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Full text of "David's blessed man : a short exposition on the first Psalm, directing a man to true happiness"






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Section . v|i SG.O 

pclj0l's .Scries 0f CmuntcntHries. 





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

JAMES BEGG, D.D., j\Iinister of Newington Free Church, Edinburgh. 

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

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

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Bibhcal Literature and Church History, Reformed 

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

THOMAS SMITH, D.D., Edinburgh. 









FOE any subject of a Memoir to bear the name of Sjiith is by itself to declare a Biographer's task 
formidable, however willing and patient he be. To be a Smith of a century or two back is to 
add perplexity to toil. To be a Smith, and to share name and surname with numbers of contem- 
poraries, is to turn perplexity into bewilderment. To be a Smith, and to have an orthography 
alternating plain Smith with Smithe, and Smythe, and Smtthies, and to be mentioned as ' Mr 
Smith ' (only) is absolutely to distract. Yet such are literally a few, and only a few, of the condi- 
tions under which I have essayed to furnish an Introduction to the present reprint of one of the many 
golden little volumes of Samuel Smith. Passing over other elements of entanglement that have 
made our researches a very maze, — and which those alone who have pursued siTch investigations can 
appreciate, — there were at least nine Samuel Smiths contemporary, and every one of them a 
' Preacher ' of the Gospel, and in lesser or larger form a religious author. In all the usual 
authorities I have found our Samuel confounded with one or other of these contemporaries. It is 
therefore needful, in the outset, to distinguish each. There was, first of all, the Samuel Smith, a 
' gentleman's son,' and ' accurate disputant,' and ' profound philosopher ' of Anthony a- Wood — whose 
small Latin treatise on Logic is among the rarities of the Bodleian, (Oxford) and one of those 
' missing,' over which the Marsh Library (Dublin) mourns. But he ched in 1620.^ Then there was 
a Samuel Smith, who was ' minister in Oliver's time in St Bennet, Grace-Church, London,' as well 
as a ' Preacher' in Essex. He was of the Two Thousand of 1662 ; but subsequently conformed, 
and ultimately became ' Ordinary ' of Newgate. There are now before me Sermons by him — 
, viz, ' Character of a Weaned Christian ; or, the Evangelical Art of promoting Self-Denial,' (1675), 
and ' Light in Darkness,' (1680.) These dates shew — as will appear — that he was not our Samuel, 
although these ' occasionally ' preached and published Sermons have much of his uncommonness of 
thought and quaintness of wording, if less rich and fervid in their evangelism. His folio ' Sheets,' 
giving ' Account of the Behaviour of the Prisoners in Newgate,' have the matter-of-fact truthfulness, 
touched with tenderness, of De Foe in his ' Plague.' - A third Samuel Smith became Rector of 
Sandon — which is also in Essex — in succession to the profoundly-learned, but beyond all dispute, 

' Logic : The following is the title of this very scarce book : — ' Aditua ad Logicam in Usum eorum qui primo Acadenjiam 
salutant,' 1613. See Wood's Athenae (by Bliss), ii. 283. 

' Wood, as before, iii. 698. His son, Lawrence Smith, published a number of excellent books— c.gr., ' Conversation in 
Heaven,' (1693,) 'Sacramental Devotions,' 1694,) 'Practical Discourse of the Sin against the Holy Ghost.' 


to the (then) supreme authority of the nation — the Parliament — turbulently disobedient, Brian 
Waxton. But this Samuel, though of Essex and of the ' Ejected,' again was not ours, for he died 
in 16G2. He wins from Calamy the epithet inevitable in association with Kichard Hooker, of 
' judicious.'^ A fourth Samuel Smith was another of the 'Ejected' — from Glooston, Leicestershire. 
He must have been a ' good man ; ' but the details that have reached me concerning him — slender 
though they be — satisfy that he is distinct from the others being enumerated.'- A fifth Samuel 
Smith was one of four to whom the Cathedral of Hereford was given as a Church, and by whom many 
' ministers,' and apparently ' missionaries,' were sent forth over England and Wales. He was ' cast 
out' on the Kestoration in 16G0, and again among the ' Ejected' in Berkshire in 1662. But he lived 
till 1685, and so was not our Samuel.* A sixth Samuel Smith was ' silenced ' in 1662 at St Olave's, 
Southwark, London. He was assistant there with the celebrated Kalph Venning. But he settled 
at Windsor, and only died in 1714.* A seventh Samuel Smith was 'curate' of Edgeworth or 
(corruptly) Edgeware, to which he was 'nominated and donated' by Lord Coventry in 1661. But 
he was ' the present curate' in 1700, when Newcourt wrote. 5 An eighth Samuel Smith was Vicar 
of Henham, in Archdeaconry of Colchester, Essex ; but he too was ' the present vicar ' in 1700. 6 
Besides these eight Samuel Smiths — bearing such strange coincidences of outward circumstance, 
residence, and authorship — our Samuel, because of his relations with Essex, is often mistaken for 
John Smith, the ' Essex Dove,' as — in the fine old quarto of his inestimable ' Works' — he is called ; 
and a certain Sida Smith, and another Sim Smith — both given as S. Smith — sent me in bootless 
inquiry elsewhere. ^ It were vain to tell the tantalising number of ' Mr Smiths ' who provoked (dis- 
appointing) researches in all the three Counties with which our Samuel Smith was known to have 
been connected — viz. , Worcestershire, Shropshire, and Essex. Smiths who were also ' clerics ' are 
found everywhere therein ; and it was vexatious to come on full accounts, and even splendid 
memorials, of Smiths who were merely Smiths, and scarcely a scrap concerning those of the name 
who had done good service in their generation. 

But now we turn to our Worthy. He was, Anthony a- Wood states, ' a minister's son,' and was 
'born in Worcestershire.' ^ Calamy specifies 'Dudley,' in Worcestershire, as 'the place of his 
nativity.'" Palmer gives the year of birth ' 1588 ' — a mistake, as will be shewn — but is uncertain of 
the place, saying ' at or near.' lo Chambers, in his ' Biogi-aphical Illustrations of Worcestershire,' uses 
the same words.n So the difi"erent ' Biographical Dictionaries,' home and foreign. You look in vain 
in the ' County' Histories for any notice of liim. You have elaborate pedigrees of a thousand and 
one Squire Smiths ; and most erinlite discussions of the original of the name ' Dudley ' — tracing it up ■ 
to one Dodo, a Saxon prince — and about as valuable as like discussions on the wondrous extinct bird 
of the name.^'- But none ever seem to have dreamed — whether Historian or Biographer — of consult- 
ing the ' Records ' of the Parish. Even Chambers, in a book specially devoted to the ' Biography ' 

' Davids' Annala of Evangelical Nonconformity in the County of Essex, pp. 452-457 : Calamy, Account, 313. 
' Palmer's ' Nonconformist's Memorial,' ii. 387 ; Nichols' History of Leicestershire, ii. 586. 

^ Calamy, an before, 352. ■* Calamy, Cvntinuation, 18. ' Newcourt'a ' Repertorium,' i. 920. '' Ibid., ii. 325. 

' In Newcourt, as before: Sida Smith is associated with John Preston, A.M., 1C42, in succession to Nehemiah Rogers, 
as Vicar of Messing, Essex, ii. 474 : for Sim Smith, i. 4S0. 

* As before, iii. C57, 058. * As before, Account, ii. 567. '" As before, ii. 144, 145. 

'1 I am indebted to Sir Thomas E. Winnington Bart, for a transcript and reference to Chambers, in loco (page 115). 

" See Notes and Queries, 1st Series, (General Index, i. to xii.,) for curious notices of persons of the name of Dodo. 


of the Shire, lazily contents himself with the traditional ' at or near,' and erroneous birth-date of 
1588. The ' Kegisters ' of Dudley are fragmentary, worn, dim ; but fortunately they contain those 
dates that have hitherto been desired rather than expected. The indefiniteness of Anthony a-Wood 
and the rest is changed into certainty, and the current birth-date corrected, by the fii-st entry in the 
' Registers ' of the ' Parish ' church of St Thomas, Dudley. Whoever made it must have been an 
earnest disciple of those pioneers of the Astronomer, the 'Astrologers,' else he had not imported into 
such a document his credulous jargon. I give the words verbatim et literatim — ' 1583 [iiot 1588] 
Samuell, sonne to S" Will" Smithe, Clarke, Vicare of Duddly, was born on Friday morninge at 4 of 
the clocke, being the xxviii day of February : the signe of that day was the middle of Acpiaris : 

the signe of the monthe : the plenet of that day : plenet of the same ower [hour] .1 

The ' Sr ' here means ' Sir,' which reminds us of the recentness of the Reformation in England, 
when ' Sir ' was prefixed to the name of a ' priest ' or ' parson,' as ' Rev.' is now.- I have been 
baffled in all my endeavours to ascertain the family whence the father of our Samuel came. I place 
below notices of other ' children ' from the same Register.^ All of these — as well as the entry of the 
appointment of the paternal Smithe as ' Vicar,' which was on ' 26 of March 1574 in the time of D. 
bulingarne, bishoppe of Worcester ' — are inscribed very legibly, and illuminated in the style of early 
Missals, indicative either of weight and importance, or of the profound respect of the scribe. In every 
case the names of the Smiths iswi-itten in a much larger hand than any others in the Church-Books, and 
kept distinct from all. The particular record of Samuel suggests memories of the story of Hannah's 
' Samuel,' and (probable) like dedication of the child to that Master he was to serve so faithfully. 

We know nothing of the home-training or of the school-learning of Master Samuel. It was not 
until much later that Dudley received its somewhat famous school, with Richard Baxter for first 
' Master.'* Our next date is of his being entered a ' batler' of St Mary's Hall, Oxford — the college 
of John Locke — in the beginning of 1603, (1 Jac. I.) aged 15.5 That he was thus entered a ' ser- 
vitor,' or attendant on the wealthier undergraduates, indicates narrow paternal means, — such as placed 
after the lustrous name of Jeremy Taylor those two words that have ennobled the name ever since, 
' pauper scholaris.' Nowhere is it more needful than at the University to remember ' rare Ben's' 

counsel : 

• Boast not the titles of j'our ancestors, 
Brave youths! they 're their possessions, none of yours. 
When your own virtues equall'd have their names, 
'Twill be but fair to lean upon their fames, 
For they are strong supporters ; but till then 
The greatest are but growing gentlemen.' 

This is the solitary College memorial — his entrance as 'batler' — which the industry of Wood has 

• I have to return my best thanks to Mr Warrington, solicitor, Dudley, for his persistent painstaking in the matter of the 
St Thomas, Dudley, ' Registers ;' and to Rev. T. W. Davids of Colchester for kindly putting me in communication with him. By 
the way, it may be remarked that there seems to have been a kind of fatality in blundering over the scanty details of Smith's 
life. Thus even Calamy speaks of Dudley as in Essex, and Mr Davids (as before) as in Warwickshire. 

* ' Notes and Queries,' as before, gives examples and illustrations. 

' These are as follows : — ' Sara, daughter to S' William Smithe, Clarke, Vicare of Dudley, was baptizede the xxvith of July 
1581:' 'Mary, dawter to S' William Smithe, Clarke, Vicare of Dudley, Baptized January, last day.' No record is preserved 
of the marriage of the Vicar, nor of hia wife. The Vicar himself must have died in or before 1610, as a ' Henry Jackson,' in 
1610, is entered as ' Vicair of Duddley.' * ' Eeliquise,' as before, i. 9. ° Wood, as before, iii. pp. 657, 658. 


recovered : and I have faOed, after no perfunctory effort, to add to it.i He appears to have left the 
University without taking a degree : perchance the death of his father, not later than 1609-10, hin- 
dered. Though John Davenport, B.D., had a well-to-do father, he had to postpone his degrees from 
— as it would seem— temporary pecuniary difficulties. 2 It may have been thus with him. The 
Church-income of the Vicar of Dudley was at no time very great. 

By 1613-1614 at latest Samuel Smith was in ' holy orders:' in all likelihood some years prior, 
for by 1614 he had reached his 31st year. Be this as it may, on the title-page of the first edition 
of ' David's Blessed Man,' — herein reprinted, — he is designated— albeit it has escaped the notice of 
all the authorities — ' Minister of Eoxwell in Essex,' — a name dear to all who hold in loving re- 
gard the memory of Eichard Younge, the wise, genial, chatty, original, loveable ' Florilegus,' all 
whose little books are as ' fine gold of Ophir.'^ He cannot have remained long in Koxwell,^ for in 
November of 161.5 — the very month and year wherein Eichard Baxter was born, afterwards 
destined to be his friend and eulogist 5 — he was admitted Vicar of Prittlewell, also in Essex. The 
following is from the Eegister : — 

' Sam. Smith, der. admiss. ad vie. de Prittlewell, com. Essex, 30 Nov. 1615 ad pres. Eob. dom. 
Eich.' 6 

Lord Eich, of the noble House of Warwick, was the friend by pre-eminence of the Puritans. 
His name occurs in many old ' Epistles Dedicatory ' with words of deepest esteem, and praise too 
grave and scriptural to be suspected of flattery. Perhaps the ' presentation ' by tliis nobleman may be 
interpreted as indicating the Puritan character of both father and son. Every page of Sajtoel 
Smith's books shews him to have been of the antique cast of Puritan. 

Prittlewell, over whose ' parish' Church our Worthy was thus installed Vicar, was formerly 
' appropriated ' to the Priory of the same name, and in the gift of that Priory and Convent till their 
suppression : after which Henry VIII. granted the whole to Sir Thomas Audley, by whose brother 
it was alienated to Eichard Lord Eich, (5 Edw. VI.) Hence Lord Eich's presentation to it of Samuel 
Smith. Newcourt and the ' county' Histories give many antiquarian details of the Priory and Parish 
altogether.'' One bit of historic fact relating to Milton or Middleton, which is within the Parish of 

' I have "very heartily to thank Mr T. A. Eaglesim, B.A. of Worcester College, Oxford, for most ungrudging help toward 
recovering further memorials of Smith in Oxford. The ' Bodleian ' has a number of his rarer books. 

" The Calendar of State Papers by Mrs Green: Domestic Series, 1623-25, page 355. This invaluable 'Calendar' and the 
whole series guide to the manuscript treasures of the Public Eecord Office. No one can afford to neglect them. The Letters 
of Davenport calendered are of much interest. 

3 He is sometimes (mistakenly) called Kobert Younge: in the ' Prevention of Poverty,' (1655,) he has given his surname, 
' Rich. Young.' On the former abundance of the surname ' Richard,' see my foot-note in Memoir of Richard Stock, prefixed 
to his ' Malachi,' in this series of Commentaries. 

* There is no doubt that the Samuel Smith of Roxwell is identical with our Samuel, inasmuch as in the after-editions of 
' David's Blessed Man' he designates himself of Prittlewell. Eoxwell, in 1614 and long subsequently, was a chapelry annexed 
to the Vicarage of Writtle, the Vicar appointing a curate for its supply. Writtle is n peculiar of New College, Oxford. The 
Vicar in 1614 was Matthew Davies, B.D., fellow of New College, and brother of Sir John Davies, the well-known poet. Doubt- 
less our Smith was 'curate' of Eoxwell by appointment of Davies. I am indebted to Eev. T. \V. Davids, as before, for most of 
these details, and which were furnished to him by the present Warden of New College — Rev. Dr Sewell. 

' Born at Rowton, Shropshire, 12th Nov. 1615 : ' Reliquiae,' i, 1. 

' Wood, as before, supplemented by Bliss from Eeg. Bancroft — Kennet. 

' Newcourt, as before, i. pp. 472-474. 


Prittlewell, is of undying interest — namely, that it was on ' Milton shore ' John Frith, the friend and 
associate of William Tyndale, was ' taken' when he had fled thither in the vain hope of escaping to 
the Continent. All know he was ' burnt' at Smithfield — dying heroically, yet very meekly.^ There 
are memories here also of the Bretteridges and Purchases and Eogerses and Lawrences, that are 
tenderly cherished in New England. The ' May-Flower ' sailed while our Samuel was Vicar of 
PrittleweU (1620). 

We have seen that while ' curate' of Eoxwell ' David's Blessed Man' was published. So far as 
I have been able to trace, this seems to have been liis &st_book, one of those afterwards referred to 
as belonging to his ' Spring-time,' as contrasted with his later, which he calls his ' Autumn-time.' - 
He was in a manner ' constrained' to authorship: for from some of his after ' Epistles' we o-ather 
that he had no little enforced leisure from sickness, — e.g., in the ' Epistle' to the ' Christian Eeader ' 
prefixed to his ' Christ's Preparation to His owne Death,' so early as 1619-1620, he says, ' When I 
first began to lay pen to paper to write these Lectures following, I intended the prosecution of the 
whole story of Christ's Agony, Apprehension, Arraignment, Condemnation, Passion, Eesurrec- 
tion, and Ascension, as they follow in the story of the Ghospell [sici] But have many waies bin 
hindred in the worke, principally by sicknesse : wherein _/()?• late yeares I have been much exercised. 
And now, not knowing whether life and health will permit mee to finish the whole, I thought o-ood 
to suffer these few Lectures to come to light.' Similarly in his ' Great Assize' he writes: and as he 
at the same time expresses his conception of the office of a minister of the gospel, I cull a brief ex- 
tract. ' Seeing,' he says, ' the burden of the ministry is this, to pluck men out of the kino'dom of 
Satan and to bring them to the living God, sm-ely then it is the duty of all those that have taken 
upon them this holy calling, to help forward this worthy work. And to this end I entertained my 
spare hours in the time of my loiig sichiess, when I was not able to perform my duty in the congre- 
gation of my charge, in publishing this short exposition of the 51st Psalm.' In the former ' Epistle' 
he acknowledges very gratefully the kind reception given to preceding publications : ' I heartily con- 
fesse, not without my thankfulnesse to God, that my poore labours in this kinde have hitherto found 
such a gracious acceptation with the Church of God, above all expectation or desert : as I have no 
small encouragement still, to spend some few houres, at some time in this kinde : rejoycing if by any 
meanes it may doe good in God's Church.' In the latter he says more specifically, ' I present here 
unto thy view the fourth public fruit of my ministry, wherein I have endeavoured that those especially 

1 Davids' ' Annals,' as before. He has very kindly favoured me ivitli certain additions which I would here give, as every 
little helps in such permanently important historical matters. Jlilton or Middleton (as above) belonged to the peculiar of the 
Deanery of Booking. Newcourt says he finds no Dean of Becking for a hundred years after 1454. But \VoIcott {Life of Wyke- 
ham, p. 393) gives Thomas Bedyll or Bedell as Dean in 1533. Bedell (Wood, as before, s. n.) was much employed by Crom- 
well. He was also one of those who took part in the consecration of Cranmer. — [See of him Strype, Cranmer: Eccl. Mem. i. 
299, 402.] — Though Archdeacon of Cleveland, June — August 1553, he might posisibly have been Dean of Bockin"- at the date 
of Frith's apprehension. If so, we can understand how it was Frith fled thither. It is worth while working out this vein of 
Reformation History. 

- The words occur in his ' Epistle' to the Reader prefixed to ' Moses, his Prayer.' He acknowledges the kind acceptation 
of bis former publications, whereby he is emboldened to publish this : those published in Spring-time of his ministry, this the 
fruit of its Autumn should be more ripe, for ' the Lord having lengthened out my pilgrimage that I have passed the first ao'e 
of man, which Jloses saith, according to the ordinary course of nature, is three score years and ten; and I have now for some 
years entered upon that other age . . . [which] is but labour and sorrow.' Onward a little he calls Ba.xter his ' learned friend.' 
This was in 1656. More of it again. 


of mine own hearers — those religious people and inhahitants of Prittlewell in Essex, whom I love with 
my heart — might a second time take notice of these my exercises that in public I delivered unto them.' 
It is difficult to find one's way through the manifold editions — reckoned not by one or two, but by 
scores, literally — but the three books that preceded ' The Great Assize' seem to have been (a) 
' Da\dd's Blessed Man' (1614) — (b) ' Exposition' of Hosea, chap. vi. (1617) — (c) ' Joseph and his 
Mistresse, the Faithfulnesse of the one, and the Unfaithfulnesse of the other' (1619.) 1620 was an 
unusually j^rolific year of publication, as our List of all his Writings at close of this little Memoir 
evinces. This is to be explained by returning health and vigour, and widening popularity. Each 
book that he issued was eagerly welcomed : in every ' Ejjistle' he has to make the same adoring 
acknowledgment of having been used to do good. He fulfilled his purpose of preaching and pub- 
lishing on other portions of the Great Life, more particularly in his ' Admirable (= ' Wonderful') 
Convert ; or, the Miraculous Conversion of the Thiefe on the Crosse, with the finall impenitency of 
the other' (1632.) Earlier in his ' Chiefe Shepheard; or, an Exposition upon y^ xxiii. Psalme' 
(1625.) Anothei- short quotation from its ' Epistles' elucidates several points: — Presenting it 'to 
Mr Edward Seabrid, Esq., and his wife,' he says, ' May it find acceptation in the Church of God, as 
other my jyoore labours and endeavours in the same kinde have done! And again, ' to the Keader ' — 
' Having of late handled in my pastoral charge this short psalm of the prophet David, and meeting 
with many things of singular use for the times wherein we live, and Juxving heretofore received no 
sinall encouragement in my publications of some of my meditations on some other of the Psalms, I 
resolved of some spare houres to revise the same again.' Here we learn that his preaching was very 
much expository, and that previous to the ' Chiefe Shepheard ' he had preached and published ' in the 
same kinde : ' and so we are guided to his ' David's Blessed Man,' which is now reprinted, and his 
' David's Kepentance,' already referred to — the one consisting of an 'Exposition' of the 1st, and the 
other of the 51st Psalm, to which was added later ' Moses, his Prayer ; or, An Exposition of the xc. 
Psalm' (1656.) Taking these successive books as specimens of the ' preaching' to which the par- 
ishioners of Koxwell and Prittlewell listened from Sunday to Smiday it is very plain that they were 
' fed' with ' the finest of the wheat:' or (to change the metaphor) if the Well which gave its name 
to the hamlet sprang clear and freshly in its bosky nook — 

' A pleasant walk, when singing bird 
LTpon the bending twig is heard, 
And rustling leaf that bids you hush ! 
And hear the slow, still waters gush 

Far down below unseen 

Beneath the branches green' i — 

certainly the good Vicar gave them from day to day full cups of the very ' water of life.' It will be 
seen that in the ' Epistle' to ' Sir Eobert Eich, Kt.,' the ' sonne and heire' to his patron ' Robert, 
Lord Rich,' prefixed to ' David's Blessed Man,' he states the main design and end of his preaching 
and writing : ' In preaching I have ever courted plainnesse, the best eloquence, and the carriage of 
matters, so that those of the lowest forme may learne somewhat the soundest and the surest learning.' 
Privately he must have held very genial relations with ' high and low' in his parish. Long after 
he had left he writes softly and lovingly of them. To one, ' Mary, widow of Maister John Lawson 

1 The Bishop's Walk, p. 9. 


of Milton, Prittlewell,' in dedicating his ' Christian's Taslce,' preached at her husband's funeral, he 
says, ' Ingratitude in the Scripture is a thing much condemned, and odious in the sight of God. I 
desire therefore, in some poore measure, to shewe my thankfulnesse to my wel- deserving friends, 
amongst whom if I should not number you, I should much forget myselfe, your house having beene 
as the house of Onesiphorus to me and mine.' The last two words ' and mine' would seem to inti- 
mate marriage : but there is no record whatever of such an event. Perhaps, as his father had died 
in 1610, he removed liis mother and his sisters, Sarah and Mary, to his own Vicarage. 

It is uncertain how long Samuel Smith remained in Prittlewell. Newcourt places one ' John 
Negus ' after him, but gives no date. Then follows ' Thomas Pecke, cl. 2 Mail 1033, per mort. Negus.' 
So that he must have left before 1633.1 In 1632, on the title-page of his ' Admirable Convert,' he 
is designated simply ' Minister of the Word of God,' not as hitherto ' at Prittlewell in Essex.' What 
were the circumstances under which he parted from his devoted Flock in Prittlewell it is impossible 
now to tell. It must surely have been with a pang he sundered a tie of seventeen years' continuance. 
Wood, to his notice of our Worthy's being ' beneficed at Prittlewell,' adds, ' and afterwards, about the 
beginning of King Charles I., in his own county.'^ Charles succeeded his father James in 1625 ; and 
therefore unless ' about' was used in the Athenaj with considerable latitude, in this instance the usu- 
ally accurate though atrabilious Chronicler, is inaccurate.-^ Moreover there is no confirmation, no 
trace whatever of his having held a ' living' in his ' own county' of Worcestershire. Later — as we 
shall find — he is described as of ' Kinver,' which is in this County : and probably Wood mistook his 
dates. He proceeds, ' Where \i.e., in his own county] continuing till the Kebellion began in 1642> 
[he] did then or the year following retire to London for shelter, sided with the Presbyterians, and 
became a frequent preacher among them.* Afterwards he returned to his cure, had another con- 
ferred on him in Shropshire, viz., Cound.' With Cound was then combined Cressage, or Cressedge, 
one of the most ancient and historically interesting of English churches — as Eyton in his admir- 
able and authoritative ' Shropshire' abundantly proves, albeit with an antiquarianism, somewhat 
overdone — he has not a word to tell of person or event younger than a couple of hundred years 
before Smith, and so nothing of him. The Eegisters of Cound and of Cressage alike have been 
searched in vain for notices of Samuel Smith. As in other cases, some Koyalist successor or other 
Vandal appears to have eliminated every trace of him. That he was ' Perpetual Curate' or 'Vicar' 
of the combined parishes is indisputable. He signs the adherence of the ' Ministers' of ' Shropshire' 
to the ' Testimony' of the ' London Ministers' in 1648 — as ' Pastor of Cound.' This Bliss confirms 
from a MS. note by Wood in Ashmole.^ The Shropshire ' Testimony' is itself in my collection ; and 
I can attest the fact. Again, Calamy in his ' Accoimt' places him among the ' Ejected,' as having 
been so ejected from ' Cound and Cressedge.'^ Further, Richard Baxter in his ' Eeliquife,' in a 

1 Newcourt, as before, ii. p- 474. Ou Peck see Davids, as before, pp. 268, 318, 445, 569. His father is one of the ' Wor- 
thies' of New England. " As before, iii. pp. 657, 658. 

3 This does not appear. The fact that the successor of his successor was admitted in 163-3, is not inconsistent with the 
statement that his incumbency ceased about 1625. — Ed. 

•> That our Worthy did flee to London, as Wood states, is certain : for in his ' Epistle Dedicatory' of ' JIoscs, his Prayer' to 
Samuel Freborne, he gratefully refers to his great kindness and generosity in his own and other ministers' behalf, ' when it 
was not my case alone, but the condition of many hundreds of the ministry in this nation to fly to London, as that city of refuge 
to which they fled when it was not safe for them to live at their pastoral charges.' * Wood, as before, iii. pp. 657, 658. 

* Samuel Smith, like most of his contemporaries, came into conflict with the Quakers. In the ' Abstract of the Sufferings 


very valuable notice of Smith — of which anon — describes him as ' sometime of Prittlewell in Essex, 
but then of Cressage in Shropshire.'! Once more, it was as being a ' minister' in the county of 
Shropshire, that he was appointed — as from Wood and elsewhere we know he was — ' one of the com- 
missioners for the ejection of scandalous and ignorant ministers and schoolmasters.'^ It is very 
grievous that we have no memorials of this Shropshire ministry and public service, and annoying 
that the Booksellers continued to republish his books with either the old designation ' of Prittlewell' 
or simply as author of such and such. Thus the edition of ' David's Blessed Man,' from whence our 
reprint is taken, though dated ' 1635' — when he had certainly left Prittlewell — still describes him as 
of it, and so the 12th edition of ' David's Eepentance' in 1642: and his 'Moses, his Prayer' (1656) 
and ' Looking-glass for Saints and Sinners' (1663) have 'Samuel Smith, Minister of the Gospel, and 
Author of David's Eepentance and the Great Assize,' &c. In the 14th edition of the ' Great Assize' 
in 1649, we read, ' Samuel Smith, Minister of the Word, and yet living.' 

The details now gleaned and gathered — culminating in the Ejection of 1662— inform us that 
in the national thi-oes on the Birth of Liberty, Samuel Smith elected to side for the Kingdom rather 
than the King, for the Parliament and Law as against Charles and Laud and Prerogative. It is to 
be regretted that the utmost research has yielded no record of his abundant and ' j^opular ' preach- 
ing in London, or of his part in ' siding ' with the Presbyterians. Among the mass of contemporary 
tractates you do not come on his signature to any of the intolerant ukases (so to say) of the dominant 
Sect, whether earlier of the Presbyterians, or a little later of the Independents. You do_not find him 
in any way accused in the virulent polemics of John Goodwin and his ' many adversaries.' You do 
not either find Edwards of the notorious ' Gangrrena,' or the scarcely less notorious Pkynne, claim- 
ing him as an ally. The whole tone and ' savour ' of his writings, the entire character of the man 
as impressed unconsciously on his books, brings before us a gentle, shy, retiring, meditative soul, 
to whom the 'sturt and strife' of the age would be dissonant, one who could not but be sei'enely 
obedient to conscience, but quietly, undemonstratively : one to be compassionated as the poet has 
another — 

of the People called Quakers,' [vol. i. 1C50-1660,] a work in 3 Tolumes, (Svo,) compiled by Joseph Besse, though it does not 
bear his name, he is called ' priest of the Parish ' and of ' the steeple-house of Cressedge.' This was in 1656. The disturbance 
described, according to Besse, must have been an unseemly one ; but it is to be remembered that the account is with emphasis 
ei parte, and that in the outset Quakerism was not the meek thing it became later. The matter is only valuable biographically 
as attesting that S. S. was the ' parson ' of Cressedge. 

1 As before, p. 9. 

3 Wood, as in last reference to .ithena. I have to thank the present Eector of Cound (Rev. Augustus T. Pelham, M.A.) for 
his earnest endeavours to aid me, and for repeated examinations of the Registers. He found no mention of the officiating min- 
isters between 1615 and 1662 in connexion with baptisms, burials, or marriages; neither in the church-accounts. In 1652 Mr 
James Cressett is called ' minister at Cond :' he has a son born named Edward. In 1654 another son, James, is baptized, when 
Mr James Cressett is again called 'minister at Cond.' The Register is very neatly kept to April 1657; after which, till 1662, 
careless and bad writing. As in the ' Sufferings of the Quakers' Smith is called 'priest' of ' Cressedge,' but not of Cound, it 
is possible that he may have given up the latter to this Cressett. But he [Cressett] must have left Cound for some reason or 
other, or been 'deprived.' For in the memorable year of 1662 we have these 'entries' concerning him — '1662. Mr James 
Cressett, Rector of Cund, did publicly in the time of divine service read the 39 Articles of the Church of England,' &c. ' The 
17th day of August 1662. Mr James Cressett, Rector of Cond, the same Lord's day in time of divine service, did publiquely read 
the declaration in the Act of Uniformitie expressed touching the unlawfulness of the Covenant, after the reading of his Cer- 
tificat of his subscription to the aforesaid declaration, and did the same day solemnly and publiquely read the morning and 
evening prayer appointed to be read by the said Act, and did declare his unfeigned assent and consent thereunto, and to every- 
thing therein contained. In the presence and hearing of Robert Cressett, Edward Dod, Rd. Langley,' iS.c. 


' Beautiful spirit ! fallen, alas ! 
On times when little beauty was ; 
Still seeking peace amid the strife, 
Still working, weary of thy life. 
Toiling in holy love. 
Panting for heaven above.' ' 

In accord with all this it is what we would look for to learn that, while he may have preached, like 
the most of the illustrious Two Thousand, a ' Farewell Sermon,' he did not publish it, but bore his 
cross meekly, and retreated to his native Dudley — where he remained until he died. It was during 
his closing residence here that he so won the love of Richard Baxter. At this point I would 
bring together liis tender and winsome notices of our Worthy and his birth-place. First of all of 
the latter: ' At that time' [about 23d year] ' old Mr Richard Foley of Stourbridge, in Worcestershire, 
had recovered some alienated lands at Dudley, which had been left to charitable uses, and added 
something of his own, and built a convenient new school-house, and was to choose his first school- 
master and usher. By the means of James Berry — who lived in the house with me and had lived 
with him — he desired me to accept it. I thought it not an inconvenient condition for my entrance, 
because I might also preach up and down in places that were most ignorant, before I presumed to 
take a pastoral charge — to which I had no inclination. So to Dudley I went, and Mr Foley and 
James Berry going with me to Worcester, at the time of ordination. I was ordained by the bishop, 
and had a licence to teach school : for which, being examined, I subscribed. Being settled, with an 
usher, in the new school at Dudley, and Uving in the house of Mr Richard Foley, junr., I there 
preached my first publick sermon in the upper Parish Church.' 2 Renown surely worth cherishing 
by now busy and prosperous Dudley — that in it was born and died Samuel Smith, and that in it 
the author of 'The Saint's Everlasting Rest' preached his 'first Sermon.' The folios of Nash's 
' Worcestershii'e ' over-pass both facts : but they outweigh in interest the multitudinous ' chronicles ' 
of so-called greater events. Again, in giving an account of his unthinking ' Conformity ' in the out- 
set, Baxter thus ingenuously tells us the process and result together, introducing our Worthy: 
' About twenty years of age I became acquainted with Mr Simmonds [Symonds ?], Mr Cradock, 
and other very zealous, godly Nonconformists in Shrewsbury and the adjoining parts, whose fervent 
prayers, and savoury conference, and holy lives did profit me much. And when I understood that 
they were people prosecuted by the Bishops, I found much prejudice arose in my heart against those 
that persecuted them, and thought those that silenced and troubled such men could not be the 
genuine followers of the Lord of Love.' . . . . ' Withal the books of the Nonconformists were then 
so scarce and hard to be got, because of the danger, that I could not come to know their reasons. 
Whereas, on the contrary side, Mr Garbet and Mr Samuel Smith did send me Downham, Sprint, 
Dr Burges, and others of the strongest that had wrote against the Nonconformists.' 3 This send- 
ing of books by our Smith to strengthen Baxter in his Conformity, is one of many incidental proofs 
that turn up that the Nonconformists of the Ejection were made so by ' constraint, not willingly,' that 

' The Bishop's Walk, as before, page 16. 

' ' Reliquiae,' as before, i. 9. Mr Stoughton has given some touching extracts from the unpublished Baxter MSS. 
relating to Dudley. See his ' Ecclesiastical History of England from the opening of the Long Parliament to the death of 
Cromwell,' ii. 191. 

^ Ibid., i. 9, 13, &c. 


they loved the Church of England, though they loved the truth too well to sacrifice it to an impos- 
sible Uniformity. We have still another and finely touched notice in the ' Reliquife ' : — ' At that 
time also [as before] God was pleased much to comfort and settle me by the acquaintance of some 
reverend peaceable divines : Mr Garbet (aforesaid) and Mr George Baxter of Little Wenlock — (very 
holy men and peaceable, who laboured faithfully with little success till they were above four score 
years of age a piece:) — especially old Mr Samuel Smith, sometime of Prittlewell in Essex, but 
then of Cressage in Shropshire.' . . . . ' This good man was one of my most familiar friends, in 
whose converse I took very much delight.' i 

When the 'ejected' Vicar of Cound and Cressage retired to his native place, he was in his 
79th year. What a fine sight to one's imagination is this white-headed old man giving up his all 
of worldly ' living ' in fealty to conscience ! Would that we had his portrait in its setting of silver 
hair reverently to study ! How he was engaged after his ' Ejection,' it is idle to conjecture. We 
may be sure of tliis, that he laid not down his ' office ' of a ' Preacher ' of the Gospel. To that, 
holier, than prelatic hands had consecrated him : and whether in settled ' congregation ' or as an 
' occasional ' helper of ' the brethren,' he doubtless continued ' faithful ' even ' unto the end.' One 
other glimpse have we of him in association with Richard Baxter — but, alas ! Kinver, which is in 
Worcestershire, retains no 'memorial' at this late day — 'October 19th 1652 was a thanksgiving 
day kept at Tresle upon the settlement of a ministry there : and at Womborne, upon the desire of 
the inhabitants of Tresle, Mr Eichard Baxter of Kidderminster, and Mr Samuel Smith of Kinver, 
prayed and preached.' ^ 

In the year after the 'Ejection,' viz., in 1663, was published his last book, 'A Looking-Glass 
lor Saints and Sinners ; or, an Exposition on the Second Epistle of Saint John.' It bears on the 
title-page to be ' a most needfull treatise for these apostatising times wherein we live,' and perchance 
is over-vehement in its rebukes of Papists and Quakers : but otherwise has many memorable things 
in it, and altogether is an extraordinary effort for one so aged. Prefixed to it is a ' copy ' of Verses 
— as the phrase runs — addressed to the venerable author by a brother minister, 'John Taylor of 
Dudley,' concerning whom I can gain nothing. Intrinsically they are of no great value, but as 
bringing the ' old man eloquent ' before us as he looked to one who knew and loved him, they cannot 
be withholden : — 

' To my reverend friend, the Author. 

' If books — the issues of the mind — like children be 
To shew the parent to Posterity, 

Then you— though childless otherwise — shall live and siiew, 
Fruitful in children, pretious to the view 
Of all succeeding ages ; and the holy men 
That know the worth and price of things divine, 
Shall love and praise the reverend Author and his pen, 
That holy Te.vt and Truth thus make to shine. 

' ' Reliquiae,' i., 9, 13, &c. 

' Shaw's 'Staffordshire,' ii. pp. 216*. 217*. A number of Smiths or Smyths — one Edward Smith, Registrar of Wom- 
borne, (1653,) and in 1701, another Edward, Rector of a London Church are here mentioned. 


You have been plentiful! and painfull in your works, 

A powerful Preacher and a Writer both ; 

Discovering sin ; ah ! sin, which in man's nature lurks, 

A pattern to us for avoiding sloth. 

For when your age — now great — might challenge quiet ease 

From toilsome studyes, lo ! here comes to sight, 

A pretious piece, a work, a book that well will please 

The godly, as a babe of sweet delight. 

Thus we may see how grace weak nature doth excell ; 

The latter fades and with old age decaj-es, 

The other fertile grows; for still your years can tell, 

How to unfold God's will and teach His wayes. 

Go on, dear Sir, thus to make plain God's word and mind. 

Whilst we injoy you on the earth below; 

Thereby you comfort now, and more shall after find, 

When dying, you eternall joyes shall know. 

So prayes your very friend and neighbour, 

JoEN Tatlob, Minister of the Gospel in Dudley.' 

' He was Kving,' says Wood, ' an aged man, near Dudley in Worcestersliire, in 1663.' i Oalamy 
having summai'Lly characterised him as ' a very holy, judicious man, and greatly esteemed,' adds in 
the ' Continuation ' — ' I am informed he spent his last years in Dudley, in Worcestershire, (which 
was the place of his nativity,) and there died very old in 1664, and was buried at the end of the 
chancel, as his grave-stone witnesses.' 2 Baxter in the ' Keliquiaj,' notes, ' [he] was buried but this 
winter 1664, at his native place at Dudley, in Worcestershire.' 3 It was with peculiar pleasure I 
found there was an ' entry' in the St Thomas, Dudley 'Eegisters' of the ' end: ' all the more that 
the ' grave-stone,' which was extant when Calamy wrote (1727), has long disappeared. It is as 
follows : — 

' Old Mr Samuel Smithe, buried irth March 1665." 

Well might he be called ' old,' and even ' very old,' for, born in 1583, {not 1588 as hitherto erroneously 
stated,) he was in 1665 in liis 82d year, and so went to his grave beside his Vicar-father ' in a full 
age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season,' (Job v. 26,)— 

' A genuine Priest, 
The Shepherd of his flock ; or, as a King 
Is styled when most affectionately praised. 
The father of his people. Such is he ; 
And rich and poor, and J'oung and old, rejoice 
Under his spiritual away.' — [Wokdsworth.] 

I have now to submit a List of the Writings of Samuel Smith, taken — with two exceptions noted — 
from the books themselves, and much more full and exact than hitherto. From the more rare— and 
they are very rare — I take brief extracts, the others being readily met with I simply describe.* 
I. David's Blessed Man ; or, a Short Exposition upon the fu'st Psalme, directing a man to true 

1 As before, Athena;, iii. pp. 6,')7, 658. * As before in last reference to him. ' As before. 

•< I beg to acknowledge the obliging attention of the officials of the British Museum Library, Sion College, and Williams, 
London ; Bodleian, Oxford, and Trinity College, Dublin. 


happinesse. "Wliereiii the Estate and Condition of all Mankinde is lay'd downe, both for this 
life and that which is to come. The ninth edition, profitably amplified by the Author, Samuel 
Smith [as before in all save No. 8.] London: [as in No. 7.] 1635. [ISmo.] 

%* I have not been able to see the first edition (1614) : the 15th appeared in 1685. See 
the ' petitions ' for the Koyal Family, with names given in the appended prayers. There 
are changes in successive editions. 

II. Exposition of Hosea, e. vi. 1617. [4to.] 

*^* See note at end of this List. 

III. Joseph and Mistresse : the Faithfulnesse of the one and the Vnfaithfulnesse of the other ; laid 
downe in five Sermons upon the thirtie-nine chapter of Genesis, the seventh, eighth, and ninth 
verses, &c. By Samuel Smith, Minister of God's Word at Prittlewell, in Essex. Heb. xiii. 4, 
Marriage is honourable, &c. London : Printed by G. Purslowe for John Budge ; and are to be 
sold at his shop in Paul's Churchyard, at the signe of the Greene Dragon. 1619. [ISmo.] 
Title-page. To the Eeader, pp. 6. Table, pp. 5. Treatise, pp. 305. 

*jit* In speaking of the licentiousness of liis age in this powerful treatise, there are some vivid 
sketches of manners, and severe ' rebukes' of the ' women.' The following is a charac- 
teristic example of his style : — ' In these days and times iniquity doth so abound, that 
women's veQ of modesty is for the most part out of use ; and instead thereof, they set 
out themselves by all means they may, by frizzling their hair, starchings, smoothings 
and ruffs so deep that their heads must stand like an apple in a charger in the midst of 
them, more liker flirt-like women than sober matrons. Let, then, all godly and sober- 
minded women learn to keep on their veils, I mean to be watchful over their eyes and 
other senses.' 

IV. The Great Assize, or Day of Jubilee, in which we must make a generall accompt of all our 
actions before Almighty God. Delivered in four Sermons, upon the 20 chapter of the Kevelation, 
plainly shewing the happy estate of the godly, and the woful condition of the wicked. Where- 
to are annexed Two Sermons upon the first chapter of the Canticles, w. 6, 7. By the Author, 
Samuel Smith, Minister of the Word, and yet living. The 14th impression. London. 1649. 

*^* I have not seen the first edition ; but as it was his 4th publication [See Memoir, ante,] it 
must have been issued in 1618-19 or 1619-20.* The 'Two Sermons' annexed were 
extremely popular, and formed a separate volume, — viz., 

V. A Fold for Clu'ist's Sheepe : delivered in Two Sermons [as before in No. 4.] The 12th impres- 

sion, corrected and amended [as before.] 1649. [18mo.] 

VI. Christ's Last Supper ; or, the Doctrine of the Sacrament of Christ's Supper, set forth in five 
Sermons. Wherein is taught the great necessity of a godly preparation before men come to 
the Sacrament. Wherein it doth consist; with the condemnation threatened against the 
unworthy receiver of the same. By Samuel Smith [as before.] John vi. 27, ' Labour not for 
the meat that perisheth,' &c. London : Printed by T. D. for John Bellamie, and are to be sold 
at the South Entrance of the Royall Exchange. 1620. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory 
to Sir Ferdinando Dudley, &c., pji. 7. Table, pp. 21. Treatise, pp. 357. 


*^* la speaking of the comforts arising from our imion with Christ, he makes tliis quaint 

remark,- — ' Moses may marry an Ethiopian, but he cannot change her colour ; but the 

Lord Jesus Christ shall make to himseK a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle.' 

Of imperfect communion, he says, ' Neither would I be so understood, as if there 

were no hope that God will accejit of our service unless it be absolute in the manner 

of performing. God forbid we should so think: for then what would become of 

the best duties even of the best ? No ; better to hear in weakness than not to hear ; 

better to pray with infirmity than not to pray, and to communicate with some defect 

than utterly to forbear. Better it is to limp and creep in the way than not to come 

at all.' 

YII. Christ's Preparation to His Owne Death. Delivered in three Sermons vpon the two 

and twentieth chapter of S. Luke, the 39, 40, and 41 verses. By Samuel Smith [as 

before.] London: Printed by Nicholas Okes. 1620. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle 

Dedicatory to Lady Mary Weld, pp. 4. To the Keader, pp. 4. Table, pp. 4. Treatise, 

pp. 150. 

VIII. A Christian Taske: a Sermon preached at the Funerall of Maister John Lawson, Gentleman, 
at PrittleweU in Essex, on the 28th of December 1619. By Samuel Smith [as before.] 
London: [as in No. 7.] 1620. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory, pp. 3. Sermon, 
pp. 78. [Test, Psalm xc. 12.] 

IX. Da\-id's Eepentance ; or, a Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the 51st Psalm, first preached 
and now published for the benefit of the Church. The 13th edition, newly revised ; most need- 
ful for this time. By Samuel Smith [as before] London. 1642. [18mo.] 

%* I have been unable to see the fii'st edition. 

X. Noah's Dove; or, Tydings of Peace to the Godly: a comfortable Sermon preached at a Funeral!. 

The second impression, corrected and amended by the author, Samuel Smith [as before.] 
London : [as in No. 7.] 1620. [18mo.] Title-page. To the Eeader, pp. 5. Table, p. 1. 
Sermon, pp. 51. [Text, Psabn xxxvii. 37.] 
XI The Chiefe Shepheard ; or, An Exposition upon y® xxiii. Psalme. Wherein is set downe y^ 
most excellent priviledges of those y' have y^ Lord for their Shepheard, and that live vnder 
his most gracious protection. Most neechul for y® time. By Samuel Smith [as before.] 
London: [as in No. 7.] 1625. [ISmo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory to 'Mr Edward 
Seabrid, Esq.' Treatise. 

XII. The Admirable Convert ; or. The Jliraculous Conversion of the Thieve on the Cross, with the 
Finall Impenitency of the other. By Samuel Smith, Minister of the Word of God. London : 
1632. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory to ' Sir Eichard Greaves, Kt., and Lady.' 

XIII. The Ethiopian Evnvch's Conversion ; or. The Summe of Thirtie Sermons upon part of the 
Eight Chapter of Acts. By Samuel Smith, Minister of the Word. London : Printed by 
Thomas Harper for Thomas Alchorne, and are to be sold at his shop in Paul's Church-yard at 
the Signe of the Green Dragon. 1632. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory to Sir 
Eichard Newport, pp. 6. Contents, pp. 8. Treatise, pp. 540. 


XIV. Moses his Prayer ; or, An Exposition of the Nintieth Psahne. In which is set forth the 
Frailty and Misery of Mankind. Most needful! for these Times. 

( 1. The Sum and Scope. 

,,,. .2. The Doctrines. 
Wherein o mi x. 

3. The Eeasons. 

[ 4. The Uses of most Texts are observed. 

By Samuel Smith, Minister of the Gospel, Author of 'David's Eepentance and the Great 

Assize,' and yet hving. London : Printed by W. Wilson, and are to be sold at his House in 

Well-yard neare West-Smithfield. 1656. [18mo.] Title-page. Epistle Dedicatory ' to the 

truly religious, and his much honored Friend, Mr Samuel Freborne, and his religious consort 

in Prittlewell in Essex,' pp. 2. To the Eeader, pp. 2. Treatise, pp. 544. Table, pp. 6. 

%* Two short extracts from this extremely uncommon volume will be acceptable : the first 

reminding of Cragge, the other of Jeremy Taylor : — ' Seeing there was a time w'hen 

there was no mountain, earth, or world, but that God was the creator of them all : 

then the heavens that are above us, and the earth that is below us, and all the creatures 

that are in the world, they may serve to teach us this lesson, that there is [a] God ! 

Though these teach us not this lesson as the Scriptures teach us, yet they are as a 

Christian's primer to teach us to spell. For God teach eth us two ways. 1. By his 

philosophy-lecture in the creature. ... 2. By Ms divinity-lecture in the Word.' . . . 

' Eiches require pains to get them, care to keep them, and have their vexation to part 

with them. They are of a flowing nature like water : they have their wings, and many 

times of a sudden fly away : physic, lawsuits, fire, water, and the like, are the moths 

that consume them. This flower also fadeth away.' 

XV. A Looking-Glass for Saints and Sinners ; or, An Exposition on the Second Epistle of Saint 
John : a most needfuU Treatise for these Apostatizing times wherein we live, fit to be read, but 
[to be] practised by all Christians. By Samuel Smith, [as in No. 14.] London: Printed by 
W. W. for Nathaniel Brookes at the Angel in CornhiU. 1663. Title-page. Verses by Taylor, 
[as in Memoir, ante.] To the Eeader. Treatise, pp. 299. Table, pp. 4. Curiously enough 
the running title throughout is ' A Looldng-Glass for Ladies.' 

XVI. The Christian's Guide. [ISmo.] This passed through many editions : but I have not met 
with it, and therefore place it last, though probably published early. 

*»* With reference to the Exi^osition of ' Hosea c. vi.,' it is mentioned by Baxter in his 
' Eeliquia?,' (p. 9,) and by Calamy, (as before:) but I have not been able to trace it 
anj'where, either in our great Public Libraries or private collections. In the ' Catalogue 
of our English Writers on the Old and New Testament,' (2d edition,) 1668, it is duly 
entered iii loco thus, 'Hosea chap, vi., on the whole. Samuel Smith. Quarto. 1617.' 
K correctly dated, it must have been his second book. It is greatly to be desu-ed that a 
copy may turn up. 

Such is the modest Story and such the Writings of Samuel Smith. It is, after all our anxious 
seeking, but a small and slightly-scented wreath that we have been able to twine around his holy 


memory. Nevertheless, as for Hues liitherto we have given as many pages, and made certain the 
uncertain, and correct what has been told incorrectly, our votive offering may perchance help to 
revive the name of the ' good old man.' A single volume of this Series would include all he 
published : but there is matter in his little books that his contemporaries and ours now, would have 
beat from massive gold into tinsel-leaf. His writing is not mere sentence-making or pretty 
sentimentalisms, but living and quickening thoughts. Neither is it book-making, but intense, 
passionate, wistful pleading as for very life with perishing souls, or gentle, tear-soft, devout consola- 
tion for the smitten and lorn, and hurt and weary ' by reason of the way.' Ever and anon there are 
melodious sayings, terse apophthegmatic or aphoristic statements of ' doctrine,' unforgettable remon- 
strances, odd illustrations, quaint and archaic words, — through all a dominating purpose to bring 
men to the Cross of Jesus, to Jesus on the Cross. While, therefore, dear old Miles Smith did 
mightier service in our ' English Bible,' and Henry Smith the silver-tongued had more of the 
mystic gift of genius, and John Smith the ' Essex Dove,' and John Smith of the ' True Patterne,' 
and — the greatest of all — John Ssiith of the ' Select Discourses,' were more learned, and other Smiths 
earlier and later have made more noise, and been more on men's tongues, our saintly Samuel Smith 
has this record ' on high/ that in a sliding age he stood firm ; in an age of making big books 
without end he chose the tiniest size ; in an age of Conformity in Chui'ch and State he asserted the 
Divine peculiarity of the Christian, and spoke and wrote straight out of his own ' good and honest 
heart' of ' the things' that ' belong' to ' everlasting life.' Sure we are that the more his little books 
are studied the more will their former boundless popularity be understood, and the more a Avish be 
cherished — if not a hope — that the present small reprint may send readers in search of all. And so 
Thomas Mace may close our Memoir, and speak for plain but wise, unpretending but solid, lowly 
but Divinely-taught, outwardly rough but inwardly rich Samuel Smith : — 

' Look for no painted outside here. 
But for a work devotedly sincere ; 
A thing low prized in these too high-flown days 
Such solid sober works get little praise. 
Yet some there be 
Love true solidity. 

And unto such brave, noble souls I write 
In hopes to do them and the subject right: 
I write it not to please the itching vein 
Of idle-headed fashiouists, or gain 

Their fond applause : 

I care for no such noise. 

I write it only for the sober sort. 

Who love right learning, and will labour for 't ; 

And who will value worth in art, though old, 

And not be weary of the good, though told 
'Tis out of fashion 
By nine-tenths of the nation. 

I writ it also out of great good will 
Unto my countrymen ; and leave my skill 
Behind me for the sakes of those that may 
Not yet be born ; but in some after day 

May make good use 

Of it, without abuse.' 

Alexander B. Grosart. 


HITHERTO the name of the author of the good book called ' Excellent Encouragements against 
Afflictions ; or Expositions of Four Select Psalmes,' — now ' after so long a time ' reprinted, — has 
been found in none of the usual som-ces of information, except in the very slightest way: and when asked 
to prepare a Memoir, the present Writer feared — after considerable research — that in this case the 
volume had proved at once monument and grave ; bearing, indeed, the name down for loving regard 
by those who prized its ' apples of gold in basketwork of silver,' but leaving the man himself to 
turn to dust, unknown, unknowable. Persistent inquiries at last resulted in a few names and dates 
that guided me to the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum ; and there I found, all unused, a 
Slemorial consisting of pleasant and garrulous ' Notices,' by a nameless contemporary, of the Eectors of 
Brampton-Brian, and so, among the rest, of Pierson. This led to other subsidiary discoveries ; and I am 
thus fortunate enough at this late day to give, for the first time, a Memoir of one who is never named by 
those who knew him without 'famous,' or 'learned,' or ' faithful,' or other noticeable or kindly epithet. 
It was provoking to find an Edmuxd Calamt using the former, with other equally appreciating words, 
and Christopher Harvey, — whose ' Synagogue' is for all time associated with the ' Temple' of George 
Herbert, — editing his book with the veneration and tenderness of a son towards a father ; not forget- 
ting that to him "William Perkins and Thomas Brightman confided their 'Workes' for 'the presse,' — 
and yet to know nothing, or no more than these facts, concerning him. If henceforward it will not be so 
that elaborate 'county' Histories, while recording with fulness, even to superfluity, names that the world 
should have been very willing ' to let die ' — your merely ' ancient ' Smiths, Browns, Robinsons, and 
Joneses, in so far as word of power, or beneficent deed goes — have not a line for this Cheshire ' Worthy ' 
and Herefordshire ' Pastor ' of the fine old type, perchance our little service may be remembered too,l 

* After I had discovered, or recovered, the Harleian MS., and transcribed it for my purpose, I had the pleasure to receive 
from Lady Frances Harcourt a family MS. volume, which, along with various other most interesting Papers, contains a care- 
ful copy of it : and through ' Notes and Queries ' I had been previously directed, by Sir Thomas E. Winnington, to one of the 
Camden Society's publications, viz., • Letters of the Lady Brilliana Harley, wife of Sir Robert Harley, of Brampton Bryan, 
Knight of the Bath, with Introduction and Notes by Thomas Taylor Lewis, A.M., Vicar of Bridstow, Herefordshire, 1853.' 
The ' Introduction ' and ' Notes' by Mr Lewis are careful so far as they go ; but that is not far, and as concerning Pierson, 
they are meagre and careless. I wish very cordially to thank Lady Harcourt for her spontaneous kindness in forwarding 
her valuable Family MS. to me. The original is Harleian MSS. 7517. I had hoped to have added to my materials from the 
MSS. of the industrious Cole. In Wood sAlhenm, under Christopher Harvey, Dr Bliss has added to his mention of Pierson 
the following note, ' Vide my MS. collections in the British Museum Vol. P., p. VS.— Cole.' But with all the assistance of the 
authorities at the Britiih'Museum I could not find such a volume, or any volume marked 'P.' Moreover, the only reference 
to Pierson in the Cole MSS. consists of one line, merely.stating that he was of Emmanuel College. I turned up ' Emmanuel 
College,' and every other conceivable heading — in vain. 


nil the more, that even the all-comprehending ' Athenaj Cantabrigienses ' of Messrs Cooper has not 
a single word to tell.^ 

The old Manuscript, on which mainly is our dependence for this Memoir, begins quaintly, 2 ' To 
write the story of a wicked person is to execute his memory, and sprinkle ashes -w-ith the blaynes of 
Egypt. To write the life of a good man, is to perfume the world, and to repeat y*^ presents of the 
queen of Sheba with nobler spices.' Then after classical allusion to Cjesar and other mighty ' bad ' 
men, in contrast with suffering ' saints,' we have a glimpse of the desolation and terror of the period 
during which the ' Notices ' were drawn up— probably while the Civil War was raging. ' Oh, the 
depth of the riches, both of the wisdome and knowledge of God : ye Garden enclosed of God is ruined 
into a wilderness, the howling wilderness is become a Paradise, the balm of Canaan is transplanted 
into the desart of Egjqit, the wild Gentile olive hath sucked away the fattness and sweetness from the 
natural branches,' — a bit of sermonising that seems to half-mourn, half-hope, over the ' changes ' 
accomplished and threatened. Subsequent 'Notices' shew sympathy with the 'Ejected' of 16G2. 

We now reach the 'Notice' 'pro'per thus : 'Mr Thomas Pierson, whose name and memory deserves 
alwayes to be honoured, was born at Weaverham in Cheshire, in or about the year 1570.' The 
Eegisters of Weaverham contain no notices of Piersons : none of the ' baptism ' of our ' Thomas.' 
From after-facts it is pretty certain his parents were humble— As Habington sung of ' Castara : ' — 

" Folly boasts a glorious blood, 
He is noblest — being good." 

The ' hamlet ' of Weaverham may now add to its annals a name of worth, if not in the vulgar sense 
as ' great ' as that Earl Edwin of whom it boasts ' before the Conquest,' or that Hugh Lupus, who 
held ' the manor ' at the Survey of ' Domesday,' — may place it beside that of Edward Marburt, 
the racy and spiritual ' Commentator ' on Obadiah and Habakkuk — sprung of the Marburys of 
Marbury, to whom the ' lands ' passed, and by whose collateral descendants they are owned at this 
day. It was meet birthplace for one whose best fame is that he was a ' faithful ' imder-Shepherd 
of the Master-Shepherd. Meadows sloping down to the ' Weever ' — which gleams through sylvan 
coppices, — and now, as then, the grand old cathedral-like Church the centre object — compose a sweet 
Landscape. The village-town itself, on the road leading by Acton Bridge from Tarporley to War- 
iugton, deserves a visit. Narrow in its streets, its houses old timbered, its aspect Elizabethan, not 
Victorian. The long-standing ' May-poles ' reminded many generations of the conflict excited by 
James and Charles and Laud, between the Book of God and the Book of Sports.^ At the time 
j\Lastcr Pierson made his advent, ' William Holcroft ' — whose name I think I have met with in 
some old title-pages, unless it be that it is the echo of William Holbrooke, the chosen friend of 
John Randall — was ' parson ' of Weaverham. 

Situated conveniently near to ' Northwich,' where was a School that afterwards gave it celebrity, 

^ 2 Vols. 8vo. Vol. ii., 158fl-1609, covers Pierson's term. Are we never to get Vol. iii. ? 

» All quotations not otherwise marked are to be understood as taken from the Harleian MS. 

» See Omekod's History of the County Palatine and City of Chester. 3 Vols., folio, 1819. According to him, the 
' Itcgisters' of ' Baptisms ' at Weaverham begin in lG9i : marriages, 1695 : burials, 1678.' [Vol. i., 59.] This is a mistake, 
as I learn from the present Incumbent : they go back more than a century farther ; but a search gave no Piersons under any 
of the headings. 


youDg PiERSON went thither— Says our MS., 'by the care of his parents and friends [he] was brought 
up to learning at Northwich, a market-town about three miles from Weaverham.' The ' Will ' of 
our Worthy shewed that he never forgot the scenes of his birth and boyhood — as we shall see. 
George Whitney, whose ' Emblems ' have recently been reproduced with rare lovingness, and 
not less cunning skill, by Mr Green ; John Gerarde the ' Herbalist ; ' Thomas Harrison, who is 
made to stand out so livingly by Guizot in his ' History,' without the legend beneath his name of 
' regicide ' lessening his estimate, and grander than all that other ' regicide ' ' President Bradshaw,' 
whom the mighty portrait of Milton has made immortal, and Mrs Milton {tertki)} — all belong to 
the immediate district, earlier and later than Pierson.2 Whether he knew any of these contemporary 
with him is not recorded : but the whole make of his mind may assure us that if a copy of the 
' Emblems ' found its way anywhere from Holland, it would be to the ' Rectory ' of his fellow- 
countryman in Brampton-Brian. 

He ' profited ' so well at Northwich that ' he was removed to Cambridge, and admitted there into 
Emmanuel College, which was newly founded a few years before by that religious and renowned 
Knight, Sir Walter Mildmay.' Elsewhere I have described Cambridge, and the ' men and things ' 
of this particular College.^ The selection of ' Emmanuel,' which was Puritanissimum Puritanorum, 
probably indicates the home-nurture. ' There he continued,' proceeds our old Notice-writer, ' being 
maintained partly by his own industiy, partly by exhibitions from others — his parents' estate being 
too small to defray such a charge — untlll he had commenced Master of Arts.' It would seem that the 
previous steps have not been preserved — doubtless by the neglect of that Master ' Smith,' or one of the 
same class, so characteristically ' blamed ' by Thomas Fuller.* He ' was admitted into sacred orders 
on the 11th of March 1598, according to the custome of the Church of England, by the then Bishop 
of Colchester, suffragan to the Bishop of London.' Following on this— like John Goodwin, later, in 
his native Norfolk— he proceeded homeward as a Preacher, occupying, no doubt, first of all the 
pulpit of Weaverham, having father and mother in his auditory. ' The next year,' being 1599, ' he was 
entertained to preach as a constant Lecturer at Northwich, and so continued two yeai-s, there sowing 
the seeds of religion first where first he had taken in the seed of learning. The next two years 
[1601-1602] he spent in the like manner at Weaverham, where he was born.' Very pleasing is 
this ' beginning ' of his ' preaching,' and abiding for four years ' among his own people.' Mr Hol- 
croft had been succeeded by a Mr Shallcross on 'Dec. 7th 1575,' who continued until 1614. In 
1602-3 he returned to Cambridge, ' where he had formerly contracted intimate acquaintance with 
divers of the best repute for learning- and religion, especially with that famous example of a faitliful 
minister, Mr William Perkins, who held him in a very dear esteem.' Perkins died in 1602 ; and 
Pierson was appointed by his Executors to publish certain of his hitherto unpubhshed writings, and 
to collect his ' Workes ' into the well-known three folios, which are as ' quick ' to-day with great 

' It has escaped the Biographers of Milton that in the ' Sermons ' of Isaac Kimbeb, is one preached at the funeral of 
Mrs Milton at Xantwich. 

" See Green's reprint, as above, with a scholarly and most interesting Introduction; Omerod, as before ; Guizot's ' History 
of tlie Revolution ;' Milton's ' Defensio.' 

3 In Memoirs of Sibbes and Brookes ; Sibbes' Works, Vol. i. pp. xlviii-lvii ; Brooks' Works, Vol. i. pp. x.\iv-vi. 

* Brooks, as before, Vol. i. pp. xxii-iii. 


thoughts and burning love and tenderness as of old, if it must be confessed only the ' few ' read them 
now, as compared with tlie multitudes who hung on his lips, and who, at home and abroad, welcomed 
his volumes as priceless legacies. 

Turning to the ' Workes ' of Perkins, as thus given to the world by our Worthy, it is only in 
volumes ii. and iii. that his hand appears. In the former is the very remarkable 'Treatise' of 
' Man's Imagination,' shewing ' his natural evil thoughts : his want of good thoughts : the way to 
reform tliem.' To this is prefixed an Epistle Dedicatory ' to the Eight Worshipful! Sir Thomas 
Holcroft, Knight, with the vertuous Lady Elizabeth, his wife.' In this excellent ' Epistle ' — which 
has the aroma of Sibbes about it — he excuses any lengthened observations of his own, ' because my 
gates may not be great before so small a city ;' then speaking of God's asking of the heart, ' My son, 
give Me thy heart,' he has some fine touches on the heart — e.g., 'But what is man's heart that it 
should be so desired ? Surely in substance little, but for employment almost infinite. It is a 
treasure whereout man bringeth all his actions, good or evil : it is a temple wherein is placed either 
the ark of God, or Dagon for the devil. Yea, it is a place wherein dwelleth, and a throne whereon 
sitteth, either Christ or Satan, the King of glory, or the prince of darkness ; and he that keeps posses- 
sion will there exercise dominion.' He tells with becoming pride the cliarge committed to him, at 
the same time turning it into a felicitous compliment, which was more than a compliment, to the 
Holcrofts. ' The publishing hereof being committed unto me,' . . . . ' the first-fruits of my 
labour in this kind, wherein I had full power of free choice in my dedication, it may intimate to you 
both [the dedication of it] mine unfeigned heart's desire of that everlasting good I wish unto your 
souls, and also testifying in part my thankful mind for your manifold favours to me and mine, who 
depend upon you.' i Then to the Header, ' Know, good reader, that for my furtherance in the 
publishing of this tractate I liad the author's Own draught of the platform of it, beside two perfect 
copies of all his sermons. I have for plainness' sake divided it into chapters and sections, for the 
better effecting whereof I was constrained to transpose two of the uses ; otherwise, I doubt not but 
every one that heard it preached will judge me to have dealt faithfully with the godly author. The 
Lord prosper it to thy good.' ^ This is dated ' Cambiidge, August 20, 1606.' In volume iii., there 
is the ' Godly and learned Exposition of Christ's Sermon on the Mount,' which Pierson dedicates to 
' The Eight Honourable Oliver Lord St John, Baron of Bletso ; ' and he herein notes that ' This 
Sermon containeth twelve several heads of doctrine, answerable, indeed, to the number of the twelve 
apostles, to whom it was principally intended upon their calling to that office ; ' and he modestly 
describes his part in the publication, ' My pains herein hath been chiefly this, as near as I could, 
out of mine own and others' notes, to commend unto the public view the author's faithful labours in 
his own meaning. Only I have here and tliere, upon good occasion, fliough private to myself, added 
some references in the margin unto classical Popish writers for such opinions as are herein charged 
upon them. Mine interest for the publishing of this work I hope I shall approve unto any gainsayer.' 3 
In an ' Advertisement ' to the Christian Eeader, concerning the Works of Perkins, he explains why 
certain others were not given, and appeals to all possessed of MSS. to submit them to him and the 
other executors.' * This is dated ' May 1608.' 

Following this is the ' Crowd of Faitliful Witnesses leading to the Heavenly Canaan ; or, a 

1 Vol. ii. p. 454. = Ibid., p. 455. ' Vol. iii. pp. 1,2. ' Ibid., pp. 3, 4. 


Commentary upon the Eleventh Chapter to the Hebrews,' in the editing of which he was associated 
with William Crashaw, father of the poet Richard Crashaw,i and as staunch a Protestant as 
was his son a Papist.'^ Working out the conceit of the ' Pillar of Cloud ' which Israel followed, in 
contrast with that we follow, in the Epistle Dedicatory, ' to the noble and virtuous gentleman. Sir 
John Sheaffield Knight, and Mr Oliver St John,' the two like-minded editors remark, ' We have a 
notable light in this learned Commentary, which we must confess is much obscured for lack of the 
refining hand of the godly author himself. But now, seeing that shining light is quenched, use this 
our lamp. It is fed with such oil as we received in the Lord's sanctuary, from that olive-tree whence 
many an one did fill his vessel.' 3 This is dated ' Nov. 10, 1G08.' Next there is the ' Godly and 
learned Exposition or Commentary upon the three first chapters of the Revelations ; ' ' the second 
edition, revised and enlarged after a more perfect copy.' This is dedicated to Lady Elizabeth 
Montagu of Hemington in Northamptonshire, from ' London, December 10th, 1606,' and besides has 
a golden little address ' to the godly and Christian reader,' explaining how the additions are no 
' reflection' upon him who first published those 'Sermons.' ^ Finally, there is the ' Combate betweene 
Christ and the Deuill displayed ; or a Commentarie upon the Temptations of Christ,' also ' much 
enlarged by a more perfect copie.' This is inscribed to Sir William and Lady Russell. It is dated 
' Cambridge, Emmanuel College, 25th June, 1606.' 5 Besides the first preparation of these several 
treatises, Pierson ' corrected the faults of the press, and composed the tables ' of the whole. ' He 
was likewise employed in publishing some of Mr Brightman's workes, especially in correcting the first 
most extreme faulty impression of his ' Commentarie on the Apocalyps.' Of these two ' labours of 
love,' Calamy takes special notice in giving his ' imprimatur ' to the publication of ' Excellent 
Encouragements,' — the book here reprinted. I place the testimony below.' ^ 

Throughout, on the title-pages of Perkins, Pierson is designated ' Preacher of God's Word ;' 
and this extending from 1605-6 to 1608-9. Two influential events occurred during these years: 
one more personal and private, the other public — viz., his marriage, and his appointment as 'chaplain' 
in the noble family of St John. The former, which I notice first, has simply been known from the 
fact that Pierson left a ' widow;' but when it took place, or to whom, has never before been ascertained. 
By one of those lucky chances, — of which in the course of these biographic studies I have had my full 
share, — it is my good-fortune to be able to give it authentically. For, called on to 'search' the 
Registers of Bunbury in preparing my Memoir of Samuel Torshell, I obtained other memoranda, 
which for the first time determined who was the father of Christopher Harvet, the ' sweet singer ' 

1 Cf. Turnbull's Crashaw. 

- On the title-page it is added, ' who heard him preach it, and wrote it from his mouth.' 

■* Works of Perkins, Vol. iii., 2nd Part, pp. 1, 2. 

< Ibid., p. 205. 5 Ibid., Fart iii. pp. 363-65. 

* ' The Authour of these ensuing Sermons, Mr Thomas Pierson, was so famous "in his generation," such a "burning and shin- 
ing light," and so instrumentall to the good of the Church, both by his own indefatigable labours in the ministry of the Gospel, 
as also by the publishing of divers Treatises of Mr Perkins and Mr Brightman, that I could not but do him this right, not only ta 
give an Imprimatur to this Com[mlentary of his upon some Psalmes, but also to signifie to the reader the pietie, learning, 
and worth of the authour, and to commend these his Sermons to every good Christian, as holding out many orthodox and 
savoury truths, and by obedience to which truths many souls went to heaven, without entangling themselves in the many un- 
edifying janglings of these sad, divided times.' — Ed. Calauy. 

July the 6th, 1647. 
This gratifying ' Note' of the Presbyterian minister to his Episcopalian brother is carefully transferred to the Harleian MS. 


of the ' Synagogue,' to wit, the Rev. Christopher Harvey of Buohnry ; i and now another ' entry ' in 
the same Registers informs us that the elder Harvey's widow became the wife of Pierson. It is 

as follows : — 

Matrimonia, 1608 [1609 according to our style.] 

I'eb. 21. Thomas Pierson of Weaverham, presbyter : and 
Ellen Harvie of Bunburie, Wid[oTX.] ° 

Thus the mother of the younger and more famous Christoeher Harvey became the wife of one 
every way worthy to rank with the saintly ' pastor ' of Bunbury ; and here we have the explanation 
of the poet Harvey editing the ' Excellent Encouragements' of Pierson, and writing such charming 
' Epistles Dedicatory ' — of which more in the sequel. Such a step-father could not fail to win the 
love and revei'ence of such a step-son — the more, perhaps, that the good ' pastor ' of Brampton- Brian 
had no family of his own. 

The second and more public event of this period was his appointment, as stated, of ' household 
chaplaine to the Right Honourable Oliver Lord St John, Baron Bletso in Bedfordshier,' whose name, 
along with that of his eldest son, 'then Oliver St John, Esq., afterwards Eaiie of BuUingbrooke,' 
[Bolingbroke] appears in the ' Epistles Dedicatory ' to Perkins. Here he remained in the greatest 
honour, and with much usefulness, until 1612. Afterwards, describing his ' industry,' our Manuscript 
gives a glimpse of him at Bletso : — ' His industry was exceeding great, both in the publike exercise of 
his ministry, and in his private preparation for it. When he was chaplaine to my Lord St John, 
his usuall time for study was from four in the morning until eleven at night, meal-tymes excej^ted, 
and such intermissions as were occasioned by others during that time. He did ordinarily preach to 
the publike congregation at Church twice every Lord's day, and in the weeke dayes to the family, every 
Tuesdaj' and Friday in the evening before supper : and besides all that, for the last year of his being 
there, to the end that the kookes, aud others whose employments were like to hinder them from the 
j^ublike congregation, might be partakers of the like means of grace which others should enjoy, he did 
catechise and pray with them early in the morning every Lord's day, and after supper repeat both 
the morning and evening sermon, with singing of psalms and prayer, at which the whole family was 
present. Nor did he — as many doe— ^ntertaine his auditourswith rawe, undigested rhapsodies, 
and so offer sacrifice unto God of that which cost him nothing for paines of preparation ; but the 
heads of his sermons he wrote beforehand, usually carrying his notes with him into the pulpit, many 
times revising them afterwards, and copying them out anew. He was of the same mind with Mr 
Perkins, who (as he reported) was used to say that he would never satisfy himself concerning any 
of his owne sermons, untill he had preached it — all the time he lived in Herefordshire.' 

While ' chaplaine ' at ' Bletso,' Pierson went and came between Cambridge. Probably, if 
we had the facts, it would prove that he did so as overwatching the University education of his step- 
children. The elder, Christopher Harvey, had died in 1601, leaving behind him, it is believed, a 

• I may be allowed to refer here to a foot-note (§) in my Memoir of Tokshell, page xix., wherein, first of all, this long- 
missing bit of information was supplied— viz., the name and locale of the father of t!ie Christopher Harvey who wrote the 
Synagogue. Anthony a- Wood had mentioned that he was 'son of a minister in Cheshire,' but neither he nor his erudite 
editor, (Dr I31i»s,) nor the various editors of Herbert, Icnew his name or church. He is now found worthy son of worthy sire. 

" 1 have again to thank the present Vicar of Bunbury (Rev. William Lowe) for kindly sending me additional ' entries,' 
which may be used elsewhere. 


large family, who would naturally come under the care of their new father. Be this as it may, in 1G12, 
he was ' presented' by Sir Robert Harley, of ' famous memorie,' to the Rectory of Brampton-Brian, in 
the county of Hereford.i This, as it was the central tiling in the story of our Worthy, so it was at- 
tended with circumstances that made it memorable for his whole life. . These circumstances are told in 
our Manuscript with a beautiful piety and a quaint Scripture-wording, that remind of better than the 
' Age of Chivalry,' of which the later Kenelm Digby writes with such fine touch, even the ' Age of 
Faith.' The father of Sir Robert was vehemently opposed to the new Rector, and after the grand 
Puritan pattern of godliness, ' prayer was made ' that the grutf old knight might be made to relent 
as well towards his son as Mr Piersou. I cannot think of changing in any way the antique narrative, 
spite of its lingering and 'twattle' (not twaddle ;) and so it follows in full, prologue and all : — 
' The Holy Divine Spirit hath, in the Scripture of Truth, denounced most severe threatenings against 
those who neglect or refuse to make due observation of the particular actuall providences of God in 
effecting and accomjjlishing the continuall instances of the severall, both gracious and judiciall, acts 
of the soveraign government of the world, which sin is the nurse and cradle of wretched and sottish 
atheism. " Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink ; 
that continue untill night till wine inflame them ! and the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, 
and wine, are in their feasts ; but they regard not the work of the Lord. Therefore my people are 
gone into captivity, becaiise they have no knowledge." (Isa. v. 11-13.) Also, " The wicked, through 
the pride of his countenance will not seek after God : God is not in all his thoughts," (Ps. xvi. 4.) 
Also, " Because they regai'd not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall 
destroy them and not build them up." Sir Robert Harley (as was mentioned) presented Mr Pierson 
to the Rectory of Brampton-Bryan, which could not have been performed had not the speciall Provi- 
dence of God, diverse years before, upon a settlement of marriage, caused the Rectory of Brampton- 
Bryan to be conveyed to Sir Robert Harley : otherwise, Mr Pierson had not been placed at Brampton- 
Bryan. He cUd, indeed, succeed that rnost worthy person, Mr Thomas Peacock, of Brazen-Nose 
Colledge in Oxford, [Wood's Athena3, s.n.l who was a blessed instrument of converting Mr Robert 
Bolton : but it pleased God by a sudden feaver to determine the life of worthy Mr Peacock ; upon 
which vacancy Mr Pierson, as before expressed, was presented to, and settled in the Rectory of Bramj:!- 
ton-Bryan. Though there were no cause to be justly assigned to any failure in Mr Pierson's minis- 
terial! functions, or decent behaviour and conversation, yet Mr Thomas Harley, father of Sir Robert 
Harley, and grandfather to Su- Ed. Harley, was instigated to grievous bitterness against holy and 
wise Mr Pierson, insomuch that Mr Harley made many vehement complaints against Mr Pierson, to 
that excellent prelate. Bishop Bennett, then Bishop of Hereford : who declared with great trouble 
that he received letters from Mr Harley, the father, against Mr Pierson, and letters from Sir Robert 
Harley, the son, on behalf of Sir Pierson. This was, then, the sad case of that family and jjlace. 
But it pleased God, who is rich in imdeserved mercy, to vouchsafe a most gracious answer to a day 

1 Full information on this and the other Harlejs will be found in the Camden Society's volume already mentioned, in 
elucidating the ' Letters' of Sir Eobert's gifted and devoted wife. The 'character' of Sir Robert in the Funeral Sermon by 
Froysell is also given. Historically and biographicaUy, this is one of the most interesting and valuable of the Camden 
Society's issues. It is a pity it should be limited to the (comparatively) few subscribers. With regard to the old geutleuieu, 
Thomas Harley and Pierson, there is a Letter to his son, in which, refusing to allow Sir Eobert to visit the Netherlands, he 
speaks in the most confiding way of the Kector, (p. .xliii.) 


of prayer for that eud, solemnly observed at Staunage Lodge, a place in Brampton parish, then 
rented by Sir Kobert Harley, where he and his most pious and vertuous then lady, sister of Sir 
Kichard Newport, (afterwards Lord Newport,) and Mr Pierson and his godly wife, and some few 
others, presented supplications to the Lord, to turn the heart of Mr Thomas Harley to express kind- 
ness unto his son Sir Robert Harley, and friendship towards Mr Pierson. It pleased the Lord, who 
is the God that heareth jirayer, to giv^e an answer of peace concerning the foremen tioned particulars: for 
within a very short space of time Mr Harley, by a trusty servant, sent thus to Sir Robert Harley — ' Tell 
my son, I ivill take care of the concerns of his estate and pat/ his debts ; and tell him I ivill befriends 
tvith Mr Pierson — and then you will be a welcome messenger to my son.' Accordingly, Mr Thomas 
Harley began and continued all expressions of high esteem and reall friendship towards Mr Pierson: 
and as a testimony of his kindness, Mr Harley gave a copyhold estate in Brampton-Bryan, of about 
the yearly value of £13, to Mr Pierson and to his wife for their lives ; which was accordingly en- 
joyed by Mr Pierson, and after his decease by his widow, Mrs Hellen Pierson, for about twenty 
years untill her death. Also Mr Harley, when his weakness and great age, exceeding fourscore 
years, disabled him from attending the publick worship, received with great regard the continuall 
ministeriall visits of Mr Pierson. The glory of all this free grace is humbly presented to magnify 
the mercy of Him who hath compassion on whom He will have compassion, though wretchedly 
offended and provoked to y® contrary.' Without at all seeking to explain away the happy coinci- 
dence of these prayers in the chamber of Staunage Lodge, and the reconciliation and friendship 
after persistent 'enmity' and provoking spitefulness, it must yet be remembered that both' Sir 
Eobert and Pierson had always shewn the profoundest respect toward the irate old gentleman, 
' answering not again ; ' so that he could not but be touched by their inoffensive, uncomplaining 

Further on in the Manuscript we have one token of this which places both the elder Harley 
and Pierson in a favourable light. After some remarks on Luke xxi. 19, — which I place in a foot- 
note as not unworthy of preservation,^ — and of the reward of the ' patience ' therein commanded and 
commended by the Lord, om- Chronicler proceeds : ' This -hee of whom I am now speaking had 
evident and plentifull experience of, in one who was most likely, as most able, to have done him dis- 
pleasure, and did it earnestly as then was conceived, not out of any distaste to his person, but dis- 
affectioa unto his ministeriall fidelity : and not out of his own inclination so much as through the 
instigation of others, to whom, notwithstanding, Mr Pierson carried himself with such meekness of 
wisdom, according unto the direction of St James, that in the height of his spleen he complained to 

' ' His [Pieraon's] meekness was such that maugre the malice of his most mischievous adversaries — whereof ho had some 
to whom he never gave cause to he such — he still possesst his soule in patience, according to that, whether precept or promise, 
of our Saviour, (Luke xxi. 19,) " In your patience possesse yee (or, according to the Syriack, "you shall possess '') your souls :" 
where that annotation in the margin of the Bible printed at London, 1592, is such I cannot let passe without taking special 
notice of it: quamvis vos undique mala circumsisteut, fruimini nihilominus virtute vestra hsec omnia fortiter sustinendo; 
5. d. non jubeo vos prsetextu Evangelii gladios aut convitia in adversaries distringere : sed jubeo patientes esse : persequentur 
Tos sed non nocebunt. " Although many evils compasse you about, yet neverthelesse doe you maintaine your courage, bearing 
all these things patiently. As if he should say, I do not bid you under pretence of the Gospell bend your swords or words of 
reproach against your adversaries : but I bid you be patient. They shall persecute, but they shall not liurt you." The perform- 
ance of whicli promise they have little reason to expect who care not or rather profess not to practise obedience to the precept : 
for the benefit presupposclh the duty, according to that of our apostle, (Heb. x. 36,) " Yee have need of patience," ' &c., &c. 


some of his confidents, that he knew not what to do by Mr Pierson because he could not anger him. 
The same partie afterward, when he came to himself and saw his errour, did not forbear to say, as 
St Paul did of himself (Acts xxvi. 11) when he was a persecutor, that then he was mad. And to 
his dying day no man (except his nearest relations to him) was more in his esteem, more dear unto 
him, or iu whome he put more confidence than Mr Piei'son: so true is that of Solomon, " when a 
man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." This person here 
intended is the same who was before mentioned, Mr Thomas Harley, whose conversion was the 
gracious answer to solemn humiliation and prayer on that behalf : and with humble adoration it is 
supplicated that the goodness of God, whose mercy endures for ever, may be continued the blessing 
and happiness of that family.' 

Thus reconciled to the ' lord of the manor,' — whose sympathies with the ' old religion ' which the 
Reformation overthrew, explain his dislike of the new Rector and his own son's Puritanism — Pier- 
son's daily ' walk and conversation ' filled up the ideal of the saintly ' Priest ' of Bemerton — in 
character England's Leighton — nay, to the letter, that of the New Testament, ' a good minister of 
Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine' (1 Tim. iv. 6.) He seems to 
have modelled himself upon the twofold counsel of the Perirrhauterium : — 
' Pitch thy hehaviour low, thy projects high.' 


' Sum up at night what thou hast done by day, 
And in the morning what thou hast to do.'' 

He was a ' faithful,' a ' painful,' (in the fine old sense,) a rousing Preacher, and at first it would 
seem a Boanerges, or ' son of thunder,' but John-like mellowed ultimately into a very Barnabas or 
' son of consolation.' Outside the Church he was all that he was within it, presenting no sorrowful 
contrast to those who ' marked ' him as he went hither and thither ; nor did he sink the man in the 
' priest ' or ' parson,' but was shrewd, keen-eyed, and ' wise ' in counsel among his parishioners. His 
wiseness seems to have specially impressed the ancient ' Notice ' writer. I omit his overflow of 
texts, lauding ' wisdom ' itself, and select the ' good words ' about him : — ' This most worthy servant 
of the Lord [was] a wise man— not only " wise unto salvation," but likewise in other things, or rather, 
indeed, in all things wise ; both prudent, circumspect, discreet, and well-advised in his own business, 
and willing as well as able upon all occasions to give good advice unto others, not only for their 
spiritual, but likewise for their temporal states : so that not only in the parts where he dwelt, but 
likewise from other places where he was known, men made their addresses unto him for counsell, 
not only in cases of conscience, but likewise upon other important occasions. And no man, I think, 
ever went away from him unsatisfied in anything wherein either rules of religion, or principles of 
reason, or instances of experience could aS'ord satisfaction. And whereas Solomon hath said, (Prov. 
xxiv. 26,) " Every man shall kisse his lips who giveth a right answer," he found it true by ex- 
perience, that as he was alwayes ready to give good counsell unto others, so his counsell had a more 
than ordinary influence upon the minds and hearts of men, or rather a prevailing power over them 
for its own entertainment.' 

Pierson, as a disciple of Perkins, could not be other than a ' Preacher ' of the Gospel with heart 

' Herbert, Works, Vol. ii. pp. 13, IS. 2 vols. 8vo. 1853. (Pickering.) 


and soul, rather than a ' stickler ' for the ' ceremonies ' of the Church after the school of Laud. 
But here, also, he shewed his ' prudence ' and wisdom, as we learn from our MS. :— ' His modera- 
tion was such, that although he was generally reputed, as the times then were, a Nonconformist, 
and his adversaries thought to have a great advantage of him that way — using their utmost en- 
deavours to that purpose — yet he alwayes carryed himself so discreetly, with such reverend respect 
unto those in authority, that he was well accepted of by them, and never in all his time was so much 
as once silenced or suspended, but alwayes enjoyed the liberty of his ministry. And although he had 
great acquaintance and intimate familiarity with some of the strictest and most eminent of that 
way, [Nonconformists,] yet he was so far from any passionate promoting of them, that some who had 
nearest relation with him did neither in his lifetime understand how he stood inclined, nor since 
his death could find any inclination in his papers. [This is a mistake, as will appear.] Peradven- 
ture he was of the same mind with him that said, it is a miserable commendation to be a witty dis- 
turber ; and thought that the Gospel of peace would never gain anything by violent contention. 
But for Mr Pearson, the gesture of kneeling in the act of receiving the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, he did both use himself, and when occasion was offered, endeavour to satisfy others by whom 
it was scrupled. And for the other ceremonies, whatsoever his own opinion was, he did not by an 
obstinate professed refractoriness offer any affront unto them that were then in place of authority to 
urge them, but still kept a curate, one or other, by whom they were used.' If there was more of 
Melanchthon than of Luther in all tliis it is not ours to judge him, in absence of a knowledge of the 
circumstances that determined his line of conduct. Still it looks somewhat odd to find him employing 
' curates ' to carry out those ' ceremonies ' which he himself could not take part in. To him it would 
have been ' sin ' as against his own conscience ; but per se he cannot have regarded them as sinful. 
Thus alone is to be explained his semi-compulsion of his curates to perform these ceremonies. Our 
' Notice' writer thus puts it: — ' Mr Pierson was not a Nonconformist to the Liturgy, or any part 
thereof, for he read the whole in the absence of his curate, but only in respect of those two cere- 
monies — the cross in baptisme and the surplasse : yet he blamed and 2y>'esented his own curate to the 
then Chancellor for refusing to weave it, having no reason against it, but only Mr Pierson's practice 
and example ; withall telling his curate that he must weare it, unless he had cogent argument 
wherein he could not satisfy his own conscience.' And again : — ' When any would aske him about 
the lawfullness of the surplasse he would thus answer. Have ye any argument against it ? If they 
said none, then he would tell them againe. Neither will I put any into your heads. So careful was 
he to preserve uaity in the Church.' So far so good. Nevertheless, as actions speak louder thau 
words, it does seem hard on the poor curate to be ' i^resented ' to the Chancellor for doing what his 
' Kcctor ' did. It must not, however, be sujiposed that Pierson was pusillanimous in the assertion 
of his principles, or that he never came in conflict with the ecclesiastical authorities. In such an 
age that had implied less than fidelity, more than compliance. It is with a sense of relief, accord- 
ingly, that we find these words in the funeral sermon of Sir Kobert Harley by Froysell of Clun: — 
' He [Sir Robert] was a great honourer of godly ministers : he carried them in his bosoms ; of all 
men in the world they sat next to his heart ; he did hug them in his dearest embraces. I must tell 
you he was their sanctuary in evill times. Hoio oft hath he interposed hetiueen them and danger's ! 
When sinful! greatnesse did frown upon them, this great man would shew himsclfe upon the stage 


for them. When Mr Pierson was questioned before the Bishop, Sir Kobert Harley was not afraid 
to appear constantly in his defence. I could tell you that he felt the frowns and displeasures of a 
near relation rather than he would desert that servant of Jesus Christ.' l That Pierson had suffi- 
cient reasons ' against the ceremonies he scrupled,' is evident by a Paper which was found among 
his MSS., and which qualifies an earlier statement that he left no ' inclination,' i.e., indication, be- 
hind him. It is as follows : — • 

' Grounds of Keasons against the Ceremonies. 
' 1. I desier to see good warrant for a proper ministering garment under the Gospell. 
' 2. That a proper Massing garment can be decent for Christ's ministers of the Gospell in his 

3. Good warrant for the use of significant ceremonies in God's service, such as ours be. 

4. Whether these, being idolatries in Rome, should not be rejected as idolatries out of God's 

service ? ' 

But passing from these more outward matters, the service by which the Rector of Brampton- 
Brian most of all impressed his generation was what may be called his home-missionary work, 
within and all around his own Parish, in combination with the ' training ' of the younger clergy for 
their duties. This is told garrulously enough, still so interestingly, in our Manuscript, that I cannot 
think of withholding the admiring Narrative, and therefore, as before, give it untouched — the more 
that these ' Lectures ' were practically a revival of those ' prophecyings ' which had given such 
deadly offence to Elizabeth, exciting her displeasure with Archbishop Grindall, and calling forth 
liis intrepid ' Letter ' to Her Majesty ,2 and giving the world also Jeremy Taylor's immortal ' Liberty 
of Prophesying,' our theological Areopcujitica. As already mentioned in relation to the chaplaincy 
at Bletso, our Notice-writer magnifies the ' industry ' of Pierson, and continues where we left off, 
thus : — ' Besides his constant preaching at home, twise every Lord's-day, and all dayes appointed 
for humiliation by publike authority, he ordinarily kept course himself, and sometimes supplied 
other men's courses, in many week-day lectures, whereof one at Leintwardine, two miles from 
Brampton, as it led the way to all the rest, so for some remarkable circumstances might well deserve 
not only to carry the credit from them all, but likewise to be a pattern to others.' Then more speci- 
fically : — ' Mr Pierson at his first comming into Herefordshire observing the countrey to be slenderly 
furnished of able ministers, especially of such as tooke care to discharge the duties of their places 
dihgently, when he was growne into acquaintance with them that were willing to promote the cause 
of religion — amongst whom the very reverend, religious, learned, and faithfull servant of God, Mr 
Stephens, vicar of Bishop's Castle, in the county of Salop, was one of the chief — he procured them 
to joyne with him in obtaining a license from the then Bishop of Hereford, Dr Bennet, for a monthly 
lecture to be held at Leintwardine, a parish adjoyning unto Brampton, and bordering upon Shrop- 
shire : wherein there had been a great religious, or rather superstitious house, which— as others of 
that nature in other places — having robbed the Church of the greater tieths, left the vicaridge of a 
very great parish reduced to a very small proportion of means ; and the Vicar accordingly being but 

^ Lady Harlcy's ' Letters,' as hfforc, p. xxxiv. - GriiKiaU'a ' Remains,' (Parker Society,) p. 376. 


meanly qualified there was little encouragement to liope tliat his successors should be much better. 
The choice of the place, though in this and some other respects very convenient for the purpose, 
was not all that care was taken for ; but likewise the choice of the persons that should preach the 
Lecture — whereof the number was resolved to be eight, all such as were allowed by authority to be 
publike preachers and benefited within the same deanery. Of these eight, foure, of whom Mr 
Pierson was one, were appointed to be moderators ; and they had liberty granted unto them by the 
bishop to call before them such as they thought fit, within the same deanery, whether benefited 
men or curates, that were not preachers publikely licensed : whom — allowing them a month's time 
for preparation — they enjoyned to exercise before them and the rest of the ministers privately, ap- 
pointing each man in particular some article of the Creed, or petition in the Lord's Prayer, or one 
of the Tenae Commandments to dilate upon. Which course was willingly and readily submitted 
unto by some ; others who had better abilities, (in their own conceits,) and thought (as themselves 
said) to be dealt with like school-boys [was rather too much] refused to exercise before the ministers 
privately, but offered, if they might be admitted, to preach to the publick congregation : to whom 
was answered, that if they would first shew their diligence at home in preaching to their own con- 
gregations, they should be entertained unto the publick Lecture, otherwise not ; and that if they 
would not conforme themselves to observe such directions as were given for the private employment 
enjojTied them, they must expect to answer their refusal to the Bishop. This Course was the means 
of so much good that by degrees in time the country thereabouts came to be furnished in most 
places with ministers of commendable abilities, and such as were careful! to take pains in their own 
places. For whose further encouragement and assistance, when first the Lecture at Leintwardine 
was set up, there was course likewise taken for an ordinary, at a reasonable rate, to be provided, where 
the ministers might dine together by themselves without any other company : and that after dinner 
some question of controversy, or some case of conscience, or the interpretation of some difficult place 
of Scripture should be propounded : and those that were present intreated to consider of it, that 
they might be provided to deliver their opinions that day month. After this many other Lectures 
were set up by license from the same Bishop and his successor, Dr Godwin, in divers other places 
of that countrey neer adjoyning, in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Kadnorshire, in some of which 
Mr Pierson was himself an assistant constantly, and alwayes an encourager, at least, to others : so 
that it is not easy to conceive how much the cause of religion in those jiarts was promoted by his 
industry, diligence, and prudent discretion in managing the afi"aires thereof.' i Further: — ' Nor was 
his care confined to the publick only; but his family [= household, for he had no children of his 
own] was a nursery both of learning and religion : wherein many were brought up and fitted for the 
Universities, and others, when they were come from the Universities, were by his directions and 
example trained up for the ministry — he being a most exact grammarian in Latine, Greek, and 
Hebrew: a perfect artist to all who understand, as it doth appear by his short posthume Notes upon 
some select Psalms,' [i.e., ' Excellent Encouragements,' here reprinted.] Coincident with this 

' Our MS., in a 'Notice' of Stephens, gives an inciJent.-vl confirmation of the urgent need for Pierson's scheme: — 'Mr 
Gwaltcr Stephens of Bishop's Castle, who had lighted his candle at famous Mr Pierson's of Brampton Bryan, used to say 
that when he preached in his younger days for a great space, there was never a preacher between him and the sea one way, 
and none near him the other, but one in Shrewsbury.' 


supervision of the ' Lectureships ' was a feature to a great degree peculiar to Pierson and his 
circle ; for the Piu'itans as a rule thought rather lightly of ' seasons ' and ' days,' including Christ- 
mas itself, viz., his ' courses ' during the Fasts of the year. Our Notice- writer speaks of this reveren- 
tially : — ' Mr Pierson zealously, with great profit to the countrey, kept the four Ember Fasts yearly, 
which were the four yearly quarterly termes, according to the appointment and practise of the Chris- 
tian Church, wherein by solemn fasting and jirayer the grace of God was implored for the due 
ordination of pious and able persons for the ministry of the Gospell in the Church.' Again :^ 
' Concerning the observation of those Ember Pastes, the great and constant resort of many godly per- 
sons from remote places, was as the flight of doves to the ^vindowes of holy light.' Further: — ' He 
refreshed many of the poore by the distribution of monej'e collected at Ember Fasts and Communion 
days, into which church-treasury, or poore man's box, he himseK cast his own offering.' i 

That the good Rector's relations with his ' brethren ' the clergy were of the kindliest there is 
abundant evidence. Our Manuscript makes his bearing in this a text for praising his humility. 
' For his humility,' (so it runs,) ' if not the fairest yet the sweetest flower in the garland of Christian 
virtues and graces — it was very observable in his general deportment and carriage towards all men 
with whome he had occasion to converse, especially thoseofliis oion ranke : amongst whom — notwith- 
standing his own great abilities — there was none so meanly qualified but if he found in him any 
disposition to fidelity and diligence in the office of the ministry, he would treat him, not as an in- 
feriour but an equall ; not only in private familiaritie, wherein his conversation was both friendly, 
free, and ingeniously facetious, but likewise in publike observance, it being his ordinary use not 
only to be a constant auditor at other men's sermons, without discovering any difference that he had 
made between the person's preaching, but likewise to take notes of their sermons himself, encour- 
aging others by his own example to esteem what they heard, well worthy of their heedfuU attention. 
He had not — as too many have — " the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with re- 
spect of persons," (James ii. 1,) which is especially forbidden by St James, but valued the Word 
of God as His Word for its own sake, (1 Thes. ii. 13;) and he made account of the ministers of 
Christ as " stewards of the mysteries of God, esteeming them very highly in love for their works 
sake," as the apostle Paul enjoyned the Corinthians and Thessalonians to doe, (1 Cor. iv. 1, and 
1 Thes. v. 12, 13 ;) the want of which equal indifferency is taxed by St Paul in the Corinthians, 
not only as an evidence of their carnality and babe-like want of spirituall strength and growth in 
grace, but likewise as a great cause and occasion of those divisions that were amongst them, (1 Cor. 
iii. 1, &c.,) " while one said I am of Paul ; and another, I am of ApoUos ; " yea, the sharp contention 
which happened to be between Paul himself and Barnabas, and grew to such a height that " they 
departed asunder one from the other," (Acts xv. 36, &c.,) arose from Paul's dislike of John, sur- 
named Mark, whom Barnabas determined to take with them, having formerly been minister unto 
them both (Acts xiii. 5.) A dangerous thing it is for any that themselves are embassadours for 
Christ, to slight or shew any want of respect to others who are employed in the same office with 
them : the people will quickly take notice of it, and easily learn to doe the like by all. It was pru- 
dent as well as religious advise that one, who himself was afterward a reverend prelate in our 

' See Introduction to Lady Harley's ' Letters,' as be/ore, for details on these Ember Fasts, and a curions ' license ' from 
Pierson to her to ' eat flesh on fast- days, by reason of her great weakness,' (pp. xlvii-viii. ) 


Church, gave to all of that order then : Clerum vestrum compellate comiter, excipite familiaritei', 
ut qui vos noveritis clignitate patres, fratres ministerio : " Intreat your clergic kindly, use them 
familiai'ly, as knowing yourselves to be fathers in dignity, brethren in service," — which, had it been 
well observed and practised, peradventure might have been a means to prevent that confusion wliich 
was brought upon a famous, flourishing Church, by the extirpation of that order which might have 
defended as well as adorned it.' 

One other public service Pierson rendered, which indeed was but the extension of his own 
more local efforts — viz., ' he had a hand in that pious business of the London Feoffees to buy out 
Impropriations, that able and godly ministers might be placed and maintained in them.' I have 
told the story of the planning and marring of this beneficent scheme in my Life of Dr Richard 
SiBBES, and thither I refer my readers. But inasmuch as every ray of light on such a historical 
proceeding is helpful, I place in an Ajjpendix the account given in our MS. It confirms our verdict 
on Laud's pestiferous interference. ^ I assume that our Worthy aided in raising funds, and 
otherwise seconding the devoted Clerics and laics who set the work a-going, only to fetch down 
upon them rebuke and persecution. 

We must now look at our Rector in his own Parish, and engaged in ordinary duties. As 
a 'Preacher' and as a 'Pastor' he manifested rare skill in knowing when to speak and when 
to be silent ; specially when a ' word ' would be ' in season.' ' His wisdom,' recurring once 
more to our 'Notice' writer, 'did most clearly shew itself in his words: " The tongue of the 
just [is] as choice silver, and a word fitly spoken is like to apples of gold in pictures of 
silver." Those apophthegms that proceeded out of his mouth witness it.' The specimens of 
his ' words ' thus characterised must have been ill selected, and must have lost in the telling 
— e.g., ' Speaking of the methods of preaching [he] say'd that doctrine without application is like 
to a point without dagges,' which being interpreted, seems to mean that there is no use in 
having a dagger if you don't thrust with it, merely decking it with tassels. Again : — ' Preaching 
upon this text, Mat. v. 13, "Ye are the salt of the earth," [he] tooke occasion to reprove the cor- 
ruption of the clergy thus : a bad taylor may make a good botcher [that is, " patcher," or mender] ; 
a sorry shoemaker a good cobler ; but an evill minister is good for nothing at all' Once more : 
— 'In a sermon of sinne and the sad consequences of it [he] sayd, " Sinne is the great make- 
bate [= a stirrer up of strife, the opposite of 'make-peace'] between God and a people;" and 
speaking at another time of the true and genuine character of God's servants, say'd that " all 
God's servants be in ordinary, not retayners." ' Again : — ' Mr Pierson's moderation [was not] seen 
only in matters of publike concernment but of private also. As he would not with too much re- 
missness strengthen the hands of the wicked that he should not return from his wicked way, by 
promising him life — which God complaineth of and threateneth by his prophet (Ezek. xiii. 22) — so, 
neither would he with too much rigour " breake the bruised reed, or quench the smoaking flax," nor 
" make the heart of the righteous sad whom God had not made sad," by loading them with " heavy 
burdens, and grievous to be borne," as the lawj'cr did, against whom our Saviour upon that account 
denounceth a woe. " Some men hang salvation on so high a pinne that many poore soides can never 
reach it," was a speech which he often would repeat as used by Mr Perkins, of whom it was observed 
that in his older age he alter'd his voice, and remitted much of his former rigidnesse, often profess- 
ing that to preach mercy was the proper office of the minister of the Gospel.' Further: — 'Nor is 

' Aiipciulix A., [1. IS. 


y® choise of matter only, but of method also, a considerable point of ministerial fidelity. Ut jam 
nunc dicat Jam nunc debentia did, pleraque differat, et proesens in tempus omittat, They that 
may not be time-servers must yet notwithstanding be observers of times, and consider which are the 
most opportune and seasonable for the business of religion and the works of grace. Some men 
presume' of themselves, as if they were privileged to speak their minds in any matter as they list, 
quicquid in huccam venerit, without any respect had to persons, times, or places ; but he was not 
such.' Of this a verypn^ instance is given: — 'A yong gent[leman] wearing his haire extraordinary 
long, some of his friends, well-affected to religion, and tender of his good, iutreated Mr Pierson to 
deal with him about it : whose answer was to this effect, " Let him alone till God renew his heart, 
and then he will reforme his haire himself." Where grace is not inwardly rooted in the heart, 
all outward conformity to precepts and examples of preciseness will rather be apt to make men rest 
themselves satisfied with their present hypocrisy, and to bring them to be secret atheists in the end, 
than fit either to entitle them sincere professors, or any way to facilitate the worke of their conver- 

I have I'eserved until now, near the close, our Manuscript's Pepys-like delineation of the good 
Eector's ' daily life.' We have already had a noble interior in the household of Bletso — strange to 
think that one of these St Johns, later, was the scoffing infidel Bolingbroke, as strange to think of 
the living Shaftesbury descending from the sceptical Authony Ashley Cooper (3d Earl.) In this 
we are given a glimpse of his own golden-lighted home and life. It were to blur the nice lines of 
the portrait in any way to alter, and so again I leave it complete : — ' He rose constantly about four 
of the clocke, unless prevented by siclmess, and then he went immediately to his study till five : then 
he called up his servants, and thereupon he and his house, Joshua-like, served the Lord. When, 
after the reading of a psalme, a short but fitting explication being given, he prayed, the heads of his 
last sermon being therein repeated. The duty being ended, his servants tooke their breakfast, and 
after betooke themselves to their labour, receiving directions from then- master. And he, for the 
space of an houre or thereabouts, betooke himself, for the exercise of his body and the preservation of 
his health, to the cutting, cleaving, or sawing of wood, wherein he had very excellent skill in 
proving all the ^Darts thereof to the best for the futiu-e uses. Then, after this corporeal exercise, 
he returned to the study till almost dinner-time. After dinner, before the returning of thanks, he, 
like another St Austin, had a chapter read out of the New Testament, and that not only at his own 
table, but also at his servants, and that in the midst of harvest. After dinner he betooke himself to 
his former recreation, or in the summer to y® fields for a short time, and then to his study till supper- 
time. After supper. Divine worship with his family, when a chapter being read and briefly ex- 
pounded, to the duty of prayer, then he and his family went to their rest.' • 

' He spent one evening exercise in the weeke in catechising of his house. He spent the Lord's 
day wholly in the duties of piety and charity, excepting only the workes of cogent necessity. By 
such continual dropping he watered as well as planted, and God gave him such a ijlentiful increase 
that he had the happiness to be not only a guide of the blind, a light of them which were in darknessi 
an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of babes, as the apostle speaketb, (Eomans ii. 19, 20,) 
but a teacher of teachers, and a builder up of them that should build up others.' Then ' He was 
not vir bonus only, but likewise commune honum, and as a "good steward of the manifold grace of 
God," did minister as himself had received the gifts of wisdome and knowledge and utterance, not 


sparingly, but bountifully, not grudgingly or of necessity, but as a cheerful giver,' (2 Cor. ix. 6, 7.) 
Further, elsewhere, ' a liberall-minded and free-hearted man he was, not only to devise liberal things 
as the prophet Isaiah (xxxii. 8) declareth such a one, but likewise to performe the doing of it, which 
the apostle requireth of the Corinthians, (2 Cor. viii. 11.) Notwithstanding his means was in com- 
parison but small, some three- score pounds per annum or thereabouts, [= to perhaps about £250 
now,] yet his hospitality was great, not only in relief of the poor and those that were in need, but 
likewise in the entertainment of strangers : provident frugality and discreet disposition maintaining 
a more constant current from a little spring than riotous disorder or careless negligence is usually 
supplied with from great revenues.' 

Our little life-story is well-nigh told. Thus the ' good man' lived, ' serving his generation' as 
one of whom it might as truly be said as it was of Hananiah, ' he was a faithful man, and feared God 
above many,' (Nehemiah vii. 2.) In his end he got what he wished. ' Visiting an old gentleman, 
his ancient friend and acquaintance, who had layu bed-ridden for some time, being unable to help 
himself, he [Pierson] spoke these words to another friend then present, at their going forth, " I 
desier that I may live no longer than I may be serviceable to my God,"' and, adds our Manuscript, 
' he had his request of God ; for his deathbed sickness was not a fortnight.' He died on October 
16th, 1G33, ' either in or very neer unto the grand cUmacterical year of his age, 63.' He left 
behind him a widow, of whom there are incidental notices in Lady Brilliana Harvey's ' Letters ' as 
noted in Appendix.'! She continued in the closest and tenderest intimacy with the Harley family, 
and must have won the love and veneration of her admirable husband's successors, as she had of the 
Parishioners. In his Will, Pierson remembered his native county of Cheshire — especially Northwich, 
and otherwise 'devised,' in his circumstances, ' liberal things.' I give details in our Appendix. 2 

Our Worthy does not appear to have published anything ; for ' Excellent Encouragements ' was 
posthumous. In our Manuscript, mention is made and a copy given of a sermon on ' Care,' which 
seems to have served its end unto his widow ; but I have not traced it in print. The Notice-writer 
thus speaks of it : 'I will not say that this worthy person had the spirit of prophecy in a strict 
sense ; j'et his little tract entituled, " A Cure against Carkinge Cares," dedicated to his loving wife, 
proved a prophecy to her, by the sad events when her dwelling-house at Brampton-Brian was 
burnt, and the whole town lay'd desolate in the late warres,' — the 'sad events' herein hinted at 
having long since taken their place in History. Further, ' The ensuing Sermon, entituled the Cure 
of hurtful Cares and Fears,' represents a specimen of the constant tenor of the most excellent, 
intellectual, and spiritual method of preaching the everlasting Gospel, and making known the joyful 
sound of eternal salvation, which was the continual practice in the observance of every Lord's day, 
by Mr Thomas Pierson, during his ministry, for more than twenty years in Brampton-Brian. The 
text is Philippians iv. 6, ' Be careful for nothing,' <fec. ' Reasons ' are given, from which I cull 
these few words : — 

1. Every child of God hath a heavenly Father that careth for him ; and so his own worldly 
carking care is needless, (1 Pet. v. 7.) 

