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Full text of "The works of Thomas Goodwin"

.^v OF pmcEfS^ 

OCT 101988 

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





VOL. I. 


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

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

WILLLIM CUNNINGHAM, D.D., Pnncipal of the New CoUege, Edinburgh. 

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

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

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughtou Place United Presbyterian 
Church, Edinburgh. 




(laiitlj (General preface 





VOL. L, 








General Peeface, 

Original Preface, . , 

Publisher's Advertisement, 

A Premise concerning this Epistle, 


I. 1, 2, 








4, 5, 


5, 6, 


5, 6, 




8, 9, 












13, 14, 


13, 14, 

,, XVIL- 



15, 16, 










19, 20, 

„ XXIV.- 

19, 20, 








^ XXV.— Ephesians I. 19, 20, . . . . 370 

XXVI.— ... 19, 20, . 


XXVIL— „ 19, 20. . 



19, 20, . 



19, 20, . 



20, . 



20, 21, . 



21, 22, . 



21, 22, . 



21-23, . 



22, 23, . 



22,23, . 






The stores of theology, enriched by the accumulating treasures of 
successive generations, have of late years been thrown open widely 
to the Church of Christ. The Fathers, the Keformers, many of the 
great Puritan writers, no less than the later theologians of the Church 
of England and of the Nonconformist Churches, have been issued 
in a form and at a price which places them within general reach. 
In the departments of Hermeneutics and Exegetics, more espe- 
cially, these stores are receiving constant and, with more or less of 
the alloy of human imperfection and error, most valuable addi- 
tions. Among English scholars, the labours of Professor Ellicott, 
who, in philological acumen and attainments of the highest order, in 
combination with an absence of party bias, and with a profound rever- 
ence for the inspiration and authority of the Sacred Scriptures, is a 
very model of scholarship, sanctliied to the honest and fearless inter- 
pretation of God's Word, — trusting Scripture, and anxious only to 
educe its meaning, to whatever conclusions it may lead ; Dean 
Alford and Dr Wordsworth, in their great works ; Dean Trench, Dr 
Peile, Professor Eadie, Dr Vaughan (whose unpretending Exposi- 
tion of the Epistle to the Romans is sufficiently indicative of many 
of the qualifications of an expositor) ; Messrs Conybeare and How- 
son, in their well-known work ; Dr Henderson on the Prophets ; in 
America, Professor Stuart, with all his faults, and (though not as a 
philological scholar, yet as a sober, copious, and painstaking exposi- 
tor) Albert Barnes, — have given to the Church Krr\fiaTa e? aetJ^ 

* In enumerating (not invidiously, and without the affectation of attempting 
to do it exhaustively) some of the most valuable modern additions to our ex- 
pository theology, I cannot bring myself to omit Haldane's " Exposition of the 
Epistle to the Romans," though not agreeing with Mr Haldane on every point, 
any more than with the other writers specified above. No difference on par- 
ticular points (where we recognise substantial orthodoxy on the capital truths 
of the gospel) should tempt un to withhold our meed of gratitu<le to such philo- 
logists and expositors. Their contributions should be recognised, not in a 


Nor must our obligations to modern German theologians be for- 
gotten. Their works, the best of them, need to be read with dis- 
crimination. And in those which have been brought within reach of 
tlie English student, some of which are deservedly in high esteem, 
there is even in the best, with scarcely an exception, not only much 
that is prolix and wearisome, but, specially to those of us who read 
them under the disadvantage of a translation, much that is misty, 
and not a little that is questionable. These are within our reach, 
and much used by many of our clergy and ministers. No theological 
library can be complete without them. To the student and to the 
preacher they are storehouses with which they can ill afford to dis- 
pense, if they are to be as scribes well " instructed unto the kingdom 
of heaven," bringing "forth out of" their "treasure things new 
and old." 

For although there is something specious in the notion that the 
preacher can afford to be a man of one book, if that book be the 
Book of God, — and we doubt not that such men have been, and will 
be yet again, blessed to great usefulness in the Church of Christ, — 
it involves surely a blind and ungrateful misappreciation and dis- 
paragement of the gifts dispensed by that Divine Spirit whose 
" manift!Station" is "given to every man to profit withal," when we 
underrate the treasures which have been left to us by men raised 
from time to time for the close study and investigation of the 
written Word, and for the enforcement and defence of the doctrines 
of our " most holy faith." Individual cases of " unlearned and igno- 
rant men," lacking apostolic inspiration and endowments, may arise 
not seldom, in which, with humble gifts, and little or none of the 
assistance of human lore and training, they have been signally 
owned and honoured by God to do His work in the ingathering and 
edification of His people. But, as a rule, an ignorant clergy, a 
clergy undisciplined by habits of study and uninformed by reading, 
will fail to be effective in an enlightened and inquiring age. Their 
preaching will be vapid, superficial, and desultory, ultimately settling 
down into an iteration (fluent enough perhaps) of facile topics. 

These remarks apply with peculiar force to a crisis in the Church's 
history in which heresy is rife, and the foundations of the faith are 
undermined and assailed by formidable errors. The Church then 
needs well-equipped champions. Such can be found only among 

narrow-minded spirit of party, but with candour and large-hearted acknowledg- 
ments. Robert Haldane's grasp of the general scope of the Epistle to the 
Romans, and his lucid exposition of its key-phrase, " the righteousness of God," 
have long led nw to value his work as one of the noblest pieces of exegetioa 
in our language. 


well-stored theologians, theologians " mighty in the Scriptures," but 
well versed also in the works of the great and gifted champions and 
exponents of the faith in every age — the Fathers and Eeformers of 
old, and the later and the living contributors to the Church's stores. 

Among these stores, it will not be denied that the writings of the 
Puritan Divines must ever be held in high estimation. ]\Iany of 
them are, in extenso, within our reach, widely circulated, and largely 
used; as Bishop Hopkins, Owen, Baxter, Howe, Bates, Flavel, 
&c. &c. Others, such as are to be published in this Series, «,re gene- 
rally accessible in select works only ; as Manton, Goodwin, Sibbes, 
Brooks, Charnock, Adams, &c. The works of the first four of 
these have never been published in a uniform edition ; and of the 
works of Sibbes and Brooks, no complete collection exists in any 
public library of the kingdom, and probably in few, if in any, of the 
private libraries is a full set of either to be found. 

The projector of the present scheme — a scheme to be followed up, 
should its success realise the expectations formed of it, by the issue 
of the works of Trapp, Swinnock, Gilpin, Trail, Bates, Burgess, and 
others which have been suggested — is conferring a great boon upon 
the Church of Christ, and one the influence of which may be felt 
throughout the Protestant pulpits of Christendom ; by doing for the 
comparatively inaccessible works of these Puritan Divines what has 
been done for many of the Fathers, the Reformers, and the German 
Theologians, in collecting their works, and issuing them in a form 
and at a price which will place them on the shelves of thousands of 
our students and ministers, at home, in the colonies, and in the 
United States of America. 

It would obviously be beyond the scope of this preface to enlarge 
upon the history of the Puritans, interwoven as it is with stirring 
events and times, more familiar to us probably than any others in 
the annals of England. From Bishop Hooper, down to the disas- 
trous ejectment of 1662, their story has been often told. By none 
with greater candour, with more enlarged catholicity of spirit, or with 
more graceful diction, than by the historian of the Early and Later 
Puritans, the Rev. J. B. Marsden, in his standard volumes : — 

" Wherever the religion, the language, or the free spirit of our 
country has forced its way, the Puritans of old have some memorial. 
They have moulded the character and shaped the laws of other 
lands, and tinged with their devouter shades unnumbered congre- 
gations of Christian worshippers, even where no allegiance is pro- 
fessed, or willing homage done to their peculiarities. It is a party 
that has numbered in its ranks many of the best, and not a few 


of the greatest men that England has enrolled upon Iier historj. 
Amongst the Puritans were found, together with a crowd of our 
greatest divines, and a multitude of learned men, many of our most 
profound lawyers, some of our most able statesmen, of our most 
renowned soldiers, and (strangely out of place as they may seem) 
not a few of our greatest orators and poets. Smith and Owen, 
Baxter and Howe, were their ministers, and preached amongst them. 
Cecil revered and defended them while he lived ; so did the illus- 
trious Bacon ; and the unfortunate Essex sought his consolations 
from them when he came to die." * 

Mixed up as were the Puritans with keen and long-continued 
controversies, both political and religious, they have left behind them 
a vast mass of theology, — not controversial, but expository and horta- 
tory, — which is the common property of the Church of Christ, and 
which Episcopalians and Presbyterians and Wesleyans, Independents 
and Baptists, may alike appreciate, use, and enjoy. Their works, 
developing and embodying the theology of the Keformation, form a 
department in our theological literature, and occupy a place so specific 
and important, that their absence from the student's shelves can be 
compensated neither by Fathers nor Beformers, nor by the richest 
stores of modern divinity, whether English or Continental. 

They have ever been subjects of eulogy with those best acquainted 
with them. The gustus spiritualis judicii predicated of Goodwin 
by his editors, "Thankful Owen," and "James Barron," f — the 
" genius to dive into the bottom of points," and " to study them 
down," — "the happiness of high and intimate communion with 
God," — the " deep insight into the grace of God and the covenant 
of grace," — these are characteristic of the whole school ; and, in 
an eminent degree, of those whose works have been selected for this 
Series. Of Manton writes the " silver-tongued Bates :" — 

" God had furnished him with a rare union of those parts that 
are requisite to form an excellent minister of His Word. A clear 
judgment, rich fancy, strong memory, and happy elocution, met in 
him, and were excellently improved by his diligent study." 

" .... In the performing this work he was of that conspicu- 
ous eminence that none could detract from him, but from ignorance 
or envy. 

" He was endowed with extraordinary knowledge in the Scrip- 
tures, those holy oracles from whence all spiritual light is derived ; 
and in his preaching gave such a perspicuous account of the order 

* Early Puritans, Second Edit., pp. 4, 5. 

t Original Preface to folio, mdclxxxi. See pp. xxix., ixx. 


and dependence of divine trutlis, and with that felicity applied the 
Scriptures to confirm them, that every subject by his management 
was cultivated and improved. His discourses were so clear and 
convincing, that none, without offering voluntary violence to con- 
science, could resist their evidence. And from hence they were 
effectual, not only to inspire a sudden flame, and raise a short 
commotion in the affections, but to make a lasting change in the 

" His doctrine was uncorrupt and pure ; * the truth according to 
goodness.' He was far from a guilty vile intention to prostitute 
that sacred ordinance for the acquiring any private secular advan- 
tage. Neither did he entertain his hearers with impertinent sub- 
tleties, empty notions, intricate disputes, dry and barren, without 
productive virtue ; but as one that always had before his eyes the 
great end of the ministry, the glory of God and the salvation of 
men, his sermons were directed to open their eyes, that they might 
see their wretched condition as sinners, to hasten their ' flight from 
the wrath to come,' to make them humbly, thankfully, and entii'ely 
' receive Christ as their Prince and all-sufiicient Saviour.' And to 
build up the converted ' in their most holy faith,' and more excellent 
love, that is 'the fulfilling of the law.' In short, to make true 
Christians eminent in knowledge and universal obedience. 

"As the matter of his sermons was designed for the good of souls, 
so his way of expression was proper to that end. Words are the 
vehicle of the heavenly light. As the Divine Wisdom was incarnate 
to reveal the eternal counsels of God to the world, so spiritual wis- 
dom in the mind must be clothed with words to make it sensible to 
others. And in this he had a singular talent. His style was not 
exquisitely studied, not consisting of harmonious periods, but far 
distant from vulgar meanness. His expression was natural and free, 
clear and eloquent, quick and powerful, without any spice of folly, 
and always suitable to the simplicity and majesty of divine truths. 
His sermons afforded substantial food with delight, so that a fas- 
tidious mind could not disrelish them. He abhorred a vain ostenta- 
tion of wit in handling sacred things, so venerable and grave, and 
of eternal consequence." 

" His fervour and earnestness in preaching was such as might 
soften and make pliant the most stubborn, obdurate spirits. I am 
not speaking of one whose talent was only in voice, that labours in 
the pulpit as if the end of preaching wei-e for the exercise of the 
body, and not for the profit of souls; but this man of God was in- 
flamed with a holy zeal, and from thence such ardent expressions 
broke forth, as were capable to procure attention and consent in 


his hearers. He spake as one that had a living faith within him 
of divine truths. From this union of zeal with his knowledge, he 
was excellently qualified to convince and convert souls," 

" His unparalleled assiduity in preaching declared him very sen- 
sible of those dear and strong obligations that lie upon ministers to 
be very diligent in that blessed work." 

" This faithful minister ' abounded in the work of the Lord ; ' and, 
which is truly admirable, though so frequent in preaching, yet was 
always superior to others, and equal to himself."* 

Of Clarkson, Bates spoke thus in his funeral sermon — 

"In his preaching, how instructive and persuasive to convince 
and turn the carnal and worldly from the love of sin to the love of 
holiness, from the love of the earth to the love of heaven. The 
matter of his sermons was clear and deep, and always judiciously 
derived from the text. The language was neither gaudy and vain, 
with light trimmings, nor rude and neglected, but suitable to the 
oracles of God. Such were his chosen acceptable words, as to re- 
commend heavenly truths, to make them more precious and amiable 
to the minds and affections of men, like the colour of the sky, that 
makes the stars to shine with a more sparkling brightness." f 

Both are included by the admirable and lamented Angell James in 
an apostrophe to the " mighty shades" of those " illustrious and holy" 
Nonconformists, who have " bequeathed" to us " a rich legacy in 
their immortal works." Later, in the pages of his stirring " Earnest 
Ministry," he places Clarkson in the first rank of those who were 
" most distinguished as successful preachers of the Word of God." J 
The work of Charnock on the Divine Attributes is thus spoken of by 
his early Editors : § — • 

" But thou hast in this book not only an excellent subject in the 
general, but great variety of matter for the employment of thy under- 
standing, as well as enlivening thy affections, and that, too, such as 
thou wilt not readily find elsewhere : many excellent things which 
are out of the road of ordinary preachers and writers, and which 
may be grateful to the curious, no less than satisfactory to the wise 
and judicious. It is not, therefore, a book to be played with, nor 
slept over, but read with the most intent and serious mind ; for though 
it afi'ord much pleasure for the fancy, yet much more work for the 

• Bates' "Works, (Farmer's Edit.,) vol, iv., pp, 231-235, 

t Bates' Works, vol, iv., p. 385. 

X An Earnest Ministry the Want of the Times, pp. 66, 269 (Third Edition.) 

§ Folio, 1699. 


heart, and hath indeed enough in it to busy all the faculties. The 
dress is complete and decent, yet not garish or theatrical ; the 
rhetoric masculine and vigorous, such as became a pulpit, and was 
never borrowed from the stage ; the expressions full, clear, apt, and 
such as are best suited to the weightiness and spirituality of the 
truths here delivered. It is plain he was no empty preacher, but 
was more for sense than sound ; filled up his words with matter, and 
chose rather to inform his hearers' minds than to claw any itching 

" In the doctrinal part of several of his discourses thou wilt find 
the depth oi polemical divinity, and in his inferences from thence 
the sweetness of practical; some things which may exercise the 
profoundest scholar, and others which may instruct and edify the 
weakest Christian ; nothing is more nervous than his reasonings, 
and nothing more affecting than his applications. Though he make 
great use of scliool-men^ yet they are certainly more beholden to him 
than he to them." 

" He is not like some school writers^ who attenuate and rarefy the 
matter they discourse of to a degree bordering upon annihilation; 
at least beat it so thin that a puff of breath may blow it away ; spin 
their threads so fine that the cloth, when made up, proves useless ; 
solidity dwindles into niceties ; and what we thought we had got 
by their assertions, we lose by their distinctions."* 

Baxter enumerates the works of Reynolds among those which he 
considers as indispensably necessary to the library of a theological 
student. Dr Doddridge says that Reynolds' "are most elaborate 
both in thought and expression. Few men," he adds, " were more 
happy in the choice of their similitudes. He was .... of great 
learning, and a frequent preacher." f 

" Distinguished by profound learning and elevated character, seri- 
ous without gloom, and zealous without harshness, he stands out as 
one of the best ecclesiastical characters of his time; and, in a crisis 
which was most solemn and memorable for the Church of England, 
he bears a lofty contrast to most of the dignitaries which assembled 
around James. ":j: 

" The divines of the Puritan school," writes the Rev. C. Bridges, 
with his wonted discrimination, " however, (with due allowance for 
the prevalent tone of scholastic subtleties,) supply to the ministerial 

* Ctarnock's Works, folio, 1699. 

t Reynolds' Works, (Chalmers' Edit.,) Preface, p. IxxL 

X Dr Tulloch's English Puritans, p. 33. 


Student a large fund of useful and edifying instruction. If tliey be 
less clear and simple in their doctrinal statements than the Keformers, 
they enter more deeply into the sympathies of Christian experience. 
Profoundly versed in spiritual tactics, — the habits and exercises of 
the human heart, — they are equally qualified to awaken conviction 
and to administer consolation, laying open the man to himself with 
peculiar closeness of application ; stripping him of his false depen- 
dencies, and exhibiting before him the light and influence of the 
evangelical remedy for his distress." '"" 

" I have learned far more from John Howe," said Robert Hall, 
'' than from any other author I ever read. There is an astonishing 
magnificence in his conceptions." Having added — " He had not 
the same perception of the beautiful as of the sublime, and hence 
his endless subdivisions " — " There was, I think, an innate inapti- 
tude in Howe's mind for discerning minute graces and proprieties, 
and hence his sentences are often long and cumbersome " — he 
declared him " unquestionably the greatest of the Puritan Divines." 
" Baxter," said Mr Hall, " enforces a particular idea with extraordi- 
nary clearness, force, and earnestness. His appeals to the conscience 
are irresistible. Howe, again, is distinguished by calmness, self- 
possession, majesty, and comprehensiveness ; and, for my own part, 
I decidedly prefer him to Baxter." Owen, Mr Hall did not admire.f 

It is curious to compare with this the criticism of another master- 
mind — 

the grand, impressive, and persuasive style. But he is not to be 
named with Owen, as to furnishing the student's mind. He is, 
however, multifarious, complex, practical." " Owen stands at the 
head of his class of divines. His scholars will be more profound 
and enlarged, and better furnished, than those of most other writers. 
His work on the Spirit has been my treasure-house, and one of my 
very first-rate books.' "J 

It is not to be denied, however, that Puritan theology has, of late 
years, been comparatively little read, either by clergy or laity, in 
this country. Owen and Baxter — and perhaps Howe — are those 
best known to the present generation. Of the others a few select 
works only are accessible to the mass of readers. Nor has the pre- 
sent Series been projected under the anticipation that their works, aa 

♦ Christian Ministry, Third Edition, 12mo, pp. 53, 54. 
t Eobert Hall's Works, Bohn's Edition, vol. i., pp. 163, 164. 

+ Cecil's Remains, pp. 281, 282. 


a whole, will be popular, in the wide sense of that term, in our 
own day. The cui-rent of theological literature has become wider, 
but shallower. Shorter books, books calling for little thought; 
the thoughts of the intellectual giants of former days diluted and 
watered down to our taste; these are best adapted to an age of 
much and rapid reading, but little study — an age marked by a 
pernicious taste for light reading, and content to derive too much 
of its learning and information at second-hand, from periodicals 
and newspapers. An age, too, in which even the multiplication of 
privileges, in the number of sermons preached and of public meet- 
ings held, in combination with the cheap publications with which 
the press teems, tends to diffuse, but not to deepen, thought. 
And ministers find in the multiplication of facilities for the com- 
position of sermons a corresponding snare. Many a boy at school 
would grow up into a sounder, riper, and more independent scholar 
— certainly the process of acquirement would have proved a more 
healthful gymnasium to his mental powers and habits, as well as for 
the general disciplining of his character — if he had fewer crutches on 
which to lean, in lexicons and translations and copious English 
notes, which make everything easy, and enable him to dispense with 
personal and direct reference to the great fountain-heads of learning 
and scholarship. Thus the minister finds appliances so multiplied, 
the old theology of Fathers, Eeformers, and Puritans so ready to his 
hand, in commentaries and in diluted forms, that he is tempted to a 
growing habit of indolence; takes all at second-hand; and finds it 
easier to manipulate into sermons and expositions the cheap com- 
mentary, than to study the ponderous folio for himself. 

It must be confessed that while, in substance, the Puritan theo- 
logy is of sterling value, it presents not a few characteristics which 
are drawbacks to general popularity among theologians of our 
habits of thought. They are over-copious and diffuse, and thus 
not seldom prolix to wearisomeness ; solid, often to heaviness ; and 
encumbered by references to works little known and altogether un- 
read. *' Due allowance," says Mr Bridges, in the passage just 
quoted, must be made " for the prevalent tone of scholastic subtle- 
ties ; " and, in some, for " the occasional mixture of obscurity and 
bombast." And Mr James, in eulogising a sermon of Doolittle's as 
perhaps " the most solemn and awful sermon in the English or any 
other language," qualifies that high eulogium by a criticism on 
much of its " terminology," as expressive of a " familiarity with 
awful realities " which was a " vice " of the Puritan age and school.* 

Neither their expository works nor their sermons are presented aa 
* Earnest ^linistry, p. 103. 


models. The former, looked upon as expositions^ are marred occa- 
sionally "by the endeavour to make them exhaustive treatises, and by 
a tiresome minuteness of division and subdivision. A sermon of 
Charnock's would be ill suited, as such, to a modern congregation : 
though not so much so as one of the English Chrysostom, Jeremy 
Taylor. But this very over-copiousness and attempts at exhaustive- 
ness render them as storehouses invaluable. They are tomes of mas- 
sive theology; theology with prolixity, and pedantry, and subtlety, 
but never as dry bones. It is experimental. There is unction. 
There is warmth. It is theology grasped and wrought out by 
great minds, but realised by loving hearts. The writers have tasted 
that the Lord is gracious. Their every page bears the impress of 
the bene orasse est bene studuisse. They are not theologians only 
but saints. 

Nor are their characteristic excellencies hard to be accounted for. 
Not only were they pre-eminently men of God, and deep students of 
God's Word — "living and walking Bibles"* — and this in combi- 
nation often with great secular erudition — but their lot was cast in 
troublous times, times in which great principles were at stake, to 
which they were called to witness, and for which they were called 
to suflfer. As with the individual Christian, the time, not of his 
wealth and ease, but of his trial and suffering, is that which braces 
his power, and stimulates his health and growth, so is it with the 
aggregate Church. Stirring times produce stirring men. Christ's 
heroes are drawn out by conflicts. When we handle the doctrines 
of the gospel merely as the subject-matter of sermons, and treatises, 
and controversies, we are in danger of handling them drily and ab- 
strusely. But when we are called to confess Christ by the actual 
bearing of His cross, and to suffer for His truth's sake, our theology 
must be experimental. We then want not Christianity but Christ. 
The gospel is then a reality, not a creed, nor a system only nor 
mainly, but an inner life, an indwelling, inworking power. " Christ 
— the Scripture — your own hearts — and Satan's devices," writes 
Thomas Brooks, " are the four things that should be first and 
most studied and searched ; if any cast off the study of these, they 
can be neither safe here, nor happy hereafter." f His words are the 
key-note of Puritan theology. 

These divines were diligent and profound students to a degree 
attained by few ministers of our own day, when, in all sections of 
the Christian Church, so much of their time is consumed in out-door 
work and quasi-secular duties. The organisation and maintenance 

* Original Preface. See p. xxs. 

t Preface to " Precious Remedies against Satan's Devices." 


of parochial or congregational machinery, — the anxiety and lahour 
merely of raising funds for their varied agencies and institutions, — the 
co-operation expected of them in the countless philanthropic schemes 
and multiplied religious societies of our age, — these drive or draw 
them from their studies. The mental tone and habits of the student 
are soon lost. A restless, desultory, excited spirit is engendered. 
And many an energetic minister falls into the fallacy that he is never 
working for his people, unless he is going up and down among them, 
and busy in schools, visitation, committees, and public meetings. 
No doubt it is a working age ; working as distinguished from re- 
tirement, study, and meditation. But no minister should, under 
any stress of fancied duties, cease to be a student. 

" Apart from practice, thought will become impoverished without 
study ; the most active and fertile minds have perceived this. We 
cannot derive all the nourishment we need from ourselves ; without 
borrowing we cannot create. It is true that there are other methods 
of study besides reading. When we have learned anything from 
books, and in the best of books as well as in others, we must make 
use of our native powers in order to assimilate it, as also we assimi- 
late nourishment for the body. But when, without the aid of books, 
or in the absence of facts, we labour in solitude, on what materials 
shall we labour unless it be on those supplied by recollection? 
Whence do our thoughts arise except from facts, or from books, or 
from social intercourse? A great volume, which also demands ouf 
careful study. We must, therefore, study in order to excite and 
encircle our own thoughts by means of the thoughts of other men. 
Those who do not study will see their talent gradually fading away, 
and will become old and superannuated in mind before their time. 
Experience demonstrates this abundantly, so far as preaching is 
concerned. Whence comes it that preachers who were so admired 
when they entered upon their course, often deteriorate so rapidly, 
or disappoint many of the lofty expectations which they had excited? 
Very generally the reason is because they discontinue their studies. 
A faithful pastor will always keep up a certain amount of study; 
v/hile he reads the Bible, he will not cease from reading the great 
book of humanity which is opened before him ; but this empirical 
study will not suffice. Without incessant study, a preacher may 
make sermons, and even good sermons, but they will all resemble 
one another, and that increasingly as he continues the experiment. 
A preacher, on tlie other hand, who keeps up in his mind a constant 
flow of substantial ideas, who fortifies and nourishes his mind by 
various reading, will be always interesting. He who is governed 


by one pervading idea and purpose will find in all books, even in 
those which are not directly connected with the ministry, something 
that he may adapt to his special aim." * 

" For a man who preaches much, without from time to time re- 
newing the stock of matter with which he began his career, however 
sound or pious he may continue to be, will be almost sure ultimately 
to become a very barren preacher. And I only say almost^ in con- 
sideration of a few rare instances, in which observation of life, and 
intercourse with varieties of charactei*, seem to make an original and 
peculiar cast of mind, independent in a good measure of reading. 
But tliese are rare exceptions. Generally, and all but universally, 
a public teacher requires to have his own mind supplied and exer- 
cised by books. And to derive full advantage from them, I need 
hardly say, that he must not only read, but think. Undigested 
reading is better, I am sure, than none. I know that a different 
opinion is entertained by some, but this is mine. For there is no 
one who does not take away some matter from what he reads, and 
no mind can be so inert as not to be forced to some activity, while 
taking in new facts or thoughts. And, what is not to be put out of 
view, every mind becomes continually more unfurnished and more 
inert, when reading is wholly given up. But the benefit to be de- 
rived from reading without purpose and thought, of course falls far 
short of that which reflection will draw from the same, or from 
scantier stores. And this applies very particularly to the most 
fruitful, as well as the most important of the sources from which the 
preacher's materials are to be drawn. By reading the Holy Scrip- 
tures, without meditating upon them, a man may, no doubt, obtain 
considerable acquaintance with the facts and doctrines which they 
contain, — may become an adroit controversialist, and a well-furnished 
textuary, — but unless he studies the sacred volume with patient 
thought, (I need not add to you, my brethren, with earnest prayer,) 
until he becomes imbued with its spirit as well as acquainted with 
its contents, his use of Scripture will be comparatively jejune, and 
cold, and unprofitable. And so, you remember, the Apostle exhorts 
his beloved son in the faith : ' Meditate upon these things, give thy- 
self wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all.' And, 
certainly, all do feel the difference which there is between one who 
is giving out crude materials, taken in hastily for the occasion, and 
one who is drawing from the stores which he has laid up in this 
meditative study of divine truth." f 

* Vinet's Pastoral Theology, pp. 109, 110. 

t Bishop O'Brien's Charge at Primary Vieitation, 1842. 


The Puritan writers were men engaged in stirring scenes, and had 
the conduct of questions and controversies involving great principles, 
and in which the liberties of this country and of the Church of 
Christ were at stake. They had to endure, in not a few cases, " a 
great fight of afflictions," persecution, imprisonment, ejectment. 
They were not students as living in stagnant times. But study, 
long, close, deep, sustained, was with them an integral part of their 
ministry. They toiled alike in rowing and in fishing ; but they 
mended their nets. They gave themselves unto reading. They 
were not content with indolently picking up a few stray surface 
pieces of ore, which had been dropped by others at the mine's mouth. 
They sunk the shaft and went down and toiled and dug and 
smelted and refined and burnished for themselves, and for the 
Church Catholic. 

We hear, in our own day, complaints loud and frequent of the 
feebleness of the pulpit. Not men of the world only, to whom, if 
they ever hear sermons, the sermon is a form with which they would 
gladly dispense, but an Angell James asks, " Has the modern evan- 
gelical pulpit lost, and is it still losing, any of its power ?" * 

Sir James Stephen writes f — 

" Every seventh day a great company of preachers raise their 
voices in the land to detect our sins, to explain our duty, to admo- 
nish, to alarm, and to console. Compare the prodigious extent of 
this apparatus with its perceptible results, and inestimable as they 
are, who will deny that they disappoint the hopes which, anteced- 
ently to experience, the least sanguine would have indulged ? The 
preacher has, indeed, no novelties to communicate. His path has 
been trodden hard and dry by constant use; yet he speaks as an 
ambassador from Heaven, and his hearers are frail, sorrowing, per- 
plexed, and dying men. The highest interests of both are at stake. 
The preacher's eye rests on his manuscript ; the hearer's turns to the 
clock ; the half-hour glass runs out its sand ; and the portals close 
on well-dressed groups of critics, looking for all the world as if just 
dismissed from a lecture on the tertiary strata." 

No doubt, in many cases, our critics are not qualified. " The 
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they 
are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they 
are spiritually discerned." And the true power of the pulpit, be it 
remembered, is not in Paul, nor in Apollos, but with the Holy Ghost. 

• Earnest Ministry, Preface, pp. vii,, viii. 
t Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography, (Fourth Edition,) p. 393. 
VOL. I. Q 


And we cannot yield to the clamour for interesting sermons, if ser- 
mons are to be made attractive by smatterings of geology, and 
political economy, and geography, in an age in which intellect is a 
chief idol. 

But that there is a want of solid matter^ a flimsiness, in too many 
of our modern sermons is undeniable. They may be faithful^ but 
they are too often, if not crude, meagre and vapid. There is a cry 
for simplicity. Too often in aiming at simplicity we fall into im- 
becility. Practical preaching is in demand. But Christian practice 
must be enforced on Christian motive ; and Christian motive cannot 
be urged in all its fulness and power, unless Christian doctrine in its 
depth and variety be stated and enforced. The gospel must be 
offensive to the natural heart. But surely that scheme into which 
" angels desire to look," and which is to those lofty intelligences, 
surrounded by many evidences of the divine wisdom beyond man's 
present ken, the brightest manifestation of it,* must have matter 
capable of exercising (and that lawfully and profitably) man's highest 
intellectual powers. We call upon men to receive it with the simple 
faith of little children, but not necessarily as in itself unworthy of 
intellectual study and research. "To the Greek foolishness," is 
still true. But let it be " the foolishness of God," not the foolish- 
ness of our indolence and insipidity. " Preaching indeed, considered 
in regard to its sublime object, is at its best but foolishness after all ; 
but this, we venture to think, is a reason why it should do its best, 
not its worst."t To this end ministers must be, as were the Puritan 
giants, students. Less public work. Fewer committees. Less 
serving of tables. A larger enlistment of the laity, specially in that 
which is secular. We must determine on this, or we shall have, in 
another generation, that of which we have but too threatening symp- 
toms now — if indeed we have not passed beyond symptoms into a 
disastrous state of malady — an ill-stored, unlearned, untheological 

Complaints of pulpit feebleness are not the only evil results. Our 
divinity students pass into the ministry and ascend our pulpits, having 
gone through their university curriculum, and " crammed up " the few 
authors required by their bishop or theological college, but unstored 
with experimental theology; too often with no discernment of distinc- 
tive truth, no well-proportioned and symmetrical view of Christian 
doctrine. Hence they are in danger of being " carried to and fro with 

• Eph. iii. 10. 

t Dean Alford's Lecture on "Pulpit Eloquence of the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury," (Lectures to Young Men's Christian Association, Exeter Hall, 1857-58,) 
p. 323. 


every blast of vain doctrine." The mistiness and vagueness of nega- 
tive theology, the husks of ritualism, would fail to satisfy men who had 
tasted " the living bread " and drunk deep into the wells of such theo- 
logians as this Series is designed to make accessible. Faults of pro- 
lixity, pedantry, scholastic subtlety, over-systematising, over-strain- 
ing, and over-spiritualising, a familiarity and a homeliness running 
into a coarseness which would now shock where it did not provoke 
levity inconsistent with the reverence due to high and holy themes, 
are as trifles when weighed against the scriptural knowledge, the 
clear, distinct statement of doctrine, the close, masterly handling of 
all the subtle intricacies of the experiences of the inner life, in its 
varied conflicts, its hopes, its fears, its sorrows, its consolations, its 
joys. Contrast with a page of our modern negative theology, — an 
essay or sermon in which the writer, dealing with the fact of the 
death of Christ, at one time so employs the language of Holy Scrip- 
ture as to leave no doubt of his orthodoxy, and, the next moment, 
so explains, and fences, and emasculates this language as to deprive 
the cross of its true efficacy, and to leave us in doubt as to any 
adequate cut bono for that unutterably solemn display of the divine 
perfections, — contrast with this a page of Charnock, or Reynolds, or 
Goodwin, or Clarkson, or — to go beyond the limits of this Series — of 
Thomas Jacomb,* or of Edward Polhill,t and we at once feel the 
difference of the atmosphere. If we seem to have been guided by 
the negative theologian to some height of intellectual power and 
philosophic research, we find it not to be a height from which, in 
flooding sunshine, we may survey the panorama of Christian truth, 
but a height on which we stand shivering amid the mists of un- 

* Several Sermons preached on the whole Eighth Chapter of the Epistle to 
the Romans, by Thomas Jacomb, D.D. London, 1672. 

" He was an excellent preacher of the gospel, and had a happy art of convey- 
ing saving truths into the minds and hearts of men. 

" He did not entertain his hearers with curiosities, but with spiritual food- 
He dispensed the bread of life, whose vital sweetness and nourishing virtue is 
both productive and preservative of the life of souls. He preached ' Christ 
crucified, our only wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.' 
His great design was to convince sinners of their absolute want of Christ, that 
with flaming affections they might come to him, and ' from His fulness receive 
divine grace.' 

" His sermons were clear, and solid, and aflfectionate. He dipped his words 
in his sovd, in warm affections, and breathed a holy fire into the breasts of 
his hearers ; of this many serious and judicious persons can give testimony, 
who so long attended upon his ministry with dehght and profit." — Bates' Works, 
vol. iv., p. 286. 

t The Works of Edward Polhill, Esq., of Burwash, in Sussex, are reprinted in 
a cheap form by Thomas Ward & Co., London. They form a grand volume of 
divinity. The author's preface is dated 1677. 


satisfying negatives; and if, awhile, the mists seem ready to roll 
away and to disperse themselves, they return to cloud and chill 
us as before. When Manton expounds St James, or Goodwin 
St Paul, — when Sibbes is opening up the " Soul's Conflict," or 
dilating on the "Beloved" and His "Bride," — when Brooks brings 
forth his " Precious Eemedies" and " Heart's Ease," — when Owen 
is analysing indwelling sin, or opening out the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, — or Polhill treating of election and redemption, we have 
massive theology baptized v/ith all the rich unction of Christian 
experience. To travel still further beyond the limits of this par- 
ticular Series, the Lectures of Bishop King on Jonas* present a 
combination of expository ability and pulpit power — specially in 
the element of uncompromising rebuke — which renders them a 
masterpiece and a model which modern preacliers would do well to 
study. Contrasting these, and such as these, among our theological 
writers, with many whose unsound productions have for awhile un- 
happily superseded them, and are unsettling the minds of many in 
our universities and pulpits, we may employ the words of the editors 
of Goodwin, when they represent him as " wondering greatly at the 
daring attempts of some men of this age, unskilful in the word of 
righteousness, upon the great and momentous points of our religion, 
which are the glory of our Reformation ; but these points will prove 
gold, silver, precious stones, when their wood, hay, and stubble will 
be burnt up. These will have a verdure and greenness on them, 
whilst the inventions of others will be blasted and wither. These 
will be firm, whilst others, wanting somewhat within, it will be with 
them as it was with the Jewish and heathenish worship, when a fate 
was upon them, all the efforts and endeavours of men could not make 
them stand." t 

• Lectvres vpon Jonas, delivered at Yorke, in tLe yeare of ovr Lord 1594. 
London : Printed by Humfrey Lownes. 1618. 

In the epistle addressed by the Christ Church students at Oxford to James I., 
in which they request that monarch to give Dr King the deanery, he is called 
"Clarissimum lumen Anglicanse Ecclesiae." Sir Edward Coke used to say 
of him that he was the best speaker in the Star Chamber in his time. " Deus 
bone, quam canora vox (saith one) vultus compositus, verba selecta, grandea 
sententise ! Allicimur omnes lepore verborum, suspeudimur gravitate senten- 
tiarum, orationis impetu et vinbus flectimur." — Wood's Athence Oxon., vol. i., 
V- 458, year 1621. Folio Edit., mdccxxi. 

Heijry Smith, who died about 1600, (see Fuller's Life prefixed to Sermons, 
Edit. 1675,) was " esteemed the miracle and wonder of his age, for his .... 
fluent, eloquent, and practical way of preaching." " The Puritans flocked to 
hear him at St Clement Dane's, esteeming him the prime preacher of the 
nation. His sermons were taken into the hands of all the people." — Tfoocf* 
Athencs Ozon., vol i., p. 263, year 1593. t Original Preface. See p. ixxiL 


The controversial writings of the Puritans are beyond the province 
of this preface. If in one instance — that of a Treatise on Church 
Government by Goodwin — controversy has been included in this 
Series, it has been done to prevent his Works from being incomplete. 
As a whole, this class of subjects hardly enters into the writings of 
the authors whose Works are comprised in this Series. Of their 
abilities in polemical divinity JVIr Marsden observes, with more 
immediate reference to the earlier among them, that " the student, 
after a wide search amongst the combatants of later times, finds 
to his surprise how insignificant are all their additions to a contro- 
versy opened, and, as far as learning and argument go, finally 
closed, by the earliest champions on either side."* Their style, 
if sometimes inflated and obscure, has a nervous pithiness and 
c[uaintness rarely found among the theologians and preachers of our 
own day. The commonplace book of the student will soon be filled 
up with terse and pointed sayings — those " words of the wise which 
are as goads." A strong, homely saying, quoted from an old Puritan, 
will be the sentence of all others, in many a modem sermon, which 
will fasten itself most readily on the memory, and retain the most 
lasting hold. " Several of them," says Mr Marsden, " write the 
English language in high, if not the highest, perfection, before 
it was degraded and Latinised by the feeble men of the last 

Their homeliness, to call it by the mildest name, is nowhere more 
striking (nor, at times, more grotesque) than in the titles prefixed 
by them to treatises and sermons. Thomas Adams, for example, 
(following Luther,) designates a sermon on Judas, " The White 
Devil, or the Hypocrite Uncased;" another, " The Shot, or the 
Wofull Price which the Wicked pay for the Feast of Vanitie ; " a 
third, on Jer. viii. 22, " The Sinner's Passing Bell, or a Complaint 
from Heaven for Man's Sinnes ; " a fourth, on Matt. xii. 43, (the 
unclean spirit's return to the man from whom he had gone out,) 
" The Black Saint, or the Apostate ; " a fifth, on Eccles. ix. 3, 
" Mysticall Bedlam, or the World of Madmen." We can hardly 
open a page of his sermons without finding quaintnesses of the 
most striking kind. The openings of the sermons, " The Fatall 
Banket " and " The Shot," are among the most singular. And 
not seldom, when we feel that the writer is running into fanciful 
conceit rather than exposition, the application is so full of power 
and beauty that, despite our judgment, it carries us with it. Take 
the following from Adams' sermon on " Christ his Starre, or the 
Wise Men's Oblation," folio, 1630, p. 165 :— 

* Cliristiaii Churches and Sects ; article, Puritans, vol. ii., p. 139. 


" Some will give myrrhj but not frankincense; some will give 
franlcincense^ but not myrrh ; and some will give myrrh andj^z-anA- 
incense^ but not gold. 

" 1. Some will give myrrh^ a strict moral life, not culpable of any 
gross eruption or scandalous impiety ; but not frankincense. Their 
•prayers are thin sown, therefore their graces cannot come up thick. 
Perhaps they feel no want, and then, you know, raroe fumant 
felicihus arce. In their thought, they do not stand in any great 
need of God; when they do, they will offer Him some incense. 
These live a morally honest life, but are scant of religious prayers; 
and so may be said to offer myrrh yf'ithovit frankincense. 

" 2. Some will give frankincense, pray frequently, perhaps tedi- 
ously; but they will give no myrrh, not mortify or restrain their 
concupiscence. The Pharisees had many prayers, but never the 
fewer sins. These mock God, that they so often beg of Him that 
His will may be done, when they never subdue their affections to 
it. There are too many such among us, that will often join with 
the Church in communion devotions, who yet join with the world 
in common vices. These make great smokes oi frankincense, but let 
not fall one drop of myrrh. 

"3. Some will give both myrrh and frankincense, but by no 
means their gold. I will give (saith the worldling) a sober life — 
there's raj myrrh; I will say my prayers — there's mj frankincense ; 
but do you think I will part with my gold? This same gold lies 
closer in men's hearts than it doth in their purses. You may as 
well wring Hercules's club out of his fist as a penny from their 
heaps to charitable uses." 

The skeleton of the sermon on " The Blacke Saint " is a most 
curious specimen of the over-elaborate division of a subject, specially 
as typographically displajied by the author (p. 352.) 

It need hardly be remarked that " the Puritan was a Calvinist 
naturally and entirely." " Calvinism had been, if not the progeni- 
tor, the nursing-mother of Puritanism."* Our Calvinism may be 
more or less than theirs, but every lover of evangelical truth will be 
at one with them in their full exhibitions of the grace and glory of 
Emmanuel, as the Church's Head and the sinner's only Saviour. 
Their transcendent merit is their " sweet savour of Christ." Man, 
in his utter ruin in the first Adam, and his glorious salvation in the 
second Adam ; the sovereign grace of the Triune Jehovah, in the 
eternal purpose and plan for man's recovery; the riches of the 
Father's love ; the might and comfort, the peace and joy of the Spirit's 

* English Puritaziism and its Leaders, by John TuUoch, D.D., pp. 6, 41. 


grace, — these are so taught as to fulfil the good pleasure of the 
Father, " that in all things" Christ " may have the pre-eminence." 
Their gospel is not " another gospel, which is not another," but the 
glorious gospel of the grace of the blessed God. " God in Christ 
reconciling the world unto himself;" the surrendered life of Christ ; 
the penal and vicarious satisfaction by which the curse of the broken 
law was met ; the blood of Christ the fountain opened for unclean- 
ness and for the consecration of God's elect to their royal priesthood ; 
the active obedience of Christ, as " made under the law," combining 
with his sufferings and blood-shedding to constitute Him "the 
Righteousness of God" to His people ; present pardon and justifica- 
tion ; the Spirit indwelling as the Sanctifier, the Teacher, the Com- 
forter, the inward Witness to sonship, the Intercessor, the seal, the 
earnest ; in a word. The New Covenant, with all its riches, and 
privileges, and strength, and peace, and hope, and joy, — these are 
their great and central theme. They discerned the difficulties pre- 
sented, not by the implacableness of the Father, but by the laws of 
His moral government, based upon His own moral perfections, to 
the salvation of a fallen moral being ; and how these were met by 
the counsels and provisions of that eternal scheme by which God is 
just, and the justifier of the ungodly — at once a Moral Governor of 
unsullied truth and purity, and a Saviour, 

On the expulsion of the Puritans, on St Bartholomew's Day, in 
1662, under the disastrous and suicidal Act of Uniformity, " they 
carried with them the spiritual light of the Church of England."* 
And " in the course of ninety years, the nation had descended to 
a state of irreligion which we now contemplate with feelings of dis- 

" It was the opinion of those who lived in these evil days that had 
it not been for a small body of respectable clergymen who had been 
educated among the Puritans, and of whom Wilkins, Patrick, and 
Tillotson were the leaders, every trace of godliness would have been 
clean put out, and the land reduced to universal and avowed atheism. 
Indeed, the writings and sermons of the Church of England divines 
of this period confirm these statements. They are evidently ad- 
dressed to hearers before whom it was necessary to prove not merely 
the providence, but the very being of a God — not only the soul's 
immortality, but the soul's existence. Their pains are chiefly spent 
not in defending any particular creed or system of doctrine, for they 
appear to have thought all points of doctrine beyond the attainment 
of the age. They take up the peopb of England where heathenism 

• Marsden's Later Puritans, p. 473. t Ibid., p. 472. 


might have left them a thousand years before; they teach the first 
elements of natural religion, and descant upon the nature of virtue, 
its present recompense, and the arguments in favour of a state of 
retribution, after the manner of Socrates and Plato. It is seldom 
that they rise beyond moral and didactic instructions. Theology 
languished, and spiritual religion became nearly unknown ; and a 
few great and good men handed down to one another the practice 
and the traditions of a piety which was almost extinct. The resto- 
ration of civil liberty brought with it no return of spiritual life 
within the Church of England. The nation became less immoral 
without becoming more religious. Politics and party ate out the 
very vitals of what little piety remained. At length one of the most 
cautious of English writers, as well as the most profound of English 
divines, seventy years after the ejection of the Nonconformists, por- 
trays the character of the age in those memorable words, in which 
he tells us that it had come, he knew not how, to be taken for 
granted by too many, that Christianity was not so much a subject 
of inquiry as that it was now at length discovered to be fictitious ! 
How widely these opinions had infected the nation and its educated 
classes we may infer from the circumstance that he devoted his life 
to that wonderful book in which he proves by the argument from 
analogy that religion deserves at least a candid hearing. Bishop 
Newton, a few years afterwards, wrote his treatise on the fulfilment 
of prophecy, with the same intentions; while Doddridge, amongst 
Dissenters, deplored the prevalence of a fatal apathy, and the decay 
of real piety." * 

The preaching with which these great and holy men aroused the 
nation was the preaching of Puritan doctrine, in place of the Christ- 
less ethics and semi- (or more than semi-) Socinian doctrine by 
which it had been supplanted. Substantially, it is the preaching by 
which the Sacramentalism and the Neology of our own day are to 
be met ; for, substantially, not without its measure of " wood, hay, 
stubble," it is " gold, silver, precious stones," built upon the one 
foundation — Christ. 

The present may seem, in some sense, an unfavourable moment 
lor the issue of this Series. The theological taste of the day is not 
for systematic theology. Nevertheless, the cordial favour with which 
the design of this project has been greeted by divines of the great- 
est eminence, from nearly all sections of the Christian Church, both 
in this kingdom and in America, is in itself a token for good, and 
may well afford encouragement to those among us who are disposed 

* Marsden's I^ater Puritans, pp. 470, 471. 


to take a gloomy view of our prospects, by reason of the heresies 
and divisions which are rife. In the Puritan Theologians, — not, of 
course, in all their views and statements of doctrine, but substan- 
tially, — a large body of the most eminent and best qualified judges 
recognise a clear, rich, scriptural statement of evangelical truth. 
And, amid diversities of opinions and conflicting parties, no less than 
as affording hope that the power of the pulpit will be greatly 
strengthened among us, the accord of so large a body of Christian 
men and ministers is a hopeful and cheering sign. It will be an 
incalculably blessed result of this reprint, should our ministers catch 
something of the grandly SCRIPTUEAL character of Puritan preaching 
and exposition. In this lay the secret of their strength. 

No " Broad Church " divinity will be found in these pages. 
Our students and younger ministers are often attracted by more 
brilliant writers and bolder (not deeper) thinkers. They may pro- 
nounce the Puritans old-fashioned, behind the age, heavy. But 
the Series has been projected in the hope that a healthier tone 
may be fostered, and that facility may induce familiarity. Writ- 
ings which must have been sought in rare and costly folios, 
or watched for at sales or at book-stalls, may now be upon our 
shelves without efi'ort and at little cost. The supply will create 
a demand. A reaction in favour of Puritan theology — so far, at 
least, as to give it its due place — will indicate a healthier tone. 
The more spiritually-minded of our reading laity will find in these 
volumes truths and thoughts which may well tempt them to substi- 
tute them for those of writers who, if they make less demands upon 
the intellectual power of their readers, by presenting their matter in 
an easy and diluted form, repay the perusal in a proportionately 
moderate measure. But the main object and the paramount desire 
is that this Series may conduce to the soundness, solidity, and unction 
of the pulpit ministrations of our own day and of days to come; 
that, as these men were " miglity in the Scriptures," and proclaimed 
the gospel in all the riches of its grace, and exalted Christ, and 
honoured the Spirit of God, and entered, with a skilful and searching 
anatomy into the hidden secrets of the experience of God's saints, 
many a student and many a preacher may imbibe their spirit. No 
disparagement of the early Fathers nor of the Eeformers, whose 
theology is here embodied and developed, is intended ; nor any un- 
grateful undervaluing, by invidious comparison, of the treasures 
accumulated by later and living labourers. Still less are the Puritan 
theologians held up that we may call them fathers or masters, or make 
them an authoritative standard of appeal. Our first business, our 
solemn responsibility, is with the wkitten Wokd. " What saith 


THE SCRIPTUEE?" Let that inquiry be first pursued, in lowly 
teachableness, in reliance upon no inner light, but upon the Spirit's 
promised teaching. Let it be pursued with diligent, honest study, 
not with a pedantic, but an exact and sound philology ; and with a 
fearless trust in truth, no less than a sincere love of it. How few of 
us have full confidence in truth ! 

This Series, it is believed, supplies a lack. It comes forth in no 
ordinary crisis of the Church's history. If anywhere, within the 
Church the war of opinion rages. The ancient landmarks are being 
removed. The very foundations are threatened. The inspiration of 
the sacred oracles is controverted ; their infallibility denied. The 
penmen of the Holy Ghost are deemed not to have been so inspired as 
to be preserved from error. Moses, Isaiah, and Paul — history, pro- 
phecy, doctrines — are alike assailed. Man brings his Maker's Book 
to the " verifying faculty" of his own inner light and moral conscious- 
ness. The death of the Son of God is an heroic self-sacrifice — not a 
penal satisfaction to the outraged law of the ]\[oral Governor of the 
universe. Under our new interpreters, much of what we have re- 
ceived from our infancy, and have taught our children, as facts re- 
corded in an inspired history, is relegated to the region of myth and 
ideology. At such a crisis, it is no slight boon to the Christian 
Church to make the voices of these witnesses to the truth be heard. 
Their testimony is, for the most part, silenced, because buried in 
costly folios; or comes to us only in the echoes of plagiarists. 
They will now speak in the library of many a pastor, upon whose 
shelves they have never yet found a place. And, while it is never 
to be forgotten that neither Father, nor Keformer, nor Puritan, is to 
share, much less to usurp, that homage which is due to the Scrip- 
tures of Truth alone, we believe that when the student and the 
preacher descend to the study of those uninspired, but gifted men 
who, in successive ages, have been raised up as exponents of those 
Scriptures and witnesses to that Truth, none are more calculated, 
under the divine blessing, to elevate and to deepen the tone of our 
theology, to preserve us from the deadly perils of old errors now 
revived, and to give distinctness, substance, unction, and experi- 
mental richness to our preaching, than the Puritan Divines, 



The design of this preface is not to acquaint the world with the worth of 
this great person ; his works already extant sufficiently praise him ; but to 
give the reader our just apprehensions of his eminent fitness for so great an 
undertaking, and of his happy performance of it. 

Besides his eminent endowments, as to natural and acquired abilities, he 
had the happiness of an early and more than ordinary conversion, in which 
God favoured him with a marvellous light, especially in the mysteries of 
corrupt nature and of the gospel, which afterward shined through most of 
his works, and especially through this comment. 

This light was attended, so far as we can judge, with an inward sense of 
spiritual things, with a gustus spiritualis judicii, which, after long experience, 
grew up into senses exercised to discern good and evil, and into an abound- 
ing in all knowledge and sense. And, indeed, that person is the best inter- 
preter, who (besides other helps) hath a comment in his own heart; and he 
best interprets Paul's Epistles, who is himself the epistle of Christ written 
by the Spirit of God. He best understands Paul's Epistles, who hath Paul's 
sense, temptations, and experience. 

He religiously observed the light he arrived to, and greatly abhorred to 
hold any truth in unrighteousness ; but lived over the truths he knew, even 
to the hazard of what was most dear to him. And according to Christ's own 
aphorisms, the truest way of understanding his doctrine is to do it : as on 
the other side, there is no great distance between shipwreck of faith and a 
good conscience. 

He had a genius to dive into the bottom of points which he intended to 
treat of ; to " study them down," as he used to express it, not contenting 
himself with superficial knowledge, without wading into the depths of things. 
His way was to consult the weightiest, if not all the authors that had written 
upon the subject he was upon, greatly valuing the light which every man 
Afforded, according to the manifold grace of God, and the various dispensa- 
tions of his Spirit ; yet confined himself to no man's sentiments, but made 
an advance from his own light and experience to the notions of others. 

As he consulted with books, so he had the advantage of intimate con- 
verse with the greatest Christians of his age, those living and walking Bibles 
And thus from reading the living word in himself and others, he rose up to 
a great improvement in the truths of God, and was able to spejik more parti- 


cularly and experimentally in cases of conscience and practical points, which 
did not a little qualify him for this work. 

He was a person much addicted to retirements and deep contemplation, 
by which means he had the advantage of looking round the points and scrip- 
tures he was upon, and filling his head and heart with spiritual notions, as 
the sand of the sea. 

He had the happiness of high and intimate communion with God, being 
a man mighty with him in prayer, to whom he had a frequent recourse in 
difficult points and cases ; and such men wade further into the deep things 
of God who have such a leader. 

He delighted much in searching into points and scriptures which were 
more abstruse and neglected by others, and removed from vulgar inquiry ; 
and was very successful in opening such difficult texts, in discovering the 
depths of Satan, in anatomising the old man in himself and others. 

He had been much exercised in the controversies that had been agitated 
in the age he lived in, having a piercing understanding, able to find out 
where the pinch and stress of controversies lay, when he stated them in his 
own heart from Scripture and experience, and had a peculiar faculty to bring 
them down to ordinary capacities in Scripture language, without hard and 
pedantic terms. 

He had a deep insight into the grace of God, and the covenant of grace : 
a darkness in which was anciently, and still is, the cause of great errors in 
the Church. The ignorance of the Greek Fathers of the grace of God gave 
great occasion to the Pelagian errors, as Jansenius observes. 

He had, before his undertaking this province, gone over, in the course of 
his ministry, the grand points of religion, and concocted them in his own 
head and heart. And this he had done in frequent and intelligent audi- 
tories, which greatly draws out the gifts of men, and fits them for such a 
work as this. 

He had this farther advantage, that God had exercised him not only with 
inward conflicts, but with sufferings for the truths he owned, leaving not only 
preferments, but, which was more precious to him, the exercise of his ministry 
in his native country : only he had this benefit by his recess, to review and 
study over again his notions and principles. And we never find God wanting 
in the discoveries of his secrets to such friends in their retirements. 

After his return, he was made choice of to interpret this Epistle, to which 
work he was eminently suited upon all accounts, having a light into the deep 
and profound mysteries contained in it, beyond the elevation of those times. 

As to his comment, it sufficiently commends itself, and therefore needs 
not our encomium. We shall only give you some remarks on it, which oc- 
curred in the perusal of' his papers. 

According to our observation, no man who hath been exercised in the 
same province doth more happily pitch upon the true, genuine, and full 
scope of the text. He is frequently guided to a scope unobserved by others, 
as to the latitude of it, and was much delighted to interpret Scripture into 
the most vast and comprehensive sense which the Spirit of God aimed at, 


adoring still the fulness of the Scripture, being curious and critical in ob- 
serving the various references and aspects one place had upon others. 

We find him dexterous at the opening of dark scriptures, having a peculiar 
faculty in comparing spiritual things with spiritual, one obscure place -with, 
another more clear and perspicuous ; fetching light, as men do in optics, by 
various positions of glasses into a dark place ; bringing light to gospel 
truths from dark types and prophecies, and reflecting back light again upon 
those dark shadows from gospel truths : that what places singly send out 
but some small rays, being happily gathered by him into a constellation, 
give now a glorious light. 

He passeth by no difficulty of the text, till he assoils it and makes the 
place plain. He values the least iota, and makes it appear what great and 
momentous things depend upon little words in the Scripture, which others 
too carelessly pass by. 

His observations are clear, genuine, and natural, and many times not of 
vulgar and common observation, which he usually confirms by one or more 
pertinent apposite scriptures, which he interprets as he goes along, to the 
great benefit and delight of the reader; still founding what he treats of 
upon Scripture, which is a way most satisfactory and blessed of God, and 
abides more on men's hearts. 

He brings down the highest controverted point, and the most sublime 
mysteries of the gospel, in a plain and familiar way to discerning Christians, 
without affectation of hard and scholastic terms. Having stated those great 
controversies in his own heart, he makes them easy to the sense and expe- 
rience of others. 

He makes use of variety of learning, though in a concealed way ; studying 
to bring his learning to Scripture, and not Scripture to his learning. 

His language is natural, and expressive of his conceptions, being adapted 
to convey truths into the minds of men with clearness and delight. 

He speaks the intimacies of things from an inward sense and feeling of 
them in his own heart, to the particular cases and experience of others. 

He hath a vein of strong spiritual reason running through all these dis- 
courses, carrying its own light and evidence with it. 

He discovers a deep insight into the mysteries of the gospel, and a great 
light in the discovery of them, such as is great in this age, but was much 
greater about forty years ago, when he preached these lectures. He breaketh 
open the mines of the glorious grace of God, and the unsearchable riches of 
Christ ; and the further you search into them the greater treasures you wiU 
find : rienius responsura fodienti, as one saith in a like case. No man's 
heart was more taken with the eternal designs of God's grace than his; 
and no man makes clearer schemes of it to others. None more clearly 
resolves the plot of man's salvation into pure grace than he. 

His discourses aU along are very evangelical, carrying the soul to a higher 
holiness, and from a higher spring and arguments than what are to be found 
in philosophers, — from the great pulleys and motives of the gospel, which are 
higher and nobler springs than what Adam himself had in innocency. 


In the whole, he shews himself a " man of God throughly furnished to 
every good work," skilled in the whole compass of true divinity, speaking 
fully, clearly, and particularly to the points he undertakes to handle. 

He hath frequently things out of the road and vulgar reach, and beyond 
the elevation of common writers, and unobserved by others ; and yet well 
founded upon Scripture. There are diversities of gifts, dispensed by the 
same Spirit to divers persons, for the edification of the Church. 

And if at any time he steps out of the road, he doth it with a due regard 
to the analogy of faith, and a just veneration for the Reformed religion ; 
wondering greatly at the daring attempts of some men of this age, unskilful 
in the word of righteousness, upon the great and momentous points of our 
religion, which are the glory of our Reformation ; but these points will prove 
gold, silver, precious stones, when their wood, hay, and stubble wUl be burnt 
up. These will have a verdure and greenness on them, whilst the inventions 
of others will be blasted and wither. These will be firm, whilst others, 
wanting somewhat within, it will be with them as it was with the Jewish 
and heathenish worship, when a fate was upon them, all the efi'orts and 
endeavours of men could not make them stand. 

Upon the account of what of this excellent author hath been already and 
will hereafter be published, (by the good providence of God,) we think h« 
may be looked upon as a person raised up by God for some eminent service 
in that age he lived in ; as Augustine and others were in their times. And, 
therefore, we are not a little astonished at the un worthiness of some persons 
in this age, who have made use of aU their arts and interest to suppress the 
light of this and other great luminaries of the Church ; who have done what 
in them lay to eclipse stars, and of the first magnitude, and for little niceties 
and nothings, which the best and purest times of the Church were imac- 
quainted with. But it is hard to dispute men out of corrupt interests; these 
controversies wiU have an easier decision at the great day. 

We have added in the close some weighty discourses upon some other 
texts in the Ephesians and Colossians, (a parallel epistle to this of the 
Ephesians,) and upon some texts in the Hebrews, and other scriptures; either 
because of their congenialness to this comment, or the suitableness to the 
times we live in ; and because his comment did not rise up to that bulk in 
the first projection, mentioned in the proposals. 

That these discourses are his own, we need say no more, than that they 
bear his own signature ; he having drawn to the life the picture of his own 
heart by his own hand. 



For notices of these excellent men — 

See * Owen — " The Nonconformists' Memorial" of Calamy, (by Palmer, 2d edit., 
1802,) i. 235, iii. 128. 
Hanbury's " Historical Memorials relating to the Independenta," 

(1844,) iii. 422, 595, 
Also, Wood's " Athenae." 
+ Barron — "The Nonconformists' Memorial," tupra, i. 288. 


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Edinbubqh, April 1861. 




Something of custom uses to be premised by interpreters concerning the 
epistles or books they interpret, touching the argument, division of the 
■whole, and occasion of the writing, and about the persons written to. 
I shall only speak of two of these, as most necessary. 

1. The excellency of this epistle. 

2. The occasion of Paul's writing of it. 

In the handling of which two, I shall yet wrap up all those other men- 
tioned briefly. 

1. For the excellency thereof, — It hath been esteemed among the choicest, 
and is accordingly placed in the midst of his epistles ; as the most sparkling 
gem useth to be in a carkanet of many jewels : or, as Hierom's comparison 
of it is, Quomodo cor animalis in medio est; as the heart in the midst of the 
body, so he likened it, for the difficulties he observeth in it : but I rather, 
because, as the heart is the prime seat and fountain of spirits, and the 
fullest thereof; so this Epistle contains more of the spirits, the quintessence 
of the mysteries of Christ, than any other, and is made up of the most 
quickening cordials to the inward man. I shall say only, that I find our 
Apostle himself boasting, as it were, of none of his other writings but of 
this; and let his own judgment cast it, by what himself esteemed his master- 
piece. Thus expressly in the third chapter of this epistle, at the third verse, 
he mentioning the grace of God vouchsafed him, in that rich treasury of 
knowledge dispensed to him as a steward for others, (as that word signifies,) 
and that transcendant way he came by it, more extraordinary than other 
Apostles, (who yet were in part taught it by Christ on earth,) Have you not 
heard (says he, by the common report went of it,) ' how that by revelation 
(namely immediate) he made known to me the mystery 1 ' And thus far, 
indeed, I find him elsewhere speaking, as well as here, Gal. i. 12. But 
then in the following words he goes on yet further, and makes this very 
epistle the highest instance of this his knowledge and revelation : ' As I 
wrote afore,' Trpoiypa-^a h okiyoi, a little afore, (namely in the two first 
chapters hereof, especially this first,) whereby in the reading you may under- 
stand ' my knowledge in the mystery of Christ ; ' tliat is, yourselves, not by 
hearsay only, as afore, but by and upon your own knowledge. There is not 
the like speech uttered by himself of any of his epistles ; he makes this very 
epi.itle at once the most full evidences and demonstration of that transcendau*!, 

VOL. I. A 


way of liis receiving the gospel by immediate revelation. And so sublime 
-was the matter contained in it, as it argued this original, and that it could 
come no other way but by immediate revelation, as afore he had affirmed of 
It, and like-wise withal refers unto it, as the highest specimen of the depth 
and profoundness of his knowledge, and as his choicest exercise to shew his 
Christian learning by ; so that, as elsewhere he professed to these same 
Ephesians that he had (when present with them) declared all the counsel of 
God to them, Acts xxvi. 27, so now absent, to have singled out to utter 
in this epistle the utmost depths of that counsel. 

But what the reason should be, why Paul was thus more profoundly 
enlarged to them than others of the Gentiles to whom he also wrote, is worth 
oiu" inquiry and observance. Some attribute the difference unto Paul's 
(the author's) own spirit, and the condition he was then in. It smells, say 
they, of the prison; Paul was a prisoner, as chap. iv. 1, and so more enlarged 
when most straitened, as in sufferings our spirits use to be. But I rather 
ascribe it to some difference in these Ephesians written to. Philostratus 
gives testimony of this city of Ephesus, that it excelled all other cities in 
wisdom and learning, and over-abounded in thousands of learned men.'" And 
this their exquisiteness in human learning and search after knowledge was 
that which made them so addicted to curious arts, (as the Holy Ghost, speak- 
ing of these very Ephesians, calleth them. Acts xix. 19,) which were partly 
human, but vain, partly magical and devilish, as the Syriac renders the 
words ; whence also Ephesinoe literoe, the letters of Ephesus, grew into a 
proverb. And Chrysostom says that, even unto his time, it abounded with 
philosophers above any other city, and that the chiefest philosophers and 
wise men of Asia had had their original and dwelling therein, and allegeth 
(in his preface of this epistle) that as the reason why Paul should write this 
epistle with more study and exactness, and why he uttered more profound- 
ness of knowledge to them than unto others. But sure this his reason falls 
short of that which may theologically be supposed the true ground of his 
sublimeness therein, and it will be useful to improve it higher. To me it 
seems that that supereminent self-denial which appeared in many of these 
converted Ephesians, even in point of knowledge, in their renouncing all 
that excellency of learning which was then the glory of that city in the eyes 
of all the nations, the great Diana of their brains and hearts, (as the goddess 
was of their blind devotions,) as a testimony whereof thej' sacrificed the very 
books themselves unto the fire ; as the Holy Ghost hath given testimony to 
their self-denial in this particular. Acts xix. 19; — this might be the reason 
why God honoured them with an epistle so sublime, by way of recompensa 
And it affords us this observation, grounded upon like instances — 

06s. — Whatever excellency any one hath been eminent in, or prized most, 
afore conversion, but now doth undervalue, and, as Christ's word is, hates 
and forsakes for Christ's sake, in that very thing Christ as apparently maketh 
recompense an hundred-fold. — These Ephesians forsook the most exquisite 
wisdom earthly, yea, the deepest that hell afforded ; ' depths of Satan,' as 
John speaks in another case ; and God therefore honours them with this 
divine epistle, made as public as their self-denial, to all the world, in which 
God from heaven enlarged this Apostle's heart, to make a professed discovery 
of the sublimest and deepest mysteries that heaven affordeth, that were to 
be communicated to any of the sons of men, and that were lawful to be 

* ' Abiindat bonarum artium studiis, philosophis, oratoribusque redundat, ut vere did 
possit earn civitatem non equitum robore, sed clarorum hominum millibus cseteraa 
Buperare, in eatiue plurimvim vigere sapientiam.' — Lib. 8, de ViU Apol. cap. 3. 


uttered, as himself speaks, 2 Cor. xii., by liim that was in heaven. They 
bum their very books, valued at many thousands, (for their price is on pur- 
pose valued, Acts xix. 19,) and therefore our Apostle's heart is enlarged to- 
wards them, to brmg forth the bottom of that ' treasure of knowledge hid in 
Christ,' ' the unsearchable riches of Christ,' as ver. 8 of the third chapter. 
He calls them thus also himself, (the author of it,) having reckoned his learn- 
ing when a Pharisee, wherein he profited above many of his equals, at so 
high a rate, as the account of the world then went ; but now when converted, 
he accounting all but as dung and dogs' meat, for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ, PhU. ui. 8, was therefore accordingly enlarged and 
filled with an excellency in this knowledge above his fellow-apostles ; though 
he complains of himself as born out of time, and as one put to this school 
long after them. Thus Moses also, undervaluing the Egj'ptian learning where- 
in he excelled. Acts vii. 22, as well as the pleasures of that court, having an 
eye to the recompense of reward to come, was accordingly in a proportion 
recompensed even in this life ; as with being exalted to be a king over the 
people of God, a greater dignity than Eg}'pt afforded, Deut, xxxui. 5, for his 
leaving the Egyptian court, so with being made the prophet of the Old 
Testament for his renouncmg of their learning ; to whom God revealed him- 
self and his law, as never to any other prophet, Ifum. xii. 6. He was the 
giver of that law, which by the confession of all the heathens excelled theirs ; 
and therein made such an eminent type of Christ's prophetical office as no 
prophet was afore or after him, Deut. xviii. 15. 

And so much for the excellency of this epistle. Yet let me add this, that 
of aU epistles, that to the Colossians comes nearest to it in the matter and 
argument thereof ; and in many things the one is a comment upon the 
other ; only in the doctrine of God, free grace, and everlasting love, which 
is that mystery of the mystery of Christ, this far excels it, 

2. In the second place, for the occasion of this epistle, — Interpreters are 
much put to it to find what it should have been ; nor need we trouble our 
thoughts much, if we find not any ; for perhaps the Apostle took one, as a 
good heart is apt when there is no set occasion given, for to do good ; which 
Beems all the occasion of that other Apostle's writing his, 2 Pet. i. 13, 'I 
think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up,' &c. But 
for any special one of this, the best and most probable which I by conjecture 
;an find, is that which the Apostle by the spirit of prophesy foresaw. Acts xx., 
where calling all the elders of Ephesus together, (even the elders of this 
church which here he writeth unto, as you may see, ver. 17,) he tells them, 
ver. 29, ' I know this, that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in 
among you ; also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse 
things, to draw away disciples after them.' He forewarns both that some 
of their own elders should rise up, (for oftentimes so it falleth out in 
churches,) and also that others from other churches and places should 
enter in among them, (wolves he calls them,) teaching perverse things. And 
I know this, says he ; he knew it by the same spirit of prophesy and revela- 
tion that, ver. 25, he says he knew they should see his face no more. And 
although he perhaps knew not the particular errors which they should teach^ 
yet in general you see he knew that gross errors, overthrowing the founda<- 
tion of the gospel, should arise among them and be taught. Now therefore, 
to prevent their being carried away with any of these errors, whatever they 
might prove to be, he writeth this epistle in a positive way, to establish 
them aforehand in the greatest truths of the gospel. And what is the great 
and main argument of this epistle, especially in the first part of it ] It is to 


lay open the doctrine of free grace, and of God's etirnal love in, and redemp- 
tion by Christ, and the blessings issuing therefrom, and the dependence that 
our salvation hath on both. The Apostle not knowing what particular 
errors should arise, he yet chooseth to teach such doctrines as might be the 
most universal preventives to all whatever that were of any dangerous con- 
sequence ; and for this purpose, of all other doctrines, he pitcheth upon this 
of free grace. The observation then is this — 

Obs. — That if Christian judgments be well and thoroughly grounded in 
the doctrine of God's free grace and eternal love, and redemption through 
Jesus Christ alone, and in the most spiritual inward operations of God's 
Spirit, which he enumerates to have been experimentally communicated, 
that will fence them against all errors ; you may then even venture them 
from taking in any falsehood of any great moment ; — their souls being well 
shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, (to use the Apostle's simi- 
litude, as it is in the 6th of this epistle, ver. 15.) Then, as they are tenta- 
tion-proof in respect of sin or practical doubtings, (which is the Apostle's 
scope there,) so in like manner, when their judgments are thus shod with 
the doctrine of grace, they are error-proof also, (I speak in respect of taking 
in any dangerous heresy,) and this fully agrees with what the Apostle 
directs, Heb. xiii. 9 ; ' Be not,' saith he, ' carried away with divers and 
strange doctrines.' He calls them divers, or various doctrines, for though 
there is but one truth, yet errors aboiit truth are divers ; and he calls them 
strange, that are brought in cliSering from the faith the Apostles taught, and 
was ' once given.' And he instanceth in one, namely, the putting an holi- 
ness in an elective outward abstinence from some meats rather than others, 
(so in the next words.) But what any one thing was there that would, of all 
others, fix and balance their minds against this and all other such empty 
doctrines and waverings towards such superstitions ? He adds, ' for it 
is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.' Both inherent 
grace in the soul itself, (for the new creature tastes and discerns truth as the 
palate doth meat ;) as also with the doctrines of free grace without us, in 
God's heart toward us, as it is declared and taught in the Scriptures and in 
this chapter, and in the second of this epistle. And let their hearts be 
established and ballasted, and made steady with these, and they will not 
easily be ' tossed to and fro, and carried away with every wind of doctrine, 
by the sleight of men,' &c., as the Apostle speaks, chap, iv. 14 of this 
epistle. And the latter sense of grace, in that Heb. xiii., I understand to" 
be principally meant ; for the doctrine of God's grace revealed to us in the 
gospel is eminently styled ' the grace of God bringing salvation,' Titus ii. 11. 
But yet withal, take in those blessings and blessed operations wrought 
within us which our Apostle here enumerates in chap, i., and goes on to do 
it in chap. ii. to ver. 1 1 of that chapter ; the working of which in these 
Ephesians he all along ascribes unto the grace, the exceeding riches of grace, 
mercy, and love in God, founded in election and redemption ; and these, 
together vdth his doctrine of grace, will keep you steadfast and immovable. 

I should now add, as the custom of expositors likewise is, some more 
general analysis or division of the whole epistle ; but let that suffice 
which, in going over the particulars, will arise naturally to every man's obser- 
vation : that the half of it, to the end of the third chapter, is doctrinal, 
laying down the mysteries of salvation and man's misery ; the other half, to 
the end, is wholly practical, exhorting to several duties in all sorts of rela- 
tions. I hasten to the exposition itself. 



Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, hy the will of God, to the saints which are 
at Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace he to you, and peace 
from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. — Vee. 1, 2. 

Although the matter of the two first verses is found almost in every 
epistle, and is accordingly expounded by every interpreter, yet, that there 
may not be an uncomely vacuity at the very first entrance, I shall add some 
animadversions upon the words of them. 

Paul, an Ap)ostle. — The reason why in his epistles he usually prefixes both 
his name and ofiice is, first, to ascertain them he wrote to that the epistles 
were his own, or genuine epistles — as you may perceive his intent to be by 
that closure of his second epistle to the Thessalonians, 2 Thess. iii. 17, 'The 
salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand, which is the sign or token in 
every epistle : so I write,' &c. So, then, this inscription is both a salutation 
and a blessing of these Ephesians ; of which afterwards. 

Secondly, He adds his sacred ofiice — ' an apostle.' Apostleship was an 
office extraordinary in the Church of God, appointed for a time for the first 
rearing and governing of the Church of the New Testament, and to deliver 
that faith which was but once to be given to the saints, (as Jude speaks,) 
and the apostles are therefore entitled the foundation the Church is built on, 
Eph. ii. 20; which office, accordingly, had many extraordinary jirivLleges 
annexed to it, suited (as all the callings by God and his institutions are) to 
attain that end which was so extraordinary — as, namely, unlimitedness of 
commission to teach all nations. Matt, xxviii. 19. They likewise had an 
infallibility and unerringness, whether in their preaching or in writing, (2 Cor. 
i. ver. 13 and 18 compared,) which was absolutely necessary for them to 
have, seeing they were to lay the foundation to all ages, 1 Cor iii. 10, 
although in their personal walkings they might err, as Peter did. Gal. ii. 11. 
And, further, they had authority and jurisdiction committed to them, as 
elders in any church where Providence should cast them, 2 Cor. xi. 28, 
together with authority and power therein, 1 Cor. iv. 21, and 2 Cor. x. 8. 

Thirdly, This our apostle had this special grace and honour from God 
vouchsafed him above most of the apostles, to be particularly moved and 
inspired by the Holy Ghost, the conscience of his own duty concurring, to 
edify not only the present churches then extant, but to write epistles to 
leave them to the ages to come, which every apostle did not ; and there were 
none that did write any part of Scripture but as and when they were moved 
by the Holy Ghost, as Peter tells us, 2 Pet. i, 21. As ' no prophesy came 
in the old time ' — i. e., under the Old Testament — ' by the will of man ; but 
holy men spake,' and so by like reason wrote, * as they were moved by the 
Holy Ghost ; ' and thus it is under the New as well as under the Old. But 
God was pleased to use this man to labour more than they all. We owe the 
third part of the New Testament to him, insomuch as he wrote epistles to 

6 AN EXPOSITION OF Tiii: i:risTLE [Skumon I. 

some by special and personal inspiration, wliom he never saw in the flesh, as 
the Colossians. 

And this practice of affixing his name and office to his epistles, as well as 
the epistles themselves, is greatly to be heeded by us that do come in after 
ages. Excepting that to the Hebrews, for a special reason not setting down 
hjfi office of apostle, which in two or three epistles, where it is less needed, 
is omitted also. It is to be heeded, I say, by us in after ages, for it has this 
instruction in it, (which was his scope of doing it,) that as the matter of them 
did bind and oblige those whom he wrote to, so all saints in after ages to 
come, for they do inherit these and other apostles' writings, to own them, 
and to embrace them, and to observe what is written in them, as of a divine 
authority ; the word of God, as well as of man, and as intended to all saints 
and faithful in Christ Jesus, as well as those at Ephesus. As those instances 
declare, that the epistle that was writ to the Church of Colosse, Paul com- 
mands to be read to the Church of Laodicea. The inscription likewise to 
the Church at Corinth commands the same : ' To the church of Corinth, 
with all that call on the name of the Lord, both theirs and ours,' 1 Cor. i. 2. 

Know, therefore, that when you read any epistle, the whole weight of their 
apostolical spirit and authority in them is to fall upon all our consciences and 
spirits, as it did on theirs, unto these purposes, both to assure our hearts of 
the unerring truth of every tittle of them, and their word in their writings to 
be as true as God is. true, 2 Cor. L 13, 18, as also to receive all their 
injunctions and commands therein, as coming with the same apostolical 
authority that it did to those to whom they were by name written, and as 
immediately warranting us in all those practices which their living commands 
did put them upon. In a word, to speak in the words of the Apostle to the 
Thessalonians, to receive them all as the word of God, 1 Thess. ii. 13, 
even as if we had heard them out of Paul's own mouth, as there he urged 
that they had heard • which work as effectually in you that believe as it did 
in them. So that as in these their writings we enjoy these apostles' ministry, 
and shall to the end of the world. Matt, xxviii. ult., and are therefore said to 
believe through their word, John xvii. 20 ; in like manner, their ordinary 
directions to believers to any duty belonging to them, — to become churches, 
or join themselves to churches, or else to churches how to demean them- 
selves, — left us in their epistles, or the acts of the apostles recorded, have the 
same authority to bind us as they did them, and he gives the same warrants 
and commandos to us which their persons, by living voice, did to those saints 
in their times ; which their very commission. Matt, xxviii. 19, holds forth to 
us, ' Go and teach them to observe all that I have commanded,' says Christ, 
' and, lo, I am with you to the end of the world.' 

And in this respect these few words, Paul, an apostle, which we find pre- 
fixed, are of great use to us ; and let this name, and title, and commands of 
his, which are from Christ, be for ever precious throughout all generations. 

There are three things in these two first verses : — 

1 . The author of this epistle — Paul. 

2. The persons to whom it was written — Saints at Ephesus, &c. 

3. The salutation and blessing therein uttered, ordinary in all his epistles 
— Grace and jjeace, &c. 

I. The Author — Paul. — I wiU not speak much of his personal super- 
eminent worth. In his own opinion he was the least of saints on earth ; in 
mine, the highest saint in heaven, and next the man Christ Jesus. To whose 
labours (more abundant than of all the other apostles, 1 Cor. xv. 10) the 
one-half of the now Christian, then Roman world, doth owe, and the catholic 

EpH. 1. 1, 3.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 7 

Churcli iu all ages, the third part of that invakiable treasure of the "Ne^i 
Testament ; taldiig together aU either written by him, as the Epistles, or 
written of him, as the greatest part of the Acts. 

Only this name of his here, Paul, and the change thereof from that of 
Saul, is a difficulty among interpreters, which I shall not here meddle with, 
further than thus : that this change might be from his former Jewish name, 
Saul, into a Roman name, Paul ; it being evident that several nations did 
use to alter men's names according to their own tongue, and very often the 
first letter of a man's name is changed in the same language ; whom Jeremiah 
calls Merodach, him the writer of the Book of the Kings calls Berodach. So 
the eldest son of Simeon, whom Moses calls Jemuel, Gen. xlvi. 10 and Exod. 
vi. 15, the same man doth Moses call ISTemuel in Num. xxvi, 12. The 
name Paul was a name usual among the Romans ; given to a Roman deputy. 
Acts xiii. 7 ; and thus the name Saul might have been fitted unto the Roman 
mode, S being turned into P ; and that which strengthens this conjecture is, 
that we read of this change of his name first when we read of his converse 
with that Roman deputy. Acts xiii. ; but chiefly when he was anew sepa- 
rated to the work of preaching to the Gentiles by the command of the Holy 
Ghost, Acts xiii. 4. 

It may be added that this new name hath been the rather given him by 
the Romans, and the more readily accepted by him, as fitly glancing at the 
littleness of his stature,* (which the more illustrated the glory of God's grace 
in the gifts of his mind,) of which antiquity gives testimony from tradition, 
and ancient images of him four hundred years after, in Chrysostom's time, 
Mceph. lib. ii., cap. 37. And Chrysostom, in his homily De prindp. 
A postal., calls him 6 rpnrrjxp^ audpccnos, a man of three cubits, whereas the 
ordinary proportion of men is four ; which may most probably be thought 
to be that baseness and weakness of presence, which himself acknowledgeth in 
himself, 2 Cor. x. 1, 10. It is certain that the name Paulus was first given 
to the family of the yEmylians in Rome for the littleness of their stature. 
And this change himself might Avell permit and take on him : a new Gen- 
tile name instead of his Jewish, as an indication of his new ofiice, the Apostle 
of the Gentiles, Rom. xi. 13 : it being withal so fitly suited to express the 
character of his spirit and his most eminent grace, littleness in his own eyes ; 
which, accordingly, you find him still inculcating, as if it were his motto, 
both interpreting his name and expressing his spirit, ' less than the least of 
saints,' Eph. iii. 8 ; ' least of apostles,' 1 Cor. xv. 9 ; perhaps in some allu- 
sion to his name, Paul ; but this is only a conjecture, on which I insist not. 

Paul, an Apostle. — It was made a wonder in the Old Testament, ' Is Saul 
among the prophets 1 ' And it is as great a wonder of the New, that Saul 
the persecutor should be among the apostles ; and so it was when Paul con- 
verted began first to preach that Christ was the Son of God, and was first 
heard at Damascus by the people. What the eff"ect whereof was, the words 
of the hearers do shew, Acts ix. 21, 22, ' But all that heard him were amazed, 
and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in 
Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound 
unto the chief priests 1 But Saul increased the more in strength, and con- 
founded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very 
Christ.' Whose oiBce in the Church was the first, 1 Cor. xii. 28, 'God 
hath set in the Church [first] apostles ;' and therefore the highest under the 
gospel next Christ, even as the high-priesthood was the highest of the rank 
of priests under the law. Hence both these are coupled together, and in 
* Paulum modicum quid. Aug. in Ps. Ixxii. 


way of honour given unto Christ himself, (God's first and great apostle sent 
out by him, John xx. 21,) 'The high priest and apostle of our profession, 
Jesus,' &c., Heb. iii. 1. 

Obs. — No sins before, and I may add to it, nor yet after conversion, can 
hinder God's free grace from using men in the highest employments in the 
Church, but magnify it the more. David, after his adultery, was a penman 
of Scripture, Psalm li. ; Solomon, after his fall, of Ecclesiastes ; Peter, after 
his conversion, denied Christ with oaths and curses, is a chief apostle, and 
converts three thousand fifty days after, vnth the same mouth he had denied 
Christ ; and Paul, after he had been a Ijlasphemer, was made an apostle. 

Of Jesus Christ. — This addition shews the author of this office, whose 
designment it was, Jesus Christ. 1. Christ, as the author and founder of 
his apostleship, so he was of all the other apostles, John xx. 21, *As the 
Father sends me, I send you.' Apostle signifies one sent ; Christ was God 
the Father's Apostle, Heb. iii. 1, and appointed by him, ver. 2 ; and, Eph. 
iv. 11, it is attributed to Christ that he, ascending, 'gave some to be 
apostles,' &c. It is the prerogative of a king, yea, every master of a family, 
to appoint what ofllces and officers shall be of his household. And, 2. It 
imports also the dignity of this office above human offices. The style of it 
runs, ' An apostle of Christ.' As the offices that belong to the king's person 
in court have a peculiar denomination, expressing a relation to his person, 
which other offices in the kingdom have not ; as, the king's chamberlain, 
the king's steward, &c. ; and as others in the kingdom are all subjects of 
the king as their prince, but courtiers in offices are peculiarly servants of 
the king as a master ; so they write themselves servants to the king : and 
Paul, ' Christ Jesus my Lord,' Phil. iii. 8, as they in court, ' The king my 
master : ' so though all Christians are subjects and members of Christ, yet 
apostles and ministers are in a more peculiar respect servants of Christ, as 
James and Jude style themselves in the first verse of their epistles. 

But although he styles himself Christ's apostle, yet he leaves not out his 
commission also from, and the influence of God also into it, ' By the will of 
God,' that is both of the Godhead, and of all three Persons. For to apostle- 
ship and all offices in the Church they all concur, as well as to our salvation, — 

To apostleship ; so Gal. i. 1, 'Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, and God 
the Father ;' there you see are two Persons. And then the Spirit, the 
third Person, said, ' Separate me Paul and Barnabas,' Acts xiii. 2. And so 
they concur to all other officers more inferior, 1 Cor. xii. 4-6, 'There are 
diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.' (The gifts which officers are 
endued with, are ascribed to the Holy Gliost.) There are differences of 
administrations, and the same Lord — viz., Christ, who, as a Lord, appoints 
the several offices wherein gifts are exercised ; and there are diversities of 
operations, but it is the same God — viz., the Fatlier, who worketh all in all. 
The blessing upon gifts, and the success of all administrations or offices 
ministerial, are from the Father. Thus ' By the will of God;' all three 
Persons are at the ordination of every true minister, and lay their hands of 
blessing on each of them, and set their hands to every minister's commission. 

More particularly. By the will of God. — This first imports that special 
decree of God in separating him to this office, which, Gal. i. 15 and Rom. i, 
1, he with an emphasis expresseth, set apart to it ; a(^opi^eLv is to select 
choice things : therefore choice sentences are called aphorisms. And in this 
respect our apostle is called a chosen vessel to bear his name ; that is, a 
choice vessel for the pur[Mso, Acts ix. 15. And thus the election of the 
Twelve at first is as expressly ascribed to Christ's wiU as here this is. So 

T:PH. I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 9 

Mark iii 13, 'He called to him whom he would, and he ordained twelve;* 
and this out of mere grace, and the good pleasure of his will, so in the same 
Gal. i. 15, 'It pleased God,' &c. And that is one reason why he mentions 
it here, even to mind his own heart of the original of this his great dignity 
wholly to have been the will and gi-ace of God, and nothing in himself, calling 
it therefore elsewhere, ' grace and apostleship,' Eom. i. 5, that is, the grace 
of apostleship ; yea, he reckoning this as great a mercy well-nigh as his 
salvation, for so that great and solemn thanksgiving of his, 1 Tim. i., from 
the 11th to the 18th, where he relates his conversion, doth imply, it being 
chiefly for putting him into the ministry, ver. 12. 

Of God. — This imports, secondly, the immediateness of his call, in distinc- 
tion from other oflBcers. And likewise for their direction whither to go and 
what to do, they were subordinate to none other. And this latter was 
peculiar to this office. Evangelists, though extraordinary ministers, yet were 
sent out by the apostles, as Titus, 2 Cor. xii. 18, and so Timothy; but 
apostles, they immediately by God ; thus Gal. i. 1, (which place interprets 
this,) Paul, an apostle,' says he, ' not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus 
Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.' 

To interpret the words : First, ' Paul, an apostle, not of men,' that is, my 
office is not a human office, which men have instituted and invented; it is, 
saith he, of divine institution. And this is common to all ministerial offices 
in churches. And this he spake in distinction from offices in common- 
wealths. In a commonwealth, the offices thereof are (as the Apostle calls 
them by way of distinction from those in the Church) audpamvai, KTiaeis, 
human creations, (we translate it, ' human ordinances,') whereas all Church- 
offices are divine, and not of men, in Paul's sense. But yet because this first 
requisite, ' not of men,' was common to all offices of the Church as well as 
apostleship, therefore, secondly, he adds, by way of further distinction from 
them also, ' neither by man.' The ordinary offices in the Church, although 
they are not of men, — i. e., there ought to be an institution for every one of 
the offices themselves, — yet the man, the person, is usually put into the office 
by men, though guided in it by the Holy Ghost, Acts xx. ' By men,' — that 
is, the particidar designation of the person, that is by men, though according 
to such rules in the Word as are to guide their choice, (and that is the differ- 
ence of those two phrases, 'of men,' and 'by men.') But, saith he, this my 
office of apostleship is neither of men, nor by men, Wt as the text here saith, 
* by the will of God ;' that is, by God's immediate designation of my person 
to it ; so it also there to the Galatians follows, but ' by Jesus Christ and 
God the Father.' 

And, which was yet further a more peculiar prerogative above other 
apostles, this our Apostle was called into it by Jesus Christ, as risen from 
the dead, and ascended into heaven. Other apostles were called by Christ 
living here in the flesh, but I was born out of time, saith he, and so had 
like to have missed of being capable of this office, whereof one requisite was 
to have seen Christ ; but to make up that requisite also, Christ deferred the 
calling of me unto it until himself came again. Christ rose again and con- 
verted me liimself from heaven, when ' last of all he was seen of me,' 1 Cor. 
XV. 8. And this diff"erence of himself from other apostles he seems to 
insinuate, ver. 12 of that Gal. i, that he 'neither received the gospel from 
men,' as evangelists did, 2 Tim. i. 13, 14, and as ordinary teachers do, 2 Tim. 
ii. 2, nor was taught it, namely by Christ in the flesh in the way of outward 
teaching, as the other apostles were by Christ himself; but merely and wholly 
by inward and immediate revelation ; and this made him, as was observed. 


intends it ; for the saints at Eplicsus were now a settled cliurcli when this 
was written. At first indeed at Ephesus there were but a few, about twelve, 
called disciples, that knew nothing of the way of the worship of the New 
Testament, nor so much as of the Holy Ghost, Acts xix. 1, whom our 
Apostle lays hands upon, and gathers into a body, a church, for so, chap. 
XX. 17, they are called. And after that it was that this epistle was written 
to them, who therefore, chap. ii. 22 of this epistle, are said to be ' built to- 
gether for an habitation of God through the Spiiit,' a little temple, (besides 
that general universal temple, whereof he says, vcr. 20, 21, that they were 
a part in another consideration,) as the word ' also ' in the 2 2d verse implies. 
In his writmg to the churches he takes notice of no other but saints, for of 
such living stones only should this temple consist ; so the Coruithians, 
1 Cor. i. 2, ' To the church that is at Corinth, saints.' Yea, 1 Cor. xiv. 33, 
' all the churches of the saints.' That was the primitive language, for that 
was the constitution of churches then. He says not. To all the saints in 
churches, but churches of the saints, as we say colleges of scholars, house of 
peers. The primitive constitution acknowledged no other members, and he 
speaks not of the universal catholic Church, but particular churches. They 
generally, when they had a sufficient number of converts in a place, put 
them into a church-state, for he says churches, and yet speaks catholicly or 
universally of them : ' all the churches,' for of such did all then by the 
apostles' direction consist ; from which rule these times, how have they 
swerved, not only in practice, but in judgment ! But let us take heed lest, 
whilst we make the Church more catholic, and take in all that will profess 
Christ, we leave out hol^, which is a necessary attribute to church. Bellar- 
mine hath even in this point a speech which made me wonder to hear from 
him.* ' The Church,' says he, ' in her intention gathers only true believers, 
and if she knew who were wicked and unbelievers, either she would nevei 
admit them, or being by chance admitted, would exclude them.' 

Now surely there are many rules in the Word whereby it is meet for us 
to judge who are saints, (as Phil. i. 7,) and also, whereby the most of the 
Christian world may be discerned to ' lie in wickedness ;' though professing 
to know God, their works are so abominable, and themselves ' to every good 
work rejjrobate ; ' by which rules those who are betrusted to receive men to 
ordinances in churches are to be guided, and so to separate between the pre- 
cious and unclean, as the priests of old were enabled and commanded by 
ceremonial differences, which God then made to typify the like discrimina- 
tion of persons, either by visible manifest sins are found that men are in, or 
visible possession of graces, so far as it is meet to judge of other men by. 
' Some men's sins are open afore-hand and afar off,' as to Timothy ; so that 
the common light of true Christianity is easily able to diflference them from 
saints : ' "We know we are of God, and that the whole world lieth in wicked- 
ness,' as John speaks. And we need not travel to Rome or Turkey to find 
the world. And though de facto other than such be received into churches, 
yet the churches are true churches considered as to their administration ; for 
to be a church and fixed seat of worship is an ordinance of Divine insti- 

And faithful. — The word Triaros, translated 'faithful,' is both of a 
passive and active signification ; it signifies one that is really and truly 
faithful in what he professeth or undertaketh. So, according to the lan- 
guage of the Old Testament, godly men are called, as Prov. xx. 6, ' Many 

* ' Ecclesia ex intentione fideles tantum colligit, et si noscet impios et incredulos, eoa 
aut unqiiatn admitteret, aut casu admiBsos excluderet.' — Bell. L 9, de Ecc. Mil. c. 12. 

£PH, I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 13 

•will boast of their own goodness, but who can find a faithful man 1 ' Thus 
likewise in the New, ' The things that thou hast heard of me, commit to 
faithful men,' 2 Tim. ii. 2, with many other the like places. 

Secondly, It signifies * believing,' or one that is a believer, John xx. 27, 
' Be not fixithless, but believing ; ' in the original it is the same word that 
is here ; yea, in the phrase of the New Testament it is an ordinary title 
given believers to express their very believing and having faith in them ; 
see Acts x. 45, 1 Tim. iv. 12. There is nothing against it to take in both 
these here, so as the Apostle's meaning should be, ' To them at Ephesus that 
are believers,' and also constant and faithful, or true believers, which the 
Apostle elsewhere calls ' faith unfeigned,' and Heb. x. 22, * a true heart.' 

Ohs. — What God has joined, as here Paul saith, let no man put asunder, 
— saints and believers, — neither really in our own hearts and lives, nor in 
our judgments either of ourselves or others. Do not think this enough, 
that they are true believers ; that is, that they make a profession of the 
doctrine of faith ; but see that further they hold forth a work of faith 
wrought by that doctrine ; and not only so, but do approve themselves faith- 
ful (as here) in that profession, (as Lydia said, • If ye have judged me fiiith- 
ful,') and that they add evidences of saintship, they must be samts too; saith 
he, were ' saints and faithful.' It is not a profession of faith joined with moral- 
ity, and no grand scandal, but a profession of such a strictness as will rise to 
holiness, that you are to judge men saints by. Neither ought any other 
than such to be members of churches, which are the body of Christ ; this 
word saint, and faithful added to that, dashes a formal, an outward, and a 
mere orthodox profession. These very words we love not ; that men are 
believers or Christians, they can bear it ; but to add and require being 
saints and true believers, or faithful in believing ; these kind of denomina- 
tions men think sound too high to be applied to the ordinary common sort 
of professors, whom yet they own. But much more, if you would judge of 
yourselves, do not look upon legal holiness in yourselves as a sign or mark of 
a good estate ; be sure you have a work of faith too (from whence that holi- 
ness flows) distinctly working toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and your hearts 
drawn out to him, as much and more than ever, after holiness, 2 Thess. ii. 13 : 
' God,' saith he, ' hath chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the 
Spirit and belief of the truth ; ' there is faith and sanctification joined 
both together, and both made necessary to salvation ; it is in efiect one with 
what he says here, ' saints and faithful in Christ.' 

In Jesus Christ. — Because these words follow next after faithful, or 
believers, therefore some would have Christ, as he is the object of faith, or 
of our believing, to be here intended, and so ' in Christ ' to be all one with 
what elsewhere is expressed by believing ' in Christ Jesus.' But the scope 
of these words here rather is, to note out in whom the persons of these saints 
or believers are said to be, as members in the head ; or, wliich is yet nearer, 
that they, considered as saints and believers, that even as such, they are what 
they are in him ; and the reason why these words, ' in Christ Jesus,' import 
rather being in Christ as believers, than their believing in Christ as the 
object of their faith, is, from the like inscription from that parallel epistle to 
the Colossians, (which is so like, that in many things it will conduce to 
explain this epi-stle, as one evangelist doth another.) Now there, and there 
only, chap. i. 2, we find these two, ' saints and faithful,' joined together 
even as here, and ' in Christ ' conies in too, but so as ' brethren ' comes 
between ; the words there being placed thus, ' To the saints and faithful 
brethren in Christ.' Now, ' in Christ ' coming in after ' brethren,' cannot 


import the object of faith, but the subject rather, in whom those as brethren 
were, and as saints and faithful ; so elsewhere, 1 Thess. i. 1, ' To the 
church in God, and in the Lord Jesus Christ ' — that is, both their persons, 
and also as they were a church, they are in God and in Christ, so as these 
words here, ' in Christ Jesus,' refer both to their being samts, and to their 
being behevers in him. And so, as I take it, it is not so much meant that 
the persons of these Ephesians were in Christ, (though that be true, and is 
after affirmed in every verse, yet that is not all,) but that, considered as 
saints and believers, and what they were as saints, they were it all in Christ. 

Obs. — My brethren, all our grace must be grace in Christ ; ' saints and 
faithful in Christ.' The apostle, speaking in a way of difference and distinc- 
tion from the legal godliness of the formal Jews, (which many Christians take 
up and rest in,) useth this phrase, ' They that Moll live godly in Christ Jesus,' 
saith he, 2 Tim. iii. 12, implying that there is a holiness in Christ Jesus 
differing from all other, an holiness whereof the spring and rise is in him. 
AH your hohness, it must be wrought in Christ ; we are ' created in Christ 
Jesus to good works,' so the apostle saith, Eph. ii. 10. AU your holiness 
must be acted in Christ, and by motives from Christ, and by strength fetched 
from Christ : so in that, 2 Tim. ii. 1, 'Be strong in the grace.' What ? the 
grace that is dwelling in yourselves ? No, ' which is in Christ Jesus ; ' so it 
follows ; here lies your strength. And then, all your holiness and faith and 
every good thing in you must be accepted in Christ too, and you must go 
out of yourselves to God, to have your persons and graces accepted in Him, 
as the apostle, 1 Fet. ii. 5, caUeth them 'spiritual sacrifices acceptable to 
God by Jesus Christ.' 

Ohs. — It is the nature of true faith to make men faithful unto God, as 
well as believing and depending upon God ; the word ' faithful,' as you have 
heard, being ordinarily used for both in the New Testament, as here in this 
place. Look what faith eyes in God and expects to receive from him, that 
in a suitableness it frames the heart in a way of conformity unto, such is the 
ingenuity, the honesty (as the Scripture calls it) of genuine faith. As, if it 
looketh for the righteousness of Christ for justification, it bows the heart to 
imitate that righteousness for sanctification, and to hate all that sin it seeks 
the pardon of, as truly as it seeks for the pardon of it ; it knows not upon 
what other terms to desire it ; so in the instance in hand, faith eyeing God's 
faithfulness, and depending thereon for salvation, causeth the heart (in 
ingenuity) to be as faithful to God. Again, in all that he requires and 
commands, it could not look up steadily to God for his performance without 
framing the heart to this resolution. 

Grace he to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus 
Christ. — Ver. 2. 

III. Here is the third general head of these two first verses, the saluta- 
tion he gives them, or the blessing, as some would have it. 

The mam general scope. — I take these words to be both a salutation 
Christian, and also a blessing apostolical and ministerial, and both translated 
or continued (though with a heightening addition) from the like salutation of 
the Jews, and the blessings of the priests in the Old Testament. 

L A salutation. — So himself expressly terms it, aaTraa-fios, ' The saluta- 
tion of me Paul, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 2 Thess. iii. 17, 18, and 
1 Cor. xvi. 21, 23. Now, salutations both among Jews and Gentiles were 
weU-wishes, by desiring some good thing, either when they met or parted, 
or in letters or epistles, at the beginning or end, or both ; in which they still 

EpH. I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 15 

wished the best things they knew of. The heathens wished health, joy, &.c. ; 
the Jews and Eastern nations, whose language the apostles more follow, all 
prosperity, and that under the name of peace, thereby understanding a per- 
fection or integrity of good. This language the Gentiles used. Thus that 
Egyptian to Joseph's brethren. Gen. xliii. 23, ' Peace be to you ; ' so Likewise 
the Assyrians, for Nebuchadnezzar, writing to all nations, Dan. iv. 1, begins 
thus, ' Peace be multiplied unto you ;' also the Persians, for Artaxerxes, the' 
king of Persia, in his letter, thus salutes them he writes to, Ezra iv. 17, 
' Peace, and at such a time.' Both which are instances also, for their kind, 
of salutes in letters and epistles to have been then in use, as we see here. So 
the Jews used to inquire of one another's welfare when they met, under the 
name of peace, and also wished all outward prosperity under that name, at 
their meetings, and also partings, which they thus expressed, ' Go in peace,' 
2 Sam. XV. 9. Not to name many places for either, I will instance in one 
that hath both together at once in it : 1 Sam. xxv. 5, when David intended 
to send to Nabal a kind message, he bids the man that went, ' Greet 
him in my name,' says he ; the original hath it, • Ask him in my name of 
peace ; ' like unto what we use to ask when we meet. How do you do 1 are 
you weU 1 And then, ver. 6, further bids him wish peace to him, (as the 
manner then was,) ' Thus shalt thou say to him that liveth in prosperity, 
Peace be to thee and thy house, and peace be to all that thou hast ; ' where 
by peace is meant aU good and prosperity, and in that notion is peace often 
elsewhere taken. And this same kind of salutation was in use in Christ's 
time, and prescribed by him to be used by his disciples, Luke x. 5, ' Salute 
them and say, Peace be unto this house.' (See also Judges vi. 23 ; 2 Sam. 
xviii. 28; 2 Kings ix. 17, 18 ; Jer. xxix. 7; Isa. liv. 12-14 ; Isa. Ixvi. 12.) 
Now, this duty of common friendship, which nature taught the Gentiles, 
and brotherhood, which religion taught the Jews, Christianity and the gospel 
teacheth us now. And this is one reason why these salutations are so fre- 
quently and solemnly used by the apo.stles in their epistles ; and herein 
Christ himself instructed them when he sent them out, Luke x. 5, and by 
his own example also, as I shall shew by and by, ushig the same phrases 
and form of speech, yet so as, under the same expression of words, they 
intended to wish higher and greater good thiiigs than the Jews or Gentiles 
ordinarily either meant or understood, even as the gospel itself hath a clearer 
revelation of better good things, as our Apostle to the Hebrews speaks. 
Thus, whereas the Grecians usually saluted with x«'P^) which the Latins 
express by salutem, ' health and salvation ;' which is all one with our English 
of old, 'sending greeting," or 'all hail,' or 'joy;' that very same word the angel 
himself useth to Mary in his saluting her, Luke i. 29, when he brought her 
the first news of the Messiah, ' Hail, Mary,' &c. And the very same do the 
apostles in the Church of Jerusalem in their letters. Acts xv. 23, which we 
translate, ' greeting ; ' the same also James i. 1 ; yea, Christ himself to the 
disciples after his resurrection. Matt, xxviii. 9, ' All haU,' says he. in all 
which phrases the Syriac, according to the phrase of the East, stiU renders 
those words, ' Peace be to you.' Now, by this heathenish salutation, thus 
turned Christian, they all did mean and intend a spiritual and heavenly joy, 
even joy in the Holy Ghost and eternal salvation ; whereas the Gentiles 
meant only what was carnal and outward. So in like manner, whereas the 
Eastern nations, both Jew and Gentile, wished peace, the gospel retains the 
same ; thus Christ himself, at another time after his resurrection, says to hib 
disciples, John xx. 26, ' Peace be to you,' yet thereby meaning not a Jewish 
outward peace, but that heavenly peace which he doth, with an emphasis, 


import the object of faith, but the subject rather, in whom those as brethren 
were, and as saints and faithful ; so elsewhere, 1 Thess. i 1, 'To the 
church in God, and in the Lord Jesus Christ ' — that is, both their persons, 
and also as they wore a church, they are in God and in Christ, so as these 
words here, ' in Christ Jesus,' refer both to their being saints, and to their 
being beUevers in him. And so, as I take it, it is not so much meant that 
the persons of these Ephesians were in Christ, (though that be true, and is 
after affirmed in every verse, yet that is not all,) but that, considered as 
saints and believers, and what they were as saints, they were it all in Christ. 

Obs. — My brethren, all our grace must be grace in Christ ; ' saints and 
faithful in Christ.' The apostle, speaking in a way of difference and distinc- 
tion from the legal godliness of the formal Jews, (which many Christians take 
up and rest in,) useth this phrase, ' They that will live godly in Christ Jesus,' 
saith he, 2 Tim. iii. 12, implying that there is a hoHness in Christ Jesus 
differing from all other, an holiness whereof the spring and rise is in him. 
All your holiness, it must be wrought in Christ ; we are * created in Christ 
Jesus to good works,' so the apostle saith, Eph. ii. 10. AU your holiness 
must be acted in Christ, and by motives from Christ, and by strength fetched 
from Christ : so in that, 2 Tim. ii. 1, 'Be strong in the grace.' What ? the 
grace that is dwelling in yourselves 1 No, ' which is in Christ Jesus ; ' so it 
follows ; here lies your strength. And then, all your holiness and faith and 
every good thing in you must be accepted in Christ too, and you must go 
out of yourselves to God, to have your persons and graces accepted in Him, 
as the apostle, 1 Fet. ii 5, caUeth them 'spiritual sacrifices acceptable to 
God by Jesus Christ.' 

Obs. — It is the nature of true faith to make men faithful unto God, aa 
well as believing and depending upon God ; the word ' faithful,' as you have 
heard, being ordinarily used for both in the New Testament, as here in this 
place. Look what faith eyes in God and expects to receive from him, that 
in a suitableness it frames the heart in a way of conformity unto, such is the 
ingenuity, the honesty (as the Scripture calls it) of genuine faith. As, if it 
looketh for the righteousness of Christ for justification, it bows the heart to 
imitate that righteousness fur sanctification, and to hate all that sin it seeks 
the pardon of, as truly as it seeks for the pardon of it ; it knows not upon 
what other terms to desire it ; so in the instance in hand, faith eyeing God's 
faithfulness, and depending thereon for salvation, causeth the heart (in 
ingenuity) to be as faithful to God. Again, in all that he requires and 
commands, it could not look up steadily to God for his performance without 
framing the heart to this resolution. 

Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus 
Christ. — Ver. 2. 

in. Here is the third general head of these two first verses, the saluta- 
tion he gives them, or the blessing, as some would have it. 

The main general scope. — I take these words to be both a salutation 
Christian, and also a blessing apostoKcal and ministerial, and both translated 
or continued (though with a heightening addition) from the like salutation of 
the Jews, and the blessings of the priests in the Old Testament. 

