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Full text of "The works of Thomas Goodwin"

s^t OF PRINCf^v. 
XT 101988 

&0_ GiCALS^/ ■ 

BX 9315 .G66 1861 v. 4 
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680. 
The works of Thomas Goodwin 







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

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

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

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

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

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

(Stnrral ©tutor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinburgh. 




Mitlj ®mtxd frefare 



gjitr HUnroir 


















Christ Set Forth, on Rom. viii. 34, . . . 1 

The Heart of Christ in Heaven towards Sinners on Earth, . 93 

Aggravation of Sin, . . . . . .151 

Aggravations of Sinning against Knowledge, . . 163 

Aggravations of Sinning against Mercy, . . .188 

Encouragements to Faith, 

The Glory of the Gospel, 

Sermon I. on Col. I. 26, 27, 
Sermon H. on do., 

A Discourse of the Glory of the Gospel, 




The Knowledge of God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, 347 

Book I. — Of the Godhead, and the three Persons within it- 
self. — That there is but one God. — That in the divine 
nature, or one Godhead, there are three Persons conversing 
with, speaking to, and glorifying one another. — Which 
union and communion of the three Persons between them- 
selves is peculiar to the Deity, and incommunicable to 
any mere creature. . . . . .349 

Book II. — Of the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity. 
— What his person is, considered in himself. — He is the 
eternal Son of the Father, one God in essence with him. 
— The Son, the second person, took the man Jesus into 
personal union with himself; and so Christ is God-man 
joined into one person, ...... 404 

Book HI. — Of the glories and royalties that belong unto Jesus 
Christ, considered as God-man in one person (besides 
what accrued to him from his performance of the work of 
our redemption), and which were appointed for him, by 


his Father, from all eternity. — The apparent manifestation 
of the divine attributes in the person of Jesus Christ God- 
man. — The designation of him in God's first decrees, as 
the end for whom all the creatures were made. — The part 
that he bore as God-man in the creation, as by him all 
things were created. — The appointment of him by God to 
be one Lord over all, under him one God ; and to be in 
a more special respect the head of the elect, on whom they 
were to hold the tenure of all the blessings bestowed on 
them above the dues of creation, . . 454 





In his 

( Death, 
Sitting at God's 

right hand, 

As the - 


of Justification, 


of Justifying 


Upon Rom. 8. Vee. 34. 

The Affectionate tenderness of 
Christs Heart now in Hea- 
ven, unto Sinners on Earth. 

By Tno : Goodwin, B. D 


Printed by J. G. for R. Dawlman, 1G51. 


What the scope of this treatise itself is, the title-page and the table that 
follows will sufficiently inform you : I shall only here acquaint you with 
what was mine, in a few words. I have by long experience observed many 
holy and precious souls, who have clearly and wholly given up themselves 
to Christ, to be saved by him his own way, and who at their first conver- 
sion (as also at times of desertion) have made an entire and immediate close 
with Christ alone for their justification, who yet in the ordinary course and 
way of their spirits have been too much carried away with the rudiments of 
Christ in their own hearts, and not after Christ himself: the stream of their 
more constant thoughts and deepest intentions running in the channel, of 
reflecting upon, and searching into the gracious dispositions of their own 
hearts, so to bring down, or to raise up (as the apostle's words are, Rom. 
x. 8), and so get a sight of Christ by them. Whereas Christ himself is 
1 nigh them' (as the apostle there speaks), if they would but nakedly look 
upon himself through thoughts of pure and single faith. 

And although the use of our own graces, by way of sign and evidence of 
Christ in us, be allowed us by God, and is no way derogatory from Christ, 
if subordinated to faith ; and so as that the heart be not too inordinate and 
immoderate in poring too long or too much on them, to fetch their comfort 
from them, unto a neglect of Christ : yet as pleasures that are lawful, are 
unlawfully used when our thoughts and intentions are too long, or too fre- 
quent, or too vehement in them, so as to dead the heart, either to the pre- 
sent delighting in God, or pursuing after him, with the joint strength of our 
souls, as our only chiefest good : so an immoderate recourse unto signs 
(though barely considered as such), is as unwarrantable, when thereby we 
are diverted and taken off from a more constant actual exercise of daily 
thoughts of faith towards Christ immediately, as he is set forth to be our 
righteousness, either by the way of assurance (which is a kind of enjoyment 
of him), or recumbency and renewed adherence in pursuit after him. 

And yet the minds of many are so wholly taken up with their own hearts, 
that (as the Psalmist says of God) Christ ' is scarce in all their thoughts.' 
But let these consider what a dishonour this must needs be unto Christ, 


that his train and favourites (our graces) should have a fuller court and 
more frequent attendance from our hearts than himself, who is the ' King 
of Glory.' And likewise what a shame also it is for believers themselves, 
who are his spouse, to look upon their husband no otherwise but by reflec- 
tion and at second hand, through the intervention and assistance of their 
own graces, as mediators between him and them. 

Now to rectify this error, the way is not wholly to reject all use of such 
evidences, but to order them, both for the season, as also the issue of them. 
For the season, so as that the use of them go not before, but still should 
follow after an address of faith first renewed, and acts thereof put forth upon 
Christ himself. Thus whensoever we would go down into our own hearts, 
and take a view of our graces, let us be sure first to look wholly out of our- 
selves unto Christ, as our justification, and to close with them* immediately; 
and this as if we had no present or by-past grace to evidence our being in 
him. And if then, whilst faith is thus immediately clasping about Christ, 
as sitting upon his throne of grace, we find either present or fore-past graces 
coming in as handmaids, to attend and witness to the truth of this adherence 
unto Christ (as after such single and absolute acts of faith it oftentimes falls 
out) ; — the Holy Ghost (without whose light they shine not) * bearing wit- 
ness with our spirits,' that is, our graces, as well as to our spirits ; — and 
then again, for the issue of them, if in the closure of all, we again let fall 
our viewing and comforting ourselves in them, or this their testimony, and 
begin afresh (upon his encouragement) to act faith upon Christ immediately 
with a redoubled strength ; if thus (I say) we make such evidences to be 
subservient only unto faith (whilst it makes Christ its Alpha and Omega, the 
beginning and the end of all), this will be no prejudice at all to Christ's 
glory, or the workings of faith itself ; for by this course the life of faith is 
still actually maintained and kept upon wing in its full use and exercise 
towards Christ alone for justification. Whereas many Christians do habi- 
tually make that only but as a supposed or taken for granted principle, 
which they seldom use, but have laid up for a time of need ; but actually 
live more in the view and comfort of their own graces, and the gracious 
workings thereof in the duties towards Christ. 

The reason of this defect, among many others, I have attributed partly 
to a 'barrenness' (as Peter's phrase is) 'in the knowledge of the Lord 
Jesus Christ,' and of such things revealed about him, as might be matter 
for faith to work and feed upon : as also to a want of skill (whilst men 
want assurance) to bend and bow, and subjugate to the use of a faith for 
mere adherence, all those things that they know and hear of Christ as made 
justification unto us. It being in experience a matter of the greatest diffi- 
culty (and yet certainly most feasible and attainable), for such a faith as 
can yet only rely and cast itself upon Christ for justification, yet rightly to 
take in, and so to make use of all that which is or may be said of Christ, 
his bein» made righteousness to us, in his death, resurrection, &c, as to 
quicken and strengthen itself in such acts of mere adherence, until assurance 
* Qu. ' him ? '—Ed. 


itself comes, for whose use and entertainment all truths lie more fair and 
directly to be received by it. They all serve as a fore-right wind to assu- 
rance of faith, to fill the sails thereof, and cany on with a more full and 
constant gale (as the word used by the apostle for assurance* imports), 
whereas to the faith of a poor recumbent, they serve but as a half side- 
wind, unto which yet, through skill, the sails of such a faith may be so turned 
and applied towards it, as to carry a soul on with much ease and quietness 
unto Christ the desired haven ; it notwithstanding waiting all that while for 
a more fair and full gale of assurance in the end. 

Now to help or instruct believers in that latter, namely, the use of such a 
skill, is not directly the drift of this treatise, I having reserved that part (if 
God assist me and give leisure, and this find acceptance) unto another about 
the Acts of justifying faith, wherein this art now mentioned is to be the main 
scope. That which I have here endeavoured, is, to set forth to all sorts of 
believers (whether they have assurance or not) Christ as he is the object of 
our faith as justifying, and as the cause of justification to us ; and so I send 
forth this as a premise and preparatory to that other. And to that pur- 
pose I have run over some few articles of our faith or creed, as I found 
them put together in one bundle by the great Apostle, namely Christ, in 
his death, resurrection, ascension, sitting at God's right hand, and interces- 
sion, and have handled these no further than as in all these he is made 
justification unto us, therein having punctually kept unto the apostle's 
scope. By all which you may (in the mean time) see, what abundant pro- 
vision God hath laid up in Christ (in the point of justification) for all sorts 
of believers to live upon : every thing in Christ, whatsoever he was, or 
whatsoever he did, with a joint voice speaking justification unto us. You 
may see also that God hath in Christ justified us over and over ; and 
thereby come to discern what little reason you have to suffer your hearts 
to be carried aside to other comforters, and so be spoiled and bereft of these 
more immediately prepared, and laid up for us in Christ himself. To have 
handled all those considerations, which his obedience unto death affords 
unto the justification of a believer, and his comfort therein, in this small 
tractate, would have made that part too disproportioned to the rest : it 
alone deserves, and will require a distinct tract, which therefore I have cast 
into another method ; and so in this treatise have touched only upon what 
may for the present be sufficient to furnish that part, to keep company with 
its fellows. Only when I had thus presented Christ along from his death, 
resurrection, and ascension, unto his sitting in heaven, and there performing 
that great part of his priesthood, the work of intercession, I judged it both 
homogeneal to all these, and conducing to the greater encouragement of 
believers in the exercise of then* faith, to subjoin that other treatise, How 
Christ's Heart, now he is in Heaven, stands affected to us Sinners here below. 
And a better token (take the argument itself, if I could have fully repre- 
sented it) how to present unto his spouse I know not, than a true character 
of her Husband's heart, now he is in glory : and (but for method's sake) I 
* Viz. nXrjPopogia. — Ed. 


would have placed it first, it being more suited to vulgar capacities, whose 
benefit I aim at. Now in that discourse I confess I have not aimed to keep 
so strictly unto the matter of justification only, as in the other I have done; 
but have more generally discussed it, and shewn how his heart stands 
towards us, under all sorts of infirmities whatsoever, either of sin or misery, 
yet so as it will serve for the matter of justification also. The Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ grant us according to the riches of his glory, that 
Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, and that we may know the love oi 
Christ, which passeth knowledge ! Amen. 





Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen 
aqain, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession 
for ms.— Rom. VIII. 34. 


The scope of these words : that they were Christ's originally. — Christ the highest 
example of believing. — Encouragements to our faith from thence. 

These words are a triumphing challenge uttered by the apostle in the name 
of all the elect ; for so he begins it in ver. 33 foregoing, ' Who shall lay 
anything to the charge of God's elect ? It is God that justifies.' And then 
follow these words, ' Who shall condemn ? ' namely, God's elect. • It is 
Christ that died,' &c. This challenge we find first published by Jesus 
Christ himself, our only champion, Isa. 1. (a chapter made of and for 
Christ), ver. 8, ' He is near that justifies me ; who will contend with me ?' 
They were Christ's words there, and spoken of God's justifying him : and 
these are every believer's words here, intended of God's justifying them. 
Christ is brought in there uttering them as standing at the high priest's 
tribunal, when they spat upon him, and buffeted him, as ver. 4, 5 ; when he 
was condemned by Pilate, then he exercised this faith on God his Father, 
' He is near that justifies me.' And as in that his condemnation he stood 
in our stead, so in this his hope of his justification he speaks in our stead 
also, and as representing us in both. And upon this the apostle here pro- 
nounces, in like words, of all the elect, ' It is God that justifies ; who shall 
accuse ? ' Christ was condemned, yea, ' hath died ; who therefore shall 
condemn ? ' Lo, here the communion we have with Christ in his death 
and condemnation, yea in his very faith ; if he trusted in God, so may we, 
and shall as certainly be delivered. Observe we first from hence, by way 
of premise to all that follows, 


Obs. That Christ lived by faith as well as we do. 

In John i. 16, we are said to ' receive of his fulness grace for grace ; 
that is, grace answerable and like unto his ; and so (among others) faith. 

For explication hereof. 

First ; in some sense he had a faith for justification like unto ours, though 
not a justification through faith, as we have. He went not, indeed, out of 
himself, to rely on another for righteousness, for he had enough of his own 
(he being * the Lord our righteousness ') ; yet he believes on God to justify 
him, and had recourse to God for justification: 'He is near' (says he) 
1 that justifies me.' If he had stood in his own person merely, and upon 
his own bottom only, there had been no occasion for such a speech ; and 
yet consider him as he stood in our stead, there was ; for what need of such 
a justification, if he had not been some way near a condemnation ? He 
therefore must be supposed to stand here (in Isaiah) at God's tribunal, as 
well as at Pilate's, with all our sins upon him. And so the same prophet 
tells us, chap. liii. 6, ' God made the iniquities of us to meet on him.' 
He was now made sin, and a curse, and stood not in danger of Pilate's con- 
demnation only, but of God's too, unless he satisfied him for all those sins. 
And when the wrath of God for sin came thus in upon him, his faith was 
put to it, to trust and wait on him for his justification, for to take off all 
those sins, together with his wrath from off him, and to acknowledge him- 
self satisfied and him acquitted. Therefore, in Ps. xxii. (which was made 
for Christ when hanging on the cross, and speaks how his heart was taken 
up that while), he is brought in as putting forth such a faith as here we 
speak of, when he called God his God, ' My God ! my God ! ' then, when as 
to his sense, he had forsaken him, ' Why hast thou forsaken me ? ' Yea, 
he helped his faith with the faith of the forefathers, whom upon their trust 
in him God had delivered ; ' Our fathers,' saith he, • trusted in thee ; they 
trusted, and thou didst deliver them.' Yea, at ver. 5, we find him laying 
himself at God"s feet, lower than ever any man did. 'lama worm,' says 
he, (which every man treads on, and counts it a matter of nothing for to 
kill), ' and no man,' as it follows ; and all this, because he bare our sins. 
Now his deliverance and justification from all these, to be given him at his 
resurrection, was the matter, the business he thus trusted in God for, even 
that he should rise again, and be acquitted from them. So Ps. xvi. (a psalm 
made also for Christ, when to suffer, and lie in the grave), ver. 8, 9, 10 : 
' The Lord is at my right hand, I shall not be moved : Therefore my heart 
is glad, my flesh also resteth in hope,' or, as in the original, ' dwells in 
confident sureness.' ' Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,' that is, under 
the load of these sins, and thy wrath laid on me for them ; ' neither wilt 
suffer thy holy One (in my body) to see corruption.' This is in substance 
all one with what is here said in this one word, ' He is near that justifies me,' 
for Christ's resurrection was a justification of him, as I shall hereafter shew. 

Neither, 2, did he exercise faith for himself only, but for us also, and 
that more than any of us is put to it, to exercise for himself ; for he in 
dying, and emptying himself, trusted God with the merit of all his suffer- 
ings aforehand, there being many thousands of souls to be saved thereby a 
long while after, even to the end of the world. He died and betrusted all 
that stock into his Father's hands, to give it out in grace and glory, as 
those for whom he died should have need. And this is a greater trust 
(considering the infinite number of his elect as then yet to come) than any 
man hath occasion to put forth for himself alone. God trusted Christ before 
he came into the world, and saved many millions of the Jews upon his bare 

Chap. I.] christ the example of faith. 

word. And then Christ, at his death, trusts God again as much, both for 
the salvation of Jews and Gentiles, that were to believe after his death. In 
Heb. ii. 12, 13, 14, 15, it is made an argument that Christ was a man like 
us, because he was put to live by faith like as we are (which the angels do 
not) ; and to this end, the apostle brings in these words prophesied of him, 
as spoken by him of himself, ' I will put my trust in him,' as one proof that 
he was a man like unto us. Now for what was it that he trusted God ? 
By the context it appears to be this, that he should be the salvation of his 
' brethren' and ' children,' and that he should have ' a seed and a genera- 
tion to serve him,' and raise up a church to God to praise him in. For 
this is made his confidence, and the issue of his sufferings, in that fore-cited 
Ps. xxii., from ver. 22 to the end. 

Use. How should the consideration of these things both draw us on to 
faith, and encourage us therein, and raise up our hearts above all doubtings 
and withdrawings of spirit in believing ! For in this example of Christ we 
have the highest instance of believing that ever was. He trusted God (as 
we have seen) for himself, and for many thousands besides, even for all his 
elect ; and hast not thou the heart to trust him for one poor soul ? Yea, 
Christ thus trusted God upon his single bond ; but we, for our assurance, 
have both Christ and God bound to us, even God with his surety Christ 
(for he is God's surety as well as ours). A double bond from two such 
persons, whom would it not secure ? If God the Father and God the Son 
thus mutually trusted one another for our salvation, whom would it not 
induce to trust them both, for one's own salvation, whenas otherwise they 
must be damned that will not ? 

1. This example of Christ may teach and incite us to believe. For did 
Christ lay down all his glory, and empty himself, and leave himself worth 
nothing, but made a deed of surrendering all he had into his Father's hands, 
and this in a pure trust that God would ' justify many by him ' (as it is in 
Isa. liii.) ? And shall not we lay down all we have, and part with whatever 
is dear unto us aforehand, with the like submission, in a dependence and 
hope of being ourselves justified by him ? And withal ; — 

2. It may encourage us to believe, especially against the greatness of 
sins. Hast thou the guilt of innumerable transgressions coming in and 
discouraging thee from trusting in him ? Consider but what Christ had, 
though not of his own ; Christ was made (as Luther boldly, in this sense 
that we speak of him, speaks), the greatest sinner that ever was, that is, 
by imputation ; for the sins of all God's chosen met in him. And yet 
he trusted God to be justified from them all, and to be raised up from 
under the wrath due to them. Alas ! thou art but one poor sinner, and 
thy faith hath but a light and small load laid upon it, namely, thy own 
sins, which to this sum he undertook for, are but as an unit to an infinite 
number. ' God laid upon him the iniquities of us all.' Christ trusted 
God for his own acquittance from the sins of all the world, and when that 
was given him, he yet again further trusted him, to acquit the world for 
his satisfaction's sake. 

But thou wilt say, Christ was Christ, one personally united to God, and 
so knew that he could satisfy him ; but I am a sinful man. Well, but if 
thou believest, and so art one of those who are one with Christ, then Christ 
speaking these words in the name both of himself and of his elect, as hath 
been shewed, thou hast the very same ground to utter them that he had, and 
all that encouraged him may embolden thee, for he stood in thy stead. It 
was only thine and others' sins that put him in any danger of condemna- 


tion ; and thou seest what his confidence beforehand was, that God would 
justify him from them all. And if he had left any of them unsatisfied for, 
he had not been justified ; and, withal, in performing his own part under- 
taken by him, he performed thine also, and so in his being justified thou 
wert justified also. His confidence, then, may therefore be thine now ; 
only his was in and from himself, but thine must be on him : yet so as by 
reason of thy communion with him in his both condemnation and justifica- 
tion, thou mayest take and turn all that emboldened him to this his trust 
and confidence, to embolden thee also in thine, as truly as he did for him- 
self. Yea, in this thou hast now a farther prop and encouragement to thy 
faith, than he had ; for now (when thou art to believe), Christ hath fully 
performed the satisfaction he undertook, and we now see Jesus crucified, 
acquitted, yea crowned with glory and honour, as the apostle speaks ; but he, 
when he took up this triumph, was (as Isaiah here foretold and prophesied 
it of him), but as then entering upon that work. The prophet seeing the 
day of his arraignment and agony, utters these words as his ; shewing 
what thoughts should then possess his heart, when Pilate and the Jews 
should condemn him, and our sins come in upon him, ' God is near that 
justifies me ; who therefore shall contend with me ? ' But now this comes 
to be added to our challenge here, that ' Cbrist hath died, and is also risen 
again ;' that heiras condemned and justified; who therefore shall condemn? 
may we say, and say much more. 

But thou wilt yet say, He knew himself to be the Son of God, but so do 
not I. Well, do thou but cast thyself upon him, to be adopted and justified 
by him, with a giving up thy soul to his saving thee his own way, and, 
though thou knowest it not, the thing is done. And as for that so great 
and usual discouragement unto poor souls from doing this, namely, the 
greatness and multitudes of sins, this very example of his faith, and the 
consideration of it, may alone take off, and help to remove it, more than 
any I have ever met with ; for he, in bearing the sins of his elect, did bear 
as great and infinitely more sins than thine, yea, all sorts of sins whatever, 
for some one of his elect or other, for he said upon it, that all (that is, all 
sorts of) sins shall be forgiven unto men, and therefore were first borne by 
him for them ; and yet you see how confident aforehand he was, and is 
now clearly justified from them all. And by virtue of his being justified 
from all sorts of sins, shall all sorts of sinners in and through him be justi- 
fied also ; and, therefore, why mayest not thou hope to be from thine ? 
Certainly for this very reason our sins, simply and alone considered, can be 
supposed no hindrance. 

Thus we have met with one great and general encouragement at the very 
portal of this text, which comes forth to invite us ere we are entered into 
it, and which will await upon us throughout all that shall be said, and have 
an influence into our faith, and help to direct it in all that follows. 


The scope and argument of this discourse is, either direction to Christ as the 
object of faith, or encouragement to believers, from all those particulars in 
Christ mentioned in the text. 

Faith and the supports of it, or rather Christ, as by his death and re- 
surrection, &c, he is the foundation of faith and the cause of our justifica- 

Chap. III.] cueist the object op faith. 11 

tion, is the main subject of these words. All which therefore, to handle 
more largely, is the intended subject of this discourse. And therefore, as 
we have seen Christ's faith for us, so now let us see what our faith is to be 
towards him : only take this along with j'ou, for a right bounding of all 
that follows, that the faith (the object and support of which I would dis- 
course of), is only faith as justifying ; for justification was properly here 
the matter of Christ's faith for us, and is also answerably here held forth 
by Paul, as that faith which believers are to have on him. Now faith is 
called justifying, only as it hath justification for its object, and as it goes 
out to Christ for justification ; so that all that shall be spoken must be 
confined to this alone, as the intendment of the text. And concerning this, 
the text doth two things : 

1. It holds forth Christ the object of it, ' Who shall condemn ? Christ 
hath died,' &c. And he being the sole subject of those four particulars 
that follow, as encouragements to faith, must needs be therefore the object 
here set forth unto our faith. 

2. In Christ we have here all those four things made matter of triumph 
to believers, to assure them they shall not be condemned, but justified : in 

Christ (1.) died, (2.) rose again, (3.) is at God's right hand, (4.) inter- 

So that (for the general), I am to do two things ; and therein I shall 
fulfil the text's scope. 

1. Direct your faith to Christ, as to its right object. 

2. To encourage your faith from these several actions of Christ for us, and 
shew how they all contain matter of triumph for faith in them, and also 
teach your faith how to triumph from each of them. And herein I am to 
keep close to the argument propounded, namely, faith as justifying ; or to 
shew how faith, seeking justification in Christ, may be exceedingly raised 
from each of these particulars, and supported by them, as by so many pillars 
of it. So as although Christ's death, resurrection, &c, may fitly serve to 
encourage our faith in many other acts it useth to put forth (as in point of 
sanctification to be had from Christ, into which his death and resurrection 
have an influence), yet here we are limited to the matter of justification 
only ; ' It is God that justifies ; who shall condemn, seeing Christ hath died ? ' 
and herein to shew how his death, resurrection, &c, may and do afford 
matter of comfort and triumphing in point of justification from all these. 
And thus you have the sum of these words, and of my scope in this ensu- 
ing treatise. 


First, Directions to Christ as the object of faith. — How in a threefold 
consideration Christ is the object of justifying faith. 

But ere I come to encourage your faith from these, let me first direct 
and point your faith aright to its proper and genuine object, Christ. I 
shall do it briefly, and only so far as it may be an introduction to the 
encouragements from these four particulars, the things mainly intended 
by me. 

1. Christ is the object of our faith, in joint commission with God the 


2. Christ is the object of faith, in opposition to our own humiliation, or 
graces, or duties. 

3. Christ is the object of faith, in a distinction from the promises. 

1. First, Christ is the object of faith, in joint commission with God the 
Father. So here, ' it is God that justifies,' and ' Christ that died.' They 
are both of them set forth as the foundation of a believer's confidence. So 
elsewhere, faith is called a ' believing on him (namely, God), that justifies 
the ungodly,' Rom. iv. 5 ; and a ' believing on Cbrist,' Acts xvi. 31. Where- 
fore faith is to have an eye unto both, for both do alike contribute unto the 
justification of a sinner. It is Christ that paid the price, that performed the 
righteousness by which we are justified ; and it is God that accepts of it, 
and imputes it unto us : therefore justification is ascribed unto both. And 
this we have, Eom. iii. 24, where it is attributed unto them both together, 
' Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus 
Christ.' Where we see that God's free grace and Christ's righteousness do 
concur to our justification. Christ paid as full a price, as if there were no 
grace shewn in justifying us (for mercy bated Christ nothing) ; and yet that 
it should be accepted for us, is as free grace, and as great as if Christ had 
paid never a farthing. Now as both these meet to justify us, so faith in 
justification is to look at both these. So it follows in the next verse, Rom. 
iii. 25, ' Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in 
his blood.' And though it be true, that God justifying is the ultimate 
object of our faith, for Christ ' leads us by the hand ' (as the word is, Eph. 
ii. 18), ' unto God ; ' and 1 Pet. i. 21, we are said ' by Christ to believe on 
God who raised him, that so our faith and hope might be on God ;' yet so, 
as under the New Testament, Christ is made the more immediate object of 
faith ; for God dwelling in our nature is made more familiar to our faith 
than the person of the Father is, who is merely God. Under the Old Tes- 
tament, when Christ was but in the promise, and not as then come in the 
flesh, then indeed their faith had a more usual recourse unto God, who had 
promised the Messiah, of whom they then had not so distinct, but only 
confused, thoughts ; though this they knew, that God accepted and saved 
them through the Messiah. But now under the New Testament, because 
Christ as mediator exists not only in a promise of God's, but is come and 
manifest in the flesh, and is ' set forth by God ' (as the apostle's phrase is), 
to transact all our business for us between God and us ; hence the more 
usual and immediate address of our faith is to be made unto Cbrist ; who 
as he is distinctly set forth in the New Testament, so he is as distinctly to 
be apprehended by the faith of believers. ' Ye believe in God ' (saith 
Christ to his disciples, whose faith and opinion of the Messiah was till 
Christ's resurrection, of the same elevation with that of the Old Testament 
believers), ' believe also in me,' John xiv. 1. Make me the object of your 
trust for salvation, as well as the Father. And, therefore, when faith and 
repentance come more narrowly to be distinguished by their more imme- 
diate objects, it is ' repentance towards God,' but ' faith towards our Lord 
Jesus Christ,' Acts xx. 21 ; not that God and Christ are* the objects of 
both, but that Christ is more immediately the object of faith, and God of 
repentance : so that we believe in God through believing in Christ first, 
and turn to Christ by turning to God first. And this is there spoken, when 
they are made the sum of Christian doctrine, and of the apostles' preach- 
ing. And, therefore, the faith of some being much enlarged to the mercies 
of God and his free grace, and but in way of supposition unto Christ, or in 
* Qu. ' are not ? ' — Ed. 

Chap. III.] christ the object of faith. 13 

a taking for granted that all mercies are communicated in and through 
Christ, yet so as their thoughts work not so much upon, nor are taken up 
about Christ ; although this may be true faith under the New Testament, 
in that God and his free grace is the joint object of faith, together with 
Christ and his righteousness, — and the one cannot be without the other, — and 
God ofttimes doth more eminently pitch the stream of a man's thoughts in 
one channel rather than in another, and so may direct the course of a man's 
thoughts towards his free grace, when the stream runs less towards Christ, 
yet it is not such a faith as becomes the times of the gospel ; it is of an 
Old Testament strain and genius ; whereas our faith now should, in the 
more direct and immediate exercises of it, be pitched upon Jesus Christ, 
that ' through him,' first apprehended, ' our faith might be in God ' (as the 
ultimate object of it), as the apostle speaks, 1 Pet. i. 21. And so much 
for the first. 

2. The second is, that Christ is to be the object of our faith, in opposi- 
tion to our own humiliation, or graces, or duties. 

(1.) We are not to trust, nor rest in humiliation, as many do, who quiet 
their consciences from this, that they have been troubled. That promise, 
' Come to me, you that are weary and heavy laden, and you shall find rest,' 
hath been much mistaken ; for many have understood it, as if Christ had 
spoken peace and rest simply unto that condition, without any more ado, 
and so have applied it unto themselves, as giving them an interest in Christ ; 
whereas it is only an invitement of such (because they are most apt to be 
discouraged) to come unto Christ, as in whom alone then- rest is to be 
found. If therefore men will set down their rest in being ' weary and heavy 
laden,' and not come to Christ for it, they sit down besides Christ for it, 
they sit down in sorrow. This is to make John (who only prepared the 
way for Christ) to be the Messiah indeed (as many of the Jews thought), 
that is, to think the eminent work of John's ministry (which was to humble, 
and so prepare men for Christ) to be their attaining Christ himself. But 
if you be weary, you may have rest indeed, but you must come to Christ 
first. For as, if Christ had died only, and not arose, we had ' been still in 
our sins,' (as it is 1 Cor. xv. 17), so though we die by sin, as slain by it, 
(as Paul was, Rom. vii. 11, 12, 13, in his humiliation), yet if we attain not 
to the resurrection of faith (so the work of faith is expressed, Phil. iii. 12, 
13), we still remain in our sins. 

(2.) Secondly, we are not to rest in graces or duties ; they all cannot 
satisfy our own consciences, much less God's justice. If ' righteousness 
could have come' by these, then ' Christ had died in vain,' as Gal. ii. 21. 
"What a dishonour were it to Christ, that they should share any of the glory 
of his righteousness ! Were any of your duties crucified for you ? Graces 
and duties are the daughters of faith, the offspring of Christ ; and they may 
in time of need indeed nourish their mother, but not at first beget her. 

3. In the third place, Christ's person, and not barely the promises of 
forgiveness, is to be the object of faith. There are many poor souls humbled 
for sin, and taken off from their own bottom, who, like Noah's dove, fly 
over all the word of God, to spy out what they may set their foot upon, and 
eying therein many free and gracious promises, holding forth forgiveness of 
sins, and justification, they immediately close with them, and rest on them 
alone, not seeking for, or closing with Christ in those promises. Which is 
a common error among people ; and is like as if Noah's dove should have 
rested upon the outside of the ark, and not have come to Noah within the 
ark ; where though she might rest for a while, yet could she not ride out 


all storms, but must needs have perished there in the end. But we may 
observe, that the first promise that was given, was not a bare word simply 
promising forgiveness, or other benefits which God would bestow ; but it 
was a promise of Christ's person as overcoming Satan, and purchasing those 
benefits, ' The seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head.' So when 
the promise was renewed to Abraham, it was not a bare promise of blessed- 
ness and forgiveness, but of that seed, that is, Christ (as Gal. iii. 16), in 
whom that blessedness was conveyed. ' In thy seed shall all the nations 
of the earth be blessed.' So that Abraham's faith first closed with Christ 
in the promise, and therefore he is said to see Christ's day, and to rejoice 
in embracing him. And so all the succeeding fathers (that were believers) 
did, more or less, in then.' types and sacraments, as appears by 1 Cor x. 
1, 2. And if they, then much more are we thus to look at Christ, unto 
whom he is now made extant, not in promises only, but is really incarnate, 
though now in heaven. Hence our sacraments (which are the seals added 
to the word of faith) do primarily exhibit Christ unto a believer, and so, in 
him, all other promises, as of forgiveness, &c, are ratified and confirmed 
by them. Now there is the same reason of them, that there is of the pro- 
mises of the gospel, for they preach the gospel to the eye, as the promise 
doth to the ear, and therefore as in them the soul is first to look at Christ, 
and embrace him as tendered in them, and then at the promises tendered 
with him in them, and not to take the sacraments as bare seals of pardon 
and forgiveness ; so, in like manner, in receiving of, or having recourse to 
a promise, which is the word of faith, we are first to seek out for Christ in 
it, as being the foundation of it, and so to take hold of the promise in him. 
Hence faith is still expressed by this its object, Christ, it being called ' faith 
on Christ.' Thus Philip directs the eunuch, Acts viii. 35. ' Believe on 
the Lord Jesus.' 

The promise is but the casket, and Christ the jewel in it ; the promise 
but the field, and Christ the pearl hid in it, and to be chiefly looked at. 
The promises are the means by which you believe, not the things on which 
you are to rest. And so, although you are to look at forgiveness as held 
forth in the promise, yet you are to believe on Christ in that promise to 
obtain this forgiveness. So Acts xxvi. 18, it is said of believers by Christ 
himself, ' that they may obtain forgiveness of sins, by faith which is on me.' 

And to clear it farther, we must conceive, that the promises of forgiveness 
are not as the pardons of a prince, which merely contain an expression of 
his royal word for pardoning, so as we in seeking of it do rest upon, and 
have to do only with his word and seal, which we have to shew for it ; but 
God's promises of pardon are made in his Son, and are as if a prince sbould 
offer to pardon a traitor upon marriage with his child, whom in and with 
that pardon he offers in such a relation ; so as all that would have pardon, 
must seek out for his child ; and thus it is in the matter of believing. The 
reason of which is, because Christ is the grand promise, in whom, ' all the 
promises are yea and amen,' 2 Cor. i. 20, and therefore he is called the 
Covenant, Isa. xlix. 8. So that, as it were folly for any man to think that 
he hath an interest in an heiress's lands, because he hath got the writings 
of her estate into his hands, whereas the interest in the lands goes with her 
person, and with the relation of marriage to her, otherwise, without a title 
to herself, all the writings will be fetched out of his hands again ; so is it 
with all the promises : they hang all upon Christ, and without him there is 
no interest to be had in them. ' He that hath the Son hath life,' 1 John 
v. 12, because life is by God's appointment only in him, as ver. 11. All 

Chap. III. J christ the object of faith. 15 

the promises are as copyhold land, which when you would interest your- 
selves in, you inquire upon what lord it holds, and you take it up of him, 
as well as get the evidences and deeds for it into your hands ; the lord of 
it will be acknowledged for such in passing his right into your hands. Now 
this is the tenure of all the promises ; they all hold on Christ, in whom 
they are yea and amen ; and you must take them up of him. Thus the 
apostles preached forgiveness to men, Acts xiii. 38, ' Be it known that 
through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.' And as they 
preached, so we are to believe, as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. xv. 11. And 
without this, to rest on the bare promise, or to look to the benefit promised, 
without eying Christ, is not an evangelical, but a Jewish faith, even such 
as the formalists among the Jews had, who without the Messiah closed with 
promises, and rested in types to cleanse them, without looking unto Christ 
the end of them, and as propounded to their faith in them. This is to go 
to God without a mediator, and to make the promises of the gospel to be 
as the promises of the law, Nehushtan (as Hezekiah said of the brazen 
serpent), a piece of brass, vain and ineffectual ; like the waters of Bethesda, 
they heal not, they cleanse not, till this ' angel of the covenant ' come down 
to your faith in them. Therefore at a sacrament, or when you meet with 
any promise, get Christ first down by faith, and then let your faith pro- 
pound what it would have, and you may have what you will of him. 

There are three sorts of promises, and in the applying of all these, it is 
Christ that your faith is to meet with. 

1. There are absolute promises, made to no conditions ; as when Christ 
is said to ' eome to save sinners,' &c. Now in these it is plain, that Christ 
is the naked object of them ; so that if you apply not him, you apply 
nothing, for the only thing held forth in them is Christ. 

2. There are inviting promises ; as that before mentioned, ' Come to me, 
you that are weary.' The promise is not to weariness, but to coming to 
Christ ; they are bidden ' Come to him,' if they will have rest. 

3. There are assuring promises ; as those made to such and such quali- 
fications of sanctification, &c. But still what is it that is promised in them, 
which the heart should only eye ? It is Christ, in whom the soul rests and 
hath comfort in, and not in its grace; so that the sight of a man's grace is 
but a back-door to let faith in at, to converse with Christ, whom the soul 
loves. Even as at the sacrament, the elements of bread and wine are but 
outward signs to bring Christ and the heart together, and then faith lets the 
outward elements go, and closeth, and treats immediately with Christ, unto 
whom these let the soul in ; so grace is a sign inward, and whilst men make 
use of it only as of a bare sign to let them in unto Christ, and their rejoic- 
ing is not in it, but in Christ, their confidence being pitched upon him, and 
not upon their grace ; whilst men take this course, there is and will be no 
danger at all in making such use of signs. And I see not, but that God 
might as well appoint his own work of the new creation within, to be as a 
sign and help to communion with Christ by faith, as he did those outward 
elements, the works of his first creation ; especially, seeing in nature the 
effect is a sign of the cause. Neither is it more derogatory to free grace, 
or to Christ's honour, for God to make such effects signs of our union with 
him, than it was to make outward signs of his presence. 





Who shall condemn ? Christ hath died. — Rom. VIII. 34. 


How not Christ's person simply, but Christ as dying, is the object of faith as 


To come now to all these four particulars of or about Christ, as the object 
of faith here mentioned ; and to shew both how Christ in each is the object 
ol faith as justifying ; and what support or encouragement the faith of a 
believer may fetch from each of them in point of justification, which is the 
argument of the main body of this discourse. 

First, Christ as dying is the object of justifying faith, ' Who shall con- 
demn ? Christ hath died.' 

For the explanation of which, I will 

1. Give a direction or two. 

2. Shew how an encouragement, or matter of triumph, may from hence 
be fetched. 

1. (1.) The first direction is this, that in seeking forgiveness or justifica- 
tion in the promises, as Christ is to be principally in the eye of your faith, 
so it must be Christ as crucified, Christ as dying, as here he is made. It 
was the serpent as lift up, and so looked at, that healed them. Now this 
direction I give to prevent a mistake, which souls that are about to believe 
do often run into. For when they hear that the person of Christ is the 
main object of faith, they thus conceive of it, that when one comes first to 
believe, he should look only upon the personal excellencies of grace and 
glory which are in Jesus Christ, which follow upon the hypostatical union ; 
and so have his heart allured in unto Christ by them only, and close with 
him under those apprehensions alone. But although it be true, that there 
is that radical disposition in the faith of every believer, which if it were 
drawn forth to view Christ in his mere personal excellencies, abstractively 
considered, would close with Christ for them alone, as seeing such a beauty 
and suitableness in them ; yet the first view which an humble soul always 
doth, and is to take of him, is of his being a Saviour, made sin, and a 
curse, and obeying to the death for sinners. He takes up Christ in his 
first sight of him, under the ' likeness of sinful flesh,' Rom. viii. 3, for so 
the gospel first represents him, though it. .holds forth his personal excel- 

Chap. I.J of faith, in his death. .7 

lencies also ; and in that representation it is that he is made a fit object 
for a sinner's faith to trust and rest upon for salvation ; which in pait dis- 
tinguished a sinner's faith whilst here on earth, towards Christ, from that 
vision or sight which angels and the souls of men have in heaven of him. 
Faith here views him not only as glorious at God's right hand (though so 
also), hut as crucified, as made sin, and a curse, and so rests upon him for 
pardon ; hut in heaven we shall ' see him as he is,' and be made like unto 
him. Take Christ in his personal excellencies simply considered, and so 
with them propounded as an head to us, and he might have been a fit 
object for angels and men even without sin to have closed withal ; and 
what an addition to their happiness would they have thought it, to have 
him for their husband ! But yet, so considered, he should have been, 
and rather is, the object of love, than of faith or affiance. It is therefore 
Christ that is thus excellent in his person, yet farther considered as clothed 
with his garments of blood, and the qualifications of a mediator and recon- 
ciler ; it is this that makes him so desirable by sinners, and a fit object for 
their faith, which looks out for justification, to prey and seize upon, though 
they take in the consideration of all his other excellencies to allure their 
hearts to him, and confirm their choice of him. 

Yea I say farther, that consider faith as justifying, that is, in that act of 
it which justifies a sinner ; and so Christ, taken only or mainly in his 
personal excellencies, cannot properly be called the object of it. But the 
formalis ratio, the proper respect or consideration that maketh Christ the 
object of faith as justifying, must necessarily be that in Christ, which doth 
indeed justify a sinner ; which is, his obedience unto death. For the act 
and object of every habit or faculty are always suited, and similar each to 
other ; and therefore Chr'st's justifying must needs be the object of faith 
justifying. It is true, that there is nothing in Christ with which some 
answerable act of faith in us doth not close ; and from the differing con- 
siderations under which faith looks sc\ Christ, have those several acts of 
faith various denominations : as faith that is carried forth to Christ and his 
personal excellencies may be called uniting faith ; and faith that goes forth 
to Christ for strength of grace to subdue sin may, answerably to its object, 
be called sanctifying faith ; and faith as it goes forth to Christ, as dying, 
&c, for justification, may be called justifying faith. For faith in that act 
looks at what in Christ doth justify a sinner ; and therefore Christ con- 
sidered as dying, rising, &c, doth in this respect become the most pleasing 
and grateful object to a soul that is humbled; for this makes Christ suitable 
to him as he is a sinner, under which consideration he reflects upon him- 
self, when he is first humbled. And therefore thus to represent Christ to 
believers under the law, was the main scope of all the sacrifices and types 
therein. ' All things being purged with blood, and without blood there 
being no remission,' Heb. ix. 22. Thus did the apostles also in their 
sermons. So Paul, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, seemed by the mattei 
of his sermon to have ' known nothing but Christ, and him as crucified, 
1 Cor. ii. 2, as Christ above all, so Christ as crucified above all in Christ, 
as suiting their condition best, whom he endeavoured to draw on to faith 
on him. Thus, in his Epistle to the Galatians, he calls his preaching among 
them ' the preaching of faith,' iii. 2. And what was the main scope of it, 
but the picturing out (as the word is) of ' Christ crucified before their eyes' ? 
ver. 1. So he preached him, and so they received him, and so they 
' began in the spirit,' ver. 3. And thus also do the seals of the promises 
(the sacraments) present Christ to a believer's eye ; as they bold forth 

VOT,. IV. B 


Christ (as was in the former direction observed), so Christ, as crucified; their 
scope being to ' shew forth his death till he come,' 1 Cor. xi. 26, the bread 
signifying Christ's body broken in the sufferings of it ; and the cup signi- 
fying the sufferings of his soul, and the pouring of it forth unto death. 
And hence likewise, as faith itself is called ' faith on Christ,' as was before 
observed, so it is called ' faith on his blood,' Rom. iii. 25, because Christ, 
as shedding his blood for the remission of sins, is the object of it. So the 
words there are, ' whom God hath ordained to be a propitiation through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.' 
And look how God hath ordained and set forth Christ in the promise : under 
that picture of him doth faith at first close with him. And one reason 
similar to the former may be grounded on the 24th verse of that 3d to the 
Romans, ' Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is 
in Christ.' And as I shewed before, in the reason of the former direction, 
that all promises hold of his person, as being heir of all the promises ; so 
the special tenure upon which forgiveness of sins doth hold of him is by 
purchase, and by the redemption that is in him. So that, as the promise of 
forgiveness refers to his person, so also to this redemption that is in him. 
Thus, both in Eph. i. 7 and Col. i. 14, ' In whom we have redemption 
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,' his person gives us title 
to all the promises, and his blood shews the tenure they hold on ; a 
purchase, and a full price, avriXvrgov, and adequate price, 1 Tim. ii. 6. 
And as sin is the strength of the law, and of the threatenings thereof, so 
Christ's satisfaction is the strength of all the promises in the gospel. In 
a word, an humbled soul is to have recourse to that Christ who is now 
alive and glorified in heaven, yet to him as once crucified and made sin. 
He is to go to Christ now glorified, as the person from whom he is to 
receive forgiveness, &c, but withal to him as crucified; as through whom, 
considered in that condition he then was in, he is to receive all. 


What in Christ's death, faith seeking justification, is especially to eye and 

look at. 

(2.) Now then a second direction for faith towards Christ as dying, is, 
faith is principally and mainly to look unto the end, meaning, and intent 
of God and Christ in his sufferings, and not simply at the tragical story of 
his death and sufferings. It is the heart, and mind, and intent of Christ 
in suffering, which faith chiefly eyeth, and which draweth the heart on to 
rest on Christ crucified. When a believer sees that Christ's aim in suffer- 
ing for poor sinners agrees and answers to the aim and desires of his heart, 
and that that was the end of it, that sinners might have forgiveness, and that 
Christ's heart was as full in it, to procure it, as the sinner's heart can be 
to desire it ; this draws his heart in to Christ, to rest upon him. And 
without this, the contemplation and meditation of the story of his sufferings, 
and of the greatness of them, will be altogether unprofitable. And yet all, 
or the chief use which the papists and many carnal protestants make of 
Christ's sufferings, is to meditate upon, and set out to themselves the 
grievousness of them, so to move their hearts to a relenting, and compassion 
to him, and indignation against the Jews for their crucifying of him, with an 
admiring of his noble and heroical love herein ; and if they can but get 

Chap. II. J of faith, in his death. 19 

tluir hearts thus affected, they judge and account this to be grace; whenas 
it is no more than what the like tragical story of some great and noble 
personage, full of heroical virtues and ingenuity, yet inhumanely and 
ungrately used, will work, and useth ordinarily to work in ingenuous 
spirits, who read or hear of it, yea, and this ofttimes, though if it be but 
in the waj r of a fiction ; which, when it reacheth no higher, is so far from 
being faith, that it is but a carnal and fleshly devotion, springing from 
fancy, which is pleased with such a story, and the principles of ingenuity 
stirred towards one who is of a noble spirit, and yet abused. Such stories 
use to stir up a principle of humanity in men unto a compassionate love ; 
which Christ himself at his suffering found fault with, as being not spiritual, 
nor raised enough, in those women who went weeping to see the Messiah 
so handled. ' Weep not for me,' says he ; that is, weep not so much for 
this, thus to see me unworthily handled by those for whom I die. 

And therefore, accordingly as these stirrings are but fruits of the flesh, so 
human inventions, as crucifixes, and lively representations of the story of 
Christ's passion unto the sight of fancy, do exceedingly provoke men to such 
devotional meditations and affections ; but they woi'k a bare historical faith 
only, a historical remembrance, and an historical love, as I may so call 
them. And no other than such doth the reading of the story of it in the 
word work in many, who yet are against such crucifixes. But saving, justi- 
fying faith chiefly minds, and is most taken up with the main scope and 
drift of all Christ's sufferings ; for it is that in them which answers to its 
own aim and purpose, which is, to obtain forgiveness of sins in Christ 
crucified. As God looks principally at the meaning of the Spirit in prayer, 
Rom. viii. 27, so doth faith look principally to the meaning of Christ in 
his sufferings. As in all other truths a believer is said to have the mind 
of Christ, 1 Cor. ii. 16, so especially he minds what was the mind and heart 
of Christ in all his sufferings. And therefore you may observe, that the 
drift of all the apostles' epistles, is to shew the intent of Christ's sufferings ; 
how he was therein set forth to be 'a propitiation for sin ;' to ' bear our 
sins upon the tree ;' to ' make our peace,' &c. ; ' he was made sin, that we 
might be made righteousness of God in him ;' as in like manner the scope 
of the evangelists is to set forth the story of them, for that is necessary to 
be known also. And thus did that evangelical prophet Isaiah chiefly set 
forth the intent of Christ's sufferings for justification, Isa. liii., throughout 
the chapter, as David before had done the story of his passion, Ps. xxii. 
And thus to shew the use and purpose of his sufferings, was the scope of 
all the apostles' sermons, holding forth the intent of Christ's passion to be 
the justification and salvation of sinners. ' This is a faithful saying, and 
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners,' 
1 Tim. i. 15 ; and they still set forth what the plot was, at which God by 
an ancient designment aimed at in the sufferings of Christ, which was an 
end higher than men or angels thought on, when he was put to death. 
And thus faith takes it up and looks at it. And upon this doth Peter (in 
his sermon, Acts ii.) pitch their faith, where having set forth the heinous- 
ness of their sin in murdering ' the Lord of life,' then to raise up their hearts 
again (that so seeing God's end in it, they might be drawn to believe), he 
tells them, that ' all this was done by the determinate counsel of God,' 
ver. 23, and that for a farther end than they imagined, even for the remis- 
sion of sins through his name, as in the closure of that sermon he shews. 
It was not the malice of the Jews, the falseness of Judas, the fearfulness of 
Pilate, or the iniquity of the times he fell into, that wrought his death, so 


much as God his father complotting with Christ himself, and aiming at a 
higher end than they did. There was a farther matter in it ; it was the 
execution of an ancient contrivement and agreement, whereby God made 
Christ ' sin,' and laid our sins upon him. God ' was in Christ, not im- 
puting our sins to us, but making him sin,' 2 Cor. v. 20. Which covenant 
Christ came, at his time, into the world to fulfil. ' Sacrifice and burnt 
offering thou wouldst not have,' Heb. x. 5. ' Lo, I come to do thy will,' 
and that will was ' to take away sins,' verses 4, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16. These 
words Christ spake when he took our nature, and when he came into the 
world, clothed with infirmities like unto us sinners. ' God sent his Son in 
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh,' Rom. 
viii. 3. Mark that phrase ' for sin;' <irsgt is there put for propter, as John 
x. 33, ou irsgl xakoZ 'igyou, ' not for a good work.' That is, not because of 
a good work, or for a good work's sake. So here, for sin, that is, because 
of sin. Sin was the occasion of his taking the likeness of sinful flesh. 
What, to increase it ? No, but to condemn it, as it follows : that is, to cast 
and overthrow it in its power and plea against us, that instead of sin's con- 
demning us, he might condemn sin, and that we might have ' the righteous- 
ness of the law,' verse 5. This phrase ' for sin' is like unto that in Rom. 
vi. 10, ' he died unto sin,' that is, for sin's cause ; for so the opposition 
that follows evinceth, ' In that he liveth, he liveth unto God,' that is, for 
God and his glory. So he died merely for sin, that sin might have its 
course in justice, and for its sake suffered death, so putting to silence the 
clamour of it. The death of Christ was the greatest and strangest design 
that ever God undertook and acted, and therefore surely had an end pro- 
portionable unto it. God, that ' willeth not the death of a sinner,' would 
not for any inferior end will the death of his Son, whom he loved more than 
all creatures besides. It must needs be some great matter for which God 
should contrive the death of his Son, so holy, so innocent, and separate 
from sinners ; neither could it be any other matter, than to destroy that 
which he most hated, and that was sin ; and to set forth that which he most 
de ightel in, and that was mercy. So Rom. hi. 25, 26. And accordingly 
C hrist demeaned himself in it, not at all looking at the Jews, or their malice, 
but at his Father's command and intent in it. And therefore when he was 
to arise to go unto that place where he should be taken, and carried to 
slaughter, ' As the father gave me commandment,' says he, ' so do I ; arise, 
let us go hence,' John xiv. 31. And when Judas went out at Christ's own 
provocation of him, ' What thou doest, do quickly,' says he, ' the Son of man 
goeth as it was determined ;' he looked to his Father's purpose in it. When 
he went out to be taken, it is said, ' Jesus knowing all things that should 
befall him, went forth,' John xviii. 4. And when he was in his agony in 
the garden, whom doth he deal with but his Father ? ' Father,' he says, 
' if it be possible, let this cup pass ;' and God made his passion of so great 
necessity, that it was even impossible that that cup should pass. Indeed, 
had Christ stood in his own stead, it had been an easy request, yea, justice 
to grant it ; and so he tells Peter, that he could command millions of angels 
to his rescue ; but he merely submits unto his Father, ' Not my will, but 
thy will be done,' for God had laid upon him the iniquities of us all, 
Isa. liii. 

Let our faith therefore look mainly to this design and plot of God, and of 
Christ in his suffering to satisfy for our sins, and to justify us sinners. ' 
When we consider him as born flesh and blood, and laid in a manger, think 
we withal that his meaning was to ' condemn sin in our flesh,' Rom. viii. 4. 

Chap. III. ] of faith, in his death. 21 

So when we read of him fulfilling all, or any part of righteousness, take we 
his mind in withal to be, that the ' law might be fulfilled in us,' as it fol- 
lows there, who were then represented in him, and so the fulfilling of it is 
accounted ours. Behold we him in his lifetime, as John the Baptist did, 
even as ' the Lamb of God, bearing and taking away the sins of the world ;' 
and when upon the cross, let our faith behold the iniquities of us all met in 
him. ' Surely he hath borne our sorrows, bearing our sins in his body on 
the tree, aud thereby once offered to bear the sins of many,' Heb. ix. &c. 
This intent of Christ in all that he did and suffered, is that welcome news, 
and the very spirit of the gospel, which faith preys and seizeth on. 


What support or matter of triumph Christ's death affords to faith for 

2. Now, having thus directed your faith to the right object, Christ, and 
Christ as dying ; let us, secondly, see what matter of support and encourage- 
ment faith may fetch from Christ's death for justification. And surely that 
which hath long ago satisfied God himself for the sins of many thousand 
souls now in heaven, may very well serve to satisfy the heart and conscience 
of any sinner now upon earth, in any doubts in respect of the guilt of any 
sins that can arise. We see that the apostle here, after that large discourse 
of justification by Christ's righteousness, in the former part of this Epistle 
to the Romans, and having shewed how every way it abounds, chap, v., he 
now in this 8th chapter doth as it were sit down like a man over-convinced, 
as ver. 31, ' What then shall we say to these things ?' He speaks as one 
satisfied, and even astonished with abundance of evidence ; having nothing 
to say, but only to admire God and Christ in this work ; and therefore pre- 
sently throws down the gauntlet, and challengeth a dispute in this point 
with all comers. Let conscience and carnal reason, law and sin, hell 
and devils, bring in all their strength. ' Who is he shall lay any thing to 
the charge of God's elect ?' • Who shall condemn ?' Paul dares to answer 
them all, and carry it with these few words, ' It is God that justifies, it is 
Christ that died.' And (as in ver. 87) ' we are more than conquerors in 
all these.' It was this that brought in the prodigal, that in his ■ father's 
house there was bread enough.' And so likewise he (whoever he was) who 
was the author of the 130th Psalm, when his soul was in deep distress by 
reason of his sins, verses 1, 2, yet this was it that settled his heart to wait 
upon God, that there was ' plenteous redemption with him.' Christ's re- 
demption is not merely avriXurgov, a price or ransom equivalent, or making 
due satisfaction according to the just demerit of sin, but it is ' plenteous 
redemption ;' there is an abundance of ' the gift of righteousness,' Rom. 
v. 17, and unsearchable riches of Christ,' Eph. iii. 8. Yea, 1 Tim. i. 14, 
'the grace of our Lord,' that is, of Christ, as verse 12, u^s^Xsomffs, we 
translate it, ' was abundant,' but the word reacheth farther, ' it was overfull, 
redundant, more than enough.' And yet (says Paul, verse 13) I had sins 
enough to pardon, as one would think, that might exhaust it, ' I was a 
blasphemer,' &c. But I found so much grace in Christ, even more than I 
knew what to do withal. 

I shall not insist so largely on this first head of Christ's dying, as upon 
those three following, because it is the main subject of another discourse, 


which, through God's grace, I intend to publish, though in another method. 
Only, for a taste, to instance in some few particulars, shewing how Christ's 
satisfaction may be opposed, and set against the guilt of a poor sinner's 
offences. What is there that can be said to aggravate sin in tbe general, 
or any man's particular sins, that may not be answered out of this, ' Christ 
hath died' ? and something be considered in it, which the conscience may 
oppose thereto ? So that whatever evil, which according to the rules of 
spiritual reason, (which the righteous law proceedeth by, and containcth as 
the foundation of its righteousness in condemning or aggravating sin), a 
man's conscience may suggest to be in sin ; oppositely hereunto may a 
man's faith, according to the like rules of true spiritual reason, shew a more 
transcendent goodness to have been in Christ's death, which the gospel 
reveals, and so many oppose the one to the other, and have as good reason 
to shew why sin should not condemn, from Christ's death, as conscience 
can have, that the law may condemn. 

(1.) As first, is sin the transgression of the law ? Christ dying, the law- 
maker, was subjected to the law ; and will not that make amends ? Is sin 
the debasement of God's glory, manifested in his word and works ? Christ's 
dying was the debasement and emptying of the brightness of his glory in 
the highest measure, who was God personally manifested in the flesh. The 
one of them is but as the darkening the shine or lustre of the sun upon a 
wall, but the other is as the obscuring of the sun itself. Sin's highest evil 
lies in offending God, but Christ's righteousness is (oppositely) the right- 
eousness of God himself, or Jehovah made our righteousness. So that 
God in our sin is considered but as the object against whom ; but God in 
this our righteousness, is the subject from whom and in whom this right- 
eousness comes and is seated. And so his Godhead answerably gives a 
higher worth to it, by how much the alliance whicl the subject hath to an 
action of its own, that proceeds from it, is nearer than that which an object 
hath, against which the action is committed. 

(2.) Or secondly, what peculiar aggravations or circumstances are there 
in thy sins, to weigh thee down, with which some circumstances in Christ's 
obedience and death may not be paralleled, to lift thee up again ? 

As first, is it the greatness of thy sin in the substance of the fact com- 
mitted ? Hath there been lewdness in thy wickedness, as the prophet 
speaks ? Consider what guilt, of how heinous crimes, God suffered to be 
laid to Christ's charge by profane men, when he was made an offering for 
sin. He died as a traitor to his prince, and a blasphemer of God in the 
highest kind of blasphemy, as making himself equal with God ; an impostor, 
a seducer, yea, a devil, yea, a prince of devils, than whom a murderer was 
esteemed more worthy to live. Which imputations, though by men unjustly 
charged on him, yet by God were so ordered as just, in respect of his bear- 
ing our sins. For him who was holiness itself to be made the greatest of 
sinners, yea, to be ' made sin,' and the worst of sins, and accordingly to 
suffer from God and men, what greater satisfaction for the taking of sins 
away can be desired or imagined ? 

Or secondly, dost thou aggravate thy sins by the naughtiness of thy heart 
in sinning, and sayest that the inward carriage thereof hath been much 
worse than the outward ? Look thou into the heart of Jesus Christ dying, 
and behold him struggling with his Father's wrath, thou wilt find the suffer- 
ings of his soul more than those of his body, and in them to lie the soul of 
his sufferings. 

Thirdly, may thy sin be aggravated, in that thou didst commit it with so 

Chap. III.] of faith, in his death. 23 

great delight ami greediness, and pouredst out thy heart unto it ? Consider 
that Christ offered himself more willingly than ever thou didst sin. ' Lo, I 
come,' says he, Ps. xl., ' I delight to do thy will ;' and ' how am I straitened 
till it be accomplished !' Luke xii. 56. And though to shew how great an 
evil and misery it was in itself, he shewed an averseness to it ; yet as it was 
his Father's will for our salvation, he heartily embraced and drank off that 
cup unto the bottom. 

Fourthly, didst thou sin with much deliberation, when thou mightest 
have avoided it ? There was in this circumstance in Christ's sufferings to 
answer that, that he knew all he was to suffer, and yet yielded up himself, 
as John xviii. 4. 

Fifthly, hast thou sinned presumptuously, and made a covenant with 
death and hell ? Christ in like manner offered up himself by a covenant 
and complot with his Father so to do. 

Sixthly, are there any especial circumstances of time and place, &c, that 
aggravate thy sins ? 

As first, that so great a person in the church should scandalize the name 
of God in sinning. Why, how great a person was Christ ? Even equal 
with God the Father ; and yet how greatly humbled, even to the death ; 
his offices of King, Priest, and Prophet being debased with him. How 
great a name had he ! as Heb. i. 4, which notwithstanding was dishonoured 
more than ever any man's. 

Or secondly, that thou sinnedst at such a time, or in such a company, 
which sometimes serve to make a sin the more heinous. Consider how God 
contrived to have the shame and affliction of his Son's death aggravated 
by all these circumstances. It was of deaths the most accursed, at a time 
most solemn, in a place most infamous, with company most wretched. 

Thus might we find out that in Christ's suffering and satisfaction made, 
that would fitly answer to anything in our sins ; and so thereby we should 
be the more relieved. And though the whole body of his sufferings do 
stand and answer for the whole bulk of our sinnings, yet the consideration 
of such particulars will much conduce to the satisfying of an humbled and 
dejected soul, about the particulars of its sinnings. 

Therefore (to conclude) get your hearts and consciences distinctly and 
particularly satisfied in the all- sufficiency of worth and merit which is in 
the satisfaction that Christ hath made. As it is a fault and defect in hu- 
miliation, that men content themselves with a general apprehension and 
notion that they are sinners, and so never become thoroughly humbled ; so 
it is a defect in their faith, that they content themselves with a superficial 
and general conceit, that Christ died for sinners, their hearts not being 
particularly satisfied about the transcendent all-sufficiency of his death. 
And thence it is, that in time of temptation, when their abounding sinful- 
ness comes distinctly to be discovered to them, and charged upon them, 
they are then amazed and their faith nonplussed, as not seeing that in 
Christ which might answer to all that sinfulness. But as God saw that in 
Christ's death which satisfied him, so you should endeavour by faith to see 
that worth in it which may satisfy God, and then your faith will sit down 
as satisfied also. If a man were to dispute for his life some hard and diffi- 
cult controversy, wherein are many great and strong objections to be taken 
away, he would be sure to view, and study, and ponder all that might be 
said on that other part which he were to hold, in way of answer to them, 
and to get such a clear and convincing light as might make the truth of his 
position apparent and manifest through those clouds of objections that hang 


in the way. Now you will all be thus called one day to dispute for your 
souls, sooner or later ; and therefore such skill you should endeavour to get 
in Christ's righteousness, how in its fulness and perfection it answereth to 
all your sinlulness ; that your hearts may he able to oppose it against all 
that may be said of any particular, in or about your sins ; that in all the 
conflicts of your spirits, you may see that in it which would clear your whole 
score ; and that if God would but be pleased to impute it to you, you might 
say, I durst presently come to an account with him, and cut scores with 
his law and justice. 

Thus much of the first thing made the object of faith, namely, Christ as 

Sect. III. J faith supported by Christ's resurrection. 



Yea ratlier, that is risen again. — Rom. VIII. 34. 


Christ 's resurrection supporteth faith two ways: 1. By being an evidence of 
our justification ; 2. By having an influence into our justification. — The 
necessity of Christ's resurrection, for the procuring our justification. 

The next thing to be looked at in Christ, as he is the object of justifying 
faith, and from whence our faith may seek and fetch support and comfort 
in the matter of justification, is Christ's resurrection: upon which we see 
here, the apostle putteth a rather, ' Yea rather, that is risen again.' There 
must therefore be some special thing in the resurrection of Christ, which it 
contributes to our faith and justification, for which it should have a rather 
put upon it, and that comparatively to his death. Now to shew wherein 
this should he, consider how the resurrection of Christ serveth to a double 
use and end, hi the matter of justification. 

First, as an evidence to our faith, that God is fully satisfied by Christ's 
death ; his resurrection may give us full assurance of it. 

Secondly, it had, and hath an influence into our justification itself ; yea, 
and as great an influence as his death had. In both these respects it 
deserves a rather to be put upon it, and Paul had them both in his eye, 
when he wrote these words. So as first, if you ask an account of his faith, 
and a reason of his so triumphant assurance, he allegeth his resurrection 
to confirm it, ' Christ is risen.' Or, 

Secondly. If you would have a reason o: the thing, how it comes to pass 
that we who are believers cannot be condemned ; ' Christ is risen,' saith 
he. He allegeth it as a cause, that hath such an influence into justifica- 
tion itself, as it makes all sure about it. 

1. By way of evidence. Although Christ's obedience in his life and his 
death past do alone afford the whole matter of our justification, and make 
up the sum of that price paid for us (as hath been shewn), so as faith may 
see a fulness of worth and merit therein, to discharge the debt f yet faith 
hath a comfortable sign and evidence to confirm itself in the belief of this, 
from Christ's resurrection after his death. It may fully satisfy our faith, 
that God himself is satisfied, and that he reckons the debt as paid. So 
that our faith may boldly come to God, and call for the bond in, as having 
Christ's resurrection to shew for it, that the debt is discharged. And hence 
the apostle cries victory over sin, hell, and death, upon occasion of, and as 


the coronis and conclusion of that, his large discourse about Christ's resur- 
rection, 1 Cor. xv. 55-57, ' death, where is thy sting ? ' that is, sin, 
and the power of it ; for so it follows, ' the sting of death is sin ;' and ' 
grave, where is thy victory ? Thanks be to God who hath given us victory, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, ' namely, as risen again ; for of his resur- 
rection, and of that chiefly, had he spoken throughout that chapter. 

2. But surely this is not all, that it should only argue our justification 
by way of evidence. This alone would not have deserved such a rather 
to be put upon it, if Christ's resurrection had not had some farther real 
causal influence into justification itself, and been more than simply an evi- 
dence of it to our apprehensions. Therefore, secondly, in justification, 
although the materiale, or matter of it, be wholly the obedience and death 
of Christ ; yet the act of pronot ncing us righteous by that his obedience 
(which is the fonnale of justification), doth depend upon Christ's resurrec- 
tion. Ordinarily there hath been no more expressed concerning this 
dependence, than that the resurrection of Christ justifies by working actual 
faith, to lay hold upon what Christ hath done in his life and death, which 
is called the applying of it, of which more anon. But that speech of Paul, 
1 Cor. xv. 17, seems to import more, ' If Christ be not risen again, ye are 
yet in your sins, and your faith is in vain ;' that is, although you could 
suppose faith to be wrought in you upon the merit of Christ's dying, yet it 
would be in vain if Christ were not risen again ; for your title to justifica- 
tion itself would be void ; ' you were yet in your sins.' Which is said, 
because his resurrection was it, whereby sins (though satisfied for in his 
death) were taken ofi, and they acquitted from them ; which I take to be 
the meaning also of that, Rom. iv. 25, ' He was delivered for our sins, and 
rose again for our justification.' When the apostle says, ' for our sins he 
was delivered,' he means his laying down that which was the price for 
them, a satisfaction for them, which his death was. And in that sense, 
' he died for our sins ;' that is, his death stands instead of our death, and 
so satisfies for sin. But yet still that upon which the act of God's justify- 
ing us, and his discharge given us from our sins, and whereby he reckoneth 
us justified, that depends upon his resurrection. ' He rose again for our 
justification.' Note that justification there imports the act of imputation, 
and reckoning us just, which he had spoken of in the verses immediately 
foregoing, ver. 22, 23, 24. 

In a word, to the full discharge of a debt, and freeing the debtor, two 
things are requisite : 1. The payment of the debt ; 2. The tearing or can- 
celling of the bond, or receiving an acquittance for the freeing of the debtor. 
Now the payment was wrought by Christ's death, and the acquittance to 
free from the death was at and by his resurrection. 


For the explanation of both these is shewn, how Christ sustained a double relation 
first, of a surety given for us; secondly, of a common person in our stead. 
The difference of these two, and the usefulness of these two considerations, 
for the explaining all the rest that follows, in this whole discourse. 

Now the better to explicate both these, you must consider how that 
Christ, in almost all that he did for us (as the phrase is here, and is to be 
annexed to each particular) did stand in a double relation for us unto God. 

Chap. II. J from Christ's resurrection. 27 

1. Of a surety, bound to pay the debt for us, and to save our souls. 

2. Of a common person, or as an attomey-at-law in our stead. And 
both these, as they have a distinct and differing consideration in themselves, 
so those several considerations of them will conduce to the understanding 
of those two things forementioned, as ways and arguments to shew how 
the resurrection of Christ may support our faith, both by way of evidence 
that the debt is paid, and by way of influence that we are thereby acquitted, 
and cannot be condemned. The notion of his being risen, who is our 
surety, clears the first, and that of his rising as a common person, illus- 
trates the other. And I shall here a little the largelier insist upon the 
explication of these two relations, because their consideration will be of use 
through all the rest that follows, to illustrate thereby the influence that his 
ascension, and sitting at God's right hand, &c, have into our justification ; 
and so I shall carry them along throughout this discourse. 

1. A surety is one that undertakes, and is bound to do a thing for 
another ; as to pay a debt for him, or to bring him safe to such or such a 
place, or the like ; so as when he hath discharged what he undertook and was 
bound for, then the party for whom he undertook is discharged also. 

2. A common person with, or for another he goes for, is one who repre- 
sents, personates, and acts the part of another, by the allowance and war- 
rant of the law ; so as what he doth, as such a common person, and in the 
name of the other, that other whom he personates is by the law reckoned 
to do ; and, in like manner, what is done to him, as being in the other's 
stead and room, is reckoned as done to the other. Thus, by our law, an 
attorney appears for another, and money received by him is reckoned as 
received by him whom it is due unto. Thus the giving possession of an 
estate, a re-entry made, and possession taken of land, &c, if done by 
and to a man who is his lawful attorney, it stands as good in law unto a 
man, as if in his own person it had been done. So ambassadors for princes 
represent their masters : what is done to them is reckoned as done to the 
prince ; and what they do, according to their commission, is all one as if 
the prince, whose person they represent, had done it himself. In like man- 
ner also, the marriages of princes are transacted and solemnized by proxy, 
as a common person representing his lord, and in his name, is married to a 
princess in her father's court ; and the laws of men authorize it, and the 
marriage is as good as if both princes themselves had been present, and 
had performed all the rites of it. And thus to be a common person is more 
than simply to be a surety for another : it is a farther thing ; and there- 
fore these two relations are to be distinctly considered, though they seem 
to be somewhat of a like nature. Thus an attorney is a different thing 
from a surety. A surety undertakes to pay a debt for another, or the like ; 
but a common person serves to perform any common act, which by the law 
is reckoned and virtually imputed to the other, and is to stand as the other's 
act, and is as valid as if he had done it ; so as the good and benefit which 
is the consequent of such an act, shall accrue to him whom he personated, 
and for whom he stood as a common person. Adam was not a surety for 
all mankind ; he undertook not for them in the sense forementioned, but he 
was a common person representing all mankind ; so as what he should do was 
to be accounted as if they had done it. Now the better to express and make 
sure our justification in and by Christ, according to all sorts of laws (the 
equity of all which God usually draws up into his dispensations), God did 
ordain Christ both to be a surety for us, and also a common person repre- 
senting us, and in our stead. That as Christ took all other relations for us, 


as of an Husband, Head, Father, Brother, King, Priest, Captain, &c„ that 
so the fulness of his love might be set forth to us, in that wbat is defective 
in any one of these relations, is supplied and expressed by the other ; even 
thus did God ordain Christ to take and sustain both these relations, of a 
surety and a common person, in all he did for us, thereby to make our 
justification by him the more full and legal ; and justify, as I may so speak, 
our justification itself or his justifying of us, by all sorts of legal considera- 
tions whatever, that hold commonly among men in like case ; and that 
which the one of these relations or considerations might not reach to make 
good, the other might supply ; what fell short in the one the other might 
make up ; and so we might be most legally and formally justified, and made 
sure never to be condemned. 


The first head: The evidence of justification which Christ's resurrection affords to 
faith, explained by two things. 1. By shewing how Christ was made a Surety 
for us. 2. How his resurrection as a Surety holds forth this evidence. 

1. Concerning the first of those two heads at first propounded, namely, the 
evidence which Christ's resurrection affords unto our faith in point of non- 
condemnation, I have two things to handle in this chapter to make this out : 
First, how Christ was made a Surety for us, and what manner of Surety he 
did become ; secondly, what the consideration hereof will conti'ibute to that 
evidence which faith hath from Christ's resurrection. 

(1.) For the first, Christ was appointed by God (and himself also under- 
took) to be our Surety. This you have, Heb. vii. 22, ' He was made Surety 
of a better testament ' or covenant, namely, of the new. The Hebrew 
word for covenant the Septuagint still translated A/a^x?j, testament: the 
word in the Hebrew being of a large signification, and comprehending both 
a covenant and testament ; and so in the New Testament it is used pro- 
miscuously for either ; and indeed this ' new covenant of grace ' is both. 
Of this covenant Christ is the syyvog, the plighter of his troth for it, the 
Surety, the Promiser, the Undertaker. The verb this comes of is syyvdoi, 
promittere, which comes from h yvloig, in manibus, striking hands, or giving 
one's hand, as a sign of a covenant ; and so to bargain with, or make up a 
covenant. Prov. xxii. 26, ' Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or 
of them that are sureties for debts :' which whole verse the Septuagint reads, 
Give not thyself £/*. iyyvqv, to suretyship ; the same word that is here used 
by the apostle. It was the manner both of the Jews and Romans also, to 
make covenants by striking of hands. And in testaments, the heir and 
executor shook hands, or the executor gave his hand to fulfil it. And the 
word lyyvr/Gacdai is used, not only in promising to pay a debt for another, 
but also in becoming a pledge for another, for to undergo death or a capital 
punishment in another's room, as in that famous story of friends, namely, 
Evephenus and Eucritus : Eucritus did r^iuasv syyuriCagOai* willingly be- 
come a surety for Evephenus, when condemned to die by Dionysius the 

* It Is remarkable that Goodwin has, through inadvertence, mistaken the mean- 
ing of this expression. It was Evephenus, who, having sent for Eucritus, TiQwGiV 
syyvrjUaadai, asked him to stand surety for him. The mistake does not affect the 
argument, which depends upon the meaning of 'iyy\jr}aa,69cu, and not upon that of 
r^i'jiSiv. — Ed. 

Chap. III. J from Christ's resurrection. 29 

tyrant. This very word is used by Polyasnus,* the historian of that fact. 
Now such a Surety every way did Christ become unto God for us, both to 
pay the debt, by undergoing death in our stead, and so to satisfy God ; and 
then as the Heir, to execute his will and testament. He became a Surety 
of the whole covenant, and every condition in it, take it in the largest sense ; 
and this of all, both on God's part, and on ours. For us he undertook to 
God to work all our works, and undergo all our punishments ; to pay our 
debts for us, and to work in us all that God required should be done by us, 
in the covenant of grace. And thus to be a surety is much more than 
simply to be an intercessor or mediator (as Pareus well observes). God 
did (as it were) say to Christ, What they owe me, I require it all at your 
hands ; and Christ assented, and from everlasting struck hands with God, 
to do all for us that God could require, and undertook it under the penalt}' 
that lay upon us to have undergone. 

Yea, Christ became such a Surety in this for us, as is not to be found 
among men. On earth, sureties are wont to enter into one and the same 
bond with the creditors, f so as the creditor may seize on which of the two 
he will, whether on the debtor or on the surety, and so (as usually) on the 
debtor first, for him we call the principal. But in this covenant God would 
have Christ's single bond ; and hence Christ is not only called the Surety 
of the covenant for us, but ' The Covenant,' Isa, xlix. 8, and elsewhere. 
God making the covenant of grace primarily with him, and with him as for 
us, thereby his single bond alone was taken for all, that so God might be 
sure of satisfaction : therefore he laid all upon Christ, protesting that he 
would not deal with us, nor so much as expect any payment from us, such 
was his grace. So Ps. lxxxix. 19, where the mercies of the covenant made 
between Christ and God, under the type of God's covenant with David, are 
set forth, ' Thou spakest in vision to thy holy One, and saidst, I have laid 
help on one who is mighty.' As if God had said, I know that these will 
fail me, and break, and never be able to satisfy me ; but you are a mighty 
and substantial person, able to pay me, and I will look for my debt of you. 
And to confirm this, than which nothing can give stronger consolation, or 
more advanceth God's free grace, when God went about the reconciling the 
world in and by Christ, and dealt with Christ about it, the manner of it is 
expressed to have been, that God took off our sins from us, and discharged 
us, as it were, meaning never to call us to an account for them, unless 
Christ should not satisfy him, and laid them all on Christ, so as he would 
require an account of them all from him first, and let him look to it ; and 
this he did to make the covenant sure. Thus, 2 Cor. v. 19, it is said (the 
apostle speaking of God's transaction of this business with Christ) that 
' God was in Christ,' namely, from everlasting, ' reconciling the world ' (of 
elect believers) ' to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them ; and 
made him sin who knew no sin.' Observe, that as he laid our sins on 
Christ, so withal he discharged us in his compact between Christ and him- 
self, ' not imputing their trespasses to them.' So then, all laid upon Christ, 
and he was to look to it, or else his soul was to have gone for it. This is 
not the manner of other creditors : they use to charge the debt on both the 
surety and the debtor ; but in this covenant (of grace, namely) Christ's 
single bond is entered ; he alone is ' The Covenant,' so as God will have 
nought to say to us, till Christ fails him. He hath engaged himself first to 
require satisfactions at Christ's hands, who is our Surety. 

(2.) Now then for to make use of this notion, for the clearing of the point 
* Stratagems, Book V. chap. ii. — Ed. f Qu. ' debtors?' — Ed. 


in hand. It might afford us matter of unspeakable comfort, only to hear 
of Christ's having been arrested by God for our debt, and cast into prison, 
and his bond sued, and an execution or judgment served on him, as the 
phrases are, Isa. liii. 8. For thereby we should have seen how God had 
begun with our Surety, as minded to let us alone, and that it lay on him to 
discharge the debt, who was so able to do it. And thereby we might also 
see how he was ' made sin for us,' and therefore we might very well have 
quieted our hearts from fearing any arrests, or for God's coming upon us, 
till we should hear that our surety were not sufficiently able to pay the 
debt, as you have heard he is. 

But yet our hearts would still be inquisitive (for all that) to hear whether 
indeed he hath perfectly satisfied God or no ; and would be extremely soli- 
citous to know whether he hath satisfactorily performed what he undertook, 
and how he got clear of that engagement, and of being ' made sin for us.' 
And therefore the apostle comforts believers with this, that Christ shall 
' the next time appear without sin.' • Unto them that look for him he shall 
appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation,' Heb. ix. 28. One 
would think it no great matter oi comfort to us to hear that Christ should 
appear without sin ; for who would imagine that it could be otherwise with 
' The Holy One,' ' The Lord of Glory ' ? There is no wonder in that. Ay, 
but, says the apostle, your very salvation is interested in this, as nearly as 
is possible. It is well for you that Christ is now without sin ; for he hav- 
ing as your Surety undertook to satisfy for sin, and having accordingly been 
once made sin when on earth, and arrested for it by God at his death ; in 
that now he is got clear of that engagement — which could be no way but 
by satisfaction, which he undertook — this doth plainly evince it, and ascer- 
tain you, that you shall never be condemned for it ; for by the law, if the 
surety hath discharged the debt, the debtor is then free. And therefore no 
news would or could be more welcome to sinners, than to have a certain 
and infallible evidence given, that their Surety were well come off, and had 
quitted all, to satisfaction. 

Now then to evidence this serveth his resurrection ; ' Christ is risen.' 
Nothing so sure. Therefore certainly the debt is discharged, and he hath 
paid it to the full, and so is now without our sin, and fully got clear of it. 
For God having once arrested Christ, and cast him into prison, and begun 
a trial against him, and had him to judgment, he could not come forth till 
he had paid the very utmost farthing. And there is the greatest reason for 
it, to ascertain us, that can be. For he was under those bonds and bolts, 
which if it had ' been possible,' would have ' detained ' him in the grave, as 
Acts ii. 2-1. The strength of sin, and God's wrath, and the curse against 
sin (Thou shalt die the death) did as cords hold him, as the Psalmist's 
phrase is. Other debtors may possibly break their prisons ; but Christ 
could not have broke through this, for the wrath of the all-powerful God 
was this prison, from which there was no escaping, no bail ; nothing would 
be taken to let him go out but full satisfaction. And therefore to hear that 
Christ is risen, and so is come out of prison, is an evidence that God is 
satisfied, and that Christ is discharged by God himself; and so is now 
' without sin,' walking abroad again at liberty. And therefore the apostle 
proclaims a mighty victory, obtained by Christ's resurrection, over death, 
the grave, the strength of sin, the law, 1 Cor. xv. 55, 56, and cries out, 
' Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our 
Lord,' ver. 57. You may now rest secure indeed : ' Christ is risen ; who 
therefore shall condemn T 

Ciiap. IV. I from Christ's resurrection. 81 


The second head propounded, the influence Christ's resurrection hath into justi- 
fication. — Tuo branches of the demonstration of this: First, thai Christ 
was a common person, representing us in all he uas, or did, or suffered, 
handled at large ; more especially a common person in his resurrection. 

2. Now secondly, to come to that other head propounded, the influence 
Christ's resurrection hath into our justification. The demonstration or 
making out of which depends on two things put together ; the first, how 
Christ was appointed by God, and himself acted the part of a common per- 
son, representing us in what he did, and more particularly in his resurrec- 
tion. Of this in this chapter. 

The second is, how from that consideration ariseth, not only an evidence 
to our faith, but a real influence into our justification and non-condemna- 
tion. So as, ' Who shall condemn?' because ' Christ is risen again,' as a 
common person, representing us therein. 

(1.) For the first of these, to illustrate and prove it in the general, that 
instance of Adam serves most fitly, and is indeed made use of in the Scrip- 
ture to that end. Adam, as you all know, was reckoned as a common 
public person, not standing singly or alone for himself, but as representing 
all mankind to come of him. So as by a just law, what he did was reckoned 
to his posterity whom he represented. And what was by that law threat- 
ened, or done to him for what he did, is threatened against his posterity 
also. Now this man was herein a lively type of our Lord Christ, as you 
have it, ' who was the type of him who was to come,' Rom. v. 14. Unto 
which purpose, the titles which the apostle gives these two, Christ and 
Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 47, are exceeding observable ; he calls Adam ' the first 
man ; ' and Christ our Lord, ' the second man ; ' and both for that very pur- 
pose and respect which we have in hand. For, first, he speaks of them as 
if there had never been any more men in the world, nor were ever to be for 
time to come, except these two. And why ? but because these two between 
them had all the rest of the sons of men hanging at their girdle ; because 
they were both common persons, that had the rest in like (though opposite) 
considerations included and involved in them. Adam had all the sons of 
men, bom into this world, included in himself, who are therefore called 
• earthly men,' ver. 48, in a conformity to him ' the earthly man,' ver. 47 ; 
and Christ the second man had all his elect — who are ' the first born,' and 
whose ' names are written in heaven,' and therefore, in the same verse, are 
oppositely called ' heavenly men ' — included in him. You see how he sums 
up the number of all men in two, and reckons but two men in all ; these 
two, in God's account, standing for all the rest. And farther observe, that 
because Adam was in this his being a common person unto us, the shadow 
and the lively type of Christ, who was to come after him ; that therefore he 
is called ' the first man' of these two, and Christ ' the second man,' as 
typified out by him. 

Now if you ask wherein Christ was a common person, representing us, 
and standing in our stead ; I answer, if in anything, then in all those con- 
ditions and states wherein he was, in what he did, or befell him, whilst here 
on earth especially. For he had no other end to come down into this 
world, but to sustain our persons, and to act our parts, and to have what 
was to have been done to us acted upon him. 


[1.] Thus, first, in their two several conditions, qualifications, and states, 
they both were common persons. That is, look what state or condition the 
one or the other was made in, is by a just law to be put upon those whom 
they represented. So the apostle reasons from it, ver. 48, ' as is the earthly 
man' (namely, the first man, Adam), ' such are the earthly,' namely, to be 
earthly men as well as he ; because he who is a common person represent- 
ing them, was in his condition but an earthly man. And oppositely, by 
the same law, it follows, 'as is the heavenly man' (namely, the second 
man, Christ), ' such are and must be the heavenly,' who pertain to him, 
because he also is a common person, ordained to personate them ; and 
Adam, who came after him, was therein but his type. 

[2.] And as thus, in this place to the Corinths, the apostle argues Christ 
to be a common person, in respect of his condition and state, by an argu- 
ment of parallels taken from his type, Adam ; so, secondly, in that 5th to 
the Romans, he argues Christ to have been a common person, in his actions 
which he did on earth : and this also from the similitude of Adam, whom, 
ver. 14, he therein makes to have been Christ's type. And he speaks of 
Adam there as a common person, both in respect of what he did, namely, 
his sin ; and also in respect of what befell him for his sin, namely, death and 
condemnation. And because he was in all these not to be considered as a 
sini/le man, but as one that was all wen, by way of representation ; hence, 
both what he did, they are said to do in him ; and what condemnation or 
death was deserved by his sin, fell upon them all, by this law of his being 
a public person for them. 

First, For what he did. He sinned, you know, and, ver. 12, all are said 
to have sinned, namely, in his sin ; yea, and according to those words in 
the Greek, ev <Z ,* which are added there, you may render that sentence (and 
the original bears it, and it is also varied in the margin) thus, ' in whom 
all have sinned,' namely, in Adam, as in a public person. Their act was 
included in his, because their persons were included in his. And 

Secondly, For what befell him for sin, that befell them also by the same law 
of his being a person representing them. Hence, ver. 12, death is said to 
' pass upon all men,' namely, for this, that Adam's sin was considered as 
theirs, as it there follows. It is said to pass, even as a sentence of death 
passeth upon a condemned malefactor. And, ver. 18, judgment is said to 
' come by that one man's offence, upon all men, to condemnation.' Now 
in Gen. ii. 17, the threatening was spoken only to Adam, as but one man, 
' In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.' And Gen. iii. 
19, that sentence seems only to pass upon him alone, ' Unto dust thou 
shalt return.' Yet in threatening Adam, God threatened us all ; and in 
sentencing Adam to death, he sentenced us. also. The curse reacheth us 
too ; ' death passed upon all men' then, and therefore by a just law ' death 
reigns over all,' as Piom. v. 14 and 17, because Adam was in all this a com- 
mon person representing us, and so in our stead ; and so all this concerns 
us as truly and as nearly as it did him. I say by a just law ; for, indeed, 
the Scripture, upon the equity of this rule, pronounceth a statute out against 
all men that they should die, Heb. ix. 27. Statutum est, it is appointed by 
a statute law that all should die. Now if you search for this statute, when 
and where enacted, you will find that the original record and roll is that in 
Gen. iii. 19, spoken only of Adam, but holding true of us, ' to dust thou 
shalt return.' 

* This reading, sv w, for sip w, which the author quotes, and which our trans- 
lators must have had before them, is not given by Griesbach. — Ed. 

Chap. IV. from Christ's resurrection. 83 

(8.) Just thus the matter stands in the point of our justification and 
salvation hotween Christ and elect helievcrs ; for Adam was herein his type. 
Christ was considered and appointed of God as a common person, both in 
what ho did and in what was done to him. So as by the same law, what 
he did for us is reckoned or imputed to us, as if we ourselves had done it ; 
and what was done to him, tending to our justification and salvation, is 
reckoned as done to us. Thus when Christ died, he died as a common 
person, and God reckoneth that we died also. When Christ arose, he rose 
as our head, and as a common person, and so then God accounts that wo 
rose also with him. And by virtue of that communion which we had with 
him in all those actions of his, it is, that now when we are born again, we 
do all rise both from the guilt of sin and from the power of it : even as by 
virtue of the like communion we had with (or being one in) Adam, we como 
to be made sinful, when we begin first to exist as men, and to be first born. 
Thus in his death he was considered as a common person, and God 
reckoned us dying then, and would have us reckon so also. So, Rom. vi. 
10, the apostle, speaking of Christ, saith, ' In that he died, he died unto sin 
once ; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.' Then, ver. 11, speaking 
of us, he says, ' Likewise reckon you yourselves to be dead unto sin, but 
alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' The meaning whereof is 
plainly this, that whereas regenerate men are for the present in the reality 
nut imperfectly mortified and dead to sin, as considered in themselves, and 
in respect of the work of it, as wrought in them ; yet that being considered 
in Christ as their head, and a common person representing them, they may 
Xoyi^uv, they may truly, by a way of faith, reason or ' reckon ' themselves 
wholly dead, in and through Jesus Christ our Lord, in that once he died 
perfectly unto sin, as a common person representing them. So as what yet 
is wanting in the work of mortification, in their sense and experience of it, 
they may supply by faith, from the consideration of Christ their head, even 
themselves to have died when he died. The apostle, I say, would have 
them by reason conclude or infer (for so the word Xoyi^isds signifies, as 
chap. iii. 28, ' Therefore we conclude,' &c, it is the same word) from Christ's 
death, that they are dead ; which conclusion cannot be made unless this be 
one of the propositions in this argument, that we died in Christ when he 
died ; and so though in ourselves we are not yet wholly '■ dead to sin,' nor 
perfectly ' alive to God,' yet ' through Jesus Christ your Lord and Head' 
(says he), ' reckon yourselves so,' ' in that (as ver. 10) he died and now 
lives,' and you were included in him. And, indeed, this consideration the 
apostle suggests unto our faith, both as the greatest encouragement against 
imperfect mortification begun ; that yet we may comfort ourselves by faith, 
as reckoning ourselves wholly dead in Christ's death, and so may assure 
ourselves we shall one day be perfectly dead in ourselves by virtue of it ; 
and withal, as the strongest argument also and motive unto mortification, 
to endeavour to attain to the highest degree of it ; which, therefore, he car- 
ries along in his discourse throughout that whole chapter. He would have 
them by faith or spiritual reasoning take in, and apprehend themselves long 
since dead to sin in Christ, when he died ; and so should think it the 
greatest absurdity in the world to sin, even the least sin, we being dead 
long since, and that wholly, when Christ our head died : ver. 2, ' and how 
shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? ' and, ver. 7, 'he 
that is dead is free from sin ; ' and how then shall we do the least service 
to it ? Now all this he puts upon Christ's dying, and our dying then with 
him : ver. 6, ' Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,' even 
VOL. iv. c 


when he was crucified, ' that it might be destroyed ' one day in us, fully 
and perfectly ; Christ's body representing therein, as a public person, the 
elect, and their body of sin conjunct with them. So as thus by faith they 
are to reason themselves wholly dead to sin in Cbrist, and to use it as a 
reason and motive to stir up themselves not to yield to the least sin. I use 
this expression of being wholly dead, because if he had spoken merely of 
that imperfect mortification begun in us, the argument would not bave been 
a perfect motive against the least sins. ' We who are dead, how shall we 
live in sin,' or yield unto the least sin ? For it might be said, alas ! we 
are but imperfectby dead ; and from an imperfect death could but an imper- 
fect argument have been drawn. But tbe Scripture elsewhere tells us, that 
' Christ by his death hath perfected for ever all that are sanctified ;' so Heb. 
x. 14 ; so as in his death they may reckon themselves perfectly dead by 
faith, and perfectly sanctified, though yet the work be not actually and fully 

And all this communion with Christ as a common person, representing 
them in his death, he there instructs them to be represented and sealed up 
to them by their baptism ; so ver. 3, 4. How, I shall shew afterwards. 

(4.) Now as this place holds forth Christ as a common person in his 
death representing us, so other places hold forth the like of his resurrec- 
tion. In 1 Cor. xv. 20, the apostle argues, that elect believers must and 
shall rise, because ' now Christ is risen from the dead, and is become the 
first-fruits of them that sleep.' See the force of this argument founded 
upon this notion and consideration, that Christ was a common person repre- 
senting all the rest ; and this strongly presented in that expression of his 
being ' the first-fruits,' in allusion to the rite in the Levitical law. All the 
sheaves in a field being unholy of themselves, there was some one sheaf in 
the name and room of all the rest (which was called the first-fruit), which was 
lift up, and waved before the Lord ; and so all the sheaves abroad in the 
field, by that act done to this one sheaf, were consecrated unto God, 
Lev. xxiii. 10, &c, by virtue of that law. The meaning of which rite, the 
apostle expounding, allegeth, Rom. xi. 16, • If the first-fruits be holy, all 
the lump is holy also.' Thus, when we were all dead, Christ as the first- 
fruits riseth, and this in our name and stead, and so we all rise with him 
and in him. And although the saints departed are not, in their own per- 
sons, as yet risen (as we all who are now alive are not in our own persons 
yet dead), yet, in the mean time, because thus they are risen in Christ, as 
their first-fruits, hence, in the very words following, he saith, they are but 
asleep, ' He is become the first-fruits of them that sleep,' because they 
remain alive in Christ their head, and shall rise one day, because in him 
they virtually are already risen ; and this in God's account in as time and just 
a sense as we, though personally alive, are yet all reckoned dead in Adam, 
because he, as a common person, had the sentence of death pronounced on 
him, by virtue of which we must die ; and this by the force of the same 
law, even of that which we have inculcated, of being a common person repre- 
senting us. And indeed, so it follows (which argues this to be the apostle's 
meaning), ver. 21, ' For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all 
be made alive.' His argument lies thus : Adam was the first-fruits of them 
that died ; Christ, of them that rise. Hence, therefore, we are elsewhere 
said (though in respect to another life) to be ' risen with Christ,' Ephes. ii. 
5, 6, and, which is yet more, ' to sit together with him in heaven ;' because 
he, as a common person representing us, sits there in our name and stead, 
as you shall hear when I come to it in the text in the next section. 



The second branch: How Christ's representing us as a common person in his 
resurrection, hath em influence into our justification, made forth by two 
things: (1.) How Christ at his resurrection was justified from our sin; (2.) 
That we were all then justified in him as a common person. 

2. Now, then, to come to the other branch of the demonstration, namely, 
how this relation to us as a common person representing us in his resur- 
rection, hath a real influence into our justification. And this is the point 
I drive at ; and for the clearing of which that large and general discourse 
by way of digression in the former chapter was but to make way for. 

I shall absolve and despatch this branch by shewing two things : 

(1.) That Christ himself was justified, and that at his resurrection. 

(2.) That he was justified then as a common person, representing us 
therein, as well as that he rose as a common person ; and so that we were 
then justified in him and with him ; and by this means it is that by that act 
then done to him, our justification is made irrepealable for ever. 

(1.) For the explicating of the first: As Christ was in his death made 
sin for us, and so sustained our persons in his satisfying for sin by his 
death (which is the matter of our righteousness), so in and upon his resur- 
rection he was justified and acquitted from our sins by God, as having now 
fully in his death satisfied for them, which I make forth by these three 
things put together : 

[l.J First, in reason, if that Christ were made sin for us, and satisfied 
for it, there must then some act pass, whereby Christ should be pronounced 
acquit of our sins, and fully clear of them, and so be himself formally justi- 
fied in respect of those sins, for which he undertook to satisfy. For, 
according to the course of all proceedings, if a charge of guilt be formally 
laid, there must be as formal an act of acquitting, and of giving a quietus 
est. There is no man but for his own discharge and security would desire 
it ; nor is there any wise man that pays a debt for which he is legally sued, 
that will not have, upon the payment of it, as legal an acquittance. Paul, 
when he was cast into prison by a public act of authority, he stood upon it 
to have a public act of release from the same magistrates, and would not 
go forth of prison privily, though themselves sent to him so to go out, 
Acts xvi. 37. Now God himself did • lay the iniquities of us all' upon 
Christ, Isa. liii. 6, and ' had him to prison and judgment' for them, ver. 3. 
There must, therefore, some act pass from God, legally to take them off 
from him, and declaring him discharged, to deliver him from prison and 

And, de facto, it is evident that there was some such act passed from God ; 
for, as we read, that Christ, while he lived, and also in his death, ' was 
made sin,' and ' did bear the sin of many,' as the phrase is, Heb. ix. 28. 
So we read in the very next words, that ' he shall appear the second time 
without sin,' which must needs be spoken in a direct opposition to his 
baring borne our sins, and appearing then with all our sins laid to his 
charge. He appeared charged with them then, but now he shall appear, 
as apparently and manifestly to be without those sins, for of our sins it 
must needs be meant, and so to be discharged of them as fully as ever he 
appeared charged with them. For it is said, ' he shall appear without sin ;' 
and therefore to the judgments of all it shall be made manifest, that that 


God that once charged him with them, hath now fully discharged him of 
them. The apostle speaks of it as of a great alteration made in this respect 
between Christ whilst on earth, and Christ as he is to appear the second 
time, and is now in heaven. And this alteration or discharge must neces- 
sarily be made by God ; for he is the creditor who followed the suit, and 
therefore he alone can give the acquittance. 

[2.] Now, secondly, from hence it will follow, that there must be some 
time when this alteration was first made, and discharge given, when Christ, 
from being sin, as he was made, should become without sin, through God's 
acquitting of him ; and this, say I, was at his resurrection. It is not deferred 
as then to be first done, when he is to appear the second time, though 
then it appears indeed, but it is really done before ; for he comes then to 
judge others for sin. Now in reason when should this acquittance or justi- 
fication from our sins be first given to Christ, and legally pronounced on 
him, but when he had paid the last farthing of the debt, and made his satis- 
faction complete ? which was then done when he began to rise ; for his lying 
in the grave was a part of his humiliation, and so of his satisfaction, as gene- 
rally orthodox divines hold. Now, therefore, when he began to rise, then 
ended his humiliation ; and that was the first moment of his exaltation. His 
acquittance, therefore, bears date from thence, even from that very hour. 

[3.] Hence, thirdly, we read, as that Christ was ' condemned,' so that 
he was ' justified.' Thus, 1 Tim. hi. 1G, God is said to be • manifest in 
the flesh,' and then that this God-man was 'justified in the Spirit.' That 
is, whereas God was manifest or appeared in flesh to condemn sin in the flesh, 
as Rom. viii., that same God-man was also justified in the Spirit from all 
those sins, and so ' received up to glory,' as it follows there. And not to 
go far, the very words of this my text, ' it is God that justifies,' are taken 
out of Isa. 1. 8, 9, and as there they are first spoken by Christ of himself, 
then, when he ' gave his back to the smiters,' in his death (as in the verses 
before), and was put to death as a ' condemned' man, he comforts himself 
with this, ' He is near that justifies me ; who shall condemn ?' And when 
was that done, or to be done, but at his resurrection ? So the phrase in 
Timothy imports, if you compare it with another in Peter, 1 Pet. iii. 18. 
' Being put to death in the flesh, and quickened in (or by) the Spirit.' 
Paul, he says, 'justified in the Spirit;' Peter, he says, ' quickened in the 
Spirit :' both mean one and the same thing. By S})irit is meant the power 
of his Godhead and divine nature, whereby he was at once both raised 
from the grave, and from under the guilt of sin together. He was at once 
both quickened, or raised, and justified also. And that by Spirit they 
mean his divine nature, the opposition in both places evidently implies ; 
for it is opposed to his flesh, or human nature. Now, because he was 
quickened, or raised, by the power of the Godhead, and at that raising him 
he was justified also by God, and declared justified by that resurrection, as 
he had been declared condemned by his death ; hence, to be justified is 
put for his resurrection ; for that was his justification, to declaration of all 
the world, that he was justified from all the sins laid to his charge. And 
that other place I cited out of Isaiah hath the same meaning also ; for 
Christ there comforts himself against the Jews condemning him, and put- 
ting him to death, with the hopes of God's justifying of him, when he 
should have gone through that work. And Christ's meaning there is this, 
' God will raise me up and acquit me,' though you condemn and kill me. 
In the other prophets you shall find Christ still comforting himself against 
his condemnation at his death, with the thoughts of his resurrection, which 

Ciiap. V.J from Christ's resurrection. 87 

he foresaw as shortly to follow after it ; as here, in Isaiah, he comforts 
himself with these hopes of his heing justified after their condemnation of 
him. For instance, Ps. xvi. 9, • My flesh shall rest in hope : thou wilt not 
leave my soul in hell, nor sutler thy Holy One to see corruption.' Which 
words, you know, Peter, in the Acts, doth twice interpret of Christ's resur- 
rection. In like manner here, in Isaiah, against his death and condemnation, 
he comforts himself with the hopes of God's justification of him at his resur- 
rection, ' He is near who justifies me (and he shall help me) ; who shall 
condemn ?' 

And further, to confirm and strengthen this notion, hecause his resurrec- 
tion was the first moment of this his justification from our sins, therefore 
it is that God calls it his first begetting of Christ, ' This day have I 
begotten thee,' speaking manifestly of his resurrection, Acts xiii. 33. And 
the reason of his so calling it, is, because all the while before he was covered 
with sin, and ' the likeness of sinful flesh ; ' but now, having flung it off, he 
appears like God's Son indeed, as if newly begotten. And thus also he* 
cometh to be the fuller conformity between Christ's justification and ours. 
For as our justification is at our first being born again, so was Christ's also 
at this his first glorious begetting. He was under an attainder before ; here 
was the act of restitution first passed. And as at our conversion (which is 
to us a resurrection) we ' pass from death to life,' that is, from an estate 
of death and condemnation, unto justification of life, so did Christ also at 
his resurrection, which to him was a re-begetting, pass from an estate of 
death and guilt laid on him, to an estate of life and glory, and justification 
from guilt ; and so shall ' appear,' as the word is, Heb. ix. 28 (as he doth 
now in heaven), • without sin ; ' for he became to be without sin from that 
very moment. Thus I have shewn how Christ was justified at his resurrec- 

(2.) Now then, in the second place, I am to shew that this his justifica- 
tion, and pronouncing him without sin, thus done at his resurrection, was 
done to him as the ' first-fruits,' and as to a common person bearing our 
persons, and so in our names. From whence will necessarily follow, as 
the conclusion of all, that the persons of all the elect believers have been 
justified before God in Christ, as their head, at or from the time of his 
resurrection ; and so that act of justification to have been so firmly passed as 
it cannot be revoked for ever. Now this is proved, 

First, by the very same reason or respect that he was said to be the 
■ first-fruits of them that sleep,' as representing the rest in his resurrection, 
which I shewed at large in the former chapter ; upon the same ground he 
is to be so looked at also in this his justification pronounced upon him at 
his resurrection, even as the first-fruits also of them that are justified. And 
so in the same sense, and by the same reason that we are said to be ' risen 
with Christ,' in his resurrection ; we must also be said to be 'justified with 
him,' in this his justification, at his resurrection. 

And indeed (to enlarge this a little), as there is the same reason and 
ground for the one that there is for the other, he being a public person in 
both, so the rule will hold in all other things which God ever doth to us, or 
for us, which are common with Christ, and were done to him ; that in them 
all Christ was the first-fruits, and they may be said to have been done in 
us, or to us, yea, by us, in him, and with him. Yea, whatever God meant 
to do for us and in us, whatever privilege or benefit he meant to bestow 
upon us, he did that thing first to Christ, and (some way) bestowed the 
* Qn. 'there?'— Ed. 


like on him as a common person, that so it might be by a solemn formal 
act ratified, and be made sure to be done to us in our persons in due time, 
having first been done to him representing our persons ; and that by this 
course taken, it might (when done to us) be effected by virtue of what was 
first done to him. Thus God meaning to sanctify us, he sanctifies Christ 
first, in him as a common person sanctifying us all ; ' For their sakes I 
sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through thy truth,' John 
xvii. 19. He sanctifies the human nature of Christ personal, (that is his 
body), and him first, as a common person representing us, that so we, being 
virtually and representative!}" sanctified in him, may be sure to be sanctified 
afterwards in our own persons, by means of his sanctification. And so in 
like manner for our sakes he was 'justified in the Spirit ; ' because we were 
to be justified, and so to be justified first in him, and with him as a common 
person. Now this rule holds in all blessings else bestowed ; for Paul pro- 
nounceth of them all, that ' God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings 
in Christ Jesus,' Eph. i. 3, which God did so order, that, as he speaks of 
ordaining salvation to be by faith, Rom. iv. 16, that all those 'blessings 
might be sure to all the seed.' For this formal investiture of estating us 
into all blessings by such solemn acts done to Christ as our head and repre- 
senter of us, makes what he intends to bestow sure beforehand, by an 
irrepealable act and sentence, which hath its warrant in all laws of men, as 
I have shewn, and shall anon again urge. And, 

Secondly, by the equity of the same law that in Adam we were all con- 
demned, Adam being a type of him in this, by the same law, I say, we were 
all justified in Christ when he was justified, else the type were not therein 
fulfilled. Now the sentence of condemnation was first passed upon Adam 
alone, yet considered as a common person for us ; therefore also this 
acquittance and justification was then passed towards Christ alone, as a 
public person for us. Yea, in this his being justified, Christ must much 
rather be considered as a common person representing us, than Adam was 
in his condensation. For Christ in his own person, as he had no sin, so 
he had no need of any justification from sin, nor should ever have been 
condemned. And therefore this must be only in a respect unto our sins 
imputed to him ; and if so, then in our stead. And so herein, he was more 
purely to be considered as a common person for us, than ever Adam was, 
in his being condemned. For Adam, besides his standing as a common 
person for us, was furfherrnore condemned in his own person ; but Christ 
in being justified from sin, could only be considered as standing for others. 
Thus, Pom. v. 18, ' Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon 
all men to condemnation ; even so (or in like manner) by the righteousness 
of that one man Christ, the free gift came upon all men (namely, in Christ) 
unto justification of life.' He parallels both with a so, only with this 
difference between Adam's being a common person for us, and so between 
the ground of our being condemned in him, and Christ his being a common 
person for us, and our acquittance in him, that the ' condemnation came 
upon ah" by a necessary, natural covenant, for by such a covenant was 
Adam appointed a common person for us ; but Christ his being appointed 
thus a common person for us, it was by a ' free gift' of grace ; and therefore 
in like manner by a free gift of grace it is that the imputation of that which 
he did, or was done to him, is reckoned ours. As then ' in Adam all died,' 
when he sinned, as the apostle speaks, so in Christ ' were all justified,' 
when he was justified. For as in his death Christ was a public person for 
ns, and in all that befell him ; so in his resurrection, and in all that was 

Chap. VI.] from Christ's resurrection. 80 

then done to him ; and ho, in this his being then justified. And as when 
he died, 'the just was put to death for the unjust' (as Peter speaks), so 
when he arose and was justified, the just that needed no justification was 
justified for the unjust, who else had been condemned ; and so we were 
then justified with him. 


How our faith may raise from hence just matter of triumph about our justifica- 
tion. — An explication how we are justified by faith, althouyh justified in 

Christ at his resurrection. 

And hereupon is grounded this triumph of faith here, from Christ's 
resurrection, ' Who shall condemn ? It is Christ that is risen.' The mean- 
ing whereof is, that he was justified at his resurrection (justified in the Spirit 
and quickened in the Spirit being all one), and ' we in him.' Yea, and a 
father is put upon this, rather than put upon his death ; for this act was a 
solemn discharge from all sin and condemnation ; it was a legal acquittance 
given to Christ for all our sins, and so to us also considered as in him. 
His death was but the satisfaction and payment ; but this is the first act of 
absolution. Yea, and this is the original act, which is upon record between 
God and Christ ; and our justification and atonement (when we are justified 
by faith in Christ) is but a copy fetched from this roll, and court-sentence 
then pronounced. 