2. Worldly care is very disgraceful to a Christian, arguing either their shameful ignorance of 

' Appendix B., p. 19. ' Appendi.x C, pp. 19, 20. 


God's Providence, or else their great weakness, if not their total want of true faith, in God, through 
Jesus Christ. 

3. Worldly care is a great burden to the soul ; not only vain and unprofitable, but also exceedingly 
hurtful. 1 

Of ' Excellent Encouragements,' the volume herewitli reprinted, the ' Epistles Dedicatory ' of 
Christopher Harvey, which will be found in their resjiective places — viz., prefixed to the complete 
volume, and to the ' Notes' on 85th Psalm,2— attest his high estimate. Without his bias of personal 
affection, the ' Expositions ' of these four Psalms will be pronounced valuable by every one who has 
really studied them. They are somewhat medifeval scholastic in their form, but the learning is 
genuine: the thinking independent, the exegesis as a whole accurate, the exposition true, the 
insight keen, the teaching sound, the practical truth ' weighty and powerful,' some of the sentences 
such as stick to the memory, the informing spirit gracious and delicate. As a book in the market 
it has hitherto been rare and costly when known ; wherever known speedily sold on appearing at 
Sale or in Catalogue. 

And so it has been given to us to recall to mind the good Rector of Brampton-Brian. He has 
long gone to his account and reward. ' The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance,' (Ps. 
cxxii. 6. ) Ay, and the holy fame of Eternity far outweighs that of quick- vanishing Time and narrow 
Earth. Nevertheless, as we turn to the fine old tome, and out of it fetch 'Excellent Encouragements' 
let us be grateful — 

' Now his faith, his works, his ways, 
Nights of watching, toilsome days. 
Borne for Christ, 'tis meet we praise.' — [Paradisus Animce.] 



' The Sermon is a full one, extending from page 43 to 83 of the (quarto) MS. 

' With reference to this Dedication to Sir Robert Whitney, it may be noted that the poet of the Synagogue named one of 
his sons ' Whitney Harvey.' Cf. Herbert's Works, as be/ore, Vol. ii., pp. '289-292. 


A. — The Feoffees of Impropriations. Page xvi. 

The following is the account in extenso of this matter from our Manuscript : — 

' He had, moreover, a hand in that pious business of the London Feoffees to buy out Impropriations, 
that able and godly ministers might be placed and maintained in them. 

' It is here requisite to represent what was the pious, religious design of those called the London 
Feoffees to buy out Impropriations. In the times of anti-Cluistian idolatry and Papall tyranny the Popes 
usurjied an authority to annex unto the Popish monasteries and convents parocliiall benefices, not only 
with power to dipose of the rectories and incimibencies respectively, but further, the Pope gave authority 
to the severall religious houses — as they were called — to appropriate to the benefit of those convents the 
tythes and profitts of the severall parishes, whereby the maintenance of the ecclesiasticall ministers of aU 
those parishes were wholly aliened from the parishes, and settled upon and enjoyed by monasteries and 
convents, as the Popes pleased. This was the case and condition of the generality of the ecclesiasticall 
benefices throughout England. When the Abbeys and Eeligious Houses were, by Act of Parliament, in the 
time of King Henry the Eighth, settled upon and annexed to the Crown of England, [they] accordingly 
were sold indifferently to any purchaser. By these means a sufficient maintenance for a Gospell preaching 
ministry was utterly deprived in very many places of the kingdome, and no capacity left in the parishes to 
obtaine a supply for the maintenance of persons able and sufficient to discharge the ministeriall function 
of the Gospel preachers. This being the sad case almost over all England, it pleased God to put it into the 
hearts of many pious Christians, especially such as lived about London, to endeavour to obtain, through the 
blessing of God, a happy remedy. Upon serious, religious, and loyall consideration of what is before men- 
sioned, many able and worthy persons summed up their thoughts to this point — that is, to chuse an equall 
number of reverend Divines, of worthy Lawyers, of Gentlemen, and of Citizens, who should be Feoffees, 
intru.sted with the receiving and managing all charitable benevolences for the purchasing of Impropriations, 
which might be by sale and purchase obtained in any part of England, the profits of all to be employed for 
the maintenance of godly preacliing mhiisters, where such were destitute. But to give this a legall, nominall 
title or fund, it was primarily called the Feoffees for the maintenance of the Lecturers of St Antholine's, 
London. This Christian design was applauded and embraced over all England, as being a most hopeftill 
project to promote the gloiy of God in bringing " life and immortality to light by the GospeU " in such 
places as sate in the region and shadow of death. Nor could there justly be imputed any shadow of pre- 
judice to the government of the Church of England ; for not any person could be allowed to preach as a 
Lecturer in any place whatsoever, without the license of the respective diocesans. Notwthstanding all the 
foremontioned Christian and pious reasons, the fury and rage of Archbishop Laud and his complices pre- 
vailed in the Star-Chamber to divest the Feoffees of their rightfull purchased possession of severall Impro- 


priate Tythes, and to seize upon them to the King's use. But in the Parliament commenced 1040 the Lords 
assembled in Parliament reversed the proceedmgs in the Star-Chamber against the Feoffees ; which judg- 
ment of the Lords was confirmed by Act of Parliament (which confirmed former judiciall proceedings) upon 
the Restauratiou of King Charles the Second. This is the true representation of that most pious project, 
religiously begim but most wickedly defeated and frustrated.' Cf my Memoir of Dr Sibbes, Works, Vol. L 
pp. Ixxiii-lxxx ; also, to see how your High-Churchmen can pervert simple matters of fact, and spit upon 
names of his o^vn Church the most venerable and illustrious, ' Simony. In two Parts. Part the Fu-st, 
Its History and Effects. Part the Second, Some Account of the Puritan Feoffees, a.d. 1622, and of the 
Simeon Trustees, A.D. 18.3G. By William Downes Willis, M.A., Prebendary of Wells and Rector of Elsted, 
Sussex. Second edition, revised and enlarged. 1865. 8vo. (Ei\T.ngtons.) ' 

B. — LETTER.S OF L.UJY Harley. Page xviii. 

Under date 'Nov. 30th 1638,' in \vritiug her ' deare sonne Mr Edward Harley,' as to sending certain 
household pro^'isions, ' a coold pye or such a thmge,' she says, ' Mrs Pirson tells me when her sonne was 
at Oxford, and shee sent him such thinges, he prayed her that shee would not' (page 13.) This refers to 
her 'soime' by her fonner husband, probably to ' Cliristopher.' Under 'January 19tli 1638,' she writes, 
' Mrs Pu-son is still ill' (page 22.) Again onward, 'Mrs Pirson has quited her ague' (page 26.) Further 
on, ' Mi-s Pirson is so well that she goos abroode ' (page 29.) Still later, ' May 7, 1642,' one is mentioned 
as 'horded at Mrs Pu'son's ' (page 1.58.) The Editor of these Letters was unaware that Mrs Pierson was 
also the widow of Harvey of Bunbury. In an earlier ' Letter ' to her husband Sir Robert, Lady H. adds a 
second F.S., ' I pray you remember me to Mr Pirson. I thanke God all at his howes are well.' July 
7th 1628. 

C. — Legacies of Pierson. Page xviii. 

' He left, at his death, a competent estate, where\vith to give evidence of his thankfidness to some unto 
whom he had formerly been beholding, and to manifest his care for others in future promotion and perpetuall 
propagation of learning and religion. At Northwich, in Cheshire, there being a Free Schoole, where first 
he was brought up to learning, he in his lifetime had taken care that there should be a place fitted for a 
librarj', which he furnished with some bookes, such as he then thought convenient for the use of the school- 
masters and scholars ; and at his death he bequeathed twenty pounds' worth of books more unto the same 
school, partly m div-inity, paitly in humanity, for the benefit of the preachers and schoolmasters there. 
Four pounds' worth of bookes more he gave to y" Free Schoole at Kingston in Herefordshire, founded by 
the Honoui'able the Lady Margeret Hawkins, relict of the famous seaman, Sir John Hawkins, and one of the 
Ladies of Queen Elizabeth's bed-chamber. One MS. of the Prior of Berlington, entitled Comjntatio PaPrum, 
for which he had been offered twenty pounds, he bequeathed to the publick library of the University of 
Cambridge ; and another MS., a libel, [UljeUum ?] of a large quarto, to the library of Hereford. Most of 
his library besides, which was farre better than is usuall amongst private country ministers, he left in ti-ust 
ivith some of his friends, to be left unto thirteen of his acquamtance, neighbour ministers, during their 
continuance in those places where then they were settled, and whither by his means especially they had been 
brought. To the poore of -f parish of Bromton, [Brampton,] and others of the next adjoyning parishes, he 
bequeathed severall summes of money, to be put to their severall stocks, besides what he gave unto particular 
persons, to the value of an hundred pounds and upwards. He likewise, by his WUl, gave order for the 
raising of three hundred pounds out of his personall estate, whereof he directed fifty pounds to be bestowed 
for the better maintenance of a preacher at Northwich aforesaid, where first he himself had been imployed 
in the office of the ministry. And two hundred and fifty pounds thereof he directed to be imployed 


towards the perjietuall maintenance of a preacher at Whitley Chappell, in the county of Chester ; which, 
having been long before demolished, and almost quite worn out of memory, was built by Mr William Tucket, 
Lord of the Manor and one of them by whose liberality chiefly Mr Pierson in his youth had been main- 
tained at Cambridge. In grateful! remembrance whereof, Mr Pierson was not only very fonvard and 
diUgent upon all occasions to doe all the good offices he could for Mr Tucket's posterity ; but, likewse, the 
aforesaid chappell being againe through neglect gone to decay, he did himself bestow some charge for the 
repaire thereof, and for the space of divers years before his death, allowed six pounds per annum towards 
the maintenance of a preacher there, whose entertainment he did not only by his persuasion excite, but 
likewise by his example encourage and assist others unto.' 

I am sorry to say, that inquiries at Wiitley and elsewhere shew that these ' Legacies ' of Pierson have 
been absorbed by some private parties to the wrong of the legatees — one instance out of very many similar 
that, in the prosecution of these biographical researches, I have come on, involving large amounts, and 
demanding investigation, exposure, and redress. Bishop Gastrell in his ' Notitia ' notices Pierson's legacies 
to ^\^litley, and complains that even then they were inoperative. A. B. G. 







IT is credibly reported, Right Honourable, that 
when one presented unto Antipater, King of 
Macedou, a treatise of happiness, that he rejected it 
with this answer : I am not at leisure. Your 
Honour shall find this a treatise tending to happi- 
ness, and shewing the way to everlasting blessed- 
ness. Yet I assure myseK it shall find better 
entertainment at your Honourable hands, and that 
you will find leisure at your leisure to peruse and 
read it. I must ingeniously confess that many have 
divers times handled many points of doctrine de- 
livered m this treatise, yet have done it after 
another method. If the water I have drawTi from 
this well shall delight you, I hope it will not taste 
the worse being brought unto you in this vessel. I 
offer here unto your \'iew the Anatomy of Da-\dd's 
Blessed Man ; or, A Short Exposition of the First 
Psalm, directing a man how he may be ti-uly blessed. 
It is not without desert that St Jerome doth call 
this book of the Psalms the treasure of learning ; 
for out of it most frequent testimonies are brought 
by our blessed Sa\-iour himself. -And this first 
Psalm is a compend, or an abstract, of the whole 
book of Psalms, directing to true happiness. 
The text, I am .sure, is excellent for the purpose ; 
but for my manner of handling it, I leave it to the 
censure of God's church. In preaching, I have ever 

counted plainness the best eloquence, and the car- 
riage of matters so that those of the lowest form 
may learn somewhat, the soundest and the surest 
learning. For surely we are so ftillen into the dregs 
of time, which, being the last, must needs be worst, 
that security hath so possessed all men that they 
■will not be awaked. But if at any time the word 
of God, or any good motion of God's Spirit, hath 
met with them, presently security whispers them in 
the one ear, that though it be fit to think of such 
things, yet it is not yet time. Youth pleads a pri- 
vilege, though many millions of young men are in 
hell for want of timely repentance ; and presump- 
tion warrants them in the other ear that they may 
have time hereafter. And thus men spend their 
days, until at last their hour-glass be nm, and time 
then is past. Now, if your Honour shall lay this 
to heart in the strength of years, it shaU be your 
chiefest wisdom. And if to be religious in all ages 
hath been held to be tiiie honour, how much more 
honourable is it ia so impious an age 1 It is reli- 
gion and godliness that shall embalm your name, 
and make it shine before men, and glorify your soul 
amongst angels. Marj' her box of omtment shall 
never be forgotten. For godliness hath the promise 
of this life, and that which is to come, and •without 
it is no internal comfort to be found in conscience, 


nor external peace to be looked for in this world, 
nor eternal happiness to be hoped for in the next. 
Now, how can religion but promise to herself a 
zealous patron of j'our Honour, being the son and 
heir of so gracious and religious a father, who hath 
shewed himself a faithful door-keeper in the house 
of God ] Let his godly example teach you not to 
drink of those stolen waters, or rather indeed the 
blood of soids, where^vith too many in these gold- 
thirsty days do purchase Aceldama unto them and 
theirs. The Lord keep this ever from the purpose 
of heart in his servants, who have so honourable 
and weighty a trust committed unto them ! Let 
this exliortation of Da^^d to his son Solomon be ever 
in your honourable mind : ' And thou Solomon, my 
son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve 
him with a perfect heart, and with a calling mind. 

For the Lord searcheth all hearts, and he under- 
standeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If 
thou seek him, he will be found of thee ; but if thou 
forsake him, he wiU cast thee off for ever.' The God 
of heaven so vouchsafe to water you and j'ours with. 
the dew of heaven, that, with the godly man in this 
psalm, you may prosper as trees of his planting ; 
and so bring forth fniit in due season in this Ufe, 
that at the end of this life your reward may be the 
beginning of this psalm, even true blessedness ! 
Thus, in all dutiful humility, I rest, 

Your Honour's remembrancer 

To the Throne of Grace, 


Prittlewell, this 25th of March 1635. 


CHEISTL^ READER, as it hath ever been the 
practice of wicked men to make their pros- 
perity an argument of God's favour, reasoning after 
this manner; Is it Hkely that I should enjoy so 
many blessings from God, if my conversation were 
not pleasing in his sight 1 &c. ; not considering that 
these common gifts are given alilce both to the 
godly man and to the sinner, and that Esau, though 
he was a man hated of God, yet enjoyed the fatness 
of the earth as well as Jacob ; — 

So the cliildren of God, beholding the outward 
prosperity of the wicked, and their own miserable 
condition here Ln this life, have hereby been much 
troubled ; and have been moved to call God's judg- 
ments into question, how it could stand mth his 
justice that wicked men should so abound in 
wealth, that rebelliously transgress. This proved a 
sore temptation unto Da\'id, insomuch that his steps 
had weU-nigh slipped. And the same thing per- 
plexed the prophet Jeremiah, that he was bold even 
to reason the case with God, sajing, AVlierefore doth 
the way of the wicked prosper 1 and why are they 

in wealth that rebelliously transgress? Many of 
God's servants are not a little affected heremth, not 
understanding the reason how the Lord will not 
suffer his children in this life to go unchastised for 
their sins, but thereby brings them to a greater 
measure of humiliation. As for the wicked, the 
prophet assigneth a reason of their prosperity, — 
namely this, ' that thou mayest pull them out like 
beasts for the slaughter, and prepare them for the 
day of destruction.' This truth is most clearly set 
down in the thirty - seventh Psalm, a portion 
whereof I have handled in the sermon following. 
My desire herein is to comfort God's people, that 
notwithstanding their present condition may seem 
to be miserable, yet the Lord doth ever uphold his 
in time of greatest danger, and of this they shall be 
sure, that their latter end shall be peace. I wish 
thee comfort by it, and by all other holy helps. 
And so remain. 

Thine in every Christian office, 



hath in 
it two 

1. A de- 
scription of 
all mankind 
divided into 
two ranks, 
ver. 1, 2, 3, 
4, 5. 

1. Godly, 
ver. 1, 2, 

two wavs. 

2. Wick- 
ed, who 
are like- 
wise de- 
two ways. 

2. The chief cause of the 
happmess of the one, and 
the misery of the other, 
two ways. 

1. By theii- 
which are of • 
two sorts. 

1. Negative, f I. He doth not walk in. 
which are \ 2. He doth not stand in. 
three. [ 3. He doth not sit in, &c. 


2. By 

of then- vir 

1. By their 
estate in this 
life two way .s. 

2. By their 
estate and 
condition in 
the life to 
come, two 

1. For the 

2. Affinna- 
tive, which 
are three 

1. By a simi- 
litude, by a 


2. By the 
svccess of all 
he doth. 

1. He meditates much. 

2. The object of his meditation, 

The law of God. 

3. The time. Day and Jiight. 

1. By the nature of it. 

It is a tree planted. 

2. Projierty, 

It hringeth foiih fruit, etc. 

3. Contrary property. 

Her leaves do not fall. 

It shall prosper. 

1 . Generally, It is not so icith them. 

2. Particularly, But as the chaff which the wind, 


1. Tlu-i/ shall not stand in judgment. 

2. Neither he associates with the just. 

I The Lord hwireth the way of the riyldeoiis. 

2. For the f 
wicked, set 

down by an -j The way of the xciched shall peiish. 


VER. 1. Blessed is the man that doth not walk in the 
counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of 
sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

Concerning the book of the Psalms, it is an 
epitome of the whole Bible, teaching us what we are 
to believe and do both to God and man ; in which we 
may, as in a glass, most clearly behold the nature of 
almighty God, his wisdom, goodness, and mercy to- 
wards his church and children ; as also most notable 
spectacles of his fearful wrath and vengeance against 
the wicked and ungodly. 

If men would learn to pray unto God, and crave 
for any mercy and blessing at his hands, lo, here 
be excellent platforms of true, hearty, and earnest 
prayers. If men would give thanks for blessings 
received, or for judgments escaped, or for deliver- 
ance fi'om -ivicked and ungodly men, here be most 
worthy examples and dii'ections. Again, if men 
would find comfort in temptation, trouble, and 
affliction, and learn mth patience to bear them, 
there is no part of the Bible more sweet and com- 
fortable than this book of the Psalms. And there- 
fore it should be our delight and study, and we 
ought to spend the more time in the reading and 
in the meditatmg of so excellent and worthy a 

This psalm is set down before the rest as a pre- 
face to stir up every faithful Christian to the dili- 
gent and careful study of the holy Scriptures, and 
the blessed book of God, as our Sa\'iour saith : 
' Search the Scriptures,' &c. ; because that will 
bring a man to true happiness in the end — namely, 
to know God to be his God, to know Jesus Christ, 

to know himself, and to direct him in the narrow 
way which leadeth unto life eternal. 

This first Psalm is set down without any inscrip- 
tion, and therefore it is uncertain by whom it was 
pemied ; whether by David, as most like it was, or 
by Esdras, who is rather thpught to have gathered 
them together, and joined them thus in one volume 
or book, as now we have them. 

This psalm doth teach us these two worthy 
points — namely, how the godly man lives and walks 
in this world, what manner of life he leads on 
earth, and also what happiness and blessedness is 
reserved for him in the life to come in heaven, ver. 
1, 2, 3. The second part shews the contrary life 
of the wicked and ungodly, as also what fearful ven- 
geance and eternal judgments are prepared for them, 
ver. 4, 5. 

And the parts of this psalm are two : in the 
former part is a description of the contrary estate 
of the godly man and the wicked man — namely, 
that the godly man is certainly blessed, and the 
wicked man cursed, in the five first verses. The 
other part shews the chief cause of the happiness 
of the one, and the misery of the other : ver. 6, 
' Because God knoweth,' — that is, likes, loves, and 
allows, yea, doth bless and prosper the way of the 
one, but he hates, abhors, and dislikes the way of 
the other ; and God doth curse it, and make it most 
unhappy and miserable unto them. So that we 
see the sum of this psalm is this, that those are 
blessed whose way, that is, whose life and conver- 
sation, the Lord loves, likes, and allows of, so as he 
doth direct and bless it ; but the Lord allows and 


[Ver. 1. 

takes care of the way of the righteous and godly 
man, therefore the godly man is blessed. 

Now seeing this is the main proposition of this 
psalm, to prove that the godly are blessed ; there- 
fore the projihet doth first shew who be tnily godly, 
as ver. 1, 2, and then wherein their blessedness 
doth consist, ver. 3. 

The godly man is described two ways : first. 
Negatively, shelving what he doth carefully shun 
and avoid, ver. 1 ; secondly, Affirmatively, shewing 
what he doth carefidly embrace and follow, ver. 2. 

Concerning the things which the godly man doth 
ever carefully shun and avoid, they are here laid 
down to be three in number, by a most excellent 
kind of speech, laid . do^vn by way of graduation, 
wherein the prophet shews how men proceed by 
degrees to be wicked ; for there is an increase and 
proceeding in sin, as we may see in every step of 
this graduation : first. In the persons ; secondly, In 
the manner ; and thu-dly. In the fniit itself. 

And indeed there is a variety and multiplicity of 
sins ; and as they are divers, and of divers kmds, so 
the variety of number causeth a diversity of names : 
' The counsel of the wicked,' ' the way of sinners,' 
' the seat of the scornful.' For as one saith well. 
There is a fruitful croj) of sin, and there is none of 
the sons of Adam but may say with Manasses in 
his prayer, ' I have sinned above the number of the 
sands of the sea.' 

First, He doth not ' walk in the counsel of the 
wicked ; ' where we see the persons are said to be 
wicked, the original word signlfieth a man that is 
never quiet, but ever thinking or doing something 
that is e\'il, like the raging sea, whose mind is ever 
troubled and tempted vnth evil thoughts and per- 
turbations. By coimsel he understandetli here the 
crafts and subtleties of the mcked, by which they 
push themselves forward, and labour to di-aw others 
to the like, according to that of Solomon ; ' My son, 
if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, 
come, let us lay wait for blood,' &c., Prov. i. 10. 
So that the prophet meaneth here, that he is blessed 
that joineth not himself to commit sin with the 
ungodly, nor by liimself doth commit the same as 
sinners do. 

The second sort of e\'il men whose comjiany he 
doth avoid are called sinners; the word signifies 

such as not only are of a naughty heart, and, being 
seduced by bad counsel, live in sin, but such as 
delight in sin, and have in them a constant and 
settled purpose to live in sin. 

The thii-d sort of evil men whose company he 
doth avoid are called scorners. And they are such 
kind of vdcked men as, being hardened in heart, do 
stUl confirm themselves in their ivicked life, and get 
such a habit and custom in sin, that they shame not 
to make a mock of God and all godliness, and even 
to blear out the tongue at religion and Christian 
piety ; so that as they are mcked in heart and lewd 
in life, so be they also hardened and confirmed in 
both of them ; for by seat he noteth the fellowship 
and society with the ungodly. 

Secondly, concerning the action, the fir-st is, To 
^ walk in the counsel of the wicked.' '.To walk is to 
live and frame his life to afiect and approve of the 
ways and counsels of ■wicked men ; neither will he 
once listen or lend his ear to the perverse and 
naughty counsel of ungodly men, much less will he 
be brought to frame his life after then- wicked 

The second action or proceeding of a sinner is 
standing ; as the former is in heart to like, love, and 
approve of the ways of the mcked, this is to obey 
them and follow them into the same excess of riot. 
So that the meaning of the prophet is, that a godly 
man doth not like, love, nor follow that kind of life 
or conversation which vsdcked men do use, and such 
as be given to sin — according to that of the apostle, 
' Fashion not yourselves like unto the world,' Eom. 
xii. 2 — but doth by all means possibly shun and 
avoid it. 

The third evU, wliich the godly man doth most 
carefully avoid, is in these words, and ' hath not sat 
in the assembly of the scorners ; ' that is, -will not 
be familiar and have acquaintance -with such as be 
mockers of God and all good duties ; he will not be 
their companion, nor keep them company, who do 
openly profess impiety, who make a scoff at religion, 
scorn the word of God, and contemn the servants 
of God. These be the three evils which the godly 
man doth most carefully shun and avoid. 

In the whole we may observe the wonderful 
growth that sin hath in the heart of a sinner; it 
stands not at a stay, but is ever growing, and never 

Ver. l.J 


suffers any winter-tide of lilasting, but ever prospers. 
It first beginneth in the heart of the sinner with a 
double walking, wandering, as it were, up and do'wn, 
as being uncertain what to do ; the next step that it 
maketh is from walking to standing, which signifies 
a determination after the former uncertainty, and 
where sin is not stayed neither in the conception 
nor in the birth, ' When it is finished it brings forth 
death,' James i. 15, ever ending in hardness of heart, 
obstinacy of mind, and obduracy of both. Oh that 
all wicked and ungodly men would lay this to heart, 
that making once shipwreck of faith and a good 
conscience, and wounding their souls by sin, this 
spiritual disease of sin grows daily to be more in- 
curable, and the more sin groweth to a head the 
more the Spirit of God is quenched in a man, and 
the work of grace is diminished. It behoves us all, 
therefore, to keep a dUigent watch over our own 
ways, to cut off the occasions of sin, and to slay the 
beginnings of iniquity : for a fire new kindled may 
easily be quenched ; when the ship begins to leak 
it may easily be stopped ; and at the fii'st, sin and 
Satan may easily be resisted, and we may with the 
less difiiculty withstand the force of it, whereas the 
more it is practised the more the heart is hardened, 
and sin grows stronger, and the sinner himself 
weaker, according to that of the prophet, ' Can the 
blackmoor change his skin, or the leopard his spots 1 
then may ye also do good, which are accustomed to 
do evil,' Jer. xiii. 23. And therefore to this end the 
Lord laboured with Cain to stop his sin in the con- 
ception, or at least in the birth, when that he saw 
that his countenance was cast down, and that he 
had conceived some evil against his brother, the 
Lord tells Cain, ' If thou doest well, shalt thou not 
be rewarded? if thou doest evU, sin lieth at the 
door,' — q.d., Cain, Cain, be warned betimes ere it be 
too late ; there is a reward that will follow thy 
righteous dealing, but if thou go on to kill thy 
righteous brother, thou shalt find that thy condition 
will be far worse than now it is. This is the woeful 
and miserable condition of those that run from evU 
to worse, as it were, adding drunkenness to tliirst, 
and be a warning unto us to take heed lest at any 
time we give any entertainment to sin, and so our 
' last end be worse than the first,' Mat. viii. 

In the second verse the prophet describes a godly 

man affirmatively, shewing what he doth most care- 
fully embrace and follow. And as if he should say, 
He is a blessed man that abstains from evU, if so be 
mthal he delight to do good, so he do willingly 
yield himself to perform obedience unto the will of 
God, and conform all his thoughts, words, and deeds 
to the will of God. 

Now the good things which he must do ai-e con- 
tained in two words : first, ' His delight must be in 
the law of the Lord ; ' secondly, He must ' meditate 
therein day and night.' 

But his cleUgM, — that is, the godly and upright 
man, who is truly happy and blessed indeed, doth 
wonderfully love the law of the Lord, that is, the 
word of God, and that heavenly doctrine wherein 
is revealed the will of God, whereunto all our 
thoughts, words, and works must be conformed, and 
which maketh known unto us the way to eternal 
life and salvation. 

Secondly, In this law he meditates day and night, — 
that is, the godly man doth set his heart and mind 
upon the word and doctrine of God, so as he doth 
think often, and much muse upon it ; it is Ids daily 
meditation, so as he sets some time apart every day 
to study it — both to learn out of it how God must 
be purely worshipped, his own life ordered ; as also 
to learn thereby how to maintain and keej) faith and 
a good conscience before God and man. And thus 
the godly man is described by both parts of his life, 
his eschewing of evil, and his careful and religious 
performing of good duties. 

Secondly, We have seen a godly man described, so 
now foUoweth wherein the happuiess of this man 

This happy man is described two ways. 

First, By a similitude. 

Secondly, By the prosperous and good success of 
all he doth. 

The happiness of the godly man is described by a 
similitude, whereby a godly man is compared to a 
tree, which tree is described, 

First, By the place — namely, that it is a tree planted, 
not of its ovra gi-owing. By the water's side ; even 
by the fresh and springing rivers, which is a resem- 
blance of our ingrafting into Jesus Christ by faith, 
and the Spirit of God ; so as we receive and draw 
juice and nourishment from him continually. 



[Yer. 1. 

Secondly, It is described by an effect — namely, 
that it brings forth fruit in dm season ; and this is a 
resemblance of our regeneration, or of our obedience, 
because the godly man, being ingrafted into Jesus 
Christ, doth by virtue of his resurrection bring forth 
the fruit of faith and obedience both to God and 
man. In due season, that is, in time convenient, 
when it may best seem for the glory of God and the 
good of our neighbour. 

Thirdly, By a contrary property, that her leaves do 
not fall— thai is, in tinie of winter and storms her 
leaves fall not. And this is a sign of our persever- 
ance, that the godly man is not offended nor daunted 
with crosses, persecutions, or afflictions, or any other 
calamity whatsoever, but doth by patience possess 
Lis soul, and by faith wades, as it were, tliroughout 
all these dangers. 

Secondly, The happiness of a godly man is de- 
scribed by that blessed success that God gives to all 
his affairs he takes in hand. It shall p-osper, because 
he takes them in hand according to God's command- 
ment, and in his fear, mth prayer and calling on the 
name of the Lord, Josh. i. 8, to the glory of God 
and the good of his neighbour. 

In the second part of the psalm, the prophet de- 
scribeth the most miserable and cursed estate of the 
wicked and ungodly, ver. 4, 5. That it is clean con- 
trary, that as their ways and lives be contrary, so 
their reward is contrary. 

The prophet, describing the cursed and miserable 
estate of the ■«dcked, saith first, // is not so with tliein, 
— that is, that wicked and ungodly men are in a far 
contrary estate and condition ; they cannot in any 
case be compared to a tree that is planted by the 
rivers of waters, that brings forth her fruit ui due 
season, and whose leaf shall not fall, neither do they 
prosper in their actions, neither doth God give suc- 
cess unto them. 

But he setteth out the cursed and ■nTetched estate 
of all wicked and ungodly men by a contrary simili- 
tude, comparmg them to chaff ichich the wind drives 
cnvay, — that is, even as chaff hath no root in the 
earth, and wanting all juice and nourishment, must 
needs be fruitless and dry, so as the wind doth most 
easUy scatter it away ; even so the wicked are not 
rooted nor grounded in Christ, whereby it comes to 
pass, they being utterly void of all grace of God's 

Spirit, that they can bring forth no fruit of good 
works, neither can they persevere in time of tempta- 
tion, whereby again it comes to pass that they be 
earned away with every blast of vain doctrine ; and 
Avith the least storm of temjjtation, and blast of ad- 
versity, they are tossed to and fro. And when the 
■wind of God's judgments shall blow upon them, they 
are clean scattered away. This is their estate and 
condition here in this Ufe. 

And for their estate and condition in that to come, 
the prophet layeth it do^^1l likewise, ver. 5, in these 
words, ' They shall not be able to stand in judgment,' 
— that is, they shall not be able to stand ■ndth com- 
fort before the face of the judge, but shall tremble 
and quake, as not bemg able to endure the angry 
countenance of the judge, Rev. vi. 1 3. 

Neither is this all, but they shall likewise be 
severed and secluded from the blessed company of 
the godly. That as here in tliis life they could not 
abide a godly man, but did hate him, persecute him, 
and shun his company, so at the last day, so just 
shall their reward be, that they shall be separated 
from them, and as goats cast on the left hand, there 
to remain for evermore in torments, which are ease- 
less and remediless. ' Neither the sinners in the 
company of the just,' — that is, in the company of 
those that be justified and reconciled to God in 
Jesus Christ, which shall then inherit the kingdom 
prepared for them. 

Hitherto we have opened the fii'st part of the 
psalm, containing the estate and condition of a godly 
and a ivicked man here in this life, and in the life 
to come. 

Now foUoweth the second part of the psalm, in 
the last verse, containing the confirmation of that 
doctrine ; and that our prophet doth by shewing 
the efficient cause, both of the happiness of the one, 
and the misery and wretchedness of the other. 

The first efficient cause of the happmess of the 
godly man is in these words, ' Because the Lord 
knows the way of the righteous,' — that is, he likes, 
loves, and approves of it, so as he doth du-ect and 
bless it : and therefore it shall prosper. 

And the cause why the estate of the wicked is 
unhappy, and their way shall perish, is, because the 
Lord doth not know theu- way, — that is, he taketh 
no delight in the way or in the life of a wicked 

Ver. 1.] 



man ; he loves it not so as lie should du-ect and 
jirosper it : and therefore it shall perish. 

And thus much for the meaning of the words ; 
now let us come unto the doctrines. 

Ver. 1. Blessed is the man that hath not, &c. 

Blessed is the man, or, oh the blessedness of that man, 
or as it is in the original, ' Oh the blessedness ^ of 
that man ! ' They seem to be the words of a man 
musing and meditating vnth. himself wherein man's 
blessedness should consist, as if he should say. Some 
pronounce him blessed that is in honour ; some 
count them blessed that have abundance of riches, 
some that live in pleasure ; some place it in one 
tiling, some in another. But oh the blessedness of 
that man that fears the Lord, that is truly religious, 
of the godly and righteous man ! 

Bod. 1. Hence we learn this doctrine, that, of all 
men under heaven, the godly man alone is blessed, 
and the ungodly and wicked man is cursed. The 
righteous man is a happy man m the sight of God, 
when the wicked is wretched and miserable. This 
doctrine is very apparent in the word of God. It 
is the scope and diift of the whole Scriptures to 
prove this one point, that the godly man is blessed, 
and the wicked man is cursed. ' Blessed is the man 
that fearetli the Lord, and delighteth in his com- 
mandments.' ' Blessed be they that be upright in 
their way, and walk in the law of the Lord.' 
' Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and 
seek him -s^dth their whole heart.' Again, ' Blessed 
is the man whose iniquity is forgiven, and whose 
sin is covered. Blessed is he to whom the Lord 
imputeth no sin, and in whose spirit there is no 
guile.' Read the thirty-seventh Psalm, which 
seemeth to be penned of purpose to confirm the 
everlasting truth of this doctrine : that the godly 
are blessed and the wicked are cursed. And tliis 
blessedness of theirs doth not reach only to this life, 
but also to the life to come, according to that of the 
apostle, ' Godliness hath not only the promise of 
this life, but also the life to come,' 1 Tim. iv. 8. 
Yea, if we obser\-e the course which the Spirit of 
God taketh in the course of the whole Scriptures, it 
shall make tins doctrine so much the more apparent 
unto us, — that is, that wheresoever there is a com- 
' Query, 'blessednesses ' ? — Ed. 

fort laid down in the word, the same comfort is still 
restrained to the godly. As that of the holy apostle 
St Paul, in the eighth chapter and fii-st verse of 
his Epistle to the Eomans, ' There is no condemna- 
tion.' A marvellous comfort to hear that we are 
freed from that heavy and grievous curse which we 
had incurred by reason of sin : yet lest the wicked 
should presume hereby and take it unto themselves, 
unto whom in nowise it doth belong, the apostle 
rcstrainetli the comfort in the same verse, ' To them 
that are m Clmst Jesus ; ' and lest men should de- 
ceive themselves, to take this comfort to themselves, 
unto whom it doth not belong, he marketh them 
out, as it were, in their foreheads, saying, Tliey are 
such as 'walk not after the flesh, but after the 
Spirit.' The like of David, Psalm xv., ' Lord, who 
shall enter into thy holy tabernacle 1 &c. He that 
hath clean hands and a pure heart,' &c. 

Besides, none are blessed but such as be in the 
favour of God, as the prophet David saith, ' In thy 
favour is life,' such as be reconciled to God in Jesus 
Christ. As for such as be out of his favour, they 
be cursed and miserable, be they what they wUl be. 
Now, only the godly man that is humbled, that is 
sanctified, that is born anew, is he alone that is in 
the favour of God : therefore only the godly man is 

Ohjccf. Wherein stands the blessedness of God's 
cliildren, of a godly and a righteous man 1 

Ansiv. I answer. In this, that a godly man that is 
humbled for his sins is now reconciled to God, so as 
God the Father becomes his Father, adopts him to 
be his child, loves him, and deUghts in him as his 
child ; ' Behold, what love hath the Father given us, 
that we should be called- the sons of God.' And 
hereupon come the amiable and love-titles that 
Clirist giveth unto his church, ' Open unto me, my 
sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled,' Cant. v. 2. 
Great are the affections of fervent love that parents 
bear towards their children, which none can express 
but they that feel ; and yet all their love is nothing 
in comparison of the love of God towards his chil- 
dren; this the prophet teacheth, Isa. xlis. 15, ' Can 
a woman forget her chUd, and not have compassion 
on the son of her womb? yet will I not forget thee.' 

Another part of the happiness of a godly man 
doth consist in this, that he hath assurance of the 



[Ver. 1. 

pardon of his sins, that they are all done away, and 
shall never be laid to his charge, but are washed 
away in the blood of Jesus Clirist, according to that 
of the projjhet David, Ps. xxxii. 1, 'Blessed is he 
whose ■\vickedness is forgiven.' 

He hath all his sins, original and actual, mth the 
guilt and punishment belonging unto them, freely 
and fully forgiven unto him ; and all the righteous- 
ness of Clu-ist freely and fuUy imputed unto him ; 
and so God is reconciled unto him, and approveth 
him as righteous in his sight. And thus the apostle 
reasoneth, Eom. viii. 33, ' Herein was that love of 
God made manifest amongst us, because God sent 
his only begotten Son into the world, that we might 
live through him. Herein is that love, not that we 
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son 
to be a reconciliation for our sins.' 

Another part of the happiness of a gotUy man 
doth consist in this, that he hath peace of conscience, 
whereas the wicked and ungodly man hath a dead 
and sleepy conscience, or else an accusing con- 
science : ' There is no peace to the wicked, saith 
my God,' Isa. Ivii. But the godly man that is re- 
conciled to God in Jesus Christ hath the fi-ee par- 
don of all his sins ; he hath sweet peace of conscience, 
wliicli doth not accuse, but excuse him to God ; yea, 
he hath exceeding great joy in the Holy Ghost, 
that he knoweth his sins are pardoned, ''^ accordmg 
to that of the apostle, ' The kingdom of God standeth 
not in meat and drink, but in righteousness, peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost.' And, indeed, whom 
should he fear, or whereof should he be afraid 1 - God 
is become his Father ; the angels are become his at- 
tendants, they pitch their tents round 'about them, 
and have a charge of them ; the saints of heaven and 
earth are fellow-brethren ; the creatures of almighty 
God - are their friends, yea, their servants, to do 
them good all their days. 

The devils nor all the power of darkness shall not 
hurt them. For Clu-ist hath ' sjioiled principaUties 
and powers, and hath made show of them openly, 
and hath triumphed over them upon the cross ; ' yea, 
that which is more, the Lord Jesus Christ (to whom 
all judgment is committed) is become their Lord and 

' Pax est hsDreditas Christianorum. — Aug. Serm. De Temp. 
" Perfecta et absoluta cuiusque excueatio testimonium con- 
scientias suw. — Ber. 

Saviour. So that ' they shall never come into com- 
demnation, but shall pass from death unto life,' 
John V. 24. 

Lastly, The godly man is assured that the king- 
dom of heaven and eternal life belongs unto him, 
and that he shall be partaker of eternal glory, life, 
and salvation, and shall hve in the presence of God 
the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost for evermore. 
And tliis assurance in the godly is no presumption, 
but faith ;i for every godly man hath in him the 
spirit of grace and adoption ; and he that hath the 
spirit of adoption knows that he hath it, and is able 
through the same spirit to say, ' I live, and Christ 
liveth in me,' Gal. ii. 20. This was in Job when he 
said, ' I know that my Redeemer liveth,' &c. This 
was in St Paul, ' I am persuaded that neither height 
nor depth,' &c., Rom. viii. In these and the like 
privileges stands the happy and blessed estate of 
God's children. 

Use \. The use of this doctrine is ntost excellent, 
for seeing the privileges of God's children are so 
great and so excellent, that therefore they must 
needs be most happy and blessed. For howso- 
ever the world account them miserable, grinning at 
them -with their teeth, nodding at them with then- 
heads, hissing at them with their tongues, and every 
way most contumeliously reproaching them ■with their 
words ; yet we see here how dear and precious they 
are with God, and in the reputation of Jesus Christ, 
who bought them at a price, and redeemed them 
even with his own blood. ' Behold what love the 
Father hath given to us that we should be called the 
sons of God. And for this cause the woi'ld knoweth 
you not, because it knoweth not him.' God is be- 
come their Father, the Son their Redeemer, and the 
Holy Ghost their sanctifier, the angels their attend- 
ants, the Scriptures then- evidences, and the sacra- 
ments seals unto the saine : tliis the apostle teacheth 
when he saith, ' All things are yours, and ye Christ's, 
and Christ God's,' 1 Cor iii. 21. They are blessed then 
that are thus reconciled to God in Jesus Christ ; they 
are blessed that have theit sins pardoned and not 
imputed unto them ; they are blessed that enjoy this 
sweet peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy 
Ghost ; they are blessed that have attained to this 
assurance that the kingdom of heaven, eternal life, 

' Non arrogantia est, sed fides, &c. — Aug., Serm. viii. 

Vek. 1.] 



and salvation shall be their reward. But the godly 
man is partaker of all these ; what then sliall hinder 
his happiness 1 

This serveth then to confute three sorts of men : 
first, The voluptuous man, who placeth his felicity 
and happiness in delights, pleasures, sports, and pas- 
times ; he loves and likes them above all other things, 
andmost eagerly doth hunt after them. This ajjpeared 
in that rich man in the Gospel, Luke xii., who bade 
his soul ' eat, drink, and be merrj',' as if there were 
nothing else to be looked after, or as if man's chief 
felicity did consist in these things. And this was 
the case of Solomon in the days of his vanitj', until 
he saw that all was but in vain, Eccles. i. Let us 
then be careful we be not deceived with these sinful 
pleasures of this life, as to think therein we are 
happy ; but let us take heed unto this hook of Satan, 
lest we be taken -srithin his snare. Jt is ^vTitteu to 
the everlasting commendation of Moses, Heb. xi. 24, 
that he ' refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's 
daughter, and chose rather to suffer adversity with 
the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin 
for a season ; esteeming the rebuke of Clirist greater 
riches than the treasures of Egypt ; for he had re- 
spect unto the recompense of reward.' 

The second sort of men here reproved are the am- 
bitious, that makes honour and preferment their god, 
as if man's chief felicity did consist in that. This is 
their care and study, how to climb up to preferment, 
like Absalom, that sought to steal the hearts of his 
father's subjects ; and Ahithophel, that was so 
proud that he could not endure a man in favour but 
himself, and therefore, when he saw Hushai's counsel 
received, and his rejected, went and hanged himself. 
So proud Haman, Esth. iii. 3, was so vexed with Mor- 
decai, that he could not be quiet till he had wrought 
his O'ivn destruction. And the reason of all is this, 
pro.sperity puffeth up and stealeth away the heart of 
man, making a man both to forget God and himself, 
and therefore prosperity is a very dangerous and 
slippery estate ; and howsoever it be much desired 
and admired, yet it is full of dangers, and hedged in 
with many peiils ; and howsoever many are dra^ni 
away from God through persecution and affliction, 
yet prosperity is more dangerous, for by it many 
more are drowned in sensuality, and even luUed 
asleep in carnal security. 

The third sort of men here reproved are the cove- 
tous cormorants of the world, such as make gold 
their god, love it and delight in it more than God, 
as if their chiefest happiness did consist in the multi- 
tude of their riches ; whereas indeed godliness alone 
hath the promise of this life and that which is to 
come. And of all other sins, our Saviour gives this 
caveat against this sin, saj-ing, 'Take heed and 
beware of covetousness,' Luke xii. 15. And this 
is that which the prophet David doth pray against, 
Ps. cxix. 36, when he saith, ' Incline my heart unto 
thy testimonies, and not unto covetousness.' Here- 
unto agreeth that exhortation of the apostle, ' If any 
man love this world, the love of my Father is not in 
him.' So then, whether we consider that covetous- 
ness is the root of all e-sal, or that there is a flat op- 
position between God and the world, we must hold 
this as an e\'ident truth, that there is no blessedness 
to be found in them. 

Use 2. This may seem to prove i that cursed, yet 
common opinion of the world, — namely, that of all 
men the godly man is most miserable. We see 
here that the Lord himself doth proclaim from 
heaven, that he accounteth the godly man a blessed 
and happy man ; but yet the world, that is, wicked 
men in the world, judge and deem the godly man 
wretched and miserable. Such a man as truly fear- 
eth God hates all iniquity, disliketh lewd company, 
makes conscience of good duties — as to pray in his 
family, to instruct his servants and children — is dili- 
gent and careful to frequent sermons ; this man is 
an owl amongst birds, hooted at and pointed at; men 
reproach him, and of all men he is most contemned. 
But as Paul saith, thus it must be ; we are brought 
upon the stage, we are made a gazing-stock to 
wicked men, and accounted as dung for Clirist's 

Use 3. This may serve to stop their mouths that 
say and think it is in vain to serve the Lord, that 
it is lost labour to be religious, that there is no good 
got by hearing of sermons and leading of a godly 
life. It is, and ever hath been, the cursed thought 
of man's heart to think so, as in the time of the 
prophet Malachi, ' It is lost labour to serve the Lord ; 
and what good comes there by serraig of God ? ' 
Mai. iii. 14. So in these days it is clear men think 

' Qviery, 'reiirove ' ? — Ed. 



[Vek. 1. 

it is in vain to be religious, to live godly, and in 
all things to labour to keep faith and a good con- 
science before God and men. 

Note. — But it is manifest here that it is not in 
vain, to serve God ; nay, it is that alone that brings 
a man "to happiness and true comfort here, and an 
eternal measure of glory in the world to come. And, 
withal, this may serve to comfort every jjoor child 
of God against all the discomforts and discourage- 
ment of the world by Satan and his cursed instru- 
ments, — namely, that whatsoever thy estate, be never 
so poor in this world, and subject to never so many 
afflictions and troubles, yet if thou be a godly man, 
certainly then thou art blessed. Thou that art in 
God's favour, thou that art reconciled to God in 
Jesus Christ, and hast thy sins and offences par- 
doned, eternal life belongs unto thee ; and therefore 
fear not, be not any whit discouraged, hold out unto 
the end ; certain it is thou art a blessed man, and in 
so doing thou shalt have a crown of life. 

Use 4. Hence we learn, that as many as desire to 
be truly happy and blessed, may here behold the 
way to be happy and blessed. Wouldst thou be 
truly happy and blessed here in this life, and here- 
after m the life to come ? wouldst be assured that 
thou art the child of God, in his favour, reconciled 
unto him in Jesus Christ 1 wouldst thou be assured 
of the salvation of thy soul? Oh labour then to 
become a godly and a religious man ! repent of thy 
sins past, amend thy life, walk before God in new 
obedience, labour to keep faith and a good conscience, 
hate every evil way, cleave unto the Lord, delight in 
his word, let it be the joy of thine heart; then cer- 
tainly thou shalt be blessed and happy for evermore. 

Use 5. To conclude, if the godly man be blessed, 
then the wcked man must of necessity be cursed ; if 
the estate of the righteous and religious man be so 
comfortable and blessed, then the estate of the 
wicked and ungodly must needs be miserable and 
cursed, according to that of Moses unto the Israel- 
ites, Deut. xx\'iii. 1, ' If thou yn\t not obey the voice 
of the Lord thy God,' — as indeed obedience is far from 
a wicked man, howsoever he may come with Saul's 
painted sacrifice ; what follows ? — ' thou shalt be 
cursed in body, and cursed in soul,' &c. Again, Ps. 
xi. 21, 'Thou hast de.stroyed the proud, and cursed 
are they that err from thy commandments.' And 

this misery of a wicked man doth consist in these 
things especially : — 

First, That he can have no assurance that he is 
the child of God, that he is reconciled to God in 
Jesus Christ, or in his favour ; nay, he may assure 
himself that he is out of his favour, and that God 
hates him as his enemy, and that he will manifest 
his wrath and displeasure upon him, by plaguing 
him here in this life, and by damnmg him for ever 
in the life to come. 

Yea, the Lord begins that condemnatory sentence 
in the heart of a wicked man in this life. For 
every sin which a wicked man doth commit, there 
ariseth many times within their consciences accus- 
ing thoughts ; and there is also a sentence within 
him, given out against him presently after he hath 
committed sin ; there is a sentence within him gone 
out against him — by themselves judgment is gone 
out against themselves ; which sentence albeit the 
wicked and ungodly man do not mark, yet the 
voice of his o^ai disordered affections crying out so 
loud, that he cannot hear this voice of his own 
conscience accusing and condemning him ; yet many 
times in this Hfe affection is silent, as to Belshazzar, 
Dan. v., and Judas, Mat. xxvii., and then the con- 
science doth pronounce sentence against him ■with a 
shrill voice. Now if a man's conscience do con- 
demn him, God is greater than his conscience, and 
wOl much more condemn him, 1 John iii. 20, 2L But 
assuredly in the day of judgment it will cry aloud 
in the ears of the Lord against the sinner for judg- 
ment and vengeance. And this is not the least 
misery under which the ■ndcked man remains, being 
out of Christ. 

Secondhj, He can have no assurance that his sins 
be pardoned, but rather may be assured that his 
sins stand up in account against him, and that he 
shall be condemned for them. For it is that pre- 
rogative which belongs only to the godly man, to 
have his sins covered, Ps. xxxii. 1, 2 — even the 
blessed man. But as for the wicked and ungodly, 
the Lord is far from justifying them ; but their sins 
remain yet in God's book of account, and shall 
assuredly one day be laid to their charge, when the 
book shall be opened, and their honible sins made 
manifest to the whole world, even to men and 
angels ; even these their most secret sins, which now 

Ver. 1.] 



they have committed never so closely in the dark, 
shall then come to light, and they shall not have so 
much as one fig-leaf to cover theii- nakedness, or one 
friend to speak so much as one word to the Lord 
Cliief Justice of heaven and earth ; but their own 
consciences, being as a thousand witnesses against 
them, they shall then be held even speechless, and 
the Lord will manifest upon them the fierceness of 
his wrath in that day. 

Third! I/, He can have no peace of conscience ; 
' For there is no peace to the mcked,' Isa. Ivii. 21. 
But always carries about him an e^dl conscience, 
that •n'ill never give him rest, but is as the flashings 
of hell-fire unto him ; or else he hath in him a dead 
and sleepy conscience, seared, as it were, with, a hot 
iron, that he feels not the weight and burden of his 
sins ; which judgment is no way inferior to the 
fonner. Oh miserable then is the state and con- 
dition of the bricked, that have no true peace in life 
nor death, nor after death ; for the Lord himself at 
the last shall be a judge and a witness against them ; 
Moses and the righteous servants of God shall be a 
■\ritness against them ; yea, the dust of their feet that 
brought the glad tiduigs of peace shall wtness 
against them ; the stones of the field, the posts of 
their houses, tliis moth-eaten garment, all shall 
come in against them to hinder their peace vnih 
God ; and their own conscience, will they, nill they, 
shall cry aloud, and say, ' Eighteous art thou, 
Lord, and true are thy judgments.' 

Fonrthh/, He can have no hope nor any assurance 
that he shall be saved, but is either carried away 
■vrith a carnal persuasion or presumption, (which 
wUl deceive him in the end,) their consciences being 
seared ; or else most justly fear that they shall be 
damned, their consciences being awake. Now then 
if this be the fearful and most woeful estate of all 
wicked men, that live in sin without repentance, who 
then would live in such an estate of life to gain a 
kingdom, in so great danger of eternal death and 
damnation every day they arise ? ^^Hiy do not such 
repent and turn imto God, that so they may be saved? 

Fifthly and lastly. If a man be out of Christ, 
unregenerate, let him abound never so much in 
wealth, live in honour, bathe himself in pleasures, 
yet remaining still in his sins, he can take no sound 
comfort in aiiv of these. For ' to tlicm that are 

defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even 
their minds and consciences are defiled,' Tit. i. 15. 

Their sweet savours and pleasant smells are 
stench, their meats and drinks are gall and worm- 
wood, their delicate fare is poison, their costly 
apparel as menstruous cloth, and their life a deatTi, 
and they shall one day answer for every bit of bread 
they have eaten, as thieves and usurpers of those 
things that are none of theirs, for of proper right 
they belong unto the godly man. And thus have we 
briefly seen wherein the wicked man is cursed and 

That doth not walk in the counsel of the, &c. 

Here the godly man's virtues be first set down by 
a negative contestation in these words, ' He that 
walketh not in the counsel of the wicked ; ' out of 
which we may observe that there is a counsel of the 
wicked, and this is either private amongst them- 
selves, or else public with others. 

Doct. The counsel of sinful and wicked men, 
which is private in themselves, is a rumination, or 
some other preparation in every ^vilful and intended 
sin. And hence it is that the schoolmen aflirm that 
co)isilimn, actus, exitus, must concur in every mlful 
intended sin : and this is very apparent by the 
example of Jezebel, 1 Kings xxi. 10, that when she 
perceived the king to be so heavy for that he could 
not get the vineyard of righteous Naboth, she coun- 
selled with herself what she might do, to the end 
she might obtain it ; and at last determined to-vvrite 
to the governors of the city in Ahab's name to pro- 
claim a fast, and to cause Naboth to be brought 
forth before the assembly and stoned to death. 
This is clear again by the example of David, 2 Sam. 
xii., when he, walking upon the roof of his palace, 
had cast his eyes upon the beauty of Bathsheba, he 
did first take this counsel within himself concerning 
an ecjuityi what she was; secondly, sent messengers 
unto her to move her to lie -vvith him ; and lastly, 
committed the act itself This might be further 
cleared by the example of Cain, Judas, and all to 
confirm the truth of this point unto us. 

Besides this private there is a counsel of the 
wcked public -with other, as in the days of Omri, 
when cruel and wicked statutes were made against 
the Lord and his people. So in the days of Jero- 

' Query, 'enquiry?' — Ed. 



[Ver. 1. 

boam, how did he take counsel, 1 Kings xii. 28, and 
at last concluded to make two calves for divine wor- 
ship, the one whereof he set at Bethel, the other at 
Dan? And in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 
iii. 1, what a decree was gone forth by the king, the 
lords, and nobles, touching the worship of the 
golden image that was set up in the plain of Dura, 
in the pro\ince of Babylon 1 So in the time of our 
Saviour Clirist, under the New Testament, the Jews 
had agreed together that all that confess Christ 
should be excommunicated, John ix. 22, and forbade 
the disciples from jDreaching any more in liis name, 
Acts iv. 18. And also in their council was our 
Saviour Clirist condemned to death. Mat. xxvi. 66. 

Beas. And the reason is clear for the further 
manifestation of the truth of this point : for as no 
man doth gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles, 
so what other fi-uit can be expected from such an 
unsavoury root, whose ' very minds and consciences 
are defiled,' Titus i. 13, but that all their whole con- 
sultations and actions should be imputed unholy and 

Use. Hence, then, we may observe that the doc- 
trine of the church of Rome touching this point is 
most false, that general councUs cannot err. But 
we have cleared this before, that they may eri" and 
do err ; for what should I speak of the second Nicene 
Council, which set up idolatry, and gave bodies to 
angels and the souls of men ? Councils therefore have 
been misled, and may err. 

Now the prophet proceeds further to shew who is 
a godly man, and what be his properties, and teacli- 
cth us in these words, that the first step and entrance 
to the leading of a godly Ufe is to renounce the 
counsel and company of lewd, wicked, and ungodly 
men : whence we observe this doctrine. 

Bod. 2. That he that would preserve himself from 
sin must carefully avoid all the occasions thereof. 
The wise man teacheth this doctrine, that ' he that 
walketh ■with the ^vise shaU be wiser ; but a com- 
panion of fools shall be worser,' Prov. xiii. 20. 
This doth appear by the example of Jonathan, who 
by the friendship and familiarity which he had with 
David changed liis life to better : whereas Solomon, 
by society and conjunction witli the idolatrous wives, 
fell into idolatry ; and Rehoboam, by walking irith 
his young counsellors, and following their advice, 

became worse and worse, 1 Kings xi. If, then, we 
would avoid evil, we must beware of all occasions, 
and no occasions more dangerous than e^-il company ; 
every man therefore must take heed to himself, and 
beware how he joineth himself with acquaintance 
with all men indifferently, lest by their means he be 
corrupted. For every man by nature is hke dry 
wood, which is apt to kindle so soon as fire is put to 
it, so give a man the least occasion, and presently 
he yieldeth to sin. There needs not indeed any 
devil to tempt us,i but let the least occasion that 
is be offered unto us, and straightway man becometh 
a tempter unto himself And this is that which 
the apostle saith, James i. 14, 'Every man is tempted 
when he is drawn away and enticed by his own 
concupiscence.' The enemy by which we are over- 
come is in our own bosom, — that is, man's natural 
coniiption, wliicli is fuel for the kindhng of the fire 
of Satan's temptations. Tliis appears in Eve, the 
mother of us all, in the first transgression : first. She 
saw the fruit ; secondly. She conceived a liking of it ; 
thirdly. She desired it ; fourthly, She ate of it. 
Dmah, the daughter of Jacob, wandering abroad, 
laid herself open unto sin, and so fell, which might 
have been prevented had she avoided the occasions 
thereof. Gen. xxxiv. 

And David, a man after Clod's own heart, ha-vdng 
set open the casement of his soul, his eyes, (by the 
which the de\'il did easily wind himself into liis 
heart,) and beheld Bathsheba washing herself, 
2 Sam. xi. ; but by and by he lusted after her, sent 
for her and lay with her : so -violent is man's corrupt 
nature in comprehending every occasion that might 
draw him to sin. It is therefore a point of great 
wisdom to discern between the deceit of sin and the 
fruit of sin before it be committed. flattering 
enemy ! In the action of committing, it is sweet as 
poison : after it is committed, a biting serpent. It 
comes to a man ■with a smiUng countenance, as Joab 
unto Amasa, ' Art thou in health, my friend '? ' but 
withal it strikes to the heart and wounds unto 

Use 1. This doctrine serveth for the reproof of 
those who are so far from the avoiding of the occa- 
sions of sin, as that they do freely and of their own 
accord seek and follow after them ; they will not 

' Mecum est quicquid mihi noccre potest. — Bernard, Med. xi. 

Ver. 1.] 



tnrrj- with Josppli till they be tempted by others, 
but they seek all occasions, and watch all opportu- 
nities to tempt others. Never ravenous beast did 
more eagerly pursue the prey than some do hunt 
after the occasions of sin ; which is madness with a 
witness, as if the flesh were not prone enough of 
itself unto that which is evil, but that pains must be 
taken to help it forward to sin. Oh, then, how 
carefid ought we to be to watch over our ways, and 
to avoid all tlie occasions of sin ! Counterguard thy 
heart, saith Solomon, and keep it with watch and 
ward, Prov. iv. 23 ; look unto the casements of thy 
soul, tliy eyes and thy ears. Pray wdth David, 
' Lord, turn away my eyes from beholding vanity,' 
Ps. cxix. 37 ; make a covenant with them with Job, 
chap. xxxi. What foUy, nay, what madness is it 
tlien in them that dare come into any company, that 
dare look and pry into the beauty of a woman, as 
though they were so strong that they were out of 
all danger to sin ! But art thou more holy or 
strong than David, Peter, &c. 1 If not, thou must 

Uf:e 2. Let all godly men and women take heed, 
let them fear themselves and doubt the worst. 
' Blessed is the man that feareth always, but he 
that hardeneth his heart shall not prosper.' We 
must at all times have especial regard to the heart, 
or else we cannot stand. Such and so many are the 
assaidts that Satan doth lay against our souls ; this 
is that wholesome counsel that the apostle St Peter 
doth lay down unto us, who was both acquainted 
i\ith tlie frailty of man's nature and the malice of 
Satan, when he saith, ' Be sober and watch, for your 
adversarj' the de\-il,' &c., 1 Pet. v. 8. ^^'^lere he 
joineth unto sobriety watchfulness ; for thoxigh a 
man be never so sober, yet if he do not watch 
withal, and that against the occasions of sin, he is 
easily made a prey to Satan. And for want of this 
care and watchfulness, many of God's children have 
been overtaken, and have fell into many horrible 
and grievous sins, which they could not so easily 
have done had they been watchful over their o^i-n 
affections. And thus much for the first doctrine in 
the description of a godly man, he must carefully 
avoid all occasions of sin. 

That doth not walk in the counsel of the wicked, &c. 

Here the prophet Da\'id shews who is a godly 

man, and what be his jiroperties. First, as we have 
heard, he avoids all occasions of sin ; so now, in the 
second place, the counsel and company of lewd, 
wicked, and ungodly men. A godly man, and such 
a one as shall be truly happy and blessed indeed, 
doth distaste and dislike, yea, utterly renounce and 
abhor their society and company, their counsels and 
consultations, so as he doth shun and avoid them as 
dangerous and infectious ; from whence we gather a 
second point of doctrine. 

Doct. 2. That men must carefully shun and avoid 
the company of the iricked, it is very apparent, if 
they themselves will not be defiled with their abomi- 
nation ; for that rule of Solomon will stand, ' He 
that toucheth pitch shall be defiled.' Bad company 
is exceeding pernicious and hurtful, either to dis- 
suade from that which is truly good, or to jiersuade 
to that which is naught and wicked. Da^id maketh 
it the mark of a true member of the church, that ' in 
his eyes a vile person is contemned.' And the 
apostle willeth all Christians who look for glory 
through Christ, that they would have nothing to do 
with the unfruitful works of darkness. And again, 
this indeed is ' pure religion and undefiled, to keep 
ourselves unspotted of the world.' This the apostle 
St Paul urgeth, ' Be not unequally yoked with in- 
fidels, for what fellowship hath righteousness with 
unrighteousness V It is the exhortation of Solomon, 
' Forsake the \^^cked, and ye shall live.' Joseph, 
Uvmg in the court of Pharaoh, had quickly learned 
to swear by the life of Pharaoh ; and we know that 
it was in the common hall, amongst the servants of 
the high priests, that Peter had learned to curse and 
to swear. It were no less than treason in a subject 
to live in friendship vnih. one that is a professed 
enemy to the king ; much more is it treason in the 
subjects of the King of heaven to have society with 
the wicked ; and this is observed to be the fault of 
Jehoshaphat, that he would help the wicked, and 
love them that hate the Lord. Such are even odious 
unto God, as David saith, 'Thou hatest all them 
that work iniquity.' Besides their company is ex- 
ceeding dangerous, for the wrath of God hangeth 
over the head of the ungodly. This we may see in 
Lot, who for the fruitfuluess of the place was drawn 
to live in Sodom, where the men were -(vicked. Gen. 
xix. So when they were taken prisoners. Lot was 




[Ver. 1. 

taken prisoner with them; and had not the Lord 
been exceeding merciful unto him he had perished 
with them in the general overthrow of that city. 
And this was the voice of God from heaven concern- 
ing Babylon, ' Go out of her, my people, that ye be 
not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of 
her plagues,' Rev. x^dii. 4. And this was the cause 
why the Lord gave so strait a charge to the people 
of Israel, that they should have no dealing at all 
with the inhabitants of the land of Caanan, Exod. 
xxiii. 32, ' Thou shalt make no covenant wdth them, 
nor with their gods : neither shall they dwell in thy 
land, lest they make thee sin against me, neither 
shalt thou make any marriages ivith them, neither 
give thy daughter to his son, nor take his son to thy 
daughter, for they will cause thy son to fall away 
from me, and to serve other gods.' And how true 
this threatening from the Lord was, the event 
maketh it manifest ; for they, neglecting this com- 
mandment from God, ' were mingled amongst the 
heathen, and learned their works,' as David saith, 
Ps. cvi. 35 ; and woeful experience doth prove this 
to be true of many who have sometime been indif- 
ferently conformable to good duties, afterwards fall- 
ing into wicked and lewd company, have been 
corrupted and grown dissolute. Oh, what stumbling 
blocks are such unto a man for the performance of 
any good duty ! This did David know full well 
when he said, ' Away from me, ye wicked, I will keejj 
the commandments of my God,' Ps. cxix. 115, in- 
sinuating thereby, as may easily be gathered, that 
he could not set himself to the perfomiance of any 
holy duty, as he ought, so long as such wicked com- 
pany were about him ; yea, it hath been a grief 
unto the godly to have been in the company of un- 
godly persons. As Lot living in Sodom, when he 
saw their filthy abominations, ' it vexed his right- 
eous soul,' 1 Pet. ii. 7. And this was it that made 
David bemoan his estate in the time of his banish- 
ment, when he was constrained to abide amongst 
the uncircumcised people, ' Woe is me that I re- 
main in Mesech, and to dwell in the tents of Kedar. 
My soul hath long dwelt among those that be 
enemies unto peace.' By all tliis that hath been 
spoken, it doth appear that godly and %nrtuous men, 
who shall be happy and blessed indeed, do carefully 
shun and avoid the lewd company of the wicked. 

Use 1. This doctrine, in the first place, doth serve 
to reprove all such as are careless of their company, 
that can use as much familiarity, and shew as good 
a countenance to the worst, and make them as 
welcome as the best, be they what they ■\\ill be, 
Papists or Atheists ; yea, let them be as profane as 
Esau, he is, notwithstanding, for their comjiany ; 
but by this means they do little think that they do 
hazard both faith and a good conscience, and cause 
the godly themselves to suspect them, that they are 
but profane. And indeed it cannot be otherwise ; 
but if they themselves did make any conscience of 
sin, they would likewise make conscience of the 
occasions of sin, whereof what can be worse than 
lewd company, who are ready to make a mock at 
every good duty, and whose nature is to have other 
men to ' run into the same excess of riot ' vnth 
themselves ? 1 Pet. iv. 4. Yea, when a man or a 
woman hath some good things in them, as to love 
the word of God, to like of God's faithful ministers, 
to delight in prayer, &c., in comes a wicked man- 
and breathes out his poison, seeking by bad counsel 
and lewd persuasions to dissuade them and draw 
them back. Oh, you love the minister too much. 
He will make you precise. You need not take such 
pains, but take your liberty. \Vliat need you be 
afraid of them ? Oh, when such ■wretches step in, 
and thus pour out their lewd counsels and persua- 
sions, what do they else but draw men to perdition ; 
especially when they do deal with such as be young 
Christians, but coming on in the ways of godUness ? 
And when they speak that to great personages, who 
by nature are most inclined to liberty, oh what lets 
are to a young Christian in the way of godliness ! 

Note. And when the Lord leaves a man or a 
woman to listen to such cursed counsel, it is a great 
sign that the Lord loves them not. So it is said 
that the Lord left Absalom, that he should not 
receive the good counsel of Ahithophel, because the 
Lord would destroy Absalom. So it is said of Reho- 
boam, that he listened only to the counsel of his 
young men, because the Lord would bring his judg- 
ments upon the house of Solomon. 

Use 2. This should admonish all men to take 
heed of such kind of men, as the very limbs of the 
devil, and the messengers of Satan, who seek to draw 
men from God, and from Jesus Christ, and from 

Veu. 1.] 



a gocUy life, to stop our ears at their lewd and 
damnal)le counsels, not to hear them, nor to listen 
to tliein ; yea, if it lie in our power, to remove 
them, and to banish them our presence as the 
greater enemies of our souls, and the messengers of 
the devil, seeking to pervert and poison our poor 
souls, to put our mouths out of taste, and to make 
us dislike those that axe sent of God, who ought to 
be most dear unto us. 

Object. It ^^■ill be here objected, whether it be not 
lawful upon some occasion to be in their company, 
or to have dealings with i^dcked men 1 

Anm-er. In some case it is lavrful, as thus — 
first, That it be only for necessity, as that we 
cannot avoid it in ordinary matters of this life 
unless we should go out of the world ; secondly, 
That we have a due calling thereunto ; thirdly, 
That we be not silent at the conuuitting of sin, but 
that ever we shew our dishke of tlieii- vain courses ; 
and lastly, That we labour with ourselves to be 
grieved at their sins, as Lot was at the Sodomites. 

In the counsel of the nicked, &c. 

Here the original word signifies such wicked men 
as are never quiet in their minds, but evermore 
musing and devising some mischief, which they may 
utter and practise as occasion serves. 

Doct. .3. And in tliis, note the very property of a 
^\'icked and gi-aceless man. He is never at rest, but 
still plotting and devising some mischief against God 
or good men. This we may see by divers examples. 
Ahithophel's counsel was esteemed like as one had 
asked counsel at the oracle of God, 2 Sam. xvi. 
The like we may see in Herod. "When he heard of 
the birth of Clirist, as of a new-born king, what 
policy did he use to de.stroy the Saviour of the 
world ! The Scribes and Pharisees, how carefully 
did they consult and take counsel together against 
Christ to put liim to death, Mat. xxvi. Yea, they 
brake their sleep about it. Wi\a\ the Jews (Jer. 
xviii. 18) could not endiu^e Jeremiah to preach plain, 
and to teU them of their sins, they therefore by-and- 
by say thus : ' Come let us devise and imagine 
some mischief against the prophet of the Lord. Let 
us smite him \i'ith the tongue. Let us take no heed 
nor give any ear to his preaching.' So Haman 
de\iseth how to put Mordecai and the Jews out of 
favour, by de\'ising a most ^ile accusation, Esth. 

iii. So Doeg, that black-mouthed dog, devised how 
to accuse David to Saul, 1 Sam. xxii. 9. So those 
wicked rulers did devise to invent some mischief 
against Daniel, Dan. iii. And the prophet Micah 
sheweth that it is an old practice of the wicked 
man to devise wicked things. In the primitive 
church, the enemies of God's children, that perse- 
cuted the Christians, devised this shameful slander, 
that they worshipped an ass's head, &c. So, in 
these days it is manifest that the de\al stirs up 
vncked men to accuse God's children ; to devise 
slanders and false accusations against them. The 
devil hath one Doeg or other to accuse David to 
Saul, to thrust him out of favour, and to bring him 
into disgrace. And whenas they can say nothing 
justly against them, then they begin to devise how 
they may raise up some false report or other to 
smite them vrith the tongue. 

And the reason of this is, because they are foohsh 
and ignorant. For they, not knowing the Lord, nor 
understanding his ways aright, but being in this re- 
spect worse than the ox that knoweth his owner, 
and the ass that knoweth liis master's crib, (as the 
Lord doth complain of them, Isa. i. 2,) they cannot 
but do as St Paul did in the time of his ignorance, 
even oppose themselves against God and his chil- 
dren. And for this cause the Lord doth make his 
moan for the foolishness and ignoi'auce of his people, 
as of the well-spring of all their rebellions against 
him, in these words, 'For my people are foolish, 
they have not known me ; they are fooUsli cliildren, 
and have none understanding. They are mse to do 
evil, but to do well they have no knowledge.' 

Use 1. Seeing we are taught here what is the 
nature of wicked men, — namely, that they have in 
them a restless desire to pervert the ways of the 
godly, and to do some mischief, — this must teach us 
fii'st of all to deal \visely and warily with them, lest , 
we be corrupted by them. We are here set as 
upon a liill, or a stage, and professing Jesus Christ, 
a small spot ■will be seen in our garment. It be- 
hoveth us therefore to be as wise as serpents, and as 
innocent as doves, Mat. x. IG, to the end we may 
stop the mouths of gainsayers, and cut off occasions 
from them that seek occasions. And to this end we 
must evennore be mindful in our prayers, to pray 
unto God to be delivered from them ; for unless we 



[Ver. 1. 

be armed from .above, we sliall easily be overtaken 
by their assaults, and tlirough the cornii^tions of our 
own hearts, which are prone to all sin ; they deal 
warily and circumspectly, tliey work by all means to 
pervert our ways, and to make us twofold worse 
than themselves the child of Satan. How much 
more careful ought we to be to prevent them 1 which 
we shall do the better by shunning the occasions of 

Use 2. Secondly, We are taught here, that if we 
labour to be the disciples of Christ, and to be 
blessed, what entertainment we shall find in the 
world, — namely, to have wicked and ungodly men 
to stand in our way and hinder us, as they did stand 
in Zaccheus's way, when he went forth to see Christ, 
Luke xdx. If thou be once in God's presence, and 
dost begin to call upon him for mercy, they will re- 
buke thee, as they did the poor blind man in the 
Gospel, Luke x\'iii. 39. If thou be sick, yea, dead 
in trespasses and sins, and Christ doth begin to 
come home to the house of thy soul to heal thee, and 
to raise thee up from the death of thy sins, they will 
stop his passage and entrance in if possible they can ; 
as they did when Christ came to the ruler's daughter 
which was dead. Mat. ix. 23. But as Christ turned 
them out of doors, saying, ' Get ye hence,' so must 
thou shake them off, and not communicate mth flesh 
and blood, in matters that concern eternal life, and 
the salvation of thy soul ; for if thou do, thou canst 
never be saved. Neither must we look after the 
love and lOdng of the world, nor hang upon men for 
their applause and favour; for where there is not 
the fear of God, surely such men are most uncon- 
stant in their ways, turning upon everj' small occa- 
sion ; yea, and the love and favour of such men 
must needs be bent towards the worst, seeing them- 
selves are bad, and set themselves in no good way. 
Eemember what Christ said unto liis disciples, John 
XV. 19, 'If ye were of the world, the world would 
love his own ; but because ye are not of the world, 
but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore 
the world hateth you.' Wherefore as they that run 
at tilt, look not to the \-ulgar people what they say, 
but to the judges ; so care not thou for the world, 
but look ever what the judge of heaven and earth 
(loth allow and approve of 

That hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked. 

By counsel he here meaneth the subtleties and craft 
of the -(vicked, by which they push themselves for- 
ward, and labour to draw others to be like unto 
themselves, according to that of Solomon, ' My son, 
if sinners entice thee, consent not \into them.' 
From whence we gather a fourth point of doctrine. 

Doct. 4. Namely, That it is a most horrible and 
grievous sin to give evil counsel. To commit sin is 
that which highly offends the majestj- of God, and 
draweth do'mi upon us aU punishments, both tem- 
poral and eternal : but to counsel others to commit 
sin is the very height of sin. 

This is noted in the Scripture to be the sin of 
Jezebel, who was a furtherer of Aliab's wickedness, 
1 Kings xxi. 7, for when he could not by any law- 
ful means attain the vineyard of Naboth, she said 
unto him, ' Doest thou sway the sceptre, rule the 
kingdom, and manage the state? Arise and eat 
bread, I will give thee the vineyard.' This was the 
counsel of Ahithophel unto Absalom, 2 Sam. x^-i. 21. 
Fearing his reconciliation to his father Da'vid, and 
therein his own just confusion, he gives such counsel 
whereby he might take away aU hope of agreement, 
' Go in to thy father's concubines, which he hath left 
to keep the house, and when all Israel shall hear 
thou art abhorred of thy father, the hands of all 
that are with thee shall be strong.' This is likewise 
set down by Solomon in the Proverbs, when he ex- 
presseth the sin of seducers, sajing, Prov. i. 11, 
' Come with us, let us lie in wait for the blood of 
the innocents, we wiU swallow them up alive Hke a 
grave even whole, as those that go down into a pit. 
Cast in thy lot amongst us, we will all have one 
purse ; their feet nm to evil, and they make haste to 
shed blood.' And this doth appear in the brethren 
of Joseph, when they purposed the overthrow of 
their brother. Gen. xxx\'ii. 10, ' Come,' say they, 
' let us .slay him and cast him into some pit, and we 
shall say a bricked beast hath devoured him.' And 
tliis appeared to be the malice of the high priests 
and elders of the people, who moved the people to 
desire that Barabbas might be delivered rather than 
Christ, and persuaded Judas for a sum of money to 
betray him : enticed the soldiers with a great sum 
of money to noise it abroad that his disciples came 
by night and stole him away while they slept, Mat. 
xxAaii. 12. AU these testimonies, and many more. 

Ver. 1,] 



may serve for the confirmation of this doctrine, that 
it is a most horrible and grievous sin to give evil 

Seeing that it is a most gi'cat and grievous sin to 
give e^dl counsel, this teacheth us our duty, that 
whensoever they shall set upon us to draw us away 
from God, that we be careful that we consent not 
unto them. It is not enough for a man to say, 
Alas, I demised it not, neither am I the first that 
have committed the like, for this shall excuse no 
man, that lie was not the author of an evil. For 
surely if it be so great a sin to seduce, it is no less 
sin to be seduced, and God will one day find them 
no less guilty, but shall partake ^vith them of the 
same punishment. If a man should have about him 
a great sum of money, or other treasure, and should 
wiUuigly and wittingly put himself into the com- 
pany of thieves, and vnll be di-awn by them out of 
the way, were tliis man to be pitied if he should 
lose all that he had I Even so it is with a Christian, 
that doth carry daily about with him a rich treasure, 
his soul and conscience, which he must keep un- 
spotted of the world ; if he listen to the charming of 
the wicked, and will be dra'wn out of the way of 
God's commandments to commit sin and to make 
shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, is it not 
just vfith God that this man should perish for the 
same ? So, then, we see it standeth us in hand to 
beware of consentmg to sin, and counselling others 
to commit sin : for if we give our consent unto them 
we are partakers vfith them in their T\-ickedness, and 
shall be sure one day to have share mtb them in 
their punishments. 

Use 2. Secondly, Seeing the gi'\'ing of evil counsel 
is so evil a sin, both in him that doth counsel an- 
other, as also in liim that consenteth unto it, both 
which we must carefuUy shun and avoid ; yet this 
is not all, but we must also seek for the society of 
the godly, that all our dehght may be in them ; we 
must by all means join ourselves in friendship with 
them, and make much of their assemblies. For 
wth the upright thou shalt learn to be upright. 
This Solomon teacheth us, ' He that walketh -(nth 
the wise shall be wiser.' It is, indeed, a rare thing 
to find a man that ^vill counsel others to follow god- 
liness, and therefore such as do are much to be re- 
spected ; love him as the dearest friend that ^rill 

direct thee in the ways of salvation, and be a guide 
unto thee in the path that shall lead unto life. Let 
it be far from thee to be ashamed to follow the coun- 
sel of such as are discreet and godly, it is not mate- 
rial who they be, whether our superiors, or equals, 
or oui- inferiors, for the counsellor is not so much 
to be regarded as the counsel. If it be holy, just, 
and good, receive it as from God, who thus speaketh 
unto thee by his servant. If it be evil, reject it as 
coming from the devil, who speaketh by liis instra- 

That hath not walked, &c. 

The last thing that we have now to consider out of 
the first part of the description of a godly man is 
this, ' He hath not walked,' &c. By walking, the 
prophet Da\id here meaneth (according to an usual 
metaphor in Scripture) a common, usual course of a 
man's behaviour, or their ordinary trade of life. 
And the word which is here used is rendered in a 
tense or time, which, in the own tongue, noteth a 
continuance of walldng, even all the days of then- 
life. For otherwise who can say his heart is free, 
but that at some time or other the counsel or bad 
example of the mcked hath prevailed with him ; 
but that is not meant here in this place, when a 
man hath withdrawn himself from their lewd con- 
versations, and betaken himself to the ways of God's 
commandments. From whence we gather a twofold 
doctrine : first, that the falls, slips, and infirmities 
of God's cliilcben are many and great, which many 
times they fall into, and yet cannot piroperly be said 
to walk in them, because they rise daily out of the 
same; and secondly, That 'to walk,' it is said of 
the godly, in respect of God's commandments, be- 
cause, as it is in the second verse, ' here is their de- 

JJocf. 5. It is most true that there are the seeds 
of all sin whatsoever, naturally rooted and inbred with 
us, which, if they be not prevented, are ready to 
break out upon any occasion that shall be ofiered. 
And howsoever the godly do desire to please God, 
and endeavour to serve God in truth and sincerity 
of heart, yet do they often stumble in their race, 
through the bui'den that presseth down, and the sin 
that hangeth on so fast. This trath is confessed by 
Solomon in his worthy prayer at the dedication of 
the temple, 1 Kings \aii. 46, ' If any man sin against 



[Ver. 1. 

thee, (for there is none that sinueth not,) if he turn 
again with all his heart,' itc. Again, Job xv. 14, 
' What is man that he should be clean, and he that 
is bom of a woman that he should be just 1 ' Again, 
' All are gone out of the way, they are all corrupt, 
there is none that doeth good, no not one,' Ps. xiv. 
Most woeful and fearful was the fall of David, as 
the Scripture hath recorded it, 2 Sam. xi. It may 
seem very strange that a man as Da\'id was, even 
after God's own heart, could possibly fall so far as 
he did. For if we consider the circumstances and 
degrees of his sin, it ^nll appear that (final impeni- 
tence excepted) a reprobate could scarce commit a 
greater. For first he committed adultery with 
Uriah's wife ; when this was done he glavereth and 
flattereth with the woman's husband, and bade 
him go home to refresh himself with his wife, think- 
ing thereby to father the bastard on him. \^1len 
this succeeded not he went further, and unto his 
adultery he added murder, that he might bear, as 
the grief of it in his heart, so the shame of it in Iris 
forehead. And in this he wrought worse than Jeze- 
bel, for he makes Uriah the messenger to carry the 
letters for his own execution. What shall I say of 
Noali, of Lot, Peter, &c. ? I need not to stand on 
this doctrine, seeing woeful experience in all the 
godly doth prove it to be true. 

Use 1. It may teach us that we be not too rash in 
judging and condemning our bretliren. We see by 
this that hath lieen delivered that the dear child of 
God may fall most grievously and lowly, and yet be 
restored again to the favour of God, because he 
doth not walk on in sin, as the wicked do. But 
whensoever, through the temptations of Satan, or 
'the frailty of his own flesh, he falls into sin, forth- 
with with Peter he goes out of that sin, and weeps 
bitterly for the same. And therefore, as St James 
saith : chap. iv. 1 2, ' Who art thou that judgeth 
another man ? ' We may not set bounds and limits 
to God's mercy, to say that any shall finally be 
damned, howsoever a man may be in the state of 
damnation for a time, — this were to sit in God's 
chair. Let us all acknowledge ourselves to be but 
men, and let none usurp the authority of God's 
iudgment. Let us therefore consider what we our- 
selves are before we cast our eyes upon other men ; 
for they are the most sharp and severe judges of 

their brethren that forget then- own infirmities. 
And I doubt not but all the children of God do 
know by ex]3erience in themselves how hai'dly sin 
is subdued and mastered in them. How many 
sighs and groans it requireth, how many prayers 
and tears doth it cost them ! AVhat a striving and 
struggling they have mthin themselves to keep it 
under, and yet for all this it is very hardly sub- 
dued ; so that the knowledge of our own weakness 
and unwortluness must arm us with meekness to- 
wards our brethren. 

Use 2. By the rule of this doctrine we are admon- 
ished to be very wary and cii'cumspect over our- 
selves. Did David fall, did Lot, Noah, Peter, &c., 
fall? Oh, whither shaU we faU if God do but a 
little leave us to ourselves 1 VTho dare presume of 
his own strength and worthiness, when such worthy 
pillars as these have been shaken? Yea, the 
lamentable shipwreck of such men as these may 
make us to fear a tempest before it do come. It is 
the devil's crafty counsel and subtle poUcy to make 
us overween ourselves, and to make us boast and 
presume of ourselves. For the devil doth know full 
well that this lifting of a man up, is the very next 
way to tumble and throw him down ; as Solomon 
saith, ' Pride goeth before destruction, and an high 
mind before the fall,' Prov. xvi. 18. And therefore 
acloiowledging our o^vn want of strength, and our 
own inability to stand ^vithout the assistance of 
God's Spiiit, let us ' not be high-minded, but fear,' 
Eom. xi. 20. And this we have seen that the falls 
and sHps of God's cliildi'en are many and great, 
which notwithstanding cannot hinder their happi- 
ness, because they icalk not in them, — that is, they 
make it not their continual practice to live and de- 
light in sin. 

Dod. 6. Now we are come to the second, which 
doth note imto us that the godly man, who shall 
be traly happy and blessed indeed, is so far from 
making his life a life of sin, as that he doth rather 
in the whole course of the same walk wth God in 

For therefore indeed is our course of new life 
compared to a ivay, to shew that the godly must 
always be walking in it from the beginning of their 
course unto the end of the same. It was the com- 
mendations of Enoch and Noah that, notwithstand- 

Vek. 1.] 



i:ig the days and times ■vvliereiii they lived were 
dangerous, j-et they ' walked with God,' Geu. v. 22 ; 
vi. 9, — that is, they considered more the command- 
ments of God, what he had appomted, than what 
was practised ; and desired rather to be approved of 
God through their obedience, than through their 
disobedience to piu'chase the favour of men. It was 
the charge given by God unto Abraham, 'Walk 
before me,' Gen. xvii. 1, — that is, let it ever be thy 
care, that seeing I am present everywhere and privy 
to all thy counsels, that thou walkest as in my sight. 
And this was the best testimony that Solomon 
could give of his father Da\'id, that 'he walked 
before God in truth and m righteousness,' 1 Kings 
iii. 6. Yea, this did minister comfort to godly 
Hezekiah, when he thought he should die : ' Re- 
member, Lord, that I have walked before thee in 
truth,' Isa. xxx"\dii. 3. And to this agTeeth that of 
the Apostle Paul, who ' forgat that which was 
behind, and endeavoured himself to that which was 
before, and followed hard towards the mark, to the 
prize of the high caUiug of God in Jesus Clirist,' 
Phil. iii. 12. He was not like unto a vain and 
foolish man who, miming in a race, will be ever and 
anon looking back to see how much gi-ound he had 
rid ; but his eye was always upon the mark or goal, 
to consider how much he had to run, how far off 
he was from perfection, and what he had more to 
do in his Cliristian com-se, that he might finish the 
same with joy. It is the end that makes all : ' He 
that shall endure to the end shall be saved.' Our 
Sa\'ioui' saith not there, that he that endureth for a 
season, but he that contiuueth to the end ; not 
every one that fighteth, but he that overcometh shall 
receive a crown of life. These examples do show us 
how the godly have walked ; and these and the like 
precepts teach us we should walk so as in the end 
we may be blessed. 

Use 1 . Hence we ai'e taught this lesson, that we must 
never be weary of well-doing ; seeing that persever- 
ance only hath the promise of reward, we must not 
depart out of the Egj^t of sin, and then with the 
Israehtes, and with Lot's wife, look back to the 
Sodom of theii- sins, but remember that thou owest 
unto God all thy days. ' The trees planted in the 
Lord's house, bring forth fniit in their age,' Ps. xcii. 
1 3 ; and they which do not so shall be ' \\(i\n\ down 

and cast into the fire,' Mat. iii. 10. It was the com- 
mendation of the church of Thyatira, that her 
'works were more at last than at first,' Rev. ii. 19, 
a reproof of their folly who, ha\ing kept the path 
of righteousness for a time, do after walk in no good 
way, but think with one jump to leap into heaven 
with a Lord, have mercy on me, at the last. But know, 
thou vain man, that thou must walk in the way, 
— that is, thou must use all good means for the at- 
taining of life and salvation, thou must hear the 
word diUgently and carefully, pray, read, &c. 

I doubt not but the serious thinking upon this, 
that God challengeth every day at our hands, yea, 
all the days of our Hfe, to be spent in his sci-vice, 
win refoi-m many cori-uptions in us. For, alas ! the 
care of the most is how they may keep credit with 
men, though they purchase God's displeasure, which 
will then stand such in little stead, when all things 
shall come to receive their due trial; even 'every 
work done in the body, whether it be good or evil,' 
2 Cor. V. 10. And thus much for the first part of 
the description of a godly man negatively, ' He doth 
not walk in the counsel of the wicked.' 
Nor stand in the way of sinners. 
That is, a godly man doth not settle himself to 
hve as wicked men do, nor frame his life after their 
lewd example ; where we are to observe two points. 
First, That there is a way of sinners, in which the 
ungodly stand. Secondly, That the godly stand not 
in it. 

First, then. That there is a way of sinners, in the 
which they stand and live. It is very apjJarent, 
called in the Scriptures by divers names ; as by the 
name of the way of the ungodly. ' The Lord know- 
eth the way of the righteous, but the way of the 
■wicked shall perish.' 

Doct. 1. It is tenned an evil way, the way of 
lying, a wicked way, &c. And by these ways we 
are stOl to understand the bourse of life and conver- 
sation of the wicked ; wherein we are taught this 
doctrine, that notwithstanding all the means that 
God and man doth use to the contrary, the wicked 
man will still persist and go on in sin, which is here 
understood out of the word stand. This appeareth 
in the example of Cain, albeit he were admonished 
and reproved of God for his wrath and malice con- 
ceived against his brother, Gen. iv. G ; vet for all 



[Ver. 1. 

that, Cain will please himself in his own way, and 
never rest till he have shed the innocent blood of 
his own brother. This is seen Ukewise in the ex- 
ample of the old world, when the Lord saw that the 
wickedness of man was great, and all the imagina- 
tions of the thoughts of his heart were only evil con- 
tinually, and how they pleased themselves in this 
way, the Lord stirred up Noah, the preacher of 
righteousness, who warned them from God ; yet 
they would continue still in their own ways, gi'ving 
themselves to nothing but eating and driuking, and 
all excess, till the flood came and swept them clean 
away, Gen. vi. 5. This is clear Ukewise by the ex- 
ample of Pharaoh, on whom all means were assayed 
for his conversion, Exod. ix. 10 ; for what could the 
Lord do unto him that he did not 1 He sent Moses 
and Aaron unto him, warning him from God to let 
the people of Israel go, and to that end sent judg- 
ment upon judgment, one ujjon the neck of another, 
even ten in number ; yet for all tliis, Pharaoh chose 
rather to continue still in his o^vn way, and would 
none of the Lord's. So it is that saying of Solomon, 
Prov. xxvii. 22, ' Bray a fool m a mortar, yet will 
not his foolishness depart from him.' And no mar- 
vel, for the spirit of slumber hath so covered their 
eyes, that they cannot see ; and then- hearts are so 
possessed with spiritual fornication, which makes 
them thus to go a-whoring from God, even haled 
with the fury of then' own aifections, snared of the 
devil, and taken of him at his ^vill. Oh miserable 
and unhappy condition ! Fearful is the woe that 
lies upon all those that thus walk in their own ways. 
For most certain it is, that ' they who are Christ's 
have crucified the flesh with the afiections and lusts,' 
so far, as that they have made choice of the Lord's 
way, howsoever many times they may stumble and 
fall in walking therein. But of the wicked it may 
truly be said of them, ' The way of peace have they 
not known.' 

Use 2. We heard before, that we ought not to pro- 
ceed so far with any, as to judge of their final estate 
and condition ; for that were to sit in God's chair, 
and to take his oflice upon him. Yet to say of some, 
that they are in the state of damnation and, unless 
they repent, shall perish for ever, doubtless this is 
not unhwful ; for as love bids me not to determine 
too soon, so not to be abused too late. God bids me 

look upon the tree, and judge of the fruit. I may 
say thou art in the state of damnation, for I see thy 
heart through thy hand. But whether thou shalt 
finally be damned, there I leave thee ; for God may 
have mercy upon thee upon thy last repentance. I 
may come to a tree, and say. Here is Httle fruit ; or, 
Here is no fruit ; or. Here is bad fruit. But I can- 
not say, Never fruit grow on it more. But alas, 
alas, this is not all, this is not all that wicked men 
are thus discovered to men, but that the Lord will 
find them out, and give them their portion in the 
lake of fii-e. And indeed, this is that that ought to be 
a terror to all the wicked and ungodly to consider, 
that as their hearts ai'e hardened and their con- 
sciences seared, so the plagues and punishments of 
God attend upon them. ' If thou walk stubbornly 
against me, and wilt not obey me, I will bring 
seven times more plagues upon thee, according to 
thy sins,' Lev. xxvi. Let us all then, as we tender 
the salvation of our own souls, take heed unto our 
paths, that we stand not in the way of sinners, that 
we sin not with delight and dehberation ; it is the 
very brand of a reprobate, and such alone as God 
hath forsaken, ' Take heed, therefore, that there be 
not in any of you an evil heart to depart from the 
living God.' And thus much for the first point of 
doctrine ; that there is a way of sinners, in which 
the wicked walk, which leadeth unto death. 

Dod. 2. The second point of doctrine that doth 
now ofier itself to our consideration is this, that a 
godly man doth not settle himself to live as the 
wicked do, nor frames liis life after his lewd ex- 
ample, which is here meant, when the prophet saith, 
' He doth not stand in the way of sinnere.' Yea, it 
is altogether impossible for a godly man, and one 
that is truly regenerate, to have in him a full pur- 
pose to sin, and to live in sin yriih deliberation, and 
to delight in the same. For a purpose to Hve in 
any known sin, is a sign of a kicked man and a 
gi-aceless heart, as when a man is told of his sm, of his 
ignorance and carelessness in God's service, praying, 
hearing, &c., yet still he will be careless and negli- 
gent in the same. So when a man is reproved for 
his swearing, yet stiU will swear ; when a man is 
reproved for profaning the Sabbath, yet will profane 
it ; when a man is reproved for his uncleanness, 
drunkenness, malice, &c., and yet for all that will 

Ver. 1.] 



continue in those sins. Surely this purpose to stand 
in the way of the sinners, is a fearful sign of a -wicked 
man, and is fai" from a godly man, and one that is 
truly sanctified, which shall be blessed for ever 
more. It was a cursed speech of a cursed wretch, 
' I know not the Lord, neither will I let the chil- 
dren of Israel go,' Exod. v. 2. This was the case of 
those rebellious Jews spoken of by Jeremiah, 'We will 
not hear, nor do, but as we list, &c., as we have 
done,' Jer. xliv. 1 6. And this was that which made 
the case of Herod so fearful, that notwithstanding 
he heard John Baptist willingl}% and did many 
things at his request, all which were good things 
in him, yet for all that he would not leave his 
adulter}', but continue in it, Mark -vi. 20 ; which 
purpose to sin, of all things is far from a godly 
man, as St John saith, ' He that is born of God 
sinneth not,' 1 John iii. 9, — that is, ivith whole con- 
sent, but in pai-t, and man being partly flesh and 
partly spirit, as he is regenerate, sin proceeds not from 
him, but as he is flesh. As for the wicked, it is 
not so with them ; for it is meat and drink to a 
wicked man to do the works of the devil. It is 
worth even our best consideration what is said of 
the Apostle Paul, Acts ix. 1, that he once 'breathed 
out threateniugs and slaughter against the disciples 
of the Lord.' But when was this 1 Even in the 
time of his ignorance ; but afterwards he preached 
the same gospel which before he persecuted, and 
laboured ever after all the days of his life, to buUd 
up the church of God which before he laboured to 
pull do^vn> And this appears in Da\'id, in Peter, in 
Mai J Magdalene, &c., who after they had once 
escaped the snares of the de^-il, dedicated ever after 
their whole life to the service of God. This exlior- 
tation doth the apostle give to the Ephesians, 
' Ye were once darkness, but now are light in the 
Lord; walk as children of the light,' Col. iii. 7, 
Eph. V. 8. By these and the like examples it doth 
appear, that the godly stand not in the way of 
sinners, — that is, take no liberty to themselves to 
live in the custom and practice of any known sin. 

Use 1. This may sen-e, in the first place, to re^ 
prove such kind of sinners as are so far from leaving 
their sins and walldng with God in obedience of 
life that they are not ashamed to defend their sins. 
Tell the swearer of liis swearing and blaspheming of 

the name of God, he will answer, Aat he hopeth he 
may swear so long as he sweoi-s nothing but the 
truth. TeU the covetous man of his covetousness, 
he -ft-ill answer for it, he must make the best of his 
own, and he must be a good husband. So tell the 
drunkard of his drunkenness and fearful abusing of 
the good creatures of God, liis answer is. It is in 
Idndness and good fellowship. Tell the proud man 
of his pride and strange attires, his answer is. It is 
the fashion, and he doth but as others do. Is not 
this to stand in the way of sinners ? Is not this to 
commit sin with delight, and to say as Pharaoh, 
Herod, and the Jews, Exod. ix., Mark vi., Jer. 
xliv., We will not repent, we will not leave our sins, 
but continue in them, let God and man say what 
they wiLl; yea, this is but to pay one debt by 
another, and as the apostle saith, ' Heap Up wrath 
against the day of ^vi'ath,' Eom. iv. 

Use 1. We are all here admonished, as we love otii' 
own souls, to take heed of this, that we never sin 
with an high hand against God, wittingly and Avill- 
ingly. But if we hear sin reproved let us leave it, 
be it ever so pleasant or profitable, let us be like 
that good king Josiah, 2 Kings xxii., who hearing 
the book of the law read unto him, his heart melted 
within him and he wept for his sins ; for so long as 
we have in us a purpose to live in sin, it is impossible 
that we should ever fear God or truly repent. Let 
us pray with David, Ps. xix. 12, 13, 'Lord, keep 
thy servant from presumptuous sin.' And let us 
know, that if we regard, that is to say, love wicked 
men to our hearts, and have a purpose to live in sin, 
God will not regard our prayers, nay, all we do is 
abomination to the Lord. Say now therefore unto 
laughter, ' Thou art mad ; ' pronounce the ways of 
the wicked to be but vain ; say unto thy own soul, 
I will have nothing to do with the ways of iniquity^ 
And this will give thee courage when thou shalt 
come to look Clirist Jesus in the face, when thou 
canst say with the apostles, ' Lord, I have forsaken 
all to follow thee,' Mat. xix. 27. Oh, blessed is 
the servant whom his master when he cometh shall 
find so doing. Mat. xxiv. 46. 

Use 5. Last of all, we leai-n here a notable differ- 
ence between the child of God regenerate and a 
wicked man. He that is bom of God and truly 
regenerate, he doth not commit sin with full puqjose 



[Ver. 1. 

and consent of ^'ill, but against liis will, so as he 
can truly say with Paul, ' The evil that I would not 
do, that do I,' Kom. vii. 15, — that is, I am drawn 
through the coniiption of natiu'e and the tempta- 
tions of Satan to do that exH which I hate and con- 
demn. But the wicked man sms with full consent 
and purpose. I sin and would not sin, saith the 
godly man : I sin and will sin, saith the wicked 
man. Yea, what sendee soever the regenerate man 
doth give unto sin it is like that service that Israel 
gave unto Pharaoh in Egypt, compelled and wrung 
out from them by oppression, which made them sigh 
and cry unto God to be eased of the same. But the 
service which he doth give unto the Lord is volun- 
tary and cheerful. Well, to end this point, this is 
the sum : — know this, whosoever thou art, that if 
thou ' stand in the way of shiners,' — -that is, takest 
liberty to thyself to live in any known sin, thou 
canst have no assurance that thou art yet within 
the covenant of grace, blessedness is no paii. of thy 
portion : he must become a new creature that shall 
enter into new Jerusalem. And thus much for the 
second part of the description of a godly man, nega- 
tively, he doth not stand in the way of sinners. 

Nw sit in the seat of the scornful. 

By 'seat of the scornful' he meaneth here the 
fellowship and society of the ungodly. So that the 
meaning of the prophet Da\'id here in tliis place is, 
that the godly man, who shall be this blessed man 
here spoken of, \vill not converse with those men, 
nor be familiar with those that make a mock of all 
religion, and openly profess all impiety ; and the 
word sitting doth import such an habit and custom 
in evU, that a man meaneth not to change his mind. 
In which words, as in the foi-mer, we are to consider 
the two points : first, that there is a seat of the 
scornful, m the wliich the -vvicked sit ; and secondly, 
that the godly do not sit in it. 

For the first, the Scriptures discover unto us a 
tlireefold chair or seat : first, of justice, and such a 
one may that throne seem to be which Solomon 
erected, 1 Kings x\T.ii. 

The second is of doctiine, as our Savioiu' Christ 
saith of the Scribes and Pharisees, 'They sit in Moses' 
chair,' Mat. xxiii. 3. 

Thirdly, we read of a seat or chaLr of the scornful, 
spoken of in this psalm. 

This sin of scorning hath its first being from the 
root of pride, which is the root from whence this 
sin of scornmg doth spring ; and, indeed, it is the 
fruit of pride, and it is the nature of men who are 
tainted mth this sin of pride to suppose that they 
are better than others, and therefore in regard of 
themselves they do condemn and despise another. 
If they have wealth they despise any other that is 
poorer than themselves. Honour makes them swell 
in disdain of their poor brethren ; their wisdom, 
learning, strength, beauty, friends, eloquence, all 
these lift men up with pride, and makes them to 
scorn those that are under them. ^Vnd this comes 
to pass, not in respect of riches themselves, or hon- ^ 
our, or beauty, or the Uke, but in respect of our 1 
corrupt nature, which is so ready to abuse them to 
our own condemnation. But, O man, why art thou 
thus puffed up with pride ? thou wast but earth, thou 
ai-t but flesh, thou shalt be but worms' meat ; I pray, 
what gi'eat cause hath earth, or flesh, or worms' meat 
to be proud 1 We were all of us born in sin, we 
live in misery, and we shall die in corraption. 
What cause hath sin, or miseiy, or corruption to be 
proud, but to be humbled 1 Besides the manifold in- 
firmities that we ai'e subject unto here, and the mnu- 
merable diseases that are ready to happen unto us 
in this life. All teaching us tliis same lesson, to 
be humble and lowly of mind. 

And in this seat the mcked and ungodly do ease 
themselves and take their delight, as sometimes 
Babylon did, who vaunted so much that she did 
' sit as queen, and should see no mournmg,' as it 
were in scorn of all that God could do unto her. 

And this was the case of cursed Pharaoh, who 
seemed to mock God to his face when he said, ' I 
know not the Lord, neither will I let the children 
of Israel go,' Exod. ix. So then the doctrme that 
we gather hence from the text is this ; — 

Dod. 3. That evil men do not usually make a 
stay in sin when at first they have committed it, 
but they proceed by degi-ees to be worse and worse. 
Falling from one mischief to another : first, the 
devU will suggest evU thoughts mto a man, liis evil 
thoughts do toll on consent, consent breedeth action, 
action bringeth custom, and custom begetteth a 
necessity in sinning, which is the forerunner of 
death. Tliis appeareth in Cain, ui Pharaoh, and in 

Ver. 1 J 



Judas, wlio by steps and degrees in sinning, came 
at the last to be hardened in sin. As in Judas, who 
was at fii'st a cunning dissembler ; secondly, a secret 
thief ; thirdly, a bold liar ; fourthly, a traitor ; and 
lastly, a reprobate. And thus a ivicked man, as it 
is in the psalm, ' They fall fi-om one -wickedness to 
another ; ' and as we see it clear here iu the words of 
this text, from walking to standing, and from stand- 
ing stock-still in sin, at length through custom 
come to lie down and wallow in sin. Oh, happy 
then is that man that sinneth least ! yea, next, he 
that returneth unto God soonest ; but most woeful 
is the estate of him that goeth on in sin, that with 
Aliab hath ' sold himself to work wickedness in the 
sight of the Lord.' For mark what folio weth, Jer. 
xiii. 2.3, 'Can the^ blackamoor change his skin, or 
the leojjard his spots ? Then may they do good who 
have accustomed themselves to do e\'il.' Where the 
prophet sheweth that custom in sinning is almost 
an incurable disease. This is a lamentable estate, 
and this is a fearful judgment of God, for a man thus 
to be left over to himself, to fall thus from one evil 
to another, and to heap together a great measure 
against the day of wrath, Ps. Ixxxi. 11. And the 
cause of all this in a man is his disobedience to- 
wards his God ; for this doth the jirophet make clear 
when he saith, ' My people would not hear my voice, 
and Israel would have none of me ; so I gave them 
up unto hardness of heart, and they have walked in 
their own counsels.' Where the prophet David 
sheweth that seeing they would not be reclaimed 
and reformed, as in mercy towards them the Lord 
Almighty vouchsafed them the means of reformation, 
his word ; therefore the Almighty gave them over 
unto the hardness of their own hearts, that so they 
might ' fill wp the measure of their iniquities,' 1 
Thes. ii. 16, and that the just ^vrath and vengeance 
of the Almighty might then fall upon them. 

Use 1. Hence we are taught how dangerous a 
thing it is to give any entertainment unto sin at the 
first ; it ^vill bring a man to the height of sin in the 
end, even openly to profess it, and to practise it 
with dehght and greediness. Custom iu sin taketh 
away all sense of sin, so as by custom men come to 
judge of sin to be no sin ; yea, it makes it very 
natural to a man, so as such men who at first would 
have been ashamed to have been seen amongst lewd 

company, yet by custom have gotten such a habit of 
sin, that they have grown to be veiy impudent and 
shameless ; like Tamar, who at the first did play the 
whore with a veil, as being ashamed to be seen, but 
afterwards grew more impudent. So many a man 
would have blushed to have been heard swear, to be 
seen dnink, to be found in unchaste company, but 
through custom have grovni so impudent, that after- 
wards would blush at nothing. And when a man 
takes the chair of sin and sits down in it, and hath 
got a custom, and taken delight in sin, how hard a 
thing is it for a man to leave that sin ! He that 
hath got a habit and custom of swearing, as he 
grows shameless in it, so how hardly doth he leave 
it ! Even so of drunkenness, &c. A nail knocked 
into a post wth many blows is hardly pulled out ; 
and sin often committed, and gro%\Ti familiar vntli a 
man through custom, is hardly left. Custom is like 
a strong stream, it cameth a man into all sin with 
violence ; and as a man by continual labour so har- 
deneth liis hand that it becometh senseless, so cus- 
tom in sin hardeneth the heart, that a man's con- 
science becometh senseless. 

This must teach us to repent betimes, not to 
sufl'er sin to come to such a head, that it is more 
likely to master a man than a man it ; for if thou 
dost not repent this day, thou wilt find it harder 
to repent to-moiTow ; thyself groweth weaker, thy 
iniquity stronger. 

N'ote. Custom is a tyrant which will hardly be re- 
sisted ; therefore it shall be thy wisdom to repent 
with speed, to delay no longer, but while it is called 
to-day to break off thy sins, and to turn to God for 

Use 2. We are taught hence, that seeing wicked 
men grow worse and worse, adding sin unto sin, and 
committing all iniquity, even with greediness, so 
their damnation doth not sleep, but they draw 
nearer and nearer their destruction. Yea, the judg- 
ment of Almighty God follows them at then- heels, 
and in the end will overtake them. Thus it was 
with the old world. AVliat a heap of sins had they 
gathered together, adding sin unto sin, as di-unken- 
ness unto thirst ! But when the measure of then- 
iniquity was full, the Lord God was at hand with 
his judgments, and they could not escape. This was 
the case of the sinful Sodomites, whose sins cried up 



[Ver. 1. 

to heaven for vengeance, Gen. xviii. Howsoever 
they might glut themselves with sin, and drink down 
iniquity like water, it was but for a season ; the Lord 
would be no longer provoked by their wicked and 
sinful lives, but sent down fire and brimstone from 
heaven upon them. Every sin doth help somewhat 
to increase the weight, and to fiU up the measure, 
of a wicked man's iniquity, Mat. xii. 36. Aiid that 
God which keepeth a register of the works, and who 
will one day give unto every man according unto his 
works, and when they shall go the way of all flesh, 
they shall then say, ' What hath pride profited us, 
and what hath the pomp of riches brought us to ? ' 
When they shall see, that all the days of their life 
they have wearied themselves in vain, and then shall 
be plunged into irrevocable and intolerable torments. 