1. A salutation. — So himself expressly terms it, aairauyios, ' The saluta- 
tion of me Paul, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 2 Thess. iii. 17, 18, and 
1 Cor. xvi. 21, 23. Now, salutations both among Jews and Gentiles were 
weU-wishes, by desiring some good thing, either when they met or parted, 
or in letters or epistles, at the beginning or end, or both ; in which they stili 

EpH. I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 15 

■wished the best things they knew of. The heathens wished health, joy, &c. ; 
the Jews and Eastern nations, whose language the ajDostles more follow, all 
prosperity, and that under the name of peace, thereby understanding a per- 
fection or integrity of good. This language the GentUes used. Thus that 
Egyptian to Joseph's brethren, Gen. xliii. 23, ' Peace be to you ; ' so likewise 
the Assyrians, for Nebuchadnezzar, writing to all nations, Dan. iv. 1, begins 
thus, ' Peace be multiplied unto you ;' also the Persians, for Artaxerxes, the' 
kin g of Persia, in his letter, thus salutes them he writes to, Ezra iv. 17, 
* Peace, and at such a time.' Both which are instances also, for their kind, 
of salutes in letters and epistles to have been then in use, as we see here. So 
the Jews used to inquire of one another's welfare when they met, under the 
name of peace, and also wished all outward prosperity under that name, at 
their meetings, and also partings, which they thus expressed, ' Go in peace,' 
2 Sam. XV. 9. Not to name many places for either, I will instance in one 
that hath both together at once in it : 1 Sam. xxv, 5, when David intended 
to send to Nabal a kind message, he bids the man that went, ' Greet 
him in my name,' says he ; the original hath it, •' Ask him in my name of 
peace;' like unto what we use to ask when we meet. How do you do? are 
you well 1 And then, ver. 6, further bids him wish peace to him, (as the 
maimer then was,) ' Thus shalt thou say to him that liveth in prosperity, 
Peace be to thee and thy house, and peace be to all that thou hast ; ' where 
by peace is meant all good and prosperity, and in that notion is peace often 
elsewhere taken. And this same kind of salutation was in use in Christ's 
time, and prescribed by him to be used by his disciples, Luke x. 5, ' Salute 
them and say. Peace be unto this house.' (See also Judges vi. 23 ; 2 Sam. 
xviu. 28; 2 Kings ix. 17, 18; Jer. xxix. 7; Isa. liv. 12-U ; Isa. Ixvi. 12.) 
Now, this duty of common friendship, which nature taught the Gentiles, 
and brotherhood, which religion taught the Jews, Christianity and the gospel 
teacheth us now. And this is one reason why these salutations are so fre- 
quently and solemnly used by the apostles in their epistles ; and herein 
Christ himself instructed them when he sent them out, Luke x. 5, and by 
his own example also, as I shall shew by and by, using the same phrases 
and form of speech, yet so as, under the same expression of words, they 
intended to wish higher and greater good things than the Jews or Gentiles 
ordinarily either meant or understood, even as the gospel itself hath a clearer 
revelation of better good things, as our Apostle to the Hebrews speaks. 
Thus, whereas the Grecians usually saluted with x«'Pf) which the Latins 
express by salutem, ' health and salvation ;' which is all one with our English 
of old, 'sending greeting," or 'all hail,' or 'joy;' that very same word the angel 
himself useth to Mary in his saluting her, Luke i. 29, when he brought her 
the first news of the Messiah, ' Hail, Mary,' &c. And the very same do the 
apostles in the Church of Jerusalem in their letters. Acts xv. 23, which we 
translate, ' greeting ; ' the same also James i. 1 ; yea, Christ himself to the 
disciples after his resurrection. Matt, xxviii. 9, ' All had,' says he. In all 
which phrases the Syriac, according to the phrase of the East, still renders 
those words, ' Peace be to you.' Now, by this heathenish salutation, thus 
turned Christian, they all did mean and intend a spiritual and heavenly joy, 
even joy in the Holy Ghost and eternal salvation ; whereas the Gentiles 
meant only what was carnal and outward. So in like manner, whereas the 
Eastern nations, both Jew and Gentile, wished peace, the gospel retains the 
same ; thus Christ himself, at another time after his resurrection, says to hih 
disciples, John xx. 26, * Peace be to you,' yet thereby meaning not a Jewish 
outward peace, but that heavenly peace which he doth, with au emphasis, 


and by way of distinction, call His peace, ' My peace I leave with you,' John 
xiv. 27, which place, because it opens and confirms this very notion I have 
been upon, I will a little open and explain. 

Christ was then taking his farewell of them, having in that sermon first 
plainly told them he was to go away ; and among other things whereby he 
expresseth his love and friendship to them, he, at his parting, condescends 
to frame his speech conformable to this very custom of men in the world, 
which we have been speaking of, in their farewells, thereby to take their 
hearts the more in a way of kindness, which was wont among men. Hia 
words are these, ' Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you ; not aa 
the world giveth, give I unto you.' The meaning of which words is, that 
whereas it is the custom of the world when they part with friends and take 
their leaves, to wish them peace, which they call giving peace, (as we in 
English call it giving joy, and sending greeting,) or sending away in peace, 
as Abimelech said to Isaac, Gen. xxvi. 29, I do the like, (says he,) ' Peace I 
leave' (that word imports farewell) 'with you.' And accordingly, as the 
manner of men in hearty farewells is to double their wish, and say it twice, 
as ' Farewell, farewell,' and the like, so there he doubles this, ' Peace I 
leave, and peace I give.' Yet withal, industriously instructing them both 
that it was another manner of peace than the men of the world in their fare- 
wells used to wish : ' My peace I give unto you ;' my peace — that is, a peace 
with God, Rom. v. 1, purchased with my blood, a ' peace which passeth 
understanding,' Phil. iv. 7 ; and further withal intimating the difference 
between this last solemn farewell of his, and those which the world useth 
to make, ' Not as the world giveth, give I unto you ' — that is, they use in 
their farewells to wish or give peace, but out of compliment ; or if they be 
hearty, they cannot give what they wish ; such wishes are but words 
in them, and have no force to convey a blessing ; only they wish their good- 
will, and at best it is but an outward peace they mean : but I am most 
hearty real in mine, and I am able to give what I wish, for it is my peace, a 
peace of my own purchasing, and in my power to make good, and I will give 
it indeed. 

Now, all this tends but to open the salutation of the apostle here. Herein 
he followed Christ ; for although he wisheth these Ephesians (as the Jews 
and Gentiles used to do) peace, yet I may say of it as Christ did of his, not 
as the world, or in their sense, doth he wish it ; for it is both a further 
peace than they intended in their salutes, even the same that Christ wished, 
his peace. Therefore here, ' from Jesus Christ,' is added by our apostle ; and 
he gives it them also not as the world by a bare well-wishing, but with an 
apostolical and ministerial blessing. And whereas the salutation of the 
Jews was but, 'Peace be to you,' the Apostle, as became the gospel and 
preachers of it, adds grace thereto, ' Grace be to you ; ' yea, grace as the 
first, and principal, and most comprehensive of all good else. And withal, 
as became the gospel also, he makes a distinct mention of those persons of 
the Trinity that were the fountain of that grace and peace, ' God the Father 
and the Son.' 

Ohs. — Thus religion doth not abolish, but spiritualise and improve civility 
and humanity, as it also turns all outward good things — which the Jews 
ordinarily intended, when they wished peace, and which were but ' the shadow 
of good things to come,' Heb. x. 1 — into spiritual and heavenly ; and the 
gospel further adds grace thereunto, and discovers it as the fountain of all, 
itself being called the 'grace of God,' Tit. ii. 11, (as the patent for a pardon 
is called a man's pardon,) as containing and revealing it : ' The law came by 

EpH. I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 17 

Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ,' John i. 17 ; — Grace and peace 
be to you. &c. — This for the^rs^, as they are a salutation. 

2. These words, say some, are not a bare salutation, but, iu an apostle's 
mouth and pen, an apostolical blessing; and so, an institution, an ordi- 
nance to convey a blessing; such as that of the priests, Num. vi. 23. 
The apostles were the patriarchs of the Church of the ISTew Testament, as the 
sons of Jacob of that of the Old, the ' foundation,' as they are called, Eph. 
ii. 20. And as there were thirteen tribes, reckoning the two sons of Joseph, 
60 thu-teen apostles, taking in this of ours ; and these therefore, as patri- 
.^rchs and spiritual fathers, 1 Cor. iv. 15, blessed their children, as here, with 
grace and peace. So our Apostle blessed Timothy under this very relation, 
1 Tim. i. 2, ' To Timothy, my own son in the faith, Grace and peace,' &c. ; 
the like he doth to Titus, and so to these Ephesians and others he wrote to. 
And that which more confirms the taking it for a blessing, is the conformity 
which the matter of the blessing hath with that blessing the priests — the 
ministers of the Old Testament, as we are of the New — were to pronounce 
upon the people as an ordinance of God, Num. vi. 23-25. For if you 
more exactly view and compare the matter of their blessing there, and of 
this here, it comes all to one, and is the same for substance ; which I the 
rather observe, that you may see how the words of blessing under the gospel 
were derived from the Jews, as the words of salutation were, as was afore 
observed. The blessing then ran thus, ver. 25, 'Jehovah make his face 
Bhine on thee, and be gracious to thee,' (his face imports his grace or favour, 
as Ps. Ixxx. 19, 'Cause thy fece to shine, and we shall be saved;' and so 
the words following interpret it, ' and be gracious to thee,') here you see is 
grace ; then ver. 26, ' The Lord lift up his countenance, and give thee 
peace,' namely, as the fruit of that his favour, and as the conclusion of all 
blessings, as it is often made, (so Ps. xxix. 11, 'The Lord will bless his 
people with peace ; ' and likewise Ps. cxxv. 5, ' Peace be upon Israel,') which 
he pronounceth at last as the sum and substance of all blessings, there is 
peace also. But yet, whether it be a New Testament institution for minis- 
ters to pronounce such words as a blessing, or a farewell salutation only, is 
a question made by some ; because in the New Testament there is no men- 
tion of any such ordinance under the term of blessing. There is of praying 
for them, James v. 14. There is of blessing the elements in the sacraments ; 
so 1 Cor. x. 16 ; but nowhere of blessing (say they) the churches publicly ; 
and further, say they, the priests in that were types of Christ, as in sacri- 
ficing also they were, who was ' sent to bless his people,' Acts iii. 26. 

But the mistake I conceive lies in this, that that eminent way of blessing 
us, which is peculiar unto Jesus Christ, was typified out on purpose by a far 
greater priesthood than that of Aaron's sons, even by Melchisedec's priesthood, 
who therefore, as a more transcendent type of Christ, blessed Abraham, the 
father of the faithful, and so all faithful in him, Heb. vii. 6, 7, and in that 
blessing personated a greater person than Abraham, ver. 7, even Christ. But 
otherwise, to bless is a moral institution, and not merely typical, for one 
man blesseth another, and that as brethren ; Ps. cxxix. 8, they that go by the 
reapers of com, say, ' The blessing of the Lord be upon thee : we bless you 
in the name of the Lord.' And as thus one man may bless another, so those 
who have any special relations unto others may, according to the compass 
or extent of that relation, bless those they have relation to, and that with a 
special blessing suiting that their relation. Thus parents bless their children 
with a special blessing ; thus kings, subjects ; so David, 2 Sam. vi. 18, and 
Solomon, 1 Kings xviii. 55. And so in iil<;e manner the priests the people, 

VOL. I. B 


in respect of their ministerial relation unto them ; and therefore there is not 
the like reason for their blessing the people, and of their sacrificing for the 
people, which kings were not to da. Sacrifice was wholly a ceremonial 
action, but blessing a moral institution, And besides, the priests, as they 
are types of Christ, so of the minister>5 of the gosijel also ; as in the pro- 
phecy of the times of the gospel, Isa. Ixvi. 21; and therefore in what was 
moral in their office, (as in teaching, ifcc, so in blessing,) what they did may 
safely be taken as types of those ministerial actions which we are to perform. 
And that which confirms me in it is, that the Apostle's blessing, as we have 
seen, for the matter of it, is the same that that of the priests' was, Num. vi, 
and so the action of blessing of the same morality with the matter itself. 

And I see no reason but that if they bless the elements in our sacraments, 
as the priests did their ordinances then, but that they should bless the 
people also, and that as ministers, they being in Christ's stead in and unto 
both, as the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. v. 20. And surely (as was said) every 
relation of receiving or doing good to others, is made by God a ground of 
conve}dng a blessuig by the well-wishes of those ia that relation. Thus, if 
a poor man receives relief from a rich man, so he is endowed with power, or 
rather privilege from God, to bless him that is the instrument of good to 
Mm, and by his hearty blessing him effectually to return that good which he 
received, and is an instrument of God so far to convey that blessing, of that 
promise made to those that consider the poor. Job xxix. 13. ' The blessing 
of him,' says Job, having relieved them, ver, 1 2, ' that was ready to perish, 
came upon me;' so iu like manner those whom God hath made ordinances 
of some special good to others, God also accompanies their prayer and well- 
wishing with power to convey that good in a more special manner than 
others, that yet do in a common relation of brethren wish it. Thus, parents 
being instruments of conveying life in this world, and the good blessings of 
life to their children, and if godly, have the promises of the covenant of 
grace to them, thence they are especially honoured, that by blessing their 
children they should bring down those good things which they are in other 
respects really appointed the instniments of; and when through their chil- 
dren's obedience they are comforted, the promise of long life, &c., being 
made to such children, and they thereupon blessing them, as the patriarchs 
did, God regards that blessing of theirs so far as to fulfil those promises 

So it is in kings also blessing their people, being set up for their good, 
Eom. xiii. 4, &c. And answerably, ministers being set up as stewards of 
the good blessings of the gospel, ' to bring the glad tidings of peace/ &c., 
hence their well-wishings of grate and peace, and of all those blessings of 
the gospel, which in their preaching they bring, they are a special means 
sanctified by God to bring down those blessings upon those that obey their 
ministry : and therefore, as when they come to a people, they are said to 
come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel, as Rom. xv. 29; so when 
they depart, their farewells and salutes and well-wishes, made up of those 
desires of the blessings of the gospel which they preach, have a special effi- 
cacy in their mouths above any other, as their ministry also hath, and their 
prayers are said to have, James v. 14, and therefore God bade them, as to 
preach peace, so to wish peace, Luke x. 5, even that peace which they 
preached. But however in that, as was shewn, ' grace and peace,' &c., are 
as well a salutation Christian, there is in that respect warrant enough for 
mhiisters to dismiss their congregations with them, or the like to them. 
And it is certain that so far as any such kind of well- wishes are warranted 

EpH. I 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 19 

of God to be used, as it is acknowledged of all hands they are, either by way 
of farewell or institution, that there will an answerable blessing from God ac- 
company them ; for else holy things, and so God's name, should be used in vain. 
Thus much as concerning the more general scope of this and the like apos- 
tolical salutations and blessings used sometimes at the beginning, sometimes 
at the end of their epistles, sometimes in both. What dijfference there is 
in this from those in other epistles (for they used a variety of words) I wiU 
not now take notice of, my work being to interpret this only. The parts 
thereof are these — 

1. The good things wished, 'Grace and peace.' 

2. The authors of both these, 'God the Father, and the Lord Jesus 

3. The persons to whom, ' to you,' whom he had afore styled ' saints and 

The particular exposition of the tvords : — 

Grace and Peace. — For the understanding of these two, I shall shew the 
difference between them. 

Grace is the free favour of God, and that importing here, not the attri- 
bute as it is in God, for that is incommunicable unto us, and so cannot be 
wished us, as those gracious acts of his favour and love towards us immanent 
in God, but set upon poor creatures, whom he hath chosen in Christ, even 
'thoughts of grace and peace towards iis,' as Jer. xxix. 11, which are the 
cause, the fountain of aU the good things bestowed ; which good things are 
therefore distingaiished from this grace as it is in God towards us; thus, Rom 
v. 15, ' The grace of God, and the gift by grace,' are made two distinct things , 
grace is there mentioned as the cause of bestowing the good things bestowed, 
or rather called gifts by grace. And thus grace and the free favour of God are 
held forth, in this very chapter, as the spring of all good to us, for he 
resolveth all the blessings bestowed upon us into the 'riches of his grace' 
as the efficient cause, ver. 7, and ' to the glory of his grace' as the final, 
ver. 6, and so likewise chap. ii. 7, 8 ; yea, and in the text here he says, 
' Grace be to you,' singly, and apart, that only first ; and not 'Grace and peace 
to you,' as usually elsewhere ; and when he after adds 'and peace,' he seems 
to speak of it bu.t as a thing cast in by grace, as all other things are said to 
be, to the kuigdnm of God sought first. 

Peace, then, is the fruit and efiiect thence flowing, and one of the effects or 
gifts of grace, and that synecdochically mentioned for all the rest. Peace 
with God is the first benefit bestowed, that follows upon faith ; so Rom. v. 1, 
The scope of that chapter being to enumerate the fruits of faith, he mentions 
that first, 'Being justified by faith we have peace with God;' and as it is put 
to express the first, so the last blessing bestowed also. * The end of that man 
is peace,' saith the Psalmist, Ps. xxxvii. 37. So the joys of heaven are termed, 
Isa. Ivii. 2. The righteous, when he dies, is said to enter into peace, and it is 
called ' peace in heaven,' Luke xix. 38, and accordingly peace is reckoned 
as the reward given the righteous at the latter day, Rom. ii. 10. Glory, 
saith he, and peace be to him, &c., and therefore it must needs comprehend 
all other blessings coming between, and so even all from the first to the last. 
It is a perfection of good, as in the acceptation of the Jews, and the perfec- 
tion of aU spu-itual good in the sense of the apostles, Rom. xiv. 17. The whole 
kingdom of God consists in righteousness, and peace, and joy. Thus not justi- 
fication only is called peace, but sanctification also, 1 Thess. v. 23, 'The very 
God of peace sanctify you.' Yea, and the growth and perfection of that is 
Baid there to be from God, as he is a God of peace ; so it follows, ' Sanctify 


you wholly ;' the word 6\oTf'K(7s is totally and finally, it uignifies both. Thus 
ILkewise, joy in the Holy Ghost and communion with God is called peace, 
' peace which passeth aU understanding,' PhU. iv. 7. 

To conclude then, as grace and peace are the sum of the gospel, so of this 
evangelical blessmg here ; and so express even the fulness of the blessing of 
the gospel, as the expression is, E-om. xv. 29. And more particularly and 
restrainedly, our reconciliation with God consists of two parts, 2)eace and good- 
will; as with men also aU reconciliation doth. Thus, if you would make 
an enemy to be friends with one, you must first make peace for him ; and 
when you have done, because a man may still say, I will be at peace with him, 
but I can never love him again as I have done ; therefore to have made him 
a friend, a favourite again, and so reconciled perfectly, you must obtain grace 
and favour and good-Avill for him too. Thus it is loetween God and us. 
Col. i. 20, ' Christ having made peace through the blood of his cross, he 
reconciled all things to himself;' when he had once made peace, then he 
reconciled them, made them friends, which is clear out of free grace. You 
have both in the song of the angels (for they began to preach the gospel.) 
Say they, Luke ii. 14, 'Peace on earth, good-will towards men.' Here 
is grace and peace, i.e., good- will; that is, he will not only pardon you, 
and be at peace with you, but he will love you, and be a friend very gracious 
to you. These two are all one with what here are termed grace and peace. 

Now for the second thing — the author of both these — 

From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. — You shall ob- 
serve how in that blessing of the Old Testament, Num. vi., Jehovah is 
mentioned three times, 'Jehovah bless thee, &c., Jehovah be gracious, and 
Jehovah give thee peace,' &c., whereby the three Persons and their blessing 
of us are intended, though not explicitly mentioned. But here, as became 
the gospel, they are distuactly named, ' From God the Father, and from the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

Why God is called the Father, and Christ the Lord, I shall shew in open- 
ing the next verse. Only this here, that God bestow.s not this grace as he 
is a creator, or author of nature in common to men as his creatures, but as 
he is become a Father in Christ, and so bestows it in a peculiar love, out of 
which he will give aU good things, ' How much more shall not your Father 
which is in heaven give good things ?' Matt. vii. 11. 

And although peace, as well as grace, are both of them from God the 
Father, and both also from the Son, (for God is the ' God of peace,' Heb. xiii. 
20, as well as ' God of grace,' 1 Pet. v. 10.) And likewise Jesus Christ he is 
the Prince of peace, (and so peace is his gift,) so grace also, and therefore the 
grace of our Lord Jesus is wished in the end of aU Epistles ; of whom we are 
graciously accepted (says ver. 6 of this chapter.) Yet, 

Grace from the Father.^— It is more usually and especially attributed to 
him, for it is his free grace that chose us (ver. 4-6 of this chapter com- 
pared) that also justifies us, Eom. iii. 24, &c. And as he is the fountain of 
the Deity, so is his free grace the spring of peace, and also of aU those works 
of the other two Persons for us. 

Peace from Jesus Christ. — And this is from him in a more peculiar manner, 
for ' the chastisement of our peace was upon him,' Isa. liii. 5, and he is said 
to have • made peace by the blood of his cross,' Col. L 20 ; and thereupon 
G )d out of his free grace owns us, accepts, justifies us. 

And although the particle ' from' Jesus Christ be not in the original, yet 
other Epistles warrant the putting it in. So 2 John 3 hath it expressly ' from 
the lather, and from Jesus Christ;' and the grammatical construction in 

EpH. I. 1, 2.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 21 

those parallel salutations, Gal. L 3 and 2 Tim. i. 2, do all evince it against 
the cavils of some heretics. 

Now lastli/, both grace and peace may be said to be from the Father and 
the Lord Christ in a double sense. First, efficiently; that is, in respect of 
real influence into these things themselves, as the authors and causes of both. 
Thus God the Father is the author of grace in his decreeing first to set his 
love upon us ; and Christ our Lord in purchasing aU that good which was 
out of this love decreed. And secondly, objectively; that is, this grace and 
love in God the Father, and this peace and satisfaction that is in Jesus 
Christ, as they come to be more and more apprehended by us, they thereby 
come to be more and more communicated unto us, and multiplied in us and 
upon us. This that benediction, 2 Pet. i. 2, evidently holds forth, ' Grace 
and peace (the same things there wished) be multiplied unto you, through 
the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ.' Mark how he says, ' through 
the knowledge,' &c. The meaning is, that as those two Persons are the cause 
of these things towards us, so through our apprehension of them, and of what 
they have done therein for us, and wrought in us, these are increased to- 
wards us, and multiplied upon us. 

But then you will say. Where is the Holy Spirit 1 Here is only God the 
Father and Jesus Christ mentioned as those that he wished grace and peace 
unto from the Holy Ghost; what should be the reason of that? 

For answer, first, it is not that the Holy Ghost is not the author of both 
these as weU as the Father and the Son, nor that he is not intended here in 
this blessing. No, the works of the Trinity are undivided. If therefore 
from the Father and Son, then also from the Holy Ghost ; and to this pur- 
pose it is observable, that by that forementioned form of blessing prescribed 
the priests in the Old Law, the word Jehovah, as we observed, is repeated 
thrice, to note it was pronounced in the name of aU three Persons. And be- 
sides, once in the New Testament itself, you have grace and peace in one 
benediction wished from all three Persons, and therein the Spirit mentioned 
as well as God the Father and God the Son, and it is in the last of all apos- 
tolical benedictions in the last book of aU, the Revelations, chap. i. First, 
from God the Father; and so in ver. 4, 'Grace and peace from him, that 
is, and was, and is to come.' Then secondly, from the Holy Ghost : so it 
follows, ' and from the seven Spirits,' the Holy Ghost being set forth by the 
fulness of those gifts (even a number of perfection) which he works in us, for 
though there be diversity of gifts, yet one and the same Spirit, 1 Cor. xii. 4. 
And then thirdly, from Christ, 'and from Jesus Christ,' &c., ver. 5. 

Yet, secondly, so as ordinarily in all other Ejtistles, in their bles.sings pre- 
fixed, the mention of the Spirit is omitted; and the reason is, because it is 
both his office and work to reveal and communicate this grace from the 
Father, and peace from the Son. Hence in deed and in truth, blessing from 
the Holy Ghost comes to be wished in the very praying for a communication 
of gTace and peace from God the Father and Chri.st; for, as Piom. v. 5, 'the 
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given 
us.' He is that Person that leadeth us out of ourselves unto the grace of 
God the Father, and the peace and satisfaction made by Jesus Christ. Those 
other two Persons are in their several works rather the objects of our fiiith 
and consolation, but the Holy Ghost is the author and efficient both of our 
faith on them, and comfort enjoyed in and from them. We look up to God 
the Father as the fountain of grace; and we look up to Jesus Christ as the 
fountain of our peace. But we are to look at the Holy Ghost as the revealer 
of both these from both. You will understand the justness of this reason, 


why he omitted tlie mention of him by this like instance : when you make 
your prayers, (and a blessing is a kind of prayer,) you use to pray to the 
Father, and likewise in the name of Christ, but you do not at aU, or seldom, 
read in all the Scriptures of prayers made to the Holy Ghost. And whyl 
Because it is his office to make the prayers themselves, which you thus put 
up to the other two Persons, and therein lieth his honour. Thus here, * grace 
from God the Father, and peace from Jesus Christ/ but he that revealeth 
both these is the Spirit. I will shut up this with one scripture, wherein this 
our Apostle, making the same kind of prayer or blessing, confirm eth this notion, 
mentioning all these three several parts and influences of the three Persons in 
the same order and difference I have now given, and unto the same purpose : 
2 Cor. xui. 14, 'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you,' &c. That which is at- 
tributed to the Holy Ghost is, as was said, to communicate and reveal all 
both that grace and love in God, and in Jesus Christ. 

To you. — That is, every one of you in particular. I will not omit this 
mention of the persons to whom these are wished, which was the third thing 
mentioned. He had enstyled them saints and faithful in the first verse ; and 
yet after that, wisheth grace and peace to them. 

Ohs. — The best Christians here need peace, and to that end Christ's blood 
and satisfaction, which is alone the procurer of all our peace, to wash their 
souls daily with the efficiency and spirits of that blood ; and likewise for the 
acceptation even of their holiness and faithfulness they need grace too, the 
free favour of God. ' Grace and peace to you saints, and faithful Ephesians.' 
They both need the things themselves to be daily continued unto them; and 
their souls need to apprehend more of them, and about them, to have mora 
enlarged revelation of them made to their faith. Hast thou peace already 
with God through faith? Yet still thou hast guilt and doubtings; thy faith 
is mixed with unbelief; therefore thou needest more of peace, ' Peace be to 
you.' Again, hast thou assurance of God's love? Yet, oh how little dost 
thou know of it ! (as Job speaks.) This grace and love of God and Christ 
passeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 19. As in like manner this peace is said to 
pass understanding, 2 Pet. i. 2 ; Phil. iv. 7. And this is the Apostle's mean- 
ing in his benediction in both Epistles, ' Grace and peace be multiplied (says 
he) through the knowledge of God (the Father and his love) and of Jesus our 
Lord' (and his satisfaction for you.) Hence it is evident, that the communi- 
cation of these to us is through our knowledge and apprehension thereof in- 
creased and multiplied ; as also a further possession of them thereby. 

Many are the observations that interpreters, upon several Epistles, do from 
hence raise, for which I refer the reader to their comments. I shall sum up 
that which I would commend to you in this one TNIeditation. 

Seeing the grace and free favour of God cast upon us, and peace with God, 
as a fruit of that favour and of Christ's satisfaction, are the sum of the 
apostles' ordinary wishes and salutes, (who to be sure in such a breviary 
would wish the highest, who were willing to impart their own souls to those 
saints they wrote to,) let this be a directory to us what to make the more ordi- 
nary and continual scope of our desires and prosecutions, even the obtaining 
peace with God, and grace of God. Seek this peace and ensue it, peace with 
God through Christ. And yet learn, from this apostolical addition, to seek 
grace also, and not to rest in peace, but to seek God's favour. Good and 
evangelical spirits cannot content themselves with peace; they must have 
grace too ; God's heart and love to be set upon them, his good- will. Seek to 
be pardoned, but above all seek to be beloved. 



Blessed le the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath 

us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places \or in heavenly things^ 
in Christ. — Ver. 3. 

The holy heart of this blessed Apostle was so full in his own person of being 
blessed by God, that he ftills a blessing him as soon as he begins to speak. 
It is his first word he begins the body of this epistle with, and continues 
the same course and way of blessing God through the first half of the 
chapter unto ver, 15. And then he enters upon and opens another view of 
giving thanks, and pouring out prayers for these Ephesians, although thia 
of blessing God far excels both thanksgiving and prayer, as I shall afterwards 
shew. But still under one or other of these ways of worshipping God, either 
prayer or thanksgiving or blessing, which are the highest strains of immediate 
worship we can perform to God, or at least with the materials for these, he 
goes on to fill up the rest of the first chapter. Yea, and after that being 
finished, he still continues matter of thanksgiving and blessing to the end of 
the second chapter throughout. 

And here the occasion that inflamed him to pour forth such a flood of 
blessings, &c., comes duly to be noticed by us. And oh how abundantly 
did his heart use to overflow, if he fell but into this argument from that 
occasion, and entertained but the thoughts of it ! You may for an instance 
thereof, though all his epistles testify it, but read over those passages of 
his in his first Epistle to the Thessalonians, which he begins even as he 
doth this chapter, Eph. i. 4, ' Knowing their election of God.' How 1 
By the fruits of it throughout hie ministry, as the instrument. ' For our 
gospel,' says he, ' came unto you, not in word only, but in power.' And how 
exemplarily they turned from idols to wait for Christ from heaven, through 
that his ministry, which brought forth all these fruits amongst them, as it 
hath done over the world ! And having thus begun and fallen into this 
argument, as I said, he proves so concerned, as he knows not how to get out 
or to set bounds to his afi"ections. Read on 1 Thess. ii. 8, ' So being 
afi'ectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, 
not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls ; ' and, chap. iii. 7, 
the joy hereof was so great, that it swallowed up the afflictions of all his 
sufferings, ' Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our 
afflictions and distress by your faith ; for now we live, if you stand fast in 
the Lord : for what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the 
joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God 1 ' Thus he, when he 
took pen to write this Epistle, or otherwise to dictate it, the first thing the 
Holy Ghost filled him with was the consideration of all these blessings 
vouchsafed these Ephesians, which he enumerates together with this remem- 
brance conjoined therewith. Thus all these blessings and matters of thanks- 
giving were all and every one of them the fruits of his own doings ; that is, 
the very fruits of his own ministry and preaching ; which, besides the glory 


and riches of God's grace towards tliose persons he writes to, did deeply 
affect him. Besides this, the memory of what had passed, and he had cause 
to remember them by a good token, he knew what he had preached, and re- 
membered how they had been wrought upon thereby. For he had afore 
this Epistle, for three years' space, laboured amongst them night and day, 
publicly and privately, from house to house, in preaching and that with 
tears; as in his last farewell sermon to the elders of this very church 
himself relateth, when he told them they should see his face no more, and so 
that he should never any more preach to them again ; and how much his 
heart and theirs was affected Avith that speech, the story of it and that his 
sermon doth sufficiently inform you. 

Now, then, a little observe his speech in that farewell sermon, in which he 
makes a sum of his forepast ministry in that city, though but in general 
speeches ; as how he had ' not shunned to declare all the counsel of God to 
them, ' Acts xx. 27; and above all thereof to make a display of the grace of 
God in the gospel, wherewith he saith he had finished ' the ministry which 
I have received from our Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of 
God,' ver. 24. And then let us but compare the first part of this Epistle, 
•which contains the fruits I speak of ; and they do answer to these his de- 
clarations of the matter of his preachmg, related in that farewell sermon. 
In the fifth verse of this chapter, he mentions God's having chosen them in 
Christ, and having predestinated them to the adoption of children, to the 
praise of the glory of his grace. Whereby it sufficiently appears that the 
doctrines of election and predestination, in all the points of them, he cer- 
tainly had in his ministry gone over, and were the points he had instructed 
them in, and had taught them fully ; otherwise had he not declared all the 
counsel of God, (whereof specially the doctrines of election and predestina- 
tion do eminently in the New Testament bear that very name of the counsel 
of the Almighty within himself,) and how could he have said, that He had 
elected and predesthiated them, had he kept back anything that was profit- 
able for them ? 

Well, he goes on first, 'In which glory and riches of his grace he hath 
abounded towards us, in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to 
us the mystery of his will,' in which words he tells us here again that this he 
had preached, ' according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in 
himself,' which in the eleventh verse he styles ' the counsel of his own will.' 
And again, ver. 11, out of which it was 'he had predestinated us to obtain 
an inheritance according to the purposes of him who worketh (both this, as) 
all things (else) according to the counsel of his own will.' So that the mat- 
ter for which he here blesses God, wrought and accomplished in and upon 
their hearts, will be found answering, as the j^rint does to the seal, that is, 
of his ministry. His doctrine namely, (as he recapitulates it in that sermon 
Acts XX., and that it has been the pith and principal sum of all his former 
sermons,) which had been to testify the grace of God in the gospel, and to 
open all the counsels of God in and about man's salvation ; in which he had 
concealed nothing that was profitable unto them, (as he professeth,) that 
might work repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus 
Christ, ver. 20, 21. Now behold, what you read, you find here in this 
Epistle, testified by the Holy Ghost, who had been the master workman of 
all grace in them, and towards them, to have been left from his preaching 
impressed upon their souls, verified on their persons ; visibly to be read by 
all men, written in their hearts and lives, and openly avowed professions of 
themselves. There is no man that shall compare one with the other, but 


must 6ay that as face ans^vers to face in water, so those contents specified to 
have been the subject of his preaching in that sermon in the Acts, to be 
answerable to these impresses here in their hearts, the effects recorded in 
this Epistle, and the success of his ministrj', answering to the other, as prints 
do unto their copy. As he had preached repentance toward God and faith 
toward our Lord Jesus Christ, as he had declared in that sermon of his there, 
so answerably here he says that ' the grace of God had abounded towards 
them in all wisdom and prudence ; ' the genuine meaning of which words is, 
that God had wrought all that belongs unto true faith, the truest wisdom and 
repentance, the only prudence accompanied with holiness ; which are signified 
by these, as I shall shew, when I come to open those words. And by what 
means God had wrought it, he tells you in the 9th verse, that follows in his 
own words you meet with in that sermon in the Acts, ver. 20, whereby he 
had set out the matter of his preaching, 'having made known,' says he, 
' to us the mystery and secret of his will,' ' the pui-pose and counsel of hi? 
will,' ver. 11, as to the matters namely of their salvation, and all to the 
' praise and glory of that grace,' which in his preaching he had so much 
celebrated, and nowhere hath set forth more than in this paragraph of his 
blessing God for them. 

In fine, as he elsewhere himself spake, so he had preached, and so they had 
believed, 1 Cor. xv. 11; so as in efi"ect Paul's blessing of God by his enume- 
rating these particular blessings of God bestowed upon them, proves to be 
indeed a preaching over to them the whole gospel of their salvation anew, the 
whole gospel in a new mode, in a new dress of thanksgiving, viz., for blessings 
of grace either shewed to them, and wrought in them, by the matter of his 
preaching. Instead of the seeds, the corn and grain he had sown, which were 
since grown up in their hearts, he returns the fruits of them — fruits of their 
own growth. And withal he doth in a covert manner mind them thereby, 
and brings fresh to their remembrance the principal materials, which God, by 
his preaching, and which while he was preaching them, God had wrought in 
them ; and finally he provokes them upon the remembrance hereof afresh to 
bless God, by observing himself thus afi'ectionately and passionately giving 
thanks, and praises, and blessing to God for them; that how much more 
should and ought they to do it anew for themselves ? Than which course of 
proceeding herein held by him, there could not have been a greater artifice 
invented or used, whereby to affect their own hearts. This for the fitness 
and justness of the occasion of blessing God. 

Nor let any man wonder that I make this kind of enumeration of gospel 
blessings to be as the preaching of the gospel itself. 'I am ready to preach 
the gospel to you at Rome also,' says Paul to the Romans, at the beginning 
of chap. L ; ' and I am sure,' says he, ' that when I come unto you I shall 
come in the fulness of the blessings of the gospel of Christ,' so speaks he at 
the end of that Epistle. The gospel is made up of blessings, is nothing but 
blessings, and the fulness of blessings. 

Nor will it be out of our way or hinder us, to stand and observe, as touch- 
ing the form of his blessing God, the vast difference that at this very entrance 
appears to be between the old dispensation among the Jews, and the dispen- 
sation under the New Testament. The form they used is, ' Blessed be the 
God of Israel.' And Zachary used this at a time when it was so near the 
expiring of the Old Testament and the approach of the New, at a time when 
the Messiah himself was conceived and come in the womb, though not yet 
born, and John the Baptist, that was to be his immediate forerunner, was 
already bom. They all speak in this sort, tiU Christ were as the sun at his 


lieiglit, as if they generally knew no higher title to honour God by than the 
God of the Je\ys, the Lord God of Israel. 

* Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,' that was the wonted note of Did they 
used in the beginning, otherwhile in the middle, or else conclusion of their 
songs and worship. So David in the Psalms often, Zachary in his song, 
Luke i. 68. The difference is that they sjDake it according to the level of the 
Old Testament, ' Blessed be the God of Israel ;' but the holy apostles Paul 
and Peter, according to the elevation of the New, the ' God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ.' And this style the two great apostles begin with — 
our apostle here in the beginning of this Epistle, and Peter in the beginning 
of his first Epistle ; and he used it then when he did write unto Jews, for 
unto them are his Epistles written, which makes the alteration of the style 
the more observable, 1 Peter i. 3, ' Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ.' Yet the mercies which he there blesses God for are but 
one or two, ' who according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again to 
a lively hope, to an inheritance,' &c. It is a blessing God for the first bless- 
ing in execution, regeneration, and the last performed, namely, the inherit- 
ance in heaven, as it followeth there. 

He begins his doxology no higher than at that first spiritual mercy 
bestowed in this life, which estates us into that inheritance ; but our apostle 
here prefixeth it before his ' Blessed be God,' and unto aU blessings univer- 
sally, whereof in his subsequent discourse he enumerates the particulars, and 
he takes the rise of his flight higher, ' according as he hath chosen us afore 
the world,' even at election ; that first, original, and universally fundamental 
grace of all the other that follow ; that vast womb of eternity, in which all 
blessings were conceived and shaped before the world was, and so from 
thence descends to redemption, regeneration, seal of the Spirit, glory. 

And here in this place, since most interpreters generally have observed a 
correspondence held with that Jewish doxology in the Old Testament, I shall 
more specially add this one that appears to me to be the most direct and 
likeliest correspondent of the Old Testament, that ever the Apostle held 
intelligence with, in this of his of the New, And it was in a prophecy of 
the prophet David, Ps. Ixxii., where, prophesying of Christ, ver. 17, 'Men 
shall be blessed in him,' (plainly meaning Christ,) and that 'all nations shall call 
him blessed,' he breaks forth thereupon, as here the apostle doth, ' Blessed 
be the Lord God, the God of Israel, (that latter is Old Testament language,) 
who only doth wondrous things ; and blessed be his glorious name for ever, 
and let the whole earth be filled with his glory ; Amen and Amen.' Wherein 
you see that the prophet blesseth God expressly for the times of the gospel, 
wherein he should bless us Gentiles, as well as Jews, in Christ ; in whom, 
both to Abraham and again to David himself, God had promised to bless 
all the nations of the world. ' Let the whole earth be filled with his glory ;' 
and this estate our holy apostles together having seen with their own eyes 
to have been in their days, (and especially Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, 
through his ministry so gloriously accomplished in these Ephesians and other 
Gentiles, as well as that other apostle had, on the Jews he wrote to,) the 
same Spirit of faith, 2 Cor. iv. 1 3, (in him and both, crowned and confirmed 
with so visible experience,) did burst out as you see into the same blessing for 
substance, but more fuU and explicit, which had been but by way of pro- 
phetical foresight uttered by David ; thereby most passionately inciting these 
Ephesians, and with them all Christians in all nations, (so lately converted 
to Christ,) to join with him in this his manner of blessing God ; the whole 
earth being now filled with his glory, and aU nations being now blessed by 


God, the God and Father of Christ, with all spiritual and heavenly blessings 
in him. 

The words of this third verse divide themselves into three parts : — 

1. A blessing God, as on our parts to be performed : ' Blessed be God.' 

2. The style or titles under which Paul blesseth God : as ' the God and 
Father of Jesus Christ.' 

3. The matter for which, or blessings bestowed on us : ' for all spiritual 
blessings in heavenly things in Christ.' 

Blessed he God. 

I. What it is to bless God. — Blessing of God is to wish well to, and speak 
weU of God, out of good-will to God himself, and a sense of his goodness 
unto ourselves. 

1. To wish luell to him, and speah ivell of him. — There is henedicere alicui, 
which is, to invoke a blessing by prayer to another, as a father blesseth his 
child, one saint another : thus we are not capable of blessing God, nor God 
of being blessed by any. But there is henedicere aliquem, which is, to speak 
well of another, and to wish well to (as Ps. cxxix. 8), or to congratulate 
heartily the happiness of another ; and in this manner God gives us leave 
to bless him, eiXoyelv Tov Qeov, in accusativo Luc. i. 64, Jam. iii. 10. Yea, 
God loves your good word, that is, to be spoken of well by you, rejoiceth in 
your weU-wishes, and to hear from you expressions of rejoicings in his own 
independent blessedness. Though God hath an infinite ocean of aU blessed- 
ness, to which we can add nothing, who is therefore entitled by way of 
eminency, ' The Blessed One,' Mark xiv. 61, a title solely proper and peculiar 
to him, yet he delights to hear the amen of the saints, his creatures, re- 
Bounding thereto ; that is, our ' so be it.' Thus our apostle having entitled 
him, Rom. i. 25, the ' God blessed for ever,' as in himself he is, and such in 
distinction from, and opposition to his whole creation, which is his scope 
there, yet he adds his own amen, or 'so be it,' thereto, ' God blessed for ever, 
Amen.' It is strange, that although so it is already, God is blessed in himself, 
and so it must be for evermore, that yet our ' so be it ' is put to it ; we 
thereby uttering our good-will ; and it is weU taken by him. It is not an 
amen set to a blessing of invocation, but it is an ame7i of joyful acclamation 
and congratulation, as expressing our rejoicing and complacency in his happi- 
ness, declaring that so we would have it. 

Thus Christ, who is God with the Father, and so acknowledged in that 
45th Psalm, (a psalm to his praise,) ' Thy throne, O God,' &c., ver. 6, (com- 
pare Heb. i. 8,) yet there we find that he is blessed by the Church, his 
spouse, in these words, ver. 4, ' Prosper thou, ride thou in thy majesty, or 
ride prosperously ; ' which is a joyful shout and acclamation, as useth to be 
to kings, upon his passing by ; the people exulting in that glory and majestic 
state which they see him go forth in, wishing him prosperity in his expedi- 
tion and undertakings, to make himself glorious, by doing wondrous things. 
The old translation expressed the intent of it, rather than the letter : ' Good 
luck have thou with thine honour.' The church there had withal in her eye 
all those gracious perfections his person was adorned with ; which thus won 
her heart to him, and drew this from her : for so it follows, ' Ride and prosper, 
because of truth, righteousness, and meekness.' And thus for us to take a 
view of all the absolute excellencies and perfections that are in God, to behold 
him crowned with glory and happiness that encircleth him round — a crown 
of glory made up of justice, truth, holiness, and other attributes ; to take a 
survey of all his proceedings and dispensations, and goings forth of every 
kind — his everlasting degrees of justice and mercy — all hia ways and deal- 


ings in the variety of them, though never so cross to our particular ; and to 
rejoice heartily in that glory of his, which is the result of them all : and 
inwardly to say, Oh, let him be thus glorious and blessed for ever, whatever 
shall become of me ! to be glad of all, congratulate him and wish well to 
him in all, this is to bless him. 

2. When done out of good-will as the principle of it; as indeed where 
such acts as those forementioned are, there must needs be good-will, the 
spring of them. And in this respect, blessing God superadds to confessing 
to his praise, yea or to give glory to him ; it speaks more than either. The 
devils shall confess to his praise, Phil. ii. 10, 11, 'Every knee, and every 
tongiie, even of things under the earth (in hell), shall confess Christ, to the 
glory of the Father ; ' but theirs is but extorted, although acknowledged by 
them to be justly his due. Hence if we would speak strictly, blessing God is 
appropriated properly to the saints, with a difference from praising God; 
Ps. cxlv. 10, * All thy works shall praise thee, Lord, and thy saints shall 
bless thee.' The saints alone, they bless him, and why 1 because they alone 
bear good- will to him. And they bless the Lord with their whole souls, 
and all that is within them, Ps. ciii. 1, and this God respects more than 
your ' giving him glory.' It was his very end in choosing forth a select 
company of saints ; that he himself first blessing them, they then might 
bless him again. He could have been glorified however in them, but he 
loves to be blessed ; he loves our good- will in it, more than the thing. 

3. I added, out of good-will to God himself ; that is, purely for what he 
is himself, and not only for what to ourselves ; in this manner our apostle 
blesseth God here, even for this, that he is the God and Father of Christ. 
As loving God that ever he begot such a Son, he rejoiceth that so great a 
Father hath so great a Son ; to the mutual honour of each. How often 
doth he in his Epistles come in with this, even in the midst or conclusion of 
a discourse, in which there was an occasion to magnify him, ' who is God 
blessed for ever,' which is a glorifying God as God, that is, in himself 
and by himself, thus blessed for ever. Thus Ptom. i. 25, Ptom. ix. 5, and 

Yet, 4. together herewith, otd of a sense of his goodness also to its. So 
here, though he blesseth him first for being the God of Christ, yet he withal 
after blesseth him for having blessed us with all blessings ; and God gives 
us leave so to do. ' If you loved me [purely],' says Christ, John xiv, 28, 
' you would rejoice, because I said, I go to my Father : ' you would rejoice 
in my enjoyment of him, that is, in my blessedness in and through him, 
' who is greater than I,' (as it follows,) and so is the fountain of that happi- 
ness I have. He takes it unkindly at our hands, if we rejoice not in his 
personal blessedness primarily, and in the first place. And thus as we love 
him because he loves us first, so we bless him because he blesseth us first : 
and yet it must rise higher in the end, (and in heaven it will do so,) eveu 
purely to bless him for himself, or else we love him not, nor bless him, as 
the great God is to be loved and blessed by us. A meditation or two : — 

1st Meditation. 
It is an infinite favour we are admitted to, and privilege vouchsafed to 
creatures, and indeed the highest, not only to pray to God to obtain all 
blessings, and to give thanks to him when we have them ; and further to 
glorify him for the glory that is in him ; but beyond aU this, to bless him 
for all the blessedness that is in him, and for him to take in our Ame^i, our 
Euge, to his own blessedness, as in like manner he doth our faith as a seal 


to his truth and faithfulness. Oh, what is it ! He was not content to be 
blessed alone, but he must bless us, and make us partakers thereof. But 
further, as if not perfect without us, he blesseth himself in oar returns and 
echoes of blessing to his blessedness, that so we in him, and he in us, might 
be blessed together for evermore. Amen. 

2d Meditation. 

You have seen it a peculiar character of the saints, thus out of good- 
will to bless God, " Thy saints they bless thee.' It was his end why he had 
saints ; said he with himself, They will do that which none of my other 
works will do — they will bless me, for none else have good- will to me : and 
whoever blesseth him, are first blessed of him. Hast thou, or dost thou find 
in thy heart, thus to bless God, and findest all within thee rising up in the 
doing of it ? ' Bless God, O my soul, and all that is within me,' Ps. ciii. 1 . 
Go home, thou art a saint I warrant thee. It was Job's grace, ' The Lord 
hath taken, yet blessed be the name of the Lord.' You will say, that was 
Old Testament grace : yea, and it is New Testament grace too ; you see it in 
our Apostle, the greatest of saints ; so we may write him, however he 
writes himself the least. His heart was fuU of this, and so it came out 
first ; he could not hold at the first to utter it ; when he was to speak to 
those he wrote to, he must needs begin to speak by way of blessing God : 
yea, it is the highest and best grace in heaven itself. The angels, though not 
themselves, but men only, have benefit by Christ's blood, — he died for men, 
not angels, and therefore it is only the chorus of men that sing, Rev. v. 9, 
' Thou hast redeemed us by thy blood out of all nations' — yet, ver. 11, the 
angels are brought in blessing Christ also, and that for this, that he was slain, 
ver. 11, 12, ' And I beheld, and heard the voice of many angels round about 
the throne, and the beasts and the elders, and the number of them was ten thou- 
sand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ; saying with a loud 
voice, Wortby is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and 
wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.' Worthy is the 
Lamb that was slain, (they mention nothing else of him,) and then blessing 
comes in at last as the E, la, the highest note that heavenly choir can reach 
to. The like at his birth, their song was to bless him for ' peace on earth, 
good-will to men,' (they mention not themselves,) but purely for good- will 
to men ; because it brought ' glory to God on high,' (as there,) they heartily 
rejoiced in that glory God should have in his dispensations towards us. 

This for our blessing of God on our parts, ' Blessed be God.' 

II. The person who, and the style under which our Apostle blesseth him — 
' The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ' 

It is not only. Blessed be God the Father, but the God and Father of 
Christ : nor only the God who is the Father of Christ, but 6 Qehs Ka\ TraTrjp, 
the God and Father of Christ. Otherwise koI, and, were here redundant ; 
but as conjoined thus between those two, shews that both these 
titles do speak each of them a several relation of God unto Christ; 
or what God is unto Christ — he is his God and his Father. The 
like manner of speech we have, (when elsewhere Christ is spoken of,) two 
titles of his in the same sort locked together with that kqI- 6 Beos kcu 

<TQ>Trjp, 2 Peter i. 1, 'Ei/ biKaioa-vvj^ Tov Q(ov fjfiav Kol (Tcorfipos rjficov 'irjaov 

Xpiarov, speaking to them that believe in the righteousness of God, and our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost intending both those two attributes 

of Chri.st. And Titus ii. 13, ToS /xfytiAou 0eov kqI a-toT^pos r]pmv ']r](Tov 

xpiarov, ' Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the 


great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.' He speaks in both places of one 
and the same person, namely, Christ under two titles : and thus here he 
doth the like of God the Father, 'The God and Father of Christ.' And 
this parallel speech used to Christ in those places, compared with what the 
Apostle useth here, those places are strong proofs and assertions apostolical, 
that Christ is God as well as Saviour, the great God and Saviour ; even as 
it is evident here in the Hke tenor of speech, that the person of God the 
Father is both the God and the Father of Christ : for in the very same 
strain and tenor of speech it is that both these are said of Christ, wherein 
here both are spoken of God the Father in his relation unto Christ. This 
for the phraseology ; now as to the thing itself. 

Two things are here to be apart spoken to for the explanation hereof : — 

1. The matter itself: how God the Father is the God and the Father of 
Christ, and in what respects the one or the other, either of them. 

2. The reason why here he singleth out these relations of God to Christ, 
and under the respects and considerations thereof he blesseth God here. 

1. The matter itself, 'The God and Father of Christ.'— That the Father 
is both the God and Father of Christ, other Scriptures affirm, yea, accord 
also, in putting both relations thus together as well as here ; yea, upon the 
cross he challengeth his interest in both, ' My God, my God,' Matt. xxvlL 
46, and ' Father, into thy hands,' Luke xxiii. 46 ; and on the other side, 
when to enter into his glory, he mentions both, John xx. 17, 'I ascend unto 
my Father, and to my God.' There are both, you see, found in one sentence, 
only he puts Father first afore being his God ; so there ; but here the God 
afore the Father of Jesus Christ. 

The difficulty about it is, how these two relations respectively are to be 

We all know and acknowledge Christ's person hath two natures. He is 
God, he is man ; and we often find in one and the same sentence several 
things attributed to the person of Christ, whereof the one is spoken of him 
in respect of the human nature only, the other in relation to the Divine. I 
shall mention but one instance, because somewhat akin to this here ; Heb. vii. 
3, his person is described to be without father, without mother, and both are 
equally said of this one and the same person ; yet the one in respect of one 
nature only, the other in relation to the other. It is evident the man Jesus 
had a mother, and yet he is said to be without mother, namely as God. It 
is evident that he called God his own Father, John v., as also he useth to do 
upon every occasion everywhere, and yet this person as man is said to be 
without father. And that both these should be thus attributed to, and said 
of one and the same person, aU the wits in the world cannot otherwise recon- 
cile than by affirming or acknowledging two natures to abide in this one 
person ; and withal what is proper to each, yet to be in common and alike 
attributed to the person himself, res]3ectively to these two natures. And 
therefore the Apostle elsewhere is fain to distinguish upon this matter with 
this or the like distinction : who, according to the flesh or human nature, 
came of the fathers by his mother IMary ; and who, according to the spirit 
or Divine nature, is the declared Son of God, and God blessed for ever.* 
You have these distinctions in terminis thus applied, Kom. i. 3, 4, and Eom. 
ix. 5, and it is the sum of the scope of both places, as also of Acts ii. 30. 
In like manner here bring but these, the same distinctions tricked up, and 
insert them to each, and none will question this exposition, that question 

* 'En Deus, et Pater unius et ejusdem Christij Deus quidem ut incarnati. Pater, 
ut Dei Verbi.' — Marlorat. 


not the verity of one of those his natures, that as Son of God, and so God 
equal with God, God is his Father : and that as Son of man, so the same 
God that is his Father is his God also. Thus Bishop Davenant expoundeth 
these words, ' God and Father of Christ.' 

The God. — The Father is the God of Christ in relation to his being man, 
and that in these respects more peculiar to him — 

1. Because he chose him to that grace and union, 1 Peter i. 20. Christ 
as man was predestinated as well as we, and so hath God to be his God by 
predestination and so by free grace, as weU as he is our God in that respect. 

2. Because God the Father made a covenant with him. Look, as because 
of that covenant with Abraham, &c., he is termed the God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, so in respect of that covenant made with Christ, which we 
have specified, Isa. xlix., throughout, where Christ doth call him ' My God,' 
ver. 4, of which covenant, as also God's being his God, David was his type, 
Ps. Ixxxix. 26. 

3. Because God was his only refuge in all times of distress. Thus when 
hanging on the cross, he cries out to him, ' My God, my God,' Matt, 
xxvii. 46, compared with Ps. xxii. 1-5. 

4. Because God is the author and immediately the matter of Christ's 
blessedness, (as he is man,) and therefore blessed be he as the God of Christ, 
who hath blessed our Lord Christ for ever and ever, as Ps. xlv. 2, where- 
upon, in the 7th verse, it folloAvs, ' God, thy God, hath anointed thee with 
the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' The Psalmist satisfieth not himself to 
say, ' God hath anointed thee,' but with an emphasis, ' God, thy God :' and 
thy God he is in relation to this effect and fruit of it, ' anointing thee with 
gladness ;' which, ver. 2, is synonymously expressed, ' God hath blessed 
thee for ever.' And then anointed by God as man he was when glorified, 
Acts iv. 27. And God thus blessed him by becoming himself his blessed- 
ness ; which, in the 16th Psalm, Christ exults in, ver. 2, ' My soul, thou hast 
said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.' And, ver. 5, it follows, ' The Lord 
is the portion of mine inheritance ;' and, ver. 6, ' I have,' says he, ' a goodly 
heritage,' that is, in having God to be my God and heritage to live upon for 
ever; for, as he further speaks in ver. 11, 'in thy presence is fulness of joy, 
and at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.' The psalm is made in 
Christ's name, as the Apostle, Acts ii., and he speaks it of his human nature 
expressly in the 9th verse, ' My flesh,' says he, ' shall rest in hope,' namely 
this hope, by this my death to be advanced to the right hand of God, (which 
alone that man Christ Jesus is, for as God he was always at his right hand,) 
where those pleasures are : so then God is his happiness. Hence, therefore, 
when Christ was risen, and speaks of ascending, and was shortly to ascend, 
then it was he calls God his God, John xx. 17, ' I ascend to my God;' that 
is, to him in whom my happiness I now am going to enjoy consists. And 
therefore, John xiv. 28, he told his disciples, ' If ye loved me, you would 
rejoice that I go to my Father :' for I go to him that is able to make me 
happy, and is my immediate blessedness. For it follows, * My Father is 
greater than I,' (namely, as I am a man,) and so I am to be blessed in him, 
the less being blessed of the greater. The human nature, though glorified, 
is not blessedness to itself, it is but finite in itself ; but God immediately is. 
Nor is that human nature, though God dwells in it, the utmost blessedness 
of us ; but God immediately also is : yet as to our right thereunto, it is 
because he is our God and his God first. Thus his God, as man. 

But whether the Father is termed the God of Christ, as Christ is God, 
and so in relation to his divine nature, I will not debate it. There are that 


read that passage of tlie 45tli Psalm thus : God (as speaking to Christ as God) 
thy God, so terming his Father, Deus de Deo, God of God, is old : and the 
Father is Deus gignens, the Son Deus genitus, and Deus Dei is near to these ; 
the Father is the God of the Son, who is God. But I pass it. 

A7id the Father. — This is out of question spoken of Christ, and is true of 
him, both as God and also man. 

1. As God : so he is his Son, his own Son, Kom. viii. 32, and reciprocally 
the Father, I'Sto? n-ari^p, his own Father, John v. 18, and therefore ' equal 
with God,' as it is emphatically there said ; for the Jews objected against 
him, that irarepa Uiov eXeye tov Qeov, he Said God was his own Father, (so in 
the Greek,) making himself equal with God. All which do imply, that he 
was such a Son as was begotten of the substance and essence of his Father, 
even as he that is said to be a man's own natural son useth to be, and is 
thereby distinguished from their adopted children ; and in that respect also 
is Christ said to be God's only begotten Son, and 6 vios, Dei vivi, that Son 
of the li\T.ng God, ]\Iatt. xvi. 1 6 ; and so disciiminated from all other. As 
from the angels, ' To whicli of all the angels did he say. Thou art my Son, 
this day have I begotten thee?' Heb. i., and so from all creatures. For 
whereas, John i. 18, he is termed the only-begotten Son, in distinction 
there from all creatures, which are said to be but made, ver. 1, 3, and 
believers to have received power from him to be sons, ver. 12. In fine, he 
is in such a respect the Son of God, and begotten of God, as being man he 
was the Son of Da\T.d, because out of his loins. Thus Matt. xxii. 42. And 
that he was thus the Son of God, is the main and most fundamental point 
of the gospel, Rom. i. 3, 4, compared ; and therefore is still brought in as 
the conclusion of all those several discourses of the last evangelist's Gospel, 
beginning at the first chapter, ver. 18, 49, chap. iii. 16, and so on to 
chap. XX. 31, where, in the conclusion of his book, he professeth this to 
have been the intended scope of the whole, ' These things are written that 
ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing 
(thus of him) ye might have life through his name ;' through that name of 
his that he is the Son of God, and thereby the fountain of life and sonship 
to us ; for upon this very rock or foundation, Christ told his disciples he 
would build his Church. 

2. As man and Son of man, God was his Father. That forementioned 
profession and answer in the name of all the rest of his disciples was"setly 
pitched upon this in Christ's question as punctual thereunto : ' Whom do 
men say that I the Son of man am ? ' That was Christ's question. He 
answers thereupon, ' The Son of the living God.' Therefore as man he was 
the Son of the living God, The like ye have uttered by Christ himself, (for 
it was that point he died upon,) Mark xiv. 61, 62, compared. 

But then as to this last point the question is. How it is to be understood 
that as man he was the Son of God ; whether only but as other men, or in 
any transcendent privilege above us 1 Or thus, whether as man he was but 
the adopted son, as the saints are ; or whether not the natural Son of God 1 
Which is solved by these considerations : — 

1. That the subject of this relation as Son to God, or the tei-minus of it, 
is not either his nature di /ine or human, but his person ; for sonship is a 
personal property, not of the nature. 

2. Hence, secondly, in the person of Christ there are not two Sons, or two 
sonships or relations of sonship unto God as a Father ; but as God is but 
one, so the person of the Son but one, and so but one sonship in him. 

3. Hence, thirdly _ Christ as man is but one and the same Son of God; 


that lie is as he is God, that is, his style and honour is to be the natural 
Son of God, even as man. The sonship of the man Christ Jesus doth 
coalesce into one sonship with the Son of God, even as in like manner the 
man is taken up into one person with the Son of God, Luke i. 35, ' That 
holy thing which shall be born of thee (speaking of Christ's conception to the 
Virgin Mary) shall be called the Son of God.' For look as though he was 
man, yet that man was never a person of itself, but subsisted from the first 
in the personality of the second Person : so that the Son of man was never 
called or accounted a Son to God, of himself, as such ; but his sonship was 
that of the person which he was taken up into. Only with this difference, 
that he is the Son of God as God, in that he was begotten of the Father's 
substance, but so the Son of man was not ; but this Son of man becoming 
the Son of God, who was begotten of the substance of the Father by per- 
sonal union, he the man, by being made one person with him, wears that 
dignity. The one is per essentioe communicaiionem, the other per unionern 
cum persond. 

4. Hence, fourthly, he is not as man the Son of God naturally or essen- 
tially, but he is the Son of God personally. If we take natural for essential, 
so he is not, as man, God's natural Son ; but take natuixd as in opposition 
to adoption, and so he is God's natural Son ; and not by adoption, this 
being the title and honour he had from his conception and birth, and from 
his union with the person of the natural Son, as you heard from the angel, 

* That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,' 
(and God calls things as they are.) And more distinctly. Gal. iv. 4, ' God 
sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, that we might 
receive the adoption of sons,' where evidently his sonship and ours are set in 
these terms of distinction, that ours is the sonship of adoption received from 
his, and that his is primitive, original, and natural ; yea, and this is true of 
him as he is man, for it is spoken of him that was ' made of a woman, made 
under the law.' 

2. The reason why under these relations of God and Father to Christ, he 
blesseth God. 

Although this will easUy appear in many of the particulars that follow, 
yet one reason may be, to unvaU the Old Testament and decipher it into the 
New, and bring forth the gospel in its substantial and real intendments, 
both of the promise of blessing, as also of God's relation to us men ; God's 
being their God, this of old was typically set forth under this tenure, 

* The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,' Exod. iii. 6. 
And before them, ' The Lord God of Shem,' Gen. ix. 26; and in the names 
of these patriarchs the conveyance of the blessing ran, and answerably their 
return of praise and blessing unto God again then was, * Blessed be the Lord 
God of Shem,' Gen. ix. 2Q. Thus before Abraham. After, when renewed 
in Jacob's name, ' Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,' as you heard out of 
David ; and this form the Jews (upon whose hearts, as now in their syna- 
gogues, the veil remains, 2 Cor. iii. 14, in token thereof they wear it upon 
their heads,) in their worship keep to this day; but now that the substance 
is come, the shadows disappear. Abraham, and Isaac, and Israel are sub- 
dued. The days are come, as the prophet in another case speaks, that it 
shall no more be said. The God of Abraham, &c., but the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus. Christ ; and as Isaiah foretold of the gospel times, Isa. 
Ixv. 15, 16, look as my servants (or children of God) shall be called by another 
name, (namely Christians, as first at Antioch, and no longer Jews ;) so also 
the terms of their covenant is altered, and so their form of blessing God, as 

VOL. I. c 


was also foresignified there in the following words, ' He that blesseth him- 
self in the earth, shall ^less himself in the God of truth,' namely, when 
Christ, who is the ti-uth and the life, shall come. Old Zachary, that lived 
in the expiration or extreme verge of the Old Testament, when Christ was 
not yet conceived, he then useth that Old Testament form which he found 
sanctified in the Scriptures of old. But had he stayed half a year longer, (for 
thereabouts was the distance between Christ's and his son John Baptist's 
conception,) his ' Blessed be the God of Israel' (which he useth in his song) 
had been out of date ; and ' Blessed be the God and Father of Christ ' had 
come in its room, and been in force. 

Oh, let us, therefore, that live under the knowledge of Christ in the 
gospel, bless our God as the God and Father of Jesus Christ, which is the 
liighest note of celebrating his praise which our hearts can reach to ! For 
it is the most elevated strain of the gospel language, and of the glory of 
God, which any man, or all men, can rise up unto. It is said of Christ in the 
Psalms, Ps. Ixxii. 17, 'All nations shall call him blessed.' In like manner it 
was spoken of and by herself, that was the mother of his human nature only, 
' All generations shall caU me blessed.* Oh, then, how should w^e aU bless 
that God that is the Father of him, who in his person also is God blessed 
together with his Father for ever ! Many good souls find this as an eternal 
evidence of their own future blessedness, that when wanting as.surance of 
God's love to themselves, they can yet bless God for his being good to others 
in the same condition with themselves, out of their love to God and to the 
good of others' souls. If thou findest such elevations of spirit in thee, vent 
and spend them much more in blessing God, that he is the God and Father 
of Christ. This is high, and most divine. 

Of our Lord Jesus Christ. — He having thus setly displayed these rela- 
tions of God to Christ, he interweaves \\ithal our special relation to Christ ; 
to wit, his being our Lord ; his scope therein being to shew the foundation 
and descent of those very same relations which God beareth to Christ ; and 
of the same their coming down upon and unto us, namely of his being 
our God and our Father, which are the gi-oundwork of the conveyance to 
us of all those particular blessings he doth after enumerate, by and through 
Jesus Christ's being our Lord or husband. 

And it is observable how the Apostle carries on his discourse along. In 
the second verse he had called God our Father, and Jesus Christ barely the 
Lord ; but then in this verse he styleth this God the Father of Christ, and 
then subjoins therewith, varying his style, this ' Jesus our Lord.' Thereby 
to shew the genealogy or descent of our being sons to God, and of God's 
being our Father, to lie in this, that Christ is our Lord, and so God becomes 
our Father by being his Father. And then, in the next verse, he answer- 
ably proceeds to shew how aU other blessings do flow from this relation, 
first of God to Christ, then this of Christ to us ; which in the fifth verse he 
doth more determinately discover to be his meaning in saying, ' He hath pre- 
destinated us by Jesus Christ to the adoption of children :' so that this men- 
tion of his being our Lord here, is not merely, as elsewhere, an appella- 
tive, or as the ordinary style that is given to the person of Christ, as that 
whereby he is described when he is spoken of or mentioned, when there is 
any occasion to name him. Thus frequently his disciples, ' We have seen the 
Lord,' say they all, John xx. 25. ' It is the Lord,' says he, when he spied him 


first, Joliu xxi. 7. Yea, and tliis appellation of 'our Lord' is often used by 
the apostles, but barely to decipher his person, as in that speech, Heb. vii. 14, 
' It is evident our Lord sprang out of Judah.' These in part are no more 
than as when men speak of the person of their prince, they say. The king, 
and. Our lord the king, so desigiung his person. But here in saying in this 
coherence, and in saying, ' The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,' his intent 
is to draw the pedigree of our relation to God, as our Father also, even 
by descent from Christ ; and this is the highest improvement, as to us, 
of this attribute here, 'Christ our Lord.' This for the general scope of these 

To make good which general scope, two things are now particularly to be 
explicated : — 

1. What special or peculiar relation there is of the saints unto Christ, as 
to their Lord. 

2. That the relation of Christ to us as a Lord, is the foundation of 
God's being our God and Father, as well as he is Christ's God and Father. 

For the first, that our Jesus is the Lord, and that one Lord, in distinction 
from God the Father ; which title fully declareth his office of Mediator, and 
is attributed to him by way of eminency above and from all other lords ; 
this I have elsewhere shewn upon 1 Cor. viii. 6. That which is more proper 
here is, that he is our Lord more peculiarly, and how we have these two 
apart attributed to Christ, both that he is the Lord, and our Lord, as in a 
special relation and appropriation, in the 4th verse of the Epistle of Jude; 
where speaking of the heresies of those times, he says, that they denied that 
only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. The question here hath been made 
by some, as also about the like parallel places, 2 Pet. i. 1, Tit. iL 13, whether 
he here should speak of two persons distinct, viz., God and Christ, styling the 
first, the Lord God, but Christ, in distinction from him, our Lord ; or whe- 
ther that apostle should intend Christ only and alone as one and the same 
subject of two royal titles or relations ; the one more general, namely his 
being the only Lord God, and then the other of his more special relation 
unto us, our Lord. Indeed as the English translation carries it, it leans more 
to that first interpretation, that he should speak of the Father in the one, 
whom he should signalise, the only Lord God ; the other of Christ. But the 
Greek evidently inclines much rather to the latter, that Christ alone should 
be intended as the subject of both these styles. 

Considering first, that though here be three attributes, 1, the only Lord, 
2, God, 3, and our Lord ; that yet there is but one article or note of desig- 
nation affixed, or rather prefixed to all these at first, t6v iiovou, as mean- 
ing evidently but one person pointed at in them all, as the subject of 
them : which the Complutensis copy of the Greek renders more plain, 
' That only God and Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ' — Tou fxavov Qeov koI Secr- 

iTf'nrjv, Tov Kipiov. 

Which, secondly, the counterpart to this Apostle's epistle — namely, the 
second Epistle of Peter — helps to clear ; where, speaking of the same heretics 
(whom both these apostles aimed to speak of, and do affirm these things of) 
there, in the latter he mentions Christ only as the person spoken of in these 
words, ' denying the Lord that bought them ; ' using there also the same 
word, SeoTTTorjjj/, which the other epistle useth when he speaks of the lordship 
and dominion of Christ, which is in common over wicked men, and but such 
as over all things else, which Jude manifestly intended in calling him ' the 
Lord.' And the contradictions of all heretics, that professed Chiistianity in 


those times, were all and only bent against the person of Christ, and 
also against his being God, and not against the Father, or his being only 
Lord God. 

So then that place of Jude holds forth two things distinctly and apart 
concerning Christ, which serves to clear the point in hand : — 1. What he is 
absolutely and indeterminately in himself, and in his general relation to all 
things whatsoever, he is the only God and Lord of all. And, by the way, 
the word translated Lord in the first part of his style, is a differing word 
from that which follows in the second part. The first word is dfa-norrjv^ 
supreme, sovereign disposer and governor, as by possession, and natural and 
more general right ; such as a lord hath of his goods, his chattels, utensils, 
as 2 Tim. ii. 21. 2. But that other Kvpiov, the latter word, which is joined 
with that special relation of his to us, with that addition of * our ' Lord ; so 
noting out in this manifest distinction that sweet and special relation to his 
spouse and children of the sons of men. So then tlae meaning is, that 
besides that Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of all persons and things, (as 
Acts X. 36,) that he further hath a nearer and dearer relation of our Lord, 
so to us his saints. 

So, then, he is the Lord of saints peculiarly, in the like sense a,nd respect 
as he is called King of saints peculiarly, Eev. xv. 3, in distinction from his 
being King of nations, as, Jer. x. 7, the prophet had it. 

Wicked men, as you have heard, are said to ' deny the Lord that bought 
them ; ' so then he is their Lord. And the devils are said to confess that 
Jesus is the Lord, PhU. ii. 11, but none of these do say, ' Our Lord.' The 
good angels, they come nearer to him, and surely they might say it upon 
better terms; he being their head. Col. ii. 10, and they our fellow-servants, 
R,ev. xix. 1 0. Yet I find not that they speak thus of him, ' Our Lord,' but 
us it were, or would seem in a respect, both to him and us, the Holy Ghost 
should leave this to be alone said by us, and spoken by us of Christ. There 
was a full occasion once, if ever, for the good angels themselves to have 
assumed and uttered it, and said, 'Our Lord.' It is in Luke ii. 11, when 
they proclaimed him in the cradle ; but their words there run thus, ' To you 
(speaking of men) is born a Saviour,' and so ' Christ the Lord ; ' for though 
a Saviour only to us men, yet those angels might have said, ' Our Lord,' for 
that their part in him forementioned. No ; but when it did come in a com- 
parison and competition with us men, they forbear to do it ; they only say, 
Christ the Lord, not Christ our Lord ; or anywhere else we read of. But 
behevers and saints of the sons of men you find often, upon all occasions of 
mentioning him as the Lord, to assume the privilege to call him with this 
sweet additament. My Lord, or, Our Lord. David in the Old Testament, he 
began it, ' Jehovah said to my Lord,' Ps. ex. And he was in spirit when 
he did it, (as Christ teUs us,) possessed with an evangelical spirit more than 
ordinary. Elizabeth followed him in the first break of day of the New Testa- 
ment; she was in spirit, too, Luke i. 41, when she said it: 'Elizabeth was 
filled with the Holy Ghost,' and said, ver. 43, ' Whence is this to me, that 
the mother of my Lord is come 1 ' Thomas, at last, for it was after the resur- 
rection, with ravishment cries out, ' My Lord, and my God.' And our 
Apostle goes on, when his heart was as full as it could hold of glorymg and 
rejoicing in this his interest in Christ, Phil. ii. 8, ' Yea, doubtless," I that 
>^ave known him so long, ' I do count all things but loss and dung, for the 
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.' The emphasis this 
comes in with argues his heart raised up to an infinite valuation of him, and 

EpH. I. 3 ] TO THB EPHESlANa 37 

also of this Ms spiritual relation unto him, * My Lord.' These saints in their 
own persons, as particularly it fell out, first tasting the sweetness of it ; but 
then after it grew, the common voice of all believers speaking in their own 
and other saints' names. So Paul was careful to observe to do, when he 
wrote to the Church of Corinth, ascribing and enlarging that title of ' Our 
Lord ' unto aU saints, as well as to the church of Corinth, as appears ex- 
pressly in his inscription to that first epistle to that church, 1 Cor. i. 2, 
' Unto the church of God that is at Corinth, called to be saints, with all 
that in every place call upon the name of our Lord ; ' and remarkably adds 
' both theirs and ours,' thus appropriating it to the saints of mankind, as he 
does here, ' our Lord.' 

I further only add, that when I thus term it a proper or more special 
relation with difference from other the sons of men, or the angels, I exem- 
plify my meaning by the Hke language which the great officers and favourites 
of kings use, by way of distinction from other subjects, and glory so to do. 
They rejoice to style him. The king, my master, my lord. And I humbly 
submit the notion of it, if it appear singular to others. But I shall further 
add two special appropriate reasons why the saints do the like of Christ : — 

1. His saving and redeeming them from sin and wrath. He is their 
Saviour, not of the angels : and ' to you,' say they, * a Saviour is born, 
Christ the Lord ; ' and so your Lord more peculiarly, because your Saviour, 
which I insist not on. 

2. Besides this obliging interest of redemption, proper to the saints of the 
sons of men, whereby he is our Lord, (though as a second-hand bargain he 
bought all the world, 2 Pet. ii. 1,) there is a further, more endearing con- 
sideration whereby he is our Lord ; even because he is our husband, ' Thy 
Maker is thy husband,' and so thy Lord. And he is such a husband as did 
serve a servitude for his wife, yea, and bought her thereby of a slave and 
captive by the way of redemption, as in ver. 7 of this 1st of Ephesians ; and 
again, Eph. v. 23, * Even as Christ is head of the church, and Saviour of 
the body ; ' and ver. 25, ' He loved his church, and gave himself for her.' 
These things cannot be spoken of angels. A queen, the wife or spouse of a 
great king, when she mentions her relation to him, and says. My lord, or 
calls him her lord, she speaks it in that sense wherein none of her maids 
of honour or courtiers about her dare, or must take on them to speak it, 
though he be in other respects their lord also. For he is her lord as he is 
her husband, and not only as king ; and so she imports, ' I am my beloved's, 
and my beloved is mine,' whUst she only calls him My lord. Sarah, you 
know, called Abraham, as her husband, lord, 1 Pet. iii. 6, which is applied 
to Christ and the church, Eph. v. 22, 23, ' Wives, submit yourselves unto 
your own husbands, as unto the Lord : for the husband is the head of the 
wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the 
body.' And in tliis conjugal respect it is that God the Father teacheth the 
Church to call Christ her Lord, Ps. xlv. 11, 'He is thy Lord, worship thou 
him : so shall the King greatly delight in thy beauty.' He speaks it of his 
conjugal relation, as that passage, ' delighting in her beauty,' argues. Now, 
as it is said of Christ's Sonship, ' To which of all the augels did he say. 
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee 1 ' though they are sons of 
God also, and he their Father, so say I of this lordship, To which of all 
the angels did he ever say, Christ is thy Lord, — that is, thy husband, — he 
shall greatly delight in thy beauty, as a husband in his spouse 1 Though 
they are the virgins that do attend her, yet that relation is reserved proper 


between Christ and us. So, thougli he be a head to angels. Col. ii. 10, 
yet in a proper and a peculiar manner a head to his Church, the saints. 
So, in the 22d of this Eph. i., ' The Father hath given him to be a head 
over all to his church,' (even over 'all principalities and powers,' ver. 21,) 
and therefore in such a peculiar manner a head to them, as he is not to all 
or any else. He being said to be over all thhigs else then, w^hen withal his 
relation of headship to her is spoken of. And so it is in this. 

For the second, I must now shew you, that this peculiar relation of his 
being our Lord in this near and endearing sense, is the foundation of God's 
being our God and our Father ; even because he is the God and Father of 
Christ, who is this our Lord and husband. 

1. The oTi, that so it is, that the foundation of these relations of God unto 
us is laid in these same like relations of ours unto Christ, (besides what 
by induction might be shewn to hold of all other titles or privileges com- 
municated to us, how they all hold of Christ,) that one place afore cited, 
where Christ at once calls him both his God and his Father, John xx. 17, 
more fully and pertinently holds forth this to us, ' I ascend to my Father 
and your Father, to my God and your God.' He speaks at once, as that 
God is our God, &c., so that our relation of his being our God is founded 
upon God's being the God of Christ. And our Father, because his first. 
He says not, as Austin observes, I ascend to our Father, or to our God, as 
casting his own proper relation into the same common rank with ours. No, 
but apart, first mine and then yours. ]\Iine primatively, naturally, and 
originally ; yours derivatively by participation, or, as ver. 5 here expresseth 
it, ' sons of adoption by Jesus Christ ; ' or, as Gal. iv. 4, ' He sent his Son, 
(his own Son, as elsewhere,) that we might receive the adoption of sons.' 

2. But secondly, if you will see how this doth spring from that special 
relation of Christ's being our Lord, that is, our Head, Husband, Redeemer, 
consult that Psalm xiv., which is an epithalamium, or marriage-song of 
Christ and his Church. God the Father, who gives all that good counsel 
there to the Church, (for all that come to Christ are taught of God, as Christ 
says,) in the 11th verse he teacheth her to call him her Lord, and in the 
10th verse, to forsake her father's house, as spouses married use to do, and 
to cleave unto their husbands ; and upon all this account, God himself there 
calls her his daughter, ' Hearken, daughter,' &c. That is his compella- 
tion, (and parallel to this of a wife to her husband, My lord here,) God the 
Father, in the beginning of his speech to her, speaking as a father-in-law 
useth to do, who is giving counsel to his daughter new married unto his 
natural son. So then, from thence I mfer that thus it is that we become 
eons and daughters to God, even by marriage with his natural Son, who in 
that conjugal respect doth become our Lord, and thereby also receive the 
adoption of sons, and so God takes on him the relation of Father. Thus 
Eom. viii. 17, 'heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ' 

1st Meditation. 

Let him then be Lord and King of saints, and level him not with 
saints, as some most cursedly in this age have done ; even then when we are 
enjoying the highest advancement even of God himself in heaven, yet stUl 
Christ is our Lord, by means of whom God is our God. The Psalmist 
indeed says, that we are fellows in all -with him : ' God, thy God, hath 
anointed thee above thy fellows,' xlv. 7. But if you would know of the 
Psalmist how far above his feUows, the Psalmist resolves you, ' He is thy 


Lord, worship thou him,' ver II. So as though we are his fellows, yet he 
hath the deserved honour, this title (and he alone) of being your Lord, yea 
and of the ' man, God's fellow,' given him by God himself in the j^rophet. 
Would you be all Christ's 1 Set your hearts at rest ; there is but one 
Christ personally, as certainly as that God is but one. It is uttered as a 
fundamental maxim of Christian profession, universally received, ' To us 
(Christians namely) there is but one God and one Lord Jesus Christ,' 1 Cor. 
viii. 6, and because there is but one God, therefore God hath ordained but 
this one Lord ; because he therein bears the image of God's sovereignty and 
oneness, being the brightness of his glory. Neither are we, the saints, con- 
sidered as sharing with him herein, but himself is that one Lord alone. For 
it follows, ' And we in him,' we are all in him ; and therefore not only 
reckoned distinct and apart from him, as he is that one Lord, but dependent 
on him, and not lords or Christs with him, but infinitely distant from him. 
It is true, we have all that Christ hath derivatively, but not in that kind he 
hath it. God is our Father as weU as his Father, &c., but as Augustine 
well observes, commenting upon this passage, ' He says not, I ascend to our 
Father, but my Father and your Father, therefore he is in another respect 
my Father, and in another respect your Father ; my Father by nature, yours 
by grace.'* 

2d Meditation. 

Let him be thy Lord, and worship thou him : thou hast now in this 
a greater tender made thee than ever was made to angels. Part with all 
for him, forsake thy former father's house, Ps. xlv. 10, this world, given to 
thy father Adam, and all things in it ; for he is thy Lord, and thou shalt 
have by thy relation to him another Father, whose house hath many man- 
sions, John xiv. 1. Account aU things dross and dung that thou mayest 
win Christ, as Phil. ui. 8. Thou canst not win him else ; he never becomes 
thy Lord, unless thou valuest him at the same rate he did thee, and partest 
in thy affections with all for him. Give thyself up to the Lord, as 2 Cor. 
viii. 5. Cast thy lot, thy interest together with his. Here thou shalt be 
sure never to lose thy love, as in cleaving to aU else thou wilt. He is and 
must, however, be a Lord to thee, and thou must one day confess that Jesus 
is the Lord, whether thou wilt or no ; for aU must appear afore his judg- 
ment-seat. Oh, but if thy judge be become thy Lord and husband, thou 
art out of danger. And then give thyself up also to worship, and in all 
things to obey him, else he is not thy Lord, nor thou his lawful spouse, 
E^jh. V. 24, 'As the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives be subject to 
their husbands ;' why doth he speak with such an apparent difference ? For 
what he speaks of wives is but as discoursing to them their duty : * Let 
wives be subject,' he doth not say they cannot be saved else ; but that other 
passage of the Church is spoken of as a taken for granted qualification, or 
essential property in the Church, if she be his lawful true spouse. ' As the 
Church is subject to Christ,' says he, so that it be the duty of both alike; 
the Church ought to be subject to Christ, as well as wives to their husbands. 
The reason and difference is perspicuous, because unless souls be subject to 
Christ, they are not the Church, A man's wife is his wife, though she be 
never so perverse and disobedient to him ; but no soul is one of his Church 
and spouse, nor owned by Christ as such, unless she become subject to him, 

* ' Non elicit Patrem nostrum, sed Patrem meum et patrem vestrum, aliter ergo 
meum, aliter vestrum, natura meum, gi-atia vestrum.' — Tract. 121, in Joh. 


aacl subject too in everything, as the comparison there made sheweth. If 
thou sayest, thou wantest beauty, be not discouraged, he will take thee with 
all thy deformities, and put beauty on thee ; for so the Apostle there goes 
on, — he washeth and cleanseth his Church, to present her to himself in the 
end, glorious, and without spot or wrinkle. 

And being once married to him, take this for ever along with thee, thou 
art married to an husband risen from the dead, Rom. vii. 4. And oh, what 
holiness, heavenliness, should those have that would hold communion and 
intercourse with such a Lord and husband, the ' Iiord from heaven,' and who 
ifl now in heaven 1 

EpH. I, 3.J TO THE EPttESIANS. 41 


Who hath blessed us with all blessings. — ^Ver. 3. 

m. I OOME to tlie third general head the text was divided into — the matter 
for which he blesseth God — namely, for his blessing us with all blessings : 
' Who hath blessed us with all blessings.' 

Who. — God, as he alone is blessed, styled therefore the Blessed One, 
6 evXoyrjTos, Mark xiv. 61, so he alone blesseth, and is alone able to do it ; 
and others, when they bless, their blessings are but invocations upon him, 
that he would bless some other person in what they desire for him. So all 
particular benedictions, made by parents or others, run in Scripture, as Gen. 
xhiii. 15, 16; which that saying, once for all other, shews, ' We bless you 
in the name of the Lord,' Ps. cxxix. 8. Yea, when man is made an instru- 
ment of conveying good things unto us, yet he cannot make them blessings ; 
for this they have recourse to God. And in so doing, all have thereby 
acknowledged him the fountain of all blessings and blessedness; and so 
even Balaam himself confessed to Balak, Num. xxii, 38, and chap, xxiii. 
8, 20. ' I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed,' Num. xxii. 6. 

Who. — I shewed afore, in general, that the apostle blesseth God under the 
consideration of being the God and Father of Christ, because thereby he 
becomes our God, and our Father also. I shall add now, how that under 
each of these considerations or relations it is that he blesseth us. 

That which in general I shall premise, as common to the explication of 
these two particulars last mentioned, is that notion commonly received among 
the schoolmen, which I gladly took up from them : * That one requisite 
ingredient to move God to love, and to shew mercy unto us intelligent 
creatures of the sons of men, is an apprehending our misery, tit suam, as his 
own. And again, Deus non miseretur nisi propter amorem, in quantum amat 
nos tanquam aliquid sui. That God hath mercy on us, by apprehending 
our misery as his own, qicod jit -per unionem affectih, which is done by 
an union of affection to us ; and God is not executively merciful, but for his 
love, and is so far merciful to us, as he looks at us, ut aliquid sui, as we are 
something of his own, or something of himself. 

This I greedily take hold of, to illustrate and carry on the ground and 
finmdation of the special love he bears to his elect, and as agreeing with 
wliat the Scriptures say; both that love is in God, (which no man can deny 
to be in the nature of God to love, for he loves himself, his Son, &c.,) and 
that love is the ground of mercy, and, by the same reason, special electing 
love the ground of mercy in God to sinners. Thus, Eph. ii. 4, * But God, 
who is rich in mercy,' (having in the foregoing verses set forth our sinfulness 
and misery,) ' for the great love wherewith he loved us,' &c. And Aquinas' 
tantum in quantum, is made the measure of the great and infinite differ- 
ence of his love to creatures. There is a common love to men as creatures, 
80 he loves every man and thing he hath made ; but where he shews 
• Aquinas secimda secundse qusest. 30, art. 2, in respon. ad art. prim. 


special mercies, as pardon of sin and the like, there is an in quantum, by an 
how far he loves, as the foundation of that, a special love. But still the 
question will be, What should be the ground of a special love in God to 
some, with such an infinite difference of that love from what it is to others 
in common? Aquinas resolves that, with this further foundation, to be 
aliquid sui; to make those he specially loves some way his own, and then 
the consequence of that to be, to look upon their misery as his own ; and 
with that the Scriptures also agree, Isa. Ixiii. 9, ' In all their affliction he was 
afflicted;' the like in Exod. iv. 31. 

But then another question, (to drive the matter home to its head,) and 
that is. What is it in God, or in the creature, makes them to be in so special 
maimer his own, who or what hath put so great a difference ? Nothing but 
election, which follows in the next : ' according as he hath chosen us.' There 
is Aquinas' in quantum, so far as he loved us, so far he hath blessed us, 
with special blessings appropriate, suitable thereunto. Now the fundamental 
therefore of all, and of the difference is, he makes us first his own by love, 
by that special love specially his own. And, which is the head I approach 
next to, he became our God first, and our Father, and chose us so to be his 
as none else is. And then we were aliquid sui, something of himself and 
his ovra indeed, by special propriety. You have this in effect in that 63d 
of Isa. ver. 8, 9, ' So he was their Saviour,' and so redeemed them. But mi 
terminis, in more express words, in the two particular relations specified, 
he first made himself, and became our God and our Father, and then to be 
sure we are his own. 

1. God hlesseth us, as having first become our God. — It is true, indeed, 
that God, as God, is full of blessedness in himself, and that is it which pro- 
vokes him to communicate blessings to his creatures. God is good and doth 
good, says the Psalmist, and so God is blessed, (an all-sufficiency of all good,) 
and so bestoweth blessings ; but yet know, that those he communicates him- 
self in blessing unto, he first becomes their God. And then having taken 
that relation on him, he pours forth ail his blessedness and blessings on them, 
so Ps. Ixvii. 6, ' God, even our own God, shall bless us ; " and when he is 
once so become, and hath taken upon him to be our God, he cannot but 
bless us. There is therefore, besides that emphasis put upon it, a duplicate 
made of it in the psalm ; it is a second time repeated and said, God shall 
bless us ; he cannot but do it, having made himself our God, and our own 
God to that, ' God, even our own God, shall bless us,' ver. 7. Yea, and 
they all would not be blessings to us at all, unless God had first become our 
God, and blessed us with giving himself to us. And whence came that, that 
he became our God, our own God 1 Why, by choosing us to be his, which 
was done by election entirely, both at once together ; which is the very import 
of that speech, ' thine they were,' says Christ ; those speeches or clauses, say 
interpreters, do mutually speak each other : as to say. Thine they were by 
election, and thou gavest them me ; or to say, By election they became thine, 
thou electedst them. You have the like unto it in the same Isa. Ixiii. 8, 
' For he (God, namely) said (as within himself of old), Surely they are my 
people,' and therefore also ' children that will not lie ; and so he was their 
Saviour.' And that which answereth and agrees to this, too, is that other 
speech of Christ's, Luke xviii. 7, ' His own elect ;' and then you have election, 
by which they are made his own, and all to meet in their being something 
of his own indeed. This for the first, his becoming our God first, on pur- 
pose to bless us. If, therefore, we would have any or all blessings from 
God, we must first seek of him to be our God ; and then, as the Psalmist, 


God, even our God, will bless us ; he will be sure to do it, upon the same 
account and for the same end and purpose he became our Father. 

2. God hlesseth us under the relation of our Father. — The first on earth 
that ever took upon them to bless others, and brought up that custom (or, 
as I may say, fashion) of blessing, were those that bore the relation of 
fathers. Their hearts were filled with the greatest love and good-will to 
their own children, a natural a-ropyr]^ did bless them, that is, wish well to 
them ; and their hearts being enlarged to wish them more good than they 
found themselves able to bestow, they had recourse to God to bless them, and 
perform their desires, as that which was not in their own power to do. So 
the patriarchs, who blessed their children and posterity, and were the first of 
men that brought in this way of expressing their good-will which we call 
blessing,— as Moses termeth God's blessing, a manifestation of good-will borne 
to him whom he blesses, Deut. xxxiii. 16, in his blessing from God the 
several tribes: 'And for the good-will,' says he, ' of him that dwelt in the 
bush,' (which was Christ appearing to Moses, Exod. iii. 2-5 ; Acts vii 32-34,) 
' let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the 
head of him that was separated from his brethren,' (as Joseph was,) and thua 
singularly he blesseth Joseph, as separate from and above all the other 
tribes, — and thus God blesseth us out of infinite good-will, and thus it is a 
natural and a kindly act to come from fathers, and thus God blesseth us. It 
is the first fruit of good-will — that is, of that natural love and care which 
parents bear their children, it doth all. Love in fathers is that principle 
that doth of itself j^rovoke them to wish the greatest good to their children, 
which if any good be in their own power to give, they give it from that 
principle ; and when they have it not in their own power to bestow, if they 
are holy men, and have an interest in God the fountain of all good, they use 
that interest, and invocate God to bestow it ; which invocating of God for 
them we use to call blessing a child, which is as much as in them lies to do. 

Now, as Christ says of giving good thmgs unto their children, (and parents' 
blessing is but a giving their children good things, by invocating of God to 
bestow them, as it is called in Isaac s blessing, Gen. xxvii. 27,) ' If you then 
being evU,' says Christ, Matt. vii. 11, that is, are fuU of self-love, that of itself 
would tempt you to keep and retain to yourselves, and not willingly to give 
away any good thing, yet ye know how, says Christ, — that is, you have the 
hearts and the affections by a natural instinct to spy out the best things for 
your cliildren, which you judge to be such, — and ' if ye know how to give good 
things to your children, how much more,' says Christ, 'shall your Father which 
is in heaven,' who to this very end was pleased to become a Father to you, 
and has all in heaven to bestow, even that God who is styled the Blessed 
One in Scripture, who is an ocean of all blessedness, which seeks an outlet for 
itself to communicate to creatures, whom he hath loved and chosen, and 
hath been pleased to bear that relation towards us to this great end ; he hath 
do))e all this to pour out his blessedness by and through that relation towards 
\is, ui)on us his adopted sons; and who, by what he finds to be natural in 
liimself towards his own natural Son, (whom he blesseth every day for ever, 
Ps. xlv. 2,) he for his sake and relation to us is further pleased to pour forth 
all blessings also upon us, having become in Christ a Father to us ; and so to 
bear such a good-will to us in Christ, as members of him, and a spouse to him. 

Ilath blessed with all blessings. — You see here both the act of grace on 
God's part bestowing good on us is expressed by ' blessing,' and the things 
bestowed are called blessings. He gives one and the same denomination or 
name to either, which argues this expression of blessing to be full and aa 


adequate as could be chosen forth. I shall endeavour to explicate both the 
name and thing itself — what it is to bless, as on God's part, and what is a 
blessing, and what it is that truly makes and constitutes good things to be 
blessings to us. 

i. bill- the word ' hlessing,^ or to bless. — It is evident by that extensive com- 
prehensiveness of speech which the Apostle here useth, that the whole, the 
total, and all particular good things, which he after enumerates, which God 
ever means to give, or the gospel promises, even all of them are to the 
utmost spoken of under and by this word of blessing. And it is worth our 
consideration that it is that original word under which the promise of the cove- 
nant of grace was at the first given to Abraham, the father of all the faithf id ; 
as which contained all particular good things, as his loins did that seed to 
whom that promise was made. And this I mention now at first as a funda- 
mental consideration, that will have a great and necessary influence into the 
explication of the particulars that follow in this verse. The apostle here 
framing these words with an eye of allusion to, and comparison between 
those promises given them, and these promises which the gospel here 
declares ; therefore unto that promise given them we shall have recourse 
again and again, to make our Apostle's meaning here the more manifest. 
That before me at the present is, that the sum and substance of gos- 
pel-promises began then to be set forth and expressed under this blessed 
word of blessing. ' I will bless thee,' said God to Abraham, ' and in thee aU 
the families of the earth shall be blessed,' Gen. xii 2, 3. And again, 
because it could not be better expressed by any other word, God doth but 
double the same, saying, 'In blessing I will bless thee,' Gen. xxii. 17 ; that 
is, I will bless thee and bless thee again, which is equivalent to the expression 
here, ' with all blessings hath he blessed us.' And what doth or can the great 
God say more ? It is enough. 

Now, that in God's intendment the whole total of the gospel was 
expressed to Abraham, and wrapt up in that term of blessing, the avowed 
explications and interpretations made thereof by the apostles do un- 
deniably declare. Thus, presently after Christ's ascension, in one of the first 
made sermons, Acts iii., speaking to the Jews, ver. 25, • Ye are the children 
of the covenant God made, saying to Abraham, In thy seed shall all the 
kindreds of the earth be blessed / which he expounds unto them thus, that 
first God sent his Son Jesus to bless you, namely the Jews. And yet more 
expressly. Gal. iii. 8, ' God preached the gospel unto Abraham, saying, 
In thee shall all nations be blessed.' So that as Abraham's style was * the 
blessed of the Lord,' Gen. xiv. 19, and also the children of God are aU said to 
be blessed with faithful Abraham, in the following ver. 9 ; and again, Heb. 
vi. 13, 14, 'For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could 
swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless 
thee,' which, ver. 17, is said to contain the whole of his counsel to the heirs 
of promise, and that to shew the immutability of that his counsel, he con- 
firmed it by an oath. 

Keuce therefore, although the gospel in most things speaks greater things 
than the Old Testament, and in higher terms, yet hath it not altered, nor 
can it better this. Christ himself, that began to preach this gospel in that 
his first large sermon that is recorded, it is the first word he therein utters, 
' Blessed are the poor in. spirit,' &c. Matt. v. 2, 3 ; and because he could not 
add to this, he does but repeat it over and over, as the general that contained 
.in it the kingdom of heaven, ver. 3 ; comfort here, ver. 4 ; inheriting 
,the earth, ver. 5 ; filling witn all good, ver. 6 ; obtaining mercy, ver. 7 ; 

EpH. I. 3.1 TO THE EniESIANS. 45 

seeing God, ver. 8 ; adoption and being God's children, ver. 9 ; and if there 
be any other particular, all are summed up in this word 'blessed.' Each 
and every particle of our salvation or happiness bcmg blessings, as here, all 
the gospel can say is but blessing ; which is therefore called in the lump of 
it, the fulness of the blessing of the gospel, Eom. xv. 29, for it cannot speak 
beyond what this word reacheth. All that Christ could do when he ascended 
was but to bless ; and after Christ's ascension, the last book of the gospel, 
the Eevelation, doth continuaUy and throughout use the same style, and at the 
latter day, when heaven doors are to be set open for the righteous to enter 
in, their everlasting happiness is uttered by it. Come, ye blessed. 

II. For the thing, or what import this word carries with it. — As you heard 
what it was for us to bless God, so now I am to shew what it is for God to 
bless us. God's blessing us, is his bestowing or communicating all good 
together with himseif, with all hearty good-will, out of love to our persons. 

1. It is a bestowing or communicating of good. — The Jews defined it in 
general accessio boni, gTounded upon Psalm cxv., where what in ver. 12, 
13 is expressed by blessing, in ver. 14 is adjiciat suiter vos, God add to 
you, namely, good or well-being, unto your being, or what is already given 
you. And the Scripture often useth the word blessing for a gift or present 
bestowed. Gen. xxxiii., that which Jacob caUs his present or gift, ver. 10, 
he calls his blessing bestowed, ver. 11,' Take, I pray thee, my blessing which 
is brought thee.' And, 2 Cor. ix. 5, 6, their bountiful gift to the churches he 
calls their blessing in the margin; you have the same, 2 Kings v. 15 ; the 
like. Lev. xxv. 21. And to be sure, whatever man's blessings are, all God's 
blessings are the giving and accumulation of good to us, or doing us good. 
And though the word eiXoyia signifies but his good word to and concerning 
us, yet God's word is his deed. And Dei benedicere est benefacere, for by 
a bare word of command he blesseth; Ps, cxxxiiL 3, 'there he com- 
mands the blessing,' that blessing of blessings, ' even life for evermore ;' Hke 
as it is said, ' he commanded, and they were created,' Ps, cxlviii. 5. So 
he commands and we are blessed. Alas ! when we creatures bless God, we 
express but our weU-wishes or joyful acclamations to that blessedness is in him- 
self already ; but when God blesseth us, he altogether gives, he communicates. 

2. It is the communication of all good,, yea of himself. — God gives and 
blesseth like himself when he blesseth. He blesseth ' indeed,' as the phrase 
is, 1 Chron. iv. 10, and v/ill not bless under giving all. He blesseth 
* altogether,' as the phrase is, Num. xxiv. 10 ; therefore in the text here, ' with 
all blessings.' He cannot bless less, for he is God, and hath all to bestow. 
Thou art God, says David, and do thou bless me, 1 Chron. xvii. 26, 27. He 
urgeth that, for he knew what it was for God to bless, and that he blesseth 
as the great God and like himself, both with all that God himself is, and all 
that God can effect and do for us; or as he hath created and made all things, 
he hath all things to bestow ; therefore to make up this total, I have put in 
both the communication of himself, and all good things with himself 

To this purpose I observe, that in the mention of the evangelical blessings, 
— Abraham's blessing, as I may call it, — both God's own all-sufiiciency in him- 
self, and God's power in his works and to effect aU things, are still mentioned; 
sometimes the one, sometimes the other, because in blessing us he is consi- 
dered as both ; he both gives himself and all things else to us, and so we are 
blessed indeed. Thus to Abraham whom God in blessing blessed, 'I am 
El-shaddai,' says he, God that am and have all-sufficiency. Gen. xvii. 1. 
Wlien Isaac would bless Jacob with this blessing of Abraham, he thus speaks, 
God all-sufficient bless thee, Gen, xxviii 3, (the same word in both.) And 


though in the translation it is restrained to almightiness, yet it also imports 
God's all-sufficiency and abundance; and so this blessing intends a communi- 
cation out of that riches and fulness of blessedness which God himself enjoys. 
This for the first. 

Secondly, In other places his titles, that import power and sovereignty in 
making and possessing all in heaven and earth, are prefixed to his blessing. 
Thus, when Melchisedec pronounces Abraham blessed, Gen. xiv. 19, he calls 
him the blessed of God under this title, ' the most high God, possessor o'f 
heaven and earth,' who had therefore all things in heaven and earth to bless 
him withal. And the Jews used the same, Ps, cxv. 15, 'You are the blessed 
of the Lord, who made heaven and earth,' and so is able to do all things for 
you, by the same power whereby he made the world. The like Ps. cxxxiv. ; 
these have been inferred out of Abraham's blessing. 

Now, that not only God doth bless with all other good things, but above 
aU by communicating himself and his own blessedness unto them, the Scrip- 
tures are elsewhere express, when this blessing is spoken of. They shall not 
only not want any good, as the Psalmist, Ps. xxxiv. 10, 'No good thing 
will he withhold;' as Ps. Ixxxiv., but 'give both grace and glory;' but him- 
self will be a sun unto them; as there, ver. 11, 'The Lord God is a sun and 
shield.' The sun doth not only enrich the earth with all good things which 
by its influence it produceth, (called the ' precious fruits brought forth by 
the sun,' Deut. xxxiii. 14,) but glacis and refreshes all with shedding imme- 
diately its own wings of light and warmth, which is so pleasant to behold 
and enjoy. And thus doth God, and Christ the Sun of righteousness, and 
accordingly it follows there, 'Blessed is the man that trusts in him;' for in 
being our sun, himself becomes our blessedness. Thus his promise of bless- 
ing Abraham, God himself interprets, Gen. xv. 1, 'I am thy exceeding great 
and abundant reward ;' I, that am El-shaddai,* that have infinite paps of 
sweetness for you to suck; breasts of consolation, as the prophet expresseth 
it; who am the God of all comforts, as 2 Cor. i. 3, lo, I hold them all forth 
naked to thee, for thee to draw and fetch comfort from. Thou shalt 
have all my blessedness to make thee blessed, which the Apostle fitly renders, 
Eph. iii., 'being filled with all the fulness of God;' and indeed all things else 
without God or besides God could never make us blessed. The Psalmist, 
after an enumeration of all sorts of blessings, having pronounced them happy 
that are in such a case or state, by way of correction adds, as not having 
uttered wherein the top of blessedness lies ; he adds, ' yea, blessed is the people 
whose God is the Lord,' Ps. cxliv. 15. 

And hence the people of God, as sensible wherein their interest of happi- 
ness lies, as they are termed the blessed of the Lord, so they are said to bless 
themselves in the Lord; which is to rejoice and make their boast in him 
alone, and how happy they are in him, (as Christ in the 16th Psalm doth,) 
' The Lord is my portion, and my lines are fallen in a good ground ; I have a 
goodly heritage.' And that promise of blessing to Abraham, to which I stiU 
have recourse, runs thus indifi"erently, either that in thy seed, that is, Christ, 
(Gal. iii. 16,) they shall be blessed, so Gen. xii. 3, xxviii. 14; or xxii. 18, 
they shall bless themselves, or henedictos se reputeat, account themselves 

* Some derive his name El-shaddai, ' God all-sufficient,' from *75^, mamma, quasi 
TToKvfJiaaTos, having many paps or dugs to suck, (Rivet. Gen. exerc. 87, ab initio;) and as 
God takes the denomination of D^nij that is, 'most merciful,' from Qni. ' '^^^ vromb,' 
and so bowels, so this name of ' all-sufficient' from breasts or paps, (A Lapide on Gen. 
xvii. 1 ;) so at once noting out God's fulness, and also his readiness to communicate to 


blessed in Mm — so Junius upon that place — namely in Christ, who is God 
blessed for ever, Eom. ix., for else they could not bless themselves in him. 
And thus Isaiah makes it the top of evangelical perfection, which he prophe- 
sied of, chap. Ixv. 1 6 ; yea, and of the state of the people of God in the new 
heaven and new earth, wherein righteousness dwells, of which ver. 17, 18, 
that he who should bless himself in the earth, should bless himself in the 
God of truth ; that is, God and Christ, that is alone the truth and the firm 
substance of all blessedness and happiness; according to that also of the 
Psalmist, ' "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and in earth in comparison of 
thee ]' That as a wicked man is said to bless himself in his life, Ps. xlix. 1 8, 
that is, to applaud his own soul's happiness, (Soul, take thine ease,) in having 
goods laid up for many years, for to make him, as he judgeth, happy; so the 
saints bless themselves in their God, their glory, not in riches or wisdom or 
strength, but they glory in this, that they understand and know God, Jer. ix. 
23, 24, and by knowing him are made happy in him. For that is eternal 
life, John xvii. 3. And so by having God and Christ for their blessedness, 
they have all things with them, and so are blessed with all blessings. ' I 
will be his God,' that first ; then follows, ' and he shall inherit aU things.' 

Lastly, God blesseth out of hearty good- will and love to our persons. 
And this is as the soul or form of blessing, whether ye will take it for the 
act of blessing in God, or the matter of blessing bestowed upon us. It is 
the good-will of God that causeth each of these to have the denomination 
and nature of a blessing. 

1. It is the spring and fountain of that act of blessing, as that which con- 
stitutes it such. To bless is to wish, or, wishing, to bestow all good out of 
good-wiU; as when we bless God, it is the good- will we express therein 
which makes it termed blessing him, and so to differ from praise, as was 
shewn. So in God's blessing us, (his blessing us to be sure at least answer- 
cth to our blessing of him, and infinitely exceeds it.) In him it is a fatherly 
act, and so proceeds from mere natural and pure good-will and affection. 
The Lord first loves, then blesseth; Jehovah thy God will love thee, and 
so will bless thee, Deut. vii. 12, 13. And so likewise in Ps. v. 12, God's 
blessing us is exegeticaUy expressed and explained to be a compassing a man 
round about with favour and good-wiU, clasping and accepting him, as T\ith 
everlasting arms, Deut. xxxiii. 27. Thou Jehovah wilt bless the righteous, 
thou wilt encompass him round with favour, or favourable acceptation, good- 
wiU or gracious good-liking and acceptance, joined with a delight in their 
persons, and rejoicing to do them good, as the same word (Isa. xl. 1, 'in 
whom my soul delights,' spoken of Christ,) imports. And it is an encom- 
passing round, because that man hath nothing else from God but love and 
favour coming in upon him on every side and surrounding him, and hence it 
is that a man is blessed with all blessings. In these terms therefore doth 
Moses pour forth his prayers of blessing on Joseph's head, who was separated 
from his brethren, as the choicest of them aU. ' The good- will of him that 
dwelt in the bush, let it come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown 
of the head of him that was separated from his brethren,' (Deut. xxxiii. 1,16, 
compared.) He invocates the original, the fountain of all blessings; namely 
the good-will of that God who in the bush had appeared and said, ' I am the 
God of Abraham,' &c., Exod. iiL 2, 6. And surely if God communicates 
himself to whom he blesseth, his blessing of them must proceed from the 
deepest good-will ; and indeed is the reason why he giveth himself, as in mar- 
riage they bestow themselves and all, to whom they bear their special good- will. 

And, 2. This good- will of God, accompanying each thing bestowed, is that 


ii'Jiich makeih a blessing of it, and so to be more than merely gifts bestowed. 
The Hebrews termed their gifts or presents a blessing. Thus 1 Sam. xxv. 
27, Abigail to David, ' This blessing which thine handmaid hath brought 
unto my Lord;' also 2 Kings v. 15; whereby they would have it understood 
by the receiver, that they proceeded from their free and most hearty good- 
will; and that to be more than the gift. Thou hast given long life to thy 
king, says David to God, and so blesseth him for that. But because long 
life in itself was as no blessing to him without God's favour, in another 
psalm he says, ' Thy loving-kindness is better than life,' and all the privileges 
of it better than the things bestowed. And therefore after that Jacob had 
wished his Joseph all the precious things, as he terms them, all the dainties 
Leaven or earth afforded, both which he distinctly mentions, Deut. xxxiiL, 
(read ver. 13, 14 afore,) then after all he prays, as without which these 
would not prove blessings, the good-will of our God, says he, come upon him, 
&c., so invocating this fountain of all. Thus take any particular outward 
mercy which hath the name of a blessing, and it is the blessing of God, that 
is, his favour accompanying it, that maketh it such. It is the blessing of 
God, as Solomon says, that maketh rich, Prov. x. 22 ; and so in all other, 
otherwise their blessings are turned into curses, as Mai. ii. 2. 

