is used, speaking of grace, 
and all the workings of it, in 2 Cor. iii., is, ' We are not sufficient of our- 
selves, as of ourselves,' — there is all the exclusion that may be, both a^' tauruv 
and i^ iuvruv, either of ourselves, or out of ourselves ; neither a nobis, tan- 
quam ex nobis, — ' to think a good thought.' 

And so much now why it is called our flesh. The interpretation doth 
carry observations with it which I need not mention. I come to — 

III. What are the lusts of our flesh ? 

All the buddings of this cursed root of inherent corruption in us are in 
Scri[)ture expressed to us by lusts. Sometimes the word lusts is put for the 
root itself, for original sin itself, that inherent quality in us; as in James L, 
' When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.' He calleth corrupt nature 
lusts; but here he calls the first buds, the first risings of corruption from this 
root, he calls them lusts. So, in Rom. vii. 8, ' Sin wrought in me all man- 
ner of concupiscence;' that is, aU manner of lusts. Lusts there are taken 
for the buddings of original corru[)tion, which is there meant by sin, which 
is the sin that dwells in us. 

Now all the corruption that is in corrupt nature I reduce to these two 
heads ; yet not I, but the Apostle — 

1. All those principles of atheism, of infidelity, and ungodliness that are in 
the hearts of men, which are the foundation. For the principles of unbelief, 
and of darkness, and presumption, and the like, these do cut a man off from 
God ; and the soul being cut off from God is left to eternal death, as I shall 
shew you how by and by. I say, all the corruptions in man's heart, they 
are reduced either to the principles of atheism, of infidelity and unbelief, 
or else — 

2. To those j>ositive lusts, and inclinations, and desires after something in 
the world which a man would have, and which he placeth his comfort in 
more than in God. 

I take this division from that of the Apostle, in Titus ii. 12, • Teaching us 
to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.' Here you have the sum. And 
hence in the 18th verse of the Epistle of Jude, you shall find that they are 
ailed 'ungodly lusts;' for the heart being cut off from God is left to the 
swing of its own natural lusts and desires. And in these two lies the utmost 
extent of all the corruption in man's nature. 

Now although indeed the Apostle here doth not directly mention that 
privative part, as I may caU it, of atheism and unbelief, yet it is evidently 
implied ; for our lusts were not sinful lusts unless they did arise from ungodli- 
ness, from that ungodliness, and that atheism, and that unbelief, that is in 
the spirits of men. He had occasion to have mentioned those principles that 
are in the mind, but yet he terms these ' lusts,' and calleth them ' wills,' or 
lusts, or desires of the mind, of the reasoning part, as the word signifies. 

Under the word ' lusts ' the Apostle by a synecdoche meaneth all the in- 
ward acts, aU the purposes, all the contrivances, all the counsels of the heart. 
For what are purposes? They are but the continuation of desires. And what 
are all the contrivements and counsels of the hearts of men ? They are but 
to accomplish their desires and lusts. Therefore the Scripture indeed doth 
express the corruptions in the hearts of men by lusts. 

I could open to you the several names that are given to the buddings of 
comiption in us of all sorts, as the Scripture hath laid them down. As- — 


1. Sometimes they are called the savouring ofthefiesh; as in Rom. viii. 
5, 'Those that are after the flesh savour the things of the flesh.' Every 
faculty hath a principle to discern what is suitable to it, and it doth savour 
that thing and mind it. The word expresseth the suitableness that there is 
between a fleshly heart and fleshly things. 

2. It is called sTidu,u,!a, as here, lust ; for when the heart doth find a 
suitableness between it and any object, it puts forth a desire and a lust to- 
wards it. That which is in other creatures an instinct, in man that is reason- 
able is called a lust, a desire. 

3. They are called, ra 'rradrifjbara, passions ; and that indeed is the proper 
implication of the word ; so in Rom. vii. 5 ; and in Gal. v. 24, to ' crucify 
the lusts of the flesh,' it is the * passions of the flesh.' For God being gone, 
aU these lusts become passions, become inordinate in us, they turn into vio- 
lence. They are 'jra&rj/Mo.ra, as Galen useth the word, which is the fits of the 
disease ; for all sinful desires come by fits, and come with violence as the fits 
do, and put nature into a fire, — set on fire, as James expresseth it, the whole 
course of nature. 

4. They are called, as here, wills; wills of the flesh. When they are gotten 
so high as they have got the consent of the will, and then are put forth into 
action, they are caUed the wills of the flesh. And so much for the names 
that are given to flesh. 

For the thing itself ; I shall endeavour a little that you may understand 
the nature of the lusts of the hearts of the sons of men : it reacheth to all 
the motions of man's nature whatsoever, — that is, the desires, — and there 
is no faculty but hath its desires. To open this, I shall do these three things, 
that so you may see in what Heth the sinfulness of these lusts. I shall — 

1. Shew you the natural state of the soul, and the lustings thereof; for 
this you must know, that lusting and lust is used sometimes in a good sense ; 
for it is said the Spirit lusteth against the flesh, as well as the flesh lusteth 
against the Spirit. So that, I say, I shall shew you, first, the natural state 
of the soul, and the lusts thereof, without the consideration of being good or 
evil. I shall — 

2. Shew you the Jwliness of all the lusts and desires of the heart — wherein 
that lieth — in mans first nature, and now when he is renewed. And so — 

3. You will understand the sinfulness of the heart of man, in all its lust- 
ings, now when God is gone, now when they are become ungodly lusts. 

First, I shall speak of the lustings of the heart, abstractedly considered 
from good and evil in man's soul, in man's spirit. 

My brethren, what is the soul of man in its natural essential constitution ? 
It is nothing else but a chaos of desires, (let me so express it j) it is as the first 
matter, which was void of all form, and was full of nothing, but desires after 
forms, of being filled, and being satisfied. God created the soul as a mere 
stomach to receive from other things a filling of it, and as we use to say, it 
is an empty stomach. And therefore the voice of aU tilings and of aU mankind 
by nature is, ' Who will shew us any good ?' Ps. iv. And all faculties are like 
so many birds in a nest, that stand gaping to be fiUed with some good thing 
suitable thereunto. So that now there are not only the sensual desires, or 
the bodily lusts, but the lusts of the mind ; the mind itself hath its lusts in 
it, and its desires. As a man hath a desire to think of this rather than of 
that, — though it be his understanduig only that works, — he hath a mind to 
such a thing, a thought to such an object, to take such a thing into consi- 
deration. All the superior parts, the memory and the understanding, they 
have all their lustings, as well as th« lower and inferior parts of the spirit of 


man. Now then, the essential constitution of the soul of man being nothing 
but a chaos of desires, an emptiness, — as the earth, the first matter, in Gen. 
i., is said to be void ; so naturally in the essence of it the soul is a void 
thing, made to be filled up with other things, which may satisfy this vast 
chaos of desires, — the Lord ordained first himself to be man's chiefest good, 
and to satisfy and to fiU all the desires both of the understanding and the 
will. He opened their mouths wide, and he was able and ordained himself 
to fiU them. And to that end he created him with the image of God, — that 
is, with such a divine impression, that look, as the needle when it is touched 
by the loadstone moves northward, so the soul being touched with that 
image, carries the understanding, the will and affections, and all the lusts 
thereof, unto God, as the chiefest good, as finding a suitableness in him more 
than in aU things else. And yet, in the second place, God putting this soul 
of man into a body, and so to lead an animal life, — as the expression is in 
1 Cor. XV. 48, — he made a world suited to this soul in this body. And 
there is nothing in man, either in his understanding or his will, or in any of 
the senses, or in anything belonging unto man, but there is something in the 
■world likewise to suit it. He hath made the little world suited to the great 
world, and the great world to the little, as he hath suited ears unto sounds ; 
' meats for the belly,' as the Apostle saith. Now then — 

Secondly, Wherein lay the holiness of all these lustings and desires of the 
ioul of man ? The holiness of them lay in these three things, and by that 
you shall see wherein lieth their sinfulness : — 

1. This image of God, which had touched the soul of man, through the 
working of the Spirit of God in him, did carry on the soul of man to God 
as his chiefest good, to nothing above him, to say, ' Whom have I in heaven 
in comparison of thee, and whom in earth?' And — 

2. It carried the soul of man, and all its desires, to other things that had 
a sweetness in them, but only as means to taste the goodness of God, to en- 
joy God in and by them, to know God the more, and to love him. And 
then — 

3. It carried on all the desires of the soul to all things else besides God, 
for God's sake ; yea, and unto God himself, not only as his chiefest good, 
but as the chiefest good, not oat of love of pleasure, but out of love unto 
God himself : for holiness being the image of God, as God is for himself, — 
therein lieth his holiness, — so this image makes the creature also to be for 

And thus you have the holiness of these lustings in the soul of man. I 
have shewed you, first, what the natural constitution of the soul was in it- 
self ; it is indeed nothing else but lusts, a heap of desires. What the holi- 
ness of aU these desires was, I have shewn you in the second place. Now 
then — 

Thirdly, I am to shew you the sinfulness of them, which makes them to 
be here called the lusts of our flesh. You may easily understand, by what 
hath been said of the holiness of them, wherein their sinfulness lies. In a 
word, it lies in two things. It lies — 

1 . In a privation ; and — 

2. In something positive. 

They are ungodly lusts, and they are worldly lusts ; they are called both. 
The one expresseth the privative part, the other the positive. 

1. For the privative part. The foundation of all the sinfulness of these 
desires lies in the want of that image of God, of that magnetic virtue, that 
virtue of the loadstone, that should carry up all these desires to God and 


unto other things for his sake. This iron, as I may say, hath lost this 
magnetic touch, this influence, and now it moveth only as iron. The under- 
standing is taken off from God, and the Tvill is taken oif from God, and so 
all the affections. You have that in Rom. iiL 11, ' There is none that under- 
standeth,' — namely, God, — ' and there is none that seeks' — that have a will to 
seek — ' after God.' The one expresseth the privation of the understanding, 
the other of the -u-ill. The heart is cut off from God utterly, it cannot go 
that way ; therefore, as I said before, they are called ' ungodly lusts.' Athe- 
ism, mibelief, &c., have cut the heart off from God, from either aiming at 
him as his chiefest end, for he wanteth holiness, or going forth to him as 
his chiefest good, for he wants his image, which maketh a soul suitable unto 
God ; and a man desireth nothing but what he knows, and what is suitable 
to him. Hence therefore you have it, in Job xx\Ti. 10, that a carnal heart 
cannot delight himself in the Almighty ; there is no suitableness. And in 
Rom. viii. 7, the carnal mind is called ' enmity against God.' 

2. For the positive part. The image of God being thus gone, — you have 
that expression in Rom. iiL 23, all men are come short of the glory of God; 
where by the ' glory of God,' I understand his image, that which carried 
the heart of man out to God, to glorify him, which made him stand under 
the favour of God in that covenant of works ; for so, in 1 Cor. xl 7, the 
image of God, and the glory of God, are both made one : man, saith he, is the 
glory and the image of God ; — this image, I say, being gone, the soul being de- 
prived thus of that touch, all the lustuigs that it had in its natural constitu- 
tion remain stUl, there is not a desire which the soul had before but it hath 
still ; and all the sinful desires it now hath are but what were before, take 
the nature of the desires. There is nothing of the substance of the body or 
of the soul destroyed, nor any new lusts put in. Now when God is thus 
gone, and holiness is thus gone, and aU the lustings and desires of a man's 
heart are left to themselves, then what do you think is left 1 

(1.) Here is a love of himself left. There is one great lust, and the greatest 
of all the rest. "VMien holiness was there, the love of God subjected the love 
of a man's self unto God : now take this love of God away, and then self- 
love is the next heir, that great lust steppeth up into the throne ; and that 
indeed is the very bottom of original sin, it is the spring. 

(2.) I told you man was made suitable to all the creatures ; there was no- 
thing in this world but God had framed a suitableness between man and it. 
All these suitablenesses still remain, a suitableness to all creature-comforts 
whatsoever. Now here lies the sinfulness of it, that aU these lustings are 
carried out, and managed by self-love, which is the great lust of all the rest. 
And then, secondly, they are carried out to all the creatures, and to all crea- 
ture-comforts, — which indeed the soul and body were made for, — rather than 
unto God. So that the lusting or desiring of happiness merely for a man's 
self, and the seeking of this happiness in those things that man was made 
for, without God : in these two doth lie all that positive part of the lusts of 
our flesh ; for now we describe them but in general. And therefore you 
shall find that in these two, viz., love of a man's self and love of pleasure, 
nameljj in other things than in God, is the sum of all man's corruption re- 
duced imto, in that 2 Tim. iiL 2-4, where he reckons up all sorts of corrup- 
tions, a great bead-roU of sins ; and he makes ' love of men's selves ' to be 
the captain, as I may so speak, the first, the ringleader ; and ' lovers of 
pleasures more than lovers of God,' to be that which cometh in the rear. 
For these two are the spring of all the corruption in us, and unto these two are 
all our lusts reduced. And, — as I may rightly express it, — as there is never 


a vein in tlie body of a man but there is an artery, as we say, tliai runs 
under it, the one carrying blood, and the other spirits ; so in the lustings 
of the soul of man, there runneth a vein of the love of pleasures, or some 
other thing than God, and an artery of love of a man's self that puts spirits 
into this. And as the prhiciples of motion (of life at least) are blood and 
spirits in a man's veins, so are these in a man's soul. 

So by this you may easily understand wherein the sinfulness of these lusts 
lies. All these lusts are guided by love to a man's self, and love to pleasures 
in something else than God. The passage being stopped to God, it runs to 
riches, beauty, honour, and all these worldly things, as its chiefest good. 
Whatsoever the understanding of a man, if he be wise, can find that is suit- 
able to him, it draws forth a lust towards that thing. "Whatsoever the art 
and wit of man finds any way suitable to him, he is carried out to it, and 
that merely out of a love he beareth to himself, and merely for pleasure's 
sake : that, look which way self-love moveth, still that way the vein of lust 
runneth ; as that is pleased or displeased, the soul cometh off or on, putteth 
forth lusts or desires, and pulls them in again. And he hath no new desires 
put into him which he had not at first, only these desires are left to th m- 
selves, God being taken away : so that now all the affections in the oul 
turn with that wind every way; if another man have happiness and he wants 
it, self-love, desiring happiness, puts forth envy ; the spirit that is in us ust- 
eth after envy. Still, they have all their rise and spring in the love of a 
man's self, and in the love of pleasures, setting up the creature more than 
God. Therefore the belly is said to be god, and Mammon is said to be god. 
The holiness of man's desires lay in subordinating all things to God ; and 
the sinfulness of them lies in loving of pleasures more than God : so the 
Apostle expresseth it, ' these are the lusts in our flesh.' There is not an 
action stirreth but these lusts are the ground of it. And hence, that I may 
give you a scripture for this division, they are called ' our own lusts,' and 
* worldly lusts.' 

They are called, in respect of self in us, our own lusts. And therefore to 
live to a man's lusts, and to live to a man s self, are all one. In 2 Cor. v. that 
which in one place is called living to a man's lusts, is in another place called 
living to a man's self, because that self-love runs in the vein of every lust, as 
an artery doth under a vein in a man's body ; and you may feel the pulse of 
it, if you lay your hand upon your heart, and search but narrowly into the 
bottom of all. And they are therefore called the lusts of our own hearts, in 
Rom. i. 24. 

They are likewise called worldly lusts, because the things of this world are 
the objects of them. They are called ' earthly members,' because they run 
out to things on earth, as in Col. iii. 5, and ' fleshly lusts,' in 1 Peter ii. 1 1. 
And so now I have shewn you wherein lies the sinfulness that is in every 
lust in the heart of man. I come now, in the next place, likewise — 
IV. To sheio you what it is to have oxir conversation in these lusts. 

If you mark it, the Apostle, when he speaks of the efiicacy that Satan 
and the world hath upon us, he useth another phrase, — ' walking,' saith he, 
' according to the course of the world,' and ' according to the prince of the 
power of the air ;' but when he speaks of lusts, he speaks of them as of an 
inward intrinsical cause, ' having our conversation in the lusts of the flesh' — 
in the flesh, as a fish is said to live in the water. And a man is said to be 
in love, or in wine, or in anger, or in passion, because he is overcome with 
it. So we are said to have our conversation in lusts, and to be in the flesh ; 
because a man is always overcome with some one lust or othtr, and that is 


the ground of all the actions he doth, so long as he is in his natural estate. 
And therefore James saith, ' He that is tempted is drawn aside of his own 
lusts;' and as Christ saith, ' That which com eth from within defileth the 
man.' The Scripture therefore doth attribute all the actions of the sons 
of men unto their lusts. In 2 Tim. iii. 6, ' led away with divers lusts.' 
All the coiTuption that is in the world is attributed to the daily boilings up 
of these lusts, to the tumblings and tossings of these desires ; for the soul of 
man is like the raging sea, tossing to and fro, and never resteth. So in 2 
Peter i. 4, ' the corruption that is in the world through lust ; ' and the old 
man is said to be corrupt in lusts, Eph. iv. 22. And therefore the Apostle 
doth propound these lusts as the chiefest object of mortification, as I shall 
speak by and by. 

And then, in the second place, to have our conversation in these lusts, it 
doth note out a constancy also, a constant walking in some lust or other ; 
whereas there is no other foundation of all the actions of a man's ways but 
these sinful lustings of his own heart. It may be reduced either into the 
love of pleasure in something else rather than in God ; or to the love of a 
man's self above God. 

Now, men have their conversation in these. Why ? Because that the soul 
of man being an empty chaos of desires, as I said at first. As the stomach 
cannot live unless it have some nourishment in it, so a man cannot live un- 
less some lust or other be satisfied. ' In which ye walked,' saith he. Col. 
iii. 7, ' whilst ye lived in them ;' he speaks of lusts plainly, as appears, ver. 
3. All creatures are conversant about that which is their life, and they are 
constant about that which is their life. As a fish, whose element is the 
Avater, if it be out of the water it dies ; therefore we are said to ' drink 
in iniquity like water.' And these lusts, and the satisfying of them, being 
a man's life, he is said to ' war after them ; ' it is a mighty expression. In 
2 Cor. X. 3, our warfare, saith he, is not after the flesh. He speaks in 
opposition to what carnal men's warfare is ; they pursue after the satisfac- 
tion of their lusts, as a matter of life : as men that in war do fight pro aris 
etfocis, for their subsistence, for their lives; therefore they are called the 
' lusts that war in our members,' James iv. 1. They are not only compared 
to a law in the members, as in Rom. vii. 23, but they are compared to the 
violence of war too ; ' the lusts, saith he, ' that war in our members.' And 
so you have the sinfulness of these lusts described, and what it is to have 
our conversation in them. There is not an act which a carnal man doth but 
it is to satisfy some lust or other. 

All that I shall more observe is but this : that they are called lusts, in 
the plural ; there are a variety of them ; they are said to be ' divers lusts,' 
Titus iii. 6 ; they are not one, but many. And the reason why they are 
many is this : the desires of man's soul were once united in one object, 
namely, in God ; but he being gone, the soul breaks into a thousand desires, 
and makes every one of them its god. That which did unite and begirt 
up aU the desires in one, that centre being gone, all these beams are scat- 
tered. And look, how many objects there are which may any way please a 
man, and in which he may have pleasure, the soul being all for pleasure, 
and being itself an unsatisfiable thing, — for it being made to be filled with 
God, it must needs be so, — and because one thing cannot fill it, it runs to 
another, and so to another, and so the soul is scattered into a thousand seve- 
ral lusts. 

And then again, we are said to walk in our lusts, in the plural, because a 
man cannot always live in satisfying one lust only, therefore in the interim 


there must be other lusts to entertain the soul : for the soul is never idle, 
it can never want a moment's pleasure some way or other ; it must have 
relief, or at leastwise desiring and seeking after it : and so what in one thing, 
and what in another, a man walketh all his Life in some lusts or other, and 
makes it a sorrowful life. And thus natural men have their conversation in 
the lusts of the flesh. — And so much now for these, words. 

I come to the next : fulfilling the wills of the flesh and of the mind. 

That which the Apostle had said in the general before, here he speaks of 
more particularly. He doth both further explain what it is to walk in the 
lusts of the flesh ; it is to fulfil them, saith he, it is to act them, — it is the 
most proper word in the English that can be, — to act the wills of the flesh 
and of the mind. As in our usual speech we say, a man acteth his spirit. 

And then, secondly, he divides these lusts into two parts, the lusts of the 
flesh, or of the sensual part; and the lusts of the mind, that is, of the under- 
standing and the will. I shall first open the phrases. 

The first phrase I shall give you an account of is this, the wills; for indeed 
in the original so the word is, and so you shall find it in your margins. It 
is certain that what he meant by lusts in the general, in the words before, 
he meaneth the same thing by wills here. The truth is, in a strict sense, 
only the lustings and the motions of the understanding and of the wiU are ra 
'^iXri/MUTu, they are ' wills ; ' but in the inferior part, in the sensual part, 
those sensual afi'ections, of anger and the like, are but lusts and desires. And 
yet notwithstanding the one is put for the other sometimes in the Scripture, 
as Beza hath observed upon John i. 13, out of Mark x. 35. Now by ' wills 
of the flesh,' he therefore here meaneth lusts or desires, as it is translated, 
as he had done before. As when, in Rom. vii., he caUeth the lusts of a man's 
heart the law of the members, which properly are the lusts of the body, but 
he means likewise aU the lusts of the mind too : so here, when he calls them 
the wills of the flesh, he meaneth all the motions of the body also, all the lusts 
both of soul and body. But to give you an account why he calls them ' wills,' 
it is for these reasons : — 

1. To shew that the desires, the lustings of the hearts of men, are not 
merely brutish, they have a tincture of will and reason in them ; and 
though oftentimes they are involuntary, for there are many motions arise 
before the will is put forth, yet because they are in a creature that hath 
will and reason, which will and reason shoTild be too strong for the risings 
of such lusts, and keep them down, hence therefore they are called ' wills.' 
You shall see the same kind of lusts in beasts as in men. You shall see 
pride in a horse, you shall see revenge in an elephant, &c. But yet these 
very lusts that are the same in men with those that are in beasts, because 
they are in a creature that hath a wiU and reason to keep them down, the 
fault therefore of all these lusts is laid upon the will, and they are called 
' the wills of the flesh and of the mind.' Take now a natural fool, between 
whom and a beast there is but a nice distinction in appearance ; yet these 
lusts in him are sins, not in the other, because he hath a will and reason. 

2. The chief reason why the apostle here alters his phrase, and calls 
them the wills of the flesh and of the mind, is this. He speaks here in 
relation to action, of acting or fulfilling the wills of the flesh and of the 
mind. And therefore, to shew how it comes to pass that all these lusts, 
these brutish sensual lusts that are in the flesh and in the body, as well as 
in the reason, do come forth to outward action, he saith, there is a consent 
of the will ; and therefore now in James i. lust is said to be the tempter, 


but the •will, that is the thing tempted ; for that is the stern and rudder of 
aU in man. And, as I shall tell yoii in the observation when I come to it, 
there is no lust so sensual but before it comes forth into act there must be 
the consent of the will, for the order of nature still standeth ; they must 
have the will's pass and commission for it ; and therefore he calls it here 
fulfilling. When once they come into action, these lusts are turned into 
wills : hence therefore they are said to be the ' wills of the flesh.' 

3. He calls them ' wills of the flesh,' to shew where the chief seat of 
corruption lies : it lies in the will. Therefore Amesius, as I remember, 
when he speaks of the corruption of the will, quoteth this place. And 
therefore in other scriptures, that which is called the ' lusts of men,' ia 
called the ' wills of men.' Look but in 1 Pet. iv. and you shall find that 
that which in the 2d verse he calleth ' the lusts of men,' in the 3d he 
calleth ' the will of the Gentiles ; ' and he calls them so m opposition to 
the will of God, because it is the will of man that must consent to the act- 
ings of those lusts. 

Therefore, my brethren, by the way, a man can never be saved by any 
power in this will. In John i. 13, 'which were born not of blood, nor 
of the will of the flesh, but of God.' He instanceth, you see, in the will 
of the flesh. Beza indeed takes it to be meant of the seat of the grosser 
corruptions in the sensual part of the flesh. But surely the Apostle would 
not instance in that, as if that should have any hand in salvation ; there 
was not so much as any pretence for that : his intention is therefore to 
instance in the best part, and the strength of the wilL Take the will in 
itself, in the uttermost purity of it, yet it being a will of the flesh, a man 
can never be born again of it ; he speaks of the best endeavours of the will. 
— And so much now why it is called ' the wills of the flesh.' 

Obs. 1. — I will only now give you an observation or two from what hath 
been said. And the observation from that which was last said — for from 
ever)i;hing there might be observations raised — is this. Thai there is no hist 
cometh forth to action hut it is by the consent of the will ; yea, and of the 
reasoning pa?'i too. They are called the ' wills of the flesh and of the 
mind,' of the reasoning part. It may refer as well to the order of the 
casuaUty of sin, how it cometh forth into action, as to the subject of these 

As to this you must know, that although man is fallen, yet the order of 
nature, in the subordination of the faculties one to another, stands as it 
did, works as it did. The most brutish lust that is, the understanding 
and the will must concur and consent ere it is fulfilled ; only the first 
motion doth not come from the mind and the will. And there is this 
dift'erence between the workings of grace and sin in tliis respect, that aU 
the workings of grace begin with the mind ; for all the motions of grace 
must arise from the apprehensions of faith in the understanding, and so 
they pass to action ; and so spiritual afTections are moved in us. And 
therefore it is called the ' law of the mind,' in Rom. vii. It begins there, 
and the understanding, like a burning-glass, that takes in the beams of the 
sun, receiving the beams of spiritual things, it inflameth and setteth on fire 
the affections with them. But now, if you come to lusts and corruption 
they begin oftentimes in the sensual part ; and therefore in Rom. vii. are 
called oppositely the ' law of the members.' And they propound first, yet 
so as still the order of nature, in respect to outward action, remains — that 
the understanding and will must first give their consent. In man's pure 
stAte, as now in our regenerate condition, so far as we are regenerate, the 


understanding and the will lead on to every action ; but in the corrupt 
state usually the affections begin to lead ; yet so as, until the understand- 
ing and the will do consent, the man proceeds not to action. The dif- 
ference of these two may be expressed by those ways of government : the 
one when, suppose, in a corporation, there should not a motion pass the 
common council but it must come from the mayor and aldermen, with 
their consents, first ; the other, that motion must come from the vulgar sort 
first. So it is in the corrupt state ; all cometh from below, or at least 
much of all the actions in which men live in sin, they come from the sen- 
sual desires, and gain the consent of the will. 

And then, if you ask the reason why that the understanding and will 
do assent to such lusts as it receiveth not immediately ? the reason is 
this : because the understanding and the will know no better ; they are 
cut off from God, and bemg cut off from God, they must give consent : for 
the man is for pleasure, and the will is for pleasure, and so is the under- 
standing ; therefore what pleaseth the man, the understanding approveth for 
best, and so doth the will too, though not best in itself, yet best for the 
man. And qualis quisque est, talis Jinis ei videtur, as is the man, such is 
Ms end ; as he is disposed in himself, such is his end in working ; every 
man works for his end, and look what the man is, such is his end. As now, 
a man in a sickness desireth drink ; reason and understanding tell him it is 
ill and naught; but yet the understanding consents and approves it. Why? 
Because as the man is affected, such is his end and happiness, that is 
judged best which suitcth the man. And hence now all the sensual lusts 
come to obtain the consent of the will. 

Ohs. 2. — Secondly, in that here, lusts, when they come to action, are 
called wills, observe from hence : That the chief sinfiilness of a man in his 
actions, it is not simply his lusts, and the rage and violence of them, — though 
therein lies a great inordinacy which a man is to be humbled for, — but 
when they come to act, it is the will either that is indulgent to those lusts, 
suffers the thoughts to dwell upon them, pore upon them, or which yieldeth 
to the performing and fulfilling of them. You see here that the Apostle, 
when he comes to speak of fulfilling of lusts, instead of fulfilling of lusts, 
he saith, fulfilling the wills of the flesh. The will is the great measure of 
sin. My brethren, the aggravation of sinning against knowledge lies chiefly 
in this, that the more knowledge a man hath, the more his will is disco- 
vered to be for the sin, notwithstanding that knowledge ; therefore the 
highest sinning of all, what is made the measure of it 1 ' That sin wilfully, 
saith he, 'after they have received the knowledge of the truth,' Heb. x. 
Therefore they are called ' children of disobeclience,' in the very words 
before ; for their disobedience, their sinfulness especially, hes in the obsti- 
nacy and perverseness of the will. Therefore when God turns any m?n to 
him, he fasteneth that man's will. He trusted to the will of man first, and 
was deceived by it ; and now he is resolved to make sure work wnth him 
when he comes to save him, and therefore he puts man's salvation out of 
himself. And therefore now, when he doth work upon him, he works 
especially upon the will ; the Holy Ghost sits there, as in the centre of the 
soul, and hath a chief hand upon the stern of a man's spirit. My brethren, 
your wills are the slipperiest things in the world, the fullest of a lubricity, 
of a fickleness. You see, Adam's wUl, though it was strengthened with 
grace, and poised, how it was overcome, how fickle it was. Therefore, 
above all, desire the Lord to fasten your wills, to hold his hand upon that 
stern, always to guide you ; for if God hold his hand upon that stern, if tha 


will remain firm, and be kept close to him, it is called ' arming our mind,' 
1 Pet. iv. 1. Though lusts do arise, and tempt, as they will do continually, 
yet you shall not fulfil them, they shall be as water about a rock that 
breaks ; the will keeps these lusts from breaking forth into action, and takes 
the mind off from thinking of them. 

Obs. 3. — Thirdly, you may see, my brethren, wherein lies the slavery of the 
most noble creature. What is the noblest thing in us ? Our reasoning and 
our wUl. Now you may see by this th.at all these are enslaved to lusts ; that 
phrase which the Apostle used before, ' walking in the lusts of the flesh,' 
here he turns it, and saith, ' fulfilUng the wills of the flesh and of the reason- 
ing part.' It is not a will now, it is indeed nothing but lusts; for that 
which he terms lusts in one part he termeth wills in another ; so brutish it is. 
The will hath lost that freedom which once it had, and now it is in bondage, 
serving pleasures, serving divers lusts, — these expressions the Apostle hath, 
— falling down, God being now gone, to the poorest and meanest creature 
below itself. Herein lies, I say, the uttermost expression of the slavery of 
man, that his wall is thus subject to the common, as I may express it, to all 
the brutish lusts that are in a man's spirit 



Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of 
ourjlesh, fulfilling the desires (or, the wills) of the flesh and of the mind, 
&c.— Ver. 3. 

In the words before, the Apostle had mentioned the two external causes of 
all the corruption in the lives of men by nature, — namely, the world and the 
devil ; * wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this 
world, according to the prince of the power of the air.' In these words you 
have the third cause, and that the intrinsical one, ' the lusts of the flesh.' 
And when he cometh to lay open that as the cause, which is indeed the 
bottom and root of all the corruption in men's lives, he doth it— 

1. In a general way. 

2. More particularly. 

He first doth it in a general way : ' We had all our conversation in times 
past in the lusts of our flesh.' And then he doth particularise those lusts : 
' the lusts of the flesh' — the body — 'and of the mind.' 

I have opened formerly what is meant by flesh, and told you that by it is 
here meant that inherent corruption in our natures, whether that which we 
derive at the first by birth, and brought into the world with us, or that 
increase and addition to it, — for by every actual sin an addition thereunto is 
made, — that which the Apostle calleth the indwelling of sin. 

I shewed formerly why it is called flesh ; and among others, I gave tlus 
reason : because that when God is taken out of the heart, then all the ob- 
jects that the heart is carried to are things of the flesh. And I did prove by 
many places of Scripture that that was the meaning of the phrase, and to 
that it did extend, when it is said, ' Those that are after the flesh seek the 
things of the flesh.' 

I gave you a description of the thing itself, as well as an account of the 
phrase, why it is called flesh. It is that sinful disposition in man's nature, 
whereby the whole man is empty of aU good, and fixU of all inclinations to 
whatsoever is evil. 

I came the last day to shew you what was meant by lusts; * the lusts of the 
flesh.' They are the immediate sproutings of that inherent corruption, all 
the motions, and inward workings, and first risings and agitations of the 
heart of man, either against what is good or unto what is evil, (I may add 
that to what I said the last discourse, it is not only the motions of the 
heart unto what is evil, but also against what is good,) as in Gal. v. 17, 
' The flesh,' saith he, ' lusteth against the Spirit.' 

I opened to you the nature of these lusts. I did it two ways : — 

1. I opened in general the nature of lusts, or of the lustings of the soul 

2. I opened the sinfulness of it. 

I opened first, in general, the nature of these lustings. I told you that 
God hath made the soul of man, in the essential constitution of it, mere 
emptiness, to be filled up by something else. It is aU things in capacity, 


but it is nothing, not in happiness, or pleasure, or comfort, unless it be 
joined with something else. The soul of man is nothing but a chaos of 
desires, a mere stomach, as I may express it, mere appetite, mere hunger ; 
and aU the faculties, both of soiil and body, like so may birds in a nest, 
stand gaping for some good. *Who will shew us any good?' Pa. iv., is 
the voice of all mankind. Now this being the original constitution of the 
soul of man, if you ask me in the general, what ' lust' or ' lustings' are ; 
why, it is the moving, or extending, or putting forth of any faculty or power 
in soul or body in desires and longings after any object agreeable thereunto, 
and in which it may find pleasure and contentment. It is, I say, the goings 
forth of this soul, or of any power of it, to any object suitable unto it; this 
in the general nature is lusting. Now the soul that God thus made mere 
emptiness, and stomach, and appetite, he put into a body, for our souls 
are clothed with flesh ; and when he first made us in the state of inno- 
cency, he did, for objects to fill up this soul in this body, first, ordain himself 
to satisfy the desires of it ; he did ordain himself to be the chiefest good 
and happiness to this soul. And, secondly, he made a world of creatures, 
which we see and behold with our eyes, which are all suited to the variety of 
desires of man's soul dwelling in this body. Therefore Solomon saith, ' he 
hath placed the world in man's heart' There is nothing in the world but 
is suited to man ; and there is nothing in man but there is something in 
the world suited unto it. And then, thirdly, God did put into man's 
soul this principle, to love himself as well as to love God, and in loving God 
to love himself most ; and so to rejoice, when as his desires were satisfied 
with God himself, or with the creatures, in a subordinate way unto him. 
Here now is the natural constitution and condition of the soul of man. 

Now I must shew you the sinfulness of all these lustings and desires. If 
I must shew you the sinfulness, I must shew you, first, wherein the hoHness 
of them lay whilst we were in the state of innocency ; for one contrary is 
known by another. Now the holiness of all the desires of the soul of man, 
which was nothing in itself but desires, lay in this, that God touched, I so 
express it, all these desires of the heart of man as the iron of the needle 
is touched with the loadstone. He did put a magnetic virtue into it, his 
own image of holiness, which did guide and carry all these desires unto 
himself And there being holiness then in the soul, the holy God was sviited 
to this soul, and all the desires thereof, to satisfy and fill it ; and so by the 
guidance of this magnetic virtue, the heart still went God-ward. And then, 
secondly, the holiness that God did implant and stamp upon all the desires 
and lustings of man's heart, it did regulate, and order, and subordinate all 
other desires that we had to creatures, to comforts here below; it did subject 
them all unto God, that we should seek nothing above God, we should 
seek nothing but in order unto God, not have a desire stir but as related 
unto him. 

Now then, the sinfulness of all these lusts and desires is easily to be known. 
For now the image of God being gone, the heart having lost that magnetic 
virtue, that virtue of the loadstone that once touched it, it is now mere 
dull iron, and now it moveth not at all unto God ; neither unto him as its 
chief good, nor unto him as its chief end ; nay, it is opposite unto him. Saith 
the Apostle, in Rom. iii. 11, speaking of all mankind by nature, ' None under- 
standeth,' — namely, none understandeth God, — ' none doth seek after God.' 
Now although that holiness that did carry us out to God be gone, yet all 
the desires remain stUl the same; I speak for the natural constitution of 
them; the soul is nothing but desires still. Now, as I told you before, that 


God did not only suit this sonl to himself, but to all creatures and comforts 
here below in this visible world, — now when God is gone, and a man is with- 
out God in the world, as it is in the 1 2th verse of this chapter, what doth his 
desires do 1 They are all left to themselves, to run which way they will, to 
this creature, and to that creature, as their chiefest good, to Jiave happiness 
in them. And God being gone, and all love unto him being gone, there 
is nothing left but self-love, which is the great original desire in man, and 
which seeks after comfort in all things merely for itself, and for pleasure's 
sake. In this Ues the sinfulness of all the lustings of man's heart ; that now 
when God is gone, the way to God is stopped, the heart runs a thousand 
ways, to this and that creature, to this and that comfort, and doth it merely 
for pleasure's sake, doth it merely out of that natural desire of self-love, which, 
love unto God being gone, is the next heir in the heart of man. 

Now then, as the corruption of the heart is therefore called Jlesh, as I 
shewed when I opened that phrase, because it is carried out to the things 
of the flesh, and take God out of any thing, and it is a thing of the flesh ; 
so, take but God out of the world, and let the lusts of the heart then go 
whither they will go, though they run to things in themselves lawful, yet 
because they run to them without God and instead of God, and but for 
themselves, hence they are all sinful and abominable lusts in the sight of 
God. Now then, look how many things there are that are not God, or that 
may be sought or desired without him, so many lusts are there in the heart 
of man. Not only all things that are evil, as fornication and the like, — as in 
1 Cor. X. 6 it is said they ' lusted after evU things,' speaking of their rising 
up to play, — things that are forbidden, but all things lawful, without God, 
whether honours, or riches, or beauty, or pleasures of any kind, which in 
themselves are lawful; all these, take God out of them, and let the desires 
of man's heart be carried to them without God, and subordinate unto him, 
and in reference unto him they are all sinful lusts. Therefore Christ, in 
Mark iv. 19, saith, ' The cares of the world, and the lusts of other things,' — 
mark that phrase, the lusts of other things; be they what they will be, if they 
be lusts, that is, if they be inordinate lusts, not subjected unto God as the 
chiefest good, tasting him in them, and subordinated unto him as our chiefest 
end, they are all lusts which vsdll choke the word and undo the soul. 

I shall illustrate the sinfulness of these lusts to you by this ordinary com- 
parison, in all the parts of it. Go, take a man now that is out of health, 
that is in a fever, whose stomach and palate are vitiated ; as I told you, the 
soul is nothing but stomach. Suppose this stomach to be a vitiated and dis- 
tempered stomach and palate, as a man in a fever hath. I ground my simi- 
litude upon that in Eccles. v. 17, speaking of a man by nature, 'All his 
days,' saith he, ' he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath 
with his sickness.' A man leadeth but a sick life that leadeth a life of lusts, 
living upon the creature, and he hath much anguish and sorrow and vanity 
with it. Now take a man that is sick, wherein lieth his distemper, you 
shall see the like explaineth fully the corruptions that are in man's heart. 
It lieth— 

1. In this, that by reason of that distemper that is in him he is taken off 
from delighting in what is good and wholesome, and is the natural nourish- 
ment to him. Bring him meat, his stomach riseth at it, at the least scent 
of it ; if he either hear it spoken of, or if he think of it, the repre.senting it 
in any way to his fancy turns his stomach. So now take the soul of man 
by nature, that is thus distempered in his lusts, when God and holiness is 
gone, whatsoever holdeth forth God to him in a spiritual way, to bring Mm 


to communion and fellowship with God in any duty, his heart riseth against 
it, against holiness, against the spiritual law, against the spiritual part of 
religion, the power of godliness. Why? Because he is nothing but lusts 
distempered. These were once the natural food and nourishment of his soul, 
but now he is distempered. So that now here is a privation with an oppo- 
sition unto God. 

2. Take a man that is distempered and his stomach thus vitiated, such 
things as will hurt him, such things he mightily and greedily longeth for; as 
also whatever else he desires, he doth it with a violence, with a thirst be- 
yond natural thirst. So now doth the soul of man by nature, whilst it hath 
nothing but lusts in it. He both lusteth after what is contrary to the will 
of God, and such creatures as God did make for man, and are lawful for 
him to use in themselves, yet his heart is carried out to them with a vehe- 
mency of thirst. The expression is in Deut. xxix. 19 : it is called, ' adding 
drunkenness to thirst.' And the reason is this, because the soul having been 
made for God, and widened for him, now that God is gone, you can no more 
fill these desires with the creatures, than you can fill a cistern with a drop of 
water. Therefore the desires are enraged, like a man in a fever. Saith he, 
in Eccles. vi. 7, 'All the labour of a man is for his mouth, and yet the appe- 
tite is not filled.' He speaks of a covetous man. The meaning of it is this : 
It is strange, saith he, that although a man needs no more, and needs labour 
for no more, than what will feed him, than what wiU fill his mouth and his 
belly; and if you have meat and raiment, saith the apostle, be therewith 
content ; and nature is content with a few things : yet though nature be con- 
tent with a few things, and a man need labour for no more, yet there is an 
inordinacy in the very appetite, a man must have more than will serve the 
turn, the appetite is not filled. 

3. Take a man in a fever, and his desire of drink, or of what wUl hurt 
him, is merely to satisfy his humour, it is merely to please himself, and to 
satisfy the inordinacy, and for no other end ; it is not to nourish, he knows 
it will do him hurt. So now the desires of the hearts of men and their lusts 
are therefore sinful, because they are carried out to all things merely for 
pleasure's sake. They are not carried out to other things for God, — ' whether 
you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God,' — but it is merely to satisfy a 
humour, it is merely for pleasure's sake, and to please himself. Therefore 
you shall find stiU in Scripture, as in Titus iiL 3, we are said by nature to 
serve divers lusts and pleasures ; they are both joined together. ' Lovers 
of pleasures,' saith the Apostle in 2 Tim. iii 4, ' more than lovers of God.' 
And in James iv. 3, they are said to consume upon their lusts ; that is, all 
that they get is merely for their lusts' sake, it is merely to satisfy the desire, 
to satisfy the humour, all is spent ujDon that ; and that is all the fruit thereof. 

Now then in these three things lies the sinfulness of the lusts of man's 
heart. I shall give you them in Scripture phrase. You have three epithets 
that are attributed to our lusts : — 

1. They are called ungodly lusts ; so you have it in Jude, ver. 18. Why] 
Because they are carried on to all things without God ; yea, and in an enmity 
and opposition unto him. They are taken off wholly from him, and there- 
fore they are ungodly lusts. And — 

2. They are carried to other things, merely for a man's own sake, out ol 
love unto himself, and for pleasure's sake. So in the same 18th verse of the 
Epistle of Jude, ' their own ungodly lusts.' And therefore for a man to live 
to his lusts, 1 Peter iv., and to live to himself, 2 Cor. v., it is all one. To 
live to a man's lusts, that phrase you have in 1 Peter iv. 2, and to live to 


a man's self, that you have in 2 Cor, v. 15. Therefore they are called in 
Eom, i. 24, ' the lusts of their own hearts.' 

3. They are called worldly lusts. You have that in Titus ii. 12, * denying 
all ungodly and worldly lusts.' Why ? Because when God is gone, and 
the desires are carried out no more unto him, they run out to all things in 
the world. — And so now you have the sinfulness of the lusts of man's nature 
laid open to you. 

I made entrance into the next, which is a more particular explanation of 
the diversity of those lusts which the heart of man doth follow. ' Fulfilling,' 
saith he, * the desires of the flesh and of the mind. In the original it is, 

* the wills of the flesh and of the mind.' I did give you an account of that 
phrase in the last discourse, which I will not now stand upon ; only I shaU 
add one or two things more. 

I told you that all the lusts, even the lusts of the body and of the mind, 
be they what they will be, the poorest lusts in a man, they are all the wills 
of the flesh, when they are fulfilled. Why 1 Because that no lust can be 
satisfied by action but the will must give its consent. God hath placed in 
man a supreme lord and power, a will, and that must give consent ; and 
when lusts have once its consent, then they are wills. Now here he speaks 
of them as fulfilled, therefore he calls them the ' wills of the flesh and of the 
mind.' To which only let me add this further : it is corruption in the will, 
from whose influence these lusts are called ' wills.' The will doth not only 
give its consent to every lust that passeth into action, but it doth oftentimes 
strengthen and stir up and provoke lusts. A man's own will is his own 
tempter : and he hath an obstinacy in his will to follow his lusts : the will 
doth not only thus follow after, but it goes before. So in 1 Tim. vi. 9, 

* They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare ;' and in John viii. 
44, ' The lusts of your father ye will do.' You see it is not only that the 
lusts come and tempt the will, but the will strengtheneth the lusts, and sets 
the lusts on work, and puts a resolution, a back of steel to the lusts. A 
man is resolved to be rich, and resolved to be revenged, &c. ' The lusts of 
your father you will do.' 

And so I come now to the second thing which I am to open and explain, 
namely, the diversity of these lusts in the hearts of men ; ' fulfilling the 
lusts of the flesh and of the mind.' 

You must know that hjjlesh here is not meant corrupt nature, but it is 
here spoken of as in opposition to the mind of man ; and therefore the body 
is here meant. In Titus iii. 3, he calls them there, divers lusts ; ' serving,' 
saith he, ' divers lusts and pleasures.' Now here you have the diversity of 
them in two general heads. There are, you see — 

1. The lusts of the flesh, or of the body. And there are — 

2. The lusts of the mind. 

The soul, as I told you, is nothing else in all the faculties of it but a 
chaos of desires. Therefore now, look into how many parts you may cut 
or make a division of the man, accordingly you may make a division of his 
lusts. And look into what eminent parts the soul of a man may be divided, 
into these his lusts may be divided. 

In Gen. ii. 7, it is said, ' God breathed into man the breath of lives,' — 
so it is in the original, — as being more than one. The soul of man, so far 
as it is the subject of lusts and desires, is divided into two parts, and nature 
hath made that division ; and indeed death makes it when it divides the 
soul and body : and the philosophers made it. There is — ■ 

(1.) The sensitive soul, which is common to us with beasts. The soul of a 


beast, as some say, runs in the blood j it is a sensitive soul, it is the quint- 
essence of the elements, — I cannot stand to describe it, — it contains two 
things, the inward senses and the outward senses. The inward senses, the 
fancy, of which I shall speak anon, for your beasts have fancies, for they 
dream ; as you see by the starting of beasts in their sleep ; this is eminent 
in apes, monkeys, and elephants. And they have outward senses, as hearing, 
seeing, and the like, which have objects suited to them. Now a man hath 
the like. And the lusts of the flesh are those lusts that are seated in the 
sensitive part, in the fancy, and in all the other senses. There is in man — 

(2.) The reasonable soul, which a beast hath not; the reasonable soul which 
is put to dwell in a body. And as man partakes with beasts in respect of 
his sensitive part, so he partakes with angels in respect of his spiritual part, 
his understanding and his will, whereby he is able to rise to higher objects 
than beasts are, to put a valuation upon honours, riches, and the like, which 
beasts do not. 

The soul of man now being thus divided, it comes to pass that the lusts 
of man's soul are accordingly divided. There are either — 

1. Those lusts which are common to him with beasts, — though they have 
a tincture of reason in them, for even the senses, the fancy, is by participa- 
tion reasonable ; yet because it is in a beast too, it is, I say, but a sensitive 
faculty, — which are the sensitive appetite, whether it be in the fancy in things 
suited to it, or in the outward senses in things suited to them. Or there 
are — 

2. Those lusts which are common to men with devils. For, as the spirit 
of man, whilst he was holy, had such desires as angels have that are holy ; 
so when he is corrupt, his spirit hath such lusts as devils have. 

I will give you Scripture for both, that you may see that the Scripture 
runs upon this division. All such good things as are suited to the senses, 
and which the soul takes a pleasure in by means of the senses, are called 
* lusts of the flesh,' or of the body. But all such lusts as a man takes in 
purely by his understanding, — though his understanding, dwelling in a body, 
would not approve of many things to be good, yet it is the understanding 
that simply approves of the goodness of things, as of riches and honours, and 
the like, — these, I say, are called the ' lusts of the mind.' I will give you 
Scripture for them both. 

1. For those lusts which are in the sensitive part, — sensual lusts, — you 
shall find it in Jude, ver. 10; speaking there of false teachers which were cor- 
rupt and abominable in their way, saith he, ' These speak evil of things they 
know not ' — spiritual things, which they understand not, and are opposite to 
them, they oppose mightily, — 'but what they know naturally, as brute 
beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves ; ' they are given over, saith 
he, to brutish lusts. To open this to you a little, you must know that the 
second Epistle of Peter and this of Jude are parallel epistles, and speak 
both of the same sort of men, according to this division mentioned. The 
apostle Peter had shewed, 2 Pet, ii. 10, the corruptions that are in the 
understanding, the superior part of these corrupt teachers; they were 'proud, 
self-willed,' ' having men's persons in admiration for advantage ; ' these are 
lusts in the reasoning part. Now Jude here saith that they were not 
only corrupt therein, but in other lusts also ; for, saith he, ' what they 
know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves,' 
I have formerly taken the meaning of these words to be this, that they 
came to sin against the very light of nature ; that look, what light they had 
against gross sins, they even sinned against it ; and that they had sinned 


away their light. I thought, I say, that that had been the meaning ; and 
the truth is, that which deceived me was the placing of the words in the 
translation : for the translation runs thus, ' what they know naturally, as 
brute beasts ; ' but in the Greek it runs thus, * what they naturally, as brute 
beasts, know. And so examining by learned expositors, Estius, and Gerard, 
and others, I did find that the meaning of the Apostle is clearly this, that 
those things which they know as brute beasts, naturally, — natural knowledge 
here being taken, as Estius saith, in opposition to rational knowledge, — what 
they know by senses in a natural way, as beasts do, in these things, saith 
the Apostle, they corrupt themselves, thereby shewing the further corrup- 
tion of their hearts. So as his scope is not to shew the manner of their 
sinning against the light of nature, but the matter of their sinning, and that 
not only in corrupt opinions, but brutish lusts also — that they were given 
up to those lusts that beasts were given up to. ' What they know, as 
beasts, naturally,' saith he, ' in those things they corrupt themselves ; ' as 
in meats, and drinks, and sleep, and the Like. So you have mention of their 
' feeding themselves without fear,' ver. 1 3, and ' defiUng the flesh through 
filthy dreams,' ver. 8 of this Epistle of Jude ; and ' having eyes full of adul- 
tery,' &c., as in Peter. In these lusts, saith he, they corrupt themselves, in 
sensual lusts, — namely, that are common to beasts, — of uncleanness, and 
the like. And these are the lusts common to beasts. 

2. You shall find another sort of lusts that are in the spirits of men, 
which are called the devil's lusts ; and they are the ' lusts of the mind.' 
As in John viii. 44, Christ speaking there of the Jews that had a malice 
against him, saith he, ' Ye are of your father the devU ; and the lusts of 
your father ye will do.' Mark, as the Apostle had said of those corrupt men 
that they were corrupt in bodily lusts, in sensitive lusts, such as are com- 
mon to beasts ; so Christ speaks of the Jews, who were malicious and 
envious against him, and aimed to kill him, and he saith that they did do 
the lusts of the devil The devil, you know, is of a spiritual nature, he 
mindeth not the lusts of the body, he minds not beauty, or any such thing; 
he is of a spiritual nature, and he is taken with spiritual excellencies, 
therefore he is called 'spiritual wickedness,' Eph. vi. 12. All his lusts are 
spiritual lusts — revenge, and pride, and envy, and malice, and the like ; these 
are lusts of the mind. They are not called the devil's lusts, ejQflciently, 
because he stirs them up in men ; but they are called his lusts by way of 
imitation, men doing the same lusts that he did, * You seek to kill me,' 
saith he, and he is a murderer as well as ye, and ye as well as he. These 
now therefore are the ' lusts of the mind.' 

So then, as the man is divided into these two parts, a body and a mind, 
the sensitive part and the rational part, — in the one he partakes with 
beasts, (you see, there are lusts common with beasts in men,) in the other 
he partakes with spirits in devils, — therefore there are the lusts which are in 
men also. 

I wiU give you one scripture, to close up all, for the proof of this. It is 
in 2 Cor. vii. 1, 'Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh' — 
namely, of the body — ' and of the spirit.' Here, you see, all sinful lusts, all 
filthiness whatsoever, is reduced to these two heads. How do I prove that 
all is meant here ? All that is to be purged is reduced to these two heads, 
therefore all is meant ; and, saith he, ' growing up to holiness in fear.' 
Therefore now all the sinfulness of man's nature is reduced to these two 
heads : either bodily wickedness, sensitive wickedness, inward or outward, 
in the fancy, and the like j or intellectual wickedness, spiritual wickedness, 


as the scliool-men, and the fathers, upon such and the lite scriptures, have 
grounded this notion. So now you have the lusts of the mind, and the 
lusts also of the flesh. This is a clear and certain truth, that look, how far 
pleasure and desire extendeth, so far sinful lusts extend. As there are 
pleasures in the body, and from the desires of the body, so sinful lusts ; so 
likewise in the soul. Some things the soul takes pleasure in, merely by 
the help of the body, which, when it is out of the body, it shall have no 
pleasure in : other things it takes pleasure in, merely as it is an intellectual 
substance ; for revenge hath a pleasure in it, it is no bodily lust, yet it is 
the sweetest lust, to them that are revengeful, in the world. 

Now then, to open these more particularly, that I may a little anatomise 
your hearts unto you — 

The lusts of the flesh are reduced to two heads : the one lower, or more 
sensual ; the other more superior. 