Use 3. This may serve to reprove such as, reljing 
Upon their own writers,^ knowledge, strength, and 
godliness, dare converse and keep company with 
notorious atheists, pajnsts, mock-gods, swearers, 
swaggerers, dnmkai'ds, &c. By which means it is 
just with God, they not shunning the occasions of 
Bin, are perverted by them to their own destruction. 
And no less Avorthy of reproof are those kind of men 
or women, that link themselves or their children in 
marriage with such as be vile, wicked, profane, and 
irreligious. Alas, what agreement is there between 
Christ and Belial, God and the devU, light and 
darkness, a beUever and an infidel, to have such 
near conjunction and fellowship with them ? How 
can such escape, and not be polluted wth their sin ? 
And because men and women in tliis match make 
no better choice, but maiTy for love of money, 
beauty, or the like, rather than for reHgion, virtue, 
or for the fear of God, it cometh to pass, that they 
live together most uncomfortable and in great dis- 

Nor sit in the seal of scorn ers. 

By scorners in this place are meant such wicked 
men as are both hardened in sin, and live a wicked life; 
such as are become stubborn and rebellious sinners, 
professing all impiety, contemning God and man, 
such as being confirmed with the long practice of 
sin and a bad life, have got a habit of sin, and can 
do nothing else but sin, and despise all good duties, 
and make a scoff at all religion. 

' Query, 'virtues?' — EJ. 

Docf. 2. Hence we learn this doctrine, tliat this 
is the property of a notorious lewd and wicked man, 
to make a mock of all piety and godhness, to make 
a mock of all religion, and every Christian duty. 
And such a man is come unto a wonderful height of 
sin, and is notoriously mcked and ungodly. So it 
is said, that cursed Ham mocked his father Noah, 
and Ishmael mocked godly Isaac, because, as it is like, 
Ishmael seeing godly Isaac performing some holy 
duty of religion, prayer, thanksgiving, or the like, 
he laughed him to scorn. The Athenians mocked 
Paul, 'What will this babbler say f Acts xra. 18. 
So the Scribes and Pharisees mocked our Saviour 
Christ, saying, ' Hail ! King of the Jews,' Mark xxvi. 
28. The Jews mocked St Peter's sennon, saying, 
' These men are full of new ivine,' Acts ii. 12. The 
children of Bethel mocked Elisha the prophet, saying, 
' Go up, thou bald head,' 2 Kings ii. 22. Tliis was 
the complaint of godly Jeremy, ' Lord, I am in 
derision daily, every one mocketh me,' Jer. xx. 7. 
And as it was, so it is stUl, and will be, the world 
is full of such lewd and wicked men, such mock- 
gods, that mock and mow at all good duties, scoflBng 
and scorning all religion, flouting and misusing J 
God's faithful ministers, rail upon them and revile I 
them ; j'ea, if any man fear God, make conscience of 
good duties, to hear the word of God diligently 
and carefully, to read, pray in family, &c. ; and 
will not swear with the swearer, drink with the 
dninkard, and run with wicked men into all excess 
of riot ; this man shall be mocked and pointed at, 
and called at by the name of Puritan and Precisian, j 
and I know not what, and can very hardly endure 
their company. Now these kind of men, these 
scoflSng Ishmaels, and cursed Hams, though they 
seem to be never so honest and civil, j-et the word 
of God paints them out in their colours, as the 
most Aole and wicked men that Uve in the world, 
because they contemn and despise, they mock and 
scorn God's word, and those that be most dear unto 

Use 1. Let all such scorners and scofling mates 
take heed, for as they be most abominable in the 
sight of Almighty God, so they seldom or never es- 
cape unpunished. Look on that ciu-sed Ham, 
scoffijig Ishmael ; behold God's vengeance upon 
those two-and-forty youngsters that mocked the 

Ver. 2.1 



prophet Elisha. What became of them that mocked 
and misused the prophets of the Lord ? What he- 
came of those that mocked and misused our Sa\'iour 

And let men but observe it, and mark it well, and 
they shall clearly see some token or other of God's 
vengeance upon the heads of such scoffing ■\VTetches ; 
yea, let all such wicked men know that they be too 
much their own foes, in that they hate the godly, 
mock God's ministers, rail upon his servants ; they 
fare the better for them every day they rise. What- 
soever wicked and ungodly men have and enjoy, it 
is for the godly's sake ; for if it were not for them, 
their sakes, the sun would scarce shine upon them, 
the heavens would fall upon them, the earth would 
open her mouth and swallow them, the fire would 
burn them, the water would dro\\Ti them, and all 
the creatures of God would ann themselves against 
them. And therefore the children of God (as one 
saitli) are like a piece of cork cast into the sea full of 
nails ; the cork bears them up, which otherwise 
would sink of theifiselves one by one. Now, then, 
what a folly and madness is this, to hate them, to 
mock them, and to misuse them, by whom they fare 
the better every day they rise 1 

Seeing wicked men are so ill affected to God and 
his children, because they love the de\'il, and be liis 
vas.sals, and these belong to God ; let us herein be 
like to God our Father, and most unUke -ndcked 
men ; let us love God's children, and make much of 
those that fear the Lord, and let us delight in their 
company ; for as the former is a sign of a notorious 
wicked man, so this is a sign of a godly man. He 
' despiseth a vile person, and maketh much of those 
that fear the Lord,' Ps. xv. 4. Again, ' Hereby we 
know that we love God, if we love the brethren,' 
1 John iii. Again, ' All my delight is in the saints, 
and such as excel in ^drtue.' Such as be rehgious, 
fear God, and hve a godly life ; these are to be be- 
loved, be they never so poor. It is lamentable to 
see the course of the world. Let a lewd man come 
into company, — that is, notorious wicked, an atheist, 
a blasphemous wretch, one that laughs at God and 
all goodness, a drankard, or the Uke, — this man 
shall be too welcome, and we will eat and diink^and 
be merry with him. But let a gocUy man, a prophet 
of the Lord, a faithful and zealous minister, come 

into our company, we are weary of him, we cannot 
endure his company, he mars all our mirth, we can- 
not be merry for him. Thus men say. Oh hell- 
hounds and wicked wretches ! thou mayest as well 
say, thou canst not be merry when God is present. 
' He that despiseth you despiseth me.' These men 
only dehght in the devU and his cursed instruments. 
And thus much for the first of the description of 
a godly man, negatively described. He doth not 
' walk in the counsel of the wicked.' He doth not 
' stand in the way of sinners,' nor he doth not ' sit in 
the seat of the scorners.' 

Ver. 2. But hk delight is in the law of the Lord, 
and in his law he doth meditate hath day and night. 

Hitherto we have heard a godly man described ; 
first, negatively, shewing what evils he doth most 
carefully shun and avoid. Now he cometh to his 
description affirmatively, shewing what good things 
he doth most carefully embrace and follow. 

1. In tliis description, first note the Christian duty 
and holy practice of a godly and righteous man, — 
namely, to be much and often in serious and Chris- 
tian meditation. 

2. Secondly, The object of liis study, not his plea- 
sures, preferments, or profit, as most carnal men do, 
which mind nothing but earthly tilings, but he is 
conversant in the Holy Scriptures, doth seriou.sly 
study the word of God, his rneditation is concerning 
the law, — that is, the heavenly doctrine which shews 
the will of God and his worsliip, what man must 
and ought to beheve and do to eternal life. 

3. Thirdly, The circumstance of times is carefully 
to be considered, for the godly man doth not now 
and then, by starts and fits, like a man in an ague, 
read, study, and meditate the word and doctrine of 
God, but it is his daily study and continual exercise ; 
not that we should imagine he doth nothing else, 
but the meaning is, he settetli some time apart daily 
to serve God, some time to read, some time to hear, 
and some time to meditate ; yea, oftentimes he be- 
stoweth some part of the night, when some be at 
rest and sleep, and bestoweth it on God's service, 
setting liis mind on heaven and heavenly tilings. 

First, In that the Spirit of Almighty God de- 
scribeth a godly man, not only by leaving and avoid- 
ing lewd company and the counsel of the wicked. 



[Ver. 2. 

but also by living well aiul framing liimself to study 
the Scriptures and to lead his life thereafter. 

Dod. 1. Hence I gather this doctrine, that it is not 
sufficient for the leading of a godly hfe, wliich may 
both please God and bring comfort to a man's own 
soul, not to abstain from evil, but he must also do 
well : not only not to do evil but to do good ; it is 
not enough to prove a man to be a godly man and a 
sound Christian, that he carefully shun and avoid 
the lewd counsel and company of wicked men, but 
he must also be as careful to meditate in the law of 
God day and night. And therefore, as in this place, 
so usually in the Holy Scriptures, they are both 
joined together, ' Cease from evil, learn to do well,' 
Isa. i. 16. 'Eschew evil and do good, and thou 
shalt live for ever,' Ps. xxxiv. ' The axe is put to 
the root of the tree, every tree that bringeth not 
forth good fruit' — mark, Christ saith not only every 
tree that is barren and bringeth forth no fruit, good 
or bad, nor every one that bringeth forth evil fruit, 
but that bringeth not forth good fruit — ' is hewn 
down and oast into the fire,' Mat. iii. 10. And at 
the last day the Lord will say to the wicked, ' De- 
part, ye cursed,' not for robbing the poor of meat, 
drink, or apparel, or casting them out of doors, but 
for want of shewing mercy unto them. A Christian 
life doth consist of two parts, so set down by the 
apostle Paul, ' Abhor that is evil,' there is one half, 
' and cleave to that is good,' Rom. xii. 9, there is 
the other half. If any want the former or the 
latter he is but half a Cliristian, and so shall at last 
come short of a reward. And therefore there is a 
privilege to all the commandments of God, that 
where any vice is forbidden the contrary virtue is 
commanded, and where any virtue is commanded 
the contrary vice is forbidden. The owner of an 
orchard is not contented that his trees bear no 
naughty fruit, but if they bear not good fruit he 
will hew them down as fuel for the fire. It is not 
enough for Zaccheus that he be no more an extor- 
tioner, but if he will become a true convert indeed 
he must make restitution of that he hath wrongfully 
gotten, Luke xix. 8. These, and the like examples, 
make this doctrine apparent unto us, That for the 
leading of a godly life it is not sufficient that a man 
do no evil, ' not to walk in the counsel of the 
wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in 

the seat of the scornful;' but he must do good. ' His 
delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law 
doth he meditate both day and night.' 

This seems to reprove most men in the world as 
no godly men indeed, nor sound Christians ; for 
most men do think, if they can say, I thank God I 
do nobody any liann ; I am neither wliore nor tliief ; 
I am neither blasphemer, drunkard, &c., all is 
then well, they be as good Christians as the best, 
and shall as well be saved as the best preacher of 
them all. Yea, but you see here a godly man must 
not only abstain from evil, but meditate in the law 
of God ; not only cease from evil, but do good. 
Look on the places of Scripture before named. De- 
borah pronounceth a heavy curse against Merosh, 
not for hurting or hindering the people of God, but 
because they did not help them against the enemies 
of God ; and so the axe and curse of God shall be 
upon all those that be not as careful to do good as 
to eschew evil. St Paul professeth that he was a 
man of an upright hfe, and one that was unrebuke- 
able to the world, and yet professeth that all this 
was but as dung mthout the righteousness of Christ, 
Phil. iii. 4. It were good if our civO honest men (as 
we call them) would consider this ; they stand upon 
this, they defy all the world. "WTio can say. Black 
is their eye ? they say nobody harm, nor do none. 
Well, grant that they say, (wliich is impossible,) 
though they could abstain from all outward evil, as 
swearing, l3ang, di'unkenness, whoring, pride, en^y, 
&c., so as no man could lay any of these to their 
charge, yet here is but a half Christian, but one part 
of this hfe, for he must not only shun e\'il, but do 
good. Not only to bring forth e\'il fruit is damnable, 
but not to bring forth good fruit ; and in the day of 
judgment Olirist will proceed against men, not only 
for doing evil, but esijecially for not douig good. 

Secondly, If such as abstain from gross evils be in 
danger of damnation for want of doing good, that is 
to say, because they have not led a godly life, be- 
stowed much time in hearing and reading the Scrip- 
tures, prajdng and calling on God's name, doing 
works of mercy and equity to men, how much more 
those that abstain from no evil, but break out into 
all kinds of wickedness and profaneness. Such as 
make a mock of religion, and seldom or never come 
to hear the word preached or taught, but abound in 

Ver. 2.] 



all kind of sin and iniquit)'. If the rich man be 
damned that did not give of his bread to feed the 
poor, good Lord I what shall become of those that have 
taken away the bread of the poor, that all their life 
have drunk down iniquity as it were water I Their 
damnation doth not sleep ; ' if these things be done 
to the green tree, what shall become of the dry tree ? ' 
In a word, if the not doing of good shall be punished 
so severely, as we have heard, oh, what mil then 
become of those whose Hves abound in all manner of 
sin and impiety, whoredom, drunkenness, &c. 1 where 
shall such sinners as these appear, if the others, which 
have seemed to have been just and righteous men, 
shall not be saved ? ' Oh, consider this, ye that for- 
get God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none 
that can deliver you,' Ps. 1. 22. 

But his delight i3 in tjie latv of the Lord. 

That is, the godly man, who is truly blessed and 
happy, doth wonderfully love, and is greatly affected 
with the word of Almighty God, and hath exceeding 
delight and joy in the doctrine of God, because there 
is revealed the will of God, whereuuto men must be 
careful to frame and conform all their desires, 
thoughts, words, and deeds, because herein is 
chalked out and declared, the very highway to 
eternal life and salvation. 

Dod. 2. Hence, then, we are taught this doctrine, 
that it is a special note and property of a godly man 
to perform Christian duties to God willingly and 
cheerfully, and to make them his delight and joy. 

Indeed it is worthy, yea, thrice worthy to be de- 
lighted in, both in regard of the author of this law, 
which is God, as also in respect of the authority of 
it, which is manifold. In regard of God the^ author 
of it, it is to be delighted in, who is the only true 
and everlasting God, ' of whom are all things, and 
we in him,' 1 Cor. viii. 6. Secondly, in respect of 
the authority of the same, containing in it perfect 
wisdom, truth, justice, wisdom, mercy, goodness, &c. 
It is called by the prophet David 'a perfect law,' 
Ps. xix. 7 ; to the which if any man shall presume 
to add anjiihing, ' God shall add to him the plagues 
written in tliis book, and if a man shall diminish 
anj-thing, God shall take away his part out of the 
book of life, and from the holy city,' Eev. xxii. 18. 
Here and nowhere else is to be found the true Urim 
and Thummim ; the Urim, that is light, and the 

Thummim, that is perfection ; and the saints of God 
in all ages have esteemed highly of it. 

Thus did Job, ' I esteemed thy word more than my 
appointed food;' thus did David when he said, 'Lord 
what love have I to all thy commandments ; all the 
day long is my study in them.' And David shews his 
wonderful love and account of it, by the names that 
he doth give unto it, calling it doctrine, testimonies, 
commandments, fear, judgments, way, statutes, 
word, &c. And in another place he saith, that ' it 
is more desired than gold, yea, than fine gold ; that 
it is sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb.' 
And this is it which the Lord himself doth require, 
when he saith, ' Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is 
Lord only. Arid thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with 
all thy might.' And so the prophet David prayeth, 
' Lord, I beseech thee, accept of the free offerings 
of my mouth, and teach me thy judgments.' And 
this is the rule which the apostle St Paul setteth 
down when he saith, ' As every man wisheth in his 
heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity, 
for God loveth a cheerful giver.' Now, that which 
the apostle speaketli of charity and alms, may truly 
be understood of ev(A-y Christian duty; when we 
pray, we must pi-ay unto God cheerfully ; when we 
give thanks to God, we must do it cheerfully ; and 
so of all other duties of God's worship laid down in 
his word. And indeed this is it which doth put the 
difference between the godly and the wicked, the 
service of the one, and the service of the other. 
Cain will come with his sacrifice as well as Abel, 
but he brought of the worst, thinking anything to 
be good enough for God, and this he did very grudg- 
ingly. Whereas Abel brought of the best to sacri- 
fice to God, and this he did willingly and cheerfully. 
And all those duties that are not thus performed, they 
have no life nor virtue in them, to give them any 
grace or acceptance with God. So that we see the 
outward profession is not enough to assure us of 
our salvation, if it be not joined with sincerity of 

Reason. Now where it is said here, that the godly 
man's delight is in the law of the Lord, there is 
great reason why the children of God should be 
thus affected to his blessed word antl heavenly doc- 
trine above all things in the world, that it should 



[Yer. 2. 

be ' sweeter unto them than the honey and the honey- 

First, Because it is the broad of life, ' it is the 
power of God to salvation,' Eom. i. 16. And there- 
fore it is called ' the gospel of the kingdom,' and ' the 
kingdom of heaven,' Mat. xiii. 44, because it is that 
whereby men are brought to eternal life, and the 
kingdom of heaven. 

2. Secondly, It is the effectual means and instru- 
ment which the Lord useth, and hath appointed to 
beget all saving grace in the hearts of his cliildren, 
namely, knowledge, faith, humility, obedience, and 
the like. *• 

3. Thirdly, It is the bread of life, even the 
heavenly manna, whereby our faith is confimied, and 
our souls comforted, yea, it is the staff whereto we 
must lean in all dangers, as David saith, ' I had 
perished in njy trouble had it not been for thy 
word,' Ps. cxix. ' And thy rod and thy staff doth 
comfort me,' Ps. xxiii, 

4. Fourthly, The word of God is that direction 
whereby we may square aU our thoughts, words, 
and deeds, as David saith, ' Thy word is a lanthorn 
unto my feet, and a Ught unto my paths,' Psal. cxix. 
And without this we cannot live well, but shall 
wander up and down as blind men in the dark. 

5. And last of all, It is the two-edged sword of 
God's Spirit, whereby we must put to flight all the 
temptations of the devil, so as we canno.t repel them, 
or withstand them, unless we be skilful and cunning 
to use this weapon. 

Use 1. This doctrine may seem to reprove the 
greatest part amongst us as ■wicked and ungodly, be- 
cause generally men have no love unto the ^yord of 
God, no delight in this heavenly doctrine ; it is not 
sweet nor precious in their eyes, but rather it is irk- 
some and tedious unto them, it is bitter and un- 
savoury. It fareth with people in these d.-vys, as it 
did \vith those old people of the Jews : ' Unto whom 
should I speak and admonish that they may hear ? 
Behold, theii- ears are uncircumcised, and they can- 
not hearken unto it ; the word of the Lord is a re- 
proach unto them, and they have no delight therein,' 
Jer. vi. 18. Now that men have no delight to the 
word of God, which is the very power of God to 
salvation, it may appear, 

First, Because men and women take no delight in 

hearing, reading, and meditating on the Word of 
God. You shall find a great number that wiU buy 
other profane books, that vrill hardly buy the Book 
of all books, the holy and sacred Bible ; and if they 
buy it, yet they spend no time in perusing of it, in 
reading and meditating on it. Other books are de- 
lightful and pleasant to flesh and blood, and this is 
the reason they do so niuch desire them ; but, withal, 
this sheweth that they be carnal, not bom anew ; 
for if they were, then would they bestow less time 
in reading and perusing those profane and unprofit- 
able books, and would bestow more time in reading 
and meditating on this blessed Book of God ; yea, 
and the small account men make of God's ministers, 
whom the Lord calls his messengers and ambassa- 
dors, yea, the angels of the church. 

Use 2. Secondly, Seeing all the duties that we 
owe to God, either of hearing, praying, &c., must 
be performed of us, not upon compulsion, but will- 
ingly and cheerfully, we learn that every action 
is accounted of by God, not according to the work 
itself, but according to the affection of the doer. 
Tliis the Lord himself doth teach, when he saith, 
' This people come near me with their mouth and 
honour me vnth their lips, but their hearts are far 
from me,' Isa. xxix. 1 3. And therefore were their j 
sacrifices abonaination to the Lord, as he again saith 
in another place, ' I cannot away with your new 
moon.' And this was it made the poor widow's 
mite commended above the rest that offered of their 
superfluity, Luke xxi. 3, 4, ' He that shall give a cup 
of cold water to a disciple in the name of a disciple, 
he shall not lose his reward.' Alas ! what is the 
besto^v^lg of a mite, a brazen token ? or wdiat is a 
cup of cold water ? Are they in themselves anything 
worth to merit anything at God's hand? No, no, 
but God acknowledgeth the manner more than the 
matter ; how they are done, more than what is done. 

\^^lich may teach us to labour to have our affec- 
tions tried, that whatsoever we do in the service of 
Almighty God, may be done in truth and sincerity 
of heart. This was Joli's comfort when he said, ' 
Lord, I have esteemed thy word more than mj' or- 
dinary food.' This was the prophet David's com- 
fort when he could say, ' how do I love thy law ! 
it is my meditation continually,' Ps. cxix. 97. And 
this shall be our comfort, when we shall go the wav 

Ver. 2.] 



of all flesh, that we can say with good King Heze- 
Iviah, ' Remember, Lord, that I have walked be- 
fore thee in truth, and with an upright heart.' That 
we have not been jiainted sepulchres, desiring to be 
accounted righteous before men, but ivithin full of 
all rottenness and corruption, but have laboured 
rather to be approved of God. 

Oh how ought our hearts and souls to be inflamed 
in a holy and godly zeal towards the word of God, 
the law of the Lord here spoken of! Yea, we ought 
more earnestly to long for the w-aters of this well of 
hfe, than ever Da^id did for the waters of the well 
of Bethlehem ; and when we have tasted how sweet 
the Lord is, never, oh never, so deal with the Lord 
as the people of Israel did, which loathed the manna 
that was sent them from heaven. But much better 
shall it be for us to cry out with the woman of 
Samaria, ' Lord, give me to drink of these waters,' 
John iv. 15; for those waters, being once tasted of, 
will keep a man that he thirst not again, but shall 
ever be refreshed by the same to everlasting life. 

Use 3. Lastly, let us herein labour to manifest our 
unfeigned love and liking of the word and law of 
God, even by our obedience thereunto, that we de- 
sire to frame our lives thereafter, to obey the doc- 
trine and word of God in heart and life, to be re- 
formed by it, and to be conformed to it. Clmst 
maketh this to be the eaj--mark of those that are his 
sheep, namely this, that they 'hear his voice and 
follow him,' John x. And again, ' Hereby shall all 
men know that ye are my disciples, and love me, if 
ye keep my commandments.' So hereby shall men 
know that we love the law of God, if we study to 
keep it, to obej' it in heart and life. But if we have 
in us no care to hve hereafter, but break the law of 
God continually, and rebel against his command- 
ments, how can we be said to love the law of God 1 
If a man should say he loveth the king's laws, and 
likes them well, and yet should every day break 
them wittingly and -nTllingly, and be ever plajdng 
the traitor, would not all men condeinn him as a 
hj-pocrite and a har 1 So, though most men do say 
they love the word of God, and dehght in hLs law, 
yet seeing they do daily break it, and rebel against 
it wittingly and willingly, by swearing, Ijdng, profan- 
ing of the Sabbath, drunkenness, swilhng, pride, nn- 
cleamiess, &c., it is manifest they have no love unto it. 

Thus much for the first part, she\ving that the 
godly man is well aflected to the heavenly doctrine 
of the word of God ; it is the delight and joy of his 

Now in the second part of the verse, the prophet 
Da'sdd sheweth the exercise of a godly man, that as 
in his heart he liketh and loveth the word and 
heavenly doctrine of the law of God, so in his life he 
is conversant in the same, his meditations are much 
spent therein, he is said to meditate therein day and 
night, — that is, the godly man doth much muse and 
meditate, often exercising his mind vnth calling to 
nund and remembrance the heavenly doctrines, com- 
forts, and instructions of the Word of God ; and this 
he doth, not slightly and carelessly, but seriously and 
■with good ad\'ice, and to this end doth evermore set 
some time apart every day, mornmg and evening, 
two times a day at least, for the performance of this 
godly duty. 

Doth meditate day ami night. 

Bod. 3. Here we see still, that a godly man, and 
one that shall be truly blessed, the Lord requireth 
that he be no stranger, and such a one as seldom, or 
never searcheth the Scriptures, but that he be much 
and often exercised in the holy and serious medita- 
tions of God's law ; in the diligent searching, peru- 
sing, and particularly applying of the heavenly doc- 
trine of the word of God. And, indeed, this is here 
set do^vn as a true fruit of our love to the word, as 
the love of the word is made a true fruit of a godly 
man ; for as it is impossible a man should be truly 
rehgious, and fear God, and yet have no sound love 
nor dehght in the word of God ; so it is likewise 
impossible a man or woman should truly love the 
word of God in their heart, that seldom, or never 
bestow any pains in the serious and earnest medita- 
tion of the same. David calls God to witness, that 
the love he bore to the law of God was exceeding 
great, when he said, ' how do I love thy law ! ' 
Ps. cxix. 97. And in the same verse he seems to 
prove the same to God, ' It is my meditation con- 
tinually ; ' which indeed is a note of true love, to be 
ever thinking of the thing beloved. 

And in veiy deed, the careful and diligent study, 
the often and earnest meditation of the word of 
God, is the very life and strength of all our worship 
and service of God. For if men should read much, 



[Ver. 2. 

and never meditate, it would do them no good. If 
men should hear much and often, and never medi- 
tate, they should be little the better. If men should 
pray much and often, and never meditate, tliey should 
find small comfort. If men come often to the sacra- 
ment, and do not before and after meditate of the 
covenant of grace, they should not receive much 
good thereby. So that you see this meditation is 
all in all, it puts life to our reading, hearing, pray- 
ing, receiving, and without it all our reading, hear- 
ing, praying, and receiving wdll stand us in small 

For ■without tliis meditation this law, which is the 
word of God, will either in time be forgotten, 
whereby we shall become unmindful of it, or else it 
^T^11 prove as a talent hid in the ground, uttei-ly un- 
fruitful unto us, for this meditation indeed is the 
third step of a true convert. The fii'st is to hear 
the word of God readily ; the second to remember it 
diligently ; and the third to meditate on it seriou.sly ; 
and this is compared to the ' chewing of the cud,' 
Deut. xiv. 6, 7, wliich is never found in the unclean 
but in the clean beasts. 

True it is, that hearing and reading the word will 
beget knowledge, but meditation is the especial 
means to work upon the affection, for else all our 
knowledge shall only be in general, idle and swim- 
ming in the brain, wliich may well be called brain- 
knowledge, but no heart-knowledge ; but by serious 
meditation we do apply that we hear to our own 
selves in particular, laying the doctrine to our own 
hearts, appljiug it to ourselves to comfort our sad 
souls, to humble them for our sins, and to square 
our lives thereby, that we may in all things keep a 
clear conscience before God and man. The Lord 
gives Joshua a strait charge to do thus, ' Let not the 
book of the law depart out of thy mouth ; but medi- 
tate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe 
and do according to all that is written therein : for 
then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and thou 
shalt have good success,' Joshua i. 8, and Deut. vi. 
7, 8. And thus the servants of God have been 
much exercised in meditation, and thereby have 
grown wonderful not only in knowledge but in prac- 
tice, as we may see in Dand, Ps. cxix., who took 
great delight in God's law, and made it his medita- 
tion continually. And of Isaac it is reported that 

he went out into the fields in the evening to medi- 
tate, Gen. xxiv. 

Use 1. This reproves the common fault in the 
world, that most men utterly neglect this duty, sel- 
dom or never settle themselves to meditate in the 
law of God and his heavenly doctrine. It is hard 
to find a man or woman that makes any conscience 
of this duty, to set themselves apart and set them- 
selves in God's presence, to call to mind what they 
have heard and learned, to apply it to themselves in 
j)articular, to humble them or to comfort them. 
And that is the cause why most men, hearing and 
reatling so much as they have, have yet profited so 
little in knowledge, faith, repentance, and obedience. 
They can be content to hear the word preached and 
taught, and, it may be, now and then to read a 
chapter, but to think upon it, to ruminate upon the 
word of God, and, as it were, to chew the cud, to 
call the same to mind again, to apply it to them- 
selves, to labour to profit by it, this they cannot 
endure, this they care not for. For if men did care- 
fidly meditate of the things they heard and read, 
how could they be so ignorant in God's word as 
most be ? So void of knowledge, faith, rejientance, 
humility, zeal, patience, and the Uke gifts and graces 
wliich accompany godly and holy meditation 1 For 
books of statutes men will not only have them in 
their houses but at their fingers' end, but Bible they 
have none. And if they have, it lieth upon the desk 
or table, and they read it not. And if sometimes 
they read, yet they never meditate thereon. 

Use 2. This may admonish all men, as they love 
their own souls, to make more care and conscience of 
the performance of this duty, to call to mind that 
we do hear or read, to think and muse upon it, to 
chew the cud, to lay it to heart, yea, and to apply 
it to our o^vn souls and consciences in particular. 
This is like the rumination or chewing of the cud 
to be found only in the clean beasts, whereas they 
wliich chewed not the cud were unclean, Deut. xiv. 
6, 7. This is the mai'k and jiroperty of a godly and 
blessed man, whereas the not doing it is the mark of 
a wicked and ungodly man. Let us then remember 
that we make the word of God our meditation con- 
tinually. Many men meditate much, some in one 
tlung and some in another, as they are led by fond 
affection, some thinking of honours, some of plea- 

Ver. 2.] 



sures, some of riches, some of one thing and some of 
another. And of these they doat and dream, talk 
and speak continually. But here we are taught 
another lesson, — namely, that our miiids must 
especially be set upon the word of God, that must 
be our dehght and the joy of our heart. 

The last point of tliis verse is the circumstance of 
time, — namely, not by fits. But the godly man 
keeps a continual course in the study and medita- 
tion of the word of God, so as he setteth apart some 
time for the worship and ser^'ice of God, at least 
twice a day, to meditate and study in God's book. 

Doct. 4. Hence we learn that every one that will 
live a godly life and so please God, that he may find 
comfort to his o-\vn soul and be blessed in the end, 
must set some time apail; every day for the worship 
and senice of God, to read, pray, and meditate ; 
and at the least t-\vice a day to call upon his name, 
to read the word of God, and to study therein. 
Tliis is that the Lord commandeth his people to 
offer unto him every day, the morning and the even- 
ing sacrifice. At the least twice every day they were 
commanded to worship God, and so the holy patri- 
archs were wont to worship God morning and even- 
ing. So we read in Gen. xxiv. 63, that godly Isaac 
went out into the fields in the evening to pray or 
meditate, to make himself fit to pray. And ' Job 
rose up early to offer sacrifice, and called his family 
together ; and this did Job every day,' Job i. 5. 
And Da%'id in many psalms shewed that he did set 
some time apart every day to worship God, in pray- 
ing, reading, meditating, &c. Cornelius 'worshipped 
God continually,' Acts x. 2, that is every day, ac- 
cording to the rule of the apostle, ' Pray continu- 
ally,' 1 Thes. V. 17. And that we should not be 
weary of well-doing, Clirist spake the j)arable of the 
unjust judge and poor widow to tliis end, that we 
ought always to meditate, pray, &c., and not wax faint 
and weary, Luke x:\aii. 1. The meaning is, not that 
men should leave their callings and other business 
altogether to attend upon hearing, reading, meditat- 
ing, &c., but that we should be much and often in 
meditating, in jirayer, in reading, &c., and in per- 
forming these blessed duties unto Almighty God; 
and at the least tliree times a day to pray and call 
upon the name of God : in the morning when we do 
rise, to give unto God hearty thanks for keeping us 

the night past, and to crave for a blessing at his 
hands over the day following. At noon again, even 
when we receive his good creatm-es ; and at night 
when we go to rest. And this godly practice the 
word of God prescribes us, and the examples of the 
godly do teach us. Daniel prayed three times a day 
upon liis knees to God and praised him, as his man- 
ner was, though the king had made a strict law 
against it, Dan. vi. 10. 'Evening, morning, and at 
noon will I pray unto thee,' Ps. Iv. 1 7. And again, 
' Seven times a day %vill I praise thee,' Ps. cxLx. 164 ; 
that is, many times. For the morning, ' Early in 
the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee ; ' and 
thus did Abraham, Isaac, Job, Gen. xxii. 2 ; Job xv. 
Secondly, at noon or mid-day, so did Peter. ' Peter 
went out to pray about the sixth hour,' Acts x. 9 ; 
that is, about twelve o'clock, or noontide. Thirdly, 
at night ; in the evening when we go to bed to take 
our rest we must then remember likewise to render 
the Lord thanks for the comfort of the day, and to 
crave his blessing for that night. Neither is this all, 
but in the night time, when sleep is departed from a 
man, and nature is sufficed with rest, he doth even 
then caU to mind the heavenly doctiine of the word 
of God, and doth muse and meditate therein, as the 
text saith here, even ' day and night.' For God, 
which hath bounded the day ■with the night, hath 
set no bounds to a godly man's meditations. It is 
nothing to be, first, one that heareth the word ; 
secondly, one that receives it ; thirdl}', with joy ; if, 
fourthly, it shall be but for a time only, if he shall 
not also continue and constantly persevere to medi- 
tate therein day and night. 

So as we see tliis our duty, to set some time apart 
every day to worsliip God, as to hear, read, pray, 
meditate, &c. We see men do set apart, depute, 
and ordain some certain time every day for the food 
of the body, at the least twice a day, to eat and 
drink; how much more then should we be cai'eful for 
our souls every day to read, meditate, and to pray ? 
Of all the time we spend in this world, none ^\'ill be 
more comfortable unto us in death, when we shall go 
the way of all flesh, than that which we have be- 
stowed in the serWce and worship of Almighty God. 

There is not now one hour spent in the service of 
God but will then minister cause of joy and rejoic- 
ing ; neither is there now one hour spent in the ser- 



[Ver. 2. 

vice of sin and Satan, but the remembrance thereof 
will then be a terror unto the soul. ' Oh that men 
would be wise, then would they understand this, 
they would consider their latter end,' Deut. xxxii. 29. 

Use 1. This seems to reprove tlie common care- 
lessness of the world, Most men and women spend 
all their days in delights and vanities, in sports and 
pastimes, in scraping and raking together the things 
of this life, and in the meantime find no time at all 
to serve God ; that in twenty-four hours hardly can 
spare one to sen'e God, one to read, hear, pray, 
meditate ; yea, how many be there that never 02ien 
their books to read one chapter in the Bible all 
the week long ! How many be there that never 
spend one quarter of an hour in meditation, which 
never call upon God from Sunday to Sunday! Doth 
not this prove men to be carnal and ungodly ? Do 
not these men do nothing of conscience, or with de- 
light and love to God and his worship, but all for 
fashion's sake, or for fear of the law ? AMiat differ- 
ence is there betwixt those men, who seldom or 
never call upon the name of God, and the beast 
they ride on ? The beast arises in the morning out 
of his den and strokes himself, goes to his meat, and 
so to work. Even so do they never call on the 
name of God. In this thing wherein do such men 
differ from a very beast 1 How can such look for 
any blessing from God upon their labours 1 yea, how 
can they choose but fear some fearful judgment and 
curse of God to overtake them ? And no doubt 
the cause why many ride and run early and late — 
do not call on God for a blessing upon their endeav- 
ours — cannot prosper and thrive in the world ; no, 
God sends sometimes judgments, plagues, and pun- 
ishments upon them, and aU for the neglect of this 
godly and Christian duty ; it is just with God both 
to cross and to curs? both them and their labours, Ps. 

Note. Again, by the rule of tliis doctrine they 
are no less to be reproved, which can be content 
now and then to hear, read, pray, and meditate, &c. ; 
but this must be at their leisure, when they have 
nothing else to do. But to keep certain times, morn- 
ing, noons, evenings, to leave all sports, pastimes, 
delights, and business, to go to God and serve him, and 
call upon his name ; they cannot abide that, they 
will not be so tied and retained ; but as the man in 

the Gospel, when Christ called him ; first he must 
go bury his father ; and liim that would go bid his 
friends farewell ; so many could be content to 
serve God, and to pray unto him, but they must 
keep their friends company. Or as these that were 
bidden to the feast ; one hath his oxen and gain to 
hinder him, another his wife, his pleasures and de- 
lights, wliich he is married unto, and so can find no 
time to serve God ; even the least tiling in the world is 
matter sufiicient to hinder them from sending of God : 
these men shew that they find no comfort at all in 
the service of Almighty God, no good, no fruit, no 
benefit ; for if they did, they would not be such 
strangers unto it. 

Use 2. Let every one be exhorted and stirred 
unto this duty, if we have not begim, now to begin, 
and in the fear of the Lord to imitate God's children, 
as David and the rest. Let us set .some time apart 
every day for the word and prayer, else we shall 
never prove ourselves good Christians, else we 
should never find true comfort, else we can never 
look for God's blessings upon us ; let us then set 
apart some of our idle time, that we bestow in 
talking, in walking, in playing, in vain delights, 
or else idly, and bestow it on God's service and 
worship, in hearing, reading, praying, meditating, 
&c. David early in the morning prevented the day- 
light, yea, at midnight would he be so busied. The 
eunuch in his journey was reading the Scriptures. 
Let us then never arise in the morning, or go to 
bed, but as duly let us ever be mindful of this 
duty. Let us not misspend our precious time. Let 
us (I pray you) consider why we live here in the 
world, not to spend and consume our time in toys 
and vanities, but serve God, and to seek for comfort 
and salvation unto our own souls. Let us therefore 
so spend it as we may have comfort in the end. 

Use 3. Last of all, we are here exhorted to be very 
careful, after we have begim a good course in godli- 
ness, to persevere and to continue in the same, day 
and night, even unto the end ; not only in the day- j 
time of prosperity, but in the night-time of adversity, 1 
for unto God ' The day and night are both alike,' 
Ps. cxxxix. 12. Many make a fair beginning, but 
the end is very fearful and dangerous. Many lay 
their hands to the Lord's plough, but in the end 
they look back, Luke ix. 62. Lot's wife seems as 

Ver. 3.] 



forward as her husband ; she goes out of Sodom 
as well as he, she takes her journey vdih her hus- 
band, but she did not continue and hold out unto 
the end ; but looks back, contrary unto the com- 
mandment of God, and so was turned into a pillar 
of salt. And she being made a spectacle to all 
backsliders ; our Saviour put us in mind of her, 
when he saith, ' Remember Lot's \vife,' Luke xvdi. 
32. And Paul, when he had preached the resur- 
rection of Christ, Agrippa said unto him, ' Thou 
persuadest me almost to become a Christian,' Acts 
xxvi. 28. But there he stayed and rested, and 
would proceed no further. These are feaiful ex- 
amples ; it had been better for such ' they had 
never known the way of righteousness,' 2 Peter ii. 
21 ; for indeed in a Christian race there is no stand- 
ing at one stay, for not to go forward in religion is 
to go backward. 

And thus much for the description of a godly 
man affu'matively, shewing what he doth carefully 
embrace and follow. ' But his delight is in the law 
of the Lord,' &c. 

Ver. 3. He shall be like a tree 2)lanted by the rivers 
of waters, that icill bring forth her fruit in due season, 
whose leaf shall not fade, so whatsoever he shall do, shall 

Hitherto the prophet David hath described to us 
a godly and righteous man, such a man is truly 
blessed ; both negatively shewing what be the e\'ils 
he must very carefully shun and avoid, as also 
affirmativel}', by those \artues and holy duties wliich 
he doth carefully embrace and follow. 

Now m this verse the prophet proceeds to set out 
the happiness of a godly man, or wherein his happi- 
ness doth consist. And this doth he, fii-st, by simili- 
tude, comparing him unto a pleasant, fruitful, and 
flourishing tree ; secondly, by that blessed success 
God gives unto a godly man, in the end of this verse. 

The precedent part of the verse, the similitude 
itself, it hath in it these parts : — 

First, whereunto the godly man is compared, to a 

Secondly, the nature of this tree is described ; not 
every common or trivial tree, but such a tree, which 
for the original of it, planted ; secondly, for the situ- 
ation of it, by the rivers of waters ; thirdly, for the 

propriety of it, that will bring forth her fruit in due 
season; fourtlily, by a contrary property, v:hose leaf 
shall not fade. 

First, then, observe by this similitude, that man 
is compared to a tree, and in three things especially, 
— the shape, the gi'owth, and the state of a tree. 

L Man may well be compared to a tree in respect 
of his shape ; for as a tree consists of the root, the 
stock, and the boughs, or branches, even so doth 
man, this mystical tree. He hath his head, which is 
the root, and hair as small roots, his body as the 
stock, and liis arms and legs as so many boughs, and 
fingers and toes as lesser t-vvigs. Only the difference 
between the natural tree, and man this mystical tree, 
is this : the natural tree is rooted in the earth, re- 
ceiving as Esau's blessing the fatness of the same, 
Gen. xxvii. 28 ; but man, this heavenly plant, derives 
not his juice and nourishment from the fatness of 
the earth, but from heaven above, according to God's 
wise disposing of his root, wliich is above, not below. 
And therefore are we exhorted by the apostle to ' set 
our affections on heavenly things, and not on things 
here below ; ' for we through Christ are made par- 
takers of the divine nature, in heaven therefore must 
our conversation be, 2 Pet. i. 4. 

2. Secondly, Man may be said to be Hke a tree in 
respect of his gi'owth ; for a tree at first is flexible 
by nature, and so by degrees, a little and a little, 
grows to be stronger and stronger, tdl it come to 
perfection, and then again begins to wither and dry 
up. So fareth it with man, this mystical tree : while 
he is in the state of infancy, he is a tender twig, and 
his mind is as flexible as a t\vig ; easily inclined to 
virtue, if he be accordingly educated ; or else to vice, 
if the same be neglected, — an excellent caveat to 
all parents and governors of youth, that they take a 
due time of correcting and educating of these tender 
plants — namely, to bend the tree while it is a twig ; 
for if it be suffered it will grow to be cureless. And 
as man is like to a tree in respect of his infancy and 
tender age, so in respect of his decrepit old age ; for 
when the tree is once come to his perfection in 
growth, it then decays and declines. So fareth it 
with man ; let him seem to be as tall and as straight 
as a cedar tree, he must become a slirub again, and 
stoop to age. For man's life is well compared to a 
day, whose evening will most certainly follow hia 



[Ver. 3. 

morning, until the night of death cause him to sleep 
in the grave ; for as ' there is a time to be born, so 
there is a tune to die,' Eccles. iii. 2. Be it that thou 
now seemest to be as strong as the oak, and as tall 
as the cedar, as floiu-ishiug as the bay-tree, yet at 
last rottenness will creep into the strongest oak, and 
strength and tallness will be abated on thee, ' ^\nien 
the keepers of the house shall tremble,' &c., Eccles. 
xii. 3. 

3. Thirdly, Man may be compared to a tree in 
respect of the state of a tree, and that divers ways. 

(1.) First, As the tallest cedar is in greatest danger 
of wind and weather, even so the man that is tall, 
either in place of authority, riches, honour, or the 
like, is most subject to tlie assault of Satan, and rage 
of the wicked.i And men of such excellent places 
in church or commonwealth, are more subject to 
changes, disfavours, to envy, insurrections, poison- 
ings, murderings, as to so many raging winds ; 
whereas those that, with little Da\id, tend the ewes 
great with young, are free from these assaults. 

(2.) Secondly, it is commonly seen, the more evil- 
the tree is, the less fruitful. So fareth it with man 
naturally ; unless men be seasoned mth grace, riches, 
honour, dignity, or the like, are great occasions of a 
high mind, and a high mind is like unto a moun- 
tain, which the higher it is, the more barren it is. 
^^liereas if he be mean, and simple of spirit, he may 
fitly be compared to the valleys, which are ever fruit- 
ful, and, as the Psahnist saith, stand thick of corn; for 
humility is the groundwork of Cliristian virtues, and 
pride the root of all evil, and the queen of all vice. 

(3.) Thii'dly, and lastl)% The end of every tree is 
to become either timber for building, or fuel for 
burning. So fareth it with man, this mystical tree : 
when death cometh, which is God's axe by the which 
he doth cut us do^vn, he becometh either timber for 
the Lord's house, — ' when this earthly tabernacle 
shall be destroyed, to be a building not made with 
hands, but eternal in the heavens ; ' or else, alas ! 
but fuel for the fire of God's %\Tath, even in Tophet, 
where there is fire and much wood, and where the 
Lord's -oTath, as the bellows, shall never cease blow- 
ing and kindling the flame. 

It is here first of all to be noted that the Spirit of 
' Loea quae aliU celsa, ipsis prenipta videntur, — Seneca. 
' Query, " tall " ?—£■</. 

God sets out the happiness of a godly man by com- 
paring him to a goodly green tree. Hence we learn 
fii'st of all tliat it is not only la%vful but a commend- 
able and profitable kind of teaching, for God's minis- 
ters to illustrate points of doctrine by similitudes 
and comparisons, so that they be famdiar, and fit to 
make the people conceive what they teach, and to 
raise comparisons from the plough and ploughshare 
to that end, that even the simplest m a congregation 
may understand what is said and what is taught. 
This was the course of the prophets from time to 
time in their sermons to the people. This was the 
course of our Sa^dour himself, who in all his sermons 
used both parables and similitudes, comparing good 
men to good trees, and bad men to bad trees, com- 
paring liimself to a \nne, the Father to a husband- 
man, us to branches, himself to a shepherd, we to 
sheep, and the word to twenty things, as seed, 
mustard-seed, &c. To teach all those that are God's 
ministers that, when they preach unto their people, 
that they lay not up their speech in a mist of words, 
but so to deliver it as that the meanest and shal- 
lowest amongst the hearers may understand it. 
Thence came the profession of Paul, ' We preach not 
ourselves, but Cluist Jesus our Lord,' 2 Cor. iv. 5. 
And hence came that worthy resolution of his, ' I 
had rather in the church to speak five words, &c., 
that I might instruct others, than ten thousand 
words in a strange tongue,' 1 Cor. xiv. 19. 

In which words by ' strange tongue' we are not 
simply to understand Hebrew, Greek, Latin, &c., 
but by speaking of the mother-tongue in a strange 
manner. Preachers are fitly compared to a nurse : 
a nurse doth half chew the meat to the little one, 
and doth babble unto them in their o^vn stammer- 
ing tongue ; so must preachers proportion their doc- 
trine to their hearers' capacity, and fit his tongue to 
then- understanding. 

This may serve to reprove such kind of preachers 
who seek not to preach Christ crucified, but preach 
themselves, even such as in handling the word of 
God and preaching the gospel seek to show their 
own learning, -wit, art, and memorj', and so indeed 
preach not Cluist but themselves, like the old Phari- 
sees, ' Loving the praise of men more than the praise 
of God.' But what, shall Da^dd, the prophet of the 
Lord, or rather the Spirit of God in him stoop so 

Ver. 3.] 



low as to speak to the understanding of all men by 
similitudes, comparisons, and the like? And shall 
sinful man, a worm of the earth, exalt liimself above 
God, to seek only to tickle itching ears ^vith the 
words of man's ivisdom ? 

Use 2. Seemg God's ministers must be faithful 
teachers of the truth of God, and must deliver the 
same in the plain e^ddence of the Spirit, not with 
the enticing words of men's wisdom, this serves to 
direct the hearers in the art of hearing. They must 
submit themselves to God's ordinance, and be ready 
to know the will of God ; we must not have itching 
ears, that are not able to suffer wholesome doctrine, 
like the GentOes who despised the preaching of the 
apostles because it was not styled with man's painted 
eloquence, esteeming it foolishness. What is this 
but to stint the Spmt, and to teach the Lord to 
speak ? i^rescribing the minister what he shall say, 
and restraining our hearing what we ■will hear ? 
What, then, -n-iU follow, but that we shall hear with- 
out fruit, and the word to be unto us only a savour 
of death unto death ? 

Doct. 2. Hence we observe here a second point of 
doctrine, that seeing the prophet compareth a godly 
man to a tree, that of all the creatures of God there 
is a double use, one natural, the other spiritual ; as 
a tree in nature signifies such plants of the earth as 
bring forth fruit according to their kind. Now, be- 
sides this natural signification, it serves to put us in 
mind what we ought to be, — namely, fruitful trees Ln 
the Lord's orchard, lest if we be barren or bad we 
prove fuel for the fire, Jlat. ui. 10. A man having 
a tree in his orchard, if it bringeth forth nothmg but 
leaves, he will cut it, and prune it, and dung it, but 
if, after all tliis cost and labour, it remain stiU 
barren, he will then hew it down, as good for nothing 
but fuel for the fire. Hereby we may see how God 
will deal with us. We be all trees here planted in 
the Lord's orchard, he doth water us mtli the 
preaclung of the word, he cuts us and prunes us. 
Now, if after much cost and labour we shall remain 
barren stUl, if the Lord come three or four years 
and stUl no fi-uit ■niU be found, he will then betliink 
him to stub us up that we cover not the gi-ound, 
Isa. V. ; Luke viii. 4, 5. So by so'ndng of com into 
the ground to maintain man's Ufe, our Saviour leads 
us to consider of another thing : for as the sower 

casts his seed abroad into sundry sorts of ground, 
and they according to their nature bring forth fruit 
accordingly, even so the minister of the word 
scatters and sows the seed of God's word into the 
ground of men's hearts, and as they be prepared so 
they bring forth fiiiit. So by a weaver's shuttle we 
see the shortness of man's life, gone in a moment. 
Dost thou see how the wind drives the chaff and 
dust of the earth about, giving it no rest until it be 
clean dispersed away? Oh consider then how the 
curse of God shall follow and torment the wicked, 
and never let their souls be at rest till it consume 
them ; ver. 4 of this Psalm. Dost thou lie down 
into thy bed eveiy night ? oh remember that thou 
must shortly he down in thy grave, be covered ■with 
dust, and therefore prepare to die in the Lord. 
Dost thou see the beautiful grass and herbs of the 
earth cut down and wither away? so thy beauty 
and riches shall fade and jjerish. AAHien thou seest a 
stinking carrion, there behold a picture of thine own 
self, for no carrion is so loathsome to a man as a 
rebellious sinner to God. Dost thou put on thy 
clothes to cover thy nakedness? oh labour for the 
precious robes of Christ's righteousness, ' That thy 
filthy nakedness do not appear,' Eev. iii. 18. Dost 
thou but wash thy hands in water? oh labour for 
the blood of Jesus Christ to wash away the spots of 
thy sins, Ps. H. 7. Dost thou but sit down to eat 
and to drink to nourish thy body, T\'ithout which it 
could not hve ? oh consider that thy soul doth much 
more stand in need of the bread of Ufe, the food of 
thy soul. Dost thou see sometimes brimstone burn- 
ing ? oh consider and quake for fear of the dreadful 
judgment of God upon Sodom and Gomorrah, that 
were burned -with fire and brimstone, Gen. xLs., and 
how all sinners shall have their portion in the ' lake 
of fire and brimstone.' Dost thou but take a book 
into thy hand and open it leaf by leaf? oh consider 
that the time will come when the ' books of thy 
conscience shall be opened,' Eev. xx., wherein all 
thy sins are written one by one, and thou shalt then 
receive according to thy works. And thus we see 
that of all the creatures of God there is a double 
use to be made of them : the one natural, the other 
sfiiritual : one temporal, the other eternal. 

He shall he like a tree planted ly the rivers of water. 

This part of the simiUtude doth signify unto us 



[Ver. 3. 

our implanting and ingrafting into Jesus Christ his 
mystical body, by the work of God's Spirit, and by 
the means of a trae and lively faith. 

This word planted it is a metaphorical speech, 
and borrowed from the practice of husbandmen, 
who first take up their plants out of the nursery, or 
place where they first spring up, and then plant 
them in the orchard or vineyard ; so fareth it with 
man, this heavenly plant. And the comparison 
holds good in divers things : — 

1. First, for the circumstance of time when the 
plants of the earth are thus removed, and that not 
usually in summer, when the heat of the year is up, 
and the sap is gone up into the plant, but in the 
winter time ; this is usually to be seen for the most 
part. Even so, the time in the wliich the godly 
man is planted it is the winter time, — that is, the 
time of sorrow and sore affiiction, not in the summer 
of peace, when all things outwardly may seem to 
go well with a man, and he saith. Peace, peace ! but 
when God doth give unto a man the sight of his sin, 
and lets him see the reward of sin, even eternal 
death. Oh, when a man's sins do thus muster 
themselves before liim and against him ! oh, this 
winter time, this time of affiiction and sorrow ! 
now is the season of the removing of his heavenly 
plant, man. 

2. Secondly, as a plant is removed, not when it is 
fruitful, but removed to that end it may be fruitful ; 
so fareth it with man, this mystical tree. We are 
not fruitful by nature, before such time as we are 
planted and ingrafted into Jesus Christ, for till then 
we bring forth nothing but bitter and unsavoury 
fruit; but we are planted to that end we may be 
fruitful, and being once in Christ, we shall then, as 
living plants of that hvely stock, bring forth fruit 

In particular, this planting hath in it two things : 
1. Plucking up ; 2. Setting down. 

1. The plucking up shadows out unto us three 
things in the conversion of a sinner : — 

(1.) First, Our separation from the world. He 
cannot be in Christ that hath his rooting still in the 
earth, amongst the men of the world ; and therefore, 
as we have heard before, we must be careful that 
we ' walk not in • the counsel of the mcked, nor 
stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of 

the scornful' They are so many noisome shmbs 
that will be ready to fret the tender plants of the 
Lord and to annoy them ; and therefore we must be 
removed from amongst them, — that is, must have 
no secret society vn.t\\ them. 

(2.) Secondly, It signifies our deliverance from 
the power of original sin thus : for as a plant once 
removed receives no more juice nor nourishment 
from the old earth from which it is removed, but 
from that soil into the which it is planted ; so 
fareth it with this heavenly plant, being regenerate 
and ingrafted in Jesus Christ, there vnW follow such 
a change of will, affection, understanding, and the 
like faculties of soul and body, that whereas before 
they were altogether eartlily, carnal, and vain, so 
now they mind heavenly things, being sanctified by 
the spirit of grace and the power of nature, — that 
is, that old sap of sin being clone away. 

(3.) Thirdly, It signifieth a Christian man's 
sorrow for sin : for as no plant can be removed 
from one place to another but the axe and other 
instruments of the husbandman must be laid unto 
it, and many a root must be cut off' before it can be 
removed ; so fareth it with man, this heavenly plant. 
The Lord's husbandmen, which are his ministers, 
they must bring the axe of God's word, and lay the 
same to the root of our consciences, and we must 
have many an unprofitable sprout of nature cut off 
before we can be taken out of nature and ingrafted 
into Jesus Christ ; the roots, — that is, thy affections 
that have taken such deep rooting into thy profits, 
into thy pleasures, and the like, — all these must be 
cut off" before thou canst be planted into Christ. 

Doct. 3. Hence mark, in that the prophet David 
compares a godly man thus to a tree, not wild, but 
planted, and that by the rivers of water, and that 
this a sign of our insition or ingrafting into Christ 
his mystical body, whereby we are made members 
of the same. Hence I say we are taught that all 
men out of Clirist are miserable, only they be 
blessed that be united unto Jesus Christ and in- 
grafted into his mystical body. Our Saviour speak- 
eth of this when he compares his Father to a 
husbandman, himself to a vine, and all of us to 
branches. Now he shews that those that be in- 
grafted into him, that they be but dead and withered 
boughs, and therefore they must be burned in the 

Yer. 3.] 



fire, John xv. 1, 2. We are all by nature wild 
olives, Koin. xi., that bring forth nothing but sour 
and unsavoury fruit, till we be transplanted by 
the Spirit of God, and ingrafted into the sweet 
olive Jesus Christ. We see this plain by common 
experience. Take a scion from a tree, and unless it 
be ingrafted into another stock, it -will die and 
never bear fruit ; so unless we be grafted into Jesus 
Christ by faith and the Spiiit of God, we must 
needs wither and come to nothing, but prove fuel 
for the fire of God's vengeance. And Paul, sho^ving 
the estate of all men by nature out of Christ, 
saith, Eph. ii. 1-3, that we are all 'dead in tres- 
passes and sins ; ' ' the chikken of 'wrath ; ' yea, the 
very vassals of the de^'il and limbs of Satan, heii's of 
God's vengeance and eternal damnation, we are 
' Avithout God in the world, strangers from the 
common-weal of Israel,' in a cursed and damnable 
estate. ' Unless a man be born anew he can never 
enter into the kingdom of heaven,' John iii. 3, 5. 
Yea, the devil is called the god of the world, be- 
cause men by nature are his vassals and slaves, he 
reigns and rules in them. We are in the devil's 
claws, and taken in his snares to do his will. This 
is the common slavery of all, — high, low, rich, poor, 
noble, and simple. Let men boast never so much 
in outward respects, as sometimes the Jews did, 
' we are never bound to any ' ; yet, until the Son of 
Righteousness, Christ Jesus, do make them free, this 
is their captivity. AVe read in what an intolerable 
bondage the people of Israel were in, in Egypt 
under Pharaoh ; but it can in no way figure out 
unto us the miserable slavery and bondage that 
every man is in under the spiritual Pharaoh, Satan ; 
for here the soul, the -^vill, the aflfection, and all, are 
captived and held in his snares, to do his will. 

Use 1. The use hereof may serve to humble us, 
and to cause the lofty to strike sail, which joy so 
much in outward things — riches, honour, beauty, 
strength, authority, &-c. Alas ! what of all these, 
when in the meantime thou thyself art but a slave 
unto sin and Satan, a dead and withered tree re- 
served for the fire of God's -^vrath : eternal death is 
thy surest inheritance. If thou hast thy right, what 
canst thou expect but the fixe of hell 1 It is nature's 
desert, and that which nature doth aim at. Why 
art thou then, man, so secure when thy sins have 

cast thee into such a dismal estate 1 Oh let us 
labour to come out of it. Let us not suffer our eyes 
to sleep, nor our eyelids to slumber, till we have got 
the assurance that we are taken out of the state of 
nature into the state of grace, and to be by faith in- 
grafted into this true stock Christ Jesus. 

Use 2. Secondly, tliis shews that all those that 
live and die in the estate of nature unregenerate, 
not born anew, not ingrafted into Jesus Christ, must 
needs perish, and be damned for ever. The apostle 
shews that all men by nature be stark dead in tres- 
passes and sins, and that all by nature are the chil- 
dren of WTath, as well as others — high, low, rich, and 
poor ; old, young, learned, and unlearned. This is 
that our Saviour saith, Luke xiii. 5, ' Unless ye 
repent, ye shall all perish.' And again, John xv. 6, 
' If any man abide not in me, he is cast off as a 
withered branch ; and men gather them and cast 
them into the fire, and they burn.' Oh, how should 
this admonish all men to look about them ! It is 
wonderful to see how men go on from day to day, 
securely in their sins, and neither think of heaven 
nor hell, but persevere and continue in their igno- 
rance, unbelief, and hardness of heart, in swearing, 
contempt of the word, profaning the Sabbath, in 
Ijdng, stealing, adultery, &c. ' Oh, consider this, ye 
that forget God ! ' Oh, consider the woeful and fear- 
ful estate of all such as live and die out of Christ, in 
the estate of nature. They must needs perish, and 
for ever be damned. Oh, think of this, and the 
Lord give thee understanding in all tlungs, that 
every day thou risest thou art in danger to lose thy 
own soul ; and therefore lay this doctrine to heart, 
and know that it is not good to dally in such 
points. God wiU not be mocked. And therefore 
now begin to repent and turn unto God while it is 
called to-day. Defer no longer, but repent and seek 
to be reconciled to God while it is called to-day. 

The second part of this doctrine is, that as all those 
that be out of Christ are miserable and cursed, and 
if they live and die in the estate of nature, cannot 
be saved ; so, on the other side, aU those that are 
regenerate, and born anew, that be ingrafted into 
Jesus Christ by faith and the Spirit of God, so as 
they be the true and lively members of Christ his 
mystical body, they are blessed and happy. Now 
that these are blessed, it may appear in that blessed 



[Ver. 3. 

prayer Christ made a little before his passion. He 
begs this at his Father's hand, that all the elect might 
be ' one in him, and he in them.' And this he begs 
often and earnest unto his Father for, which shews 
that it is a matter of endless moment and gi'eat 
importance. Now that such as be one ■with Cluist 
are truly blessed, let us consider a Httle what great 
and incomparable benefits we receive by this our 
planting and ingraftmg into Christ his mystical 

First, hereby it comes to pass that every true 
believer hath sweet union and communion ^vith God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So as God the 
Father loves liim as his child, takes care of him, 
doth bless him, and provides a kingdom for liim ; 
so God the Holy Ghost is liis comforter in all estates. 
So as he is now the child of God, hath Jesus Christ 
to his elder brother, and all the angels in heaven 
have charge over him. 

Secondly, every true and Uvely member of Jesus 
Christ is reconciled to God, and justified in his 
sight, so as he hath the pardon and remission of his 
sins in the blood of Jesus Christ bestowed upon 
liim, against whose faith the gates of heU shall never 

Thii-dly, every true and lively member of Jesus 
Christ is partaker of aU the merits of Clirist's suffer- 
ings and obedience, as if he had done them in his 
own person ; Chiist's merits be his merits ; Christ's 
death is his death ; Christ's righteousness is liis 
righteousness ; so as God will not call him to account 
for his sins, or look on liim as he is in himself ; but 
wash his sins away in the blood of his Son, and 
behold liim as he is, covered with Christ's own 
righteousness and obedience. 

And hence we have three wonderful benefits that 
we are ingrafted into Jesus Christ. There be three 
things which make every man miserable in God's 

First, the guiltiness of sin, whereby every sinner 
stands bound to undergo and suffer the curse of God 
for his sins and breach of his holy law. 

Secondly, the corruption and filthiness of sin, 
which makes a man more loathsome than a toad or 
a serpent in God's sight ; so as this makes a man 
abominable, and all he doth exceeding loathsome. 

Thirdly, there is the everlasting curse of God due 

unto us for sin, wliich a carnal and unregenerate 
man is in danger of every day and hour, and which 
shall one day as certainly be executed upon the 
^vicked as now they live. 

Now in Jesus Clirist, by being united to liim, and 
being members of liis mystical body, we have 
three wonderful remedies against these three fearful 

First, For the bond of obhgation against us, ' He 
hath taken it away, and nailed it to his cross,' Col. 
ii. 14, and crossed and cancelled the same with liis 
own heart's blood. 

Secondly, For the stinking filtliiness and corrup- 
tion of sin, Clirist hath both perfectly obeyed the 
law for us, and also covered us in liis own righteous- 
ness, as Jacob in Esau's garment. 

Thirdly, For the most just and intolerable punish- 
ment, he stood in our stead upon the cross, and paid 
the full price and punishment for our sins ; for when 
Christ suffered in our stead, it was as much as if we 
had suffered. 

The fourth main benefit which eveiy godly man 
hath, by being one with Christ, is sanctification ; 
which is a wonderful and sujiernatural work of 
God's holy spirit, whereby every godly man, that is 
a true and lively member of Jesus Christ, is freed 
both in mind, will, and affection from the bondage 
and slavery of sin and Satan, and is by little and 
little enabled and strengthened by the Spirit of 
God, to will, desire, and approve that which is good 
and holy, and to walk in it. 

And this sanctification hath two parts, mortifica- 
tion and vivification ; by the former, sin is every day 
more and more mortified, weakened and consumed. 
By the latter, inherent righteousness is put into them, 
whereby they walk with God in newness of life. 

Now both these parts of sanctification are wrought 
after this manner. First, after the Christian man is 
united to Clmst, planted into liim as into a stock, I 
and become a living member of his mystical body, I 
Christ Jesus then by liis Spii'it works in him two 
blessed works. 

First, The godly man ingrafted into Jesus Christ, 
receives power and strength from the death of Christ 
to die to all sin. So as the power of Christ's death 
and passion doth kill sin, and mortify their corrup- 
tions, ' For as many as are baptized into Jesus 


Ver. 3.] 



Christ, are baptized into the similitude of his death,' 
Eom. Ad. 4. So as the death of Christ is as a corrosive 
to eat up and to consume all rotten flesh and cor- 
niptions of our hearts, it eats our sm and frets it 
away by little and httle, till it be utterly abolished 
by death, when our sanctification shall be perfected. 

Secondly, every godly man receiveth power and 
strength from Clirist's resurrection to rise out of the 
grave of sin to ne^vTless of life, to walk with God in 
holiness and righteousness. Even as we see all the 
parts of the body, being joined to the head, receive 
life and motion from it. Even so every Christian, 
as so many parts and members of Christ Jesus the 
liead, receive from him spiritual Hfe and motion, 
whereby they walk with God in new obedience. 

Use 1. This doctrine doth first of all condemn the 
doctrine of the adversary, that man hath free ^viU in 
himself We see here, that this mystical tree, man, 
must be planted, he cannot plant liimseU". Indeed, 
man at his first creation had free-\\aU himself, but 
since his fall, that blessing is now fallen away and 
utterly lost m man, and the proof of this point may 
appear unto us, if we will rest upon the testimony 
of God himself, who professeth thus of man, that 
' The imagination of man's heart is evil from his 
youth up.' Now what good can be willed of him 
who is first evil ? Secondly, whose heart is a 
fountain of aU e\'il. Tliirdly, whose imaginations, 
as streams of that fountain, are evil, and that not 
for a time, but ever from his youth up. So that 
now since the fall of man, the freedom of man's will 
to goodness is so enthralled and eclipsed, as that 
of ourselves we cannot plant ourselves into grace, 
or into Christ ; for we are as trees, not planting our- 
selves, but must be planted by God, for ' he shall be 
as a tree planted.' 

Use 2. Tills magnifieth the free grace of God 
above man's free-will or merit ; for whereas we do 
fail to plant ourselves, yet, as it appeareth by the 
text, we are planted. It is the Lord that must 
work in us both the will and the deed; he must 
turn liimself unto us, before we can turn unto him. 
This is acknowledged by the prophet Daniel in that 
worthy prayer of his when he saith, ' Compassion 
and forgiveness is in the Lord our God, albeit we 
have sinned against him,' Dan. ix. 9. This is 
taught by the apostle when he saith, that ' Eternal 

hfe is the free gift of God,' Eom. vi. 23. Yea, our 
Saviour Jesus Christ himself doth confirm the truth 
of this when he saith, ' Every plant whicli my 
heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted 
up.' Yea it is worth our best observation, that the 
whole work of man's salvation is called by the name 
of the work of grace or of mercy. And therefore on 
what part soever we cast our eyes, we shall see the 
free grace and mercy of God. Begin we at the 
foundation of all, God's eternal election, and come 
from thence to the period of all, man's glorification, 
and still ask the question from what root each part 
springeth ; the answer must be, from the free 
grace and mercy of God. It was the free grace and 
mercy of God that he should elect us. It was the 
free grace and mercy of God, that he should send 
Christ to redeem us. It was the free grace and 
mercy of God that he should call us, that he should 
justify us, that he should sanctify us ; and what can 
it be but the free grace and mercy of God, that we 
shall be admitted to ' an inheritance immortal and 
undefiled'? 1 Pet. i. 4. So that we see here in the 
whole work of man's redemjition by Clu-ist, there is 
no footing left for human merit ; for the free grace 
and mercy of God and man's righteousness cannot 
possibly stand together, they will never admit any 
composition, and therefore we must conclude for the 
whole work of man's redemption, and say, ' Not 
unto us. Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give 
the glory.' 

Use 3. Lastly, seeing all men out of Clirist be 
miserable, and those only that be in Clirist be 
blessed, let us labour wliile we hve to be assured of 
this, that we are regenerate, that we are the true 
and lively members of Jesus Christ. All men say 
they hope to be saved ; but those that be planted and 
ingrafted into him, none but they that be regenerate 
and born anew, none but such as do repent and 
believe in Christ Jesus, and be the true lively mem- 
bers of his mystical body [shall be saved.] 

And to the end that we be not deceived in so 
weighty a matter, but that we may assuredly know 
whether Christ dwell in our hearts by his Spirit, 
and we dwell in liim by faith, so as we be true and 
lively members of his mystical body; let us try 
it by those two ways : first, by the power of Christ's 
death ; secondly, by liis resurrection. If thou 



[Ver. 3. 

be a member of Christ thou shalt find the power of 
Christ's death daily crucifying the old man, and 
eating out the corruption of thy nature. For as we 
see in a man's body, when there is much dead flesh 
in a wound, they lay coiTosive medicines to it to eat 
it out ; so the death of Jesus Clirist ap^Dlied to our 
hearts by faith fret and eat out as corrosive the cor- 
ruption of nature, our dead flesh. So as Chiist 
by his death maketh all his members die unto sin, 
so as they cannot live in the bondage and slavery of 

Now, then, prove yourselves, your hope to be saved 
by Clirist Jesus. But be not deceived, Christ died 
for none but such as be united to him, his true and 
lively members. And none are his members but 
such as iind and feel the power of his death, to 
mortify, kill, and weaken the power of sin and 
natural coiTuption. Do you then find sin to die in 
you 1 Do you find the strength of your corruption 
to be abated, the heat of it to be allayed 1 Do you 
feel Christ's death fretting it out, so as we can say, 
I hate sin, I abhor sin ; it is as bitter as wormwood 
unto me ? Do you find this change in your lives 
that you do leave your old sins, labouring to get out 
of ignorance, to leave swearing, lying, stealing, 
drinking, whoring, &c.t Then your case is good, it 
is an e^'ident token that you are ingrafted into Jesus 
Christ. But if, on the contrary part, you find that 
sin is as strong now as ever it was, and that you are 
the same now that you were seven years ago, not 
dying to sin and rising to ne'miess of life ; oh, de- 
ceive not your own souls any longer, your case as 
yet is fearful, you be not the lively members of 
Jesus Clirist, but wild olives, wild branches, good 
for nothing but fuel for the fire. 

TFJiich brlngeth forth her fruit in due season. 

This is the second property of that tree where- 
unto a godly man is compared, namely, as it is well 
planted and seated by the river's side, where it hath 
continual juice and nourishment, and it is well 
watered. Even so likewise it is fruitful and yieldeth 
sweet and pleasant fruit to him that planted it,i 
and that in due season ; even so the godly man being 
ingrafted into Jesus Christ, as by a river's side, and 

' This tree whereunto the godly man is compared is most 
like to be the palm-tree. — Moler. in Ps. i. Palma gaudet 
riguis tutoque animo bibere gaudet. — Pli. lib. xiii. 4. 

being a lively member of his mystical body, he 
bringeth forth much good and pleasant fruit, and 
that in due season, whenas it may best stand for 
the glory of God and the good of man. 

Bod. 5. Here we see then who are the true and 
lively members of Jesus Christ, who is a true godly 
man, and who is planted as this good tree in Jesus 
Christ the true vine, namely, such as be careful and 
endeavour themselves continually to bring forth the 
blessed fruit of a godly and Christian life. ' Every 
tree is known by his fruit.' A tree is not kno^vn by 
his rind, or bark, nor branches, nor yet by his 
leaves, but ' every tree is kno-ivn by his fruit. Mat. 
xii. 34. A good tree cannot but bring forth good 
fruit, and a bad tree cannot but bring forth bad 
fruit ; so every man is known by his fruit. He that 
is a godly man, and a true and lively member of 
Jesus Christ, cannot but bring forth good fruit, even 
the fruit of good works and a godly life. So a 
wicked man cannot but bring forth bad friiit, the 
works of darkness, of a wicked and ungodly life. 
We see if a graft or scion be set into a good stock 
and take aright it will appear by the yielding of 
fruit ; but if it do not prosper, then it withers and 
dries, and is good for nothing but for fire. So if 
any man seem to be a Christian, and to be a mem- 
ber of Clirist Jesus, and yet bring not forth good 
fruit, surely his estate is fearful ; while he is un- 
fruitful, he must be pulled away as a withered branch, 
and to the fire he must go. A true Christian must 
not be like the tree which Christ Jesus cursed, which 
had leaves and no fruit. Mat. xxi. 19, but he must 
be like to the tree planted by the river's side, ' that 
win bring forth fi-uit in due season ; ' yea, that which 
is more, they ' bring forth fruit in then" age,' Ps. 
xcii. 14, whereas evil men, as the apostle St Paul 
saith, 2 Tim. iii. 13, 'wax worse and worse,' and 
fall away from God daily more and more. This was 
the sum of the doctrine of John Baptist to his 
hearers, that they would ' bring forth fruit worthy 
amendment of life,' Mat. iii. 8. And the like is 
used by the apostle, ' Let your conversation be such 
as becometh the gospel of Christ,' Phil. i. 27. 
Again, 'FoUow holiness, ^vithout which no man 
shall see God,' Heb. xii. 14. 'Herein' (saith our 
Sa\-iour Clirist, in the Gospel of St John xv. 8) ' is 
my father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and 

Ver. 3.] 



become my disciples.' And we know how Almighty 
God did plead this cause with the people of Israel, 
even in their unfruitfiilness, notwithstanding his 
great cost and pains about them. This is the hope 
of the husbandman, that after his cost and pains he 
shall in the end reap some fruit as a recompense of 
his labours ; and shall we not think that God vnll 
require the same at our hands, we being the vine- 
yard of the Lord of hosts 1 For every Christian 
that liveth in the church is a tree in God's orchard, 
he hath his room and standing ; the Lord watereth 
them with the dew of heaven, the ministry of his 
word and gospel, and the use of his sacraments. 
Now the Lord looks that we should yield him fruit, 
otherwise you know what became of the fig-tree 
that had goodly leaves but no fruit, it was sen- 
tenced vnth this curse, ' Never fruit grow on thee 
more.' It will not go for payment ■(vith Almighty 
God that we have been baptized into Christ's nature, 
that we have a being here in the church of God, 
and are taken for good trees before men ; no, it is 
our bringing forth of much fruit that must assure us 
that we are the members of Christ, and ingrafted 
into him. 

Objecl. WTiat be the fruits that a godly man must 
bring forth ? 

Arts. They be the fruits of good works, they be 
the fruits of a godly Ufe, in a word, they be the 
blessed fruits of faith, the fruits of repentance, and 
the fruits of new obedience. 

1 . First, Every true and lively member of Jesus 
Christ, — that is, every godly man or woman that is 
regenerate and born anew, and so a sound Christiaii 
— must labour to bring forth the fruit of faith. Now 
faith is nothing else but that grace of God in a man's 
heart whereby he beHeves the promise of salvation 
and the promises of the gospel, and applies them to 
his own soul, and therefore St James saith, ' Shew 
me thy faith by thy works.' Dost thou delight in 
the law of God and love his word ( Dost thou de- 
light in his worship and calling on his name 1 Dost 
thou find thy faith to purify thy heart ! Acts xv. 9. 
This is some part of that fruit which God requu-eth 
of thee. This fruit Peter brought forth, ' Thou art 
Christ the Son of the U\'iug God,' Mat. xvi. IG. 
This was the fruit that the disciples brought 
forth, ' We believe and know that thou art Christ, 

the Son of the living God,' John vi. 69. And in- 
deed this is the first stone that is to be laid in the 
building up of a Christian, and therefore very fitly 
called a foundation. And the Colossians are said to 
be rooted, and built, and stablislied in the faith, 
Col. ii. 7. And indeed this is that sure foundation 
that shall bear up the whole frame of our souls 
against all winds and weathers. It is the first work 
of change in the heart, and the first difference be- 
twixt man and man, when God ' by faith purifieth 
the heart,' Acts xv. 9. It will suffer no unclean 
thoughts, unLwful lusts, or wandering motions to 
harbour there, guideth the affections, love, hatred, 
sorrow, &c. Such a man loves nothing more than 
God, hates nothing more than sin, rejoiceth in no- 
thing more than in doing the will of God, and sor- 
rows for nothing more than that he should offend so 
good and gracious a God. Again, it is the founda- 
tion of all our obedience, for ' without faith it is im- 
possible to please God,' Heb. xi. 6. And without it 
we can neither pray, hear, or perform any duty that 
shall be acceptable with God. 

2. The second is the fruit of repentance, whereby 
a man is humbled for his sins past, and is afraid of 
sin in time to come. This fruit of repentance is of 
absolute necessity to salvation, according to that of 
our Saviour, ' Except ye repent ye shall all perish,' 
Luke xiii. 5. And . only godly sorrow must work 
this true repentance in a man, ' Godly sorrow 
causeth . repentance in a man to salvation,' 2 Cor. 
vii. 10. And therefore in the Scriptures ai-e re- 
corded the mournings of the godly in the days of 
their humiliation : David's fainting, Ps. vi. 6 ; 
Hezekiah chattering like a crane, Isa. xxxviii. 1 4 ; 
Job abhorring himself in dust and ashes ; Peter 
weeping bitterly. Mat. xxvi. 75 ; Mary Magdalene 
washing Christ's feet with her tears, Luke vii. 38 ; 
and Paul crjdng out, ' wretched man that I am,' 
Eom. vii. 24. We must mourn with these here if 
we must mourn ' with them hereafter. And surely 
if there were neither heaven nor hell, neither reward 
nor punishment, yet the godly would sorrow for sin, 
for offending their good and gracious God and 
lo\-ing Father. Besides this sorrow in a godly man 
for his sins past he is exceeding afraid of .sin in time 
to come, as David was, who prayed unto God so 

' Quer}-, 'r<.'jiiico ' ? — Ed. 



[Ver. 3. 

earnestly that he would ' stablish him with his free 
Spirit,' Ps. li. 10. That seeing he had such woeful 
experience of his own weakness, he prays unto the 
Lord that he would give him his preventing grace, 
that lie might never fall into the like sin again. So 
the godly Israelites in Ezra his time, Ezra ix. 
10, 13, when they had mth grief of heart bewailed 
their sins unto God, they resolve to make a cove- 
nant with God, and solemnly to bind themselves to 
put away their strange wives, whereby they had so 
much dishonoured liim. And so it is with all the 
faithful, even as a good child, having by his unto- 
wardness vexed his father, is careful afterwards to 
please him again by all means possible. Well, then, 
dost thou find these fruits of true repentance in 
thee ? are thou grieved and even pained at thy heart 
for thy wicked life, for thy ignorance, unbelief, 
hardness of heart, thy neglect of prayer and caUing 
on God's name? Art thou grieved for want of 
reverence in God's worship, for thy abusing God, — 
namely, by swearing, cursing, and banning, for con- 
tempt of his word and sacraments, for profaning of 
his Sabbaths, careless governing of the family, for 
thy maUce, unbelief, unclean, proud, and covetous 
thoughts, drunkenness, uncleanness, and the like? 
Again, dost thou find in thee an earnest desire to 
walk with God in obedience to all his command- 
ments, to live in no known sin, but in all things to 
please God to the utmost of thy power ? These be 
the fruits of righteousness, whereby we are known to 
be of God. 

3. The third is the fruit of new obedience, or of 
a godly life, both in obedience of God's laws in the 
first and second table. Christ makes this the ear- 
mark of his sheep, ' To hear his voice and follow 
him,' Jolm x. And we are willed by the author of 
the epistle unto the Hebrews to ' Cast away every 
thing that pressetli down, and the sin that hangeth 
so fast on, and to run with patience the race that 
is set before us.' This was godly David's resolution, 
' I will nin the way of thy commandments,' Ps. 
cxix. 32, and David, describing the true worshippers 
of God, saitli, ' They go on from strength to strength,' 
Ps. Ixxxiv. 7, serving God in truth of heart, without 
hyjjrocisy ; and it is said here, that the fruit of a 
godly man doth never fixde. And howsoever the 
work of mortification is never perfected in this life, i 

but that the remnants and relics of sin will still 
remain, even in the godly themselves, yet they ever 
sin with grief of heart, and Christ's death doth set 
such a work against all sin, that the regenerate man 
can truly say, ' It is not I, but sin that dwelleth in 
me.' So then if thou desirest to please God in all 
his commandments, at all times, and in all places, 
and to do all duties of love unto men required in 
the commandments of the second table, shewing thy 
fruits in doing of good to the poor distressed mem- 
bers of Jesus Christ, feeding, clothing, and comfort- 
ing them in their need. In thy general calling to 
bring forth the fniit of godliness, to be much in and 
often exercised in prayer, hearing, reading, meditat- 
ing, &c. As also in thy particular calling to do thy 
duty with a true faith, and a good conscience, with- 
out fraud, guUe, deceit, &c. These be the fraits 
that are required in all those that are the members 
of Jesus Christ, and ingrafted into his mystical 

Use 1. This doctrine doth flatly condemn all such, 
as unfruitful and barren trees, as bring forth no 
fruit of a godly, righteous, and religious life, such as 
live in continual ignorance, bhndness, hardness of 
heart, in contempt of the word, profanation of the 
Sabbath ; our civil honest men wliich are so much 
admired ; if they be not good Christians, who 
should? And if they be not saved, I know not who 
should go to heaven. Well, every good tree brings 
forth good fruit. Where be your good fruits ? No 
fruits of faith, no fruit of repentance, nor new obedi- 
ence ; but instead thereof the fraits of infidelity and 
hardness of heart, and disobedience. Alas ! that 
poor souls should thus go blindfold to hell ! to 
think that such should be saved ; what then should 
become of hell ? As though a man might be a true 
niember of Jesus Christ, and ingrafted into his 
mystical body, and yet be barren of good fruits. 
No, no, it cannot be, for there is such a lively power 
in this stock of life, Christ Jesus, that they who 
are once ingrafted into him, bring forth fruit incon- 
tinent. As we may see in the thief upon the cross, 
what fruit he bare in an instant of time ; first, con- 
fession of his own sins ; secondly, reproving the sins 
of his companion ; thirdly, clearing Christ to be in- 
nocent ; lastly, praying that Christ would remember 
him when he came into his kingdom ; and this we 

Ver. 3] 



may see in Zaccheus, Lydia, &c., wlio were no 
sooner converted, but brought forth fruit incon- 
tinently ; and yet we see how many dry, fruitless, 
and barren trees deceive the world, as the fig-tree 
Christ. Oh ! he is a very honest man, keeps a good 
house, doth nobody harm, a very kind and civil 
honest man, &c. Well, is this all 1 This will not 
serve to prove him a good Clu'istian. For ' now is 
the axe put to the root of the tree, every tree that 
brings not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast 
into the fire,' ]\Iat. iii. 10. We know what became 
of the fig-tree that had goodly leaves and fair 
shows, was it not accursed? And the tree that 
the husbandman digged, and pruned, and watered ; 
was it not in the end he-mi do^vn and reserved for 
no other use but fuel for the fire ? And this will be 
the end of many of our civil honest men (so called) 
wliatsoever they think of themselves, or others con- 
ceive of them. 

Oh, then, how fearful a thing is it to be trees 
brmging forth leaves and no fruit, as is the condi- 
tion of all hjqjocrites ; for they shall find at last what 
it is to be as a barren tree in the Lord's vineyard, 
for that shall be taken away from them wliich they 
seem to have, as proud Jezebel and her painted face 
shall both of them perish together. On the other 
side, the elect of God, that biing forth fruit as well 
as leaves, they shall be both preserved together and 
grow in grace and knowledge here in this life, and 
at the last, when these days of sin shall have an end, 
they themselves shall be gathered into the place of 
rest, the Sion of the Lord, and their works shall 
follow them, Eev. sdv. 13. And howsoever works 
justify not a man, being the best of them weak and 
imperfect here, yet by our works, as the evidences of 
our virtues, we shall be judged at the last. 

Use 2. This then doth plainly shew that their 
estate is ten times worse and more fearful that brings 
forth nothing but cursed and bitter fruits of sin and 
wilful disobedience. A farmer or husbandman will 
not suffer a tree to grow in his orchard if it either 
bring no fruit, or else bitter, sour, or unsavoury fruit, 
so bad as none can eat them, nor there is no use of 
them, but will hew it down and cast it into the fire. 
Oh, then, consider this, ye that forget God, ye that 
live in continual practice of sin and iniquity, you 
that bring forth no other fruit but horrible oaths. 

blasphemy, drunkenness, whoredom, &c. ; that by the 
axe of God Almighty's vengeance ye shall be hewn 
do^vn, and to the fire ye must go. If trees as be 
barren and bring forth no fruit shall be destroyed 
and cast into the fire, how much more such miser- 
able and sinful wretches whose whole life is nothing 
else but a heaping of iniquity unto iniquity, and all 
profaneness against God and man ? If the rich man 
was damned that did not give of his bread to poor 
Lazarus, good Lord, what shall become of those that 
take away, and, as it were, grind the face of the 
poorl In a word, if he, not being fniitful in good 
works, shall be punished so sharjjly and severely, 
what shall then become of those that even abound 
in all manner of most abominable sin and iniquity ? 
Oh, 'consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear 
you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you.' 

Use 3. Let tliis admonish every man to try him- 
self, to look into liis own soul. Thou art a tree in 
God's orchard, the Lord he husbands thee, doth be- 
stow cost on thee to water and dress thee by his 
word and sacraments, mercies and judgments. WeU, 
he comes to seek fruit of thee, it may be he hath 
come three, four, seven, or ten years together, and 
still thou hast no fniit, but remainest still a barren 
tree. Well, the Lord will not always stay and wait 
for fruit at thy hands, Luke xiv. 9, but will say to 
the vinedresser, ' Cut me this fruitless and barren 
tree down ; why doth it cover the ground and keep 
it barren 1 ' as it is in Isa. v. ' The ground that re- 
ceiveth the rain that comes often upon it, and brings 
forth fruit meet for him that dresses it, receives a 
blessing; but him that brings forth thorns and 
briars is sentenced with a curse, whose end is to be 
bunied,' Heb. vi. 7, 8. If ye have not yet begun, 
begin now to bring forth fruit, I mean the fruits of 
faith, the fruits of repentance, and the fruits of 
obedience, of a godly life and conversation. If ye 
have begim already, oh labour then to do it more, 
bring forth more, and more better fruit to abound 
in good works; such trees as these are shall be 
spared, and not destroyed, Deut. xx. 19, but such 
trees as bring forth no fruit, ' Hew them down, why 
cumber they the ground 1 ' 

In due season. 

That is, in time convenient, when it may most 
serve for God's glory and the good of our neigh- 



[Ver. 3. 

bour. So that here we have a further condition of 
this tree set out by the circumstance of the time, 
that it 'briugeth forth fruit in due season.' And 
we know it is a commendable thing in our grounds, 
and so in our trees, that they bring us out theii- fruit 
in their due season. If our corn should not be ripe 
till the summer were over, or our trees begin to bud 
in the spring before summer come, men would look 
to reap but small store of fruits. Well, as this is 
commended in our ground and in our trees, so is it 
no less commendable in our souls, and a true "note 
of a godly man, and a blessed proceeding from his 
ingrafting into Jesus Christ, that he likewise bring 
forth fruit in due season. 

Dod. 6. In this observe the godly care, and the 
heavenly wisdom of a godly man, and one that is 
a child of God ; that he waits and watches his time, 
and then readily takes the occasion to do good. 
Everything hath his time and season, ' Seek the 
Lord while he may be found, and call upon him 
while he is near,' Isa. Iv. 6, 7. Out of which words 
we gather, that as there is a time when the Lord 
will be found of them that seek him (which time is 
a godly man's season, for now doth he seek the 
Lord) so there is a time when the Lord will not be 
found, and that a blessing cannot be obtained at his 
hands, though a man seek it with tears, as Esau did, 
for so saith the Lord, ' Because I have cried and 
called unto you, and ye would not hear ; therefore 
the time shall come, that ye shall cry and call unto 
me, and I will not answer,' Prov. i. 24, 28. Again, 
' Exhort ye one another daily, while it is called to- 
day,' Heb. iii. 13. For our hearing, for our read- 
ing, praying, singing, and meditating, &c., there 
are times for each of those, which the godly man 
doth in no wise omit. And of this there is great 
reason; for shall we not be as careful of the per- 
formance of our duties herein, as we are in our own 
affairs ? In our ploughing and sowing, our reaping 
and gathering in, our putting off of our cattle, and 
tilling our ground. Men know their times, and 
take their opportunities, even then when it shall 
stand with their best advantage. Oh that we could 
be as wise for our souls, to purchase the true 
treasure which will make us rich unto salvation, 
as we are for these temporal things which do last 
but for a time. Surely it is the care of a godly 

man. As the mariner watches for the wind, and 
when it comes, hauls up sail ; as the captain and 
soldier in the field wait their time ; yea, and as the 
birds, swan and crane, the beasts, swallow, and 
pismire, wait their times, and then take the occasion 
and season ofl'ered ; so the child of God doth in his 
heavenly wisdom wait the time, and take the oc- 
casion to do good. As Joseph in the seven years 
of plenty, provided for the seven years of dearth ; so 
the godly man bringeth forth fruit in due season, — 
that is, in time convenient. As when the Lord calls 
man to repent, he repents ; when occasion is to 
pray, he will pray ; when the season is to hear, he 
^vill hear ; when to reprove, he will reprove ; when 
to give to the poor, he hath his hand ready ; so 
as when occasion is offered he takes it. Yea, he 
waits and watches for it, as Lot did to entertain 
strangers at his tent-door, Gen. xvii., and as that 
poor man in the Gospel, who lay at the pool of 
Bethesda, waiting for the moving of the water, 
John V. 

Use 1. This reproves the folly and carelessness 
of most men, who neither wait the time, nor yet 
take the occasion offered. The Lord calls men 
to prayer, to call on his nanie, they make light 
of it. The Lord calls men to hear his word, men 
contemn it. The Lord offers occasion to reprove 
sin, they Avill not open their mouths to reprove the 
swearer, blasphemer, cursed speaker, &c. The Lord 
offers occasion to relieve the poor, they shut up the 
bowels of mercy against them. In the matters of 
the world, oh, men are wise to take their time, the 
merchant, the mariner, the husbandman, &c. But 
in the matters of God, which concern the salvation 
of our souls, we are like that sick man that let every 
man step in before him. Well, if we belong unto God, 
it will grieve us at the heart that we have not done 
our duty, that we have omitted our occasions of 
doing of good ; whether to hear, read, pray, reprove, 
or to give unto the poor. Well, let us now ' seek the 
Lord while he may be found.' Let us not with the 
slotliful servant, defer till our master's coming. 
How many be there that say, that they will now 
live at ease, in joy, and vnW take their pleasure, 
and follow their sports, and when they be old, then 
they will repent and serve God, and give them- 
selves to pxaycr ; but let none think if they do 

Ter. r>,] 



spend the flower of their youth in kists and plea- 
sures, in tlie service of sin and Satan, that God will 
accept of their rotten old age, no, the devil shall 
have the dregs as well as the wne. 

U^e 2. Hence we observe, in the second place, that 
God's children are never void of the fruits of faith, 
but have them in them continually to their endless 
comfort. Other trees oftentimes fall to degenerate, 
and to grow cut of kind, and if they do hold out 
a long time, yet age at the last makes them to 
decay and to die; albeit you dig and dung, and 
water them never so much, it cannot keep them 
from wasting and ■\Aathering ; but it is not so mth 
godly men, which are planted by the ' rivers of water' 
in God's church ; for even in their old age, they 
bring forth abundance and store of fruit, albeit they 
be never so old, yet whensoever the season requu'es 
some fruit of a godly man, he is ever ready to per- 
form the same, being that he is continually watered 
by the working of his Spuit. And this is confirmed 
by that of our Sa\dour Christ, ' I am the true vine, 
and my Father is the husbandman, every branch 
that beareth no fruit in me, he takethaway; and 
every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that 
it may bring forth more fruit.' John xv. 1,2. So 
that being once planted by these rivers of waters, we 
shall then incontinently bring forth fruit. 

His leaf shaU not fade. 

This is the third point of the description of this 
tree, to the which a godly man is compared ; namely, 
by the flourishing estate of it, that her leaves do not 
fall. They wither not, nor dry not, but always 
flourish and are green. Of this sort is the olive- 
tree, the bay-tree, the laurel- tree, and the box-tree ; 
they are always green and flourishing, the heat of the 
summer, nor the cold of the winter, doth not parch 
or Tiither them, but they keep their vigour and 
colour at all seasons. Now this doth signify unto 
us the constancy and the perseverance of the godly. 
For as the tree planted thus by the fresh springing 
waters doth always flourish and is ever green, neither 
is it nijjped either vnih the heat of summer, or cold of 
winter ; so the godly man that is tndy regenerate, he 
is constant, and doth persevere even unto the end. 

Bod. 7. Hence we learn that it is not enough for 
a man or woman to begin well, or to take some 
liking of religion, to have some good motions, as to 

reverence good ministers, to desire to hear them, to 
join with the people of God in prayer, to bring forth 
some good fruit in outward reformation of Hfe, &c., 
unless he persevere, persist, and go on unto the end. 
' He that endures to the end shall be saved,' Mat. 
xxiv. 12. And, 'Be thou faithful unto death, and 
I will give thee a crown of life,' Rev. ii. 10. ' If a 
righteous man leave his righteousness,' &c., Ezra 
xiii. 24. ' He that puts his hand to the Lord's 
plough, and looketh back, is not worthy of the Icing- 
dom of heaven,' Luke ix. G2. Again, ' It had been 
better for them that they had never known the ways 
of godliness than afterwards to fall away,' 2 Pet. 
ii. 21. And therefore in the Scriptures, such as have 
had some beginning and after fallen away are noted 
to have been exceeding wicked men. As we see in 
Judas, first a preacher and an apostle, a man well 
esteemed, that had excellent gifts to, preach, pray, 
and cast out devils, afterwards an hyjiocrite, a thief, 
a traitor, a reprobate. Herpd had many things in 
him at first, reverenced John Baptist, heard him 
gladly, did many things at his request, yet after- 
ward a bloody persecutor. Demas, once a sound 
professor as it seemed, and one that was dear unto 
Paul, but afterwards left his profession and fell in 
love with the world, like the church of Ephesus lost 
their first love and grew worse ^nd worse. Rev. ii. 4. 
So that, let all men know that though they have 
many excellent gifts and graces of God's Spirit, 
knowledge, faith, repentance, zeal, patience, yet all 
is nothing worth unless they hold out in faith, re- 
pentance, and obedience, and maintain faith and 
a good conscience even unto the end. If a soldier 
should be cunning and skilful, knowing how to fight 
and handle his weapon Avell, and yet should turn his 
back and play the coward, he is but a cowardly 
soldier, and not worthy of the crown. And there- 
fore it is a special duty, required of every Christian, 
to continue steadfast ; ' Be thou faithful unto the 
end, and I will give thee a crown of life,' Rev. ii. 10. 
Use 1. Hence we see that it is a dangerous thing 
to revolt and go backwards in matters of religion, 
to lose our first love. It is a fearful sign of a re- 
probate and castaway, when men slack hand and 
slip neck out of collar, grow careless in the service 
and worship of God : for a man to grow, there is 
some hope, though he do but creep on in religion ; 



[Yek. 8. 

but for a man to go backward or to stand at a stay 
is dangerous. For it is certain, not to go forward in 
God's matters is to go backward ; not to increase is 
to decrease ; not to grow better is to wax worse. It 
is a hard matter to make a good beginning, we are 
not easily brought to set foot forward in the ways 
of godUness ; but then to trip while we are in our 
journey, and to wax weary of well-doing, this is a 
fearful sin. Well, then, lay this doctrine to heart, 
examine yourselves, see how ye grow, whether as 
good trees in God's orchard, being so watered vnth 
the rivers of water of the sanctuary, and fed in the 
green pastures. If a child go to school, and do not 
increase in knowledge, learning, and education, all 
money and pains is ill bestowed. If a tree be 
planted, and do grow worse and worse, it is time to 
cut it down. Well, we be trees in God's orchard, 
the Lord hath planted us by the rivers of waters, 
when a great number about us be in a barren soil 
and have no means. And for us not to grow, but 
rather to decay, it were the next way to provoke 
God to bring his axe and to hew us down. And 
therefore prove how you hold your own, how you 
grow in knowledge, faith, repentance, and obedience. 
And, above all things, take heed that you decay not 
in grace, go not backward, lose not your first love. 
I fear me it may be said of us, as Clmst said some- 
time to the church of Sardis, ' Thou hast a name 
that thou hvest, take heed thou be not dead,' Eev. 
iii. 1. Kepent therefore and amend, that the things 
in thee ready to die may be recovered. 

Use 2. Here is a notable means to try hj^jocrites 
from good Christians : he that is sound-hearted, and 
truly humbled and regenerate, will persevere and 
grow in grace, hold out to the end, so as their works 
shall be more at last than at the first ; yea, the godly 
man is like the tall cedar, the more it is shaken with 
storms and tempests it takes the deeper root and 
grows the faster ; Uke the camomile, the more it is 
trodden on the more it grows ; or like some precious 
stones, never shine better than in the darkest night ; 
or like perfume, never so sweet as when it is rubbed 
and chafed ; or gold, never brighter than when it is 
fined in the fire. The word of God is plain for 
this : Abraham in all his journeys and travels, 
though he met with many and dangerous enemies, 
yet he was most constant in his foith ; David, in all 

his troubles, yet still was religious ; the children in 
the fire, most glorious conquerors ; Daniel in the 
den, a blessed man ; Job, in his greatest extremity, 
a patient man ; Paul, Peter, and the rest of the 
apostles, never shewed themselves more worthy men 
than in great trials and storms of persecutions. So 
that you see a godly man is well compared to a strong 
oak or cedar, or rather a palm-tree, that never loseth 
his leaves, fruit, and greenness — no, not in the 
bitter storms and blasts of winter. So the godly 
man doth not shrink in the wetting like to a piece 
of sail-cloth, but doth persevere, and is constant 
even unto the end, his works are more at last than 
at first. 

But come to a hj^iocrite, a counterfeit Christian, 
a false professor of the gospel, you shall see they be 
like painted sepulchres, fair ■vvithout but foul within ; 
like to empty vessels which make great noise and 
have no Uquor in them ; like a piece of sail-cloth 
which, being drawn out and set on the tenters, will 
quickly shrink in the wettmg. They be like to false 
friends, that \^'ill hang on like burs while there is 
some gain to be gotten, but they will fail a man 
when he hath most need of them. So long as it is 
fair weather, and there is no danger in professing of 
the gospel, they will seem forward and very zealous, j 
as though they were the only men in the world ; but I 
if there come any matter of danger, if the sun grow " 
hot, or if stoiTns or tempests do arise — that is, troubles 
and persecutions for I'eligiou's sake and the gospel's 
sake, they will then hide their heads and profess no 
longer. All the goodly leaves and shows they made 
will wither and come to nothing, then they will ap- 
pear to then- kind. Such our Saviour Clmst likeneth 
unto corn m the stony ground, which makes a fair 
show for a time, but when the sun arises it withers 
away. Even so, these kind of professors, if any trial 
or trouble do come for the gospel's sake, or that for 
their profession they should lose the fiivour of some 
great man, oh, then, they think it the safest way 
to sleep in a whole skin ; then they wither away, and 
then they shew they did profess the gospel, not in 
truth and sincerity for love to the gospel, but for 
some other respect, namely, for some hope of gain, 
or honour, or favour of men, or for praise of the 

Use 3. Let this admonish us all, as we do love our 




own souls, to labour for constancy and perseverance, 
tliat we may hold out unto the end, that our works 
may be more at last than at first, that we cast our 
account beforehand what it will cost us to be re- 
ligious indeed, that we be sure to dig so deep, that 
we lay the foundation of our faith upon the rock 
Christ ; and for want of this godly care and ciixum- 
spection aforehand, many have at the first given 
their names to Christ, who aftervvards, when they 
were to take up the cross of Christ, have gone out 
and turned their backs upon Christ. Saul began 
well, but afterwards he waxed worse, and in the end 
became an open persecutor. Joash behaved him- 
self uprightly all the days of Jehoiada, and repaired 
the house of the Lord, but after his death he fell to 
idolatry. What did it profit Lot's wife to go out of 
Sodom, uisomuch as afterwards she looked back and 
was turned into a pillar of salt 1 So, then, we see 
here that it is not enough to purpose well, it is 
not enough to begin well, neither is it enough to 
proceed well ; it is requii'ed of us to persevere well, 
and to continue in a constant and settled course even 
unto the end. 

Bod. 8. Last of all, that it is said here that the 
leaves — that is to say, the faith of a Christian — shall 
never fall. Hence I gather that no elect child of God 
that is tnily regenerate and born anew, and a lively 
member of Christ's mystical body, can perish and 
finally fall away. ' For whom God predestinateth, 
him he calleth, whom he calleth he justLfieth, whom 
he justifieth he glorifieth,' Rom. viii. 30. ' The gift 
and calling of God is without repentance.' ' My 
sheep hear my voice and follow me. And I give 
unto them eternal hfe ; and they shall never perish, 
neither shall any man take them out of my hand,' 
John X. 27-29. And the reason is, 'We bear 
not the root, but the root beareth us.' Our salva- 
tion doth not depend upon ourselves, for then, in- 
deed, we were in danger to fall away every moment 
of an hour, but it dependeth upon him, because we 
are in him, and through him we gi'ow and increase ; 
yea, the older we be in Christ the more do we fasten 
our root and flourish. They which are planted in 
the courts of the Lord shall flourish in their old age, 
and bring forth much fruit. 

And whereas other branches are many times 
pulled from their stock, either by the violence of 

the wind, by the hands of men, or at the least 
consumed by length of time, it shall not be so with 
them that are in Christ ; for they are kept by him, 
as the root bearing branches. Because I am not 
altered nor changed, therefore are you not con- 
sumed, ye sons of Jacob ! And therefore right 
happy is the state of that man who is in Clu-ist 
Jesus ; for ' neither life, nor death, tilings present, 
nor thmgs to come, shall separate him from the love 
of God,' Rom. ^aii. 38. 

And this comfort is confirmed to us Isy most sure 
arguments. The first is taken from the nature of 
Almighty God: 'He is faithful which hath pro- 
mised.' And 'I am persuaded,' saith the apostle, 
' that he who hath begun this good work will per- 
form it until the day of Christ.' 

The second is taken from the nature of that life 
which Christ comLnninicateth to his members : ' We 
know that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth 
no more,' Rom. vi. 9, This life of Christ is com- 
municated to us, so that it is not we that live now, 
but Christ that liveth in us. 

The third is taken from the nature of that seed 
whereof we are begotten : we are ' born anew, not of 
mortal seed, but immortal,' 1 Pet. i. 23. Now as 
the seed is, so is the Ufe that comes by that seed ; 
our life therefore must needs be immortal. 

Use I. This confuteth the detestable doctrine of 
the Papists, who hold and teach that a man elected, 
called, justified, and sanctified, may for ever fall 
away and be damned ; that he which to-day is the 
dear child of God, to-morrow may become the child 
of the devil ; to-day a member of Chiist, to-morrow 
a limb of the devil ; to-day an heir of salvation, to- 
morrow a child of damnation. Now what doctrine 
can be more devilish and uncomfortable? This is 
nothing else but to set up a gibbet to torment the 
poor souls of God's cliilcben, to overtlirow the nature 
of faith, to make God feeble and weak, or foohsh 
and unwise, which is manifest blasphemy ; but we 
see here the word of God tells us this cannot be : 
' For what shall separate us from the love of God in 
Christ Jesus ? ' Notliing. 

Use 2. This may serve to reprove another sort of 
men, who are ready to abuse this doctrine. Tu.^h, 
saith the carnal and loose Christian, it sldlls not 
then how a man lives, whether well or ill, he that is 



\YEn. 3. 

elected and is a member of Clirist sball be saved, 
and he that is rejected shall be damned, though he 
live never so well ; therefore they take liberty to 
sin, and make conscience of no sin whatsoever. But 
they must know that God decrees a man as well to 
the means as to the end. And it is impossible a 
man should be elected and called, but he must live 
well ; so he that is not elected and called cannot 
live well. And it is all one as if a man should 
never eat or diink, and yet hope to live and like 
well ; or lying in the fire or water, and using no 
means to come out, should not perish. But we 
must know that the end and the means must go 
together. And for a man to neglect or reject the 
means, it is in vain for liim to hope to be saved ; for 
if thou belong to God thou shalt in time be called 
and sanctified ; and where his work is not as already 
wrought, that man is as yet in the state of damna- 

Use 3. Here is matter of endless comfort to every 
true child of God that truly repents and believes in 
Jesus Christ, that howsoever, through the malice of 
Satan, and the temjytation of the de\dl, the allure- 
ments of the world, and the coiTuption of our flesh, 
we may grievously sin and fall ; yet ' there is no 
condemnation to them that are in Christ,' Eom. viii. 
1. 'The gates' — that is, all the powers — 'of hell 
shall not prevail against us,' Mat. xvi. If ever 
thou foundest the sound work of grace in thee, 
foundest Jesus Christ to dwell in thy heart by ftiith, 
so that thou hatest all sin, and desirest in aU things 
to please God, though Satan rage and stoim, and all 
the gates of hell rise up against thee ; yet thou 
mayest comfort thyself in the Lord, and say with 
Paul, ' There is no condemnation to me that am in 
Christ, which walk not after the flesh, but after the 
Spirit.' Thou mayest triumph with Paul, and say, 
'MTio shall lay anything to the charge of God's 
chosen 1 ' and, ' If God be with us, who can be 
against usT and again, 'I am persuaded nothing 
can sever me from the love of God in Christ Jesus ; ' 
no, not sin, nor death itself Oh, happy then and 
blessed is the estate of that man who is in Christ ! 
' Neither life, nor death, things present, nor things 
to come, shall separate him from the love of 

And whatsoever he doth shall prosper. 

Doct. 9. Here is described another part of the 
blessedness of a godly man, containing the mercy 
and goodness of God unto Idni in the lawful things 
wherein he hath to deal, that God dotli of Ids infi- 
nite mercy and love direct and prosj)er tliis man, 
gi\'ing a blessing and good success to all he take? in 
hand. And this mercy all men desire, to attain 
prosperity and good success in their estates ; all 
men desire it, — lo, here it is promised. 

Hence we learn that it is not in vain for a man to 
be godly, to be religious, to walk with God, and to 
keep faith and a good conscience before God and 
man, but it is the only way to be blessed, to have 
the blessing of God upon us in our places and call- 
ings, and to have good success in all things that we 
take in hand. This is taught by Moses unto the 
people of Israel, 'If thou wilt obey diligently the 
voice of the Lord thy God, and observe and do all 
liis commandments which I command thee this day, 
&c., all these blessings shall come on thee, and over- 
take thee, if thou shalt obey the voice of the Lord 
thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and 
blessed in the field ; blessed shall be the fruit of thy 
body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of 
thy cattle, &c., and in all that thou j)uttest thy hand 
unto,' Deut. xx\iii., the whole chapter. This did 
the Lord unto Joshua, ' Let not the book of the law 
depart out, &c., for thou shalt then make thy way 
prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success,' 
Josh. i. 7, 8. And the apostle saith. That ' godliness 
hath the promise of this life and the life to come,' 
1 Tim. iv. 8. If you would see the jDromise per- 
formed, look into the history of the godly kings : 
Dand, Ps. cxxviii. ; Josiah, Jer. xxdi. ; .Hezeldah, 
&c., 1 Chron. xxyiii. 8, 9 ; who so long as they 
walked wth God and kept his commandments, and 
were truly godly and reUgious, how did they pros- 
per and grow in the world ? how did God bless 
them in all that they put their hands unto ? This 
we may clearly behold in Joseph, who was a godly 
and a virtuous man, and how did the Lord prosper 
Joseph ? ' His master saw that the Lord was with 
him, and that the Lord made all that he did to pros- 
per in his hand,' Gen. xxxix. 1,2. It is said of Job, 
that he was ' a just and an upright man, one that 
feared God and eschewed evil,' Job i. 1. And it is 
rehearsed how God did bless him in all his sub- 

Yer. 3.] 


Stance, which was very great, so as the devil (Con- 
fessed that Job did not serve God for nought, but 
that God did therefore bless him, Job i. 9. And 
the reason is because the godly man takes nothing 
in hand ivithout the warrant of God's word, Ps. 
cxix. 9. Secondly, He doth that is good in a good 
manner, in faith and hearty obedience ; and lastly, 
The end of all his actions is the glory of God and 
the good of his neighbour, ' And whatsoever he shall 
do shall prosper.' 

Object. But it mil be objected against this doctrine 
that tills seems not to be so, for do we not see that 
wcked men, ungodly WTetches, monstrous simiers, 
that they flourish in the world, that they Hve in 
great prosperity, dehght, and pleasures 1 This made 
Da\'id and Jeremiah to expostulate the matter with 
God, ' Why do the wicked flourish in the world, 
and why do such prosper ? ' And again, ' AMiere- 
fore doth the way of the wicked prosper ? why are 
they in wealth that rebelliously transgress ? ' It 
grieved both Da\'id and Jeremiah, and made them 
to fret inwardly, as though God seemed to favour 
wicked men, and to dislike and discountenance the 
righteous and the godly. 