And such a way and course to ratify and make acts good and legal, even 
to have them done by another representing one's person, is common among 
men, as those instances I formerly gave do shew. An attorney- at- law 
receives a debt, or an acquittance for a debt, paid or given for another man, 
and it is as legal as if the man himself or creditor had done it, and the 
debtor had received the acquittance himself. Yea, acts of the greatest and 
highest concernment are ofttimes no otherwise transacted ; as the marriages 
of princes are by proxy solemnized, their ambassadors representing their 
persons, and contracting and marrying their wives in their stead, which acts 
are thereby made as irrevocable, and irrepealable, as if themselves had in 
person done them. And so if we were justified when Christ did rise and 
was justified, our justification then cannot be reversed, but stands as legal 
and warrantable as any act that God or man ever ratified or confirmed. 
And who shall condemn ? ' 

Only, for farther explication's sake, lest there be a mistake, let me add 
this, that it is necessary that we be justified in our own persons by faith, 
(notwithstanding this former act thus legally passed), whereby we lay hold 
upon what God did thus before for us in Christ, to the end that God upon our 
believing may, according to his own rules, justify his justifying of us unto all 
the world ; which, until we do believe, he could not do. For according 
to the revealed rules of his word, which he professeth to proceed by at the 
latter day, there is a curse and a sentence of condemnation pronounced against 
us, under which we stand till he shall take it off by giving us faith ; unto 
which he hath, in the same word, made the promise of justifying us in our 
own persons, as before he had done in Christ. Yet still notwithstanding, 
so as although, when we first believe, then only justification is actually and 
personally applied to us, yet at Christ's resurrection, and in his being then 
justified, this act and sentence was virtually pronounced upon us ; and so 


doth necessarily require, and exact at God's hands, the bestowing faith upon 
us ; that so by virtue of this former act passed, we come to be actually 
justified in our own consciences, and before all the world. And so our 
justification, which was but secretly wrought and passed upon us in Christ, 
is never made void, but stands irrepealable ; and so ratified, that our per- 
sonal justification by faith doth always infallibly second and succeed it. 
And (to illustrate it a little) our condemnation in Adam, and this our justi- 
fication in Christ, do in this hold parallel together, that as in Adam we were 
all virtually condemned, ' in Adam all die,' — and that legal enough too, for 
thereupon came out that statute-law, statutum est, ' It is appointed' that all 
should die, and yet we are not actually in our own persons condemned till 
we are born of him ; nor do we personally die, until we lay down our flesh, — 
even so it is in the matter of our justification : it was done virtually in 
Christ, and afterwards, when we believe, is actually passed in and upon our- 
selves. Now I call this former but a virtual justification, even as by the 
sentence of condemnation passed upon a malefactor, he is called a dead 
man, that is, he is so virtually and in law (as we say), though naturally he 
die not many days after, but in that respect may be still alive ; so by 
Christ's being justified, we are all virtually and in law justified, through a 
secret j r et irrepealable covenant between God and Christ, who only did 
then ' know who were his.' 

And for a confirmation even of this also, that God accounts all the elect 
justified in his justifying of Christ, we shall not need to go any further 
than the words of this text, if we do but diligently compare their standing 
here with that of theirs in that place out of which they are taken, and 
where we find them first recorded and spoken, namely, in that 50th of 
Isaiah, 7, 8, ' He is near that justifies me ; who is he that shall condemn ? ' 
Now there (as interpreters agree, and as the context shews), those words 
are spoken by Christ himself ; for, ver. 5, he speaks of God's ' boring his 
ear' to do his will (the same expression that is used of Cbrist, Ps. xl. G), 
and farther says, ' I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them 
tbat pulled off the hair, and I hid not my face from shame and spitting' (all 
which you may read in Christ's sufferings, Mat. xxvi. 67 and xvii. 26). 
And he spake before (in ver. 4), of God's having ' given him the tongue of 
the learned, to speak a word in season to him that is weary,' which you 
may read done by Christ, Mat. xi. 28. Now those words were spoken by 
Christ, to comfort himself against the Jews condemning him, as considering 
that God would justify him ; as at his resurrection, you have heard, he did. 
Now mark it, those very words which Isaiah brings in Christ speaking as 
of himself alone, those very words Paul here boldly applies, in the like 
triumph, to all the elect of Christ, ' Who shall condemn ? It is God that 
justifies ; ' and this because Christ is dead, and risen, and acquitted by 
God. Christ spake those words as a public person in the name of all 
his elect, whom he in his death and in his justification represented ; 
and for that very respect Paul speaks the like words over again, of 
of all elect believers, as being as truly and really intended of them, when 
spoken by Christ, as of himself, and of his own person. ' He is near that 
justifies me (says Christ) ; who shall condemn ? ' namely, me, or mine elect, 
whose persons I sustain. And ' Who shall lay anything to the charge of 
God's elect ?' says Paul. ' It is God that justifies; who shall condemn ?' 
for Christ hath died, and been condemned for them, and Christ was 
justified from that condemnation, and they in him. And because the justi- 
fication of himself, which Christ spake of, as looked for from God, was to 

Chap. VII. from Christ's resurrection. 41 

be made at his resurrection, as bath been said, tbercforo Paul bere puts a 
rather upon bis resurrection. 

And farther to establish this, as you heard before out of Rom. vi. 11, 
that in respect of sanctification we were dead with Christ, even then when 
he died ; so in Col. ii. 13, we are said to be ' risen with him,' in respect of 
our justification, which is the thing in hand. The words are, ' And you 
being dead in your sins,' namely, the guilt of your sins, ' and the cir- 
cumcision of your flesh,' that is, in respect of the power of corrupt nature, 
' hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all your tres- 
jmsses.' See here, the forgiveness of our sins, or our justification, is called 
a ' quickening' or ' a raising up of us' (as the 12th verse hath it), ' together 
with him,' in a conformity and relation to that justification from our sins, 
which at his resurrection he received in our names. His meaning is, he 
was justified then, and in our names ; and so we are now justified through 
the virtue of that our communion with him therein. For if you mark the 
connection of the words with what follows, ver. 14, you will find this 
1 forgiving of their trespasses (ver. 13) through their being quickened 
together with him,' not only to have been done when they believed, and so 
when they had that justification personally first applied to them, of which, 
it is true, the words in the 12th verse are to be understood, but also then 
to have been done, ' when he having (as it follows in the 14th verse) blotted 
out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, nailing it to his cross, 
and having spoiled principalities and powers,' and got the victory, namely, in 
his rising again, ' had made a show of them openly ' (in his ascending to 
heaven), ' triumphing over them h avruj in himself (as the margin hath it) ; 
of which words I shall farther speak in the next head. So as then when 
Christ did this in himself, then were our sins forgiven, then were we 
acquitted with him, and triumphed with him, he doing all this in our stead, 
representing us. 


How all this, both the support of our faith and out justification by Christ's 
reswrection, is sealed up to us in baptism. — The conclusion. — How faith 
may make use of Christ's resurrection in its pleas to God. 

And all this our communion with Christ in his resurrection, both in 
respect of sanctification, which the 6th of the Romans holds forth, and of 
justification, which this place in the Colossians holds forth, is lively (as both 
places declare) set out, and sealed up to us, in the sacrament of baptism. 
Romans vi. 3, 4, we are said to be ' buried with him in baptism,' &c. ; 
and Colossians ii. 12, 'buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen 
with him.' The eminent thing signified and represented in baptism is not 
simply the blood of Christ as it washeth us from sin ; but there is a farther 
representation therein of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, in the 
baptized's being first buried under water, and then rising out of it ; and 
this not in a bare conformity unto Christ, but in a representation of a com- 
munion with Christ in that, his death and resurrection. Therefore it is 
said, ' we are buried with him in baptism ; ' and ' wherein you are risen 
with him.' It is not simply said, like as he was buried, and rose, but with 
him. So as our communion and oneness with him in his resurrection, is 
represented to us therein, and not only our conformity or likeness unto him 


therein. And so baptism representeth this to us, that Christ having once in 
himself sustained the persons of all the elect, in his burial and resurrection, 
that now, upon the party himself who is baptized, is personally, particularly, 
and apparently re-acted the same part again, in his baptism; thereby 
shewing what his communion with Christ before was, in what was then 
done to Christ ; that he then was buried with Christ, and rose with him ; 
and upon that ground is now in this outward sign of baptism, as in a show 
or representation, both buried and also riseth again. 

And moreover, hence it is, that the ' answer of a good conscience,' which 
is made the inward effect of this ordinance of baptism, 1 Pet. iii. 21, is 
there also attributed unto Christ's resurrection, as the thing signified and 
represented in baptism, and as the cause of that answer of a good con- 
science. ' Even baptism,' saith he, ' doth now also save us,' as being the 
ordinance that seals up salvation, ' not the putting away of the filth of the 
flesh,' or the washing of the outward man; ' but the answer of a good con- 
science towards God, by the resurrection of Jesiis Christ.' To open these 
words : Our consciences are that principle in us which are the seat of the 
guilt of all the sins of the whole man ; unto whose court they all come to 
accuse us, as unto God's deputy ; which conscience is called good or evil, 
as the state of the man is. If his sin remain unpardoned, then as his 
estate is damnable, so his conscience is evil. If his sins be forgiven, and 
his person justified, his conscience is said to be good ; conscience having 
its denomination from the man's state, even as the urine is called good or 
bad, as the state of the man's body is healthful or unsound whose urine it 
is. Now in baptism, forgiveness of sins and justification being sealed up 
to a believer's faith and conscience, under that lively representation of his 
communion with Christ in his resurrection ; hence this is made the fruit of 
baptism, that the good conscience of a believer, sealed up in baptism, hath 
wherewithal from thence to answer all accusations of sin that can or do at 
any time come in upon him ; and all this, as it is here added, ' by virtue 
of the resurrection of Jesus Christ ;' namely, in this respect, that his com- 
munion with Christ in his resurrection hath been represented in his baptism 
as a ground of his faith, and of that ' answer' unto all accusations. So 
that indeed the same thing that Paul says by way of triumph and de- 
fiance to all accusations, ' Who shall condemn ? Christ is risen ; ' the 
very same thing Peter here mentions, though not by way of defiance, yet 
of a believer's answer and apology, that if sins do come to condemn or 
accuse, a good conscience is ready to say, ' Christ is risen,' and I was then 
'justified in him.' There is my answer, which nothing in heaven or hell 
is able to reply unto. ' This is the answer of a good conscience, by the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ.' 

Now to crown this second pillar of faith with this coronis or conclusion, 
by way of application or direction to a believer's faith, how to make use of 
Christ's resurrection in point of non-condemnation. You heard before, out 
of Romans vi., that in respect of mortification (as the apostle there 
reasoneth) we may be truly said to have been ' perfectly dead to all sin ' in 
Christ's ' dying unto sin once; ' and through his representing us therein as 
dying unto sin, in and with him. So as although we be for the present 
but imperfectly mortified in ourselves, yet when corruptions arise, the 
apostle bids us help ourselves against them by faith, ' reasoning' ourselves 
to stand wholly dead to sin, when Christ died ; and so to conclude from 
thence, that we shall one day be fully dead to sin, because we then did 
perfectly die in Christ unto it ; which kind of reasoning also God would 

Chap. "VTL] from Christ's resurrection. 48 

have us uso as a motive (and of all motives that arc in the gospel it is the 
strongest) against any corruption whenas it ariscth. ' Shall I that am dead 
to sin' in Christ, and so am freed from it, ' shall I live any longer therein?' 
ver. 2. Now as God would have our faith make this use of our communion 
with Christ in his death, in point of sanctification, just so, when guilt of 
sin ariseth in thy conscience to accuse or threaten condemnation, reason 
thou thyself (as the apostle's word in that other case), or ' reckon thyself 
(as our translation hath it) justified in Christ, in his justification, which was 
done at his resurrection. Yea, and seeing God would have thee use thy 
communion with Christ in his death, as an argument to move thee to 
mortify sin, bidding thee to reckon thyself dead to sin in Christ, do thou 
desire him, in like manner, to reckon thee as justified at Christ's resurrec- 
tion (for the ground of hoth is the same), and return that as an argument 
to him to move him to justify thee. And this is that answer of a good 
conscience which Peter speaks of ; this is the meaning of Paul's challenge, 
' Who shall condemn ? Christ is risen.' 

And should thy heart object and say, But I know not whether I was one 
of those that God reckoned justified with Christ when he arose ; then go 
thou to God, and ask him boldly, whether he did not do this for thee, and 
whether thou wert not one of them intended by him. Put God to it, and 
God will (by virtue of Christ's resurrection for thee) even himself answer 
thy faith this question ere thou art aware. He will not deny it. And 
to secure thee the more, know that however Christ will be sure to look to 
that for thee ; so as that thou having been then intended, — as, if thy heart 
be drawn to give itself up to Christ, thou wert, — shalt never be condemned. 





Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ, . . . who is even at the right 
hand of God.— Rom. VIII. 34. 


A connection of this third head with the two former ; shewing how it affords a 
farther degree of triumph. — Two things involved in it : 1. Christ's ascension; 
2. Christ's power and authority in heaven. 

I come next to this third great pillar and support of faith, Christ's being at 
God's right hand ; and to shew how the view and consideration hereof may 
strengthen faith seeking justification and pardon of sin ; ' Who is he that 
condemneth? Christ is even at God's right hand.' 

In the opening of which, I shall keep to the begun method, both by 
shewing how justification itself depends upon this, and the evidence thereof to 
us ; both which the apostle had here in his eye, and from both which our 
faith may derive comfort and assurance. And I mean to keep punctually 
to the matter of justification only, as in the former. 

These two latter that remain here in the text — Christ sitting at God's 
right hand, and his interceding for us — are brought in here by the apostle, 
as those which have a redundant force and prevalency in them, for the non- 
condemnation of the elect ; that although the two former abundantly served 
to secure it, yet these two added to the former, do make the triumph of 
faith more complete and full, and us ' more than conquerors,' as it after 
follows. Nor doth this place alone make mention of Christ's ' sitting at 
God's right hand,' which I now am first to handle, in this its relation, and 
influence into our justification, and the assurance of faith about it ; but you 
have it to the same end, use, and purpose, alleged by that other great 
apostle, 1 Peter iii. 18-22. And if the scopes of these two apostles in both 
places be compared, they are the same. Here the resurrection of Christ, 
and his sitting at God's right hand, are brought in as the ground of this 
bold challenge and triumph of faith ; and there, in Peter, is mentioned the 
answer or plea of a good conscience in a believer justified, which it puts 
into the court, and opposeth against all condemning guilts, (so it is called, 
verse 12), the apostle alleging the resurrection of Jesus Christ as one 
ground of it, ' the answer of a good conscience, by the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ.' And then further to back and strengthen this plea or answer of a 
good conscience, the apostle puts his ascension and sitting at God's right 

Chap. I.] from Christ's ascension. 45 

hand into the bill, as further grounds confirming it ; so it follows, ' who is 
gono to heaven, and is at the right hand of God, angels, and authorities, 
and powers, being made subject to him.' All which the apostle here ex- 
presseth in one word (as enough to carry it) that Christ is ' even at God's 
right hand.' The soul hath sufficient answer against condemnation in 
Christ's death and resurrection, full enough though it should stop there ; 
yea therein can faith triumph, though it went no further; for it can shew 
a full satisfaction given in his death, and that accepted by God for us, and 
Christ acquitted, and we in him. Therefore, faith (you see) comes to a 
rather there. But then, let it go on, to consider Jesus sitting at God's 
right hand, and making intercession for us ; and then faith will triumph 
and insult over all accusers, be more than a conqueror ; then it comes not 
to a ratlin- only, as here, but to a ' much more shall we be saved by his life,' 
thus Rom. v. 10. And the meaning thereof is, that if his death had power 
to pay all our debts, and justify us at first, then much more hath his life 
this power. So that his death is but the ground and foundation of our 
faith herein, and the lowest step of this ladder, but these other are the 
top and full triumph of faith therein. And our spirits should rise, as the 
apostle here riseth. Faith upon these wings may not only fly above the 
gunshot of all accusations and condemners, but even clean out of their 
sight, and so far above all such thoughts and fears, as it may reach to a 
security that sins are forgotten and shall be remembered no more. What 
joy was there in the disciples, when they saw Christ risen ! John xx. There- 
fore in the primitive times it was used as a voice of joy ; and to this day 
the Grecian Christians so entertain each other, at that time of the year, 
with these words, ' The Lord is risen,' your Surety is out of prison, fear not. 
But (as Christ said in another case, so say I) what will you say, if you see 
your Surety ascended up to heaven, and that, as far ' above angels and prin- 
cipalities' (as the apostle speaks, Eph. i.) as the heavens are above the 
earth '? Will you not in your faiths and hopes proportionably ascend, and 
climb up also, and have thoughts of pardon, as far exceeding your ordinary 
thoughts as the heavens are above the earth ? Therefore, first view him 
as ascending into heaven, ere ever he comes to be at God's right hand, and 
see what matter of triumph that will afford you ; for that you must first sup- 
pose, ere you can see him at God's right hand, and so is necessarily in- 
cluded, though not expressed here. But that place fore-quoted out of 
Peter (1 Peter iii.) gives us both these two particulars included in it : 1. 
His ascension (who is gone into heaven) ; and 2. his power and authority 
there (is at God's right hand, and hath all power and authority subject to 
him), and prompts both these, as fit matter to be put into a good conscience, 
its answer and apology why it should not be condemned ; and therefore 
both may here as well come in into faith's triumph, and that as being in- 
tended also by the apostle, and included in this one expression. He speaks 
with the least, to shew what cause faith had to triumph, for the least ex- 
pression of it ; his purpose being but to give a hint of faith, or that which 
comprehensively contains many things in it, which he would have us dis- 
tinctly to consider for our comfort. 



Shewing first what evidence for our justification Christ's ascension into heaven 
affords unto our faith, upon that first forementioned consideration of his 
being a Surety for us. 

1. First, then, to see what triumph his ascending into heaven will add 
unto our faith in matter of non-condemnation. 

(1.) And herein, first, there is not nothing* in it to consider what he then 
did, and what was his last act when he was to take his rise, to fly up to 
heaven. He ' blessed his disciples,' and thereby left a blessing upon earth 
with them, for all his elect, to the end of the world. The true reason and 
mind of which blessing them was, that he being now to go to execute the 
eternal office of his priesthood in heaven, (of which God had sworn, ' Thou art 
a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec') ; as Melchisedec in the 
type blessed Abraham, and in him all the faithful as in his loins, — therefore 
the apostle said that ' Levi paid tithes unto Melchisedec in Abraham's loins,' 
therefore he was blessed in his loins, — so did Christ begin this new and second 
part of his priesthood with blessing the apostles, and in them all the elect 
to the end of the world. This was the last thing that Christ did on earth, 
yea this he did whilst ascending, ' he was taken up whilst he did it.' So 
Luke xxiv. 50, 51. And thus solemnly he now did this, to shew that the 
curse was gone, and that sin was gone, and that action speaks thus much, 
as if Christ himself had said it ; my brethren (for so he styled his dis- 
ciples after his resurrection), I have been dead, and in dying made a curse 
for you ; now that curse I have fully removed, and my Father hath acquitted 
me and you for it ; and now I can be bold to bless you, and pronounce all 
your sins forgiven, and your persons justified. For that is the intendment 
and foundation of blessing. ' Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven 
him,' and therefore that was the true meaning of his blessing them ; which 
he reserved thus as his last act, to shew how by his death he had redeemed 
them from the curse of the law, and now going to heaven, was able to bless 
them with all the spiritual blessings that are there, and which heaven can 
afford, for heavenly they are called in that respect, Eph. i. 3. And as in 
Abraham (blessed by Melchisedec) all the faithful were blessed, so, in 
these apostles, all the elect to come are blessed. As when God individually 
blessed Adam and Eve at the first creation, yet he in them, blessed all that 
were for ever to come of them ; so Christ in blessing them, blessed us, and 
all ' that shall believe through their word,' to the end of the world. And 
that they were thus then to be considered as common persons, receiving 
this blessing for us all, appeareth by Christ's words then uttered, ' I am 
with you to the end of the world' (i. e., with you and all your successors, 
both ministers and other believers), Mat. xxviii. 20. And Christ herein did 
as God did before him. When God had done his work of creation, he 
' looked upon all he had done, and saw that it was good, and he blessed it.' 
Thus did Jesus Christ ; now that he had by that ' one offering perfected 
for ever all the elect,' he comfortably vieweth and pronounceth it perfect, 
and them blessed ; and so goes to heaven, to keep and enjoy the Sabbath of 
all there. 

(2.) Now, secondly, let us see him ascending, and see what comfort that 
will also afford our faith, towards the persuasion of justification. The 
apostles stood gazing on him ; and so do you lift up your hearts to gaze on 
* That is, ' there is something,' or 'it is not useless.' — Ed. 

Chap. II. J from Christ's ascension. 47 

him by faith, and view him in that act, as lie is passing along into heaven, 
as leading sin, hell, death, and devil in triumph, at his chariot-wheels. 
And therewith let your faith triumph, in a further evidence of justification. 
Thus, Eph. iv. 8, out of Ps. lxviii. 18, the apostle saith, ' When he ascended 
up on high, he led captivity captive ' (to which Hebraism the Latin phrase, 
vineere victoriam, to win a victory, doth answer): then he led captive all our 
spiritual enemies, that would have captived us, they being now captived. 
Now leading of captives is always after a perfect victory. And therefore, 
whereas at his death he had conquered them, at his rising scattered them, 
now at his ascension he leads them captive. And so that Psalm in the 
type begins, ver. 1, 'Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered, let 
them flee before him ;' so at his resurrection they did. And then he 
ascends in triumph (as here) in token of victory, ' he is ascended up on 
high,' ver. 18. He ascends, as David after his victory, up to Mount Sion 
(for the celebrating of which that Psalm seems to have been made by David), 
whereof this was the intended type. 

And two actus triwnphales, triumphing acts there were, here mentioned : 
[1.] Leading the captives bound to his chariot- wheels ; as the manner of 
the Roman triumph was, when the conqueror went up to the Capitol ; and 
other heathens in David's time ; as Achilles led Hector captive, who tied 
his feet to his chariot- wheels, and dragged him dead round about the walls of 
Troy, Now thus did Christ then deal w T ith our sins and all other enemies. 

[2.j The second act is casting abroad of gilts, ' He gave gifts to men.' 
It was the custom at their triumphs to cast new coins (missilia) abroad 
among the multitude ; so doth Christ throw the greatest gifts for the good 
of men, that ever were given. Therefore, ' who shall condemn ?' Sins and 
devils are not only dead, but triumphed over. Compare with this that other 
place, Col. ii. 15, 'Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a 
show of them openly, triumphing over them in himself.' So I read it, and 
the Gi'eek bears it, and so it is in the margin varied. It is a manifest allu- 
sion unto the manner of triumphs after victories among the Romans, even 
unto two of the most notable parts thereof : the first, of spoiling the enemy 
upon the place, ere they stirred out of the field ; and this was done by 
Christ on the cross. ' Having spoiled them ' first, as ver. 14 hath it. He 
speaks it of the devils, our enemies and accusers ; they had all God's threat- 
enings in his law, and the ceremonial law (the bond for our debt unto the 
moral law) to shew for it ; in these lay the power of the devil over us, that 
he could boldly come to God and accuse us, and sue our bond. And there- 
fore, Heb. ii. 14, he is said to have ' the power of death.' Now Christ 
first took away all his power, and spoiled him of all his ensigns, weapons, 
and colours ; which he did on the place where the battle was fought, namely, 
on the cross ; and ' nailed our bond ' thereto, and, having paid the debt, 
left the bond cancelled, ere he stirred off the cross. But then, having thus 
spoiled these enemies on the cross, he further makes a public triumphal 
show of them in his own person, which is a second act ; as the manner of 
the Roman emperors was, in their great triumphs, to ride through the city 
in the greatest state, and have all the spoils carried before them, and the 
kings and nobles whom they had taken they tied to their chai'iots, and led 
them as captives. And this did Christ at his ascension (for of his triumph- 
ing at his ascension I take this triumph in this epistle to the Colossians to 
be understood, and so to be interpreted by that fore-cited 4th of the Ephe- 
sians) ; he plainly manifesting by this public open show of them at his 
ascension, that he had spoiled and fully subdued them on the cross. That 


which hath diverted interpreters from thinking this of Col. ii. to have been 
the triumph of his ascension hath been this, that the triumph is said to 
have been made sv durui, which they interpret ' in /'/,' as if it referred to the 
cross (mentioned ver. 14), as the place of it ; whenas it may as well be 
translated ' in himself,' i. e., ' in his own power and strength,' noting how 
he alone did this, which other conquerors do not : they conquer not in 
themselves, and by themselves, which Christ did. And yet it was the law, 
that if the Roman emperors or generals themselves took anything in war, 
they had a peculiar honour to dedicate it in triumph more peculiarly. Now 
Christ conquered in himself, and therefore triumphed in himself, and him- 
self alone. And thus it became our Redeemer (like another Samson) not 
only to break sin's bars, and fling off hell-gates, and come out of that prison 
he was in ; but, as in sign of a trophy, to take them on his back, and carry 
them up the hill, as Samson (the type of him) did the gates of the city to 
an high hill, himself triumphantly carrying them on his own shoulders. 

Now did Christ then, who was your Surety, thus triumph ? Then let 
your faith triumph likewise ; for this was not only done by your Surety, but 
in your stead ; seeing this for us here is to be put to each thing mentioned. 
The apostle calls for this at our hands here. ' We are more than con- 
querors,' says he, ver. 37. 

(3.) Then, thirdly, see him entering into heaven : when he comes first 
to court after this great undertaking, how doth God look on him ? Is God 
satisfied with what he hath done ? As, you know, when a general comes 
home, there useth to be great observing how the king takes his service, as 
performed according to commission. Christ as a Surety undertook for 
sinners fully to conquer all our enemies ; and God bade him look that he did 
it perfectly, or never see his face more, Heb. v. 8, 9. He was to be ' perfect 
through sufferings,' and those sufferings to be such as ' to perfect' us also, 
Heb. x. 14. Now, behold, your Surety is like a conqueror entered heaven : 
let that convince you that he hath satisfied the debt, and performed his 
commission to a tittle. God would never have suffered him to come thither 
else ; but as soon as ever his head had peeped into heaven, have sent him 
down again to perform the rest. But God lets him enter in, and he comes 
boldly and confidently, and God lets him stay there. Therefore be con- 
vinced that he hath given God full satisfaction. Christ himself useth this 
argument, as the strongest that could be brought to ' convince the world ' 
that this righteousness (which he had in his doctrine taught them) was the 
righteousness which men were only to be saved by, the true righteousness 
of God indeed. Johnxvi. 9, 10, He ' shall convince the world of righteous- 
ness ;' that is, work faith in the hearts of men, to believe and lay hold on 
my righteousness, as the true righteousness that God hath ordained ; and 
this ' because (says he) I go to my Father, and you shall see me no more.' 
That is, by this argument and evidence it is and shall be evinced, that I 
who undertook to satisfy for sin, and to procure a perfect righteousness, 
have perfectly performed it ; and that it is a righteousness which God's 
justice doth accept of, to save sinners by ; in that I, after my death, and 
finishing this work, will ascend up to my Father, into heaven, and keep 
my standing there, and you shall see me no more : whereas, if I had not 
fulfilled all righteousness, and perfectly satisfied God, you may be sure 
there would be no going to heaven for me, nor remaining there. God 
would send me down again, to do the rest, and you should certainly see 
me with shame sent back again ; but ' I go to heaven, and you shall see 
me no more.' 

Chap. III.! from ohbist's bitting at god's bight band. 49 


Shewing what evidence also Christ's sitting at God's right hand, having been 
our Surety, affords i<> our faiih for justification. 

2. Now then, in the next place, for his being or sitting at God's right 
hand, which is the second particular to be spoken of. As soon as Christ 
was earned into heaven, look, as all the angels fell down and worshipped 
him, so his Father welcomed him, with the highest grace that ever yet was 
shewn. The words which he then spake we have recorded, Ps. ex., 'Sit 
thou at ruy right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.' You may 
by the way observe, for the illustration of this, how upon all the several 
parts of performance of his office, either God is brought in speaking to 
Christ, or Christ to his Father. Thus, when he chose him first to be our 
Mediator, he takes an oath, ' Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of 
Melchisedec' Again, when Christ came to take upon him our nature, 'the 
words he spake are recorded, ' Lo, I come to do thy will, a body hast thou 
fitted me :' so Heb. x. 5, out of the 40th Psalm. Likewise, when he hung 
upon the cross, his words unto God are recorded, Ps. xxii. 1, 'My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?' In like manner, when he rose 
again, God's words used then to him are recorded, ' Thou art my Son, this 
day have I begotten thee,' Ps. ii. (which place is expounded of the resur- 
rection, Acts xiii. 33), which is as much as if he had said, Thou never 
appearedst like my Son till now ; for whereas I chose a Son to be glorified 
with power and majesty, hitherto thou hast appeared only as ' a son of 
man ' (Enosh, sorry man) ; hitherto thou hast been made sin, and a curse ; 
not like my Son, but hast appeared ' in the likeness of sinful flesh,' and of 
' a servant,' all besmeared with blood ; therefore this is the first day wherein 
I make account ' I have begotten thee ;' even now, when thou first begin- 
nest to appear out of that sinful hue and likeness of sinful flesh : now I 
own thee for my Son indeed. And in him he owned us all thus at his 
resurrection. And then, last of all, when he comes into heaven, the first 
word God speaks to him is, Son, ' sit thou at my right hand ;' thou hast 
done all my work, and now I will do thine ; (he gives him a Quietus est) 
rest here ; ' sit here, till I make all thy enemies thy footstool.' 

And now, what say you, are ye satisfied yet, that God is satisfied for 
your sins? What superabundant evidence must this Christ's sitting at 
God's right hand give to a doubting heart ? It argues, first, that Christ, 
for his part, hath perfectly done his work ; and that there is no more left 
for him to do by way of satisfaction. This the word sitting implies. Se- 
condly, it argues that" God is as fully satisfied on his part: this his sitting 
at God's right hand implies. 

(1.) For the first; the phrase of sitting doth betoken rest, when work is 
fulfilled and finished. Christ was not to return till he had accomplished his 
work, Heb. x. 11. The apostle comparing the force and excellency of 
Christ's sacrifice, with those of the priests of the old law, says, that ' those 
priests stood daily offering of sacrifices, which can never take sins away.' 
Their standing implied that they could never make satisfaction, so as to say, 
' we have finished it.' But Christ (says he, ver. 12), ' after he had offered 
up one sacrifice for ever, sat down,' &c. Mark how he opposeth their 
standing to his sitting down. He sat as one who bad done his work. 
Thus, Heb. iv. 10, « he that is entered into his rest '—speaking of Christ, 
vol. rv. D 

50 Tin: triumph of faith [Sect. IV. 

as I have elsewhere shewn — ' hath ceased from his work, as God from 

(2.) Secondly, this, his being at God's right hand, as strongly argues that 
God is satisfied; for if God had not been infinitely well pleased with him, 
he would never have let him come so near him, much less have advanced 
him so high as his right hand. And, therefore, in that place even now 
cited (Heb. x. ver. 10, 11, 12, compai'ed with the former verses), this is 
alleged as an evidence that Christ had ' for ever taken sins away' (which 
those priests of the law could not do, who therefore ' often offered the same 
sacrifice,' as ver. 11). That ' this man, after he had offered one sacrifice 
for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God,' as thereby shewing 
(and that most manifestly) that he had at that once offered up such a satis- 
factory sacrifice as had pleased God for ever ; and thereupon took up his 
place at God's right hand as an evidence of it ; so possessing the highest 
place in court. This setting him at God's right hand, is a token of special 
and highest favour. So kings, whom they were most pleased with, they did 
set at their right hands, as Solomon did his mother, 1 Kings ii. 19 ; and so 
Christ, the church his queen, Ps. xlv. 9, and it was a favour which God 
never after vouchsafed to any, Heb. i. 13. ' To which of all the angels did 
he say, Sit thou at my right hand?' Therefore, Phil. ii. 9, it is not only 
said that he ' exalted him,' but, superexaltavit , ' he highly exalted him,' so 
as never any was exalted ; for he was ' made thereby higher thar. the 
heavens.' Thus much for the first head. 


Demonstrates, in the second place, what influence Christ's ascension hath in a 
believer's non-condemnation, upon that second premised consideration of 
Christ's being a common x>erson for us. — The security that faith may have 
from thence. 

We have thus seen what triumphing evidence and demonstration, both 
Christ's ascension and sitting at God's right hand, do afford us for this, 
that Christ being considered as our Surety, hath therefore undoubtedly sub- 
dued our enemies and sins, and satisfied God. Let us now consider further, 
what force, efficacy, and influence these two (both his ascending and sitting 
at God's right hand as an head and common person for us) have in them 
towards the assured working and accomplishment of the salvation of be- 
lievers, his elect. And from the consideration of this, which is a second 
head, our faith may be yet further confirmed and strengthened in its confi- 
dence. ' Who shall condemn ? It is Christ that is at God's right hand.' 
I shall take in (as in the former) both his ascension and sitting at God's 
right hand. 

1. And first for his ascending ; consider these two things in it which may 
uphold our confidence. (1.) That the great end and purpose of that his 
ascending, the errand, the business he ascended for, was ' to prepare and 
provide a place for us,' and to make way for our coming thither. This he 
assures his disciples of, John xiv. 2, ' In my Father's house are many man- 
sions : I go to prepare a place for you ; ' as Joseph was secretly sent before 
by God's intendment to prepare a place in Egypt for his brethren, whom 
God's providence meant to bring after him, so more openly doth Christ 
ascend to heaven, professedly declaring that to be his business : ' I go to 

Cw w. IV.] from Christ's SITTING at cod's BIGHT HAND. 61 

prepare a place for you,' and it is my Father's house, saith he, where I can 
provide for you and make you welcome. You heard before, wind w< I 
God gave Christ when tie first arrived there, and what lie said to him, and 
Christ said (as it were) again to God : I come not alone, I have much com- 
pany, many of my brethren and followers to come after (for it was the 
declared and avowed end of his coming to prepare a place for them), I 
prayed when I was on earth, ' that where I am they might be also,' John 
xvii. 24 ; and now I am come hither, my train must come in too, I am not 
complete without them; if you receive me you must receive them also, and 
I am come to take up lodgings for them. Thus the Captain of our salva- 
tion, being ' made perfect through sufferings,' and then ' crowned with glory 
and honour,' in ' bringing of many sons to glory,' as Heb. ii. 10, of which 
company he was Captain, is brought in saying to God, vcr. 13, ' Behold I 
and the children which God hath given me,' he speaks it when brought to 
glory. I am their Captain, and they must follow me ; where I am they 
must be. Lo ! I am here, and am not to come alone, but to bring to glory 
all the children which thou hast given me. They shall be all welcome 
(says God), there is room enough for them, ' many mansions ;' so that we 
need not fear, nor say in our hearts doubting and despairing, ' Who shall 
ascend up to heaven for us,' to bring us thither? (as Rom. x. G). Christ 
hath done it ; that is the first thing, but that is not all. 

(2.) He entered into heaven in our very names, and so is to be con- 
sidered in that act as a common person (as well as in his death and resurrec- 
tion), and so representing us, and also taking possession in our right, and 
we in him, as a guardian takes possession for heirs under age. Heb. vi. 20, 
' The forerunner is for us entered' into heaven ; ' the forerunner for us,' that 
is, our forerunner. A forerunner is a forerunner of followers, and of such 
as stay not long behind, and usually goes before as a harbinger, to provide 
and take up lodgings for them that are to come, and writes the names of 
those who are to come over the doors of such and such rooms, that they 
may not be taken up by any other. And so, Heb. xii. 23, the names of 
' the first-born' are said to be ' written in heaven,' or enrolled there ; and, 
1 Pet. i. 4, their places or mansions in heaven are said to be ' reserved for 
them ; ' they stand empty as it were, yet taken up, so as none shall take 
them from them ; their names and titles to them being entered and super- 
scribed. And so he truly entered, pro nobis, for us, that is, in our stead 
and in our names, as a common person ; and therefore the high priest (in 
the t.ype) entered into the holy of holies, with all the names of the tribes on 
his breast ; even so doth Christ with ours, even as a common person in 
our names, thereby shewing" that we are likewise to come after him ; and 
this is more than simply to prepare a place, it is to take possession of a 
place, and give us a right thereto. 

So that your faith, through this consideration, may see yourselves as good 
as in heaven already ; for Christ is entered as a common person for you. 
Justification hath two parts : first, acquittance from sin and freedom from 
condemnation, as here, 'Who shall condemn ? ' and secondly, 'justifica- 
tion of life,' as it is called, Rom. v. 18, that is, which gives title to eternal 
life. Now dying and rising as a common person for us, procures the first, 
sets us perfectly enough in' that state of freedom from condemnation. But 
then, this Christ, his entering into heaven as a common person, sets us far 
above that state of non-condemnation. It placeth us in heaven with him. 
You would think yourselves secure enough if you were ascended into heaven. 
As Heman said of his condition, that he was ' free among the dead,' Ps. 


lxxxviii. 5, that is, he reckoned himself (in his despair) free of the company 
in hell, as well as if he had been there ; thinking his name enrolled among 
them and his place taken up. So you may ' reckon yourselves' (as the 
word is, Rom. vi.) free of the company of heaven, and your places taken 
up there ; so that when you come to die, you shall go to heaven as to your 
own place, by as true a title, though not of your own, as Judas went to 
hell, which is called ' his own place,' as (Acts i.) the apostle speaks. What 
a start is this ! How far have you left below you pardon of sins and non- 
condemnation ! You are got above. How securely may you say, ' Who shall 
condemn ? ' Christ hath ascended and entered into heaven. This is the 
first branch of the second head : the influence that Christ's ascension hath 
into our justification and salvation. 


Demonstrateth in like manner what influence Christ's sitting at God's right hand 
hath into our justification, upon that second consideration of his being a 
common person. And the security faith may have from thence. 

The consideration of his sitting at God's right hand may, in respect of 
the influence that it must needs have into our salvation, yet add more 
security unto our faith, if we either consider the power and authority of 
the place itself, and what it is to sit at God's right hand ; or secondly, the 
relation, the person he bears and sustains in his sitting there, even of a 
common person in our right. And both these being put together will add 
strength mutually each to other, and unto our faith ; both to consider how 
great a prerogative it is to sit at God's right hand, and what such a one as 
sits there hath power to do ; and then that Christ (who is invested with 
this power, and advanced to it), he possesseth it all as our head, and in our 
right, as a common person representing us. And 

(1.) Consider the prerogatives of the place itself; they are two : 

[1.] Sovereignty otj>oiver, and might, and majesty. 

[2. J Sovereignty of authority and judgment ; cither of which may secure 
us ft'om non-condemnation. 

[1.] Sovereignty of power and might ; this the phrase ' sitting at God's 
right hand' implies, Mat. xxvi. 64, where Christ himself expounded the 
purport of it : ' Hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right 
hand of power.' And so, Ephes. i. 20, 22, this is made the privilege of 
God's ' setting him at his right hand,' ver. 20, that ' he hath put all things 
under his feet,' ver 22 — a phrase importing the highest sovereignty and 
power, not used of any creatures, angels, or men ; none of them have other 
things under their feet i.e., in so low a subjection as to be their vassals ; 
especially, not all things ; and therefore by that very phrase, ' the putting 
all things under his feet,' the apostle argues in Heb. ii., that that man of 
Avhom David in the 8th Psalm (there cited by him) had spoken, was no other 
but Christ ; not Adam, nor the angels, for to neither of these hath God 
subjected all things, ver. 5, but to Christ only, ver. 8, who sits in the 
highest throne of majesty. And to make his seat the easier, hath a world 
of enemies made his footstool, even all his enemies (so Ps. ex.) ; which is 
the highest triumph in the world. Now to what end hath God committed 
this power to him, but that himself may be his own executor, and adminis- 
trator, and perform all the legacies which he made to those whom he died 

Chap. V. fbom Christ's bitting at god's mght hand. 58 

for? As the expression is, Heb. ix. 15th, 16th, and 17th verses, that none of 
his heirs might be wronged. Fairer dealing than this could there ever be, 
nor greater security given to us. This to have bees God's very end of 
investing Christ with this sovereign power, is declared by Christ himself, 
John xvii. 2, ' Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should 
give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.' And accordingly at 
his ascension, to comfort his disciples, in the fruit of their ministry, -Mat. 
xxviii. 18, he says, ' All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.' 
What holy confidence may this breed in us ! He is at God's right hand, 
and we are in his hands, John x. 28, and all his enemies are under his 
feet, who then can pull us out ? Rev. i. 18, says Christ, ' I have the keys 
of hell and death.' The key is still in the Scripture phrase the ensign of 
power and authority. Now Christ hath both the keys of death, the postern 
gate out of this world, and of hell, even of the broad gates of that eternal 
prison ; so as none of his can be fetched out of this world by death, but 
Christ he must first open the door ; much less can any go to hell without 
his warrant. Yea, Mat. xvi. 19, he hath ' the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven' also, to open to wdiom he will. By his resurrection, we may see 
and rest assured that he hath the keys of death and hell (for he unlocked 
the doors, and came out from thence), and by his ascension and sitting at 
God's right hand, that he hath the keys of heaven, whose door he hath 
unlocked, and now set open. What need we then fear hell, when Christ 
our Redeemer hath the keys of it '? 

[2.] Secondly, to sit at God's right hand, imports all judgment to be 
committed to him ; for sitting was a posture of judges ; a phrase used to 
note out their authority. So Prov. xx. 8, ' A king that sitteth on the 
throne of judgment, scattereth the wicked with his eye;' and so doth Christ 
his and our enemies. See what Christ says, John v. 21, 22, ' The Son of man 
raiseth up whom he will ; for the Father judgeth no man, but hath com- 
mitted all judgment to the Son.' Now if he who loved us so, and died for 
us, be the Judge himself, then, ' Who shall condemn?' Christ sits on God's 
right hand. This is the very inference that after followeth, ver. 24, of that 
5th chapter of John, ' He that believes shall not eome into condemnation.' 
Christ utters it upon his having said he had all judgment committed to him, 
in the foregoing, ver. 22, on purpose that he might from that consideration 
ascertain believers of their non- condemnation. For what need w r e fear any 
under-officers, when we have the Judge thus for us ? 

(2.) But then, in the last place, add that second particular mentioned to 
all these, that Christ sits there as an head, as a common person for us. 
First as an head ; so Eph. i., when the apostle had so hyperbolically set 
forth his power, of being advanced unto God's right hand, ver. 21, ' far 
above all principalities and powers, and above every name that is named, 
not only in this world, but that which is to come ; ' and how God ' hath 
put all things under his feet ; ' he adds, ' and hath given him to be head 
over all things to the church.' Observe now, he is said to sit there over 
all things, not in his own pure personal right simply, as it is his inheritance, 
as he is the Son of God (as Heb. i. 3, 4, 5, it is affirmed of him), but he 
sits thus over all as ahead to the church. That same over all things comes, 
in there, between his being a head, and to the churchy on purpose to shew 
that he is set over all, in relation to his church. So that we see that our rela- 
tion is involved, and our right included, in this exaltation of his, and so put 
into his commission; for this prerogative is there said to be given him. He 
sits not simply as a Son, but as an head ; and he sits not as an head with- 


out a body, and therefore must have bis members up to him. Wherefore 
in the next verse it is added, ' which is his body, yea, his fulness ; ' so as 
Christ is not complete without all his members, and would leave heaven if 
any one were wanting. It were a lame, maimed body, if it wanted but a 
toe. Christ is our element,* and he being ascended, we are sparks that fly 
upwards to him. He took our flesh, and carried it into heaven, and left 
us his Spirit on earth, and both as pawns and earnests that we should follow. 

Nay, further yet, he is not only said to sit as our head, but we are also 
said ' to sit together with him.' That is made the upshot of all in the next 
chapter, Eph. ii. 0. So that as we arose with him, he being considered as 
a common person, and ascended with him, as was said ; so yet further, we 
' sit together with him in the highest heavens' (as there), h roTg emvgavioig, 
in superccelestibus, ' in his exalted estate above the heavens,' as is the meaning 
of that phrase ; not that Christ being at God's right hand (if taken for that 
sublimity of power) is communicable to us ; that is Christ's prerogative 
only. So Heb. i. 5, ' To which of all the angels did he ever say, Sit thou 
at my right hand ? ' Yet so as his sitting in heaven, as it is indefinitely 
expressed, is understood to be as in our right and stead, and as a common 
person, and so is to assure us of our sitting there with him, in our pro- 
portion; so, Rev. hi. 21, it is expressly rendered as the mind and intend- 
ment of it, ' Him that overcometh, I will grant to sit with me in my 
throne, even as I also am set down with my Father in his throne.' There 
is a proportion observed, though with an inequality ; we sit on Christ's 
throne, but he only on his Father's throne ; that is, Christ only sits at 
God's right hand, but we, on Christ's right hand ; and so the church is 
said to be at Christ's ' right hand,' Ps. xlv. 9. Yea, further (and it may 
afford a farther comfort to us in the point in hand), this represents, 
that at the latter day we shall sit as assessors on his judgment-seat, 
to judge the world with him. So Mat. xix. 28, and Luke xxii. 30, ' When 
the Son of man shall sit in his glory, ye shall sit upon twelve thrones, 
judging the tribes of Israel.' So as this our sitting with him, it is spoken 
in respect to judgment, and to giving the sentence of it ; not a sentence 
shall pass without your votes. So as you may by faith not only look on 
yourselves as already in heaven, sitting with Christ, as a common person, 
in your right, but you may look upon yourselves as judges also; so that if 
any sin should arise to accuse or condemn, yet it must be with your votes. 
And what greater security can you have than this ? For you must con- 
demn yourselves, if you be condemned ; you may very well say, ' Who shall 
accuse ? Who shall condemn '? ' for you will never pronounce a fatal 
sentence upon your own selves. 

As then Paul triumphed here, so may we ; for at the present we sit in 
heaven with Christ, and have all our enemies under our feet. As Joshua made 
his servants set their feet on the necks of those five kings ; so God would have 
us by faith to do the like to all ours ; for one day we shall do it. And if 
you say, We see it not, I answer, as Heb. ii., the apostle saith of Christ 
himself, ' Now we see not yet all things put under him,' ver. 8., now not 
under him, for he now sits in heaven, and expects, by faith, when his 
enemies shall be made his footstool, as Heb. x. 12th and 13th verses ; ' but 
we see ' for the present ' Jesus crowned with glory and honour,' ver. 9, and 
so may be sure that the thing is as good as done ; and we may, in seeing 

* The reference is to the old idea of the four elements occupying their several 
places, one above the other ; which was supposed to be the reason why stones fall, 
and rivers run into the sea. and flames rise. — Ed. 

Chap. V.] from Christ's BITTING at cod's bight hand. £>,> 

him thus crowned, see ourselves sitting with him, and quietly wait and 
expect, as Christ himself doth, till all be accomplished, and our sal . 
finished and fully perfected. 

His intercession now remains only to be spoken of, which yet will a 'lord 
further considerations to strengthen our faith. His sitting at God's right 
hand notes out his power over all, from God ; but his intercession, all 
power and favour with God for us ; so as to effect our salvation for us, 
with God's highest contentment and good will, and all yet further to secure 
us. ' Who shall condemn '? ' &o. 



Who also maketh intercession for us. — Rom. VIII. 34. 


A connection of this ivith the former ; and how this adds a further support. — 
Two things out of the text propounded to be handled : First, the con- 
currency of influence that Christ's intercession hath into our salvation. 
Secondly, the security that faith may have therefrom for our justification. 

We have seen Christ sitting at God's right hand as a judge and king, 
having all authority of saving or condemning in his own hands ; and having 
all power in heaven and earth to give eternal life to them that believe ; and 
the confidence that this giveth us. 

Let us now come to his intercession, and the influence which it hath into 
our justification and salvation ; which as it strikes the last stroke to make 
all sure, so as great a stroke as any of the former ; therefore, as you have 
heard that there was an all- sufficiency in his death — ' Who shall condemn? 
It is Christ that died' — a rather in his resurrection — ' yea rather, is risen 
again' — a much rather [toaXw paWov], that he lives and is at God's right 
hand, Rom. v. 10. The apostle riseth yet higher to an g/g to wavTgXsg, ' a 
saving to the utmost,' put upon his intercession; Heb. vii. 25, ' Wherefore 
he is able to save to the utmost, seeing he ever lives to make intercession.' 
So that if you could suppose there were anything which none of all the 
former three could do or effect for us, yet his intercession could do it to the 
utmost, for itself is the uttermost and highest. If money would purchase 
our salvation, his death hath done it, which he laid down as a price and an 
equivalent ransom (as it is in 1 Tim. ii. G). If power and authority would 
effect it, his sitting at God's right hand, invested with all power in heaven 
and earth, shall be put forth to the utmost to effect it. If favour and 
entreaties added to all these (which ofttimes doth as much as any of those 
other) were needful, he will use the utmost of this also, and for ever make 
intercession. So that if love, money, or power (any of them, or all of them) 
will save us, we shall be sure to be saved, ' saved to the utmost,' tig rh 
KavrsXis, all manner of ways, by all manner of means; saved over and over. 

For the clearing of this last general head, the intercession of Christ, and 
the influence and security it hath into our faith and justification, I shall 
handle two things, and both proper to the text. 

1. First, shew how unto all those other forementioned acts of Christ for 
us, this of intercession also is to be added by him for the effecting our 

Chap. II.] from Christ's intercession. 57 

salvation, and the securing our hearts therein. This that particle also in 
the text calls for, ' Who also maketh intercession for us.' 

2. Then secondly, to shew the security that faith may assume and fetch 
from this intercession of Christ, or his praying for us in heaven ; ' Who 
shall condemn ? It is Christ that maketh intercession for us.' 


The first head explained by two things : First, Intercession one part of Christ's 
priesthood, and the most excellent part of it. 

1. Towards the explanation of the first of these, two things arc to be 

(1.) First, To shew how great, and necessary, and how excellent a part 
of Christ's priesthood his intercession and praying for us in heaven is. 

(2.) Secondly, To shew the peculiar influence that intercession hath into 
our salvation, and so the reasons for which God ordained this work of inter- 
cession for us, and that in heaven, to be added to all the former. 

(1.) For the first I will proceed therein by degrees. 

[1.] It is one part of his priesthood. You must know that Christ is not 
entered into heaven simply as a ' forerunner' (which hath been explained) 
to take up places for you, but as a priest also : ' made a priest, after the 
order of Melchisedec,' which is more than simply a forerunner. Yea, his 
sitting at God's right hand is not only as a king armed with power and 
authority to save us, but he sits there as a priest too : Thus, Heb. viii. 1, 
1 We have such an High Priest, who is set down at the right hand of the 
Majesty on high.' 

In the old Levitical priesthood, the high priest's office had two parts, 
both which concurred to make them high priests. 

First, Oblation, or offering the sacrifice. 

Secondly, Presentation of it in the holy of holies, with prayer and inter- 
cession unto God, to accept it for the sins of the people. The one was 
done without, the other within the holy of holies. This you see in many 
places, especially Lev. xvi. 11, 15, 16, where you have the law about the 
high priest's entering into the holy of holies ; he was not to come into the 
holy place till first he had offered a sacrifice for himself and the people, 
ver. 11 and 15, and this without. Then, secondly, when he had killed it, 
he was to enter with the blood of it into the holy of holies, and sprinkle the 
mercy-seat therein with it, ver. 14, 17, and to go with incense, and cause 
a cloud to arise over the mercy-seat. And this you have also, Heb. xiii. 11, 
it is said, that ' the blood of those beasts that were burnt without the camp 
was brought into the sanctuary by the high priest ; and in that 16th of 
Leviticus you shall find the atonement made as well by the blood, when 
brought into the holy place, ver. 16, as by the killing of the beast, ver. 11. 
Both these were acts of the high priesthood for atonement. 

And this was done in a type and* priestly office of Christ, and the parts 
thereof. So, Heb. ix. 23, he calls all those transactions under the ceremo- 
nial law, ' the patterns of things heavenly ;' instancing in this part of 
Christ's office, ver. 24, ' For Christ,' says he, ' is not entered into the holy 
places made with hands,' as that was, ' which are the figures of the true, 
but into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us.' Now, 
* Qu. ' of the ? -En. 


then, in answer to this type, there are two distinct parts of Christ's priest- 

First, The ' offering himself a sacrifice' up to death, as Heb. ix. 26, which 
answers to the killing of the sacrifice without the holy of holies ; for 
answerably he was crucified without the city, Heb. xiii. 12. 

Secondly, He carried this his blood into the holy of holies, namely, the 
heavens, Heb. ix. 12, where he appears, ver. 24, and there also prays in 
the force of that blood. And the type of those prayers was that cloud of 
incense made by the high priest ; so it is expressly interpreted, Rev. viii. 
3, &c. The angel Christ is said to have had ' much incense to offer with 
the pra} T ers of all the saints.' Which incense is his own prayers in heaven, 
which he continually puts up when the saints pray on earth, and so per- 
fumes all their prayers, and procures all blessings for them. 

Both these parts of his priesthood the apostle John mentions in his first 
Epistle, chap. ii. ver. 2, where, as he calls Jesus Christ a ' propitiation for 
our sins ' (that is, an oblation or sacrifice offered up for us) ; so likewise he 
calls him our advocate, both going to make up this his office. And, indeed, 
this latter of intercession, and bringing his blood into the holy of holies 
(or heaven), is but the same action continued. That blood which he 
offered with tears and strong cries on the cross, where he likewise inter- 
ceded, the same blood he continues virtually to offer up with prayers in the 
heavens, and makes atonement by both, only with this difference ; on earth, 
though he interceded, yet he more eminently offered up himself; in heaven, 
he more eminently intercedes, and doth but present that offering. 

[2.] Secondly, this was so necessary a part of his priesthood, that with- 
out it he had not been a complete priest. Thus, Heb. viii. 4, ' If he were 
on earth he should not be a priest ;' that is, if he should have abode on 
earth he should not have been a complete priest. Paul saith not, that if 
he had offered that his sacrifice on earth, he had not been a priest, for that 
was necessary ; but that if he had staid still on earth, after he had offered 
it, he had not been a priest, that is, a perfect priest ; for he had then left 
his office imperfect, and had done it but by halves, seeing this other part 
of it (the work of intercession) lay still upon him to be acted in heaven. 
Thus the high priest, his type, if he had only offered sacrifice without the 
holy of holies, had not been a perfect high priest ; for to enter into the holy 
of holies, and to act the part of a priest there, was the proper, pecidiar 
Avork of the high priest as such. Which shews, that Christ had not been 
an high priest if he had not gone to heaven, and priested it there too, as I 
may so speak, as well as upon earth. Yea, if Christ had not gone to 
heaven, and were not now become a priest there, then the Levitical priest- 
hood were still in force, and should share the honour with him ; and the 
high priest must continue still to go into the holy of holies. To this pur- 
pose you may observe, that so long as Christ was on earth, though risen, 
the types of the law held in force, and were not to give way, till all the 
truth signified by their ministry was fully accomplished ; and so, not until 
Christ was gone into heaven as a priest, and there had begun to do all 
that which the high priest had clone in the holy of holies, and as his type 
fore-signified. And this is plainly the meaning of what follows (in that 
Heb. viii. ver. 4) as the reason or demonstration why that Christ should 
not have been a priest, if he had not gone to heaven, not only as a king, 
but as a priest too, as he had affirmed, ver. 1, 'Seeing,' says he, 'that 
there are priests upon earth that do offer gifts according to the law.' The 
force of the reason lies thus : there arc already priests, and that of a tribe 

Chap. II. J fbom chbist's intercession. r>9 

he was not of, that offer gifts on cavth, hefore he came into the world. 
And, therefore, if that had been all his priesthood, to be a priest on earth, 
they would plead possession before him, having been priests before him. 
And then he further backs his reason by this, that ' those priests served' 
(as it follows, ver. 5), ' unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.' 
And, therefore, it is only a real priesthood in heaven which must put them 
out of place ; and till such a priesthood comes, they must serve still, for 
the truth, which these serve to shadow out, is not till then fulfilled. This 
you have also, chap. ix. 8. The ' first tabernacle' was to stand until a 
priest went into heaven, and did act that office there ; so that, if Christ 
will be a priest alone, he must become a priest interceding in heaven ; 
or else high priests must come up again, and share that oltice with him ; 
and so he should as good as fall from his office, and lose all that he had 

[3.] Yea, thirdly, this part of his priesthood is of the two the more emi- 
nent, yea, the top, the height of his priesthood. And this is held forth to 
us in the types of both those two orders of priesthood that were before 
him, and figures of him, both that of Aaron and Melchisedec : First, This 
was typified out in that Levitical priesthood of Aaron and his fellows : the 
highest service of that office was the going into the holy of holies, and 
making an atonement there ; yea, this was the height of the high priest's 
honour, that he did this alone, and did constitute the difference between 
him, as he was high priest, and other priests ; for they killed and offered 
the sacrifices without as well as he, every ordinary priest did that ; but 
none but the high priest was to approach the holy of holies with blood, and 
this but once a-year. Thus, Heb. ix. 6, 7, ' the priests,' namely those 
inferior priests, ' went always,' that is, daily, morning and evening, ' into 
the first tabernacle,' or court of priests, which was without the holy of 
holies, 'accomplishing the service of God;' namely, that offering of the 
daily sacrifice ; ' but into the second,' namely, the holy of holies, ' went 
the high priests alone every year.' So, then, this was that high and trans- 
cendent prerogative of that high priest then, and which indeed made him 
high priest ; and answerably the height of our high priest's office, — 
although he alone also could offer a satisfactory sacrifice, as the apostle 
shews, Heb. ix. and x., — yet comparatively lay in this, that he entered 
into the heavens by his blood, and is set down on the majesty on high, 
and in the virtue of his sacrifice there doth intercede. I know but one 
place that calleth him the ' Great High Priest' (higher before than Aaron), 
and that is Heb. iv. 14, 10. And then it is in this respect that he is 
' passed into the heavens,' as it follows there. 

Secondly, The excellency of this part of his priesthood was likewise typi- 
fied out by Melchisedec's priesthood, which the apostle argueth to have 
been much more excellent than that of Aaron's, inasmuch as Levi, Aaron's 
father, paid tithes to this Melchisedec in Abraham's loins. Now Melchi- 
sedec was his type, not so much in respect of his oblation, or offering of 
sacrifice (that work which Christ performed on earth), but in respect of that 
work which he ever performs in heaven : therefore that same clause for 
ever still comes in, in the quotation and mention of Melchisedec's priest- 
hood in that Epistle ; because in respect of that his continual interces- 
sion in heaven, Melchisedec was properly Christ's type. And accordingly 
you may observe, Ps. ex., when is it that speech comes in, ' Thou art a 
priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,' but then, when God had 
him sitting at his right hand? ver. 1. So that, as the transcendent excel- 


lency of Christ's priesthood was typified out by Melchisedec's rather than 
Aaron's, as being the better priesthood of the two, so this, the most 
excellent part thereof, was typified out thereby, namely, that which Christ 
for ever acteth in heaven. 

And, thirdly, to confirm this, you shall find this to be made the top 
notion of this Epistle to the Hebrews, and the scope of it chiefly, to discourse 
of Christ's eternal priesthood in heaven, and to shew how therein Melchi- 
sedec was a type of him. This is not only expressed both in Heb. vii. 21 
and 25, where this same for ever is applied to his intercession, ver. 25, but 
more expressly in chap. viii. 1, where the apostle puts the emphasis upon 
this part of his priesthood, saying, that ' of the things which we have 
spoken,' — or which are to be spoken, for the word evi roT; Xsyofi&oie will 
bear either, — ; this is,' says he, ' the sum or argument' of all : the word is 
■/.■:d'/.uiov, and signifies as well the head, the chief, the top of all, and above 
all, as it doth the sum of all. And what is it that he thus professeth to be 
both the main subject and argument of this epistle, and the top and emi- 
nent thing in Christ he intends to discourse of? It follows, that ' we have 
such an high priest as is set down at the right hand of the throne of the 
Majesty in the heavens.' And of the priestly office he alone discourseth both 
before and after ; and in the following verses calleth his ministry or office 
(in respect of this) ' a more excellent ministry,' ver. 6, ' he being such a 
priest as was higher than the heavens,' as he had set him out in the latter 
part of the former chapter. And therefore you may observe, how in his 
preface to this Epistle to the Hebrews, in chap. i. ver. 3, he holds up this 
to our eye as the argument of the whole saying, ' When he had by himself 
purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.' 

Yea, to conclude this, all his priesthood would have been ineffectual, if 
he had not acted the part of a priest in heaven, by intercession there ; for 
by his death he did but begin the execution of his office : in heaven he ends 
it ; and if he had not fulfilled his office in both, the work of our salvation 
had not been fully perfected; it was therefore as necessary as oblation 
itself. Not but that his death was a perfect oblation ; it was perfect for an 
oblation, to which as such nothing can be added. There needed no more, 
nor any other price to be paid for us ; 'by that one offering, he perfects us 
for ever,' as Heb. x. 14, and became himself perfect thereby, Heb. v. 9. 
And in the 9th chapter ver. 12, ' By his own blood he entered into the 
holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' Mark how before 
he entered by his blood into heaven, he had fully obtained a redemption, 
and that eternal, that is, for ever sufficient ; which done, he became through 
his intercession in heaven an applying cause of eternal salvation, as Heb. 
v. 10, 11, hath it. So that as in his death he paid the full sum of all he 
owed ; unto which payment nothing can be added, no not by himself, 
though he would come and die again ; it was made at that once as perfect, 
that Is, for an oblation, as ever himself could make. But yet still by God's 
ordination there remained another further action of another kind that was 
to be added to this of oblation, and that is, intercession, or praying for us 
in heaven ; otherwise our salvation by his death were not perfected ; for if 
his priesthood be imperfect, our salvation then must needs be so. The 
presenting of that his sacrifice in heaven, was the consummation of his 
priesthood, and the performance of that part there, the perfection of it. 

Chap. III.] from Christ's cntebcession. 01 


The second; the special peculiar influence that intercession hath into OUT sal ra- 
tion and justijication, and the reasons why God appointed it to he added So 
the fanner. 

2. To come now more particularly to shew that proper and special 
influence that intercession hath into our salvation, and what it adds to the 
ohlation of Christ's death, though in its kind perfect, in order to the effect- 
ing our salvation ; and to shew the more inward reasons why God ordained 
— for upon his ordination alone this is to be put — this work of intercession 
in heaven to be joined with his death. And both these I shall put pro- 
miscuously together ; for in laying down the reasons why God thus ordered 
our salvation to be brought about by it, that influence also which intercession 
hath into our salvation, will together therewith appear. 

The reasons either respect (1.) God himself, who will have us so saved 
as himself may be most glorified ; or (2.) respect us and our salvation ; 
God ordering all the links of this golden chain of the causes of our salva- 
tion, as should make our salvation most sure and stedfast, (as David in 
his last song speaks, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5). Or (8.) respect Christ himself, 
whose glory is to be held up, and throughout continued as the author and 
finisher of our salvation, beginner and ender of our faith and justification. 

(1.) The first sort of reasons respect God himself. 

[1.] In general, God will be dealt withal like himself, in and throughout 
the whole way of our salvation, from first to last, and carry it all along as 
a superior wronged, and so keep a distance between himself and sinners ; 
who still are to come to him by a priest, and a mediator (as Heb. vii. 25 
hath it) upon whose mediation and intercession ' for ever,' as there, at 
least till the day of judgment, their salvation doth depend ; and therefore 
though Christ, in his dispensation of all to us downward, doth carry it as a 
king, as one having all power to justify and condemn (as hath been shewn), 
yet upward, towards God, he carries it as a priest, who must still intercede 
to do all that which he has power to do as a king. Therefore in the second 
Psalm, after that God had set him up as ' King upon his holy hill,' ver. 6, 
namely, in heaven, and so had committed all power in heaven and earth to 
him ; then he must yet ' ask ' all that he would have done ; ' Ask of me, 
and I will give thee,' &c, ver. 8, says God to him; for though he be a 
king, yet he is God's king, ' I have set my king,' &c, and by asking him, 
God will be acknowledged to be above him. But more of this hereafcer. But 

[2.] More particularly. God hath two attributes which he would have 
most eminently appear in their highest glory by Christ's effecting our salva- 
tion, namely, justice and free grace ; and therefore hath so ordered the 
bringing about of our salvation, as that Christ must apply himself in a more 
especial manner unto each of these, by way of satisfaction to the one, of 
entreaty to the other. Justice will be known to be justice, and dealt with 
upon its own terms ; and grace will be acknowledged to be free grace, 
throughout the accomplishment of our salvation. You have both these 
joined, Bom. iii. 24, 26, ' Being justified freely through his grace, by the 
■redemption that is in Christ Jesus ; that he might be just, and the justifier 
of him that believes.' Here is highest justice and the freest grace both 
met to save us, and both ordained by God to be ' declared' and ' set forth,' 
as ver. 25 and 26 have it. I said before, that God justifies and saves us 


through free grace, so absolutely freely, as if his justice had had no satis- 
faction. Now therefore our salvation depending and being carried on, even 
in the application of it, by a continuation of grace in a free way, notwith- 
standing satisfaction unto justice, therefore this free grace must be sought 
to, and treated with like itself, and applied upon in all, and the sovereignty 
and freeness of it acknowledged in all, even as well as God's justice had 
the honour to be satisfied by a price paid upon it, that so the severity of it 
might appear and be held forth in our salvation. Thus God having two 
attributes eminently to be dealt withal, his justice and his free grace, it was 
meet that there should be two eminent actions of Christ's priesthood, 
wherein he should apply himself to each according to their kind, and as 
the nature and glory of each doth require. And accordingly in his death 
he deals with justice, by laying down a sufficient price ; and in his inter- 
cession, he entreateth free grace, and thus both come to be alike acknow- 
ledged. In Heb. iv. 1G, we are encouraged to ' come boldly to the throne 
of grace,' because ' we have an high priest entered into the heavens.' 
Observe how it is called a throne of grace, which our high priest now in 
heaven officiates at ; so called because his priesthood there deals with free 
grace chiefly, it is a throne of grace, and so to be sued unto ; therefore he 
treateth with God by way of intercession. Of this throne of grace in 
heaven, the mercy-seat in the holy of holies was the type. And as there 
the high priest was to bring the blood and mercy- seat together, he was to 
sprinkle the blood upon it, so Christ. And as the high priest was to go 
into the holy of holies by blood, so with iuceDse also, (that is, prayer), to 
shew that heaven is not opened by mere justice, or bringing only a price in 
hand for it, but by grace also, and that must be entreated ; and therefore 
when the priest was within that holy place, he was to make a cloud over 
the mercy-seat, which cloud of incense is prayer, whereof incense was the 
type, Rev. viii. 3. And thence it is, that Christ hath as much work of it 
still in heaven as ever, though of another kind. He dealt with justice here 
below, to satisfy it, and here got money enough to pay the debt ; but in 
heaven he deals with mercy. Therefore all the grace he bestows on us, he 
is said first to receive it, even now when in heaven. Acts ii. 83, it is said 
of him, after his going to heaven, and that he was exalted, &c, that he 
'received the promise of the Spirit,' which John xiv. 16, he told them he 
would ' pray for.' And this is part of the meaning of that in Ps. lxviii. 18, 
' He ascended up on high, and received gifts for men,' says the Psalmist. 
The apostle renders it, Eph. iv., 'gave,' but you see it was by 'receiving' 
them first, as fruits of his intercession and asking after his ascending. He 
is said both to give, as being all of his own purchase, and as having power 
as a king also both to do and bestow all he doth ; and yet withal he is said 
to receive all that he gives, because as a priest he intercedes for it, and asks 
it. Free grace requires this. This is the first thing. 

Yea, secondly, justice itself might stand a little upon it, though there was 
enough in Christ his death to satisfy it ; yet having been wronged, it stood 
thus far upon it, as those to whom a debt is due use to do, namely, to 
have the money brought home to God's dwelling-house, and laid down 
there. God is resolved not to stoop one whit unto man, no nor to Christ 
his suretj". Justice will not only be satisfied, and have a suilicient ransom 
collected and paid, as at Christ's death, but he must come and bring his 
bags up to heaven ; justice will be paid it upon the mercy-seat ; for so in 
the type the blood was to be carried into the holy of holies, and sprinkled 
upon the mercy-seat. And therefore his resurrection, ascension, &c, were 

Chap. III. J from ctirist's intercession. G3 

but as the breaking through all enemies, and subduing them, to the end to 
bring this price or satisfaction to the mercy- scat ; and so God having his 
money by him, might not want wherewithal to pardon sinners ; so as the 
blood of Christ is current money, not only on earth, but in heaven too, 
whither all is brought, which is for our comfort, that all the treasure which 
should satisfy God is safely conveyed thither, and our surety with it. 

(2.) The second sort of reasons why God ordained Christ's intercession 
to be joined to his death, are taken from what was the best way to effect 
and make sure our salvation, and secure our hearts therein ; and these 
reasons will shew the peculiar influence that intercession hath into our 
salvation, and therein as in the former. 

[1.] First in general, God would have our salvation made sure, and us 
saved all manner of ways, over and over. First, By ransom and price, (as 
captives are redeemed) which was done by his death, which of itself was 
enough ; for it is said, Heb. x. to ' perfect us for ever.' Secondly, By 
power and rescue ; so in his resurrection, and ascension, and sitting at 
God's right hand, which also was sufficient. Then, thirdly, again by inter- 
cession, a way of favour and entreaty ; and this likewise would have been 
enough, but God would have all ways concur in it, whereof notwithstanding 
not one could fail ; a threefold cord, whereof each twine were strong enough, 
but all together must of necessity hold. 

[2.] Secondly, the whole application of his remedy, both in justifying 
and saving of us first and last, hath a special dependence upon this his 
intercession. This all divines on all sides do attribute unto it, whilst they 
put this difference between the influence of his death, and that of his inter- 
cession into our salvation : calling his death medium impetrationis, that is, 
the means of procurement or obtaining it for us ; but his intercession medium 
applicaiionis, the means of applying all unto us. Christ purchaseth salva- 
tion by the one, but possesseth us of it by the other. Some have attributed 
the application of justification to his resurrection ; but it is much more 
proper to ascribe it to his intercession, (and what causal influence his 
resurrection hath into our justification, hath been afore in the third section 
declared). But that his eternal priesthood in heaven, and the work of its 
intercession, is the applying cause of our eternal salvation, in all the parts 
of it, first and last, seems to me to be the result of the connection of the 
8th, 9th, and 10th verses of the 5th chapter to the Hebrews. For having 
spoken of his obedience and sufferings unto death, ver. 8, and how he 
thereby was made perfect, ver. 9, he says, 'and being' thus first 'made 
perfect, he became the author' or applying cause, ainog, ' of eternal salva- 
tion, unto all them that obey him ; ' and this by his being become an eternal 
priest in heaven, after he was thus perfected by sufferings ; for so it follows, 
ver. 10, ' called of God an high priest, after the order of Melchisedec' 
And Melchisedec's priesthood was principally the type of his priesthood in 
heaven, as was before declared. One leading instance to shew that his 
intercession was to be the applying cause of salvation, was given by Christ, 
whilst he was on earth, thereby manifesting what much more was to be 
done by him in heaven, through his intercession there ; when he was on 
the cross, and as then offering that great sacrifice for sin, he at that time 
also joined prayers for the justification of those that crucified him, ' Father 
forgive them, for they know not what they do ; ' so fulfilling that in Isa. 
liii. 12, ' He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the trans- 
gressors.' And the efficacy of that prayer then put up, was the cause of 
the conversion of those three thousand, Acts ii., whom, ver. 25, the apostle 


had expressly charged with the crucifying of Christ, ' whom ye by wicked 
hands have taken, crucified, and slain.' These were the first-fruits of his 
intercession, whose prayers still do reap and bring in the rest of the crop, 
which in all ages is to grow up unto God on earth. 

[3.] And more particularly, as the whole application in general, so our 
justification, in the whole progress of it, depends upon Christ's inter- 
cession. As, 

First, Our first actual or initial justification, which is given us at our first 
conversion, depends upon Christ's intercession. Therefore in the fore- 
mentioned prayer on the cross, the thing he prayed for was forgiveness, 
'Father, forgive them.' You heard before that Christ's death affords the 
matter of our justification, as being that which is imputed, the ransom, the 
price, the thing itself that satisfies ; and that his resurrection was the 
original act of God's justifying us in Christ. We were virtually justified 
then in Christ his being justified, as in a common person. But besides all 
this, there is a personal or an actual justification to be bestowed upon us, 
that is, an accounting and bestowing it upon us in our own persons, which 
is done when we believe, and it is called (Rom. v. 1) a being 'justified by 
faith,' and (ver. 10) ' received the atonement ;' now this depends on Christ's 
intercession, and it was typified out by Moses his sprinkling the people 
with blood, mentioned Heb. ix. 19, which thing Jesus Christ as a Mediator 
and Priest doth now from heaven. For, Heb. xii. 21, it is said, ' You are 
come to heaven, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and,' as it 
is next subjoined, ' to the blood of sprinkling.' He shed his blood on the 
cross on earth, but he sprinkleth it now as a priest from heaven. For it is 
upon Mount Zion, to which (he had said first in the former verse) ye are 
come ; and so to Christ as a mediator standing on that mount, and sprink- 
ling from thence his blood ; and so therein there is an allusion unto Moses, 
Christ's type, who sprinkled the people with the blood of that ceremonial 
covenant, the type of the covenant of grace. Now, in 1 Peter i. 2, ' The 
sprinkling of his blood,' as it is there made the more proper work of Christ 
himself, in distinction from the other persons, and therefore was done by 
Moses, who was his type, so is it also put for our first justification. And 
this sprinkling, as it is there mentioned, is from the virtue of his interces- 
sion. And therefore in that place of the Hebrews fore-cited, he attributes 
an intercession unto it, as the phrase that follows, ' which speaks better 
things,' &c, doth imply, of which more hereafter. Yet concerning this 
first head, let me add this by way of caution (which I shall presently have 
occasion to observe), that though this our first justification is to be ascribed 
to his intercession, yet more eminently intercession is ordained for the 
accomplishing our salvation, and this other more rarely in the Scripture at- 
tributed thereunto. 

Secondly, The continuation of our justification depends upon it. And as 
his intercession is the virtual continuation of his sacrifice, so is it the con- 
tinuing cause of our justification ; which though it be an act done once, as 
fully as ever, yet is it done over every moment, for it is continued by acts 
of free grace, and so renewed actually every moment. There is a ' standing 
in grace' by Christ, spoken of Rom. v. 2, as well as a first ' access by Christ,' 
and that standing in grace, and continuing in it, is afterwards, ver. 10, attri- 
buted to his life, that is, as it is interpreted, Heb. vii. 25, his living ever to 
intercede. We owe our standing in grace every moment to his sitting in 
heaven and interceding every moment. There is no fresh act of justifica- 
tion goes forth, but there is a fresh act of intercession. And as though 

Chap. III.] from Christ's intercession. C5 

God created the world once for all, yet every moment he is said to create, 
every new act of providence being a new creation ; so likewise to justify 
continually, through his continuing out free grace to justify as at first ; and 
this Christ doth by continuing his intercession ; he continues ' a priest for 
ever,' and so we continue to be justified for ever. 

Thirdly, There is hereby a full security given us of justification to be con- 
tinued for ever. The danger either must lie in old sins coming into re- 
membrance, or else from sins newly to be committed. Now, first, God 
hereby takes order, that no old sins shall come up into remembrance, to 
trouble his thought, as in the old law, after the priest's going into the holy 
of holies, their sins are said yet to have done, Heb. x. 3 ; and to that end 
it was that he placed Christ as his remembrancer for us, so near him, to 
take up his thoughts so with his obedience, that our sins might not come 
into mind. Not that God needed this help to put himself in mind, but 
only for a formality sake, that things being thus really carried between God 
and Christ for us, according to a way suiting with our apprehensions, our 
faith might be strengthened against all suppositions, and fears of after re- 
viving our guilts. Look therefore as God ordained the rainbow in the 
heavens, that when he looked on it, he might remember his covenant, never 
to destroy the world again by water ; so he hath set Christ as the rainbow 
about his throne. And look as the bread and wine in the Lord's supper 
are appointed on earth to ' shew forth Christ's death,' as a remembrancer to 
us ; so is Christ himself appointed in heaven to shew forth his death really 
as a remembrancer thereof to his Father ; and indeed, the one is corres- 
pondent to the other. Only the papists have perverted the use of the 
Lord's supper, by making it on earth a commemorative sacrifice to God, 
whenas it is but a remembrancer thereof to men ; and besides, their priests 
therein do take upon themselves this very office of presenting this sacrifice 
to God, which is proper only to Christ in heaven. But God, when he would 
make sure not to be tempted to remember our sins any more, nor trouble 
himself with them, hath set his Christ by him to put him in mind of his so 
pleasing an offering. So the high priest going into the holy of holies, was 
for a memorial, and therein the type of Christ. And this is plainly and 
expressly made the use of this execution of his priestly office in heaven, 
Heb. viii. where the apostle having discoursed of that part of his office, as 
the chief thing he aimed at in this epistle, ver. 1, and of the necessity of it, 
verses 3, 4, and 5, and excellency of it in this respect, ver. 6, he then shews 
how from thence the new covenant of pardon came to be sure and stedfast, 
that God ' will remember our sins no more,' ver. 12, which he there brings 
in as the proper use of this doctrine, and of this part of his priesthood. 

Secondly, As by reason of intercession God remembers not old sins, so 
likewise he is not provoked by new. For though God, when he justifies us, 
should forgive all old sins past for ever, so as never to remember them more, 
yet new ones would break forth, and he could not but take notice of them ; 
and so, so long as sin continues, there is need of a continuing intercession. 
Therefore for the securing us in this, it is said, Rom. v. 10, that ' if, when 
we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much 
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.' Where we see that 
his death is in some more special manner said to procure reconciliation at 
first for sins of unregeneracy, and to bring us to Christ ; but then his life 
and intercession, or living to intercede, is said to keep God and us friends, 
that we may never fall out more. What Christ did on earth, doth more 
especially procure reconciliation for sins which we do in the state of nature ; 
VOL. iv. E 


so as notwithstanding them, God resolves to turn us from that state and 
draw us to Christ. But sins which we commit after conversion, though 
pardoned also by his death, yet the pardon of them is more especially attri- 
buted to his life and intercession, as a daily preservative, a continual plaster 
(as some call it) to heal such sins. So that it would seem that God out 
of his eternal love doth bring us to Christ, and draws us to him through the 
beholding the reconciliation wrought by his death, and so gives us at first 
conversion unto Christ ; and we being brought to him, he sprinkles us with 
his blood ; and then God says to him, Now do you look to them, that they 
and I fall out no more. And to that end Christ takes our cause in hand 
1 y that eternal priesthood of his, and from that time begins more especially 
to intercede for us. And thus sins after the state of grace may be said 
more eminently to be taken away by that part of his priesthood which he 
now in heaven performs. That place also, 1 John ii. 1, 2, seems to make 
this the great end of intercession, ' If any man sin ' (that is, if any of the 
company of believers, to whom alone he wrote), ' we have an advocate with 
the Father ;' so as intercession principally serves for sins to come, or com- 
mitted after grace received. Thus also in his prayer, John xvii., which was 
left as a pattern of his intercession in heaven, he prays for his elect as be- 
lievers, ' I pray for them that shall believe through their word.' Not but 
that sins after conversion are taken away by his death ; and sins before it, by 
his intercession also ; for Christ interceded for those who crucified him, and 
by virtue of that intercession, those three thousand were converted (as was 
observed). But the meaning only is, that yet more eminently the work of 
reconciliation for sins before conversion is attributed to his death ; and for 
sins after conversion to his intercession. Even as the persons of the Trinity, 
though they have all a like hand in all the work of our salvation, yet we 
see that one part is attributed more to one person, and another to another. 

(3.) A third sort of reasons why God ordained this work of intercession 
to accomplish our salvation by, do respect Christ himself, whose honour 
and glory, and the perpetuation of it in our hearts, God had as well in his 
eye in the ordering all the workings of our salvation, as much as his own, 
• that all might honour the Son as well as the Father,' as Christ himself 
speaks. Now, therefore, for the maintaining and upholding his glory, and 
the comings in thereof, did God ordain, after all that he had done for us 
here below, this work of intercession in heaven to be added to all the rest, 
for the perfecting of our salvation. As, 

First, It became him, and was for his honour, that none of his offices 
should be vacant or lie idle, and he want employment in them. All offices 
have work to accompany them, and ah work hath honour, as its reward, to 
arise out of it. And therefore when he had done all that was to be done 
on earth, as appertaining unto the merit of our salvation, he appoints this 
full and perpetual work in heaven, for the applying and possessing us of 
salvation, and that as a priest, by praying and interceding in the merit of 
that one oblation of himself. God would have Christ never to be out of 
office, nor out of work. And this very reason is more than intimated, Heb. 
vii. 24. ' This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable 
priesthood,' (or, as ver. 21 expounds it) for ever. And the work of his 
priesthood is interpreted, ver. 25, to be ' ever to make intercession.' The 
meaning is, that God would not have him continue to be a priest in title 
onlv, or in respect only of a service past, and so to have only the honour of 
priesthood perpetuated to him out of the remembrance of what he once had 
done, as great generals have, even in time of peace, the glory of some great 

Chap. IV.] from Christ's intercession. G7 

battle fought, continued to them in their titles, or rewards for ever. But 
God would have him have, as the renown of the old, so a perpetual spring 
of honour by new work, and employment in that office which he is con- 
tinually a-doing, so to preserve the verdure of his glory ever fresh and green, 
and therefore ordained a continual work for him. And the sum of the 
apostle's reasoning is this, that seeing himself was to be for ever, so should 
his work and priesthood be, that so his honour might be for ever. So ver. 
28 concludes it, ' consecrated or perfected for evermore.' 

Secondly, For the same reason also, it became him that the whole work 
of our salvation, first and last, and every part of it, every step and degree 
of accomplishment of it, should be so ordered as he should continue still to 
have as great and continual a hand in every part, even to the laying of the 
top stone thereof, as he had in laving the first foundation and corner stone 
thereof. And this you have expressed, Heb. xii. 2, ' Looking to Jesus the 
beginner and perfecter of our faith.' Two things had been said of him, as 
two causes of two effects ; and we must look to him in both. [1.] He is to 
be looked at as dying, ' enduring the cross,' as there he is set forth. [2.] 
As ' sitting at God's right hand and interceding,' as that whole Epistle had 
represented him. We are to look at these two as causes of a double effect, 
to look at his dying as that which is the ' beginning of our faith,' (so accord- 
ing to the Greek, and the margin of our translation), and at his sitting at 
God's right hand as an intercessor, for the ' finishing of our faith' there- 
by ; and so of our final salvation. For as Christ's work began in his life 
and death, which is put for all his obedience here below, so our first be- 
lieving (as was said) begins by virtue of his death at first ; and as his work 
ends in his intercession, and sitting at God's right hand, so answerably is 
our faith and salvation perfected by it, that thus he might be left out in 
nothing, but be ' the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, to 
whom be glory for ever.' So that we are to look upon our Mediator Christ, as 
doing as much work for us in heaven at this instant, as ever he did on earth ; 
here suffering, but there praying and presenting his sufferings. All hi3 
work was not done, when he had done here ; that work here was indeed the 
harder piece of the two, yet soon despatched ; but his work in heaven, 
though sweeter far, yet lies on his hands for ever ; therefore let us leave out 
none of these in our believing on him. 


The second head . the great security the consideratioji of Christ's intercession 
affords to faith for our justification, shewed, 1. By way of evidence ; by 
two things. 

And so I come (as in the former I have done) to shew what strong grounds 
of security and triumph our faith may raise from this last act, namely, 
Christ's intercession for us in the point of justification ; ' Who shall con- 
demn ? It is Christ that intercedes.' And was the second general pro- 
pounded ; and therein to proceed also according to the method taken up in 
the former. 

1. What assurance by way of evidence this doth afford unto faith of non- 

2. What powerful efficacy and influence this must be of, that Christ 


1. First, to handle it by way of evidence. 

That Christ intercedes, is a strong evidence to our faith by two demon- 

(1.) From the very intent and scope of the work of intercession itself, 
and what it is ordained by God to effect. 

(2.) From the end of Jesus Christ himself, who lives in heaven on pur- 
pose to intercede for us. Our salvation it is both finis operis, the end of the 
work, and finis ipsius operands, in some respect the end of Christ himself, the 
interceder ; and both these do lay the greatest engagement that can be upon 
Christ, to accomplish our salvation through his intercession. 

(1.) For the work itself. Intercession, you have seen, is a part of the 
office of Christ's priesthood, as well as his dying and offering himself: now all 
the works of Christ are and must be perfect in their kind (even as God's are, 
of which says Moses, Deut. xxxii. 4, ' His work is perfect '), for otherwise 
he should not be a perfect priest. Now the perfection of every work lies in 
order to its end for which it is ordained ; so as that work is perfect that 
attains to such an end as it is ordained for, and that imperfect which doth 
not. Now the immediate direct end of Christ's intercession is the actual 
salvation of believers elect, and persons whom he died for. The end of 
his death is adoptio juris, purchasing a right unto salvation ; but of inter- 
cession, procuratio ipsius salutis, the very saving us actually, and putting us 
in possession of heaven. To this purpose, observe how the Scripture 
speaks concerning Christ's death, Heb. ix. 12, 'He entered into heaven, 
having obtained redemption,' or found redemption, that is, by way of right, 
by procuring full title to it. But of his intercession it says, Heb. vii. 25, 
that by it ' Christ is able to save to the utmost them that come unto God 
by him ;' that is, actually to save, and put them in possession of happiness : 
that is made the end and scope of intercession there ; and that phrase (sig 
rb vavTiXsc), to the utmost, notes out a saving indeed, a doing it not by 
halves, but wholly, and throughly, and completely ; si; rb ■xavrfAsg is to save 
altogether, to give our salvation its last act and complement, that is the 
true force of the phrase, even to effect it, to the last of it, all that is to be 
done about it. Thus also Rom. v. 9, 10, ' We are justified by his death, 
but saved (namely, completely) by his life ;' that is, his living to intercede. 
So that the very salvation of believers is it that is the work, the rb 'igyov of 
Christ's intercession. 

Now what security doth this afford ? For, to be saved is more than to 
be justified ; for it is the actual possessing us of heaven. So then, do but 
grant that Christ's intercession is as perfect a work in its kind as Christ's 
death is in its kind, and you must needs be saved. The perfection of 
Christ's death, and the work thereof, wherein lay it (as on Christ's part to 
be performed) but in this, that he should lay down a ransom sufficient to 
purchase salvation for such and such persons as God would save ? And so 
the perfection of it lies in the worth and sufficiency of it, to that end it 
was ordained for ; it being a perfect sacrifice in itself, able to purchase 
eternal redemption for us, and to make us salvable against all sins and the 
demerits of them, and to give us right to heaven ; and had it wanted a grain 
of this, it had then been imperfect. Now then, answerably for intercession, 
the comfort of our souls is, that the proper work that lies upon Christ 
therein is the complete saving those very persons, and the possessing them 
of heaven ; this is the rb egyov, the proper work thereof. To outvie the 
demerits of our sins was the perfection of his death, but to save our souls 
is the end and perfection of his intercession. Our sins are the object of 

Chap. IV.J from Christ's intercession. 69 

the one, and our souls of the other. To that end was intercession added to 
his death, that we might not have a right to heaven in vain, of which we might 
be dispossessed. Now therefore, upon this ground, if Christ should fail 
of our souls' salvation, yea, but of any one degree of glory (purchased by 
his death to any soul) which that soul should want, this work of his would 
then want and fall short so much of its perfection. That place in Heb. 
vii. says not only that Christ will do his utmost to save, but save to the 

Obj. You may say, My infidelity and obstinacy may hinder it, though 
Christ doth what in him lies. 

Am. Well, but intercession undertakes the work absolutely ; for Christ 
prays not conditionally in heaven, 'If men shall believe, &c.,' as we do 
here on earth ; not for propositions only, but for persons ; and therefore 
he prays to cure that very infidelity. Now, as if a physician undertakes to 
cure a madman (if he knows what he doth), he considers the madness of 
his patient, and how he will tear oft' what is applied, and refuse all physic? ; 
he therefore resolves to deal with him accordingly, and so to order him as 
he shall not hinder that help which he is about to afford him, and so upon 
those terms he undertakes the cure : even so doth Christ, when by inter- 
cession he undertakes to save us sinners ; he considers us what we are, and 
how it is with us, what unbelief is in us, yet undertakes the matter ; and 
so to save us is the scope and end of this his work, which if he should not 
accomplish, he after all this should not be a perfect priest. It was the fault 
that God found with the old priesthood, that it ' made nothing perfect,' 
Heb. vii. 19, and therefore, ver. 12, the ' law was changed ;' and the 'priest- 
hood was changed ' together with it, as there you have it. Now in like 
manner Christ's priesthood should he imperfect, if it made not the elect 
perfect, and then God must yet seek for another covenant, and a more per- 
fect priest ; for this would be found faulty, as the other was. So then our 
comfort is, if Christ approve himself to be a perfect priest, we who come to 
God by him must be perfectly saved. It is in this office of his priesthood, 
and all the parts of it, as in his kingly office. The work of his kingly office 
is to subdue all enemies, to the last man, even fully to do the thing ; and 
not only to have power, and to go about to do it : so as if there should be 
any one enemy left unsubdued, then Christ should not be a perfect king. 
The same holds in his priestly office also ; he should not be a perfect priest, 
if but one soul of the elect, or those he intercedes for, were left unsaved. 
And this is indeed the top and highest consideration for our comfort in this 
argument, that intercession leaves us not till it hath actually and completely 
saved us ; and this is it that makes the apostle put a further thing upon 
intercession here in the text, than upon that other, his ' sitting at God's 
right hand.' So as we are in this respect as sure of attaining unto the 
utmost glory of our salvation, as Christ to have the full honour of his priest- 
hood. A man saved is more than justified ; and Christ cannot reckon his 
work, nor himself a perfect priest, until we are saved. ' Who shall con- 
demn ? It is Christ that intercedes.' 

(2.) Besides the consideration of the nature and scope of this work itself, 
which Christ, upon his honour of acquitting himself as a perfect priest, hath 
undertaken, there is in the second place a farther consideration that argues 
him engaged by a stronger obligation, even the loss of his own honour, his 
office, and all, if he should not effect salvation for those that come to God 
by him ; so much doth it concern him to effect it. Of all the works that 
ever he did, he is most engaged in this ; it will not only be the loss of a 


business which concerns him, and of so much work, but himself must be 
lost in it too ; and the reason is, that he intercedes as a Surety. He was 
not only a ' surety on earth ' in dying, and so was to look to do that work 
tkroughby, and to be sure to lay down a price sufficient, or else himself had 
gone for it : he pawned in that work, not only his honour, but even his life 
and soul to effect it, or lose himself in it ; but he is a surety now also in 
heaven, by interceding. This you may find to be the scope of Heb. vii. 22, 
by observing the coherence of that 22d verse (wherein he is called a ' surety ') 
with verses 23, 24, 25, that title and appellation is there given him, in rela- 
tion unto this part of his office especially. And although it holds true of 
all parts of his office whatsoever, yet the coherence carries it, that that 
mention there of his being a surety doth in a more special manner refer 
unto his intercession, as appears both by the words before and after : in the 
words before (ver. 21), the apostle speaks of this his ' priesthood, which is 
for ever,' and then subjoins (ver. 22), ' By so much was Jesus made a 
surety of a better testament ;' and then after also he discourseth of, and 
instanceth in his intercession, and his continuing a priest for ever in that 
work : so, ver. 23, 24, 25, ' Wherefore he is able to save to the utmost, 
seeing he ever lives to make intercession.' Yea, he is therefore engaged to 
save to the utmost, because even in interceding (for which he is said there 
to live) he is a surety. 

He was a surety on earth, and is a surety still in heaven ; only with this 
double difference, which ariseth first from the different things which he 
undertook for then, whilst on earth, and for which now he undertakes in 
heaven ; that on earth he was a surety to pay a price so sufficient as should 
satisfy God's justice ; which having paid, he was discharged (in that 
respect, and so far) of that obligation, and his bond for that was cancelled ; 
but so as still he remains a surety, bound in another obligation as great, 
even for the bringing to salvation those whom he died for ; for their persons 
remained still unsaved, though the debt was then paid ; and till they be 
saved, he is not quit of this suretj'ship and engagement. And, secondly, 
these two suretyships do differ also by the differing pawns which he was 
engaged to forfeit, by failing in each of these works : for the payment of 
our debt, his soul itself lay at the stake, which he offered up for sin ; but 
for the saving of the persons all his honour in heaven lies at stake. He 
lives to intercede. He possesseth heaven upon these terms, and it is one 
end of his life ; so that as he must have sunk under God's wrath, if he had 
not paid the debt, his soul standing in our souls' stead, so he must yet quit 
heaven, and give over living there, if he brings us not thither. It is true, 
he intercedes not as a common person (which relation in all other foremen- 
tioned acts he still bore ; thus in his death he was both a common person 
and a surety representing us, so as we died in him ; so likewise in his re- 
surrection we arose with him, and in his ascension we ascended, &c, but 
yet he intercedes not under that relation, namely, not as a common person), 
for we must not, cannot be said to intercede in him, for this last work lay 
not upon us to do. He doth it wholly for us indeed, but not in our stead, 
or as that which we should have done, though on our behalf; for it being 
the last, the crown of all his works of mediation, is therefore proper to him 
as Mediator, and his sole work as such. Thus in like manner the first 
work of incarnation, and answerably the last of intercession, in neither of 
these was Christ a common person representing others, though a common 
Saviour of others in these. For the one was the foundation of all, the other 
the accomplishment of all, and so proper only to himself as mediator. But 

Chap. V.J from Christ's intercession. 71 

although he intercedes not as a common person, as representing us in what 
we were to have done for ourselves ; yet, so as that other relation of a surety 
is continued still in that work, he stands engaged therein as an undertaker 
for us, and so as a surety intercedes : such as Judah was for Benjamin, 
Gen. xliii. 9, ' I will be surety for him ; of my hand shalt thou require him : 
if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the 
blame for ever.' So says Christ for us. And therefore sponsio, or under- 
taking for us, is by divines made a great part of this part of his office. Now 
the consideration of this may the more secure us ; for the more peculiarly 
and solely it is his work, the more his honour lies at stake, and the more 
he will set himself to eflect it ; yea, and being by way of suretyship, it con- 
cerns him yet more nearly, for he hath engaged, and if he should fail, might 
even lose that honour which he hath now in heaven. 


The prevalency of Christ's intercession, and the powerful influence it hath into 
our salvation, demonstrated, first, from the greatness of Christ, and his 
favour with God. 

2. Thus we have heard what matter of support to our faith, by way of 
evidence, this must needs afford, that Christ intercedes. Let us consider 
now what further assurance will arise to our faith, from the influence which 
Christ's intercession must needs have, to eflect and carry on our salvation 
to an assured issue. The work of intercession being effectually to procure 
our salvation, and to continue the pardon of our sins, and hold us in favour 
with God, therefore the influence and energy it hath herein must needs lie 
in that potency and prevalency which this intercession of Christ hath with 
God, to obtain anything at his hands for us, and so to continue his favour 
towards us. Now, to raise up our apprehensions how potent and prevalent 
this intercession of Christ must needs be, let us consider both the Person 
interceding, namely, Christ ; and the Person with whom Christ intercedes for 
this favour, which is God ; the one the Son, the other the Father ; and so 
the greatness of Christ with God, and the graciousness of God to Christ, 
together with the oneness of wills and unity of affections in them both : so 
that Christ will be sure to ask nothing which his Father will deny, and his 
Father will not deny anything which he shall ask. 

(1.) Now, first, for the greatness of Christ the Intercessor, that is, his 
greatness with God the Father. This is often urged in this epistle to the 
Hebrews, to persuade confidence in us, in this very point in hand ; thus, 
Heb. iv. 14, 16, ' Seeing we have a great high priest, let us come boldly.' 
And whilst great and priest are thus joined together, the more comfort and 
boldness we may have, the greater he is ; for he is a priest in relation to 
his dealing with God for our pardon. As he is a priest, he deals in nothing 
else ; and the greater the person is who useth his interest herein, the 
better, the sooner he will prevail. And he is there said to be great, because 
great with God, in prevailing with him ; and indeed so great, as it is im- 
possible but he should prevail. It was the greatness of his person which 
did and doth put such an influence into his death, that it was, as you heard, 
a price more than enough to satisfy justice, even to overflowing. And 
therefore, ' Who shall condemn ? It is Christ that died.' And the great- 
ness of his person must needs have as much influence to make intercession 


prevalent. In a matter of intercession, the person that intercedes prevails 
more than any other consideration whatsoever. We see what great friends 
do procure oftentimes with but a word speaking, even that which money, 
no, nor anything could have obtained. Now Christ must needs be great 
with God in many respects. 

[1.] First, in respect of the nearness of his alliance to him. He is the 
natural Son of God, God of God, and therefore certain to prevail with him. 
This is diligently still put in, almost in all places, where this part of his 
priesthood (his intercession) is mentioned, in the Epistle to the Hebrews. 
So in chap. iv. of the same Epistle, ver. 14, ' We have a great high priest 
entered into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. So Heb. vii. 25, and 28th 
verse compared, the apostle having said, ver. 25, that ■ he is able to save to 
the utmost, seeing he ever lives to make intercession,' he doth, ver. 28, 
devolve this ability of his to save (ultimately) upon his being the Son ; thus in 
the 28th verse, in the end of that discourse, this is made as the basis of all : 
4 The law (saith he) makes men high priests which have infirmity,' which 
infirmity or disability of theirs is mentioned in opposition unto what he had 
just before spoken of the great ability of this our high priest in his inter- 
ceding, ver. 25, in those words, ' He is able to save to the utmost.' Those 
priests whom the ceremonial law made, Aaron and his sons, are unable to 
save, they have infirmity. Now what is it in him that makes this difference, 
and him so able above what they were ? ' The word of the oath makes the 
Son (says he), who is perfected (as you have it in the Greek and margin) 
for evermore.' He mentions this his sonship principally in relation to his 
intercession, which there he had discoursed of. Intercession is a carrying 
on our salvation in a way of grace and favour, as his death was by way of 

And answerably it may be observed in the Scripture, that as the all-suffi- 
ciency of the satisfaction of his death is still put upon his being God ; and 
so upon the greatness of his person considered in respect of his nature or 
essence, namely, his Godhead ; so in like manner, that the prevalency of 
his intercession is founded upon the nearness of his relation unto God, his 
alliance to him, and the being his Son. Thus for the first. When redemp- 
tion is spoken of, the sufficiency of the price is eminently put upon his God- 
head, ' the blood of God.' Thus also, Heb. ix., where when he had (ver. 
12) shewn how Christ had purchased and obtained a ' perfect redemption,' 
he then argues the sufficiency of it from his Godhead, ver. 13, 14, ' For if 
the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the 
unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh ; how much more shall the 
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself?' &c. The 
eternal Spirit is his Godhead. Thus answerably, when he speaks of the 
prevailing of his intercession in heaven, he puts it upon his sonship ; ' Jesus 
the Son.' He mentions the nearness of the relation of his person to God, 
as being that which draws with it that great respect, and favour, and grace, 
he being by this great with God, as great in himself. All matters of inter- 
cession are carried, we know, by way of favour. And therefore look how 
prevalent in a way of merit his being God makes his death in its kind ; no 
less prevalent doth his being the Son of God make his intercession in its 
kind, namely, in a way of obtaining grace and mercy ; yea, so prevalent of 
itself it is, that we might build upon it alone, even as much as upon his 
death. And, indeed, Christ intercedes not only in the virtue and strength 
of his satisfaction, though in that also, and of his obedience to his Father 
but also in the strength of his relation as a Son who pleads his own grace 

Chap. V.] fboA Christ's intercession. 73 

and interest in God, as he is his Son, which is a consideration that doth 
always actually exist and abide. Whereas his obedience, though perfect, 
was but once offered up, and its existence is but virtual ; but he continues 
a Son for ever, not virtually only, but actually. And therefore it is added 
in that 7th to the Hebrews, ver. 28, that the • gospel ordained the Son, 
perfected for ever.' The meaning whereof is, that he is not only a priest, 
perfected in the time past by that perfect offering once made, but in that he 
is the Son, he remains a perfect priest for ever, for time to come ; whom 
therefore no imperfection in his office, no failing or missing of his suits can 
befall. So as if it could be supposed that his obedience, because past so 
long ago, might be forgotten ; yet never this, that he is a Son. That for 
ever abides, and of itself were enough to prevail. And how effectual must 
the intercession of such a Son be, who is so great a Son of so great a Father, 
equal with him, and the express image of his person ? Never any Son so 
like, and in so peculiarly a transcendent manner a Son, as the relation of 
sonship among men is but a shadow of it ! Christ is one with his Father, 
as himself often speaks ; and, therefore, if his Father should deny him any- 
thing, he should then cease to be one with him, he must then ' deny him- 
self,' which God can never do. He is in this respect ' the Beloved,' as he 
is called, Eph. i. 6, as on whom (originally and primarily) all the beams of 
God's love do fall. Solomon (the type of Christ) was ' the beloved of God,' 
2 Sam. xii. 24, and had his name from thence (namely) Jedidiah, that is, 
' beloved of the Lord.' And to shew how beloved he was, God, when he 
came first into his kingdom, bade him ' ask what he should give him,' 
1 Kings iii. 5. Now the like God says to Christ, when come first to his 
kingdom, also, Ps. ii. 8, 'Ask of me, and I will give thee,' namely, when ' he 
had set him as King on his holy hill,' ver. 6 ; and of him he says, ' This 
is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear him.' God bids 
us therefore and upon that respect to hear him ; and tbat speech was but 
the echo of his own heart, in that he himself is so well pleased with him for 
this that he is his Son, as he himself will hear him in everything ; yea, and 
is so pleased with him, as that although Christ had never died nor obeyed 
the law, yet simply because he is his Son, he hath so full an acquiescency 
of all desires in him, and complacency of delights, that he could deny him 
nothing. How prevalent then must Christ's intercession needs be, though 
there were nothing else to be considered ! 

And that God had indeed this as one main consideration upon which he 
made him a priest thus to intercede, those words do testify, Heb. v. 5, 6, 
' He that said, unto him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order 
of Melchisedec' These latter words are not only a paraphrase (as some 
think) merely to shew that he that said, ' Christ was his Son,' said also, 
1 he was a priest ; ' but it is to shew the foundation of his call to that office. 
The great consideration that fitted him for it was, that he was God's Son ; 
especially that fitted him for that part of his priesthood which was to 
remain ' for ever,' of which that 110th Psalm and the Epistle to the Hebrews 
do especially speak. Neither is the meaning of the fore-cited place only to 
shew that in that he was God's Son, it was his birthright to be a priest, so 
as if God would have any priest at all it must be he, and so, upon that con- 
sideration, he that said to him, ' Thou art my Son,' said, ' Thou art a 
priest ; ' and that being his right, he therefore called him to it, because he 
was his Son, for, according to the law of nature, the eldest of the family 
was to be priest; and so Christ, even as God-man, being the ' first-born of 


every creature,' and the natural first begotten Son of God, had right to be 
the prime leader of that great chorus in that eternal worship in heaven. 
That (I say) is not all the meaning of those words, nor all that God consi- 
dered in it, when he thus ordained him to be a priest ; but he had a further 
and more peculiar respect unto this especial part of his priesthood, his inter- 
cession (as that clause ' forever' imports), as for which, be being his natural 
Son, so nearly allied to him, would transcendently fit him, and give such 
an omnipotent prevalency and effectualness to his requests, that he would 
be the most absolute perfect priest for ever, in this respect, that could be. 
That as God himself is perfect, and his power irresistible, so his priesthood, 
through this relation, might be perfect also, and his requests undeniable. 
Thus did God order it to strengthen our faith. And that, indeed, God did 
consider this relation of his to him to this very end, is evident by that of 
the 2d Psalm, out of which that saying, ' Thou art my Son,' is cited, ver. 
7 and 8, ' Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee ; ' and what fol- 
lows ? ' Ask of me, and I will give thee,' &c. He connects both these 
together, namely, intercession, that part of his priestly office of asking, with 
his sonship, for that is it which moveth God to grant all that he asks. 
God loves Christ as he loves himself, and therefore can deny him nothing, 
as he cannot deny himself. And so, by the way, this clears the ground of 
the apostle's quoting those words of Ps. ii. in Heb. v., as a proof of Christ's 
call to the priesthood, which interpreters have been troubled how to make 
out ; for (as you have seen) that speech, ' Thou art my Son, ask,' &c, is 
all one as if he had said, ' Thou art a priest ; ' and so was as fit and full a 
place to prove his being a priest in the Holy Ghost's intent, as is'that other 
quoted with it, out of Ps. ex., though uttered in more express words, 
1 Thou art a priest for ever.' Both speeches come to one in both places, 
the Holy Ghost especially aiming in both at that part of his priesthood in 
heaven, his intercession : in the one speaking of him after he is set upon 
God's hill as king (so Ps. ii. ver. 6) ; and in the other, after he is set down 
at God"s right hand (so Ps. ex. ver. 1, 2). Yea, and this his favour with 
his Father, and intercession alone, might have procured pardon for us sin- 
ners, but that God's will was to have justice satisfied. 

[2.] And secondly, he intercedes not only as a Son (and in that respect 
a priest perfect enough for ever), but also as a Son who hath been obedient 
to his Father, and hath done at his request, and for his sake, the greatest 
service for him, and the most willingly that ever was done. And you all 
know how much former services done do always forward suits. In Heb. 
v. ver. 8, 9. 10, it is said, that ' though he were a Son, yet learned he 
obedience,' and thereby ' became perfect.' The apostle had said, in the 
verses before, that in respect of his being his Son, God had called him to 
this office, as one that was thereby sufficiently qualified to be a priest that 
might prevail : and yet in these verses he further adds, that though he was 
a Son, and in that respect a priest perfect enough, yet he was to be obe- 
dient also, and thereby yet to become, in a further respect, a perfect high 
priest also, even in respect of service done and obedience performed. And 
so shews that he comes to have a further perfection and power of prevailing 
in his priestly office added to that relation of sonship spoken of, ver. 5. 
And therefore it follows, that he being thus become perfect, namely, through 
his obedience, ' he became author of eternal salvation unto all them that 
obey him, called of God an high priest for ever,' &c. That therefore which 
makes him yet more potent, that he may be sure to prevail, is his obedience 
and service done ; and this alone also were enough to cany anything. And 

Chap. V.] from Christ's intercession. 75 

both these considerations, of his sonship and obedience, as giving an efficacy 
to his intercession, you have also in that, Heb. vii. From ver. 26 to 28, he 
had spoken of the power of intercession, ver. 24, 25, how he was ' able to 
save to the utmost ; ' and then, in the following verse, he shews the ground 
of it, first in his fore-past ' obedience,' ver. 26. First, active, ' for such a 
high priest became us, who was holy, harmless, undefiled.' And such a 
priest he was, and therefore able thus to save by his intercession. For 
such an one who was holy, harmless, and no guile found in his mouth, 
what requests come out of such lips must needs be accepted. Then, secondly, 
he mentions his passive obedience, ver. 27, ' He offered up himself once,' 
and thereby made so full a satisfaction, as he needed not to do it but once ; 
and in the strength of both these he intercedes, for to that purpose doth 
the mention of both these there come in. And then he adds that other 
which we before insisted on, that he is the Son, which follows in the next 
words, ver. 28. And accordingly you shall find Christ himself urging this 
his obedience, as the foundation of all those his suits and requests for us 
that follow after. So in that last prayer, John xvii. (which is, as it were, a 
pattern or instance of his intercession for us in heaven), ' I have glorified 
thee on earth, I have finished the work thou gavest me,' ver. 4. And 
whereas two things may be distinctly considered, in that his obedience. 
First, the worth of it, as a price in the valuation of justice itself; secondly, 
the desert of favour and grace with God ; which such an obedience and 
service, done for his sake, might in a way of kindness expect to find at his 
hands. You may for your comfort consider, that besides what the worth 
of it as a price, which I shall urge in the next chapter, might exact of jus- 
tice itself between two strangers (as we use to say), he having well paid for 
all that he asks ; he hath, moreover, deserved thus much grace and favour 
with his Father, in that this obedience was done for his sake and at his 
request ; and this it calls for even in way of remuneration and requital, as 
of one kindness with the like. That therefore his Father should hear him 
in all the requests that ever he should make, yea so transcendent was the 
obedience which he did to his Father, in giving himself to death at his 
request (and it was done at God's sole entreaty, ' Lo ! I come to do thy 
will'), as he can never out- ask the merit of this his service. And, which 
which may yet further encourage us herein, he hath nothing at all left to 
ask for himself simply, for he hath need of nothing. So that all his favour 
remains entire, for to be laid forth for sinners, and employed for them. 
And then add this thereto, that all he can ask for them is less, yea far less, 
than the service which he hath done to God comes to ; our lives, and par- 
don, and salvation, these are not enough, they are too small a requital. 
So that besides his natural grace and interest which he hath with his Father, 
as he is his Son, which can never be lessened, this his acquired favour 
by his obedience must needs make him prevail, seeing it can never be 
acquitted to the full. Some divines put so much efficacy in this, that they 
say, Christ's very being in heaven, who once did this service, and so putting 
God in mind of it by his very presence, is all that intercession that the 
Scripture speaks of; so sufficient they think this alone to be. 