There are, as I said before, the inward and outward senses ; for besides 
hearing and seeing, in a man and in a beast, there is fancy, which is but 
a fleshly faculty ; for it is suited to buildings and pleasant gardens, and a 
thousand of these things which are artificial, beauty and the like ; all these 
are seated in the fancy, they are not seated in the reason. The fancy hath 
a little kind of reason in it materially ; it is but a very mechanic, an ap- 
prentice to the understanding, to make shapes for it, as the understanding 
is pleased to call them up, to represent its own thoughts to himself. You 
have fancy in the night. Whence are all your dreams 1 They are not 
from your understanding so much, the understanding doth but heavily and 
dully accompany them ; they are from the fancy, and the nimbleness of it, 
and the species there. Now you have the same fancies awake, only they 
appear lively in the night when you are asleep, because then reason is 
down ; but they are wan and pale when you are awake. I use to say that 
fancy is as the moon, that ruleth the night; and reason as the sun, that rules 
the day. When the sun is down, the moon is up ; but when the sun is up, 
the moon grows pale and wan, though it remains still, even when the sun 
shines most. 

Now then there are these two sorts of lusts in the sensitive part : there 
are lusts in the fancy, and the lusts in the brutish part of man, in the 
body, the more sensual part. I take it, that is the meaning of John, in 
1 John ii. 1 6. There are the lusts of the eye, saith he, and the lusts of the 
flesh. By the * lusts of the eye,' he meaneth the fancy. Walk, young 
man, saith Solomon, (who are fullest of fancy,) in the sight of thine eyes. 
And then there are the lusts of the flesh, which are the more brutish lusts. 
To distinguish these two a little : — 

Meats, and drinks, and sleep, and the hke, all other refreshments to the 
body, to the sensual part of it, are lusts of the flesh, properly so called, in 
opposition to the lusts of the eye. 

The lusts of the eye are such as beauty, apparel, buildings, pleasant 
stories, jests, pomp, and state, and a thousand of these kind of things ; all 
these are the puppets of the fancy, as I may so express them. In Acts 
XXV. 23, you have a notable place for this ; it is said there that Agrippa 
and Bernice came ' in great pomp.' That outward state and garb, with fine 
clothes and glorious attendants, which they were so pleased and taken with, 
is called great pomp ; but what is it in the original 1 ' They came with 
great fancy ; ' it is called so. Why? Because such things as these are the 
objects of the fancy. So those little additaments to women's ornaments, 
we call them fancies ; it is but the calling of the thing by that which it 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 105 

Buiteth to. Now, though a thousand of these things are lawful in them- 
selves, — for this is certain, that God made not anything but there is some- 
thing in man to suit it and take pleasure in it, and it were to destroy 
a work of God to deny it, — but take God out of all these, when a man's 
fancy, his spirit, is carried out to these without God, when there is not 
grace in the heart to subdue all these to God, then it is sinful. These are 
the lusts of the flesh. 

There are, secondly, the lusts of the reason, of the mind. You must 
know this, that the word here in the text wliich is translated, ' lusts of the 
mind,' in the Greek it is, ' lusts of the reason,' — that is, of the understand- 
ing of man. 

Now in the reasoning part of man there are two sorts of lusts. I take 
it, you have these in that place of John I quoted even now. There are, saith 
he, the lusts of the eye, the lusts of the flesh ; and what they are I have told 
you, the lusts of the eye is the fancy, that of the flesh is the brutish part. 
And, saith he, there is the ' pride of life,' which is the lusts of the under- 
standing. I say, these lusts of the understanding are of two sorts, that I 
may diversify them unto you. They are either — 

1. Direct lusts; that is, which are carried out directly in objects before 
them, suited to them, suited to the understanding, which it apprehends an 
excellency in. Or — 

2. Collateral lusts ; lusts that by a rebound rise and spring from thence. 
The one are prima, and the other orta: there are lusts which are primary; 
and there are lusts which arise from them, and are secondary. I wUl explain 
them to you as I can. 

1. The understanding of a man hath a world of direct lusts, — that is, lusts 
that are directly carried on to objects suited to it. As, for example, * pride 
of life,' which the Apostle mentioneth there in John : look, whatever excel- 
lency the understanding hath, or knoweth, or is in a man, of beauty, or parts, 
or wit, and the like ; in all these there is pride, which the Apostle calleth 
pride of life, as the other he calleth the lusts of the eye, and the lusts of the 
flesh. Affectation of power, and of glory, and of sovereignty, of subjection, 
to carry on a man's plots, and to accomplish them, to carry on a man's ends ; 
pride in wisdom, learning, parts, whatever else it be ; any excellency that the 
understanding only apprehendeth, — all these are called the pride of life, these 
are lusts of the reasoning part : excellency in civil virtues, conformity to the 
law, of which Paul boasted in Phil. iii. The philosophers in civU virtues; 
as he said, Calco Platonis superhiam, &c., — Diogenes went in a poor habit, and 
Plato in costly apparel ; he would tread upon his coat, and the other trod 
upon Diogenes's. It was a humility, but it was his pride. To rise higher 
yet, there are lusts of the mind towards religion. Idolatry is mentioned in 
Gal, V, 20 amongst the works and lusts of the flesh ; for in the 1 6th verse 
he had said that you should not 'fulfil the lusts of the flesh;' and what 
followeth? Among the works of the flesh which spring from these lusts, 
idolatry is one ; for if men set up an idolatrous worship, they are * inflamed 
with their idols;' so the prophet saith, Isa. Ivii. 5. If men be superstitious, 
they are puffed up with that superstition, it is a lust of the understanding. 
In Col. ii. 18, ' Let no man beguile you in a voluntary humility and wor- 
shipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly 
puffed up by his fleshly mind.' Go now, and take a form of religion that men 
fashion to themselves, suited to their lusts, though it is in itself a good re- 
ligion, yet they making but a form of it, as the Pharisees and Paul did ; 
conformity to the law of God is good, but he made a form of it, it was suited 


to his worldly lusts and ends; — when you take the spiritual part, the power 
out of religion itself, wind it up as high as you will, it is certain that there 
are luets towards it. A man hath a. zeal for it, but what saith the Apostle ? 
You are zealous towards God, estabUshing your own righteousness. You 
shall see men as hot for that which is the way of their religion ; though it be 
but a form, carnal men wUl be for it. This zeal, I say, if you resolve it, it 
is properly the lust of the mind ; for take any religion, any elevation, any 
pitch of religion that a man sets upon and is zealous for, if it doth not rise 
up to spii'itualness, all his zeal for that religion is but lust. These you see 
are the direct lusts that are in the mind of man. 

2. There are also lusts that are orta, that spring from hence ; as from 
pride and self-love. Look what excellency any man affecteth, if it be eclipsed 
by another, envy ariseth ; if any oppose him in it, hatred ariseth ; if any hinder 
him in it, revenge ariseth. These now are not direct lusts, but are lusts that 
arise upon a rebound, when the desu'es of a man's heart are crossed, and yet 
they are lusts. You shall find in Gal. v. 20, 21, that envyings, murders, and 
witchcrafts, and all these, are called lusts. Do but compare the 16th verse, 
where he bids them not to fulfil the lusts of the flesh ; and then he shews 
them what the works of the flesh are that arise from these lusts ; saith he, 
' idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, here- 
sies, envyings, murders,' &c. Now would one think that witchcraft were a 
lust 1 No man hath a mind to go and give his soul to the devil simply ; it is 
not a direct lust, but thus. When Saul was put to it for a kingdom, then he 
goes to the devil. When men would have what they inordinately desire, 
and cannot get it by other means, then Acheronta movebo ; they do not go 
to the devil simply, for no man naturally delighteth to converse with him ; 
nay, there is naturally an averseness to it in the heart of man : but it is a 
collateral lust, it ariseth from the other. And so doth envying, and so dotii 
wrath and sedition. ' Whence come envjdngs amongst you % come they not 
hence, even of your lusts?' saith the apostle James, chap. i. 

I come now to the next thing, which having despatched, I have explained 
this part of the text. You understand what is meant by ' the lusts of the 
flesh and of the mind.' There is one word more must be opened, and that 
is, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. 

The word is '7:otoZ\iTig. If I should translate it, I would translate it thus, 
according to the phrase we now use, acting their lusts; it is, if you will so 
render it, ' doing their lusts.' We translate it well, ' fulfilling their lusts.* 
either by outward actions, or by a continuation of inward thoughts and 
fancies, or musings upon such things as the soul would have, or desires. It 
is elsewhere called ' obeying of lusts;' so Kom. vi. 13. It is called 'serv- 
ing of lusts;' so Titus iii. 3. It is called ' perfecting ' or completing ' a man's 
lusts ; ' so Gal. v. 16. It noteth out to us these five things in an unregene- 
rate man. It noteth — 

1. That lusts are the ground of all his actions. And therefore you shall 
find in 2 Peter i. 4, that all the corruption that is in the world is said to be 
' through lusts.' It is some lust, some inordinate desire, either in the under- 
standing or fancy, or other of the outward senses, which is the ground of all 
the corruption that is in the world ; that as all the grace that is in the heart 
is in and through Christ, so all the corruption that is in the world is through 
lust. I could give you a world of scriptures for it, that lusts are the founda- 
tion of all action in a carnal man ; not a thought stirreth, not a consent, not 
a consultation that the heart hath, examine it when you will, but a lust hi 

EpH. II. 3,] TO THE EPHESIAN8, 107 

in the bottom of it ; — that is, an inordinate desire and love to something that 
the heart would have, that sets all these on work. 

Now that lust is the ground of all action, — and that is one part of the mean- 
ing, — it is clear by what hath been said. Do but lay all these together. The 
soul of man, in the first place, is nothing but emptiness of good, it is mere 
want, mere stomach, nothing but desires, it would have somewhat ; it wants 
and it would be filled : therefore that which we translate committing sin 
'with greediness,' in Eph. iv. 19, is in the original, 'to have enough,' it 
would have something it wants. The soul wants now, and being corrupt, it 
cannot go to God ; it spies out some objects suitable to it, that it thinks will 
fill up that want, and which if once it could enjoy it should have pleasure ; 
which is always a conjunction of two things suitable. When a man's desires 
and what he desireth meet, then doth pleasure arise. As now in Ps. Ixxviii. 
18, when they asked quails (they should have been content with manna) it 
is said, ' they asked meat for their lusts.' -For lust is nothing else but the 
extending of the soul, which is a wanting, hungry thing, to something it de- 
sires, and spies out something suitable unto itself. But now, when the soul 
hath put forth desires to this thing suitable, there wants some action or other, 
either of thought or outward action, to make the object and the soul meet. 
And hence comes that which is called putting a man's hand forth to wicked- 
ness, it is to bring the heart and the object together ; and, by reason of that 
action, the heart hath communion and pleasure with what it doth desire. 
So that now all the actions which a man goes about, they are merely his 
lusts' business. And what is his lusts' business but to aim at pleasure 1 
And how shall pleasure be gotten but by bringing the object and the heart 
together 1 and that is done by action. Therefore they are still joined, ' living 
in pleasures,' and ' living in lusts ; ' it is all one, as in James v. 5. And James 
hath an emphatical expression in that place, ' they nourish their hearts.' The 
heart is mere stomach, and must have meat. Now all the objects which a 
man desireth are but to nourish the heart, merely to keep life in it. And 
look, as the stomach hath contentment by eating, and when the meat comes 
down into it, so hath the soul by action. Hence now it comes to pass, that 
in all a man doth, he doth act his lusts. The expression that is in Gal. v. 
16, is extremely emphatical j he calls it, fulfilling of a man's lusts; it is trans- 
lated so indeed here, but the words in the Greek are difi"erent; for it is ao/oDi'- 
Tsg here, and nXhTin there. And what is the meaning of nXsersrsI It is to 
perfect. He speaks of action, for he doth not say. Walk in the Spirit and 
you shall not have lust, but, ' You shall not fulfil them.' He speaks of action 
therefore, and the word in the Greek is perfecting and accomplishing. Lust 
is an imperfect thing ; it is a motion towards pleasure, but it is imperfect. 
Now action cometh and perfecteth it, completeth it, attaineth to what it 
would have. So James expresseth it : ' lust, when it conceiveth, brings forth 
sin ; ' he compares the lust to the conception, and the outward act to the 
bringing forth of sin. And that is the first thing which fulfilling, or doing, 
or acting lusts doth imply ; that action which the soul continually goes about, 
it is some way or other to satisfy some lust or other. 

2. It implies that lust is the master^ and the heart, and the action ; and all 
these are but instruments, set on work by the lust that hath power to com- 
mand. How prove you that 1 By John viii. 34, ' He that doth sin ' — it is 
the same word that is used here — ' is the servant of sin :' and because he is 
the servant of sin, he therefore does it, in the sense there spoken of, and here 
also. Saith the Apostle in Rom. vii. 5, ' the motions of sin had force ;' the 


word is, they had ' energy,' they did work effectually : therefore it is called 
* serving divers lusts and pleasures ' in Titus iii. 3. In an unregenerate man 
a lust saith, * Do this, and he doth it,' as the centurion speaks of his servants 
unto Christ; so as he cannot cease from sin, 2 Peter ii. 14. What hard 
tasks doth covetousness, to instance in that, set a raan about ! What a slave 
doth it make a man ! ' He that will be rich,' saith he in 1 Tim. vi. 9, ' falls 
into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,' which 
his own reason tells him to be so, hurts himself, pines his carcass, eats the 
bread of carefulness, riseth up early, goes to bed late, and all to get a little 
money more than he needs. Do but read Eccles. vi., and there you have 
his description ; what a toilsome thing it is to serve that lust ! Therefore 
the phrase is, ' obeying sin in the lusts of it.' He compares lust to a law, 
the ' law of the members,' so he calls it, Rom. vii. 23. Yea, James compares 
it not only to a law in time of peace, but to the force of arms in war, ' the 
lusts that war in your members,' saith he, in James iv. Therefore now all 
the members and faculties, they are ready Lastruments to please lusts. 
' Their feet are swift to shed blood, and they run greedily after the ways of 

3. To do lusts, as the word here signifies, noteth out an industry, a study, and 
carefulness. So the word ' doing ' is taken in Scripture, as Musculus observes 
upon that speech of Christ, when he said unto Judas, ' What thou doest, do 
quickly.' What was Judas a-doing then? He was plotting and contriving, 
he was thinking how to do the business of betrajdng his Master. ' What 
thou art doing, do quickly;' so he interprets it. Therefore in Rom. xiii. 14, 
men are said to take ir^ovoiav, to take thought, to be careful to fulfil the lusts 
of the flesh. 

4. It noteth out, in the Scripture phrase, constancy. To do iniquity is 
not to do an act of iniquity, but it is to make a trade of it. So in 1 John 
iiL 8, doing is taken, whether it be meant of sinning or meant of righteous- 
ness : ' He that committeth sin,' saith he, — the word in the original is the 
same with that here in the text, — ' he that doth sin is of the devil.' What 
is the meaning of ' doing sin' here? It is making a trade of sin. How do 
I prove that ? Because it is doing as the devU doth. And how doth he 
do? For, saith he, the devil sinneth from the beginning. When a man 
doth make a trade and course of sinning, as the devil doth, he it is that the 
Apostle meaneth when he saith, ' he that doth sin.' 'Whosoever is born 
of God,' saith he, ver. 9, ' doth not commit sin ; ' he doth not do sin thus, 
he doth not make a trade of any sin, it is impossible he should. ' In this,' 
saith he, ver. 10, 'the children of God are manifest, and the children 
of the devil : whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, neither 
he that loveth not his brother.' For to do righteousness is to set a man's 
self to make a trade of it ; as in 1 Peter iii. 1 1, ' K thou wouldest see good 
days, do good, and eschew evil' What ! do one good action ? No, but 
doing good there is the same word here in the text, and is meant, making a 
trade of it, setting a man's self in the course of good. So, to do a man's lusts, 
or to act a man's lusts, or fulfil them, as we translate it, implieth constancy. 

5. It implieth universality ; the meaning whereof is this, that an unre- 
generate man is never but a fulfilling some lust or other ; he hath never but 
some one imp or other sucking of him, as I may so express it, either lusts of 
the body or of the mind. For the soul of man never can be idle ; it is like 
the heavens, always moving ; it is always wanting, and there must be meal 
in the mill, it must grind something or other ; it is nothing but lusts, and 
all the actions of it are nothing but to satisfy those lusts, and so he makes 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHE8IANS. 109 

up hi3 whole life, and a sorrowful life it is, in satisfying first one lust, and 
then another lust ; he is always acting for them one way or other. 

So now you have the nature of these lusts opened. I shall make an ob- 
servation or two. 

Ohs. 1. — The first obser\'ation is this, That the whole man, and all the 
parts, both of soul and body, are corrupt. And it is a great observation to 
humble us, my brethren. The body, and all the desires of it ; the mind, the 
will, whatsoever is, there is almost no part but there is something in the 
text here that holds forth the corruption of it, either directly or implicitly. 
Here is the ' lusts of the flesh,' you see, of the body, the sensitive part : here 
is the ' lusts of the mind,' the reasoning part : here is also, the will, the cor- 
ruption of that ; for he calleth lusts, because they come to action, ' wills of 
the flesh and of the mind.' Here is the understanding in the word raJi* 
diavoiuv, for so the word properly referreth to the understanding. And here 
likewise are all the sensitive powers of a man included in the word ' flesh,' 
which belongeth to his body in common to him with beasts. Therefore cor- 
rupt nature in Scripture is called a man ; so you have it in EpL iv. 22, 
' Put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.' 
Why is it called a man ? Because it is spread over the whole man, and 
hath members as large as a man's soul and body hath. In Rom. iii. 10, he 
goes over aU the powers of man. In the mind : there is none that under- 
standeth, no, not one. In the will : none seeks after God. In all the other 
parts : the throat is an open sepulchre, under their lips is poison, their feet 
are swift to shed blood ; itching ears, 2 Tim. iv. 3 ; hands full of blood, 
Isa. i. 15. Yea, if you will have it, the tongue is a world of evil, so saith 
James. And in Isa. i 6, from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head 
there is no one whole part. — That is the first observation. 

Obs. 2. — The second is this. That our superior parts, the mind and the 
will, have their corruption as well as the sensitive part. It is a strange thing 
that the Papists should go and cut off at one blow half of a man's corrup- 
tion ; they would make the understanding to be a kind of virgin, the will 
only to be as one that is bound ; if the fetters were but ofi", he would go. 
My brethren, this is a certain rule, that there is the same subject of pri- 
vation, and of the habits. I shall explain myself to you. The eye is the 
subject of sight ; the eye therefore is the subject of blindness, if sight be 
gone. What parts in man were the subjects of holiness? The understand- 
ing and the will, it is certain. Therefore when holiness is gone, what is sin? 
The want of holiness. What must be the subject of it then ? Certainly the 
understanding, and the will too, is the chief subject of it. 

That which deceived the school-men, who brought up that notion first, 
was the gross interpretation of the word ' flesh ' in the Scripture, as only 
taking it for the body; whenas the Scripture doth not speak like the philo- 
sophers, but the Scriptures speak theologically. ' That which is born of 
the flesh is flesh.' He doth not only say he, but that; there is not that 
thing in man that is born of flesh, and propagated, but it is flesh ; that is, 
it is corruption. 

The fathers likewise in the primitive times spake gently of the corruption 
of the mind and of the understanding, because they approved so much 
good, and the philosophers magnified that, for they knew no other good 
in man but that : the other spake too gently, by reason of the opposition 
of the times, and to take off the absurdities of the doctrine of Christian 
religion, and not according to the Scriptures. My brethren, the greatest 
sins of all are in the understanding, as I might shew you if I had time. 


Envy and wrath, wMcli are lusts properly in the understanding, and re- 
venge, and the Like, are all called lusts of the flesh ; that is, of corrupt 
nature, yet they are lusts properly seated in the understanding. 

My brethren, they are the devil's lusts, they are therefore the worst lusts 
of all the rest ; the devil's lusts, I say, most opposite unto Christ ; the high- 
est idolatry lies there. Therefore when he speaks of an intellectual lust, 
such as covetousness is, he saith, ' which is idolatry ; ' because the inward 
idolatry of the mind is the worst idolatry of all the rest. Men that sin 
against the Holy Ghost, what is it makes them so vsdcked? It is their 
understanding and their will. Julian the Apostate was a civil man, he was 
not given up to gross sins, yet sinned against the Holy Ghost It lies in 
revenge, in the devil's lusts. The vrisdom of the world, saith he, is 'earthly, 
sensual, and devilish,' the very wisdom is. There are, in a word, other 
corruptions in the understanding. There is, first, a darkness as to the 
knowledge of aU spiritual things. There are also all sorts of principles 
contrary to true principles. The fool saith. There is no God, and God seeth 
not. Psalm x. There are also in it lusts of its own, proper to itself, which 
are the strongest lusts, and have the greatest influence into men's lives of 
any other ; as outward excellencies apprehended by the understanding, to 
have honour, and riches, and power, and greatness, and the like ; these are 
the objects of the understanding, and these are the great lusts of the world; 
other lusts are but petty ones, these have the great influence into men. I 
could shew you that covetousness and such lusts are lusts of the under- 
standing. Men are not covetous merely because they love to see money 
and to see gold ; but covetous to uphold their state and greatness, that 
they may be said to be worth so much, to leave behind them a name, and 
a house, and an estate for their children. These are the lusts of the under- 
standing, and these are the grounds of covetousness. And so likewise the 
understanding is set on work to accomplish all worldly lusts. Men are 
wise to do evil, saith Jeremiah, and to do good they have no understanding. 
I have not walked among you, saith Paul, with fleshly wisdom, 1 Cor. ii. 
I could name many more, but I pass them over. 

Obs. 3. — A third observation is this. You see how much more man that 
is a sinner hath to be humbled for, in some respects, than devils. For he 
hath more lusts, and a greater capacity of sinning, than the devils them- 
selves have in some respects. The devil indeed is the father of all sin, 
because he began it ; but all the lusts of the body, and the like, he is not 
capable of. But now look how many desires are in the outward senses, or 
in the fancy, and the like, vmto all things in this world, so many ways of 
sinning hath man ; and then all the ways that the devils have of sinning he 
hath too : of revenge, and pride, and all such lusts. 

And, my brethren, see how hard a thing it is to be saved; for take a 
man in his natural condition, holiness being gone, look how many several 
things the soul is fitted to desire, or to lust after, so many ways he hath to 
heU ; and that is, ten thousand thousand, for the desires of the heart of 
man are infinite every way. Suppose now that a man were moated about 
in a great compass, and there were a thousand paths to walk in; let him 
take which path he will, if he would walk, being blindfold, he must cer- 
tainly fall into the moat : so is it here. 

And likewise you may see by this the evil of all our lusts. Either we 
are beasts or devils. If we satisfy the lusts of the body, we are beasts ; if 
of the mind, devils. Choose which of these two you will be, for into one 
you must faU. 

EpH. 11. 3.1 TO THE EPHESIAN8. Ill 


And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. — ^Vek. S. 

The last discourse I handled these words, * fulfilling the desires,' or wills, 
* of the flesh and of the mind.' The Apostle had before in general shewed 
how that the conversation of all men in the state of nature is in the lusts of 
the flesh- And by ' lusts of the flesh ' there, he means the lusts of corrupt 
nature in general, as Jlesh in Scripture is often taken. But not contented 
with that, he doth particularise the lusts which are in the hearts of men. 
which in their Uves they do fulfil, dividing them according to that division 
of nature, of soul and body. ' Fulfilling the desires of the flesh ; ' that is, of 
the body, or those lusts which the soul partakes in by reason of the 
body ; all those sensitive lusts, both of the outward senses, and of the 
inward senses, the fancy, and the Like. 'And of the mind;' that is, those 
lusts which John calls lusts of the eye, which are purely reasonable, and 
which have their seat merely in the understanding and mind, and those 
rational faculties ; ' fulfilling the wills of the flesh and of the mind.' 

I opened to you the difference of these two in the former discourse, and 
I shewed that, according to the Scriptures, all the sins of men, and all the 
lusts in the hearts of men, are reduced to these two heads. Either those 
which we have common with beasts, or at leastwise are seated in those facul- 
ties which are common to beasts ; or else such as are common to us with 
devils. I told you, that either there are those lusts which are in the most 
sensitive part of the outward senses, or those which are in the fancy, the 
objects whereof are buildings, and a thousand other artifices of men, beauty, 
and the like, or else they are the lusts which are in the rational part, purely 
such, as pride in any excellency, envy, and the like. I discoursed at large of 
these things ; I shall only add this : — 

I reduce many of those lusts in the hearts of men to the fancy, not because 
beasts who have fancies are capable of them, as to see an excellency in build- 
ings and beauty and the like ; these things fanciful beasts are not capable of. 
Yet because the fancy is by participation reasonable in a man, hence it is 
that men are capable of many lusts in their fancies, whereof they see no 
image in a beast, and yet they are not properly the lusts of the mind, because 
they are not purely intellectual, but the soul is drenched in them by reason 
of its conjunction with the flesh. I only add that, to explain what I said in 
the last discourse. I would not have repeated so much, but only in order 
to somewhat more that I mean to speak at this time, concerning these lusts 
of the mind ; and so I shall come to the other part of the verse : And were 
hy nature the children of wrath, even as others. 

Concerning these lusts I shall give you one or two general rules, and so 
come off. I shall not go about now to set down notes and signs of what 
is the master-lust in men, a thing which elsewhere I have largely handled ; 
but I shall only give you some two or three general rules concerning lusts, 
and concerning the lusts of the mind especially. 

The first whereof is this : That these lusts do vary, according as men's 


natural tempers or their understandings, and the degrees thereof, are more 
or less. In men of understanding, lusts of the mind prevail most ; and in 
fools, sensual pleasures, in meat and drink, and the like, and in the natural 
comforts of the body. And they are diversified thus according as the 
natural constitution or natural elevation of the spirits of men are, according 
to the various elevation or advancement of the understanding ; for man, 
being a rational creature, and reason being the chief principle in him, he 
useth that little understanding he hath to find out what will suit him most, 
what he can have dearest contentment in, and accordingly he pitcheth upon 
and prosecuteth by nature that. Though a man hath all lusts in him, yet he 
prosecuteth those things with the dearest contentment which that poor small 
understanding he hath counteth most excellent. Hence therefore, according 
to the variation of men's understandings, it comes to pass that their lusts are 
ordinarily pitched higher or lower. In worldly objects, there is a great deal 
of difference in the excellency of them. Some are more abstracted from the 
gross substance of things, as I may so speak ; some are more spiritual and 
more airy. And as you see among living creatures, there are some that live 
upon a finer kind of food than others ; birds, you know, live upon a finer 
kind of food than beasts ; and there is one bird, the chameleon, that lives, 
as some say, merely upon air. So the spirits of men, the more airy and in- 
tellectual they are, the finer is that food that nourisheth their lusts. There- 
fore your great philosophers of old, that were wise men, pitched upon moral 
virtues, and upon civility, and placed their happiness in them ; and their 
wisdom was so strong in them that even that did judge mere sensual plea- 
sures to defile the soul, which they apprehended to be the most noble of crea- 
tures, and out of the greatness of theii" spirits they would not stoop to what was 
base ; they thought it most unfit for an elevated soul to serve any creature 
less than itself; but as for virtue, and morality, and the like, they thought 
that these were meet for the understanding and soul of a man. Yet because 
they took not God in these things, hence it came to pass that these were 
lusts, though lusts of the mind, as I shewed you likewise the last discourse. 
So likewise those among the Jews that were raised higher than the hea- 
thens, accordingly the lusts of their minds were raised higher also. The zeal 
that Paul had for the law was a lust of the mind, for it was without God. 
* They have a zeal, but not according to knowledge,' saith he, Rom. x. 2 ; 
without a directing of it to God as the chiefest end. And this also I under- 
stand to be part of the meaning of that place, which is pat and express for 
this, in 1 Peter i. 14 ; where, writing to the Jews, he bids them that they 
should not fashion themselves according to their former lusts in their ignor- 
ance ; and among other arg-uments he hath this, ver. 1 8, ' Forasmuch as ye 
know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things from your vain con- 
versation received by tradition from your fathers.' That Jewish religion which 
they stuck in, and which they had received by tradition from their fathers, 
even this was one part of the object of those former lusts in their ignorance, 
according to which he bids them, ver. 14, not to fashion themselves. And 
thus Ukewise experience shews this to be true ; for you shall find that as men 
grow up in years, and so grow up in wisdom, accordingly their lusts vary ; 
as they grow more wise, so they live more intellectual lives, and grow up 
more to lusts of the mind. Therefore covetousness, which is plainly a lust 
of the mind, prevails most in old age ; whereas prodigality, which is a lust 
of the fancy, prevails in youth more. Why? Because men grow wiser. 
Lusts therefore are varied in men according as their understandings grow 
higher or lower. 

EpH. 11. 3.] TO THE KPHESIANS. 113 

The second thing that I shall say unto you is this : Tliat of the two, the 
lusts of the mind are the strongest in men, and they are the greatest. They 
are the strongest lusts, for they have the greatest compass. If a man con- 
fine himself to sensual pleasures, he hath a greater narrow ; but if to lusts of 
the mind, pride and the like, he hath a larger field to run in ; for desire of 
credit and the like ariseth from a thousand things, out of all sorts of excel- 
lencies, of what kind soever. And such lusts now a man seeks continually 
to uphold. Men are given to sensual lusts occasionally, but these lusts of the 
mind, they act the great part of men's lives. Yea, many sins are abstained 
from in relation to the lusts of the mind ; the lusts of the mind will devour 
other lusts, and keep them under for credit's sake, and the like. The lusts 
of the mind have the largest revenues of comfort of any other, because they 
can fetch it out of anything ; whatsoever one hath that is excellent, apparel, 
beauty, wit, learning, riches, power, buildings, — ' Is not this great Babel, that 
I have built by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty T 
— whatsoever it is, all these feed the lusts of the mind. Therefore now 
many lusts that have seemed to have other names, as the love of money, it 
is not properly the love of money itself, but it is a lust of the mind that 
makes a man given to it ; it is to uphold his state among his neighbours 
and his rank, to erect a name and leave a posterity after him, to have said, 
he died worth so much ; all these are the lusts of the mind. And Hkewise, 
as they are the strongest because they are of the largest compass, so they 
are the strongest because they have the most reasonings for them. There- 
fore when you come to turn to God, you do not stick so much at parting 
from sensual lusts, as those lusts that hold the debate with you, that bring 
reason to plead for them, as the repute of friends, the holding correspondency 
with others, and the like. These are the great roots, like those which, I 
take it, you call tap-roots, that every tree hath ; aU the little roots may be 
easily puUed in pieces, but these stick ; they are the last repented of, when 
one comes to cast off the old man. And the ground of this is, because the 
strength of a man lies in his reason, therefore to part with those lusts that 
lie in the rational part, the strength of a man shews itself to the utmost 
there. Therefore, in 2 Cor. x. 4, the Apostle speaks of reasonings, and high 
thoughts, and strongholds in men that are to be pulled down, when Christ 
comes to convert ; these are they that keep a man from turning. All the 
great ordnance that natural corruption hath lies in this tower of the 
mind, (as Aristotle called the soul, arx animce.) As for other lusts, reason 
itself is against them, and the more reason a man hath, the more the folly of 
them is discovered ; but for these lusts there is a great deal of reason. A 
man shall lose but his humour in parting with the one ; but he loseth his 
honour, his repute, and the like, in parting with the other. Other lusts do 
not persuade by reason ; no, reason is fain to condescend unto them, because 
they please the man and he can have no other happiness, but reason itself 
is against them ; but now for the lusts of the mind, all the strength of reason 
iakes part with them. 

And therefore let me give you a third rule also, and that is this : That of 
all lusts they are the deceitfulest. You have that phrase given in Scripture, 
* deceitful lusts.' Other sensual lusts do but deceive by promising more 
than they can perform, by tempting you ; but these, a man may Live in 
them, and not see them, and so they deceive most, for natural men judge 
nothing sinful but what hath a gross action. Now all such aerial lusts as 
these, which are the lusts of the mind, have no such gross action, nay, the 
objects of them are things lawful, yea, commendable. Other lusts in the 



sensitive part are more turbulent, more violent, and so more discernible, and 
in that respect they deceive least. Like poison that is in the bowels, which 
makes a man roar, and so is more discerned than poison taken in at the 
nose, into the head, which kills before it is felt, because it strikes that part 
which should feel ; so the lusts of the mind, being seated in that part which 
should discern, possessing that part, they take the senses away, and in that 
respect deceive most. The eye sees not the bloodshed that is in itself, but 
will see a spot that is on the hand, or upon another member. The under- 
standing doth not so easily, being corrupted, reflect upon itself; therefore 
the lusts of the mind are more deceitful 

And lastly. Of all lusts they are the worst lusts, as having the most sin- 
fulness in them ; for the greatest idolatry is here. Therefore, both in the 
Colossians and in the Ephesians, you shall find that when he speaks of 
covetousness, which is an intellectual lust, still he puts a difference, and 
an emphasis upon it, from other lusts. ' Covetou.sness,' saith he, ' which is 
idolatry j' because the greatest idol is that which the mind is set upon, and 
because that is a lust of the mind, he puts that emphasis upon it. Other 
lusts are idolatry too, but they are but outward idolatry ; this is inward, 
and so the worst of the two. And so much now in brief for that which I 
thought to speak more concerning the fulfilling the desii-es of the flesh and 
of the mind. I come now to the latter part of the verse : — 

And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. — The general 
scope of the Apostle in these words — that I may give you that first — is to 
make a general conclusion concerning the corrupt estate of man by nature, 
not only in respect of original sin, though that is eminently intended, but 
as involving all that he said before. It is, I say, a general conclusion that 
mvolveth all that he said before, with an addition of these three things — 

1. With an addition of the first cause of the corruption of all men's hearts 
and lusts ; they are so ' by nature,' saith he. 

2. With an addition of the punishment that is due to men in this natural 
condition, both in respect of their natures and their first birth, as also in re- 
spect of all their sins which in that state they continue in ; they are ' chil- 
dren of wrath.' And — 

3. With an addition, or rather a conclusion, of universality. It is every 
man's case, saith he. He had parted it before ; some things he had said of 
the Gentiles : 'You' — you Gentiles — "hath he quickened, who were dead in sins 
and trespasses, wherein in times past ye walked.' Some things likewise he 
had said of the Jews : * amongst whom we' — we Jews — ' also had our conversa- 
tion.' But now, in the close of all, he puts them both, Jews and Gentiles, 
together : ' and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' 

I say it is, in the first place, a general conclusion that involveth all, not 
only because it comes in at the last, and so is as it were the total sum, but 
that same word Xoizoi takes in all that went before ; and were as well as 
others by nature thus and thus, namely, ' we were all by nature dead in sins.' 
We are all by nature in the state of nature, for so ' by nature' is also taken, 
as I shall shew you anon. * We all by nature,' one as well as another, ' walked 
according to the course of the world,' and were subjected to the devil. In 
a word, whatsoever he had said before of lusts, or whatsoever a man is by 
nature, his intent is to involve it here in these words, and to bring down 
upon all, all that he had spoken. 

And as it holds forth a general conclusion, involving all that went before ; 
so, secondly, it shews especially the origmal ground of all that corruption 
that is in men's hearts : it is by nature, it is by birth, and it is our natura 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 11.5 

For it is clear and plain that his scope all along is to hold forth the cause 
of all the corruption that is in men : therefore he calls it the ' wills of the 
flesh and of the mind.' The flesh is the cause of lusts, lusts are the cause 
of action, and nature is the cause of both, of all. And therefore — 

In the third place, you have the punishment due to men in the state of 
nature, yea, to men in their very first birth. They are ' children of wrath' 
in that state, for all the lusts and sins they commit ; and they are children 
of wrath even in the very womb, before they commit any actual sin. 

And, lastly, he speaks universally of all, both Jew and Gentile ; * we 
were all by nature,' &c. So you have the general scope cleared, and the 
reason of it. I shall now come to open the phrases. 

First, for this phrase, by nature. 

Pelagius, who was against original sin, gave this interpretation ; that * by 
nature' was meant vere et germane, dXriSMc xal yvrjaiu;, they were truly, 
really, childre:i of wrath ; so the Scholiast hath it, and so Cyril reads it also. 
And that interpretation we will not omit, although it is not the utmost 
meaning of what is here intended. For ' by nature ' in Scripture is meant 
oftentimes, ' truly, really ;' as, for example, in GaL iv. 8, Ye worshipped 
those that ' by nature were no gods ;' that is, those that were not truly 
gods,, that were gods only in opinion, not really so. So by being ' children 
of wrath by nature,' is to be really and truly such. But that which makes 
this opinion fall short of the true sense is this : for to what end should the 
Apostle say they were really and truly the children of wrath ? There were 
none held they were in opinion children of vrrath ; but there were those who 
held that they were so, not by nature, but by imitation or custom ; therefore 
it is to no purpose it should be brought in here to that sense. 

The Syriac translation adds this : they were plane, plene, wholly children 
of wrath, not in one part, but in the whole nature. But that is held forth, 
as I have said, in the words before. For it was an observation I made, 
grounded upon the words in the last discourse, that it is seated in the 
whole man. 

But to come to that meaning which indeed the Apostle aims at, and 
therefore I will call it the first, for I do but mention the other, which though 
they are true, yet they are not the ultimate scope of the Apostle here. 

1. Therefore ' by nature' is in opposition to imitation or to custom, which 
yet is altera natura, as Aristotle uses the word (and so does the Scripture 
too) in the second book of his Ethics. Virtues, saith he, are not (piiou, are 
not by nature, as notitioe, as the common seeds of knowledge in the minds 
of men are. So that what is innate in us, bred with us, which we have 
from the principles of nature, which is interwoven with our natures, that is 
said to be by nature. And therefore now, in one word, according to all lan- 
guages, that which is the inclination of any one, the natural disposition, that 
which a man is naturally addicted unto, is said to be by nature. The Apostle 
therefore, having spoken of the lusts of the mind and of the flesh in the 
words before, his meaning here is that these are natural unto men ; they are 
the very inclination of their minds, the natural frame of their hearts. And 
so now it hath an emphasis in it, that what we are by reason of original 
corruption, which he had called flesh before, is nature in aU men. And 
though he only saith, we are ' children of wrath by nature,' yet this wrath 
must be for something ; for God is not angry for what is not sin ; therefore 
it implies that our natural disposition, all those lusts which he had men- 
tioned, and that flesh which is the mother of these lusts, that is that which is 
man's nature. And so now the scope of the Apostle is plainly and clearly 


this : further to aggravate and set out that corruption and sinfulness that is 
in the hearts of men. Ye are not only ' children of wrath,' saith he, and de- 
serve eternal damnation, which was that that hung over your heads for all the 
actual sins you have committed, of which he had spoken before, but further, 
even ' by nature,' and for your very natures, and the inclinations thereof, 
even for the very nature that is in you, — he brings it m as a further addition 
and aggravation, — even for this also you are the children of wrath, * By 
nature;' it is that which a man doth being left to nature; as in Rom. ii. 14, 
the Gentiles do by nature the things of the law, from their natural princi- 
ples that are in them ; so ' by nature' is that principle that is in a man 
that is principium motus, the principle of all his actions. For everything 
works according to its nature, as Aristotle tells us. 

2. ' By nature' imports not only that it is a man's nature, but that his 
birth is a cause some way or other, or a foundation, of his being thus corrupt. 
* By nature ;' it is taken for the nativity; it is cpban, and it is all one with 
birth. As now, in Rom. ii. 27, the Gentiles are called ' the uncircumcision 
by nature,' — that is, by birth, not in respect of their constitution, but in 
respect of a privilege that the Jews had by birth which the Gentiles had not ; 
as privileges you know go by birth, — so in Gal. ii. 15, in opposition there- 
unto, saith he, *we who are Jews by nature,' that is, who have the privilege 
of Jews by birth. And so Paul saith he was bom a Roman, — that is, he was 
Roman by nature. In the same sense the Gentiles were called ' uncircum- 
cision by nature,' too, that the Jews were called ' Jews by nature.' Now to 
me that is evidently the meaning of the Apostle here, and that for these rea- 
sons : — (1.) Because he changes the phrase, which is an observable thing. In 
the second verse he had said they were children of disobedience, h toTc, u'loTg 
TTJ; d-ziideiag, but here r'exvcx, ; which though it signifies a child at large, yet, 
more expressly and properly, it signifies a child begotten. His using that 
phrase here, in distinction from the other in the second verse, when he speaks 
of disobedience, imports that they were thus by birth. I will not trouble 
you to confute a criticism which Zanchy hath, because the confutation of it 
is obvious. Then, (2.) he adding besides that, ' and were by nature the begot- 
ten children of wrath,' as I may so interpret it. And, which is observable 
too, he doth not say, * which are the children of wrath by nature,' but in the 
Greek it is, * which were children by nature of wrath ;' so as ' by nature' 
comes in between, to shew that they were thus by birth. And there is this 
third reason, too, why when he saith ' by nature' he specially means * by birth :' 
because it is spoken plainly and clearly in opposition to that pride of the 
Jews in the privileges they had by their birth : for the Jews, you know, stood 
much upon it that they were the children of Abraham. Now the Apostle, as 
is evident, speaks point-blank in opposition to that. We, saith he, — namely, 
we Jews, — though we pride ourselves that we have Abraham to our father, 
we are children of wrath ; that is, we are so by birth, as well as others ; 
namely, as well as the poor Gentiles, whom the Apostle, in Gal. iL 15, speak- 
ing according to the vulgar opinion of the Jews, calls, ' sinners of the Gentiles.' 
Though you stand upon it that you are the children of Abraham, and that 
yoii are Jews by nature, that is by birth, yet, as God told the Jews after- 
wards, you had a father before Abraham, in whom ye sinned, and so you are 
'children by nature' — that is, by birth — ' of wrath as well as others,' 

3, ' By nature' is taken here for the whole state of nature, from a man's 
birth until God turn him. He shews what they were, not only in respect of 
their first birth, but of that continued state which they stood in before they 
were converted, which we call the state of nature. And this is an excellent 


place for the confirmation of that phrase. He doth not simply mean only 
their estate by birth, — for the Apostle's scope, and the Holy Ghost's, is always 
general, and in a latitude, — but he doth comprehend their whole state from 
their bii-th all their days, while they fulfilled the lusts of the flesh and of the 
mind. Whatever state they had by birth, whatever state they stood in dur- 
ing the time of their unregeneracy, it was all a state of nature; and they 
were in that state of nature children of wrath. So nature is taken, and so 
it is clearly taken here. For ' by nature' here in ver. 3 is spoken in oppo- 
sition to what the Apostle afterwards saith, as Erasmus well observes, in the 
5th verse, ' by grace ye are saved.' So that now the state of nature, and 
the state of grace, is that which the Apostle here intends. And that he 
speaks of an unregenerate condition, the words ' were by nature' import 
clearly ; that is, while they were in a state of nature. His scope is therefore 
to shew what naturally, without grace, their condition was ; and therefore, 
ver. 11, in the winding up of all, he speaks of the whole estate : * Remember/ 
saith he, * that ye were once Gentiles.' And thus the Scripture always speaks. 
Ps. Iviii. 3, ' They are gone astray from the womb ;' they were not only cor- 
rupt in the womb, but gone astray from the womb. So in Gen. viiL 21. 
speaking of original corruption, saith he, the imagination of man's heart is 
evil from his youth; that is, even from a babe, as in Exodus the phrase is 
used, as I shall shew afterwards. 

So that ' by nature' eminently importeth these three things : — 1. That their 
natures were defiled with all sorts of inclinations unto evil ; all those lusts of 
the flesh and of the mind which he had spoken of before, were natural unto 
them, for which they were children of wrath. 2. That the way of convey- 
ing this to them, or how they came to be so at first, how their natures were 
thus originally corrupted, it was not by imitation or custom, but it was by 
birth. And, 3. that all the while they walked in those lusts they were in a 
state of nature, under which, and in which, while they continued, till such 
time as they came into a state of grace, they were children of wratL This, 
I say, I take to be the comprehensive meaning of the Apostle in this con- 
clusion of his discourse of lusts. — So that now I have opened to you that first 
phrase, and were hy nature. 

The second phrase is, children of wrath; — 

Which, as I have formerly said, is a Hebraism; and so, according to 
the Hebrew language, you read of a child of captivity, a child of the resur- 
rection, a child of disobedience, and the like. It is either taken actively or 

1. Actively, thus: what a man is addicted to, what he seeks after, he is 
said to be a child of. As a man is said to be a child of wisdom, — * Wisdom 
is justified of her children,' — so wicked men are said to be children of dis- 
obedience, ver. 2 ; that is, addicted to disobedience, it is taken actively. So, 
in a way of opposition, Peter exhorts them, in 1 Pet. i. 14, that they would 
be children of obedience, — so the phrase is in the Greek, we translate it 
' obedient children,' it comes all to one ; but, I say, in the Greek it is * children 
of obedience,' as here in ver. 2 it is ' children of disobedience,' — that is, addict 
yourselves, as children to such a father, to do the wiU of God. 

2. Passively, thus : a * child of the captivity;' that is, one led into cap- 
tivity. So Jesus Christ is called the Son of God's love, or the child of his 
love. Col. L 1 3. We translate it, * his beloved Son ; ' but in the original it 
is, the * Son of his love,' because that God hath cast his love upon him. So 
in 2 Pet. iL 14, one that is accursed to death is called (we translate it 
' cursed children,' but it is) * children of the curse,' as here, ' children of 


■wratL' So in Matt, xxiii 15, lie is made a 'son of heU,' worse tlian he was 
before ; that is, one whose due hell is. As we use to say, such a one the 
gallows is his due ; that is, if we should speak according to the Hebrew 
language, one that is the child of the gallows ; so a son of hell, a son of 
wrath, a son of the curse. You have it also in 1 Sam. xx. 31, and in 2 Sam. 
xii 5. So now, as before it is taken actively, ' a child of disobedience ; ' so 
here, a ' child of wrath ' is taken passively : and both according to the analogy 
of the Hebrew phrase. 

It doth sometimes imply one that is designed by God's decree to death 
and damnation ; as, in John xviL 1 2, Judas is called a son of perdition ; that 
is, one who is ordained by God to perdition ; as Christ was called the Son of 
his love, because he was ordained to be the object of his love. But so it is 
not here meant that they were the children of %\Tath by God's decree, because 
he speaks of men that were converted. Therefore the meaning is plainly 
this, that they were in a state in which they were not only worthy of wrath, 
but WTath was due to them, yea, according to a just sentence, wrath was pro- 
nounced against them ; it was not only their desert, but they were in that 
state wherein wrath went out against them, they stood under the sentence ot 
%vTath, and were so adjudged. You have the phrase plain and express in 
Deut. XXV. 1, ' If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto 
judgment, that the judge may judge them ; then they shall justify the 
righteous, and condemn the wicked. And it shall be, if the wicked man be 
worthy to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to Lie down,' &c. In the 
original it is, ' If he be a son,' or a child, ' of beating ; ' that ls, if he be one 
that is found that it is his due to be beaten, and that the judges have con- 
demned him. So now, to be a child of -RTath, it is one not only to whom 
wrath is due, but one that, according to the sentence of the great Judge, 
wrath is pronounced against, sentence is given forth. So in that place I 
mentioned before, 2 Sam. xii. 5, saith Solomon there, ' He shall surely die ; ' 
in the original it is, ' He is a son of death.' It was a sentence pronounced 
by the king, as of a judge that gave out a sentence. Therefore we translate 
it, * He shall surely die ; ' he was not only one that deserved death, but one 
tliat was appointed and sentenced thereunto. 

So now you have what is meant by a ' cliild of wrath.' It is one that is 
passively under, and obnoxious unto, and over whom the wrath of God 
hangeth, unto whom, and to which estate, the sentence of wrath and con- 
demnation is gone out from the great King ; so that he must alter his estate 
if he wiU get out of wrath. 

If you ask me whose wrath it is ; I answer, it is not indeed in the 
text, but, as I shall shew you afterward, it is the WTath of God, working 
eternal punishment. Wrath in Scripture signifies punishment as from a 
judge ; as, fur example, Rom. xiii. 1,5, 'Be subject to the higher powers, 
not for wrath,' — that is, not for punishment' sake, which comes from the 
wrath of the prince or the magistrate, — ' but for conscience' sake.' So that to 
be children of wrath is to be children of the punishment which the great 
Judge of heaven and earth hath ordained ; and it noteth out that the wrath 
of God is the author of that punishment, as I shall shew you when I come 
to make observations. In Eph. v. 6, that which is here the 'children of 
wrath,' is there called the wi-ath of God. ' The wrath of God,' saith he, 
' Cometh upon the children of disobedience ;' for the wrath of God, as it im- 
plies punishment, so it imports also that he is as the author and executioner 
of that pimishment. So that, in a word, whilst that men are in this con- 
ditioUj or take men simply considered as they are by nature in their very 

EpH. II. 3. J TO THE El'HKSlANS. 119 

first birtli, and while they continue in tliat estate, they arc children of the 
wrath of God, and the wrath of God abides upon them, as John iii. 3G. 
Wrath is their portion from the Almighty. And as they are children of the 
wrath of God, so of that punishment which his wrath and indignation will 
inflict eternally upon them, and they stand under the sentence of it. So 
that until their estate be altered, God himself cannot do otherwise, but he 
must out of wrath inflict punishment upon them. And let me give you one 
place to open it ; see Job xx. 23, 29, compared. He mentioneth there 
manifold curses that are upon men, over whom the wrath of God hangeth ; 
and saith he, ver. 23, * When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the 
fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.' 
And what is the conclusion in the 29th verse 1 ' This is the portion of a 
wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed him.' Mark, he is a 
child of wrath ; of whose wrath 1 Of the wrath of God, that abideth upon him, 
that hangs as a cloud over his head, and God will rain it upon him while 
he is eating ; and this is his portion, it is his due, nay, saith he, it is the 
heritage appointed unto him by God, a heritage which is gone out by a 
decree from God, either from his eternal decree, as Judas was a child of per- 
dition, or at leastwise from a decree that goes forth out of God's court, out 
of his word, whereby he standeth under the sentence of wrath. — And so now 
you have the second phrase opened, ' and were children of wrath.' 

The last is this, even as others. The meaning whereof, in one word, is 
tliis, only I shall give you a parallel phrase for it. We Jews as well as 
Gentries. So you have it, Eph. iv. 17, 'Walk not as other Gentiles walk;' 
or, even as others, that is, even as all the rest of mankind, of what nation 
soever they be, circumcised or uncircumcised, bond or free ; let them be born 
in what condition soever they wUl, noble or base, rich or poor, high or low, 
we are all by nature the children of wrath, we Jews as well as Gentiles 
Which doth imply these two particulars : — 

1. The commonness of this condition ; that it is the condition of all man 
kind, one as well as another, Jew as well as Gentile. 

2. The equality of this condition ; ' even as others,' in the same manner, 
in the same degree ; others are children of wrath, so are we, we Jews, even 
as the profanest men in the world. 

So you have the full scope and meaning, so far as the phrase goes, of these 
words : * and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' 

I shall come now to the observations which do arise out of them, which 
will further open and explain them. 

Obs. 1. — The first observation is founded upon that first interpretation I 
gave you, which was to shew this : That that flesh or corruption, which was 
the ground of all those lusts, which were the ground of all the sins in men's 
lives spoken of before ; that this flesh and those lusts are man's nature. So, 
I told you, ' by nature ' is taken, both in Scripture and common acceptation. 
It is a sajdng that Austin quoteth out of Plato, though, I take it, the place 
is not now extant in the works of Plato, because it is perished : Homines 
natura sunt mail — that men are evil by nature. Neither can they ever be 
brought, saith he, to seek after that righteousness which mankind ought to 
seek after. This was the speech of a heathen. It is, I say, a man's nature, 
as he is a man. 1 Cor. iii. 3, ' Whilst there are contentions among you, ai'e 
ye not carnal ? ' That is, are you not flesh ? are ye not corrupt ? And Avhat 
follows 1 ' Do not ye walk ' — 'Tn^iiroLTiTn — ' according to men 1 ' — that is, ac- 
cording to your kind, according to that nature and disposition that is in men. 
Everything acts according to its kind ; thus to be carnal and subjected to 


lusts is the nature of man, it is according to his kind. Therefore, to follow 
this phrase a little more, in Mark vii. 20 our Saviour Christ saith, * That 
which Cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within,* 
saith he, 'out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts,' &c. That is, 
what cometh from the nature of man, from his natural disposition, from 
the intrinsical principles which his nature and heart is made up of, that 
defiles the man. Therefore a man is said to sin de propria, of his own, 
as the devil is likewise said to do, in John viii. 44. And a man's lusts, as 
I said before, are called his own lusts. And as what comes from within, 
as all sort of sins do, argues this to be a man's nature ; so likewise what 
a man takes in from without, what it is he lives in, what is his element, 
argues his nature too. As a thirsty man, you may know what his disposi- 
tion is within by what he takes in from without ; or, as it is with a fish, 
it is natural to it to live in the water, to drink in water : so a man is com- 
pared to a fish, that doth continually drink in water, in Job xv. 16, ' How 
much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like 
water?' And hence now it is that men are never weary of sinning, nay, 
though haply they may spend their natural spirits in sinning, yet their 
lusts are never weary. As they cannot cease from sin, as Peter saith, so 
they are never weary in it. Why ? Because it is their nature, it is natural 
to them to sin. As the eye, because it is natural to it to see, is never 
weary of seeing ; the eye indeed may be weary thus, for want of bodily 
spirits, and so men may be weary of sinning ; but if there could still come 
spirits to the eye, it would never be weary of seeing. Why 1 Because it 
is natural to it to see. And so it is with all the lusts in the hearts of men, 
it is their nature. Hence it is that infants will sin without being taught. 
'A child left to himself,' saith Solomon, Proverbs xxix. 15, 'bringeth his 
mother to shame.' Do but leave him to himself, and his very nature wiU 
carry him on to it. And, Ps. Iviii. 3, ' The wicked go astray from the womb, 
speaking Hes.' A child that never heard a lie in his life, never knew what 
a lie was from another, yet he will tell a lie, he will do it from himself, and 
he doth it from the very womb; the nature of man will seek out these 
inventions, as Ecclesiastes hath it, chap. vii. 29. 