Out of good-will, good-will to our persons themselves, it is that he blesseth 
us, as in our blessing of God we heard it imported pure good-wUl to him- 
self ; so in his blessing us. In that short and fervent prayer of Jabez, ' Oh 
that thou wouldest bless me indeed !' 1 Chron. iv. 10, this passage follows, 
' that thou wouldest keep me from evU, that it may not grieve me ! ' I ob- 
serve from thence, that our God who undertakes to bless us, loves us so well, 
that he is so moved (such is his love to our persons) with the pleas of self- 
love in us, when concurring with his own glory. For this holy man, in 
seeking God's blessing on him to be kept from evU., urgeth this to God, 
' that it may not grieve me.' Such free and pure good- will doth God bear 
to us, that he loves we should love ourselves, and is affected with what pro- 
ceeds from love to ourselves ; for this request God granted ; so then it is 
genuine to the nature of a blessiiig, and indeed to bless another doth 
naturally and evidently of all acts else imply a pure and candid aim in 
wishing and desiring another's good, out of a special love unto their persons. 
Thus much for what this word to bless, as an act of God's, as also what a 
blessing as the thing bestowed, holds forth to us. 

' Us,' — who in and of ourselves are ' by nature children of wrath,' as in 
chap. ii. 3, and ' cursed children,' 2 Pet. ii. 14, to whom all the curses written 
and unwritten are due, — are yet rendered blessed in Christ, and blessed not 
with one sort or kind, but all blessings, termed therefore by way of distinc- 
tion from other men that remain under the curse, the blessed of the Lord- 
So Abraham first, Gen, xiv. 19, Melchisedec gives it him as a most royal 
title for himself and his children to inherit, that it grew to be ordinarily their 
style and attribute by heathens themselves, who observed the blessing of 
Jehovah to environ them. Thus Abimelech treats Isaac, Gen. xxvi. 29, ' Thou 
blessed of the Lord ; ' yea, this appellation Laban gives Abraham's servant, 
Gen. xxiv. 31, and so it came to be given to all others of his seed, as Ps. 
cxv. 15. And as it is their name and denomination, so the end of their 
calling, even that which they are called unto, unto nothing else but bless- 
ing, 1 Pet. iii. 9, ' Ye are thereunto called, that you should inherit a bless- 
ing ; ' in relation to which it is Christ's own compellation, when they are to 
possess it, ' Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom,' Matt. xxv. 34. Yea, they 
are not blessed men only, but men of blessedness, as in the Hebrew it is ; 


made up of nothing else, ordained to nothing else ; yea, to a surplusage flow- 
ing over ; such as to be blessings to others with whom they live, and whom they 
have relation to ; all they come near, says God to Abraham, Gen. xii. 2, and 
ushers it with a word of command, ' Be thou,' or thou shalt be, ' a blessing, and 
I will bless them that bless thee ;' which is repeated to Jacob by his father 
Isaac, and so is true of all the seed. Gen. xxvii. 29, and fulfilled in Joseph, 
Gen. xxxix. 5, for whose sake God blessed Potiphar and all his house. 


Oh, then, let your hearts be full, of nothing but of blessing, both blessing 
God and blessing others ; and let no cursing or reviling be found in our 
mouths, which is the Apostle's inference, 1 Pet. iiL 9. 

' Us,' — whose persons he loved with a special love, and out of that love 
hath chosen from the rest of men, as it follows in the next verse ; thus Ps. 
xxxiii. 12, 13, 'Blessed are the people whom he hath chosen for his own 
inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven ; he beholdeth all the sons of 
men ; ' that is, whereas he hath, all the sons of men afore him, he loved and 
chose these out to bless, and it is said he loved and blessed them above all 
people, as Deut. vii. 14. Which discovered itself in the difference put between 
Jacob and Esau : Jacob have I loved, and out of love blessed him, peremj3to- 
rily and unchangeably, for he added, •' Yea, and he shall be blessed,' Gen. xxvii. 
33, which old Isaac, the father, spake as in the person of God ; whereas Esau 
with much difficulty obtains a poor pittance of outward blessings for a season. 

' Us.' — But these meditations on this word, though quickening, yet that 
which is more conjunct with the Apostle's intimate scope, and was the main 
provocation in his thoughts, with this vehemency of spirit to pour forth this 
ofiering of blessing to the Lord, was the fresh and recent experience of God's 
gracious performance of that great promise made to the patriarchs of bless- 
ing in Christ both Jew and Gentile of aU nations with the fulness of the 
blessing of the gospel. And that which induceth me to this is, I consider 
that he writing to the Ephesians, Gentile converts, in whose hearts, as in 
other nations, the gospel had taken place, he so carrieth his following dis- 
course, setly and intentionally, as still to involve both Jew and Gentile to- 
gether in the same spiritual privileges, in making his applications sometimes 
to the one, sometimes to the other, all along his discourse, in this and the 
following chapters, which hath been the general observation of intei'preters, 
sometimes speaking of the Jew, which himself was : ' we who first trusted in 
Christ,' ver. 11, 12 ; sometimes of the other, 'ye also,' ver. 13 ; and so chap, 
ii. throughout ; and accordingly in this general introduction of blessing God, 
he wraps them both in one and the same ' us ; ' and we as in a commmiity 
partake of all the same benefits, in ver. 4-9. The access of which Gentiles 
unto the Church, and to be made partakers of the blessing of Abraham 
according to the promise and prophecy, was but then effected in his days. 
Oh, blessed be God, says he, and the Father of Christ, that hath thus blessed 
us ; and blessed are the ears and eyes of us that live in these days wherein 
we have and see these things fulfilled : the mystery oi^ened and discfjvered, 
which in former ages was not made known, that the Gentiles should be fellow- 
heirs and partakers of his promise in Chiist by the gospel, as himself, as re- 
ferring to the things delivered here and the rest of this chapter, speaks, chap, 
iii. 3, compared with ver. 4-6. This was so vast a prospect, as he fal's down 
at the first and general view and consideration thereof : Blessed be God the 
Father that hath blessed us, us Jews, and with us, you Gentiles, with the 
blessings promiseil Abraham. And so much for the persons blessed. 
VOL. ]. t> 



With all blessings. — Ver. 3. 

In that old dispensation, when Jacob blessed his twelve sons, and in them 
their posterity, the twelve tribes, in the conclusion of his blessing it is said, 
' These are the twelve tribes, and every man, according to his blessing, he 
blessed them.' That is, Joseph had some one eminent earthly blessing 
bestowed on his tribe, Reuben another, and Naphtali a third, and so the rest. 
None there are said to be blessed with all blessings. But when God comes 
to open his treasures of blessings in Christ, and to profess to bless indeed 
and altogether, he blesseth with all blessings. Every child of his he blesseth, 
even ' with the fulness of the blessing of the gospel,' as, Rom. xv. 29, it is 
called. For when God gives us Christ, and blesseth us in him, 'how 
shall he not with him freely give us all things ? ' Having given you my 
Son, nay then take all else, and take all freely ; having given the greater 
so willingly, sure you shall have all the rest, which are the lesser, more 

It is observable that when Esau approached his father, to ask the blessing 
like one that came to glean after another's harvest already reaped, Jacob 
having been before him, how hard, how difficult he found his father to be, 
and upon what low terms is Esau fain to beg something, anything of him. 
*Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me f that is, hast thou given all 
away ? And ver. 38, ' Hast thou but one blessing, my father 1 bless me, 
me also, O my father.' And how doth Isaac his father speak 1 As having 
nothing now left he could think of to bestow ; with these, and these things, 
says he, have I blessed him, ' and what shall I do now unto thee, my son V 
He casts about with himself to think what should be left ungiven away. 
This had not been if Jacob had not gone away with all. Now, as our 
Apostle says in the Epistle to the Galatians, of Ishmael and Isaac, ' these 
things are an allegory ;' so expressly the same Apostle affirmeth these also 
to have been, Heb. xii. 17. The father is God, whom in tliis dispensation 
Isaac the father represented ; the elect, the ' us ' here, are Jacob or Israel, 
as frequently they are called ; whom God endues with all blessings in solido, 
at once makes over all to them alone, as their inheritance ; so as for the rest 
there is not anything left, but things earthly and carnal, which is the super- 
fluity and redundancy of that fulness bestowed on his own, and which they 
may well spare. Hast thou not reserved one blessing 1 No, not one. God 
hath blessed us with aU. Oh, infinite goodness and special grace ! 

With all. — Even each saint with all. If with any one blessing, then with 
all ; they hang together and go in a cluster. ' Whom he hath predestinated, 
them he hath called; whom he hath justified, them he hath glorified,' and 
not one is wanting. If thou hast one grace, thou hast all, and all gracious 
privileges together therewith ; even all the things that belong to life and 
godliness ; all the promises of this life and that to come. 

EpH. I. 3.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 51 


Cliristian ! see and rejoice in tliy lot and portion. God himself hath 
but all things, and so hast thou. 

Sit miser, qui miser esse 2^otest, ' Let him be miserable that can be, for 
I cannot,' may a believer say to all others in the world. For can that man 
be ever miserable that is blessed with all blessings 1 whereof, even to be 
thus blessed for ever must needs be one, or he hath not all ; and to whom 
all things are turned into blessings, even the evils that befall thee. If men 
curse and re\ile thee, God wUl bless ; as David spake, when Shimei cursed 
him; and if men envy thee for good, this shall turn to thy salvation, as 
Phil. i. 19. If the devils spite thee, God will bless thee ; there is no witch- 
craft against Israel. He turned Balaam's society and dealing with the devil 
to curse into a blessing. It is an observation which Nehemiah, chap. xiii. 2, 
makes upon that passage of Moses' story : Balak ' hired Balaam against them, 
that he should curse them ; howbeit our God turned the curse into a bless- 
ing.' God, who was able and did make that strange change in our per- 
sons, of cursed children to be men of blessedness, blessed with aU blessings, 
can much more, as he doth, change and turn all things that befall us, though 
curses in themselves, into blessings unto us. That man cannot be miserable 
whom all passages whatever do call, yea make blessed, and who himself is 
called to nothuig else but blessing ; and oh, if God thus turneth all things 
into heavenly blessings unto us, how engaged are we to be heavenly in all 
things towards him ! 

Spiritual blessings. — This openeth the mystery of what was even now 
spoken of ; for why should such a limitation and confinement or eminent 
designation rather be here specified 1 Hath not godliness aU other temporal 
earthly blessings entailed upon it 1 

This is spoken in difference from the literal dispensation of the old cove- 
nant, (which notion doth still and will all along accompany us,) which ran 
in tlie letter, most in promises of blessings earthly and outward. 

The Apostle Paul, in the third of the Galatians, treating of the blessings 
of Abraham, (or promised to Abraham, and in him to all nations, ver. 8, 
and now come upon them, ver. 14,) doth clearly in the 14th verse explain 
and declare it to be a spiritual blessing, or the promise of the Spirit : ' That 
the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, 
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.' The 
latter words, ' that we might receive the promise of the Spirit,' is a manifest 
exegesis or explanation of those former words, 'that the blessing of Abraham 
might come on the Gentiles,' thereby explaining what manner or kind of 
blessing that was which was intended to Abraham, and comes upon the 
Gentiles through Christ. It is the Spirit, which if taken of the Holy Ghost 
that is given us, the promise of the Spirit imports all spiritual blessings, as 
in the seed, the root, the fountain of them. To say we have the Spirit 
given us, or promised to us, is all one as to say that we have all spiritual things 
conveyed. He is the immediate author and effecter in us of all grace and 
glory. And then what Christ in one Evangelist calleth ' giving of the Spirit 
to them that ask him,' in another he ternieth 'giving good things,' that 
i.s, the things which are truly good, which the Spirit brings with him, who 
is the author of things spiritual, the best of bles.sings. But Calvin, and 
Parens after him, commenting on those word.s. Gal. iii. 14, are bold to inter- 
pret the promise of the Spirit, the promise of spiritual things. He says 
not, say they, 'the Spirit of promise,' but 'the promise of the Spirit,' 


wMcli I take, says lie, for spiritual more Ilehraico ; he speaking in opposi- 
tion, says he, to things outward, and those words, ' through faith.' confirm it. 
That is, whereof faith is sensible and apprehensive, takes in, and receives, 
as it doeth all spiritual things, and is a principle suited to them. And so 
it is one and the same kind of blessing which comes on the Gentiles, who 
had not the promise of Canaan, and upon the Jews, which is his scope : 
' that we Jews might receive,' &c., as well as the Gentiles, and both the 
same ; and also which Abraham himself received, who had not a foot of land in 
Canaan, Acts vii. 5, and yet is said to have obtained, possessed, the pro- 
mise, Heb. vi. 15, 'And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained 
the promise ; ' which obtaining the promise, or thing promised, is evidently 
there spoken of as an actual enjoyment, or possession of it, after the making 
of it; as the word obtained implies, and after patient waiting, and it is 
the very promise of blessing, 'I will bless thee,' ver. 15. The things or 
blessings then promised to Abraham, consisted in things spiritual; and so 
the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, were capable of them, even all of one and 
the same blessing. 

Thus, also, when Jacob was blessed by Isaac, and with so vast and great 
a difference put both in God's intention and Isaac's apprehension between 
him and that of Esau in his blessing of him, which Esau was also sensible 
of ; and yet if we read that whole legacy of blessings bequeathed to Jacob, 
we find none but outward and earthly in the letter spoken of. Gen. xxvii. 
28, 29, ' God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, 
and plenty of corn and wine. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down 
to thee ; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to 
thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth 
thee.' Yea, if we compare herewith the blessing afterwards estated upon 
Esau, ver. 39, 40, ' Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, 
and of the dew of heaven from above. And by thy sword shalt thou live, 
and shalt serve thy brother ; and it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have 
the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck ; ' this is, as 
to the point of earthly blessings, well-nigh as full a portion as that of Jacob 
was, so as, if that the spiritual blessings promised in Christ, the blessed seed, 
had not been typically and mystically intended and signified by and under 
those earthly unto Jacob, it could not have been collected by the Apostle 
from the story of it that Jacob inherited the blessing, and that Esau was 
rejected, for all such earthly blessings he inherited as well as Jacob ; nor had 
Isaac reason so bitterly to lament that he had, as it were, nothing left of 
blessing to bestow upon Esau, ' What shall I do for thee, my son 1 ' Nor 
could there be supposed any other ground why, notwithstanding the equality 
of these blessings for ought was visible, the difference between them should 
yet be held up at so high a disproportion. 

This, therefore, evidently argues that there was another sort of blessings, 
which were latent and hid, even a substantial, spiritual, invisible kind of 
blessings for evermore, whereof these things were but the shadows, as that 
which put that difference. And so the Apostle expressly interprets it in the 
fore-cited Heb. xii. 17, 'Ye know that afterward, when he would have in- 
herited the blessing, he was rejected,' or denied. Mark it, that which Jacob 
obtained is called the blessing, eminently such, or it was the ' blessing indeed,' 
1 Chron. iv. 10, which was in Jabez eye under all those veils ; ' the blessing, 
e\ en life for evermore,' as the Psalmist speaks by way of exposition, Ps. 
cxxxiii. 3. And, indeed, when Isaac afterwards with such vehemency doal)le3 
it, ' I have blessed him, yea, and he shall be blessed,' Gen. xxvii. 33, this 

El'H. I. 3.] TO TUE EPH..SIANS. 53 

imports a blessing indeed to have been contained and involved in that 
blessing ; and therein Isaac also shewed that the same blessing that was 
promised to Abraham, which was spiritual, as I have shewn, was it that was 
made over by inheritance to Jacob. The words of Abraham's blessing have 
the same emphatical duplication that we find in Jacob's, ' In blessmg, I will 
bless thee,' Gen. xxii. 17. Further, the last words in that blessing of Jacob's, 
ver. 29, which are left out in Esau's, manifestly refer to the blessing made 
to Abraham, ' Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that 
blesseth thee ; ' being part of the words that are used in Abraham's, Gen. 
xii. 2, 3, 'I wiU make thee a blessing, and I will bless thee, and thou shalt 
be a blessing, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that 
curse thee.' 

And in this like strain of outward blessings Moses afterwards goes on. 
Thus speaks the old covenant, ' Blessed art thou in thy store, blessed in 
thy basket, in the field,' &c. And so on the contrary, the curses, Deut. 
xxviii. throughout. Now, then, our Apostle comes, and, as became the 
gospel, which is the new spiritual covenant established upon better promises, 
shadowed forth by these, he overlooks all these thmgs ; his eye being, as the 
gospel intention is, not upon things that are seen, but at the things which 
are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, as all these are, 
but the things which are not seen are eternal ; and therefore, instead of 
things temporal and earthly, he writes and sets down spiritual and heavenly. 
Instead of ' Blessed art thou in the fields,' write down, ' Blessed art thou in 
the assemblies of the saints, under the enjoyment of spiritual ordinances and 
communion of saints.' * There the Lord commands,' and, commandmg, com- 
municates, ' the blessing, even life for evermore,' Ps. cxxxiii. 3. Instead of 
' Blessed art thou in thy store,' set down, ' Blessed are the rich in good works ; ' 
and others accursed that are rich, and not towards God, as James and our 
Saviour speak. And thus the gospel throughout carries it, and as if those 
kind of outward blessmgs had utterly now ceased, passeth them over as not 
worth the naming or the intention of those that live under the bare and 
naked discovery of spiritual and heavenly, as the Apostle sets them forth in 
their native, real glory ; and thus Christ and his apostles carry it all along 
in their publications of the gospel, even as in his celebration of praise here. 
When the Apostle preached the gospel to the Jews, Acts iii., he pitcheth 
upon opening this very blessmg of Abraham. Read the words, ver. 25. 
And how doth he expound it? It follows, ver. 26, 'Unto you first God, 
having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning every one 
of you from your iniquities.' 

How low doth this faU in the expectations of a carnal Jew, whose eyes 
are veiled with the outward letter of promises earthly, to hear that Jesus the 
Messiah was sent to bless them in turning them from their iniquities ! They 
look for a kingdom in glory and pomp, to be brought with their Messiah ; 
and for him to turn them from iniquities is so poor, and low, and mean a 
thing with them ; whereas, indeed, to be converted to God and turned from 
iniquity is a greater blessing (spiritual) than if God should make every one 
of you kings and rulers of worlds, and create variety and multiplicity of 
them for each of you ; for this is a spiritual and heavenly blessing. Peter, 
therefore, mentions but this one for all the rest, to shew what a sort they 
are all of ; as also, because this is the first and foundation of all other, and 
all other the concomitants or consequents of this ; even as, in correspondency 
to this very speech of his, the same Apostle makes mention of regeneration, 
or being born again, in his first Epistle to the converted Jews, cast out, for 


their cleaving to tlie gospel, of their land given them to inherit, entitling it, 
therefore, ' To the strangers,' namely, Jews, (for the Gentile Christians there 
were natives,) ' scattered throughout Asia ; ' notwithstanding, (to comfort 
their hearts,) ' Blessed be the God and Father of Christ, that hath begotten 
you again,' or turned them from their iniquities, ' to an inheritance immortal, 
reserved in the heavens for you,' better than Canaan ; and this is the bless- 
ing of Abraham. 

Now, as Christ in another case, all the rest of gospel blessings are like to 
this, spiritual all. If you will have David's description, says Paul, of the 
blessedness of his blessed man he so often speaks of, Rom. iv., ' even as 
David describeth the blessedness of the man,' &c., ver. 6, ' Blessed is the 
man whose sin is pardoned,' ver. 7, out of Ps. xxxii. ; ' Blessed is the man 
that is poor in spirit, meek, pure in heart,' Matt. v. The blessedness, you 
see, lies in and is made unto spiritual graces and dispositions of holiness. 
As also blessed is he that walks holily, he is ' blessed in his deed,' James 
i. 25; yea, 'blessed is he that endures temptation,' ver. 12. And after this 
account and rule are we now blessed under and by the gospel ; the gospel, 
not deigning so much as to mention any one earthly, carnal blessing as here, 
slips them over, and takes no notice of them, as not worthy to come into 
the catalogue of those more choice and divine blessings it makes promise of. 
Yea, it professeth to all its followers, that in this life we are of all men most 
miserable, the offscouring of the world ; which carnal men observing, will be 
ready to say, as in another case our Apostle speaks. Where is the blessedness 
you sjjeak of 1 It lies in a higher sort of things you wot not of, and there- 
fore with the same breath pronounceth us most blessed when most miserable. 
' Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, both say and do 
all manner of evil against you,' says our Saviour ; ' rejoice and be exceeding 
glad,' for as these are multiplied and enlarged, your treasures in those things, 
which are the real blessings, are increased, as it follows, ' for great is your 
reward in heaven :' greater, as the pi'oportions of your persecutions are. 
Which hath brought me to the next word : — 

I. In heavenly places, or things. — The phrase in the original is barely 
iv enovpavlois, ' in the heavenUes,' without this addition of either places or 
things. And it is a speech proper to this epistle, and nowhere else used, 
and four or five times used therein ; and according as the context requires, 
we may add places or things, sometimes the one, sometimes the other ; and 
perhaps in this j)lace, which is so general and comprehensive, we may take 
in both, to fill up the Apostle's meaning : — 

1. Li heavenlt/ places. — So twice in this and the ensuing chapter. Speak- 
ing of Christ, ' God hath set him at his right hand in heavenly,' ver. 20 ; 
here places must be added ; the correspondency with the words ' set him ' 
calls for it. So likewise, chap. ii. 6, he speaketh the same of us in a con- 
formity to Christ our head, ' hath set us together in heavenly ; ' here places 
is to be added, as suited to ' setting.' The like he speaks of the good angeis, 
the inhabitants of the heavenly world, to whom we being thus advanced, w^e 
are made like unto ; as Christ says, chap. iii. 10, 'principalities and powers' 
that are constituted and set ' in heavenly places.' 

2. In heavenly things. — Thus, chap. vi. 12, Tor we wrestle not against 
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers 
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' It 
is translated ' high places ' in your margin. According to the Greek, it is 
' in heavenlics,' the same word that is here, and places is added, but not 
genuinely, but things rather should there be supplied. For this being spoken 


concerning our contention with the devils, this passage, ' in heavenly,' is not 
an additional to note out the places wherein the devils are set, and have their 
station, as of the good angels, chap. ilL 10, you hear it spoken. Their place is 
designed and set out, chap. ii. 2, to be but the air or lower heavens. But the 
word reacheth there higher, far higher than is the air. It- is not eV ovpavlois, 
simply 'in heavenly;' but in ' above -the -heavens,' iv inovpavlois, where 
Christ also sits at the right hand of God, and we with him, as you heard, ev 
enovpav'iois, in supercelestial thrones, in the highest heavens. And as it must 
not be thought that the devUs came up to the heaven of heavens at any 
time since they fell from thence, for no unclean thing enters thereinto ; much 
less do they possess them for their place or station, which Jude, ver. 6, says 
they kept not ; so it is hard to think that the Apostle using this phrase but 
in this epistle only, and everywhere else of Christ and us and the good 
angels, as advanced to heaven and the highest heavens, that in this one place 
at last it should be taken of that air, the habitation and seat of devils, and 
come in, too, but as a mere additional barely to express the place where 
these are with whom we contend. That phrase therefore there used, ev 
iiTovpavioLs, refers to set out to us (the more to intend our spirits in this con- 
flict against them) the infinite moment and weight of the things themselves, 
in or about which we are taken up or exercised in this our opposition against 
them ; even things supercelestial, and that are all purely heavenly, is the 
matter of this strife, which they endeavour to spoil us of, and to cause us to 
lose in. Of no less value (more precious than diamonds and rubies) are the 
things that lie at the stake of this vying between them and us, which they 
strive with us about, to keep us or beat us off from them, and through their 
envy endeavouring to cause us to lose the things we may or have gained 
herein. To which sense the particle ev, translated in, fitly and properly 
serves, being often put for about or concerning, and denoting forth the direct 
matter about which we are conversant. ' Blessed.' says Christ, ' is he that is 
not ufi'ended in me;' that is, about or concerning me and my condition, as 
notmg out the stone of stumbling, occasion, and matter of the offence. This 
for the phrase or speech itself ; whether of these or both are to be taken in 
here, will appear in opening the thing itself 

II. The thing itself. — And here more specially why 'in heavenly' should 
be added to ' sjjiritual,' when these gospel blessings are spoken of ; and so 
that all and every one of those blessings should be affirmed to be in heaven- 
lies ; not some spiritual, and some heavenly, but all both spiritual and also 
in heavenlies. That it is not a synonymous addition, as expressing the quality 
of these blessings by two words that signify one and the same, is evident, 
because he doth not say spiritual and, or, heavenly, but spiritual in heavenly. 
His scope must therefore be to carry our thoughts further than barely to 
consider the spirituality of those blessings, (so to set a value on them,) but 
further that they are heavenly also, and what heavenly import further than 
spiritual, that comes also to be the question. 

1 . In a further and more plain distinction from the tenure of the blessings 
promised in that old dispensation which in the letter, as they were in them- 
selves outward and fleshly, so in giving foi'th the promises of them it is stUl 
added, 'in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee,' so before 
their coming into Canaan ; or 'in the land which the Lord thy God hath 
given thee,' after ; as a land, partly from its own fertility, as also by reason 
of its .situation and neighbourhood, flowing with all good blessings whatso- 
ever, more than any other land, which God, that views from heaven all the 
plots and corners of earth below, is therefore said to have ' spied out for them, 


flowing w-itli milk and honey, wlucli is the glory of all lands,' as God by the 
prophet speaks, Ezek. xx. (1 Now, the New Testament tells us that by this 
in the promise was foresignified, and in the expectation of the patriarchs to 
whom the promise was made, understood and apprehended, another country. 
They desired or expected, Heb. xi. 1 6, 'a better country, that is, a heavenly ;' 
and such a city or countiy, says Paul there, was the import of God's styling 
himself in so vast a difference from other the sons of men, the God of 
Abraham, &c. For God being so great a "God, so full of blessedness in 
himself, would never have a^tpropriated or bestowed himself in so near a 
relation and style of being their God, their portion, and their inheritance, 
upon so low and mean conditions, so far below himself, as to give them only 
earthly things, and no other habitation than that one poor corner of the 
earth, Canaan, although never so abounding with all good things. 

God, says the Apostle, would have been ashamed to have been called their 
God upon such terms only ; as if that were aU the great all-sufficient God, 
that is possessor of heaven and earth, as Llelchisedec said to AsDraham, was 
able to give, or had to bestow on them of whom he gloried to be called their 
God, and owned them as his eminently beloved ones. God therefore had pre- 
pared for them another manner of city or country than Jerusalem or Canaan; 
even an heavenly, where his own throne and glory is ; and hath therefore 
appointed to take them up to himself, and to pay forth and give to them all 
good blessings in pure heavenlies ; which the Psalmist clearly intimates, 
when he says, Ps. cxv. 15, 16, 'Blessed are ye of the Lord who hath made 
heaven and earth ; ' and accordingly hath given in common to all the chil- 
dren of men the earth, and the things therein, reserving heaven, which is his 
own peculiar habitation, to bestow upon these his blessedness, as it there fol- 
lows, ' The heaven, even the heavens are the Lord's, but the earth hath he given 
to the children of men ; ' and therefore the Jews Peter wrote to are, as was ob- 
served, comforted with this by that holy apostle, that they were begotten to an 
inheritance reserved in the heaven for them, as in distinction from that given 
their fathers in Canaan, where the communication of God himself is so 
worthy, so suitable to and like himself, as the Apostle is bold to say of it : 
' Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared 
for them a city,' namely this heavenly one, as he had termed it in the words 
just afore, and so there is an answerable communication of himself and all 
blessings given forth in heavenlies. And unto this notion will fitly suit 
that supplied addition, places — ' in heavenly places.' 

In heavenly places, — to make this intended opposition between these two 
fuU and complete, that look as Canaan of old was the designed seat, the 
place, the country, where all those fleshly outward blessings were enjoyed, 
and many of them grew, and so the promise thereof is made the additional 
unto all those promised blessings, (which is so frequently done throughout 
the Old Testament, as I need not quote any one testimony.) Now in like 
manner is heaven the ehpdiwjia, the city, where both all these spiritual bless- 
ings have their full maturity and perfection, and is the place appointed to 
enjoy them in ; where there is room and variety enough for aU God's holy 
ones ; ' heavenly places,' in the plural. 

Places enough, ' many mansions,' John xiv. 1, &c. And in the meantime, 
tUl ye arrive there, those spiritual blessings we here partake in the first- 
fruits belong to, and come forth out of that countiy, all of them, where 
our conversation is said to be, even in this life, so far as we are made spiritual 
men. And in the type itself, when God did give forth the promise of bless- 
ing to Abraham, it is said, ' God called to Abraham from heaven,' Gen. xxii. 


15-17, whereas lie conferred wdth Adam but on eartli, signifying tliat place 
from whence that blessing was to come, and in which to be enjoyed. Even 
as, in the like mystical intendment, heaven is said to have opened, when 
that voice came to Christ at his baptism, ' This is my well-beloved Son, in 
Avhom I am well pleased,' Matt. iii. 17, as from whence that blessed seed, in 
whom all are blessed, was to come, — Christ ' the Lord from heaven,' 1 Cor. 
XV. 47, — and so he to raise us to the same state and place. 

2. In heavenlies, was added to spiritual, hi a further distinction yet of the 
blessings wherewith in Christ we are blessed, from those wherewith in Adam 
in our first creation \\e and all his posterity were blessed of God ; for blessed 
we are in him, as you read. Gen. i. 27, 28. Adam being made, as there. 
ver. 26, according to the image of God, which was the foundation of that 
charter of blessing him and his posterity, he was in that respect a spiritual 
man, for such is the image of God ; his graces were all spiritual, and his life 
and communion with God was spiritual; and so of him it might be said, 
that he was blessed with spiritual blessmgs, as well as in those earthly, and 
so in respect thereof we in him, that were to come of him, being all to 
receive the same spiritual image from him; but yet still he, and so we in 
him, but blessed with all these as a man that was to live on earth only, and 
to enjoy God, though in a spiritual way, yet but as flesh and blood can in an 
earthly condition be capable of, which, whilst remaining such, cannot see or 
enjoy God, as in heaven he is to be seen or enjoyed, and live. 

For Adam when in his best condition was but flesh and blood, and an 
earthly man, as he is termed in distinction from Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 47. 
And such as that earthly man was, such should we that are of him that was 
of earthly generation have been, and neither he nor we advanced higher, 
ver. 48. But our Lord Christ being the Lord from heaven, ver. 47, a 
heavenly man, ver. 48, therefore we being blessed in and together with him, 
»ve are blessed in heavenly things, or with heavenly blessings, and raised up 
to heavenly places with him ; for as is the heavenly man Christ, such are 
(anil is the condition) of those in him ; even heavenly as himself is. Heaven 
IS his native country, he is the Lord of it ; and we being married to him, and 
he our Lord in that res^iect, as was said, the spouse must be where the 
hu.sband is, and partake of the same good things which he is partaker of, 
and therefore he takes us, and cames us to his own home, to his Father's 
house, which being heaven, we thereby come to be blessed in Christ with aU 
heavenly blessings, and not spiritual only, which Adam in his primitive 
condition was. 

And this notion wUl fitly bring in that other supplement which interpre- 
ters have added, ' in heavenly things,' as that other took into itself ' in 
heavenly places.' All the graces we have are not only spiritual, to fit us for 
communion with God as on earth, but they are preparations, and making us 
more fit for the inheritance in light, to see God face to face. And they all 
tend to lead us in the way to heaven, and to bring us to heaven at last ; and 
liave all the promises of things heavenly annexed to and entailed upon them. 
'Follow me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven,' says Clirist, and *a 
more enduring substance in the heavens,' as Paul speaks, Heb. x. 34 ; even 
all things whatever that are in heaven, and are found growing there, are 
ours, and we have an interest in them, as they in Canaan had to all the 
earthly things that country aff"orded and abounded with ; and for the enjoy- 
ment of those things there in that world, our very bodies at the resurrection 
will be made spiritual and heavenly, which Adam's was not. So in that 1 
Cor. XV., 'It is raised a spiritual body.' 'There is a spiritual btnly,' Daiiioly, 


that received at the resurrection, ' and there is a natural bod}^' that which 
Adam was created in, ver. 44, alleging for proof of it, in ver. 45, 'and 
so it is written. The first Adam was made a Jiving soul,' an earthly man, 
ver. 45, but Christ and his saints are made spiritual, heavenly, so ver. 48, 
and he evidently there applies this to the state of the body. 

And accordingly, look as that natural body of Adam was framed with 
such inlets and capacities of outward sen3es as were suited to take in all the 
good things that God had made and provided in this world on purpose for 
him, — meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, 1 Cor. vi. 13, fitted each 
to other, — so he having provided and filled that other heavenly world, both 
with variety of heavenly places and of heavenly things in those habitations, 
(as, more nostro, the Scriptures express it,) which are called in the plural 
TO ava>, ' things above,' in answerable opposition unto to. inl t^s yrjs, ' things on 
earth,' Col. iii. 2, and avra 8e ra eirovpavia, the 'supercelestial things themselves,' 
Heb. ix. 23, — which opposition shews that, as on earth there is a plurality 
and a variety of things, so in heaven also there are, — and to the end we 
may be capable of like comfort from these thmgs heavenly, though far more 
transcendent, as the things themselves are in goodness to afford it to us, our 
very bodies shall be fitted and suited thereunto, and made heavenly and 
spiritual, with inlets and capacities heavenly and spiritual Even our bodies 
shall be made capable of pleasure in those created excellencies there, in the 
framing or contriving of which God hath shewed so much of his art and 
skill; (as those words, rex^'-'^^^ <°^<- 8rjfitovpy6s, Heb. xi. 10, import;) and parti- 
cularly our bodies to receive a glory and happiness in and from the presence 
of that heavenly body of Christ, these being in an heavenly manner and way 
suited each to other ; which the following words of that 1 Cor. vL 13, 14 
clearly insinuate, of which I have elsewhere spoken.* And if our bodies, to 
how much more heavenly state and glorious capacity shall the soul be raised, 
to take in those pleasures which fiow immediately from the face of God and 
the Godhead, whose fulness dwells in that human nature, the body and soul 
of Christ, ' in whose presence are rivers of pleasure for evermore !' 

So then, to conclude, all in heaven, both places and things, God hath 
blessed us withal in the real donation of them hereafter to be enjoyed ; and 
in the meantime furnished us with those graces and dispositions as in them- 
selves are heavenly, and of an higher strain than Adam's,+ though his were 
spiritual. Which graces God hath endued with a right unto all those 
things to be enjoyed in heaven, and entailed aU upon them, and which will 
in the end bring us thither, and do re»;der us meet for the enjoyment of 
them. There is a third reason of this addition of heavenly to spiritual, 
which will come in more fitly in the meditation that follows. And so much 
for the nature and condition of the blessings themselves. 

Obs. — We may from hence at once learn to judge and discern, both what 
are the true and choicest and most desirable blessings, and by what rule to 
judge of God's dealings with us in this world ; as also of our hearts and 
spirits, whether evangelised and made spiritual, yea or no. 

1. What aye the choicest blessings. — Take for this the true rate and 
estimate and price which the gospel sets upon things. It mentions not, 
you see, riches, honours, beauty, pleasures ; it passeth these over in silence, 
which yet the Old Testament everywhere makes promise of. They were 
then children, as Gal. iv. 1-3, and God pleased them with the promise of 
these toys and rattles, as taking with them. But in the gospel hath shewn 
he hath 'providea some better things for us,' things spiritual and heavenly; 

* Upon 1 Cor. xv. 45. + See my Sermons on Adam's State in Innocency. 


both granous and heavenly disjiositions of spirit, that carrj^ the soul to 'seek 
the things that are above, where Christ is ;' and together therewith, those 
things themselves above that are the objects and inquest of them. You 
may judge of the superexcelling value of these blessings by what the devils, 
that are spiritual Avickednesses, and so full both of envy and malice to us, do 
contend with us about. Now, what things are they which they oppose you 
in, and do make the ball of their contention with us, but these things 
spiritual and heavenly 1 As you heard, they malign you not, nor will they 
hinder you from being rich, honourable, to increase in and attain to a ful- 
ness of things worldly, or outward. Yea, all these sometimes he is used, 
as an instrument by God, to help men unto, as snares and baits to undo 
their souls. But as the devils themselves are spiritual wickednesses, so their 
envy, which sin is purely a spiritual wickedness, and which always hath for 
its object what is the chiefest excellency or good belonging to another, whom 
one envies or hates, is at and against you for none other things but spiritual 
good things, which therefore are, by this manifest acknowledgment of your 
greatest adversaries, the best things. Fas est et ab hoste doceri. If he 
knew any that were better, he would be sure to turn your opposite therein ; 
and he knows the worth of them, by having fallen from them. These are, 
therefore, the best, yea, and the only true blessings indeed. 

Yea further, there are a sort of things that are spiritual, which of them- 
selves taken or found apart, severed from graces, are not spiritual blessings, 
though called spiritual gifts ; as faith of miracles, gifts of tongues, and divine 
knowledge in the knowledge of the Scriptures, which yet are a fruit of 
Christ's ascending, Eph. iv. These the gospel condescends to commend to 
the Corinthians, as the objects of our desires, ' Desire spiritual gifts, yea, 
covet earnestly the best gifts,' 1 Cor. xii. 31 ; and these, chap. xiv. 1, as infi- 
nitely more desirable than all other earthly excellencies whatever, as being 
of immediate use in edifying the Church of God. Yet if you will have the 
Apostle speak his own heart, he undervalues all these but as toys which, 
when children, even under the gospel men are taken with, but in themselves 
are nothing in comparison of the least degree of true spiritual heavenly 
graces : as faith unfeigned and lively hope, which do entitle us to, and do 
accompany and carry us unto the very door of heaven ; and sincere love, 
which goes in with us, and abides with us for ever. These other gifts, 
though spiritual, yet they are not of themselves spiritual blessings in heaven- 
hes, if love and faith be wanting ; for they interest not the person in whom 
they are in heavenlies, but men may go to hell with a rich portion had of 
them here. Here the Apostle himself speaks forth his own sense herein, 
1 Cor. xiii. 1-3, 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, 
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tmkling cymbal. 
And though I have the gdft of prophecy, and understand aU mysteries, and all 
knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 
and have not charity, I am nothing.' These, when a man is a child in Chris- 
tianity, he may for a while value, (ver. 1, 'When I was a child, I spake as a 
child,' &c. ;) but after he is grown up, these other come in esteem with him. 

To the like purpose we find him speaking, Heb. vi., of all those enlighten- 
ings and tastings of the heavenly gifts, which men that fall away do partake 
f»f, ver. 4, 5, preferring infinitely the least grain of true heavenly grace, such 
as sincere love to the saints, unto the greatest abundance of those other, as 
better things, infinitely better, upon the same account that here in the text, 
that they accompany salvation. So, ver. 9, ' We are persuaded butter things 
of you, and things that accompany salvation,' instancing, ver. V^, in that 


of love to the saints : ' For God is not nn righteous, to forget your work and 
labour of love, which ye have shewed towards his name, in that ye have 
ministered to the saints, and do minister.' Even those elevations of the 
])0wers and princi})lcs in corrupt nature unto a tasting the heavenly gift, as 
also of the powers of the world to come, as the object of them, yet are they 
not in themselves spiritual blessings in heavoilies. Nor are they ordained 
as such, to bring the persuns that have them thither, w^hich true spiritual 
graces, that are the image of God and the new creature renewed in us, by our 
being begotten again, are ordained unto. 

To distinguish, therefore, even these, though spiritual gifts. frf)m those 
graces that are sitiritual in heavenlies, and that appertain to and beh)ng unto 
salvation, doth this addition, ' in heavenlies,' as pertinently and properly serve 
as either of the other two forementioned. And although they are from 
heaven as in respect of the giver, which is Christ as ascended into heaven, 
and the Holy Ghost who is from heaven ; yet are they not eVoupai/ta, gifts 
supercelostial, in themselves or in the persons, so as to raise their hearts up 
unto things above the heavens, — that is, make their hearts heavenly, — nor 
will ever carry their persons thither. They are «, from heaven, not ev 
eiTovpaviois, not seated in, or constituted of heavenlies. But they are in the 
receivers of them, if their hearts be not renewed, but earthly, because they 
are but the stirrings of self-love in them (which is a corrupt member upon 
earth, as well as any other lust) by heavenly enlightenings; though elevating 
self to objects heavenly, so far as there is any consideration in them that 
suiteth self, as the greatest notion of joy, happiness, and blessedness doth; 
yet not unto ra avrh iiTovpdvia^ ' to the heavenly things themselves,' Heb. ix. 
23, in their spiritual nature considered, as the Apostle distinguisheth, 1 Cor. 
ii. 13, 14. And so the products of them in the spirits and aifections of 
them in the receivers are heavenly no otherwise than the vapours and clouds 
or meteors that are exhaled by the sunbeams out of the earth and water 
may be said to be heavenly, because the light and influence of heaven ex- 
tracts and elevates them cxbove that sphere which otherwise they would not 
rise up unto. And so those are but ex und parte, but of one part heavenly, 
and so imperfectly; such merely ex jxtrte illmninantis et donantis, on the 
part of the donor, because he is in heaven that gives them, and from heaven 
lets them down; as also, because they have a remoter tendency towards 
heaven and salvation. ' Thou art not far from the kingdom of heaven,' said 
Christ to one more than ordinarily enlightened among the Jews. But heavenly 
they are not, ex parte recipientis, the hearts of the receivers of them remain- 
ing still corrupt, as, whilst self remains the predominant agent and principle, 
a man must needs still remain, whatever his objects which self pursues be. 
They are earthly, as the afi'ections themselves are that are stirred thereby in 
them ; for if the root or soil be earthly, though the rain that falls on it and 
causeth it to sprout and bud be from heaven, yet the fruit must needs still 
be esteemed such ; which comparison the Apostle hath an allusion to in Heb. 
vi. 7, 8, ' For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, 
and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth 
blessing from God : but that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, 
and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.' 

And perhaps to put this or the like distinction between these spiritual 
gifts, thus imperfectly heavenly, from those graces of true regeneration, might 
be one great part of the Apostle's aim in that speech, James i. 16-18, 'Do 
not err, my beloved brethren,' (he speaks to the whole bulk and herd of pro- 
lessors and hearers of the word, in respect that many mistook imperfect 


workings on men, and actings by men from hearing the gospel, for trae 
heavenly grace, and so by false reasonings deceived themselves, napaKoyi^ufj.€i/ot 
iavTovs, as ver. 22,) — ' Do not err, my beloved brethren,' says he : ' every good 
gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father 
of lights, wdth whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his 
own wall begat he us with the word of truth.' So making the distinction 
between true professors and false to consist in an innate difference in the 
gifts themselves ; the one good and perfect, as regeneration is, which he in- 
stanceth in, and which alone brmgs forth fruit to perfection, as Christ say? 
in the parable of the sower, which is every way good and perfect, both ea 
parte daniis, from above, and ex parte recipientis, changing the heart uito an 
heavenly nature, as the 'engrafted word,' ver. 21, useth to do, so making the 
man holy and heavenly, as the Word and Spirit itself is. And that which 
confirms this is, that James's scope is evidently to distinguish seemingly true 
professors from true professors indeed. ' If any seem to be religious,' ver. 2G ; 
'Pure religion and undefiled before God,' &c., ver. 27. Oh, therefore, let us 
aU be moved to seek earnestly after these good and perfect gifts of true holi- 
ness and regeneration, and things that accompany salvation ; to be blessed 
with these spiritual blessings in heavenlies, the possessors of which James 
twice in that chapter termeth blessed, and them alone ! 

2. Learn hence likewise, how to judge rightly of God's dealings with thee 
in this world, and to jiut a right and true interpretation thereupon, and uf 
his heart towards thee therein. God often drives a clean contrary design to 
our expectations, desires, yea our very prayers, which perhaps have been 
drawn out and laid forth much upon things outward and earthly, which we 
have judged meet for us. But God perhaps hath broken thee in these, de- 
nied thy prayers, yea taken all away from thee, and done the clean contrary. 
But withal consider, what he hath becB a doing aU that while upon thy 
spirit in order to spiritual things in heavenlies. Hath God increased thee in 
faith, patience, submission to his will, humbling thyself under his mighty 
hand, keeping thee from sin 1 Hath he enlarged thy coast in joy in the 
Holy Ghost, communion with himself, and steady and close walking with 
him ; and will not let thy heart go forth far after anything vain and carnal, 
but he comes upon thee with some cross, hedgeth up thy way, narrows thee 
in such comforts that w^ould draw forth and increase thy lusts; but makes 
an open door, an enlarged abundant entrance into his own bosom, in accesses 
to him and converses with himi Or if not therein, yet increaseth thy secret 
store of gracious dispositions and holy compliances of spirit towards himself, 
such as his dealings with thee call for ? Thy heart is kept in awe to sin, 
fearful to omit holy duties, dependent on him in all, loving of him, eyeing cf 
him, walking with him, and aiming at him in all thy ways. So as whatever 
he doth to thee, as in relation to this world, and to thy worldly ends and 
de-sires, yet in relation to that other world and the things thereof thou ob- 
servest that he still is sure to carry on that design strongly and hotly, and 
pursues it hard, to make thee more spiritual, and to bring thee nearer to 
himself. Oh, consider that even this is to bless thee, to bless thee indeed, 
to bless thee according to the tenure and dispensation of blessing men under 
the gospel ! This is to bless thee in Christ, and with Christ, and the bless- 
ings of Christ, who was sent to bless us in things spiritual in heavenlies ; 
and in these is the special good-will and love of God, as thy God and Father, 
and as the God and Father of Christ, laid forth and seen. 

Thus he blessed Job, when he took all outward things from hira. ' Bless- 
ed be the name of the Lord,' said he then, when all was gone. He could 


not have blessed God so heartily as he then did, if he had not found God 
blessing him most of all at that very time. Yea, with these he blessed his 
Son Christ himself, of whom it is said God ' blessed him for ever,' and yet 
had not a hole to hide his head in. With these [he blessed] the apostles, 
who had neither house nor home ; suffered nakedness, hunger, and were at last 
appointed and set forth to death, as Paul expresseth it ; when as other 
Christians in those times, less beloved and less blessed of him, as the Corin- 
thians, babes in Christ, carnal, yet in a great measure were full, reigned, 
abounded in all earthly comforts. God allowed them these rattles then 
being as children : but take Paul's judgment, what though our outward 
man perish, — that is, our bodies, and the outward state and condition of the 
whole man, as we are men of this world, — what though we suffer loss in the 
things belonging thereto, so in lieu thereof our inward man be renewed daily ? 
and the things belonging to this inward man are these spiritual blessings iu 
things heavenly. Yea, we may well suffer the spoiling of our goods, as the 
Hebrews did, if instead thereof an enduring substance in the heaven be 
added unto us ; as, if we obtain one degree of grace, (the least,) there is for cer- 
tain withal such an addition, to an infinite disproportion, in heavenlies made. 

The primitive Christians being possessed with such principles as these, cared 
not what they were to this world. If thou beest a servant, care not ; yea, 
if thou wast of servants a slave, as some then that were called were, (for 
Paul says, ' whether bond or free in Christ,' &c., Col. iii., there were there- 
fore such in Christ then ;) and the condition of servants, especially slaves, in 
those times and places was hard and outwardly most miserable, their lords 
having power of life and death and to use them as they listed ; yet how 
slightly doth the Apostle speak of that condition, and but in one short word : 
' care not,' says he, 1 Cor. vii. 21 ; he spends no more words about it, nor no 
higher, as a thing so much taken for granted, not to be minded in compari- 
son upon this consideration which follows, ver. 22, ' For he that is called in 
the Lord is the Lord's free man.' That is, Thy relation unto, and condition 
in, and privileges by Christ, are of such transcendant value in comparison of 
this other, as this should have no weight with thee to be regarded. Thou 
art blessed in Christ with aU blessings in another world, so that it is no 
matter what thy condition be in this world. Only because outward things, 
joined with the favour of God, are in their kind blessings from God not to 
be contemned, yet so small as they come not into the gospel's inventory, 
therefore he there adds, that if such a one could be free, he should use it 
rather. And so if riches, or honours, or power be cast upon thee, use them 
rather. Yet stDl he speaks so slenderly of the difference between these, as 
if so little, and that which is, whether it be the good of the one, and evil 
that is in the other, so much swallowed up by that state and condition we 
have in Christ, as neither is much worth considering. 

O my brethren, these men that talked and Lived at this rate, as the 
apostles and Christians then did, how strangely and mightily must their 
minds be supposed to have been filled and possessed with the valuation and 
admu'ation of spiritual and heavenly blessings ! Yea, insomuch as when 
they saw any man suffer much, they esteemed it a happiness, an addition of 
blessedness to that man. ' Behold, we account them happy that endure or 
suffer,' fcaith the Apostle James, chap. v. 11. He speaks it as the common 
thoughts and principle of ' us all,' that are, or then were Christians, and 
speaks it in opposition to the thoughts of the world. They account them 
happy that have riches, have beautiful wives, fair houses, &c. ; but, behold, 
we account them iiappy that endure. And if temptations of several kinda 

£PH. I. 3.] TO THE EPflESIAN3. 63 

befell them, tliey aforehand were prepared and instructed to account it all joy. 
For their faith and experience prompted them that now God was about to 
bless them with an increase in such spiritual graces of faith and patience, &c., 
the least trial of which hereby, much more addition unto which, they ac- 
counted ' more precious than gold,' 1 Peter i. 6, 7 ; and ' blessed is the man 
that endures temptation;' and the more or greater these are, the more 
blessed he is. 

Thus, God often makes but an advantage of a man's outward condition ; 
sets up a man or woman that hath all affluences and accomplishments of 
riches, honours, abilities, pleasures, beauty, wit, &c., and bestows them on 
them but as it were only to afford but so many crosses and afflictions in the 
spoil of them, and to heighten these afflictions the more ; when yet God's 
design in and by the loss or ruin of all these, is to make that man or woman 
great and rich and glorious in and unto this heavenly world, unto the higher 
and greater proportion, as he was in all these outward things in this world. 
Doth God greatly chastise and afflict thee, and withal teach thee out of his 
law, further instructing thee in thy duty, and framing thy heart thereunto 1 
Hear David, Ps. xciv. 12, ' Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, and 
teachest out of thy law.' Doth a great loss of a child, a wife, put thee upon 
making one more fervent prayer than otherwise thou shouldst have made 1 
God hath really and more abundantly blessed thee thereby, than in the con- 
tinuance of that outward enjoyment to thee. God often blesseth us when we 
are not aware of it. God lets thee fall into a sin perhaps, and that drives 
thee to the throne of grace, with outcries for help, Heb. iv. 16, ^orjdeiav, 
as the Apostle's word is, as a man undone utterly and for ever, if God pity thee 
not. This prayer, though in itself a less good than thy sin was evil, yet 
unto thee is turned a far greater blessing than thy sin hath evil in it (as to 
thee :) such is his goodness. Thy sin shall be pardoned, and though it be a 
loss in itself, yet to thee, having this so great a consequent and effect of it, 
thou comest off a gainer. And, lo, God hath blessed thee by occasion of it 
with a further increase in heavenHes, which do abide for ever, and shall never 
be taken from thee. 

3. Hereby also we may judge of our own spirits, whether yea or no at all 
made spiritual and heavenly, or to what degree ; and so whether in this 
state of gospel blessedness, or the contrary. What blessings are they thy 
heart is drawn out to seek, when thy soul is in nearest approaches unto God, 
and thou findest thou hast hold of him in wrestling with him, as Jacob had 
usually at such times 1 What are the choicest desires of a man's soul he pours 
forth to him, and says, as Jacob there did, ' I will not let thee go, except 
thou bless me ' thus or thus ? And what are the blessings thy heart then 
with highest contention affccteth ? Sometimes perhaps that God would 
communicate himself to thee, which, as you heard, was the sum and sub- 
stance of all blessings and blessedness. Oh, bless me with thyself, thyself, 
Lord ! And thy heart is so filled, and overpowered, and swallowed up with 
this, is so adequately filled and environed about with this, that thou canst 
not find in thy heart wherewith at that time to ask anything else ; but the 
utmost sole intention of thy mind and soul are held up, fixed and united 
unto this, and this alone. Another time, or presently thereupon, as 
violently carried forth to be blessed in holiness and unblameableness in love 
towards this God. ' Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and keep me 
from the evil ! " So we find Jabez broke forth, 1 Chron. iv. 10, and his 
prayer is recorded for the eminent zeal and holiness of heart in it ; and it 
Btands there alone, like to a small fertile spot of earth in the midst jf a long 


tract of ground, tliat bears nothing but names and genealogies round about 
it. Oh, keep me from the evil, says he, that evU of evUs, sin, (as Christ in 
the Lord's Prayer also expresseth it,) that it may not grieve me : for. Lord, 
to sin against thee would be to my spirit the greatest cross and affliction ; 
though otherwise I abounded in all earthly blessings, and thou didst never 
so much enlarge my coast, as he had there also prayed ; and to be kept 
from it is in my esteem and desire the greatest mercy I have to desire of 
thee, — to bless me ; bless me, O Lord, ' by turning me from mine iniquities,' 
as Peter, Acts iii. 36, by enabling me to keep thy commandments, which is 
the greatest blessedness, as Rev. xxii. 14. Are these, and such as these, the 
top desires of thy soul 1 Thou art blessed in thy deeds, as James says. 
Go, and for thy comfort carry home with thee all the blessings which heaven 
itself affords thee therewith, and fall down on thy knees, and with the 
Apostle here bless thy God, who hath thus blessed thee with all (whilst 
thou hast thus a heart to prefer any one that is truly spiritual) blessings in 
heavenly things in Christ. 

Li Christ. — 1. We before observed that God blesses us, as having taken 
upon him to bear the relation of our God, and of a Father unto us. 

2. These two relations of God unto us are founded originally and firstly 
upon his said relations unto Christ — viz., of being his God and his Father 
first, and that in a transcendant manner higher than unto us ; but descending 
down, and imparted to us in a lower, though true real degree. 

3. Christ's bearing the title of being Our Lord, being joined to the last 
foregoing particular, do (both put together) become a joint foundation, both 
of God the Father's becoming our God and our Father also ; and so upon 
those double relations of God the Father to us doth bring down a legally 
formal right, upon which the Father, according to that legal right, should 
bestow all sorts of blessings upon us, which his grace makes him willing to 
bestow. And this right is harmoniously and rationally grounded, though 
God the Father must be acknowledged original of all, on the superadded 
constitution last mentioned — \dz.. That God tue Father did also therewith 
make and ordain his Son Christ to bear the relation of our Lord. Which 
relation Jesus Clirist hath also taken upon him that he is indeed our husband, 
a Lord and husband of us the elect, by the Father given unto Christ to that 
end, so to be constituted his Church universal of men, to be his lawful 
spouse. And this is such a pri\dlege as the good angels have not, although 
in respect of his dominion and their ser^ice to him Christ is said to be then- 
Lord also ; yet this more near conjugal relation and band of us to him is not 
communicated unto angels, but imported in these words, ' Our Lord.' Which 
words have this further emphasis, that God hath made his Christ to be our 
Lord and husband ; that is, he hath made us sons and daughters in law by 
adoption to himself, which is expressed in the next verse, and Christ also 
doth thereupon bless us. So as, in fine, we are both the legal children of 
God the Father and rightful spouse of Christ, which is a sense and interpre- 
tation of the words ' Our Lord,' which, as far as I yet know of, has not been 
given to any mere creatures besides ourselves. And this is therefore a con- 
sideration of great weight and endearment both of God and Christ to us ; 
besides that it is one of the architectonical pUlars and buttresses of this 
fabric, and of all the particulars of this model 

EpU. I. 4, 5. (SlCJ TO THE EPHESIANS. 65 


According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world: 
that we should be holy, (fee. — Yeb,. 4, 5, <fec 

In the third verse the Apostle premiseth a general proposition, which he 
afterwards breaks into particulars. His scope being to shew how all blessings 
depend both upon God's election before all worlds, and how likewise upon 
Jesus Christ, ' who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly- 
things (or places) in Christ ;' so saith the third verse. If you observe it, in 
those words there is the act of blessing, ' Who hath blessed us / and there 
are the blessings themselves wherewith we are blessed. 

I shewed before, both out of the coherence of these words with those that 
follow, ver. 4, and other scriptures, that the time when God bestowed all 
these blessings upon us in Christ was when he chose us, even l¥>fore aU 
worlds. To which accords that in 2 Tim. i. 9, ' He hath called us according 
to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the 
world began.' That grace there is all one with these blessings here, they 
being aU wrapped up in that one expression of grace. And that which ia 
called a gift there, is called a blessing us here. And if you look into Gen. 
xxvii. 37, you shall find that to bless is aU one with to give, (though it be 
not actually given tiU afterwards.) For so we read, that when Isaac speaks 
to Esau of his blessing of Jacob, he says, * I have made him thy lord, and 
all his brethren have I given to Mm for servants,' — Jacob was but a poor 
man then, but Isaac had blessed him, and so had given him all these things, — 
' and with corn and wine have I sustained him,' or ' supported him,' as it is 
in the margin. 

Now, what is here in the third verse expressed in the general, the Apostle 
Cometh to explain particularly in the verses following. 

There are two things, as I said before, in that third verse. There is the 
act of blessing, and there are the blessings wherewith God hath blessed us. 
Answerably in this 4th and 5th verses, the Apostle distinctly mentioneth, 
first, the act of blessing to be in electing and predestinating of us, ' according 
as he hath elected us,' so ver. 4 ; ' and predestinated us,' so ver. 5. And 
then he mentions two particular blessings with which in election and pre- 
destination he hath blessed us, holiness, ver. 4, and adoption of children, 
ver. 5, and all this in Jesus Christ. And so you have the coherence of these 

I. According as he hath chosen us in him. — Those words, ' he hath chosen 
us in him,' have bred more controversy than any so few words almost in the 
whole BiVjle, and do therefore require some time to open them. 

First, some say this choosing us in him implies that God chooseth us, as 
foreseeing us to believe in Christ, because by I'aith it is we are in Christ, and 
by faith only. And therefore this phrase, choosing us in him, namely in 
Christ, noteth out the state of the person of a behever, that he is in Christ, 
or one with Christ by faith. And so in God's choice we are considered aa 

VOL. I, K 


believers, according to this opinion ; and tbis is one great place alleged for 
election to be out of faith foreseen. For, say they, no man is in Christ till 
such time as he believeth; and God chooseth us in Christ; therefore he 
chooseth only foreseeing them to be believers on Christ. 

In a word or two, to confute this opinion, that this should not be the 
meaning of the place ; and to take only such arguments as the text itself 
affords, (for that is proper to an exposition,) — 

First, therefore. If the meaning were that God chooseth men as believers 
in Christ, or, which cometh all to one, chooseth upon faith foreseen, he 
should not choose persons, but graces ; the principal object in God's election 
should be propositions, not persons ; whereas in this verse, and all the three 
next verses, the primary object is the persons of men, ' He hath chosen us in 
him,' and so on, ver. 5, 6. God chooseth not propositions, as ' He that be- 
lieveth shall be saved.' That proposition indeed is the consequent of election, 
and so declared to us, because it makes election visible to us. God declareth 
that, and such like propositions, to be true ; but still the object of his choice 
is the person ; for it is out of love, pure love. Nor did Christ die for pro- 
positions, but for persons. 

Secondly, Again, the apostle had said in the verse before, ver. 3, that 
' God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ ; ' and then he 
subjoins here, ' according as he hath chosen us in him,' so making this of 
election one instance of a 'spiritual blessing' in ver. 3. Now, I ask this 
question, Whether is a man blessed with faith in Christ, yea or no, as one of 
those blessings wherewith we are said to be blessed in him 1 If they say. 
Yes ; then a man must be supposed to be in Christ before he hath faith, (in 
some sense or other,) for faith itself is one of the blessings comprehended in 
that all of blessings. And so, if all be given us in Christ, then faith also, as 
we are considered already chosen in Christ ; yea, otherwise, at the time when 
we have the blessing of faith given to us, we are considered out of Christ 
actually when it is first given us, if that is it which makes us to be first in 
Christ, according to the apostle's scope of it there. There must therefore be 
some sense or other intended whereby we are in Christ before we have faith. 
That is the second argument. 

And then, thirdly, the apostle saith, he chose us in him ' that we should be 
holy and without blame before him in love,' &c. ; and the same reason will carry 
it that he as well intends that he chose us to this end, that xve should believe 
on him. And the reason lies in this : look as he doth not choose because 
we are holy in love, or that he foreseeth we will be holy in love, but he 
chooseth us that we should be holy and without blame in love ; in like 
manner it may be said, he chooseth unto faith, for there is the same reason 
of the one that there is of the other. Besides that faith may be considered 
as a part of sanctification, 1 John v. 1, ' Whosoever believeth that Jesus is 
the Christ, is born of God,' &c. In 2 Thess. ii. 13, both fiiith and hoh- 
ness are put in the like relation as to election, and we are said to be ordained 
to the one, as to the other ; and therefore if we are chosen to he holy, (as 
here,) as being a fruit of election, then to believe also is a like fruit of 
election ; for observe but the words there, and compare them with these here. 
It is there said, ' He hath appointed us unto salvation through justification 
and belief of the truth.' Holiness, you see, and faith are put both together, 
as being graces unto which we are alike ordained. And Acts xiii. 48, 'As 
many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.' So that this is not the 
meaning of the words ; and that is the first interpretation. 

The Popish divines and interpreters give another exposition : ' He hath 

Evil I. 4, O, ifec] TO THE EPHESIANS, 67 

clioscn us in Christ ' — that is, say they, for the merit's sake of Christ, fore- 
seeing his death and passion. And yet the best of them that say it, pat but 
a, forte, an ' it may be,' upon it, as I remember Suarez doth. 

Now this cannot be the meaning neither. We read, indeed, that we have 
redemption through the blood of Christ : so ver. 7, * In whom we have re- 
demption through his blood, and the forgiveness of sins.' But we nowhere 
read that we have election through the blood of Christ ; no, not in the whole 
Book of God. Why 1 what is the reason of it 1 Because election is the first 
foundation of our salvation — it is the first act of God's going forth in inten- 
tions to save us, and hath no cause but the ' pleasure of his will,' so the 
text saith, ver. 5 ; and ' the praise of the glory of his grace,' so ver. 6. 
Hence, therefore, although the merits of Christ are the cause of our salvation, 
yet they are not the cause of our being ordained to salvation. They are the 
cause that purchase th all things decreed unto us ; but they are not the cause 
that first moved God to decree these things unto us ; for if they were, there 
should be a derogation from God's free grace in the first act of it — he should 
not be free in it ; for merit, you know, hath an obligation in it. Had God 
chosen us for Christ's merits, his election had not been of free grace. But 
having chosen us, and that out of his free grace, he ordained these merits as 
the cause of our salvation ; which being thus a free gift of grace themselves, 
and the fruit of his grace, and nowise the cause or motive thereof, therefore 
now salvation, though merited, cometh to be altogether of free grace, because 
the foundation of it is such. And so you have this second interpretation 
taken away. 

There is a third interpretation which some of our divines do give — 

As, 1. That we are said to be elected in Christ — that is, to be in Christ in 
time to come. We are not elected, say they, as being in Christ when elected, 
or by election put into Christ, but elected to be in Christ in the fulness of 
time. And therefore — 

2. They join this ' elected in Christ ' with the words that follow, ' that Ave 
should be holy, and without blame before him in love.' So as the meaning 
of this interpretation tends only to this, that Jesus Christ is the great instru- 
ment to convey all the blessings to us which God hath decreed for us ; that 
he is the gTeat means indeed that God hath ordained, and the cause of all 
things that God hath appointed us unto. But he hath nothing to do with 
what concerneth the act of election itself This ' in him ' hath not relation 
so much to the act of God's choosing, as either to the blessings to be conveyed 
by him, which God hath chosen us unto ; or else to shew that our future 
being in him is the terminus of that act of election. And so the whole that 
this place holds forth is no more in effect but what that in 1 Thess. v. 
says, where you read that ' God hath appointed us to obtain salvation by our 
Lord Jesus Christ.' ]\Iark it, the apostle there says, not that Jesus Christ, as 
God-man, hath any influence into the act of ordaining, but comes in only as 
a means subserving that act, to accomplish and bring about those ends which 
God in his decrees did pitch upon. The salvation God appointed us unto, 
he ordained us to obtain by Jesus Christ. So, then, ' he hath elected us in 
Christ to be holy ' — that is, say they, in the fulness of time to be in hini, and 
to be made holy in hun, and he is to be the cause of our holiness. This is 
the other sense of his choosing us in Christ. 

And, to explain their meaning, in the decrees of election there are two 
things to be considered — 

1. The act itself, which is immanent, and remaineth in God himselF, and 
flowcth from himself from all eternity. 


2. The tetininus, or the things that are decreed to be, or to be brought to 
pass. Or, to express it in the same terms which I used and observed out uf 
the third verse, there is the act of blessing itself, and there are the blessings 
wherewith we are blessed. 

Now, when it is here said, that we are elected in Christ, that same ' in 
him ' refers not, say they, to the act itself, as if it had any dependency on 
him, but only has relation to the things ordained by that act. And so they 
say that Christ is the foundation of election in this sense, that the terminus 
electionis, the things unto which we are elected, he is appointed in election 
to be the cause of In a word, that God hath ordained that we should have 
them all in Christ, but hath not in Christ ordained us, and them to us. 

So that now this is the great and universally-acknowledged glory given 
to Jesus Christ on aU hands, that though Cod wholly and entirely reserveth 
to himself the glory of the act of choosing us, yet all the things that he 
chooseth us to, his Son (as God-man) is the cause of He cometh in between 
election and the things, and we are ordained to have them aU in him, even 
to obtain faith, grace, heaven, and all in Christ, as the deserver and purchaser 
of them. And it is a great glory that is given to our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, that God should set him up as the great engine to work all by. 
This, I say, is the third interpretation. 

But though this be most true, and is one great part of the meaning of 
these words, yet this is not all, or the whole, as I shall prove by these three 
or four reasons ; which, when I have done, I wiU shew you what I appre- 
hend is to make up the full and clear scope and meaning of them. I shall 
only mention what reasons the text aftbrdeth. 

First, therefore, if you interpret the words, ' he hath chosen us in him,' 
that is, to be in him, you put in ' to be,' which is not in the text. Whereas 
this is the plain reading of the words, ' he hath chosen us in him ; ' and 
therefore if there be a sense wherein it may be absolutely said, as referrmg 
to the act of election itself, that we were chosen in him, without putting in 
any such words, it would be much fairer. 

Secondly, it is said, ' he chose us in him before the foundation of the 
world.' Who, therefore, would not refer this *in him' unto 'before the 
foundation of the world,' as well as that the act of choosing us to have been 
before the foundation of the world : and so God chose us then in him 1 
Whereas if that had been the meaning, he only chose us to be in Christ in 
future times which were to come after the foundation of the world, the 
expression ' in him ' should have come in after those words, ' the foundation 
of the world,' as well as the tiling itself doth. But * he chose us in him 
before the foundation of the world ; ' so as ' in him ' seemeth to refer as weU 
to ' before the foundation of the world,' as to God's choosing us before the 
foundation of the world. 

Thirdly, whereas it is said, that ' in him ' referreth to the words following, 
'that we should be holy and without blame,' <fec., we see here is a mighty 
chasma, a great gulf between these two, ' choosing us in him,' and ' that we 
should be holy : ' for here is ' before the foundation of the world ' comes 
between. If, indeed, the Apostle had said, ' he hath chosen us before the 
foundation of the world, in him that we should be holy,' &c., or ' that we 
should be holy in him,' there had then been some colour for it. But he 
saith plainly, ' he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.' 
' In him ' cometh in before ' the foundation of the world.' So that it seemeth 
this ' in him ' referreth h^ the act of choosing. 

Foiu-thly, and then again there is this fourth great reason for it : he had 

EpH. I. 4 5. &C.\ TO THE EPEESIANS. 69 

said in the third verse, * he hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in 
Christ,' and then in the fourth and fifth verses he instanceth in election and 
predestination. Sicut elegit, as if he had said, for example's sake, or for 
explanation's sake, to give you an instance, ' according as he hath elected U3 
in him.' Now, mark it by this coherence : either election is taken for the 
act of blessing us, as I said before, or for a blessing wherewith God hath 
blessed us. And if either of both, it is enough for the thing in hand ; it 
must be in Christ, and this before the foundation of the world. And so we 
were elected in Christ then, as well as justified in Christ in the fulness of time. 

And then, Fifthly, I find that other scriptures do back this interpretation, 
that ' in him ' should have relation not only to the things decreed us, as the 
cause of them, but have reference to the act itself of choosing. And this 
not only that scripture I before mentioned, 2 Tim. i. 9, * He hath given us 
grace in Christ before the world was,' but also that in the third of this 
Epistle, ver. 11, 'according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in 
Christ.' Mark it : 'in Christ ' cometh in that place not only for the thing 
purposed, but in relation to the purpose itself ; and this purpose is eternal, 
' according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ.' So that 
' choosing us in him,' the meaning is not only, to be in him in the fulness of 
time, or that he should be the cause of all the things unto which we are 
chosen only ; but the choice itself, in some sense or other, is in him, — that is, 
the act itself, — ' according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ.' 

And then, for those places that are quoted to interpret it, which I before 
mentioned, as that in 1 Thess. v. 9, ' He hath appointed us to obtain salva- 
tion by our Lord Jesus Christ,' which, say they, is all one with this of the 
Apostle here, ' he hath elected us in him,' &c. ; it is plainly not all one, 
and that for two reasons. For, 1. in that place of the Thessalonians there 
cometh in, ' to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ ; ' but not so 
here. Had he said so here, that ' he hath chosen us to obtain election,' or 
' to be holy in Christ,' then I confess it had been plain ; but he only saith 
' he hath chosen us in him,' and then cometh in, ' that we should be holy 
before him in love ; ' and those words, ' before the foundation of the world,' 
come between both. 

And then, 2. there is a great deal of difference between God's doing a 
thing in Christ and throrigh Christ, eV Xpto-Toi and Sta tov Xpia-rov. It is 
Zanchie's observation, that when God is said to do a thing in Christ, it 
usually notes out some one of those immanent acts of God's towards us, that 
passed between him and Christ for us when they were alone, before we 
existed, and Jesus Christ was a Common Person representing us all, and 
God gave all to Christ for us ; as it is said, ' the grace that was given us in 
Christ before the world was.' But the things that God doth ' through Christ,' 
which is the phrase in the Thessalonians, are usually some transient acts of 
God's towards us, or those things which he actually perfonneth and applieth 
to us through Christ. So that God redeeraeth through Christ, justifieth 
through Christ, and saveth through Christ ; but he chooseth in Christ. So 
that to choose in him, is not all one with that which the Apostle saith, ' he 
hath ordained ua to obtain salvation through Christ.' 


But now the question is, In what further sense we are said to be chosen 
in him ; so that the act of choosing should be referred to 'in him,' and we 
to be in him at our election ; and what subserviency Christ, considered as 
God-man, should be of to the act itself of electing us. 


I shall endeavour to answer to, and to explain tins, first, negatively ; 
secondly, a-ffii-matively. I will shew you, 1. What influence or subserviency 
he hath not ; and, 2. I will shew you what he hath. 

1. I will shew you what he hath not. He was not the cause of God's 
electing us, for the A]»ostle, in the 9th verse of this first chai)ter, saith that 
it was ' according to the good pleasure of his will, which he had purposed 
in himself.' What is the cause of all God's purposes towards us 1 Himself. 
There is no other cause. And in the same verse it is also added, ' accord- 
ing to his good pleasure,' &c. God, as he is the first being, so he and his 
own will are the first movers of himself. So that this, 'he chose us in 
Christ,' imports not that Jesus Christ was the cause of our predestination, 
(taking him as God-man, as here he is meant.) And I will give you this 
great reason for it ; for he could not be the cause of our predestination who 
liimself was predestinated. In 1 Pet. i. 20, it is plainly said of Christ, that 
he was pre-ordained before the world was founded. He himself was chosen 
as well as we ; therefore he could not be the cause of our election. And 
both he and we being elected by one simple and entire act, the predestina- 
tion, therefore, of one could not be the cause of the predestination of the 
other. And as Christ was not the cause of election for the substance of 
the act, so nor was he the cause of it for the persons elected. Jesus 
Christ, as God-man and Mediator, did not choose so much as one man. It 
was God that elected all those that are elected. 'Thine they were,' says 
Christ to his Father, ' and thou gavest them me.' And it were a much 
more fond conceit to think that God chose such to be saved as he foresaw 
the human nature of Christ would love and choose. This were to make the 
Divine will conformed to that of the human nature ; whereas, ' Not my wDl, 
but thine be done,' said Christ unto God the Father. 

This, therefore, is not the meaning, that Christ as God-man is the cause 
of the act of our election, as it was in God. 

2. Afiirmatively. The meaning is this, that Jesus Christ in election 
was the Head of the elect. He was from the first considered and ordained 
by God as a Common Person, to represent us. He undertook for us then, 
and so in him we were chosen, as in a Head. This is the sense that holy 
Bainos giveth of it : To note out, saith he, the order of election, namely, 
that Christ was chosen first as a Head, and we in him ; though both at the 
same time, yet, for priority of nature, he as a Common Person and a Head 
was first elected, and we in him. 

For the clear understanding of this, I will, first, give you two cautions, to 
prevent a misunderstanding of it ; and, secondly, explain how it might be 
that Christ should be considered as a Common Person in the act of election. 

First, For the cautions: — 

1. Learn to distinguish between being elected with Christ, and being 
elected in Christ. To be elected with Christ, is to be elected at the same 
time he was, for matter of time, for all was from eternity ; but to be elected 
in Christ is with this difference, that Christ at God's first act of election was 
considered as a Common Person, a Head and Root, and we all as in him. 
This is common both to Christ and to us, that we were elected with him, 
and he with us, for matter of time. But this is proper to Christ, that we 
•\^ ere elected in him, he not in us. 

To explain this to you both out of Scripture, by his type Adam, and also 
by a similitude, that may convey it to your understanding. 

First, by Scripture. So, Gen. i. 27, ' God created man, in his own 
image created he him (tliat is, Adam) ; inale and female created he them.' 

Era. I. 4, 5, &C.] TO THE EPIIESIANS. 71 

God in creating Adam created all mankind, as in blessing Adam he blessed 
all mankind. Yea, the creation of Adam was all the creation that the rest 
of mankind had. For though they exist by generation successively, yet in 
him were they created virtually, and then only. Thus in choosing Christ, 
God looked upon him as a Common Person, as a second Adam, and chose 
us in him. And therefore you shall find in 1 Cor. xv. 47, that God 
speaks of Christ and of Adam as if there had been but those two men in the 
world. 'The first man,' says he, ' and the second man.' Was there but a first 
man and a second man ? Yes ; but these two men stood for all the rest. Or, 
in a word, Jesus Christ was not only a Common Person in his dying for us, but 
in his being chosen also, (as I shall shew by and by,) and so we were elected 
in him. This is the meaning of it. 

For the similitude which I spake of, I shall take it from amongst men. 
Suppose that a kingdom were now to be new set up, and a king to be 
chosen, and they meant so to choo.se him as they would choose his posterity, 
his eldest sons that should be after him, and that for ever. Now when they 
have made this covenant with this first man, the first king : We take you for 
our king, and your eldest son, and the eldest sons of all your posterity after 
you to the end of the world. In this case it may be said, that at the same 
time they cho.se his sons tvith him ; and not so only, but that they chose 
his sons in him also. Why % Because he was the first, and they are con- 
.sidered as in his loins. What saith Christ % ' Here am I, and the children 
that thou hast given me.' And so God said to him. Here thou art, and in 
thee all my elect. I appoint thee as a root to as many men as I choose 
together with thee ; but I choose them in thee. When God fir.st said, Let 
there be a tree ; for order of time both root and branches came up together, 
the branches were created with the root, and the root with the branches ; yet 
the branches in the root, and not the root in the branches. Boa.st not thy- 
self, as if thou wert chosen alone, and he alone, and that then thou wert 
given to him to be in him for time to come. No, that place I may allude 
unto in Eom. xi. 18, ' Boast not thyself, for thou bearest not the root, but the 
root thee ;' — Thou bearest not Christ, he was not chosen in thee, but thou in 
him, and for liim. 

2. The second caution is, that you take heed how you understand it, as if 
that Christ alone were distinctly chosen, and that our persons were not as 
distinctly chosen too. Yes, both Christ and we too were di-stinctly and 
particularly thought of, and so individually elected. The meaning, I say, of 
this our being elected in him, is not as if he only had been distinctly and by 
name chosen, and we all but confusedly, and in gross, and a.« in his election 
only. God did not choose in the general, as a kingdom doth choose the 
children of a king that come after him, and are involved in him, in a general 
notion only, so as their distinct choice is of the king himself alone. No, the 
Scripture saith, 'God knoweth who are his;' he knoweth the very persons 
fully and particularly; yea, and distinctly viewed them when he elected 
them. And notwitLstanding he thus chose us as distinct persons from 
Christ, yet still our election was in Christ. As suppose a kingdom, that 
chooseth a king and his children, should know by way of prophecy what 
manner of men all his sons to come would be, and how many he should 
have, and yet should choose him and them ; though, I say, they did 
distinctly know all their persons and natures, yet still they chose them in 
him as the head of the family. Now, Christ is the head of all the family of 
them that are named, both in heaven and earth. 

The second thing to be spoken to is, Ilow Jesus Chrld m<nj he ri<jhlhj coiir 


sidered to he a Common Person when he was chosen. — Some divines yield 
that he was chosen to be a Common Person when he should take up man's 
nature, and that we were chosen then to be by him represented. They 
acknowledge that he was a Common Person in his death, representing us, 
and is now a Common Person in heaven, and sits there as in our stead, 
representing us. But, say they, in the act of choosing, how should he be 
considered as a Common Person, in that he did not then exist as God-man 1 
He might indeed be ordained to be a Common Person after he did exist as 
God-man, but how in election was he, or could he be such, he being as then 
only the Son of God, and not man 1 

To solve this difficulty, lay we out these few things together : — 

1. That the person of the Son of God, who was ordained this Common 
Person, he was with God then, he was then existent. So, Prov. viii. 30, 
' Then,' says Wisdom, namely Christ, ' I was by him,' &c. And the Evangel- 
ist John saith, ' He was in the beginning with God,' that is, from everlasting 
(as I shall shew afterwards.) 

2. This Son of God that then existed (consider him as one that was to 
become man) was the object of election, as well as the manhood which was 
chosen to become one with God. That Divine jDerson was, by an act and 
decree of God's will, pitched upon and singled out to assume our nature, and 
to sustain the person of a Head before God in the meanwhile. 

3. At, or in the act of election, this Son of God, as he actually existed 
at the passing of that act of election upon himself, so he actually and 
solemnly undertook to be a Head and Common Person representing us, and 
to that end to assume our nature. And this is in order of nature to be sup- 
posed before our election, though coexistent together from eternity, 

4. Upon this he was in repute such with God the Father. He was a 
Common Person in God's esteem, and that justly. So, Prov. viii 23, * I 
(namely, Christ) was set up from everlasting, ere ever the earth was,' &c. ; I 
was set up, that is, in esteem with God for such. Now this cannot be under- 
stood of Christ, as he was the second Person only. But God did set him up 
from the beginning, as bearing and sustaining the person of God-man, (to 
which manhood he w\as chosen and undertook to assume,) and as a Head to 
his members, before God, who reputed him such. And of him considered 
as such are those words spoken ; for so only he is called Wisdom, as there 
he is. For Christ is not called the Wisdom of God essentially taken, for 
that is one of his attributes, and not a person. But he is called God's 
Wisdom manifestative, that is, as ordained to manifest God's wisdom unto us, 
he being to be ' God manifest in the flesh.' And such a person or relation 
as he then thus actually undertook, such did God then, and from that time, 
repute him to be, and actually entitled him by, as between himself and his 
Son. Therefore, in John xvii. 5, (observe the phrase there,) ' Glorify me,' says 
Christ to God, ' with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' 
What glory was that 1 He doth not mean his glory as he was simply second 
Person, because he had that glory now, and therefore needed not to beg it. 
Nay, he could not beg it, it was too much for him so to beg, for so he is equal 
with God. Therefore it must be the glory of the mediaturship. ' Which I 
had before the world was ;' that is, in thy repute ; thou accountedst me thus 
and thus glorious in respect of the glory ordained me by my undertaking to 
be man and the Mediator of the Church. And this is plain, if you compare 
it with ver. 24, for there he speaks of that glory which was given him, 
which can be no other than the glory of the mediatorship. 

So tHenj Jesus Christ, the second Person, being existent, and undertaking 

EpH. I. 4, 5, itcj TO THE EPHESIANS. 73 

to be a Common Person and a Mediator for men, God did reckon him as 
such. He was in his account, at the choosing of him, as a Common Person 
and Head, and as a Mediator, too. And, indeed, there was this great ad- 
vantage of our Mediator's being God, that thereby he was not only present 
at, and privy to the making of all God's decrees ; but was also by, to under- 
take for all that concerned his part in it which God should decree, and to 
enter upon the title and relation of our Head and Mediator then. And 
there is this reason why Christ must needs have been a Head to his mem- 
bers before his assuming our nature, or ascending up to heaven, (which I 
see not how it can be answered :) because otherwise Jesus Christ had not 
been a Head to the fathers under the Old Testament ; for he had not as 
then taken a human nature ; and yet was actually a Common Person for 
forgiving their sins, by virtue of that atonement he had engaged to perform 
for them ; which was such in God's repute existing before liim in Job's 
time, * Deliver him, I have found a ransom,' Job xxxiii. 24. And upon the 
account thereof God did as really and actually forgive the sins of the Old 
Testament as he did, Kom. iii. 25, Now, if he was a Head then, and they ac- 
tually members of him, then he might be so, virtually and representatively, 
from everlasting, through his undertaking of it ; and this in as just a sense 
as he is said to be the * Lamb slain from the beginning of the world.' 

Why may not the promise of the second Person, then passed unto God, 
give as full, yea a fuller subsistence of those things which God decreed and 
which he undertook for, before God his Father, as God's promise, which 
was written in the Old Testament, gave to the fathers' faith then, in respect 
unto which Christ was as then already slain 1 God the Father, who was 
then present, had a certain assurance that Christ his Son, that gave his 
promise for performance, would and should perform it ; and Christ, as 
Son of God, who was God, having promised, I may say of both, that 
Christ's word then was as good as his bond, and the Father's assurance 
that he should perform it as good as if he had already seen it done, 
and his calling things that are not, as certain as if they were. And 
I may apply one and the same effect of the Apostle Paul equally to 
both. If of God the Father giving Christ his promise before the world 
began, it must be said, ' God that cannot lie,' — and so it is, and was as 
firm and sure as if done and fulfilled, and this because he is God, as Tit. 
i. 2, it is expressly there said, ' in hope of eternal life, which God, that 
cannot lie, promised before the world began,' — I may invert it, and say for 
the same reason, that that promise which Christ made the Father to under- 
take the mediatorship in man's nature before the world was, and to do all 
he did in the fulness of time ; that Christ's promise then must have been, 
and was reputed as sure and steadfast by God the Father as if it had been 
already done. And God the Father might as certainly build upon it to 
do anything that was to be done, depending upon what Christ undertook to 
do then, as if Christ had already performed all that promise and undertaking; 
and this upon as equal reasons, for Christ was God then, as well as the 
Father, and could no more lie than he ; for they both are equals, John x. 30, 
and all the terms of both sides are equal, ' before the world was,' &c. I might 
likewise urge that which followeth in the 10th verse of this 1st chapter to 
the Ephesians; there you have an a^a^f^aXaiwo-ts', a gathering together again 
unto one head, both of Jew and Gentile. Why a gathering together unto 
one head? (for so the word signifieth.) One reason maybe, because in 
election they were in Christ as a Head before. But I leave the discussing 
that till I come to the 10th verse. 


So that, to conclude tliis point, that we are said to be * elected in Clirist, 
the meaning of it is summed up in these particulars: — 

1. That Jesus Christ was the Head of election, and of the elect of God ; 
and so in order of nature elected first, though in order of time Ave were 
elected with him. In the womb of election he, the Head, came out first, 
and then we, the members. He is therefore said in predestination to be the 
first-born of all his brethren : Eom. ^dii. 29, ' Who hath predestinated us,' 
says the Apostle, ' to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might 
be the first-born among many brethren.' Nay, in Col. i. 15, he is said to 
be the ' first-born of every creature.' How is that spoken of him 1 I have 
shewed it elsewhere to be plainly meant of Christ as God-man. Otherwise 
lie is not said to be the first-born in respect of every creature. God would 
never have condescended so low, speaking of the eternal generation of his 
Son, as to compare him therein with creatures. But, saith he, he is the 
first-born of every creature, and ' the Head of the body, the Church/ as it 
followeth, ver. 18. 

2. That God in that act of election looked not at us apart and singly as 
in ourselves, so as by one act to choose us, and by another act to give us 
to Christ. But, as we say of the soul, infundendo creatur, et creando in- 
fiinditur, it is by one and the same act of God's both created and infused 
into the body, and so subsists not one moment apart; so God in the act of 
choosing us gave us to Christ, and in giving us to Christ he chose us. And 
thus, he never considering us apart, but as members of Christ and given to 
him in the very act of choosing ; hence our very choice itself is said to be 
' in him.' And so, on the other side, in the first view and purpose God 
took up concerning Christ, and in electing him, he looked not at him apart, 
as a smgle person in himself, but as a head to us his body, chosen in him, and 
with him. So that the meaning is not, that Jesus Christ, the second Person 
in the Trinity, was chosen by one act to be man, and then to be a Common 
Person by another. But at the very same instant that he was chosen the 
one, he was chosen the other ; under that very consideration, to be a Common 
Person ; which he then actually undertook. It was in this as in the creation 
of Adam, his shadow ; who, when he was first made, was not made as a 
single man, he was made a living souJ, 1 Cor. xv. 45. What is that 1 To 
be a public person, to convey life to others, as well as to have life personally 
in himself. That is the meaning, as appears by the following words, ' the 
last Adam,' that is, Christ, ' was made a quickening spirit ; ' that is, not to 
himself, but to others. So that the very first view that God m election took 
of Christ, was not of him only as a single person considered, but as a Com- 
mon Person representing others. In a word, as in the womb head and 
members are not conceived apart, but together, as having relation each to 
other, so were we and Christ, as making up one mystical body unto God, 
fonned together in that eternal womb of election. So that God's choice 
did completely terminate itself on him and us ; us with him, and yet us in 
him ; he having the priority to be constituted a Common Person and root 
to us : for that is the relation wherein we stand unto him, and in that rela- 
tion we were first chosen. 

3. And then the thkd thing which this phrase implieth, and which will 
make up the meaning of it, is this : that as God's decree gave us a subsisting 
beyond things merely possible to be, — that is, which God coidd make, but 
never decreed to make, — so we, by reason of tliis election of us with Christ, 
in this transaction, in this respect we came to have a further representative 
h'iiig and existence in Christ from everlasting, by virtue of his being tlien- 

EpH. I. 4, 5, etc.] TO THE EPHE-IANS. 7 J 

considered as a common Head. So that in this did Jesus (.'hrist subserve 
God's decree. I will, saith Christ, represent them ; they are all virtually in 
me ; and do thou, O Father, reckon them as havmg a subsistence in me. 
Jesus Christ, I say, did give thereby a subsistence to us, such as Adam, 
•when he began to be, did give unto all mankind ; they were all virtually in 
him. Now, make but the supposition that Adam had existed from ever- 
lasting, as Christ did, (the person, I mean, who took this title and relation 
on him,) and then how this might be is easily understood. 

I will only add to this last thing mentioned the great ends and advan- 
tages that this subserviency of Christ unto the act of election was of, in 
his actual undertaking to be a root of a new ordained being to us, at that 

1. By means of this, our virtual or representative subsisting, or being 
looked at as in Christ, and as one with him, in and from God's first choosing 
us, — by means of this, God could then from everlasting make a covenant of 
grace, and also make that covenant sure unto us. A covenant, we know, is 
an agreement between two parties upon terms. Now, we then not existing 
in our single selves, though God might have taken up a purpose to do this 
or that for us, and in us, yet it could not be called a covenant unless we were 
some way extant before him ; and the covenant of grace should otherwise 
not have been a covenant until men did beKeve. To help this, therefore, 
God chose us in Christ, and he represented us, standing before God in our 
stead, and offering to undertake to work in us all the terms that God should 
require on our part ; as this here, ' to be holy before him in love,' &c. And 
80 a covenant was as truly struck between God and us, through Christ's 
re^trcsenting us, as the covenant of works was between God and us, as con- 
eidered in Adam. And hence it is that Christ, by the prophet Isaiah, is 
called ' our covenant.' 

2. Hence, likewise, secondly, it comes to pass that God might, upon this 
covenant, then give and bestow upon us all spiritual blessings, as we were 
thus considered in Christ. Had God chosen us in ourselves only and apart, 
then indeed he might have purposed them all unto vts, but could not have 
been said, as then, to have given them unto us, or to have blessed us with 
them as then. But when as through Christ's actual undertaking this relation 
as then unto us, that we came to be considered in him as a Common Person, 
God might in him bless us with all these spiritual blessings, in the sense 
before given ; even as Adam was created a Common Person, and so Ave con- 
sidered virtually and representatively in him, God might and did bless us 
with all earthly blessings in him, as we before observed. God did purpose 
them unto Adam and us afore, by a bare decree, but could not have been 
said to bless us with them, unless he who should represent us was himself 
existent, and so v/e virtually and representatively in him, which was not 
until his creation ; I speak of Adam. But now the Son of God, then 
actually existing, did voluntarily, and by God's appointment, personate us, 
that thereby all blessings, and the promises of them, might be virtually given 
us, by being then given to him for us, as that phrase, 2 Tim. i. 9, imports, 
' the grace that was given us in Chnst Jesus before the world began.' Even 
as a grandfather may give a portion to his son's child yet unborn, by giving 
it to his son, whom he makes his heir and executor — he personally subsisting 
before, and his child in him. 

3. The third advantage is, that hereby our salvation had a sure foundation 
given it in election, not only in God's eternal love and purpose, (the founda- 
tion of the Lord remains sure, he knows wlio are his,) but further also, this 


his first choice of us was a founding us on Christ, and in and together with 
choosing us, a setting us into him, so as then to be represented by him. So 
that now we are to run the same fortune, if I may so speak, with Christ 
himself for ever, our persons being made mystically one with his, and he a 
Common Person to us in election, as Adam was in his creation. Other men, 
as likewise the angels that fell, were ordained to be in themselves, — to stand 
or fall by themselves, — but we were, by a choice act of God's, culled out of 
the lump, and chosen in Christ, and not in ourselves apart. Hence they (the 
other mentioned) stood upon their own bottom, and in a single and naked 
relation unto God ; and so, God dealing with them but as mere single crea- 
tures, according to that law that passeth between the Creator and the single 
creatures, they fell and perished. Bat we were considered in Christ from the 
first, and therefore, though we fall, we shall rise again in him and by him ; 
for he is a Common Person for us, and to stand for us, and is for ever to look 
to us, to bring us to all that God ordained us unto ; and so this foundation 
remains sure. We are chosen in Christ, and therefore are in as sure a con- 
dition, as for final perishing, as Christ himself 

4. There is a fourth end or subserviency of it, that God, looking on us 
thus represented in Christ, and bearing that relation to him, and he to us, 
God and Christ together might from that time delight in us, as you have it 
Prov. viii., and have a complacency between themselves beforehand in us. 
But of this when we come to the sixth verse. 

There are two other things that go to make up this interpretation of these 
words, ' chosen in him,' yet fuller, which are added by some. I shall but 
name them now : — 

1. That we were chosen in Christ as the pattern unto whom we should be 
conformed. God set him up as the pattern, and drew us, as so many little 
pictures, by him and his image. ' He hath predestinated us to be conformed 
to the image of his Son,' Rom. viii. 29. That is the first — 'in him, as the 
pattern of us. 

2. ' In him ; ' say some, this phrase noteth out habitudinem causce finalis ; 
said Anselm, long since, that he was the end of all those whom God chose. 
And therefore, whereas some copies have it ^v airoi, others have it barely 
avTa, which accordingly may be read, ' to him. I shall meet with these two 
in the next verse, therefore I will no longer insist on them here. 

.1 will now give you (for all this is but a doctrinal discourse to open the 
words) some useful observations. 

Ohs. 1. — Learn to give Jesus Christ his full honour, which God his Father 
hath given him. It is a mighty honour, that he is the cause of aU the grace 
and glory that you have, and shall have. But that he should be the com- 
mon Head, set up in election, too, before the world was, this honoureth him 
much more — this setteth another crown upon his head ; and it is pity he 
should lose any honour that may be given him. Saith he, John xvii. 5, 
' Glorify thou me with thy own self, with the glory which I had with thee 
before the world was' — that is, that glory which then, considered as 
God-man, I had in thy repute and estimation, and which thou thyself 
gavest me between me and thee, and which thou respectedst me for ; ac- 
cordingly, even as bearing that person of Head and Mediator, which, ere it 
be long, I shall visibly wear in heaven, give it me now in the sight of angels 
and men. 

Now, since God thus glorified Christ then, do you likewise glorify him in 
your hearts with that glory which he had before the world was ; part of 
which you have heard what it was, namely, that which is propeir to the text, 

EpH. I. 4, tS, (Jrc] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 77 

(for it would take up many sermons to lay it all open.) Men are afraid to 
derogate from God, whilst they give to Christ ; but if we make God the sole 
cause of predestination, there is no danger of giving this honour unto Christ 
in the act of choosing us, that God (as the text hath it) should choose us in 
him. This is the Father's honour, that his will was the womb wherein lay 
both Christ and we too. But this is the Son's honour, that the Father set 
him up from everlasting as a Common Person for us to be chosen in him. He 
chose us in him, and never once considered us out of him. 

2. Observation, or rather Iiisb-uction. — Let God the Father have the glory 
of the act, in that he is the fountain, the first mover in, and the sole cause of 
it. His will and good pleasure did cast it, for the substance of it, and singled 
out our persons, and ordained Christ a Head, and us in him. And remem- 
ber, that as this election is unto this great privilege, to be in Christ, and one 
with him, (of all the highest, and fundamental to all other ;) so that it is 
election, a choice, wherein others were left. God passed by, not only multi- 
tudes of persons whom he could have made, but did not, but also a vast 
number of those whom he did ordain to be. And were you so chosen in 
Christ, as that God never purposed you a being but as in Christ, and then 
gave you this subsistence in Christ, never casting a thought upon you out of 
him ; then reckon of no other being but what you have in Christ. Keckon 
not of what you have in honours, or what you are in greatness or parts, but 
reckon of what you were in him before this world was, and of all the spiritual 
blessings wherewith he then blessed you ; and likewise of what you are now 
in him, by an actual union, as then by a virtual and representative one. 
' Of him,' namely God, ' you are in Christ,' saith the Apostle, in the fore- 
named place, 1 Cor. i. 30. Consider but the reference of the words to what 
was said before, and you will find that there is no being ti-ue and real to be 
valued by us but in Christ. * Of him you are.' That phrase hath an 
emphasis in it ; it is verbum substantivum, relating to other things that seem 
to have a being, but are not. So ver. 27, 'God hath chosen the weak things 
of the world to confound the mighty ; things which are not to bring to 
nought the things which are.' There are other things spoken of, that ' are,' 
and ' are mighty,' and great things in the world's eye, as honours, wisdom, 
strength, &c., ver. 26 ; but glory not of these, says the apostle, as having 
any being. ' Of him you are in Christ,' ' that, according as it is written, He 
that glorieth let him glory in the Lord,' ver. 31. Here is your being, and 
aU the being you have ; and, says he, reckon of no being else ; glory in 
nothing, but only in this, that you are in Christ. For God chose you in 
him ; the being you had was in him before the world was. 

And so much for that, which indeed is the greatest difficulty I am like to 
meet with in this chapter, or in this epistle. 

II. Xow, in the second jilace, as it is said, God hath chosen us in Christ, 
so the time when is specified next, Bejore tlie foundation of the world. 

There are two senses which divines, with whom I have met, do give of 
these words. And I love still to give the largest sense that will hold. 

First, say they, ' before the foundation of the world ' signifies as much as 
from eternity. Why? Because before the world was, there was nothing 
but eternity. If you look past the world, you put your head up into eter- 
nity. And to make good this interpretation they cite John i. 1, where, when 
the Evangelist would express that Christ was eternal, he says, ' he was in 
the beginning.' And if he were in the beginning, at that very instant when 
the world was made, certainly he was from everlasting. Therefore, further 
to confirm this, Pro v. viii. 23, Wisdom says, ' I was set up from everlasting ; 


from the begiuning. ere ever the earth was.' These three phrases, you see, 
are equivalent, and all one. 

The second interpretation that I have met vpithal, in the works of some 
who are yet alive, and which Mr Baines likewise hath, is this, that those 
words do note out the order of God's decree ; namely, that God chose us in 
Christ in his own purpose, before the foundation of the world was laid in 
his decree or purpose ; speaking herein of God after the manner of men. 
Not but that God thought of all at once ; for all his works are known to 
him from the beginning. But because he did subordinate one thing to 
another ; and so he did intend and make the world for his elect ; and in that 
sense he chose Chiist before them, and them before the world. They were 
' set up,' as the pbruse is, first and primarily, in his aim and intention, and 
the world subordin;itely unto them. 

And there is a reason or two for this interpretation ; for otherwise, where 
it is said, 1 Pet. i. 20, that God did ' pre-ordain Christ before the foundation 
of the world,' if the meaning were only this, before the world began to be, 
and not before the world was in God's purpose too, then there were no 
special thing said of God's ordauiing Christ : for in that sense he likewise 
ordained the world before the world was ; that is, he pre-ordained it to be 
ere it did actually exist. But, say they, this phrase importeth a special love 
from God unto Christ, in that he thought of him before he thought of the 
world, and ordained the world merely lor him. 

The other reason is, that otherwise it were incongruous to compare things 
in a like state with things in a difi'erent state. When therefore the Apostle 
speaks of God's decrees, and of our election in comparison of the world, he 
means the world as it also was in God's decrees. And perhaps it may be 
one reason why the word ' predestination ' and ' foreknowledge ' are used in 
Scripture only of God's decrees about man, and not about the world. I 
shall only add a scripture for the confirmation of this, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 
' Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world ; all are yours, and you 
are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' Mark here the order of things ; God 
ordained Christ for himself, ' Christ is God's.' He ordained you for Christ, 
' you are Christ's.' And he ordained the world for you, ' Apollos, Cephas, 
and the world, all are yours.' So that the world was ordamed both for you, 
and for Christ, and for God himself also. 

I will give you an observation or two upon tliis place, and so pass on to 
the next. 

Obs. 1. — First, therefore. If it be taken thus, that God chose you from 
eternity, you see then that God's love is everlasting. Do you therefore 
value it by the eternity of it, as Christ doth, John xvii. 24, ' Thou,' says 
he, ' lovedst me before the foundation of the world.' Christ, you see, makes 
a great matter of it, and why should not we ? If a man were in love with 
a maid when she was a child, and his love towards her grew up together- 
with her, it endears his love the more unto her. It is true of love, as it is 
of whie, that the older it is the better it is. 

Obs. 2. — Secondly. Let God's love have the same valuation with you that 
the love of God himself had of you. You see, according to the interpreta- 
tion given, that he chose you before he purposed to make the world ; he 
preferred you to all the world. We speak not, as I said before, of the prio- 
rity of time, — for all things came up at once before God, — but of what his 
aim and intention primarily pitched upon. The world was but cast in, as 
he saith. Matt. vi. 33. All other things shall be superadded. Have you 
tiie same valuation of God, and of his love 1 This L)avid had. ' Whom,' 

EpH. I. 4, 5, &C.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 79 

says he, ' have I in heaveu but thee ? and there is none to me on earth in 
comparison of thee.' Value God and his love more than all the world, 
though there were millions of them. He valued you before the world, and 
therefore is beforehand with you in his love. He not only loved you from 
everlasting, (whereas your love is but of yesterday,) but in the valuation of 
it, he loved you before all worlds, and preferred you to all worlds : though 
you loved the world first, before you loved him. ' If any man love the 
world, the love of the Father is not in him,' 1 John ii. 15. Why is not the 
love of the Father in him 1 Because the Father loved us before the world 
was. And were a man's heart taken with the love of the Father, certainly 
he would prefer it before all the world ; for the love of God the Father pre- 
ferred him before all the world. Overlook we this world, no matter what 
becometh of it, or of us in it. We look not, says the Apostle, at things 
temporal. Look we to the other world, unto which God hath chosen and 
predestinated us. 

Obs. 3. — A third observation or instruction. See the reason why all 
things in this world do further God's decree of election. ' AU things work 
together for good to them that love God.' In God's purpose and intention 
you came first up before the world, as you may see in that Christian inven- 
tory, 1 Cor. iii. 22, (the place before cited;) all things are yours, Paul, 
ApoUos, Cephas, the world, things present, things to come, life, death, and 
all are yours. And good reason why. God chose you before them all, and 
so plotted the business, that all things in this world should be so marshalled 
as to further and subserve the decree of election. He appointed that thou 
shouldst be poor, another rich ; thou low, another honourable ; one man to 
be deformed, another beautiful; one man to have these and these crosses 
and afilictions in the world, and another few or none at all. And all this 
variety is to further their salvation in a several way ; all is subordinated 
unto election. God ordained our being and condition of living in this Avorld, 
in subordination to that other world. James saith he chose the poor of 
this world. But how 1 Not as first foreseeing them poor, and so pitching 
on them for salvation ; but having chosen their persons nakedly and simply 
considered, he ordained they should for the most part be poor, so to glorify 
his gTace the more, (which is the end of election.) And so he ordained 
whose children w^e should be, which yet is the original of our being. This 
was not plotted first, and then we chosen to salvation ; but we were chosen 
to salvation, and then God allotted or destinated the several times we should 
live in, who should be our parents, and what our conditions ; and all as 
means subordinate to election, so to illustrate his grace the more. And 
therefore care not what thy parentage or what thy condition is here. Thou 
wert by God considered as tiiat which he meant to make thee, even a brave 
and glorious creature, ere ever the consideration of what thy condition here 
should be came in ; this estate of thine here being but the way unto that 
thy country and inheritance. 

Ubs. 4. — In the fourth place. See here the reason why nothing in this 
world can separate a man from the love of God. WTiat says the Apostle, 
Eom. viii. 361 He makes a mighty challenge, he chaUengeth angels and 
men, dominions and principalities, &c., all things in this world, and in the 
world to come : and ' I am persuaded,' says he, ' that nothing shall be able 
to separate us from the love of God.' Why ? He loved us before all 
worlds. That is a good reason. Should my covenant, says God, of night 
and day be hjst ? Let this world run into confusion ; let heaven and earth 
cease to keep their laws ; yet my covenant with you shall not cease. Why 1 


I chose you before all worlds. Here is the reason : * Hills shall remove, 
and mountains depart ; but my kindness shall not depart, neither shall the 
covenant of my peace be removed,' Isa. liv. 10. Why? Because my 
kindness was before the mountains, and before the hills were brought forth, 
(as Wisdom speaks. Pro v. viii.) 

Obs. 5. — Fear not the ruin of kingdoms, nor of the world, for your being 
depends not on either of them ; God chose you before all worlds. Let 
kingdoms totter, and mountains be thrown into the midst of the sea, * we 
have a kingdom that cannot be shaken,' Heb. xii. 28. 

And thus much for the time of our election. 

III. For the end unto which God chose us. The Apostle saith it is, 
That we might he holy and unhla7neahle before him in love. 

By ' holiness' here is meant, either that imperfect holiness of grace which 
we have in this life, or that perfect holiness which we are ordained to in 
the world to come. It is evidently meant of both. 

First, Of that perfect holiness in the world to come, and this principally. 
For, saith the Apostle, he hath chosen us to be holy and blameless. The 
word signifieth such an innocence as no man can justly carp at ; d/xw/^ovr, such 
as a captious Momus cannot take exceptions at ; nay, such as God himself, who 
is more curious than man, shall find no fault with, or blame in ; ' before him.' 
Therefore it must needs be meant of perfect holiness, which he hath ordained 
us unto in heaven ; and, as I take it, is the same with that in the fifth chap- 
ter of this same epistle, ver. 27. Christ will 'sanctify and cleanse his 
church,' which is for the present but imperfectly holy, ' that he may pre- 
sent it to himself glorious, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing ; 
but that it may be holy, and without blemish.' It is the very same thing 
that here we are said to be ordained to in the end. And God will do this, 
to the end that he may look upon us with pleasure. Our imperfect holi- 
ness is indeed holiness before him in truth and sincerity ; but it is not 
holiness before him without blame. It is not such as he can fully and 
perfectly delight in. So that this is the meaning of the place, that God hath 
ordained unto all those whom he hath chosen a perfect holiness, and that 
they should be blameless before him ; which one day they shall certainly 
be. Paul, in Phil. iii. 12, wisheth that he might ' apprehend that for which 
also he was apprehended of Christ Jesus? ' What is that ? A perfection in 
grace. God, says he, gave me to Christ, that I might be perfectly holy. 
For, says he, ver. 14, 'I press towards the mark of the high caUing of God 
in Christ Jesus,' ' if by any means I may attain to the resurrection of the 
dead.' He endeavoured to be as perfect as the just shall be at the resurrection, 
so ver. 1 1 ; for that is it for which God gave him unto Christ. Christ took us 
to bestow this upon us ; and God ordained us unto this. God is so perfect 
in himself, and in his contrivements, that he looketh and pitcheth upon the 
perfection of his works at first. When we were chosen by him, we came 
not up sinful before him, or imperfectly holy as we are here ; but God looked 
at the utmost end, what he would make us at the last; and so presented us 
unto Christ. Now Christ upon that presentation Avas so taken with our 
beauty, that never since can he absolutely delight in us, until he hath sanc- 
tified us and cleansed us, and made us perfect, having neither spot nor 
wrinkle, as at first we were presented to him. 

Secondly, As he hath ordained us to perfect holiness in the world to 
come, to be blameless before him, so he hath ordained us to holiness in this 
life, or else we shall never come to heaven, 2 Thess. ii. 13, ' He hath chosen 
us unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit.' You must run 

EpH. I. 4, 5, (fee. I TO THE EPHESIANS. 81 

through sanctification of the Spirit, or you shall never come to heaven. 
You must be pure in heart here, or else you shall never see God. This ia 
the least intended of the two. 

But you will say. How can our holiness here be called unblameableness 1 
I answer, Yes, in some sense it may be so called ; namely, that evange- 
lically it is such; for you are perfectly holy in desire. You pray that 
God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is the desire of every 
good soul to be unblameable. Again, you may be said to be unblameable, 
because if you sin you make it up again by repentance. So that you see, 
how by holiness and unblameableness are meant both holiness here and 

Accordingly ' before him' hath a double sense : — 

1. If you understand the holiness mentioned of imperfect holiness here, 
the meaning is, that true holiness is not before men, it is before God, who 
approveth of sincerity only ; such as your father Abraham was to you an 
example of, Gen. xvii. 1, 'Walk before me, and be upright.' That expression 
there is all one with this holiness before God here. If the heart be upright 
or sincere before God, that is all one as to be holy before him. In Col. 
iii 22, servants are bidden to do their masters' service as before God, <fec. 
But I cannot stand upon this now. 