Secondly, the prevalency of Christ's intercession demonstrated from the 
righteousness of the cause he pleads even injustice ; how forcible the cry of 
his blood is, himself appearing to intercede with it. 

Besides favour and grace in all these respects, he can and doth plead 
justice and righteousness, and is able so to cany it; so you have it, 1 John 
ii. 1 and 2, ' We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the 
righteous.' An advocate hath place only in a cause of justice, and this 
Christ's advocateship is executed by pleading his own satisfaction. So it 
follows, ' who is a propitiation for our sins ; ' and can plead his own 
righteousness so far, that justice itself shall be fain to save the worst of 
sinners. He can turn justice itself for them, and handle matters so, as 
justice shall be as forward to save them as any other attribute. So that if 
God be said to be ' righteous in forgiving us our sins, if we do but confess 
them' (as chap. i. of this 1st Epistle of John, ver. 9), then much more when 
'Jesus Christ the righteous' shall intercede for the pardon of them, as he adds 
in 2d verse of the ensuing chapter, and this if he will be just. The worst 
case he will make a good one ; not with colouring it over, as cunning 
lawyers do, or extenuating things ; but with pleading that righteousness, 
which being put into the opposite balance, shall cast it for thee, be there 
never so many sins weighed against it. Yea, and he will be just in it too, 
and carry all by mere righteousness and equity. 

In the explication of this branch, my purpose is not to insist upon the 
demonstration of that all-sufficient fulness that is in Christ's satisfaction, 
such as may in justice procure our pardon and salvation (because it will 
more fitly belong to another discourse), but I shall absolve this point in 
hand by two things which are proper to this head of intercession. 

[1.] First, by shewing how that there is even in respect to God's justice 
a powerful voice of intercession attributed unto Christ's blood ; and how 
prevalent that must needs be in the ears of the righteous God. 

[2. J Secondly, especially when Christ himself shall join with that cry 
and intercession of his blood, himself in heaven appearing and interceding 
in the strength of it. 

[1.] For the first, the apostle, Heb. xii. 24, doth ascribe a voice, an 
appeal, an intercession unto the blood of Christ in heaven. ' The blood of 
sprinkling' (says he) 'speaks better things than the blood of Abel.' He 
makes Christ's very blood an advocate to speak for us, though Christ him- 
self were silent, as he says in another case, ' Abel, though dead, yet 
speaketh,' Heb. xi. 4. Many other things are said to cry in Scripture (and 
I might shew how the cry of all other things do meet in this), but blood 
hath the loudest cry oi all things else, in the ears of the Lord of Hosts, the 
Judge of all the world, as he is in the 23d verse of that 12th chapter styled. 
Neither hath any cry the ear of God's justice more than that of blood. 
' The voice of thy brother's blood,' says God to Cain, ' cries unto me from 
the ground,' Gen. iv. 10. Now in that speech of the apostle fore-cited, is 
the allusion made unto the blood of Abel, and the cry thereof. And he 
illustrates the cry of Christ's blood for us, by the cry of that blood of Abel 
against Cain, it ' speaks better things than the blood of Abel.' And his 
scope therein is by an antithesis, or way of opposition, to shew that Christ's 
blood calls for greater good things to be bestowed on us for whom it was 

Chap. VI.] from Christ's intercession. 77 

shed, than Abel's blood did for evil things, and vengeance against Cain, by 
whom it was shed. For look how loud the blood of one innocent cries 
for justice against another that murdered him ; so loud will the blood of 
one righteous, who by the appointment and permission of a supreme judge 
hath been condemned for another, cry for his release and non-condemnation, 
for whom he died. And the more righteous he was, who laid down his life 
for another, the louder still is that cry, for it is made in the strength of all 
that worth which was in him, whose blood was shed. Now to set forth the 
power of this cry of Christ's blood with justice, let us compare it with that 
cry of Abel's blood in these two things, wherein it will be found infinitely to 
exceed it in force and loudness. 

First, even the blood of the wickedest man on earth, if innocently shed, 
doth cry, and hath a power with justice against him who murdered him. 
Had Abel murdered Cain, Cain's blood would have cried, and called upon 
God's justice against Abel; but Abel's blood (there is an emphasis in that), 
Abel's, who was a saint, and the first martyr in God's calendar ; and so 
his blood cries according to the worth that was in him. Now ' precious in 
the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints ; ' and the blood of one of them 
cries louder than the blood of all mankind besides. Now from this I argue, 
if the blood of a saint cries so, what must the blood of the King of saints 
(as Christ is called, Rev. xv. 3), then do ? If the blood of one member of 
Christ's body, what will then the blood of the head, far more worth than 
that whole body ? How doth it fill heaven and earth with outcries, until 
the promised intent of its shedding be accomplished ! And (as the anti- 
thesis carries it) look how the blood of Abel cried for the ruin and con- 
demnation of his brother Cain ; so does Christ's blood on the contrary for 
our pardon and non- condemnation ; and so much louder, by how much his 
blood was of more worth than Abel's was. This was the ' blood of God ; ' 
so Acts xx. 28, ' Who therefore shall condemn ? ' But, 

Secondly, Christ's blood hath in its cry here a further advantage of Abel's 
blood attributed to it. For that cried but from earth, ' from the ground,' 
where it lay shed, and that but for an answerable earthly punishment on 
Cain, as he was a man upon the earth ; but Christ's blood is carried up to 
heaven ; for as the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifices into the 
holy of holies, so hath Christ virtually carried his blood into heaven, Heb. 
ix. 12-. And this is intimated in this place also, as by the coherence will 
appear. For all the other particulars (of which this is one), whereto he 
says the saints are come, they are all in heaven. ' You are come (says he, 
ver. 22) to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an 
innumerable company of angels, to the church of the first-bom who are 
written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men 
made perfect.' All which things are in heaven ; neither names he any other 
than such; and then adds, ' and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks,' 
&c, as a thing both speaking in heaven, and besprinkled from heaven, yea, 
wherewith heaven is all besprinkled, as the mercy-seat in the holy of holies 
was, because sinners are to come thither. This blood therefore cries from 
heaven, it is next unto God who sits judge there, it cries in his very ears ; 
whereas the cry of blood from the ground is further off, and so though the 
cry thereof may come up to heaven, yet the blood itself comes not up 
thither, as Christ already is. Abel's blood cried for vengeance to come 
down from heaven, but Christ's blood cries us up into heaven ; like to that 
voice, Eev. xi. 12, ' Come up hither.' So John xvii. 24, ' Where I am, let 
them be' for whom this blood was shed. 


But though this speaking, this voice and intercession, be attributed to 
his blood, yet it is but in a metaphorical and improper (though real) sense ; as 
also that this blood is in heaven, is spoken, though in a real, yet not a 
proper sense. Some divines of all sides, both popish and protestant, would 
make the whole work of intercession to be only metaphorical. It is true 
indeed, the voice and intercession of his blood apart considered, is but 
metaphorical (I grant), and yet real ; such a voice as those groans are that 
are attributed to the whole creation, Rom. viii. 22. But intercession as an 
act of Christ himself, joined with this voice of his blood, is most properly 
and truly such. 

[2.] Therefore, in the second place, add to this Christ's own intercession 
also, which was the second thing propounded, that Christ by his own 
prayers seconds this cry of his blood ; that not only the blood of Christ 
doth cry, but that Christ himself being alive doth join with it. How 
forcible and prevalent must all this be supposed to be ! The biood of a man 
slain doth cry, though the man remain dead ; even as of Abel, it is said 
(though to another purpose), that ' being dead he yet speaketh,' Heb. xi., 
but Christ liveth and appeareth, Vivify et in caelum ccelorum venit. He 
follows the suit, pursues the hue and cry of his blood himself. His being 
alive, puts a life into his death. It is not in this as it was in that other, 
the first Adam's sin and disobedience. Adam, although he himself had 
been annihilated when he died, yet he having set the stock of our nature 
a-going in propagation of children, his sin would have defiled and condemned 
them to the end of the world, and the force of it to condemn is neither 
furthered nor lessened by his subsisting and being, or his not being ; it 
receives no assistance from his personal life, one way or other. And the 
reason is, because his sin condemns us in a natural and necessary way ; 
but the death of Christ and his blood shed, these saving us in a way of 
grace and favour unto Christ himself and for his sake, that very being alive 
of Christ, that shed this blood, adds an infinite acceptation to it with God, 
and moves him the more to hear the cry of it, and to regard it. In a 
matter of favour to be done for the sake of another man, or in a suit or 
matter of justice that concerns another who is interested in it, that man's 
beincr { n vivis, his being alive, puts a life into the cause. If David would 
have respect to Jonathan (when dead) in his children, he would much 
more if himself had been alive. God made a covenant with Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, to remember their seed after them ; and why ? They 
are alive, and were to live for ever ; and thongh dead, shall rise again. So 
Christ reasoneth from it, Mat. xxii. 32, ' I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob. God is the God of the living (says he), and not of the dead ; ' 
and so, ' though Abraham be ignorant of his children' (as the prophet 
speaks) and should not intercede for them, yet because Abraham's soul 
lives, and is not extinct (as the Sadducees thought), but shall live again at 
the resurrection, therefore God remembers and respects his covenant 
with them ; for he is a God of the living, and so his covenant holds with 
them whilst they live. The old covenant of the first Testament ran in the 
names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — ' the God of Abraham, Isaac, and 
j ac0D ' — Du t this new covenant runs in the name of Christ, ' The God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ;' so Eph. i. 3, and so he becomes our 
God and our Father in him. And God being thus our Father, because 
Christ's Father, and Christ (in whose name the covenant runs) being alive, 
and God by covenant the God of a living, not of a dead Christ, this there- 
fore works effectually with him to respect his blood and hear the cry of it ; 

Chap. VII.] from Christ's intercession. 79 

and this, though Christ were absent, much more then when he is present 
also, and on purpose ' appeareth in the presence of God for us ;' as it is, 
Heb. xi. 21. He is alive, and so able to follow his own suit, and will be 
sure to see to it, and to second the cry of his blood, if it should not be 

To illustrate this by the help of the former comparison begun. If as 
Abel's blood cries, so also it proves that Abel's soul lives to cry; that both 
his cause cries and himself lives to follow it; so that the cry of Abel's blood 
is seconded with the cry of Abel's soul that lives, how doubly forcible must 
this needs be ? And thus indeed you have it, Rev. vi. 9, where it is 
said that ' the souls of them which were slain for the testimony which they 
held, cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Lord, holy and true, 
dost thou not avenge our blood ? ' Yea, see that not only their blood cries, 
but their sculs live, and live to cry. And it is not spoken metaphorically 
of their souls, but what is truly done by them now in heaven, it being 
mentioned to shew how and by what God was moved to bring vengeance on 
the heathenish empire of Rome that had shed their blood. Now not only 
Christ's soul (as theirs) lives to cry, but his whole person ; for he is risen 
again, and lives to intercede for ever. In the Rev. i. ver. 18, Christ 
appearing to John, when he would speak but one speech that should move 
all in him, he says but this, ' I am he that liveth, and was dead,' and died 
for thee. And whose heart doth it not move to read it with faith? And 
doth it not move his Father, think you, who was the chief cause and mo- 
tioner of his death, to think, my Son that was dead, and died at my request 
for sinners, is now alive again, and liveth to intercede, and liveth to ' see 
the travail of his soul ' fulfilled and satisfied ? God pronounceth this upon 
it in that 53d of Isaiah, ver. 10, ' By his knowledge (or faith in him) shall 
he justify many ; ' even as many as he died for. • Who then shall con- 
demn ? Christ that was dead is alive, and liveth to intercede.' 


Thirdly, the prevalency of Christ's intercession, and of his grace with his 
Father, demonstrated from the greatness and absoluteness of his power to do 
whatever he asks. 

[3.] A third demonstration both of Christ's greatness with God, and his 
power to prevail for us, is taken from this, that God hath put all power 
into his hand, to do whatever he will, hath made him his king to do what 
pleaseth him either in heaven, earth, or hell ; yea, to do all that God him- 
self ever means to do, or all that God desires to do. And certainly if his 
Father hath been so gracious to him as to bestow so high and absolute a 
sovereignty on him, as to accomplish and effect whatever he means to do, 
surely his purpose was never to deny Christ any request that he should after 
this make : he would never have advanced the human nature to that abso- 
luteness else. Those two great monarchs made great grants and largesses, 
the one to Esther, the other to Herodias's daughter ; but yet they were limited 
only to the half of their kingdoms ; so Mark vi. 22. and Esth. v. 6, and the 
royal power in their kingdoms they meant still to retain and reserve wholly 
to themselves. But God having placed Christ on his throne, bids him ask 
even to the whole of his kingdom, for God hath made him a King, sitting 
on his throne with him, not to share halves, but to have all power in heaven 


and earth ; ' he hath committed all judgment to the Son,' to save and con- 
demn whomever he will ; and so far as the kingdom of God goes, or is 
extended, he may do anything. So John v. 21, ' As the Father raiseth 
up the dead, so the Son quickeneth whom he will ; for as the Father hath 
life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself,' ver. 26 ; 
and hath in like manner ' given authority to execute judgment also, as the 
Son of man' (namely, of himself), ver. 27 ; as he said, ' he had given him 
to have life in himself,' ver. 26, not dependency, as we have, but inde- 
pendently, so to execute judgment also, ver. 27. So that Christ's will is 
as free, and himself as absolute a monarch and king of himself, as God him- 
self is. He indeed hath it not ct, seipso, but in seipso ; not a seipso originally, 
but from his Father ; but in seipso, independently. 

Now, then, if he who is king, and may and doth of himself command 
all that is done, as absolutely as God himself doth, I speak in respect of 
the execution of things downward, by second causes ; if he, over and above, 
to honour his Father, will ask all that himself hath power to do, what will 
not be done ? Qui rogat, et imperare potest ; he that can and doth command 
whatever he would have done, and it is straight done, if he shall ask and 
entreat, what will not be done ? As a king who sues for peace, backed 
with a potent army which is able to win what he entreats for, must needs 
treat more effectually, so doth Christ sue for everything with power to 
effect it. Remember that he is said here in the text, first to be at God's 
right hand, and there to intercede. He treats the salvation of sinners as a 
mighty prince treats the giving up some town to him, which lies seated 
under a castle of his which commands that town : he stands treating with 
the governor, having his ordnance ready for the battery, and to bring all 
into subjection, as 2 Cor. x. 4. And this is a consideration that God him- 
self took, in that 2d Psalm, when he made him that promise, ' Ask, and I 
will give thee,' why he made so large a grant. He had said before, ver. 6, 
' I have set my King upon my holy hill of Sion,' which made him, one 
would think, past asking, and above the condition of an intercessor. Now 
God says of him, ' He is my Bang,' not in respect of his commanding God 
(that were blasphemy to think), but it is spoken in respect of commanding 
all below him. God having set him in his throne, to do as much as he 
himself would, or means to have done, says, he is my King, to rule all, not 
bo much under me as for me, and in my stead, yet absolutely, and 
in himself ; ' the Father judgeth no man.' Now when the Father had first 
made and constituted him thus great a King, then he bids him ask, to 
whom he had first given this absolute power to command. We may, 
without blasphemy, say of this God-man, that God hath not only not 
the heart, as being his Father, but not the power to cross anything he 
doth. Thus fast hath he God unto him. Only he who in respect of 
this his power is to be honoured as the Father, as John v. 23, yet 
to honour his Father, who gave this power originally to him as media- 
tor, he is to ask for that which of himself he yet can do. And there- 
fore, says God, though thou art a King (so ver. 6), and all my kingdom, 
even ' the utmost ends of the earth,' are ' thine inheritance' by a natural 
right, now that thou art my Son (as ver. 8) ; yet because thou art my King, 
of my appointing, and ' I have set thee' on the throne (as the word is, 
ver. 6), and ' thou art my Son, and I have begotten thee,' therefore acknow- 
ledge my grant in all, ' ask of me, and I will give thee the utmost ends of 
the earth for thy inheritance.' I cannot deny thee, but I would have thee 
ask ; and therefore Christ asks. Yet still withal remember, that he asks 

Chap. VII.] fbom Christ's intercession. 81 

who can command the thing to be dono ; and yet, as ho must ask ere tho 
thing be done, so if ho ask it must needs bo granted. These are tho 
terms between this Father and this Son, who, in a word, had not been so 
great a Father if ho had not had a Son thus great, that himself could not 
deny what this Son would have done. It is for his own honour to have such 
a Son : so John v. 23, ' That they might honour tho Son as they honour 
the Father,' therefore ' all judgment is committed to him.' Now, then, if 
he who hath so much power will join the force of entreaty with a Father 
that so loves him ; if ho who is the word of his Father, that commands, 
creates, and upholds all, as Heb. i., ' He spake, and it was done ;' if he will 
become a word to his Father, and speak a word for us, and ask all that he 
means to do ; how forcible will such words be ! 

Therefore, observe Christ's manner of praying, John xvii. (which prayer 
is a platform of intercession in heaven), ver. 24, • Father, I ivill that they 
whom thou hast given me bo where I am.' He prays like a king, who is 
in joint commission with God. If God puts that honour upon our prayers, 
that we are said ' to have power with God,' as Jacob, Hos. xii. 3, that if 
God be never so angry, yet by ' taking hold of his strength,' we hold his 
hands, as Isa. xxvii. 5, that God cries out to Moses, like a man whoso 
hands are held, ' Let me alone,' Exod. xxxii. 10, yea that ho accounts it as 
a command and a mandamus, so he styles it, Isa. xlv. 11, ' command yo 
me,' so unable is he to go against it ; then, how much more doth Jesus 
Christ's intercession bind God's hands, and command all in heaven and 
earth ! Therefore, Zech. i. 12, you have Christ, ' the Angel of the cove- 
nant,' brought in interceding with the Father for his church; and he speaks 
abruptly as one full of complaints, and in an expostulating way, ' Lord of 
Hosts, how long wilt thou not be merciful to Jerusalem and the cities of 
Judah ?' and, ver. 13, Zechariah saith, that he observed that ' the Lord 
answered the Angel with good words and comfortable.' God was fain to 
give him good words (as we use to say), that is, words that might pacify 
him, as words of comfort to us, so good words in respect to the Angel's com- 
plaint. And you may observe, how in the answer God returns upon it 
(which he bade Zechariah write), God excuseth it, as it were, to Christ, 
that his church had been so long and so hardly dealt withal ; as if beyond 
his intention, he lays the fault on the instruments, ' I was but a little dis- 
pleased, but they helped forward the affliction,' ver. 15. This is spoken 
and carried after the manner of men, to shew how tender God is of dis- 
pleasing Christ our intercessor : that when Christ hath, as it were, been a 
long while silent, and let God alone, and his people have been ill dealt 
withal, he on the sudden in the end intercedes and complains of it, and it 
is not only instantly redressed, but excused for times past, with ' good 
words, and comfortable words.' Christ's Father will not displease him, nor 
go against him in anything. 

Now that you may see a reason of this, and have all cavils and exceptions 
taken away, that may arise against this, and how that there is an impossibility 
that it should be otherwise, know that this Father and this Son, though two 
persons, have yet but one will between them, and but one power between 
them (though the Son, ad extra, outwardly executes all). John x. 30, ' My 
Father and I are one ;' that is, have but one and the same power to save you, 
and one mind and will. So also, John v. 19, ' The Son can do nothing of 
himself, but what he sees the Father do ; and whatever he doth, the same the 
Father doth also :' they conspire in one, have one power, one will ; and then 
it is no matter though God commit all power to the Son, and that the Son, 

vol. rv. f 


though he hath all power, must ask all of the Father, for to be sure what- 
ever he asks, the Father hath not power to deny, for they have but one 
will and power. They are one ; so as if God deny him, he must deny him- 
self, which the apostle tells us he cannot do, 2 Tim. ii. 13. And so in the 
same sense that God is said not to have power to deny himself, in the same 
sense it may be said, he hath not power to deny Christ what he asks. 
Therefore God might well make him an absolute King, and betrust him 
with all power ; and Christ might well oblige himself, notwithstanding 
this power, to ask all that he means to do ; for they have but one will and 
one power, so as our salvation is made sure by this on all hands. ' I come 
not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me ; and his will is, that I 
shall lose none of all those whom he hath given me,' John vi. 88, 39. And 
therefore, ' who shall condemn ? It is Christ that intercedes.' As who 
shall resist God's will ? (as the apostle speaks) so who shall resist or gain- 
say Christ's intercession ? God himself cannot, no more than he can gain- 
say or deny himself. 


The potency and prevalency of Clirisfs intercession, demonstrated from the 
graciousness of the person with whom he intercedes, considered first as he is 
the Father of Christ himself. 

(2.) "We have seen the greatness of the person interceding, and many 
considerations from thence, which may persuade us of his prevailing for us. 
Let us now, in the next place, consider the graciousness of the person with 
whom he intercedes, which the Scripture, for our comfort herein, doth dis- 
tinctly set before us, to the end that in this great matter our joy and secu- 
rity may every way be full. Thus in that, 1 John ii. 1, when for the com- 
fort and support of believers, agaiust the evil of the greatest sins that can 
befall them after conversion, the apostle minds them of Christ's intercession 
in those words, ' If any man sin, we have an advocate, Jesus Christ the 
righteous ;' mentioning therein the power and prevaleney of such an advo- 
cate, through his own righteousness. But yet, over and above all this, the 
more fully to assure us of his good success herein for us, he also adds, ' An 
advocate with the Father.'' He insinuates and suggests the relation and 
gracious disposition of him upon whose supreme will our case ultimately 
dependeth, ' the Father,' as affording a new comfort and encouragement, 
even as great as doth the righteousness and power of the person interceding. 
He says not, ' with God' only, as elsewhere, but ' with the Father.' And 
that his words might afford the more full matter of confidence, and be the 
more comprehensive, and take in all, he expresseth not this relation of God 
limitedly, as confined to his Fatherhood, either unto Christ only, or us 
alone. He says not only, ' an advocate with his Father,' though that would 
have given much assurance, or ' with your Father,' though that might afford 
much boldness ; but indefinitely he says, ' with the Father,' as intending 
to take in both ; to ascertain us of the prevailing efficacy of Christ's inter- 
cession from both. You have both these elsewhere more distinctly, and on 
purpose, and together mentioned, John xx. 17, ' I go to my Father, and 
your Father,' says Christ there. And it was spoken after that all his dis- 
ciples had before forsaken him, and Peter denied him ; when Christ himself 
could send them the greatest cordial that his heart could utter, and wrap 

Chap. VIII. j fkom cueist's intercession. 88 

up the strongest sublimation of comforts in one pill. What was it ? Go, 
tell them (says he) not so much that I have satisfied for sin, overcome death, 
or am risen, but that ' I ascend.' For in that which Christ doth for us 
being ascended, lies the height, the top of our comfort. And whereas he 
might have said (and it had been matter of unspeakable comfort) I ascend 
to heaven, and so, where I am you shall be also ; yot he chooseth rather to 
say, ' I ascend to the Father : ' for that indeed contained the foundation, 
spring, and cause of their comfort, even that relation of God's, his Father- 
hood, with which Christ was to deal after his ascending for them. And 
because when, before his death, he had spoken of his going to his Father, 
their hearts had been troubled, John xiv. 28, they thinking it was for his 
own preferment only (as Christ's speech there implies they did) therefore 
he here distinctly adds, ' I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my 
God and your God.' He had in effect spoken as much before, in the words 
foregoing, ' Go, tell my brethren,' but that was only implicitly ; therefore, 
more plainly and explicitly he says it, for their further comfort, ' I go to my 
Father and your Father.' And consider that Christ being now newly risen, 
and having as yet not seen his disciples, and being now to send a message, 
his first message, a gospel of good tidings to them, and that in a brief sen- 
tence, by a woman ; he chooseth out this as the first word to be spoken 
from him now, when he was come out of the other world, at their first hear- 
say of his return, he utters forth at once, the bottom, the depth, of all com- 
fort, the sum of all joy, than which the gospel knows no greater, nor can go 
higher. So as if Christ should intend now at this day to send good news 
from heaven to any of you, it would be but this, I am here an advocate, 
interceding with my Father and thy Father. All is spoken in that. Even 
he could not speak more comfort, who is the God of comfort. Now, there- 
fore, let us apart consider these two relations, which afford each of them 
their proper comfort and assurance ; both that Christ is ascended and inter- 
cedes with his own Father, and also with our Father ; and, therefore, how 
prevailing must this intercession be ! 

First, Christ intercedes with his Father, who neither will nor can deny 
him anything. To confirm this, you have a double testimony, and of two 
of the greatest witnesses in heaven : both a testimony of Christ's own, 
whilst he was on earth, and God's own word also declared since Christ 
came to heaven. The fanner, in the 11th of John, whilst Christ was here on 
earth, and had not as then fully performed that great service which he was 
to finish ; which since he having done, it must needs ingratiate him the 
more with God his Father. 'When Lazarus was now four days dead, Martha, 
to move Christ to pity her, first tells him that if he had been there before 
her brother died, that then he had not died ; and then (as having spoke 
too little) she adds, yea, thou canst, if thou pleasest, remedy it yet. ' But 
I know' (says she, ver. 22) ' that even now' (though he be so long dead), 
' whatever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.' Here was her con- 
fidence in Christ's intercession, though this were a greater work than ever 
yet Christ had done any. And Christ seeing her faith in this, he confirms 
her speech when he came to raise him, and takes a solemn occasion to 
declare that God had never denied him any request that he had ever put up to 
him, first thanking God particularly that he had heard him in this, ver. 41, 
1 Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.' He had (it seems) prayed 
for the thing at her entreaty ; and now, before the thing was done, he 
(being assured his prayer was heard) gives thanks, so confident was he of 
his being heard. And then, secondly, shews upon what this his confidence 


at this time was grounded, his constant experience that God had never 
denied him any request ; for it follows, ver. 42, ' And I know that thou 
hearest me always,' and therefore was so bold as to express my confidence 
in this before the thing was done, ' but because of them who stood by, I 
said it.' As if he had said, though I gave this public thanks for being 
heard only in this one miracle, and at no time the like so publicly ; yet 
this is no new thing, but thus it hath been always hitherto in all tho 
miracles I have wrought, and requests I have put up, which made me so to 
give thanks beforehand ; and this is not the first time that God hath heard 
me thus, which I speak, that they might believe. Thus he was never 
denied on earth from the first to the last. For this was one of his greatest 
miracles, and reserved unto the last, even a few days before his crucifying. 
And now he hath performed the service designed him, and is come to 
heaven, let us, secondly, hear God himself speak, what he means to do for 
him. You heard before, when he came first to heaven, what God said to 
him, and how he welcomed him with a ' Sit thou on my right hand till I 
make thine enemies thy footstool.' And before Christ opened his mouth to 
speak a word, by way of any request to God, which was the office that ho 
was now to execute, God himself prevented him, and added, ' Thou art my 
Son ; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee,' Ps. 
ii. ver. 8. He speaks it at Christ's first coming up to heaven, when he had 
his S King on his holy hill,' as ver. 6. Christ was new glorified, which 
was as a new begetting to him, ' To-day have I begotten thee.' And this 
is as if he had said, I know you will ask me now for all that you have died 
for : and this I promise you beforehand, before you speak a word, or make 
any request unto me, you shall ask nothing but it shall be granted ; and 
this I speak once for all as a boon and a grace granted you upon your 
birthday, as the solemnest celebration of it; for such was his resurrection, 
and ascension, and sitting at God's right hand, ' This day have I begotten 
thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee.' So full of joy was his Father's 
heart that he had his Son in heaven with him, whom he had begotten from 
everlasting, and ordained to this glory, who was lately dead, and in a man- 
ner lost, and therefore now (as it were) new begotten. God's heart was so 
full that he could not hold from expressing it in the largest favours and 
grants. And whereas kings upon their own birthdays use to grant such 
favours to their favourites, so Herod on his birthday, to the daughter of 
Herodias, promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask, 
Mat. xiv. 7. God himself having no birthday, not being of himself capable 
of it, yet having a Son who had, he honours him with that grace upon that 
day. And if Queen Esther (a subject, yea, a slave, in her original condi- 
tion) was so prevalent for the Jews, her people and nation, when their 
case was desperate, and when there was an irrevocable decree past, and that 
not to be altered, for their ruin and destruction, then what will not Christ, 
so great a Son, even equal with his Father, prevail for with his Father for 
his brethren ? Be their case for the time past never so desperate, be 
there never so many threatenings gone out against them, never so many 
precedents and examples of men condemned before for the like sins, and in 
the like case, yet Christ can prevail against them all. 

Cuap. IX. J from Christ's intercession. 85 


The potency of Christ's intercession demonstrated, in that he intercedes with 
God, who is our Father. — How God's heart is as much inclined to Ixear 
Christ for us as Christ's is to intercede. 

Secondly, Christ is an advocato for us with our Father. You may per- 
haps think there is littlo in that, but Christ puts much upon it ; yea, so 
much, as if that God would however grant all that Christ himself means to 
ask, whether Christ asked it or no. This you have expressly in John 
xvi. 2G, 27, ' At that day (says Christ) you shall ask in my name : and I 
say not to you, that I will pray the Father for you : for the Father himself 
loveth you.' To open this place, where he says ' at that day.' The day 
he means through this whole chapter, is that time when the Holy Ghost 
should be shed upon them ; for throughout his discourse he still speaks of 
the fruits of his ascension, and of giving the Comforter, which was done 
upon his ascending, and was the first fruits of his priestly office in heaven. 
Thus Peter informs us, Acts ii. 33, ' He being (says he) exalted by the 
right hand of God, and having received ' (namely, by asking, ' Ask, and I 
will give thee') ' of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath 
shed forth this, which you now see and hear.' Now, of that time when he 
shall be in heaven, he says, ' I say not that I will pray for you ;' which is 
not meant that Christ prays not for us in heaven, but rather those very 
words arc the highest intimation that he would and doth pray for us that 
can be. When men would most strongly intimate their purpose of a kind- 
ness they mean to do for one, they use to say, I do not say that I love you, 
or that I will do this or that for you ; which is as much as to say, I will 
surely do it, and do it to purpose ; but Christ's scope here is, as in the 
highest manner to promise them that he would pray for them ; so withal, 
further to tell them of their more abundant assurance and security, that 
besides their having the benefit of their prayers, God himself so loves them 
of himself, that indeed that alone were enough to obtain anything at his 
hands, which they shall but ask in his name ; so as he needs not pray 
for them, and yet he will too. But now in case that he himself pray for 
them, and they themselves in his name, and both unto a Father who of 
himself loveth them, and who hath purposed to grant all, before either he 
or they should ask ; what hope must there needs be then of a good suc- 
cess ! This is both the meaning of this place, and a great truth to be 
considered on by us, to the purpose in hand. That it is the meaning of the 
place, the manner of Christ's speech implies, ' I say not that I will pray 
the Father for you, for the Father himself loveth you.' It is such a speech 
as Christ used upon a clean contrary occasion, John v. 45, ' Do not think 
(says he) that I will accuse you to the Father : there is one who accuseth 
you, even Moses,' &c. He there threatens the obstinate and accursed 
Pharisees with condemnation. Never stand thinking that it is I (says he) 
who am your only enemy and accuser, that will procure your condemna- 
tion, and so prosecute the matter against you merely for my own interest, 
no, I shall not need to do it ; though I should not accuse you, your own 
• Moses in whom you trust,' he is enough to condemn you, he will do your 
errand sufficiently, you would be sure to be damned by his words and say- 
ings ; I shall not need to trouble myself to come in and enter my action 
against you too, Moses and his law would follow the suit, and be enough 


to condemn you to hell. So as this speech doth not imply that Christ will 
not at all accuse them ; no, he means to bring in his action against them 
'too ; for he after says, ' if he had not spoke to them, they had had no 
sin, and therefore he meant to bring the greatest accusation of all. Now, 
in an opposite (though parallel) speech here, to comfort his disciples, he 
says, 'I say not that I will pray for you,' that God may save you, I who 
yourselves shall see will die for you, I say not that I will pray for you, not 
I. But though I speak this to insinuate in the highest manner that I will, 
for if I spend my blood for you, will I not spend my breath for you ? 
Yet the truth is, that the case so stands, that but for God's own ordination 
I should not need to do it, ' for the Father himself loves you ; ' that is, 
the Father of his own motion and proper good will, taken up of himself to- 
wards you, and not wrought in him by me, doth love you, and bears so 
much love to you, as he can deny you nothing, for he is ' your Father ' as 
well as mine. How much more then shall you be saved when I shall 
strike in too, and use all my interest in him for you ? Christ on purpose 
useth this speech, so to dash out of their hearts that conceit which har- 
boureth in many of ours, who look upon God in the matter of salvation as 
one who is hardly entreated to come off to save sinners, and with whom 
Christ, through the backwardness of his heart, hath so much ado ; and we are 
apt to think that when he doth come off to pardon, he doth it only and merely 
at Christ's entreaty, and for his sake, having otherwise no innate motion in 
himself sufficient to incline his heart to it ; but that it is in this transac- 
tion by Christ with him, as a favourite procures a pardon for a traitor, 
whose person the king cares not for; only at his favourite's suit and 
request he grants it, which else he would never have done. You are 
deceived, says Christ, it is otherwise ; my Father's heart is as much to- 
wards you, and for your salvation, as mine is ; himself, of himself, loveth 
you. And the truth is, that God took up as vast a love unto us of himself 
at first as ever he hath borne us since, and all that Christ doth for us is 
but the expression of that love which was taken up originally in God's own 
heart. Thus we find that out of that love he gave Christ for us. So John 
iii. 16, ' God so loved the world (of elect), that he gave his only begotten 
Son to die,' &c. Yea, Christ's death was but a means to commend or set 
forth that love of his unto us. So Eom. v. 8. It was God also that did 
himself give the persons unto Christ, and underhand set him on work to 
mediate for them. 'God was in Christ reconciling the w r orld to him- 
self:' he only used Christ as his instrument to bring it honourably about. 
All the blessings he means to give us he first purposed and intended in 
himself (so Eph. i. 3, 5, 9, 11, compared) ' out of the good pleasure of his 
will,' yet in Christ (as it is added there) as the means through which he 
would convey them ; yea, Christ adds not one drop of love to God's heart, 
only draws it out ; he broacheth it, and makes it flow forth, whose current 
had otherwise been stopped. The truth is, that God suborned Christ to 
beg them on our behalf for an honourable way of carrying it, as also to 
make us prize this favour the more ; so as his heart is as ready to give all 
to us, as Christ's is to ask, and this out of his pure love to us. 

The intercession therefore of Christ must needs speed, when God's heart 
is thus of itself prepared to us. In Isa. liii. 10 it is said, ' The pleasure 
of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.' If our salvation be in Christ's 
hand, it is in a good hand ; but if it be the pleasure of the Lord too, it 
must needs prosper. It is said of our hearts and prayers, that ' he pre- 
pareth the heart, and keareth the prayer ; ' much more therefore, when his 

Chap. IX.] from Christ's intercession. 87 

own heart is prepared to grant the suit, will he easily hear it. When ono 
hath a mind to do a tiling, then the least hint procures it of him. So a 
father having a mind to spurt! his child, he will take any excuse, any one's 
mediation, even of a servant, a stranger, or an enemy, rather than of none. 
Now, when Christ shall speak for us, and speak God's own heart, how 
prevalent must those words need be ! David's soul, ' longing to go forth 
unto Absalom,' 2 Sam. xiii. 39, whom notwithstanding, for the honour of 
a father and a king's state policy, and to satisfy the world, he had banished 
the court for his treason ; when Joab perceived it, that ' the king's heart 
was towards Absalom,' chap. xiv. 1, and that the king only needed one to 
speak a good word for him, ho suborns a woman, a stranger (no matter 
whom, for it had been all one for speeding), with a made tale to come to 
the king ; and you know how easily it took and prevailed with him, and 
how glad the king's heart was of that occasion ; even so acceptable it was 
to him, that Joab could not have done him a greater kindness, and that 
Joab knew well enough. Thus it is with God's heart towards us, Christ 
assures us of it, and you may believe him in this case. For Christ might 
have took all the honour to himself, and made us beholden to himself alone 
for all God's kindness to us ; but he deals plainly, and tells us that his 
Father is as ready as himself; and this he doth for his Father's honour 
and our comfort. And therefore it is that, John xvii., in that this prayer 
so often cited in this discourse, he pleads our election, ' Thine they were, 
and thou gavest them me,' ver. 6. Thou commendedst them unto me, and 
badest me pray for them, and I do but commend the same to thee again. 
In the high priest's breastplate, when he went into the holy of holies, were 
set twelve stones, on which were written the names of the twelve tribes : 
the mystery of which is this, Christ bears us and our names in his heart 
when he goes to God ; and moreover, we are God's jewels, precious in his 
own account and choice. So God calls them, Mai. iii. 17, ' Made precious 
to him out of his love.' So Isa. xliii. 4. So that God loves us as jewels 
chosen by him, but much more when he beholds us set and presented unto 
him in the breastplate of Christ's heart and prayer. 

To conclude, therefore; we have now made both ends of this text to meet, 
God's love and Christ's intercession. The apostle began with that, ' Who 
shall accuse ? It is God that justifies ;' and he being for us, ' who can be 
against us ? ' The Father himself loves us, as he is our Father. And then 
he ends with this, ' Christ intercedes,' namely, with our Father and his 
Father, ' who then shall condemn ? ' Who or what can possibly con- 
demn, all these things being for us, the least of which were alone enough 
to save us ? 

Let us now look round about, and take a full view and prospect at once, 
of all those particulars that Christ hath done and doth for us, and their 
several and joint influence which they have into our salvation. 

1. In that Christ died, it assures us of a perfect price paid for, and a 
right to eternal life thereby acquired. 

2. In that he rose again as a common person, this assures us yet further 
that there is a formal, legal, and irrevocable act of justification of us passed 
and enrolled in that court of heaven between Christ and God ; and that in 
his being then justified, we were also justified in him, so that thereby our 
justification is made past recalling. 

3. Christ's ascension into heaven is a further act of his taking possession 
of heaven for us, he then formally entering upon that our right in our stead ; 
and so is a further confirmation of our salvation to us. But still we in our 


won persons are not yet saved, this being but done to us as we are repre- 
sentatively in Christ as our head. 

4. Therefore he sits at God's right hand, which imports his being armed 
and invested with ' all power in heaven and earth, to give and apply eternal 
life to us.' 

5. And last of all there remains intercession, to finish and complete our 
salvation ; to do the thing, even to save us. And as Christ's death and 
resurrection were to procure owe justification, so his sitting at God's right 
hand and intercession are to procure salvation; and by faith we may see it 
done, and behold our souls not only sitting in heaven, as in Christ a com- 
mon person sitting there in our right, as an evidence that we shall come 
thither; but also through Christ's intercession begun, we may see ourselves 
actually possessed of heaven. And there I will leave all you that are be- 
lievers by faith possessed of it, and solacing your souls in it, and do you 
fear condemnation if you can. 


The mo of all; containing some encouragements for weak believers, from Christ's 
intercession, out of Heb. VII. 25. 

Now, for a conclusion of this discourse, I will add a brief use of encour- 
agement ; and this, suited to the lowest faith of the weakest believer, who 
cannot put forth any act of assurance, and is likewise discouraged from 
coming in unto Christ. And I shall confine myself only unto what those 
most comfortable words, as any in the book of God, do hold forth, which 
the apostle hath uttered concerning Christ's intercession, the point in hand : 
' Wherefore he is able to save to the utmost those that come to God by 
him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,' — words which I 
have had the most recourse unto in this doctrinal part of any other, as most 
tending to the clearing of many things about intercession ; and which I 
would also commend to and leave with poor believers, to have recourse 
unto for their comfort, as a sufficient abundary of consolation unto their 
souls, and as a catholicon or universal cordial against all faintings and mis- 
givings of spirit whatsoever. 

In the words observe, 

1. A definition of faith by the lowest acts of it, for the comfort of weak 

2. Encouragements unto such a faith, opposite to all misgivings and dis- 
couragements whatsoever. 

1. A definition of faith ; and such as will suit the weakest believer. It 
is a coming unto God by Christ for salvation. 

(1.) It is a coming to be saved. Let not the want of assurance that God 
will save thee, or that Christ is thine, discourage thee, if thou hast but a 
heart to come to God by Christ to be saved, though thou knowest not 
whether he will yet save thee or no. Remember that the believers of the 
New Testament are here described to be comers to God by Christ ; such as 
go out of themselves, and rest in nothing in themselves, do come unto God 
through Christ for salvation, though with trembling. 

(2.) It is a coming unto God. For he is the ultimate object of our faith, 
and the person with whom we have to do in believing, and from whom we 
are to receive salvation, if ever we obtain it. 

Chap. X.] from Christ's intercession. 89 

(3.) It ia a corning unto God by Christ ; which phraso is used in this 
Epistle, in an allusion to tho worshippers of tho Old Testament, who, when 
they had sinned, were directed to go to God by a priest, who with a sacri- 
fice made an atonement for them. Now Christ is tho great and true high 
priest, ' by whom we have access to the Father,' Eph. ii. 18. Tho word 
is -TrgotJayuyriv, a leading by the hand. Dost thou not know how to appear 
before God, or to come to him ? Como first to Christ, and ho will tako 
thee by the hand, and go along with thee, and lead thee to his Father. 

(4.) It is a coming unto God by Christ for salvation. Many a poor soul 
is apt to think that in coming to God by faith, it must not aim at itself, or 
its own salvation. Yes, it may : for that is here made tho errand or busi- 
ness which faith hath with God in coming to him, or which it comes for ; 
and this is secretly couched in these words, for the apostle, speaking of 
the very aim of the heart in coming, he therefore on purpose mentions 
Christ's ability to save : ' he is able to save.' 

2. Secondly, here are many encouragements to such a faith as is not yet 
grown up unto assurance of salvation. 

(1.) Here is the most suitable object propounded unto it, namely, Christ 
as interceding ; which work of intercession, because it remains for Christ 
as yet to do for a soul that is to be saved, and which he is every day a-doing 
for us ; therefore it is more peculiarly fitted unto a recumbent faith. For, 
when such a soul comes and casts itself upon Christ, that thing in Christ 
which must needs most suit that kind of act is that which is yet to be done 
by Christ for that soul. Now for that soul to come to Christ to die for it, 
and offer up himself a sacrifice (as sinners did use to come to the high 
priest to sacrifice for them), this were bootless, for (as it is, ver. 27) he 
hath at ' once done that ' already. And as for what is already past and 
done, such a believer's faith is oftentimes exceedingly puzzled what manner 
of act to put forth towards Christ about ; as (for example) when it is about 
to come unto God, and it hears of an election of some unto salvation from 
all eternity made by him ; because this is an act already passed by God, tho 
soul knows it to be in vain to cast itself upon God for election or to come 
unto him to elect and choose itself. And so, in like manner, when the 
soul looks upon Christ's death, because it is done and past, it knows not 
how to take it in believing, when it wanteth assurance that Christ died for 
it, though it should come to Christ to be saved by virtue of his death. But 
there is this one work that remains still to be done by him for us, and which 
he is daily a-doing, and that is, interceding ; for he lives ever to intercede 
or to pray for us, in the strength and merit of that his sacrifice once offered 
up. This therefore is more directly and peculiarly fitted unto a faith of 
recumbency, or of coming unto Christ ; the proper act of such a faith (as it 
is distinguished from faith of assurance) being a casting one's self upon 
Christ for something it would have done or wrought for one. Hence inter- 
cession becomes a fit object for the aim and errand of such a faith in this 
its coming to Christ, as also ' to be saved ' is ; it being a thing yet to be 
wrought and accomplished for me by Christ, is therefore a fit mark for such a 
faith to level at in its coming to Christ. Those acts of God and Christ which 
are past, faith of assurance doth more easily comply with : such a faith takes 
in with comfort that Christ hath died for me, and risen again, and doth now 
intercede for me, and so I shall certainly be saved ; but so cannot this weak 
faith do. Come thou therefore unto Christ, as to save thee through his 
death past, and by the merit of it, so for the present, and for the time to 
come, to take thy cause in hand, and to intercede for thee : it is a great 


relief unto such a faith (as cannot put forth acts of assurance, that what 
hath been done by Christ hath been done for it), that God hath left Christ 
this work yet to do for us. So as the intercession of Christ may afford 
matter to such a faith to throw itself upon Christ, to perform it for us, and 
it may set a-work to do it. 

(2.) Now if such a soul ask, But will Christ, upon my coming to him for 
salvation, be set a-work to intercede for me, and undertake my cause ? 

I answer it out of those words, ' He lives to intercede for them who come 
to God by him.' He lives on purpose to perform this work ; it is the end 
of his living, the business of his life. And as he received a commandment 
to die, and it was the end of his life on earth, so he hath received a com- 
mand to intercede, and to be a common high priest for all that come to 
God by him. God hath appointed him to this work by an oath, ' He sware, 
and would not repent, Thou shalt be a priest for ever, after the order of Mel- 
chisedec :' and this is the end of his life in heaven. That as in the old 
law the high priest (Christ's type in this) ' ought to offer up the sacrifice ' 
of every one that came unto God by him (as Heb. v. 5), in like manner 
Christ ; for it is his calling, as you have it, ver. 6. Otherwise, as that 
woman said to Philip, when she came to him for justice, and he put her off, 
Then cease (says she) to be a king : so if Christ should deny any such soul 
to take its cause in hand, he must then cease to be a priest. He lives to 
intercede ; he is a priest called by God, as was Aaron, ver. 6. Wherefore 
he ought to do it, in that it is his office. 

(3.) And if thy soul yet feareth the difficulty of its own particular case, 
in respect of the greatness of thy sins, and the circumstances thereof, or any 
consideration whatsoever, which to thy view doth make thy salvation an 
hard suit to obtain : the apostle therefore further adds, ' He is able to save 
to the utmost,' whatever thy cause be, and this through this his interces- 
sion. That same word, ' to the utmost,' is a good word, and well put in 
for our comfort. Consider it therefore, for it is a reaching word, and ex- 
tends itself so far, that thou canst not look beyond it. Let thy soul be set 
upon the highest mount that ever any creature was yet set upon, and that 
is enlarged to take in and view the most spacious prospect both of sin and 
misery, and difficulties of being saved, that ever yet any poor humbled soul 
did cast within itself: yea, join to these all the objections and hindrances 
of thy salvation that the heart of man can suppose or invent against itself : 
lift up thy eyes and look to the utmost thou canst see, and Christ by his 
intercession is able to save thee beyond the horizon and furthest compass 
of thy thoughts, even ' to the utmost ' and worst case the heart of man can 
suppose. It is not thy having lain long in sin, long under terrors and 
despairs, or having sinned often after many enlightenings, that can hinder 
thee from being saved by Christ. Do but remember this same word, ' to 
the utmost,' and then put in what exceptions thou wilt or canst, lay all the 
bars in thy way that are imaginable ; yet know thou that ' the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against thee.' 

(4.) Again, consider but what it is that Christ, who hath by his death 
done enough to save thee, doth yet further for thee in heaven. If thou 
thoughtest thou hadst all the saints in heaven and earth jointly concurring in 
promoving thy salvation, and competitors unto God in instant and incessant 
requests and prayers to save thee, how wouldst thou be encouraged ? 
Shall I tell thee ? One word out of Christ's mouth (who is the King of 
saints) will do more than all in heaven and earth can do : and what is there 
then which we may not hope to obtain through his intercession ? 

Chap. X.] from Christ's intercession. 91 

And wouldst thou know -whether ho hath undertaken thy cause, and 
begun to intercede for thee ? In a word, Hath he put his Spirit into thy 
heart, and set thy own heart on work to make incessant intercessions for 
thyself ' with gi'oans unutterable ' (as the apostle hath it, Horn, viii.) ? 
This is the echo of Christ's intercession for thee in heaven. 

(5.) And lastly ; if such a soul shall further object, But will he not give 
over suing for me ? May I not be cast out of his prayers through my un- 
belief ? Let it here be considered that he lives ' ever ' to intercede : and 
therefore, if he once undertake thy cause, and getteth thee into his prayers, 
he will never leave thee out, night nor day. He intercedeth ever, till he 
hath accomplished and finished thy salvation. Men have been cast out of 
good and holy men's prayers, as Saul out of Samuel's, and the people of 
Israel out of Jeremiah's, but never out of Christ's prayers ; the ' smoke of 
his incense ascends for ever,' and he will intercede to the utmost, till he 
hath saved thee to the utmost. He will never give over, but will lie in the 
dust for thee, or he will perfect and procure thy salvation. 

Only, whilst I am thus raising up your faith to him upon the work of his 
intercession for us, let me speak a word to you for him, so to stir up your 
love to him, upon the consideration of this his intercession also. You see you 
have the whole life of Christ, first and last, both here and in heaven, laid 
out for you. He had not come to earth but for you, he had no other busi- 
ness here. ' Unto us a Son is born.' And, to be sure, he had not died but 
for you. ' For us a Son was given ;' and when he rose, it was ' for your 
justification.' And now he is gone to heaven, he lives but to intercede for 
you. He makes your salvation his constant calling. therefore, let us 
live wholly unto him, for he hath and doth live wholly unto us. You have 
his whole time among you ; and if he were your servant, you could desire 
no more. There was much of your time lost before you began to live to 
him ; but there hath been no moment of his time which he hath not lived 
to, and improved for you. Nor are you able ever to live for him but only 
in this life, for hereafter you shall live with him, and be glorified of him. 
I conclude all with that of the apostle, ' The love of Christ it should con- 
strain us,' because we cannot but 'judge ' this to be the most equal, that 
1 they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him 
who died for them, and rose again,' and (out of the text I also add) ' sits 
at God's right hand ;' yea, and there ' lives for ever to make intercession 
for us.' 






CHRIST In Heaven, 


Sinners on Earth. 




The gracious Disposition and tender 

Affection of Christ in his Humane Nature now in 

Glory, unto his Members under all sorts of 

Infirmities, either of Sin or Misery. 

By Tho : Goodwin, B.D. 

Printed by J. G. for R. Dawlman, 1651. 



Having set forth our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in all those great and 
most solemn actions of his — his obedience unto death, his resurrection, 
ascension into heaven, his sitting at God's right hand, and intercession for 
us, which of all the other hath been more largely insisted on — I shall now 
annex (as next in order, and homogeneal thereunto) this discourse that 
follows, which lays open the heart of Christ, as now he is in heaven, sit- 
ting at God's right hand and interceding for us ; how it is affected and gra- 
ciously disposed towards sinners on earth that do come to him ; how will- 
ing to receive them ; how ready to entertain them ; how tender to pity 
them in all their infirmities, both sins and miseries. The scope and use 
whereof will be this, to hearten and encourage believers to come more boldly 
unto the throne of grace, unto such a Saviour and High Priest, when they 
shall know how sweetly and tenderly his heart, though he is now in his 
glory, is inclined towards them ; and so to remove that great stone of 
stumbling which we meet with (and yet lieth unseen) in the thoughts of 
men in the way to faith, that Christ being now absent, and withal exalted 
to so high and infinite a distance of glory, as to ' sit at God's right hand,' 
&c, they therefore cannot tell how to come to treat with him about their 
salvation so freely, and with that hopefulness to obtain, as those poor sin- 
ners did, who were here on earth with him. Had our lot been, think they, 
but to have conversed with him in the days of his flesh, as Mar}-, and 
Peter, and his other disciples did here below, we could have thought to 
have been bold with him, and to have had anything at his hands. For they 
beheld him afore them a man hke unto themselves, and he was full of meek- 
ness and gentleness, he being then himself made sin, and sensible of all 
sorts of miseries ; but now he is gone into a far country, and hath put on 
glory and immortality, and how his heart may be altered thereby we know 
not. The drift of this discourse is therefore to ascertain poor souls, that 
his heart, in respect of pity and compassion, remains the same it was on 
earth ; that he intercedes there with the same heart he did here below ; and 
that he is as meek, as gentle, as easy to be entreated, as tender in his 
bowels ; so that they may deal with him as fairly about the great matter 
of their salvation, and as hopefully, and upon as easy terms to obtain it of 


lira, as they might if they had been on earth with him, and be as familiar 
with him in all their needs — than which nothing can bo more for the 
comfort and encouragement of those who have given over all other lives 
but that of faith, and whose souls pursue after strong and entire commu- 
nion with their Saviour Christ. 

Now the demonstrations that may help our faith in this I reduce to 
two heads : the first more extrinsical and outward ; the second more 
intrinsical and inward : the one showing the on of it, that it is so ; the 
other the dwrt, the reasons and grounds why it must be so. 

I. First, for those extrinsical demonstrations (as I call them), they are 
taken from several passages and carriages of his, in all those several condi- 
tions of his ; namely, at his last farewell afore his death, his resurrection, 
ascension, and how he is sitting at God's right hand. I shall lead you 
through all the same heads which I have gone over in the former treatise 
(though to another purpose), and take such observations from his speeches 
and carriages, in all those states he went through, as shall tend directly to 
persuade our hearts of the point in hand, namely this, that now he is in 
heaven, his heart remains as graciously inclined to sinners that come to 
him, as ever on earth. And for a ground or introduction to these first sort 
of demonstrations, I shall take this Scripture that follows ; as for those 
other, another Scripture, as proper to that part of this discourse. 

When Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this 
world unto the Father, having loved his own, he loved them to the end; (or) 
for ever. — John XIII. 1. 

Demonstrations from Christ's last farewell to his disciples. 

I. It was long before that Christ did break his mind to his disciples that 
he was to leave them, and to go away to heaven from them, for, John xvi. 4, 
he says, he had forborne ' to tell it them from the beginning.' But when 
he begins to acquaint them with it, he then at once leaves them an abund- 
ance of his heart, and that not only how it stood towards them, and what 
it was at the present, but what it would be when he should be in his glory. 
Let us, to this end, but briefly peruse his last carriage, and his sermon at 
his last supper which he did eat with them, as it is on purpose penned and 
recorded by the evangelist John ; and we shall find this to be the drift of 
those long discourses of Christ's, from the 13th to the 18th chapter. I will 
not make a comment on them, but only briefly take up such short observa- 
tions as do more specially hold forth this thing in hand. 

1. These words which I have prefixed as the text, are the preface unto 
all that his discourse that follows (namely, unto that washing of his disciples' 
feet, and his succeeding sermon), which accordingly do shew the argument 
and sum of all. The preface is this : ' Before the feast of the passover, 
when Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this 
world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he 
loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, Jesus knowing that 
the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from 
God, and went to God, he then washed his disciples' feet.' Now this pre- 
face was prefixed by the evangelist, on purpose to set open a window into 
Christ's heart, to shew what it was then at his departure, and so withal to 
give a light into, and put a gloss and interpretation upon all that follows. 

Part I.] unto sinners on earth. 97 

The scope whereof is to shew what his affections would be to them in 
heaven : he tells us what Christ's thoughts were then, and what was his 
heart amidst those thoughts, both which occasioned all that succeeds. 

(1.) He premiseth what was in Christ's thoughts and his meditation. 
He began deeply to consider, both that he was to depart out of this world, 
' Jesus knew,' &c, says the text (that is, was then thinking of it), ' that he 
should depart unto the Father,' and how that then he should shortly be 
installed into that glory which was due unto him ; so it follows, ver. 3, 
* Jesus knowing' (that is, was then actually taking into his mind) ' that the 
Father had given all things into his hands,' that is, that all power in heaven 
and earth was his, so soon as he should set footing in heaven ; then in the 
midst of these thoughts he tells us, he went and washed his disciples' feet, after 
he had first considered whither he was to go, and there what he was to be. 

(2.) But, secondly, what was Christ's heart most upon, in the midst of 
all these elevated meditations ? Not upon his own glory so much, though 
it is told us that he considered that, thereby the more to set out his love 
unto us, but upon these thoughts his heart ran out in love towards, and 
was set upon, ' his own:' ' having loved his own,' says the 1st verse, rhug 
idiovg, his own, a word denoting the greatest nearness, dearness, and inti- 
matcness founded upon propriety.* The elect are Christ's own, a piece of 
himself, not rd "iha, as goods, John i. 11 : ' he came unto his own, and 
his own received him not ;' ra 'ibia, the word shews that he reckons them 
his own, but as goods, not as persons, but he calls these here rbvg idiovg, 
his own by a nearer propriety, that is, his own children, his own members, 
his own wife, his own flesh ; and he considers, that though he was to go 
out of the world, yet they were to be in the world, and therefore it is on 
purpose added, ' which were in the world,' that is, to remain in this world. 
He had others of his own who were in that world unto which he was going, 
even ' the spirits of just men made perfect,' whom as yet he had never 
seen. One would think, that when he was meditating upon his going out 
of this world, his heart should be all upon Abraham, his Isaacs, and his 
Jacobs, whom he was going to ; no, he takes more care for his own, who 
were to remain here in this world, a world wherein there is much evil (as 
himself says, John xvii. 15), both of sin and misery, and with which them- 
selves, whilst in it, could not but be defiled and vexed. This is it which 
draws out his bowels towards them, even at that time when his heart was 
full of the thoughts of his own glory : ' having loved his own, he loved 
them unto the end.' Which is spoken to shew the constancy of his love, and 
what it would be when Christ should be in his glory. ' To the end,' that is, 
to the perfection of it, g/g rsXiiusiv, says Chrysostom ; having begun to love 
them, he will perfect and consummate his love to them. And ' to the 
end,' that is, for ever. So in the Greek, zig r'eXog is sometimes used, and 
so by the evangelist the phrase is here used in a suitableness to the Scrip- 
ture phrase, Ps. ciii. 9, ' He will not always chide, nor reserve anger for 
ever,' so we translate it ; but in the original, ' He reserves not anger unto 
the end.' So that the scope of this speech is to shew how Christ's heart 
and love would be towards them even for ever, when he should be gone 
unto his Father, as well as it was to shew how it had been here on earth, 
they being his own ; and he having loved them, he alters, he changes not, 
and therefore will love them for ever. 

(3.) And then thirdly, to testify thus much by a real testimony, what his 
love would be, wherfin heaven, to them, the evangelist shews, that when he 
* That is, 'property,' or 'ownership.' — Ed. 



was in the midst of all those great thoughts of his approaching glory, and 
of the sovereign estate which he was to be in, he then took water and a 
towel, and washed his disciples' feet. This to have been his scope will ap- 
pear, if you observe but the coherence in the second verse, it is said, that 
' Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,' then 
(ver. 4) ' he riseth from supper, and lays aside his garments, and took a 
towel and girded himself ;' (ver. 5) after that, ' he poured water into a bason, 
and began to wash his disciples' feet,' &c, where it is evident that the evan- 
gelist's scope is to hold forth this unto us, that then when Christ's thoughts 
were full of his glory, and when he took in the consideration of it unto the 
utmost, even then, and upon that occasion, and in the midst of those 
thoughts, he washed his disciples' feet. And what was Christ's meaning in 
this, but that, whereas when he should be in heaven, he could not make 
such outward visible demonstrations of his heart, by doing such mean 
services for them ; therefore by doing this in the midst of such thoughts of 
his glory, he would shew what he could be content (as it were) to do for 
them, when he should be in full possession of it ? So great is his love 
unto them. There is another expression of Christ's like unto this, in Luke 
xii. 36, 37, which confirms this to be his meaning here, and to be his very 
heart in heaven. At ver. 36, he compares himself to a bridegroom, who 
is to go to heaven unto a wedding-feast ; who hath servants on earth that 
stand all that while here below, as without, waiting for him ; at which, be- 
cause they wait so long, they may think much, Christ adds, ' Verily I say 
unto you, that when the bridegroom returns' (refreshed with wine and glad- 
ness) ' he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will 
come forth and serve them.' The meaning is not as if that Christ served 
at the latter day, or now in heaven, those that sit down there ; but only it 
is an abundant expression in words, as here in a real instance, to set forth 
the overflowing love that is in his heart, and the transcendent happiness 
that we shall then enjoy, even beyond what can be expected by us ; he 
utters himself therefore by an unwonted thing not heard of, that the Lord 
should serve his servants, and wait on them that waited for him. And it 
is to shew his heart to them, and what he could be contented to do for 
them. So that you see what his heart was before he went to heaven, even 
amidst the thoughts of all bis glory ; and you see what it is after he hath 
been in heaven, and greatened with all his glory, even content to wash poor 
sinners' feet, and to serve them that come to him and wait for him. 

(4.) Now, fourthly, what was the mystery of this his washing their feet ? 
It was, as to give them an example of mutual love and humility, so to signify 
his washing away their sins ; thus, verses 8 and 10, himself interprets it. 
It is true indeed, that, now he is in heaven, he cannot come to wash the 
feet of their bodies, but he would signify thus much thereby, that those sin- 
ners that will come to him when in his glory, he will wash away all their 
sins ; ' He loved his church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify 
and cleanse it with the washing of water, that he might present it to himself 
a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle,' &c, Eph. v. 25-27. 

2. This specimen or declaration of his mind, we have from this his car- 
riage, at this his last farewell. Let us next take a survey of the drift of 
that long sermon which he made at that his farewell, and we shall find the 
main scope of it to be further to assure his disciples of what his heart would 
be unto them ; and that will make a second demonstration. 

It were too long a work to insist upon each pai-ticulfcr. But certainly, 
no loving husband ever endeavoured more to satisfy the heart of his spouse 

Part I.] unto sinners on earth. 99 

during his absence, than Christ doth his disciples' hearts, and in them all 
believers. For take that along, once for all, that what Christ said unto 
them, he says unto us, as in that 17th of John that speech implies, ' I pray 
not for them only, but for those also that shall believe through their word. 
And as what he prayed for them was for all believers also, so what he then 
spake unto them. 

(1.) First, he lets them see what his heart would be unto them, and how 
mindful of them when in heaven, by that business which he professeth he 
went thither to perform for them ; concerning which, observe first, that he 
lovingly acquaints them with it aforehand what it is, which argued care and 
tenderness, as from an husband unto a wife it doth. And withal, how 
plain-heartedly doth he speak, as one that would not hide any thing from 
them ! ' I tell you the truth of it' (says he), ' it is expedient, and expedient 
for you, that I go away,' John xvi. 7. And secondly, he tells them, it is 
wholly for them and their happiness, ' I go to send you a comforter,' whilst 
you are in this world, and ' to prepare a place for you,' John xiv. 2, when 
you shall go out of this world. ' There are many mansions in my Father's 
house,' and I go to take them up for you, and to keep your places for you 
till you come. And there again, how openly and candidly doth he speak 
to them ! ' If it had been otherwise, says he, I would have told you.' 
You may believe me, I would not deceive you for all the glory in that place 
to which I am a-going. Whom would not this openness and nakedness of 
heart persuade ? But then, thirdly, the business itself being such as is so 
much for us and our happiness, how much more doth that argue it. And 
indeed, Christ himself doth fetch from thence an argument of the continu- 
ance of his love to them. So ver. 3, ' If I go to prepare a place for you, 
if that be my errand, then doubt not of my love when I am there, all the 
glory of the place shall never make me forget my business. When he was 
on earth, he forgot none of the business for which he came into the world ; 
• Shall I not do my Father's business ?' said he, when he was a child ; 
yes, and he did it to the utmost, by fulfilling all righteousness. Surely 
therefore he will not forget any of that business which he is to do in heaven, 
it being the more pleasant work by far. And (as I shewed in the former 
discourse, out of Heb. vi. 20) ' He is entered as a^forerunner,' an harbin- 
ger, to take up places there for us ; and if he could forget us, yet our 
names are all written in heaven round about him, and are continually afore 
his eyes written there, not only by God's election, so Heb. xii. 23, ' Ye are 
come to mount Zion, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the church of 
the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to Jesus, and to the blood 
of sprinkling,' &c, but Christ himself scores them up anew with his blood, 
over every mansion there, which he takes up for any. Yea, he carrieth 
their names written in his heart, as the high priest did the names of the 
ten* tribes on his breast, when he entered into the holy of holies. He sits 
in heaven to see to it, that none other should take their rooms over their 
heads, as we say. And therefore, 1 Peter i. 4, salvation is said to be ' re- 
served in heaven for them,' that is, kept on purpose for them by Jesus 
Christ. The evil angels had places there once, but they were disposed of 
unto others over their heads, as the land of Canaan was from the Canaanites ; 
the reason of which was, because they had not a Christ there to intercede 
for them as we have. 

(2.) Then, secondly, to manifest his mindfulness of them, and of all be- 
ievers else, when he should be in his glory, he tells them that when he hath 
* Qu. 'twelve'?— Ed. 


despatched that business for them, and made heaven ready for them, and 
all the elect that are to come, that then he means to come again to them. 
So chap. xiv. ver. 3, ' If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come 
again,' which is a mere expression of love, for he if he had pleased, he 
might have ordered it to have sent for them to him ; but he means to come 
for them himself, and this when he is warm (as we speak) and in the height 
and midst of his glory in heaven ; yet he will for a time leave it to come 
again unto his spouse. And what is it for? [1.] To see her, ' I will see 
you again, and your heart shall rejoice.' [2.] To fetch her, so John xiv. 3, 
' I will come again and receive you to myself.' He condescends to the 
very laws of bridegrooms, for notwithstanding all his greatness, no lover 
shall put him down in any expression of true love. It is the manner of 
bridegrooms, when they have made all ready in their father's house, then 
to come themselves and fetch their brides, and not to send for them by 
others, because it is a time of love. Love descends better than ascends, 
and so doth the love of Christ, who indeed is love itself, and therefore comes 
down to us himself ; ' I will come again and receive you unto myself ' (says 
Christ), ' that so where I am, you may be also.' That last part of his speech 
gives the reason of it, and withal bewrays his entire affection. It is as if 
he had said, The truth is, I cannot live without you, I shall never be quiet 
till I have you where I am, that so we may never part again ; that is the 
reason of it. Heaven shall not hold me, nor my Father's company, if I 
have not you with me, my heart is so set upon you ; and if I have any 
glory, you shall have part of it. So ver. 19, ' Because I live, you shall 
live also.' It is a reason, and it is half an oath besides, As I live is God's 
oath ; Because I live, says Christ. He pawns his life upon it, and desires to 
live upon no other terms, ' He shall live to see his seed,' &c, Isa. liii. 
And yet farther, the more to express the workings and longings of his heart 
after them all that while, he tells them it shall not be long neither ere he 
doth come again to them. So John xvi. 16, ' Again a little while and ye 
shall see me ; a little while and ye shall not see me,' says he. Which not 
seeing him refers not to that small space of absence whilst dead and in the 
grave, but of that after his last ascending, forty days after his resurrection, 
when he should go away, not to be seen on earth again until the day of 
judgment ; and yet from that ascension but ' a little while,' says he, ' and 
you shall see me again,' namely, at the day of judgment. It is said, Heb. 
x. 37, ' Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not 
tarry.' The words in the Greek are, eri yue iir/Sw oeov osov, 6 h-^o^ivog f^u, 
f As little little as may be.' Though long for the time in itself, yet as little 
while as may be in respect of his desire, without the least delaying to come. 
He will stay not a moment longer, than till he hath despatched all our 
business there for us. And then the doubling of the phrase, 6 s^o/j.mog 
ij^si, veniens venict, ' Coming he will come,' implies vehemency of desire to 
come, and that his mind is always upon it, he is still a-coming, he can 
hardly be kept away. Thus the Hebrew phrase likewise signifies an urgency, 
vehemency, and intenseness of some act, as ' expecting I have expected,' 
' desiring I have desired,' so coming he will come. And as not content with 
these expressions of desire, he adds over and above all these, ' and will not 
tarry ;' and all to signify the infinite ardency of his mind towards his elect 
below, and to have all his elect in heaven about him. He will not stay a 
minute longer than needs must, he tarries only till he hath throughout till 
ages by his intercession prepared every room for each saint, that he may 
entertain them all at once together, and have them all about him. 

Part I. unto sinners on earth. 101 

(8.) Thirdly, what his heart would bo towards thcin in his absence lie 
espresseth by the careful provision he makes, and the order he takes for 
their comfort in Ins absence, John xvi. 18, ' I will not leave yon as 
orphans ' (so the word is), I will not leave you like fatherless and friend- 
less children, at sixes and sevens. My Father and I have but only one 
friend, who lies in the bosom of us both, and proceedeth from us both, the 
Holy Ghost, and in the mean time I will send him to you, doing herein 
as a loving husband useth to do in his absence, even commit his wife to 
the dearest friend he hath ; so doth Christ, ver. 16, • I will pray the 
Father,' says he, ' and he shall give you another Comforter.' And chap, 
xvi. 7, he saith, ' I will send him to you.' Who, 

First, shall be a better Comforter unto you than I am to be in this kind 
of dispensation, which whilst I am on earth T am bound up towards you 
in. So in that 16th of John ver. 7 he intimates, ' It is expedient,' says 
he, • that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come,' 
who, by reason of his office, will comfort you better than I should do with 
my bodily presence. And this Spirit, as he is the ' earnest of heaven,' as 
the apostle speaks, so he is the greatest token and pledge of Christ's love 
that ever was, and such a one as ' the world cannot receive.' And yet, 

Secondly, all the comfort he shall speak to you all that while will be but 
from the expression of my heart towards you ; for as he comes not of him- 
self, but I must send him, John xvi. 7, so ' he will speak nothing of him- 
self, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak,' ver. 13. And ver. 
14 he says, ' He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.' Him, 
therefore, I shall send on purpose to be in my room, and to execute my place 
to you, my bride, spouse, and he shall tell you, if you will listen to him, 
and not grieve him, nothing but stories of my love. So it is there, ' He 
shall glorify me,' namely, to you ; for I am in myself already glorified in 
heaven. All his speech in your hearts will be to advance me, and to greaten 
my worth and love unto you, and it will be his delight to do it. And he 
can come from heaven in an instant when he will, and bring you fresh 
tidings of my mind, and tell you the thoughts I last had of you, even at 
that very minute when I am thinking of them, what they are at the very 
time wherein he tells you them. And therefore in that 1 Cor. ii., by 
• having the Spirit,' ver. 12, we are said to ' have the mind of Christ,' ver. 
16 ; for he dwelleth in Christ's heart, and also ours, and lifts up from one 
hand to the other what Christ's thoughts are to us, and what our prayers 
and faith are to Christ. So that you shall have my heart as surely and as 
speedily as if I were with you ; and he will continually be breaking your 
hearts, either with my love to you, or yours to me, or both ; and if either, 
you may be sure of my love thereby. And whereas, says he, you have the 
Spirit now in your hearts, so, ver. 17 oi chap, xiv., ' he now dwells in yon;' 
yet after my ascension ' he shall be,' in a further measure, ' in you,' as it 
follows there. And at that day, ver. 20, ' you shall know ' (namely, by his 
dictate) ' that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.' He will 
tell you, when I am in heaven, that there is as true a conjunction between 
me and you, and as true a dearness of affection in me towards you, as is 
between my Father and me, and that it is as impossible to break this knot, 
and to take off my heart from you, as my Father's from me, or mine from 
my Father. And then. 

Thirdly, you shall be sure that what he says of my love to you is true, 
for « he is the Spirit of truth,' chap xvi. ver. 13, as also chap. xiv. ver. 16, 
17, which Christ speaks of him as he is a Comforter. And as you believo 


me when I tell you of my Father, because I come from him, so you may 
believe him in all that he says of me and of my love to you, for he comes 
from me. 

Aye, but might they say, Will not he also leave us for a time, as you have 
done ? No, says Christ, chap. xiv. 16, ' The Father shall give you another 
Comforter, and he shall abide with you for ever.' Christ speaks it in 
opposition to himself. He himself had been a comforter unto them, but 
he was now to be absent ; but not so the Spirit. ' He shall be with you 
for ever ; ' and as he is now • with you,' so he ' shall be in you,' ver. 17. 

In the fourth place, if this be not enough to assure them how his heart 
would be affected towards them, he assures them he will give them daily ex- 
perience of it. Do but try me, says he, when I am gone, and that by sending 
me word upon all occasions what you would have me to do for you, and I 
have left my Spirit to be your secretary and the inditer of all your peti- 
tions. ' Hitherto you have asked nothing (that is, little) in my name ' — 
he blames them that they have asked him no more to do for them — ' but 
now ask, and you shall receive.' And if otherwise you will not believe, 
yet you shall believe your own eyes ; ask, and you shall see yourselves 
answered presently. Believe, and so believe me, says he, ' for the works' 
sake,' John xiv. 11. He speaks it of the works he would do for them in 
answer to their prayers when he was gone, which should be as so many 
epistles of his heart returned in answer unto theirs ; for it follows, ver. 12, 
' He that believeth on me shall do greater works than I, because I go to 
my Father,' so that it is manifest he speaks of the works done after his 
ascension. And how were they to get and procure them to be done ? By 
prayer ; so it follows, ver. 13, ' And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, 
that will I do.' He speaks it of the time when he is gone. And again he 
says in ver. 14, ' If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.' Let 
me but hear from you, be it every week, every day, every hour, you shall 
be sure of an answer. ' Open your mouths wide, and I will fill them.' 
And those your prayers shall be as continual tokens both of your hearts 
towards me, and my answers shall be the like of mine to you. And because 
Christ bids them direct (their letters) their prayers, to the Father, only 
to send them in his name, as John xvi. 23, and so they might perhaps not 
so clearly know and discern that his heart was in the answer to them, but 
his Father's hand only, therefore he adds twice in the 14th of John, ' I will 
do it, I will do it.' He speaks like one as forward to do for them, as his 
Father is, or should be, and as desirous to have them know and take notice 
of his hand in it. And it is as if he had said, Though you ask the Father 
in my name, yet all comes through my hands, and ' I will do it ; ' there 
must be my hand to the warrant for everything that is done, and my heart 
shall not be wanting. 

In the fifth place, yet further to evidence his love, he not only bids them 
thus pray to him and in his name upon all occasions, but he assureth them 
that he himself will pray for them. And observe but the manner of his 
telling them this ; it is in the most insinuating, persuasive expressions to 
convey his heart into them that men use to utter when they would inti- 
mate the deepest care and purpose to do a thing. Chap. xvi. 2G, ' At 
that day (namely, after his ascension) ye shall ask,' &c, says he, ' and I 
say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you ; ' no, not I. I 
mentioned it afore ; I will but add this illustration to it. It is such a 
speech as men use when they would express the greatest reason that 
another hath to rest confident and assured of their love, ' I do not love 

Part I.] unto sinners on earth. 103 

you, no, not I.' It is an expressing a thing by its contrary, which is 
most emphatical. As when we say of a man that hath the greatest good 
turn done him that can be, You are shrewdly hurt. It is such an ex- 
pression as Paul used to the Corinthians, I converted your souls when 
you thought not of it ; 'I caught you with guile ; forgive me this wrong.' 
»:\s Christ here, ' I say not that I will pray for you,' when the truth 
is, that it is the chiefest work that he doth in heaven. ' He lives ever 
to intercede ; as he ever lives, so to intercede ever, and never to hold 
his peace till sinners are saved. But the work of Christ in heaven is a 
subject deserves and will take up a distinct and large discourse ; I will 
therefore speak no more of it now, neither will I mention any more par- 
ticulars out of this his sermon. Read but over those three chapters (the 
14th, loth, and 16th), for in thern you have the longest sermon of his 
that is recorded ; and he stood the longest upon this theme of any other, 
because, indeed, his heart was more in it than in any point that he ever 
preached on. 

Only, if any object and say, He spake all this to his disciples to quiet 
and pacify them, and so, more in respect to their trouble, than otherwise 
he would have spoken. 

In the sixth place, read but the next chapter (the 17th), and you shall 
see that he presently goes apart and alone to his Father, and speaks over 
all again unto him that which he had said unto them. He says as much 
behind their backs of them as he had said before their faces to them. Read 
it, and you will find that he was the same absent that present with them. 
He was, therefore, not only hearty in what he had said, but his heart was full 
of it. That chapter, you know, contains a prayer put up just before his suffer- 
ing, and there he makes his will and his last request, for in such a style 
it runs, ' Father, I will,' ver. 21, which will he is gone to see executed 
in heaven. And Arminius said true in that, that this prayer is left us 
by Christ as a summary of his intercession for us in heaven. He spake 
as he meant to do in heaven, and as one that had done his work, and 
was now come to demand his wages ; ' I have finished thy work,' &c, 
says he, ver. 4. And whereas he speaks a word or two for himself (in 
the first five verses), he speaks five times as many for them, for all the 
rest of the chapter is a prayer for them. He useth all kind of argu- 
ments to move his Father for his children. ' I have finished the work 
which thou gavest me to do,' says he, and to save them is thy work, 
which remains to be done for me by thee ; and ' they are thine, and thou 
gavest them me,' and I commend to thee but thine own. ' And all mine 
are thine, and thine are mine.' He insinuates that he of himself had not 
added a man, but useth all his interest only for those that the Father had 
given him. And what a motive is this ? And he professeth he will not 
open his mouth for a man more : ' I pray not for the world,' says he, I 
will not open my lips for any one son of perdition ; but I employ all 
my blood, my prayers, and my whole interest with thee but for those thy- 
self hast given me. And, says he, though thou hast given me a per- 
sonal glory, which I had before the world was, yet there is another glory 
which I account of almost as much, and that is, in their being saved. 
1 1 am glorified in them,' says he, ver. 10, ' and they are my joy,' ver. 
13, and therefore I must have them ' with me wherever I am,' ver. 24. 
Thou hast set my heart upon them, and hast loved them thyself as thou 
hast loved me, and thou hast ordained them to be one in us, even as we 
are one, and therefore I cannot live long asunder from them ; I have thy 


company, but I must have theirs too ; ' I will that they be where I am,' 
ver. 24. If I have any glory, they must have part of it. So it follows in 
the fore-named verse, ' That they may behold the glory which thou hast 
given me.' He speaks all tins as if he had been then in heaven, and in 
possession of all that glory ; and, therefore, it is an expression of his heart 
in heaven, which you have very good ground to build upon. 

Demonstrations from passages and expressions after his resurrection. 

II. These demonstrations have been taken from his carriage and sermon 
before his death, even at his first breaking of his mind unto his disciples 
concerning his departure from them. Let us now take a view of our 
Saviour in his behaviour after his resurrection ; whence a further indicium 
of his heart, how it would stand towards sinners when he should be in 
heaven, may be taken, and his love demonstrated. For his resurrection 
was the first step unto his glory, and indeed an entrance into it ; when he 
laid down his body, he laid down all earthly weakness, and passions of flesh 
and blood. ' It was sown,' as ours is, ' in weakness ; ' but with raising of 
it up again, he took on him the dispositions and qualifications of an immortal 
and glorious body, ' it was raised in power.' And ' the days of his flesh,' 
or frail estate, as the author to the Hebrews by way of distinction speaks, 
were past and over at his resurrection ; and the garment of his body was 
new dyed, and endowed with new qualities ; and thereby it was made of a 
stuff fit to bear and sustain heaven's glory ; and therefore, what now his 
heart upon his first rising shall appear to be towards us, will be a certain 
demonstration, what it will continue to be in heaven. And to illustrate this 
the more, consider, that if ever there were a trial taken, whether his love 
to sinners would continue or no, it was then at his resurrection ; for all his 
disciples (especially Peter) had carried themselves the most unworthily 
towards him in that interim that could be ; and this then when he was 
performing the greatest act of love towards them, namely, dying for them, 
that ever was shewn by any. And by the way, so God often orders it, that 
when he is in hand with the greatest mercies for us, and bringing about 
our greatest good, then we are most of all sinning against him ; which he 
doth, to magnify his love the more. You know how they all forsook him, 
and in the midst of his agony in the garden, in which he desired their 
company, merely for a relief unto his sadded spirit, they slept, and lay like 
so many blocks, utterly senseless of his dolours, which had they any friendly 
sympathy of, they could never have done ; ' Could you not watch with me 
one hour ? ' Then you know how foully Peter denied liim with oaths and 
curses ; and after that, when he was laid in the grave, they are giving up 
all their faith in him ; ' We trusted it should have been he,' say two of them, 
1 that should have redeemed Israel.' They question whether he was the 
Messiah or no, Luke xxiv. 21. Now when Christ came first out of the 
other world, from the dead, clothed with that heart and body which he was 
to wear in heaven, what message sends he first to them ? We would all 
think, that as they would not know him in his sufferings, so he would now 
be as strange to them in his glory ; or at least, his first words shall be to 
rate them for their faithlessness and falsehood. But here is no such matter ; 
for John xx. 17, his first word concerning them is, ' Go tell my brethren,' 
&c. You read elsewhere, how that it is made a great point of love and 
condescending in Christ so to entitle them ; Heb. ii. 11, 'He is not ashamed 

Part I.] unto sinners on earth. 105 

to call them brethren;' surely his brethren had been ashamed of him. 
Now for him to call them so when he was first entering into his glory, 
argues the more love in him towards them. He carries it as Joseph did in 
the height of his advancement, when he first brake his mind to his brethren ; 
'I am Joseph your brother,' says he, Gen xlv. 4. So Christ says here, 
Tell them you have seen Jesus their brother ; I own them as brethren still. 
This was his first compellation ; but what was the message that he would 
first have delivered unto them ? That I, says he, ' ascend to my Father, 
and your Father.' A more friendly speech by far, and arguing infinite 
more love than that of Joseph's did (though that was full of bowels), for 
Joseph after he had told them he was their brother, adds, ' whom you sold 
into Egypt ; ' he minds them of then - unkindness ; but not so Christ, not 
a word of that, he minds them not of what they had done against him. 
Poor sinners, who are full of the thoughts of their own sins, know not how 
they shall be able at the latter day to look Christ in the face when they 
shall first meet with him. But they may relieve their spirits against their 
care and fear, by Christ's carriage now towards his disciples, who had so 
sinned against him. Be not afraid, ' your sins will he remember no more.' 
Yea further, you may observe, that he minds them, not so much of what 
he had been doing for them. He says not, Tell them I have been dying for 
them, or, that they little think what I have suffered for them ; not a word 
of that neither ; but still his heart and his care is upon doing more : he 
looks not backward to what is passed, but forgets his sufferings, as ' a 
woman her travail, for joy that a man-child is born.' Having now des- 
patched that great work on earth for them, he hastens to heaven as fast as 
he can to do another. And though he knew he had business yet to do 
upon earth, that would hold him forty days longer, yet to shew that his 
heart was longing, and eagerly desirous to be at work for them in heaven, 
he speaks in the present tense, and tells them, ' I ascend ; ' and he 
expresseth his joy to be, not only that he goes to ' his Father,' but also 
that he goes to ' their Father,' to be an advocate with him for them, of which 
I spake afore. And is indeed Jesus our brother alive ? And doth he call 
us brethren ? And doth he talk thus lovingly of us ? Whose heart would 
not this overcome ? 

But this was but a message sent his disciples, before he met them ; let 
us next observe his carnage and speech at his meeting together. When he 
came first amongst them, this was his salutation, ' Peace be to you,' ver. 
19, which he reiterates, ver. 21 ; and it is all one with that former speech 
of his used in that his parting sermon, ' My peace I leave with you.' After 
this he ' breathes on them,' and conveys the Holy Ghost in a further measure 
into them, so to give an evidence of what he would do yet more plentifully 
in heaven ; and the mystery of that his breathing on them was to shew 
that this was the utmost expression of his heart, to give them the Spirit, 
and that it came from the very bottom of it (as a man's breath doth), as 
well as that the Holy Ghost proceeds from him, as well as from the Father, 
which was also the meaning of it. And to what end doth he give them the 
Spirit ? Not for themselves alone, but that they by the gift and assistance 
of that Spirit might forgive men's sins by converting them to him. ' Whose 
sins soever ye remit,' namely, by your ministry, ' they are remitted to them.' 
His mind, you see, is still upon sinners, and his care for the conversion of 
their souls. And therefore in another evangelist, namely, Mark, his last 
words recorded are these : ' Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel 
unto every creatine ; and he that believeth shall be saved,' &c, chap. xvi. 15. 


And in Luke, chap. xxiv. ver. 46, 47, his last words on earth there 
recorded are, ' Thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise, . . . that 
repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations,' 
and adds, ' beginning at Jerusalem,' where he had been but a few days 
before crucified. Of all places, one would have thought he would have 
excepted that, and have charged them to pass by it ; but he bids them begin 
there. Let them have the first-fruit and benefit by my death, that were the 
actors in it. And, to that end, he also says, ' Behold I send you the pro- 
mise of my Father,' &c, ver. 49. Another time he appears to two of them, 
and then indeed he rates them, saying, ' ye fools, and slow of heart ! ' 
but for what is it, but only because they would not believe on him ; for no 
other sin, not for that they had forsaken him ; so it follows, ' ye fools, 
and slow of heart to believe,' &c, Luke xxiv. 25, and this because he is 
glad when we believe, as John xi. 16. And after that he appears to all the 
eleven, and upbraids them, the text says, but with what ? With their 
' unbelief and hardness of heart ; ' still because they believed not, so ver» 
14. No sin of theirs troubled him but their unbelief. "Which shews how 
his heart stands, in that he desires nothing more than to have men believe 
in him ; and this now when glorified. Afterwards he meets with Thomas, 
and scarce chides him for his gross unbelief, only tells him, it was well 
that, ' having seen, he believed ; ' but pronounceth them more ' blessed, who 
though they have not seen, yet believe ; ' and so he is reproved, John xx. 
29. Another time he shews himself to his disciples, and particularly deals 
with Peter, but yet tells him not a word of his sins, nor of his forsaking of 
him, but only goes about to draw from him a testimony of his love to him- 
self ; ' Peter' (says he), ' lovest thou me' ? Christ loves to hear that note ; 
full well do those words sound in his cars, when you tell him you love him, 
though he knows it already ; as Peter tells him, ' Thou knowest all things, 
thou knowest I love thee,' John xxi. 15, and this Christ puts him thrice 
upon. And what was Christ's aim in drawing this acknowledgment of love 
from Peter to him, that if he loved him as he professed, and would ever 
shew it, then to ' feed his lambs ' ? This is the great testimony that he 
would have Peter to shew his love in, when he should be in heaven ; and 
this is the last charge he gives him. Which, how great a testimony is it, 
to shew how his own heart was affected, and what his greatest care was 
upon ! His heart runs altogether upon his lambs, upon souls to be 
converted. He had said afore, ' Sheep I have,' John x. 6, ' which are not of 
this fold, them I must bring in ; ' and he left his apostles to do it ; but this 
here was a more moving and affectionate expression, for sheep can shift for 
themselves, but poor little lambs cannot. Therefore Christ says unto Peter, 
' Feed my lambs ; ' even as John, to express the more love unto those he 
writes to, calls them ' my little children.' And to what end doth the 
evangelist record these things of him after his resurrection ? One of the 
evangelists that recorded them informs us. In the 20th of John ver. 30, 
it is said, that ' Jesus did many other signs,' namely, after his resurrection ; 
for in the midst of the story of those things done after his resurrection he 
speaks it, ' which are not written in this book,' but partly recorded by other 
evangelists, and partly concealed ; ' but these things are written that ye 
might believe that Jesus is the Christ,' that is, that so you might come to 
him as to the Messiah, the Saviour of the world ; and therefore, the most 
of the things recorded tend to shew Christ's heart and carriage towards 
sinners, that so we might believe on him, and that ' believing we might have 
life through his name.' 

Part I.J unto sinners on earth. 107 

Demonstrations, from passages at and after his ascension into heaven. 

III. Let us view him next in his very ascending : his carriage then also 
will further assure our hearts of this. Luke xxvi. 50, it is said, ' He lifted 
up his hands and blessed them ; ' and to put the greater emphasis upon it, 
and that we might the more observe it, as having some great mystery in it, 
ver. 51, it is added, 'And whilst he blessed them, he was parted from 
them, and carried up into heaven.' This benediction Christ reserved to be 
his last act ; and what was the meaning of it, but (as I have before shewn) 
to bless them, as God blessed Adam and Eve, bidding them ' increase and 
multiply,' and so blessing all mankind that were to come of them. Thus 
doth Christ, in blessing his disciples, bless all those that shall believe through 
their word unto the end of the world. I only add this to the illustration of 
it; this mystery is interpreted by Peter, Acts iii. 26, when, speaking to the 
Jews, he says, ' Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent 
him to bless you,' (and how ?) ' in turning away every one of you from his 
iniquities,' and so forgiving of them ; for ' blessed is the man whose sin is 
forgiven.' Thus at his ascending. 

IV. In the next place, let us consider what Christ did when he was come 
to heaven and exalted there : how abundantly did he there make good all 
that he had promised in his last sermon ! 

For, first, he instantly poured out his Spirit, and that 'richly' (as the 
apostle to Titus speaks), and he ' being by the right hand of God exalted, 
and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath 
shed forth this which you now see and hear,' says the apostle in his first 
sermon after, Acts ii. 33. He then received it, and visibly poured him out. 
So Eph. iv. 8, it is said, ' He ascended up on high, and gave gifts unto 
men . . . for the work of the ministry (ver. 15), and for the jointing in of 
the saints to the increase of the body of Christ' (ver. 16), that is, for the 
converting of elect sinners, and making them saints. And the gifts there 
mentioned (some of them) remain unto this day, in ' pastors and teachers,' 
&c. And this Spirit is still in our preaching and in your hearts, in hearing, 
in praying, &c, and persuades you of Christ's love to this very day; and 
is in all these the pledge of the continuance of Christ's love still in heaven 
unto sinners. All our sermons and your prayers are evidences to you, that 
Christ's heart is still the same towards sinners that ever it was, for the 
Spirit that assists in all these comes in his name, and in his stead, and 
works all by commission from him. And do none of you feel your hearts 
moved in the preaching of these things, at this and other times ? And who 
is it that moves you ? It is the Spirit who speaks in Christ's name from 
heaven, even as himself is said to ' speak from heaven,' Heb. xii. 25. And 
when you pray, it is the Spirit that indites your prayers, and that ' makes 
intercession for you ' in your own hearts, Kom. viii. 26, which intercession 
of his is but the evidence and echo of Christ's intercession in heaven. The 
Spirit prays in you, because Christ prays for you. He is an intercessor on 
earth, because Christ is an intercessor in heaven. As he did take off 
Christ's words, and used the same that he before had uttered, when he 
spake in and to the disciples the words of life, so he takes off Christ's 
prayers also when he prays in us ; he takes but the words as it were out of 
Christ's mouth, or heart rather, and directs our hearts to offer them up to 
God. He also follows us to the sacrament, and in that glass shews us 


Christ's face smiling on us, and through his face his heart ; and thus help- 
ing of us to a sight of him, we go away rejoicing that we saw our Saviour 
that day. 

Then, secondly, all those works, both of miracles and conversion of 
sinners, in answer to the apostles' prayers, are a demonstration of this. 
What a handful had Peter's first sermon after Christ's ascension, when 
three thousand souls were converted by it ! The apostles (you know) went 
on to preach forgiveness through Christ, and in his name, and to invite men 
to him ; and what signs and wonders did accompany them, to confirm that 
their preaching ! And all were the fruits of Christ's intercession in heaven. 
So that what he promised (John xiv 12), as an evidence of his minding 
them in heaven, was abundantly fulfilled. They upon their asking did 
' greater works than he ; ' so Acts iv. 29, 80, at the prayers of Peter. And 
Heb. ii. 3, 4, the apostle makes an argument of it, ' How shall we escape,' 
says he, ' if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to bo 
spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him, 
God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders and with 
divers miracles ? ' &c. Yea, let me add this, that take aiso the New Testa- 
ment, and all the promises in it, and expressions of Christ's love, it was 
written all since Christ's being in heaven, by his Spirit, and that by com- 
mission from Christ, and therefore all that you find therein you may build 
on as his very heart ; and therein see, that what he once said on earth, he 
repealeth not a word now he is in heaven, his mind continues the same. 
And the consideration hereof may add a great confirmation to our faith 

Thirdly, Some of the apostles spake with him since, even many years 
after his ascension. Thus John and Paul, of which the last was in heaven 
with him, and they both do give out the same thing of him. Paul heard 
not one sermon of Christ's (that he knew of) whilst on earth, and received 
the gospel from no man, apostle or other, but by the immediate revelation 
of Jesus Christ from heaven, as he speaks, Gal. i. 11, 12. But he was 
converted by Christ himself from heaven, by immediate speech and con- 
ference of Christ himself with him, and this long after his ascension. And 
in that one instance Christ abundantly shewed his heart and purpose to 
continue to all sorts of sinners to the end of the world. Thus in two places 
that great apostle telleth us; the first is, 1 Tim. i. 13, 'I was a persecutor, 
a blasphemer,' says he, ' but I obtained mercy, and the grace of our Lord,' 
namely, Jesus Christ, ' was exceeding abundant ; ' and upon this he declares 
with open mouth, as it were, from Christ's own self, who spake to him from 
heaven, that this is ' the faithfullest saying ' that ever was uttered, ' that Christ 
came into the world to save sinners, whereof I am chief,' says he, ver. 15. 
And to testify that this was the very scope of Christ in thus converting of 
Paul himself, and Paul's scope also in that place to Timothy, to shew so 
much, appears by what follows, ver. 16, 'For this cause I obtained this 
mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for 
a pattern to all them that should hereafter believe on him unto life ever- 
lasting.' It is express, you see, to assure all sinners, unto the end of the 
world, of Christ's heart towards them. This was his drift. ' For this very 
cause,' says Paul. 

The second place I allege in proof of this, is the story of Paul's conver- 
sion, where he diligently inserts the very words that Christ spake to him 
from heaven (Acts xxvi. 16), which were these, ' I have appeared unto thee 
for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, ... to send thee 

Part I.] cnto sinnkks on eaetii. KjU 

to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, 
and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness 
of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is 
in me.' Brethren, these are Christ's words since he went to heaven, and 
he tells Paul he appeared unto him to testify thus much. Thus for Paul's 
conference with him. 

Then again, sixty years after his ascension, did the apostle John 
receive a revelation from him, even when all the apostles were dead, for 
after all their deaths was that book written, and the Revelation is said to be 
in a more immediate manner ' the revelation of Jesus Christ' (so chap. i. 
ver. 1), than any other of the apostles' writings ; and you read that Christ 
made an apparition of himself to him, and said, ' I am he that was dead, 
and am alive for evermore,' chap. i. ver. 18. Now let us but consider 
Christ's last words, in that his last book, the last that Christ hath spoken 
since he went to heaven, or that he is to utter till the day of judgment ; 
you have them in the last chapter, ver. 16, ' I Jesus have sent mine angel 
to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the 
offspring of David. . . . And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And 
let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And 
whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.' They are the 
latter words I cite this place for. The occasion of these words was this : 
Christ was now in heaven, and had before promised to come again, and 
fetch us all to heaven. And in the mean time, mark what an echoing and 
answering of hearts and of desires there is mutually, between him from 
heaven and believing sinners from below. Earth calls upon heaven, and 
heaven calls upon earth, as the prophet speaks. The bride from earth savs 
unto Christ, ' Come to me ; ' and the Spirit in the saints' hearts below 
says 'Come' unto him also; and Christ cries out as loud from heaven, 
' Come,' in answer unto this desire in them ; so that heaven and earth ring 
again of it. ' Let him that is athirst come to me ; and let him that will 
come, come, and take of the waters of life freely.' This is Christ speech 
unto men on earth. They call him to come unto earth, to judgment ; and 
he calls sinners to come up to heaven unto him for mercy. They cannot 
desire his coming to them, so much as he desires their coming to him. 
Now what is the meaning of this, that upon their calling upon him to come, 
he should thus call upon them to come ? It is in effect as if he had plainly 
uttered himself thus: I have a heart to come to 3 r ou, but I must have all 
you my elect that are to be on earth, come to me first. You would have 
me come down to you, but I must stay here till all that the Father hath 
given me be come to me ; and then you shall be sure quickly to have me 
with you. Hereby expressing how much his heart now longs after them. 
This to be his meaning is evident by the words which he adds, ver. 20, 
' He which testifies these things,' namely, Christ, ' says, Surely I come 
quickly.' And if we observe how much by the by, as it were, these words 
of Christ's do come in, it makes them the more remarkable to shew his 
heart in uttering them. This book was intended merely as a prophecy of 
the times of the gospel until his coming ; unto which period of it, when 
John had brought that prophetic story, he brings in the bride longing for 
that coming of Christ, ' The bride says, Come.' And no sooner says she so, 
but Christ by way of retortion doth likewise say ' Come ' unto her also ; 
yea, it puts the more observation upon it, that he had uttered the same 
words before, Rev. xxi. 6, but notwithstanding he will repeat them again, 
and have them to be his last words. All which shews how much his heart 


was in this part of the gospel, to invite sinners to him ; that now when he 
is to speak but one sentence more, till we hear the sound to judgment, he 
should especially make choice of these words. Let them therefore for ever 
stick with you, as being worthy to be your last thoughts when you come to 
die, and when you are a-going to him. He speaks indeed something else 
after them ; but that which he says afterwards is but to set a seal unto 
these words, and to the rest of the Scriptures, whereof this is the chief. 
And further to shew that these words were singled out to be his last, and 
that he meant to speak no more till the day of judgment, therefore also he 
adds a curse to him, who should ' add to them, or take from them.' He 
adds indeed after that another speech, but it is only to ingeminate his will- 
ingness to come quickly, were all his elect but once come in to him, so 
ver. 20. And all this tends to assure us that this is his heart, and we 
shall find him of no other mind until his coming again. 

And that you may yet the more consider them as thus purposely brought 
in by him as his last words, to make them stick with us, let me add another 
observation about them, and that is this, that at another time when he was 
upon earth, he in like manner singled out these very words (I mean the 
matter of them) as the conclusion of many days' preaching. Thus John 
vii. 37, ' In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, 
If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink.' These words were 
spoken on the ' last day of the feast,' after which he was to preach no more 
at that time, and for a good while after, unto them ; and he had preached 
upon all the former days of that feast, as his manner was ; and it was ' the 
great day of the feast,' when he had the greatest audience ; and you see he 
chooseth this for his last sentence of that his last sermon then ; and when 
he would give them something at parting, as a viaticum, which he would 
have them carry home with them to feed upon above all the rest, these are 
his words, ' If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink ;' which him- 
self interprets to be believing on him, ver. 38, and he stands up to speak 
this ; yea, ' he cries,' says the text, with open mouth, with utmost vehe- 
mency, to the intent that all might hear this above all sayings else. And 
thus in like manner, at this time also, when he is to speak no more, but to 
hold his tongue for ever till the day of judgment, nor is to write any more 
Scriptures, he then sends his angel to testify these to be his last words ; and 
this although he had spoken them before. It was therefore assuredly done 
to shew his heart in them. They were his last words then, and they shall 
be mine in the closure of this discourse, for what can there be added to 
them ? 



For tee have not an high priest which cannot be touched tvith the feeling of our 
injirmities ; but ivas in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. — 
Heb. IV. 15. 

The only use I shall make of these words is, to be a foundation unto that 
second part of that head or point of doctrine into which I have made an 
entrance ; which was to demonstrate the gracious inclination and temper of 
Christ's heart toward sinners, now he is in heaven. 

II. The extrinsical demonstrations of this, which I make the first part of 
it, are despatched. And for a groundwork to these more intrinsical demon- 
strations, which make a second part, I have chosen this text, as that which 
above any other speaks his heart most, and sets out the frame and workings 
of it towards sinners ; and that so sensibly that it doth, as it were, take our 
hands, and lay them upon Christ's breast, and let us feel how his heart 
beats and his bowels yearn towards us, even now he is in glory — the very 
scope of these words being manifestly to encourage believers against all 
that may discourage them, from the consideration of Christ's heart towards 
them now in heaven. 

To open them, so far as they serve to my present purpose. 

First, all that may any way discourage us he here calls by the name of 
infirmities, thereby meaning both 

1. The evil of afflictions, of what sort soever, persecutions, &c, from 

2. The evil of sins, which do most of all discourage us, from within. 
And that both these are meant, 

1. That under 'infirmities' he means persecutions and afflictions is 
manifest ; not only in that the word is often used in that sense, as 2 Cor. 
xi. 30, and xii. 5, but also it is plain that the phrase is here so intended, 
for his scope is to comfort them against what would pull from them their 
profession, as that foregoing exhortation, ' Let us hold fast our profession,' 
implies. Now that which attempted to pull it from them were their perse- 
cutions and oppositions from without. It appears also because his argu- 
ment here of comforting them against these infirmities, is drawn from 
Christ's example, ' In that he was in all things tempted as we are.' 

2. Yet secondly, by ' infirmities ' are meant sins also, for so in the pro- 
cess of this discourse he useth the phrase, and makes them the main object 
of our high priest's pity ; for in the next words, chap. v. 2, shewing what 
the qualifications of the high priests under the law were, who were types of 
our great high priest, he makes this one suitable to this here mentioned, 
that he was to be one that ' could have compassion on the ignorant, and 
those that were out of the way ;' that is, upon sinners, for sins are those 
ignorances and goings astray from God ; and then adds, ' in that himself 
was clothed with infirmities,' that is, with sins. And although it is said 


here that Christ was without sin in all, yet he was tempted by Satan unto 
all sorts of sins, even as we are. And that by ' infirmities ' sins are mainly 
here intended, is yet more evident from the remedy propounded against 
them, which they are here encouraged to seek for at the throne of grace, 
namely, grace and mercy. « Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of 
grace, that we may find grace and mercy to help in time of need. So it 
follows in the next words. Grace to help against the power of sin, and 
mercy against the guilt and punishment of it ; both which are the greatest 
discouragers to come boldly to that throne ; and therefore he must needs 
intend those kinds of infirmities chiefly in this his encouragement and com* 
fortory given. 

Now, secondly, for a support against both these, he lets us understand 
how feelingly and sensibly affected the heart of Christ is to sinners under 
all these their infirmities, now he is in heaven, for of him advanced into 
heaven he here speaks, as appeareth by verse 14. And if the coherence 
with that verse be observed, we shall see that he brings in this narration of 
it setly, by way of preventing an objection which might otherwise arise in 
all men's thoughts from that high and glorious description which he had 
given of him in that 14th verse. ' We have a great high priest, who is 
passed into the heavens,' &c. He knew we would be apt from this pre- 
sently to think, he may be too great to be an high priest for us to transact 
our affairs ; and that this greatness of his might cause him to forget us, or 
if he did remember us, and take notice of our miseries, yet, ' being passed 
into the heavens,' and so having cast off the frailties of his flesh which he 
had here, and having clothed his human nature with so great a glory, that 
therefore he cannot now pity us. as he did when he dwelt among us here 
below, nor be so feelingly affected and touched with our miseries, as to be 
tenderly moved to compassionate and commiserate us, so he is not now 
capable of a feeling of grief, and so not of a fellow-feeling or sympathizing 
with us ; his state and condition now is above all such affections, which 
affections notwithstanding are they that should put him upon helping us, 
heartily and cordially. And for him to be exposed to such affections as 
these, were a weakness, an infirmity in himself, which heaven hath cured 
him of. His power and glory is so great that he cannot be thus touched, 
even as the angels are not. And he is ' advanced far above all principalities 
and powers,' Eph. i. 15. 

This the apostle carefully pre-occupates ; and it is the very objection 
which he takes away. ' "We have not a high priest who cannot,' &c. Dup- 
lex negatio cequipoUet affirmatUmi ; nay, two negatives do not only make an 
affirmative, but affirm more strongly : they make an affirmation contradic- 
tory to a contrary and opposite thought. Now this speech of his is as much 
as if he should have said, Well, let heaven have made what alteration 
soever upon his condition, in glorifying his human nature, which be it 
never so free from fleshly passions, and instead of flesh be made like heaven, 
let him be never so incapable of impressions from below ; yet he retains 
one tender part and bare place in his heart still unarmed, as it were, even 
to suffer with you, and to be touched if you be. The word is a deep one, 
Af/MraSjjirai. He suffers with you, he is as tender in his bowels to you as 
ever he was ; that he might be moved to pity you, he is willing to suffer, 
as it were, one place to be left naked, and to be flesh still, on which he 
may be wounded with your miseries, that so he might be your merciful 
high priest. 

And whereas it may be objected, that this were a weakness. The 

Part II. J unto sinners on earth. 113 

apostle affirms that this is his power, and a perfection and strength of love 
surely, in him, as the word Suvdfievov importeth ; that is, that makes him 
thus able and powerful to take our miseries into his heart, though glorified, 
and so to be affected with them, as if he suffered with us, and so to relieve 
us, out of that principle out of which he would relieve himself. 

There are two things which this text gives me occasion to take notice of, 
and apart to handle. 

First, more generally, that Christ's heart now in heaven is as graciously 
affected unto sinners as ever it was on earth. 

And, secondly, more particularly, the manner how. Or thus : 

1. That he is touched with a feeling, or sympathises with us, as the 
word is. 

2. The way how this comes to pass ; even through his having been 
tempted in all things like unto us. In handling the first, I shall give those 
intrinsical demonstrations of it that remain ; and in handling the other, 
further open the text. To come therefore first to those intrinsical demon- 
strations of this doctrine, which I engraft upon these words, and shoot 
naturally froni them, namely, That the heart of Jesus Christ, now he is in 
heaven, is as graciously inclined to sinners as ever it was on earth. 

The first sort of intrinsical demonstrations, drawn from the influence all the 
three Persons have for ever into the heart of the human nature of Christ in 

I. The first sort of demonstrations shall be fetched from all the three 
Persons, and then* several influence they have into Christ's heart in heaven, 
to incline it towards us. 

1. The first shall be taken from God his Father, who hath thus advanced 
him ; and it hath two parts : (1.) That God hath given a perpetual com- 
mand to Christ to love sinners ; (2.) That therefore his heart continues the 
same for ever. 

(1.) For the first, God the Father hath given Jesus Christ a special com- 
mand to love sinners ; and hath withal implanted a merciful, gracious dis- 
position in his heart toward them. This I mention to argue it, because it 
is that which Christ allegeth, John vi. 37, as the original ground of this 
disposition of his, • not to cast out those that come to him.' For ' it is my 
Father's will,' says he in the following verses, ' that I should perform that 
which I came down from heaven for,' verse 38. And this lies now still 
upon him, now he is in heaven, as much as ever ; for ' his will also is,' 
says he, verses 39, 40, ' that I should raise them up at the last day,' so as 
it must needs continue the same till then. And compare with this the 10th 
of John, from verse 15 to 18, where, having discoursed before of his care 
and love to his sheep, to ' give his life ' for them, to ' know ' and own them, 
and to ' bring them into the fold,' &c, he concludes at verse 18, ' This 
commandment have I received from my Father.' It is his will, says the 6th 
of John, and if a good son knows that a thing is his father's mind and will, 
it is enough to move him to do it ; much more if it be bis express command. 
And in this 10th of John, he further says, that it is the command which he 
had received from the Father. A command, is a man's will peremptorily 
expressed ; so as there must be a breach, if it be not fulfilled : and such a 
command hath God given Christ concerning us. Out of both which places 
I observe three things to be the matter of this will and command of God's. 



First, that Christ should die for his sheep ; in respect to which command, 
he continued so to love them whilst here, as to lay down his life for them ; 
so John x. 15 ; but then he took it up again, and is ascended into heaven. 
Therefore, those other two things commanded him, do concern him when 
he is in glory; namely, to 'receive all that come to him,' which is the 
second ; and the third, to look that he ' lose none of those for whom he 
died,' but to ' raise them up.' And for these his Father's command lies as 
strictly on him, now he is in heaven, as for dying for them whilst he was on 
earth. ' This command have I received from my Father, and this is his will.' 