You may see the reason therefore — besides what is matter of humiliation, 
which I shall mention afterwards — why grace, though it be in a man's heart, 
yet doth not thrive there, further than the Holy Ghost doth in a super- 
natural way accompany it ; and why sin thrives so fast. The reason is, 
because sin is thy nature, it is that which thou hast as thou art a man ; 
thou walkest as a man whilst thou sinnest. That which ^Esop said to his 
master, when he came into his garden and saw so many weeds in it, is 
applicable unto this. His master asked him what was the reason that the 
weeds grew up so fast and the herbs thrived not? He answered, The 
ground is the natural mother to the weeds, but a stepmother to the herbs. 
So the heart of man is the natural mother to sin and corruption, but a 
stepmother to grace and goodness ; and further than it is watered from 
heaven, and followed with a great deal of care and pains, it grows not. 

And likewise, if it be thy nature, walk in a continual fearfulness of it; 
though thou hast mortified a lust never so much, yet there is a root re- 
maining, as Job hath it, chap. xiv. 8, * Though the root thereof wax old in 
the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground ; yet through the scent 
of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.' So it is with us. 
Why? Because it is nature. Therefore fear in all thy ways. I was 
afraid, saith David, Ps. xxxviii. 16, lest my foot should slip. And in ver. 


1 8, that which we translate, * I was sorry for my sin,' I find that it is, I 
was ' cautelous,' I was ' fearful ' for my sin, fearful still lest I should slip : 
I will declare it, and confess it, use all means against it, because it is my 

And you see the reason also why that corruption is never got out of you ; 
no, not till you die. Why ? Because it is involved, it is blended, it is 
mingled with your nature ; it is like the ivy in the wall, — it is the old com- 
parison that the fathers used, but I shall give you another. It is like the 
leper's house in Lev. xiv. 45. The leprosy could never be got out till 
house and all were pulled down. It is a note of that sin that dwells in us, 
as the Apostle's phrase is, Rom. vii. 17. It is enwrapped in thy nature, 
that thou wilt never get it out. Like a house that standcth upon a 
foundation that hath saltpetre in it, it will never be got out, do what you 
can ; so is it here. 

Obs. 2. — The second observation is this : That to sin, as it is thy nature, 
thy natural incUnation, so thou hast it by birth ; for so I told you, ' by 
nature ' is also taken for birth, and it is clear to be the Apostle's scope here. 
For he had shewn all the external causes of sin, the world and the devil ; 
the internal cause, the flesh, which causeth lusts. Now what is the cause 
of this flesh 1 Nature, saith he, your birth. * And were by nature,' that 
is, by birth, * children of wrath, as well as others.' I need not quote many 
places for it, the Scripture is abundant in it. * Man born of a woman,' 
saith Job, ' is filthy and abominable.' And, ' that which is born of the 
flesh is flesh.' And not only that which is bom, but that which is con- 
ceived. So saith David, Ps. H. 5, * I was conceived in sin.' And his 
meaning is, to shew that not only as soon as he was bom he was sinful ; 
but, saith he, I was sinful too in my very conception. Look, when first I 
had the nature of man communicated to me, then was I a sinner ; that 
which conveyed my nature to me, as birth doth, and conception doth before 
birth, that which did constitute me a man, did constitute me a sinner like- 
wise, made me a sinner. Therefore men are not only said to be ' transgres- 
sors from the womb,' as in Isa. xlviii. 8, and to * go astray from the womb,' 
as in Ps. Iviii. 3, but in the womb also ; for so, you see, David speaks of 
himself. Austin, who was one of those that most cleared this doctrine of 
the corraption of man by nature, against Pelagius that called it in question, — 
for God doth clear trutlas still as they are controverted, — forbore on purpose 
to call it natural sin, or sin in man's nature, because if it should be so 
called, the Manichees, that held there was a God which was the cause of 
all evil in man's nature, would have been emboldened and encouraged by 
it in their error ; therefore he called it original sin : for he was the first that 
gave it that title, though it agrees with the Scripture; he might have called 
it the other, for it is all one. And he called it so, not only because it is 
the original of all sin else, the womb in which all sin is conceived, — ' When 
lust hath conceived,' saith James, chap. i. 15, 'it bringeth forth sin,' — but 
chiefly because it is ab origine in man, from the time that the foundation 
of a man's nature is laid. That which at once giveth him his nature, gives 
him sin with it ; it is from the very first moment of conception, elder indeed 
than that which we call birth, or his being brought forth out of the womb 
into the world ; it is when a man begins first to be a man, and must neces- 
sarily be then. 

Now when he saith, 'we are by nature' — meaning by 'nature' a man's 
birth — ' the children of wrath,' it implies two things. It implies that what- 
soever is sin is conveyed to a man in his conception ; and that he hath it 


by nature, one part of the sinfulness as well as the other. Both these I am 
to open and to make good. The Apostle doth not speak here merely of our 
inherent corruption ; but if there be any other sinfulness which a man con- 
tracts by birth, he hath it by nature. Now, you know that our divines do 
make, and most truly and rightly according to the Scriptures, a twofold sin- 
fulness, which we have hereditary to us, as from our first parents. The 
first is, the guilt of that first act of sinning which Adam committed ; and 
the second is, an inherent corruption, or ' flesh,' the inclinations to all sin, 
derived as the punishment of the guilt of that fact. Here therefore lies 
two things before us, for the Apostle plainly means both ; for whatsoever 
makes a man a child of wrath, obnoxious to the wrath of God in his first 
conception, that is it he intendeth. Now it is not only inherent corruption 
that makes us children of wrath, but it is also the guUt of that first act. 
Nay, we could never have had inherent corruption to be as a sin in us, if 
we were not some way involved in the guilt of that first act ; and both these 
are by nature. Now, that we should have inherent corruption, that that 
t^hould be propagated by birth and generation, there is a more easiness in 
it. Why ? Because everything begets its like ; out of an unclean thing 
you cannot bring a clean ; it must needs be that such a nature as the 
father had, for inherent qualifications, such a nature the child must have. 
But that a man should be guUty of that act that Adam committed, that this 
should be by nature, and by the law of nature too, — which yet to me clearly 
the Apostle holds forth, not simply by a prerogative law of God, but by 
a law of nature, — this seems difficvilt. These two things therefore I would 
open to you, though briefly, yet so as to clear the point. I will begin with 
the first. 

First, To speak in general, when we say the gmlt of an act is conveyed 
by birth, by nature — 

1. It is not, as some would have it, the sin of the act of generation in the 
parents, it is not that which is conveyed to the chUd. Some would have 
that the meaning of that of David, in Ps. li. 5, ' In sin my mother conceived 
me,' as if the guilt which cleaves to such actions were that which David in- 
tended. But that cannot be his meaning ; for it is most certain that when 
Adam did first beget his son Cain, he did not convey to him the sin of that act 
of begetting, for the act itself is la^vful, and whatsoever sin cleaves unto it is 
not that which is conveyed ; but it was his first sin, the guUt of that, which 
he conveyed to him. Now, if Adam himself did not convey the guilt of the 
act of begetting, then certainly other parents do not ; and David would never 
have humbled himself so for his mother's sin in conceiving of him, but it was 
that sin he was guilty of, and that pollution of nature that arose from thence. 

2. It is not simply the coming as from Adam which doth thus defile our 
natures, or by which we contract the guilt of that act of his. For if you 
could suppose that a man or a woman had been made out of Adam after his 
fall, as Eve was made out of him before his fall, — mark what I say, — if God 
had taken a rib from Adam after he feU, and made a man or a woman out of 
it, this man or woman would not have been sinful. The instance of Christ 
is clear ; for he is directly called the son of Adam, Luke iii, in respect of 
the matter he was made of, and made in the womb too ; yet because he came 
not into the law of generation and conception in the natural way, therefore 
he was excepted, and sin could not seize upon him. So that it goes by 
birth, and by nature, by generation, that is certain. 

Secondly, Therefore, to shew you how the inherent corruption is derived, 

El'll. II. 3. J TO THE EPUESIANS. 123 

for these are but the two generals to both, that defilement of nature, that 
flesh that is seated in us — 

1. It is not founded simply upon this, that there is a participation of like 
from like. Tliat is not all the ground ; it is a partial cause, but it is not a 
total cause. It is a cause, and therefore Job saith, ' Can a man fetch a clean 
thing out of an unclean V But yet it is not the whole cause. Why 1 Be- 
cause then every father, according to the proportion of that inherent sinful- 
ness that is in his nature, should beget a child in the like proportion. I 
say, if that traduction were the total cause of like in the parent and like in 
the cliild, if this were the rule simply and wholly, then take a wicked man 
that begets children in his elder years, when he is more wicked, and hath 
more corruption of nature in him a hundred times than vhen he was young, 
those children would be proportionably more wicked than his elder children ; 
and the more wicked men would still have the more wicked children. There- 
fore it must be by some other standing law of nature that is equal ; and the 
standing law of nature, it doth not beget like in a gradual, but in a substan- 
tial way. Yet — 

2. It is the common law of generation that like from like is the ground 
of the propagation of inherent corruption ; and it was the justest law of 
nature that could be made. For God did put this difference between angels 
and men : angels shoiJd all be single persons, by and of themselves ; they 
were all immediately created by God himself, as Adam was ; but that which 
chould convey the nature of man, the very substance of his nature unto man, 
should be generation, the same that should convey the substance of the 
nature of beasts to beasts ; though I do not say as the soul of these last is 
propagated, — we shaU open that a little afterwards, — but I say that which 
should make them men is the common law of generation ; and man, if he 
will have his nature from man, he must be subjected to the common law of 
generation, which all the rest of the creatures are. Now what is the com- 
mon law to aU the creatures 1 Saith God, in Gen. i. 11, let everything bring 
forth in its kind. So you shall find it all along. He saith it of the very 
herbs, of the beasts ; they were all to bring forth of their kind. Now if that 
man must have, and shall have by God's ordination, the very substance of 
his nature, the kind of it, as all other creatures have, then he must be sub- 
jected herein to the common law of nature, and like must beget like ; it 
necessarily follows. Now, mark it, the law of nature hath its course, whe- 
ther things prove good or evil. It holds in the common, it doth so in our 
actions. The Lord's common providence was with man when he wrought 
holily ; the same common providence is with man now he works sinfully. 
He alters not the course of nature. So here, this being the law of nature, 
look what assistance there went for the propagation of man according to the 
image of God at first — in a common way, according to the law of nature — 
concurreth in propagating man's own image. I do not say that God is alike 
the author of one as of the other, but the common law of nature holdeth as 
well in the one as in the other. I shall clear these things more, I hope, 
hereafter. Nay, my brethren, the law that man should beget his like was so 
strong a law of nature, whether man's nature should prove good or prove evU, 
that God himself, unless by grace, could not help it. I speak according as 
God binds himself to the course of providence, for God works not by preroga- 
tive, ' Let everything bring forth in its kind,' was the common law given, 
and the course of nature must hold, as well when man is sinful as when he 
is good. Help it God may by grace ; but if you will go according to the law 


of nature, by the same law a beast propagatetli bis kind, by the same law 
doth man propagate his Uke. Therefore by nature, and by the law of nature 
and generation, which this is founded upon, a man must be inherently sinful 
if he come from parents inherently sinful; a sinful man must beget a sinful 

£PH. 11. 3.] TO TUK KPUKSIANS. 125 


And were hy nature the children of wrath, even as others. — Veb. 3. 

These words are the general conclusion and winding up of what the Apostle 
had said concerning our state by nature ; which he had largely and punctu- 
ally set forth in the words before. And unto all that he had said before, 
there is in these words the addition of three things : — 

1. Of the cause, and the first cause, or at least the fundamental cause, of 
all the corruption that is in our hearts, and of all those lusts, and of all that 
tiesh and corruption which he had spoken of immediately before ; ' and were 
by nature.' 

2. Of that punishment which is due to men in their natural state, and for 
their natures, and for all the sins committed in that state ; ' the children of 

3. Of universality ; it is every man's case, both Jew and Gentile ; ' even 
as others.' 

I opened formerly the phraseology of these words. As — 
I. What was meant by ' nature ' here. I told you by nature was meant 
here — 

1. Natural dispositions. The inlet of sin, the ground and the root of it, 
was not custom and imitation, but it was our natural dispositions. 

2. ' By nature,' — that is, by birth; so it is taken in Rom. iL 14. 

3. * By nature : ' it imports that whole estate of nature which while men 
live in, they live in the lusts of the flesh, they are dead in sins and trespasses, 
and they are children of wrath. 

II. What was meant by ' children of wrath.' I shewed you the phrase 
was taken both actively and passively. Actively, for what one is addicted 
to ; so they are called children of wisdom, children of obedience, and in the 
words before, children of disobedience. Passively, so it is taken here, chil- 
dren of wrath ; or, as Peter hath it, cursed children ; or, as it is in the original, 
children of the curse. 

III. What was meant by that phrase, * even as others.' I told you it im- 
plied two things : — 

\. That it is the common condition of all men. 

2. That it is equally the condition of aU men. 

Answerable to these three phrases, I pitched upon three things to be ex- 

Of the first I have spoken at large. 

I made entrance into the second, viz., that the corruption which is in us, 
we have it by birth and by the law of nature. But I finished it not. I 
shall give you a brief account of what I then delivered, and so I shall proceed. 

I explained this unto you both by some generals, and also I began to enter 
into particulars. The generals are these : — 

1. We have it by birth and not by imitation. For then we should have 
the fountain of our corruption ascribed unto the devil, for he was the first 


sinner; and unto Eve, for slie was first in tbe transgression, 1 Tim. ii. 14. 
But you shall find in Scripture it is ascribed to the first man, namely, unto 
Adam, as I shall shew you afterwards. 

2. It is not simply coming of Adam : for then, if you could suppose that 
God should have taken the rib out of Adam after that he had sinned, and 
have made Eve thereof, it is true she had been of Adam, but yet she had not 
been corrupted, she had not been sinful ; because it is to be by nature, and 
so by birth and by generation. Therefore Christ, though he is called the 
son of Adam, Luke iii., and the seed of the woman. Gen. ii , — that is, he 
was made of that matter which was propagated from Adam, — yet he was not 
corrupted, because he had it not by the law of nature, he had it not by birth. 

3. It is not the sin of the parents in the act of begetting that is conveyed. 
For marriage is honourable, as the Scripture hath it. Adam did not con- 
vey, when he first begat his son Cain, the sin of that act of begetting, for 
the action itself is lawful ; but it was his first sin, his eating of the forbid- 
den fruit. 

These were the generals I gave you. For all these do but prepare a way 
for the opening of what it is by virtue of which sin is derived unto us. 
And I find it exceeding hard to speak distinctly to it,, to find out that origi- 
nal seed of poison from whence it is diffused, and the weight of it. I shall 
now therefore come to particulars whereby I desire to explain it, and in them 
I shall briefly give you my whole judgment in the thing; and when I have 
done, I shall resolve it into two or three propositions, which shall contain 
the sum of all, for your clearer understanding. It is evident, you see, by 
this text, that it is by nature ; and therefore that it is by birth and by the 
law of nature. Now to proceed — 

In the first place, our God did put this difference between angels and 
men, that angels were created single ; and therefore when they fell, they did 
fall singly, each one for himself They had their nature conveyed to them 
by God's immediate creation, and thei-efore they stood upon their own bot- 
toms. But he ordained that men should all come of one man. Acts xvii. 
26, 'He hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the 
face of the earth.' Now then, the law of nature that doth convey blood — 
that is, manhood — to us, conveys also the natural properties that do accom- 
pany and are in that nature, in the fountain of it, whether they shall ba 
good or evil. Now, good they were by creation, that is certain. And the 
reason is, because that law of nature that did fall upon the generation of all 
creatures else, foils upon man's generation also. Now you shall find that it 
is not only the law proper to man, but to all things begotten of another, that 
they all bring forth in their kind. If you look into Gen. i., you shall see 
that of the very herbs God saith. Let them bring forth in their kind; he 
saith it also of the beasts, and it holds of man too, that he is to bring forth 
in his kind. If there be a generation and a begetting, he is to bring forth 
in his kind. If his nature had remained holy and good, he had brought 
forth that which was holy and good. So the same providence of God that 
would have accompanied man to convey and propagate a holy nature had 
he remained holy, doth also accompiiny him to convey a corrupt nature now 
he is corrupt and made evil. As the same acts of common providence 
which run on and assist us in doing good concur even in evil also, so is it 
here. — And that is the first thing. 

Yet, in the second place, let me tell you this, that take our birth and 
generation simply, and that is not the cause, the physical cause, it is but the 
channel ; and because it is the instrument of making men, therefore it is the 


instrument also of making sinful men. Now that generation is not tlie cause 
is evident by this : because if it were, then men should beget men sinful ac- 
cording to that degree of sinfulness they themselves have. And therefore 
parents more wicked should beget children more wicked ; parents in their 
elder days, when they are more wicked, as wicked men are, for they grow 
worse and worse, should then have children more wicked than in their younger 
time ; but so it is not. It is therefore to be resolved into the common law 
that lies upon generation, not simply into generation itself, or what it con- 
veyeth. Generation is but the chamiel, the pipe, in which it runneth ; it is 
therefore, I say, rather the law that is annexed unto generation. And the 
law of generation doth not reach to degrees of sinning, but only to the sub- 
stantial image, not to the gradual. 

In the third place, the cause and the ground why we are made sinful is 
not simply that we are born of immediate parents that are sinful, that is 
not the whole cause neither : but as generation is but as the channel, so the 
immediate parents are but the instruments of conveying it. My meaning is 
this : the ground why a man is born sinful is not simply because his next 
parents, father and mother, are such. They are causes sine quibus non of 
sin ; that is, if it could be supposed they are not sinful, the child would not 
be sinful ; they are but instruments of conveying it. And that they are in- 
struments of conveying it, is clear by what David saith, Ps. li. 5, ' in sin did 
my mother conceive me.' But yet they are causes sine quibus non, without 
which sin would not be. 

There are two great evidences to me of this truth. The one is a negative 
one, the other a positive. 

The negative one is this : the Lord hath expressly said — he hath a whole 
chapter about it, Ezek. xviii. — that the child shall not bear the iniquity of 
the father. And our Saviour Christ saith, John ix. 3, that it was not for 
the sin of the parents that the man was born blind. So that it is not put 
upon the sin of the ordinary parents. Nay, I shall give you a further 
instance of it, why it is not to be put simply upon the immediate parents. 
For although we come of Eve, yet, notwithstanding, the corruption that we 
have and the sin which we have by nature is not put upon Eve now, it is 
put upon Adam, and that throughout the whole Scripture. Though Eve 
did first corrupt our nature, for she was first in the transgression ; though 
we all come of her as well as of Adam, and have a share as from her and 
that by generation also; yet notwithstanding, read Eom. v. 12, ' By one man 
sin entered into the world : ' which was the type of Christ's conveying obe- 
dience and righteousness. I will not dispute that nice question which some 
divines have. Whether, if that Eve had not fallen, though Adam had fallen, we 
should have been corrupted or no 1 No, for we must all acknowledge that 
she was causa sine qua non. Had not her nature been corrupted, we had 
not had sin derived to us. All divines do attribute a secondary cause to 
her, but still the primary to the man. 

The positive ground is this : that the Scripture doth ascribe it to our 
coming of Adam, and that by birth, coming of that first man ; and therefore 
what is here said in the text to be ' by nature,' if you consult other scrip- 
tures, you shall find it to be because we come of Adam, thaf. one man, be- 
cause we come by generation from him. Mark it, so I put it; though parents 
are the instrumental cause of conveying it, generation is the channel, yet it 
is because we fetch our nature from that fountain. I shall give you Scrip- 
ture express for it. Not only that in Kom. v. 1 2, which yet is very clear ; 
for otherwise Eve had been made the type of Christ as well as Adam : but 


the text there you see doth only put it upon Adam, as being the type or 
figure of him that was to come, so ver. 14. And, ver. 18, 'by the offence of 
one,' and, ' by one man's disobedience,' ver. 19, It is not only for * one 
offence,' as some of those texts have it, but other texts run, ' of one man ;' 
so ver. 12, 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world.' But 
besides this scripture, look into 1 Cor. xv. 47, 48, and there you shall see 
this truth clear. The Apostle there puts it upon the first man. ' The first 
man,' saith he, ' is of the earth, earthy. As is the earthy, such are they that 
are earthy. As we have borne the image of the earthy,' — namely, of this first 
man, as he had called him, — ' so we shall bear the image of the heavenly.' 

And as the New Testament affirms this, so the Old too. I shall give you 
but that one scripture in Isa. xliii. 27, ' Thy first father hath sinned, and thy 
teachers,' or, thy intercessors, ' have transgressed against me,' speaking to the 
nation of the Jews. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy interventores, as 
Junius translates it, — that is, those that come between me and thee, — they 
have all sinned. What is the reason God objecteth this ? Why, in the words 
before he stands upon the confounding of them against all their carnal pleas 
and justifications of themselves, and he rips up their sin from the first. 
Come, saith he, ver. 26, ' let us plead together : declare thou, that thou 
mayest be justified,' if thou hast anything to say. Besides all the wicked- 
ness that is in thyself, whatsoever thou canst trust in, I can easily answer it. 
Thou dost trust in thy father Abraham, and thou thinkest because thou art 
of the seed of Abraham thou shalt be saved. I tell thee thou hast an older 
father than Abraham, thy first father Adam hath sinned. But thou wilt say 
unto me that thou hast priests that do daily offer sacrifice, and do come be- 
tween me and thee ; I tell thee that those that are thy intercessors, thy teachers, 
and thy interpreters, as it is translated by others, that come between me and 
thee, they have transgressed against me. The Lord takes both away ; they 
boasted that they had Abraham to their father. Ay, but, saith he, there is 
an older father, thy first father. And though some would interpret it of their 
fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and make it in the plural, yet there is an 
emphasis upon this, it is father, and it is thy first father. And it agrees 
clearly with what the New Testament saith, in that 1 Cor. xv. 45, &c., where 
you shall find that the Apostle doth put the conveying of the image upon 
our depending upon that first father, and that therefore we bear the image 
of the earthy. So as that now generation and immediate parents are indeed 
the channel and instruments of conveying ; but the original cause, as the 
Scripture makes it, is the first father. Our generation then, or our birth, 
had a curse laid upon it, and by the law of nature, by reason and by virtue 
of that first man. And because all men did depend upon him by genera- 
tion, — that is, are propagated from him by generation, — therefore by the law 
of generation, by virtue of something tliat he did and that he was, it is that 
we are corrupted to the end of the world, I take it to be one great reason 
why corrupt nature is called in Scripture the 'old man,' because it is derived 
for so many generations from that old first man Adam. We ourselves usually, 
when we see a thing that is evil or corrupt in children, say. This is old Adam. 
It is not what is in other parents so much, though their corruption is causa 
sine qua non, — it is the cause without which it would not be conveyed to us, 
— but it is Adam's image, the image of that first man ; so it is called in 1 
Cor. XV, Therefore Adam is said to beget in his likeness. Gen. iv. 

So that, in a word, this is the sum of these three things. It is not gene- 
ration simply that physically conveys it, but rather the law that falleth upon 
generation ; it is not the immediate parents so much as it is that first maa 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 1 29 

Adam ; because we depend upon him by nature and by generation, hence it 
ia we have been and are all corrupted. 

Now we will go on further, and more particularly still, to search into it, and 
to see whether it was by nature or no. And I shall do it by answering these 
queries : — 

Quei-y 1. — What it was in that man, which we hy generation have from 
him, that polluteth ? 

Ans. — If you would have the great and the principal cause, I answer you 
fuUy, according to the Scriptures, it was an act of sinning of his, and the 
first act of sinning that he committed. Generation, as I have said, is but 
the mere channel, and immediate parents are but mere instruments ; as they 
beget men, they beget men sinful : but if you ask what it is that is con- 
veyed, and which to the end of the world polluteth and defileth by genera- 
tion, as the instrument and channel ; it is the first sin of that first man. 
Will you give me leave, by this supposition, to make my meaning plain, and 
then I shall make it good by proofs 1 As I told you before that simply 
generation doth not do it ; so if you could have supposed corruption of nature 
had been derived by birth, physically, as a leprosy is from parent to child, 
or by virtue of that law of generation that like shall beget like, yet let me 
tell you, that unless he that had this corruption conveyed to him by nature 
had been guilty of some act which did first corrupt that nature, that corrup' 
tion had not been sin in him. I shall express it thus. Adam, you know, 
lost all righteousness, and had his nature corrupt, as ours is ; if we could 
suppose this righteousness to have been taken from him, without being 
guilty of an act that was the cause of it, that corruption indeed had been a 
punishment, it had not been his sin ; that which makes it to be sinful is, be- 
cause that it was lost and he was deprived of it justly by an act of sin. 
Take Adam himself, if you could have supposed him deprived of it any other 
way, without a precedent act, or the guilt of an act that caused it ; I say, it 
had not been sin to him, it might have been a punishment, but not a sin. 
And therefore now it must be the guilt of an act that doth defile us, and 
make the corruption of nature in us, and that which we have by birth to be 

But then aU the question will be by and by, Wbether by nature we are 
guilty of that act or no ? Now here is all the difference between us and 
Adam, that he was personally guilty of that act, but we are guilty of it by 
a just law of nature, as I shall endeavour to explain it to you by and by. 
But as he became a dead man, dead in sins and trespasses, by eating of the 
forbidden fruit ; so must we be supposed to be also. Therefore we shall 
find, the New Testament, — -which speaks more accurately in this point than 
the Old, — though it mentions generation as the instrumental cause, which 
the Old Testament only did run upon, yet it puts it upon that one act. So 
Eom. v. 12, * By one man sin entered into the world, in whom,' mark the 
expression, ' aU have sinned.' It is not only, * in whom all are made sinful,' 
as it foUows in the 19th verse; but it is, ' in whom all have sinned.' It is 
plain he speaks not only of inherent corruption in our natures, but of an 
act of sin ; for he saith ' all have sinned.' Now, mark it, in the 14th verse, 
he speaks of children that never actually sinned personally, as Adam did ; 
and yet he saith that death reigned over them. ' Death reigned,' saith he, 
* from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude 
of Adam's transgression ;' that is, they did not personally in themselves sin, 
as Adam himself did, and yet death did pass upon them ; therefore they 
must be guilty of that act of his. 



Now I take it, these words, ' death reigned over all,' are the interpretation 
of the first curse, ' In the day thou eatest thou shalt die the death,' in which 
Adam was considered as a common person. Now by virtue of this law and 
rule given, death reigneth according to the threatening. And the next 
words, which are those I pitch upon, do give the reason of it clearly and 
plainly, which are otherwise very obscure. Tor,' saith he, ver. 13, 'until 
the law, sin was iu the world ; but sin is not imputed where there is no law.' 
This is brought in as a reason, by virtue of what it was, that children are 
made sinful, or accounted to have sinned. Why this, saith he, cannot be 
by Moses' law ; you cannot find it that children are guilty of sin, of whom he 
speaks, ver. 14, and that all have sinned, so he saith, ver. 12, in the ten 
commandments. And yet it must be by some law or other ; for if there 
had not been a law, God would never have charged children and all the 
world with this sin ; therefore clearly it must be that law which God gave 
pecuHarly to that first man. This is plainly the Apostle's meaning, and the 
coherence of those words. Tou shall not find this, saith he, in Moses' law ; 
it is therefore to be resolved into that first law that was given to Adam, ' In 
the day thou eatest thou shalt die ;' thou, and all thy posterity ; for it must 
be some older law than that of Moses which this must be put upon ; for, saith 
he, there was sin in the world before the law of Moses came, or else God 
could not have charged it, and children should not have died : but they did 
all die, death reigned over all ; therefore it must be resolved into a higher 
law than that of Moses ; and what was that 1 I say, that law that God 
gave to Adam, ' In the day thou eatest thou shalt die.' And that is clearly 
interpreted in 1 Cor. xv. 22, ' In Adam all died ;' that is, by reason of the 
transgression of that first law, which is a law older than Moses, by virtue of 
which children are said to have sinned in Adam, and so also to have died 
in him. 

Now then, to conclude this first query. If you ask, what it is that in 
strict terms is the cause that doth pollute us to the end of the world ; I 
say, it is not generation, it is not the immediate parents, they are the 
channels through which it is conveyed ; but it is plainly and clearly that first 
act of Adam's, which as it corrupted his nature, corrupteth ours to the end 
of the world. The text is so clear for this, as nothing more. Rom. v. 19, 
* By one man's disobedience many were made sinners.' If you ask what it 
is that makes many sinners, the Apostle himself resolves you, — it is that 
one man's disobedience. Even as Christ's obedience doth make us holy to 
the end of the world ; though God use the word and use ministers to con- 
vert us, yet it is not the word nor the ministers that make us holy, but it is 
that one man's obedience. ' By the obedience of one,' saith he in the same 
verse, •' many are made righteous.' So is it here. It is not generation 
simply doth pollute us ; neither is it our immediate parents ; these are in- 
struments and ways of conveying it, they are channels through which it runs : 
but it is that one man's disobedience, it is the gmlt of that act that seizeth 
upon us all, which makes us sinners. 

And so much now for that first query. I come now to a second, and that 
is this : — 

Query 2. — Why should the guilt of that act which infects our nature be con- 
veyed to us by generation, as the channel, and by nature, rather than the sin 
of other parents ? 

Ans. — All divines do answer that clearly thus : that Adam was a public 
person, and he was therein Christ's tjrpe, which no other parent is. Eve 
was not : for though she was first in the transgression, yet it is not said, by 


the disobedience of that one woman, or, by the disobedience of those first 
parents, we are made siimers ; but it is clearly put upon the ' disobedience 
of that one man.' Why ? Because he was made a public person, and stood 
as a public person, which Eve in that respect did not. Indeed, without her, 
and her corruption and fall, we had not been sinful ; but if you resolve it 
into its original primary cause, it is the sin of that one man, because, I say, 
he was a public common person, representing aU his posterity, which other 
parents are not, which Eve herself was not : and therefore he was Christ's 
type, which Eve was not. 

I will not stand to shew you the equity of that, that those that stand as 
common persons convey the guilt of their act to their posterity and those 
they represent, — it hath been cleared enough, — but rather come to a third 
question ; for by answering questions, I hope I shall clear the thing. 

Query 3. — Whether was Adam a common person hy the law of nature, yea 
or no 1 Whether by the law of generation ? that is more. For we must 
bring it to birth and generation at last. 

Atis. — There are three ways by which you may suppose one to be a common 
person. Either — 

1. By choice of the parties themselves, as you choose the burgesses in 
Parliament. It is clear, Adam was not so a common person, we never chose 
him, our wills did never go to make him one. Or else — 

2. A common person is chosen for us by another. So Christ ; we did not 
choose him to be our Head, but God chose him for us. But — 

3. There is a third way, and that is, that it shaU not only be founded 
upon a mere act of choice, but upon a law of nature ; and so, I take it, Adam 
was a common person. He was so by God's appointment, yet by God's ap- 
pointment founded upon a law of nature. And therefore, both by genera- 
tion as the channel, and by the law of nature as the foundation, are we 
made sinful to the end of the world. This I shall endeavour to make clear 
to you. 

I take it, it was mixed of both ; that is, both that God made him so, and 
yet God's choice of him was not merely an act of his prerogative, or a mere 
act of his will ; but it was an act of his will founded upon the law of nature, 
and the law of nature required it, and it was necessary it should be so, and 
that therefore we come to inherit the guilt of that act of his. It is clear 
that God did pronounce Adam a common person ; for, before ever Eve was 
made, it is said, Gen. i. 28, ' God blessed them, and God said unto them. 
Be finiitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.' And in 1 Cor. xv. 45, 
it is said that the first man Adam was eysnTo, made, that is, appointed, — 
as in Heb. iii. it is said that Christ was faithful to him that made him, so 
it is in the Greek ; to him that * appointed him,' so we translate it, — he was 
made to be a living soul ; unto others, namely, as well as in himself, as I 
have elsewhere opened. But yet it was not by a mere act of prerogative, 
but upon a natural and necessary ground that it should be so. 

You shall observe this difference between conveying Adam's disobedience 
and Christ's obedience. The one, speaking of Adam's, is expressed thus, 
* By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.' But 
speaking of Christ's obedience, he calls it 'the free gift of righteousness;' for 
it was a mere voluntary act. So you have it in Eom. v. 18. 

But how is this made out? 

Thus : Adam being the first man, he was the receptacle of man's nature, 
the whole cistern of it ; he had aU the blood of mankind in him ; they must 
all fetch it from that fountain, at that well-head, and generation or birth 


was the way by which he should propagate. Now the law of generation 
was, that he should beget in his own image, whatever it should be ; and that, 
as I said before, is the common law of all creatures else. Now add that to 
it, this nature could not have been conveyed as sinful — that is, that it should 
be a sinful, corrupt nature such as it was in him — unless we had been guilty 
of that act which he committed, of that act which first in him did infect our 
nature. Therefore now, if he should propagate his like, — and if he did not, the 
law of nature should not be fulfilled, for that law was to take place in him 
as in other creatures, namely, that he was to beget in his own image, — of ne- 
cessity he must be constituted by a law a common person, that that act that 
corrupted his nature, his posterity must be guUty of I say, the law of 
nature could not else have taken place, and, it would not otherwise have been 
a sinful image, but in relation to the guilt of such an act which was the cause 
of it. Hence therefore, if you will suppose him to convey by the law of 
nature his corrupt sinful image, of necessity the same law must and doth 
constitute him to be a common person, as in relation to that act that did first 
defile him. So far, and in order to propagation of his like, if he fall, in 
respect of that act that defiled him, it was necessary he should be constituted, 
for that first act, to be a common person. 

You shall see that his being a common person was only upon this neces- 
sary ground, to be exceeding clear by this one instance. For as soon as ever 
he had eaten the forbidden fruit, as soon as he had committed that same one 
sin, he ceaseth to be a common person, he is then but as any ordinary parent. 
And that is clear by this. For otherwise all the sins he committed before 
he begat Cain should have been imputed to Cain, as well as the first sin 
of all. And otherwise likewise, had he continued a common person aftel 
he committed that first sin, we had not been made sinners by that one dis- 
obedience, as the text hath it in that Rom. v., and by that first act of dis« 
obedience, but we must have inherited all the sins that he committed. No, 
only that first act ; and the reason is this : because when that was once done, 
when that sin was committed, that first act did cast our nature out of the 
road of holiness into the road of sin, corrupted our nature. So that it is clear 
he was a common person by virtue of that law that he should beget in his 
own likeness ; for as soon as the corrupt image was stamped upon his heart 
by that first sin, he ceased to be a common person. 

So that now it was not a mere act of prerogative in God, as some think, 
that Adam should be made a public person in that act of disobedience ; but 
it is resolved into that principle of the law of nature, that he must beget 
his like ; and it would not have been a sinful likeness that he should beget, 
if he had not been a public person in that first act that should make his 
nature so. It is not by any positive law, as that of Moses was; for that law 
came after, and yet it was charged upon us, as I have before shewed, and 
therefore it must be founded upon, and resolved into a law of nature. And 
that is the difference betwixt Christ and Adam. God did distinctly deal 
with Christ ; he told him he must be a head, and undertake for these and 
these persons; but you do not find that God did propound it distinctly to 
Adam. He never said to him, Look to yourself, what you do it is for your pos- 
terity ; and if you eat of the forbidden fruit, not only you, but all that come 
of you shall die the death. No, it needed not ; for all men being to come 
of him, he being to convey his sinful image, — and that image could not be 
conveyed except he became guilty of a sinful act, — he must needs know that 
his posterity must be guilty of it if his image were conveyed. So that it 


was necessarily resolved into the law of nature ; although it was mixed, it wa» 
by Grod's appointment also that it should be so. 

So that now, to sum up this business : still, we see, we are children of 
wrath by nature. Whether we respect the corrupt sinful habit which we have 
inherent in us, conveyed to us by birth, or whether we respect the guilt of 
that act, it is still resolved into the law of nature, and generation or birth is 
but the channel to convey it, and our immediate parents are but the instru- 
ments of conveying it, the causes indeed without which it would not bo 
conveyed ; but it is the guilt of that first act of Adam, upon whom by nature 
and generation we all depended, and it is that first act of his that to the 
end of the world makes us sinners. 

And so now I shall, in a word or two, gather up in a few propositions 
what I have said, and so pass over this point. The sum of all I shall resolve 
into these three propositions : — 

Pro'p. 1. — First, That generation is not the physical cause of our being 
sinful, — that is, it is not because a man hath sin propagated in the matter 
that comes from his parents ; that is not it. But it is the common law that 
lies upon all creatures, and that lies upon man also, that like shall beget like. 
Whether his soul be created by God, or whatever it be, yet notwithstanding, 
I say, it is the law of generation that doth it. 

Pro'p. 2. — Secondly, Generation is but the channel; it is the act of Adam's 
sin, and the first act of Adam's sin, whilst he stood a common person, being 
imputed to us, charged upon us, that makes us sinful. Only, if you ask 
who they are that shaU be made sinful ; only those that come of Adam by 
generation, because it is by virtue of the law of generation that like shall 
beget like. So that it is not, I say, that the children have an impure nature 
from an impure nature of the next parents ; this is not simply it. Whether 
the soul be from the parents, as some hold, or immediately from God, it is 
all one, because it is the act of Adam's sin seizing upon a man, he being made 
a son of Adam, that pollutes him. By one man's disobedience we are made 
sinful. If the soul be made immediately by God, yet it being at the same 
instant that it is made united to the body; hence the guUt of Adam's sin, by 
virtue of that law of nature, seizeth upon it ; and the guilt of it seizing thus 
upon that soul in this body, which is now made a son of Adam, the Lord 
making of it, withdraws his Spirit from it, from giving grace. Not that God 
is the author of it, but that sin cometh in between, and cutteth off the influ- 
ence which God would have upon it, according to the original law of nature, 
to make it holy. And as sin caused God to withdraw his Spirit out of 
Adam, so it preventeth that God should bestow holiness upon this soul, 
which is made a man as soon as made a soul. So that you need not trouble 
yourselves about those questions, whether the soul be ex traduce, &c. For 
all those questions suppose that the matter of our nature is corrupted from 
our parents, and so is derived unto us. But it doth not lie in that, but in 
the guilt of Adam's act, and that is it which makes sinners to the end of 
the world. 

Prop. 3. — Thirdly, That Adam was by the law of nature a common per- 
son, and therefore we come to be guilty of that first act by which our nature 
was defiled. 

And so now I have explained this thing, as far as to me the Scripture 
doth give leave, as briefly as I could. 

Let me but add this : Hence it comes to pass that Jesus Christ comes 
not to be tainted with original sin. The matter of his body, he had 


it in the womb of the virgin ; for he was in that respect the son of Adam, 
but he came not from Adam according to the law of nature, that is, by 
generation ; and therefore Adam was not a common person to represent 
him. For the ground of Adam's being a common person was, that he was 
to beget his like, and his nature was to be propagated by generation. Now 
Christ was not to come of him by generation ; hence therefore our Saviour 
Christ is separated from sinners, as Heb. vii. 26 hath it. He had a mother, 
and his mother conceived him; but she did not conceive him in sin, be- 
cause it was not by the way of generation: for he was conceived by the 
Holy Ghost, the text saith so, Matt. i. 20. The Holy Ghost did articulate 
(whereas the spirits of the father do it in ordinary generation) that body of 
Christ. ' A body hast thou framed me,' saith he, Heb. x. 5. Therefore 
he is said to be ' made of a woman,' not begotten of a woman, in Gal. iv. 4. 
And therefore he came not under (and it was well for us he did not) the law 
of generation ; hence he escapeth being defiled with original sin. And 
hence Adam is not a common person to bim ; no, he was ordained a com- 
mon person before Adam was made one, for Adam was his type. And 
therefore things are ordered so that he should not come by generation, 
because he was to be a head of a second sort ; and therefore he is caUed the 
second man, as Adam is the first. 

And let me add this likewise for our comforts : That Christ, because he 
would take away original sin in us, he came as near as possibly could be, 
so as to escape pollution. He would be made of the same matter we were 
made ofi' ; he would be made in the womb of a virgin ; he would be con- 
ceived ; and he took upon him too the likeness of sinful flesh, with aU the 
frailties of it, as Like sinful flesh every way as could be. Nay, he would 
have his mother go and be purified, as if she had brought forth an unclean 
son ; for the law in Leviticus was, to shew the impurity of our birth, that 
the mother was to be purified. Nay, and not only so, but he was circum- 
cised, as if he had had original sin to be cut off as well as we. What was 
all this for? The Apostle teUs us. Col. ii. 11, we were circumcised in 
Christ, that the body of sin might be cut off by the circumcision of Christ. 
It was that he might take away this original corruption, which we had 
from the first Adam. 

Now then, having explained this, I come to some observations. 

Obs. 1. — The first is this, which is the Apostle's scope here : Th^t we 
should get our hearts humbled for the sin of our nature, and for the sin of 
Adam which by generation corrupteth our nature to the end of the world, 
whereof we are guilty. This is that which is the great corrupter of us, it 
is the greatest cause of all the rest. You know, David, in Ps. li., hath 
recourse to it, as to the spring of all his actual defilements. ' In sin,' saith 
he, ' hath my mother conceived me ; ' and he puts a ' behold ' upon it, 
because his soul was eminently humbled for it. It is the cause, and the 
greatest cause. Do but take a poisonous root, and you shall find more 
venom in the root than in aU the branches that spring from it. There is a 
greater contrariety betwixt God and us in that our nature is defiled, than 
that our actions are sinful. For as holiness that is in the nature of God is 
greater and deeper, and a higher holiness, than that holiness that is in his 
actions, or in what is done by him, — for that is an essential holiness, the 
other is but a manifestative holiness, — so there is a greater sinfulness that 
is in om- nature than is simply ki our actions. You shall find, in Isa. bdv. 6, 
that the church there, when they humbled themselves, they do not only 
say that their righteousness was as a menstruous cloth, but they themselves 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIANg. 135 

cry out of their persons. ' We are all,' say they, ' as an unclean thing ; ' 
and then follows, * and our righteousness as a menstruous cloth.' But, I 
say, the uncleanness of their persons, and that in respect of their natures, 
is that they chiefly complain of ; and they do it in the very same terms 
that the leper complains in Lev. xiii. 45. It is our nature that is abomi- 
nable to God ; we are children of wrath by nature. Therefore God hateth 
it, and God is angry with nothing but what he hateth, and but for sin. 
Now in Job xv., saith he, filthy man, abominable, putrified man, as the 
word signifies, he speaks of what we are by nature : for he had discoursed 
of it in the 14th and 15th chapters. And the Psalmist useth that very 
same word when he speaks of the corruption of nature, Ps. xiv. 3, and 
liii. 3, both which psalms are psalms of the corruption of man by nature. 
He calls man ' stinking,' compares him to a rotten carcass ; for so he is in 
the nostrils of God, in respect of his original pollution, and so he is to the 
regenerate part, and therefore Paul, in Eom. viL, calls it a body of death, 
as if there were twins, one whereof was dead, and the other that lived was 
forced to carry it about with him, which continually did stink and annoy him : 
such, saith he, is this corruption of nature that is in me, it is a body of death. 

Obs. 2. — Secondly, you see the reason why death reigneth over infants ; 
for so the Apostle tells us in Kom. v. 13, 14. It is because they have sinned, 
and sin is conveyed to them by generation, as the channel and instrument. 
God, in 1 Sam. xv., commanded that the sucklings of the Amalekites should 
be destroyed, as well as men and women, and others. And of Edom it is 
said in Ps. cxxxvii. 9, ' Happy shaU he be that taketh and dasheth thy 
little ones against the stones.' This must needs be for the guilt of sin, 
for ' sin entered into the world, and death by sin,' so saith the text, Rom. 
V. 12. 

But you will say. Doth God inflict eternal death merely for the corrup- 
tion of nature upon any infants 1 

My brethren, it must be said, Yes ; we are children of wrath by nature : 
and unless there come in election amongst them, for it is election saveth, 
and is the root of salvation, it must needs be so. Sodom and Gomorrah 
all suffered the vengeance of eternal fire, and surely there were multitudes 
of infants there ; and if they had been righteous as well as others, they 
might have been put into Abraham's plea, but they were not. The flood 
swept away infants, and they are called, I mean those that were destroyed 
with the flood, in 2 Peter ii. 5, 'the world of the ungodly.' And God 
therefore, if you mark it, both in Gen. vi. 5 and viii. 21, did put the 
bringing of the flood upon the original corruption of man's heart ; that not 
only the heart, but the formation, the very womb, the matrix, — so the word 
which we translate ' the imaginations of the heart,' sigaiifies, — in which all 
our thoughts are formed, the very frame in which they are cast and 
moulded, is evil, and only evil, and evil continually, yea, evil even from his 
infancy, (for what we translate ' youth up,' the same word in Exod. ii. 6 is 
used for Moses when he was an infant,) not only in respect of actual sin, but 
in respect of original sin. Therefore, saith God, because man is thus flesh, 
and nothing but corruption, I will bring the flood ; and the flood came 
upon the world of the vmgodly, upon infants as well as upon others. But 
in Rom. v. it is more express. Death, saith the Apostle, reigned before 
Moses ; it reigned over children, saith he. And there was that instance of 
it, for he alludeth especially to the instance of the flood, and it was a great 
instance, when God came and swept away all the world of the ungodly^ 
with aU their infants, even they that were in the very womb. 


But you will say, Do these perish? or, Doth God let those perish 1 
Doth his wrath seize upon them ? 

Not only what the text saith, but that in Rom. v. is clear for it. For 
having instanced in children in the 13th and 14th verses, he goes on, and 
shews that the death he intendeth is not only bodily death, but eternal ; 
for, saith he, ver. 16, 'the judgment was by one to condemnation.' And 
as he had said, ver. 14, that death reigned over aU from Adam to Moses, 
so at ver. 21 he saith, 'As sin hath reigned unto death, so might grace 
reign through righteousness unto eternal Ufe.' Here you see eternal life is 
opposed to that death that is said to have reigned, and condemnation is 
said to come by one man's disobedience ; and what is that condemnation 
opposed to 1 It is opposed plainly to justification ; so it follows, ' but the 
free gift is of many offences to justification.' Therefore those that have a 
death opposite to eternal life, and have a condemnation by that one man's 
disobedience opposite to justification, must needs reach to eternal death as 
weU as to temporal. It is true, election knows its own amongst infants, 
but it must be free grace, it must be by grace that you are saved, for 
clearly by nature ye are all children of wrath. Therefore the Lord, as he 
will have instances of aU sorts that are in heaven, so he wHl have some that 
are in hell for their sin brought into the world. 

The Papists, suitable to their doctrine, as they hold that original sin hath 
nothing positive in it, — they say it is but a mere privation, a mere empti- 
ness,— so answerably they put children into a state, not of positive pain, not 
of wrath, but they put them into a state called limbm infantum, where they 
do as it were eternally sleep ; there is a privation, but no torment, no wrath. 
But you see that here we are said plainly to be children of wrath, and 
wrath impKes more than a mere privation ; it implies not only a punishment 
of loss, but a punishment of sense, and of the sense of that loss. This you 
shall see plainly in John iii. 36, ' He that believeth not the Son shall not 
see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him.' ' Shall not see hfe,' there is 
the privation ; ' and the wrath of God abideth on him,' there is the punish- 
ment of sense too ; there is the wrath of God, as the text here hath it. 

I told you there is a third interj^retation of these words, ' children of Avrath 
by nature.' It implied a state, — their whole state as well as their birth. 
Now the observation from thence is this. That the great thing that should 
affect the hearts and spirits of men, is their being in a sinful state till such 
time as God doth engraft them into Jesus Christ and save them. It is 
plainly the Apostle's scope, for he o]3poseth here ' by nature ' to ' by grace ' 
in the 5th and 6th verses that follow. It is the great error of multitudes 
of carnal men ; they say we are all born by nature children of wrath, never 
considering that till such time as they are turned unto God and engrafted 
into Christ, they remain in that state. ' You were,' saith he, ' children of 
wrath ; ' he speaks in relation to the whole condition from the very first 
moment of their conception tiU God called them and turned them to him. 
This is it which the Apostle would hold forth to these Ephesians, and the 
want of the right understanding of this truth undoes thousands of souls : for 
they put off the state of nature; they say it is but the condition of aU men ; 
and they are humbled for acts of sin, but never consider the state they are 
in, which while a man continues in, he is a child of wrath ; after conversion, 
though he commit acts of sin, he is not a child of wrath. 

But what is this state of nature ? 

A child of wrath ; it is as if a man should be condemned to die, we say 
then he is a child of death ; though he doth many acts of life and lives long 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 137 

afterwards, yet put him into what clothes you will, let him eat what meat 
ye will, let him have a thousand changes, he is still in a state of death. So, 
have what changes thou wilt in this condition ; if thou growest rich, or noble, 
or honourable, thou mayest have a great many changes in thy spirit, even 
till thou growest good, yet till such time as this state is altered thou art a 
child of wrath. Therefore, when John would convince a carnal professor, 
and set upon him the consideration thereof, saith he in 1 John ii. 9, * He 
that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until 
now;' that is, he is not only to take upon him the guilt of that sin, but 
even from the very first time of his birth to this day, he hath been in dark- 
ness, he hath been in his first condition. And as men should lay it to heart, 
that they have been first in the state of nature even until now, so it is a 
great argument that there is no falling from grace ; for it is but ' until now,' 
saith he. But, I say, it is the Apostle's scope to shew them the state 
wherein they were, the more to affect their hearts and spirits. 

The state of nature is the state in which all your sins come upon you. 
Therefore the Scripture puts much upon it. John doth the like; he calls 
conversion, therefore, a passing from death to life, — that is, from a state of 
death to a state of life. And in John iii. 36, ' He that believeth not is con- 
demned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him ; ' though the sen- 
tence is not executed, is not fallen upon him, yet it is Otte^, it is above him, 
as the word is, hangs over his head. And the word abideth, it noteth, as 
Austin well oh&Qxy Qth, perpetuity. It hath been upon him from his birth, and 
remains to this day upon him ; and though it hath not seized on him, yet the 
wrath of God cometh upon him ; it sleepeth not, as Peter saith. Now there- 
fore, this is that which men should lay to heart, not only qctual sin, but a 
state of sin, in which whilst they remain unchanged, unjustified, unsanctified, 
and not united to the Lord Jesus Christ, till they enter into another state, 
all that while they are in their sins, they shall answer for every sin them- 
selves, the wrath of God doth all that while abide upon them. They were 
children of wrath by nature at first; but they are ten thousand times more 
the children of hell than they were at first. Every actual sin makes them 
afresh children of wrath by nature, addeth to their natural defilement, makes 
the tincture of that dye deeper, makes them worse the children of the devil 
and of hell than before ; as the expression is, Matt, xxiii. 15. Therefore re- 
member this, that if you will go to heaven, your state must be altered ; you 
must not only seek for the pardon of this sin, and of that sin, but your very 
state must be changed. It must not be a physical change ; you may have 
a hundred such changes, and yet continue in the state of nature still. No, 
it must be a moral change ; a change from being a child of wrath to a child 
of light ; from being a son of perdition to be a son of peace ; a change that 
floweth, and argueth union with Jesus Christ. 

Again, you see, when he expresseth the misery of man by nature, in respect 
of the punishment which he must undergo for ever, he calls him a child of 
wrath. Whose wrath is it ? It is the wrath of God. Hence observe this — 

Obs. — That the wrath of God is that which is the hottest torment and 
punishment in hell. It is being punished from his power, and from his pre- 
sence ; we are punished out of his presence, and from his power. What 
power 1 The power of his wrath. I will give you a scripture or two, that 
you may understand it rightly; for it is good to have notions of heaven and 
hell in a right manner : Rom. ii. 8, 9, ' Indignation and wrath, tribulation 
and anguish, upon every soul of man that doth evil.' ' Tribulation and 
anguish,' they are the effects ; * indignation and wrath,' they are the cause. 


And the tribulation and anguisli that the souls have in hell, it is the indigna- 
tion and wrath of God, it is the sparks of that wrath falling upon their sins. 
Therefore they are called, ' vessels of wrath,' Rom. ix. 22. In hell, God shews 
forth the power of his wrath. As the height and top of heaven is God im- 
mediately enjoyed in mercy and in love, — God is love, and in heaven all 
attributes appear in love, — so hell is nothing else but all attributes appear- 
ing in wrath ; it is dwelling with everlasting burnings, as God is a consuming 
fire. There is not fire in heU, what torment soever it is ; but a torment 
there is ; how else shall the devils be tormented 1 And this is the wrath of 
God. Nothing can Idll the soul but God. The devil himself can but loll 
the body ; if he could kill the soul, he should be feared too ; but, you know, 
we are bid not to fear the devil. But it is no creature, no elementary fire, 
can destroy the soul, — that is, bring the soul to a state of not being. It is 
only the wrath of God, that is the greatest torment and punishment in hell. 
Take a man that hath no outward pain, or misery, or affliction, or cross in his 
estate ; let but a drop of the wrath of God from heaven fall into that man's 
conscience ; why, that man is in hgll. You may clearly see what is heU. by 
that. Even just as when God fills the heart with joy unspeakable and glori- 
ous, it is the immediate participation of himself, and it is the beginning of 
heaven ; you may know what heaven is by that, it is the enjoyment of that : 
for I have more joy in that enjoyment than if all the saints and angels were 
about me. So, on the other side, all those impressions of wrath which Judas 
and others had, are but the beginnings of hell ; and in hell men are but 
thrown into that sea of wrath everlastingly whereof they feel some drops here. 
Hence those that sin against the Holy Ghost, that sin wilfully after they 
have received the knowledge of the truth, it is said of them, Heb. x. 26, 
that ' there remaiueth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking 
for of judgment and fiery indignation,' — that is, the wrath of God working 
as fire, which shall devour the adversaries, shall swallow them up, as Nebu- 
chadnezzar's furnace did, or as the fire that did consume Nadab and Abihu. 
It is an allusion unto them, for they sinned against Moses' law, which the 
comparison there runs upon. It is not an elementary fire, but fiery indigna- 
tion, whereof they that sin against the Holy Ghost receive an earnest in this 
life ; for it is said, ' there remaineth nothing but a certain fearful looking for 
of judgment.' Now the word in the original is not looking, but receiving ; 
they have received judgment : for whoever sins that sia, God makes an im- 
pression of wrath upon his spirit ; he hath received the earnest of hell, which 
hath set his soul into opposition and enmity against God, as being already cast 
oif fi'om him. 