Answer. For answer, You are to know that there 
is a double kind of prosperity, the one we may call 
spiritual, proceeding from God's favour and love 
unto us in Christ, and declared principally in the 
bestowing on us the spiritual and heavenly graces of 
his Spirit : as faith, repentance, sanctification, &c., 
unto the wliich the Lord also addetli the blessings 
and benefits of this life, so far forth as the Lord 
shall judge them meet and expedient for his children 

There is another kind of prosperity, which is 
earthly, a thri\'lng only in earthly things, as wealth, 
honour, credit, &c., all which may befall, and do 
befall, the wicked men and ungodly. But David 
speaketh here of the former, promiseth that this 
shall be one part of his happiness, that he shall have 
good success, — that is, a plentiful measure of all 
spiritual graces, that shall make him rich unto salva- 
tion, and in earthly matters also according to his 
portion, so that howsoever a wicked man may 
esteem riches, honour, prosperity, and the like, to 
be the best, yet the godly man saith, with Da^ad, 
' Lord, shew me thy countenance ; ' his i)rosperity 

being double, inward and outward, the chiefest of 
all is heavenly. 

As for the things of this life the godly doth pros- 
per, and the Lord doth give good success. 

First, Whether the godly man have little or much, 
he hath it from God's right hand, as a blessing and 
a favour of God, given unto him as a right in Jesus 
Christ : whereas a wicked man, though he have 
never so much, he hath it from God's left hand, — 
that is, with anger and displeasure, ■Nritli the secret 
curse of God. 

Secondly, The godly man, hath he little or much, 
he hath it with the peace of conscience and joy in 
the Holy Ghost. Da\dd, having his portion from 
the Lord as a blessing, saith. That the Lord made 
him more joyful thereby than they whose ' corn, and 
oil, and wine abounded,' Ps. iv. 7. ' A small thing 
that the righteous hath is better than great riches of 
the ungodly,' Ps. xxxvii. 16. 

Thirdly, The godly man's estate is permanent and 
durable, his prosperity doth not ebb and flow, but 
continueth and lasteth : but the prosperity of the 
^vicked is too uncertain ; yea, when they be at the 
highest, suddenly the Lord sets them in a sUppery 
place, and down they fall, (Pharaoh, Sennacherib, 
Nebuchadnezzar, &c.,) and their fall is the more 
fearful, because it is not only sudden but in the 
height of their prosperity, sometimes by God's ven- 
geance upon them, sometimes by one means, some- 
times by another. 

Use 1. This may serve to stop the mouths of the 
common atheists of the world, who say that it 
is in vain to serve God, and lost labour to be re- 
ligious, no fruit in leading of a godly life, Mai. iii. 
14. For so they say, if they would follow sermons, 
and spend their tmie in prayer, and calling on 
God, in reading and meditating of his word, they 
should beg when they have done, and such men 
never prosper in the world. But that is a false 
accusation. Did not Abraham prosper, and Lot, 
Joseph, Job, David, Hezekiah, and the hke, even 
because they were godly, therefore they prospered ; 
yea, only the godly man may be truly said to pros- 
per, because he alone is in the favour of God, he alone 
hath his prosperity from the right hand of God, he 
alone hath them as blessings, and in the favour and 
love of God ; whereas the -nacked and ungodly man 



[Yer. 4. 

hath riches from the left hand of God's anger and 
displeasure to liim, they have them with no comfort, 
nor peace, but with great vexation, troul>le, and dis- 
quietness, and they spend them -srith great pain and 

Use 2. Tliis may reprove the foohsh brag and 
boast of wicked men, who therefore think that they 
be highly in God's favour, because he lets them 
attain to gi-eat preferment, honour, and dignity 
here, and that therefore God doth favour and love 
them. Poor soul, hast thou no better reason to 
prove thyself in God's favour ? Ham was a rich man, 
so was Esau a great man in the world, Pharaoh, 
Herod, Nebuchadnezzar, and many others, and yet 
never the more beloved of God, but wicked and 
damnable, as the glutton, Luke x\± Nay, know, 
unless thou be a godly man, thy riches will be thy 
bane, and they be tokens of God's vengeance, to 
make thee more proud, cniel, and wicked, unclean 
and filthy; yea, to feed tliy soul to the day of 

Use 3. This should admonish all godly men to 
take heed how they fret and grieve at the vain 
and uncertain prosperity of the wicked and un- 
godly; it is that wluch troubles the godly much, 
as it did Job, Jeremiah, Da-vid, and Asaph, who 
wondered and were much giieved at tliis, to see 
the ungodly flourish, and to abound in honour, 
dignity, wealth, authority, the only men of the 
world; and, on the contrary part, the godly in 
misery, trouble, &c. But 'when they went into 
the house of the Lord, then understood they the 
end of those men ; namely, that God did set them 
in slippery places, and that their end was fearful,' 
Ps. Ixxiii. 17, Ps. xxx\'ii. 17. And as Job saith, 
' They spend their days in pleasure, and suddenly 
go down to hell,' Job xxi. 13. Let us then consider 
well of these things, and not to giieve at the wicked 
because they prosper, or to be drawn hereby to 
think the better of them, or then- \-ile courses, be- 
cause they flourish a while; or the worse of the 
godly, because they endure some trouble ; but con- 
sider their latter end, and in the meantime to 
possess our souls with patience, notwithstanding 
the jollity of the wicked, for it is liut for a time, 
like a great thistle, which starts up in the summer, 
and at the comuig of -n-iuter is gone ; or the jioor 

estate of the godly, for in the end they shall be 

Use 4. Last of all, If we desire to thrive in the 
world, to prosper, and to have the blessing of God 
upon our labours, the best, yea, and the surest way 
is to become religious, to walk vri.t\\ God, to lead a 
godly life, 1 Tim. iv. 8. The example of Aliraham, 
Joseph, Joshua, David, Job, &c., maj^ persuade us 
hereunto. We see many take great pains night and 
day, toil and moil all the year long, even wearing out 
their bodies early and late, and yet do not tluive, do 
not prosper and come forward, but rather go down the 
wind. The reason is, God doth not bless them and 
their labours, because they be wicked, and live in the 
practice of some known sin. And, therefore, if thou 
wonldest find God's blessing upon thee and thine, 
upon thy soul, body, goods, good name, wife, child, 
corn, cattle, &c., the best way is to serve God, to call 
on his name, to lead a godly life, and then certainly 
thou shalt find that God w\ Ul bless thee, and make 
thee to prosper. 

Ver. 4. The wicked are not so, hut as the chaff ichich 
the Kind dr'weth aumy. 

Now we have heard the description of a godly 
man, and of his blessed and happy estate wherein 
he stands. Also he proceedeth to a plam descrip- 
tion of a wicked and ungodly man. And he sets 
out his estate by a general speech opposite imto that 
which had been spoken of the godly ; ' The wicked 
are not so.' Then by a similitude, comparing him 
unto chvff, and then the property of chaff is noted to 
be light, vain, and inconstant, carried aicay with the 

In the general description or the introduction in 
the description of a -wicked man. The icichcd are not 
so, the speech is negative, and excludeth the wicked 
from all that which the Spirit of God hath spoken 
of the godly, both concerning their vu-tues them- 
selves, as also concerning the recompense of theii- 

The virtues of a godly man were described two 
ways ; first, negatively, ' They walk not in the coun- 
sel of the wicked, stand not in the way of sinners, 
sit not in the seat of the seorners.' Now this nega- 
tive in the godly is afiirmative in the wcked, because 
tliey walk in the counsel of the wricked, they stand 

Ver. 4.] 



ill the way of sinners, and they sit in the scat of the 

The other description of a godly man is affirma- 
tive : ' But his delight is in the law of the Lord,' 
Sec, ver. 2. But this affirmative in the godly is 
negative in the wicked, for their delight is in no- 
thing less than in the law of the Lord, neither do or 
vriW the wicked meditate therein, either day or 
night. So that, in respect of the virtues of a godly 
man, it may well be said, ' The wicked are not 

And, last of all, for the recompense of Ihe virtues 
of a godly man, the wicked are also excluded. The 
godly man is compai-ed unto ' a tree that is planted 
by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in 
due season, whose leaf doth never fade, and whatso- 
ever he doth shall prosper.' The wicked are not so, 
' but as the chaif,' &c. 

Where, by the way, we may observe the care that 
God hath, that every man should have his part that 
pertaineth to him. He would not that the wdcked 
should encroach upon the portion of the godly, or 
that the saints should be dismayed by the judg- 
ments of the ■\\'icked ; but he laboureth, as to allot and 
allow to one their part, so to exclude the other from 
their portion, to shew that they have no interest m 
theii' blessedness. And so it is a usual thing in the 
course of the whole Scriptures, that where the Holy 
Ghost setteth down the blessings and promises per- 
taining to Christians, in the same place he setteth 
dovra the judgments that belong to the wicked and 

Boct. 1. Out of the general description, or intro- 
duction into the description of a wicked man, in 
these words, The icickcd are not so, we gather this 
doctrine, that the estate of all wicked men, be they 
what they may be, never so great, glorious, rich, wise, 
beautiful, and learned in the world, yet their estate 
is woeful, cursed, miserable, and wi'etched ; he is 
cursed in his soul, cursed in his body, cursed in his 
goods, good name, wife, children, corn, cattle, &c. 
' Thou hast destroyed the proud, and cursed are 
they that do err from thy commandments. The 
foolish shall not stand in thy sight, for thou hatest 
all them that work iniquity.' Now, what though a 
man should abound in wealth, live in honour, bathe 
himself in pleasiu-es, yet if he be not a godly man— 

that is, truly sanctified — he can take no sound com- 
fort in any of these. ' For to them that are de- 
filed is nothing pure,' but even their prayers are 
abominable. ' He that turneth away his ear from 
hearing the law, even his prayers shall be abominable,' 
Prov. xxviii. 9. And as Solomon saith, ' The hope 
of the vricked will perish.' But it will be asked, 
Wherein stands their misery and cursed estate ? I 
answer, first in this, that they be out of God's favour, 
God hates them and all they do. And is not this a 
misery of all miseries, to be cursed and miserable in- 
deed, to have God our enemy, to have Jesus Christ 
the Judge our enemy, to have all the creatures in 
heaven and earth against us ? For as these be truly 
blessed that God loves and be in his favour, so they 
be most cursed and miserable that be out of his 
favour, whom his soul abhorreth ; and such are the 
wicked, according to that of the prophet, ' The 
foolish shall not stand in thy sight, for thou hatest 
all them that work iniquity,' Ps. v. 5. 

Secondly, They have no pardon of theii' sins, and 
so lie under the curse of God, and in danger of 
eternal death every day they rise. Without repent- 
ance there is no pardon ; but the wicked cannot re- 
pent, being hardened in sin, and dehght in sin ; yea, 
all their sms stand in account against them — the 
Lord keeps them in remembrance, and one day he 
will bring out his book of reckoning : ' I will reprove 
thee, and set before thee the tilings thou hast done,' 
Ps. 1. 21. Oh, full little do wicked men think of 
this, that their secret sins in hugger-mugger, in dark 
comers committed, shall one day come to reckoning, 
and they called to a reckoning for the same ; and 
then their own consciences, will they, nill they, shall 
cry out and say, ' Righteous is the Lord, and true are 
his judgments.' 

Thirdly, They have no peace of conscience. 'There 
is no peace to the -wicked, saith my God,' Isa. Ivii. 
21, but a hell in their consciences; having in them 
either an accusing conscience, like Cain, Ahithophel, 
Saul, Judas, and the like ; or else a dead and sleepy 
conscience, like Nabal, which judgment is no way 
inferior to the former. This fearful judgment of 
God upon the wicked is notliing else but a fore- 
runner of those pains which are prepared for the 
wicked, and are, as it were, the smoke of that fii'o 
which hereafter shall torment them. 



[Ver. 4. 

Fourthly, A wicked man is tlie heir of vengeance, 
and the firebrand of hell, and shall as sure be damned 
as if he were in hell abeady ; and therefore Christ 
saith, that the wicked is damned already, John iii. 
18 ; and that five ways. First, In God's counsel be- 
fore all worlds. Secondly, In the word, wherein 
their sentence of condemnation is read already. 
Thirdly, In their oivii consciences, which is a fore- 
runner of the final judgment. Fourthly, By the 
judgment begun ah'eady upon them, as hardness of 
heart, blindness of mind, hatred of the light, and the 
like means of salvation. Fifthly, By the horiible 
torment of the soul, which it doth as.suredly expect 
when the full vial of God's wrath shall be poured 
upon it. Oh miserable and unhappy condition ! woe 
worth the time, may such say, that ever they were 

WTio is a wicked man 1 Answer, (in general,) He 
that lives and lies in sin without repentance. But 
such a man is a wicked man as doth walk in the 
counsel of the ^vicked, that doth stand in the way of 
sinners, that doth sit in the seat of the scorners ; for 
as he is a godly man that is careful to shun and 
avoid the bad counsel and lewd company of wicked 
and ungodly men, so is he a wicked man that loves 
and likes their bad counsel and lewd company. And 
as a nobleman's servant is known by his livery, so 
we may certainly judge of them by their company. 
A good man loves good company, a godly man makes 
much of them that fear the Lord. ' My eyes,' saith 
David, 'shall be upon the faithful in the land.' 
This we may see m Jacob, who loved Joseph above 
all the brethren, because he had grace in him. Gen. 
xxxvii. 2. 'AH my delight is upon thy saints.' 
But wicked men are like birds of a feather which fly 
together, and like mil to like. So that if you would 
ask a certain rule how to judge of men, whether they 
be good or bad, godly or wicked, I know not any 
rule more sure for a man's outward life, to judge of 
him, than by his company. And therefore, as St 
John makes it a mark of God's child, and a certain 
sign of the love of God to us, ' If we love the breth- 
ren,' 1 John iii. 14 ; so, on the other side, it is a fear- 
ful note of a wicked man, when he hath no delight 
in the company of God's children and faitlvful ser- 
vants, but delight only in the company of the wicked 
and ungodly. 

Use 1. Let all wicked inen lay this doctrine to 
heart, and be aflfected with it, and let me say to 
them, as Da^"id said to the ungodly, Ps. 1. 16, 'Unto 
the ungodly said God, What hast thou to do to take 
my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to 
be reformed, and hast cast my word behind thee ? 
"When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst unto 
liim, and hast been partaker with the adulterer, &c. 
These things hast thou done, and I held my peace, 
and thou thoughtest that I was like thee. But I will 
reprove thee, and set before thee the things thou 
hast done. Oh, consider this, ye that forget God, 
lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to de- 
Uver you.' Oh that the wicked and ungodly of the 
world would consider in what cursed state they stand 
in, what extreme danger to lose their own souls, 
clean out of God's favour, so as he hates and abhors 
them, and all they do ! Now, as Solomon saith, if 
the wrath of the king be as the roaring of a lion, 
how much more the wrath of the eternal God, who 
is able not only to kill the body, but to cast both 
soul and body for ever into hell fire 1 Oh, then, be 
admonished ! say you had a fair wai'ning, repent in 
tune, live no longer in sin, turn to God with all 
speed, wliile it is called to-day. Say with David, 
' Away from me, ye wicked ; I will keep the com- 
mandments of my God.' And this remember, that 
as bad company and the society of wicked men is a 
fearful sign of a wicked man, so it is most danger- 
ous ; for sin is a spiritual plague or leprosy, it is of 
a spreading and contagious nature. ' Can a man 
touch pitch and not be defiled ? ' then may a man 
keep company with the mcked, and not be cor- 
rupted. Joseph Uving in the court of Pharaoh, how 
soon had he learned to swear by the life of Pharaoh ! 
Gen. xlii. 15, 16. Besides, we shall be compelled to 
•svink at the sins of those whom we love, and so con- 
sentmg to them, are guilty of them. Again, we 
cannot but be vexed with them, and grieved at the 
heart, as Lot was ; yea, and in danger to be plunged 
with them, as Lot in Sodom was taken prisoner, and 
all his household. And therefore as men do shun a 
house infected, so let us shun such company, as most 
dangerous, pernicious, and hurtful. 

Use 2. And here we are to wonder at the palpable 
blindness of wicked men, at their blockishness and 
senseless sccm-ity, that though then- estate be as we 

Ver. 4.] 



have heard out of the worJ of God and testimonies 
of Holy Scriptures, so cursed, miserable, ■nTctched, 
and damnable, yet they see it not, they fear it not, 
they believe it not, they fear no danger, they desire 
no remedy, theii- minds and hearts are so blinded 
through self-love, and so hardened in all kind of sin 
and iniquity, that nothing can move them and do 
them good. They be like the smith's dog, no strokes 
nor sparks can awake them. Of all diseases they be 
most dangerous that be least felt ; as the apoplexy, 
dead palsy, lethargy, &c. So when a man is sick, 
even soul-sick, and sick unto death, and feeletll no 
pain, his case must needs be dangerou.s. Many men 
complain of the stone in the kidney, and ride and 
run night and day to find ease for it ; but few com- 
plain of the stone in the heart : men have hard, 
stony, and flinty hearts, and neither love of heaven, 
nor fear of hell, neither mercy nor judgment can 
move them or make them to repent. Well, to con- 
clude this point, let men take their courses, ran on 
in sin, walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in 
the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scorn- 
ful ; let them refuse the counsel and the company of 
God's servants, and when they have done all that 
they can, they are but cursed caitiffs ; and the tune 
will come that they vnH curse the day that ever they 
were born, and say. Woe worth the time they kept 
bad company ; oh what fools and madmen were we ! 
— when they shall wish the heavens to fall upon 
them, and the rocks to crush them in pieces, for 
fear of the anger of God. And thus much for the 
general description of a racked man in these words, 
' The mcked are not so.' 

But as the chaff which the icind drivcth aimij. 

The prophet David ha\'ing shewed the difference 
bet^^Txt the godly and the wicked by a general 
introduction. It is not so, cometh now to set out 
their estate by a similitude and comparison, where 
he compares the wicked to chaff". And it is all one 
as if he should say. The ■\vlcked and ungodly man is 
not like a tree well planted and watered, that bears 
good fruit and always flourisheth, but like unto 
chaff", wliich hath no root at all in the earth, no 
juice nor sap, but wants all kind of good fruit and 
gi'eenness, so as it is easily scattered and dispersed 
viiih every blast of wind. Even so the wicked are 
not rooted nor grafted into Jesus Christ, and are 

altogether void and destitute of all fruit of good 
works and of all saving grace, have no juice nor sap 
of goodness in them, and in time of trouble and 
temptation they fall away, yea, every blast of false 
doctrine, every storm of temptation, trial, or perse- 
cution, yea, the least blast of God's anger drivcth 
them hither and thither, they laiow not which way 
to turn them. 

So that in the sunilitude or comparison there are 
two things to be considered of us : — 

First, The matter whereunto the wicked are com- 
pared unto, chaff] 

Secondly, The condition of chaff', trhich the uind 
driveth a way. 

In the former of these we are to consider how the 
wicked resemble chaff", naturally, and accidentally. 

Natui-al chaff' is Hght and unprofitable. 

1. Fu-st, It is light, containing in it no solid and 
weighty matter, but a very sUght and frothy sub- 
stance, subject to many alterations; even so the 
bricked are not solid in then- purposes and enter- 
prises, and weighty in their carriage and courses, 
but as chaff', light, easily tossed and blown away, 

It may appear unto us that the -R-icked are as 
chaff", light ; because they be light of their Words. 
They have not their mouth in then- heart, like a 
■svise man ; but they have theii- heart in their mouth, 
like a fool. Do they promise anything? Their 
words are as wind, as the proverb is. Do they vow 
anything? They keep their vows like those that 
vowed Paul's death. Do they swear anything? 
They are Ijut as bells and bubbles in the water, 
broken in a moment of time. So that the wicked, 
m respect of their words, vows, or oaths, may well 
be compared to chaff", light. 

Again, the -(vicked may well be compared to chaff, 
light ; because they are light of their minds, enter- 
taining and excluding, one while admitting, another 
while rejecting, infinite purposes and thoughts of 
heart. Again, they are light of their bodies, by 
committmg many fornications. Yea, let their vir- 
tues be compared vntli their vices, it will then 
appear that they are ' lighter than vanity ' itself. 

2. Secondly, as the wicked are like chaff', light, so 
are they unprofitable, and that two ways — First, In 
matters temporal concerning this life, wherein, 
though they have ability, as they have for the most 



[Ver. 4. 

part, yet they want will to do good with the same. 
Secondly, In matters spiritual, wherein, though they 
have a will, which is a rare thing to be found in the 
wicked, yet they want ahUity. 

First, The wicked are as chaff, unprofitahle, in re- 
gard of matters temporal. For who doth regard the 
afflictions of Joseph t For either then- will is wholly 
bent upon covetousness or prodigality. This is an 
evil which the preacher saw under the sun, ' A man 
to whom God hath given riches, and treasures, and 
honours, and he wanteth nothing for his soul of all 
that he desu-eth, but God giveth him no power to 
eat thereof, but a strange man shall eat it up.' Yea, 
such is the case of many a man, that where he locks 
up his riches from others with one lock, he locks 
them up from himself with a thousand. Or else 
they spend them prodigally, like the rich glutton, 
who fared of the best, and went of the finest, but 
had nothing to bestow on poor Lazarus, Luke xvi. 
^Vhe^eas indeed they are but stewards of those things 
they enjoy, and must one day give an account for 
them. And if they be found in the day of their 
account to have been unprofitable, as chaff is unpro- 
fitable, then must they assuredly expect no other 
sentence than that which was denounced against 
that unjirofitable servant — ' Cast that unj^rufitable 
servant into outer darkness,' Mat. xxv. 30. 

Secondly, The wicked may be said to be as chaff, 
unprofitable, in respect of matters spiiitual, because 
though they have therein a will, yet want they 
ability, whereby they might benefit others. For, 
' whosoever is born of the flesh is flesh,' and no- 
thing but flesh, John iii. 6. How then can a man 
give that to another he hath not himself, or sjieak 
that to others he is ignorant of himseK? Yea, 
if this man's father or mother, wife or child, lay a- 
d3''ing, and one short prayer might save their souls, 
a wicked man is not able to perform that Christian 
duty for them. For ' he that turneth away his ear 
from hearuig the law, even his prayer shall be 
abominable,' Prov. xxviii. 9. So that, howsoever 
a wicked man may seem to pray, or the like, yet by 
reason he is unregenerate, not born anew, and that 
they proceed not from faith, and a heart purified 
from sin, the Lord doth turn the same unto sm unto 

So tliat a wicked man at his best, in matters 

temporal or eternal, he is as chaff, light and unpro- 

Dod. 2. In that the Spirit of God compares all 
wicked men to chaff, we learn that the estate and 
condition of wicked men is exceeding inconstant, 
void, uncertain, mutable, and changeable. They 
have no certain stay, no sure and settled estate in 
tliis world. Whether we consider the matters of 
religion and God's worship, or the things of the 
world, we shall see them like unto chaff, vain, \ale, 
imcertain, and mutable. 

First, In matters of religion, for the worship and 
service of God, how vain and mutable the wicked 
are, the example of Judas doth demonstrate, who, 
being chosen to be one of the twelve, fell away 
afterward, dangerously and treacherously. Mat. 
xxvii. The like may be said of Demas, who made 
a glorious flourish for the time, and yet afterwards 
he fell in love Avith the world, 2 Tim. iv. 10. And 
the like may be said of H}Tneneus, Philetus, and 
Alexander, who were counted fiimous, and esteemed 
as pillars of the church, yet they fell to renounce 
everlasting salvation, 2 Tim. ii. 17. To this purpose 
doth St John describe the estate of the backsliders 
in his time — ' They went out from us, but they were 
not of us ; for if they had been of us, they would 
have continued with us,' 1 John ii. 19. Hereunto 
cometh that parable propounded by our Saviour 
Christ : Mat. xxi. 28, ' A certain man had two sons ; 
and came to the eldest, and said. Son, go and work 
to-day in my ^dneyard. But he answered and said, 
I will not : yet afterwards he repented himself and 
went. Then came he to the second, and said like- 
wise. And he answered and said, I -nill, sir ; and 
went not.' He seemed forward, but hung back. 
He promised much, but perfonued nothing at all. 
The like may be said of the rich man which came to 
our Saviour Christ and said, ' Good master, what 
good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life 'i ' 
yet, when he was tried, he went away sorrowful. 

Again, for their worldly estate, all then- felicity M 
and great pomp is but a di-eam : it is but as chaff. " 
The least blast of God's wrath vnll overthrow all 
their happiness and prosperity ; which, at the best, 
is most uncertain, and very mutable. Look upon ■ 
Pharaoh, Saul, Aliithophel, Absalom, Nebuchad- ^ 
nczzar, Nabal, and the rich fool. Job, setting out 

Ver. 4.] 



the estate of the wicked, couchideth thus — ' They 
spend tliek days in pleasures, and suddenly go down 
to hell,' Job xxi. 13. And there sheweth the cause. 
Their prosperity, alas ! is not their own hand. 
' But the Lord doth make them as stubble before 
the -nind, and as chaff shall they be dispersed.' And 
David speaking of the prosperity of the wicked, 
sheweth irithal how slippery and uncertain it is, 
that in a very moment they be gone, and like chaff 
are scattered abroad, Ps. v-ii. So that it doth ap- 
pear that the estate of the ^^'icked man is too fickle 
and uncertain, and is therefore well compared unto 

And by this comparison is shewed that the wicked 
be most unlike to the godly, and therefore he com- 
pares them not to any tree, no not to a dead and 
withered tree, but to chaff. 

First, Because as the godly man is rooted in Christ 
Jesus, and receiveth nourishment from him, good 
juice and good sap, the bricked are not so ; but void 
of all juice and sap, dry as dust, chaff. 

SeconcDy, ^Miereas the godly man is fruitful, the 
wicked are not so, but as chaff, unfruitful. 

Tlmdly, Whereas the godly man is permanent, 
and liis estate dm-able, neither ^\^Ild nor weather 
can shake him, being rooted and grounded in Christ, 
' The wicked are not so, but as chaff,' even variable 
as the ^vind, every blast of false doctrine, every wind 
of temptation, and every trial for the gospel's sake 
win blow them clean away. 

Use 1 . Let this admonish wicked men to look about 
them. Thine estate is not so good as thou thinkest 
it is. Although thou be rich, in honoui', and in 
great preferment, thou seemest all this while to be 
like a great oak, or a tall cedar tree ; but know thou 
art nothing less in the sight of God. Thou art like 
unto chaff, light, vain, loose, \'ile, unprofitable and 
variable, no fu-niness, and constancy at all in thee ; 
yea, and mark what vnil follow, and be the end, 
unless thou repent and return unto God ; He ^\'ill 
come, ' whose fan is in liis hand, and he will gather 
his wheat into his garner, but the chaff will he burn 
with unquenchable fire,' Mat. iu. 12. Oh that all 
bricked men would now examine themselves, how 
they are in the barn-floor of the Lord Jesus, 
whether as chaff or com, for a day of wiimo\\-ing 
wUl assuredly approach, wherein the Lord will then 

gather his good corn into his garner, but then the 
chaff ^vill he cast out to be burned with fire un- 
quenchable. We must all of us pass under God's 
fan, great, small, rich, poor, learned, ignorant, 
minister and people ; and then, if thou shalt be 
found to be chaff, to the fire thou must forthwith 
go. And therefore let all God's children take heed 
that they do not fashion themselves like unto the 
wicked ; for as our ends are most unlike, even 
so our lives must be unlike ; they live in sin after 
the fashion of the world ; we must frame our lives 
after the word. 

Use 2. Secondly, Let all God's children learn to 
judge aright of the estate of all wicked men ; they 
flourish indeed in the world, and who but they free 
from trouble, full of prosperity, whereas the godly 
man is troubled and afflicted; yea, often in great 
misery and disgrace of the world ; and tliis is the 
thing that oftentimes doth trouble the godly. But 
if we -will judge of them not by the eye of the body, 
but of the soul, according to God's word, we shall 
see we shall have no gi-eat cause to wonder at them ; 
much less to be giieved for them. Alas, poor souls, 
when they be at the best, they be but as chaff, vain, 
light, vile, and inconstant. ' I saw,' saith Da\id, 
' the ungodly spreading himself like a gi-een bay- 
tree, so I looked on him and passed by him, and lo 
he was gone, I sought him, but he could nowhere 
be found.' 

Hitherto hath ajjpeared what chaff is, and that 
the wicked are like the chaff naturally considered. 
Now, in a word, we are to consider how the wicked 
resemble chaff accidentally, and that two ways. 

Fu-st, Chaff is preserved for a time, while it is in 
the field, with the good corn, lest both of them 
should perish together. This appeareth in the 
Gospel to be the care which God had, not to suffer 
the tares to be plucked up, for a time, lest they 
should pluck up the good wheat -with them, Mat. 
xiii. 29. Even so the -wicked are spared for a time 
for the godly's sake, which otherwise could not live ; 
even as the tares amongst the wheat were spared for 
the wheat's sake. 

And surely this might admonish all wicked and 
ungodly sinners to repent, and (in time) to turn 
unto God, and to esteem better of the company of 
God's fiiithful servants and righteous children, here 



[Ver. 4. 

in this world to make mucli of tliem, for they fare 
the better for them every day they rise, they enjoy 
all tliey have for their sakes, else God would soon 
make an end of them upon earth. If Noah and his 
family were in the ark, the flood would soon drown 
the rest. If Lot were out of Sodom, it would soon 
rain down fire and brimstone from heaven upon the 
wicked Sodomites. And therefore God's children 
may well be compared to a piece of cork cast into 
the sea full -of nads, which bears up the naUs, which 
otherwise would sink to the bottom one by one ; 
even so the wicked are preserved for a time for the 
godly's sake. 

But if they will still proceed to hate them above 
all things in the world ; well, the time ^vUl come, 
when they shall think it the greatest misery La the 
world, to be severed and sundered from the company 
and society of the godly. But of this hereafter. 

The other condition of chaff, accidentally consi- 
dered, is the sifting or the separatiug the same from 
the good corn, which shall be in the harvest of God's 
general judgment. Mat. xiii. 30. For there be but 
two sorts of men — namely, the sheep and the goats, 
the godly and the bad, the elect and the reprobate ; 
and these do live together here, even as the tares 
amongst the good wheat. But in the harvest of 
God's general judgment, they are separated, even as 
a shepherd doth divide his sheep from his goats. 

Tlius much for the first part of the similitude, 
where the wicked are compared to chaff; now cometh 
to be considered the condition of chaff. 

IFliich the uind scattcreth aioay. 

By wind (in this place) we are to understand the 
judgments of God, which in the Holy Scriptures is 
expressed by sundry things ; as by fire and sword, 
arrows, sickle, and fan, &c., Mat. iii. ; and in this 
same place by winds, ' The winds blow upon the 
house,' &c. 

Now the judgments of God do resemble the wind 
in two things especially. Fh-st, It hath the bound 
from whence it cometh — viz., heaven. Secondly, It 
hath a bound to which it goeth — viz., earth. 

1. Then the first consideration in the which the 
judgments of God are compared to the ^viad, is the 
place they come from. The wand, it cometh from 
above, even out of the Almighty's treasure-house ; 
according to that of the prophet David, ' He bringeth 

the winds out of his treasury,' Ps. cxxxv. 7. So 
that by what means soever the judgments of God 
are executed upon us, or in what kind soever, cer- 
tainly they come from God, as the wind doth. 

2. The second is the place it cometh unto, even 
the centre of the earth we dwell on. Such a one 
was that wind that came and beat upon the banquet- 
ing house of Job's children. Job i. 19. And what 
shall I say of the judgments of God which came so 
swiftly, even as the wind, upon Pharaoh, Saul, Aliab, 
Antiochus, Herod, and the like, whose destractions 
came suddenly from heaven as the wind upon them. 
And as the wind is invisible to the eye, even so 
come the judgments of God upon the wicked when 
they are most secure. Yea, when the wicked shall 
say. Peace, peace, then shall destruction come upon 
them suddenly, as the wind. Yea, and as the wind 
is most violent where it is most oppugned, as by the 
tallest trees, and the highest hills ; so where the 
heart of man is lofty, he is so much the more open 
to the wind of God's judgments, as we may see in 
Pharaoh, Herod, Antiochus. 

Now, in that the prophet hath compared the 
wicked to chaff, and the judgments of God to the 
■wind ; we learn from hence the in-evocableness of 
the destruction of the wicked. Alas ! what is chaff 
to stand against the wind ? and what is flesh and 
blood to resist the Almighty ? Tliis the prophet 
David shews most excellently, who, sjieaking of the 
enemies of Christ Jesus, and of the certainty of their 
destruction, saith, ' Thou shalt bruise them with a 
rod of iron,' Ps. ii. 9. Alas ! what is an earthen 
pitcTier before a bar of iron ? a head of glass against 
a head of brass 1 How did the wind of God's judg- 
ments pursue Cain, when he had slain his innocent 
brother? Gen. iv. 11. Pharaoh seemed a mighty 
man, yet he proved but chaff when the wind of God's 
judgments did blow upon him. Herod thought him- 
self to be some petty god, at what time he made his 
oration to the people; but he was less than man 
when the wind came, even the judgments of God; 
that he was eaten up of worms. Acts xii. 23. 

Use 1. Hence we learn, that the power of God is 
infinite and absolute ; all power is of God. ' He 
doth bring down the mighty from their seat,' Yea, 
he hath all creatures at a beck, and at a call, to 
humble man ; yea, and the least of all creatures. 

VnK. 5.] 



when it is armed and sent of God, is sufficient to 
destroy the wicked, as frogs, lice, flies, and the like 
creatures did Pharaoh and the Egj^jtians, Exod. x., 
and as the palmer-worm and the like kind of the 
caterjiillers did the men of Judah and Israel, Joel i. 3, 
4 ; and therefore this must needs be a terror unto 
the wicked, who are no stronger than the chaff to 
resist the wind of God's judgment. This may teach 
them humility, and pull down the haughtiness of 
theii- hearts, when they shall hear the irrevocable- 
ness of their destniction. 

Use 2. Secondlj', Seeing the destruction of the 
wicked is irrevocable, and that the judgments of God 
come suddenly, we axe taught here that it is our 
duty to awake out of sin, and to be watcliful over 
our own souls. We must not sleep in sin, neither 
give ourselves to security, but be careful and circum- 
spect that we be not suddenly overtaken. This is 
that charge which our Sa\'iour giveth. Mat. xxiv., 
' Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor 
the hour in the which the Son of man will come.' 
The judgments of God are tlireatened to come upon 
thee suddenly as the wind. Thou knowest not 
whether thou shalt have an hour or a moment of 
time given thee to repent, thou mayest be smitten 
with sudden death. When thou risest out of thy 
bed, thou knowest not whether thou shalt lie down 
again ; when thou liest doMTi upon thy bed, thou 
knowest not what may happen unto thee ere it be 
day. ' Boast not of to-morrow, for thou knowest 
not what a day may bring forth,' Prov. xxvii. 1. 
And therefore while it is to-day, let us repent, and 
labour to be reconciled to God in Christ, that when 
his judgments shall come as the \vind suddenly, the 
destroyer may pass over us, and we remain safe 
under the shado-^v of the Almighty. 

Hitherto hath the prophet described the woeful 
estate and condition of the -ndcked here in this life. 
Now in the next verse, by way of prophecy or 
threatening, he sets out their estate and condition 
in the life to come. 

Ver. 5. There/are t/ie wicked shall not be able to stand 
in judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 

Here the prophet describes the wicked and un- 
godly man by his fearful end, and that which shall 
befall him hereafter. And that he draweth into two 

phrases of speech : first, ' They shall not stand in 
judgment ; ' secondly, ' They shall not be associates 
with the just.' So that we see, that howsoever now 
the wicked bear it out, and seem to be the only men in 
the world, yet in the great day of the Lord, when we 
must all appear before his bar, that will judge justly 
without respect of persons, then these wretched 
shall not be able to stand ; that is, to endure the 
sentence of the judge and his angry countenance, 
but shall receive the fearful doom of eternal death, 
' Depart from me, ye cursed.' 

Well, then, by this we learn that there shall be a 
judgment, wherem men must stand to appear before 
God, to give account of their work. And this we 
acknowledge in that article of our faith when we 
say, ' We believe that he shall come to judge both 
the quick and the dead.' 'Behold,' saith the Lord, 
' the day cometh that shall burn as an oven. And 
all the proud and all the wicked shall be stubble, 
and the day that cometh shall bum them up.' And 
our Sa\'iour, alluding to that day, saith, ' Then will I 
say to them on my left hand,' &c. Again, ' He 
hath appointeth a day in the which he wUl judge the 
world in righteousness.' Now if there were no 
places in the Scriptures but this text, it might suffice 
to prove that there shall be a day of judgment. 

But besides these testimonies there be certain 
reasons that prove the same, taken from the nature 
of God and his principal attributes, his mercy and 
justice, wliich we must needs confess, he is most true 
in both, he is most merciful and most just. 

And therefore, having promised it shall go well 
with his children, that they shall be happy and 
blessed, and that the wicked shall be miserable and 
cursed ; in these two respects it must needs be that 
there must be a day of judgment. For in this 
world, who endure more misery, grief, and WTong than 
God's children 1 who are contemned, mocked, mis- 
used, and by all means abused by wicked men ? 
They are in want, sickness, persecution, in poverty, 
and a thousand miseries besides, Luke xxi. But the 
wicked flourish, live in wealth and ease, and all 
things that heart can wish. Now, then, seeing this 
is the estate of God's children in this world, full of 
troubles and miseries, and the wicked live at ease, 
according to their lusts, it must needs follow that 
there must be a day of judgment, when God shall 



[Ver. 5. 

shew his mercy in blessing and crowning the virtues j 
of his childi-en ; and likewise in executing justice 
upon the wicked and ungodly. 

Use 1. Oh that men and women could often think 
of the time of the last judgment ! Oh that we could 
bestow that time which we bestow upon our pleasures 
and foolish sports, to meditate on this day ! Oh 
that men would bestow that time which they bestow 
on unprofitable, if not sinful, exercises ; as carding, 
dicing, decking and painting these carcases of 
theu's ! Oh, I say, happy were we if we could 
bestow this time in thmking of this judgment ! 
What shall then become of us for evermore 1 

There is no man so wretched and desperate, but 
he can wish vAth Balaam, ' Oh that I might die the 
death of the righteous, and that my last end might 
be hke one of theu's ! ' Labour now then in time to 
become a new creature, walk with God in obedience, 
labour for sanctification ; and this will cause thee to 
stand out in this judgment. 

Now that the wicked shall not stand in the judg- 
ment, some may here object and say, This is that 
which we deske, that we may not appear before the 
face of that angry Judge, whose presence is so in- 

But, alas ! this is not all ; for then the -svicked 
might seem to be blessed if they might here delight 
in sin, and drink dowTi iniquity like water, and 
never be called to account for the same. Therefore 
the wicked shall appear in judgment ; and yet not 
any whit contrary to this text, which saith, ' The 
wicked shall not stand in judgment ; ' and that in 
these four respects : — 

First, In regard of their appearance there, 'The 
Lord will enter into judgment with all flesh ; ' if 
with all flesh, then chiefly wth such kind of flesh as 
are species of that genus : so flesh, as that they are 
nothing but flesh, that have not the seed of the 
Spu-it remaining in them. 

Secondly, They must arise and appear in this judg- 
ment, in respect of the sinner's arraignment at God's 
judgment-bar : for we must not only appear in judg- 
ment, but ' before the judgment-seat of Christ.' 

Thirdly, They must arise and appear in this judg- 
ment to be indicted : for God ' will bring every 
work of theirs into judgment, whether they be good 
or evil' 

Fourthly and lastly. They must arise and stand in 
this judgment to hear the sentence of the Judge of 
heaven and earth pass against them : ' Dejaart from 
me, ye cursed, into everlastmg fire, prepared for the 
devil and his angels,' Llat. xxv. 4L A thundering 
sentence indeed, able, if it were possible, to wound 
to death the hearts of the wicked, but they shall 
after death never die. Yea, every word of the sen- 
tence seems to be most fearful and terrible : — 

First, What they shall do : Depart. 

Secondly, How they shall dej)art : Cursed. 

Thirdly, From whom : From me. 

Fourthly, Whither : Into fire. 

Fifthly, Into what fire : Everlasting fire. 

SLxthly, By what right : Prepared. 

Seventhly, With what company ; The devil and his 

Hitherto, and thus far, the wicked must arise and 
stand in judgment ; but after tliis sentence is once 
given, they shall never rise up to appear in judg- 
ment any more. But where it is said, ' They shall 
not stand in judgment,' this is meant only in respect 
of God's favour; for this is proper only to the 
godly, thus to stand in judgment, who are bold in 
resjiect of Jesus Christ their elder brother, in whose 
righteousness they ajipear. 

Use 1. Oh that men would consider this, — high, 
low, rich, poor, noble, and simple, — that no wicked 
man shall stand in judgment, but shall hear the 
fearful sentence of eternal vengeance, ' Depart from 
me, ye cursed.' Oh how ready are men to put from 
them this day of reckoning ! They seem to have 
made a league with death, and to be at an agree- 
ment with the gi'ave, Isa. xxviii. 15. But the Lord 
will disannul this their agreement, and the time will 
come when these wicked ^\Tetches vnW be glad to 
put their heads in an auger hole, when they shall cry 
unto the rocks and hUls to fall upon them, to hide 
them and to cover them from the ^vrath of God, the 
angry Judge, whom they are not able to endure. 
Who would buy gold at such a rate, or pleasures so 
dear, to lose his soul in hell-fire for ever, for the 
pleasures of sin for a season here ? 

Use 2. Secondly, We are taught here that as all 
wicked and ungodly men be wretched and miserable 
in their life ; so at the day of judgment their estate 
is much more fearful, for it is said here, ' They shall 

Ver. 5.] 



not stand in jiulgiuent,' but shall quake and tremble, 
as not being able to endure the angry countenance 
of the Judge ; for now they shall see the books 
brought forth, and their sins laid open. Rev. xx. 14r. 
O good Lord, what shall ungodly men do then? 
Which way shall they turn them ? When they shall 
see the Judge stand above them with a naked sword 
to cut them off, and the de\'ils ready to execute 
God's eternal judgments on them, poor souls, what 
shall become of them f How can they stand 1 How 
can they endure it ? And yet they must undergo it 
and endure it. 

But more than this, thej' must receive that fear- 
ful sentence of eternal vengeance, ' Depart, ye cursed,' 
&c. So as now they must remain in perpetual 
prison, in the dark dungeon of heU for ever, where 
the pains are endless, easeless, and remediless, they 
shall have no ease, no, not one drop of water to cool 
their tongue. And this word everlasting torment 
doth even kill the heart of the damned, for if a man 
lie in hell torments so many thousand years as be 
stars in the firmament or sand on the sea-shore, it 
were some comfort to a damned soul that once there 
might be an end thereof. But, alas ! when he hath 
suffered torment so many years, the number to 
suffer still will ever remain infinite. God give us 
grace that we may become righteous, that we may 
stand in judgment. 

The second part of the misery of a wicked man 
in the life to come, is, He sludl not stand in the 
assembly of the just. 

In these words is noted out unto us a second 
branch of the judgment of the wicked in the life to 
come : that they shall be severed and secluded from 
the company of the just. 

Heaven is called the New Jerusalem, wherein 
enters no unclean thing, only tliis is the place where 
the just do abide. Here are all the holy patriarchs, 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; here are the ajjostles ; 
here are the godly martjTS and constant -natnesses 
of Christ's truth ; here are all the saints that sleep 
in Christ ; here they rest and sing continually, 
' Praise, honour, and glory unto him that sitteth 
upon the throne ; ' they enjoy the presence of God, 
and see his face continually. Now, to be deprived 
of this place, and to be severed from this company, 
it is misery with a witness, and this is that misery 

here pointed out in this second place, ' They shall 
not stand in the assembly of the just.' 

The church is to be understood two ways, militant 
and triumphant, and from both of these the ■nncked 
are excluded, for howsoever the wicked live amongst 
the godly, as tares amongst the good wheat, as Cain, 
and Esau, and Judas did amongst the godly, yet 
they were not of the godly, ' They went out from 
us because they were not of us.' But tliis is not 
directly intended in this place, but of the church 
triumphant in the kingdom of heaven, where the 
godly enjoy Jesus Christ, ' In whose presence is the 
fulness of joy, and at whose right hand is pleasure 
for evermore,' Ps. x\'i. 11. Here the ■n'icked shall 
not stand in the assembly : for if Moses might not 
stand upon the holy ground before he had put off 
his shoes, Exod. iii., oh how much less shall sinful 
^vretches stand in the presence of the ever-li^^ng 
God, having on the shoes of their sinful affection ? 
Yea, it is now most just ivith God that such should 
be shut from heaven, the church triumishant, seeing 
thejf never warred in the church militant. 

Neither the sinners in the assemhlij of the just. 

Here, then, we learn that there are two sorts of 
men in the world, good and bad, sheep and goats, 
elect and reprobate. And here in this world they 
live together, but after death in the last judgment 
there shall be two places appointed for them : one 
on the right hand, another on the left ; one in 
honour, the other in shame ; one in joy and comfort, 
the other in fear and horror, Mat. xxv. 34. And 
as ■ndcked men in this life could never abide the 
company and society of the godly, but did mock 
and scoff at them, and shun their company as much 
as they could, so in the great day of account, in the 
great and general separation, the sinners shall not 
appear in the assembly of the righteous, but shall be 
severed and sundered by the great shepherd of the 
sheep, the judge of the whole world. 

Now that wicked men shun and avoid the com- 
pany of the godly, and do desLi-e and seek the com- 
pany of the wicked, it is plain by experience, and 
therefore it is just with God, that' at the last day 
they should be severed and secluded their company, 
and as they loved and delighted in the company of 
wicked men, and such as have no fear of God before 
their eyes, so now they shall have their bellyful of 



[Vek. 6. 

their company. How did Cain hate Abel ? Pharaoh, 
Moses and Aaron? Saul, David? the Jews, our 
Saviour Christ ? Elymas, the company of Paul ? 
And, on the contrary part, how one wicked man 
doth love the company of another like liimself, com- 
mon experience doth prove it. 

And here wicked men be noisome and trouble- 
some to the go;lly, as goats to sheep, they tread 
down their pasture, they trample in their water, and 
they push them with their horns, Ezek. iv. Christ's 
sheep now sustain sundry wrongs and injuries, and 
are much annoyed and vexed by those stinldng and 
unruly goats, but there 'will conie a day of separation, 
to the horror of the wicked and comfort of the 

Further, In these words we may consider the 
estate of the righteous at the last judgment, — that 
js, of the elect of God, such as have truly repented of 
their sins by faith, believe and embrace Jesus Christ, 
and are justified through his obedience in the sight 
of God. Surely their estate shall be blessed and 
happy, and so great that the very wicked shall be 
much ashamed and astonished to behold it. 

First, They shall be set on Christ's right hand, 
which is no small honour and joy for poor silly 
souls, to be advanced to sit on the right hand of 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the great judge 
of the world. 

Secondly, They shall hear the blessed sentence, 
' Come ye blessed,' &c. 

Thirdly, They shall be put in real possession of 
eternal salvation, of the kingdom of heaven, and live 
in the blessed presence of God the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, the elect angels, and blessed saints, 
where there shall be no sorrow, pain, sickness, &c, ; 
' Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they 
rest from their labours.' So, then, after death they 
have a sweet quiehis est, and a general discharge and 
freedom from all enemies of soul and body, from all 
trouble, pain, and grief; whereas the wicked and 
ungodly shall be in a clean contrary estate and con- 
dition, for they shall not come into the company of 
the righteous, nor shall have no part in that place 
of their comfort, honour, joy, and dignity, but shall 
be set on Christ's left hand, a place of exceeding 
sorrow and grief, shame and confusion, horror and 

Lhc 1. This might admonish all wicked and un- 
godly sinners to rejient in time, to turn to God by 
true repentance and amendment of their Hves, to 
esteem better of the company of God's faithful ser- 
vants and righteous children in this world, and to 
make much of them. But if they will still proceed 
to hate them, to set themselves against the godly, to 
shun their company, and to hate them above all the 
things in the world, well, yet remember the time 
will come that ye shall think it the greatest misery 
in the world that ye shall be severed and sundered 
from their company, and in so being, they shall be 
severed and sundered from the company and society 
of Jesus Christ himself, of God the Father, and all 
the blessed saints and angels of God in heaven : 
then in that day shall the righteous stand in great 
boldness before him that persecuted him, &c. Thus 
ye see the madness and extreme foUy of wicked men, 
they hate them whom they ought most to love, and 
love them whom they ought most to dislike. 

Use 2. Let men take heed with whom they join 
themselves in society, seeing with whom they keep 
company in this life, in death they shall partake 
with them, and after at the last judgment .shall be 
joined with them. 

He that now is familiar and a companion of un- 
godly men, atheists, papists, swearers, di-unkards, 
scorn ers, &c., certainly, in death he shall be 
punished with them, and after death have his abid- 
ing with them for ever. So he that is now a com- 
panion with all those that fear God, surely he shall 
have a part with them in death, and at the last 
judgment shall be placed with them in joy and 
happiness, which shall never have an end. 

It is thought to be a matter of little or no moment 
what company, a man keeps, to hvc amongst swag- 
gerers, swearers, drunkards, atheists, papists, &c., 
but the truth is, it is a fearful sign of a reftrobate, 
and he that is now a companion with them in their 
sins shall after death take pai-t with them in their 

Ver. 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righi- 
eous : hit the way of the ungodly shall perish. 

Hitherto the prophet hath described the wonder- 
ful blessed estate of a godly man ; as also the fearful 
and cursed estate of the wicked. Now, in this sixth 

Ver. 6.] 



verse, which contains in it the second general part of 
the psalm, is laid down a reason, both of the happi- 
ness of the one, and also of the miseiy of the other. 

The godly man is a blessed man. Why ? because 
the Lord knoweth, that is, approveth of, the way 
of a righteous and godly man. He likes it and 
directs it ; yea, takes care of it, and doth bless the 
way — that is, the hie and conversation, the actions, 
studies, and endeavours of the righteous. 

Secondly, The wicked are cursed and miserable. 
^^Iiy ? because the Lord doth not thus know — that 
is, the Lord doth not like, nor allow of the wicked 
man. He doth not love nor approve of lus life nor 
dealings, but rather dislikes him and all he doth ; 
yea, he hates and abhors his vile, abominable, and 
wicked life. And therefore both he and his ways, 
that is, his studies, labours, and enterprises, shall 
perish, and come to destruction. 

Dod. 1. In that the Lord is said to know the way 
of the righteous — that is, to like it, to love it, and 
to be well pleased with it, so as he will direct and 
bless it. Here is matter of exceeding comfort to 
every poor chOd of God, to every godly and right- 
eous servant of God, that being justified by faith in 
Christ Jesus, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, live 
well, and lead a godly and righteous life ; that how- 
soever the world contemns them, scoffs and scorns 
them, mocks and mows at them, revile and rail upon 
them, and esteem them as base and \'ile, yet here we 
see that the Lord loves them, and esteems higlJy of 
them ; approves them as his, delights in them, to bless 
them and prosper them. . ' Touch not mine anointed, 
and do my prophets no harm ; ' yea, he that toucheth 
them, toucheth the apple of God's eye, and no as- 
saults whatsoever shall be able to injure them. For 
'godliness hath the promise of this life, and that 
which is to come ; ' and therefore let us labour to 
plant godliness in our hearts, and store them with 
the trae fear of God, and in so doing, the Lord will 
both bless us and our poor endeavours. 

This may serve to reprove the cursed practice of 
ungodly men. It is wonderful to see how bold they 
be to abuse God's servants, to mock them and to 
disgrace them, to slander and to re\Tle them. They 
think them the worst men that live in the world ; 
they traduce them and bring them on the stage ; 
they load them with vile and odious names. Now, 

what do they else than set themselves against God 
himself, seeing they hate them whom God loves 1 

And as this may serve for the terror of the wicked, 
so it serves to comfort every poor child of God. 
What though the world hate thee, so God love thee ? 
Oh remember that the Lord loves and allows of thee. 
Now then, if God approve of thee, what though all 
men in the world did refuse or condemn thee 1 If 
the king should grace a man, and honour him, what 
would this man care for the contempt of a scullion 
boy ? Well, let this be a comfort and encouragement 
unto us, that God knows and allows of us. For 
what were the favour and approbation of men if 
this were wanting ? 

Object. But how shall a man know whether God 
knoweth him thus with his special knowledge or not '{ 
I answer : 

Ans. \. First, If God know any man for his, by 
his special and effectual knowledge, then he begets 
in him the knowledge of himself. As the light of 
the sun falling on our eye, by whose light we behold 
the sun again. ' I know my sheep,' saith Christ, 
' and they know me,' John x. 

Ans. 2. Secondly, If God thus know any man with 
this special and effectual knowledge of his, so as he 
loves and likes of him, it begets the love of God in a 
man's heart. So as God loves him, he is inflamed 
to love God again, 1 John iv. 9 ; and in love unto 
him is loath to offend him, and most careful to please 
him. And therefore, if we would know whether 
we be thus known of God, let us labour to find our 
hearts thus inflamed with the love of him. 

Ans. 3. Tliirdly, Whom God knoweth thus, he 
chooseth to be liis child in Christ Jesus, delights to 
bless him. Now, then, this works in the heart of 
a godly man another work, namely, to choose God to 
be his God, to set his heart on him, to delight in 
him, to adore him as his God, to love him, fear 
him, obey and call upon him, and to trust in him as 
his God. 

Thus you see how a man may know whether God 
know him with this special and effectual knowledge, 
wliich is proper to the elect alone, namely, by these 
fruits and effects in our hearts. For as we see, 
though every man cannot come to see the king's 
broad seal, yet can discern the picture of it in wax, 
and say, this is the Idng's broad seal ; so though 



[Ver. 6. 

men cannot ascend to heaven to know the secret 
counsel of God, yet by these fruits and effects of liis 
knowledge, men may know his ^vill, whether they be 
his or not. 

Well, to conclude. Seeing the Lord thus knows 
and acknowledgeth, yea, loves and likes of the life 
of a godly and righteous man, let us be encouraged 
to go through-stitch, and to resolve of this, never to 
be daunted or discoui-aged with the hard measure of 
ungodly men. All our care should be to please 
God, and to be approved of liim ; and therefore, so 
long as he doth approve of us, let us not think what 
man can do against us. 

But the way of the wicked shall jierish. 

Here we learn that the whole life of a wicked man, 
and whatsoever he doth, is abominable : the Lord 
hates him, and all he doth. ' What have I to do with 
the multitude of your sacrifices? ' saith the Lord. And 
again, ' The sacrifices of the wicked are abominable 
unto the Lord.' Now, if the best actions of a wicked 
man, his hearmg, reading, praying, and recei\"ing, be 
abominable to the Lord, how much more their swear- 
ing, cursing, banning, profaning the Sabbath, drunk- 
enness, uncleanness, lying, stealing, &c. 1 Again, 

Heb. xi. 6, ' Without faith it is impossible to please 
God.' Now, no wicked man can have true faith, 
because faith purifies the heart, Acts xv. 9, and is 
never severed from true repentance and amendment 
of life ; and therefore the way of the wicked, seem 
it never so goodly and glorious in the world, all their 
studies and endeavours shall perish, and come to 
destraction in the end. ' This is the portion of the 
wicked man, and the heritage that he shall have 
from God for his works,' Job xx. 29. 

Use. Tills shews the state of most men to be 
miserable and unhappy. For only those be blessed 
whose lives do please God. Now, alas ! what de- 
light can God have in the filthy lives of most men, 
whose whole delight and study is in sin and mcked- 
ness, in all kind of lewdness and profaneness, have 
no care to please God, but even obstinately rebel 
against him? Surely the Lord hates them and all they 
do. Oh woeful condition of such sinful men, that 
betake themselves thus unto the way of sin ! Not 
as though they walk therein but for a time, but as 
such as purpose to tread therein for ever. From this 
woeful estate the Lord deliver us, for Christ his sake. 


Lord, teach us to pray, that we may call upon thy name. Prepare c 
aud open thou thy merciful ears to hear ua. 

■ hearts to seek thee ; 

ETERNAL and ever-li\-ing Lord God, creator 
and continual preserver of all tilings both in 
heaven and in earth, by whose gracious providence, as 
we were at the first wonderfully and feai'fully made, 
so we are no less preserved and kept unto this pre- 
sent. We here, the workmanship of thme own hands, 
desire to humble both soul and body before thee. 
And now. Lord, we being here m thy presence, we 
cannot but acknowledge and confess against our- 
selves our own unworthiness to come before thee to 
call upon thee, or to perform even the least duty that 
shall concern thy worship or glory. ' Our hearts, 
alas ! are no better than sinks of sin, and a mass of 
all-pollution and uncleanness ; and who can make 
that clean that is taken out of an unclean thhig ? 
The thoughts and imaginations of the same must 
needs be e\al continually, and we unto every good 
work prove reprobates. Yet, Lord, seeing thou 
hast commanded us to call upon thee, and hast mer- 
cifully promised to be present yviih thy children to 
hear their prayers, and to grant their recjuests which 
they put up in faith unto thee ; Lord, this doth 
give us boldness to come before thee ; and in con- 
fidence of thy goodness that thou ■wilt make good 
the same thy promise unto us at this time, we here 
offer up unto thee this morning sacrifice of prayer 
and thanksgi%-ing, humbly acknowledging and con- 

' These two prayers have no special connexion with the 
First Psalm. But as they were appended to the exposition 
of it by the author, 60 they are reproduced here. — Ed. 

fessing from the bottom of our hearts our manifold 
transgressions and offences which we have continu- 
ally multiplied agamst thee, in thought, word, and 
deed, from the beginning of our days unto this pre- 
sent time. AVe acknowledge, O Lord, that our 
original corruption, m the which we were at the first 
conceived and born, and from the which there hath 
sprung forth the most bitter and unsavoury fruit of 
sin, apostasy, and rebellion, to the great dishonour 
of thy name, the wounduig of our poor souls and 
consciences, and the evil example of others amongst 
whom we have Uved ; by the which, God, we con- 
fess that we have justly deserved that thy wrath and 
indignation should be poured out upon us, both in 
this life and in the hfe to come. 

And therefore, God, we come not here before 
thee in our o^vn worthiness, but in the worthiness 
and mediation of Jesus Christ, beseeching thy gra- 
cious goodness for his sake to be merciful unto us, 
for his sake to forgive us all our offences, our visible 
sins, our secret sins, our sins of iniquity, our pre- 
sumptuous sins against knowledge, against consci- 
ence, against thee, or against our brethren, in the 
time of our younger years, or in the days of our 
knowledge, as we must needs confess that in many 
things we have sinned all. AVe pray thee, God, for 
Christ Jesus' sake, to forgive the same unto us, and 
persuade our souls and consciences more and more 
that thou art at peace with us, and that all our sins 
are done away in the blood of thy Son. And grant, 



God, by the assistance and direction of tlie same, 
thy Spirit, that with more freedom of mind and 
liberty of ■will we may serve thee, the ever-living 
and glorious God, in righteousness and true holiness 
unto the end of our days. And, good Lord, begin 
not only repentance and true conversion in us, but 
of thy great mercy perfect the same. Oh, lead us 
forward more and more towards perfection ; increase 
in us that saving knowledge of thee and of thy Son 
Christ, our faith in thy promise, our repentance from 
dead works, our fear of thy holy name, our hatred 
of all our sins, and our love unto thy truth. Frame 
our weak hearts, good Lord, more and more to 
obedience unto thy holy and heavenly will, and 
teach us in all things to resign our wills unto thy 
holy will, and in time of affliction, as in time of pro- 
sperity, to depend upon thee, that we look not so 
much upon our own weakness, but may stay our- 
selves by thy power and promises. 

And, good Lord, so comfort our sorrowful hearts 
and dejected souls, that find daily such cause of 
humiliation in ourselves, doing daDy those things 
that we should not, and leaving undone those 
good things thou commandest. Oh, then, let us be 
truly humble for the same ; and for thy mercy's sake 
give us better affections unto goodness, and power 
and ability to do that good thou commandest and 
requLrest at our hands. That seeldng in all things 
to honour thee, and to extol thy name wliUe we live 
here, we may at the last behold thy face in glory. 

And now. Lord, together with our prayers we are 
bold to add these praises unto thy great name, for 
the manifold favours and blessings, the which from 
time to time thou hast bestowed upon us for this 
life, especially for a better life. We thank thee for 
that it hath pleased thee of thy gracious goodness 
to elect and choose us to salvation before the world 
was, for caUiug us by thy word in time, for justi- 
fying us by thy Son Christ, and for giving us a 
certain exi^ectation of a better life when this is 
ended ; as also for the hajapy means of our salvation, 
thy sabbaths, word, and sacraments. Oh, it is thy 
great goodness, Lord, tliat thou hast not deprived 
us of them all, inasmuch as we have from time to time 
walked so unworthy of tliy love. Oh lay not to our 
charge our great unthankfulness, that we have not 
brought forth more fruit of thy word in our lives ; 

but give us, we pray thee, that for the time to come 
we may make more right steps to thy Idngdom. 

And we magnify thy name, Lord, for all the 
temporal blessings which thou hast in mercy be- 
stowed upon us — our health, peace, food, raiment, 
and for all the comforts of this life. O Lord, give 
us a right use of them, that we may not abuse them 
unto licentiousness, but provoke us daUy by them to 
devote ourselves unto thee and thy service. We ac- 
knowledge thy goodness towards us the night that 
is now past, freeing us from many imminent dan- 
gers, both of soul and body, and givmg us sweet and 
comfortable rest. We beseech thee, be with us this 
day, and all the days of our lives, and teach us to 
walk as children of the light, that thy name may be 
glorified by us ; others may take good example, and 
we ourselves enjoy the peace of a good conscience, 
so as at last we may come to reign vi'ith thee in glory. 

And, good Lord our God, together with ourselves, 
we commend unto thee the state of thy whole church 
dispersed over the whole world, beseeching thee that 
thou wilt call home those thou hast appointed unto 
hfe and salvation, whether Jews or Gentiles ; keep 
the little flock from the rage of Satan, Antichrist, 
and all other enemies of their peace. And give thy 
gospel a free passage amongst us ; Lord send it where 
it is not, and bless it where it is, that Babylon may 
fall and never rise up again. Bless the churches and 
kingdoms wherein we live, with the continuance of 
our peace and true religion. Be gracious unto the 
king and queen, whom thou in mercy hast set over 
us ; make him a further instrument of much good in 
thy church ; make his days amongst us the days of 
heaven, and his life after this life, grant that it may 
be blessed. Bless the hopeful Prince Charles, James 
the Duke of York, and tlie Lady ]\Iary, together -(vith 
the Lady Elizabeth and her royal posterity. Lord 
finish thy work begim in them, and make them all 
in their places worthy instruments of glory to thee, 
and much good to thy church. Bless all other in 
authority, the ministers of thy holy word, our 
afflicted brethren in body or mind, or both ; let it 
please thee, Lord, to stay them and support them 
in time of their distress, and give unto them a happy 
issue out of the same as it shall seem good unto 
thee. And fit us for harder times, whensoever it 
shall please thee to bring the same upon us ; and 



keep us, Lord, in those days by thy mighty power. 
And thus have we commended our suits unto thee, 
humbly praying thee to pardon our wants now at 
this time in tlie performance of this duty. And 
thou that art privj' to our wants, better than we 
ourselves are, we pray thee take notice of them, and 

minister unto us a gracious supply in thy own due 
time, even for Jesus Christ's sake, in whose name we 
conclude these our weak and imperfect prayers, in 
that perfect form of prayer which he himself hath 
further taught us, saying, ' Our Father, which art in 
heaven,' &c. 


Lord, prepare our hearts to prayer. 

ETERNAL God, and our most loving and mer- 
ciful Father in Jesus Christ, and in Christ our 
Father, it is thy omti commandment that we should 
call upon thy name, and it is thy gracious and merci- 
ful promise that where two or three are gathered 
together in thy name, there thou wilt be present 
amongst them. We, thy poor and unworthy ser- 
vants, dust and ashes, yet the workmanship of thy 
cwn hands, are bold to come before thee, to offer up 
unto thee this evening sacrifice of prayer and thanks- 
giving. And now, Lord, being here before thee, 
we cannot but acknowledge and confess against our- 
selves our own unworthiness, that we are grievous 
sinners, conceived in sin and born in iniquity, and 
whereof we have brought forth most vile fraits in 
our lives, to the great dishonour of thy name, the 
utter dismapng of our own consciences, and the e^'il 
example of our brethren ; by the which we have de- 
served like'wise thy 'wrath and heavy indignation 
should be poured out upon us, both in this life and 
that which is to come, in such sort as no creature in 
heaven and earth is able to reconcile us again to thy 
IMajesty, but only thy Son Jesus Christ. And there- 
fore, Lord, we come not here to excuse ourselves, 
but to accuse ourselves, acknowledging that judg- 
ment and condemnation doth of right belong unto us, 
inasmuch as we have sinned against thee. But, 
Lord, there is mercy with thee, and with thee there 

is plentiful redemption. We entreat thee, therefore, 
Lord, to be merciful unto us ; and as we acknow- 
ledge our sin unto thee, so be thou faithful and just 
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all 
unrighteousness. Wash us thoroughly from our 
wickedness, and cleanse us from our sins ; for we 
acknowledge, Lord, that against thee we have 
sinned, and done our evils in thy sight. Thou hast 
been a guide unto all our ways, who alone art the 
searcher of the heart, and the trier of the reins. 
To thee, therefore, O Lord, do we come, to crave 
the pardon of our sins, both for the guilt and punish- 
ment of the same, that so they may not draw down 
upon us our deserved judgment. And we entreat 
thee likewise, as to pardon our sins that are past in 
our lives, so to arm and strengthen us against sin 
for the time to come. Oh, we have woeful experi- 
ence in ourselves of the weakness of our nature — how 
ready we are to fall from thee, and cannot keep so 
constant a watch over our own ways, nor over our 
own hearts, but stUl are ready to start aside. 
Lord, direct us aright in the paths of thy command- 
ments ; let thy good Spii'it lead us forth into all 
truth ; and these hearts of ours, that by nature are 
so fraught -(vith sin and wickedness, we pray thee 
alter and change. And bring into subjection daily 
every thought, and whatsoever thing else is in us, 
into obedience unto Christ. Let us find daily more 



and more the power of Christ's death, mortifying sin 
in us ; and the efficacy of his resurrection, raising us 
daily out of the grave of sin into newness of life. 
And give us. Lord, that we may dedicate ourselves, 
our souls and bodies, to be lively, holy, and accept- 
able sacrifices to thee. Let thy love shewed unto us 
constrain us to love thee again, who fii-st lovedst us. 
Thou, Lord, hast made us, and not we ourselves ; 
thou hast made us not beasts, but men and women, 
yea, after thy own image ; thou didst preserve us in 
our mother's womb, and didst nourish us when we 
did hang upon the breast ; thou hast stUl in mercy 
provided for us, and heaped upon us many blessings, 
which others want and stand in need of. Lord, 
give us a right use of all thy mercies ; especially for 
that thou hast let us live in such a happy season of 
thy gospel, in time of peace and prosperity, wherein 
thou dost by thy word continually call at the door 
of our hearts, and labourest our conversion. Lord, 
we can never sufficiently admii-e thy goodness herein, 
and the rather because we have from time to time 
walked so unworthy of thy love. Oh forgive us, 
Lord, our unthankfulness herein, and let us now 
walk as children of the light. Oh, it is too much. 
Lord, that we have spent the time that is last past 
according to the lusts of the flesh. Give us grace 
that we may spend that short time that yet re- 
maineth according to thy will. Set before us always 
the shortness of our lives, the day of death, sure in 
the end, unsure in the time, that we may be fully 
prepared for that second coming of our Saviour 
Christ unto judgment. And now in the time of our 
prosperity, Lord, teach us to think of the time of 
adversity ; and in the time of our health, let us re- 
member the times of sickness, and the hour of death 
which shall come upon all flesh. Oh, let us be 
mindful of our latter end ! let us number our days 
aright, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, 
and ever mind that reckoning and account which 
one day we shall give unto thee. Make us, while 
we live here, to be humble-minded towards our 

bretliren, that we be lowly in our own eyes, that 
we get contented hearts, pure affections, chaste 
minds, and -wise behaviour, and all other gifts 
of thy own Spirit that may adorn us in thy sight, 
and may add unto the credit of the truth we pro- 

And, good Lord, we pray thee, accept of our 
thanksgiving unto thy Majesty, for all thy mercies 
and blessings, from time to time bestowed upon us 
for this life, especially for a better life. We praise 
thee for om- election, vocation, justification, sanctifi- 
cation, continual preservation, and the assurance that 
thou hast given us of a better life when tliis is ended ; 
as also for all temporal blessings — health, peace, and 
prosperity ; for thy goodness extended towards us 
this day that is past ; that thou hast gone in and out 
before us, and freed us from many dangers of soul 
and body, and brought us with peace and comfort 
unto the beginning of tliis night. Lord, watch over 
us by thy Spirit and presence. Give us a holy and 
sanctified use of our rest and sleep, and fit us for the 
duties of the next day ; especially, Lord, fit us 
for that day that shall never give place to night. 
Be good unto thy whole church ; forgive the crying 
offences of our times, and of this kingdom ; bless 
our noble king and queen from all dangers, both of 
soul and body ; bless the hopeful Prince Charles, 
James, the Duke of York, and the Lady Mary, to- 
gether ^vith the Lady Elizabeth, and all her royal 
issue ; bless all others in authority, from the highest 
unto the lowest, the ministers of thy word, the Com- 
mons of this realm, and all that in Christian duty 
we are bound in our prayers to commend unto thee. 
Lord hear them for us, and hear us for them, and 
hear thy Son Christ Jesus for us all ; and grant unto 
us all good things that thou in thy wisdom Imowest 
more expedient to give than we are to ask, even for 
Jesus Christ's sake ; to whom with thee, Father, 
together with the blessed Spuit, we acknowledge to 
be due, and desire to give, all honour, praise, and 
glory, both now and for ever. Amen. 



YERaE 1. 
Doct. 1. The godly man alone ia blessed, 
Doct. 2. The occasions of sin are to be avoided, 
Doct. 3. We must shun the company of wicked men, 
Doct. 4. "Wicked men are erer devising of mischief, 
Doct. 5. To give evil counsel is a horrible sin, 
Doct. 6. The falls of the godly are many, 
Doct. 7. A godly man doth ever walk with God, 
Doct. 8. Wicked men described, 
Doct. 9. A godly man sins not with deliberation, 
Doct. 10. Wicked men proceed by degrees to be ex- 
ceeding sinful, 
Doct. 11. The mark of a lewd and wicked man, 

Terse 2. 
Doct. 1 . Not to do evil is not BufEoient ; it is damn- 
able not to do good, 
Doct. 2. A godly man performs godly duties cheerfully, 
Doct. 3. The law of God is a godly man's chief delight, 
Doct. 4. A godly man sets some time apart every day 
for God's service, 

Verse 3. 
Doct. 1. Ministers' duty to instruct the simplest, 
Doct. 2. A double use of all the creatures of God, 
Doct. 3. All men that are not ingrafted into Jesus 
Christ are miserable, 




Doct. 4. Only the regenerate man is happy and blessed, 
Doct. 5. Members of Jesus Christ are ever fruitful, . 
Doct. 6. A true note of a godly man, to wait all 

opportunities to do good, 
Doct. 7. Perseverance required in each child of God, 
Doct. 8. By our union with Christ we are made sure 

of perseverance, .... 
Doct. 9. God doth ever bless the godly endeavours of 

his children, .... 

Verse 4. 
Doct. 1 . The estate of the wicked most miserable, 
Doct. 2. The estate of the wicked exceeding changeable, 
Doct. 3. The destruction of the wicked is unrevocable. 




Verse 5. 
Doct. 1. The certainty of the day of judgment proved, 61 
Doct. 2. All mankind divided into two ranks, . 63 

Verse 6. 
Doct. 1. A great comfort to the godly, that God doth 

approve of them, ... 65 

Doct. 2. The Lord hateth a wicked man and all he doth, 66 

A prayer for the morning, 
A prayer for the evening, 















TIER. 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation, 
' u-lwni shall I fear ? The Lord is the sfrength of 
my life, of ichom shall I be afraid ? 

This psalm, as the title shews, was penned by 
David, that kingly prophet, the sweet psalmist of 
Israel ; for the Spirit of the Lord spake by him, and 
his word was in his tongue, 2 Sam. xxiii. 1, 2, wliich 
circumstance well observed wiU give strength to the 
appUcation of every good duty pressed upon us by 
his example in the particular branches of the psahn. 

The time when this jisalm was penned may pro- 
bably be guessed, by the matter of it, to have been 
when he was persecuted by the hand of Saul and his 
followers, of whose cnielty he complams, ver. 2, and 
prays against them, ver. 12. 

The chief matter of it is a notable expression of 
affiance and confidence in God in his greatest dan- 
gers, conmiending the same by the notable fruits and 
effects thereof. 

His godly affiance he testifieth three ways : first, 
By plain and express profession thereof, m sweet 
variety of phrase and gracious appUcation, by sundry 
remarkable fniits and effects thereof to be seen iu his 
godly behaviour, in the six first verses. 

Secondly, By humble prayer and supphcation for 
audience, mercy, favour, instruction, and preserva- 
tion, vers. 7, &c., to 13. 

Thirdly, By a godly provocation of his own soul, 
upon good gi'ound, still to wait upon God, vers. 13, 

Ver. 1. For the first : Da^-id's affiance and confi- 
dence in God is very elegantly, in sweet variety of 
jjhrase, plainly testified in the first verse, when he 
calleth the Lord his light and his salvation, and the 
strength of his life ; and there also is amplified by a 
notable effect of godly security, in freedom from ser- 
vile fear, propounded by way of interi'ogation, and 
also twice repeated for better assurance. 

In aU the three titles which he gives to God 
there is a sacred trope, metonymia ejfecti, the effect is 
put for the efficient. For, to speak properly, God 
was the author and fountain of light, salvation, and 
of strength, and not the things themselves. Lilie- 
vnse, in the first word, there is another trope, meta- 
phora, a metaphor ; for light is taken, in a translate 
and borrowed sense, for joy and gladness, as Esther 
viii. 16, which is to the heart a pleasant thing; as 
light is to the eye, Eccles. xi. 7. So as his mean- 
ing is to encourage his heart against the reproach of 
his enemies, that would bid liim be packing to hide 
himself in mountains and deserts, as Ps. xi. 1, see- 
ing the king liimself did seek his life. Why, saith 
David, I have Jehovah the ti-ue God for the author 
of joy and gladness to my heart, the giver of safety 

E 2 


[Ver. 1. 

to my jserson, and of strength unto my life, wliom 
should I fear ? Should I be afraid of Saul, or any 
other man, whenas the Lord is my comfort, by 
undertaking my safety, and gii'ding me with strength ? 
as Ps. xrai. 32. 

In the words thus understood, note two things : 
first, What God was to David ; secondly. What 
benefit Dand reaped thereby. For the first. 

The true God is unto David the fountain of glad- 
ness to his heart, the author of safety to his person, 
and the giver of strength and might for the preser- 
vation of his life. 

For light of comfort, see Ps. x^^ii. 28, ' Thou 
wilt light my candle,' — that is, increase my small 
comfort ; ' the Lord my God will lighten my dark- 
ness,' — that is, give me comfort and joy, instead of 
misery and sorrow. Hence he calls God his exceed- 
ing joy, Ps. xliii. 4. And that he was the author 
of his safety, see Ps. iii. 3, ' Thou, Lord, art a shield 
forme;' and Ps. iv. 8, ' Thou, Lord, only makest me 
dwell in safety.' For gi\'ing him strength and 
might, see Ps. xviii. 2, ' The Lord is my rock, and 
my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength.' 
Ver. 32, 'It is God that girdeth me -with strength.' 
Ver. 39, ' Thou hast girded me with strength unto 
the battle.' 

The reason or ground of this happiness, is David's 
being in covenant with God, as God himself testi- 
fieth of David ; calling him hi.s servant, whom he 
anointed with his holy oil, and promising that his 
faithfulness and mercy shall be with him ; yea, lus 
mercy will he keep for him for ever, and his cove- 
nant shall stand fast with him. ' He shall cry unto 
me. Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of 
my salvation,' Ps. Ixxxix. 20, 21, 24, 26, 28. And 
David liimself layeth claim to tliis covenant with 
God : Ps. cxLx. 94, ' I am thine, save me ; ' and 
Ps. xxiii. 1, 'The Lord is my shepherd;' and in 
very many psalms he calleth the Lord his God, as 
Ps. vii. 1, ' O Lord my God, in thee ^rill I put my 
trust ;' and ver. 3, ' Lord my God.' 

This sers'es for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction two ways ; first, Touching God's 
all-sufiiciency in himself, for all his children, for 
whatsoever they want, or need ; else Da\'id would 
never have said with assurance, that God became 

so many great blessings unto him, as here he doth, 
and in many other places, as Ps. xviii. 2, and 
cxliv. 1,2,' My strength, my goodness, my fortress, 
my high tower, and my deliverer, my shield,' &c. 
This point the Lord taught Abraham plainly: Gen. 
xvii. 1, ' 1 am God all-sufiicient,' or ' almighty.' 

Secondly, This shews plainly the happy estate of 
those that stand rightly in covenant with God ; as 
David saith, ' Blessed is the nation whose God is 
the Lord,' Ps. cxxxiii. 12. For God being in him- 
self all-suflficient, becomes all in all to those that be 
his peojjle by covenant. Ps. ciii. 17, 18, ' The 
mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting 
upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto 
children's chUcben, to such as keep his covenant. 
His eyes run to and fro, throughout the whole 
earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them 
whose heart is perfect towards him,' 2 Chron. 
xvi. 9. ' He will make all his goodness pass before 
them,' Exod. xxxiii. 19. 'He wUl bless them, in 
their basket, in their dough, within the house, and 
in the field,' Deut. xxviii. 1, 2, &c., to 15. Here- 
upon David saith he shall not lack, Ps. xxiii. 1 ; 
and the church saith she will not fear, having God 
for her refuge and strength, Ps. xlvi. 1, 2, 5, with 
Isa. xxxiii. 21. 

For admonition, this serves three ways : fiLrst, See- 
ing this was David's great happiness in his troubles, 
that he could say, ' The Lord is my light and my 
salvation,' &c., that we should search and try, 
whether God be that to us which he was to David. 
And this may be known of every child of God 
at this day. For, first. If God be the light of grace 
and comfort to thy soul in Christ Jesus, he vnll be 
the hght of joy and gladness in his providence to 
thy heart ; and if he be spiritual salvation in Christ 
Jesus, he will not deny thee temporal preservation ; ■ 
and Lf he be the strength of thy soul in grace, he " 
wiU become the strength of thy life in nature. In 
this case thou mayest reason, as David did : Ps. Ivi. 
1 3, ' Thou hast delivered my soul from death, wit 
thou not deliver my feet from falling '] ' 

Now the evidence of these heavenly and spii-itual 
blessings from God is this : first. That he becomes 
the light of grace unto our souls appears three ways. 
First, By our true repentance, whereby we awake 
from the sleep, and stand up from tlie death of sin. 

Ver. 1.] 


Eph. V. 1 4 ; for such as walk in darkness, and yet 
lay claim to fellowship with God, who is pure light, 
do but lie in their profession, 1 John i. G. 

Secondly, By a constant and conscionable practice 
of new obedience, accoi-ding to the I'ule of God's 
word, which is doing the truth, Jolin iii. 21 ; for such 
have fellowship with Christ, and with the true mem- 
bers of his church, 1 John i. 7. 

Thirdly, If we suffer for the gospel, and for right- 
eousness' sake, when we are called thereunto : Heb. 
X. 32, 'After ye were enlightened, ye endured a 
great fight through affliction,' for to believers it is 
' given, not only to believe, but to sufier, ' Phil. i. 29. 
Secondly, That God becomes our spu'itual and 
eternal salvation is thus known : first. If he have 
saved us from sin, in regard of dominion, so as cor- 
ruption doth not reign, see Mat. i. 21, Anth Luke 
i. 71, 7-1, 75, and 1 Pet. i. 18. 

Secondly, If he have wrought in our hearts the 
grace of true faith, whereby we rest and rely on the 
merits of Je.sus Christ for justification and salvation, 
see John v. 24, ^vitli 1 John v. 10, 14. 

Thirdly, If he have drawn our hearts to love the 
bretliren : 1 John iii. 1 4, ' "We know that we have 
passed from death unto life, because we love the 

Thirdly, The Lord doth manifest himself to be- 
come our spiritual strength when he hath enabled 
us by grace to know and use that spiritual armour 
mentioned, Eph. vi. 10, <tc., 'Finally, my brethren, 
be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his 
might ; put on the whole armour of God, the girdle 
of truth, the breastj^late of righteousness, shoes of 
peace, (which be Christian patience,) the shield of 
fiiith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the 
Spirit, and prayer for strength, skill, and blessing in 
the use of all the former.' 

Secondly, If we find defect in the forenamed bless- 
ings, we must give aU diligence thereunto, as 2 Pet. 
i. 5, &c., to the 10th verse. And the way is, to get 
rightly into covenant with God through Christ 
Jesus, in whom God becomes all things unto us that 
be needful, especially for our spiritual welfare ; and 
to get into covenant, we must both repent of our 
sins, for so John jirepared the way before Christ, 
Mat. iii. 3, and made ready a people for him, Luke 
i. 1 7. Also labour to get the grace of faith, for that 

is ingrafting grace, Rom. xi. 17, 20. Now the 
means of both these is the word and prayer. The 
law prepares the heart for grace by the sight of sin, 
and by working humiliation for sin, as Rom. vii. 1 1 ; 

1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. The gospel is the word of 
his grace. Acts xx. 32, and by the blessing of the 
Spirit is immortal seed, 1 Pet. i. 23, 25 ; it is the 
word of faith, Rom. x. 8, 1 7, and prayer obtains the 
Spirit, Luke xi. 13, which is the spirit of fiiith, 

2 Cor. iv. 1 3, therefore the disciples by prayer sought 
faith of Chi-ist, Luke xvii. 5. 

Thirdly, In the fruition of any of these blessings, 
see whither to return the honour and praise, — 
namely, to him that became all these to David. 
And, indeed, thus have the godly, for some one or 
more of these, continual cause of praise and thanks 
to God ; therefore we must ' in all things give thanks,' 
1 Thes. V. 18. 

For comfort, this makes greatly to the godly, who 
make conscience of their ways, and endeavour to 
keep covenant with God. For God will become all 
these unto them, as he was to Da\ad, whereupon 
they may rejoice, as Ps. xxi. 1, and say they shall 
not lack, as Ps. xxiii. 1, for their God is all-sufficient 
for them, as Gen. xvii. 1. 

We have seen what God became to David ; now 
we come to see the second thing to be noted in the 
verse, the benefit which David reaped by ha^ng the 
Lord for his light and salvation, and for the strength 
of liis life, — namely, hereby he was freed from 
human sla\'ish fear and terror. This he confidently 
expresseth to be certain, as well by the manner of 
propounding it, by way of question, which here im- 
plieth a more vehement negation, as also by the 
repetition of his freedom, which shews that his 
heart herein was resolute ; as Gen. xU. 32, the dream 
is doubled to give certainty. 

Mark, then, David's confidence and courage ; hav- 
ing the Lord for his God, he is armed against all fear 
of men or other creatures : Ps. cxviii. 6, ' The Lord is 
on my side ; I will not fear : what can man do unto 
me 1 ' Ps. xxiii. 1-4, ' The Lord is my shepherd, &c. 
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I will fear none e\-il.' Ps. iii. 3-6, 'Thou 
Lord art a buckler for me ; I mil not be afraid of 
ten thousand of the people, that shall beset me 
round about.' 


[Yer. 1. 

The reason is, because having the Lord for his 
God by covenant, he had title to God's power, 
which is almighty, for his defence and safety ; and 
that upon God's siu-e word and promise : See Ps. 
xci. 1, &c. ' He that dwelleth in the secret place of 
the most High shall abide under the shadow of the 
Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge 
and my fortress : my God ; in him will I trust. 
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night,' &c. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first, see here. That 
there is great gain in true godliness, as 1 Tim. vi. 6, 
and much fruit in religion to those that attain to 
true righteousness, as Ps. Iviii. 11 ; for such as be 
truly godly be in sure covenant with God, and 
thereby have right and title to the great comforts 
and blessings which God's own di\'ine properties 
afford unto the sons of men ; as here, for instance, 
to be freed from human ser\'ile fear by their right 
and interest to God's power and might ; for what 
needs he fear that hath God's power for his defence 1 
The tliree children did hereby encourage themselves 
in great present danger: Dan. iii. 16, 17, 'We are 
not careful to answer thee in this matter. Our God, 
whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burn- 
intT fiery furnace, and he wiM deliver us out of thine 

And for assurance hereof, mark all God's gracious 
promises of protection and preservation to the godly, 
as Isa. xli. 14, 'Fear not, thou wonn Jacob,' &c. ; 
Isa. xliii. 1-3, ' Now saith the Lord that created 
thee, Israel, fear not : for I have redeemed thee, 
and called thee by thy name ; thou art mine. When 
thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee,' 
&c. ; Isa. li. 11-13, 'The redeemed of the Lord 
shall obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and 
mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that 
comforteth thee : who art thou, that thou shouldst 
be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of 
man that shall he made as gi'ass 'i and forgettest the 
Lord thy maker,' &c. Add hereto Jer. xlvi. 27, 28, 
' Fear not thou, my servant Jacob ; for I will save 
thee ; I am wiih thee.' 

Object. But we shall find that the most godly do 
fear, as David himself; Ps. cxvi. 11, 'I said in my 
haste, all men are liars ;' and in 1 Sam. xxvii. 1, 
' I shall now perish one day by th hand of Saul.' 

Ans. This comes from the weakness of their 
faith, as Mat. xiv. 30, 31. Peter feared, though he 
had Christ's word for his warrant, through the weak- 
ness of his faith, which may also be increased by 
present guilt in some sin. 

Object. But the godly sometimes fly and fall be- 
fore their enemies, and so cannot but fear. 

.Ans. All promises of temporal blessings, such as 
freedom from human fear is, are to be understood 
with exception of the cross ; that is, must give way 
to God's correction for sin, as in Da^^d, 2 Sam. xii. 
14, and to God's malring trial of grace, as in Job, 
chap. ii. 3. 

Secondly, Here see the true ground of that differ- 
ence which is between the wicked and the godly, 
about slavish fear and godly boldness, plainly testi- 
fied by Solomon : Pro v. xxviii. 1, ' The wicked flee 
when no man pursueth : but the righteous is bold as 
a lion.' This cometh hence, the godly have the 
Lord with them and for them, and that makes them 
bold ; but the wicked have the Lord against them, 
and that strikes their hearts with fear and dread. 
See the truth of this in instance : Moses leads all the 
people of Israel boldly tlirough the Eed Sea ; 
Pharaoli followeth boldly for a whUe, but at length 
he and all his hosts are afraid, and fly away, and are 
drowned, Heb. xi. 29, with Exod. xiv. 25. And at 
Christ's resiuTection the keepers are as dead men for 
fear, but the women that sought Jesus are bid not 
to be afraid. Mat. xxviii. 4, 5. 

For admonition, it serves two ways : first, To take 
notice, that the trae grounds of courage and bold- 
ness is this, that a man hath the true God for his 
God ; that so, whosoever would be comfortable and 
couivageous in the evO da)% do labour for this estate, 
to have the true God for his God. It is not only 
true that affliction foUoweth sinners, so as evil shall 
hunt the wicked person to destruction, Ps. cxl. 11 ; 
but even the godly themselves are subject to many 
miseries, as Ps. xxxiv. 19;' Through manifold tribu- 
lations we must enter into the kingdom of God,' 
Acts xiv. 22. Now, unless God be for us, the heart 
will fail when evils come, as Nabal's did, 1 Sam. 
XXV. 37. And none indeed have the Lord for them, 
but those that stand rightly in covenant with God ; 
which be such as repent of their sins, believe in the 
Lord Jesus, and walk in new obedience. This is 

Ter. 2.] 

riERSON ON rsALii xxvn. 


wholesome doctrine, for soldiers in war, mariners on 
the sea, and for every one in evil times. 

Secondly, Those that have true courage and com- 
fort in e\dl times, must learn hence to give God all 
the glory. For tliis is the Lord's gift, as David con- 
fesseth, Ps. xviii. 29, c.'vrL'. 

Ver. 2. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my 
foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumhled 
and fell. 

Here Da'vdd gives instance, from his own experi- 
ence, of God's jiowerful preservation of him in ex- 
treme danger ; wliich no doubt he proi^ounds as 
the ground of that great confidence professed in the 
former verse, as in like case he encouraged himself 
to encounter in fight with great Goliath, because 
God had fonnei-ly strengthened him against a lion 
and a bear, 1 Sam. xrvii. 33-35. 

In the instance here made, we have three things 
to note. First, The state and condition of David's 
enemies ; they are ' wicked ' men. Secondly, Their 
purpose and attempt against David ; they came upon 
him ' to eat up his flesh ' — that is, utterly to destroy 
liim, as the roaring Hon devoureth a little sheep. 
Thirdly, The issue and succes.s of theii' attempt ; 
' they stumbled and fell. 

For the first note, David's enemies and foes are 
wicked men : Ps. iii. 7, ' Thou hast smitten all mine 
enemies on the cheek bone ; thou hast broken the 
teeth of the ungodly.' Ps. v. 89, David praymg for 
safety, because of his enemies, saith, ' There is no 
faithfulness in their mouths, their inward parts are 
very wickedness,' &c. Ps. vi. 8, he calls his enemies 
' workers of iniquity.' Ps. xvii. 9, the ■ndcked that 
oppress him are his enemies ; and ver. 1 3, ' Deliver 
my soul from the wicked.' 

The reason whereof is the enmity put by God 
himself between the seed of the serpent and the 
seed of the woman. Gen. iii. 15, which David found : 
Ps. xxxviii. 19, 20, ' They that render evO. for good 
are mine adversaries, because I follow the "thing that 
good is ; ' and our Sa\'iour Christ, John vii. 7, ' The 
world hateth me, because I testify of it that the 
deeds thereof are evil.' Wlio also foretold his dis- 
ciples hereof, Jolm xv. 15, ' If ye were of the world, 
the world would love his own ; but because ye are 
not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the 

world, therefore the world hateth you ; ' and John 
xvi. 33, ' In the world ye shall have tribulation.' 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instniction, it shews plainly what the godly 
must expect and look for in this world at the hands 
of -wicked men, — namely, all bitter opposition and 
enmity that may be ; as Christ Jesus told his dis- 
ciples, ' Ye shall be hated of all nations for my 
name's sake ; ' and therefore tells them that he sent 
them forth as sheep into the midst of wolves. Mat. 
X. 1 6. AVliich thing Da^dd had found long before, 
and thereupon complains : ' My soul is among lions, 
and I lie amongst the children of men, that are set 
on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their 
tongue a sharp sword,' Ps. Ivii. 4. ' And mine ene- 
mies, workers of iniquity, lie in wait for my soul,' 
Ps. lix. 1-3. 'My soul hath long dwelt with him 
that hateth peace. I am for peace, but when I 
speak they are for war,' Ps. cxx. 6, 7. This Paul 
like"wise felt : ' The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every 
city that bonds and afflictions abide me,' Acts xx. 
23. See 2 Cor. xi. 23, 'In stripes above measure, 
in prison more frequent, in death oft.' Yea, it was 
the case of the rest of the apostles as well as his. 
' I think,' saith he, ' that God hath set us forth, the 
last apostles, as it were, appointed to death : for 
we are made a spectacle unto the world, unto angels, 
and to men,' 1 Cor. iv. 9. 

For admonition, it serves two ways : first, To the 
■wicked, that they consider their estate in God's 
sight, when they are so spitefully bent against the 
godly ; surely this is that venomous corruption 
which they receive from the old serpent the devil. 
This Paul accounted the madness of his natural 
estate : ' And Ijeing exceedingly mad against them, 
I persecuted them unto strange cities,' Acts xxvi. 

Secondly, To the godly, to be both wise as ser- 
pents and harmless as doves, and to beware of men. 
Mat. X. 16, 17. So did David: 'I will keep my 
mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me. 
I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from 
good,' Ps. xxxix. 1, 2. 

For comfort, this makes gi-eatly to the godly, that 
their adversaries are wicked men ; for they may 
hereon rest assured that God will not join -with 


[Ver. 2. 

their enemies, unless it be for trial of gi-ace, as in 
Job, or for the sins of the godly in forsaking him ; 
for then the Lord may justly use the wicked as 
rods and scourges for their correction ; as Isa. x. 5, 
6, ' Ass3Tian, the rod of mine anger, and the 
staff in their hand is mine indignation.' So Job 
v-iii. 20, ' Behold, God will not cast away a perfect 
man, neither will he help the evil-doers.' Indeed, if 
we forsake him, he will foisake us, 2 Chron. xv. 2. 
' Rejoice, therefore, ye nations, with his people ; 
for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and 
render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be 
merciful unto his land and to his people.' Deut. 
xxxii. 43. Consider the Lord's wish : ' Oh that my 
people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had 
walked in my ways ! I should soon have subdued 
their enemies,' &c., Ps. Ixxxi. 13-15. Add Isa. 1. 
10,andUv. 8, U, 15. 

The second thing to be noted here is. The purpose 
and attempt of David's enemies against him; they 
came upon him to eat up his flesh, — that is, utterly 
to destroy him. Mark, then, 

Da^dd's enemies did fully purpose and endeavour 
his utter ruin and destruction. ' The sorrows of 
death compassed me, and the floods of the ungodly 
made me afraid,' Ps. xviii. 4. ' Mine enemies would 
daily swallow me up ; they be many that fight 
against me,' Ps. Ivi. 2. 'They gather themselves 
together, they liide themselves, they mark my steps, 
when they wait for my soul,' ver. 6. ' My soul is 
among lions : I lie among them that are set on fire, 
even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and 
arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword,' Ps. Ivii. 4. 
' They that hate me without a cause are more than 
the hairs of mine head : they that would destroy 
me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty,' Ps. 
box. 4. 

The reason hereof was, theu" spiteful -ivrath and 
hatred against David ; as he confesseth, in the be- 
half of the church with himself, ' If it had not been 
the Lord, who was on our side, when men rose up 
against us : then they had swallowed us up quick, 
when their wrath was kindled against us,' Ps. cxxiv. 
2, 3. And this spiteful wrath was kindled in them 
against David on two occasions : first. Because of 
his religion and piety, with which their corruption 
could admit no accord ; as the apostle doth intimate, 

2 Cor. \-i. 14, and David confesseth, Ps. xxxviii. 20, 
'They that render evil for good are mine adver- 
saries ; because I follow the thing that good is ; ' as 
Cain slew his brother, ' because his own works were 
e\'il and his brother's righteous,' 1 John iii. 12, and 
herein the devil set them a-work to hinder religion, 
as Eev. ii. 10. Secondly, Because of the honour 
and dignity whereto God had advanced him. ' 
ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into 
shame ? ' Ps. iv. 2. ' How long wUl ye imagine mis- 
chief against a man ? They only consult to cast him 
do^vn from his excellency,' Ps. Lxii. 4. This Saul 
himself confesseth in his fury to Jonathan his son. 
' As long as the son of Jesse ' — that is, David — 
'liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be esta- 
blished, nor thy kingdom ; wherefore now fetch him 
unto me, for he shall surely die,' 1 Sam. xx. 31. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction it serves two ways. First, To 
discover the exceeding measure of corruption that is 
in natural men, and thereupon their fearful estate in 
soul to Godward. Then- spiteful hearts and raging 
^vrath against the godly,-whereby nothing will satisfy 
them but their utter ruin and destniction, shews 
the great measure of their corruption. When they 
\vill eat up God's people as they eat bread, that is, 
devour them with delight, this shews they are cor- 
rupt, as Ps. liii. 1, 3, 4. And that they are so spite- 
ful-minded is plain by instance : Ps. Ixxxiii. 4, ' They 
have said, Come and let us cut them off" from being 
a nation, that the name of Israel may be no more in 
remembrance.' Ten nations were confederate against 
Israel with this resolution. The like we may see in 
the carnal Israelites against Paul : Acts xxii. 22, 
' They lift up their voices, and said. Away with such 
a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he 
should live ; ' yea, in Paul himself, before he was con- 
verted, for he persecuted Cluistianity unto the 
death. Acts xxii. 4, and was mad against this way, 
chap. XX vi. 11. Now this malice and hatred against 
the godly shew them to be the children of the de\'il, 
as 1 John iii. 12, and John viii. 40, 44. 

Secondly, To manifest that there is a special pro- 
vidence of God over his church and children, that 
preserves and keeps them notmthstanding all the 
spite and rage of the wicked against them, as Ps. 
cv. 12-14, 'When they were but a few men in num- 

Ver. 2.] 


ber ; yea, very few, and strangers in the land. When 
they went from one nation to another, from one 
kingdom to another people ; he suflered no man to 
do them \^Tong.' 

For admonition it serves two ways. First, To 
the bricked ; to consider of then- cornipt affection in 
spite and hatred against the godly, and whence it 
comes, that so they may discern their fearful state 
in soul, and labour to alter it. How they stand 
afleeted their own hearts can tell them, even as 
Ahab was to Micaiah, 1 Kings xxii. 8, ' I hate him.' 
But whence is it ? see James iii. 14, 15; even from 
the devd, as Acts xiii. 10 ; if enemy of righteousness, 
then child of the de^-il, as John viii. 40, 44. Now 
the way of change from that estate is by regenera- 
tion, which, indeed, is God's work, yet in the use of 
means ordained by himself, even the word and 
prayer, for the word is the seed of our new birth, 
1 Pet. i. 23, and prayer obtains the Spii'it, which 
puts life thereto, see Luke xi. 1 3, and John vi. 63. 

Secondly, To the godly ; often to bethink them- 
selves what then- religion may bring upon them 
from the wicked, even all their WTath and hatred, 
fury and rage, that so they may get the sure shelter 
against it, which is only this, to have God for them, 
as Ps. cx%Tii. 6, ' The Lord is on my side, I will not 
fear ; what can man do unto me 1 ' For he is the 
safe keeper, Ps. cxxi. 4, 5, whereon Da\-id assures 
himself of safety, Ps. iii, 3, 6, and Jeremiah, chap. 
XX. 15. Now he is ours by covenant, and continues 
for us while we keep fast to him in uprightness of 
heart : see 2 Chron. xv. 2, ' The Lord is ivith you, 
while ye be with him ; ' and chap. xvi. 9, ' The eyes 
of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole 
earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them 
whose heart is perfect towards him.' Now a perfect 
heart is discerned by an obedient Ufe : Isa. xxxviii. 3, 
' I have walked before thee in truth and with a per- 
fect heart, and have done that which is good in thy 
sight; 'with Job i. 1, 'That man was perfect and 
upright, and one that feared God and eschewed 

The third thing to be noted here is the issue and 
success of the cruel attempt of David's enemies 
against liim. They did not only fail of their pur- 
pose against Da\dd, but even themselves stumbled 
and fell ; see this plainly both in his particular 

combat with Goliath, 1 Sam. xvii. 44-49, who said 
he would give David's flesh to the fowls of the air 
and to the beasts of the field ; but it fell out other- 
wise. Also in manifold battles that he fought 
against the Philistines, whereof he saith in general, 
Ps. cxviii. 10, 12, ' All nations compassed me about. 
They compassed me about like bees ; they are 
quenched as the fire of thorns.' The truth there- 
of, see 1 Cliron. xiv. 8, &c., when the Philistines 
came up against him two several times in great 
abundance, and brought their gods with them, which 
he burned ■with fire at Baal-perazim, ver. 12, &c. 
See also Ps. xxxvii. 14, 15, ' The wicked have drawn 
out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast 
down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of 
upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into 
their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.' 

The reason or cause hereof was in God, who for 
just causes stood for David, and set himself against 
David's enemies. God stood with Da\-id for these 
causes : first. He found him out, and chose him to do 
him service in that place and state wherein he was so 
mightily oi^posed by his enemies : see Ps. Ixxxix. 
20, 21, 'I have found Da\-id my servant; with my 
holy oil have I anointed him. With whom my hand 
shall be established : mine arm also shall strengthen 
him,' &c. ; as Acts xiii. 22, ' I have found Da\'id the 
son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart.' Ps. 
Ixxviii. 70, ' He chose Da^id his servant, and took 
him from the sheepfold.' 

Secondly, Da\ad trusted in God, and so was holpen : 
Ps. Ixii. 1-3, ' Truly my soul waiteth upon God : 
from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock 
and my salvation ; he is my defence ; I shall not 
greatly be moved. How long will ye imagine mis- 
chief against a man ? ye shall be slain all of you : as 
a bovring wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.' 
Ps. xxi. 7, 8, ' The king trusteth in the Lord, and 
through the mercy of the most High he shall not be 
moved,' &c. Ps. xci. 1, 2, 9, ' He that dwelleth in 
the secret place of the most High shall abide under 
the shadow of the Almighty,' &c. 

Thirdly, David prayed unto the Lord, and so was 
preserved : Ps. Ivi. 9, ' When I cry unto thee, then 
shall mine enemies turn back : this I know ; for God 
is for me.' Ps. xxxiv. 4, 'I sought the Lord, and 
he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.' 


[Ver. 2. 

Ver. 6, ' This poor man cried, and the Lord heard 
him, and saved him out of all his troubles.' This 
duty hath God's promise : Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me 
in the day of trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou 
shalt glorify me.' 

Fourtlily, David made conscience of sin and 
walked in obedience : Ps. xviii. 21, 24, 'For I have 
kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly 
departed from my God. Therefore hath the Lord 
recompensed me according to my righteousness.' 

Now for his enemies, God would not be with 
them for these causes : first, They w^ere not called of 
God, nor sent by him against David, Ps. x. 2 ; pride, 
malice, and covetousness stir up the wicked. 

Secondly, They were wicked men, workers of ini- 
quity, as ver. 1, with whom God wUl not join for 
help and assistance : Job viii. 20, ' God will not cast 
away a perfect man, neither Avdll he help the evil- 
doers ; ' Ps. xciv. 20, ' Shall the throne of iniquity 
have fellowship with thee, wliich frameth mischief by 
law?' Ps. V. 4-6, 'Thou art not a God that hath 
pleasure in -Nvickedness : neither shall evil dwell with 
thee,' &c. ; Ps. Ivi. 7, ' Shall they escape by ini- 
quity 1 ' 

Thirdly, David's enemies did neither regard God's 
word nor God's works, and so could not prosper. 
For neglect of God's word, see Ps. cxLx. 126, ' It is 
time for thee. Lord, to work ; for they have made 
void thy law.' Ps. 1. 16, 17, 'Unto the wicked God 
saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statues, 
&c., seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my 
words behind thee?' And for his works, Ps. 
xxviii. 5, ' Because they regard not the works of 
the Lord, nor the operation of liis hands, he shall 
destroy them, and not build them up.' 

Fourthly, David's enemies trusted in their own 
might, and outward means : Ps. iii. 2, ' Many say of 
my soul, there is no help for him in God.' 2 Sam. 
xvii. 12, ' Therefore I counsel, &c. We -will light 
upon him, as the dew falleth on the ground ; and of 
him, and of all the men that are with liim, there 
shall not be left so much as one.' Ps. xxi. 7, 8, 
' Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we 
will remember the name of the Lord our God. 
They are brought down, and fallen, but we are 
risen, and stand upright.' 

Ohjid. Yet sometimes tliis is otherwise, as the 

psalmi-st complaineth, Ps. Ixxxix. 38, 39, 43, ' But 
thou hast cast off, and abhorred ; thou hast been 
■\vroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void 
the covenant of thy servant ; thou hast profaned 
his crown, by casting it to the ground. Thou hast 
also turned the edge of his sword ; and hast not 
made him to stand in the battle.' The like com- 
plaint, see Ps. xliv. 9, 10, &c., ' But thou hast cast 
off and put us to shame, and goest not forth with 
our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from 
the enemy, and they wliich hate us spoil for them- 

Alls. Here we must consider the nature of God's 
promises ; for though such as concern redemption 
and salvation in Clu-ist be most sure and certain, 
yea and amen, 2 Cor. i. 10, yet the promises of 
temporal blessings are conditional, and must be 
understood with the exception of the cross, — that 
is, so as God, either for trial of gi'ace, or coiTection 
for sin, may deal otherwise ; as we may see in 
good king Josiah, who for the sins of the land, 
that hastened God's judgments, fell by the hand of 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction ; see what a great blessing and 
privilege it is to stand rightly in covenant ^^ith 
God, whereby he becometh light or salvation to a 
man, or to a people, and the strength of their life ; for 
so shall they find extraordinary preservation in time 
of danger, and strange deliverance beyond human ex- 
pectation, as here David confesseth, and the people of 
Israel found many a time ; as when they were pur- 
sued by Pharaoh at the Eed Sea, Exod. xiv. 10, 13; 
so also when Joshua won Jericho, Josh. vi. 21 ; 
Ai, chap. viii. 28 ; and slew the five longs of the 
Amorites, who fought against Gibeon, chap. x. 1.5, 
&c., in which fight the sun stood still in the midst 
of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole 
day, ver. 13. And afterward, when divers other 
kings, with all their power, came to fight against 
Joshua, with much people, as the sand upon the 
sea-shore for multitude, with horses and chariots 
very many, Joshua discomfited them all. Josh, 
xi. 1, 2, 5, 6 ; and the Anakims, against whom 
formerly none could stand, Deut. is. 2 ; yet 
Joshua drave them out, and destroyed them 

Yer. 3.] 



utterly, and their cities, Josli. xi. 21, 22. The 
like we may see iii the strange victories, in the 
book of the Judges, by Deborah and Barak against 
Sisera, Judges iv. 15, &c. By Gideon against the 
Jlidianities, chap. vii. 22, &c. By Jephthah against 
tlie Ammonites, chap. xi. 32, 33. By Samson 
against the Philistines, chaps, xv. and xvi. ; and 
so by Jonathan and his armour-bearer, against 
a garrison of the Philistines, 1 Sam. xiv. 15. By 
Da%'id's many victories over them before-mentioned ; 
by Asa against the Ethiopians, 2 Chron. xiv. 9, &c. 
Jehoshaphat against Moab, Ammon, and Mount 
Seir, 2 Cliron. xx. 12, &c. ; and Hezekiah against 
Sennacherib, Isa, xxxvii. 36. 

Also here see the misery of those that be out of 
covenant with God ; for the Lord's power is ever 
against them, (unless when he will use them as a 
rod and scourge to punish the rebellious, as Isa. 
X. 5, G,) and therefore woe unto them ; as Hosea L\. 
12, with Deut. xxxii. 30. 

For admonition, to give all diligence to be truly 
in covenant with God, that so it may be with us as 
it was with David. For which end, in the profes- 
sion of the true faith, we must imitate the godly 
practice of David ; having a calling for that we 
do, tnist in God, pray unto him, and walk in obe- 

Also, as we desire to scape the Lord's hand in our 
overthrow, let us beware of the state and properties 
of David's enemies. 

For comfort to the godly, fighting the Lord's 
battles, and yet overmatched. If they be in cove- 
nant with God, and follow David, in the warrant of 
a good calling, in affiance, prayer, and holy obedi- 
ence, they may say, Where is the God of David, of 
Joshua, of Jehoshaphat ? &c. ; as Elisha said, ' Where 
is the Lord God of Elijah 1 ' 2 Kings ii. 14, for he is 
■R-ithout .shadow of change, James i. 1 7. 

Ver. 3. Thwrjli an host slwuld encamp against me, 
my heart shall not fear : thovrjh icar should rise arjainst 
me, in this will I be confident. 