2. If that holiness be understood of the holiness of glory, as principally, 
if not only, it is, then ' before him' hath two meanings, and both good. 

The one is this : God hath ordained us to be holy in his presence for ever, 
and there for ever to enjoy him, and delight ourselves in that enjoyment. 
'In thy presence,' saith the Psalmist, 'there is fulness of joy,'&c. 

Or, secondly, the meaning is this : that as we might delight in God, and 
enjoy his face and presence, so he might delight in us, we being perfectly 
holy before him, or in his account. The end of his choosing us was, that we 
might be in his presence, and he delight himself in us, and glory in his 
creatures as made thus holy and thus happy by him. JDulce est amare, et 
amari, — It is a sweet thing to love, and be beloved again. God, though he 
loved his children, yet could not rest in that love, nor heighten it to a 
delight in them, till he had made them blameless in love before him ; till he 
had made them perfectly holy like himself. 

And then lastly, ' in love' is added, as meant of perfect holiness in heaven, 
where there is no faith, nothing but love. And if you take it of imperfect 
holiness here, so all the principles of true holiness are nothing but love. 
' Faith worketh by love.' So that the words may well bear both these senses, 

I shall now give you some observations out of the words, as taken in 
either sense : — 

Ohs. 1. — If this holiness here be meant of perfect holiness, (as certainly it 
is,) see then what heaven is. It is perfect holiness and perfect love to God. 
To be holy before him in love, this is the foundation of the glory in heaven. 
If I should spend millions of years in describing heaven unto you, I could 
say no more, but only open these three things couched in the text, perfect 
holiness in God's presence, and enjoying and loving of him, even as we are 
beloved of him. This is heaven, and this is that which God hath pitched 
upon to bring us to. This is the chief thing in election, in which work 
of God's he looks to this unblameableness in holiness and love before him, as 
the end of it. 

Ohs. 2. — In the second place, whereas the Apostle in the next verse saith, 
' He hath predestinated us to the adoption of children ; ' and in this verse 
foregoing it he saith, ' He hath chosen us to be holy before him in love,' so 

VuL. I. p 


putting holiness before adoption ; this is the reason of it : adoption is a 
privilege of ours, and does indeed contain all the privileges we have, as I may 
so speak, for ourselves ; but holiness is that which is for God — it is to please 
and glorify him, and therefore it is justly here put before the other. From 
whence we may observe — 

That it is God's first aim that we should be holy before him. Let it 
therefore be our great care too. That which was first in God's eye, let it be 
chiefly in ours. Though we be ordained to adoption and glory, yet we were 
first chosen to be 'holy before him in love.' 

Art thou imperfectly holy ? Comfort thyself with this, that though thou 
beest now full of blame, and men may lay many things to thy charge ; 
yet God hath chosen thee to be one day holy and without blame before 
him. Yea, thou mayest comfort thyself against imperfect hoUness in this, that 
when God chose thee, that first view he took of thee, that first idea wherein 
thou wert represented to him, was as he meant to make thee, even perfectly 
holy; such thou earnest up before him in his first intention about thee, even 
clothed with all those jewels and embellishments which he meant one daj' 
to bestow upon thee. What is the reason that God is willing to pardon 
us, and that he pleaseth himself in us now 1 He knows that though we 
be sinful now, yet it will not be long ere we shall be perfectly holy before 
him. Christ cleanseth us, to ' present 'us to himself a glorious church, with- 
out spot or wrinkle.' 

And on the other side, if it be meant of imperfect holiness, as the means 
to the end, there may these observations be raised from that : — 

Obs. 1. — Without holiness here, there is no happiness to be expected 
hereafter. Without God's mercy we cannot be saved; and without holiness 
we are not under mercy, 1 Pet. i. 2, He hath chosen us to obedience of the 
truth. And without purity or holiness no man shall see God. 

Obs. 2. — The ground of all true obedience is love : 'To be holy before him 
in love/ Faith works by love. As no duty is pleasing to God without 
faith, so neither without love. It was not the reason why God chose us, but 
the end unto which he chose us. He hath ordained us to be holy before him 
in love. 

Obs. 3. — There remains one observation more, that is general to both in- 
terpretations, namely, that the foundation of God's love is not loveliness in 
us. Though in our love we cannot love a creature (as, not a child) until it 
is and hath a being, — and not then neither, unless we see something lovely 
in it which may draw out our affections towards it, — yet God can resolve 
to love such creatures as he can make thus and thus lovely, and so 
ordain them to be holy before him, that he may delight in them. He 
can therefore take things possible, in respect of being, — that is, which he 
can, or hath in his power to make and create, — and he can aforehand 
resolve thus and thus to love them ; which we cannot do. And the 
reason of this is, for that his love is only from his own will, as our being 
his creatures also is ; and so the first objects of election may be res cre- 
abiles, non tantum quae actu creatce sunt et existunt, — things that are looked 
upon by him but as yet to be created, not only those that are supposed 
actually to exist. 



Having predestinated its unto adoption by Jesus Christ for himself, accord- 
ing to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his 
grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. — Ver. 5, 6. 

The coherence of these words with the former stands thus : they contain a 
second instance of that general of his premised, ver. 3, wherein the Apostle 
had said that God had blessed us with all spuitual blessings in heavenly 
things in Christ. Now, as in that verse he mentioneth both an act of 
blessing us, ' he hath blessed us,' and in the general or total speaks of certain 
blessings themselves wherewith God hath blessed us, ' with all spiritual 
blessing in heavenly things in Christ ;' so in these following verses he accord- 
ingly instanceth in particulars, namely — 

1, Election, ver. 4. 

2. Predesti7iation, ver. 5. 

Both which are acts of blessing us. 

His first instance is in election : ' according as he hath chosen us in him 
before the foundation of the world.' Here is the act of blessing, that God 
chose us in Christ, and so blessed us; for blessing was joined with choosing, 
as a concomitant of it ; God then giving us all spiritual blessiags when he 
chose us, as out of other scriptures I have shewed. So that the meaning is, 
that then, and in that act of choosing, God thus blessed us ; and that par- 
ticular blessing bestowed by that act is, that we were blessed with a perfect 
holiness, as it there follows, ' that we might be holy and without blame before 
him in love.' 

The second instance he giveth is predestination : * having predestinated us 
unto adoption,' &c. Herem again predestination is the act of blessing, and 
that from eternity; and adoption is the particular blessing wherewith we 
were blessed. And this is the fruit of predestination, as perfect holiness is 
of election. 

Now, as an introduction to the opening of these words, you will expect I 
should first distinguish between chosen and predestinated, or between God's 
election and predestination. To choose, is to single and cull out from others, 
or out of a common lump ; and to predestinate, is, in Enghsh, to fore- 
ordain, or fore-ajtpoint to some end. Now, how do these difier, as they were 
then done by God ? 

1. It may be there was no difierence intended ; but the Apostle being to 
repeat the same thing, or one and the same act, his scope being apart to 
mention those particular blessings by that one word, as they are bestowed 
upon us by that one and eternal act of God's love, he takes occasion about 
them to use two several words or expressions thereof ; especially consider- 
ing that those eternal acts of choosing, predestinating, ic, were all but one 
entire act in God, even as his essence is one. And yet the Holy Ghost is 
pleased to express it by two acts; whereof the one notes out one thmg more 


eminently, and the other another thing, so to convey all of it the fuller unto 
our apprehensions, according to this latter conception. 

2. Some distinguish them thus : that election or choice imports more 
eminently an act of God's will, for choice is an act of will ; but that predes- 
tination is an act of his understanding, as working by counsel. So, ver. 11, 
this seems explained, ' Being predestinated according to the purpose of him 
who worketh all things after the counsel of his mil.' But more expressly 
in Acts iv. 28, ' Whatever thy counsel did fore-determine to be done.' The 
word is the same that is here, -Trfowwffe. So then the difference here should 
be, that election imports simply his decree to the end ; but predestination 
should further note God's contrivement or preparation of means to the 
obtaining of that end. 

3. But though other scriptures may hold forth this second difference, yet 
that it should be here in these two verses intended, I see not. For adoption 
here is set forth to be an end, as well as holiness ; nor are there any means 
in this verse mentioned. And of the two, holiness is rather a means, or a 
foundation laid to adoption, than e contra; and therefore Bollock rather calls 
election, as here used, the decree of the means, and predestination the decree 
of the end. But yet that this notion of his should be the Apostle's scope 
here, I cannot wholly assent to neither ; for the holiness unto which we are 
here said to be chosen is perfect holiness in heaven, which is the end we are 
ordained unto, as well as adoption. And, indeed, both of them are decreta 
finis, decrees about the end, as I shall afterwards shew. 

\Vherefore, the best difference that I can find out, and that is proper to 
the scope of the text, is, that election, although it be a decree about the end, 
or at least one main end concerning what God ultimately meaneth to do 
with us, as well as in predestination ; yet together therewith it does emi- 
nently note forth a singling or culling out some persons with a special and 
peculiar love from others of the same rank and condition ;* both out of 
things possible, which God had in his knowledge, which his power could 
have made, but he never decreed a being unto, which are as infinite as his 
knowledge and power are, (and even out of these there is an election,) as 
also out of all jjersons, whom he did make and actually give an existence 
unto, both men and angels, of whom some he laid aside, as in the case of 
the angels is undeniable. So that election being a preferring of some before 
others, doth connotate the terminus cb qiw, the term or mass of persons from 
which ; but predestination more eminently notes out the terminus ad quern, 
the ultimate state unto which we are ordained. 

And secondly, because by this election, or first calling out from others, we 
are not ordained to a sole and separate being in ourselves ; such as other 
persons, whom he decreed not to save, are only to have, — they all stand upon 
their own bottom ; but a being in Christ, as a Common Person and root to 
spring in and out of, and that in him we were considered and chosen to be 
in the very first act of God's choosing us, (as in God's heart we may be said 
to have stood, although, until converted, we have not an actual being in 
Christ, according to the rules of the Word, which God will judge us by, but 
are ' without God,' and ' without Christ,' as chap. ii. shews :) and therefore 
unto ' chosen ' is added ' in him,' that being the first act that gives us a sub- 
sistence thus in God's mind, and that in Christ. Hence therefore election, 
the first act, having thus singled us out from all things, and decreed us a 
representative being in Christ as members in a head, together with our being, 

* The proper object which election is carried unto are the persons. It is of persons 
aij of persons. He hath chosen hb to being us to such an ultimate end, ordained for us 

EpH. 1. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 85 

predestination then further imports a second act of ordaining us to a glorious 
well-being in him, as the end God means to bring us to. It adds adoption, 
and by adoption is meant the right unto the glory of heaven, as I shall by 
and by shew you, and this is bestowed upon us as a privilege or dignity — 
f^oma, as it is called, John i. 12 — over and above our first being in him ; for 
in him we must first be, ere we can partake of anything through him. Now, 
election was the first act that did put us into him, and then predestination 
was that which conveyed unto us all those privileges which we have through 
him, and union with him, whereof adoption and holiness are the highest and 
most eminent. 

To illustrate this, we must know that things must be purposed to have a 
being ere they can be supposed to have a well-being from Christ ; according 
to that maxim of him, that is, of the Father, whose work all this is, ' Of him 
you are,' and have a new being, ' in Christ,' which Christ is then ' made to 
us wisdom ;' and many other privileges we have by him before we can come 
to have a well-being. In like manner, we must first be supposed to have a 
being in Christ — ' Of him ye are in Christ Jesus,' 1 Cor. i. 30 — ere we can be 
supposed to partake of anything from him, or of any extrinsical or intrinsical 
privilege that is his, or that cometh from him. You know, ere a man can 
have any privilege in the visible world, he must be a man, that is, a son of 
the first Adam. God indeed hath given the world to the sons of men, but 
yet the conveyance and the charter by which they hold it is their coming 
from Adam by multiplication, as it is Gen. i. 26, 28 j so as, before any soul, 
if you could suppose it extant before it comes into the body, can come to 
enjoy the right or privilege of anything in this world, it must be by being 
united to a body that cometh from Adam by propagation, and so it becomes 
one of Adam's posterity. So is it here. Before ever you can come to have 
a right of inheritance in anything of the other world, you must first be sup- 
posed to be in Christ. Now, election is that which first gives you a being 
in Christ, and then God by the act of predestination did appoint you a 
well-being through him. 

Again, look as God in his decrees about the creation did not consider the 
body of Adam singly or apart from hi» soul, nor yet the soul without his 
body, (I speak of his first creation and state thereby,) neither should either 
have so much as existed, but as the one in the other ; so nor Christ and 
his Church in election, which gave the first existence both to Christ as a 
Head, and to the Church as his body, which each had in God's decrees. 

And holiness, which is the fruit of election here, is the image of God, and 
a likeness unto him, which makes us capable of communion with him. As 
Likeness in one man unto another makes him sociable and fit to converse 
with another man his superior, so holiness for communion with the great 
God ; and therefore the Apostle says, ' without holiness no man shall see 
God,' nor indeed ' can see him,' as Christ, John iii. 3. Look as some colours 
are the groundwork to the laymg on of other, and all colours to varnish, so 
is grace a groundwork unto glory and communion with himself Look as 
reason is the foundation of learning, no man being able to attain it, unless 
he hath reason, so we cannot attain the glory of heaven, which is meant by 
adaption, till such time as we have hohness, and perfect holiness. ' Without 
holiness no man shall see God.' So that holiness is the image of God, 
which makes us like unto him, and fit for communion with him; and heaven 
is but communion with God. 

But then, if you ask me what adoption is, it is plainly this : it is a right 
to the glory of heaven, and that is superadded to holiness. ' We groan 


within ourselves,' says the Apostle, Rom. viii. 23, ' waiting for the adoption, 
to wit, the redemption of our bodies ;' that is, till we shall be brought to 
heaven, and to that full and consummate glory there, which not only the 
soul, now made perfect, hath, but which the soul and body together shall 
have when that last part of our redemption is finished, in the resuiTection of 
the body. And therefore it is expressed by the redemption of the body, it 
being that glorious state that follows thereupon. And this we are by 
predestination ordained to, as the end that God would bring us unto. And 
so, some conjoin those two, adoption and glory, Rom. ix. 4, that is, glorious 
adoption, or adoption to glory. And if you look into 1 John iii. 2, you shall 
then see another place, where being the sons of God, or adopted, is put for 
heaven. ' Behold,' says the Apostle, ' what manner of love the Father hath 
shewed us, that we should be called the sons of God ! Beloved, we are now 
the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; for we know 
that, when he shall appear, we shall be like unto him ; tor we shall see him 
as he is ;' even the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. So then, adoption contains 
all the great dignity of a Christian in this life f but ultimately, and more 
especially, as here, that fulness of glory whereby we shall be like to Christ 
in his glory ; according to that in John xvii. 22, ' The glory thou hast given 
me, I have given them.' In a word, adoption and holiness here are all one 
with what the Psalmist speaks, ' He will give grace and glory ; and no good 
thing will he withhold from them,' &c. Perfect grace and holiness, that is 
the fruit of election ; and glory added to grace (that is the varnish of it) 
is meant by adoption. And so you have the first thing, the difference 
between perfect holiness and adoption. 

But then the main question remaineth, Why is holiness made the fruit 
of putting us into Christ, or choosing us ; and why is adoption or glory made 
the fruit of predestinating us 1 for so you see the words carry it. 

You shall see a clear reason for this. Holiness must needs be the fruit 
or consequent of our being chosen in Christ ; for it is essential to a being in 
Christ. It were an absurdity to say that God did ordain a man to be in 
Christ, and not ordain him to be holy. Because if God ordains him to be 
in Christ, he ordains him to be a member of Christ, and the spouse of Christ. 
Now the head and members must be homogeneal, and husband and spouse 
must be of the same kind and image. When Adam was to have a wife, she 
must be of the same species, she must have the same image upon her. 
None of the beasts was fit to be a wife for Adam. God brought them all 
unto him ; but among them all ' there was not found a meet help for him,' 
Gen. ii. 20, because they had not the same image that he had. And who- 
ever has his being from Adam, must likewise have reason from him, as a 
necessary concomitant of such a being. So if God chooseth a man in Christ, 
he must necessarily be holy. And this is the reason why holiness is 
annexed to our being chosen in him, the ordaining us to be holy being 
a natural and absolutely essential consequent of our being elected in him. 

But then, why is glory the fruit of predestination 1 

Now I have given you the reason of the first, the second will easUy 
follow. God might have made us perfectly holy in Christ, and not have 
added glory to it : Rom. vi. 22, ' You have your fruit unto holiness,' says 
the Apt)stle. If there had been holiness, there had been fruit enough ; but 
here is more, ' and the end everlasting life.' So likewise, here is glory added 
to holiness as a further fruit and privilege. Therefore, as God by election 

* There is adnptio imperfecta or incompleta, namely in the pn and title to it that li 
now bestowed. 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 87 

puttetli us into Christ, so lie hatli a furtlier business about us ; he predesti- 
nated us to glory and to the adoption of sons in him. It is a new grace, 
and therefore it is expressed to be the fruit of a new and second act, even 
predestination. Fhis est nos esse fdios quam esse sanctos, (it is Zanchy's 
speech,) It is a further thing to be sons than to be holy, to have heaven, 
and be received to the glory of God, than to be partaker of the holiness of 
God. Predestination therefore is here said to come over us after election a 
second time. God addeth thereby glory to grace, (as the Psalmist speaks,) as 
a fresh, new, and second gift ; for gifts both and each are by the Psalmist said 
to be, ' He will give grace and glory.' Grace or holiness by election, glory 
by predestination. 

And here, ere we go any further, let us pause a little, and view the har- 
mony that is between these things here in the 4th and 5th verses, with 
what the Apostle had said before and ushered this in by. He began in the 
3d verse, ' Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' When 
I opened those words, I gave this meaning of them, that God is first and 
originally the God and Father of Christ, and so becomes our God and our 
Father, according to that in John xx. 17, 'I ascend to my God and your 
God, to my Father and your Father.' When I shewed you how he is the 
God and the Father of Jesus Christ himself, I gave this difference, that he 
was the God of Christ as man, because he chose the human nature unto 
that dignity. Nay, he chose the second Person to be the Mediator, 1 Peter 
i 20, and so was the God of Christ by election. But supposing that man 
to have been once chosen and united to the Son of God, and he becomes his 
Father by the relation of having begotten his Son ; and that relation becomes 
natural between his Father and him. But he is not thus to us a Father by 
a natural relation as to Christ, but wholly by adoption, — which of Christ must 
not be said, — and so by predestination only, ' who hath predestinated us to 
the adoption of sons,' with difference from Christ. Adoption in us depends 
wholly and merely upon predestination and no natural relation. Again, as 
he is our God so considered, he chooseth us to be holy before him, according 
to that express saying, ' Be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,' Lev. 
xix. 2. As he becometh our Father in Christ, he predestinateth us to adop- 
tion of sons. Here are two relations God beareth unto us in Christ ; he is 
our God, and he is our Father, so ver. 3. And here are two acts of God to- 
wards us from everlasting that proceed from these : namely, election, ordain- 
ing us to be holy in conformity to him as our God ; and predestination 
to the adoption of children, as he that thereby would and did become a 
Father to us. 

I conclude this with what Zanchy observes, with what follows after. The 
two (saith he) acts of God for us, in this ver. 4 and 5, agree with those 
words which follow in ver. 6, 'to the praise of the glory of his grace.' 
That God should choose us in Christ to be perfectly holy, there was gi-ace ; 
but that he should add glory and heaven and sonship unto it too, this, says 
he, is to ' the glory of his grace.' And so he makes an auxesis of it, a fur- 
ther heightening of his love, that he not only chose us to be holy, but also 
predestinated us unto adoption and glory : to the shewing forth, not only 
of grace, as in holiness he did, that being the image of his grace ; but the 
glory of his grace, as in adoption, that being the image of his glory. I 
will not much urge this, as here intended ; I mention it only because he 
adds it ; and certainly some such aim there might be, in that aspect which 
these words have to the former. And so I pass to some observations. 

Obs. 1. — In the first place, from what hath been said, take notice how 


absolutely necessary holiness is unto salvation, wticli will appear to you, out 
of what I have said, by these four things : — 

First, Not only that in these thoughts which God had towards us, he did 
first pitch upon holiness, and then upon adoption or glory ; and so he pre- 
ferred holiness to glory, and so should we prefer it to all other privileges 
which we have by Christ ; — 

But, secondly, that holiness is a necessary and essential concomitant to being 
in Chiist, and all other privileges superadded. There was no thought to be 
had of being in Christ, without being holy. Look how incongruous and 
absurd it were to make a beast a son and member of Adam ; so incongruous 
and absurd were it to make one that is unholy to be a member of Christ. 
God never at first cast a thought on us to be in Christ, but with an inten- 
tion that we should be holy. ' He hath chosen us in him to be holy,' saith 
ver. 4. 

Yea, in the iliird place, God is not your God, unless you be holy : ' Be 
ye holy, as the Lord your God ib noly.' God, as I told you, becomes your 
God by election, as he becomes your Father by predestination. If, there- 
fore, God be your God, then be you holy as he is holy. 

And, fouHhly, grace is the foundation of glory. There is not a thought 
to be had of going to heaven without it ; you must first be holy, ere you 
can be so much as capable of that glory ; for the height and top of it is 
communion with God, and God is holy. 

So you see, from what hath been said of predestination, he hath predesti- 
nated us unto adoption ; that is, a sonship in law, in and through Christ, his 
natural Son. Do but think with yourselves, by way of inference, you that 
are believers indeed, what your privileges by your being in Christ will rise 
unto, by considering what is and needs must be included in this little word, 
sonship and adoption. No less than all privileges in this world and the 
world to come, every one of them in the present right to them ; ' now,' says 
the Apostle, now at present, * we are the sons of God, but what we,' by 
virtue of this our being sons, ' shall be,' none in the world, nor we ourselves, 
can know ; none do or can come to know the consequents hereof As we 
say of a mighty rich man, he knows not the end of his wealth ; so we may 
say of a man's being an adopted son of God, none knows what this will 
bring a man to in the end. If a son then an heir, a co-heir with Christ, 
yea, an heir of God ; to possess and enjoy God, as Christ doth. I say as 
Christ doth ; for so it follows in that of John, ' When Christ shall appear, 
we shall be like unto him ; ' just like in our proportion ; as he enjoys God, so 
shall we. Yea, and over and above, he shall have all things into boot. * I 
vdll be his God, and he shall be my son ; ' and what further follows upon 
being a son 1 ' He shall inherit all things.' God himself hath but aU 
things, and thou shalt have all things too ; and this is to be predestinated 
unto adoption. Brethren, think of your privileges. 

I have expounded what it is to be chosen in him, and what to be predesti- 
nated to adoption. 

The division of the fifth verse : — 

The rest that follows in the 5th and 6th verses is to set forth the causes 
of this our predestination. I call them causes in a large sense. 

1. The instrumental cause, Christ : 'by (or through) Jesus Christ;' for in 
and through a relation unto him it is that we are sons and heirs of heaven, 
as in that Kom. viii. 17 it is declared, 'co-heirs with Christ.' 

2. You have the principal efficient cause, and, in him, the mover of God. 
thereunto, viz., the good pleasure 'of his will : ' according,' saith he, 'to the 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 89 

good pleasure of his will.' All is resolved into that, as the supreme first mover 
of all, and you in your thoughts are to attribute all to that, when you think 
of your being made holy or happy. 

3, Thejinal cause, both for whom and for what. 

(1.) For whom ; and the word s/'s avrov is such as will serve either to sig- 
nify ' for himself,' and so referring unto God the Father, or ' for him,' that 
is, for Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is also together with the Father 
one end of this our predestination unto adoption ; therefore that which our 
translators translate ' to himself,' as referring to the person of God the Father, 
I would likewise render ' for him / that is, for Jesus Christ ; reading the 
words thus, ' who hath predestinated us to adoption by Jesus Christ, for him' 
as the second end ; for whom. 

(2.) For tvhat ; ' to the praise of the glory of his grace,' so ver. 6 ; that is, 
for the glory of his grace who did predestinate, which is God the Father. 

And so you have the rest of these verses analysed to you. 

There is nothing questionable herein, but only that I should translate it 
predestinated to adoption ' for him,' and so to carry it to Christ, that he was 
intended as one final cause of our predestination to adoption, as well as the 
instrumental ; that is, that it was intended by God that contrived all in it, 
so as that it should be for him as well as bi/ him. 

I will give you the several interpretations or readings of the words 'for 

1. There are some would interpret it by iv lavrw ; to this sense, that he hath 
predestinated us ' in himself,' to shew that it was God's sole act immanent 
within himself, and in that respect to give him the glory of it as the con- 
triver, &c., ' within himself But this will not hold ; for, first, it is harsh in 
the phraseology of it, to render iJg iavTov by h jayrw. 

2. That God was the cause of predestination, we see how that followeth 
after, for the Apostle attributeth it unto his wUl in the next words, ' accord- 
ing to the good pleasure of his will.' And certainly, in so brief an enumera- 
tion of causes, he could not use a repetition. And therefore — 

3. Others read it, as here our translators have also turned it, ' unto him- 
self,' to this sense : ' Having predestinated us unto adoption to himself,' that 
is, to be children adopted to himself. 

Holy Baines, not being satisfied with this last reading of it, gives two rea- 
sons against this interpretation. First, saith he, that God did predestinate 
us to be children to himself, is sufiiciently implied in the sole word ' adop- 
tion;' for to whom should we be children but to him 1 Not to Christ. 
Again, secondly, the Apostle, saith he, doth not say that He hath chosen ua 
to be sons in the concrete, but he hath chosen us unto adoption in the ab- 
stract ; so the words in the original do run. Now, says he, to add ' to hiror 
self unto ' adoption' in the abstract, that is not proper. If indeed he had 
said, ' He hath chosen us to be sons to himself,' that had been proper ; but 
the words run in that tenor : and therefore Mr Baines, to avoid this, rather 
cliose that interpretation, which yet of all is the worst, ' He predestinated us 
in himself.' 

That translation and interpretation therefore which remaineth is thi», 
that God hath predestinated us either 'for himself as the end thereof, or 
' for him,' namely Christ, as the end of predestinating us to this adoption. 
And the words will fully bear the one as well as the other ; for the preposi- 
tion ti; doth oft-times signify ' for,' as it doth denote the end or final cause ; 
as in the very next verse, ver. 6, £/« 'iiramv bd^ni "^ni ^af^os ahrov, 'to,' or 
for, 'the praise of the glory of his grace,' as noting out the final cause. It is 


the same preposition there that is here used, as likewise in that Kom. xi. 36, 
' All things are of him, and through him, and for him,' ug avrov ; they are the 
same words. 

But then, if that particle ih be admitted to signifj'- ' for,' as importing a 
final cause, the question will be, whether it be for himself, — that is, for God 
the Father, that he should make himself the end, — or whether it be for Christ, 
whom the Apostle had mentioned in the words immediately foregoing. 

I confess, that when I expounded that verse in my lecture, and long after 
that, when I first perfected my notes upon that verse, I observed it not, as 
to such a purpose and issue as I shall now further drive at. But I under- 
stood it then as only to intend that we were predestinated to and for Christ, 
and to the glory of Christ, and so I handled it at large. But seeing the 
Greek word may as indifferently, with a variation of the aspirate, be rendered 
' to himself,' and so refer unto God the Father ; and finding that the Scrip- 
tures do frequently express God's electing of us by choosing us to himself 
and for himself, as I found when I lately handled the doctrine of election, 
(upon Kom. ii. 4-6,) and that there was so much and so great a matter 
comprehended and contained in that expression; I have been thereby 
moved to take that interpretation in also, it being a rule I have always mea- 
sured the interpretation of Scripture by, as I have oft professed, to take 
Scripture phrases and words in the most comprehensive sense ; yea, and in 
two senses, or more, that will stand together with the context and analogy 
of faith. 

Junius, in his conference with Arrainius, apprehended some great matter, 
beyond what was ordinarily pitched on, to lie intended in that small word. 
But he not explaining what, but groping at it, Dr Twiss, who wrote the de- 
fence of that conference, yet finds fiiult with him for obscurity, as not know- 
ing what to make of Junius' meaning. 

Others, to whose interpretation our translators seem to incline, do give 
this as the sole sense of these words, that God predestinated us unto adop- 
tion of children to himself : so as the whole intendment should be taken up 
in this particular, that he hath chosen us to be children to himself : the word 
' to himself' referring only unto our being children to him ; that is, his 

But, says holy Baines, as I observed, it is not in the Greek said that he 
predestinated us to be ' sons' to himself in the concrete ; but that he chose 
us to adoption in the abstract. Now, says he, to ha-^e added ' to adoption' 
in the abstract to 'himself,' is not so proper. Of which I have spoke 

So that I understand the word ' to himself' not primarily or alone to refer 
to adoption of children to him, but to refer distinctly and as immediately 
unto his having predestinated us, and separated us to his own great and 
glorious self, and for and to his great and blessed Son. And that to have 
been another distinct and larger end of his predestinating us than adop- 
tion, over and above, and beyond that. And though that be as a special 
end mentioned first, yet that is but a more particular and lower end in com- 
parison of this other, of God's predestinating us to himself. 

Let us take up his meaning thus, as if he had said, ' He hath predesti- 
nated us to adoption,' that is one end, or benefit rather. But, which is more 
and farther than that, he hath predestinated us even to himself also, in the 
full extent of what that will bear and hold forth. And truly, that which 
would further persuade unto this is, not only that it enlarge th the scope of 
the text to the utmost amplitude, but also, that 'by Jesus Christ' comes in 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 91 

between ' unto adoption' and ' to liimself.' Whereas, if he had only intended 
that we were chosen unto adoption, that is, of children to himself, he would 
have placed them immediately together, and said, ' He hath predestinated us 
unto adoption to himself by Jesus Christ;' but he puts 'by Jesus Christ' 
between the one and the other. 

For Himself : The End of Election. 
I shall, for an enlargement and confirmation of this, run over some places 
in the Old and New Testament wherein the same expression is singly and 
in this general sense used, that God chose us for himself, and not limitedly 
unto this one particular, unto adoption to himself 

1. In the Old Testament, Ps. iv. 3, ' Know that the Lord hath set apart 
him that is godly for himself What is it to set apart, but to choose and 
sever from the rest, even as here in the text, to reserve, doth imply 1 

2. And, secondly. Who was it that he speaks of? David himself, whom 
elsewhere God had chosen, Ps. Ixxxix. 19, 20. 

3. And, thirdly, For what or whom did God choose him 1 Not to king- 
ship only, but ' for himself,' says that text. And therein consists the height, 
the top-glory of our election, as it was of his. The word ' set apart' in the 
Hebrew signifies viagnifying or exalting ; and Aiusworth puts both together, 
and translates it thus, ' hath marvellously or wonderfully separated.' Now 
this great and wonderful exaltation lies in his separating, choosing us for 
himself. To have set us apart for kingdoms, for all the glories found in 
heaven and earth, had not been so much as to separate us for himself. And 
agreeing with this is that Isa. xliii. 20, ' My people, my chosen;' so he had 
styled them. And it immediately follows, ver. 21, ' This people have I 
formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise;' which latter words are 
explicative of the former, ' My chosen.' There is a double formation, one 
in and by regeneration, &c., as that phrase, ' tUl Christ be formed in you,' 
shews. But this is but an imperfect formation, as those words also imply. 
Nor is it all the forming of C!hrist in us that is yet to be, for it is to be per- 
fected in glory. But there was a foregoing one in God's everlasting decree 
of choosing us, ' My people, my chosen ; ' and that is the greatest formation 
of all. God's eternal choice was the womb wherein this birth was first con- 
ceived, and therein perfectly formed as to what we should be for ever. 
David, speaking of his body, maketh a double formation of it, Ps. cxxxix., 
first, one in the wonA, which God saw and had an eye upon, that it should 
be done according to his mind and model ; and of this he speaks, ver. 15, 
' My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously 
wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.' The other in God's decree, ver. 
16, 'In thy book all my members were written.' In like manner there is a 
double spiiitual formation of the elect, and of their souls. One in election, 
wliich was the whole of what they should be to his praise ; therein it was 
that we were blessed wdth aU spiritual blessings at once. God cast the 
mould of all that we should be. All formations in this life are but imper- 
fect draughts wrought by piecemeal, according to that pattern ; they are 
all, to eternity, but several degrees of perfecting and filling up the idea of 
that first draught in God's heart of what he chose us to be, which he pur- 
posed within himself, Eph. i. 11. In that mould w^ere all the prints en- 
graven which we were, by being cast in, to bear the image of And in this 
respect he is said in Isaiah to have formed them, ' They shall shew forth my 
prai.se ; ' which is the same tenor of language with Eph. i. 0, 6, ' Having 
predestinated us to himself, to the praise of the glory of his grace.' 


If you desire yet a plainer scripture, wherein this phrase is, in terminis, 
applied unto God's choosing his people as the end thereof, take that in Ps. 
cxxxv. 4, ' For the Lord hath chosen Jacob for himself, and Israel for his 
peculiar treasure.' This for the Old Testament. 

In the New you have the same. Besides this in the Epistle to the Ephe- 
sians, Rom. xi. 4, ' I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have 
not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.' Here is a precedent of election 
alleged of seven thousand men in Elijah's times, which is thus expressed 
there by God, ' I have left or reserved to myself,' &c. And this in the fifth 
verse he expressly terms ' an election of grace : ' ' Even so then at this pre- 
sent time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.' His 
* even so then ' interprets God's ramd in that speech of his to Elijah, 1 Kings 
six. 1 8, by way of parallel, and manifestly shews his saying, ' I have re- 
served to myself,' to be all one and equivalent unto, ' I have an election of 
grace of seven thousand, whom, by virtue of that election and separation to 
myself, I have kept from Baal's idolatry ; ' and thereby plainly infers his 
ultimate end in choosing was an election to himself. But this I have else- 
where more largely opened. 

Again, when Christ himself from heaven was pleased to give Ananias an 
account of his so dearly beloved Paul, the truth of his conversion, to the 
end to assure him of it he brings forth his own and God's having elected 
him ; from whence, as the original of all, he had now effectually called him, 
and meant and had desig-ned to employ him in his greatest services. And 
how doth Christ ex[)ress his election there ? ' He is a chosen vessel to me,' 
saith Christ, Acts ix. 15. 

So then, whether it be God the Father predestinating us to himself, or 
his predestinating by Jesus Christ to him, — that is, to Christ, — we have 
warrant to apply it unto either ; and by applying it unto both, we make up 
the fuU comprehensive intent of the Apostle in that speech. I shall there- 
fore, in the handling, speak to it — 

1. As in relation to God himself. 

2. As to Jesus Christ. 

1. Fo)' hinuelf ; that is, God the Father. — What it carries with it as it 
relates to God the Father. 

(1.) It notes out a special jiropriety : ' These I have chosen or reserved for 
myself,' is as to say, ' These I have laid my hands upon to be mine.' In 
that of Isa. xliii, 21, fore-cited, he had said just at tte verse before, ' The 
beasts of the field shall honour me ; ' that is, they in their kind. And in 
another place, Ps. 1., he sets his mark upon them, (as men do on their cattle ;) 
they are his, ver. 10, ' For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle 
upon a thousand hills : I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild 
beasts of the field are mine,' and so shall honour hiTin in their kind. Ay, but 
these are my people, my chosen ; I have formed them for myself, &c., and 
are therefore dignified by being styled 'the first-fruits of his creatures,' 
James i 18. Consecrated to him out of the whole, Jer. ii, 3, 'Israel is 
holiness to the Lord, the first-fruits of his increase.' Observe — • 

First, That he, the great God, though most blessed of himself without 
any of his creatures, and needed not have made them ; yet he says of the 
whole lump, ' Ye are mine ; ' as if a rich man should say of his goods of his 
own getting, ' These are my increase.' But — 

Secondly, Of his chosen people he says, ' These are the first-fruits of my 
increase, and holiness to the Lord.' Not only denoting their duty of de- 

EPH. I. 6, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 93 

voting themselves, and all they are, unto his glory ; but furthermore, it 
denotes his consecrating them to himself, as Num. xviii. in the type explains 
it. Our Saviour Christ, in John xvii. 9, makes a great matter of this, ol 
God's taking them to be his : 'I pray for them : I pray not for the world, 
but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.' He had spoken 
before of a world of other men, whom he professeth not to pray for, but 
limits himself to that peculiar company who were his by election, the first- 
fruits of the whole ; ' who,' says he, ' were thine,' and therefore also mine. 
By so vast a difference made between them and the world, as that he should 
profess to lay out the strength of his mediation for them, and not for the 
other ; and that upon this ground and motive, ' For they were thine, O 
Father ! ' He gives it as the reason that moves him so to do ; and that 
which Christ considers in our behalf, as that which had wrought so great 
and special an affection to us, how greatly ought it to affect us ! Now, 
how is it that they are made his but by choice and election? For other- 
wise all the world is his. And you have this in Paul likewise, ' The 
Lord knows them that are his.' Which special propriety set upon them, 
and owning of them as his, is equivalent as to say, they are God's elect, 
Eom. viii. 33. 

(2.) It is a choosing us to be holy before him; a consecrating us unto his 
service and worship. And this is especially instanced in and aimed at in 
Rom. xi. 4, which I fore-cited. ' These,' says he, ' I have reserved to myself,' 
whilst he left the rest unto the worshipping of Baal ; but these I have 
reserved to cleave unto and worship me in purity and in truth. And be- 
sides what is here, heaven is an everlasting, perpetual worship of God. Thus 
also in Paul's instance. Acts ix. 15, there is his particular designment unto 
bearing Christ's name and sufferings for him ; for which he is, in a special 
manner, set out as a cho-en vessel : ' He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear 
my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.' 

(3.) It is to choose them for his glory. For his glory, as manifested, is 
said to be himself; which therefore, he says, 'he will not give to another.' 
And here, in the following verse, it is added, ' unto the praise of the glory of 
his grace.' Of which I have spoken elsewhere, as it is conjoined with his 
choosing us for himself. But — 

(4.) That which I most pitch upon as intended in this expression, is his 
designing us to the nearest oneness and entire communion with himself.* 
A man chooseth goods, and dwellings, and servants for his use, and kings used 
to make a collection of rarities and precious things for their special delight, 
Eccles. ii. 8. Yea, but to choose a spouse, a familar intimate friend, (as Zabud 
is called Solomon's friend, 1 Kings iv. 5,) imports something higher. And 
further, it is one thing for a king to choose to such or such an office or 
dignity, as to choose his lord chancellor, treasurer, chief justice, &c. ; that is 
a choice unto things, to places, and but to outward privileges only : but it 
is another thing to choose his wife, to lie in his bosom, to be one flesh with 
him, and another self with himself; or an intimate companion, to be as one 
soul with him. This latter is to choose to and for himself, and for his own 
person, and unto the highest communion with himself, and a particii^ation 
of himself; the other is but to outward honour, and for his business, his 

* This head I have largely run out upon in that part of a discourse about election, 
' That God hath made it his top and ultimate design in election to ordain us unto a super- 
creation, union with himself, and aoi immediate communication of himdelf ;' unto which 
I refer tho reader for the rest. 


service, and the like. It is in such choices for himself, in which the grace 
and favour of a king in choosing is most seen and shewn ; that is a choice 
indeed ! 

2. For him ; that is, /or Jesus Christ. — In the interpretation before, I said 
the words ug avrov would bear either 'for himself,' as referring to the 
Father, or 'for him,' referring to Jesus Christ, last mentioned. And the 
Holy Ghost intended both these senses ; but yet, if we were to choose but 
one, this would make me think Christ rather to be here intended than God 
the Father, because the Father's being the end of predestination unto adop- 
tion, follows after ' to the praise of the glory of his grace,' namely, of the 
Father, whose free grace is thereby magnified ; although it must be also 
acknowledged that his ordaining us for Christ is to the glory of his grace 

So then let us consider whether it may not be intended of Christ, s/g X^isrhv, 
' for Christ,' for which there are these reasons : — 

1. The words aMv and aurov are promiscuously used, either for him or 

2. I find that many coj)ies do so read it, £/g avrhv, ' for him,' even for Christ. 
So the Vulgar edition, and so some interpreters of all sorts do carry it, as 
Cornelius a Lapide, the Jesuit ; Vorstius, Stapulensis, Castillo, Lubin, and 

3. And, to conclude all, there is this reason for it : If Jesus Christ were 
in predestinating us aimed at by God, as an end thereof, as I shall presently 
make good unto you, then certainly he may be supposed to come in here. 
And so he doth. "Where the Holy Ghost sets himself to enumerate all the 
causes of predestination, he mentioneth God the Father as the end of it, 
over and above, or besides, in those words, ' to the praise of the glory of his 
grace ;' and if Christ should not come in here, he should come in nowhere, 
as a final cause. He cometh in as a Common Person, that is, as our Head, 
in those words, ' having elected us in him ;' also, as a means, in those words, 
' having predestinated us unto adoption by him ;' but as an end, together 
with his Father, nowhere cometh in, unless here, by translating these words, 
SIC a-jTov, for him. 

I come now to some observations, the first of which shall be a general one ; 
there being three following more particular, to make up this general one, 
which is this : — 

Obs. — See here the fulness of Jesus Christ. We are elected in him, so says 
ver. 4, as a Common Head ; so we are predestinated to adoption by or 
through him, so saith ver. 5 ; and we are predestinated likewise for him, as 
it follows in the same verse. He is made in God's aim the end for which 
he did predestmate us, as well as the glory of his own grace. Take notice 
of Christ's fulness, these three things being attributed unto him — in him, 
through him, and for him ; that is his honour. But the Father hath this 
peculiar honour above him, that all things are said to be ' of him :' so, P»,om. 
xi. 36, ' Of him, and through him, and to him are all things.' Now, in 
Christ, and through Christ, and for Christ are ail things, but not of Christ. 
God the Father, as he is Fons Personarum, the fountain of the other two 
Persons, so he is the fountain and first mover of all the works of the other 
Persons — their motion comes from him. You have the same thing expressed, 
by way of difference, between God the Father and Christ, 1 Cor. viii. 6, 
' There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him ; 
and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.' So 
also, 2 Cor. v. 18, 'All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself 

Epn. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHKSIANS. 95 

by Jesus Christ.' I will only cast in this further observation, that as here, 
in the matter of election about our salvation, the honour of these three are 
given Christ, — in him, through him, and for him, — so the same three are like- 
wise attributed to him to express his influence into the matter of creation 
and common providence towards all creatures. In that Col. i. 16, (an epistle 
of kin unto this,) iv avrui, 5/ aurov, £/'; aurbv Tuvra- — in him, for him, 
and through him aU things are said to be created ; of which I have spoken 

This general being premised, I come to the particulars that here make up 
Christ's fulness. 

I have before explained to you how we are chosen in him, and shall now 
further open what these two hold forth of glory unto Christ, that we are pre- 
destinated to adoption ' through him,' and ' for him.' 

These words, bis avrov, will tirst of all bear this sense, ad illius exemplum, 
after his example or pattern ; and if that phrase should not bear so much, 
yet this wdll, ' being predestinated to adoption through him.' The meaning 
is, that Christ being the natural Son, we are made sons like him, even as, in 
many other things, in that which he is in himself, we are made the like in 
him, and conformed therein to him. Is he chosen 1 so are we, thus ver. 4. 
Is he beloved 1 so are we, ver. 6. He first, and then we in a conformity to 
him ; even as he is a Son, so are we in him, ver. 5. 

1. The tirst particular then is, that Jesus Christ was set up by God as the 
exemplary cause of us in our predestination. The meaning whereof is this : 
I will (says God) make those whom I choose in Christ to be like unto him ; 
he shall be their pattern. He is my natural Son, and I wiU make them my 
sons through him. 

To prove that this is intended in this our being predestinated to adoption 
through him, I will only give that place in Eom. viii. 29, ' Whom he fore- 
knew, he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son ;' that 
is, God did set up Christ as the prototype and principal masterpiece, and 
made us as little copies and models of him. That Christ came, and took 
frail flesh in this world, and suflTered unto death as he did, therein we were his 
patterns ; he was conformed unto us in that. He had never come into this 
world had we not first fallen into sin, and brought a frailty upon our nature : 
Heb. ii. 14, 'Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,' 
(that is, of the frailty of man's nature, — flesh and blood cannot inherit the 
kingdom of God,) ' he himself likewise took part of the same.' Here now 
our frailty is made the pattern of his. So likewise, Rom. viii. 3, ' He sent 
his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.' Because we sinned, and so subjected 
ourselves to frailty, therefore God made his Son like us. Mark the phrase 
there used, God sent him ' in the likeness of sinful flesh.' But though we 
were patterns to Jesus Christ himself in all matters of frailty that befell him 
in his way to heaven, — wherein yet, in another sense, he is a pattern to us, in 
regard of the measure of afflictions wherein he exceeded, and therefore we are 
said to be conformed to him in sufferings, — yet I speak in respect of what 
was the consideration upon which God's ordaining of Christ unto afflictions 
and frailties was first founded, and that was, because we had sinned and 
become frail ; and so, forasmuch as we partook of flesh and blood, he took 
part of the same. But take Christ as now in his glory, and invested with 
all his privileges as he is the Son of God, and as perfectly holy, &c., and 
thus he is our pattern. ' We are now the sons of God,' saith the apostle, 
'but it appears not what we shall be; but this we know, we shall be like 
him when he shall appear.' I could amplify this unto you in the first and 


second Adam's conformity one to tlie other, from that place, 1 Cor. xv. 49 : 
as we are conformed to the image of the first Adam — he was earthly and we 
are earthly ; so we are to be conformed to the image of the second Adam — he 
is heavenly, and so are we to be. 

And as Christ was thus set up by God, as our pattern and exemplar in 
our predestination, so — 

2. He was set up as the means or virtual cause through whom, that is, by 
virtue of whom, God would adopt us by union with him. Jesus Christ, 
you know, is himself God's natural Son ; but how shall we come to be 
sons 1 God putteth us into Christ, he chooseth us to be in Christ, to be 
married to him, and he betrothed us to him from everlasting ; for Jesus 
Christ then betrothed himself unto us, when in election he undertook for us 
with his Father ; and so we become sons-in-law unto God. So that Jesus 
Christ is the instrument, or rather virtual cause by or through whom God 
makes us sons. Even as a woman comes to be a man's daughter-in-law by 
marrying his son, or by his son's betrothing himself to her; so are we 
sons-in-law unto God, — as the word ' adoption ' plainly signifieth, — even by 
a positive law ; and this by marriage with his Son, which makes the rela- 
tion nearer and stronger than those kind of adoptions among men do, when 
marriage with a child is not added to it. 

Now, how is this being adopted through him to be understood 1 Of 
being made sons through his merits, or through the mere relation to his 
person 1 

I answer, through the relation to his person, and Christ's being a Son. I 
am in this of learned Mr Forbes's mind, that adoption, as primitively it 
was in predestination bestowed upon us, was not founded upon redemption, 
or Christ's obedience, but on Christ's personally being God's natural Son. 
Our justification indeed is built upon his obedience and sufferings, as ver. 7 
hath it, ' in whom we have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins, through 
his blood.' But our adoption is through his being the natural Son of God, 
and we his brethren in relation to his person. To explain this : God or- 
dained us to communion or fellowship with Jesus Christ in all things, so 
1 Cor. i. 9, and so to partake of all his dignities, and whatever else in him 
we were capable of ; as of all tilings in him, so likewise things even as they 
are in him, both in respect of order, — that in that order they are in him, 
are they also intended unto us, — and also in such manner as that which is 
bestowed on us doth answer to what is in him ; and likewise in respect of 
causation, that anything which we have answering unto what is in him, is 
still founded upon that which is in Christ answering thereunto. 

Now, as this privilege, to be the natural Son of God, was first in Christ 
himself, and was the foundation of merit in him ; so this grace, to be God's 
adopted son, is first intended and founded upon his being God's natural Son; 
and then after that was intended what is the fruit of Christ's merit, namely 
justification founded upon his obedience. 

Only let me add this caution, that we having indeed lost all our privi- 
leges, Christ was fain to purchase them anew. And so indeed it is true 
that adoption and all the rest are the fruits of his merits, as actually they 
come to be bestowed. Therefore the Apostle, Gal. iv. 5, saith, that he re- 
deemed us, ' that we might receive the adoption of sons ;' mark the phrase, 
that we might receive adoption. Our sins and bondage under the law and 
curse of it were an obstacle and impediment why God could not actually 
bestow adoption. And so indeed it is true, that our receiving adoption 
depends upon redemption ; yet still intended it was, and founded upon our 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIAN^ 97 

relation to Christ's person as lie is God's natural Son, and we married unto 
him. And so, when sins are by his merits done out of the way, then this 
comes to take place. And so justification is by Junius rightly called via 

Now then, election that gave us relation to Christ, did put us into him ; 
God chose us in him. And then came predestination, and gave us this 
privilege. Is Christ my Son 1 says God. They shall be my sons, too ; 
they shall be like him. Is he my heir 1 They shall be heirs, and co-heirs 
"vs ith him. And this may help to solve that question among divines, whether 
Joption or justification be the first benefit. For, I answer, that in God's 
intention of bestowing it from everlasting in predestination, adoption is the 
first, as being founded upon our mere relation to the person of Christ ; and 
this without the consideration of merit. But for the actual bestowing it 
upon us, pardon of sins goes first. We are redeemed from under the law, that 
we might receive the adoption of sons, and that God might own us as such ; 
60, John i. 12, to as many as believed he gave this privilege, that they should 
be the sons of God. 

Now, take notice of this difference, to see your privilege yet further, as 
you are in Christ. Adam was created holy, perfectly holy ; and, Luke iii. 38, 
we read that he was the son of God, but nowhere that he was the son of 
God by adoption through Christ. In the 38th of Job, the angels are called 
' morning stars ' and ' sons of God ; ' but nowhere are they called such by 
adoption through Christ. They were sons indeed, per gratiam creationis, 
because God made them, and in his own likeness, and so by creation was 
their Father. But they are not sons p)^''' gratiam adoptionis, especially not 
in Christo, vel per Christum, as divines speak. They are not sons by the 
grace of adoption, nor sons-in-law of God by being married unto Christ. 
No, this is proper only to believers. Now consider the greatness of this 
privilege. What, says David, is it a small thing to be son-in-law to a king? 
You may haply be a king's favourite or creature, as the term is ; he may 
make you great ; but to make you his son-in-law by marriage of his daughter, 
this is a further and more royal privilege. The angels are God's favourites 
And creatures ; he made them what they are. But we exceed them ; we are 
his sons, by being put into his Son Christ, and by a relation to his person. 
To which of all the angels hath it at any time been said, You are adopted 
jons through Christ ? And which of them hath Christ called brethren ? I 
will not say it is the meaning of that place, Heb. xii. 22, (I will but suggest 
itj) ' You are come,' says the Apostle, ' to the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innu- 
iiKrable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first- 
born that are written in heaven.' Why are we called God's first-born, — for 
the Apostle seems to intend the church of elect men as distinct from the 
angels, for he had mentioned them before, — but because that as Jesus Christ 
is called God's first-born comparatively unto us, he being God's natural 
Son, so it may be that we are called God's first-born in comparison of the 
angels, in regard that we have a higher privilege of sonship than they have 1 
For we are sons through Christ. God hath predestinated us unto the adop- 
tion of sons through Christ. 

And so I come to the third thing in the text, that as w€ are predestinated 
unto adoption through Christ, so also for Christ. So that Jesus Christ is 
likewise the end which God set up in predestinating us to this adoption and 
glory, and to perfect holiness. And this is the highest honour of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. It is a point of some difl[iculty, and therefore I shall some- 
what the longer insist upon it. 



The meaning of it is this. God having a natural Son, the second Person 
in the Trinity, whom he would make visibly glorious in a human nature, 
through an union of it with this divine nature, or second Person, — which 
human nature should by that union become his natural Son, — now upon the 
glorifying this second Person did God's decree primarily pitch ; and for his 
greater glory, ordained us to be adopted sons through him, and as brethren 
unto him ; for should he be alone 1 No ; God will have his natural Son to 
have fellows ; and therefore he predestinateth others for him, to be his com- 
panions ; thus, Ps. xlv. 7, they are called. ' God,' saith the Psalmist unto 
Christ, ' hath anointed thee above thy fellows,' or peers. As, Zech. xiii. 7, 
the man Christ Jesus irs called God's fellow, so in this psalm we are called 
Christ's fellows. And therefore God hath predestinated us to adoption of 
sons, as ihrovgh him, so for him, that he might have company in heaven — 
to what end you shall see by and by. He is God's fellow; we are his 
fellows. He is God's natural son ; we are sons by marriage with him. 
John xii. 24, Jesus Christ compares himself to a seed, which, saith he, if it 
dies not, it remains alone. His speech implies, that he was loth and had 
no mind to be in heaven alone ; No, says he, I will have fellows there. 
Christ was to have company in heaven with him. And you shall see how 
this tended to the glory of Christ ; for he is made the end of this decree of 
us and our adoption — 

1. To greaten his glory and excellency the more, by comparison with 
younger brethren, that his glory might the more appear, as by comparison 
things do ; in that he is, as Rom. viii. 29, ' the first-born among many 

2. God did ordain other sons besides him, for him as the end, that there 
might be those about him who might see his glory and magnify him, as you 
have it John xvii. 24. God had given Jesus Christ, by choosing him to the 
union with our nature, an infinite glory. Now, says Christ there, ' Father, I 
will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they 
may behold my glory.' And, in 2 Thess. i. 10, it is said that Christ shall be 
' glorified in his saints, and made wonderful in them that believe.' Those 
that believe are for this end, that Christ may be made wonderful in them, 
and also to them. And at the 10th verse of that 17th of John, ' I am,' says 
Christ, ' glorified in them.' 

3. God thus ordained us to adoption that Christ might be glorified by 
being the cause of all our glory by adoj)tion, and in that all we have, we 
have it through him, as it is here. And reason good that he should be the 
end of all, through whom we were to have all, and that we should be for 
him. So, Rom. xi. 36, they are conjoined, ' Through him, and for him, are 
all things ' — namely, through and for God, of whom the apostle there speaks. 
And so it is said of Christ, dia avrou, and ilg aurhv, as being therefore /or him, 
because through him. In Col. i. 16, you read that God created all things 
' in him ' and ' for him.' I have shewed, in another place, that it is meant 
of Christ, as supposed to have a human nature. And it foUoweth at the 
18th verse of that chapter, that ' he is the head of the body, the church, who 
is the beginning, the first-born from the dead ; that in all things he might 
have the pre-eminence.' God set him up to be the head of the body ; and 
if he be the head of his members, he is then their end. This I gather out 
of 1 Cor. xi. 3, compared with ver. 9 : ' The head of every man is Christ ; 
and the head of the woman is the man ; and the head of Christ is God' 
Part of the meaning whereof is, that God ordained Christ for himself, man 
for Christ, and woman for man ; which is manifest by comparing this with 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 99 

what is said at ver. 9, 'The man was not created for the woman, but 
the woman for the man ; ' he having said before, that the head of the woman 
is the man. He speaks this indeed of Christ's priority to man in common 
by the law of creation. Therefore he says, ' The head of every man is Christ,' 
not believers only. Yet I may well draw the like argument from that his 
common natural relation of headship to every man, into this his special rela- 
tion of being a head to his Church : that if he be their head, that then they 
were created for him ; they were ordained for him, and not he for them. 
Adam, you know, was Christ's type. Now he was not made for Eve, but 
■^v^e for him. And look what Adam was in creation, that was Christ in 
election, when we were put into him. God first made Adam ; and then, 
seeing it was not fit for Adam to be alone, he brought Eve as a companion 
for him. So did God bring the Church unto Christ as a meet companion 
for him, for it was not meet that he should be alone ; and so we were 
chosen for him. As therefore the woman is called ' the glory of the man,' 
in the same 1 Cor. xi. 7, so are the saints called ' the glory of Christ,' 2 Cor. 
viii. 23; and John xvii. 10, 'I am glorified in them,' says Christ, &c. So 
that in election Christ held the primacy, the firsthood, — as in dignity, so in 
order, — in that we were ordained for him. And so it follows in the con- 
clusion of all, in that Col. L 18, 'that in all things he might have the pre- 

Now to enlarge this a little. In the decrees of election, the consideration 
of Christ, as to assume man's nature, was not simply or only founded upon 
the supposition or the foresight of the Fall, as if occasioned only thereupon. 
For besides what the former explication of those words, that we were 
' chosen in him,' does afford ; this also, that we are ' predestinated for him ' 
as the end of all, gives a sufficient ground against such an assertion. Now, 
mark my expression. I say, not only upon the consideration and foresight 
of the Fall ; and that upon this ground, that all things were predestinated 
and created for him. Whereas to bring him into the world only upon 
occasion of man's sin, and for the work of redemption, were to subject Christ 
unto us, as he was to be incarnate and hj'postatically united to a human 
nature, and to make us the end of that union, and of his personal dwelling 
in that nature. Whereas he, as so considered, is the end of us, and of all 
things else. This were also to have the person ordained for the benefits (as 
i-edemption, heaven, &c.) which we were to have by him, which are all 
far inferior to the gift of his person unto us, and much more to the glory 
of his person itself. His person is of infinite more worth than they all can 
be of 

Neither yet, on the other side, do I, or dare I, affirm that Christ should 
have been incarnate, and assumed our nature, though man had never fallen ; 
because all things are ordained to fall out no otherwise than they do. God 
therefore never made such a single decree alone, that Christ should come into 
the world, but as always having the Fall in his eye, and his coming to 
redeem also. I account that opinion as great a chimera and fiction as many 
of those school questions and disputes, What should have fallen out if Adam 
had stood ? &c., which are cut off with this, That God never ordained his 
standing. This is all that I affirm in this point, that God, in ordaining 
Christ, the second Person, to assume a human nature, had not Christ in his 
eye only or chiefly as a redeemer, but withal looked upon that infinite glory 
of the second Person to be manifested in that nature through this assumption. 
Both these ends moved him ; and of the two, the glory of Christ's person, in 
and through that union, had the greatest sway, and that so as even re- 


demption itself was suborclinated to, and ordained for the glory of his person, 
as the end of all first and chietiy intended. 

I shall open it unto you thus. When God went about to choose Christ 
and men, he had all his plot before him in his understanding, through the 
vast omnisciency of that his understanding, (by divines called his Simple 
Intelligence^ which represented unto him, as this plot which his will pitched 
upon, so infinite more frames of worlds which he could have made ; and all 
these he must be supposed to have had in his view at once, afore ever his 
will concluded all that was ordained to come to pass. Now, he having 
Christ, and the work of redemption, and us, and aU thus before him, the 
question is, which of aU other projects he had most in his eye, and which 
his will chiefly and primarily pitched upon to ordain it 1 I say, it was Christ 
and the glory of his person. God's chief end was not to bring Christ into 
the world for us, but us for Christ. He is worth all creatures. And God 
contrived all things that do fall out, and even redemption itself, for the 
setting forth of Christ's glory, more than our salvation. 

And the reasons for this are — 

1. (Out of ver. 6.) That Christ is God's beloved, and beloved for himselt 
And Deus unumquodque amat prout illud amabile est, — God loves every 
thing according to that degree of loveliness that is in it. Now Christ, or 
the Sfcond Person dwelling in that human nature, is per se amabilis, amiable 
for and of himself, and so is by God eligihilis per se, et j^ropter se, of and for 
himself, as being an absolute good, which no other creature is. Whereas the 
work of redem[ition performed by Christ was not per se amabile, not loved 
or pitched upon for itself. But that which gives the loveliness unto it is a 
remedy for sin, as Rom. vi. 10, and in that respect the goodness of it is not 
absolute and intrinsical, but accidental ; but the goodness, the loveliness that 
is in Christ's person, is absolute, and in itself such. And therefore, to have 
ordained it for this work only, had been to have lowered and debased it. 

2. (Out of ver. 5.) The grace of the hypostatical union infinitely trans- 
cends that of adoption. The being God's natural Son far surpasseth our 
being his adopted sons, and therefore was in order ordained first. And 
therefore it is that, as the text also hath it, we are said to be predestinated 
unto adoption through him ; that is, through him as God's natural Son, and 
that as supposed man. For unto him as God-man is it that we have this 
or any other relation. 

3. Yea, thirdly, the work of redemption itself was ordained principally 
for Christ's glory, more than for our salvation. In Phil. ii. 7, the Apostle 
tells us, that Jesus Christ took upon him the form of a servant, and became 
obedient to the death (there is the work of redemption;) 'wherefore,' saith he, 
' God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name,' &c. 
The plot of redemption therefore was subjected to the glory of Christ, and 
not Christ to it. 

4. Now, fourthly, I might shew that then, when God took into his 
counsel and foreknowledge all his works projected by him, and this of 
Christ's assuming our nature as one among the rest, it was Christ's due that 
he should be the end of all, and that all God's decrees should be so framed 
as to make him the end of all, as well as God's own glory. So that in this 
there was that respect had unto Christ in those decrees of God, and he was 
60 made the end of all therein, as no mere creature, no not the most emi- 
nent, could have been. There is a transcendency on Christ's part in this, 
that holdeth good in no creature. God might have made the angels and 
the elect, and not ordained the angels to serve the elect. That one creature 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE ErHESIAXS. 101 

is any way made the end of another to serve it, was a matter of liberty 
unto God, and depended merely upon his arbitraiy institution. But if God 
wUl ordain Christ and a world, angels and men elect, or whatever else toge- 
ther with him, it is due that God's decrees about all these be so shaped and 
cast that all should serve him ; for they must ali be his inheritance, and so 
he must be set up as the end of them all. And this is such reason as no 
man can deny. But I have spoken to this upon Col. i. 16, 17. That 
which I shall further add to this point, and which is more proper to this 
place, is, whether Christ's glory was considered by God as a motive unto 
God in predestinating, as God's own glory was. I know orthodox divines 
do grant that Christ was set up as the end of all things predestinated, who 
yet dispute and doubt whether Christ was so considered of God hi the act 
of predestinating as to be the motive to move God's wUl to predestinate us, 
and ordain all things else with Christ. For, say they, nothing out of God 
is or can be any motive to him to predestinate ; for he purposeth all things 
in himself. 

For the resolution of this, I say — 

1. That it is certain that the only determining or first moving cause that 
inclined God's will to predestinate both Christ and all things else with him, 
was his own will. He was so happy in himself, that he needed not that 
glory which is manifested in and by the union of the second Person with a 
human nature. 

2. Yet, secondly, it is as certain that, so far as the manifestation of the 
glory of all or any of his attributes did or might move him to predesti- 
nate us, or ordain any of those works which he hath ordained, so far might 
the glory of the second Person move him to manifest it in and by this 
union, which was the highest way of glorifying him. In the sixth verse 
you read (and so in the thirteenth) that God predestinated us ' for the praise 
of the glory of his grace ;' that is there made an end that moved him. 
Now, what is the glory of his grace 1 It is but the glory of one of God's 
attributes. Suppose then you put instead of it, ' to the praise of the glory 
of his Son.' Is not a person of the Trinity as near to him as one of his 
attributes? Is not his Son as much to him as his grace? Certaudy he is. 
And then he might as well aim at the highest glory of the second Person, which 
ariseth from this personal union, as at the glory of his grace in predestinatmg 
us. Thus, John v. 22, 23, ' God hath given all judgment to the Son, that 
all might honour the Son as they honour the Father.' He therefore took 
his Son's glory into con-sideration, as well as his own. 

And whereas it is objected, that nothing out of God can move God, it is 
true he predestinates all thmgs by his own wiU. and essence, even as he 
understands all things by his essence ; so as that only was the cause that 
cast that determination in his wiU to the decreeing anything at all ; yet 
60 as, not-v\athstanding, the praise of the glory of his grace or power, &c., 
must be said to have moved him in the act : and this, although this praise 
of his glory be a thing out of himself, — as indeed it is, for it is that shine or 
result of his glory that arises out of all in the hearts of angels and men. 
But though this praise be not essentially God, yet it is God's ; it is relatively his, 
and it is his peculiar. And so to say that it moves him in predestinatmg, is 
all one as to say that himself moves himself For this praise relates to 
himself, and so he is said to make all things for himself, that is, for the 
praise of himself ; which praise yet is not himself essentially, but his rela- 
tively. Now, even so the glory of the second Person, to be manifested in 
the human nature through that hypostatical union, is a thing out of God. It 


is not the person of his Son, but is relatively his Son's ; and so moves him in 
the same order that the praise of the glory of his grace did. Only, to pre- 
vent mistakes, take in these four cautions : — 

First, That take the human nature which was assumed, and that as in 
God's simple intelligence it came up before him, as all ours did, and it was 
not anything in that human nature that moved him to predestinate it, or any 
thing else for it. Nor was the glory of that human nature made the end in 
the act of predestinating ; but it was the glory of the second Person only, 
which God saw might be more fully manifested in this personal union than 
any other way : that was it that moved him, and that was made the end of 
alL For otherwise the assuming of a human nature was as mere an act of 
grace as to predestinate any of us was. Yea, Christ might have assumed 
(take all things as they lay in a possibility before him) any human nature 
else unto that dignity, as well as that which he did assume. 

The second caution is, That much less were Christ's merits considered as 
any motive unto God. They are but actions which are means of Christ's 
glory, and so far less than the glory of his person, and so are to him but as 
God's works are to himself. It was therefore the glory of his person alone 
that can, in the business we now speak of, be any way called a motive. 

And that, thirdly, not unto the act, but in the act ; for as for the act itself, 
God's wUl cast it beyond the force of the simple consideration of any such 
extrinsical glory that could arise unto him or any of the three Persons. 
Nothing without himself raised up that will in him ; only, inter prcedestinan- 
dum, in the act of predestinating, he set up this glory of the three Persons 
as the end for which he contrived and ordained all things : which must needs 
be ; for if the terviinus, or purpose of his will, was works without himself, 
then the encouraging motive to those works is suitably short of glory, which 
ariseth to him out of these. 

And, fourthly. That Christ and his glory was set up as the end, is not to 
be understood as if God by one single act or decree did first predestinate 
Christ and his glory, and then by a new and distinct act chose us for him. 
But, that God having his whole platform, both about him and us, in one 
entire view before him, predestinated all by one entire act ; yet so as in pre- 
destinating us, he was moved by the glory which Christ should have in us, 
whom he predestinated together with us, as both his end in predestinating 
us, and our end also ; and accordingly did mould this whole contrivement 
so as we and all things else might moat advance the glory of Jesus Christ, 
as was his due. 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIAN& 103 


According to the good pleasure of his will; to the pi'aise of the glory of his 
grace, wherein he Jiath made us accepted in the beloved. — Ver. 5, 6. 

I COME to those other two causes mentioned in the text ; as — 

1, The efficient and principal cause that cast it; and that is merely the 
' good pleasure of his will.' 

And, 2. here is another motive, besides the glory of Christ before-men- 
tioned ; and that is, ' the praise of the glory of God's grace,' * According 
to the good pleasure of his wlII, to the praise of the glory of his grace.' The 
one is mentioned first, as that which did only cast the act, and move God 
to predestinate ; the other, as that which yet moved him in the act itself. 

Now, for the explication of both these in general, you may thus conceive 
the difference between them. God, blessed for ever, deliberating, as it were, 
with himself whether he should make any creature or no, whether he should 
decree any children unto himself, or his Son to take human nature ; that 
which cast the matter was merely the good pleasure of his will. He might 
have been blessed for ever without this ; he needed not have cared to make 
so much as one creature, nor to ordain the second Person's assumption of a 
human nature to glorify him. He neeued not that external praise of the 
glory of his grace that ariseth from us. He was giorious enough without aU 
this. What cast it then 1 Nothing but the good pleasure of his will. Here 
is God's prerogative and blessedness. 

And the reason why nothing but God's own will could move him to it is, 
because all that the creature can be to him, or do for him, falleth short of 
him, and of the glory due unto him. Neh. ix. 5, ' Bless the Lord your God : 
blessed be his glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.' 
God is above all blessing and praise ; for him, therefore, to aim at the praise 
of his grace, this was not motive sufficient to determine his will simply to 
do it. It Avas his own will that merely cast it, only it being determined to 
predestinate creatures, it propounded to itself the praise of the glory of God's 
grace, wisdom, and other his attributes ; and so they move him in predesti- 
nating, though not to predestinate. 

More particularly, for the first, the efficient, determining cause of pre- 
destination. If you observe it, it is not only put upon God's will, but upon 
the ' good pleasure of his will ; ' so saith the text. And this also is to be 
confined only to that part of his decrees of election, and predestinating men 
unto salvation ; so as, between those decrees and all other there is this dif- 
ference, that when other things, and making of other creatures are spoken of, 
the decrees about them are only put upon his will; as Eph. i. 11, 'He 
worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will ' — barely ' his own 
will.' But when he comes to predestinate and to save poor creatures by 
Christ, there comes in the ' good pleasure of his will,' as the determining 
cause. 'He predestinated us according to the good i^leasure of his will,' 
xard rrtv Budoxiav no ^s? ^j/xaroj «L/r&D, — that is, this is the strength, the height 


of his whole will ; this is the chief pleasure of it, even to predestinate us for 
Christ. Piscator, upon Matt. xi. 26, where the same word is used that here 
we meet with, ' Father, I thank thee that thou hast hid these things from 
the wise and prudent ones, and revealed them to babes ; even so, Father, it 
pleased thee,' on c'jrcag ly'sviro ihooy.ia e/xcrs&ff^ii' cou — therefore, saj^s Piscator, 
reprobation is an act of God's good pleasure of his will, as well as election is. 

My answer to this is, first, tliat when he there thanks his Father, and 
says it was his good pleasure, this hath not relation so much unto God's 
reprobating others as to his revealing of those things unto these babes; 
only this his good pleasure towards them is set off by his hiding it from 
others whom he reprobateth. The like manner of speech we have in many 
other scriptures, both in the Old Testament and the New ; as, Eom. vi. 17, 
when Paul says, ' God be thanked ye were the servants of sin, but now have 
obeyed,' &c., his thanking God hath no reference at all to their having 
been the servants of sin, simply as such considered, but unto their having 
been now converted, and so obeyed, &c. ; only, comparatively, the mercy of 
their conversion is set forth by their having been the servants of sin. So 
here, Christ gives thanks only for the converting of these babes, and not for 
the reprobating of any. Only he mentions their reprobation and rejection, 
as that which made this benefit the greater, and his good pleasure in shew- 
ing his free grace the more visible and apparent. 

But, secondly, whatever God willeth may in a general sense be called his 
good pleasure ; for if it did not please him, he would not will it. But still 
it is not said there, as here it is, that it was the good pleasure of his will 
The phrase there hath not that adjectum, that addition to it, that here it 
hath. The meaning whereof is, that of all the things that God willeth, this 
alone (comparatively) is his good pleasure. He is pleased with nothing 
that he willeth so as he is with this. It is true he damneth men, but 
he doth it as a judge that condemneth a malefactor with a kind of regret 
and displeasure. And this may be truly said of it, that it is a mixed action. 
God hath something in him that moves him to the contrarj'-, for he loveth 
his creature ; only other ends prevail. But when he cometh to save men, 
here is the good pleasure of his will ; his whole heart is poured forth in this : 
Jer. xxxii. 41, 'I ^vill assuredly establish them with my whole heart, and 
with my whole soul.' God, when he shews mercy, when he predestinates 
unto glory, he doth it with his whole heart ; there is nothing in him to con- 
tradict it ; here is no mixture in this, all that is in him agreeth with it. 
It is therefore not only according to his good-will, but it is the top and 
height of his will ; the most pleasing thing unto him of all the things that 
he willeth. It is ' according to the good pleasure of his will.' 

Thus you have that which is the chief cause, which I call the determining 
cause — namely, the wiU of God, ' the good pleasure of his wiU ; ' that was 
it that caused him to predestinate. 

Now, let us come to the other, the end that moved God, even 'the praise 
of the glory of his grace.' And here, for explication, take notice of the dif- 
ference between the ' glory of his grace,' and the ' praise of that glory.' 

This ' glory of his grace,' here spoken of, is that glorious attribute itself, 
which is God's essence, which was in itself glorious, and had continued so, 
though no creature had been predestinated. But the ' praise of that glory ' 
is that holding forth of the glory of this grace, that men might praise it, and 
give glory to it. So, then, conceive thus of it. The Lord had grace in him, 
glorious grace ; that was his essence. And that which moved him to pre- 
destinate us was, that this grace of his might be praised. This is the mean- 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THK EPHESIANS. 105 

ing of these words, ' to the praise of the glory of his grace.' It is all oue 
with what you have Rom. ix. 22, 23, ' He was willing to make known the 
riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy.' God had riches of glory in him : 
yea, but, saith he, I will make it known. This was it that moved him ; yet 
not so but that he could have done otherwise, he needed not to have cared 
for it. But his will determining to go forth of himself to glorify himself, he 
will do it to purpose ; he will lay open all the riches that are in him ' to 
the praise of the glory of his grace,' as here you have it. 

And the reason of this is, because as honum est sui diffusivum, all goodness 
is communicative of itself, so glory is manifestive of itself, even as the light is ; 
and this moves him to manifest this his glory. 

You must know that God hath a double glory : an essential glory, namely, 
that of his attributes, as of wisdom, all-sufBciency, grace, &c. ; and he hath 
a manifestative glory, whereby the glory of all these attributes is manifested 
unto the world. And this may move him ; in that, although it be not his 
essence, yet it is his relatively, though not essentially. 

Now observe further, that only the glory of God's grace is mentioned by 
the Apostle, when he speaks of that which moved him to predestinate. Why 
doth he not say. To the glory of his holiness 1 or, To the glory of his justice 
or power 1 All these were and are manifested in the things purposed in 
election too ; but he sheweth his holiness elsewhere, and his power and jus- 
tice elsewhere. He sheweth his holiness in making the law, his power in 
making the world, his justice in throwing men to hell. But his grace he 
shews nowhere so much as in the predestination of his children, and what 
he hath predestinated them to. He sheweth all his attributes therein, and 
gi-ace over and above all the rest. Therefore that is here singled out and 
alone mentioned, especially because the act of predestinating itself, that is 
simply and only from free grace. And therefore you still find, that wherever 
election is spoken of, it is put upon his grace ; both in that he chooseth freely, 
seeing nothing in the creature to move him, and in that he therein puts a 
difference between his elect and others. And therein lies the formalis ratio 
of grace, Rom. xi. 5, 6, 'There is a remnant according to the election of 
gi-ace ; and if by grace, then it is no more of works.' Other men God left, 
to deal with them according to their works ; but in predestinating his chil- 
dren, he dealeth with them according to his free grace in Jesus Christ. 

To come now to some observations. 

Obs. 1. — You see that God is a glorious God: he hath glorious grace, so 
saith this text. He hath glorious power, so Rom. vi. 4. He hath glorious 
mercy, so Rom. ix. 23. All his attributes are glorious. ' Shew me thy 
glory,' said Moses, Exod. xxxiv. 6. Then ' the Lord passed by and pro- 
claimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,' &c. This is God's 
chief glory ; his essential attributes are his glory. 

Obs. 2. — You see that which moved God, in doing all that he doth, is his 
glory. He predestinated us for the glory of his grace j and certainly if in 
this, then in all things else he aimeth at his glory. If God should not, in all 
that he doth, aim more at his own glory than at our salvation, he were not a 
holy God. For what is holiness in God 1 It is that whereby he aimeth at 
himself ; and he should descend from his being holy, if he should aim at our 
good more than at his own glory. This you have Isa. vi. 3, ' One angel 
cried unto another, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts ; the whole 
earth is full of his glory.' God was to shew himself to be a holy God ; that 
is, he was to glorify himself ; that is the meaning of it. And therefore of all 
sinners he hates a proud man j * He resists the proud,' because he is a com- 


petitor with God himself for glory, and contends with him for that which ia 
most dear untu him, and his own prerogative alone, which the great and glo- 
rious God of all things cannot endure. And therefore of all sins God hateth 
pride and vain-glorj^; for all glory is his due, and justly belongeth to him 

Obs. 3. — You see that God was so perfect in himself that he needed not 
to have made any world, nor predestinated any unto the adoption of sous ; 
for it was merely the act of his own will. Though his own glory moved him 
in the act, yet it was his will that cast and determined the act itself. If 
God will manifest himself, he will do it like God ; he will make his own 
glory the t-cd of all ; and it becomes him so to do. He should not be a holy 
God else. But yet the thing that cast it was his will ; because he could 
have done otherwdse if it had pleased him, Eom. xi. 35, ' Who hath given to 
him, and it shall be recompensed to him again V All that the creature doth 
is nothing to him. Paul challengeth all the creatures. Brmg in your bills, 
saith he, and if you can say you have added anything unto him, you shall 
have it recompensed unto you again. All the righteousness that the angels 
have in heaven, and that the saints have on earth, what is it ? It is no- 
thing to him. Job xxxv. 7, 8, 'If thou beest righteous, what givest thou 
him ? or what receiveth he of thine hand 1 Thy righteousness may profit a 
man as thou art,' but it can never profit God, he is blessed in himself Nay, 
I go further ; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ added nothing unto God 
by all that he did or suffered. It is true he sets forth the glory of God, but 
he addeth nothing to God. Ps. x\'i 2, ' My righteousness reacheth not to 
thee.' It is Christ that speaks those words, for that psalm is a psalm of his 
resurrection, and is quoted to that purpose by the Apostle, in Acts ii. 25-28. 
Now, says he, my goodness extends not to thee, Father ; it only reacheth 
to the saints that are on earth, to do them good ; but as for thee, thou art 
above it. Therefore it must needs be God's o\\ti will, and his mere will, that 
moved him to predestinate any. Fall we therefore down before this great 
God, in that he minded us to choose us, notwithstanding he was completely 
happy in himself before the world was, and could have continued so stUl, 
and all his works add nothing unto him ; for if they did, he would have 
made them sooner, he would certainly have created them from everlasting. 
But he let almost an eternity of time run out, ere he put forth his hand to 
make any of them, for indeed he had no need of them. The three Persons 
delighted one in another from all eternity, and needed no companions else 
save themselves. God cared not for what the creature could add unto him. 
Nothing moved him to elect us but merely the good pleasure of his will. 

Obs. 4. — You see here that God predestinated us ' for the praise of the 
glory of his grace.' God's glory therefore is more interested in our salvation 
than our own good is, for not our benefit comes in here, in the mention of 
what moved God, but the praise of the glory of his grace only. You think 
it so difficult a thing to work God off to save you. Why, he hath that in 
him which moveth him now, and did move him from everlasting to do it ! 
He hath the glory of his own grace to move him to it. This is to us the 
greatest ground of security in the world, that God's glory is interested with 
our good : Eph. L 12, 'That we should be to the praise of his glory who 
first believed on Christ.' Wilt thou come and believe 1 Thou canst not do 
God a better turn ; for this advanceth the praise of the glory of his grace ; 
and God is for this reason more moved to save thee than thy heart can be 
to be saved thyself 

Obs. 5. — I told you it was the highest pleasure of his will j nothing pleased 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 107 

him so as this. Observe then, that of all things else which God purposeth, 
this, even to shew grace to poor sinners, pleaseth him the most. He willeth 
many things, and he works all things by the counsel of his owoi will ; but 
this is accordmg to the good pleasure of his will. There are many scrip- 
tures to this purpose. ' In these things,' speaking of acts of mercy, ' I de- 
light,' Jer. ix. 24. 'Mercy is his delight,' Micah vii. 18. Yea, his delights 
are said to have been in this before the world was, Prov. viii. 31 ; where be- 
sides this there is nothing else mentioned. 

Obs. 6. — Obsei-ve that God hath set up his Son, 'for him,' saith ver. 5; 
and his own free grace, 'to the praise of the glory of his grace,' saith ver. 6. 
These two are to share the glory between them ; even Jesus Christ and him- 
self. K Christ had not been his Son, and equal with himself, he would 
never have done it. No creature shall have a share in this glory, but aU 
things are ordained for his Son, and for the praise of the glory of his own free 
grace. And accordingly, he hath wrought faith in our hearts to give all the 
glory unto free grace and to his Son. If you had been saved by love, that 
would have been diminishing from free grace and from Christ ; and so 
would works and duties. But faith, that is a principle fuUy suited to God's 
own intent ; which is, to set up his Son and free grace, and to magnify these 
two. You shall find in Scripture that God is said to be ' aU in all,' and so 
is Christ said to be ' all in all' too. For these two share aU the glory be- 
tween them, that so men may honour the Son, even as they honour the 
Father, as I said even now. In 1 Cor. viii. 6, the Apostle says, ' To us 
there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him ;' 
(as you have it in your margins ;) ' and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are 
all things, and we by him.' Here, you see, they share it between them ; 
only with this difference, that aU things are said to be of God, and hy him 
too ; but all things are not said to be q/" Jesus Christ, but only hy him. 

We have seen and explicated two of those blessings intended to us, and 
bestowed on us from everlasting. First, election in Christ to be perfectly 
holy, as we shall be in heaven, for God looked at his works as he would like 
them to be at last ; and, secondly, predestination to that glory that adoption, 
or being a son of God, bringeth with it. Now follows a third benefit : 
'wherein,' saith the apostle, 'he hath made us accepted in the beloved.' 
This I am now to speak to ; and so to proceed — 

''E'/a^Jri^xsiv, 'He hath made us accepted.' I must open the force and 
signification of this word first. It is as much as if he had said, he hath 
made us caros, ' dear,' to him. Out of God's free grace he hath made us 
pleasant unto him in the beloved ; so saith Calvin. The Papists, they 
would have the word to signify God's bestowuig inherent grace of holiness 
upon us, and making us gracious or holy ; and that which perverts them in 
this their interpretation is, their aiming to magnify the virgin Mary, for the 
word here in the original is used but once besides in all the New Testament, 
and that is Luke i. 28, ' Thou art highly favoured,' &c. It was spoken by 
the angel unto Mary, So we translate it ; but they read it, ' Thou art fuU of 
grace.' They wiU needs carry this word to inherent grace in us, that so by 
this the fulness of grace in the virgin Mary may be extolled ; that she being, 
and that God foreseeing her so full of grace, had therefore chosen her to be 
the mother of Christ. But the word is, in respect of us, a passive word, 
and indeed a made word, usurped by the apostle himself for his purpose ; 
and there in Luke signifieth thi.s, that God made her acceptable to him, and 
cast an infinite favour upon her ; and this is proved by what is said in ver. 


30 of the same chapter, * Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with 
God.' It was not that she had grace in her, but that God had cast grace 
and favour upon her ; so that the meaning of the word is, he hath rendered 
us acceptable or gracious ; or, most fitly in one word, he hath ingratiated 
us. The meaning is, not that God foresaw grace in us, but that he cast his 
favour upon us, and settled his delight in us — he made us dear, j)recious, and 
delightful to himself And this to be the meaning of the word, and not 
that, as the Papists would have it, appears — 

First, Because the apostle had mentioned the blessing of inherent holiness be- 
fore, *to be holy before him in love;' and also mentions conversion and regener- 
ation, the imperfect work of faith and hoKness in this life, afterwards, in ver. 18. 

And, secondly, it appeareth likewise by what follow^eth, ' in his beloved ;' 
that is, as he hath loved Jesus Christ, and delighted in him, so in this his 
beloved he loveth, pleaseth himself in, and delighteth in us. This is the 
meaning of his making us accepted in the beloved. 

In the interpretation of these words, I have not a little been troubled unto 
what rank to refer this blessing : whether I should refer it to a part of 
justification, (which, we know, consisteth of these two particulars, forgiveness 
of sins and acceptation of our persons,) and so this to be a part of our justi- 
fication in Christ, bestowed upon us in time here in this life ; or whether I 
should interpret it of an action of God passed towards us from everlasting, 
(such as are election and predestination,) and that action as including also a 
blessing principally intended to our persons unto everlasting, and after this 
life, such as I have shewed you perfect holiness and adoption to be. I con- 
fess, in the end I inclined unto the latter, and found that Zanchy is with me 
in it ; and I will give you these reasons for it, w^hy it is not meant so much 
of that acceptation of our persons which is a part of justification, — though it 
may include that also, and that acceptation of our persons is the fruit of this, — 
but rather referreth to an eternal act towards us, and an eternal blessing, 
even to eternity, to be bestowed on us. For, first, it runneth in the same 
key with the other tw'o, ' he hath blessed us,' and ' he hath chosen us ;' so 
' he hath accepted us " — they are all spoken in the time past ; whereas, 
when he cometh to redemption or justification, he changeth the phrase and 
tense, 'in whom we have redemption.' Therefore, I cast this, 'having 
accepted us,' into the former rank, with having chosen and blessed us from 
eternity, as noting out three prime instances of God's eternal love. 

Second, The order of the apostle's ranking of it, and his bringing of it in, 
would argue that he did not intend to speak of that acceptation of our per- 
sons which is a part of justification. 

For, first, it comes in before forgiveness of sins, whereas that acceptation 
of our persons unto justification of life foUows upon forgiveness, and doth 
necessarily first suppose it. 

And, secondly, it is not only mentioned before forgiveness, but redemp- 
tion comes in between it and forgiveness. 

So that, I say, I rather account it to be one special act of God's love done 
towards us from everlasting, such as election and predestination was ; and so 
it implieth both a third act and a third blessing, of the same sort with the 
two former. 

It is not that acceptation of us which is the second part of our justification, 
for that is expressed by an accounting us righteous in Christ as our righteous- 
ness, and some such thing should have been put in as the ground of it ; bat 
this is an acceptation of our persons in Christ as he is God's beloved, and 
simply refers thereto, and so unto Christ's person as God's beloved one. 

EpH. I. '), 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 109 

But t.Iien the question will be, both what distinct act of God's this is, differ- 
ing from election and predestination, and what differing blessing it is from 
perfect holiness and adoption unto glory ? 

In the first place, some say, that it imports that love of God which was 
the foundation both of God's choice and of his predestination ; that he hath 
therefore chosen and predestinated us, because he hath accepted us, that is, 
set his love upon us, in his beloved Son. 

But that was supposed in God's choosing us ; for dilectio prcesupponitur 
electioni, as Aquinas well speaks. Yea, and this is also sufficiently ex- 
pressed in the words foregoing, ' to the praise of the glory of his grace ;* 
that is, of this his free love borne to us. 

Again, this acceptance of our persons is not, as here it succeeds, that love 
or acceptation upon which he chose us, but is a branch or fruit following of 
it, and distinct from the act of his choosing us ; it hath not an identity or 
sameness of act with choosing us itself. Though it is put forth in and toge- 
ther with choosing us, — yea, though it be said to have been in the beloved, 
Christ, — yet that first love that caused him to choose us, and not others, was 
immediately carried unto us in the act of choosing us as unto Christ himself, 
and moved him to choose our individual persons as immediately as he was 
moved to choose Christ himself ; only, he was pleased to choose us in Christ, 
as a foundation or ground which he planted us into when he chose us, and 
by choosing, or when he chose us, he put us into Christ. But being thus 
chosen in Christ, then this fruit followed upon it, to accept us in Christ, as 
his beloved for ever after. 

I take it, therefore, not so much to be an antecedent love to the election 
of our persons, as a consequent love or complacency, as I may so call it, 
or delighting in us, and accepting of us through his beloved, when he had 
chosen us in him, and set us into him ; his delight even then was with the 
sons of men. Pro v. viii., in his forethoughts about them. 

And here I take not antecedent and consequent love in the Jesuitical or 
Arminian sense, whereby God should be said to love us with such a conse- 
quent love as ariseth from a foresight that we will believe, and so chooseth 
ns, and in that sense should be said to choose us in Christ. There is a two- 
fold love — amor benejdaciti and amor complacentice, an old distinction. 

First, a love of goodwill, whereby God doth bear a good- will to us, and so 
resolveth to choose us and give us to Christ ; and this is spoken of in the 
former verse, ' He hath chosen us in him, according to the good pleasure of 
his will.' 

And, secondly, there is a love of acceptation or complacency, or of delight 
and resting in what he hath done. God thereby delights himself in the 
creature which he hath thus set up and chosen in Christ, and this from ever- 
lasting, as I shall shew you by and by. It is called in Zeph. iii. 17, a ' rest- 
ing in his love,' and supposeth election first. When God hath chosen us, he 
takes delight in and is infinitely well pleased, both with this design and con- 
trivement he hath towards us, and with our persons also, as considered in and 
through his beloved Son ; even as a father that means to bestow his son upon 
such a woman, first takes a liking to the woman, (here is the love of good- 
will,) which makes him choose her for his daughter, and pitch upon her, 
rather than upon any other, to make her his son's wife. But yet, when he 
liath betrothed her to his son, then he loves her with another and a further 
kind of love — he accepts her, he delights in her, and hath a complacency in 
her, as considering her to be his daughter, as wife unto this his son. This I 
take to be the orderly jcuning and meaning of these two words, * having pre- 


destinated us unto adoption,' and ' accepted us in his beloved,' the latter act 
following upon the former. 

The next question is, how this act of God towards us may be said to have 
been from everlasting ; and how God may be said to have delighted in us 
before we were 1 

1. For this, that God did put forth such an act from everlasting, consider 
that scripture, Prov. viii. 30, 31. If you read the verses before, Christ tells 
you there what God and he did before the world was. ' I,' says Wisdom, or 
Christ, ' was by him, I was brought up with him, and I was daily his de- 
light ; rejoicing always before him in the habitable part of his earth ; and 
my delights were with the sons of men.' All this was from everlasting, foi 
read ver. 25-27, and he saith, ' it was before the mountains were settled, 
or the hills brought forth,' &c. So that Christ did then look upon us as 
delightful unto him, and God did the same in his Son. 

2. For the clearing of it, we must remember what was said before ; that 
when once God had first chosen us in Christ, look how far it may be said we 
had a being in him. So far God might take, and did take a view of us, as 
represented existing in him ; and so please himself with us, as so viewed 
and considered, and look upon us with a gracious eye ; and also rejoice and 
comfort himself in what he had done for us. And by this our representative 
being as in Christ, I mean not that kind of being before God which all other 
creatures he meant to produce had in their several ideas or appearances in 
his thoughts. But we further had a representative being in Christ, who 
actually stood before God, or ' by him,' as Solomon's word is. This representa- 
tion becometh then real, when made in him and by him, by his undertaking 
to stand for us, and as in our stead undertaking as our head to represent us. 
And this gave us a real being in Christ, and as far differing and excelling 
those ideas of other creatures as the images or shadows of men, pictured 
for the ghosts of men when they are dead, do from those drawn with the 
brightest orient colours in oil, which painters make to set out men aUve to 
the utmost life that may be. And by way of difference, we call the first but 
shadows ; and such were the ideas of all other creatures in the mind of God, 
in comparison to what the elect had in God's mind, being set in Christ, who 
gives a being of him, yea, and in Christ Jesus. But still I must remember 
you of these two things I so often mentioned, that my meaning may be 
understood : — 

The Jirst, that this benefit of acceptation of our persons in the beloved I 
refer to those other antelapsarian benefits, severed from those of redemption, 
as hath been all along inculcated ; that is, as flowing to us from Christ as 
our head of vinion with God ; and to us as considered as purely creatures 
and abstractly before sin befell us, in that supernatural state which we 
were, at the first sight of us by him, ordamed unto as creatures, and our 
persons also considered as one with Christ. 

The second, that it is that acceptance of us in Christ which comes and 
flows roer^ly froTn the person of Christ as God-man. 

j^'^rom which you may observe, that when the Apostle saith, God hath 
thus accepted us in the beloved, he doth not say that this acceptation of us 
is in the blood of the beloved, or the merits of the beloved. It is not so 
founded, but it is founded upon our relation to his person. God had 
chosen us in him to have relation to his person ; and so, Jesus Christ being 
beloved, God accepteth us in him, for this our relation's sake unto him as 
the principal beloved. As a father when he hath betrothed his son unto a 
woman, he loves her for the relation she hath to the person of his son ; so 

EpH. I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. Ill 

doth our God. This acceptation of us, even of our persons from everlasting, 
it is founded upon Christ's being beloved. And therefore you shall find, 
that the love wherewith God loved Christ, and the love wherewith he loved 
us, are said to be one and the same love, John xvii. 23, ' That the world 
may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved 
me.' We were so represented by Christ, and considered in him, that 
we made up one Christ mystical ; as the head and the body make up but 
one man. 

Again, this seems to be some special favour and peculiar grace unto the 
sons of men elect, and not to the angels, as here it is spoken of The 
angels, we read, are elect, ' the elect angels ; ' but we nowhere read of them 
that they are elect in Christ. Likewise that they are the sons of God, by 
creation namely ; but not adopted sons through Christ, as we here are said 
to be. And so they are highly favoured of God ; but nowhere that they 
are accepted in the beloved, as here we are said to be. It may be said, 
they are highly favoured as menial servants to God, but not as sons adopted. 
Many courtiers were in high favour with Saul , but David speaks of his 
being son to him as an higher matter by far. As in nobility there are 
higher ranks than other, so among the nobles in heaven. The angels, it 
may be said, God hath loved them with a special love, and he hath loved 
Christ and both from eternity ; but it is nowhere said, that he hath loved the 
angels as Christ said there, ' Thou hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.' 
And how special a privilege this is I shall express to you by this similitude. 
The sun, you know, shines upon all the world ; but if you take a burning- 
glass and hold it in the point of union or concentration, between the shining 
sun and something that you would have inflamed, hereby the sunbeams are 
contracted, and do fall upon that ol»ject with a more intense heat and fervour, 
even to an inflammation of it ; and this by reason that the beams were first 
contracted in the centre of the glass, and then diffused and with more vehe- 
mency darted upon the object under it. Thus God loveth all his creatures ; 
his love is ' over all his works,' so the Scripture expresseth it ; but he loves 
them not in his beloved, he accepts them not in him. But now for the sons 
of men elect, that Son of God, who is his beloved, contracts aU the beams of 
God's love into himself; they fall all upon him first, and then they 
through him shine and diffuse themselves upon us all, with a ray in- 
finitely more strong and vigorous than they would have done if we had 
been considered in ourselves alone. And this is the advantage of being 
accepted in the beloved. God loves us with the same love wherewith he 
loved his Son. 

To come now unto some observations from hence. 

Obs. 1. — Observe here, that Jesus Christ is God's beloved in an eminent 
manner. Look, as God put all light into the sun, and that diffuseth and com- 
municateth light unto aU the stars ; so Jesus Christ hath contracted all the love 
of God to himself, aad through him it is diffused upon us. He is Tihg r^j 
dyd-zrig, the Son of his love, as he is called, Col. i. 13. You read it trans- 
lated there 'his dear Son;' but the Greek hath it 'the Son of his love.' 
Christ hath, as it were, engrossed all God's love unto him : ' This is my well- 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' Yea, indeed and in truth God is 
not well pleased v/ith any of the creatures, but as they have relation to 
him and are his servants. Otherwise, he findeth folly in his angels. Job iv. 
18. They would not have pleased him, had they not come under his Son, 
and had relation unto him some way or other, and subserved for hia 
gl(;ry. In loving his Son he loved them; but he loveth us as being 


planted into him. Tlie Trinity could not please itself out of itself. He. ia 
the beloved. 

Obs. 2. — Is Christ thus God's beloved, with and in whom he is so fully 
pleased ; and is he not thy beloved, as it is in the Canticles 1 What is the 
matter 1 Is thy narrow soul more curious about an object for its love than 
God himself is ? Oh, let him be to each of us our beloved ! If he be God's 
beloved, he may as well be thine. Is he able to satisfy God's vast thoughts ; 
and is he not able to satisfy thee, poor creature? God himself is 
satisfied and at rest in him : ' I was daily his delight,' says Christ, Prov. 
viii. ; and wouldst thou be happier than God is ? Is he God's beloved Son, 
in whom he is well pleased ; and wilt thou be pleased in anything else save 
Christ ? 

Obs. 3. — Observe that Christ is said to be ' the beloved ' simply in and for 
himself, and ' in whom we have redemption ' comes afterward, as a super- 
added thing. So that, set aside the work and benefit of redemption that is 
to be had in and by Christ, and there is a loveliness in his very person 
beyond all, for which we should desire him. You that are sinners do love 
him because he hath redemption for you, and so you have need of him ; and 
you do well so to love him, for he deserves it. But yet, let me tell you, 
£st aliquid in Christo formo&ius salvatore, — There is something in Christ 
more beautiful, more amiable and glorious, than his being a Saviour. God 
cannot love him for any benefit of redemption by him ; and yet he is 
God's beloved. He is primum amabile, loved for himself; and so let him 
be to thee. 

This is the first sort of observations from hence. 

A second sort is this : — 

Obs. 1. — -If thou art in Christ, fear not sin ; for God from everlasting saw 
all thy sins, and yet, for all that, he continued to accept thee in his beloved, 
It altered his mind not a whit. He was so much pleased with his beloved, 
that though in his own prescience he foresaw what we would be, yet, having 
chosen us in his Son, he accepteth us in him ; and so, now that we actually 
exist and sin against him, he, notwithstanding, finds so much contentment at 
home in his Son, having him by him, that he can patiently bear with us, and 
please himself in Christ. And so, though he see thee sinful for the present, 
and foresaw thee sinful from everlasting, yet he still accepts thee in his 
beloved. And the reason is, because Jesus Christ is more beloved of him 
than sin is or can be hated by him. If ever sin should come to have more 
interest for hatred in the heart of God than Christ hath for love, thou 
mightest well fear : but he hath accepted thee in his beloved, therefore be not 
thou afraid.' 

Obs. 2. — Hath God accepted thee, and rendered thee thus dear unto him- 
self in his beloved ? No matter though the world hate thee. The world 
shall hate you, says Christ, John xvi. 33 : 'In the world you shall have 
tribulation ; ' but it is no matter, ' in me you shall have peace,' &c. God 
accepts thee in Christ ; he renders thee dear unto himself in his beloved. 

Obs. 3. — Go therefore unto God, to be accepted only in and through his 
beloved. Here is the greatest and strongest argument for it that can be. 
It is said before, in ver. 4, that God chose us unto perfect holiness, and 
ordained us to perfect glory, and to be sons to him, ver. 5, and both these 
as we shaU one day be in heaven. And yet, after both these, the acceptation 
of our persons in the beloved comes in -as a third and distinct benefit ; so 
that all this would not have pleased him so much as one look upon us in his 
beloved. It is not perfect holiness, nor that complete glory which we shall 

EPH. I. 0, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 113 

have in heaven, that makes us accepted with God comparatively to this, to 
be considered and accepted in the beloved. And wilt thou now go and 
bring thy imperfect graces and menstruous duties 1 Art thou in glory yet 1 
Art thou perfectly holy 1 If thou wert, yet consider here is a third benefit 
besides all these, ' He hath accepted us in his beloved ; ' which let thy soul 
look out for, notwithstanding all thy grace and holiness. 

And so I have gone over the three first blessings, which are eternal ones, 
and absolutely pitched upon our persons in the relation we have to the person 
of Christ. God chose us to be in him, and because he is holy, we must be 
aoly : holiness, therefore, is essential to our being in Christ. God 2^?'^- 
destinated us in Christ, therefore we must be sons, as he is ; and so we are 
predestinated to adoption in him, his natural Son. And then, God hath 
accepted us in his beloved ; and therefore as he loveth him, so he loveth us. 
All these three blessings are not founded so much upon the merits of Christ 
as upon the relation we have unto his person. And they are the blessings 
which were first and absolutely intended to our persons, simply in the rela- 
tion which by election we had given us to the person of Christ. 

And so much for the sixth verse. 

Come we now to the mercies which we have in relation to Christ's merits, 
couched in these three following verses : — 

Tn whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, 
according to the riches of his grace ; wherein he hath abounded totvard 
us in all ivisdom and prudence ; having made known unto us the mi/ster^ 
of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in 
himself. — Ver. 7-9. 

The Apostle here changeth the key of his language : ' He hath chosen, he 
hath blessed, he hath accepted.' This was his language before ; but here 
he beginneth to alter it. Here he varies the tense, and says, ' In whom we 
have redemption,' &c. Because he comes now to a new sort of blessings, 
therefore he speaks in a new key. And so interpreters almost generally 

Now for the general analysis, both of all these words from ver. 4, and like- 
wise of these blessings. 

There are two sorts of divisions, which these words and the former may 
be cast into. 

The first is a trichotomy, or dividing of them into three parts. 

You know there are three Persons in the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost. And these three Persons have three several works : — 

1. The Father's ivork was to choose, to predestinate, and to accept in 
his beloved. His work therefore is in the 4th, 5th, and 6th verses. 

2. The tvorh of the Son is redemption, &c. : ' In whom we have redemp- 
tion through his blood,' ver. 7, &c. It is not meant of redemption passive, 
or which we receive as the fruit of his having redeemed us ; but of that re- 
demption active, which was in him, and wrought by himself. And there- 
fore it is not said ' by whom,' but ' in whom we have redemption through his 

3. And then the Holy Ghost's worlc is the application of all these unto us, 
when the Spirit doth in and by conversion bring home all these to our 
hearts. And this you have in the 8th and 9th verses, ' Wherein he hath 
abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence ; having made known unto 
us the mystery of his will,' &c. — This is one division whereinto you may cast 
these verses and the blessinf's mentioned in them. 


But there is a second, and that is a dichotomy, or division of them into 
two parts. 

There is one sort of blessings from the 4th verse to the 7th, and another 
sort of blessings from the 7 th verse to the 10th. And so, as there are three 
Persons, and their works described to be three, so there are also two tri- 
plicities of blessings, as I may so call them. 

The first three are such blessings imto which God absolutely chose us in 
relation to Christ's person. And they are — 

1. Perfect holiness, ver. 4. 

2. Perfect glory, or adoption, ver. 5. 

3. Acceptation of our jjersons in and upon that our relation to his beloved, 
ver. 6. 

But then, secondly, there are three other blessings, founded upon our re- 
lation to Christ through his merits. As — 

1. Bedemption, taldng it in the largest sense for whatever redemption 
may extend to ; for redeeming us as well from misery as from sin, and for 
the purchasing of all those blessings which we had forfeited : ' In whom we 
have redemption through his blood,' ver. 7. 

2. Justification ; which is one fruit of redemption : ' The forgiveness of 
sins, according to the riches of his grace,' ver. 7. 

3. Vocation, or calling us ; which is the work of the Spirit : * Wherein he 
hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence ; having made known 
to us,' &c., ver. 8, 9. 

Calling, you know, is either external or internal. External is the preach- 
ing of the gospel ; that you have in the 9th verse, ' Having made known to 
us the mystery of his wUl.' Internal is the working faith and holiness in 
us ; which is mentioned in the 8th verse, ' He hath abounded to us in all 
wisdom,' the principle of faith ; * and prudence,' which is the principle of 
holiness, as interpreters carry it. 

Now, observe what is common to these two several sorts of blessings. 

First, They come from God's decree, both the three latter and the three 
former. How this is true of the three former you have already seen. We 
were elected to be holy, and predestinated to adoption, according to the good 
pleasure of his will, &c. And the three latter do depend upon the same 
good pleasure of his will from everlasting : ' In whom we have redemption, 
&c., according to the good pleasure of his will,' ver. 9. So that God's good 
pleasure is as well the fountain of these three latter sort of mercies, and 
therefore cometh in the rear of them too, as it was of the three former. And 
so Erasmus saith that this, * according to the good pleasure of his will,' 
referreth as well unto redemption and forgiveness of sins, as it doth to calling 
us and giving us wisdom and prudence. 

Secondly, They have this likewise common unto them, that there is free 
grace in them both. For the Apostle speaking of the first sort of blessings, 
he saith, ' He hath chosen us, and predestinated us, to the praise of the glory 
of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved / and then 
coming to the other sort of blessings, at the 7th verse he saith, ' We have 
redemption and forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.' 
And then it foUows, ' In which,' namely, grace, ' he hath abounded toward 
us,' in converting us also, ver. 8. So that still here is free grace in both. 

And, Thirdly, They are both sorts in Christ. God chose us in Christ, 
predestinated us through Christ, and accepted us in the beloved : there is 
the first sort. ' In whom we have redemption, and the forgiveness of sins 
through his blood :' there is the second sort. We have all in and through 

EpH, I. 5, 6.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 115 

Clirist, both the one sort of blessings and the other. These are common to 
them all. 

But before I come to expound these words in the 7th, 8th, and 9th verses, 
and give you observations out of them, give me leave from the connexion, 
and the Apostle's thus ranking these blessings into these two sorts, to give 
you in my transition between them the greatest matter of note — that I know 
of — I can commend to you, and it shews their distinction. 

In these verses (take them all together from the 4th verse to the 10th) the 
Apostle seems to hold forth unto us two several parts of God's decree — two 
i^esigns contained in it ; and these framed according to those two ranks of 
blessings before-mentioned. There are two parts, I say, of the mystery of 
God's will towards us from everlasting ; two contrivements that God had 
towards us poor creatures ; and both of them, as you will see in the handling 
of them, infinitely glorious. 

The one is, the decree of the end that God hath ordained to bring us unto, 
decretum finis. 

The other is decretum vice, or medii, the decree of the way through which 
God leads us in bringing us to that end. Divines use to distinguish them 
thus, terming the one decretum intentionis, the decree of God's utmost 
intention to us : the other decretum executionis, the decree of his executing 
or bringing about the things intended, and is likewise by them called 
decretum mediorum, but I rather call it decretum vice. The distinction is 
common among divines ; but I find but few that apply it unto this scripture, 
though some do it. And we shall see these words naturally to part them- 
selves into these two decrees : — 

1. Here are God's decrees concerning the end unto which he meaneth to 
bring us, or about what he meaneth to do with us, and make us to be at the 
last. He intendeth to make us perfectly holy and perfectly glorious, like 
his Son ; he meaneth to delight in us for ever, as considered in his beloved. 
And these decrees the 4th, 5th, and 6th verses do contain. 

2. Here are the decrees of the way unto this end ; that is, of what shall 
fall out to us in his leading us through this way unto this end — namely, 
perfect holiness, glory, &c. — and of what shall betide us ere we come to enjoy 
all this. The Apostle plainly intimates unto us, that we shall fall both into 
sin and into misery, and so have need of a Redeemer. This same Head we 
were chosen in must come to redeem us, and our sins must be forgiven, and 
we must be called, and must have faith ; and all these things wrought in us 
before we can come to heaven. This is the decree of the means, decretum 
vice, as the other is decretum patriae, (via and patria, you know, is an old dis- 
tinction ;) and this latter is expressed in the 7th, 8th, and 9th verses. 

For this distinction itself, you shall find it founded upon Scripture ; as 
Heb. ii 10, where the Apostle, speaking that God had ordained Christ to be 
the author, captain, and leader, ai^riyog, of our salvation, says, thus it became 
him * in bringing many sons into glory.' So we translate it. The words in 
the original are •Ko'Kkovi uioiig iig bo^av ayayoi-ra, ' in leading many sons unto 
glory.' Here you see is the glory which God means to brin^ us unto as the 
end, and here is a way implied through which he leads us unto that glory. 
Here is the Canaan, and here is the wilderness through which we are to 
pass unto it. And as we are thus ordained to an end, and led through a way 
unto it ; so is our Redeemer too. You shall find the Scripture speaking in 
the same language concerning him also. So, Ps. ex. 7, the Psalmist, speaking 
of Christ, tells us what he shall be in heaven, ver, 1, 'Sit thou at my right 
hand,' &c. ; but before he comes thither, ' he shall drink of the brook in the 


way.' Our Saviour Christ is ordained to drink of fulness of pleasure in 
heaven at the end. 'At thy right hand,' says Christ, Ps. xvi. 11, which 
psalm was written of him, 'are pleasures for evermore :' rivers of pleasure, 
as they are called elsewhere. But he must drink of a bitter cup before he 
comes thither ; he must ' drink of the brook by the way.' So that God had 
another decree about him too, even the decree of the way. 