And so much now for that point. A word of the last clause — 
Uven as others. — It noteth out two things, as I said at first : — 
First, That it is the common condition even of all that are derived from 
Adam. They are all thus by nature children of wrath. That it is the com- 
mon condition of all men, you have that in Horn. iii. It is the very scope 
of that chapter to shew that all are corrupted. First, that all in man was 
corrupted, his understanding, will, and aflections. And then, that all men 
were corrupted ; he instanceth first in the Jew, and in the Gentile. And 
then, ver. 10, he quoteththe 14th Psalm, and saith, ' There is none righteous, 
no, not one.' And, ver. 19, ' We know,' saith he, 'that what things soever 
the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law.' Now all men are 
under the law by nature; this is therefore the condition of all men. 

And the reason is this, because we all come from that first man. Had 
it been any other, this had not fallen out ; but we all depend upon genera- 

EpH. II. 3.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 139 

tion from that first man, hence it falleth upon all. Therefore it is said that 
Adam, when he begat Cain, begat him in his own image, and in that image 
we are begotten to the end of the world. It is well for us that Christ was 
ordained to be, and that he was, another common person, and was not by the 
law of generation found in the first Adam ; no, he was ordained a second 
Adam, which takes that off. In the meantime, you see the difference be- 
twixt Christ's kingdom and the devil's. The devil hath a law of generation 
that seizeth upon aU mankind, that aU that are bom are his bond-slaves, 
and that by nature. But Christ's kingdom is made up of those that election 
gets out of the devil's kingdom, of those upon whom the Holy Ghost falleth, 
either in infancy, by virtue of election ; or when they grow up, and are called. 
Christ's kingdom is but taken out of Satan's. However, it is the common 
condition of all, to be bom in the devil's kingdom. 

Secondly, It noteth, also, that it is equally the condition of aU men. In 
Rom. iii. he doth not only say, ver. 10, that * none are righteous, no, not 
one,' but he afterwards tells us, ver. 22, that there is no difference, for all 
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. There is no difference, 
clearly and plainly none, not in respect of what we have from Adam. There- 
fore sometimes, when God speaks to the Jews, he saith, ' Thy father was an 
Amorite and a Hittite ;' that is. If I look upon you simply, in respect of 
that original constitution and law, what you have by birth from Adam, your 
father Abraham was but an Amorite and a Hittite ; though out of his loins 
otherwise I have a holy seed, yet take your natural condition, and there is 
no difference at all. Therefore in Prov. xxvii. 19, as in water face answereth 
to face, so the heart of man to man. As when a man looks in the water, 
he sees the same proportion, limb for limb ; so one man's heart is made up 
of the same sins by nature that another's is : we are aU begotten in the same 
image, and the whole image, which consists of all sins, and of all parts. 

And the reason is this, it is founded upon what I said before : because 
we have it from Adam by virtue of a natural covenant. He by the law of 
nature, I said, was a common person. Now nature, if it work as a natural 
agent, it doth always work ad ultimam potentiam, to the uttermost of his 
power. But now take Jesus Christ, and it is otherwise. We have holiness 
and righteousness from him, not by a natural covenant, it is not founded 
upon a law of nature, but upon a covenant of grace, upon a gift. Hence 
therefore the Lord, when he calls a man and first works upon him, can give 
him more grace than another ; though both born of the same second Adam, 
yet the one may be born a strong man the first day, as Paul was ; the other 
a poor creature, that is growing up many years to that degree of strength. 
Why 1 Because that Christ works freely ; we are in him by virtue of a 
covenant of grace; and therefore the proportion, the degrees, how much 
grace he will bestow upon a man, and how little, it is by his own power and 
ordination. But now we are in Adam by a natural covenant : and as natural 
causes work ad ultimam potentiam, as the sun shines to the uttermost ; 
hence now Adam conveys to his posterity one and the same corruption, 
equally to all. 



But God, who 18 rich in mercy, for his great love whereivith he loved us, even 
when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, {hy 
grace ye are saved ;) and hath raised us up together, and made m5 sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. — Vee. 4-6. 

We have already sailed over one sea, that of man's corruption, a dead sea, 
as I may so caU it : and we are now entering into another, a far vaster and 
deeper, of God's love and free grace ; ' But God, who is rich in mercy, for 
his great love wherewith he hath loved us,' «fcc. 

In opening of these words, I shall pursue that method which I have used 
from the beginning. 

1. To give you the general scope, parts, and coherence of the words. 

2. To give you an exposition. And — 

3. Observations upon them. 

I. For the main general scope ; it is to set out the greatness of that love, 
mercy, and grace that is in God, as it is the fountain of salvation to all his 
elect, and this in the chiefest outward fruits and benefits of it ad extra, to- 
wards us, in three several degrees thereof. He doth take aU advantages in 
setting of it forth, to take their hearts whom he wrote to. 

He had first presented to them a map and a prospect of their sin and 
misery, in the former verses ; how they were ' dead in sins and trespasses,' 
* children of wrath,' ic, and this to prepare their hearts. Even as, suppose 
you would prepare the spirits of men condemned to die to entertain with 
the highest welcome the grace and mercy of a prince that was resolved to 
pardon them, you would first set out to them all their wretchedness and 
demerits to the full, and then exaggerate the goodness and graciousness of 
the prince in his resolutions of grace and favour towards them : so doth he 
here. A graciousness shewn not only simply in forgiving, pardoning, and 
puUing them out of that depth of misery, but in raising and advancing them, 
and setting them up upon the highest pinnacle and top of honour ; raising 
them .up from death, and a death in sin, to sit together in heavenly places 
in Christ Jesus, or with Christ Jesus. Such a story as this, were it told but to 
standers-by, but as that which concerned other men and not themselves, it 
would wonderfully affect them, and cause them to faU down in admiration 
of that superexcelling grace in him that should deal so with miserable and un- 
worthy creatures subjected to his wrath. But when the men the story is 
uttered of are the persons themselves that hear it, and the objects of all this 
grace, how must this needs transport them ! 

Now after he had forelaid and inlaid the description of their misery, he 
sets out the mercy of God in the most taking way. 

He first brings it in with a but of some hidden and secret design to remedy 
all this, that that God whom he had said had elected and predestinated, con- 
trived our salvation according to the counsel of his wUl, having mercy in 
him ; a,hut oi an admiration and astonishment in himself, of excess and 

EpH. II. 4-G.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 141 

abundance of grace in God, and reservation of a superabounding liappinesa 
iiitended to them : ' But God,' saith he. 

And at the second word, he names him that is the subject of all this 
goodness, and the designer and author of all this happiness to them, to the 
end they might have him in their eye, even from the first : ' But God.' 

My brethren, I appeal to you : if you had first only heard the story of 
your natural condition and the desert of it, from an ambassador sent from 
heaven, and he had done nothing but laid open to you the woeful, rueful, 
wretched condition that you are in, with all the punishment God had threat- 
ened to inflict and you had deserved ; and his last words had been, conclud- 
ing you under the wrath of the great God, ' children of wrath,' as here ; and 
then should have gone, and further said, ' But God,' and gone no further, 
and paused there for a while, your thoughts naturally would have meditated 
nothing but terror, and have thought nothing but that God, that is so dis- 
pleased with sin, that is so great a God, he will be avenged, he will destroy 
us, he will do unto us according to his wrath, and our desert. But what 
follows ? 

' But God, that is rich in mercy.^ Here is a happy turn, a beam of hope 
breaks out now to poor prisoners of hope. Here is a mine sprung, that 
neither Adam nor the angels knew ; it is a mine of mercy, a rich mine, and 
an intimation of an engagement of all that riches : for why else should it 
come in here for the pardon ? 

And this mercy in God — having laid open such a treasure both of dis- 
obedience and wrath upon this occasion — he loadeth with as great attri- 
butes and epithets. ' God,' saith he, ' who is rich in mercy.' And yet God 
might have been merciful in his nature, and we never the better for it ; he 
might also have been rich in mercy, of long-snffering and patience, and yet 
destroyed us at last ; as in Rom. ii. 4, you read of the riches of his patience 
and long-suffering, to them that treasure up wrath against the day of wrath. 
No, ' God, who is rich in mercy,' and hath ' loved us,' saith he ; special mercy 
joined with, and rooted in special love. And that love is not a new love, 
newly taken up, but it is a love which he hath borne : ' for the love wherewith 
he hath loved us,' saith he, — loved us that were thus sinful and thus wretched, 
and loved us while we were thus sinful and thus wretched, yea, from ever- 
lasting ; yea, who ordained us, thus sinful, to shew this love and mercy, ver. 
7. And he contents not himself barely to mention this love, but he loads 
that also with a new epithet, ' great love ;' contents not himself to say, 
' God, who is rich in mercy, and hath loved us ;' but, ' for the great love 
wherewith he hath loved us.' So that now, as in respect of mercy there is 
an expectation of being freed from all this misery ; so in respect of this great 
love there is an expectation raised of as great an advancement, that shall 
answer the mention of the love of so great a God, and so great a love in him. 

And when he had thus laid this foundation, both of what riches of mercy 
is in God's nature and heart, and what great love hath been in the purposes 
of his heart, in this 4th verse he goes on further to tell them what this 
mercy and love hath intended and done for them. And, stUl to take and 
affect their hearts the more, whilst he is in the midst of doing of it, he 
winds in the mention of what they were and had been, he minds them of 
that. ' God,' saith he, ' who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith 
he loved us, even when we were dead in sins ; ' so ver. 5. He repeats no 
more, but he would have them take in all that he had said in the 1st, 2d, 
and 3d verses : ' when we were dead in sins and trespasses,' ' walked accord- 
ing to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the 


air ; ' wlien we were * children of disobedience,' slaves to the devU, ' children 
of wrath by nature.' He intermingleth, as I may so say, the sense of their 
sinfulness and wretchedness in the midst of his discourse of God's gracious- 
ness and mercy, that they might be sure to carry that along in their eye, 
have inlaid thoughts of their wretchedness to affect their hearts with his 
goodness. And then, lest they should not take in and think soon enough 
of the mercy of God which he had spoken of but even now, he darts in 
another beam of God's love into their hearts under a new name, with a 
new memento to set it on. * By grace ye are saved ; ' and grace addeth 
yet to both love and mercy. It is not only great love for quantity, it is 
not only rich mercy, but it is grace also, for the freeness of it, and for the 
peculiarness of it unto them, and not to others. And when he had done 
all this, he comes to shew three degrees of advancement unto these men 
that were thus miserable and wretched, that God doth and hath bestowed 
upon them, and will bestow upon them, which they may be sure of, that 
they shall attain to and arrive at in the end. He then mentioneth, I say, 
three degrees of benefits. 

He tells them, first, that this God, thus rich in mercy, hath quickened 
them, quickened them when they were dead, and dead in sins and tres- 
passes, — for if you would restore a dead man, you must first put life into 
him, you must begin there, — quickened them both with a life of justifica- 
tion, they being dead in respect of the guUt of sin, pardoning all their sins 
out of the riches of his mercy ; and quickening them with a new spirit, with 
a new soul, with the Holy Ghost to dwell within them for ever, the same 
Spirit that dwells in Jesus Christ, and that quickened him, to quicken them, 
who was himself a quickening spirit. And quickening them also with a 
principle of life in holiness, even as the soul dwelling in the body quicken- 
eth it with a hfe. And, saith he, all this he hath done already for you, 
here in this world. But, saith he, — he means not to rest there, — there are 
two other benefits in the life to come, which are two degrees more. He 
will raise you up, saith he, at the latter day. And as a pawn and testi- 
mony of that, look upon the resurrection of Christ, and he in rising is the 
first fruits of them that rose, and ye are ' risen in him,' saith he ; in Christ 
ye are risen, when he rose. And he speaks of it as done, because he would 
shew the certainty and sureness of it. As God raised up Jesus Christ's 
body, so he wili raise up yours; yea, when Jesus Christ rose, ye were 
reckoned in him : and as God put a glory upon Christ's body when it was 
risen, so he will do upon yours at the day of judgment. And that is the 
second degree, that degree of glory the soul shall have when it meets its 
body, and is raised again at the day of judgment. But then there is a 
higher degree than this; for when the day of judgment is over, you shall, 
saith he, be placed in the midst of a sea of glory^ and have a fuU possession 
pf it, as Jesus Christ himself has. He hath placed us, saith he ; stUl to 
shew the sureness of it, he speaks as if it were done. AH that glory, saith 
he, which Jesus Christ hath, he hath it as representing you ; look what 
place he is in, you shall be in ; yea, you are now reckoned to sit there, so 
as you cannot be frustrated of it ; and your life is hid with God in Christ, 
and when Christ shall appear, who now representeth you in heaven, you 
shall be possessed of it. 

And so now you have the general scope or meaning of these words 
opened to you. 

Now then for the coherence and the parts of it. 

First; For the coherence. You see, they come in next to that of our sinful 


state, to that end and purpose to exaggerate and to heighten the riches of 
the glory of the mercy and love of God in Christ, and also of that glory 
which in Christ God hath ordained unto us. 

Now the scope being an exaggeration of the mercy and grace of God 
every way, these are the parts of it : — 

First, He sets out what in God is the most inward and original cause o^ 
all this, which he would have magnified, by three names, mercy, love, grace; 
to which, if you will, may be added, kindness, out of ver. 7. 

Secondly, He ascribes unto all these the most heightening epithets. 
To mercy he addeth ' riches ; ' to love he addeth ' greatness; ' to grace, ' ex- 
ceeding riches,' ver. 7. * God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love where- 
with he hath loved us.' He sets all these out. 

Thirdly, By minding us of the condition we were in, when God thus did 
Bhew mercy to us. ' Even,' saith he, ' when we were dead in sins.' 

Fourthly, To take our hearts the more, he sets it out by the benefits we 
are advanced to, which are three. We are quickened with Christ; risen 
with Christ ; sit together with Christ in heavenly places. And — 

Last of all. That Christ may be magnified, and have a praise in it, as he 
is God-man, Mediator, as well as God, he saith that all this is done in 
Christ, and with Christ, as the instrumental cause, and representative head, 
and meritorious cause of all this. 

And so now you have the parts of these words. 

II. I shall now begin the exposition of them, and run over every one of 
them severally and apart. 

But. — It refers to that God, chap, i., that had predestinated, &c. Jerome 
saith that this same but is superfluous, and he would have it blotted out, 
and thinks it crept into the copy, as it were, unawares. But it is a word 
which ushereth in a great turn, he having mentioned the state of nature 
before, and sets an emphasis upon all that follows. And you shall find 
that upon the like occasion phrases akin to this come in, which we all 
translate hut. Paul having spoken of his own unregenerate condition and 
the mercy shewn him by God as then, comes in with the like hut when 
he would magnify the mercy shewn him, in 1 Tim. i. 13: 'I was a blas- 
phemer, a persecutor, and injurious; hut I obtained mercy.' Likewise, 
Tit. iii. 4, you shall find the like hut comes in, and upon the very same 
occasion. He had described our unregenerate estate at the 3d verse, 
' We were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and 
pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But^ 
saith he, ver. 4, ' after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour to- 
wards man appeared, according to his mercy he saved us,' &c. And it is 
so far from being superfluous that, like John Baptist, it foreruns the mani- 
festation of the richest grace in God. 

It is, first, when it comes in thus, a particle of admiration, wondering at 
God in it. So in that place of Timothy, ' I was injurious, and a blas- 
phemer; but I obtained mercy.' O wonderful ! who would not have made 
a hut at me ? ' But,' saith he, ' I obtained mercy.' He ushers it in as with 
astonishment and admiration, and therefore ends his speech with a dox- 
ology, ver. 17, 'Unto the King eternal, &c., be glory for ever. Amen.' 
So here, being * dead in sins and trespasses,' and ' children of wrath ; ' 'hut 
God, who is rich in mercy,' &c. 

Secondly, It is also a hut of opposition to what might have been gene- 
rally in all men's thoughts and apprehensions; clear contrary to, and beyond 
what we could think. So in usual speech we use the particle but, when 


we turn our speech a clear contrary way. It is therefore a door of hope, 
and it makes to me the greatest in the Scripture. Suppose that, after the 
Apostle in speaking this, having concluded man's sinful condition, as here, 
with this, ' children of wrath,' which strikes into all men's souls inconceiv- 
able horror, he had mentioned God next, without this but, and there paused, 
and made a suspense of speech, and left the rest to our thoughts ; how would 
we have wildered ourselves in fears, and have thought thus with ourselves ? 
— God, that is by nature holy, as we are sinful, can behold no iniquity, and a 
God so just as in punishing and destroying the sinner he shall infinitely 
glorify himself ; a God so powerful in wrath that he is able to revenge to 
the uttermost ; and so absolute in sovereignty that we are the clay, he is 
the potter ; if therefore for our filth he throw us to destruction, we could not 
reply. Why dost thou so 1 We being so obnoxious, he could destroy us 
without an excuse. A God withal so all-sufficient and rich in. blessedness 
in himself, when he had destroyed us according to our desert, and his own 
provocation in himself thereto, could never find any loss or wimt of us, or 
he could have created new creatures. How would all our souls, like Adam's, 
have melted within us, and meditated terror ! But none of all this, but the 
quite contrary. ' But God, that is rich in mercy,' &c. There is a mine 
sprung neither Adam nor angels knew of at the first. It doth tend also to 
usher in all sorts of opposite things to what he had said before ; he had 
shewn how man is sinful, but God is merciful. Instead of sins and tres- 
passes, he is to speak of mercy ; instead of men being sinful, he is to describe 
God merciful ; man by nature sinful, but God by nature merciful. There is 
an opposition of quickening to death. When we were under the power of 
Satan, and the devil was our prince, the prince of the power of the air, now 
to come under Christ, to be quickened with him, and to ' sit with him in 
heavenly places,' so high, even when children of wrath by nature ; but ' by 
grace,' as opposed to nature, ' we be saved.' All these oppositions of aspect 
of the words that follow to what went before, this hut ushers in. 

It also comes in, when what follows exceeds what went before in a way 
of contrariety, to shew that where sin abounded grace superabounded much 
more. Man had done thus and thus, and was thus and thus ; but God in 
his work hath put down man clean in his work. ' But God, who is rich in 
mercy.' And so much now for that particle, hut. 

God. — It refers to what he had enlarged of God, chap, i., and anew ex- 
plicates the sense of it. In the second place here, he holds up God to be, 
as weU he might in this case, the sole author of all that salvation that fol- 
lows. As in Rom. xi. 35, * Who hath first given to him, and it shall be 
recompensed to him again ? for of him, and through him, and to him, are aU 
things,' especially our salvation. In 2 Cor. v. 18, 'All things are of God, who 
hath reconciled us to himself 

He comes in here with God — * but God' — as the subject of all this mercy 
and love, whom therefore we should carry along with us in our eye to magnify. 
And ' but God' is a note of specialty. So David, ' Let me fall into the hands 
of God,' — not man,-— 'for very great are his mercies,' 1 Chron. xxi. 13. 
As also, the prophet, ' Who is a God like unto thee,' — there is none else 
would have done it, — 'that pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin?' It 
is only he, being rich in mercy, and having so much mercy in him, and being 
a God of such mercy, that hath done it. ' I am God, and not man; therefore 
ye are not consumed.' But God, saith he, being rich in mercy, hence it is 
ye are saved. And by God, he means likewise the Father, as distinct from 
Christ. He maketh Jesus Christ the instrumental cause : we are quickened 

Ern. II. 4-6.] to the ephesians, 145 

in Clirist : but who quickened us 1 Gotl, saith he ; it was his contrivance 
and doing. He would have us attribute the first and chief unto God; and 
liis meaning is this, as if he had said, Now tliat I have shewn you that man 
hath done his part, and done his worst in that sinful condition he was in, 
you shall see what part God will act. ' But God,' saith he, ' who is rich in 
mercy,' &c. As also to shew that it is God alone that doth all in the mat- 
ter of salvation, which is his scope in the rest that follows, to reduce the 
creature to nothing, as the Apostle hath it, ' It is not of him that runs, or 
him that wills, but of God that sheweth mercy.' That as it is in Jer. iii. 5, 
thou hast sinned, and yet called me Father, and ' thou hast spoken and done 
evil things, as thou couldest ;' this thou hast done ; well, now, I will see 
what I can do, ver. 1 9, ' Thou shalt call me, My father, and shalt not turn 
away from me.' So the Apostle here : You were so and so, ' but God,' &c. 

God, ivho is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us. 

You see here, he speaks of the causes of our salvation, mercy and love. 
In opening of this, I shall first give you the distinction betiveeu merci/ and 

I begin with love; his shewing mercy is resolved into it. It is a desire 
to communicate good, the chiefest good, unto the creature ; but mercy is to 
pull the creature out of a depth of misery. The object of God's love is the 
creature simply considered; the object of mercy is the creature fallen into 
misery. So that mercy superaddeth this to love, that it respects the creature 
in misery. Parents, they love their children simply as they are their chil- 
dren ; but if they be fallen into misery, then love works in a way of pity ; 
love is turned into mercy. So that now yon see, I say, the difference in a 
word between these two, that mercy respecteth misery, and hath properly 
misery for its object. You have that notable place for this, in Rom. xi. 32, 
' God hath shut up all together in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon 
all.' Mercy therefore respecteth those that are thus shut up under unbelief. 

The second thing that I would hold forth for the opening of these two is 
this, why mercy and love are here both brought in ? It is not mercy only, and 
one would have thought that had been enough, when he would speak of our 
salvation, but he also mcntioneth love ; and why 1 

1. Because mercy only resjoecteth misery, as I said before ; it goes no further 
simply as mercy than the relieving those that are in misery out of their 
misery. And because that we had a treasury and a depth of misery, he 
therefore mentions a treasury and riches of mercy. There was a treasury of 
wrath, which we being children of wrath had heaped up ; therefore he men- 
tions a treasury of mercy. But, I say, mercy only respecteth pulling out of 
misery, and would have gone no further, simply as mercy. But now that, as 
an addition thereto, these persons delivered out of this depth of misery 
should be advanced to the same state and condition that Jesus Christ in 
heaven hath, that they should sit together in heavenly places with him; 
mercy alone would not have carried us thither, if mercy had not been winged 
with love, if love had not been mingled with and added to it ; yea, a muni- 
ficence of love, yea, a greatness of love. Mercy causeth a king to j)ardon a 
traitor ; but if he shall take this traitor and advance him to the highest 
dignity, place him with him in the throne, as it were, this must needs be 
from love too ; this is a superadding in that respect unto mercy. 

Obs. — Let me affect your hearts with this consideration. That God hath 
done more for us infinitely than for the angels : he shews love to them; 
they are vessels of honour, whom he hath loved and taken up unto glory; 
but they are not vessels of mercy : but now in saving of men he brings in 



both, mercy and love too ; ' God, being rich in mercy, for the great love 
wherewith he loved us.' 

2. Love is added to mercy here, to shew the extent and the greatness of his 
shelving mercy; for that dependeth much upon love. If one be merciful only 
out of a virtue that is in him, or out of a duty, then so far as that virtue 
will carry him, he will shew mercy. As now, take a merciful man that is 
rich in mercy, — if we may so express it of men, as the Apostle doth, ' rich in 
faith,' — that hath a gi'eat deal of tenderness of bowels in him ; let him meet 
with a man in misery, it will draw out his bowels to shew that man mercy, 
so far as mere mercy, as it is a virtue, will carry him. Mark, for this is 
a distinct thing to the former ; but if it light upon a person whom he 
loveth, then, besides the virtue or grace of mercy in him, mercy is infinitely 
more intended, comparatively, to him, than when he shews mercy to him 
merely out of that grace and virtue ; love then boils up mercy. As for 
example : if a pihysician that is a merciful man, and heals out of mercy, and 
takes a great deal of pains with a sick person even out of that grace and 
virtue, yet if his wife should be sick, or his child whom he loveth, here now 
mercy would be intended, here mercy would be heightened. Now, saith the 
Apostle, this is the case of God ; he is not simply merciful out of mercy, but 
he is merciful out of love, loving the persons he shews mercy unto. And 
therefore in the Scripture he is said to be merciful as a father, — Ps. ciii. 13, 
' Like as a father pjitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear 
him,' — yea, as a mother. He is merciful, not singly out of a principle of 
mercy only, but out of love also, which therefore intendeth, heighteneth 
mercy, draws it out so much the more, makes it the more active. If God 
hath riches of mercy, and love hath the command of that treasury, how 
profuse will love be to those that are in misery ! Now, saith he, ' God, who 
is rich in mercy,' and besides that, he hath ' loved us with a great love.' Yea — 

3. For explication, what is the reason, let me add this as a reason why 
both these are thus joined together here : That the foundation of God's shew- 
ing mercy is his love* So, if you mark it, the Apostle lays it : ' God,' saith 
he, 'who is rich in mercy j' but that alone would not have done it, there- 
fore he adds, ' for the great love wherewith he loved us.' And you shall 
find the like in many other places, as in that Tit. iii. 4, 5, which I quoted 
before, where having laid open our natural condition, he comes in with the 
same hid that he doth here. ' But the kindness and love of God our Saviour 
appeared ; according to his mercy he hath saved us.' For love, I say, is the 
foundation in God of his shewing mercy. That I may open and explain thia 
to you, for it is a thing of much consideration and help to us : — 

Mercy in God and man differs thus : that mercy in man, go take the in- 
ward compassion of it, the inward affection in the heart, it always worketh, 
whether one love the party, or not love him, so that if he be in misery, and 
it be in a man's power to help him, and it be lawful to help him, there is a 
pity within a man stirs him, and doth as it were command him to help that 
man, draws it forth to do it. Homo misericors, semper misericors. And 
mercy in man, if he shews mercy merely out of mercy, and out of no other 
affection joined with it, it works equally, is equally compassionate to men in 
like condition. But mercy in God, you must know, is drawn out, though it 
be his nature, by his wiU ; he pardoneth whom he will : ' I will have mercy 
on whom I will have mercy.' Therefore he pardoneth great sinners, when 
he lets others that are smaller perish. Nay, the compassion itself doth not 
necessarily work in God, but it depends upon an act of his will, though 

* Vide Sermon IL 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 147 

mercy be his nature. If God liad been merciful to no sinner, but bad damned 
all men and angels that had sinned, and had done it with wrath and revenge, 
yet he had been as merciful as now he is, take his nature. So that our sal- 
vation must be resolved into some other principle than simply his being 
merciful. And therefore, by the way, when we say that mercy is nature in 
God, the meaning of it is this, that it is suited to him, it is that which he 
doth Avith the greatest delight, — as men do actions of nature, — wherein he hath 
no reluctancy. The meaning is not that this mercy works naturally and 
necessarily, for had not he set his heart to love, had not his will been set 
upon it, not an angel or a man that sinned had ever had a drop of mercy 
from him, though he is thus full and thus rich in mercy. So that though 
God is rich in mercy, yet there must be love also as the foundation. That 
which moved him to be merciful to any was his love pitched upon them ; 
and having first pitched his love upon them, then, he seeing them in misery, 
love stirs up mercy. In that he did resolve to be merciful to any creature, it 
is not simply an act of his nature, but it doth depend upon his will : though 
he had in his nature this riches of mercy, yet we had not been saved if it 
had not been the good pleasure of his will, and that love had been added to 
all that mercy ; all the mercy that is in him would never else have flown 
forth from him. But — 

^ They both here come in, not only to shew that his love was the cause 
why he resolved to shew mercy ; but that those to whom he meant to shew 
mercy, his love guides and directs Mm to it. His love had first singled out 
certain persons whom he meant to shew mercy to ; and love did guide 
the channel which way mercy should run. And therefore you shall find in 
Scripture that election obtains it. ' Jacob have I loved,' saith he. And that 
is the reason why he shews mercy to any, ' that the purpose of God, accord- 
ing to election, might stand,' Rom. ix. 11. So as indeed divines do make 
mercy but the remote cause of salvation, but love to be the fundamental. 
And this is true, whether we hold that he loved men when they were con- 
sidered in the pure mass of creatures, or in the corrupt mass, as they are 
considered since ; still, I say, love is that that did guide mercy ; why mercy 
should be conveyed to these souls, and not nnto others, it w^as because he 
loved them, it was from his love first pitched upon them. 

I shall now come to some observations, for I see I must reserve that of 
the riches of this mercy, and the greatness of this love, to which something 
must be spoken, to another discourse. 

First, you see there is a love which he hath shewn us, which, I say, is the 
ground of all his mercy to us, though he is merciful in his nature. The first 
observation then that I make of it is this : — 

Obs. 1. — Let the love of God be the greatest thing in your hearts, the 
nearest thing to your souls of all else, the greatest thing which in your eye you 
do pursue. It is the first thing in God laid the foundation of good, and it is 
the highest thing to be attained to, and to be pursued after by us. Of all things 
in God, value his love, and seek after that; let, I say, the desires of your 
souls be pointed unto it, God's love is the greatest thing of all the rest, it 
is more than all his benefits. The love of Christ was more than his suffer- 
ings, and his sufferings were more than his benefits ; and the love of God 
is more than all his gifts, and yet he hath given great things to us, and 
done great things for us. Amor est privium donum; his love is the first 
gift, as one well saith, in the gift of which all things else are yours. The 
gift of his Son was a great gift, but it was founded in his love. ' He so 
loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son.* Though we, being 


sinners, need mercy, that is the next thing we want, and therefore we look to 
it — Oh, mercy, mercy! — because we apprehend ourselves in misery. But do 
you look beyond mercy, and look to love, wliich is a greater thing to you 
than mere}', raiseth and enlargeth mercy, and when mercy hath done with 
you, will do more, or as much for you as mercy hath done, and guideth 
mercy. The reason why mercy ran into your hearts, and washed you with 
the blood of Christ, is because that love guided the channel. To seek after 
mercy, this self-love and the misery thou art in will make thee do. Oh, but 
there is somewhat else, saith a good soul ; it is the love of God, and the 
favour of God, that I would see ; and it is not self-love that ever will carry 
a man on to seek that. And what is the reason that this chiefly is the pur- 
suit of a soul spiritualised? One reason among others is this : because grace 
is always the image of God's heart ; now this being the chief thing in God's 
heart, and the first thing, and the highest thing, hence therefore the soul 
seeks that ultimately and chiefly. 

Ohs. 2. — Secondly, if you ask me what love it is that I would have you prize 
and value, and what love it is that is here meant ; it is everlasting love. 
* For the great love wherewith he hath loved .us,' saith the Apostle, not 
wherewith he doth love us. It is everlasting love that is the cause of all the 
mercies we have. Jer. xxxi. 3, ' I have loved thee with an everlasting love,' 
— there you have the phrase too ; so the Apostle here, ' wherewith he hath 
loved us ;' this hath reaches as high as to eternity, — ' therefore,' saith he, 
' with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.' Will you know the reason why 
God callcth you, Avhy he saveth you ? It is this, I have loved you with an 
everlasting love. It is not a love that God doth begin to set upon you then 
when you are first called; no, it is a love taken up from everlasting. He 
had a love in him to you before he g'ave Jesus Christ, — that is, before the 
consideration of giving Jesus Christ as to die for us : ' God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only-begotten Son.' And Jesus Christ had a love in 
him too ; he loved us before he gave himself for us : Gal. ii. 20, ' Who loved 
me, and gave himself for me.' And so, before he calleth us, and converteth 
us, love, you see, this eternal love of God, is the foundation of all ; and so 
the Apostle resolves it here: 'for the great love wherewith he loved us.' 

Obs. 3. — Thirdly, give me leave but in a word to vent that which I think 
is a truth, — it is a controversy amongst divines, and some take one part, and 
some another, and what is here said is to me an evidence of it amongst others, 
■ — that in the order of God's decrees, for he speaks here of everlasting love in 
God, he doth set his love upon the creature ; that is first, and in that respect 
chooseth the creatures whom he meant to make and whom he would set him- 
self to love, not under the consideration of fallen, but in that pure mass as 
yet not fallen. And his shewing mercy comes in but to shew how much love 
he meant to shew to such creatures as he had chosen and singled out; and 
therefore he lets them fall into sin, that so he might be merciful. He 
resolved to shew so much love t-o those he had chosen and set liimself to 
love, with so great a love he loved them, that look what way soever would 
be best to set forth that love, those ways he would take to choose. 

Now, thinks he, if I should simply love them, and take them up to heaven, 
and there give them such and such a glory, this indeed would shew love, 
and infinite love. But is there any way else how love may be shewn ? Yes, 
if I permit and sufi"er these creatures to fiiU into miser}^, I shall shew love 
in a way of mercy to them. So that noAV our falh'ng into sin, and his giving 
Christ to die for us, and all these things, they are but to commend that love 
which he first pitched upon us as we are creatures whom he meant to make 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 149 

SO glorious, and whom he meant so to love. Indeed, in Eom. v. 8, it is true, 
the Apostle saith that God comniendeth his love towards us, that whilst we 
were yet enemies Christ died for us. But, if you mark it, he doth not say 
that he set his love ujjon us in the consideration of our being enemies ; but 
whilst we were enemies he commended his love towards us ; so he did in 
his decrees order it that he would commend his love towards us by this. 
But now that consideration which he had of us, or that act pitched first, was 
an act of love. Only let me give you this with it, that at the first he resolved 
to shew love in a way of mercy. As he resolved to shew his justice upon 
wicked men in a way of wrath, so he resolved to shew his love in a way of 
mercy. And therefore, as in the counsels of God all things are at once, so 
we must conceive it he resolved, at the same time when he thus set his love 
upon us, to permit our falling into sin, and so mercy be shewn. 

But still, if you ask what act it was — whether our election was an act of 
mercy or an act of love ; I answer clearly, as a great divine dutli who hath 
spent much to the clearing of it, it was an act of love. It was his decree to 
shew mercy ; but this act was not out of mercy, it was out of love, and out 
of good-will j to manifest which love he was resolved to shew mercy, there- 
fore he lets man fall. Election, I say, is an act of love rather than of mercy. 
Mark the coherence here, ' God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love where- 
with he hath loved us.' God being merciful in his nature, having pitched 
an act of love upon us, when he saw us fall into misery his bowels turned; 
but he loved us first. That mercy is mentioned first is because it suited our 
condition ; it is not because it was that attribute out of which the act of 
election proceeded, though in election thert was a purpose to shew love in a 
way of mercy. 

The observation of a great divine is this : Saith he, ' Run over the whole 
Scripture, and you shall find indeed the calling of a saint is attributed unto 
mercy. Why? Because God calls him that is fallen into sin, and therefore 
there is mercy in it : as in 1 Tim. i. 13, " But I obtained mercy ;" 1 Pet. ii. 10 ; 
Rom. xi. 31, 32. You shall find likewise,' saith he, ' remission of sins is attri- 
buted unto mercy, — I mean the act of remission, and the exercise of it, — in 
Luke i. 78, 79, Matt, xviii. 33. So likewise regeneration, as here, and in 1 
Pet. i. 3, and in Tit. iii. 5. So the actual bestowing of glory, Jude, ver. 21, &c. 
There is only one place,' saith he, 'and that is Piom. ix. 16, which seemeth to 
make election an act of mercy. " It is not of him that willeth, nor of him 
that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." But the truth is, election is 
not in the text there; he doth not say, election is not of him that willeth, nor 
of him that runneth ; but his business is salvation. " It is not of him that 
willeth," — that is, salvation is not, — " but of God that sheweth mercy.'" And 
if it be said, ' He hath mercy upon whom he will have mercy,' his answer is 
this : saith he, that is in election. He grants God decrees to shew love in a 
way of mercy ; and because that is the issue, because that they are saved bj'' 
a way of mercy, therefore they are called also vessels of mercy. But still 
that out of which election proceedeth is not simply the attribute of mercy. 
And he gives this exceeding clear and good instance : — ' God,' saith he, ' is 
omnipotent, yet that God decreed to shew his power is not an act of omni- 
potency : so God is wise, but to decree to shew forth his viisdom is not 
simply to be resolved as an act of wisdom. So likewise here, God is merci- 
ful, &c. ; but the purpose to shew all these attributes forth is resolved into 
his love.' This must needs be said, which I beseech you to take along with 
you, that to shew forth riches of mercy was the final cause of his decree, he 
had that in his aim and in his eye ; but it was his will, and it was his love^ 


out of "whicli this proceeded and which he first pitched upon us, that moved 
him thereunto. 

And so much now for that point, which I have spoken to but briefly, and 
perhaps more obscurely. It is, I say, a point of controversy, which I will 
not enter into, to handle all the particulars of it. 

A fourth observation which I would make upon these words, which also is 
of great use to us, is this : — 

Ohs. 4. — That there is a love in God to us even when we are sinners, when 
we are in our natural estate, out of which love he calls us, and pulls us out 
of that condition. It is a strange thing that men should stumble at this. 
Say they, How can any be children of wrath, children of the curse, and yet 
be at the same time loved by God ? Is there any such thing in all the Scrip- 
ture ? Why, it is here in my very text clearly and plainly : saith the Apostle, 
' When we were dead in sins and trespasses, children of wrath, God, who is 
rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us,' namely, when we 
were thus. The want of reconciling these two hath been the cause of I know 
not how many errors in the world, and is to this day. What say the Armi- 
nians ? This is their great argument, you shall find it in that Anti-Synod of 
Dort : If that God loved men from everlasting, and if God be reconciled to 
them, what need Christ have died 1 And the Socinians argue just the same. 
To give them an answer, if you will, in a word; and then, secondly, to shew 
how both these may stand together, that we may be chikhen of wrath, and 
that yet God love us — 

I answer to them, first, thus : Christ died to manifest his love. Tit. iii. 4 . 
We were thus and thus ' hateful, and hating one another. But after that the 
kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared,' then he saved 
us, ' according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration.' So that now, for 
the appearing and manifestation of that love it was that he gave Jesus Christ 
to die ; for the appearance and manifestation of that love to the soul it is that 
he calleth him. And therefore you have that in Rom. v. 8, ' God hereby com- 
mended his love towards us, that whilst we were sinners Christ died.' It is 
an express scripture for this. It was not that he did then begin to love us, 
or doth begin to love us when we are called, but that love which he had 
taken up in his heart to us was so great, that giraig Christ, and all else, is 
but to commend it, to set it out. So that if you ask. Why did Christ die, 
and why did God all this, if he loved us already 1 I answer. He doth it that 
his love may appear, he doth it to commend his love. I have often said it, 
that Christ died but to remove obstacles ; but the radical love, out of which 
God did give Christ, was pitched before. 

Now, is it not an ordinary thing for a father that Ids child shall be a child 
of wrath to him, whilst he goes on in such a course, — that is, consider him 
as he is in that course, according to his fatherly wisdom he can proceed no 
otherwise with him but in wrath, — yet all that while so to love him as to set 
all ways on work to bring him in 1 Did not David deal so with Absalom ? 
In 2 Sam. xiii., when Absalom was run from him, and entered into a rebel- 
lion against him, he, as he was a wise king, could do no otherwise in that 
condition but proceed against him as a rebel, unless he came in and submitted 
himself. But what doth David do 1 He subonieth a woman, at least Joab 
doth, and David was well pleased with it, for Joab saw the king's heart was 
towards him ; but suppose David himself suborned Joab to do what he did, 
that he might have a fair come-oflF, and manifest his love to his son. If 
David had done so — why, God himself did so. We were fallen into that 
condition that we were children of wrath, but yet there was a love to us that 

Eph. II. 4-G.] to the ephesians. 151 

lay bid in his heart all the while, and he goes and snborneth Josiis Christ, if 
I may so sjieak ; and Christ comes but to remove all the obstacles that lay 
in the way of justice, that he might be just and the justificr of them that 
believe in Jesus. If we will have another answer, How can we be children 
of wrath, and yet God love us 1 I ask again. How was Jesus Christ a curse 
when he hung upon the cross, and yet at the same time to be loved with 
the greatest love 1 According to such rules as God will proceed by at the 
latter day, if men remain in their natural condition, they are children of 
wrath ; but according to what his everlasting purposes are, even these chil- 
dren of wrath he loves, and hath loved. 

I will give you a distinction which will salve all, and it is a good one. 
There is amor henevolentice and amor amicitice. While men remain in their 
natural estate, and are children of wrath, he may bear towards them amor 
henevolentice — a love of good- will ; but whilst they remain in their natural con- 
dition, he hath not a7nor amicitice to them — a love of friendship, in which he 
doth comnnmicate himself to them. But, I say, he may have a love of good- 
will, which yet is the foundation of the other, and will in time cause the other 
to break forth. And what is the reason that he hath not a love of complacency, 
nor a love of mutual friendship, and that we are not said to be reconciled to 
God till we do believe 1 Because it is not fit for God upon those terms to 
communicate himself to us, to open his heart, and to unbosom himself; but 
when the time comes, that love of good- will which he beareth to us will break 
forth into a love of friendship, and he will take us into covenant with himself, 
and then the kindness and love of God towards man appeareth, as the text 
saith, Tit. iii. 4. 

Obs. 5. — Fifthly, I make this observation from hence likewise : That God 
in his love jntcheth upon persons. ' For the great love wherewith he loved 
its,' saith he. God doth not pitch upon propositions only; as to say, I 
will love him who believeth, and save him, as those of the Arminian opinion 
hold ; no, he pitcheth upon persons. And Christ died not for propositions 
only, but for persons ; he knows his sheep by their names : Jer. xxxi. 3, 
' I have loved thee with an everlasting love ;' and, Piom. xi. 7, ' The elec- 
tion hath obtained it, and the rest were hardened.' My brethren, God loved 
us distinctly, and he loved us nakedly ; let me express it so in a word : — 

He loved our persons distinctly ; that is, singling out and designing whom. 
Not only so many, — I will love so many of mankind as shall fill up the places 
of the angels that fell, as some have imagined, — but he sees who they are 
distinctly. The Lord knows who are his ; the text is express : ' Jacob have I 
loved,' — he names him, — ' and Esau have I hated.' ' Ptejoice not,' saith Christ, 
'that the spirits are made subject unto you, but that your names are written 
in heaven.' In Exod. xxxiii. 19, where God saith, 'I will have mercy on 
whom I will have mercy,' he speaks it upon occasion of having peculiar 
mercy to Moses ; and therefore the Apostle pertinently quotes it in Rom. ix. 
15, for election of persons. 

And, secondly, he loved us nakedly; he loved us, not ours. It was not 
for our faith, nor for anything in us ; ' not of works,' saith the Apostle ; no, 
nor of faith neither. No, he pitcheth upon naked persons ; he loves you, 
not yours. Therefore here is the reason that his love never fails, because it 
is pitched upon the person, simply as such. I will love such a one, let his 
condition be what it will be; if he fall into sin, I will fetch sin out of him 
again, that I may delight in him. The covenant of grace is a covenant of 
persons, and God gives the person of Christ to us, and the person of the 
Holy Ghost to us; he chooseth our persons nakedly and simply as such. 


Ohs. 6. — Lastly, All the attributes in God are subjected to his love, and 
that is the great prevailing attribute that sways all. You see in the text that 
it sways mercy; for the reason that God is merciful to one man and not to 
another is, because he first loved this man and not the other. It is love, I 
say, that is the prevailing attribute; and what way love goes, all attributes 
else go, mercy and power, &:c. And therefore it is observable that when in 
the first chapter, ver. 19, he had begun to speak of that power that wrought 
in Christ in raising him from the dead, and said that the same power work- 
eth in us ; in this chapter, where he comes to make up the reddition of his 
speech, he should according to the common course have said, God, being great 
in power, hath quickened us, and raised us up together with Christ. No, he 
mentioneth mercy and love, rather than power. Why? Because power is at 
love's beck in this. So that here our salvation lies, that God pitcheth an 
everlasting love upon men ; and when he hath thus loved them, if they fall 
into misery, he is merciful, and love sets that on work ; if there be a difficulty, 
then love seta power on work : and so, look which way love goes, all attributes 
else go ; and if you have love, you have all things else in God, they are all 
swallowed up in love. And therefore it is observable, that God in a peculiar 
manner is said to be love, 1 John iv, 8. I know not that the like is said of 
any other attribute ; and the reason is this : because that to one that he doth 
love, he is nothing else but love ; for mercy, and power, and justice, and Avis- 
dom, and all, they all work together in a way of subordination to love, that 
when a man looks u\)0\i all these attributes, they all appear in love, that God 
is nothing but love to that man. If I look upon his wisdom, it appears to 
me set ou work by love, to exalt and magnify his love. If I look upon his 
power, it is all swallowed up in love, in respect of his manifestation of it to 
me ; for I take it, when he saith in that place of John that God is love, he 
speaks not essentially of that attribute, but of the manifestation of it. 

And so much now for the opening of this, why mercy and love are here 
joined, and why that love is made the foundation of his shewing mercy, with 
such observations as arise out of it. There are two things yet behind, which 
are the glory of all the rest in this text, and that is, that this mercy that is in 
God, set on work by love, it is a rich mercy; and that this love wherewith 
he did from everlasting love us, and that is the foundation of all, it is a great 
love. * God, that is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he hath loved 
ua.' But I must refer that to the next discourse; 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 153 


But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love whereivith he loved us, even 
ivhen we were dead in sins, hath quickened its together with Christ, (Jyy 
grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit to- 
gether in heavenly 'places in Christ Jesus. — Ver. 4—6. 

The Apostle in the former verses having given a fall and exact description 
of man's misery by nature and in the state of nature, both by reason of sin 
and the wrath of God that is due thereunto, begins here to set out the 
greatness of that love and that mercy in God which is the cause and the 
fountain of our salvation. And he sets it out, as I shewed you the last dis- 
course, when I ran over the series of all these three verses, in the most taking 
and most advantageous way, and in the greatest truth. I shall not repeat 
what I then delivered. 

I came to the exposition of the words, and what I shall now say will be 
some little addition, as I go along, to what then was said. 

But God. — Besides what I said of this particle but in the last discourse, I 
only add this, indeed as the main thing, that it serveth to nsher in, not only 
a great turn, the greatest turn that ever was, — it doth not only usher in tlie 
notice of a remedy to misery, that there is balm in Gilead that may be had, 
because that God is merciful, and that is his nature, and that therefore he 
maybe merciful to us, and so that there is hope concerning this thing, — but 
it ushers in and gives the intimation of a forelaid intention in God, of a 
contrivement and design beforehand taken up and set upon, whereby God 
had beforehand prevented all the mischief and all the danger that was like 
to arise from the misery and sin which the elect were fallen into. He had 
laid such a design as all this misery and sinfulness that the elect ones had 
fallen into should be so far from undoing them, that it shall but serve to set 
out that love the more ; and so the words that follow do evidently shew. 
' But God, for the love wherewith he loved us ; ' he hath loved us and chosen 
us out of love from everlasting, and hath shewed it in this, by triumphing 
over all that misery, that even ' Avhile we were dead in sins and trespasses, 
he hath quickened us,' &c. And it is a love not only which mercy and pity 
stirs up, after he had seen us thus miserable ; but it is a love that having 
been so great, and so long borne to us, and first pitched on us, that it stirred 
up mercy and bowels to us in this misery ; for so, if you mark it, the words 
run : ' God,' saith he, ' who is rich in mercy,' — there is his nature, — ' for his 
great love wherewith he loved us.' And not only so, but this love being 
seated in a nature infinitely rich in grace and mercy, had conspired with 
mercy, and contrived the depth of misery, to extend that riches. On them 
so great a love had set itself, even to this end, as in the 7 th verse, ' that in 
ages to come he might shew forth the exceeding riches of his grace, in kind- 
ness and love to us.' And thus also in Titus iii., that hut even now men- 
tioned ushers in, upon the like occasion, the like reserve or design beforehand 
laid, to glorify love and goodness. But when the kindness of God and love 


to man appeared ; namely, when tliat love, taken up by liim long before 
this sinfulness he spake of in the verses before, hath lain hid as it were in 
ambushment, letting you march on in sinfid ways under Satan's banners ; 
that in the end appears and prevents all that misery, and rescues you out 
of it. There is, I say, a kind of ambushment, if I may so express it, a way- 
laying of all that sin and misery the elect fell into. 

And how many such buts of mercy, lying in wait to deliver and save us 
out of great and strong evils, did we meet with in our lives 1 And this but 
here, of this great salvation, is the great seal and ratification, or Ante signa- 
mus, of all the rest. To this purpose you may observe that oftentimes in 
the New Testament, when mention is made of God's ordaining us unto 
salvation, this phrase is used, he did it ' from the beginning.' So it is 
in 2 Thess. ii. 13 : 'God,' saith he, 'hath from the beginning chosen you 
to salvation ; ' that is, he had beforehand, even from the beginning, set 
his love upon you, so that all that sinful estate you have since run into 
should be no prejudice nor damage to you. And it comes in here, as if that 
a company of men, whom a king or a prince loveth, or children Avhom a 
father's heart is set upon, are permitted and let alone to run into the highest 
rebellion, to do as evil as they could, as the phrase is, Jer. iii. 5, so that by 
the law they are dead men, men undone, men of death and condemnation, 
there is no hope for them : hut — but that the king, as he is merciful in his 
nature, and so apt to pardon any, so besides he hath had his heart set upon 
it, and it is but his design, to shew his princely grace the more in pardoning 
them and advancing them to higher dignities upon it. 

But God. — And God cometh in also here, besides what I mentioned in the 
last discourse, to shew that all salvation is from him, he is the sole author 
and founder of it; as in Rom. ix. 16, 'It is not of him that willeth, nor of 
him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy : ' so here, ' But God, that 
is rich in mercy.' 

I came in the next place, for the opening of the words, to shew you th( 
difference between mercy, and love, and grace ; for you have all those three 
in these three first verses. Love is a desire to communicate good unto us, 
simply considered as we are creatures ; but mercy respecteth us as we are 
fallen into sin and misery, as we are dead in sins and trespasses. And then 
that of grace, as I shall open in its due place, adds but this, a freeness unto 
both. Love and mercy freely bestowed, that is called grace in either. 

Also, for explication's sake, I shewed you why the Apostle doth not con- 
tent himself to name mercy only, or love only, as the cause of our salvation, 
but that he addeth love to mercy. I gave you two reasons for it, in a word. 
If he had named mercy only, that respecting misery, it might be thought 
that that would but relieve us out of misery. But because he mentioneth not 
only a deliverance out of the misery we lay in by nature, which mercy doth, 
but the highest advancement besides, to sit together with Christ in heavenly 
places ; therefore he mentioneth love. It comes in likewise, in the second 
place, to intend and make mercy the greater; for when mercy cometh out of 
love, and not simply out of a virtue of mercy, if a father be of a merciful 
disposition, he will pity any one out of a vktue of mercy in him, but he will 
pity his son out of love. 

Then again, for the further explication and imderstanding of this, I told 
you, that of the two, the main and the primitive cause is love ; for so, if you 
observe it, the text implies. ' God, being rich in mercy,* saith he, ' for his 
great love : ' it is resolved into love. To explain this — 

In the first place, you may observe here, that God's being merciful is men- 

EpH. II. 4-C.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 155 

tioned but as his nature and disposition, which may be wrought upon ; but 
love comes in, as having passed an act of his will, set upon us. For, my 
brethren, had God had never so much mercy in his nature, never so much 
goodness and h)vingness as he hath, yet if it had not been a full act of love, 
through his will pitched upon us, we had never been the better. Our salva- 
tion doth not only depend upon mercy, but upon love ; and not only upon 
the love of his nature, but upon an act of love, a love set upon us with his 
will and heart. It is not an indefinite disposition of mercy in him, as it is 
said of the kings of Israel that they were merciful kings ; but that which 
our salvation depends upon — though upon that also — is this, that an act of 
love hath determined this mercy, engaged this mercy. 

I shewed you likewise that it is rather an act of love than of mercy. 
That first act of election is indeed to shew mercy, but not so properly out of 

Then, thirdly, love is said to be the cause for this reason also, because that 
love is it which directs mercy to the persons; love singles out the persons, 
and so they become vessels of mercy. 

The next thing I explained and observed in the last discourse was, the 
circumstance of time here. Pie doth not say, God that doth love us, as he 
that began to love us when he first called us, or loveth us now he hath called 
us; but, God that hath loved us. I gave you a like scripture for it, in 
Jer. xxxi. 3, 'I loved thee with an everlasting love;' which, I told you, hath 
two things principally in it, and both are intended here in this ' hath loved 
us,' Avhich is a love before conversion, and causeth conversion. 1. For the 
time, for the beginning of it, it is a Jove from everlasting ; and, 2. it is a 
love continued all the while, from everlasting, even till the time of one's 

The last thing I came to in the last discourse is this, us; 'hath loved us.' 
He hath not only put forth an act or purpose of love at random, indefinitely, 
that he would love some of us, or that he would love mankind, but us deter- 
minatively. As it was not merely the natural disposition of love and 
mercy in God that was the cause of our salvation, but an act of his will put 
forth; so is it not an act of mere velleity, or an indefinite act, that he would 
save some, but it is us ; he resol.ed upon the persons whom he would save, 
he resolved upon them distinctly and nakedly : loved them distinctly, by 
name ; and nakedly, that is, loved their persons, without the consideration 
of any qualification whatsoever. 

And so now I have done the explanation of these words in a plain and 
brief manner. I reserved two things to be handled, which I shall now des- 
patch. The one is, the greatness of this love; and the other is, the riches of 
this mercy. 