And together with this command, God did put it into his heart, as where 
he commands he ever useth to do, such an instinct of transcendent love to- 
wards them, as shall so strongly incline him to perform it, that he shall 
need no more commands. He hath put such a erogyq, such an especial 
love into him, as he hath put into the hearts of parents towards their 
own children, more than to all other men's children which they see besides, 
although more beautiful and more witty than their own. And both this 
commandment, and this inclination of love towards them, we have at once 
expressed, Ps. xl. 8, where, giving the reason why he became our Mediator 
and sacrificed himself, he not only says, ' I come to do thy will, God ; ' 
but also, ' Thy law is in my bowels.' In which speech, both these two are 
mentioned : 

[1.] That command I mentioned is there expressed, for it is called a law. 

[2.] It was a law wrought into suitable dispositions in his heart ; and, 
therefore, said to be a ' law in his heart ' or bowels. 

You may easily conceive what law it was by the subject of it, his bowels, 
which are still put for the most tender affections (Col. hi. 1 2, ' Bowels of 
mercy, kindness,' &c). It was no other than that law of love, mercy, and 
pity to poor sinners which God gave him in charge, as he was to be 
Mediator. It was that special law which lay on him as he was the ' second 
Adam,' like that which was given to the first Adam, non concedendi, over 
and above the moral law, not to eat the forbidden fruit ; such a law was 
this he there speaks of. It was the law of his being a Mediator and a 
sacrifice, for of that he expressly speaks, verses 6, 7, over and besides the 
moral law, which was common to him with us. The word in the original 
is, ' In the midst of my bowels,' to shew it was deeply engraven; it had its 
seat in the centre, it sat nearest and was most inward in his heart. 

Yea, and as that special law of not eating the forbidden fruit was to Adam 
prccceptum symbolicum, as divines call it, given over and besides all the ten 
commandments, to be a trial, a sign or symbol, of his obedience to all the 
rest, such was this law given unto Christ, the second Adam, so as that God 
would judge of all his other obedience unto himself by this. Yea, it was 
laid on him with that earnestness by God, and so commended* by him, as 
that if ever Christ would have him to love him, he should be sure to love 
us. Thus in that place fore-cited, John x. 17, 18, Christ comforts himself 
with this in his obedience, ' Therefore doth my Father love me.' It is 
spoken in relation unto his fulfilling this his command formerly mentioned, 
and so withal imports, as if God should love Christ the better for the love 
he should shew to us, it pleased him so well to see Christ love us. And so 
it is as if God, when he gave Christ that commandment, ver. 18, had said, 
Son, as you would have my love continue towards you, let me see your 
love towards me shewn in being kind to these I have given you, ' whom I 
* Qn. 'commanded'? — Ed. 

Part II. J unto sinners on earth. 115 

have loved with the same love wherewith I have loved you,' as you have 
it, John xvii. 23. As God would have us shew love unto him by loving 
his children, so he would have Christ also shew his love towards him by 
loving of us. 

(2.) Now, for the second branch of this demonstration, namely, that that 
love which Christ when on earth expressed to be in his heart, and which 
made him die for sinners upon this command of his Father, that it doth 
certainly continue in his heart still, now that he is in heaven, and that as 
quick and as tender as ever it was on earth, even as when he was on the 
cross, and that because of his Father's command. It is evidenced thus, 
for it being a law written in the midst of his bowels by his Father, it be- 
comes natural to him, and so indelible, and, as other moral laws of God 
written in the heart are, perpetual. And as in us, when we shall be in 
heaven, though faith shall fail and hope vanish, yet love shall continue, as 
the apostle speaks ; so doth this love in Christ's heart continue also, and 
suffers no decay, and is shewn as much now in receiving sinners and inter- 
ceding for them, and being pitiful unto them, as then in dying for them. 
And this love to sinners being so commanded and pressed upon him, as 
was said, that as he would have his Father love him, he should love them, 
and so being urged upon all that great love that is between him and his 
Father, this, as it must needs work and boil up a strong love in him unto 
sinners, so likewise the most constant and never- decaying love that could 
be. And this is argued from the analogy of that principle upon which 
Christ urgeth us to love himself, John xv. 10. He moveth his disciples to 
' keep the commandments ' he gave them, and useth this argument, ' For 
so shall you abide in my love,' and backs it with his own instance, ' Even 
as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.' Now, 
therefore, this being the great commandment that God layeth on him, to 
love and die for, and to continue to love and receive, sinners that come 
to him, and raise them up at the latter day, certainly he continues to keep 
it most exactly, as being one of the great ties between him and his Father, 
so to continue in his love to him. Therefore, so long as he continues in 
his Father's love, and, now he is in heaven and at his right hand, he must 
needs continue in highest favour with him, so long, you may be sure, he 
continues to observe this. And thus that he should continue still to love us, 
both love to his Father and love to himself obligeth him ; we may therefore 
be sure of him, that he both doth it and will do it for ever. what a 
comfort is it, that as children are mutual pledges and ties of love between 
man and wife, so that we should be made such between God the Father 
and the Son ! And this demonstration is taken from the influence of the 
first person of the Trinity, namely, from God the Father. 

2. Then, secondly, this his love is not a forced love, which he strives 
only to bear towards us, because his Father hath commanded him to marry 
us ; but it is his nature, his disposition, which, added to the former, affords 
a second demonstration of the point in hand, and is drawn from God the 
Son. This disposition is free and natural to him ; he should not be God's 
Son else, nor take after his heavenly Father, unto whom it is natural to 
shew mercy, but not so to punish, which is his strange work, but mercy 
pleaseth him ; he is ' the Father of mercies,' he begets them naturally. 
Now, Christ is his own Son, 'idwg vtbg, as by way of distinction he is called, 
and his natural Son ; yea, his human nature being united to the second 
person, is thereby become the natural Son of God, not adopted, as we are. 
And if he be his natural Son in privileges, then also his Father's properties 


are natural to him, more natural than to us, who are but his adopted sons. 
And if we, ' as the elect of God,' who are but the adopted sons, are exhorted 
to ' put on bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,' 
&c. (as Col. hi. 12), then much more must these dispositions needs be 
found in Christ, the natural Son ; and these, not put on by him, but be as 
natural to him as his Sonship is. ' God is love,' as John says, and Christ 
is love covered over with flesh, yea, our flesh. And besides, it is certain 
that as God hath fashioned the hearts of all men, and some of the sons of 
men unto more mercy and pity naturally than others, and then the Holy 
Spirit, coming on them to sanctify their natural dispositions, useth to work 
according to their tempers, even so it is certain that he tempered the heart 
of Christ, and made it of a softer mould and temper than the tenderness of 
all men's hearts put together into one, to soften it, would have been of. 
When he was to assume a human nature, he is brought in saj'ing, ' A 
body hast thou fitted me,' Heb. x. ; that is, a human nature, fitted, as in 
other things, so in the temper of it, for the Godhead to work and shew his 
perfections in best. And as he took a human nature on purpose to be a 
merciful high priest, as Heb. ii. 14, so such a human nature, and of so 
special a temper and frame as might be more merciful than all men or 
angels. His human nature was ' made without hands ; ' that is, was not 
of the ordinary make that other men's hearts are of; though for the matter 
the same, yet not for the frame of his spirit. It was a heart bespoke for 
on purpose to be made a vessel, or rather fountain, of mercy, wide and 
capable enough to be so extended as to take in and give forth to us again 
all God's manifestative mercies ; that is, all the mercies God intended to 
manifest to his elect. And therefore Christ's heart had naturally in the 
temper of it more pity than all men or angels have, as through which the 
mercies of the great God were to be dispensed unto us ; and this heart of 
his to be the instrument of them. And then this man, and the heart of 
this man so framed, being united to God, and being made the natural Son 
of God, how natural must mercy needs be unto him, and therefore con- 
tinue in him now he is in heaven ! For though he laid down all infirmities 
of our nature when he rose again, yet no graces that were in him whilst he 
was below ; they are in him now as much as ever ; and being his nature, 
for nature we know is constant, therefore still remains. You may observe, 
that when he was upon earth, minding to persuade sinners to have good 
thoughts of him, as he used that argument of his Father's command given 
him ; so he also lays open his own disposition, Mat. xi. 28, ' Come to me, 
you that are weary and heavy laden, . . . for I am meek and lowly of heart.' 
Men are apt to have contrary conceits of Christ, but he tells them his dis- 
position there, by preventing such hard thoughts of him, to allure them 
unto him the more. We are apt to think that he, being so holy, is there- 
fore of a severe and sour disposition against sinners, and not able to bear 
them. No, says he ; ' I am meek,' gentleness is my nature and temper. As 
it was of Moses, who was, as in other things, so in that grace, his type ; 
he was not revenged on Miriam and Aaron, but interceded for them. So, 
says Christ, injuries and unkindnesses do not so work upon me as to make 
me irreconcilable, it is my nature to forgive: ' I am meek.' Yea, but (may 
we think) he being the Son of God and heir of heaven, and especially being 
now filled with glory, and sitting at God's right hand, he may now despise 
the lowliness of us here below ; though not out of anger, yet out of that 
height of his greatness and distance that he is advanced unto, in that we 
are too mean for him to marry, or be familiar with. He surely hath higher 

Part II.] unto sinners on earth. 117 

thoughts than to regard such poor, low things as we are. And so though 
indeed we conceive him meek, and not prejudiced with injuries, yet he may 
be too high and lofty to condescend so far as to regard, or take to heart, 
the condition of poor creatures. No, says Christ ; 'I am lowly ' also, 
willing to bestow my love and favour upon the poorest and meanest. And 
further, all this is not a semblance of such an affable disposition, nor is it 
externally put on in the face and outward carriage only, as in many great 
ones, that will seem gentle and courteous, but there is all this h rri naoh'ia, 
' in the heart ;' it is his temper, his disposition, his nature to be gracious, 
which nature he can never lay aside. And that his greatness, when he 
comes to enjoy it in heaven, would not a whit alter his disposition in him, 
appears by this, that he at the very same time when he uttered these 
words, took into consideration all his glory to come, and utters both that 
and his meekness with the same breath. So ver. 27, ' All things are de- 
livered to me by my Father ; ' and presently after all this he says, ' Come 

unto me, all you that are heavy laden I am meek and lowly,' ver. 

28, 29. Look, therefore, what lovely, sweet, and delightful thoughts you 
use to have of a dear friend, who is of an amiable nature, or of some 
eminently holy or meek saint, of whom you think with yourselves, I could 
put my soul into such a man's hands, and can compromise my salvation 
to him, as I have heard it spoken of some. Or look how we should have 
been encouraged to have dealt with Moses in matter of forgiveness, who 
was the meekest man on earth ; or treated with Joseph, by what we read 
of his bowels towards his brethren ; or what thoughts we have of the 
tender hearts of Paul or Timothy unto the souls of men in begetting, and 
in nurturing, and bringing them up to life, ' Being affectionately desirous 
of you, we were willing (says Paul) to impart our own souls to you,' 
1 Thes. ii. 8; and this 'naturally,' as his word is, Philip, ii. 20; even 
such and infinitely more raised apprehensions should we have of that 
sweetness and candour that is in Jesus Christ, as being much more natural 
to him. 

And therefore the same apostle doth make Christ's bowels the pattern 
of his, ' God is my witness, how greatly I long after you in the bowels of 
Jesus Christ,' Philip, i. 8. This phrase, ' in the bowels of Christ,' hath, 
according to interpreters, two meanings, and both serve to illustrate that 
which I intend. First, ' in the bowels of Christ ' is taken causally, as if 
he meant to shew that those bowels or compassions were infused into him 
from Christ, and so longed after them with such kind of bowels as Christ 
had wrought in him ; and if so that Christ put such bowels into him, hath 
he not then in himself much more ? Paul had reason to say, ' in the bowels of 
Christ,' for (in this sense) I am sure he once had scarce the heart and bowels 
of a man in him ; namely, when he was out of Christ, how furious and lion-like 
a spirit had he against the saints, and what havoc made he of them, being 
ready even to pull out their bowels ! And how came Paul by such tender 
bowels now towards them ? Who gave him now such tender affections ? 
Even Jesus Christ, it was he that of a lion made him a lamb. If therefore 
in Paul these bowels were not natural, but the contrary rather were natural 
to him, and yet they so abounded in him, and that naturally, as himself 
speaks, how much more must they needs abound in Christ, to whom they 
are native and inbred ? Or else, secondly, ' in the bowels,' is put for 
instar, ' like the bowels,' or ' after the bowels,' according to the analogy of 
the Hebrew phrase. And so then the meaning were this, like as the 
bowels of Jesus Christ do yearn after you, so do mine. ' Bowels ' are a 


metaphor to signify tender and motherly affections and mercies. So Luke 
i. 78, ' through the tender mercies.' In the original it is ' the bowels of 
mercy.' Thus Paul, when he would signify how tender his affections 
were, he instances in the bowels of Jesus Christ (he making Christ his 
pattern in this in all, ' Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ '). Now, 
how desirous was this great apostle to beget men to Christ ! He cared not 
what else he lost, so he might win some. He ' counted not his life dear,' 
nay, not his salvation dear, but ' wished himself accursed for his brethren,' 
who yet were the greatest enemies Christ then had on earth. How glad 
was he when any soul came in ! How sorry when any fell off ! Falling 
' into a new travail (he knew not how better to express the anxiety of his 
spirit for the Galatians), till Christ was formed in them.' How comforted 
was he when he heard tidings of the constancy and increase of any of their 
faith ! 1 Thes. hi. 6, 7 ; and ver. 8 he says, ' for now we live, if you stand 
fast in the Lord.' Bead all his epistles, and take the character of his 
spirit this way ; and when you have done, look up to Christ's human 
nature in heaven, and think with yourselves, ' Such a man is Christ.' 
Paul warbles out in all these strains of affections but the soundings of 
Christ's bowels in heaven, in a lower key. They are natural to Christ, 
they all and infinite more are eminent in him. And this is the second 
demonstration, taken from his own natural disposition as Son of God. 

3. A third demonstration shall be taken from the third person of the 
Trinity, the Holy Ghost. If the same Spirit that was upon him, and in 
him, when he was on earth, doth but still rest upon him now he is in 
heaven, then these dispositions must needs still entirely remain in him. 

This demonstration is made up of two propositions put together : (1.) 
That the Holy Ghost dwelling in him concurs to make his heart thus gra- 
ciously affected to sinners; and (2.) That the same Spirit dwells and con- 
tinues in and upon him for ever in heaven. 

(1.) For the first : It was the Spirit who overshadowed his mother, and, 
in the meanwhile, knit that indissoluble knot between our nature and the 
second person, and that also knit his heart unto us. It was the Spirit who 
sanctified him in the womb. It was the Spirit that rested on him above 
measure, and fitted him with a meek spirit for the works of his mediation ; 
and indeed for this very grace sake of meekness did the Spirit come more 
especially upon him. Therefore, when he was first solemnly inaugurated 
into that office, at his baptism (for then he visibly and professedly entered 
upon the execution of it), the Holy Ghost descended upon him ; and how ? 
As a dove ; so all the evangelists jointly report it. But why in the shape 
of a dove ? All apparitions that God at any time made of himself, were 
not so much to shew what God is in himself, as how he is affected towards 
us, and declare what effects he works in us. So here, this shape of a dove 
resting upon him was to shew those special gracious dispositions wherewith 
the Holy Ghost fitted Jesus Christ to be a Mediator. A dove, you know, 
is the most innocent and most meek creature, without gall, without talons, 
having no fierceness in it, expressing nothing but love and friendship to its 
mate in all its carriages, and mourning over it in its distresses ; and was 
therefore a fit emblem to express what a frame and temper of spirit the 
Holy Ghost did upon this his descending on him, fill the heart of Christ 
with, and this without measure, that as sweetly as doves do converse with 
doves, sympathising and mourning each over other, so may we with Christ, 
for he thus sympathiseth with us. And though he had the Spirit before, 
yet now he was anointed with him, in respect of such effects as these, which 

Part II. J unto sinners on earth. 119 

appertained to the execution of his offico, with a larger measure and moro 
eminently than before. Therefore the evangelist Luke notes upon it (chap, 
iv. 1), ' Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan.' And 
Peter also puts the like gloss upon it, as appears, Acts x. 37, for speaking 
there of the baptism of John, he shows how ' after that his being baptized, 
he began to preach,' and ' how God having anointed him with the Holy 
Ghost,' namely, at that baptism of his, 'he went about doing good,' &c. 
And that this was the principal thing signified by this descending of the 
Holy Ghost as a dove upon him, even chiefly to note out his meekness, and 
sympathising heart with sinners, wrought in him by the Holy Ghost, is 
evident by two places, where Christ himself puts that very intendment on it. 

The first presently after, in the first sermon that he preached after that 
his having received the Holy Ghost (in the same 4th of Luke), where first 
it is noted, ver. 1, that he returned from being baptized, ' full of the Spirit,' 
and so was led to be tempted ; then, ver. 14, it is said that he returned 
from being tempted, ' in the power of that Spirit,' and after this is explained 
by himself, the mystery of his having received the Spirit in the likeness of 
a dove, and this is the subject matter of the first text which he opened in 
his first sermon, singled out by him on purpose, by choice, not chance, out 
of Isaiah, which he read to them (ver. 18), ' The Spirit of the Lord is upon 
me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,' that is, 
in spirit, the afflicted in conscience for sin ; ' he hath sent me to heal the 
broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight 
to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,' &c. And when he 
had read so much as concerned the expressing the compassionate disposi- 
tion of his Spirit unto sinners, whose misery he sets down by all sorts of 
outward evils, then he reads no further, but closeth the book, as intimating 
that these were the main effects of that his receiving the Spirit. ' The 
Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the 
gospel to the poor ; ' that is, for this end, or for this very purpose hath he 
given me his Spirit, because I was designed or anointed to this work, and 
by that Spirit also hath he anointed or qualified me with these gifts and 
dispositions suitable to that work. 

Another place that makes the fruit and end of his receiving the Spirit 
then at his baptism, to be these tender dispositions unto sinners, is that in 
Mat. xii. 18, 19, &c, out of another place in Isaiah, ' Behold my beloved, 
in whom my soul is well pleased ; I will put my Spirit upon him, and he 
shall shew judgments to the Gentiles,' &c. That seems to be a terrible 
word, but be not afraid of it, for by ' judgment ' is meant even the doctrine 
of free grace and of the gospel, that changeth and reforms men. As in 
like manner (according to the Hebrew phrase), in ver. 20, by judgment is 
meant the work of God's grace on men's hearts, when he says, ' He will 
send forth judgment unto victory,' the work of grace being the counterpart 
of the doctrine of grace. And in preaching this doctrine (which in itself is 
good tidings) the prophet shews how he should carry it with a spirit, answer- 
able and suitable thereunto, even full of all meekness, stillness, calmness, 
and modesty, which he expresseth by proverbial speeches usual in those 
times, to express so much by, ' He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall 
any man hear his voice in the streets,' that is, he shall deal with all still- 
ness and meekness, without violence or boisterousness. John had the voice 
of a crier, he was a man of a severe spirit ; but Christ came ' piping and 
dancing,' all melodious sweetness was in his ministry and spirit ; and, in 
the course of his ministry, he went so tenderly to work, he was so heedful 


to broken souls, and had such regard to their discouragements, that it is 
said he would not ' break a bruised reed,' that is, he would set his steps 
with such heed as not to tread on a reed that was broken in the leaf ; or he 
would walk so lightly or softly, that if it lay in his way, though he went 
over it, yet he would not have further bruised it : nor quenched either by 
treading out ' the smoking flax,' which is easily done, or with any rushing 
motion have raised so much wind as to blow out a wick of a candle, as 
some translate it, smoking in the socket, which the least stirring of the air 
puffs out. All this is to express the tenderness of his heart ; and this, upon 
his receiving the Spirit, and especially from the time of his baptizing ; for 
then, you know, those words were together therewith uttered, ' This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;' and they are the same words also, 
which, together with God's giving him the Spirit, are joined in that 40th of 
Isaiah, whence these words are taken, so that he was filled with the Spirit, 
to that end to raise up in him such sweet affections towards sinners. 

(2.) Now, for the second part that goes to make up this demonstration: it 
is as certain that the same Spirit that was upon Christ, and acted * his spirit 
here below, doth still abide upon him in heaven. It must never be said, 
the Spirit of the Lord is departed from him, who is the sender and bestower 
of the Holy Ghost upon us. And if the Spirit once coming upon his mem- 
bers ' abide with them for ever,' as Christ promiseth, John xiv. 16, then 
much more doth this Spirit abide upon Christ the Head, from whom we all, 
since Christ was in heaven, receive that Spirit, and by virtue of which 
Spirit's dwelling in him, he continues to dwell in us. Therefore, of him 
it is said, Isa. xi. 2, ' The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.' Yea, 
and in that story of the Holy Ghost's descending upon him at his baptism, 
it is not only recorded, that ' he descended on him,' but over and above it 
is added, ' and abode upon him.' Yea, further, to put the greater emphasis 
upon it, it is twice repeated ; so John i. 32, ' I saw the Spirit' (says the 
evangelist) ' descending from heaven like a dove ;' and he adds this also as 
a further thing observed by him, • and it abode upon him.' And then 
again, ver. 33, ' I knew him not' (says he) ' but that he that sent me gave 
me this token to know him by, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit 
descending, and remaining on him, the same is he.' And further, as it 
is intimated there, he 'rested on him' to that end, that he might bap- 
tize us with the Holy Ghost unto the end of the world : ' The same 
(says he) is he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.' He at first descends 
as a dove, and then abides as a dove for ever upon him ; and this dove 
itself came from heaven first. And therefore, certainty, now that Christ 
himself is gone to heaven, he abides and sits upon him much more as a 
dove still there. Moreover, let me add this, that although the Spirit rested 
on him here without measure in comparison of us, yet it may be safely said, 
that the Spirit, in respect of his effects in gifts of grace and glory, rests 
more abundantly on him in heaven, than he did on earth, even in the 
same sense that at his baptism, as was said, he rested on him in such 
respects more abundantly than he did before his baptism, during the time 
of his private life. For as when he came to heaven he was installed king 
and priest, as it were, anew, in respect of a new execution ; so, for the work 
to be done in heaven, he was anew anointed with this ' oil of gladness above 
his fellows,' as Ps. xlv. 7. Which place is meant of him especially as he is 
in heaven, at God's right hand, in fulness of joy ; as Ps. xvi. 11, it is also 
spoken of him, when also it is, that he ' goes forth in his majesty to con- 
* That is, ' actuated.'— Ed. 

Part II. J unto sinners on earth. 121 

quer,' as ver. 4 of that 45th Psalm. And yet, then, ' meekness' is not far 
off, but is made one of his dispositions in his height of glory. So it fol- 
lows in the fore-cited verse, ' In thy majesty ride prosperously, because of 
truth and meekness,' &c. Therefore Peter says, Acts ii. 36, that ' that 
same Jesus whom you (Jews) have crucified,' and who was risen and 
ascended, ' God hath made both Lord and Christ :' Lord, that is, hath exalted 
him as King in heaven ; and Christ, that is, hath also anointed him ; and 
this oil is no other than the Holy Ghost, with whom, the same Peter tells 
us, ho was anointed at his baptism, Acts x. 38. Yea, and because he then 
at once received the Spirit in the fullest measure that for ever he was to 
receive him, therefore it was that he shed him down on his apostles, and 
• baptized them with him' (as in that 2d of the Acts we read). Now 
it is a certain rule, that whatsoever we receive from Christ, that he himself 
first receives in himself for us. And so one reason why this oil ran then 
so plentifully down on the skirts of this our High Priest, that is, on his 
members the apostles and saints, and so continues to do unto this day, is 
because our High Priest and Head himself was then afresh anointed with 
it. Therefore, ver. 33 of that 2d of the Acts, Peter, giving an account 
how it came to pass that they were so filled with the Holy Ghost, says, 
that Christ ' having received from the Father the promise of the Holy 
Ghost, had shed him forth on them ;' which receiving is not to be only 
understood of his bare and single receiving the promise of the Holy Ghost 
for us, by having power then given him to shed him down upon them, as 
God had promised, though this is a true meaning of it ; but further, that he 
had received him first as poured forth on himself, and so shed him forth 
on them, according to that rule, that whatever God doth unto us by Christ, 
he first doth it unto Christ. All promises are made and fulfilled unto him 
first, and so unto us in him ; all that he bestows on us he receives in him- 
self. And this may be one reason why (as John vii. 39) ' the Spirit was 
not as yet given, because Jesus was not as yet glorified.' But now he is 
in heaven, he is said to ' have the seven spirits ;' so Rev. i. 3, which book 
sets him out as he is since he went to heaven. Now those seven spirits 
are the Holy Ghost, for so it must needs be meant, and not of any creature, 
as appears by the 4th verse of that chapter, where ' grace and peace are 
wished ' from the seven spirits ;' so called, in respect of the various effects 
of him both in Christ and us, though but one in person. And seven is a 
number of perfection, and is therefore there mentioned, to shew, that now 
Christ hath the Spirit in the utmost measure that the human nature is 
capable of. And as his knowledge (which is a fruit of the Spirit) since his 
ascension is enlarged — for before he knew not when the' day of judgment 
should be, but now when he wrote this book of the Revelation he did — so 
are his bowels (I speak of the human nature) extended ; all the mercies 
that God means to bestow being now actually to run through his hands, 
and his particular notice, and he to bestow them, not on the Jews only, 
but on Gentiles also, who were to be converted after he went to heaven. 
And so he hath now an heart adequate to God's own heart, in the utmost 
extent of shewing mercy unto any whom God hath intended it unto. 

And this is the third demonstration, from the Spirit's dwelling in him ; 
wherein you may help your faith, by an experiment of the Holy Ghost his 
dwelling in your own hearts, and there not only working in you meekness 
towards others, but pity towards yourselves, to get your souls saved ; and 
to that end, stirring up in you incessant and * unutterable groans' before 
the throne of grace, for grace and mercy. Now the same Spirit dwelling 


in Christ's heart in heaven, that doth in yours here, and always working 
in his heart first for you, and then in yours by commission from him ; rest 
assured, therefore, that that Spirit stirs up in him bowels of mercy infinitely 
larger towards you than you can have unto yourselves. 

A second sort of demonstrations, from severed engagements noiv lying upon 

Christ in heaven. 

II. There are a second sort of demonstrations, which may be drawn 
from many other several engagements continuing and lying upon Christ 
now he is in heaven, which must needs incline his heart towards us as 
much, yea more, than ever. As, 

1. The continuance of all those near and intimate relations and alliances 
unto us of all sorts, which no glory of his can make any alteration in, and 
therefore not in his heart and love, nor a declining any respects and offices 
of love, which such relations do call for at his hands. All relations that 
are natural, such as between father and child, husband and wife, brother 
and brother, &c, look what world they are made for, in that world they 
for ever hold, and can never be dissolved. These fleshly relations, indeed, 
do cease in that other world, because they were made only for this world ; 
as, ' the wife is bound to her husband but so long as he lives,' Rom. vii. 1. 
But these relations of Christ unto us were made in order to ' the world to 
come,' as the Epistle to the Hebrews calls it ; and therefore are in their 
full vigour and strength, and receive their completement therein. Where- 
fore it is that Christ is said to be ' the same to-day, yesterday, and for 
ever,' Heb. xiii. 8. To illustrate this by the constant and indissoluble tie 
of those relations of this world, whereto no difference of condition, whether 
of advancement or abasement, can give any discharge. We see in Joseph, 
when advanced, how as his relations continued, so his affections remained 
the same to his poor brethren, who yet had injured him, and also to his 
father. So Gen. xlv., where in the same speech he mentioneth both his 
own greatest dignities and advancement : ' God hath made me a father to 
Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of 
Egypt ;' so ver. 8, and yet withal he forge tteth not his relations, ' I am 
Joseph, your brother,' ver, 4, even the same man still. And his affections 
appeared also to be the same ; for he ' wept over them, and could not 
refrain himself,' as you have it, ver. 1,2. And the like he expresseth to 
his father, ' Go to my father, and say, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God 
hath made me lord over all Egypt,' ver. 9 (and yet thy son Joseph still). 

Take another instance, wherein there was but the relation of being of 
the same country and alliance, in Esther, when advanced to be queen of an 
hundred, twenty, and seven provinces ; who when she was in the arms of 
the greatest monarch on earth, and enjoyed highest favour with him, yet 
then she cries out, ' How can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto 
my people, or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred ! ' 
So chap. viii. 6. She considered but her relation, and how doth it work 
in her veins by a sympathy of blood ! Now much more doth this hold 
good of husband and wife, for they are in a nearer relation yet. Let tha 
wife have been one that was poor and mean, fallen into sickness, &c, and 
let the husband be as great and glorious as Solomon in all his royalty, all 
mankind would cry shame on such a man, if he should not now own his 
wife, and be a husband in all love and respect to her still. But beyond 

Part II. J unto sinners o « earth. 123 

all these relations, the relation of head and members, as it is most natural, 
so it obligeth most ; ' No man ever yet hated his own flesh,' says the 
apostle, though diseased and leprous, ' but lovcth and cherisheth it.' And 
it is the law of nature, that ' if one member be honoured, all the members 
are to rejoice with it,' 1 Cor. xii. 26 ; ' and if one member sutler, all the 
rest are to suffer with it.' ' Even so is Christ,' as ver. 12. And these 
relations are they that do move Christ to continue his love unto us. ' Jesus 
knowing that he was to depart out of this world, having loved his own who 
were in the world, he loved them unto the end,' John xiii. 1. And the 
reason thereof is put upon his relation to them : they were ' his own,' and 
his own by virtue of all relations whatsoever, his own brethren, his own 
spouse, his own flesh ; and ' the very world will love its own,' as himself 
speaks, much more will he himself love his own. ' He that provides not 
for his own family is worse than an infidel,' says the apostle. Now though 
Christ be in heaven, yet his people are his family still ; they are retainers 
to him, though they be on earth, and this as truly as those that stand about 
his person now he is in his glory. So that speech evidently declares, ' Of 
whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named ;' they all together 
make up but one and the same family to him as their Lord. Christ is 
both the founder, the subject, and the most perfect exemplar and pattern 
to us, of the relations that are found on earth. 

(1.) First, he is the founder of all relations and affections that accom- 
pany them both in nature and grace. As therefore the Psalmist argues — 
', Shall he not see who made the eye ? — so do I. Shall not he who put all 
these affections into parents and brothers, suitable to their relations, shall 
not he have them much more in himself ? Though our father Abraham, 
being in heaven, ' be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not, yet, O 
Lord, thou art our Father, and our Redeemer,' &c, Isa. xxxvi. 16. The 
prophet speaks it of Christ, as appears by verses 1 and 2, and in a prophecy 
of the Jews' call ; and he speaks it of Christ, as supposed in heaven, for he 
adds, ' Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy 
holiness and thy glory.' There are but two things that should make him 
to neglect sinners : his holiness, as they are sinners, and his glory, as they 
are mean and low creatures. Now he there mentions both, to shew that 
notwithstanding either as they are sinners he rejects them not, and as they 
are base and mean, he despiseth them not. 

(2.) He is the subject of all relations, which no creature is. If a man be 
a husband, yet not a father, or a brother ; but Christ is all, no one relation 
being sufficient to express his love, wherewith he loveth and owneth us. 
And therefore he calls his church both sister and spouse, Cant. v. 1. 

(3.) He is the pattern and exemplar of all these our relations, and they 
all are but the copies of his. Thus, in Eph. v., Christ is made the pattern 
of the relation and love of husbands. ' Husbands,' says the apostle, ' love 
your wives, as Christ loved his church,' so ver. 25. Yea, verses 31, 32, 33, 
the marriage of Adam, and the very words he then spake of cleaving to a 
wife, are made but the types and shadows of Christ's marriage to his church. 
Herein I speak, says he, ' concerning Christ and the church, and this is a 
great mystery.' First, a mystery ; that is, this marriage of Adam was 
ordained hiddenly, to represent and signify Christ's marriage with his 
church. And secondly, it is a great mystery, because the thing thereby 
signified is in itself so great, that this is but a shadow of it. And there- 
fore all those relations, and the affections of them, and the effects of those 
affections, which you see and read to have been in men, are all, and were 



ordained to be, as all things else in this world are, but shadows of what is 
in Christ, who alone is the truth and substance of all similitudes in nature, 
as well as the ceremonial types. 

If, therefore, no advancement doth or ought to alter such relations in 
men, then not in Christ. ' He is not ashamed to call us brethren,' as Heb. 
ii. 11. And yet the apostle had just before said of him, ver. 9, ' We see 
Jesus crowned with glory and honour.' Yea, and as when one member 
suffers the rest are touched with a sympathy, so is it with Christ. Paul 
persecuted the saints, the members, and ' Why persecutest thou me ?' cries 
the Head in heaven ; the foot was trodden on, but the Head felt it, though 
• crowned with glory and honour.' ' We are flesh of his flesh, and bone of 
his bone,' Eph. v. 30 ; and therefore as Esther said, so says Christ, ' How 
can I endure to see the evil that befalls my people ? ' If a husband hath 
a wife that is mean, and he become a king, it were his glory, and not his 
shame, to advance her ; yea, it were his shame to neglect her, especially if, 
when the betrothment was first made, she was then rich and glorious, and 
a king's daughter, but since that fallen into poverty and misery. Now, 
Christ's spouse, though now she be fallen into sin and misery, yet when 
she was first given to Christ by God the Father, who from all eternity made 
the match, she was looked upon as all glorious ; for in election at first 
both Christ and we were by God considered in that glory which he means 
to bring him and us unto at last, that being first in God's intention, 
which is last in execution. For God at the beginning doth look at the 
end of his works, and at what he means to make them ; and so he then, 
primitively intending to make us thus glorious, as we shall be, he brought 
and presented us to his Son in that glass of his decrees under that face 
of glory wherewith at last he meant to endow us. He shewed us to 
him as appareled with all those jewels of grace and glory which we shall 
wear in heaven. He did this then, even as he brought Eve unto Adam, 
whose marriage was in all the type of this ; so that as this was the first 
idea that God took us up in, and that we appeared in before him, so also 
wherein he presented us then to Christ, and as it were said, Such a wife 
will I give thee ; and as such did the second person marry us, and 
undertook to bring us to that estate. And that God ordained us thus to 
fall into sin and misery was but to illustrate the story of Christ's love, 
and thereby to render this our lover and husband the more glorious in 
his love to us, and to make this primitive condition whereunto God meant 
again to bring us the more eminently illustrious ; and, therefore, we being 
married unto him, when we were thus glorious in God's first intention, 
although in his decrees about the execution of this, or the bringing us 
to this glory, we fall into meanness and misery before we attain to it, 
yet the marriage still holds. Christ took us to run the same fortune with 
us, and that we should do the like with him ; and hence it was, that we 
being fallen into sin, and so our flesh become frail and subject to infir- 
mities, that he therefore ' took part of the same,' as Heb. ii. 14. And 
answerably on the other side, he being now advanced to the glory ordained 
for him, he can never rest till he hath restored us to that beauty wherein at 
first we were presented to him, and till he hath purged and ' cleansed us, 
that so he may present us to himself a glorious church,' as you have it, 
Eph. v. 26, 27, even such as in God's first intention we were shewn to him 
to become, having that native and original beauty, and possessing that estate, 
wherein he looked upon us when he first took liking to us and married us. This 
is argued there from this very relation of his being our husband^ver. 25, 26 ; 

Part II.] unto sinners on earth. 125 

and, therefore, though Christ be now in glory, yet let not that discourage 
you, for he hath the heart of a husband towards you, being ' betrothed unto 
you for ever in faithfulness and in lovingkindness,' as Hos. ii. 19, and the 
idea of that beauty is so imprinted on his heart, which from everlasting was 
ordained 3 r ou, that he will never cease to sanctify and to cleanse you till he 
hath restored you to that beauty which once he took such a liking of. 

A second engagement. This love of his unto us is yet further increased 
by what he both did and suffered for us here on earth before he went to 
heaven. ' Having loved his own ' so far as to die for them, he will cer- 
tainly ' love them unto the end,' even to eternity. We shall find in all 
sorts of relations, both spiritual and natural, that the having done much for 
any beloved of us doth beget a further care and love towards them ; and 
the like effect those eminent sufferings of Christ for us have certainly pro- 
duced in him. We may see this in parents, for besides that natural affec- 
tion planted in mothers towards their children, as they are theirs, the very 
pains, hard labour, and travail they were at in bringing them forth, increaseth 
their affections towards them, and that in a greater degree than fathers 
bear ; and, therefore, the eminency of affection is attributed unto that cf 
the mother towards her child, and put upon this, that it is ' the son of her 
womb,' Isa. xh'x. 15. And then the performing of that office and work of 
nursing them themselves, which yet it is done with much trouble and dis- 
quietment, doth in experience yet more endear those their children unto 
them, which they so nurse to an apparent difference of bowels and love, in 
comparison of that which they put forth to others of their own children 
which they nursed not ; and, therefore, in the same place of Isaiah, as 
the mother's affection to ' the son of her womb,' so to her ' sucking child ' 
is mentioned as being the highest instance of such love. And as thus 
in paternal affection, so also in conjugal, in such mutual loves in the 
pursuing of which there have any difficulties or hardships been encountered ; 
and the more those lovers have suffered the one for the other, the more 
is the edge of their desires whetted and their love increased, and the 
party for whom they suffered is thereby rendered the more dear unto them. 

And as it is thus in these natural relations, so also in spiritual. We 
may see it in holy men, as in Moses, who was a mediator for the Jews, 
as Christ is for us, Moses therein being but Christ's type and shadow, 
and therefore I the rather instance in him. He under God had been 
the deliverer of the people of Israel out of Egypt with the hazard of his 
own life, and had led them in the wilderness, and given them that good 
law that was their wisdom in the sight of all the nations, and by his 
prayers kept off God's wrath from them. And who ever, of all those heroes 
we read of, did so much for any nation, who yet were continually mur- 
muring at him, and had like once to have stoned him ? And yet what 
he had done for them did so mightily engage his heart, and so immovably 
point and fix it unto their good, that although God in his wrath against 
them offered to make of him alone a greater and mightier nation than 
they were, yet Moses refused that offer, the greatest that ever any son of 
Adam was tempted with, and still went on to intercede for them, and, 
among other, used this very argument to God, even the consideration of 
what he had already done for them, as ' with •what great might and 
power he had brought them out of Egypt,' &c, thereby to move God to 
continue his goodness unto them ; so Exod. xxxii. 11, and elsewhere. 
And this overcame God, as you may read in the 14th verse of the fore- 
named chapter. Yea, so set was Moses his heart upon them, that he not 


only refused that former offer which God made him, but he made an offer 
unto God of himself to sacrifice his portion in life for their good: ' Rather,' 
says he, ' blot me out of the book of life.' So ver. 32. 

And we may observe the like zealous love in holy Paul, towards all those 
converts of his whom in his epistles he wrote unto ; towards whom that 
which so much endeared his affections was the pains, the cost, the travail, 
the care, and the sufferings that he had had in bringing them unto Christ. 
Thus, towards the Galatians how solicitous was he ! how afraid to lose his 
labour on them ! ' I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you 
labour in vain :' so he expresseth himself, Gal. iv. 11 ; and, ver. 19, he 
utters himself yet more deeply, « My little children (says he), of whom I 
again travail in birth, until Christ be formed in you.' He professeth him- 
self content to be in travail again for them, rather than lose that about 
which he had been in travail for them once before. 

Now from both these examples, whereof the one was Christ's type, and 
the other the very copy and pattern of Christ's heart, we may raise up our 
hearts to the persuasion of that love and affection which must needs be in 
the heart of Christ, from that which he hath done and suffered for us. 

First, for Moses ; did Moses ever do that for that people which Christ 
hath done and suffered for you ? He acknowledged that he had ' not borne 
that people in his womb ;' but Christ bare us all, and we were the ' travail 
of his soul,' and for us he endured the birth-throes of death (as Peter caUs 
them, Acts ii. 24). And then for Paul, ' Was Paul crucified for you ? ' (says 
Paul likewise of himself). But Christ was, and he speaks it the more to 
enhance the love of Christ. Or if Paul had been crucified, would or could 
it have profited us ? No. If therefore Paul was contented to have been 
in travail again for the Galatians, when he feared their falling away, then 
how doth Christ's heart work much more toward sinners ! he having put 
in so infinite a stock of sufferings for us already, which he is loath to lose, 
and hath so much love to us besides, that if we could suppose that other- 
wise we could not be saved, he could be content to be in travail again, 
and to suffer for us afresh. But he needed to do this but once, as the 
apostle to the Hebrews speaks, so perfect was his priesthood. Be assured 
then, that his love was not spent or worn out at his death, but increased by 
it. His love it was that caused him to die, and to ' lay down his life for 
his sheep ;' and 'greater love than this hath no man,' said himself before 
he did it. But now, having died, this must needs cause him from his soul 
to cleave the more unto them. 

A cause or a person that a man hath suffered much for, according to 
the proportion of his sufferings, is one's love and zeal thereunto ; for these do 
lay a strong engagement upon a man, because otherwise he loseth the thanks 
and the honour of all that is already done and passed by him. ' Have you 
suffered so many things in vain ? ' says the apostle to the Galatians, 
chap. hi. 4, where he makes a motive and an incitement of it, that 
seeing they had endured so much for Christ, and the profession of 
him, they would not now lose all for want of doing a little more. And 
doth not the same disposition remain in Christ ? Especially seeing the 
hard work is over and despatched which he was to do on earth ; and that 
which now remains for him to do in heaven is far more sweet and full of 
glory, and as the ' reaping in joy,' of what he had here 'sown in tears.' If 
his love was so great, as to hold out the enduring so much ; then now 
when that brunt is over, and his love is become a tried love, will it not 
continue ? If when tried in adversity (and that is the surest and strongest 

Part II. j unto sinners on eartii. 127 

love), and the greatest adversity that ever was ; if it then held, will it not 
still do so in his prosperity much more ? Did his heart stick to us and 
by us in the greatest temptation that ever was ; and will his glorious and 
prosperous estate take it off, or abate his love unto us ? Certainly no. 
' Jesus the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever,' Heb. xiii. 8. When he 
was in the midst of his pains, one for whom he was then a-suffering, said 
unto him, ' Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom;' and 
could Christ mind him then ? as you know he did, telling him, ' This day 
shalt thou bo with me in paradise.' Then surely when Christ came to para- 
dise he would do it much more ; and remember him too, by the surest 
token that ever was, and which he can never forget, namely, the pains 
which he was then enduring for him. He remembers both them and us 
still, as the prophet speaks of God. And if he would have us ' remember 
his death till he comes,' so to cause our hearts to love him, then certainly 
himself doth it in heaven much more. No question but he remembers us, 
as he promised to do that good thief, now he is in his kingdom. And so 
much for this second engagement. 

A third engagement is the engagement of an office which still lies upon 
him, and requires of him all mercifulness and graciousness towards sinners 
that do come unto him. And therefore whilst he continue in that place, 
and invested with that office, as he for ever doth, his heart must needs 
continue full of tenderness and bowels. Now that office is the office of his 
priesthood, which this text mentions as the foundation of our encourage- 
ment to ' come boldly to the throne of grace, for grace and mercy, .... 
seeing we have a great high priest entered into the heavens.' 

Two things I am to shew to make up this demonstration. 

First, that this office of high priesthood is an office erected wholly for 
the shewing of grace and mercy. 

And secondly, that this office doth therefore lay upon Christ a duty to be 
in all his dispensations full of grace and mercy, and therefore his heart 
remains most certainly suited and framed thereunto. 

For the first. The office of high priesthood is altogether an office of 
grace. And I may call it the pardon-office, set up and erected by God in 
heaven; and Christ he is appointed the lord and master of it. And as his 
kingly office is an office of power and dominion, and his prophetical office 
an office of knowledge and wisdom, so his priestly office is an office of 
grace and mercy. The high priest's office did properly deal in nothing else. 
If there had not been a mercy- seat in the holy of holies, the high priest had 
not at all been appointed to have gone into it. It was mercy, and recon- 
ciliation, and atonement for sinners that he was to treat about, and so to 
officiate for at the mercy-seat. He had had otherwise no work, nor any- 
thing to do when he should come into the most holy place. Now this was 
but a typical allusion unto this office of Christ's in heaven. And therefore 
the apostle (in the text), when he speaks of this our high priest's being 
entered into heaven, he makes mention of a throne of grace, and this in 
answer to that in the type both of the high priest of old, and of the mercy- 
seat in the holy of holies. And further to confirm this, the apostle goes 
on to open that very type, and to apply it unto Christ, unto this very pur- 
pose which we have now in hand. And this in the very next words to my text, 
chapter v. 1st, 2d, and 3d verses ; in which he gives a full description of 
a high priest, and all the properties and requisites that were to be in 
him, together with the eminent and principal end that that office was 
ordained for. Now the great and essential qualifications there specified, 


that were to be in a high priest, are mercy and grace, and the ends for 
which he is there said to be ordained are works of mercy and grace. And 
besides what the words in their single standing do hold forth to this pur- 
pose, observe that they come in to back and confirm that exhortation in the 
text, wherein he had set forth Christ as an ' high priest touched with the 
feeling of infirmities : ' and that therefore we should ' come with boldness 
for grace and mercy ;' ' for every high priest (says he) taken from among 
men, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God : that he may offer 
both gifts and sacrifices for sin.' ' One who can have compassion,' &c. 
So that these words are a confirmation of what he had before said, and do 
set out Christ the substance, in his grace and mercifulness, under Aaron and 
his sons the shadows ; and all this for the comfort of believers. 

Now for the ends for which those high priests were appointed, they speak 
all nothing but grace and mercy unto sinners ; it is said, he was one ' or- 
dained for men, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.' There is both 
the Jin is at jus, the end for whom, and the finis cut, the end for which, he 
was ordained. 

(1.) For whom. He was ordained for men, that is, for men's cause, and 
for their good. Had it not been for the salvation of men, God had never 
made Christ a priest. So that he is wholly to employ all his interest and 
power for them for whose cause he was ordained a priest, and that in all 
things that are between God and them. He is to transact ra ir^hg rhv Qsbv, 
all things that are to be done by us towards God, or for us with God, he is 
to take up all our quarrels with God, and to mediate a reconciliation between 
us and him. He is to procure us all favour from God, and to do all that 
which God would have done for our salvation. And that he might do this 
willingly, kindly, and naturally for us, as every high priest was ' taken from 
among men,' so was Christ, that he might be a priest of our own kind, 
and so be more kind unto us, than the nature of an angel could have been. 
And how much this conduceth to his being a merciful high priest, I shall 
shew anon. 

(2.) The end for which every high priest was ordained, shews this ; he 
was to ' offer gifts and sacrifices for sins : ' sacrifices for sins, to pacify God's 
wrath against sin, and gifts to procure his favour. You know the apostle, 
in the foregoing words, had mentioned grace and mercy, and encouraged us 
to come with boldness unto this high priest for both ; and answerably to 
encourage us the more, he says, the high priest by his office was to offer 
for both : gifts for to procure all grace, and sacrifices to procure all mercy 
for us, in respect of our sins. Thus you see the ends which he is ordained 
for are all matter of grace and mercy, and so of encouragement unto men 
for the obtaining of both, verse 1. 

(3.) The qualification that was required in a high priest was, that he 
should be ' one that could have compassion,' &c, and this is set forth, verse 2. 
He that was high priest was not chosen into that office for his deep wis- 
dom, great power, or exact holiness ; but for the mercy and compassion 
that was in him. That is it which is here made the special, and therefore 
the only mentioned, property in a high priest as such ; and the special 
essential qualification that was inwardly and internally to constitute him 
and fit him for that office : as God's appointment did outwardly and exter- 
nally, as verse 4 hath it. And the word dwdpsvog, ' that can ' or 'is 
able,' imports an inward faculty, a spirit, a disposition, a heart that knows 
how to be compassionate. And it is the same word that the apostle had 
before used to express Christ's heart by, even in the wordsof the text, 

Part II.] unto sinners on babth. 129 

duvd/Aivov e-jij.'radrjaui, that is, ' who can be touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities.' And he had also used it of him afore that, in the point of 
mercy, chap. ii. 18, Buvarat, &c, ' he is able' to succour, etc., which is not 
meant of any external power (which we usually call ability), but of an in- 
ternal touch in his will ,• he hath a heart able to forgive, and to ail'ord help. 

Now, therefore, if this be so essential a property to a high priest as 
such, then it is in Christ most eminently. And as Christ had not been 
fit to have been God's king, if he had not had all power and strength in 
him, which is essential to constitute him a king, so not to have been God's 
high priest, if he had not had such an heart for mercifulness ; yea, and no 
louger to have been a priest than he should continue to have such a heart. 
Even as that which internally qualifies a minister for the ministry is his 
gifts, ' which if he loseth, he is no longer to be in that office ; or as rea- 
son makes a man a man, which if he loseth he becomes a beast ; thus no 
longer should Christ continue to be a priest than he hath a heart that 
' can have compassion,' as this second verse hath it. And the word which 
we translate ' to have compassion,' is exceeding emphatical, and the force 
of it observable ; it is in the original /uroio-rahTv, and signifies ' to have 
compassion according to every one's measure and proportion.' He had said 
of Christ in the words of my text, that he was ' touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities,' or that ' he had a suffering with us in all our evils ; ' and 
this word also here used imports a suffering. 

But then, some greatly distressed souls might question thus : Though he 
pities me, and is affected, yet my misery and sins being great, will he take them 
in to the full, lay them to heart, to pity me according to the greatness of 
them ? To meet with this thought therefore, and to prevent even this 
objection about Christ's pity, the apostle sets him out by what was the duty 
of the high priest, who was his shadow ; that he is one that ' can have 
compassion according to the measure of every one's distress ;' and one that 
considers every circumstance in it, and will accordingly afford his pity and 
help, and if it be great, he hath a great fellow-feeling of it, for he is a great 
high priest. Thy misery can never exceed his mercy. The word here 
used comes froni /jbtrgov, a measure, and vafoTv, to suffer. And that it is 
the apostle's scope to hold this forth in this word, is evident by what follows, 
for he on purpose makes mention of those several degrees, proportions, and 
ranks of sinners under the old law, who were capable of mercy and com- 
passion, 'who can have compassion' (says he) 'on the ignorant, and on 
them that are out of the way.' In the old law you may read of several 
degrees and kinds of sinners, for which God appointed or measured out 
difi'ering and proportionable sacrifices, Lev. iv. ver. 2 and 5, and another 
for sins against knowledge, or such as were wittingly committed, chap. vi. 
ver. 2, 3, compared with ver. 6. Now when any sinner came to the high 
priest to make atonement for him, the priest was wisely to consider the 
kind and proportion of his sin ; as whether it were a sin of mere ignorance, 
or whether it were against knowledge ; and accordingly he was to proportion 
a sacrifice, and to mediate for him. And so he did (urgimra^v, ' pity him 
according to measure,' or according to reason or discretion, as in the 
margin it is varied. And therefore the apostle here mentions both the 
ignorant, that is, those that sin out of mere ignorance, and them that are 
gone out of the way, namely, by wilful and witting iniquity. And so by 
this property that was to be in the high priest, doth he here set forth Christ. 
As the measure of any man's need and distress is from sin and misery, 
accordingly is he affected towards him. And as we have sins of several 

vol. rv. j 


sizes, accordingly hath he mercies, and puts forth a mediation proportion- 
able ; whether they be ignorances, or sins of daily incursion, or else sins 
more gross and presumptuous. And therefore let neither of them discourage 
any from coming unto Christ for grace and mercy. 

So that (for the closure of this) here is both the qualification disposing 
him for this office, merciful compassionateness ; and here ai'e the ends of 
this office, even to deal mercifully with all sorts of sinners, according to the 
proportion and measure of their sins and miseries. From each of which do 
arise these corollaries, which make up the demonstration in hand, as the 
conclusion: 1. That he is no longer fit for this place, than he continues 
to be of a gracious disposition, and one that can have compassion. 2. That 
he can no longer be faithful in the discharge of this office, according to the 
ends for which it was appointed, than he shews all grace and mercy unto 
them that come unto his throne of grace for it. 

And that is the second thing which I at first propounded : that this office 
did lay a duty upon him to have compassion ; and it necessarily follows 
from the former. And answerably to confirm this, we have both these two 
brought to our hands in one place together, and which is a parallel place 
to this last interpreted. It is Heb. ii. 17, ' That he might be a merciful 
and a faithful high priest,' &c. He is at once here said to be both merciful 
and faithful ; and both are attributed to him, in respect of this high priest's 
office, ' faithful high priest ; ' and that, as it is to be executed in heaven, 
after the days of his flesh ended. For the apostle giving the reason of it, 
and shewing what it is that fits him to be such a high priest, adds, ver. 
28, • in that himself hath suffered ; ' so that it relates to the time aiter his 
sufferings ended. Now in that he is said to be merciful, this relates to that 
internal disposition of his heart, before spoken of, qualifying him for this 
office ; and in that he is said to be faithful, that respects his execution of 
it ; he is faithful in the discharge of the duty which that plaeie laj'S on him. 

So then this goes further than the former, for it shews, that to exercise 
mercy is the duty of his place, and that, if he will be faithful, he must be 
merciful. For faithfulness in any office, imports an exact performance of 
something appointed by him, who designs one to that office, and that as a 
duty ; and that this is a true description of faithfulness, and also that this 
faithfulness so described is in Christ, we have at once implied, in that which 
immediately follows in the beginning of the 3d chap. ver. 3, 'Who was' 
(says the apostle, going on to speak of Christ) ' faithful to him that 
appointed him, as Moses also was faithful in all his house ; ' we have the 
same thing as expressly spoken in that fore-quoted place, Heb. v., in the 
next words to those we even now opened, ver. 3, ' And by reason hereof 
he ought to offer for sins.' He speaks it of Christ's type, the high priest 
(as the former also he had done), but thereby to shew that it is Christ's 
duty also to mediate for all that come to him, ' He ought to do it.' Now 
then to enforce this consideration, for the help of our faith herein. If this 
office doth by God's appointment thus bind him to it, and if it be the duty 
of his place, then certainly he will perform it most exactly, for else he doth 
not do his duty. And our comfort may be, that his faithfulness lies in 
being merciful ; therefore, you see, they are both here joined together. 
Every one is to do the proper duty of his place, and exactly to see to that. 
And therefore the apostle, Rom. xii., exhorting to the discharge of the duties 
of each office in the church, ver. 7, he says, ' Let him that hath a ministry,' 
committed to him, ' wait on his ministry ; ' and, among others, if his place 
of ministration be to ' shew mercy,' as ver. 8 (which was an office in the 

Part II.] unto sinners on earth. 131 

church, upon which lay tho caro of the poor and rick), ho is to ' do it with 
cheerfulness.' And so says Christ of himself, Isa. lxi. 1,2, ' The Spirit of 
tho Lord is upon me, to bind up the broken-hearted, to open the prison 
doors to them that are bound,' to visit and relieve them, and ' to preach 
good tidings to the meek.' Such kind of souls are they that he hath the 
charge of. He is the great shepherd and bishop of souls, 1 Peter ii. 25, 
and the sick, and the broken, they are his sheep, his charge, his diocese, 
as Ezekiel hath it, chap, xxxiv. 16. And to tend such as these, he looks 
for ever upon it as his duty, as his own expression upon the like occasion 
importeth, in John x. 16, ' Other sheep I have' (says Christ), ' them I must 
bring,' &c. Observe how he puts a /xe ou, an / must upon it ; looking at it 
as his duty, strictly laid upon him by his place of being a shepherd. And 
the proper duty of his place being to shew merey, he doth it with cheer- 
fulness, as the apostle speaks. For mercy makes one do what they do 
with cheerfulness. And Christ, as he is the bishop, so the didxovoi, Ihe 
deacon also (for he bears all offices to his church), as of the circumcision, 
so of the uncircumcision also ; so he is called, Rom. xv. 8. And these 
offices of high priest, shepherd, bishop, &c, he hath still in heaven; for 
* he continues a priest for ever,' Heb. vii. 24. 

Now, therefore, to conclude this head. Never fear that Christ's great 
advancement in heaven should any whit alter his disposition ; for this his 
very advancement engageth him the more. For although he be ' entered 
into the heavens,' yet consider withal that it is here added, to be an high 
priest there ; and so long fear not, for his place itself will call for mercy 
from him unto them that treat with him about it. And although in the 
heavens he be ' advanced far above all principalities and powers,' yet still 
his high priesthood goes with him, and accompanies him ; for • such an 
high priest became us, as was higher than the heavens,' Heb. vii. 26. And 
further, though he sits at God's right hand, and. on his Father's throne, yet 
that throne it is a ' throne of grace,' as the text hath it, upon which he sits. 
And as the mercy-seat in the type was the farthest and highest thing in the 
holy of holies, so the throne of grace (which is an infinite encouragement 
unto us) is the highest seat in heaven, So that if Christ will have and 
keep the greatest place in heaven, the highest preferment that heaven itself 
can bestow upon him, it engageth him unto grace and mercy. The highest 
honour there hath this attribute of grace annexed to it in its very title, ' A 
throne of grace ; ' and as Solomon says, ' A king's throne is established by 
righteousness,' it continues firm by it, so is Christ's throne by grace. 
Grace was both the first founder of his throne, or his raiser to it, and also 
it is the establisher of it. 

First, it is the founder of it ; for the reason why God did set him up in 
that place was, because he had more grace and mercy in his heart than 
all the creatures had, or could be capable of. All favourites are usually 
raised for something that is eminent in them, either beauty, pleasantness of 
wit, state policy, or the like. Now if you ask what moved God to advance 
Christ to this high throne, it was his grace. So Ps. xlv. 3, ' Grace is 
poured into thy lips,' and so dwells much more in his heart : • therefore 
God hath blessed thee ;' so it follows, namely, with all those glories in heaven, 
which are God's blessings to his Son. 

And then, secondly, grace is the upholder of his throne ; so ver. 4 of the 
aforesaid Ps. xlv., ' In thy majesty . . . prosper thou,' as well ' because of 
meekness' as of ' righteousness,' and also because of ' truth ;' that is, the 
word of truth, ' the gospel of our salvation,' as Paul exegetically expoundcth 


it, Eph. i. 13. These are the pillars and supporters of his throne and 
majesty. And there are two of them, ) r ou see, that are of grace (meekness, 
and the gospel of our salvation), unto one of justice, or righteousness, and 
yet that one is for us too. And these establish Christ's throne. So it fol- 
lows, ver. 6, ' Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever,' and you know who 
applies this unto Christ, Heb. i. 8. Fear not then, whenas meekness sup- 
ports his majesty, and grace his throne, and whenas he holds his place by 
shewing these. And thus much from that office that is laid upon Christ as 
he is a priest. 

A fourth engagement, which added to the former may mightily help our 
faith in this, is, his own interest, both in that our salvation is the purchase 
of his blood, and also that his own joy, comfort, happiness, and glory are 
increased and enlarged by his shewing grace and mercy, in pardoning, re- 
lieving, and comforting his members here on earth, under all their infirmi- 
ties. So that, besides the obligation of an office undertaken by him for us, 
there is the addition of a mighty interest of his own, coincident therewith, 
to fix his heart unto faithfulness for us, in all that doth concern us. We 
see that advocates and attorneys who plead for others, although that they 
have no share in the estate for which they plead, no title to, or interest 
therein, yet when they have undertaken a client's cause (if honest), how 
diligent will they be to promote and carry it for that their client, simply 
because it is their office, and the duty of their place ; and yet the}* have but 
a very small fee given them, in comparison of that estate which ofttimes 
they follow suit about. How much more would their diligence be whetted, 
if the lands and estates they sue for were then* own, or a purchase of theirs 
for their wives' jointure, or children's portions ! Now such is the pardon- 
ing of our sins, the salvation of our souls, and the conforming of our hearts 
unto Christ ; these are the purchase of Christ's blood, and whilst he is 
exercised in promoving these, he doth good to his own child and spouse, 
&c, which is in effect a doing good unto himself. Yea, to do these, bringeth 
in to himself more comfort and glory than it procures to them. And 
therefore the apostle, in the beginning of the following chapter (namely, 
Heb. hi.), says, that Christ is engaged to faithfulness in the execution of 
his office, not as a mere servant only, who is betrusted by his master, but 
as an owner, who hath an interest of possession in the things committed 
to his care, and a revenue from these. So ver. 5, ' Moses verily' (says he) 
' was faithful as a servant in God's house, but Christ as a Son over his own 
house,' that is, as an heir of all, ' whose house (or family) are we,' says the 
apostle, ver. 6 ; If a physician for his fee will be faithful, although he be a 
stranger, much more will he be so if he be father to the patient, so as his 
own life and comfort are bound up in that of the child's, or when much of 
his estate and comings in are from the life of the party unto whom he minis- 
ters physic. In such a case they shall be sure to want for no care and cost, 
and to lack no cordials that will comfort them, no means that will cure 
them and keep them healthful, and no fit diet tbat may nourish and 
strengthen them ; as the care of that prince of the eunuchs, in the first of 
Daniel, was, to have those children committed to his charge, to eat and 
drink of the best, because that on their looks and good liking his place 
depended. Now so God hath ordered it, even for an everlasting obliga- 
tion of Christ's heart unto us, that his giving grace, mercy, and comfort to 
us, is one great part of his glory, and 01 the revenue of his happiness in 
heaven, and of his inheritance there. 

First, to explain how this may be, consider, That the human nature of 

Part II. unto sinners on earth. 188 

Christ in heaven hath a double capacity of glory, happiness and delight ; 
one on that mere fellowship and communion with his Father and the other 
persons, through his personal union with the Godhead. Which joy of his 
in this fellowship, Christ himself speaks of, Ps. xvi. 11, as to be enjoyed 
by him, ' In thy presence is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand are plea- 
sures for evermore.' And this is a constant and settled fulness of pleasure, 
such as admits not any addition or diminution, but is always one and the 
same, and absolute and entire in itself ; and of itself alone sufficient for the 
Son of God, and heir of all things to live upon, though he should have had 
no other comings in of joy and delight from any creature. And this is his 
natural inheritance. 

But God hath bestowed upon him another capacity of glory, and a revenue 
of pleasure to come in another way, and answerably another fulness, namely, 
from his church and spouse, which is his body. Thus Eph. i., when the 
apostle had spoken the highest things of Christ's personal advancement in 
heaven that could be uttered, as of his ' sitting down at God's right hand, 
far above all principalities and powers,' &c, verses 20, 21 ; yet, ver. 22, he 
adds this unto all, ' and gave him to be an head to the church, which is 
his body, the fulness of him who filleth all in all.' So that although he of 
himself personally be so full, the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him, 
that he overflows to the filling all things ; yet he is pleased to account — 
and it is so in the reality — his church, and the salvation of it, to be another 
fulness unto him, super-added unto the former. As Son of God he is com- 
plete, and that of himself ; but as an head, he yet hath another additional 
fulness of joy from the good and happiness of his members. And as all plea- 
sure is the companion, and the result of action, so this ariseth unto him, 
from his exercising acts of grace, and from his continual doing good unto, 
and for those his members ; or, as the apostle expresseth it, from his filling 
them with all mercy, grace, comfort, and felicity, himself becoming yet 
more full, by filling them ; and this is his inheritance also, as that other 
was. So as a double inheritance Christ hath to live upon : one personal, 
and due unto him, as he is the Son of God, the first moment of his incar- 
nation, ere he had wrought any one piece of work towards our salvation ; 
another acquired, purchased, and merited by his having performed that 
great service and obedience ; and, certainly, besides the glory of his person, 
there is the glory of his office of mediatorship, and of headship to his church. 
And though he is never so full of himself, yet he despiseth not this part of 
his revenue that comes in from below. Thus much for explication. 

Now, secondly, for the confirmation and making up the demonstration 
in hand. This superadded glory and happiness of Christ is enlarged and 
increased still, as his members come to have the purchase of his death 
more and more laid forth upon them ; so as when their sins are pardoned, 
their hearts more sanctified, and their spirits comforted, then comes he to 
see the fruit of his labour, and is comforted thereby, for he is the more 
glorified by it, yea, he is much more pleased and rejoiced in this than 
themselves can be. And this must needs keep up in his heart his care 
and love unto his children here below, to water and refresh them every 
moment (as Isaiah speaks, chap, xxvii. 3). For in thus putting forth acts 
of grace and favour, and in doing good unto them, he doth but good unto 
himself, which is the surest engagement in the world. And therefore the 
apostle exhorts men to love their wives upon this ground, that in so 
doing they love themselves : ' So ought men to love their wives, as their 
own bodies : he that loveth his wife loveth himself,' Eph. v. 28, so strict 


and near is that relation. Now, the same doth hold true of Christ in his 
loving his church. And therefore in the same place the love of Christ 
unto his church is held forth as the pattern and exemplar of ours ; so ver. 
25, ' Even as Christ alsc loved the church.' And so it may well be argued 
thence, by comparing the*, one speech with the other, that Christ in loving 
his church doth but love himself; and then the more love and grace he 
shews unto the members of that his body, the more he shews love unto 
himself. And accordingly it is further added there, ver. 27, that he daily 
' washeth and cleanseth his church,' that is, both from the guilt and power 
of sin, ' that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having 
spot or wrinkle,' &c. Observe, it is to himself. So that all that he doth 
for his members is for himself, as truly, yea, more fully, than for them ; 
and his share of glory out of theirs is greater than theirs, by how much 
the glory of the cause is greater than that of the effect. And thus indeed 
the Scripture speaks of it, as whilst it calls the saints the ' glory of Christ.' 
So 2 Cor. viii. 23. And Christ, in John xvii. 13, and verses 22, 23, says, 
that he is ' glorified in them.' And Psalm xlv., where Christ is set forth 
as Solomon in all his royalty and majesty ; yet, ver. 11, he is said ' greatly 
to desire or delight in the beauty' of his queen, that is, the graces of the 
saints ; and that not with an ordinary delight, but he ' greatly desires ; ' 
his desire is increased as her beauty is. For that is there brought in as a 
motive unto her to be more holy and conformed unto him, ' to incline her 
ear, and forsake her father's house,' ver. 10. ' So shall the king greatly 
desire thy beauty.' Christ hath a beauty that pleaseth him as well as we 
have, though of another kind ; and therefore ceaseth not till he hath got 
out every spot and wrinkle out of his spouse's face, as we heard the apostle 
speak even now, ' so to present her glorious unto himself,' that is, 
delightful and pleasing in hij eye. And suitably unto this, to confirm us 
3~et more in it, Christ in that sermon which was his solemn farewell before 
his going to heaven, assures his disciples that his heart would be so far from 
being weaned from them, that his joy would still be in them, to see them 
prosper and bring forth fruit ; so John xv. 9, 10, 11, whei*e his scope is 
to assure them of the continuance of his love unto them when he should 
be gone ; so verses 9, 10, ' As my Father hath loved me, so have I loved 
you : continue in my love,' &c. As if he had said, Fear not you my love, 
nor the continuance of it in my absence ; but look you to do your duty, &c. 
And to give them assurance of this, he further tells them, that even when 
he is in heaven, in the greatest fulness of pleasure at God's right hand, 
yet even then his joy will be in them, and in their well-doing ; so ver. 11, 
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may remain in you, 
and that your joy may be full.' He speaks just like a father that is taking 
his leave of his children, and comforting them at his departure, and giving 
them good counsel to take good courses when he is gone from them, to 
keep his commandments, and to love one another, so verses 10 and 12, 
and backs it with this motive, so shall my joy remain in you : it is as 
fathers use to speak ; and it will be for your good too, your joy will be 
also full. 

To open which words a little : the word remain, used concerning their 
abiding in his love, and his joy abiding in them, is used in reference to the 
continuing of both these towards them in heaven. And when Christ says, 
' that my joy may remain in you,' it is as if he had said, that I may even 
in heaven have cause to rejoice in you when I shall hear and know of you, 
that you agree and are loving each to other, and keep my commandments. 

Part II.] unto pinners on eakth. 135 

The joy which ho there calls his joy, ' tny joy,' is not to be understood 
objective, of their joy in him, as the object of it ; but subjective*, of the joy 
that should be in himself, and which he should have in them. So Augus- 
tine long since interpreted it. Quidncun, says he, est ill ml gttudhm Christi 

in nobis, nisi quod file di/fimtur (jaudere de nobis? What is Christ's joy in 
us, but that which he vouchsafeth to have of and for us ? And it is evi- 
dent by this, that otherwise, if it were their joy which he meant in that 
first sentence, then that other that follows, ' and your joy shall be full,' 
were a tautology. He speaks therefore of his joy and theirs, as of two 
distinct things ; and both together were the greatest motives that could be 
given to encourage and quicken his disciples in obedience. Now, take an 
estimate of Christ's heart herein, from those two holy apostles Paul and 
John, who were smaller resemblances of this in Christ. What, next to 
immediate communion with Christ himself, was the greatest joy they had 
to live upon in this world, but only the fruit of their ministry, appearing in 
the graces both of the fives and hearts of such as they had begotten unto 
Christ ? See how Paul utters himself, 1 Thess. ii. 19, ' What is our hope,' 
says he, ' or joy, or crown of rejoicing '? Ye are our glory and our joy,' 
ver. 20. And in the 3d Epistle of John, ver. 3, John says the like, that 
he greatly rejoiced of that good testimony he had heard of Gaius ; for, says 
he, ' I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth,' 
ver. 4. Now what were Paul and John but instruments by whom they 
believed and were begotten '? and not on whom. Neither of these were 
crucified for them ; nor were these children of theirs the travail of their 
souls. How much more then unto Christ, whose interest in us and our 
welfare is so infinitely much greater, must his members be his joy and his 
crown ? And to see them to come in to him for grace and mercy, and to 
walk in truth, rujoiceth him much more ; for he thereby sees of the travail 
of his soul, and so is satisfied. Certainly what Solomon says of parents, 
Prov. x. 1, that ' a wise son maketh a glad father,' &c, is much more true 
of Christ. Holiness, and fruitfulness, and comfortableness in our spirits 
while we are here below, do make glad the heart of Christ, our ' everlasting 
Father.' Himself hath said it, I beseech you believe him, and carry your- 
selves accordingly. And if part of his joy arise from hence, that we thrive 
and do well, then doubt not of the continuance of his affections ; for love 
unto himself will continue them towards us, and readiness to embrace and 
receive them when they come for grace and mercy. 

There is a fifth engagement, which his very having our nature, which he 
still wears in heaven, and which the end or intention which God had or- 
dained Christ's assuming it, do put upon him for ever. For one great end 
and project of that personal union of our nature unto the Godhead in the 
second Person for ever, was, that he might be a merciful high priest. So that 
as his office lays it as a duty upon him, so his becoming a man qualifies 
him for that office and the performance of it, and so may afford a farther 
demonstration of the point in hand. This we find both to have been a 
requisite in our high priest, to qualify him the better for mercy and bowels ; 
and also one of those great ends which God had in that assumption of our 

First, a requisite, on purpose to make him the more merciful. So, Heb. 
v. 1, the place even now insisted on, when yet this primary qualification I 
then passed over, and reserved unto this mention, it is said, ' Every high 
priest taken from among men is ordained for men,' and that to this end, 
' that so he might be one that can have compassion :' namely, with a pity 


that is natural and kiudly, such as a man bears to one of his own kind. 
For otherwise the angels would have made higher and greater high priests 
than one of our nature ; but then they would not have pitied men, as men 
do their brethren, of the same kind and nature with them. 

And secondly, this was also God's end and intention in ordaining Christ's 
assumption of our nature, which that other place before cited, namely, 
Heb. ii. 16, 17, holds forth, ' Verily he took not on him the nature of 
angels, but the seed of Abraham :' that is, an human nature, and that 
made, too, of the same stuff that ours is of, and ' it behoved him to be made 
like us in all things, that he might be a merciful high priest,' &c, 'ha etejjften 
yhrjui, ' to the end he might become,' or ' be made merciful.' 

But was not the Son of God as merciful (may some say) without the 
taking of our nature, as afterwards, when he had assumed it ? Or is his 
mercy thereby made larger than of itself it should have been, had he not 
took the human nature on him ? 

I answer, Yes ; he is as merciful, but yet, 

[1.] Hereby is held forth an evident demonstration (and the greatest one 
that could have been given unto men) of the everlasting continuance of 
God's mercies unto men, by this, that God is for everlasting become a man ; 
and so we thereby assured that he will be merciful unto men, who are of 
his own nature, and that for ever. For as his union with our nature is for 
everlasting, so thereby is sealed up to us the continuation of these his mer- 
cies, to be for everlasting ; so that he can and will no more cease to be 
merciful unto men, than himself can now cease to be a man; which can 
never be. And this was the end of that assumption. 

[2. J But, secondly, that was not all. His taking our nature not only 
adds unto our faith, but some way or other even to his being merciful. 
Therefore it is said, ' that he might be made merciful,' &c. That is, mer- 
ciful in such a way as otherwise God of himself had never been ; namely, 
even as a man. So that this union of both natures, God and man, was 
projected by God to make up the rarest compound of grace and mercy in 
the result of it that ever could have been, and thereby fully fitted and ac- 
commodated to the healing and saving of our souls. The greatest of that 
mercy that was in God, that contributes the stock and treasury of those 
mercies to be bestowed on us : and unto the greatness of these mercies 
nothing is or could be added by the human nature assumed ; but rather 
Christ's manhood had all his largeness of mercy from the Deity. So that, 
had he not had the mercies of God to enlarge his heart towards us, he could 
never have held out to have for ever been merciful unto us. But then, this 
human nature assumed, that adds a new way of being merciful. It assimi- 
lates all these mercies, and makes them the mercies of a man ; it makes 
them human mercies, and so gives a naturalness and kindness unto them 
to our capacities. So that God doth now in as kindly and as natural a 
way pity us, who are flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, as a man 
pities a man, thereby to encourage us to come to him, and to be familiar 
with God, and treat with him for grace and mercy, as a man would do with 
a man ; as knowing that in that man Christ Jesus (whom we believe upon) 
God dwells, and his mercies work in and through his heart in a human 

I will no longer insist upon this notion now, because I shall have occa- 
sion to touch upon it again, and add unto it under that next third general 
head, of shewing the way how Christ's heart is affected towards sinners. 
Only take we notice what comfort this may afford unto our faith, that Christ 


must cease to be a man if he continue not to be merciful ; seeing the very 
plot of his becoming a man was, that he might be merciful unto us, and 
that in a way so familiar to our apprehensions, as our own hearts give the 
experience of the like, and which otherwise, as God, he was not capable of. 
And add but this bold word to it, though a true one, that he may now as 
soon cease to be God as to be a man. The human nature, after he had once 
assumed it, being raised up to all the natural rights of the Son of God ; 
whereof one (and that now made natural unto him) is to continue for ever 
united. And he may as soon cease to be either as to be ready to shew 
mercy. So that not only the scope of Christ's office, but also the intention 
of his assuming our nature, doth lay a farther engagement upon him, and 
that more strong than any or than all the former. 



For we have not an high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our 
infirmities, hut was in all things tempted like as we are, yet ivithout sin. — 
Heb. IV. 15. 

Some generals to clear how this is to be understood, that Christ's heart is 
tmiclied with the feeling of our infirmities, together ivith the way how our 
i u fi unities come to be feelingly let into his heart. 

I. Having thus given such full and ample demonstrations of the tenderness 
and sameness of Christ's heart unto us now he is in heaven, with that which 
it was whilst he was here on earth ; and those, both extrinsical (in the first 
part) and intrinsical (in the second) ; I now come to the last head which I 
propounded in the opening of these words, namely, the way and manner of 
Christ's being affected with pity unto us ; both how it is to be understood 
by us, and also how such affections come to be let into his heart, and 
therein to work these bowels of compassion unto us. This in the begin- 
ning of the second part I propounded to be handled, as being necessary both 
for the opening and clearing the words of the text, which mainly holds forth 
this, as also for the clearing of the thing itself, the point in hand. For, as 
I there shewed, these words come in by way of preoccupation or prevention 
of an objection, as if his state now in heaven were not capable of such 
affection as should tenderly move him to pity and commiseration, he being 
now glorified both in soul and body. Which thought, because it was apt 
to arise in all men's minds, the apostle therefore forestalls it, both by 
affirming the contrary, ' We have not an high priest that cannot be touched,' 
&c, that is, he both can be, or is capable of it, and likewise is touched, 
notwithstanding all his glory, as also by his annexing the reason of it, or 
shewing the way how it comes to pass, in that ' in all points he was tempted 
like as we are.' 

Now in handling and opening these, which is a matter full of difficulty, 
I shall, with all wariness, proceed to the discovery of what manner of 
affection in Christ this is, and that by these steps and degrees. 

1. This affection of compassion, or his being 'touched with the feeling 
of our infirmities,' is not wholly to be understood in a metaphorical or a 
similitudinary sense, as those speeches used of God in the Old Testament 
are to be understood, when bowels of compassion are attributed unto him, 
and his bowels are said to be ' rolled together,' or as whenas it is said of 
God, that he repented, and was afflicted in all his people's afflictions. All 
which expressions were of God (as we all know) but merely vm.§ uvQ^wzuKudiiav, 
after the manner of men ; so to convey and represent to our apprehensions, 
by what affections use to be in parents or friends in such and such cases 
(what provoke them unto such and such actions), which like effects proceed 

Part III. J unto sinners on earth. 139 

from God towards us when he sees us in distress. And so they are spoken 
rather per modwn effectua, than affeetus, rather by way of like effect, which 
God produceth, than by way of such affection in God's heart, which is not 
capable of any such passions as these are. Now towards the right under- 
standing of this, the first thing which I affirm is, that barely in such a 
sense as this, that which is here spoken of Christ, is not to be understood, 
and my reason for it is grounded upon these two things put together. First, 
that this affection of his towards us here spoken of, is manifestly meant 
of his human nature, and not of his Godhead only, for it is spoken of that 
nature wherein he once was tempted as we now are. So expressly in the 
next words, which can be meant of no other than his human nature. 

And secondly, that those kind of expressions which were used of God 
before the assumption of our nature, only in a way of metaphor and 
similitude, ' after the manner of men,' should in no further or more real 
and proper sense be spoken of Christ and his human nature now assumed, 
and when he is a man as truly and properly as we are, I cannot imagine ; 
when I consider and remember that which I last insisted on, that one end 
of Christ's taking a human nature, was ' that he might be a merciful high 
priest for ever,' in such a way as, he being God alone, could not have 
been. I confess I have often wondered at that expression thei-e used, ' He 
took the seed of Abraham, that he might be made a merciful high priest,' 
Heb. ii., which at the first reading sounded as if God had been made 
more merciful by taking our nature. But this solved the wonder, that this 
assumption added a new way of God's being merciful, by means of which 
it may now be said, for the comfort and relief of our faith, that God is 
truly and really merciful, as a man. And the consideration of this con- 
tributes this to the clearing of the thing in hand, that whereas God of 
himself was so blessed and perfect, that his blessedness could not have 
been touched with the least feeling of our infirmities, neither was he in 
himself capable of any such affection of pity or compassion : ' He is not as 
a man, that he should pity or repent,' &c. He can indeed do that for us 
in our distress, which a man that pities us useth to do ; but the affections 
and bowels themselves he is not capable of. Hence, therefore, amongst 
other ends of assuming man's nature, this fell in before God as one, that 
God might thereby become loving and merciful unto men, as one man is to 
another. And so, that what before was but improperly spoken, and by 
way of metaphor and similitude, in the Old Testament, so to convey it to 
our apprehensions, might now be truly attributed unto him in the reality ; 
that God might be for ever said to be compassionate as a man, and to be 
touched with a feeling of our infirmities as a man. And thus by this 
happy union of both natures, the language of the Old Testament, uttered 
only in a figure, becomes verified and fulfilled in the truth of it, as in all 
other things the shadows of it were in Christ fulfilled. And this is the 
first step towards the understanding of what is here said of Christ, taken 
from this comparison with the like attributed unto God himself. 

2. A second and further step to let in our understanding to the appre- 
hension of this, is by the like further comparison to be made with the 
angels, and those affections of love and pity that are certainly found in 
them. In comparison of which, these affections in Christ's human nature, 
though glorified, must needs be far more like to ours, even more tender, 
and more human ; for in that Heb. ii. it is expressly said, ' He therefore 
took not the nature of the angels, that he might be a merciful high priest.' 
Part of the intendment of those words is to shew and give the reason, not 


only why he took our nature under frail flesh, though that the apostle 
mentions, ver. 14, but why a human nature for the substance of it, and 
not the nature of angels ; because in his affections of mercy he would for 
ever come nearer to us, and have such affections, and of the same kind 
with ours. Whereas otherwise, in other respects, an angel would have 
been a higher and more glorious high priest than a man. 

Now the angels being fellow- servants with us, as the angel called him- 
self, Rev. xxii. 9, they have affections towards us more assimilated unto 
ours than God hath, and so are more capable of such impressions from 
our miseries than God is. Although they be spirits, yet they partake of 
something analogical, or resembling and answering to those affections of 
pity, grief, &c, which are in us. And indeed, so far as these affections 
are seated in our souls, and not drenched in the passions of the body, unto 
which our souls are united, they are the very same kind of affections in us 
that are in them. Hence the same lusts that are in men are said to be in 
devils, John viii. 44, and therefore the devils also are said to fear and 
tremble, &c. And so, oppositely, the same affections that are in men, so 
far as they are spiritual, and the spirit or soul is the seat of them, they 
must needs be found in the good angels. But Christ having a human 
nature, the same for substance that ours is, consisting both of soul and 
body, although through glory made spiritual, yet not become a spirit ; ' A 
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have,' says Christ of himself, 
after his resurrection, Luke xxiv. 39 ; therefore he must needs have affec- 
tions towards us, yet more like to these of ours than those are which the 
angels have. So then by these two steps we have gained these two things, 
that even in Christ's human nature, though glorified, affections of pity and 
compassion are true and real, and not metaphorically attributed to him as 
they are unto God ; and also more near and like unto ours here than those 
in the angels are ; even affections proper to man's nature, and truly human. 
And these he should have had, although this human nature had, from the 
very first assumption of it, been as glorious as it is now in heaven. 

3. But now, thirdly, add this further, that God so ordered it, that 
before Christ should elothe this his human nature with that glory he hath 
in heaven, and put this glory upon it, he should take it as clothed with all 
our infirmities, even the very same that doth cleave unto us, and should 
live in this world, as we do, for many years. And during that time God 
prepared for him all sorts of afflictions and miseries to run through, which 
we ourselves do here meet withal ; and ah that time he was acquainted 
with, and inured unto, all the like sorrows that we are ; and God left him 
to that infirmity and tenderness of spirit, to take in all distresses as deeply 
as any of us (without sin), and to exercise the very same affections under 
all these distresses that we at any time do find stirring in our hearts. And 
this God thus ordered, on purpose thereby to fit him and to frame his 
heart, when he should be in glory, unto such affections as these spoken of 
in the text. And this both this text suggests to be God's end in it, as also 
that fore-mentioned place, Heb. ii. 13, ' Forasmuch as we,' namely, his 
members, ' are partakers of flesh and blood,' which phrase doth ever note 
out the frailties of man's nature, as 1 Cor. xv. 50, &c, ' he himself took 
part of the same, .... that he might be a merciful high priest,' &c, 
verse 17. And then the apostle gives this reason for it, verse 18, ' For in 
that himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able' — this ability is, as was 
before interpreted, the having an heart fitted and enabled, out of experience, 
to pity — and 'to succour them that are tempted.' The meaning of which 

Part III.] unto sinners on earth. 141 

is, that it is not the bare taking of a human nature, if glorious from the 
first, that would thus fully have fitted him to be affectionately pitiful out of 
experience, though, as was said, the knowledge of our miseries taken in 
thereby would have made him truly and really affectionate towards us, 
with affections human and proper to a man, and so much nearer and liker 
ours than what are in the angels themselves, or than are attributed to God, 
when he is said to pity us ; but further, his taking our nature at first 
clothed with frailties, and living in this world as we, this hath for ever 
fitted his heart by experience to be in our very hearts and bosoms ; and not 
only or barely to know the distress, and as a man to be affected with a 
human affection to one of his kind, but experimentally remembering the 
like in himself once. And this likewise the text suggests as the way where- 
by our distresses are let into his heart the more feelingly, now he is in 
heaven. ' We have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the 
feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet 
without sin.' And the more to comfort us herein, observe how fully and 
universally the apostle speaks of Christ's having been tempted here below. 
First, for the matter of them, or the several sorts of temptations, he says 
he was tempted xara vatra, ' in all points,' or things of any kind, where- 
with we are exercised. Secondly, for the manner, he adds that too, -/.at)' 
ofuuorqra, ' like as we are.' His heart having been just so affected, so 
wounded, pierced, and distressed, in all such trials as ours use to be, only 
without sin, God, on purpose, left all his affections to their full tender- 
ness, and quickness of sense of evil. So that Christ took to heart all that 
befell him as deeply as might be ; he slighted no cross, either from God or 
men, but had and felt the utmost load of it. Yea, his heart was made 
more tender in all sorts of affections than any of ours, even as it was in love 
and pity; and this made him ' a man of sorrows,' and that more than any 
other man was or shall be. 

Now therefore, to explicate the way how our miseries are let into his 
heart, and come to stir up such kindly affections of pity and compassion in 
him, it is not hard to conceive from what hath now been said, and from 
what the text doth further hint unto us. 

(1.) The understanding and knowledge of that human nature hath notice 
and cognisance of all the occurrences that befall his members here. And 
for this the text is clear ; for the apostle speaks this for our encouragement, 
that ' Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities ;' which could not 
be a relief unto us, if it supposed not this, that he particularly and dis- 
tinctly knew them ; and if not all as well as some, we should want relief in 
all, as not knowing which he knew, and which not. And the apostle affirms 
this of his human nature, as was said, for he speaks of that nature thai 
tempted here below. And, therefore, ' the Lamb that was slain,' and so 
1 the man Christ Jesus' is, Rev. v. 6, said to have ' seven eyes,' as well as 
1 seven horns,' which seven eyes are • the seven spirits sent forth into all 
the earth.' His eyes of providence, through his anointing with the Holy 
Ghost, are in all corners of the world, and view all the things that are done 
under the sun. In like manner he is there said to have seven horns for 
power, as seven eyes for knowledge ; and both are defined to be seven, to 
shew the perfection of both, in their extent reaching unto all things. So 
that, as ' all power in heaven and earth is committed unto him as Son 
of man, as the Scripture speaks, so all knowledge is given him of all 
things done in heaven and earth, and this as Son of man too ; his know- 
ledge and power being of equal extent. He is the Sun as well in respect 


of knowledge as of righteousness, and there is nothing hid from his light 
and beams, which do pierce the darkest corners of the heai-ts of the sons 
of men. He knows the sores, as Solomon expresseth it, and distresses of 
their hearts. Like as a looking-glass made into the form of a round globe, 
and hung in the midst of a room, takes in all the species of things done or 
that are therein at once, so doth the enlarged understanding of Christ's 
human nature take in the affairs of this world, which he is appointed to 
govern, especially the miseries of his members, and this at once. 

(2.) His human nature thus knowing all — ' I know thy works, thy labour, 
and thy patience,' &c, Rev. ii. 2 — he therewithal hath an act of memory, 
and recalls how himself was once affected, and how distressed whilst on 
earth, under the same or the like miseries. For the memory of things 
here below remains still with him, as with all spirits in either of those two 
other worlds, heaven or hell. ' Son, remember thou in thy lifetime receivedst 
thy good things, and Lazarus evil,' &c, says Abraham to the soul of Dives 
in hell, Luke xv. 25. ' Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,' 
said the good thief to Christ ; and, Rev. i., ' I am he,' says Christ, ' that 
was dead, and am alive.' He remembers his death still, and the sufferings 
of it ; and as he remembers it, to put his Father in mind thereof, so ho 
remembers it also, to affect his own heart with what we feel. And his 
memory presenting the impression of the like now afresh unto him, how 
it was once with him ; hence he comes feelingly and experimentally to 
know how it is now with us, and so affects himself therewith ; as Dido in 
Virgil — 

' Haud ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco.' 

Having experience of the like miseries, though a queen now, I know how 
to succour those that are therein. As God said to the Israelites when they 
should be possessed of Canaan their own land, Exod. xxiii. 9, ' Ye know 
the hearts of strangers, seeing ye were strangers,' &c, and therefore doth 
command them to pity strangers, and to use them well upon that motive, 
so may it be said of Christ, that he doth know the hearts of his children 
in misery, seeing himself was once under the like. Or, as the apostle 
exhorts the Hebrews, ' Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with 
them, and them that suffer adversity, as being yourselves in the body,' 
Heb. xiii. 3, and so ere you die, may come to suffer the like. So Christ, 
the head of the body, which is the fountain of all sense and feeling in the 
body, doth remember them that are bound and in adversity, having himself 
been once in the body, and so he experimentally compassionates them. 
And this is a further thing than the former. We have gained this further, 
that Christ hath not only such affections as are real and proper to a human 
nature, but such affections as are stirred up in him, from experience of the 
like by himself once tasted in a frail nature like unto ours. And thus much 
for the way of letting in all our miseries into Christ's heart now, so as to 
strike and affect it with them. 

A more -particular disquisition, what manner of affection this is; the seat 
thereof, whether in his spirit or soul only, or the whole human nature. — Some 
cautions added. 

II. But concerning this affection itself of pity and compassion, fellow- 
feeling and sympathy, or suffering with (as the text calls it), which is the 
product, result, or thing produced in his heart by these, there still remains 

Part III. j unto sinners on earth. 143 

another thing more particularly to be inquired into, namely, what manner 
of affection this is; far that such an all'ection is stirred up in him, besides 
and beyond a bare act of knowledge or remembrance how once it was with 
himself, is evident by what we find in the text. The apostle savs, not only 
that he remembers how himself was tempted with the like infirmities that 
we are, though that be necessarily supposed, but that he is struck and touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities ; to the producing of which this act of 
remembrance doth but subserve. And he tells us, Christ is able, and his 
heart is capable of thus being touched. And the word g-j/x^u^uui is a 
deep word, signifying to suffer with us until we are relieved. And this 
affection, thus stirred up, is it which ruoveth him so cordially to help us. 

Now, concerning this affection, as here thus expressed, how far it extends, 
and how deep it may reach, I think no man in this life can fathom. If 
cor rer/is, the heart of a king, be inscrutable, as Solomon speaks, the heart 
of the King of kings now in glory is much more. I will not take upon 
me to ' intrude into things which I have not seen,' but shall endeavour to 
speak safely, and therefore warily, so far as the light of Scripture and ricdit 
reason shall warrant my way. 

I shall set it forth three ways : 

1. Negatively; 2. positively; 3. privatively. 

1. Negatively. It is certain that this affection of sympathy or fellow-feel- 
ing in Christ is not in all things such a kind of affection as was in him in 
the days of his flesh. Which is clear, by what the apostle speaks of him 
and of his affections then, Heb. v. 7, ' Who in the days of his flesh, when 
he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong cryings and tears, 
was heard in that which he feared.' "Where we see his converse and state 
of life here below, to be called by way of difference and distinction from 
what is now in heaven, ' the days of his flesh :' by flesh, meaning not the 
substance of the human nature, for he retains that still, but the frail quality 
of subjection to mortality, or possibility.* So flesh is usually taken, as when 
all flesh is said to be grass ; it is spoken of man's nature, in respect to its 
being subject to a fading, wearing, and decay, by outward casualties, or 
inward passions. So in this epistle, chap ii. 14. ' Forasmuch as the chil- 
dren,' we his brethren, ' did partake of flesh and blood,' that is, the frailties 
of man's nature, ' he himself also took part of the same.' And accordingly 
the apostle instanceth in the following words of that 14th verse, as in death, 
which in the days of his flesh Christ was subject to, so also in such frail 
passions and affections as did work a suffering in him, and a wearing and 
wasting of his spirits ; such as passionate sorrow, joined with strong cries 
and tears, both which he mentioneth, and also fear, in these words, ' He 
was heard in that which he feared.' Now these days of his flesh being over 
and past, for this was only, as says the apostle, in the days of his flesh, 
hence therefore all such concomitant passionate overflowing of sorrow, fear, 
&c, are ceased therewith, and he is now no way capable of them, or sub- 
jected to them. Yet ; — 

2. Positively. Why may it not be affirmed that for substance the same 
kind of affection of pity and compassion, that wrought in his whole man, 
both body and soul, when he was here, works still in him now he is in 
heaven ? if this position be allayed with those due cautions and considera- 
tions which presently I shall annex. For, if for substance the same flesh 
and blood and animal spirits remain and have their use, for though Christ, 
in Luke xxiv. 29, mentioned only his having flesh and bones after his resur- 
* Qu. ' passibility ' '? — Ed. 


rection, unto Thomas and the other disciples, because these two alone were to 
be the object of his touch and feeling ; yet blood and spirits are included .i 
that flesh, for it is cam vitalis, living flesh, and therefore hath blood ana 
spirits that flow and move in it ; then why not the same affections also ? 
And those not stirring only and merely in the soul, but working in the body 
also, unto which that soul is joined, and so remaining really human affec- 
tions. The use of blood and spirits is, as to nourish (which end is now 
ceased) so to affect the heart and bowels by their motion to and fro, when 
the soul is affected. And why this use of them should not remain (and if 
not this, we can conceive no other) I know not. Neither why this affection 
should be only restrained to his spirit or soul, and his corporeal powers 
not be supposed to communicate and partake in them. That so as he is a 
true man, and the same man that he was, both in body as well as in soul, 
for else it had not been a true resurrection, so he hath still the very same 
true human affections in them both ; and such as whereof the body is the seat 
and instrument, as well as the soul. And seeing this whole man, both body 
and soul, was tempted, and that (as the text says) he is touched with a feel- 
ing in that nature which is tempted, it must therefore be in the whole man, 
both body and soul. Therefore, whenas we read of the ' wrath of the Lamb,' 
as Rev. vi. 16, namely, against his enemies, as here of his pity and com- 
passion towards his friends and members, why should this be attributed only 
to his deity, which is not capable of wrath, or to his soul and spirit only ? 
And why may it not be thought he is truly angry as a man, in his whole 
man, and so with such a wrath as his body is affected with, as well as that 
he is wrathful in his soul only, seeing he hath taken up our whole nature, 
on purpose to subserve his divine nature in all the executions of it ? 

But now, how far, in our apprehensions of this, we are to cut off the 
weakness and frailty of such affections as in the days of his flesh was in 
them, and how exactly to difference those which Christ had here, and those 
which he hath in heaven, therein lies the difficulty ; and I can speak but 
little unto it. 

Yet, first, this we may lay down as an undoubted maxim, that so far, or 
in what sense his body itself is made spiritual (as it is called, 1 Cor. xv. 44), 
so far, and in that sense, all such affections as thus working in his body are 
made spiritual, and that in an opposition to that fleshly and frail way of their 
working here. But then, as his body is made spiritual, not spirit (spiritual 
in respect of power, and likeness to a spirit, not in respect of substance or 
nature), so these affections of pity and compassion do work not only in his 
spirit or soul, but in his body too, as their seat and instrument, though in 
a more spiritual way of working, and more like to that of spirits, than those 
in a fleshly frail body are. They are not wholly spiritual in this sense, 
that the soul is the sole subject of them, and that it draws up all such 
workings into itself, so that that should be the difference between his affec- 
tions now and in the days of his flesh. Men are not to conceive as if his 
body were turned into such a substance as the sun is of, for the soul, as 
through a case of glass, to shine gloriously in only ; but further it is united 
to the soul, to be acted by it, though immediately, for the soul to produce 
operations in it. And it is called spiritual, not that it remains not a body, 
but because it remains not such a body, but is so framed to the soul that 
both itself and all the operations of all the powers in it are immediately and 
entirely at the arbitrary imperiwm and dominion of the soul ; and that as 
the soul is pleased to use it, and to sway it and move it, even as imme- 
diately and as nimbly, and without any clog or impediment, as an angel 

Part III.] unto sinners on earth. 145 

moves itself, or as the soul acteth itself. So that this may perhaps be one 
difference, that these affections, so far as in the body of Christ, do not affect 
his soul, as here they did, though as then under the command of grace and 
reason, to keep their motions from being inordinate or sinful ; but further, 
the soul being now too strong for them, doth at its own arbitrement raise 
them, and as entirely and immediately stir them as it doth itself. 

Hence, secondly, these affections of pity and sympathy so stirred up by 
himself, though they move his bowels and affect his bodily heart as they 
did here, yet they do not afflict and perturb him in the least, nor become 
a burden and a load unto his Spirit, so as to make him sorrowful or heavy, 
as in this life here his pity unto Lazarus made him, and as his distresses 
at last, that made him sorrowful unto death. So that as in their rise, so 
in their effect, they utterly differ from what they were here below. And 
the reason of this is, because his body, and the blood and spirits thereof, 
the instruments of affecting him, are now altogether impassible, namely, in 
this sense, that they are not capable of the least alteration tending to any 
hurt whatever. And so, his body is not subject to any grief, nor his spirits 
to any waste, decay, or expense. They may and do subserve the soul in 
its affections, as they did whilst he was here ; but this merely by a local 
motion, moving to and fro in the veins and arteries, to affect the heart and 
bowels, without the least diminution or impair to themselves, or detriment 
to him. And thus it comes to pass, that though this blood and spirits do 
stir up the same affections in his heart and bowels which here they did, 
yet not, as then, with the least perturbation in himself, or inconvenience 
unto himself. But as in this life he was troubled and grieved ' without 
sin ' or inordinacy ; so now when he is in heaven he pities and compas- 
sionates without the least mixture or tang of disquietment and perturbation, 
which yet necessarily accompanied his affections whilst he was here, because 
of the frailty in which his body and spirits were framed. His perfection 
destroys not his affections, but only corrects and amends the imperfection 
of them. Passiones perfectivas to be now in him, the best of schoolmen do 

Thirdly, All natural affections that have not in them indecentiam status, 
something unbefitting that state and condition of glory wherein Christ now 
is, both schoolmen and other divines do acknowledge to be in him, humance 
affectiones qua, naturales sunt, neque cum probro vel peccato conjunct^, sed 
omni ex parte rationi subduntur ; denique ab Us conditionibus liberantur quce 
vel animo, vel corpori aliquo modo officiunt, beatis nequaquam repugnare cen- 
sendcB sunt. ' Those affections which are natural to man, and have no 
adhesion of sin or shame unto them, but are wholly governed by reason, 
and lastly are exempt from such effects as may any way hurt either the 
soul or the body, there is no ground to think that such affections may not 
well stand with the state of souls in bliss,' says Justinian upon this place. 
Now if we consider it, Christ his very state in glory is such, as it becomes 
him to have such human affections of pity and compassion in his whole 
man, so far as to quicken and provoke, him to our help and succour : not 
such as to make him a man of sorrows in himself again (that were uncomely, 
nay, incompatible to him), but such as should make him a man of succours 
unto us, which is his office. To this end it is to be remembered that Christ 
in heaven is to be considered, not personally only as in himself made happy 
in his Father, but withal in his relations and in his offices as an head unto 
us; and in that relation now he sits there, asEph. i. 21, 22 (and the head 
is the seat of all the senses for the good of the body), and therefore most 

vol. rv. k 


sensible of any other part. Wherefore because his members, unto whom 
he bears this relation, are still under sin and misery, therefore it is no way 
uncomely for him in that estate to have affections suitable to this his rela- 
tion. If his state of glory had been wholly ordained for his own personal 
happiness, then indeed there had been no use of such affections to remain 
in him ; but his relation to us being one part and ingredient of his glory, 
therefore they are most proper for him, yea, it were uncomely if he had 
them not. Neither are they a weakness in him, as so considered, but 
rather part of his strength, as the apostle calls them, bbva/Mig. And although 
such affections might in one respect be thought an imperfection, yet in 
another respect, namely, his relation to us and office for us, they are his 
perfection. As he is our head, which he is as he is a man, it is his glory- 
to be truly and really, even as a man, sensible of all our miseries, yea, it 
were his imperfection if he were not. 

And, fourthly, let me add this for our comfort, that though all such affec- 
tions as are any way a burden to his spirit, or noxious to his body, be not 
now compatible to him ; and though that passionate frailty and infirmity 
which did help him here to pity and relieve men in misery, out of a suffering 
hurtful to himself ; though these be cut off, yet in those workings of affections 
and bowels which he hath now, which for substance are the same, there is, 
instead of that passionate frailty, a greater capaciousness, vastness, and also 
quickness in his affections now in heaven, so to make up a compensation, 
and so no less effectually to stir and quicken him to relieve us, than those 
former affections did. For it is certain that as his knowledge was enlarged 
upon his entering into glory, so his human affections of love and pity are 
enlarged in solidity, strength, and reality, as true conjugal love useth to be, 
though more passionate haply at first. They are not less now, but are 
only made more spiritual. And as Solomon's heart was as large in bounty 
and royalty as in knowledge, so Christ's affections of love are as large as 
his knowledge or his power. They are all of a like extent and measure. 
So far as God's intention to shew mercy doth reach (and who knows the 
end of those riches ?), so far doth Christ's disposition to bestow it. Eph. 
iii. 19, ' The love of Christ,' God-man, ' passeth knowledge.' It hath not 
lost or been diminished by his going to heaven. Though God in his nature 
be more merciful than Christ's human nature, yet the act and exercise of 
Christ's affections is as large as God's purposes and decrees of mercy are. 
And all those large affections and mercies are become human mercies, 
the mercies of a man unto men. 

3. Privatively. If these affections of Christ's heart be not suffering and 
afflicting affections, yet we may, by way of privation, express this of them, 
that there is a less fulness of joy and comfort in Christ's heart, whilst he 
sees us in misery and under infirmities, comparatively to what will be when 
we are presented to him free of them all. 

To clear this I must recall, and I shall but recall, that distinction I made 
(in the fourth demonstration, sect. 2, part II.) of a double capacity of glory, 
or a double fulness of joy which Christ is ordained to have : the one natural, 
and so due unto his person as in himself alone considered ; the other addi- 
tional, and arising from the completed happiness and glory of his whole 
church, wherewith mystically he is one. So in Eph. i. 23, although he by 
reason of his personal fulness is there said to ' fill all in all,' yet as he is 
an head in relation to his church as his body, as in the verses before he is 
spoken of, thus the perfection of this his body's beatitude, it is reciprocally 
called his fulness ; and therefore, until he hath filled them with all happi- 

Part III.] unto sinners on earth. 147 

ness, and delivered them from all misery, himself remains nnder some kind 
of imperfection, and answerably his affections also, which are suited to this 
his relation, have some want of imperfection in them, whilst they he under 
misery, in comparison of what his heart shall have when they receive this 
fulness. "We may warrantably say Christ shall be more glad then, and is 
now, as his children are grown up from under their infirmities, and as they do 
become more obedient and comfortable in their spirits, so John xv. 10, 11. 
I shall add some illustration to this by this similitude (which though it 
hold not in all things, yet it will hold forth some shadow of it). The spirits 
of just men departed are said to be perfect, Heb. xii., yet because they 
have bodies unto which they have a relation, and unto which they are or- 
dained to be united, they in this respect may be said to be imperfect, till 
these bodies be reunited and glorified with them, which will add a further 
fulness to them. Thus in some analogy it stands between Christ personal 
and Christ mystically considered. Although Christ in his own person be 
complete in happiness, yet in relation to his members he is imperfect, and 
so accordingly hath affections suited unto this his relation, which is no 
derogation from him at all. The Scripture therefore attributes some affec- 
tions to him which have an imperfection joined with them, and those to be 
in him until the day of judgment. Thus expectation and desire, which are 
but imperfect affections in comparison to that joy which is in the full 
fruition of what was expected or desired, are attributed to him, as he is 
man, until the day of judgment. Thus, Heb. x. 12, 13, he is said to sit 
in heaven, • expecting till his enemies be made his footstool ;' the destruc- 
tion of which enemies will add to the manifestative glory of his kingdom. 
Now, as that will add to the fulness of his greatness, so the complete sal- 
vation of his members will add to the completeness of his glory. And as 
the expectation of his enemies' ruin may be said to be an imperfect affec- 
tion, in comparison of the triumph that one day he shall have over them, 
so his joy which he now hath in his spouse is but imperfect, in comparison 
of that which shall fill his heart at the great day of marriage. And accord- 
ingly, the Scripture calls the accomplishment of these his desires a satis- 
faction ; so Isa. liii. 11, 'He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be 
satisfied,' which argues desires to be in him, lying under a want of some- 
thing in the end to be obtained. Only we must take in this withal, thai 
Jesus Christ indeed knows and sees the very time when this his fulness, 
through the exaltation of his members up to himself, shall be completed, 
and when he shall trample upon the necks of all his and their enemies ; he 
sees their day a-coming, as the Psalmist hath it, which alleviates and 
detracts something from this imperfection, that he should thus expect or 

This scruple satisfied, how his heart can be feelingly touched with our sins 
(our greatest infirmities), seeing he was tempted without sin. 

III. There remains one great unsatisfaction to be removed, which cannot 
but of itself arise in every good heart. You told us, may they say, that by 
infirmities sins were meant, and that the apostle's scope was to encourage 
us against them also ; and they are indeed the greatest discomforts and 
discouragements of all other. Now, against them this which the apostle here 
speaks affordeth us but little, seeing Christ knows not how experimentally 
to pity us therein, for ' he knew no sin.' Yea, the apostle himself doth 


here except it, • He was tempted in all things, yet without sin.' It may 
comfort us, indeed, that Christ doth and will pity us in all other infir- 
mities, because he himself was subject to the like, but he never knew what 
it was to be under sin and vexed with lust, as I am ; and how shall I re- 
lieve myself against that by what the apostle here speaks of him ? I shall 
endeavour to give some satisfaction and relief in this by these following 

First, The apostle puts it, indeed, that ' he was tempted, yet without 
sin.' And it was well for us that he was thus without sin, for he had not 
been a fit priest to have saved us else ; so Heb. vii. 26, ' Such an High 
Priest became us as was separate from sinners, innocent,' &c. Yet for 
your relief withal, consider that he came as near in that point as might be. 
• He was tempted in all things,' so says the text, though ' without sin ' on 
his part ; yet tempted to all sin so far as to be afflicted in those temptations, 
and to see the misery of those that are tempted, and to know how to pity 
them in all such temptations. Even as in taking our nature in his birth 
he came as near as could be, without being tainted with original sin, as, 
namely, by taking the very same matter to have his body made of that all 
ours are made of, &c, so in the point of actual sin, also, he suffered him- 
self to be tempted as far as might be, so as to keep himself pure. He 
suffered all experiments to be tried upon him by Satan, even as a man who 
hath taken a strong antidote suffers conclusions to be tried on him by a 
mountebank. And, indeed, because he was thus tempted by Satan unto 
sin, therefore it is on purpose added, ' yet without sin ; ' and it is as if he 
had said sin never stained him, though he was outwardly tempted to it. 
He was tempted to all sorts of sins by Satan, for those three temptations 
in the wilderness were the heads of all sorts of temptations, as interpreters 
upon the gospels do shew. 

Then, secondly, to fit him to pity us in case of sin, he was vexed with 
the filth and power of sin in others whom he conversed with, more than 
any of us with sin in ourselves. His ' righteous soul was vexed ' with it, 
as Lot's righteous soul is said to have been with the impure conversation 
of the Sodomites. He ' endured the contradiction of sinners against him- 
self,' Heb. xii. 3. ' The reproaches of them that reproached thee,' that is, 
upon his God, ' fell upon me,' Rom. xv. 3. It was spoken by the Psalmist 
of Christ, and so is quoted of him by the apostle ; that is, every sin went 
to his heart. So as in this there is but this difference betwixt him and 
us, that the regenerate part in us is vexed with sin in ourselves, and that 
as our own sin, but his heart with sin in others only, yet so as his vexation 
was the greater by how much his soul was more righteous than ours, which 
makes it up ; yea, in that he sustained the persons of the elect, the sins 
which he saw them commit troubled him as if they had been his own. The 
word here translated tempted is read by some -rtTBipafievov, that is, vexed. 