Now, to sum up all ; if you speak of what God hath ordained us unto as 
the end and issue of all, it is contained in the 4th, 5 th, and 6th verses : to be 
perfectly holy, and perfectly happy, and for God perfectly to delight in us ; 
this is the end and upshot unto which God meaneth to bring us. 

But by the way, to make the end and conclusion of aU the more illus- 
trious, God, in and by the same everlasting decree, ordained to permit the 
fall of these his elect. So that instead of these three, perfect holiness, 
perfect glory, and perfect acceptation with God, he throws you into a con- 
dition wherein you are perfectly unholy, perfectly unhappy, and perfectly 
hateful unto him, as in yourselves considered. This is an accident that falls 
out by the way ; you shall see who will cure it presently. Instead of perfect 
holiness, here you have nothing but sin ; instead of glory, and being the 
children of God by adoption, you have nothing but hell, and then being the 
children of wrath ; and instead of being accepted by God, you are made a 
curse : ' Cursed is every one that continueth not in aU that is written in this 
book to do it.' This curse seizeth upon all mankind, and ''upon yourselves 
although elected to the contrary. Here God's first design about the end 
unto which he means to bring us, seems utterly dashed and spoiled ; and we 
are as far off from all that glory intended as possibly could be imagined. 
And what does God order then 1 Even that this Christ, God-man, he in 
whom he chose us, and he to be a Head unto us from everlasting, who is 
the ' Captain of our salvation,' as he is called in that place before-named ; 
that he should come and take frail flesh, come ' in the likeness of sinful 
flesh,' and become our Redeemer ; ' in whom we have redemption through his 
blood.' Through him, says God, I wiU forgive aU their sins into which they 
are fallen, (as the word here used for sins fitly expresseth it, crapacrrw/iara,) 
and though they have nothing but unholiness, wickedness, and unbelief in 
them, yet I wiU abound towards them in all wisdom and prudence, and turn 
them unto me, and that in this life ; and then bring them to that perfect 
holiness and glory, and to that perfect acceptation with me in the world to 
come, that I have ordained them unto. 



In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, 
according to the riches of his grace. — ^Vek. 7. 

I STAND here, at the 7th verse, between two of the greatest — what shall I 
call them 1 — heights or depths of God's wisdom and grace towards us ; 
and as that angel in the Revelation had one foot upon the earth and 
another upon the sea, so I stand with one foot upon the blessings ordained 
us from eternity, and intended us when we come in heaven, and the other 
upon the blessings intended us here in this world. They are both of them 
two vast arguments, and therefore you shall give me leave to be somewhat 
larger than ordinary about them. For of all the mysteries of the gospel, 
since I knew it, this hath most swallowed up my thoughts. 

Two things I shall observe about these two sorts of decrees and blessings. 

First, I shall shew you how these blessings differ, as before I shewed you 
what was common unto them among themselves. 

And, secondly, I shall give you a glimjise of that infinitely glorious har- 
mony between these tivo contrivements, and of the wisdom of God that shines 
in them both. The greatness of the point deserves this. 

For the first, How these blessings differ. 

First, The first sort of blessings, perfect holiness, adoption, &c., were 
ordained us without the consideration of the Fall, though not before the 
consideration of the Fall ; for all the things which God decrees are at once 
in his mind. They were all, both one and other, ordained to our persons. 
But God in the decrees about these first sort of blessings viewed- us as 
creahiles, as creatures which he could and would make so and so glorious. 
For God can easily ordain the subject, and the utmost well-being of it both 
at once ; and this might well be the first idea taken of us in God's pur- 
poses, because such is the perfection of God's understanding that he at 
first looks to the perfection and end of his work. But the second sort 
of blessings were ordained us merely upon consideration of the Fall, and to 
our persons considered as sinners and unbelievers. And the first sort were 
to the praise of God's grace, taking grace for the freeness of love ; whereas 
the latter sort are to the praise of the glory of his grace, are with an av^T^SK;, 
an endearment of a greater degree of his grace, unto a further glory of his 
grace and an illustration of it, taking grace for free mercy. 

Secondly, Those first sort of blessings are ordained to have their full and 
plenary accomplishment, and to take place in that other world, and are 
suited to that state into which we shall then be installed. And as in God's 
primary intention they are before the other, and therefore are said to have 
been ' before the foundation of the world,' ver. 4, so they are to take place 
after this world ended ; they being the centre of all God's thoughts to- 
wards us. Then we shall be so holy as Satan himself shall find no ground to 
carp at us. Then we shall receive the adoption of children ; and though we 
are now the sons of God, yet then it shall appear to us and all the world, 


by that infinite glorj^ that God will then bestow upon us. But those second 
sort of blessmgs were ordained for our entertainment in this world, and are 
Buited unto that condition which we shaU run through unto the day of 

Thirdly, The first sort are founded merely upon our relation to the 
person of Christ, as is manifested in all those three mentioned, ver. 4-6, 
* chosen in him,' and therefore holy ; because as he, being the Son of God, 
was to be holy, Luke i. 35, ' That holy thing which shall be born of thee 
shall be called the Son of God / so are we, we being members of him. And 
as this is true of holiness, so of the other two it is more plain. But this 
second sort are founded merely upon the merits of Christ ; as redemption 
through his blood, and so forgiveness, conversion, &c. In a word, these 
latter blessings are but the removings of those obstacles which by reason of 
sin stood in our way to that intended glory. In the fulness of time God 
sent his Son to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive 
the adoption of sons, Gal. iv. 5. 

I come now to the second thing propounded. That glorious harmony of 
wisdom and grace, Sc, that shines in these tivo designs, and in the reducing 
them unto these two heads ; the one subordinate and subserving the other. 

It is true, if we sjieak rigidly, there is but one act and one entire object 
of God's decrees ; for God doth all at once. Yet according to the language 
of the Scripture, wherein God condescendeth to our apprehensions, and hath 
plotted all things to our apprehension, to take us the better, you shall find 
that there are two plots or designs that God had towards us. 

He had a primary plot, which was first in his intention ; and he had 
an after plot, subordinate to the other. His first plot was to choose us to 
that state which we shall be in in heaven. His after plot, that he had 
towards us whilst we are in our way, was to redeem us and reconcile us 
unto himself by his Son Jesus Christ. To open the glory of this mystery 
unto you : — 

First, God made two worlds for us. He made this world, and put us 
into it holy once, in Adam. But, alas ! we stood not long in that state, but 
fell into sin. Then God hath made the world after the day of judgment. 
Now, answerably, he hath two designs about us. Whilst we are in this 
world, under sin and misery and imperfect holiness, he hath the design 
of redemption ; to justify us, to forgive us our sins, and to abound towards 
us in all wisdom and prudence. And when we come into that other world, 
namely heaven, there he hath ordained perfect holiness for us, and accepta- 
tion with himself in Christ's person as the beloved. Again, answerably, as 
God hath two worlds into which he puts us, and two designs about us in 
those worlds, so he hath ordained us two sorts of blessings answerable to 
those two designs; the one for this world, the other for that to come. He 
hath perfect holiness, glory, and acceptation of our persons, for the world 
to come ; and he hath other blessmgs, redemption, justification, forgive- 
ness of sins, calling us, &c., for this life and this world. 

Secondly, Answerably, Christ runs through a double state ; one that was 
intended him first and simply, which, in John xvii. 5, he calls ' the glory he 
had with his Father before the world was;' that is, to speak the lowest 
sense of those words, the glory which God first and absolutely intended 
him before he had created the world, and before or without the considera- 
tion of Christ's coming into this wicked w^orld or earth. For he cannot 
hereby mean the glory of the second Person, for that must not be begged 
or prayed for ; and, ver. 24, it is said to be given him ; and therefore it is a 

EpH. I. 7.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 119 

glory which he hath as God-man. He hath a gloiy now in heaven which 
was intended him before the world was. But then Christ had another 
state, even a frail state, clothed with onr frail flesh and blood. He came 
down here, and takes upon him ' the likeness of sLnfid flesh,' in all the infir- 
mities of it, and here he drinks of the brook by the way ; he suffers, and so 
redeems us. 

In the third place, Christ by both these states comes answerably to have 
a double relation to us : the one of a Head and Common Person, simply 
considered as an author of salvation (as he is called, Heb. ii. 10) more 
strictly considered ; the other, as he is a Redeemer. You have them both 
in CoL i., ver. 18-20 compared together; where the Apostle describeth 
our Saviour Christ in both these his fulnesses. First, he teEs what Christ 
is absolutely ordained unto, and his body with him, ver. 18, ' He is the 
head of the body, the church ; he is the beginning, the first-born from the 
dead,' and so the founder of that state we shall have after the resurrection ; 
* that in aU things he might have the pre-eminence : for it pleased the 
Father that in him should all fulness dwell,' even the fulness of aU relations 
to us, ver. 19. And what foUoweth ? 'And, having made peace through 
the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself,' ver, 20. 
Here is the relation of a liead, and likewise the relation of a Redeemer and 
Reconciler too. God chose us in him, predestinated us in him, and accepted 
us in him ; and besides this, ' in him we have redemption through his 
blood, the forgiveness of sins,' &c. That place in Colossians answereth this 
here in Ephesians. 

In the fourth place, From both these doth arise unto Christ a double 
glory, which he is ordained to. The one intrinsical, due to him as he is the 
Son of God dwelling in a human nature, and being therein a Head of a 
glorious body, the Church ; in whom, as such, and so beloved of God him- 
self, and for his sake merely in respect of his person, they are beloved of 
God in him. And then, besides this, there is another glor}^ more extrinsical, 
and acquired by the work of redemption ; purchased and bought with the 
sweat of his soul, as, Phil. ii. 8, 9, ' He humbled himself, and became obe^ 
dient unto the death of the cross ; therefore God also hath highly exalted 
him,' &c. 

And thus, fifthly, you see how these double sorts of blessings come to be 
bestowed upon a dilFerent ground. Those blessings which are the blessings 
of the end unto which God will bring us, — namely, perfect hoUness, glor}^, 
and acceptation of our persons in heaven, — they are founded merely upon 
our relation to Christ's person. Therefore we see it is here said, that we 
are chosen in him to be holy before God in love ; and we are predestinated 
through Jesus Christ unto the adoption of sons, — he being a natural Son, 
and we adopted in him ; and we are accepted in him, he first being God's 
beloved ; and it is merely our relation to his person that is the foundation 
of these blessings. But when the Apostle comes to the other sort of 
blessings, as redemption, forgiveness of sins, and the like ; these he founds 
upon Christ's blood — ' In whom we have redemption through his blood,' &c. 

And thus, in the sixth place, we come doubly to be saved ; saved over 
and over ; and hereby we obtain a double right to heaven. We have one 
right founded upon our relation to Christ's person, being chosen in him, and 
accepted in him. And then we have all these bought over again, when we 
had forfeited them, by Christ's purchase in redeeming us. And for this 
you have a scripture in the 14th verse of this chapter, where you shall find 
that heaven is both an inheritance and purchased too : ' Which is the 


earnest of our inheritance, \mtil the redemption of the purchased possession.' 
And therefore, Rom. viii. 23, heaven is called both ' the adoption,' in respect 
to its being an inheritance, by our being chosen heirs with Christ ; and also 
a ' redemption,' as being purchased by his blood. 

In the seventh flace, Hereby God hath a double glory too. Here are 
two editions of his attributes besides that in the works of creation, and 
both in Christ. One in the person of Christ, simply and alone considered, 
in whom the glory of God doth shine : the other in the story of his mediation 
and the works thereof, in which all the same attributes are manifested over 
again and anew by works of his and the merit of them. It would be too 
long to go over them all ; as to shew the double glory of his wisdom, the 
double glory of his grace, power, &c. A double glory riseth to God's 
■wisdom, in that he could make one Jesus Christ serve for two designs, the 
greatest that ever were, and either of them worth the incarnation of his 
Son ; I mean his takmg our nature upon him. For I appeal to you, suppose 
that God should have created the man Christ Jesus in heaven, in that glory 
which now he hath, and he should never have come down hither to suffer 
and die, as he did ; suppose withal, that God had taken up all his elect unto 
himself in heaven, or created them there at first with him, as he did the 
angels, so as they had never been in the other Adam, nor in this world, but 
had been made sons and heirs with Christ and members of him as their 
Head, and so God delighting himself in them, and they in him, from theil 
first creation ; — suppose God had done no more, I appeal to you if this had 
had not been worth the assumption of our nature % For here had all the 
attributes of God been manifested ; here had been infinite love and free 
grace shewn ; here had been the greatest power, the greatest goodness, the 
greatest holiness, and whatever else you will, in all these manifested. But 
you may haply say, here had the manifestation of one attribute been wanting, 
namely, mercy to creatures in miser//. I answer, this mercy is but a further 
extension of the same love, causing God to continue to love them as sinners, 
■whom he loved with a free love as creatures. Love is the foundation of 
mercy; and so th; t love in God was so great that it would havrson more than in all his benefits, than in forgiveness, or whatsoever else. 

Lastly, What is the cause he bestoweth all this 1 The riches of his grace ; 
'according,' saith he, 'to the riches of his grace.' Grace, you must know, 
signifieth properly God's freeness in doing it : ' He hath justified us freely 
by his grace,' Rom. iii. 24. Therefore the love of God is called grace, be- 
cause it importeth a freeness of his love ; and the mercy of God is called 
grace, because it importeth a freeness of Ids mercy. Grace is taken in the 

EpH. I. 7.] TO THE ErHESIANS, 1 25 

first sense in the 6tli verse. It is taken in the second sense here in this 
7th verse ; for the freeness of shewing mercy, for mercy referreth to forgive- 
ness. I shall have occasion to handle these things when I come to the second 
chapter, ver. 4-7. In a word, now observe what is the reason, when he 
said he did bless us first, it was ' to the praise of the glory of his grace ;' 
when he speaks of the forgiveness of sins, then comes in ' the riches of his 
grace.' What is the reason of this difference 1 

This is the reason of it, saith God. ]\Iy attributes they are mine, and 
they are yours ; they are mine for my own glory, but they are yours for 
your benefit ; all the riches of my grace, take them to your use, (riches, you 
know, are for use ;) all the riches that are in me take them as they are 
riches, as they may be employed to the good of the creature take them — 
they are youi'S as much as mine, only the glory shall be mine. ' He hath 
predestinated us to the praise of the glory of his grace;' but he forgiveth 
sins ' according to the riches of his grace.' 

And why riches of grace ? 

It is to help your unbelief When you come and see your sins told out 
before you, set in order before you, and piled up as high as heaven, and as 
low as hell, thinks the poor soul, where is the wealth, where are the riches, 
where is that that shall forgive all these sins ? Here it is ; here is riches of 
grace told out before you ; here is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ mani- 
fested to you. Riches of grace. Thou needest not bring one penny. God 
is rich enough; what shouldest thou bring thy duties or anything to the 
forgiveness of sins ? Here is riches of grace doth it, not a penny of ours ; 
get but fuith, it is the key to unlock this treasure, and to possess thee of 
these riches. There are multitudes of sins, here are multitudes of mercies ; 
riches implieth multitudes, abundance : ' according to the riches of his grace.' 

There is one difficulty I must open, and I have done with this verse. I 
shall be then over the greatest difficulty that I know in this chapter or 
epistle. I shall do it in a word. 

There is this one objection or scruple : How doth God forgive sins accord- 
ing to the riches of his grace when he receiveth a price for it % Doth a man 
forgive freely when he is paid for it ? 

This stumbles the Socinians. Indeed, the gospel is made up, say they, 
with nothing but contradictions. God is paid for what he doth, and yet it is 
done freely. God chooseth men to life and salvation, and it is done immu- 
tably ; ordaineth what their wills shall do, and yet they work freely. These 
are contradictions ; we could name many more ; amongst the rest this is one. 

It is answered, first, It is true Justice had a satisfaction, but who called 
Christ to give this satisfaction? Not Justice, but it was Grace did it. Justice 
indeed stood upon it, kept her own distance. I will be satisfied, saith Justice. 
But who spake to Christ to pay this? Grace did. So that here is one 
reconciliatiun of it ; it is according to the riches of his grace, because grace 
did move Christ to do aU this for us. 

Secondly f The merits of Christ, though they be a price of themselves, if 
Christ had offered, ' I wiU die for my people now they are sinners,' God 
might have refused it. Quando aliud offertur, &c. It is a law maxim, 
' When another thing is offered than what is in the obligation, the satisfac- 
tion may be refused.' The meaning is this, as if God should say, I will be 
paid by them that sinned ; I will not take your offer. It is true your merits 
are worth it, but I am at my liberty whether I will take them or no. Now 
here is grace ; I will take my Son, I will sacrifice him, and accept of that 


Again, thirdly, you must know this, That it is to God that Christ did all he 
did ; he calls himself his servant, — ' my elect,' saith he, my servant. ' I came 
down,' saith he, John vi, ' not to do mine own will, but the will of him 
that sent me.' He did it all upon his Father's cost, merely upon that 
motion. Hence then, because that the very death of Christ was the gift of 
God, as he is called, John iii. 16, ' He gave his only-begotten Son j ' hence to 
us it is free grace. 

And then, in the fourth place, That God should accept thee and me 
through his Son, and forgive us our sins through his merits, it is free grace. 
Thou art bought without any of thy money ; it is free to thee. Though it 
cost Christ's soul dear, it cost thee nought, as the phrase is, Isa. lii. 3, ' You 
have sold yourselves for nought ; ' it is free to us. Thus you see grace and 
Christ's merits are reconciled. God takes a price, and yet he doth it freely. 

And, lastly, let me add this. The more that God paid for to buy us, if it 
were his own he paid, the more grace it was to pay it. He gave his Son ; 
he was his own, his only-begotten Son ; he gave him, he gave him freely ; he 
might have saved you without Christ's satisfaction, that is certain. Christ, 
when he was to go to suffer, useth this as the utmost argument with God : 
' Father,' saith he, ' all things are possible with thee ;' thou canst save the 
world another way ; if thou wilt, thou mayest forgive them freely without 
my satisfaction ; let this cup pass from me. No, saith God, I will do it this 
way to choose ; I will have thee to die for them. Well, saith Christ, * not 
my wUl, but thy wUl be done.* Here is free grace more than if he had no 
satisfaction made, because his grace giveth this satisfaction. He hath re- 
deemed us ' by his blood,' yet according to * the riches of his grace.' I have 
done with these words 

ErH. L 8, 9.J TO the iPHESiANa 127 


WTierein he hath abounded toward us in all tvisdom and prudence ; having 
made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good 
pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. — Vek. 8, 9. 

The Apostle's scope in this chapter is an enumeration of the grand particular 
blessings which we have in Christ ; which blessings are either such original 
blessings to which we are ordained from eternity, and shall enjoy in the end 
and issue of all, or they are such blessings as in the world were wrought 
for us in Christ, and are applied unto us in this life in and through Christ. 
There are decreta finis, — that is, of our journey's end, &c., that God means 
to bring us unto. Perfect holiness in the 4th verse ; adoption or glory, 
through being sons, in the 5th verse ; a perfect complacency of God for ever 
in us in his beloved Son, mentioned in the 6th verse, for the sake of his 
Son's person, and what he is in himself, the natural Son of God, and the 
beloved one of God, and communicated to us by our relation to him and 
union with him. There are likewise decreta executionis, the decrees of 
execution, or of the way to that end, heaven ; which are these that follow 
in the 7th, 8th, and 9th verses — redemption through Christ's blood, &c. And 
these benefits depended upon what moreover Christ wrought and did for us ; 
he redeemed us by his blood. And this he performed in this world ; and in 
respect to this work he is to be considered as Redeemer, and our persons 
considered by God the Father as sinners, children of wrath, &c. And here 
begin the benefits of application. 

Remission of sins is the first, and is the foundation, and is put for the 
whole of justification, as his blood speaks his whole obedience and redemp- 
tion in parts, — viz., the price as paid by Christ, and the benefits purchased, 
which are redemption, &c. Then, secondly, there is the work of vocation, 
our first conversion to God, and of faith and sanctification ; — the whole work, 
as it is imperfect from first, and wrought in us from first to last, which God 
hath begun to work, and will continue to perfect till the day of our death. 
And this is expressed by those words of the 8th verse, ' wherein he hath 
abounded in all wisdom and prudence.' He by these two words expresseth 
the chief and leading principles of sanctification wrought in us, and which 
comprehend in them the whole complex of the work of grace in this life 
wrought in us first and last. For the Apostle being to contract and crowd 
up these benefits into a compendium, he speaks synecdoches, and mentions 
parts for the whole of each kind, which he afterwards dilates upon in 

I shall now repeat nothing more of what I delivered on the former verses. 
I come immediately to that which is the next benefit here before us; his 
having ' abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence,' &c. 

It is, as you will see by the opening of it, the blessing of conversion, and 
of our calling, and the working faith, and also our imperfect holiness, which 
God works in vis here by the gospel. And he saith three things of it : — 


I. He sheweth you the greatness of the blessing ; he saith that 
God hath abounded in grace in bestowing it : in which grace it is he hath 

TI. You have the blessing itself, and both the parts of it : both the 
inward calling, working ' wisdom and prudence' in us ; and the outward 
calling, ' having made known the mystery of his will,' &c., in the preaching 
of the gospel, and the revealing of it. 

III. You HAVE the cause OF BOTH, and that is his good pleasure : 
' according to his good pleasure.' 

IV. And then, fourthly, (for I may add that,) you have the cause of 
that good pleasure too : ' which,' saith he, ' he had purposed in himself.' 
So you have the division of these 8th and 9th verses. 

Divines, you know, make two parts of our calling. There is vocatio 
externa, that is common to all men that hear the gospel, and to whom the 
mystery of the -will of God is made known. But then there is an internal 
calling, a work upon the heart, whereby he doth work wisdom and prudence 
in us to embrace this word, and to lay hold upon this mystery, and give up 
our souls unto it. 

And then for the inward calling, you know divines reduce it to two heads. 
First, the wor ing of faith ; secondly, the worldng of holiness, or change oj 
heart and lif. Ail isi reduced to these two, holiness and faith, as I shewed 
you out of the first verse of this chapter : there are the saints and faithful 
in Christ Jesus. Xow accordingly the Apostle hath two words here. Here 
is ivisdom, which is the principle of faith ; and here is prudence, which, as I 
shall shew you, is the principle of sanctification, and is put for the whole 

I. To begin first Mith that whereby he setteth out the greatness of the bless- 
ing — 'wherein he hath abounded toward us,' s'Tri^lasivasv. To open that word 
a little, ' abounded.' The word in the Greek is taken either to signify an 
abundance that one hath and hath received, taken pf/ssw'e/y, as I may so ex- 
press it ; as when in Scripture we are said to ' abound in grace,' as in some 
places we are ; or else it is taken actively/, as it imj^lieth abounding in the 
giver, in the bestower, when one bestoweth out of abundance. As there is 
Ijlenitudo fontis, and plenitudo vasis, a fulness in the fountain, and a fulness 
in the vessel ; both are said to be full, but the fountain is said to be fuU as 
that which communicateth, as that which bestoweth, which fills the vessel, 
and the vessel is said to be fuU as having received all from the fountain ; so 
we are said to abound in grace, when he has filled us with it. ' Of his 
fulness,' which is the fulness of the fountain, ' we have received grace for 
grace,' saith the Apostle, John i. 1 6. So now here is 'zKyjPU'j.a fontis, and 
'7:'/.r,ouij,a vasis. Here is signified the abounding of the fountain, namely of 
God, as a fountain communicating ; and the abundance of the vessel, of us 
receiving. Now it is the abounding of the fountain that is here meant. And 
of that there are two meanings too, which I find in Scripture ; two significa- 
tions or uses of the word. 

First, It referreth to something abundantly or largely bestowed. When 
God doth largely or abundantly bestow, then he is said to abound ; or as 
they do translate it, 2 Cor. ix. 8, where the same word is used, ' He is able 
to make all grace to abound towards you.' The meaning is not, he abounded 
in wisdom by making wisdom abound in us ; for always when it is so taken 
it is joined with an accusative case, as it is there in that place of the Corin- 
thians with "JTaGav y^dtiv. But here it is not -Traaav ao(piav, but h irdari ooipla, 
not making grace abound ; but (which is the second meaning of the word qi 

EpH, I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHES1AN8. 129 

phrase, 'in which God abounded') it doth not only import that God did 
cause -wisdom, »fec., to abound, but that he out of abundance of grace in him- 
self bestoweth wisdom. Aiid so I find it to be used Luke xv. 17, abound- 
ing in bread, in my father's house, says the prodigal. It is in the genitive 
case, as it is here ; ' bread enough,' so we translate it : so here God abound- 
eth in his grace, and it is all one as to say his grace aboundeth ; or as the 
English phrase, when we say one ' aboundeth in love,' it is all one as to say 
* his love is abundant.' 

So that the meaning of it in a word is thus (to gather it up for the weaker 
understandings :) that God out of abundance of grace in himself bestoweth 
upon us, in converting us, wisdom and knowledge, wisdom and prudence, 
faith and holiness, as you shall hear afterwards ; and his scope is to magnify 
the riches of grace that is in God, in bestowing such benefits on us. His 
grace aboundeth in the doing of it. And so it is all one with what Paul 
saith of himself in 1 Tim. i. 14 (a parallel place to this.) Paul speaks 
there of his conversion, as he speaks here of the Ephesians', and every 
Christian's calling and conversion and works inherent in him. He saith 
here, ' wherein God abounded,' namely in grace. So he saith there, ' The 
grace of God was exceeding abundant toward me' (exceeding abundant, 
Im^iw'kiovaai, it was over-full) 'with faith and love which is in Jesus Christ,' 
some way answerable to receive it. Here he reduceth the work of calling to 
two heads too, faith and love, faith and holiness, for love is the principle of 
holiness ; and wisdom and prudence do, by a metonymy, or by a synecdoche 
rather, imply both these. So that that which Paul saith of his own calling 
there, the same he speaks of our calling here, and the one expresseth the 
other. There he saith the grace of God was over-full, it overflowed ; so the 
word signifieth. And here his comparison is from a fountain. Grace gushed 
out from God's heart as a fountain, when he first bestowed saving wisdom 
and prudence, when he first converted them. This is the meaning of the 
words, ' wherein he hath abounded toward us.' 

I should not have stayed so long upon the word but for the sake of some 
observations which this expression wiU afford. 

Ohs. 1. — When you would set a right value upon any blessing bestowed 
upon you, you are not to value it chiefly by the blessing itself bestowed, but 
by the grace in God out of which it comes. He doth not say here he gave 
abundance of vdsdom and abundance of prudence, though all the quantity is 
noted here, but he saith he abounded in grace when he did it. The Apostle 
would have them set the value of this blessing upon the grace which was the 
fountain of it. ' Wherein,' saith he, or ' in which he hath abounded toward 
us.' My brethren, learn to value spiritual blessings and temporal blessings 
likewise, not by the things themselves, but by the love of God from which 
they come. A small blessing may be out of abundance of love. So in what 
we do for God, a cup of cold water, the widow's mite. God may abound 
in grace to thee in bestowing it, when the blessing is in the matter of it but 
little. What is the reason that many good souls, that have true grace wrought 
in their hearts, are so unthankful ? They look to the grace wrought in them, 
and they see that there is but a little of that, and therefore they value all 
by what they find in themselves, by the blessing WTOught : ' I find but little 
in me, if any at all.' And while thus they value the blessing by what they 
find in themselves, they prove unthankful to God. Whereas that little 
grace thou hast, that little faith, be it but as a grain of mustard-seed, it pro- 
ceeds out of abundance of grace in God. ' Wherein he hath abounded to- 
ward us,' saith he here, in working the least beginning of true wisdom and 
VOL. I. I 


prudence in tlie least saint. God abounds infinitely in Ms love to thee, 
when thou hast but the least beginnings of gr ice in thee, as small at first as 
Nicodemus had. 

If you mark Paul's expression in 1 Tim. i. 14, the place even now quoted, 
lie doth not say that his faith and love in Christ were exceeding abundant. 
No, but saith he, the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant in bestowing 
faith and love upon me. He looks not to the quantity of his faith or his 
love, but he looks at the gi-ace of both ; and how doth he magnify that 1 
He had said before two things of himself. First, saith he, ' I v,\is a perse- 
cutor and injurious ;' I hated the saints ; there is the first. But, saith he, 
' I did it ignorantly in unbelief / I was an unbeliever, and I was a perse- 
cutor. Now, for God to work faith instead of unbelief, and love to the 
saints instead of persecution and hatred of them, in me, that was once an un- 
believer and a persecutor, the grace of God was exceeding abundant herein. 
He looks not to the work WTought, but he looks to the grace that bestowed 
it, considering the circumstances of the condition he was in before. 

Obs. 2. — Observe what thing it is that this big swelling word ' abounded,' 
overflowing, gushed out, as I may so say, is used about. "What is it that he 
shewed abundance of grace in ? It is the work of conversion, working in 
them wisdom and prudence, that is, faith and holiness ; as you shall see by 
and by. 

The observation, then, from thence is, That God sheweth abundance of 
mercy in converting of a man. It is an abundant grace he singleth out, 
that you see here eminently, and Paul, in that other place, said it was over- 
full ; he was, saith he there, exceeding abundant, speaking of his conversion. 

To give you another scripture fo^ it, 1 Pet. i. 3, ' Blessed be the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy 
hath' — done what for us 1 — * begotten us again.' There is an abundance of 
mercy eminently above aU other works in a man shewed in his conversion. 

I might enlarge upon this, but I will only give you one reason, and so pass 
from it. It is the fundamental mercy to all grace and glory. It is the first 
appearing of the love of God to a man : Tit. iii. 4, 5, * After that the kind- 
ness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of 
righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, 
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' God's love 
is like a river or a spring that runs under-ground, and hath done so from 
eternity. Where breaks it up first ? Where bubbleth it first 1 (as the word 
in the text signifieth ; it is a similitude I have used before, but the words in 
the text will bear it.) Where doth this fountain begin to bubble up or 
issue forth 1 "When a man is first called, then that lov-e that hath run from 
everlasting under-ground, and through the heart of Christ upon the cross, 
breaks out in a man's own heart too. And it is the fundamental mercy of 
all grace and glory whatsoever. 

My brethren, the word here used doth compare God to a fuU fountain, 
which was restramed tiU the fulness of time came, when he would break 
forth in love to a man. Oh ! when shall it once be 1 saith he. And when 
the time comes, his love and mercy gush out upon a man, when he calls and 
converts him. This is the meaning of the word in the Greek. It was the 
time of his espousals, a time of love. So much for the first thing in the 
text; that whereby he sets out the greatness of this blessing, 'wherein he 
hath abounded toward us.' 

II. I come, secondly, to the blessing itself ; wherein, as I told you, there 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 131 

are two parts. Here is first the internal part, the work of grace upon the 
heart, expressed here by wisdovi and prudence. And here is the external 
calling, in the 9th verse, ' making known the mystery of his will,' etc. 

He expresseth conversion, and the whole work inherently wrought in us, 
by the making of a man wise. It is usual in the Scriptures, and you may 
oft-times meet with it : Ps. xix. 7, ' converting the soul — making wise the 
simple;' Pro v. ii 10, the beginning of conversion, and so all along, the 
increase of all grace to the end, is expressed by wisdom entering into a man's 
heart, ' If wisdom enter into thy heart,' and so goes on to do more and more : 
not into thy head only, — a man may have all that, and be a fool in the end, 
— but when it entereth into the heart, and draws aU the affections after it, 
and along with it, ' when knowledge is pleasant to thy soul,' then a man is 
converted ; when God breaks open a man's heart, and makes wisdom faU in, 
enter in, and make a man wise. 

Wisdovi. — It is taken sometimes for the doctrine of the gospel, in which a 
stupendous divine wisdom is to be seen and adored : 1 Cor. ii. 7, ' We 
speak,' saith he, ' the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,' 
&c. Speaking of the doctrine of the gospel, he calls it the wisdom, and the 
hidden wisdom of God. 

Or else, wisdom is taken for the gift of saving grace, working a principle 
in the soul, whereby our souls are made able to take in aU the truths of the 
gospel effectually. And so it is taken in this very chapter, ver. 17, for the 
grace of wisdom in the knowledge of Christ, and to be wise to salvation. He 
prays there that they ' may have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 
knowledge of Christ ; ' that is, to have the Holy Ghost working wisdom in 
them, and giving a principle to be capable of all the spiritual saving truths 
that discover the knowledge of Christ, and to enlighten that principle, to 
take them in and wisely to apply them to themselves ; in one word, to be 
wise unto salvation. 

Some have thought that in 1 Cor. i. 30, Christ is said to be made, in this 
sense, ' wisdom ' to us, as particularly intending the grace of graces, namely 
the principle of faith, — now, it is certain it is a distinct thing from sanctifi- 
cation and justification, as there the apostle useth it, — and that it is made 
thus distinct from the other, and set first, because thereby we are enabled to 
take in all the spiritual truths of the gospel, so as to have a man's soul 
saved, Christ is made wisdom to us when the soul is humbled, emptied of 
itself; and when a man comes to himself, his eyes are enlightened to behold, 
and he is made wise to lay hold upon, that offer of mercy made to us in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, But we must not exclude that objective wisdom — that 
is, all that wisdom which God in the doctrine of the gospel contrived and 
prepared, which is called ' the wisdom of God in a mystery' — with which the 
apostle in that chapter had outfaced tbje Greeks that were so for wisdom ; 
that, in comparison of which all the wisdom in this world, civil, moral, 
natural, he says, is foolishness and comes to nought, and which the doctrine 
of Christ utterly outshined. And so I judge that in that place, 1 Cor, i. 30, 
both this inherent spiritual wisdom in us, and objective wisdom which is in 
our Christ, as revealed in the gospel, are meant. 

Now if you ask, which of the two are meant here, whether wisdom taken 
for the doctrine of the gospel, or for the gift of God working faith in the 
heart 1 I answer you, as I have said, it is taken for the gift of wisdom 
wrought in a man's soul, whereby he applies all the truths of the gospel and 
wisdom of the gospel to himself For — 


First, So it is taken plainly in the 17tli verse, where he calls it the 

* Spirit of wisdom and revelation,' by the Holy Ghost working wisdom in a 
man, and then revealing to that new eye of wisdom spiritual truths. 

Then, secondly, it is taken rather for the gift of wisdom bestowed upon 
us, than for the doctrine of wisdom revealed in the gospel, because that 
follows in the 9th verse, 'having made known to us the mystery of his 
will ; ' therein the doctrine of wisdom is revealed. Therefore, when he speaks 
of wisdom and jirudence in this 8th verse, he meaneth a heart made wise and 
prudent, the work of wisdom in a man's soul. 

And then again, thirdly, there is this reason why it is meant of the gift 
of wisdom and of faith wrought in us, by that parallel place, and indeed 
almost parallel epistle. Col. i. 9, where the apostle prays that they may be 

* filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual under- 
standing ; ' and that word, ' spiritual understanding,' puts it out of doubt 
that the knowledge of spirituals within us is meant. 

Fourthly, And then that it is particularly meant faith, a fourth reason for 
that is this : that when the apostle comes to dilate this general head of the 
work of God, thus here expressed by ' wisdom,' &c., inherent in us, into 
diverse particular works wrought in them, which he doth in ver. 11-13, 
both to Jew and Gentile, he enumerates and instanceth in their beheving on 
Chiist. 'In whom,' saith he, 'we have obtained an inheritance' — viz., the 
Jews — 'who first trusted in Christ.' The like saith the 12th verse. Then 
coming to the Gentiles, ' In whom,' saith he, ' ye also trusted, after that ye 
heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.' So that his scope is 
to lay open the grace of faith and spiritual knowledge. 

Now, bretiiren, to shew you how wisdom and prudence do differ, that is 
the second thing I must make good ; for here are two things mentioned, 

* He hath abounded toward us in wisdom and prudence.' 

To open this, I shall difference them unto you by their objects. You 
know there are two sorts of things revealed ; the first are Credenda, as we 
call them, things to be believed, all evangelical truths, the mysteries of sal- 
vation, the revelation of God's free grace, and of Christ, and of all he hath 
done and is made to us. Secondly, There are Agenda, things to be done and 
practised by us ; that strictness and holiness of heart and life which they that 
do believe are to take up. Into these two is the whole will of God divided ; 
it consists either in things to be believed by us, or in things to be done by 
us. It IB that division the apostle makes, 1 Tim. i. 1 9, ' Holding faith and 
a good conscience.' By ' faith ' he means the doctrine of faith ; all things 
that are delivered to us to beheve, we are to hold these fast. And by a 
' good conscience ' he means, by a metonymy, holiness and obedience, the 
things we know we ought to do, whereof a good conscience is the principle. 
Now then, as all things in the Word are reduced to these two heads, so all 
the works of grace upon a Christian's heart are reduced to two heads : — 

First, A principle of wisdom, to take in and believe and see the worth and 
excellency, as by faith we do, of things that are to be believed by us, and 
which (jrSdi revealeth for our salvation. And — 

Secoiidly, To have a principle of prudence, savingly, spiritually, and 
effectually to see tliat holiness and obedience we owe to God, if we believe, 
and if we be saved, and so to see them as to have the heart taken vsdth them. 
And that is prudence. 

First, Wisdom is that gift of knowledge or faith whereby we believe all 
spiritual truths that are to be believed, and our hearts are affected with the 
goodness of them. For, brethren, therein lies wisdom, to see the excellency 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 133 

of a thing, and to be taken with it, and to choose it, A man is wise when 
he is wise for himself, as it is said, Prov. ix. 12; when a man knows what is 
good for him. That same merchant by whom and by whose carriage the 
conversion of a sinner is expressed to us, was a wise merchant ; for he saw 
a pearl of great value, and he had the wisdom to like it, and to sell aU he 
had for it ; and this was by faith wrought, as I shall shew you by and by. 
When wisdom enters into the heart and becomes pleasant unto a man, as it 
is said, Prov. ii 10, — takes the whole man, — when a man sees by faith those 
spiritual things so really as his whole heart is drawn after them, he chooseth 
them as excellent for him ; this is wisdom. You have it expressed by the 
Apostle, in Phil. i. 9, 10, for he useth several expressions in several epistles, 
as his manner is, but intends one and the same thing. He prays, * that 
their love may abound in knowledge and in all judgment, that they might 
approve the things that are excellent.' Where you have such a knowledge 
as works a love to the things known, and an approving of the excellency of 
them, this is spiritual knowledge, this is wisdom ; for krlymsig, the chiefest 
part of wisdom, as Aristotle saith well of it, is to discern what is good, and 
to pitch upon it and choose it. Now, when a man sees aU the truths of 
the gospel and the excellencies of them spiritually, so as all his heart is taken 
with them, and they become pleasant to his soul, not the knowledge of them 
only, but the thing ; when they are as the only pearl for which he sells aU ; 
then is a man made ' wise to salvation ' — you have the expression, 2 Tim. iii. 
15. When a man is made wise to save his own soul, sees the things of the 
gospel so as he is taken with them, and hath the wit never to leave them 
after, this is the first thing that is wrought. 

Now, my brethren, it is faith that doth enable you thus to see the ex- 
cellency of spiritual things, to choose them, to embrace them, and never to 
depart from them. Therefore faith is truly called wisdom here. I wiU give 
you a scripture in which you shaU have two instances of it, to name no 
more. It is in Heb. xL 13, 24. At the 13th verse, 'These all died in 
faith, not having received the promises, but seeing them [by faith] afar off, 
[for that is the meaning,] they were persuaded of them, [they beheved the 
truth of them,] and they embraced them,' they laid hold upon them as 
good for them. This faith makes you to do, to see all the sjiiritual things 
in the Word really, and to embrace them as good for you. And the other 
instance is that of Moses, ver. 24, ' By faith Moses, when he was come to 
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather to 
suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for 
a season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures 
of Egypt.' Here faith made him wise. He saw what was the best bargain ; 
it made him put a value upon the true riches; it made him to leave aU the 
world, to refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, or whatsoever 
preferment else he had ^t court, and to choose affliction rather with the 
people of God, because by faith he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater 
riches than the treasures of Egypt. So that now, to have that wisdom as to 
see spiritual things, the real nature of them, to set a value upon them, to ap- 
prove the excellency of them, to be taken with them more tlian with all the 
things of the world, and he hath that light and knowledge of them begotten 
in his heart which he can never sell away again, but it works his heart off 
from all things else, — this man is a wise man ; and this is wrought in your 
hearts by faith. This is the first thing. 

Secondly, Prudence is that principle of wisdom that doth change the 
heart ; which, as faith looks out to the truths of the gospel, and the promisea 


of the gospel, to Christ and to God, and free grace, and the like ; so this 
spiritual prudence looks out to all that is a man's duty, that God requires 
of him again, — to holiness, to obedience, to the whole law of God, to the 
whole will of God ; and a man's heart is taken with them too, and that 
man whose heart is drawn by them, through seeing the excellency of them 
in his judgment, is a wise man, is a prudent man. What is it that turns a 
man's heart to righteousness and holiness 1 It is a spiritual knowledge of 
what holiness is, and what that obedience is that we ought to perform to 
the Lord. I will quote you one or two places for it : Luke i. 17, where 
the very same word is used that is used here. He tells us there that the 
end of John's ministry was to turn men ; to what ? ' The hearts of the 
fathers to the children,' that is the first that respecteth matters of faith. 
The Pharisees had in their doctrine led many from the gospel and from the 
faith of Abraham, and the children of Israel did not believe as their fathers 
did. He turns them to their fathers, to believe as Abraham did, and not 
as the Pharisees taught them. And then it follows, ' and the disobedient to 
the wisdom of the just,' of the righteous. It is the same word in the 
original that is translated here for prudence in my text. Tliat wisdom that 
doth make a man righteous, that changeth his heart, makes him take in all 
that holy and righteous law of God, see an excellency in it, that it is right in 
all things, as the prophet David speaks, Ps. cxix. ; this is prudence. And this 
is the second thing wherein conversion lies : to make a man a prudent man, 
prudent with the prudence of the just ; to make a man righteous, to make 
a man just, to make a man holy. It is a practical skill, as I may so call it, 
which God imprints upon a man's understanding, that frames the heart and 
makes him wise to do good. You read in Jer. iv. 22, where the prophet, 
speaking of wicked men, saith, ' They are wise to do evil,' they are wise 
enough there ; ' but to do good they have no knowledge.' Now to have an 
understanding to do good, to have such an understanding as changeth a 
man's heart and makes it conformable to the law ; this is prudence. And it 
consists in two things, that I may open it unto you : — 

First, It consists in enabling a man to take in all the rules of holiness, or 
the more fundamental rules of holiness, in a spiritual manner, to know the 
rule spiritually. A man's heart must be changed to do that. The Apostle 
prays, Rom. xii. 2, that they may be ' renewed in their minds,' (to be 
changed there, is to have their minds turned ;) to what end ? ' That you 
may approve,' saith he, ' of that good and acceptable will of God;' to take 
in the will of God, or any part of it, in the spiritualness of it, to approve it 
in the excellency of it, and to esteem it right in all things. My brethren, to 
know the rule spiritually, is from spiritual prudence ; it is from grace to say 
the law is holy, spiritual, good. The carnal part of the law, carnal men say 
it is good. But to say of the spiritual, the holy part of the law that requires 
the whole heart to be obedient to God, — as such principles as these, to lie 
in no known sin, to aim at the glory of God more than at a man's self, and 
the like, — for a man to take in such principles as these, and to approve them 
from his very soul, this is wisdom, this is prudence, this is part of the pru- 
dence of the just that makes a man righteous. 

Again, in the second place, it imports a skill that God imprints upon the 
mind of a man to manage his whole man, to do according to what he knows. 
' We know not how to pray as we ought.' The Holy Ghost comes and imprints 
a skill upon a man's heart, and teacheth him how to pray acceptably to God, 
which no man in the world can do. To make an acceptable prayer to God, 
is as much as to make a world; to have the skill of it, to have the knack of 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 135 

it, as I may call it, to have the wisdom in the performance of any holy 
duty ; for there is a sldll, a wisdom that belongs to the performance of holy 
duties. When you take an apprentice you teach him two things ; you teach 
him the rules of your trade, but when he hath learnt the rules he must by 
use get a skUl in his fancy to enable him to work. Now, that which men 
get by time and use, which you call habits, that doth God imprint in every 
godly man s heart when he first turns him. As he teacheth him the rules, 
so he imprints the habit of skill, a spiritual wisdom to manage his heart. 
To be able to pray, to believe, to do all things acceptably, this is prudence, 
this is that holy skill, for God undertakes to teach us ; he takes no ap- 
prentice but he teacheth him his trade. This is my covenant, saith he, 
' they shaD all know me, from the least to the greatest ; they shall be aU 
taught of God.' It is part of our indenture and his indenture ^^ith us, as Ps. 
XXV. 12. He imprints a holy skill in the heart, that guides a man's feet 
into the way of peace, as the expression is, Luke L 79. 

It is, my brethren, expounded in that parallel place I quoted but now, 
Col. L 9, 10. He prays that they may be filled with all wisdom and 
spiritual understanding. For what end 1 ' That they might walk worthy of 
the Lord unto all well-pleasing, being fruitful in every good work.' Now, 
to have that skill as shall so guide and frame the heart to the law and will 
of God, that a man shall be able to walk worthy to well-pleasing, to do that 
which is acceptable to God in some measure, this is this spiritual prudence 
which is put for all sanctification, as wisdom is put for faith. So that here 
you have the two parts of conversion : here is wisdom, which is put for 
faith ; here is prudence, which is put for that principle of sanctification 
which doth change and turn the whole man, make it obedient to the wOl and 
law of God. 

And now I have opened it, I wUl cast in but this. Here you see four 
particular blessings, for now I shall so rank them in ver. 7, 8 : here is re- 
demption, 'in whom we have redemption through his blood ;' here is justifi- 
cation, or forgiveness of sins, that is a second ; here is wisdom, which is put 
for faith, believing spiritual truths revealed in the doctrine of the gospel ; 
here is prudence, which is put for that principle of light which changeth a 
man's heart, and makes him holy, and sanctities him, and so it is put for 
sanctification. Well, then, here you have the same four blessings which 
Christ is made to us, reckoned up, 1 Cor. i. 30, ' Of him are ye in Christ 
Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom,' there is one ; 2. ' Pdghteous- 
ness,' there is justification, or forgiveness of sins ; 3. Here is ' sanctification.' 
which prudence is put for; and, 4. ' Eedemption.' And so I have done 
with the opening of the words. 

You will ask me now, why doth the apostle express the work of grace, 
faith and sanctification, by wisdom and prudence ? 

One reason is this, because he useth several phrases in several epistles. 
Sometimes he calls it spiritual ' wisdom and knowledge,' sometimes ' wisdom 
and yjrudence,' sometimes he calls it ' sense,' aicdr,i}ig, as I remember he express- 
eth sanctification ; so that light that sanctifieth a man is a spiritual sense, 
whereby a man tasteth the goodness of spiritual things ; so he calls it in the 
Philippians, as the other is in the Colossians. This is one reason ; he useth 
several expressions in several epistles. 

Secondly, he wrote to the Grecians, and to the Asiatics, to those at Ephe- 
eus, who were all for wisdom, they liked nothing but what had wisdom in it. 
The Jews' humour was to seek for a sign, the Greeks were for wisdom, and 
therefore they refused the gospel, because to them it was fooli.shness, it had 


no wisdom in it. Saith the apostle, Here is wisdom ; seeing you prize wis- 
dom so much, I wUl speak to you according to your own desires. Mark 
what a blessing God hath bestowed upon you ; he hath made you wise to 
salvation, he hath made you able to keep the law, and to obey the will of 
God ; which prudence doth change your hearts, saith he ; therefore, he 
expresseth sanctification by wisdom and prudence. He speaks to them in 
their own language. 

A third reason is this, because the truth is that the work of grace lies in 
working upon the understanding of a man ; it lies in working spiritual 
knowledge in a man ; however men little think of it, it is a light let into the 
heart that saveth a man, a different light from that wicked men have. Eph. 
iv. 22, he bids them ' put off the old man, and put on the new.' How must 
they do that 1 ' Be renewed,' saith he, ' in the spirit of your mind.' If the 
spirit of a man's mind, if the understanding be renewed, it changeth the 
whole man presently. Therefore, because the main of the work of grace, or 
at least the first of it, lies in working upon or renewing the mind, therefore 
it is expressed here by wisdom and prudence. You have the like. Col. iii 
10. The image of God is renewed ; it is renewed in or by knowledge, God 
when he doth frame and paint his image upon the heart, what doth he 1 He 
lets it in by the understanding, openeth a man's eye to see spiritually what 
true holiness is, and what the love of God is, and how a man must aim at 
the glory of God ; and with this light let into the mind and understanding, 
the heart being taken with it, the image of God is framed in men's spirits. 
Therefore it is expressed by wisdom and prudence. 

But here is one particle yet more to be explained, 'all wisdom.' Do we 
receive all wisdom and prudence when we are turned unto God ? 

The meaning therefore of that is this : it is taken, first, for all kinds, for 
all sorts, something of everything, as we use to say. They are made wise 
to believe truths, and they are made wise to do what they know ; their duties 
in their callings, their duties in their relations. There are several parts of 
the wUl and mind of God which God instructs a man in, so far forth as it is 
necessary for him to know to be saved. 1 John ii. 20, it is said, the Spirit 
teacheth us ' all things.' What is the meaning of that ' all things ?' Why, 
all things necessary to salvation, all things that go to save a man ; and so 
the poorest soul that is knoweth all things, hath all wisdom and prudence in 
him. He hath all necessary knowledge to save his soul if God should call 
him presently ; therefore it is called all wisdom and prudence. 

And, in the second place, it is called all wisdom and prudence for the 
excellency of it ; it is instead of all wisdom, and better than all wisdom else, 
as, ver. 10, he calls the saints 'all things in heaven and in earth.' Why, 
there are more things in heaven and in earth besides them 1 Yea, but they 
are worth them all ; God looks upon none else, cares for none else ; they are 
his aU, as if there were no other thing. So here, ' all wisdom and prudence,' 
because this is instead of all, it is worth aU ; this is the whole man, as the 
expression is, Eccles. xii. 13. For whatsoever else is in a man, whatsoever 
wisdom and knowledge he hath else, it is worth nothing ; he that hath this 
hath enough, he hath aU. 

Then, thirdly, take in all believers, whom he speaks of here collectively, 
and they have all wisdom and prudence amongst them. The Apostle speaks 
here of himself and of the rest of the apostles, and of all that are called by 
the gospel. He speaks generally and collectively of all saints ; they have 
amongst them received all wisdom and prudence ; it is in the pack of them. 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 137 

And then in Christ there are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge laid 
up for us, and we are complete in him ; so saith the apostle, Col. ii. 

And all wisdom and knowledge is hid in this word, and if thou hast grace, 
thou hast a principle to understand it savingly more or less ; if thou wilt dig 
for wisdom, thou hast a principle of wisdom which a wicked man wants; 
thou hast all wisdom and knowledge in semine. And though we know but 
in part, yet in Christ is hid aU wisdom for us, and aU the wisdom that is in 
Christ is made ours too, for our good ; and we shall one day know it all, that 
is more. This wisdom and prudence will bring thee to know all the 
treasures that are in Christ, and therefore God hath abounded to thee, in 
semine, in all wisdom and prudence when first he turns thee. 

All the gifts of the apostles and prophets, they are all ours, all thine when 
thou art once called ; therefore God hath abounded toward us in aU wisdom 
and prudence. 

And then, lastly, and, it may be, chief of all. The apostle speaks of it in 
relation to them under the Old Testament; they received truths but by piece- 
meal, at 'sundry times,' as the expression is, Heb. i., now one and then 
another. But now, under the gospel, God hath hidden nothing, he hath un- 
locked all ; therefore the least in the kingdom of heaven is said to be greater 
than John the Baptist, the least saint knows more than John Baptist did. 
So, comparatively to those under the Old Testament, God hath abounded 
toward us in all wisdom and knowledge. And so much for the opening of 
the words. 

I win come now to gather some observations from them (for I see I cannot 
instance in aU I meant.) The first observation is this : — 

Obs, 1. — A godly man only is a wise man. He that is turned to God, he 
that is made wise to save his own soul, he only is a wise man, and all the 
rest of the world are fools ; because let them seek for whatsoever excellency 
they will, yet they lose their souls in the end. ' Thou fool,' saith Christ, — 
he thought himself a wise man to get riches, — 'thou fool,' saith he, ' where 
will thy soul be to-night ?' He was a fool for his labour. A man that 
knows how to believe savingly, and that is wise for his soul, that man is 
only the wise man. Other men are wise in their generation, as Christ 
distinguisheth it ; they are wise in their kind ; take them in the world, and 
there they are wise indeed, and wiser than the children of light. But, saith the 
apostle, God hath chosen the fools of the world to confound the wise ; he did 
it on purpose, it was his plot. The chiefest thmg the wise ones of the 
world brag of is their wisdom. God hath taken out fools, that have less 
understanding, makes them able to save their souls ; and at the latter day, 
who is the fool then 1 Thus he confounds all the wise ones in the world. 
They are only wise that are wise to salvation. 

I will give you a scripture for it. It is in Job xxviii. 28, ' Behold the fear 
of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to depart from evil is understanding.' 
That is the understanding, the only understanding ; and if men be wise never 
so much in anything else, they are fools. 

Obs. 2. — Whomsoever God saveth, he doth give them so much knowledge in 
spiritual things as shall make them wise. Let them be never so ignorant 
before, they that are come to years of discretion, they shall be wise to save 
their souls. Do but observe it ; men that had but little wit in them before, 
when they are turned they wUl speak of faith and of Christ and of the mys- 
teries of salvation exceeding strongly and wisely. What is the reason of it? 
When God is master and teacheth a man, how soon is he learned whom he 


teacheth ! No such schoolmaster as God is ; he aboundeth toward a man 
in wisdom and pradence, so that a man hath abundance of knowledge the 
first day almost. You shall see it in many poor men that are turned to God- 
I will give you but a scripture for it, and so pass from it. Isa. xxxv. 8 : 
the prophet speaks there of the times of the gospel, when Christ was to 
preach the word, as appears by the former verses. He tells us there that 
Christ is ' a way, and a highway,' that way that leads to life, ' and it shall 
be called, The way of holiness,' (which men miscall, and call by a thousand 
other nicknames, but that is the true name of it, The way of holiness,) ' and 
the unclean shall not pass over it,' Take an ungodly man, he shall never hit 
on the way, let him be never so wise ; for so the opposition implies, as you 
shall see by and by. For whom, then, shall this way be ? 'It shall be for 
the wayfarmg men ; though fools, they shall not err in it.' Art thou a way- 
faring soul that art a-going to heaven, and hast a mind to go to heaven t 
And art thou simple, hath God given thee a heart to desire to be saved and 
to seek after Christ ? Take the greatest doctor in the world ; if wicked, he 
shall not find out the way that thou shalt find. Another man, a fool, shall 
find it ; he shall not err in it, because God, whomsoever he doth save, him- 
self is the master, and teacheth them this wisdom. And so much for that 8th 
verse ; I wiU speak a little of the 9 th, and so I will have done. 

Ver. 9, Saving made knoivn unto us the mystery of his will, according to 
his good x>leasure, &c. 

Here, as I told you, he comes to external calling, the making known to us 
* the mystery of his will,' whereby he doth work spiritual knowledge and 
understanding in a man. Now, to open this a little. 

What is meant by making known ? You aU know that he did it by the 
preaching of the apostles ; he doth it now by the preaching of the word, 
and by the Scriptures opened to you, whereby aU that hear it and know it 
are called. 

But what is meant by ' the mystery of his will ? ' for this is the only, the 
chief hard thing here. 

Some men do take it thus, to shew the difference between the knowledge 
of believers and others. Others may know the will of God, they say, but 
there is a mystery in the wiU of God which only godly men know, and God 
reveals it to them. As in Col. i. 27, ' To whom God would make known' — 
speaking of the saints, as you shall see by comparing the 25th and 26th 
verses together — ' the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from 
generations, but now is made manifest to his saints ; to whom he hath made 
known the riches of the glory of this mystery.' My brethren, the mystery 
of God's will, and the riches and the glory of it, the saints only know. 

But I rather think that the aim of it here, (though this be a truth, and I 
shall have occasion to mention it by and by,) — yet I think the main thing 
intended here is not to express the difi"erence of wicked men's knowledge of 
the gospel, and godly men's. But it is taken for the substance of the 
gospel itself The doctrine of the gospel is called the mystery of God's will, 
1 Tim. iii. 16, 'Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the 
fiesh.' The doctrine of salvation by Christ was a gi'eat mystery. 

Here I must open two things to you : — 

1, Why it is called a mydery. 

2. Why the mystery of his will. 

First, Why it is called a mystery. A mystery is that which is a secret 
hidden, a thing unknown, which could no way have been known unless it 
had been revealed by him that knew it. A mystery is properly a thing 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 139 

hidden, 1 Cor. ii. 7, ' We preach the wisdom of God in a mysteiy, even the 
hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world.' Therefore it is a 
mystery, because it is hidden. So a secret unknown is called a mystery in 
1 Cor. XV. 51, ' Behold, I shew you a mystery.' What is that ? ' We shall 
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.' Some men shall not die at the 
latter day. Who knew this before 1 It was a thing unknown, it is not in 
all the prophets, nor in all the Old Testament ; it is a thing we had not 
known, had not Paul told it us ; it was a mystery. 

Now to come to the gospel, it is a hidden mystery, the most hidden secret 
that ever was. It was hid where all the world could not have found it ; no, 
all the wit of men and angels could not have found it where it was hid. It 
was hid in God's breast, in God's heart, ' hid in God.' You shall see the 
very expression in Eph. iii. 9, ' To make all men see what is the fellowship 
of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.' 
If you will know, saith he, in what field it lay, it was hidden in God. 

Hid from whom 1 

First, From all the wise men in the world ; they could never have found 
it out. Those that search into mysteries of state, and would know arcana 
imperii, think they are wise men, and that they know great matters. What 
saith the Apostle ? 1 Cor. ii. 8, ' We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, 
even the hidden wisdom, which none of the princes of this world knew.' 
They that have all secrets in their heads, and know how to govern states 
and kingdoms, none of them all knew this, nor could ever have known it. 

Nay, secondly, the gospel was hid from all the saints in the Old Testa- 
ment, as now it is revealed. In Col. i. 26, the Apostle saith it was hidden 
from ' ages and generations,' from all the generations past ; hid from the 
beginning of the world, as you have it, Eph. iii. 10. You shall find in 
] Pet. i. 10, 11, that the very prophets that wrote the Scripture did not 
fully understand what themselves wrote in all things concerning the gospel. 
' Of which salvation,' saith he, ' the prophets have inquired and searched 
diligently,' — they inquired by prayer, and searched diligently by study of 
their own writings, — ' who prophesied of the grace that should come unto 
you : searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which 
was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, 
and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto 
themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things which are now reported 
unto you.' They had them in their writings indeed, but they ministered 
them to us, and that was the chief answer they could get upon all their 
prayers and study. 

Lastly, It was hidden from the angels. The angels were near God, but 
they were not in his bosom ; they were his favourites, indeed, they were 
courtiers, they stood round about him, but they knew none of it. No, God 
hid it from them. Not a creature knew it, not an angel in heaven knew it, 
as we now know it. Nay, the churches know it before the angels know it, 
and the angels do learn of the churches. That is part of the hiding men- 
tioned, Eph. iii. 10: it was hidden in God, 'to the intent that now unto 
the principalities and powers hi heavenly places' — that is, to angels — 
* might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.' They 
learned the gospel of the Church ; therefore they come to hear sermons. 
Brethren, the churches are full of angels, they love to hear the gospel 
preached; and you know Peter tells us they pry, they bow down theirnecks; 
it is in 1 Pet. i. 12, 'which things the angels desire to look into.' 

Thus the hidden gospel is a mystery so hidden as none could have known 


it. Adam knew the law ; it was written in his heart. We have principles 
of the knowledge of the law in our consciences ; when we hear the law 
preached, we have a principle in our own consciences within us that goes along 
vdth what we hear, and answers to it ; we cannot deny it. But there is not 
the least footstep of the gospel in the wisdom of all the men in the world : 
there is nothing in the heart of man to answer to it. If the gospel be 
revealed, God must create light. When it was first discovered, he created 
light in their hearts to whom it was revealed. We were nothing but dark- 
ness. Saith the Apostle of himself as well as others, 2 Cor. iv. 6, ' Grod, 
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 Christ.' God must bring in a light, saith he, or else not we nor any of 
the apostles could ever have found it out, 

"SVhat is the reason of this 1 

Because it is the ' mystery of Gtod's wiU,' which reason we have in the 
text. Who could have known that God would ever have saved sinners? 
Who could ever have thought it 1 He had said, he had pronounced it as his 
wHl, it was gone out of his mouth, ' In the day thou eatest thereof, thou 
shalt die the death.' Here was a riddle now for all the angels in heaven. 
How could they have known the mystery of God's will, that he would save 
sinners 1 Adam stood trembling, poor man, and the devil thought all cock- 
sure. I shall damn them, thought he, as sure as I have damned myself. 
And all the angels stood mute, tUl God himself came and makes the pro- 
mise to us. Rom. xi. 32, saith the Apostle, ' God hath shut up all in 
unbelief, that he might have mercy upon aU.' That God should let man 
sin, and permit sin to spoil his creature, and when he had done, should mean 
to save it, and have mercy upon those that are shut up under unbelief, — ' O 
the depth,' saith he, ' of the riches both of the wdsdom and knowledge of 
Grod!' so it follows in the next words, ' how unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out ! Who hath known the mind of God 1 or who 
hath been his counsellor 1' Who could ever have known this, had not God 
revealed it, that this was his will 1 No counsellor, my brethren, but one ; 
that is ' the wonderful Counsellor, the mighty God,' as he is called, Isa. ix. 6. 
Therefore in John i. 18, where the Apostle speaking of the gospel of grace 
and truth that came by Jesus Christ, as the law came by Moses, (he speaks 
of the revelation of this gospel in opposition to the law ;) saith he, ' No man 
hath seen God at any time,' that is, hath known the mind of God. That is 
meant by seeing God there, it is a Jewish proverb of knowing God's mind. 
'The only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath 
declared it.' None in the world could have declared this will and mind of 
God, but only He that was in his bosom, that was familiar with him, his 
only Son; therefore he came down from heaven, and first broached the 
gospel : ' which was first preached by the Lord himself,' saith the Apostle, 
Heb. ii. 3. 

Moses, my brethren, — St John speaks of him in the verses before, and he 
saith the law was given by ]\Ioses, — Moses was very intimate with God ; he 

* saw God face to face ;' so the expression is, and God shewed him his glory. 

* The law,' saith he, ' was given by Moses ; ' yea, ' but grace and truth,' the 
gospel, ' came by Jesus Christ.' Though Moses saw God face to face, he was 
not in his bosom, as Jesus Christ only was; and he only could reveal it, he 
only knew this mystery and mind of God. 

I should likewise shew you that it is a mystery for the depth that is in 
it ; but I shall let that pass. For an observation — 

EpH. I. 8. 9.] TO THE EPHESIAXS. 141 

Ohs. 1. — Let all that live under the gospel, and saints especially, acknow- 
ledge what an infinite favour of God it is to know this myatery of his will, 
as you do ; that God will save sinners, and that you see the reason of it too. 
For it is brought down to you ia a plain manner ; you see such a satis- 
faction in Christ as will satisfy a man's reason. Bless God for that infinite 
mercy. You see how dainty God hath been of his gospel ; he kept it 
hidden from aU ages and generations tUl the apostles' times ; above four 
thousand years. And saith our Sa\dour, Luke x. 24, Blessed are your eyes 
that you see, and your ears that you hear, such things as all the prophets 
and kings have desired to see and hear, and could not. ' I tell you,' saith he, 
' many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which you see, 
and have not seen them ; and to hear those things which you hear, and 
have not heard them.' Thou wouldst wish thyself to be a king, if thou 
desirest to be happy; or thou wouldst wish thyself to be a prophet, an old 
prophet, such a one as Elias was, or Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or some of them ; 
nay, wish thyself as Solomon and David was, both prophet and king. Thine 
eyes and ears are more blessed than they. For these kings, saith he, and 
these prophets, neither could see nor hear those things which you both see 
and hear. Why ? Because you hear and know the Mystery of His WiU. My 
brethren, it is the greatest privilege in the world. Our Sa\iour Christ was 
a man of sorrows. We seldom find him rejoicing, but once; and upon what 
occasion was it ? Look in the 21st verse of that 10th of Luke, just before 
these words : ' In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, 

Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from 
the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.' And so he 
goeth on in his discourse, ' Blessed are your eyes,' &c. ; that is the coherence 
of the words. Doth our Saviour Christ, our Head, bless God for revealing 
the gospel to us poor sinners, for to save our souls, and accoimts it the 
greatest mercy of all others bestowed upon us, and shall not we ] Doth 
Christ himself thus, as it were, faU down upon his knees and thank God for 
it, and shall not we ? 

You will object and say to me, But it is a common mercy ; we see many 
wicked men partake of it 

I answer first, "Why do wicked men partake of it ? Because there are saints 
among them, and live in the places with them ; therefore the gospel comes to 
them. ' I have much people in this city,' saith God, speaking of Corinth, 
and therefore he sent Paul to preach amongst them. And so, 2 Cor. iv. 15, 
* For all things are for your sakes.' That Paul had all that knowledge, 
and all those gifts, it was for their sakes, it was for the elect ; and therefore 
you have reason to be thankful for it ; wicked men should not know a word 
of it else. 

Secondly, Wicked men, though they hear the gospel, yet they hear, but 
understand not. There is a mystery in the gospel, which wicked men hear, 
and know not. There is, I say, a mystery in it ; I passed it over before, 

1 will speak but a word of it now : ^Matt. xiiL 11-14, 'To you it is given 
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not 
given.' Here Christ speaks of the mysteries of the gospel ; a man must 
have it given him to know it, which is not done to wicked men. Here both 
heard the same parables : Christ, saith the evangelist, ' spake in parables ;' 
and so he goeth on ; saith he, ' Seeing, they see not ; and hearing, they hear 
not, neither do they understand,' — that is, they do not understand savingly. 

In 1 Cor. IL 7, the place I quoted but now, * We speak,' saith he, * the 
\\'isdom of God in a mystery.' It is called wisdom in respect that wicked 


men may see and understand a rationality in it ; but there is a mystery in 
tliis wisdom which godly men only see, and it must be given them to see it. 
' The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him,' Ps. xxv. 14. So that 
now, though you think it a common mercy, yet it is a peculiar mercy to know 
the mystery of the gospel ; to know the riches and the glory of it. It is a 
peculiar mercy to the saints. 

Qls^ 2. — The mercy lies in this, to hnoiv the gospel, the mystery of his will. 
He doth not say, to know the law. How slightly the apostle speaks of the 
law. ' The law,' saith he, ' came by Moses.' It is a slight speech, in com- 
parison of ' grace and truth ;' that, he saith, * came by Jesus Christ.' It is the 
mystery of his will in the gospel that he purposed in himself, the knowledge 
of which a man sliould prize. This is the glory of Christ, and this is the 
glory of our preaching : ' He hath ordained it for our glory,' saith he, 1 Cor. 
ii 7. The preaching of the gospel is that which brings in souls : Luke xvi 
16, 'The law and the prophets were imtil John,' but now the gospel is 
preached, men crowd into it, press into it, they come thick and threefold to 
it ; men come in now when the gospel is preached infinitely more than when 
nothing but the law and the prophets were preached. ' The law and the 
prophets were until John ; since that time,' saith he, ' the kingdom of God is 
preached, and every man presseth into it.' This is it that bringeth men in, 
my brethren. ' Woe is me,' saith the apostle. Why ? He saith not simply, 
' if I preach not,' but ' if I preach not the gospel ;' that is the main thing. 

Second, There is but one thing more to be opened, and that is, why it is 
called the mystery of his will. 

One reason is this, because the will of God is the foundation of the gospel 
What will you resolve it into 1 You must resolve it into his will, and into 
nothing else. ' I will have mercy ;' this is the gospel, but his will is the 
foundation of it. ' I will have mercy upon whom I wUl have mercy/ and his 
will sets his understanding a work, as it were, to find out ways to bring about 
the salvation of mankind. ' He worketh all things after the counsel of his 
own will,' as it follows afterward in the 13th verse. Hence, therefore, it is 
called the mystery of his will. 

I will give you another reason for it, which is the better reason for you, 
because the most comfortable thing we know in the gospel is the will of God 
to save sinners. Mark what I say, if thou knewest aU that God knows, (it is 
a great word,) if thou didst not know this thing, that his mind and will were 
to save sinners, thou wert undone ; the knowledge of this is worth all the 
rest. To knoAv that God is merciful in his nature, this will not do it. 
You might have known that and despaired, for it might have been said, It ia 
true, he is merciful in his nature, but the question is whether he will be 
merciful or no ] ' Yea, but I will have mercy ;' this word is worth all the 
world, this is the gospeL 

It is called the mystery of his will, thirdly, because you might have known 
that Jesus Christ had died too, yet if you had not known it is the will of God 
to accept of that death for .sinners, you had been undone stUl, if you could 
possibly have supposed this. What saith the apo.stle, Heb. x. 10, when he 
comes to speak of the sacrifice of Christ, what influence it had into our 
salvation 1 ' I came to do thy wiU,' saith he ; 'by the which will we are 
sanctified through the ofiering of the body of Jesus Christ once for aU.' 
What is it that saveth you, that sanctifieth you? It is not simply the 
offering of the blood of Christ ; if you had heard Christ had died, that 
would not have comforted you, had it not been for this will : by this will you 
are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ. 

EpH. I. 8, 9. J TO THE EPHESIANS. 143 

Take an observation or two from hence. 

Obs. 1. — You see, my brethren, what is tlie pith of the gospel. It is the 
mystery of God's will ; to know but this, that God wiU save sinners in the 
blood of Christ, this is the pith of the gospel. This is that which is essential 
to salvation ; and you see too, that it is but a small thing to know that God 
will save sinners in Christ. How gracious hath God been ! He hath not 
laid upon you to know all the hard things in the gospel, which scholars 
know, and many believers that have large understandings know, or else you 
cannot be saved. But this is the kernel of aU, God will save sinners. It is 
the mystery of his -u-ill ; dost thou know that 1 Hath that taken thy heart ] 
Thou knowest that which will save thee, it' thou knowest no more ; thou 
knowest that which faith may feed upon, and which will make thee happy 

But, saith a poor soul, WiU God save sinners indeed 1 (when the soul be- 
gins to believe this in good earnest.) Hath God a mind to save such sinners 
as I am 1 saith he : I have reason to be content to be saved then. And so he 
giveth up his soul to God and to Christ, and so the bargain is made. Faith is 
to know the mystery of his wiU ; it is resolved into that. 

I will give you l>ut a familiar instance, that the knowledge of this one 
thing is worth all the rest. Suppose that one had lived in Solomon's time, 
had been a subject to Solomon, a great favourite in his court, and had run 
into treason, so that it was in Solomon's power to take away his Ufe, and 
Solomon should yet use him exceeding kindl)', open to him all his heart, — • 
you know that he had the most knowledge that ever man had, both in mat- 
ters of nature and in the book of the law, — and he should tell him all his 
notions ; — and he had as many notions in his head as there were sands on 
the sea-shore, for it is said he had a heart as large, he had a vast knowledge ; 
— and suppose that Solomon should have told him all these, this poor man, 
being a traitor and in Solomon's power to put him to death when he would, 
if he had known but one thing of him, that Solomon would but say to him, 
' I wUl pardon thy treason, I will save thee, thou shalt not die,' — this would 
have pleased him more than all the knowledge Solomon could have imparted 
to him. So I say here, we are traitors, and have deserved death, and it is 
in God's power to destroy us. If now God reveals unto thee that he hath 
an intent to save sinners, haply he doth conceal other things from thee ; thou 
hast not a large understanding, thou canst not take in much ; but this I 
know, that God hath a mind to save sinners in Christ, and I will give up 
myself unto him. But dost thou know further that he meaneth to save 
thee ? It is worth all the knowledge else in the world. Why 1 Because it 
is the mystery of his wiU. 

Obs. 2. — See the grace of God in a'pplying himself to all sorts of believers, 
in revealing the gospel to weak as well as strong ; he hath applied himself 
to weak capacities. If the gospel lay all in great hidden wisdom and 
rationalities, and that a man must know all the depths of wisdom in it, all 
the rationalities of it, the coherence of one truth with another, before he can 
be saved, many poor weak understandings should have been undone, and 
never should have come to be saved. God doth load your hearts but with 
one truth, / will save sinners in and through Christ. Hast thou learnt this in 
the gospel 1 This will save thee, the gospel is the mystery of his will. 
And, my brethren, he hath applied himself to weak understandings in faith 
too. Why did he choose faith of aU graces to save a man by ] Because the 
poorest in the world, the weakest understanding, can believe and trust. 
When he Leareth that God wiU save sinners, he is able to trust God aa 


strongly and as firmly as the wisest understanding man in thfe world. Nay, 
your weak men, they are aptest to believe, they are more suited for faith ; 
let them but have this revealed to them, that God will save poor sinners, it 
lies but in a trust. When a man's heart is convinced of this, and a poor 
soul is able to do it, he doth it as strongly as the greatest understanding iu 
the world can do. Thus God hath applied himself. 

Obs. 3, — Though the gospel be a mystery, yet you see God hath made it 
known. Observe from hence, that God cares not who knows it ; he kept it 
indeed hidden awhile, but now he would have all men see it. So it is, 
Eph. iii. 9, 10, 'That all men might see what is the fellowship of the 
mystery,' &c. It is the glory of God and of our religion, that we desire to 
have all known, all the mysteries of it. We do not as the Papists do, that 
keep things from the people. Know it to the uttermost in God's name, and 
let all God's people in their sphere and place prophesy ; let them be all as 
prophets, to know the uttermost mystery of God's will. God hath abounded, 
not to ministers only, but to all his saints, in all wisdom and prudence, and 
hath made known the mystery of his will to them ; let them aU get what 
knowledge they can of it. It was not the nature of other religions to do so. 
The wise heathens, and the priests of the Egyptians and other heathen 
nations, had mysteries in their religion, but they kept them as mysteries, 
they never told the people of them. Popery, you know, is called a ' mystery 
of iniquity,' as this is called the mystery of God's will; for the devil hath 
made a gospel for his eldest son, as God hath for his Son. But what is the 
reason they will not let you know it, but keep you in ignorance 1 Because 
it is a mystery of iniquity, and people would come to see the iniquity of it, 
if they knew the mystery of it. But the gospel, it is the mystery of God's 
will. Saith God, All that ye know by me is, that I wiU save poor sinners, 
that I delight in mercy. I care not who knows this, saith God. It is a 
matter of grace, and therefore he makes known the mystery of his will 
This is the glory of our God, and the glory of our religion, and the glory of 
the gospel. Would that all the saints in the world understood every tittle of 
this book ! then our sermons would be understood, and we should preach 
with ease, my brethren. God desires this, and we desire it, to have ail men 
know the mystery of his will. 

According to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself. 

III. That which remaineth is this, that which was the moving cause of 
making known the mystery of his will, and of calling home those whom he had 
called, and shall caU to the end of the world. It is ' according to his good 
pleasure, which he had purposed in himself.' 

When I opened the 5th verse, I shewed that £i)3ox/a, the 'good pleasure' of 
his will, was that which of all things else he is pleased most with, though he 
willeth other things. Here it is simply said, ' according to his good plea- 
sure,' but the thing is all one. It was out of the good pleasure of his will 
that he did choose us and predestinate us to glory, to adoption, to perfect 
holiness, as the 4th and 5 th verses have it. And it is out of the same good- 
will that he makes known the gospel savingly to any one's heart, and con- 
verts him, and turns him to him. 

It is a known place, that in Matt. xL 25, (to confirm this to you,) ' At that 
time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast 
revealed them unto babes : even so. Father, for so it seemed good in thy 
sight,' on ouToic symro iudoxJa. The word is the same that is here. It was 
thy good pleasure that thou shouldest put this difference, to reveal it unto 

EpH. I. 8, 9. J TO THE EPHESIANS. H.-j 

some, and tliose babes, and pass by the wise and pradent. He speaks it of 
making known the mystery of his will, the thing in the text. Now, when 
he saith, ' I thank thee, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and hast revealed them to babes, for so it seemed good in thy sight,' 
it is not that he doth make the ground, the terminus of it, to be in God's 
hiding of it simply from the wise or from the prudent ; but the thing he 
giveth thanks for is his revealing it to babes. Only, here is the mercy set 
off the more, there is this foU cast upon it, that he hideth it from the wise 
and prudent, whUe he revealeth it unto babes ; and herein is seen, by refusing 
some and taking others, the good pleasure of his will. 

It is a like speech too, that in Rom. vi. 1 7, ' God be thanked, that you 
were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of 
doctrine which you were delivered into.' He doth not thank God that they 
were the servants of sin simply ; but that which he thanketh God for was, 
that they had obeyed that form of doctrine they were delivered unto ; only 
seeing they were the servants of sin once, the mercy is set off by this so much 
the more. Just so here, ' Father, I thank thee, because thou hast hid these 
things from the \\dse and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes ; for 
even so it seemed good in thy sight.' I shall have recourse to tliis place by 
and by. 

You have the like in 1 Cor. i. 21, where the same phrase is used, the same 
word of God's good pleasure that is here ; and it is spoken of God's reveal- 
ing the gospel to the babes of the world, as you may read there throughout 
the chapter, ' Not many wise, nor many noble,' &c. ; and the reason was 
this, because God would confound wise men after the flesh, by enabling poor 
creatures to save their own souls. 

I will make but an observation out of this, and so pass from it. 

Obs. — God's making known the mystery of his wUl and the preaching of 
the gospel, and enlightening of men unto life by the gospel, doth not de- 
pend upon, nor is it dispensed according to, preparations in the creature, but 
it is according to his good pleasure. There are those that affirm otherwise, 
but this one place, compared with many others, sufficiently confutes it : 
' Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good 
pleasure.' If you would know why the gospel is preached in that powerful 
manner in England or in London, and not in many other places of the Avorld, 
and not in many other places of the kingdom, it is merely upon the good 
pleasure of God. 

It is a thing that wiU never be answered. Why did God suffer the Gen- 
tiles so long, three thousand years, to walk in their own ways without reveal- 
ing to them the mystery of his will, —for it was three thousand years and up- 
ward after Abraham, — and chose the Jews to whom he would make known 
his law ? ' He dealt not so with any nation,' saith the Psalmist ; ' neither had 
the heathen the knowledge of his law.' It was merely God's good pleasure. 
Moses tells them, Deut. ix. G, that it was not for their righteousness ; for 
they were a stiff-necked people. In obstinacy they surpassed all other 
nations ; they were the most perverse and the most unbelieving people of 
any other in the world. And, Deut. x. 14, 'Behold,' saith he, 'the heaven of 
heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only 
the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed 
after them, even you above all people.' It was merely the good pleasure of 
hiff will that did it. And why doth ^Moses mention his title, of being Lord 
of heaven and earth, but to shew that this proceeded from his sovereignty, 
that he chose this people and revealed the word to them 1 All the earth, 

VOl^ I. JC 


saitli he, is mine, and T have angels in heaven ; I need no man upon earth at 
all. He might have left them all to their own ways. 'The heaven of 
heavens is mine ; the earth also, with all that is therein.' 

You shall find in that place I quoted even now, Matt. xi. 25, that Christ 
resolveth it, why God revealed it to babes, into the same principle, by the 
title he giveth God there when he giveth him thanks : ' I thank thee, O 
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou,' &c. God sheweth his 
liberty in this. And do but mark upon what occasion those words of Christ's 
come in. ' At that time,' saith the text, ' Jesus answered and said. Father, 
I thank thee,' &c. Our Saviour had in the 20th and 21st verses upbraided 
the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented 
not. ' Wee to thee, Chorazin ! woe to thee, Bethsaida ! if the mighty Avorks 
which were done in thee, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have 
repented long ago, in sackcloth and ashes.' If God had gone and revealed 
the gospel according to preparations in men, certainly he would not have 
passed by Tyre and Sidon, and preached it to Chorazin and Bethsaida ; for 
he saith that Tyre and Sidon would have made better use of it, they would 
have repented long ago. And Tyre was of all nations the most ingenuous to 
the Jews ; they helped to build the temple, 3'-ou know ; yet God passed by 
them. 'At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, 
Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and revealed them to babes.' Thou goest in revealing the gospel 
by no such conditions in men, but dost it as the Lord of heaven and earth, 
out of thy good pleasure. And so much for that, ' according to his good 

Which he purposed in himself. 

IV. These words ' which he purposed in himself,' some copies, and as good 
as any other, leave '^rooidsTo out, and so they do not refer them to the 9th 
verse, but to the 10th. ' He purposed in himself to gather together in one 
all things in Christ.' Yet because some have it, and thus yon see it is read, 
and indeed more generally by interpreters, therefore by referring them to this 
9tli verse, let us see the reason why these words, 'which he purposed in him- 
self,' come in after all as having relation to his good pleasure. 

It might first be said. It is true God doth it out of his good pleasure, but 
yet notwithst<anding, though his own will cast it, is there nothing at all he 
looks at in the creature why he doth it ? 

Nothing at all ! It is, saith he, ' his good pleasure,' which he purposed 
in himself, merely in and out of himself. He looked to nothing but him- 
self, when he did thus purpose eternal salvation to any, or to call them by 
the gospel. 

And, secondly, whereas they might inquire, and say, Was it out of a fixed 
will, taken up from everlasting thus ? 

Yes, saith he, it was not a mere velleity, but it was a purpose, secum sta- 
tutum, he purposed with himself, unalterably ; so, indeed, Beza saith that 
God's purpose is mentioned to shew the firmness of election, as in Eom. viii 
28, where the purpose of God is mentioned, to shew the firmness and sta- 
bility of his will and resolution in it : ' He purposed.' 

If the words be referred to the 9 th verse, then you may observe from 
thence these two things out of it : — 

1, That effectual calling is the fruit of God's everlasting good-wiU to us, 
James L 18, 'Of his o^vn will he hath begotten us.' It was his will and his 
purpose he took up from everlasting. His begetting us is of his wUl, of his 
purpose, which he purposed, Baith he, in himself. And therein now, our 

EpH. I. 8, 9.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 147 

begetting differetli from that of Christ's. Christ is his natural Son. As he 
is the second Person, he begat him not of his ■will ; as he is man, indeed, so 
he came under God's decree as well as we ; but as he is the natural Son of 
God, the second Person, he was not begotten of his will : but so are we by 
an everlasting purpose, by an everlasting decree, which he purposed in him- 
self. So that, my brethren, look how you are called, and when you are 
called ; it was all as God had plotted it from everlasting. He appointed 
that thou shouldest go to such a sermon, and there hear such a word spoken 
as should strike thy heart. It may be it was spoken by the by, or it may 
be thou camest into the church by the by, and thoughtest to go to another 
place, but God turned thee in. This was plotted from everlasting. God 
doth his great works by the by oftentimes, and so he converteth souls ; yet 
they are plotted from everlasting. It is his piirpose within himself. 

There is one word yet in this 9th verse, ' which he purposed ia himself.' 
Some read it iv u-jtoj, which he purposed in him, namely, in Christ. But 
because that is so much before and after, certainly he meaneth h aiiru), in 
himself; the word signifieth either, as I have formerly shewed what is the 
meanmg of that. He did not view anytliing in us, or out of himself, when 
he decreed anything concerning us. God hath no efficient cause to move 
him but his own will. He hath no final cause that ultimately moveth him, 
but his own glory and his Son's. He consults with nothing ; he looks not 
out of himself. As he understandeth aU things by himself and by his 
essence, so that, that casteth his will this way or that way, is himself. The 
meaning is not but that something out of God moved God, if we would 
speak strictly. I shall shew you why : for, take the glory of his grace, that 
you know moveth him ; so the 6th verse teUeth us, ' He did predestinate us, 
to the praise of the glory of his grace.' Now the praise of the glory of his 
grace is a thing out of God, for it is that manifestative glory that ariseth 
from the hearts of men and angels to him, upon his works that he declareth 
to the sons of men. It is that which ariseth out of all. He looked and saw 
that, in the creature which he made, there would be such a praise arising. 
This moveth him, and yet it is out of himself. How, then, is he said to 
purpose all in himself ? 

In one word, thus : although the praise of the glory of his grace is but 
a creature, yet relatively it is God, it is his own, it is himself, it hath relation 
to himself. * My glory,' saith he, ' I will not give to another ;' no, not tliis 
glory which thus ariseth out of the creature ; not only his essential glory, but 
not that manifestative glory he hath out of aU things. It is incommunicable 
to any creature. Though it be not essentially himself, yet relatively it is ; 
therefore, Prov. xvi 3, he is said to have ' made all things for himself, and 
the wicked for the day of evil.' And now to say that the praise of the glory 
of his grace moved him, is all one as to say himself moved himself ; because 
it is his, and it is incommunicably his. So much now for that 9th verse. 



Tliat in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in 
one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on 
earth; even in him. — Vek. 10. 

These words contain the whole of God's everlasting purposes of grace 
(sever them from those of creation and providence) towa.rd all or any, either 
in heaven or earth, whom he regards of loves. 

This is his comprehensive scope ; and that both the coherence of them 
with the former, and the matter itself, when opened, will discover and de- 
clare. First, the coherence these words have with the whole he had been 
discoursing of from ver. 3 until now. From ver. 3 unto ver. 7, he had been 
enumerating the particular purposes of God's grace to us men in Christ, — 
the things on earth, — how from everlasting he had chosen, predestinated, and 
graciously accepted us in his Son Christ. And then, from ver. 7 to this, 
how he had redeemed us, forgives us, and -calls us according to the same 
rich grace in Christ. Which done and said of us men, whom this epistle 
was wholly wrote to and concerned, he then brings forth the whole of God's 
design in the utmost extent of it, so to glorify this grace and this Christ. 
' To gather in him,' — not us only, you and us men, the things on earth, but 
9l\ things that are in heaven also, — ' in him I say;' and it is as if he had said, 
' For a conclusion of these particulars, I will give you the total sum of all in 
comprehensive words.' 

That particular account begun concerning us men, occasioned and drew 
out this general conclusion and glorious coronis. 

The words immediately before, ' he purposed in himself,' there are two 
known variations of them, yet so as either stream falls into this scope. 

1. Some copies, and those more ancient, have not that word ' which.* 
They render it not, ' which he purposed in himself,' but simply thus, ' he pur- 
posed in himself And so those words before them, ver. 9, 'having made 
known the mystery of liis will, according to his good pleasure,' they give a 
full period to his former sentence, ver. 8, and then these words, ' He pur- 
posed in himself,' begin anew, and do of right belong to this 10th verse, and 
are to be cut off from the 9th verse. And so the scope runs naturally to 
shew, as hath been said — 

2. What was the whole, and all, and utmost, of what he purposed in him- 
self — namely this, to gather all in Christ, the good angels, as well as us men, 
thereby to shew the fulness of Christ's glory. For, secondly, if that word 
' which ' prove to be that which fell from Paul's pen, (as most copies,) yet 
still the current empties itself into the same meaning : for whereas, in the 
9th verse, he had set out the rich grace of God shewn to the Ephesians, as 
also himself in particular, — that he had called them unto Christ by the know- 
ledge of his will, ' making known to them the mystery of his will ; ' which 
grace of gathering them personally first unto Christ he attributes unto the 

EpH. 1. 10.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 149 

good pleasure of his will, as it follows, ' according to his good pleasure,' 
■Kara, rj^v ivdoxiav, ^"i/ — that is, according to that, even that same good plea- 
sure which, or out of which, he had purposed to gather universally all of 
them he loved in heaven or earth in his one Christ, — so as comfort yourselves, 
and adore that grace, which herein is the very same vmto you which it is 
unto any or all of angels and men. And what love can be supposed greater ? 
Yea, and this is your privilege, to be taken into that general account and 
number of that general assembly, consisting of a universal 'company of 
angels,' &c., the privilege of which the Apostle doth so celebrate, Heb. xii. 
What shall I say more 1 You have the bottom of God's heart, the centre 
and circumference of his decrees of grace, the greatest birth the heart of God 
was ever big with ; so great, as God having been in travail with it from 
everlasting, as became so great a design, had also appointed a ' fulness of 
time,' a centre of time, for the delivery or discovery of it ; which began when 
ChrLst was first revealed, ' seen of angels,' things in heaven — ' believed on 
in the world,' both of Jews and Gentiles, which shall be gathered together in 
that last and general assembly in heaven. This is the coherence and general 

There are two eminent phrases to be opened : — 

First, What is meant by 'all things in heaven, in earth.* 

Secondly, What the import and signification of this word, of * gathering 
together in one,' dvaxi(pa,Xa.iwsas9ai,hy which the Apostle undertakes to express 
the ultimate and most perfect design of God toward all his elect. What 
it signifies and extends itself unto I shall, for a clearer view of what I am to 
deliver — 

First, Explain what is meant by ' all things/ And then — 

Secondly, Set forth the particular heads I mean to treat on. 

Thirdh/, After that, I will give the import of that other phrase, ' gather- 
ing together in one;' the reason of doing which latter after the other will 
easily appear, because the variety of the signification of that phrase will be 
found to fall in with all these heads. 

First, What is meant hy ' all things.^ 

It expresseth those two sorts of intellectual creatures who are here set out 
and distinguished by their original countries they belong unto, the places 
of their habitation, heaven and earth. The Hebrews are wont thus to 
express them, as in the Second Commandment — 

1. ' Thou shalt not make the likeness of things in heaven above;' whereby 
are meant angels, who sometimes took shapes ; 

2. ' Nor of things on the earth beneath,' 

3. ' Nor under the earth ; ' devils, who appeared in the shapes of hairy 
ones, satyrs, &c. You have the very same, Phil. ii. 10. 

Now of this third dominion of God's, — viz., that of devils, or of those in 
hell under the earth, — of this sin was the sole founder. But God only took 
out his original dominions, heaven and earth, for the subjects of this his choice. 
Those under the earth are left out, as they are said ' to be without ;' there 
is no gathering thence. But two colonies he hath singled out of earth and 

Secondly, These are two sorts of intelligent creatures, angels in heaven, 
and men on earth. Beza and others would have the souls of elect men, 
that were in heaven when Christ died and ascended, to be the ' things in 
heaven,' but without any instance of any scripture where they are so termed ; 
and also that parallel place, Col. i. 18-20, that Clirist is the head of the 
body, by whom God hath reconciled 'all things to himself, whether thing* 


in earth, or tilings in heaven ;' the phrase is clearly interpreted by ver. 16, 
' By him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth ;' 
as being distinguished by the places which by their creation they belong 

If, secondly, you ask, Why the persons of angels and men are meant by 
things ? 

liesp. — It is ordinary in Scripture so to express it : Gal. iii. 32, God hath 
shut up 'all things under sin,' r« •zavTcc ; which is elsewhere expressed, Rom. 
xi. 32, rovg •jdvrag, as meaning persons. 

If, thirdly, why all 1 The answer is, the apostle intends all whom God 
cares for ; and indeed those only are, whom God's favour gives being unto : 
* Of him ye are in Christ Jesus,' 1 Cor. i. 30. Again, secondly, all ; that is, 
all sorts in either. (1.) In heaven, there are several ranks of angels, which 
Col. i. 16 warrants, 'thrones and dominions;' as you see among peers, 
dukes, marquises, earls, although they are all of the same house ; so here. 
Here are archangels, angels ; the Scripture mentions both. (2.) On earth 
there are several ranks of men. Now God afiects to have of all, 1 Tim. 
ii. 1, 2, of all nations, countries, families, conditions, that shall be made 
happy by him. 

fSecondlif, The heads of the ensuing discourse. 

The eminent particulars contained in this total of God's purposes of grace, 
the subjects of my discourse, are — 

First, The utmost of that thing itself which God intended to bring aU his 
unto. It is an union with himself, and a collection of all things to himself. 

Secondly, His setting forth and singling out the person of Christ, the 
great Him here ; ' in him,' I say, in whose very person he first purposed to 
gather up all sorts of things, and thereby to fit him to become a head or 
centre, in which he might gather all whom he loved. 

TMi-dly, That he hath taken his elect out of all sorts of persons that were 
in heaven or are in earth, and united them in Christ, as in, and through, 
and under one common head. 

Fourthly, That to illustrate his grace, and the glory of his Christ the 
more, he ordained a first and second gathering or union of all these ; and the 
first being slippery and failing, he ordained a firm and everlasting union at 
last, in and through his Son. 

Fifthly, The manner of his efi'ecting this, ' by Christ.' And so you have 
the heads to be treated on. 

Thirdly, Let us consider the import and extent of this great word, avaxs- 
<ta\atujG%Gdrxi, and the several significations of it, which the Holy Ghost 
singled out on purpose to express this whole of God's design, and the 
several particulars forementioned therein. 

I shall but give you what is collected from approved interpreters and 
critics, of which it is too large to give the account. 

I. In general, it imports to join many things in one, and to bring them 
to an unity. This sense our translators favoured, rendering it simply thus, 
' a gathering together in one.' And this general sense of the word falls fitly 
in with the first of those heads mentioned, vi^;., That God's utmost design 
was an union with himself. 

II. Particularly. This more general contains many more particular signifi- 
cations under it : — 

1. It is a similitude taken from arithmetic, and signifies a summing up 
many lesser broken numbers and accounts in one total sum, as merchants 
do. Thus the tale or total sum of bricks to be gathered by the Israelites, 

EpH. I. 10.1 TO THE EPHESIANS. 151 

Exod. V. 18, is rendered by the Septuagint, KspdXaiot, -whicli is a phrase akin 
to that of y.spaXr,, the head. The Grecians placed the total sum of any 
account at the top, as we on the contrary at the bottom of it ; and whereas 
we caU it pes computi, discomputation, the foot of the account, they termed 
it %-zaKam, the head or top. 

2. The word is a similitude from rhetoric, — that is, to sum or gather up 
many particulars, which have been largely and particularly dUated on, into 
one word or sentence, which is the brief or compendium of them aU. Thus 
Rom. xiii. 9, having rehearsed many particular commandments. Thou shalt 
not steal, murder, &c., he concludes, ' And if there be any other command- 
ment, it is briefly comprehended' (it is the same word that is here) 'in this 
one saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' And these two signi- 
fications do correspond with the second head, and fitly serve to express 
how that in the very person of Christ are summed so many particulars as 
in one sum, or one brief sentence. 

3. It is a similitude taken from politics, as when we would express 
many nations or persons united under one prince, as their head. Thus Chry- 
sostom understood it, and many since. And so in the natural body, a~cxs- 
(pa}.aiuBai is, 'to cut off the head,' triincare caput; opposite to which is this 
word here, 'to gather imder one head.' And this signification suits and 
serves the third head, namely, that all things, all sorts of angels and men, 
are gathered up under Christ, as their head and natural prince. 

Lastly, there is an ava added, 'to gather again a second time,' to redeem 
or collect things or persons that were scattered asunder, as the dead bones 
in Ezekiel, which being disjointed came together miraculously again, and 
made up one body under one head. 

And this serves fitly to the two last heads proposed, so as not one of them 
can be spared. You have the heads of my subject cut out, and the words 
opened as holding them forth. Now to give you the story of aU these. 
For the first head : — 

Head I. 

That tlie great God purposed and designed an union with himself of those 
u'hom in a special manner he had set himself to love; and that this union 
is the deepest and furthest design of his heart, of any he hath toward them, 
or the whole creation. The full demonstration of his manifold wisdom and 
power moved him to make a variety of persons, things, yea, of worlds ; but 
then his goodness and his love moved him to reduce out of that variety an 
all out of every sort, as a pledge of his respect to all, unto an imity again, 
and that with himself ; and this union is the top perfection of all his works, 
as that, John xvii. 23, ' I in them, and they in me, that they may be made 
perfect in one.' It is the perfection of the creature, whereof the unity of 
the three Persons is the pattern, and the perfection of God's design. 

Head IL 

The next thing to be considered is, what medium, means, or comer-stone and 
foundation it was which God laid and designed, in and hy whom most effica- 
ciously and harmoniously to accomplish this designed union between himself and 
all things in both worlds. For the whole creation was at that distance from 
God, as God would have them know and retain the sense and remembrance of 
it, even when this union should be in its height and perfection ; and to that 
end neither admits the generality, the all here, to an immediate union with 
himself ; and those he doth admit but in and through another, and him the 


text names and holds up with the greatest eminence, ' in him, in him I say ;* 
thereby shewing that it Avas this great He, and he alone, that was or could 
have been the foundation of this work. 

Him, whom God hath made both Lord and Christ, and to that end 
singled forth and made up, and constituted him such a person as should be 
the centre, the compound of all things w^hich he meant in and by him to 

And herein let us adore the infinite wisdom of God, to find out and 
contrive such a kind of person to be his instmment therein ; remember- 
ing all along that we are not at present speaking of redemption, but only of 

Now, to set forth this in general, let us consider, that if there were a 
general counsel of all sorts of intelligent natures, called by God, and com- 
missionated to choose out a head to this all of themselves, they would cer- 
tainly pitch upon such a one, if such a one could be found out by them, 
in whom all the interest and concernments of them all do meet. Now this 
hath God done for us, without us, in this choice of his Christ and our Lord. 
For what can, or could be supposed more harmonious than that, when 
God meant to unite the variety of all sorts in one head, he should ordaic 
that one head in his person to be the sum of all their natures and condi- 
tions, and yet a person of himself, and distinct from them, and independ- 
ent of them ; and so Christ mystical, the Church, and Christ personal, who 
were to be espoused together, might suit and match, and alike consist of 
all things, to the end they might be like in all things as near as possible 
might be ? 

And this collection of all in the very person of Christ takes up two of 
those fore-mentioned significations of this word, draxf^aXa/alffaff^a/. First, 
the casting up of divers numbers in one total sum ; secondly, the epitomis- 
ing or summing up a variety of dilated discourses iato one sentence. 

Let us run through the divided numbers which ' all things, in heaven or 
earth,' are parted into. 

The first great and more general division of all things is, God and the 
creature, and to cast up or bring in these two into one sum or total was the 
hardest piece of arithmetic that ever was. And yet none of us creatures 
had ever come into this after-account or second union with God under 
Christ, if God himself had not come into and made one of this first account 
and highest union, that is, of God and a creature viahing one Person. 

Deny Christ to be God, and deny him to be head, and dissolve all our 
union with God, as also reconciliation unto God, the foundation of all is 
taken away. The mutable creature could never fix unto God, but by this 
sure and immutable foundation. 

Secondly, Come w^e then to creatures. Among them there is another divi- 
sion ; for as God hath made two worlds, so two possessors of them — the 
angels, the intellectual natures of the world above ; and us men on earth, the 
lower world. It is true, that because the redemption of men was in his 
eye, as well as this of union of all things, therefore ' he took not the nature 
of angels ; ' and besides, therein there was a more special respect and incli- 
nation had \mto men, rather than unto the angels, as Heb. ii. shews. Yet 
withal it must also be afiirmed that, in order to the fetching in of this 
general union of all things both in earth and heaven, this was the only way 
to comprehend and grasp both and all, — to take into one person with him one 
individual nature of man, rather than any other. And hereby, and by this 
alone, he hath summed up all in heaven and earth in his person. Not only 


because in the nature of man, as in a little world, all things are summed up 
in both worlds ; man having a spirit, which like the angels can subsist 
alone, out of the body, and live in their world, i. e., ia heaven ; but he hath 
a body also, which consists of all sorts of creatures here below. The 
heathens observed, and their poets feigned, a piece of everything else went 
to make up man. Whereas, had he taken the nature of angels, then the 
* all things on earth ' had been quite left out of this account ; for though 
man hath a spirit like that of the angelical nature, yet that spirit being 
ordained to dwell in a body, and that body being a part of man, and consti- 
tutive of him as such ; (and therefore Christ proves the resurrection of the 
body of Abraham by this, that else it is not Abraham, the man Abraham, 
unless soul and body be joined) But upon a further ground we shall see 
it was that in taking of man's nature he took in angels also, that is, the 
condition of angels. 

It is true, had he been no more but an earthly man, as Adam his type, 
this design of taking in all had fallen short. But the person who assumes 
and takes into his person this individual nature of man being God, the 
Son of God, that man whom he so assxmies is instantly a heavenly man, 
as to his condition, 1 Cor. xv. 47, 48. And although the substance of 
his nature is the same as ours, yet the state is heavenly, and to be co; 
ayyi'/M, as angels ; yea, ' far above all principalities and powers,' Eph. l ; 
yea, ' higher than the heavens,' Heb. vii 25. It is not his right only to be 
in heaven, but he is Lord of it, ' the Lord from heaven,' as 1 Cor. xv. 47, 
and other scriptures speak, as John iii. 13, and is spoken as if, as he is man, 
he had first been actually in heaven, because it was a real condescension ia 
him to take our nature with its frailty, by which he became for a little 
while * lower than the angels,' Heb. ii. His natural due was that heavenly 
state, and to be as glorious as he is now. Here then is in an instant all 
in heaven and earth met, and all their interest. For though man could 
say, He hath our nature ; yet the angels could withal instantly reply. But 
he is our countr}-man ; by right we should have him here, and there he 
must in the end be, and live for ever. None of his creatures could 
say, "We have a King and Head in whom ye have no share or alliance 

You know how sharp the contention grew between the men of Judah and 
the ten tribes, 2 Sam. xix., about David their king. * He is nigh akin to 
us,' say the men of Judah, ver. 42, ' flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone.' 
They of Judah plead, as he was David ; so ver. 9, ' But he hath saved us 
f)ut of the hands of our enemies, and delivered us out of the hands of the 
Philistines.' As he was king, say the ten tribes. And thereupon the men of 
Israel answered, ' We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more 
right in David than ye.' But, my brethren, here neither things on earth, 
neither things in heaven, need either of them to complain or quarrel about 
the like in Christ ; for God hath summed up all in their King, Jesus, that 
80 he might become their cathoUc King and universal Head. He is flesh of 
f)ur flesh, and bone of our bone, and by birth akin to us, might man say, 
which the angels cannot. But this they can truly reply instead of it, But he 
is a heavenly man, and that by right of inheritance from a higher birth, 
Avhich his person had from everlasting. Heaven is his country ; his court 
Is for ever to be there ; his throne is there erected ; and by birthright he is 
to sit at God's right hand. He is a spiritual man, 1 Cor. xv. 46; yea, and 
' a quickening spirit ' unto us, and to you the sons of men also : yea, and 
you men, if you will enjoy your King and his presence for ever, you must 


come up or be brought where we are, even as Christ prays they may, John 
xvii., ' be where I am, and see my glory ;' and ' I have given it them.' So, 
then, neither can they say, ' they have no part in Jesse.' 

Yea, here I may add that, in taking man's nature there was this further 
advantage : there was a gratification to all kinds of creatures else ; they can 
aU say, We have something of every one of us in him. ^Man's nature being 
the epitome of all, the centre of both worlds, higher and lower, — the elements, 
vegetatives, sensitive creatures, — man is the little idea of all species or kinds 
of things ; and this great idea, the Son of God and the image of God, they 
married together ; and a happy match it must needs prove, which brings 
God and all creatures thus into one person. 

Thirdly, Come we to ' things on earth,' the sons of men. Amongst them 
we find one famous division of Jew and Gentile ; and that Christ might be 
a meet head to both, God hath summed up both Jew and Gentile in him. 
And yet as touching the former, between men and angels, the election was 
that 'he took not the nature of angels,' Heb. ii. (which you have seen 
removed :) so here, that which follows, that he ' took on him the seed of 
Abraham,' serves wholly to exclude us GentUes from having any portion in 
his person. 

But the answer is as ready. It is true that, immediately and more emi- 
nently, he came of the Je-^ish race, Eom. ix. 5, ' Whose are the fathers, and 
of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.' And as in that other division 
between angels and men, the portion that man hath in him preponderates ; 
so it is here on the Jews' side also, yet withal not to the utter exclusion of 
the Gentiles. For, to aUude to that speech of the ten tribes, concerning 
David, we Gentiles have ten parts in him. There were ten patriarchs that 
were his ancestors and ours, and came to us and the Jews, before this division 
of Abraham's seed was brought up in the world ; and two thousand years 
or more before Abraham was styled the Father of the Faithful, and the 
Promised Seed, Eve was called the Mother of all Li\-ing : and so, that both 
Jew and Gentile had the first promise of the seed that should break the 
serpent's head, to be her seed. Yea, and after that division made from 
Abraham, you have two Gentiles mentioned in his very genealogy, Piahab 
and Ruth, as his great -grandmothers. So it was he would have some of 
the Gentiles' blood run in his veins, as well as that of the Jews. 

Thus you have now seen, 1. God's most deep and comprehensive design 
to be the union of all things with himself. 2. The fulness of fuhiess in the 
person whom he singles forth to be the means or effecter of it ; and therein 
two of the forementioned significations of the word ava-/.i<pa'kaiiJjaa.cQai taken 
up therein. 

Head III. 

We come now to the persons gathered. The third head proposed was, 
Tliat God out of all soris ofjyersons, hoth in heaven and in earth, hath designed 
to collect a hodij and select company to union with Jdmself, and through Chnst 
as their Head. Which the third particular import of this word gives warrant 
to ; it signifies, ' gathering together as in one head.' 

As he is an arithmetical head, so he is a political head. He is a Prince, 
and a Lord, and a Head to all things in heaven and in earth, and they are 
made all one, in being reduced to him as to a head. ' He hath given him to 
be the head over all things to the church,' Eph. i. 22. So that, my brethren, 
this is the second mystery I am to unfold to you. That as in the person of 
the Lord Jesus Christ there is God, and angels, and men, Jew and GeutHe, 

EpH. L 10.] TO THE EPHESIAN3. 155 

summed up in him ; he partakes in his person of all these : so his body, if 
you will so caU it, or rather his family, whereof he is head, — (for I do not 
know that the angels are called members of his body, that is peculiarly the 
privilege of the saints), — but they are all gathered into one commonwealth, 
into one city, into one family, both angels and men, unto him as their head. 
And that same universal Church, that shall appear at the latter day when 
the fulness of time is out, when the glass is run ; for then he will have them 
all about him, and they will all be under one head ; and so that family of 
his, which shall all come unto him, will have a conformity to his person. 
Christ mystical vdU. have a conformity to Christ personal ; as Christ personal 
was summed up of all, so will that whole family of his, that whole common- 
wealth of his, whereof he is the head, be summed up of all too, both angels 
and men, Jew and GentUe, all sorts of men ; all things in heaven, and aU 
things in earth, shall all be gathered in one in him. 

And this is that same great fMvsr^oiov, as the Apostle calleth it, Eph. iii. 9 : 
' To make all men see,' saith he, ' what is the fellowship of the mystery,' — 
and the angels come in there too, at the 10th verse, for by the preaching 
of the gospel they have a fellowship) with him as well as the Jew and 
Gentile, — ' to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in 
heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of 
God.' This is that great association of all the creatures, whereby they are 
all, though they are two several kingdoms, as England and Scotland are, yet 
all united ; there is an association under one monarch, so under one Christ, 
that they come all to have relation to one as their head, and all make up a 
family, and a commonwealth, and a kingdom too. 

There are two things here to be treated of. 