I made observations from the words thus explained in the last discourse. 
There is only one observation which I shall at this time handle, and that is 
this: — 

Ohs. — That the foundation of our salvation is an act of love, it is out of 
love ; ' for the love,' saith he, ' wherewith he loved us.' I shewed it in the 
last discourse, in distinction from mercy; that it was rather an act of love 
(the primitive act) than of mercy, which I will not now prosecute. My 
brethren, election is an act of love. I mention this because it is fundamental 
to what shall afterwards follow. The Apostle in the former chapter had 
expressed election to be an act of God's will ; ' being predestinated accord- 
ing to the counsel of his will,' saith he, ver. 11. And he calls it also an act 
of God's good pleasure ; * according to his good pleasure that he purposed 


in himself;' so ver. 5, 9. But to take their hearts the more, when he 
comes to make application to them of the misery they lay in, he terms it now 
an act of love. To make it an act of his will and good pleasure was but a 
more general thing; for by his will he worketh all things, his will is pitched 
upon everything ; and that it is an act of his good pleasure, imports rather 
the sovereignty and majesty of God, out of which he did it, and aiming at 
himself therein: but love is a condescending virtue. When a king wdl 
speak as a king, he saith it is his pleasure, and he makes it an act of his 
will; but when he calls it love, his majesty comes down then. Love doth 
import not so much the sovereignty of God in it, though it was joined with 
an act of sovereignty, aiming at his own glory; but it imports especially a 
respecting us in it; for amare is to communicate good things for the sake of 
him we love rather than our own. Now I find that election is especially 
expressed unto us by love, indeed the one is put for the other usually in the 
Scripture, both in the Old Testament and in the New. 

Take the Old Testament. When he would say he had chosen Jacob 
and refused Esau, how doth he express it ? * Jacob have I loved,' saith he. 
So in Rom. ix. 13; it is quoted out of MaL i. 2. And afterwards, when 
he Cometh to speak of the choice of the people of Israel and of their 
fathers, both Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in Deut. x. 14, 15, how doth he ex- 
press it ? ' Behold,' saith he, ' the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the 
Lord's; the earth also, with aU that therein is.' He had choice enough : 
' Only,' saith he, ' the Lord had a delight in thy fathers, to love them ; and 
he chose their seed after them.' That is, as the Septuagint there hath it, ' He 
chose to love them.' Mark it, he expresseth his choice, and sets it out by 
those sweet words, love, yea, and a delight to love them ; a love unto their 
persons, and a delight in that love. So you shall find that love and choice 
go together ; as Ps. xhii. 4, and Ps. Ixxviii. 68 : He chose the tribe of Judah, 
the inhabitants of Mount Sion, which he loved. And thus in the New Tes- 
tament also, when our Lord and Saviour Christ, who was elected by his 
Father as he was Mediator, as we are, as you have it in 1 Peter i. 20, where 
it is said that he was 'foreordained before the foundation of the world ;' how 
doth Christ himself express it ? In John xvii. 24, speaking of the glory 
given him, (therefore he speaks of predestination.) he saith, ' Thou lovedst 
me before the foundation of the world;' that is, thou gavest me this glory 
by a choice, by an election; and you see he expresseth it by love. And, 
Rom. xi. 28, they are beloved according to election. You shall therefore 
not only find election called the counsel of God, and the purpose of God, and 
the will of God; but grace joined to it, purpose and grace both jDut toge- 
ther. So in 2 Tim. i. 9, ' He hath saved us, and called us, according to 
his own purpose and grace, before the world began.' And you have a more 
express place for it in Rom. xi. 5, where it is called the ' election of grace,' 
or love, for grace there is taken for free love; the soul, the spirit of election 
lies in that act ; and therefore we are said to be chosen in Christ, which is aU 
one and to say we are loved in Christ ; for to love is to choose. 

And so now I have despatched that observation, which is previous to what 
I am to deliver afterwards. 

Now I come to those two things which I said I reserved in the last dis- 
course to be now handled ; for there is nothing remaining to be spoken to in 
this ver. 4, but, first, to shew you tlce greatness of this love; and, secondly, the 
riches of this mercij : two of the greatest subjects, if one would handle 
them as subjects, — that is, in the whole compass of all that might be said of 
them, — that the whole book of God affords. Now where is it that I must 

Ern. II. 4-6.] to the ephesians. 157 

begin? The truth is, riches of mercy offers itself first in the words; but 
we must give the prerogative to the greatness of love, because, as you heard 
before, it is the foundation of mercy. ' Itiches of mercy ' are brought in 
here as subserving his love, commanded and disposed of by his love ; for 
the reason why God lays forth riches of mercy to these and these persons, 
is because he loveth them. So then that stock, or that treasury of love, 
which the will of God was pleased to set apart first for his elect and 
children, and lay up in his own heart, this is that which I am first to speak 
unto ; you see it is in the text. And let me say this of it : we can never 
search enough into this ; Ave may pry too much into the wisdom and coun- 
sels of God, to seek a reason of his doings, but we can never pry enough 
into the love of God. It is a sea of honey, as one calls it, and if in wad- 
ing into it, we be swallowed up of it and drowned therein, it is no matter. 
And let me likcAvise profess this about it, that of all subjects else, it is of 
that nature as cannot be set out by discourse or in a rational way. It is 
part of the meaning, I thhik, of that of the Apostle in Eph. iii. 19, where 
he calleth it a love that passeth knowledge; that is, the human way of 
knowledge by way of reason and discourse, whereby we infer and gather one 
thing out of another in a rational way, and so come to the knowledge of 
them. But it is more fully the meaning of that in Eom. v. 5, ' The love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given 
unto us.' He doth not say, the love of God which he hath told us of, 
and spoken so gi-eat things of in the Scriptures, — and indeed you shall upon 
search find the Scripture to speak little of it, — but he saith, ' the love of 
God which is shed abroad in our hearts.' So as he doth not speak of a 
love which a man's understanding, by collecting one thing out of another, 
or by laying one thing to another, — as reason, yea, spiritual reason, in other 
things useth to proceed, — and so may argue to be great : but the way to 
apprehend it is, by its being shed abroad, and the report and taste of it the 
Holy Ghost makes. As the seat of God's love is his own heart, his will, 
so the receptacle thereof is not so much the understanding as the heart of 
a Chi-istian. The conscience of a man is the proper receptacle of Christ's 
blood, Avhen it sprinkleth it from evil works ; but the heart of a man is the 
seat of God's love, to be shed abroad there. And to this purpose he addeth, 
* by the Holy Ghost,' as being solely and immediately his work ; for he in 
one moment can speak more to the poorest man, of the lowest and meanest 
understanding, of the greatness of God's love than all that the Scripture 
says of it, or than all that all the divines in the world out of Scripture can 
say of it. The truth is, all discourses of God's love are in themselves dull 
and flat, compared with what representations and impressions thereof the 
Holy Ghost makes. As, take an excellent song, when it is set in prick- 
song, what a dull thing is it to what the music itself is 1 My brethren, so 
is it here. Therefore still you shall meet with such expressions as these in 
the Scripture : Come, see, and taste how good the Lord is : and, if ye have 
tasted how good the Lord is, &c. ; for the greatness of God's love is only 
known that way. 

Now to shape out a little the subject I am to speak unto ; for it is a 
great point, and would swell into many sermons if I should speak all that 
which in a discoursive way may be said of it. Neither do I purpose now 
to say all that may affect your hearts and take you with this love. No, the 
thing that I must keep to is this, to speak of that love borne to us before 
calling, before quickening, as it is the cause of our salvation ; I say, of the 
greatness of it in that respect, which is proper to what the text here saith, 


and confine myself merely to sucli things as are held forth within the com- 
pass of these three verses. 

The first whereof is this : It is great in respect of the subject and rise oj 
it. It is God that loveth us, and it is called ' his love.' For if you mark 
it, there is that little particle in the text, ' but God,' saith he ; he puts an 
emphasis upon that ; and likewise, ' his love,' saith he, ' wherewith he loved 

Secondly, The greatness of it may be set forth by what may be taken 
from the persons mentioned here upon whom this love is pitched — us ; and 
that either simply considered in our persons nakedly ; or else, secondly, in 
the condition that we were in, that we were dead in sins and trespasses : 
' even,' saith he, ' when we were dead in sins and trespasses ; ' that though 
he did not make choice first of us when we were dead in sins and tres- 
passes, yet he ordered in his decrees that that should be our condition, to 
shew forth the more love. The Apostle puts an emphasis upon it, both 
upon us, not others, and upon us in that condition, dead in sins and tres- 

Thirdly, From what those words Avill afford, ' the love wherewith he loved 
us,' which to me holds forth these three things : Here is first an act of love; 
' loved us.' Here is the time, and that is the time past ; ' hath loved us.' 
And here is, thirdly, an intimation of a special kind of love ; 'his love where- 
with he loved us." He contents not himself to say, ' for his love,' or, ' for 
that he loved us ; ' but you see he doubles it, ' for his love wherewith he 
loved us.' 

Fourthly, and the greatest of all shewn before calling, is in giving Christ. 
The Scripture runs most upon that, and indeed instanceth in almost nothing 
else, for that is enough. But you will say, this is not in the text. Yes, it 
runs all along, through every verse mentioned. For he saith, we are quick- 
ened with Christ, and in Christ, who therefore out of that love was given 
unto death for us, as chap. i. 19. And we are raised up together with him, 
and we sit together in heavenly places in him. 

Lastly, Here are the fruits of this love, which, you see, are quickening, 
raising up with Christ, sitting together in heavenly places in him. 

And these, I say, are the particulars which I shall confine myself unto, 
as those which the text suggesteth. 

Let us begin fist with the subject, and rise, and original of this love. 
He loved. ' But God, for his great love wherewith he loved us.' My 
brethren, all that I say of this is but this, that if God will fall in love, and 
is pleased and delighted to set his love on creatures, how great must that 
love be ! And whomsoever's lot it falls to, they shall have enough of it. 
God that is infinite hath an infinite love in his heart to bestow, and whoever 
it be that his will is pleased to cast that love upon, of whom it will be said, 
* he hath loved us,' it must be a great, yea, an infinite love. The fountain 
of love in God being, as was said, his goodness ; for it is in all rational 
creatures, that which makes them love is a goodness of dispcsition in them ; 
the fountain of love, as was said, is goodness, and so far as any are good, so 
far are they apt and prone to love others ; and according to the proportion 
of the goodness, so will the love be also, and accordingly the greatness of 
love in an)'. Now God, he is so good, as he is said only to be good. ' There 
is none good but God,' Matt. xix. 1 7 ; that is, with such a transcendency of 
goodness ; and therefore answerably thereunto, God is said to be love, so 
1 John iv. 8. As none is good, so there is none that loves but he — 
that is, in comparison of him. The goodness and kindness in God, yea, 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 159 

and all the goodness that is in liim, (as vcr. 7,) moved him to love 
somebody besides himself, that he might coinnmnicate his goodness to them. 
And so his will resolved to love such and such persons, for he -would not 
communicate his goodness to those Avhom he did not love ; rational, wise 
men will bo sure to love those whom they do communicate much to, and so 
did God. He also resolving to communicate ail his goodness to some, 
resolves also to love them first, and his love shall be proportionable to his 
intent of the communication of his goodness, and that to the greatness of 
that goodness in him. He meant to communicate his goodness to the crea- 
ture to the utmost ; for if he will do it, he will do it as God, or he will not 
do it at all, he will shew himself to be the chiefest good ; why then he will 
love them to the utmost, and love them like the great God too. 

There is this difference between God's lo\ing and ours : we must see a 
goodness in the creature that we love, to draw out love from us ; but all the 
love that is in him, he had it in his own power to set it where he would, 
Exod. xxxiii. 19, ' I will be gracious unto whom I will be gracious.' We 
can but love so far as our love is drawn out ; our will doth not intend love 
to the height, unless it runs out in some natural way ; but so can God say, 
I wHl have such and such, and I will bear such and so great an affection to 
them. And when be doth, so, his will shall not only cause him to com- 
municate all his goodness to them, but cause him also to do it with the 
highest love, with rejoicing over them, with delighting to love. So you 
have the phrase in that place of Deut. x. 15. Men may, and do, do good to 
others, beyond the extent of their love, for other ends ; a man's will may 
cause him to communicate good to others beyond what the proportion of 
love is in his heart. But it is not so in God : as is his goodness, so is his 
love ; therefore God is good to Israel, and he loveth Israel ; it is all one, as 
in Ps. Ixxiii. 1. 

In one w6rd, then, will you go and take the rise and the original of love 
in God, the genealogy of it, and so by that the proportion of it 1 

first. His goodness putteth him upon communicating himself, and then 
he loveth those proportionably unto whom he communicateth himself; and 
so he sets himself to love, singles out the persons. This you have in ver. 7, 
' In his kindness towards us.' Tit. iii. 4, 5, when he shews the causes of 
our salvation, as he doth here, he begins first with the same word used in 
ver. 7, a goodness, a sweetness, a pleasantness of nature in God, an heroical 
disposition of being good unto others, from whence ariseth a philanthropeia, 
a love to mankind; which, though there it be expressed indefinitely, yet 
as here and elsewhere, he pitcheth upon particular persons. Or, to give 
perhaps a more clear place for it, Exod. xxxiii. 19 ; when God there would 
express his heart to Moses, and intimate to him that he loved him, and how 
dearly he valued him, — and therefore this Moses his choice is mentioned as 
an instance of the grace of election, in Rom. ix., — what saith God to him ] 
' I will make all my goodness pass before thee.' So he begins to him ; his 
scope was to shew what love he did bear unto Moses, by the effect of it, and 
that proportioned to its original in God, and he would have his heart taken 
with it ; how doth he begin 1 I have, saith he, all goodness in me, and I 
mean to communicate it unto thee. And what follows 1 ' I will be gracious 
unto whom I will be gracious ;' he pitcheth upon persons, as in Moses' in- 
stance appears, and love upon those persons. And those, saith he, whom 
thus I resolve to be gracious unto, they shall have all this goodness ; I have 
cast out of my goodness, my love and grace on thee, and therefore ' I will 
cause all my goodness to pass before thee.' He that hath my love, he hath 


all my goodness ; and the rise of all is that his goodness, and the manifesta- 
tion of it. Now as love thus ariseth from goodness, and the desire of com- 
mmiicating of it ; so mercy ariseth from love ; for what follows 1 ' I will 
be merciful unto whom I will be merciful.' First he says, ' I will be gracious 
to whom I will be gracious ;' there it is taken for favour and acceptation 
freely ; and if they be fallen into misery, ' I will be merciful,' my mercy 
shall do as great wonders as my love. In Eph. iii. 18, he prays that they 
* may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, 
and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.' 
And what foUows ? * And be filled with all the fulness of God.' Why ? 
For whoever God hath pitched this love upon, all the fulness that is in God 
is coming upon that soul ; for it is the love of the great God, it is a love 
proportionable to his goodness ; they have and shall have all his goodness, 
all his fulness. 

To cause us therefore to set a value on this : of all dispositions, good nature, 
as we call it, and love, in wliomsoever it is, is the best, and God himself values 
it most as in himself; he takes more unkindly the despising of his love than 
he doth the slighting of his wisdom. And love, in whomsoever it is, is the 
most predominant of all dispositions; whatsoever is good and whatsoever 
is excellent in any, love hath the command of it ; and so it hath in God, 
All his goodness, the whole train of it must pnss before Moses, because God 
had loved him, and resolved to be gracious to him. So that now, look how 
great the great God is, so great his love must needs be ; for, as I may so 
speak with reverence, it commandeth all in this great God. In John x. 29, 
saith Christ, My sheej), no man shall pluck them out of my hand ; for, saith 
he, it is the will of my Father that gave them me that they shall be saved ; 
and he is greater than all. He hath set such a love upon them that ail the 
greatness in this great God is interested in it. It hath commanded and set 
on work all in God ; it hath set on work all the persons. Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, to bear several offices in our salvation. It hath set on work all 
attributes, mercy, justice, jjower, wisdom, wrath itself to fall upon our Lord 
and Saviour Christ, his only Son. Why ? Because love is the most j)re- 
dominant, wherever it is it commandeth all ; and that which commandeth 
all that is in God, must needs be great. In other dispositions, he shews 
forth but one or two attributes : if he throw men into hell, he shews his 
justice and the power of his wrath ; but where he loveth, he draweth forth 
all. The poets themselves said, that amoj' Deuvi guhernat, that love governed 
God. And, as Nazianzen well speaks, this love of God, this dulcis tyrannus, 
— this sweet tyrant, — did overcome him when he was upon the cross. There 
were no cords could have held him to the whijiping-post but those of love; 
no nails have fastened him to the cross but those of love. And hence — to 
confirm this notion more to you, that love is the predominant thing that 
commandeth all — you shall find that God is every attribute of his ; he is 
his own wisdom, his own justice, his own power, &c. Yet you have him 
peculiarly called love. It is not said anywhere of God, that I know of, that 
he is wisdom, or justice, or power, &c. Christ indeed is called the wisdom 
and power of God, that is, manifestatively, as he is Mediator. It is true, 
indeed, all God's attributes are himself; but yet love in a more peculiar 
manner carries the title of him. ' God is love/ saith he, in 1 John iv. 8 ; 
and he saith it again, ver. 16. 

Let us expound the words a little, because we are now upon them. ' Be- 
loved,' saith he, ver. 7, ' love is of God.' He is the fountain of it, and if the 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 161 

fountain will love, if he that is love itself will love, how great will that love 
be ! We use to argue thus, that God is therefore the highest good because 
whatsoever is good in any creature is eminently found in him. Truly thus 
doth the Apostle argue. Love, saith he, is of God. All the love that is in 
all creatures, in all angels and men, that is in the heart of Christ himself, it 
is aU of God, he is the fountain of it ; therefore whosoever hath his love, his 
love from whom all love is, it must needs be a great and an infinite love. 
As the Apostle saith, ye need not be written to, to love one another, ye are 
taught of God so to do. It is nature in you, so it is nature in God. Now 
what follows in the next words 1 ' Love is of God, and every one that loveth 
is bom of Grod, and knoweth God ; he that loveth not, knoweth not God.' 
It is such a phrase as this : if you be ignorant of what is the greatest 
excellency of any one, you do not know him ; the man is thus and thus, 
this is his character, and his chiefest character, if you do not know that, 
you do not know the man. So saith he of God, ' God is love,' and there is 
no man that doth know him, but he finds so much love in him towards him, 
that he must needs love others ; and he that doth not love, knows him not, 
for love is his genius. And as to love one another is the great command- 
ment that Jesus Christ gave us ; so for God to love us is the greatest and 
most eminent disposition in the great God. Will you have a definition of 
God ? Why, saith the Apostle, ' God is love ;' and he contents not himself 
to have said it once, but he saith it again, ver. 16. Now then, great must 
needs that love be which is his love. Mark that emphasis : * for his great 
love wherewith he loved us.' 

It is great also in this respect, as in God, — for stUl I am arguing from its 
being in him as he is the subject of it, — because there is no other rise of his 
love, besides that of his goodness mentioned, but his love ; his own love and 
goodness is a rise to itself. All love in us is of God, but aU love in himself 
must needs be much more of himself; this argues it great, wherever he 
pitcheth it. For if he loved us for anything ia us, it is too narrow : for the 
truth is, so he loves aU creatures ; so far as there is any goodness in them, so 
far he loves them ; but that he should love his saints thus, it would be too 
narrow, too scanty a love. He loved Adam but thus, plainly ; it was but 
a providential love wherewith he loved Adam, take him in that first estate. 
God saw aU that was in the creatures to be good, and he loved them ; so he 
saw that which was in Adam to be good, and that was the cause he loved 
him. But when love in the great God is the predominant thing, that which 
commandeth all in God, when this shall be a fountain to itself, then it wiU 
overflow, it knoweth no bounds, nothing is so diffusive. It is a saying of 
Bernard, and it is an exceeding good one : * That God,' saith he, ' loveth his 
children, he hath it not elsewhere, from anything out of himself; but it is 
himself from whence that love riseth, his own love is the spring of his own 
love, and so is the measure of the extent of it, and that knows no measure. 
And therefore he must needs love strongly, saith he, when he is not said so 
much to have love, as that he is love. And therefore this love, which is the 
fountain of love itself, how great must it be !' 

Again, the end of his love is but to shew love ; it is the great end of it, and 
so large as his end is, so large must his love be, and his desire to love. Appe- 
titus finis est infinitus ; — What a man loveth for an end, he loveth infinitely. 
' That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace,' 
saith ver. 7, that is, of his free love ; there is his end. As he hath no reason 
why he loveth but because he wiUeth, so he hath no higher end to love 


but because be will love, and because be ddth love, and because be will 
shew love. If so great a love will make itself its end, bow unsatisfied will 
tbat love be ! And so mucb for tbe subject of it. 

I will only add tbis. Do but only take a scantling of it by tbe love that 
is in tbe Mediator, Jesus Christ, who is God-man. ' That ye may know,' 
saith the Apostle, ' tbe breadth and length, the depth and height of the love 
of Christ, which passeth knowledge.' What need I stand to set out tbat 
love to you ? It drew him from heaven to the womb, and from the womb 
to the cross ; and it kept him upon the cross when any great spirit in the 
world would have been provoked to have come down ; it was his love that 
held him there. But now that love that was in the heart of the man Christ 
Jesus, and as he was Media! r, is less than God's love. ' My Father,' saith 
be — and he speaks as Mediator — 'is greater than I;' and so also is bis 
Father's love greater than his. And yet if there were infinite worlds made 
of creatures loving, they would not have so mucb love in them as was in the 
heart of that man Christ Jesus. ' All love is of God,' so John saith ; and 
the truth is, all the love that Christ had was of God ; he spake to his heart 
to love us. ' Thine they were,' saith he, ' and thou gavest them me ;' and 
therefore he loved them. Great therefore must tbis love be, because it is 
the love of God ; it is ' his love.' 

I should also add under this head, tbat as it is great in itself, because it is 
the love of the great God, so therefore it is greatly endeared to us. For love, 
be it never so small, is always heightened by the greatness of the person that 
loves us. The greatness of tbe person doth not heighten mercy, it shews a 
nobleness in him indeed, as for a king to be merciful ; but for a king to love, 
this is a heightening, and endearing of it to us, for majestas and amor do 
seldom convenire, — majesty and love seldom meet, — because it is a coming 
down, a debasing of majesty. But I shall not speak much to this head, because 
I am not to speak things that may endear the love of God to you, but as it is 
the cause of salvation. Only I will give you that scripture in a word : Ps. 
cxiii. G, ' He humbleth himself, to behold the things that are in heaven and 
in earth.' Why is God said to humble himself in thisi Is it a stooping 
and condescending in God to take all things into his omniscient knowledge, 
and to guide and govern the world 1 Traly he were not God, if be should 
not do it ; if any creature should escape, any motion of a fly should escape 
the knowledge of the great God, he were not God ; yet he calls it a humb- 
ling, a condescending. my brethren, what is it then for him to condescend 
to love ! 

The second thing in the text here by which the greatness of this love is 
set out to us, is the 2yersons whom he loveth ; ' us,' saith he. And this set- 
teth out the greatness of his love to us, by way of endearment, which there- 
fore I shall more briefly pass over. He loveth us, not others ; that is clearly 
tbe Apostle's scope. ' We were by nature children of wrath, as well as 
others ; but God, who is rich in mercy, loved us," not others ; and out of 
that love he ' hath quickened us.' Others are not quickened ; the whole 
world lies in wickedness, but w^e know we are of God ; and a few are 
quickened, it was because be loved us ; a special love, that argues great- 
ness too. 

To set out tbe greatness of it in this respect, and to endear it to you : — 

In tbe first place, the great God, when he meant to love, he did not go 
and say, I will love somebody, or I will love indefinitelp ; no, but he pitched 
upon the persons. That way of the Arminians doth exceedingly detract 
from the love of God, viz., to make him a lover of mankind, and tbat that is 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 163 

the thing out of the consideration whereof he gave his Son ; and that he 
loves them in common, and loves them indefinitely ; and if they believe so, 
God will then shew love to them. God might delight himself in heaven, 
though men had never been saved ; he might there have upbraided them with 
their unthankfulness. No, God goes another way, he directly sets up the 
very persons whom he meant to love, and he lays forth all the contrivances 
of his love, having them distinctly in his eye ; as a father that lays out por- 
tions for every one of his children by name, legally and distinctly, hath them 
in his eye ; so doth God. ' I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.' 
That same on ivhom implies that it is not indefinite. I will only give you 
that observation, upon comparing two places that are both known, and I will 
bring them both together by paralleling of them. Saith Christ, in John 
Yiii. 1 8, ' I know whom I have chosen.' The parallel place directly to it is 
in 2 Tim. ii. 19, 'God knoweth who are his;' that is, distinctly knoweth 
them, he had them in his eye, viewed them, and under the viewing of the 
persons, on them he would bestow all, did lay the whole plot, all the con- 
trivements of that salvation he intended. Which he did to endear his love 
the more, having the persons to whom in his eye ; he did not do it inde- 
finitely, that he would love mankind, and love some in an indefinite way. 
Dare any man say, that he did not know the man Christ Jesus, and pitch 
particularly upon that man that was in the womb of the virgin 1 Did he 
only say, I wUl have a mediator somewhere out of mankind, fall as it will 1 
No, he did ordain that man ; so Acts xvii. 31. And he was foreordained, 
saith 1 Peter i. 20 ; that very man that is now in heaven, that individual 
nature, and no other. And so he did do with the members likewise : for 
there is the same reason of both. 

But then, secondly, as his love is thus set out to us, that it was not inde- 
finitely pitched, but as having all the persons in his eye and having them all 
in view; so by this also, that he hath not pitched it upon everybody. This 
is distinct from the former ; for an indefinite is not knowing whom he pitched 
it upon. Now as he knew whom he pitched upon, so he hath pitched but 
upon some, not on every one. He might have pitched upon all, but the text 
saith otherwise ; lis, not others. So then here is another thing that sets 
forth this love, it is a special love, and that greateneth it also. My brethren, 
if God would love, it was fit he should be free. It is a strange thing that 
you wiU not allow God that which kings and princes have the prerogative of, 
and you will allow it them. They will have favourites whom they wiU love, 
and wUl not love others ; and yet men will not aUow God that liberty, but 
he must either love all mankind, or he must be cruel and tmjust. 

The specialness of his love greateneth it, endeareth it to us. You shall 
find almost all along the Bible, that when God would express his love, he 
doth it with a specialty to his own elect, which he illustrates by the con- 
trary done to others. In 1 Thess. v. 9, he is not content to say, he hath 
'appointed us to obtain salvation,' but he Ulustrateth it by its contrary; he 
' hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation,' Not to wrath, 
for it might have been our lot, for he hath appointed others to it. In Isa. 
xli, 9, ' Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee.' And he doth not con- 
tent himself to say so only, for if he had said no more, it implies only that 
he had taken them out of the heap of others that lay before him ; but he 
adds, ' I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away;' that is, I have not dealt 
with thee as I have done with others. And you shall find frequently in the 
Scripture, when he mentioneth his choice of some persons, he holdeth up 
likewise on purpose his refusing of others. When he speaks of Jacob, and 


would express his love and set it out to himward, he saith, ' Jacob have 1 
loved ; ' that might have been enough for Jacob, but he sets it out with a 
foil, ' Esau have I hated.' And in Ps. Lxxviii. 67, when he speaks of an 
election out of the tribes, he contents not himself to say he chose Judah, 
but he puts in the rejection, the preterition at least, of Joseph. ' He refused 
the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim ; but chose the 
tribe of Judah, the mount Sion which he loved.' So among the disciples ; 
how doth Christ set out his love to them ? John vi. 70, * Have not I chosen 
you twelve, and one of you is a devil?' and, chap. xiii. 18, 'I speak not 
of you aU ; I know whom I have chosen ;' and, chap. xv. 19, 'I have chosen 
you out of the world ; ' and, chap. xvii. 9, ' I pray not for the world, but 
for them which thou hast given me,' &c. 

I will give you but one eminent place, which indeed concerns us in these 
times. In 2 Thess. ii. 11, speaking of the times of Popery, and the apostasy 
thereunto, he saith, ' God shall send among them strong delusion, that they 
should believe that lie,' that great lie of Popery ; and among other things why 
he mentions this, what use doth he improve this to, his hardening the Popish 
and apostate world that would not receive the truth in the love thereof? 
' That they all might be damned,' ver. 12. But that, in ver. 13, to set out 
his love to his elect : ' But we are bound always to give thanks to God for 
you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning 
chosen you to salvation,' though he hath done, and will do thus with others. 
The thing I quote it for is this, that he setteth off, enhanceth the greatness 
of God's love to them, in regard of the specialness of it, that he hath not 
dealt with them as with others : thanks be given to God always for you. 
Now this concerns us, for we live in the times of Popery; the Christian 
world began to warp towards it then, and we and our forefathers have lived 
in the height and ruff of it. Now what saith Rev. xiii. 8 1 — it is a jjarallel 
place, — ' All that dwell upon the earth shall worship the beast, whose names 
are not written in the book of hfe of the Lamb.' You see the reason why 
many men now are set against Popery, and embrace the truth in the love 
thereof, and are savingly kept; from believing that great lie ; and that these 
parts of Europe fell off from Antichrist. It is because God hath here multi- 
tudes of men ' whose names are written in the book of life of the Lamb,' 

Now that God doth thus set his love upon some and not on others, of pur- 
pose to set off his love and make it greater, I will give you a place for it : 
Deut. X. 14, 'Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's 
thy God, the earth also, with all that is therein. Only the Lord had a 
delight in thy fathers, to love them, and he chose their seed after them, 
even you above all people, as it is this day.' If I would choose, saith God, 
I have choice enough, I have the heaven of heavens, I could have fiUed all 
those with creatures ; and there were angels that fell, I might have chosen 
those, and fixed them as stars, never to have fallen ; but I let multitudes of 
them tumble down to heU. And I had aU the earth also, and all the nations 
thereof, before me ; but, to shew my love in a special manner, I have chosen 
you above all the people of the world. So that, I say, the greatness of his 
love is set off by the specialness of it. Therefore he doth call the people of 
God upon all such occasions to consider, the one with the other, that their 
love of God may be greatened also. Rom. xi. 22, ' Behold, to them severity, 
to thee goodness.' He would have them to eye both at once ; why hath he 
shewn severity to others ? That his goodness to thee might the more appear. 
He calls them to behold it ; behold, saith he, to them severity, and to thee 
goodness ; the one setteth off the other. 

EpH. II. 4-6] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 165 

And I might shew you that God hath shewn his special love, not only in 
choosing you out of all the rest of mankind, and angels, and the like, whom 
he refused and threw down to hell, but out of aU creatures possible, or which 
he could have made. Believe it, brethren, there came up before him, in 
his idea, infinite millions of worlds ; all that his power could make were as 
makeable as we were, and he chose us out of all that he could make, and not 
only out of all that he did make, or did decree to make. 

And let me say this : the greatness of his love, in respect of the specialty 
of it, is mightily enhanced to us, the elect, in the latter ages of the world, in 
this respect, that God had all the great heroes of all ages that are past be- 
fore him, the great worthies of the world, aU the wise, gallant, brave men in 
Rome and Greece, and in all nations, in all the ages before, — he might have 
fiUed up thy room in heaven with some of those ; there were men enough 
amongst them that might have had places in heaven, and thou mightest have 
been let alone. No, all these could not win away his love from thee that 
livest in this age ; he passed over aU them, suffered them to walk in their 
own ways ; they are perished, they are gone ; and, as the phrase is in 1 Pet. 
i. 5, he hath reserved heaven for thee. The love of God to thee, I say, is 
not only magnified by those out of whom he hath chosen thee in this age, 
but in all ages past ; and when aU mankind shall meet together, it wiU in- 
finitely greaten the love of God to that remnant whom he hath chosen out 
of all the rest of the world. It is special love that makes his love great love. 

Obs. — I wiU give you this observation, which I find in the Scripture. He 
caUs his church his love ; so Cant. v. 2. And he himself terms himself by 
the name of the lover ; so Rom. viiL 37, and Rev. i. 5. It is his title, and 
became his style. The church is his love, so as he hath no love but the 
church, it is not scattered to other objects; therefore, Rom. xL, they are 
said to be ' beloved according to election,' even as they are said to be * called 
according to his purpose.' It is by way of distinction, noting out a specialty 
of love that accompanies election. 

And then, if you add to this, in the third place, the fewness of those upon 
whom this love is pitched, it doth exceedingly greaten it ; for the fewer that 
all the love of the great God is pitched upon, the greater the love is. And 
this, in the coherence, though not in express words, we find in the text ; for 
the rest, whom these ' us ' were called out of, were the world, the world lying 
in wickedness : ' among whom we had our conversation, according to the 
course of this world.' When God hath betaken himself to a few, to love 
them, oh, how will he love them ! He wiU be sure to lose none of those, be- 
cause they are so few. When a great rich man shall have but one heir, or a 
few in his will, to divide his goods amongst ; so when God, that is rich in 
mercy, and hath great love, shall have but a few to enjoy it, how will his 
heart be intended more in love ! Isa. x. 22, ' Though Israel be as the sand 
of the sea,' — he speaks of election, — ' yet but a remnant shall be saved.' 

And yet let me add this, in the fourth place, that he loveth every one 
whom he hath chosen as if he loved none else ; lest any of his children should 
be jealous of it, he doth so dexterously manage his love that every one may 
say. None is loved as I am. As he said, I am the greatest of sinners ; so may 
every one of his children say, I am the greatest of beloved ones. So loving 
is God to those he chooseth, that aU sort of natures speak this of him, be 
they of what condition soever. 

There is also this to be added to this head, the condition wherein we were 
when we were called, even when we were ' dead in sins and trespasses.' But 
I will reserve that till it comes in order in the text. 


And so mucli now for that second head here in the text, which doth illus- 
trate the greatness of the love of God, — us, and not others. 

I come now to the third, which contains divers particulars in these words, 
for his great love wherewith he loved us. There is — 

1. ^c^s o/Zove mentioned. There is — 

2. The time when he loved us, viz., before calling. And then — 

3. There is a special hind of love ; ' his love wherewith he loved us.' 
To begin with the first — 

There are two great acts of love which God hath shewn to us. The one 
was that from everlasting ; the other, when he gave Jesus Christ. I will not 
speak of the latter now, because it comes in afterwards at ver. 5. But let us 
take in that act of love in God which here certainly the Apostle hath a more 
special recourse to, — that is, his electing love, which is eminently the love 
which this same hath loved us referreth to, and which is the foundation of all 
the rest, and let me in a word or two shew you the greatness of this. 

First, Let me say this of it, that take it as it was an act in God, it can 
never be expressed what it was, nor how great it was. And therefore God 
himself, as I may so speak with reverence, is fain to manifest that love which 
he took up in his own heart, by degrees and by effects. The Scripture itself 
doth not know how to give you the greatness of that love which God did 
pitch upon us from everlasting, but it is stUl fain to do it by the effects. 
In 1 John iv. 9, when he had said before that God is love, and therefore he 
hath thus greatly loved us, he is fain to fall upon speaking of the effects of 
this love : ' In this was manifested,' saith he, ' the love of God towards us, 
because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might 
live through him.' And, ver. 10, ' Herein is love,' — it is manifested in this, 
— ' not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the pro- 
pitiation for our sins.' And after he had spoken of his love, what saith he ? 
Ver. 1 2, ' No man hath seen God at any time ; ' the meaning whereof, I think, 
is clearly this, as if he had said, I am fain to tell you this love of God which 
I am discoursing of, merely as it is manifested in the effects ; for if you would 
have me speak of it as it is in the fountain, it is not to be expressed, for no 
man hath seen God at any time ; he is not able to know what love is in the 
heart of God but at the second-hand. It may be illustrated by the gift of 
his Son, by making of us happy and glorious in heaven, by his communica- 
tion of himself to us there ; but what, and how great it is, can never be ex- 
pressed. And I will give you the reason why I interpret it thus, because in 
Exod. xxxiii. 19, &c., when God hath spoken of his love to Moses, and said, 
' I wiU be gracious to those to whom I will be gracious ; ' he adds, ' No man 
can see God, and live ; ' for you cannot see into this love, as it is in him. 

And let me likewise say this second thing of it : That that love which 
God did first take up, in the first act of it, it was as great as aU acts transient 
for ever can express or vent to eternity ; it is great love therefore. I say, 
all the ways and acts that God doth to eternity are but mere expressions of 
that love which he at first took up. Christ, and heaven, and whatever else 
God shews you of love and mercy in this world, or in the world to come, they 
all lay in the womb of that first act, of that love he took up, ' wherewith he 
loved us.' God was not drawn on to love us, as a man is, who first begins 
to love one, and to set his heart upon him, and then his heart being engaged, 
he is drawn on beyond what he thought, and is enticed to do thus and thus 
beyond what he first intended. No, God is not as man herein, but as ' known 
unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world,' so is all his 
love that he meant to bestow. And he took up love enough at first, as he 


should be venting of all sort of ways that he hath taken to do it, unto eter- 
nity. For there is no new thing to God ; if there should be any one thought 
or degree of love rise up in his heart afterwards, which was not there at first, 
there should be some new thing in God. And the reason is clear by this 
too, that he doth love out of his own love, therefore his love at the very 
first dash, when lie first began to love us, was as perfect as it will be when 
we are in heaven. When Adam fell, God was not then drawn out to give 
his Son ; no, we are not so to conceive it, God had all before him from ever- 

And this, I say, is easily manifested ; for the ilrst act of his love was the 
womb of his giving Christ ; ' God so loved the world that he gave his Son. 
Therefore the Scripture makes all the grace that ever we shall have to be 
given us at the very first, when God first loved us, 2 Tim. i. 9, ' According 
to the grace of God, which was given us before the world began.' And in 
Eom. xi. 29, speaking of election, as he had done all along the chapter be- 
fore, he saith, * the gifts of God are without repentance.' He gave all in the 
first act, when he first chose us, and never repenteth of it. Election, I say, 
is expressed to us by all that God means to bestow upon us actually to 
eternity, for ever and ever, which he 'hath prei)ared for them that love him;' 
so the phrase is, 1 Cor. ii. 9. And, ver. 12, 'We have received the Spirit of 
God, that we may know the things which are freely given us of God;' that 
is, given us when he first set his heart upon us. My brethren, when God 
first began to love you, he gave you all that he ever meant to give you in the 
lump, and eternity of time is that in which he is retailing of it out. ' I will 
be gracious to whom I will be gracious.' And then all the goodness that 
he means to communicate to them unto whom he is thus gracious, is a 
passing before them even unto eternity. First, the giving of his Son, he 
came first in the train ; and then the giving of his Spirit ; and then grace 
and glory : and whatever variation of glory there is that is to come, it is aU 
but the passing on of the train, it is aU but the communicating of that goodness 
of his which he did ordain the first time he thought on thee to love thee. 

There is an emphatical word in the text, this word -TroKXriv dyd'^rriv, great 
love, — as your great critics observe, and so the Septuagint constantly useth it, 
— which doth not signify that God loves us often, or that his love is reiterated, 
but that he loves us with one entire love. The Arminians would make the 
love of God incomplete, and never complete till one comes to die ; but it is 
not a matter of that nature, it is not as sanctification, that admits degrees 
in us, but it is of the nature of those things that consist in indivisihili. I 
will give you that place for it, Ps. cxxxviii. 8, ' The Lord,' saith he, ' will 
perfect* that which concerneth me.' What God did intend to David from 
everlasting at once, he is perfecting of it in him. There is, saith he, a great 
deal of mercy yet to come, God hath not half done with me, he will perfect 
that which concerns me, and he is perfecting of it to everlasting; for so it 
foUows : ' Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever.' God hath set up, as I may 
so speak, an idea in his own heart, what a brave creature he will make thee, 
and how he will love thee, and all that ever he doth or will do, it is but a 
perfecting of that idea, and of that love wherewith he loved thee from ever- 
lasting. The mercies of God are said to be many, yc u read often of them in 
the plural; but his love is said to be but one, because he loved us with one 
entire act, even from eternity. 

Yea, he took up so much love at the first, that his wisdom and all in him 
is set on work to study and contrive ways how to commend that love. And 
* In 2 Thess. i. 11, it is ' fulfil,' nXrjpwa-r]. 


therefore tliat word in Tit. iii. 4, whicli we translate ' kindness,' as it signifies 
henignitatem, so it signifies an heroical study, as it were, in God, all sort of 
ways to deserve well of mankind. It was so great that he knew not how 
to express it enough; for do but consider a little with yourselves. He 
began to love Adam upon the terms of a providential love, but that was not 
good enough, he must have those of mankind he loves to heaven. He was 
not content with direct ways of loving, — that is, to love them in their head 
Jesus Christ, as he loveth the angels, and so no more ado, — but to shew the 
more love, lets them fall into sin, become enemies to him, and then sends 
his Son. And, my brethren, the truth is, this cost Jesus Christ dear, merely 
that God might shew forth the more love ; for we might not have been 
sinners ; and though sinners, yet we might have been saved without any 
satisfaction. But it was a digression of love, as I may truly call it, it was an 
excursion of love, that as man being sinful sought out many inventions, so 
God being loving, he sought out a world of inventions for to shew his love. 
Now, do but think with yourselves, that the very first thought of love that 
God had towards you, the very first glance of love he took up, should be so 
much, as that aU sorts of ways that his wisdom can invent, and that in an 
eternity of time too, should be little enough to vent and retail that love 
which thus in the lump he took uj^. My brethren, this must certainly be a 
great love. 

And I wiU add but this to it : that his love was so greedy, — mark what I 
say unto thee — when he first began to love thee, that the next and main thing 
that he thought of, that he had in his eye, as I may speak, in order and 
degree, though all was but one act, was that happiness he meant to give thee in 
heaven. He doth as it were overleap, so greedy was his love, all the means 
between; they come in, as I may say, in a second thought. If, I say, they 
do allow an intention of the end before the means, if God intended the end 
before the means, he intended that happiness which thou shalt have first. 
Therefore observe what the Scripture speaks; though it saith that God 
ordained us to believe, and ordained us unto sanctification, yet ordinarily 
it expresseth it thus — he hath ordamed us unto Hfe. And the place is em- 
phatical, 2 Thess. ii. 13, ' God hath from the beginning ordained you to 
salvation;' mark, he joins you and salvation together, and then comes in the 
means, ' through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.' But, I 
say, his eye was so intent upon thy good, that look what is thy chiefest 
good, what he means to make thee in heaven, that he pitcheth first upon. — 
And so nmch now for that act. 

Let us next consider the time. ' He loved us ;' — this carries us to the 
time past. So that if you ask me when this love did begin, the truth is, if 
I may so speak with reverence, he loved thee ever since he hath been God. 
Jer. xxxi. 3, 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love ;' and unto everlasting 
there can be nothing added. God is from everlasting, and his love is from 
everlasting. He may be said to have loved thee ever since he loved himself, 
or ever since he loved his Son in whom he chose thee. As he was God 
from the beginning, and as Christ was the Word of life from the beginning, 
John LI; so he hath ordained thee unto salvation from the beginning, 2 
Thess. ii. 13. And the school-men do rightly say in this, that the liberty of 
God's wUl doth not lie as man's doth, that it was a while suspended, no, not 
for a moment. There was never an actual suspension, for then there were 
an imperfection; only there was libertas potentialis, he might have cast it 
otherwise ; but there never was any time in which there was in his heart a 
vacuity of love to thee, or unto any one whom he loveth. How infinitely 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHE8IANS. 169 

doth tMs endear the love of God to thee, and make it great ! If one have 
loved you from his infancy, that no sooner he began to have a thought of 
love, or to love himself, but he loved you, and pitched his heart upon you, 
how great will you account his love ! John makes a great matter of it, 1 
John iv. 10 : Herein is love, speaking of the love of God, that we loved not 
God, but he loved us first. We did not begin, but he began ; and when 
did he begin 1 Even from eternity, when he loved himself, and loved his 

And as he hath loved you from eternity, that is the first thing consider- 
able in it, so let me add, in the second place, which this hath loved doth also 
evidently import, — comparing it with ver. 7, ' that in ages to come,' and here 
* hath,' that is, from everlasting to everlasting, — he hath continued to love 
his children with a reiterated love. That act of love which he hath first 
pitched, he hath every moment renewed actually in his own mind. He 
doth but think over and over again thoughts of love to thee, amongst the 
rest of his elect, unto eternity. Saith the Psalmist, and it is Christ that 
speaks that psalm, who knew the love of his Father, and knew his heart, 
Ps. xl. 5, 'How many are thy thoughts towards us, O God!' Many in- 
deed, for they have been from everlasting, therefore they cannot be numbered. 
And not only that first act, that first thought he had, but the whole lump of 
that love is stUl renewed every moment, and shall be unto eternity. I could 
give you a multitude of places. He is therefore said to have us in his eye, 
and to write us upon the palms of his hands, &c. 

And, lastly, it is to everlasting, which though it be not in this verse, yet 
we meet with it in ver. 7, ' that in ages to come.' As he loved us from 
everlasting, from the beginning, as it is in that 2 Thess. ii. 13, so he loveth 
us unto the end, John xiii. 1. 



But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even 
when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us toe/ether with Christ, (by 
grace ye are saved ;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. — ^Ver. 4—6. 

The scope of the Apostle in these words, as I have told you, is to magnify 
these three attributes in God — his love, mercy, grace, towards us ; and these 
as they are the causes of our salvation. 
In opening of these words, I have — 

1. Shewn you the difference between love and mercy. 

2. Shewn you why that the Apostle, when he would speak of the causes 
of our salvation, contented not himself to have said that God is rich in mercy, 
but that he addeth ' for the great love wherewith he loved us.' 

3. Shewn you Likewise that a great love, and an act of love, or a purpose 
of love, taken up towards us, is the foundation of his shewing mercy to us ; 
and that act of love is especially that taken up from everlasting, which he 
took up to us before we were, and therefore prevented the misery we were 
fallen into ; for he had engaged himself to us by so great a love, which 
stirred up his mercy. 

The next thing I came to was this, the greatness of this love. I did pro- 
fess not to handle this argument in the vastness of it, — which by the grace 
of God might arise to a volume, if it should be so handled, — but so far forth 
as the text doth give bottom to anything about it, so far I professed to handle 
' it, because I would explain the text. 

First, therefore, we considered the subject of this love, who it is that loved 
us. It is God, whose love therefore is as great as himself; and if God will 
be in love, how deep, how great will that love be ! What a love will they 
possess with whom God professeth himself to be in love ! Love, it is of all 
attributes the most commanding ; it commandeth all in a man, and it com- 
mandeth all in God. 

Secondly, we considered that this God, though of a loving nature and 
disposition, yet he took up an act of love. ' He loved,' saith the text. 

There are two sorts of acts of love which God hath put forth towards us : — 

1. That immanent act, as it is called ; that is, which is in God himself 
only, abideth in himself, in his own heart, that first act from eternity, which 
is the foundation of all ; and this the Apostle here mainly intended in this 
4th verse. But — 

2. There are transient acts of love, which are the fruits of that first, which 
in the text here, as afterwards I shall shew you, are mainly these three : — 

(1.) Giving Jesus Christ to be a head for us, and to die for us ; that is 
couched in these words, ' He hath quickened us together with Christ, and 
raised us up together with him;' which importeth both him to be a head 
for us and him to have died for us, as a fruit of this love. 

EpU. 11. -i-G.J TO THE EPHKSIAN8. 171 

(2.) The act of calling us to himself, which is expressed in these words : 
' Even when we were dead in sins hath he quickened us.' 

(3.) The glorifying of us hereafter, we being already ' set in heavenly places 
in Christ,' as an engagement of all that glory we shall have hereafter. 

These three transient acts I must handle in their order, as I open the fifth 
and sixth verses ; therefore now, in this fourth verse, I shall only speak of 
that immanent act in God, * the love wherewith he loved us.' And concern- 
ing that, two things — 

1. The greatness of that love in itself. And — 

2. In respect of the time when this love began ; for he speaks in the time 
past, ' he loved us.' 

First, For the greatness of this act of love taken up towards us. It is so 
great, as aU the acts of love, all the manifestations of love, the transient acts 
of love, the fruits of love, that God shews and manifesteth to eternity, they 
are not all enough to express that love which he took up in the first act, 
when he began to love us, and all serve but to commend and manifest that 
love. And then — 

Secondly, For the time. If you ask when he first began to love, — which 
also sets out the greatness of it, — it was from everlasting. This word in the 
text, ' hath loved us,' or, ' he loved us,' reacheth to eternity ; so in Jer. xsxi. 3. 

And then for the continuance of it ever since ; he hath continued it every 
moment. Though we were children of wrath, and dead in sins and trespasses, 
yet he all that while, since the first time he began to love us, hath con- 
tinued to love us with the same love ; he hath reiterated the same thoughts 
again and again. And for this great love, wherewith he loved us from ever- 
lasting, and wherewith he hath continued to love us ever since, from ever- 
lasting, as we may so speak ; ' for this great love,' saith he, ' he hath quick- 
ened us.' 

I also opened in the last discourse the greatness of this love from the per- 
sons, 'us.' Us, saith he, not others. We were children of wrath as well 
as others, but ' for the great love wherewith he loved us,' and not others, — 
for he hath not quickened all, but he quickeneth all that he loveth, — he 
hath 'quickened us together with Christ.' He loved us, not ours, nor for 
anything in us. He loved us, not indefinitely, — that is, ' I wUl love some of 
mankind,' — but he hath loved us distinctly, pitching upon those persons he 
pitched his love upon, and laying forth all the mercies and all the fruits of 
love upon them, eyeing their persons. 

There was likewise, I told you, another thing which sets out the greatness 
of this love, and that is the condition of our persons, ' dead in sins and tres- 
passes,' and that follows in the fifth verse. But as I said then, I going over 
these words in a way of exposition, and not handling them as a subject, will 
not insist on everything in that artificial method, as if I were to write a tract 
upon it. 

There is but one thing more, and it is a great thing, and I confess I did 
not observe it a long while in the text, but stUl took the words to have run 
thus, ' for the great love wherewith he loved us ;' but I find it is, ' for his 
great love wherewith he hath loved us.' There is a great emphasis in that 
word his. He saith not simply, as he might have done, because that God 
greatly loved us, or, because of a great love he bore us ; but he doubles 
it, ' for the great love wherewith he loved us ; ' and not only so, but, ' for his 
great love wherewith he loved us.'. My brethren, there is a love proper to 
God, which is a diS'ering kind of love from that in all the creatures ; his love, 
as the text hath it here. As his goodness is another kind of goodness than 


what is in the creatures, so is his love. There is none that hath tasted of 
this love of his but say that it is a diflfering love from the love of all the crea- 
tures ; and the difference is found more by tasting and by feeling of it than it 
is by setting of it forth; as it is in wines, ' Thy love is better than wine, and 
thy loving-kindness is better than life : ' iDoth of which are better discerned 
by taste and feeling than set out by any expression. Indeed, God doth com- 
pare his love to what is in the creature, to set it out to us, because we appre- 
hend it by such comparisons ; as when he saith, ' Like as a father pitieth,' 
or loveth, ' his children, so the Lord loveth them that fear him.' And, '' If 
a mother forget her child,' &c. But yet, notwithstanding, ' the love where- 
with he loved us' is of another kind from aU these. In 1 John iii. 1, ' Be- 
hold,' saith the Apostle, 'what manner of love the Father hath bestowed 
upon us ! ' — he speaks in respect of one fruit of it, — such a love, for the kind 
of it, as no man, no creature, could bestow upon us. In Hos. xi. 9, where, 
giving the reason why that he loving his people they are not destroyed, he 
saith, ' I am God, and not man.' It is spoken in respect of his love clearly, 
for it comes in there upon a conflict vdth himself; when he had been pro- 
voked beyond the bounds and measure of pardon, yet when he comes to 
pimish, he finds his love not to be as the love of a man. ' My heart is 
turned within me,' saith he, ver. 8, ' my repentings are rolled together : I 
will not return to destroy ; for I am God, and not man.' My love is of 
another extent, of another kind, than the love of man. And so when he 
speaks of mercy, in Isa. Iv. 8, 9, ' My thoughts are not your thoughts, nei- 
ther are your ways my ways, saith the Lord : for as the heavens are higher 
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts 
than your thoughts.' It is his love, so saith the text here. 

Now to speak a little of this, for it lies in the way in the text : — 
First, His love ; it is a love for nothing in us. The love that one crea- 
ture bears to another is still for something in them ; but the love of God, if 
it be his love, a love that is proper unto him, must needs be free : and that 
not only for this reason, which is usually given, and is a true one too, be- 
cause that his love is from everlasting, and nothing in the creature in time 
can be the cause of what is in God from everlasting ; but for this reason 
likewise, because that only God can be moved by what is in himself, he can 
love no otherwise but from himself. The creatures love because things are 
lovely, and there must be motives to draw out that love that is in them ; 
but when God loves, he loves as from his own heart. There is nothing in 
us, no, not in Christ, that should move God to love us ; though indeed to 
bestow those things that God bestows upon us, so Christ is the moving cause. 
' Jacob have I loved,' saith he, and that before he had done any good or eviL 
So that, as no evil in him did put God off from loving him, so no good did 
move God to love him. In 2 Tim. i. 9, there is one little particle that I 
found this upon, ' Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not 
according to our works, but according to his oivn purpose and grace, which 
was given us ia Christ before the world began.' Mark, ' according to his 
own purpose,' which is the thing I pitch upon in that place ; that is, as the 
Apostle explains it, Eph. L 9, ' which he purposed in himself,' or ' from him- 
self' — 'a purpose merely taken up in or from himself. And therefore you 
shall find the phrase in Scripture to run, that as he loves us out of his own 
purpose, so for his own sake. ' Not for your sakes do I this, but for my 
own name's sake.' My brethren, there was a love which God did bear to man 
in innocency, the terms of which were such as, in a way of justice between 
the Creator and the creature, it became God, if he made him holy as he did 

EpH. II. 4-G.] TO THE EPHE8IANS. 173 

in innocency, to bestow upon him. But because that this was a love that 
seemed to have a kind of justice in it, and something in the creature which 
it was founded upon, therefore he destroys that condition, that he might 
make way to manifest the love that was according to his own purpose and 
grace, and merely from himself. And that now is his love ; for if God do 
love like God, this is the love that is his, that is proper unto him. And saith 
he, * not according to our works' — that is, it is founded upon nothing at all 
in the creature. For by ' works' there, he understands all habitual disposi- 
tions of goodness, of what kind soever, as the Scripture usually doth ; as 
when it saith, * he wiU judge every man according to his works,' it is not 
only meant of the outward acts, but of the inward frame of heart. He looks 
to nothing in the creature, but to his own purpose. It is his love, therefore 
it is free. — That is the first. 