Here the prophet returns to make mention of his 
courage and confidence against his enemies, more 
fully expressing the same than he had formerly 
done, by making supposal that, with all their force, 
and in their greate.st fiiry, they should set upon 

him, saying, ' Though an host should encamp 
agamst me ' — there is the supposal of their force, 
and yet he would not fear ; and ' though war should 
rise against me ' — there is the supposal of their rage 
and fury, yet ' in this will I be confident.' But 
what means he by in this ? The most take it de- 
monstratively, with reference to that he had said, 
The Lord is my light : yet it may be taken for a 
relative, and referred to the war made against him, 
wherein he would be confident upon his having God 
for his light, &c. 

Here, then, we have two things to note ; the one 
implied or taken for granted, the other expressed. 
The thing implied is this, that to be in fear, and to 
be confident, are here opposed as contrary aflfections 
of the heart. David here professeth his heart was 
free from fear, and that he was confident. And to 
clear the proposition, it containeth two things. 
First, That fear and confidence are contrary afi"ec- 
tions ; this is acknowledged by the very heathen as 
a princii^le in natural philosophy, which none can 
deny that know the nature of these affections, or 
feel the force of them. For fear is the fainting or 
falling down of the heart upon the apprehension of 
evU, either present or imminent, as Luke xxi. 26, 
' Men's hearts failing them for fear.' But confidence 
is the trust or persuasion of the heart to escape 
evil, and to enjoy good, as Ps. xxxvii. 3, 5. 
Secondly, That these affections are seated in the 
heart, is lOiewise acknowledged by natural men, and 
plain also in Scripture : for fear, see Luke xxi. 26, 
as before ; and for confidence, Ps. xxviii. 7, ' The 
Lord is my strength, and my shield ; my heart 
trusted in him.' 

The reason hereof is the will of God Almighty, 
the maker of man's heart, as Ps. xxxiii. 15, 'He 
fashioneth their hearts alike ; ' and he ' made this con- 
trary to that,' Eccles. vii. 14. 

The application is twofold. First, For instruc- 
tion ; see here that one of these two must needs 
possess every one of our hearts, for these aflfections 
are natural, and who will exempt himself from that 
which is man's natural estate! Elias was a man 
subject to natural passions, Jamesiv. 1 7, and said of 
himself, I am no better than my fathers, 1 Kuigs 
xix. 4. 

Quest. Was Adam endued with fear by creation i 



[Ver. 4. 

yins. Adam's fear by creation was filial, of God ; 
but ser\-ile fear was not in him tOl lie sinned against 
God. Of this we may say, as of shame, Gen. ii. 25, 
' They were both naked, the man and the woman, 
and were not ashamed ; ' with Gen. iii. 9, 10, 'The 
Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, 
AVhere art thou 1 And he said, I heard thy voice 
in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was 
naked, and I hid myself 

For admonition, that every one of us do con- 
sider the causes of these affections ; and as we desire 
to be freed from fear, and endued with confidence, 
so to give all diligence to be freed from the cause of 
fear, and to be possessed with the causes of true 
affiance and confidence. Now fear ariseth from the 
apprehension and conceit of that which is evil and 
hurtful to us ; which, whatsoever it is, comes from 
sin, Ktan, that is indeed drf] ij ?7a»ra aiirai ; see Prov. 
i. 33 ; Gen. iii. 10. 

The cause of confidence and affiance is sure title 
to that which is good, which none have but the 
righteous ; as Ps. xxxvii. 1 7, ' The Lord uiDholdeth 
the righteous.'- Ver. 39, ' The salvation of the 
righteous is of the Lord.' Hence Solomon saith, 
' The righteous is bold as a lion,' Prov. xxviii. 1. 
Now the way to be freed from sin, is by true repent- 
ance ; as Acts iii. 19, ' Eepent ye therefore, and be 
converted, that your sins may be blotted out.' And 
the way to become truly righteous, is to believe in 
God through Christ, ' who is the end of the law for 
righteousness,' ftom. x. 4, which is never severed 
from righteousness, renewed in sanctification, aa 1 
Cor. i. 30. After these two graces, must we give all 
diligence in the use of means, the word and prayer, 
in and by which the Holy Ghost worketh these, and 
all other needful graces, in the hearts of God's elect. 
And for motives, consider the present evil times, in 
the common troubles of the church abroad, which 
if they befall us, without repentance and faith, we 
shall shrink under them. Add hereto the medi- 
tation of the terror of death to them that want re- 
pentance and faith ; but most of all the horror and 
terror of the day of judgment. 

The thing expressed is this, That David's heart 
was confident, and free from slavish fear of hurt, 
from the strongest opposition and malice of all his 
enemies : see Ps. iii. 6, ' I will not be afraid of ten 

thousands of people, that have set themselves against 
me round about.' 

The reason hereof was, his being truly in cove- 
nant with God, whereby he had title to God's 
power and providence for his j)reservation : see 
Ps. xci. 9-11, 'Because thou hast made the 
Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy 
habitation ; there shall no evil befall thee, neither 
shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he 
shall give his angels charge over thee,' &c. So Ps. 
iii. 3, and cxviii. 6. 

Object. David wanted this confidence before Achish, 
1 Sam. xxi. 12, 13. 

Ans. He had then the habit of faith in God in 
his heart, but failed somewhat in that particular 
act, as Peter did more when he denied his Master, 
Luke xxii. 60, with 32. Which we must observe, 
to restrain rash judgment, against ourselves or 
others, for particular falls. For as we have sancti- 
fication in part, and not perfectly, so we may fail in 
many particular acts. Which yet must not encour- 
age any to go on in a course of sin, seeing reigning 
sin and saving grace cannot stand together. See 
Eom. vi. 1-15. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see the great fruit of godliness, 
in giving courage and boldness in his greatest dis- 
tress ; as is said in general, 1 Tim. iv. 8, ' Godliness 
is profitable unto all things.' Ps. Iviii. 11, 'Verily 
there is a reward for the righteous.' 

For admonition, to labour to be such as David 
was, if we desu-e to have the like courage. Now 
David stood rightly in covenant mth God, and kept 
covenant, testifying the same by new obedience : 
See Ps. xviii. 21-23, 'I have kept the ways of 
the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my 
God,' &c. And say not. This sampler is too high ; 
see James v. 10, ' Take, my brethren, the prophets, 
who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an 
ensample of suffering affiiction, and of patience ; ' 
nay. Mat. xi. 29, our Saviour himself saith, ' Learn 
of me ; ' and St Paul, Phil. ii. 5, ' Let this mind be 
in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.' Eph. v. 1. 
' Be ye followers of God, as dear cliildren.' 

Ver. 4. One thing have I desiyed of the Lord, that 
Hill I seek after ; that I may dwell in the house of the 

Ver. 4.] 



Lord all tlic ilaj/s of my life, to behold the heauty of the 
Lord, and to inquire in his temple. 

Having in the former verse plainly expressed the 
singular benefits he received by ha^•ing the true God 
for his God — as, namely, that he himself was en- 
couraged in the greatest assaults of his enemies, ver. 
1-3, and on the other side his enemies were daunted 
and dismayed, ver. 2 — here in this verse he shews 
his ardent affection towards the place of God's wor- 
ship, being indeed the only way for his soul to en- 
joy society vrith God, who was his light and salvation, 
and the strength of his life. 

This affection of David towards the place of God's 
worship is here notably expressed three ways : 
first. By this, that he makes it the only matter of his 
special suit unto God, which both formerly he had de- 
su'ed, and would yet also still seek after, — ' One thing 
have I desired of the Lord, that wOl I seek after, 
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord ; ' secondly, 
Bj' the length of time for which he would enjoy that 
benefit, namely, ' all the days of his life ; ' thirdly, 
By the comfortable ends for which he desires it, 
which here are these two : fii'st, ' To behold the 
beauty of the Lord ; ' secondly, ' To inquire in his 

For the first ; the Lord's house in David's time 
was the tabernacle of the congregation, to which he 
had appropriated the ordinances of di\-ine service, 
for the performance whereof his peoi)le did thither 
assemble themselves while it stood ; and to the 
temple built by Solomon afterward, whereto God 
made the promise of his presence, 1 Kings ix. 3, 
whither the tribes went up, Ps. cxxii. 4, unto which 
place David's heart was traly addicted, as Ps. xxvi. 
8, ' Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, 
and the place where thine honour dwelleth ; ' 1 
Chron. xxix. 3, ' I have set my affection to the house 
of my God.' But now, in the New Testament, dif- 
ference of place in respect of hoUness is taken away, 
John iv. 21, and God's house is his church, 1 Tim. 
iii. 15 ; that is, such companies and assembUes of 
people as be in covenant ^vith God, and meet to- 
gether Ln Christ's name to perform worship and 
ser\'ice unto God, as Mat. xviii. 20. For the godly 
are God's temple and God's house, 1 Cor. iii. 16; 
2 Cor. vi. 16 ; 1 Pet. ii. 5. Now, to dwell in God's 
house is to continue a true member of God's church, 

a true believer enjojnng the liberty and comfort of 
God's holy worship and service ; wherein, though 
the priests and Levites had a special privilege, 
whose calling was to do service in the sanctuary, as 
Ps. cxxxiv. 1, yet it was not pecuhar to them alone, 
as appears by Ps. xv. 1 and last, compared with 
Luke ii. 36, 37, where men and women that are 
truly godly are said to dwell in God's house. 

Here, then, in this first expression of David's 
affection towards the house of God, note two things : 
first. That David's heart was set upon the house of 
God above all other things ; he was more in prayer 
and endeavour after this lilessing, to dwell in God's 
house, than after any worldly thing. This he often 
testifieth, as 1 Chron. xxix. 3, ' I have set mine affec- 
tion to the house of my God ; ' Ps. xxvi. 8, ' Lord, I 
have loved the habitation of thine house, and the place 
where thine honour dwelleth ;' Ps. cxxii. 1, 'I was 
glad when they said unto me. Let us go to the house 
of the Lord.' So Ps. Ixxxiv. 1, 2, 10, andPs. xlii. 1, 

This affection is the more to be marked in David, 
because the world wonders at it Ln God's children, 
as Cant. v. 8, 9, and derides them for it, as 2 Sam. 
■vi. 20 ; therefore consider the reasons that moved 
him thereunto, which are indeed the wonderful, rare, 
heavenly blessings which are certainly enjoyed in 
God's house, and nowhere else. "Whereof the first 
and principal (from which all the rest do flow) is 
the sure fruition of society and fellowship with the 
true God, who is one in essence, three in persons, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; who, 
though the whole world be his, yet only shews his 
special grace and favour to the true members of his 
church, as Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20, ' He sheweth his word 
unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto 
Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation,' &c. ; 
with Exod. xix. 5, ' Ye shall be a peculiar treasure 
unto me above all people.' vVnd therefore they that 
are out of the church are said to be ' without Christ 
and without God in the world,' Eph. ii. 12, and can- 
not receive the Holy Ghost, who is the true sanctifier 
and comforter, John. xiv. 17. 

Behold, then, the pri\'ilege of the church and of 
the true members thereof: the true God, who is one 
in essence, three in persons as God, is their Lord 
and king, which is a groat ground of then- true hap- 



[Ver. 4. 

piness. The queen of Slieba accounted Solomon's 
servants liappy in having a Idng so eminent for wis- 
dom, 1 Kings X. 8 ; ' But, behold, a greater than 
Solomon is here,' Mat. xii. 42 ; a Idng and master in 
his church, who can give ddiverance by command, 
Ps. xliv. 4, and ivill honour all his faithful sei-vants : 
John xii. 26, ' Where I am, there also shall my ser- 
vant be. If any man serve me, him will my Father 
honour ; ' so Luke xii. 37, 43, 44. More particularly, 
God the Father is in Christ their Father, 2 Cor. 
vi. 18; John xx. 17, even the Father of mercies, 
2 Cor. i. 3, who will take notice of the wants of his 
children, and make supply, upon their sober and 
sanctified use of lawful means, if first and chiefly 
they seek heavenly blessings. Mat. vi. 32, 33, and 
what is wanting in their temporal estate he will 
fully make out in their eternal, Luke xii. 32. Also 
God the Son is in and to his church a blessed 
Saviour and Redeemer, he is ' the head unto his 
church, which is his body,' Eph. i. 22, 23, and the 
Saviour of his body, Eph. v. 23 ; see Luke ii. 10, 11 ; 
Isa. xlLx. 6, 8. Yea, he is a husband unto their 
souls, Isa. liv. 5, ' Thy maker is thine husband ; ' 
Isa. Ixii. 4, 5, ' Thy land shall be married. As a 
young man marrieth a virgin, and as the bridegroom 
rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice 
over thee.' And God the Holy Ghost is to his 
church a blessed sanctifier and comforter, ' the 
Spirit of grace and supplications,' Zech. xii. 10 ; 
' And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the 
Sijuit of his Son into your hearts,' Gal. iv. 6. 

Secondly, The true God, in Chri.st Jesus, gives to 
all the true members of the church freedom and 
deliverance from all hurtful evils. By imputing his 
righteousness unto them he doth acquit them from 
the whole guilt and curse of sin, both original cor- 
ruptions and actual transgressions, whereupon all 
the evils thereof, in temporal and corporal miseries, 
as they are curses, are removed, see Gal. iii. 13, 
' Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, 
being made a curse for us,' whereupon, Rom. viii. 1, 
' There is no condemnation to them which are in 
Christ Jesus ; ' and more generally, Luke i. 68, &c. ; 
Acts xiii. 39. 

Thirdly, Here God aiTordeth to his children the 
full and sure fruition of all needful blessings, 
heavenly and earthly ; see Eph. i. 3, for heavenly. 

and for earthly, see Mat. vi. 32, 33. The blessings 
of his house are great, as Ps. Ixv. 4. Here is no 
lack, Ps. xxxiv. 10. See some particulars. 

First, Here God gives direction in every good 
way ; Ps. xxxii. 8, ' I will instruct thee, and teach 
thee in the way which thou shalt go, I will guide 
thee with mine eye ; ' Ps. Ixxiii. 24, ' Thou shalt 
guide me with thy counsel.' A type hereof he 
shewed to his people in the mlderness, Exod. xiii. 
21, 22, in the pdlar of cloud by day, and fire by 

Secondly, Here is plentiful provision both for soul 
and body, Ps. xxxiv. 10. For the soul, see John 
vi. 27, 33, 35, 55, 63 ; 1 Cor. x. 16. Here is the 
tree of life, and the well of life, Rev. xxii. 1, 2; 
Ps. xxxvi. 9, ' With thee is the fountain of life ; ' 
Ps. Ixxxvii. 7, ' All my springs are in thee,' — that 
is, in the true church. For the body, see Isa. 
Ixv. 13; Ps. xxxvii. 3, 4. 

Thirdly, Here is safe protection and preservation 
by special providence, Ps. xci. 1, &c., imjilied and 
assured to all the faithful. Mat. x. 29-31. It is 
said the king's servants in ordinary cannot be 
arrested but by warrant from the Lord Chamberlain, 
and ordinary attendants on parliament-men have 
great freedoms ; but the servants of God have more, 
see John xix. 11 ; Job i. 10 ; Acts xviii. 10 ; Ps. 
Ixxxix. 22. 

Fourthly, Here is most admirable remuneration, 
even in this life, with the honour of grace, and favour 
to be his friends, John xv. 14, 15, to be his children, 
1 John iii. 1, and to have the attendance of the 
heavenly angels, Ps. xxxiv. 7, and xci. 1 1 ; Heb. 
i. 13, but most abundantly in the life to come, Mat. 
xix. 28, 29, and xxv. 21, 23; Luke xii. 32. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first, See here a plain 
evidence of the great ignorance and unbelief of 
natural men in the things of God, for not one of a 
thousand hath David's affection to God's house; and 
the true cause tliereof is, their ignorance and un- 
belief touching the good things of God's house ; 
as in the like, see John iv. 10, and Cant. v. 9. 
Here, it is true, that the light that is in natural men 
is but mere darkness. Mat. vi. 23. 

Secondly, That undoubtedly it is a wonderful 
privilege and prerogative to be a true member of 

Ver. -1 ] 



God's churcli, and to live in his house, else David 
would never have so much desired it. 

For admonition two ways : first, To try our affec- 
tion toward the house of God, by David's ; for sure 
it is, if God be our light and our salvation, and the 
strength of our life, we cannot but desire to enjoy 
that place where we may have society with him. 

Now the evidence of this good affection is, first, 
SoiTOw for want of liberty to God's service ; as Ps. 
xlii. 1, 2, 4, ' AMien I remember these things, I 
pour out my soul in me,' &c. And for want of 
God's sa\'ing and sacred ordinances, as Ps. Ixxiv. 9, 
' We see not our signs ; there is no more any pro- 
phet,' &c., as Phinehas's wife in travail, 1 Sam. iv. 
19-22, 'The glory is departed from Israel, for the 
ark of God is taken,' &c. 

Secondly, Joy in the means and liberty thereto, 
as Ps. cxxii. 1, ' 1 was glad when they said unto me. 
Let us go into the house of the Lord.' As when 
the ark came to Beth-shemesh, from among the 
Philistines, they of Beth-shemesh rejoiced to see it, 

1 Sam. vi. 13, and sacrificed sacrifices unto the 
Lord, ver. 15; 'And David danced before the ark 
for joy,' when it was brought to the city of David, 

2 Sam. vi. 1.5, 16 ; and .so Nahuni -N-iii. 12, ' All the 
people made great mirth, for understanding the 
word ; ' and ver. 17, 'In keeping the Lord's feast 
there was great gladness.' 

Secondly, To get David's affection to God's house, 
which will be had by knowing their misery that 
are out of it ; as the world drowned out of Noah's 
ark, and as is expressed, Eev. xxii. 15, with xxi. 8; 
also by their happiness that be the living members 
of it, see Eev. xxi. 7, and xxii. 14, for then they 
have God for their God, and right to all the bless- 
ings of the covenant, in fi-eedom from the miseries 
of nature, (as they are curses,) and fruition of all 
needful good, in direction, provision, protection, and 
remuneration, as before is shewed. 

For the sanctifying of these things considered to 
our hearts, we must pray for the Spirit, which 
quickeneth the dead, and giveth light and sight to 
the blind eyes of the understanding ; and with all 
endeavour to leave sin, and to live godly, that so we 
may be more capable of the blessings of the Spirit. 
For the Spii-it of God is a holy spirit, and will not 
dwell in an unclean and filthy heart, as 2 Cor. v. 

14, 15. Mark the place where Christ eats the pass- 
over with his disciples : Mark xiv. 15, It is 'a large 
upper room, furnished and prepared ; ' so it should 
be with our hearts, if we would have the i'ather 
and Christ to come unto us, and make their abode 
with us, John xiv. 23, yea, to sup with us. Rev. 
iii. 20. 

Secondly, In his first expressing of Da\'id's affec- 
tion towards the house of God, note also the means 
he used, and the course he took, to obtain this 
blessing — namely, with earnest desire and prayer 
to God he joineth other endeavour, and seeketh 
after it by doing what he can otherwise to get this 

Here ai-e two words used declaring David's be- 
haviour to obtain this blessing, that he might dwell 
in the house of the Lord. 

The first, ''/I'^Xti', doth plainly point out the duty 
of prayer to God, and that of earnest prayer, such 
as beggars use, who are usually importunate, as 
Prov. XX. 4, ' The sluggard shall beg in harvest.' 
The second word, K;p^K, though sometime it express 
seeking in prayer, yet often betokens the use of 
other means beside prayer,^ whereby the thing de- 
sired may be gotten, as labour and pains in travail 
and otherwise, as Ps. xxxvii. 32, ' The wicked 
watcheth the righteous and seeketh to slay him;' 
and therefore it is sometime expounded by pursue, 
as Ps. xxxiv. 14, 'Seek peace and pursue it.' 

Whereby it seems plain that David did with prayer 
join other endeavour to get this blessing, to dwell in 
the house of the Lord. 

The reason of this behaviour is twofold : first, 
Obedience to God's ordinance, who requii-ed of those 
that would dwell in his house tliree things : first, 
Repentance from dead works, whereby they break off 
the course of all sin wherein they had fonnerly lived, 
see 1 John i. 6, ' If we say we have fellowship with 
him, and walk in darluiess, we lie.' 'Hath the throne 
of wickedness fellowship with thee ? ' Ps. xciv. 20. 
' What fellowship hath light mth darkness 1 ' &c., 2 ■ 
Cor. vi. 14, 15. David would not suffer an evil 
person to dwell in his house, Ps. ci. 4, 7, and shall 
we think that God will have his house defiled with 
such ? For reigning sin is spu-itual leprosy ; and 
though he were a temporal king, yet bodily leprosy 

' See Pagnin. in this word. 



[Ver. 4. 

will cause him to be cast out of the Loril's sanctuaiy, 
2 Chron. xxvi. 20. 

Secondly, To be beautified iu soul with inward 
graces through regeneration, as faith, vutue, godli- 
ness, &c., 2 Pet. 1-8 ; Heb. xi. 6, ' He that cometh 
unto God must beheve.' 

Thirdly, To be adorned in life with new obedi- 
ence, Ps. XV. 2, 3, &c., and xxiv. 3, 4. And these 
things David must seek after if he would dwell in 
God's house ; and so no doubt he did. 

Secondly, Desire to enjoy the blessings of God's 
house, wherein he knew that man's true happiness 
did stand, as Ps. Ixv. 4, and Ixxxiv. 4 ; as Paul 
did, Phil. iii. 13, 14. Now in nature everything de- 
sires the happiness of its kind, so far forth as the 
enlightening of the understanding can dii-ect, which, 
being most perfect in God's children, they desire the 
fruition of the trae God, who is the fountain of the 
best happiness. 

This serves for iustraction and for admonition. 

For instruction it shews us plainly whence it is 
that the greatest number in the world do fail of true 
spiritual grace, and so indeed of salvation itself; 
sure it is not for want of desire, for ^vicked Balaam 
would have his soul to die the death of the right- 
eous. Num. xxiii. 10, but it is because with desire in 
prayer they do not join seeking after, and holy en- 
deavour in the diligent use of other means ordained 
of God for the attaining hereof. For it fares wth 
men that live in the church for the blessings of grace 
and salvation, as it doth with men in the woi'ld for 
temporal blessings, of whom Solomon saith, Prov. 
xiii. 4, ' The soul of the sluggard desireth and hath 
nothing.' Why so 1 Because he is a sluggard, and 
severeth diligence from desire, as the opposition shews 
in the end of the verse, — ' but the soul of the dili- 
gent shall be made fat ; but the idle soul shall suffer 
hunger,' Prov. xix. 15. And so it is for spiritual 
graces, which are the treasures of wisdom, heavenly 
riches, as Christ implieth, John v. 40, ' You wOl not 
come unto me that you might have life,' compared 
with Mat. xi. 28, 29, ' Come unto me, all ye that 
labour,' &c. And St Paul shews it, Acts xiii. 40, 
47, ' Seeing you put it from you,' &c. ; and Luke x. 
10-12, 'Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they 
receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of 
the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, 

which cleavetli on us, we do ^idpe off against you,' 
&c. And it may be seen in the foolish virgins, Mat. 
XXV. 3, 11, 12, and in the idle servant, Mat. xxv. 
25, &c. 

For admonition, all that desire to have grace and 
glory must here learn of David, with desire in praj-er 
to join diligence in the use of further means ordained 
of God for the obtaining of those blessings : see 
Prov. ii. 3, 4, 'If thou criest after knowledge, and 
liftest up thy voice for understanding ; if thou 
seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid 
treasures ; then shalt thou understand the fear of 
the Lord,' &c. Tliere we see seeking goes mth cry- 
ing; so Mat. vii. 7, ' Ask, and it shall be given you ; 
seek, and ye shall find,' &c. The very heathen would 
say that fortune resisted .sluggish prayers. And see 
James iv. 3, 'Y'e ask, and receive not, because ye 
ask amiss,' not joining endeavour -with prayer. 
Consider 2 Pet. i. 5-10, ' Give all diligence ; add to 
your faith virtue,' &c. ; add 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12, 14; 
and see answerable hereunto the endeavour of the 
godly ; of St Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27 ; Phil. iii. 10- 
13 ; and of the chiu'ch of the Thessalonians, 1 The?, 
i. 6-8 ; and of Ephesus, Rev. ii. 2 ; and of Thyatira, 
Eev. ii. 19. 

The second thing here expressing David's sincere 
affection to the house of God is the length of time 
for which he desires to dwell therein, namely, all 
the days of his life. No shorter time will satisfy 
Da\'id's soul ; while he lives in the world he would 
dwell in the house of the Lord, and therefore in the 
thought and assurance thereof doth he so much 
encourage himself : Ps. xxiii. 6, ' Surely goodness 
and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for 

The reason hereof is threefold. First, For the 
fruition of the good things of God's house, mentioned 
before, viz., spLiitual society vnt\i God, and from 
him deliverance from all hurtful evils, and partaldng 
of all needful blessings, in direction, pro\'ision, pro- 
tection, and remuneration, to which these mentioned 
in this verse do belong, ' to behold the beauty of the 
Lord,' &c., whereupon he esteemed ' a day in God's 
courts better than a thousand elsewhere,' Ps. 
Ixxxiv. 10. 

Secondly, For his better opportunity to glorify 

Yer. 4.] 



God, which thing his soul dcsii'cd to do so long as 
he lived, as Ps. Ixiii. 4, ' Thus vrtil I bless thee 
while I live ; ' Ps. cxl\-i. 2, ' AMiile I live will I 
praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God 
while I have any being.' Now the house of God 
was the chiefest place for this duty : Ps. xxix. 9, ' In 
his temple doth every one speak of his glory ; ' Ps. 
lx.\xiv. 4, ' Blessed are they that dwell in thine 
house, they wtII be still praising thee.' 

Thirdly, He knew that to be out of God's house 
was to be out of God's favour, as Cain's complaint 
doth plainly import, Gen. iv. 1 4, and the Lord's 
severe dealing against Israel for their sins doth 
plainly shew, 2 Kings x^-ii. 18, 20. 

Tliis sers'es for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see plainly in David that the 
hearts of the godly do sincerely desire, and in their 
lives they do faithfully strive for perseverance in 
the state of grace ; for that tiling at this day is 
dwelling in God's house, as the phrase imports, 
1 John ii. 19, 'They went out from us, but they 
were not of us : for if they had been of us, they 
would no doubt have continued with us,' — that is, 
in the profession and obedience of the word of faith. 
Which is a thing worthy of our observation, for our 
better satisfaction touching the truth of our doc- 
trine, of the perseverance of the saints in grace ; 
thereof we need to have the less doubt, seeing in 
them all is ■(vrought a time desire after this estate, 
which they shew by prayer and other godly endea- 
vour. Xow the Lord heareth the desires of those 
that fear him, Ps. cxiv. 19, and Mat. vii. 7, 'Ask 
and it shall be given you.' 

For admonition, to those tliat are weary of God's 
house and the exercises of religion, snuffing at them, 
and saying it is a weariness, Mai. i. 13 ; saying, 
' When will the Sabbath be gone]' Amos viii. 5. 
How many have we that love the alehouse and 
whorehouse better than God's house, as Jer. v. 7, 
' They assembled themselves by troops in the 
harlots' houses.' But, Lam. L 4, 'The ways of 
Zion do mourn, because none come unto the solemn 

Que.it. How should they alter their estate and do 
better I 

Ans. 'The way of man is not in himself,' Jer. x. 
23 ; vet the means ordained of God must be used of 

every one that would become like unto David, wliich 
is diligence in the word and prayer, and making 
conscience to live according to the word. 

The third thing here to be noted in David's ex- 
pressing the fervent affection of his heart towards 
God's house, are the blessed ends for which David 
desires that favour, — namely, first, 'To behold the 
beauty of the Lord ; ' secondly, ' To inquire in his 

For the first, the Lord's beauty, to be seen in his 
house, is not the beauty of his essence, for so no man 
can see God and live, Exod. xxxiii. 18, 20 ; before 
this glorious beauty the angels cover their faces 
with their wings, Isa. vi. 1, 2 ; but it is the beauty 
of his ordinances, wherein God doth reveal to the 
eyes of men's minds, enlightened by his Spirit, the 
pleasant beauty of his goodness, justice, love, and 
mercy in Jesus Christ. Mark here, then, 

That in God's house the godly do behold the 
pleasant beauty of the Lord, in his gracious proper- 
ties of goodness, justice, love, and mercy in Jesus 
Christ. Ps. Ixiii. 1, 2, 'My soul thirsteth for thee, 
my flesh longeth for thee ; to see thy power and 
thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.' 
See 2 Cor. iii. 18, and iv. 6. 

The reason hereof is, the good pleasure of God 
thus to manifest his gracious properties in his ovra. 
ordinances. Look, as in the works of the creation, 
lie shewed the eternal power and msdom of the 
Godhead, Rom. i. 19, 20, so, in the ordinances of 
his service, he doth make known his justice, good- 
ness, love, and mercy in Jesus Christ. This is most 
clear in the gospel jireached, and in the evangelical 
sacraments rightly administered ; wherein, ' with 
open face, we behold the glory of the Lord, and are 
transformed into the same image,' 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
' The world by wisdom knew not God, in the wisdom 
of God,' — that is, how God will shew himself wise 
in man's salvation, 1 Cor. i. 21. Now, Christ cruci- 
fied in the gospel preached is this power of God, and 
this \visdom of God, ver. 24. ' Herein is made 
known the unsearchable riches of Christ,' Eph. iii. 8, 
and 'the manifold wisdom of God,' ver. 10. 'For 
it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness 
dwell,' Col. i. 19. 'In him are hid all the treasures 
of ivisdom and knowledge,' Col. ii. 3, and are all 
opened unto us in the evangelical ministrj'. Now 



[Ver. 4. 

the legal service had ' the shadow of all these good 
things to come,' Col. ii. 17; Heb. x. 1. For the 
sacrifices did lead to Christ, as 1 Cor. v. 7 ; and the 
purifying water shadowed out the sanctification of 
the Sj^irit, John Lii. 5. These and the rest of the 
legal ordmances were figures for the time of the law, 
Heb. ix. 9 ; and the words of the jjrophets, with 
them, were lights that shined in a dark place, till 
the day of the gospel did dawn, and the day star — 
that is, the clearer light of knowledge — arise in men's 
hearts, 2 Pet. i. 19. Now, David had the Spirit in 
prophetical wisdom, 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, and thereby 
saw, even in these legal ordinances, the pleasant 
beauty of the Lord his God in Clirist Jesus. 

This serves for instruction and for admoni- 

For instruction, see a reason of the different af- 
fections to be seen in men toward the house of God, 
and the sacred ordinances therein used. Some are 
exceeding zealous thereof, as Ps. Ixix. 9 ; longing 
and fainting for the courts of the Lord, Ps. Ixxxiv. 
2, Ixiii. 1, 2, and xlii. 1, 2. Others count it a weari- 
ness, and wonder that any should take deUght 
therein. Now the reason is, that some see the 
beauty of the Lord in his house, and others are 
blind and ignorant, and see nothing at all, as Cant. 
V. 9 ; being like the prophet's servant, that saw the 
horses and chariots of the enemy, but saw not the 
chariots of fire from the Lord till the prophet had 
prayed for him, 2 Kings vi. 15-17. They are like 
the woman of Sychar, that asked not the water of 
life of Christ, because she knew him not, nor the 
gift of God, John iv. 10. 

For admonition, it serves two ways. First, To 
natural men, to give all diligence after spii'itual il- 
lumination, that they may attain to this estate — to 
see the Lord's pleasing beauty in his sacred ordi- 
nances. The way is to get the Spirit, 1 Cor. ii. 11, 
12 ; for wliich end we must use God's means, the 
word preached. Acts x. 44 ; Gal. iii. 2 ; and prayer, 
Luke xi. 13, in a holy manner, — that is, first, Re- 
penting of sin, Prov. i. 23 ; Acts ii. 38 ; secondly. 
Hungering and thnsting after grace, Isa. xliv. 3 ; 
thirdly, Walking in new obedience, Acts v. 32. 

Secondly, To God's children, to be careful of their 
behaviour, that the beauty of the Lord may be stiU 
shining upon them. The way is, first. To watch 

against temptation to sin, which is a cloud to hide 
God's face from his jjeople, as Lam. iii. 44 ; Isa. 
lix. 2. Secondly, To be frequent and diligent in 
those sacred ordinances and religious services 
wherein God begets and increaseth grace in their 
hearts : which now are, the solemn parts of the 
evangelical ministry, in the word preached, sacra- 
ments reverently administered, and prayer with 
thanksgiving. Tliirdly, To strive to shew the power 
of godliness in conscionable obedience : John xiv. 
21, 23, '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 wiU 
love him, and will manifest myself unto him. If a 
man love me, he will keep my words : and my Father 
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make 
our abode with him ; ' and Ps. 1. 23, ' To him that 
ordereth Ins conversation aright will I shew the 
salvation of God.' 

The second end for wliich David desires to dwell 
in God's house is, tluat he may ' inquire in his temple,' 
that is, diligently seek direction of God in all cases 
of doubt or difficulty that may any way concern 
him. Mark here, then, 

That in God's house the godly did inquire and 
seek of God for direction and satisfaction in all 
material cases of doubt and difficulty that did con- 
cern them. See, for David himself, 1 Sam. xxii. 1 ; 
Doeg tells Saul that Ahimelecli inquired of the Lord 
for David ; and, ver. 15, Ahimelech's .speech seems to 
imply that he had done it often : ' Did I then begin 
to inquire of God for him 1 ' as if he should have said, 
that is a thing I have formerly done oftentimes for 
him. So chap, xxiii. 2, David inquired of the 
Lord about his going to fight against the Philistines 
that came against Keilah : ver. 4, ' Again he in- 
quired of the Lord.' This inquiry was thought to 
have been by the prophet Gad, who was mtli David, 
1 Sam. xxii. 5, and xxiii. 9, 10 ; he inquired by 
Abiathar the priest, that was fled to him with the 
ephod, as ver. G ; and cliap. xxx. 7, 8, he in- 
quired of the Lord about the pursuit of the Amalek- 
ites that had burnt Ziklag. So before this time. 
Judges i. 1, the people asked the Lord, ' "Who shall go 
up against the Canaanites? ' and Judges xx. 18, tliey 
ask counsel of the Lord about going up against the 
Benjamites, and ver. 23, the second time, and ver. 

Ver. 4. 



27, 28, tlie third time, where the maimer is shewed. 
Add Gen. xxv. 22. 

The reason hereof is twofold : first, God's o^m 
ordinance, which is plainly set down, directing his 
people to this duty ; see the promise of God's pre- 
sence to give direction, Exod. xxv. 21, 22, whence the 
most holy place is thought to be called ^^27, because 
thence God spake and gave answer, when he was 
rightly sought unto, 1 Kings vi. 19, &c. And here- 
upon. Num. xxvii. 21, Joshua must be before 
Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him 
before the Lord. Add Deut. xvdi. 8, 9. 

Secondly, For the fruition of the benefits and com- 
forts of this privilege, which are exceeding great : 
first. Freedom from manifold evils, that do accompany 
men's miscarriages, that walk in theii' own counsels, 
and after their own conceits, as we may see in the 
Israelites making league mth the Gibeonites, that 
were inhabitants in the land of Canaan, Josh. ix. 
14r, &c. Secondly, A_ssurance to be acceptable to 
God, and blessed of him in the things they take in 
hand, even of this woild : see 2 Chron. xv. 2, ' If 
ye seek liim he wUl be found of you;' and ver. 15, 
' They sought him with their whole desire, and he 
was found of them.' Thirdly, Undoubted fniition of 
glory in the life to come : see Ps. Ixxiii. 24, ' Thou 
shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward re- 
ceive me to glory.' See also Ps. xxiv. .3-6, 'Who 
shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, &c. This 
is the generation of them that seek him, that seek 
thy face, Jacob.' 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see plainly that the true mem- 
bers of God's church are advanced in privilege, 
dignity, and honour, above all other people ; for with 
whom doth the Lord so deal in grace and favour 
as with the true members of the church I ' What 
nation is so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, 
as our God is in all things that we call upon him 
for 1 ' Deut. iv. 7 ; he bids, ' Call upon me in the day 
of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt 
glorify me,' Ps. 1. 1.5; 'The eyes of the Lord are 
upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their 
cry,' Ps. xxxiv. 1.5; 'The Lord is nigh unto them 
that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of 
a contrite spirit,' ver. 18. 

Object. If any one say, Tliis indeed was the prero- 

gative of the Jews, that they were God's peculiar 
people and chief treasure, and the Lord would be 
inquired of by them above all other people : but is 
it so with the church of the New Testament ? 

Jus. Though there may be some difference in 
the manner of God's giving answer, yet for substance 
and real performance the church of the New Testa- 
ment is preferred before the Jews, as we shall see in 
taking particular view of their means of inquiry of 
God in cases of difficulty, which were especially 

First, By prophets, as 2 Kings iii. 11, 'Is there 
not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may inquire 
of the Lord by him 1 ' and 1 Kings xxii. 7. Secrmdly, 
By the high priest, as Num. xxvii. 1. Thirdly, By 
the ordinary teachers of the law, Mai. ii. 7. Fourthly, 
In prayer, Ps. 1. 15, wherewith was joined fasting, 
when they sought of God blessings of importance 
this way, as Ezra viii. 21, 23. Now, the church of 
the New Testament at this day is not inferior to 
the chui-ch of the Jews, for they sometime wanted 
extraordinary prophets, as Ps. Ixxiv. 9. And we 
do ever enjoy the spiritual presence of Christ Jesus, 
the great prophet of the church. Mat. xxviii. 20. 
For John Baptist was ' more than a prophet,' Mat. 
xi. 9, and yet not worthy to unloose Christ's shoe- 
latchet, John i. 27. He is likewise the great hio-h 
priest of our profession, who, by his word and 
Spirit in all needful truth, revealeth his Father's 
will more plainly and fully than the high priest did 
by Urim and Thummim, see Heb. i. 2, with iv. 14, 
' We have a great high priest over the house of God ; ' 
chap. \'iii. 2, ' A minister of the sanctuary and of the 
true tabernacle.' And for the written word, wherein 
God's -svill is to be found, the great increase of the 
sacred canon, by all the books of the New Testa- 
ment, shews our prerogative that way above the 
Jews. And for access and obtaining by prayer with 
fasting, direction from the Lord, see the promise, 
Luke xi. 9-13, with John x\-i. 24, 26; and behold 
the success by instance in Coruehus, Acts x. 2, 3, 
30, &c. 

For admonition, it serves effectually to move 
every one that lives in the church to look unto their 
state and carriage, that it be such as may give them 
some good assurance that they have right to this 
privilege to inquii-e in the temple. To tliis end we 




[Ver. 5. 

must look to two things : first, Tliat we be in cove- 
nant with God, else we have no right to this prero- 
gative, as Eph. ii. 12 ; the promise of audience is 
made to God's people, 2 Gliron. vii. 14. Secondly, 
That we keep covenant, living in conscionable 
obedieace, as Ps. xxv. 9, 10, else we forfeit our 
right, as we may see by God's dealing with Saul, 
1 Sam. xx^'iii. 6, 16, and Ezek. ii. 3, 30, 31. But if 
we keep covenant we may claim our due of God, as 
David doth in this 27th Psalm, ver. 7, 9, always re- 
membering that we walk in the Lord's highway, to 
consult with him in his word, as Ps. Ixxiii. 1 7, for 
therein God teacheth his children, as Ps. xciv. 10, 
12, and cxix. 98, 99 ; and to call upon him by 
prayer, adding thereto the humiliation of our souls 
by fasting, as Ezra viii. 21, 23, with Acts x. 2, 3, 
30, &c. 

Ver. 5. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in 
his pavilion : in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide 
me ; he shall set me up upon a rock. 

A reason of David's earnest desire to dwell in 
God's house for ever, drawn from the benefit of 
safety and security there to be found in time of 
trouble ; which benefit is here expressed under a 
double action of God : first. Hiding in his pavilion, 
and secret of his tabernacle ; secondly. Setting up upon 
a rock. For the better conceiving whereof we must 
know, that by God's pavilion David means the 
Lord's tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Sion. 
And the secret of liis tabernacle was the most holy 
place, where the cherubims spread their wings over 
the mercy seat, the cover of the ark of the covenant ; 
whither indeed David might not go personally, as 
we may see by Heb. ix. 8, and Lev. xvi. 2, but 
aimeth at that which those things did shadow out, 
namely, special providence, and protection for safety, 
as Ps. xci. 1, 4, and Ixi. 3, 4. Those places indeed 
were generally taken for places of safety, as may 
appear by the fact of Adonijah, 1 Kings i. 50, 51, 
and of Joab, 1 Kings ii. 28, and by the charge of 
Jehoiadah the high priest, 2 Kings xi. 15. The 
ground whereof is thought to be (besides reverence 
of God's presence) God's ordinance in the wilder- 
ness, that the tabernacle of the congregation should 
be a sanctuary for that time, as the cities of refuge 
were afterwaJ'd, as is gathered by Exod. xxi. 13, 14. 

So that here Da\'id assures himself that, being a 
true member of God's church, his grace and favour, 
power and providence, should be as the Lord's 
pavilion, and as the secret place of his tabernacle, 
even a sure and safe place of safety and security to 
him. And likewise as a rock, that is high and J 

strong, doth give safety and security to him that is I 

set thereon, from the violent assault of all malicious 
enemies, so the Lord's power and favour would 
become the means of safety unto David ; who there- 
upon doth usually call the Lord his rock and liis 
salvation, as Ps. xviii. 2, and xlii. 9. 

In this reason thus conceived, note two things ; 
the first implied, touching his state, liable and sub- 
ject to manifold evils and troubles ; the second ex- 
pressed and intended, touching the means of liis 
preservation and safety from the foresaid evils. 

For the first, mark here that David makes . 

account, that while he lives here on earth he is I 

liable and subject to manifold evils, to sore and * 

great troubles : Ps. xl. 12, 'Innumerable evils have 
compassed me.' Ps. lxx\'iii. 3, ' My soul is full of 

The reason or ground hereof is fourfold. First, 
God's divine sovereignty, whereby he may do with 
his own what he will, and dispose of his dearest 
children to endure both sorrow and great affliction ; 
as he dealt wth Job, chap. ii. 3, &c., wherein our 
Saviour instructeth Peter, John xxi. 18, 22, which it 
seems David had learned concerning himself: Ps. 
xxxix. 9, ' I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, be- 
cause thou didst it.' 

Secondly, Because of iniquity ; for sin is truly 
that NJOn, "''1, -^te, which brings all evU ; afliiction 
follows sinners. And here, first, David's own sins 
make him liable to evils of affliction ; he complains 
that his iniquities took hold of him ; and so he felt, 
2 Sam. xii. 1 0. Likewise, the sins of the wicked in 
his time might make it to go far worse with him ; 
as Elijah told Ahab, ' Thou and thy father's house 
trouble Israel,' 1 Kings xviii. 18, and so we may 
think it was in the time of the church's complaint, 
Ps. xliv. 9, 10, 17-19. 

Thirdly, Satan's malice ; who cast out floods 
against the woman, Eev. xii. 15, and prevails mth 
God for leave to afflict holy Job with grievous 
plagues. Job i. 10, 11, and ii. 5, and let not David 

Ver. 5.] 



escape, 1 Chron. xxi. 1 ; being indeed that ' roar- 
ing lion, going about seeldng whom he may devour,' 
1 Pet. V. 8. 

Fourth!}-, The malice of the wicked, who are the 
seed of the serpent ; who hated and persecuted 
David, not for his offence or sin, as Ps. lix. 3, 4, 
but because he followed goodness, as Ps. xxxviii. 19, 
20. Like to Cain, who slew his brother Abel, 
' because his own works were evil, and his brother's 
righteous,' 1 John iii. 12, whereof Christ forewarned 
his disciples, John xv. 19, 20. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see from David's resolution what 
is the case .and condition of all the godly, — namely, 
to be subject to evils and troubles, which David 
made account of; for all the forenamed reasons 
fasten themselves upon the godly now li\'ing, as they 
did upon David. And for plain testimony, see Ps. 
xxxiv. 1 9, ' IMany are the afflictions of the right- 
eous;' 2 Tim. iii. 12, 'All that will live godly in 
Chiist Jesus shall suffer persecution.' For instance, 
see Jacob's confession of himself, Gen. xlvii. 9, ' Few 
and evil have the days of my life been,' and the 
state of Job, chap. i. and ii., and that of Moses ; 
Ps. xc. 15, also Heb. xi. 37, 38, ' They whom the 
world was not worthy of ' were ' most miserable ' 
for outward things, as Paul confesseth for all the 
godly, 1 Cor. x^'. 19. 

For admonition, two ways : first. To the wicked 
of the world, to beware of self-deceit, in jsromising 
to themselves continued happiness and freedom from 
e^-ils, because for the present they enjoy peace and 
prosperity. That this is their thought and course, 
see Ps. x. 6, ' He hath said in his heart, I shall not 
be moved, for I shall never be in adversity ; ' also 
Isa. xxviii. 1.5, they say, ' We have made a covenant 
with death, and with hell we are at agreement ; 
when the overflofl-ing scourge shall pass through, it 
shall not come unto us.' But consider what God 
saith, ver. 18, ' Your covenant with death shall be 
disannulled, and your agreement with heU shall not 
stand,' &c. Be not therefore deceived in a matter 
of such importance. Judgments unlooked for wUl 
light and lie the more heavy. Consider how the 
Holy Ghost reasoneth, 1 Pet. iv. 17, 18, 'Judg- 
ment must begin at the house of God ; and if it 
first beo^n at us, what shall the end be of them that 

ol)cy not the gospel of God ! And if the righteous 
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the 
sinner appear r So Jer. xxv. 29, ' Lo, I begin to 
bring evil on the city that is called by my name, and 
should ye" be utterly unpunished?' Luke xxiii. 31, 
' If they do these things in a green tree, what shall 
be done in the dry?' Mat. x. 24, 25, 'The disciple 
is not above his master, nor the servant above his 
Lord. If they have called the master of the house 
Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of 
his household ? ' 

Secondly, To the godly, to bethink themselves 
with David that troubles may come ; the days in 
which they live may be full of evUs, and thereupon 
to prepare for it and to glorify God under afflictions, 
if it please God to send them. For the satisfying 
of the heart of every man's subjection to troubles, 
consider the forenamed reasons from God's sove- 
reignty, from sin, from the de\al, and the wicked of 
the world, that are the instruments of Satan, where- 
to, if none can answer otherwise than by acknow- 
ledgment of subjection, then wUl true wisdom say, 
It is best to prepare for it, that we may glorify God 
under the cross. The way of preparation is this : 

First, To make sure we be rightly in covenant 
with God, which is undoubted to the true professors 
of God's holy religion maintained amongst us, 
wherein we avouch the true God for our God, and 
he avoucheth us for his people, as Deut. xx\'i. 17, 
18, with chap. xxix. 10-13, whereof baptism is a 
true sacramental sign and seal, as circumcision wai 
to the Jews, Eom. iv. 11. But he that would be 
assured thereof must make conscience to perform 
the vow of moral obedience, made in baptism, of 
forsaking sin, believing in God, and walking in new 

Secondly, To get the grace of faith in Christ, 
whereby we rest and rely upon him for all the bless- 
ings ot the covenant. This grace enables the just 
to live even in affliction, as Heb. x. 38, whereupon 
Paul said he was ' able to do all things through 
Christ that strengthened him,' as to want, and to 
abound, to be full, and to be empty, Phil. iv. 
11, 12. 

Thirdly, To redeem the time by labouring to profit, 
according to the means of grace afforded unto us, 
Eph. V. 16. 



[Ver. 5. 

Fourthly, To become merciful to those that be in 
misery, so shall we lay up in store a good foundation 
for mercy to ourselves, Ps. xli. 1, &c. ; Mat. v. 7 ; 
James ii. 13. 

Then, when affliction is come, we must set faith 
a-work by looking at God's hand therein, as Christ 
teacheth. Mat. x. 28, 29, which is the only ground 
of true patience, as Ps. xxxix. 9 ; also consider what 
good it pleaseth God to raise up to his children by 
afflictions, as Ps. xciv. 12, cxix. 67, 71 ; add 2 Cor. 
iv. 17, 18. 

The second thing to be noted here is purposely 
intended ; that when God shall grant to David to 
dwell in his house, he doth assure himself of special 
safety and protection in times of trouble, for that he 
means by hiding in liis pavilion, and in the secret of 
his tabernacle, and setting up upon a rock, as we 
heard before, see Ps. Ixi. 3, 4, 6, 7, ' Thou hast been 
a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever ; I will trust 
in the covert of thy wings. Thou wilt prolong the 
king's life ; and his years as many generations. He 
shall abide before God for ever ; prepare mercy 
and truth, which may preserve him.' 

The gi'ound of this assurance was God's own testi- 
mony, for the continuance of his presence m his 
sanctuary, and for the exercise of his jiower and 
providence for their safety that be true members of 
his church, see Ps. xlvi. 5-7, ' God is in the midst 
of her, (i.e., his church), she shall not be moved ; 
God shall help her, and that right early. The 
heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved : he uttered 
his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is 
with us ; the God of Jacob is our refuge.' Ps. xlviii. 
3, 8, 12-14, ' God is known in her palaces for a 
refuge. As we have heard, so have we seen in the 
city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God ; 
God will establish it for ever. "Walk about Sion, 
and go round about her : tell the towers thereof. 
For this God is our God for ever and ever : he will 
be our guide even unto death.' See Isa. xxxiii. 
20-22, ' Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities : 
thine eyes shall see Jeiaisalem a quiet liabitation, a 
tabernacle that shall not be taken down ; not one 
of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither 
shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there 
the glorious Lord M-ill be unto us a place of Inroad 

rivers and streams. For the Lord is our judge, the 
Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king ; he will 
save us.' Isa. xxxvii. 35, ' I will defend this city to 
save it, for mine ovra sake, and for my servant 
David's sake,' — that is, for my promise sake to 
David in Christ, as Ps. cxxxii. 11, 13, 14, 17, ' The 
Lord hath sworn in trath unto Da\'id ; he \nl\ not 
turn from it ; of the fruit of thy body will I set 
upon thy throne, &c. There will I make the horn 
of David to bud.' Now David he continued a true 
member of God's house, being careful to keep in 
covenant with God, as he both professed in word 
and testified by godly behaviour, upon which he 
grounds his assurance of God's esjiecial protection. 
His profession of being in covenant, see Ps. cxvi. 16, 
' O Lord, truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant ; ' 
Ps. xxiii. 1, 4, 'Tiie Lord is my shepherd, I shall 
not want. Though I walk through the valley of 
the shadow of death, I will fear none evil.' His 
godly behaviour, whereon he grounds his as.surance 
of God's special jDrotection, is threefold. 

First, He puts his trust and hope in God, as Ps. 
xxi. 7, ' For the king trusteth in the Lord, and 
through the mercy of the most High he shall not be 
moved ; ' Ps. xi. 1, ' In thee, Lord, put I my 
tmst : how say ye to my soul. Fly as a bird to your 
mountain? ' Ps. xvi. 1, ' Presen'e me, God, for in 
thee do I put my trust ; ' Ps. Ixxxvi. 2, ' Oh thou, 
my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.' 

Secondly, He testified his trust in God by prayer : 
Ps. vii. 1, '0 Lord my God, in thee do I put my 
trust : save me from all them that persecute me 
and deliver me ; ' Ps. cxvi. 3, 4, ' The sorrows of 
death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold 
upon me : I found trouble and sorrow. Then called 
I upon the name of the Lord ; Lord, I beseech 
thee, deliver my soul.' 

Thirdly, He made conscience of a godly and up- 
right life, and thereon grounds his assurance of 
special protection : Ps. iv. 3, ' Know that the Lord 
hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the 
Lord will hear when I call upon him.' Ps. xviii. 
1 7, 20, ' He delivered me from my strong enemy. 
The Lord rewarded me according to my right- 
eousne.ss,' &c. Ver. 21-23, 'For I have kept the 
ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed 
fi'om my God. For all his judgments were before 

Ver. 5.] 



nic, and I did not put away his statutes from me. 
I was also upright l>efore him, and I kept myself 
from mine hiiquity,' &c. Ps. xli. 2, ' Thou upholdest 
me in mine integrity, and scttest me before thy 
face for ever.' 

This serves for instruction, and for admonition, 
and for comfoit. 

For instruction, see here with David the true and 
right way of safety in time of trouble. Get to dwell 
in God's house, and then God's special providence 
shall be over us, as the foimer testimonies do plenti- 
fully testify. 

But here a doubt ariseth, "Wliere we shall find this 
house, and how to get a place therein ? 

j4>is. In the days of grace and times of the New Tes- 
tament, ' the tabernacle of God is with men, and he 
dwells with them; they are his people, and God him- 
self shall be with them, and be their God,' Rev. xxi. 3. 

But is this common to all, as they are men, or is 
there some special work of God recjuii-ed in them and 
among them that be his house 1 

An.<. John vi. 44, 'No man can come to me, ex- 
cept the Father which hath sent me draw him ; ' 
that is, give him grace so to do from above, ver. 
65. ' It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that 
ninneth, but of God that sheweth mercy,' Rom. ix. 
1 6. Those that believe on his name are ' born not 
of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will 
of man, but of God,' John i. 1 3. ' For it is God 
wliich worketh in you both to ■will and to do of his 
good pleasure,' Pliil. ii. 13. 

But what hath man then to do, since our conver- 
sion and regeneration is God's work ? 

Ans. It is mdeed God's work, yet in the use of 
outward means which he gives to reasonable 
creatures, that therein they may wait for and re- 
ceive God's work of grace in a holy calling, which, 
both amongst Jews and Gentiles, doth distinguish 
the elect from the reprobate, as Acts ii. 39. Now 
this calhng is in the gospel preached, sanctified by 
prayer, 2 Thes. xiii. 14, and therein are men made 
God's house, Heb. iii. 6 ; 1 Pet. ii. 5 ; 1 Cor. iii. 1 6. 

But may every man in the use of the gospel 
preached attain to this calling 1 

Ans. For aught that either minister or people 
do know to the contrary, every one may be called 
that lives under the gospel ; the fault is their own 

if they be not, as Christ saith, ' Light is come into 
the world, and men love darkness rather than hght, 
because their deeds are evil,' John iii. 19. For men 
undoubtedly do first rebel against the word, and refuse 
God's mercy offered in the means of grace, before that 
God withdraw his grace or take away from them the 
use of the means. In regard whereof Christ complains 
of the Jews, that when he would have gathered them 
they would not, Mat. xxiii. 37. For though the best 
employmentand improvement of nature be insuflicient 
to get the true habit of grace, without the work of the 
Spirit, as Rom. ix. 16, yet sure it is men are first 
wanting to themselves in the use of means, before 
the blessing of the Spirit be denied unto them. 
Their owii hearts can tell them they have failed 
in turning from sin, as Prov. i. 23, in hungering 
after grace, Isa. xliv. 3, and in doing the good they 
know, Acts V. 32. 

For admonition, as we desire safety and shelter 
in time of trouble, so we must with Da^dd strive and 
endeavour after a sure place in God's house, become 
true members of God's church. 

The way is, first. To leave and break off the course 
of all known sin, for that prevents society with God, 
as 2 Cor. xiv. 15, 16, and thereupon the exhortation 
is unto repentance, chap. vii. 1 ; secondly. To labour 
for true faith in Christ, for that joins us unto Christ, 
to make us living stones to be built up a spiritual 
house, as 1 Pet. ii. 4-7 ; for, Eph. iii. 17, 
' Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith ; ' thirdly, to 
walk in new obedience, performing every good 
duty which the Lord requireth, as Isa. Ivi. 3-7, 
' Let not the son of the stranger, that hath joined 
himself to the Lord, speak, saying. The Lord hath 
utterly separated me from his people : neither let 
the eunuch say. Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus 
saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my 
sabbaths, and choose the tilings that please me, and 
take hold of my covenant ; even unto them will I 
give in mine house and ^vithin my walls a place and 
a name better than of sous and daughters,' &c. 

For comfort, this makes gi'catly to all true believers 
in times of trouble ; for certainly they have right 
and title to this immunity of God's house. Indeed, 
outward peace, ease, and plenty are but temporal 
blessings, and the promise thereof must be under- 
stood %vith the exception of the cro.ss, so as God, for 



[Vek. 6. 

trial of grace and correction for sin, may exercise them 
in afflictions, as he did Job and David ; yet this is 
their comfort therein : first, That God vnH not fail 
them nor forsake them, Heh. xiii. 5, 6, and ' therefore 
they may bokUy say. The Lord is mine helper ; I wiU 
not fear what man shall do unto me ; ' as Ps. xci. 15, 
' He shall call upon me, and I ■will answer him : I 
will deliver him in trouble ; I vnll be with him and 
honour him.' Secondly, That God wUl cause their 
troubles to work for their good, as Eom. viii. 28 ; 
Heb. xii. 10. Thirdly, God will give an issue with 
the trial, that they may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. 
X. 13. 

Ver. 6. jind now shall mine head be lifted tip above 
mine enemies round about me : therefore will I offer in 
his tabernacle sacrifices of joy ; I will sing, yea, I will 
sing praises unto the Lord. 

In the beginning of this verse the prophet adds 
another reason of his earnest desire to dwell in God's 
house, expressed, ver. 4, drawn from the benefit of 
honour and dignity whereto God would now shortly 
advance him and lift up liis head above his enemies 
round about him, whereupon he solemnly professeth 
that he would glorify God with the sacrifices of joy, 
and sing praises unto God. Here, then, we have 
two things to handle : first, David's prediction of liis 
dignity and honour ; secondly, His solemn profes- 
sion of his thankful behaviour. The prediction of 
his honour is, in the first part of the verse, set out 
metaphorically and comparatively, and amplified by 
the circumstance of time when it shall be. Meta^ 
phorically thus, my head shall be lifted itj) ; that is, 
I shall be advanced in dignity and honour, and so 
to cheerful and comfortable estate ; for men dejected 
and humbled hang down the head ; when, therefore, 
they are advanced and cheered, then are they said 
to have their head lifted up, as Gen. xl. 1 7, ' Pharaoh 
shall lift up thine head and restore thee to thy place.' 
Jer. lii. 31, 32, ' E%'il-merodach king of Babylon 
lifted up the head of Jehoiacliin king of Judah, and 
brought him forth out of prison, and spake kindly 
unto him, and set his throne above the throne of 
the kings that were with him in Babylon.' Com- 
paratively he saith, his head shall be lifted up above 
his enemies round about him. And the time when 
it shall be is Jiorc, the time present, which makes it 

the more comfortable. As if he should have said. 
Though I have been long and much dejected, yet 
now shall I be advanced and cheered above mine 
enemies round about me. 

In this prediction of his honour and comfort note 
these things : first. Implied and taken for granted 
respectmg David's dangerous estate, he had enemies 
round about him. Ps. iii. 1, 2, 'Lord, how are they 
mcreased that trouble me ! many are they that rise 
up against me. Many there be which say of my 
soul, there is no help for him in God.' Ps. Ixix. 4, 
' They that hate me without a cause are more than 
the hairs of mine head : they that would destroy 
me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty.' 
Ps. cxviii. 10-12, 'All nations compassed me 
about : they compassed me about Uke bees ; ' and 
Ps. hi. 2, ' Mme enemies would daily swallow me 
up : for they be many that fight against me.' 

The reason hereof is fourfold : first. In God dis- 
posing of David to be a tyjje of Christ, even in his 
troubles and opposition in the world, wherewith God 
was pleased to have them exercised ; as is plain, 
Ps. ii. 1, &c., and xxii. 12, 16, 'Many bulls have 
compassed me : dogs have compassed me : the assem- 
bly of the wicked have enclosed me ; ' and Ps. Ixxi. 
20, ' Thou hast shewed me great and sore troubles.' 
For Christ, see Isa. liii. 10. 

Secondly, In God's favour, advancing him to dig- 
nity and honour, Ps. iv. 2 ; and Ixii. 4, which was 
fully verified in Daniel, chap. vi. 3, 4. 

Thirdly, In Da^'id sometime provoking the Lord 
by his sin, as 2. Sam. xii. 9-11, 'Wherefore hast 
thou despised the commandment of the Lord ; there- 
fore the sword shall never depart from thine house ; 
I wi\l raise up evil against thee out of thine house.' 
See Ps. iii. 1, 2, with 2 Sam. xv. 13, &c. 

Fourthly, In David's enemies, that were the seed 
of the serpent, and hated him for his goodness : Ps. 
xxxvii. 19, 20, 'They that hate me wrongfully are 
multiplied. They also that render evil for good, 
are mine adversaries ; because I follow the tiling that 
good is.' 

This senses for instruction, admonition, and comfort. 

For instruction, see in Da\'id the state of the 
godly ; they are liable to be compassed about with 
enemies : for that which befell David, as the type, 
and Clirist Jesus himself, the truth, t^-]iified by 

\^ER. 6.] 



Da\'id, may befall any servant of God in this world : 
as Christ reasoned, Luke xxiii. 31, 'If they do these 
things in a green tree, what shall be done in the 
dry ? ' Mat. x. 25, ' If they have called the master 
of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they 
call them of his household t ' 

For admonition, to beware of rasli judgment, as 
well against others, when they are compassed about 
with adversaries, as also against ourselves, when that 
evil doth befall us. CoiTupt nature measures God's 
love by outward things : and therefore thinks with 
the wicked, that when troubles increase, God for- 
saketh, Ps. Ixxi. 1 2. ' But God's ways are not as 
man's ways,' Isa. Iv. 8. ' As many as he loves, he 
rebukes and chastens,' Eev. iii. 19 ; 'Whom the Lord 
loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom 
he receiveth.' And he useth the rods of men to cor- 
rect his childi-en : as 2 Sam. vii. 1 4 ; Ps. Lxxxix. 3 1 , 

For comfort, this makes greatly in opposition by 
many and mighty in the world ; for in David we 
may see that no strange thing befalleth us, but such 
as appertaineth to man, and God will give the issue, 
as 1 Cor. X. 1 3. Let us say, the servant is not above 
his Lord, Mat. x. 2i, 2-5. Consider that if their 
opposition be for a good cause, we have great cause 
to rejoice : for we are made conformable to Christ, 
and have fellowship with him in afflictions. See 1 
Pet. iv. 12, 13; 2 Cor. i. 7. 

The thing here expressed by David is this, that 
God will now restore him to comfort, and advance 
liim to honour ; where we may note two things — first. 
That Da\ad knew that the time of comfort and honour 
was at hand : for he saith, ' Xow shall my head be 
lifted up.' 

This he might do by special instinct, being a 
prophet, for the Spirit of God spake in him, and by 
him; 2 Sam. xxiii. 1, 2. 

It serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see what God is able to do for 
his cliildren ; he can not only bestow joy and honour, 
but acquaint them with the particular time when 
they shall receive it. So God revealed to Moses the 
delivery of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, Exod. 
iii. 7, 8, and chap. xi. 1. 

For admonition, to labour to be followers of David, 
for upright hearts and obedient lives, as Ps. xviii., 

in the title he is styled the servant of the Lord ; and 
ver. 21, he saith, 'I have kept the ways of the Lord, 
I was upright also before him ; ' and unto such it is 
that God i'e\-eals his secrets, Ps. xxv. 1 1 ; Prov. iii. 

Secondly, Here note the phrase in which David 
expresseth his assurance of honour and comfort : ' My 
head shall be lifted up,' wherein he plainly makes 
himself a patient, ascribing both honour and comfort 
unto God. Ps. xxiii. I, &c., 'The Lord is my shep- 
herd, I shall not lack ; he maketh me lie down in 
green pastures ; he restoreth my soul,' Arc, to the 
end. Ps. xsiii. 18, ' Thou liftest me up above those 
that rise up against me ; ' ver. 35, ' Thy right hand 
hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made 
me great.' See Ps. cxxi. 1, 2, with 1 Sam xviii. 23. 

He knew God's calling would be the best shelter 
against envy and opposition, from which high places 
are seldom free ; as Jeremiah in his calling doth 
comfort himself, Jer. xvii. IG, 'As for me, I have not 
hasted from being a pastor to follow thee.' And so 
David comforts himself against Eliab's reproach, for 
making offer to encounter with Goliath, 1 Sam. xvii. 

This sei-ves, first, for the reproof of the ambitious, 
that by any sinister means wiU seek advancement — 
a common sin in all ages, and a great evil in our 
times, moving many to oppression, bribery, and 
sundry other ungodly courses. 

For ailmonition, to be followers of David, in re- 
ceiving honour and dignity : walk uprightly in our 
places, till God advance us ; be sure of his calling 
before we stir, lest in time of trouble our consciences 
say unto us. How earnest thou hither? See the 
danger of usurpation in the Jewish exorcists. Acts 
x-ix. 13, 16. 

Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of 
joy ; I will sing, yea, I will sing p-aises unto the Lord. 

Here David professeth his thankful behaviour to- 
ward God for the honour and comfort which God 
would shortly vouchsafe unto him ; and it stands in 
the cheerful performance of such religious ser\-ice 
for thanksgiving, as God required at the hands of 
his people when he bestowed his blessings upon 
them. Hereof he mentioneth these two : first, 
Real sacrifices of joy, whereby he meaneth sacrifices 
of thanksgiving, over wliich the priests sounded an 



[Ver. 6. 

alarm witli their silver tnimpets, Num. x. 10, called 
'the joj-ful sound,' Ps. Lxxxix. 15. Aiid this duty 
he amplifieth by the circumstance of the place where 
he would perform it — namely, in God's tabernacle, 
the place appointed for that solemn part of God's 
service. Deut. xii. 11-14, 'There shall be a place 
which the Lord your God shall choose, to cause liis 
name to dwell there : thither shall ye bring all that 
I command you; your burnt-ofTeriugs and your 
sacrifices,' &c. Secondly, Singing praises unto God ; 
which duty he promiseth with repetition or gemina- 
tion, to testify his more certain resolution for the 
performance of it, sajdng, ' I will sing, yea, I will 
sing praises.' 

In this profession of thankful behaviour, note tv,'o 
things : first, The duty he will periorm ; secondly. 
The place where. 

For the first, note, "When David receiveth from 
God honour and comfort, then will he offer unto 
God sacrifices of thanksgiving, -vvith joy and re- 
joicing ; his sacrifices shall be sacrifices of joy, and 
when he offers them, he will sing praises unto God. 

The like he shewed at the fetching home of the 
ark of the covenant towards the city of David, 1 
Chron. xiii. 8, and xv. 16. David spake to the 
chief of the Le\'ites, to appoint their bretlu-en to be 
singers, with instruments of music, psalteries, and 
harps, and cymbals, sounding by lifting up the voice 
with joy ; and upon his dehverance from the hand 
of Saul, and other enemies, Ps. xviii. 1, &c., and 
cxvi. 12, 13. 

The reasons hereof are great, as well in regard of 
God, and of himself, as also his brethren. In regard 
of God, first. Because he commands it, Ps. c. 1, and 
obedience is acceptable, 1 Sam. xv. 22 ; Ps. Ixix. 30, 
31. Secondly, It is for his glory ; Ps. 1. 23, ' "\Ylioso 
offereth praise, glorifieth me.' 

In respect of himself, first, It is pleasant and 
comely, Ps. xxxiii. 1, and cxlvii. 1. Secondly, It is 
good and profitable ; for them that honour God will 
he honour, 1 Sam. ii. 30. Hence the Samaritan 
leper, returning to praise Christ for his cleansing, 
received an assurance of a heavenly and si)iritual 
cleansing, Luke xvil 15, 19. 

Thirdly, The omitting of it is dangerous to pro- 
voke God's wrath, being at least a shameful neglect 
of God's mercy. See 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 26. 

In respect of others, to whom David desired to do 
good, Ps. xxxiv. 1 1 , and U. 1 3. His zeal for God's 
glory would provoke many, as Ps. xxxiv. 2, 3, ' My 
soul shall make her boast in the Lord : the humble 
shall heal- thereof, and be glad. magnify the 
Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.' 
And, if his example could not move them, j'et it 
would leave them without excuse, under the censure 
and punishment of ingi'atitude ; as Job's friends 
were, Job xlii. 7. For it is a dangerous thing to 
neglect good example, as Jer. xxii. 15, 17, 'Did not 
thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and jus- 
tice, and then it was well •with him ? But thine eyes 
and thine heart are not but for thy covetousuess. 
Therefore thus saith-the Lord,' &c. 

This sen-es for instruction, reprehension, and ad- 

The instruction is, from David's example to all 
God's people, to shew them fitting behaviour to- 
wards God when they receive blessings and benefits 
from him, — namely, to be thankful unto God in 
praises and songs, and that with joj-fulness and 

For reproof, it makes justly against all those that 
are unthankful for God's blessings, and Uke^vise dull 
and heavy-hearted in God's praises : see Deut. 
xxviii. 47, 48, ' Because thou servedst not the Lord 
thy God with joj-fulness, and with gladness of heart, 
for the abundance of all things ; therefore shalt thou 
serve thine enemies,' &c., with Deut. xxxii. 6, ' Do 
ye thus requite the Lord, foolish people and un- 

For admonition, that every child of God be a fol- 
lower of David, both for the duty itself, and for the _ 
manner of performing it, vrith cheerfulness and glad- il 
ness. Consider, that David studied the art of thank- ^ 
fulness, Ps. cxvi. 12, 13, and that upon weighty 
grounds — respecting God, respecting himself and liis 
brethren ; all wliich we should meditate on, to stil- 
us up to the cheerful performance of this duty of 

The second point to be observed in David's pro- 
fession of thankful behaviour is, the circumstance of 
place where he will ofl'er his sacrifices — namely, in 
God's tabernacle. 

David will offer his sacrifices in God's tabernacle ; 
so 2 Sam. vi. 1 7, David set the ark in his place, in 

Ver. 7.] 



the midst of tlie tabernacle, that David had pitched 
for it. 'And David offered burnt-ofi"ering.s and 
peace-offerings before the Lord,' meaning by the 
hands of the priests, as 1 Chron. xvi. 1. 

This lie observed, first. That he might have ac- 
ceptance before the Lord in this service ; for in ob- 
ser\ing this cii'cumstance of place, he obeyed God's 
ordinance, Deut. xii. 11-14, and so had title to the 
favour of acceptance, as Isa. Ivi. 7. 

Secondly, Da\-id knew there was danger in trans- 
gi-essing God's ordmance, as 1 Chron. xv. 1 3, ' The 
Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we 
sought him not after the due order.' Therefore 
doth he observe the place appointed by God. 

This should teach us to be followers of David, in 
respecting and observing God's ordinance for the 
place of his service. It is true, difference of place m 
respect of holiness is now in the New Testament 
taken away, as John iv. 21, 23; and therefore Paul 
■(\illeth ' that men pray everpvhere, lifting up holy 
hands unto God without ivrath or doubting,' 1 Tim. 
ii. 8. Yet, where Christ hath said, ' "Wliere two or 
three meet together in my name,' — that is, by war- 
rant from me, — ' I am in the middle,' Mat. xviLi. 20 ; 
and ' Go teach, I am with you to the end of the 
world,' Mat. xxviii. 20 ; therefore must we frequent 
diligently, and reverently use church assemblies. 
Consider 1 Cor. xi. 22, ' Despise ye the church of 
God ? ' — that is, the place where God's people come 
together for liis ser\dce. 

Ver. 7. Hear me, Lord, when I cry tcith my voice : 
have mercij also ujMii me, and answer me. 

Here David begins the second testification of his 
true affiance in God by humble and earnest prayer 
and suppUcation for sundry blessings, whereof the 
first is for mercy in audience and answer to his 
earnest prayers, in this verse. \\Tierein, the words 
being plain, we may observe three things : first, 
AYhat David prayed for ; secondly. In what man- 
ner ; thirdly, His esteem of God's audience to liis 

For the first, David prays for audience and answer 
to his prayers, ' Hear, Lord, when I cry, and 
answer me.' So Ps. iv. 1, ' Hear me when I call ;' 
Ps. V. 1,2,' Give ear to my words, hearken to the 
voice of my cry;' Ps. xxviii. 1, ' L^nto thee ^rill I 

ciy, Lord, my rock, be not silent to me : lest, if 
thou be silent to me, I become like them that go 
down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplica- 
tions, when I cry unto thee;' Ps. Ixx. 1, 'Hear 
my cry, God : attend unto my prayer ; ' and Ps. 
cxli. 1. 

Quest. What needs this prayer for audience, see- 
ing God hears every word that is spoken? Ps. 
cxxxix. 4, and it is his property to hear prayer, 
Ps. Ixv. 2, whereto he hath bound himself by pro- 
mise, Ps. 1. 15 ; Mat. vii. 7. 

Alls. The audience which David praj'eth for is 
not the bare act of hearing, in taking notice of that 
he said in prayer, for he knew well that would never 
be wanting in God towards man ; but by hearing he 
meaneth God's favourable act of audience, testified 
by gracious answers, as he saith, ' In thy faitlifulness 
answer me,' Ps. cxUii. 1. 

The reason why David here prayeth for this 
gracious audience, is because he knew God did many 
times, for just causes, deny to give such gracious 
answers even to the prayers of his servants. As 
first, when he would humble them and correct them 
for their sins, Ps. Ixvi. 18, 'If I regard iniquity in 
my heart, the Lord will not hear me ; ' John ix. 31, 
' God heareth not sinners ; ' for sin separates be- 
tween God and us, Isa. ILx. 2, makes God say, 
' Though ye make many prayers, I will not hear,' 
Isa. i. 15. So as his people complain that God 
seems angry against their prayers, Ps. Ixxx. 4. 

Secondly, AVlien he would stir them up to more 
zeal and fervency in prayer than yet they have 
shewed. See his dealing with the woman of Canaan, 
coming to him for her daughter, Mat. xrv. 22, 23, 
&c., and -nith the father of the cliild possessed with 
a dumb and deaf devil, Mark ix. 18. 

Thirdly, When he will exercise them under some 
affliction, either for recreation for sin or for trial of 
grace, as Ps. xxii. 1,2,' My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me 1 my God, I ciy in the 
daytime, but thou hearest not, and in the night, and 
am not silent.' That was tnie both in David the 
type and in Jesus Christ the truth : yet herein that 
is verified which Christ said to Paul, ' My grace is 
sufficient for thee,' 2 Cor. xii. 9, being as good as 
direct audience or particular answer, for it makes 
them willing and able to bear the cross, wliich is a 



[A^ER. 7. 

gracious hearing to the prayer of the aiBicted, Heb. 
V. 7. 

This serves for instruction and admonition. 

For instruction, see that the best of God's children 
may be denied audience for a time to their prayers, 
for that wliich befell David in the tyjje, and Jesus 
Clirist himself as the truth, may befall any other 
child of God : for ' the servant is not above the 
master,' Mat. x. 24, 25. 

For admonition two ways : fii-st, To beware of 
rash judgment, either against ourselves or others, 
under this deaUng of God, denying audience to our 
prayers. That it is a gi-eat trouble to God's children, 
see Ps. Isxx. 4, and xxii. 1,2; Isa. sJix. 14. That 
it opens the mouth of the wicked, see Ps. Ixxi. 10, 
11 ; Mat. xxvii. 42, 43. 

Secondly, In this case to consider the causes of 
this course of God's deaUng, and take them in their 
order : begin with sin to find it out, return into 
thine own heart and turn unto the Lord, as 2 Chron. 
vi. 37 ; be humble and earnest in jirayer to God ; 
and then, though God for his glory may deny thee 
audience in particular things, yet will he be sure to 
give thee something as good, — that is, tlie strength 
of patience to bear the cross, and in the end a 
blessed issue. 

The second thing to be noted here is the manner 
of Da\^d's praying. He cried vnth his voice, wliich 
notes great fervency, great zeal, and earnestness. 
David was fervent and zealous in prayer unto God, 
he ' cried unto God mth his voice ; ' Ps. v. 2, 
'Hearken to the voice of my cry;' Ps. xvii. 1, 
' Attend unto my cry ; ' Ps. xxii. 1, 2, ' Why art 
thou so far from helping me, and from the v.'ords of 
my roaring? I cry in the daytime;' Ps. cxHi. 1, 5, 
' I cried unto the Lord with my voice, -ndth my 
voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication. I 
cried unto thee, Lord.' 

The reasons hereof are great : first. Prayer is a 
good tiling, and zealous affection in a good thing is 
always good and commendable. Gal. iv. 18. 

Secondly, Zeal and fervency in prayer is very 
moving. St James saith, 'The effectual fervent 
prayer of a righteous man availeth much,' James 
v. 1 6. And our Saviour Christ sheweth it by two 
resemblances : one of the man that came to borrow 
bread of his neighbour by night, Luke xi. 8, ' Though 

he wiU not rise and give him, because he is his 
friend ; yet because of lus importunity he will rise 
and give him as many as he needeth.' The other 
of the poor -widow that prevailed with the unright- 
eous judge, Luke xviii. 1, 5. 

Thirdly, God's mercies testified by gracious pro- 
mises and answerable performances, did notably en- 
courage him to be zealous and earnest in prayer. 
For his promises, see Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me in the 
day of trouble ; ' Exod. xxii. 23, ' If thou afflict 
them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I 
will surely hear their cry.' See for his observing 
God's dealing with those that cry, Ps. xxii. 4, 5, 
cvii. 6, 13, 19, and vi. 8, 9. 

Fourthly, Da\T.d's ovra necessities and distresses 
did urge and enforce him to be earnest in prayer : 
Ps. xviii. 4-6, ' The sorrows of death compassed me, 
and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. 
The sorrows of hell compassed me about : the snares 
of death prevented me. In my distress I called 
upon the Lord, and cried unto my God.' 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instniction, it acquaints us with a property 
in prayer, both profitable and commendable, which 
few regard, — viz., to be zealous, and fervent, and 
earnest therein. They that think the ser\dce of 
God stands in the work done, as jiapists and ignor- 
ant people do, who therefore tie themselves to a set 
number of prayers so many times said over, cannot 
much regard this property. But we must know 
that the true God, who cannot endure lukewarm 
professors of lus true profession, threatening to spew 
such out of his mouth. Rev. iii. 16, cannot like of 
cold or lukewarm prayers. Is not prayer a good 
work 1 Now, Christ Jesus hath redeemed us to be 
'zealous of good works,' Tit. ii. 14, therefore we 
must not be cold in prayer. 

For admonition, this serves to move every child 
of God to labour for this property of zeal and fer- 
vency in prayer. For which end we must first con- 
sider God's commandment requiring it : Eom. xii. 
11, 12, 'Fervent in sijiiit, continuing instant in 
prayer ; ' Luke xi. 5-8. Christ bids ask, seek, and 
knock, upon the resemblance of a man's importunity 
pievaihng with lus friend to rise out of bed to lend 
him provision for a friend come unto liim. 

Ver. 7.] 



Secondly, Wc must lahoiu- to get the Spirit of 
God, wliicli is the Spirit of grace and supplication, 
and that vriW stir up mourning, with bitterness for 
sin, as Zeeh. xii. 10, and most earnest desii-es of 
grace and mercy, Eom. viii. 26 ; prayer is as in- 
cense, Ps. cxli. 2 ; the Spiiit is the fire. Job xxxii. 
18, 19 ; Jer. xx. 9. Now this Spirit is given in 
God's means, used in a holy manner, often shewed, 
that is, in the word and prayer, used by those that 
turn from sin, and desire grace, and walk in obedi- 
ence to the word. Hereto we shall be well fui-- 
thered by the former reasons considered : whereto 
we may add, that natural and heathen men have 
sped well with God, when they have shewed zeal in 
prayer, as Jonah i. 14, the mariners, and chap. iii. 
8, the Nine^dtes. 

For comfort, this makes gi'eatly to those whose 
wants and miseries cause them to cry in prayer ; 
for, though God's delay may cause them to fear 
God's forsaking, yet if they cry unto God, they are 
in no worse a case than David was, nay, than Christ 
Jesus was, Heb. v. 7 ; and shall the servant think 
it strange to be afflicted as his master was ? Con- 
sider that he heard the rebellious Jews when they 
cried, Ps. cvi. 44; Judges x. 10, 16. 
■ Thirdly, Here observe David's esteem of this 
work of God, when he gives audience, and answers 
to his prayers. David accounts it a great mercy of 
God to have hearing and audience to his prayers. 
Ps. iv. 1 , ' Have mercy upon me, and hear my 
prayer.' Ps. xxx. 10, ' Hear, O Lord, and have 
mercy upon me.' Ps. Ixxxiv. 3, ' Be merciful unto 
me, God, for I cry unto thee daily.' Ps. cxvi. 1, 
4, 5, ' I love the Lord, because he hath heard my 
voice. I call upon the name of the Lord ; O Lord, I 
beseech thee deliver my soul : gracious is the Lord, 
and righteous ; yea, our God is merciful.' Ps. cxLx. 
58, ' I entreat thy favour with my whole heart. Be 
merciful unto me, according to thy word.' 

The reason is, because he, as every other man, 
stood guilty of sin, which separates between God 
and us, Ps. lix. 2. 

Tiiis sen'es for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction ; see, that Da^dd was not ac- 
quainted with the opinion of papists, that hold 
prayer a meritorious work ; for then audience should 
be due, not of mercv, but of debt. 

For admonition ; first, To every one to get good 
title to God's mercy, that would have assurance of 
audience to their prayers. Now the way is to get 
into covenant with God, and to walk worthy of the 
Lord. Now we enter covenant by belie\dng in 
Christ ; for that is the condition that gives us title 
to audience, Jer. iv. 22, 23. And we walk worthy 
of the Lord, and of the favour of audience, when 
we eschew e\il, and make conscience of sin ; for see 
John ix. 31 ; Ps. Ixvi. 18, 19, sin separates and 
hinders audience, Prov. i. 20, 28; Isa. i. 15, and lix. 
1, whereto also we must adjoin conscience of well- 
doing ; for, if we do well, we shall be accepted, 
Gen. iv. 7, which though it extend not unto God, 
for the bettering of his estate, Ps. x\'i. 3, yet it 
makes greatly for God's glory, John xv. 8 ; and is 
good and profitable unto men. Tit. iii. 8. For God 
doth promise audience to those that set their love on 
God, and laiow him, that when they call he vnll 
answer, Ps. xci. 14, 15. 

Secondly, Those that profess themselves to be in 
covenant with God must observe God's mercy in 
audience to theii- prayers, as Ps. Ixxxv. 7, 8 : ' Shew 
us thy mercy, O Lord, and gi'ant us thy salvation : I 
will hearken what God the Lord mil say.' So did 
David, Ps. Ixvi. 17, 19, and cx\± 1, 2. This we 
must do, that, if we find want of audience, we may 
appeal unto his mercy, and seek good title thereto : 
for gracious audience is of mercy. And if we find 
that God hath heard us, that then we may return 
praise and thanks for God's mercy, and labour to 
walk worthy of it. We have received many deliver- 
ances in this land, upon our humiliation, in '88, from 
the imdncible navy;iu 1605, from the de\'ilisli powder 
treason; in 1625, from thefearful plague of pestilence; 
besides our comfortable freedom from wars, in the 
common trouble of other nations. LTnthankfulness 
lirings ^vrath, 2 Chron. xxxii. 25 ; we must therefore 
remember David's practice, Ps. cxvi. 12-14, and 
seeing, when we come to the Lord's table, we pray 
for part in Christ's redemption, let us endeavour to 
walk worthy of it, and shew the power of it, in 
leaving sin, and h^ing godly ; else we trust in 
lying words, if we think we are redeemed to do 
wickedly, as Jer. \'ii. 8-10, and indeed are like the 
dog, and so returning to vomit and fUth, 2 Pet. ii, 
22, 23. 



[Yer. 8. 

Yer. 8. Mij heart said unto thee, irhen thoit sakht, 
Seek ye my faee ; Thy face, Lord, will I seek Yer. 9. 
Hide not thy face far from me, put tiot thy servant aicay 
in anger : thou hast been my help, leave me not, neither 
fmsake me, God of my salvation. 

Here David goes on in tlie matter of prayer, begwn 
in the former verse ; and, first, doth testify the truth 
and readiness of his heart to answer and obey God's 
command, for the seeking of his face, ver. 8 ; wliich 
being chiefly done in the duty and exercise of prayer, 
he doth, verse 9, put uj^ humble and earnest suit unto 
God, for favour and mercy in sundry petitions ; and 
to move the Lord to gi-ant tliem, he makes mention 
of God's former favour in this kind, saying, ' thou 
hast been my help,' and shuts up these requests, witli 
notable testimony of true affiance in God, calling him 
' the God of his salvation.' 

Here then, in these two verses, we have in general 
three things to handle : first, Dav-id's sincerity, in 
readiness to answer God's command unto his people, 
that they should seek his face, ver. 8. Secondly, 
Davad's humble and eai-nest requests, for favour and 
mercy, answerable to his former possession. Thirdly, 
David's motives propounded to God, to move hini to 
grant his requests, ver. 9. 

For the first : Da-i-id's sincerity and readiness to 
answer God's command, for the seeking of his face, 
is this, ' when thou saidst, Seek ye my face ; my heart 
said unto thee, Thy face Lord, will I seek.' For 
the right understaniling whereof we must know, that 
the speech or sentence in the original, to make it 
plain, requires the supply of some words, which are 
fitly added in our Bibles, ivhen thou saidst: as the 
like is elsewhere, 1 Kings xx. 34, 'And I (said 
Ahab) will send thee away with this covenant.' 

This defect of a word, to be supplied for plainness' 
sake, hath caused great variety amongst translators. 
The most ancient of them, as the Septuagint, Aquila, 
Synimachus, the Aiilgar Latin, and Jerome (whom 
most of the popish expositors and the Douay Bible 
do follow) translate the words to this effect : ' My face 
bath sought out,' or 'sought thee out,' making the 
word face the nominative case to the verb soxight, 
whereas our translations make the word face the 
accusative case following the verb seek ; and, though 
the words in the original ^^■\\\ bear either of the 
fonner, yet seeing both were not intended by the 

Holy Ghost, for this reason do I jirefer our own 
translations before the aiacients, because in the Bible 
the words in the original are ordinarily translated 
by the foresaid ancients, as ours have done, as 2 
Chron. ^^i. 14, and not once, I take it, in all the 
Bible, can their translation be warranted, by shewing 
the like disposing of the words, where face is the 
nominative case to the verb seek. 

Now then, taking the words in that sense which 
our translation gives, we have two things to note in I 
them ; first, God's commandment unto his people I 
for the seeking of his face ; secondly, David's readi- 
ness to yield obedience thereto. For the first, the 
words translated seek ye my face, are, in the original, 
not a question, but a command ; for the verb is of 
the imperative mood, which biddeth or commaudeth 
to seek. The thing to be sought is God's face, which 
here noteth, not simply God himself, as Exod. xx. 
3, ' Thou shalt have none other gods before my 
face,' that is, ' before me ; ' but God's gi-ace and 
favour in his sanctuary, where God did manifest his 
presence, between the cherubims, above the mercy- 
seat, there communing with the high priest, of all 
things given in charge concerning the children of 
Israel, E.xod. xxv. 22, towards which the people were 
to look, when thej' sought God's grace and favour. 
Mark then, God enjoined his people the Jews to seek 
his face, that is, his grace and favour in the sanctuary, 
looking toward the mercy-seat, which is sometime 
called ' the face of God,' because it was a testimony 
of his presence among his jieople : Ps. cv. 4, ' Seek ye 
the Lord, and his strength,' (that is, the ark of the 
covenant, Ps. cxxxii. 8,) ' seek his face continually,' 
(that is, the mercy-seat, a blessed testimony of his 
gracious favour, and presence amongst his people,) 
so 2 Chron. vii. 14. 

The reason or gi'ound hereof is threefold. First 
and principally. By their seeking to the mercy-seat, 
the type, he would lead them unto Christ, that was 
the trath and substance ; for the material tabernacle 
and temple was a part of the worldly sanctuary, and 
belonged to the ceremonial law, which led them unto 
Christ, Gal. iii. 24. For 'the law had but the 
shadow of good things to come,' Heb. x. 1 ; ' but the 
body is Christ,' Col. ii. 17. And that he was pre- 
figured by the mercy-seat is plain, Eom. iii. 25, ' God 
set forth Christ Jesus to be a propitiary, (iXauDiwoi') 

Yer. 8.] 



tlirough faith in his blood ; ' giving the same name 
to Christ Jesus which the LXX gave to the legal 
mercy-seat ; to which also St John alludeth plain!}', 
1 John ii. 2, 3, saying, ' Jesus Christ is the propitia- 
tion (/Xaff.aJ;) for our sins.' 

Secondly, God herein had respect to his own 
glory ; for tliis seeking of God's face by frequenting 
the sanctuarj' was not only an obedience to his or- 
dinance, which was very pleasing unto him, 1 Sam. 
XV. 22, but a singular testimony of affiance in God 
through Christ, which is the honour of the heart. 
AVhereupon he accounts the neglect of this duty by 
his people, when they go to false gods, a-forsaking 
of him, a thing whereat the very heavens should be 
astonished, Jer. ii. 12, 13; nay, more, he accounts it 
their very denial, that they have any such god 
amongst them, 2 Kings i. 6. 

Thirdl}', God herein had special regard to his 
people's good ; for this is the right way to the frui- 
tion of his favour, which is better than Ufe, Ps. bdii. 
3. This makes the church to say, ' Cause thy face 
to shine, and we shall be saved,' Ps. Ixxx. 3, 7, 19. 
Thus they were entitled to three great blessings. 
First, To sure direction in all important difficulties, 
as 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Secondly, To assured deliverances 
from all hurtful evils, as 2 Chron. xv. 2, 4, ' If you 
seek him, he will be found of you ; ' and ' he that 
findeth him findeth life,' Prov. vdii. 3-5. Thus Ezra 
found of God a good way, Ezra \-iu. 21, 23. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, this charge and command of God 
unto his peo^jle to seek his face shews plainly that 
the service of God is not a matter arbitrary to God's 
people — that is, such a thing as they may at pleasure 
use or refuse without danger of God's displeasure, 
and of his heavy judgments thereupon. Under the 
law, the Jews were straitly enjoined to seek to the 
place which the Lord their God should choose, to 
put liis name there, and thither to come and bring 
their burnt-offerings, sacrifices, vows, free-will offer- 
ings, &€., and there eat and rejoice before the Lord 
their God, Deut. xii. .5-7, 12, 17, 18, 2G-28 ; and 
the Lord's solemn feasts must every male ol)serve, 
and appear before the Lord with his gift or offering, 
Deut. xvi. 16, 17. Yea, mark a severe threatening 
of judgment for the neglect of God's worship, pro- 

phetically delivered in legal terms, Zech. xiv. 17, 
' It shall be, that who will not go up, of all the fanti- 
lies of the earth, unto Jerusalem, to worship the 
King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no 
more rain.' And in plain terms the apostle saith to 
all Christians, ' We, receiving a kingdom which can- 
not be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may 
serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear,' 
Heb. xii. 28. 

For admonition : first, To inform ourselves rightly 
in the will of God touching his worship ; for, as under 
the law, so now, we may not do what seems good in 
our own ej^es, Deut. xii. 8, but what the Lord ap- 
pointeth ; else God may say to us, as Christ did to 
the Jews, ' Ye worship me in vain, teaching for doc- 
trines the commandments of men,' Mark vii. 7. 
' The true worshippers must worship the Father in 
spiiit and truth,' Jo'nn iv. 23 ; and that in and 
through the nietliation of Cluist, John xiv. 6. 

Secondly, When we know how God will be 
sought in holy worship, then we must be careful 
that we be such as shall find him gracious and 
favourable unto us ; which estate recpu'es two 
things of us : fii'st. True repentance in regard of sins 
past ; for if we go on in a course of any known sin, 
we cannot have society with God; see Ps. Ixvi. 18, 
' K I regard wickedness in my heart, God will not 
hear- my prayer.' John ix. 31, ' We know that God 
heareth not sinners.' ' The throne of wickedness 
hath no fellowshij) with God,' Ps. xciv. 20 ; 2 Cor. 
vi. 14, 16; 1 John i. 6; therefore God denieth 
fiivourto such, Ezek. xx. 3, 4; Isa. i. 15. Secondly, 
We must beHeve in God tlu-ough Christ, according 
to the word of the gospel, which is the word of the 
covenant of grace, which, being received by faith, 
brings us truly into fellowship with God, 1 John i. 
3, 4. See Heb. xi. G. 

For comfort, this makes gi-eatly to God's people, 
that make conscience of their ways, in any distress ; 
for God bids them seek his face, wherein he calls 
them to him, which is sufficient ground of comfort ; 
as the people said to the blind man whom Christ 
called, Mark x. 49, ' Be of good comfort, he calleth 
thee.' For so David assureth his son Solomon, a 
little before liis death, 1 Chron. xx\iii. 9, ' If thou 
seek him, he would be found of thee.' And the true 
God is the chiefest good ; so as ' happy are the 



[Ver. 8. 

people that be so, yea, blessed are the people that 
have the Lord for their God,' Ps. cxliv. 15. ' These 
people have played the good merchants, and found 
the pearl of price, better than all the world beside,' 
Mat. xiii. 4.5, 4G. They may therefore, on far better 
grounds than Jacob did, say, ' I have enough ; my 
son Joseph is yet alive,' Gen. xlv. 28, for Joseph 
died afterward ; but the true God, whom the faith- 
ful have for their God, is the li\ang God, and in 
Jesus Christ their loving Father, who will provide 
for them, not an earthly Goshen, as Joseph did for 
his father and liis bretliren, but a heavenly Canaan, 
even the Idugdom of heaven, as Christ said to his 
disciples, ' Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you the kingdom,' Luke xii. 
32 ; and Luke xxii. 29, ' I appoint unto you a king- 
dom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.' 
Worldly troubles may hasten us sooner to tliis 
happy estate, but they cannot deprive us of it, 
Eom. viii. 35. Therefore, 'though the outward 
man perish,' yet look up towards this kingdom, 
and lift up thy heart to the living God, thy lo\-ing 
Father in Christ, and 'the inner man shall be re- 
newed daily,' 2 Cor. iv. 14-16. 

The second thing to be observed is David's readi- 
ness to yield sincere obedience to this condition of 
God, to seek his face; hereto David's heart an- 
swered, ' Thy face, Lord, will I seek.' Mark here, 
then, that Da\'id's heart was sincerely set on God's 
command to seek his face, — that is, liis grace and 
favour,^in the way he had ordained, in his sanctuary. 
Ps. xhi. 1, 2, 'As the hart panteth after the water- 
brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O Lord. My 
soul thirsteth for God, even for the livmg God : 
when shall I come and appear before God?' Ps. 
cxix. 20, 58, ' With my whole heart have I sought 
thee ; I entreated thy favour with my whole heart.' 
The word translated favour, Txbu TJ3, is face in 
the original ; and the entreaty here meant is most 
earnest and importunate, for the word in the 
original signifietli to make sick or sorry. 

The reasons hereof are many and great : first, Be- 
fore this time the Lord God had begini a good work 
in David's heart by his Holy Spirit, and revealed 
himself so far forth to David, that David's heart 
was enamoured \nX\\ the Lord, as he notal)ly ex- 
presseth, Ps. Ixxxiv. 1, 2, 'Oh how amiable are 

thy tabernacles My soul longeth, yea, even 

fainteth for the courts of the Lord : my heart and 
my flesh crieth out for the living God ; ' as Ps. xlii. 
1, 2, and cxliii. 6, 7, 'I stretch forth my hands unto 
thee,' &c. ; ' Hear me speedily, my spiiit faileth ; 
hide not thy face from me.' And that this was the 
cause of David's seeking God's face and favour, see 
by the Uke, Cant. v. 4, ' My beloved put in his hand 
liy the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved 
for him.' The church's beloved is Christ the Lord, 
his hand is his power, shewed by the work of liis 
Spirit with the word, as Acts xi. 19-21, when this 
comes, the bowels yearn, as Peter's did upon the view 
of Clirist's glory. Mat. xvdi. 2, 4. 

Secondly, Da\'id knew that God had special regard 
unto the heart, above all the parts of man, as 1 Sam. 
xvi. 7 ; and therefore calls for the heart of every one 
that is his child, Prov. xxiii. 26, and would have 
this part begin all the actions of his service. See, 
for hearing the word, Deut. xxxii. 46 ; Prov. iv. 
20, 21 : and for prayer, Hos. y\\. 14, which, when 
it is wanting, he rejecteth the service, Mat. xv. 
8, 9. 

Thirdly, The excellency of the blessing di-ew his 
heart unto it : for God's face is God's favour and 
loving-kindness, wherein is hfe, Ps. xx. 5 ; nay, it is 
better than hfe, Ps. Ixiii. 1-3. Thereupon, Ps. iv. 
6, ' Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon 
us,' and Ps. Isxx. 3, 7, 19, ' Cause thy face to shine, 
and we shall be saved.' 

Fourthly, He knew the seeking of the heart was 
true and sincere seeking, such as God required, 
Ps. U. 6, and such as he will speed for this and 
all other blessings, Jer. xxix. 13 ; Ps. xxiv. 3, etc., 
the way to joy, Ps. cvi. 3, 4, to blessedness, Ps. 
cxix. 2. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, two ways : first, It lets us plainly 
see the right ground and foundation of acceptable 
obedience unto God in every duty which he requireth, 
— namely, a good heart, a heart set for God's glory 
therein : for the heai't is the fountain of the actions, 
good or e\-il, as Christ teacheth. Mat. xii. 34, 35, 
' Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh.' 'A good man, out of the got)d treasure of 
his heart, bringeth forth good thhigs : and an evil 

Yer. 9.] 



man, out of the evil treasure of his lieart, bringeth 
forth evil things,' which we are the rather to note, 
because wicked men, though they cannot justify 
tlieir actions, yet they wiU plead for the goodness of 
their heart ; they have as good a lieart to God- ward 
as the best : which, if it were true, Christ was de- 
ceived in the place aforenamed, ' Either make the 
tree good and his fruit good, or the tree e\'il and his 
fruit evil,' as also Ps. Ixxviii. 8, 36, 37 ; the old 
Jews were a stubborn and rebellious generation, a 
generation that set not their heart aright, they 
flattered him with, their mouth, and lied unto him 
with their tongue, for their heart was not right with 

Secondly, See in Da^•id a doulile property of the 
godly : first, To make particular apphcation to 
himself of general commands given to all God's 
people, as Ps. iv. 7 ; so did Joseph, Gen. xxxix. 9. 
Secondly, That the heart of the godly is set to seek 
tlie face of God, to be made partaker of his grace 
and favour in Cluist. See David's speech to Zadok, 
when he brought out the ark, 2 Sam. xv. 25, 26. 
But most plain it is in that of Paul, PhU. ui. 7-9, 
' What tilings were gain to me, those I counted loss 
for Christ,' itc. 

For admonition, two ways : first. To get such a 
heart as doth mind the commandments of God, and 
doth undertake for obedience thereto ; so did 
Band's. This, indeed, none hath by nature, for 
' every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is 
evil contmually,' Gen. xi. 5, meaning so long a-s the 
heart remains natural, unsanctified. Therefore, they 
that would have a good heart like DaWd, must wait 
upon God in the use of means, ordained by him for 
tlie bettering of man's heart. That it is God's work 
is plain, Ezek. xxxvd. 25, 26, ' I will take away your 
stony heai-t, and give you an heart of flesh,' and 
therefore is regeneration called ' a new creation,' 
2 Cor. V. 1 7, which is a work proper to God. Yet 
God is pleased to do it in the use of means enjoined 
to men, which when we use in obedieiice to God, 
we have title to his blessing. Now the means to 
get a good heart is to be exercised much in the word 
and prayer : for in these ordinances is the Spiiit 
given, which renews the soul ; as for the word is 
plain, Acts x. 44 ; Gal. iii. 2 : and for prayer, Luke 
xi. 13. Now the obedient manner of using the 

foresaid means is, first. To break off" the course of 
sin, Prov. i. 23, for reigning sin and saving grace 
never dwell together, 1 John v. 6. Secondly, 
Hunger and thirst after grace and mercy, Isa. Iv. 1 , 
and xliv. 3 ; Rev. xxi. 6. Thirdly, In the way of 
obedience unto that we know, Acts v. 32, wait upon 
God m the foresaid means, as the impotent people 
did at the pool of Bethesda, John v. 2-4 : ' For 
they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength,' Isa. xl. 31. 

Secondly, Learn of David to set the heart on work 
on everj' action we ])eiform to God ; yea, let it begin 
the work. 

This was Da\dd's care, as Ps. Ivii. 7, ' My heart is 
fixed, or prepared ; God, my heart is fixed.' Con- 
sider the reason before named. 

For comfort, tliis makes greatly to the upright- 
hearted, when they are not able to express in words 
what they conceive, or to perform for God's glory 
what they desire. Let them here observe that there 
is sweet intercourse between the Lord and an up- 
right heart ; he knows the meaning of the sighs and 
groans thereof, Rom. v-iii. 26 ; the heart can speak 
to God eSectually without the help of the tongue, 
as Ps. XXV. 1 ; Neh. ii. 4 ; and the heart can an- 
swer God's command, as in tliis place. 

Ver. 9. Hide not thy face far from. 7rie ; 2nd not thy 
sewant away in anger : tluiu hast been my help ; leave 
me not, neither forsake me, God of viy salvation. 

Here David, according to his holy profession in 
the former verse, makes humble and earnest suit 
unto God, that he may not be denied nor deprived 
of the comfort of God's favour, and the light of his 
countenance. This suit he puts up in variety of 
phrase, for the gi-eater evidence of unfeigned desire ; 
and that also by couples, as Christ sent forth his 
disciples for their mutual strengthening ; and further 
backeth each couple with a strong reason. The first 
doubled suit is this, ' Hide not thy face far from me ; 
put not away thy servant in anger.' The reasons 
propounded to strengthen them are two : the first 
impUed in the title servant; the second expressed, 
drawn from further experience of God's goodness, 
thou hast been mine helper. The second couple or 
doubled request is this, ' Leave me not, neither for- 
sake me ; ' and the reason backing them is drawn 



[Ver. 9. 

from David's title to God by covenant, thus plainly 
expressed, God of my salvation. 

The things, then, which we have here to handle 
are David's requests, and Da^dd's reasons to enforce 
the same. His requests are deprecatory against evils 
he feared, and in part felt : as the hiding of God's 
face, putting away in anger, God's leaving and for- 
saking, which all aiming at one thing, even Da\ad's 
feeling and fruition of God's favour, we may in them 
all well observe that Da^dd prayed earnestly that 
he might not be deprived of God's grace and favour, 
nor want the light of God's countenance to shine 
upon him. Ps. xiii. 1, ' How long wilt thou forget 
me, Lord 1 for ever 1 how long wilt thou hide thy 
face from me 1 ' 

The reasons hereof are weighty : first, The sur- 
passing worth and excellency of God's special favour, 
whereof he would not be deprived ; in it is life, Ps. 
XXX. 5 ; it is better than life, Ps. Ixiii. ; now, ' AU 
that a man hath vrill he give for his hfe,' Job 
ii. 4. 

Secondly, He knew the displeasure of God was a 
most heavy and grievous thing which no creature 
is able to bear, Ps. lxx\-i. 7, ' Thou, even thou, art to 
be feared : and who may stand in thy sight when 
once thou art angry?' See Deut. xxxii. 41, 42, 
' If I whet my glittering sword,' &c. Vengeance is 
his, and he wiU recompense. Solomon saith, ' The 
wrath of a king is as messengers of death,' Prov. 
xvi. 14 ; what, then, is the anger of God ? 

Thirdly, David knew his o'ivn guilt of sin, both 
original, Ps. li. 5, and actual, ver. 3, 4, and so must 
needs conceive that God in justice might hide his 
face from him, be angry with him, leave him, and 
forsake him ; as he saith, Ps. bcxx. 3, ' If thou. 
Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who shall 
stand 1 ' 

Fourthly, He was not ignorant of God's sove- 
reignty over all, whereby he may, even for trial of 
grace, hide his face, and seem angry mtli his dearest 
servants. For who was better than Job? 'None 
in his time was like him in all the earth ; an upright 
man, fearing God and eschewing evil,' Job i. 8. 
Yet who endured sorer afflictions? so as he com- 
plaineth, that God hid his face, and held liim for his 
enemy ; that he ' "vviit bitter things against him,' and 
'made him to possess the sins of his youth,' Job 

xiii. 24, 26. Yea, God himself confesseth that 
' Satan moved him to destroy Job without a cause,' 
Job ii. 3. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instraction tliree ways. First, See in Da^ad 
what the godly do think of the want of God's favour, 
— surely, that it is a most grievous and bitter thing, 
as if a father should put away his child in anger, 
leave him and forsake him. This David manifested 
in liis speech to Zadok, when he brought out the ark 
of God to carry with them : ' Carry back,' saith he, 
' the ark of God into the city : if I shall find favour 
in the eyes of the Lord, he 'will bring me again, and 
shew me both it and his habitation : but if he say, 
I have no delight in thee; behold, here I am, let hini 
do to me as seemeth good unto liim,' 2 Sam. xv. 2-5, 
20. This is the rather to be marked, because the 
hearts of natural men are not aflTected with the least 
sorrow for the hiding of God's face ; if they may en- 
joy temporal blessings, wherein theu- natural hearts 
do take delight, they desire no more ; being of Saul's 
mind, who, when Samuel had told him God had cast 
him away, yet desired to be honoured before the 
people, 1 Sam. xv. 23, 30 ; he sought for popular 
honoiu-, but makes no entreaty for God's favour. 
And, indeed, how should natural men do otherwise ? 
The favour of God in Clirist is a spuitual blessing, 
and the want thereof (expressed by the hiding of 
God's face) a spiritual judgment. These are things 
unkuown without the work of the Spirit, as 1 Cor. 
ii. 14, and so no marvel if the judgment be not 
feared, where the contrary blessing is not discerned 
nor desired. 

Secondly, See here that the true child of God may, 
for a time, want the feeling of God's special favour, 
and remain under the sense of God's displeasure, as 
left and forsaken of God. See it plain in Da^dd, Ps. 
xxxnii. 1, 2, &c., and Ixxvii. 7-10 ; in the complaint 
of the church, Ps. xliv. 23, 24, 'Arise, cast us not 
off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and 
forgettest our affliction and oppression ? ' and Lam. 
iii. 1-19, 'I am the man that hath seen affliction by 
the rod of his wrath. He liath led me, and brought 
me into darkness,' &c. ; and ver. 43, 44, ' Thou hast 
covered with anger, and persecuted us : thou hast 
covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayers should 
not pass through.' And Job's complaint of this es- 

Yer. 9.] 



tate is as plain as any, chap. xiii. 2-1, 26. Nay more, 
did not our lilessed Saviour, in the sense of his man- 
hood, complain thereof! Mat. xxvii. 46. Now if 
God do so with the green tree, what shall be done 
in the di-y ? Luke xxiii. 31 ; yet remember, this dis- 
tress is but for a time, Ps. xxx. 5 ; Isa. liv. 7, 8. 

Thirdly, Here see that prayer is a blessed and 
sanctified means, wherein the child of God may com- 
fortalily wait for the blessing of God's favour in the 
want thereof, and for the remov-ing of his anger under 
the signs thereof See the promise of God lumself 
in this case : Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me in the day of 
trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify 
me.' 2 Chron. vii. 13, 14, 'If I shut heaven, that 
there be no rain, &c. If my people do humble 
themselves, and pray, and seek my face, I will hear 
from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and M-iU 
heal their land.' 

For admonition it serves two ways. Fir.st, That 
we examine ourselves, how our hearts esteem of the 
want of feeling God's special love and favour in 
Clurist. If we judge it, as Da^dd did, a grievous tiling 
and bitter, we then have undoubtedly some work of 
the Spirit, at least in legal compunction, breaking up 
the fallow-ground of the heart, and so preparing it 
for the seed of gi'ace, as Acts ii. 37, 38. But if we 
slight it over without trouble or sorrow, as the jovial 
fellows of the world do, who delight in doing evil, 
and sport themselves in the frowardness of the 
A\acked, as Prov. ii. 14, then certainly our case is 
woeful ; we are not so near the state of grace as 
were Cain and Judas, who were touched with legal 
remorse upon the conscience of then- heinous sins ; 
as we may see. Gen. iv. 13, 14; Mat. xxvn. 3. 