(1.) That the good angels, as well as men, are united and come into this 
society under Christ as a head, which alone I need insist upon ; for of men 
there is no question. 

(2.) That all of each — that is, all sorts of angels and all sorts of men — 
are taken in to make up this body or society. 

(1.) Angels, as well as men; which I explain by these particulars : — 

First, When I say they are ' gathered in one in Christ,' I mean not as a 
redeemer, but simply as a head. The difference of these two I shall in 
another section give the account of I observe that, Eev. v. 9, 11, 12, w^hen 
the two first rounds, or rings, gathered about the Lamb and the throne, the 
first and nearest is of men, of angels the second ; and both celebrating the 
Lamb that was slain. 

This in general, That Christ is head both to angels and men. 

(2.) The second branch. That all sorts of each, both angels and men, were 
gathered unto him, as in that one head. 

[1.] All sorts of angels. There are several ranks of angels, which Col. 
i. 1 6 doth give us the heraldry of : 'All things that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions,' 
(there are things in heaven,) ' principalities or powers.' 1. Thrones speaks 
kingly power to be among them, Dan. x. 13, ' Lo, Michael, one of the 
chief princes,' as he is there called, which is spoken of a good angel ; 
for it is Michael. 2. There are dominions, viceroys, as it were ranks, and 
orders under them ; and this order in hell is kept, by which their kingdom 
is governed; there is one that is the Prince of Devils, even as under a 
king there are dukes, and marquises, and earls, &c. And these good 
angels are all of one house, consisting of the original peers of heaven. 
And this distinction of angels, for we presume not to give any more ranks 


of them, (as tte counterfeit Dionysius and, from him, the Papists do;) 
we elsewhere find in Scripture that some are called archangels. One 
at least, Jude 9, who was a mere created angel, as is evident by this, 
that he ' durst not bring a railing accusation ;' which must not be applied 
unto the second Person as God, as some have done. Likewise, 1 Thess. 
iv. 16, it is said, * The Lord shall descend with the voice of an archangel ;' 
which archangel is distinct from the Lord himself. The angels then are of 
several ranks, and there are of all sorts of them in heaven. 

[2.] Men on earth. Christ hath a body of men, made up of all on earth, 
an elect of all sorts. 

The first division of things on earth is into Jew and Gentile, in common ; 
that the Church of men consists of both these, is known to all. 

Secondly, Among the Gentiles there are many nations ; and, Gen. xviii. 1 8, 
the promise is to Abraham, that in him {i.e., in Christ) all the nations of 
the earth should be blessed, and it is repeated again in chap. xxii. It is 
not only that Christ should sprinkle ' many nations ' with his blood, Isa. lii. 
15; but the first promise saith, 'all nations.' Ps. Ixxxvi. 9, 'All nations 
whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, Lord, and 
shall glorify thy name.' Christ therefore gave commission that the gospel 
should be preached to all nations ; and so it shall be before the end of the 

Then, thirdly, in every several nation there are many kindreds, families, 
or fatherhoods, as Peter speaks of them, Acts iii. 25, out of Gen. xii. 3, 
' In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed ; ' and that is 
twice said, as well as the other of nations. And if you will hear the whole 
Church of the New Testament sum up all in their own names, Rev. v. 9, 
* Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every 
kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.' He multiplies words enough, 
even as lawyers use to do, that he might be sure to comprehend all. 

Fourthly, There are other divisions. Sinners of all sorts ; several ranks, 
kinds, and degrees of sinners. And God will save out of all these sorts, but 
of one ; and they are such of the sons of men as join issue with the serpent, 
and sin the devil's sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost, and are in the state 
of the devUs while they are upon earth ; and therefore are not to-be reckoned 
with things on earth. But of all sorts of sinners our Saviour Christ hath 
said, Matt. xii. 31, that they shall be forgiven. 'All manner of sin and 
blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men ; but the blasphemy against the Holy 
Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.' He doth not say that all manner 
of sins may, but he saith that all shall be forgiven in one or other. And he 
through whose hands all pardons run, it is he saith this, God hath ordered 
his elect, take the whole body and bulk of them, to fall into all sorts or sins, 
one or other of them ; so as there is no sort, kind, or degree of sin, no way 
of sinning, manner of sinning, or aggravation of sin, but in some or other it 
shall be pardoned, and he doth it to glorify his grace in Christ, in whom he 
gathers them ; and this was the mystery of that sheet which Peter saw com- 
ing down from heaven, tied at the four corners, as pointing to all the four 
quarters of the world ; ' in which there were all manner of unclean creatures ; 
four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and 
fowls of the air,' Acts x. 11, 12. It imports all sorts of sinners, all the 
world over, the most venomous creatures, as many creeping things are ; of 
those should the Church catholic consist. 

Lastly, There is another division of the outward ranks of men ; and out of 
all doth God take some. 1 Tim. ii 1, he exhorts that prayers and thanks 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS, li^T 

may be made for all men ; for kings, and for all that are in authority. He 
takes up kings, and of all sorts and ranks that are in authority else ; yea, 
and out of all men ; and therefore he would have thanks given for all sorts, 
as well as prayers made. You know your calling, brethren, not many wise, 
not many noble ; yet some. I am a debtor to the wise, and to the weak, 
saith Paul; and God takes fools as well as wise men. The fools shall 
not err therein, Isa. xxxv. 8 ; though they be natural fools, he can come at 
their hearts. 

And so you have the third head in general mentioned, and the third 
signification of the word dvaxi(poi,Xaiu(Saa9cci fiUed up and made good. 

Head IV. 
That God, to illustrate the glory of his grace, and of his Christ, purposed a 
second gathering after a first, both of men and angels. This the word * to 
gather again' implies; recolligere. This am, as Bishop Andrews on this text, 
must not be lost ; it is an addition of infinite importance, to amplify the glory 
of God in this purpose of his. It imports — 

1. A first and second gathering of these 'all things,' or a double union 
of these creatures to God ; whereof the first being slippery and failing, he 
ordained the last firm and fixed in Christ, never to be broken or dissolved 
again. The first was not firm enough, but soon and easily dissoluble. 

2. This ai-a, or again, imports a miserable scattering of the first gathering 
to fall out between the first and second gathering ; a dissolution of all first, 
on purpose decreed and permitted by God, to make this second gathering, 
and oneness with himself, and unity one with another, which was the ulti- 
mate aim of his design, more illustrious. 

3. A third thing is the way, and manner, and means of doing it ; it is in 

The first serves to magnify his grace in Christ, the Head, to angels, who 
are all things in heaven. And the second to magnify his grace to the sons 
of men, the all things in earth, both as a Head and Redeemer. And all put 
together contains the whole counsel of God unto both. God united man and 
angels to himself in their first creation, and one to another. The elect angels 
stood in need of a second union, or gathering of them in Christ, as a head ; 
to put them out of danger and possibility of being scattered, as their fellows 
had been ; and therein lies their obligation. And elect men having all run 
into an actual riot and rebellion, and were separated from God, and scattered 
from one another, needed a gathering together again ; and both in and 
through Christ, to fix either for ever from a perpetual hazard of departing. 
And the opening these things, and being added to the former, bring in an 
infinite revenue of glory unto God and Christ; and do give us indeed an 
account of the whole counsel of God : and still he renders it more and more 

For the first branch. There was an union of man and angels to God by 
the mere law of creation, and covenant of nature or works. And though 
the angels — for I speak of them now in common, and so of the elect angels, 
in the general condition with them that are fallen in their first creation — 
were created in heaven, and man upon earth, yet the same law of nature, 
and the same terms and tie of union, were alike enjoyed ; and thereby they 
had an union and communion with God ; but merely by their graces, and 
the exercise of them, according to the covenant of works. So, as long as 
that held, their union held, but not a moment longer. 

Foi though the law of creation that was common both to men and angela 


had tliis meet dueness in it, as was said, that God should create them in 
that estate, and afford them help suitable thereunto ; yet no law of nature 
or creation, either to angels or men, had a promise that God should keep 
them and preserve them in that estate from falling. They were as glasses 
•without a bottom, which soon fell and broke ; which by the event was made 
good, by the fall both of men and some angels : which shews the weakness 
and the slipperiness of this first union in either of them. 

As concerning the angels, if God would assure them to himself from the 
possibility of falling, they must be headed in Christ, or by Christ ; they 
must be gathered by a gathering together in Christ as a head a second time, 
and then all is in sure hands. If therefore the query be. Wherein should 
the grace vouchsafed to them lie, so as they had need of Christ to interpose, 
and to make this second gathering of them, whereas they never had fallen 
actually 1 — for it may be thought needless — the necessity lay in this : — 

First, If it were no more but the weakness and slipperiness of their first 
union : therefore, if there were no more, it was necessary they should be 
fixed in him by an immutable relation to him who is the Eock of Ages, and 
then they are in sure hands. For Christ is as sure and immutably fixed as 
the Son of God himself, by personal union with the Son of God ; and they, 
if they be chosen in him, and accepted in him, and have a relation unto 
him as to their head, are made as immutable as Christ is. Job iv. 18, 
' Behold, he put no trust in his servants, and his angels he charged with 
folly.' The Lord foresaw that if he kept to the laws that the condition of 
works required, and unto the dues of it, he could be sure of none ; and he 
plainly saith he could put no confidence. And indeed he had little reason ; 
for you know how aU on earth served him, and how great a part of heaven 
(in the event) did serve him. Those morning stars fell. And this in Job is 
spoken of the good angels, his servants and courtiers he had about him. 
And aU my creatures may serve me so, if they be left unto their first con- 
dition, to the law of their creation. And if they stand a thousand years, 
yet what Grotius dreams may be now, (upon those words. Gal. i. 8, ' If an 
angel from heaven, &c., let him be accursed;') as if angels might stUl faU; 
though that be false now since their confirmation in grace by Christ, yet it 
was true once ; and he chargeth them with folly, because he saw their 
aptness to folly. He saw the possibility of it, and therefore could have no 
settled contentment in any of them in that estate, nor perfectly love them ; 
but loved them tanquam aliquando osurus, as those whom he might one 
day hate, which prejudgeth perfect love ; and therefore upon a foresight of 
their creature condition, he vouchsafed a second gathering of them in Christ, 
so to fix them. And hence arose quoedam simultas, I will not say a grudge 
against them, for they had no sin ; yet a kind of displicency with them, as 
mere creatures, if alone and apart considered. And then his charging them 
with folly might, and did arise, because he is so holy a God ; and he is so 
infinitely holy, as that though in justice he hath nothing against them, — for 
he knows they are creatures, and whereof they are made, — yet stUl they are 
not of that holiness he would be pleased in, as Calvin doth interpret it. 
Upon all these grounds his grace first fixed them in Christ the Eock of Ages, 
as in their head, and a firm union with him as in that relation ; for if he 
became and undertook to be a head to them, he would not lose his members. 

And, secondly, thereby he pleased himself in them through him in whom 
only he is well pleased ; which saying reaches the angels as well as men, even 
all intelligent creatures he is any way pleased withal ; and he is pleased with 
the relation they bear to his person. Yea, thirdly, to take away all distaste 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIAK8. 159 

aforesaid, they needed a kind of reconciliation, reconciliatio analogica, as 
learned Daveuant. It was not a reconciliation by a price, so as to purchase 
their peace for sin actually committed ; they needed not that. EeconcUia- 
tion is a larger word ; there is a reconciliation preventive of them that have 
any aptness or possibility to fall out, so as to make them fast friends for 
ever, and to make them sure unto himself, and to take away all occasion of 
jealousies ; and so they were, as Bernard saith, suo modo redeynpti. Fourthly, 
I shall add this further, mercy does not lie only in pardoning, but in pre- 
venting. It cost Christ's blood to keep us from the sin we might have com- 
mitted, as well as to obtain forgiveness for the sins we have committed ; and 
therefore the Apostle saith he hath redeemed us from our vain conversation, 
even which we might have fallen into. God knows our thoughts afar off : 
and what they would be of ourselves. Angelica natura egebat misericordid 
Dei, ne 2^osset errare, so saith Ambrose. So you have seen the need the 
angels had of their second gathering, and that by Christ. 
I shall for the opening of this, do these three things 

1. Prove it by "other scriptures. 

2. Explain it; and that by two things — 

(1.) What fellowship and association angels and elect have, and shall have, 
one among another. 

(2.) What communion, and fellowship, and relation angels have to Christ, 
as to a head. 

3. Give some cautions, that you may not be mistaken in the point. 

1. First, For the proof of it. There are many places brought, but the 
truth is, I know none come home to it so much, and therefore I will but 
name it, as that, Col. ii. 10, 'In him dwelleth all the fulness of the God- 
head bodily ; and you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality 
and power.' By principalities and powers, in the usual phrase of Scripture, 
is stUl meant the angels : Eph. i. 21, 'He hath raised him up,' speaking of 
Christ, ' and set him at his own right hand m the heavenly places, far above 
all principalities and powers, and might and dominion, and every name that 
is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.' Now, 
saith he, what need you go out of Christ 1 you are complete in him. Why 
are we complete in him? Here is his reason : if the angels are complete in 
him, that are the highest creatures, that stand at God's right hand, and in 
his presence, — if he be their head, then you may very well be comj^lete in 
him, you poor men that live on earth. ' You are complete in him, who is 
the head of all principalities and powers.' 

I wiU give you some general expressions that will prove it and explain 
it. First, the angels and men do make up one family unto God, whereof 
Christ is the head, or the paterfamilias; as you know it is the ordinary ex- 
pression in all languages to call the master of the family the head of the 
family ; so is Jesus Christ to angels and men, that make up one family to 
God. And, my brethren, so it falleth out, that the very text hinteth this to 
be the Apostle's meaning, for that which we translate, ' in the dispensation 
of the fulness of time,' is in the original ug o}xovo,u,!av, the household dispen- 
sation, the family dispensation, as many read the words. That is, he hath 
gathered them all in one for a family dispensation, for a family govern- 
ment of them, into one family, so to order and govern them, and dispense 
to both, to angels and men, as to one family, now to be dispensed in thesa 
last times. 

That which fitteth this interpretation, is that in the third of the Ephesians, 
rer. 15, ' Of whom,' saith he, ' the whole family in heaven and earth is 


named." He had named Christ just before ; saith he, ver. 14, 'Unto the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom (of Jesus Christ, namely) the 
whole family, (he takes all in, both angels and men,) in heaven and in earth 
is named.' They all hold of him. You know he that is the head of a 
family, they have all their name from him ; as that of the Turks, they call the 
Ottoman family, because Ottoman was the first of them. It is spoken there 
by the Ajjostle in opposition to the Jews ; for the Jews boasted that all God's 
family was in Abraham's house, in Abraham's children. No, saith he ; 
not only is the family of God not restrained unto Abraham's children, but 
it is diffused and dispersed over all the earth, and not only so, but it 
reacheth to heaven, too ; and all on earth, and all in heaven, make but one 
family to God — angels and all. For, otherwise, when the Apostle wrote 
this, there were few in heaven but Jews, and so he had not spoken so appo- 
sitely to what the Jews intended, v/ho would arrogate aU to themselves. 
No, saith he, though God hath appointed Abraham, and erected a family in 
him, peculiar to the Jews, yet all in earth hold of Christ, and all in heaven, 
too, and all are named of him. He is the foundation of both families, and 
they make all but one family : ' The whole family in heaven and in earth.' 
I will not stand to open to you the meaning of the word ' named ' any 
further ; his meaning is general, universal. He had said two great things 
of Christ just before : he had said, in the 9th verse, that ' God created all 
things by Jesus Christ ; ' he had said, in the 11th verse, that ' God purposed 
all things in Jesus Christ ; ' now he telleth you that ' things both in heaven 
and earth,' that whole family, angels and men, (he bringeth it in here at the 
15th verse, to honour Christ,) are all 'named of him.' They all hold of 
him, he owneth them all, and they all own him, and they have their being 
of him, as the word named oftentimes signifieth. 

Again, another expression is, as they are called one family, whereof he is 
the head, so they are one city, both angels and men. They make one 
Jerusalem, saints on earth and angels in heaven, whereof Jesus Christ is the 
governor, and the king and head, a political head. For this, see Heb. 
xii. 22, ' You are come unto Mount Sion,' which was the place of worship 
before, ' and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.' Here 
are the generals. Now who are the inhabitants of this city 1 Who are the 
citizens ? Who are the worshippers in Mount Sion together 1 It followeth, 
' to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and company 
of the first-born.' AU these make up one city to God, they make up one 
heavenly Jerusalem, they make up one company of worshippers, as you shall 
see afterwaj-d. Now, because when a man is converted, he cometh to all 
these ; that is, he entereth into an association with all these, he is made 
free of the .company of aU these ; therefore they are said to be gathered in 
one in Christ. 

My brethren, the angels are part of the worshippers of Christ as well as 
we ; as they are part of his family, as they are part of his city, whereof he is 
the King and Lord, so they are part of his worshippers ; and, as you shall see 
anon, we, with aU them, worship God and him together, both here, and shall 
do so hereafter. They are worshippers of him, and iu that sense make a 
part of the Church ; for ecdesia colentium, a church is properly for worship. 
If they be therefore part of the worshippers of Christ, they come under his 
Church, they are a part of it ; particular churches are ordained for worship, 
and so is the general Church for a worship to be performed to Christ. And 
it is the proper expression of the members of a church, what they are 
designed unto — they are worshippers. Now, in Heb. i. 6, you shall find that 

EpH. L 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 161 

the angels are aU worsliippers of Jesus Christ, ' And again, when he bringeth 
his first-begotten into the world, he saith. Let all the angels of God worship 
him,' speaking of Christ. I will not stand to open the phrase, whether it be 
at his first coming or his second, for some read the words thus — so Cameron 
doth, and to me it certainly seemeth the meanmg — ' When he bringeth his 
Son again into the world,' so the word staaydyri better beareth it ; the second 
time, when he cometh to judge the world, then the angels of God shall wor- 
ship him, together with aU saints, and aU the elect, before all the world. I 
wiU not further open the place ; I only allege it for this, that they are wor- 
shippers of Christ. 

See but the reason of this head ; you have seen Scripture for it. First, it 
is due to Christ. If that man Christ shall be the Son of God and the heir 
of aU things, it is his due that he should be the head of the best of God's 
creatures, of angels that are saved as weU as men, that he should be the head 
of God's family. The eldest, you know, were the head of the family. Are 
the angels a part of God's family 1 Will you shut them out 1 No ; they 
are a part of God's family as well as you, (how, you shall see afterward.) If 
they be, then the eldest son, the heir of all, is the head of that family, and 
so of the angels, by the law of nature. It is Christ's due, and therefore they 
aU hold and depend upon him. 

Secondly, That all, thus gathered together to one head, to make up one 
family, and one city and church to God, it was for the infinite glory and 
splendour of this church. What could be greater than that all in heaven 
and all in earth should be united one day in one to worship God, and all to 
bow at the name of Christ, as the apostle teUeth us, Phil ii. ? God ap- 
pointed his Church to be all in one place ; he would have them all up to 
heaven ; and therefore he appointed them all one happiness. He hath ap- 
pointed them to be aU one city, therefore they shaU have one head, they shaU 
be united all together in one. He loves not scattering and distraction, to 
have two companies of worshippers at last, for God is one. It is therefore 
for their perfection, it is therefore for their greater splendour, as you shall 
see in the observations that I shaU raise. 

Thirdly, Men and angels were capable of this union, to be knit together 
thus under one head. Why ? For we agree both in an inteUectual nature ; 
we have the same understanding, and wUl, and affections as they have, (take 
us as we are souls ;) we are capable of the same common happiness that they 
have, to see God and to see Christ ; we shall one day, after the resurrection, 
be made like imto them — so the expression is. Matt. xxii. 30. If we be 
brought up to the same condition with them, shaU have the same happiness, 
shaU live in the same place, why should we not have the same Head, and be 
joined aU together, that as God is the head of Christ, Christ may be the 
head of all, both angels and men ? 

Last of all. By this is made up a most complete parallel opposition with 
Satan, who is the head of wicked men and of the devils. So God ordaineth 
it ; he made two heads, and all the world falls to one of them. The devU, 
you know, that great devU, is the head of the evU angels ; therefore, Matt, 
xii 2-i, he is caUed the prince of the devils. He is the head of all wicked 
men; therefore, John xiL 31, he is caUed the prince of this world. And 
when the world is at an end, let that devU take aU his angels and wicked 
men, and he as a head is tormented with them for ever ; they are cast into 
the fire with the devil and his angels, you know it is said of wicked men. 
Answerably, as this great devil, whom God setteth up against Christ, is the 
great — I cannot caU him Antichrist, because he is no way for Christ — but 

VOL. L I. 


he is the great one that opposcth Christ, whom God setteth up against him 
to share the world with him. As he is the head of all that are wicked on 
earth, and of all in hell, so is Christ opposite, the head of all that are godly 
on earth, and of all in heaven ; and though the devil is not of the same 
nature with men, yet he is the head of wicked men, he is the prince of the 
world, and he rules effectually in the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. 
So likewise, though Jesus Christ is not of the same nature or substance with 
the angels, yet he is the head of angels, of all principalities and powers, and 
rules as effectually, nay, ten thousand times more effectually, for Satan is not 
such a head as Christ is. And when Jesus Christ hath taken up his all, the 
devil will take all the rest. Christ is made the head of all things in heaven 
and in earth ; he takes out his saints, and the devil takes all the rest ; they 
share the world between them. So you have the thing proved both by 
Scripture and by reason. 

2. The second thing, then, that I am to do is this, to explain this associa- 
tion hetiveen meii and angels, under one Christ 

(1.) And, first, as I said, I shall explain the association between men and 
angels one amongst another, what the fellowship is between angels and men, 
as making up one family to God. And then, secondly, what communion, 
what relation, what union and communion, the angels have with Christ, as 
WTith a head. This I must explain. 

First, Men and angels, amongst themselves, have this felloivship under 
Christ their head, that they are all worshippers of God and Christ together. 
They are so in this world, and they shall be so more completely and fully in 
the world to come, when that fulness of the dispensation of all time shall take 
place at the latter day. First, I say, there is an association in worship in 
this world between angels and saints. Little do we think it, but the angels 
fill our churches as well as men, and are present at all our congregations and 
assemblies. Because we are to be with them hereafter, and to worship God 
together with them, therefore they come down and are present at the wor- 
ship of God here with us. I could give you many proofs for it ; I will but 
name one or two. 

What was the reason that the tabernacle and temple at Jerusalem was all 
full of cherubim? Read Exod. xxv. 19; there were to be two cherubim 
over the mercy-seat, in the Holy of Holies. Eead Exod. xxvi. 1 ; all the 
curtains that were to be for the tabernacle, they were all to have cherubim 
wrought in them. Cherubim are angels. Go from thence to the temple of 
Solomon, 1 Kings vi. 23, there you have cherubim again, at the mercy-seat 
too ; and then, ver. 29, all the walls of the house round about were carved 
with carved figures of cherubim, with angels stUl ; nay, the very doors for the 
entering into the Holy of Holies, and the doors of the temple, had cherubim 
carved upon them. All this betokened that angels stUl filled the temple as 
well as men ; and therefore, 1 Cor. xi. 10, (surely it is the meaning of it,) 
he biddeth women to be modest, to be veiled, to shew subjection, not only 
because of men, but because of the angels — so the text is there — that are 
present at their Christian assemblies. He instanceth in the least mis- 
demeanour, and argueth from the lesser to the greater, to make this a 
motive, that men should behave themselves religiously and holily in the 
churches of Christ, because the angels are present. If, saith he, you are not 
to suffer the angels to espy in you the least immodesty, then much more, 
any other misbehaviour. 

In Rev. v. 11, you have the Church of Christ described, and there you 
have twenty-four elders and four beasts, which are the people and officers of 

EpH. I. 10.] XO THE EPHESIANS. 163 

congregations, and they sing a new song unto Christ, ver. 9, ' Thou art 
worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof : for thou wast slain, 
and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood out of every kindred, and 
tongue, and people, and nation ; ai^d hast made us unto our God kings and 
priests, and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld,' saith he, ' and I 
heard the voice of many angels round about the throne.' Angels are round 
about the throne ; they are present at the courts of God's house ; still they 
are worshippers, you see, together Avith us on earth. 

Secondly, Tkey do deliglit to hear Christ preached, because Christ is their 
Head, and therefore are present. The text is express, Eph. iii. 10 ; he shew- 
eth there the end why to him was committed, and so to others, the preaching 
of the gospel : * To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers 
in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of 
God.' They do not know it out of the Scripture simply, but as it is opened 
in the church, by the ministers of the church, for the good of the church, so 
they come to know it ; and they delight to do so, for so you have it, 1 Pet. 
i. 12. Saith he, speaking of the fathers before in the Old Testament, ' It 
was revealed unto them, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did 
minister the things which are now reported unto you' (he speaks in general) 
' by them that preached the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from 
heaven ; which things the angels desire to look into.' The angels are present, 
and they are glad to hear Christ laid open and preached unto men, to hear 
their Head spoken of. They are worshippers together with us of Christ. 

Then, thirdly, Here on earth they have joy when any poor soul is converted. 
As they come to church, so they observe who is wrought upon. When they 
see a poor soul go home and humble himself, fall down upon his knees and 
become a new creature, news is presently carried up to heaven ; for the text 
saith, Luke xv. 10, that ' there is joy in the presence of the angels of God' — 
that is, in the court of heaven, amongst them aU, so the word signifietb, 
hu)-m, in the face of all the angels ; it is the same word used, Luke xii. 8, 
' him shall the Son of man confess before the angels of God,' he will own 
him in his court, and confess him in the presence, in the face of all the 
angels ; so there is joy amongst the angels, they rejoice before God — ' over 
one sinner that is converted,' over a poor soul that is gathered unto Chiist 
thek Head. 

This association, my brethren, we have with them, besides aU the services 
they do us, which I cannot stand to repeat and reckon up unto you ; for all 
the angels are our fellow-servants ; so that angel caUeth himself, Rev. xxii. 9. 
And Jacob's ladder that touched heaven, the angels ascended and descended 
upon it; and Christ himself, John i. 51, interprets it that he is the ladder; 
they all come down upon him and ascend upon him, for the service of men. 
He is their head, their ruler, their governor. 

But as we have in this world this association with them, so in the world 
to come we shall all worship God with one worship, both angels and men 
together. Such he there in Heb. xii., the place I quoted before ; ' you are 
come to the Mount Sion,' — so he caUeth the Church, which consistcth both 
of angels and men, as I observed before. Mount Sion, you know, was the 
place of God's worship. What is his meaning, then, when he saith, ' you 
are come to the Mount Sion, to the heavenly Jerusalem 1 ' You are all come, 
saith he, to the place of worship whither angels are come up ; for aU the 
tribes came up there, to that Mount Sion, to worship God — the mount where 
all the angels are, and where all the souls of just men made perfect shall como 
up in their succession, and all to worship God, It is called Mount Sion, 


because it is tlie place of God's worship. And that which we translate the 
company of angels, [ivotdeiv, it is the solemn assembly of angels ; so the word 
signifieth, such an assembly as was at a solemn feast of the Jews, whither aU 
the people came up. The men that dwelt at Jerusalem, he compareth 
them to the angels, for that is their standing seat and dwelling ; and we that 
are upon earth, he compareth to the tribes that came up to the solemn assem- 
bly, to the solemn feast. And he calleth them the general assembly, for 
there God will have all his children about him. So that both angels and we 
one day shall be common worshippers, live in one kingdom together ; we 
shall be as angels ; so Matt. xxii. 30. 

We are beholden to the man Christ for doing this, for he hath blessed U3 
with heavenly blessings, as the third verse hath it. We shall live in one 
city, in one place. I will give you but one scripture for it, and so I wiU 
end. It is Zech. iii. 7. There our Saviour Christ, the Angel of the Cove- 
nant, makes this promise to Joshua the high priest, and to Zerubbabel, ' If 
thou wilt walk in my ways, and keep my charge,' — in my house, my mate- 
rial house, while thou art here below, I will give thee a better house than 
this, — ' I will give thee places to walk amongst these that stand by,' — I will 
give thee a place amongst the angels ; for they were they that stood by, and 
appeared upon the s^icckled horses, as chap, i., — I will give thee a better 
house, a better temple ; thou shalt live with angels, and dwell with them, 
and worship with them ; thou shalt be raised up to a heavenly court, even 
to holy angels, if thou wilt keep my courts here below. Thus you see what 
an association men and angels have amongst themselves, both in this world, 
and in the world to come. 

(2.) Well, let us see what communion they have with Christ as a Head. 
First, some say that Jesus Christ is a head to them only hj ivay of eminency 
and external government, because he is the principal and the head of aU 
power, he hath all power in him ; therefore, because he governeth them and 
ruleth them externally as a king doth his subjects, in that respect only they 
say he is a head. 

But, my brethren, he is a head in a nearer relation to them than so. 
Why 1 For, first, so he is to all creatures in respect of government ; all 
creatures are subject to him. 

Again, secondly, the angels are a part of his family, as I shewed before. 
Now, though he that is master of the family be a lord to all the things in the 
house, and the master of them all, yet he is a head only to the persons, for he 
hath a more near relation to the persons in the family than he hath to all the 
goods. God ruleth all the world, he ruleth all the goods belonging to this 
family in heaven and in earth, and they are all subject unto him ; but he is 
a head of the persons in this family, of which angels are a part as well as men. 

Thirdly, this were to make Christ the head of the angels, as the Papists 
do make the Pope head of the Church, but by external government ; cer- 
tainly he is more than so. Nay, it were to make Jesus Christ head of the 
angels in heaven, as the devil is head of evil angels and wicked men, by 
ruling of them only externally. Certainly he is more than so, when they 
are made part of the family, when the Scripture saith that he is the head of 
all principalities and powers. Therefore — 

In the second place, he is a head to them hy way of secret ivjluence of grac^ 
and glory. If Jesus Christ be a head, it is fit that he should do something 
for them, that they should be beholden to him, that he should not only have 
that headship by virtue of his dignity and excellency, but that they should 
have some benefit, some influence arising to theui from Christ, if that thus 

EpH. T. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 165 

he sliall be advanced to be a head over them ; for God will never advance 
Christ to be a head over any but they shall have benefit by him. 

First, they had their creation by him, Col. i. 15, 16. The apostle telleth 
us there that all things, whether visible or invisible, are created by him. 
' By him,' saith he, ' were all things created, that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth,' here is the same enumeration, ' visible and invisible,' here is 
angels and men, ' whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or 
powers, all things were created by him and for him.' 

Yea, and, my brethren^ they were virtually created by him as supposed to 
take man's nature ; for of him, as supposed to take man's nature, doth the 
Apostle there speak : ' who is the image,' saith he, ' of the invisible God, the 
first-born of every creature,' which can be ascribed to Christ no way but as 
he is God-man, and so all the rest likewise ; but I wUl not stand upon that. 

In the second place, he is the common principle of their grace, as well aa 
their being. Eph. i. 23, it is said, that Christ ' fiUeth all in all,' speaking 
of him as he is a head, and as he hath a body ; it is the same phrase that ia 
used of God after the day of judgment : 1 Cor. xv. 28, he saith, that God 
will be ' aU in all.' God is all in angels, and aU in men then ; so is Jesus 
Christ — he is that universal principle of all grace. 

And there is this reason for it ; for whatsoever hath anything by way of 
participation, it is reducible to something that hath it per se, of itself The 
angels have grace, but they have it by participation ; therefore they are 
reduced, as well as men, to something, to some head, to aliquid primum, 
which hath grace in him per se. That only Christ hath ; he only is of 
himself beloved ; he only is the sun, the Church is the moon, and the angels 
are the stars. They are the ' morning stars,' as they are called, Job xxxviii. 
He enlighteneth both the moon and stars. But, however, this may be cer- 
tainly said, that they were kept from falling by virtue of Jesus Christ to 
come. In the same first of the Colossians, having reckoned up aU things in 
heaven aad in earth, as created by him, he addeth, ' and by him all things 
consist.' Angels and men are all kept by him ; the station they have is in 
and through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

And there is this great reason for it : because to stand in grace and not to 
fall, is a supernatural gift, more than was due to the angels, as creatures, 
though they were never so excellent. The devils fell, the other angels 
stood; what put the difference ? It must be some supernatural grace. Now 
Christ is the fountain of all grace, the great beloved, the universal principle. 
Job iv. 18, it is said there that God ' charged his angels with folly/ he 
put no confidence in his servants. The good angels had a possible folly in 
them, though they had not an actual folly; they might have sinned, yea, it 
was impossible, being but creatures, but that they should have a possibility 
to sin of themselves, take them as creatures. They were indeed a house of 
stone, whereas man is but a house of clay : ' how much less,' saith he, ver. 
19, 'we that dwell in houses of clay 1 ' But though they were as a house 
of stone, yet that stood upon a quagmire, the shocky weak will of a crea- 
ture. And so they were apt to fall without propping. Now, what hath 
underpropped these creatures that they stand? What putteth the diffe- 
rence 1 It is because they are united, they are headed in Christ, they 
belong to him. Only Christ of all creatures could not sin ; for if that man 
could have sinned, there had been a person in the Trinity wanting. The 
second Person must have come down from heaven himself, if that man could 
have sinned, for he was united to it; and as the blood is called the 'blood of 
God,' so the sin would have been the sin of God, which would have been bias- 


phemy to imagine. He only could not sin. And the angels, as they stand 
now, it may be said of them that they are impeccable ; they cannot sin, and 
they shall never sin to all eternity, because they are underpropped by this 
comer-stone, that is the basis of all parts of the family both in heaven and 
in earth. It is Jesus Christ that underprops them ; both things visible and 
invisible, things in heaven and things in earth. 

Now, my brethren, if they had had no grace from him at first, or had none 
now, but that which they had only by a covenant of creation ; yet, notwith- 
standing, to have this privilege annexed to their grace, that they should 
never fall as the devils did, and be out of all danger of sinning as they 
did; this is an infinite privilege, it is worth their acknowledging Christ 
their Head, if they had no more by him. It is said of glass, that if 
it could be made a metal that would not break, it were worth all the 
gold and silver in the world ; and therefore it is reported of an emperor that 
put a man to death for making of glass that could not be broken, as being an 
invention that would spoil all the gold and silver in the world. My bre- 
thren, the angels are glorious vessels, but they are as glass. What doth 
Christ now ? He makes them that they cannot fall, they cannot be broken, 
and this is more than all their grace ; and this they have from Christ, as he 
is their head, and as they belong unto him. 

Lastly, They have a happiness in Christ, in seeing of him as well as we. 
I take that to be part of the meaning of that 1 Tim. iii. 16. I have often 
wondered at the expression there ; I shall give you what I think to be the 
meaning of it. Speaking of Christ, and of the great mystery of godliness in 
him, saith he, ' God, who was manifested in the flesh,' — and there was more 
of God manifested in the flesh in the person of Christ, than there is in all 
creatures that were made, or possibly could be made, — ' justified in the 
Spirit,' which was spoken of his resurrection, ' seen of angels, preached unto 
the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.' Here are 
two principles, faith and vision. Here is faith attributed to men ; they cleave 
to Christ their head by faith, ' believed on in the world.' The angels cleave 
unto him by vision, ' seen of angels / admiring him with infinite joy, 
looking upon him as their Head. They saw more of God manifested in that 
man Christ Jesus, than they had seen in heaven before. We cleave to him 
by faith ; they cleave to him by sense : that which we shall have, for we 
shall see him one day as he is, that the angels do, and are made happy in 
him ; the same eternal life that we have, they have, ' and this is eternal 
life, to know God, -and to know Jesus Christ,' John xvii. 3. Their happiness 
lieth, as our happiness, in seeing God incarnate, in seeing God in the flesh, 
in seeing God face to face, and his Christ for ever. — And so much for the 
association which the angels and the elect have, and shall have, one among 
another, and what communion and relation they have with and to Christ, as 
a Head. 

3. I will give you but a caution or two, which is the third thing I am to 
do, and so I will conclude. 

The first caution is this. That Jesus Christ is only a Head to them, he is 
not a Redeemer. The expression here, ver. 7, is not, that he redeemed angels 
and men. No, saith he, ' in whom we have redemption,' we only ; but both 
they and we are gathered to him, as a Head, as the word here signifieth. 
You know I told you, that there are two sorts of benefits we have by Christ, 
the one founded upon our relation to his person, the other founded upon his 
merit and redemption. Now, the benefits that angels have by him are not 
founded so much upon his redemption, (how far it is, I shall discourse upon 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 167 

the third thing when I handle this, ' hath gathered together all things to 
himself ;) but the benefits they have by him are founded upon theii- relation 
to his person. That is the first caution. 

The second caution is this, That it is certain that Jesus Christ is so a 
head unto men, as he is not unto angels. Though he is a head both to 
them and to us, and all, both angels and men, are gathered together in one 
head in him, yet he is so a head to us as not to thera. You shall see a won- 
derful privilege that we have in this same first of the Ephesians, ver. 21. 
This chapter holds forth this unto us ; for there the Apostle teUeth us that 
God hath advanced Christ ' far above all principality and power, and might 
and dominion,' meaning angels, ' and hath put all things under his feet, and 
hath given him to be the head over aU things to the church.' Here the 
Church, and his headship of the Church, is a distinct thing from that rela- 
tion he beareth to angels, as here it is mentioned : he hath a superiority 
over angels for the good of the Church ; he is so a Head to his Church 
as not to angels. I know they are mentioned as well as men in that verse. 
But how are they mentioned ? Not that he is the head of them as he is 
of men, that is not the scope of it ; but the scope of this place is only this, 
that he that is above principalities and powers is the Head of the Church ; 
he beareth a more special relation to them than he doth to principalities and 
powers, and is above them in order to his headship of the Church. Hence 
it is that the angels are not called the members of Christ; you have not such 
an expression in the whole Book of God. As God is said to be the ' head of 
Christ,' 1 Cor. xi. 3, having an influence into Christ, yet Christ is not a mem- 
ber of God. So, though the angels are said to come unto Christ as a head, 
and he is their head, yet members of him nowhere you read it ; for that is 
peculiar only to the saints, to the elect here on earth, to the sons of men. 

I will give you more things wherein we diff'er from them. Jesus Christ 
is not a Common Person representing them as he represented us, as he did 
while he was here below. We obeyed in him, we died with him, we rose 
with him. Not so the angels ; he did not act their part, he was not a Com- 
mon Person to them ; therefore they are nowhere said to be elected in him : 
but we are said to be elected in him, and he did sustain a Common Person 
while he was here below. 

Thirdly, We are brethren to Christ, and so not the angels ; you have no- 
where that said. I will give you a scripture or two for it ; one is that in 
Heb. ii., and the scripture is exceeding express. The Apostle there goeth 
to prove that Jesus Christ took the same nature with us. JSow doth he prove 
it ? 'Because,' saith he, ver. 11, 'he calleth us brethren, saying,' — he takes a 
place out of Ps. xxii. 22, — ' I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the 
midst of the church I will sing praise unto thee.' And at ver. 14, ' Forasmuch 
then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself 
likewise took part of the same.' And ver. 16, 'For verily he took not on 
him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.' So 
that the place is clear and express, that therefore we are brethren to Christ, 
and Christ to us, he having the same nature with us ; therefore the angels 
are nowhere said to be adopted sons to God, as men are said to be, as not 
having relation to Christ, as to a husband, and in that relation being sons 
of God. To give you another scripture for this, Eev. xix. 10 ; you shall 
find there that the angel indeed calleth himself fellow-servant with John, 
but he doth not call himself brother; nay, he doth not call himself brother, 
though he mentioneth the saints as John's brethren, ' I am thy fellow-servant, 
and of thy brethren.' The like you have, Kev. xxii. 9, 'I am thy fellow 


servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, .md of them which keep the say- 
ings of this book.' The saints of God are brethren one to another, and unto 
Jesus Christ. The angels are but their fellow-servants. 

Much less are they the spouse of Christ, much less have they the relation 
of a wife to him as a husband ; this is proper to the headship of Christ over 
believers : Eph. v. 23, ' The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the 
head of the church, and the Saviour of the body.' He is not a Saviour of 
the angels in a way of redemption, for he speaks of the Church which hath 
* spots and wrinkles ' in it, as ver. 27. The Church is the queen, the angels 
are but his guard round about his throne, Eev. v. 11. 

I. will give you one caution more. Though they have not these relations 
to Christ, yet they have the relation of servants, and servants are a part of 
the family. The family, you know, is usually made up of servants, and 
sons, and the wife. Now the relation of sons and the relation of wife, this 
the sons of men bear unto God and unto Christ, and of being brethren too 
unto him ; but the angels are but servants sent out. They are his angels, 
and indeed in that respect he is called their father and their head, as the 
master is called the father of the servants, 2 Kings v. 13. So I have ex- 
pressed to you what association the angels have with Jesus Christ, and one 
with another. 

I will make some uses of what hath been delivered, and give you some 
observations, and so end this great point. 

Obs. 1. — You heard how that all things are the elect of angels and men, 
which God summeth up in Christ. The first observation then is this, See 
what reckoning God putteth upon things he calleth his elect children, 
angels and men, all things; he looks upon all things else as nothing, they 
are of no esteem, they have no value with him. They are God's all that 
belong to Christ, both angels and men, and the rest are the devil's, as I said ; 
therefore you know the Scripture calleth souls that are damned, lost ; they 
are not : ' The men whom thou rememberest no more,' Ps. Ixxxviii. 5. God 
makes no reckoning of them, he accounts them not. The things in heaven 
and in earth that belong to Christ are the ' all things / they are the choice 
of all, they are the first-fruits, as they are called, James i. 18. 

Let us therefore, if we would have a being, get into Christ; let us gather 
ourselves to that Head. You are lost else, you are of no reckoning with 
God, nor shall not be to all eternity. 

Obs. 2. — A second observation is this. Have we this association with 
angels ? Shall we be as angels hereafter 1 Let us live as angels now. We 
must live with angels for ever, we must be made like to them, we are come 
with them unto one Head, Christ. Be as angels now. 

And, my brethren, let it be one motive to you to keep you from sinning. 
If men were by, you would not sin. Think with yourselves. Angels may 
be by while I am sinning, whom I am gathered unto, and with whom I 
must live for ever. 1 Tim. v. 21; what is the meaning there, 'I charge thee 
before God, and his elect angels V He chargeth him that he should not in 
the execution and exercise of government in the Church be partial, ' I charge 
thee before God,' he seeth thee ; ' and before the Lord Jesus Christ,' he sees 
thee ; and ' the elect angels,' some or other of them see thee too. What is 
the reason of this 1 If that angels did not see and were not witnesses, many 
of them, or some of them, of men's carriages, why should this charge be 
laid upon Timothy? ' I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one 
before another, doing nothing by partiality,' 


Obs. 3. — Observe again, in the third place, from what hath been deli- 
vered, That the saints are nearer unto Christ than angels are, as I told you 
before ; he is so a head to men as he is not to them. Both their union 
and ours with God is by Christ ; now, if we be more united to Christ than 
they are, then we are more nearly united to God too ; more nearly united to 
Christ we are, for he is our brother, he hath our nature, he hath more of 
ours, he hath done more for us ; we are sons by adoption in him, he is our 
husband. To which of all the angels was it said that Christ is their hus- 
band? Of which of all the angels is it said that Christ is their Saviour 1 
The Church of God is the queen; the angels are our guardians. We belong 
to one family, we are worshippers together ; yet you shall find in Eev. v. 11, 
where the Church is described, that the angels are farther off from the throne 
than the four-and-twenty elders; and the like you have Rev. viL 9-11. 



That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in 
one all things in Christ, hath which are in heaven, and which are on 
earth ; even in him. — Ver. 10. 

The coherence of these words I have formerly shewed you to be a relation 
unto what is said just before, ' He had purposed in himself.' What was it 
he purposed in himself but this, as the words may be truly read, ' to gather 
together in one all things in Christ 1' I told you my thoughts were, 
that the Apostle did here, having spoken of God's decrees, of election in 
Christ, and redemption in Christ, &c., in the conclusion of the doctrinal part 
of his discourse, give you the sum of all God's purposes in himself, both to- 
wards Christ and us ; and he expresseth it in this, that it was to ' gather 
all things in one in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on 

The great thing to be opened (which I have made entrance into) is, what 
is meant here by gathering together in one, which seemeth to be the adequate 
design and project of God's heart towards Christ and us for ever, and com- 
prehensively to contain all under it. 

That by ' all things in heaven,' and ' all things on earth,' angels and men 
are meant, I shewed the last time. I told you the word avaKi(pakaiojaaaSai 
imi^lieth, first, a summing up of many numbers into one. I gave you an 
account of this. 

God, intending to sum up all things in heaven and in earth in Christ, 
summeth up first all things in heaven and in earth in Christ's person, as the 
foundation of the other summing up of a mystical body too. 

All sorts of divisions God summed up in Christ. God and the creature 
first, he cast them up into one sum ; for he made God and the creature one 

He takes, in the second place, — whereas he had two reasonable creatures, 
angels and men, — the nature of a man and uniteth it unto God, and the con- 
dition of an angel ; for that is his due too. That man (if he be united unto 
God) is called The heavenly man ; he is not an earthly man, nor to be an 
earthly man, though for our sins he took fraU flesh ] but that which is his 
due is to be a man, and like an angel for condition. He summeth up the 
condition of things in heaven, and the nature of men on earth, in his own 

Then come down to earth, and there you have Jew and Gentile; he 
summed up both in Christ, for Christ came of both. Jew and Gentile, all 
the world, Christ and aU, had the very same great-grandfathers, those ten 
men that were from Adam to Noah. Thus he summed up aU in his person. 

When he had done, he summeth up of all a body to him answerable to 
his person ; or rather a church, a city of the living God, a family to him, 
as the Scripture expresseth it. He takes of aU things in heaven, and of all 
things in earth, and he makes them up unto Christ, as a Head, one body. 


That Christ was the Head of angels, I shewed in the last discourse. That 
there is an association between angels and the saints, I shewed likewise ; and 
this under Christ as a Head. All these particulars I have largely opened ; 
I shaU not stand to repeat them. Only there is one thing which I added 
not in the last discourse, concerning that of angels, and that is this. Why it 
is said all things in heaven ? You know, when we say aU things on earth, 
it is all sorts of men, all ranks of men upon earth. Are there any several 
sorts of angels in heaven 1 

My brethren, for certain there are several ranks of them ; what they are 
we cannot define, but that there are several ranks of them, that known place, 
and many others might be brought, Col. i. 16, ' By him were all things 
created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, 
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.' The 
angels are called principalities and powers ; that we have an express place 
for in this first chapter of the Ephesians, ver. 21, ' He set him at his own 
right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, 
and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this 
world, but also in that which is to come.' He expresseth these several ranks 
of angels, for there is acies ordinata of them, by the ranks that are here on earth, 
by way of similitude, so to convey it to our apprehensions. Some, he saith, 
are thrones. Thrones importeth kingly power, as we read in Dan. x. 13, 
' He was the first of the princes,' speaking of one of the angels ; and like- 
wise we read of an archangel. Some, he saith, are dominions, which are as 
viceroys ; and principalities, which among men were governors of provinces ; 
and 2^0^^'^s, which were ordinary lower magistrates. He expresseth it by 
these ranks, not that there are but four, or how many we know not, but he 
•onveyeth what is in heaven to us by what is on earth. Now, of aU these 
sorts of angels, he hath taken some, (as perhaps of all these angels some 
fell, as of all sorts of things in earth some are gathered to Satan,) but of all 
sorts of things on earth, he gathereth some to Christ, and so in heaven too. 
— So much for that. 

Now I must come to shew, that he hath gathered all things on earth to 
Him. That which I handled in the last discourse was but the gathering to 
a Head, as the word signifieth, of all things in heaven, with things on earth. 
Now, God hath taken all sorts of men on earth, and meaneth to make out of 
them a body unto Christ. And therefore he expresseth it by the word ra. 
'!:d\'Tu, all things ; because he takes aU sorts of things and conditions what- 
soever ; therefore he expresseth it, I say, rather by things than by persons, 
as implying aU conditions of men. 

The first great division upon earth, what is it ? It is both of Jew and 
Gentile. He will take of both these. I shall not need to prove it, for I 
shall meet with it again and again in opening of this place. In the very 
next words to my text, which therefore argueth that to be his meaning, he 
speaks of the callmg of the Jews first, at the 12th verse, * That we should be 
to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ ; ' there is the Jews. 
* In whom ye also trusted,' ver, 13, ' after that ye heard the word of truth ; ' 
there is the Gentile. It is a thing I must often speak to, therefore I will 
speak little to it now. 

Come to the Gentiles. They are divided, we know, into many nations, 
which God hath made here upon earth. God takes, first and last, of all the 
nations upon the earth, to make up a body to his Son Christ. In Gen xviii 
18, there is a promise made to Abraham, that in his seed all the nations of 
the earth shall be blessed. The like you have, chap, xxii,, repeated again ; 


for you have two places for it. And in Prov. viii. it is said, the delights of 
Christ were in the habitable parts of his earth, so the expression is, ver. 31, 
Wherever God hath earth inhabited, there Jesus Christ hath some from ever- 
lasting whom he did delight in, and shall do to everlasting. 

Then come to nations ; and there you have several kindreds. Now go, 
take all the kindreds of men that continue from the beginning of the world 
unto the end ; God will take of all families and kindreds too. You shall 
find that the promise made to Abraham, as it runneth that all nations shall 
be blessed in him, so it runneth that all families of the earth shall be 
blessed in him too, and, as Peter interpreteth it, ' all fatherhoods ; ' so the 
expression is, Acts iii. 25. In Gen. xii. 3, ' In thee shall all the families of 
the earth be blessed.' The like you have in Gen. xxviii. 14. Twice it is 
said that all nations shall be blessed in Abraham, and in his seed ; and twice 
it is said, all families shall be blessed — that is, all kindreds shall be blessed 
in him and his seed. 

Then there are other divisions besides. There are several sorts and ranks 
of sinners. God hath excepted but one ; and what is that one ? Those that 
on earth become the serpent's seed, and so join issues with heU ; those that 
sin against the Holy Ghost, and have the venom of this sin in their spirits, of 
revenge against God, such as the devil hath : except those, God takes of all 
sorts. It is a known place, Matt, xii 31 : He, through whose hands all the 
pardons of the world go, Jesus Christ, that stands at the sealing of them, 
saith, that ' all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.' 
He doth not only say, it may he forgiven, but he expressly saith, it shall he 
forgiven. God hath so ordered it, that as all mankind shall fall into all sorts 
of sin, so shall some of his elect do, some into some, and some into another ; 
that you can instance in no sin, or way of sinning, or aggravation of sinning, 
which shall not be pardoned to some of the sons of men. 

Then go, take aU ranks, (there are other divisions yet,) take all ranks of 
poor and rich, kings and nobles, wise and fools ; God takes of all these. He 
takes of fools, as he saith, Isa. xxxv. 8, ' Though fools, they shaU not err' in 
that way. Natural fools, God takes some of them, and teacheth them to 
know Christ. ' Pray,' saith he, ' for kings, and aU in authority,' 1 Tim. iL 2 ; 
for God would have all men to be saved, all sorts of ranks. 

Ohs. 1. — See now, my brethren, of whom the Church universal consisteth, 
and see the glory and splendour of it : all things in heaven, and all things 
on earth ; all nations, all families, all kindreds ; whatsoever divisions you 
can make. You have it, Eev. v. 9, and likewise Rev. vii., where the Church 
universal is represented, perhaps under a particular way ; yet, I say, you 
shall find it represented there. First, in the fifth chapter, the four beasts 
and the four-and-twenty elders, they cry unto Christ, they give glory unto 
him ; ' for,' say they, ' thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by 
thy blood out of every kindred,' — there is families, — ' and tongue, and people, 
and nation.' And all things in heaven come in too, ver. 11, 'And I heard 
the voice of many angels round about the throne.' You have the like words, 
chap, vii 9, ' I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could 
number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before 
the throne, and before the Lamb.' And ver. 11, ' AU the angels stood round 
about the throne, and about the elders.' The angels come in too. Men are 
nearer the throne ; for if you observe it, the angels do stand about the 
elders. Men are nearer, because, as I said before, they have a nearer relation 
to Christ ; he is in such a way a head to them as he is not to angels. 

ThiS; my brethren, is the glory and the splendour of this universal Church, 

EpH. I. 10.1 TO THE SPHESIANS. 173 

of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. And what should this teach us, by 
way of use and observation, but to long for that day when we shall all meet 
thus together ; when God wUl bring men out of all j^arts of the earth, where 
thou shalt meet with some of thy kindred, some of thy nation, some that 
have been just such sinners as thou art 1 What a glorious day will that be ! 
We account it a glorious day when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, 
and Jew and Gentile shall make up one sheepfold, and Christ be one shep- ' 
herd ; and it will be a glorious day indeed. But the day that is to come, 
when Christ shall have all his children about him ; when God-man, in whom 
all things are summed up in his person for excellency ; and when men and 
angels and all shall be gathered up to him, that have been from the begin- 
ning of the world to the end of it, when that general assembly shall be full 
and complete, and he shall not want, no not the least joint, the least 
member ; what a glorious day wUl this be, when God hath all his sons about 
him ! He forbeareth now opening the fulness of his glory, because he hath 
not all his sons about him : but when he hath them all about him, then he 
will bring forth all his riches, all the treasures of his glory. As you know 
Ahasuerus did, when he had the princes of the provinces before him in his 
great palace, Esth. i. 2. He was king of a hundred and twenty-seven pro- 
vinces ; and the text saith, ' He sat on the throne of his kingdom, which 
was in Shushan the palace ; and he made a feast to aU his princes and his 
servants ; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the pro- 
vinces, being before him.' It seems it was a great occasion ; whether to 
shew the greatness of his glory, or for what other end he calleth them up, 
they were all before him ; and then he makes a feast, such a feast as never 
was read of. So, when God shall have all the princes of the earth, the first- 
born, before him ; when men shall ' come from the east, and from the west, 
and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in his kingdom;' then vsoU 
God feast, then will he bring forth all his glory, and empty himself for ever. 

Obs. 2. — Therefore, my brethren, long for this day, and let your hearts 
seek to be one of this number, not to be left out of this all. For your 
encouragement herein consider this, which is a second observation. That no 
condition can be said to be any hindrance to you from being in Christ. 
Thou canst object nothing against thyself, neither poverty, nor folly, nor 
want of memory and understanding, nor weakness, nor sinfulness, — I say 
there is nothing at all thou canst object against thyself, which may hinder 
thy salvation. Why? Because God takes all sorts of things on earth. 
Thou canst say nothing of thyself, but that there are some whom God hath 
saved just like thee. ' There is no difference,' saith he, Rom. iii. 22 ; he 
' justifieth freely by his grace.' There is no difference ; take a beggar and a 
king, they have the same shadow in the sun. Sins, my brethren, make no 
difference, the greatness or the smallness of them, to hinder salvation. 
^Mountains bear no proportion, more than mole-hills, to the heavens, they are 
so high. If one were in the heavens, the earth would seem as a round 
globe ; mountains would not be seen more than mole-hUls are. 

Obs. 3. — Again, in the third place, you may see here the infinite goodness 
of God to all, that he takes of all sorts of things, of all sorts of rajiks ; of 
angels in heaven, he takes of all things there ; of all sorts of things on earth, 
in all their several varieties. This is a great respect God hath to his crea- 
tion, in that he wiU do so. He created and made all things, and he made 
them all by Jesus Christ, and therefore he shall have the first-fruits of every 
one, and of every sort of thing. I take it to be part of the meaning, 
though not all, of that Eph. iii, where, speaking of this mystciy, ' that all 


men,' saith he, ver. 9, ' sliould see the fellowship of the mystery,' (having 
spoken of the calling of the Jew and Gentile before, ver. 8,) that mystery 
' which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.' What 
Cometh in afterward ? — ' who created all things by Jesus Christ.' He made 
all things by him, saith he, and therefore he will save of all sorts by him. 
He hath respect to the whole creation ; he will have some of all sorts in it. 
"Therefore, Acts x. 34, when they saw that God did save the Gentiles as well 
as Jews, what conclusion do they make out of it ? ' Then Peter opened his 
mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons ; 
but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is 
accepted of him.' And there is another reason intimated in the next verse 
following, ver. 36, ' The word,' saith he, ' which God sent unto the children 
of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Clirist ; he is Lord of all,' Is he Lord 
of all 1 He will save of all sorts by him. 

God, as he hateth nothing that he hath made, as it is his creature ; so he 
will shew the freeness of his grace by saving all varieties of his creatures. 
For therein lieth the freeness of his grace, that no condition shall hinder, I 
conclude with that which the Apostle concludeth (Rom. xi.) all the doctrinal 
part of his epistle. He had shewed that Jews and Gentiles were both 
corrupt, in chap. ii. and iii. He had shewed that God would save both of 
Jew and Gentile, in chap, ix., x., and xi. How concludeth he ? Ver. 30 of 
that 11th chapter, 'As you in time past' (speaking to the Gentiles, they take 
their turns) ' have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through 
their unbelief: even so have these also' (speaking of the Jews) 'now not 
believed, that through your mercy they also might obtain mercy,' that both 
they and you might have mercy together; 'for God hath concluded' (it is 
translated them, but the word 'Trdvra is) ' all,' Jew and Gentile, ' in unbelief, 
that he might have mercy upon aU.' And upon this he doth, as we ah 
should do : ' the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge 
of God !' (and mercy too ;) 'how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out !' 

So much now for that part of gathering a body out of all sorts of things 
on earth and things in heaven. I have shewed you, in opening these words, 
first, that God hath summed up all in Christ, he cast up all as into one 
number in his person ; which was the first signification of the words. He 
gathereth all things, both in heaven and on earth, as a church, as a family 
to him, as unto one head ; that the word likewise signifieth. 

There is a third thing that is to be added to the signification of this word; 
there is ava, that he doth this again ; there is a gathering together under 
one head again the second time ; so the word signifieth. This same dvaxi- 
(paXaiojaacOai, (as I remember Bishop Andrews in a sermon upon this text 
hath it,) saith he, the force of it is not only to signify a collection, a 
gathering of all ; but it is a re-collection. It is true, our translators took not 
notice of it, they translate it simply, ' gather together in one ; ' but all know 
that the word signifieth again; ' to gather together again under one head.' 

Now this gathering together again may import two things. First, a 
gathering a second time of all things in heaven and in earth. Secondly, it 
doth imply a scattering first ; that he doth aftei his first gathering of them 
scatter all a-pieces as it were, severeth them one from another, and from 
himself. They are like members disjecta, like members rent and separated 
from their head ; and then he gathereth them all together again, dvaxspa- 
Xaiu)Sao6ai importeth recollectionem ; they were scattered from Christ, and 
so gathered again to him, as to a head. 

£PH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 175 

Against this interpretation there is this great rub in the way — that the 
angels, the things in heaven, never were scattered ; why should they be said 
.to be gathered together again, with all things on earth, unto Christ as a 
head ? Therefore interpreters have been exceeding shy of interpreting ' all 
things in heaven ' to be meant of angels. I must first remove this rub ; it 
is the main difficulty. 

There are two interpretations that may help to remove it. The first is 
this, that although both things in heaven and things on earth were not both 
scattered, yet if things on earth were, it may be said to be a gathering 
together of all ; take them altogether in sensu composito, though not in sensu 
diviso. Some explain it by this similitude. Suppose two nations were 
united under one monarch, and one of them falls off, and turn all rebels unto 
him, and rend themselves away from that other nation with which they 
were at peace and union under that one head. As when those seven pro- 
vinces revolted from the Spaniard, there were ten remained still firm unto 
him. If ever these seventeen, the seven and the ten, unite themselves to- 
gether again, and subject themselves, as before, to him as their head and 
monarch, and lay down hostility against him, it might be said that here is a 
gathering of them all, a reducing of them all to their fonner obedience, 
though but one part fell off. This is a similitude that one giveth of it to 
explain it. The Uke you find in Calvin. Suppose you find, saith he, a 
house, a great part whereof were fallen down, and some stood still ; if that 
part that is fallen be built up again, the whole house is said to be rebuilt. 
So it is here. And this is the first interpretation to reconcile this difficulty : 
that because men were scattered, that part of the house on earth, the family 
on earth, were scattered from him, which were once jomed unto him, unto 
one head, unto Christ, (God united all, angels and men unto him,) yet now 
being gathered together again, aU is said to be gathered together in one unto 
I dm. 

There is a second, which I do find that both Calvin and others have, and 
is more hard to explain. I will do it as clearly and as briefly as I can. I 
ahall express my meaning perhaps in somewhat a differing way from theirs, 
yet it comes all to one. And it is this. That even of the angels them- 
selves there is a double knitting of them unto God. First, a common, that 
they and the devils (created once holy) had, and that Adam in innocency, 
and all mankind in him, had in common together. And the other is a special 
Tmion unto God, and that by Christ. So that though there was not an 
actual scattering of them from that first union of theirs, but even that also 
held and continued firm ; yet it was prevented by a further union, by a 
gathering of them in one in Christ as their head, unto God, that did fix 
them for ever to stand firm unto him. 

I may express it unto you well thus : that God, to magnify his grace the 
more, — both his glorifying grace to angels and men, and supernatural grace to 
stand for ever, which is a supernatural grace, — did ordain, to exalt this grace, 
two several knittings, two unions and communions of his creatures, (made 
holy at first,) to himself : whereof the first was not sure nor steadfast, nor 
would not perhaps have held to eternity. They would have dropped off one 
after another, if God had let things go on so ; there would have been a per- 
petual hazard of the angels departing and scattering from him. The things 
on earth actually fell from him, the other were in danger ; and therefore God, 
to make aU fast and sure, ordaiaeth a second union, and a gathering together 
again in Christ. 

To explain both these knittings to God; — it will, as I said it would, contain 


the whole design of God, both of creation and the instauration of the 
creature in Christ, and redemption and whatever else ; — to explain, I say, 
this double knitting to God, this knitting the first time, and knitting again, 
I shall do these two things : — I shall, first, shew you what union at first in 
common the good angels, and those that are now bad, and man, and all had 
with God. And then, secoridli/, the necessity of a further union for their 
perpetual and everlasting standing in grace, and their enjoying their full 
glory in heaven. 

For the first, To shew what this same first union and gathering of all 
creatures both in heaven and on earth in common was. — It was by their 
creation and the covenant thereof ; that covenant that passeth between God 
merely as a Creator, unto them as his creatures, which was common both to 
good angels that stand, and them that fell, and man in his innocency, who 
also fell. Now, my brethren, this you must know, that although man was 
created on earth, and the angels created in heaven, in a higher condition of 
knowing and enjoying God ; yet so as, take them merely as creatures, and 
as a covenant shall pass between God the Creator and them, they are both 
under the same law of nature, so as they may fall from their condition as well 
as man ; and there was no law, either of nature or justice, between God and 
the creature, could any way oblige God to uphold and to maintain them. 
Thus slippery was the first union, simply considered as creatures. I need 
not stand to shew you how both angels and men were first united to God. 
Adam is called the son of God, Luke iii. 38, by creation. And the angels 
are called the sons of God, as they were first made, when they were holy 
and standing holy, Job xxxviii. 7. United then they were both to God. 

And, in the second place, although we cannot say that there was a perfect 
association between angels and men then in the state of innocency, as now 
under the state of grace there is, (which I shewed you before,) and shall be 
for ever ; but that angels should remain in their heaven, and man should 
have remained on his earth : ' The first man,' saith he, ' is of the earth 
earthly ; ' he speaks of man at best. I am not of the mind of some of those 
modern divines that have said, that the sin of the angels was this, that God 
did send them down upon earth to attend man ; this they stomached, and 
tempted man to sin, and that was their sin. There is no ground of that at 
all, to think that, under the law of nature, the elder should serve the 
younger. It is a privilege we have by Christ ; they are his ' minister- 
ing spirits, sent forth to minister for them that shall be the heirs of sal- 
vation,' Heb. i. 14. Yet concerning the association of both then, we may 
say this, that it is most certain that the same things whereby Adam knew 
God, by the same things did they know God ; though also in a further de- 
gree, and in a higher measure. And therefore, as before I said there was 
an association both of angels and men in this respect, that angels themselves 
do pry into the things of the gospel, and so are present to our assemblies ; so 
likewise in this respect both angels and man then had a kind of association 
in this, that the angels themselves took in the glory of God from things 
here below. They rejoiced when they saw the world made, when they saw 
God to limn out the world, and fill up that first draught of the chaos as he 
did, and when he brought man in the lord of all. That you have an express 
place for, Job xxxviii. 7. He saith, that when the foundations of the 
earth were laid, the angels, that were created the first day with the heavens, 
shouted for joy : * The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of 
God shouted for joy.' They are called the morning stars, because they 
began early to glorify God, they were matutina; and they are called sons 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 177 

of God : it is said they all shouted for joy ; and if they shouted for joy 
when the foundations of the earth were laid, certainly then when man was 
made they stood by as sj^ectators to see God, I say, limn out the world, 
and perfect it in man's creation. So that though man should not have 
known, nor knew tMngs from heaven, yet they knew things on earth ; and 
therefore in that respect there was some kind of fellowship, they partaking 
of the same things that we did, though not we that they did. 

And then, again, if there were not a fellowship, nor ever should have been, — 
and we have no ground at all to think so that I know of, — yet this is certain, 
there was a peace amongst them in these two kingdoms of God, of which 
he was monarch and lord. Though they remained distinct and divided, yet 
notwithstanding they were at peace, they were not at hostility, they were 
gathered in peace under one Lord then, both men and angels, and so united 
unto God. And they did glory in the good of man certainly ; as they sung 
at the birth of Christ, ' Peace on earth, and good- will towards men ; ' they 
shouted when man was made, if they shouted when the foundations of the 
earth were laid. So that you see there was a common union, both to God, 
and some way among themselves ; there was a peace at least. 

But you will say unto me, This first union, was this in Christ ? The word 
again, you will urge, Avill imply so much, — they are gathered again to a Head 
in one in Christ. Was he the Head, then, both of angels and men in 
creation ? 

For that I answer, first, it was not absolutely necessary, (though the force 
of the word will hold.) They were gathered unto one Head, God ; for in 
1 Cor. xi. 3, you shall find that God is called the ' Head of Christ,' and so 
of all things else, of all men and angels ; he is the supreme Head of all, 
above the rest. They were gathered unto one Head, God ; that is certain 
then. But that they should be gathered first unto Jesus Christ as a Head, 
as God-man, that is not necessary. It is true that the second gathering is 
in him as a Head. 

Yet, in the second place, there is much in the current of the Scripture, 
which I shall have, sometime or other, opportunity to allege, that even Jesus 
Christ was the ' corner-stone ' of the creation, both to men and angels. If 
he would not have been a creature, God would not have made a creature 
else. The meaning of it is not as if that he should not have been incarnate, 
if man had never fallen ; but that neither men nor angels should have been 
made if Christ had not been to have been incarnate, which was at once 
ordained together with him. I could name many places for it. Rev. iii 14, 
speaking of Christ, 'These things saith the Ainen, the faithful and true 
Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.' You have the like, Col. L 
He reckoneth up all the uses of God-man, and he saith, ver. 1 6, that ' by 
him all things were created, vi.'iible and invisible,' (there is the first gather- 
ing unto him ;) and then, ver. 20, he speaks of reconciling all things in 
heaven and on earth, which is the second gathering, and the same with that 
in the text. 

But then another question wiU be this : Was Jesus Christ the Head of 
the creation ? What scripture is there for that ? 

For that I will give you but this place, 1 Cor. xi. 3, &c. Saith he, I would 
have you know, for perhaps it was a thing they did not so much consider, 
that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man, 
and the head of Chri.st Ls God. He .speaks of Christ as God-man ; for so 
only God is said to be his head. He doth not only say he is the head of 
the elect angels and men, but of every man, and that by the law of creation ; 

VOL. I. Iff 


for as tlie man by creation is the head of the woman, so is Jesus Christ the 
head of the man ; therefore ver, 8, 9, saith he, ' The man was not created 
for the woman, but the woman for the man.' He speaks of creation ex- 
pressly. So we elsewhere read, ' All things were created by Christ, and for 
Christ,' — that is, by virtue of him. For as he was the ' Lamb slain from 
the beginning of the world,' that he might redeem it, as he did those that 
were before he was incarnate, so virtually he might have an influence into 
the creation also, he being to be incarnate. 

So now, my brethren, you see the first gathering how it was. But then 
you will say, If he was their head in creation, there is this difficulty yet, why 
did they not then stand 1 Why did not he preserve them, being their head, 
by virtue of being the head of the creation also ? 

The answer to that is easy, and it is this. He was their head by creation, 
but in a common relation, but by way of eminency, as being the chief of 
the creation of God, and as the Lord and heir of all, in a natural way, by a 
natural due ; and therefore, notwithstanding it was his due thus to be their 
head, it went no further ; he left them to the course of nature. But now 
his being a head a second time, in this second gathering, it is by a special 
protection, undertaking to preserve them in a more peculiar manner, and 
that in a supernatural way, to bestow supernatural glory, and if they fall to 
redeem them, as he did the sons of men. So that now, by a natural due of 
his, he was the head in creation ; by a special undertaking, by a special pro- 
tection, (as I may so express it,) he becometh a head in the second gather- 
ing ; and therefore he will be sure now to hold them fast enough. Thus 
you see what this first gathering in Christ was j you have that explained as 
briefly and as plainly as possibly I could, 

Secondly, We come now to the necessity of a second gathering, both of angels 
and men. — Still the difficulty will be on the angels' part ; of men, (you know 
they falKng,) there is no difficulty at all about them. 

To represent this necessity unto you, my brethren, it is thus in a word. 
AH things, angels and men, though they were by the common tie of creation, 
being made holy, knit unto God ; yet only by no other term of justice or 
union, no stronger than what was simply due to the creature as the creature, 
and as it was meet for God as a creator to carry himself towards the crea- 
ture. It was not ultra dehitum, beyond the due of the creature, as the 
school-men 'express it. Now, therefore, it was not a due to the creature, 
nor no obligation by the law of creation that was between God and the 
creature, that he must uphold it ; but that he might leave it to shew itself 
what it was to be a creature. What assistance, therefore, he giveth to up- 
hold and to confirm in grace, and perpetually to stand, is above the bargain, 
above the covenant of creation, above the obligation of nature ; it is whoUy 
supernatural, and it is of grace; 'it is more than nature's due. So that, as 
I said before, though the angels themselves were created in heaven, as man 
upon earth, yet they stood by the same common law, and no otherwise, that 
man did upon earth. It is true, indeed, this of the angels, they had stronger 
natures and were built of stronger matter, and so were less subject to fall ; 
they were more able to stand ; yet still, if left but to the mere assistance 
that by the covenant of nature God was to give them, though in heaven, 
they would fall as well as man. See a scripture for this, wherein angels and 
men are compared together. Job iv. 18. It is a scripture which in this 
argument divines have recourse unto, and I shall have recourse unto it after- 
ward. ' Behold,' saith he, ' he put no trust in his servants ; his angels he 
charged with foUy : how much less in them that dwell in houses of clay ? * 

EpH I. 10.] TO THF EPHESIANS. 179 

Comparing men and angels together, saith he, the angels had two advan- 
tages : they were, first, by nature made of stronger stuff ; alas ! man dwells in 
a house of clay, a house of cards, that is easily tumbled or blown down j 
but they are buUt of a house of marble, that is stronger and abler to stand. 
Secondly, they had this advantage, that they were God's servants in a more 
peculiar manner ; so they are called his, because they were his servants about 
his throne, at court. Man was his subject, but they were his household 
servants then in a more peculiar manner, and therefore nearer God. Yet, 
notwithstanding these advantages, saith he, God could put no confidence in 
them, he could put no trust in them ; and he had a great deal of reason not 
to trust them, for you know how a great part of things in heaven served hini 
when they fell. He chargeth them that fell with folly, with damnable folly ; 
he spared them not, for he laid the guilt of sin upon them, and threw them 
down to hell, as Peter saith ; and he chargeth the other with possible folly, 
as I shall shew anon. 

So that you see by the law of creation — (for it is that law which he dis- 
puteth there ; ' Shall a man be more pure than his maker?' It is the words 
immediately before, in the 1 7th verse ; he bringeth it in, indeed, to another 
purpose ; yea, but take God as he is a Maker, the one as the clay, the other 
as the potter) — he is no way obliged to make them stand as they are of 
themselves, but they are creatures that are not stable, as the word signifieth, 
and as some translations have it. You see then the angels, — and there was 
sufficient proof for it, — that by that law w>i"rein they were first gathered to 
God, by that knot, by that covenant — it was too slippery — God could put 
no trust in them ; all the angels might have served him as the devils did. 

Again, there is this ininllible reason, for it is an inseparable property oi 
the creature, by an essential defect that cleaveth to it, that it is mutable, it 
is changeable, and may be tempted to sin. I call it a property of the crea- 
ture, for in James i. 13, 17, compared together, you shall find that it is 
made the property of God alone to be immutable and without shadow of 

Now then, my brethren, you see that for these angels, if God would be 
sure of them, if he would put confidence in them, there must be some further 
knitting of them to him, by some further covenant, some further medium, 
by some higher law than this merely of creation, that passed between them 
as creatures and him as their Creator. There needed therefore a second 
gathering. Out of this that hath been said, you see then, that although 
they were not actually scattered, yet they were in danger ; they had need 
therefore be fixed in a head ; they are glasses, and they had need of a bottom, 
which might keep them from falling ; and these morning stars, the Lord 
Jesus Christ had need hold them in his hand, or they may faU down from 
heaven, as Lucifer, that great devil, did. They needed supernatural grace to 
confirm them ; it is not their due by nature ; it is not their due by creation. 
And by whom should they have this grace % By whom should they have 
this protection 1 Why, from him whose ministering spirits they are ; his 
ministering spirits, he calleth them so because he hath a special interest in 
them ; they are not our ministering spirits, it is nowhere said so. They 
are sent indeed for our good, but they are his ministering spirits ; he hath a 
proper interest and title in them ; he is the fountain of grace, and every- 
thing that hath anything by participation is reduced to that which hath it 
of itself. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is that man of grace ; he is the foun- 
tain of all grace ; therefore if they have supernatural grace, they must have 
it frcia him, and therefore in him When the Apostle had reckoned that he 


had created all things in heaven and in earth, he addeth that still in him all 
things consist, angels and all ; the standing they have, this consistency, it 
is from the Lord Jesus Christ, Col. i. 17. He is the corner-stone of both 
the buildings, both that in heaven and that in earth. 

For, my brethren, let me give you the reason of it. It is only Jesus 
Christ's natural due, — it is his natural due, only being the natural Son of 
God, — that after he is united to the Son of God, God should be engaged by 
a law, a law of nature, to uphold him, to be impeccable, to be put out of the 
danger of falling. It is only proper unto Jesus Christ ; it is his law of 
nature, for he is the natural Son of God. It is his privilege to have life in 
himself; so you have it, John v. 26, ' For as the Father hath life in himself, 
so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself No creature hath so 
that it can stand of itself; therefore he having life in himself, if they stand 
and continue to have life, they have it from him. 

Likewise, let me say this unto you, that the fulness of the glory in heaven, 
which is by a union with God, the angels could not attain to it, nor had it 
by the law of their creation ; it is supernatural to them. The Papists ascribe 
it to the use of free-will, and to their merit ; but it is above the due of the 
creature, as the best divines hold it. This utmost glory in heaven, that 
beatifical vision which we shall have after the day of judgment, and which 
the angels are brought unto tanquam ad ierminum, as unto their utmost 
happiness, this is only Jesus Christ's natural due. So to see God as Jesus 
Christ himself doth, (and with the same kind of sight shall his members 
see him, though for degree he exceedeth, as we are anointed with the same 
Spirit that he is, though in degree, he above measure ;) that sight which is 
thus proper to Christ, is the transcendent privilege of the Son of God. It 
is peculiar unto him, and it is by virtue of him we have it, both angels 
and men. 

I wiU give you both Scripture for it and reason. John i. 18, 'No man 
hath seen God at any time.' It is translated no man, but it is no7ie, oudilg, 
hath seen God ; you may take it of all creatures at any time. ' The only- 
begotten Son, which is in the boso^n of the Father, he hath declared him.' 
If angels had seen God as Christ seeth him, they might have declared him : 
it had not been Christ's peculiar prerogative to help us to that sight, if the 
angels had had the fulness of that beatifical vision which the Lord Jesus 
Christ hath, and bringeth all unto at last. 

And, my brethren, I will give you this reason for it. (Another scripture 
there is, it is Ps. xvi., it is a psalm of Christ, and he it is that saith, ' At thy 
right hand there is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore ;' he was able 
first to speak that speech.) There is, I say, the greatest reason for it that 
can be. The angels did not, by the law of their creation, receive that full 
sight which now they have in heaven, not by the law of their creation ; 
though they that stood might have it at first, but it is probable otherwise. 
There is this evident reason, for otherwise those angels that fell had never 
fallen. Had they been filled with the sight of God which the saints of 
Leaven shall be for ever filled with, it had kept them from sinning. Why 1 
Because there had not been a possibility of thinking there was any other 
good, not a possibility of it. If the creature knew God to the uttermost, — 
knew God as we shall know him one day, as we are known of him, — and 
saw his face with that clearness as Christ, the saints, and angels in heaven 
now do, they could not have turned their thoughts upon anything else. 
Therefore you must suppose there was but such a sight and knowledge of 
God as they might entertain a thought of some better good thing ; for the 

EpH. L 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 181 

■will of any creature, whetlier sinning or otherwise, must still be pitclied 
upon some good. Therefore the school-men do rightly say that the utmost 
beatifical vision of God doth captivate, doth swallow up the mind. When 
we see God to the full, we shall be so in love with him that the heart shall 
never turn off from him. That ' fulness of pleasure,' those ' rivers of joy,' 
carry the soul away with a torrent for ever ; it can never go back against 
the stream. The love of God constraineth. Now you see the angels did 
fall, and therefore certainly that fulness of the sight of God they had not ; 
and if it had been by virtue of their creation they would have had it. To 
think that it should be by their own works, we know no such covenant ; it 
is that, as you see, that is proper to the Lord Jesus Christ so to see God, he 
only Ijing in his bosom : by virtue of him men see God, and shall see God ; 
by \'irtue of him angels see God. 

And so much now for that, why there w^as a necessity of their being 
gathered unto Christ, as unto a head, a second time : both that they might 
have confirmation in grace, that God might put trust in them ; and, secondly, 
that they might have fulness of glory, and that beatifical vision, that might 
make them impeccable, and without danger of sinning for ever. 

There is yet somewhat more in that first of Colossians, (I confess I need 
not meddle with it, for it is out of my text, but yet it cometh fitly in.) It 
is said, 'He reconciled aU things, both in heaven and in earth.' Inter- 
preters are very shy here of interpreting it of angels, because they needed^ 
they say, no reconciliation, for reconciliation doth suppose enmity. Therefore 
to speak to this a little. 

This reconciliation, you see, is more than a second gathering ; what need 
had they of this 1 Bishop Davenant saith of it that there was reconciliatio 
analogica, something that had the shadow of it, something like it. I shall 
give you my sense of it thus : when God had experience that the angels 
fell ftom him, and fell from him so at a clap, Why, might he think, they 
will all serve me thus, if they be left to the law of their creation ; they may 
drop away thus, and turn rebels one after another, and as I have lost man, 
so I may lose all the angels too ; it is in their nature to do it, the creature 
is apt to do it ; I see experience in some of their natures already, made of 
the same metal with them. Now, my brethren, this must needs be supposed, 
that God is not contented with his creature, taken merely in itself, it breedeth 
a kind of simuUas, a kind — I cannot call it of grudge, because there is no 
sin — but a kmd of unsatisfiedness and displicence. Therefore the Scripture 
doth not only speak of the evil angels that fell, that God put no confidence 
in them ; but it speaks plainly of the good angels, that God put no confi- 
dence in them, seeing the evil angels' fall. Job xv. 15, compared with that 
place I quoted before. Job iv. 1 8, ' Behold,' saith he, ' he putteth no trust in 
his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight: how much more 
abominable and filthy is manl' Whom doth he call samts here? He 
meaneth the angels. It is the same paralleled speech with the other, * He 
put no trust in his servants, and his angels he chargeth with folly.' And it 
is plain he meaneth the angels by saints here, for he opposeth them to man ; 
' how much more abominable and filthy is man 1 ' They are called in Scrip- 
ture the saints of God oftentimes, as in Dan. viii. 13, 'I heard one saint 
speaking, and another saint said to that certain saint that spake,' &a 
Then saith he, 'the heavens are not clean in his sight.' By heavens he 
meaneth angels too, or at leastwise they may be meant by heavens, for in 
Scripture often they are ; as the devils are called the gates of hell, so the 
angels are caUed heaven, from the place where they arc 


Now, Baitli he, these heavens, these heavenly creatures, these holy ones, 
the angels, they are not clean in his sight ; he seeth a possibility in them of 
sinning. And as he repented that he made man when he saw man fall from 
him, so when he saw some of the angels fall from him, there was just ground 
of repenting for making angels ; for, saith he, all these may fall too, if let 
alone. He could take no contentment in them. Here is some ground for a 
reconciliation, to take away all this discontent. God could not love them 
perfectly, unless they could stand for ever. Why ? Because he must so 
love as some time he must hate ; and that, you know, is not every way per- 
fect love ; amare tanquam aliquando osurus. Therefore now, as it is not 
only called mercy to deliver the creature out of misery, but it is truly mercy 
to prevent from misery; it is more than goodness to do so — it is mercy. 
Mercy respecteth misery, either misery that it may fall into, as well as mercy 
to deliver out of it ; it is analogically mercy, though the other is more pro- 
perly mercy. So there is qucedam analogica reconciliatio ; whether this 
was by the blood of Christ or no, I will not now stand to dispute. This is 
certain, Christ needed not to have died to preserve angels in their standing ; 
the necessity was only on man's part for satisfaction ; there is a plain place 
for it, 2 Cor. v. 14, 'In that he died for all, we conclude that all were dead.' 
That he died thus out of necessity, it must be for them only that are dead. 
Yet, dying for men, there might be this overplus in it, that for the merit of 
his obedience' sake, he having relation to angels, they might have, not a satis- 
faction, but a benefit by it. And if it be true, which some divines — not 
Papists only — say, that he did mereri sibi, merit for himself, he hath the 
benefit of his death ; being exalted on high, he hath a double right to glory; 
so likewise he might for them too. — And so I have done with this thing, 
things in heaven, the angels ; and thus much for them. 

I will but anticipate a use, or observation or two. 

Ohs. 1. — The first is this, Has God now purposed in himself, as the text 
(CUeth you here, such a great and vast price as this is, and is this the story 
of the purpose of his heart ? (and I have not told it out.) My brethren, I 
appeal to you aU, whether the heart of man could ever have invented such a 
story as this is : One God, making the creature one with himself; and, the 
creature falling from him, making him one again ; in making of all things, in 
summing up of all in Christ, that is the founder of this gathering again, 
making up a body of all things in heaven and in earth unto the Lord Jesus 
Christ. I cannot stand to lay open the particulars of it ; you have heard it. 
The text saith, ' He purposed it in himself ; ' it could have come into no 
one's heart but his; it was hid in God, it was purj)osed in himself; the 
'wisdom of God,' therefore, it is called, Eph. iii. 10. 

Dost thou not beheve that there is a God ? Come hither, let this con- 
vince thee. Could all intelligible natures, all reasonable creatures, invent 
such a story as this 1 You think the Gunpowder- Plot to have been a plot 
so desperate that it must have been hatched in hell, it could not be formed 
in any man's bram. My brethren, this plot here could be hatched nowhere 
but in heaven, and in the heart of God. Go, and take angels and men, lay 
all your heads together and make such another. Such a God, such a Christ, 
thus great, having such a kingdom made out of all, both in heaven and 
earth, scattered from him, and reduced again ; how infinitely doth this set 
out God and Christ ! It is beyond the thoughts of men and angels to invent 
such a thing as this. No story ever had such a winding up as this. Eead 
aU histories, all romances, that men are pleased withal, they have not the 
shadow of such a plot as this. Take aU the plots of all the great ones of the 

EpH. I, 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 183 

earth, and all their petty plots come to nothing. The wisdom of the world 
is foolishness in comparison of this. We preach wisdom, saith the Apostle, 
in a mystery, which none of the princes of the world knew ; their wisdom 
comes to nothing before this, it all vanisheth. To set up so great a monarch 
that hath alliance to all his subjects, and to make him king of all the world, 
of both worlds, and to have some out of all in heaven and in earth to be 
made subjects unto him, and he in his own person to have all things in him ; 
and they falling from God, he being able to knit them all again a second 
time. ' Without controversy,' saith he, 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' great is the mystery 
of godliness.' What is it ? This very thing I have spoken of. It is first, 
* God manifested in the flesh,' God and man summed up in one. It could 
never have entered into the heart of man or angel to have a thought that the 
Son of God should have taken a creature up into his own person thus, and 
such a creature as all should be summed up in him. ' Justified in the Spirit,' 
that is, at his resurrection. * Seen of angels,' to be their head. ' Preached 
unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world,' to be the head of them on earth 
by faith too. This is a mystery without controversy ; no man that readeth 
it or heareth it, but he must fall down before it. This is not man ; this is 
not the wit of angels ; this is, without controversy, from an omniscient un- 
derstanding that knoweth all things, and hath infinite depth in him. Nay, 
my brethren, of all the arguments that ever fell upon my understanding to 
convince me that there is a God, there is none like unto this. 

Obs. 2. — A second observation is this. See the several steps of the good- 
ness of God to his creatures in these three particulars, which that which I 
have handled doth shew. First, there is his simple goodness as he is a 
Creator, communicating himself unto them as to creatures by the law of 
creation, but not beyond their due as creatures. This was the state of 
Adam in innocency, and this was the state of the angels that fell. Then, 
secondly, there is a further degree of goodness shewed, — which becometh 
grace, which hath a peculiarness in it, it is supernatural, it is beyond the 
common tie of creation, — to keep them from falling ; this he shewed to the 
angels that stood, when he let the other fall, which prevented them from 
falling. Well, but there is a third degree beyond all ; that is, when actually 
they did fall, as the elect of the sons of men did, then here is riches of mercy, 
to gather them all to himself, in him again, and that by his blood. This is 
the mercy, this is the top of the mercies of God ; and the truth is, to shew 
forth this, he shut up all under sin, that he might have mercy upon all. It 
was but to shew mercy so much the further. There was his mercy in pre- 
venting this, but there is infinite depth of mercy in recovering out of this ; 
when they were all scattered from him, to gather them together again. 



According to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself, in the 
dispensation of the fulness of times to gather together in one all things in 
Ch'ist, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth ; even in him. 
— Ver. 10. 

These words, as I have formerly, in opening the coherence of them, shewed, 
do hold forth the full purpose, the whole birth, that lay hid in God's eternal 
purposes and decrees. All that God purposed, both concerning Christ and 
concerning us, — him as a Head, and us as members, — are all gathered into 
this one expression, ' He purposed to gather all in one in Christ, both things 
in heaven and things on earth.' That by things in heaven are meant angels, 
I have shewed. That by things on earth are meant men, I have shewed 
also. There are ' all things in heaven,' for there are several offices of angels 
at least ; and there are ' all things on earth,' there are several sorts of men. 
Now, God hath gathered together all things in one. The great thing to be 
opened, as I promised at first, which containeth in it all that God intended 
both toward Christ and us, is this word, which is translated to gather togetlier 
in one, ava-/.'.(ta.\aidjsa(!6c/.i. It is a teeming word, a pregnant word, that con- 
taineth all that God intended toward Christ and us in the womb of it. 

At the first, I did give you four approved significations of it, that none 
that knoweth and studieth the meaning of the word can deny. 

The first ; it signifieth a summing up, a casting up of several figures into 
one total sum. 

The second is, it is a gathering together of several members or parts unto 
one head. 

The third, which is rather an addition unto the second ; it is a gathering 
of them again. There is rha, a doing of it the second time. 

The fourth is, a reducing things unto their first 2>rinciples, to their first 
2state, instaurare, as I shall shew you anon. 

I gave you these, when I made entrance into the words, to be the four 
several meanings of it. There is a fifth, which I wUl not stand upon. And 
these four contain all that God intended both towards Christ and us. 

First, as a foundation to the great restoration of all things, the great re- 
capitulation and gathering of all under one head, God layeth this founda- 
tion — he summeth up all things in Christ's person. He wa^ to make him a 
head, and he would make him a head that should partake of all the body ; 
one that should be a fit and a meet head, fit to be King of both worlds. 
He casteth up, summeth up in him, into one total, all divisions whatsoever, 
all things in earth and all things in heaven. 

He summeth up in him God and the creature. That was the first great 

He summeth up in him the nature of man and the condition of angels ; 
for he is a heavenly man and far above angels. It is his due, and he pos- 
sesseth it now. 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 185 

He summetli up, in man's nature assumed, both Jew and Gentile ; for lie 
came of both. 

Thus he cast up all sorts of divisions into one total sum in Christ's person 
first, and made that a foundation unto a second ; and that is this, to gather 
together all things in earth and in heaven under one head, that is both 
head of angels and men ; that angels and men do make up one great 
association under this one Head and Monarch, Christ ; and that of all sorts 
of angels, and of all sorts of men, make what division you will, — nations, 
tongues, kindreds, sinners, ranks, whatsoever, — he gathereth together of all 
such, and makes up a body to Christ. That is the second. 

The third was this, which I entered upon in the last discourse, that he 
hath made a second gathering of all things in one. In Christ there is a 
second gathering. There is a twofold union of creatures reasonable, with 
God, and amongst themselves, a first and a second ; ava. is not to be lost. 
Yea, and he hath gathered together again the second time after a scattering, 
when they were dispersed, broken all in pieces ; he makes up all again in 
Christ, to make his glory so much the more illustrious. 

In the first place there was a first gathering of all things unto God, as 
under a head, which was that gathering of all in heaven and in earth by the 
law of creation ; which I explained in four things. 

First, that both angels and men were, by that law of creation, united to 
God. It was their due so to be ; a natm-al due, if he would make them 
creatures reasonable. 

Yet, secondly, so, as they were both united to God, but by the same Uke 
common tie, they might both fall in pieces. 

Then, thirdly, there was a peace between both these among themselves, if 
not an association ; which indeed the Scripture holds not forth ; but a peace 
there was. 

And then, fourthly, in some respect this might be said to be in Christ ; 
not as a head undertaking for both, but by his natural due. It was his 
right, if he were to be a creature, to be the head of ^-hat creation, the ' be- 
ginning of the creation of God,' as he is called, Kev. iii. 24. 

Now, I shewed there is a second gathering in Christ, as a head under- 
taking both for men and angels. 

First, for the angels' parts, it was the thing I shewed you, the necessity of 
second union, and that in Christ. I cannot stand to repeat the particulars. 
They needed both confirming grace, as I shewed out of Job iv. 18, com- 
pared with Job XV. 15. They needed elevating grace, to that fulness of the 
vision of God which is only Christ's natural due, as John i. 18, ' None hath 
seen the Father,' — it is not only no man, but it is ohhig, none, — but only by 
way of participation from him who lay in the bosom of the Father. There 
is a \dsion of God which the angels were not created unto, which in Christ 
they are raised up unto. 

Then, again, I shewed there was a kind of reconciliation of them, a 
gathering together in that respect, as the phrase, Col. i. 20, importeth, 
where all things are said to be reconciled, both in heaven and in earth. It 
is not a proper reconciliation indeed ; but when God saw that his angels 
served him so, the most part of them, he chargeth the rest with folly. It 
was in their nature to do it, he could not trust them ; it might have made 
him repent that ever he made angels. Christ takes this off", it is not an 
actual falling, but a possible faUing, and fixeth them to God for ever. Thus 
he gathered all things in heaven to himself by a second gathering , for that 
is the point 


Now, that whicli I am to handle is tins, That there is a second gathering 
of men, of all livings on earth ; and that is clearer than the other, 

God doth not preserve men only from a danger of scattering by a second 
union with himself in and through Christ, but he actually preserveth them. 
He sheweth not his grace of preservation only ; he withdraweth, or he leaveth 
them unto themselves, suffereth them all to turn head against him, to turn 
rebels, to the end he might get glory by a further degree of grace toward 
them, to shew forth the riches of his mercy in their recovery. 

And, my brethren, this gathering of all thmgs on earth in Christ, of men 
to himself, is the great gathering of all the rest. It was the greatest work 
of Christ. That of angels was but an overflow of it, cast into the bargain, 
to confirm them ; but that which did draw forth all that was in Christ, to 
satisfy his Father, was to reconcile men unto him. This was the great 
scattering, for it divided heaven from earth, angels from men, men amongst 
themselves, as I shall shew you by and by. Therefore, when this cometh to 
be added unto the other, it makes it an universal gathering : it makes Christ 
a catholic King, the only catholic King, the only universal Head, to all 
things in heaven and in earth, when all come in again to him, 

I shall explain or present unto you this gathering again in one of all 
things, all sorts of men on earth, by these four particulars : — 

I. I told you, first, it implied a dispersion, a scattering ; therefore I will 
briefly lay forth the desperate, miserable, forlorn, scattered condition of the 
sons of men, by the sin of Adam; how all in earth and in heaven were 
fallen in pieces, divided, and at enmity. 

II. I shall, secondly, shew you the making up of all this again ; what a 
complete, full, and entire gathering together in one there is of all that were 

III. And then, thirdly, because God's second works always exceed the 
first, therefore this gathering again is with an addition of a more near, and 
entire, and more glorious union than at first ; a more indissoluble union, 
never to part again. 

IV. And, fourthly, that all this was done in Christ, or by Christ, as you 
shall hear anon ; and by what it was in Christ that all was thus gathered 
together, when they were all scattered and broken in pieces. 

These are the four heads which I shall now insist upon ; and all are 
necessary to open this text. 

I. First, I shall shew yon the division, the scattering, that was of things on 
earth, both from what is in heaven, and from amongst themselves. 

First, What is in heaven ? There is God there, he is the chief in heaven. 
Why, they were all cut off from God. It is called a 'departing' from God, 
in Jer, xvii, 5, and Heb. iii. 12. It is called a 'going astray, like sheep,' 
after a thousand vanities, in Isa. liii. 6, ' This people,' saith he, Jer. v. 23, 
' hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone;' clean 
gone from God, and gone for ever, if God take not the care of them : so the 
phrase is there. And, Col. i. 21, there are three degrees, which indeed com- 
prehend all : ' You were,' saith he, ' alienated and enemies ; ' once they were 
friends, God and they were one ; now they are strangers ; not only so, but 
* enemies in their minds;' yea, thirdly, 'in evd works,' aU sort of hostility, not 
only in outward actions, but in inward dispositions ; and by means of this, 
an eternal wall of separation is set up between God and man, Isa. lix. 2. 

Here now is one division, all on earth cut off from him, ' without God in 
the world;' it is the expression the Apostle useth, Eph. ii. 12. 

Secondly, What else is there in heaven? There are angels. Men are 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 187 

scattered utterly from them, because, as I told you, though there were not 
an association, yet there was a peace ; though there were two worlds 
divided, distinct, though there was no trade, yet there was no enmity. But 
through man's fall there was ; for the angels cannot but hate where God 
hateth, and they cannot but be angry where God is angry. And therefore 
you read, Gen. iii. 24, when man by sin was cast out of paradise, then cheru- 
bim came, with their swords turned everj' way to keep man out, with their 
swords drawn upon him. You never read of angels till then. When Balaam 
went on in a perverse way. Num. xxii. 22, it is said, ' The angel of the Lord 
stood in the way for an adversary against him.' They are adversaries, they 
are enemies to men in their evil courses and ways ; and howsoever some 
divines have thought that all executions of judgments here below have been 
by evil angels, yet the Scripture evidently sheweth that they ordinaiily and 
mostly be good ; we have more instances of the one than the other. Those 
that destroyed Sodom were good angels, and Lot entertained them as such : 
' The Lord,' say they, ' hath sent us to destroy Sodom,' Gen. xix. 13. They 
were angels created ; therefore, Heb. xiii. 2, Lot is said to have ' entertained 
angels.' The like may be said of that, 1 Chron. xxL 15 ; of that that 
struck Herod, Acts xii. 23 ; and of that smote the camp of the Assyrians, 
2 Kings xix. 35. It is evident, for in all those places they are still called 
the angel of the Lord, which is never spoken of Satan. 

There is once, indeed, mention of an ' evil spirit ' from the Lord, but it is 
with an addition of evil ; but the angels of the Lord are still good angels. 
And that angel that destroyed Jerusalem, which David saw with a drawn 
sword in his hand stretched out over the city, 1 Chron. xxi. 15, was evi- 
dently a good angel; for, ver. 18, he directs Gad to teU Da\id where the 
temple should stand, and biddeth him worship ; which an evU angel, God 
would never have used him to do it. 

And, my brethren, if men be enemies to the Church of God, as wicked 
men by nature are, angels will revenge it. * Take heed,' saith Christ, Matt, 
xviii. 10, ' that you offend not one of these little ones ;' and he giveth the 
reason of it ; ' for,' saith he, ' their angels do always behold the face of my 
Father which is in heaven :' they have angels that take their part. Thus 
they are enemies in this life unto wicked men ; and at the day of judgment, 
you shall read in Matt. xiii. 41, 42, 49 : ' The angels are the reapers,' saith 
he, ver. 39 ; and he sheweth there how they take the bodies and souls of 
wicked men. The good angels are their gatherers, but it is for hell. They 
gather aU together, and ' cast them into the furnace of fire ; there shall be 
wailing and gnashing of teeth.' It is attributed unto the angels. 

Thus you see, I say, that angels and men are at odds, and aU by sin ; aU 
is broken now. God is gone, angels are divided from us, and at enmity 
with us. All in heaven and earth is broken to pieces. 

Well, come to things on earth ; nothing but divisions there. There is not 
A man in the world but by nature is divided from all men. ' We, like sheep, 
have gone astray, every one after his own way ; ' so it is Isa. liii. 6. All 
went one way once, we all cleaved to God ; we have left God, and are fallen 
all in pieces. ' God made man righteous ; ' there was but one way then, for 
80 the opposition implieth ; ' but they have sought out many inventions,' 
even as many as there are men, Eccles. vii. 29 ; and, Tit. iii. 3, * serving 
divers lusts and pleasures.' 

Then again, secondly, men are at enmity one with another, it is certain, 
more or less, homo homini lupus. Tit. iii. 3, *We,' saith he, describing 
man's natural condition, — * We ourselves lived in malice and in envy, hateful, 


and hating one anotlier.' Hateful every man is to another more or less, he 
is hated of another, and he hateth another more or less ; and if his nature 
were let out to the full, there is that in him, * every man is against every 
man,' as it is said of Ishmael. Self-love, my brethren, that ruleth all the 
world, is the greatest monopolist that ever was in the world. ' Men shall 
be lovers of themselves,' as you have it 2 Tim. iii. 2, 3 ; and what follow- 
eth 1 ' Covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, with- 
out natural affection, truce-breakers,' &c. Self-love breaks all bonds; all 
things in earth are scattered. 

Go amongst all nations; there is nothing else but a fatal confusion 
amongst them ; the Jew at enmity with the Gentile, and the Gentile with 
the Jew. All have heard how the Scripture sets it out, they were an abomi- 
nation and curse each to other ; of which I have treated elsewhere.* 

And, thirdly, in religions, nothing but divisions, before our Lord and 
Saviour Christ came in the fulness of time. Look upon all nations, so many 
nations, so many gods ; nay, so many cities, so many gods, as it is Jer. ii. 28 ; 
nay, so many families, so many gods ; there was not a family but chose a 
several god to itself ; and therefore, 1 Cor. viii. 5, ' there are lords many, 
and gods many.' Many indeed ; for there was as many almost as there 
were men to worship them ; each chose what god he pleased. And the 
Apostle in that place I last quoted, if you read it, you shall find, instanceth 
in both things in heaven and things in earth. All things in heaven and in 
earth, from stars to serpents that creep on the earth, the very onions were 
made gods amongst them ! Thus was all the world divided ; this was the 
shattered condition of all mankind, of all things in earth, whf^n Jesus 
Christ came. 

Nay, my brethren, fourthly, there is another division yet. There was a fatal 
sentence to scatter men's souls from their bodies, their bodies to go to the 
grave, and to return to dust, which also is scattered up and down with winds, 
God knows where, and their souls to hell ; called their own place. 

And, lastly, to conclude ; by all these gatherings, they are gathered to the 
devil, as their head and prince, though they know not of it ; who is the 
prince of the world, that rules it ; and the ' god of this world,' that is wor- 
shipped by the ' children of disobedience.' What a miserable shattering is 
here ; all in earth broken in pieces, and all in heaven ! And thus have I 
represented to you the state and condition of man dispersed. 

II. JVow I must shew you, secondly, that Jesus Christ hath made all one 
again; I must go over all these particulars, and make it good; that is the 
second thing. 

First, as I told you, all things on earth were cut off from God. What 
doth Christ do first 1 He makes peace with God, that was the great busi- 
ness of all the rest ; make peace with him, and all else will fall in. This 
Christ did. Col. i. 20, ' Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by 
him to reconcile aU things unto himself, whether they be things in earth, or 
things in heaven.' Here you see it ; I need name no more scriptures, for I 
might give you many for it. 

In the second place, angels come to be reconciled ; you heard before 
they were enemies. I will shew you it in the general first, and secondly in 
the particulars. 

First, in the general. They were enemies before, you heard; you shall see 
that the angels in Christ are made friends to souls and bodies. Read 
Luke XV. 8-10 : Christ makes there a comparison of a woman that had lost 
* Yide Sermon of Christ's being the Universal Peacemaker, on Eph. ii. 14. 


her groat, and she lights a candle and sweeps her house; and when she had 
found it, she calls in her friends and neighbours, and, said she, ' Rejoice with 
me, for I have found my gToat which was lost.' Who are those friends'? the 
next words shew that they are angels ; for it is added in the very nest verse, 
' There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over a sinner that repenteth/ 
They are made friends you see, the text is express for it. And in token of 
it what do they 1 Look in the second of Luke ; they are so far friends, that 
as soon as they knew the Saviour of the world was born, they came fljdng 
down, a whole troop of them, — their hearts were full of it, — to bring men the 
news of it ; and to shew their rejoicing, they sing ; they were glad at heart, 
and sing, ' Peace on earth, good-will towards men.' They are the first 
messengers of that glad tidings: ver. 10, 'Suddenly there was with the angel 
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying. Glory to God in 
the highest, peace on earth, and good- will towards men.' 

Everywhere you shall find angels described throughout the whole Scrip- 
ture to be the heavenly host, because they are the men of war, they are the 
militia of heaven, to speak in the language of the age ; so they are called in 
that second of Luke, and they are everywhere else so called : 1 Kings xxii. 
19, 2 Kings \i. 17, Matt. xxvi. 53. Christ calls them legions, as the devils 
are called. Now, my brethren, what do these angels that were soldiers, 
enemies, warriors against devils and men? They come in all their warlike habit 
and attire down to earth, and proclaim peace. It became them so to do. ' A 
multitude of heavenly soldiers,' saith he, ' praising God, and saying, Glory,' &c. 
What do they say? God is at peace with men, and we are at peace with 
men; we are in our armour still, but it is to fight for this gospel we preach. 
As in the Revelation, ' I am thy fellow-servant,' saith he, ' and of thy brethren, 
that have the testimony of Jesus.' If any man have the testimony of Jesus 
and hold it forth ; if you be for Jesus, we are for Jesus and for you too, 
saith he. Angels and men are friends : Ps. xxxiv. 7, ' They encamp about 
the saints.' All that heavenly host turn aU their weapons now for Christ, 
and for the saints. Therefore, when Aliab went to fight, in that 1 Kings xxii. 
19, the whole host of heaven appeared; for the whole host of heaven standeth 
ready to defend the gospel; they are all friends to Christ and the saints; so 
that you see that all in heaven is for them. See another place. Gen. xxxiL 
1, 2. When poor Jacob went out to meet Esau, he went out trembling 
before ; but the angels of God met him, and saith he, ' This is God's host ;' 
there were two hosts of them, Mahanaim, two troops, so he calleth them. 

Now, what is the cause of this, that angels come thus to be reconciled 
with us ; that they come down iipon the earth to serve men, and to be 
friends with them thus? It is Christ. Gen. xxviii. 12, Jacob saw a ladder 
that touched heaven and touched earth. Who is that ladder ? Christ him- 
self is that ladder, and himself interpreteth it so, John i. 51, ' You shall 
see the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man,' as they did 
there ascend and descend upon that ladder that appeared to Jacob. The 
ladder, it touched heaven, it touched earth, for Jesus Christ hath both in 
him ; he is a heavenly man, and he hath the nature of a man, he hath made 
up heaven and earth. You heard before how Christ was partaker of both 
natures, and by the one he hath a foot on earth, whereof the top is in 
heaven ; and it is he that hath made the highway between heaven and earth 
an open passage. Therefore now angels are reconciled to men, heaven is 
reconciled to earth, and there is an intercourse, a trade, a highway, they 
ascend and descend familiarly ; it was there to defend Jacob, and for many 
other ends they do it. Before, you heard, they kept man out of Paradise 


with a sword ; but now you read, that they carry into Paradise the souls of 
men : as of Lazarus, Luke xvi. 22, and at the latter day, as in Matt. xxiv. 31, 
* And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they 
shall gather together hia elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven 
to the other.' 

This is the general. Now see it in the particulars, that angels are, in all 
the particulars wherein they are at enmity that I instanced in, reconciled to 
men. In the first place, I told you before that they execute judgments and 
plagues. It was a good angel that destroyed in Jerusalem with the plague. 
Now read Ps. xci. 10, 11, it is a pat instance of the contrary : * There shall 
no evil befall thee, neither shall the plague come nigh thy dwelling : for he 
shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.' You 
heard before that when man fell and was cast out of Paradise, angels stood 
there with a flaming sword to keep him out. Now you shall see the angels 
stand to let him in. Eev. xxi. 12, describing there the new Jerusalem, he 
saith there were 'twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels.' It was 
Paradise, as appears, chap. xxii. 14, because there was the tree of life, for so it 
is described : ' Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may 
have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the 
city.' It is an allusion to Paradise ; there angels kept out, here angels carry 
in. The angels, you know, fetched the soul of Lazarus, and carried it into 
Abraham's bosom, Luke xvi. And so at the latter day, Matt. xxiv. 31, the 
angels shall take the saints that rise, and bring them all to Christ ; so the 
text saith there. Here you see it, I say, in all the particulars wherein they 
are enemies, how they are made friends. Here is then angels and men re- 
conciled after being broken to pieces. 

Well, I shewed you in the third place, that all on earth were shattered to 
pieces, the Jew from the Gentile, one man from another. Now Christ hath 
made up this di^^.sion too. Take any man, my brethren, that is the greatest 
enemy to any ; let them have had the most desperate enmity that ever was 
between two mortal men ; let these two men be turned to God, let them 
meet in Christ, they TiU love one another, it is certain. Take a godly man, 
set before him the greatest enemy he hath in the earth ; do but put that 
question to him, "What will you say if this man should be turned to God ? 
Oh, saith he, I could fall down before him ! He would do anything in the 
world to procure it and bring it about. 