Secondly, His love; it is a love that is firm and peremptory, unchangeable 
and invincible; and such a love it became God to bear us, if he would love 
us, for that properly is his love. * Put not your trust in princes,' saith the 
Psalmist ; they will all fail ; the taen perish, and their thoughts perish ; yea, 
sometimes their thoughts and affections die to their greatest favourites, be- 
fore they die themselves. But his love is firm and peremptory, it is un- 
changeable and invincible, and this because it is his love. Mai. iii. 6, 'I 
am the Lord, I change not ; ' — that is, If I be God, and whilst I am God, I 
will not cease to love you, I will not change ; — ' therefore it is that ye sons of 
Jacob are not consumed.' His love is as immutable as his being. I will 
not be God, if I be not your God, and love you ; he pawns all his God- 
head upon it. ' I am the Lord,' saith he, ' I change not ; therefore ye are 
not consumed.' In Eom. ix. 11, speaking of the election of Jacob, he saith, 
' that the purpose of God according to election might stand : ' it is a great 
word that ; he fixed it upon such a basis as might stand for ever. It is a 
true thing that all God's counsels do stand fixed and firm ; look how he pur- 
poseth them, be they of what kind soever. That Adam should be holy, that 
counsel did stand firm ; but how 1 It stood firm for so long as he purposed it, 
which was tUl such time as he fell ; it was but for a moment in comparison. 
And so, that Saul should be king, he purposed it, and it stood firm so far ; 
but he repented that he made Saul king. But when he cometh to speak of 
election, he speaks of that as of such a counsel that not only standeth as all 
other his counsels do, but as that which is perpetuated to eternity. His 
purpose to love Adam was a firm purpose, for so he did ; but how 1 Whilst 
he was in that state of innocency, and had the image of God upon him. But 
his purpose according to election, as the distinction is there, that stands, and 
it stands for ever. Therefore it is not of works, but, as was said before, of 
his own purpose, that it might stand, that it might have a rock of eternity, 
for the basis of it to stand upon. It is therefore, as by way of distinction 
from aU purposes else as it were, called the ' purpose according to election.' 
If you will have this further confirmed, take that place also, which loadeth 
it with more epithets for the firmness of it, in 2 Tim. ii. 1 9, ' The foundation 
of God standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are his.' 
He speaks of God's purpose in election, and of the persons elected ; for he 
saith it is that which hath this seal, ' The Lord knoweth them that are his.' 
You have here aU sorts of words to make it firm — 

1. It is called a foimdation ; * The foundation of God,' saith he, ' standeth 
sure.' There are two great foundations, and of the two, if we may make 
comparisons, this is the greater. Jesus Christ is a foundation, but the eter- 
nal love of God, that is the first foundation; it was the womb of Christ Jiim- 


self: 1 Cor. iii. 11, 'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, 
which is Jesus Christ.' There you see Christ is a foundation, but here is a 
higher foundation, — ' The Lord knoweth them that are his,' loved them and 
chose them, and so he did Christ himself. 

2. It is not only called a foundation, but a sure foundation. 

3. It is called the foundation of God, it is founded in him, it is founded 
upon him, it is as firm as himself ; as he is God, he will stand to it, and there- 
fore it must needs stand. 

4. It is a foundation that remaineth, it standeth, it is steady. 

5. It is sealed : ' having this seal,' saith he ; so that it is never to be broken 
and altered. If the decrees of the Medes and Persians, when they had set 
their seals to them, were such as were not to be altered ; much more God's. 
His seal is in this respect more than his oath. ' Him hath the Father sealed,' 
saith he, speaking of Christ. Now you have both his oath and his seal to 
this ; that is, to the invincibleness and unchangeableness of his love. You 
have his seal in this place, ' The Lord knoweth them that are his ; ' and his 
oath you have in Heb. \i. 17. And what doth this oath serve for? To 
shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel ; and the 
immutability of his counsel respecting persons, and not things only, for it is 
an oath that God made to Abraham, when he swore concerning Isaac. And 
therefore the text hath it in Timothy ; it ' hath this seal. The Lord knoweth 
them that are his.' IS you will know whence the words are taken, that I may 
open them a little, you must observe this, that the Apostle handleth the 
doctrine of election and reprobation in the New Testament out of the speeches 
and types of the Old ; as, ' Esau have I hated, Jacob have I loved,' in Rom. 
ix. And so, ' I will be merciful to whom I wiU be merciful ; ' it was spoken 
of Moses, in Exod. xxxiii. 19. And so likewise those words in Timothy, 
' The Lord knoweth them that are his,' are spoken of Aaron and Moses in 
Num. xvi. 3, when Korah and his company gathered themselves together 
against Moses and Aaron, saying, ' You take too much upon you, seeing all 
the congregation are holy,' and they may be aU priests. No, saith he ; God 
hath chosen Aaron and Moses to go before his people, and to-morrow the 
Lord wUl shew who are his. So we translate it, and the Septuagint reads it, 
and it comes all to one ; ' The Lord knoweth who are his.' 

Now this that was said in this respect of Moses and Aaron in a typical 
way, and indeed in a decree of election too, — for that God singled out Moses 
and Aaron, it was his everlasting love, — I say, these very words doth the 
Apostle here apply, and jiertinently too, to the same occasion; for, speaking 
of divers that seemed to be holy, and yet fell away, however, saith he, ' the 
foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth 
who are his.' And the word ' knoweth who are his,' it is, whom he hath 
pitched upon to love; it is a knowledge of approbation. Exod. xxxiii. 12, 
' Thee have I known by name,' saith God unto the same Moses, which is all 
one and to say, 'Thee have I chosen;' for, ver. 19, speaking of Moses also, 
he saith, ' I ^vill shew mercy on whom I wUl shew mercy,' which the Apostle 
quoteth in Rom. ix. as spoken of election. Now in respect of his love that 
is thus firm, and firm in respect that it is his love who is God and not man, 
and therefore changeth not; it is therefore said of the elect that it is im- 
possible that they should be deceived. As I told you there are two founda- 
tions, so there are two impossibles made in Scripture ; I know there are 
more, as it is impossible that God should lie, &c., but I speak of impossibles 
that relate to God's decrees. The one is. Matt, xxvi 39, 'If it be possible, 
let this cup pass from me.' It was not possible Why? Because God's 

EpH, II. 4-6.] TO THE EPUESIANS. 175 

eternal love to his saints had decreed it otherwise, and God stuck firm to it. 
The other impossible is in Matt. xxiv. 24, ' Insomuch that, if it were possible, 
they should deceive the very elect ;' that is impossible too. And the truth 
is, the reason of this firmness is because it is the love of God, and because it 
is so great a love ; that is the foundation of it. And, my brethren, it is well 
that love made God's decrees for us; no attribute else would have fixed them 
so unalterably upon the same persons, in themselves so changeable. Would 
■wisdom alone have gone and obliged God to so fickle a creature as we are ] 
No. But love knew what it did, for it meant to manifest itself to the utter- 
most ; therefore it pitched upon no conditions why God loved us ; and if he 
requires conditions before he saveth us, love shall work those conditions in 
us. Therefore out of his infinite love and wisdom, he was able to make ab- 
solute promises to love, and to love firmly. It is love that commandeth all 
in God, and if love will do it, it shall be done ; for if all that is in God can 
keep us and preserve us, and work in us what God requires to make him 
love us, and continue to love us, it shall be done. It is firm love. 

And let me add this to it, which may illustrate it more, it is invincible 
love. You will say, this is the same thing with being unchangeable. I con- 
fess it, but only with this difference, that to shew his love is unchangeable, 
he would have a world of difiiculties to run through, which yet his love 
should overcome. Saith he in Cant. viii. 6, 7, — and he speaks of his love, 
having set us as a seal upon his arm, having this seal, ' The Lord knows who 
are his,' — ' Love is as strong as death. Many waters cannot quench love, 
neither can the floods drown it.' They are therefore called the sure mercies 
of David. And you know how David put them to the trial, and how he put 
God to it. What difficulties doth the love of God overcome 1 Do but con- 
sider. The purposes of his secret will toward us do overcome all the difficulties 
of his revealed will, and those were enough. He had given a laAV of his re- 
vealed will, and he had said that heaven and earth should pass away before 
one tittle of that should perish ; and that the soul that sinned should die ; 
and all had sinned and transgressed this law. But now though all were fast 
locked up under this, yet love breaks open all, for it is an invincible love. 
That secret purpose of his, I say, overcomes that revealed expression of his, 
which had so many bolts and bars to it, — all the threatenings and curses of 
the law, — and finds out a way to reconcile aU. 

And the way whereby he did it, it was an infinite difficulty. For God to 
overcome his own heart ! Do you think it was nothing for him to put his 
Son to death 1 When Christ came to die, what a difficulty did he overcome ! 
Do you think it was nothing for him to give up himself and his soul to the 
wrath of his Father ? ' Father,' saith he, ' if it be possible, let this cup pass ; ' 
save them, if it be possible, some other way. Why, God's love overcame 
it, and Christ's love overcame it ; his love would not permit him to think of 
any other course ; it was an invincible love. When he comes to call us, 
hath he no difficulties which love overcometh 1 A man hath lived twenty 
thirty, forty years in sin ; love overcomes it. We were dead in sins and tres- 
passes ; yet for the great love wherewith he loved us, he quickened us. When 
we have been dead, and dead forty years in the grave, that ' lo, he stinketh,' 
then doth God come and conquer us; it is an invincible love. After our 
calling, how do we provoke God ! What a world of difficulties do we run 
through ! Such temptations that, if it were possible, the elect should be 
deceived ! It is so with all Christians. No righteous man but he is ' scarcely 
saved;' and yet saved he is, because the love of God is invincible, it over- 
comes all difficulties. Still, as the Apostle saith, in Rom. viii. 35, 37, 'Who 


shall separate us from the love of God 1 shaU life or death ? ' &c. In all these, 
saith he, ' we are more than conquerors.' There is an invincibleness ; but how? 
' Through him that loveth us,' so it foUows ; and mark that particle, it is be- 
cause his love is an invincible love that doth thus make us to be conquerors : 
because that love is as strong as death, therefore neither death nor life, — it is 
as strong as heU, therefore neither hell nor devil, shall be able to separate. 

Nay, where there is but a mention made by way of supposition, or by way 
of query, whether God will part with or cast off any of his people or no ; 
you shall find that he throws it away with the highest indignation, his love 
is so great. Paul doth but put the question because he knew men would put 
it, in Rom. xi. 1, 'Hath God cast away his people?' How doth the Holy 
Ghost answer it ? ' God forbid,' saith he. He speaks with the highest de- 
testation that there should be any such thought in God. Even as in another 
place in the same epistle, chap. vi. 1, ' Shall we continue in sin that grace 
may abound ?' Oh, God forbid ! He throws it away with all the indignation 
that can be ; and God may allow the one as soon as do the other. He throws 
it away, I say, with the highest indignation that ever such supposition could 
be made, that God should have such a thought. He is so possessed with love 
to his people that he will hear nothing to the contrary. ' Who shall lay 
anything to the charge of God's elect?' saith the Apostle; 'it is God that 
justifieth,' and it is their being elect that carries it. Yea, his love is so 
strong that if there be any accusation, — the Apostle makes the supposition, 
' Who shall lay anything to their charge V sin or devil ? — that if at any time 
sin or devil come to accuse, it moves God to bless. His love is so violent, 
it is so set, that he takes occasion to bless so much the more. In Deut. 
xxiii. 5, when Balaam would lay something to the charge of the elect people 
of God there, and accuse them and curse them, what saith the text ? ' Never- 
theless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam,' he would not hear 
of it ; and, not only so, ' but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing 
unto thee.' And why ? ' Because the Lord thy God loved thee.' His love 
was so strong as it overruled all the accusations Balaam could make, and all 
his curses. Even as a king that loveth his favourite, if any one comes to 
accuse him, it provokes him — his love doth — so much the more not only to 
pardon him, but to shew his love to him. My brethren, if that God be 
angry with us for our sins, it is for our good ; and in the end they do pro- 
voke him to bless us so much the more. This must needs be invincible love. 
' Who shaU separate us from the love of God ? who shall lay anything to the 
charge of God's elect ? In aU this we are more than conquerors.' And so 
much now for the second thing which is proper to this love in God, which 
the Apostle calls his love, and to no creatures else in the world as it is in 
God, namely, to love thus invincibly and unchangeably as he doth. 

Thirdly, His love is the same love wherewith he loveth his Son; yea, where- 
with he loveth himself. 

It is the same love ivherewith he loveth his Son. For that you have a known 
place in John xvii. 23, 26. At the 24th verse, saith Christ, Thou hast loved 
me before the foundation of the world, and hast therefore given me a glory, 
and thou hast united me unto thyself. Thou art in me, and I in thee, so 
ver. 21 ; and thou hast united a company of thine — so he calls them, ver. 6 — 
unto me, I in them, and thou in me, so saith the 23d verse ; and then what 
follows 1 ' That the world may know that thou hast loved them, as thou hast 
loved me.' As he is united to God, and we to him, so God loveth us with 
the same love wherewith he loved him. 

And then again you have the like expression, ver. 26, ' That the love where- 

EpH. II. 4-G.] TO THE EPHESIA^S. 177 

with thou lovest me may be in them,' — that is, towards them, set upon them, 
derived to them. Ic is a phrase of kin to that in the text ; ' the love where- 
with he loved us,' saith the Apostle ; * the love wherewith thou lovest me,' 
saith Christ, to note a special love : but that which I quote it for is this, 

* that the love wherewith thou lovest me may be in them,' or ' on them,' also. 
God loved all his creatures. He loved Adam, but not with that kind of love 
wherewith he loved Christ ; but he loveth his elect with the same kind of 
love wherewith he loved him, the same love is set and pitched on them. 
He loveth him as his Son, and them as daughters married to him : as a 
father loveth his son, and a daughter married unto him, with the same 
kind of love, and ditfering from his love to the servants, or to any else that 
are about him. And therefore you shall find that still this love comes in 
with a distinction : Rom. viii. 39, ' Nor height, nor depth, nor any other 
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ 
Jesus.' !Mark it, he distinguisheth ; there is a love indeed which men have 
been and are separated from, even Adam in innocency ; but, saith he, if it 
be a love in Christ Jesus, if God loveth us with that kind of love where-«?ith 
he loveth Christ, nothing shall separate from that. For as we are said to 
be chosen in Christ, so we are said to be loved in him ; for election, or the 
act of choosing, is expressed to us still by an act of love, — it is all one, they 
are convertible. Now, he is said to choose in Christ, so to love in Christ ; 
and saith the Apostle, nothing shall separate us from the love of God in 
Christ. He speaks it by way of distinction from other love which men may 
be separated from ; but from this, saith he, there is no separation. 

Yea, let me go higher. God loving us in Christ, his love is in a manner 
ilie same wherewith he loveth himself. There is a union betwixt Jesus Christ 
and us, and there is also a union between God and us : John xvii. 23, ' I in 
them, and thou in me.' As our Lord and Saviour Christ loved his people so 
as that if his people be hurt, he takes it as if it were done to himself, — ' Saul, 
Saul, why persecutest thou me V — so you shall find that God himself speaks 
as if his people and he were all one. It is not only, as in John, ' thine they 
were,' and, * God knoweth them that are his,' — and these are great words, 
they are deep words, and deep expressions, — but you shall find that God in 
the Old Testament speaks in the person of his people, as well as Christ doth 
in the New. Ps. Ixxxi. 5, ' This he ordained in Joseph, for a testimony,' 
speaking of God, ' when he went out of Egypt,' meaning his people. And 
therefore, in Exod. xi, 8, saith he to Pharaoh, ' About midnight I wdll go 
out into the midst of Egypt, and all the first-born shall die,' &c. ' And after 
that I will go out,' — that is, my people shall go out. So that now, as the 
union between Christ and his people is such, and his love such, as that what 
was done to them, he reckons done to himself ; so between God and us also. 

* Thine they were,' saith Christ, ' and thou gavest them me.' They are more 
God's therefore than Christ's, or first God's, and then given unto Christ. 
Therefore, in Isa. Ixiii. 9, in all their afiliction he is said to be afflicted. 
Yea, the salvation of his people God accounts his salvation, Isa. xlix. 6 : 

* Thou shalt be,' speaking of Christ, ' my salvation unto the end of the earth.' 

And though God loveth himself with a natural love, yet this his love to 
us is now in a manner naturalised, because he is become a father to us. He 
was happy in himself, and might be so without us for ever; yet now he 
speaks as if that the want of us would make him imperfect : ' Who shall 
separate us from the love of God 1 ' The word implies a separation, like the 
rending of the soul from the body ; and as the soul would be imperfect with- 
out the body, so the love that God bears us would make him so too, if there 



could be a separation. Therefore in Zeph. iii. 17, he is said to 'rest in his 
love;' if he enjoyed us not, he would never be at rest else. To these kind 
of expressions, my brethren, doth the Scripture rise. 

And so much now for having opened this, ' his great love wherewith he 
loved us.' His love, a love that is proper unto God, which therefore must 
needs be thus great, as you have heard it opened to you. The greatness of 
this love, in respect of his giving Christ to be our head, and carrying us to, 
and giving of us heaven, and the like ; that follows alter, and I shall speak 
to them in their season and order. I have done, you see, with that which 
is the main foundation, viz., ' for the great love wherewith he loved us.' I 
should have first handled the first clause in the verse, vi^., *' But God, who is 
rich in mercy ; ' but you may remember, I told you that love was in this to 
have the pre-eminence, because it was an act of love first taken up, and this 
great love is that which guides and stirs up, manageth, and spends, and 
draws out all the riches of mercy that are in God towards us, when we were 
'dead in sins and trespasses.' Now then there must be something said to 
that, that he is rich in mercy. 

But God, who is rich in mercy. — These words, for the opening of them, 
may be considered two ways : — 

1. In their relation or reference, in the Apostle's scope here. 

2. Simply as they are in themselves. 

1. In their relation or refer enoe, they do, first, hold forth, that to save us 
all the riches of mercy that are in God were necessary. Had not God been 
thus rich in mercy, and borne so great a love to us, we had not been quickened, 
such was our misery, and such was our condition. They do imply, secondly, 
that all the riches of mercy that are in God, and all in God, did move him 
thus to be merciful and to be gracious to us. And then, thirdly, that where 
God doth love, there he wUl shew forth to the uttermost all those riches of 
mercy that are in him, he wUl spend them all to save us, he hath engaged 
them all. ' God,' saith he, ' who is rich in mercy, for his great love where- 
with he loved us, even when we were dead in sins and trespasses, hath quick- 
ened us, and saved us.' 

2. If you take the words simply in themselves, they import two things : — 
(1.) That God is of a merciful nature and disposition. 

(2.) That there are riches of mercy in that nature of his. 

The words imply both. 

First, I say, that he is merciful in his nature and disposition ; which I 
argue from two things in the text and in the context. 

First, if you observe it, when he sjjeaks of his love, he speaks of it as an 
act taken up by God, though he is of a loving nature, which is the founda- 
tion of that act. ' The love wherewith he loved us,' saith he. But when he 
speaks of mercy, he speaks of it as of a disposition which love stirred up, 
which love expendeth and commandeth, guideth and directeth. God, saith 
he, being in himself rich in mercy, and in his own nature, and having pitched 
an act of love upon us, for that great love wherewth he loved us, setting 
aside that nature of mercy that is in him, hath saved us, and quickened us. 
Secondly, though I do not much urge the participle, cSv, God being rich, 
which being in God is his essence; for though that word u)v is not always 
taken for parita'piwTO essencZi, yet notwithstanding, look upon the words just 
before, he speaks of what we were by nature : we were by nature, saith he, 
and by our natural disposition, children of wrath ; and so on the contrary, 
speaking of God : God, saith he, rrXovatog wv, who is in his nature, in his dis- 
position, merciful and ' rich in mercy, even when we were dead,' &c. 

EpH. II. 4-6. J TO THE EPHESIAN>5. 179 

So that, I say, the words simply considered in themselves import, first, 
that God is in his nature and disposition merciful, which is the foundation 
of our salvation. And then, that the mercy that is in him is a rich mercy ; 
there are riches of mercy in him. 

I shall speak a word or two to the first. It is his disposition thus to he 
mercijid. You have an expression in 2 Cor. i 3, where God is said to be 
the ' Father of mercies ; ' which imports that as he is the spring of all mercy, 
so it is natural to him, as it is to a father to beget children. He is not only 
said to be a father unto us, and like a father to be merciful to us ; but he is 
said to be the Father of all the mercies which he doth bestow upon us, more 
the Father of mercies than Satan is said to be the father of sin ; yet he is 
said to be the father of sin, and when he sinncth, he sinneth of his own, 
John viii. 44. I say, it is his nature, it is his disposition. ' God,' saith he, 
' who is rich in mercy ; ' it is his being. We are by nature children of wrath, 
he is by nature merciful. 

Mercy is his delight, and therefore natural to him, as in all acts of nature 
you know there is a delight. Micahvii. 18, * He retaineth not his anger for 
ever, because,' saith he, ' he delighteth in mercy.' 

The mercies of God are called in Scripture his boweU ; now there is no- 
thing so intimate or so natural to a man as his bowels are. And they are 
called his bowels because they are his inwards j and all that is within him, 
his whole being and nature inclines him to it. Luke i. 78, ' Through the 
tender mercy of our God ; ' so we translate it, look in your margins, it is 
the 'bowels of God.' So in James v. 11, he is called TOAuc-^vayj^no;, fuU of 
bowels. You know the bowels are the most inward and the most natural, 
more than outward members. A man may lose an outward member and be 
a man stUl ; but he cannot lose his inwards, his bowels. They are said t<j 
be his bowels, because all the mercy he sheweth, he doth it from within. 
Hosea ii. 19, 'I •will betroth thee unto me in loving-kindness and in mer- 
cies ; ' in the original it is, ' I will betroth thee unto me in mercy and in 
bowels ; ' yea, in the womb of mercy, as the word signifies. Now, as Sanc- 
tius well observes, he doth not only make a covenant to be a husband to us 
and to betroth us to himself in mercy ; but, saith he, thou shalt have my 
bowels, thou shalt have the womb itself that conceives them, thou shalt have 
the mother of mercies, as he himself is siiid to be the Father of mercies, be- 
cause that mercy is his inwards, and he begets it, he conceives it ; he is both 
the womb of mercies and the Father of mercies. All these expressions the 
Scripture hath, to shew how natural tliey are to him as himself. ' God, who 
is rich in mercy,' saith he. 

And then again ; it is his nature and disposition, because when he doth 
shew mercy, he doth it with his whole heart. 1 Chron. xviL 19, 'According 
to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness,' saith David, when he 
speaks of God's shewing mercy ; that is, thou hast shewn mercy like thyself, 
like the great God, ' according to thine own heart.' 

My brethren, though God is just, yet his mercy may be in some respect 
said to be more natural to him than all acts of justice itself that God doth 
shew, I mean vindicative justice; in them there is a satisfaction to an attri- 
bute, in that he meets and is even with sinners; yet notwithstanding there 
is a kind of violence done to himself in it, the Scripture so expresseth it; 
there is something in it that is contrary to him. And so many interpret 
that place, ' I will not the death of a sinner ; ' that is, I delight not simply 
in it, I will not do it animi causa, for pleasure's sake, because I delight in 
the thing, as those that are of the Remonstrants' opinion slander the other 


party, that they make God to delight in the death of a sinner. No ; when 
he exerciseth acts of justice, it is for a higher end, it is not simply for 
the thing itself; there is always something in his heart against it. But 
when he comes to shew mercy, to manifest that it is his nature and disposi- 
tion, it is said that he doth it with his whole heart ; there is nothing at all 
in him that is against it, the act itself pleaseth him for itself, there is no 
reluctancy in him. Therefore, in Lam. iii. 33, when he speaks of punish- 
ing, he saith, ' He doth not afflict willingly, ncJr grieve the children of men.' 
But when he comes to speak of shewing mercy, he saith he doth do it ' with 
his whole heart, and with his whole soul;' so the expression is, Jer. xxxii 
41. And therefore acts of justice, you know, are called opus alienum, his 
' strange work,' and his ' strange act,' in Isa. xxviii. 21. But when he comes 
to shew mercy, he rejoices over them, to do them good, with his whole heart, 
and with his whole soul ; as it is in that Jer. xxxii. 41. 

EpU. 11. 1-6.] TO THE EPUESIANS. 181 


Bvt God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherexvith he loved us, even 
when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, {by 
grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit to- 
gether in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. — Vee. 4-6. 

The Apostle had handled in the verses before, and given the most exact de- 
scription of that wretched and deplorable estate which by nature we lie in; 
dead in sins and trespasses, and children of wrath. And he ushereth in our 
salvation, both in the thing and in the causes of it, with this ' but ' here : 
' But God, who is rich in mercy,' &c. Which is the greatest turn that ever 
was, that men dead in sins and trespasses, guilty of death over and over, and 
children of wrath by nature, he that is the just God should not have de- 
stroyed them. Xo, but, saith he, ' God, who is rich in mercy,' or, ' God, being 
rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were 
dead in sins, hath quickened us.' There was an ambushment of everlasting 
love and riches of mercy laid up in him, which that love hath disposed of 
for the salvation of them he hath chosen ; and out of that mercy, and out 
of that love, when we were thus dead in sins and trespasses, he hath quick- 
ened us together with Christ. Take notice of it ; saith he, ' by grace ye are 

His scope is to hold forth, and withal to magnify, those two great causes 
of our salvation that are in God himself. The one is, that act of love where- 
with he loved us and continued to love us, which, he saith, is a great love ; 
and, secondly, those riches of mercy which are in him. 

The greatness of this love I have endeavoured, so far as this text sets it 
forth, to lay open to you. I shall only give you in brief the heads of what 
I have said concerning it, and so proceed to speak of the riches of that mercy 
which are in God. I told you, the reason why I spake of love first was this : 
because, as here you see, it is his love, that though it is not the cause of the 
mercy that is in him, yet it is that which disposeth of all the treasury of 
mercy unto sinners, because he had first set his love upon them, and so great 
a love as he had done. 

Great, first, in respect of the subject of it, which is God j and if God will 
fall in love, how great will that love be ! 

It is great, secondly, in respect of the kind of it ; his love. The Apostle 
doth not only say, ' for the love wherewith he loved us,' but, ' for his great 
love wherewith he loved us,' such a love as the creatures bear not ; and the 
love ' wherewith he hath loved us,' not the love ' wherewith he did love us ' 
when he did convert us, but loved us from everlasting. ' "With an everlast- 
ing love have I drawn thee,' or rather, ' have I extended towards thee.' 

Lastly, the consideration of the persons upon whom this love is pitched 
argues the greatness of it, — us, us distinct, us by name, and us, not others, 
though others were children of wrath as well as we. ' We were,' saith he, 
* by nature children of wrath, even as others : but God, for the great love,' &c. 


These things I insisted largely upon in the last discourse. 

I am now to come to speak of the riches of mercy which are in God, so 
far forth as shall serve to open this text, and shall be proper to that which 
we have in hand. 

But God, who is rich in mercy, &c. — These are, my brethren, very great 
expressions ; therefore if I shall a little insist upon them, more than I have 
done upon former things, or than I shall do for time to come, you may 
pardon me. Yet what belongs to this head of riches of mercy, so far as this 
text holds it forth, I purpose to despatch in this discourse. 

The Apostle useth this high epithet, ' riches,' when he speaks of mercy 
and of grace, five times in this epistle. In the 1st chapter, ver. 7, you 
have it : 'In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness 
of sins, according to the riches of his grace.' Then you have it here, in this 
4th verse of the 2d chapter, ' God, who is rich in. mercy.' Then, thirdly, 
you have it in the 7 th verse of this chapter agaia, and there you have it 
Avith an addition, ' exceedmg riches of his grace.' And then, fourthly, you 
have it in the 3d chapter, ver. 8, * the unsearchable riches of Christ.' And 
then again, lastly, you have it in the 16th verse of the 3d chapter, 'that he 
would grant you, according to the riches of his glory.' I shall not so speak 
to it therefore now but that I shall reserve matter that shall be proper unto 
those texts when I come to speak to them. 

I need not then stand to give you any parallel scriptures to shew that 
God is called ' rich in mercy,' or that mercy in God is called 'rich mercy;' 
it being four or five times iu this epistle attributed unto mercy. I shall 
only name that in Rom. x. 12,' The same Lord over all is rich unto all that 
call upon him.' The Apostle indeed doth not there say that he is rich in 
mercy, but he means it ; for he would have said else, God is good unto all. 
But he thought that expression too little, and therefore he comes out with 
this, he is rich unto all ; that is, he is infinite, overflowing in goodness, he 
is good to a profuseness, he is good to the pouring forth of riches, he is good 
to an abundance. He speaks of mercy, for he speaks of salvation ; and he 
had said just before, ver. 11, but only this, and it was but a slender expres- 
sion, ' Whosoever believeth on htm shall not be ashamed ; ' but when he comes 
to prove it, then saith he, ' The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call 
upon him ; for whosoever shall call upon the name of Lord shall be saved.* 
For the proof of it, when he comes to speak of that, he speaks of the most; 
though when he speaks of the thing, he speaks of the least. 

Now, ' riches of mercy ' in God, is a metaphor borrowed from other riches 
amongst men, and he speaks of God here after the manner of men. Or, if 
you will, rather other things are called riches, by way of similitude from 
God ; for as God only is good, as Christ saith, so only he is rich : 1 
Chron. xxix. 1 2, ' Both riches and honour come of thee.' He only is good, 
because he is the fountain of all goodness ; and he only is rich, because he 
is the fountain of all riches. So as indeed other things are called riches 
because of a similitude to what is in him. But if we take it, as most do, to 
be spoken by a borrowed similitude from outward riches, alas ! still it doth 
not reach it. Why 1 Because that outward riches amongst men, they are 
all outward thingS; therefore they are said to have wings and to fly away, 
leave the man still, for they are but accidental to him. You have the inven- 
tory of the riches of Tyre in Ezek. xxvii., and they are all of things without. 
Now the truth is, that thus God is said to be rich too, in respect of out- 
ward things, that are outward to himself. ' The earth,' saith the Psalmist, 
'is full of his riches,' Ps. civ. 24. Yet these are all outward things unto 

EPil. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 183 

God, even as thoy are unto us, though they arc his riches properly, because 
they all come of hun. And, Deut. xxviii. 12, * The Lord shall open to thee 
his good treasure ;' speaking of Cod's blessing his people, which is but the 
blessings of the earth, and the dews of heaven. But, alas ! these are not the 
riches he valucth ; but, my brethren, the riches that he valueth are the 
riches that are in his OAvn nature. ' Let not the rich man glory in his riches,' 
Jcr. ix. 23. God himself glories not in these riches, though the whole earth 
is his, but that he exerciseth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness 
in the earth (ver. 24), that he is merciful and gracious. In these respects 
he is said to be rich, and rich in mercy. 

Inward worth, or inward excellency of any kind, is called riches ; as in 
James ii. 5, men are said to be ' rich in faith ; ' and in 1 Cor. i, 5, ' enriched 
in all utterance, and in all knowledge.' It is there a metaphor borrowed 
from what is outward, yet applied to what is inward ; and so here in the text 
riches are applied to mercy in God. Now then to open both the thing and 
the phrase to you : — 

I shall chalk out to you how I mean to handle this thing, in such a 
way as is most proper to the scope of the Apostle here, and I will not go 
out of it. There is a double way of handling the riches of this mercy that 
is in God : — 

The first is, to shew forth the eminent properties and excellencies that are 
in the mercies of God, which may be called the riches of this mercy, and 
the richness of that grace that is in him. 

Or, secondly, by shewing that there is abundance of these riches in God. 

These are two distinct things j and the one will serve and fit the 7th 
verse, for which I will reserve it, but the other fitteth this verse : therefore 
I shall speak properly and punctually to what the Apostle here expresseth. 

Riches is attributed both to things and to persons, and in a differing respect. 

Richness, or riches, is attributed to things, and then it importeth the 
excellency of them. As, rich apparel, Ezek. xxvii 24 ; or whatsoever else 
you will apply it unto. Yea, it is applied to the excellency in creatures 
that do not make men rich ; as wine is called rich wine, that is, that which 
is full of strength and pleasantness. It notes out, I say, the excellency of 
the thing. 

But then there are riches ascribed to the persons that possess them, in 
respect of having an abundance of what is most excellent. 

Now, mark it, riches attributed to the thing ; that is, unto mercy itself ; 
that you have in the 7th verse, — though the other will come in there too, yet 
more properly that, — ' that he might shew forth the exceeding riches of his 
grace.' There is the riches of the thing, the riches of the grace itself And 
so also all those excellent properties that are in grace, in mercy : the freeness, 
the worth, the value, the price, the tenderness, the sweetness, or what you 
will, — for the inward worth or excellency of anything is called, in use of 
speech, the richness of it, as a rich wine, a rich cordial, whatsoever is pleasant 
or excellent, — riches are attributed to all the properties of it. Now I shall 
not here handle the rich properties that are in mercy, which God shews 
forth in saving us ; I shall cut off all those, and reserve them for the 7th 
verse. I shall now only speak to the second, namely, riches attributed to 
the person or subject that hath this mercy; for you see the phrase here is, 
that ' Cod is rich in mercy;' and so I shall speak of that treasury that is in 
him, and is an abundance to flowing over. A man may have wine that is 
rich, and yet not be rich himself; but God is rich in mercy, and hath riches 
of mercy in him. 


Now in handling the riches of mercy that are in God, it may be done two 
ways : — 

First, To handle them as they are the cause and original in God of our 
salvation, as they do move him thereunto, and as they are the spring or 
mine of all the mercies we receive. Or — 

Secondly, To handle them by way of outward demonstration, in the effects, 
which may argue and evidence the greatness of these riches. 

ISTow ver. 4 and ver. 7 share these two between them. The 7th verse runs 
most upon the demonstration, or holding forth a manifestation of all the 
mercies that God had vouchsafed. For so he endeth in the close of that 
verse ; ' that in the ages to come,' saith he, ' he might shew the exceeding 
riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.' But 
these words in ver. 4 ct)me in casually, they come in as they are the motive 
in God which moved him to quicken us. And therefore that of the demon- 
stration of the riches of mercy in the effects, that shall come in at ver. 7, for 
there it is most proper. 

Here are three things which I shall handle in these words for the opening 
of them : — 

1. That mercy is a peculiar excellency in God, and he is therefore said to 
be * rich in mercy.' This I shall speak to in general, and you shall see it 
will naturally arise from the phrase in the text. 

2. I shall open the abundance of the riches of mercy that are in God sub- 

3. I shall shew you what riches of mercy, as the cause of our salvation, are 
in God, and do lie by him. ' God, who is rich in mercy,' saith he, ' for his 
great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath 
quickened us,' &c. And to handle them thus it is proper; all this is natural, 
it is not to go out of the text, it is but to open it ; for we must not fetch in 
all that can be said of mercy when we come to expound scriptures, which is 
the work we have now in hand. 

First, I say, mercy is a ])eculiar excellency in God. He reckons this of all 
other excellencies the highest and greatest. You shall find this amongst men, 
though thej' possess many excellencies, yet they are said to be rich only in 
what is eminently excellent; they are said to be rich only in respect of some- 
thing they possess in a more peculiar manner, whether riches be applied to in- 
ward excellencies of the mind or to outward. If to inward excellencies, let 
a man have never so much wisdom, yet his riches lie in faith; ' rich in faith,' 
saith the Apostle. It doth not he in his human prudence or wisdom, but in 
his faith, for faith is the superior and supreme excellency in him, in respect of 
which he is said to be rich, and which makes a man differ from other men, 
even as reason makes a man differ from a beast. If you attribute riches to 
outward things, a man is said to be rich only in that which is most eminently 
excellent ; as Abraham, Gen. xiii. 2, is said to be rich in silver and in gold. 
Therefore you know gold and silver and precious stones are in an eminent 
manner counted riches, or that which will procure them. Money, saith Solo- 
mon, answereth all things, Eccles. x. 19. And in Eccles. ii. 8, speaking of 
himself as bemg a king, saith he, ' I gathered me silver and gold, and the 
pecuhar treasure of kings.' It was the manner of kings then, and so is now; 
and if you travel into foreign parts you shall see it used more than with us ; 
they have all the rarities of what kind soever, which they reserve in a trea- 
sury, in a closet or study, great pearls and precious stones, and other rarities 
— these are the peculiar treasure of kings. So it is here. God, though he 
hath other excellencies in him, and all excellencies and perfections, yet, not- 

EpH. II. 4-G.J TO THE EPHE3IAN3. 185 

■withstanding, he is pleased to style himself rich in a pccnliar manner in 
respect of mercy; this is the peculiar treasure of the King of kings. As 
Solomon gathered him silver and gold and the peculiar treasure of kings, so, 
though God hath justice and power, and all these things in him, yet that 
which he peculiarly accounteth the treasure of God himself is his mercy ; 
' God, who is rich in mercy,' saith the text. 

You shall not read in all the Scripture, that I know of, that God is said 
to be rich in wrath, or rich in justice, or rich in power, though all these are 
inward perfections in him. Indeed you shall find this, that what is the ob- 
ject of his wrath he reckons a treasury for him too, but it is not ascribed to 
the attribute itself: Deut. xxxii. 33, 34, * Is not this laid up in store with 
me, and sealed up among my treasures?' But what speaks he of? He 
speaks of men's sins, as in the verses before : ' Their vine is the vine of Sodom, 
and of the fields of Gomorrah : their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters 
are bitter: their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 
Is not this,' saith he, ' laid up in store with me V &c. He speaks of these 
but as of outward riches to him, which will indeed one day bring in a revenue 
of glory to his justice. Therefore you see he useth those phrases that belong 
to external things ; ' laid up in store with me,' saith he, ' and sealed up among 
my treasures.' So that indeed the sinner is rather said to treasure up wrath 
than God : Eom. ii. 5, * After thy hardness and impenitent heart thou trea- 
surest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath,' — that is, the treasury 
of wrath in him, though God reckons it also his, because it is a prey for his 
justice to feed upon, and to fetch a world of glory out of it. But now you shall 
find still that riches is applied unto mercy, and if it be not only, yet this I 
am sure of, that it is most frequently, and I think indeed it may be said only. 
The Scripture speaks of riches of glory, Eph. iii. 1 6, ' That he would grant 
you, according to the riches of his glory.' Yet eminently mercy is there in- 
tended ; for it is that which God bestows, and which the Apostle there prayeth 
for. And he calls his mercy there his glory, as elsewhere he doth, as being 
the most eminent excellency in God. Saith he, in Jer. ix. 24, * Let him that 
glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the 
Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the 

Now, to what doth the Apostle apply this in 1 Cor. i. 30, 311 Unto 
God's giving of Jesus Christ, out of his abundant mercy, to be righteousness 
and redemption and all things for us. So that indeed here lies that which 
God would have us to glory in, and which he himself glories in, that we 
know him which exerciseth loving-kindness, and makes Christ our right- 
eousness. You know Solomon saith, Prov, xix. 11, that it is the glory of a 
man to pass over a transgression ; herein lies the glory of God. That in 
Rom. ix. 22, 23, compared, is observable. In ver. 22, where he speaks of 
God's making known the power of his wrath, saith he, ' God, willing to shew 
his wrath, and make his power known.' But in ver. 23, when he comes to 
speak of mercy, he saith, ' that he might make knovra the riches of his 
glory;' there riches come in. And what glory doth he mean ? Certainly he 
means the glory of his grace in a more eminent manner, as appeareth by the 
denomination of the subject; ' upon the vessels of mercy,' saith he. And so 
in Rom. x. 12, where he is said to be ' rich unto all that call upon him.' 
By riches there the meaning is, he is rich in goodness; he is, as I said, good 
to a richness, good to a profuseness, unto all that call upon him. So that 
indeed, my brethren, it is that peculiar attribute of mercy that riches is 
ascribed unto. There is one place, and it is in Rom. xi. 33, where riches is 


applied to the wisdom and knowledge of God. But believe it, the Apostle 
speaks there of electing knowledge and wisdom, that contriveth mercy for 
us, as the very words before shew, and as the conclusion of all his discourse 
in the next chapter, ver. 1, makes apparent, where, having ended his dis- 
course concerning God's having mercy upon Jew and Gentile, he saith, ' I 
beseech you by the mercies of God.' So that indeed mercy carries away the 
name of these riches, at leastwise most frequently in the New Testament. 

Now, do but think with yourselves, that I may quicken your hearts a 
little. There is nothing could be more comfortable to us than this, that God 
should account mercy, of all things else, to be his riches, and himself to be 
rich in a more special manner in mercy. You may see the difference be- 
tween God and men in their riches. Whilst kings and great men account 
their riches in other things, God accounts his riches in being merciful. My 
brethren, mercy, if you consider it, what is it ? Why, it is that which God 
himself hath no need of ; and therefore, when we say he is merciful, it wholly 
respects the creature and the good of the creature, and to deliver the creature 
out of misery. If he had said, ' God is rich in love,' that is unto himself, 
for he loves himself ; but merciful he is not to himself, neither is he capable 
of mercy from himself Therefore, when he saith he is rich in mercy, what 
can be more comfortable unto us than that that which God accounteth his 
only, or at least his chiefest riches, is that which tendeth to our good and sal- 
vation 1 He himself, indeed, hath a glory out of it ; therefore it is called 
riches of glory, chap. LIS. But yet take it as mercy, and it is that which 
peculiarly concerns us and our good. 

K his riches lay in anything else, we might not have so much hope and 
comfort, for he would employ those riches for the good of himself, as we see 
rich men in the world do. Kich men, though they give away crumbs from 
their table, as the expression is in tlie parable, yet the chief of their riches 
is all employed for themselves and their children. But if any one's riches 
should lie only in mercy and in gi-ace, and himself were in himself perfectly 
happy, so that he himself hath no need of all those riches, surely this must be 
all for poor creatures who are capable of mercy, and are the objects of mercy, 
and sinners ; they have the chiefest share in it. It is an observable thing 
that in Rom. x. 1 2, where God is said to be ' rich unto all,' not rich in him- 
self, but rich unto us ; so the phrase runs. If there were a man that were 
rich in all things that the world accounts riches, and that man should account 
it his chiefest riches to give aU this away, how would all the world come to 
him ! ISIy brethren, thus it is with God. He is rich in that attribute that 
gives all away, for he is said to be rich iu mercy. I shall speak a little more 
to tliis in the close of all, by way of use ; therefore I urge it now no more. 

I come to the second thing, viz.. To open to you the abundance of these 
riches of mercy that are in God. 

This phrase in the text, * God, who is rich in mercy,' take it simply, and it 
imports — 

First, A fiilness and an abundance of mercy in God, even to superfluity 
and to flowing over. Any one that is said to be rich in anything hath an 
abundance of it, or else he cannot be said to be ricL ' Now ye are full,* 
saith the Apostle, and ' ye are rich,' in 1 Cor. iv. 8. If there be not a ful- 
ness, there is not riches. * thou that art abundant in treasures,' saith he 
to Babylon, in Jer. li. 13. A man is then said to be rich when he is abun- 
dant in treasures to an overplus. ' Whose belly thou fiUest with thy hid 
treasure,' saith the Psalmist, Ps. xvii. 14, for he calls all these outward things 
in the world God's treasure; ' and they leave the rest of their substance ' — so 

Epu. II. 4-6.] TO THE ephesians. 187 

we translate it — ' to their babes ; ' they have an overplus, so Ainsworth and 
others read it. Now God hath mercy in him to an abundance, to an over- 
plus : 1 Peter i. 3, ' V/ho according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us 
again.' There is an abundance of mercy in him, even to a flowing over: 
1 Tim. L 14, ' The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant ; ' it was over- 
full, it was to a flowing over. In Rom. v. 1 7, it is said that those that are par- 
doned receive abundance of grace and mercy. And for our comfort, it is good 
to compare the expressions of the Scripture one with another. In that Rom. 
V. 20, it is said that sin doth abound. When sin abounded, saith he, the mear 
sure of man's iniquity was brimful ; but when he comes to speak of gi-ace, 
he puts an v'zeo upon it; {)'riPi-:r-oisa-va£v, saith he, 'grace did much more 
abound.' There was a flowing, and a flowing over of grace, as the word there 
signifies. Grace did not only overflow, but infinitely overflow, it was over- 
superfluous, there was more than enough of it for the salvation of sinners. 
Now it is said to be abundant — 

1. In respect of the multitude of the mercies that are in God. 

2. In respect of the variety of them. 

3. In respect of the greatness of them, the height, the depth, the length, 
the breadth of them. 

1. I say, in respect of the multitude of mercies in God. You shall there- 
fore find that the Scripture speaks of mercies under multitudes : Ps. IL 1, 
' Accordmg to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgres- 
sions ; ' Ps. Ixix. 1 3, ' O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me ; ' Isa. 
Iv. 7, ' Our God, he will multiply to pardon,' as the word there is, which we 
translate, ' he mil abundantly pardon.' 

2. In respect of their variety, they are manifold mercies. Riches lie in 
a variety. In Ezek. xxvii. 12, Tyre is said to have a multitude of all kinds 
of riches. Now as God hath a multitude of mercies, so he hath a multitude 
of all kinds of mercies. Therefore you shall find in the Scripture that 
mercy still runs in the plural, not only to note out that they are many, but 
that they are manifold, there is variety of them. Rom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you 
by the mercies of God' In Neh. ix. 19, 27, a chapter wherein God and 
man striveth, as it were, whether God's mercies or man's sin should outvie 

'one another, there is mention made of the manifoldness of his mercies. And 
in Isa. Ixiii. 7, there is ' the multitude of his loving-kindnesses,' which are 
there called the ' praises of the Lord,' because they are his glory. As our 
hearts and the de^dl are the father of variety of sins, so God is the father of 
variety of mercies, and they are as so many children to him which he begets. 
And there is no sin or misery but God hath a mercy for it, and he hath a 
multitude of mercies of every kind too ; even hke an apothecary that hath 
an abimdance of drugs of all sorts for all kind of diseases. As there is no 
disease but God hath made a remedy for it, so there is no misery but God 
hath mercy for it. He hath found out a remedy for sin, the hardest thing 
to cure of all things else, and therefore he hath provided a remedy for all 
other misery. And as there are variety of miseries which the creature is 
subject unto, so he hath in himself a shop, a treasury of all sorts of mercies, 
divided into several promises in the Scripture, which are but as so many 
boxes of this treasure, the caskets of variety of mercies. If thy heart be 
hard, his mercies are tender. If thy heart be dead, he hath mercy to quicken 
it, as Ps. cxix. hath it again and again. If thou be sick, he hath mercy to 
heal thee. If thou be sinful, he hath mercies to sanctify and cleanse thee. 
As large and as various as are our wants, so large and various are his mercies. 
So as we may come boldly to find grace and mercy to help us in time of need, 


a mercy for every need, as the Apostle speaks. AU the mercies that are in 
his own heart he hath transplanted them into several beds, as I may so ex- 
press it, in the garden of the promises, where they grow, and he hath abund- 
ance of variety of them, suited to aU the variety of the diseases of the soul. 

Secondly, As riches are attributed unto mercy in respect of abundance, so 
in respect of hiddenness and unJcnownness. We use to say of a rich man that 
he is of an unknown wealth and estate ; so the Scripture calls it hidden trea- 
sure. In Isa. xlv. 3, ' I will give thee,' saith he, speaking of C3aTis, ' the 
treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places.' Now, the mercies 
of God, they are hidden, they are unsearchable. As there are curses, written 
and not written, — as in Deut. xxviu. 61, after the mention of several curses 
for disobedience, he saith, * Also I wiU bring upon thee every plague which 
is not written in this book,' — so there are also blessings which are not written. 
He had told them of blessings that he would bestow upon them for their 
obedience in the former part of that chapter, but he tells them, ver. 12, as 
the conclusion of all the blessings enumerated before, that he had a treasury 
to open : ' The Lord,' saith he, ' shall open upon thee his good treasure ;' as 
if he had not mentioned half before, and that those he had mentioned were 
but a few instances of that treasure of mercy he had by him. And in that 
respect, because of hiddenness, the riches of mercy in God are called a depth 
of riches, Rom. xi. 33, ' O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and 
knoAvledge of God ! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out ! ' If he had said, the depth ! it had been enough ; but 
he saith, O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! how unsearch- 
able are his judgments ! For it is a treasury that hath no bottom, it is past 
finding out. He speaks of mercy, because he speaks of foreknowledge, which 
contriveth ways of shewing mercy, as the beginning of chap. xi. shews. Now, 
my brethren, if his judgments be a great depth, as you have it, Ps. xxxvi. 
6, ' Thy judgments are a great deep ;' his mercies then are much more. For 
if you compare ver. 5-1 of that psalm, you shall find that by judgments 
he doth not mean outward judgments of wrath and vengeance ; but he 
speaks of mercy, and but of common mercy there, the works of his provi- 
dence, — for so 'judgments' is often taken in the Scripture Hkewise, — for when 
he saith, ' Thy judgments are a great deep, O Lord,' it follows, ' Thou pre- 
servest man and beast,' meaning the mercies he sheweth to man and beast 
in common : these, he saith, are a great deep. And the Apostle, in that 
Eom. xi. — which place this of the psalms openeth — saith they are unsearch- 
able, and past finding out. 

Now, I say, if these judgments of God are a great deep, these common 
mercies that are exercised to man and beast, how excellent is his loving- 
kindness — for so it follows in that psalm — or his grace unto those that trust 
in him ? ' They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house ; 
and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with 
thee is the fountain of life : in thy light shaU we see light. Oh, continue thy 
loving-kindness unto them that know thee !' &c. Clearly this is the meaning 
of it. If, saith he, thou shewest so much mercy and goodness and faithful- 
ness here in the earth, that thy mercy is in the heavens, and thy faithful- 
ness reacheth unto the clouds, and thy righteousness is Hke the great moun- 
tains, and thy judgments and common ways of mercy, whereby thou preserv- 
est man and beast, are a great deep ; what is that mercy thou hast laid up for 
those that fear thes ! The psalmist breaks out. How excellent is thy loving- 
kindness, Lord, to the sons of men that trust in thee ! If the earth be so 
full of thy mercy, as indeed it is, for riches of patience and long-suffering 


are the common mercies which all the world live upon ; if these mercies 
reach to the clouds, and are over all his works, what hatli he reserved and 
laid up for those that are vessels of mercy, whom he hath prepared for mercy, 
whom he hath widened and extended for mercy ! The Scripture itself can- 
not hold them. There are mercies written and unwritten ; there is a treasury 
laid up in heaven, to be broke up at the latter day, which we know not of. 
And what is the reason 1 Because God sheweth mercy ' according to his 
own heart,' 1 Chron. xvii. 19, Now if a king give, he will give as a king, 
according to his riches; so doth God. In 1 Kings x. 13, it is said that King 
Solomon * gave the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked.' 
So will God do ; open thy mouth as wide as thou canst, ask of God what 
riches of mercy thou wilt, he will give thee all thy desire. ' Besides,' saith 
the text, ' that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty.' So here, God 
hath mercy to give whatsoever thou canst ask, besides those hidden trea- 
sures of mercy which he hath lying by him, to bestow according to his own 

Thirdly, Riches imply, as abundance and hiddenness, so inexhaustedness. 
You shall find, in Isa. ii. 7, mention made of treasures that have no end ; 
for that is riches indeed that seems to have no bottom. Such is the mercy 
of God, it is riches of mercy, mercy that hath no end, no bottom. He can 
forgive great sins, and continue to do it : ' Forgiving iniquity, transgression, 
and sin,' saith the text, Exod, xxxiv. ; and so in Micah vii, 1 8, ' Who is a 
God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression 
of the remnant of his heritage?' In Matt, xviii, 24, 27, speaking there in 
the parable of forgiveness, he saith, he forgave ten thousand talents which 
one that was brought unto him owed him ; and he speaks of that common 
forgiveness of a temporary behever too. Ten thousand talents is a mighty 
sum. Do but think what they are. Amaziah, in 2 Chron. xxv. 6, hired a 
hundred thousand mighty men of valour for an hundred talents. What would 
a thousand talents do then 1 What would ten thousand talents do then ? 
All this is to express the great riches of his mercy in forgiving. When thou 
wast first turned unto God, wliat a world of sin didst thou bring with thee ! 
ten thousand talents ! He forgave them all, when he first quickened thee, 
when he first converted thee, and he doth continue, and will continue, to do 
so too, ' How oft,' saith Peter, in that Matt, xviii. 21, ' shall my brother 
sin against me, and I forgive him ? TiU seven times V Thou art a niggard, 
saith Christ ; forgive not until seven times, but until seventy times seven. 
And Christ there alludeth to that phrase of the Jews, when they would ex- 
press an unlimited number, they would say, till seven times : Gen, iv. 24, 
* Cain shall be avenged sevenfold ; ' they went no further than to seven to 
express an unknown number. But, saith Christ, I say, forgive until seventy 
times seven. And mark, as I may say, the gracious wit of the allusion, 
' Until seven times,' is spoken of vengeance ; but when he speaks of forgive- 
ness, he saith, ' until seventy times seven ; ' that is, to an infinity. So that 
though his vengeance be to seven times, his mercy is to seventy times seven. 
His compassions are said to ' fail not,' in Lam, iii, 22, and that because 
they are ' renewed every morning.' But I will not insist upon opening that 
neither, for I think I spoke more largely to it heretofore, and I would speak 
those things now which I did not speak then. My brethren, they are mercies 
from everlasting, and they wiU continue unto everlasting ; it is a treasure 
that can never be spent, never be exhausted, unto eternity. In Isa. Ixiv, 5, 
*In thy mercy is continuance,' K God will but continue to be merciful to 
me, will a poor soul say, I have enough. Why, saith he, * in his mercies is 


continuance, and we shall be saved.' Hath God, or can God pardon thee 
hitherto, but now thou hast sinned again 1 Oh, do but stretch them out a 
little further. Why, he will stretch them out unto eternity, unto everlast- 
ing; and if one everlasting be not enough, there are twenty- six everlast- 
ings m one psalm, Ps. cxxxvi. In Isa. liv. 8, ' In a little wrath I hid my 
face from thee, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.' 