Secondly, God's chikben may hence learn not to 
be dismayed for the temporary hiding of God's face 
or sustaining of his anger ; for nothing herein befalls 
them but that which aispertains to man, even to 
God's dear children, 1 Cor. x. 13. As we may see 
in Job, David, Ethan the Ezrahite, Ps. Ixxxviii. 1, 
2, &c. Herein let us follow their godly practice, 
which was this : first. To con.sider their ways, Ps. 
cxix. 59, that so they might find out their sins that 
bring the foresaid evils. Secondly, "With sorrow and 
grief of heart to confess against themselves, Ps. xxxii. 
4, 5 ; Job xlii. 6. Thirdly, To cry earnestly for mercy, 
as for life and death, Ps. Ii. 1, 2, and cxliii. 1, 2. 

Fourthly, Walk in new obedience : Ps. cxix. 8, 10, ' I 
will keep thy statutes ; forsake me not utterly. 
I have sworn, and ^dll perform it, that I vn\l keep thy 
righteous judgments.' Lastly, In the use of God's 
ordinances, the word and prayer, to wait for com- 
fort, as Ps. xlii. 5, 11 ; Isa. xliii. 5. Read, hear, and 
meditate on God's word, as Ps. cxLx. 1 3, &c. ; yea, 
also watch and wait in prayer, Col. iv. 2 ; and if the 
fear be great, humble thy soul mth fasting, as Ps. 
XXXV. 13. Limit not the holy one of Israel for time 
or measure of any blessing, as the carnal Israelites 
did, Ps. Ixxviii. 41, but with Job wait all our life 
long, chap. xiv. 14. Say with the church, Micah vii. 
7-9, ' I will look unto the Lord ; I will ,wait for the 
God of my salvation : my God -svill hear me. ^^Hien 
I fall, I shall rise ; when I sit in darkness, the Lord 
shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indigna- 
tion of the Lord, because I have sinned against liim, 
until he jjlead my cause, and execute judgment for 
me : he will bring me forth to the hght, and I 
shall behold his righteousness.' 

The reasons propounded by David to move God 
to vouchsafe his favour and not hide his face, &c., 
are three. The first is implied in the title servant, 
wherewith Da\'id styles himself in the second branch 
of this petition, ' Put not thy servant away in anger.' 
Where, in David's judgment, this is plain, that to 
be God's servant is a good ground and step towards 
the attainment of God's favour; it is that which 
gives title to mercy in time of trouble, inward or 
outward: Ps. xxxi. 15, 16, 'DeHver me from the 
hand of mine enemies ; make thy face to shine upon 
thy servant ; save me for thy mercies' sake.' Ps. 
Ixix. 1 7, ' Hide not thy face froiri thy servant, for I 
am in trouble.' Ps. Ixxxvi. 4, ' Eejoice the soul of 
thy servant.' Isa. Ixv. 13, 14, 'Thus saith the Lord 
God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be 
hungry : behold, my servants shall drink, but ye 
shall be thirsty : behold, my servants shall rejoice, 
but ye shall be ashamed : behold, my servants shall 
sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of 

The reason is plain. Every true sen'ant of God 
is certainly in covenant with God by a holy calling, 
1 Cor. vii. 22, ' He that is called in the Lord, being 
a servant, is the Lord's freeman ; likewise also he 
that is called, being free, is Christ's servant ;' so that, 

G 2 



[Ver. 9. 

whether he be bond or free, by his holy calhng lie 
belongs to God. Now, being thus in covenant with 
God, he is entitled to all God's blessings in Christ, 
and so to the fruition of God's favour : Ps. Ixxxix. 
3, 20, 21, 24, ' I have made a covenant with my 
chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant. I 
have found David my servant ; with my holy oil 
have I anointed him : -with whom my hand also 
shall be estabhshed. My faithfulness and my mercy 
shall be with him, my mercy will I keep with him 
for ever, and my covenant shall stand fast with 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, two ways. First, That it is a 
blessed and happy thing to be God's true servant. 
Consider what the Queen of Sheba said of Solomon's 
servants : 1 Kings x. 8, ' Happy are these thy ser- 
vants,' &c. Now Christ Jesus is greater than Solo- 
mon, Mat. xii. 42, and so a better master. Good 
earthly masters vrSl honour good servants, as Prov. 
xxvii. 18, 'He that waiteth on his master shall be 
honoured ; ' chap. xvii. 2, ' A wise servant shall have a ' 
portion, or inheritance, among the brethren.' But 
however some earthly masters may be Nabals and 
Labans, yet God ■ttill not be so : John xii. 26, 
'Where I am, there shall also my servant be.' ' If 
any man serve me, him will my Father honour,' 
see Luke xii. 37. The watchful servants are blessed ; 
their master will make them to sit down to meat, 
and will come forth and serve them, as Mat. xxv. 
21, 2.3, 'Well done, good and faithful serv'ant, thou 
hast been faitliful in a few things, I will make thee 
ruler over many things : • enter into the joy of the 

Secondly, Here see the great error of natural men, 
that judge it a vain thing to serve God, as Mai. iii. 
14; Job xxi. 15, which to be the common thought 
of most men, their beha\'iour doth plainly bewray ; 
for mark tlieir carnage for diligence in God's service 
on the Lord's day, compared with the pains, and 
pleasure also, they take about worldly commodities 
in tlie week day. Then- behaviour saith aloud, that 
their heart thinks God's service is a vain thing, else 
they would take more pains and pleasure therein ; 
undoubtedly they do not conceive of, nor believe the 
testimony of God, touching the prosperity of his 
S( rvants ; for God taketh pleasure therem, Ps. xxxv. 

27, else he would never undertake for their direction 
in the way they ought to walk, for theu' pro^ision 
for all needful blessings, for their protection from 
all hurtful evils, and for their remuneration, both 
here and for ever, as the Scripture saith he doth. 

For admonition, it serves, first, to the wicked, to 
beware of wronging God's servants, and to refrain 
from that course ; see. Acts v. 38, 39, GamaUel's 
counsel to the rulers of the Jews, about the apostles, 
and his reason, lest they be found even to fight 
against God ; as Christ said to Saul, Acts ix. 4, 5, 
' Why persecutest thou me,' &c. ; see Num. xii. 8, 
' Wherefore then were ye not afraid to sjieak against 
my servant Moses?' and Ps. cv. 14, 15; Zech. ii. 8. 
And if ever they desire the privileges of God's 
servants, they must labour to get into covenant with 
God, doing as Saul did. Acts ix. 5, 6 : first. Desire 
to know Christ, then subject themselves to his holy 
will, and wait in prayer for grace and mercy ; see 
Acts ix. 9-11. 

Secondly, God's children, that have entered cove- 
nant ■with God, must be careful to shew themselves 
God's servants ; for profession ■without practice is 
nothing but h3']->ocrisy, making us like the church of 
Sardis, who ' had a name to be ahve, but was dead,' 
Rev. iii. 1. Therefore we must get the certain and 
infallilile properties of good servants, which are 
partly inward, and partly outward. The inward 
are good affections, which are specially tliree : first. 
Fear and reverence, Mai. i. 6 ; Ps. ii. 11. Secondly, 
Conscionable obedience to his revealed will. Reason 
from Eph. vi. 5-7, and from the centurion's confes- 
sion. Mat. viii. 9, as from the less to the greater. 
Without this, none are acknowledged for servants, 
Luke vi. 4G. This must be seen, both in eschewing 
evil, and doing good, as God saith of his servant Job, 
chap. i. 8, 9 ; yea, we must .shew our well-doing, in 
improving our Master's talents. Mat. xxv. 23, 25 ; ha 
fighting for him and for the faith, John xviii. 36 ; 
Jude 3 ; in waiting for his comuig, Luke xii. 36. 
And m all these we must be servants in ordinary, 
not only retainers that serve God by fits. Thirdly, 
We must patiently suffer his coiTections, Hcb. xii. 9, 
10. Reason from 1 Pet. ii. 18, &c., as from the less 
to the greater. Fourthly, We must praise God for 
liis mercy, Ps. cxxxiv. 1, 1. 23, and cxix. 175. 

The second reason which David uscth to move 

Ver. 9.] 



the Lord not to hide his face, &c., is phiiidy ex- 
pressed, drawn from his c^vn experience of God's 
former mercies in times of trouble, saying, 'Thou 
hast been my help,' that is, whenas heretofore I 
have been in distress and danger, thou hast helped 
me, and therein shewed thy favour toward me ; 
now, hereupon saith David, knoAvang thee to be 
unchangeable, I appeal unto thee for like mercy that 
I have formerly felt. 

In this reason we have two things to note. Fu'st, 
The thing confessed by Da\id, simply considered by 
itself; secondly. With reference to the end for 
which Da-i-id here propounds it. For the first. The 
tiling confessed by David, simply considered, is tliis : 

That God was Da\-id's helper, and so had been : 
Ps. liv. 4, ' Behold, God is mine helper ; ' Ps. iii. 3, 
' Thou, Lord, art a shield for me : my glory, and^the 
lifter up of my head;' Ps. xxx. 10, 'Hear, Lord, 
and have mercy upon me ; Lord, be thou mine 

The reason hereof is threefold. First, God's free 
grace and mercy receiving David into covenant, and 
tliereiu undertaking to become his helper and de- 
liverer : Ps. Lsxxix. 3, 21, 22, 'I have made a cove- 
nant with my chosen, I have sworn unto Daxdd my 
servant ; with whom my hand shall be established. 
The enemy shall not exact upon him,' &c. Ajid this 
is answerable to that which God saith to his people 
in general, Ps. 1. 5, L5. 

Secondly, David put his tnist in God, whereby 
he was entitled to God's help in trouble : Ps. xxviii. 
7, ' The Lord is my strength and my shield : mine 
heart trusted in him, and I am helped ; ' for indeed 
to such God becomes a helper, Ps. xxxvii. 39, 40, 
and xxxiii. 18, 19. 

Thu-dly, Da^'id walked before God in conscionable 
obedience, which gave him title to this blessing — to 
have the Lord to be his helper. Ps. x^aii. 16-18, 
' He sent from above ; he took me, he drew me out 
of many waters. He delivered me from my strong 
enemy, and from them which hated me. They pre- 
vented me in the day of my calamity ; but the Lord 
was my stay,' &c. ; ver. 21, 'For I have kept the 
ways of the Lord,' &c., which was answerable to 
God's general promise, Deut. xx\aii. 1, 2, 7, and Ps. 
Ixxxi. 13-10. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction ; in that which David professeth 
we may see a notable privilege of the godly, who be 
in covenant with God, do love and fear God, and 
trust in him, and testify the same by conscionable 
obedience — these have this prerogative, that the true 
God is theii- helper, which, to be a great blessing, is 
plainly affirmed with very significant illustration, Ps. 
cxhd. 3-5. For princes are jiotent earthly helpers, 
but vain is thek help wthout the Lord ; for their 
breath is in their nostrils, but the God of Jacob is 
the li\dng God, who doth neither slumber nor sleep, 
Ps. cxxi. 1-3, &c., and so is the best helper, as we 
may see at large, Ps. xci. throughout, especially ver. 
9, 14, 15, whence he is by way of excellence styled 
' the deliverer,' Eom. xi. 26, because, as Nebuchad- 
nezzar said, none can deliver as he doth, Dan. iii. 
28, 29 ; wliich is plain also by Daniel's delivery from 
the lions' den, Dan. vi. ; which made Paul to say, 
' Though we be compassed about on every side, yet 
we are not in a strait,' &c., 2 Cor. iv. 8; for the way 
of help is never shut to the prayer of faith, Ps. 1. 15. 
Nay, man's extremity is God's opportunity, and 
therefore hath God lessened outward means for the 
plainer evidence of his own power. Judges vii. 4. 

For admonition it serves two ways. First, To 
labour diligently to get into ourselves the grounds of 
this prerogative, in having the trae God for our 
helper, as David had. The way hereto we may see 
in David. First, Get truly and rightly into cove- 
nant with God, and rest not in the outward title of 
profession, having only the outward seals thereof; 
for so far went the foolish virgins. Mat. xxv. 2, 3, 
and Judas, and Simon Magus ; but as Paul said of 
the Jews, Eom. ii. 28, 29, theii' outward circumcision 
did not make them such, no more doth our outward 
baptism, as 1 Pet. iii. 21. Therefore we must get 
the ingrafting grace of true faith, wliich purifies the 
heart. Acts xv. 7, wherein stands tiiie inward bap- 
tism ; for where God establisheth the covenant of 
grace, he writes the law in the inward paiis, Heb. 
viii. 10, 12. Then professing this estate, of being 
ia covenant with God, get the inward saving graces 
of love and fear, and from them bring forth the 
fruits of new obedience, as David did, and this pre- 
rogative of having God for our helper shall be assured 
unto us, for he hath said, ' I will not fail thee nor 
forsake thee,' Heb. xiii. 5. 



Ver. 9 

Secondly, To watch carefully and constantly 
against that thing which will deprive us of this 
pri\'ilege, and that is sin ; for it is a woi'k of dark- 
ness, wherewith God will have no society, Ps. xciv. 
20 ; 1 John i. 6 ; it separates between God and us, 
Isa. lix. 2. Whereupon the Lord said to his own 
people the Jews, he would deUver them no more out 
of the hands of their enemies, Judges x. 13, 14. 
Therefore, with Da^id, we must hide God's sajings 
in our hearts that we may not sin against him, Ps. 
cxix. 11 ; and so strive to keep ourselves from our 
iniquity, Ps. x\aii. 23. 

Secondly, Consider this prerogative professed by 
David, in having God for his helper, with reference 
to the end for which he doth here mention it, — 
which is, to move the Lord not to hide his face from 
him, &c., because foi-merly he hath shewed himself 
gracious and favourable towards him ; and therein 
this is plain, — 

That Da\'id makes his o^ai experience of God's 
help in former e\'ils a gi-ound of prayer for present 
favour in his renewed troubles. When Dand was 
in the ■s\-ilderncss of Judah fljdng from Saul's perse- 
cution, (Ps. Ixiii., the title,) in ver. 7 he pleadeth 
thus for mercy : ' Because thou hast been my help, 
therefore under the shadow of thy wings -will I re- 
joice.' Ps. Ixxvii. 2, 5, ' In the day of my trouble I 

sought the Lord I considered the days of old.' 

Ps. Ixxxix. 49, ' Lord, where are thy fonner loving- 
kindnesses ^ Ps. Ixxi. 4-6, 'Deliver me, Lord, 

out of the hand of the wicked For thou art 

my hope, Lord God, thou art my trust, even from 
my youth. By thee I have been holden up from the 
womb.' Vers. 17, 18, '0 God, thou hast taught me 

from my youth Now also when I am old and 

gray-headed, God, forsake me not.' 

The reason hereof is plain : David knew the true 
God was unchangeable and immutable, not only in 
his essence, but also in his love, favour, and mercy 
towards his elect, who are his redeemed in and by 
Christ Jesus, with whom his covenant of grace is 
everlasting, so as he -\vill never turn away from 
them to do them good, Jer. xxxii. 40. Whereupon 
he saith, ' I am the Lord, and I change not, and ye 
sons of Jacob are not confounded,' Mai. iii. G ; ' for- 
asmuch as he loved his own which were in the 
world, to the end he loved them,' John xiii. 1. For 

though he repent of temjJoral gifts and blessings, — 
as of making of Saul king, 1 Sain. xv. 11, — yet his 
'gifts and calUng' — which concern salvation in 
Clirist — 'are without repentance.' Now David's 
holy calling entithng him to this covenant, he 
might plead for the renewing of God's favour in 
present troubles, upon the sense and feeling thereof 
in former times. 

Tliis serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, learn here in David one notable 
way of comfort in time of trouble, — to wit, search 
and try whether God hath been thine helper from 
under former evils, for then thou mayest with Da\-id 
plead for present help and comfort ; so doth the 
church in their renewed troubles, after their return 
from the captivity of Babylon. Ps. Lxxxv. 1, &c., 
' Lord, thou hast been favourable to thy land : thou 
hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou 

hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people Wilt 

thou not revive us again '(.... Shew us thy mercy, 
Lord, and grant us thy salvation.' So Ps. xUv. 1, 
9, 23, ' We have heard with our ears, our fathers 
have declared unto us, what work thou didst in 

their days, in the times of old But thou hast 

cast us off, and puttest us to shame Awake, 

why sleepest thou, Lord 1 arise, east us not off for 
ever,' &c. Isa. li. 9-11, 'Awake, awake, put on 

strength, arm of the Lord Art thou not it 

which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great 
deep? .... Therefore the redeemed of the Lord 
shall return,' &c. ; and Isa. Ixiii. 11-14. 

For admonition, tliis sei-ves notably for every 
child of God in time of trouble : become a follower 
of Dawl in observing God's former mercy in helping 
us, and so we shall be encouraged in renewed evils. 
Did not Da^dd thus animate himself to fight with 
Goliath 1 1 Sam. xvLi. 34 ; and St Paul did so encour- 
age himself against troubles : 2 Tim. iv. 16-18, 'At 
my first answer no man stood with me, but all men 
forsook me. . . . Notwithstanding the Lord stood with 
me, and strengthened me ; . . . and I was delivered 
out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall 
deliver me from every evil work.' Now no true 
child of God can want experience of former help, 
when he may strongly reason for his comfort from 
the greater to the less, as David did, Ps. Ivi. 13, 
' Thou hast delivered my soul from death ; A\ilt thou 

Yer. 9.] 



not deliver my feet from falling ! ' So may the true 
child of God say, Thou, by thy holy calling to the 
faith, hast delivered mo from the power of darkness, 
in the bondage of sin and Satan, as Col. i. 13, and 
vnlt thou not deliver me from this or that carnal 
e^■il ? ' If God spared not his o^vu Son, but gave him 
for us, how shall he not ^^•ith him give us all things 1 ' 
Eom. \-iii. 32. Indeed the signs of God's favour 
may be liid sometimes from God's dearest servants, 
as Ps. lxx\ii. 7-9, ' "Will the Lord cast off for ever ? ' 
etc. But we must then consider the cause, which is 
either correction for sin or trial of grace, in which 
the way to comfort is to repent of sin and to labour 
for patience, rememberhig that God doth help, not 
only when he gives deliverance out of e\dl, but even 
when he gives strength of gi-ace to bear it, as 2 Cor. 
xii. 8, 9 ; Heb. v. 7. 

The third thing propounded by David to move 
the Lord not to hide his face from him nor forsake 
him, is David's title to the blessing of salvation 
from God, by virtue of the covenant wherein he 
stood -n-ith God even for this blessing, which he 
thus expresseth, ' God of my salvation : ' where 
by salvation he meaneth the great salvation, which 
is eternal life by Jesus Christ, Heb. ii. 3, and ^\'ith 
it temporal preservation in this world, ' Therefore, 
do not hide thy face, do not forsake me.' 

In this reason we have two things to note : first. 
The thing professed by David ; secondly. The end 
for which he mentioneth it. For the first ; the 
thing professed by Da^dd is his particular and per- 
sonal claim unto salvation from God for himself : 
' God of my salvation,' thou art unto me the God 
of salvation ; upon thee I rely, both for life eternal 
in heaven, and temporal presentation here on earth. 
Ps. xviii. 2, ' The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, 
and my deliverer, the born, — that is, the strength — of 
my salvation ; ' Ps. xxv. 5, ' Thou art the God of 
my salvation ; ' Ps. li. 14, 'Deliver me from blood 
guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation ; ' Ps. 
Ixii. 6, 7, ' He only is my rock and my salvation. 
In God is my salvation and my glory.' 

The true reason hereof is, first, God's mere grace 
and favour in Christ, freely accepting of Da^-id into 
covenant with himself, whereby he becomes the God 
of salvation unto him, as the church calleth God, 
Ps. Ix^aii. 20: see Ps. Ixxxix. 3, 21, 36, 'I have 

made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn 
unto Da\'id my servant, ynih whom my hand shall 
be estabUshed. He shall cry unto me. Thou art my 
Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.' 
And hereupon David saith, ' I am thine, save me,' 
Ps. cxix. 94. 

Secondly, With the fovour of acceptance into 
covenant, God vouchsafed to work in Da\'id's heart 
such inward graces as did maintain and continue 
unto David sure title to God's salvation : as, first. 
Trust and affiance in God : Ps. Ixxxvi. 2, ' Save thy 
servant that trusteth in thee ; ' Ps. xxv. 2, ' my 
God, I trust in thee.' Secondly, Love unfeigned, 
whereby his heart did cleave to God : Ps. xviii. 1, 2, 
' I win love thee, Lord my strength. The Lord 
is my rock.' Thirdly, David did fear God and 
reverence him in his heart ; Ps. cxix. 120, ' My 
flesh trembleth for fear of thee, I am afraid of thy 
judgments.' Now he ' will fulfil the desire of them 
that fear him ; he will hear their cry and save 

This serves for instruction, and for admonition, 
and for comfort. 

For instruction, see that it is a right and pri\-ilege 
of them that be truly godly, by particular and special 
faith to apply God's blessings of the covenant to 
themselves : so Da\-id did ordinarily, and Paul : Gal. 
ii. 20, ' I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I 
live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life 
which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of 
the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for 
me;' 2 Tun. i. 12, ' I know whom I have believed, 
and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that 
wliich I have committed unto him against that day.' 
Now herein he is a pattern to believers, 1 Tim. i. 16 • 
which is the rather to be marked, because papists 
deny there is any such special faith for particular 
and personal assurance of the great blessings of the 
covenant, but only a general applying of them as 
they belong to God's church. But so the truly 
godly should go no further than wdcked men, nay, 
tlian the very-de\-ils do ; for they know that there 
is a God, and beheve his goodness in Cluist belongs 
to his church. Neither is it true that particular 
assurance of the many blessings of the covenant is 
only a fruit of special and extraordinary revelation, 
for the Scriptures testify it comes from true particu- 



[Vee. 9. 

lai' ordinary sa\'Liig graces : as faitli, 1 John v. 1 3, 
and love, 1 John iii. 1 4. 

For admonition ; every one that desires the comfort 
of this estate must labour to testify the truth of 
being in covenant with God, by those graces that 
did entitle Da^dd to the great blessings of the cove- 
nant, even true faith in God, through Christ— true 
love and true fear of God. The getting of faith is 
in the reverent exercise of the word, Eom. x. 1 7, to 
pray humbly and earnestly for the work of the 
Spirit, wliich is the worker of this grace, 2 Cor. 
iv. 13. The grace of love to God in our hearts is a 
fi-uit of the Spirit, Gal. v. 22, and so gotten in and 
by the reverent use of the same means, the word 
and prayer, whereby the Spirit is given, with which 
we must also join endeavour to feel the love of God 
in Christ towards us in justification and sanctifica- 
tion, and then shall we out of doubt love him, as 
1 John iv. 19. And the grace of reverence and fear 
is a fiTiit of the same Spiu-it, Isa. xi. 2, and so gotten 
as the other, when by the word we are taught rightly 
to conceive of God and of ourselves. 

For comfort, this makes greatly to those that, 
being in covenant with God, do testify the truth of 
their faith in Chiist, of their love and fear of God : 
which is rightly done by the fruits of these gi-aces, 
according to Christ's rule, ' The tree is kno'svn by his 
fruits,' Mat. xii. 33. Now the sure fruit of true 
faith is the saving work of the word, 1 Thes. ii. 13 ; 
the fruit of love is oljedience in doing good for God's 
glory, 1 John v. 3 ; the fruit of fear is obedience to 
God in eschewing evil, Exod. xx. 20; Prov. viii. 13, 
and xiv. 27. 

Secondly, Consider Da\'id's claim to have God for 
the God of his salvation, with the end for which he 
doth here make it, which is to move God not to 
hide liis face from him, nor to leave Mm nor forsake 
him ; and then this is jjlain, that they that have 
God for the God of their salvation have a good 
ground of assurance that he vnil not for ever hide 
his face from them, nor leave them, nor forsake them. 
I say for ever, because, for a long time, God may 
hide his face and seem to leave and forsake, as Ps. 
xiii 1,2,' How long wilt thou forget me, Lord, 
for ever ? How long wUt thou liide thy face,' &c. ; 
and Ixxvii. 7, 8, ' WUl the Lord cast off for ever ? 
Is Ids mercy clean gone ? ' But if they be his by 

covenant, he \nll certainl}- return and shew mercy, 
see Ps. XXX. 5, ' His anger endureth but a moment ; 
in his favour is life : weeping may endure for a 
night, but joy Cometh in the morning;' Isa. xlix. 
14-16, 'Zion saith, The Lord hath forsaken me, and 
my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget 
her sucking child,' &c. ; and chap. liv. 7, 8, ' For a 
small moment have I forsaken thee, but in great 
mercies mil I gather thee,' &c. 

The reason is from God's fiiitlifulness in the cove- 
nant of gi-ace in Clirist, wliich is established in the 
very heavens : Ps. IvYYJy 2, ' Faitliful is he that 
caUeth you, who ■will also do it ; ' 1 Thes. v. 24, 'If 
we believe not, yet he abideth faithful, he cannot 
deny himself;' 2 Tim. ii. 13. If we mark well, the 
causes of God's forsaking those that be truly in 
covenant are ever temporar}', answerable whereuuto 
must the forsaking itself be — to wit, correction for 
sin, and trial of grace : for they that are effectually 
called are born of God, and so cannot sin unto 
death, 1 John iii. 9, and v. 18, unto whom God's 
corrections are, ^nth instruction, the way of Ufe : 
for thereby God humbles them for their sins, and so 
brings them to repentance, as Jer. xxxi. 18, 19. 
And the end which God made with Job shews that 
God's trials of grace make them come forth as gold. 
Job xxiii. 10. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For mstruction, see here a jjlain evidence of great 
gain in true godliness, as 1 Tim. iv. 8, and vi. 6 ; for 
then- piety gives evidence of their being in covenant, 
and then their troubles, though they may be many 
and gre\'ious, yet certainly they are but temporary, 
as Ps. xxxiv. 19, 'Many are the afHictions of the 
righteous ; but the Lord delivereth them out of them 
aU ; ' Ps. xxx^ii. 7 ; ' Mark the perfect man, and 
behold the upright, for the end of that man is 
peace : so that a man shall say. Verily there is fruit 
for the righteous,' Ps. Iviii. 11. 

For admonition, to every one that lives in the 
church to give diligence to get this estate, to have 
the true God for the God of our salvation : then 
we may be sui'e God's lea\dng and forsaking will 
not be overlong, Ps. cxix. 8. Now this requires, 
first. True repentance in forsaking all sin in respect 
of dominion, for, Ps. cxix. 155, ' Salvation is far from 
the wicked ; ' 1 John i. 6. Then get the forenamed 

Ver. 10.] 



graces of faith, love, and fear, and certainly the cove- 
nant of grace in Christ .shall Vic stable unto n.s. 

Ver. 10. JFlien my father and my mother farsah me, 
then the Lord will take me vp. 

In the fonner verse, the prophet David prayed 
that the Lord would not leave him nor forsake him, 
mo^•ing God thereto by this, that God was the God 
of his salvation : and here, prosecuting the same 
matter, he testifies his affiance and confidence in 
God, for the enjojing of the blessing there prayed 
for ; which testimony he setteth forth by way of 
comparison, prefen-ing God's tender care over liim for 
his preservation, before the care of his own pai-ents, 
both father and mother, whom common nature 
bound to be dearly and tenderly careful over him : 
saying, ' A\Tien (or although) my father and my 
mother forsake me, yet the Lord ii-ill gather, or 
take me up.' 

^^^lich words being plain, we have in them two 
points to note — the first implied, the second ex- 
pressed. The thing imi^lied is tliis : 

That Da\dd's father and mother, and so his 
dearest and nearest friends, might leave him and 
forsake him in times of distress ; Ps. xxxviii. 1 1 , 
' jMy lovers and my friends stand aloof from my 
sore, and my kinsmen stand afar off. Ps. Ixxx^nii. 
8, 18, ' Thou hast put away mine acquaintance for 
from me : thou hast made me an abomination unto 
them. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, 
and mine acquaintanee into darkness : ' as if he 
should have said, Xow I am in misery, I cannot see 
them, they will not see me. 

The reason hereof is twofold ; first, Their fear of 
Saul their king, who was a furious, bloody-minded 
man, as may appear (beside his inhuman carriage 
to Da\dd, whose works towards Saul were very 
good, as 1 Sam. xix. 4, 5, 10, 11) by his barbarous 
dealing with the Lord's priests, whom he put to the 
sword, both men and women, chikben and suck- 
lings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, ■without any 
just cause, 1 Sam. xxii. 18, 19; yea, further, by 
his unnatural deaUng with his own son, whom he 
did not only shameftiUy re\ale, but most unnatur- 
ally seek to slay, for his love and kincbiess unto 
David, 1 Sam. xx. 30, 31, 33. Hereupon Da^dd's 
friends might justly fear liis cruel hands ; for they 

might say. If he would not spare his own son for 
Da^dd's sake, what will he do to us, if we shew 
Da^'id any kindness ? And hence no doubt it was 
that David's father and mother, and all their house, 
went down to David, when he was in the cave of 
Adullam, that they might be out of danger from 
Saul's fury, 1 Sam. xxii. 1, 3. 

Secondly, Tliis might befall David by di%'ine dis- 
position, for the trial of David's faith and patience, 
as in like case it befell Job, chap. xix. 13, 14, 19, 
' He hath put my brethren far from me, and my 
acquaintance are veiily estranged from me. My 
kinsfolk have failed, and my famihar friends have 
forgotten me. AU my friends abhorred me : and 
they whom I loved are turned against me.' 

Tliis serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first. It shews most 
plainly how vain and uncertain the help of man is 
in time of need : Ps. Ix. 11, ' Give us help from 
trouble ; for vain is the help of man.' Ps. Ixii. 9, 
' Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of 
high degree are a lie ; to be laid in the balance, 
they are altogether lighter than vanity.' 

The vanity and uncertainty of man's help stands 
upon a double gi'ound in man : first. The mutability 
of his aflfection, whose greatest favour may soon be 
changed into sore displeasure, as Aliasuerus was 
towards Haman, whom he liighly honoured for a 
while, Esther iii. 1, 2, but soon after caused liim to 
be hanged upon a gallows, which Haman had pre- 
pared for Mordecai, of fifty cubits liigh, chap. vii. 9, 
10 ; and in Anuion towards Tamar, whose future 
hatred of her, after he had raHshed her, exceeded 
his fonner love wherewith he had loved her, 2 Sam. 
xiii. 15. Secondly, Upon the instability of his con- 
dition, whereby in his be.st estate he is altogether 
vanity, walking in a vain show, Ps. xxxix. 5, 6. 
' For what man Uveth, and shall not see death ? ' 
Ps. IxYxix. 48. Now when death cometh, ' he re- 
turneth to his earth ; in that very day his thoughts 
perish,' Ps. cxl^^. 4 ; then can he do nothing for him- 
self, less for others. 

Secondly, See in David, what may be the case of 
God's own dear children, even to be forsaken of 
their nearest and dearest earthly friends in time of 
distress : Ps. Ixviii. 9, 20, ' I am become a stranger 
unto my brethren, and an aheu unto my mother's 



[Ai^ER. 10. 

children. I looked for some to take pity, but there 
was none ; and for comforters, but I found none.' 
So Paul complains, 2 Tim. iv. IG, 'At my first 
answer, no man stood mth me, but all men forsook 
me.' Holy Job saitb, ' To him that is afflicted, pity 
should be shewed from his fiiend ; but he forsaketh 
the fear of the Almighty. My brethren have dealt 
deceitfully, as a brook, and as the stream of brooks 
they pass away,' Job ^-i. 14, 15. Yea, this was the 
lot and portion of our blessed Sa-viour at his appre- 
hension : INIat. xs^d. 56, ' Then all the disciples for- 
sook him, and fled.' 

For admonition it serves two ways : first. That 
seeing father and mother may forsake us, we put 
not our trust in men, be they never so near or dear 
unto us in nature. This is David's counsel : Ps. 
cxlvi. 3, ' Put not your trust in princes, nor in the 
son of man, in whom there is no help ; ' remember 
his mortahty, there mentioned : ver. 4, ' His breath 
goeth forth, he returneth to his earth ; in that very 
day his thoughts perish.' And add thereto the con- 
sideration of his mutabiUty in aff"ection before men- 
tioned, -n-ith the Lord's threatening of a curse to 
liim that trusteth in man, Jer. xvii. 5, G. Indeed, 
we may trast to men as the means, but not as the 
foundation of our help. 

Secondly, That we be not dismayed when our 
friends do fail us ; we see by Job, Da\id, and our 
Saviour Clirist, that it is no strange thing. Eeason 
as Christ doth: Mat. x. 24, 25, 'The disciple is not 
above Ids master,' &c. ; and Luke xxii. 31, ' If they 
have done these things in a green tree, what shall 
be done in the dry ? ' 

The second thing to be here observed is pur- 
posely intended, that when David's nearest and 
dearest friends forsook him, then the Lord would 
gather him up. Ps. cxUi. 4, 5, 7, 'I looked on my 
ri^ht hand, and beheld ; but there was no man that 
would know me ; refuge failed me, no man cared 
for my soul. I cried unto the Lord, Thou art my 
refuge; thou wilt deal bountifully with me.' Ps. 
iv. 8, ' Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.' 
Ps. bdi. G, 9, ' He only is my rock, and my salva- 
tion ; he is my defence. Surely men of low degree 
are vanity, and men of high degree arc a he.' 

The reason of this special favour from God to 
David was tlu-eefold. First, Dadd stood rightly 

and truly in covenant with God ; he was one of 
God's peojile, and had the Lord for his God, and so 
was interested in God's special pro\'idence for pro- 
tection and preservation. See Ps. Ixxxix. 3, 20-22, 
28, 35, ' I have made a covenant ^vith my chosen,' 


Secondly, David trusted in God : Ps. vii. 1, '0 
Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust.' Now 
' they that trust in the Lord shaU be as Mount Sion, 
that standeth fast forever.' Ps. cxx\'. 1, 'The Lord 
will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times 
of trouble. And they that know thy name wUl put 
their trust in thee : for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken 
them that seek thee.' Ps. ix. 9, 10, ' God is he that 
saveth by his right hand them that put their trust 
in him from those that rise u}) against them ; ' Ps. 
xvii ; see Ps. xci. 1, &c., ' He that dwelleth in the 
secret place of the most High, shall abide under the 
shadow of the Almighty,' &c. 

Thii-dly, David was holy in hfe and conversation, 
which gave hiin good assurance of special preserva- 
tion : see Ps. xviii. 17, 23, 'He deUvered me from 
my strong enemies. For I have kejjt the ways of 
the Lord, and have not -Nrickedly departed from my 
God.' 'The Lord forsaketh not his saints,' Ps. 
xxx\'ii. 28. 

This sen-es for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction two ways : first, See here, in that 
which David professeth, the stabihty of God's love 
towards those that be truly liis, as Da^dd was ; for 
when their nearest and dearest friends do forsake 
them, yet God ■w'ill not. Heb. xiii. 5, ' He hath 
said, I %\all never leave thee nor forsake thee.' 
John xiii. 1, 'Ha^ong loved his own which were in 
the world, he loved them unto the end.' John vi. 
39, ' This is the Father's will which hath sent me, 
that of all which he hath given me I should lose no- 
thing.' This we should observe and mark to streng- 
then our souls against the popish and Ai-miuian 
error of final and total faUing from tnie grace. But 
blessed be God, it is as fiilse as uncomfortable, cross- 
ing the will of the Father and the fidelity of Chiist 
Jesus before named, as also the work of the Spuit ; 
which is pennanent, as John iv. 14, with chap, ^•ii. 
37-39. If any that profess true religion, and give 
good hojies for a time, do tall away, they shew by 

Ver. 10.] 



their apostasy that they began in hypocrisy, or at the 
best were but like the stony ground, who believe 
for a time, Luke viii. 1 3, having only a human, ac- 
quired faith, not that precious faith, 2 Pet. i. 1, 
which is infused by the Spirit, Gal. v. 22, who is 
therefore called the Spu-it of faith, 2 Cor. iv. 1.3, 
and the Spirit of power, 2 Tim. i. 7 ; greater than 
the e\il spirit which is m the world, 1 John iv. 4, 
abiding in God's cluldren, 1 John ii. 27, even for 
ever, John xiv. 16, 17, being in the operation of 
sa\-ing grace a fountain of living water, springing up 
unto eternal life, whereof whosoever drinketh shall 
never be more athirst, John iv. 11. This is that 
free spirit which doth establish the godly in the 
state of grace, and is God's seal and earnest in their 
hearts, 2 Cor. i. 21, 22 ; Eph. i. 13, 11.^ 

Object. But the godly may commit mortal sins, as 
David did, in adulter}' and murder ; now an adulterer 
is the member of a harlot, 1 Cor. \-i. 13, and a mur- 
derer is the child of the devil, John viii. 14 ; 1 John 
iii. 1 2 ; was he not then fallen from grace ? 

Ans. It cannot be denied ; but for these heinous 
sins Da^id was justly under the wrath of God, till, 
by the renewing of his repentance and faith iu the 
Messiah, he obtamed atonement. But yet under the 
guilt of these sins he differed much from the impeni- 
tent and unregenerate, not only in regard of God's 
certain purpose to renew him by repentance and re- 
store him into favour, but even in present state of 
soul two ways : first, That the seed of grace did 
then remain, 1 John iii. 9. 

Secondly, That he sinned not iiith fuU consent, 
Rom. ^Ti. 17, 19, 20, and so could not be so totally 
under the curse as the unregenerate are. For the 
better conceiving whereof, we must know that every 
regenerate man, wliilst he is in the world, hath in him 
both flesh and spiiit, inbred corruption, and renewed 
grace, and so consisteth, as it were, of a double per- 
son — the old man, which is ' corrupt through deceiv- 
able lusts,' and ' the new man, which after God is 
created in righteousness and true holiness,' Eph. iv. 
22, 24. Now when the child of God committeth 
sin, even grievous sins, as Da^^d did, to speak as 
Paul doth of himself, it is not he that doth it so for 
forth a.s he is regenerate, but he so far forth as he 
is corrupt, which Paul calleth ' sin that dwelleth in 
him,' Rom. vii. 20. His service of sin is with and 

from the flesh ; but in his mind renewed he serves 
the law of Clu-ist, ver. 25, which shews that grace 
in the habit and seed and root doth then remain, 
when and while corruption in sundry particular 
actions doth prevail. Which to be true is plain also 
by St Peter, who denied his master with cursing and 
swearing, which in itself was a fearful mortal sin. 
Mat. xxvi. 72, 74, even after that comfortable speech 
of Clirist unto him, ' Simon, behold, Satan hath de- 
su-ed to have you, that he may sift you as wheat : 
but I have praj'ed for thee, that thy faith fail 
not,' Luke xxii. 31, 32. Shall we say he now by 
denying his master lost all grace, whenas Christ 
had prayed for the continuance of his faith ? 
Nay, rather acknowledge that this failing was in 
tliis particular act, not in the habit and seed of 

Secondly, See here the happiness of the godly, 
who indeed alone have the Lord for their God ; for 
he is the strong and stable helper, who wiU^safely 
keep those that be his when all other helps do fail. 
Ps. xxxvii. 28, 33, 'He forsaketh not his saints. 
The Lord will not leave him in the hand of the 
wicked ; ' ver. 24, ' Though he fall, yet he shall not 
be cast down ; for the Lord upholdeth him with his 
hand.' Ps. xxxiv. 19, 'Many are the afilictions of 
the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of 
all.' See Job viii. 20, 'God will not cast away an 
upright man.' Chap. v. 19, ' He shall deliver thee in 
six troubles, and in seven there shaU no evil touch 
thee.' ' Happy therefore is the man that hath the 
God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord 
his God,' Ps. cxlvi. 5. ' Happy is that people that 
is in such a case ; yea, happy is that people whose 
God is the Lord,' Ps. cxliv. 15. 

For admonition, it serves effectually to move every 
one that desu-es this comfortable state, that when 
dearest and nearest friends do forsake him, yet then 
the Lord may take him up, to give all dihgence both 
to get and preserve those gi-aces in his soul, and also 
to testify that behaviour in life wliieh did entitle 
David to this happy estate ; as, namely, to get truly 
into covenant with God, to trust in the Lord, and 
to shew the truth hereof by new and tnie obedience. 
Men in the world will serve hard prenticeships for 
temporal and worldly freedoms, in corporations and 
privileged jjlaces ; how much more should we take 



[Ver. 11. 

pains for this great privilege of the citizens of Sion, 
to have tlie Lord for our God. 

For comfort, this makes greatly to the godly : in 
times of distress they must call to mind this pro- 
perty in God, to be more firm and faithful to those 
that be his, than natural parents are to their dearest 
children : for which, besides this text, see Isa. 
xlix. 14, 15, ' Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me,' 
&c. ; with Luke xi. 13, ' If ye then, being e\n\, know 
how to give good gifts unto your children : how 
much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy 
Spirit to them that ask him ? ' Let us make sure 
that we be rightly in covenant with God, and then 
we may say with David, ' The Lord is on my side ; 
I will not fear : what can man do unto me 1 ' Ps. 
cxrai. G. ' The Lord is my shepherd ; I shall not 
want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of 
the shadow of death, I will fear none evil : for thou 
ai't with me,' Ps. xxiii. 1, 4. 

Ver. 11. Teach me thy icay, Lord, and lead me in 
a plain path, because of mine enemies. 

Ver. 12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine 
enemies : for false tcitmsses are risen tip against me, 
and such as breathe out cruelty. 

In these two verses, the prophet Da\dd returns 
again unto prayer, and begs of God both instruction 
and direction in regard of his enemies, ver. 11, and 
also preservation out of their hands, in regard of 
their unconscionable dealing, and cnxel minds to- 
wards him, ver. 12. 

For instruction and dii'ection thus he prays, 
' Teach me thy way, Lord, and lead me in a plain 
path, because of mine enemies.' For the meaning, 
God's way in Scrijiture is taken diversely : sometimes 
for his own administration and doing, or working, 
as Job. xxvi. 14, ' Lo, these are part of his ways,' 
having spoken of many of his marvellous works in 
the former verses, 7, 8, &c. ; as afterwai'd, Behemoth 
is called ' the chief of the ways of God,' — that is, of 
his works, chap. xl. 19. Ps. IxxvLi. 19, 'Thy way 
is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters ; thy 
footsteps are not known ; ' which hath reference to 
vers. 14, 15, ' Thou art the God that doest wonders,' 
&c. Ps. ciii. 7, ' He made known his ways unto 
Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.' Other 
while, and most commonly, God's way is that 

wherein he would have man to walk — that is, the 
course of life and dealing which he would have men 
to take ; as Jethro saith to Moses, Exod. x\"iii. 20, 
'Thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and 
shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, 
and the work that they must do ; ' see Jer. xlii. 3. 
Herein David desires to be instructed of God. Yea, 
further, he would have God not only to teach him 
the way, but to lead him in a plain jDath — that is, 
such a path as is right and straight, without any 
crookedness ; and such is the way of God's word, the 
course and behaviour' which God there prescribes 
them, as Prov. viii. 6, ' The ojjening of my mouth 
shall be right things ; ' the same word, D'"l!i'''D, which 
is here used, further expounded, ver. 8, 9, 'All the 
words of my mouth are in righteousness,' &c. And 
this favour he desii-es because of his enemies — that 
is, of such as did observe and watch him for advan- J 

tage to do him hurt. I 

In the words thus understood, note two tilings : 
first. His double request made to God ; secondly, 
The reason of them both. For his requests, the 
first is this, David beseecheth God to teach him 
that way of his, wherein he would have him to 
walk : so Ps. v. 8, ' Lead me, Lord, in thy 
righteousness. Make thy way plain before my 
foce ; ' Ps. XXV. 4, ' Shew me thy ways, Lord ; ' 
Ps. cxliii. 8, ' Cause me to know the way wherein 
I should walk ;' Ps. Ixxxvi. 11, 'Teach me thy way, 

The reasons hereof are tliree : first, In regard of 
God, to glorify him, by seeking unto him for this 
blessing; for God undertakes to teach the godly 
that be in covenant with liim, as it is written in _ 

the prophets, ' and they shall be all taught of God,' I 

John vi. 45 ; Ps. xxxii. 8, ' I vnW instruct thee, ' 

and teach thee in the way wliich thou shalt go ; ' 
Prov. iv. 11, 'I have taught thee in the way of 

Secondly, In regard of himself, sundry ways : 
first. Because of his own inability of himself to 
know them, without God's teaching ; for the light 
of nature is but d;irkness in the ways of God. Mat. 
vi. 23, ' For the natural man receiveth not the 
things of the Sjjirit of God ; they ai-e foohshness 
unto him : he cannot know them, (meaning of him- 
self,) because they are spiritually discerned.' Tliis 

Veu. 11.] 



is manifest by the eunuch: Acts x-iii. 30, 31, 'Un- 
der.standest thou what thou readest?' saith Philip 
to hiin ; lie answers by denial, — ' How can I, except 
some man should guide me t ' Secondly, For his 
better enablmg to obedience ; for knowledge goes 
before - doing. John xiii. 17, 'If ye know these 
tilings, happy are ye if ye do them ; ' Joshua i. 8, 
' This book of the law shall not depart out of thy 
mouth ; but thou shalt meditate therein day and 
night, that thou mayest observe to do according to 
all that is ■\vi-itteu therein.' 

Thirdly, For his spiritual joy and comfort ; for 
knowledge is a spiritual light, 2 Cor. iv. 6, and so 
very pleasmg and comfortable to those that with- 
out it are in darkness : as Eccles. xi. 7, ' Truly the 
light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes 
to behold the sun.' Hence we read, that many have 
greatly rejoiced when they have been taught the 
knowledge of God's ways: Nell. viii. 12, 'All the 
people went their way to eat and to drink, and to 
make great mirth, because they had understood the 
words that were declared unto them.' So the 
eunuch ' went his way rejoicing,' after he had been 
instructed and baptized by Philip, Acts viii. 39 ; 
and there was great joy in Samaria, after they 
were converted to the faith by Philip, chap. viii. 
6, 8. 

Thirdly, Because of his enemies, as here he saith 
in plain words ; for in God's ways there is safety. 
Here God's angels have charge to keep the godly, 
Ps. xci. 11 ; 'When thou goest in this way, thy steps 
shall not be straitened ; and when thou runnest, 
thou shalt not stumble,' Prov. iv. 12. These ways 
of God are ways of plea.sure, and all the paths 
thereof are paths of peace, Prov. iii. 17. Here 
notliing offends the godly, Ps. cxix. 1 6-5 ; nay, 
here is singing of heart, Ps. cxxxviii. 5, with Ps. 
bcv. 14. This safety irom enemies in the ways of 
God, the Lord assured Ms people : Deut. xxviii. 1 7, 
' If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of 
the Lord thy God, to obser\'e and do all his com- 
mandments, the Lord shall cause thine enemies that 
rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face,' 
&c. ; Ps. Ixxxi. 13, 14, 'Oh that my people had 
hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my 
ways : I should soon have subdued their enemies, 
and turned mine hand against their adversaries.' 

Tins David found true in his own person : Ps. x^dii. 
16, 17, 21, 'He sent from above, he took me, he 
drew me out of many waters. He deUvered me 
from my strong enemies. For I have kept the ways 
of the Lord,' &c. 

This serves for instruction and admonition. 

For instruction ; see plainly by David's prayer 
that there is more good to be had in the ways of 
God than natural men imagine, else Da\'id would 
never have begged of God so earnestly to be taught 
therein. Consider but some of the aforesaid reasons 
that moved him so to pray, as liis direction unto 
acceptable obedience, wherein men are instUled unto 
all God's blessings, as Deut. xx\aii. 1-3, &c. ; Ps. 
cxix. 1. His inward joy and consolation, which is an 
inseparable fruit of God's instruction : Ps. cxix. 162 
' I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great 
.spoil;' Jer. xv. 16, ' Thy words were found, and I 
did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy 
and rejoicing of my heart.' Lastly, His safety and 
protection herein from the hand of his enemies; 
when God saith to his church, ' All thy cliildren 
shall be taught of the Lord,' he addeth withal, ' and 
great shall be the peace of thy children. In right- 
eousness shalt thou be established ; thou shalt be far 
from oppression, for thou shalt not fear,' &c. Are 
not these great blessings ? What shall we say then of 
natural men, that say unto God, ' Depart from us : 
we desire not the knowledge of thy ways ' 1 Job 
xxi. 14. Surely ' the god of this world hath 
blinded their eyes;' they are under that curse, 
whereby they become ' like the heath in the desert, 
and shall not see when good cometh,' Jer. xvii. 6. 

For admonition it serves notably, that our be- 
haviour be like David's, in praying unto God to 
teach us his ways. They are noti undoubtedly con- 
tained in Scripture, wliich is the perfect register of 
God's revealed will, shewing our duty perfectly, for 
all tilings needful to be believed and done unto 
eternal life. In it we have expressed particular 
rules for all the duties of our general calhng of Chris- 
tianity, which requireth piety towards God, justice, 
love, and mercy towards our brethren, with sobriety 
and temperance towards our bodies, and care and 
dUigence for the gain and growth of grace in our 
souls, as Tit. ii. 12; 2 Pet. i. 5-7. In it also we 
' Qu. "most"? — Ed. 



[Ver. 11 

have general rules for the well ordering and manag- 
ing of our particular callings, which respect the 
church, commonwealth, or family. For magistrates, 
see Exod. xviii. 21, 22, with Deut. xvii. 8, 9, &c. ; 
2 Chron. xix. 9-11. For ministers, 1 Tim. iii. 2, 3, 
&c., and 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2. For husbands and wives, 
pai'cnts and children, masters and sen^ants, their 
godly behaviour in general is plainly propounded, 
Eph. V. 22, 23, &c., and vi. 1, &c., to 10 ; Col. 
iii. 18, &c. ; Tit. ii. 1, &c. ; 1 Pet. ii. 13, &c. 

And that our prayers this way may be available, 
we must also labour in life to be such as God mU 
teach — that is, first, penitent persons breaking off 
the course of sin : Prov. i. 23, ' Turn you at my 
reproof : behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, 
I will make known my words unto you.' Hosea \'i. 
1,3,' Come, and let us return unto the Lord : then 
shall we know ; ' but the mcked and impenitent shall 
not be taught of God, he ivill not be inquired of by 
them, Ezek. xiv. 1, &c. Those that are laden with 
sin are ' ever learning, and never come to the know- 
ledge of the truth,' 2 Tim. iii. 6, 7. Secondly, Dili- 
gent in using God's ordinances in a holy manner. 
God's ordinances for knowleflge are the word and 
prayer. The word must be reverently heard, read, 
and meditated : Ps. cxix. 99, ' I have more under- 
standing than all my teachers, for thy testimonies 
are my meditation ; ' and prayer gets wisdom, James 
i. 5. The holy manner of using these ordinances is in 
humility, and yielding obedience to that they do 
know, John •\di. 1 7 ; for such have a promise of the 
Spiiit, wliich God hath given to them that obey him. 
Acts V. 32, which is that anointing that teacheth 
all needful things, 1 John ii. 20, 27. 

The second petition which Da\'id here puts up 
unto God is, that God would lead him in a plain 
path — that is, in a path that is right and straight, 
wherein is no erring nor straying out of God's way, 
even in a path of righteousness, as some translate it. 
In which petition note two things : the first implied. 
That the paths of God's way are plain paths, such 
as are straight and right, without crooked turnings : 
Prov. iv. 11, 'I have taught thee ui the way of wis- 
dom ; I have led thee in right paths ; ' Prov. viii. 
6, 8, ' The opening of my lips shall be right things.' 
'AU the words of my mouth are in righteousness, 
there is nothing froward or perverse in them.' 

Therefore St Paul calls them ' the straight ways of 
God,' Acts xiii. 10. 

The reason is plain ; these paths are of God's own 
tracing out, being indeed nothing else but plain 
e^ddences of his wUl, which in everjlhing is right 
and equal ; for God's ^villLng of a thing makes it 
good, though otherwise it were most abominable, if 
he should not require it : as is most plain in the fact 
of Abraham, when he offered up his son Isaac, for 
which Abraham's faith is renowned, Heb. xi. 17, and 
his fear of God approved. Gen. xxii. 12. And on 
the same ground David said, ' Therefore I esteem all 
thy jjrecepts concerning all things to be right,' Ps. 
cxix. 128. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction it doth plainly discover the great 
measure of our natural coiTuption, who judge many 
of God's ways unequal : Ezek. xviii. 25, ' Ye say, the 
way of the Lord is not equal.' And indeed, in one 
thing or other, wherein every carnal heart desires 
liberty to sin, we are like the e\'il servant, who in 
our thoughts charge the Lord to be a hard master, 
requiring more exact obedience than he should. Mat. 
XXV. 24 ; doth not every black-mouthed swearer and 
cm'ser say in his heart, ' Our tongues are our owai ; 
we ought to speak : who is Lord over us 1 ' Ps. xii. 
4 ; and all profaners of the Lord's day say the like 
of the solemn sanctification of it, viz., it is a weari- 
ness, and they snuff at it, Mai. i. 13. And so they 
deal about the rest of God's holy commandments, in 
the transgression whereof their natural hearts desire 
carnal liberty, verifjdng the apostle's saying, Rom. 
\'iii. 7, ' The carnal mind is enmity against God : it 
is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can 

For admonition, to take special notice of the 
straightness of God's paths, as well to beat down 
our corruption, when we find in ourselves any un- 
towardness and unwillingness to walk therein : and 
if we be \iise for ovir souls, to know our own estate, 
we shall find the flesh fighting against the spirit, 
even strong comiption, called a ' law in our members, 
warring against the law of our minds,' which is re- 
newed grace, and ' leading us cajjtive to the law of 
sin,' as Paul complaineth, Kom. vii. 23. And had 
we not need to fight against it by the sword of the 

Vek. 11.] 



Spii'it, the word of God, lapng it to our souls by 
the hand of faith, and by humble earnest prayer, for 
the participation of God's power, to keep us in the 
straight ways of God, wherein is liberty, Ps. cxix. 
45. For when the world and the flesh, by corrup- 
tion, di-aw us out of these paths, we are taken cap- 
tives, as Paul confesseth, and so lose our liberty. 
See also 2 Tim. ii. 26. As also to give all diligence 
to know the straight paths of the Lord, and to walk 
therein : this is the Lord's commandment, with 
comfortable encouragement so to do, Jer. vi. 16, 
' Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old 
paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and 
ye shall find rest for your souls.' Luke xiii. 21, 
' Strive to enter in at the strait gate : and walk in 
the strait way, that leadeth unto life,' Mat. vii. 13, 
11. This was David's behaviour, as we may see by 
his prayer in this place, and many other before 
quoted. Consider the benefit of rest to the soul, 
and of pleasantness and peace to be found in these 
Avays, Prov. iii. 1 7. And withal think on their fear- 
ful state and end that leave these straight ways of 
God : see Acts xiii. 1 0, they are ' enemies of right- 
eousness, children of the devil,' and are ' taken cap- 
tive by him at his will,' till they repent, 2 Tim. ii. 
26 ; and if they hold on in their crooked paths, they 
.shall never know peace, Isa. lis. 8. ' The Lord will 
lead them forth with the workers of iniquity,' Ps. 
cxxv. 5 ; even to the damnation of hell, Ps. is. 
7 ; Mat. vn. 23. For ' the man that wandereth out 
of the way of understanding shall remain in the con- 
gregation of the dead,' Prov. xxi. 16. 

For comfort gi-eatly to those that walk in God's 
ways, for they are ways of peace vnth God, and 
lead to glory eternally, Ps. cxis. 1, and cxxviii. 1 ; 
2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. 

Secondly, Here observe the thing intended and 
expressed ; Da\id begs of God to lead him in a 
plain path : Ps. v. 8, ' Lead me, Lord, in thy 
righteousness ;' Ps. xxv. 5, 'Lead me in thy trath ; ' 
Ps. cxxxis. 24, ' Lead me in the way everlasting.' 

This he doth upon the like grounds that he prayed 
to be taught the ways of God. As, first, upon the 
consideration of the inability of nature to walk at 
all in the straight paths of God ; for we are dead 
in sins and trespasses, Eph. ii. 1, and of no strength, 
Eom. V. 6 ; and how can such walk f And though 

God's holy calling to the state of grace gave him 
S23iritual life, yet he had experience, and so con- 
science of his own weakness in grace, unless the 
Lord were still with him to uphold and lead him. 
See Ps. XXX. 6-8, ' I said in my prosperity, I shall 
never be moved. Thou didst hide thy face, and I 
was troubled.' Ps. vi. 2, ' Have mercy upon me, 
Lord, for I am weak.' Ps. xxxviii. 17, 21, 'I am 
ready to halt ; forsake me not, Lord.' 

Secondly, DaA^d had knowledge of God's gracious 
property in becoming a guide unto his children, 
as Ps. lxx\-ii. 20, ' Thou leadest thy people like a 
flock.' Ps. bcxx. 1, 'Give ear, thou Shepherd of 
Israel, that leadest Joseph like a flock.' 'He led them 
with a cloud by day, and a piUar of fire by night,' 
Exod. xiii. 21 ; Ps. Ixxviii 14. Now, being in cove- 
nant, he lays claim to his favour, and begs it by 

Thirdly, David prayeth to be led by God for his 
safety and security against his enemies ; this reason 
is here rendered, ' Lead me in a plain path because 
of mine enemies ;' for when God is for him he mil 
not fear ; what can man do unto him 1 Ps. cxviii. 6. 
^Mien God leadeth him he wiU not fear, though he 
walk through the very valley of the shadow of death, 
Ps. xxiii. 2, 4. 

This serves for instniction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first. It lets us see the 
true ground of the perseverance of the godly in the 
state of grace ; it is not in themselves, but in and 
from the Lord who is mth them, and leads them in 
the way everlasting. He by his Spirit ministers 
daily supply of grace, and so keeps them from fall- 
ing away ; see 1 John ii. 20, 27 ; John xiv. 16, 17 ; 
1 John iv. 4, 13. This Spirit gives sap and juice to 
the seed of grace, so as they cannot sin unto death, 
1 John iii. 9 ; Jer. xxxii. 40 ; Ps. cxxv. 1, 2. These 
things we should mark, to arm ourselves against the 
uncomfortable doctrine of papists and Armuiians, 
that say the true child of God may fall away from 
sa\dng grace ; but, John iv. 1 4, ' The water that I 
shall give him shall be ifa him a well of water, 
spiinging up into everlasting life ; ' and John x. 
27, 28. 

Secondly, Da^dd's practice shews the meekness of 
wisdom that is in those that be truly godly, not to 
trust in themselves, but humbly craving the Lord's 



[Ver. 11. 

conduct and guidiiig in this world, to put all their 
trust in the Lord. 

For admonition, it serves notably to move every- 
one to labour to be such as God mil lead and guide 
in the paths of life, for so shall they be sure to find 
rest for their souls, as Jer. vi. IG. 

Now, that we may be such, we must be careful of 
four things : first, That we stand rightly in covenant 
with God, being indeed Ms people, and liaving him 
for our God: Deut. xxxii. 9-12, ' The Lord's por- 
tion is his people. He found him in a desert land, he 
led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as 
the apple of his eye : so the Lord alone did lead him.' 
When David hath the Lord for his shepherd, he 
assures himself he ■will lead him by the still waters, 
Ps. xxiii. 1-3. Secondly, We must be penitent per- 
sons, breaking off the course of sin, for God vnll not 
take the wicked by the hand. Job viii. 20 ; they 
that walk in darkness cannot have fellowship -vvith 
God, 1 John i. G. Thii'dly, We must give dihgent 
heed to the word of God, for that is God's counsel, 
whereby he guides his people unto glory, Ps. 
Ixxiii. 24. 

Fourthly, We must daily beg this blessing of God, 
as David here doth, and in many other jilaces, as is 
shewed before. 

Because of mine enemies, David's reason of his two 
former petitions : therefore doth he desii"e of God to 
be taught his ways, and to be led in straight paths, 
because he had such enemies as continually sought 
his ruin and destruction, so that, if he were out of 
God's protection, they would soon work liis destruc- 

This reason may be considered two ways : first, 
Simply by itself, for the matter which it contains ; 
secondly. With reference to the petitions which it 
doth enforce. In the reason simply considered this 
is here plainly taken for granted, that David had 
enemies, who Ijoth wished and sought his overthrow. 
This is plain in this psalm, ver. 2, ' His enemies and 
his foes came upon him to eat up his flesh ;' and, 
ver. 12, they ' falsely accused him, and breathed out 
cruelty against him.' Whereto we may add, for 
fuller and plainer cv-idence, Ps. iii. 1, 'Lord, how 
are they increased that trouble me ? Many are they 
that rise up against me ; ' Ps. Ixix. 4, ' They that 
hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of 

mine head ; they that would destroy me, being mine I 
enemies wrongfully, are many.' I 

The reasons hereof, with the ajiplication in uses, i 

are set down before, ver. 6, observation 1, briefly 
to this effect : 

First, The good-will and pleasure of God thus to ■ 
make David a type of Christ, of whom it is said, " 
Isa. liii. 16, 'It pleased the Lord to bruise him,' 
with Acts iv. 25, &c., alleging the second psalm 
true also of David the type. 

Secondly, Da\dd's sins sometimes occasioned this 
evil, 2 Sam. xii. 9. \ 

Thirdly, Corruptions in the wicked who had to 
do vnth David, stirred them up against him two 
ways : first. In hatred of his goodness, Ps. xxxviii. 
19, 20, therein verifying Gen. iii. 17, whereupon 
our Saviour calls the scribes and jiharisees serpents, 
and a generation of vipers, Mat. xxiii. 33. Secondly, 
In envy of liis honour, Ps. iv. 2, and bdi. 4 ; as 
Dan. vi. 3, 4. 

By way of use it serves for instruction and ad- 

For instruction, see in David the state of the 
godly in this world, Uable to the trouble and danger 
of many and cruel enemies : reason, as Luke xxiii. 
31 ; and as Jer. xxv. 9. 

For admonition, to beware of rash judgment, 
either against others, that they are naught, because 
they are by so many oppressed : for so we might 
condemn the godly, as Ps. Ixxiii. 15 ; see Jer. xv. 
10 ; or against ourselves, that we are forsaken of 
God because men persecute us, as Ps. xxii. 1. In- 
deed, we must consider the cause, and make use of 
persecution accordingly. Now the cause is either 
coiTection for sin or trial of gi-ace. If we find our 
sins have brought enemies upon us, then we must 
humble ourselves under God's hand, who useth the 
rage of enemies as rods to whip his children, Isa. 
X. 5, 6. In this case he must smell the savour of a 
sacrifice, as 1 Sam. xxvd. 19 : bring unto God a con- 
trite and broken heart, that he will not despise, Ps. 
li. 17. If we find that God would make trial of 
gi-ace in us by the enemies he doth raise up against 
us, then we must strive to give evidence of our faith 
in God by patient bearing the trial which his provi- 
dence layeth on us, whereto we shall be enabled : 
first. By considering God's hand herein, for a spaiTOW ]' 

Ver. 11.] 



Hghtetli not on the ground without liis will, Mat. x. 
28, 29, 31. Thus Da\'id patiently bore Shimei his 
cursing, 2 Sam. x^-i. 11, 12, mth Ps. xxxix. 9 ; yea, 
thus Christ endured the cross and condemnation by 
Pilate, John xix. 10, 11. Secondly, By remember- 
ing the good end : for we shall come forth as the 
gold, Job xxiii. 10 ; ' Many are the afflictions of the 
godly, but the Lord delivers them out of all,' Ps. 
xxxiv. 1 9. Nay, hereby our glory shall be increased : 
Eom. ^dii. 18, 'The sufferings of this time are not 
worthy to be compared ^vith the glory which shall 
be revealed in us ; ' nay, 2 Cor. iv. 1 7, ' Our light 
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us 
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory : ' 
for 'if we suffer, we shall also reign with him,' 2 Tim. 
ii. 12. 

Thus Moses encouraged himself under the cross, 
with respect to the recompense of reward, Heb. xi. 
25, 2G ; yea, our Sa^aour Christ, Heb. xii. 2, ' Who 
for the hope that was set before him, endured the 
cross, despised the shame, and is set at the right 
hand of the tluone of God.' For he himself here- 
upon encouraged his disciples: Mat. v. 10-12, 
' Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteous- 
ness' sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are ye, when men revile you. Rejoice, 
and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in 

Secondly, Consider this reason with reference to 
the two former petitions, which it enforceth, and 
this is plain, that the opposition of David's enemies 
moves him to be more humble and earnest in prayer 
and supplication unto God. Their insurrection 
against him becomes his provocation to fly to God ; 
Ps. Ixxvii. 2, 'In the day of my trouble I sought 
the Lord ; ' Ps. v. 8, ' Lead me, Lord, in thy 
righteousness because of mine enemies ; ' Ps. Ixix. 
1 2-1 4, ' They that sat in the gate (that is, judges 
and magistrates) spake against me. But as for me, 
my prayer is unto thee, O Lord. Let me be de- 
livered from them that hate me ; ' Ps. cix. 2-4, ' The 
mouth of the wicked, and the mouth of the deceitful 
are opened against me. They compassed me about 
with words of hatred : and fought against me with- 
out a cause. For my love they are mine adversaries : 
but I give myself unto prayer.' 

The reason hereof is threefold : first. The con- 

sideration of God's hand in the opposition of his 
enemies, which ever hath an ovemiling power in all 
men's actions, Isa. xlv. 7 ; Amos iii. 6. 

Secondly, Conscience of obedience to God, who 
requires to be sought in times of trouble, Ps. 1. 15. 

Thirdly, Confidence in God's help, gi'ounded both 
on God's property and promise : for his property, 
he is the true God, that heareth prayer, Ps. Ixv. 2 ; 
' He is our refuge and strength, a present help 
in trouble,' Ps. xlvi. 1. For his promise it is 
plain: Ps. xci. 15, 'He shall call upon me, and I 
will answer him : I will be with him in trouble ; I 
■will deliver liim.' 

This serves for instruction, reprehension, and ad- 

For instruction, we may see in David a notable 
property of the godly, which is, to seek heljj and 
safety from the Lord, when the wicked do eagerly 
labour for their destruction in the world. 

Unto David's practice in this place join the be- 
ha-^dour of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron. xx. 2-4, who 
sought the Lord in solemn prayer and fasting when 
Moab, Ammon, and mount Sen- came against him 
in hostile manner. The like did Hezekiah upon the 
bloody railing of Sennacherib, both by Eabshakeh 
and by writing, Isa. xxxvii. 1, &c. Thus also did 
Mordecai and Esther, when Haman sought their 
utter ruin, Esther iv. 1 6. So did Christ's apostles for 
themselves. Acts iv. 21, 30, 31 ; and the church did 
so for Peter, Acts xii. 5. 

For reproof, it makes justly to all natural wicked 
men, who in opposition against them by enemies 
do little regard this duty ; as Joram said in the 
strait siege of Samaria, ' This evil cometh of the 
Lord : wherefore should I wait on the Lord any 
longer?' 2 Kings vi. 33, looking altogether to 
worldly and human help, as the wicked Jews some- 
times did, who asked not at God's mouth, but 
would streng^then themselves in the strength of 
Pharaoh, and trust in the shadow of Egypt, Isa. 
XXX. 2 ; yea, though they had been told the Lord 
would not have them to go down thither; sajdng, 
' The strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and 
the shadow of Egyjit your confusion : ' yet, against 
the Lord's express revealed will, they would needs 
go thither ; Jer. xlii. 14, 'But woe unto them, saith 
the Lord,' i^'c. ; Isa. xxxi. 1, 2. Nay, 'Cursed be 



[Vee. 12. 

the man that trasteth in man, and maketh flesh his 
arm,' Jer. xvii. 5. When the heart is truly turned 
to the Lord, they ■s\'ill say, ' Asshur shall not save 
us : we ■nil! not ride upon horses : for in thee the 
fatherless findeth mercy,' Hosea xiv. 3. 

For admonition, it serves effectually to move every 
one to become followers of David. Let men's oppo- 
sition against us be our provocations to seek the 
Lord; so shall we not only shew ourselves to be 
godly, but also reap good from that which our ene- 
mies intend to be hurtful unto us, which is a special 
favour, shelving that the Lord is with us, as he was 
with Joseph when his brethren sold him into Egyjit ; 
for God was Avith him, and turned it to liis great 
honour and advancement, as Gen. xlv. 5, 7, 8, and 
1. 20 ; and as he was with his people in the wilder- 
ness, when Balak hired Balaam to curse them, but 
God turned it into a blessing. Num. xxiii. 8, 9, 11, 
and xxiv. 10. And for fiu-ther encouragement 
hereto, we must meditate on the reasons that moved 
Da^id so to do ; for God's sovereignty is the same 
over our enemies and over us, that it was over 
David and his enemies. He may justly exercise us 
under such affliction as he did David, either for cor- 
rection for sin, or trial of grace ; and if we be in 
covenant ^vith him, as David was, we have the like 
interest in his property and promise of help that 
David had ; and if we put our trust in him, and call 
upon him, he ^vill be likewise our defender and de- 
liverer. Mark and apply liLs speech to Joshua, after 
Moses was dead, to give him encouragement in liis 
place. Josh. i. 5-8, ' As I was with Moses, so will I 
be with thee : I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee ; ' 
which promise the apostle extends to everj' Chris- 
tian, Heb. xiii. 5. Onlj' let us look to the obedience 
which God requires of us in our places, as he did of 
Joshua in his, and then we shall with him prosper 
and have good success ; for we fly to God by the 
prayer of faith, and the Lord is with us if we be 
with him, and then ' we may boldly saj-, The Lord 
is my helper ; I will not fear what man can do unto 
me,' Heb. xiii. 6. 

Ver. 12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine 
enemies : for false witnesses are risen vp againd me, and 
such as breathe out cruelty. 

A further petition of David unto God for mercy, 

in regard of his enemies, enforced by a strong 
motive. The mercy he requires is, that God would 
not deliver him over to the will of his enemies : the 
motive he propounds, to move God to grant that 
request, is dra^vn from the beha\iour of his enemies, 
whereof some stood up to mtness falsehood against 
him, and some breathed out violent wrong or cruelty. 

For the first, the word ^lU, translated enemies, 
betokeneth such as by violent persecution seek to 
bring into an inevitable strait, as they do that be- 
siege a place in war, according to the use of the word 
in Scripture, Deut. xxviii. 52, 'He shall besiege thee 
in all thy gates ;' and ver. 55, 57 — siege, and strait- 
ness, and distress, causing men and women to eat 
their ofloi children, are there joined together in the 
threatenmg. Also the word, ti^SJ, translated icill, 
propeily signitieth the soul, which is often put for 
will, lust, or desire, when those faculties or passions 
are eager, strong, and violent in men, as here they 
were in Da\'id's enemies after his ruin. 

So as his meaning in this petition is this ; in the 
words imj)lying that he had such enemies as with 
all their hearts and soids most eagerly did desii-e to 
bring him into an inevitable strait, for utter ruin, he 
beseecheth the Lord that he would not give him 
into their hands, to have their souls satisfied with 
his destruction. 

In this petition so understood note two things : 
first, The sacred trope, or rhetorical plirase, metony- 
mia suLjecti, wliich David here useth to exjjress the 
insatiable desire of his enemies to work his over- 
tlu-ow, he calls it their very soul ; as also Ps. xxxv. 
25, ' Let them not say in their hearts. All, ah, our 
soul,' that is, our full desire, ' so we would have it ; ' 
and Ps. xli. 2, ' Thou vrUt not dehver him to the soul 
of his enemy,' that is, to the will and desire, where 
we see he puts the soul, that is, the seat and subject, 
for the ■will and desire that is seated therein. 

The reason whereof seems to be this, hereby to 
manifest more plainly the excessive measure of 
spite and malice which was Lq Da\id's enemies, 
which seemed to him no less than if their very 
souls had been framed and composed thereof 

Tliis serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, tliree ways : first. It shews the 
la-\vful use of the art of rhetoric, if it be -snthout 
vain aff'ectation of \\it and eloquence, even in the 

Ver. 12.] 



dispensation of God's word ; and withal the neces- 
sity of some competent knowledge therein, for right 
interjiretation of the same. 

Secondly, Here see, that men indued and guided 
liy God's Holy Spirit, when they speak of cori-upt 
affections in the souls of natural men, do not 
mince the matter with qualifying terms, to make 
them seem small things, of Httle or no danger, but do 
rather aggravate the same, by significant terms and 
phrases, which may plainly shew that sin therein is 
for measure exceeding great, and for danger dam- 
nable ; why else should Da\-id style the malicious will 
and desire of his enemies by the very name of the 
soul itself? whose steps St Paul doth plainly follow. 
Speaking of the corruption of our nature, which 
divines do call concupiscence, that it may seem in 
measure fearful, he calleth it ' the old man,' and 
' body of sin,' Eom. vi. 6 ; yea, a ' body of death,' 
Rom. vii. 24, ha^'ing many and strong earthly 
members, as fornication, uncleanness, and the like, 
Col. iii. 5. And that it may seem strong and 
forcible, he ascribeth great power and might unto 
it in all natural men : Eom. vii. 5, ' When we were 
in the flesh, the motions of sin, which were by the 
law, had force in our members to bring forth fruit 
unto death ; ' it hath a kind of spiritual sovereignty 
in them, it reigneth unto death, Eom. v. 21, where 
mark, their sin's dominion is for the soul's dam- 
nation ; the trouble and terror whereof in the godly 
is acknowledged by Paul in his own person : Eom. 
vii. 23, ' But I see another law in my members, 
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing 
me into captivity unto the law of sin.' This terror, 
I say, that corniption causeth in the godly, may 
easily manifest how terrible the tjTanny of it is in 
natural men. That blessed apostle cries out of his 
misery, by reason of tliis corruption yet dwelling in 
him, Eom. -Ndi. 24, though then it had received in 
him a deadly wound by the power of Christ's death, 
effectually applied unto him by God's Holy SpLiit at 
the time of his conversion. Oh what slavish bond- 
age then are all natural men under, that have in 
their souls original corruption, the devil's task-mas- 
ter, to keep them close under the drudgery of sin, for 
which they shall receive the wages of eternal death ! 
Thirdly, This very phrase, rightly understood, 
gives plain evidence where corruption bears do- 

minion ; for look, where the motions of sin, for force 
and strength to bring forth evil actions, are as 
available as the soul is in the body for the effecting 
of natural actions, there undoubtedly sin reigneth, 
and corruption beareth sway. The soul we know 
gives life to the body, and sets every part awork 
about those things it llketh, so as we may soundly 
argue, that he is indued vnth a reasonable soul 
who doth constantly manage his human affairs with 
good discretion ; in like manner doth inbred cor- 
ruption quicken sinful motions in the soul, and, 
gaining consent of will, ckaweth the parts of the 
body to become the tools of the mind for the exe- 
cution of sinful actions. Look, therefore, where we 
see a course held in the practice of sin, there we 
may be sure that corruption bears dominion ; when 
the motions of sin hath force in their members to 
bring forth fruit unto death, then men are in the 
flesh, Rom. vii. 5. Tliis reigning power of sin is 
' the law of the members, warring against the law of 
the mind, and bringing man into captivity of the 
law of sin,' Rom. vii. 23. 

This reigning corniption shews itself in man when 
his mind is set on evil works. Col. ii. 21, and he 
minds the tilings of the flesh, Eom. viii. 5 ; when 
his heart is fully set in him to do evil, Eccles. viii. 
1 1 ; when his tongue proclaims his resolution for 
sin, as Jer. xliv. 1 7, ' We will certainly do whatso- 
ever thing goeth out of our own mouth ; ' Ps. xii. 4, 
' With our tongue we ^viU prevail ; our lips are our 
own : who is lord over us?' Isa. Ivi. 12, 'Come ye, 
say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves 
viith strong drink i ' and when he cannot endure to 
be checked or crossed in his evil course. This cuts 
them to the heart. Acts \ii. 54; stirs them up to 
rage and fury, as Acts vii. 57, 58; Gen. xix. 9; 1 
Sam. XX. 30 ; whereby they plainly shew themselves 
to be brutish, Prov. xii. 1, and 'sensual, harag not 
the Spirit,' Jude 19. 

For admonition, it serves two ways : first. To 
observe in ourselves the force and strength of cor- 
ruption, in sinful motions and desires after things 
forbidden of God ; for if to enjoy them be our soul, 
as we would have it, as Ps. xxxv. 25 ; then cer- 
cainly we are wholly carnal, sold under sin, and if 
we so die, we perish eternally ; for where sin 
reigneth, it is unto death, Eom. v. 21. And that 




rV'ER. 12. 

■we deceive not ourselves in a matter of so great 
importance, besides the evidence of this estate given 
in the last instruction, which is very plain, if we 
examine ourselves thereby, mark some other resem- 
blances that give further illustration. St James, 
chap. i. 15, speaks of a strange conception in the 
soul, brought forth in life : ' When lust hath con- 
ceived, it bringeth forth sin.' Man's sin is the 
child born there spoken of ; man's soul, as it is car- 
nal, is the womb wherein it is conceived. The sug- 
gestion of Satan, with man's own evil concujiiscence, 
are the seed whereof it is formed, and so far forth is 
man's sin begotten of the devil, and hath him for 
its father ; as he is called ' the father of lies,' John 
viii. 44, for he put it into Judas's heart to betray 
his Master, John xiii. 2, and filled Ananias's heart 
that he Hed unto God, Acts v. 3 ; and so became in 
them the father of those grievous sins, — treachery 
in Judas, and hj'poerisy in Ananias. Now to try 
our estate for the dominion of sin by this resem- 
blance ; do we say of any sin, as Rachel did of 
natural children to Jacob, Gen. xxx. 1, 'Give me 
children, or else I die ' ? Doth lust make thee sick, 
as it did Amnon? 2 Sam. xiii. 1, 2. Dost thou, 
like the whorish woman, with an impudent face 
allure others to sin? Prov. vii. 13, 18. Is it pas- 
time to thee to do wickedly 1 Prov. x\'iii. 23. Dost 
thou not sleep, except thou have done mischief? 
Prov. iv. 16. Dost thoii devise iniquity and work 
evil upon thy bed ; and when morning is light, 
dost thou practise it, because there is power in 
thine hand? &c., Micah ii. 1, &c. Upon all these 
and the Uke, the dominion of sin may be concluded ; 
he that saith of evil-doing, ' Aha, my soul ! ' is as yet 
undoubtedly in his soul void of saving grace : Ps. 
xxxvi. 1, 'The transgression of the ungodly saith 
within my heart, there is no fear of God before his 
eyes.' This is like^vise e\'ident by the contrary 
affections in the godly, in whom grace is renewed ; 
to get grace and to practise obedience is their soul ; 
as Christ told his disciples, ' My meat is to do the 
will of him that sent me,' John iv. 34. 'As the 
hart panteth after the water-brook, so panteth my 
soul after thee, God. My soul thirsteth for God,' 
Ps. xiii. 1, 2. 'My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth 
for the courts of the Lord : my heart and my flesh 
crieth out for the living God,' Ps. Ixxxiv. 2. The 

word of God was to David as his soul ; the soul, we 
know, quickeneth the body, and God's word quick- 
ened his soul, Ps. cxix. 50, 93. They were the joy 
and rejoicing of Jeremiah's heart, chap. xv. 10. And 
Paul was as a woman wth child, in travail after the 
conversion of others, Gal. iv. 10; his life was not dear 
unto him so he might further the gospel. Acts xx. 
24. IMark these things, and pray for understanding. 

Secondly, If we find that sinful affections be our 
soul, that is, our desire and delight, that then we 
give all diligence for change of estate; for who 
would continue in the gall of bitterness, and under 
the power of darkness, if he could help it 1 And 
though it be not in our o-svn power, for it is 'a new 
creation,' 2 Cor. v. 17, and 'the first resurrection,' 
Eev. XX. 6 ; ' And who can bring a clean thing out 
of filthiness ? not one,' Job xiv. 4 ; ' Can the Ethi- 
opian change his skin, or the leopard his spots 1 
then may they do good, that are accustonaed to do 
evU,' Jer. xiii. 23. "With man this change of him- 
self is impossible, but ' with God all things are pos- 
sible,' Mat. xix. 26 ; ' He can raise up children unto 
Abraham of stones,' Mat. iii. 9. And for his work- 
ing of it the wise and powerful God of heaven hath 
ordained a way and means, and prescribed the use 
thereof to natural men, of the understanding where- 
of reason is capable. This means is the preaching 
of the word, sanctified by prayer for the blessing of 
the Spirit. The moral law will discover sin and the 
danger thereof to a natural man ; for ' by the law 
comes the knowledge of sin,' Eom. iii. 20, and of 
the danger thereof. Gal. iii 10; and by the gospel 
comes the knowledge of the remedy, for it is the 
word of his grace. Acts xx. 32, reveahng mercy in 
Christ, John iii. 1 6, and shewing the way and means 
to be made partakers of him, John iii. 36. And in 
the use of these ordinances a natural man may ex- 
ercise himself, and wait for God's blessing ; he may 
hear and apply both the law and gospel, and pray 
for the blessing of God upon his endeavours. Hus- 
bandmen take pains for the precious fruits of the 
earth, and pray for the blessing of God ujion their 
labour ; and why may not natural men do so much 
for their souls? Surely the neglect of the use 
of means is, and wiU be, the condemnation of many, 
John iii. 19. 

For in the means God ^iUeth their gathering, 

Ver. 12.] 



Mat. xxiii. 37 ; and our Saviour tells the Jews, 
' They would not come unto him that tliey might 
have life,' John v. 40, saying, that 'the queen 
of the south should rise up in judgment against 
them,' for her pains to hear Solomon's wisdom, ' and 
yet a greater than Solomon was there,' Mat. xii. 
42. Therefore wait on the means, as John v. 3-5. 
So did Cornehus fast and pray. Acts x. 3, then 
reverently hear Peter, ver. 33. The three thousand 
converted on the day of pentecost, Acts ii. 41, first 
heard Peter preach and apply the law, to the prick- 
ing of their hearts, ver. 26, 27, then they heard the 
gospel and gladly received it, and after continued m 
the apostle's doctrine, ver. 41, 42. He that had 
but one talent might have employed it, and is justly 
condemned for not so doing. Mat. xxv. 25, &c. 
The unbelieving Jews might have heard Paul and 
Barnabas preach, but they would not, but 'put 
away the word, and judged themselves imworthy of 
eternal life,' Acts xiii. 46. 

The second thing to be noted in this petition is 
the favour and kindness which David craveth of God, 
namely, that he would not deliver him to the will of 
his enemies, so as they should have liberty to accom- 
phsh their bloody designs upon him : see Ps. xxxv. 
19, 25, 'Let not them that are mine enemies rejoice 
over me. Let them not say in their hearts. Ah, ah, 
our soul.' Ps. xxxvi. 11, ' Let not the foot of pride 
come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked 
remove me.' Ps. Ixxi. 4, 'DeUver me, O my God, 
out of the hands of the mcked, out of the hand of 
the unrighteous and cruel man.' Ps. cxl. 1, 4, 8, 
' Deliver me, Lord, from the evil man : preserve 
me from the ■\dolent man. Keep me, Lord, from 
the hands of the wicked. Grant not, Lord, the 
desires of the -nicked.' 

The reasons hereof are many : first, respecting 
himself; as the conscience of his sins that deserved 
this evil, to be deUvered into the hands of hLs 
enemies ; for so he knew God thi'eatened to do with 
his o-nii people, and had formerly performed it, 
Judges ii. 14, 15, ' The anger of the Lord was kindled 
against Israel, and he deUvered them into the hands 
of spoilers, and sold them into the hands of their 
enemies round about them. The hand of the Lord 
was against them for evil, as he had said, and sworn 
unto them.' 

Secondly, In regard of his enemies; whom he 
knew, first. To be without conscience of dealing 
justly, and full fraught with all cruelty. This reason 
is rendered in this verse, 'For false witnesses are 
risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty;' 
ver. 2, ' They would swallow him up,' as Ps. Ivi. 
1, 2. For then- strength and cruelty he resembles 
them to strong bulls of Bashan, Ps. xxii. 12 ; to 
ravening and roaring lions, ver. 13 ; and to dogs, 
ver. 16; Ps. Ivii. 4, set on fire, 'Their teeth are 
spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword ;' 
yea, Ps. cxl. 3, ' They have sharpened their tongue 
like a serpent ; adder's poison is under theu' lips.' 
Secondly, He knew they would vaunt and boast of 
then- triumph over him to God's dishonour, as Ps. 
xxxv. 19, 26, 'Let not them that are mine enemies 
wrongfully rejoice over me ;' they rejoice at his hurt, 
and magnify themselves agamst him, saying, to his 
greatest grief, ' Where is now thy God ? ' Ps. xhi. 
3, 10. Herein, no doubt, sacrificing to their net, 
praising their own power and policy, as the Philis- 
tines praised Dagon for the conquest of Samson, 
Judges xvi. 23. 

Thirdly, In regard of God ; knowing, first. That 
his power and providence over-ruled all : Ps. cxxxv. 
6. ' ^Vhatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in 
heaven and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.' 
If he speak the word, it is done, Ps. xxxiii. 9 ; 
' Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee : the 
remainder of -nTath shalt thou restrain,' Ps. \xxvi. 
10 ; 'He shall cut off the spirit of princes,' ver. 12. 
He knew they would have no power over him but 
by God's permission, as John xix. 11. Secondly, 
That by his sovereignty he miglit so deal with his 
dearest servants, either for their trial, as he dealt 
with Job, or to give way to the wicked to fill up 
their sins in afflicting the godly, that so his justice 
and power may be glorified in then- destruction : so 
he suffered Pharaoh to afflict his people in Egypt, 
Exod. ix. 16; Rom. Lx. 17. Thirdly, That God 
having received him into covenant, stood bound to 
help him, as Ps. cxix. 94, and Lxxxix. 3, 21, 22. 

This serves for instruction and admonition. 

For instruction three ways : first. See here what 
may be the estate of the godly, even of God's dearest 
childi-en ; they nray he in the hand of then- enemies, 
under the power of their distressors, plainly by the 



[Ver. 12. 

bondage of Israel in Egypt, for a long time, Gen. xv. 
13, with Exod. i. 9-11, 13, U. The three servants 
of God were thus cast into the fiery furnace, Dan. 
ill. 20, 21 ; and Daniel himself into the lions' den, 
chap. vi. 16. Jeremiah felt this evil, chap. xxvi. 14 ; 
yea, Christ himself, by the wicked hands of the 
Jews, was taken, crucified, and slain, Acts ii. 23 ; 
which we are to mark, to prevent rash judgment, 
as well against others as also against ourselves in 
this case. A fault in which the godly themselves 
may fall, as well against others : Job iv. 7, ' Remem- 
ber, I pray thee,' saith EHphaz to Job, ' who ever 
perisheth, being innocent;' as also against them- 
selves : Isa. xlix. 1 i, ' Sion said. The Lord hath for- 
saken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me ; ' Ps. 
xxii. 1, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me ? ' But if we mark every man's deserving by sin, 
and God's sovereignty over the best, it will stay our 
hearts and tongues from the sin of rash judgment. 

Secondly, This petition shews that if the godly 
fall into the hands of the wicked, it is by God's per- 
mission and dispensation, for ' a sparrow ligliteth 
not on the ground without the will of God,' Mat. x. 
29 ; therefore Christ saith to Pilate, ' Thou wouldst 
have no power over me at all, except it were given 
thee from above,' Jolin xix. 11 ; and the church 
saith unto God, ' Thou hast given us like sheep ap- 
pointed for meat ; thou sellest thy people for nought,' 
Ps. xliv. 11, 12. Paul saith, 'I think that God 
hath set us forth the last apostles, as it were, ap- 
pointed to death ; ' which is a thing very observable 
as the only ground of true patience, Ps. xxxix. 9, 
with 2 Sa:n. xvi. 10-12, and also of sweet comfort 
in the greatest persecution, ' For he hath said, I 
will not leave thee, nor forsake thee,' Heli. xiii. 5 ; 
Ps. xci. 15, ' I will be with him in trouble;' Ps. 
Ixvi. 10-12, 'Thou, God, hast proved us; thou 
hast tried us as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us 
into the net ; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. 
Thou causedst men to ride over our heads : we went 
through fire and through water ; but thou broughtest 
us out into a wealthy place.' Mark the comfortable 
end of the troubles of the godly : as Job. xxiii. 10, 
' He knoweth the way that I take ; when he hath 
tried me, I shall come forth as the gold.' And so 
the story shews : Job xlii. 12, 'So God blessed the 
latter end of Job more than the beginning.' 

Thirdly, See here that prayer is a sanctified means 
to obtain of God safety and preservation from the 
hands of those that desire our hurt. Thus the Jews 
escaped from the bloody design of Haman, Esther iv. 
16, 17, and vii. 3, 4, &c. Thus Jehoshaphat escaped 
in battle, when the captains of the chariots beset 
him about, 2 Chron. x\'iii. 31. And thus were he 
and his people preserved from three kings that came 
against him, 2 Chron. xx. 3, 4, &c. And thus was 
Hezekiah preserved from the great army of Senna- 
cherib, Isa. xxxvii. 21, 33, 34. And no marvel; for 
as God requires the duty, so he hath made the pro- 
mise, which he will perform, Ps. 1. 15, and xci. 15. 

For admonition, it serves effectually to stir up 
eveiy child of God to become a follower of David in 
the performance of this duty, to be much and earnest 
with God in prayer for the preservation of himself 
and the church of God out of the hands of their 
enemies ; a most needful duty in these evU times, 
wherein the enemies of God's church do band them- 
selves. Eke Edom, Moab, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, 
and the rest, Ps. Ixxxiii. 3, 4, &c., to root out re- 
ligion, to cut off God's people, that the name of 
Israel be no more in remembrance. Consider the 
good success of this duty, in this case, by the former 
examples ; for it is not, as natural men do think, a 
vain thing to serve the Lord, and unprofitable to 
pray unto him, Mai. iii. 14; Job xxi. 15. Experi- 
ence shews that this duty is prevalent with God, one 
of these three ways, at all times : either it prevents 
their attempts, as the former examples shew fully 
and jslaiuly ; or else it procures deliverance out of 
the enemy's hands, after some time of trial and cor- 
rection by them ; as it did for Peter, when he was 
kept in prison by Herod with purpose to put him to 
death, Acts xii. 5, 6, &c., and for Israel to procure 
then- deliverance out of Egypt, Exod. ii. 23, 24 ; or, 
at least, it procures strength of grace to bear the 
violence and the cruelty of the enemy, though he 
proceed to inflict upon them most violent death, as 
we may see in Stephen, Acts vii. 59, 60,- and in the 
saints of God that would not be delivered, that they 
might obtain a better resurrection, Heb. xi. 35. 
For, indeed, when the godly do sincerely perform 
this duty, ' though the outward man perish, yet the 
inward man is renewed daily,' 2 Cor. iv. 16, and in 
death itself the child of God is more than conqueror, 

Ver. U.] 



Rom. viii. 37. Let us not tlierefore be weary of this 
dut}' ; ' the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous 
man availeth much,' James v. 16. While Moses' 
hands were lifted up, Joshua prevailed ; but when 
they were let down, Amalek prevailed, Exod. xvii. 
11. God is much moved by prayer; it stays the 
wrath of Grod against his people, as Exod. xxxiii. 10, 
11, &c. ; Ps. cvi. 23; Deut. ix. 18-20. And there- 
fore, when God is resolved to bring a judgment, he 
forbids Jeremiah to pray for the Jews, Jer. vii. 16, 
xi. 1-1, and xiv. 11. 

Quc'gf. Is this all we have to do, to jiray in time of 
danger I 

Am. No; we must like'nase serve God's pro\'idence 
in the use of ordinary means, and withal use prayer 
for God's blessing thereon. So ]\Ioses did for 
Joshua, when he fought against Amalek ; and Mor- 
decai prayed for Esther, when she went unto Aliasu- 
erus in the behalf of the Jews. And besides these, 
we must have due regard to our estate and be- 
ha\aoiu- when we perform this duty, and pray : and 
namely, first we must see that we stand rightly in 
covenant ■with God, and be his people, through faith 
in Cluist ; for then we have a promise of protection, 
as Ps. Ixxxix. 3, 20-22, and of audience in time of 
trouble, 2 Chron. vii. 13, 14; which encouraged the 
church in adversity : Isa. Ixiii. 19, ' We are thine : 
thou never bearest rule over them ; they were not 
called by thy name.' And Jeremiah herewith 
moveth God to mercy, chap. xiv. 8, 9, '0 the hope 
of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why 
shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land ? as a 
man that cannot save ? yet thou, Lord, art in the 
midst of us, and we are called Ity thy.name ; leave 
us not.' Secondly, If we have failed by transgi'es- 
sion (for ' in many things we sin all,' James ii.) then 
we must be careful to renew covenant \nth. God, by 
renemng our repentance for our sins, and our faith 
in Christ Jesus. So did the Jews, and found help 
for deliverance, Judges x. 10, 15, 16 ; so did Jehosh- 
aphat, and was preserved, 2 Chron. xx. 3, &c. 

This renewing of repentance and faith is, for a 
Christian, T\4th God as the sounding an alaiin on the 
silver trumpets' was for the old Israelites, when they 
went out to war ; it causeth remembrance before 
the Lord, that we may be saved from our enemies. 
Num. xi. 9. Lastly, We must make conscience of 

new obedience, and do that which the Lord com- 
mandeth ; then mU he be an enemy to our enemies, 
and an adversary to our adversaries, Exod. xxiii. 
22. If herein we approve ourselves the children of 
Abraham, we shall receive from God the blessing of 
Abraham ; God will bless them that bless us, and 
curse them that curse us, Gen. xii. 3. 

For false witnesses are risen np against me, and such 
as breathe out cruelty. 

The reason of David's former request, that he 
might not be delivered to the vnW of his enemies, 
drawn from their unconscionable behaviour and 
deadly hatred towards him. Their imconscionable 
behaviour ; they rose up against him in false witness- 
bearing ; their deadly hatred, in breathing out cruelty 
or violence. 

Both which may be referred to the same persons ; 
for a man that beareth false witness against his 
neighbour is as a maul, and a sword, and a sharp 
arrow, Prov. xxv. 18; aU which are evidences of 
great %'iolence. Yet because these two sentences are 
in the original in divers numbers, (for the latter 
is expressed in the singular number, ' He that 
breatheth out cruelty,') therefore, I take it, in 
the latter he pointeth out Saul himself, and in the 
former such as did falsely accuse him unto Saul ; 
for Da\'id elsewhere pointeth out Saul by the term 
and phrase of a violent man : Ps. xviii. 48, ' Thou 
hast preserved me from the violent man ; ' and Ps. 
cxl. 4, 'Preserve me from the violent man.' Here 
then we have to consider two grievous e^ils that be- 
fell David from his enemies : the first from Saul's 
flattering followers, the second from Saul himself 

For the first ; false witnesses did rise up against 
David, such as without all conscience accused him of 
evils whereof he was not guilty: see Ps. xxxv. 11, 
' False witnesses did rise up against me, they laid to 
my charge things that I knew not ; ' Ps. hd. 5, 
' Every day they ^vrest my words ; ' Ps. hii. 4, 
' My soul is among lions : I lie among them that are 
set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are 
spears, and their tongue a sharp sword ; ' Ps. ILx. 
7, ' Behold, they belch out ^vith their mouth : swords 
are in their lips;' Ps. Ixiv. 3, 'They whet their 
tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot 
their arrows, even bitter words.' Such a one was 
Cush the Benjamite, of whom he complains to God, 



[Ver. 12. 

Ps. vii., see the title ; and such was Doeg the Edomite, 
Ps. lii., the title. 

The reason hereof is twofold. Fii-st, God's divine 
providence disposing that, under this affliction of 
sustaining false accusations, David should be a tyi^e 
of Christ, who was thus ■wronged. Mat. xxvi. .59, CO. 

Secondly, This proceeded from the dominion of 
corruption in David's enemies themselves : who, want- 
ing the fear of God, as Ps. liv. 3, and hating David 
without a cause, Ps. lix. 3, 4, even because lie 
followed goodness, Ps. xxxviii. 20, and kno\ving 
Saul desired to hear evil of David, as 1 Sam. xx. 7, 
8, that he might have some colour at least to put 
him to death, to which purpose false witnesses served 
fitly, as 1 Kings xxi. 10, therefore to please Saul, 
and to procure David's hurt, did they thus bear 
false ■ndtness against him. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction : see in David's enemies into what 
fearful evils and horrible sins the corruption of 
nature will bring natural men, whom God doth 
leave to themselves, even to bear false witness 
against their neighbour, which is a most heinous 
and horrible sin, even against the light of nature, 
which teacheth that men should not do to others 
what they would not have done unto themselves ; 
and the very heathen have most severely punished 
this sin. And the word of God accounts false wit- 
nesses to be the children of the devil ; for who is 
meant by Belial, 2 Cor. vi. 15, but the devil? So 
the SjTiac renders the word by Satan. Now false 
witness-bearers are the children of Belial, 1 Kings 
XX. 10; Prov. \'i. 12, xvi. 17, and xix. 28; they 
do the lusts of the devil, John viii. 44, in a most 
horrible thing, even putting upon God the person of 
the devil, to be the patron of a lie. 

For admonition, to wicked men that dare be 
bold upon such ungodly practices ; consider the 
heinousness of this sin, as proper to the wicked, 
and the dreadful judgments it must needs bring 
upon them, being so dishonourable to God and 
abominable in his sight; see Prov. vi. 16, 19; 
Ps. lii. 4, 5, ' Thou lovest all devouring words, 
thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy 
thee for ever, and root thee out of the land of the 

For comfort to the godly that are thus wi'onged ; 
it hath befallen better than thyself, Christ Jesus, 
David, Stephen, &c., see Luke xxiii. 31 ; and let 
the godly consider that the de%dl is the false accuser 
of the brethren, Rev. xii. 10. If they can find that 
they have repented truly, and do rest upon Christ 
for pardon, and walk in new obedience, they may 
rest assured of mercy upon God's promise, Prov. 
xxviii. 13; 1 John i. 9 ; and so prove the devil a 
false accuser in their consciences, as he was to Job, 
chap. xiii. 16. For when God hath pardoned sin, 
he doth not behold it. Num. xxiii. 21 ; ' His sin is 
covered,' Ps. xxxii. 1. 

The second branch of the reason why Da^'id 
desires to be kept out of the hands of his enemies, 
is, because of their deadly hatred towards him. Saul, 
Da\'id's arch-enemy, breathed out violence against 
him : 1 Sam. xx. 31, ' Send and fetch him unto me, 
for he shall surely die ; ' therefore doth David so 
often style him by the name of ' the violent man,' 
Ps. cxl. 1, 4, and means him and his followers 
when he saith, ' Mine enemies hate me with hatred 
of violence,' Ps. xxv. 19. 'In heart you work 
wickedness ; you weigh the violence of your hands 
in the earth,' Ps. hdii. 2. Magistrates should dis- 
pense justice and mercy, Ps. ci. 1, but Saul and his 
council became the tradesmen of violence : violence 
covered them as a garment, Ps. Ixxiii. 6. 

The reason hereof in Saul was twofold. First, 
Envy at David's honour ; for when the women sang 
to his renown, ' Said hath slain his thousands, and 
David his ten thousands,' Saul was very wroth, and 
the sajing displeased him ; and he eyed Da\id from 
that day forward, and shortly after cast a javelin at 
him to kill him, 1 Sam. xviii. 7-11, plainly verify- 
ing that of Solomon, ' Wrath is cruel, and anger is 
outrageous ; but who is able to stand before envy ! ' 
Prov. xxvii. 4. 

Secondly, Ambition, an insatiable desire to enjoy 
the honour of the Idngdom in his o^vii person, and 
to leave the same to his posterity, which he feared 
would be crossed by David, and thereupon hates him 
to the death ; so as he cannot endure his own son 
Jonathan, who spake in his behalf, but calls him 
the son of a perverse rebellious woman, who had 
chosen the son of Jesse, David, to his own confusion : 
' For as long as the son of Jesse liveth on the 

Ver. 12] 



ground, tliou slialt not be established, nor thy 
Idngdom ; wherefore send and feteli liim unto nie, 
for he shall surely die,' 1 Sam. xx. 30, 31. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first. Touching the 
state of the godly, that they are in this world 
liable to the deadly hatred of ungodly kings and 
governors — a grevious thing to God's poor ser- 
vants, but too true, as with divine testimony plain 
instances will manifest. For testimony ; Mat. x. 
IS, 'Ye shall be brought before governors and 
kings for my sake, for a testimony against them ; ' 
Mat. xxiv. 9, ' They shall deUver you up to be 
afflicted, and shall kill you : and ye shall be hated 
of all nations for my name's sake.' For instance, 
consider the bondage of Israel under Pharaoh in 
Egypt, E.xod. i., ii., and iii ; their seventy years' cap- 
tivity in Babylon, Jer. xx\". 11 ; the bloody design 
of Haman for the destruction of all the Jews in the 
kmgdom of Ahasuerus, Esther iii. 8-10, 13; the 
persecutions of the apostles by the Jews, Acts 
iv. 24-27 ; the persecutions of the apostles and 
other Christians by Herod, Acts xii. 1-4 ; and 
the ten most bloody persecutions by the heathen 
Roman emperors, recorded in the ecclesiastical 

Secondly, See in this violence of Saul against 
Davdd an infallible sign of the dominion of malice 
and envj' in the heart — namely, when the mouth 
doth breathe out violence ; for ' of the abundance 
of the heart the mouth speaketh : an evil man out 
of the evil treasure of his heart bruigeth forth evil,' 
JIat. xii. 34, 35. Indeed, sometunes the godly may 
over-shoot themselves in words of \'iolence, through 
sliai-p and sudden provocations, as Job and 
Jeremiah did when they cursed the time of their 
birth. Job iii. 3; Jer. xx. 14; therefore the do- 
minion of malice by violent words must be judged, 
not by some particular acts, but by ordinary and 
continual course, as the apostle doth, Eom. iii. 9, 
14, prove a man to be in the state of nature under 
sin, when 'his mouth is fuU of cursing and Intter- 
ness : ' wherewith that of Solomon doth fitly accord, 
Prov. X. 11, sajdng, 'Violence covereth the mouth 
of the wicked ; ' and Prov. xvi. 29, 30, ' A ■violent 
man shutteth his eyes to devise froward things : 
' Foxe, Acts and Monuments, torn. i. 

moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass ; ' like unto 
Saul, Acts ix. 1, who 'breathed out tlireatening 
against the church.' 

For admonition, it serves two ways : first, To the 
godly, not to think it strange that the great ones 
of the world do frown upon them, for they may 
breathe out violence against them. They are by 
nature the seed of the serpent as well as others, 
and so continue till they be effectually called ; 
and therefore no marvel though they shew enmity 
to the seed of the woman, and join -with the old 
dragon in bitter persecution against the true mem- 
bers of the church, as Rev. xii. 1 7. It is wisdom 
therefore for the godly to prepare for it, by getting 
strength of grace to cleave fast to the Lord, in the 
strongest oppositions of the world ; whereat our 
blessed Saviour directly aimeth, Luke xiv. 26, 27 ; 
Jolm xvi. 33. And when their violence is breath- 
ing out against them, then to do as David did in 
like case — namely, for sure direction in acceptable 
carriage towards God and men to meditate in God's 
word : Ps. cxix. 23, 95, ' The wdcked have 
waited for me to destroy me : but I will consider 
thy testimonies;' ver. IGl, 'Princes have persecuted 
me -irithout cause : but mine heart standeth in awe 
of thy word;' and for preservation and deliver- 
ance give themselves to praj'er, as Ps. cxl. I, &c. ; 
Ps. xxx-\'. 1; Ps. lix. 1-3. 

Secondly, This senses very profitably to all 
natural men, to warn them to consider their be- 
ha\-iour towards those whom they do not love ; for 
if, like Saul toward Da\-id, they breathe out vio- 
lence with their mouth, then no doubt, as it was in 
Saul, the hellish fire of rage and fury is kindled in 
their breast ; which is a plain e\'idence that original 
corruption hath dominion in them— they are yet 
carnal, sold under sin, they are in the snare of the 
devil, held captive by him at his will, 2 Tim. ii. 26. 
And as in this particular case of envy and wrath, 
the dominion of corruption is discerned by the 
ordinary fruits of these corrupt aflfections, in bitter 
words and cruel deeds, so it may be in any other 
sin. Filthy speaking and wanton dalliance are 
plain flames of the fire of lust ; when the mouth is 
full of cursing and swearing, the heart undoubtedly is 
fuU of corruption : such stinking breath argues un- 
sound lungs. Coal mines, that lie deep in the earth. 



[Vee. 13. 

do ordinarily discover themselves by black smuts in 
the outward face of the ground ; and so doth the 
corruption of nature in the heart bewray its dominion 
in natural men by their ordinary practice of sin in 
life. Solomon makes the desii'e of sleep the smut 
of sluggishness, Prov. xxiv. 33 ; and keeping com- 
pany \vith drunkards, seeking where the good liquor 
is, and sitting by it, the smuts of drunkenness, Prov. 
xxiii. 20, 30. So is oppression, hard dealing, lying, 
and deceiving for gain, the smut of covetousness, 
Micah ii. 2. A high look is a shrewd smut of a 
proud heart, Ps. ci. 5 ; and so is meddling with 
matters above our place, Ps. cxxxi. 1, and humour- 
ing those that may be means of our advancement — 
whether by flattery, with Absalom, 2 Sam. xv. 2, 3, 
or by bribery, with the devil himself, that for the 
honour of homage from our Saviour Christ offers to 
give all the kingdoms of the world, Mat. iv. 8, 9. 
Let all simonists in the church, and bribers in the 
commonwealth, look towards their ghostly father ; 
for like wll to like, the briber to the devil. Now 
when, by these smuts of sin, they discern the black 
mine of corruption, then (unless they will be as the 
fuel of hell-fire) they must set themselves to seek a 
change of estate. This flesh and blood cannot eff'ect, 
for ' the way of man is not in himself,' Jer. x. 23 ; 
man, accustomed to do evil, can no more do good 
than the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the 
leopard her spots, Jer. xiii. 23. Yet with God this 
is possible, Mat. xix. 26 ; he can raise up children 
unto Abraham of stones. Mat. iii. 9. And this 
change he worketh by regeneiation, whereby we are 
' born again, not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the 
will of man, but of God,' John i. 13, even by his 
Spirit blessing the word unto our eflfectual calling 
into his holy mountain, his true church, where ' the 
wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie 
down with the kid,' &c., Isa. xi. 6, &c. ; where most 
cnael and bloody-minded men, as Saul was before 
his conversion. Acts ix. 1, shall lay aside their cruel 
nature, and live most lovingly and peaceably with 
the children of God, as Acts ix. 26, and xx. 24. 

Now this holy calling is wrought by God, in the 
use of means ordinarily, even in the word preached : 
the law to discover sin, Rom. iii. 20, and the gospel 
to sow the seeds of grace, Acts xx. 24. Herein 
must we exercise ourselves, as Cornelius did, Acts 

X. 33, and as Lydia did. Acts xvi. 14, and sanctify 
our endeavour therein by prayer to God for the 
blessing of his Spirit ; for by prayer the Spuit is 
obtained, Luke xi. 13, of those that by repentance 
turn from sin, Prov. i. 23, and by new obedience 
endeavour to adorn the gospel of Christ, Acts v. 32. 
Thus waiting on the Lord, we may vnth comfort 
expect his blessing, as the poor impotent peof)le did 
for their bodily cure at the pool of Bethesda, by the 
angel's moving of the water, John v. 1, &c. 

Ver. 13. / Jiad fainted, unless I had believed to see 
the ffoodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

Ver. 1 4. TFait on the Lord, be of good courage, and 
he shall strengthen thine heart : wait, I say, on the 

These two last verses contain the third and last 
part of the psalm, which is this : upon acknowledg- 
ment of the great benefit he received by belie\ing, 
he doth notably encourage and stir uja himself and 
others to wait still on God by faith. The acknow- 
ledgment of the great benefit of his behoving on 
God's pi'omise is, ver. 13, the encouragement to his 
own soul, and others also, by faith to wait on God, 
as in the last verse. 