Yea, and thirdly; to help this also, it may be said of Christ whilst he 
was here below, that in the same sense or manner wherein he ' bore our 
sickness,' Mat. viii. 17, who yet was never personally tainted with any 
disease, in the same sense or manner he may be said to have borne our 
sins, namely, thus : Christ, when he came to an elect child of his that was 
sick, whom he "healed, his manner was, first by a sympathy and pity to 
afflict himself with their sickness, as if it had been his own. Thus at his 
raising of Lazarus, it is said that he ' groaned in spirit,' &c. ; and so by 
the merit of taking the disease upon himself, through a fellow-feeling of it, 
he took it off from them, being for them afflicted, as if he himself had 

Part III.] unto sinners on earth. 14. J) 

been sick. And this seems to be the best interpretation that I have met 
with of that difficult place in Mat. viii. 16, 17, where it is said, ' he healed 
all that were sick : that it might be fulflled which was spoken by Isaiah 
the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness.' 
Now, in the like way or manner unto this, of bearing our sicknesses, he 
might bear our sins too ; for he being one with us, and to answer for all 
our sins, therefore when he saw any of his own to sin, he was affected 
with it, as if it had been his own. And thus is that about the power of sin 
made up and satisfied. 

And fourthly, as for the guilt of sin, and the temptations from it, he 
knows more of that than any one of us. He tasted the bitterness of that, 
in the imputation of it, more deeply than we can, and of the cup of his 
Father's wrath for it, and so is able experimentally to pity a heart wounded 
with it, and struggling under such temptations. He knows full well the 
heart of one in his own sense forsaken by God, seeing himself felt it when 
he cried out, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' 

Uses of all. 

Use 1. Thus that which hath been said may afford us the strongest con- 
solations and encouragements against our sins of any other consideration 
whatsoever, and may give us the greatest assurance of their being removed 
off from us that may be ; for, 

First, Christ himself suffers (as it were), at least is affected under them, 
as his enemies, which therefore he will be sure to remove for his own quiet 
sake. His heart would not be quiet, but that he knows they shall be re- 
moved. As God says in the prophet, so may Christ say much more, ' My 
bowels are troubled for him, I remember him still,' Jer. xxxi. 20. 

Secondly, There is comfort concerning such infirmities, in that your very 
sins move him to pity more than to anger. This text is plain for it, for 
he suffers with us under our infirmities, and by infirmities are meant sins, 
as well as other miseries, as was proved ; whilst therefore you look on 
them as infirmities, as God here looks upon them, and speaks of them in 
his own, and as your disease, and complain to Christ of them, and do cry 
out, ' miserable man that I am, who shall deliver me ? ' so long fear 
not. Christ he takes part with you, and is so far from being provoked 
against you, as all his anger is turned upon your sin to ruin it ; yea, his 
pity is increased the more towards you, even as the heart of a father is to 
a child that hath some loathsome disease, or as one is to a member of his 
body that hath the leprosy, he hates not the member, for it is his flesh, 
but the disease, and that provokes him to pity the part affected the more. 
What shall not make for us, when our sins, that are both against Christ 
and us, shall be turned as motives to him to pity us the more ? The object 
of pity is one in misery whom we love ; and the greater the misery is, the 
more is the pity when the party is beloved. Now of all miseries, sin is the 
greatest ; and whilst yourselves look at it as such, Christ will look upon it 
as such only also in you. And he, loving your persons, and hating only 
the sin, his hatred shall all fall, and that only upon the sin, to free you of 
it by its ruin and destruction, but his bowels shall be the more drawn out to 
you; and this as much when you lie under sin as under any other affliction. 
Therefore fear not, < What shall separate us from Christ's love?' 

Use 2. Whatever trial, nr temptation, or misery we are under, we may 


comfort ourselves with this, that Christ was once under the same, or some 
one like unto it, wtiich may comfort us in these three differing respects that 
follow, by considering 

First, That we are thereby but conformed to his example, for he was 
tempted in all, and this maj 7 be no small comfort to us. 

Secondly, We may look to that particular instance of Christ's being under 
the like, as a meriting cause to procure and purchase succour for us under 
the same now ; and so in that respect may yet further comfort ourselves. 

Thirdly, His having once bome the like, may relieve us in this, that there- 
fore he experimentally knows the misery and distress of such a condition, 
and so is yet further moved and quickened thereby to help us. 

Use 3. As the doctrine delivered is a comfort, so the greatest motive 
against sin and persuasive unto obedience, to consider that Christ's heart, 
it' it be not afflicted with— and how far it may sutler with us we know not — 
yet for certain hath less joy in us, as we are more or less sinful, or obedient. 
You know not by sin what blows you give the heart of Christ. If no more 
but that his joy is the less in you, it should move you, as it useth to do 
those that are ingenuous. And take this as one incentive to obedience, 
that if he retained the same heart and mind for mercy towards you which 
he had here on earth, then to answer his love, endeavour you to have the 
same heart towards him on earth which you hope to have in heaven ; and 
as you daily pray, ' Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' 

Use 4. In all miseries and distresses you may be sure to know where to 
have a friend to help and pity you, even in heaven, Christ; one whose 
nature, office, interest, relation, all, do engage him to your succour ; you 
will find men, even friends, to be oftentimes unto you unreasonable, and 
their bowels in many cases shut up towards you. Well, say to them all, 
If you will not pity me, choose, I know one that will, one in heaven, whose 
heart is touched with the feeling of all my infirmities, and I mil go and be- 
moan myself to him. Come boldly (says the text), /mto, <7rabhr t 6rt.$, even 
with open mouth, to lay open your complaints, and you shall find grace 
and mercy to help in time of need. Men love to see themselves pitied by 
friends, though they cannot help them ; Christ can and will do both. 







. (knowledge. 

Against \ 


Delivered in severall Sermons 
upon divers occasions. 


Tho : Goodwin, B. D. 


Printed by J. G. for R. Dawlman. 
M. D C. L. 


Was that then which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, 
that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good ; that 
sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. — Rom. VII. 13. 

We find our apostle in the 9th verse to have been alive, but struck upon 
the sudden dead, by an apparition presented to him in the glass of the law, 
of ' the sinfulness of sin.' ' Sin revived,' says the 9th verse, ' appeared to 
be sin,' says the 13th verse, looks but like itself, ' above measure sinful ;' 
and he falls down dead at the very sight of it ; 'I died,' says he in the 9th ; 
' it wrought death in me,' says the 13th, that is, an apprehension of death 
and hell, as due to that estate I was then in. But yet as the life of sin 
was the death of Paul, so this death of his was but a preparation to a new 
life, ' I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God,' Gal. 
ii. 19. And here he likewise speaks of God's work upon him at his first 
conversion ; for then it was that he relates how sin became in his esteem, 
so ' above measure sinful.' 

The subject then to be insisted on is the sinfulness of sin, a subject 
therefore as necessary as any other, because if ever we be saved, sin must 
first appear to us all, as it did here to him, • above measure sinful.' 

And first, because all knowledge begins at the effects, which are obvious 
to sense, and interpreters of the nature of things, therefore we will begin 
this demonstration of the evil of sin, from the mischievous effects it hath 
filled the world withal, it having done nothing but wrought mischief since it 
came into the world, and all the mischief that hath been done, it alone hath 
done, but especially towards the poor soul of man, the miserable subject 
of it. 

Which, first, it hath debased the soul of man, the noblest creature under 
heaven, and highest allied, made to be a companion fit for God himself, but 
sin hath stript it of its first native excellency, as it did Reuben, Gen. xlix. 4, 
debased the soul more worth than all the world, as Christ himself saith, 
that only went to the price of it ; yet sin hath made it a drudge and slave 
to every creature it was made to rule ; therefore the prodigal as a type is 
said to serve swine, and feed on husks, so as every vanity masters it. 
Therefore we find in Scripture, that men are said to be ' servants to wine,' 
Titus ii. 3, servants to riches, and divers lusts, &c. 

And hence it is that shame attends upon it, Rom. vi. 21. Now shame 


ariseth out of an apprehension of some excellency debased ; and by how 
much the excellency is greater, by so much is the shame the greater ; and 
therefore unutterable confusion will one day befall sinners, because sin is 
the debasement of an invaluable excellency. 

Secondly, It not only debaseth it, but denies it also ; and indeed there 
was nothing else that could defile it, Mat. xv. 20, for the soul is a most 
pure beam, bearing the image of the Father of lights, as far surpassing the 
sun in pureness as the sun doth a clod of earth ; and yet all the dirt in 
the world cannot defile the sun, all the clouds that seek to muffle it, it 
scatters them all ; but sin hath defiled the soul, yea, one sin, the least, 
defiles it in an instant, totally, eternally. 

(First.) One sin did it in the fall of Adam, Eom. v. 17, ' one offence' 
polluted him, and all the world. Now suppose you should see one drop of 
darkness seizing on the sun, and putting out that light and eye of heaven, 
and to loosen it out of the orb it moves in, and cause it to drop down a 
lump of darkness, you would say it were a strange darkness ; this sin did 
then in the soul, to which yet the sun is but as a taper. 

(Secondly.) It defiles it thus in an instant. Take the most glorious angel 
in heaven, and let one of the least sins seize upon his heart, he would in an 
instant fall down from heaven, stript of all his glory, the ugliest creature 
that ever was beheld. You would count that the strongest of all poisons, 
that would poison in an instant ; as Nero* boiled a poison to that height, 
that it killed Germanicus as soon as he received it ; now such an one is 

(Thirdly.) Sin defiles it totally. It rests not in one member only, but 
beginning at the understanding, eats into the will and affections, soaks 
through all. Those diseases we account strongest, which seize not on a 
joint or a member only, but strike rottenness through the whole body. 

(Fourthly.) It defiles eternally, it being a:terna macula, a stain which no 
' nitre or soap' or any creature can ' wash out,' Jer. ii. 22. There was 
once let in a deluge of water, and the world was all overflowed with it ; it 
washed away sinners indeed, but not one sin. And the world shall be 
afire again at the latter day, and all that fire, and those flames in hell that 
follow, shall not purge out one sin. 

Thirdly, It hath robbed the soul of the ' image of God,' deprived us of 
' the glory of God,' Rom. iii. 33, the image of God's holiness, which is his 
beauty and ours. We were beautiful and all glorious once within, which 
though but an accident is more worth than all men's souls devoid of it, 
it being a likeness unto God, ' a divine nature,' without which no man shall 
see God. Though man in innocency had all perfections united in him rid 
eminentia;, that are to be found in other creatures, yet this was more worth 
than all ; for all the rest made him not like to God, as this did ; without 
vrhich all paradise could not make Adam happy, which when he had lost, 
he was left naked, though those his other perfections remained with him, 
which is ' profitable for all things,' as the apostle says. The least dram of 
which, the whole world embalanced with, would be found too light, without 
which the glorious angels would be damned devils, the saints in heaven 
damned ghosts, this it hath robbed man of. 

Fourthly, It hath robbed man even of God himself. ' Your sins sepa- 
rate,' says God, ' betwixt you and me ;' and therefore they are said to ' live 

* That is, Tiberius Nero. Suetonius only says, that Germanicus died at Antioch, 
not without suspicion of poison ; and again, that the common belief was that he died 
through the treachery of Tiberius, by the agency of C. Piso. — Ed. 


without God in the world ;' and in robbing a man of God, it robs him of 
all things, for ' all things are onrs,' but so far as God is ours, of God whoso 
face makes heaven, he is all in all, 'his lovingkindness is better than life,' 
and containeth beauty, honours, riches, all, yea, they are but a drop to 

But its mischief hath not stayed here, but as the leprosy of the lepers in 
the old law sometimes infected their houses, garments, so it hath hurled 
confusion over all the world, brought a vanity on the creature,' Rom. viii. 20, 
and a curse ; and had not Christ undertook the shattered condition of the 
world to uphold it, Heb. i. 3, it had fallen about Adam's ears. 

And though the old walls and ruinous palace of the world stands to this 
day, yet the beauty, the gloss, and glory of the hangings is soiled and marred 
with many imperfections cast upon every creature. 

But as the house of the leper was to be pulled down, and traitors' houses 
use to be made jakes, so the world (if Christ had not stepped in) had 
shrunk into its first nothing ; and you will say, that is a strong carrion that 
retains not only infection in itself, but infects all the air about ; so this, 
that not the soul the subject of it only, but all the world. 

Lastly, It was the first founder of hell, and laid the first corner-stone 
thereof. Sin alone brought in and filled that bottomless gulf with all the 
fire, and brimstone, and treasures of wrath, which shall never be burnt and 
consumed. And this crucified and pierced Christ himself, poured on him 
his Father's wrath, the enduring of which for sin was such as that all the 
angels in heaven had cracked and sunk under it. 

But yet this estimate is but taken from the effects of it ; the essence of 
it, which is the cause of all these evils, must needs have much more mischief 
in it. Shall I speak the least evil I can say of it ? It contains all evils 
else in it; therefore, James i. 21, the apostle calls it 'filthiness, and abun- 
dance of superfluity,' or excrement, as it were, of naughtiness, vzsiggsiu 
rqg xazlag. As if so transcendent, that if all evils were to have an excre- 
ment, a scum, a superfluity, sin is it, as being the abstracted quintessence 
of all evil — an evil which, in nature and essence of it, virtually and emi- 
nently contains all evils of what kind soever that are in the world, insomuch 
as in the Scriptures you shall find that all the evils in the world serve but 
to answer for it, and to give names to it. Hence sin, it is called poison, 
and sinners serpents ; sin is called a vomit, sinners dogs ; sin the stench 
of graves, and they rotten sepulchres ; sin mire, sinners sows ; and 
sin darkness, blindness, shame, nakedness, folly, madness, death, whatso- 
ever is filthy, defective, infective, painful. Now as the Holy Ghost says of 
Nabal, ' as is his name, so is he ;' so may we say of sin : for if Adam gave 
np" ^.es to all things according to their nature, much more God, ' who calls 
things as they are.' Surely God would not slander sin, though it be his 
only enemy. And besides, there is reason for this, for it is the cause of 
all evils. God sowed nothing but good seed in the world ; ' He beheld, 
and saw all things were very good.' It is sin hath sown the tares, all 
those evils that have come up, sorrows and diseases, both unto men and 
beasts. Now whatsoever is in the effect, is via eminentia in the cause. 
Surely therefore it is to the soul of man, the miserable vessel and subject 
of it, all that which poison, death, and sickness is unto the other creatures, 
and to the body ; and in that it is all these to the soul, it is therefore 
more than all these to it, for corruptio optimi pessima ; by how much the 
soul exceeds all other creatures, by so much must sin, which is the cor- 
ruption, poison, death, and sickness of it, exceed all other evils. 



But yet this is the least ill that can be said of it. There is, secondly, 
some further transcendent peculiar mischief in it, that is not to be found 
in all other evils, as will appear in many instances. 

For, first, all other evils God proclaims himself the author of, and owns 
them all ; though sin be the meritorious cause of all, yet God the efficient 
and disposing cause. ' There is no evil in the city, but I have done it.' 
He only disclaimeth this, James i. 13, as a bastard of some other's breed- 
ing, for he is ' the Father of lights,' verse 17. 

Secondly, The utmost extremity of the evil of punishment God the Son 
underwent, had a cup mingled him of his Father, more bitter than if all 
the evils in the world had been strained in, and he drank it off heartily to 
the bottom ; but not a drop of sin, though sweetened with the offer of all 
the world, would go down with him. 

Thirdly, Other evils the saints have chosen and embraced as good, and 
refused the greatest good things the world had as evil, when they came in 
competition with sin. So ' Moses chose rather to suffer, much rather than 
to enjoy the pleasures of sin,' Heb. xi. 24-28. So Chrysostom, when 
Eudoxia the empress threatened him, Go tell her, says he, Nil nisi peccatum 
timeo, I fear nothing but sin. 

Fourthly, Take the devil himself, whom you all conceive to be more full 
of mischief than all the evils in the world, called therefore in the abstract 
' spiritual wickedness,' Eph. vi. 12, yet it was but sin that first spoiled 
him, and it is sin that possesseth the very devils ; he was a glorious angel 
till he was acquainted with it, and could there be a separation made between 
him and sin, he would be again of as good, sweet, and amiable a nature as 
any creature in earth or heaven. 

Fifthly, Though other things are evil, yet nothing makes the creature 
accursed but sin ; as all good things in the world do not make a man a blessed 
man, so nor all the evils accursed. God says not, Blessed are the honour- 
able, and the rich, nor that accursed are the poor ; but • Cursed is the man 
that continues not in all things,' Gal. iii. 10, a curse to the least sin; and, 
on the contrary, ' Blessed is the man whose iniquities are forgiven,' &c, 
Rom. iv. 7. 

Sixthly, God hates nothing but sin. Were all evils swept down into 
one man, God hates him not simply for them, not because thou art poor and 
disgraced, but only because sinful. It is sin he hates, Rev. ii. 15, Isa. 
xxvii. 11, yea, it alone; and whereas other attributes are diversely commu- 
nicated in their effects to several things, as his love and goodness, himself, 
his Son, his children, have all a share in, yet all the hatred, which is as 
large as his love, is solely poured out upon, and wholly, and limited only 
unto sin. 

All the question will be, What transcendency of evil is in the essence of it, 
that makes it above all other evils, and hated, and it only, by God, Christ, 
the saints, &c, more than any other evil ? 

Why ? It is enmity with God, Rom. viii. 7. Abstracts, we know, speak 
essences ; the meaning is, it is directly contrary to God, as any thing could 
be, for contrary it is to God, and all that is his. 

As, 1. Contrary to his essence, to his existence, and being God; for it 
makes man hate him, Rom. i. 30, and as ' he that hateth his brother is a 
murderer,' 1 John iii. 15, so he that hateth God may be said to be 
a murderer of him, and wisheth that he were not. Peccatum est Dei- 

2. Contrary it is to all his attributes, which are his name. Men are jealous 


of their names. God's name is himself; as (1.) it makes a man slight 
God's goodness, and to seek happiness in the creature, as if he were able 
to be happy without him ; and (2.), it deposeth his sovereignty, and sets 
up other gods before his face ; (8.) it contemns his truth, power, and jus- 
tice ; and (4.), turns his grace into wantonness. 

And as to himself, so to whatever is his, or dear to him. Besides, a 
king hath three things in an especial manner dear to him : his laws, his 
favourites, his image stamped upon his coin ; and so hath God. 

First, His laws and ordinances : God never gave law, but it hath been 
broken by sin ; avopia is the definition of it, ' the transgression of the law,' 
1 John hi. 4 ; yea, it is called ' destroying the law,' Ps. cxix. 126. And 
know that God's law, the least tittle of it, is more dear to him than all the 
world. For, ere the least tittle of it shall be broken, heaven and earth 
shall pass. The least sin, therefore, which is a breach of the least law, is 
worse than the destruction of the world ; and for his worship (as envying 
God should have any) it turns his ordinances into sin. 

Secondly, For his favourites, God hath but a few poor ones ; upon whom 
because God hath set his love, sin hath set his hatred. 

Lastly, For his image, even in a man's own breast ; the law of the members 
fights against the law of the mind, and endeavoureth to expel it, though a 
man should be damned for it, Gal. v. 17. ' The flesh,' namely, sin, ' lust- 
eth against the spirit,' for they are contraries. Contrary, indeed, for 
methinks though it hates that image in others, that yet it should spare it in a 
man's self, out of self love ; but yet, though a man should be damned, if 
this image be expelled, it yet laboureth to do this, so deadly is that hatred, 
a man hates himself as holy, so far as he is sinful. 

It abounds now so high as our thoughts can follow it no farther. 
Divines say, it aspires unto infinity, the object against whom it is thus 
contrary unto being God, who is infinite, they tell us, that objectively sin 
itself is infinite. Sure I am, the worth of the object or party offended, 
aggravates the offence ; an ill word against the king is high treason, not 
the greatest indignity to another man. Sure I also am, that God was so 
offended with it, as though he loves his Son as himself, yet he, though 
without sin, being but ' made sin ' by imputation, yet God ' spared him 
not ; ' and because the creatures could not strike a stroke hard enough, he 
himself was • pleased to bruise him,' Isa. liii. 16. ' He spared not his 
own Son,' Rom. viii. 32. His love might have overcome him to have 
passed by it to his Son ; at least a word of his mouth might have pacified 
him ; yet so great was his hatred of it, and offence at it, as he poured the 
vials of his wrath on him. Neither would entreaty serve, for ' though he 
cried with strong cries it should pass from him,' God would not till he 
had outwrestled it. 

And as the person offended aggravates the offence, as before, so also the 
person suffering, being God and man, argues the abounding sinfulness of 
it. For, for what crime did you ever hear a king was put to death ? their 
persons being esteemed in worth above all crime, as civil. Christ was the 
King of kings. 

And yet there is one consideration more to make the measure of its 
iniquity fully full, and to abound to flowing over, and that is this, that the 
least sin, virtually, more or less, contains all sin in the nature of it. I 
mean not that all are equal, therefore I add more or less ; and I prove it 
thus : because Adam by one offence contracted the stain of all, no sooner 
did one sin seize upon his heart, but he had all sins in him. 


And so every sin in us, by a miraculous multiplication, inclines our 
nature more to every sin than it was before ; it makes the pollution of 
nature of a deeper die, not only to that species of sin whereof it is the 
proper individual act, but to all else. As, bring one candle into a room, 
the light spreads all over ; and then another, the light is all over more 
increased : so it is in sin, for the least cuts the soul off from God, and 
then it is ready to go a whoring after every vanity that will entice it or 
entertain it. 

And this shews the fulness of the evil of it, in that it contains not only 
all other evils in the world in it, but also all of its own kind. As you 
would count that a strange poison the least drop of which contains the force 
of all poison in it; that a strange disease, the least infection whereof brought 
the body subject to all diseases : yet such an one is sin, the least making 
the soul more prone and subject to all. 

And now you see it is a perfect evil ; and though indeed it cannot be 
said to be the chiefest in that full sense wherein God is said to be the 
chiefest good, because if it were as bad as God is good, how could he 
pardon it, subdue it, bring it to nothing as he doth ? And then how could 
it have addition to it, one sin being more sinful than another ? Ezek. viii. 
15, John xix. 11. But yet it hath some analogy of being the chiefest evil, 
as God the chiefest good. 

For, first, as God is the chiefest good, who therefore is to be loved for 
himself, and other things but for his sake, so also is sin the chiefest evil, 
because it is simply to be a\oided for itself; but other evils become good, 
yea, desirable, when compared with it. 

Secondly, As God is the chiefest good, because he is the greatest happi- 
ness to himself, so sin, the greatest evil to itself, for there can be no 
worse punishment of it than itself ; therefore when God would give a man 
over as an enemy he means never to deal withal more, he gives him up 
to sin. 

And thirdly, it is so evil, as it cannot have a worse epithet given it 
than itself; and therefore the apostle, when he would speak his worst of 
it, and wind up his expression highest, usque ad hyperbolem, calls it by its 
own name, sinful sin, a/jiaprcoXbg d/xagr/a, Rom. vii. 13, that as in God 
being the greatest good, quicquid est in Deo est Dens ipse, therefore his 
attributes and names are but himself, idem pradicatur de seipso ; so it is 
with sin, quicquid est in peccato, peccatum est, &c, he can call it no worse 
than by its own name, ■ sinful sin.' t 

Use I. And what have I been speaking of all this while ? Why ! but 
of one sin in the general nature of it. There is not a man here, but hath 
millions of them, as many as the sands upon the sea shore ; yea, as there 
would be atoms were all the world pounded to dust, it exceeds in number 
also ; and therefore, ere we go any further, let all our thoughts break off 
here in wonderment at the abounding of sin above all things else : for other 
things if they be great, they are but a few ; if many, they are but small ; 
the world it is a big one indeed, but yet there is but one ; the sands, though 
innumerable, yet they are but small ; your sinfulness exceeds in both. 

And next, let all our thoughts be wound up to the most deep and intense 
consideration of our estates ; for if one sin abounds thus, what tongue can 
express, or heart can conceive then* misery, who, to use the apostle's phrase, 
1 Cor. xv., ' are yet in their sins ' ? that is, stand bound to God in their 
own single bond only, to answer for all their sins themselves, and cannot 


in the estate wherein yet they stand of impenitency and unbelief, plead the 
benefit of Christ's death, to take off and ease them of the guilt of one sin, 
but all their sins are yet all their own, which to a man in Christ they are 
not ; for his own bonds are cancelled and given in, and Christ entered into 
bonds for him, and all his sins translated upon him. 

Now for a proper character of their estate, and suitable to this expres- 
sion : 

First, then a man's sins may be said to be still his own, when he com- 
mitteth sin out of his own, that is, the full frame and inclination of his 
heart. Thus the devil is said to sin, John viii. 44, i% rov 'ibiov, ' out of his 
own,' the whole frame of his spirit is in it ; which a man in Christ cannot 
be so fully said to do, for he hath a new creature in him ' that sinneth not,' 
1 John iii. 1, 9, that can say even when he sins, ' It is not I, but sin.' 

And secondly, then sin is a man's own, when he hates it not, but loves 
it : ' The world loves his own,' saith Christ, John xv. 27, and so doth a 
wicked man his sin ' more than any good,' which is David's character, 
Ps. Iii. 3. 

And thirdly, what is a man's own, he nourisheth and cherisheth ; there- 
fore Eph. v. 19, ' No man hates his own flesh, but loveth it and cherisheth 
it ; ' so do men their sins, when they are their own. Those great and rich 
oppressors, James v. 5, are said to ' nourish their hearts in wantonness,' 
and in pleasure, ' as in a day of slaughter ; ' as living upon the cream of 
sinning, and having such plenty, they pick out none but the sweetest bits 
to nourish their hearts withal. 

Fourthly, so what a man provides for, that is his own ; so says the 
apostle, ' A man that provides not for his own is worse,' &c. When there- 
fore men make provision for the flesh, as the phrase is, Rom. xiii. 14, have 
their caterers and contrivers of their lusts, and whose chiefest care is every 
morning what pleasures of sin they have that day to be enjoyed, it is a 
sign that their sins are their own. 

In a word, when men live in sin, it is the expression used, 1 Tim. v. 6, 
' She that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.' When the revenues 
of the comfort of men's lives come in from the pleasures of sin, and that 
supplies them with all those necessaries that belong to life ; as when it is 
their element they ' drink in like water ;' their meat, ' they eat the bread of 
wickedness,' Prov. iv. 17, and it goes down, and troubleth them not; their 
sleep also, ' they cannot sleep till they have done or contrived some mis- 
chief,' ver. 16 ; their apparel, as when ' violence and oppression covers them 
as a garment, and pride compasseth them as a chain,' Ps. lxxiii. ; their re- 
creation also, 'It is a pastime for a fool to do wickedly,' he makes sport 
and brags of it, Prov. x. 23 ; yea, their health, being sick and discontented, 
when their lusts are not satisfied, as Ahab was for Naboth's vineyard, 
' Amnon grew lean' when he could not enjoy his paramour. 

All these, as they live in their sins here, and so are dead whilst they live, 
and so are miserable, making the greatest evil their chiefest good ; so when 
they come to die, as we all must do one day, and how soon and how sud- 
denly we know not ; we carry our souls, our precious souls, as precious 
water in a brittle glass, soon cracked, and then we are ' spilt like water 
which none can gather up again,' 2 Sam. xiv. 14 ; or but as a candle in a 
paper lantern, in clay walls, full of crannies, often but a little cold comes 
in and blows the candle out ; and then, without a thorough change of heart 
before, wrought from all sin to all godliness, they will die in their sins. 
And all, and the utmost of all, miseries is spoken in that one word ; and 


therefore Christ, when he would sum up all miseries in one expression, tells 
the Pharisees they should ' die in their sins,' John viii. 28. 

Use II. And let us consider further, that if sin be thus above measure sin- 
ful, that hell, that followeth death, is then likewise above measure fearful ; 
and so it is intimated to be a punishment without measure, Jer. xxx. 11, 
compared with Isa. xxvii., ' Punish them as I punish thee,' says God to his 
own, ' but I will punish thee in measure.' And, indeed, sin being com- 
mitted against God, the King of kings, it can never be punished enough. 
But as the killing of a king is amongst men a crime so heinous that no 
tortures can exceed the desert of it, we use to say all torments are too little, 
and death too good, for such a crime. Now, peccatum est Deicidium, as I 
said before, a destroying God as much as in us lies ; and therefore none 
but God himself can give it a full punishment ; therefore it is called ' a 
falling into God's hands,' Heb. x. 31, which, as he says there, is ' fearful.' 
For if his breath blows us to destruction, Job iv. 9, for we are but dust 
heaps, yea, his nod, ' he nods to destruction,' Ps. lxxx. 16 ; then what is 
the weight of his hands, even of those hands ' which span the heavens, and 
hold the earth in the hollow of them' ? Isa. xl. 12. And if God take it 
into his hands to punish, he will be sure to do unto the full. Sin is man's 
work, and punishment is God's, and God will shew himself as perfect in 
his work as man in his. 

If sin be malum catholicum, as hath been said, that contains all evils in 
it ; then the punishment God will inflict shall be malum catholicum also, 
containing in it all miseries. It is ' a cup full of mixture,' so called Ps. 
lxxv. 8, as into which God hath strained the quintessence of all miseries, 
and ' the wicked of the earth must drink the dregs of it,' though it be eter- 
nity unto the bottom. And if one sin deserves a hell, a punishment above 
measure, what will millions of millions do ? And we read that ' every sin 
shall receive a just recompence,' Heb. ii. 2. Oh let us then take heed of 
dying in our sins, and therefore of living in them ; for we shall lie in prison 
till we have paid the very utmost farthing. 

And therefore if all this that I have said of it will not engender answerable 
apprehensions of it in you, this being but painting the toad, which you can 
look upon and handle without affrightment, I wish that if without danger 
you could but lay your ears to hell, that standing as it were behind the 
screen, you might hear sin spoken of in its own dialect by the oldest sons 
of perdition there, to hear what Cain says of murdering his brother Abel ; 
what Saul of his persecuting David and the priests of Jehovah ; what 
Balaam and Ahithophel say of their cursed counsels and policies ; what 
Ahab says of his oppression of Naboth ; what Judas of treason ; and hear 
what expressions they have, with what horrors, yellings, groans, distrac- 
tions, the least sin is there spoken of. If God should take any man's soul 
here, and as he rapt his* into the third heavens, where he saw grace in its 
fullest brightness ; so carry any one's soul into those chambers of death, 
as Solomon calls them, and leading him through all, from chamber to 
chamber, shew him the visions of darkness, and he there hear all those 
bedlams cry out, one of this sin, another of that, and see sin as it looks in 
hell ! But there is one aggravation more of the evil and misery sin brings 
upon men I have not spoken of yet, that it blinds their eyes and hardens 
their hearts, that they do not see nor lament their misery till they be in 
hell, and then it is too late. 

* That is, 'Paul 'a. '—Ed. 


Use III. But what, doth sin so exceed in sinfulness, and is the venom of 
it boiled up to such a height of mischief, that there should be no name in 
heaven and earth able to grapple with it and destroy it ? Is there no an- 
tidote, no balm in Gilead more sovereign than it is deadly? Surely yes; 
God would never have suffered so potent and malicious an enemy to have 
set foot in his dominions, but that he knew how to conquer it, and that not 
by punishing of it only in hell, but by destroying it ; only it is too potent 
for all the creatures to encounter with. This victory is alone reserved for 
Christ, it can die by no other hand, that he may have the glory of it ; 
which therefore is the top of his glory as mediator, and his highest title, 
the memory of which he bears written in his name Jesus, ' for he shall 
save his people from their sins,' Mat. i. 21. And therefore the apostte 
Paul, his chiefest herald, proclaims this victory with a world of solemnity 
and triumph, 1 Cor. xv. 55, "' death, where is thy sting ? grave, where 
is thy victory ? The sting of death is sin ; the strength of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, that gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus 
Christ ; ' which yet again adds to the demonstration of the sinfulness of it, 
for the strength of sin was such, that, like Goliah, it would have defied the 
whole host of heaven and earth. ' It was not possible the blood of bulls 
and goats should take away sin,' Heb. x. 4 ; nor would the riches of the 
world, or the blood of men have been a sufficient ransom. ' Will the Lord 
be pleased with rivers of oil ? shall I give my first-born for my transgres- 
sion ? ' No, says he, there is no proportion, for thy first-born is but the 
fruit of thy body, and sin is the ' sin of the soul,' Micah vi. 7. It must cost 
more to redeem a soul than so, Ps. xlix. 7. No; couldst thou bring rivers 
of tears instead of rivers of oil — which, if anything were like to pacify God, 
yet they are but the excrements of thy brains, but sin is the sin of thy heart — 
yea, all the righteousness that we could ever do, cannot make amends for 
one sin ; for suppose it perfect, whenas yet it is but ' dung,' Mai. ii. 3, and 
1 a menstruous cloth,' yet thou owest it already as thou art a creature, and 
one debt cannot pay another. If then we should go a begging to all the 
angels who never sinned, let them lay all their stock together, it would 
beggar them all to pay for one sin. No; it is not the merit of angels will 
do it, for sin is the transgression, the destruction of the law, and the least 
iota is more worth than heaven and all that is therein. 

Only, though it be thus unconquerably sinful by all created powers, it 
hath not gone beyond the price that Christ hath paid for it. The apostle 
compares to this very purpose sin and Christ's righteousness together, Rom. 
v. 15, 20. It is true, says he, that ' sin abounds,' and that one sin, to 
iragavrw/jua, and instanceth in Adam's sin, which staineth all men's natures 
to the end of the world ; yet, says he, the ' gift of righteousness by Christ 
abounds much more,' abounds to flowing over, viregeirXsovaffs, says the 
apostle, 1 Tim. i. 14, as the sea doth above mole-hills, Mai. vii. 14.* 
Though therefore it would undo all the angels, yet Christ's riches are un- 
searchable, Eph. hi. 8. He hath such riches of merit as are able to pay 
all thy debts the very first day of thy marriage with him, though thou hadst 
been a sinner millions of years afore the creation to this day ; and when 
that is done, there is enough left to purchase thee more grace and glory 
than all the angels have in heaven. In a word, he is ' able to save to the 
utmost all that come to God by him,' Heb. vii. 5, let their sins be what 
they will. 

But then we must come to him, and to God by him, and take him as 
* This is of course a misprint. I suppose the reference is to Micah vii. 19. — Ed, 



our lord, and king, and bead, and husband, as be is freely tendered ; we 
must be made one witb bim, and have our hearts divorced from all our 
sins for ever. And why not now '? Do we yet look for another Christ ? 
and to allude to us as Naomi said to Ruth, Is there yet any more sons in 
my womb, that they may be your husbands ? So say I, Hath God any 
more such sons ? Or is not this Christ good enough ? or are we afraid of 
being happy too soon in being married to bim ? 

But yet if we will have Christ indeed, without whom we are undone, 
1 how shall we then continue in sin,' Rom. vi., which is thus above measure 
sinful ? No, not in one. The apostle speaks there in the language of im- 
possibility and inconsistency. Christ and the reign of one sin, they cannot 
stand together. 

And, indeed, we will not so much as take Christ until first we have seen 
more or less this vision here, and sin appear to us, as to him, above 
measure sinful. Naturally we slight it, and make « mock of, and account 
it preciseness to stick and make conscience of it ; but if once sin thus 
appears to any but in its own colours, that man will look upon the least 
sin then as upon hell itself, and like a man affrighted fear in all his ways 
lest he should meet with sin, and starts at the very appearance of it : he 
weeps if sin do but see him, and he do but see it in hiinself and others, and 
cries out, as Joseph did, ' How shall I do this, and sin ? ' And then a man 
will make out for Christ as a condemned man for life, as a man that can 
no longer live, Oh, give me Christ, or else I die ; and then, if upon this 
Christ appears to him, and ' manifests himself,' as his promise is to them 
that seek him, John xiv. 21, his heart thereupon will much more detest 
and loathe it ; he saw it evil afore, but then it comes to have a new tincture 
added, which makes it infinitely more sinful in his eyes, for he then looks 
upon every sin as guilty of Christ's blood, as dyed with it, though ' covered 
by it.' ' The grace of God appearing, teacheth us to deny all ungodliness 
and worldly lusts.' ' The love of Christ constrains him.' Thinks he, Shall 
I live in that for which Christ died ? Shall that be my life which was his 
death ? Did he that never knew sin undergo the torment for it, and shall I be 
so unkind as to enjoy the pleasure of it ? No ; but as David, when he was 
very thirsty, and had water of the well of Bethlehem brought him, with the 
hazard of men's lives, poured it on the ground, for, says he, ' It is the 
blood of these men,' so says he, even when the cup of pleasures is at his 
very lips, It cost the blood of Christ, and so pours it upon the ground. 
And as the love of Christ constrains him, so the power of Christ doth change 
him. Kings may pardon traitors, but they cannot change their hearts ; 
but Christ pardons none he doth not make new creatures, and ' all old 
things pass away,' because he makes them friends, favourites to live with 
and delight in ; and if men ' put on Christ, and have learned him, as the 
truth is in Jesus, they put off as concerning the former conversation the old 
man, with the deceitful lusts,' Eph. iv. 21, 22, and he ceaseth from sin, 
that is, from the course of any known sin. They are the apostle's own 
words which shall judge us ; and if we should expect salvation from him 
upon any other terms, we are deceived, for Christ is ' the author of salva- 
tion to them only that obey him,' Heb. v. 9. 


Because that, when they knew God, then glorified him not as God, neither were 
thankful ; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart teas 
darkened. — Rom. I. 21. 

There are two general aggravations the apostle insists on, in these two 
chapters, of the Gentiles' sinfulness: First, their unthankfulness, ver. 21, in 
' despising the riches of God's goodness,' chap. ii. 4; secondly, of rebellion, 
in sinning against knowledge, that ' when they knew him, they glorified him 
not as God.' And of all other, he inculcateth this of sinning against know- 
ledge as the greatest, for, bringing in a long, large, and particular indictment 
of many several sins, idolatry, ver. 23, unnatural uncleanness, ver. 26, &c, 
and all kinds of unrighteousness, ver. 29, he doth, both in the beginning 
and end of the bill, bring in this aggravation, that they sinned against 
knowledge in all these. So, ver. 18, he begins the indictment and pro- 
mulgation of God's wrath above all for this, that ' they withheld the truth 
in unrighteousness,' which was as much as all that unrighteousness com- 
mitted, barely in itself considered. And then again, in the end, when he 
comes to pronounce sentence, he comes in with this, after all particulars 
had been reckoned up, ' Who, knowing the judgment of God against those 
which do such things, yet do them.' 

So that this doctrine is clear from hence, that to sin against knowledge, 
either in omitting good duties which we know we ought to perform, or com- 
mitting of sins we know we ought not to do, is the highest aggravation of sin- 

I put both in ; both sins of omission and commission — for so the par- 
ticular sins the Gentiles are taxed for here are of both sorts, as not glorify- 
ing or worshipping God, as well as turning his glory into a lie, &c. — to omit 
prayer when your consciences tell you you ought to do it, to omit holy dis- 
course, examining the heart, when you know you ought to do them, are as 
well sins against knowledge as to tell a lie against your knowledge, or as 
to steal and forswear, or murder, or be drunk, &c. 

Now, when I say it is an aggravation to these sins, my meaning is this, 
that, take any sin thou thinkest most gross, and view it barely in the act 
of it, put the act nakedly in the one scale, be it a sin of uncleanness or 
drunkenness, and then put this circumstance which was added to it in the 


other scale, that before and when thou didst it thou knewest it to be a 
sin, this alone weighs as much, yea, more than the sin itself doth ; that as 
it is said of Herod that ' he added this to all his other sins, that he cast 
John in prison,' who told him of his Herodias, and so is made as much as 
all his former sins, so is this brought in here, that in and unto all their 
unrighteousness this was added, they withheld the truth, the light of their 
consciences (which is as a prophet from God) they did imprison in un- 
righteousness, ver. 18. And therefore when Daniel would convince Bel- 
shazzar of his deservedness to lose his kingdom, and that he was not able 
to ' hold weight in the balance,' Dan. v. 22, what puts he into the other 
scale against him to weigh him up, and to shew he was too light ? ver. 21, 
22, he tells him how his father knew the God of heaven, and how that 
his knowledge cost him seven years the learning among wild beasts, and 
' thou' (says he) ' his son knewest all this, and yet didst not humble thy- 
self.' Here is the aggravation weighs down all ; he knew the God of heaven 
against whom he sinned, and that judgment on his father for his pride ; 
and then withal he tells him, that ' this God, in whose hands is thy breath, 
and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified.' 

I name this place among many others, because it is parallel with this in 
the text. I'll name no more, but give reasons and demonstrations for it. 

I. First, demonstrations. 

The greatness of this kind of sinning might many ways be made appear ; 
we will demonstrate it only by comparing it with other kinds of sinning. 

To sin, though out of simple ignorance, when that ignorance is but the 
causa sine qua non of sinning, that is, so as if a man had known it a sin, 
he had not done it, doth not yet make the fact not to be a sin, though it 
lesseneth it. For, Luke xii. 48, * He that did not know his master's will 
was beaten,' when the thing committed was worthy of stripes, though he 
did not know so much, because the thing deserves it. And the reason is, 
because the law being once promulged, as first to Adam it was, and put 
into his heart, as the common ark of mankind, though the tables be lost, 
yet our ignorance doth not make the law of none effect. For the law of 
nature for ever binds, that is, all that was written in Adam's heart, because 
it was thereby then published in him, and to him for us. But positive 
laws, as I may call them, as to believe in Christ, &c, anew delivered, bind 
not but where they are published. Josiah rent his clothes when the book 
of the law was found, because the ordinances were not kept, although they 
had not known the law of many years ; yet because they ought to have 
known it, therefore for all their ignorance he feared wrath would come upon 
all Israel. So also, Lev. v. 17, sins of ignorance were to be sacrificed for; 
yet however it lesseneth the sin, therefore ' he shall be beaten with few 

And sure, if ignorance lesseneth them, knowledge aggravates ; for con- 
trariorum eadem est ratio, therefore ' he that knows shall be beaten with 
many stripes.' Yea, such difference is there that God is said to wink at 
sins of ignorance. Acts xvii. 30, ' The time of this ignorance God winks 
at.' "Whiles they had no knowledge, God took no notice ; yea, and he 
abates something for such sins, because the creature hath a cloak, hath 
something to say for itself (as Christ says, John xv. 22) ; but when against 
knowledge, they have no cloak. Yea, farther, Christ makes a sin of ignor- 
ance to be no sin in comparison : so there, ' If I had not spoken and done 
those works never man did, they had had no sin,' that is, none in com- 


parison ; but 'now they have no cloak,' no shelter to award* the stripes, 
or plea to abate of them. 

1. And that you may see the ground of this vast difference between sins of 
ignorance and against knowledge, consider first, that if a man sin (suppose 
the act the same) out of ignorance merely, there may be a supposition that 
if he had known it he would not have done it, and that as soon as he doth 
know it he would or might repent of it. So, 1 Cor. ii. 8, ' If they had 
known, they had not crucified the Lord of glory.' The like says Christ of 
Tyre, Sodom, and Gomorrah, that ' if the same things had been done in 
them, they would have repented.' But now, when a man knows it afore, 
and also considers it in the very committing it, and yet doth it, then there 
is no room for such a supposition, and less hope. For what is it that 
should reduce this man to repentance ? Is it not his knowledge ? Now if 
that had no power to keep him from his sin, then it may be judged that it 
will not be of force to bring him to repentance for it ; for by sinning the 
heart is made more hard, and the knowledge and the authority of it weakened 
and lessened, as all power is when contemned and resisted, Rom. i. 21, 
' Their foolish heart becomes darker.' Aristotle himself hath a touch of 
this notion in the third of his Ethics, that if a man sin out of ignorance, 
when he knows it, he repents of it ; if out of passion, when the passion is 
over, he is sorry for what he hath done ; but when a man sins deliberately, 
and out of knowledge, it is a sign he is fixed and set in mischief, and there- 
fore it is counted wickedness and malice. And hence it is that those that 
have been enlightened with the highest kind of light but that of saving 
grace, Heb. vi. 4, 5, and Heb. x., 'if they sin wilfully after such a know- 
ledge of the truth,' God looks on them as those that will never repent. 
And therefore likewise the school gives this as the reason why the devils 
sin obstinately, and cannot repent, because of their full knowledge they 
sin with ; they know all in the full latitude that it may be known, and yet 
go on. 

2. Secondly, The vast difference that in God's account is put between 
sins of knowledge and of ignorance, will appear by the different respect and 
regard that God hath to them, in the repentance he requires and accepts 
for them ; and that both in the acts of repentance and also in the state of 
grace and repentance, upon which God accepts a man, or for want of which 
he rejecteth him. 

First. When a man comes to perform the acts of repentance, and to 
humble himself for sin, and to turn from it, God exacteth not, that sins of 
ignorance should particularly be repented of. But if they be repented of 
but in the general, and in the lump, be they never so great, God accepts it. 
This is intimated, Ps. xix. 12, ' "Who can understand his error? cleanse me 
from my secret sins ; ' that was confession enough. But sins of know- 
ledge must be particularly repented of, and confessed, and that again and 
again, as David was forced to do for his murder and adultery, or a man 
shall never have pardon. Yea, farther, greater difference will appear in 
regard of the state of grace and repentance, for a man may lie in a sin he 
doth not know to be a sin, and yet be in the state of grace, as the patriarchs 
in polygamy, and in divorcing their wives ; but to lie in a sin of knowledge 
is not compatible with grace, but unless a man maintaineth a constant 
fight against it, hateth it, confesseth it, forsaketh it, he cannot have mercy. 
This cannot stand with uprightness of heart. A friend may keep corre- 
spondency with one he suspects not to be an enemy unto his friend, and be 
* That is, 'to ward off.' — Ed. 


true to his friendship notwithstanding; but if he knows him to be an enemy, 
he must break utterly with the one if he leans to the other. 

3. Thirdly, Yet farther, in the third place, so vast is the difference, that 
some kind of sins committed out of and against knowledge, utterly exclude 
from mercy from time to come, which done out of ignorance remained 
capable of and might have obtained it ; as persecuting the saints, blas- 
pheming Christ, &c. Paul's will was as much in those acts themselves, 
and as hearty as those that sin against the Holy Ghost ; for he was mad 
against the church, and in these sins, as himself says, not sinning willingly 
herein only, but being carried on with fury as hot and as forward as the 
Pharisees that sinned that sin ; only, says he, 1 Tim. i. 13, ' I did it 
ignorantly, therefore I obtained mercy.' Though it was ignorantly done, 
yet there was need of mercy ; but yet in that he did it but ignorantly, there 
was a capacity and place for mercy which otherwise had not been. But 
thus to sin, ' after a man hath received the knowledge of the truth, shuts a 
man out from mercy, Heb. x., and ' there is no more sacrifice for sin,' for 
such sins; I say, such sins as these, thus directly against the gospel, when 
committed with knowledge. For sins against the law, though against 
knowledge, there was an atonement, as appears, Lev. vi. 1-8, where he 
instanceth in forswearing. But to persecute the saints, and Christ's truth, 
with malice, after knowledge of it, there is no more sacrifice ; not that 
simply the sin is so great in the act itself of persecution, for Paul did it out 
of ignorance, but because it is out of knowledge : so vast a difference doth 
knowledge and ignorance put between the guilt of the same sin. 

4. And therefore indeed, to conclude this in the last place, this is the 
highest step of the ladder, next to turning off, the very highest but sinning 
against the Holy Ghost ; which must needs argue it the highest aggrava- 
tion of sinning, when it ascends so high, when it brings a man to the brink, 
and next to falling into the bottomless pit, irrecoverably. And therefore to 
' sin presumptuously' (which is all one) and to ' sin against knowledge,' as 
appears, Num. xv. 26-30, it being there opposed to sinning out of ignorance 
(such a sin as David did, of whom it is said, 2 Sam, xii. 9, that ' he despised 
the word of the Lord;' which phrase also is used to express sins of pre- 
sumption, verse 31 of that 15th chapter of Numbers). To sin, I say, pre- 
sumptuously is the highest step. So in David's account, Ps. xix. 12, 13. 
For first he prays, ' Lord, keep me from secret sins,' which he maketh sins of 
ignorance, and then next he prays against ' presumptuous sins,' which, as the 
opposition shews, are sins against knowledge ; for (says he), ' if they get 
dominion over me, I shall not be free from that great offence,' that is, that 
unpardonable sin which shall never be forgiven, so as these are nearest 
it of any other, yet not so as that every one that falls into such a sin 
commits it, but he is nigh to it, at the next step to it. For to commit 
that sin, but two things are required — light in the mind, and malice in the 
heart ; not malice alone, unless there be light, for then that apostle had 
sinned it, so as knowledge is the parent of it, it is ' after receiving the 
knowledge of the truth,'' Heb. x. 27, 28. 

II. These are the demonstrations of it ; the reasons are, 
1. First, Because knowledge of God and his ways is the greatest mercy 
next to saving grace : ' He hath not dealt so with every nation.' Where- 
in ? In ' giving the knowledge of his ways ;' and as it is thus, so to a 
nation, so to a man ; and therefore Christ speaking of the gift of knowledge, 
and giving the reason why it so greatly condemneth, Luke xii. 48, says, 


1 For to whom much is given, much is required.' As if ho had said, To 
know his master's will, that is tho great talent of all other. There is a 
match in that. Thus it was in the heathens' esteem also. They acknow- 
ledged their foolish wisdom in moral and natural philosophy, their greatest 
excellency ; and therefore Plato thanked God for three things, that he was 
a man, an Athenian, and a philosopher. And Rom. i. 22, the apostle 
mentions it as that excellency they did profess. And Solomon, of all 
vanities, says this is the hest vanity, and that it ' exceeds folly as light 
doth darkness,' Eccles. ii. 13. But surely much more is the knowledge of 
the law, and of God, as we have it revealed to us ; this must needs be 
much more excellent. And so the Jews esteemed theirs, as in this second 
chapter of the Romans, the apostle shews also of them, that they ' made 
their boast of the law, and their form of knowledge of it, and approving 
the things that are excellent.' And what do the two great books of the 
creatures, and the word, and all means else serve for, but to increase 
knowledge ? If therefore all tend to this, this is then the greatest mercy 
of all the rest. 

2. For, secondly, God hath appointed knowledge as the immediate guide 
of men in all their ways, to bring them to salvation and repentance ; for to 
that it leads them. It is that same rb riyrjfiSvtxov, as the philosopher called 
it ; and therefore the law, Rom. vii. 1, 2, is compared to a husband, so 
far as it is written in or revealed in the heart, that as a husband is the 
guide of the wife in her youth, so is the law to the heart. And whereas 
beasts are ruled by a bit and bridle, God he rules men by knowledge. And 
therefore if men be wicked, notwithstanding this light, they must needs sin 
highly, seeing there is no other curb for them, as they are men, but this : 
if he will deal with them as men, this is the only way, and therefore if that 
will not do it, it is supposed nothing will. 

It is knowledge makes men capable of sin, which beasts are not ; there- 
fore the more knowledge, if men be wicked withal, the more sin must 
necessarily be reckoned to them ; so as God doth not simply look what 
men's actions and affections are, but chiefly what their knowledge is, and 
accordingly judgeth men more or less wicked. I may illustrate this by 
that comparison, which I may allude unto : that as in kingdoms God 
measures out the wickedness thereof, and so his punishments accordingly, 
principally by the guides, the governors thereof, what they are, and what 
they do ; as in Jer. v. 4 it appears, where first God looks upon the 
poor people, but he excuseth them, ' These are foolish, and know not the 
way of the Lord ;' and therefore God would have been moved to spare the 
kingdom, notwithstanding their sins. But from them, at the 5th verse, he 
goes to view the rulers, ' I will get me to the great men, for these have 
known the way of the Lord ;' and when he saw that ' these had broken 
the bands,' then 'how shall I pardon thee for this?' So is it in his 
judgments towards a particular man : when God looks down upon a man, 
and sees him in his courses exceeding loose and wicked, he looks first upon 
those rude affections in him, which are unclean, profane, debauched, greedy 
of all wickedness. Ay, but, says he, these are foolish of themselves, but 
I will look upon his understanding, and upon the superior faculties, which 
are the guides of these affections, and see what they dictate to these unruly 
affections to restrain them. And when he finds that the guides themselves 
are enlightened, ' and have known the way of the Lord,' and that the will 
and the affections, though informed with much knowledge, yet ' break all 
bands,' then 'how shall I pardon thee?' thee, who art a knowing 


drunkard, and a knowing unclean person, &c, so as thus to sin aggravates 
and maketh sin out of measure sinful. 

Now that knowledge and reason is a man's guide, will further appear by 
this : that even erroneous knowledge doth put an obligation, a bond, and a 
tie upon a man, which can be in no other respect, but because knowledge 
is appointed to be a man's guide. Thus, if a man thinks a thing which 
is in itself common and indifferent to be a sin, and forbidden, as Rom. 
xiv. 14, although the law forbids it not, yet ' to him it is unclean,' though 
in Christ it is not unclean, that is, by the law of Christ. For this his 
knowledge and judgment of the thing hath to him the force of a law, for 
it propounds it to him as a law, and as from God, which reason of his God 
hath appointed as his immediate guide ; and the will is to follow nothing 
that is evil, which is represented to it as evil. This is the law of mere nature 
in all conditions ; therefore if a man should do an action which is in itself 
good, if he thought it to be evil, he should sin, and so e contra, for he goes 
against the dictate of nature. So that erroneous knowledge, though against 
the law, is a law to me, though not per se, yet per accidens. Now therefore 
if to go against a false light of conscience be yet a sin, though it proves 
that the commandment allows the thing was done, and was for it, then to 
go against the true light of the law, how sinful is it ! 

3. Again, thirdly, the knowledge of the law binds the person so much 
the more to obedience, by how much the more he knows it ; so as though 
it would be a sin when he knows not the law to transgress it, yet when he 
knows it, it is a greater sin. It is true, indeed, that conscience and the 
law, when they meet, make up but one law, not two distinct laws ; and 
therefore in sinning against knowledge, though a man doth not commit two 
distinct sins, yet the knowledge of it doth add a further degree of sinfulness 
to it ; as a cloth is the same cloth when it is white that it was when it is 
dyed with a scarlet dye, yet then it hath a dye, a tincture given it, which 
is more worth than the cloth : and so, when you sin not knowing the law, 
the sin is the same for substance it would be if you had known it, yet that 
knowledge dyes it, makes it a ' scarlet sin,' as Isaiah speaks, far greater and 
deeper in demerit than the sin itself ; and the ground of this is, because 
laws then come to be in force when they are promulged and made known, 
so as the more they are promulged and made known, the more is the force 
of their binding, and so the greater guilt. Therefore, Deut. xii. 3, 8, God 
otraightens the cords more, the binding force of the law more upon those 
Jews' consciences, to whom he at first personally with majesty had promul- 
gated it, than upon their children, though upon theirs also. Now if all 
God's laws, being made known to Adam, bind us, and are in force, and 
this when we know them not, then, if we do know them, or might know 
them, they bind much more, and still the more clearly we know them the 
obligation increaseth, and the guilt ensuing with it ; and the rather, because 
now when we come to know them, they are anew promulged in a way of 
a peculiar mercy, we having defaced the knowledge of them in our fall. 

4. Fourthly, When the law, being known, is broken, there is the more 
contempt cast upon the law, and the lawgiver also, and so a higher degree 
of sinning. And therefore, Num. xv. 30, ' He that sins out of knowledge ' 
is said to ' reproach the Lord, and to despise the word.' And therefore 
Saul sinning against knowledge, Samuel calleth it rebellion ; and though it 
were but in a small thing, yet he parallels it with witchcraft. So also, Job 
xxiv. 13, they are said to rebel when they sin against light ; because rebel- 
lion is added to disobedience. For knowledge is an officer set to see the 


law executed and fulfilled, and makes God present to the conscience. 
Therefore, Rom. ii. 14, it is called a witness, and therefore in sinning against 
knowledge men are said to sin before the face of the Lord himself ; now 
what a great contempt is that ? Therefore also, Ps. 1. 17, the hypocrite 
6inning against knowledge is said to ' cast the law of God behind his back,' 
so as there is a contempt in this sinning, which is in no other. 

5. Fifthly, The more knowledge a man sinneth against, the more the will 
of the sinner is discovered to be for sin, as sin. Now voluntarium est regula 
et mensura actionum moralium, willingness in sinning is the standard and 
measure of sins. The less will, the less sin ; so much is cut off, the less 
the will closeth with it, at leastwise so much is added by how much the 
will is more in it ; and therefore the highest degree of sinning is expressed 
to us by sinning willingly, and this after knowledge, Heb. x. Now though 
an ignorant man commits the act as willingly, as when Paul persecuted the 
church, yet he commits it not considered as sin till he hath the knowledge 
of it ; but then when it is discovered to be sin, and the more clearly it is so 
discovered, the will may be said to join with it as sin. Therefore the 
apostle says, ' To him that knows to do well, and doth it not, to him it is 
sin,' James iv. 17, because by his knowledge the thing is represented as 
sin ; and so he closeth with it the more, under that notion and apprehension. 

6. Sixthby, In sinning against knowledge a man condemns himself, but 
when out of ignorance niereby, the law only doth condemn him ; so Eom. 
ii. 1, a man having knowledge in that wherein he judgeth another, he con- 
demneth himself; so Rom. xiv., now as self-murder is the highest degree 
of murder and an aggravation of it, so self- condemning must needs be 
reckoned. God took it as a great advantage over him that hid his talent, 
that ' out of thine own mouth I will condemn thee, thou wicked servant.' 

The doctrine being thus proved ; first, I will explain what it is to sin 
against knowledge. 

Secondly, I will give the aggravations of it. 

Thirdly, I will give rules to measure sins of knowledge by, and the great- 
ness of them in any act. 

Lastly, the use of all. 

1. For the first, what it is to sin against knowledge. First, to explain 
it, I premise these distinctions. 

(1.) The first distinction: that it is one thing to sin with knowledge, 
another thing against knowledge. 

There are many sins do pass from a man with his knowledge, which yet 
are not against knowledge. This is to be observed for the removal of a 
scruple which may arise in some that are godly, who else may be wounded 
with this doctrine through a mistake. 

A regenerate man is, and must needs be, supposed guilty of more known 
sins than an unregenerate man ; and } T et he commits fewer against know- 
ledge than he. 

[1.] First, I say, he is guilty of more known sins ; for he takes notice 
of every sinful disposition that is stirring in him, every by-end, every con- 
trariety unto holiness, deadness to duty, reluctancy to spiritual duties, and 
when regenerated, beginneth to see and know more evil by himself, than 
ever he did before ; he sees as the apostle says of himself, Rom. vii. 8, 
' all concupiscence ; ' and the holier a man is, the more he discerns and 
knows his sins. So says the apostle, Rom. vii. 18, ' I know that in me 
dwells no good thing.' And ver. 21, ' I find when I would do good, evil 


is present with me.' And ver. 23, ' I see another law.' All these, he says, 
he perceived and found daily in himself ; and the more holy that he grew, 
the more he saw them. For the purer and clearer the light of God's Spirit 
shines in a man, the more sins he knows, he will see lusts streaming up, 
flying in his heart, like motes in the sun, or sparks out of a furnace, which 
else he had not seen. The clearer the sunbeam is which is let into the heart, 
the more thou wilt see them. 

[2.] But yet, in the second place, I add, that nevertheless he sins less 
against knowledge ; for then we are properly said to sin against knowledge, 
when we do take the fulfilling of a lust, or the performance of an outward 
action, a duty, or the like, into deliberation and consideration, and consider 
motives against the sin, or to the duty, and yet commit that sin, yield to 
it, and nourish that lust, and omit that duty. Here now we sin not only 
with knowledge, but against knowledge, because knowledge stepped in, and 
opposed us in it, comes to interrupt and prevent us ; but now in those 
failings in duty, and stirring of lusts in the regenerate aforementioned, the 
case is otherwise, they are committed indeed with knowledge, but not 
against it. For it is not in the power of knowledge to prevent them, for 
motus primi non cadunt sub libertatem ; but yet though such sins will arise 
again and again, yet, says a good heart, they must not think to pass uncon- 
trolled and unseen. Therefore let not poor souls mistake me, as if I meant 
throughout this discourse of all sins which are known to be sins, but I 
mean such sins as are committed against knowledge, that is, when know- 
ledge comes and examines a sin in or before the committing of it, brings 
it to the law, contests against it, condemns it, and yet a man approveth it, 
and consenteth to it ; when a duty and a sin are brought before knowledge, 
as Barabbas and Christ afore Pilate, and thy knowledge doth again and 
again tell thee such a sin is a great sin, and ought to be crucified, and yet 
thou criest, let it go ; and so for the duty, it tells thee again and again it 
ought to be submitted unto, and yet thou omittest it, and committest the 
sin, choosest Barabbas rather than Christ : these are sins against knowledge. 
Now such sins against knowledge break a man's peace, and the more con- 
sideration before had, the more the peace is broken. 

(2.) The second distinction is, that men sin against knowledge, either 
directly or collaterally, objectively or circumstantially. 

[1.] First, directly, when knowledge itself is the thing men abuse, or 
fight against, becometh the object, the term in us, the butt and mark shot at, 
this is to sin directly against knowledge itself. 

[2.] The second way, collaterally, is, when knowledge is but a circum- 
stance in our sins, so as the pleasure of some sin we know to be a sin is 
the thing aimed at, and that our knowledge steps but in between to hinder 
us in it, and we commit it notwithstanding though we do know it ; here 
knowledge is indeed sinned against, yet but collaterally, and as a stander 
by, but as a circumstance only, shot at^er accidents, concomitanter, and by 
the by, as one that steps in to part a fray is smitten, for labouring to 
hinder them in their sin, as the Sodomites quarrelled with Lot ; they are 
both found in this chapter, and therefore come fitly within the compass of 
this discourse. 

First, this collateral kind of sinning against knowledge is mentioned in 
the 21st verse, where he says, ' They knew God, yet they glorified him 
not ; ' there knowledge is made but a circumstance of their sinning, they 
sinned against it but collaterally. But then that other kind of sinning 
directly against knowledge is mentioned, verse 28, ' They liked not to 


retain God in their knowledge ; ' that is, they hated this knowledge itself, 
BO as now they did not only love sin they knew to be sin, but also they 
loved not the knowledge of it; so that because both are thus clearly in- 
stanced in. we will speak of both more largely. 

Now, sins directly against knowledge itself are many. I will reduce the 
chief heads of them into two brunches : 

First, In regard of ourselves. 

Secondly, In regard of others. 

(1.) First, In regard of ourselves, five ways we may thus sin against 
knowledge itself. 

[1.] First, When we abuse knowledge to help us to sin : as, first, to plot 
and contrive a sin, as Judas plotted to betray his Master, if he could ' con- 
veniently;' so the text says, Mark xiv. 11, he would do it wisely; and thus 
those that came to entrap Christ with most cunning questions did sin, and 
those who plot against the just, Ps. xxxvii. 12. 

[2.] So, secondly, when men use their wisdoms to tell a cunning lie to 
cover a sin ; as Plato says, men of knowledge stmt ad mendacia potent iores 
et sapient iores, whereas fools, though they would he, yet often tell truth ere 
they are aware. 

[3.] But also, thirdly, when they abuse moral knowledge, which yet, as 
Aristotle says, is least apt to be (I am sure should least be) abused, so as 
to make a show of good pretences to cover their sins and dissemble them, 
not only by finding out some cunning artificial colour, as David did in the 
matter of Uriah, ' Chance of war (says he) falls to all alike ; ' but when 
men are so impudently hypocritical as to make use of religious pretexts, as 
the devil sometimes doth, as Saul, w T ho pretends to Samuel ' I have done 
the will of the Lord ; ' and when Samuel told him of the cattle, Oh, says 
he, 'they are for a sacrifice,' when God had expressly commanded to kill 
them all. But this shift shifted him out of his kingdom, Samuel pro- 
nounced him a rebel in it, rebellion is sin against knowledge, there he 
knew it. Thus also Jezebel coloured over the stoning of Naboth with a 
bolemn fast. So Judas fisheth for money with a charitable pretence, 
4 This might have been sold, and given to the poor.' In sins against 
knowledge, usually the mind endeavours to find out a colour, and that 
provokes God more than the sin, because we go about to mock him. We 
see men cannot endure a shift, much less the all-knowing God not to be 
mocked ; and we see it hard to convince such an one. David was fain to 
be brought to the rack ere he would confess, when he had a shift ; and men 
do seek such shifts only in case of sinning against conscience, for else there 
were no need, they would be sure to plead ignorance, as Abimelech did.* 

Secondly, When men neglect the getting and obtaining of knowledge, 
which knowledge might keep and hinder them from sinning, and might 
make them expert in duties. This is as much as to sin against knowledge, 
although the sins be committed out of ignorance ; yet that ignorance being 
through their own default, it comes all to one, when it may be said of 
men, as the apostle doth of the Hebrews, chap. v. 12, ' that for the time 
they have had to learn, they might have been teachers, they had yet need 
be taught again the first principles.' If a man had an apprentice, who 
through negligence and want of heeding and observing what he daily sees 
and hears about his trade, might have got for his time much knowledge in 
his trade, whereby he might have saved his master much, which he now 
hath lost him, and rid and perfected much work he daily spoils him ; such 
* 1 Sam xxii. 15. — Ed. 


careless, blockish ignorance it is just for his master to correct him for, and 
to charge on him all that waste and loss, because he might have known 
how to have done better. And therefore even they who thought ignorance 
in itself no sin (wherein they erred), yet the neglect of knowledge upon this 
very ground they thought a great sin, and that it would be so far from 
excusing sins, as that it would aggravate them. So here we see these 
Gentiles shall not only be reckoned with for the actual knowledge they had 
attained to, and sinned against ; but also for what they might have had 
and have picked out of the creatures. For so the apostle brings in this 
here in the 20th verse, that the power of God being clearly seen in the 
creatures, they neglecting to spell and read it, so much knowledge as they 
might have got God will reckon to them, and aggravate their sins by. 

Thirdly, Which is yet much worse, when men refuse knowledge that they 
may sin the more freely, and so stop the ear, lest they should be charmed. 
As when men are loath, and afraid, and dare not read such a book as dis- 
covers or might discover that truth to them, the submission to which would 
prejudice them, and this to the end that they may plead ignorance of their 
sin. Thus also those that assent not to truth when it comes strongly upon 
them, but seek to evade it. But, 1 Cor. xiv. 37, when the apostle had 
clearly discovered the truth in those things controverted, so as whoever 
was spiritual, or not fully blind, might see, and would acknowledge the 
truth, then he shuts up his discourse about them, ver. 38, ( If any be igno- 
rant, let him be ignorant ;' for it is wilful, it is affected ; he speaks it as 
elsewhere, Rev. xxii. 11, it is said, He that is unjust, let him be unjust 
still ;' that is, he that will be unjust, and refuseth to turn, let him go on. 
This is a great sin, for God, you see, gives such a man over. One that is 
but neglectful, or dull of capacity, God will take pains with him, to teach 
him, and bear with him, as Christ did with his disciples ; but if he be wil- 
fully ignorant, he lets him die in his ignorance, and yet will reckon with 
him, as if all his sins had been committed against knowledge, because he 
refused to know. 

[4.] The fourth is to hate the light, and to endeavour to extinguish it. 
This is yet nineh worse, when men hate the word, and the ministers of it, 
the examples of God's people, and the light they cany with them, they 
1 shining as lights in a crooked generation,' Phil. iL 15, and yet they hate 
these, as thieves do a torch in the night, and fly against the light as bats 
do, and as the Jews did, John hi. 20. This Christ says is the great con- 
demning sin of all others. So these Gentiles put Socrates to death for re- 
proving them. And thus men sin also, when they labour to extinguish the 
b>ht in their own consciences, and • like not to retain God in their know- 
ledge,' ver. 28, but would study the art of forgetfulness, when men have 
put the candle out, and drawn the curtains, that they may sin, and sleep 
in sin more freely and securely. Thus those also sin in a higher measure, 
who have had a clear conviction that they ought to be thus strict, and 
ought to sanctify the Lord's day, and pray privately, but now have lost this 
light, and think" they need not be so strict ; when men continue not in what 
they were once assured of, as the apostle speaks, 2 Tim. iii. 14, these sin 
against their knowledge, and are the worst of such sinners. And this estate 
Aristotle himself makes station maligni, the state of a wicked one, namely, 
when the sparks of light are extinguished or hated. For when any man's 
light is lost and turned into darkness by sinning, then, as Christ says, how 
great is that darkness ! When good laws are not only not enacted and 
embraced, but repealed also (it is Aristotle's similitude, to distinguish an 


incontinent person and a wicked man), this is an high kind of Burning. B i 
of these Gentiles it is said, ' their foolish heart was darkened,' they had 
extinguished some of that light God gave them. As some drink away their 
wits, so some sin away their consciences, and thus by degrees they first 
sin away the light of the word they had, as t-hey in Jude who were religions 
once, and then they quench even that little spark of nature that is kit. 
Also ver. 10, 'corrupting themselves in what they know naturally.' 

[5.] Fifthly, Men sin against knowledge yet worse, when they hold opinion 
against their knowledge. So many are said to do In 1 Tim. iv. 2, he fore- 
tells they should ' speak lies in hypocrisy,' and invent lies that should have 
a pretence of holiness, which they know to be a lie, or else they should not 
be said to ' speak lies in hypocrisy ;' but they do it to maintain their honour 
and greatness, which must down if their doctrine prove false ; and though 
many are given up to believe their lies, 2 Thes. ii. 11, as a punishment of 
their not loving the truth, yet others of them shall know they are lies, and 
yet vent them for truths. Thus when men fashion their opinion to the 
times and ways of preferment, and their dependencies on great ones, or to 
maintain and uphold a fashion, or out of pride having broached an error 
maintain it, though the pulling out that one tile doth untile all the house. 
These are the two causes given of perverting the truth, 1 Tim. vi. 4, 5, 
namely, pride and covetousness, and supposing gain godliness, and so fashion- 
ing their religion accordingly ; when men are ' knights of the post,' that 
will write or speak anything, whereby they may get gain and preferment. 

(2.) Secondly, Men sin against knowledge in regard of others. 

[1.] First, By concealing it. The apostle indeed says in a certain case, 
' Hast thou knowledge ? keep it to thyself.' He speaks it of opinions or 
practices about things indifferent, which might scandalize the weak ; but if 
thou hast knowledge which may edify thy brother, thou oughtest to com- 
municate it. Socrates, knowing there was but one God, said, in his apo- 
logy for his life, that if they would give him life upon condition to keep 
that truth to himself, and not to teach it to others, he would not accept 
life upon such a condition ; and I remember he expresseth his resolution 
in words very nigh the same words the apostles used, Acts iv. 40, ' Whether 
it be better to obey God than men, judge you ;' and ' We cannot but teach 
the things we have heard and seen,' says Christ ; for knowledge is a thing 
will boil within a man for vent, and cannot be imprisoned. It is light, and 
the end why light was made was to be set up to give light. And Christ 
argues from an apparent absurdity to put a light under a bushel, which 
may give light to all the house. Hast thou knowledge of God and of his 
ways ? thou canst not but speak (if withal thou hast but a good heart) to all 
in the family, to thy wife in thy bosom, &c. God took it for granted that 
Abraham would teach his children what he should know from him : the 
same disposition is in all the children of Abraham. 

[2.] Secondly, When men endeavour to suppress knowledge. As the 
Pharisees, they kept the keys of it in their hands, and would not open the 
treasures of it themselves, nor let others do it neither. So they (Acts 
iv. 16) ' could not deny but a great miracle was done' by the apostles (say 
themselves), ' but that it spread no further, let us threaten them, and charge 
them, that they speak no more in his name.' And this they did against 
their consciences, by their own profession, ' we cannot deny it ;' as if they 
had said, if we could we would, but it was too manifest it was the truth. 
So when masters keep their servants from the means of knowledge, they 
are thus guilty. 


[3.] Thirdly, When we would make others sin against their consciences. 
The Pharisees, when the blind man would not say as they said, they cast 
him out ; they would have had him say that Christ was a sinner, when 
through the small light he had he judged it evident enough that a sinner 
should not do such a miracle as was never done since the world began. 
And so Jezebel made the judges and witnesses sin against conscience in 
accusing Naboth ; and so some of the Gentiles, that would hold corres- 
pondency with the Jews, would have constrained the Galatians to be cir- 
cumcised, Gal. vi. 12. Those that knew that circumcision was to be abo- 
lished, yet they would persuade them to it by club-argument, drawn from 
avoiding persecution, not from evidence of the truth, or by reasons that 
might convince them and their consciences ; therefore, he says, they ' con- 
strained them.' The persuaders might indeed glory, as having their 
cause and side strengthened, but they won little credit to their cause by it ; 
for as the persuaders' arguments were suited to flesh, so the others' yield- 
ing was out of flesh, and so ' they glory in your flesh' and weakness, says 
he ; as the papists urged Cranmer, not by arguments, but threats and pro- 
mises, to recant ; this is the greatest cruelty in the world, to have a man 
murder himself, stab his conscience. To offend a weak conscience is a sin, 
if but passively, when thou dost something before his face, which his con- 
science is against ; but if thou makest him wound his own conscience, and 
to do an act himself which his own conscience is against, it is much 
worse ; as if thou beest a master, and hast a servant who pleadeth con- 
science that he cannot lie for thy advantage in thy shop, or who will not 
do unlawful business on the Sabbath day, and pleads conscience, w T ilt thou 
smite him and whip him ? ' God will smite thee, thou w T hited wall.' How 
darest thou smite him and so cause him to do that for which God will 
whip him worse ? Shew mercy to those under you, inform their con- 
sciences, wring them not, you may hap to break the wards if you do. 

2. Now for sins committed collaterally, or per modum circwnstantm 
(that I may so express it), against knowledge, they are done either when 
particular acts of sin are committed, and duties omitted, against light 
and knowledge ; and so the saints may and do often sin against know- 
ledge. Or, 

Secondly, in regard of a known estate of sin and impenitency persisted 
in, when men continue and go on in such a state against conviction of con- 
science, that such is their estates. 

(1.) For the first, because particular acts of sin committed against know- 
ledge are infinite, and there will be no end of instancing in particulars, 
therefore I will not insist. Only in brief this distinction concerning such 
acts may be observed , and the observation of it may be useful, that some 
acts of sins against knowledge are merely transient, that is, are done and 
ended at once. And though the guilt of them is eternal, yet the extent of 
the act is finished with the committing it, and reaches no further : as a 
vain oath, breach of the Sabbath, &c, which acts cannot be repealed, 
though they may be repented of. But others there are, which though the 
act may be but once outwardly and professedly done, yet have an habitual and 
continued permanency, life, and subsistence given it, such as that until a 
man doth recall them, he may be said continually to renew those acts, and 
every day to be guilty of them, and to maintain it, and so habitually to 
commit them. As it is with laws, which, though made but once, are yet 
continued acts of the state whilst they stand in force unrepealed, so is it 
in some sins. For instance, when a man doth take goods from his neigh- 

a<;aixst kxowm'.iicf.. 175 

bour unjustly, the act indeed is done but once ; but till he restores them, 
he may be said to steal them ; every day, even- hour, ho continues to do 
it habitually. So a man having subscribed to falsehood, or recanted the 
truth publicly, the act, though done but once, yet until a retraction be 
somewavs made, he continues that act, and so is daily anew guilty of it. 
So if a man should many one whom it is unlawful for him to marrv, as 
Herod did, though that sinful act of espousals whereby they entered into 
it was soon despatched, yet, till a divorce, he lives in a continual sin. 
And such acts (of this latter sort I mean) against knowledge, are most 
dangerous to commit ; because, to continue thus in them, though but once 
committed, hazards a man's estate ; and therefore men find, when they 
come to repent, the greatest snare, and trouble, and difficulty in such 
kind of sins, to extricate themselves out of them by a meet and true 

But as concerning the first branch of this distinction, namely, of parti- 
cular acts committed against knowledge, besides this last distinction briefly 
touched, I will anon give you several aggravations and rules, whereby to 
measure the sinfulness that is in such acts so committed ; but, in the 
mean time, the second branch of this former distinction must be in 
upon, and therefore I will bring in these aggravations and rules which con- 
cern particular acts, as distinct heads, after I have briefly spoken to this 
other, which is, that, 

(2.) Secondly, Those sin against knowledge who go on in an estate of sin 
and impenitency which they know to be damnable ; as Pharaoh. Exod. 
ix. 27, who confessed that he and his people were wicked, and yet har- 
dened himself in sin most dangerously ; and yet three sorts of men may 
apparently be convinced thus to sin. 

First, Those that keep out, and withdraw themselves from professing 
Christ and his ways, and the fear of his name, out of shame or fear of man, 
or loss of preferment, or the like worldly ends, when yet they are convinced 
that they are God's ways, and ought to be professed by them. I do not say 
that all who do not come in to profess Christ, and that do not join them- 
selves with his people, that they go on against knowledge, for many are 
ignorant and mistaken about them ; but when men are convinced of the 
truth, and necessity of professing and confessing of it even ' unto salvation' 
(as the apostle speaks, Rom. x), and yet out of fear or shame keep still on 
the other side, drawing in their homs altogether, these go on in an estate 
of impenitency against knowledge ; for put all these together, and it must 
needs appear to be so. As, first, when they are convinced that this is the 
truth, and that salvation and the power of religion is only to be found in 
such ways and men ; and secondly, that these are to be practised and pro- 
fessed; and yet, thirdly, out of shame, &c, keep still aloof of, and go on a 
contrary way ; these must needs know that they go on in an estate of im- 
penitency against knowledge. This was the case of many of the Pharisees, 
who therefore sinned highly ; they believed, and were convinced that 
Christ was the Messiah ; and so then to be confessed, and followed, and to 
be cleaved unto, and then also they must needs know that his followers 
only were the children of God. Yet, John xii. 42, it is said, ' Though they 
thus believed on him, yet they durst not confess him for fear of the Jews,' 
and of the Pharisees, and of being ' put out of the synagogues.' At the 
latter day Christ shall not need to sever such from the rest as he will do 
the sheep from the goats, for they willingly remain all their days amongst 
them whom they know to be goats, and refuse the company, and fold, and 


food, and marks of the sheep which they know to he such ; they may 
apologise, and make fair with the saints, that their hearts are with them, 
but they will be ranked at the day of judgment as here they ranked them- 
selves, with the ' workers of iniquity.' Of these doth the psalmist speak, 
Ps. cxxv. 5, ' Those that turn aside by their crooked ways, them shall 
the Lord leave with the workers of iniquity.' 

Those also thus sin, and are to be joined with these, who know the 
terms and condition of salvation, and how they must part with all for 
Christ, and yet will not come to the price ; such do go desperately on 
against knowledge in a bad estate, and do judge themselves unworthy of 
eternal life. Thus the young man in the gospel he was told that he was to 
sell all, and that was the condition, and he knew heaven was worth it, and 
was convinced of the truth herein, that thus he ought to do, for ' he went 
away sorrowful ; ' now if he had not known that he went away without 
happiness, he needed not have been sorrowful at all, but he knew the bargain 
of salvation was not struck up, and likewise what it struck at, and yet still 
rested in his former condition, and chose rather to enjoy his many posses- 
sions. This man now went on in his state against knowledge. 

Secondly, As also those who upon the same or like ground defer their 
repentance ; these go on in a bad estate, and must needs know they do so ; 
for in that they promise to repent hereafter, and take up purposes to do it, 
when thej' have gone on a little while longer, to add drunkenness to thirst, 
they do thereby profess that there is a work of grace which they must attain 
to ere they can be in the state of grace ; for they would not promise so 
much hereafter, but that they know not how, without such a work, they 
should be saved. Whilst therefore such shall rest without present en- 
deavouring after it, so long they are judged in themselves to be in a bad 
estate at present. When men know the curses due to their present estate, 
and yet say as he, Deut. xxix. 19, ' I will go on in the way of my heart, and 
shall have peace ' afterward ; this man sins most highly, and therefore 
God's wrath ' smokes against that man,' and he says of him that he ' will 
not be merciful to him' in that place. 

Thirdly, Sunk and broken professors, such cannot but go on in a bad 
estate against knowledge, when either men are fallen from the practice and 
profession of what is good, which once they thought necessary to salvation, 
or when they continue to hold forth their profession in hypocrisy. Those 
that have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of 
Jesus Christ, but are returned to their vomit again, some of these are in- 
genious,* and acknowledge themselves fallen, and their present estate most 
miserable, and yet go on in it ; and such are to be pitied, but yet are in a 
most dangerous condition. Saul when he was fallen away, yet had this 
ingenuity* a while left, he desired Samuel to pray to his God for him, and 
told David that he was more righteous than he ; yet still went on in his 
courses, and in the end, as some have thought, sinned against the Holy 

But others there are, who, though they be fallen from all the inward, 
powerful, and secret performance of duties they once did practise, and from 
all conscience of sinning, yet retain their profession, which they know to be 
but an outside. These of all others go on against knowledge ; and, Rev. 
xxii. 15, they are said to ' make a lie,' not only to tell a lie in words, but 
to make a lie in deeds. Now a lie is a sin of all others most against know- 
ledge, and indeed against a double knowledge, both fact i and juris; and so 
* That is, ' ingenuous,' and ' ingenuousness.' — Ed. 

AGAINST kn'o\vlkik;e. 177 

is this. [1.] That they profess themselves to be that they know they aro 
not. T2.j That they will not endeavour after that state they know they 
ought to get into if ever saved. This is the condition of many, who, being 
convinced of the power of religion, have launched forth into a profession, 
and hoist up sail, but now the tide is fallen, the Spirit withdrawn, the con- 
science of sin extinguished in them ; yet for their credit's sake still bear 
their sails up as high as ever, even as many merchants do, who are sunk in 
their estates, still bear a fair show, yea, will seem richer than ordinary, by 
purchasing lands, &c. Such a professor was Judas, he began seriously, 
and thought to have gone to heaven, and was earnest in good duties at first, 
as they also, 2 Pet. ii. 18, they really, or fame, escaped the pollutions of 
the world through the knowledge of Christ ; but in the end Judas became a 
gross hypocrite, one that pretended the poor when he loved the bag, and 
on the sudden betrayed his master, when yet the disciples knew it not, sus- 
pected Judas as little as themselves ; and the end of those also, in that 
fore-named place, it is said to be ' worse than their beginning.' Now 
because such sin so highly against knowledge, therefore their punishment 
is made the regula of all other wicked men's ; as when it is said that other 
sinners ' shall have their portion with hypocrites,' as the wicked angels' 
punishment is made the measure of men's. ' Go, ye cursed, into the fire 
prepared for the devil and his angels.' So among men, such gross hypo- 
crites, their punishment is made the rule, and so the chief of all kind of 
torments which sinners of the sons of men shall undergo. 

Application. Now let me speak a word to all such as thus go on in a 
state of impenitency against knowledge. This is a high kind of sinning, 
and of all the most desperate, and doth argue more hardness of heart, and 
• despising the riches of God's goodness.' For if, as in the Romans, ii. 4, 
to go on in sin when a man knows not, that is, considers not that ' God's 
mercy leads him to repentance,' is made the sign and effect of a very hard 
heart, treasuring up wrath, then much more, when thou knowest and con- 
siderest thou art in an impenitent condition, and hast many motions lead- 
ing thee to repentance, is thy heart then to be accounted hard. When a 
man commits a particular act against knowledge, he haply and usually still 
thinks his estate may be good, and that he shall not lose God utterly, or 
hazard the loss of him, only his spirit being at present empty of communion 
with him, he steals out to some stolen pleasure ; but when a man knows 
his estate bad, and that he is ' without God in the world,' and yet goes on, 
he doth hereby cast away the Lord, and professeth he cares not for him, or 
that communion which is to be had by him, as Esau did his birthright. 

David, though he despised the Lord, yet he did not cast awaj r the Lord, as 
Saul did ; for Saul ventured utterly to lose him, knowing his estate naught. 

David, when he sinned, thought God's eternal favour would still con- 
tinue, though for the present he might lose the sense of it. 

But when a man goes on in a state of sinning, he ventures the loss of 
God's eternal love, and slights it, and knows he doth so. When a man 
knows that he is condemned already as being impenitent, and that all his 
eternal estate lies upon the non-payment of such duties of repentance, &c, 
and that the guilt of all his sins will come in upon him, and that an execu- 
tion is out, and yet goes on, this is more than to commit one act against 
knowledge, whereby he thinks he brings upon himself but the guilt of that 
one sin ; and upon the committing of which, he thinks not the mortgage of 
all lies, though it deserves it ; herein men shew themselves more desperate. 

2. In the next place, I come to those rules whereby you may measure 

vol. rv. m 


and estimate sinning against knowledge in any particular act of sinning ; 
and they are either hefore the sin, or in sinning ; three of either, which I 
make a second head, to explain this doctrine by. 
(1.) First, Before.. 

[1.] The first rule is, the more thou knewest and didst consider the 
issues and consequents of that sin thou didst commit, the more thou sinnest 
against conscience in it: whenas, in Rom. i. 32, 'Thou knowing' (says 
the apostle) ' that those that commit such things are worthy of death ; ' that 
is, thou considerest that hell and damnation is the issue and desert of it, 
and yet committest it, yea, and this when haply hell fire at present 
flasheth in thy face, and yet thou goest on to do it: in this case men are 
said to choose death, and to love it, Prov. viii. 36. When a man con- 
siders that the way to the whore-house are ' the ways to death,' as Solomon 
speaks ; so when thou, a professor, considerest with thyself before, This 
sin will prove scandalous, and undo me, disable me for service, cast me 
out of the hearts of good men, and yet dost it. Thus that foolish king 
was told again and again, Jer. xxxviii. 17-19, that if he would yield to 
the king of Babel he should save his life, and city, and kingdom, and live 
there still, but if he would not, he should not escape ; but as Jeremiah 
told him, verse 23, ' Thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire,' yet 
he would not hearken. ' This is the word of the Lord,' says Jeremiah, 
and he knew it to be so ; and yet being a weak pi*ince, led by his nobles, 
he would not follow his counsel. And thus Judas fully knew the issue ; 
Christ had said again and again, ' Woe be to him by whom the Son of man 
is betrayed ;' and yet went on to do it. 

[2.] The second rule is, the more consultations, debates, and motives 
against it did run through thee before thou didst it, so much the greater 
and more heinous. How often did mercy come in and tell thee, that if 
thou lookest for any hope or part in it, thou shouldest not do such an evil ! 
How often came that in, ' Shall I do this, and sin against God ? ' Did 
any scripture come in to testify against thee in the nick ? Did God send 
in the remembrance of such a mercy past to persuade thee, or some mer- 
cies to come, which thou dependest upon him for ? That which made 
Spira's sin so great was such debates as these before ; and this made 
Darius's sin in casting Daniel into the lion's den so great, he debated it 
with himself, Dan. vi. 14, he was sore displeased with himself, and laboured 
to the going down of the sun to deliver him. He considered that he was 
at his right hand in all the affairs of his kingdom, and a man entrapped 
merely for his conscience, and that to put him to death was to sacrifice 
him to their malice. He knew him to be holy, and wise, worth all the 
men that sought after his life had yet yielded ; these considerations 
troubled him afore, and also after, insomuch as he could not sleep for 
them, verse 18. Now, because that every such consultation should set an 
impression upon the heart, and countermand the motions of sin, when 
therefore thou dost it, maugre all such debates and motives to the con- 
trary, this is much against knowledge, and very heinous. Therefore the 
Pharisees, Luke vii. 30, are said to have rejected the counsel of God, h<; 
ka-j-rovg, in or against themselves, the words will bear either. ' In them- 
selves,' because they knew it, and took it into consideration, and yet re- 
jected it ; and ' against themselves,' because it was their destruction. 

[3.] The third rule is, that the more confirmations any man hath had of 
the knowledge of that which he sinneth in, and testimonies against it, the 
greater sin against knowledge it is : when a man hath had a cloud of wit- 


nesses in his observation against a particular sin, and yet doth it, and goes 
on in it, it is the more fearful. To go on against that one witness, the bare 
light and grudging of natural conscience only, is not so much ; but when it 
is further confirmed and backed by the word written, which a man hath read, 
and with testimonies, out of which a man meets with such places, wherein 
again and again in reading of it such a practice is condemned, and observes 
it, and then also hears it reproved in sermons, and of all sins else hears 
in private conference that sin spoken against also, yea, hath in his eye 
many examples of others sinning in the like kind, which have been pun- 
ished, yea, haply himself also ; yet to sin against all these is exceeding 
heinous. Sometimes God orders things so, as a sin is made a great sin by 
such forcwarnings. So he contrived circumstances that Judas sinned a 
great sin ; for Judas knew before that Christ was the Saviour of the world, 
he knew it by all the miracles he had seen, as also by his gracious words 
and converse, and he professed as much in following of him ; and he had 
the written word against it, ' Thou shalt not murder the innocent.' But 
yet further, God, to aggravate his sin to the highest, orders it so, that 
Christ should tell him of it when he was to go about it, pronounceth a woe 
to him, Luke xxii. 22, that ' it had been good for that man that he had never 
been bom,' Mark xiv. 21. And the disciples they were sorrowful at 
Christ's speech when he suspected one of them, and shew T ed an abomina- 
tion and detestation of such a fact ; there was a jury of eleven men, yea, 
witnesses against it ; yea, and Judas against himself, he asked if it were 
he, yea, and Christ gave him a sop, and told him, ' Thou hast said it, and 
do what thou dost quickly :' w T hich even then might argue to his conscience 
that he was God, and searched and knew his heart ; and yet he went out 
and did it immediately. How did he sin against the hair, as we speak, 
and how did all these circumstances aggravate his sin ! 

But yet a more clear evidence of this is that instance of Pilate, whom 
God many ways would have stopped in his sin of condemning Christ, who 
examining him before the Pharisees, he could find no fault with him as 
concerning those things whereof they accused him, Luke xxiii. 14, and yet 
to allay their malice unjustly scourged him, ver. 16. And further, when 
he sent him to Herod, as being willing to rid his hands of him, Herod also 
found nothing worthy of death in him, ver. 15, which was another witness 
might have confirmed him concerning Christ's innocency. Yea, yet fur- 
ther, that the fact might be more aggravated, a most notorious murderer's 
life must be put into the scale with Christ's, and either the one or the 
other condemned ; and when the people yet chose Barabbas, why, says 
Pilate, what evil hath he done? ver. 22. Then he distinctly knew and con- 
sidered that he w r as delivered up through envy. Yea, and when he was upon 
the bench, and ready to pronounce sentence as it were, God admonished him 
by his own wife, Matt, xxvii. 19, whom God himself had admonished in 
a dream, she sending him word she had ' suffered many things by reason 
of him that night, and therefore have nothing (says she) to do with that 
just man ; ' yea, he himself, when he condemns him, washeth his hands. 
And thus it falls out in many sinful businesses which men are about, that 
God often and many several ways would knock them off, and stops them 
in their way, as he did Balaam, reproves them, as he did him by a dumb ass, 
2 Pet. ii. 16 ; so these by some silent passage of providence, and not only 
so, but by his Spirit also standing in their way, with the threatenings ready 
drawn and brandished against them, as the angel did with a drawn sword 
against Balaam ; and yet they go on ; this is fearful. 


(2.) There are three rales also, whereby the sinfulness of sin, as it is 
against knowledge, may be measured, from what may be observed in the 

[1.] First, The less passion, or inward violence or temptation to a sin 
committed against knowledge, the greater sin against knowledge it is argued 
to be. For then the knowledge is the clearer, passion or temptation being 
as a mist. But then to sin when a man is not in passion, is to stumble at 
noon-day. For as drunkenness takes away reason, so doth passion, which 
is a short drunkenness, cloud and mist a man's knowledge. And so Aris- 
totle compares the knowledge of an incontinent person to the knowledge of 
one that is drunk. "When Peter denied his Master, though he had warning 
of it before, and so it was against knowledge, and it was by lying, and 
swearing, and forswearing, which are sins of all others most directly against 
knowledge, yet he was taken unexpectedly, and when that which might stir 
up fear to the utmost in him was in his view ; for he was then in the judg- 
ment-hall, where his Master, just before his face, was arraigned for his life, 
and he thought he might also have presently been brought to the bar with 
him, if he had been discovered to have been his disciple ; so as his passion 
being up, his soul was distempered, reason had little time to recover itself, 
and therefore, though it was against knowledge, yet the less against know- 
ledge, because knowledge had lasam operationem, it had not its perfect work 
upon his heart ; but now Judas, in betraying his Master, had not only 
warning before, but was not tempted to it, but went of himself, and made 
the offer to the Pharisees, sought how ' conveniently ' to do it, plotted to 
do it, had his wits about him, had time to think of it, and therefore it 
was, besides the heinousness of the act, more also against knowledge, 
and so the greater. So David, when he went to slay Nabal, was in hot 
blood, in a passion ; but when he plotted to kill Uriah, he w r as in cold 
blood ; he was drunk when lie lay with Bathsheba, but sober when he 
made Uriah drunk : he went quietly and sedately on in it. And there we 
find David blamed only in the matter of Uriah, not so much for that of 

[2.] Secondly, The more sorrow, renisus, or reluctancy, and regretting of 
mind there is against a sin, it is a sign that the knowledge of it is the 
stronger and quicker against it, and so the sin the more against knowledge ; 
for that gainsaying and displeasure of the mind against it ariseth from the 
strength and violent beating of the pulse of conscience, and opposition of it 
against the sin ; it springs from the greater and deeper apprehension of the 
evil of the sin in the action which is then in doing. And though that re- 
luctancy be a better sign of the estate of a person than if there were none 
at all, as there is not in those who are ' past feeling,' and ' commit sin with 
greediness,' whose estate is therefore worse, and more incapable of repent- 
ance, yet the fact itself is argued to be the more heinous, for it argues it 
to be against strong, active, stirring knowledge. This argued Herod's sin 
to be much against knowledge, as indeed it was, Mark vi. 26 ; the text says 
' he was exceeding sorrowful :' now that he could not have been, unless he 
had exceedingly apprehended what a great sin it was to behead John, who 
he knew was ' a just and holy man,' ver. 20, and who was one that had a 
great place in his estimation, for ' he observed him,' and was wrought much 
upon by his ministry ; and he knew that he did but sacrifice him to the 
malice of a wicked woman. And in this case the sin is also hereby made 
so much the greater, in that conscience doth stir up a contrary violent 
passion in the heart against the temptation, and therefore yet to do it, when 


there is such a hank cast up that might resist it, yet then to break all down, 
such a sin wastes the conscience much. 

[8.] Thirdly, On the contrary, the more hardness of heart there is, and 
want of tenderness, in committing that sin which a man knows to be a sin, 
it is argued thereby to be the greater sin against knowledge ; not only the 
greater sin, but the greater sin against knowledge. For hardness of heart 
in sinning is an effect of having formerly sinned much against knowledge 
before. For as the light of the sun hardeneth clay, so the beams of know- 
ledge and conscience, lighting upon men's hearts, use to harden them, and 
do make them in the end past feeling. And therefore, in 1 Tim. iv. 2, 
sinning against knowledge is made the cause of a seared conscience, ' they 
speak lies in hypocrisy ;' and therefore knowingly that they are lies, and 
such lies as damn others as well as themselves, which who believe are 
damned, 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12 ; and if so, no wonder if it follows, ' having 
their consciences seared with a hot iron.' It is not a cold iron will sear 
their consciences, and make them insensible, but a hot iron, a burning and 
a shiniug light, which once having had place in their consciences, and being 
rejected, they begin to be hardened and seared ; for knowledge makes sins 
and the apprehension of them familiar to a man, and so less terrible and 
frightful in the end, ss bears and lions do become to their keepers through 
custom. Judas had a hard heart when he came to betray his Master ; 
surely his conscience had smitten him at first more for nimming out of the 
bag than it did now for this of murder. He could never have had such a 
hard heart, had he not had much knowledge. Was it not a heart, that 
when he was challenged to his face, he could set a brazen face on it, and 
did ask as well as the rest, Is it I ? When also Christ cursed him to his 
face who should do it, and the disciples all abhorred it, had not Judas lived 
under such blessed and glorious means, and sinned long against knowledge, 
all this would have startled him and have staggered him in his purpose ; 
but he goes on as if it were nothing, though when he had done it his con- 
science was then opened too late. When a man formerly hath been troubled 
with a small sin, more than now with a gross lie, which he can digest better 
than once the other, or when before, if he omitted praying, it troubled 
him, now he can go a week without, and is not sensible of it, it is a sign 
that his knowledge hath hardened him. 

III. Thus having given such rules whereby you may estimate the sinful- 
ness of particular acts, I will now proceed to other ways, aggravations taken 
from the kind of knowledge a man sins against, to sin against what kind of 
knowledge is most heinous and dangerous. And these are five, drawn from 
the several qualifications of that knowledge, and the light which men sin 
against ; for the greater, or the more strong and efficacious the light and 
knowledge is, the greater is the sin of knowledge thou committest. And 
this I make a third general head to explain this doctrine by, all these 
five rules being applicable and common both to particular acts against 
knowledge, and also lying in an estate of impenitency against knowledge, 
and all other particulars which have been mentioned. 

1. First, then, to sin against the inbred light of nature, that is, in such 
sins, as though thou hadst wanted the light of the word in, thou wouldst 
have known to be such ; this is a high kind of sinning. Such the apostle 
speaks of, Jude 10, ' What things they know naturally, in these they corrupt 
themselves, as brute beasts ; ' putting as it were no difference of actions 
no more than beasts, no, not in what nature teacheth them ; and therefore 


therein are as beasts, for it is the light of nature puts the first difference 
between men and beasts ; and in such kind of sins the apostle instanceth 
in this first chapter, as namely, that of unnatural uncleanness, in three 
particulars ; as, 1, self-uncleanness, ver. 24, h lauroTg, that is, alone by 
themselves ; so Beza and Theophilact understand it, which he makes there 
the first degree of unnatural uncleanness, which is therefore unnatural, 
because thou destroyest that which nature gave thee for propagation, quod 
■perdis homo est. Then, 2. the unclean love of boys, ' men burning in lust 
with men,' ver. 27, be it discovered in what dalliance it will, though not 
arising to an act of sodomy, doing that which is unseemly, ver. 27, which 
he therefore says, is the perverting the use and intent of nature, and so is 
a sin against nature, leaving the natural use of women. My brethren, I am 
ashamed to speak of such things as are done in secret. These kind of sins, 
by the apostles ranking them, are in a further degree of unnaturalness than 
any other, because they are made the punishments of other sins, which yet 
were against the light of nature also, namely, not glorifying God when 
they knew him ; yet that being a sin, the light of nature was not so clear 
in comparison of these, therefore these are made the punishments of the 
other, as being more against nature. So for men to be disobedient to 
parents, stubborn to them, and without natural affection, as the apostle 
says, ver. 30, 31, this is against nature, even the instinct of it. So unthank- 
fulness, and requiting evil for good, is against a common principle in men's 
minds. ' Do not the Gentiles do good to those that do good to them ? ' 
Your hearts use to rise against such an one out of common humanity ; or 
if you see one cruel and unmerciful, which is another reckoned up, ver. 31, 
there being usually principles of pity in all men's natures by nature, 
therefore for one man to prey upon and tyrannize over another, as fishes do 
over the small ones, as Habakkuk complaineth, chap. i. 14, this is against 
nature, which teacheth you to do as you would be done to. So covenant- 
breakers, and lying, and forswearing, mentioned ver. 30, inventors of evil, 
and truce-breakers, are sins against nature, and natural light. Lying is 
against a double light, both moral ; both juris, which tells us such a thing 
ought not to be done ; and facti, whilst we affirm a thing that is not, the 
knowledge of the contrary ariseth up in us against it, though there were no 
law forbade it ; therefore of all sins else, the devil's lusts are expressed by 
two : lying, which is a sin in the understanding, and malice in the will, 
John viii. 44. 

[2.] Secondly, To sin against that light which thou didst suck in when 
thou wert young, to sin against the light of thy education, this is an aggrava- 
tion, and a great one. There is a catechism of a blessed mother, Bathsheba, 
which she taught Solomon when a child, put in among the records of sacred 
writ, Prov. 31, wherein she counsels him betimes, ' not to give his strength 
to women ; ' she foretold him of that sin ; and because it is incident to 
kings most, they having all pleasures at command, she tells him particularly, 
' it destroys kings ; ' and so also ' not to drink wine ' was another instruc- 
tion there he was forewarned of. This aggravated Solomon's fault the 
more ; for, read the second chapter of Ecclesiastes, and we shall find there 
that he was most guilty in the inordinate love of these two ; but he had not 
been brought up so, his good mother had not thus instructed him. And 
thus also when God would aggravate his own people's sin unto them, he 
recalls them to their education in their youth in the wilderness. So Jer. 
ii. 2, ' Go and cry to them, I remember the kindness aud towardliness of 
thy youth ; ' he puts them in mind of their education by Moses their tutor, 


and their forwardness then. And so Hos. xii., ' when he was a child I 
loved him ;' and then God had their first-fruits, ver. 3, this he brings to 
aggravate their backsliding, ver. 5. Therefore the apostle urgeth it as a 
strong argument to Timothy, to go on to persevere in grace and goodness, 
that he ' had known the Scriptures from a child,' and therefore for him 
to fall would be more heinous. The reason is, because the light then 
infused, it is the first, a virgin light, as I may call it, which God in much 
mercy vouchsafed to prepossess the mind with, before it should be deflowered 
and defiled with corrupt principles from the world ; and did put it there to 
keep the mind chaste and pure ; and this also then, when the mind was 
most soft and tender, and so fitter to receive the deeper impression from it. 
And hence ordinarily the light sucked in then seasons men ever alter, 
whether it be for good or for evil ; it forestalls and prejudge th a man 
against other principles. And though a man comes to have more acquired 
knowledge and reasons after put into him when he is come to perfect age, 
yet the small light of his education, if it were to the contrary, doth bias 
him, and keep him fixed and bent that way. So we see it is in opinions 
about religion, the light then entertained can never be disputed out ; so 
in men's ways and actions, ' Train up a child in his way, and he will not 
depart from it,' Pro v. xxii. 6. To sin therefore against it, and to put out 
the beams of it, or defile it, and to wear out the impressions of it, how 
wicked is it, and what a wretch art thou to do so ! 

Many of you young scholars"-" have had a good Bathsheba that instructed 
you, not to pour out your strength to drink or women, but to pray privately, 
and to fear God, and love him ; and when you come hither, you have 
good tutors also, who teach you to pray ; ministers who instil blessed 
truths into you, from which one would think you should never depart ; yet 
you do. 

Think how grievous this is ; for if it is made an excuse for many a man 
in sinning, that it answers his education, that he never knew or saw better, 
as you say of many papists, then must it needs, on the contrary, be an 
aggravation of sinfulness. And as it was Timothy's commendation, that 
he ' knew the Scriptures from a child,' so it will be thy condemnation, that 
thou knewest better from a child, and yet rebellest against thy light. 

[3.] Thirdly, The more real and experimental the light is men sin against, 
still the more sin ; as when they have learnt it from examples of godly men 
whom they have lived amongst, or the observations of God's dealings with 
themselves or others, and not only from the word notionally. To sin 
against such light, this adds a further degree ; not only to sin against the 
bare light of nature, but also further, when nature hath besides lighted her 
torch at the Scripture, and then when beyond all this the real examples 
and observations made of God's dealings with a man's self and others shall 
confirm all this, this makes a man's sinfulness much more grievous ; for as 
exempla ejficacius docent quam prcecepta, so the knowledge got by experiments 
of mercies or judgments is of more force and evidence. Knowledge leamt 
by experience is the most efficacious. Therefore Christ himself, who knew 
all things already, yet ' learnt,' in the school of experience, ' by what he 
suffered.' A little of some knowledge distilled out of a man's own obser- 
vation is most precious, every drop of it ; therefore the apostle urgeth it 
on Timothy, ' Continue in the things thou hast learned, and been assured 
of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them,' 2 Tim. hi. 14. There is a 
twofold motive, and both emphatical : first, he was assured in himself ; 
* This was probably preached at Oxford. — Ed. 


and secondly, that which strengthened that assurance, and was a means to 
work it, was the example of the holy apostle, and of his own parents, 
' knowing of whom thou hast learned it.' And so, verse 10, the apostle 
again urgeth his own example, ' Thou hast fully known my doctrine and 
manner of life ;' and then also brings to his mind the education of those 
his godly parents who instructed him. Hence also, Isa. xxvi. 10, it is 
made an aggravation, that ' in the land of uprightness men deal unjustly.' 
Thus light drawn from the observation of God's judgments upon others, it 
much aggravates ; it is laid to Belshazzar's charge, ' Thou knewest all 
this, how God dealt with thy father Nebuchadnezzar,' Dan. v. 22. So 
some of you come here, and live in a religious society, and see sometimes 
one, sometimes another of thy colleagues turn to Christ, yea haply, chamber- 
fellow converted from his evil courses, and yet thou goest on ; this is sinning 
against a great light. 

[4.] Fourthly, The more vigorous, strong, powerful the light is that is in 
thee, and more stirring in thy heart, and joined with a taste, the greater 
the sins committed against it are to be accounted. The more thou hast 
tasted the bitterness of sin, and God's wrath, and hast been stung with it 
as with a cockatrice, the more thou hast tasted God's goodness in prayer, 
and in the ordinances, — the more of such a knowledge, and yet sinnest, the 
worse. In John v. 35, Christ aggravates the Jews' unbelief in himself, 
and their present hardness, that John was to them, not only a ' shining,' 
but also a ' burning light ;' that is, they had such knowledge engendered 
by his ministry, as wrought joy and heat as well as light ; therefore it is 
added, ' they rejoiced therein for a season.' And thus their fall, Heb. vi., 
is aggravated that it was such a light as had tasting with it. For to explain 
this, you must know, that between ordinary national light, or that assenting 
to spiritual truths which is common with men, from traditional knowledge 
living in the church, that between it and true saving light, or the light of 
life, there is a middle kind of light, which is more than the common con- 
viction men have, and less than having* light. It is a light which leaves 
also some impression on the affections, makes them feel the powers of 
heaven and hell, and be affected with them. Now the more of such light 
against a sin, be it drunkenness, or uncleanness, or oppression, and yet 
fallest to it again, the worse. For this is a further degree added to know- 
ledge, and not common to all wicked men. And therefore as those Jews 
who had not only common means of knowledge, but miracles also, and yet 
believed not, John xi. 47, shall be more condemned ; so those who have 
such tasting knowledge set on by the Holy Ghost, which is as much as if 
a miracle were wrought, for it is above nature, a supernatural work of the 
Spirit. And therefore to sin against such light, and such only, is that 
which makes a man in the next degree of fitness to sin against the Holy 

[5.] Fifthly, To sin against professed knowledge is an aggravation also, 
and an heavy one, to sin against a man's own principles which he teacheth 
others, or reproves or censureth in others. Titus i. 16, those ' that pro- 
fess they know God, and yet deny him,' these are most abominable of all 
others, for these are liars, and so sin against knowledge as liars do ; in 
1 John ii. 4, such an one is called a liar in a double respect, both in that 
he says he hath that knowledge he hath not, it not being true, and because, 
also, he denies that in deed which he affirms in word. This is scandalous 
sinning. So, Rom. ii. 24, the Jews, boasting of the law, and of having the 
* Qu. ' saving' ? — Ed. 


form of knowledge iu their brains, caused the Gentiles to blaspheme when 
they saw they lived clean contrary thereunto ; and, therefore, a brother 
that walks inordinately was to be delivered to Satan, ' to learn what it was 
to blaspheme,' 1 Tim. i. 20, that is, to learn to know how evil and bitter 
a thing it is, by the torments of an evil conscience, to live in such a course 
as made God and his ways evil spoken of, as it befell David when he thus 
sinned. Yea, 1 Cor. v. 10, 11, though they might keep company with a 
heathen, because he was ignorant and professed not the knowledge of God, 
yet if a brother, one that professed, and so was to walk by the same rules, 
did sin against those principles he professed, then keep him not company. 
Thus did Saul sin. All the religion he had and pretended to in his 
latter days was persecuting witches ; yet in the end he went against this 
his principle, he went to a witch in his great extremity at last. And thus 
God will deal with all that are hollow, and sin secretly against knowledge, 
in the end. He suffers them to go on against their most professed principles. 
These are aggravations in general, applicable both to any act of sinning, 
or going on in a known state of sinning. 