My brethren, the Jew and the Gentile were two, so they are called ; it is 
the very word used, Eph. ii. 15. They were two indeed, saith he, ' He hath 
made of twain one,' he hath reconciled both. Christ did it ; it was by the 
blood of his cross he broke down the partition wall The ihgotoi'/ov, the 
partition wall, of the ceremonial law is broken down : which is elegantly sig- 
nified, alluding to the wall in the temple that kept the Gentiles from the 
Court of the Jews. The Jews were such enemies to the Gentiles, that they 
could not endure the gospel to be preached to them. They were aU ' fiUed 
with envy ;' so you read in the Acts the carnal Jews were. Well, but when 
Peter goeth and preacheth the gospel to the Gentiles, what say the godly 
Jews? See what they say. Acts xi. 18, good souls, 'When they heard these 
things,' — namely, that the Gentiles believed, that is the context, — ' they held 
their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God given also unto the 
Gentiles repentance unto life.' They fell down and glorified God. Here 
Jew and Gentile, that would not eat one with another before, are made 
friends; now they eat together at the same table, at the same Lord's Supper. 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 191 

Now there is one body, one supper, one sacrament, one God, one Lord Jesus 
Christ, both. Jew and Gentile one. 

Go over particulars. Amongst the Jews themselves there were great divi- 
sions. There was the ten tribes opposite to the two tribes. Ephraim and 
Judah extremely opposite ; you have it, Isa. xi. 1 3. He speaks there of the 
envy of Ephraim, and how they were adversaries to Judah ; but I will order 
it so, saith he, that ' the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of 
Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not 
vex Ephraim.' This is in Christ ; for if you mark it, he speaks of the ' root 
of Jesse' in the 10th verse. Here now both these are reconciled. You have 
the like, Ezek. xxxvii. 19. There are two sticks, the one is Ephraim, and 
the other is Judah. Take these sticks, saith he, and make them one ; for I 
will make them one nation, and they shall have one king, and they shall be 
no more divided into two kingdoms. You may read it there at large, ver. 
21-24. And you read how these are scattered as dry bones used to be ; so 
as none knows who these Jews of the ten tribes are, as in a charnel-house 
none knows what bones are of such and such men. ' These bones are the 
whole house of Israel,' saith God to the prophet, ver. 11. Bones that were 
dried, their hope lost and cut off, and they scattered one from another. 

Well, you heard that the Gentiles were dispersed one amongst another, 
and had a thousand religions ; by the death of Jesus Christ they are all 
gathered into one. Take one place for it ; it is John xi. 50, 51. The high 
priest there prophesying of Christ's death, and shewing the end of it, saith 
he, ' It is necessary that Jesus should die for this nation,' (for the Jews.) 
And what followeth, added by the Evangelist 1 It may be it was the pro- 
phecy of the high priest at that time, but this foUoweth : ' and not for this 
nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of 
God that were scattered abroad,' AU the Gentiles that were scattered, 
scattered in place, scattered in religion, thus divided, Christ dieth to gather 
them together in one, aU them that belong to God's election, both in that 
age, and in aU ages to the end of the world. Therefore now, when Christ 
came into the world you have it fulfilled ; m the apostles' time there were as 
many gods as men, as many gods as cities, as many gods as families, — 1 Cor. 
viii. 5, 'There are lords many, and gods many,' — as many as there were 
' things in heaven and things in earth,' as I said before he intimateth it there. 
Their religion lay in having lords that were mediators unto their gods. But, 
saith he now to us, ' There is but one God, and there is but one Lord.' This 
alteration did God make in the very apostles' times. And, my brethren, let 
me add this to it. Since the greatest part of the world hath one God, 
though it have not one Lord ; the Turks and we have one God, we have not 
one Lord indeed ; but yet over all Turkey, over all the Roman empire, there 
is still one God to this day, and those heathen gods are all gone. 

Thus he hath gathered together things in earth in one, in Jesus Christ ; 
he hath reconciled the nations ; and he wiU never leave till such time as he 
hath been the God of the whole earth, of the whole world. He saith, Isa. 
xi 9, when both Jew and Gentile shall come in, that ' the earth shall be full of 
the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.' Tsa. liv. 5, he saith 
that ' the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of the 
whole earth.' Dan. vii. 14, 27, he saith, there shall come a kingdom, after 
all the kingdoms, after the fourth monarchy, which is now a-destroying, (for 
the Pope is the last head of it,) — there shall come a kingdom of all nations, 
and tongues, and languages, and they shall serve him, and he shall possess 


all tlie kingdoms under the whole heavens, (it is not a kingdom in heaven.) 
He shall gather aU in one, and there shall be but one kingdom, and one Lord, 
through the whole earth. This God will do in the end. Thus you see, I 
say, that Jesus Christ hath reconciled all on earth, he hath made them up all 
again ; he meaneth to do it by the virtue of his death. 

Well, there was one division more that I named ; as great a scattering as 
any of the former is not yet made up : and it is of things that are yet both 
in heaven and earth, and remain divided one from another ; and it is of the 
saints from the very beginning of the world, and will continue so to the very 
end. For death and the grave hold and keep the bodies of them, remaining 
still in the earth, whilst their souls, being ' spirits made perfect,' are lodged 
together in heaven. Here is a great scattering. All the patriarchs that did 
die before Christ came, all that have died since, their bodies are in one place, 
and their souls in another ; one is in heaven, and the other is laid in the 
grave, and there resteth. Death hath scattered all the saints into two worlds, 
it hath reigned over all ; and though he will be the God of all the earth, and 
join all nations together, yet souls and bodies are still divided of all that are 
dead, and of all the saints from the beginning of the world, and that shall 
be to the end. Now, what will Jesus Christ do 1 He will raise up all, and 
bring them all together, make up that division too. 1 Thess. iv. 16, com- 
pared with Matt. xxiv. 31. He saith there, the angels shall go into all the 
four corners of the world, when the great sound of the trumpet cometh, — he 
speaks of the latter day, — ' and they shall gather together his elect from the 
four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.' 

My brethren, the bodies of the elect, where are they ? Some burnt and 
turned to ashes, all dispersed into the elements ; who knoweth where every 
man's body is, and all the parts of it 1 All those atoms, all those bones, will 
God bring together again, and gather them all in one, and join their souls to 
them, and, saith he, we shall ever be with the Lord. There wUl be then a 
gathering together that shall never be dissolved. Thus, I say, he hath 
gathered together all in one that were all shattered and fallen to pieces. 

III. The third head, as I told you, was this, That this second gathering shall 
exceed the first infinitely. I mentioned four particulars, you know, to explain. 
First, that all were fallen in pieces ; secondly, that all shall be gathered to- 
gether again ; and that this second gathering shall exceed the first. It ex- 
ceedeth it in two tilings ; I will name no more. It exceedeth, first, in sure- 
ness and stability. That same first union with God by creation was upon 
slippery grounds. ' He putteth,' saith he, ' no trust in his saints,' Job xv. 15. 
He could trust none of them. He could not send an angel down, — for he 
speaks of angels there, as I shewed before, — he could not send them on 
an errand to earth, but they might have fallen and been in hell before they 
came up again. It was a slippery knot, that of creation. But now they are 
headed in Christ. God would never trust creature more, he will make sure 
v.'ork ; and what doth he ? He headeth them all in Christ ; and what saith 
Christ ? ' My sheep shall no man take out of my hand.' If angels and men 
be once bottomed on Christ, they can never be parted again. Who shall 
separate us, now we are again the second time gathered, from the love of God 
in Christ ? It exceedeth in sureness, you see. 

It exceedeth in nearness of the union too. We have a more near union 
with God, and one with another, than we had. First, a nearer union one 
with another ; for in the first gathering by creation, as I told you at first, 
men and angels were at peace indeed, but they should have lived in two 
worlds. Man should have lived upon the earth, and they in heaven. They 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 193 

should not have come one at another, that is certain ; man was an earthly 
creature, and he must have continued upon earth, as I have often hinted out 
of 1 Cor. But when we are gathered together the second time, angels and 
men live together in one world : men shall be like angels. Matt. xxii. 30 ; 
they shall 'bear the image of the heavenly man,' 1 Cor. xv. 49 ; and 'we 
are come to angels,' Heb. xii. 22 ; and we shaU have places where they are, 
as I shewed out of Zech. iii. 7. There is a nearer union now one amono-st 
another than was before. And a nearer union with God too. For, my 
brethren, let me teU you this, that men that were thus shattered from God 
and fallen into this great misery, shall be raised up to the nearest union with 
God that can be; for aught I know, nearer than the angels. Rev. vii. 11, 
there is the throne ; the four beasts next that ; the four-and-twenty elders 
next them ; and the angels round about the throne and the elders. They 
are more remote from the throne than the beasts are, than the men are. 
Therefore, as I shewed before, Christ is our brother, which is nowhere said 
of angels ; they are nowhere called brother ; it is proper unto men, Heb. ii. 
Christ is our husband. It is not said of any of the angels that Christ is 
their husband, and that God is a Father to them by adoption through the 
marriage with Christ ; there is a nearer union that these scattered ones have 
with God through Christ, upon this second gathering. So there is the third 
head explained. 

IV. There is a fourth head, which shall be, and deserves to be, the coronis 
of this glorious story : Thet/ are said to be gathered together in Christ. 

Well, in Christ. What will this hold forth ? It holdeth forth that they 
are not only all gathered in Christ as unto a Head, but they are gathered by 
virtue of him. Not only gathered to him, but in him, efficiently, meritori- 
ously, by something he hath done to gather all together again, when they 
were all shattered in pieces. You heard how all things both in heaven and 
earth were gathered together and summed up in the person of Christ, who 
is the founder of this their gathering. We shaU now see that ere he him- 
self could effect a gathering together of aU in heaven and earth, himself 
must be made the subject of a fatal scattering ; and as the gathering of aU 
things in his person is the fundamental medium unioriis, means of union, of 
all things else that are united to God by him, that so this scattering is the 
means of all that reconciliation of things scattered, as hath been said, 
Christ had his ava too ; he had his gathering again in his own person ; and 
therefore a scattering first that befell his own person ; and what is true of us 
is first true of him. And by virtue of this it was that we were aU gathered ; 
for it is a sure rule, that what is done in us by him, the like was first done 
for us in Christ himself ; as, if we that are poor be made rich, it is because 
he that was rich was made poor. So in like manner, if he would gather all 
things that are out of himself into one in himself, himself must be scattered 
in himself. As his incarnation was the summing up of all, so his death 
the scattering of all, and his resurrection is his gathering of all again ; and 
we had not God's design complete without all these. Now, to shew that he 
was scattered and shattered in all but the personal union— 

First, That his dcith was a scattering of him ; it was a taking down all, 
as I may so express it. Indeed, the union could never be taken down ; the 
union with the Godhead could never be dissolved, but it went as near as 
possibly could be. You shall see the expression the Scripture hath, John 
XL 51, 52. When he speaks of gathering all in one that were dispersed, he 
saith he must do it by his death. It is necessary, saith ho, that Jesu3 
should die for that nation. < And not for that nation only ; but that alao he 
VOL. I. N 


should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.' 
You know that death is a separation of all things, and so it was to Christ. 
Were we cut off from God ? Look to that phrase, Dan. ix. 26, ' Messiah 
shall be cut off.' Tlicre was a division, a separation made. There were 
these three things summed up in him — God, the condition of angels, the 
nature of man. They are all dissolved, there was a kind of dissolution ; it 
came as nigh as could be, so as he might still hold a personal union, for that 
was necessary. 

First, God. God, you know, is called the Head of Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 3. 
Now, when Jesus Christ came to die, as we were cut off by sin from God 
our Head, so there was as near a cutting off of Christ from God as possibly 
could be. ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me 1 ' saith he. 
' My God, my God,' still ; yet he was turned enemy to him. Zech. xiii. 7, 
' Awake, thou sword, against the man that is my fellow.' He strikes him, 
i-unneth his sword through his soul. Here God was gone, yet God is his 
God still. You see here was one scattering of that was once summed up in 

Secondly, all the creatures left him ; first his disciples, as it followeth 
there in Zechariah, ' Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.' 
When he hung upon the cross, not an angel durst come to comfort him ; 
though whilst in his agony in the garden, when the curse came not on him 
unto its height, not so until he hung upon the tree ; and then when the 
curse came in its fulness upon him, no angel did or durst appear to comfort 
him. If the light of the sun would comfort hun, God withdrew it ; and, 
in Dan. ix. 26, it is expressly said the Messiah had nothing. So in your 

In the third place, he was born, as I said, unto the condition of angels. 
He was a heavenly man, ' the Lord from heaven,' 1 Cor. xv. ; and it was his 
due to be advanced, as now he is, ' far above all principality and power ; ' 
and therein he hath but his due. This I shewed at first, when I told you 
there was a summing up of all in him. Now what saith Heb. ii. 9 ? Saith 
he there, ' We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for 
the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour,' &c. To give you 
the exposition that learned Camero hath given it, and certainly it is the 
right ; the Apostle had shewed in the first chapter that Christ was above 
the angels, and that both as God and man it was his inheritance, his due, as 
he saith, ver. 4, 6. And, chap. ii. 5, he sheweth that the ' world to come ' 
is not put into subjection to the angels, but to Christ; ' so that,' saith he, 
' he hath that glory and that honour above the angels, as due to him.' What 
did God make him now 1 ' He made him,' saith he, ' lower than the angels,' 
when he came to die. You will say, ' a little lower.' But that same /3^a;i^u 
r/ is but for ' a little time ; ' per illud temjyus passionis, for the time of his 
suffering, that is the meaning of it ; for otherwise he was made a great deal 
lower than the angels. ' I am,' saith he, ' a worm and no man,' Ps. xxii. 6 ; 
that is lower than the angels, infinitely lower ; but /Sja;^u n, for ' a little 
whUe,' so interpreters many of them carry it. ' A little while,' saith he ; 
that is, while he suffered death, as Camero interpreteth it. That man that 
had an inheritance above angels, to whom all things should be put in sub- 
jection under his feet, angels and all; this man, saith he, was for a little 
while made lower than the angels, and this while he suffered death. So that 
now, my brethren, you see that, as God hath forsaken him, so likewise, in 
the next place, here is the condition of the angels that he was born unto, 
that is gone too, while he tasteth of death for every man. 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 195 

Well, but he is man yet 1 Why, but that is scattered too. What is man 1 
He is the result of soul and body. Take the soul from the body, the 
humanity ceaseth ; there is a body indeed and a soul still, but where is the 
man ? Though he was personally united to the body in the grave, and the 
sold in Paradise, yet in a proper and strict sense there was a ceasing to be 
man. You know death is the dissolution of man into his soul and body. 
Take Christ's own expression, John ii. 19 ; he calls it an unbuilding, or 
destroying of himself. ' Destroy this temple,' saith he ; take it in pieces, 
fUng one stone from another, — for when he died, his soul went one way and 
his body another, — and, saith he, ' I will build it again.' The stones were 
puUed down, it was but unbuilt. It is true, it may be said that he is God- 
man when dead, but it cannot be said he was man when dead. Man ho 
was indeed, in respect that his soul and body must be united again ; but yet 
in a proper and strict sense, man he was not then. Here, I say, all is gone ; 
here is a shattering even in Christ himself, so far as possibly may be. The 
union could not be dissolved, for then it could not have been said that God 
died, and that God was buried, and that God was raised, if the Godhead had 
not been united to the body. The union of the Godhead ceased not ; the 
union of the soul and body, the man, ceased. Though it is true that the 
Godhead was united personally to his body in the grave, and to his soul in 
Paradise, and that union was never inteiTupted ; yet our divines, speaking 
in a strict sense, say in triduo desiit homo, he ceased to be man ; as man 
consisted of body and soul united in one together, so he ceased to be man, 
during the time he lay in the grave. Here, I say, you see all is gone in his 
death. Here is his manhood scattered too. 

Second, But what foUoweth 1 In his resurrection all was made up again ; 
he gathereth all together again in one, and by virtue of this we are gathered 
together in him ; for what is done in us is done first in Jesus Christ. To 
give you an express scripture for it : Acts xiii., when Peter speaks of his rising 
again, saith he, at the 33d verse, ' God hath raised up Jesus again.' How 
doth he prove it ? ' As it is written,' saith he, ' in the second psalm. Thou 
art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.' As if all had been shattered, 
dissolved, and taken in pieces, and he was, as it were, new born ; God never 
saw his Son look like his Son tUl now ; he begets him anew when he raiseth 
liim, bringeth soul and body, and all is knit and made up again. 

1 . His body and soul came together again. ' He was declared to be the 
Son of God,' in that he was raised up by the eternal Spirit, — that is, the 
Godhead. Eom. i. 4, ' Destroy this temple ; ' he spake it of his body ; 
and then at his resurrection it was verified that he built it up again ; so 
then he was an entire man again, with soul and body united. 2. He is 
made now a heavenly man in qualities, not only such as the angels have, 
but far above the angels, and is become a quickening Spirit. 3. God is come 
again, and never so near hun as now, for he hath admitted him to sit at his 
right hand. 4. He is advanced above all principalities and powers, 1 Pet. 
iii. 22; yea, ' far above aU principalities and powers,' Eph. i. 21. And let us 
see the same place that spake of his abasement, that ' he was made a little 
lower than the angels,' to give testimony of his glory ; we see him ' crowned 
with glory and honour,' Heb. ii. And in heaven he sits as a Head and 
Eedeeiner, to draw all men to him in all times and ages to come, until he 
is complete in respect of his body, which is his fulness. 

Thus you see, my brethren, how all is made up, when all was shattered, 
and all broken to pieces, by the shattering of Christ himself; God, and the 
condition of angels, and the nature of man, in a sense, all being as it were 


dissolved, although the union with the Godhead was kept. — So you see now 
this third interpretation made good, that there is a gathering together again, 
when all in earth and all in heaven were shattered, in and through Christ. 

There is a fourth interpretation, a fourth signification rather, to make up 
all complete. I shall give it you in a word ; for it is a thing cast in by 
Christ, and therefore I will not insist upon it I told you this, that he 
would restore all things to the first original, — I laid open that, when I ex- 
pounded the words, I remember, at first. And, therefore, many translators 
read it instaurare, to restore all things, which is reserved, as the complement 
of all, in the fulness of time ; and others, though they do not reject it, yet 
they say it is not the full meaning of the words, but it falleth short. 

Well, my brethren, what doth this hold forth to us 1 You see all is in 
Christ's person ; here are angels and men made a body to him. Well, take 
all things in heaven and in earth, all creatures else, and they shall all be re- 
stored to him ; and when that is done, there is all God's full plot, all that 
was in his heart toward Christ, and us, and the whole creation. There is a 
time a-coming wherein the creatures shall be restored, all things in heaven 
and in earth, to their first original, and a more glorious condition, in and 
through Christ. It is a thing indeed that cometh in by accident ; it was 
but cast into his bargain : he came to gather together men and angels ; but 
yet this is cast together into the bargain. 

To open this unto you a little. Man falleth. With his fall what should 
have fallen? The world should have fallen about his ears; as traitors' 
houses, you know, should be pulled down and made a jakes. What doth 
Jesus Christ 1 He buyeth the world of his Father. I will pay for it, saith 
he, and will have it into the bargain. He payeth for wicked men that live 
in the world ; therefore it is said they deny the Lord that bought them : 
that is the meaning of that, 2 Pet. ii. 1. He buyeth wicked men and all 
the world, at one lump, of God. In the meantime he upholdeth it. It was 
said of David, Christ's type, Ps. Ixxv. 3, 'The earth is dissolved, and tlie 
inhabitants thereof; I bear up the pillars of it:' and Christ 'upholdeth all 
things,' so saith the text, Heb. i. 3, ' by the word of his power ; ' it is spoken 
of Christ. And, my brethren, when he hath governed the world, and made 
it serve, though indirectly, that all works together for good ; though wicked 
men have it directly, and the d-evils they carry the world away with them, 
and have done since the creation, but they shall not do so always ; there 
is a time a-coming wherein all things in heaven and in earth shall be re- 
stored to their first condition, to a glorious condition, in and through 

Eead but Ptom. viii. 19-21. There the Apostle is express for it : ' For the 
earnest expectation of the creature,' saitli he, ' waiteth for the manifestation 
of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not will- 
ingly, but by reason of liim who hath subjected the same in hope, because 
the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption 
into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the 
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.' And 
delivered, saith he, they shall be, if not before the day of judgment, yet cer- 
tainly while the day of judgment lasteth, which will be a long day, while 
Christ will be upon earth and judge angels and men. As the first Adam 
did bring them all into bondage by reason of sin, — for as all was created for 
him, so most justly the whole frame and fabric of what was made for him 
was subjected to bondage by reason of his sin, and would have fallen to 
nothing had not Christ upheld it, — :S0 the second Adam shall restore all unto 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 197 

a liberty; and this, in Acts iii. 21, is called ' the restitution of all tilings,' — 
not of angels and men only, but of all things.* It was meet that Christ, 
having taken the nature of man, — that is, the sum of all things, — that therefore 
all things should have some benefit thereby in their several kinds and capa- 
cities, and be in their kind gathered and restored according to their capacity; 
and when this shall be done, then God's design of gathering is fully accom- 
plished. And though the time was full in respect of the centre of it when 
Christ came ; and therefore it is said that in the fulness of time he might 
gather all, in the text ; yet the fulness of time in the circumference is yet to 
come, and is then when we shall be gathered to Christ, as, in 2 Thess. il 1, 
the time of the resurrection and judgment is called. 

And, my bretliren, it became Christ thus, into the bargain, to restore all 
things in heaven and in earth. He created all things, therefore it is fit he 
should restore all things ; they were all created by him and for him. The 
first Adam lost them, so saith Rom. viii. ; but they were subjected under 
hope of a second Adam, that should come and restore them. 

So now I shewed you the splendour of the universal Church out of Rev. v., 
and we wiU add the creatures to them, at that general assembly at the last 
day. I shewed you that all things on earth will meet then, and the angela 
will meet then ; a representation of it you have there, though I will not say 
it is the full intendment of the place, yet it wiU hold forth much unto us. 
Read over Rev. v. 9-13, you shall see all things brought into Christ's pre- 
sence. First, you have men, ' all things on earth,' ver. 9. * They sung a 
new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals 
thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out 
of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.' Here is aU on earth 
gathered together, as I shewed you before. 'And I beheld,' saith he, ver. 11, 
' and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne,' (here angels 
come in too,) ' saying. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power,' 
<fec. Here you see God hath gathered both angels and men together ; they 
both come in. Well, now there is but the creatures wanting. Read the next 
verse, ' And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under 
the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I say- 
ing. Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the 
throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' Because not only angels and 
men are thus gathered in one unto him, but all the creatures shall be re- 
stored ; every creature that is in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth, 
they all afi"ord and administer matter of glory to man to praise God. — My 
brethren, now you see the sum oi gathering all in Christ. 

A Meditation or two. 
First, View and contemplate, with admiration and astonishment, the glory 
and splendour of Christ and his universal Church, to move your hearts to 
seek to be one thereof, and not left out of this number and gathering up of 
all things. You have the representation, of this Church universal, during 
this world, in Rev. v. And, chap, vii., you have, first, the Church of men — 
four beasts, and four-and-twenty elders, next the throne — falling down and 
worshipping him that is on the throne, and the Lamb. 'Thou hast re- 
deemed us,' say they — there are all things on earth — ' out of every kindred, 
tongue, nation, and people,' chap^ v. 9. Secondly, you have a round of all 
in heaven; they come in too, ver. 11, 12, ' And I beheld, and I heard the 

* And unto this doth Bishop Davenant, as divers others, extend this word, because 
of the word travTa, speaking of things; and not ndvTas, speaking of persona only. 


voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders : 
and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands 
of thousands ; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the lianib that was slain 
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and 
glory, and blessing.' You have the like, chap. vii. 9-11. Then, thirdly, 
you have a ring of all the creatures that are round about both angels and 
men, that afford matter of praise unto God for his creating them, chap, v. 
13, 14. This is the scheme and representations, as in this world. Oh, but 
what will it be at the great day, when Christ will come in his own and his 
Father's glory, with all his holy angels, — when Christ, that hath all things in 
his person, shall appear in his fulness ! And aU the holy angels, and saints 
of the sons of men that have been existent from the beginning of the world 
to that day, and not one wanting, but that Christ will raise it up at the last 
day ; and then when all these shall go to heaven, and be ever together, when 
God shall have all his sons about him, and his eldest Son in the midst of 
them, then he will bring forth all his treasures of glory, that shall last, and 
not be spent to all eternity. 

Secondly, Make sure to be one of this great assembly ; let men flock unto 
and get into Christ by clusters; Gen. xlix. 10, 'To him shall the gathering 
of the people be.' Jesus Christ setteth up his standard ; come into Jesus 
Christ, not to be as Judas, who fell short by iniquity from this lot. It is a 
fatal saying of Peter's to Simon Magus, ' Thou hast no part nor portion in this 
matter ; ' that so innumerable a company should be gathered under this one 
Head, and that thou shouldest be shut out. I have but further, to move 
you to it, two things out of the text : you must be gathered one way, either 
to Christ or Satan ; you must fall either to Christ's or the devil's allotment 
and share. As Christ is the head of all that shall be saved, Eph. i. 22, so 
the devil is the head of all the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. And as 
Cihrist is the head of the angels, though he be not of the same nature with 
them, so is the devil of men ; and at the end of the world, when Christ shall 
5iave taken out all these his own, all the rest shall be cast into the fire pre- 
pared for the de\T.l and his angels. The old expression in the Old Testament 
was, that men were gathered to their fathers ; the wicked unto ccetus 
gigantum — unto the company of the giants, those wicked ones before the 
flood, from whom hell hath its denomination, as the first inhabitants of it, 
in Prov. xxi. 1 6. So the language of the New is, to be gathered to the devil 
and his angels, to the fire prepared for them. 

Obs. — I will give you but one observation, and so I will end. The 
observation is this, — it is from this same gathering together again, — That 
God, to shew forth his glory, and his skill, and his grace the more, goeth 
over his works again the second time, spoUs them, shatters them in pieces, 
and then makes them better than ever. This is his manner. Shattered, you 
i-ee, are all things in heaven and in earth ; here is his glory now to make 
them up again. This makes his glory illustrious, and his work illustrious. 
To give you an instance or two, and then to make a little use of it, and so 
conclude — 

God created man according to his image, you know, at first, (and certainly 
had you lived with Adam, you would not have known how you could have 
been happier.) A glorious creature he was ; he had the image of God drawn 
upon him, he was God's herald, he had his arms upon his breast. On a 
sudden, after God had drawn this picture, he dasheth it, breaketh it in pieces, 
strikes out all he had done. What was the reason of this 1 He meaneth to 
make it up better ; he meaneth to frame upon man the image of Christ, and 


make him like unto him. ' You bore the image of the earthly, but I will 
make a better image for you ; you shall bear the image of the heavenly, you 
shall be changed from glory to glory.' Thus he goes over his work again, 
after he had syoUed the first. 

So, likewise, he creatcth mS,n at first immortal ; there was a possibility he 
should die, but by the providence of God he should not have died. What 
doth God ? He takes and divides soul and body, and flings the body intu 
the grave, there to rot. What is his end in this ? He wdl raise it up a 
spiritual body, more glorious ten thousand times than it was at first. What 
saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 46 1 First, saith he, that which is natural, and 
then that which is spiritual. 

Go, take his chosen people, the Jews ; they were the only nation, his 
darling ; theirs were the oracles of God, the promises, the covenant, and they 
were all in all with him for many thousand years. Why ? He scatters 
them, breaks them aU in pieces ; the ten tribes he carrieth captive away long 
before the two tribes, and then the two tribes. And when he had thus 
scattered them all, what is his promise'^ Isa. xL 11, 12, 'It shall come to 
pass,' saith the text, ' that tlie Lord shall set his hand again the second time 
to recover the remnant of his people. And he shall gather together the 
dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.' He will gather 
them together in one again. What saith the Apostle, Eom. xi. lit ' Have 
they stumbled,' saith he, 'that they should faU?' Or, as the prophet 
Jeremiah expresseth it, — we may allude to it, if it be not the meaning of the 
place, — chap. viii. 4, ' Shall they fall, and not rise 1 ' He compareth the 
casting off of the Jews but to a stumbling, it was no more ; yet it was the 
greatest stumble that ever was, for they stumbled upon the Eock, Christ : 
they crucified him, and yet God calls it but a stumbling ; but it was a 
stumbling of a long stride, for it was sixteen hundred years. But, shall they 
stumble, saith he, that they shall fall 1 No, he wall recover them again. 
Shall they fall, and not rise ? Yes, and their rising shall be ' life from the 
dead,' as it followeth, ver. 15. In Ezek. xxxviL 3, God compareth them to 
dry bones : ' Can these dry bones live ? ' saith he. Their hope was gone, all 
was gone. ' Behold,' saith he, ver. 5, ' I vdll cause breath to enter into these 
bones, and they shall live.' He comes over them the second time, and makes 
aU these bones come together, and flesh comes upon them, and they shall 
live, and he will never cast them off again. Compare but Rom. xi. 26, the 
apostle quoteth but one Scripture to prove the calling of the Jews there ; it 
is out of Isa. lix. 20. Head but that chapter, and you shall find that when 
they are once called, he will never cast them off again ; but their seed's seed 
shall remain for ever. And, Isa. Lxv. 17, he saith that the former heaven 
and earth shall no more be remembered, nor come into mind. 

This, my brethren, is the manner of God. I should give you the reason 
of it, but I must pass on. I will conclude with a short use. You see here 
how all mankind ran into a confusion ; here is a shattering in pieces of 
lieaven and earth, and God gathered up all again. Fear not God's shatter- 
ing nor breaking things in pieces. You think our kingdom now is running 
into confusion — confusion in opinions ; the saints are divided, one runs one 
way, and another runneth another; one holdeth one opinion, and another 
holdeth another. My brethren, although the revealed will of God is that 
they should aU agree, yet, notwithstanding all this scattering and division, 
God will in the end bring forth a glorious gathering together in one. If he 
pull down the tabernacle set up, and the frame and form of it, he will set up 
a better. If he pull down the temple, it is in three days to build it up again. 


and make it better, as Christ's body was when he rose again. Never fear, I 
eay, God's shattering things, God's unbuilding. 

To give you an instance. God set up a glorious church in the primitive 
times, and it was according to the pattern. What doth he do 1 He sendeth 
Antichrist into the world, and he pulls it down and defiles all the worship of 
God ; there is a falling away to be, saith he, — so he calls it, 2 Thess. iL 3, — 
both in worship and doctrine. And what hath God done 1 He hath reason- 
ably well built it up again, recovered this temple out of the hands of Anti- 
christ ; he had once all nations following him, as you have it. Rev. xiii. 4, 7. 
Why, ere Christ hath done, all nations shall worship him ; he had lost them 
all, he gathers all again. Fear not his scattering then. 

There Avas a reformation made when first we came out of Popery. My 
brethren, what is imperfect God will pull down certainly ; he will scatter 
you, he wUl melt you : and what is his end 1 To fetch out the dross, and when 
he hath done, you shall have a purer reformation come out of all. This is 
his manner. Fear not, I say, therefore, his scattering. And he will never 
cease tdl he hath brought the Church, not only to that purity that was in 
the primitive times, but to a purer. When the whore is burnt and cast of^ 
and the bride cometh to dress herself for the Lamb, as you have it. Rev, 
xiv. and xviii., the Apostle saith he fell down and worshipped the angel that 
l.Tought this news. This, saith he, is better than ever I saw, than ever was 
in his time; he would never have worshipped for it else ; nay, he could scarce 
be brought to believe it, the angel was fain to say, ' These are the true say- 
ings of God.' Thus, when God goeth to break all, he meaneth to mend all, 
And he will never cease till he hath brought the Church to the full stature of 
a perfect man in Christ. Fear not confusions, therefore, for the issue of them 
will be a closing in the end ; it wUl be a gathering together of all again in one. 

Again, after the reformation, the Church is to get power against Anti- 
christ, and against all his adherents. The witnesses, saith he, shall have 
power to do thus and thus. Rev. xi. Yea, but after that power, when they 
have gotten it and carried it as you think they shall do, there wiU. be an 
unbuilding, a scattering of the power of the holy people ; so it is expressed, 
Dan. xii. 7. He speaks there of these latter times. Fear it not, for if God 
pull down one temple, he will set up the Holy of Holiest afterward. And as 
it followeth in that same 12th of Daniel, ' Blessed are those that come to 
those days ; ' and thrice blessed indeed are they, for they shall see better 
times. Fear not therefore God's scattering. What a misei-able confusion 
was there when man fell ! All was scattered ; man divided from God, from 
angels, from himself Christ came into the world when all nations were 
divided, men from men, and things on earth from things in heaven. So he 
wUl do in the Church ; scatter all, that he may make all up again ; melt all, 
that he may mend all Fear not then his scattering. 

I have done, you see, with the design itself which God had. I am now 
to come to the time when this great dispensation began, when God did break 
up his decrees that had lain hid from everlasting in his breast, and ordered 
the dispensation and administration of things to his Church; and then I 
shall have finished the 10th verse. 

The text telleth us that he purposed in himself, in ot for the dispensation 
of the fulness of time, to gather together aU things in him. 

Concerning this time, first, in general ; the meaning is this, that God, that 
hath made every business under the sun, hath set a time for it. So j^ou 
have it, Eccles. iiL 1, ' To ever3thing,' saith he, ' there is a season, and a 

EpH. I. 10,] TO THE EPHESIANS. 201 

time to every purpose uuder tlie sun.' Here is now a dispensation of the 
fulness of seasons, (so the word signifieth,) and of the greatest purposes God 
had, not under the heavens, but before the heavens were, which he purposed 
in himself from everlasting. ' A time,' saith he, ' there is to be bom.' If 
there be a time to be born, and a time to die, as the second verse saith, 
there was certainly a fulness of time when Messiah should be born, when all 
things should be gathered in the person of Christ in one, and when all should 
be scattered again, and he should die, as I opened before. ' There is a time,' 
saith he, ver. 3, ' to break down, and a time to build up.' So there is a time 
when he suffered all the world to lie scattered, and a time when he buildeth 
them up. The word dispensation is a family word, and is taken from rear- 
ing or building up a house. ' There is a time,' saith he, ver. 5, ' to cast 
stones away, and a time to gather stones together.' God let all the stones, 
both of Jews and Gentiles, lie scattered ; but when the set time came he 
had pity upon those stones, as the expression is, Ps. cii. 14, and gathered 
them all in one. It was a ' dispensation of the fulness of times.' 
I am to open here these three things : — 

1. What is meant hy fulness of times. 

2. WTiy disjyensation of the fulness of times is added. 

3. In, or for ; for indeed the word rather signifieth for the dispensation 
of times than in. 

First, For the fulness of times, when this great project of God began to take 
its birth, as I may so speak. There were some shows of it before, but when 
the great delivery was, that was when Christ came first into the world, and 
after his ascension into heaven, then Jews and Gentiles were called, and 
angels faU down before him and acknowledge him their Head, and all things 
were gathered together in one. There was, first, a fulness of times when 
this was done ; and, secondly, a fulness of seasons, for so the word in the 
original signifieth. It is not only a fulness of time, as you have it, Gal. iv. 4, 
but it is also a fulness of seasons ; for so I say the word signifieth. 

First, it was a fulness of tivie for this great work, when Christ came into 
the world. And why was it a fulness of time ? What is meant by fulness 
of time here 1 

Then is time said to be full when all ages are run out, that God shall 
come to turn the glass, and set the lower end upwards, as I may so express 
it. Or, if you will have it in Gal. iv. 2, ' the time appointed by the Father,' 
so it is called there ; it is called ' the fulness of time ' in the fourth verse. 
There is a time, saith he, that God hath set ; so many ages shall run out, 
and when they are run out, I will turn the glass, and begin a new dispen- 
sation and administration of things in the world ; I will send my Son. 
When times appointed by God are run out, then is a fulness of times. 
I will give you a scripture for that phrase ; it is Luke xxi. 24 ; he saith, 
' Jerusalem shall be trodden down, till the times of the Gentiles be ful- 
filled ; ' that is, till the times be expired that God hath given to the Gentiles 
to enjoy the gospel alone ; and when that time is expired, he will call the 
Jews, and till then Jerusalem shall be trodden down. So that this is the 
first signification of it, it is till all times be run out that God hath appointed. 
There is, as you know, the first age of the world, and the latter age of the 
world. You may justly compare it to your hour-glass, when the former age 
was expired, when all is run out, and the bottom glass is filled, then God 
Cometh and turneth up a new administration, and beginneth another dis- 


Til tlie second pLace, it is not only a fulness of times, but it is a fulness of 
seaso7is ; so the text hath it. 

Christ came into the world in the centre of seasons, when the world was 
ripe, when all things called for him, the condition both of Jew and Gentile ; 
the full time was come, the harvest was ripe, as our Saviour Christ doth 
express it to his apostles. When Christ came into the v>orld to begin a new 
administration and dispensation of things, it is called a due time, Eom. v. 6, 
" In due time,' or in due season, as the word is, ' Christ died for the ungodly.' 

Now, why was it a fulness of time first ; and, secondly, why was it a ful- 
ness of season 1 

It was a fulness of time — why 1 For the world had stayed long for it ; 
they had stayed four thousand years before the Messiah of the world came. 
Great actions have long delays, so God doth order things in his dispensa- 
tions ; great mercies have long delays ; the greatest mercy that ever was 
had four thousand years after it was promised, and then came the fulness 
of time. 

But why a fulness of season 1 Why, my brethren, it was a fit season for 
the Jews, and it was a fit season for the Gentiles, that Christ should come 
into the world when he did, and that he should stay long before he came. 

It was a fit season for the Jews ; for the Church of God, which was only 
confined to the Jews, was, as a man, to grow up by degrees ; to be a child 
first, and then to grow up to youth ; and when a fuU age was come, then 
to receive their inheritance. This is the very reason the Apostle giveth. 
Gal. iv. 2, 3, which respecteth the Jews ; he compare th the Jewish church 
there, God's first church, to a child, though an heir, but an heir under age. 
' This heir,' saith he, ' so long as he is a child, diff"ereth nothing from a ser- 
vant, but he is under tutors and governors.' He is under the government, 
■under the dispensation of what 1 Under the elements of the world, under 
his ABC; for so was Moses' law. The Church of God was an infant, 
and was to grow up by degrees, first to learn its letters, its A B C ; for such, 
I say, was the ceremonial law, the types of it. And then came David and 
the prophets, and led them up further ; but the Church was not grown to 
man's estate tUl Christ came. What foUoweth then 1 ' When the fiolness 
of time was come,' ver. 4, ' God sent his Son, made of a woman,' &c. It was 
fit that the Jewish church, or whoever was a church, it was fit they should 
for a while be under nonage, and have a dispensation, an economy, a dis- 
pensation that was fit for a child ; but when they were come up unto man s 
estate, then the great heir of the world, Christ himself, their elder brother, 
cometh into the world to bestow their inheritance upon them. 

In the second place, it was a fit season in regard of the Gentiles too. For, 
you know, I said it was to gather together all things on earth, not Jews 
only, but Gentiles, as I have expounded. Now God ordered that Christ 
shovdd not come into the world tUl about the time he meant to have the 
Gentiles called ; and there was great reason that he should stay the experi- 
ment many thousand years before the Gentiles should be called ; he would 
not have Christ come into the world till he should break up his decrees, till 
there should be the great birth of Ms everlasting purposes, that both Jew 
and Gentile should come in. 

When Christ was to come into the world, he was not to stay long for his 
reward. What was his reward that he bargained for? Not fur the Jew 
only, but also for the Gentile. Isa. xlix. 5, 6 ; it is driven there, by God 
the Father, bargainwise. When he saw that he was to die only for the Jew, 
saith he, vcr. 4, ' I have laboured in vain, and spent my strength for nought.' 

EpH. I. 10.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 203 

But what saitli God in answer to liim at tlie 6tli verse, ' Is it a light thing 
that thou shouldest be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacol), and to 
restore the preserved of Israel ? I will also give thee for a light to the 
Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.' Our 
Saviour Christ would have complained if he had not had the Gentiles 
brought in after his death ; therefore God ordered his coming into the world 
then, when he meant to have both Jew and Gentile to be brought in ; then 
should the ' desire of all nations come,' as you know he is called. 

And there was a great deal of reason that God should suffer the Gentiles 
and aU the world to lie in sin, long before Christ came, that there might be 
a fulness of season for his coming. Why ? I will give you Scripture reason. 

First, He would have mankind try all the ways they could for to be saved, 
and when they had tried all in vain, lo ! your physician, saith he ; there is 
he that shall help you. You have it. Acts xvii. 26-29. He speaks expressly 
to the point. To open the text ; he telleth the Athenians there, ver. 2^, 
that God had made of one blood aU nations of men, and determined their 
times and the bounds of their habitation ; and he was pleased to set such 
times wherein the Gentiles should walk in their own ways ; he would afford 
them but the help of nature, ' that they should seek the Lord,' ver. 27, ' if 
haply they might feel after him,' — find him in his works by groping in the 
dark, — ' though,' saith he, ' he be not ftir from every one of you.' Let them 
try aU their works of nature, whatever might do them any good ; when 
he saw aU these would stand you in no stead, then, saith he, he sendeth 
his Son into the world. "When they had tried all in vain, then there was a 
fulness of season. ' God now,' saith he, ver. 30, ' commandeth all men 
everjrwhere to repent.' 

I will back this with another scripture ; it is 1 Cor. i. 21. He had left 
the world, the Gentiles, to their philosophy, (the ' wisdom of the world,' he 
caUeth it, ver. 20,) to find out the way to be saved. Where is the wisdom 
of this world ? You philosophers, where are you 1 ' God,' saith he, ' hath 
made foolish the wisdom of this world.' AU the light that nature hath, how 
made he it foolish 1 'After that,' saith he, ver. 21, 'the world by wisdom 
knew not God,' — I will try you, whether by that wisdom I gave you by 
nature you will come to know me, I will turn nature every way. Mark now, 
* After that,' saith he, when through their corrupt wisdom they did abuse 
that light God gave them, and instead of knowing God, worshipped idols, 
'it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe' 
among the Gentiles ; to send Christ, and by the preaching of the gospel to 
save these poor Gentiles, after they had tried all ways. So that it was the 
fulness of season every way. 

I wiU but add one scripture more, and so I will leave it. It was fit that 
all men should corrupt their ways to the full before the Messiah came. Aa 
they should try all ways how they could grope after God, and pervert all 
the wisdom and light God gave them, so to be corrupted to the uttermost ; 
for then the physician comes most seasonable to administer physic, when the 
disease is at the height. Read but the 14th and the 53d Psalms, and read 
the last verse of both. The Apostle quoteth both those two psalms in Rom. 
iii. 14, to shew that all mankind was corrupt. 'The fool hath said in his 
heart, There is no God. Corrupt they are, and have done abominable iniquity; 
they arc altogether become filthy; there is none that doth good, no, not one; 
their throat is an open sepulchre,' &c. What followeth ? ' Oh that the 
Redeemer would come out of Zion !' That is the last verse of those psalms. 
When David, by the spirit of prophecy, foresaw that all men should corrupt 


their ways, that they were all full of wickedness, and that the world could 
never be saved of themselves, and that they had tried all sort of ways to 
help themselves, and all in vain — then, ' Oh that the Eedeemer would come 
out of Zion ! ' Now is the time for the desire of all nations, the Redeemer 
longed for, to come ; he speaks it upon occasion of the universal corruption 
of all mankind. Here was a fulness of season, when God sent his Son into 
the world to gather in one both Jew and GentUe. 

So now you see what is meant by fuhiess of time, and by fulness of season. 
Fulness of time is, when all the times appointed by God were run out, 
fulfilled. Fulness of season is, when there was the fulness of season for the 
Jews, that were to be a child grown to age ; for the Gentiles, when they had 
all corrupted their ways, then it was a fit season for the Messiah to come. 
And that is the first. 

But, secondly, What is meant by dispensation; eJ; ohovo/ilav, in, or for, the 
dispensation of the fulness of times ? The truth is, to read it for is more 
genuine and more natural ; and what is the meaning of it ? Some interpret 
it, ' in the dispensation of times,' — that is, say they, time wisely dispensed. 
God is the steward of time, and he did wisely dispense it ; he gave every 
age a portion, and in the end brought forth this fulness of time wherein he 
dispenseth his Son. But I take it, it is not so much meant of the dispensa- 
tion of times properly taken, of times ordered, although that is a true 
meaning of it ; but it is taken metaphorically — the fulness of time is said 
to have a dispensation, a new dispensation ; which new dispensation is to 
gather all things in one. The latter days, when Christ came into the world, 
it should have a new business, a new dispensation ; there should be a new 
administration of those times, to begin from that time and continue to the 
end of the world.* 

"We know that time is said to do that which is done in time ; as, for 
example, you find in Scripture a day is said to bring forth, so here it is said 
that ti7ne doth dispense. He compareth it to a steward ; as in other places 
he compareth it to a womb, or a mother, so here to a steward that hath a 
dispensation. It is not meant of dispensatio temporis, so much as dispensatio 
rerum, of things in time. In the 6th verse of the Epistle of Jude, the great 
day of the Lord is expressed thus — ' The judgment of the great day.' Why, 
the great day is not the judge. It is called the judgment of that day 
because it is done in that day. So here, * the dispensation of the fulness of 
time' is not the dispensation of time properly taken, the ordering of time, 
though that is included ; but it is meant the business of time. So that the 
scope is this — that God did appoint that the latter days, which is meant the 
fulness of time, from the time that Christ was born, and so on ; he intended 
this to be the dispensation, the business, the administration of the world 
from that time, to gather all together in one. 

It agreeth with what the Apostle saith, Heb. i. 1. * God,' saith he, did 'at 
sundry times, and in divers manners, speak in times past unto our fathers 
by the prophets ; he hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.' 
There is a new business, a new dispensation of things belonging to the fulness 
of time, to the latter days, from the time of Christ. He beginneth to alter 
the dispensation of himself to his Church ; he turneth the Jewish church 
into Christian, out of one nation to another ; he turneth aU the types of the 
law into his Son, for his Son is nothing but the types of the law really 
expressed. This is now the dispensation of the fulness of time ; he makes 
that the business of the last age, to send his Son into the world, to make 
• See Jackson, Book vii. p. 42. 

EpH. I. 10. J TO THE EPHESIANS. 205 

him the head of his Church visible ; whom angels shall acknowledge, whom 
all things that are in heaven and in earth shall come into, that are his elect, 
both Jews and Gentiles. This was, saith he, reserved for the fulness of time, 
to be the business of the latter age. This is the meaning of it. 

Ohs. 1. — I will come to an observation or two, and so end. You see, my 
brethren, that there was a fulness of time when Christ came into the world ; 
the world stayed long first, it stayed four thousand years. Learn this 
observation from it, That if you tvait for a great mercy, you must have m.any 
times and days run out before the fulness of time cometh to have it. You 
cannot have a greater instance ; for how long did the world stay for Christ 1 
Four thousand years, as I said before. Thou art a poor soul that hast waited 
for Christ long to come into thy heart ; how many years hast thou waited ? 
The world waited four thousand years to have Christ come into it. It is the 
greatest mercy thou art capable of to have Christ come into thy heart ; he 
is well worthy thy waiting for then. It is no argument that he will not 
come because he stays long ; for should the world have argued, that because 
he stayed two parts of the three, therefore he would not come at all 1 No ; 
great mercies are long a-coming, for the Messiah was so. The breaking up of 
God's heart, of the great design, of all the treasures there, you see it was hid 
in himself from the beginning of the world for so many thousand years. 
That is the first observation. 

Obs. 2. — The second is this, That God may let men go on in sin long, and 
give them Christ too, for all that. You see, God let the world go on in sin, 
try aU ways to help themselves, let all the world corrupt their own ways ; 
he did it for a long time, and at last in the fulness of time sent his Son. 
Thou mayest try all ways ; try duties, try what thou canst, how far corrupt 
nature may go, and God may give thee Christ at last. He did so by the 
world ; after that by their wisdom they knew not God, he sent his Son, made 
of a woman. When God hath given thee Hght, and thou hast tried a thou- 
sand ways, thy duties, and this and that, to get Christ, and thou hast set up 
a ladder to heaven, to get Christ this way and that way, — after thou hast 
tried all things, he sends Christ into thy heart ; when thy case is desperate, 
when thy heart is forlorn, then Christ cometh. 

Obs. 3. — There is a third observation, that I will but mention ; it is thi^ 
That God is the Lord of all time. He appointeth the fulness of times. 



In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according 
to the jjurpose of him who worlcetli all things after the counsel of his own 
will, kc. — Ver. 11-14. 

I "WILL give you, first, the general scope of the words ; and, secondly, I shall 
open them unto you particularly. 

First, for the general scope of ver. 11-14, it is to apply all that he had 
doctrinally said va the first ten verses. He had spoken of predestination, of 
adoption to glory or an inheritance, of redemption, of vocation, and of gather- 
ing together all in one. Of these things he had discoursed in general, in a 
doctrinal way, from the 3d verse to the 11th. Now he beginneth particu- 
larly to apply all these ; for in the opening of them you shaU perceive there 
is nothing almost he had delivered doctrinally but he applieth and com- 
forteth the people of God with it. 

He had said that God had intended to gather all in heaven and all in 
earth to himself; that is the last thing spoken to in the 10th verse. To apply 
this to things in heaven there was no need, for he was not a preacher to 
angels, to speak directly unto them ; therefore he applieth it only unto things 
on earth. All things on earth are divided into Jew and Gentile. First, 
therefore, he applieth it unto the Jews ; ' in whom we,' saith he, * have ob- 
tained an inheritance, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first 
trusted in Christ.' Here are the Jews, whom God called first ; we apostles, 
we Jews. Then he applieth it unto the Gentiles, and that under the Ephe- 
sians whom he wrote to : 'in whom ye also tnisted,' ver. 13, ' after that you 
heard the word of truth,' &c. 

He had spoken of a great gathering into one in Christ. Let us Jews, 
saith he, and apostles comfort ourselves, we have a part in it; and the 
Ephesians and the Gentiles, comfort yourselves, ye have a part in it too, (as 
you shall hear that the word signifieth by and by.) So much for the gene- 
ral scope. 

Secondly/, Now to open the words particularly ; and first to begin witli 
the application that he makes to the Jews in the 11th and 12th verses. The 
first word that we meet withal to be opened is this, ' in whom we have obtained 
an inheritance ;' so it is translated, and rightly translated too ; but I shall 
give you somewhat a larger meaning of it, which they that are scholars do 
well know agreeth with the meaning of the word ; for I profess this rule and 
principle in opening of the Word, (though there be a more eminent scope of 
one thing than another,) yet to take in the most comprehensive meaning that 
can be given of things ; for the Holy Ghost hath vast aims in writing of the 

'Eyi7.rioul}n/j.Bv, that is the word here which is translated 'we have ob- 
tained an inheritance.' To open this word to you ; there are two things to 
be opened concerning it. 

The first is, what the word cometh from and importeth. 

Epn. I. 11-11.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 20T 

The second is, the kind of the verb, for it is a verb ; I shall make it plain 
by and by to the easiest capacity. 

That which is contained in the substance of the word, for the signification 
of it, is this. The word xX^co;, which it cometh from, notcth out, first, 
having a part or a jwrtion in a thing. I shall give you clear Scripture for 
every signification I give you of it. It noteth out, first, I say, having a part 
or a portion in a thing, being partaker with others of the same thing. That 
is the first signification of the word xXTJpog, and so it cometh in fitly here. 
He had spoken of gathering all things in heaven and in earth in one, in 
Christ : ' In whom we,' saith he, * have a jjart ; ' in this Christ, in whom all 
are gathered; let us comfort ourselves, we have a part. That is the first. 
I shall give you a scripture where the word kXyi^o;, whence this word cometh, 
is taken for a part, a portion in common. Eead Acts viii. 21; speaking of 
Simon Magus, ' Thou hast no part or portion/ or lot or portion. It is the 
same word that this word cometh of. 

Obs. — Now, my brethren, what is the observation from hence 1 Do but 
ask your own hearts; you have heard of this great gathering in the lOtli 
verse ; have you a part in it ? have you a portion in it 1 You are to apply 
the word as you go ; you see the Apostle doth so. When he had spoken of 
this general gathering of aU things in Christ, now he cometh to apply it ; 
' in whom we have a part,' saith he ; in whom ye also have a part, saith he. 
Hast thou a part in it 1 Let me ask thee the question ; ask thine own 
heart the question. Oh, to be found not to have a share in this great gather- 
ing, what a misery wiU it be ! That is the first thing it signifieth, a part 
or portion. 

In the second place, it signifieth a part or portion of an inheritance. The 
word xAJjioj is often used for an inheritance, as Acts xxvi. 18, where he 
saith, ' an inheritance among them that are sanctified.' Therefore our trans- 
lators well translate it, ' in whom also we have obtained an inheritance.' 

In the third place, the word TiXrjoog is taken for a lot. Inheritances, you 
know, use to go by lot. The Jews' inheritances were divided by lot ; so 
Num. xxxiv. 13, 'This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot;' there- 
fore it is called the ' lot of the inheritance,' Num. xxxvi. 3, and in many 
other scriptures. 

Here, then, are three significations of this word. Here is, first, a part or 
portion ; which part or portion is an inheritance ; which inheritance cometh 
by lot. The word r/.Ari^uidr}/j,iv doth imply all these : that is, in whom we 
have a part and portion ; an inheritance annexed to that portion ; and it 
cometh to us by lot. These three things are included in the signification of 
the word. 

Now, my brethren, it is a word of a passive signification, and it implieth 
that we are passive in obtaining it ; it is not a thing we seek for, but it is 
cast upon us. We have a word in the English, we say a man is disin- 
herited ; that is a passive word ; there is no English word that shall answer 
it, to say a man is inherited, but he is endowed with an inheritance ; he 
seeks not for it, it is cast upon him. Therefore in that place, Acts xxvi. 1 8, 
it is called receiving an inheritance ; ' that they may receive,' saith he, ' an 
inheritance with those that are sanctified.' The word here used in this text 
(saith Beza) is used of magistrates that were chosen by lot to their places ; 
even as Saul was chosen king by lot, so do we obtain this inheritance, a part 
or portion in Christ by a kind of lottery : it was not a thing we deserved, 
it was a thing came to us we never dreamed of. It was not so much as 
sought for by us ; the word here is a mere passive word, it was cast upon 


US ; we found a share in Christ before we were aware, as it were, not think- 
ing of it. Not but God awakencth men first, but they do no more towards 
it, they know no more of it, till God takes them and works upon their hearts, 
than a man asleep doth for the obtaining of an inheritance which is be- 
stowed on him. 

Obs. — What is the observation hence 1 This, You have heaven cast upon 
you, you that are believers, as it were by lot. Poor souls, you come hither to 
church, and here you put yourselves upon God's lottery ; and you do well. 
What is the reason that a poor servant goeth away with Christ in her heart 1 
She hath a draw for it, and she draweth eternal life ; it is cast upon her. 
Ladies come here ; here come men and women of great quality ; perhaps 
they go away without it. It is cast upon men by lot. The greatest work 
that ever God did is to convert souls, and he carries it so as if he did it the 
most casually. You know the most casual thing in the world is a lot. A 
lot, you know, is a thing carried by a secret providence, for so he saith, 
Prov, xvi. 33, ' The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing of it is 
of the Lord.' Here you come, and you are all cast into the bag of the 
Church, and God, by his secret providence, throws and casteth heaven upon 
thee, and letteth others go. Poor Zaccheus climbs up upon a tree (for he 
was a little man) to see Christ : ' Come down,' saith Christ, ' this day salva- 
tion is come to thine house.' Go, saith he, into the highways, and bring in 
the beggars ; take whom you can find. God had predestinated them, yet it 
is carried so as if it came to them by lot ; even as Saul, that went to seek 
his father's asses, and before he cometh home he was anointed king of Israel. 
' What did ye go out to see 1 ' saith Christ to John Baptist's hearers, ' a reed 
shaken with the wind ? ' They went out to see a novelty when they went 
to hear John ; to see a reed shaken with the wind, or to see some great 
man clothed in gorgeous apparel, just as men go out to see shows ; but yet 
John turned the hearts of the children to the fathers, turned many of their souls 
to God, that went thus out for other ends. Even thus God, I say, by a kind 
of lottery casteth heaven upon men ; they obtained an inheritance by lot. 

Now, my brethren, if you ask how and when it was that they came to 
have a part and portion in Christ ; in whom we have obtained a lot, a por- 
tion, and an inheritance 1 Then, when they were converted and turned unto 
God ; then it was that they came to have a right and portion in Christ and 
in this inheritance. It is not said expressly in the text, but the coherence 
carrieth it strongly. Why 1 For, first, he saith, they were ' predestinated' 
by God, that ' works all things by the counsel of his own will.' How came 
they to have it ? Not simply by predestination, but by a work which was 
the fruit of predestination, and by a work of grace ; therefore many inter- 
preters translate the word here vocati, we were called to an inheritance. 
Then, secondly, he mentioneth faith : ' We,' saith he, ' did obtain this in- 
heritance, who first trusted in Christ.' So now, when they began to trust 
in Christ, then they began to have a part and portion in this lot. Then, 
thirdly, when he applies this ccko to\j wtvov to the Ephesians, ver. 13, 'In 
whom ye also had a part and portion in him,' (for that is the best reference 
of the words,) ' after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salva- 
tion, and believed,' &c. So that then it is we come to have a part, and a 
portion, and right to this inheritance, when we are savingly converted and 
turned to God. That is the Apostle's scope, and is as if he had said, "When 
we were converted, and ye were converted, then both ye and we came to 
have a part and portion in this gathering universal, and in this inheritance. 

I will give you a scripture or two to back this. The first is Acts xxvi. 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 209 

18. Christ from heaven speaks there, that he would send Paul to preach 
to the Gentiles, * to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to 
light,' — here is conversion mentioned, you see ; ' from the power of Satan 
unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance ' — 
that they might receive it, and obtain it by being thus turned — ' among 
them that are sanctified by faith in him.' Mark, when they were turned, 
when men believe, when they begin to trust in Christ, as he saith here of 
the Jews, ver. 12 ; when after they have ' heard the gospel of salvation,' they 
believe, as he saith of the Gentiles, ver. 13 ; when they are called and sancti- 
fied, then it may be said that they began to receive or obtain this inherit- 
ance, though they were predestinated to it before. My brethren, you cannot 
without conversion either have a right to this inheritance, neither can you 
be made fit to be made partakers of it. In that place, Acts viii., where he 
speaks to Simon Magus, (Simon ]\Iagus lay stUl in sin, he was a carnal 
wretch ;) ' Repent,' saith he ; ' thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter.' 
He doth not say that he might not have for time to come. What reason 
doth he give why he had no part for the present 1 ' For thy heart is not 
right in the sight of God ; repent therefore.' He doth not say but he might 
have : Thou that art yet still in thy unregenerate estate, thou that hast not 
obtained a lot, a part and portion, yet thou mayest have ; ' repent therefore,' 
saith he, ' of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of 
thine heart may be forgiven thee ; ' and if once he repented, then he should 
come to have a part in this inheritance and in this Christ, and in being 
gathered together in one, with all things else, in heaven and in earth. 

Obs. — From hence you see, to give you an observation upon it, what it is 
that giveth you a part and portion in the inheritance with the children of 
God ; it is being called, it is having faith wrought in you, it is being sancti- 
fied ; for by all these are you gathered to Christ as your head. 1 Pet. i. 3, 
' Who hath begotten us again to an inheritance,' saith he, (those are his 
words.) You must be begotten again before you have right to this inherit- 
ance, before you can ' receive an inheritance among those that are sanctified ; ' 
so you heard out of the Acts. I will give you but one scripture more to 
convince you of it, and it is a parallel place to this ; it is Col. i. 1 2, ' Giving 
thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to partake,' to have a lot, to 
have a share, ' in the inheritance of the saints in light.' What is it that 
makes you meet 1 It is being holy. Why ? Because it is an inheritance of 
the saints, and an inheritance in light ; and while thy heart is carnal and 
walketh in darkness, thou canst never come to have a part and portion in 
this matter. In whom, therefore, saith the Apostle, (here is the sum of 
all,) we have a part or portion, an inheritance strangely cast upon us, we 
know not how ; we never looked after it, it was cast upon us by lot. How ? 
By giving us faith, by calling us, by turning us to God ; and by means of 
that we are come to have a part and portion in this inheritance. So you 
have the first word explained, ' In whom we have obtained a lot,' a portion, 
an inheritance by lot, by being called, and sanctified, and renewed. 

Now, the Apo.stle, when he had thus applied this for their and his own 
comfort, leadeth them to consider the fountain. For, my brethren, we are 
apt to think with ourselves, we have grace wrought in us, therefore we have 
intcrfst in Christ, and in him a part and portion in this inheritance, and so 
look no further. But what doth the Apostle ? He leadeth us up to the 
eternal love of God, (I pray, think of that ;) for what followeth ? ' In whom 
liaving obtained an inheritance — according to his purpose who worketh all 
things after the counsel of his own will.' Look to the fountain of all this, 

VOL. I. o 


saith he ; it is your being predestinated, and this from an everlasting pur- 
pose ; and although it came to you, as it were, by a lot and by chance, and 
you were as far off from being called, when you were called, as any men in 
the world ; but yet, saith he, it was a lot guided by God's eternal predesti- 
nation. ' Being predestinated,' saith he, ' according to purpose.' 

I shall open this a little. I handled predestination before, therefore I will 
not speak of it now ; only this, remember that he speaks this of the Jews 
and apostles, for he applieth this to them : ' In whom,' saith he, * we that 
first trusted in Christ have a portion, being predestinated.' You may read 
in the next verses, where he goes on to make the like application to the 
Gentiles, that he doth not mention jiredestination in that his application to 
them. He speaks of their calling indeed, but he doth not speak of their 
predestination ; not but that they were predestinated, but -^'hy doth be 
choose to mention it in his speech to the Jews only ? The truth is this, 
they had been the people of God, and had it by promise ; they had God and 
heaven entailed to them ; Abraham was their father. Yea, but saith the 
Apostle, for all this it was God's eternal love, it was his predestination, that 
was the cause of singling us out. And he mentioneth it not in his speech to 
the Gentiles, though he intendeth the same thing to them ; for if the Jews 
and apostles had it by predestination, the GentUes, that were without the 
promise and. 'without God in the world,' had it from the sam-e fountain 
much more. And he mentioneth it to the Jews, because election carried it 
away even amongst them, and election, the force of difference it puts amongst 
men was seen most amongst them, because, I say, they were the people of 
God by promise. Take two scriptures for it. First, Rom. xi. 7. You shall 
see there that he makes the calling of the Jews to depend especially upon 
election. ' What then 1 Israel,' saith he, ' hath not obtained that which he 
Beeketh for,' (multitudes of the people of Israel did not ;) ' but the election 
hath obtained it ; ' it is the elect amongst Israel that have obtained it. Do 
not think, saith he, it cometh to you by your father Abraham, as they 
thought ; it is the election that obtained it. Secondly, Eom. is. 1 ] . He 
speaks there of Esau and Jacob ; he saith the purpose of God according to 
election was it that stood. It was said to the mother of both, that ' the 
elder should, serve the younger.' Election, you see, carries it among the 
Jews ; therefore his mentioning of predestination here cometh in seasonably, 
for they would have thought the promise to their fathers would have carried 
it. No, saith he, ' being predestinated.' 

But why ' predestinated according to his 2^'^'>'pos^ who works aU things 
after the counsel of his own will ? ' There is an opinion in the world that 
there is a twofold predestination; that God dealeth with some men accord- 
ing to purpose, as he did with the apostles — converteth them infallibly, and 
they persevere. They are, they say, chosen according co purpose. But 
others, God dealeth with them according to their works. It is a truth, God 
deals with none but according to their works ; but yet he doth not predesti- 
nate men to be saved according to works, for if he did, he should predesti- 
nate them for their works. It is not therefore brought in here by way of 
distinction, to shew that there is one predestination according to works, and 
if you walk thus and thus then God chooseth you to life ; and another pre- 
destination which is peremptory. But all the scope is this, to shew the 
stability of it, to shew that God's choosing of men is stable, and firm, and 
unalterable ; therefore it is called predestination according to purpose. 

For this look into Rom. ix. 1 1 , the place I quoted even now ; saith he 
' that tlie purpose according to election might stand ' — that is, that it might 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 211 

be unalterable ; join purpose and stand together. What God doth purpose 
is immutable. 2 Cor. i. 17, saith Paul, (who was but a creature,) I promised, 
saith he, to come to you, to take you in my way as I came out of Macedonia. 
Paul did not come. ' When I therefore,' saith he, ' was thus minded, did I 
use lightness ? or the thmgs that I purpose, do I purpose according to the 
flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay 1 ' No, saith he, 
what I purpose, that I will perform. Why will Paul do it 1 Because he 
would have the gospel receive no prejudice ; I preach the truth, and I would 
be true of my word ; therefore, saith he, if I promise a thing, and purpose a 
thing, I will do it. WiU Paul do thus 1 then God will do it much more ■, 
having predestinated us according to his purpose, it shall stand then; — ' thit 
the purpose of God according to election,' saith he, ' might stand ;' so the ward 
is in that Eom. ix. 11. It signifieth, therefore, the immutability of God's 
counsel ; that is meant by being 'predestinated according to his purpose. 

I come now to the last thing in the verse ; ' who works all things accord- 
ing to the counsel of his own will.' This is a third thing here in the words. 
For the coherence of it, how it cometh in : it cometh in, first, as a reason 
why God had converted them ; or, rather, w^hy their conversion, and their 
faith, and their obtaining an inheritance, was by predestination. It is a 
reason that will convince any man, that they, having obtained a part and 
portion in so great a business as heaven was, having grace wrought in their 
hearts that did interest them in that inheritance, that it must needs be by a 
foreknowledge, by a decree of God. Why 1 Because, saith he, God works 
all things else according to the counsel of his own will ; therefore certainly 
this. The reason is very strong; he would convince them that God did 
work grace in their hearts as the fruit of predestination, he would convince 
them that God had given them heaven, which came to them by lot, 
he had done it by a set decree, from everlasting. Why ? For, saith he, ' he 
works all things after the counsel of his own wiU ; ' he plotted evcrj^ thing 
beforehand, therefore certainly this; he hath done every thing advisedly, 
nothing falleth out but what he had laid the plot before. If he had a hand, 
.saith he, in any thmg, or in aU things that ever he did, he must needs have 
a hand in working grace in men's hearts, for it is more than all. If he be- 
stowed any thing upon any creature, — if he hath given the kingdoms of this 
world unto men, and that he doth according to his w^Ul among the inhabi- 
tants of the earth, as it is said, Dan. iv., then certainly they that have the 
kingdom of heaven promised, have it by his decree. Here lieth the reason, 
and thus he argueth : because God hath a hand in aU things, therefore he 
hath a hand in the conversion of men, therefore he hath a hand in bestowing 
of heaven upon men. And that is the first way ; it cometh in as a reason 
of what was said before. 

It cometh in, secondly, to shew how great a power it was that wrought 
grace in their hearts, and how much God's heart was in it when he did it. 
He hath shewed as much power, saith he, in working grace in your hearts, 
as in working all things else ; his heart is as much in this thing as in doing 
all things else. He doth put them altogether, you see. 

How do you prove that to be the scope of such a phrase as this 1 

I will give you a scripture for it; it is Phil. iii. 21 ; he speaks there of 
changing of our vile bodies, which requireth a mighty power, to make them 
like Christ's glorious body. How doth he express the greatness of this 
power? By just such a phrase as this here: 'who shall change our vile 
body,' saith he, 'that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.* 
How ? ' According to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all 


things unto himself.' This phrase cometh in to shew that God putteth forth 
the same power in changing our vile bodies and making them like the body 
of Christ — the same power I say, and no less than that power — that must 
subdue all things, that created the world, that ruineth the world in the end, 
and annihilateth or bringeth down kingdoms, and doth everything. Well, 
you have grace wrought in your hearts here ; how had you it wrought ? By 
him, saith he, that worketh all things ; no less power than that which goeth 
to work all things, goeth to work this ; the same proportion of power that 
goeth to work all things else, goeth to work grace. 

So now you have the general scope how these words come in. — To open 
the words particularly to you a little, for I would fain make an end of this 
verse — 

First, The word here that is translated 'worketh,' signifieth to work 
effectually ; ' He worketh all things effectually,' that is the meaning of it ; 
he doth it according to the counsel of his will, and that will shall stand, it 
shall not be resisted ; whatsoever he will do he doth effectually; you have 
it Ps. cxxxv. 6, ' The Lord is great ; whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did 
he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.' And Isa. 
xlvi. 10, he saith, the counsel of the Lord shall stand. 

In the second place, he saith, ' He worketh all things ;' what all things 1 
I will not meddle with sin, what hand God hath in it, though th« very same 
phrase is used of it. Acts iv. 28. The crucifying of Christ, the greatest 
sin in the Tvorld, it is said nothing was done in it but what his hand and 
counsel determined ; there was both counsel and hand in it, — that is the 
expression there, — at least for the ordering of all the circumstances of it. I 
only mention that; and consider all things else, -God worketh all things 
effectually, his hand casteth all things. Doth there a hair come off your 
heads? A hair is a small matter; it is by the Father, Matt. x. 30. Doth 
a man shoot an arrow, and there is one behind the bush, and he Idlleth him 1 
It is God that delivereth that man into his hand, Exod. xxi. 13. He ordereth 
the thing that is done by chance, and doth it effectually. God foretold that 
Ahab should be slain when he went out to battle ; yet the text saith plainly 
that the arrow that did kill him was shot by chance : ' A certain man dre\v' 
a bow at a venture,' so you have it, 1 Kings xxii. 34, ' and smote the king of 
Israel between the joints of the harness,' whereof he died; it was a mere 
adventure, but God guided it effectually, for he had prophesied that Ahab 
should not go home from that battle. 

Things that are of the merest chance, God works them all. When Nebu- 
chodonozor went to destroy Jerusalem, it was the greatest design that could 
be, a thing foretold seventy years before, in Hezekiah's time. You shall find 
in Ezek. xxi. 20, 21, it was a mere matter of chance that Nebuchodonozor 
went thither. The prophet there describeth the king of Babylon's journey 
with his army; he describeth his coming to Jerusalem, and how doth he 
describe it? 'Son of man,' saith he, ver. 19, 'appoint thee two ways, that 
the sword of the king of Babylon may come : both twain shall come forth 
out of one land : and choose thou a place, choose it at th€ head of the way to 
the city.' There were two ways ; Nebuchodonozor came out with his army, — 
he did not resolve whither he would go ; God had foretold he should go to 
Jerusalem, — he eometh out, I say, with his army, and he cometh to the head 
of two ways, one to go to Egypt, (as some,) another to go to Jerusalem. He 
was undetermined ; what doth he do ? He goeth and useth divination. ' The 
king of Babylon,' saith he, ver. 21, 'stood at the parting of the way, the 
head of the two ways, to use divination : he made his arrows bright,' or, as 

EpH. I. 11-14:.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 213 

some read it, lie did, by mingling arrows together, cast a lot which, way he 
should go ; 'he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.' He opened 
beasts to see whether there was good fortune, as some call it, to go on the 
right hand or on the left. AU this was foretold that he should do. Who 
knew what should be in the liver of that beast, and that his soothsayer 
should guide his way to Jerusalem, and assure him of good fortune in that 
way rather than in the other? The text saith, ver. 22, 'At his right hand 
was the divination for Jerusalem.' All his lots, shuffling of arrows, looking 
into the liver, all this- did cast him to go to Jerusalem, and God had foretold 
this long before. You see he works all things, the most casual things that 
are, by his own appointment. ' The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole 
disposing thereof is of the Lord,' Pro v. xvi. 33, 

Come to the wills of men, they are more ticklish things than matters of 
chance are ; for what say men 1 We have a liberty, we can do what we will 
But what saith the Apostle ? Say not, ' To-day or to-morrow we will go to 
such a cityj' but, 'If the Lord will, we will do this or that,' James iv. 
13, 15. But to give you an instance for it, that God ruleth the wUls of 
men, for I cannot instance in many things ; I will give you, to me, one of 
the greatest instances the Scripture affordeth. It is Exod. xxxiv. 24. God 
commandeth them that at three set times in the year all the men should 
appear before the Lord in Jerusalem. Now you know the Jews did live in 
the midst of their enemies ; and might the enemies say, Now aU. the men 
are gone up out of the country to Jerusalem, we wUl go and destroy the 
women and children ; this they might plot and order it many years before, 
what should hinder them 1 Why, saith God, go up three times in the year, 
and I will order it so that ' none shall desire thy land.' If God had not a 
strong hand upon the wills of men that he caai turn them which way he 
pleaseth, how could he make that promise beforehand that they should not 
desire their land? If God did not effectually rule the wills of men, the 
inchnations of men's spirits, when they had all opportunity, all the reason in 
the world, all advantages, yet thab they should not have a desire to the land, 
— how could God, I say, undertake this, unless he did rule the wills of men ? 
My brethren, I profess I would not serve this God, if he did not rule the 
wills of men in this world. Why? Because I could have no temporal 
promise fulfilled ; for most temporal promises depend upon men's will. If 
he did not rule the hearts of all the men in the world, of kings, of parlia- 
ments, what a confusion would this world run into ? How could I sue out 
any promise that God makes, wherein I have to do with the wiUs of men, 
as in mo.st we have ? Therefore certainly he ruleth, and ruleth effectually, 
things wherein men are most free ; he doth either take away desire, or put 
in desire ; turns their hearts to hate his people, or, on the other side, gives 
his people 'favour in their eyes,' as the expression is; it is just such another 
instance, Exod. xi. 3. When the people of Israel had gone and brought ten 
plagues upon them, when all their first-born were slain ; here was a fair way 
made for favour, was there not ? That they should come after aU this, and 
say, I pray, give us your jewels. What ! after you have done us all this 
mischief ? Yet, saith the text, God gave them favour in their eyes, and they 
gave them their jewels of silver, and their jewels of gold, and raiment, 
Exod. xil 35. 

What a mighty tiling is this in God's ruling the wills of men ! Doth not 
this God, think you, work effectually in all things, when he ruleth the most 
ticklish things of all, the wills of men, and so the hearts of kings ? I need 
not instance. Now, my brethren, if God thus doth work aU things, certainly 


then he works grace much more, when he turns the will to believe. If he 
put a desire in you, if he take away a desire, it doth not lie in the counsel 
of your own will, saith he. There are those that think grace is wrought by 
the counsel of man's will. God indeed giveth me power to believe, or not 
to believe, and then the counsel of my wUl casteth it. No ! it is according 
to the counsel of his "will, not according to the counsel of thy will ; as you 
know the Apostle saith, he works both the will and the deed. If he brings 
forth the will into the deed of all things else, much more in the matter of 
grace, whereby you come to ' obtain an inheritance among those that are 

I should shew you why counsel of will likewise is attributed to God. I 
shall be too long if I go on to open that, I will therefore but make an ob- 
servation or two, and so I will conclude. 

Obs. 1. — Doth God work all things according to his will? Then give up 
thy ways to him. * It is not in man,' saith Jeremiah, ' to direct his steps.' It 
is God that must direct them for thee, for he works all things according to 
his will. If any man in the world, if his understanding and will were a rule 
to mine, and I knew he were infallible, I would certainly go give up all my 
ways to what he saith. As you say you must be ruled by him that bears 
the purse, you must be ruled by him that bears the understanding. Cer- 
tainiy, if any man have an infallible understanding, I will be ruled by him. 
God hath ; he works aU things, and all effectually by the counsel of his own 
will ; therefore in all thy ways give up thyself to him. 

Obs. 2. — Again, in the second place, (I cannot prosecute many,) God works 
all things according to the counsel of his own wUl. It is an inference that 
Job makes of it, chap, xxiii. 13, 14. You shall find there, that Job professeth 
his sincerity, how fearful he was of offending God : ' j\ly foot,' saith he, ver. 
11, 'hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined ; ' he obeyed 
him, he did not decline the least from his ways ; ' neither have I gone back,' 
saith he, ' from the commandment of his lips : I have esteemed the words of 
his mouth more thaft my necessary food.' What is the reason of all this 1 
It foUoweth, according to the coherence, as best interpreters give it, ' He is 
in one mind, and who can turn him 1 and what his soul desireth, even that 
he doeth ; he performeth the thing that is appointed for me, and many such 
things are with him.' Saith he, I considered with myself this, that I were 
as good be subject to his wHl, for he will have his will upon me ; I cannot 
resist his will, I were as good submit ; ' he works all things according to the 
counsel of his will ;' he performeth all things that are ' appointed for me j' 
he is of one mind, and I cannot turn him. I must therefore comply with 
him ; hence it was that I have not gone from the commandment of his lips. 
I thought it was best to yield to him, and to give up my wUl to his. It is 
a strange argument, and you see the Scripture enforceth it. 

EpH. I. 11-14] TO THE EPHESIANa. ^15 


In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according 
to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of 
his oiun ivill : that ive should be to the praise of his glory, who first 
trusted in Christ. In xohom ye also trusted, after that you heard the 
word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, &c. — Ver. 11-14. 

The scope of these verses I shewed you in my last discourse to be this : An 
application of all that which he had doctrinally delivered about predestina- 
tion, vocation, and the like benefits, ^an application of them, with some in- 
terlacings of what was not said before, — unto both the Jews and the Gen- 
tiles. Unto the Jews, or rather the apostles put for all the Jews, themselves 
being Jews, in the 11th and 12th verses : 'In whom we have obtained an 
inheritance who first trusted in Christ.' And, secondly, unto the Gentiles in 
the 1 3th verse : ' In whom ye also,' Ephesians, speaking to them in the name 
of all the Gentiles, as speaking of himself and the other of the apostles in 
the name of all the Jews. 

His application unto himself and the rest of the apostles, and so to the 
Jews, is in the 11th and 12th verses. I made entrance into them in my last 
discourse. The 11th verse containeth in it two particulars. 

First, It sheweth what God had done for them, and that in three things. 

Secondly, He illustrateth those three things which God had done for them, 
by a general proposition, whereof each particular in the one answereth to the 

First, He sheweth what God had done for them in three things ; he giveth 
them the comfort of three things. 

1. By effectual calling of them, by sanctifying of them, and working faith 
in them, by their having trusted in him, they were interested in a glorious 
inheritance. 'In whom,' saith he, 'we have obtained' — namely, by this 
sanctification and faith, as I shewed you before — ' an inheritance.' 

2. He mentioneth the ground and the spring (he applieth that also, and 
brings it home to their hearts) of God's calling them, viz., predestination ; 
we having ' obtained an inheritance, being predestinated.' 

3. He mentioneth the immutability of God's predestinating them ; it 
was ' according to his purpose.' 

So much for what he sheweth God hath done for them before, of which 
he giveth them the comfort. 

Secondly, He doth illustrate these things by a general proposition, which 
containeth three things in it, answerable to these three. ' In whom we have 
obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose' (these 
are the three first particulars) ' of him who worketh all things according to 
the counsel of his own will.' I shewed the coherence of these latter words 
before. That which now I shall cast in is, that the apostle doth fit, and suit, 
and proportion this general projjosition, that God worketh all things accord- 
ing to the counsel of his own will, — he fitteth it unto the particulars God had 


done for them. He had called them to obtain an inheritance, being predes- 
tinated according to his purpose. 

The meaning is this : that by the same counsel of his will, and by the 
same power that he had wrought all things else, by the same power he had 
called them, and sanctified them, by which they had obtained an inheritance ; 
and by the same counsel of his will he had predestinated them according to 
his purpose by the same wherewith he works all things else. He sheweth 
that the principle by which he works all things is the same principle by 
which he wrought grace in their hearts. First, in working all things, there is 
an omnipotent power, an efficacious hand ; for he is said to work, in^yuv, to 
work effectually ; by the same power, saith he, did he work grace in your 
hearts. In the second place, all things that he doth work, he did contrive 
beforehand by his counsel ; by the same counsel, saith he, he did predesti- 
nate. Then, thirdly, that which casteth all, according to his counsel, was 
his will ; ' He works all things according to the counsel of his own will.' 
Why, according to that will, saith he, He hath predestinated you ; ' He hath 
predestinated you according to his purpose,' namely of that will. So that 
now, will in the one answereth to the purpose in the other ; and counsel in 
the one answereth to predestination in the other ; for indeed predestination 
implieth an ordering, a disposing of things by counsel And then, thirdly, 
his worhing grace, by which they were called, answereth to that power which 
he wrought all things by. 

Here then, you see, there are three principles of God's working all things 
whatsoever he works, the salvation of men and all things else. Here is, first, 
an omnipotent power, w^hich is executionis, as the thing that executeth and 
performeth all ; he is said to work, and work eftectually, so the word sig- 
nifieth. Secondly, here is his will and the sovereignty of it, which is im- 
perationis, that which giveth the command for a powerful execution. 
Thirdly, here is his wisdom, that is directionis, as that which giveth direc- 
tion both to will and power. ' He works all things according to the counsel 
of his own will.' 

And, first, for the poiver of God in working, which is the first thing briefly 
to be explained ; secondly, his counsel; and thirdly, the counsel of his will. 
I shall speak briefly of all these three. He works all things by an omni- 
potent power ; and by counsel ; and by the counsel of his own will. 

First, For the poiver wherewith he worketh all things. The first thing I 
shewed about it before was this, that God hath an effectual hand in all things. 
I went over things natural, things moral, things contingent, the wUls of men, 
and the like ; I shall repeat nothing now. That is the first thing that the 
text affordeth, that God works, and works effectually ; he hath a hand in 

The second thing concerning his power that the text afibrdeth is, that 
God's power is limited in his workings by his will. He doth not work all 
things that he can work ; ' Unto thee,' saith Christ, Mark xiv. 36, 'all things 
are possible.' It is possible, saith he, that this cup should pass from me, 
and that men should be saved another way ; but his power did not work 
this, it was limited by his will ; so you know that Christ saith, ' Thy will 
be done.' God can, saith John, Matt. iii. 9, raise out of these stones that 
you tread upon sons unto Abraham ; he never did it, but do it he could. 
God doth not shew himself omnipotent by doing all he can do, but every- 
thing that he doth do, he sheweth an almighty power in it. Therefore 
divines use to say, that God, though he is omnipotent, yet he is not omni- 
volent ; though he can do all things infinitely more than he hath done, yet 

EpH. I. 11-1 4. J TO THE EPHESIANS. 217 

he dotli not will to do all things that he is able, for his power is limited by 
his will ; so saith the text : ' He worketh all things according to the counsel 
of his will.' ' If thou wUt,' saith he, ' thou canst make me clean,' Matt, 
viii. 2. His power was able, but whether his will had determined his power 
to do it or not, that he knew not. 

The third thing which this text holdeth forth concerning his power is 
this, that whatsoever God will do, that he doth effectually. ' He works all 
things according to the counsel of his will.' The meaning is, not only that 
all that he doth, he doth by counsel ; but that all that his counsel and wiU 
decreeth, that he doth. ' My counsel shall stand,' saith he, Isa. xlvi 10. 

So much now for that first thing, his power ; which are all bottomed full 
upon the text. 

Secondly, The second is concerning God's counsel in working. You know 
counsel referreth to the understanding, to the judgment. It is a consider- 
ing what one meaneth to do, how to do it, and to do it the best way and 
most wisely ; that is properly counsel. There is something in counsel which 
is in man which we must not attribute unto God, and something in man 
which may be attributed to God ; for we must cut off all imperfection in 
what we attribute to God. There are two things in counsel in a man. 
There is, first, a discourse and inquiry what is best ; he setteth his reason 
a-work, and one thought cometh in after another. And then there is, 
secondly, a judgment, when he hath considered all, what is the best. Now 
the first part we must cut off from God ; he doth not advise and deliberate 
as men do, to take this thing, or that thing, one after another, by way of 
inquiry into his mind. No, for ' known to God are all his works from 
eternity,' saith the Apostle, Acts xv. 18 ; as the word signifieth, 'he hath 
them aU before him.' 

How then is counsel attributed unto God ? 

Thus ; that which is the result, that which ariseth in men's minds or 
judgments out of inquiry, a mature pitching upon what is best ; this now, 
which is the perfection of counsel, which is the ripening and the maturity of 
it, this is attributed to God. This is certmn judicium, & certain judgment of 
what is best to do. Thus God works all things according to his counsel. 
I will give you but one scripture for it ; for we must still back everything 
with some parallel word, that in the mouth of two witnesses everything 
might be established. Isa. xxviii. 29 ; it is said there of God, that he is 
' wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.' I cannot stand to open 
the coherence of the place, but it faUeth in full to the business in hand. 
He is excellent in working, for whatsoever he wUleth that he doth ; and he 
is as wonderful in his counsel, for all that he doth is with the greatest ripe- 
ness of judgment, with the highest wisdom, that shall declare him as much 
to be God in the wise doing of it, as to declare he is God in the powerful 
doing of it. Thus you see in the second place what is meant by counsel. 

Thirdly, Now then, in the third place, why is it said the counsel of his 
will? Here is a third principle, his will; and it is called the counsel of his 
will. I shall open it briefly. It implieth these particulars following : — 

First, That God's will doth not pitch upon things blindly, but by an 
advised act ; he knoweth what he doth, wittingly and willingly in all he 
doth ; his Avill hath counsel joined with it. 

It is said, secondly, to be the counsel of his own will, for so the text hath 
it, because he doth not go forth of himself for counsel ; he neither doth 
regard the conveniency among the creatures one with another, but their con- 
veniency depends upon his counsel. Men, when they counsel, look upon 


things ; and as things are framed and fasliioned, so tl.ey must frame their 
counsels ; but with God it is otherwise, he frameth things according to the 
counsel of his own will, he adviseth with none : ' Who hath been his coun- 
sellor 1 ' Kom. xi. 34. 

In the third place, it is called the counsel of his ov>-n will, to shew that in 
casting whatsoever he meaneth to do, his will hath the sujireme stroke. 
Still you shall find it in the Scripture, that all is attributed to his will ; and 
observe the phrase here, it is not called the will of his counsel, but it is 
called rather the counsel of his will, — it is the observation of Catherinus and 
Musculus upon the place, — to shew the difference between man's will and 
God's. The law of man's will is still to be determined by the understanding, 
so that the will of a man is the will of his counsel. My brethren, when God 
considered whether he would make a world or no, the consultation was not 
whether it was best to make it or not to make it. Why 1 Because there 
was no best to God to do the one or the other ; there is the greatest reason 
for it that can be, for it was all one to him whether he did it or no. What 
caused him then to do it 1 What did cast it 1 It was his will. His 
will setteth his counsel so to work, as it were, to do it the best way ; but it 
is not his wUl being determined by his counsel as judging it best, for it 
was neither better one way nor other for God, for he standeth in need of no 
creature. So that in Scripture you have election attributed to his will, 
' He hath mercy on whom he will ;' you have creation attributed to his will, 
'By thy will all things were created,' Eev. iv. 11. 

But now, though his wUl had the casting of it clearly, and therein lieth 
the sovereignty and liberty of the will of God in his works ad extra, yet you 
will ask me, How far did counsel attend Jus tvill ? 

I answer in these particulars. First, God knew all that he could do, all 
that his power is able to do, and therefore did not pitch upon things that 
had a contradiction in them. As for example, that God should make a thing 
to be and not to be at the same time ; his will did not pitch upon this, 
because his counsel dictated that they were not compatible ; it was not fit 
for God to do. So likewise ' it is impossible for God to lie ;' his understand- 
ing knew this, so his will did not pitch upon such a thing. Here is one act 
of counsel, he did not pitch upon things that have a contradiction in them. 

In the second place, his counsel dictated to him, if I may so speak, that 
it was good to create, and to communicate himself to the creatures, to 
choose men to salvation, and that it is the property of goodness to com- 
municate itself, and that it becometh goodness to do it. But yet still all 
this is not best, it is not best to God; we cannot say so; for he could be as 
happy without doing this as he is with doing of it ; only I say his counsel 
said it was good. 

Then, thirdly, if his will cometh to create and produce cr\3atures, then 
wisdom dictates that it was best to do it the best way; if God will manifest 
himself, to do it to the uttermost ; so will setteth counsel on work, or rather 
counsel prcsenteth to the will the utmost and best ways of glorifying of 
himself. Therefore, Heb. xi., you shall find there that all things that are 
made are said to be made of things not seen, namely, of God. ' By faith,' 
saith he, ver. 3, ' we understand that the worlds were framed by the word 
of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things that do 
appear.' The meaning is this, that his understanding did present to him 
models of worlds, as it doth to an artificer, if he wUl raise up a building, 
how to make it and contrive it. He made things out of things that did 
not appear, that were in his own mind, — the ideas, the mould, the pattern of 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 219 

things, such as men have in their heads when they make a house and the 
like ; and he pitcheth upon what is best. And thus far now his counsel 
attends his will. If his will resolveth to create, to do a thing, then counsel 
is set a- work to do it the best way ; although it may be said that God had 
other ways as good, for his wisdom is not limited to one world, or to the 
things that are or shall be. 

To conclude with one scripture, and so pass off from this : Ps. civ. 24, 
' Wonderful are thy manifold works ; in wisdom hast thou made them all.' 
They are wonderful, and they are manifold, and he hath made them all in 
wisdom ; and his wisdom sheweth itself to be as truly the wisdom of God, 
as his power shewed itself to be the power of God, in making them. And 
this is the subserviency or the concurrency that counsel hath with his will 
in working all things. 

Obs. 1. — Now, my brethren, I should give you some observations from 
hence. I did anticipate some in my last, as namely this : If God works all 
things according to the counsel of his own will, you should not lean to j^our 
own will, nor to your own wisdom ; give up yourselves fully unto God, as 
it is, Prov. xxiii. 4. 

Obs. 2. — In the second place, more particularly, If God works grace by 
the same kind of counsel of his will, and by the same power that he works 
all things else, as the text plainly saith, then he works grace infallible; for 
we S3e he worketh other things infallible. * Let there be light,' saith he, 
and there was light. Let there be light, saith he, in that man's soul, and 
there is light. He works in us the will and the deed; not only the power 
to will, but the vnll itself. 

06s. 3. — The third thing that I observed is this, That the same thing that 
cast it why he would work all things, it was his will, not as judging it best 
for him, — it was not following the dictates of his understanding, as always is 
in us, — but only he saw it was good so to do. So likewise, of his choosing 
men, this or that man, of predestinating you and you, (for so the coherence 
carrieth it,) it was merely his own will, his own goodness. 

There is no reason why thou shouldst believe, and another not ; no reason, 
I say, why God, having infinite things before him, should choose such and 
such ; why he should take such and such of those he meant to make ; why 
he should love such, and not others ; there is no reason but his will. His 
counsel propounded that it was good to love these ; but that it was better 
to love this man than that man, here his will determineth it. It is not the 
will of his counsel, but the counsel of his will. As when he came to create, (it 
is the comparison that Aquinas hath, and it is an exceeding good one,) Take, 
saith he, that first chaos, that lump of darkness, out of which God made all 
things; that out of this piece fire should be made, that that piece should go 
to make earth, that the other piece should go to make air ; that such a piece 
fif the element should make a tree, such a piece should make beasts, such 
fishes ; that that dust should make a man, Adam, rather than other dust ; 
tJjere is no reason of it, it is his will. That of mankind, that nature of man 
sliould be assumed, that Jesus Christ hath now in heaven, it was his will. 
So, saith he, is it in election ; for God works all things, not according to the 
will of his counsel, as judging this man better than that by an act of counsel ; 
but it is the counsel of his will. But when he hath pitched his love upon 
these and these men, then counsel is set a- work indeed, to contrive all ways to 
shew love to them ; and all tlie ways the wisdom of God takes, is but to 
vent that love that was in his heart. Therefore Christ is given to die, and 
yf>u to fall into sin ; there are a thousand contrivements that the counsel of 


his will had, to manifest the glory of his grace, and the riches of his love. 
— ^And so now I fall off from that, and come to the 12th verse. 

That we should be to the i^raise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

Here are two things in this verse : — 

1. Here are the persons whom he applieth this to, designed out with a 
special privilege. We, apostles and Jews, that had this pri-sdlege first to 
' trust in Christ ;' we, saith he, were thus predestinated and called, and have 
obtained an inheritance. 

2. You have what ought to be the end, what is the duty that every man ia 
obliged unto, that cometh unto these benefits, that is predestinated thus, 
and called thus. ' We should be,' saith he, ' to the praise of his glory.' 

To begin with the latter, because it iieth first in the text. The coming in 
of these words, the coherence of them, is not so much to shew what was 
God's end in predestinating us, (that he had shewed before,) as what is the 
duty of every one that is predestinated ; what this benefit should work upon 
their hearts; for here the apostle speaks by way of a^^plication; their duty is 
this, saith he, to ' be to the praise of his glory.' 

I will not stand distinguishing praise and glory ; I did it before, when I 
opened the ' praise of the glory of his grace.' Only first here ; praise is all 
that God requireth. Ps. 1., Wilt thou, saith he, ofi'er to me the rams or the 
bullocks upon a thousand hills ? They are aU mine already ; what do I 
care for them, I can make enough of them. Thou wilt ofi'er God thy duties, 
what are they to him ? What is it then that will please him 1 Saith he at 
the last verse, ' He that ofiereth praise, glorifieth me.' It is glory he would 
have, nothing takes God else. Do what you will, if you do not aim at the 
praise of his glory, it never pleaseth him. He turns away a chapman, that 
would have given him rivers of oU. What care I, saith he, for thy first- 
born, that is the fruit of thy body? Why, he would have glory. Nothing, I 
say, takes God else. 

In the second place, observe, he doth not, as before, say, ' to the praise of 
the glory of his grace' only, he doth not limit it to that ; but he saith, when 
he cometh to obedience, to the praise of his glory in the general. For though 
in our faith we do most magnify the glory of his free grace in the pardon of 
sin, which faith layeth hold upon ; yet in obedience we should aim at aU his 
glory, all the ways he can be glorified in. And he will have glory out of 
every thing you do. ' Whether you eat or dilnk, or whatsoever you do, do 
all to the glory of God,' 1 Cor. x. 31. 

In the third place, observe this concerning it : he doth not say, ' to the 
praise of his glory,' by words and by thanksgiving only ; but ' to be to the 
praise of his glory.' It is real things, things that have being, that God re- 
quireth. My meaning is this, that your being, all you are and have, should 
be to his gloiy, not only in word, so the force of the word will carry it : 
' that we should be,' saith he, that all you are, that all you have, should be 
sacrificed and given up to God, ' to the praise of his glory.' 

Now, though I might shew you how this is enforced from aU the former, 
yet I should be too long. I will pass that by. — So much for the first thing. 
Secondly, he cometh to the persons to whom he applieth this, designed out 
by a special privilege ; namely, those ' who first trusted in Christ.' He hath 
predestinated us, called us, apostles and Jews, but to whom he vouchsafed 
this ]3rivilege, that we should first trust in Christ. He speaks, as I take it, 
especially of that we — that is, we apostles. Paul was an apostle ; you know 
they were all Jews ; but in their name and under them he meaneth all the 
Jews too that were believers. He applieth it to themselves first, and unto 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 221 

the Jews, as contained under them. As likewise, when he applieth it to the 
Ephesians, ' in whom ye also trusted,' he speaks but to the Ephesians only, 
but he meaneth all Gentiles. I speak this to reconcile two opinions of in- 
terpreters. Some say that the apostles are meant ; others say that the Jews 
are meant. The apostles had the honour to be the first-fruits of the Chris- 
tian church, of the church of the New Testament ; and therefore, as Christ 
preached to them first, and called them first himself, — for so you know he 
did, — so when he prayeth for his church, how doth he pray ] For the 
apostles first, and then for all them that ' shall believe on him through then- 
word,' John xvii. 20. For the apostles were the first-fruits ; therefore we 
are said to be ' built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles,' Eph. 
iL 20. They were laid as the first stones of this great building. 

The word which we translate trusted is, in the original, and you may see 
it in your margins, hoped; ' who first hoped in Christ ; ' for, my brethren, 
hope is sometimes put for faith, as John v. 45, ' Moses, in whom ye trust ; "■ 
in the original it is, ' in whom ye hope.' For the truth is this, I do not say 
the grace of hope is the foundation of faith, but it is most certain that a 
hopefulness that it may be I, founded upon the indefinite promise, is the 
foundation of faith. And, take the very apostles' faith, it was but at first a 
hoping in Christ ; ' who first,' saith he, ' hoped in Christ.' 

Now, the thing I would have you observe is this, that he mentioneth it 
as a privilege to be the first trusters or hopers in Christ, and he applieth it 
to the Jews and to the apostles. You shall see parallel scriptures fall in with 
this : Rom. i. 16,^ The gospel,' saith he, ' is the power of God to salvation 
to every one that believeth ; to the Jew first,' mark ! ' and also unto the Greek ;' 
but to the Jew first. Take another place, Acts iii. 2Q. When Peter there 
first preacheth to the Jews, speaking of the resurrection of Christ, he saith, 
' God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him unto you first, to bless you, 
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.' The Jews, therefore, 
and the apostles, were the first that trusted in Christ ; and then afterwards 
it was difi"used from the Jews, by the apostles, unto aU nations : ' Preach 
the gospel,' saith he, ' to every creature ; ' but ' to the Jew first ; ' they were 
to believe first — 'who first trusted in him.' 

I have wondered, when I considered this one thing, which will further 
open the text, that God should call so many Jews, and call them first, — for 
so he did, and there were multitudes of them, if you read the story of the 
Acts, — and after that cast off that nation. And why were they, when he 
meant to convert no more of them afterwards, to have this great privilege 
the apostle mentioneth here 1 

I will give you one reason of it. It is because they were the first-fruits 
of the Jews to be called afterwards in the fulness of time. Because God 
meant to call them afterward, as it is certain to me he meaneth to do, 
therefore he called so great a flush of them at first ; and called them first, to 
shew that they shall be the elder brethren under the gospel, though they be 
cast off for so many hundreds of years. That which makes me think so is 
that which the Apostle saith, 1 Tim. i. 16 ; and I know them that interpret 
it as spoken of the Jews. Speaking of his own conversion, ' He shewed 
mercy,' saith he, ' to me first,' as one of the first-fruits of my nation, as in a 
type, (so the word is,) as in ' a pattern to them who should hereafter be- 
lieve,' namely, to the Jews. They expound it particularly, as being a type 
of the conversion of his own nation; yea, and some have thought that in 
the same extraordinary way that he was called shall they be called too. So 
much now for the expounding of this — ' who first trusted in Christ.' 


Obs. 1. — I mil give you an observation, and so pass off from it ; and it is 
this, That it is a great ^^rivilege, much to he valued hy every Christian, to he 
lefore others in Christ. You see tlie Apostle here mentioneth it as the only- 
privilege, distinct, that the Jews had from the Gentiles, that they ' first trusted 
in Christ.' It is a privilege either to be before others in time ; you shall find 
that, Rom. xvi. 7, where Paul giveth the upper hand of fellowship to Andro- 
nicus and Junia upon this ground : ' They were,' saith he, ' in Christ before 
me.' And so should younger Christians give unto elder, which may allay 
the pride and pertness of young ones, who are rather apt to censure old 
ones. Paul giveth it as an honour in that respect, ' who were in Christ 
before me ; ' as here it is made a pri\ilege of the Jews, ' who first trusted in 
Christ.' Or, secondly, it is a privilege, not only when one is in Christ before 
another, but more especially when one is the first-fruits either of a family or 
of a nation that have believed. You shall read, 1 Cor. xvi. 15, of the house- 
hold of Stephanas, that it was the ' first-fruits of Achaia.' 

Hath God singled thee out of a fiimily where never one was converted 
before ? This is thy privilege, thou didst first trust in Christ, and thou art 
the first-fruits that hast sanctified that family unto God ; it is likely he will 
have more out of it, for you know the first-fruits sanctified the lump. Cer- 
tainly there is that covenant which God makes with nations, that Avhere he 
beginneth to convert, there are the first-fruits of more to come ; and God 
goeth on to continue that covenant to that nation for ever, though for a 
while he may cast them off ; for they that are converted are the first-fruits. 
You may observe it, that scarce ever the gospel came to a nation, but it hath 
continued more or less to this day. The Christian name is as much over 
the world as ever it was ; though Turks dwell with them, and domineer and 
tyrannise over them, yet the Christian name is in all nations where it once 
was, because the first converted were the first-fruits of those nations that 
sanctified the whole lump. Therefore was Abraham called the Father of 
the Faithful ; he was one of the first great believers in a way of difiiculty. 
Therefore was Eve the Mother of all Living, she was the first believer ; we 
have a warrant that she believed, we have not a certain ground that Adam 
did ; for the covenant is made with her, the promise is made to the woman ; 
she is called, therefore, the Mother of all Living, because she first trusted in 

Ohs. 2. — Observe again, in the second place, That if you have any privi- 
lege in grace above another, it dependeth upon predestination, as well as 
your salvation doth ; it dependeth upon an act of God's eternal love. The 
Apostle, as he ascribed their salvation to predestination, so this privilege, 
that they first trusted in Christ ; it was ordered by the counsel of God's 
everlasting will, ' being predestinated,' saith he, ' who first trusted in Christ.' 
Therefore, not only have recourse to bless God and his eternal decrees for 
his love in saving thee, but for any particular privilege that thou hast before 
others in point of grace ; have recourse to God's eternal counsel, for it was 
the fountain of it, as well of the degrees of grace as of glory ; they have 
all their spring from God's eternal decree, as well as who shall be saved and 
who not. 

Obs. 3. — It may he made a motive to any one that hath been long in 
Christ, and in Christ before others, to be more holy than they. Why 1 ' That 
we,' saith he, 'should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in 
Christ.' We that were the first-fruits of the world, we that were in Christ 
before you ; we, saith he, should more especially be to his praise. As there 
is a more especial favour, which God in his predestination shewed us, so 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS, 223 

there is a more especial duty lieth upon us, to be to the praise of his glory. 
Therefore the Apostle findeth fault with them, Heb. v. 12, that whereas for 
the time they might have been teachers of others, — they might have had 
abundance of grace and knowledge, — they were dullards, they were dwarfs in 
respect of growth in grace. 

Obs. 4. — And last of ail : You that mean to repent, when you come to lie 
upon your death-beds, if you do so, what do you lose ? You last trust in 
Christ, and so you shall be dishonoured. Is it not better to turn while you 
are young, and so to be of those that first trust in Christ 1 The apostle here, 
you see, makes it a privilege of the Jews, that they were those that first 
trusted in Christ. — And so much likewise for the application of what hs had 
said unto the Jews. 

To come noiv to his application of it to the Gentiles. ' In whom ye also,' 
saith he ; he saith no more ; you have it indeed put into your translation, 
' trusted ;' it is not in the original, but he spealcs by way of ellipsis, shortly, 
and cutteth oif his speech. ' In whom you also,' you Ephesians, you Gen- 
tiles — you also ; which you may refer either unto tnisting, which was in the 
verse before : ' In whom you also trusted,' as well as they, though they first, 
' after you heard,' for so it filloweth ; — or else you may refer it, for the 
Holy Ghost hath a comprehensive meaning, and the Scripture is the shortest 
writing in the world, to what he had said to the Jews, cutting off this privi- 
lege, that they first trusted in Christ. ' In whom also you have obtained an 
inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who work- 
eth all things according to the counsel of his own will, that you should be to 
the praise of his glory ; having also trusted in him when you heard of the 
gospel of truth,' &c. You may refer it either to the one or to the other, and 
indeed to both. For, my brethren, the Apostle's scope is to make applica- 
tion of all he had said both to Jew and Gentile. Now, to go over the same 
thing twice to both had not been so comely ; therefore he divideth them, and 
saith something of the Jew, which he applieth to them, and something of 
the Gentile, which he appUeth to them, yet so as what is said of the Jew is 
applicable to the Gentile, ' In whom ye also had an inheritance, and were 
predestinated,' &c. And what is said of the Gentile, that ' after they heard 
the word of truth they believed, and were sealed,' is true also of the Jew , 
and because it would have been too long to mention them both, he divides it 
therefore, and cutteth it off with a short speech, ' In whom you also,' having 
reference to all that Avent before. So much for the coherence. 

There are in this verse these three things : — 

1. That the Gentiles did also trust in Christ and were called, and by call- 
ing had an inheritance as well as the Jews. 

2. That this calling, and their faith, was by hearing the gospel , which he 
amplifieth by two encomiums of it : — 

(1.) That it is the ' word of truth.' 

(2.) That it is the ' gospel of their salvation.' 

3. After that they had believed, they were 'sealed with the Spirit of 

These are the parts of this 13th verse. 

And first of all from this, — that he saith the same thing of the Gentiles 
that he saith of the Jews, cutting off that privilege that they were the first ; 
the Jews trusted in Christ, and so did the Gentiles ; the Ephesians trusted 
in Christ, as well as the apostles ; they were by faith partakers of an inheri- 
tance, as well as the apostles, — what is the observation from hence 1 In a 
word this — 


That -we are all saved by the same faith that the apostles are. We have 
all the same common inheritance, the same common faith. I wUl give you 
a scripture for both. 

First, that we have a like faith: 2 Pet. L 1, 'Peter, an apostle of Jesus 
Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us ;' with us 
apostles, therefore he mentioneth himself as an apostle when he speaks it. 
We have likewise the same common salvation, the same common seal of the 
Spirit, 1 John i. 3, ' That which we have seen and heard declare we unto 
you, that ye also may have fellowship with us ; and truly our fellowship is 
with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.' We have assurance of the 
love of God, and walk in communion with him. You, saith he, are capable 
of having the same assurance, and we write to you these things, that you may 
have it ; for the scope of that epistle is to beget assurance in the hearts of 
the godly. We are all saved by the same faith, and are capable of the same 
assurance, and shall have all the same salvation ; it is called ' common salva- 
tion,' Jude 3. That is the observation from the coherence, ' In whom ye 
also trusted,' or ' obtained an inheritance,' — for you may put in both, — or ob- 
tained it by faith, or by trusting, ' after you heard,' &c. 

After you lieard. — He sheweth that their faith was wrought by hearing. 
I will not stand upon that, only this observation I shall give you out of it : 
That presently, as it were, after they heard, they believed ; the gospel came 
no sooner to them but they were converted. It was the manner in the pri- 
mitive times, God made quick work then. You shall find it backed by what 
is said to the Colossians, chap. i. 6. He saith there, that they had obeyed 
from the first day that they heard the gospel. Which, my brethren, may 
shame us ; we live under the gospel many years ; it is not after we have 
heard, but after we have heard and heard again, that we are turned unto 
God. How obedient were they ! ' From the first day,' saith the apostle of 
the Colossians, there ; ' after you heard,' saith he, here ; as it were presently 
upon it. 

I come, secondly, to the encomiums which here the apostle giveth the 
gospel by which they were converted. He calls it first a ' word of truth ;' 
and, secondly, the ' gospel of your salvation.' I shall but briefly speak of 
these two, and shall shew you, first, singly, why the gospel is called a word of 
truth, and why the gospel of their salvation. Secondly, I shaU shew you 
jointly why both are liere mentioned together. 

First, The gospel is called a ' word of truth,' not only because it is a true 
word, as being a Hebraism, but it is rov \6yov Tr^g aXi^Qilag, a word of an 
eminent truth. The greatest truth that ever God uttered, or shall utter, is 
the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ ; therefore it is called ' the gospel of 
that truth,' as we may so expound it. When our Saviour Christ told them 
that he was the Messiah, John vui. 40, what saith he ? 'I tell you the 
truth,' saith he, ' which I heard of God ;' the greatest secret, the highest 
truth that ever was, which I heard of God, and which came down from 
heaven ; as he telleth Pilate, John xviii. 37, that for this cause he came into 
the world to speak the truth. What was that truth ? That he was the Son 
of God and the Messiah of the world. ' In him,' saith the apostle, 2 Cor. i. 
20, ' are all the promises of God yea, and in him Amen.' He doth not only 
say, ' in him they are yea ;' if yea will not serve, saith he, you shall have 
Amen to it; it is a truth of truths, it hath yea to it and Amen to it too. 
To give you an instance more. My brethren, there is no truth that ever 
God swore to, but this. The law is all truth, but the law was made without 
an oath, for if it had been with an oath we had been in an ill case, for God 

EpH. I. 11-14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 225 

could then never have recalled it ; what is a mere threatening he recalleth, 
but what is done ydih an oath he never recalls. The gospel is sealed with 
an oath. God sweareth by himself, Heb. vi. 13. Never any truth was 
sealed ■nith an oath but the gospel, the promise made to Abraham. 