The sentence in the original, setting down the 
acknowledgment of the gi-eat benefit David had by 
believing, is for some words, though not in sense, 
defective and imperfect, (aposiopesis,) requuing 
some sujjply, which the scope and circumstances of 
the place do shew must be, either what his enemies 
would have done if he had not believed — namely, 
they had prevailed and overthrown him, and so 
some ^ supply the defect ; or, what he himself should 
have done if he had not believed — namely, fainted 
and sunk under the burden of violent persecution, as 
Vatablus, whom our translations follow ; for we 
must not leave out the word t^^'O, except, as the 
papists 2 do, saying, It was left out by the Septua- 
gint because it was of no gi'eat moment. Follow- 
ing, therefore, the supply, which is rightly made in 
our Bibles, the words bear this sense : as if he should 
have said, So great was my persecution that I had 
fainted, and so the enemy had prevailed against me, 
unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord, 
— that is, to enjoy those good tilings, both temporal 

' Juuius and Piscatur. * Bellarm. 

Ver. 13.] 



and spiritual, which the Lord hath promised me of 
his goodness and bounty. So the phrase is taken, 
Eccles. ii. 1, enjoy pleasure; in the Hebrew it is, 
see good ; as also ver. 24, and chap. iii. 13, and v. 
18. In the land of the living, — that is, in this 
■world here on earth, where the li\ing are ; so, with 
the scope of the prophet here, the use of the phrase 
generally in Scripture doth shew it must be taken 
and understood, as shall be fully shewed after- 

In the words thus understood note two things. 
First, The name or title which the Holy Ghost gives 
to this world. Secondly, That in this world God 
vouchsafes to impart his goodness unto the sons of 
men. Tlurdly, That David for his part believed to 
enjoy God's goodness here on earth. Fourthly, That 
by belie^dng he was upheld from faintmg in himself, 
and from ruin by his enemies. 

For the first ; God by the mouth of David here 
calleth this world the land of the living. This 
habitable place of the earth, wherein men live a 
natural life, is the land of the living, in the style 
and phrase of the Holy Ghost ; this is plain and 
certain by the ordinary use of this phrase in Scrip- 
ture, see Job xx\iii. 13. The place of wisdom 'is 
not found in the land of the living' — that is, among 
li\'iag men in this world ; for it were absurd to say, 
the place of understanding were not to be found in 
heaven, seeing it is there said, ' God understandeth 
the way thereof,' ver. 23 ; see also Ps. Iii. 5, Da\-id, 
foretelling the destruction of Doeg, saith, ' God shall 
take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling- 
place, and root thee out of the land of the living,' — 
not out of heaven, where he never was planted, nor 
grew, but of this world, where he grew, as a great 
tree, till God plucked him up, and rooted him out, 
by death and destruction. Isa. xxx\-iii. 11, 'I said, 
I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land 
of the living,' — that is, among the li\-ing here on 
earth ; for who can imagine that Hezekiah meant he 
should not see the Lord in heaven ? But here on 
earth the godly saw him in his ordinances, as Ps. 
Ixiii. 2, and ]x\-ui. 25 ; and his meaning he further 
cleareth in the end of the verse, ' I shall behold men 
no more with the inhabitants of the world.' The 
same phrase in the same sense is used, Isa. liii. 8 ; 
Ezek. xx\i. 20, and xxxii. 23 ; Ps. cxvi. 9, and 

cxhi. 2 ; Jer. xi. 9 ; and in the same sense is the like 
plirase taken, ' the light of the living,' Job xxxiii. 30 ; 
Ps. Ivi. 13. 

The reason why this habitable world is called the 
land of the living, is because God created it, and 
doth maintain and preserve it for man's habitation 
whUe he Lives a natural life in this world : Ps. cxv. 
1 6, ' The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's ; 
the earth hath he given to the children of men.' 
And opposeth hereunto the place of the dead, calling 
it a ' land of darkness, and the shadow of death ; a 
land of darkness, as darkness itself ; and of the sha- 
dow of death, without any order, and where the 
light is as darkness,' Job x. 22, 23 ; a ' land of forget- 
fulness,' Ps. Ixxxviii. 12. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For insti-uction, see here plainly that it is an 
error and mistaking to take the land of the living 
for the kingdom of heaven, as generally tlie papists 
do, following herein the ancient fathers, who i many 
of them do so ex^jound it. Which I do therefore 
note to shew how uncertain a rule it is to tie our- 
selves, for the right understanding of Scripture, to 
the exposition thereof made by the ancient fathers ; 
for in very many things they differ in judgment one 
from another, as the learned do plainly shew.^ And 
they themselves, in differences, do disclaim the 
authority of men, though never so learned, and send 
us to the Scripture ; see August., Ep. 19 ; Iren., vi. 
Adversus Hajres, cap. 63. 

For admonition, that we consider God's provi- 
dence over us herein, causing us to have our time in 
the land of the living, which we cannot deny to be 
a gTeat favour, and therefore should endeavour to 
walk worthy of this blessing, which, after the 
example of Christ, is to work the works of him 
that sent us, John ix. 4. First, That we repent of 
our sins. Mat. iii. 2 ; Luke xiii. 3, 5. Secondly, 
That we beUeve on Jesus Christ, whom God hath 
sent to be our Saviour, John vi. 28. This God 
commandeth to all that would be saved, 1 John ui. 
21, with V. 13. Thirdly, That we 'work out our 
salvation ivith fear and trembling,' PhU. ii. 12 ; 
which is then done, when, with i-everence to God, 

' Jerome in Vs. xxvi. August, in Ps. xxvi. Cassiodorus. 
' Whitalt. de Script. Interpret., Coutrov. 1, quKst. 5, cap. 8. 
Reynolds and Hart. 



[Y]R. 13. 

who worketh all grace, wc do humbly and con- 
stantly exercise ourselves in the means thereof, ever 
making conscience of sin, till we ' receive the end of 
our faith, which is the salvation of our souls,' 1 Pet. 
i. 9. 

The second point to be here obsen-ed is this, that in 
the land of the living, — that is, in this world, — God 
doth bountifully impart his goodness to the sons of 
men ; this is here taken for granted, and elsewhere 
plainly affirmed : Ps. xxxui. 5, ' The earth is full of 
the goodness of the Lord.' Ps. cxix. 64, ' The earth 
is full of thy mercy.' Ps. cxlv. 9, 'The Lord is 
good to all ; ' even the brute creatures do daOy taste 
of his bounty. Ps. civ. 27, 28, ' They all wait upon 
him ; he gives them their meat in due season. That 
he giveth they gather : he ojjeneth his hand, and 
they are filled %vith good.' 

The reason hereof is twofold : first. Because in 
nature and essence he is goodness itself, love itself, 
and bounty itself, and so can no more detain his 
goodness from the creatures, than the sun can his 
light from the world when it is risen ; and indeed 
by the exercise of goodness and bounty doth he 
manifest this essential property; as Ps. cxix. 68, 
'Thou art good, and doest good.' James i. 17, by 
his good gifts and perfect giviugs he is seen to be 
the ' Father of lights.' 

Secondly, By his free and abundant communica- 
tion of goodness he binds every creature unto him, 
and man i?articularly to honour him ; for even tem- 
poral benefits are his witnesses, that he from whom 
they come is the true God, and that he must be 
honoured for them, see Acts xiv. 17. Hereupon 
the godly do stir up themselves to due and daily 
thankfulness, as Ps. ciii. 1, 2, and cxvi. 12. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, two ways : first. This shews 
plainly that the true God is not knowai as he ought 
to be, no, not in this property of goodness. That 
which Pharaoh professed of himself without fear — 
Exod. v. 2, ' Who is the Lord ? I know not the 
Lord ' — is true of all natural men ; for if they rightly 
knew this one property of goodness and bounty in 
the' communication of Ijlessuigs, their hearts would 
cleave unto him in an unfeigned desire to be Ids by 
covenant ; for ' every man is a friend to him that 

giveth gifts,' Prov. xix. 6. While they therefore 
say, 'AVlio is the Almighty, that we should serve 
him? and what profit should we have if we pray 
unto him 1 ' Job xxi. 15, they shew themselves worse 
than the devil himself, who said, ' Doth Job serve 
God for nought 1 hast thou not made an hedge about 
him'? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands,' 
Job i. 9, 10. 

Secondly, This shews what manner of persons all 
those ought to be who call God Father, — namely, 
free and forward in doing good ; so we shall re- 
semble our heavenly Father, which is enjoined us. 
Mat. v. 44, 55. This was Clirist Jesus's property 
wliile he was on earth, he ' went about doing good,' 
Acts X. 38 ; and it is commanded and commended 
to us all : Eph. v. 1 , 'Be followers of God as dear 
children, and walk in love.' Heb. xiii. 16, 'To do 
good and to communicate forget not.' 

For admonition, it serves three ways : first. In 
the want of any good thing to go to God by prayer, 
for he is the Father of lights, fi-om whom all good 
Cometh, and for the obtaining thereof, flith the use 
of lawful means, join prayer to him that saith, ' Ask 
and ye shall have,' Mat. vii. 7. But withal we 
must look that we go not on in a course of sin, for 
that mthholds good things, Jer. v. 25, and causeth 
God not to hear our prayers, Ps. Ixvi. 18. 

Secondly, This must move us to labour to be such 
as shall surely partake of God's best blessings. For 
God is the great housekeeper, that makes provision 
for children, for servants ; yea, for brute creatures, 
even for his very dogs. And answerable to his 
greatness in provision is his justice and ■wisdom in 
distribution ; he gives not to all alike, but to eveiy 
one his i^ortion, and will not have children's bread 
given to dogs, Mat. xv. 26. Indeed, for temporal 
blessings he many times gives a larger portion to 
the wicked than to his children, as we may see by 
the outward state of Dives and Lazarus, Luke x. 19, 
20, as great housekcejaers ^vill many times feast 
strangers more liberally than their own children. 
Yet God hath better things for his own than for the 
world, as Mat. iii. 11, 16. And the right way to par- 
take of the best blessings is, first, in general to make 
sure we be in covenant with God through faitJi in 
Christ Jesus ; for he that cometh unto God must 
believe, Heb. xi. 6 ; yea, believe in Christ, for ' he 

Ver. 13.] 


is the \va}-, the truth, and the life : no man comcth 
to tlie Father but by liim,' John xiv. G. Now, being 
thus in covenant, all is ours, whether ' things present 
or things to eonie,' 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22 ; we partake 
hereby of his fatness and sweetness, Eom. xi. 17, 
and God will prevent us with blessings of good- 
ness, Ps. xxi. 3. In particular, to testify the trath 
of our fiiith, we must get and manifest the grace of 
love ; for this is a sure companion of faith. Gal. v. 
6, and a sure fruit of the same sanctifj-ing Spirit, 
Gal. V. 22, and this entitles us unto God's best bless- 
ings : 1 Cor. ii. 9, ' \\Tiat eye hath not seen, ear 
hath not heard, nor heart conceived, hath God pre- 
pared for them that love him.' 1 John iii. 14, 'We 
know we have passed from death to life, because we 
love the brethren.' 

Secondly, We must fear God with a filial fear, liy 
the consideration of God's power and presence, seek- 
ing to brmg our hearts to true conscience of eschew- 
ing evU, and doing good, wherein his grace is certainly 
made e^■ident, as Job i. 8 ; Prov. xiv. 2 ; thus shall 
we be surely entitled to God's blessings : Ps. xxv. 
12-14, 'What man is he that feareth the Lord? 
His soul shall lodge in goodness,' or dwell at ease, 
as it is translated. ' The secret of the Lord is with 
them that fear him, and he will shew them his cove- 
nant.' Ps. xxxi. 19, ' how great is thy goodness 
which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, 
and ■(VTOught for them that trust in thee, even before 
the sons of men.' 

Thirdly, We must walk in obedience in well-doing, 
according to the duties of our places, labouring in 
all things to keep a good conscience both towards 
God and men. Herein stands the power of godli- 
ness, which ' hath the promise of the life that now 
is, and of that which is to come,' 1 Tim. iv. 8. 
' Xo good thing shall be lacldng to him that walketh 
uprightly,' Ps. Ixxxiv. 11. 'Wliat man is he that 
desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see 
good ? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips 
from speaking guUe. Depart from evil, and do 
good ; seek peace, and pursue it,' Ps. xxxiv. 12-14. 
Yea, to them that ' by continuance hi well doing 
seek for glory and honour and immortality, shall be 
eternal life ; glory, honour, and peace, to every man 
that worketh good,' Eom. ii. 7, 10. 

Thirdly, When we enjoy any good we must re- 

member whence it comes, and stii' up ourselves to 
true thankfulness : 1 Thes. v. 18, ' In all things give 
thanks.' Ps. 1. 23, 'He that offereth praise and 
thanks honoureth him.' Therefore we must with 
David study the art of thankfulness, as Ps. cx^a. 1 2, 
'What shall I render unto the Lord for all his 
benefits towards me ? ' and call upon our souls for 
^he performance of this duty ; as Ps. ciii. 1, 2, 
' Bless the Lord, my soul,' &c. ; remembering the 
Samaritan, Luke xr^di. 15, 19, who, upon his thanks- 
giving, was sent away mth a better blessing for his 
soul than he obtained for his body by humble sup- 

For comfort, this makes greatly to all the godly 
in any vrant or distress ; for surely theii- God is kind 
to the unldnd, and in temporal blessings very 
liberal, even to the wicked, as we may see, Ps. 
bcxiii. 3-5, &c. ■ The wicked have prosperity ; 
there are no bands in theii- death, theu- strength is 
film, &c., Ps. xvii. 14. They have their portion in 
this world ; their bellies God filleth with his hid 
treasure. Now all they have are but effects and 
fruits of liis common favour; what then do we 
think hath he in store for those whom he loves La 
Christ ? Surely for them he hath a worthy do^vly, 
as 1 Sam. i. 5. Consider Mat. vi. 26, &c., ' Behold 
the fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither do 
they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly 
Father feedeth them. Ai'e not you much better than 
they 1 ' &c. "Wlien a gentleman keepeth his dogs and 
his hogs fat and fair, shall we think he will sufier 
his children to starve for want of food and I'aiment ? 
Nay, nay ; though dear parents may sometimes prove 
unnatural, and a mother forget her sucking child, 
j'et will not God forget his children, Isa. xlix. 15. 

The third thing to be noted here is this : David 
believed that he should enjoy the goodness of the 
Lord in this world. Ps. cxvi. 9, 10, 'I will walk 
before the Lord in the land of the Uving. I be- 
lieved, therefore have I spoken ; ' and more plainly, 
Ps. xxiii. 1, 5, 6, ' The Lord is my shejiherd ; I shall 
not lack. Thou preparest a table before me in the 
presence of mine enemies : thou anomtest my head 
with oil ; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness 
and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.' 

The reason of this his persuasion was the good- 
ness of God to Dand, both making promises of 



[Ver. 13. 

these blessings unto David, and also enabling him 
by grace to rest and rely thereon, as he confesseth 
unto God : Ps. cxix. 40, ' Remember the word unto 
thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to 
hope.' The promises of God to Da\'id were two- 
fold : first, General, which are good to all God's 
people that be truly in covenant with God, and 
make conscience of obedience ; which are at large 
set down. Lev. xxvi. 3, 4, &c. to 14, and Deut. 
xxviii. 1, &c. to 15, and fully, though briefly, Ps. 
xxxiv. 9, ' There is no v^ant to those that fear him.' 
Ps. xxxvii. 3, ' Tiiist in the Lord, and do good ; so 
slialt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt 
be fed.' Secondly, More particular and personal, unto 
David himself alone, for the honour of the kingdom 
over Israel, assured by special promise, Ps. Ixxxix. 
20-22, and ratified by holy anointing, 1 Sam. xvi. 
13, and for the building and blessing of his house, 

1 Sam. vii. 11, 27. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see here plain evidence of the gi-eat 
use and benefit of faith ; it serves to entitle us, not 
only unto spnitual and heavenly blessings in Chi'ist, 
but even to the good things of this world, in temporal 
blessings ; as here David lays hold on God's good- 
ness promised in this world. So did Noah by faith 
build the ark, for the saving of his household in the 
flood, Heb. xi. 7. So did Paul receive safety to 
himself, and those that sailed with him in his 
dangerous voj^age. Acts xxvii. 24, 25. Thus Asa 
and his people received ^'ictory in time of battle, 

2 Chron. xviii. 8 ; and Jehoshaphat's preservation 
from assault, 2 Chron. xx. 20. ' And what shall I 
more say 1 (saith the apostle ;) for the time would ftvil 
me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of 
Jephthah, of Samuel, David, and the prophets ; who 
through faith subdued kingdoms,' &c., Heb. xi. 
32-34. So as we may well say of faith, what the 
apostle doth of godliness, 1 Tim. iv. 8, that it is 
'profitable for all things, and hath the promise of 
all kind of blessings; for true faith is the prime 
grace of godliness to the sure entitling of us to the 
best blessings, as Gal. v. 6. 

Here, indeed, every Christian must wisely and 
rightly consider the difierent nature of blessings 
promised, and according to the Lord's meaning, 
entitle themselves thereunto. For some promises 

concern blessings simply necessary to true happi- 
ness, as be justification and sanctification ; other 
promises are made of blessings, both spiritual and 
temporal, which are very good and comfortable, but 
not simply neeessaiy to salvation, as be peace of 
conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and all 
degrees of spiritual graces, above that which shews 
the truth and life thereof, as abundance of know- 
ledge, strong faith, fervent love, and the like ; which 
high degrees of grace some have had, as Abraham, 
Rom. iv. 19, 20 ; the centurion, Luke -sdi. 9 ; and the 
woman of Canaan, Mat. xv. 28 ; whereas the dis- 
ciples themselves were, for a good wliUe, men of 
little faith. Mat. vi. 30, and x^^. 8, and the church 
of Philadelphia had a little strength. Rev. iii. 8. 

Now the promises of blessings, simply necessary 
to true happiness, are made absolutely in Christ to 
true believers, without any other condition, as Acts 
xvi. 31 ; John iii. 16 ; but the promises of blessings, 
not simply necessary to salvation, must be under- 
stood to be made with the exception of the cross, 
wliich is this : that God, out of his sovereignty over 
his dearest cluldren, may deny the accomplishment of 
these promises, either for correction, or prevention 
of sin, or trial of grace, which well considered pre- 
vents much perplexity and distress in soul to those 
that labour to walk honestly, and yet are more 
under the cross than some of God's children be, with 
whom they live. 

For admonition, this serves notably to stir up 
every one to get true faith, for every one desu'es to 
enjoy God's goodness : ' Many say. Who will shew 
us any good?' Ps. iv. G. Now the way is to get 
faith, which entitles us to all God's promises ; and 
the right course herein is, to begin with the main 
promise in Christ, to get that faith in him which 
may entitle us to his righteousness, for in him we 
are restored to sanctified right in the creature, and 
in him all things are ours, 'things present and 
things to come,' 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22. 'All the pro- 
mises of God are in him, Yea, and in him Amen,' 2 
Cor. i. 20. Therefore Christ himself bids his dis- 
ciples, ' First seek the kingdom of God and his right- 
eousness ; and then all these things, pertaining to 
food and raiment, shall be ministered unto us,' ]\Iat. 
vi. 33. 'For if God spared not his own Son, but 
gave him for us, how shall he not witli him give us 

Yee. H.] 



all things also ? ' Rom. viii. 32. Now this tnie faith 
is never severed from true repentance nor new 
obedience ; for by sight and sorrow for sin the way 
is prepared for Christ and his kingdom, Mai. iii. 1, 
and Mat. xxi. 32. iVnd new obedience in eschew- 
ing evil and doing good is that behaviour which 
comes from love, a fruit of the Spirit, by which 
faith worketh. Gal. v. 6, 22. 

The fourth and last point to be here observed is, 
the benefit wliich Da\dd received by behe^'ing God's 
word and promise. Hereby he was preserved from 
fainting in himself, and from being foiled by his 
enemies in their most violent opposition ; for one or 
both of these e\als he confessetli would have be- 
fallen him if he had not believed. See Ps. iii. 3, 6, 
'Thou, Lord, art a buckler for me,' — there is his 
faith ; ' I will not be afraid of ten thousand of the 
people, that have set themselves against me round 
about,' — there is his security from faith. Ps. Ivii. 1, 
3, ' My soul trusteth in thee : yea, in the shadow of 
thy -nings will I make my refuge, till these calamities 
be overpast. He shall send from heaven, and save 
me,' &c. 

The reason hereof is plain, for liis faith entitled 
liim to God's power and providence for protection 
and safety in time of danger, from whence sprang 
that courage which upheld him from fainting in the 
depth of distress ; whereas, if he had wanted faith, 
he had indeed been out of covenant with God, and 
so void of title to God's power and pro^adence, and 
so must needs have fainted when worldly power and 
refuge had wholly failed him. This David's ene- 
mies knew well ; and therefore, thinking that God 
had forsaken him, they do thereupon encourage 
themselves to persecute him, ynth assurance to take 
him, Ps. Ixxi. 11. 

This serv-es for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first, It lets us plainly 
see the great evil of unbelief, for it takes away heart 
and courage in time of persecution. This we may 
see by Nabal, whose heart died witliin him when he 
heard of deadly danger already past, 1 Sam. xxv. 
37 ; and in Saul, when the Philistines came upon 
him, he was sore troubled at the sight of that huge 
army, 1 Sam. xxr\dii. 5 ; and afterwards fainted 
when he heard, by the witch of Endor's means, the 
hea^'y tidings of his approaching ruin, ver. 20 ; and 

the day follo\ving desperately fell upon his own 
sword when the Philistines pressed near unto him, 
1 Sam. xxxi. 4. Hence Aliaz and his people's 
hearts were shaken as a leaf when they heard that 
Syria and Ephraim were conspired against him, Isa. 
vii. 2, at which time the Lord promised him mercy, 
but withal tells him of the hurt of unbelief : ver. 9, 
' If ye will not believe, shall ye not be established f 

Secondly, Here again see the great benefit of faith, 
both for courage and comfort in time of danger ; for 
' the righteous is bold as a Uon,' Prov. xxviii. 1, when 
'the -wicked fly, and no man pursueth;' and also 
for safety and deliverance, while it is a blessing to 
them, see Ps. xxxi. 19, 20, and xci. 1, 2, 9. 

For admonition, it serves notably to move every 
one to get the grace of true faith, and to set the same 
a^working in the time of danger. This world is fuU 
of evils and troubles, as the sea is of storms and 
waves; now faith is as the stern that guides, and 
the anchor that holds fast, against the greatest blasts 
and billows, Heb. vi. 1 9 ; tliis entitles us to God's 
power and providence, which is like the pUlar of a 
cloud by day, and fire by night, to giude and keep 
us, as it did Israel, Exod. xiii. 21, 22, and xiv. 19. 
This gave courage to the three children, Dan. iii. 

Ver. 14. JVait on the Lord: be of good courage, and 
he shall strengthen thine heart : wait, I say, on the Lord. 

These words are the prophet's zealous exhortation 
and encouragement, both to his own soul and to 
others to wait on God and be of good courage, 
meaning in time of trouble and affliction. Unto 
which good duties he doth stir up himself and others 
by the benefit they shall receive thereby — \\z., God 
will strengthen their hearts ; and afterward repeats 
the first duty again, for waiting on God to shew the 
necessity of it. So that here in general we have to 
handle the duties propounded, and the reason to 
enforce them. The duties are two, both of them 
respecting our behaviour in time of affliction : first, 
To wait on God ; secondly. To be of good courage. 

For the first ; To wait on God, is patiently to tarry 
the Lord's leisure for the things we desire, whether 
it be to be freed from e\Tls, or made partakers of 
blessings, or both ; though here the exhortation 
hath special conference to expectation of deUverance 



[Ver. 14. 

from evils. So that the first thing we have here to 
note is this : 

That every child of God who is under any evUs 
of body or mind, or both, must stir up Ins heart to 
wait the Lord's good pleasure and leisure for deliver- 
ance : Ps. cxxx. 6, ' Let Israel hope in the Lord.' 
Luke xxi. 19, 'By your patience possess yourselves,' 
when you are betrayed by parents, kinsfolks, and 
friends ; now waitmg on God is the holy art or work 
of patience, Eom. viii. 25. The examples of God's 
chiklren professing the practice of this duty are 
many: as of Jacob, GeiL xlix. 10, 'I have waited 
for thy salvation, Lord.' Job, chap. xiv. 4, ' All the 
days of mine appointed time will I wait.' David, 
Ps. cxxx. 5, 6, 'I wait for the Lord, yea, my soul 
doth wait : my soul waiteth for the Lord more than 
they that watch for the morning.' Yea, this is the 
practice of the chm'ch itself : Isa. xxv. 9, ' It shall be 
said in that day, Lo, this is our God ; we have waited 
for him, and he ■\vill save us. This is the Lord, we 
have waited for him ; ' all which are an excellent 
cloud of faithful mtnesses, she-sving plainly that the 
duty is required of God, and that the performance 
of it is acceptable in his sight. 

The reasons hereof are plain. First, All afflictions 
come by God's disposing and ruling providence : as 
Isa. xlv. 7, ' I create peace and evil' Amos iii. 6, 
' Is there evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done 
it ? ' And the remo^'ing of them is his doing also ; for 
he doth heal and bind up, as well as tear and smite, 
Hosea vi. 2 ; Jer. xxxiii. 6. Therefore it is wisdom 
to go to him that smitcth, and to wait upon liim for 

Secondly, Waiting on God is a work of faith, Isa. 
xxviii. 1 6, and ascribes unto God the honour of the 
blessing we wait for ; whenas refusing to wait on 
God be^v^ays an evil heart of unbelief, as 2 Kings 
vi. 33, ' Wherefore should I wait on the Lord any 
longer ? ' 

Thirdly, By waiting on God we are sm'ely entitled 
to singular benefits ; Lam. iii. 25, ' The Lord is good 
unto them that wait for him.' See this his good- 
ness in sundry particular blessings : first. They shall 
inherit the earth — that is, every good and comfort- 
able blessing in this world, Ps. xxx\'ii. 9 ; secondly, 
God will save them from their enemies, Prov. xx. 
22 ; thirdly, He hcareth their cry and pi-ayer, Ps. 

xl. 1 ; fourthly, They sliall never be ashamed, Ps. 
xxv. 3; Isa. xlix. 23; fifthly, They shall renew their 
strength, chap. xl. 30 ; sixthly, God preijareth for 
them blessings spiritual in Chi'ist, which surpass the 
conceit and reach of man, chap. Ixiv. 4. 

Tliis serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction it may well inform us to conceive 
what is likely to be our estate in this world in re- 
gard of troubles — namely, seeing we must wait upon 
God for deliverance from them, it seems he would 
have us to resolve, they may be our portion here on 
earth. When an earthly king enjoins all his sub- 
jects to prepare arms and be in readiness, they ^^^U 
easily conceive they shall have wars. And thus 
deals the Lord with his children ; he bids them wait 
upon liim for cleUverance from troubles when they 
come. Now patient waiting is the act of hope in 
God for his help, which is one part of defensive 
armour in time of trouble, as Luke xxi. 19, ' By 
your patience possess your souls;' Eph. vi. 15, 
' And your feet shod with the preparation of the 
gospel of peace,' which needed not but for afflictions,' 
which ai'e jilainly foretold, John x\'i. 33 ; Acts xiv. 
22 ; 2 Tim. ii. 12, and preparation for them enjoined, 
Luke xiv. 26, 27, amj^lified there by two resem- 
blances, ver. 28, &c. 

For admonition, it serves efiectually to stir up 
every godly man to make sure he be indued with 
those graces, and- give himself to that beha^^our 
wliich may enable him with patience to wait on the 
Lord in the time of affliction. Every good husband 
is jjrovident in summer to make provision for winter ; 
and shall not Christians be wise for their souls in 
the like? The sure way to Christian patience is 
this : 

First, To break off the course of every sin by true 
rejjentance, for the guUt of sin takes away peace of 
conscience unless it be seared ; and they that^ai'e in 
that estate and case are ' like the troubled sea when 
it cannot rest, whose waters cast out niii'e and cUrt,' 
Isa. hni. 20, who can rightly wait on God for no- 
tliing but judgments, for while they go on in sin 
they have no title to mercy ; and therefore it is said 
the hope of the ungodly shall perish, Prov. x. 28, it 
shall be like the giving up of the ghost. Job xi. 20 ; 
but if they repent, putting iniquity far away, as 
chap. xi. 14, then there is hope, ver. 18. 

Ver. 14.] 



Secondly, They must believe iu God through 
Christ ; for thus they are justified and have peace 
with God, Rom. v. 1 ; and this faith is the ground 
of things hoped for, Hob. xi. 1,. and when it is tried 
in alHiction it bringcth forth patience, James i. 3, 
the perfect work whereof is this -waiting on God here 

Thii'dl}-, They must fear God, by remembering his 
hand and providence iu these evils that lie upon 
them ; for a sparrow lights not on the ground with- 
out liis will. Mat. x. 29. This wUl check and sup- 
press both repining and grudging towards God, as 
Luke xxiii. 34, 49, and envy and desire of revenge 
against men, and give us hope of a comfortable end. 
Prov. xxiii. 17, IS, 'Let not thine heart envy sin- 
ners : but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the 
day long. For surely there is an end; and thine 
expectation shall not be cut off.' 

Fourthly, They nuist walk in obedience : Ps. 
xxx\'ii. 34, ' Wait on the Lord and keep his way, 
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the earth.' 

Be of good courarje. 

The second duty whereunto David stirs up him- 
self and others in the time of affliction — namely, they 
must not suffer themselves to be daunted, dismayed, 
or faint-hearted, but stu' up themselves, encourage 
their hearts, and keep fast the confidence of their 
hope even iu the depth of distress ; this is the mean- 
ing. ]\Iark, then, God's children must not suffer 
themselves to be dismayed or daunted in time of 
affliction, but cheer up their hearts and encourage 
themselves in the Lord their God : see Ps. xxxi. 24, 
' Be of good courage ; ' Isa. xxxv. 3, ' Strengthen 
the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees,' 
1 Peter iii. 4, not being dismayed with any terror ; 
even as David did when his own men would have 
stoned liim — he ' encouraged liimself in the Lord his 
God,' 1 Sam. xxx. 6 ; and this is the meaning of the 
apostle's charge, 1 Cor. xvi. 3, ' Staud fast in the 
faith ; quit you like men : be strong.' 

The reasons hereof are plain, and of great import- 

First, To be fearful and famt-hearted in affliction 
comes either from the want, or at least from the 
weakness of grace, even of that most excellent and 
needful grace of faith. As Solomon saith, ' If thou 
be faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is 

small,' Prov. xxiv. 10 — even thy faith ; as Christ 
told his disciples in a great stonn upon the sea, Mat. 
viii. 2G, ' Why are ye fearful, ye of little faith 1 ' 

Now there is gi-eat danger herein, for hence comes 
apostasy in religion, when men withdraw themselves 
for fear of persecution. In those the Lord's soul 
takes no pleasure ; such drawing back is unto perdi- 
tion, Heb. X. 38, 39, and such fearful ones are set in 
the first rank of those that must be cast into the 
burning lake, Eev. xxi. 8. 

Secondly, God's children must do as much for 
God's glory in a good cause, as wicked men do to 
his dishonour in that which is evil. Now they en- 
courage themselves in an evil matter, Ps. Lxiv. 5, 
and hearten one another to do wickedly : Isa. xli. 6, 
7, ' They heljied every one his neighbour ; and every 
one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the 
carpenter encouraged the goldsmith,' &c., about 
their idols. Say thou therefore •with Nehemiah, 
'Should such a man as- 1 fly?' chap. -vi. 11. Re- 
member that the Spii'it of glory, and of God, is glori- 
fied when we shew courage in suffering for a good 
cause, 1 Pet. iv. 14. Yea, and our weak brethren 
are much heartened by our example : as Phil. i. 14, 
' Many of the bretluren in the Lord, waxing confi- 
dent by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the 
word -without fear ; ' whereto old Eleazar had great 
resjject in his sufl'erings, 2 Maccab. -vi. 18, 24, 25. 

Thirdly, Courage is needful under afflictions in 
respect of the reward, which, not of our merit, but 
of God's bounty, is no less than a Idngdom, even the 
kingdom of heaven and the crown of Ufe ; see 2 
Thes. i. 4, 5, Paul tells the Thessalonians, that 
tlu-ough faith and patience in suffering they shall be 
counted worthy the kingdom of God : and 2 Tim. ii. 
12, 'If we suffer, we shall also reign with liim.' 
Rev. ii. 10, 'Be thou faithful unto the end, and I 
-wUl give thee the crown of Ufe.' Now what courage 
will men shew for earthly kingdoms ! and what will 
they not endure to get them ! And much more 
should we do so for that kingdom which is undefiled, 
immortal, and fadeth not away, reserved in heaven, 
1 Pet. 1, 4. 

Fourthly, God is with them that suffer for well- 
doing ; and if they be courageous for liis glory he 
will strengthen their hearts, as it foUoweth in tliis 
verse, Ps. xci. IT), 'I will be with him in trouble.' 



[Ver. 14. 

Herewith he encouraged Paul at Corinth, Acts x^dii. 
9, 10 ; and David herewith did notably encourage 
himself, Ps. cxviii. 6, ' The Lord is on my side ; I 
will not fear.' See Eom. viii. 31, 'If God be -ndth 
us, who can be against us f ' Thus the angel encour- 
aged Gideon, Judges ^d. 12; Jeremiah encourageth 
himself, chap. xx. 1 1 ; God encourageth his people, 
Isa. XXXV'. 4, and xh. 10. 

This serves for instruction and admonition. 

For instruction, it shews what manner of persons 
the professors of true religion ought to be, for truth 
and strength of grace — namely, not babes or chil- 
dren, but men of stature and courage in Christ 
Jesus, even perfect men, Eph. iv. 13, 14. Children 
are so fearful, and not fit for war ; but Christians 
must fight the Lord's battles against spiritual ene- 
mies, Eph. vi. 12, and 'endure hardness, as good 
soldiers,' 2 Tim. ii. 3. Few do think on these things, 
but the most content themselves with the shows of 
godliness, and want the powers thereof, 2 Tim. ii. 5 ; 
but ' wisdom is justified of her children,' Mat. xi. 9. 

For admonition, according to this charge, every 
one should give all dihgence to get this spiiitual 
courage into their hearts, which wiU enable them to 
wait upon the Lord in times of distress. 

The way hereto is to make sure of two things : 
first. That the state of our persons towards God be 
good; secondly, That our godly behaviour exjaress 
the same. That the state of our persons may be 
good before God three things are required: re- 
jientanoe, faith, and sanctification. Repentance is 
that grace of God, whereby we, considering our 
own ways in our hearts, do humbly confess our 
wicked ways unto God, and praying for mercy and 
pardon, do forsake the sins wherein we have lived. 
And this is needful unto true courage, because the 
guilt of every sin brings fearfulness : as Gen. iii. 8, 
10; Deut. xxv'iii. 6G, 'Thou shalt fear day and 
night ; ' Prov. xxviii. 1 , ' The wicked fly when 
none pursueth : ' ' Neither shall any man strengthen 
himself in the iniquity of his life,' Ezek. vii. 13. 
Faith is that grace of God's Spirit whereby we 
rest and rely on God's mercy in Christ's merits, 
for justification and salvation : hereby we are jus- 
tified, and be at peace with God, Rom. v. 1 ; and 
'the righteous arc bold as a lion,' Prov. xx\'iii. 1. 
Hereby we are in Christ the Son of God, Gal. ii. 20 ; 

and in him we shall be strong and courageous, as 
Eph. vi. 10; PhD. iv. 3. 

Thirdly, Sanctification is the work of the Spirit, 
abolishing coiTuption, and renewing grace more 
and more every day. Now they that are in this 
estate have the Spii-it dwelling in them, Rom. -viii. 
1 1 ; which is the sjiirit of strength, Isa. xi. 2 ; the 
sphit of jjower, and of a sound mind, 2 Tim. i. 7. 
These graces bring quietness and confidence, which 
are the strength of the godly, Isa. xxx. 19. 

The godly behaviour needful to true spiritual 
courage is threefold : first, To make sure our 
trouble be for a good cause : for ' if we suffer for 
righteousness' sake, we need not be afraid for any 
terror,' 1 Pet. iii. 14. ' Let none of you suffer as an 
evil doer : but if any man suffer as a Christian, let 
him not be ashamed,' 1 Pet. iv. 15, 16. So the 
Jews strengthened their hands for the good work, 
Nell. ii. 18. Secondly, We must store our hearts 
with the word of God, both for direction in 
carriage and consolation in distress. So did 
David, Ps. cxix. 11, hide God's sayings in his 
heart, and hereby kept himself from the paths of 
the destroyer, Ps. xvii. 4 ; ' This is my comfort in 
mine affliction; for thy word hath quickened me,' 
Ps. cxix. 50. And in particular, know God is 
present with us, Deut. xxxi. 6 ; 1 Cliron. xxviii. 
20 ; 2 Chron. xxxii. 7, 8 ; Haggai ii. 4. Thirdly, 
Beside all the former, we must ever join humble 
and earnest prayer for strength and courage from 
God : as Neh. vi. 9, ' They made us afraid. Now 
therefore, O God, strengthen my hand ; ' Acts iv. 
29, ' Now, Lord, behold their threatenings : and 
grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they 
may sijeak thy word.' 

^ml he shall strengthen thine heart. The reason 
whereby the prophet doth encourage liimself and 
his godly brethren to the former duties of waiting 
upon God, and being of good courage in the time 
of affliction, drawn from the great benefit they shall 
i-eap hereby — namely, God will strengthen then- 
hearts : he will put strength and courage into them, 
and make them resolute, or steadfastly minded, as 
this phrase is translated, Ruth i. 18, and alile to 
hold out until they have a blessed issue. 

Mark then, they that wait on the Lord, and 
encourage themselves so to do, in the times of 

Ver. 14.] 



affliction, shall have the Lord in mercy to put 
strength into them, for their better enabling to 
wait on him ; Ps. xxxi. 24, ' Be of good courage, 
and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that 
hope in the Lord.' This David found to be true 
by good experience : Ps. xl. 1 , 2, ' I waited patiently 
for the Lord ; and he inclined unto me — and estab- 
lished my goings ; ' according to the Lord's promise, 
Isa. xl. 30, 'They that wait upon the Lord shaU 
renew their strength.' 

The reason hereof is plain : first. To wait on the 
Lord, and to encourage ourselves in affliction, are 
notable actions of faith, as is shewed before. Now 
the gi-ace of faith doth surely entitle us to the parti- 
cipation of God's power : 2 Chron. xx. 20, ' Believe 
in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established.' 

Secondly, In waiting on the Lord, and encourag- 
ing ourselves in time of affliction, are the right im- 
proving and employing of the talents which the 
Lord hath left with us, for in so doing we set faith 
a-work. And this behaviour hath title to increase, 
for ' to every one that hath it shall be given,' Mat. 
XXV. 28, 29. It is said of Paul that he increased in 
strength. Acts ix. 22, and the way and means 
thereof is shewed by himself: 1 Cor. xv. 10, 'I 
laboured more abundantly than they all.' 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, two ways : first. See here plainly 
that God's gracious gifts and works in our hearts 
are vouchsafed, though not for, yet in and upon our 
endeavour, in obedience to his will, in the use of 
those means wherein he is pleased to work the 
same; as here, increase of strength from God is 
promised upon our obedience in waiting on the 
Lord, and encouraging our hearts so to do : so Isa. 
Iv. 3, ' Hear, and your soul shall live ; ' for ' faith 
comes by hearing,' Eom. x. 1 7 ; and ' he that be- 
lieveth in me,' saith our Saviour, ' shall never die,' 
John xi. 26. A most needful point, worthy of all 
observation, because the corruption of nature is such 
that we ^villingly yield to the contrary conceit, which 
is, to hope for good from God, though we neglect 
the means wherein God is pleased to work the same, 
and therein separate the means from the end : as 
the Jews looked to have eternal life in the word, 
and yet would not search to find therein what it 
testified of Christ, John v. 39 ; they would have 

life, but they would not come to Christ to have it 
in him, ver. 40. As, on the other side, we easily 
persuade ourselves we shall escape damnation, though 
we make bold upon sin, tlie meritorious cause there- 
of, to live therein. 

Secondly, Here see the true fountain of all that 
courage and boldness which in all ages God's chil- 
dren have shewed for God's glory and for the main- 
tenance of his truth, even to the amazement of their 
adversaries ; as in David against Goliath, 1 Sam. xvi. 
32, 34 ; Ps. iii. G, and xxiii. 4 ; in the three servants 
of God before Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. iii. 16, 17; in 
the apostles before the rulers of the Jews, Acts iii. 
13; and in many thousand martyrs before their 
persecutors, whereof the ecclesiastical histories give 
plentiful testimony. Surely they had it from the 
true God, who did strengthen theii- hearts ; and this 
the godly have confessed, as David often, calling the 
Lord his strength, as Ps. xviii. 1, 2, and cxliv. 1 ; 
and Paul, 2 Tim. iv. 1 7, ' The Lord stood with me 
and strengthened me.' 

For admonition, it serves, first. To observe the 
ways and means whereby God doth strengthen the 
hearts of his children, that so we may therein wait 
upon God in the day of affliction, for increase of 
strength and courage in our souls. God's ways for 
this end are of two sorts : some extraordinary, as 
the touch of Christ's hand vouchsafed to Daniel, 
chap. X. 10, 16, 18; and the laying on of his right 
hand, vouchsafed to John, Eev. i. 17. Others are 
ordinary, and that of two sorts, outward and in- 
ward. God's ordinary outward ways of strengthen- 
ing the heart are four. 

Fii-st, and chiefly, His word spoken, either by God 
himself, as Joshua i. 6, 7, 9 ; or by his servants in 
the ministry thereof, as Heb. xii. 12, 'Lift up the 
hands that hang down ;' Isa. xl. 1, 2, ' Comfort ye, 
comfort ye my people ; speak ye to the heart of Jeru- 
salem.' Hence David saitli, ' This is my comfort in 
mine affliction, for thy word hath quickened me,' 
Ps. cxix. 50 ; and Jer. xv. 1 6, ' Thy word was unto 
me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.' A good 
weapon in a man's hand puts courage in his heart 
against an enemy : now God's word is the sword of 
the Spirit, Eph. vi. 1 7 ; yea, the sword of God's 
mouth. Rev. ii. 16; nay, sharper than any two-edged 
!!word, Heb. iv. 12. 




[Ver. 14. 

Secondly, The works of liis providence, wherein 
we have had experience of his goodness in former 
deliverances. Thus David's heart was strengthened 
to encounter with Goliath, by the experience of God's 
power and pro^^dence, in lolling the lion and the 
bear, 1 Sam. xvii. 34-37 ; yea, the remembrance of 
God's power and mercy unto others in like case, 
puts life and courage into the hearts of God's chil- 
dren in distress : Ps. xxii. 4, 5, ' Our fathers 
trusted in thee, and thou didst deliver them. They 
cried unto thee, and were delivered.' Here thou 
maye-st say as Elisha did, at the waters of Jordan, 
' Where is the God of Elijah?' 2 Kings ii. 14. 

Thirdly, The company of the godly puts courage 
into the distressed. Acts xxviii. 15. When Paul 
saw the brethren in his dangerous voyage, he 
' thanked God, and took courage : ' Prov. xxrsdi. 9, 
1 7, ' Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, so 
doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty 
counsel. Iron sharpeneth iron ; so a man sharp- 
eneth the countenance of his friend.' 

Fourthly and lastly. Prayer to God, as well by 
ourselves, as by others in our behalf. Thus the 
apostles sought courage and boldness when they were 
tlireatened by the rulers of the Jews, Acts iv. 24, 
29 ; and Paul, for this end, entreated the Ephesians 
to pray for him, Eph. vi. 19. 

God's inward way of strengthening the heart is 
by the work of his Spirit ; for that is the comforter, 
John xiv. 16, 17, and the Spirit of strength, Isa. xi. 
2, of power and of a sound mind, 2 Tim. i. 7. 

By the assurance of the abode of this Spirit 
among them, the Lord encourageth Zerubbabel, 
Joshua, and the people, Haggai ii. 4, 5. 

Now these being some of God's special ways 
whereby he strengthenetli the hearts of his chil- 
dren, we must stir up ourselves to wait for his 
work of mercy, for the strengthening of our hearts 
when terror and fears take hold upon us. 

Secondly, We must labour to be such, both in 
state of soul and behaviour of life, as to whom God 
will vouchsafe the blessing of strength of heart in 
evil times. This requires (liesides the duties here 
named, of waiting upon God and encouraging our 
hearts in evU times,) that beforehand in the days 
of peace, first. We beware of sin, and break off the 
course thereof by true repentance ; for guilt of sin 

brings a trembling heart and great astonishment, 
as Deut. xxviii. 65, 66 ; even feai-, where no fear is, 
Ps. liii. 5 ; it makes the heart to fail, Luke xxi. 26. 

Secondly, That we are truly in covenant with 
God, not only receiving the seals thereof for out- 
ward admittance and assurance, as baptism and the 
Lord's supper, but humbly receiving and obeying 
the word of the covenant, Christ's holy go.spel ; 
which when we do, the Lord will say, ' Fear thou 
not, for I am with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am 
thy God. I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help 
thee ; yea, I wUl uphold thee with the right hand of 
my righteousness,' Isa. xli. 10. 

Thirdly, That by faith we rest and rely upon 
God's mercy in Christ Jesus. This is the ground 
of hope whereby we wait on God, which hath the 
jiromise of being strengthened ; as when it is said, 
that by faith some ' of weak were made strong,' 
Heb. xi. 34, as Abraham was ' strong in the faith, 
Eom. iv. 20. This faith unites us unto God in 
Christ, Gal. ii. 20, and God's promise is to strengthen 
such in the Lord, Zech. x. 12. 

Fourthly, That we be upright-hearted towards 
God, for the Lord makes himself strong for such, 
2 Chron. xvi. 9. This we may see by his jaromise 
and dealing with David, who was upright before 
him, Ps. xviii. 23, and God's hand was established 
with him ; his arm did strengthen him, Ps. Ixxxix. 

The fourth and last point here to be noted is, the 
repetition of the first duty here prescribed, ' Wait, 
I say, on the Lord ; ' that is, even after the Lord 
hath strengthened thine heart, yet wait still on God, 
and abide his leisure for thy full deliverance. 

The like repetition we may see in the same case : 
James v. 7, 8, 'Be patient therefore, brethi'en, unto- 
the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman 
waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth. Be ye 
also patient ; stablish your hearts, for the coming of 
the Lord draweth near.' 

The reason of such repetitions is to shew the ne- 
cessity of this duty, of waiting upon God in the time 
of afflictions ; for tribulations are like to continue to 
the godly iu this world, as Clu-ist told his disciples, 
John xvi. 33, in regard of the malice of the devil 
and his instruments, who, being the seed of the ser- 
pent, do bear continual enmity to the godly, which 

Ver. 14.] 



are the seed of the woman. The wicked ordinarily 
are many and mighty, as David complaineth, Ps. 
Ixix. 4, 'They that hate me without a cause are 
more than the hairs of mine head : tliey that would 
destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are 
mighty.' So as the godly had need, with the same 
prophet, to say and do, as Ps. lix. 9, ' Because of his 
strength will I wait upon thee : for God is my de- 

This sei-ves to justify a profitable ministerial prac- 
tice, in the zealous pressing of needful duties by 
often rej^etition. Many have itching ears, ever de- 
sirous to hear novelties ; like the Athenians, who 
' spent the time in nothing else but to tell or hear 
some new tiling,' Acts xvii. 21. But 'wLsdom is 
justified of her children.' They that mind to be 
Clirist's discijiles, are desirous to hear needful things 
again and again ; as John ix. 2 7, ' Wherefore would 
you hear it again and again 1 will ye also be his 
disciples ? ' Acts xiii. 42, the Gentiles besought 
that these words might be preached unto them the 
next Sabbath. For which purpose Paul saith, ' To 
write to you the same things is not indeed grievous 
to me, but for you it is safe,' Phil. iii. 1 ; as his often 

practice of it plainly shews ; in the same chapter, vcr. 
18, 'Many walk, of whom I have told you often, 
and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies 
of the cross of Christ.' Gal. i. 8, 9, ' Though we, or 
an angel from heaven, preach unto you any other 
gospel than that which we have preached unto you, 
let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I 
now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto 
you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.' 
And our blessed Saviour, about material duties, took 
the same course, as we may see in his often-repeated 
woes against the scribes and pharisees. Mat. xxiii. 
13-16, &c., and his pressing the duty of watching 
on his disciples by this often repetition : Mark xiii. 
33, ' Take ye heed : watch and pray ; ' ver. 3-5, 
'Watch ye therefore;' ver. 37, 'What I say unta 
you, I say unto all men, Watch.' 

Secondly, This repetition of the duty, she-sving the 
importance of it, must stir up our diligence in the 
constant and conscionable use of such means as God 
hath ordained for the attaining of this vii'tue ; which 
way and means is plainly prescribed in the use of 
admonition, where this duty is handled in the be- 
ginning of the verse. 

Tfi 0E.a AOSA, 




PSALM LXXXIV. To the chief mudcian v2}on 
Gittith. A jKCihn for the soiis of Eorah. 

This psalm may not unfitly be called David's 
heart's desu-e : for though his name be not prefixed, 
as it is to sundry others, yet the matter of it being 
well weighed, doth most fitly accord to his trouble- 
some estate under persecution, whereby he was de- 
barred from safe access to the place of God's solemn 
and public ser\-ice, and most fully express Ids heart's 
desire after the house of God, which was in him both 
frequent and unfeigned, Ps. xx\ii. 4 ; in regard of 
the Ijlessings there to be enjoyed, Ps. Ixv. 4, which 
is matter profitable for God's children ; for that 
which, being denied, will prove the heart's desire, 
should, being enjoyed, become the heart's delight; 
and that is the pure and holy public worship of God. 

In the handling of this psalm we have, first, The 
dedication of it, in the title prefixed ; then the psalm 

The dedication was to ' the chief musician,' or 
master of the choir: for, 1 Cliron. xvi. 4, David 
ordered a choir to sing thanksgiving, and penned 
psalms for that end, which he delivered to the 
master of the choir, ver. 7. Of their ordering, see 1 
Chron. xxv. 1, 7. 

Upon Gittith. Three psalms hath this word Gittith 
in the title, viz., viii., Ixxxi., Ixxxiv., the meaning 
whereof is difficult, being much controverted amongst 
interpreters. The Septuagint reads it, vTrerp twv 
\rivSiv, pro tomilaribus; which the ancients' allegor- 
ising, expound of particular churches, where Cluist is 
1 Evithytnius, August, in Ps. viii. 

the vine, believers are branches, and faith and other 
graces are grapes, which yield that wine which 
cheereth God and man. Judges ix. 1 3. 

Others following the LXXIL, yet refer it to the 
time of vintage thus celebrated. 

The Chaldee paraphrast takes it for a musical 
instrument, which David brought from Gath, where 
he remained in his exile from Saul with. Kmg 

Eabbi Da\'id Kimlii takes it to note and signify 
that this psalm was penned by David in the foresaid 

Also a city of the Levites was called Gath- 
Rimmon, Joshua xxi. 25, whereon Obed-Edom the 
Levite is called the Gittite, 2 Sam. vi. 10 ; and so 
by Gittith here may be meant, either such instru- 
ments as was used by Obed-Edom's posterity, the 
Gittite, or that these psalms were made upon occa- 
sion of transporting the ark from Kirjath-Jearim to 
Jerusalem — namely, the 8th, when it was brought to 
the house of Obed-Edom ; the 81st, upon the death 
of Uzzah ; the 84th, when it was brought to 

It is most probable it was a musical instru- 
ment. The less to be stood upon, because this 
music was typical, and in their time the instraments 
of God, 1 Chi-on. xvi. 42, but now, as John iv. 21, 
23, ' Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at 
Jerusalem, worship the Father : but the true wor- 
shipper shall worship the Father in spirit and in 
truth ;' ' Singing and making melody in your heart 
to the Lord,' Eph. v. 19. 




For the sons of Korah. 

These sons of Korah were the posterity of that 
rebellious Levite, who vnth Dathan and Abiram 
rebelled against Moses and Aaron, Num. xvi., which 
Korah was consumed with fire, ver. 35, with 17. 
Howbeit there were of his sons that died not, Num. 
xxd. 11, departing, as it seemeth, from their father's 
tent, as all were commanded, Num. xvi. 24, 26 ; and 
of these is numbered a family of the Korathites, 
chap. xxvi. 58, of whom came Samuel the prophet, 
and Heman his nephew, 1 Chron. vi. 33, a great 
singer, chap. xxv. 4, 5. 

In tliis dedication note two things : first. King 
Da\'id's emplojTnent in troublesome times ; he com- 
posed and penned psalms of special purpose for the 
public worship and service of God, 1 Chron. xvi. 7. 
The dedication of sundry psalms to the chief musician 
shews the same. 

The reason hereof was his holy zeal for God's 
glory, Ps. Lsix. 9, and fervent desire thus to testify 
his thankfulness to God, that had highly advanced 
him, Ps. lxx-\dii. 71, 72. Therefore he argues the 
matter with his own heart, that he may do it efFec- 
tuallj', Ps. cxvi. 12. 

Use 1. Here see that neither dignity nor distress 
should exempt men from the zealous pursuit of God's 
holy worship. If either one or both would have 
aiforded a good excuse, David needed not to have 
taken such pains about God's service, as to pen 
.sjjecial psalms for the solemn and public use thereof. 

Use 2, A good precedent for every man in his 
place, especially for magistrates and superiors, to 
further God's worship to the uttermost of their 
power. Too many are of Michal's mind, that it is 
too base a thing for David to be seen among the 
Levites, dancing before the ark, especially clothed 
with a linen ephod, 2 Sam. vi. 20. But ' them that 
honour me,' saitli God, ' I will honour ; and they that 
despise me shall be lightly esteemed,' 1 Sam. ii. 30. 
"Was it not David's special honour that he was a 
type of Clirist? And herein, among other things, 
did he prefigure him, that he was zealous for the 
house of God, as Ps. box. 9, ^vith John ii. 1 7. 

But, alas ! how few follow David and Christ herein ! 
DaAdd gave liberally toward the temple, 1 Chron. 
xxix. 3-5. Christ whipped buyers and sellers out 
of the temple, because he would not have his Father's 

house made a den of thieves : now many take liberally, 
and so bring thieves and robbers into the church ; 
and of others we may say, as Mat. xxiii. 4, ' They 
bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, but 
they themselves will not move them with one of 
their fingers.' 

Secondly, Here note that the sons, that is, the 
posterity of \vicked and rebellious Korah, have an 
honourable place in God's sacred and solemn service : 
for to them sundry of David's psalms are commended, 
as Ps. xlii. 44-4G, &c. 

No doubt David saw them, being by place and 
birth Levites, to be faithful and diligent in their 
place, and thus renowns them to all posterity, that 
he composeth special psalms for their ministry in the 
solemn serxdce of God. 

Use 1. Here see the verifying of God's word, for 
the comfort of all godly children, that the son shall 
not bear the inicjuity of the father, Ezek. xviii. 14, 
17, 20, if he see his father's sins and turn from 

Object. 1. But, Exod. XX. 5, God saith he is a jealous 
God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the 

Ajis. That is, inquiring for the sin of the fathers 
among the children, and if there he find it, then 
pays he them home. 

Ohjeet. 2. Achan's sons and daughters are stoned and 
burnt for the father's sacrilege, Joshua vii. 24, 25 ; 
and Dathan's and Abiram's little children are swal- 
lowed up. Num. xvi. 27. 

Alls. For aught we know they might be of yeai's 
of discretion, and privy to their father's stealth. 

"Wlien little ones die m the punishment of the 
father's sin, God lays not the punishment of the 
father's sin upon the chUdi'en ; but, to make the 
father's sin more odious, doth then bring upon the 
children the fruit of their own original corruption, 
which is death determined upon all flesh, as appears. 
Gen. ii. 17, with Eom. v. 12. As a creditor, that 
hath both the father and the sou debtors unto liim 
by bond, may, upon the father's provocation, lay 
the forfeiture ixpon both, being both in his danger. 

Use 2. Secondly, Here is special encouragement 
to the children of wicked parents to become godly 
and faithful in their places. In some sense they are 
the sons of strangers ; for, Ps. Iviii. 3, ' The mcked 



Ver. 1.] 

are estranged from the womb,' yet if tliey leave 
their father's sins, and become faithful to the Lord, 
here is comfort for them in the honour of Korah's 
posterity : see Isa. Ivi. 3, ' Let not the son of the 
stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, 
saying, The Lord hath separated me from his 
people ; ' for, ver. 6, 7, ' The sons of the stranger, 
that joined themselves to the Lord to serve him, 
and to love the name of the Lord, even them wiU I 
bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful 
in my house of prayer,' &c. ; for, 1 Sam. ii. 30, ' Them 
that honour me I -will honour, saith the Lord.' 

Ver. L How amiable are thy tabernacles, Lord of 
hosts ! 

The matter of this psalm is a most solemn and 
pathetical expressing of David's high esteem of the 
place of God's public worship, -with his ardent and 
earnest desire to have freedom and liberty to enjoy 
the same, which some i think, and that probably, he 
penned in the time of Absalom's rebellion, when he 
fled for his life out of Jerusalem, 2 Sam. xv. 14 ; for 
he mentioneth appearing in Zion before the Lord, 
ver. 7, which was after the ark of the covenant was 
brought thither, which was not in Saul's lifetime 
but after, 2 Sam. vii., about the thirteenth year of his 
reign. Or as others,^ in the troublesome times of 
his great wars, whereby he was detained from the 
public place of God's worship, for that Absalom's 
rebellion was not so long. 

He begins \nt\\ the high esteem he had of the 
place of God's pubUc worship, which by way of ad- 
miration he doth acknowledge unto God to be most 
lovely and amiable, ver. L 

In the handling whereof we have these two 
things : first. The description of the person unto 
whom the acknowledgment is made ; secondly. The 
matter that is acknowledged. 

The description of the person is the Lord of hosts, 
/T)S2^ nin\ so as the point is this : the true God 
is the Lord of hosts, so ver. 3, 8, 12; Ps. xxiv. 

He is so called because all creatures in heaven 

and earth are at the Lord's command, as sokliers in 

an aimy at the command of the general, ready 

pressed to do his will. Hence all creatures in 

1 Musculus, Piscator. ^ MoUeruf. 

heaven and earth are called the host of heaven and 
earth. Gen. ii. 1. 

Use 1. This title shews the Lord's power and 
sovereignty over all creatures ; he may command and 
set their places and stations at his pleasure, as 
generals do their soldiers in an army, see 1 Kings 
xxii. 19, 20. And hence are those strange events 
in war that the weaker do conquer, as Deut. xxiii. 
30 ; one chase a thousand, and two put ten thou- 
sand to flight. So, 1 Sam. xiv. 6, 13, Jonathan and 
his armour-bearer smote a whole garrison of the 

Use 2. For admonition it serves three ways : first, 
For fear and reverence towards God's majesty ; he is 
the Lord of hosts, having all creatures at his beck : 
Ps. 1. 1, 4, ' The mighty God, even the Lord, hath 
spoken, and called the earth, from the rising of the 
sun unto the going down thereof ; ' ' He shall call to 
the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he 
may judge his people ; ' Jer. v. 22, ' Fear ye not 
me ? saith the Lord ; ■will ye not tremble at my pre- 
sence 1 ' Mat. X. 28, ' Fear him which is able to 
destroy both soul and body in hell.' 

Secondly, That we take heed of abusing any of 
God's creatm-es ; for be they never so mean, God 
can make armies of them to destroy the wicked. 
Consider his wonders in Egypt, of had, of frogs, of 
flies, of lice, Exod. viii. 9, &c. ; his dealing ynth. 
Herod, Acts xLi. Reason, as Isa. xxxvi. 9, &c., 
' How wilt thou turn away the face of one captain 
of the meanest of my master's servants 1 ' A terror 
to the wicked. 

Thirdly, That we make sure we fight under his 
banner : for he is the Lord of hosts, and hath his 
spiritual annies and weapons ; see Ps. ex. 3 ; Eph. 
vi. 10, &c. ; and 2 Cor. x. 5 ; see Ps. xxiv. 7, &c., 
' Lift up your heads, ye gates ; and be ye lifted 
up, ye everlasting doors ; and the King of glory 
shall come in ; ' that is, the ark. Then the Lord 
himself into men's hearts : 1 Cor. iii. 16, ' Know ye 
not that ye are the temjjle of God, and that the 
Spiiit of God dwelleth in you 1 ' Eev. iii. 20, ' Be- 
hold, I stand at the door, and knock ; if any man 
hear my voice, and open the door, I \n\\ come in to 
liim, and sup mth him, and he with me.' 

Use 3. For consolation sundry ways : First, to 
those that fight the Lord's battles, and stand in 

[Ver. 1. 



defence of liis cluircli ; see Ps. xlvi. 7, 11. As he 
is the Lord of hosts, so he hath made Jesus Christ 
the captain of his host, Joshua v. 14. 'No weapon 
that is formed against thee shall prosper,' Isa. liv. 

Secondly, To any child of God in his particular 
distress ; for he hath all creatures at command to 
serve and save his children, and to destroy theu- 
enemies ; see Kxod. xiv. 28, 29, the waters of the 
Ecd Sea are a wall unto the Israelites, but dro-mi 
the Egj'jJtians ; Dan. iii., fire saves the three ser- 
vants of God, and kills them that cast them in ; so 
do the lions, Daniel, chap. %-i. Dost thou want? 
the ravens shall feed thee, 1 Kings xvii. 4, 6 ; or 
angels, Ps. Ixxviii. 25. Ait thou in the sea? a 
whale shall bring thee to land, Jonah i. 1 7, and ii. 

The matter acknowledged is the loveliness of 
God's tabernacles, which, surpassing David's abihty 
to express, he propounds by way of adniii'ation, 
inipl\ing that they were to him most lovely and 
amiable, far surpassing his abUity to express. 

For our better understanding hereof we are to 
search out, as well the place, as the property for 
which Da^-id doth admire it. 

The place is God's tabernacles or dwelling-places: 
whereby he meaneth that special place of God's pub- 
lic and solemn worship which God had chosen for 
himself among liis people in Da\"id's time, promising 
there to be present with them, and to dwell among 
them, Exod. xxv. 8; Lev. xxvi. 12. 

Quest. But why doth he use a word of the plural 
number, sajdiig tabernacles, whereas Moses erected 
but one for the Lord ; neither did the Lord allow of 
any other, till the temple was built by Solomon. 

Ans. Some' think he hath reference to the divers 
places where God was worshipped at that time ; for 
the tabernacle was at Gibeon, and the ark at mount 
Moriah, 2 Cliron. i. 3, 4. 

But it is more probable that he hath respect to 
the several parts and places of the tabernacle, which 
were made distinct by God's appointment. The 
court was for the people, as ver. 2 ; the holy place 
was for the priests ; and the holy of holies was for 
the high priest once every year, as Heb. ix. 2, 3, G, 
7. In all of which God dwelt, though not inclu- 

' Junius, Piscator. 

sively as men do in their houses, for so the ' heaven 
of heavens cannot contain him,' 1 Kings viii. 27 ; 
but in regard of more special manifestation, testify- 
ing his favourable respect unto their worship and 
service, as 1 Kings ix. 3. 

The property ascribed to this place is lovely or 
amiahle, that is, such as draws the best affections of 
the heart unto it. 

Here then note two points : one taken for 
granted, the other purjiosely intended. The point 
taken for granted is, that God hath his tabernacles, 
or dweUmg-places, where he doth in special manner 
abide among his peojile : so as we may say, ' The 
tabernacle of God is -n-ith men, and he will dwell 
with them,' Eev. xxi. 3. Under the law he had 
a material building, called the tabernacle of the 
congregation, erected by Moses at his appomtment, 
Exod. xxv. 8, and xl. 34, 35, which place was 
moveable, and continued for God's worship, till 
God had given rest unto liis peojile round about, 
and then he caused Solomon to build him a temple, 
1 Kings vi. 1, 2. Under the gospel he hath a 
spii'itual buUdmg ; 1 Pet. ii. 5, ' Ye, as lively 
stones, are built up a spiritual house, whose house 
are we : ' speaking of all the faithful who believe 
in God thi-ough Clu-ist, Heb. iii. 6, who are the 
temple of the living God, in whom he dwells, 
1 Cor. iii. 16, whether we conceive them jointly 
altogether, Eph. ii. 21, or di^dded into particular 
holy assemblies. Mat. x^iii. 20, or personally con- 
sidered, 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17, and vi. 19. 

The reason hereof is twofold : first. The clearer 
evidence of his especial favour and respect unto 
them above all the people of the world : for ' the 
whole world is his, and the fulness thereof,' Ps. 
xxiv. 1, yet none can say, but the church of God, 
who are his people by covenant, that God doth 
dwell among them. 

Secondly, For the better assuring of all the bless- 
ings of the covenant to those that be his people. 
For God in Clirist is the true fountain of all good 
things : and his dwelling among them, in that 
manner which he cUd manifest in his tabernacle, 
gave plain e^^dence of his readiness to commu- 
nicate his goodness imto them, according to all 
that he had promised in his covenant. This 'nill 
appear by a brief view of the several parts of God's 



[Ver. 1. 

tabernacle, considered ^\dtll the special ends for 
which they were ordained. The whole tabernacle 
was made ' according to the pattern shewed in the 
mount.' It contained three distinct places — the 
court, the holy place, and the holy of holies; and 
in each of these there were several ordinances, serv- 
ing by their use and signification to testify God's 
readiness, who there dwelt among them, to com- 
municate his goodness to his people there serving 

Take a ^ne^v of some. In the court (which sig- 
nified the visible church, wherein hypocrites may 
have a place for outward worsliip) was, first, the 
ministry of the word and prayer. Here the priests 
and Le\-ites taught the people ; as it is said of 
Chi'ist, Luke xvii. 47, ' He taught daily in the 
temple ; ' here the scribes and pharisees sat in 
Moses' chair. Mat. xxiii. 2, and here both priests 
and people prayed, as Luke i. 10; for 'my house 
shall be called the house of prayer,' Luke xix. 46. 
Secondly, Here was the altar of burnt-offering, a 
type of Clirist ; for the altar and the twelve pillars 
resembled God and the twelve tribes making a 
covenant together with sacrifice, Exod. xxiv. 4. 
This altar in the court of the tabernacle was over- 
laid with brass, a strong metal, to signify that 
Christ God did sanctify his manhood to be an 
acceptable sacrifice, and strengthen him to do 
and suffer all things needful for our redemption and 
salvation. Thirdly, The laver for washing — a type of 
sanctification. Tit. iii. 5 ; Heb. x. 22. 

In the holy place were three memorable thmgs : 
first. The altar of incense, shado^^'ing out Christ's 
intercession in heaven ; secondly, The table of sliew- 
bread, signifjing that standing table of the word and 
sacraments, wherem God kcepeth plentiful provision 
to feast his elect in Christ. Every one had in his 
incense cup pure incense put upon it, signifjing ful- 
ness of joy in Christ Jesus. 

Thirdly, The golden candlestick, a figure of the 
church, Rev. i. 20, because it holdeth up the light 
of God's word ; the several branches resembled 
particular churches ; and the lights therein signi- 
fied the words of the prophets, or the holy Scrip- 
tures, 2 Pet. i. 19. The seven branches from one 
shaft, all of one matter, signified variety of gifts and 
graces, proceeding from one Spirit, Zech. iv. 2, 6. 

In the most holy place, or holy of holies, was, first. 
The ark, whose lid was called the mercy-seat, over- 
laid M-ith pure gold, and ■n'ithin it the two tables of 
the covenant, all shado-sraig Christ, who is our cove- 
nant, Isa. xUx. 8, and our propitiatory, Eom. iii. 
25 ; 1 John ii. 2. Over the ark did God ajipear 
between the cherubims, siguif}dng God teaching 
tlirough Clu'ist, who is attended by the ministry of 

Secondly, Here were the golden censers, to bring 
fire ■mih incense to the mercy-seat, signifying that, 
with the incense of the spirit of Christ's sufferings, 
must be mingled by Christ himself upon the altar 
with fire, before that our service can be accepted, 
Lev. xvi. 12, with Eev. viii. 3, 4. 

Tliii'dly, Here was the pot of manna which God 
gave them from heaven, signifying Christ crucified — 
' The bread that came down from heaven,' John vi. 
41 ; 1 Cor. x. 3 ; also Aaron's rod that budded, 
testifying their rebellion. Num. xvi., yet, being near 
to the mercy-seat, was pardoned in Christ. These 
two last, Heb. ix. 3, 4, are said to be within the 
ark ; where some ^ refer the relative to the fonner 
antecedent, which needs not, seeing that, standing 
before it, they were with it, for nothing was witliin 
but the two tables, 1 Kings viii. 9. 

Besides these that did severally belong to some of 
the holy places, there were some things common to 
all. As, first. The anointing oil, wheremth every 
particular vessel and instrument was consecrate to 
his lioly use, signifying the graces of the Spirit 
sanctifjing us to God ; secondly. The coverings for the 
whole tabernacle, signifying God's protection by his 
special pro\"idence over his whole church and every 
member thereof, as Isa. iv. 5, 6, ' Upon all the glory 
shall be a defence,' &c. ; Ps. xxvii. 5, ' Thou wilt 
hide me in thy tabernacle.' 

In all these, and many other, he both manifested 
his presence among his people, and also his readi- 
ness to do them good by communicating spiritual 
blessings among them. If any say. These things 
proved his presence amongst the Jews, but what are 
they to us? I answer. Much. They were types 
and ' shadows of good things to come ; but the body 
is Christ,' Col. ii. 17, who is 'come by a more per- 
fect tabernacle,' Heb. ix. 11 ; and him we have 

' Jun., par. 

Ver. 1.] 



among us in the word of the gospel, fully perform- 
ing all that was prefigured in legal ceremonies. 

Quest. Are our churches and chapels answerable to 
the Jews' tabernacle and temple for prerogative of 
God's presence ? 

A)is. No ; difference of place in respect of holiness 
for God's service is taken away by Christ in the 
New Testament, John iv. 21, 23 ; 1 Tim. ii. 8. 
But the congregations of God's people, assembled 
for holy worship according to God's ordinance, have 
Christ present, as J\Iat. xviii. 20. They are God's 
house, Heb. iii. 16, and God's temple, 1 Pet. ii. 5; 
Eph. ii. 21. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1. For instruction, two ways : fii'st. How to 
judge rightly of difference of place in respect of 
holiness, — namely, if it be God's habitation and 
dweUing-place ; thus were the temple, the tabernacle, 
and people of the Jews more holy than others under 
the law. Papists say consecrated places for holy wor- 
ship be more holy than other places, Bdlar., De C'uliu 
Sand., lib. ui. cap. 4. But the truth is, our churches 
and chapels are as the Jews' synagogues, whereof, Ps., 
Ixxiv. 8 ; of which we may say, as Mat. xxiii. 16, 
1 7, ' Woe unto you, blind guides,' &c. ; or as Ber- 
nard, Hahent sanditatem, sed propter corpoj-a vcstra, 
&c.. Churches are holy because of your bodies, your 
bodies because of your souls, your souls because of 
the Spirit of God. As it was said of the Israelites, 
Non propter locum gentem, sed propter gentem locum 
elegit, (ConcU., Aquisgr.) As Austin, Quid supplica- 
twus Deo locum sanctum requiris ? Volens in templo 
ware in te ora, et ita age semper id Deo templum sis : 
ibi enim Deus exaiulif, uhi habitat, (Aug., lib. sentent.) 
And Origen, (Hom. 5 in Lev.,) Locum sanctum in 
terris non requiro positum, sed in cordc. 

Use 2. Secondly, See whence the church of God 
in general, and every time member thereof in par- 
ticular, have their stabUity, even from this, that they 
are the temple of God, God dweUeth in them, and 
he is stronger than he that is in the world, 1 John 
iv. 4. 

Use 3. For admonition, here learn to take notice 
of God's dwelling-places, and to cairy ourselves an- 
swerable to his goodness and bounty therein. His 
public dwelling-places are the holy assemblies of 

ministers and people in hoi}- worship ; towards 
which we must have David's aftection towards the 
tabernacle, Ps. xlii. 2, 3, and bdii. 1, 2, and shew 
forth our desne to glorify God by provoking others 
to frequent the same, Isa. ii. 2, 3 ; Micah iv. 1,'_2. 
But, alas ! here justly we may complain, as Lam. i. 
4, ' The ways of Zion mourn.' Few frequent these 
assemblies in comparison of those that run thick and 
tlireefold to sinful and shameful assemblies, where 
Satan dwelleth, as he doth in places of idolatry and 

For comfoit it makes greatly to all God's cliildreu 
who are the members of his church ; they have a 
double assurance that Clirist dwelleth in them, their 
inward jjiety, and their outward profession. Here- 
on they may say, as Jer. xx. 11, ' The Lord is with 
me as a mighty terrible one : therefore my persecu- 
tors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail : they 
shall be greatly ashamed ; for they shall not pros- 
per : their everlasting confusion shall never be for- 
gotten.' And with David, Ps. cxiii. 5, 6, ' Who is 
like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on liigh, 
who humbleth himself to behold the things that are 
in heaven, and in the earth ! ' Consider Luke xi. 
21, 22, and John xiv. 17, 18. 

The point purposely intended is, that God's taber- 
nacles are most lovely and amiable, surpassing 
Da\ad's ability to express, Ps. xxvi. 8, xx^ii. 4, and 
cxxii. 1. 

The reason is, first, God's gracious presence as he 
stands in covenant with his people ; for so he shews 
himself in his sanctuaiy, the place of his worsHp, 
and his presence is lovely : Ps. Ixiii. 2, ' To see thy 
power and glory, so as I have seen thee in thy sanc- 
tuary.' This liked Moses so well that he had rather 
stay with it in the wUdemess than go -without it to 
Canaan, Exod. xxxiii. 25 ; Mat. x\'ii. 2-4. "When 
Christ was transfigured in the mount, in the sight 
of Peter, James, and John, Peter liked the place so 
well that he said, ' ALaster, it is good to be here,' 
and moves for liberty to buOd three tabernacles.j 

Secondly, There God doth lovingly admit com- 
munion and society with his people, speaking unto 
them in his word, as Ps. 1. 5, 7 ; Isa. xl. 1, and hear- 
ing them speak to him in prayer, Ps. 1. 15 ; as Cant, 
ii. 14. It is, as we may speak with reverence, the 
wooing-place between Christ and his church ; here 



[Ver. 1 

the contract is made in tlie covenant of grace, as 2 
Cor. xi. 2 ; here is the love of espousals, Jer. ii. 2 ; 
here God allows and speaks comfort, Hosea ii. 14. 

Thirdly, Here God doth shew himself most gra- 
cious in mercy and bounty unto his chiu'ch. His 
gi'acious mercy is seen in remo\'ing evils from them : 
as, first, Blindness of mind, Isa. xxii. 7, with 2 Cor. 
iii. 14; secondly, Hardness of heart, Ezek. xxx\'i. 
26; tliirdly. Transgression of life, Hosea xiv. 4. His 
gracious bounty is seen in spiritual and heavenly 
gifts ; for where is regeneration wi-ought but in his 
church 1 Ps. Ixxxvii. 4, 5, ' Man and man ' — that 
is, every man that is born again — ' was born in her ; ' 
for 'Jerusalem is the mother of us all,' Gal. iv. 26. 
Now hereby we are made the sons of God, heii's of 
heaven, 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. Where are all the particular 
saving graces of the Spirit begotten in the hearts of 
men, but in the church ordinarily ? Ps. Ixxxvii. 7, 
'All my springs are in thee.' The Spuit is the 
fountain, and peculiar graces the streams that issue 
thence, see John vii. 37, 39. Here God begets grace 
in thy soul, and is it not a most lovely thing to have 
such near and sweet society with God I It was 
divine joy to the Virgin Mary that the Holy Ghost 
did overshadow her, and foi-m the blessed body of 
Christ in her womb, as we may see by her song : 
Luke i. 46, 47, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.' 
Oh, consider that God begetting grace in thy heart 
in his church, Clirist is formed in thee spiritually. 
Gal. iv. 19, which should be more joyful unto thee, 
if more might be, than Christ's conception was to 
her ; because she might have been saved without 
that honour, but thou canst not unless Christ be 
formed in thee ; here thou beholdest and art changed 
into the same image, 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

Tliis serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1. For instruction, first. That our Christian 
assemblies for evangelical worship are lovely places ; 
for what David said of the legal tabernacle is most 
true of evangelical assemblies for the holy worship of 
God in Christ, in the word, sacraments, and prayer. 
For, Heb. ix. 11, 'Clirist is now come an high priest 
of good things to come, by a greater and more per- 
fect tabernacle ; ' and here he is present. Mat. xviii. 
20, admitting liis elect to holy society and fellowship 

with himself, also exercising most gracious mercy 
and bounty in removing evils, and bestowing hea- 
venly blessings and graces upon his. 

Use 2. Secondly, See here a reason of David's 
strong affection towards the legal tabernacle, and 
proportionably of the affection of God's children to- 
ward evangelical worshijj : he was sick for sorrow 
when he was debarred from it, see Ps. xlii. 1, 2, 
and most joyful when he had freedom thereto, Ps. 
cxxii. 1. The reason is the loveliness of the place, 
for the presence, favour, and gi'ace of God there to 
be enjoyed after a special manner. The world doth 
account God's children, for their zeal in following the 
preaching of the word, brain-sick persons, giddy- 
headed, and suchlike. But the truth is, these cen- 
surers — like sorry physicians, '^'y^ ^K3~l' Jo^^ ^"i- ^ 
— mistake the place affected (as Festus did of Paul, 
Acts xxvi. 24 ;) they are sick indeed, yet not brain- 
sick, but heait-sick, sick of love, as Cant. v. 8, 
■"Jl^ n2nj>} jn';>"inii'i after Christ. "Whereof they need 
not to be ashamed, for God the Father loves them, 
and Christ also, John xiv. 21. Now it is no news 
that those that are in love should frequent the places 
where they may meet with their beloved. 

Use 3. For admonition, it serves profitably two 
ways. First, To those that can see no loveliness in 
God's tabernacles among us ; can take no delight or 
pleasure in the assemblies of God's people for his 
holy worship. Consider tliine estate, for certainly 
as yet thou hast not David's heart, and he was a 
man according to God's own heart. Acts xui. 22. 
Such are, first, recusant papists ; secondly, profane 
contemners — of both whom we may say, as Mat. xi. 
16, &c., ' Whereunto shall I liken this generation?' 
&c. These have no heart for God that are weary of 
his worship, see Mai. i. 13 ; Amos vLii. 5. It is not 
the May -pole dance that will di-aw recusants : the 
danceabout the gold en calf would drawthem all, Exod. 
xxxii. 6, 19. Jeroboam's calves at Dan and Bethel 
they like well, 1 Kings xii. 28, 29 ; and to set their 
posts by the Lord's, as Ezek. xliii. 8 ; but wisdom 
is justified of her children. Mat. xi. 19. These men, 
professing themselves to be wise, become fools, see 
Eom. i. 22-24. Mark well, till thou hast a heart 
for God's worship, thou hast no soul fit for heaven. 
How canst thou be a pillar in God's house, and 
never brought to the framing place ] In the material 

Ver. 2.] 



temple tlicre Avere tliree places : so public assemblies 
are for regeneration and glory. For motives, think 
on John iii. 5, ' Except a man be born of water and 
of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 

Use 4. Secondly, To C4od's children ; are they 
lovely to thee? Let thine actions towards God's 
worship declare the truth of thine affections. 

Men of authority and wealth must apply both for 
the maintenance and furtherance of God's worship : 
so did David, 1 Chron. xxix. 2, 3, 'I have prepared 
with all my might for the house of my God,' &c. 
' Because I have set my affection to the house of 
my God,' &c. Ministers especially must shew love 
unto, and delight in, the Lord's worship ; by negli- 
gence they conceal the knowledge of God, see Mat. 
xxiii. 13 ; Luke xi. 52. The shew-bread must be 
set upon the table in the tabernacle every Sabbath 
new, Lev. xxiv. 8 ; by profaneness they cause the 
Lord's tabernacle and service to be forsaken and 
loathed, 1 Sam. ii. 17. People also must call one 
on another, Isa. ii. 2, 3 ; and all, both magistrates, 
ministers, and people, must iway for the Lord's 
power and providence in maintaming his pure wor- 
ship. The next week being the time of ordination 
of ministers, it is not unfit to take notice of it, to do 
that wliich Christ enjoined. Mat. ix. 38, ' Pray ye 
therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send 
forth labourers into his harvest.' 

Though papists observe such times superstitiously, 
yet we may do as Gideon, who sacrificed to the Lord 
that wliich was prepared for Baal, Judges \i. 26. 

Yer. 2. My soul longeth, yea, even faintelh for the 
courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crkth out for 
the living God. 

In the former verse David, by way of admu'ation, 
ackuowledgeth unto the Lord the loveHness of his 
tabernacles ; in this verse he doth in his own person 
verify his former confession, by discovering his own 
ardent and earnest affection, first, to the place of 
God's worship, then to God himself, for whose 
sake he so affected the place. His fervent affection 
towards the place is in these words, ' My soul 
longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the 
Lord.' The courts of the Lord were two : one was 
the great court, that place whither the people came ; 

the other was for the priests, 2 Chron. vi. 9 ; for 
this Da\'id's soul longed and fainted. He had as 
great a desire after it as a woman with child hath 
after the things she longeth for ; and being deprived 
hereof his soul fainted, as women will do when they 
miss of the things they long for. His vehement 
desire after God himself is in the latter branch, 
' My heart and my flesh crieth out for the hving God.' 

In the words note two points : first, David's 
earnest and ardent affection towards the places of 
God's public worship — his soul longed and fainted 
after them ; his affection towards this place was like 
the appetite of a woman with child, who is apt to 
desii'e some things inordinately, see Ps. xxvii. 4, 
xlii. 1, and Ixiii. 1. 

The reason hereof stands on a double ground : 
first, The sense of his own estate in soul for some 
spiritual wants. His estate in soul was this : first, 
He had a true spuitual hunger and thirst after 
heavenly things, as Ps. cvii. 5, which things were 
only to be had in the tabernacles of God. His case 
was like the prodigal child's, Luke xv. 1 7 ; he was 
hunger-starved, and there was bread enough at his 
father's house, for the tabernacles of God are Betli- 
lehcm, the house of bread. Mat. ii. 6. Here Christ 
is born, the true bread of life, John vi. 48, 50. It 
might well be called the house of bread, for anciently 
it was Ephrath, or Ephratlia, a place of fruitfulness. 
Gen. xlviii. 7 ; and at Bethlehem was an excellent 
well, after wliich David longed, 2 Sam. xxiii. 15 ; 
so in God's tabernacles is the river of his pleasures, 
the fountain of life. Hither apply Ezek. xlvii. 1, 
'The waters of the sanctuary,' and Zech. xiii. 1, 
' A fountain for uncleanness.' 

Secondly, Da^^d was in love, which affection will 
grow to be strong — strong as death. Cant. viii. 6, 7. 
Now the paity he loved was here, and here only, to 
be enjoyed, for special spiritual society, 1 Kings ix. 
3 ; see Cant. i. 7, 8. 

Thirdly, David's soul was with child ; he had 
spuitually conceived Christ. Now longing is ordi- 
nary to women with child, it is gravidarum malacia,^ 
and the thing he longed for was in the courts of the 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

' Plin lib. xxiii. cap. C. 


[Ver. 2 

f « 1. For instruction, touching tlie good or bad 
estate of men's souls ; for if our souls be in good 
estate, we must be affected towards evangelical wor- 
ship, as David's was towards legal, for hunger and 
tliu'st, love and longing after heavenly things. In 
evangelical worship is our communion and 'fellowship 
with Christ and his benefits, and indeed in this world 
herein only and chiefly, because of God's ordinances. 
If thou say, with Naaman, 'Are not Abana and 
Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the 
waters of Israel?' 2 Kings v. 12, thou must keep 
thy leprosy of sin unless thou change thy mind, for 
all God's springs are here, Ps. Ixxxvii. 7. 

Now after trial it ^^^I1 be found true, that many 
neither himger nor thirst, love nor long, but say, as 
Mai. i. 13, ' It is a weariness ; ' and as Amos viii. 5, 
' When will the new moon and Sabbath be gone ;' as 
Job xxi. 14, they say unto God, 'Depart from us ;' 
and as the mixed multitude, Num. xi. 6, ' Our soul is 
dried away : there is nothing at aU, besides this 
manna, before our eyes. 

Use 2. For admonition, to labour to have our 
hearts affected towaixls evangelical worshij), as 
David's was towards legal. The . way is to inform 
ourselves of our natural misery in ourselves, for 
which there is no remedy but in the Lord's taber- 
nacles, his Bcthesda, John v. 4, &c., where ' whoso- 
ever first, after the troubling of the water, stepped in, 
was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.' Our 
misery is spiritual, in blindness of mind, hardness of 
heart, &c. Now here only is the Lord's eye-salve, 
Eev. iii. 18, and the Spirit that takes away the stony 
heart, and gives an heart of flesh, Ezek. xxx\'i. 26. 

Us; 3. For comfort, it makes generally to those 
that truly desu-e and delight in evangelical worshiji ; 
if herein they deal sincerely, they cannot but be ac- 
ceptable to God, and he will give testimony to them, 
as he did to David, ' I have found Da'sid the son of 
Jesse, a man after mine own heart,' Acts xiii. 22 : of 
them it may be said, as Mat. xiii. 1 6, ' Blessed 
are your eyes, for they see : and your ears, for they 
hear ; ' and as Mat. xvi. 17, ' Blessed art thou, Simon 
Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it 
unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' 

My heart and my flesh crkth out for the licinij God. 
The second sentence, declaring David's vehement 
desu-e after the true God, here called the li\ing God. 

He names lioth heart and flesh, to shew the truth of 
his affection ; as it was conceived in his soul, so it 
was expressed and manifest in his body, in voice 
and gesture, looking towards it, and crying out for 
it : so the word is translated, Prov. i. 20, ' Wisdom 
crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets,' 
Lam. ii. 19, ' Arise, cry out in the night ;' Ps. x^di. 6, 
' I have called upon thee ; ' Ps. Ixxviii. 65, ' Like a 
mighty man that shouteth.' 

Here note the description of God, and Da^id's af- 
fection towards him. 

For the first. The true God is ' the living God,' 
so Ps. xiii. 2 ; Jer. x. 10, and in other places : for 
the better understanding whereof we must consider, 
first. In general what the life of God is ; and then 
more particularly, what those special properties are 
whereby God shews himself indeed to be a li'^ing 

For the first. The life of God is an essential pro- 
perty of the divine nature, whereby it is, and is con- 
ceived of us to be, in perpetual action, living and 
moving in itself and of itself. To give a reason 
hereof a priori, by way of causality, it is impossible ; 
but a posteriori, or from the effect, we may argue 
thus : If God had not life in himself, he could not 
give life and being unto other things. But ' in him 
we live, we move, and have our being ; ' yea, ' he 
giveth unto all, life, and breath, and all things,' 
Acts xvii. 28, 25. Therefore he is a living God. 

For the second. The special properties whereby God 
shews himself indeed to be a living God are three : 
his wisdom, his power, and his will. His wisdom, 
whereby in and of himself he doth linow both him- 
self and all things else, both universal and particular, 
that either have been, are, or shall be — yea, that 
might have been, or may be. His power, whereby 
he effectually doth whatsoever he mil, and is able to 
do whatsoever he can ■will, both how, and when, and 
where -he will. His will, whereby he cloth most 
freely and justly, by one eternal immutable act, vidll 
his own glory as the end of all things, and all things 
else as the means of that end. He that hath these 
properties, and exerciseth these efl^ects of life, must 
needs be a livmg God ; which consideration may 
serve for a second reason of the point. 

By way of use, it serves for instruction, admoni- 
tion, and comfort. 

Ver. 2.] 



Use 1. For instraction, it serves to distinguish 
between the true God and idols. That wliich lives 
not at all, or lives not of itself, cannot be God : this 
use the prophet Jeremiah makes of it, chap. x. 10 ; 
and the apostle Barnabas, and Paul, Acts xiv. 15, and 
1 Thes. i. 9. 

Use 2. For admonition : to the end we may have 
the like affection towards God as David had, we 
must imitate him in his esteem of God, and labour 
to have our hearts well settled in this persuasion, 
that the true God is indeed a living God. Other- 
wise, as he were not worth the crpng after, so would 
it not be easy to induce us to it ; for were he not a 
hving God, how loud soever we should cry, he could 
not hear, and then we might conceive it as good to 
be silent ; a deaf God and a dumb religion may do 
well enough together. 

But (as the psalmist intimates, Ps. Ixv. 2, when 
he saith, 'Thou art the God that hearest prayer; 
unto thee shall all flesh come ') hope of audience is 
that wliich openeth the mouth of invocation ; for 
' how shall they call on him in whom they have not 
believed ? ' Kom. x. 1 4 ; and how shall men believe 
in any but a li-ving God 1 what good can a dead god 
do them ? 

Use 3. For comfort : they that are the servants of 
the true God are the servants of the living God, and 
whilst God lives they need not fear to lack anything 
that is good for them ; they need not fear falling 
into any temptation, out of which they may not as- 
suredly expect a comfortable issue. This use Darius 
seems to have made of this consideration, Dan. vi. 
20, 26, 27 ; and God himself may be thought to aim 
at and intend the same, when, to confirm the faith of 
his servants in the assured certainty of his promises, 
he sweareth by his own life, as Isa, xUx. 18, and 
teacheth his people so to swear, Jer. iv. 2, and when 
they commemorate his mercies unto them, to make 
mention of his hfe, Jer. xxiii. 7, 8, as the psalmist 
doth, Ps. xviii. 48. 

To this description of the true God, the i^salmist 
adds this exiwession of his affection towards him, 
' My heart and my flesh crieth out,' — as much as to 
say, I do not only earnestly desire to enjoy God's 
presence in his sacred ordinances, but likewise out- 
wardly, in all the parts of my body, I give evidence of 
that earnest desire. The observation will be this : 

They that have the same esteem of the true God 
that David had, will earnestly in their hearts desire, 
and diligently in their actions and behaviours endea- 
vour, to exjiress and give evidence of that desire. 
The like expression is used, Ps. Ixxiii. 25, 26, 
' Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there is 
none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My 
flesh and my heart faUeth : but God is the strength 
of my heart, and my portion for ever.' 

The reason is, first. Because they make account 
that in communion with, and fruition of, the true God, 
consists then- happiness. 

By him they exjsect to be freed from all evdl, and 
made partakers of all good things, as the psalmist 
expresseth more at large in the 4th, 5th, 11th, and 
12th ver.ses. 

Secondly, Because an earnest desire in the heart 
is as sap in the root, which in the branches wiU bud 
and break forth into leaves and fruit. As the oint- 
ment in the hand will not be hid, but bewrayeth 
itself, Prov. xxvii. 16; so grace in the heart will 
discover itself in the words of the mouth and the 
actions of the life : ' Out of the abundance of the 
heart the mouth speaketh,' Mat. xii. 34 ; and if the 
heart be inditing a good matter, the tongue vill be 
as the pen of a ready writer, Ps. xlv. 1. 'I be- 
lieved,' saith the psalmist, ' therefore have I spoken,' 
Ps. csrvi. 10; 'We also believe,' saith the apostle, 
' and therefore speak,' 2 Cor. iv. 13. 

By way of use it serves for reproof and admoni- 

Use 1. First, For reproof of tliem that pretend 
they believe the true God to be the living God, yet 
neither with their hearts nor with their flesh cry 
out for him ; who, if they have any desires at all to 
be made happy in fruition of him, and communion 
with him, yet even those desires are so remiss and 
cold, so faint and feeble, that others can perceive no 
evidence, and may well make a question whether 
they themselves be sensible of them. Perhaps they 
may say, as the psalmist tells us many do, ' Who 
will shew us any good '] ' Ps. iv. 6 ; but witli him to 
cry out for the living God is a thing they think not 
of. Such spiritual sluggards the world hath too 
many, whose souls desire and have nothing, Prov. 
xiii. 4 ; nay, whose desires kill them, because their 
hands refuse to labour, chap. xxi. 25. 



[Vee. 3. 

Use 2. For admonition unto all, that as ever they 
desire to assure themselves, or to testify to others, 
that they have the same esteem of the true God and 
of his sacred service that David had, to believe him 
indeed to be the living God, and account his taber- 
nacles amiable ; that they labour vrith him to stir up 
both tlieu' hearts and their flesh to cry out for him ; 
that they earnestly desire the fruition of him and 
communion with him ; that they diligently endeavour 
by all good means to express and give evidence of 
that desire. To move them the rather hereunto, let 
them consider that God is so delighted with his 
servants' importunities, and loves the loudness of 
their voice so well, that of purpose sometimes he 
takes upon him, as it were, to be asleep or hard of 
hearing, and will not be seen to take notice of their 
desires, untU they attain to such a height of fer- 
vency that he cannot rest for them, as the plu'ase is 
by the prophet Isaiah, chap. Ixii. G, 7. ' The effec- 
tual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 
much,' James v. 16. Fervency makes much to the 
eflBcacy of desires amongst men, much more with 
God, as our Saviour shews plainly in the parable of 
the importunate widow and the unjust judge, Luke 
x\^ii. 1, &c. To weary men is but a small thing in 
comparison of wearying God, Isa. vii.' 1.3. If we 
walk after the Lord, as Hosea xi. 10, we are never 
so like to overtake him as when we have wearied 
him. A memorable example to tliis purpose we 
have in the woman of Canaan, Mat. xv. 21, &c., 
who, as if she had meant to try masteries with our 
Saviour, wrestled first with his silence by her im- 
portunity, crying after him so that his disciples 
besought him to send her away, and then, with liis 
speech by her faith, making such advantage of his 
arguments against her for her own behoof, that 
with reverence we may say she got the better of 
him, and went away mth an ample commendation, 
and grant of her desire to the full. 

Ver. 3. Yea, the sjvirrow hath found her an house, 
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay 
her young, thine altars, Lord of hosts, my King, and 
my God. 

Having in the first verse, by way of admiration, 
acknowledsed unto God the loveliness of his taber- 

nacle, the place of his holy worship, and in the 
second verified the same by discovering his own 
ardent affection, first to the place of God's holy 
worship, then to God himself, for whose sake he so 
aflected the place, in this third he proceedeth iu 
the former discovery of his heart's desire towards 
the place of God's worship, by debasing his present 
estate as worse than the condition of the sjjarrow 
and swallow, the one whereof finds her a house, 
the other a nest where she may lay her young ; but 
he wanted liberty of access to the Lord's altars, — 
that is, to the Lord's tabernacle, where his altar 
was, the holy place of his solemn worship, which 
was to David's soul as the house to the sparrow and 
the nest to the swallow. 

This application he enfoldeth in an aposiopesis, 
an interrupted exclamation unto God of his altars, 
concealing some words which should express his full 
meaning, from the passionate aff'ection of liis soul ; 
wliich kind of speaking is most frequent, and fit to 
manifest fervent desires. 

I am not ignorant that the Chaldee parajihrase hath 
other names of bu'ds — viz., the dove, and the turtle, 
X/12V and N2^J3Ii? — and the Septuagiut, bt^vOIov xai 
T^uydiv, the sparrow and the turtle, whom the vidgar 
Latin follows ; but the jiroper signification of the 
words is as our English Bible hath them. Besides, 
interpreters differ in applying the latter part of the 
verse : some refer it by ajiposition to the former, as 
though the Lord's altars were the jjlace where these 
birds did build their nests, which yet some others, 
not without cause, do dislike ; because, though in 
the temjile sparrows and swallows might build their 
nests, it being very sf)acious, yet it is not like they 
did build them in the tabernacle, wliich was the 
place of God's worship, when David penned this 
psalm. Now the application which I make, in a 
sacred aposiopesis, prevents that scruple, and yet 
prefers the condition of these birds before David's 
for outward liberty, which way soever we refer it. 
Though I conceive the true meaning of the prophet 
to be this, that the sparrow and swallow had liberty 
to build their nests and breed their young in houses 
which were belonging to others, whether near unto 
or far off from the tabernacle it matters not, all 
houses were ahke to them : yet in houses they de- 
sired to build and were permitted, wherein these 

Ver. 3.] 



birds had their desire ; hut David was debarred 
from the Lord's tabernacle, where his altar was, 
wliich to his soul was as a house and nest to the 
sparrow and swallow, and whereto he had right and 
interest, having the Lord of hosts for his king and 
his God. 

In the words thus explained and taken, note these 
jioints : 

First, Tliat David prefers the outwai'd condition 
of silly little birds, as the sparrow and swallow, 
before himself ; to his sense and feeling their outward 
estate was better than his. 

They had Hberty to enjoy the place of their desii-e, 
even other men's houses to rest and nestle in, whose 
birds they were not ; but he was debarred from the 
Lord's sanctuary, the only resting and nestling- 
place for his soul, though he had title thereto by 
special covenant, having the Lord of hosts for his 
king and his God. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, aud com- 

Use \. For instruction thus, that God's special 
favour must not be measured by outward things ; 
we must not judge them rejected from God's favour 
whose outward estate is mean and miserable, for so 
shall we ofl'end against the generation of God's chil- 
dren, Ps. XXXV. 15. David was a man according to 
God's own heart, Acts xiii. 22, a pattern of piety to 
all succeeding kings of Judah and Israel ; as 1 Kings 
iii. 14, to Solomon; 1 Kings xi. 38, to Jeroboam ; 
yet for outward estate he was very miserable, 1 Sam. 
xxvi. 20, hunted as a flea or a partridge ; Ps. cii. 
6, 7, as a pelican, an owl, and a sparrow. Yea, 
Christ himself, the Son of God's love. Col. i. 13, 
had not whereon to lay his head. This his mean 
and miserable estate made the people in his time to 
judge rashly of him, see Isa. liii. 3. 

Use 2. For admonition, beware of rash judgment 
either against ourselves or others. Consider, beside 
Da«d, and Chiist, before mentioned, the parable of 
Dives and Lazarus, Luke xvi., and the state of many 
whom the world was not worthy of, Heb. xi. 37, 38, 
which is a needful thing in these troublesome times 
of the church of God ; beware of rash judgment, 
consider that ' judgment must begin at the house of 
God,' 1 Pet. iv. 1 7. 

Use 3. For consolation, this makes greatly to the 

afflicted and banished. Consider David's case at 
this time ; nay, the case of Christ, who ' had not 
whereon to lay his head,' Mat. viii. 20. Now ' the 
servant is not above the master ; ' if it were so with 
the green tree, what may it be mth the diy 1 Luko 
xxiii. 31. In such case we must say, as Christ of 
his kingdom, so we of our comfort, It is ' not of this 
world,' John xviii. 36. In this case and state no- 
thing doth befall us but that which appertaineth to 
man, and God will give the issue, 1 Cor. x. 13. 
Consider the case of Christ's apostles, who were 
near and dear unto him, yet, 1 Cor. iv. 11, such as 
did ' both hunger and thirst, were naked, were 
buffeted, and had no certain dwelling-place.' 

Secondly, Here see that to Da\'id's soul the Lord's 
altars were as house and nest to little bii-ds : the 
jjlace of God's worship was the place of his cliief 
desire, Ps. xxvii. 4, and cxxxvii. .5, 6, for the good 
things which were there to be enjoyed, which are 
fully set do%vn in the next verse. 

Use 1. First, See he had good cause of this grievous 
complaint : birds will mourn in their kind when they 
are driven from their nest. 

Use 2. Secondly, See a notable evidence of the 
state of man before God, to discover whether he be 
acceptable to God, as David was, for then undoubtedly 
his heart cleaveth to the place of God's worship, as 
David's did here, and ver. 10, '0 Lord of hosts, my 
King, and my God.' These titles serve to amplify 
David's complaint ; the first, ' Lord of hosts,' shews 
what God is in himself, and hath been handled in 
the first verse ; the two latter, ' My King, and my 
God,' are titles of relation, shearing what God was 
unto Da\nd, namely, his King and his God, as he 
stood in covenant with him. In calling God his 
king, he doth not only acknowledge his absolute 
sovereignty, whereby he is king of all creatures, as 
Ps. ciii. 19; Dan. iv. 32, but his special regiment 
by his word and Spirit, which he doth exercise in 
his chui-ch on earth, which is his kingdom of grace, 
wherein David was a subject, being a member of his 
church, and so speaks to God as to his king: so 
likewise calhng the Lord his God, he means not 
only by creation and preservation in general, but 
also by special covenant, wherein God, requiring 
faith and obedience of his creatures, doth undertake 
to afford unto them all the blessings of the covenant, 



[Ver. 4. 

as well pertaining to tins life, as to the life to come, 
see Exod. xxiii. 22 ; Deut. xxx. 15, 19. 

Here observe, that David, a king, ackuowledgeth 
God to be his king, as likewise he doth, Ps. v. 2 ; 
so that God is ' King of kings,' Dan. ii. 47. Nebuchad- 
nezzar confesseth it : ' Of a truth it is, that your God 
is a God of gods and a Lord of kings.' 

The reason is, because he hath the rule and com- 
mand over kings, as kings have over their subjects. 

Use 1. This serves for admonition : first, To 
superiors, directing them to use equity, justice, and 
conscience in all their deahngs with their inferiors, 
for they themselves have a superior in heaven. By 
this argument the apostle persuades masters to use 
moderation towards their servants, Eph. vi. 9. And 
if this were thought upon, it would prevent negligence 
and injustice, the bane of superiority. 

Use 2. Secondly, To inferiors, directing them to 
obey their superiors, not absolutely, but in the Lord. 
So in a family servants obey the steward, not against 
the will of the lord when they know it. Hence that 
of Shadi-ach, Meshach, and Abednego, Dan. iii. 16- 
18, and that of the apostles. Acts iv. 19, and v. 29. 

Use 3. Thirdly to all, teaching us humility and 
reverence in every action of worship we perform to 
God. How do men carry themselves in petitioning 
unto their king? They put up their petitions on 
their knees. ^Yhat then are we, that we shoidd not 
bow to the King of kings? Consider, Ps. xcv. 6, 
childi-en asking blessing kneel to their bodily fathers, 
how much more should we to the Father of spuits ? 
And reason to that purpose as the apostle doth for 
patient suffering of correction, Heb. xii. 9 ; for 
howsoever kneeling be not of absolute necessity, yet 
humility in gesture is necessary. 

Ver. 4. Blessed are they that dwell in thine house : 
they will he still praising thee. Sclah. 

In these words the psalmist expresseth the state 
and behaviour of the true members of God's church, 
who have the free and comfortable fniition of God's 
holy worship and service, thek estate is happy, and 
their behaviour godly and comfortable ; which doth 
notably justify the equity of David's complaint, who 
by trouble and persecution was debarred from this 
happy and comfortable estate, in which regard he 
prefers the condition of silly birds before himself. 

ver. 3. This verse doth naturally branch itself into 
two parts or propositions ; whereof the first shews 
the happy estate ; the second, the holy and com- 
fortable beha\'iour, of the true members of God's 

For the first he saith, ' Blessed are they that 
dwell m thine house.' God's house in Da\'id's tune 
was the place where the Lord's tabernacle was, as 
Ps. xxvi. 8 ; unto which, till the temple was built, 
God had appropriated his holy solemn worship, 
whereof see 1 Kings ix. 3. But now, in the New 
Testament, difference of jilace in respect of holiness 
is taken away, John iv. 21 ; and the true church of 
God is the house of God, 1 Tim. iii. 15 ; that is, 
such companies and assemblies as meet together in 
Christ's name. Mat. xviii. 20 ; that is, by warrant 
and authority from him, and according to his ^vill 
revealed in his word ; worship God in the right and 
reverent use of his holy ordinances, the holy word 
and sacraments sanctified by prayer, 1 Pet. ii. 5. 
To dwell in God's house is to abide and continue a 
true member of God's church, enjoying the comfort 
and liberty of God's holy worship and ser\ice, either 
in the place of the ministry, or of one of God's 
people ; for though the priests and the Levites made 
special abode there, 1 Sam. iii. 2 ; and Ps. cxxxiv., 
yet others of the people, who did diligently frequent, 
and freely enjoy the liberty of God's worship, might 
be said to dwell therein, else David would not have 
used that phrase praying for himself, Ps. xxvii. 4 ; 
which I say, because some interpreters ' would limit 
the first branch to the priests and Levites, but 
the 15th Psalm doth enlarge the benefit to all the 

The tiling then to be observed in the first branch 
of the verse is this, that the true members of God's 
church, who have the comfort and liberty of God's 
holy worshij) and ser'N'ice, are blessed and happy : 
see Ps. Ixv. 4, ' Blessed is the man whom thou 
choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that 
he may dwell in thy courts.' Hence it follows, ver. 
10, 'A day in thy courts is better than a thousand: 
I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my 
God, than to dwell in the tents of Tvickedness.' 

The reason hereof is, from the wonderful, rare, 
heavenly blessmgs, which are here certainlj"^ enjoyed 
. ' Piscat., Junius. 

Ver. 4.] 



by the true members of the church, and nowhere 
else. "Whereof the first and principal, from which 
all the rest do flow, is the fruition of communion 
and fellowship with the true God, one in essence, 
three in person — the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost — who is only in his church to the true 
members thereof a God of grace and mercy; and 
therefore they that are out of the church, are ' with- 
out God in the world,' Eph. ii. 12. Here the first 
person is 'the Father of mercies, and God of 
all consolation,' 2 Cor. i. 3 ; the second person is a 
blessed Saviour and Redeemer : Isa. ix. 6, ' Unto us 
a child is born, unto us a Son is given ; ' a Saviour, 
Luke ii. 10, II, with Isa. xlix. 6, 8. The Holy 
Ghost is the blessed sanctifier and comforter, being 
'the Spu'it of grace,' Zech. xii. 10, yet only in his 
church, John xiv. 17. Now this true God is in his 
church, to all the true members thereof, not only a 
master far excelling Solomon, of whom the Queen 
of Sheba testifies that his servants were blessed, 1 
Kings X. 8, with Mat. xii. 42 ; and such a master as 
saith, 'Where I am, there shall also my servant be,' 
John xii. 26, with Luke xii. 37, 43, 44 ; but a 
father. Mat. xxui. 9, John xx. 1 7 ; yea, a hus- 
band, Isa. liv. 5, ' Thy maker is thine husband ; ' 
^nd Isa. Ixii. 4, 5, Thy land shall be married.' 
'As a young man marrieth a virgin, as the bride- 
groom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God 
rejoice over thee.' Jer. iii. 14, ' I am married unto 
you.' Hosea ii. 19, 20, ' I have betrothed thee unto 
me for ever,' &c. 

Secondly, This true God in Christ gives to all the 
true members of his church freedom and deliverance 
from all the miseries of nature — that is, from the 
whole guilt and curse of sin, in original corruption 
and actual transgressions ; see Luke i. 68, 74 ; Gal. 
iii. 13; Eom. viii. 1 ; Acts xiii. 39. 

Thirdly, Here is afforded the full fniitinn of all 
needful blessings, as Eph. i. 3, ' AMio blesseth us with 
all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Clirist.' 
And not only so, but even with all needful temporal 
blessings. Mat. vi. 32, 33. These blessings may be 
reduced to four heads : 

First, To du-ection in all the ways wherein they 
ought to walk : Ps. xxxii. 8, ' I will instruct thee and 
teach thee in the way that thou shalt go;' Ps. Ixxiii. 
24, ' Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.' If the 

good housewife order the ways of her household, 
Prov. xxxi. 27, how much more God? 