Use. Now, the use of all that hath been spoken, what is it but to move 
all those that have knowledge to take more heed of sinning than other men, 
and those of them that remain in their natural estate to turn speedily and 
effectually unto God '? For if sinning against knowledge be so great an 
aggravation of sinning, then of all engagements to repentance knowledge is 
the greatest. 

First, Thou who hast knowledge canst not sin so cheap as another who 
is ignorant. Therefore, if thou wilt be wicked, thy wickedness will cost 
thee ten times more than it would another. Places of much knowledge, 
and plentiful in the means of grace, are dear places to live in sin in. To 
be drunk and unclean after enlightening, and the motions of the Spirit, 
and powerful sermons, is more than twenty times afore ; thou mightest have 
committed ten to one, and been damned less. ' This is condemnation,' 
says Christ, ' that light came into the world.' Neither canst thou have so 
much pleasure in thy sins as an ignorant person, for the conscience puts 
forth a sting in the act when thou hast knowledge, and does subject thee 
to bondage and the fear of death. When a man knows how dearly he must 
pay for it, there is an expectation of judgment embittereth all. Therefore 
the Gentiles sinned with more pleasure than we. Therefore, Eph. iv. 
18, 19, the apostle, speaking of them, says that through their ignorance 
and darkness and want of feeling they committed sin with greediness, and 
so with more pleasure, they not having knowledge, or hearts sensible of the 
evils that attend upon their courses. 

Secondly, Thou wilt, in sinning against knowledge, be given up to greater 
hardness. ' If the light that is in thee be darkness,' says Christ, ' how 
great is that darkness.' Therefore, the more light a man hath, and yet 
goes on in works of darkness, the more darkness mil that man be left unto, 
even to a reprobate mind in the end. 

Third!)/, It will procure thee to be given up to the worst of sins more 
than another man ; for God, when he leaves men, makes one sin the 
punishment of another, and reserves the worst for sinners against know- 
ledge. These Gentiles, when they knew God, they worshipped him not, 
God gave them up to the worst of sins whereof they were capable, as un- 
natural uncleanness, &c. But these are not sins great enough for thee, 
that art a sinner of the Christians, to be given up to drunkenness or adultery, 


&c. ; otherwise than to discover thy rottenness, these are too small sins ; 
but thou shalt be given up to inward profaneness of heart (as Esau was, 
having been brought up in a good family), so as not to neglect holy duties 
only, but to despise them, to despise the good word of God and his saints, 
and to hate godliness and the appearance of it ; thou shalt be given up to 
contemn God and his judgments, to ' trample under foot the blood of the 
covenant,' or else unto devilish opinions. Those other are too small to be 
punishments of thy sin, for still the end of such an one must be seven times 
worse than the beginning, as Christ says it shall. If thou wert a drunkard, 
a swearer, or an unclean person before ; and thy knowledge wrought some 
alteration in thee, thou shalt not haply be so now at thy fall, but seven times 
worse, profane, injurious to saints, a blasphemer, or derider of God's ways 
and ordinances. 

Fourthly, When thou comest to lay hold on mercy at death, thy knowledge 
will give thee up to more despair than another man. Knowledge, though 
when it is but newly revealed, it is an help ; yet not made use of, turns 
against the soul, to wound it, and to work despair ; and this both because 
we have sinned against the means that should have saved us, as also because 
such as sin against knowledge, sin with more presumption ; and the more 
presumption in thy life, the more despair thou art apt to fall into at death. 
Therefore, Isa. lix. 11, 12, what brought such trouble and 'roarings like 
bears' upon these Jews ? and that when salvation was looked for, that 
yet it was so far off from them, in their apprehensions ? ' Out iniquities' 
(say they) ' testify to our face, and we know them.' Now, then, sins testify 
to our face when our conscience took notice of them, even to our faces 
when we were committing them ; and then also the same sins themselves 
will again testify to our faces, when we have recourse for the pardon of 
them. Therefore thou wilt lie roaring on thy deathbed, and that thou 
knowest them will come as an argument that thou shalt not have mere}'. 
As ignorance is a plea for mercy, ' I did it ignorantly, therefore I obtained 
mercy,' so I did it knowingly, will come in as a bar and a plea against thee, 
therefore I shall not have mercy. 

Fifthly, Both here and in hell, it is the greatest executioner and tormentor. 
In this sense it may be said, Qui auget scientiam-, auyet dolorem, ' He that 
increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow,' as Solomon speaks ; for know- 
ledge enlargeth our apprehension of our guilt, and that brings more fear 
and torment. ' Have they no knowledge who eat up my people ? Yes, 
there is their fear/ says David. Therefore, Heb. x. 28, after sinning after 
knowledge, there remains not only a more fearful punishment, but a more 
' fearful expectation' in the parties' consciences. And this is the worm in 
hell that gnaws for ever. Light breeds these worms. 

But then you will say, It is best for us to be ignorant, and to keep our- 
selves so. 

I answer, No. For to refuse knowledge will damn as much as abusing 
it. This you may see in Prov. i. 23, ' Ye fools' (says Wisdom), ' you that 
hate knowledge, turn, and I will pour my spirit upon }ou, and make known 
my words to you.' Well, ver. 24, ' they refused,' and would none of his 
reproof; therefore, says God, ' I will laugh at your calamity,' that is, I 
will have no pity, but instead of pity, God will laugh at you ; ' and when 
your fear comes, I will not answer, because ye hated knowledge,' ver. 29 ; 
so as this is as bad, there remains therefore no middle way of refuge to 
extricate thyself at, and avoid all this, no remedy but turning unto God ; 
otherwise thou canst not but be more miserable than other men. Yea, and 


this must be clone speedily also. For thou having knowledge, God is 
quicker in denying thee grace, and in giving thee up to a reprobate mind, 
than another man who is ignorant. He will wait upon another that knows 
not his will and ways, twenty, thirty, forty years, as he did upon the chil- 
dren of the Israelites that were born in the wilderness, and had not seen 
his wonders in Egypt, and at the Red Sea ; but those that had, he soon 
Bware against many of them, ' that they should never enter into his rest.' 
Christ comes as a ' swift witness ' against those to whom the gospel is 
preached, Mai. hi. 5 ; he makes quick despatch of the treaty of grace with 
them. Therefore few that have knowledge are converted when they are 
old, or that lived long under the means. And therefore you that have 
knowledge are engaged to repent and to turn to God, and to bring your 
hearts to your knowledge, and that speedily also, or else your damnation 
will not only be more intolerable than others, but the sentence of it pass 
out more quickly against you. Therefore as Christ says, John xii. 3G, 
' Whilst you have the light, walk in it.' For that day of grace which is 
very clear and bright, is usually a short one. And though men may live 
many natural days after, and enjoy the common light of the sun, yet the day 
of grace and of gracious excitements to repent may be but a short one. 



Or desjrisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffer- 
ing ; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance ? 
But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself 
wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of 
God.— Ron. II. 4, 5. 

This is the last and most weighty aggravation which the apostle puts into 
the measure of the Gentiles' sinfulness (which in the former chapter he had, 
verse 29, pronounced mil before), to make it fuller yet. Their sinning 
against mercies, and despising the riches of God's goodness, patience, and 
forbearance, the hateful evil and iniquity whereof can be better no way set 
off and illustrated unto men's consciences, than by a display of the riches 
of that goodness which men sin against. 

My purpose therefore is to unlock and carry you into that more common 
treasury of outward mercies, and lead you through the several rooms 
thereof, all which do continually lead you unto repentance ; that then, 
reflecting upon our ungrateful waste and abuse of so many mercies in sin- 
ning, thereby our sins, every sin, the least, may yet appear more sinful 
unto us, ' who are less than the least of all mercies.' Know then, that 
besides that peculiar treasure of ' unsearchable riches of grace laid up in 
Christ,' Eph. ii. 7, the offer of which neglected and despised adds yet to 
all that sinfulness, a guilt as far exceeding all that which shall be spoken 
of, as heaven exceeds the earth, there is another untold mine of riches 
the earth is full of, as the Psalmist tells us, Ps. civ. 24, and the apostle 
here, which these Gentiles only heard of. and which we partake of all as 
much as they. As there are riches of grace offered to you which can never 
be exhausted, so there are ricbes of patience spent upon you which you will 
have spent out in the end, the expense of which cast up, will alone amount 
to an immense treasure, both of guilt in you and of wrath in God, as these 
words inform us. 

To help you in this account, I will, 

1. In general, shew what goodness or bounty, patience, and longsuffer- 
ing are in God. 

2. That there are riches of these spent upon all the sons of men. 

3. That these all lead men to repentance. And then, 


4. I will expostulate with you and aggravate your sinfulness in going on 
to despise all these by unrcpentance, as the apostle here doth. 

1. First, In that God is said here to be (1.) good or bountiful; (2.) 
patient or forbearing; (3.) longsutl'ering ; they seem to note out three de- 
grees of his common mercies unto men. 

(1.) First, He is a good or a bountiful God ; for so as goodness is here 
used, I exegetically expound it. For though it be true that goodness and 
bounty may differ, yet when riches of goodness are said to be communi- 
cated, it imports the same, and is all one with bounty. And such is God. 
And all those noble and royal qualifications and properties which concur to 
make one truly good and bountiful, do meet and abound in him, in all those 
good things which he doth bestow, and are found truly in none but in him, 
so that it may be truly said, that there is none good but God, as Christ 
says of him. 

Now bounty in the general, which is in God, may be thus described. 

It is a free, willing, and a large giving of what is merely his own, look- 
ing for no recompence again. 

To explain this, that you may see that all these conditions are required 
to true goodness, and all of them to be found in God only. 

[1.] He that is bountiful, he must be a giver and bestower of good 
things ; and all he bestows it must be by way of gift, not by way of recom- 
pence unto, or by desert from the party he bestows all on. Therefore 
Christ says, Luke vi. 33, that to do good to those who have done or do 
good to us, is not thankworthy, nor is it bounty. But God is therefore 
truly good, because he simply, merely, and absolutely gives away all which 
he bestows. For he was not, nor can any way become, beholden to any of 
his creatures, nor had formerly received anything from them which might 
move him hereunto ; so Rom. xi. 35, ' Who hath first given him, that he 
may recompense him again ? ' Nay, until he gave us a being, we were net 
capable of so much as receiving any good thing from him. 

[2.] He who is truly termed good or bountiful, all that he gives away 
must be his own ; and so all which God bestows it is his own. So Ps. xxiv. 1, 
' The earth is the Lord's,' the ground we tread on, the place we dwell in ; 
he is our landlord. But is that all? For the house may be the landlord's 
when the furniture is the tenant's. Therefore he further adds, ' And the 
fulness of it' is his also ; that is, all the things that fill the world, all the 
furniture and provision of it both, all the moveables. So Ps, 1. 11, 12, 
' The cattle and the fowls upon a thousand hills are mine,' says he ; and 
also all the standing goods, 'the corn and oil' which you set and plant, 
' are mine,' Hos. ii. 9 ; yea, and the Psalmist, in the 24th Psalm, adds 
further, that ' they who dwell therein ' are his also ; not the house and 
furniture only, but the inhabitants themselves. And this by the most sure 
and most sovereign title that can be, better than that of purchase or inheri- 
tance of and from another ; for he hath made them. ' All is thine, because 
all comes of thee,' says the same David, 1 Chron. xxix. 11, 12. And all 
things are not only of him, but through him, Rom. xi. 36 ; that is, they 
cannot stand nor subsist without him. Even kings, the greatest and most 
bountiful of men, their bounty is but as that of the clouds, which though 
they shower down plentifully, yet they first received all from the earth below 

L 3.] He must give largely, it is not bounty else. Now God is therefore 
said to be rich in goodness, because he is abundant in it. So we find it, 
comparing Ps. xxxiii. 5, with Ps. civ. 24, in which it is said, that 'the 


earth is full of his goodness,' and ' his riches ;' which we may judge of, by 
what he says in the 27th verse of that 104th Psalm, of what an house he 
keeps, and what multitudes he feeds ; ' All these,' saith the Psalmist, ' wait 
on thee, that thou mayest give them meat ; and thou openest thy hand, and 
they are filled with good.' King Ahasuerus, to shew his bounty, made a 
feast to his chief subjects, but it was but for half a year, and not to all ; 
some few half years more would well nigh have beggared him ; but God 
doth thus continually. The greatest and most bountiful of men, when they 
would express the largest of their bounty, speak but of giving ' half of their 
kingdoms ;' so Herod and he did but talk so too ; but God bestows whole 
worlds and kingdoms, as Daniel speaks, Dan. iv. 82, and gives them to 
whom he please. 

4. He that is bountiful must give all he gives freely, and willingly. 
Which, though I put together, yet may imply -two distinct things. As, first, 
that he that gives must be a free agent in it, who is at his choice, whether 
he would give anything away or no. The sun doth much good to the world, 
it affords a large light, and even half the world at once is full of its glory, 
yea, and all this light is its own, not borrowed, as that of the moon and 
Btars is ; yet this sun cannot be called good or bountiful, because it sends 
forth this light necessarily and naturally, and cannot choose but do so, 
nor can it draw in its beams. But God is a free giver, he was at his choice 
whether he would have made the world or no, and can yet when he pleaseth 
withdraw his Spirit and face, and then they all perish, Ps. civ. 29. Secondly, 
It must be willingly also ; that is, no way constrained, nor by extraction 
wrung from him who is to be called bountiful. A willing mind in matter 
of bounty, is more accepted than the thing, 2 Cor. viii. 12. Now of God 
it is said, Dan. iv. 32, that he gives the kingdoms of the world to whom he 
will, and none sways him, or can stay his hand, ver. 35, yea, he gives all 
away with delight. So Ps. civ. 31, having spoken of feeding every living 
thing, and of other the like works of his goodness throughout that Psalm, 
he concludes with this, ' God rejoiceth in all his works ;' that is, doth all 
the good he doth to his creatures with delight. It doth him good (as it 
were) to see the poor creatures feed. 

[5.] Last of all, looking for no recompence for the time to come. This 
is another requisite in bounty. Says Christ, Luke vi. 34, ' If you give to 
receive again, as sinners do, this is not thankworthy ;' but ver. 25, so doth 
not your heavenly Father. For, says he, ' Do good, and hope for nothing 
; so shall you be like your Father,' and then you shall shew yourselves 
true children of the Most High. In which word he insinuates a reason why 
God gives all thus ; because he is so great and so high a God, as nothing 
we do can reach him, as David speaks, Ps. xvi. 2, ' My goodness extends 
not unto thee ;' he is too high to receive any benefit by what we do. And 
even that thankfulness he exacts, he requires it but as an acknowledgment 
of our duty, and for our good, Deut. x. 12. 

(2.) And so much for the first, namely, what goodness and bounty is ; 
and how God is truly good, and he only so. But this attribute of his, and 
the effects of it, he exerciseth towards all our fellow-creatures, and did to 
Adam in paradise. But now to us ward (as the apostle speaks), namely, the 
sons of men, now fallen, he extendeth and manifests a further riches, namely, 
of patience and long-suffering, which the devils partake not of, the good 
angels and other creatures that sinned not, are incapable of. For as Christ 
- -. Luke vi. 85, in what he bestows on us, he is kind to such as are 
evil and unthankful. Mercy is more than goodness, for mercy always doth 


respect misery ; and because all the creatures are subject to a misery, Rom. 
viii. 20-22, of ' bondage and vanity,' therefore ' bis tender mercies arc 
over all bis works.' But yet patience is a further thing than mercy (as 
mercy is than goodness), being exercised, not towards miserable creatures 
only, but towards sinners, and includes in it more three things further 
towards tbem. 

[1.] Not only that those persons he doth good unto do offend and injure 
him, but that himself also is exceeding sensible of all those wrongs, and 
moved by tbem, and also provoked to wrath thereby ; it is not patience else. 
So in 2 Peter iii. 9, it is not slackness, says be there, ' God is not slack,' 
that is, he sits not in heaven as one of the idol gods, that regarded not 
what acts were kept here below, or took not to heart mens carriages 
towards him ; but is longsuffering, or patient, that is, he apprehends 
himself wronged, is fully sensible of it, ' is angry with the wicked every 
day,' Ps. vii, 11, he hath much ado to forbear ; even when he doth forbear 
and letteth them alone, he exerciseth an attribute, a virtue towards them, 
namely, patience, in keeping in of his anger, which is as to keep fire in 
one's bosom. 

[2. J But, secondly, this is not all. He cloth not simply forbear and re- 
strain bis anger, but vouchsafeth that time he forbears tbem in, that they 
might repent in it, and his mercies as means leading to repentance. So it 
follows in that, 2 Pet. iii. 9, ' But God is longsuli'ering to us-ward,' and 
bis longsuffering bath this in it, ' not willing that any should perish, but 
come unto repentance.' So also Rev. ii. 21, it is called ' space to repent.' 
And all the blessings he vouchsafeth, he gives them as means and guides to 
' lead them to repentance,' as here. And Mat. xviii. 29, ' Have patience 
with me, and I will pay thee all ; ' that is, give me a longer day and space 
to pay the debt in, and be willing to accept it when I bring it, and let me 
lie out of prison that I may be enabled to pay it. 

[3.] Thirdly, There is yet further thing in his patience, namely, a waiting 
and expectation that men would come in and repent. So Luke xiii. 7, 
' These three years have I come seeking fruit, but have found none.' 
There was an expectation, a longing, a desire it would bring forth fruit. 
' Oh, when shall it once be ? ' says God, Jer. xiii. 27. 

(3.) In the last place, that other attribute of longsuffering, which is the 
third, is but as a further degree of patience, but patience lengthened out 
farther ; that is, when God hath been thus patient, hath forborne and 
waited for their coming in, and that not for three years, but haply thirty, 
forty years, and still they turn not, his patience then begins, as we would 
think, to be as it were worn out, and his anger begins to arise, as if he 
could forbear no longer, as it was towards that tree, ' Why cumbereth it the 
ground ? cut it down ; ' yet he goes on to spare a man another year, and 
many more years still after that, and ' endureth with much longsuffering (as 
Rom. ix. 22) the vessels of wrath,' endures to wonderment, above mea- 
sure, beyond all expectation, all patience, as it were ; this is longsuffering. 

2. The second general head is, that there are riches of this his goodness, 
&c, expended on us. 

It is rich goodness, patience, and longsuffering : (1.) rich in themselves, 
in regard of their abundance, as they came from him ; and (2.) rich also in 
regard of their precious usefulness unto us, as they may be improved by us. 

(1.) First, In themselves they are rich. [1.] If we consider what is ex- 
pended all tbat while he lays out, not simply iris power to sustain and uphold 
all things and to maintain us freely, so to do is nothing to him. For whilst 


he doth but so, nothing goes out of purse, or is detracted from him ; as I 
may so speak, he feels not the expense either of power, providence, &c. 
All this cost him but words. For he ' upholds all, creates all by the word 
of his power', Heb. i. 3. And thus to maintain the angels, and to have 
maintained all mankind before they fell, had been no more. But, my 
brethren, when now he maintains us sinners, not simply power goes forth 
from him, but his glory is expended and taken from him, and for the while 
wasted, detracted from. He loseth at present every day infinitely by us, 
and he is sensible of it ; every sin takes glory from him, robs him, as he 
himself complains : that he who made the world upholds it, keeps it to- 
gether as the hoops do the barrel — it would fall to pieces else, to nothing — • 
' in whom all live,' as fishes in the sea, yea, upon whom all live ; that he 
should live unknown, unthought of, unserved, yea, disgraced, dishonoured 
in the world, and have this world lost to him as it were, and sin, the devil, 
wicked men, to have all the glory from him, to be exalted, to carry the 
whole world afore them : this spends upon him, he had need of riches to 
do this. 

[2.] Secondly, Consider the multitude of sinners that thus spend and live 
upon these riches, no less than all the world. He had need of multitudes of 
patience in him ; he forbears not one, but all and every one. We look 
upon one man, and seeing him very wicked, we wonder God cuts him not 
off; we wonder at ourselves that God did not cut us off before this, when 
once our eyes are opened ; nay, then, cast your eyes over all the world, and 
stand amazed at God's forbearance towards it. Take the richest man that 
ever was, to have millions of men in his debt, it would undo him soon. All 
the world are in God's debt, and run still in debt every day more and 
more, and yet he breaks not, nay, breaks not them. 

[3.J Nay, thirdly, to manifest this abundance yet more, consider not only 
the multitude he forbears, but the time he hath done it, to forbear much and 
to forbear it long. He hath forborne and been out of purse from the begin- 
ning of the world, since men were upon the face of the earth, five thousand 
years and a half already, and how long it is yet to the day of judgment we 
know not. And yet ye see, he is as patient and as bountiful now in the 
latter days of the world as he was at the first. Did that greatest convert 
that ever was, that had not lived past thirty years in his sinful estate (for 
he was young when he held the stoners' clothes that stoned Stephen), and 
yet was ' the chiefest of sinners,' did he yet, as himself says, think himself 
a pattern of longsuffering, 1 Tim. i. 16, thought it a great matter God 
should forbear so long ? What is the whole world then ? If he, being 
but one small, poor vessel, was so richly laden with the riches of God's 
patience, how is this great bark of the world then fraught that hath gone 
over so vast a gulf of time ? How much of these his riches have been 
laden in it ? 

[4.] And then, fourthly, add to this the expensive prodigality of all these 
sinners in all ages ; every sinner spends something, and how lavish are 
men of oaths ? ' All the thoughts of men's hearts from their youth up, 
they are evil, and only evil, and continually ; ' and how much then hath 
every man spent him ? Every sin is a debt. 

(2.) In the second place, this is a rich goodness and patience in regard of 
the preciousness and usefulness. 

[1.] First, Precious, in regard of what all these manifestations of his good- 
ness and forbearance cost, even, the blood of his Son, who as a Lord hath 
bought and purchased all wicked men, their lives and their reprival, all that 


time that here they live ; and all the blessings and dispensations of good- 
ness, which here they do enjoy. Christ's mediation so far prevails with 
God for all the world, that it puts a stop to the present proceedings of jus- 
tice, which otherwise had said of all, ' That day thou sinnest, thou diest.' 
So that as Christ may be called the wisdom and the power of God, so also 
the patience and the long-suffering of God. For, for his sake and through 
his means it is exercised. God would not shew a drop of mercy but for 
his Son. Which, I take, strongly and clearly intimated, in that dealing of 
his with the Jews, Exod. xxiii. 20, compared with Exod. xxxiii. 2, 3, 4, 
&c. Immediately after God had given the law, by the rules and threaten- 
ings whereof God the Father in his government was to proceed, and after 
they had transgressed it, he there declares that he could not go with them. 
For, according to the rules of his government, he ' should destroy them ; 
but his angel he would send with them,' even Christ, he might shew them 
mercy, for he was the purchaser of it ; and that he was that angel appeal's 
in that God tells them, ver. 21, ' that his name was in him,' who also 
would destroy them, if they turned not and repented, according to the rules 
of his law, the gospel. 

[2.] And precious, secondly, to us, in regard of the usefulness, this good- 
ness and longsuffering tend and serve unto. This makes this stock of time 
afforded you, by God's goodness, to be riches indeed, that it is ' space to 
repent,' Rev. ii. 21 ; not a time of reprival only, but to get a pardon in ; 
and this makes all the good things w r e enjoy to be precious indeed, that 
they are means leading us by the hand to repentance. Rich it is, because 
if your time be laid out as it ought, you may obtain those far surpassing 
riches of glory reserved for hereafter ; win and gain Christ by it, and all 
his unsearchable riches. All things receive their worth and valuation from 
what they tend to, and from what depends upon them, and the use they 
might be put to. A bond, a man's will, which in itself, as it is a piece of 
parchment, is not worth one shilling, yet an estate of many thousands 
may lie and depend upon them. And so time is not simply precious in 
itself, but in regard of the opportunities of it. And accordingly, in those 
ordinary passages of our lives do we more or less estimate and count time 
precious, as the business allotted to it is of more or less consequence. 
When a matter falls out that concerns us, and requires despatch, and we 
are cast into straits of time about it, we count every minute precious ; so 
this time of ours, which is the chief and principal of that stock put into 
our hands by God's patience, being space to repent in, to gain and trade for 
heaven with, in this respect every minute of it is as much as heaven is 
worth, and one hour of it may be as much as all the time you are to spend 
for ever, after this life ended, every minute hath an influence into eternity. 
And however you may account it, yet the balance of the sanctuary thus 
estimates your time, calls it your money : ' Why lay you out your money 
for what is not,' &c, Isa. lv. ii. ; that is, this precious day of grace, and 
the thoughts, cares, and endeavours which are brought forth and minted 
in this time allotted, these are your money you might purchase heaven by. 
And thus it hath been esteemed by holy and godly men, who yet had less 
need to value it, having done the main business it w r as allotted for. David, 
in the 39th Psalm, ver. 13, being brought very low, ' Oh spare me a little, 
that I may recover my strength, before I go hence, and be seen no more.' 
So Hezekiah, Isa. xxxviii., how did he sue for, and when he had obtained 
fifteen years, how did he bless God ? ver. 20. Or if by this you judge not 
so, think with thyself, what at the day of death thou wouldst account of an 



hour, of a month, a year ? What others, who have lain gasping, would 
have given a world for time again, as I have heard one crying day and night, 
' Call time again ; ' or if not then, Oh what in hell ! 

3. The third thing I am to shew is, that all this goodness, patience, and 
forbearance is afforded towards you as a means, and helps to bring you to 
repentance. Acts xvii. 28, God (says the apostle there) hath allotted to men 
both their times to live, and also their places of abode and habitations, all 
richly furnished with blessings to uphold their lives and beings. And to 
what end are both these thus afforded ? That they ' might seek the Lord, 
if by groping after him,' even as men in the dark, ' they might haply find 
him.' But men being in the dark, and destitute of guides to bring them 
unto God, may yet be as far off finding him as ever. Therefore add but 
the words of my text to what the apostle says there, and we see that this 
goodness of God takes us by the hand, and ' leads us to repentance,' to 
tuna from sin unto God, and so to find him. And thus led are you unto 
God by the help of these several guides, which each after other sweetly lead 
you and point you out to this. 

First, All this goodness bears witness to your hearts of a gracious hand 
that extends itself in all these ; therefore in that 17th of the Acts, he sub- 
joins, ' God is not far off any of us.' That there is a good God bestows all 
things on you, is a thought lies at next door of all his blessings not far off. 
Yea, ' they all,' says the apostle to the same Gentiles, Acts xiv. 16, 'do 
bear witness of him,' though they went on in their own ways, ' yet,' says 
he there, ' God left not himself without witness;' that is, an impression on 
their hearts that his good hand bestowed all on them when he ' filled their 
hearts with food and gladness.' 

Secondly, His goodness having brought thus God to men's thoughts, then 
your own consciences take you, and lead you down into yourselves, and 
bear witness that you by walking in your own ways do nothing but provoke 
and offend this good God. So Rom. ii. 15. 

And then, thirdly, there is an indelible principle common to all men to 
love those who love them ; which after the two former have brought you 
hitherto, point you to repentance as the conclusion. Shall we go on to sin 
against this good, so good ? return evil for good ? Is not this a natural, 
necessary consequent out of these, to say as they, ' Let us therefore fear 
the Lord, who giveth us the early and the latter rain,' as it is, Jer. v. 24. 
And though men are said not to know this in the text, yet the meaning is, 
they do not throughly and effectually consider thus much, so as thereby 
to be brought to repentance ; yet, however, there is such a witness of all 
this in all men's hearts, and thus are they led on unto repentance, would 
they see their way and follow their guide. 

The use shall be an use of expostulation, as here the apostle carries it, 
with men sinful and impenitent, for going on to sin against all this mercy, 
together with an aggravation of their sinfulness hereby. Men, if young, 
do usually take the advantage of this their precious time, which of so much 
longsuffering is vouchsafed them, and of all those precious opportunities 
and blessings they enjoy, to improve them only in reaping and gathering 
in to themselves the pleasures of sins, making the time of youth their 
harvest of sinning, and yet think to escape by repenting afterwards ; and 
then when old, after they have already enjoyed a long and a fair sunshine 
day to turn to God in, and to have sown much seed to the Spirit, the comfort 
whereof they might now have reaped, yet, as they have altogether neglected so 
to do all their youth, so they go on to do so still, whilst they see they have 


any day left, be it never so near the setting, and do choose rather despe- 
rately to venture their estate in the world to come upon the riches of hi* 
mercy pardoning, though without all care and endeavour to change their 
hearts or lives, upon the experience they have had of the riches of his mercy 
forbearing them in this world, thinking to find him the same in both. With 
all such, let me reason a little, and from the riches of God's goodness, 
patience, &c, spent upon them, at once expostulate with them, for their 
impenitency, and aggravate to them their sinfulness, and also, if possible, 
prevail with them to go on to despise it thus no longer. And if there be any 
principle of common ingenuity, any spark (I do not say of grace, but of 
goodness of nature) left unextinguished, methinks it should affect you, and 
do some good on you ere I have done. 

And to that end, consider a little, and compare together God's loving- 
kindnesses towards you, and your unkind dealings towards him. 

To begin at the beginning of thy being. How much riches of goodness 
were there laid and buried in thy foundation ? when the first corner stone 
was laid, when thou wert made a man (besides the cost which hath been 
spent upon this building since), and, cursed as thou art, even that very 
foundation was laid in bloody iniquities, in which thou wert conceived ; and 
the very materials of soul and body thou consistest of, being tempered with 
sin, ' like the stone in the wall, and beam out of the timber,' Hab. ii. 10, 11, 
cry out every moment to God against thee, as Edom did, ' Raze it, raze it, 
even to the veiy ground,' Ps. cxxxvii. 7. 

Consider how but the other day thou wert mere nothing, and when an 
infinite number that never were nor shall be were in as great a possibility 
of being as thou ; for when he made this world, he could have laid it aside 
wholly, and created millions of other worlds, yet he chose thee to have a 
room in this but one world, for he means to make no more ; and this world 
could have stood without thee, and did before thou wert, and shall do when 
thou art gone ; yet he called thee forth out of nothing, and by his almight} r 
power bade thee stand forth when there was no need of thee. I say, he 
chose thee to have a being ; for as there is an election of things that are to 
salvation, so out of things that were not unto being. And, wretch that thou 
art, if thou repentest not, thou destroyest what God hath made, and hadst 
better have kept nothing still, and never have peeped out, or else to skulk 
into thy first nothing again, for thou art lost, better never to have been 

Secondly, Consider yet more goodness. Thou mightest have been ad- 
mitted into the lowest form of creatures, have been a worm, a flea, a fly, 
which we men filip and crush to death at pleasure ; but to be made a man, 
created one of the states, barons, lords of the world the first hour, admitted 
into the highest order, crowned a king in the womb, as David says of man, 
Ps. viii. 5, ' made a little lower than the angels, but crowned with glory and 
honour,' made to ' have dominion over all the works of his hands.' The 
one half of thee is more worth than a whole world, thy soul, as Christ says, 
that went to the price of souls ; upon which God hath bestowed an eternity 
of being, and made it the picture of his face, his image, when other creatures 
do wear but his footsteps. And the body, the other piece, and indeed but 
the case, the sheath (as Daniel's phrase and the Chaldee hath it, Dan. 
vii. 15), of thee, what a curious workmanship is it ! ' wonderfully and fear- 
fully made,' as David says, Ps. cxxxix. 15, ' curiously wrought in the lower 
parts of the earth.' So there he calls the womb ; because as curious work- 
men, when they have some choice piece in hand, perfect it in private, and 


then bring it forth to light for men to gaze at, so God out of a tear, a drop, 
he hath limned out the epitome of the whole world, the index of all the crea- 
tures. Sun, moon, stars, are to be found in thee, Eccles. xii. 2. And yet, 
wretch as thou art, thou art withal the epitome of hell, and broughtest into 
the world with thee the seeds and principles of all the villanies that have 
been acted in the world ; and if thou repentest not, thou hadst better have 
been a toad or serpent, the hatefullest of creatures, and wouldst change 
thy condition with them one day. 

Thirdly, Being a man, hast thou all thy members that belong unto a man ? 
It is because ' he wrote them all in his book,' Ps. cxxxix. 16, if he had left 
out an eye in his commonplace book, thou hadst wanted it ; is not that a 
mercy ? Ask the blind. If thou hadst wanted those windows to look out 
at, thy body would have been a dungeon, the world a prison ; if a tongue, 
which is thy glory, or an ear, thou hadst lived among men, as a beast among 
men. And 3 - et when God gave thee all these, what did he but put weapons 
into an enemy's hand. For hast thou not used all these as ' weapons of 
unrighteousness ?' Rom. vi. 13, insomuch as the tongue, but one member, 
is called ' a world of iniquity ' by the apostle ; and if thou repentest not, 
thou hadst better, as Christ says, have entered into the world without an 
eye, an ear, a tongue, than with these go for ever into hell. 

Fourthly, When thou wert taken out of the womb (where thou didst 
remain, but whilst thou wert a-framing), what a stately palace hath he 
brought thee into, the world, which thou findest prepared and ready 
furnished with all things for thy maintenance, as Canaan was to the children 
of Israel ; a stately house thou buildedst not, trees thou plantedst not, a 
rich canopy spangled, spread as a curtain over thy head ; he sets up a taper 
for thee to work by, the sun, till thou art weary, Ps. civ. 23, and then it 
goes down without thy bidding, for it ' knows its going down,' ver. 19 ; then 
he draws a curtain over half the world, that men may go to rest, ' Thou 
causest darkness, and it is night,' ver. 20. An house this world is, so 
curiously contrived, that to every room of it, even to every poor village, 
springs do come as pipes to find thee water. So Ps. civ. 10, 11. The 
pavement of which house thou treadest on, brings forth thy food, ver. 14. 
' Bread for strength, wine to cheer thy heart, oil to make thy face to shine,' 
ver. 15. Which three are there synecdochically put for all things needful 
to strength, ornament, and delight. The very chambers of that house (as 
David calls them), ' drop fatness,' and water the earth, ver. 13. He wheels 
the heavens about, and so spins out time for thee, every moment of which 
time brings forth some blessing or other, and no one is barren. Therefore, 
Ps. lxv. 11, the year is said to be ' crowned with goodness,' a diadem of 
goodness encircles it round ; and yet thou hast filled this world thou thus 
art brought into, with nothing but rebellions, as he hath done with bless- 
ings, and hast piled up sins to heaven, and thou hast pressed all these 
armies of blessing thou findest the world filled with, to fight against their 
Maker, under the devil's banner, whom thy wickedness sets up as ' the god 
of this world.' And as the year is crowned with goodness, so thy years 
with wickedness, and no moment is barren ; but all thy imaginations are 
evil continually. Yea, thou hast sinned against heaven and earth, and sub- 
jected the whole creation unto vanity, laden the earth, and filled it so with 
wickedness, that it groans, the axle-tree of it is even ready to crack under 
thee, and the ground thou treadest on to spew thee out. 

Fifthly, Since thou earnest into the world, what a long time hath God 
suffered thee to five in it ; he hath not spared thee three years only (as he 


did the fig-tree), but thirty, forty. And when thou first madest bold to 
thrust forth thy traitorous head into the world, death (which thy sin brought 
into the world with it) might have arrested thee, and told thee this world 
was no place for thee, for hell is only our own place, Acts i. 25, thou 
shouldest have been executed the first day. And is not so much time of 
ease from punishment infinite mercy ? Cast but your thoughts upon the 
angels that fell, that have been in hell from the moment of then - sinning ; 
do but think with yourselves what they would give to have so much time 
cut out of that eternity they are to run through, and to have it set apart 
for ease, and to be void of torment. If the rich man in hell made it such a 
great suit, and counted it so great a favour to have but one drop of water, 
which could but for a little while, scarce more than a moment, have cooled 
and eased, not his whole body, but the tip of his tongue only, how much 
more would he have thought it mercy, to have lived so many years again 
as he had done free from torment ! What is it then for thee to live so 
many years free from the falling of the least drop of that wrath, whereof the 
full vials should have been poured out many years ago ! The same law 
was out against us which was out against the angels, ' That clay thou 
eatest, thou shalt die the death ; ' what put the difference ? The apostle 
tells us, ' his longsuffering to usward,' 2 Pet. iii. 9 ; not to them, for in 
chap. ii. ver. 4, he had told us that ' he spared not the angels which fell,' 
but posted and threw them into hell as soon as they had sinned. 

Sixthly, But further, in the sixth place, is this all? Hath it been barely 
a time of ease given thee, a time of reprival ? No, it hath been more, 
1 space to repent,' and so to obtain thy pardon in, Rev. ii. 21. And as it 
hath been more than ease of torment unto thee, so also consider it hath 
been more than slackness in him that hath afforded it to thee, as the apostle 
there doth tell us. It is not that he hath took no notice of thy offending 
him, but he is sensible of every idle thought, of every oath, vain word, and 
as the Scripture tells us, Gen. vi. 6, 7, ' he is pained at the very heart,' in- 
somuch as ' he repents ' that ever he made thee. He is ' angry with thee 
every day ' thou risest, every time he looks on thee ; whenever he meets 
thee going into the tavern to be drunk, the whorehouse to be unclean ; 
when he meets thee reeling in the streets, he hath much ado to forbear kill- 
ing thee, as he had to forbear Moses when he met him in the inn. He is 
ready to have a blow at thee, and it should not need be any great stroke or 
fetching his arm about ; if he did but blow on thee, thou wert consumed. 
To suffer thee to live, doth therefore cost him much riches of patience, but 
to cut thee off need cost him nothing ; he can do that with ease. But 
further, all is joined with a willingness that thou shouldest repent and not 
perish, as that place tells thee. 

It were much mercy for a traitor to be reprived, to have a lease of 
his life for twenty years, though there were no hope nor means of obtain- 
ing his final pardon after that time spent, and this also, though but for one 
treason, and though all that time of his reprival he carries and behaves 
himself never so obediently. But unto thee, this time hath been more 
than a longer day of life, and putting off the execution, which for the guilt 
of that first rebellion should have been acted on thee in the womb ; it hath 
been time to repent in. And yet hath not this time of thy reprival made 
thee so much the more rebellious ? And hast not thou spent all this time 
in making up the measure of thine iniquity full ? And hath it been willing- 
ness only in God that thou shouldst not perish ? Yea more, joined with 
waiting also, when it should once be, thinking the time long, as longing 


and desiring that thou wouldst repent, that he might pardon thee. Thus, 
Jer. xiii. 27, God expresseth himself, ' When shall it once he ?' Yea, and 
consider how many days of payment have been set, and how many pro- 
mises made and broken all by thee, and yet still he waiteth unto wonder- 
ment. Thou receivedst press-money at thy baptism, when thou didst pro- 
mise to forsake the devil and all his works, and to begin to serve him, 
when thou shouldst begin to discern between good and evil. But no sooner 
did the light of knowledge dawn in thy heart, but thou begannest to fight 
against him, and thy first thoughts to this day have been only and con- 
tinually evil. And then, haply, in thy younger years, before thou hadst 
tasted of the pleasures of sin, he gave thee an inkling, by means of thy 
education, of his goodness towards thee, and of that happiness to be had 
in him, and thou hadst the first offer of him, ere thy tender years were 
poisoned by the world, and he hath dealt with thee again and again, both 
by his word and spirit, not waited only, but wooed thee, and hath been a 
suitor to thy heart long ; and I appeal to your hearts how many promises 
you have made him, of turning from all your rebellions to him, after such 
a sermon, which was brought powerfully home : in such a sickness, and 
in such a strait, thy conscience knows full well. And still God hath made 
trial of thee and given thee longer day; and though thou hast broke 
with him again and again, yet he hath forborne thee again and again, and 
hath waited this twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years, when thou shouldst 
come in and be as good as thy word, and still thou hast failed him. And 
yet behold and wonder, and stand confounded at the riches of his long- 
suffering, that after so many years' expense and promises broken by thee, 
expectations failed in him, and many mockeries of him, after all this he is yet 
willing to accept of the remainder, if thou wouldst ' spend the rest of the 
time left thee in the flesh according to his will,' as the apostle speaks, 
1 Pet. vi. 2, even to lose principle, use, and all, for what is past, and requires 
but the same composition was propounded the first day ; yea, and not only 
so, but with promise to become a debtor unto thee, to bestow further riches 
on thee than ever yet thou sawest or art able to conceive ; yea, and all this 
when he could have his pennyworths out of thee another way, and lose not 
one farthing by thee, but by punishing thee in hell, recover all ' to the 

Neither, seventhly, hath it been barely and simply an act of patience 
and forbearance, though joined with this willingness thou shouldst not 
perish, or merely a permissive act of suffering thee to live. But God 
shews forth yet' more riches of goodness joined with this longsuffering. 
' In him ye live, and move, and have your being ;' and dost thou live in 
him only ? Nay, thou livest on him also, upon his costs and charges ; ' I 
have hung upon thee,' says David, ' from my mother's womb.' And con- 
sider what thy life is, that of so small a bottom he should spin out so long 
a thread ! Had he not drawn it out of his own power, as the spider doth her 
web out of her own bowels, it had been at an end the second minute ; to 
maintain that radical moisture, that oil that feeds the lamp and light of thy 
life, that radicale balsamum, this is as great a miracle as the maintaining 
the oil in the cruse of the poor famished widow. And further yet, hath 
he maintained thee only ? Nay more, hath he not defended thee, took thy 
part, protected thee, took thee under his wing as the hen doth her 
tdiickens, to shelter from those many dangers thy life hath been exposed 
unto ? Otherwise, how many ways, ere this, hadst thou been snatched 
away out of the land of the living ? Is thy case the case of the fig-tree 


only, which before we mentioned, that when God cried, ' Cut it down,' 
another cried, ' Spare it ?' But there have been many have cried, ' Cut thee 
down,' and God hath cried, ' Spare thee :' there is never a minute but the 
devil would have had a blow at thy life, as ho longed to have had at Job's. 
That thou, a poor lump of flesh, shouldst walk through, and in the midst 
of such an host of fierce and cruel enemies, whose hearts are swelled with 
malice at thee, and God should say to them all concerning thee, as he did 
to Laban concerning Jacob, ' Touch not this man.' And yet if thou wert 
not liable to their malice and power, yet consider how many dangers and 
casualties, besides, thou hast been kept in and from ; as falls, drowning, 
killing many ways, how often have the arrows of death come whisking by 
thee, took away those next thee (haply of thy kindred, brother, sister, yoke- 
fellow, of the same house, family with thyself), and yet have missed thee ? 
And if we look no farther than these days of mortality we have lived in, 
two great plagues in this kingdom, how have the most of us all here 
survived, and now the third is increasing and growing upon us ! To have 
our lives in such dear years of time, when to have our life for a prey is 
mercy enough, as Jeremiah told Baruch ! That these arrows should fly 
round about us, over our heads, and miss us ; that God's arrests should 
seize upon men, walking, talking with us, and spare us ! How often, many 
other ways, hath thy neck been upon the block, and the axe held over, and 
yet hath fallen besides ! To go no farther than thy own body, the humours 
thereof, if God should not restrain them, would overflow and drown it, as 
the waters would the earth, if God should not say to them, ' Stay your 
proud waves.' And when in a sickness they have been let out, yet God 
hath kept a sluice, that so much should break forth, and no more, which 
should purge and wash the body, and make it more healthful, as the over- 
flowing of Nilus doth. And when then thy body hath been brought low 
and weak, and like a crasy, rotten ship in a storm, taking in water on all 
sides, so that all the physicians in the world could not have stopped those 
leaks, he hath rebuked wind and sea, hath careened, mended thee, and 
launched thee into the world again, as whole, as sound, and strong as ever ; 
and God hath said, as Job xxxiii., that thou shouldst not die. In a word, 
if thou consider but what thy life is, and the dangers it is subject to, thou 
wilt acknowledge it is as great a wonder to preserve it, as to see a glass that 
hath been in continual use, gone through many hands, and hath had many 
knocks and falls, to be kept for forty, fifty, sixty years whole and unbroken. 
God hath carried thy life in his hand, as it were a candle in a paper 
lanthorn in a strong windy night, and kept it from being extinct, whenas 
we often see in many, that a little cold comes but in at a little cranny, and 
' blows their candle out,' as Job speaks. 

And, eighthly, how have these years and hours of thy time been filled up 
with goodness ? and with how many comforts ? For a traitor to live, 
though but upon bread and water all his days, what favour is it ! And so 
hadst thou lived all this time, never so miserably, though ' all thy days 
thou hadst eaten thy bread in darkness, and hadst had much sorrow with 
thy sickness,' as Solomon speaks, Eccles. v. 17. Some there are who, as 
Job speaks, ' die in the bitterness of their souls, and never eat with plea- 
sure,' Job xxi. 25, scarce seeing a good day ; and if this had been thy case, 
yet this is infinite mercy. Even whatsoever is on this side hell is mercy. 
Lam. iii. 22, say they in the worst estate the church was ever on earth, 
' It is thy mercies,' not mercy only, but multitude of mercies are shewn us, 
' that we are not consumed, because his mercies arc renewed every morn- 


ing.' If at the brink of hell, and not in, it is mercy. But hath he not all 
this while ' filled thy heart with food and gladness,' as the apostle speaks ? 
Acts xiv. 17. It were infinite to go over the particular kinds of common 
comforts which God vouchsafes men here ; not half the riches of his good- 
ness is yet told, it would require an age to make an inventory of them. 
Hast a house in the world to hide thy head in, and keep thee from the 
injuries of the weather (which was more than Christ had) ? God he is thy 
landlord (though it may be thou payest him no rent) ; ' he it is that builds 
the house,' Ps. cxxvii. 1. Hast a bed to lie upon ? He makes it, especially 
in thy sickness, Ps. xli. 3. Hast thou sleep (which is the nurse of nature, 
the parenthesis of all thy cares and griefs) ? He rocks thee asleep every 
night; and as he gives thee a house, so he gives thee rest, Ps. cxxvii. 2. 
It is God keeps off those gnats of distracting cares, and griefs, and thoughts, 
and terrors of conscience, would buz about a man, and keep one continually 
waking. And when thou sleepest, is thy sleep pleasant to thee ? God 
makes it so, Jer. xxxi. 26. Hast thou clothes to cover thy nakedness ? 
Eead old Jacob's indentures, Gen. xxviii. 20, and thou shalt see by them 
whose finding they are at : if ' thou wilt give me raiment,' that is one of 
his conditions mentioned. Yea, do thy clothes ' keep thee warm ? ' Even 
this is attributed to him, Job xxxvii. 17. He fills thee, feeds thee, spreads 
thy table, serves thee, fills thy cup, as David describes his goodness, Ps. 
xxiii. 5, and gives thee thy meat in due season ; and hath not failed thee a 
meal's meat, but thou hast had it at thy appointed time, as Job speaks. 
And hast thou health (which is the salt to all these blessings, without which 
thou wouldst say thou hadst no pleasure in them) ? He is ' the God of thy 
health,' and keeps off diseases, Exod. xv. 26. ' I will put none of those 
diseases on thee ; I am the Lord who healeth thee ;' that is, preserve thee 
from them which else would seize on thee. And these mercies he vouch- 
safed unto you that are the poorest, and ' loadeth you with these and the 
like benefits every day.' 

But hast thou riches added to these, and abundance ? ' The blessing 
of God maketh rich,' Prov. x. 22. Though thou hadst them by birth, yet 
he made those friends and parents of thine but feoffees in trust for thee ; 
they were no more, it was God who bequeathed them, Eccles. ii. 26. Or 
whether thou hast got them since by thine own industry, it is he ' gives 
thee power to get wealth, Deut. viii. 18 ; Prov. xii. 24 ; and out of • a 
small estate maketh men great,' Job viii. 8. It is he by his providence 
hath stopped the secret issues and drains of expense, at which other men's 
estates run out ; hath stopped ' that hole in the bottom of the bag,' as the 
prophet speaks. And with these riches hath he given thee a heart to use 
them ? This, as it is a farther mercy, Eccles. v. 19, and chap. vi. 2, so 
also from him, as it is noted there. 

Or hast thou credit, which is better than riches ? So says Solomon, 
Prov. xxii. 1. It is God who gives it, not thy wisdom, parts, or worth. 
Eccles. ix. 11, ' Favour is not always to men of skill,' that is, not accepta- 
tion of what they do, without a farther blessing from God. Therefore, 
besides the gift of wisdom, he gave a further promise of honour also unto 
Solomon, 2 Chron. i. 11. It is God who fashions men's opinions. The 
apostle prays to God his service might be accepted of the saints, though no 
service was like to be more acceptable, for it was the gathering and bringing 
in of alms and relief to them. It is he rules men's tongues, bids men bless, 
as well as he bade Shimei curse ; and he hath kept thee from such gross sins, 
which as flies would have putrefied the ointment of thy good name, who also 


conceals those thou hast committed, and ' hides thee from the strife of 
tongues,' Job v. 21. 

Hast thou friends, or do any love thee, wherein much of the comfort of 
our lives consist ? And therefore David says of Jonathan, 2 Sam. i. 26, 
' Thou wert pleasant to me.' It is God who gives favour in men's eyes. 
So he did Joseph, Gen. xxxix. 21. If any man or creature doth thee a 
kindness, he toucheth their hearts, as it is said of the men who clave to 
Saul, and visits for thee. He made the Egyptians, beyond all reason, the 
Israelites' friends, gave them favour in their eyes, as the text tells us. And 
hence, Gen. xxxiii. 10, Jacob says, ' He saw the face of God ' in reconciled 
Esau's face, for God's favour appeared in his look. He put you into your 
callings, ranks, and stations, gives you all your skill, success in them. The 
meanest of trades, to sow, and plough, and thresh, they are ' from the Lord, 
who is wonderful in working,' Isa. xxviii. from the 23d to the end, even as 
well as the skill of the most curious engraver, limner, or embroiderer ; as 
of Bezaleel, the Scripture says God was his master, taught him. Hast 
thou enlarged parts and gifts for higher employments ? It is not thy birth 
or age hath acquired them unto thee. Job xxxii. 8, 9, ' Great men are 
not always wise ; ' therefore, it goes not by birth. • Nor have the aged 
always understanding.' It goes not only by experience, but it is the in- 
spiration of the Almighty. And hast a calling answerable to thy parts, to 
be a scholar, and have thy mind enriched and ennobled with the best and 
choicest jewel the world hath, wisdom and knowledge, whereby the mind is 
elevated as much above other men's as they are above beasts ? God hath 
been thy great tutor. ' The mind of man is God's candle,' and he maketh 
wiser than a man's teachers, as he did Moses in Egyptian learning, Daniel, 

To conclude, Hast thou comfort in all these, in riches, learning, credit, 
wife, children, meat, drink, &c. ? He puts in all the sugar, delight, and 
pleasure ; that especially depends on him, even to fashion the heart to all 
these. As air lights not without the sun, nor wood heats not without fire, 
so neither doth thy condition comfort thee without God. And therefore, 
Acts xiv. 17, it is said, ' He filled their hearts, as with food, so with gladness.' 

And besides all these, consider the many peculiar passages and turnings 
of his providence towards thee for thy good, the working of things together 
ever and anon to do thee a good turn, the packing and plotting all for thee, 
better than thou couldst have plotted for thyself, as thy relief in many 
straits, success in many businesses. ' He works all our works in us and 
or us,' as Isaiah speaks, Isa. xxvi. 12. Hath he not taken such special 
care and providence of thee, as if he had regarded no man else in the world ? 

And now, when thou hast considered all, bethink thyself withal a little 
of thy dealings towards him ; what have been the effects and fruits of all 
this goodness ? Hold up thy head, man ; look God in the face. It is well 
yet that shame begins to cover thee. How hath that, his patience and 
longsuffering, vouchsafing thee space to repent, wrought with thee ? How 
nigh to repentance hath it brought thee ? Such is the perverseness of 
man's nature, as Solomon tells us, Eccles. viii. 11, that ' because sentence 
against an evil work is not presently executed, therefore the hearts of the 
sons of men are fully set to do evil.' Because God defers punishing, they 
defer repenting. Thou thinkest to spend the most precious of thy time and 
strength in sinning, and give God the dregs, the bottom, the last sands, thy 
dotage, which thy very self and friends are weary of; and all these blessings 
and comforts which God hath vouchsafed thee, how hast thou used them 


against him ? This oil, which should have been fuel to thy thankfulness, 
hath increased the fire of thy lusts, and thy ' lusts have consumed them 
all,' James iv. 3. The riches he hath given, thou hast made idols of, and 
sacrificed thy dearest, morning, daily thoughts and affections unto, as God 
complains, Ezek. xvi. from the 15th, and so on. His meat, as at the 19th 
verse he calls it, thou sacrificedst to thy belly, which thou hast made thy 
God; thy strength to women; the wealth he hath given you, you have made 
use of but to live at a high rate of sinning, and to procure the sweetest bits, 
the daintiest and most costly sins. The edge of that sword of power God 
hath put into thy hand thou hast turned against him and his, haply both 
his children and ministers ; so that God, by giving thee all these, hath but 
made thee more able to offend him, and hath strengthened an enemy, and 
by sparing thee thus long hath but made thee more bold to do it ; all his 
mercies have but fortified thy heart against him ; ' Do ye requite the Lord 
thus, ye foolish people and unkind ?' as Moses expostulates the case, Deut. 
xxxii. 6. As Christ said to the Jews, ' For which of all my good works do 
ye stone me ?' So say I to you, For which of all his mercies is it ye sin 
against him ? What, to fight against him with his own weapons ? to be- 
tray all he gives you into the devils, his enemies' hands ? What iniquity 
did you ever find in him, thus to deal ? God will one day thus expostulate 
his cause with you, and ' heap coals of fire upon all your heads,' if that 
you turn not, because you have rendered him evil for good ; and all these 
mercies thus abused will be as so many coals to make hell fire the hotter. 
And to reason this point yet further with you out of the text, and what 
arguments it will afford to work upon you, 

Consider, first, what it is thou doest. Whilst thus thou goest on thou art 
a despiser of the riches of his goodness : that which is opposite to goodness 
must needs be transcendently evil. What, ' art thou evil because God is 
good ?' and so much the more evil by how much more he is good ? Surely 
there must needs be an unexhausted treasure of wickedness in thee, which 
will also cause in the end a treasure of wrath in him. What ? and sin 
against mercy, patience, longsuffering, added to goodness ? of all attributes 
the richest to the most glorious, for it is that he glories in — in the abusing 
of which therefore he thinks himself most debased — of all attributes the 
tenderest. What, kick against his bowels ? So are his mercies called. 
Canst hit him nowhere else but there ? To despise a man's wisdom, power, 
learning, is not so much as to despise his love. What canst thou imagine 
will become of thee when thou comest to die '? What is it thou wilt then 
come to plead and cry for ? mercy, mercy ! Why, wretch that thou art, 
it is mercy thou hast sinned against. Riches of mercy and patience abused 
turns into fury. I may allude to that speech, 1 Sam. ii. 25, ' If a man sin 
against his brother, the judge shall judge him ; but if against God, who 
shall plead for him ?' So, hadst thou sinned against any other attribute, 
mercy might have pleaded for thee ; but if against mercy itself, who shall ? 

Well, if thou goest on thus to do so still, thou hast a hard heart ; it 
argues the greatest hardness of all other ; that is the second. You use 
not, however it comes to pass, to deal thus with the worst of men, sinners 
like to yourselves ; but to them that love you you tender love again, Luke 
vi. 32. And will you deal so v\ith God ? 'Is it a small thing to weary 
men, but you must weary God also ?' says Isaiah, vii. 13. He thought it 
infinitely less to abuse men than God ; but you carry yourselves as men to 
men, but as devils towards God : herein ye have not the hearts of men in 
you, not principles of common humanity, whereby ye differ from beasts. 



The ' cords of love ' are called • the cords of a man,' Hos. xi. 4. The spirit 
of man breaks, melts under kindness ; beasts indeed ye use to prick with 
goads, but the cords of a man are the cords of love, no principle being more 
deeply engraven in men's hearts than this, ' to do good to those who do 
good to you,' Mat. v. 4G. Nay, would ye had herein yet the hearts of 
beasts, ' The ox knows his owner, the ass his master's crib, but my people 
have rebelled against me.' A sin so much against nature that he calls upon 
those creatures who have no more than mere nature in them, viz., the hea- 
vens, to stand astonished at it, Isa. i. 2. But as nature elevated by grace 
riseth higher than itself, so, being poisoned with sin, it is cast below itself, 
sins against itself, and the principles which are begotten in and with itself. 
If it were not so, how were it possible thou shouldst hate him who never 
did thee hurt ? and go on to wound him who weepeth over thee ? and de- 
spise that in him most which seeks to save thee ? and load him with sins, 
Amos. ii. 13, who loads thee daily with his mercies ? Ps. lxviii. 19. 

There is a third consideration the text suggests, to shew the fearfulness 
of thy sin in this respect ; and that is, that thou goest on every minute 
sinning and in impenitency, by despising his goodness, to treasure up wrath 
against the day of wrath. To sin against mercy, of all other increaseth wrath ; 
thou must pay treasures for treasures spent. As thou lavishly spendest 
riches of mercy, so God will recover riches of glory out of thee. God will 
not lose by thee, but will reckon with thee in wrath for every offer of patience 
spent ; for every sand of longsuffering that runs out he drops in a drop of 
wrath into his vials, and it will prove a treasure, such a treasure as shall 
bring in an eternal revenue of glory unto Gocl, of all his glory lost and 
riches spent, with advantage ; such a treasure as will ask an eternity of 
time to be spent upon thee, and yet be never emptied or made less ; and 
the longer thou goest on, the greater heap it will swell unto. And dost 
thou know and consider how fast this treasure fills, and how much the 
longer thou goest on to add to it, still the more thou addest, still the last 
3 r ear more than all the years before ? every minute's impenitency adding to 
this heap and sum, as new figures added in a sum use to do ; the first is 
but one, the second makes it ten, the third an hundred, the fourth a thou- 
sand ; and what a sum will this grow to '? 

Ay, bat thou wilt say, Tush, I am in prosperity, in health, wealth, and 
ease, and to-day shall be as to-morrow, and much more abundant, Isa. 
lvi. 12. Well, but fourthly, consider out of the text, that there will come 
a day at last, the morrow whereof will be a day of wrath. It is treasuring 
up now, but is not brought forth till the day of wrath, till which day thou 
mayest go on and prosper, as Job, giving us the reason why wicked men 
prosper here, says, chap. xxi. 30, they are ' reserved to the day of wraths,' 
in the plural, because treasures are laid up against them ; thou art yet 
spared because thy sins are not yet full, and that treasure is not full, as the 
sins of the Amorites were not, and all this thy present prosperity fits thee 
but for hell. So Rom. ix. 22, they are said to be ' vessels fitted for de- 
struction,' by longsuffering. And so Nahum tells us, they are but as 
stubble laid out in the sun a-drying, till it be ' fully dry,' Nahum i. 10, that 
it may burn the better ; and like grapes that are let to hang in the sun- 
shine till they be ripe, Rev. xix. 15, and so thou for the ' winepress of 
God's wrath.' 

But thy senseless heart may hap to say, I see no such thing, and these 
are but threats, I think so ; therefore it is said in the text, that it is a trea- 
sure, which, as treasures use to be, is hid till that day comes, and then 


revealed, as the words have it. For though thou seest not this day 
a-coming, yet God, who sits in heaven, sees thy day a-coming, as David 
says, Ps. xxxvii. 13, who is therefore said to see it, because himself sees 
it not ; and it is coming faster than thou art aware of it. 2 Pet. ii, 3, 
'Damnation slumbereth not,' though thou dreaniest not of it, ' lingereth 
not : ' as a hue and cry it is sent out, and is on its course, and will in 
the end overtake thee, and that when thou least thinkest of it, ' as a thief 
in the night,' when thou art asleep, yet dreamest not of it, 2 Thess. v. ; 
when thou art least prepared for it, as in the old world, when they were 
eating and drinking. As God watcheth when his child is at the best and 
ripest, and then takes him ; so he will watch thee to take thee for thy 
neglect at the worst, and give thee haply no time to prepare ; they go down 
to hell in a moment, Ps. lxxiii. 19. 






Drawn from severall Engagements 

( GODS ) 
B0th0i \cilRTSTS\ nEAUT 

' Eeceive ' 
Pardon J ' 

To\ ., "fSlNNEES. 

By Tno : Goodwin, B. D. 

Printed by J. G. for R. Daidman, 1G50. 


All that the Father givetk me shall come to me : and him that cometh to me 
I trill in no wise cast out. For I came clown from heaven, not to do mine 
own will, but the trill of him that sent me. — John VI. 37, 38. 

A Pnface. 

There are two persons whom faith hath to deal withal in seeking of for- 
giveness and laying hold of salvation, God the Father and God the Son ; 
the Holy Ghost being that person that sets the heart a-work to seek out for 
salvation, and reveals the love of them both. And therefore it is that 
grace and peace (which are the object of faith's inquest) are still wished 
from God the Father and God the Son ; so genera'ly in all epistles, excepting 
that of the Revelation, given immediately by word of mouth from Christ 

And accordingly when faith comes to treat with these two about the 
great business of salvation, the first and main thing that it is inquisitive 
after is, what their heart and mind is, and how they stand inclined towards 
the receiving and pardoning of sinners. It listens most to bear something 
of that ; and when a man's heart, through faith, is fully and throughly per- 
suaded of it, then he is fully won. 

Hence, because the Scriptures were written for our comfort, and so fitted 
to and for the workings of faith, therefore they were so written, as especially 
to bring down and lay before us the heart of God and of Christ ; and so 
the main thing they hold forth is, the full intent and purpose both of God 
and of Christ to pardon and receive sinners. ' This is a faithful saying,' 
says Paul with open mouth, ' that Christ came into the world to save 
shiners ; ' and this Christ himself everywhere indigitates ; and to hold forth 
this is the scope of these words uttered by Christ himself. And such 
speeches do contain the very heart, marrow, and pith of tbe gospel. 

And though the heart of a sinner will never be fully satisfied till a per- 
suasion be wrought that God and Christ are purposed and willing to save 
a man's own self in particular, which persuasion is that which we call 
assurance, yet when once there is a thorough persuasion settled upon the 
heart, but of so much indefinitely and in general, that God and Christ are 


willing and fully resolved to save some sinners, so that the heart does truly 
believe that God is in earnest, this draws on the heart to come to Christ, 
and is enough to work faith of adherence, such as upon which Christ ' will 
never cast us out,' as the text hath it. 

The great business then for the working faith in men, is to persuade 
them of God's good will and gracious inclination unto sinners, to beget in 
them good opinions of God and Christ this way, men naturally having 
hard and suspicious thoughts of both, as that speech of Christ implies, 
1 God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the 
world through him might be saved,' John iii. 17. Christ would never 
have hinted such a jealousy, nor suggested such thoughts to men's minds, 
had they not been in them before, and this to prevent and take off such 
jealousies. Men are apt to think that God had a design upon them as 
upon enemies, and laid but an ambushment for their further condemna- 
tion, in his treaty of peace tendered to them by his Son. An example of 
which we have in Luther, who fell into such suspicions as these, for he, 
misunderstanding some words he met with in the epistle to the Romans, as 
they were rendered by the vulgar translation then in use, namely, these, 
that ' God sent his Son to declare his righteousness ' (as they are by us 
translated), he thought the meaning of them to have been this, ' to declare 
and set forth his judgment' on the world (so he interpreted adjustitiam 
suam, &c). The truth is, the jealousies of men's thoughts herein were 
those that have put God to his oath, ' As I live, I will not the death of a 
sinner,' &c. So also Heb. vi. 17. Men do not so usually question the 
power of God, he is able enough to save them they think ; he is ' able to 
engraft them in,' as the apostle speaks to the Jews, Rom. xi. 23 ; but all 
their doubts are about his will. God's will was the fountain and spring of 
our salvation, in the contriving of which he ' wrought all things according 
to the counsel of his own will,' as the apostle to the Ephesians speaketh ; 
and in another place it is said, ' He will have ruercy on whom he will,' &c. 
And therefore the great queries in our hearts are concerning the will of God 
towards us. 

The words of the text opened. 

Now, these words of my text do hold forth the full willingness of both 
these two persons, both of God and of Christ. 

1. Of Christ, he here professeth himself willing to entertain all that will 
come to him, ' He that will come to me, I will in no wise cast out.' 
"Which words are not to be understood as if spoken only of casting out 
them that are already come unto him, as if they were only a promise 
against being cast off after being received, and so intending against fears 
of falling away ; but they are chiefly intended as an invitement to all that 
are not yet come that they would come to him ; and so, to express how 
ready and willing he is to entertain all comers, as one who sets his doors 
open, keeps open house, and beats back none that would come in, ' Him 
that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.' And though it may seem 
to be but a slender and sparing expression of his readiness to entertain 
such, to say only, ' I will not cast them out,' 3 7 et though he speaks with 
the least, yet he will do with the most, he being ' abundant in goodness 
and truth,' and one that is better than his word in the performance. As 
when he says, he will not despise a broken heart, is that all the esteem he 


will manifest to such a heart ? Oh, no ! it is the most welcome thing, and 
endeared frame of spirit that can be in any creature. His meaning is to 
shew what he elsewhere says of a meek spirit (which is all one with a broken 
heart), that with God it is ' of great price,' for so in Isaiah he expresseth 
himself. ' I that inhabit eternity, with whom will I dwell ? with a spirit 
that is broken and contrite.' He useth also this expression of not casting 
them out, in relation, and for a more direct answer unto the fear which he 
knew usually possesseth the hearts of poor sinners when they are about to 
come to him ; they fear he may reject them, they know not their entertain- 
ment, their welcome. To meet with this scruple, he says, ' I will not cast 
such out ; ' choosing rather thus to remove the doubt that is in their hearts, 
than to express the fulness of his own ; the Scriptures speaking potiits ad 
cor nostrum, quam, cor suum, rather unto our hearts, than fully what is in 
his own, which can never be done. 

And yet, even in the diminutive expression, there is that inserted, which 
argues not only a willingness and readiness, but a resolvedness joined with 
the greatest care and faithfulness that can be, ou pri, I will in no wise cast 
out. We may see his heart through this little crevice ; he doth herein as 
a faithful man, who, to give the more full assurance, puts in some binding 
word into his promise, as, I will at no hand, or in no wise, fail you. Thus 
does God also in that known promise, Heb. xiii. 5 (to the horns of which 
sanctuary many a soul hath fled for refuge), ' I will never leave thee nor 
forsake thee,' where there are no less than five negatives to bind and assure 
it, ' I will not,' ' in no wise' (&c), leave thee. 

Now this willingness of his, on his part, Christ shews by two things. 

First, By that great journey he took from heaven to earth, and that to 
no other purpose but to save sinners. For this (says he) did I come down 
from heaven. Great actions of one who is wise, must answerably have 
great ends ; now this was the greatest thing that ever was done, that the 
Son of God should come from heaven. And when there can be but one 
end of an action so great, that end must needs be accomplished, or else the 
action is wholly in vain. Now, in coming down from heaven, he could 
have no other end but the saving of sinners, he could have no other business 
to do that he did here, therefore the Scriptures put his coming into the 
world wholly upon this, to seek and to save that which was lost, and do 
attribute his taking upon him ' the likeness of sinful flesh ' to have been 
' for sin ; ' so Rom. viii. 3. Though other ends might be supposed, and were 
accomplished by the assuming man's nature, yet he had no other end of 
taking frail flesh, especially there could be no other end of his dying, but 
merely and only for sin. John xii. 24, he says, If he had not fallen to the 
ground and died, he had then remained in heaven alone, and no sinners had 
come thither ; that therefore they might ascend to heaven, he descends from 
heaven, ' I came down from heaven,' &c. 

Secondly, He demonstrates his willingness by this, that his Father had 
sent him on purpose to receive and to save sinners : ' I come,' says he • to do 
the will of him who sent me ;' and, John viii., he says, ' I come not of 
myself, but my Father he sent me.' And if he were sent by his Father to 
this end (as he affirms he was, and as by the coherence appears, for he 
makes it the reason why he will cast none out), then certainly he will faith- 
fully do the work he was sent for. In Heb. iii. 1, he is called the ' apostle 
of our profession,' apostle, that is, one sent, so the word signifies ; and 
what follows ? • who was faithful to him that appointed him.' Now, upon 

VOL. [/. o 



these considerations, Christ tells you that you may build upon him, that 
you shall certainly find him willing. 

2. For his Father's willingness, he tells us we may be much more con- 
fident of it, for he puts his own willingness and all upon that : ' Him ' (says 
he) ' that the Father gives me, shall come to me ; and him that cometh to 
me, I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do 
my own will, but the will of him that sent me : and this is the Father's will, 
that he hath sent me,' &c. In which words you may observe both wherein 
he declares his Father to be engaged, and how much. 

First, Wherein, and that by two things : 

(1.) That he sent him to that end, and so it is his Father's business 
more than his own. So also, Luke ii. 49, he expresseth himself, ' Shall I 
not do my Father's business ? ' as elsewhere in Isaiah he is called his Father's 
servant in it ; and John v. 36, he makes it his Father's work. 

(2.) Secondly, that he in a solemn manner gave unto him them whom 
he would have to be saved, with charge to lose none : ' All that the Father 
hath given me shall come unto me.' And this is his will, that I should 
lose none, but give him an account of every soul of them at the last day. 
They are given him as jewels, and as his Benjamins, to look to, and see to 
bring back and keep from destruction. Now whom he so solemnly gave to 
Christ to save, he will never cast away, when they shall come unto Christ. 

Then, 2, he shews how much, and how deeply, his Father was engaged, 
and makes it his Father's will rather than his own : ' I come not to do my 
own will, but the will of him that sent me.' The meaning whereof is, not 
to shew that he came unwillingly, or receives sinners unwillingly, but that 
his Father's will was first in it (as I shall shew anon), and so much in it, 
that, if you will resolve it into its first principles, Christ's coming was 
principally to please his Father. It is such a speech as that in John v. 
22, ' The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the 
Son,' &c. Not that God is not a judge as well as Christ, for, Heb. xii. 23, 
he is termed the 'judge of all men,' but because all judgment is visibly 
committed unto Christ ; therefore the Father is said to judge no man. So 
here, because the Father's will is chief and first in it, Christ therefore says, 
he came not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him. 

And so you have the meaning of the words. 

The main observation out of the ivords. — Demonstrations of God's heart herein, 
from his engagements from everlasting. — How his heart stood to sinners afire 
the world was. 

The observation which I single out of these words to insist upon, is this, 

Both God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son are fully willing and 
resolved to save sinners. 

1. For God the Father. There are many demonstrations of his will 
herein, that may be taken ab extrafrom his oath, word, promise, &c, winch 
I shall handle in another method ; but those which I shall first hold forth 
are more intimate and intrinsical, and homogeneal to the argument which 
Christ useth here in the text ; which we have seen to be these, that it was 
God's will first, and Christ's but because it was his — ' I come not to do 
mine own will ;' and that it was he that dealt with Christ about it, and 
wrought him off to it, and made it his business — ' but the wall of him that 


sent mo.' So that the demonstrations which I shall pitch upon shall bo 
drawn from God's engagements, both from his transactions with Christ from 
everlastiug, belore he came into the world, and those that now lie upon him 
from Christ's having fully performed what he sent him into the world for. 
And from either may be fetched strong consolations and confirmations to 
our faith, that God's will must needs continue most serious and hearty to 
save sinners. 

Many other sorts of demonstrations of this point might be fetched and 
drawn from the riches of his mercy, lying by him to bestow on some great 
purchase ; and on what greater purchase could they be bestowed, to shew 
forth the glory thereof, than upon the salvation and pardon of sinners '? But 
these also I shall at the present let lie by untold, having elsewhere counted 
them up and set them forth, such demonstrations being only proper to this 
text as argue an engagement of his will ; whereas all those riches of mercy 
that are in him (although the moving cause of all) might have for ever re- 
mained in him as his nature, without any determination of his will to save 
any man. When therefore a poor sinner shall hear, besides the merchal 
disposition of God's nature, that acts and resolutions of his will have passed 
from him about the pardoning of sinners, so as his will hath engaged all 
the mercies of his nature to effect it, this brings in strong consolation. 

Now the deepness of these engagements of his will to pardon sinners 
may be demonstrated, 

(1.) From such transactions of his as were held by him with Christ from 
everlasting ; which hath both put strong obligations upon him, and also 
argue him fully and firmly resolved to save sinners. Now all the particular 
passages of those treaties of his with Christ, about the reconciliation of 
sinners from everlasting, I have elsewhere also at large handled; and 
therefore it is not my scope now to enumerate them. I shall now only 
draw demonstrations from some few of them, by way of corollary, to help 
our faith in this point in hand, namely, God's resolvedness to pardon 

The first is drawn from this, That God the Father had the first and chie 
hand in this matter of saving sinners, as I then shewed : the project was 
his, and the first motion his. 

[l.J The project; he laid the plot of it, and contrived all about it, for 
the effecting of it. Therefore, John v. 19, Christ says, ' The Son can do 
nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do.' 

[2.] The first motion was his. 'I came not to do mine own will,' says 
Christ, ' but the will of him that sent me.' Both which (project and first 
motion) are shut up in that one sentence, Eph. i. 11, 'He worketh all 
things by the counsel of his own ivill.' Now, for God thus to have the 
first hand in it, did put a great and deep engagement upon his will in it. 
We see among men, the projector and first motioner of a business is always 
most forward in it ; because then it is most peculiarly his own, and the 
greater will be his honour in the compassing of it. How many great afiairs 
have been spoiled, because some men have not been the chief and first in 
them, that affect the pre-eminence ? Now this honour God the Father may 
challenge, that he was the first in reconciling and saving sinners. It is 
therefore called God's wisdom, Eph. iii. 10, and his purpose, Eph. i. 9, 
God's righteousness, Rom. i. 17, and the pleasure of the Lord, Isa. liii. 10. 

Secondly, this project and motion did rise up in him unto a strong re- 
solution and purpose, and to an unalterable decree to save sinners by 
Christ ; so Eph. i. 9. 


And [1.] for his purposes, they are immutable. Would not Paul lightly 
alter purposes taken up by him, ' When I therefore was thus minded (says 
he, 2 Cor. i. 17), did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose do I 
purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and 
nay, nay ?' Would not Paul, I say, alter his purpose because he preached 
the gospel, and will God (think you) alter them, who gave the gospel ? 
No ; it is the ' eternal gospel,' Rev. xiv. 6, and God is of the same mind 
still, so it foUows in that place to the Corinthians, ' But as God is true ' 
(or varies not), ' so was our word to you,' which yet is his more than Paul's, 

[2.J For God's decrees, whereof this was one, they are also immutable. 
The great monarchs of the earth, the Persians, took to themselves that in- 
fallibility, that they would not alter the decrees which they made : therefore 
when a thing was unalterable, it was said to be ' as the laws of the Medes 
and Persians ;' which was to shew their greatness and their wisdom, that 
they could so resolve as no person or power whatever should be strong 
enough to cause them to change their resolutions ; and yet they were forced, 
though not to alter a former decree, yet to give countermands unto it, as 
Ahasuerus did ; and men do alter, because they cannot foresee all events, 
and so cannot make unalterable decrees without prejudice. Therefore the 
pope, who takes on him the style of infallible, and so assumes to himself 
the highest prerogative that ever man did, yet of him it is said, Pajw nun- 
quam lif/at sibi manus, that he never binds his own hands by any decree he 
makes, because he cannot foresee all inconveniences, notwithstanding what- 
ever he assumes. But with God it is not thus, ' He is not a man that he 
should ' have cause to ' repent,' for he knows and foresees all that can or 
will follow. 

Now this immutability of his counsel he shews by two oaths ; the first 
made to Christ, the second to us. 

[1.] To Christ, Heb. vii. 21, ' This priest (Christ) was made with an 
oath, by him that said unto him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, 
Thou art a priest for ever, &c.' And this was from everlasting ; for then 
it was that Christ was first made priest. Now then God foresaw that he 
could never have a relenting thought at the pardoning of sinners through 
him, this his Son would so satisfy and please him ; and thereupon he sware. 
[2.] To us, Heb. vi. 17, 18, ' God willing more abundantly to shew unto 
the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an 
oath : that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to 
lie, we might have a strong consolation,' &c. The thing I allege this place 
for, and which I would have observed, is, that this oath is not mentioned 
as that now which makes God so immutable, though that be a truth ; but 
God's oath is here made that whereby God did declare unto us the immu- 
tability of his purpose, formerly and from everlasting taken up, and so that 
immutability of his counsel was the cause of his oath, and that was to 
pardon sinners ; for it is the promise made to Abraham and his seed that 
is there specified. 

Yea [3.] God set his seal unto all further to confirm it. He both ' sealed 
Christ to the work,' John vi. 27, and likewise sealed up in his decrees the 
persons of those sinners that shall be saved. 2 Tim. ii. 19, ' The founda- 
tion of the Lord remains sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth who are 
his.' And if it were but a king's seal, it could not be reversed ; but this is 
God's. Yea, he hath sealed up their sins also by and through Christ, Dan. 
ix. 24, never to be remembered or looked upon more. 


Thirdly, God rested not in a decree only, but entered into covenant with 
Christ to save sinners by him if he would die. This covenant you have 
dialogue-wise set out, Isa. xlix. First, Chi-ist begins at the first and second 
verses, and shews his commission, telling God how he had called him, and 
fitted him for the work of redemption, and he would know what reward he 
should receive of him for so great an undertaking. God answers him, 
ver. 3, and at first oilers low, only the elect of Israel. Christ who stood 
now a- making his bargain with him, thought these too few, and not worth 
so great a labour and work, because few of the Jews would come in, but 
would refuse him, therefore, ver. 4, he says, he should ' labour in vain,' if 
this were all his recompence ; and yet withal he tells God, that seeing his 
heart was so much in saving sinners to satisfy him, he would do it however 
for those few, comforting himself with this, that his ' work was with the 
Lord.' Upon this God comes off more freely, and openeth his heart more 
largely to him, as meaning more amply to content him for his pains in 
dying. ' It is a light thing,' says God to him, ' that thou shouldst be my 
servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob ; ' that is not worth the dying lor, I 
value thy sufferings more than so, ' I will give thee for a salvation unto the 
ends of the earth.' Upon this he made a promise to Christ, Titus i. 2, and 
a promise is more than a purpose. A purpose may be in one's self, as 
Eph. i. 9, but a promise is made to another. Now God cannot lie in him- 
self, but most of all, not to his Son. 

A second sort of demonstrations. — The engagements of God's heart to sinners, 
from and upon Christ's having died at his request. 

A second sort of demonstrations are drawn from Christ's having already 
come and performed all this : for, 

1. Christ is now to be satisfied for that his dying, as well as he by his 
death had satisfied God ; he is now to have his reward. God never set any 
on work but he gave them wages. Thus unto Nebuchadnezzar he gave 
Egypt as his hire for his service at Tyre, and to Cyrus he gave hidden 
treasure. Now it is not Christ's own glory that will satisfy him ; for that 
he could have had, and never have died ; there remains therefore nothing 
that can or will satisfy him but to have the end of his death, ' to see his 
seed and be satisfied, and to see of the travail of his soul ; and to justify 
many,' as it is, Isa. liii. 11. He died, as himself speaks, John xii. 24, 
that he might not be alone in heaven ; his desire is, that those whom he 
died for might see his glory. 

2. If we consider the act itself, of delivering Christ unto death, there 
was not, nor could there ever be, anything more abhorrent unto God ; no 
act ever went so much against his heart ; for if he be ' afflicted in all our 
afflictions,' and doth 'not willingly punish the sons of men,' neither 'wills 
the death of a sinner ' that deserves it, much less would he will the death 
of his own Son. Now what w T as there to sweeten the death and sufferings 
of his Son unto him, except his end in it '? for it is the end that sweetens 
and facilitates the means tending unto it. Now the end of Christ's death 
could be no other but to take sins away, and to procure the pardon of 
sinners ; and so it must needs be infinitely delightful unto him, and his 
heart strongly set upon it, seeing it did sweeten unto him an act otherwise 
so abhorrent ; and of this end therefore it is impossible he should ever 
repent. Now, Eph. v. 2, the very offering of Christ is called a ' sacrifice 


of a sweet smelling savour ; ' and what was it that made it so, but even the 
end for which it was done, and which is there put upon it, that it was out 
of love unto us, and out of a mind to have sinners pardoned ? For else in 
itself it must needs have been abominable unto him. 

Again, 3. If at any time he would have repented him of his purpose, it 
would have been at the time of Christ's being crucified, when he came to 
bruise him : then his heart would have recoiled, and especially when 
Christ poured out his soul with such strong cries and tears as he did. At 
other times, in punishing but his children, we find, that when he comes to 
do it, his heart at, it were fails him, as Hos. xi. 8. ' How shall I give thee 
up ?' The rod fails out of his hand, and his bowels yearn within him ; yet 
he relented not when he saw the soul of his Joseph in bitterness, but still 
made an impossibility of it for him to avoid suffering, because his purpose 
was thereby to take sins away. Therefore Christ's request was, ' Father, 
if it be possible, let this cup pass.' The necessity lay only in God's will 
in reference to this end, to forgive sins. If God would ever have relented 
or repented him of this purpose, it would have been then. We read of his 
repenting him of other of his works, but his mind is so fully carried to 
take away sins, that he did not then, or can ever repent of putting his own 
Son to death for the effecting of it. To pardon sinners is more natural to 
him than to kill his Bon was unnatural. Now his end and purpose 
being thus fully set to pardon and save sinners, if he should be frustrated 
of this his end, he would then indeed repent him of using his Son as he 
had done, Nay. it is not only said that he repented not, but that ' it 
pleased him to bruise* Christ, in respect to that his end, which was so plea- 
sant to him : so you have it, Isa. hii. 10. And, therefore, surely it pleaseth 
him much more to pardon sinners, now he hath thus bruised him ; and so 
indeed it follows there, l The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his 
hand." It is spoken of his saving and justifying of sinners. It troubled 
God to hear a soul bemoan itself for its sin, Jer. xxxi. 20, but we read not 
that it did so when Christ bemoaned himself in his sufferings ; and the 
reason was, because the work that Christ was about to do was a sweet sacri- 
fice to him , and it would trouble God more to condemn a sinner that 
Christ died for, than it did to sacrifice Christ for him. 

4. Upon that ancient agreement between God and Christ, God par- 
doned millions of men under the Old Testament upon the bare word of 
Christ, before he came into the world, or had paid one penny of the debt ; 
he must needs therefore be supposed to be much more willing now to do 
it, when Christ has done all that was required, and failed not, and that at 
the due time, as it is said, Rem. v. If Christ had failed to come short but 
ot a little of what he was to do, God might have denied to let the world go 
upon trust any longer ; but now Jesus Christ hath performed all, and is 
aibrehand with him, and hath put in stock enough to pardon sinners to the 
end of the world. 

Yet, 5. Now even justice itself will call upon him to discharge sinners, 
will not let him rest in quiet till he has pardoned and shewed mercy unto 
poor sinners that come to Christ, and hath given in their bond, and this, 
though we had no promise to shew for it. yea, though Christ himself had 
nothing to shew for it : God's very justice would trouble him (I may so 
speak with reverence, for he himself says, that he was ' troubled for 
Ephraim,' Jer. xxxi. 20), till he had given out an acquittance, because he 
knows the debt is paid, and also, that Christ's and his own intent was, that 
when Christ had once died, sinners should thereby be justified. Even as if 


an honest man had a bond for a debt that is discharged lying still in his 
hands, of which payment he whose debt it is knows nothing, although he 
or they that paid this debt were dead, so that there were no one left that 
were able to challenge an acquittance from him, and a cancelling of that 
bond, yet mere honesty would cause him to give it in. Now Jesus Christ 
died, and God himself put him to death, merely to pay our debts ; and, says 
Christ at his death, Let sinners require my blood, and the merits of it at 
thy hands, and have it out in pardon. 

That was Christ's will that he made at his death, as you have it, Hcb. ix. 
16, 17, where the apostle calls it ' a testament confirmed by the death of 
the testator.' Now there is nothing so sacred as the performance of the 
will of the dead. And now Christ himself is alive again, and is ordained 
by God to be his own executor, and so lives to claim an acquittance ; there- 
fore certainly God will never withhold it. In justice he cannot, he will not, 
have a bond lie by him that is discharged. Hence it is said, that God is 
' just to forgive our sins,' 1 John i. 9. 

There are three things which do cry for justice, and all do meet in this. 

(1.) The wages of a hireling (if detained) are said to cry. So in James 
v. 4, it is said, ' The wages of hirelings detained do cry in the ears of the 
Lord of Hosts.' They cry, wages being due in justice, and because God's 
justice is thereby provoked, and cannot be quiet till God hath avenged it. 
And so would Christ's satisfaction having been made for us ; it would 
restlessly cry to God, and not suffer his justice to be quiet, unless we were 
pardoned. For he was truly and indeed God's hired servant in this work ; 
and God covenanted to give him the salvation of those he died for as his 
wages and reward, as Isaiah often represents it, chap, liii., and elsewhere. 
So that if God be just, he must give forth salvation, otherwise Christ's obe- 
dience would cry as the work of an hireling doth for wages. 

(2.) A second thing that cries for justice, is the will of one that is dead 
unperformed, who hath bequeathed legacies, and left wherewith to pay and 
discharge them. And this is yet a louder cry than the former. Now 
Christ, before he died, did thus make his will, and bequeathed pardon of 
sin and justification, and that eternal inheritance in heaven, as legacies to 
those for whom he died, and to be given out by God after his death, as I 
observed even now out of Heb. ix. 15, 16, 17, where it is said that Christ 
was ' The Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death they 
who are called might receive the promise (or bequeathed legacy) of eternal 
life.' And thereupon, ver. 16, 17, the apostle calls this ' a testament con- 
firmed by his death,' and which at his death ' began to be in force,' so 
ver. 17. And of all things in justice that are held due, the performance of 
the will of the dead hath ever been held most sacred. 

(3.) There is yet a third thing which cries for justice, and that is inno- 
cent blood spilt. And this cries louder than the rest. So Gen. iv. 10. 
And the apostle, Heb. xii. 24, sets forth the cry of Christ's blood for us, 
by Abel's blood crying against Cain. 

It may be notwithstanding this, that God may put the bond in suit against 
a sinner, to make him come to acknowledge the debt, as the apostle there 
speaks. ' If we confess our sins.' But if any soul doth say, ' I have sinned 
and it profited me not ;' God then cannot withhold from throwing down his 
bond cancelled, saying, ' Deliver him, I have found a ransom,' Job xxxiii. 24, 
God will not have innocent blood, such as his Son's is, to lie upon him. If 
he should not pardon sinners, Christ's blood would be upon him, for it was 
for them only that Christ died, being in himself innocent. 


6. God mends not himself by damning those for whom Christ died. Now 
there were not only an injustice to Christ and us in it, but God himself also 
would prove a loser. For the end of Christ's death was not simply to 
satisfy justice, so as without it justice could not have permitted a pardon, 
that might have been dispensed with, but it was chiefly to declare the glory 
of God's justice, which required such a satisfaction, as the apostle says, 
Rom. iii. 25, ' To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that 
are past, through God's forbearance.' It was, we see, the manifestation or 
declaration of the glory of his justice that he aimed at in it. So as if any 
one man's sin satisfied for by Christ should be left unforgiven, God's justice 
should lose so much glory. And if justice should think to get a greater 
glory out of the sinners, that could never be ; for the sinner is unable ever 
to satisfy, and so to glorify God's justice by suffering, as Christ hath done. 
Yea, and besides, God would be a further and a greater loser in the glory 
of his mercy also, which by his pardoning sin is advanced. 

The second part of the observation. — Demonstration of Christ's willingness to 
receive sinners that come toJiim. — First, how his heart stood from everlasting. 

And so now I come to Christ's willingness, which was the second thing 
propounded in the doctrine to be demonstrated. Now, though his will 
was not first in it (as was said), yet we shall find him to have been no less 
willing than his Father. As Christ in subsisting is the second person, and 
hath his personal subsistence from his Father, so he is second also in order 
of working, and consequently of willing too, yet he is not second to him in 
heartiness of willing ; but as his Father and he are equal, so in all that his 
Father willeth, his will is equal with his Father, and so, is as much in this 
business as his. 

In the demonstrating of this, I will take the same course that I did in 
the former : , 

First, I will shew how hearty he was in this, to have sinners saved, before 
he came into the world. 

And secondly, how willing he was since he came into the world, and 
since his death and going out of the world. 

And as a general introduction to either, I shall premise this, which shall 
be as the corner-stone in this building, joining both parts of this discourse 
together, and is a consequent of what hath formerly been delivered. 

The thing to be premised is this : That if God the Father be willing, then 
Jesus Christ must needs be willing also, and look how much the will of the 
one is in it, so much the will of the other must be in it also, for ' the Father 
and he are all one.' And this will serve for our further assurance of the 
wills of either ; and we make use of it both ways, either to argue to our 
faith, that if the Father be willing, Christ must needs be so also ; and that 
if Christ be willing, the Father is so also. That whereas some men's 
thoughts have been more taken up about, and so more taken with, the con- 
sideration of how much the Father's heart was in it, and how active and 
plotting he was about it ; and again, other men's apprehensions have been 
carried more unto Christ's heart in the work ; this demonstration which I 
have in hand shall be a help to the faith of either of these : so that if your 
hearts have a ' door of faith,' (as the apostle speaks) ' set open,' or a window 
to see either into God's heart or Christ's, you may raise a confidence of 
the one from the other, and so come to be sure of both. 

And this also I do first mention, because it is the most intrinsical bottom 


demonstration that can be made of Christ's willingness, and is the utmost 
reason of it. 

This demonstration I found upon John x. 30, ' I and my Father are one.' 
That whereas in this my text he shews how his Father's will and his agree in 
one, he there gives the reason of it, for (says he) wo are one; and the words 
there, as they stand in their coherence, are proper to the purpose in hand. 
For Christ there allegeth them as the reason why his heart, and power, and 
all in him is so engaged for the salvation of his own, that if he have any 
power in him, and be able to do anything, ' not one of them shall perish,' 
because ' his Father and he are one.' For, mark the occasion upon which 
he speaks this, it is the same that here in my text. He had been speaking 
of saving his sheep, and of his power and will to save them ; and concludes, 
that • they shall never perish.' And he says not only that he will never 
cast them out (as here), but that ' neither shall any man pluck them out of 
his hand.' And in that speech he shews and utters the strength of his 
will as much as of his power. For otherwise, although his hand of power 
had been never so potent to have held them against all opposition, yet if 
his will had not as strongly resolved to hold them in his hand, and so, if 
they were not as deep in his heart as.they are fast in his hands, this speech 
of his had not been made good, that • they shall never perish.' And then 
he gives the reason both of this resoluteness of his will and this prevalency 
of his power from his Father's both will and power, engaged as much as 
his own, in this fulness.* ' My Father,' says he, ' that gave them me is 
greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hands.' 
He pleads here, first, his Father's will — ' He gave them me ; ' and then, 
secondly, his power, whom these Jews he spake to acknowledged greater 
than all, though him they did not. ' He is greater than all ; none can 
pluck them out of his hands ;' and then argues to himself, ' My Father and 
I are one.' One in nature, therefore much more in will. Two persons that 
have distinct essence may yet be one in will, as the ten kings are said to be 
of one mind when they agreed in one thing, Ptev. xvii. 13, 17 ; so Acts 
iv. 32, it is said that they that believed were of ' one heart and of one soul,' 
that is, in judgment and consent of mind. But Christ and God the Father 
are one yet nearer, one in nature, and therefore much more entire in will, 
for by nature they have but one will between them. And that place speaks 
at once in relation to both their willingness to save, as to both their powers 
to save sinners. And this is not only an argument that they did both agree, 
and were like to agree, in it, but that they can never disagree. Two that 
essentially have two wills, though for the present agreeing in one, yet it 
may be supposed that they may come to disagree, and not will the same 
thing ; but if they essentially have but one will, it is impossible then but 
that they must ever agree. This great security, therefore, doth Christ give 
for the salvation of sinners. You have not only two persons engaged, 
persons greater than all, but all that is in them engaged, both then- power 
and will; and what more can be desired ? And if the one holds his purpose, 
the other must also, for they are one. You have the oneness of God and 
Christ given you for security ; so that if they can never be made two, and 
wrought asunder, then sinnei's must needs be saved. Till these two persons 
do disagree, you are sure enough ; and they must cease to be ere they can 
cease to agree, for they are one, and one in being. 

We have another testimony as full as this, 1 John v. 7 : ' There are 
three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy 
* Qu. ' business ' ? — Ed. 


Ghost ' (we are yet surer, here is a third person that comes in), ' and these 
three are one.' Now, what is the thing that these do witness unto ? 
Ver. 11 it follows, ' This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal 
life, and this life is in his Son.' Here their truth is pawned, as in that other 
place their power was, for the apostle allegeth this as such a truth as they all 
agree and stand in to make good. And to prove this, he says (as in that 
other place, John x.) that ' these three are one,' that is, one in nature, 
therefore one in will, and so also one in witness to this truth. He says 
not only they agree in one, for you shall observe that whereas there are 
three other witnesses mentioned to be on earth, there is this difference put 
between their concurrency in their testimonies and that of these, that ' they 
agree in one ' (so ver. 8), but there is more said of these, namely, that they 
are one, that is, in nature, and so in will and purpose, and so must needs 
much more agree in one. Now, that thing which their wills and testimonies 
and all agree in is, as hath been said, that God hath given us eternal life, 
and this life is in his Son, to all that shall come for it. So that for 
demonstrations of this I need go no further. If there be any will, power, 
or truth in these persons, sinners shall be saved. 

This being premised, as the most bottom ground of Christ's being at first, 
and his continuing to be for ever, willing to pardon sinners, let us more 
particularly see, first, how his heart stood to the salvation of them before 
he came into the world ; and then, secondly, how it stood inclined unto it 
after he was come ; and what confirmations our faith may have from both. 
So that the thing I am herein to speak to is not so much bis willingness to 
the work of redemption itself (that I have elsewhere handled apart), but his 
willingness and readiness to save sinners. 

1. Let us see how his heart stood to this before the world was, and before 
he came into it. And for this we find that his delights w 7 ere set upon it ; 
so Prov. viii. 31, ' Rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth, and my 
delights w r ere with the sons of men : ' which words are more properly spoken 
of Christ than of God the Father, and therefore I produce them under this 
head. For they are said to be spoken by Wisdom, that is, Christ himself, 
he therein shewing how his mind stood towards us before the world began ; 
for he speaks what he and his Father did ' before the mountains were,' &c. 
' I was set up from everlasting,' ver. 22. ' Then I was by him,' &c, 
ver. 80. And how did they pass away that long arum, as the apostle calls 
it ? In nothing but rejoicing and delights. He there speaks of nothing 
else that they did. And what was the matter of delight unto them ? 

(1.) He and his Father delighted one in another, ver. 30. 

(2.) In the salvation of men, ' My delights were with the sons of men,' so 
ver. 31. And he speaks of men as fallen, for it is said in the beginning of 
the same verse that he ' rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth,' which 
is spoken not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles too, and of men all the 
earth over. Now, first, delights arise out of the strongest and choicest 
desires. Men are pleased with many things in which they delight not. 
Christ's heart and desires must needs have been most on that which his 
delights are in. Again, secondly, the greater the persons are, and the 
greater their minds are, the greater are their delights. Things of great 
concernment are usually the objects which are the delights of kings, and 
which they take pleasure in. Now, the great God and Jesus Christ singled 
out the pardon and reconciliation of sinners for their chief delights. 

(3.) Their delight herein is mentioned, and in no other work of theirs ; 
not the angels, nor the world, nor anything in it. 


(4.) This their delight is mentioned next to their delighting in each other. 

(5.) And fifthly, this delight he took aforehand, whilst his heart was only 
in the expectation of it, and his mind but laying the plot of it. He delights 
in it ere he doth it. And if all this joy of his be only in the thoughts of it, 
how much more will it delight him when he comes to do it ? All this 
argues how great a matter this was in his esteem, and how much his heart 
was in it, and that from everlasting. 

Demonstrations from the disposition of Christ's heart, and his carriage upon 
earth. — As also some engagements since his death. 

2. In the second place, when Christ had assumed our nature, and whilst, 
he remained upon earth, how did this disposition of his abound in him ? It 
were endless to give all the instances that his story and sermons do afford 
hereof. See but how welcome all sorts of sinners were at all times unto 
him. He cast out none that acknowledged him for the Messiah ; he turned 
none away that gave up their souls unto him to be saved his own way. He 
was indeed most reserved unto that rich young man of any other, yet he 
used him courteously — the text saith, ' he loved him.' Christ turned him 
not away, but directed him the right way to follow him ; and he went away 
of himseli, undervaluing Christ to his possessions. And another time 
Christ indeed seems to discourage the Canaanitish woman, and put her 
away, calling her dog. But it was only in words ; for underhand he strongly 
draws her heart to him by his Spirit, and suggests thereby to her heart by 
way of answer, a consideration of the highest faith towards him, that dogs 
might partake of the crumbs that fall from their master's table. I instance 
in these, because I would prevent and remove any exception which might 
be taken from them. For otherwise Christ's professed entertainment of all 
sinners was so open and notorious, as it w T as turned into his disgrace and 
opprobry, that he was ' a friend to publicans and sinners ; ' which yet he 
owns and glories in, professing that he ' came not to call the righteous, but 
sinners to repentance.' And how glad he was when any such came in unto 
him, he sufficiently expresseth by those parables on purpose taken up, of 
the joy of the prodigal's father for his return, and of the rejoicing for the 
finding of the lost groat, and likewise of the lost sheep, more than of the 
ninety and nine. 

We read of Christ's joy but seldom, and when it is at any time recorded, 
it is at the conversion of souls. He had little else to comfort himself in, 
being a man of sorrows ; and he had nothing else on earth which he took 
delight or pleasure in. When he was converting the poor woman of Samaria, 
which he doth as a pleasure and recreation to him, he forgets his meat, 
although before he had been very hungry, and tells his disciples that he had 
' meat which they knew not of,' which was indeed the saving that poor 
woman's soul. In Luke x. 21, we read that Jesus rejoiced in his spirit; 
but observe the occasion. He had sent out his disciples to preach the 
gospel, and they had in his name and through his power cast out devils. 
He bids them not rejoice in that, ver. 20, but shews them what they should 
rejoice in, by his own example, and by what most comforted him. ' Father' 
(says he) ' I thank thee that thou hast revealed these things unto babes.' 
This in the next words following recorded to be the matter of his rejoicing, 
he saw now an handsel, and an experiment of the fruit of his disciples' 


ministry, and comforted himself beforehand, in that as their souls had, so 
others of the poorer and meaner sort should thus come in unto him. 

We find him at another time in like manner rejoicing, namely, in the 
story of his raising Lazarus, John xi. 15. And what was it for? Not 
that himself should be glorified by so great a miracle, even the greatest that 
ever he wrought, but, says he, ; I am glad for your sakes that I was not 
there, to the end that you might believe.' He rejoiceth if any of his got a 
little more or further degree of faith. And on the other side, as sorry was 
he when men came not in. Witness his tears over Jerusalem, and those 
spaeches of his, John v. 34, ' These things I speak, that you might be 
saved.' And thereupon in the ensuing verse he complainingly utters him- 
self, ' You will not' (says he) ' come to me, that you may have life.' He 
speaks as one greedy of winning souls, and as sorry that any customers or 
hearers of his should pass by., and not turn in ; ' You will not come to me,' 
&c. And he relieves himself with this, that there were others that would, 
though they would not. So here in this place, when in the verse before 
my text he had complained of them, that they would not believe, he comforts 
himself with this in the words of the text, ' All that the Father giveth me 
shall come unto me.' And the like you have, John x. 25, 2G, : You believe 
not ; but my sheep, they hear my voice,' &c. 

And then at his death, when he was upon the cross, he then convei'ts a 
thief that was crucified with him, and prays for those that crucified him. 
And after his resurrection his last words recorded in Luke xxiv. 47 are, 
' That remission of sins should be preached in his name, beginning at Jeru- 
salem ; ' that so those whom he had prayed for, though they had crucified 
him, might be converted and saved. Thus stood his heart all the while he 
was on earth, both before and after his death. 

3. And then, in the third place, now that he hath died and laid down that 
price which was to purchase the salvation of sinners, he must needs be 
much more willing, if it were possible be should 1)9, than ever. Many 
demonstrations there are from those obligations wbich Christ's sufferings 
and death do put upon him, which 1 have already given in a treatise upon 
this very argument, The Heart of Christ in Heaven, Part II. Only I have 
reserved one or two for this place. As, 

(1.) It was the aim and utmost intent of Christ's soul, in his being cru- 
cified, to have sinners saved, and saved effectually. It was that travail 
which his heart was then big with. And certainly Christ would not that 
so many and so great sufferings, now that they are past and over, should 
be in vain. The apostle makes a motive of it unto the Galatians,* ' Are ye 
so foolish ? . . . . Have ye suffered so many things in vain *? ' Gal. iii. 
3, 4. To be sure Christ's death shall not be in vain ; he will not lose the 
end of his sufferings (as the same apostle intimates but four verses before, 
chap. ii. 21). A business that a man hath prayed for much, how dotb he 
long to see it accomplished and fulfilled ! And how glad is he when it 
falls out as he hath prayed ! And why but because it is the fruit of his 
prayers ? Now, much more glad is Christ to see the fruit of his death, 
' the travail of his soul,' and thereby is ' satisfied.' Isa. liii. 10, a place I 
often quote to this purpose. I will add but this to it. When a woman 
hath been in travail, she forgets all her pains for joy that a man-child is 
bom, which is the fruit of that her travail ; and so doth Christ. And 
then again for that other word, that Christ is said to be ' satisfied ; ' satis- 
faction is the accomplishment of desire, or the fulfilling of one's longings. 
So in that speech of Christ, ' Blessed are those that hunger, for they shall 


be satisfied.' So that this doth argue and presuppose the most vehement 
desires and longings in Christ for the salvation of souls, and his having died 
must needs increase them. 

And (2.) add this engagement unto that former, that his death can be put 
to no other use than for the pardon of sinners. So as if he should not 
expend it that way, he should utterly lose the fruit of it, or let it lie useless 
by him. For divert it to any other use he cannot. And yet if he knew 
how to improve it to any other purpose, yet his love (he having intended 
it for the sons of men) would not suffer him to do it. But besides, if it be 
not employed and bestowed this way, it will be wholly in vain ; for the 
good angels, though they stand in need of his personal mediation, to con- 
firm them in grace, yet his blood was not requisite thereunto. And for 
the bad angels, they are utterly excluded the benefit of it. And then 
Christ himself, he stands in no need of it, nor can he have any benefit by 
it, all that personal glory which now he hath in heaven being due unto him 
by that hypostatical union. So that his death serves for no end if not for 
this. Christ indeed hath an honour in heaven besides the glory of the 
personal union ; but then it ariseth to him from the salvation of sinners 
through his death, which salvation is the purchase of his blood ; as you 
have it, Eph. i. ; which might afford a third engagement, in that Christ 
should not only lose the fruit of his death, but that glory that is ordained 
him by the salvation of men. So that he should be a loser not only of his 
sufferings by-past, but of all that glory that is to come from the salvation 
of believers, which is no small thing unto him. As officers in courts of 
law, or in universities, get the more fees, the more clients and the more 
commencers there are, so it is the more for Jesus Christ's gain that many 
sinners get out, and are received to grace and mercy. 

Some extrinsical demonstrations of God's and Christ's willingness to pardon 


And unto all these secret engagements both of God and Christ mutually 
to each other, and to us, we may add all the professed publications of their 
minds herein unto us, which have been made upon all occasions and by all 
means possible. As, 

First, This news hath been published by all three persons : first, God 
the Father he began to preach it to Adam in paradise, and hath renewed it 
again and again, as with his own immediate voice from heaven when Christ 
was baptized, ' This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, 
hear him;' which the apostle Peter records and confirms, as spoken a 
second time upon the mount, as a matter of highest moment to be known 
by us, ' which voice he heard' (says he), ' and is no fable,' 2 Pet. i. 16, 17. 

Secondly, Christ who is 'the faithful and true witness,' Rev. i. 5, he 
came from the bosom of his Father, and preached peace, Eph. ii. 17. Yea, 
and it was one of his first texts he preached upon, Luke iv. 18, ' The 
Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the 
gospel, to preach deliverance to the captives.' 

Thirdly, The Holy Ghost he also herewith bearing witness, that ' God 
hath exalted Christ to be a Prince and Saviour, to give repentance and for- 
giveness of sins,' Acts v. 31, 32. And so Heb. ii. 4. And these are 
these ' three witnesses in heaven,' 1 John v. 7, whose record as it follows 
is this, ' that there is life to be had in his Son Jesus Christ,' ver. 11. 


Secondly, God hath published this news both by all creatures reasonable, 
and to all creatures reasonable. 

First, The angels they came and preached it, singing, ' Peace on earth, 
good will towards men,' Luke ii. 13, 14. 

Secondly, By men ; and to that end he hath given gifts to men, powerful 
and full of glory, Eph. iv. 8, &c. And a commission with those gifts, a 
most large and gracious one. ' And he hath committed to us the ministry 
of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to 
himself,' 2 Cor. v. 20. 

Yea, and thirdly, he hath maintained this ministry in all ages, even to 
our times, all times have rung of the news hereof, and the world is still 
full of his ambassadors to treat with men about this peace, and they are to 
proclaim that he is fully willing ; and upon that ground, to beseech men to 
be reconciled, and so long as lieger ambassadors reside uncalled home or 
not sent for away, so long the treaty of peace holds. 

Fourthly, He hath proclaimed this by these his ambassadors in all places ; 
he bade them go and preach it to all the world, ' to every creature,' Mark 
xvi. 15. And his disciples did accordingly. Now he would not have had 
it spoken so openly and generally, ii he were not most serious in it. 

Fifthly, Add to this, that he hath declared it by all ways and means that 
do argue faithfulness and seriousness. 

(First.) Not by bare word of mouth, but we have it under his hand, he 
hath left his mind in writing. This book, which is dropped from heaven, 
the title of it is, ' The word of reconciliation,' 2 Cor. v. 19, the main argu- 
ment of it being reconciliation. In tbis book we find proclamation sent 
forth after proclamation, book after book, line after line, all written to this 
end, that we sinners ' might have hope and strong consolation,' as the 
apostle witnesseth. 

(Secondly.) He hath added to this writing those seals of the sacraments, 
and further, an oath to both, and that made advisedly with the greatest 
earnestness and deliberation that might be, Heb. vi. 17, ' God willing' (the 
text says) ' more abundantly to manifest this his intent, the immutability of 
his counsel, he confirmed that promise with an oath ; that by two immu- 
table things, his word and oath, we might have strong consolation.' 