And then again, God is said to be rich in mercy because he is rich unto all, 
unto multitudes; not unto one, or unto some only, but unto all that do come 
in, that do call upon him, Rom. x. 12; unto the Gentiles, as well as the 
Jews, as here it is. And indeed, my brethren, when is it that that attri- 
bute ' riches' began to be given unto the mercy and grace of God, but when 
the calling of the Gentiles began to be spoken of, because it is an exten- 
sive riches, a riches that serves all the world 1 I have a treasure of riches by 
me, saith God, and do you think I will coop myself up to the Jews only ? 
No, he is Lord over all, and rich unto all that call upon him. And this i? 
proper unto the scope here, — it is the observation of Cajetan upon the place, 
— for you shall observe that the Apostle all along, both in the first chapter 
and in this, had carried it both to Jew and to Gentile, that God predes- 
tinated the Jews, and predestinated the Gentiles also, &c. He sheweth forth 
his mercy unto all, he doth not do it to a few, but to aU sorts of multitudes 
of men. 

And so much now for the second head, namely, the abundance of the 
riches of mercy that are in God. 

I come now to the third, viz.. To shew you what riches of mercy, as 
the cause of our salvation, are in God. This phrase, * rich in mercy,' I told 
you, comes in here as the cause of our salvation. Now God is rich in mercy 
three ways; he hath three treasuries, as I may so speak, of mercies, that do 
lie by him : — 

1. He hath the riches of his own nature, of the mercies that are natural to 
him, as I shewed in the last discourse that mercy was natural to him. We 
were by nature, saith he, ' children of wrath,' but God is by nature * rich in 

2. He hath not only riches of mercy in his nature, — for so he might have 
had, and never a sinner the better, — but he hath laid up riches of mercy in his 
everlasting purposes and decrees, as much as the elect can spend, or shall 

3. He hath acquired riches, purchased riches ; he hath all the merits of 
Christ lying by him, that purchased all the mercies that ever he meant to 

And all these three he had as the causes that moved him to shew mercy 
to us. ' God, who is rich in mercy,' saith he ; rich in his own nature, rich 
in his everlasting purposes of mercy, rich in respect of that purchase of 
mercy which Christ brought in to him. 

He is, first, rich in respect of a mine of mercies which are in his own 
heart, which are in his own nature. My brethren, this is the difference be- 
twixt God's riches and man's. Man's riches are gotten by receiving, because 
they consist in outward things, they are added to a man ; and indeed they 
are, if great, usually gotten by despoiling of others, and others are the poorei 
for it ; but God's riches are aU in himself, himself is the mine of them. I 
shewed you once, of which I wiU not speak one whit now, the West Indies 
of all these mercies, and the proceed was this, — and I know nothing more to 
set forth the mercy of God, — that all the attributes that are in God, all his 
wisdom, aU his truth, all his very justice itself, all that is in God, moves 

EpH. II. 4-6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 101 

hiin to be merciful. To make good this is a great undertaking ; but the 
Scripture is so clear in it, as in nothing more. Now if there were an elixir, a 
philosopher's stone, as they call it, that would turn all that a man hath into 
gold, how rich would that man be ! Why, mercy in God turns all his attri- 
butes to itself, to those that God loves. And therefore, in Exod. xxxiv. it is 
made his whole name. ' The Lord,' saith he, ver. 5, ' descended in a cloud, 
and proclaimed the name of the Lord ; and the Lord passed by, and pro- 
claimed, The Lord, the Lord, merciful and gracious,' &c. 

I come now to the second, how there is a mine of mercy laid up in his 
purposes and decrees. A man is said to be rich that hath a stock and trea- 
sure laid up by him. ' Thou hast much goods laid up for many years,' saith 
the rich man in the parable. Now God hath so. He is not only infinitely 
merciful in his nature, — that is the mine, — but in his purposes and decrees. 
He hath laid by as many mercies for his children as they shall for ever spend, 
or stand in need of. ISIercies might have been in his nature, and reserved 
to himself. He might have had that treasure, and have hid it. No, but he 
took what was in his nature, in his own gracious disposition. He found 
himself to be so and so compassionate to sinners, and he decrees so to be in 
the manifestation of it to them. If you compare that place in Exod. xx. 5, 6, 
with Exod. xxxiv. 7, you shall find that the text saith that he reserveth or 
keepeth mercy, lays it up by him as a stock and as a treasure. And for how 
long doth he lay it up 1 What, for one or two generations 1 So indeed he 
saith in respect of punishing. 'Visiting,' saith he, ' the iniquity of the fathers 
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate 
me ;' but 'he keepeth mercy for thousands of generations of them that love 
him.' So that, look what proportion three or four have to millions, that 
proportion hath the treasury of mercy to that of justice and vengeance. 
God stretcheth the supposition beyond what will ever fall out ; for in the 
succession of men there will not be a thousand generations, there hath not 
been a hundred since the world stood. But to shew the great stock of 
mercy which he hath reserved by him, he saith, if there were thousands of 
generations, and ten thousands of generations, if this world should last so 
long, he hath reserved mercy enough for them all, and all this mercy he will 
empty into the vessels of mercy. Therefore mercy is said to be from ever- 
lasting to everlasting. How long hath this stock and treasury of mercy been 
lying up too 1 It hath been lying up even from everlasting. And therefore 
David, in Ps. xxv. 6, hath recourse to the mercies of God, which, he saith, 
' have been for ever of old.' 

And, my brethren, if God have been thinking thoughts of mercy from 
everlasting to those that are his, what a stock and treasury do these thoughts 
arise to, besides those that are in his nature and disposition ! This is in his 
actual purposes and intentions, which he hath thought, and doth think over, 
again and again, every moment. Ps. xl. 5, ' Many, O Lord, are thy wonder- 
ful works, and thy thoughts which are to us- ward,' saith Jesus Christ ; for 
it is a psalm of Christ, and quoted by the Apostle, and applied unto Christ 
in Heb. x., ' How many are thy thoughts to us-ward !' — he speaks it in the 
name of the human nature, — that is, to me and mine. * If I would declare 
and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.' And what is the 
reason 1 Because God hath studied mercies for his children, even from ever- 
lasting. And then, ' He reneweth his mercies every morning ;' not that any 
mercies are new, but he actually thinketh over mercies again and again, and so 
he brings out of his treasury mercies both new and old, and the old are always 
new. What a stock, my brethren, must this needs amount unto ! Mercies 


from everlasting to everlasting, so you have it in Ps. ciii. 17. And these 
mercies always new, fresh every morning. Look therefore for mercy when you 
come to heaven. You have the phrase of ' finding mercy at that day' in 2 
Tim. i. 18. There is indeed a stock of mercies laid up in heaven. 'Thy 
mercy, Lord, is in the heavens,' saith Ps. xxxvi. 5. And the mercies that 
are in heaven are higher and greater, infinitely greater mercies, that we shall 
have when we come thither, than what we have here. It is a treasury which 
God hath laid up there in his own everlasting purposes, Col. i. 5. 

And, my brethren, let me tell you this, that God, when he laid up mercies 
for his children, he did not say, I will lay up such a stock, or so much mercy. 
This he doth indeed to wicked men. He lays by a pittance, an allowance 
of mercy for them, gives them such a portion of the riches of his long-suffer- 
ing and patience, which is called riches too, because it is the glory of God, 
and an eminent excellency in him. Carnal men, I say, whom God means to 
throw away, he saith of them, I wiU lay by so much, and when you have 
spent this, you shall have a treasure of wrath for it ; and the truth is, when 
that portion of mercy is spent, they are undone. But God hath laid by 
mercies for his saints, -without teUing of it what his children shall spend. 
They are called the ' sure mercies of David.' And in Ps. Ixxxix., where the 
covenant with David is mentioned, ' If his children forsake my law, and 
walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my com- 
mandments ; ' and suppose they do it, if it may be supposed, never so much, 
'nevertheless my loving- kindness wiU I not utterly take from them, nor 
suffer my faithfulness to fail : my covenant wlU I not break,' &c. So that 
they are the sure mercies of David, for God hath laid mercies by him un- 
limited. Suppose they do thus and thus, and never so much, — and his mercy 
shall be sure to keep them from the sin against the Holy Ghost, — let them 
do thus and thus, nevertheless I will be thus and thus merciful to them. 
He hath laid by in his own purposes an indefinite mercy for them. There- 
fore now, my brethren, if you could suppose that those whom God loves 
should live in this world in that mixture of sin and grace we now are in 
unto eternity, God hath laid by mercies enough to pardon you and to pity 
you notwithstanding, and to keep communion and fellowship with you. He 
that pardoned the sin of nine hundred years to Adam, he would have par- 
doned nine thousand, and nine thousand after that, even unto eternity, if he 
had continued; such a stock and treasure of mercy hath God lying by him. 
The third and last stock which God may be said to be rich in, is in the 
mercies purchased, and that is by the merits of Christ. For, know this, that 
all the merits of Christ are called the mercies of God. And why 1 Because 
all the mercies that he hath laid by, and meaneth actually to bestow, Christ 
was to purchase every whit of them. In Isa. Iv. 3, they are called the sure 
mercies of David ; but look in Acts xiii. 34, where that place in Isaiah is 
quoted, and they are called the holy things of David, so you shall find it in 
your margins, as holding forth the merits of the Lord Jesus. That right- 
eousness of his, all the holy things of Christ, they are called the mercies of 
David, because Christ purchased those mercies for the elect ; God therefore 
may well afford to shew mercy. How rich must he be in mercy, think you, 
that besides the mercies of his own nature, and the mercies of his decrees 
and purposes, hath the mercies purchased by Christ 1 "What a stock did 
Christ bring into this treasury when he hung upon the cross ! How did he 
fill it, even to an overflowing ! That is one reason why God ordaineth that 
this treasury of the riches of mercy should be broken open after Christ's 
ascension, when both Jews and Gentiles were to be called iia. He is now 


rich unto all, because he Ivitli now a stock conic in by the purchase of Christ. 
He may well now keep a great house, for Jesus Christ hath laid in provision 
enough. They are calleA therefore the unsearchable riches of Christ; and 
all those riches are mercies, because they purchase mercy. He hath pm-- 
chased mercy to pardon all sin, to bestow all good. Nay, let me tell you 
this, though the merit? of Christ are not of that extent that the mercies in 
God's nature are, yet they are adequate to all the mercies that God means 
to bestow. God doth not bestow one mercy out of Christ, therefore we 
have peace and mercy wished from Jesus Christ ; and you have them both 
in Ps. cxxx. 7, ' Mercy and plenteous redemption.' God is not more mer- 
ciful in his nature by virtue of Christ's death ; but look what mercies God 
meant to bestow, Jesus Christ, that was so rich, became poor to purchase 
them all. And if we could suppose — as to illustrate it we may — that God 
were poor in his own nature, yet he hath such a mine brought in by Christ, 
that he may well shew mercy ; yea, it were injustice for God now not to 
shew mercy, for Christ hath purchased at his hands that he should do it. 

I shall give you but an observation or two, which I think are natural to 
the text, and so I shall conclude. 

Ohs. 1. — The first observation is this : That God so loveth those that he 
means to save, that, if they need it, all the riches of mercy that are in him 
shall be laid out for it. God, saith he, being rich in mercy, he hath quick- 
ened us, and saved us, and done all things for us. He hath engaged, in his 
own everlasting purposes, all the mercies in him to save sinners ; he hath 
laid them all to pawn he will do it. 

And the reason why God will lay out, if need were, all the riches of 
mercy in him for those he loveth, is this : because that mercy no way 
tendeth to profit him, not as mercy. He hath a glory indeed out of it, but 
the object of mercy is not himself ; but the object of mercy, and of all the 
riches of it, is poor creatures, poor sinners, whom he hath set himself thus 
to love. God is not said to be rich to himself, but unto usj he is rich unto 
all, saith the text, Rom. x. 12. Nay, let me tell you this further, as Gcd 
needs no mercy, so Jesus Christ himself needs no mercy. This goodness 
extendeth not unto God, nor doth it extend to Jesus Christ. We must not 
say that he was dealt withal in a way of mercy, for he could merit nothing 
to himself, as our divines say, much less that there should be need of mercy 
for him, having right to all that glory Avhich is in heaven, at the very first 
moment, which he was enriched withal as his due. Therefore all this ex- 
tendeth not unto him, but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the 
excellent, in whom is all his delight ; therefore mercy, and all the whole 
riches of it, is wholly for them if they stand in need of it. 

And then again, as mercy is the riches of God, so he accounts his saints 
and elect children his treasure. They are a peculiar treasure to himself, and 
he laid up this treasure for that other treasure. Deut. xxviii. 12, if they 
will do thus and thus, then, saith God, I will open my good treasure. He 
f.peaks in the language of the eld law, but he types out all the heavenly 
Dlessings in heavenly places in Christ. Those that are his children, he will 
open all his treasury for them if they stand in need of it. In heaven what 
a treasuiy is there to be opened, and we are heirs of all that treasury ! Jesus 
Christ is an heir, but he inheriteth not mercy ; we only are heirs of mercy. 
Abraham was troubled because he had not an heir to inherit his riches. 
Why, God hath riches, and riches of mercy that lie by him, and he hath heirs 
to inherit them. He will not heap up riches and have none to inherit them, 
as those in Ps. xxxix. % but he hath those that shall inherit all these riches 



of mercy that lie by him. His Son needs not mercy, and himself needs not 
mercy, as mercy ; therefore he hath heirs, and all these riches of mercy are 

Obs. 2. — Again, another observation from hence is this : That the saints 
do in a manner need aU the riches of mercy that are in God. For so the 
words likewise come in, in such a coherence, after he had so set out our sin- 
fulness. God, saith he, being rich in mercy. Had he not been God and 
had all these riches of mercy in him, we had never been saved; but he being 
rich in mercy, even when we were dead in sins, he hath quickened us and 
saved us. He is rich unto all that call upon him, Rom. x. 12. It is spoken 
in respect of salvation, for it is written, saith he, ' Whosoever calleth upon 
the name of the Lord shall be saved.' So that to salvation the riches of 
mercy that are in God are necessary. Less would not serve the turn ; if 
there were but one sinner, and one sin, let me say that, that sinner for that 
one sin needed in some respect the riches of the mercy of a great God to 
save him. ' I am God, and not man,' saith he ; ' therefore ye are not con- 
sumed.' And, ' My thoughts are not your thoughts ; ' for if my thoughts 
were as yours, were they not the thoughts of a God, and were not that God 
rich in mercy, no one sinner for one sm could be saved. My brethren, we 
need a treasury of mercy to save us. There are two treasuries that man 
hath, which must be taken off and bought out by two answerable treasures 
in God. There is first a treasure of sin. I told you before of ten thousand 
talents. How many thousand talents, if they were summed up, doth every 
man of us bring unto God 1 And then there is a treasury of wrath. Every 
one is a child of wrath by nature ; but he goeth on treasuring up wrath by 
every sin, if God did not put him into a state of mercy. Now, to take off 
both these treasures, to outvie them, we need the riches of mercy that are in 
an infinite God. To forbear a wicked man here till he go to hell, it is riches 
of mercy ; but to forbear such a man to eternity, what riches will it cost 1 
But not only to forbear him, but to forgive that man, and to forgive him so 
as to remember his sins no more, what a world of mercy is there in this ? 
My brethren, there is a world of mercy in every mercy you receive from 
God. If thou comest to the ordinances, it is mercy ; thou mightest have 
been in hell : 'I vnll come to thy sanctuary in the multitude of thy mercies.' 
If a sin be to be pardoned by G'>d, 'Pardon me, according to the multitude 
of thy mercies,' Ps. li. 1. Wast thou dead in sins ajid trespasses 1 It is 
the infinite riches of mercy of the great God that quickened thee. It is true 
indeed the Scripture speaks both ways. It tells us there is more mercy in 
God than we need. Why 1 Because it is the mercy of an infinite God, 
and no less would serve to save us. They are not crumbs, as the woman in 
the Gospel said, that serve our turn. If there had not been an overflowing 
of mercy, if it were not the mercy of an infinite God, we had never been 

I shall end only with a use, to quicken our hearts at last. Are there all 
these riches of mercy in God, and are we the heirs of it ? Never forsake 
your own mercies, it is a speech that Jonah hath, chap. ii. 8. And are there 
these riches of mercy in God ? Let us come unto him. Tyre was a rich 
place, had a multitude of all kind of riches, and by reason thereof she had a 
world of customers, she was the mart for all nations ; one nation came and 
traded in her fairs for iron, another for lead, and another for tin, and another 
for rich apparel. O my brethren, is God Lord over all, and rich unto all 
that call upon him? How should this invite us all to come unto him ! And 
how should we trust perfectly upon these riches ! If a man be rich, he 

EpII. II, 4-G.] TO THE EPHE8IAN8. 195 

is apt to set his heart upon them, to trust in them ; do you trust in these 
riches of mercy that are in God, whicli are all yours that do come unto him. 
Iliches in other things make men harsh and rough : Pro v. xviii. 23, ' The 
rich answcreth roughly.' Eiches strengthen men's spirits to be proud, and 
to carry it scornfully. The rich oj^press you, saith James : but if they were 
rich in mercy they would not be so. Now God is rich in mercy, and there- 
fore the more riches of mercy he hath, the more easy he is to be entreated. 
Men that are rich must be charged to do good, and to be rich in good works, 
so the Apostle saith, 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, for they will not do it naturally. 
But God is rich, and his riches lie in mercy. If men's riches lay in mercy, 
as it is a grace, they needed not to be charged to be rich in good works ; 
but God's riches lie in mercy, therefore come to him, he is easy to be en- 
treated, he giveth richly all things to enjoy, giveth freely, giveth bountifully 
like himself. 

And so much now for the opening this head, which I have not done 
commonplace-wise, as heretofore I handled it, but so far forth as might open 
the text, and quicken our hearts. 



Even token we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together ivith Christ, (hy 
grace ye are saved ;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit to- 
gether in heavenly 2^laces in Christ Jesus. — Ver, 5, 6. 

You may remember how in the general coherence, which was premised to 
the whole first eleven verses of this second chapter, at the entrance thereinto, 
which the reader may please to review, I shewed that the Apostle intended 
a parallel, or comparison, between what was done to Christ in bringing him 
to glory, as our head, and as a pattern too ; and what answerably God was 
doing in us, and for us, in perfecting our salvation. And after a long and 
enlarged stream of discourse, he falls suddenly into a short winding up of it. 
And as in Christ's raising to his glory, to shew forth the greatness of this 
power therein, there was, 1. The terminus d, quo, the state from whence, — 
' raised from the dead ; ' 2. The terminus ad quern, the state whereto he was 
raised, — that glory described, ver. 21, 22, &c. : so answerably in us, and our 
salvation, to shew forth the riches of God's grace, which was the principal 
attribute in our salvation to be illustrated, he sets, 1. The termimis cb quo, 
the state from which, a state of death and wrath, in and for sin, ver. 1-3 ; 
And, 2. After magnifying the riches of love and mercy of the raiser of us 
out of this estate, he comes here to set out the terminus ad quem, the state 
to which we are by degrees to be advanced, in these words. Which is the 
third general head of this first part of this chapter, shewing how all this is 
and shall be perfected, according to a correspondence and proportion with 
that he wrought in Christ. Now this perfecting of our salvation, or the 
whole work of God upon us, in a correspondency to that in Christ, he sums 
ap in two heads, which contain in them three parts or degrees thereof : — 
First, To two heads. As — 

1. WJiat is already in this life begun, and to be done in us here personally; 
we are ' quickened with Christ.' 

2. What remains yet personally to he perfected in us in the world to come, 
yet at present is representatively done in our head ; ' raised up,' and ' sitting 
in heavenly places.' 

Secondly, These two, comprehending three eminent parts or degrees of our 
salvation : — 

1. QuicJcening, which is put to express aU the whole work of God upon 
our souls here, until death, in a conformity to Christ. 

2. liaising up our bodies, and our whole man, as he did Christ's. 

3. Glorifying us with him, in the same place, and with the same glory, 
for the substance of it. 

Thirdly, You may observe, that all these three are said to be done with 
Christ, and in Christ; so completely making up the reddition, or other part 
of that comparison between us and Christ, namely, how the work in us is 
conformable to that on Christ. 'Raised,' as he, ver. 19 j ' set in heavenly 
places,' as he, ver. 20. 

EpH. II. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 197 

Tliis ill general of both tlicsc verses, I come particularly to the fifth verse : — 

Ver. 5. Even tvhen we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with 
Christ, {by grace ye are saved.) 

These words are a reddition to the 19th verse of the first chapter, and do 
refer thither. He had shewn what a power and glory was exercised in rais- 
ing lip Christ when he was dead, and setting him up in heavenly places, and 
had said the same power works towards us. Now, saith he, ye are dead, 
and ' dead in sins and trespasses,' and he hath ' quickened you,' and he hath 
'set you together with Christ in heavenly places.' And whereas in the 19th 
verse of the first chapter he had attributed it to the power of God, he altej's 
the case here. He attributes it unto mercy, and he attributes it unto love, 
and he attributes it unto grace, because, as I shewed you in the observations 
upon the 4th verse, that all attributes do but subserve love and mercy in 
whatsoever they do for us ; and therefore he names them. If he would have 
made it up according to the course and way of speech, he should have said, 
Look, what great power wrought in. Christ, in raising him up from the dead, 
wrought in you, in quickening you when ye were dead in sins and tres- 
passes. But he mentions not power, but, ' God, who is rich in mercy, for the 
great love wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath 
quickened us.' 

There are three things in this verse : — 

I. A short repetition of, and minding them again of that condition God 
found them in, by intimation of the main thereof, so to remember the whale ; 
* Even when we were dead in sins.' 

II. The first benefit bestowed, the first degree and foundation of salvation 
laid in this life ; ' quickened.' 

III. A quick and most piercing note of observation of the Apostle by the 
way, as an inference from both, being put at once together, (' by grace ye are 
saved : ') which, like the top and point of a burning pyramis, or great flame 
of fire, hath all the strength of heat that ariseth out of the whole centred in 
it. And to set the more remark upon it, it is brought in by a parenthesis, 
and comes not in by continued coherence, to aflfect the more, like a hand in 
the margin. He would have them, above aU else in his discourse, have this 
in their eye. 

I. The repetition ; ' Even when we were dead in sins.' 
There are three things in those words : — 

1. The consideration of the emphasis put upon this repetition ; for it is 
not a bare sentence of repetition, but with an emphatical note and particle j 
even when, as the word xa/ implies. 

2. The condition itself repeated, ' dead in sins ;' and that singled out, as 
more properly referring to ' quickening,' so more pertinently to illustrate that 
first benefit. 

3. The persons it is bestowed upon ; ye and we. 

1. Even. — This word xa/ here some would have to be redundant ; others 
would have it to be but, as in ver. 4. And so Grotius, whose opinions en- 
gaged him to lessen the greatness of this death in sin, that the more might 
be given to man's will in his quickening. But it has a double force in it, as 
it comes in in this coherence : — 

First, As it serves fitly for a particle of repetition, to superadd an emphasis, 
to set out the depth of our misery, and inability to help ourselves out of 
it, and is all one with inquam, as Estius well, or as our translators, ' even 
when dead,' thereby to set out the love and mercy of God, as ver. 4 ; and 
'exceeding greatness of his power working in us,' as chap. i. 19, shewn 


in quickening us here. In tlie first verse, that particle xa; is rightly ren- 
dered and, for there it comes in as a particle of transition to a new matter, 
from that which he had said of Christ, to that other part of the comparison, 
what concerned us. But here — 

Secondly, It is a particle of brief repetition, referring to all that which was 
largely said before in ver. 1—3, such as the long sentences there used are, 
to usher in the dependency of new matter ; but it is not a bare repetition, 
but with an advantage, to illustrate the mercy of being quickened. 

Even when we ivere dead. — "Ovrac, 'being dead,' or, 'when we were dead.' 
It implies the very condition God then took us in, when we were in the 
depth of it. And though the Apostle repeats but a part of that condition 
we lay in, he doth not go over all which was said thereof in the three first 
verses, yet his meaning surely was, that in their thoughts thereof they should 
take in afresh all that he had said thereof before. Yea, he cuts short even 
what he repeats ; for whereas he had there said, ' dead in sins and tres- 
passes,' here only * dead in sins,' that hint being enough to bring on the 
other ; but there he had further added, ' wherein we walked according to the 
course of this world,' &c. ; whereas here he leaves out all that, and mentions 
this of ' dead in sins,' for all the rest, as it were with an et ccetera. 

Thus often in our prayers or meditations, after set and particular confes- 
sion of sin, we find it useful in the other part of prayer, as in craving mercies 
or assurances of God's love and forgiveness, and gi'V'ing thanks for bene- 
fits, even in the midst thereof, to have some short recollection of our sin- 
fulness, which yet, by the help of the Spirit, doth give us a renewed prospect 
of the whole thereof ; which was also Paul's scope here. And so we often 
find, that in a more brief revise of larger thoughts, by a strange miraculous 
beam, which carries in it the species and strength of all, the Spirit of God 
presents in a glance all together at once to us, and gives us a comprehensive 
light, that works more on the heart than all the more set and enlarged 
thoughts we had. 

This repetition argues likewise, that of all the characters of sin and misery 
which in the foregoing verses he had given of an unregenerate estate, he 
esteemed this of all other the deepest, that they were dead in sins, which 
some would so much diminish and bring low, of all other points concerning 
that estate. 

Thus much for the first branch, the repetition of their being dead in sins. 

2. The persons he applies it unto are next to be considered. 

We. — In this word he sums up both Jew and Gentiles, to have lain in this 
their natural condition before conversion. I take notice of this, because 
some interpreters make a misinterpretation of the Apostle's sense, for they 
restrain this only to the Jews, and the reason is this : he had said in the 
first verse, ' ye were dead in sins and trespasses ; ' now, sj)eaking of the Jews, 
himself being a Jew, he saith, 'when we were dead.' So they make the 
particle xa/ only a particle of comparison ; we Jews, as well as ye Gentiles. 
But, brethren, it is true, in all the foregoing chapter, by ive, he means the 
Jews, himself being a Jew, and by i/e, the Gentiles ; but when he comes to 
wind it up, upon the close of all, here by ive he means we all, Jews and 
Gentiles, we are all alike dead in sins and trespasses ; and when we were so, 
he quickened us. 

How shall we prove that he intends to involve the Gentiles as well as the 
Jews when he saith, ' when we were dead V 

It is clear, because in the next words he applies it to the Gentiles, ' by 
grace ye are saved.' His meaning is this : ye being quickened together with 

EpII. II. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 199 

US Jews, and we all remember this, ' by grace ye are saved,' ye and we all : 
' when we w'ere dead in sins and trespasses, he quickened.' 

Another reason shews it, in the transposing the word in the Greek ; it is 
this : it is not xa) rif/.ac ovrac, but it is -/.a,! ovrag ^,aaj. 

So now I have done with that ; and the only observation that I will make 
from thence is this : — 

That now when it comes to the enjoyment of the privileges of the gospel, 
conversion, and heaven, and Christ, and the like, Jews and Gentiles are all 
one. When we were dead in sins and trespasses, he quickened us, and set us, 
Jews and Gentiles, all together in Christ, in heavenly places. I shall not 
need to stand on it. 

The observations from both these two put together are these : — 
Obs. 1. — First, that God in his wise dispensation is pleased to permit many, 
if not most, of those he loves and shews mercy unto, that live up to years, to 
continue in an estate of unregeneracy. That de facto it was so in the days 
of the Apostle, in the Gentiles' condition, is clear out of the examples of the 
Romans, Rom. vi. 17: that doxology the Apostle there useth, ' God be 
thanked that ye were the servants of sin,' «kc. I might give as many in- 
stances of it well-nigh as there have been converts, whose story is recorded 
in the New Testament, from John the Baptist's time downwards, throughout 
all the Epistles. ' Such were some of you/ saith the Apostle to the Corin- 
thians, 1 Cor. vi. 11, when just before he had named aU sorts of sins and 
sinners. 'You were sometime enemies,' &c., says he to the Colossians, Col. 
i. 21. And to the Ephesians he saith, 'You were dead in sins and tres- 
passes ; ' and ' when we all were dead ; ' and so here. And that de facto it 
was true of the Jews, is also evident in that the ministry of John the Bap- 
tist, as Christ's much more, was to turn the disobedient Jews to the wisdom 
of the just, Luke i. 17. And yet they were circumcised, as we all are bap- 
tized ; and their circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith, even 
as our baptism is ; and yet those needed a bemg born again, as Christ told 
Nicodemus for all the rest, John iii. I mention this thus briefly, to make 
way for a second observation, which holds forth the glorious ends which God 
hath in this dispensation towards his beloved ones. 

The second observation from this emphatical repetition of the misery of 
our natural condition, and that in this order and placing, is evidently this : — 
Obs. 2. — That the deplorable misery of our condition by nature doth infi- 
nitely serve to set out and illustrate both the glory of that condition and 
salvation God hath ordained us unto, and also to magnify the greatness of that 
love, riches of mercy, &c., that are in God, manifested therein towards us. 
This reiterated mention thereof, you see, is placed in the midst, between an ex- 
tolling of his great love, &c., ver. 4, and an accurate enumeration of the degrees 
of our exaltation in the salvation bestowed upon us, the fruits of that great 
love; and this on purpose to add a lustre unto both. This observation, in 
both the branches of it put together, is another rivulet that contributes its 
stream to that main ocean into which all the whole current of the Apostle's 
discourse doth flow, namely, the demonstration of the greatness of God's love. 
I told you, when I opened the greatness of God's love, ver. 4, that besides 
that it was set out, as there, by this, that he had singled out some persons 
he had set himself to love, as simply so considered, — us, not others, — it was 
yet further to be illustrated by the condition those persons were in, the sin 
and misery they lay in, when God came to shew them mercy. I could not 
speak to it then, because it comes in more properly and in a more set and ex- 
plicit intendment here. And in this way of interpreting this scripture, xara 


mLhac, I must take tilings in that order the Holy Ghost hath pleased to scatter 
them. The reminding us of this our natural cor dition comes in again at 
ver. 11, 'Wherefore remember, ye are Gentiles in the flesh,' &c. Yet there, 
to provoke us to duties answerably, it comes upon good works ; of which 
in that place, as the coronis of this first part of my expositions. But here, 
as it serves to magnify God's love and the glory of that condition God hath 
raised us to, it seems to set out the glory of that estate and salvation we are 
brought into. God hath, in bringing any of the sons of men to any eminent 
height, laid the foundation of it in a lowness and misery ; and these propor- 
tionable to that height and happiness he meant to raise them up too ut of 
it. And accordingly, when the Scripture would set out the grace of that 
advancement, it withal mentions the low condition Trom whence it had its 
rise, as emphatically as the glory after. 

Take two instances, the one in an (Earthly, the other by an advancement 
heavenly ; and both the highest, and one the type of the other. Speaking 
of David's exaltation to a kingdom, see how gi-eat things are spoken of it, 
Psalm Ixxxix., ' I have exalted one chosen out of the people ; I have found 
David my servant,' ver. 19, 20 ; 'I will make him my first-born, higher than 
the kings of the earth,' ver. 27. All which was first true of David in the 
type. Of all the kingdoms set up in those ages of the world, before Shiloh 
came to take up the sceptre, the throne of David was, for true excellency and 
glory, the most transcendent. It was a dominion over God's own people, 
his only people in the world ; but aU other kingdoms over mountains of 
prey, as the Psalmist speaks, in comparison of it, over wUd beasts ; this over 
saints, Hos. xi. 12. You have seen his exaltation. Now see, how in an- 
other psalm the Holy Ghost, to grcaten this, gives us exact notice of the 
lowness of his condition he was taken out of, and that holding a like pro- 
portion of lowness and meanness before, to this height after, Ps. Ixxviii. 70, 
71, 'He chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds : from 
following the ewes great with young, he brought him to feed Jacob his 
people, and Israel his inheritance.' As in the former psalm he took his 
elevation, so here he fathoms, as with a line and measure, his depression, 
and proportions them. He was before but a shepherd over silly sheep ; yea, 
lower yet, he was but the shepherd's boy ; the Holy Ghost intimates it. He 
took him ' from after the ewes ;' so you have it in your margins. The shep- 
herds themselves in Judea did use to go before the sheep. So Christ, speak- 
ing according to the custom of that country, John x. 4, ' The good shepherd 
goes before his sheep, and leads them out.' See also Ps. Ixxx. 1. He Avas 
the younger brother, that as the servant followed the sheep ; his elder 
brethren were the shepherds. But instead of following sheep, God made 
him a shepherd over his own inheritance, Tuiijyiva XaZv, as Homer calls kings. 
And the Psalmist's allusion is suitable, ' to feed Israel his inheritance, and 
to go in and out before them.' You have the very same, in the same ex- 
pressions, 2 Sam. vii. 8. 

From David, the shadow, let us come to Christ, the true king indeed, 
who is made as the pattern of ours here, and therefore is the most punctual 
instance can be given ; how high he is ascended, you have heard from 
thence, ' to sit at God's right hand,' &c., ver. 20, 21. Now, to make this 
the more glorious, see his descension also, ere ever he ascended, as it is 
fathomed by this our Apostle in this epistle, chap. iv. 9, 10, and foreseen 
by David in his prophecy, which he expounds : ' Now that he ascended, what 
is it but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth ? He that 
descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens.' The terms 


from and unto which are, the one the lowest, the other the highest : the 
lower parts of the earth, the one ; and far above all heavens, the other : the 
one as deep in lowness, as the other in height. It imports, lower he could 
not go, and higher he could not ascend ; and that his descension might 
illustrate the height of his ascent, he says he first descended. If you 
would consider, then, his height, go down in your thoughts first into the 
womb, imto the cross, into the grave, yea, to hell, the wrath of God coming 
over his soul when on the cross ; think what a poor, low, sorry man God 
first made him ; and then read, and think over again his super-exaltation, in 
the first chapter, and then make up the parallel, as our head. So we that 
were dead in sins, children of wrath, and so in our desert laid as low as hell, 
are quickened, raised, and made to sit in heavenly places and glories in and 
with Christ. Place one part of the compass of your thoughts in the nether- 
most hell below, from thence stretch the other part to the highest heavens 
above, and then you have the true distance of the height and depth of your 
salvation, and of God's goodness in it. And unto that emphasis the Apostle 
gives there concerning Christ the head, ' He that descended is the same 
also that ascended,' — that is, the very same person, the subject of both, — lay 
to it the like emphasis the apostle j)uts here, ' Even when we were dead, he 
quickened us,' and you have the full of the Apostle's scope, and the parallel 
made complete. 

To add that strange thanksgiving, that of the Apostle, Rom. vi. 17, ' God 
be thanked that ye were the servants of sin ;' had the Apostle ended there, 
it had seemed half blasphemy. 

The only corollary or inference I shall make from all this is — 
How much do they injure, yea, and frustrate this great design of God to 
magnify his love and grace, that do climb up presently so high, and imme- 
diately into God himself, simply in himself considered, that they will not 
condescend to look down, as yet God doth, upon these things here below, 
namely, to what they are or were in respect of sin ; but have forgotten their 
old sins, yea, and their need of Christ, as an advocate to God for them. 
Surely God having loved us with a love of so long continuance as from 
everlasting, and there having not been a moment of aU that vast space of 
time wherein he hath not loved us with so great a love, had it not been that 
he had a mighty design upon them in permitting this, which in the end, by 
the discovery of it, should take up and fiU their hearts, whilst in the flesh 
at least, with the contemplation of his love, set oflf by the deep and con- 
tinued sense of their own sinfulness, so long before continued ; surely he 
that loved them so would never have suffered such multitudes of those he 
loves to continue so many years in this state of death and rebellion against 
him, and therein to wrong him so all the while ; and that himself, who de- 
lights to manifest his love infinitely more than we do where we love, should 
suifer himself to be bound up from discovering in the least. His love would 
never have endured him to conceal itself so long, had it been that the glory 
of all this love, so designed this Avay to be set out, must instantly be for- 
gotten by them that are the subjects of that love ; much less would he have 
ordered our salvation to be accomplished by putting his own natural Son to 
death, and to offer up his soul a sacrifice for sin, if this his great love, and 
this sore travail of his soul, should be so soon forgotten and swallowed up 
through the joy of our enjoying God immediately without him ; and this 
even whilst the remainders of that sin cleaves to them, to mind them of him 
that redeemed them from all iniquity by his so precious blood. God 
might, according to this religion, have spared his Son of that sore pain and 


grief himself put him unto, and Mmself the many provocations from us he 
loved so, besides the trouble of his own concealing and keeping in his love 
so long before our conversion, as afterwards, and have at first immediately 
brought them at a cheap rate, even as creatures that never sinned, into that 
immediate communion with himself, without any need of his Son's media- 
tion at all ; yea, Paul might have spared this Epistle to these Ephesians, as 
patterns of grace herein to all succeeding ages, ver. 7, in the privileges of 
which he so glories, chap. iii. 4. And surely God would have taken that 
course and way much rather,- had it not been that to commend his love 
hereby was the great delight of his soul ; the glory of his grace being his 
chiefest glory. 

3. I come now, in the third place, to speak a little to the condition of 
them here, as it hath relation to quickening. 

When ive luere dead, he quiclcened us. 

There is a peculiar relation ; though he intend to take in our natural 
condition, yet there is a peculiar reference why he singles out beijig dead, 
when he speaks of quickening. I will not stand to insist largely to shew 
how we are dead in sins and trespasses ; I did it when I handled the first 
verse, only I reserved one thing till now. 

When he saith we are dead in sins, and thereby would set out the power 
of God in quickening us, he means this : we were as utterly unable to help 
ourselves, to do anything of spiritual life, as a dead man is for to quicken 
himself, or to stir a finger, or to roll about an eye, or to perform any action 
that is truly good. 

That that is his scope is plain and clear ; for afterwards he saith, ' Even 
by faith we are saved, not of ourselves ;' the very faith Ave believe withal, ' it 
is the gift of God.' Why ? Because we were dead in sins and trespasses ; 
and, saith he, we need as true new life and soul to be put into us, before we 
can stir to any actions of life, as a dead man. And it is clear that it is aimed 
at peculiarly by the Apostle, because he refers us in these words to chap. i. 
19, where he speaks of the power of God upon us in working grace; he 
saith it is the same that raised Jesus Christ ; therefore he speaks in respect 
of such a deadness, in respect of the power of sin and our inability tb believe, 
as Christ's body had to be quickened to that glorious life. 

Brethren, these phrases, ' dead in sins and trespasses,' we urge against the 
Kemonstrants, that therefore man hath not spiritual ability till God quicken 
him ; and they distinguish, and would shew some dissimilitude between 
natural death and spiritual; and indeed and in truth they would, as it were, 
make man half dead, and that there are certain kinds of sparks of life in 
every man. There is a natuial knowledge of God, and a natural sorrow for 
sin, and a natural desire of happiness ; and all these the Holy Ghost hatcheth 
up to make a new creature, as they would seem to make it. But, brethren, 
the Apostle, who certainly spake appositely, and when he would set out our 
misery, and yet the love of God to the full, doth not talk of being half dead ; 
— that had derogated from the love, and grace, and exceeding greatness of 
power that, he saith, wrought in Christ when he was raised ; — I say, it makes 
the Apostle not to speak appositely, if that were the meaning. No, we were 
dead. And whereas they make a dissimilitude between bodily and sj^iritual 
death, yet the truth is, to raise a man from spiritual death is made the 
greater work, for it is paralleled here with the raising of Christ from the 
dead; and you shall find, John xi. 25, that when Martha doubted of the 
resurrection of Lazarus, — merely of the resurrection of his body, — how doth 
Christ raise her faith 1 Saith he, AVhy dost thou stick at my raising of hi? 

EpH. II. 5, G.] TO TUK EPUESIANS. 203 

body? I will do more, I shall raise men's souls; for so he saith, vcr. 25, 
' Jesus saith, I am the resurrection and the life : he that believcth in me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever livetli and believeth 
in me shall never die. Believest thou this V Dost thou stick at my raising 
this man's body 1 ' Behold,' as he saith, John v. 25, ' the time is coming, 
that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live.' I quicken 
men's souls. If it be a greater work, certainly it is a greater death ; there- 
fore we must needs be as utterly void of life, in respect of spiritual life, as a 
man's body when he is dead, till he be raised again, is void of natural life. 

And then again, it is paralleled with the raising of Christ out of the grave ; 
and our death is compared and paralleled with that natural death of Jesus 
Christ's body. It is true God did not suffer his body to see corruption ; but 
there was not one jot of life, it was cold and stiff certainly as others, though 
no way corrupted. What saith the Apostle, Kom. vi. 9, speaking of the body 
of Christ 1 He saith death had dominion over him : ' In that he died, he 
died to sin once ; death hath no more dominion over him ;' therefore it had 
dominion over him whilst he was dead. If he would have us liken ourselves 
to be transplanted into Christ's resurrection; if there had been any spark of 
life, it might have been blown up, as they would make men believe. No, 
there is no spiritual life in us. 

Now, as I said, it is objected by some, that there is this difference between 
the natural and the spiritual death, that the understanding and the will 
remains; a man is stUl a free creature, a living creature. 

For answer : he is so, he is a living creature to sin, he is dead and living, 
both in respect of sin. But the question is, in what respect of spiritual life, 
in respect of spiritual life, there is nothing at all of the Spirit, in that respect 
a man is wholly dead till he be called. Brethren, it is not a physical death 
of the soul, whereby the faculties of the soul perish ; but I say it is a moral 
death. Whereas now, when the body is dead, all the parts of the body 
remain when the man is dead, yet he is wholly dead in respect of the life 
he had before; so, though there be a natural vivacity and livelihood that 
is natural to the soul, in the will and understanding, yet spiritually there 
is none. 

Again likewise, whereas they object. Why, then, doth God use exhortations 
to men ? Since they are dead, and have no power to stir, why doth he bid 
them arise 1 ' Awake, thou that sleepest, stand up from the dead, and Christ 
shall give thee light.' 

That place certainly is meant of regenerated men, that kept company with 
wicked men, and were asleep. I let that pass. 

But I answer. Why did Christ say to Lazarus, Arise 1 Why did he speak 
to a dead man '? If any man else had spoken it, he had spoken foolishly ; 
but if Christ say it, and give power with the word that goes forth, dead men 
shall Uve. So the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and Uve, 
John V. 25. 

But they say. There is a desire of happiness left in man, and a knowledge 
of God, and preparations for the work of the Spirit upon man's heart; and 
is this man wholly dead 1 

Brethren, I answer, Let a man have never so much activity, and that to- 
wards things that are sj)iritual, — I mean in this sense, out of ends of self- 
love, and the like that they are wrought upon, — yet, notwithstanding, still 
say I, that man is dead in respect of that wherein life lies. For when we 
say a man is dead in sins, you must not understand it in respect of the life 
of his own kind. How then 1 In respect of spiritual life ; in respect of such 


a life as knits Mm to God and Christ; in respect of such a life as raiseth up 
the least affection of love to God above the love to a man's self; in respect 
of any knowledge that is spiritual of God and of Christ in a spiritual way, — ■ 
in respect of this light and life he is utterly dead, though he may acknow- 
ledge a God, and have a desire after happiness and the like. So let the 
comparison run in the same respect and kind, and then a man, though he 
have never so much moral good in him, this is no part of a man's life ; though 
self-love never so much stir, if it be only self-love, though to spiritual tilings, 
all riseth not to spiritual life ; there is no degree of spiritual life all the while. 

Brethren, to illustrate my meaning, — or else the comparison will not hold, 
it is but a supposition, it is that that wUl never be done, — a man hath a 
reasonable soul as he is a man : suppose the reasonable soul itself should be 
taken out of a man, and yet man still retain the sense of hearing and seeing, 
and the quickness of his fancy, — such as apes and beasts and such creatures 
have, — certainly this man would be said to be dead as a man, if the reason- 
able soul were gone, in respect of that life that a man hath, as a man hath 
a reasonable life, though the brutish life were left; yet take him as a man, 
he hath no life at all left in him, if the reasonable be departed and gone, and 
the sensitive only left. 

So, brethren, it is here : take a spiritual man that hath union with God 
and Christ, and life flowing thence, and raising his heart to God out of love, 
— if all this were gone, though a man should have left such a principle as 
may be wound exceeding high otherwise, yet in respect of spiritual life he 
were utterly dead. 

I might enlarge much this way in opening and clearing this. It is evident 
that all that is left in nature, though it be wrought on never so much, it 
cannot unite us to Christ nor to God; and then, certainly, there is no part 
of life. Why 1 Because all the parts of the spiritual life Lie in our union 
with God and Christ. Now, let a man have never so many preparatives, all 
unite him not to Christ, till faith come, and the Holy Ghost quicken his 
soul in order to eternal life. Therefore all preparatives to grace are not a 
less degree to the same kind. ' We hope better things of you, and such as 
accompany salvation,' saith the Apostle, having spoken of glorious enlighten- 
ings. So the least dram of grace and quickening is a thing of another kind 
from all preparatory works and enlightenings; and in respect of a holy life, 
man is dead. 

II. / come now to the benefit. 

Even when we were dead in sins and trespasses, he hath quickened us to- 
gether with Christ. 

Here are three things to be spoken to : — 

1. The benefit itself. 

2. The author, the principal author of it, God the Father ; that is fetched 
in in the coherence from the verse before, ' God hath quickened us.' Then — 

3. The person with, and by whom, and by fellowship with whom, he hath 
quickened us ; ' he hath quickened us together with Christ.' 

These three things I will speak to as briefly as I can. 

First, For the benefit itself. 

I will speak a little in general, and then particularly describe it to you. 

First, In general, by quirjcening here is meant quickening out of death ; 
that is clear, for ' when we were dead, he quickened us.' The word is so 
taken, Rom. iv. 17, Rom. viii. 11, "'He shall quicken your mortal bodies.' 
Now indeed the word is used sometimes for things that are not raised from 
the dead, and yet it is called quickening, a giving life, so the word signifies 

Ei>Il. II. 5, C] TO THE EPHESIANS. 205 

making to live ; that is the proper signification of the word. It is applied 
to all things living, 1 Tim, v. 13, 'God that quickeneth all things,' all things 
that live God quickens. And Adam might be said to be quickened when 
he had the breath of life, — that is, God made him to live ; so the word signi- 
fies. Now I will not stand upon it. 

Now the next thing in general that I am to open is this. By quickening, 
I take it, is meant the whole work of God on us ; the whole work of God 
is called qxuchening. My reason is, because though he principally aim at 
conversion, — ' when we were dead in sins and trespasses,' he begins to do it, 
— yet he names this as the first degree which ends in glory, as it is ver. 6. 
So he familiarly includes and comprehends all that whole state of grace and 
the works of it. It is called quickening, though principally and eminently 
the first putting in of the Holy Ghost and a principle of life into a man. 

You shall find in Scripture that the whole state of grace is called life ; as 
glory also sometimes is nothing but life. Life is usually jjut for glory, and 
it is usually put for grace ; therefore when he would express the difference 
between the one state and the other, he saith we are passed from death to 
life : ' By this we know that we are passed from death to life.' And when 
Christ would express a man that hath no grace, that is not in the state of 
grace, he expresseth it by the contrary, he hath no life in him : ' And he 
that eateth not my flesh hath no life in him,' John vi. ; that is, he hath no 
grace, nothing that belongs or pertains to the state of grace. 

Brethren, you shall find this, that grace is so properly compared to life, 
and the working of grace on us, that when the Scripture compares the 
people of God to dead things for other respects, yet he brings the word 
* living ' too : as, for example, they are stones, and precious stones, 1 Peter 
ii. 5, but he adds, ' living stones.' When he calls them sacrifices, that used 
always to be dead things, he calls them 'living sacrifices,' Eom. xii. 1. They 
pre trees, but trees of life; and their graces are compared to waters, but 
living waters, and waters of life. Still he runs upon the notion of life. 
For, brethren, all in Christians, as they are constituted Christians, is Hfe, life 
clearly; it quickeneth, he hath made us aUve, aU is life. 

But you will say, Is not the work of grace called mortification, a dying 
to sin 1 

It is true ; but let me tell you this, mortification itself, dying to sin, that 
that is true mortification, ariseth from a spirit of life ; it is a consequent of 
spiritual life. The meankig is not, that first God kiUs a man's sin, and then 
puts a principle of life in him ; but by a principle of life he kills sin. A 
man may have a great deal of deading to the world, as much as another 
man, from terror of conscience or the like. But here is no life ; the whole 
of grace is Hfe, take it in itself, and deadness to sin is but the consequent. 
Therefore at their first conversion, when men's lusts have a blow, they are 
more dead to the world and to sin; they find more of mortification than of 
quickening and life, they think Why? Because there is an additional kind 
of deading men's hearts to the world from terror of conscience, that yet 
hath an impression upon men's spirits ; but saith the Apostle, ' Walk in the 
Spirit, &c., and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh,' Gal. v. 1 6. So the 
not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh is a fruit of living and walking in the 
Spirit ; it is the fruit of this Hfe. 

Therefore, when he speaks of all the grace a man hath, how doth he ex- 
press it 1 2 Peter i. 3, ' He hath given us all things belonging to life and 
godliness.' So that all the life a man hath is godliness, and godliness is 
life ; the one is put for the other. 


Aud, brethren, hence now what should you learn 1 Put not your grace 
to lie in humiliation, in those works ; grace doth not lie in that, your grace 
lies in life and quickening ; therefore you see, ' He quickened us, when we 
were dead in sins and trespasses, together v.-ith Christ.' Humiliation goes 
not to the mortifpng of lusts, no, but you may be joined to a principle of 
life that mortifies lusts ; therefore look, how much grace you have, so much 
life ; so much grace, so much quickening. When you come to the ordi- 
nances, so much grace and good you get as your hearts are quickened, not 
as you perform duties ; and value quickening more than ordinances. Luke 
xil 23, Christ saith life is better than meat. So quickening is better 
than sermons and than all things in the world. I speak it, that you may 
know what to put religion and grace in. Food is the means of life, yet life 
is better than meat. So this life is better than all ordinances and duties ; 
as far as you are quickened you have spiritual life, and your aifections are 
stirring, and all the sacrifices you offer to God are acceptable as far as they 
are living. Therefore, ' Quicken me in thy way,' saith David, Ps. cxix. 37. 
If he went in the way of God and was not quickened, his spirit was troubled, 
Ps. Lxxx. 19, but he prays that he might be quickened. I speak it for 
this, that you are to look upon that to be grace in you ; so much grace, so 
much life ; spiritual life lies in quickening. 

Notwithstanding, on the other side, consider it is quickening. The truth 
is, he useth the lowest expression that can be, if there be but a spirit of life. 
Suppose thou hast not attained strength, yet if thou hast life, he caLs all 
that we receive in this life but quickening, if you take it in the ordinary 
way of phrase. We are but as children in the womb quickened ; all the 
stirrings of grace are but such as of an infant at best. Saith he. Col. iii. 3, 
' Your life is hid with Christ in God ; ' where, as it were, he compares God 
and Jesus Christ to the root in which the sap is ; and it is winter with us, 
as it were, in comparison of what it shall be when we shall be raised 
together with Christ, and sit in heavenly places personally with Christ. 
Now we are in Christ ; when we shall sit together with Christ, what shall 
this life be 1 But in the meantime, if we be but quickened, if there be but 
the least degree of . spiritual life, that thy heart is raised to God, and spiri- 
tually suited, — for a spiritual mind is life, — if there be the least spiritual life, 
though there be not that strength, nay, though it cannot be called a birth, 
though thou canst not say thou hast all the parts of the new birth, yet if 
there be quick enmg, there is a new life. The Apostle descends low ; this is 
a seed that -will rise to eternity. 

So much in general for the explaining this quickening. 

But now, if )'ou would know what kind of life this is, brethren, you may 
take much helj) from what death is. When I opened the first verse, our 
being dead in sins, I told you the fountain of all spiritual life was God ; so 
he was to Adam ; therefore carnal men are ' strangers to the life of God.' 
We are said to be dead in sins. Why 1 Because sin cuts us off from God ; 
so all spiritual life lies in God. 

Now consider what it is to be dead, and what it is to be living. I will 
only give you summarily aU the ways of quickening that God begins in this 
life : summarily all the work of grace, from the first to the last, till it come 
to glory, is here to be understood ; * he hath quickened us.' 

Now, first, how is man dead 1 

First, In respect of sin. He is cast out of the fivour of God, which is 
his life. To be in the favour of God is to live. ' Oh that he might live in 
thy sight ! ' it is the Scripture phrase. 'In his favour is life,' Ps. xxx. 5. 

EPIi. 11. 5, G.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 207 

Now, for a man to be cast out of the favour of God is to have the sentence 
jf death upon him ; it is to be dead in the guilt. On the other side, for a 
man to be in the favour of God, and to have an absohition from God, and 
to have all his sins pardoned, this is to be quickened, this is one part of it. 