It may, secondly, be called a word of truth in opposition to the law ; for 
the law represented but a shadow ; but now, saith he, you have the truth, 
you have Christ, that is the su.bstance of all the law, you have him revealed 
and tendered to you in the gospel. It is a word of truth, of Christ that 
is the truth. ' The law came by Moses,' saith he, ' but grace and truth by 
Jesus Christ,' John i. 17. 

Let your hearts, my brethren, get hold by faith of this truth. There are 
many controversies in the world on foot, as about the worship of God and a 
thousand such things. Though there be a truth in them, and a truth thou 
must inquire into, yet if thou hast learned this truth to lay hold upon salva- 
tion revealed in the gospel, thou hast learned the greatest truth of all, more 
than aU truths whatsoever. 

And believe this gospel, that it is a word of truth. The greater truth it 
is the more it requireth faith, and the greater sin it is not to believe it ; there- 
fore the apostle aggravateth the sin of unbelief of the gospel, 1 John v. 10: 
He that believeth not this gospel, saith he, this record that God giveth of 
his Son, ' hath made God a liar ;' for God hath uttered the greatest truth of 
all in the gospel, he hath bound it with an oath, which he never did any 
truth else. He hath really exhibited Christ in it. You had him in a promise 
before, but now you have him really ; when he gave Christ into the world, 
there is the truth of all the promises ; he therefore that believeth not the 
gospel makes God a liar. Unbelief is the greatest lie that ever was. Why ? 
Because this is the word of truth in an eminent way. 

Secondly, Why the ' gospel of your salvation ? ' 

First, Why of salvation ? Secondly, Why of your salvation ? speaking to 
the Ephesians. 

First, Why of salvation ? Because the matter of it is salvation. Beza, 
therefore, whereas he useth to translate it as we do, the gospel or the evangel, 
translates it here — and he doth it nowhere else but here, and in one place 
more — the ' glad tidings of your salvation.' He giveth it in the significa- 
tion. Why 1 Because salvation is the gladdest tidings in the world. ]\Iy 
brethren, if a man were in danger of drowning, go and throw him a crown, 
and bid him take hold of that and come ashore, and he shaU have all the 
kingdoms of the world with that crown, and throw him a rope ; he vrill take 
hold of the rope, and let go the crown. No, saith he, I will take this rope. 
Why 1 It will save me, it will tow me ashore. I may be drowned for all 
the crown. What could God have said to have pleased you more, than that 
you poor sinners should be saved 1 than to fling out to you the gospel of 
your salvation, as a tow to lay hold upon to get safe over the sea of his 
wrath, and to obtain at last an everlasting salvation 1 The matter of the 
gospel is salvation ; it is called salvation, the gospel is, Heb. ii, 3 ; as the 
writing wherein a man's pardon is contained, is called the pardon itself. 

It is likewise called the gcspel of salvation, because it doth bring men to 
salvation, and because it is the ' power of God unto salvation,' as the Apostle 
saith, Rom. i. 16. 

Now, my brethren, what observation shall we draw from hence 1 It is 
the * glad tidings of salvation,' so Beza translates it ; because, saith he, this 
is the best tidings that ever was. Here I will give it in the signification of 
it, saith he. I will not use the word gospel or evangel, but take it thus — 



it is the glad tidings of salvation. Oh, how should salvation, therefore, be 
valued by us ! When the Apostle would set out the gospel to you, It is the 
gospel, saith he, of your salvation. What could he speak more to have 
moved the hearts of men than this 1 It is a word of truth, or it is a faithful 
saying ; it hath truth and faithfulness in it, ' worthy of all acceptation,' that 
may draw you ; but it is a gospel of salvation, saith he. When first this 
gospel was preached to these poor Gentiles, it is said. Acts xiii. 48, ' they 
were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord.' Oh, how glad should you 
be when you hear it preached ! For you are not saved yet, you are not in 
heaven yet. It is the gospel which must save you and bring you there. It 
is the gospel of your salvation that works salvation in you, that bringeth 
you to salvation, that buildeth you up to eternal life. Acts xx. 32. 

I should have lilcewise shewed you why it is called i/our salvation, but I 
will pass over that. I have shewed why it is called the ' word of truth,' 
why the 'gospel of salvation ;' but why are both these here put together? 
You shall find it called the gospel of salvation somewhere else, as Heb. ii. 3, 
and the ' power of God unto salvation,' Eom. i. 1 6. And you shall find it 
often called ' the word of truth,' as Col. i. 5, and other places ; but here both 
come in ; for what reason ? FOr two reasons — 

First, Because if he had said only, ' the gospel of your salvation,' this is 
such mighty news to poor sinners that they would never have believed it, 
for men are not apt to believe too good news ; therefore, saith he, it is the 
' gospel of your salvation,' and the ' word of truth ' too. As when the angel. 
Rev. xix., told John glorious things, because he thought they were too good 
to be true, the angel clappeth upon them this seal, ver. 9, ' These are the 
true sayings of God;' so the Apostle here, when he commendeth the gospel 
as the gospel of your salvation, that brings you news of being saved, to draw 
your hearts to believe it, saith he. It is the word of truth, the greatest truth 
that ever God uttered. The greatest truth, my brethren, and our salvation 
are met in one. It is the word of truth, and it is the go&pel of our salvation. 

The second reason why he mentioneth both is this : he speaks of faith, as 
you see, ' who first trusted in Christ ; in whom ye also trusted ; and after you 
believed you were sealed,' &c. Now, faith is seated in two faculties, in the 
understanding and in the will. Answerably, what hath the gospel? To 
satisfy the understanding, it hath the greatest truth in the world ; it is the 
word of truth ; the understanding closeth with that. To satisfy the will, it 
hath the greatest good in the world ; it is the gospel of salvation. So that 
now first a man being persuaded of the truth of the gospel, and that truth 
being matter of salvation, his will hath reason to close with it, and so he 
makes up the bargain with God; that is, believeth. Heb. xi. 13, after 
they saw the promises, and were persuaded of them, they embraced them. 
There was seeing and being persuaded of them, as being the word of truth ; 
there was embracing of them, as being the salvation of their souls. 

Thus you see why the gospel is a word of truth and the gospel of salva- 
tion, and why the apostle here joins them both together. 

There remains the third thing in the text to be handled : ' After that you 
believed you were sealed/ which sealing is an * earnest,' for so it followeth 
ver. 14. 

EpH. X 13, U.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 227 


In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of 
promise, ivhich is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption 
of the jyii'Vchased possession, unto the 2^Taise of his glory. — Vee. 13, 14. 

I HAVE proceeded unto these words in opening of this chapter. The co- 
herence of these words with the former is both natural and elegant. He had 
spoken of an inheritance which they were predestinated unto, so ver. 1 1 ; 
which inheritance was purchased for them by Jesus Christ ; so, ver. 14, it is 
called * the purchased possession.' Being appointed them and purchased for 
them, he telleth them, in the 13th verse, that the gospel brought the first 
news of it to them : ' After you heard,' saith he, * the word of truth, the 
gospel of your salvation.' Upon their hearing of it, their faith closed with 
it, and by believing they obtained that inheritance; so saith the 11th verse. 
Now, because that this inheritance, though the right unto it was obtained 
by believing on Jesus Christ, though it was appointed for them from ever- 
lasting, — they were ' predestinated according to his purpose,' so saith the 
11th verse, — although purchased by Jesus Christ, yet they stood still out of 
the possession of it. In the meantime, therefore, ' till the redemption of this 
purchased possession,' till the time should come that they should enjoy it, 
he giveth them the Holy Spirit, who had both sealed them up to it, and had 
given them the earnest of it in their hearts. ' After you beUeved,' saith he, 
' you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our 

For the division of these words, — I mean the first part of them, viz., those 
in the 13th verse, ' In whom after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy 
Spirit of promise,' — they fall naturally into these parts : — 

First, Here is A work of the Holy Ghost distinct from faith : 
'After you believed, you were sealed.' There is a work of sealing, to open 
which wU] be the greatest difficulty that I shall have to do with at this 

Here is. Secondly, The order of that work : it is * after they had be- 

Here is. Thirdly, The virtual cause, if I may so call it, in whom this 
sealing was wrought : it is in Christ, ' in whom after ye believed ye were 
sealed.' In whom referreth to sealing, as I shall shew you anon. 

Fourthly, Here is The Person that is the sealer ; it is the Spirit, the 
Holy Ghost, the third Person in the Trinity j and he is set forth unto us, as 
he is a sealer, two ways : — 

First, He is the ' Spirit of promise.' 

Secondly, He is a ' holy Spirit.' 

Then, FiftUy, here are The persons sealed : * After ye believed,' speak- 
ing to the Ephesians, ' ye were sealed,' &c. 

I. To begin with the first. I shall profess merely to perform the part of 
an expositor, and but mention such observations concerning sealing, which 


in itself will afford a large field of discourse otherwise, as tlie text affordeth. 
And first, concerning this sealing, let us inquire what that is. 

I shall first shew you tvliat it is not ; which some interpreters have given 
to be the meaning of it too. 

Secondly/, I shall endeavour to shew you ivhat it is. 

First, What it is not. I will not trouble you with what Popish inter- 
preters make this sealing to be, because they are enemies to assurance of 
salvation. But, first, Piscator and some others do take it for the work of 
faith itself ; and so they express the meaning of it to be, that in believing, 
in the work of faith, the Holy Ghost did seal up the truth of the promise 
unto their hearts. The like saith Calvin u]Don this place ; and they have 
these two reasons for it. Because he is called the Spirit of promise, say 
they ; because he sealeth up the truth of the promises, when men believe. 
And whereas he had called the gospel the ' word of truth ' in the words be- 
fore, he speaks, say they, to these Ephesians, and telleth them, Ye know it 
by this to be the truth, for the Holy Ghost did seal it up to you, when you 

Their meaning, that I may explain it to you, as I understand it, is this : 
there is a twofold assurance. 

There is, first, an assurance of the truth of the promises, — and that is their 
meaning, — whereby a man's understanding is spiritually convinced that the 
promises are true and from God. And, secondly, there is an assurance of a 
man's interest in those promises. 

Now, when they say that the Holy Ghost, in believing, seals believers, 
their meaning is, that he sealeth up the truth of the promises to them. Now 
to confute this interpretation in a word or two. I do grant them three 
things concerning it. 

The first is, that it is a truth that in all faith there is an assurance of the 
truth of the promises wrought, I do not say there is an assurance of a 
man's intei^est in the promises. No, but whoever believeth hath unbelief 
thus far subdued, that he fully believeth this promise is true, and giveth up 
his soul unto it. There is a prevailing assurance of the truth of the promise, 
above all doubting, in every believer. I do not say it excludeth doubting ; 
neither do I say it is an assurance of a man's own personal interest in the 
promise. I could shew you this by Scripture, but I must not insist 
upon it. 

In the second place, I grant that this is a work of the Holy Ghost. It is 
not all the light of reason that can convince a man spiritually of the truth of 
a promise, or (ksiw his heart into rest upon it. Speaking of the conversion 
of the Thessalonians, 1 Thess. i. 5, and of the Apostle's entrance among 
them when they first were turned to God, he saith, that ' the gospel came 
not unto them in word only, but in the Holy Ghost, and in much assur- 
ance.' The Holy Ghost and assurance are both there joined together. 

Nay, in the third place, the Holy Ghost's convincing a man of the truth 
of any promise is called a sealing. I grant that likewise. Job, chap, xxxiii. 16, 
speaking of the manner of God's converting men in those times, which was 
done by visions and by dreams, ' then,' saith he, ' he openeth the ears of 
men, and sealeth their instruction.' 

But yet, though all this be granted, this is not the meaning of the place, 
to speak of the work of faith. For, first, if you mark it, it is not a sealing 
up of the promise, the truth of it, a sealing of instruction, that the Apostle 
here speaks of ; but it is a sealing of their persons, and so their personal in- 
terest in the promise : ' by whom,' saith he, ' ye were sealed ; ' he doth not 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 229 

say the promise, or the trutli of it, was sealed to them, but their persons were 

Then, secondly, it cannot be meant of that sealing of instruction that is 
wrought in believing, for it cometh after believing ; ' after ye believed,' saith 
he, ' ye were sealed with the Spirit of promise.' I know Piscator readeth 
the words otherwise, but I shall meet with his interpretation anon, (for the 
order of it,) when I speak to that point. 

Again, it is evident he speaks of this sealing as a distinct thing from faith. 
For suppose this sealing were at the same time that men beheve ; suppose 
he had said. When you believe you were sealed ; yet it is evident that it must 
needs be a distinct thing from faith. If a man saith that he did such a 
thing when such a thing was, it argueth he speaks of two things. 

Lastly, if he had spoken of the sealing of the Spirit as the cause of faith, 
he would not have said, ' when you believed you were sealed with the Spuit,' 
but ' through sealing you did believe.' He would have spoken of faith as 
an act of theirs, and of sealing as an act of the Spirit, tJae cause of faith. 
And so much to confute that interpretation. 

I find, again, in the other place, that Zanchy doth acknowledge — as a man 
must needs do — that sealing here is a distinct work from faith. But then 
he interpreteth it of the Avork of regeneration, and of sanctification, and 
renewing the image of God upon a man's heart ; and his reason is tliis : for, 
saith he, a seal doth import the impression of an image ; he giveth many 
reasons, but that is the main. Now, because that sanctification beareth the 
image of God, therefore, saith he, the sealing of the Spirit is the stamping of 
holiness and of all the frame of gTaces upon the heart ; which, saith he, is 
upon believing, is wrought in a man by faith. 

Now, my brethren, to confute this. I do grant that the seal here men- 
tioned doth imply and import, in a secondary sense, the stamping of the 
image of God upon the heart, and therefore this attribute of holy is given 
to the Spirit as he is a sealer. But yet it is not the meaning of the Holy 
Ghost here, not the principal meaning of it, especially not the first work of 
sanctification ; and the reasons are these : — 

For, first, besides that many divines hold — and I think not without 
ground — that all the principles of sanctification are wrought m the heart 
before an act of faith, they are all wrought together ; this is a truth, that the 
acts of sanctification depend upon the acts of faith foregoing them, (it wUl 
decide a controversy;) I say the acts of sanctification, our acting of love to 
God and obedience, do follow the acts of faith, laying hold upon Christ, and 
free grace ; but yet the working of the image is presupposed before faith in 
order of nature. I might prove this unto you at large. 

But, secondly, if the working of the image of God upon the heart were 
the thing here intended to be the seal, he would not say, ' after ye believed.' 
Why 1 Because that believing and faith is part of the image of God, pai-t 
of the image of Christ, as well as any other holy disposition in us. It is 
said, we 'receive grace for grace' of Christ, John i. 16. That is, look what 
graces he had, we also have, and faith amongst the rest; and therefore, 
1 John v. 1, he that belie veth is said to be born of God. 

And then there is this third reason for it also, why the first work of 
regeneration is not here intended in this metaphor ; for the Apostle foUoweth 
an allusion of making sure an inheritance. Now, when the Scripture speaks 
of the work of sanctification and of regeneration, he nowhere calls it the seal 
of the Spirit, but he calleth it the writing of the law in the heart. For you 
know, when you will make a thing sure, you write the covenants, and when 


you have done, you seal to it. Now sanctification is tlie writing in the heart, 
as the scripture is written in the book. So you have it, 2 Cor. iii. 3, ' For- 
asmuch,' saith he, ' as ye are declared to be the epistle of Christ, written not 
with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.' Here is sanctification ; 
now the Holy Ghost is as ink, and that is as writing ; but here the Holy 
Ghost is as the seal, and the work here which the Holy Ghost works is as 
the thing sealed. 

That which occasioneth this mistake is this : because every seal hath an 
image in it, it was therefore supposed that the main intent of sealing was 
this stamping of an image ; but that is not the main intent of a seal. It is 
true every seal hath an image upon it which it leaveth upon the wax ; but 
yet the main intent of a seal is to assure or ascertain, to certify and make 
known, and to convey and make sure a thing ; that is the intent of a seal, 
that is the primary intent of it ; only, ex consequente, by way of consequence, 
and because you may know this seal is true, you have an image annexed to 
it. So I Lave confuted those interpretations that put most fair. It was 
necessary for me to do it, for they that read comments will find that these 
are the great interpretations. 

Secondly, Now then, in examining wJuzt it is, I shaU do that first in 

It is, first, a work of the Holy Ghost. That is certain, he may be called an 
earnest, the Holy Ghost's person may be so called ; but he is not called a 
seal, but in relation to an act of sealing. It importeth a work of the Holy 
Ghost upon the heart. This giving of the person of the Holy Ghost to a 
man is the highest earnest of heaven, more than all your graces. But if 
you speak of the Holy Ghost as a seal, it importeth a thing sealed, an act of 
his, a work upon a man's spirit. That is the first. 

Secondly, It is a metaphorical expression, or a similitude ; and if you will 
open this similitude, you must have recourse to the use of seals, what use 
seals serve for. 

Divines give many uses of a seal that they apply to this particular in the 
text. They say, God sealeth his children, because he owneth them to be his 
by way of appropriation, setteth them apart to be his, as you merchants seal 
your goods, and so distinguish them from other men's goods ; as. Cant. iv. 
12, the spouse is called a sealed fountain unto Christ. The meaning of 
which metaphor is this : the Jews, you know, whose drink was water, there 
were some fountains and springs more delicate than others. Those that were 
great men, such as Solomon, the kings and others, if they had a delicate 
spring of waters, they roUed a stone upon it, (so you read they did of theu: 
wells. Gen. xxix. 3,) and then when they had done they would seal that 
stone, that their servants or others, walking in their enclosed gardens, might 
not taste of that spring. They would reserve it for themselves. As in Matt. 
xxviL, ' they sealed up the stone that was rolled upon the sepulchre to make 
it sure ; ' so they used to do to their fountains — rolling a stone upon them, 
they sealed them up. It is an allusion to what one's -wife or spouse should 
be to him. She should be as a sealed fountain, appropriated unto him 
alone; and so, saith Christ, is the Church to me. Prov. v. 15, 18, 'Drink 
waters out of thine own cistern;' 'Let thy fountain be blessed,' saith he, 
speaking of a man's wife ; ' rejoice with the wife of thy youth.' And so now, 
to appropriate the soul to Christ, to make the soul that sealed fountain, this 
is one interpretation they give of it. 

So likewise for estimation, and for security, and the like. They give many 
sucL But, my brethren, I cut off all such interpretations in a word or two. 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 231 

And the first is this : that you have all these upon believing, as well as 
after believing. You are distinguished from other men, you are sealed in 
that sense, you are appropriated to God when you are first converted ; but 
this sealing is after believing : therefore still this hitteth it not. 

Secondly, let there be never so many uses of a seal, that which is proper 
to the scope here is sealing of an inheritance. You see the Apostle speaks 
of an inheritance, whereof the Holy Ghost is a sealer. ' We have obtained,' 
saith he, ' an inheritance by faith,' and having believed, we are ' sealed with 
the Holy Spirit of promise.' 

So that now, if you would know the proper meaning of the word, you 
must have recourse to the use of a seal in sealing up of an inheritance. 

What use is there of a seal in sealing up of inheritances 1 

There is a double use of it. There is, first, a making the inheritance sure 
to a man in itself ; and there is, secondly, a making the man know that it is 
his, to confirm and settle his spirit that it is his. Now let us see which of 
these two is the seal here meant. 

First, it is not the sealing of it to make a thing sure, to make salvation 
sure, that is not the scope principally here, to make it sure in itself; and the 
reason is this : for to make salvation sure there needeth no seal after be- 
lie\dng. No, there was a seal set to make salvation sure long before his 
believing, therefore that is not the Apostle's scope here. Look into 2 Tim. 
ii. 19, 'The foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord 
knoweth who are his.' He speaks of God's eternal election ; there is the 
seal now by which salvation is made sure in itself ; therefore now for the 
Holy Ghost to seal it up, to make it sure in itself afterward, it needed not ; 
there needed not a second seal to that end. No, upon thy believing, and by 
being sanctified, and receiving the Spirit at first, thy salvation is made as 
sure as by all the works of the Holy Ghost for ever after. 

Well then, secondly, there is nothing, therefore, that is left that should 
be the meaning and the principal scope of the Holy Ghost here, but this, 
that they are sealed by the Spirit to inalce them sure, to make their persons 
sure of their salvation, to persuade their hearts, to put them out of ques- 
tion that this inheritance was theirs, that they might be able to claim it. In 
Jer. xxxii. 10, when Jeremiah did buy land, you read there that he had both 
the evidences written, and he had witnesses to them, and he had them sealed 
too ; and all this in public, before public notaries, before the magistrate. It 
is the manner amongst men still ; and the Holy Ghost aUudeth to what 
was done then ; he doth, I say, mention his sealing there unto that end, 
that there might be a public and a general notice, that he himself might be 
able to claim that land for ever. 

Now, my brethren, this is that that I pitch upon to be the meaning of 
the Holy Ghost here. You must know that in ancient times, as likewise 
now, as the Scripture recordeth, when there should be a public certificate 
made that all men should take knowledge that such an act is authentical, it 
was done by a seal and without hands sometimes. Look into Esther viii. 
8, 9, when a decree was made by the Persian monarch, it is said it was 
written in the king's name, — there was not the king's hand to it, — and it was 
sealed with the king's ring. Kead on in that chapter ; he wrote (at the 10th 
verse) in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring. All 
acknowledged that to be the king's seal when they saw it. The end of the 
seal was to make a certificate, that it might be known by those whom it did 
concern. And therefore now, to this day, you see, where the king's broad 
seal is, the kiiig's hand is not to it; but there is the seal set, and it is 


enough to assure all that see it that it is the king's act. The end of a seal 
here, therefore, is to make known, to assure, to persuade, and to certify that 
such a thing is an act of God's. 

And, my brethren, not to make salvation sia-e in itself, but to make us 
sure of it, is plainly the meaning of the Holy Ghost here ; for, first, you shall 
see that in other Scriptures sealing is so taken. Take but one or two 
places; I wUl name one eminent one, 2 Cor. i. 21, 'Now he which stab- 
lisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God ; who hath also 
sealed us, and given the earnest of the Sj)irit in our hearts.' As Musculus 
well observeth upon the place : There are, saith he, three similitudes used 
to express what he had said plainly at first ; he had said, ' he that stablish- 
eth us with you ; ' this same establishing is expressed both by anointing 
(for the Holy Ghost is given to teach us all truths, ' the anointing teacheth 
us all things,') and by sealing, ' who hath also sealed us,' saith he ; he assur- 
eth us of our interest in them, and he hath given us an earnest of them in 
our hearts; and thus, saith he, the Holy Ghost establisheth a man. It is 
not making salvation sure, but it is making the person sure ; it is therefore 
expressed by ' establishing us with you.' And the scope of the Holy Ghost 
in this place is evident to be so, for mark by what degrees he setteth forth 
the revelation of salvation to believers. He telleth them, first, that the 
gospel brought them the first news of it ; it was the happy news of ' your 
salvation,' as the 13th verse hath it, and so Beza expoundeth it ; and as usually 
the first news of a thing is but confused, so is the first news of the gospel ; 
it is but an indefinite hint ; there is salvation, this salvation is offered to 
you, it may be yours. Well then, secondly, cometh faith, and that closeth 
with this salvation. ' You believed,' saith he, you gave your souls up unto 
it to be saved by it ; then cometh the seal of the Spirit after believing, and 
confirmeth a man, settleth and establisheth the soul (as the Apostle's phrase 
is in that of the Corinthians) that this salvation is his. 

And then agam, in the second place, if you observe it, he doth not say 
that your inheritance is sealed, as if it were made sure in itself; but he saith 
the liersons are sealed ; ' he sealed us, he sealed you;' those are the phrases 
both here and in that of the Corinthians ; therefore the end of this sealing 
is to seal up their peculiar interest. 

And then, again, there is this third reason for it likewise, that it is not 
making salvation sure in itself, but to make us sure of it, because that the 
inward work here of sealing answereth to the outward work of baptism. It 
is Zanchy's observation, though he doth not apply it : I say, the Apostle, 
instead of saying you are baptized and so sealed, mentioneth the inward 
work of baptism rather. You are sealed, saith he, by the Sphit. Now the 
end of baptism is to be a seal ; that is the outward seal, for it succeedeth 
circumcision, as appeareth, Col. ii. 11, 12, compared. Now, circumcision is 
called the 'seal of the righteousness of faith,' Rom. iv. 11. Now every 
ordinance hath his proper work ; the proper work of baptism, the inward 
work that answereth to baptism, is the seal of the Spirit, for that is the seal 
of the righteousness of faith. Now baptism supposeth regeneration, sup- 
poseth salvation sure in itself first. Sacraments are never administered to 
begin or work grace ; you suppose children to believe before you baptize 
them. Read all the Acts ; still it is said, ' they believed and were baptized.' 
I could give you multitude of places for it. Now then salvation is made 
sure upon believing ; but you are baptized, that is the seal to confirm. 
Answerably, salvation is made sure upon believing; but the seal of the 
Spirit cometh as the fruit of baptism, which is the proper work of it. The 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 233 

inward seal answereth to the outward. You shall therefore find in the Acts, 
that upon baptizing of men that were at years, the Holy Ghost fell upon 
them ; as, when the eunuch was baptized, Acts viii. 38, ' he went away re- 
joicing,' so saith ver. 39. He had 'joy in the Holy Ghost.' You have the 
jailor baptized. Acts xvi. 33 ; you have him rejoicing, ver. 34. So that now 
the seal of the Spirit in those primitive times did accompany the outward 
seal of baptism ; and so, to this day, the proper fruit you are to expect of 
your having been baptized, is to be sealed with the Spirit of promise ; it is 
not to work regeneration, Isut supposeth it. So now you see that sealing is 
an assurance of salvation. 

But now there is a twofold assurance of salvation, that we may yet go 
further in examining what is intended in it ; for I must sift things to find 
out what is the proper scope, what is the elixir of the Holy Ghost's inten- 
tion. There is, first, an assurance by sense, by conditional promises, whereby 
a man, seeing the image of God upon his heart, to which promises are made, 
Cometh comfortably to believe that he is in the estate of grace. That there 
is a use of sense all acknowledge. But then, secondly, there is an imme- 
diate assurance of the Holy Ghost, by a heavenly and divine light, of a 
divine authority, which the Holy Ghost sheddeth in a man's heart, (not 
having relation to grace wrought, or anything in a man's self,) whereby he 
sealeth him up to the day of redemption. And this is the great seal of all 
the rest. The one way is discoursive; a man gathereth that God loveth 
him from the effects, as we gather there is fire because there is smoke. But 
the other is intuitive, as the angels are said to know things ; it is such a 
knowledge as whereby we know the whole is greater than the part, we do 
not stand discoursing. There is light that cometh and overpowereth a man's 
soul, and assuretli him that God is his, and he is God's, and that God loveth 
him from everlasting. 

Now the question is, Which of these two is intended here 1 I shall give 
you an answer to it by consulting that in 1 John v. 8. He saith, ' There are 
three that bear witness ' to a man's conscience, to a man's spirit. There is 
the Spirit, saith he, that is the Holy Ghost; and there is the ivater; and there 
is the blood. By water he meaneth sanctification, as all agree ; and by blood 
he meaneth the blood of Jesus Christ, by faith laid hold upon, which hath a 
witness in it : ' He that believeth,' saith he, ' hath the witness in himself,' 
ver. 10. You shall find both these in Heb. :s.. 22 : ' Let us draw near with 
a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an 
evil conscience,' — there is blood, for, Heb. ix. 14, the blood of Christ is said 
to purge the conscience from dead works, — ' and our bodies washed with 
pure water,' that is, our whole man sanctified, alluding to the types of the 
ceremonial law. But you see here, beside the testimony of blood, when a 
man cometh to believe, he layeth hold upon the blood of Christ ; when a 
man looks to Christ, though with a weak faith, Jesus Christ doth somewhat 
look upon him ; as when a man looks upon a picture, if he eye the picture, 
the picture seemeth to look upon him too ; this becometh some quiet to the 
soul. A man that is elected, and cometh to lay hold upon the blood of 
Christ, look as a man that is guilty of murder, when he cometh to the dead 
body the blood floweth : so when a man that is a believer looks upon Christ, 
there is a fresh flowing of the blood, and that strengtheneth faith ; no man 
looks upon Christ but cometh off more cheerly ; but this is a weak witness. 
Then cometh in water, that witnesseth too ; but yet, I say, if you mark it, 
here is the Spirit, that differeth from both these, therefore there is a further 
testimony than either from a man's sanctification or from mere faith. The 


Holy Ghost witnesseth with botli the other : for your sanctification cannot 
comfort you, if it were not for the Holy Ghost ; no, your faith could not 
comfort you, but that it is a work of the Holy Ghost. I will give you but 
one place for it, Rom. xv. 13. He prayeth that God would make them 
' abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.' If thou hast any 
hope wrought in thee, either by looking to Christ's blood, or by seeing grace 
in thy heart, it is by the power of the Holy Ghost. Well, why doth he 
say Spirit, differing from both blood and water ? Because there is an im- 
mediate testimony beyond all these, which the Holy Ghost works in a man's 

Now, my brethren, to answer you which is meant here by the sealing of 
the Spirit. I answer in two things. 

First, I say, that in a large and in a general sense all assurance wrought, 
whether by water or by blood, — for there are no other ways, — any assurance, 
what way soever it be, is a seal of the Holy Ghost. I shall give you some- 
thing to confirm it. If you wUl take sealing for a giving in witness in a 
large and common sense, so whatsoever giveth a testimony through the 
power of the Holy Ghost is an irradiating of a believer, and is the work of 
the Holy Ghost, that may be said to be a seal. In John iii. 33, you shall 
see the use of the phrase of sealing. It is used there for the giving of a 
testimony : ' He that hath received his testimony,' namely, by believing, 
* hath set to his seal that God is true.' So that now, in a large and common 
sense, any witness that is given to confirm a truth is expressed in the Scrip- 
ture by setting a seal unto. Therefore now, when the Holy Ghost doth give 
in a witness that you have grace by blood, laid hold on by faith, that you 
have grace by water; if it be a witness, it may be called a seal. I will not 
exclude these two other ways of assurance. Witnesses did use to set to 
their seals as witnesses, as well as the conveyer of an inheritance, in ancient 
times. Therefore divines make degrees of seahng. They say there is a 
sealing by blood, and there is a sealing by water, by sanctification, and there 
is a sealing by the Spirit. They make them several degrees ; as in passing 
a thing at court, it passeth the king, and then it passeth the privy seal, and 
then it pass.eth the broad seal. These are but three several degrees of con- 
firming the same thing ; but the broad seal doth the business, whereby a 
man authentically claimeth it for ever. So that I say, in a large sense, I 
wUl not deny but that sealing here may be put for all kinds of assurance. 

But yet let me say this, that that which is here more eminently meant is 
the immediate testimony of the Holy Ghost, the special thing that is here 
aimed at ; and my reasons are these — 

First, If you follow the metaphor close, every witness is not a seal in a 
strict sense ; when there are witnesses and a sealer too, the witnesses come 
in to confirm the seal, or to confirm the writing. Every seal indeed is a 
witness, and it is the highest witness that is ; and therefore, though the 
Spirit and his immediate testimony is called a witness, yet he is called a seal 
too ; but yet, on the other side, every witness is not a seal, not in a strict 
sense. There are many things that are signs that are not seals, as you have 
it, Rom. iv. 11. There are many witnesses that are not sealers, especially in 
matters of inheritances, where there is a conveying over by the person that 

Then again a second reason is this : if you observe the phrase, it is said 
you are ' sealed by the Spirit,' he only is mentioned. Now, if you have re- 
course to that 1 John v. 8, water is said to be a witness, and blood a witness, 
and the Spirit a third witness; the witness of water and blood are swallowed 

EpK. I, 13, 14.J TO THE EPHESIANS. 235 

up as it were in the witness of the Spirit, in respect of the immediate testi- 
mony of the Holy Ghost. His testimony, though it is joined with theirs, 
yet it is hid under theirs ; it is not said so much to be the testimony of the 
Spirit, is the testimony of water and blood : whereas here it is said to be 
the testimony of the Spirit ; therefore that third is rather meant than the 

And then again, in the third place, in sealing of an inheritance, the wit- 
nesses, you know, are eodranei; they are persons which are not the conveyers 
of the inheritance ; he that selleth or conveyeth the inheritance is said to seal 
properly, he whose the inheritance is. Therefore now, though your grace 
and faith may come in as witnesses, yet when he speaks of a seal, he must 
mean the seal of the conveyer; which is therefore the seal of the Holy 
Ghost himself, as distinguished from these two, as principally aimed at. 

Great persons, who stand upon their authority, use to seal without wit- 
nesses. If you will speak of the seal of a king, as this is the seal of God : 
so, Estli. viii. 8, they did but write in the king's name, and seal it with the 
king's ring : there was the seal, there was no hand to it. To this day the 
king writeth teste me ipso, ' witness ourself,' when he putteth his seal to. In 
some colleges, when they put the college seal to a thing, they put no hands 
to, neither of the fellows, nor of the master, but only the seal of the college. 
Saith Christ, John v. 33, 34, ' I receive not testimony from man.' Though 
John, saith he, hath given me a witness, yet I receive no testimony from 
him, I am witness enough myself When the Holy Ghost cometh to seal 
up salvation, he will have no witness but himself; they may come in as under- 
confirmers of it ; but he doth it himself ; ' witness ourself.' That is the 
seal of the Holy Ghost. 

God hath made a promise, and he hath made an oath, to confirm our sal- 
vation ; he hath made a promise, and he hath set to his seal, to confirm sal- 
vation ; now do but parallel these two. When God sweareth, he sweareth 
by himself, he will not swear by anything else. Will the Holy Ghost seal ? 
lie sealeth by himself, he will take nothing else : so you have it, Heb. vi. 
1 3, ' Because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.' Will he 
seal ? he will seal by himself. There may be other witnesses, but they 
are extranei; they have not to do with the bargain ; but, saith he, it is my 
witness. I vdll seal by myself, I will receive testimony from none. He 
doth it himself 

So now, my brethren, I have opened this thing unto you, and all that I 
have said tendeth plainly and clearly but to open the words. 

N(jw I shall come to some observations from what hath been said. 

Obs. 1. — In the first place, you see that the work of faith is a distinct thing, 
a different thing, from the work of assurance; that is the least that can be 
gathered from it. He speaks of faith as one thing, of the sealing of the 
Spirit as another thing. Those that have held that faith is assurance, and 
others that have held the contrary ; there is a double mistake in the point. 
I shall shew it in a word. 

First, it must be granted, that in all faith there is an assurance ; but of 
•what ? Of the truth of the promise. If a man doubt, if he ' waver,' as St 
James saith, in the truth of the promise, he will never act his faith. But 
the question here is about the assurance of a man's interest ; that is not 
always in faith. 

Again, all faith is an application of Christ. But how 1 It is not an 
application that Christ is mine, but it is a laying hold upon Christ to be 
mine. It is not a logical application in way of proposition that I may say 


Christ is mine ; but it is a real one, I put him on, I take him to be mine; 
and that is the better of the two. Faith, my brethren, is distinct from 

Obs. 2. — In the second place, the sealing of the Spirit here intended, 
especially that immediate assurance which is mainly aimed at, is a light 
beyond the light of ordinary faith, that ordinary faith which a man liveth 
by. Why ? Because he makes it to be a further work than believing. 
' After ye believed,' saith he, ' ye were sealed ; ' he makes it a further thing , 
and because it is the next thing to heaven, you have no more, you can have 
no more till you come thither; for you are sealed, and it is the ' earnest of 
your inheritance.' Faith indeed doth give the soul up to Christ, it de- 
pendeth upon him, C[uieteth itself in the blood of Christ. A man feeleth the 
load taken off his conscience while he believeth, and while he washeth him- 
self in that blood, and eyeth that blood ; but this of the seal of the Spirit is 
more. At the 17th verse, (it may perhaps prove the meaning of it, I shall 
consider it when I come to it,) he is called the ' Spirit of wisdom ' — I told 
you by wisdom is meant faith, in the 8th verse — ' and revelation.' I will 
give you Job for an instance ; Job had an ordinary light he lived by, and an 
extraordinary light that came into his soul. Look Job xUi. 5, ' Mine ear,' 
saith he, ' hath heard of thee, but now mine eye hath seen thee.' He caUetb 
this vision, in comparison of what he had all his lifetime. I think Job 
speaks it in respect of a sight of God himself, but you may apply it to the 
sight of a man's interest ; it is a sight by which a man seeth it, though he 
did but hear of it before. I have heard it whispered to me by the Holy 
Ghost, — for the Holy Ghost whispereth secretly by blood and by water, — that 
I am in the state of grace, but now I see it, saith he. 

I yield, my brethren, that the sealing of the Spirit is but faith, if you 
compare it to heaven. It is not the vision of heaven, and therefore, 1 Pet. 
i. 8, it is said, 'Believing, you rejoiced with joy unspeakable and glorious.' 
It is but faith in comparison of heaven, it ls believing when you are filled 
with joy; so, Eom, xv. 13, he prayeth that they may be 'filled with all joy 
through believing.' But let me tell you that it is faith elevated and raised 
up above its ordinary rate ; as Stephen's eye with which he saw Christ was 
his natural sight, but it was his natural sight elevated, raised up above the 
ordinary proportion of an eye ; so is this, a light beyond the ordinary light 
of faith. I will give you but one instance to difference it unto you, and it is 
a clear one. You read in 2 Sam. xii. 13, that Nathan came to David as a 
prophet, and when he spake as a prophet, David believed it, he had faith 
to entertain this word ; and he telleth David plainly, that his sins of adultery 
and murder were forgiven, and he said that God had told him that he should 
not die. Well, this being a word of God, David had an ordinary light of faith 
to apprehend it, to believe it, as we believe the Scripture when it is read. 
Suppose thy name were written in the Book of God; that thou foundest it 
in the gospel, as Cyrus's name was in the prophets, that thou shouldst be 
saved; thou wouldst believe it with such a faith as thou believest there is a 
God out of the Scripture, and a Christ out of the Scripture. Well, but 
David for aU this was not satisfied ; he had a faith to believe that his sins 
should be forgiven, and that faith was an assurance that they should be par- 
doned; but it was not a seal of the Spiiit. Therefore, Ps. IL 12, after Na- 
than came unto him, he prayeth, ' Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, 
and establish me with thy free Spirit.' He knew it before by an ordinary 
Hght, but the thing he seeks for here is the witness of the Holy Ghost. 

Now, when we say that it is a Spirit of revelation, we do not mean as the 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 237 

Papists do ; they say, a man cannot be assured of his salvation but by vision, 
and by an angel appearing to him, and by immediate messages from heaven. 
Neither do I mean such revelation as Paul had, when he was carried up to 
the third heaven. No ; but it is such a light to know a man's omti interest 
in salvation by, as wherewith the apostles wrote Scripture ; not that he that 
hath it can write Scripture. It is not a revelation of new truths, but to 
apply those truths to a man's own heart. In 2 Cor. i. 21, 22 ; in the verses 
before, the Apostle speaks of the truth of his doctrine ; as he was an apostle, 
he pawneth his apostleship upon it ; I am confident in it, saith he, the 
gospel I preached is not 'yea and nay.' I am an apostle, and I deli- 
vered it unto you as an apostle ; but now coming to those ordinary believers 
of the Corinthians, saith he, ' He that stablisheth us in Christ with you is 
God, who hath also sealed us,' (fee. He hath given you that light to see 
your interest in those promises, the same light wherewith we see the truth 
of the promises, and have preached them unto you. 

And so now you have the second observation from hence. The first was, 
that it is a distinct thing from faith ; the second is, that it is a higher light 
than the ordinary light of faith. 

Obs. 3. — The third is this, for I shall keep to the text. It is called a seal ; 
now in reason every seal hath an impress upon it. What is the impress of the 
immediate seal of the Spirit that it stampeth up)on a man's heaH .? 

To help you to understand this, I must have recourse to that 2 Tim. ii. 
1 9, ' The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord 
knoweth who are his;' that is, God knoweth whom he hath loved from 
everlasting. Here is God's seal. Well, what is the seal of the Spirit? It 
is the impress of this seal from everlasting ; he cometh and stampeth upon 
a man's heart, The Lord knoweth thee to be his. It beareth the image of 
God's everlasting love, (it is news with a witness,) of God's everlasting love to 
a man, to him in particular ; that is the motto, the impress about this seal 
It hath holiness with it too, as I shall shew, but I say the impress, the motto 
is this, God knoweth thee to be his. For this seal of the Spirit answereth to 
the other seal, it is the copy of it, it is engraven from it. God's seal is, The 
Lord knoweth who are his (that is in general spoken of election :) the parti- 
cular seal of the Spirit is, God knoweth thee to be his. As we choose God 
because he chose us, we answer his election in love, we love God because he 
loved us first ; so this seal of the Spirit, Know thou that thou art God's, 
answereth that, God knoweth thee to be his, which was God's seal from 
everlasting. It is the electing love of God brought home to the soul ; there- 
fore, as election looks not to works nor graces, when God chose you to be 
his : so when he sealeth you up, the impress of that love of his is without 
the consideration of works ; a man doth not know that he is God's by marks 
and signs, but by an immediate impress and light of the Holy Ghost's. 
— And so now I have fxxlly, as I could, explained to you what this seal of the 
Spirit is. 

II. Let me now in a word but observe the order. You see here it is 
after believing ; ' after ye believed you were sealed,' saith he. I will not 
here enter upon that controversy, — loecause the text giveth not occasion for 
it, — whether assurance by signs be first, or assurance by the Spirit immedi- 
ately be first 1 for I must still keep to what the text saith. Only this I 
raise out of it, and observe further to open the text, that the Spirit is after 

Piscator readeth the words, Per quod etiam quum credidistis, — When ye 
believed, at the same time that ye believed. But, my brethren, it ia not 


r:iarivovTsg, believing, as you have it, 1 Pet. i. 8, ' Believing, you were filled 
with joy in the Holy Ghost / but it is vianucccvrn;, it is of the time past, 
when ye had believed ; having believed ye were sealed. * After ye believed,' 
saith our translation rightly. 

Take the greatest instance in the world for it, the apostles themselves ; 
they were believers, and they trusted God by faith, before they were assured 
and had the seal of the Spirit. You know, ver. 12, Paul, speaking of the 
apostles, saith, ' who first trusted in Christ,' and the word is ' hoped in 
Christ.' Now do but look into the 14th of John, read but that chapter, and 
you shall find that the apostles had faith and the Holy Ghost long before 
they had assurance and the seal of the Spirit. Saith Christ there, ' Ye believe 
in God ;' here they had faith, but it was a very poor faith, for, ver. 5, they 
said they did not know the war to heaven, so far were they off from this 
assurance here mentioned. Christ telleth them there also, that they had 
the Spirit, ver. 17, 'He dwelleth with you,' saith he, he is in your hearts. 
Well, but see what he saith in the 20th verse. At that day, namely, when 
I am ascended, ye shall know (I will give you the Comforter, the Spirit of 
truth, so he calleth him, he dwelleth with you now;) but 'at that day you 
shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.' Then 
they should have a full manifestation of their union with Christ, and their 
union with the Father, and of the union of Christ with the Father. ' Then 
you shall know,' saith he, ' at that day ;' this was after their believing. 

I will give you but one scripture more (it openeth that place to me clearly) 
in the same chapter. Christ promised them that do beheve the Comforter. 
' I will pray the Father,' saith he, ver. 1 6, ' and he shall give you the Com- 
forter ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither 
knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in 
you.' I take the meaning of the words thus : I promise you the Holy 
Ghost as a Comforter, you have him already as a sanctifier ; he dwelleth 
with you, you have him already as one that hath wrought faith ia you ; but 
as a Comforter the world cannot receive him as you shall. Why 1 Because 
the world hath not known him as a sanctifier, but so you have known him 
already ; for till such time as the Holy Ghost hath wrought faith, and put a 
man into the state of grace, he cannot assure him, he cannot comfort him. 
For, my brethren, consider well the reason he giveth why the world cannot 
receive the Spirit is, because they do not know him. I ask this. When thou 
wert converted, wert not thou one of the world? Thou didst not know the 
Spirit. If this were the reason why men did not receive the Holy Ghost, 
no man in the world should receive him ; therefore the meaning must needs 
be this, tUl men have some experience of the work of the Spirit upon their 
hearts ; till he hath been a sanctifier in them, and caused them to believe, 
they cannot receive him as Comforter. Why \ Because there is not matter 
wherewithal to comfort them ; they must first be in the state of grace before 
they can be comforted by being in the state of grace. They must therefore 
receive him as a sanctifier before they can receive hitn as a Comforter. 

I shall name one scripture more, it is Acts xv. 8, 9. You shall see there 
that the Holy Ghost was poured out in the primitive times after believing. 
At the 7th verse he speaks of the Gentiles, that they ' heard the word of 
the gospel, and believed ; ' and saith he, ver. 8, ' God, which knoweth the 
hearts,' — knowing they believed, — ' bare them witness, giving them the Holy 
Ghost, even as he did unto us.' So that now the giving of the Holy Ghost, 
as he did to the apostles, as a Comforter, as a sealer to them of salvation, is 

EpH. I. 13, U.] TO THE EPHESIA5S, 239 

when they have believed, when God, who knoweth their hearts, knoweth 
them to be holy. 

And, my brethren, the reason is clear and evident ; for Jesus Christ must 
first be mine, before I can say he is mine, the thing must be first ; now he is 
made mine by faith, I then receive him to be mine. They were without 
Christ in the world, he saith of these Ephesians, tUl they beUeved ; when 
they believed, then Christ is theirs, therefore necessarily an act of faith must 
go before an act of assurance ; for assurance doth tell you that Christ is yours, 
and that according to the rule of the Word. Now, according to the rule of 
the Word, though he may be yours in God's secret purpose, yet you are 
without Christ before you believe. Things must be, before I believe them 
to be. 

Then it is equal that God should be honoured first by mere trusting, by 
mere believing, before he honoureth your faith with setting to his seal. 
John iii. 33, he that believeth 'hath set to his seal that God is true.' Well, 
when a man hath done that, now, saith God, I wiU set to my seal that he 
believeth, and that he is my child. But God will have you trust him first 
with a mere act of trust, as the woman did that trusted the prophet : she 
had no more meal nor no more oU than would save their lives, one meal 
more. Well, saith he, I will be trusted ; ' Make me thereof a cake first, and 
bring it to me that I may eat of it, and after make for thee and for thy son.' 
God wUl be trusted first ; and when you have set to your seal that God is 
true in his Word, God will set to his seal after your beUeving. 



In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of 
promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, &c. — Vek. 13, 14. 

The coherence of these words with the former, as I have shewed you, is easy 
and natural. He had spoken of an inheritance ; he had spoken of it in the 
11th verse, and he speaks of it likewise in the 14th verse ; an inheritance 
unto which they were predestinated by God's eternal purpose, so ver. 1 1 ; 
in which inheritance they had, by faith and by believing, as I shewed, 
obtained an interest : * we obtained an inheritance who first trusted in 
Christ,' ver. 11, 12. Now then, having been thus appointed to it, having 
obtained an interest in it, and the thing itself being made thus sure, and 
this by faith ; now, saith he, * After ye believed, ye were sealed with that 
Holy Spirit of promise.' This inheritance, as it was made sure in itself, so 
you had the inheritance made good to you by a work of sealing : ye were 
sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. 

I shewed the last time, in opening of the work of sealing, first what it 
was not, which some interpreters would have to be meant in this place. 

It is not, first, the gift of the Spirit only, abstractedly considered, for it 
importeth a work of the Spirit upon the heart, which sealing always must 
needs do, and impression likewise. Indeed, the gift of the Spirit may be 
the earnest of the inheritance, merely and alone considered, as I shall shew 
you anon ; but the sealing of the Spirit importeth an impression, a work 
upon the heart. 

It is not, secondly, a work of faith, as some would have it ; for besides 
that he doth not say, ' Believing ye were sealed,' (as elsewhere he speaks ; so 
the apostle Peter speaks, 1 Pet. i. 8, 'Tnarrjovnc, ' Believing, ye rejoice,' in the 
present tense ;) but it is visrsusavTig, having believed, or, as our translation 
well rendereth it, ' after ye believed ; ' which at least implieth it is a distinct 
thing from faith. 

Then, thirdly, I shewed it was not sanctification or regeneration ; which 
though it be an image, yet the use of the metaphor of sealing, though it 
implieth an image, is taken principally from the use of a seal, which 
primarily is not so much to stamp an image, though it doth that, as it is 
to assure. 

I shewed by this what it was not. I shewed, secondly, what I conceived 
it to be. 

You must fetch the notion of it from the use of a seal amongst men, and 
you must confine it likewise to the use of a seal in matters of inheritance, for 
that is properly the Apostle's scope, he followeth that metaphor ; therefore, 
though there be many uses of a seal, — for service, and propriety, and the 
like, — yet, I take it, they are not the proper scope here. 

The use of a seal in point of inheritance is, first, to make the thing sure, to 
convey an inheritance, that the inheritance should be thereby conveyed, and 
made sure in itself Now, though that is not excluded, — for every work of 

EpH. I, 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 241 

tlie Spirit doth make tlie thing over and over sure, stUl engageth God more 
and more, — yet that is not the proper and primary scope of sealing here. 
Why ? Because there is an ancienter seal than that, the oi-iginal seal of all, 
whereby salvation is made sure in itself, even God's eternal purpose. And 
this sealing is a distinct thing from tliat 2 Tim. ii. 19, ' The foundation of 
the Lord remaineth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth who are his,' 
speaking of eternal election ; that is, rather a setting of us upon God's heart 
as a seal, (as the expression is, Cant. viii. G, ' Set me as a seal upon thine 
heart,') than God's sealing our hearts by his Sim-it. This is not the meaning 
here, for he Lad spoken of that before; he had spoken how by predestination 
they were appointed to it, ver. 11, and how by faith they had obtained it, 
and the thing was conveyed; they had 'obtained an inheritance,' ver. 11. 

There is therefore another use of a seal. It is to ascertain the parties, or 
others, to whom the thing is made over unto, that they might have that to 
shew for it for ever. So, indeed, sealing is taken in the Scripture, not only 
so much for making salvation sure in itself, as to assure our hearts, as the 
phrase is that the Apostle useth in his epistles. It is parallel to what is in 
2 Cor, i. 21, 22. ' He which stablishcth us with you in Clnist, and hath 
anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us.' Sealing and anointing is 
there put for stahlishing us, making us sure of it, not making the thing sure. 

Now, because there are two ways of making us sure of salvation ; the one 
mediate, by the witness of our graces and the witness of the blood of Christ 
sprinkled upon the conscience, and laid hold upon by faith ; and the other 
immediate, which is an immediate testimony of the Holy Ghost, as I shewed 
out of 1 John V. 8, where there are said to be three that bear witness that 
we have eternal life, as it followeth afterward, ver. 1 1 ; there is the water, 
blood, and Spirit. Now by Spirit there is meant the Holy Ghost, by water 
is meant our graces and sanctification, and by blood is meant the blood of 
Jesus Christ, looked upon by faith ; when faith hath a recourse unto it, it 
leaveth a witness behind itself. A man never cometh to Christ but he goeth 
away somewhat quieted, somewhat comforted ; he never layeth hold upon 
that blood but it easeth or pacifieth the conscience more or less. Now 
when Spirit is made a distinct thing from the other two, it must needs be 
an immediate witness of the Spirit distinct from the other two. Why? 
Because the Holy Ghost witnesseth with the blood and water; therefore 
when he saith Spirit as a third witness, it is differing from both these ; it 
must be the Holy Ghost witnessing without these. 

The question is then, Which of these are meant here, when he saith, ' Ye 
are sealed with the Spirit of promise V 

I answer. If you take it in a large sense, every witness, and all assurance 
of salvation by any of those witnesses, may be called a sealing of the Spirit; 
if you take sealing in a large sense, for testifying or witnessing a thing that 
is true, as John iii. 33, where the word is used, he that beheveth, saith he, 
* hath set to his seal that God is true.' If you will take it for witnessing 
anything, every one of these witnesses, in such a metaphorical sense, may be 
called a seal. Yet I take it, that which is principally aimed at here is an 
immediate testimony of the Holy Ghost. The metaphor of sealing an inherit- 
ance implieth as much ; for you know, in conveying inheritances, as I shewed 
out of Jeremiah, there are witnesses that are as standers-by ; but the act of 
sealing is the immediate act of the party that conveyeth it. And the seal of 
great persons is set to without witnesses ; the seal of the king is without 
hivnd, as the broad seal amongst us, you know, is. And so, Esth. viii. 8, the 
bc;d of the king Ahasueras was without a hand ; there was no other wit:iess 
VOL. L <2 


but the king's seal to it. So now, when the great God of heaven and earth, 
when his Spirit will witness over and above water and blood, he will do it 
himself. ]\Iy brethren, every seal is a witness, but every witness is not a 
seal, in a strict sense. 

Now tlien, concerning this seal of the Spirit, we having found what is 
principally meant ; for all this is but to find out the meaning of it ; I gave 
you these three things : — 

The first was, that it was a distinct light from the ordinaiy light of faith, 
a light beyond that light. It is indeed faith elevated, though not to vision, 
where faith shall cease, as it is in heaven ; yet as Stephen's bodily eye was 
raised to see Christ beyond what the power of the ordinary sight could have 
done, so here is a light beyond what the ordinary light can reach unto. 

In the second place, this immediate seal must have an impress that it 
stampeth upon the heart. Now I told you, that the motto, or the impres- 
sion that this beareth, — to follow still the metaphor of a seal, — is the impress, 
it is the copy of that great seal in heaven, which God did set to our salva- 
tion before all worlds. Now what was that great seal, that original seal of 
all God's heart 1 Saith the Apostle, ' The foundation of God standeth sure, 
having this seal, The Lord knoweth who are his / that is, he chooseth them 
out of love. Now then this immediate seal of the Holy Ghost beareth the 
impress of this original seal, stampeth this upon the heart, — The Lord know- 
eth thee to be his, and he hath known thee so from everlasting. And as 
God chooseth us, not looking to works or anything in us, so this Ught cometh 
in wdthout reference to graces, or anything else. 

Then, in the third place, as in a seal, the wax, you know, is passive unto 
the stamp of the seal, so is the heart, the understanding, and the will and 
affections to this work of sealing. That is a third thmg I add now, stiU 
keeping to the metaphor of sealing, as being proper to the text. It is a 
light that doth not leave you to think, ' This may be my own thoughts,' but 
an overpowering light ; for when the Holy Ghost wUl speak as a sealer, he 
will do his office, and therefore a man's own spirit is not active in it. He is 
active in it in the effect indeed, but in the light itself, and in the receiving 
of it, he is passive, as at the first conversion. 

Having opened what the work is, I shewed in the second place the order 
of it ; it is after believing. I gave you that one instance in the apostles 
themselves, which I shall repeat, because I should have use of it afterward. 
You may read, John xiv. 1-4, that they believed in Christ ; yea, at the 17th 
verse, they had the Holy Ghost in them : yet at the 16th verse, he pro- 
miseth them, when he was ascended he would give them the Comforter; 
and, ver. 20, ' At that day,' saith he, ' ye shall know that I am in you, 
and you in me." The ajDostles had not this seal of the Spirit till Christ 
ascended; they had the Holy Ghost before, they had some assurance be- 
fore; for you know Peter appeal eth to Christ, 'Lord,' saith he, 'thou 
knowest that I love thee,' and Christ telleth Peter, that he did believe so 
as 'flesh and blood had not revealed to him,' Matt. xvi. 17. He had the 
witness both of blood and water, yet the Holy Ghost was to come down as a 
Comforter. And in that day, saith he, ye shall know your immediate union 
with me, ' that I am in you, and you in me.' 

III. The third thing concerning this sealing in the text is, the Person in 
whom we are sealed. There is, first, the luorJc of sealing, that hath been 
opened. Secondly, there is the order of it, it is after believing. Then, 
thirdly, the person in whom, or the virtual cause in whom we are sealed. 
It is in Christ : ' In whom, after ye believed, ye were sealed.' 

EpH. L 13j 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 243 

The words translated here, ' in whom,' sv J, are exceeding ambiguous in 
their reference, as in the Greek they are. They may refer unto the gospel, 
spoken of just before, and so Piscator would have it ; that is, bi/ ivhich gospel 
ye believed; that U cJ is put for di' &j. Or, secondly, they may refer to 
Christ, ' in whom,' as our translation readeth it ; and so they have a double 
reference : either that the meaning is, ' in whom, after ye believed,' and so it 
referreth to faith, to believing in Christ; or, secondly, they may refer to 
sealing, 'in whom, after ye believed, ye were sealed,' sealed in him after 

My brethren, there is not a verse but there are such ambiguities as these 
are ; so comprehensive and vast a writer in his scope and aim is the Holy 
Ghost, yet still aiming at something peculiar. There is no book written so 
ambiguously, in that comprehensive way, as the Scripture. 

If you ask now, to which I refer ' in whom V Plainly, I say, unto sealing ; 
and my reason is this, for he mentioneth sealing here as a new benefit dis- 
tinct from faith. And as he had said of all other benefits, that they were in 
Christ; we are elected in Christ, adopted through him, redeemed through 
him, in whom God abounded in grace to us ; still mark it, to every benefit, 
' in Christ,' is added. Now speaking of a new benefit of sealing, this phrase, 
' in whom,' referreth to sealing ; so that this is the meaning of it, that the 
woi-k of sealing is performed in Christ. 

Now, my brethren, ' in whom ' will still have a double reference, and a 
double meaning, if we refer it to Christ and to sealing in him, and both in 
the meaning and scope of the place. 

Fiist, 'El/ is all one with ug. In Christ you were sealed, that is, you 
were sealed into Christ, into him : so it importeth that the matter made 
known in the work of sealing, is a man's union with Christ. When the 
Holy Ghost sealeth a man up, the thing he makes known, the thing he 
sealeth to him is this, that he is in Christ, that he hath been elected in 
Christ by God the Father from everlasting, that he is one in Christ ; he was 
one with him from everlasting, he was one with him when he hung upon the 
cross, he is one with him now in heaven. ' Into whom,' so the words will 
bear, as well £/'; as h, you may read either, one as well as another ; I speak 
for the scope and meanmg of it. 

I will give you a scripture for this interpretation : 2 Cor. i. 21, where he 
speaks of establishing and sealing our hearts, he putteth in this phrase, saith 
he, ' He who stablisheth us with you iii Xptrrbv, in Christ, is God.' He hath 
stablished us in Christ, or sealed us in Christ, (for that followeth, ver. 22, 6 ds 
cf^ayiGdfji.i'.'o;,) into Christ. And, John xiv. 20, ' At that day ye shall know 
that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.' So that a man's 
union with Christ, his being in Christ, is the matter sealed up to him ; ' in 
whom ye are scaled.' My brethren, in the work of sealing there is the love 
of aU the Persons manifested ; God the Father's love, and Christ's love, 
and our union with him, he leave th not him out. Therefore you shall find, 
1 John v. 8, there are three witnesses in heaven that witness love to us, as 
well as three on earth. I remember that I shewed that the work of bap- 
tism is the outward seal, to which tliis inward seal most principally referreth ; 
fur baptism is not to work regeneration, that is a mistake, as circumcision 
was not. Rom. iv 11, he calleth circumcision ' the seal of the righteousness 
of faith, which Abraham had, being uncircumcised ; ' so that it is not to 
work, but to seal regeneration and salvation unto us. Now, as we are said 
to be ' baptized into Christ,' Rom. vi. 3. that is the outward seal : so ih'u 
is the inward work, whereby the Holy Ghost sealeth a man into Christ. ' In 


wliom we are sealed ; ' it may be as well its as h, as it is in that place of the 
Corinthians which interpretcth it. 

Or, in the second place, this phrase, ' in whom ye are sealed,' importeth, 
and the intent of it is to shew, by virtue of whom this benefit is bestowed, 
that it is bestowed by virtue of Christ. The work of sealing is wrought in 
us by virtue of Christ ; it is in him virtually, though by the Holy Ghost 
efSciently. The Holy Ghost is the author of it, but Jesus Christ is the wtual 
cause. In that 2 Cor. i. 20, the place I quoted even now for sealing and 
stablishing us, you shall find there, that ' all the promises are yea and Amen 
in him.' Now as all the promises are t/ea and Amen virtually in Christ, they 
had been worth nothing else, if he had not died to make them good, so the 
sealing of all the promi^jes unto the heart of a believer is in him too. So 
the words that follow, ' He that stablisheth us, and sealeth us in Christ,' will 
bear both senses, as well as here it doth. 

Now, my brethren, to open this a little, for it is a point of useful con- 
sidenition. The work of sealing of the Holy Ghost is done by virtue of 
Jesus Christ. He, and his virtue, is left out in no work that is done for us. 
I remember that I gave you this rule in handling of the 10th verse, and it 
is a thing I have largely elsewhere handled, that whatsoever work God doth 
upon us, he doth unto Christ first. Now then, are we sealed virtually in 
Christ ? Why then, we must find the same work upon Christ himself first. 
We died to sin, because he died ; we rose from sin, because he rose ; we are 
sealed, because he once was sealed, and by virtue of that we come to be 
sealed. This is necessary to be opened, if you will understand the full scope 
of this, *in whom ye are sealed.' Now we read that Jesus Christ was 
sealed, John vi. 27, 'For him hath God the Father sealed.' Mark it, him 
hath he sealed. Now do but look into your margin, and see to what the 
translators have referred this sealing of Christ; to Matt. iii. 17. Do but 
read there, and you shall find that Jesus Christ, when he was baf)tized, which, 
as I told you, is the outward seal, heard a voice from heaven, saying, * This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' 

My brethren, as Christ did partake of the same ordinances we do, so 
there was some effect that these ordinances had upon him, which he was 
capable of, answerable and suitable to what they have upon us. Therefore, 
as baptism is the outward seal, to seal up adoption to a believer, and the 
witness of the Spirit is the inward work, the fruit of baptism, to be waited 
for, (yet a man hath it not by virtue of his baptism :) so when Christ was 
baptized, what was the fruit of it ? What was the inward work answerable 
to the outward upon him 1 This, ' This is my beloved Son, in whom,' <t:c. 
And as the inward seal of the Spuit to us is an immediate witness, so 
was this from heaven to Christ. Not that ours is an immediate voice from 
heaven, but a light of the Holy Ghost's superadded to the light of faith ; 
other revelations cease, and they are the revelations that the Papists 
speak of 

That you may see your ground for this, look 1 John v. 9, compared with 
the verses going before. He saith there are three witnesses in earth, and 
three in heaven, that bear witness to two things (read the place, you will 
find it the scope.) First, that we have eternal life in Christ ; and, secondly, 
as appeareth by the 9th verse, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ; ' This 
is the wituess of God,' saith he, ' which he hath testified of his Son.' There 
are three in heaven th;;t bore witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God 
when he was baptized ; there was God the Father, and God the Son, and 
(iod the Holy Ghost, all these thrt j did bear this witness. There was God 

Evil. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIANS. 245 

the Father ; lie speaks, the voice that came from heaven was his oice pro- 
perly, for he called him his Son, ' This is my beloved Son ;' there was 
God the Father's testimony. And, John i. 32, ' the Holy Ghost descended 
down upon him like a dove ; ' there is the Spirit's witness, and all at his 
baptism. And then, as ' he that believeth hath the witness in himself,' so 
Christ had the witness of his being Son of God from the second Person 
also ; he had it in himself. AU these three witnesses concurred then at his 
baptizing ; and thus was Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour then sealed. 
Will you have me speak plainly ? Though he had the assurance of faith 
that he was the Son of God, he knew it out of the Scriptures by reading all 
the prophets ; yea, and as Adam had it written in his heart that he was the 
son of God, so Christ had the like instinct and law in his spirit that he was 
the Son of God; yet to have it sealed to him with joy unspeakable and 
glorious, by the Avitness of all the three Persons, this was deferred to the 
time of his baptism. He was then ' anointed with the Holy Ghost,' as I 
remember the expression is. Acts x. 38 ; ' anointed with the oil of gladness ' 
— that was the first beginning of it — •' above aU his fellows,' in a more 
peculiar and transcendant manner. Now mark it, answerably (compare 2 Cor. 
i. 22) he hath sealed and anointed us, just as he sealed and anointed Christ 
in his baptism. We are conformed unto Christ ; look what was wrought 
upon him, is wrought upon believers. He did believe in God, and himself 
to be the Sou of God by faith from his mother's womb, so he telleth us, Ps. 
xxii. 9. But this eminent, transcendant, heavenly witness of it from all 
three Persons, was deferred till now. So now we see we are sealed in him, 
by virtue of him, and by his being sealed. 

IV. The fourth thing in the text is this, The efficient cause hy lohom we 
are sealed. By the Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, who is described 
to us by two things. 1. That he is the Spirit of promise. 2. A hoi?/ Spirit, 
and this as a sealer, for so you must understand it. All these must be 
spoken to ; for there is a mystery lieth in all these. First, here is the 
Spirit by whom we are sealed, there is the person. Secondly, here is his 
description as he is a sealer : 1. he is the Spirit of promise ; 2. he is a 
holy Spirit. You shall find every one of these have their weight in the 
matter of sealing. 

First, For the pei'son. Let us speak to that a little. The Apostle had 
mentioned the work of the other two persons before : he had mentioned the 
work of God the Father; ' Blessed be God the Father, who hath blessed us 
with all spiritual blessings ; ' so ver. 3 and 4. He had mentioned God the 
Sou before ; ' In whom we have redemption through his blood,' and we are 
' chosen in him,' &c. But he had not mentioned the Spirit before ; yet he 
had mentioned the work of the Spirit before too, the work of fruth and the 
work of vocation, working prudence and wisdom, as I shewed before out of 
the 8th verse. What is the mystery of this 1 

Ohs. — The thing I observe out of this is, That it is the special work of the 
Holy Ghost to comfort and assure the hearts of believers of their salvation. 
It is a most special work of the Holy Ghost. I Aviil give you but two 
evidences out of Scripture for it. The first is out of John xiv. 26. Our 
Sa\iour Christ did forbear to comfort them, for he telleth them there is a 
Comfurter to come ; ' But the Comforter,' saith he, ' who is the Holy Ghost, 
whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,' (fee. 
Our Saviour Christ would not take the office out of his hands, he is to be 
your Comfurter, saith he, and I will refer all to him. As he is called by the 
special name of the Comforter, to shew what is his special work and office. 


SO answerably you shall find that joy Is called 'joy in the Holy Ghost,' 
1 Thess. 16. It is the Father's love which is sealed up to us, it is the Son 
in vrhom we are sealed, so it is the Holy Ghost by whom we are sealed. 
The Father prescribed all the cordials, the Son tempered them, but the Holy 
Ghost applieth them. 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, As the spirit of a man only knoweth 
the things of a man, and he to whom this spuit in him will reveal it : so^ 
saith he, it is the Spirit of God that revealeth the deep things of God, that 
everlasting love of his. Who else but he is to do it ? It is his office. 

Therefore, my brethren, you must give the honour of all the comfort you 
have to the Holy Ghost in a more special manner. Give it not to your 
graces, though the Holy Ghost witnesseth with them ; there is no comfort 
you have but in the power of the Holy Ghost ; there is an express place for 
it, Piom. XV. 13. Therefore look not to your graces; I mean, do not ascribe 
it to your graces, do not pore and dote upon them ; it is the Holy Ghost 
always comforteth when they comfort. As it would derogate from Christ to 
ascribe justification to any other, so it derogates from the Holy Ghost to 
ascribe comfort to any other. And remember, that the special tiling upon 
which mention of the Holy Ghost is made is, when comforting, when 
assuring, when sealing cometh to be mentioned. — So much for that ob- 

Come we now to the description of the Holy Ghost here, as he is a sealer. 
First, he is called the Spirit of promise. Secondly, he is called tlie Holy 
Spirit. ' Ye are sealed,' saith he, ' with that holy Spirit of promise.' 

He is called the Spuit of promise for two reasons and considerations. 
First, because, take him as he is a sealer and comforter of them that be- 
lieve, he is promised ; we have a promise that the Holy Ghost shall comfort 
us and seal us. Therefore, because the Holy Ghost is the thing promised, 
and that as a sealer, we are said to be sealed by the Spirit of promise. And, 
in the second place, he is called the Spirit of promise as a sealer ; because 
he never sealeth but by a promise, as I shall shew by and by; it is ab efectu. 
To speak of both these — 

The Holy Ghost is called the promise, and that as a sealer, (that is the 
first thing,) because he is promised. Our Saviour Jesus Christ was the great 
promise of the Old Testament, but the Holy Ghost is the great promise of 
the Xew. I need not quote you places to shew you that Christ was the 
great promise of the Old Testament. You have it Acts xiii. 32, and Heb. 
xi. 39. Many places might be brought. The Holy Ghost is the great 
promise of the New; he is called the ' promise of the Father,' Acts i. 4, ii. 33, 
and Gal. iii. 14. 'That we may receive,' saith he, 'the promise of the 
Spirit.' He is called the promise there, because he is the thing promised. 

My brethren, God doth give forth all three Persons in promises, (it is a 
good observation by the wa}-.) He hath a Son, he promiseth him ; well, he 
hath given him, that promise is ceased, — I mean in the exhibition of Christ 
in the flesh, — is fulfilled. He hath a Spirit, you shall have him one day fuUy ; 
but in the meantime you have him under a promise. He hath given us his 
Spirit also, saith he ; that also cometh in 2 Cor. v. 5. He had given us his 
Son before, he giveth us his Spirit too ; he hath promised it. There is God 
the Father, you have him promised too ; for the time will come, as it is 
1 Cor. XV. 28, that ' God will be all in aE.' You have all three Persons in 
promises. God hath put forth all out of himself, he hath more blessings 
than one, he hath promised all in himself. But the Holy Ghost is called 
the Spirit of promise, as he is a sealer. That is the point I must stand upon. 

The word here is, in the original, rr^g i-ayyOJag, of that promise; he hath 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESTANS. 247 

put the article to every word, rui msvij^aTi, that Spirit, tth s'TrayysXiai, of that 
promise — namelj^ of sealing, to seal believers. There is a special promise, 
my brethren, unto believers, that they shall have the Spirit to seal them, if 
they sue it out. Many want it, but there is a promise for it, that same 14th 
of John which I quoted before. The apostles, they were believers, ver. 1; 
they had the Spirit dwelling in them, ver. 17; yet he promiseth them the 
Spirit both in ver. 16, 20, and 26. He doth not promise him as a sanctifier, 
but under the notion and in the name of a Comforter ; not only as one that 
should give gifts to tliem and make them apostles, but should comfort them. 
They believed already ; but that the Holy Ghost should come unto them as 
a Comforter, here was a special promise yet to be fulfilled. Look into Acts 
i. 4, 5, and you shall find this to be true ; he biddeth them there wait at 
Jerusalem ' for the promise of the Father, which,' saith he, ' you have heard 
of me ; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the 
Holy Ghost, not many days hence.' And still observe it, for it is spoken of 
him as a Comforter ; for so Christ promised him, though indeed he came 
with enlargement of gifts upon them too as apostles. 

You will say, the apostles had this promise, who were extraordinary men^ 
have believers the same 1 

Eead first Acts ii. 33. Saith he, Christ being ascended, * and having 
received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth 
this which ye now see and hear.' They were filled with the Holy Ghost as 
with wine, as the Apostle's expression is in the Ephesians, so that they said 
they were drunk. But doth this belong to believers 1 See what he saith to 
the men that were pricked in their heart, ver. 38, ' Repent, and be baptized 
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins,' — 
that is, for assurance of remission j for otherwise a man must believe before 
he be baptized, for so they did, and so they were, as appeareth, ver. 41, 
' They that gladly received the word were baptized,' or, they should be bap- 
tized, that they might receive the remission, or the assurance of the remission 
of their sins, — ' and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the 
r promise' (mark it, that promise that was made to us, and you have seen ful- 
filled to us) ' is unto you and to your children; and to all that are afar oflF,' — to 
the Gentiles afar off to the end of the world, — ' even to as many as the Lord 
our God shall call.' ]\Iark that, to all believers. There is a promise of it, 
you may sue it out; and therefore you shall find. Gal. iii. 14, there is men- 
tion of the receiving of the promise of the Spirit after believing, ' That they 
might receive,' saith he, ' the promise of the Spirit through faith.' What 
promise of the Spirit is it that a man receiveth through faith 1 A man must 
have the Spirit to work sanctification, (mark that ;) then to have the Spirit 
as a worker of faith, as a beginner of sanctification, cannot be the meaning 
of it ; but there is an eminent promise yet to be fulfilled to believers, for 
they received the promise of the Spirit through faith. What promise of the 
Spirit is that 1 The Spirit as a sealer, the Spirit as a comforter ; for so he 
was promised to the disciples after they believed. 

Obs. — What is the observation from thence 1 Plainly this : You that are 
believers, wait for a further promise of the Holy Ghost as a sealer, and sue 
it out with God ; for you see here the great promise, it is the promise of 
the Spirit as a sealer. So you shall find, Acts i. 4, that the apostles were 
to wait for the promise of the Spirit : so do you. My brethren, those that 
did receive the word gladly, as the text Haith, Acts ii. 41, had a promise of 
the Holy Ghost to be expected as a comforter, as a sealer, as the place there 
evidently implieth. Though you have some joy wrought in you by faith, 


yet there is some further promise still to be expected; 'For the promi.se,' 
saith he, ' is to you, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord 
shall call.' You shall find in John vii. 38 — that I may not stand reckoning 
up many places — that our Saviour Christ saith, ' He tliat believeth on me, 
as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,' of 
water to comfort and refresh him. ' But this spake he of the Spirit, which 
they that believe on him should receive ; for the Holy Ghost was not yet 
given' (mark,) ' because that Jesus was not yet glorified.' My brethren, let me 
vent that notion to you, for I believe it will hold, that the giving of the Holy 
Ghost as a sealer with joy unspeakable and glorious, was reserved to the 
times after Christ was glorified. Men had the Spirit to work faith before, 
they had faith under the Old Testament ; but for the Spirit to come and 
work joy unspeakable and glorious in ordinary believers, was not till Jesus 
Christ himself was glorified. It is true that David and some other saints in 
the Old Testament had it, who were eminent types of Christ, that was to be 
anointed with the oil of gladness ; but the ordhiary saints under the Old 
Testament had a spirit of bondage upon them ; there was a spirit of adoption 
too, but not to seal up to a man his sonship. This is the great promise of 
the gospel, which cometh to believers when Jesus Christ is glorified, when 
he is ascended up to heaven, and there is ' anointed with the oil of gladness 
above his fellows ;' then he poureth out the Spirit upon men, which will sue 
out this promise. 

My brethren, it is the great fruit of your baptism ; you have not that 
great fruit of your baptism till you have this. The circumcision of old was 
a seal of the righteousness of faith, and of the promised seed, of Christ to 
come, of a bloody Saviour, to redeem by blood ; for so circumcisi in was by 
blood. Now as circumcision was then, so now that Christ is come and 
glorified, our baptism is the seal of the Spirit ; it is the proper work that 
answereth to baptism. Therefore you si tail find it is called ' baptizing with 
the Holy Ghost,' because it is that which is the fruit of baptism, it answereth 
that outward seal ; and therefore you may read that Peter biddeth them be 
baptized, and they should receive this promise. Acts ii. 38. 

You that believe are to wait for this promise ; as the Jews waited for the 
coming of Christ, so are you to wait for the coming of the Holy Ghost into 
your hearts. It is said that the fathers served God night and day, waiting 
for the promise, namely, Christ to come. Acts xxvi. 6. Serve your God day 
and night faithfully, walk humbly ; there is a promise of the Holy Ghost to 
come and fill your hearts with joy unspeakable and glorious, to seal you up 
to the day of redemption. Sue this promise out, wait for it, rest not in 
believing only, rest not in assurance by graces only ; there is a further 
assurance to be had. It was the last legacy Christ left upon earth. Look 
John xiv. 1 6 ; he saith there that he would send the promise of the Father ; 
this very promise of sending the Comforter ; read Luke xxiv. 49. There- 
fore sue out the will of Christ, sue out that last legacy of his. It was the 
fruit of his ascension ; when he was ascended up and received this promise, 
then he poured it out. 

And let me add this too — I thought to make it a distinct observation — 
from the persons here that were to he sealed. ' Ye were sealed ;' ye, who? Ye 
Ephesians ; they were ordinary believers, they were not apostles, they had 
not all miraculous gifts, yet he saith of them, ' Ye were sealed with the Spirit 
of promise after ye believed.' Head over all the epistles, and you shall find 
almost all the saints in the primitive times sealed ; thus the Corinthians they 
had it, 2 Cor. i. 22, ' God hath stablished us with you, and hath also sealed us." 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHi:SIANS. 2i'J 

The Ephesians had it you see, they were sealed ; for afterward, chap. iv. 30, 
he exhorts them not to grieve the Holy Spirit, by which they were sealed. 
The Thessalonians had it, 1 Thess. i. 1 0. They received the word with such 
joy, that he saith they waited for the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven; 
for that is the next step, heaven is next unto it, and to wait for Christ when 
you are thus sealed. Those that Peter wrote to had it, 1 Pet. i. 8, ' In whom 
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' Thus ordinary 
it was in the primitive times ; where the defect lies God knows ; but cer- 
tainly it might be more common if men would sue it out ; such a promise 
there is. He is therefore called the Spirit of promise, because he is promised 
as a sealer. 

Only, my brethren, let me give you a direction or two. First, believe 
this promise, wait for it by faith, make it the aim of your faith ; we are 
said to ' receive the promise of the Spirit through faith,' Gal. iii. 14. Be- 
lieve there is such a thing, aim at it, wait for it, and serve God day and 
night in all hu)nility to obtain it, rest in no other lower and under assurance ; 
and in the end the Lord will give it. The reason why men attain it not 
is, because they rest in other assurance, and they do not aim at this ; they 
content themselves with bare believing, and that their consciences are quieted. 
But, my brethren, there is such a work as sealing by the Spirit, if you have 
faith ; there is a Spirit, and a Spirit of promise made to believers, which 
you may receive by faith. This is the first reason why he is called a Spirit 
of promise, because he is promised to believei'S as he is a sealer. 

I mentioned a second reason why he is called the Spirit of promise as he 
is a sealer. What is that ? Because he always sealeth by a promise. These 
truths, my brethren, are worthy your laying up, not only to clear the doc- 
trine of this great work of the Spirit, (and I still speak what is proper to the 
text.) but also to direct you, and to try whether you have it, you that boast 
of it. It is always, I say, by a promise ; when he sealeth he bringeth a 
promise home to the heart. He is therefore called the Spirit of promise, 
because he useth a promise in sealing ; as we say of a soldier, he is a man 
of the sword, because a sword is the weapon he useth ; so he is called the 
Spirit of promise because he useth a promise. As we are said to be heirs of 
the promise, because the promise belongeth to us, so he is called the Spirit 
of promise because he comforteth us by a promise. There is a Spirit Heth 
hid and dwelleth in the promise to comfort us, if faith could but draw him 
down to come into our hearts and set them on. 

My brethren, we heard that Jesus Christ was sealed when he was bap- 
tized ; but he was sealed by a promise, it was not by an immediate revela- 
tion only, but by bringing home a truth to his heart. What was it 1 ' This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' This is a Scripture pro- 
mise, you shall find it in Isa. xlii. 1, ' This is my servant, in whom I delight; 
luy elect, in whom my soul is well pleased.' That which had been spoken 
befure of the jMessiah is brought home to his heart. He sealeth not up his 
Son when he speaks from heaven immediately, but he doth it by a pro- 
mise ; therefore much more, my brethren, doth he seal up you. The Word 
and the Spirit are joined ; they are joined in the new Jerusalem, much more 
now. Isa. lix. 21, the promise there, that 'my Word and my Spirit shall 
not depart out of thy mouth,' is spoken of the calling of the Jews plainly, for 
the Ai)0stle quoteth it in Kom. xi. 26, and it is the only place he quoteth 
for their call. 'The Redeemer shall come out of Zion,' are the words just 
before. When Jesus Christ gave the promise of the Holy Ghost a.i a scaler 
and Comforter to the apostles, he calleth him a Comforter indeed ; '.r.il Jiow ? 


Saith lie, ' He shall bring all things to your remembrance, for he shall take 
of mine and show it unto you ;' for if the Holy Ghost do not come with a 
word, and take of Christ's and set that upon your heart, it is a delusion ; he 
sealeth by a promise still, and therefore in all that discourse of Christ, 
where he promiseth him as a Comforter, in John siv., he calleth him a ' Spirit 
of truth,' as well as a Comforter. Therefore when we say, it is an imme- 
diate testimony, the meaning is not that it is without the Word ; no, it is 
by a promise ; but the meaning is, it is immediate in respect of using your 
own graces as an evidence and witness : but he bringeth home a promise to 
the heart, some absolute promise or other ; he ' rideth upon the ^\ ings of a 
promise,' as you may read in the Book of Martyrs, concerning Bilney. He 
is a Spirit of promise, my brethren, when he sealeth. Therefore let me tell 
you this, all your revelations that are without the Word, or would draw you 
from the Word, are naught and dangerous. We do not speak for enthusiasms ; 
it is the Spirit applying the Word to the heart that we speak of. It is not 
to write new Scripture, to make words, to be guided by the Holy Ghost with- 
out the Word. No, we detest all such ; but it is to draw you to the Word ; 
he fasteneththe Word upon your hearts, sealeth you by a promise; therefore 
he is called a Spirit of proviise. 

There is one thing more that I must make an end of ; it was necessary to 
open these truths unto you, for I could not open the words else. The last 
thing he is described by as he is a sealer is, that he is a holy Spirit. The 
Holy Ghost hath put a mighty emphasis upon this, as you shall see by and 
by ; he hath put an article upon every word, as they that understand the 
Greek know, it is rut Tvsu.aar/ t^c ei^ayyiXiag, ruj ayiw, ' sealed with that 
Spirit of that promise, that holy.' There is not the like again in any place. 
There is a special promise of him as a sealer; and he sheweth himself to be 
a holy Spirit, if in any work, in sealing. And, which is more, he doth not 
say, ' that Holy Spirit,' rSj ■-vi'j/j.ari ayitfi ; indeed we translate it so, we put 
holy to Spirit ; but the truth is, the word holt/ cometh in divided from the 
other, and pro7nise cometh in between, in the Greek, rui rrnu/xan rrn 'i'za.y- 
yOJag, rw aylui, it is ' that Spirit of that promise, that holy.' This is the 
true reading of it according to the original, to shew that this title of holy 
is not given to the Spirit himself, but as an effect of his in sealing. It is 
true, indeed, he is holy in himself, and it argueth him to be so, if he make 
us so when he sealeth us; for look what impress is left upon the wax must 
needs be in the seal much more ; if he make us holy when we are sealed, he 
himself must be holy much more originally. But that is not the aim of it, 
only to shew that he is holy ; but to shew that when he sealeth then h6 
works holiness ; therefore the Holy Ghost here putteth an emphasis upon it, 
by putting to the article 'that.' 

Observe from hence this, that all assurance that is true assurance, and the 
true seal of the Holy Ghost, it makes a man holy. If ever anything makes 
him holy, this doth it. Is he a holy Spirit in working faith 1 Doth he 
purify your hearts by believing ? He will purify your hearts much more 
when he sealeth you, when he works joy in believing, unspeakable and 

Yea, my brethren, God doth not give this promise of his Spirit as a sealer 
till a man be very holy. John xiv. 21, 'He that hath my commandments, 
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ; and he that loveth me shall be 
loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him.' God 
doth not put these cordials into a foul stomach ; and when a man hath these, 
they make him wonderful holy. Take the apostles for an instance. The 

EpH. I. 13, 14.] TO THE EPHESIAN8. 251 

apostles, as I told you, were believers, they harl a promise of the Holy Ghost 
as a sealer and a Comforter ; but they were to wait for it, as you read in 
Acts i. 4. Now all the while they waited for it, what did they 1 They con- 
tinued all the while, till they had it, in prayer and supplication ; the text 
saith so ; they were exceeding holy, especially before. Well, when they had 
it, how holy did it make them ! It is of purpose made the preface to the 
Book of the Acts. You see how full of boldness they were, how full of zeal, 
because full of the Holy Ghost, and full of the joy of the Holy Ghost. The 
apostles were poor low Christians as any are, almost. When Jesus Christ 
was to die, how sleepy were they ! When Christ was administering the 
sacrament to them, and told them what he should suffer, they talked pre- 
sently ' who should be the greatest amongst them.' 

Thus carnal were they, they had not received the Spirit as a sealer ; but 
when once they had received him a^ a sealer, read the story of the Acts, 
read their Epistles, and see what a spirit of boldness and zeal they had. 
* When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' It is a new conver- 
sion, it will make a man differ from himself in what he was before in that 
manner almost as conversion doth before he was converted. There is a new 
edition of all a man's graces, when the Holy Ghost cometh as a sealer. Self- 
love bustleth before, and keepeth a coil to secure itself; but when once self- 
love is secure, and the love of God is shed abroad in a man's heart, it makes 
a man work for God ten times more than before, or else at least more kindly. 
I know there are ways wherein the soul can glorify God more, in a way of 
recumbency, when he hath not assurance, by submitting himself to God 
whatsoever becometh of him, and by pure trusting of God, though he know 
not whether he will save him or not, which is the greatest trust in the world. 
But yet in matter of holiness and obedience, the assurance of the love of God, 
when it is shed abroad in the heart, will constrain a man, as the apostle's 
phrase is. ' He that hath this hope,' he speaks of assurance in that 1 John 
iii. 3, ' purifieth himself, even as he is pure.' My brethren, it is the next 
thing to heaven, therefore it must needs make a man heavenly. If there 
were nothing but self-love in a man, it is true he would abuse it when he 
hath assurance ; but when this love shall stir up love to God, and bring a 
greater increase of love to God above a man's self, how will that work ! I 
ai)peal to you, good souls, if Christ do but look toward you a little, how holy 
doth it make you ! Much more, then, when the Holy Ghost is poured out 
upon you, and when you are baptized with the Holy Ghost as a Comforter. 
Look, as when the sun cometh near to the earth, then is the spring ; it was 
winter before ; so when the Holy Ghost cometh in this manner upon the 
heart, it was winter before, but it will be spring now. 

My brethren, to end this, therefore aU those comforts, — mark what I say, 
try yourselves, and try others by it, — all those revelations and comforts that 
make men loose and unholy, unclean and carnal, are not these comforts of 
the Holy Ghost. I confess, a holy man may, when they are gone, abuse the 
remembrance of them ; but while they are upon the heart, they do carry a 
man's soul in all up to God. The apostle Jude doth not know how to speak 
words bitter enough against those men that turn the grace of God into wan- 
tonness. ' They are ordained of old,' saith he, ' to this condemnation.' Read 
how bitterly he speaks of such men from the third verse to the end of his 
epistle ; especially when men shall be loose in their opinions, as he saith, 
' corrupt themselves' in what they know naturally to be sin. My brethren, 
he is a holy Spirit, nothing is more opposite to this holy Spirit than loose- 
ness, than uncleanness. and such sins are. 'If we say,' saith h". 1 Jolni i. 6. 


* that we have fellowship with God, and walk in darkness, we lie.' What 
doth he mean by fellowship here ? He meaneth assurance plainly. These 
things we write to you, that you may know ye believe in the Son of God ; 
(it is the scoi)e of that epistle,) he that saith he hath fellowship with God, 
and walketh in darkness, lieth ; let him be what he Avill. The apostles 
are vehement, their spirits are up against no men more. He is a holy Spirit 
of promise that sealeth men to salvation. 

Let this therefore be made a motive to seek it at God's hands ; urge him 
with this, besides his promise ; tell him it will make you holy. It is a great 
motive to seek it, it is a motive to you to seek it, and it is a motive to you 
to urge God to obtain it, 

I conclude with this : a seal hath two ends and uses, the first is to assure 
and certify, and the other is to stamp an image ; for so always a seal doth. 
Now they are both here. He is called the Spirit of promise, because he 
bringeth home the promise to a man's heart and assureth him of an interest. 
He is called the Holy Spirit of promise ill sealing, because he stampeth the 
image of holiness upon you, and makes you more holy than before. 

So you have the meaning of these words, ' In whom ye were sealed with 
that holy Spirit of promise,' with all those concurring scriptures that were 
necessarily to be brought for the opening of them. 

Eph. L U.] to the ephesians. 253 


W7io is tlie earnest of our inheritance until (or, for) (lie redemption of the 
purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. — ^Vee. 14. 

In the first place, For the reference of these words to the former ; ' who is 
the earnest.' It referreth not unto Christ, 'in whom you are sealed,' as 
Faber Stapulensis would have it ; but they refer to the Spu'it of promise 
mentioned immediately before. And to put us out of doubt in it, in '2 Cor. 
V. 5, it is called the ' earnest of the Spuit' Christ is called nowhere an 

Then, secondly, For the scope of his words. The verse I have read to 
you is the conclusion of all about the benefits bestowed upon ua, and of the 
Apostle's application of these benefits both to Jew and Gentile. He had 
enumerated all sorts of benefits, — election, predestuiation, our redemption by 
Christ, our vocation, and faith, and sealing. In enumerating of all these bene- 
fits, his scope is to mention the special glory that aU. the three Persons have, 
and are to have, from us in the work of our salvation. And so his scope is 
here to shew how great a gift of the Holy Ghost is added unto aU that 
Christ hath done for us, and unto aU the Father hath done for us, of which 
he had spoken in the former verses. As he had set out the Father's work 
in election in the 4th, 5th. and 6th vei-ses, Jesus Christ's work in redemp- 
tion in the 7th and the 10th verse, so here his scope is to set forth the great 
benefit we have by the Holy Ghost : the greatness of that gift, ' We are 
sealed by him, who is,' saith he, ' the earnest of our inheritance.' It is the 
conclusion of all, and so comprehendeth all that either the Spirit is to us, 
or works in us. It expresseth the greatness of the gift of the Holy Ghost 
to us, and the use that that gift is to us. 

So you have the reference of the words ; you have the coherence and scope 
of the words. 

Xow for the division of the words. You have three things contained in 
this verse eminently. • 

I. The first is, That the Holy Ghost is an earnest. 

II. The second. Of what he is an earliest / of an inheritance. Uiitil when ? 
' Until the redemption of the possession' of that inheritance. 

III. And then, thirdly, The end of all; ' to the praise of his glory.' 

I. I must first begui to explain the Holy Ghost's being an earnest. And, 
Jirst, I shall explain the phrase tmto you, what that importeth in itself And, 
secondly, how it is to be understood that the Holy Ghost is an earnest. 

And, first, for the phrase earnest, what is meant by that ? 'AppaQii'^ ; it is 
a W( >rd which the Greeks had from the Jews ; and although it is not only 
used in the Xew Testament by the Holy Ghost, but by profane writers also, 
yet the Greeks had it from the Tyrian merchants, and so used it in their 
bargains as an earnest of the whole sum in bargaining. They used it like- 
wise for any other kind of earnest whatsoever. 

The Hebrew word is of a larger signification ; it takes in a pledge or pawn, 


as )'0u call it. You know in your English phrase a pawn is one thing, an 
earnest is another. Now the word that the Jews used, from whence this ia 
fetched, signifieth a pledge, a pawn, as well as an earnest. As Gen. xxxviii. 
1 7, there Tamar doth require of Judah a pledge that he would give her what 
he promised her. But the Grecians use it especially for an earnest. 'Et£;/-j»oi/ 
is put for a pledge, but appaZoj'j for an earnest. 

Now you will ask, how these two, a nawn and a pledge, do differ from an 
earnest ? 

I will shew you, first, what is common to them both, which wUl help to open 
the thing ; secondly, wherein they differ. 

In common, the nature and use of a pledge and an earnest is this, both 
are to give assurance, to give security. If a man borroweth money of one, 
oftentimes they leave a pawn ; that paA\ n giveth assurance, giveth security 
for the payment of so much money. On the other side, if a man goes to 
bargain with one, the buyer giveth an earnest to the seller, and that also doth 
bind the bargain. They are both for security, they are both for assurance, 
that is the scope of both. 

How do they differ then ? 

A pawn is properly for money borrowed, or promised to be paid, and must 
always be worth as much as the money that it is engaged for ; who will take a 
pawn else 1 But an earnest is not so ; an earnest is but a part in hand. You 
shall have a bargain that is worth a thousand pounds, and the earnest it may 
be is but sixpence, or a shilling, or a piece. It is but part of the payment. 

In the second place, a pawn or a pledge may be something of another 
kind from money. One may pawn his jewels, his clothes, for money ; but 
an earnest always is a piece of money, for money to be paid. It is a thing 
of the same kind. 

Then, thirdly, a pawn is restored again when the money is paid ; but an earnest 
is never restored, for it is part in hand ; a man keepeth it for ever by him. 

So that now, by this, you will come to understand what is meant by an 
earnest. It is, first, a part in hand, part of payment, it is not the whole. 
It is, secondly, something of the same kind ; it is part of the same we shall 
one day receive. And, thirdly, it is never restored again as a pawn is. I shall 
have use of these, as you shall find, in opening how the Spirit is an earnest. 

The second thing for opening the phrase is this : I have shewed you how 
a pawn and an earnest differ ; now let us see what reference this phrase hath, 
in the place it cometh in, both to what is before and what is after. 

An earnest is of use in two cases, and they are both here glanced at. 

An earnest is of use in case of buying and selling, when the buyer hath 
not money ready, or the seller hath not his commodity ready, then you give 
money as an earnest of the bargain. 

Secondly, an earnest doth not hold only in buying and selling; but it 
holdeth in conveying of inheritances. This is the latitude of the Greek 
phrase. You shall see it amongst ourselves, as I take it, at this day. "When 
an inheritance is conveyed to another man, there is first a writing drawn, 
with hands unto it. Answerably, there is now for the inheritance of heaven 
sanctification and faith wrought in the heart, which are the finger of the 
Holy Ghost ; they are his work. There is, secondly, the seal, which is after 
you have believed and have been sanctified. And, thirdly, in conveying in- 
heritances, if I be not mistaken, they use to carry a man unto the ground. 
If you sell land or convey an inheritance, if you -ndU give possession, what 
do you ? You carry him unto the ground, and there you give him a turf of 
earth, something that grows upon the ground, — not money, but something of 


the same kind vnih tlie inheritance he is to possess, — and that biudeth the 
party, as lawyers know ; and it is said to give possession, to give the buyer 
a further degree of right. 

Now see how aptly the Holy Ghost followeth this similitude here in these 
words. He aimeth at both, he glanceth at both. First, at that way of 
bargaining ; and that is e\T.dent by two expressions, the ' redemption which is 
by price,' a.-7roXvTiM(ri;, and the ' purchased possession.' Yet he chiefly aimeth 
at conveying an inheritance, for so the words are expressed ; it is the earnest, 
saith he, of our inheritance ; and the word possession, that relateth to inherit- 
ances : ' The earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the pur- 
chased possession.' He glanceth, you see, at both, and takes in both. 

And, first, to speak a little to that of bargaining. It is true, my brethren, 
that heaven is a free gift, and there is no buying and selling between us and 
God about it in a proper sense. Yet let me tell you of this first, that Jesus 
Christ bought it, it is his j^ui'chased possession for us. Now as we sinned, 
Jesus Christ paid the debt, and he purchased the possession, and we have 
the earnest of the bargain. 

And it was exceeding proper it should be so. Why 1 Because we are 
Christ's, we are one with him. It is my purchased possession, saith Christ ; 
give them the earnest of it for whom I purchased it, and it is all one as if 
you give it me. So now, though in a contrary way to bargaining, — for 
there the buyer useth to give the earnest of the money, not the seller of the 
commodity ; but here God doth accept of Christ's money, and giveth us an 
earnest, part of the commodity in hand ; — yet if you mil take it m respect 
of bargaining, it is an earnest between us and God ; the Scripture is not 
abhorrent from that metaphor. You shall find in ]\Iatt. xiii. 44, 45, the 
kingdom of heaven, saith Christ, is like to treasure hid in a field, which a 
merchant man espieth, selleth all that he hath, and buyeth the field. It is 
not a proper buying indeed ; but it is a buying what in him Heth, it is a part- 
ing with all he hath ; God can have no more. He giveth up all his lusts, all 
the interest he hath in this world, and all the comforts of it, he giveth up 
himself ; it is a buying without money, as the phrase is, Isa. Iv. 1. Now 
then, when we have given up ourselves thus to God ; sold ourselves to him 
to work righteousness, as Ahab sold himself to work wickedness, then doth 
God come ; there is an earnest for you, saith he ; he giveth us an earnest of 
the commodity which we give up ourselves for. That is the first use of it, it 
is in respect of bargaining ; how it is in respect of inheritances I shaU shew 

Observe now how properly and pertinently the Holy Ghost followeth 
these two similitudes or metaphors of sealing and earnest ; he placeth his 
words most fitly. When he speaks of heaven as a thing promised, then he 
mentioneth the seal of the Spirit ; •' Ye were sealed,' saith he, ' with the 
Spirit of promise.' When he speaks of heaven as a thing to be possessed 
and enjoyed, he useth the metaphor of an earnest, or part in hand, that doth 
give a kind of possession beforehand. — So much now for opening the phrase, 
and the correspondency that one phrase hath to another, which giveth much 
light to the whole. 

The second thing, as I told you, to be done is this, to shew how the Holy 
Ghost is an earnest. 

The great question I had with myself a long while was this, Wliether the 
Holy Ghost is said there to be an earnest only in respect of working assur- 
ance of salvation in the hearts of men ; so as the meaning should be, that 
whereas before the Apostle had expressed the work of assurance by sealing. 


now he dotli do it by a new metaphor of being an earnest, importing only 
the same thing : so as this similitude should be limited to the same thing 
only that sealing is, namely, to work assurance. But when I had fully con- 
sidered it, the upshot of my thoughts is this : — 

It is true, indeed, he mentioneth this of the Spirit being an earnest in a 
special manner, in respect of assuring us of salvation ; for the scope of an 
earnest is to assure as well as a seal ; yet so as it is not to be limited only 
to the work of assurance, though he hath that especially in his eye ; but it 
is spoken in a large and more general sense, as when I shewed the scope of 
the words I mentioned ; he speaks of the Spirit in respect of all he is to us, 
and all the work in ns. In a word, he is not only an earnest in respect of 
working an assurance in our hearts, — though so and more particularly, — but 
he is an earnest in his person given unto us, in his graces wrought in us. 
An earnest takes in all these. It is a general proposition, brought in indeed 
upon an occasion of the mention of the Holy Ghost as a sealer in the words 
before ; and it doth second that phrase, and doth more pecuharly suit and 
comply with it, for an earnest is ordained to assure, yet it is taken in a 
larger sense. Therefore, now I am to do two things in opening how the 
Holy Ghost is an earnest. 

I am first to shew in general, hoiv the Spirit and all his ivorkings are all 
the earnest of our inheritance. 

Yet, secondly, that there is a work of assurance, in which he is more parti- 
cularly an earnest. 

The scope of an earnest is both to assure the thing, and it is to assure 
the l^arty to whom the earnest is given. Now in the general sense, take the 
gift of the Spirit, the graces of the Spirit, they all assure the thing ; but then 
the work of assurance which the Holy Ghost works, that assureih the person. 
He is an earnest in both. 

The metaphor of a seal only respecteth the work of assurance, as 1 
shewed when I handled it ; but the similitude of an earnest doth import 
assuring the thing. It is an earnest of heaven, to make that sure in itself ; 
and it is an earnest of heaven to us, to make us sure of it too. Now there- 
fore I shall speak of these two things. 

First, in general to shew yuu that the Holy Ghost and all his graces are an 
earnest of our inheritance, that makes sure the thing to us. 

And, first, the Holy Ghost himself, abstractedly taken from all our graces, 
being given to us, is the greatest earnest of heaven to make it sure of aU other. 
]\ly brethren, the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest earnest of heaven 
that ever was or could be. 

You must know that in the Greek og there is a varying from grammati- 
cal rules in relation to what he had spoken of; for he had spoken of the 
Spirit, rrnufMa, in the neuter gender ; but yet he saith og la-iv, ' who is,' it is 
not ' which is.' I know the observation, and I took it as an excellent one, 
which Beza makes out of it, that to shew, saith he, that the Holy Ghost is a 
person, though -i=u,aa be in the neuter gender, yet he speaks of him in the 
mascuUne, as of a person, as elsewhere in John xvi. 13, 'When he .shall 
come,' speaking of the Spirit of truth; he speaks of him as of a Person, 
' when he,' saith he. Which shoidd teach ns to speak reverently of the Holy 
Ghost ; — it is a good observation, that we should not say of him, it, as is 
the usual mai ner amongst us to say, Lord, give us thy Sijuit, that it may 
^^■ork this or tl.at. No, that he may work this or that ; he is a person. The 
original word Viiricth, as they that know it know well ; he doth not say, 
that or which, but u'ho or he; we should speak stiU of the Holy Ghost, not 


as of a thing, but as of a person. I thought, I say, it was a good observa- 
tion, that which is gathered from it ; but, my brethren, it is not all the 
meaning of it, when he saith, he, or who, (speaking of his person,) is an ear- 
nest. His meaning is, that the gift of the person of the Holy Ghost, taken 
severed from all his works in us, his person given to us to dwell in us for 
ever, as he is, this is the greatest earnest that God could bestow upon us 
of our inheritance to come. And that is the first thing wherein the Holy 
Ghost is an earnest ; he is an earnest in the gift of his person. 

You shall find, 2 Cor. v. 5, the Apostle speaks there of the person of the 
Holy Ghost, as an earnest given to us distinct from his graces and works in 
us. ]\Iark the phrase, ' He that hath wrought us for this selfsame thing,' 
namely for heaven, which he speaks of ver. 4, ' is God.' Here is you see 
the work of God upon us ; he hath wrought, he hath fashioned graces in 
our hearts. Are not they the great earnest ? No, not comparatively, for it 
followeth, ' who also hath given unto us the earnest of his Spirit.' You shall 
find in another place, as I shall shew anon, when he speaks of workin-g 
assurance, he calleth it the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts ; but here is 
the person of the Spirit mentioned distinct from his works ; ' who hath also 
given us the earnest of his Spirit.' 

The giving of the Holy Ghost is the greatest earnest of heaven to come, 
and that considered as distinct from his graces wrought in us, I will make 
this plain to you in a word or two. 

He is the greatest earnest of heaven. Why'? Because he is more than 
heaven. And in this, if you will, he is a pledge rather than an earnest ; that 
signification will come in, for it will bear both. It is a rule in the civil law, 
a pawn must always be worth more than the money it is pawned for. My 
brethren, the Holy Ghost is more than heaven, let me tell you so. The 
Apostle argueth in Eom. viii. 32, If he have given us his Son, how shaU he 
not with him give us all things also 1 I will argue likewise. Hath he given 
the person of his Spirit to you to dwell — not personally, take heed of that — 
but to dwell in your persons for ever ; why, will he not give heaven and all 
things else, which are less than his Spirit 1 The gift of the Holy Ghost is 
the foundation of all grace and glory. 

And more, my brethren ; we have two of the greatest pawns of our going 
to heaven that ever was. First, we have the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven 
vfiih our nature, to shew that man's nature shall come there ; there is a pawn 
in heaven for it. He sendeth down the Holy Ghost into our hearts, the 
third Person, to shew we shall come thither Ukewise ; for this Spirit will 
fetch us up. If he be given to your persons once, as I shall shew you by 
and by, he -will never rest till he hath brought you thither. So he is called 
an earnest, because he is the great gift, and will draw on the less. 

And, secondly, if he be given you simply, his person to your persons, why 
then he is engaged to bring you to heaven. You think, if you get grace in 
your hearts, there is an earnest of heaven. Why, grace in itself might be 
lost, if it were not for the Holy Ghost that dweUeth in your hearts ; that is 
the fountain of it ; the stream may be cut ofi", but if the stream have a foun- 
tain that continually bubbleth up, the stream will never be dried up, the 
perpetuity of the stream dependcth upon the fountain. Now, who is the 
fountain of all grace ? It is the Holy Ghost, the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
John vii. 38, ' He that beUeveth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of 
his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' Here is a fountain, you see, 
whence shall flow rivers of living water. Who is this fountain 1 Read on, 
* This he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.* 

VOL. 1, B 


It is the same Spirit, my brethren, that -svorks grace and works glory. In 
Eom. viii. 23, we are said to have received the ' first-fruits of the Spirit.' 
"VVhy is grace there called the first-fruits of the Spirit, but because if you 
have the Spirit you shall have glory 1 The same Spirit that works grace 
works glory, as the same ground that beareth the tirst-fruits beareth the 

Learn, therefore, to value and prize this great gift of the Holy Ghost. If 
he dwell in you, and hath begun to work grace in your hearts, which is an 
argument his person is given to your persons for ever, he will never leave 
you. The Spirit doth not dwell in us as he did in Adam, so long as we shall 
be holy ; but he dwelleth in us to work holiness, he cometh down to us 
therefore when we are unholy. 

I will name but one place ; it is Rom. viii. 1 1 : * If the Spirit of him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you ; ' what then 1 ' He that raised 
up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit 
that dwelleth in you.' My brethren, doth the Spirit dwell in you now 1 
When you are laid in the grave, that Spirit dwelleth in you as he did in the 
body of Christ ; I do not say in the same high manner. The Spirit of God 
did dwell in the body of Christ in the grave, and raised it up, he never left 
him ; though his body was a dead carcass without a soul, yet that body was 
hypostaticaUy united to the Godhead, therefore it is called Holy One : ' My 
Holy One shall not see corruption.' Now, the comparison is. If we have the 
Spirit of Christ, and if he dwell in us, the same Spirit shall never leave our 
bodies till he hath raised us up also. Nay, while thy body is dead and 
rotten in the grave, the Holy Ghost dwelleth in it. So that now the gift 
of the Holy Ghost is the greatest earnest of heaven that could be. That 
is the first. 

As the Spirit is an earnest of heaven, so the graces of the Spirit are to 
assure the thing still, for that is one use of an earnest. My brethren, grace 
is part of heaven, as I have oft expressed it ; it is that to heaven which 
colours are to varnish, that is grace to glory. ' He that believeth hath 
eternal life.' Love, you know, is said to remain, 1 Cor. xiii. ; and grace is 
called the first-fruits of the Spirit, Eom. viii. 23. — And so now in general 
you see how the Holy Ghost is said to be the earnest of our inheritance in a 
more large sense than the work of assurance ; he is an earnest both in the 
gift of his person, and likewise in his graces. 

What graces ? you will say. 

Why, in faith and love. You would look for some glorious thing now ; 
faith and love are the graces that God works by the person of the Holy 
Ghost given unto thee. The Apostle instanceth in these two in the next 
verse to the text : ' For this cause,' saith he, ' I have given thanks for your 
faith in Christ, and love to aU the saints.' Hath the Holy Ghost wrought 
these in thy heart 1 These are an earnest that the person of the Holy Ghost 
is given unto thee ; and the person of the Holy Ghost being given unto thee, 
is an earnest that that inheritance that God hath appointed for his children 
shall be thine. That Spirit dwelling in thee that dwelt in Christ, shall raise