(Thirdly.) If this be not sufficient, he hath pawned heaven and earth, 
the ' covenant of day and night,' in mortgage to forgive iniquity and pardon 
sinners. Thus, Jer. xxxi. 34, 35, 36, ' This is my covenant (says God 
there), that I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.' 
So ver. 34, and then it follows, ver. 35, ' Thus saith the Lord, who giveth 
the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and stars for a 
light by night : if those ordinances depart from before me, then the seed 
of Israel,' &c. The like you have, chap, xxxiii. 25, 26. Day and night 
we see stand still, and therefore this covenant holds good stdl. But we 
have a greater pawn than this, the death of his Son. 

And lastly, Let his actions and courses, which he hath taken from the 
beginning of the world, speak for all the rest ; as Satan hath been a mur- 
derer from the beginning, so God hath been a Saviour from the beginning, 
and Christ is the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world. God began 
with the first of mankind, even with Adam and Eve, the ringleaders, the 
heads of this rebellion, who drew all the rest of the world into that enmity, 
these were yet reconciled. Kings usually hang up the heads and chief in 
treasons, for examples of their justice, though they pardon others ; yet 
these did God save and pardon as examples of his mercy, to all that should 


come of them ; and it is observablo that the first thing he did, after the 
world was fallen, was this act of mercy, both in preaching this gospel and 
in pardoning them, ho began to do that soon, which he meant to be always 
a-doing to the end of the world : it argues he delights in it, yea, and accord- 
ing to Christ's last promise on earth, that he would ' be with us to the end 
of the world.' God is to this day reconciling the world of men to himself; 
some that walk in your streets by you, live among you. And he will have 
thousands when you are gone, and what are these but as flags, and paUorns 
of mercy, hung forth by God to toll and bring others in, as Eph. ii. 7. 

Use. What should the consideration of these things work in our hearts, but 
what the scope of the text itself puts men upon, even that they would come 
in unto Christ, and believe on him, and give up their souls unto him ? 
1 He that believes shall in no wise be cast out.' As Christ therefore is will- 
ing, so should we be ' a willing people.' That which keeps men ofi is, 
that they know not Christ's mind and heart. Think it not to be an indif- 
ferent thing to him whether you believe or no, as if he came into the world 
to do this duty of dying for sinners singly in obedience to his Father, so 
that men might be rendered saveable if they will ; and that however, if they 
will not, he yet hath enough to satisfy and quiet himselt with, even this, 
that he shall be glorified in what he hath done, though few or none of the 
sons of men be saved. It is a prejudicial doctrine this to the salvation of 
men, and derogatory to Christ's free love. What, do we think that Jesus 
Christ is gone to heaven, there to complain unto angels of the unkindness 
and hardness of men's hearts, that will not turn to him notwithstanding he 
hath done so much, and to tell what he had done for them, and what they 
would not be persuaded to do for themselves ; and that so he can suffi- 
ciently please himself with such just complaints ? No, surely ; our effec- 
tual salvation concerns him more than so ; and his heart is more fully bent 
upon it than thus to leave it. Of what he hath bought he will lose nothing. 
The truth is, he is more glad of us than we can be of him. The father of 
the prodigal was the forwarder of the two to that joyful meeting. Hast 
thou a mind ? He that came down from heaven, as himself saith in the 
text, to die for thee, will meet thee more than half way, as the prodigal's 
father is said to do, by his Spirit : he will send him from heaven to thee, and 
at the latter day himself will come again to fetch thee and receive thee to 
himself. If among the angels in heaven there be joy at the conversion of 
a sinner, how much more joy ic there in Christ's heart ? If there be joy 
in the bedchamber-men (as John speaks) what joy is there in the bride- 
groom's heart ? Or if among the standers by, when a man-child is born 
into the world, how much more doth the mother that was in travail for it, 
as Christ's soul was, how much more doth she rejoice ? therefore come 
in unto him. If you knew his heart you would. As they that crucified 
him knew him not, so neither do those who believe not in him. If 
you had been on earth with him, or if he were now here, and had 
this day preached these things unto you, and uttered these his own 
desires and longings after you ; how would you in troops go all thronging 
after him when the sermon were done, and each of you come about him, 
as those that had diseases did, and beseech him to pardon and save you, 
and not leave him till you have obtained some word of comfort and favour 
from him ! Let me tell you, he had preached this day, but that he had 
other business to do for you in heaven, where he is now praying and inter- 
ceding for you, even when you are sinning ; as on earth we see he did for 


the Jews when they were a-crucifying him. Now because he could not 
for this other business come himself, he therefore sends us his ambassa- 
dors, and we in Christ's stead do beseech you ; and it is as if ' Christ by 
us did beseech you ;' and we preach but such things as were ' first spoken 
by the Lord himself,' as it is in Heb. ii. 3. And he sends his Spirit, and 
continues to give gifts unto men to this very day ; and in all these respects, 
whenever the gospel is preached, he is said to ' speak from heaven.' Refuse 
not him that speaks from heaven, Heb. xii. 25. And though you have 
not his bodily presence, as they had who heard himself preach here on 
earth, yet you may by faith have as free an access unto him, and know as 
surely that he hears you, as if he were in the same room with you. Retire, 
therefore, into your closet, and treat with him in private, and there press 
these things on him ; say them all over again unto himself, and ask him if 
they be not true ; get the match struck up between thy soul and him, 
which if once made will never be undone again. Say unto him, Lord, why 
may it not be made up now ? Only let me add this : see you come not to 
him without a wedding-garment, and without wedding affections. Take up 
a resolution to love him. For if thou comest to him, what dost thou come 
for ? Pardon of sins. And what is it in him that must procure that ? 
His having died for thee ; that was it. And what was it that moved him 
to die ? An infinite love ; such a love, as were the thing yet to be done, 
he would certainly do it, and die to satisfy God for thee. Now then, seeing 
he hath already done it out of such a love, with what face canst thou ask 
pardon of him, as the effect of such a love, and not love him again, and 
obey him in all things ? But to make short with you, know this, that if 
you will not come in to him, thou wilt be damned. So saith Christ, ' He 
that believes shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be damned.' And 
I could tell you another, and as large a story of Christ's wrath against 
those that refuse him, as I have told you of his love. The Lamb can be 
angry, for he is a Lion also. ' consider this therefore, lest he tear you 
in pieces, and there be none to deliver you.' 




Under the common title, ' The Glory of the Gospel,' Goodwin left two works, 
the one consisting of two sermons, and the other of a treatise divided into eight 
chapters. Although he probably intended that the one should supersede the other, 
and, if he had published his works himself, would probably have suppressed the 
former, the greater part of the matter of which is incorporated and more fully 
treated in the latter, yet, as they are both included in the folio edition of his works, 
it has not been considered right to omit either of them in this reprint ; the rather 
that, as they stand, they differ too widely to be regarded merely as different editiona 
of the same work. — Ed. 



Even the mystery which hath been hid from ayes and generations, bat now is 
made manifest to his saints : to whom God would make known what is the 
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in 
you, the hope of glory. — Col. I. 26, 27. 

The apostle spends this chapter, from the 13th verse to the end, in three 
things principally. 

1. In setting out Jesus Christ in all that fulness of the riches of his glory 
wherewith he is arrayed and represented in the gospel ; from ver. 13 to 23, 
from whence to the 4th verse of the second chapter, he falls into a com- 
mendation and elogium of the gospel, ' Which is that mystery,' as the text 
hath it, • wherein is made known that rich glory of Christ, the glory of the 
mystery, which riches is Christ.' 

And the apostle doth both these on set purpose (as in the 4th and 8th 
verses he professeth), to divert and take off these Colossians' minds, from 
these vain deceitful speculations grounded on philosophy, traditions of men, 
&c, gaudily and speciously set out with enticing words. ' This, I say,' 
says verse the 4th, 'lest any, &c.' 'Beware,' verse the 8th, 'lest any 
spoil you through philosophy, and vain deceit.' To dash and put these 
quite out of countenance at once, he discovers riches and glory. To dis- 
cover the beggarliness of these radiments — as the apostle elsewhere epithe- 
tizeth the best of them, Gal. iv. 9 — he lays open the riches of the mysteries 
of Christ, and displays the glory, and the excellency of it, to spoil, and cause 
to vanish, and come to nothing, the enticing gloss and lustre of all other 
wisdom (as it is 1 Cor. i. 19), which had well nigh spoiled them. 

Now, in this place of this first chapter, the words I have read unto you, 
the current of his commendation of the gospel's excellency swells to the 
highest, and runs with the deepest and strongest stream, within the limits 
of which therefore, I will confine myself, as affording matter enough to set 
forth the glory of it, and that by all that doth commend unto us any know- 

For first, it is commended by the original author and revealer of it, with 
his intent therein ; God himself, who is best able to discern what knowledge 
is the fullest of riches and glory, chose to reveal and make known this merely 
for the worth of it ; namely, because the riches of glory were revealed by it. 


The first * says God would, or was desirous to, make known the riches of 
glory that were in it ; that moved him to it. 

Secondly, If the worth of the subject matter revealed doth ennoble a know- 
ledge, then must this be glorious, for Christ is the subject matter of it, ' which 
riches are Christ, the Lord of glory.' 

Thirdly, If all the properties that are excellent in any knowledge will add 
worth to it, they centre in this, 

First, If depth and profoundness, it is a mystery. 

Secondly, If preciousness and abundance ; it is full of riches and glory. 

Thirdly, If profitableness and usefulness, it not only reveals riches of glory 
to the knowers of it, the saints, out of themselves, but makes them posses- 
sors of all the riches it reveals, and gives them certain hope of all the glory 
it speaks, which riches are Christ in you, made your Christ, with all his 
riches, for the present, and to you the hope of glory. 

Fourthly, If secrecy commends a knowledge, as it doth, it hath been hid 
long from the beginning of the world in regard of the clear revealing of it, 
but now in the end of the world it is revealed. 

And lastly, If rareness, now it is revealed, it is not made common, it is 
revealed only to the saints, who only know it in the riches and glory of it, 
' To whom God would make known,' &c. 

You have the scope and meaning of the apostle ; mine at this time is by 
enlarging on these particulars to set out the glory of the gospel ; that part 
of the word which in strict sense reveals the doctrine of God's free grace, 
the work of Christ's redemption, and the riches of it, justification, and sancti- 
fication, and the secrets hereof; for this is the gospel. 

But you will say, To what end will all this be ? I wish there were no 
need of it, so I never preached more, and that both in regard of the people 
and ministers themselves ; for the people of this land, it were well for Eng- 
land if the contempt of this glorious gospel and the ministry of it were not 
their greatest sin. Happy were we if the measure of our iniquities were 
made so much fighter by the want of it ! I should then expect to see 
many more years past ere it were filled than now are like to be. And is 
there no need to set forth the glory of it ? And for the ministers, they 
might add more beauty to their own feet, and souls to God, if in their 
speculations and preachings they did not, as the Pharisees of old did in 
their practice, (if we may judge what is in the cistern by what ordinarily 
cometh in and out), neglect the great things of the gospel forementioned, 
and tithe mint and cummin, pick truths of less moment, bolt and sist them 
to the bran, but leave the other unsearched into and uninsisted on. 

But, my brethren, however we may esteem this doctrine of the gospel, 
and what other knowledge we may pride ourselves in, and wear out our 
brains in, yet it is this which is the riches of the Gentiles and saints, as 
this place shews, and many more : ' the pearl of the world,' Mat. xiii. 45 ; 
• the glory of the ministry,' 1 Cor. ii. 7 ; ' which God ordained for our 
glory,' namely, apostles' and ministers', the preachers of it. 

The clear revealing of which was the desire and longing of the patriarchs 
and prophets, who though they knew the legal covenants as fully as we, 
yet this doctrine of salvation, Christ's sufferings, God's grace, was it they 
1 inquired into ;' that is, sought to God by prayer, ' and searched diligently,' 
that is, searched using all means of reading and meditating, to attain the 
knowledge of it, and all this diligently ; spent, and thought it worthy of the 
chiefest of their pains, which, when it came to be revealed, the apostles 
* Qu. ' He first ' ?— Ed. 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of tue gospel. 229 

counted it their glory, which Paul therefore, who had profited so much in 
the Jews' religion, Gal. i. 14, professeth, Phil. iii. 8, that he accounted all 
dross and dung for this excellent knowledge of Christ. He might well say, 
Rom. i. 16, he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for he makes his 
knowledge therein his chiefest excellency, Eph. iii. 4, there is a parenthesis 
wherein you would think he boasted speaking of his own writings, ' Whereby 
when you read ' (saith he) ' you may understand my knowledge in the mys- 
tery of Christ.' 

What do I, speaking of the study and glory of prophets and apostles ? 
It is the study of the angels, which they think worthy of their greatest 
attention. Look into both these places, 1 Pet. i. 12, Eph. i. 10, ' Which 
things the angels desire to pry into ; ' these glorious creatures that know God 
in his legal covenant and work of creation more fully than ever Adam did, 
that have the immediate participation of God himself, have his face to read 
lectures in, day and night, and yet glad if they can get but a peep and 
glimpse of the way of saving men by Christ, as being a knowledge of 
greater excellency than otherwise they have any ; yea, and so desirous are 
they to learn it, that they are content to go to school to the church, Eph. 
iii. 9, 10, ' That to principalities and powers might be made known by the 
church,' &c. 

But what need I speak of angels, prophets, and apostles ? It is the great 
study (if I may so speak with reverence), the wisdom and great learning of 
God himself, who was the first professor of it, called so ■xur s^o-^v, 1 Cor. 
ii. 7, speaking of the gospel, says he, ' We speak the wisdom of God in a 
mystery,' and that a hidden wisdom before the world was, hid in God, Eph. 
iii. 9; God's act, and peculiar to himself; whereas other knowledge men and 
angels have in common with us infused at first creation to attain to, and 
pick out of themselves. 

But this is his wisdom, which he alone had studied, and which none 
knows but those to whom he revealed it, which hath brought me to the 
first part of my text ; ' setting forth the excellency of the gospel,' that it is 
a mystery which God only makes known, and that to saints, for the riches 
of glory that are revealed in it. 

1 . Now, to shew you the original and the intent of framing this mystery, 
you have it expressed in this frame following : 

Our all-wise and infinitely blessed Lord, who had from everlasting riches 
of glorious perfections of holiness, justice, wisdom, mercy in him, which 
though he himself knew and was infinitely blessed in the knowledge of 
them, though no saint or angel had ever been, or ever knew them, yet all 
these his glorious perfections being crowned with goodness, both made him 
willing to make known what riches of glory were in him unto some crea- 
tures which yet were in Christ, his goodness moved him to it, for bonum 
est sui communicativum, and it is the nature of perfection also to be mani- 
festativum sui, and that not because any perfection is added to it when 
made known (which makes us desire to manifest our imperfections, as 
being perfected when made known), but that they might perfect others. 
This set him upon some ways to make known his riches and his glory to 
some that should be made happy by it, and to that end he would have 
saints his saints, as being beloved of him, unto whom he might as it were 
unbosom himself and display all the riches of glory which are in him, into 
whose laps he might withal pour out all his riches, that they might see his 
glory, and be glorified in seeing of it, John xvii. 3, 24. 

And one way he began to manifest his glorious back-parts to angels and 


man in the first creation, in the law, covenant of works, and works of crea- 
tion which he had done, as his eternal power, and Godhead, and goodness 
in the glorious workmanship of heaven and earth, and of such glorious 
creatures as they themselves were, Rom. i. 20. His wisdom in the order- 
ing, governing, and guiding so great a host and armies of several creatures, 
to several ends, by several laws ; his justice in his legal covenant, giving 
them life whilst they should obey ; threatening damnation to the disobeyers 
of it ; his infinite holiness in that perfect and exact rule of righteousness, 
the copy of his own will written in their hearts. 

Here was one way whereby God made known what glorious riches were 
in him, which might have made him glorious in their eyes, and themselves 
happy ; and this the angels and Adam at the first had. But all this con- 
tented him not ; God would make known a further mystery, another larger, 
deeper way, an act found out of the depths of his wisdom, namely, this 
doctrine of the gospel, which he kept hid and close in his own breast ; not 
a creature knew it, no, not the angels, who were his nearest courtiers and 
dearest favourites ; it lay hid in God, Eph. iii. 9, hid even from them, 
verse 10. 

A mystery which, when it should be revealed, should amaze the world, 
put the angels to school again, as if they had known nothing in comparison 
of this, wherein they know over again all those glorious riches which are in 
God, and that more perfectly and fully than ever yet. And so after they 
had a little studied the catechism and compendium, there should then come 
out a large volume, a new system, of the riches of the glory of God, the 
mystery of Christ in the text, which is the last edition also that ever shall 
come forth, now set out, enlarged, perfected, wherein the large inventory of 
God's glorious perfections is more fully set down, and with additions. 

The reasons why God did thus intend to manifest himself are : 

First, Because he would shew his manifold wisdom, which is the reason 
given of revealing the gospel, Eph. iii. 10. ' That to the angels might ap- 
pear the manifold wisdom of God.' 

That his wisdom is so vast and large, that he could vary and take more 
ways than one ; and as he had two sorts of reasonable creatures to shew 
himself unto, so a double way, a double sampler, a double method, a systema 
mams et minus. 

And secondly, because indeed it was of itself too obscure and too imper- 

First, Too obscure ; for in the gospel, and works of redemption, they came 
to see all that they saw before ; and this more clearly and largely, wherein 
they see more power in Christ, ' the power of God,' 1 Cor. i. 24. In 
raising himself up from death to life, declared with power thereby to be the 
Son of God, Rom. i. 4, and also the exceeding greatness of his power in 
raising us up also, Eph. i. 19, as might easily be shewed greater than in the 

Wherein they likewise see a greater and clearer instance and manifesta- 
tion of his justice, iu putting to death his own Son, taking on him to be a 
surety for sin, than if a world of worlds had been damned for ever. And 
in that his Son also, they came to see a greater and more transcendent 
righteousness than ever appeared either in the law or is inherent in the 
angels ; for if all their righteousness were put into one, it could but justify 
themselves, it could not satisfy for the least breach of the law in another. 
But in the gospel, and work of redemption, we see a righteousness of that 
breadth that is able to cover the sins of millions of worlds ; of that length 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 281 

that it reacheth to eternity, and no sin in God's peoplo can wear it out or 
nullify the virtue of it. To instance in no more, 

Secondly, That other was but an imperfect way in comparison of this, 

(First), Those attributes which God accounts his greatest riches and 
greatest glory, Rom. ix. 23, even his mercy and free grace, which he intends 
most to exalt, never saw light till now ; the doctrine of salvation by Christ 
being the stage, wherein it is only* represented, and elsewhere it is not to 
be seen, and upon it acts the greatest part, for all passages in it tend to this, 
to shew, as Eph. h. 5, that ' by grace we are saved ;' and therefore, 1 Peter 
ii. 10, the whole work of salvation is called ' mercy,' all God's ways to his 
people are mercy, Ps. xxv. 10, the whole plot and frame of it is made of 
mercy, and therefore the doctrine of the gospel is called grace, Titus ii. 
10, 11. Mercy manageth the plot, gives all other attributes, as it were, 
their parts to act ; mercy enters in at the beginning, acts the prologue in 
election ; and, giving Christ, continues every part of it, sets all a- work, ends 
the whole in glory. 

But (secondly), not only more of his attributes came thus to be dis- 
covered, but, farther, the glorious mystery of the Trinity came hereby to 
be unfolded more clearly, if not the first discovery made of the three persons 
hereby, there being scarce the footsteps of them distinctly and clearly to be 
seen in the works of creation or in the law. 

But now, when the gospel came to be revealed, and the work of salvation 
in it, then were there discovered to be ' three witnesses in heaven,' 1 John 
v. 7, witnesses to our salvation, and their several witnessing came to be 
known by three several seals and head works set severally to our salvation, 
bearing the stamp of their three several subsistences, so as by these three 
seals, of the election of Christ and us, redemption, and sanctification, we may 
know there are three persons, and how they do subsist. Even as in men's 
seals, their several arms being engraven, their houses and antiquity is known. 

As, first, God the Father hath set to his seal in election, 2 Tim. ii. 19, 
1 The foundation of the Lord remains firm, having this seal, The Lord 
knows who are his;' and in this seal of election you may read the similitude 
of his subsistence written, and the order of it. For as his subsisting is the 
fountain of the other two, so is election attributed to him, which is the 
foundation, as that place says, both of sanctification and redemption. 

Secondly, God the Son hath set to his seal, even his blood, the seal of 
the new covenant, in the work of redemption, to the sealing up of iniquity.f 
Dan. ix. 24, which carries in it the resemblance of his subsistence also. 
For as it flows from election alone, and is next to it, so his subsistence from 
the Father only- 

And lastly, God the Holy Ghost hath his seal also set to it. Eph. iv. 
30, ' Wherewith we are sealed to the day of redemption ; ' by the work of 
sanctification, which bears the print and manner of his subsistence, for as 
it flows both from election and redemption, so doth his person from the 
Father and from the Son. 

2. And so now in the second place let us come to the subject of the 
gospel, Christ, in whom the riches of glory is alone discovered, ' which 
riches is Christ.' 

Whereas in the law and covenant of works these riches were not only 
imperfectly and obscurely discovered, but also manifested scatteredly and 

* That is, ' wherein only it is.' — Ed. 

t In the authorised version ' the finishing of the transgression.' — Ed. 


with broken beams, as the sun in water when the water is disturbed, one 
attribute shining in one work, another in another, and dimly too ; so as a 
man must have read over all the larger volumes of the world, and picked 
out here and there a several notion of God out of several works ; as now 
we are fain to study many tongues, in which knowledge is bound up and 
hidden as kernels in the shells ; in this second way of manifesting his glory, 
things are more full, large, and clearer than ever, yet all is contracted into one 
volume, bound up in Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge ; who is the subject of the mystery, in whom we may fully 
read the glory of the Lord in Christ Grod-man. And therefore the gospel 
is called the ' mystery of Christ,' Col. iv. 3, and the gospel of God concern- 
ing Jesus Christ, Rom. i. 3 ; he being the adequate subject of it, whom he 
hath set up to be ' all in all,' Col. iii. 11, and therefore we are complete in 
him, chap. ii. ver. 10, all fulness dwelling in him in such fulness, that 
we need no other object to represent these riches of glory to us. 

For first, did we know God, or would we know him in the creatures, we 
shall not need now to look on them if we know but him ; who as a creature 
is the first-begotten of every creature, Col. i. 15 ; and being man, if he were 
no more, hath the excellencies of them all summed up in him. He is the 
compendium and model of the world ; whatever they express of God, is to 
be more fully seen in him. 

Secondly, Did we know or should we have known God by his image 
stamped upon man, and now shining in the law more than in all the creatures 
else, or than in man himself without it ? Turn your eyes on Christ, for he 
is such a man as is the head of men, 1 Cor. xi. 3, yea, and of angels also, 
who are a part of the church, Col. i. 18, and therefore a man of those 
transcendent perfections, that as he is mere man, that image which Adam 
lost, the angels yet wear and count their glory, it shines more brightly in 
him than in them all it should have done. Even as the head contains 
more of the beauty and image of a man, hath more of man in it, than all 
the body. 

But yet, thirdly, He is the Son of God, and second person, and therefore 
the express image and brightness of his Father's glory, the essential sub- 
stantial image of his Father, which transcends infinitely more all other 
draughts of him than the image of a king in his son begotten like him, and 
in a board or tablet. But this image, you will say, it is too bright for us 
to behold it shining in his strength, we being as unable to behold it in him, 
as we were to see his Father himself, who dwells in light inaccessible, which 
no eye can attain to. Therefore that yet we may see it as nigh and as fully 
and to the utmost that creatures could ; this Godhead dwells bodily in a 
human nature, that so shining through the lantern of his flesh we might 
behold it. His human nature and divine make up one person, and being 
so, are united together in the highest kind of union that God can be to a 
creature, and the nearest and fullest communications follow always upon 
the nearest union. To him therefore as man are communicated these 
riches of glory that are in the Godhead, as nearly and fully as was possible 
unto a creature ; and being thus communicated, must needs shine forth in 
him to us to the utmost that they ever could unto creatures ; and there- 
fore more clearly than if millions of several worlds had been created every 
day on purpose to reveal God to us. God having stamped upon his Son 
all his glory, that we might see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 
2 Cor. iv. 6. 

But yet, fourthly, this is not all whereby Christ is made the image of the 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory op the gospel. 233 

invisible God to us, for thus we might have seen the fulness of the God- 
head shining in him though he had not come as a redeemer and mediator, 
and had acted nothing, done nothing in us or for us, but had been merely 
set up for us to look on and see God in, as supposing him incarnate, not 
in relation to redemption. Therefore further also, and besides this, he is 
made to us the image of the invisible God in all these his works of media- 
tion which flow from his person, and in the execution of all those glorious 
offices of king, priest, and prophet. The story of which, when it shall be 
all set and viewed together, makes up yet another kind of image and repre- 
sentation of all God's attributes and glorious riches than shine in his person 
as alone in itself considered, or than doth shine in the angels, or man at his 
first creation ; and he himself being a mediator is become a middle person 
between God and man, so the story of those his works of mediation shews 
forth and presents us with a double picture and image of God, between 
them both there being a new and another edition of all God's attributes in 
the story of what he hath done, which infinitely transcends and comes 
nearer to the life than all those images which were or should have been 
stamped upon the hearts, or appeared inj the works of men or angels ; a 
brighter, clearer impression of all in God than such tablets are capable of ; 
and indeed comes so near the life, that not only in regard of his person, 
but also of those his works of mediation, &c, he is called those attributes 
in the abstract which appear shining in them. Men and angels, in regard 
of God's image stamped on them, might have been called wise, but not 
1 the wisdom of God,' but Christ, 1 Cor. i. 24, is called ' The wisdom of 
God, and the power of God,' which yet is not spoken of him in regard of 
his person, as he is substantially and essentially both these, as all the rest ; 
but as in his works he is manifestative, by way of manifestation to us, all 
these ; by reason that in the story of his incarnation, life, and death, and 
mediation, &c, all these are manifested. In all these, when told and set 
together, there appears the greatest depths of wisdom that to the creatures 
could be discovered, which the knowledge of him discovers. So the power 
of God also in the same sense, in regard of the transcendent work of his 
rising again, wrestling with and overcoming hell, subduing sin, &c, in 
which the power of God appears. And there is the like reason of all the 
rest of God's attributes ; as because he is the foundation of all God's great 
and precious promises by his blood, that they are all yea and amen in him, 
therefore he may likewise be called the ' truth and faithfulness of God.' 
So as through his mediation, at his cost, the world subsists, which else 
would fall in pieces, Col. i. 17, Heb. i. 3, and that he governs it, and 
prays his Father for his forbearance of it, he may be called ' the patience 
and longsuffering of God.' That upon him God's justice had its full course, 
and by his judging the wicked at the latter day, with the transcendency of 
knowledge, wisdom, righteousness, &c, which will be required to so vast a 
work, that he may be termed ' the justice of God ; ' for in what he hath 
done, doth daily, and shall do, all these attributes appear. 

Now, as Christ is thus in regard of his person and works the liveliest image 
and representation of God's glorious riches, which is otherwise invisible; 
so is the gospel the image of Christ, who otherwise should be invisible to us 
in this life. When he dwelt with men, the apostles and believers who saw 
and heard him and his works, saw his glory then, • as of the only begotten 
Son of God,' John i. 14. But Christ was to be taken up to glory, John 
xvi. 7, ' It is necessary that I go away.' And though we shall see him when 
we are taken up also ; see his glory which he had before the world was, 


John xvii. 24, yet how should believers do in the mean time to see him, 
and the riches of God's glory in him ? Therefore hath God framed and 
revealed the doctrine of the gospel, in the preaching of which, Gal. iii. 1, 
Christ is said to be evidently set forth or pictured, vgosygdpri, before our 
eyes. And as he is the liveliest image of God, so the gospel is the liveliest 
representation of Christ that could possibly be made, for it is a glass, 2 Cor. 
iii. 18, and a glass is the liveliest way of representing things absent that ever 
could be invented, not in dead and lifeless colours only, which pictures only do. 
And indeed it is a middle way of representing a man, from that either when 
we see his person directly before our eyes, or when we see his picture 
drawn in colours ; for though it be less clear and perfect than seeing the 
man himself, yet is more lively than all the pictures in the world ; for 
quod videtur in specula non est imago, it is more than a bare image which is 
seen in a glass, even the person himself, though by a reflex and reverberated 
species, that is his likeness beaten back again to the eyes, which otherwise 
when we behold him face to face is received more directly ; and therefore is 
a more obscure and imperfect way of seeing a man than to see him face to 
face, as the apostle says, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, as in heaven we shall do Christ, 
yet in the mean time this puts down all the pictures in the world. And 
such is the knowledge of Christ under and by the gospel, in comparison of 
that knowledge which was had of him under and by the ceremonial law, 
Heb. x. 1, which he calls the ' shadow,' those representations under the 
gospel, ' the image of good things to come ;' which the apostle calls but a 
shadow of him, Col. ii. 17, drawn in wan and lifeless colours, and of that 
sight and knowledge we shall have of him in heaven, when we shall see him 
as he is ; this knowledge of him in the glass of the gospel is as a middle 
way of seeing him between both, less lively than the one, yet infinitely more 
bright and real than the other, even as I said before, that the image of God 
in Christ which shineth in his works of mediation is a middle image or 
representation between that which shone in Adam and that which is sub- 
stantial in his person. 

For as it comes short of the one, it being substantial, so it exceeds the 
other, as I then shewed. 

So that (to keep to the scope of the apostle in this Epistle), take all the 
knowledge of God and Christ discovered in the most choice and curious 
pieces of Grecian learning, or of the ceremonial law, which far exceeded 
their philosophy ; both which, as it should seem by the second chapter, 
these Colossians so garishly doted upon : and let a believer with the eye of 
faith look upon Christ, as discovered in the glass of the gospel, and then 
with the other eye look upon the other, and what will all those other appear ? 
At best but wan, dead, and lifeless pictures, shadows, as he calls them, ver. 
17, whose rudiments and graved colours are said to be ' the rudiments of 
this world,' ' traditions of men,' ver. 8, whose varnish also is but • the en- 
ticing words of men's wisdom,' ver. 4. But this is lively, real, the colours 
rich, the varnish glory, ' riches of glory ' being bestowed upon it ; ' whereby 
as in a glass we see the glory of the Lord, which cannot be painted,' 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. 

But you will say, what is the gospel but a verbal story told us when 
preached, or read, or meditated on ? It represents Christ to us but as 
words use to do, and words are but umhrm rerum, shadows, pictures, and 
indeed less lively. How comes it then to represent Christ so really ? And 
to be as a glass representing Christ to us so truly ? I answer, That as a 
glass in itself is but an empty thing, unless the objects to be seen in it be 

Col. I. 2G, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 235 

directly placed before it, and by ligbt discovered in it, a glass represents 
nothing to us ; and such I confess the gospel is in itself, a mere verbal re- 
presentation ; but to believers, the saints in the text, the Spirit of the Lord 
joins with these words, presents Christ by a secret, hidden, and unheard of 
act to the eye of faith in the preaching or reading of it, opens heaven, and 
causes the glory of Christ to shine as present in it in a lively, real manner. 
And so it follows in that 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' We all behold as in a glass the 
glory of the Lord, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ;' and lastly, which is 
the strangest of all the rest, ' are changed into the same image.' That 
whereas a man may look long enough upon other pictures, though never so 
rich and glorious, and go away as he comes, his countenance no whit altered ; 
but this is such a representation as, by beholding of it, we are changed into 
the same image, and the riches of Christ are made ours ; which riches are 
' Christ in you,' says the text ; the strangest glass and picture that ever yet 
was seen in the world. 

3. The next thing that commends it is that it is a mystery ; and indeed 
how can it be otherwise, if God's wisdom hath been employed for the in- 
venting of it, and that as the utmost way of manifesting himself? And 
therefore, 1 Cor. ii. 7, it is called ' the wisdom of God in a mystery.' And 
if the doctrine of popery, which in imitation of God the devil invented, to 
set up his eldest son antichrist, deserveth to be called a ' mystery of ini- 
quity,' another gospel, and yet not another ; and if the false doctrine of 
these in Thyatira be called depths, though of Satan, Rev. ii. 24 : — and in- 
deed popery is the greatest mystery that ever created understanding hatched, 
if all the frame, and policies, and mysteries of it be considered : — then 
surely this, which is God's gospel, made for Christ, as that for antichrist, 
which is the master-piece of his wisdom. 

And secondly, if Christ be the subject of it, it must needs be a mystery, 
called therefore, Col. iv. 3, ' The mystery of Christ ;' and in that regard it 
is a mystery, and a great mystery too, 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' Without contro- 
versy, great is the mystery of godliness ; God manifest in the flesh ' being 
the subject of it, coming therein to reconcile the world. Which plot, con- 
sidering how things stood betwixt God and us, and laying these conclusions, 
that God will not put up the least wrong at men's hands, now fallen, with- 
out full satisfaction, which they nor any creature is able to make, and yet 
that nature that did offend must satisfy ; — had it been referred to a con- 
sultation of all intelligible* natures, angels and men, that ever were or shall 
be, it would have wildered and plunged their thoughts to eternity how it 
might be done, and after millions of years' consultation they would have 
returned answer, they could not think of nor find out any. 

Great, therefore, is the mystery of godliness, God to this end manifested 
in the flesh, and that so great as, now it is revealed, all the world that hears 
and sees into the plot must needs acknowledge it so ; without controversy, 
generally, without mouth, f as the word signifies, o/xoXoyou/iei/wg. 

And in the incarnation of his Son, and the satisfaction of his justice, so 
many more also meet in this one mystery, things of such a seeming con- 
tradiction, as the wits of men know not how to reconcile. And this in 
every part of it, as in election, that God at once loves the sinner with an 
everlasting, unchangeable love, and yet a child of wrath ; which the Remon- 
strants I therefore quarrel. In the work of redemption, that free grace, and 

* That is, ' intelligent.' — Ed. t Probably a misprint for ' with one mouth.' — Ed. 
% ' The Remonstrants. The Arminians were so called because of the ' remon- 
strances ' which they addressed to the States of Holland in 1610. — Ed. 


richest mercy, and fullest satisfaction, should meet together; which the 
Socinians therefore are blinded in. In the work of justification, that one 
in whom God works inherent righteousness, should not stand righteous 
before God's tribunal, but be justified by the righteousness of another, 
which the papists stumble at, as did the Jews, to their destruction. In 
sanctification, how effectual calling, infallible conversion, should stand with 
man's free will, is a riddle to the Arminians and papists, who therefore cut 
the knot, not being able to untie it. All these are mysteries which God 
hath revealed and made up in this, on purpose to shew his wisdom, and to 
make wise his own, and to befool the world. 

A mystery ! Then it is of such depths of wisdom, as take all the poor 
petty plots of accommodating great difficulties, wherein the princes and 
wise men of the world spend their thoughts away to vanity, and yet mag- 
nify and pride themselves in ; and this plot, and any one mystery in it, 
when once discovered, ' confoundeth and brings to nothing' all theirs, 
1 Cor. i. 19 ; ii. 8. It all vanisheth as mere folly; nothing. 

And there are not only depths of wisdom, but depths of love in it also, 
Eph. iii. 18. It reveals a breadth, height, depth of love in Christ dying 
for enemies, and God giving his Son for enemies, as passeth knowledge. 
Sin is a great depth, therefore the apostle saith, ' it doth abound,' Rom. 
v. 20, and is ' above measure sinful,' Rom. vii. 13, and so you will find it 
when you guage it to the bottom. And so the devils and damned spirits in 
hell shall find it, whilst they are a-studying their sinfulness in hell to all 
eternity (that being their business), and can never fathom it. 

But yet this of God's free grace and Christ's love is a depth, which swal- 
lows up this of sin, more than the heavens do the earth. That place seems 
to compare it to a mighty sea, so deep, as it wants a bottom ; so as though 
the thoughts of men and angels shall be diving into it to all eternity, they 
shall not come to ground. Of the length and breadth also, that it knows 
no shore, that though they shall be sailing over it with that small compass 
of their capacities for ever, yet they shall never come to land, ' it passeth 
knowledge.' And indeed, my brethren, these are great incitements, espe- 
cially to large understandings, to search into them. For men of large 
understandings seek after depths, as good swimmers do after deep waters, 
and refuse to go into the shallows, because they cannot have scope enough 
to exercise then- skill, and presently strike aground. 

And besides, this having such depths in it, may still further be searched 
into with pleasure, for still it passeth knowledge. The most hidden things 
in other knowledge, and the causes of them, as the cause of the eclipse of 
the sun and moon, they are like riddles, which though admired, before 
revealed, yet then become trivial, and as it were below the understanding, 
and when you see the furthest of them they grow stale. But there are 
depths in this knowledge, which for ever may be dived into with pleasure ; 
and by reason of their depth, the knowledge of them to a ' renewed under- 
standing ' will be always fresh and new ; every new degree makes all seem 
new, as if not known before, 1 Cor. xiii. 10. Still as knowledge grows 
more perfect, that which was before is done away and swallowed up, as if 
you had not yet known it ; and so still it is new. And to study and hear 
news all the day, the minds of men are led along with pleasure. 

And withal this bids men be sure they come with reverence and fear, to 
hear and read them. 

Thirdly, It was a mystery hid and kept long secret in regard of clear 
revealing of it. The prophets, 1 Pet. i. 11, had inquired into it, and 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 237 

searched diligently, unto whom it was revealed, not unto them but us ; 
which therefore is said to be ' our glory,' 1 Cor. ii. 7, being the privilege 
we have above the patriarchs, who yet had knowledgo of the legal covenant 
as clearly as we ; yet in regard of this, ' the least in the kingdom of God is 
greater than ' John the Baptist, though in regard of clearer insight into the 
gospel he was greater than any before him. 

And this both adds to the excellency of it, so far as to commend it to us 
the more. Were any of these secrets which philosophers and wise men in 
all ages had beat their brains about, as quadratum circuit, &c, and the 
philosopher's stone, found out and revealed to us in these ages ; how would 
we therefore prize it the more, as we do printing, the mystery of which lay 
hid from the beginning. Nay, this mystery and the doctrine of it, is that 
which the saints for four thousand years studied, and sought to God to 
know, all of them one after another ; and still they could get no other an- 
swer but this, that ' not unto them, but us.' 

Again, Where lay it hid all this while ? In God's breast ; ai:h ruv 
aluvuv, the secula seculorum, before the world was, generations since. So 
Eph. hi. 9, ' lay hid in God,' and in* his master-piece, the chiefest of his 

If one bit of the choice books of Solomon, which had lain hid till now, 
were yet found, a book about the nature of trees, birds, and beasts, how 
would we prize it ! Much more this of God's. But you will say, When 
was it first revealed, it had this to commend it ; yet now it is sixteen hun- 
dred years since it sprang forth. It is not therefore so new to us. I an- 
swer, It is true ; only consider that as the law, which though delivered in 
Moses' time, yet before Josiah's time lay hid long, like some rivers that 
run some leagues under ground, and then discover themselves again ; so 
did the doctrine of the gospel, after the first discovery of it, lie hid many 
ages and generations, as the church herself did in the wilderness, when 
school divinity and popery, both wanting the light of the gospel, did cover 
the world with darkness ; when it might truly be said, that the world was 
1 spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit, traditions of men, rudiments 
of the world, and not after Christ.' 

Whereas, but within the compass of this age we now live in, it hath been 
that the ' kingdoms of the world have become ' again ' the kingdoms of 
Christ,' Bev. xi. 15, and the ' temple opened,' and the ' ark of the testa- 
ment,' as it is in the last verse, that is Christ ; and all his riches have been 
broken up and searched into, and discovered to the eyes of all. That as 
to the popish partf there hath been a new Indies discovered, full of earthly 
treasure, that had not been known before, which had so enriched them ; so 
a new Indies of heavenly treasure, a new world of divinity hath been found 
out, that was but privately known before, which hath enriched us ; and 
happy were we, if we prized and defended ours, as they do theirs. 

And though much of the heavenly treasure was digged up at first, yet 
more hath since and may be, for God will find his church digging and work 
of discovery to the end of the world. And, my brethren, these are the 

And lastly, Now it is revealed, it is but ' to the saints.' If the secrets 
of it were known to all, they were no secrets, and less to be regarded ; but 
God is dainty of this knowledge, tells it but to few. ' Father, I thank thee,' 
saith Christ, ' that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, 
and revealed them unto babes.' The doctrines of God's free grace, are the 
* Qu. ' is '?— Ed. t That is, ' the Spaniards.'— Ed. 


the most inward, practical, and experimental secrets, and ' the deep things 
of God,' as the things of the gospel are called, 1 Cor. ii. 10. Which 
4 secrets' are only « with them that fear him (Ps. xxv. 14) and he will shew 
them his covenant.' The things of the law may be known by natural men 
as fully as by others, they have a copy of them in their consciences. 

And this shews the excellency of this knowledge. For if there be any 
knowledge better than other, God will be sure to impart it to his friends 
and favourites ; John xv. 15, ' You are my friends, and all I have heard of 
my Father, I have made known unto you.' This he will not tell to tbose 
who are barely servants, ' they know not his mind,' as it is there. Be- 
lievers only • have the mind of Christ,' 1 Cor. ii. 16. 

But you will object, This is not so, for this knowledge is made common 
to all. God would have the gospel ' preached to every creature ; ' and so 
it was, Col. i. 23., 

I answer, as when Alexander objected to Aristotle, • that he would make 
his knowledge common, and so debase it when he published his books.' 
He answered, they were edita et non eclita, for none would understand them 
but his scholars, and therefore entitled them m$ dx^oa/xdruv. So this, 
though published to all the world, yet it is entitled a mystery, and a mys- 
tery hid, for none know it but the saints who are taught of God, and are 
his scholars, John vi. 45. That place shews that there must be a secret 
teaching by God, and a secret learning, ' If they have heard, and been 
taught of God.' Now God teacheth none but saints, for all that are so 
taught come unto him ; ' Every one who hath heard, and learned of the 
Father, cometh unto me.' 

Ay, but you will say, Do not many carnal men know the gospel, and 
discourse of things in it, through strength of learning ? &c. 

I answer out of the text, that though they may know the tbings which 
the gospel reveals, yet not the riches and glory of tbem ; that same rich 
knowledge spoken of in the word, they want, and therefore know them not ; 
as a child and a jeweller looking upon a pearl, both look upon it, and call 
it by the same name ; but the child yet knows it not as a pearl in the worth 
and riches of it, as the jeweller doth, and therefore cannot be said to know 
it. Now Mat. xiii. 45, a Christian only is likened to a ' merchantman, 
that finds a pearl of great price,' that is, discovered to be so, ' and sold all 
he had for it, for he knew the worth of it.' 

But you will say, Do not carnal men know the worth of the things in 
the gospel, and can discourse of the rich grace of Christ, and worth of 

I answer, Yes, as a man who hath gotten an inventory by heart, and the 
prices also, and so may know it ; yet never was he led into the exchequer 
and treasury, to see all the jewels themselves, the wardrobe of grace, and 
Christ's righteousness, to see the glory of them ; for these are all ' spirit- 
ually discerned,' as the apostle says expressly, 1 Cor. ii. 14. 


Use 1. If it be a mystery, which God only makes known, as you see it 
is, then go to him for it ; you know how to deal with him. James i. 5, 'If 
any lack wisdom, let him ask it,' whose promise is in the new covenant, to 
teach all his to know him. As you cannot see the sun without the light of 
itself, so nor the riches of the glory of Christ without his Spirit, who is 
called the Spirit of wisdom and revelation ; who only knows the deep 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 239 

things of God, 1 Cor. ii. 10, as the mysteries of the gospel are, as the con- 
text shews, that lie all at the bottom of his breast. The well is deep, we 
have nothing to draw. 

But you will say, God hath revoaled himself in the Scriptures, and it is 
but reading them, and I have wit enough to understand them. 

I answer, It was the Spirit that wrote the word, which is not therefore 
(says Peter) of any private interpretation ; that is, no man's nor men's pri- 
vate understanding, without the assistance of that public secretary of heaven, 
can understand them. 

He only hid the treasures of knowledge in the field, and he only knows 
where they lie. "What an advantage is it then by prayer to unlock God's 
breast, and obtain the ' key of knowledge' there, that unlocks God's study, 
and can direct to all his notes and papers. 

Secondly, get to be a saint, to whom God will make known ' the riches,' 
&c, otherwise you cannot receive them, you will count them foolishness, as 
hath been shewed ; if you do, you will but take them upon trust, by the 
wholesale, as we use to say, and in the bundle, will not be able to see the 
particular secrets that are in the truths revealed in the gospel, and opened, 
and riches laid out. 

Or if you could do all this without grace, yet a saint hath advantage, 

First, In the comfort you will have in studying the mysteries of the 
gospel, Col. ii. 2, to go no further. He wisheth them ' the knowledge of the 
mystery, that they might be comforted ; ' for, indeed, a saint, the more he 
sees into it, the more he knows his own riches. He tells them but over, 
and gets more evidence of his title to them, whereas another is but as a 
lawyer, that studies other men's evidences, without any great comfort to 
himself. The choicest flowers of gospel truths to an unregenerate man are 
of the stalk and yield no scent, but grow up in a saint's heart fresh and 

Secondly, In that place, Col. ii. 2, you shall find ' riches of assurance ' 
joined with a saint's knowledge, which, 1 Thes. i. 4, 5, is made a note of 
election, and not in another. Scotus says that to get a true and perfect 
knowledge in divine things, fides infusa et acquislta, both faith infused and 
acquired, are necessary. 

First, A principle of faith infused, which may be an ' evidence,' as it is 
defined, Heb. xi. 1, of all the principles and fundamental truths which 
are revealed in the gospel and not proved ; for otherwise all our know- 
ledge acquired built thereon will want assurance, will hang upon uncer- 
tainties. Things hanging upon a pin are no firmer than the pin they hang 
on. Unless faith rivets the principles of divine knowledge into the heart, 
all the conclusions hang on uncertainties, and fall down in the end. 

And, thirdly, grace will help you to get the start of another. As for a 
natural man, he brings only natural parts ; a regenerate man is supposed 
to have as good, and moreover hath a further power of discerning given 
him. 1 Cor. ii. 15, ' The spiritual man discerneth all things.' It is his 
own art. And as wicked men are often ' wiser ' in their art and generation 
1 than the children of light ; ' yea, by your leave, the reason will more 
strongly hold that a child of light may easilier be wiser in his, and there- 
fore Solomon says, ' The knowledge of the holy is understanding.' 

And, lastly, if they be saints, God makes known the saving truths of the 
gospel by the writings and judgments of holy men. The angels learn these 
mysteries of the church, and why should not we ? Ps. xxix. 9, ' In the 
church every one speaks of God's glory,' or, as others read it, ' In the 


church God utters all his glory.' The saints, especially, that are or have 
been of the church, they speak of the glory of his kingdom and of his power, 
and make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious 
majesty of his kingdom. The ways of grace and mysteries of the kingdom 
are seldom made known hut unto them. 

And if God reveals the mysteries of grace to his saints only, trust not the 
judgments of natural men in the matters of grace ; this is a godly man's 
art, and not a wicked man's, though never so learned, and a man would 
trust an artist in his own trade rather than another. ' The knowledge of 
the holy is understanding,' says Solomon, Prov. ix. 10, especially in ways 
of holiness. 

Take the controversies which are now on foot. Shall they judge of 
election who are reprobate to every good work themselves ? or they of the 
universality of God's free grace who turn the grace of God into wantonness ? 
or they of the power of God in conversion that deny the power of godliness ? 
or those of the perseverance of faith who care not to make voluntary ship- 
wreck of it, men of corrupt minds, whose God is their belly, gain their 
godliness, preferment their religion, and who will cut their own opinions 
accordingly ? 

I will end all with one place, Isa. xxxv. 8. In the former verses he evi- 
dently speaks of the kingdom of Christ coming to preach the gospel, by 
which he shews there should be a 'way' revealed, an ' highway,' which is 
the common road to heaven, there being but one way which Christ and all 
his go in, which shall be called, ' The way of holiness.' Take heed you 
miscall it not, and call it a way of schism, faction, &c, as the Jews 
did call it heresy. But yet this way the unclean shall not pass over ; but 
wayfaring men, who desire to know the way to heaven (though fools) shall 
not err therein ; but the unclean (as the opposition shews) shall err therein, 
though never so learned. 



F.i-.n the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, hut now is 
made manifiest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the 
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles ; which is Christ in 
you, the hope of glory. — Col. I. 26, 27. 

"We have done with the subject and author of it, let us come to the pro- 
perties of it. 

1. It is rich ; 2. Glorious. 

1. First, Rich ; so chap. ii. ver. 3, he tells us that in it or him, that is, 
the gospel or Christ, of both which he speaketh, are ' hid all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge.' Now the riches of this knowledge appear in 
three thin 

(1.) In abundance ; (2.) Preciousness ; (3.) Gainfulness. And such is 
the knowledge of Christ. 

(1.) First, Abundant. For that place tells us that it is ' all knowledge,' 
inentia ; as the metaphysic is said to be all knowledge, because of 
the fulness, largeness of the subject of it, all truths and axioms in other 
sciences being swallowed up in its principles. Such is this knowledge also, 
the subject of it being Christ ; and therefore, as Christ contains in him, rid 
eminentia, all the treasures of perfection that are in any creature, and is 
1 full of grace and truth,' John i. 14, so doth the knowledge of Christ con- 
tain in it all the treasures of wisdom, and all that is worth knowing ; 
treasures which can never be drawn diy or exhausted, which the mind of 
man can never waste ; but bringing in new revenues of new notions daily, 
so as the more is spent, the more may be. Other knowledges being but of 
the creature, are but imperfect ; for the things known are such, and cannot 
fill the mind with abundance of knowledge, for the things have not where- 
withal to do it, though they be known to the utmost. ' But in him all 
fulness dwells,' verse 19: fulness of truth to fill the mind, as well as fulness 
of grace to fill the will, John i. II. And indeed, for abundance, ' unsearch- 
able riches,' Eph. iii. 8. 

(2.) Secondly, It is a rich mystery for the preciousness of it. The pro- 
mises of it are ' exceeding precious,' 2 Pet. i. 4. Every truth in it is 
precious, so Paul tells us, 1 Cor. iii. 12. All truths of the gospel built 



upon the foundation, Christ, he calls pearls, and gold, and silver; and all 
the enticing words of man's wisdom, hay and stubble. Yea, Prov. iii. 15,16, 
Solomon says, wisdom and understanding is better than gold and silver, 
which yet commands all in the world. And if rubies and precious stones 
be more worth than gold, ' she is more precious than rubies.' And what 
is it that makes things precious, that is not found in the saving truths and 
promises of the gospel ? 

[1.] Antiquity makes things precious ; so small pieces of coin and 
medals, if ancient, are precious. And this was coined in heaven, and in 
God before all ages and generations, and bears the image of the great King. 
It is ' the everlasting gospel,' Eev. xiv. 6. 

[2.] Things far fetched are precious. Not a word of this but fell from 
heaven. Christ came from heaven, where he heard and saw all the truths 
revealed in it, and so delivered them to us, John iii. 31, 32. And this 
difference is put between the law and the gospel, Heb. xii. 25. The law 
was spoken from the earth, the gospel from heaven. 

[3.] Things dearly bought are precious. Every truth of the gospel cost 
Christ his blood to make it so ; ' the law came by Moses, but grace and 
truth came by Jesus Christ.' As grace cost his blood, so truth also ; for 
both cost the same price. ' All the promises are yea and amen in him ;' 
they had all been blanks if he had not set his blood as a seal to them. 

[4.] Things charily laid up are precious. The gospel hath had the 
richest cabinet in the world, God's breast ; there is the original of it, Eph. 
iii. 9. The original copy lies there, the counterpart in the heart of God's 
elect, 2 Cor. iii. 3. ' Ye are the epistle of Christ, written by the Spirit of 
the living God.' In whom therefore it is said to ' abide for ever,' 1 Pet. 
i. 25, locked up in the church, the pillar and ground of truth. 

[5.] Things which perish not are precious, especially if still they preserve 
themselves from what attempts to corrupt them, 1 Pet. i. 7. Faith is 
therefore said to be precious, because it perisheth not, though ' tried in the 
fire.' Such are the truths of the gospel, which though men have en- 
deavoured to corrupt it by a world of the dross of human errors and inven- 
tions, yet God hath still come with fire and tried it. And still the more 
men labour to mingle dross with God's truth, still it endures the fire, and 
comes out clearer and clearer in every age. Ps. xii. 6, ' The words of the Lord 
are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.' 
There is no truth of God but hath been tried in one age or other. Heresies 
have been brought in, yet it remains pure, maintains itself. The truth was 
mingled with dross in Pelagius's time, and then purified. So in Bradwar- 
dine's* time, and then also it came out purer; and so now with fine dross,f 
but God will purify it. 

(3.) A third thing in riches is profitableness ; and in that respect the 
gospel to the saints is a rich gospel. It talks not only of riches as stories 
do, as that of Solomon's time, when silver was as stones of the streets ; 
nor doth it open heaven's treasury gates, and shew them the riches of it 
only, as Hezekiah did the ambassadors that came to visit him — a man 

* Bradwardine (Thomas), Archbishop of Canterbury about the middle of the 
fourteenth century, noted as a mathematician, and a defender of Christianity. 
Samuel Ward (Works, p. 142) calls him 'as thankful an English heart as ever 
wrote.' — Ed. 

f The nature of the dross with which Goodwin considered the truth to be mixed 
in his time may be gathered from his Exposition of the Revelation. — Works, vol. 
HI.— Ed. 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 243 

ma3 r thus hear and see the riches of another, and he a poor man still — but 
riches is • Christ in you,' saith the text. When he hears and receives the 
gospel aright, it fills his lap full, he carries Christ and all his riches home 
with him. 

Well might Solomon say, as Prov. iii. 14, 15, ' Happy is the man that 
findeth wisdom, and thatgets understanding; for her merchandise is better than 
silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.' And if anything in the world 
be better than these, which yet the world hath, as rubies and precious 
stones seem to be, ' She is more precious (saith he) than rubies.' And if 
still the heart of man should enlarge its vast desires and wide gapings to 
some more conceived precious things than these, though unknown ; do, 
says Solomon, stretch the compass of your desires to as great a wideness as 
you can ; desire what you can, ' and all you can desire is not to be com- 
pared to her.' It is not only exceeded, but there is no comparison. And 
this he speaks not of the preciousness, as in itself, but of the gain and 
profit it brings to the possessors. ' Their gain,' says he, &c. 

But you will say, Wherein consists these riches of the gospel ? 

Answer, ' Which (riches) is Christ in you.' And can you make an inven- 
tory, and ever value and prize his goods ? Surely, No. 

First, Christ is worth all God is worth, as he is the Son of God ; for he 
is the only Son, the ' well-beloved Son, in whom God is so well pleased,' 
that he will not give a penny away from him ; he is the heir, and shall have 
all. And the gospel makes him yours, with all his riches, which riches is 
' Christ in you.' Thus the apostle argues and pleads the evidence of the 
right a Christian hath to all things, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23, ' All things are yours, 
for you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' 

God himself can be worth but all things, Christ is worth what God is, 
for all things that are God's are Christ's. And you have as much as Christ 
hath. What riches are here ! All things are given to be inherited, Rev. 
xxi. 7, by the same. And as sure a title as Christ, Rom. viii. 17, we are 
put into God's will, 'joint heirs with Christ,' though not joint purchasers, 
for he purchased all, and all these gives freely; no debts are to be paid, 
nor legacies or portions out of them. Rom. viii. 32, ' If he hath given us 
Christ, shall not he with him give us all things freely ? ' Christ is not only 
worth all things as the heir, and we are worth so much because Christ is 
given to us, but he paid for all things dearly. And look what the revenues 
of Christ's blood come to ; that and so much is a Christian worth. 

For Christ paid ready down, at his death, an invaluable sum of merit into 
his Father's hands (as feoffee in trust), as a common stock or bank, to be 
employed for the good and use of all his saints, who are to have the full 
worth of them out to eternity. ' You know,' says the apostle, 2 Cor. viii. 9, 
1 the grace of Christ ; how, when he was rich, he became poor' (mark it), 
• for your sakes,' to enrich you. Now what must these riches come to, 
think you, which are laid up for you ; whenas Christ was as rich as God him- 
self, ' thought it no robbery to be equal with God,' Phil. ii. 6, as good in 
estate every whit ? Now of all these riches he emptied himself, ver. 8, left 
himself not worth one farthing, and ' became poor,' had not a hole left to 
hide himself in, 'made himself of no reputation,' of no account or reckoning, 
making over all for you. And what must this come to ? The riches of God 
put out to use, to be received with advantage again, if possible, and put into 
sure hands, even God the Father's, who hath bid us ' owe no man anything 
but love.' And surely he loves his own too well to owe them anything. 

If they should doubt, he hath entered into bond, and the gospel is that 


bond, which is therefore called a ' rich gospel,' because it is the promise of 
all these riches ; Eph. iii. 6, ' partakers of the promise of the gospel.' 
It is the gospel that makes us partakers of the promise, that is, the things 
promised ; and they are, ver. 8, ' the unsearchable riches of Christ.' So 
as if you desire particularly to have the value of them, or in gross, the total 
sum, they are unsearchable riches which cannot be told over to eternity, 
much less be spent. Riches in justification, to have all debts paid the first 
day, and that would enhance unsearchable riches. Set a price on all angels, 
all creatures, it would not pay one note, the least bill. All other things are 
not worth so much ; it cost more to redeem souls than so. And besides, 
to have still left so rich righteousness as purchased ' riches of grace,' to have 
the Spirit poured out richly, as Tit. iii. 6. The word in the original is 
1 riches of glory,' Eph. i. 18. In respect of which all riches in the world 
are but as crumbs of the rich man's table, or relics given to the poor. The 
kingdom of Turkey (as one called it), but a crust thrown to a dog. And 
is it not a rich knowledge then, that enriches the knowers of it, which 
should invite men to learn it ? For if men think other knowledge in itself 
so rich, as to be content to spend their estates, to attain but notions to fill 
their brains, not purses ; then how much more for this, which as it is pre- 
cious, so it brings in all these riches as the gain of it ? 

Angels are invited to search it for the preciousness of it, and yet these 
riches are not ' Christ in them,' but ' Christ in you.' But then do but 
know and study your own riches and evidences for them ; therefore in Eph. 
iii., where the end of revealing these riches is laid open, ver. 8, there are 
two sorts of creatures, says he, to whom God intended to reveal them, first, 
men, ver. 9 ; secondly, angels, ver. 10 ; but with this differing intent, that 
the angels might know the wisdom which was in the gospel, ver. 10. The 
harmony in the plot is what the angels are taken with ; and this, though 
men may also see in the gospel, yet further the end was, that they ' might 
know the fellowship of the mystery,' that is, that they might be made par- 
takers of it. 

2. Secondly, glorious; as it is a rich mystery, so also glnious, ' What 
is the riches of the glory,' &c, which words, as other Hebraisms, are con- 
vertible ; ' rich glory,' or ' glorious riches,' so as no man can say whether 
the riches or the glory of it be greater. 

Now this glorious title the apostle gives often unto the gospel, as 1 Tim. 
i. 11. And 2 Cor. iv. 4, ' lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine 
into them.' And in the third chapter of that epistle throughout, he fully 
displays the glory of it, which the apostle doth by comparing it with the 
law, or covenant of works, because there was no question of any other 
knowledge never so excellent, yet revealed, that could stand on terms of 
comparison with it. 

The law indeed, says he, it was a glorious law, though written but in 
stones and dead letters ; and therefore, when it was ministered, the ' glory 
of God appeared on the mount,' Exod. xxiv. 16, 17, to note out, that that 
law was the glorious image of his will. And therefore also even the ' face 
of Moses,' says that 7th verse,* by whose hands it was administered, 
' shining, so as the people could not behold it for the glory of his counte- 
nance.' And • so terrible was the sight,' saith the author to the Hebrews, 
• that Moses said, I quake and tremble,' Heb. xii. 21. 

But yet says Paul, ver. 8, 9, The gospel, it ' exceeds in glory,' yea, and 
so far exceeds, as ver. 10, as the law which was thus made glorious, had 
* That is. 2 Cor. iii. 7.— Ed. 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 245 

no glory in respect of this glory which excelleth ; but like as the sun, when 
it ariseth, puts out the lesser eyes of heaven, dims, yea clean obscures 
these otherwise glorious tapers, so as they have no glory in this respect, so 
the gospel exceeds the law. And if you ask wherein it exceeds in glory, 
the answer is, Because it is the ministration and discoverer of far more 
glorious things to the saints than ever the law could do. 

If you ask, What glorious things are communicated and revealed therein ? 
I answer out of the 3d and 4th chapters, which explain the glorious work 
of the gospel on men's hearts, when they are brought to God. For when 
any man is converted at the preaching of the gospel, first, before the word 
works, the Holy Ghost falls on a man ; as when Christ was baptized, hea- 
ven opened, and ' the Holy Ghost descended and rested on him :' so in 
Acts x. 44, when the gospel was preached by Peter, ' the Holy Ghost fell 
on them ;' and of the Spirit the gospel is the ministration, and not the 
law. Gal. iii. 2, ' I would ask of you, received you the Spirit by the works 
of the law, or of the hearing of faith '?' that is, the gospel, for so faith is 
taken for the doctrine of faith. And this ministration of the Spirit is by 
virtue of a covenant made (Isa. lix. 21) with Christ ; that Spirit that was 
in him, and word that was in his mouth, to wit, the gospel, should not 
depart out of the mouth of his seed's seed for ever, but it should accompany 
his elect. 

And is not then the gospel a glorious gospel, that makes men partakers 
of the Holy Ghost, and that for ever ? which Spirit is a ' Spirit of glory,' 
1 Pet. iv. 14, ivhich rests on his ; the ' Spirit of glory,' because it fills the 
man it dwells in with glory. For look, as when God descended into the 
visible temple, it was filled with glory, 2 Chron. vii. 1 ; and by reason of 
that presence the ark itself was called ' the glory,' Rom. ix. 4 : so when 
God fills the preaching of the gospel (whereof the ark was a type) with his 
glorious Spirit, and by it fills the heart of a man with that Spirit also, as 
Eph. v. 18, there is a new glory put upon that man. 

But Secondly, This gospel is by the power of this Spirit the ministration 
of righteousness to the man God means to call, and therefore also glorious, 
as the apostle there argues ; that is, this gospel, by the help of the Spirit 
working faith in his heart, reveals the righteousness of Christ to be made 
his, and that exceeds in glory ; for it is this ' righteousness ' which in the 
last verse of that third chapter is called ' the glory of the Lord,' viz., Christ; 
who being the ' Lord of glory,' the ' King of glory,' 1 Cor. ii. 8, what a 
glorious righteousness must this be which the gospel thus discovers ? And 
it discovers it not by engraving or dead colours, as the law did ; but as in 
a glass. And as that glass is glorious wherein the sun shines, the very 
image there puts down all the stars, so this glass, the gospel, must needs 
be glorious, wherein the ' Sun of righteousness ' shines, as he is called, 
Mai. iv. 2. Neither doth it reveal it only, but dispenseth it, it is the minis- 
tration ot righteousness ; Christ's righteousness, which is the glory of 
the Sun, the King of glory, made ours to justify us. And therefore, Rev. 
xii. 1, the church appears ' clothed with the sun,' even with Christ himself 
and his glory, who is therefore said to be ' our righteousness,' Jer. xxiii. 6. 
Hereby, as Christ said of the lilies, Mat. vi. 29, that ' Solomon in all his 
glory was not clothed like one of these ;' so may I say of all the angels — 
who yet are the bright morning-stars, that ' sang when the world was made,' 
Job xxxviii. 7 — that they are not clothed with such a glory as the gospel 
dispenseth to us ; such a robe never came on their backs, nor never shall. 
And is not this a glonous gospel then ? 


Thirdly, In the sight and dispensation of the glorious righteousness of 
Christ, we come yet to see a further glory shining on us, and still in the 
gospel ; so in the 4th and Gth verses of the next chapter, 2 Cor. iv. For 
the gospel gives ' the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face 
of Jesus Christ ;' that is, through the righteousness of Christ we come to 
see the glorious sunshine of the favour of God, the light of his countenance 
lift up upon us. For when Moses would see his glory, the Lord proclaimed 
only this, Exod. xxxiv. 6, ' The Lord merciful and gracious.' And as he 
is ' the Father of glory,' Eph. i. 17, so his mercy is ' the riches of his 
glory,' Rom. ix. 23, and Ps. xc. 14, 15, 16. The church, praying for 
mercy and favour, says, ' Let thy glory be on thy servants ;' and therefore 
is not this a glorious gospel, that reveals this to a man also, that God gra- 
ciously accepteth us in the beloved ? 

Fourthly, The beholding thus the glory of Christ, viz., his righteousness 
in the gospel, it changeth us into the same image, from glory to glory, verse 
the last of the third chapter ; that is, makes grace in us, which is truly 
glorious, and therefore, Ps. xlv., the church is said to be all glorious within, 
Eph. v. 26, 27, ' He sanctifies his church, that he might present it a glori- 
ous church.' Justification not only makes us glorious, but sanctification 
also, and this is dispensed by the gospel, for that sanctifies us to the end 
of the world, John xvii. 17, and is the glass we are changed by. 

Nay, fifthly, The very light itself whereby we do behold these things in 
the gospel, and are thus changed, is glorious, 1 Pet. ii. 9, ' We are called 
of darkness to a marvellous light.' And the joy that ariseth out of behold- 
ing Christ's righteousness as ours, and God's favour, it is 'joy unspeakable 
and glorious,' 1 Pet. i. 8. 

And last of all, It gives us certain hope of a further glory yet to be re- 
vealed, as the text hath it, and verse 17 of the 4th chapter, ' an eternal 
weight of glory.' All the glory of this world it bears no weight, x&vri oo^a, 
empty, frothy glory, as the apostle calls it, but this is an exceeding weight 
of glory, which if all that glorious lustre men doat on so, were weighed, it 
would be but as a dust balanced against it ; so weighty as flesh and blood, 
that is, the infirmity of man's nature, if not changed and made capable, 
could not subsist under it, 1 Cor. xv. 50. 

And all the glory here is a fading glory, but that is eternal, 1 Pet. i. 24, 
' All flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass ; the 
grass withers, and the flower falleth away,' but the glory of this estate fades 
not, ver. 4, but is a flower always green. And the reason is, because the 
glory of things is one thing, and the things another, the grass one thing, 
and the flower another, and therefore the glory fades and is clean gone, 
when j'et the things remain. But glory is de essentia to the things above, 
the very essence of them is glory itself, and so called ; and therefore, whilst 
the things remain (as they do for ever), their glory doth. And is not this 
a glorious gospel ? 


Use First, If the gospel and the riches of it be thus great, then buy it, 
Prov. xxiii. 23, ' Buy the truth, and sell it not ;' he names no price, for 
you are not like to lose by it, cost what it will. This place* hath been the 
greatest mart of truth, and of the mystery of the gospel, that I know under 
heaven. Wisdom hath as it were cried all her wares at this great cross. 

This truth has been purchased for you, and that dearly; it cost the blood 
* Cambridge, as appears afterwards. — Ed. 

Col. I. 2G, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 247 

of many martyrs to derive it to you, the sweat of many preachers, the 
prayers of many saints, and cost God the riches of his patience to see it 
contemned. Buy it therefore at anj 7 rate. 

Especially you who are scholars, you come hither and live under those, 
read those who are wholesale men,* and you should, whilst you are here, 
treasure up as much and as many precious truths as you can, and grace 
withal to vent by retail in the country, when you are sent abroad. 

First, Inquire and learn where these treasures are to be had, even in the 
Scriptures. The merchant who knew the pearl, was fain to buy the field ; 
Timothy, from a child had known the Scriptures, and so should you do, 
1 they are able to make a man wise unto salvation, and make the man of 
God perfect.' As the books of nature, when thoroughly known, make a 
perfect physician for the body, so doth this a perfect divine. ' Search the 
Scriptures,' says Christ, • for they speak of me.' As Christ is the treasury 
of all knowledge, so the Scriptures are ot Christ. These treasures lie 
scattered in all the veins of the prophets and apostles ; dig for them as for 
silver, take pains and travel to understand them, as Dan. xii. 4, when he 
was bidden to seal up his prophecy in the letter, ' Many shall run to and 
fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' That is, by doing as merchants do, 
travelling from place to place, comparing one with another, knowledge will 
be increased. 

Secondly, Go to the markets and warehouses of those who have laid in or 
discovered much of this treasure ; that is, use the help of godly men's 
writings and conferences. The angels do learn of the church, and why not 
we ? Even Paul desires to see them at Rome, that he might be comforted 
by their mutual faith. 

Therefore exchange, and truck one with another to that end. Christ hath 
given several gifts to perfect his body in knowledge, Eph. iv. 12. 

The knowledge of any one man is imperfect, some have more skill in one 
point, and some in another, and so in several ages several truths have been 
delivered and revealed, Heb. i. 1, mXu/isgue, by fragments and by pieces, 
and therefore use the help of all. None of us are as Paul, to whom nothing 
can be added. f 

Thirdly, Go to him above all who hath the key of knowledge, Jesus 
Christ, Rev. iii. 7, pray to him. In 1 Peter i. 10, ' they searched and in- 
quired,' that is, they studied and prayed ; use both. And so the apostles 
did spend the time in both, Acts i. 

Fourthly, Highly prize and esteem every truth. If a fool hath a price in 
his hand, he hath no heart to use it, Prov. xvii. 16, because he esteems it 
not. Count all dross and dung for the excellent knowledge of Christ, doat 
not on human learning too much, lest it spoil and rob you of this. 

Fifthly, Exchange all for it, sell all for it, sell all that you have for it, 
your sins ; no saving truths can be yours whilst sin is yours, John xvii. 17 ; 
1 Peter i. 22, they • purified their souls by obeying the truth ;' for if you 
receive the truth as you ought, it will cast out all. Especially lay down 
pride of parts, Ps. xxv. 12, he will teach the humble his secrets, he will not 
teach proud scholars. God will not deal nor trade with a wicked man, 
1 Tim. vi. 4 ; men being corrupt of dispositions, are destitute therefore of 
the truth. 

Sixthly, Carry all home, and make them your own. It is not your own 

* That is, -who supply the students with that stock of truth, which they are after- 
wards to dispense to their congregations. — E d. 
t Gal. ii. 6.— Ed. 


whilst it is in your brains, as no more meat is your own but wbat you eat ; 
Let it be ' the ingrafted word,' James i. 21. Be you evangelised. 

Use Second, If the gospel be so precious, sell it not, for you can never get 
the full worth of it ; ' Buy the truth,' saith Solomon, Prov. xxiii. 23, ' and 
sell it not,' that is, part not with it at any hand. And this know for your 
encouragement, that God takes it not away from any man or nation, until 
they willingly part with it or put it away ; for why else doth he bid them 
not sell it ? His meaning is, if you do not, I will never deprive you of it. 

To this purpose is the example of Esau brought, Heb. xii. 16. For, 
speaking of this rich grace offered in the gospel, he bids them take heed 
that there be no profane person, as Esau was, that sold his birthright. 
That look, as God would not have deprived Esau of the blessing unless he 
had freely sold it, Jonah ii. 8, Job xxxiii. 2G, so nor them of the precious 

And he adds this, to enforce this exhortation the more, that a man must 
not think to receive it when he will ; afterwards he would have inherited 
the blessing, sought it with tears, but could not, ver. 17. And as he takes 
it not from a particular man, so neither from a nation. 

In Acts xiii. 46, the church of the Jews had been the ancient pillar of 
truth, and market for the gospel ; God had new precious wares to be vented, 
which had lain hid from all eternity, as this text shews. See what Paul 
and Barnabas say, who were his factors to trade for him ; ' it is necessary 
they should first be spoken to you.' It is strange, ' it was necessary,' for 
God's custom is not to offer his precious wares to new customers till the 
old had refused them. But now, says he, you shew yourselves unworthy ; 
' Lo, now we turn to the Gentiles ;' we will go seek chapmen all the world 
over, rather than you shall have the offer of them any more. And as in 
an estate of land wherein three have a right, until all give over, it is not 
sold, so in this kingdom there are three, there are magistrates, ministers, 
people. If either of these do what they can to keep it, it is not sold. 
Therefore to these three doth God look, Jer. v. 1 : to the magistrates, 
to see if that there were a man that sought truth ; secondly, to the com- 
mon people, who know not the law ; and last of all, to the prophets and 
priests ; and when all conspired, then ' what shall you do in the end thereof ? ' 

And if the truth be thus rich and precious, let me speak freely to you. 
Let the market stand open, take heed how you prohibit any truth to be 
sold in your markets ; but let the word run and be glorified, and let wisdom 
cry all her wares. If every truth be thus precious, is it not an impoverish- 
ing of the kingdom to hinder the traffic of any ? Nay, is it not a hindering 
the king's custom ? Revenues of God's glory ariseth out of the custom of 
these wares. Those times are in a great degree* of selling away these 
truths, that cannot endure (as Paul speaks, 2 Tim. iv. 3, 4) wholesome 

Secondly, Take heed of suffering falsehood to be sold for truth. Rev. ii. 20, 
one of the churches is blamed for suffering Jezebel to teach and to seduce 
Christ's servants. If we do so, we shall have popery bought for truth, 
Arminianism for truth, and so by degrees sell away that blessed inheritance 
which our forefathers left us ; as heirs do sell away their lands, first one 
lordship and then another, piece by piece, till all be gone ; and so our 
silver by little and little becomes dross, as Isaiah speaks, chap. i. 22. This 
will provoke God (if anything) to sell you into your enemies' hands for 
nought, Ps. xliv. 12. 

* Qu. 'danger?'— En. 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 249 

But, thirdly, if it bo thus precious, ' hold it fast,' as Paul speaks to Titus, 
chap. i. 9, • hold fast the faithful word.' The word signifies to hold against 
contrary pulling it away, &VTt%6ftewi. If a man would not sell the inherit- 
ance left him, much less would he suffer it to be taken from him. Suppose 
it be but a trifle, yet men in a case of right will spend their estates to hold 
their own, though the suit will not bear its own charges. But when you 
contend for the truth once given, as the apostle Jude exhorts, you labour 
to preserve not your own only, but God's right. It is not about a trifle, 
but for that which Christ once spent his blood ; and it is the ' faithful 
word,' as the apostle calls it, a cause that will stick to you, and maintain 
itself, be sure to overcome ; and not bear its own charges only, but brings 
a crown with it, 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, ' I have fought the good fight, I have kept 
the faith, henceforth a crown is laid up for me.' Christ did witness so be- 
fore Pontius Pilate, 1 Tim vi. 13. 

And, last of all, if it be thus rich as well as precious, let it ' dwell richly 
in you,' rrXovsiu>;, as the word is, Col. iii. 16. Give it not poor but rich 
entertainment, as you would do a rich kinsman who means to make you his 
heir, and estate you in all his riches. 

And to that end, labour to grow rich in the knowledge of it, and speech 
of it, as Paid speaks, 1 Cor. i. 5, ' that you may be enriched in all know- 
ledge, and in all utterance,' or speech about it, as men labour to know what 
they are worth, and love to talk of it. 

Bestow riches of assurance on it, as Col. ii. 2, that you may have ' the 
riches of full assurance of understanding ; ' and James ii. 5, to be ' rich in 
faith.' Trust in him, as men that are rich use to do in their riches, Prov. 
x. 15. And though their riches be uncertain, and not able to do what they 
expect, yet this is profitable for all things, having so many rich promises 
made for you to rely upon. 

Bestow riches of obedience on it, endeavouring to grow ' rich in good 
works,' as the apostle speaks, 1 Tim. vi. 18. Spend the most precious of 
your time and thoughts upon it. 

Uses of that doctrine, — the glory of the gospel. 

First, For trial ; whether a man hath savingly received it or no. For if 
it be thus glorious, then they are still blinded to destruction that see it not 
in the glory of it. This is the direct consequence of the apostle himself in 
2 Cor. iv. 4. For he having discoursed of that rich and excellent glory 
which it reveals, then, says he, those that have lived so long under the 
preaching of it are ' lost,' into whose hearts the light of this glorious gospel 
hath not shined. And certainly, saith he, ' the god of this world hath 
blinded their eyes,' that is, the devil, — by varnishing over the vain glitter- 
ing scheme and gloss of the things of this world, as he did to Christ, Mat. 
iv. 8, — dazzles them so, that they see no more glory in the things which 
the gospel reveals, than blind men do. The fault must certainly be in 
men's eyes ; for this glorious gospel, wherever it shines, is as the sun in 
itself, it is jmmiim visibile. 

Blind men are never the better for the sun. Though they may have eyes 
to see the things the gospel propounds, yet not the glory, the worth, and 
excellency of them, so as to be intimately and deeply affected with them ; 
as to be content to leave house, lands, father, and wife, for the gospel's 
sake, as Christ speaks, Mark x. 29, that is, to enjoy those things you hear 
rrpoken of in the gospel. 


And this is that which Christ expressly, out of Isaiah, speaks of the blind 
pharisees, to whom the glory of Christ was preached in the gospel, John 
xii. 40, 41. For, says he, Isaiah seeing that his glory spoke this of them, 
' that God had blinded their eyes, &c, that they should not see ;' that is, 
not see that glory of Christ as preached to them, so as Isaiah saw it, and 
all saints, to be humbled and converted by it. 

Examine yourselves therefore. You go up and down in the world here, 
and you view daily the riches of it, and the pleasures of it, the beauty, the 
credit, the glory of it. And from viewing these things, you often come 
here to the word, which as a glass that the sun shines in reveals Christ to 
you, the necessity, the worth of his Spirit, righteousness, and graces, which 
are laid open to your view daily. Now seriously tell me, or rather thy own 
heart, in which of these dost thou see most glory, by which art thou most 
imtimately allured ? Shall I tell thee ? If ever thou hadst savingly seen 
the glory of the things of the gospel, all the excellencies of the world would 
seem no excellencies. When thou goest from the church again into the 
world, the devil's varnish would melt off, as women's paint doth against the 
sun ; and as candles burn dim and wan when set against the sun, so these. 

The things thou didst account most glorious before thy eyes were opened, 
would seem to have no glory in comparison of this glory, as the apostle 
speaks of the law, 2 Cor. iii, 10, of this glory that so excelleth, excellens 
sensibile destruit sensum. It would put out the carnal eye quite and clean. 
This you may see, Isa. xl. 5, 6, where the Holy Ghost speaks expressly of the 
preaching the gospel by John the Baptist, whom in the third verse he calls 
the ' voice of a crier ; ' and Peter applies the place to the preaching of the 
gospel, 1 Pet. i. 25. Now (says he, ver. 5) the glory of the Lord Christ 
should thereby be revealed, and so revealed, that all flesh should see it, that 
is, inanj 7 believers both of Jews and Gentiles, for so ' all flesh ' is taken 
also, Ps. lxv. 2. See it namely in this mirror and glass, 2 Cor. iii. 18, and 
what is the effect of it ? Why, ' all flesh is grass,' and the goodliness or 
glory thereof, as Peter calls it, 'as the flower of the field.' And in their 
eyes now, that have seen ' the superexcellent glory,' it withers and fades; 
all the glory of the world appears like withered flowers, for the Spirit of 
the Lord, which reveals this glory in the gospel, blasts, blows upon them 
all, so as they lose their gloss and esteem in men's hearts ; they can never 
doat on them again as before. 

What is learning, thinks the poor soul, in comparison of grace ? What 
is all the world to the righteousness of Christ ? And then all the glow- 
worm righteousness of a man's self, which civil men glory in, so vanisheth, 
which once shined in the dark, so when this sun ariseth. So it did with 
Paul, Philip, iii. Then, however a man thought of himself before, as 
thinking he had many excellencies in him, yet having seen this glory, he 
falls down, as Isaiah did in like case, Isa. vi. 5, 'lam undone,' I am un- 
clean, a vile wretch, that deserves undoing and destruction. 

Secondly, If it be thus glorious, see if thou art able to behold the glory 
of it, comfortably and joyfully, without winking. This is another con- 
sectary* may be had out of this 2 Cor. iii. 18, where the apostle brings 
all believers to the same trial that the eagle doth her young ones ; for as 
she brings them to the sun, and if they be able to behold it without dazzling 
or winking, then she accounts them of a right breed ; now, so doth the 
apostle bring all believers to ' the glory of the Lord,' shining in the mirror 
of the gospel (' and we all,' says he, ' with open face behold the glory of 
* That is, ' conclusion' or ' consequence.' — Ed. 

Col. I. 26, 27.] the glory of ran gosii.i.. 251 

the Lord') to look full upon it. And so indeed unto eagles are they com- 
pared in Matthew ; for why, their hearts are changed into the same image, 
so as there is a suitahleness between them and it. The strictest preaching, 
that reveals the glory and beauty of grace in its strictest and most spiritual 
hue, a good heart can look full upon it and love it. That ministry that 
darts in tin; clearest and hottest beams is the most welcome, and hath the 
most comfortable influence into their hearts. 

In the 4th of Malachi, where the prophet speaks of the preaching of the 
gospel by Jesus Christ, as appears by the 5th verse, where he speaks of 
John Baptist before the day of Christ's appearing, J' Unto you that fear 
my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, 
and ye shall go forth as calves of the stall ;' that is, Jesus Christ, who 
then ariseth in men's hearts, when by the gospel God gives the light of the 
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, as 2 Cor. iv. 6, 
2 Pet. i. 19. Now those precious truths, and the beams thereof, he com- 
pares to wings, because the beams of the sun are spread forth, even as the 
wings of the eagle, brooding over all the earth, and the things in it, and by 
them flying into all the corners of it. 

So doth Jesus Christ spread forth beams of truth into believers' hearts, 
and by them comes into their hearts, as the sun is said to do ; when the 
beams of it come into a house, you say the sun comes in. Now these 
beams, if they should not heal and change our hearts into the same image, 
they would dazzle and confound men's consciences ; therefore it is added, 
they have healing goes with them, and therefore now, like calves, they can 
go forth, and rejoice and leap for joy in the light of it. Whereas sore eyes, 
that are not healed, are amazed and terrified at the sight of it ; and there- 
fore in the first verse he says, ' They shall be burnt up,' as they in Rev. 
xvi. 8, 9, that are scorched with the heat of the sun, and so blasphemed 
and opposed the word. And as in hot countries some have cursed the 
sun when it ariseth, so they the gospel and the light of it. They hate it, 
rejoice when any of the ' witnesses' are dead, as they, Rev. xi. 10, because 
1 they tormented them that dwelt on the earth.' Like swine laid on their 
backs against the sun, they cease not crying till they be on their feet 
again ; or if they cannot avoid it, yet they wink with their eyes, as they, 
Mat. xiii. 15. For if men be unholy and profane, whoremongei's, liars, &c, 
then the glorious gospel is contrary unto them, as 1 Tim. i. 10, 11, compared. 

But if thou beest not able to behold the glory of the gospel, how wilt 
thou behold Christ coming in his glory, to render vengeance with • flaming 
fire' to them that obey not this gospel ? 

Thirdly, If it be thus glorious, then see if thou endeavourest to glorify 
and admire this gospel, and bring honour to it, which is a third consectary 
whereby you may know whether you receive it in the glory of it or no ; for 
all things we apprehend glorious, we labour to glorify and set forth as 
much as we may ; and this I ground on 2 Thess. hi. 1. ' Pray,' says the 
apostle, ' that the word may run and be glorified,' &c, that is, that it may 
have not only free progress in the world, run upon wheels, as the word 
signifies, but when it is entertained according to the glory and worth of it, 
as it was amongst these Thessalonians, who received it as the ' word of 
God, and not of man,' 1 Thess. ii. 13. ' Turning from idols, to serve the 
living God,' chap. i. 9 ; parting with all their sins, and setting up God in 
their hearts ; receiving it ' in much affliction,' ver. 6, yet rejoicing in it 
' with joy unspeakable and glorious ;' being content to part with lands and 
all for the gospel's sake, as Mark via. 35 ; having a care of their conversa- 


tion in all things, that it may be as becomes the gospel, as he exhorts, 
Phil. i. 27 ; when men contend for every truth of it, as Paul in the next 
words, ver. 28, ' striving together for the faith of the gospel,' continuing 
immoveable, not removing from the ' hope of the gospel,' as Col. i. 2, 3 ; 
leaving all for the hopes of what it reveals, accounting this the greatest 
blessing and privilege they can enjoy in this life to enjoy it ; rejoicing in 
it more than in wisdom, learning, strength, riches ; glorying that a man 
knows God merciful and gracious, which is the message of the gospel, as 
Jer. ix. 23, as the Galatians did, Gal. iv. 14, 15, when they first received 
Paul, they received him as an angel : ' Where was then the blessedness you 
spoke of?' They so magnified this mercy, that they counted it the great- 
est blessing of all other, that though a people be blessed, when their gar- 
ners are full, &c, yet, as if nothing were to be accounted of, he says, 
' Happy is that people whose God is the Lord,' &c, Ps. cxliv. 15. 

Use 2. If the gospel be thus glorious, then see and acknowledge what is 
truly the glory of any people, and the want whereof leaves them in the 
most miserable and inglorious condition ; even the gospel. The law, 
which as this 2 Cor. chap. iii. tells us, had not any glory in this respect, 
yet made the people of the Jews a great nation in the eyes of all round 
about them, Deut. iv. 6-9. The nation that should hear of all these 
statutes should say, ' This is a great nation, that hath God so nigh them ; 
and what nation so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as 
all this law ?' 

That which anciently made one commonwealth excel another, to nourish 
more and continue longer, was the excellency and righteousness of the laws 
and form of government among them. This made Lacedemonia great, 
kept the Venetian state standing these 1300 years, and hath made them 
accounted a great, and a wise, and an understanding people. But all 
the nations had not such a law as this in all parts ; ' all this law,' so just, 
so holy, it being that law by which man in his holy state was governed, 
which the angels in heaven live by, which set not up men as their kings 
and rulers, but sets God up as their protector, makes him ' nigh them,' 
ver. 7. Therefore, Ps. lxxvi. 1-4, in that God was known in Judah, this 
made it ' more excellent than the mountains of prey.' He compares all 
the kingdoms of the world besides to wild waste places, where outlaws 
dwell, savage and cruel wild beasts, that prey upon one another, wanting 
the knowledge of this law to civilise and tame them. 

And, therefore, though the Israelites were famous for deliverances above 
all the nations of the world, fuller of inhabitants than any nation, as the 
sands of the sea (which is the glory of a kingdom, Solomon says, Prov. 
xiv. 28), flowing more with outward blessings than any nation else ; in a 
word, though their privileges were much every way above the Gentiles, 
Horn. iii. 2, yet chiefly (says he) ' that to them were committed the oracles 
of God.' This you see is made the top and height of all. 

Now, if tbe law made them thus glorious, and the obscure revealing of 
the gospel, and indeed but the 'shadow,' as Heb. x. 1, the shine and 
glimmering as it were of the glory of the gospel, how much more must 
that make a people glorious (whenas it comes to be fulfilled) which 
Habakkuk foretold, Hab. ii. 14, that ' all the earth shall be filled with the 
knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.' And if in 
any age or in any coast it is or hath been full tide, it is now in England. 

In 1 Sam. iv. 22, when the ark was taken, it was said, ' the glory of 

Col. I. 2G, 27. J the glory of the gospel. 253 

Israel is departed.' Now, the ark, which was covered with the mercy- 
seat and the cherubims, was the place where God appeared, sitting between 
the cherubims, and shining bright, as Ps. lxxx. 1, and met the people, Exod. 
xxv. 22, whence he spake and gave oracles, Num. vh. 89 ; and therefore is 
called the ' speaking-place,' debir, 1 Kings vi. 23. And therefore the ark 
was called the ' glory,' Rom. ix. 4; and 'cherubims of glory,' Heb. ix. 5. 
Now, what was this ark a type of, which was thus the glory of Israel ? 
Of the gospel. For, Heb. ix. 23, they were all patterns of things in 

Now, as the temple was the type of the church under the gospel, Rev. 
xi. 1, so the ark was of Christ, revealed in the preaching of the gospel, in 
the last verse of that chapter. There was seen in his temple the ' ark of 
his testament,' wherein Jesus Christ comes and meets his people, and 
speaks from heaven, and wherein believers behold his glory, 2 Cor. iii. 18; 
and therefore they are called the 'oracles of God,' 1 Pet. iv. 11. So as 
when we prophesy, men fall down convinced and say, ' God is amongst 
you,' 1 Cor. xiv. 25. And the cherubims, between which God sits and 
speaks, are ministers of the gospel, as you shall hear anon. 

So as indeed the manifestation of the gospel is called ' the glory,' as the 
ark was of old. So, I take it, that place is to be understood, 1 Pet. i. 
10-12, where, speaking of our privilege who enjoy it, he says, ' the patri- 
archs did foretell the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that followed ; ' 
namely, that spreading of the gospel, shedding forth of the Spirit, and 
gifts, which made those times glorious times after Christ's ascension. 
Yea, in this respect, the congregations assembled to hear this gospel, God 
manifesting his presence, are called ' the glory ; ' I say the assemblies are, 
Isa. iv. 5, which place is to be understood of the times of the gospel, and 
the calling of the Jews ; ' God will create upon her assemblies a cloud by 
day, and a shining fire by night,' to guide them as in the wilderness, ' for 
upon all the glory shall be a defence ; ' that is, upon all those assemblies, 
which, for the presence of God thus gloriously amongst them, he calls 
1 the glory.' 

And this gospel hath made this kingdom and this town as a ' crown of 
glory in the hand of the Lord;' and 'the glory of the whole earth,' as 
Jerusalem is called, Isa. lxii. 7 ; the glorious diamond in the ring of the 

And this it is which did raise that great opinion in the hearts of other 
nations, that we were accounted a great people, as Deut. iv. 6, 7, a wise 
and an understanding people, and full of humanity and amiableness of car- 
riage ; whereas others are accounted rude and barbarous, that want it in 
the power that we have it. For when the earth, or any land, is filled with 
' the knowledge of the Lord,' it takes fierceness and wildness away from 
the inhabitants of it. Not from these only whom it converts, but whom it 

* It is not easy to ascertain whether the town referred to here is Cambridge or Lon- 
don. There is no doubt that the sermons were originally preached in Cambridge ; 
but it is possible that they might be afterwards delivered in London, and that some 
sentences might then be added, whilst those having special reference to Cambridge 
might be allowed to remain by the editors of the Works. Still, it ought to be ob- 
served that he represents the glory of the ' kingdom and town,' as consisting in wis- 
dom and understanding, and that may be thought more applicable to Cambridge 
than to London. It is not unworthy of notice that the comparison of the world to a 
ring, and London to the diamond set in it, is employed, in almost the same words, by 
Thomas Adams (Practical Works, vol. II. p. 332), ' What was once said of Ormus is 
true of this city, " Turn the world into a ring, and this is the diamond of it." ' — Ed 


convincetb, Isa. xi. ; from the wolves and the lion^, so as not to hart, 
verse 9. 

' Emollit mores, nee sinit esse feros.' 

It makes men more noble and ingenuous, as those of Berea were, having 
received the gospel, Acts xvii. 11. That is it which hath struck much 
terror in former times into the hearts of our enemies, as in Jehoshaphat's 
days ; when he was careful to send Levites to teach in every city, ' fear 
fell upon all the kingdoms round about, so as they made no war,' 2 Chron. 
xvii. 10. And God being ' known for a refuge in our palaces,' ' fear took 
hold of the kings of the earth,' Ps. xlviii. 3 and 6 compared. 

That is it which hath been our defence ; for, Isa. iv. 5, ' where the 
glory of God is, there is a defence upon all the gloiy ; ' that when they 
combined together to make an attempt, as in Eighty-eight,* as it is in the 
same Psalm, xlviii. 4-7. Kings were assembled, a great many, as appears 
by the 7th verse, and they passed by all along our coasts, but they were 
troubled, and they hasted away ; and God broke the ships of Tarshish with 
the east wind, God being known for a refuge, verse 3. And where the 
gospel runs without rub, and is glorified, there, when enemies come in 
like a mighty flood, thinking to bear all before them, Isa. lix. 19, when 
' they fear the name of Jehovah from the west ' (which is thought to be 
meant of these western churches, as they have been always called), ' and 
his glory from the rising of the sun : when the enemy comes in as a flood, 
the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.' Ps. lxxvi. 
1—3, ' In Judah is God known, and his dwelling-place is in Zion : there 
brake he the arrows, and the bow, and the shield, and the sword, and the 
battle.' And so, on the contrary, when we go against others, on just 
quarrels, if the gospel be glorified amongst us, the promise is, Isa. lviii. 8, 
' the glory of God shall be thy rearward ; ' shall make an army for us, to 
fight for us. This defended this town from the plague. 

This is that which, when sought and embraced above all things, makes 
other blessings be cast into the bargain, as Christ promiseth, and to which 
also we owe all the peace, plenty, and abundance of all things, which since 
the day we had the gospel we have enjoyed, which, if we had not, yet it is 
blessing enough. Rom. xv. 29, ' I shall come to you in the fulness of the 
blessing of the gospel,' which whoso enjoys they want no blessing. It is 
full of blessing when it comes to a place, and it carries all away when itself 
removes. Look upon a town where once the king's court was kept, and 
then it flourished and abounded with blessings, which haply before was 
poor as Newmarket ; f but when that is once removed to come no more, 
look on it then again, and how poor, how desolate, doth such a town grow ! 

And Christ, where he comes in, enricheth the place he keeps court in. 
He did good to men's bodies, and souls also, when on earth, and so now 
in heaven, where his tabernacle is pitched. But when he removes, Mat. 
xxiii. 38, • Behold your houses are left unto you desolate.' Why ? ' For 
I say, Ye shall not henceforth see me, till ye say, ' Blessed is he,' &c. 
Judea, that once did flow with milk and honey, is now barren — 
'Insula dives opum Priami dum legna manebant.' 

Great must the misery of that place be, then, from which the glory is de- 
parting, for then their defence is gone, and they are left naked, exposed to 

* That is, 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada.— Ed. 

t Charles I. kept his court at Newmarket ; n 1642. Goodwin had before this left 
Cambridge, but would naturally take an interest in the neighbourhood. — Ed. 

Col. I. 20, 27.] the glory of the gospel. 255 

the fury of their enemies, as the people were in the sight of their enemies, 
Exod. xxxii. 25, stripped of all their ornaments and armour, and there- 
fore ' the people mourned,' chap, xxxiii., and then destruction doth cer- 
tainly and inevitably follow. 

Ezek. ix. 3. Before the executioners of vengeance came with their slaughter- 
weapons, the glory of the Lord went away from the cherub, and then the 
wrath of God falls upon men to the utmost, as upon the Jews, 1 Thes. 
ii. 16, that is, in greater extremities than upon any other. Neither is the 
tenure of us Gentiles so sure as was theirs ; it was as their freehold, Rom. 
ix. 4. ■ To them appertained the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the 
promises.' Rom. xi. 21, ' If God spared not the natural branches, take 
heed how he spare not thee : be not high-minded, but fear.' ' Towards 
thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness ; otherwise thou shalt be 
cut off,' ver. 22. And yet they are cut off, and have been these sixteen 
hundred years, and that glory which belonged to them is departed from 
them, and not yet returned ; and have we not cause to fear ? 

To that end, let us consider some signs of the departure of this glory 
from a people, and this in those degrees wherein usually it departs. 

First, When those outward privileges, which I mentioned before, which 
have been pawns of its presence, are a-going, and a people is bereft of them ; 
for when you see the train departing and the followers sent away, you 
expect the court removes shortly. When God ' turneth the glory ' of a 
kingdom ' into shame,' as Hosea iv. 7, he threateneth, makes it ' base in 
the eyes of its neighbours,' as, Ezek. xvii. 14, he did that of Judah before 
captivity, so as they are made a derision to those to whom they were a 
terror. When we see blessings ebb, attempts blasted, armies blown away 
and dissolved as dust-heaps in a nation that was once honourable, victorious, 
terrible, prosperous. Winter is nigh when leaves fall off. 

And so God did with the Jews, before that final taking of the gospel from 
them, by taking first away their beauty, their honour and glory, and out- 
ward liberties and privileges of a nation, which once they had enjoyed, broke 
the ' staff of beauty,' and then ' of bands,' Zech xi. 10, 14, then disuniting 
and scattering them over the face of the earth. 

The second thing that departs before the gospel departs is the inward, 
glorious presence of God's Spirit which once did shine in his ordinances, 
that though men enjoy the outward, visible signs of his presence, have the 
ark and preaching of the gospel and cherubims among them, yet the 
Spirit is gone. Ezek. ix. 3, it is said that ' the glory went up from the 
cherubims ' before the destruction that followed, that though the cheru- 
bims and temple and ark still remained, yet the glory was gone. Now, 
the cherubims signified the ministers of the gospel, as you shall hear 

Now, when God withdraws his Spirit from us, then the glory goes hence, 
for in this 2 Cor. iii. this is that which makes the gospel glorious, ' the 
ministration of the Spirit ; ' so that, as the glory of the body is gone when 
the soul is out, so the glory of the gospel is gone when the Spirit is de- 
parted, for without it it is but a dead letter. ' For the kingdom of God ' 
(Paul speaks it of preaching of the gospel, 1 Cor. iv. 20) ' consists not in 
word, but in power ; ' so that when that power is gone, the kingdom is gone. 
Now, whilst that power goes forth, so long God hath elect to call, 1 Thes. 
i. 4, 5, « Knowing your election to be of God, because our gospel was 
not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost, and in much 
assurance. And when the elect is gone, God takes away the gospel. 


But when you shall hear sermons, and lay open the excellent things of 
the law, and discover the secrets of the gospel, which the angels pry into, 
and yet the Holy Ghost withdraw himself, that neither wicked are convinced 
to fall down and say, ' God is amongst them,' the high fortresses of carnal 
opinion, corrupt practices, are not cast down in the congregations that hear 
them, nor are they reformed at all, but they that were filthy are filthy 
still; when the best are dead, and dull, and cold under it, their hearts 
are not warmed as they were wont to burn with them, as the disciples' 
hearts were when they went to Emmaus ; when God ceaseth to shew him- 
self terrible to the wicked in his holy place, Ps. lxviii. 35, but then when 
the sentence of damnation is clearly pronounced against men, yet they all 
hear it as the song of one can sing well ; when God creates not a cloud 
and a pillar of fire upon our assemblies, as Isa. iv. 5, to guide, enlighten, 
and clear our hearts in the ways of godliness ; when few are added to the 
church and none to God, it is a sign God hath his elect out, and that the 
glory is going. 

The second temple was more glorious than the former, Hag. ii. 9, yet the 
former was outwardly more glorious. If Christ be present, he makes the 
glory with less learned teaching. And it is for your sakes God assists, 
1 Thes. i. 5, ' What manner of men for your sakes.' 

Thirdly, Then the Spirit is withdrawing, when wicked hearts grow 
weary of it — -even the wicked a while rejoiced in John's light — and godly 
men are indifferent whether they enjoy it or no, this is a further sign of its 
departure, and an effect of the former. Amos viii. 5, men cried there, 
' When will the Sabbath be gone,' and sermon over, that we may to our 
calling again, and not lose too much time ? 

And what follows on this ? He upon this threateneth, ver. 9, that ' their 
sun shall go down at noon ; ' that glorious light God had set up amongst 
them, should set in the very noon, and height, when it might have run a 
course many years after ; an eclipse, a total one came on the sudden, even 
at noonday. And if the place should not be meant of the light of the word, 
as I think it is, yet ver. 11 expressly threateneth upon this, ' a famine of 
the word,' &c. That word which before had rained down as manna, and 
they were weary of it and would scarce go out of doors to hear it, now they 
should run from sea to sea, and not find it. 

Or suppose they be not weary of it, as the godly are not, yet if they be 
not earnest with God by prayers for it, and continuance of it, when they do 
not strive together, as Paul exhorts them, Pioin. xv. 30, but they sit still 
and let all go, and strive not ; and if God will provide for them, and send 
forth labourers, so it is ; whereas Christ tells them they must pray, Mat. 
ix. 38. You are bidden pray for daily bread, and it must cost you sweat 
besides ; and do j^ou think to enjoy bread of heaven without praying daily 
for it, yea, and that sweating in prayer also ? Jesus Christ looks to be 
constrained to stay with a people, as with those disciples, Luke xxiv. 28, 
29. Whereas otherwise he would have gone further, and certainly would. 
When the keys are laid aside that should unlock the cupboard, whence the 
children should have bread, they are like to lose their suppers. Now 
these keys are prayers. If Paul be given them, it must be by prayer, 
Philem. 22. 

A fourth sign of the departure of this glory is when men begin to let 
error and idolatry creep in, which is an effect of the former ; for (2 Thes. 
ii. 10) men having no pleasure in truth, but in unrighteousness, God 
gave them up to lies, and they provoke the Lord to departure. Gal. ii. 5, 

Vol. I. 2G, 27.] tiie glohy of the gospel. 257 

In case of circumcision, says Paul, ■ I would not yield, or give way, not for 
an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with j'ou.' As if he 
had said, If I had given way to a small error, it had endangered the con- 
tinuance of the gospel with you ; how much more, when gross errors, con- 
trary to our points of catechism, and principles of religion, are admitted in 
a church and suffered to be taught, and grow upon us ; but much more 
must this glory depart when idolatry gets footing. Then God's glory departs 
amain. Ezek. ix., When did the glory go from the cherub to the threshold 
of the door? When, chap, viii., idolatry was committed in the secret 
chambers, yea and in the temple, in worshipping towards the east ; then 
there was no room left for God, he withdrew himself to the threshold, 
shewing he would lain have had a room amongst them, but he was justled 
out, glad to stand at the threshold, one foot in, another out, for what fellow- 
ship hath God with idols ? 2 Cor. vi. 16. God will not walk among you 
where idols are. 

And then, Fifthly and lastly, the glory wholly departs when the cherubims 
do ascend or are removed, Ezek. xi. 22. When the cherubims lift up their 
wings, then the glory went from the city quite. Now cherubims are angels, 
both celestial, and these on earth, namely, ministers of the gospel. For if 
you would see what these cherubims were, see Ezek. i. 5, 6. They were 
four beasts, who had faces of a lion, a man, an ox, an eagle, and wings full 
of eyes. Now in the 10th chapter, verses 1, 14, and 20, these are called 
cherubims. Now, if you would see what these beasts are, see Rev. iv. 6, 
where the same living creatures are in the same manner described with the 
same faces, wings, and eyes; Rev. v. 11. And there they are made distinct 
from the twenty-four elders, that is, the saints and angels ; and therefore 
by them are meant the ministers and magistrates, especially ministers, 
whereof some are lions for zeal and courage, and terror in preaching ; others 
oxen, for then- pains, and diligence, and constancy, and plainness ; others 
are men, preach more rationally to convince the gainsayers ; others eagles, 
that have more deep insight into heavenly mysteries, and soar high and aloft. 

Now, when error is let in, and idolatry is admitted, then look for the 
cherubim to ascend, to be removed. And in any state, or in the mean time, 
when a cherub ascends up to heaven, that had the face of ' a man and an 
eagle,' from a particular place, the glory of God sometimes goes with him ; 
as when old Eli died, the wife of Phinehas said, 1 Sam. iv. 20, ' The glory 
was gone,' not only because of the ark, but also because of her father-in-law. 

And now let me exhort you, of this place and kingdom, seriously to con- 
sider the state and condition of the gospel, standing amongst you, and 
whether many of these signs are not fulfilled before your eyes. For the 
present, to let the kingdom go, look homeward to yourselves. Is not the 
glory of this place exceedingly vanished of late years in men's opinions 
abroad ? Do they not suspect unsoundness in doctrine, and otherwise ? 
Doth God fill his ordinances as sails with the wind he ha I wont to do. 
Your hearts know best, who have had experience of former times. Remember 
the breathings and warnings of former times. It may be our faults, yet 
sure I am, we are assisted ' for your sakes' especially, 1 Thes. i. 5. And 
accordingly do our tongues cleave to the roof of our mouths. Do not your 
hands, which should be lift up to God for supply, even then when your 
losses and fears are greatest, grow slack and flag, and your hearts faint ? 
Do you seek God with mourning and weeping, and stir up one another to 
do so ? Do not errors bordering on popery creep in upon us apace, and 
begin to overgrow us, and our silver to become dross ? Is not one of the 

vol. rv. E 


cherubs ascended, others removed, your sun set at noon, a total eclipse 
threatened ? 

Yet at length, brethren, bestir yourselves. Would you have the word dwell 
with you ? ' Let the word dwell in you,' Col. iii. 15. Get acquaintance with 
it, be familiar to it, keep it company in your thoughts, converse with it, 
meditate in it day and night, let it lie, sleep, wake, walk, sit, ride with you. 

Also be valiant for truth, ' Hold fast the things you have been taught,' 
Rev. ii. 24, 25. However other opinions may be thrust upon you under 
pretence of depths, as there are, ' yet hold fast till I come ; ' so you may 
enjoy it till Christ come. 

Take heed of having pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thes. ii. 10. It will 
give you up to lies to be damned. Turn from folly, and return to it no more, 
but fear the Lord, Ps. Ixxxv. 8, 9, compared. ' Let them not return to folly.' 
' Salvation is nigh to them that fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.' 

Bless God for, and prize the meanest that bring the glad tidings of salva- 
tion in power and faithfulness, Mat. xxiii. 39. ' I will go hence,' saj's Christ, 
' till they say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord,' and then 
will I return again. 

You young ones, get you grace into your hearts, and the word rooted 
there, that when it dies in old men, there may be a succession of it in you. 

Above all, be earnest with God, pray that he thrust forth labourers into 
his harvest. ' God feeds the ravens that cry to him,' Job xxxviii. 41, that 
wander up and down, know not where to have a meal's meat next ; and as 
Christ argues, ' Doth God take care for lilies and birds,' Matt. vi. 26, ' and 
are not you better than they ? ' Are not you children ? And is not the 
word children's bread ? That is, it is theirs, appointed for them, Mat. 
xv. 26. No prayers of children pierce their parents' ear more than when 
they cry for bread, for those that are born must be kept. Lam. vi. 3, ' Sea 
monsters give their breasts to their young ones,' much more God. 

God is loath to remove from an ancient dwelling-place, as you may see 
by his lingering in Ezek. ix. 3. To the threshold, thence to the midst of 
the city, &c. 

His promise is to give them pastors according to his own heart, if there 
be but one or two in a city, Jer. iii. 14, 15 ; and there are more in this 

And Ps. cxxxii. 11, ' God swore to David, that if his children keep my 
covenant, &c, they should sit upon his throne,' and God would make it his 
rest, ver. 14. It is a trouble to him to remove, and therefore at the 17th 
verse he says, ' He will ordain a lamp,' that is, when one candle is out he 
will give another ; so 1 Kings xv. 4 it is interpreted. 

Now, the same promises are to you all for the sure mercies of David ; I 
say, are promised to be established to all that are in covenant. As one light 
is out, God will set up another ; as of magistrates, so of ministers, Jer. 
xxxiii. 17, 18. I say as Samuel, 1 Sam. xii. 22-24, ' For the Lord will 
not forsake his people for his great name's sake : because it hath pleased 
the Lord to make you his people. Moreover, as for me, God forbid that 
I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you : but I will teach 
you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve him in 
truth with all your heart : for consider how great things he hath done for 
you. But if you shall still do wickedly, you shall be consumed,' &c. 



The words of the text (Col. i. 26. 27) explained. — Though God had before 
by various trails discovered the glorious mysteries of his grace, yet the revela- 
tion of them by the gospel excels all the other. 