I shall give you Scripture for it by and by. John v. 24, .saith he, ' He 
that hearcth my word, and belicveth on him that sent me, hath everlasting 
life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to 
life.' His passing from death to life is expressed negatively, by not enter- 
ing into condemnation ; the sentence of condemnation is taken off from him. 
Now compare it with John iii. 36, ' He that belie veth on the Son of God hath 
eternal life ; he that believeth not in the Son of God the wrath of God 
abideth on him.' Here the wrath of God abiding on a man is opposed to 
having life. Now therefore, in Eom. v. 18, our being justified from all our 
sins is called the 'justification of life; ' a man is made, of a dead man, of 
a condemned man, a living man in the sight of God. 

Now to come home to the point. Col. ii. 13, where the Apostle useth the 
same expression, ' He hath quickened us with Christ,' what doth he under- 
stand by ' quickenmg ' there 1 Namely, having forgiven you all your tres- 
passes ; there lies the greatest of our life and quickening, it is the life of 
justification, that by faith God giveth us. 

Again, in the second place, there is all the joy, and all the evidences that God 
gives us of his favour, and the assurance of his love in quickening also. I 
told you I cannot stand upon the order. Now you shall find in Scripture 
that freedom from trouble, by contrary joy infused by God, is called quick- 
ening. You have an express place, Ps. cxliii. 11, 'Quicken me, bring my 
soul out of trouble;' Ps. cxix. 25, 'My soul cleaveth to the dust, quicken 
me.' When his soid did cleave to the dust, under the sense of death and 
the wrath of God, he calls for quickening. ' Quicken me.' With what ? 
With his loving-kindness, as it is in another verse ; and ' according to thy 
loving-kindness.' And Ps. Ixiii., ' Thy favour is better than life.' So you 
have it in Eom. viii. 6, for I can but quote scriptures, ' To be spiritually 
minded is life and peace;' having said before, 'the carnal man cannot please 

In the third place, all the fellowship the Holy Ghost vouchsafes us in 
this life with God and Christ, and the enjoyment of them in themselves, 
and their own excellency, which besides are distinct from the assurance of 
his love and favour. Many times these are called life. Ps. xxii., ' Your 
hearts shall live, and ye shall eat of the fat, and abundantly enjoy God. He 
shall shew me the path of life;' Ps. xvi., ' Fulness of joy is at thy right 
hand.' I 'uill give you but a scripture or two. John xiv. 1, Christ's dis- 
ciples were troubled; saith he, I will give you the Comforter; and 'because 
I live, ye shall live.' And what follows? In that day ye shall know; for 
I will be but a little while away, and I will send you the Comforter : ' And 
at that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in 
you. And I will love him, and manifest myself to him;' as it is in ver. 21. 
Another place is 1 John i. 2. There he calls Jesus Christ, ' our life.' ' And 
that life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and shew that 
eternal life was in the Father, and is manifest unto us.' Here Jesus Christ 
is called eternal life; and the incarnation is called the manifestation of that 
life ; and the evidence, the communion and fellowship that the apostles had 
with him, that is called a being manifested to us : and what follows ? ' That 
which we have seen and heard declare we unlo you, that you may have 
fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with 


his Son Jesus Clirist.' So all fellowsliip with God the Father, and with his 
Son Jesus Christ, is the manifestation of this life as it was manifested to the 
apostles themselves. 

So now, in the fourth place, the image of God wrought in us is also a 
principle of life. We are quickened in that image of God, in holiness and 
righteousness, by wliich we live to God. The want of it is called death. 
On the other side, inherent holiness is called life : Kom. viii. 6, ' The spiritual 
mind is life;' Rom. viii 2, speaking of the inherent holiness in Christ's heart, 
he calls it, ' The law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.' It is evi- 
dent it was so, for he opposeth it to the law of sin and death that was in 
our hearts; he should be free by the law of the Spirit of life that was in 
Jesus Christ. Now then, to have therefore a vital principle of the image of 
God, whereby a man is made fit and capable of communion with God, suit- 
able to God and Jesus Christ, and all holy things, that causeth him to draw 
near to God, and to have such an inward quickening principle in his soul, 
that enables a man thus to converse with God, as the reasonable vital prin- 
ciple enables him to commerce with men ; this also is life, and a great part 
of life. 

In Rev. XL, when the witnesses are raised, how is their resm-rection set 
forth ? A spirit of life came into them, — it is an allusion to the resurrection 
of men, — a new life was shot, a vital principle, through all the man ; so here 
is a principle suitable to all spiritual objects. It is not as if an angel should 
take a dead man, and act him, without putting in a principle of life; but 
when the Holy Ghost is given, it comes and quickens a man : he not only 
acts the soul positively, but he puts in a living principle by which the soul 
joins with the Holy Ghost in activeness. Therefore all his performances are 
caUed ' living sacrifices.' Why 1 Because aU his actions do not proceed from 
the Holy Ghost only, simply, but from the image of God wliich the Holy 
Ghost works in him, and acts and operates in him ; so his sacrifice : as the 
Holy Ghost is a living principle for his part, so it is a principle to make a 
man alive to God. 

It is an excellent expression of Jesus Christ, Rom. vi. 10. How is Jesus 
Christ's life expressed there 1 ' In that he Hveth, he liveth to God.' What 
doth Jesus Christ in heaven, to mind the things of God, to govern the world so 
as God may have glory, and to difi"use grace into the hearts of the saints in 
heaven and earth, that God may have glory 1 He lives to God, that is all 
his work : it is an active life that carries all in the soul to God ; as living in 
God, so living to God. 

There is the like phrase. Gal. ii. 20, to live in God as a man's element, 
and to God as his end ; he savours the word of bfe, he lives in the promises ; 
by these things men live. The promises of the word are the savour of 
life ; to a man that hath a principle in him, they are the savour of life ; 
the promises of heaven, and grace, and happiness, and salvation, are relished 
in a spiritual way ; that he pursues it, it is from a spiritual hfe. — So that 
is the fourth thing that I mention of what is meant by Hfe. 

A fifth thing, that is the root of all, is this : that the Holy Ghost dwells 
in the heart, as the soul in the body, and becomes a man's life. He that 
is joined to the Lord is one spirit, being made the temple of the Holy 
Ghost ; for the Spirit is the foundation of all spiritual life. The Spirit 
quickeneth, the Godhead of Christ quickeneth, and is united to us, dwelling 
in us ; it quickeneth the soul, and is the great quickener, and the foundation 
of all life. Rom. viii, when he had described the spiritually-minded man, 
and said that he was life, — * The spiritual mind is life,' — whence doth this 

EpH. II. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 209 

spiritual man come to have this life 1 Ver. 9, 11, saith he, 'Ye are not in 
the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell hi you. And if any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if the Spirit of 
Christ dwell in you, he that raised Christ from the dead shall also raise your 
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.' What will be the life 
of our bodies at the last day 1 The Holy Ghost ; not only our own souls, 
but the Holy Ghost shall possess us more than our own souls ; he that shall 
be the life of our bodies then is the root of our spiritual life now. The 
spiritual mind is life, because the Spirit dwelleth in you. 

Let me add this : all actings of the Holy Ghost, the stirrings of the affec- 
tions, the enlightening of the mind, spiritually to know God and Christ and 
a man's self, all growings up, all are quickenings ; in all the ordinances, all 
the life you receive not only at the first, all are quickenings with Christ. 
You come to sermons, and your hearts are quickened, spiritual affections 
are stirred, and you mortify the deeds of the flesh, and aim at God ; all this 
is quickening, it is being quickened with Jesus Christ ; all the spiritual life 
that you have, and is increased in you, it is called ' the light of life,' John 
viii. 1 2. All your walking in the Spirit, and your acting that proceeds from 
the Spirit, in Gal. iii., ' If ye live in the Spuit, walk in the Spirit ;' all those 
walkings come from the habitual indwelling of the Holy Ghost. 

So much for the opening of that life ; ' we are quickened.' 

The next thing I am to shew to you is this, which I will make an end of. 
We are quickened — 

Together with Christ. 

There axe some interpreters that would extenuate and enervate that which 
is our infinite great comfort ; for they refer the word together, that is, we 
Jews and Gentiles ; whereas in truth the scope of the Holy Ghost is, we 
are quickened together with Christ. In all our quickening he quickens us 
together with Christ ; so our translation rightly reads it. 

Besides, it is all reason, that Christ being made our head, chap. L, God 
hath quickened him, and raised him first, and so us ; and that he saith 
after, we are ' set in heavenly places with Christ,' and are now in Christ. 
Besides those arguments, this makes it clear and plain, in the Colossians ; — 
these two Epistles are as two Evangelists, the one explains the other ; — Col, 
ii. 13, he saith, ' He hath quickened us together with him,' namely, with 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, not only as Jews and Gentiles are quick' 
ened, but we are quickened with Christ. 

This being laid for the scope of the words, I wiU in a word open how we 
are said to be quickened with him. 

You must know, brethren, God the Father, who is the great quickener, 
he is the author, the great fountain of life ; and Jesus Christ, as God-man, 
hath life given from the Father to him that he might raise us. You have 
two places : John v. 26, ' As the Father hath life in himself, so he hath 
given to the Son to have life in himself.' The Father hath life in him- 
self, he is the original of life only; though the Son have life in himself, 
yet he hath not this life of himself, but from the Father ; the Father is 
the fountain of life. And in John vi. 57, * As the living Father hath sent 
me, and I live by the Father : so,' saith he, ' he that eats my flesh shall 
live by me.' 

So that now it is plain that God having infinite happiness and life, — for 
what is the life of God but his own holiness and happiness, and the entire- 
ness of his own nature, for his own blessedness, for lus own pleasure ? — God 
hath ordained and laid up eternal life in his decree j but Jesus Christ is ta 

VOL. II o 


be eternal life, to communicate that life that is in Mmself to us, 1 John i. 1. 
Christ is called eternal life, as he was with God ; and he was incarnate and 
took flesh on purpose that this life might be communicated, 1 John v. 11. 
The Father hath given us eternal life in his own decree. First, God pur- 
posed that man should live in union and communion with him, and par- 
take of that life that he himself lives, and communicates as far as the 
creature is capable. ' He hath given to us eternal life.' Well, where hath 
he put it for us to have it 1 And, saith he, this life is in his Son, that he 
might unite them to him. John xvii. 2, ' Thine they were, thou gavest them 
me, that I might give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me.' So 
he gives it to them ; he living by the Father, they are given to him ; he 
bestows life on them, they Hve by him. 

So that, to express it more fully, the Godhead dwells in the human 
nature of Christ and is a quickening Spirit to him; and by virtue of our re- 
lation to him, having union with him, he quickens us, and never rests till 
he hath brought us to that union with God, in our measure and proportion, 
that Christ hatk Col. iii. 3, our Saviour Christ is said to be our life : our 
* life is hid with Christ in God,' and when ' our life shall appear,' that is, 
Christ ; therefore we are said to be quickened with Christ, as the author of 
our quickening. That is the Jlrst sense that is put upon it, so some inter- 
preters carry it, translating it properly. 

In the second place, when it is said we are quickened together with Christ, 
it being a quickening out of death, as I told you, it evidently implies that 
this Lord of ours, Jesus Christ our life, was also dead ; so by virtue of his 
dying and being quickened, we are quickened together with him. 1 Pet, 
iii. 18, it is said he was 'put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the 
Spirit j' that is, raised by the Godhead, being put to death. He had quick- 
ening and dying, and by virtue of that quickening and dying of his we are 
quickened ; so we are quickened together with him, both by his death and 

We are quickened by his death, to purchase that life and quickening that 
we were to have ; therefore you read in John x. and in John v. 21, and many 
places, that he gave his life for the life of the world ; and liis flesh, as cru- 
cified and broken, is that that hath purchased life. I shaU not need to stand 
to give you places. 

Again, on the other side, by virtue of his resurrection we are also quick- 
ened ; therefore it is called 'the virtue of his resurrection,' Phil, iii 10. In 
Isa. xxvi. 19, there is a prophecy of the conversion of the Jews : ' Thy dead 
men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.' Here is 
quickening together with Jesus Christ ; his body was dead, and rose again. 
Saith he, ' Thy dead men shall live,' speaking to that nation that were scat- 
tered all the world over. How do we know that their conversion is called 
a resurrection from the dead 1 How come they to rise, and to be quick- 
ened 1 ' With my dead body,' by virtue of my resurrection. He speaks of a 
dew afterwards ; there is a dew fails from the resurrection of Christ, a vir- 
tue which quickeneth us. So we are quickened with Christ. 

Again, in the third place, we are said to be quickened with Jesus Christ, 
because the same life that Jesus Christ is quickened with, we are ; it is 
called 'the life of Jesus,' 2 Cor. iv. 11. Though Paul speak of the life of 
the body, it is called the life of Jesus. We are delivered to death, that the 
life of Jesus might be manifested in us. As he lives in the favour of God, 
as he lives to God, so we live to God ; it is the same life ; the same Spirit 

EpH. II. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHE9IANS. 211 

that quickened him quickeneth us, Rom. viii. 11, The same Spirit that 
raised his body quickens our souls ; if we be quickened truly, we live with 
the same life that Jesus Christ did. 

Lastly, We are said to be quickened with him in this sense, because when 
he was raised and quickened, we were said to be raised and quickened in 
him, as a person representative ; so by virtue of that we are now quickened 
personally. What saith the Apostle ? Rom. vi. 1 1, ' Reckon yourselves 
alive to God,' as Christ is. Why 1 Because when Jesus Christ was quick- 
ened, when he arose, ye did rise ; when he was quickened, you were quick- 
ened in him, and shall have it complete in yourselves. Therefore, though 
it be imperfect quickening, it is thy comfort that thou art quickened with 
Christ, and in Christ as a head first ; and as his life was perfect, so shall 
thine be ; and in the meantime, though thou canst not say. It is wrought in 
me, thou mayest say. It is wrought in my head for me ; I may say it is per- 
fect in him. ' Your life is hid with Christ in God.' I have not aU my 
life ; my life is hid with Christ in God. Alas ! you have but a little degree, 
but reckon yourselves alive to God, as Christ is. When he shall appear, 
that life that he hath in glory you shall have, by virtue of his being quick- 

So now you have what is meant by being quickened with Christ. 

Now, brethren, here lies plainly the comfort of a Christian, that we are 
quickened together with Jesus Christ, therefore this life shall never die ; for 
we are quickened together with Jesus Christ, and in him as our head, and 
as a person representative of us. Here is our comfort, our life is bound up 
in the bundle of the Hfe of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore 
now, if Jesus Christ live ; If I live, saith he, you shall live ; if I never die, 
you shall never die. He is so quickened that death hath no more dominion 
over him, Rom. vi. 10. So saith he to Martha, when she doubted of the 
resurrection of her brother, ' He that believeth in me shall never die ; be- 
lievest thou this ? ' It is a point of thy creed, as true as any article of thy 
creed ; believe it, there is nothing truer. What is the reason ? Because we 
are quickened with Christ, our life is bound up with his ; and as it is in 
2 Cor. iv. 14, as Christ did rise up by the power of God, so shall we. 

Now then I shall end in a word. The last thing that I am to speak of 
is the scope of the Apostle, to shew the greatness of the work of God and 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon us, and his love, in that he hath 
quickened us. You see the greatness of the grace, and love, and mercy of 
God, that he hath quickened us with Jesus Christ. But that shall be the 
observation, it is the Apostle's scope, and the main thing he aims at. 

In the first place, if God had quickened us with this life as he did Adam 
for Adam was quickened, what an infinite goodness had it been, if there had 
been such a life as a saint hath, to grow up to eternal life ! But he did it 
when we had forfeited all, and were dead in sins and trespasses. 

If you had seen Adam's body, whilst it was making of clay, and formed 
by degrees, as God did the world; and when that body of clay was made, 
God put and breathed into it so glorious a soul as it was, how should we 
have admired this infinite work upon him ! But, brethren, that when we 
had lost this, and were dead in sins and trespasses ; that ' when we were in 
our blood, God said. Live,' Ezek. xvi. 6 ; that he should forgive us all our 
sins, for quickening always carries pardon of sin ; he hath quickened us with 
him, forgiving aU our sins ; and as he shewed his mercy and grace in par- 
doning, so his power in putting into us a principle of life, in communicating 


a greater power than to raise the dead, the same that raised Christ, — what 
infinite grace and goodness is this ! 

And then, if we reckon that our quickening with Christ cost Christ's 
death, and, that we are quickened for ever with him and saved, take that in 
Acts iii. 15, 'Ye have killed the Prince of life, and him God raised;' that 
the Prince of life must be put to death and quickened, that we might live ! 
Our life cost God dear, when it was bought with Christ's life. All the life 
of men and angels, if they had never sinned, it was but as the life of a slave 
to the life of a king. Do but consider, he is the Prince of life ; what a life 
he had, and what it was for him that was the Prince of life to be put to 
death; and put to death he was, that you might have life. 

And not only so, but as your quickening lies, that being condemned, and 
then being justified, a sentence of condemnation being upon you : so Christ 
was not put to a bodily death only, but he had our sins laid on him; he was 
made a curse, and then he was justified in the Spirit, absolved from aU our 
sins, and this was his quickening ; and by virtue of his quickening, we are 
quickened in the life of justification. I might enlarge this : Rom. v. 8, 
Christ's love was commended in this, that he died for us. ' Greater love 
hath no man than that he lay down his life,' &c., John xv. 13. Let a holy- 
heart, that is afi"ected with the love of Christ and of God, consider this ; for 
words and rhetoric cannot express it to a carnal heart ; but to express it to 
a spiritual heart, how wonderfully will he stand admiring the love and grace 
of God and of Christ ! 

Again, in the third place, do but consider the excellency of this life. It 
is a greater life than when we were in Adam, infinitely greater ; we are 
quickened with Christ, with the same life that Christ is quickened with. 
Alas ! when Adam was quickened, he was quickened by the law ; but Jesus 
Christ is onr life, Adam's life was nothing. John x. 10, ' I came that they 
might have life, and have it more abundantly.' Therefore indeed and in 
truth we explain this life to you : by our death in sin we cannot do it. 
Why 1 Because our death in sin is a deprivation only of that we had in 
Adam, but it is restored infinitely. * I am come to give you life, and to 
give it more abundantly.' It is a higher justification, living in the eternal 
favour of God ; Adam was but in the temporal favour of God. 

Lastly, To end all, it is evident here that the Apostle principally means 
our calling, the first infusion, the Holy Ghost putting in a principle of life 
and making us new creatures. Therein is infinite love, next to the death 
of Christ, that he quickened us when we were dead. ' God, that is rich in 
mercy, hath quickened us.' There are three acts of God wherein his love 
is : — 

The first is, His love from eternity. 

The other. When he gave Jesus Christ for us. 

The third. When he called us first, and converted and turned us. 

What is the reason that we should account it so great a work ? The rea- 
son is, because then we were quickened with Jesus Christ. Let the principle 
of life be never so small, it is the seed of God that shall rise to eternal life ; 
therefore he that believeth hath eternal life. What saith the Apostle in the 
next words ? ' By grace ye are saved.' He saith not, ye shall be, but ye 
are saved ; for this Hfe hath eternal life in the seed, and shall be raised to 
eternal life. 

Therefore when God calls a man, all the thoughts of love that he had 
from eternity, all the thoughts of love he had when Christ came in the flesh. 

EpH. II. 5, 6. J TO THE EPUBSIANS. 213 

all that ever he means to do for a man, is before him, and he estates this 
man in all ; all that God hath done, and wiU do, are in that act concentred, 
when he quickens him ; for then a man hath possession and right of aU. 
And this shaU go on till it come to the height of perfection, as the Scrip- 
ture holds it out i ' to ait together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' 


(5y grace ye are saved.) — Ver. 5. 

The words of this 5ih. verse fall into these three particulars. Here is — 

1. A repetition of our condition which we were in by nature, to illustrate 
grace the more ; ' When we were dead in sins,' saith he, ' he hath quickened 
us together with Christ.' Here is — 

2. The first benefit bestowed upon us, and that in this life, which is the 
seed of glory ; our being ' quickened,' and that ' with Christ.' Then — 

3. The Apostle's note, by way of observation upon it, in a parenthesis, 
whereby he sets a mark, as it were a finger in the margin, to note this as a 
result from hence ; ' by grace ye are saved.' 

I opened the benefit, which is here bestowed upon us, in the last discourse. 
I shewed what was meant by quickening, and why it is said we are quick- 
ened ' together with Christ.' 

First, I shewed what was meant by qiiickening, and went over aU those 
particulars. Both — 

1. In respect of justification. I shewed you, according to the Scripture 
phrase, that it is a quickening, a giving life. So in Col. ii. 13, ' He hath 
quickened you together with Christ, having forgiven you all trespasses.' 

2. I shewed you how that all the fellowship we have with God, and his 
fulness, it is in the Scripture called life and quickening. All the joy we 
have in the favour and loving-kindness of God, which is better than life, it 
is called quickening. And then — 

3. The image of God, which consisteth in holiness, it is a Spirit of quick- 
ening. And — 

4. The putting in the Holy Ghost into our soul, and his dwelling there 
for ever, as a soul in our soul, and the union of the Godhead of Christ to us, 
of Christ who is our life ; by this also we are quickened. And then — 

5. Lastly, Every stirring of the regenerate part, every spiritual affec- 
tion, every holy end and purpose, that is raised up in the heart of a believer 
throughout the whole course of his life, aU these are quickenings, and they 
are from our having been quickened together with Christ. Ps. Ixxx. 18, 
' Quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.' The ability which a man 
hath to jjray in a sjiiritual way, is a quickening. 

Secondly, I shewed you how we are quickened together with Christ ; and 
how our quickening dependeth upon his being quickened. For he was put 
to death in the flesh, and quickened in the Spirit, as the Apostle Peter speaks, 
1 Peter iii. 18. 

I added a third, which is the scope of the Apostle here, and that is the 
greatness of this work. For I take it that quickening here contains not 
simply only our first conversion, though eminently that, but all that is done 
upon us in this life ; as on the other side those that follow in the 6th verse are 
the works which God will work in our persons one day in the world to come. 

EpH. IL 5.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 215 

The greatness of this work I demonstrated by such things as are proper to 
the text. As — 

1. That he quickened us thus when we were dead ; as in Ezek. xvi. 6, 
' I said unto thee, in thy blood, Live.' It was not only a child cast forth in 
its menstruous blood, but a dead child too. And so likewise — 

2. In that it is called quickening, and quickening having those relations 
to death, it importeth a mighty work of power. In Rom. iv. 17, it is made 
a great matter in Abraham's faith that he believed in God ' who quickeneth 
the dead ; ' but yet it was but the quickening of the dead womb of Sarah. 
There goes an infinite deal of mercy to quicken the dead heart of a believer ; 
nay, to quicken his graces, which are not dead in sin, but they are dead 
of themselves, without the quickening of the Holy Ghost. Ps. cxix. 156, 
' Great are thy tender mercies, Lord; quicken me,' saith David. 

3. It is a great work likewise in respect of the life which we are quick- 
ened unto, and of which it is the beginning : it is the beginning of all that 
life of glory which we shall have hereafter. It is not only quickening us unto 
that life which Adam had, but it is quickening us unto that life which Christ 
himself leadeth, ' who is our hfe,' Col. iii. 4. And therefore in 1 Cor. xv. 
there is a comparison made between Adam and Christ. * The first man Adam,' 
saith he, ver. 45, ' was made a living soul ; the last Adam was made a quicken- 
ing spirit.' The comparison lies not only in this, that Jesus Christ can raise 
up a dead creature, a dead soul and a dead body; but the comparison is of 
the life itself with which both the one and the other are endowed, for the ex- 
cellency thereof ; as appears evidently by what he saith of the body there, 
that from a natural it is raised to a spiritual life ; and it holds much more 
in the soul. Therefore in John x. 10, Christ saith, 'I am come that they 
might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' Now then, 
do but consider ; if thou feelest the beginnings of spiritual life, the least 
stirring that is in thee, though it be but in a way of quickening, for so you 
see he expresses it by that which is the lowest, think what this quickening 
is the beginning and foundation of. When Mary did feel herself quick with 
the Son of God, little thought she what a life that quickening was the first 
motion of, even of that life which the Son of God now leads in heaven, 
which was his due then. ' Your life,' saith he. Col. iii. 3, ' is hid with 
Christ in God.' The truth is, we have little of that life which we shall have 
hereafter ; it is but quickening here, we may be said only to live hereafter. 
' Your life,' saith he, ' is hid with Christ in God : and when Christ, who is 
our life, shaU appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.' Here it 
is but a seed of life, buried to grow up hereafter ; it is a drop of life to be 
swallowed up in that sea, in that ocean of life hereafter. And then likewise 
consider, it is a quickening together with Christ, the same that Christ hath ; 
our lives are bound up with his, and in his. 

But now the chief is the mercy, for that is the Apostle's scope to exalt ; 
the mercy of it doth lie in this, that Jesus Christ must die, and be quickened 
again out of death, before such time as this life shall be given us. In John 
xii. 24, Christ compares himself to a grain of corn, which ' except it fall 
into the ground, and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth 
much fruit.' If I had not died, saith he, I had been in heaven alone, none 
had ever had any quickening by me. I had not brought a soul to life, if I 
had not died. That is the mind of Christ's comparison there. And — 

This leads me now to that which is a fourth thing to be considered here 
in this place, which I mentioned not in the last discourse. I told you, when 
I handled and opened to you the greatness of the love of God to us, that I 


would keep to such tilings as tlie text affords, to set it out unto you still, as 
they fall in my way. I shewed you how great a love it was — 

1. From the subject of it ; God. 

2. For the hind of it ; his love. 

3. For the time he hath borne it to us ; even from everlasting. 

4. From the 'persons ; us — us nakedly, and distinctly, and definitely ; and 
us, not others. 

5. From our condition ; when we were dead. 

And now, which I will but speak to in a word, the greatness of this love 
is set out by this, that to the end we might be quickened, he gave his Son 
to death. It is but couched in the text, and therefore I wiU but briefly 
speak to it, and so proceed. 

My brethren, when the Scripture would set out the love of God to us, it 
speaks not much of it, but the chief and eminent thing it holds forth is this, that 
God gave his Son, and gave his Son to death for us. You have it in Kom. v. 8, 
* God commendeth his love towards us,' — or, as the word signifies, he makes it 
noble and illustrious, — 'in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.' It 
is not only that when we were sinners he loved us, or quickened us when we 
were dead, but that he gave his Son to die for lis to efi'ect this, there hes the 
emphasis ; that is more than quickening, and more than all the benefits we 
have by Christ. You have the like in 1 John iv. 9, ' In this was manifested 
the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son 
into the world, that we might live through him ;' we had never had any of 
this spiritual life else. And ' herein is love,' saith he, ver. 10, — that is set out 
by two things, — ' not that we loved God, but that he loved us ; ' so that God 
loved us from everlasting, and began to love us first ; and then it follows, 
' and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.' ' Herein is love :' that 
is, in this is the highest manifestation of the love of God. It is such a phrase 
as that in Rev. xiv. 12, ' Here is the patience of the saints ;' that is, here it 
is tried, here it is seen. 

You know it was the highest trial of Abraham's love to God that he had 
a heart to give his son for him. 'Now I know,' saith God, Gen. xxii. 12, 
' that thou fearest God,' — that word fear is put for love, and for all religion, 
according to the language of the Old Testament, — ' seeing thou hast not 
mthheld thy son, thine only son from me.' You see how God was taken 
with it, though it was but in the purpose of Abraham's heart to do it. But 
how much more is it for God actually to give us his Son ! In John iii. 16, 
it is said, ' God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son.' 
StiU you see the Scripture runs upon it. He loved and he gave, for love 
presently thinks of giving; and if it be a great love, it will express itself by 
gifts answerable. Now God had a Son, and he so loved the world that he 
gave this Son. The truth is, that God himself could not do a greater act, 
nor give a greater gift. I may say of this act, as it is said in Heb. vi. 13, 
that when God made promise to Abraham, ' because he could swear by no 
greater, he sware by himself ;' so, because he could manifest his love no greater 
nor higher way, he gave his Son, and his only-begotten Son. You see there 
is a so put upon it ; he so loved the world, — that is, his elect in the world, 
for so, I take it, it is meant. Such expressions have an import in them of 
unexpressibleness ; as, ' so great salvation,' Heb. ii. 3, and ' such contradic- 
tion of sinners,' Heb. xii. 3. If Satan say. Thou hast so sinned, reply again, 
God hath so loved the world that he gave his Son for us. The Apostle put- 
teth an unexpressibleness upon the love of God in making of us his sons, 1 
John iii. 1, 'Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. 

EpH. II. 5.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 217 

that we should be called the sons of God ! ' What manner of love then is 
this, that God hath given us his only Son ! 

You have it again, in Rom. viii. 32, emphatically mentioned, where the 
Apostle speaks with an amazement, as if he had even run himself out of 
breath : ' What shall we then say to these things ] ' Having spoken of the 
love of God, such a sea of love came upon him as overcame him. And 
what follows 1 ' He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for 
us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things 1 ' Do but 
consider the words a little. ' He spared not his Son ;' the word implies that 
God was sensible enough what it was to give such a Son, it implies the 
greatest tenderness ; he felt every blow, yet he gave the blows himself Even 
as when of loving parents it is said they do not spare their children, when 
out of the greatest tenderness they do correct them. And he is said not to 
' spare his own Son,' who is more his own Son than our sons can be, which 
are differing from ourselves, but Christ of the same substance with himself. 
And the truth is, none knows how to value the gift but God himself, that 
gave him, and Christ himself, that was given. And he did do it freely too : 
the word that is used, y^ap/ssrai, imports it ; with him he shall graciously 
give us ; he gives Christ, and all things else freely with him, therefore it 
implies that he gave him up freely also. Abraham gave his son, but 
he was commanded to do it ; but God gave his Son freely, and it pleased 
the Lord to bruise him. And to shew that this was the greatest gift that 
God could give, or had to give, what follows 1 Now he had given us his Son, 
take all things else, saith he. I do not value heaven, now I have given my 
Son for you ; therefore take that. I do not value grace, nor comfort, nor 
creatures; take all freely, even as you had my Son. 'If he spared not his 
Son,' saith he, ' how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?' 
He hath given the greatest pawn of his love, in giving us his Son, that 
ever was. 

Take another scripture, in 1 John iii 16, ' Hereby perceive we the love 
of God, because he laid down his life for us.' Do but consider whose life it 
was that was laid down. The Apostle greatens this love from the person, 
the owner of this life. Was it the life of men 1 Alas ! what are the lives 
of men 1 They are but as the lives of gnats and flies, such as came out of 
nothing but the other day ; no, but tliis is the life of God. The life which God, 
dwelling in a human nature, hath, and is due to that human nature, God 
dwelling there ; the Apostle puts an emphasis upon that, that it was the Hfo 
of God, and his own life, and so dear to God in the proportion of it as the 
lives of creatures are, in their several degrees of excellency and happiness 
they enjoj^, to each of them. The life of a man is more dear to a man, than 
of a beast to a beast, of a fly to a fly. And among men, of a king to a 
king, than of an ordinary man to himself ; because he hath more of an out- 
ward life and happiness to lose. And look, how much reason God hath to 
love his own life more than men their own, by so much was it greater love 
in God to lay down that life ; a life so dear to him, that none knew how to 
value this life of God but God himself, and Jesus Christ, who is God, and 
dwelt in that liuman nature. 

All this, my brethren, God did, when he could have saved the world other- 
wise too, let me put that in ; and this when all our lives, and all the glory he 
shall have from us, is not worth that life, that glory of Christ that was de- 
based. And yet God found a sweet-smelling savour in it, he did so heartily 
and freely oft'er him up. The truth is, this love cannot be set out, unles? 
God shed it abroad in the heiirt of a man by the Holy Ghost, who knowa 


the heart of God, and knows the valuation of this gift, and who by his report 
of it takes the heart mth it j all the discourses in the world otherwise will 
do a man no good. And so much now for that head likewise, the greatness 
of this love, that we are quickened together with Christ, and so he must die, 
and then be quickened, before we could be quickened; 'We are quickened 
together with him,' saith he. 

Now I come to the next words, the third thing here in this verse, and 
that is this — 

By grace ye are saved. 

The Apostle brings this in, as an inference from both the other, that ' when 
we were dead in sins and trespasses, God did then quicken us together with 
Christ :' and he brings it in by way of parenthesis, as setting a mark on it, 
as making it that thing he would have them, as the result of all, observe 
and carry in their eye. Three things are to be considered in it : — 

1. The manner of his bringing of it in. 

2. The occasion. 

3. The matter itself. 

All these are worthy our observation, and will afford observations to us. 
I shall handle the second, viz., the occasion, last of all. 
For the manner of his bringing of it in : — 

1. He brings it in here abruptly, and in the midst of a sentence, before 
he had made an end of enumerating the benefits we have in and by Christ. 
And he repeats it again in the 8th verse in so many words ; insomuch as 
some have thought that it did creep into the copy by the addition of some 
writer, and that it was not the Apostle's own. But far be it from us to think 
so ; for by saying this of whole sentences, and especially of so rich sentences 
as this, is to open a gap for aU heresy, and to make of the Scriptures what 
they please, and to have no foundation for our faith therein ; for the like 
exception may be made of any. But, my brethren, it is the Apostle's indi- 
gitating here, in this discourse, this thing again and again. To say, ' By 
grace ye are saved,' and to say it again ; to say it briefly first, and largely 
afterwards to open it, to that end they might have in their eye this as the 
chief result and scope of all his discourse ; for him to do so it is no wonder. 
He did so in mentioning our lost condition : first he mentioneth it largely, 
in ver. 1-3; and yet he repeats it again, to set the consideration of it the 
more upon our hearts, in this ver. 5. Answerably, when he would speak of 
that grace by which we were delivered out of this condition, he gives us in 
the beginning here a brief touch of it, * by grace ye are saved,' and then 
insisteth largely upon it afterwards in ver. 8. It was meet that this seal 
should have a double impression upon the wax to make it the deeper, for it 
is God's seal ; it is that grace by which he knows who are his. It is the 
first great end and design of God. So, ver. 7, you have it, ' That in the 
ages to come, he might shew the riches of his grace.' It is both the first 
cause, and the middle cause, and the ultimate cause of our salvation ; and 
therefore no wonder the Apostle mentioneth it three times. And then — 

2. Why he should bring it in by way of parenthesis, in the very midst 
of his discourse of the benefits we have in and by Christ, before he goes on 
to speak of the rest, having spoken only of quickening ; for him to say, ' by 
grace ye are saved,' by way of parenthesis, it argues that he had this thing 
in his thoughts, his thoughts were full of it ; and it breaks out presently 
upon the first just occasion. He had but mentioned the first degree of sal- 
vation, ' he hath quickened us ; ' yet because whoever hath that degree his 
salvation shall be completed, he presently cries out. Are ye quickened ? ye 


are saved. He speaks as if the whole work were done, for done it shall be. 
He cries out, Ye are saved, upon the very mention of the first degree of sal- 
vation ; and he teUs them by what : Ye are saved by grace, saith he. You 
have just such a parenthesis in Hab. i. 12, where the prophet, in the name 
of the people of God, prays unto God : ' Art thou not from everlasting, 
Lord my God, mine Holy One V What follows? * We shall not die.' He 
did presently gather that from it, and it came in as a note by the way : he 
had no sooner said, ' Thou art my God from everlasting,' but, ' We shall not 
die,' and then he goes on in his prayer. So here, when the Apostle had but 
named that work which insureth salvation to us, and that engageth God for 
ever to go on, and that he that hath begun a good work will perfect it, he 
presently brings this in by way of parenthesis, ' by grace ye are saved,' and 
80 putteth a more real emphasis upon grace than in the former upon mercy 
and love, simply and alone considered. He gives them greater epithets in- 
deed, and yet he gives grace the same afterwards too. But he brings this 
in here as an eminent observation by the way, as that which he would have 
them of all things observe. And so thereby he gives it a more real exalta- 
tion than the other. And then — 

3. If any one shall say, Is there any difference between his scope in 
bringing it in here and in the 8th verse 1 1 answer, Yes ; and this I desire 
you to observe and remember, for it shall steer me in the handling of it ; 
for some things are proper to this place, and other things are proper to 
what belongs to this sentence in the 8th verse. To shew you the difference 
then. It comes in here by way of general premise, as a touch by the way 
of what he would more largely open and particularly speak of It comes 
in here as the chief cause of salvation simply considered, a cause of all those 
benefits which we receive, that we are quickened, and raised with Christ, and 
sit in heavenly places with him ; it is placed in the midst of them as the sun 
is in the firmament. But in the 8th verse it comes in comparatively and 
more largely ; it comes in there excluding what may seem to put in as causes 
of our salvation ; — if you wiU. make them causes that are not causes, and yet 
will go about in the hearts of men to share the honour with free grace, ' by 
grace ye are saved,' saith be, 'through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is 
the gift of God ; not of works,' &c. ; — he brings it in there, I say, by way of 
exclusion, by way of cutting off the pleas of whatsoever would pretend to 
any title or honour herein, or which the hearts of men are apt to mingle 
with and ascribe salvation unto. You see clearly, then, the differing way of 
handling and speaking to these words here and in the 8th verse. Here I 
must speak of it simply as it is the cause of our salvation ; but there I 
must speak of it as it is a cause of our salvation, excluding all things else. 
There is nothing hath been more corrupted in all ages than the causation 
that free grace hath in the salvation of men, by Papists, and by Remon- 
strants, and by legalists, and by carnal hearts, that still will mingle with it 
something of themselves. Now all these things I must speak to, as the text 
shall give occasion, when I come to the 8th verse. Only that which I am 
now to do is to shew you, and that in a more general way, how that grace, 
and free grace, is the cause of all salvation. Aid herein I will observe this 
method — 

1. Open to you what is meant by ^ graced 

2. What is held foHh under this word, being ' saved,' as here it is brought 

3. / shall put them both together, ' by grace ye are saved,' and speak to 
them jointly. 


There is an observation •wMch I should have mentioned, drawn from the 
manner of the Apostle's bringing this in here, ' by grace ye are saved,' by 
■way of parenthesis in the midst of his discourse, and then that he should 
afterwards so largely insist upon it again and again : it holds forth this to 
us — 

Ohs. — That the dependency our salvation hath in the whole, and all the 
parts of it, upon free grace, is the greatest thing in the gospel. It is that 
which the Apostle would have these Ephesians above all things else take 
notice o£ He sets therefore this mark upon it by this parenthesis, as if he 
had said, Remember tliis, saith he, as the great result of my discourse, to 
hold forth this to you, to beget thoughts of this in you, that by grace ye are 
saved. But of this when I come to the 8th verse. At present I shall in- 
quire — 

First, What is meant hy 'grace' here! 

To be sure, it is not meant the graces in us, though they have also the 
name given to them. The Papists run altogether upon that. K you read 
their books of the Attributes of God, you shall not find, as I remember, that 
title, Be Gratia Dei, in any one of them. No; they run upon the grace 
that is in us. Indeed the graces that are in us are called grace in the Scrip- 
ture, as in 2 Cor. viii. 1, ' We do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed 
upon the churches of Macedonia;' and, ver. 7, ' As ye abound in everything, 
in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love 
to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.' So in 2 Cor. ix. 8, ' God is 
able to make all grace abound towards you;' and, ver. 14, 'We long after 
you, for the exceeding grace of God in you.' But yet the graces that are in 
us, they are called graces merely because they are the gifts of a higher grace, 
by which higher grace we are saved ; and salvation is never attributed to our 
own graces. Or indeed and in truth, they are part of salvation itself, even 
as the benefits that God bestows upon us out of love, they are called love 
so in 1 John iii. 1, ' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed 
upon us, that we should be called the sons of God I ' There adoption and 
sonship is called the love of God which he hath bestowed upon us, because 
it proceeds from love ; so these ai'e called graces because they flow from that 
grace. Even as regeneration, the thing begotten in us, is called spirit in us, 
because it is begotten by the Spirit ; so these are called graces, because they 
are the gift of grace. And therefore in Acts xL 23, the effects of the grace 
of God are there called grace. ' When he had seen the grace of God, he 
was glad;' that is, he had seen men turned unto God, for he speaks of the 
conversion of souls and of the graces of God wrought in them. My breth- 
ren, they are but improperly called grace. It is that which hath misled the 
Papists and school-men; and you may see how dangerous a little mistake is. 
They thought to call it grace, because it made us accepted, and rendered us 
gracious in the eyes of God, therefore they called it that grace by which we 
are accepted. But the truth is, these are only called graces because they 
are the gifts of grace ; and therefore in that place I quoted before, 2 Cor. 
viii. 1, it is called 'the grace bestowed.' And you shall stUl find that when 
our grace is spoken of the word given is mentioned, as in Eph. iiL 2. And 
twenty such instances more there are, which I could give you. They are 
called graces, I say, because they are bestowed by grace. They are not 
gratixje gratum facientes, but gratia gratum facientis, that is, the grace of 
God making us gracious. And therefore the Holy Ghost hath invented a 
word for it, which we find used in no heathen author, as the learned have 
observed. He calls them y^apiefj.a7a, that is, gifts out of grace and out of 

EpII. II. 5.] TO THE EPHE8IANS. 221 

favour. And in Rom. v. 15 there is mention made of the grace of God and 
of the gift by grace, which indeed is phiinly meant only of the righteousness 
of Christ ; yet in relation unto us, and as flowing from that original grace in 
God, it is called the gift by grace, or the gift of grace. So that now you 
must take the favour of God, that which is in the heart of God towards us, 
— which is called in that Rom. v. 15, in distinction from all gifts given by 
God, yea, from Christ himself, fj %ao/; rov Giou, the grace of God, — to be that 
which the Apostle means here in the text ; and though he hath given the 
graces in us the name of grace, yet, as I said before, he never attributed 
salvation to them. 

And that here grace is so taken, I suppose I shall not need to stand long 
in it. You see the Apostle brings it in here as a cause of salvation, together 
with mercy and love in God ; therefore the grace here meant is the grace 
of God also. And so, ver. 7, ' That he might shew the exceeding riches of 
his grace.' It is not the grace in us, but grace in God, which he calleth 
also 'kindness' in the same verse. So that in a word, by 'grace' here is 
meant this, the favour of God freely accepting of us. Eph. i. 6, ' To the 
praise of the glory of his grace, whereby he hath made us accepted ;' ac- 
cepted with himself. This is the great grace that is here intended. I could 
give you another place for it ; it is in Rom. iii. 24, ' Being justified freely 
by his grace.' There is, first, his grace ; and, secondly, to shew that it is not 
anything in us, he addeth the word ' freely' to it. He doth not only call it 
grace, but ' his grace,' by way of distinction ; and then he adds ' freely' to 
it, to cut off all things from it. 

The observation from hence, by the by, is only this : — 

Obs. — That we should now have our heart set upon seeking of the grace 
and favour of God, as the highest, supreme, and chief cause of all ; and to 
seek graces as the fruit thereof ; to pray, though for inherent grace to be 
wrought in us, yet chiefly to seek after the favour of God, to have our 
hearts affected with it. To apprehend, and seek after, and to have our 
hearts taken with the favour of God, and to be the subject of it, is in itself 
infinitely more than to be taken with the fruits of it. And so likewise, to 
seek after the vision of this favour in itself ; as Moses, ' Shew me thy face,' 
saith he. God knew what he meant, and therefore answers, * I wiU be gra- 
cious to whom I will be gracious ;' and I will be gracious unto thee. Our 
hearts now and our comfort should be pitched upon the grace that is in God. 

You shall find the expression in 2 Thess. ii 1 6 ; I shall but quote it to 
you : ' Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, 
which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good 
hope through grace.' What is it that will be everlasting consolation, that 
will never fail you 1 And what is that good hope that will be everlasting 1 
It is when the grace of God is shed abroad in our hearts, and the love of 
God is shed abroad in our souls, in a more immediate manner. That he 
speaks of that love is clear ; for he saith, God, that hath loved us with an 
infinite love, and saved us with his free grace that is in himself, out of that 
love he hath given us eternal consolation, and good hope in that love, and 
in that grace. 

Now then, this being cleared and opened to you, I come, in the second 
place, to shew you what this expression of grace doth superadd to mercy 
and love ; for you see here he brings in three cau.5es of our salvation. 
Therefore as I have opened the thing itself, I shall in the second place open 
it as it is a cause of salvation, distinct some way from mercy and love. 
Exod. xxxiv. 6, ' The Lord, gracious and merciful;' he makes grace a distinct 


thing from mercy. It is the same for the substance with love and mercy, 
yet it holds forth something more eminently than both. 

1. It noteth out, not simply love, but the love of a sovereign, transcen- 
dently superior, one that may do what he will, that may wholly choose whe- 
ther he will love or no. There may be love betwixt equals, and an inferior 
may love a superior ; but love in one that is a superior, and so superior as he 
may do what he will, in such a one love is called grace : and therefore grace 
is attributed to princes ; they are said to be gracious to their subjects. Sub- 
jects, though they love their princes, yet they are not said to be gracious to 
them. ISTow God, who is an infinite sovereign, who might have chosen whe- 
ther ever he would have loved us or no, for him to love us, and to love us 
wdth a special love, this is grace. In that of Exod. xxxiv. 6, when God 
proclaims his name, what is the first word ? ' The Lord, the Lord,' and ' gra- 
cious' is the next. 'The Lord, the Lord, gracious.' I am the sovereign 
Lord of all the creatures ; if I love, if I shew mercy, this is grace. And in 
the chaj^ter before, ver. 19, he speaks Uke a king, and like the Lord of 
heaven and earth ; ' I wUI be gracious to whom I will be gracious.' 

2. Grace here, as it is in God, notes out, not simply love, but the height 
of love, a love that wiU shew all its goodness. Exod. xxxiii 19, I will, 
saith he, shew thee all my goodness ; what follows ? ' I will be gracious to 
whom I will be gracious.' For God to be gracious to us, is so to love us as 
to bestow all that becomes creatures to have from him, all that is suitable to 
the condition of creatures. When the apostles, therefore, would wish all 
good to those unto whom they wrote, still they wish grace, because it brings 
the utmost good with it, it is love extended to the utmost ; if it be grace, 
they shall have his Son, and all things with him : * He will graciously with 
him give us aU things.' So I told you the word signifies in that Rom. 
viii. 32. 

3. Hence therefore, thirdly, it notes withal the greatest freeness. You 
have the phrase in Hosea xiv. 4, ' I will love them freely.' Where God 
loves, he loves freely ; and grace denotes the freeness of that love, it 
superadds in the significance of it freeness ; and love in that respect is called 
grace, and grace is but free love. You shall find it in Rom. iii. 24, ' Being 
justified freely by his grace.' And therefore, where the Aj)ostle useth the 
word ' grace,' or God is said to give us out of this grace, our interpreters 
often render the word, to give us freely. Thus in 1 Cor. ii. 12, ' The things 
that are freely given to us of God ;' the word is, things given to us out of 
grace, or graciously. So in the place quoted even now, Rom. viii. 32, ' He 
will with him give us all things freely,' or graciously, as the word signifies. 

Now for God to give freely, it implies these five things, that I may open 
them distinctly to you : — 

First, To set his heart and his love on us, merely out of his own good 
motion and good will. Mark, therefore, how they are joined together in 
Eph. i. 5, 6. In the 5th verse he had said that God ' predestinated us unto 
the adoption of children, according to the good pleasure of his wiU ;' and in 
the 6th verse he saith, ' to the praise of the glory of his grace.' When he 
doth it thus in a freedom, merely out of the motion of his own will, this is 
freeness, and this makes it grace. Grace implies more than to give, though 
it implies that too ; and though stiU you shaU find both joined, it implies 
to give freely. 

Secondly, It is not only said to be grace in regard of the freeness of it 
towards us, but in respect of the sovereignty of God's wall, that he may 
choose to love whom he will, and do what he will, merely as a sovereign : 

EpH. II. 5.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 223 

for so it is most certain that all that Adam had might be called grace in 
that respect ; for what God did for Adam, all the holiness he had, it was 
freely done, which yet in the Scriptures is not called grace. It might have 
been said unto Adam, 'Who made thee to differ from another?' It was the 
free will of God. ' And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?' So 
that grace here implies more than merely the freeness of a sovereign, that 
God doth it merely out of his superiority. But we find that grace is 
opposed to all that dueness which in a way of justice becomes God to re- 
ward the creature with under the covenant of works. In Rom. iv. 4, you 
shall find that grace is opposed to o^j/'Xjj/ia, to a debt, or a due ; the Apostle, 
speaking of the justification of a sinner, opposeth to it the justification by 
works : ' To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of 
debt.' I take it, that there by debt is not meant as if the creature under 
the covenant of works could oblige God, or that God was a debtor, strictly 
taken, to the creature. For that of the Apostle is certain, in Rom. xi. 35, 
'Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again V 
But yet this we may say, that there was a dueness and a meetness between 
God as the Creator and the creature : that if the creature were holy, as it 
was meet God should create him, if he made him reasonable, and if he 
continued in that holiness, it was meet, it was according to the law of nature 
between the Creator and the creature, he should live, and be esteemed 
righteous, and be in God's favour, and have his approbation in so doing ; 
and likewise that God should make a promise that he should do so. It was 
meet that God, seeing a holiness in Adam, and seeing him to continue in 
that holiness, should approve him and justify him, as a creature that was 
holy, and continued holy, as a creature under that covenant. 

But the grace which the gospel speaks of, and by which, we are saved, is a 
grace opposed to this dueness that is between the Creator and the creature, 
simply so considered. Therefore now God, that he might make way for this 
grace which was in the purposes of his heart, and to lay the creature low in 
itself, and to manifest the riches and greatness of his grace and love, downs 
with Adam's state, he suffers that to be ruined. Adam forfeited that bond 
which was between his Creator and him, and it is a forfeiture that cannot be 
restored again, no, not by God himself, to a sinful creature, as the state of 
innocency cannot. Now then, when God had dissolved that dueness, that 
debt, as I may call it, that obligation, which according to the law of nature, 
in a way of meetness and comeliness, it was fit for God as a Creator to deal 
with a creature, there is now room for grace. For now he is not only free 
as he is a sovereign, but he is free as a judge, in respect that he is freei&s to 
that his own law which, though sovereign of the world, he had condescended 
unto, by reason of the relation of being a Creator. He is not only free in 
respect of prerogative, as a king is over his subjects, and is therefore said to 
be gracious ; but he is gracious now as a king unto traitors. In Rom. iii, 
when he comes to speak of being justified freely by his grace, which he doth, 
ver. 24, how doth he make way for it 1 He tells us before that all men were 
become guilty before God; so, ver. 19, ' that every mouth may be stopped,' 
saith he, ' and all the world may become guilty before God.' All had their 
necks upon the block. Now, saith he, if ever these be saved and justified, 
it must be by grace. So you have it after that discourse, at the 24th verse, 
* Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ 
Jesus,' when we were thus obnoxious, and were all become guilty before God. 
Grace hath a further freedom therefore. 

Thirdly, The freeness of this grace lies in this, that God's resolutions of 


love are firm, and so free and noble that nothing shall divert him. Grace 
always hath a generousness accompanying it : that as God is the King of all 
the world, and wiU be gracious to whom he will be gracious ; so he resolveth 
for ever to be so, and nothing shall hinder him from being so. There shall 
be neither ifs nor huts. ' If my people forsake my laws ; ' what then 1 I 
will not take my mercy away from them for all that, he saith in Ps. Ixxxix. 
33. And saith Paul, in 1 Tim. i. 13, but I obtained mercy for all that, 
though I was injurious and a persecutor, &c. And then — 

FouHhly, It is free in this, because he casts it upon what persons he will. 
Therein is freedom of grace also, whereas there was no difference, as the 
Apostle saith, Piom. tii. 22, ' but all have sinned, and come short of the 
glory of God ;' then comes in, ' being justified freely by his grace.' He 
hath here a freedom now, in respect of persons, to this or that person, and 
not to others. Therefore again, in Rom. xi. 5, they are said to be 'a rem- 
nant according to the election of grace ; ' that whereas aU were in a like con- 
dition, this free taking of a remnant, this choosing of these and not others, 
is out of grace ; it is therefore called, ' the election of grace.' 

And then, in the last place, as it respects no persons, so no conditions 
upon which he gives salvation to us, pardon of sin, justification, and heaven 
at last. I say, that he doth it freely without conditions. There is indeed 
a freedom that God hath given away, and that is, by having made promises 
to his people ; but it is free gTace that made him promise. There is also a 
declaration of his will, that without such a thing he will not bestow another 
thing, which yet he bestows, both the one and the other, out of gTace : with- 
out holiness no man shall go to heaven, &c. But yet they are not conditions, 
they are indeed the effects of this grace, as the Apostle terms them. ' The 
grace of God was exceeding abundant in faith and love,' 1 Tim. i. 14 ; that 
is, in working faith and love. And indeed, that I may speak more plainly, 
what is faith, and love, and repentance, and all these, to salvation ? They 
are salvation itself, they are part of it. When God requires of you that you 
should believe, and repent, and mortify sin, and walk holily, doth he re- 
quire these as conditions 1 No, he requires them as parts of salvation itself, 
as the essentials to salvation. My brethren, they are the essentials unto 
salvation itself. For what is faith and holiness unto glory and salvation to 
come 1 It is as reason is to learning. AU the world must needs say that 
reason is a part of that knowledge a learned man hath, or he would never 
be learned ; it is not a condition so much of his being learned, as it is a part 
of it. So when God bids us believe, what is it ? It is to bid us be saved, 
it is to bid us have eternal life, and the comforts of eternal life in our hearts ; 
it is to teU us, I will give you my Son freely, I would have you marry him, 
I would have you believe in him, I would have you be one with him. As 
if a man should say, I will give you meat upon condition you eat it. Why, 
he hath no sweetness in it, unless he eat it ; it wdll do him no good else. 
So saith God, I will give you my Son ; believe in him. 

Is faith such a great condition, think you 1 It is that without which 
Christ cannot be yours, you cannot possess him else, you can have no sweet- 
ness by him, he will do you no good else. They are, I say, essentials to sal- 
vation, essential requisites. But perhaps I shall speak a little more to this 
when I come to the 8th verse. My brethren, this is certain, that look, what- 
ever contrivements free gi-ace in God could have that might not imply a 
contradiction, that might st