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but 
now is made manifest to his saints : to ivhom God would make known what 
is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles ; which is Christ 
in you, the hope of glory. — Col. I. 26, 27. 

The apostle, in this chapter, from the 13th verse to the end, draws a 
lively character of Christ and his gospel. 

1. He describes Jesus Christ in all that fulness of the riches of his 
glory wherewith he is arrayed and represented in the gospel, from the 13th 
verse to the 23d. 

2. He falls into a commendation of the gospel, which is that mystery 
wherein is made known the rich glory of Christ, who is the glory of this 
mystery. And if the story that makes Christ known be so full of riches 
and glory, what then is Christ himself, the subject of it ? 

The aposlle doth both these on set purpose (as in the 4th and 8th verses 
of chap. ii. he profe3seth), to divert and take off these Colossians' mind 
from those vain, deceitful speculations of philosophy, and the ceremonial 
law, and traditions of men, gaudily and speciously set out with enticing 
words, ' philosophy and vain deceit.' He exposeth the beggarly condition 
of those rudiments (as he names the best of them, Gal. iv. 9) ; and to dis- 
play the glory and riches of the mystery of Christ in all its brightness, he 
makes the enticing lustre of all other wisdom, which had almost spoiled that 
glory of Christ (Col. ii. 8), to vanish. 

In the words of my text, Col. i. 26, 27, the current of his praise of the 
gospel's glory swells highest, and runs with the deepest and strongest 
stream ; within the limits of which, therefore, I will confine myself (though 
much might be added from other Scriptures) as affording matter abundant 
to set forth the glory of the gospel, by all that doth commend unto us any 
other knowledge. 

* See note, p. 22G. 


1. You have here the rise and original of it, as withal of man's salva- 
tion ; how, and for what ends God contrived it and revealed it, and to 
whom. The great God (says he) took up a mind and purpose to reveal 
unto his saints infinite riches of his glory in it, and by it : and to that 
end framed this wisdom on purpose for them, and them alone. ' It is 
made manifest to his saints, to whom God would make known his riches 
and glory by it.' 

2. You have the subject of it, and common treasury of all that riches 
and glory discovered in it, which is Christ, God's Son. ' Which riches 
is Christ,' says the apostle by way of explanation. Now Christ's riches 
are unsearchable (Eph. iii. 8), and this doctrine of the gospel is the 
field this treasure is hid in ; and Christ being also ' the Lord of glory' 
(1 Cor. ii. 8), hath filled it with a glory answerable, with ' riches of 

3. You have the gain and benefit of it. For it reveals God and Christ, 
and all his riches and glory ; so being received and entertained by spiritual 
knowledge and manifestation in the hearts of men, it makes those saints 
possessors thereof, by giving them a possession of Christ. And for your 
further security, you have them in you, by having him in you (who is the 
treasury of all those riches) at the present. But then, the glorious know- 
ledge of this Christ, as he is in you, is yet a future pledge of a greater and 
more transcendent glory to come, greater than this gospel can reveal, or 
can be made known to you. ' Christ is in you the hope of glory.' 

4. You have added hereunto all sorts of excelling properties and royal- 
ties to commend the glory of the gospel, above all that are or can be sup- 
posed to be in any other knowledge. (1.) If depth and profoundness sets 
a value, this is a mystery in every fine of it. (2.) If preciousness and 
abundance makes any knowledge estimable, this is full of riches and glory. 
(3.) If secrecy puts an esteem on any science, this ' hath been hid from ages 
and generations, but now made manifest.' (4.) If it recommend any know- 
ledge, that when the secret is revealed, yet still it be not made common to 
the ordinary sort of men, then the gospel is most excellent ; for though 
God hath revealed it, yet he retaineth and useth that art in revealing of it, 
that he makes known the riches and glory of it only to ' his saints ;' others 
know it but in the outward letter of it. 

1. I shall take a view of the rise and original of the revelation of this 
glorious mystery. I cast the brief story thereof into this frame. 

(1.) Our all-wise and infinitely blessed God, possessing in himself infi- 
nite riches of glory, he thinks of ways to make them known, and that to 
some reasonable intelligent creatures, which by knowing of them might be 
made partakers thereof, and have their bosoms filled with all his riches ; 
for both to make them known, and withal to make them possessors 
thereof, are in the text : the one in these words, ' make known ;' the 
other in those, ' Christ in you the hope of glory.' The text says, rfiiKr^aiv, 
' he would,' he had a mind and a will, a longing desire to do it, and com- 
municate it to us, to make us blessed. That is the first thing. ' He would 
make known,' &c. 

(2.) The second thing to be considered is the persons, to v:hom. The 
text says, ' to his saints.' His, that is, his elect, whom he hath chosen 
to be holy, his saints, who are first his own by election, and then made 

[1.] They are his, singled out from all the rest to be his peculiar, his 
elect. ' The Lord knows who are his.' ' Thine they were,' (says Christ, 

Chap. I.] glory of the gospel. 2G1 

John xvii. 6), ' and thou gavcst thorn to me ; and they have kept thy 
word.' And ' Father' (says Christ, Mat. xi. 25), 'I thank thee thou hast 
hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to 
babes ; even so it pleased thee.' 

Yet [2.] he makes them saints, to whom he communicates himself: 
yea, he makes them saints by making himself known to them. Judas (not 
Iscariot) asked Christ, John xiv. 22, this bold question, ' How is it that 
thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world.' Christ there 
mentions not the first part of this account here, namely, that they were 
his peculiarly, and not the world (which yet being alone with his Father in 
his prayer, he then takes occasion to mention, to move him) but he gives 
them this other part of the account here. Because (says he) I manifest 
myself to saints, which you are, and I will cause you to be. His words 
afore (in which Judas interrupted him) were these, at ver. 2,1, ' He that 
hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he 
that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will 
manifest myself to him.' And his words in answer to Judas fully import 
it, ver. 23. ' Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will 
keep my words : and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, 
and make our abode with him.' This answer was needful for their quick- 
ening to obedience. 

(3.) The third thing I add to this head is, that God had afore the dis- 
covery of this gospel, taken other ways to make known something of the 
riches of this glory by them ; but yet had all that while kept and retained 
this knowledge of the gospel as the last, to excel, and exceed, and to put 
down all the former ; which yet is but a preparation to that other discovery 
in the heavens, as all those former were to this. 

Both these assertions are clear. The first is evident from those words, 
1 he now hath made manifest,' that which was hidden from all ages, &c. 
And yet we know that former ages had much of the wisdom of God among 
them, both Jew and Gentiles. 

The other assertion is evident from this, that the utmost discovery of 
this mystery, and of Christ now, is but the hope ; and so not the posses- 
sion of that glory which is to come. We are led therefore to consider a 
little those other ways God had already taken to manifest the riches of his 
glory by, as an ante-masque to this that followed. 

[l.j One way by which he began to manifest his glorious back-parts 
(Exod. xxxiii. 23), both to angels and men, was by the first creation and 
the works thereof, and in the law and covenant of works. Whereof the 
first holds forth his eternal power and Godhead, ' because that which may 
be known of God is manifest in them ; for God hath shewed it unto them. 
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power 
and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse,' Rom. i. 19, 20. ' The 
heavens declare the glory of God ; and the firmament sheweth his handy- 
work,' Ps. xix. 1. And the angels, that were spectators of every day's 
work, were infinitely taken with it : ' Whereupon are the foundations 
thereof fastened ? or who laid the corner-stone thereof; when the morning 
stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy ? ' Job xxxviii. 
6, 7. They shouted for joy to see him finish every day's work. Then 
his wisdom also is displayed in governing so great a host, an army of 
several creatures, to several ends, by perpetual laws. I instance but in 
one, the placing of the sun in the heavens and the motion of it, so disposed 


and ordered as it could nowhere else be placed therein without an apparent 
inconvenience to some parts of the habitable world. But he hath made a 
tabernacle for it, and set out the course thereof to visit all the earth. It 
goes to its tropics, and misseth not a hair's breadth. Tbere is infinite 
justice also apparent in his righteous law, and withal infinite holiness in 
so exact a rule of righteousness, which was the Jews' wisdom and glory in 
the sight of all nations. For the delivery of which law God come down, 
and made a heaven upon a dirty mole-hill, Mount Sinai, and constituted 
Moses a mediator, and put a glory upon his face, and then dressed up a 
high priest gloriously for his worship, and erected a tabernacle, and after 
that a temple admirably magnificent. How did the Jews boast of all these 
things ! Rom. ii. 

[2.] But all this contented not our God, who would make known a fur- 
ther mystery, viz., of the redemption of fallen man by Christ, which he 
kept hid and close in his own breast, and not a creature knew it, no, not 
his angels (not as we now know it in the gospel), which were his nearest 
courtiers and dearest favourites. It lay hid in God, Eph. iii. 9, hid even 
from them, ver. 10. It was a mystery which, when revealed, should amaze 
the world, and put the angels to school again ; as if they had known no- 
thing in comparison of this, wherein they know over again all those 
glorious riches which are in God, and that more perfectly and fully 
than ever before. Such is the mystery of Christ revealed in the gospel, 
which is the last edition also that ever shall come forth in this world, and 
is now set out, enlarged, and perfected ; wherein that large inventory of 
God's glorious perfections is more fully set down, with addition. 

The reasons why God did by two ways intend to manifest himself thus 
variously are : 

First ; Because he would shew forth his manifold wisdom, which is the 
reason given of revealing the gospel, Eph. iii. 10, ' that to the angels might 
appear the manifold wisdom of God.' His wisdom is so vast and large, 
that he could vary, and take more ways than one to display it. And as he 
had two sorts of reasonable creatures to shew himself unto, so he had a 
double way, a double sample, and double method. 

Secondly ; God did so, because indeed that other way was of itself too 
obscure and too imperfect. 

First, It was too obscure ; for in the gospel and works of redemption, 
the angels came to see all that they saw before, and that more clearly and 
largely. They see more power in Christ, ' the power of God,' 1 Cor. i. 24, 
in raising himself up from death to life, ' declared with power thereby to be 
the Son of God,' Rom. i. 4. And they see also the exceeding greatness of 
his power in raising us up also, Eph. i. 19, more than they did in the 
creation. They likewise see a greater and clearer instance and manifesto 
of his justice in putting to death his own Son, taking on him to be a surety 
for sinners, than if a world of worlds should have been damned for ever. 
And in Christ his Son also they came to see a greater and far more tran- 
scendent righteousness than ever appeared either in the law or inherent in 

Secondly, That other way was but imperfect. 

For those attributes which God accounts his greatest riches and greatest 
glory, Rom. ix. 23, even his mercy and free grace, which he intends most 
to exalt, never saw light till now. 

But not only more of his attributes come thus to be discovered, but fur- 
ther, the glorious mystery of the Trinity come thereby to be more clearly 

Chap. I.] glory of the gospel. 2G3 

unfolded, if not tho first discovery made of the three persons ; there being 
scarce the footsteps of them distinctly to be seen in the works of creation 
or in the law. But now, when the gospel comes to be revealed, and the 
work of salvation in it, then they were discovered to be ' three witnesses in 
heaven,' 1 John v. 7, witnesses to our salvation. And their several wit- 
nessing comes to be known by their several seals and hand-works, set 
severally to our salvation, bearing the stamp and similitude of their three 
several subsistences ; so as by those three seals of the election of Christ 
and us, of our redemption and of our sanctification, we may know there are 
three persons, and how they do subsist; even as in men's seals their several 
arms being engraven, their houses and antiquity are known. 

(4.) The fourth thing is, what new model or means it was which God 
singled forth to print and publish his whole and utmost counsel to us by, 
after all those other ; the edition of which should thus excel all the former, 
and alone be full and adequate, and commensurable to his whole design ; 
even to manifest and communicate the whole, the full of all those riches of 
glory in himself, but once for all, and no more, that he shall not need to 
superadd any other, until himself immediately communicates himself face to 
face. The text tells us that this excellent way of discovery is Christ com- 
municated to us, it is ' Christ in us, the hope of glory.' Which notes out, 
not only Christ to be the revealer, ' the prophet ' (as Moses styles him) who 
by word of mouth or way of doctrine should discover the glory of God 
(which the apostle fully renders to the scope I have driven at, Heb. i. 1, 
' God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake by the prophets, 
hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son'). Whereas aforetimes 
God by degrees and by piecemeal, KoXvpegug, uttered himself, one truth at 
one time, another at another, by drops ; so it was for the matter ; and 
<xoXvr foTMi, after sundry fashions and forms and shapes, such as were 
dreams, visions, types, &c. ; so for the manner. This God hath now (as 
the opposition imports) once for all, in the last days and by wholesale, 
uttered his whole counsel, and this uniformly after one only plain and clear 
manner and way, by word of mouth from his Son, spoken by his Son, as 
the revealer. So it follows, chap. ii. ver. 3, ' Which at first began to be 
spoken by the Lord' (namely, Christ), but not only so, but that which the 
text here holds forth is, that Christ, as the argument, subject, matter, is 
the thing revealed. That alone takes up and fills up the whole of this new 
doctrine ; which mystery (says he) is Christ, namely, subjective. It is 
Christ known and communicated ; and in him all God's riches and glory. 

1 . In him all the riches of God and the knowledge of him are laid up, 
as the treasury and subject of them ; and so discovered and communicated 
to us objectively in the knowledge of him. Thus, chap. ii. ver. 2, 3, the 
apostle further explains it. For having termed the gospel (as here) the 
mystery of God and of Christ, he adds, ' In whom are hid all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge ; ' not only to be revealed by him, or subjectively 
known in and by himself; but (which is the proper scope of the apostle) 
objectively set forth, and contained in him alone, and in the knowledge of 
him made known to us. 

2. In him shines ' the glory of God ' (2 Cor. iv. 6, ' The light of the 
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ'), as the lively 
image of all his features and perfections, and evidences of his inward coun- 
sels and affections. That therefore which I here insist upon is, that Jesus 
Christ in all his glories is the great and eminent subject of the gospel, 
Rev. i. 1. 


3. It is tho gospel of God (namely, as the author of it), hut it is con- 
cerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. God had but one Son, and he 
made this gospel on purpose to honour him, and set him forth. It is all, 
and every word of it, some way or other concerning him, or about him. 
God made it purposely to set his Son Christ forth to us ; and in setting 
forth bis Son, himself also. It is therefore termed (chap. ii. of this epistle, 
ver. 2) « the mystery of God the Father, and of Christ.' Christ, in that series 
of truths about him held forth in the whole New Testament, is the sum of 
this newly revealed wisdom of God, 1 Cor. i. 24. 

So then, Cod's Son, first made our Christ, and that by being made man, 
is thereby further made a complete body and system of a new wisdom or 
knowledge of the glory of God. And correspondently is that speech of the 
apostle, chap. ii. ver. 2, to be understood, ' that their hearts might be com- 
forted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance 
of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the 
Father, and of Christ.' This was that subject which terminated the 
apostle's thoughts, as the horizon doth the eye ; he regarded not to look 
beyond it to anything else. And surely, if unto God himself his Christ is 
an aboundary, a sum of that wisdom manifestative, whereby he would make 
himself known to us, and rest contented therein, as the last and fullest till 
we come to glory, then he may well be so to us, and may we reckon our- 
selves complete in him, as Col. ii. 10. How complete and lively a repre- 
sentation Christ, as revealed in the gospel, is of the riches of the glory of 
God to be manifested to us, in comparison with all other, I shall shew by 
and by, when, 

4. In the fourth place, I have added this, how real and lively a demon- 
stration or setting forth of Christ this our gospel, the mystery here is. The 
story of that is this : the apostles that lived and conversed with Jesus Christ 
saw with their own eyes. He dwelt amongst us (says the apostle), John 
i. 14 : God wearing flesh and blood about him and appearing in it, was God 
manifest in the flesh personally, 1 Tim. iii. 16. And so they had the 
privilege in his person to behold his glory. ' And we beheld his glory ' 
(says he), 'the glory as of the only begotten of the Father ; ' so lively repre- 
senting the glory of the Father, that if they knew him, they must needs 
know the Father ; John xiv. 9, ' Have I been so long time with you, and 
yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? He that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father, and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?' They 
beheld it also in his doctrine, in his works and words, and gracious 
converse, full of grace in his converse, and truth in his doctrine, as it 
follows there. ' That which we (says John) have seen with our eyes 
(1 John i. 1), which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of 
the word of life.' Ver. 2, ' For Christ our life was manifested,' &c. And 
when he was gone to heaven, the Holy Ghost came down and caused them 
to understand the end and intent, the use to us, the benefits and the full 
meaning of all he did and said. He turned and translated to them the 
dark mystery of his sufferings written in blood, which they understood not, 
his resurrection, &c, into a familiar language to be understood and learned 
bv lost sinners, of remissions of sins ; redemption through his blood ; 
dying, rising for them, in their stead ; and a thousand such glories redound- 
ing to us, and in us, that are the fruits and results, and reverberations of 
ah he did and acted. The Holy Ghost came and took of his, even all that 
he had done, and unciphered and unriddled it, shewed it to them (as Christ 
says, John xvi. 14) ; and so glorified Christ afresh in that comment of 

Chap. I.] glory of the gospel. 2G5 

gospel light he caused to shine in their hearts. ■ He shall glorify me, for 
he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.' And by them were 
all these things in their sermons reported ; as Peter speaks, 1 Pet. i. 12, 
1 These things which are now reported by them (said he) that have preached 
the gospel to you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.' And 
whilst they thus preached him, God gave forth by their ministry ' the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,' 2 Cor. 
iv. 6, even ' the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of 
God,' ver. 4. 

But, alas ! as Christ himself was gone to heaven, and had taken up his 
glory with him ; and those that were eye-witnesses of it, and should report 
it unto us, are likewise gone off the stage : the Holy Ghost therefore caused 
them to leave a frame and doctrine of the gospel in their writings, both the 
6tory of his life and death by the evangelists, which is but Christ written in 
ciphers ; and in their epistles, which give that story forth in plainer letters, 
opening the use, and end, and intent of all. And these writings opened by 
the Holy Ghost, and the ministers of the gospel hold forth all pieces of it, 
and being set all together, make an express picture and image of Christ, 
and all his glories, who is the express image of the glory of God ; and is 
therefore called the glorious gospel of Christ, the subject of it, who is the 
image of God, and whose glory this holds forth. Thus (as Paul preached 
to the Galatians, Gal. iii. 1), before our eyes Jesus Christ hath been 
pictured, «rgosygap»j, depictus fuit; and that so really and lively, that he is 
bold to affirm, he was crucified among them, even as well as at Jerusalem. 
The Holy Ghost did set them down (as it were) at Jerusalem by the cross, 
and brought him forth crucified before the very eyes of their faith, as really 
and expressly as if they had seen it done with their bodily eyes. Let any 
other tragic story be told by the quickest and most poetic fancy, and it 
cannot be said that it was done or perpetrated among them to whom it was 
told. But the story of Christ and his truths, and all that is told, is said to 
be done among them, whilst it is a-telling. Yea, further, the glorious gospel, 
accompanied with the Spirit, is not only compared to a picturing or paint- 
ing by colours, the most lively and artificial that can be supposed, as in 
that Gal. iii. 1 ; but further, it is compared to the real image of a person 
in a glass, in which you see his soul shines out in all the casts of his eyes, 
in all the postures of his demeanour, and all this in that sparkling manner, 
as if all the angels would limn or draw a picture, they could not come near 
it. This you hare in 2 Cor. iii. 18, compared with 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6. In 
the one he says, ' We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, in 
and by the glorious gospel.' In the other he compareth the other to a glass, 
1 We all behold as in a glass, the glory of the Lord.' That look, how far 
more lovely * the representation of a person is seen in a glass, above what 
in a picture ; so is Christ in this gospel. Let all the curious artists in the 
world conspire to paint the sun, and bring all their orient brightest colours, 
and let a child but come and bring a looking-glass ; and what a wan, pale 
thing is the one, to the glory, splendour, and reality of the other. The 
riches of the glory of the sun, no painting or colours can ever render ; but 
a looking-glass doth. And such is the revelation in the gospel made to 
believers. ' We therein behold as in a glass the g*ory of the Lord ; ' and 
therefore he calls it the glorious gospel of Christ, even as in the text. 

If you ask how this comes to pass ? I answer, By the Spirit that accom- 
panies it. So in that 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' Even as by the Spirit of the Lord,' 

Qu. ' lively ' ?— Ed. 


it is added. If the Spirit of revelation, as it is called, Eph. i. 17, accom- 
pany not this ministry and descriptions of Christ, they are but as pictures, 
or as dead words used to set forth any other narration. But the gospel being 
the ministration of the Spirit, he hath a peculiar act to bring down the real 
subsistence, (as Heb. xi. 1), of the things themselves uttered about Christ, 
which put together make up this image of Christ, in the understanding and 
spirit of the soul and mind. Can Satan make a lively shadow of a person 
long since dead, by condensation of colours, and his light shining therein, 
appear to the eye ? The Spirit can do this much more of Christ, so as 
though you see him not in that glory as he is (1 John iii. 2), in heaven, 
yet the spiritual glory of Christ you see in every truth the gospel utters of 
him ; and have real communion with him thereby, 1 John i. 2, 3, even as 
by laying your eye to the least beam of light that comes in at a cranny in 
a dark room, you see the glory of the whole sun. And as you cannot see 
the sun, but by its own light, so, nor Christ, but by a light let down from 
himself, which the Spirit that is in his heart, and in ours, gives. 

If you will ask how ? I answer, By creation. So in that 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
God that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our 
hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face 
of Jesus Christ.' The words we speak and utter of his glory are but words, 
and would be no more, though we were able to set them out with the 
tongues of angels. But if that Spirit that is in Christ's heart, and lies hid 
in this word (as the promise is, ' My Spirit and my word shall not depart 
out of thy mouth'), if he accompanies it to our hearts, he presents the 
things, and the real images thereof to our souls in and through those words. 
He turns verba in res, as that philosopher when converted acknowledged. 
Which he doth to no other men but to his saints, ' to whom he would 
make known,' &c. 

So then to shut up this ; suppose you had an absent friend alive, whom 
loving, you desire at times to behold in his converse and behaviour, and 
loving aspect to you ; and a picture of him did not content you, but you 
had a glass, into which at times the lively image came, and in which he 
appeared to you really in such and such deportments : such is the gospel 
when the Spirit accompanies it, and conveys Christ spiritualty, and with 
the sight of faith to the soul. And this will help us to understand why he 
is called ' Christ in us ;' of which hereafter. 

How should we prize and value such a glass as this, preserve it from 
soiling, spots, or breaking, and suffer it not to be perverted! You reject 
such as are false and misrepresent ; you affect pure and clear ones ; oh then, 
keep to and preserve the gospel in its purity. You see your husband in it, 
and his beauty, every day. 

5. How completely doth this gospel hold forth the riches of the glory of 
God in the person of Jesus Christ, as a redeemer and crucified, 2 Cor. iv. 4, 
and 6, compared with 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. The word is h Kgocuvw, 2 Cor. 
iv. 6. John i. 18, ' No man hath seen God at any time ' (John i. 18), 
1 the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath de- 
clared him,' ii*riy7}6a,To, which word (as your late critics- observe) Enarra- 
tioneni notat, von tarn sernwiie aut prcedictione, qucun eocpressiom et reprmen- 
tatione factum. It expressed him to the life, and brought God forth out of 
his invisibility, Christ being (Col. i. 15) ' The image of the invisible God.' 
There is indeed a full and complete image of the glory of God, which 
shineth in his person, as he appears in heaven, whereof John, James, and 
• Ludovicus de Picu. 

Chap. I.J glory of the oobpbl. 2G7 

Peter had a glimpse, which transcends infinitely all that which the gospel 
can, or the Spirit of the gospel doth reveal of him. And by this glory 
(John xvii., ' That they may be where I am, and see my glory ') we sliall 
see and understand by converse with him in heaven more, infinitely more, 
of the glory of God in and by him. But this glory the gospel treats not 
of, but only hints ; we discern it but by collecting what glory must needs 
be due to that man in whom the fulness of the Godhead personally dwells. 
But that image of God which in Christ this gospel holds forth, is but the 
hopes of that other glory, and is a lower thing than that which his person 
wears in heaven. 

And yet this discovery of God in Christ transcends whatever any way 
was or could otherwise have been made. The ' back-parts ' of God, which 
we call his attributes, his power, wisdom, truth, justice, which God calls 
his glory to Moses, Exod. xxxvi., and which w r e cannot see and live : these 
are infinitely more really and substantially, and to the life, set forth to us, 
by what we know of Christ as a redeemer in the gospel ; and do infinitely 
transcend whatever of them either was, or could have been expressed in 
millions of several worlds, filled all of them with several sorts of intel- 
ligent creatures, such as angels and men, to never so great a variety, 
as the KoXvKoixiXog coyia of God could have diversified the natures of 
them into. 

There is a threefold image of God in Christ. 

1. As he is his Son, without the consideration of his dwelling in an 
human nature ; and so he is unto God the Father that image of himself by 
whom he understands himself. And were he not equal with himself, he 
should not understand or behold himself by him fully and perfectly. And 
Christ thus is in that respect as invisible, as incomprehensible as God him- 
self. For, so considered, he is God, and dwells in light inaccessible. 

2. There is an image of the glory of God shining in his person in heaven, 
such as all that shall see it shall say (as they did, Mat. xvii., upon a glimpse 
of it) that it is proper only to the only begotten Son of God. 

But, 3. There is a glorious image of all God's attributes, which shines 
in the person of Christ (as he conversed here), and in the works which 
Christ hath done for us, and in the fruits and benefits that redound thereby 
to us : or in the works of Christ (which are the beams whereof this sun is 
the body) in us, now he is in heaven, leading us into communion with him- 
self. And they all make a complete image, and that more perfect, of the 
riches of God's glory : and this the gospel treats of. The first of these is 
the foundation of the second, the second of this third : and do each exceed 
the other. There is a new and complete edition of all the attributes of 
God, which results out of the story of what he is, hath done, and is made 
to us. 

In the 1 Cor. i. 24, Christ is termed ' the power of God, and the wisdom 
of God.' He calls him by terms of the attributes of God in abstracto. And 
if the question be, How we are to understand it ? Not of what Christ is 
essentially merely as God, or simply as the Son of God, which w^as the 
first, nor yet as in his person as God-man, he hath an infinite wisdom and 
power inherent in him, which was the second ; but as he is made to us by 
his works of mediation for us, and the like, and in respect of what his 
person is made to us. Which is clear by the context : for he speaks of 
Christ as he is crucified, and of the power of God shewn, and put forth in 
calling and converting our souls by the foolishness of preaching. ' It 
pleased God, through the foolishness of preaching, to save them that be- 


lieve,' ver. 21. And so it follows, ver. 23, 'We preach Christ crucified, 
unto them which are called, the power of God.' 

The like is as clear to be understood of Christ's being the wisdom oi 
God, which is attributed to him in respect of what he is made to us ; so, 
ver. 30, ' who is made unto us wisdom,' &c. And both these, the power 
and wisdom of God, appeared in Cbrist, in what he did and suffered. 
And therefore Paul subjoins, chap. ii. 2, ' As to know nothing but Christ ' 
(of which I spake afore), so he adds, ' as crucified.' So then Christ as 
crucified, and by the like reason made flesh, and walking holily, dying, 
overcoming sin, wrath, Satan, hell, rising, ascending, and then converting, 
justifying, glorifying us. In all and each of these works performed by him 
he is the power of God, the wisdom of God ; and so even in these a perfect 
edition of all those attributes. And for the same, and by the like reason, he 
may be entitled the truth, the life, the love of God, as he is in other scriptures. 
The truth of God, because he ratified all the promises, and confirmed them 
true. The faithful witness, God's Amen. So he is to* the love of God, 
1 John iv. 16, where God is said to be love, not in respect of what he is in 
himself, but in what he is to us in giving his Son ; ' God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten Son.' And not only so, but he who 
himself was God ' laid down his life for us' (chap. iii. 16), sinners, enemies, 
which all commend that love, Rom. v. And thus is the love of God made 
manifest to the utmost, 1 John iv. 9, that whereas none could see the 
infinite love of God as it is in himself; — thus John in that very place, 
' no man hath seen God at any time,' ver. 18, — nor can, nor could ever have 
come to have fathomed the infinite sweetnesses of love and kindnesses that 
lie at the bottom of that heart ; therefore God, to express the utmost of 
it, gave Christ, that in the love of Christ we might comprehend the height, 
the breadth, the depth of that love that yet passeth knowledge, as Eph. 
iii. 19. Then to instance again in power ; Adam and the angels saw God's 
power in the creation of the world, Rom. i. 20. But in Christ's, and his 
work of redemption, he came to see infinitely far greater works than these, 
as Christ speaks. Look upon him in the womb, and see God and man's 
nature united into one person, • the power of the most High overshadowing 
his mother,' Luke i. 35. Which word was sought out to shew how great 
and incomprehensible a power, mysteriously and secretly wrought within 
that vail, in the framing and then uniting that human nature to the Son of 
God. As great artists, as curious limners, &c, work within doors, conceal 
their work whilst a-doing, so the Spirit doth his power. And if the fram- 
ing the body of man, and the union of the body and soul, is wondered at by 
David, as so curious a piece of workmanship, and therefore wrought, as it 
were, underground — ' I am wonderfully made,' says he, ' in the lower parts of 
the earth ' — how much more wonderful was the framing of an habitation for 
the fulness of the Godhead to dwell in, and uniting God personally there- 
unto ! Look again upon him on the cross, a weak and sorry man. For, 
as 2 Cor. xiii. 4, ' he was crucified in weakness,' and yet left and found in 
that weakness, but on purpose to make an infinite power of God appear ; 
his power was perfected in that weakness ; look on him as a poor man made 
up of flesh and blood, bearing the wrath of God and all the sins of the 
world. He bore that wrath that brake the back of men and angels, and 
crushed the strongest creatures to hell, and brake their bones without reco- 
very. But this weak drop of flesh and blood is backed and steeled with so 
great and infinite a power, as he eluctates and overcomes it. Yea, and it 

* Qu. 'too'?— Ed. 

Chap. L] glory of the gospel. 2G9 

is impossible that ho should bo held under it, Acts ii. 24. Then see him 
rising and flinging open the gates of death, the grave, and hell, ' declared to 
be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from tbe dead,' Rom. i. 4, 
like another Sampson taking these gates of brass off their hinges, and 
carrying them on his back to the top of the hill he ascended from into 
heaven. Measure but the distance between the low estate of his body in 
the grave, and of his soul on the cross, and that superexalted estate of 
glory in the highest heavens ; and what compasses our * mathematic instru- 
ments can the most enlarged understandings frame within their own thoughts 
to take this elevation ? So transcendent a power appears in raising up this 
Christ from death to glory, which the apostle doth greaten accordingly, 
Eph. i. 19, and makes it the highest pattern of power that God ever put 
forth, ' According to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought 
in Christ, whom he raised from the dead (so low), and set him at his own 
right hand in the heavenly places (so high), far above all principalities and 
powers,' &c. View the like in holiness. The glory of God's holiness is so 
great, and his eyes so pure, that when he beheld the holiness of his best 
creatures, the angels (and in any other that had been mere creatures, if 
supposed greater than they, it had been all one), his critical curious eyes 
reckon it but folly. The angels, the inhabitants of heaven, are not clean 
in his sight. But here is a holiness of a man in whom God dwells, satis- 
fies his curiosity, and though indeed it cannot profit him (as Ps. xvi. 1, 
Christ confesseth), yet he can find no fault with it. It cannot but fully 
please him, for it is the righteousness of God. See the difference of the 
strength, the efficacy of these two holinesses, and by that guess at the 
transcendent excellency and virtue of the one above the other. Sin, the 
least sin, is stronger than all the holiness in men or angels. For the guilt 
of one sin no sooner arrested an angel, but it instantly expelled all holiness 
out of his heart, and wiped out the memory of all his righteous works. 
And no sooner seized it on Adam, but it drave out of his heart, as his 
person out of paradise, all that stock of holiness was laid up in him for all 
mankind, forced it forth of his and all our hearts, being but imputed to us. 
And yet, lo ! the holiness of Christ is such, that when the guilt of sin of all 
the elect were thrown upon him, and reckoned by God and himself as his 
own, yet his holiness is of such a sovereignty that it preserves him from the 
infection thereof, overcometh sin, death, hell, the law ; and triumphing, 
cries out, ' Oh death, where is thy sting ? The sting of death is sin ; the 
strength of sin is the law. But thanks be unto God, who hath not only 
given Christ, but this Christ the victory.' For the strength of his holiness 
is such, that though it preserved not him from being hurt by the imputa- 
tion of our sins, but laid hold on by us, and imputed by God unto us, it 
expels all the virulent poison and venom of the deadliest sins out of our 
hearts. Yet, oh ! f what a demonstration of an infinite holiness is here ? 

4. There is the greatest of justice and wrath against sin. That God 
should put to death his own Son for sin, when he became but a surety for 
it, was a clearer manifestation of his anger, and a higher piece of justice 
against sin, than if he had made and there sacrificed millions of worlds. 

5. There is the clearest brightness of his righteousness, such as is not 
found shining in the law or in their hearts ; I mean of Adam or the angels. 
For this, at the utmost, serves but to justify themselves, and there is little 
enough of it too ; the weight of the least dust in their balance would cause 
a rejection of them as too light. And if the righteousness of them all by a 

* Qu. ' or'?— Ed. t Qu. ■ Yes! oh'?— Ed. 


general contribution were contracted into any one of them, it could not serve 
to free one sinner from one sin. Yea, only one sinful act in themselves 
would make a forfeiture of all the good in them, or that had come from 
them. But here is a righteousness of that efficacy as serves for millions of 
sinners ; of that breadth, as is able to cover worlds of sins and millions of 
worlds ; of that length, that it reacheth to eternity, an everlasting righteous- 
ness ; and no sin in God's people can wear it out, or evacuate and lessen 
the virtue of it. All the divine perfections mentioned before ; and, 

6. Not only all before are more gloriously and perspicuously set forth 
in a new edition of them, but with addition also of the discovery of some 
perfections in God, which no way else had come forth unto our compre- 
hensions. Yea, those attributes which God accounts his greatest riches 
and highest glory, as, Rom. ix. 23, his mercy and free grace, which he de- 
sired most of all to exalt in the manifestation of himself, never saw light 
till now. That great love wherewith he loved us, hidden in his heart, now 
brake forth, as Joseph's to his brethren. His love to Adam, and mankind 
in him, was but providential, founded on the law of creation, whereby he 
loveth the works of his hands as such ; and whilst they should love God, 
God would love them. But here is a love issuing from what is in his own 
heart as the fountain of it, and a spring, yea, a sea, to feed it, a love in 
Christ founded on him, and in nothing in the creature, the same where- 
with he loves him to everlasting, peremptory, unchangeable. Mercy and 
free grace, which are the richest jewels in his crown, had never else appeared ; 
the doctrine of salvation through Christ being the stage set up on purpose 
whereon only it is represented, and off from which it is nowhere else seen, 
upon which it acts itself the greatest part and gives all the other their parts, 
and manageth, ordereth the whole scenes. All passages begin and end with 
it, and tend to this, that ' by grace we are saved.' The saints' title is, 
{ vessels of mercy,' Rom. ix. 23. The whole plot and frame is made up of 
mercy, and is so called, 1 Pet. ii. 10. The doctrine itself that brings this 
salvation is termed ' grace,' Titus ii. 10, 11. It begins, sets all a- work, 
and ends all in glory. 

Use. Let us, then, both ministers and people, be exhorted to study and 
search into this gospel. My brethren, whatever other knowledge we may 
pride ourselves in, and wear out our brains about the searching into, yet 
this is that which is the riches of the Gentiles and saints, as this text hath 
it, the pearls of the world, Mat. xiii. 45, the glory of the ministry, 1 Cor. 
ii. 7, which God ordained for our glory, namely, apostles' and ministers', 
the preachers of it, the clear revealing of which was the desire and longing 
of the patriarchs and prophets, who, though they knew the legal covenant 
as well as we, yet this doctrine of salvation, Christ's sufferings, God's grace, 
was it they inquired into, 1 Pet. i. 10-12, that is, sought to God by prayer 
and searched diligently, searched, using all the means of reading, medi- 
tating to attain to the knowledge of it, and all this diligently spent, and 
thought it worthy of the chiefest of their pains. And all the answer they 
could get was this, that they delivered these things for us, it being ordained 
for our glory ; which Paul, therefore, that had profited so much in the 
knowledge of the Jews' religion, Gal. i. 14, professeth, Phil. iii. 8, that he 
' accounted all dross and dung, for this excellent knowledge of Christ.' For 
he makes his knowledge therein his chiefest excellency, Eph. iii. 4. There 
is a parenthesis, wherein you would think he boasted, speaking of his 
own writings, whereby, ' when ye read,' saith he, ' ye may understand 
my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.' The first obscure dawning made 

Chap. II.] glory of the gospel. 271 

John the Baptist, who did hut point at Christ, greater than all the pro- 
phets that were afore him. 

What do I speak of the study and glory of prophets and apostles? It 
is the study of tho angels, and which they think worth their greatest in- 
tention. Look into those two places, 1 Pet. i. 10, Eph. iii. 10, ' Which 
things the angels desire to pry into.' Those glorious creatures that 
knew God in his legal covenant and work of creation (and thoso in heaven 
saw it more glorious than this visible world) more fully than ever Adam 
did, that have the immediate participation of God himself, have his face 
to read lectures in day and night, are yet glad if they can get but a 
peep and glimpse of the way of saving men by Jesus Christ, as being a 
knowledge of a greater excellency than otherwise they have any. Yea, 
and so desirous are they to learn it, that they are content to go to school 
to the church, Eph. iii. 9, 10, ' that to principalities and powers might 
be made known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God.' 

But what need I speak of angels, prophets, or apostles ? It is the great 
study (I may so speak with reverence), the wisdom and great learning of God 
himself, who was the first professor of it, called so, 7mt hfyyfa. 1 Cor. 
ii. 7, speaking of the gospel, says he, ' We speak the wisdom of God in 
a mystery,' and that a hidden wisdom before the world was, ' hid in God,' 
Eph. iii. 9. It is God's art, and peculiar to himself, whereas of other 
knowledge men and angels have common notions infused at first creation, 
to attain to and pick out of themselves. But this is his wisdom, which 
he alone had studied, and which none knows but those to whom he reveals it. 


The excellency of the gospel proved from the profoundness of the knowledge 

revealed in it. 

I shall now go on to discourse the excellency of the knowledge of the 
gospel by those properties that do lie in order in the 26th verse. 

In this 26th verse, as I have told you, there are three properties ascribed 
to this knowledge of the gospel which God hath made known himself by. 

1. Here is the depth and profoundness of it, in that it is called a mystery. 

2. Here is the secrecy and hiddenness of it; it was hidden from all ages 
and from generations, till the apostles' time and till Christ came. 

3. Here is the rareness of the revealing of it, now when it is revealed ; 
it is revealed only to his saints, ' Even that mystery which hath been hid 
from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.' 

I shall open these three heads to you in their order. 

1. First, It is called a mystery. That word importeth more eminently 
these two things : 

(1.) A profoundness and a depth of knowledge. 

(2.) A secret and a hidden knowledge. 

Now because this second is contained in the words aftei*ward — ' hidden 
from ages and generations' — therefore I shall only speak to the first. 

(1.) The knowledge, I say, of the gospel, and the things that are known 
therein, they are all deep, they are profound, they are mysteries— mysteries 
for their depth. In 1 Cor. ii., the apostle, speaking of this wisdom of the 
gospel, he calleth it a mystery, as he doth here, and he calleth it a mystery 
for its hiddenness too. So ver. 7, ' We speak the wisdom of God in a 


mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world,' &e. 
But if you read ver. 10, you shall find that he calleth the things revealed in 
the gospel, ' the deep things of God.' ' The Spirit' (saith he) ' searcheth all 
things, yea, the deep things of God ;' meaning the things contained in this 
mystery. And hence, therefore, it is called a great mystery, 1 Tim. iii. 16, 
' Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifesteth in the flesh,' &c. Now 
when it is called a great mystery, it is not in respect of its being hidden, 
but in respect of the depth and profoundness of it. Things may be carried 
hiddenly and secretly, that have no great depth in them ; therefore now 
mystery imports more than merely a being hidden. 

And, my brethren, in the general, how can it be otherwise, but that all 
the things the gospel revealeth, every one should be depths and mysteries ? 
For it is the wisdom of God, called so in a special manner. So in that 
1 Cor. ii. 7, ' We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery.' It is therefore 
a mystery, because it is a wisdom of his inventing ; and therefore containeth 
nothing but depth in it. What saith the apostle in Rom. xi. 33 ? (It is a 
place full to this purpose.) ' Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God !' And of what wisdom and knowledge doth he 
speak ? You must know that, of all epistles, that of the Romans is a system 
of divinity methodically laid down ; and the apostle having in the latter 
chapters uttered those great and glorious things of the gospel, and fetched 
them all out from the very bottom of God's breast — he having handled elec- 
tion and reprobation just before, and the calling of the Jews, and how that 
God had shut up all under sin, that at last he might have mercy upon all — 
when he had waded now so far into all these depths, that he felt himself as 
it were over head and ears, he breaks off abruptly that whole discourse, 
and cries out, ' Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and know- 
ledge of God !' Like one that is wading into the sea, when he is gone so 
far that he begins to be up to the neck, to the chin, he then cries out, 
' Oh the depth !' and comes back again ; so doth Paul here. It is as if he 
had said, ' ye Romans, I have gone as far as I can, and now I am even 
swallowed up, I can go no farther. Oh the depth !' The things of the 
gospel are depths (for that is the thing I quote this place for). It is a deep 
knowledge, because it is that knowledge which God appropriates unto him- 
self as his invention. 

Which may easily be made out by a small degree of comparison. 
Solomon, in Prov. xviii. 4, saith, that ' the words of a wise man are as deep 
waters ; ' but yet, though the words of a wise man are as deep waters, another 
wise man may fetch it out. So he tells us in Prov. xx. 5, ' Counsel in the 
heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it 
out.' But now take kings amongst men, and of all others, if they be wise 
(for that is Solomon's supposition), their hearts are unsearchable ; so he 
saith in Prov. xxv. 3, where he compares the heart of a wise king, such 
as he himself was, to the heavens for height, and to the earth for deepness : 
' The heaven for height (saith he), and the earth for depth, and the heart of 
a king is unsearchable.' And the reason is, because that they deal with 
metaphysical things (as I may so call them), that is, they deal with generals, 
as with all states and nations about them, and what their interests are with 
them, and their animosities against them ; and they deal with all the factions 
of their own people, and they know all the provocations of them ; there are 
a thousand such secret things by which their actions are guided that the 
people know not ; they having therefore such a mighty compass in all their 
transactions, their subjects cannot search into their hearts. Now then, if 

Chap. II.] glory of the gospel. 278 

the heart of a king bo thus unsearchable, what think you is tho heart of 
God, who had in his eye all souls in all ages, who hath had millions of 
worlds in his thoughts, which he could have made, afore this world was ? 
In that 1 Cor. ii., when tho apostle would commend the gospel, because it 
is the wisdom of God, what doth he do ? He sets by it the wisdom (which 
is the greatest wisdom in this world) of princes, and of the great ones of 
the world ; ' We speak wisdom' (saith he, ver. G), ' yet not the wisdom of this 
world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought ; but we speak 
the wisdom of God,' &c. Ho instanceth, you see, in the wisdom of princes, 
as the greatest wisdom of all the rest ; and he makes that to vanish, and to 
come to nought before the deep things that are in the heart of God (as he 
expresseth it, ver. 10), before the depth of this wisdom which God himself 
hath revealed. In Ps. xxxvi. 6, David makes the judgments of God to be 
a great deep. By the judgments of God there he means the works of his 
common providence, his ways of governing this world, whether in ways of 
mercy or of judgment, for he doth not mean merely ways of judgment strictly 
taken for justice ; for in the Scripture phrase, the judgments of God are as 
well his works of mercy, as of justice ; and the works of his common pro- 
vidence are meant, which appeareth likewise by what followeth in the next 
words, ' He preserveth man and beast ;' that is, his ways whereby he pre- 
serveth man and beast, and governs all the world, they are a great deep. 
But if you come to the salvation of men, he is the saviour of all men, by 
common providence, but especially of those that believe ; if you come to 
those judgments, ' Oh, how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past 
finding out !' saith the apostle in that Rom. xi. 33, when he had spoken of 
his ways of saving men. 

The greatest wisdom that was ever set up in this world by the princes of 
it, is the kingdom of popery ; it is a composition of all sorts of policies, 
called therefore a mystery of iniquity by the apostle in 2 Thess. ii. 7, and 
you shall find in Rev. xvii. 5, that the whore that rideth upon the beast 
hath this name written in her forehead, ' Mystery, Babylon the great,' &c. 
It is a very strange thing, that God in his providence should so order it, 
that in the old mitres that the popes used to wear, there was engraven in 
the inside Mysterium ; but since they were challenged out of the Revelation 
to be that great antichrist and whore, they have left it out. It is a wonder- 
ful thing to read their schoolmen and casuists in their prosecution of what 
concerned the frame of religion they have invented, what great depths (but 
depths of Satan, which he hath helped men to invent), what harmony one 
head hath in it answering to another, what a great deal of profoundness of 
learning there is in that system and fabric. Now this great mystery I may 
call the gospel of antichrist, it is another gospel made onpurpose, and set 
up by Satan to advance his eldest son antichrist. And as Satan did make 
a gospel for his eldest son, a wisdom which the world never knew before, 
and which for the depths of it is called a mystery of iniquity, surely, my 
brethren, when God himself shall go and make a gospel for his Son Jesus 
Christ, to reveal by it the riches of his glory unto the saints, what depths, 
think you, must needs be in this glorious gospel ? It is called ' the mystery 
of Christ,' in Eph. iii. 4. And when Paul boasteth of the profoundness of 
his knowledge, he doth it of his ' knowledge in the mystery of Christ,' Col. 
iv. 3. And as was said before, ' Without controversy, great is the mystery 
of godliness, God manifested in the flesh,' 1 Tim. iii. 16. 

The mystery of Christ's incarnation for the reconciling of the world (to 
instance but in that) was such a mystery, as all created understandings 



could never have brought forth. For consider but this, how things did 
stand between God and man, (let me but state the difference and the con- 
troversy, as I may say, between God and man). First, God laid this for a 
conclusion, that he would not put up the least wrong from his creature, but 
he would have full satisfaction from the sinner. In the second place, it was 
as clear and as apparent, that no creature could satisfy him, neither the sin- 
ner nor any for him. And yet, thirdly, God stood upon this too, he would 
have satisfaction from a creature, and that nature that had sinned should 
satisfy. Do but lay all these three things together. If God now should 
have gone and referred the untying of this knot to a consultation of all in- 
telligible* natures, angels and men, that ever were or shall be, it would 
have wildered, plunged their thoughts unto eternity ; and after millions of 
years of consultation they would have returned this answer, they could 
think and find out no way. Therefore, saith he, ' Great is the mystery of 
godliness, God manifested in the flesh ;' and it is without controversy so 
too, that is, it is such a mystery, as whoever understandeth the state of the 
controversy before between God and man, and this to be the answer, he 
must needs acknowledge, that there are depths of God in it, and that no 
other could have invented it. It carries its own testimony of divinity with 
it. Without controversy, saith he, or universally, must this be received to 
be a great mystery, ' God manifested in the flesh.' 

That is a deep knowledge, and containeth depths in it, which contains 
nothing but the reconciliation of contradictions, to make things, which in 
appearance are seeming contradictions, meet. But so the gospel doth all 
along. I shall give you instances, and some scriptures for them too. 

Take the doctrine of God's election and free grace. That at once a 
creature should be loved with the greatest love of God, and yet be a child 
of wrath at the same time (as before conversion he is), can you solve me 
this ? That he should be a son, and an enemy ; the apostle hath it, 
Rom. xi., where he tells you (speaking of the Jews in the root), that ' they 
are beloved for the fathers' sake, and yet enemies for the gospel's sake.' 
And in Eph. ii. 3, he hath it plainly, ' We' (that is, I Paul and the rest) 
' were by nature the children of wrath;' and yet Paul was a chosen vessel, 
beloved of God, even from everlasting, with the highest and greatest love. 
So were the Ephesians he speaks this of ; and it was therefore a love borne 
to them afore, which was the cause of this their quickening and bringing out 
of that estate. That one and the same man should at the same time be 
blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places — that you have in the 
very next words, ' But God who is rich in mercy, for the great love where- 
with he loved us ;' namely, then, when we were thus children of wrath, as is 
evident by that which follows after that, ' even when we were yet dead in 
sins,' out of that*love ' hath he quickened us,' as it is Eph. ii. 5 — and yet 
be cursed with all the curses written in this book, and stand under them, 
what an amazing wonder is tiiis ! It is plain that every man is so ; for 
' cursed is every one that continueth not in everything that is written in 
this book to do it.' It is applicable unto all. The reconciliation is easy, 
the gospel makes these seeming contradictions meet : for if you take man's 
person as considered in Christ, he is thus loved and blessed ; but if you 
take his person as considered in himself, without any to stand between God 
and his sin and guilt, he standeth under the curse of it. So that both 
these are true of him, one in the one sense, and the other in the other. 

So likewise, when the prophet considered in Isa. liii., that God had a 
* That is, ' intelligent,' or rather, ' capable of intelligence.' — Ed. 

Chap. JL] glory of the gospel. 275 

Son as old as himself (as I may so speak) and equal to himself, he breaks 
out, ' Who can declare his generation ?' Here is a depth. 

Our Saviour Christ himself puts some of these riddles to the Pharisees. 
Saith he to them, in Matt. xxii. 43, Solve me this : ' If David call Christ 
Lord, how is he his son ?' The gospel solveth this. 

That a virgin should conceive a son, this was a riddle to Mary her- 
self. ' How shall this be ?' saith she to the angel in Luke i. 34 ? The 
gospel revealeth this. 

That this man Jesus Christ should be in heaven when ho was on earth, 
and should be said to descend from heaven as man, and yet never was 
there then when he said it ;* this was a riddle that Christ posed Nicodemus 
with. He stood wondering at the doctrine of regeneration, that a man 
must be born again. What ! saith Christ, do you wonder at that ? I'll 
tell you a higher riddle than that : ' No man hath ascended up to heaven, 
but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in 
heaven,' John iii. 13. And if you mark the coherence of this with the 
verse before, you shall see he utters this as an heavenly mystery, beyond 
that which he had expressed of regeneration, which he saith was but an 
earthly thing in comparison of this ; ' If,' saith he, ' I have told you 
earthly things, and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I tell you of 
heavenly things ?' So you have it likewise in John vi. When Christ had told 
them that they must eat his flesh, and drink his blood, they strove amongst 
themselves, saying, ' How can this man give us his flesh to eat ?' And 
many of his disciples when they heard it said, ' This is a hard saying, who 
can bear it ?' When Jesus (saith the text) ' knew in himself that his dis- 
ciples murmured at it' (they were those that were not believers, though 
disciples), ' he said unto them, Doth this offend you ?' Can you not under- 
stand this ? I'll give you a harder thing : ' What, and if you shall see 
the Son of man ascend up where he was before ?' And yet he was but the 
son of a virgin, and was (as man) never but in her womb. 

These riddles the gospel, you see, unfoldeth. Now as the person of 
Christ affords all these mysteries and depths, so his obedience affords more. 
That that God that made the law should be subject to the law, and fulfil 
it himself, this you have in Gal. iv. 4, ' He was made of a woman, and 
made under the law.' That God, who is nothing but spirit, should have 
blood to redeem men by, this you have in Acts xx. 28, ' Feed the church 
of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' That he, that is 
God blessed for ever, should be made a curse, this you have in Gal. iii. 13. 
That he, that is, ' the Holy One of Israel,' should be made sin, aye, and 
what is more, he that cannot endure sin, for nothing is more contrary to 
the holiness of God than sin, and yet ' he that knew no sin was made sin,' 
this you have in 2 Cor. v. 21. That God should never be more angry 
with his Son than when he was most pleased with him, for so it was when 
Christ hung upon the cross, God did find a sweet-smelling savour of rest 
and satisfaction even then when he cried out, ' My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me ?' Again, that God should be free in pardoning, 
and yet notwithstanding receive the fullest satisfaction, even to the rigour 
of justice, here is a riddle to all the world, yet you have it in Rom. hi. 
23, 24, < Being justified freely by his grace ;' but how ? ' Through the 
redemption that is in Jesus Christ.' Why, if there were a price by way of 
redemption paid, how was it freely by grace ? Yet it is both. And that 
it should ever be said that ' God is just, and the justifier of him that 
* That is, ' in his human nature.' — Ed 


believeth on Jesus,' so it follows, ver. 2 ; that though he cloth justify 
out of the freest grace, yet he is in the most absolute manner just in doing 
of it; thus to bring mercy and the extremit}' of justice to meet, what a 
reconciliation is this ! I'll give you another, for indeed the doctrine of the 
gospel is nothing else, it is made up of these. God requires satisfaction of 
his Son Jesus Christ in his human nature, and God must be satisfied with 
something that is not his own, for you can never satisfy any one with what 
is his own already. How can this be reconciled ? Why, my brethren, the 
human nature being joined to the second person, he hath that right in it 
that the Father and the Holy Ghost hath not, it is his own in a more pecu- 
liar manner ; for it is one person with him, which it is not with the other 
two persons. No creature could have made satisfaction unto God, for 
whatsoever the creature had was God's own already ; but this second per- 
son, Jesus Christ, he could say to the Father, I will give you that which is 
mine own, I have such a propriety in it as you have not ; and yet all things 
are God's. This you see is reconciled in Christ, and therefore it is put upon 
redeeming us with his oivn blood. 

To come to justification. What an amazing wonder is it that a man 
should be ungodly at the same time that he is justified, and at the same 
time that he is sanctified too. The Scripture is clear for this, Rom. iv. 5. 
Abraham, not only at his first conversion, but a long time afterward, yea, 
in his whole life, looked upon himself as a person ungodly, and to be justi- 
fied b} T God as ungodly, considered in himself. 

So if you come to conversion, there is no man that truly turns to God, 
but he turns freely to him ; it is the freest act that ever man did, or 
else he will never be saved ; yet notwithstanding, though it hath the 
highest freedom in it, it is wrought in him by an almighty power, even 
the same power that raised up Christ from death to life. Here is the 
highest freedom of will, and God's everlasting purpose and power mixed 

Come to the life of a Christian after conversion ; take it as the gospel 
hath revealed it, and it consisteth of nothing but seeming contradictions. 
The apostle, in Gal. ii. 20, reckons up together two contradictions in appear- 
ance ; saith he, ' I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live ;' well, ' yet 
not r — this is strange — ' but Christ liveth in me ; and the life which I live in 
the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.' My brethren, for one soul 
to live in another, and by another one's living in him, and that should be 
his life, it is only the doctrine of the gospel that makes these things true. 
Adam knew no such thing, there was no such art and skill in his life. 
That likewise in Phil. ii. 13, God should work in a man all, both the will 
and the deed, and yet the man work freely with God, this is a seeming 
contradiction, and yet made good by the gospel. 

I have mentioned these, and have given }'ou Scriptures which hold them 
forth to you in very terms. I might mention a thousand others, and I'll 
give you the reason why I mention them : it is not only to confirm the 
point in hand, but let me tell you this, and know it for a truth, the cause 
of all the errors that have been in the world hath been the want of recon- 
ciling these things together. 

The Arians found great things spoken of the manhood of Christ, as of a 
divine man, and therefore they denied that he was God. They could not 
reconcile these two, how God should be man, and man should be God, 
that both should be joined together ; therefore, taking part with one, they 
exclude the other. 

Chap. II. J glory of the gospel. 277 

Our Lord and Saviour Christ is God blessed for ever ; therefore, say the 
papists, he did not suffer the displeasure of God in his soul. Why, say 
they, can God love his Son and be angry with him at the same time ? And 
he that is God blessed for ever, can he be made a curse in his soul ? Yes, 
take him as a surety. They take part with one truth of the gospel to 
exclude the other, whereas the gospel is a reconciliation of both these, and 
therein lies the depth of it. 

So in point of justification. Say the papists, Can a man be justified by the 
righteousness of another ? Are not the saints holy in themselves ? And 
doth not that make them holy ? Is not the wall white with the whiteness 
that is in the wall? It is the want of reconciling these seeming contradic- 
tions that is the ground of that error. I will give you a greater contradic- 
tion in appearance to human reason : a man is ungodly and godly, a sinner 
and justified at the same time. This is true, the Scripture holds it forth 
to be so. 

As for the Socinians, they say there is no satisfaction for sin ; for if God 
pardon freely, how can he pardon for a satisfaction ? Whereas the Scrip- 
ture is clear, that there may be the freest grace in it, and yet satisfaction 
too ; and the truth of the gospel lies in reconciling these two, and that is the 
depth of it ; but they take part with one truth to exclude another. 

Take Antinomianism, as you call it. All those glorious truths of the 
gospel, that a man is justified from all eternity, yea, and glorified from all 
eternity too, &c. ; men cleave to all these truths, whereas other truths are 
to be joined with them. A man, before he believeth, is unjustified, there- 
fore he is said to be justified by faith ; and he is a child of wrath until he 
believe. All believers are now glorified, and sit now in heavenly places 
with Christ, considered in their head, Christ ; yet notwithstanding, what 
poor miserable creatures are they here below. Take believers in their own 
person, they are not so ; but considered in Christ, they are thus. I am 
perfectly sanctified, and perfectly holy, considered in him, and I was cruci- 
fied with him, yea, but the remainders of corruptions are still. All men 
would desire to be more glorified than they are here, yet they are perfectly 
glorified in Christ, considered in him. Here is still taking part with one 
truth to exclude another, whereas both must be taken in. So others object 
they cannot conceive that God should be angry with his elect, and chastise 
for sin ; for if he nothing but love me, how can that be ? It is easily 
answered: there is anger that proceeds from love. Though men's sins are 
forgiven without interruption, yet there is a binding of sins in heaven, so 
saith Mat. xviii. 18 expressly. 

Take Arminianism. What is the foundation of their error ? It is 
merely a want of reconciling seeming, though not real, contradictions in the 
gospel. As, for example, they know not how to reconcile man's free will 
with God's peremptory decree. Say they, If God, out of his unchangeable 
peremptory love to a man, work irresistibly upon his will, how can his will 
be free ? Why, the freest that can be for all this. For consider this, who hath 
more freedom of will than the human nature of Jesus Christ ? For if he 
had not had the height of freedom of will, we could never have been saved 
by him. Yet infallibly and irresistibly, and with the greatest necessity that 
ever could be, was his will carried on always unto good. I say, the taking 
part with one truth, without reconciling it to another, hath been the foun- 
dation of many errors, and therein lies the depth of the gospel, in recon- 
ciling all seeming contradictions whatsoever. 

All these mysteries, I say, hath God knit up in the gospel, to shew his 


own wisdom, and to befool the wise men of the world. So that now, con- 
sidering all those poor and petty plots of reconciling nations and kingdoms, 
all the ways of accommodation, whereby the greatest difficulties are resolved 
between men and men, and kingdom and kingdom, wherein the wise men 
and the princes of the world so glory (for their wisdom lies in ways of 
accommodation, and reconciling things, and in them they spend their 
thoughts, and in them they pride and magnify themselves) — I say, take all 
those depths of state, and the least of these depths that are in the gospel 
makes all the wisdom and policy of the world to vanish before it as mere 
folly. It ' confoundeth the wisdom of the wise, and brings to nothing the 
understanding of the prudent;' so the apostle saith, 1 Cor. i. 19. 

I might likewise shew you that the gospel, in the knowledge of it, is 
excellent in respect of the depths that are in it, so in respect of all that har- 
mony and correspondency that there is in the gospel of one truth with 
another. The excellency of knowledge lies as well in the suiting of one 
thing with another, as in the profoundness of the things themselves. Now 
there was never such an invention as this, that as it is said in Ecclesiastes, 
1 God hath set one thing against another,' so the harmony, the suiting of 
all truths one with another here, in that glorious manner, is nowhere to be 
found in any wisdom or art whatsoever. The philosophers found a great 
deal of harmony in the things of this world, for the skill and art that God 
hath stamped upon the creatures consisteth in the harmony that is between 
one thing and another. 

Now the observations would be infinite that might be made of this kind. 
How our sinfulness and Christ's satisfaction and obedience answers one 
another : there is nothing in tb\ T soul that thou canst object, but there is 
that in the gospel which will answer it particularly. And so of ah other 
truths, it may be said they kiss each other. My brethren, it is the thread 
that runs through all divinity ; therefore a man must make a whole body, a 
system of divinity, that will do this, and when it is done, there is nothing 
more glorious. 

Now, the gospel is not only a mystery and a depth in respect of wisdom, 
but let me give you another depth, and that is a depth of love, which is 
laid up and revealed in this doctrine and knowledge of the gospel, Eph. iii. 
18, 19, ' That you may comprehend, with ah saints, the height, and depth, 
and length, and breadth, of the love of God, which passeth knowledge.' Sin 
is a great depth, which the law lays open ; therefore, saith Jeremiah, chap, 
xvii. 9, ' The heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it ? ' And 
Solomon saith, in Eccles. vii. 25, ' I thought myself wise enough, I set 
myself to find out and to know the wickedness of folly.' But he could not 
find out that depth of wickedness that is in man's heart, or make an 
anatomy of the heart. And poor souls, when they are humbled, find it so, 
and the damned spirits in hell find it so ; for what is it they study, and 
shall do to everlasting *? Then own sinfulness and God's wrath, their parts 
being extended and set upon the utmost tenter-hooks, and their sins being 
set in order before them, they study nothing but their sins, and meditate 
nothing but terror; and this is hell. But now there is a mystery of love 
as well as of wisdom revealed in the gospel, a depth that swalloweth up all 
the depths of sinfulness that is in the elect, yea, and if they were a thousand 
times vaster than they are. The apostle, in that place I quoted even now, 
Eph. iii. 18, speaks of heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths in 
the love of God ; he compares it to a mighty sea, which swalloweth up hills 
like molehills, a sea which is of that depth that the thoughts of men, though 

Chap. II. J glory of tiik gospel. 279 

they shall he diving to all eternity to the bottom of it, shall never come 
thither, a sea of that length and breadth, that though they are sailing over 
it to everlasting, yet they shall never come to shore. It passeth knowledge, 
saith he. God's heart, my brethren, is as deep in love as it is in wisdom ; 
yea, and his love was it that set his wisdom to work, to find out all those 
depths whereby to shew his love. And, therefore, it is an observable place 
in Horn. xi. 33, which I quoted at the first, ' the depth,' saith he, ' of 
the riches of the knowledge and wisdom of God ! ' You would think that 
the apostle there speaks only of the knowledge and wisdom of God. No ; 
he means mercy and love, as well as wisdom, or rather, wisdom set a-work 
by love. And it is clear by the context, for he had spoken in the words 
before of God's shewing mercy to the elect, ' That through your mercy,' 
saith he, ' they might obtain mercy ; ' ' For God hath concluded all under 
unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all ; ' '0 the depth,' &c. Having 
spoken of love and mercy, which God intends to his elect, and the ways 
and contrivances that wisdom hath to shew mercy, he cries out, ' the 
depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! ' And there, 
in Rom. xii. 1, where he comes to make application to all, what saith he ? 
' I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you ' do 
so and so. We have two gulfs in us, two vessels, understanding and will, 
and both these must be filled. "Why, the gospel contains two depths in it, 
the one to fill your understanding, the other to fill your will and affections 
for ever. It contains a depth of wisdom, and it contains a depth of love ; 
it is a mystery of wisdom, and it is a mystery of love. And so now I have 
despatched the first property of the excellency of the gospel, that it is a 

I shall but make a short use of it, and that is only this. These are great 
invitements unto men to become saints, and being so, to search in a more 
especial manner into the things of the gospel. You know great under- 
standings seek after depths, as good swimmers do after great rivers, and 
will not go to shallows. It is said of the leviathan, that he plays in the 
sea. There is room enough to do so. If anything invites the under- 
standing of man to be searching and prying, the depths of the gospel will 
do it. 

And let me add this to it, which, as it enhanceth the worth of the gospel, 
so it should set on our spirits after the knowledge of it, and the knowledge 
of it as saints, the depths of it are so great that it will always produce new 
knowledge ; though you know but the same things again, yet your know- 
ledge shall be always new. Why ? Because ' it passeth knowledge.' Go, 
take all other things that are the greatest riddles and secrets in the world, 
and when you once know them, you know them, and they become trivial 
when you once know them. There was a secret in nature which the world 
almost for three thousand years did not know — I am sure the heathens did 
not — and that was the cause of the eclipse of the sun and the moon, and 
they stood all wondering, as of late the West Indians did, when such a 
thing happened. Now, we know that the moon's coming between the sun 
eclipseth it, and the shadow of earth coming between the moon and the 
sun eclipseth it ; and this great riddle that amazed the world, we count it, 
now we know it, but a trivial thing ; and who almost, when the sun or 
moon are eclipsed, thinks of it with any admiration ? But when the depths 
of the gospel are unfolded to you, you may still search into them, and 
search further with new pleasure, and to a renewed understanding they 
are always new and fresh. There is no new thing under the sun, saith 


Solomon in Eccles. i. And he speaks of natural, moral knowledge. But 
there is nothing but new things which are above the sun, which believers 
know. Therefore, as the mercies of God are new every morning, so the 
thoughts of these mercies, they are to an holy heart precious, sweet, new 
every morning. And you shall find this, that as you grow up more in 
holiness, still the things you knew before will be new to you, the very same 
things, besides your enlargement in other things that you did not know before. 
So the apostle clearly saith, in 1 Cor. xiii. 10, ' When that which is perfect 
is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I 
understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish 
things.' Every new degree of spiritual light swallowed up what he knew 
before, that he thinketh that he did not know it before, the knowledge of 
it, or that new light, being so, pleasant to him. 

Now, my brethren, to have the mind of man not only to have depths 
made the object of it, but the holier he grows to be carried on to further 
depths, to be led along thus with continual new knowledge, there is nothing 
more pleasant ; and yet this the gospel is, and all the depths of it. And 
then, when you shall have depths of love added, a sea of love breaking in 
upon your hearts at every thought (if the apprehension be wound up high), 
to fill a man's will and affection, as the other filled his understanding, this 
must needs fill the heart with unspeakable pleasure and joy and content- 
ment in the view and contemplation of this great ard high mystery. Now, 
if we had holiness enough, and love enough, and faith enough, and grew 
in these, this would certainly be our case. And so much now for this first 
property of the gospel that is here mentioned, that it is called a mystery. 


Another demonstration of the excellency of the gospel, that it is a secret mystery, 
a hidden and concealed wisdom. 

1 Which hath been hidden from ages and from generations,' 1 <&c. — Col. I. 2G. 

2. I come now to the second of those properties or adjuncts that are attri- 
buted or ascribed unto the gospel, mentioned in this 20th verse, to set forth 
the glory of it, and that is the secrecy and hiddenness of it. ' Hidden,' 
saith he, ' from ages and from generations.' 

That which is here translated hid is, in Rom. xvi. 25, silent, not spoken 
of; it was kept secret, at least the mystery of it. ' Now to him,' saith 
he, ' that is of power to stablish you, according to my gospel, and the 
preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, 
which was kept secret since the world began.' The apostle Paul, in all 
the foregoing part of the epistle, had laid open the great things of this 
gospel, and now at the latter end of all, in the conclusion of it, because 
that it is the revelation of the gospel for which we are most of all to 
bless God, he makes that doxology, or closeth it with this praise and 
thanksgiving unto God, ' Now, to him that is of power to stablish you, 
according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to 
the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 
but now is made manifest, to God only wise be glory, through Jesus Christ. 
Amen.' He doth involve and interweave the mention of the glory and 
excellency of this gospel as that for which there is glory to be given to 

Chap. III.] glory of the gospel. 281 

God in all ages and by all nations (fur so the doxology runs), and this for 

It is said here to bo ' hid from ages and from generations.' Interpreters, 
some of them, do make a difference between these two, namely, aijes and 
generations, that the one doth import all those times of eternity (if they 
may be called times) before the world was ; and the other all the times 
that have been since God made this world, since indeed time was. I shall 
give you the sense in which the gospel may bo said to be hid in both 

If, in the first place, we take from ages to be all the time before the world 
was ; as in Acts xv. it is, ' Known unto God ' (saith he) ' are his works, 
even from everlasting ;' then this gospel was hid with God, even from ever- 
lasting. In 1 Cor. ii. 7, he saith, it is the ' mystery and hidden wisdom 
which God hath ordained before the world ;' and in Rev. xiv. 6, it is called 
' the everlasting gospel.' And therefore you shall observe likewise in the 
place quoted even now, Rom. xvi. 25, 2G, he saith, it is ' a mystery, which 
was kept secret since the world began ' — so our translators read it ; it is 
the same word which is used here for ages — ' and is now made manifest, 
according to the commandment of the everlasting God.' Why comes in 
the epithet of that God which hath been from everlasting, but because the 
gospel hath been so too, and hath been kept secret, not only from the time 
since the world began, but from everlasting also ? 

You will say unto me, In what respect should the gospel be said to be 
hid even from everlasting, when there was no creature to know it ? 

I answer, because it was that knowledge which in God's esteem, even 
from everlasting, he resolved he would be sparing of, and ordained to reserve 
to himself. The things of the gospel they were (as the apostle tells us, 
1 Cor. ii. 10) 'the deep things of God,' that lay (as I may so speak) at 
the bottom of his heart, the great secrets, which he esteemed such even 
from everlasting. And whereas for other kind of knowledge he had but a 
common regard, not much caring or standing upon it, when he should re- 
veal it, and so thought with himself. As for the knowledge of other things, 
I can set no time for the revelation of them (that is, in respect of any 
peculiar account or value I have of them, though all things fall within my 
decree), but I will give means to mankind to know anything else presently; 
but this of the gospel, saith he, I will reserve. Other things in God that 
he meant to reveal, they lay uppermost in his thoughts, &c, they were 
common, he cared not how soon they were known. But these were the 
deep things of God ; God hath not been sparing or nice (as I may express 
it) of any other knowledge whatsoever, that in this world he meant to re- 
veal to the sons of men, either the knowledge of the creature, or of his law ; 
but this of the gospel he locked up in his own breast, he had a peculiar 
cabinet for it, and it lay under a lock of his own decree not to manifest it 
till the fulness of time should come. And therefore it is said to be ' hid in 
God, even from everlasting.' There is a phrase in 1 Cor. ii. 10. Speaking 
of this gospel (as in that chapter he doth), he saith, ' The Spirit searcheth 
all things, yea, the deep things of God.' It is expressed after the manner 
of men, and that phrase with that emphasis, ' Yea, the deep things of God,' 
implies that God, as other artists, and those that are wise, when he hath 
anything that is rare, and which he cares not to let every one see, keeps it 
close. In the like manner, you have a phrase at the 9th verse of that chapter, 
' Eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart 
of man, the things ' (the things of the gospel, namely, for he speaks of the 


gospel in that chapter) ' which God hath prepared for them that love him.' 
Prepared, when ? Why, prepared even from everlasting, for, as Austin 
well expresseth it, the decrees of God (saith he) they are but the prepara- 
tions, the contrivements of all those benefits and mercies which God in- 
tended to bestow upon us. 

Secondly, It is said to be hidden also from generations, that is, from ages 
since the world began. So the apostle speaks, looking backward to former 
times. I shall give you the particulars, in respect of which it was said to 
be hidden from all generations past. 

The gospel, as it is now revealed, was hid from all nations. 

(1.) It was hid from the Gentiles, so as it was new to them ; and that is 
plainly one of the apostle's scopes here. He writes to Gentiles, and he 
would magnify the mercy of the revelation of the gospel unto them ; and 
therefore if you mark it, he saith, ver. 27, ' To whom ' (namely, the saints) 
' God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the 
Gentiles.' And so likewise you have it in Eph. iii. 8, ' Unto me, who am 
less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach 
among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ ; and to make all men 
see what is the fellowship of the mystery ' (namely, to the Gentiles, that 
they should partake of it), 'which from the beginning of the world hath 
been hid in God ;' insomuch, as some interpreters would make in all 
these places, both that in Rom. xvi. 25, and this place in the Ephesians, 
and likewise this text in the Colossians, the mystery intended to be tbe 
revealing of the gospel unto the Gentiles. But it is clear that is not the 
meaning. The mystery that was kept hid is not only that the gospel 
should be preached to the Gentiles, but it is the things of the gospel itself ; 
it is the mystery of the glory of it ; it is ' Christ the hope of glory ;' and it 
is, in the Ephesians, ' the unsearchable riches of Christ ;' and more plain, 
in 1 Pet. i., the things concealed to former times there, are not only said 
to be the revelation of these things to the Gentiles, but the things them- 
selves, the salvation itself, as you shall find if you read the 10th, 11th, and 
1 2th verses of that chapter. 

(2.) It was kept hid even from the Jews also ; it is therefore indeed called 
a mystery ; for what is properly a mystery '? It is not the thing merely 
hid, wholly kept so close as that there is nothing said about it, but when 
there is that said about it which doth obscurely and darkly reveal it, and 
yet hath a further meaning, which afterwards cometh to be opened. Even 
thus as to the words that Adam spoke concerning his wife, that ' they two 
should be one flesh,' what saith the apostle of it, in Eph. v. 32 ? ' This is a 
great mystery,' saith he. Why ? Because darkly under the union of man 
and wife was intended the union of Christ and his church. ' I speak,' saith 
he, '.concerning Christ and his church.' 

Now it is therefore called a mystery even to the Jews, because although 
they had the gospel, the substance of it, yet it was veiled, and the carnal 
Jew he understood all in the letter, and looked to nothing in the gospel ; 
and as you have it in 2 Cor. iii. 13, ' there was a veil put over Moses his 
face, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of 
that which is abolished,' namely, to what was revealed unto them under 
the law. But now the gospel is come, all is open (as if you should speak 
of a riddle, and when you have done, give the meaning of it), and then 
they saw that all that the prophets and Moses had written was written con- 
cerning Christ. But I say, the Jews in the time of the law saw not this 
mystery intended in it. You shall find this in that place of the Romans I 

Chap. III. ] glory of the gospel. 283 

quoted even now, chap, xvi., ver. 25, 26, 'According to the revelation of 
the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made 
manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets ' — mark that expression — 
1 according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to 
all nations.' Would you know, saith he, why the gospel is called a mys- 
tery ? God hath hid a great deal of it obscurely up and down among the 
prophets, and Christ hath sent out his apostles to make known and reveal 
what all those prophets intended, which they themselves did not know, not 
in the clearness of it as we do ; they had as it were the letter, we have the 
mystery unfolded. Therefore says the apostle Peter (1 Pet. i. 10), ' Of 
which salvation the prophets inquired and searched diligently, who pro- 
phesied of the grace that should come unto you ; unto whom it was re- 
vealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things 
that are now reported unto you,' &c. So that indeed the mystery, and the 
meaning, and the end at which all those things aimed that the prophets 
delivered, they themselves fully knew not ; they were to write the Scrip- 
tures, and they inquired after, and searched diligently what those things 
which they wrote did signify ; but it was answered them, that ' not unto 
themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things that are now re- 
ported.' But now in the times of the gospel (saith he in Rom. xvi.) ' By 
the scriptures of the prophets, it is made known unto all nation^f Men 
had only hints before, but now by opening the prophets, and laying things 
together, the whole business is unfolded, and this mystery is come out. 
And this is properly a mystery, and in this respect the gospel was a mystery, 
hidden even from the Jews themselves. Therefore, to give you another 
place, there is a little particle in Eph. iii. 5, very observable, ' By revela- 
tion he made known unto me the mystery, which in other ages was not 
made known unto the sons of men.' What, did they know nothing of the 
gospel ? Yes, saith the apostle, they might, but it was in a mystery, it 
was not made known to them, saith he, ' as it is now revealed ;' mark 
that particle, ' made known as it is now,' to his holy apostles and pro- 
phets, that is, the prophets of the New Testament, upon whom the Holy 
Ghost fell, who opened unto them all those prophecies of the Old Testa- 
ment, and they saw clearly nothing but Jesus Christ in them. Hid it was, 
you see, from the Gentiles ; hid it was also from the Jews, in respect of the 
revelation of it. Hid it was also, 

(3.) From the angels, and from Adam in innocency. The angels might 
know that they were to have a head, in whom God did unite them unto 
himself, and they might know it as the fathers of the Old Testament 
knew there should be a Messiah, by whom they should be redeemed ; but 
how, and who, and what he was, they knew not ; and in that respect they 
are said, in 1 Pet. i. 10, 11, to pry into these things, which place I shall 
not mention much, but I shall give you another place, which will compre- 
hend both, namely, that the great things of the gospel were kept hidden 
from angels and from man also. And it is in 1 Cor. ii. 9, compared with 
Isa. lxiv. 4 (out of which the words in the Corinthians are taken), ' As it 
is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the 
heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him.' 
Now in Isaiah it is thus, ' Since the beginning of the world, men have not 
heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor hath the eye seen, God, besides 
thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.' To open these 
words a little. When he saith there in the Corinthians, ' Eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard,' &c, it hath reference to what was said, ver. 7, ' We 


speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which 
God ordained afore the world.' And it hath reference also to ver. 8, where 
it is said, ' which wisdom none of the princes of this world knew ; ' and he 
brings a proof why none of the princes, none of the corrupt men of the 
world ever knew it, a majore, from a far greater argument ; for, saith he, 
these great things which the gospel reveals for the salvation of the elect, 
have not only not entered into the heart of corrupt men, but they have not 
entered into the heart of innocent man, not into the heart of Adam himself. 
How do I prove that ? From that in Isa. lxiv. 4, ' Since the beginning of 
the world,' saith he, 'men have not heard,' &c, which phrase the apostles 
often use, when they speak of the gospel being hidden, as in Eph. hi. 9, 
he saith, ' It hath been hid from the beginning of the world.' But you 
will say, he excludes not angels. Why, truly, if you consult the place in 
Isaiah, he saith, that ' none hath seen, God, besides thee.' "Who doth 
he speak to '? To Jesus Christ, as a distinct person from his Father. Why ? 
It is clear by this, because he changeth the phrase, ' None hath seen, 
God, besides thee, what he hath prepared;' not what thou hast prepared, 
but what he hath prepared; as if he had said, besides thee, God the Son, 
knewest what God the Father hath prepared for those that love him, none 
else but only Jesus Christ, which was in God's bosom, knew it. ' Neither 
eye hajft-seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man.' 
There is but those three ways of knowing, either from the inward natural 
principles, which are in the heart of man ; and so a thing enters into a 
man's heart from the principles of reason, which are in a man's self. Why, 
saith he, all the principles that were sown in Adam's heart, or in any man's 
heart else, would not have afforded this knowledge, it would not have 
entered into a man's heart. And then all the way of knowledge by the eye, 
or observation of the creatures, could never have afforded this knowledge, 
or the least jot of it. No; all the hearing by the ear, all the communica- 
tion that God should have made to Adam, would not have laid open these 
things to him. And it is plain, that Isaiah speaks of the things of the 
gospel, not only by the quotation of his words by the apostle Paul, but 
from the desire of the church there, that God would bow the heavens and 
come down, and reveal these things to them. ' Bow the heavens,' saith 
he, ' and come down, touch the mountains,' &c. Even as the mountains, 
when God gave the law, bowed down before him, so he expresseth the 
revealing of the gospel under the same terms. 

Having gone over all these places, there is one place more, in which all 
that I have said out of the Romans, and out of the Corinthians, and out of 
the Colossians, and out ot the Ephesians, concerning the hiddenness of this 
wisdom, is in a manner contained, and it is in the Old Testament, and for 
aught I know, in the oldest book of the Old Testament, even in Job, chap, 
xxviii., which I shall open to you as clearly as I can ; the truth is, I had 
not thought it had lain in that place, till I found the learned Ainsworth refer 
to it, though but in a word. 

Most interpreters, I find, refer all the matter in that 28th chapter to the 
12th verse of the 27th chapter, and that there Job begins his preface to all 
the discourse that follows. ' I will teach you,' saith he — it is translated — 
' by the hand of God ; ' but Piscator reads it, ' Of the hand of God,' that 
is, that shall be the subject I speak of, ' and that which is with the Almighty 
will I not conceal,' that which is secret and laid up with him. Where he 
professeth to hint to them a secret counsel and wisdom, which was in God 
beyond what they had spoken, a wisdom which they knew little of, and 

Chap. III.] glory of the gospel. 285 

which God kept secret from all living. All the discourses of Job's friends, 
what had they been about ? They had been about God's outward dispensa- 
tions, how God punisheth wicked men for their sins, and they confine them- 
selves to that discourse, to the works of God's providence, and an enumera- 
tion of his legal proceedings in a way of justice to sinners, which was a 
common ordinary notion then in the world, and which suited those times 
tinder the law of nature, under which it is thought Job lived. Now in this 
they prided themselves in their discourse ; therefore Job, to confound them, 
and not only to confute them, but shame them too, he professeth to hint to 
them another wisdom, which they did not exercise their thoughts about. 
Why, saith he, ver. 12, you speak nothing but what is ordinary, ' Behold, 
all ye yourselves have seen it ; why then are ye thus altogether vain ?' or 
boast yourselves of such a knowledge as you have uttered, by which you 
condemn me, as if I were a wicked man ? For by it they had condemned 
him, because God punished wicked men according to their works ; and so 
Job goes on to repeat what they had said, as you will see if you compare 
the 13th verse to the end with the 20th chapter. But, saith he, whereas 
you think that this knowledge you have uttered hath such a great deal of 
depth in it, I will tell you, or teach you of the hand of God, that is, of 
God's eternal purpose, for so you shall find it (as Piscator well observeth) 
in Acts iv. interpreted : ' They were gathered together,' saith he, ' to do 
whatsoever thy hand and counsel determined before to be done.' ' I will 
not conceal' (saith Job) 'that which is with the Almighty;' there is a 
higher wisdom, which he in his eternal purpose hath ordered, beyond that 
which you see in the works of his ordinary providence, which you neither 
mind nor search into. Having thus prefaced his following discourse, he 
doth in the 28th chapter, as both Beza and Jansonius observeth, begin to 
speak of this wisdom, and to commend it to them. And see how he sets 
it out, you shall see it will fall in and open all the scriptures I have already 

First, He compares that wisdom, which he would set their thoughts a- 
work upon, which they neglected, and out of the rigour of their legal spirits 
condemned him, he compares it, I say, first, with all human wisdom, and 
he tells them plainly this, that there is a great deal of wisdom in the hearts 
of men ; and instanceth in the art that men have to find out all the precious 
things that are hid in the bowels of the earth ; so ver 1, ' He findeth out 
where there is a vein for silver, and a place for gold ; ' he taketh iron out 
of the earth, and he hath such skill as he can make brass out of a stone ; 
and if a flood break out while he is digging under the earth, he can over- 
come that difficulty and remove it ; and he digs up stones out of the earth 
where bread grows. One would have thought man should have been con- 
tented with bread. No ; but he digs up the earth, where he finds stones that 
are the place of sapphires, and which hath dust of gold ; and, ver. 10, says 
he, ' He is able to cut out rivers among the rocks,' for he speaks of man 
and his wisdom, which God hath given him in all this, ' and his eye seeth 
every precious thing.' Well, but when he had thus described the art of 
man, from the first verse to the 12th, saith he, though men have all this 
skill and this art, ' Yet where shall wisdom be found, and where is the 
place of understanding ? ' And by wisdom here he means the same that 
Solomon doth in the Proverbs, viz., that wisdom that shall save men, as 
appears in the last verse ; for Job interlaceth many discourses of Christ, 
speaks of him as ' the Redeemer :' ' I shall see him with these eyes,' saith 
he ; and he whom he calleth the Redeemer elsewhere, in this chapter he 


calls wisdom, which was to be the ordinary phrase of the Old Testament, 
and so of those times, by which they did call the Messiah. He complains 
in the 13th verse, that man, who had all this art and skill to find out all 
things else, yet he sought not after this ; ' Man knoweth not the price 
thereof, neither is it found in the land of the living ; ' you may go almost 
all the world over and hear no man speak of it, no man values it. He 
speaks not of that wisdom which is in God infinitely, for that is not a thing 
for man to obtain, and so under that consideration to value it as Paul did, 
when he esteemed all as dung in comparison of it. Man knows it not, saith 
he, he would never have enhanced the price of it (as afterward, ver. 16, ' It 
cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the 
sapphire '), but to raise up the hearts to seek it. He speaks just as Solomon 
doth in Prov. viii., when he speaks of Christ. 

Secondly, As he compares it with all. the knowledge that man hath, so 
with all the knowledge that the creatures materially can afford. Go over 
all the creatures, they all do not contain one jot of that wisdom : so saith 
the 14th verse, ' The depth saith, It is not in me ; and the sea saith, It is 
not in me ;' for they do afford to man's understanding no hint at all of any 
such thing, not a whit to be known of the knowledge of God in Christ is in 
the whole frame of nature. ' Whence cometh wisdom then ?' (ver. 20) 
and where is the place of understanding ? seeing it is hid from the eyes of 
all living, and kept close from the fowls of heaven.' Whence comes it ? 
That is, Who is the author of it ? And where is it to be found ? That is, 
What is the subject matter of it ? The depth affordeth it not, it is not to 
be ound there ; the creatures, though they hold forth the footsteps of God, 
yet they do not hold forth this wisdom. He tells us afterward, in ver. 23, 
that ' God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof,' 
for (as the apostle saith, in Eph v.) it lies hid in God ; and Job saith, that 
God had kept it close, and doth keep it close from all ; and so he reckons 
up all things that are to be reckoned up, he reckons up the sons of men. 
1 It is hid,' saith he, ' from the eyes of all living,' that is, of mankind, ' and 
kept close from the fowls of heaven' (as you have it in your margins), as 
metaphorically he calleth angels ; for otherwise, why would he ascend from 
the eyes of all living, speaking of man, to the fowls of heaven, unless he 
spake of such creatures as have more understanding than man, namely, 
angels, for so in Scripture they are called ? And, saith he, ver. 22, ' Go 
down to destruction and death,' and they will say, ' We have heard the 
fame thereof with our ears ; ' all our forefathers that are dead, they knew 
not the way of it neither, though they have heard the fame of it. The 
devil heard it when he was cursed, he heard it with a witness, that 
both his ears tingled when he heard it ; and all our fathers that are dead 
heard the fame of it, knew there was such a thing, as Job also did, but 
they had not that clear revelation of it. It being hidden therefore from all 
these, ' it is God,' saith he, ' that understandeth the way thereof, and he 
knoweth the place thereof; that God that looks to the ends of the earth, 
and seeth under the whole heaven ; that God that makes a weight for the 
winds, and that weigheth the waters by measure; that God, when he made 
a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder, then did 
he see it,' and (as your margin hath it) ' did number it,' or resolved it in 
his mind ; he recounted it, he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. He 
saw it ; that is, he had it in his view, as the chiefest wisdom of all else, 
greater than whatever else he was a-doing in making the world. And he 
numbered it ; that is, he accounted it as the choicest of all knowledge else. 


And he prepared it, as a further thing than the wisdom he stamped upon 
the creature, and he did as it were by study search it out. You find these 
phrases fall in with what the apostles themselves use of it. 

If you ask mo what wisdom this is that Job speaks thus of, it is (as I 
hinted afore) that wisdom whereby men are saved, which was the title 
that then in those old times they gave to the Messiah, and the fear of him, 
and the knowledge of him, and of God. If you look in Prov. viii. (and 
this book of Job was written long afore that of the Proverbs), you shall 
find that Solomon useth the same expressions that Job here doth, and he 
makes a description of Jesus Christ under the title of Wisdom, and of that 
way of salvation that was then but obscurely revealed, and afterward more 
fully manifested in the times of the gospel, even ' the hidden wisdom of 
God,' as the apostle calls it. Solomon, in that 8th of the Proverbs, ver. 11, 
saith that ' the knowledge of it is bejtter than rubies, and that all the things 
that may be desired are not to be compared to it.' Job useth the same 
expression, ver. 18, 'No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls, for 
the price of wisdom is above rubies.' Had it been the wisdom of God 
himself, which God everlastingly keepeth to himself, and is not to be pried 
into, Job would not have put that price upon it to incite men to the search 
of it. So likewise you shall find that Solomon makes the same complaints 
that Job doth, that the sons of men receive it not, value it not. And as 
Job saith, that ' God, when he made a decree for the rain,' then did he see 
that wisdom and prepared it, and searched it out ; so Solomon useth the 
same expressions also, ' When he established the clouds above ' (it is the 
same expression), 'when he strengthened the fountains of the deep, when 
he gave to the sea his decree,' &c, Prov. viii. 28 ; then saith Wisdom, ' I 
was there, and was daily his delight,' &c. And that you may see how one 
Scripture openeth another, you shall find in Eph. iii., where it is called a 
hidden wisdom, he saith, ' To make all men see what is the fellowship of 
the mystery, which from the beginning of the world was hid in God, who 
created all things by Jesus Christ.' Now, what saith Job, and what saith 
Prov. viii. ? Saith Job, ' When God did give a decree for the rain,' ' when 
he established the clouds above,' saith Solomon, then did he see this, he 
had this in his eye ; but he kept it close as a further wisdom than what he 
was a-making, and stamping upon the creatures. ' It was hid in God,' 
saith the apostle, ' who created all things by Jesus Christ.' In the strength 
of Christ, God-man, did he create all things, and had then in his eye the 
Lord Jesus, whom he meant to propound to the creature as the head of 
the creation. It is a wisdom also which is not in nature, but distinct from 
it ; for Job saith, ' When he made the world, he saw this.' And then he 
useth the very same phrases that are used of the gospel. 

There are four things said of it: (1.) he saw it; (2.) recensuit (so Pis- 
cator translates it), he numbered it with himself, recounted it ; (3.) he did 
prepare it ; (4.) he searched it out. Now, do but look in 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10, 
where the apostle speaks of this hidden wisdom, and you have the very same 
phrases, ' We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God ordained 
before the world.' ' The things which God hath prepared ' (the Septuagint 
useth the very same words in the Greek which the apostle doth here) — 
and then he searcheth it out ; ' the Spirit,' saith he, ' searcheth the deep 
things of God.' And, my brethren, to add this as the conclusion, it is 
that wisdom by which men were then saved that Job had here in his eye. 
Now, what wisdom was it that men were saved by then ? It was by that 
obscure knowledge they had of God in Christ held forth in the promise, 


which, did cause them to cleave to him, and to fear him, and to worship 
him, and to depart from evil. Now, look in Prov. viii., and compare it 
with the last verse of this 28th of Job. Saith he there, ver. 12, speaking 
of wisdom, ' I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge. The 
fear of the Lord is to hate evil,' &c. ; and, ver. 20, ' I lead in the way of 
righteousness,' &c. And so he goes on, and in the conclusion shews how 
that the knowledge of Christ, and of the gospel as it was then revealed, 
did work men to cleave unto God, to fear God, and to depart from evil ; 
that was the way whereby men were saved then. So Job tells his friends 
here ; you tell me, saith he, of God's dealings with me in an outward way 
of providence, but you mind not the wisdom of God. What is that ? 
' The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to depart from evil, is 
understanding.' Now, in the Jewish language, the piety of those times, 
by which they are said to believe in God and to be religious, is still ex- 
pressed by ' the fear of the Lord.' And he in the New Testament that is 
called a believer, in the Old is called a man that feareth God, for that was 
the wisdom Christ was made unto men in the Old Testament. I say, as 
faith is the great thing on which the language of the New Testament runs, 
so the fear of the Lord is the language of the Old. There is a world of 
places for it. ' Come, ye children, and I will tsach you the fear of the 
Lord,' Ps. xxxiv. 11. Therefore it is called the beginning of wisdom when 
they come thus to know God ; for it is called the fear of the Lord, because 
it was that by which they were to fear God and come to the Messiah, a 
fear which made them wise unto salvation. The same Christ, by teaching 
them his fear then, made them wise to salvation, which teacheth us now ; 
only our religion is expressed by faith, theirs by fear, because there was 
little gospel mixed with it ; it wrought in a legal way, in a way of bondage 
then, ours in a way of adoption. So that it is clear that Job speaks of 
that wisdom whereby men are saved, according, to the notion of those 
times, having some hint of some further wisdom which was hid in God, 
which was not in angels nor in men, and which God himself in the end 
would reveal. And so you have, as I conceive, truly the meaning of that 
place in Job. 

U se% — Ig the gospel thus a hidden wisdom, hidden from ages and from 
generations ? This should cause us to value and put the highest worth 
and esteem upon it. Amongst all other considerations that should move 
us to it, this is not the least. We see the greatest wits of the world, and 
the greatest understandings, have still been taken with antiquity, with any 
learning and knowledge that is ancient, especially when it is hidden too. 
How do men prize an old copy of a father (as they are called), which hath 
lain hidden in some hole in a manuscript, and is now revealed ! How 
doth a great scholar value such a thing ! They think it a glory to be the 
publisher of such a thing. To have an old copy of the New Testament, 
though it doth not differ three words throughout the whole from what we 
commonly have, yet if it be an old copy (as lately one of the Septuagint, 
written thirteen hundred years ago, was sent over*), what a value is there 
set upon it ! If the prophecy of Enoch, which Jude quoteth (and such a 
thing they say is extant in Africa f), were now found out, how would it be 

* Doubtless the famous Alexandrian manuscript, which was sent from Constanti- 
nople, as a present to Charles I., in 1628. Goodwin was not aware that it contains 
the New Testament, as well as the Septuagint version of the Old.— Ed. 

f The book, which was long believed to be extant in Africa, was at length found 

Chap. III.] glory of the gospel. 289 

valued ! If it were common hero, how would it be esteemed ! Solomon, 
you know, wrote of herbs and plants, from the cedar of Lebanon to tho 
hyssop that springs out of tho wall ; if these books that are lost were now 
found, what a price would we set upon them ! my brethren, a far 
greater than the wisdom of Solomon is here, and far more ancient; for here 
is the wisdom that was hid in God from ages and generations, even before 
the world was, which lay at the bottom of his heart, which are the deep 
things of God. Here is a whole edition (for so the gospel is) of a new 
testament, of a new knowledge of God, in comparison of what the fathers 
had. Here is the wisdom of God himself, which was kept close from the 
Gentiles, from all nations, four thousand years, kept hid from Adam in 
innocency, kept hid from angels, kept hid from all, that his own Spirit even 
searcheth into these deep things of God. How should this whet on our 
souls to be skilful in, and to study this gospel, and to know all the secrets 
of it ; to seek unto God for that holy and blessed Spirit who writ this word, 
and hath hid herein all the treasures of knowledge which are to be revealed 
to us. This did commend it to the primitive times. Paul still in all his 
epistles, as you have seen in that of the Romans, in this of the Colossians, 
in that of the Ephesians, in that of the Corinthians, makes it a mighty 
matter, that unto them this gospel was revealed that was hid before, that 
God had broke up a new treasury, not of notional divinity, but of the know- 
ledge of kiniself, even the mystery of the Father and of Christ, as it is called 
in Col. ii. 1. 

But you will say unto me, this indeed did mightily commend it to our 
forefathers, that lived in the primitive times, to whom it was first made 
known. In regard to them it was admirable, that it should be four thousand 
years before it was revealed, and then made known unto them, and that they 
should be the first ; but for us, we are born under it, and it hath now been 
sixteen hundred years since it was made manifest. Therefore, what is this 
to commend it to us ? 

I answer first, It did lie hid, however, four thousand years afore the 
world knew it ; and that thou shouldst have thy lot to be born in the days 
of the revealing of this gospel, and shouldst come to know these things 
which were hid to the ages before, is a favour ; for thou mightest have been 
bom in the midst of those four thousand years. 

But, secondly, so did God order it in his great wisdom, that though the 
law was given (I parallel it so) in Moses his time, yet there was a time (as 
that of Manasseh's, and of other of those kings) in which the law was in a 
manner lost, and the priest searching in the temple doth by chance find it. 
This hath been the case of the gospel since God delivered it to these times ; 
for this doctrine of the gospel in the greatest glory, and the riches of the 
secrets of it, was obscured for more than a thousand years, yea, from the 
very apostles' time a mystery of iniquity began to work, and another gospel 
to be raised up that darkened the true one by degrees, till antichristianism 
overspread the world ; whenas all the world, and the learned men of the 
world, ran after the rudiments of the world, and not after Jesus Christ ; 
and the world was spoiled through school divinity, and through philosophy, 
as the apostle speaks, Col. ii. 8. And it is not many years since that 

by the traveller Bruce, who brought home three copies of it in the Ethiopic lan- 
guage. It was edited by Archbishop Laurence, and published in 1821. It is clearly 
proved not to be the Book of the prophet Enoch, but the production of a Jew of that 
name, who wrote not earlier than the middle of the second century of the Christian 
era. — Ed. 

VOT.. TV. T 


great and glorious breaking forth of the gospel began in the time of Luther, 
when God did break up another Indies. He gave the pope a world, the 
Spanish world, the West Indies ; he set them a-work about the first part 
of the wisdom spoken of in that 28th of Job, to find out a vein for tho 
silver, and a place for the gold. And he gave another Indies of the gospel 
unto us of the protestant churches, and it had been happy for us to have 
kept ours, and to improve it as they have done theirs. But, my brethren, 
though God began and renewed the knowledge of this gospel, yet the saints 
will find digging work enough in it, even to the end of the world. You shall 
find in the very midst of the book of Revelation, when fourteen chapters 
of it were spent, that it is there said, ver. 6, ' I saw another angel fly in 
the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that 
dwell on the earth.' He speaks of the time of antichrist, for in the 13th 
chapter he describeth the beast, how he ascendeth out of the sea ; and in 
the 14th, he describes the saints under antichrist, and how he tyrannized 
over them, especially at the latter end, when the light of the glorious gospel 
of Christ breaks forth. And whereas they accuse the gospel of novelty ; 
no, it is an everlasting gospel, saith he. And God did set a-work many 
before us to preach this gospel ; and how did they begin to preach it ? for 
it went on by degrees. They fell upon images first, they bade people take 
heed. ' Fear God, and give glory to him, and worship him, that made 
heaven and earth ; ' that was the first great thing which the protestants laid 
open, when they first began to preach the gospel. Afterwards they began 
to challenge Rome with being the antichrist, that was the second angel. 
And then a third comes, and saith, that ' whosoever drinks of her waters, 
and of her cup, shall everlastingly be tormented ; ' so that men that are 
learned and knowing men, living in that religion, cannot be saved. And 
then in the 15th and lGth chapters, there come seven angels out of the 
temple, and they still reveal more and more. Thus doth God by degrees 
go on, so that within these hundred years, we in our age, ever since that 
great light first broke out (especially here in this kingdom), have had the 
light of the gospel rising still clearer and clearer, and so it will do till anti- 
christ be destroyed, for he is to be destroyed, to be melted (so the word is) 
by the dawning of the Sun of righteousness, who is coming upon the world. 
Therefore in Isa. xi. 8 he saith, * The earth shall be full of the knowledge 
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea ; ' he hath the like expression in 
Hab. ii. And he speaks of the latter times, for he speaks of those times 
before, and upon the calling of the Jews ; and that is clear by ver. 11 of 
that Isa. xi., 'It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his 
hand again the second time, to recover the remnant of his people ; ' he had 
delivered them out of captivity once, and he shall do it again the second 
time, saith he. Now go take Ezekiel : he prophesieth likewise of those 
latter times, and he useth the same expression of the overflowing of waters 
by degrees, in Ezek. xlvii. Speaking of a glorious temple, that was to be 
set up in the latter days (that is clear by all the passages of that prophecy), 
he saith, ' he saw waters issue from under the thresbold of the house,' 
that is, of the church ; and saith he, first I was led through waters, and 
the waters came up to the ankles ; afterwards the waters were to the knees, 
and then to the loins, and at length a river that could not be passed over, 
for the waters were risen, waters to swim in ; and when he was returned to 
the brink of the river (that you may know what times he speaks of), ho 
saith, ' There were very many trees on the one side, and on the other.' 
Now compare this with Rev. xxii. There you have the same trees and tho 


samo waters (speaking of the latter times of the gospel too, as Ezckiel doth), 
whoso leaves did heal the nations every month. So that he speaks of the 
growing of tho knowledge of the gospel by degrees, which should be as 
waters that cover the sea. Tho like you have in Zechariah, where he pro- 
phesieth, that in tho latter times there should come a day, which should be 
clearer towards evening. In the times before this, saith he, it shall bo 
neither light nor dark (which I believe are our times), and it shall begin to 
clear up towards evening (it is in Zech. xiv. 6, 7) ; and he useth the samo 
expression concerning water, ver. 8, ' Living waters,' saith he, ' shall go 
out from Jerusalem,' &c. And Dan. xii. 4, ' Many shall run to and fro, 
and knowledge shall be increased.' 

I speak it for this, that although tho gospel was revealed to the apostles 
so long ago, yet God hath so ordered it, that to us now it is new again. 
My brethren, lot me say this to you, it is 'a faith once given,' so Jude 
tells us. When the apostles had given it out of their hands, what, will 
God send apostles to recover this gospel again ? No ; it is a greater glory 
for God by degrees, and by ordinary light in the hearts of his ministers 
and his people, to recover this gospel (which was thus blasted by antichrist 
in the latter days), that it shall have the same purity in doctrine and govern- 
ment that was in the primitive times ; I say, for God to do this by degrees 
and by ordinary means, it is a greater glory than to send apostles. It were 
an easy matter for him to pour out his Spirit upon men immediately, as he 
did then ; but he chooseth rather to do it by ordinary means, as he hath 
done, yea, and will go on to do it, and will never leave to do it, till he 
hath brought it to that height, when Jesus Christ shall come to possess his 
kingdom, the brightness of whose coming, the dawnings of it, shall consume 
antichristian doctrine and worship. It is a greater matter for him to work 
a miracle by ordinary means in a way of ordinary providence, than to shew 
these great miracles that he did among the Jews, and the like ; as indeed 
he hath in an ordinary way done as great matters for this kingdom, as ever 
he did in Egypt for the bringing of his people out of that bondage. It is, 
I say, an easy matter for God to go and create a new world, and the like ; 
but therein lies his glory, that he will restore things, and reduce them to 
the primitive purity, by ordinary means, and not send extraordinary persons 
to do it. 

Antichrist brought in all his darkness by degrees, and it shall go out by 
degrees. The mystery of iniquity began to work in the hearts of men in 
the apostles' times, and darkness grew more and more till midnight. So 
the mystery of the gospel works likewise, and these dawnings shall increase 
more and more till the perfect day ; and the issue of all these confusions 
that are now, when Jesus Christ hath done his work, will be some glorious 
thing. God hath given pastors and teachers (as the apostle saith), to all 
ages, and one age doth teach another, and they all tend to the edifying of 
the body of Christ, till we come unto a perfect man, unto a measure of the 
stature of the fulness of Christ. All the light of the former ages is drawn 
down to this age, and in this age men suck in their very education the 
light of the former ages, and so are prepared for a further growth ; and so 
in the end, the latter age of the world will have a fulness of stature again. 
And the scope of all this is, though it is a mystery, yet God hath so or- 
dered it in his providence, to endear it to us, to make it a new mystery to 
us, even as if he had had apostles afresh ; for it was obscured, and it hath 
broke out afresh after it lay hid a thousand years. 



That the knowledge of the gosjiel is a most excellent wisdom, because, as a pecu- 
liar favour, it is communicated by God only to some persons. 

But now is made manifest to his saints. — Col. I. 26. 

Here is the rarity and scarceness of it, when it cometh to be revealed ; 
' but now is made manifest to his saints.' And this is the subject which I 
shall insist upon. 

In the handling of this, I shall do two things. 

1. Give you an explication of the words. 

2. Enlarge upon that theme, to shew from thence the excellency of the 

1. For explication. If you mark it, the apostle doth not say, which is 
now made manifest to me, although Paul makes the manifestation of it 
unto him to be the means to manifest it to all the saints ; for as elsewhere 
he saith, it was a treasure in an earthen vessel committed unto him ; and 
therefore, in the 23d verse, and the last words, he saith, ' Whereof I Paul 
am made a minister ; ' and in the 25th verse, the first words, ' Whereof I 
am made a minister.' But how is he made a minister ? For to reveal it 
to the saints. Therefore he doth not only say, is revealed unto me, but, 
' now is made manifest in the saints.' 

The gospel, although it was at first revealed unto apostles and prophets, 
yet the end and intent of it was, that it should be revealed to all the saints. 
You have this expressly in Eph. hi. 5, comparing it with this. In the 4th 
verse he had called it (as here) ' the mystery of Christ ;' in the 5th verse, he 
saith, ' which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as 
it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.' One 
would think now that the apostle here should only intend, that this gospel 
is revealed to the doctors and teachers of the church, to the holy apostles 
and prophets. No ; read the 9th verse. It is (saith he) ' to make all men 
see' (that is, as these words restrain it, all the saints see) ' what is the fel- 
lowship of the mystery, which hath been from the beginning of the world 
hid in God.' It was not revealed only to apostles and prophets, ' but now,' 
saith he, ' is made manifest to the saints.' And therefore in the 23d verse 
of this chapter, saith he, ' If you continue in the faith, grounded and settled, 
and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, 
and which was preached to every creature under heaven.' So that not only 
the holy apostles and prophets of the New Testament received it, and it 
was manifested unto them, but to the saints also. Therefore in the 25th 
verse of this chapter, ' I am made a minister of it,' saith he, ' according to 
the dispensation of God, which is given to me for you.' So that indeed it 
was given to the apostles, but only that they might make it manifest to the 
saints ; and hence therefore he saith, ' But now is made manifest to his 
saints.' I shall not need to enlarge more upon this, in the way of open- 
ing it. 

2. I shall come therefore to the thing itself, viz., the rarity of this gospel, 
and of the mysteries of it, and shew you the excellency of it in this respect. 
' But is now,' saith he, ' made manifest to his saints.' 

He speaks as if God were dainty of this knowledge. He reveals it to 

Chap. IV.] glory of the gospel. 293 

saints, and to saints only ; and to his saints. There is a revelation of it, 
which the saints only have, as I shall shew you anon, and answer objections 
to the contrary. In 1 Cor. i. 24 he saith, that ' to them that are called, 
both Jew and Greek, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
We all say that he is the power of God only to them that are called, for he 
only works effectually in them : but that scripture also tells us that he is 
the wisdom of God only to them that are called ; they so understand the 
mystery of it as none else. 

And then, if you mark it, he commends the knowledge of the gospel to 
us by this, that it is revealed to his saints ; his whom he had chosen, whom 
he had singled out. Certainly, if there had been any knowledge better 
than another, he would have reserved it for his saints. There is an em- 
phasis in that. You know God chose a man beloved of him (for so Solomon 
was called), and as a testimony of his love to him, he gave him, above all 
things else, knowledge ; so that he abounded therein above all that were 
before him, or shall be after him. And Daniel, that had great mysteries 
opened to him, is called, ' a man greatly beloved.' I quote these examples 
for this, to shew that that which is a more special excellent knowledge of 
all others, God would reserve it for them. ' To you,' saith Christ, ' it is 
given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,' speaking to his dis- 
ciples ; ' to you it is given,' it was a gilt, and a special gift. And there- 
fore in Mat. xi. 25, we read of that great thanksgiving which Christ makes 
to his Father, ' I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, becauso 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes.' He revealed them to bis saints, and those whom he 
had chosen. 

My brethren, God reserved the gospel to reveal it first unto his Son (you 
shall see the order of it), so you read, in John i. 17, 18, ' The law came 
by Moses, but grace and truth,' that is, the gospel, ' came by Jesus Christ.' 
' No man hath seen God at any time ; the only begotten Son, that is in 
the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him.' The Lord reserved this