Secondly, To provision both for soul and body : 
for, Ps. xxxiv. 10, 'They that seek the Lord shall 
not want any good thing ;' for soul, John vi. 33, 35, 
55, 63 ; 1 Cor. x. 16. Here is Christ the tree of 
life, and the well of life, whereon, Ps. Ixxxvii. 7, 
' All my springs are in thee ;' Eev. xxii. 1, 2 ; and 
heaven for an inheritance, Luke xii. 32 ; 1 Pet. i. 
3, 4. For temporal, .see Isa. Ix-v. 13 ; Ps. xxxvii. 3, 

Thirdly, To protection and preservation by special 
pro\-idence, Ps. xxv. 5, and xci. 1, implied and 
assured to all the faithful. Mat. x. 29-31. The 
king's servants in ordinary may not be arrested but 
upon waiTant from the lord chamberlain ; but God's 
servants have a greater privilege ; God himself must 
grant the warrant, else they may not be meddled 
with, Job i. 10; John xix. 11 ; Acts xviii. 10; Ps. 
Ixxx-ix. 22. 

Fourthly, To remuneration, both here with honour 
of grace to be his friends, John xv. 14, 15 ; 1 John 
iii. 1, and attendance of angels, Ps. xxxiv. 7, and 
xci. 11 ; and hereafter. Mat. xxv. 21, 23 ; Luke xix. 
17, &c. ; Mat. xix. 28, 29. 

Use 1. Is it such a blessing to dwell in God's 
house 1 then it is a great curse to dwell out of it ; 
for so they should be deprived of all the forenamed 
blessings. This made David to say, 'Woe is me 
that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents 
of Kedar,' Ps. cxxv., and 1 Sam. xxvi. 19, 'If they 
be the children of men, cursed be they before the 
Lord : for they have driven me out this day from 
abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, 
serve other gods.' The ancient resemblance of 
God's church to Noah's ark is true, and fit for this 

Use 2. Secondly, We must examine whether we be 
such as dwell in God's house, as true members of 
the church ; and such only are true believers in 
Christ, for ' no man cometh to the Father but by 
him,' John xiv. 6. Whereby will be excluded all 
Gentiles, who are without Christ, Eph. ii. 12, and 
Turks and Jews, who though they acknowledge the 
God that made the world, and lirought Israel out of 
EgyjJt, yet not beLie\ing Christ Jesus, the Son of the 
Virgin Mary, to be the Son of God and Saviour of 



[Ver. 4. 

the -world, they ' shall die in their sins,' John viii. 24 ; 
Luke xiii. 28. 

Yea, besides them papists holding the doctrine 
established in the Council of Trent, who do not 
only deride,' but accuse " the doctrine of justification 
by imputed righteousness, will be found Ishmaelites, 
the sons of the bondwoman, such as must be put out 
of the house. Gal. iv. 21, 30, and such guests as 
want the wedding garment, which is Cluist's right- 
eousness imputed and received by faith, see 2 Cor. 
V. 20 ; Eev. iii. 18. Our white raiment to cover our 
filthy nakedness of sin must be had of Christ ; also 
by their idolatry they hold not the head. Col. ii. 18, 
19. Also they that profess the truth, and yet con- 
tent themselves with a dead faith, are not dwellers 
in God's house; that is, such as 'have a show of 
godliness, but want the power thereof,' 2 Tim. iii. 5, 
who profess they know God, but by their works deny 
him,' Tit. i. 1 6. Of such St James speaks, chap. ii. 
18, 20, 'Shew me thy faith without thy works,' 
&c. He that must abide in the house for ever must 
be a son, John viii. 35, which we all are tlirough 
faith in Christ, Gal. iii. 26, and by regeneration, 
1 John V. 1 ; for of such the apostle saith, ' Thou art 
no more a ser^'ant, but a son,' Gal. iv. 7. Therefore, 
whosoever would certainly know himself to be in 
God's house, and to continue therein, must get tnie 
faith, and keep it, and shew the trath of it by works 
of love, Gal. v. 6, and of obedience to God's word, 
1 Thes. ii. 13. 

Use 3. As we desire the assurance of tnie happiness, 
we must approve ourselves dwellers in God's house — 
that is, such as continue and abide the true servants 
and children of God. Our holy calling to the faith 
of the gospel gives us entrance and admittance into 
the family of God, 1 Cor. i. 2, 9 ; Eph. ii. 18, and 
iii. 12 ; and our perseverance and continuance in 
the same faith is it that doth manifest our abode 
and dwelling in God's house, 1 John ii. 19. Now 
this faith is one, Eph. iv. 5, as God is one ; and if it 
be true it worketh by love, Gal. v. 6, and is seen by 
obedience, wherein we must be constant, Phil. ii. 
12; Mat. xxiv. 13; and herein we must approve 
ourselves dwellers in God's house, having our ears 
bored, Exod. xxi. 6 ; Ps. xl. 6 ; ' Endeavouring,' as 
1 Tim. L 19, 'to keep faith and a good conscience,' 
I Rhem. on Eom. iii. 22. ' Cone. Trid,, sess. vi. can. 10. 

and, 2 Tim. i. 13, 'Holding fast the wholesome word in 
faith and love.' In great houses here on earth we 
see great men make use of retainers, which are not 
servants in ordinary at bed and board, but have 
houses of their own, where for the most part they 
live, and look to their own business. Only at good 
times, as they say, and on some special occasions, 
they come to their lord and master and wait upon 
him in his livery, and are welcome to him, and well 
accepted as his servants ; but in the church of God, 
which is the house of the living God, the Lord of 
heaven and earth, it is not so ; all whom he owneth 
and acknowledgeth for his servants are sen'ants in 
ordinary — they dwell in his house, Ps. Ixv. 4, per- 
forming the service of prayer and thanksgiraig, and 
the works of obedience, every day. He hath no re- 
tainers acknowledged by him for his servants, I mean 
such as take liberty to live as they list, and for the 
service of God, like retainers, think now and then, as 
on high days, and once on the Sabbath, is well 

Indeed, such attendance will sen'e for a retainer, 
but God acknowledgeth none such for his servants, see 
Jer. vii. 9-11. He knoweth, that is, acknow- 
ledgeth, those that be his, John x. 14, but such as 
be workers of iniquity he knows them not, as Mat. 
vii. 23. So we may say for idolaters, as papists be 
in the worship of saints and of their breaden god, 
they have another master than God, namely, vain 
idols, 1 Thes. i. 9 ; ' Now none can serve two mas- 
ters,' Mat. vi. 24. Time-servers are in the same 
rank ; which be, first, Such as make conscience of 
sin at communion times, but afterward live as they 
list ; also such as embrace and hold true religion 
only because the authority under which they live 
doth enjoin it, and if it should alter by the will of 
man they would turn with it; thirdly, Church 
papists, who now and then come to our service and 
sermons to answer the law, but in their hearts they 
are for Romish superstition, like the carnal Israelites, 
whose hearts turned back into Egypt. Of these we 
may say, as 1 Kings xviii. 21, 'How long halt ye 
between two opinions ? ' &c. 

Use 4. A great comfort and encouragement to 
them that persevere in the faith and go on in obedi- 
ence ; they are blessed, and shall certamly, if they 
go on, be glorified, see Mat. xxiv. 13; Eev. ii. 10, 

Ver. 5.] 



and iii. 12. Every one that is such shall he made a 
pillar in God's house, and shall go no more out. 
Therefore in general let all be encouraged to follow 
the good servants that improve their master's tal- 
ents, Mat. xx\\ 21, 23 ; and the apostle Paul, 2 Tim. 
iv. 7, 8. In special let ministers, who ai-e stewards 
and disposers of the mysteries of God, look to their 
behaviour, ' shewing all good faithfulness,' 1 Cor. iv. 
2. This fidelity is set down, Luke xii. 42-44, with 
1 Pet. V. 1-4. 

Thus much for their happy estate ; their holy 
behaviour is answerable, — ' They will be still prais- 
ing thee.' God's children and servants, who have 
the happiness to dwell in God's house, will be much 
and constant in praising God: see Ps. cxxxv. 1, 2, 
' Praise the Lord, ye servants of the Lord,' &c. 
Ver. 19, 'Bless the Lord, house of Israel: bless 
the Lord, house of Aaron.' Ver. 20, 'Bless the 
Lord, honse of lievi : ye that fear the Lord, bless 
the Lord.' Ps. cxlv. 1, 2, 'I will extol thee, my 
God, and my King ; I will bless thy name for ever 
and ever. Every day -ndll I bless thee.' Ps. cxl\'i. 

1, 'Hallelujah. Praise the Lord, my soul.' Ver. 

2, 'While I live I ^viU praise the Lord.' 

The reasons hereof are two : first, The sacred 
ordinance of God, and his holy commandment, Ps. 1. 
15 ; 1 Thes. v. 18. This makes it pleasant and 
comely, Ps. cxl'vdi. 1. 

Secondly, The power of his grace given to his 
children and sei-vants, which, making them mindful 
of the Lord, of his word, and of his works and bene- 
fits, stirs them up to praise God. True grace is en- 
forcing, as 2 Cor. v. 14 ; and hence it is with God's 
servants in the matter of praising God, as it was 
■n-ith the apostles for preaching, Acts iv. 20, and as 
Luke xix. 40, ' If these should hold their peace, the 
stones would immediatelj- cry out.' 

This by way of use serves, — 

Use 1. First, To let us see that praising God is 
not a thing indifferent, but a necessary duty. 
Hence the want of it brings the :nTath of God, as 
on Hezekiah, 2 Chron. xxxii. 25. 

Use 2. Secondly, We may see by this that they 
have slender testimony that they be of God's house, 
who fail of this duty. A usual thing for many to 
have no prayers nor praising God in their famOies, 
as also to go out of church when singing psalms 

begin, as though praise were no part of that ser- 
vice, the perfomiance whereof appertains unto them 
who dwell in God's house and would be blessed 

Thirdl)', This .should serve as a most forcible 
motive to endeavour this duty, which we shall the 
rather do if we consider the motives in God, in his 
properties, his works, for his church and against his 
enemies ; also what our behaviour in heaven should 
be, whereto we should begin to mure ourselves here 
upon earth. 

Ver. 5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee ; 
the hiyhwaijs are in their heart. 

Ver. 6. They going through the valkj/ of Baca make 
it a well. 

Ver. 7. Theij go from strength to strength ; erenj one 
of them apjieareth before God in Zion. 

Here the prophet proceedeth in the commenda- 
tion of the state of God's people, whom he doth ex- 
pressly affirm to be blessed, and likewise plamly 
and particularly describeth them by their tiiie and 
certain properties, which axe of two sorts : first, 
They are such as are strong in the Lord. 

Secondly, They do sincerely and earnestly affect 
the holy worship of God, wliich property is here 
fully exjaressed by three things : first. Their hearts 
are set upon the highways that lead to the Lord's 
sanctuary, ver. 6. Secondly, They do courageous 
and comfortably endure and break through all diffi- 
culties in the way, ver. 6. They increase in num- 
ber and strength in their journey, and aU of them 
in troops appear before the Lord in Zion, ver. 7. 

For the fii-st : ' Blessed is the man whose strength 
is in thee.' To be blessed is to be in a happy 
estate, wherein a man enjoyeth the true and chiefest 
good, which is the true God in his special favour, as 
Ps. cxliv. 15. But who do so? 

Ans. First, 'The man whose strength is in the 
Lord,' — that is, who resteth not nor relieth upon 
himself, but on the Lord, and by him is made strong 
against enemies, both corporal and spiritual, and 
also enabled for every good duty which the Lord 
requireth at liis hands. And thus understanding 
the words, the point is clear to be observed : that 
man is in a blessed and happy estate whose strength 



[Ver. 5. 

is in tlie Lord, — tliat is, who trustetli not to him- 
self, or to any other person or thing, for his safety 
from evils, and abiUty to do well ; but only on the 
Lord his God, on wliom he resteth, and resteth by 
true faith and confidence : see Prov. xvi. 20, 
'Whoso trusteth in the Lord is haj^py.' Jer. 
xvii. 7, 8, ' Blessed is the man that trusteth in the 
Lord.' Ps. cxxv. 1, and cxlvi. 5, 'Happy is he that 
hath the God of Jacob for his help.' 

The reasons are, first, No man is or can be 
strong by his o^\ti power. This is true, both in things 
pertaining to the body, Deut. A-iii. 17, 18, and to the 
soul, John XV. 5. 

Secondly, No enemy shall be able to hurt him that 
is strong in the Lord. This is true both for corporal 
and spiritual enemies : for corporal, see Ps. Ixxxix. 
21, 22, ' With whom mine hand shall be established : 
mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy 
shall not exact upon him ; nor the son of wicked- 
ness afflict him.' Ver. 23, ' I -will beat down his foes 
before his face.' Hence, Ps. iii. 6, 'I will not be 
afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set 
themselves against me round about ; ' and Ps. xxvii. 
1-3, ' The Lord is my light and my salvation ; 
whom shall I fear?' &c., Jer. xx. 11. 

Thirdly, No work nor duty which God requires 
at his hand shall be hard for him who is strong 
in the Lord; see 2 Cor. iii. 5, and xii. 10; Phil, 
iv. 12, 13. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1. For instruction, first. In the way to true 
happiness ; it stands not m any outward thing, as 
natui'al men think, but in the fruition of the true 
God ; for he is the chiefcst good, whom whosoever 
enjoys can lack nothing that is good, for he is all 
in all to those that are his; hence Ps. xxxiii. 12, 
' Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and 
the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheri- 
tance.' Gen. XV. 1, 'Fear not, Abraham, I am thy 
shield, and thy exceednig gi'eat reward : ' and chap, 
xvii. 1, ' I am the Almighty God ; walk before me, 
and be perfect.' Hence Exod. xxxiii. 15, 19, ' If thy 
presence go not with me, carry us not up hence,' 

He communicates his goodness to those that enjoy 
lum, as 2 Cliron. xvi. 9 ; Ps. xxviii. 8. Hence Jer. 

ix. 23, 24, 'Let not the wise man glory m his wis- 
dom,' &c. 

Use 2. Secondly, See here who be miserable and 
accursed — namely, all such as are not strong in the 
Lord, but in themselves, or something beside the 
Lord ; see Jer. xvii. 5, ' Cursed be the man that 
trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm ; whose 
heart departeth from the Lord.' Now such are 
many, as well for earthly as for heavenly things. 
For earthly, all such as use unlawful means to pro- 
cure earthly blessings, as lying, fraud, stealing, op- 
pression, &c. Can these say, as Ps. xliv. 3, ' Thy 
right hand and thine arm,' &c. Nay, as 1 Kings 
xxi. 1 9, ' Hast thou killed and also taken possession,' 
&c. And for heavenly, they that trust to their own 
righteousness, as paj^ists do, the Jews did, Eom. x. 

Use 3. Thu-dly, This should admonish us to be as 
careful to be strong in the Lord as we are desirous 
to be truly happy ; for the man is blessed whose 
strength is in him. 

To this end we must give all dihgence for three 
things : 

First, That we stand truly in covenant with God 
in Christ, which is by believing on liim, see Ps. 
cxxv. 1. 

Secondly, That we be upright-hearted, dealing 
truly and sincerely with him in our profession, 2 
Chron. xvi. 9. 

Thirdly, That we be constant in obedience, 2 
Chron. XV. 2; Ps. Lxxxi. 13. 

Use 4. Fourthly, This serves for comfort to the 
upright-hearted, trusting in God, and walking in 
obedience, see Ps. xc. 1. Let such assure themselves 
the Lord will be their strength ; see Ps. Ixviii. 28- 
35, and xxviii. 6, 7. They may say, as Ps. iii. 6, 
and xxvii. 1-3, ' The Lord is my light and my salva- 
tion ; whom shall I fear ? the Lord is the strength of 
my life ; of whom shall I be afraid ? ' 

The highways are in their Jieart. Here the second 
property of those that are God's true peojjle is ex- 
pressed ; they do sincerely and truly aflect the holy 
worship of God, as is manifest by their behaviour in 
three branches : first. The ways to God's house are 
in their heart, — that is, they love and like, and in 
heart desire and delight in the ways that lead to 
God's house. 

Veu. 6.] 



They that be traly God's people have their hearts 
set upon the way and means of God's worship, see 
Ps. cxxii. 1, and xxvi. 8. 

Because by those ways they come to enjoy tlie 
presence of God, society and fellowship with him in 
whom tliey place all their liajipiness. 

Uic 1. This serves, first, To let us see what we 
may think of those that have no love nor liking to 
tlie ways of God's house, but think it is a weariness, 
as Mai. i. 1 3, that say of the Lord's day, as Amos 
viii. 5, ' When will it be gone "i ' And of the word 
and worship of God, as Job xxi. 14, ' Depart from 
us, we desire not the knowledge of his ways.' Cer- 
tainly these are in a cursed estate, as Acts xiii. 1 ; 
as EljTnas the sorcerer was, see Acts xix. 9. 

Use 2. Secondly, It is a matter of great comfort 
to those that desire and delight in the means where- 
in they may have society with God in Chri.st. 
Surely ' flesh and blood hath not revealed it ' unto 
them, Mat. xvi. 17. Let these consider Luke xi. 22. 

Use 3. Thirdly, It is a good caveat to labour with 
ourselves, that the ways to God's house may be in 
our hearts, that we may desire and delight in them, 
love and like them. Now as we have another taber- 
nacle and sanctuary, which is Christ Jesus, Heb. 
\Tii. 2, so our ways are not material but spiritual, 
which we must love and mind ; and that is the 
evangelical worship by which we come to have 
society and fellowsliip with God, see Acts xxiv. 1 4 ; 
and xix. 9. This is called the Lord's highway, 
Isa. XXXV. 8, b'hVQ, xi. 16, xlLx. 11, xl. 3. xix. 23, 
and Ixii. 10 ; Jer. xxxi. 21. 

Ver. 6. Thcij ginng ilirovgh tlie vallei/ of Baca make 
it a well ; even with blessings shall the rain cover. 

The second evidence of God's people's sincere and 
earnest affection towards his holy worship, they do 
courageously and comfortably endure and break 
through all difficulties and troubles in the way. 

That we may conceive so much by the words, we 
must know that the word K33, Baca, signifieth a 
mulberry-tree, which loves to grow in dry places 
that be sandy and barren, 2 Sam. v. 23, 24, or 
1 Clu'on. xiv. 14, 15. Now they whose hearts be 
set upon God's house and holy worship, when they 
go thitherward through a sandy, dry, barren valley, 
do make it a well, — that is, repute and count it as a 

well ; the word imjT'li?^ signifieth to put or set, as 
Gen. iii. 15; Ps. xxi. 6, 12, and Ixxxiii. 11, 13. 
For thus will they say with themselves, thinlcing 
upon the comfort of God's favour to whom they go, 
that it shall be to them as the rain of blessings, a 
plentiful and liberal rain upon the dry ground. Or, 
as Tremellius, Junius, Wilcocks, &c., 'Whom also 
the rain of blessing falletli much upon,' — that is, 
they sometime endure the trouble of the way when 
abundance of rain falletli upon them. If we follow 
our own translation, ' The rain also filleth the jjools,' 
— that is, where springs are not, the people dig and 
make pits and places to receive rain water, and 
theremth refresh themselves in their way to Zion, 
though I most incline to the first of them. The 
seventy uiterpreters, £/', rnv aoiXdoa Toij >iXauS,'/.uvoc, ug 
rot tC^ov Sv iS-To, ' In the valley of tears, in the 
place which he hath set.' Ka; yao i'jj.oyias ouhbi 6 
to/iohruiv, ' For the lawgiver shall give a blessing.' 
The Chaldee paraphrast, Peccatores awtem transibunt 
in pvfundum gehennce; planctum2Jlangent, sicut fontem 
ponent ilium : atqui benecUctione amicientur qui insudunt, 
ut discant legem tuani. 

In the words note two points : first. What manner 
of way some of God's people had to go to the public 
solemn worship of God ; secondly. How the gocUy 
esteemed of it, and cheer up themselves in it. 
For the way, it was the valley of Baca, — that is, of 
mulberry-trees, and so dry, and barren, and sandy, 
which is very wearisome; some say the vale of 
misery, others vale of tears, of weeping ; all import 
a painful and troublesome way. 

The reason was the providence and ordinance of 
God ; his providence in their situation by lot, for 
so Joshua divided the land to God's people, Joshua 
xiv. 12, and his ordinance in appointing them to 
come to that place which he should choose, Deut. 
xii. 5, which was Jenisalem, mount Zion. 

Use. See then here, that God in his providence 
may dispose so of the estate of his cliildren, that it 
shall be troublesome and painful for them to go to 
the place of God's public and solemn worship ; so it 
was to those that dwelt far from Jerusalem, in the 
latter end of the days of David and afterward. 
And so he dealt upon his sovereignty, to teach 
them, and all after them, that there is but one 
Clirist, in whom we can come to the Father, John 



[Ver. 6. 

xiv. G, for partaking of whom, he may in liis pro- 
vidence dispose that it may be far more troublesome 
and painful for some than others, as it was among 
the Jews for partaking of his special worship ; 
which we must take notice of, to acknowledge God's 
sovereignty over us and our estate, as John xxi. 22, 
with 18, as also Job xxi. 23, 25. 

In the second place, observe how the godly deal 
about the troubles of the way unto God's solemn 
worship ; they put it for a well. Now in those 
countries wells were cheerful and refreshing places. 
Judges i. 15 ; so as the godly among the Jews 
esteemed the troublesome and painful way to God's 
solemn worship pleasant and cheerful. 

The reason was the great desire they had unto 
the service of God, and the true delight they took 
therein ; this made the wearisome way seem pleas- 
ing. They looked at the comfort they should enjoy 
in the presence of God, and therewith refreshed 
themselves against the wearisomeness of the way, 
as Jacob was affected with his seven years' service 
for Rachel, Gen. xxix. 20. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1. For instruction two ways : first, See here the 
power and strength of the grace of love to God, and to 
his holy worship — neither pains nor cost can stand be- 
fore it : see Cant. viii. 7, ' Many waters cannot quench 
love.' For pains here we see it ; and for cost in 
David, 2 Sam. xxiv. 24 ; 1 Chron. xxix. 3, 4. Nay, 
it breaks through worldly credit and esteem, which 
is a strong let, as John xii. 42. Yet, Luke xix. 
2-4, we see it had little force in Zacchisus, and 
in David, 2 Sam. vi. 20-22. 

Use 2. SecontUy, See here what to think of our- 
selves and others, when, ease, pleasure, and worldly 
profit or repute will hinder from God's ser\ice. 
Can we say they are blessed 1 Sayest thou ' a lion 
is in the way ' t Then art thou Solomon's simjile 
one, whom ease slayeth, Prov. i. 32, xiii. 4, and 
XX. 4. So Prov. xxiv. 10, 'If thou faint in the day 
of adversity, thy strength is small.' Consider Mat. 
xii. 42, and xi. 22, 23. 

Use 3. For admonition ; labour to come to this 
ability of grace in the high esteem of God's worship. 
For which end know that it is the ordinary way 
and means of society with God. 

Use 4. For comfort to those that have this affec- 
tion ; to them it may be said, as Mat. xiii. 1 6, 
' Blessed are your eyes, for they see ; and your ears, 
for they hear.' 

Even with blessings shall the rain cover ; or, the rain 
of blessintjs shall even cover. This translation I take 
to be most proper and agreeable to the words and 
matter in hand. 

In these words the prophet propounds the very 
thought and meditation of the godly going up to 
God's wor^iip, whereby they do cheer uj> their 
hearts against the weariness of the dry and hot 
sandy way. They say thus within themselves in 
their greatest weariness, ' The rain of blessing shall 
even cover ; ' thinking upon the grace and favour 
which God showereth down upon his servants in 
his holy worship, which as comfortably and sweetly 
refresheth their souls in any weariness as a plenti- 
ful rain doth the dry ground : for the better con- 
ceiving whereof we must know that it is usual with 
God in Scripture to resemble the sweet comfort of 
liis grace and favour, vouchsafed to the souls of his 
servants in his holy worship, to the sweet refreshing 
that rain and showers give to the dry ground ; see 
Deut. xxxii. 2, ' My doctrine shall drop as the rain ; 
my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small 
tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass : ' 
Ps. Lxxii. 6, 'He' (that is, Christ in his doctrine, 
as the truth ; and also Solomon, as the type, in his 
■wise and righteous judgment) ' shall come do^vn as 
rain upon the mown grass : and as showers the dis- 
persed moisture of the earth ; ' Hosea vi. 3, ' He 
shall come to us as the rain ; as the latter and former 
rain upon the earth.' No marvel, then, if the godly 
do in such jihrase and words express their thoughts 
and meditations upon God's grace and favour, vouch- 
safed to his children in liis holy worship, especially 
in the time of their bodily weariness through heat 
and drought in a sandy way. 

Now then, thus taking the words of the prophet 
to express the thoughts of the godly in their weari- 
some way, to be set upon the comfort of God's grace 
and favour, wherewith in his holy worship he 
plentifully refresheth their souls, as a plentiful rain 
doth the dry ground, in them we may plainly note 
and observe three things ; two expressed, and the 
third necessai'ily implied. The two things here ex- 

Veu. 6.] 



jiressed are, first, Their gracious thoughts and 
meditations in their wearisome way ; secondly. The 
esteem and account they make of God's grace and 
favour. The thing imphed or presupposed is the 
means and place wherein they make account to en- 
joy the same. 

For the first ; the godly Jews that dwelt far from 
Jerusalem, in their wearisome way to Zion, do set 
theu' hearts to think upon the sweet and plentiful 
refreshing of God's gi'ace and favour which shall 
be showered upon their souls in his holy worship. 
We are now, say they, parched and scorched with 
heat in this diy and barren wilderness ; but when 
we come before the Lord, our souls shall be plenti- 
fully refreshed with the showering down of his 
grace, ' We shall be satisfied with the goodness of 
liis house, even of his holy temple,' Ps. Ixv. 4. 

This they do to strengthen and hearten them- 
selves to endure the toil and pains of their weari- 
some way ; even as in nature merchants do hearten 
themselves, by the hope of gain, to endure the toil and 
terror of the troublesome seas ; and husbandmen, by 
the hope of harvest, do readily undertake the labour 
of seed-time. 

Tins serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1 . For instruction two ways : first, It lets us 
see plainly the right way to sound comfort, and so 
to true patience in any outward distress or bodily 
misery, (which is a great matter to God's children, 
who through manifold tribulations must enter into 
the kingdom of heaven, Acts xiv. 22,) namely, to 
bring the heart to feel and feed upon God's spiritual 
and heavenly blessings and graces, which be contrary 
to our misery ; as in worldly jioverty and want, 
to set thy meditation upon the heavenly treasure 
and riches of God's grace in Christ, Mat. vi. 20 ; 
Col. i. 27, whereby the poorest in the world may 
by true faith be made rich to God, James ii. 5 ; for 
by it thou purchasest the field wherein the treasure 
is hid, Mat. xiii. 44, 4-5, and buyest the pearl of 
price, and so art rich to God, Luke xii. 21. So in 
imprisonment of body, by faith to meditate on our 
Christian liberty, and enlargement from spiritual 
bondage by Christ Jesus. In banishment and 
exile from our friends and country on earth, to 
meditate upon our heavenly home, and consider 

that our heavenly Father is -ndth us leading us, Ps. 
cvii. 4, 7. In bondage to hard masters, to remem- 
ber we are Christ's freemen, 1 Cor. vii. 22. In 
danger, to remember God's presence and pro\'idence, 
Ps. cxviii. 6, 7. In sickness, to meditate on the 
health of the soul, in the pardon of sin in Christ, 
as Mat. ix. 2. In blindness, to meditate on the 
spu'itual light and sight of grace, which Christ 
gives, Luke iv. 18. Yea, iu death itself, either 
natural or violent, both which be the loss of life, 
to meditate upon our spiritual life in grace, and of 
eternal life hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 4. 
And so for any worldly want, or hurt, or loss, we 
may see there is a spiritual and heavenly supply. 
Mat. xix. 29 ; Luke xviii. 29, 30. Thus we shall 
see God's servants have done in former tijnes, 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; Heb. xi. 8, 9, ' By faith 
they sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange 
country, looking for a city whose Ijuilder and maker 
is God.' 

Thus Job did in his losses consider God's provi- 
dence and hand, chap. i. 22 ; and in deepest distress 
meditates on the resurrection to life, chap. xix. 19-21, 
25. Thus did David, Ps. xx\'ii. 13, ' I had fainted, 
unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord 
in the laud of the living.' And hereupon in distress 
he stirs up his soul to wait upon God, Ps. xlii. 11, 
and xliii. 5 ; and prays to God, as Ps. cxvi. 3, 4, 
' The sorrows of death compassed me ; the pains of 
hell gat hold upon me. Then called I upon the 
name of the Lord.' Yea, he saith, Ps. xciv. 19, 'In 
the multitude of my thoughts within me thy com- 
forts delight my soul ; ' and Ps. xxiii. 4, ' Though 
I walk through the vaUey of the shadow of death, I 
will fear none evil : for thou art with me ; thy rod 
and thy staff comfort me.' Therefore see Zech. xi. 
7. Thus did the godly under the persecution of 
Antiochus, Heb. xi. 35, 2 ; Maccab. vii. 7. Thus did 
Paul, 2 Cor. iv. 16-18, and v. 1 ; yea, the Son of 
God in our nature did thus, Heb. xii. 2. 

Use 2. Secondly, This lets us see the true reason 
or ground of the different behaviour and carriage of 
God's children from natural men in two things. 

Fu'st, In times of danger, wherein ' the righteous 
are bold as a lion,' but ' the wicked flee when none 
pursueth,' Prov. xxviii. 1 ; as we may see in Da^dd 
at Ziklag, 1 Sam. xxx. 6, and Nabal hearing of a 



[Ver. 6. 

danger past, 1 Sam. xxv. 37. Surely the godly have 
a heart indued with grace, which is as a hand to lay 
hold on God's mercy and pro\'idence, and so have 
hope even in death ; whereas ' the wicked is driven 
away in his wickedness,' Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked 
are men without hope, 1 Thes. iv. 13 ; now 'hope is 
the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast,' Heb. vi. 

Secondly, About God's worship and service they 
greatly differ. God's child takes great delight in 
pains about God's service, as here we see, and Ps. 
cxxii. 1, and in cost also ; as 1 Chron. xxix. 9, the 
people rejoiced at their great gifts, and Da^-id re- 
joiced -tvith great joy, and 2 Sam. xxiv. 24 ; yea, 
though it cost them their lives, Acts xx. 24, and 
Phil. ii. 17. But the \\'icked count it a weariness, 
Mai. i. 13 ; and with the Gadarenes, had rather want 
Christ and his gospel than their hogs, Mat. viii. 32, 

And no marvel, for they think it a vain thing to 
serve God, Mai. iii. 14. 

Usi 3. For admonition it serves two ways. First, 
With these religious Jews to give ourselves to medi- 
tate and think upon the true and sweet comfort 
which the blessings of grace, bestowed in God's holy 
worship, will bring to our souls ; for certainly herein 
is plentiful spiritual supply to all wants, as is im- 
plied, Luke iv. 18, whereof, if we were resolved, we 
would watch at the posts of wisdom, Prov. viii. 34, 
and hang upon this ordinance, as the impotent per- 
sons did at the pool of Bethesda, John v. 3, 4. The 
want hereof causeth contempt of God's worship in 
some, Mai. iii. 14, and formal usage in the most, as 
John iv. 11 ; Acts xxviii. 22. 

Secondly, Labour for that estate in grace whereby 
we have stay and comfort for our souls in times of 
distress. The way is to get and practise true faith 
in Christ ; for thereby we shall live in want, Phil, 
iv. 12, 13; in persecution, Heb. x. 38; yea, resist 
the devil, 1 Pet. v. 9, and quench all his fiery darts, 
Eph. vi. IG. But know it works by love. Gal. vi. 5, 
purging the heart. Acts xv. 9, and reforming the 
life, Acts xix. 19. 

For comfort, this practice of the godly shews 
plainly that the child of God is never left of God in 
misery, without true ground of stay and comfort. 
God may hide his face, and we may be troubled, Ps. 

XXX. 7, and Ixix. 2, 3 ; but, as Ps. xliii. 5, ' wait,' 
for, Heb. xiii. 5, 'he hath said, I vnW never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee ; ' and consider 2 Cor. iv. 8, 
9, ' We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; 
we are perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted, 
but not forsaken ; cast down, but not destroyed ; ' 
ver. 16, 'Though the outward man perish, yet 
the inward is renewed daily ; whUe we look not at 
things that are seen, but at things which are not 

The second thing to be noted here is the high 
esteem and account which the godly Jews did make 
of God's blessings of grace to be received in his 
holy worship ; namely, that they are to their souls 
as the rain of blessings that covereth, that is, as a 
plentiful rain, which abundantly refresheth the dry 
and thirsty land. This may be seen in David's 
desire and acknowledgment, answerable to the 
matter in hand: Ps. Ixiii. 1, 2, 'My soul thirsteth 
for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and 
thirsty land, where no water is ; to see thy power 
and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in thy sanc- 
tuary.' What benefit should David reap by this? 
ver. 5, ' My soul shall be satisfied as mth marrow 
and fatness,' for Christ in grace comes do^vn into 
men's hearts 'as rain upon the mown grass, as 
showers that water the earth,' Ps. Ixx. 6 ; ' In his 
days shall the righteous flourish, ver. 7 ; so Hosea 
vi. 3. 

Now thus they express their esteem of God's 
grace, partly because the remembrance hereof did 
notably serve to cheer up their souls in their dry, 
sandy, and wearisome way, as is said before. 

And principally because they knew out of God's 
word, and by experience in themselves, having tasted 
formerly of God's good work of grace, that God's 
graces were to man's soul, that which plentiful 
seasonable rain is to the dry ground ; which is 
evident by the state of the soul, as well wanting 
grace, as being indued there^vith. In the want of 
grace, what is the soul but as dry, barren ground 
without rain or water : Jer. xvii. 5, 6, ' He whose 
heart departeth from the Lord shall be like the 
heath in the desert, and shall not be seen when good 
cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in 
the -Hdlderness, in a salt land, and shall not abide,' 
(^liTIN"?!-) But the soul stored with grace is like 

Ver. 6.] 



a field which the Lord hath blessed with plentiful 
rain, viz., both fruitful in itself, and pleasing and 
profitable to the owner; see Ps. Ixxii. 6, 16, when 
Christ comes down like showers, ' there shall be an 
handful of corn upon the top of the mountains; the 
fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the 
city shall flourish like grass of the earth.' Ezek. 
xxxiv. 2G, 27, ' I will make them and the places round 
about my hUl a blessing ; I will cause the shower 
to come clown in his season ; there shall be showers 
of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her 
fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase.' 

This serves for instruction, for admonition, and 

Um 1 . For instruction two ways : first, See in this 
resemblance the absolute necessity of grace to the 
welfare of the soul ; for so is the moisture of rain or 
water to the earth, that it may be fruitful, and so 
pleasant and profitable unto man, as we may see by 
the cursed vineyard, Isa. v. 6, and by the mountains 
of Gilboa, whereon Saul and Jonathan fell, 2 Sam. 
i. 21, which is a most material point for every man's 
heart to be resolved of 

Use 2. Secondly, This resemblance doth plainly 
and sweetly illustrate this material and weighty point 
in Cliristian religion, \iz., that saving grace to the 
soul is a supernatural gift of God, neitlier is it in 
the power of man of himself to get saving gi'ace ; 
see John iii. 27, ' A man can receive nothing except 
it be given from heaven ; ' as before, ver. 3, ' Except 
a man be bom from above he cannot see the king- 
dom of God,' with ver. 7, 8. Can the earth be fruit- 
ful without moisture? and can it of itself cause 
the clouds to drop down rain upon it? No such 

Use 3. For admojiitiou, it serves notably to move 
every one to set his heart to think seriously on this 
resemblance, as Deut. xxxii. 46, with reference to 
ver. 2, that so we may labour to bring them to be 
aifected to God's saving graces, as dry ground is 
toward rain and moisture, which we see doth chop 
and gape after moisture, and so in its kind cry to 
the clouds for showers. 

This was in David, Ps. cxliii. 6, ^^^th Ixili. 1. 
But, alas ! this tlurst is rare to be found. Worldly 
thirsts there are in many : the drunkard's thirst, 
Deut. xxix. 1 9 ; the worldling's thirst, Hab. ii. 5 ; 

the epicure's thirst, whose belly is his god, Phil. iii. 
19 ; the ambitious man's thirst, — Diotrephes, 3 John 
9 ; and the malicious man's thirst, the bloodthirsty, 
Ps. V. 6. Thirst after these things doth keep away 
this thirst after grace, without which we .shall never 
escape Dives' thirst in hell, Luke xvi. 24. If we 
have a godly thirst, it will appear by diligence in 
frequenting the place and means of gi-ace, Prov. viii. 
34 ; bnite beasts for want of water will break 
through hedges, and grace-thirsty souls will make 
their ways through all encumbrances to come wliere 
they may have satisfaction. Secondly, We wUl de- 
light herein, as David did, Ps. iv. 7. Thirdly, We 
will receive satisfaction and shew it. 

Use 4. For comfort, it serves to encourage them 
that find themselves so affected to the blessings of 
grace as the Jews did here, — viz., to esteem them 
as the rain of blessings ; they may assure themselves 
that they likewise shall find the like fruit and effect 
of them, to be covered, — that is, to be abundantly 
refreshed by them. 

The third point to be noted here is implied — viz., 
the place and means wherein they assure themselves 
of these blessings, namely, in the holy wor.ship of 
God which he ordained in his tabernacle, which 
made David to long and to thirst after them, ver. 2 ; 
see Isa. ii. 3, ' Let us go up to the mountain of the 
Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob ; ' Ps. Ixv. 4, 
' Blessed is the man whom thou choosest,' &c. 

The reason hereof is God's sacred ordinance, who 
hath here assured the blessing and life : for, 1 Kings 
ix. 3, his eyes and his li^rt are there perpetually, 
and so as elsewhere it ia not to be had, Zech. xiii. 
17, 18. Now the gospel preaclied is to us God's 
tabernacle. Rev. xxi. 3, as Acts xv. 16. 

This serveth for instruction, and that two ways : 

Use 1. First, See one main cause of the want of 
grace in men's souls ; they do not love God's house, 
nor wait upon him in his ordinances, but count them 
a weariness, Mai. i. 13, with iii. 14; and Job xxi. 
14, as John v. 40, ' Ye will not come unto me tliat 
ye might have life ; ' so Acts xiii. 46. 

Use 2. Secondly, See here the honour of God's 
house, and now of his holy worship above other 
ordinances, as Micah iv. 1, 2. Here is the well of 
life, and tree of Ufe, Rev. xxii. 1 , 2 ; all his springs 
are here, Ps. Ixxxvii. 7. 





Yer. 7. Thci/ go firm slrcnglh to strength : every one 
of them in Zion appeareth hefore God. 

The third thing whereby the prophet cloth de- 
clare the sincere .'iffectiou of the godly towards God's 
holy worship is theii- alacrity and courage, which 
they, lilce valiant soldiers in marching array towards 
the enemies, do manifest in the way to Zion. For 
the better conceiving whereof, we must know that 
the word b^U, here translated strength, doth properly 
signify vigour, courage, alacrity, power, or spirit, as 
Exod. xviii. 21. Jetliro's magistrates must be "p^n 
"•tyjN men of courage, and a woman complete 
and furnished for all good parts of a wife is ^T] 
rWii, mulier strenua, a vii'tuous woman, a woman of 
all good pai-ts for her place, Ruth iii. 11; Prov. 
xxd. 10 ; and therefore also the people of God by 
this word express their valour, as Ps, Ix. 12, ' Tiirough 
God we shall do valiantly ; ' b'H nV}?:, Ps. cviii. 
13, and Ruth iv. 11, ' Do thou worthily ;' Deut. iii. 
18. Moses calleth men of prowess and valour, "p-n 
^22, sons of prowess or power. And hence it is 
taken to signify an army, wherein power is both 
required and shewed, Exod. xiv. 4, and it signifies 
riches and wealth, because that makes men potent 
in the world, as Ps. xlix. 7, 11 ; Prov. x. 15, and 
xviii. 11 ; and in all the book of Job ; for compare 
Job xxi. 7, with 2 Kings xv. 20, and it vriil be plain. 
Now in this place I take it in the first and proper 
sense, for the alacrity, vigour, and prowess which a 
man of spirit will shew in that thing which he de- 
sires to effect. So the godly Jews, desiring to come 
to Zion, the place of God's worship, go from strength 
to strength— that is, they do not faint or leave off 
through weariness or length of the way, but ever 
and anon renew their courage, and cheer up them- 
selves, and so go from strength to strength. And 
the latter part of the verse shews what it is wliich 
puts life and courage into them — namely, their 
spiritual sight or vision of God in Zion, when there 
they appear before the ark of the covenant, the 
pledge of his presence, according to his ordinance, 
Deut. xvi. IG, as was said from Abraham's time, 'In 
the mount will the Lord be seen,' Gen. xxii. 14. 

To come, then, to the first part of this verse, 
therein this is plain : 

The godly Jews, in David's time, went cheerfully 
and courageously to the jilace of God's worship, and 

did increase in strength and courage, notwithstand- 
ing. the weariness and length of the way, and so ^t^ent 
from strength to strength. Ps. xlii. 4, ' I had gone 
with the multitude ; I went with them to the house 
of God, ■oath the voice of joy and praise, Mith a 
multitude that kept holiday;' Ps. cxxii. 1, 'I re- 
joiced in them that said unto me. Let us go into the 
house of the Lord.' Look how courageous soldiers 
will stir up themselves, and hearten one another 
unto fight ; so did the godly Jews stir up and cheer 
up themselves in the way to God's worshij). 

The reason was their desii-e through grace to en- 
joy spiiitual society with God, which was assured 
unto them in the holy worship of the tabernacle and 
temple, as 1 Kings ix. 3, 'I have chosen this place, 
here wLU I dwell : mine eyes and mine heart shall 
be there continually.' Hence Ps. xxvii. 4, ' One 
thing have I desired,' &c. This is the wooing place 
between Christ and his church ; and hence is his 
direction prescribed to her, inquiring where he did 
feed and make his flock to rest ; and her affection 
declared toward this place. Cant. iii. 4, ' It was 
but a little that I passed from them, but I found 
him whom my soul loveth : I held him, and would 
not let him go, untd I had brought him into my 
mother's house, and into the chamber of her that 
conceived me.' And the nearer they come to God, 
the more lively they are : ' From foith to faith,' Rom. 
i. 17, with xiii. 11. 

This serves for instruction, reproof, admonition, 
and comfort. 

Use 1. For instruction, it lets us see, first, That 
there is a spirit of life in the faithful under the 
gospel, to make them forward and courageous in 
their holy profession, and to cheer up themselves unto 
God's holy worship. We have herein some more 
encouragements than they had under the law, from 
the ministry of the Spirit under which we Hve, see 
2 Cor. iii. 13-18; though the same God, and the 
same Mediator Jesus Chjist, to-day, yesterday, and 
the same for ever, Heb. xiii. 8; see 2 Cor. iv. 13, 
16, 18 ; 1 Cor. ix. 24-26 ; 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. So that 
a Christian may say, as Paul doth. Acts xxi. 13, 
' What do ye weeping,' Ac. 

Use 2. Secondly, The vigour and strength of the 
godly increaseth more and more in their way of 
God's worship, and in the course of a godly life. 

Ver. 7.] 



Pi'ov. iv. 18, 'The path of the just is as a shining 
light, that shineth more and more unto the pei-fect 
day.' Ps. xcii. 13, 14, 'Such as be planted in the 
house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our 
God,' &c. Rev. ii. 19, 'The last works of ThyatLia 
are more than the first;' add Eph. iv. 11-15. 

Use 3. Thu'dly, This is a just reproof of those that 
say they are Christians, and yet have no spirit, no 
courage, no life for religion and for God's holy wor- 
ship ; but are dead and cold — every little thing doth 
daunt and hinder them — they have no courage for 
the truth, nor for God's glory. Is the Lord's hand 
shortened 1 Is Laodicean lukewarmness a matter of 
no danger? Rev. iii. 16. Certainly they want the 
sph-it of gi-ace, for it is as fire that will break out, 
Jer. XX. 9 ; like new wine that will vent, Job x.xxii. 
18 ; see Prov. vi. 27. 

Use 4. Fourthly, It must admonish us to shew 
life and courage in holy worship and in a godly life. 
They did it going to mount Zion, we to the heavenly 
Jerusalem. Consider what i^Testlers do, 1 Cor. ix. 
2.5, 26. Quest. How shall we get it 1 Ans. It is a 
fruit of the Spirit, as 2 Tim. i. 7, in those that are 
redeemed. Tit. ii. 14; Rev. iii. 19. 

Use 5. Fifthly, A comfort to the children of God 
against the reproach of the world, which will re- 
proach and brand them with odious names, hot- 
spirited and mad, as they did our Saviour, Mark iii. 
21 ; and Festus, Paul, Acts xx\'i. 24. 

The God of gods shall be seen in Zion. 

This is the thing that puts life and \dgour into 
God's ser\-ants ; when their way to God's worship is 
long and painful unto them, God shall be seen in 
Zion, the place appointed by himself for his holy 
worship ; or, as our translation hath it, ' Every one 
of them in Zion appeareth before God ; ' both one in 
substance, for when God is seen in Zion, they that 
see him appear before him. The reason of the dif- 
ferent manner of translation is the divers acception 
of the word 7K, which sometimes is a preposition 
signifying ad, to, unto ; otherwise it is a noun, signi- 
fpng strong, and so noteth the mighty God. "The 
ordinary difference is 7H, Deus, is written with a 
long e, but 7ii, ad, a preposition, with a short e ; 
and so most Hebrew books with pricks have it here, 
which moved our new translators to take it for a 
preposition, wherein many other godly and learned 

do join with them. Which yet others as learned 
stick not at, because they say that vowel is there 
short because of Maecaph, which joineth two words 
together, and usually doth abbre\'iate the precedent 
vowel. And so the most ancient Greek and Latin 
translations' take it, and divers learned modern 
writers, as Pagnin, Calvin, Mollerus, and our old 
church Bibles. But since in sense and substance 
both come to one, I will herein follow the ancients, 
and so note in the words two things : first. That 
the true God is the God of gods ; secondly, That 
this true God shall be seen in Zion, the place where 
the temple was built. 

For the first, The true God is the God of gods, 
Joshua xxii. 22 ; ' The God of gods the Lord,' Ps. 1. 
1, and cxxxvi. 2 ; 'The mighty God,' Dan. xi. 36 ; 
' The Lord of lords, and King of kings,' Rev. x^'ii. 

14, and x-ix. 16 ; 1 Tim. vi. 15. 

The reason of this title is his divine sovereignty over 
all those that do partake with him in his name, as 
angels and magistrates : angels, Ps. xcvii. 7, with Heb. 
i. 6, and Ps. ^dii. 6, with Heb. ii. 7 ; and magistrates, 
P.S. Ixxxii. 1 ; Exod. xxii. 8, 9, 28 ; John x. 34, 35. 
And false gods, though unlawfully, for they are vani- 
ties, D v^7i^. Now God's sovereignty over them is 
plain : for angels, Heb. i. 7, ■with Job i. 6 ; and for 
magistrates, 1 Tim. \'i. 15 ; and for idols, Exod. xii. 
12. Dagon falls dowTi before the ark, hath his head 
and hands cut off, 1 Sam. v. 3, 4. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1. For instruction, see the blessed estate of 
those that have the God of gods for their God, as 
Ps. xxxiii. 12, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is 
the Lord,' and Ps. cxUv. 15 ; for he hath power 
over angels and kings and de\"ils. 

Use 2. For admonition, first. To choose the God 
of gods for our God ; herein following Rahab, Joshua 
ii. 9, 11, and xxiv. 15 ; and Naaman, 2 Kings v. 

15, 17. Now our way is through Christ, John xiv. 
6 ; Mat. xi. 27. 

Use 3. Secondly, To sanctify liim in our hearts, 
and let him be our fear and dread, Isa. -v-iii. 13. 
Remember the angels before his glorious majesty 
cover their faces with then- wings, Isa. vi. 2. 

Use 4. For comfort to those that stand rightly in 

' Sept. aud Vulg. 



[Ver. 8. 

covenant with God ; they need not be dismayed for 
any terror, as 1 Pet. iii. 6; as Ps. xxiii. 1, 4, iii. 
6, 8, cxvi. 7, 8, and cxviii. 6 ; as Dan. iii. IG, 17 ; 
and hereon, as Rom. viii. 31, 'What shall we say to 
these things 1 If God be for us, who can be against 

The second thing to be noted here is, that in Zion, 
the holy hUl, the seat of his sanctuary, will God be 
seen. This was so well known, that from Abraham's 
naming of it Jchovah-jireh, when there he should have 
sacrificed his son, it became a proverb and common 
saying, ' In the mount will the Lord be seen ; ' and 
so Musculus acknowledgeth that all the late writers 
do translate it, though he himself do not very well 
like of it, saying, that if he durst, he would think 
that those who put pricks to the Bible in Hebrew, 
did without need change the verb active HKT, will 
see, into the passive nX"l\ will be seen. But Mer- 
cerus, a most learned and judicious man for the 
Hebrew te.xt, judgeth it was done by di\'ine provi- 
dence, that posterity might know that there God 
would place his sanctuary, and therein appear unto 
his people, and there also have Christ the Lord to 
be seen ; and the LXXII do translate it by the 
verb passive oijr^»j. And for proof, see Ps. Ixxxvii. 
2, ' The Lord loveth the gates of Zion, more than 
all the dwellings of Jacob.' It is the mountain of 
liis holiness, 'beautiful for situation; the joy of the 
whole earth is mo- mt Zion,' where God is known. 
Ps. xlviii. 1-3, and 1. 2, ' Out of Zion, the perfec- 
tion of beauty, hath God sliined.' When Solomon 
had built his temple here according to God's direction, 
then God said, ' I have chosen this place, here will I 
dwell,' &c., 1 Kings ix. 3. 

Quesl. How was God seen in Zion? Ans. Not 
in essence ; for so ' no man hath seen God at any 
time,' John i. 18. But, first. In his sacred ordinances, 
which were pledges of his presence, as the ark of the 
covenant. Num. x. 35 ; 2 Chron. vi. 41 ; Ps. cxxxii. 
9, ' Arise, Lord God, into thy resting place,' &c. ; 
also the cloud sometime filling the house, Exod. xl. 
34; 2 Chron. vii. 2; 1 Kings viii. 10, 11; and the 
fire consuming the sacrifices. Lev. ix. 24 ; 1 Kings 
xviii. 36-39. 

Secondly, and chieflj'. In his Son incarnate, as Mai. 
iii. 1, with Luke ii. 26-28; for in Christ the Father 
shews himself, as John xiv. 9, 10. 

This God was pleased to do, first. For the honour 
anil advancement of h's people Israel : as Deut. iii. 
7, ' What nation is so great, that hath God so nigh 
unto them 1 ' 

Secondly, To beautify his sanctuary : as Hag. ii. 7, 
' I will fill this house with glory.' Hence it is called 
high, 1 Kings ix. 8. 

Thu-dly, and chiefly. To stir up his people to de- 
sire and delight to come to his sanctuary, as Ps. xlii. 
1, 2. 

Quest. What is this to us ? This place belonged 
to the Jews. 

A lis. See Isa. ii. 2 ; Micah iv. 1. It was a tj'pe of 
the church of Christ, as Heb. xii. 22, which is there- 
fore called ' the holy city, new Jerusalem,' Rev. xxi. 
3, 10, and thereof it is true, Mat. xxviii. 19, 20, with 
xviii. 20. 

This serves for instruction, reprehension, admoni- 
tion, and comfort. 

Use 1. For instruction, it lets us see that though 
difference of place in respect of holiness of the places 
be taken away in the New Testament, as John iv. 21, 
23, yet in respect of God's sacred ordinances there 
used, some places have an honour above others, at 
least for the time when those ordinances are in hand, 
as Mat. xviii. 20. And so M. Calvin acknowledgeth 
that there is a beauty belongmg to temples and 
churches in the New Testament, which should draw 
the affections of the faithful unto them. 

Use 2. Secondly, A just reproof of \vilful recu- 
sants and profane protestants, that care not for the 
place of God's worship ; they are far from David's 
mind, Ps. xxvi. 8, %vith xlii. 1, 2, and cxxii. 1, and 
vers. 1, 2 of this psalm, nay, they are as those. Job 
14, that say unto God, 'Depart from us.' 

Use 3. Thirdly, This should stir up all that have 
care of the true welfare of thek souls to love God's 
house, and God's worship, the house for the worship, 
as David did. Consider his comfort in death, Ps. 
xxxi. 5, which will be contrary to the wicked, as 
Mat. XXV. 41. 

Use 4. Fourthly, For comfort to the godly ; their 
love to God's house for grace is an entrance to his 
house of glory, as 2 Pet. i. 9, 10. 

Ver. 8. Lord God of host.% hear my prayer : give 
ear, God of Jacob. Selah. 

Ver. 8.] 



Here lie returns to pray for audience to his re- 
quest for free and safe fruition of the place of (Aod's 
worsliip, in whicli he shews the more earnestness 
by doubling his requests, and enforcing them by 
several titles given to God, to whom he prays, 
which may strengthen his heart in his assurance to 
obtain liis requests. 

The first title is, ' Lord God of hosts,' which he 
hath given to God twice before in this psalm, — viz., 
vers. 1,3; yet here it is repeated vnth more emijha- 
sis by addition of the title God ; which shews that 
the godly in prayer do not faint, but increase in 
zeal and fervency, till they obtain their requests, as 
Dan. ix. 19. 

For they are enabled to this duty by the Spirit, 
whicli helpeth their infirmities, being neither weaiy 
nor faint, Rom. viii. 26. 

Also they know that God liketli importunity, 
Luke xviii. 1, 6, 7, and fervency, James v. 16. 

Use. Which should be a precedent and encourage- 
ment to us in prayer, to shew fervency and con- 
stancy therein. 

For the first deserijjtion of God by these titles, 
' Lord of hosts,' it hath been handled in the first 
verse, with the application thereof: 

The point is this. The true God is the Lord God 
of hosts, &c. 

The matter he here prays for is audience, ' Hear 
my prayer : give ear ; ' the doubling hath its em- 
phasis, and shews his fervency and earnestness for 
audience. Mark, then, the holy prophet prayeth 
earnestly to have his praj'ers heard ; see Ps. v. 1, 2, 
and xiii. 1, 2. 

This he doth, because to his seeming God did too 
long delay to satisfy his desii-e ; for David longed 
and fainted like a woman ■w"itli cMld, ver. 2, whose 
case will hardly admit delay. 

This serves for instruction and admonition. 

Use 1. For instruction see tliis, that sometime God 
useth long delays in answering the prayers of his 
children, see Ps. xxii. 2, Ixxvii. 7-9, and Ixxx. 4. 

Quest. How can this be, seeing he saith, ' Ask, and 
ye shall have ' "i Mat. vii. 7. 

Ans. First, The sins of God's children may hin- 
der this blessing, as Ps. Ixvi. 18 ; John ix. 31 ; Isa. 
lix. 2 ; as 2 Sam. xii. IG, &c. 

Secondly, God may delay to answer for a time, to 

kindle zeal in his children, as Mat. xv. 22-28 ; as 
our Saviour dealt with the father of the child that 
was possessed with a dumb and deaf spirit, Mai'k ix. 
18, 22, &c. 

Thirdly, To express theii' patience under the 
cross, as 2 Cor. xii. 19. 

Fourthly, To teach them to rest contented with 
such supply as God ministereth, for he heareth and 
answereth not always in that particular men beg, 
but sometime in that which is more for God's 
glory, and as good for his children, as Heb. v. 7. 

Use 2. For admonition, every child of God must 
mark God's dealing herein with his dearest ser- 
vants, that by God's delays they neither be dis- 
mayed in this duty, nor doubt of God's favour ; for 
this was David's case, and Christ's. We should 
wisely consider the reasons of God's delay, and make 
use thei'eof 

The latter title he gives to God is, ' God of 
Jacob,' which he propounds upon his second and 
more earnest request for audience. 

Mark, then, that when David would fain have 
audience mth God in jjrayer, he calls him the God 
of Jacob. 

The reason of this title here is, first. In regard of 
the covenant whicli God made with Jacob and his 
posterity, who are often styled by the name of 
Jacob ; as Ps. lix. 1 3, ' God ruleth in Jacob ; ' and 
Isa. xliii. 1, 'But now saith the Lord that created 
thee, Jacob, and he that formed thee, Israel.' 
Chap. xliv. I, 'Hear now, Jacob my servant, and 
Israel, whom I have chosen.' ' I am the Lord thy 
God, the Holy One of Israel,' chap, xliii. 3. ' Fear 
not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, 
whom I have chosen,' chap. xliv. 2. Now this is a 
great ground of assurance of audience, that the God 
to whom he prayed was his God by covenant ; for 
God saith of this people, ' Jacob and Israel, thou 
art my servant ; I have formed thee ; thou shalt not 
be forgotten of me,' chap. xliv. 21. 

Secondly, and more especially, In regard of the 
special favour that God shewed to Jacob when he 
changed his name to Israel, in suffering himself to 
be overcome by Jacob when he wrestled with him : 
Gen. xxxii. 2-i, 26, 28, ' As a prince,' saith he, ' hast 
thou power.' Hosea saith, chap. xii. 3, ' By his 
strength he had power with God ; ' ver. 4, ' yea, he 



[Ver. 9. 

had power over the angel,' (that is, Christ the angel 
of the covenant;) ' he wept and made supplication 
unto him ; ' mark the means of his prevailing 
prayers and tears. Now Da^dd remembers this, 
and calls him ' the God of Jacob,' to encourage him- 
self in prayer, and to get assurance of prevailing : 
for the God of Jacob is he that suffers himself to be 
prevailed with in prayer, and he is without shadow 
of turning, James i. 17; 'To-day, yesterday, and the 
same for ever,' Heb. xiii. 8. 
This serves for instruction, admonition, and comfort. 

Use 1. For instruction, see here a gracious j^rac- 
tice of God's servants, both to mark and mention in 
their prayers such dealing of God with their fore- 
fathers as may encourage them in this duty, and 
strengthen their faith in assurance to prevail. It is 
here plain in David, when he calls God the God of 
Jacob; but more plain in EUsha, 2 Kings ii. 14, 
when coming back to the waters of Jordan, with 
the mantle that fell from Elijah, wherewith Elijah 
had a httle before made a way through the river on 
dry ground, ver. 8, he doth the like thing that 
Elijah did, using these words, ' Where is the God of 
Elijah?' as if he should have said. Sure he can do to 
me as he did to him. This thing moved the church 
of God often to mention God's gracious dealing with 
their forefathers, as Ps. xliv. 1-4, and xcix. 6-8 ; see 
Ps. Ixxiv. 13, 14, and Isa. li. 9, 'Awake, awake, 
put on strength, arm of the Lord ; awake, as in 
the ancient days. Ai't thou not he that hath cut 
Rahab, (that is, Egypt,) and wounded the dragon 
in the waters ] ' (that is Pharaoh ;) and ver. 10, ' Art 
not thou he which dried up the seal' &c., meaning, 
that he can do so still. So Jehosliaphat in his prayer, 
2 Chron. xx. 7. 

Use 2. For admonition, remember that ' "whatso- 
ever was written afore-time was written for our 
learning ; that we through patience and comfort of 
the Scriptures might have hope,' Rom. xv. 4. We 
therefore must read the Scripture with observation, 
and thus encourage ourselves in prayer to prevail 
with God for his church, and for ourselves. 

Use 3. For comfort, in prayer remember the true 
God is the God of Jacob ; he will be prevailed with 
by prayers and tears ; but follow and imitate Jacob, 
leave not off, give not over tUl he answer, as Isa. 
Ixii. 1, 2. 

Ver. 9. Behold, God our shield, and look "upon the 
face of thine anointed. 

In the former verse, David did most eai'nestly beg 
of God audience to his prayer. In this verse, con- 
tinuing the same duty of prayer, he begs of God, 
(whom he calleth their shield,) with like earnest 
affection, (for he doubleth his request,) the favour and 
kindness to be beheld and looked upon ; moving the 
Lord thereto by the honourable state whereunto 
God had advanced Mm, in anointing him to be a 
Icing, so as he was the Lord's anointed. 

In tills petition note three things ; first. The title 
which he gives to God ; secondly. The favour he 
craves of God ; thirdly, The reason whereby he 
would move the Lord to grant that favour. For 
the first ; the title he gives to God is their shield, 
' God our shield.' A shield we know is a part of 
armour for defence, serving to keep off and award 
the hurts and blows wliieh an enemy might give ; 
and so by fit resemblance shews what God becomes 
to those that be his — namely, a sure defence and 
safeguard from all hurtful assaults of their enemies. 
Mark then in this title, that God is a shield for his 
children, that is, their sure and safe jjrotector and 
defender from the hurts of all their enemies : Ps. iii. 3, 
' Thou, Lord, art a shield for me ; ' Ps. xviii. 2, ' The 
Lord is my rock, and my fortress, my deliverer; my 
God, my strength, in whom I will trust ; my buckler, 
and the horn of my salvation ; ' Ps. xxxiii. 20, ' He 
is our help and our shield ; ' Ps. lix. 11, ' Bring them 
down, Lord our shield : ' and as it followeth in this 
psalm, ver. 11, ' The Lord God is a sun and shield.' 

The reason hereof is his own free grace and 
favour in Christ to those that be truly in covenant 
with him, as Gen. xv. 1. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

Use 1 . For instruction two ways : first, To let us 
plainly see the great happiness of the godly, that 
though they have many and mighty enemies, both 
corporal and spiritual, yet their God is an all-suffi- 
cient safe buckler and shield of defence against 
them all, see Deut. xxxiii. 29, ' Happy art thou, 
Israel : who is like unto thee, people saved by the 
Lord, the shield of thy help.' Ps. cxliv. 15, 'Happy 
are the people that be so ; yea, happy is that people 
whose God is the Lord.' 

Ver. 9.] 



Use 2. Secondly, This shews how magistrates 
should sliew themselves toward the godly, when 
any wrong is offered unto them, namely, as the 
Lord himself is, whose name they bear, Ps. Ixxxii. 
6 ; so they should become shields, — that is, sure pro- 
tectors and defenders of the godly ; so Job was, chap. 
xxix. 11, itc, 'When the ear heard me, it blessed 
me ; and when the eye saw me, it gave ear to me. 
Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the 
fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 
The blessing of him that was ready to perish 
came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to 
sing for joy.' Magistrates are called shields, Ps. 
xlra. 9; Hosea iv. 18, and therefore should become 
protectors of the good, unless they mil have their 
own names to rise up in judgment against them. 

Use 3. For admonition, it serves effectuallj' to 
move every one to laliour carefully for that estate 
wherein they may truly have the Lord for their 
shield. Hereunto three things are necessary. 

First, That we stand rightly in covenant ivith 
God, having avouched him for our God, not only 
by recei\ing the seals of the covenant, in being 
baptized and coming to the Lord's table, which 
hj-pocrites may do, but especially by reverent re- 
cei^•ing the word of the covenant, and humbly 
submitting ourselves thereto, as God required, when 
he avouched Israel to be his people, Deut. xxA'i. 
16-18, and they performed, when they sat down 
at his feet, every one receiving his word, Deut. 
xxxiii. 3. 

Secondly, We must see that our hearts be indued 
with true faith, whereby we trust in God unfeignedly, 
resting and relying upon his promise for all the 
blessings of the covenant. This grace entitles us 
to have God for our shield. Prov. xxx. 5, ' Every 
word of God is pure, he is a shield to those that 
trust in him.' Ps. xviii. 30, ' The word of the Lord 
is tried ; he is a buckler to those that trust in him.' 
Ps. xxviii. 7, ' The Lord is my strength and my 
shield : my heart trusted in him, and I am helped ; ' 
also Ps. xxxiii. 18-20. 

Thirdly, We must walk uprightly before him, 
making conscience of all sin, and leading a godly 
life. Tins God required of Abraham, to whom he 
promised to become a shield. Gen. xvii. 1, with 
Gen. XV. 1 ; and Solomon gives assurance hereof. 

Prov. ii. 7, ' He is a buckler to them that walk 
uprightly,' — that is, to those that look in all things 
to please God, and lean neither to this sin nor that. 
And to move us hereunto, let us consider the evils 
of the times, in the abundance of iniquity, which 
cry to heaven for most heavy judgments ; let us 
think upon the troubles of other nations, and our 
own present danger sundry ways, especially from 
di\'isions both in church and state. Now in times 
of trouble, nothing can be better for us than to 
have the Lord for our shield, for then we need not 
fear ; what can man do unto us ? Ps. cxviii. 6. 

Use 4. For comfort, this makes gi-eatly to all that 
be in covenant with God, and testify the truth of 
their faith by upright walking before him ; for God 
is their shield ; what need they fear t Consider Ps. 
xxvii. 1, 2, 'The Lord is my light and my salvation ; 
whom shall I fear?' &c. ; Jer. xx. 11, 'The Lord is 
with me like a mighty terrible one : therefore all 
mine enemies shall be confounded, but I shall not 
be confounded.' This made Da\-id not to fear ten 
thousand of the people that should beset him round 
about, Ps. iii. 6 ; nor walking through the shadow of 
death, Ps. xxtii. 4. This made the three servants 
of the Lord not fear the hot fiery furnace, nor the 
fierceness of the king, Dan. iii. 16, 17, &c. 

Now consider that God is without shadow of 
change, James i. 1 7 ; and he was a shield to Abra- 
ham, David, Jeremiah, and others. Let us therefore 
labour to be like them, and we may with like confi- 
dence rest assured of God's protection, as the Lord 
promised, 1 Kings ix. 4, 5, and as the godly do 
comfortably expect, Ps. xxii. 4, 5. 

The seccnd thing to be noted here, is the favour 
which he begs and craves of God, namely, that God 
would behold and look upon his face, that is, look 
upon him favourably, taking gracious notice of his 
estate and desire : Ps. cxlii. 4, ' Look upon my right 
hand, and see,' so the words are in the original, as 
the marginal reading hath it ; Ps. cxix. 132, 'Look 
upon me, and be merciful unto me ;' Ps. Ixxx. 14, 
' Look down from heaven and behold ; ' so Isa. Ixui. 
15, ' Look do^vn from heaven, and behold, from the 
habitation of thy holiness, and of thy glory.' 

The reasons hereof are two : first. Because God's 
looking upon his face was a comfortable sign of his 
favour and kindness ; as Ps. Ixxx. 3, 7, 19, ' Cause 



Ver. 9. 

thy face to shine, and vre shall he sayed ; ' Ps. xxxi. 
36, ' Make thy face to shine ; save me for t% mercies' 
sake.' This is more plain by the contrary, God's 
hiding of his face, which is in Scripture a plain sign 
of God's anger and displeasure : Deut. xxxi. 17, 18, 
' Then shall mine anger be kindled against them, and 
I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from 
them : ' and Ps. xiii. 1, ' How long wilt thou forget 
me, Lord 2 for ever ? How long mlt tliou hide thy 
face from me 1 ' 

Secondly, Da^dd desired God to look upon his 
face, because he conceived it might be a special 
means to move to mercy. For David no doubt 
shewed in his very countenance a godly sorrow for 
his restraint from God's sanctuary, as also an earnest 
desire of that favour, that he might safely frequent 
the place of God's worship ; see Ps. xlii. 1, 2, for his 
earnest desire, and ver. 3, 4, 9, for liis soiTOW and 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

Use 1. For instruction, two ways : first. The 
form of words and phrase here used shew a notable 
way to stir up and move compassion towards others — 
namely, to look upon and behold their miseries ; for 
therefore, no doubt, doth David entreat the Lord to 
look upon his face, that the view of his mournful 
countenance might stir up compassion towards him : 
so Lam. i. 12, ' Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass 
by 1 Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like my 


Use 2. Secondly, See here that the favour of God 
is to the child of God a thing of high esteem, else 
the smallest sign thereof in a cheerful countenance 
and lovely look would not be so earnestly desii-ed ; 
indeed, with natural men it is not so ; they say 
unto God, ' Depart from us ; what can the Almighty 
do for us?' Job xxii. 17. But ■\\'ith the godly it is 
otherwise : Ps. xxx. 5, ' In his favour is hfe ; ' nay, 
Ps. Ixiii. 3, ' His lo^^lng kindness is better than life ; ' 
which made Da\-id to bid Zadok to Ijring back the 
ark of God unto his place, saying, ' If I have found 
favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me 
again, and shew me both it and his habitation. 
But if he say, I have no delight in thee ; behold, here 
I am, let him do to me as seemeth Mm good,' 2 Sam. 
XV. 25, 26. 

Use 3. For admonition, it serves three ways : first, 

To imitate Da^nd in our prayers, labouring in our 
very countenance to express truly the good afiections 
of our hearts by mournful looks in confession of sins, 
as Ps. Iv. 2, ' Attend unto me, and hear me : I mourn 
in my complaint, and make a noise ; ' and by cheer- 
ful countenance in thauksgi\ang : so ser^dng the Lord ■ 
with a cheerful and glad heart for his good blessing, " 
as Deut. xx^^ii. 47. 

Use 4. Secondly, To learn of Da\'id how to stir 
up our hearts to charitable compassion towards 
them that be in misery — namely, exeixise our 
senses upon the objects of mercy. Hitherto belongs 
the charge ; Isa. Iviii. 7, ' Hide not thyself from 
thine ovm flesh.' That was the uncharitable prac- 
tice of the priest and Le-\ite, to turn away from the 
wounded man, Luke x. 31-33. 

Use 5. Thirdly, This must teach us, with Da\-id, 
to make high account of God's favour, esteeming it 
as our own life, as David. And for the sure ob- 
taining of it, labour to be found in Christ, in whom 
only it is to be had ; John xiv. 6, vdth Exek. xxxix. 
29, 'Neither wiU I hide my face any more from 
them.' Also to beware of all sin, whereby it is 
certainly lost, as Deut. xxxi. 17, 18; Ezek. xxxix. 
23, 24. And in particular, seeing the want of faith 
and obedience, the chief fruits of the word of the 
kingdom, cause God to take it from us. Mat. xxi. 43 ; 
therefore in special manner we must give all dili- 
gence to make our callmg and election sure, 2 Pet. 
i. 5, 6, &c. 

The third thing to be noted here is, the reason or 
argument implied in the title wliich David gives to 
himself, to move God to shew favour unto him — 
namely, because he is the Lord's anointed. It is 
most true that the Son of God, the second person 
in Trmity, was at this time, and from the beginning 
of the world, iu God's purpose and promise, the 
Lord's anointed, as he is called the lamb slain, Eev. 
xiii. 8, whereon he is called the Messias, or anointed, 
long before his incarnation, Dan. ix. 24, 25, whose 
coming was expected by aU the Jews, as John iv. 
25. And it may be David in this title had refer- 
ence to his mediation, in whose alone merits and 
worthiness the godly in all ages have audience with 
God ; as Dan. ix. 1 7, ' Cause thy face to shine upon 
thy sanctuary for the Lord's sake,' that is, for the 
Lord Christ Jesus' sake. And so from David we 

Ym. f).] 



must learn to beg all blessings of God for Christ's 
sake, as John xvi. 23, 24, with John xiv. 6. Yet 
withal we must know, that David styles himself 
God's anointed, with special reference to that high 
favour and honour whereto God had advanced him, 
when he anomtcd liim by Samuel, to be king over 
his people, as 1 Sam. xvi. 12; Ps. Ixxxix. 20, 
whereby he made him not only a type, but an 
honourable progenitor of Chi'ist, as that same Psalm 
implies, ver. 20-29. And upon consideration of 
that great and extraordinary favour, he begs that 
which is less, even a gracious resjject for freedom 
and hberty in God's holy sanctuary ; as the next 
verse, which propounds the reason of his earnest 
desire, doth plainly import. 

Mark, then, that because David was the Lord's 
anomted, therefore he begs that gi-ace and favour to 
enjoy with freedom the ordinances of God in his 
holy sanctuary. To the same effect, he prays, Ps. 
cxxxii. 1 0, ' For thy servant David's sake, turn not 
away the face of thine anointed.' 

The reason hereof is plain : first, Because the 
very external unction was an high honour and a 
rare favour : as is implied, 1 Sam. xv. 1 7, ' When 
thou wast small and httle in thine own eyes, wast 
thou not made the head of the tiibes of Israel, and 
the Lord anointed thee king over Israeli But 
being joined with the thing signified, even the in- 
ward graces of the Spirit, as it was in David, 2 
Sam. xxiii. 1, 2, where he is said to be the man 
that was raised up on high, the anomted of the 
Lord, indued with the Spirit ; thus it did entitle 
him to God's .special mercy, as Ps. Ixxxix. 20, 28, 
' God promised, sajing, I have found David my 
servant ; 'with my holy oO have I anointed him. 
My mercy will I keep for liim for ever : ' and David 
acknowledgeth, Ps. xviii. 50, ' Great deliverances 
giveth he to his king : he sheweth mercy to his 

Secondly, David propounds this motive to God, 
to bestow upon him this favour, because hereby he 
should be better enabled to walk worthy of the 
honour conferred upon him in his anointing : as 
see Isa. ii. 3, here God teacheth his ways for their 
enabling to walk in his paths. 

This serves for instruction and for admoni- 

U)>e 1. For instruction, two ways : first. It lets us 
see a commendable property in the godly, to oliserve 
and mark God's favours towards them, for their 
better encouragement to depend upon him, and to 
pray unto him for further blessing : see 2 Sam. x\di. 
34, 37, 'Thy servant kept his father's sheep,' &c. ; 
Ps. Ivi. 1 3, ' Thou hast delivered my soul from 
death ; wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling 1 ' 
So did Samson in his great thirst, Judges xv. 18. 
This we should the rather mark for our example in 
following the godly herein, both because God re- 
quires it for our good : Ps. cxi. 4, ' He hath made 
his wonderful works to be remembered ;' and ver. 2, 
' They are sought out of all them that have pleasure 
therein.' Micah vi. 5, ' Remember now, my people, 
what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what 
Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim 
unto Gilgal ; that ye might know the righteousness 
of the Lord.' And also blames those that forget his 
works and deahng towards them : as Ps. cvi. 7, ' Our 
fathers understood not thy wonders in Egj-pt ; they 
remembered not the multitude of thy mercies ; but 
provoked him at the sea ; ' ver. 13, 'They soon for- 
gat his works ; they waited not for his counsel ; ' 
ver. 21, 'They forgat God their Sa\'iour.' For this 
good king Asa is blamed : 2 Chron. x\'i. 8, ' Were 
not the Ethiopians,' &c. 

Use 2. Secondly, Here behold a great prerogative 
and privilege of aU the godly that be true believers, 
for they have ever in themselves, though not of 
themselves, but from the Lord, a comfortable ground 
of encouragement to go to God in prayer for any 
needful blessing ; which is, beside his command and 
pi-omise, Ps. 1. 5, 15, the honour of holy unction ; 
they are the Lord's anointed ones, though not with 
material oil, the use whereof ended in Christ, as all 
legal tj^pes did, Col. ii. 1 7 ; Heb. x. G, yet with the 
graces of the Holy Ghost, which are spiritual oil, as 
John ii. 20, 27. By which they are 'made kings 
and priests unto God,' Eev. i. 6, 'an holy priesthood, 
to offer up spiritual sacrifices, accejitable to God by 
Jesus Christ,' whereon they are called ' Christ's 
fellows,' Ps. xlv. ; yea, Christ himself is ' not 
ashamed to call them brethren,' Heb. ii. 11. And 
so they are indeed by the grace of faith, as Gal. iii. 
26 ; 1 John v. 1. Christ indeed hath the pre-emi- 
nence, for he is the natural Son, as he is the second 

L 2 



[Ver. 10. 

person in Trinity, the only begotten, John i. 1 4, 
and as incarnate, made man, the Son of God also, 
Mat. iii. 1 7, by the grace of personal union. 

Use 3. For admonition, two ways to every one 
that would pray with comfort. 

First, To make trial whether we be the Lord's 
anointed spiritually, which is, by endowment with 
such graces of the Spirit as declare us to be made of 
Christ priests unto God, to offer up spuitual sacri- 
fices, which are : first, Ourselves in souls and bodies 
through faith in Christ, as Eom. vi. 13, 'Yield up 
yourselves unto God,' Eom. xii. 1, which is laiown 
by sanctification joined ■\\dth profession of faith, as 
Eom. XV. IG. 

Secondly, Our prayers and praises : as Ps. clx. 
2, ' Let my prayer be set forth as incense ; ' and 
Heb. xiii. 15, 'The sacrifice of praise, the fruit of 
the lips ; ' or as Hosea xiv. 2, ' The calves of our 

Use 4. Secondly, In the want of assurance of this 
honourable state, to give aU diligence in the sa^^ng 
and holy use of God's means to attain iinto it, which 
requires, first. Leaving the world, though not for 
habitation, yet for behaviour and condition ; for the 
world receives not this anointing, John xiv. 17, 
whence Christ told his disciples he had chosen them 
out of the world, John xv. 19, meaning by his holy 
calling, whereto Paul exhorteth the Eomans, chap, 
xii. 2, 'Fa.shion not yourselves,' &c. The world's 
fashion to be left is sin in general, 1 John v. 19, 
and in particular ' the lusts of the flesh, the lust of 
the eye, and pride of life,' 1 John ii. 16. Now this 
is by true repentance, whereon the Spirit is promised, 
Prov. i. 23, with Acts ii. 38. Secondly, Wait for this 
gift of the Spirit in the sacred ordinances of the word 
and prayer ; the word. Acts x. 44 ; Gal. iii. 2 ; and 
prayer, Luke xi. 13, do herein as the people did at 
Bethcsda, John v. 3, 4 ; yet let us look to the afi'ec- 
tions of our hearts towards this anointing in the use 
of means ; for we must do it with an holy desire, 
Isa. xliv. 3, and ever join obedience with our en- 
deavour, Acts v. 32. 

Ver. 10. For a day in thy courts is letter tlmn a 
thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of 
my God, than to dicell in the tents of wickedness. 

The prophet having sundry ways expressed his 
zealous affection towards the house of God ; 1. By 
way of admh-ation, ver. 1. 2. By plain discovery 
of his affection, ver. 2. 3. By lamentation, ver. 3. 
4. By instruction, touching the happiness of the 
priests and Levites, ver. 4. 5. By humble and 
earnest supplication for audience and favour to en- 
joy the blessings he so much desired, ver. 8, and 9, 
doth in this verse (to prevent the admiration of 
some, and the derision of others, who would account 
this holy longing to be but foolish doting) render a 
good reason of his earnest afiection towards the 
Lord's sanctuary, drawn from the surpassing benefit 
of time spent there above any other place in the 
world : ' For a day ia thy courts,' saith he, ' is 
better than a thousand' anywhere else. Speaking 
of the sanctuary, as the spouse doth of Christ, Cant. 
V. 9, 10. To give a reason of her ardent affection to- 
ward him, she saith, ' He is the chiefest of ten thou- 
sand.' And because the greater number might 
perhaps be other-\vise affected, therefore he doth 
make instance in himself, because he best knew 
his own heart, and plainly professeth that his 
affection did more cleave to the Lord's sanctuary 
than to any other place, saying, ' I had rather be a 
doorkeeper,' &c., like as Joshua had done before 
about the wor.ship of the true God, Josh. xxiv. 

To begin with David's reason, it stands upon this 
ground : man's heart for earnest desire and dehght 
should be there set, where most and best good is to 
be received ; this is according to the apostle's counsel, 
1 Cor. xii. 31, ' Covet earnestly the best gifts ; ' and 
1 Thes. V. 21, ' Prove all things, hold that which is 

There rh xaXov must needs sometimes be icdX- 
Xidrov, for we must not only choose good before evil, 
but of diver's good things the 1:)est, as the very 
heathen have well prescribed.' Now the prophet 
David doth here assume, ' But a day in God's courts 
is better than a thousand elsewhere,' and therefore 
do I desire it. 

In this, which the prophet assumeth, this must be 

remembered for the meaning, that by God's courts 

here is not meant heaven, the place of glorj^, but the 

place of Ills solemn worsliip here on earth, even his 

1 TuU. Off. lib. 1. 

Ver. 10.] 



sanctuary, wliicli to David's religious heart was 
heaven upon earth. And so the point to be observed 
is this : 

That time bestowed in God's holy worship and 
ser\dce is better than a thousand times so much 

spent elsewhere. This is here plainly affirmed, and 
to gain our more cheerful assent, mark the reasons 
following : 

First, here only is the certain perfect cure of all 
spiritual evils and maladies in the soul. 


CHRISTIAN READERS,— Having drawn forth 
^ this Exposition of the 84th Psalm as far as the 
perfect copy of the author's ovra handwriting had 
carried it on, and having lost the hopes I had once 
of supplying what is wanting, on the three last verses, 
out of his other papers, I had an intent to undertake 
that task myself ; but, upon further consideration, I 
have now resolved to let it alone, and leave it as I 
found it, rather than to fall under his censure that 
said, Infelix operis smnma; and to owe them an an- 
swer who should ask a reason of the dissimilitude in 
the words of the poet, when he said, Amphora capit 
institui, cuirente rota cur urceus exit 1 For why should 
I strive, non passibus cequis, to follow him afar off 
whom I can have no hojDe to overtake? Such a 
master of this sacred art (rightly dividing the word 
of truth) he was, that it would be jwesumption in 
me to imagine, that what was left unfinished by him 
should be perfected by me. And for works of this 
natui-e to be published in this sort, is not without 
example amongst the writings either of ancient and 
modern authors. Besides, (if I be not mistaken,) 
both the matter and expressions in these three verses, 
either all or the most part, are such as you may find 

handled either in the former verses of this psalm, or 
in the expositions of those other three, which it is 
intended shall be pubHshed together with this, viz., 
27th, 8.5th, and 87th. As the former part of ver. 
10, 'A day in thy courts is better than a thousand,' 
seems parallel to that of ver. 4, ' Blessed are they 
that dwell in thine house ; ' the latter part of the 
same verse, ' I had rather be a doorkeeper in the 
house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of 
wickedness,' unto the fourth verse of the 27th Psalm, 
' One thing have I desired of the Lord,' Szc. So the 
former part of ver. 11, ' The Lord God is a sun and 
a shield,' doth not difier much more from that of ver. 
9, 'Behold, God our shield, and look upon the 
face of thine anointed,' than a profession doth from 
a petition, and mercy acknowledged from mercy de- 
sii'ed. And the latter part of the same verse, ' No 
good thing TviU he withhold from them that walk 
uprightly,' what is it but the same mth that of the 
85th Psalm, vers. 12, 13, 'The Lord shall give that 
which is good, &:c. The like I might say of the rest, 
but that I suppose this to be sufficient, if not more 
than needed. Vale. 



IT is not unknown unto him, unto whose eyes all 
things are naked and opened, that a strong de- 
sire doth possess me (if it be not more proper to call 
it ambition) of offering to the present age, and leav- 
ing to posterity, some public evidence of that un- 
feigned thankfulness which I humbly acknowledge 
to be due unto you for your altogether undeserved, 
as well as unexisected at the first, and now little 
less than twenty years continued, favour, expressed, 
amongst many other particulars, by three several 
presentations unto such church-liidngs as were in 
your power to dispose of; and those not only so 
freely, but also so fiiendly, not gi'anted, but offered, 
that, would the severest censurer of simony that 
ever was, choose of purpose a pattern in that particu- 
lar for patrons perpetually to practise by, the world 
could not afford him any one that might more truly 
say than you can, N(c 2»'cce, nee pretio. And of all 
the relations wherein men stand to one another, in 
that between ministers and their people, I think it 
is the gi-eatest happiness when we can tell ourselves 
truly that it was not our own doing, but God's, by 

the means of others, without any solicitation of our 
own, that brought us together. This hath been my 
comfort in many trials of affliction, and will be, I 
hope, my joy and my crown whenever God shall see 
it good to turn his hand upon me ; and next, under 
him, I shall ascribe it unto you. And having long 
ago put on almost an obstinate resolution never to 
send mine o'mi name to the press, (except it be, as 
now I do, to bring to light another man's labours,) I 
am glad I have such a good opportunity, that, whilst 
I am publishing some of his works, whose memory 
is not only precious with you and others unto whom 
he was known, but also like to last as long as ortho- 
dox Christian religion keeps footing in England, I 
may both honour one part with your name, and 
^^'ithal tell the world, what I hope you vnA believe, 
that I am, 

Your Worship's most obliged orator, in 

the strictest bonds of all observant 

duty uufeignedly devoted, 






pSALM LXXXV. To the chief Mum-ian. A 
-'- psalm for the sons of Korah. 

Ver. 1. Lord thou hast been favourable to thj land ; 
thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. 

I have chosen to entreat of this psalm, as contain- 
ing fitting matter unto our times and occasions : 
wherein, as well the works of God's providence as 
the godly government and authority under which we 
live, do call us to the consideration both of former 
mercies and favours, as also of present evils and 
further dangers ; that, renewing our thankfulness for 
blessings received, and humbling our souls to beg of 
God the removal of judgments, both present and 
imminent, we may with better assurance wait upon 
God for the fruition of his blessings. 

Answerable to all which, we have in this psahn, 
as a pattern showed us in God's holy mountain ; 
first, The church's acknowledgment of God's favour 
and mercy in the removal of former e\'ils, ver. 1-3. 
Secondly, Her humble and earnest prayer for the per- 
fecting of that mercy begun, by the removal of some 
heavy judgments, which were renewed upon them 
for their sins, ver. 4-7. Thirdly, Her godly be- 
haviour in waiting for mercy, in a gracious answer to 
her prayers, wth the sure grounds thereof, ver. 8, 

These are the general parts of this psahn, which I 
will handle in order. But first a word or two of the 
title prefixed, wliich sheweth the dedication thereof 
to the chief musician, and pointeth out the persons 
that were specially to be employed in the singing 
thereof — namely, the sons of Korah. 

The dedication is to the chief musician, or master 
of the choir. For, 1 Chron. xvi. 4, David ordered a 
choir to smg thanksgiving, and penned psalms for 
that end, which he delivered to the master of the 
choir, ver. 7. Of their ordering, see 1 Chron. xxv. 

The parties by whom it is to be used are the sons 
of Korah. These sons of Korah were the posterity 
of that rebelhous Levite, who, with Dathan and 
Abiram, rebelled against Moses and Aaron, Num. 
xvi. ; which Korah was consumed with fire, ver. 35 
with 17. Howbeit there were of his sons that died 
not. Num. xxvi. 11, departing, as it seemeth, from 
their father's tent, as all were commanded. Num. 
xvi. 24, 26. And of these is numbered a family of 
the Korathites, Num. xxvi. 58, of whom came 
Samuel the prophet, and Heman, his nephew, 1 
Chron. vi. 33, a great singer, 1 Chron. xxv. 4, 5. 

In this title observe two things : first. That God 
required joy and gladuess in his service, which 

Ver. 1.] 



David prepared, 1 Chron. xxiii. 5, and xxv. 1, and 
bids all his people to rejoice in their feasts, Deut. 
x^-i. 11, 14, which feasts did represent the life of 
Christians. And in evangelical worship he requires 
making melody to the Lord iu their hearts, Eph. 
V. 19. 

The reason is great. For in God's ser\nce we 
have society with God, which is a just cause of ex- 
ceeding joy. Herein God vouchsafeth evidence of 
special favour, and if we should take no delight 
therein, it argues fearful contempt, which God can- 
not endure without revenge, as Deut. xx\-iii. 47, 48, 
whereto add, Amos \-ui. 5, 11. 

This should make us to stir up iu our hearts, and 
to express in our beha^'iour, this spiritual joj' in God's 
service. To this end we have need of the Spirit to 
sanctify us, which will make us to rejoice in God's 
word as one that finds a great spoil, Ps. cxix. 162, 
and concei\'ing it to be the food of our souls, labour 
to hunger and thu'st after it, and then with Job 
shall we esteem it above our appointed food, Job 
xxiii. 12. Aiid when we know God to be our God, 
and the fountain of blessings to us, we shall ' come 
before him with gladness ' in prayer, Ps. c. 2 ; and 
' our mouth shall praise him with joyful lips,' Ps. 
Ixiii . 5. 

Secondly, Here note that the sons — that is, the 
posterity, of wicked and rebellious Korah, have an 
honourable place in God's sacred and solemn serNace, 
for to them sundry of Da^'id's psalms are com- 
mended, as Ps. xlii., xliv.-xl\-i., S:c., which is no small 

No doubt Davdd saw them, being by place and 
birth Le\-ites, to be faithful and diligent in then- 
place, and thus renowns them to all posterity, that 
he composeth special psalms for their ministiy in 
the solemn service of God. 

Here see the verifying of God's word for the com- 
fort of all godly children, that the son shall not 
bear the inicpiity of the father, Ezek. XA-iii. 14, 17, 
20, if he see his father's sins and turn from 

Ol/j. Exod. XX. 5, ' Visiting the iniquity of the 
fathers upon the children.' 

yins. That is, inquiring for the sin of the fathers 
among the children, and, if he find it there, then 
pays he them home. 

Ohj. Achan's sons and daughters are stoned and 
burned for the father's saciilege, Joshua vii. 24, 25. 
And Dathan's and Abiram's little children arc swal- 
lowed up. Num. xvi. 27. 

Alt':. For aught we know, they might be of years 
of discretion, and privy to their father's stealth. 

When little ones die in the punishment of their 
father's sin, God lays not the punishment of the 
father's sin upon the children, but, to make the 
father's sin more odious, doth then bring upon the 
chikken the fruit of their o^^m original corruption, 
which is death determined upon all flesh, as Gen. ii. 
1 7, with Rom. v. 12. As a creditor that hath both 
the father and the son debtors unto him, may, upon 
the father's provocation, lay the forfeiture upon 
both, being both in Ids danger. 

Secondly, Here is special encouragement to the 
children of wicked parents to become godly and 
faithful in their places. In some sense they are the 
sons of strangers, for ' The wicked are estranged from 
the womb,' Ps. Iviii. 3. Yet, if they leave their 
father's sins and become faithful to the Lord, here is 
comfort for them in the honour of Korah's posterity, 
see Isa. Ivi. 3, ' Let not the son of the stranger, that 
joineth himself to the Lord, say. The Lord hath 
utterly separated me from his people ; ' for, ver. 
6, 7, ' The sons of strangers, that join themselves to 
the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the 
Lord, shall be brought unto his holy mountain, and 
made joyful in liis house of prayer ; ' for ' them that 
honour me I will honour, saith the Lord,' 1 Sam. 
ii. 30. 

Thus much of the title, the psalm itself fol- 

Ver. 1. Lord, thou hast been farourahk to thy land: 
thou hast brought again the captivity of Jacob. 

In this and the two next verses are contained the 
church's acknowledgment of God's great favour and 
mercy, here propounded not only to testify their 
thankfulness for the blessings they enjoyed, but also 
to be a ground of encouragement unto their new 
requests, vers. 4-7 ; and so conceived, we may 
therein ob.serve one thing in general, viz., — 

That God's church doth think upon and acknow- 
ledge the blessings [they enjoy, though] they lie still in 
other things under some heavy judgments. Compare 



[A'er. 1. 

the three first verses with the 4th aud 5th, which -n-ill 
well agree either to the times of Ezra and Nehcmiah 
— when, notwthstanding their return from Babylon, 
the people were in great distress at Jerusalem, as 
Neh. !.■> 3 — or to the more hea\'y times, when Autio- 
chus Epiphanes did tyi-annise over them, as the 
book of Maccabees shews more at large, 1 Mac. i. 
25, 36, &c. Like unto this is Ps. xliv. 1, &c., ' We 
have heard with oui- ears, God, our fathers have 
told us, what works thou didst in their days, in the 
times of old,' &c. 'Thou hast saved us from our 
enemies, aud put them to shame that hated us,' ver. 
7. ' But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame ; 
and goest not forth with our armies,' ver. 9. 

The reason is twofold : first, To shew themselves 
thankful for blessings received; for so God is 
honoured, Ps. 1. 23, 'Whoso oflfereth praise glori- 
fieth me,' which is very profitable, as Luke xvii. 

Secondly, To lay a ground of assurance of deliver- 
ance in present e^dls ; for hereby their hearts are 
settled in assurance of God's power, and further, in 
the love of his mercy : as appears by that of Da-s-id, 
1 Sam. xvii. 34, &c., 'The Lord that deUvered me 
out of the paw of the Hon, and out of the paw of 
the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of tliis 

Tills serres for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, see a difference between the 
wicked and the godly under crosses and afflictions. 
The godly, we see here, doth guide liis affairs with 
discretion ; as he looks with one eye on God's pre- 
sent judgments, so with the other he beholds prece- 
dent mercies: see Job i. 21, 'The Lord gave, and 
the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of 
the Lord;' and chap. ii. 10, 'What? shall we re- 
ceive good at the hand of God, and shall we not 
receive e\'iir But the wicked are like Haman — 
aU his honour is nothing, while Mordecai sits in 
the king's gate, Esther v. 13. The godly are Uke 
David, 1 Sam. xxx. 5, 6, who, when ' the people 
spake of stoning him,' ' encouraged himself in the 
Lord his God ; ' but the wicked are Uke Nabal in 
distress, whose ' heart died within him, and he be- 
came as a stone,' 1 Sam. xx^'. 37 ; or hke Saul, that, 
when God would not answer liim, consulted with a 
witch, 1 Sam. xxA-iii. 7, 'Seek me a woman that 

hath a familiar .'jjirit, that I may go to her and 

For admonition, labour to become followers of 
God's church and peojile in this godly behaviour. 
AVe have just cause so to do in this land, every true 
member of God's church. God's favour hath been 
gi-eat unto us, in preventing the designs of our ene- 
mies, and in -ndthdrawing the hea\'y judgment of 
jjlague and pestilence from our bretliren, and that 
not once alone, but often : the remembrance of 
which mercies no present judgments should be able 
to deprive us of. 

Now, particularly in the church's acknowledgment 
of God's great favour and mercy to them, we have 
sundry things to note : — 

First, The prophet calls Judea, wherein the people 
of Israel dwelt, God's land, ' Thou hast been favour- 
able to thy land;' so Ps. x. 16, 'The Lord is king 
for ever and ever : the heathen are perished out of 
his land,' — that is, the Canaanites and the rest of 
the nations that once possessed it are now destroyed. 
Jer. ii. 7, ' Ye defiled my land, and made mine heri- 
tage an abomination.' Ezek. xxxvi. 5, God is angry 
with all those heathen that ajDpoint his land into 
their possession ; and ver. 20, ' These are the people 
of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.' 
Chap. xxy\d. 5, ' I will bring thee against my land.' 
Hosea ix. 3, 'They shall not dwell in the Lord's 
land.' Joel i. 6, 'A nation is come ujion my 

The reason, or gi-ound hereof, is tlireefold. First, 
God chose this land for his own people, wherein he 
promised to dwell among them : see Lev. xxvi. 1 1 ; 
Ps. xlra. 4, xlviii. 1-3, and Ixxvi. 1, 2 ; Ezek. xx. 
6, and xxxvii. 26. 

Secondly, He became king over tliis land, Zech. 
xiv. 9 ; ' Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his 
dominion,' Ps. cxiv. 2. 

Thirdly, He undertook to be protector and blesser 
of this land, and that in an extraordinary manner, 
as Deut. xi. 11, 12, 'The land, whither thou goest 
to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, &c. A 
land which the Lord thy God careth for : the eyes 
of the Lord thy God are always upon it.' Experi- 
ence whereof may be seen by example, 1 Sam. \'ii. 
10-12 ; 2 Kings xtx. 32, 33. 

In these respects the land of Jewry was, as it were. 

Ver. 1.] 



God's peculiar enclosure, hedged in from his com- 
mons, ■which was the whole earth. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, it shews plainh* that some lands 
and people have a privilege above others, for sure 
title and interest unto the true God, — namely, those 
that do receive, believe, and obey the word of the 
covenant, as did the Jews under the law, and all 
Christian nations under the gospel. It is true that, 
by creation and common pro\'idence, all lands and 
all people are the Lord's, as Ps. 1. 12, 'The world 
is mine, and the fulness thereof;' yet they only are 
his by bond of covenant, and so entitled to his spe- 
cial mercies, that truly receive, believe, and obey his 
holy word, see Exod. xix. .5, 6 ; Deut. x. 14, 15 ; P.s. 
Ixv. 1. 

For admonition it serves two ways. First, To 
those that as yet are without, not called nor brought 
into the bond of the covenant with God, that, if 
ever they desire true happiness for their souls, they 
labour to become rightly entitled to the true God 
by special covenant tlirough Christ Jesus; for 'happy 
are the people that have the Lord for their God,' 
Ps. cxHv. 15. Now, for this end, they themselves 
must seek unto God's ministers, and say, as a man 
of Macedonia did unto Paul in a vision, ' Come and 
help us,' Acts xvi. 9 ; they must inquire of them, as 
the eunuch did of Philip, ' I pray thee, of whom 
speaketh the prophet this?' Acts viii. 34. Nay, 
they must study in the word themselves, and search 
the Scriptures daily, by the example of the noble 
Bereans, Acts xvii. 11. And, above all, they must 
desire of God that he will teach them to do that 
which is pleasing unto him, as Ps. cxliii. 10. 

Secondly, To us in this land, who, by oiu' holy 
profession, do entitle ourselves to the true God, and 
say, as Ps. xlviii. 14, ' This God is our God for ever.' 
We must look unto it, that we do truly and sincerely 
receive, believe, and obey the word of the covenant, 
and take heed of those things which tend to separate 
between God and his peojile. Amongst which, we 
are most in danger of these two : first. The idolatry 
of popery ; secondly, Profaneness in Clmstianity. 
Popery is a false faith ; and proftmeness in the pro- 
fession of the true religion argues a dead faith. 

For popery, it is at this day, amongst God's 

people, in comparison of true religion, as the worship 
of the golden calves, erected by Jeroboam at Dan 
and Bethel, was to the true worship appointed by 
God himself at Jerusalem, 1 Kings xii. 26, 28, 29, 

For papists worship God in images, as they did : 
now, the danger thereof see 2 Chron. xv. 13, Israel 
without a true God ; and chap. xxv. 7, ' The Lord 
is not with Israel.' Therefore, if we desire the con- 
tinuance of this privilege, to have our land to be 
God's land, we must set ourselves against popery ; 
lament and repent that it hath any corner and 
closet by allowance amongst us ; yea, we must, by 
prayer to God, seek the removal of it. Consider Ps. 
Ixxxi. 8, 9, ' Hear, my people, and I will testify 
unto thee : Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me ; 
there shall no strange God be in thee ; neither shalt 
thou worship any strange God.' 

Then, for profaneness among the professors of true 
religion, tliis argues a dead faith ; for such deny the 
power of true rehgion, 2 Tim. iii. 5. Now, God's 
kingdom is ' not in word but in power,' 1 Cor. iv. 20 ; 
and this is a spreading evil amongst us, as God's 
judgments shew : see Jer. xxiii. 10, ' The land is full 
of adultery, and because of oaths the land mourns ;' 
also Hosea iv. 1-3, ' The Lord hath a controversy 
with the land,' &c. 

The same sins are rife amongst us, whereof we 
must take special regard against the day of humilia- 

For comfort, this makes greatly to any land or 
people thatkeep covenant with God, when they are 
oppressed with idolatrous enemies or wicked men, as 
usually the true church is. They must remember 
their interest in the true God, and in the time of 
danger, with Hezekiah, Isa. xxxvii. 6, 29, humble 
themselves in earnest prayer, and, with Jehoshaphat, 
fast and pray, 2 Kings xx. 3, 4, 12, and then they 
shall receive a gracious answer, as he did, ver. 14, 
and good success, as Abijah did, 2 Chron. xiii. 8, 
10, 12. 

Secondly, Note here, as taken for granted, that 
Jacob — that is, the Jews, who were the posterity of 
Jacob — had been taken captive ; for the churcli's 
thankfulness for then- bringing back is an acknow- 
ledgment of their can-jing out. 

The truth hereof is manifest by plain and manifold 



[Ver. 1. 

relation in the holy storj', see 2 Kings xxiv. 10, 11 ; 
Dan. i. 1, 2 ; for the beginning of it, in part, in the 
reign of Jehoiakim ; and for the accomplishment 
thereof, see 2 Kings xxv. 2, 8, 11 ; Jer. xxxix. 2, 3, 
&c., and lii. 4, &c. 

The reason hereof was their gi'ievous sins against 
God : Lam. i. 8, ' Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, 
therefore she is removed,' according to God's tlu'eat- 
ening. Lev. xxvi. 14, 15, 25, 33; Deut. xxviii. 15, 
20; Jer. xrvi. 10, 'Wherefore hath the Lord pro- 
nounced all this great evil against us?' ver. 11, 
' Thou shalt say. Because your fathers have forsaken 
me;' ver. 12, 'And ye have done worse than your 
fathers;' ver. 13, 'Therefore will I cast you out of 
this land.' 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, see plainly that God's own people, 
for the sins committed against him, may He under 
most heavy and grievous judgments, as here we see 
they are led into captivity : among whom were 
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Dan. i. ; 
also Mordecai and Esther, chap. ii. 5, 6 ; yea, Zerub- 
babel and Joshua : yea, see Ps. xliv. 9, 10, &c., to 
the 18th. 

For admonition, two ways : first, To beware of rash 
judgment, either against ourselves or others, for the 
grievous calamities that lie upon us and them ; for 
God saith, ' Many are the afflictions of the righteous,' 
Ps. xxxiv. 19; ' Whosoever vnW live godly must 
suffer persecution,' 2 Tim. iii. 12; ' Through mani- 
fold afflictions we must enter into the kingdom of 
heaven,' Acts xiv. 22. 

Secondly, Hereby learn to know to repent of for 
the time past, and to beware of for the time to come, 
those sins that brought the captivity ; which are 
these : In general, the transgressing of God's com- 
mandments, as Lev. xx\'i. 14, 15, 25. In particular, 
idolatry, 2 Chron. ^-ii. 19, 20; Sabbath-breaking, 
Neh. xiii. 15-17; covetousness, Jer. vi. 12, 13; 
swthing teaching, Jer. yi. 14, &c. 

For comfort to the godly in the times of their 
great affliction, consider that nothing befalls thee 
which hath not lit on God's dear children, what- 
ever thine affliction be, whether inward in mind, or 
outward in body, see 1 Cor. 10, 13. Consider the 
state of Job, chaps, i., ii. ; and of David, Ps. Ixxvii. 

2, 4, ' My sore ran in the night, and ceased not : my 
soul refused to be comforted. Thou boldest mine 
eyes waking : I am so troubled that I cannot speak ; 
yet I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God 
■with my voice, and he gave ear unto me,' ver. 1. 
Consider also the restoration of Israel in this text, 
and Zeph. iii. 14, &c. ; Isa. xii. 1, &c., and liv. 1, 
&c. ; Micah iv. 6, 7. 

The third particular thing to be here observed, is 
expressed — namely, that God brought back his 
people that had been led into captivity. This is 
plain, for the captivity of Babylon, in the first and 
second chapters of Ezra, where both time, and 
means, and persons that did return, are set do\^^l 
particularly, and at large. 

The reason hereof is twofold : first, and chiefly, 
In God, who of mere grace and favour undertook 
this great work, and bound himself thereto by 
promise : see Jer. xxvii. 22, ' They shall be carried 
to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day 
that I visit them ; then will I bring them up, and 
restore them to this place.' Jer. xxix. 10, 'After 
seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will 
visit you, and perform my good word towards you, 
in causing you to return to this place.' 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 22, ' Now in the first year of Cyrus king of 
Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of 
Jeremiah might be accompU.shed, the Lord stirred 
up the spirit of Cyras, that he made a proclamar 
tion throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in 
■writing, saying,' &c. 

Secondly, God herein had respect to the godly 
behaviour of his children in ti^ue repentance and 
earnest prayer, wheretinto he did enable them by 
his grace, that so he might perform his good word 
unto them. For that was Solomon's request, at the 
dedication of the temple, 2 Chron. ■vi. 36-38, as- 
sented unto, chap. \ii. 1, by sign of fire consuming 
the sacrifice, and by voice, ver. 12, 'I have heard 
thy prayer.' And so we find that Daniel did, chap, 
xi., according as God had said the godly should do : 
Jer. xxix. 12, &c., 'Then shall you call upon me, 
and go, and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto 
you. And ye shall seek me, and find me ; I wHl be 
found of you, and turn away your captivity.' 
This serves for instruciion and for admonition. 
For instruction, two waj"s : first. See that God 

Ver. 2.] 



doth actually for his church ' exceeding abundantly, 
above all that men can ask or think,' Eph. iii. 20, 
■wath Ps. cxxvi. 1, ' When the Lord turned again 
the captivity of Zion, we were like them tliat 
dream.' Such was Peter's deliverance, both to 
himself, and others of the church, Acts xii. 9, 15, 

Secondly, Here see a plain difference between 
God's dealing with his own people and with the 
wicked, when he enters into judgment with them. 
His people, we see here, do return, but the wicked 
are cut off, and cast off for ever : Isa. xx\'ii. 7, 8, 
' Hath he smitten him as he smote those that smote 
him 1 ' &c. 

For admonition, two ways : first. To the wicked, 
that they insult not over God's children in their 
affliction and misery ; for God will one day restore 
comfort to his children, and judge the mcked : see 
Micah \'ii. 8, ' Rejoice not against me, O mine 
enemy : when I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in 
darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.'. And 
for judging the wicked, see Ps. cxxx-vii. 7-9, and 
Zeph. ii. 8, 9. 

Secondly, To the godly in affliction, that they be 
not dismayed with any terror, for peace and deliver- 
ance shall come, see Ps. xxiii. 4 ; James v. 7, 1 1 ; 
Acts ii. 24. Christ now is made both Lord and 
king, though once crucified. Acts ii. 36 ; ' Declared to 
be the Son of God with power, according to the 
spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,' 
Eom. i. 4. 

Ver. 2. Hiou haSt fm-given the iniquity of thy people ; 
thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. 

Here the prophet proceeds in the further acknow- 
ledgment of God's favour to his people, and doth 
instance, in this great blessing, the remission and 
forgiveness of their sins, which were the cause of 
his judgments that formerly lit upon them. 

In exjjressing whereof he usetli variety of phrase, 
for the greater comfort of his people ; intimating thus 
much, that whether their sins were small or great, 
yet God had pardoned them, and hid them out of 
his sight. 

In this confession note two things : the first 
implied. That God's ovm people have their iniqui- 
ties and their sins : the second expressed. That 

God forgives the iniquity of his people, and covers 
all their sins. 

For the first, God's own people, that are his by 
covenant, have their inicjuities and their sins : 2 
Chron. vi. 36, ' If they sin against thee, (for there is 
no man that sinneth not.) ' Prov. xx. 9, ' Who can 
say, I have made mine heart clean : I am pure from 
my sin 1 ' Eccles. vii. 20, ' There is not a just man 
upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.' 
James iii. 2, ' In many things we sin all.' 1 John 
i. 8, ' If we say we have no sin, we deceive our- 
selves, and the truth is not in us.' Consider the 
best that have lived, Noah, Abraham, Job, Moses, 
David, Peter, &c., who, though they were most 
worthy men, yet were not jjure and free from sin. 

The reason hereof is their original corruption, 
furthered by the malice of Satan, and the deceitful- 
ness of the world. 

And touching this corruption, which is in every 
man the seed of liis sin, thus much we must know, 
that it is in God's people in a different manner and 
measure according to their estate before God. For 
among God's people, some are his by a general call- 
ing only, and outward profession, and in them cor- 
ruption reigueth ; for the grace they have as yet is 
restraining only, which keepeth them from the ser- 
vitude of some gross sins only. Others are his also 
by effectual calling and inward sanctification ; in 
whom, though corruption do not reign, and hold 
them captive under the bondage of sin, yet doth it 
remain in them, and allure and draw them many a 
time to commit iniquity and sin. 

Thus much Paul confesseth, speaking of himself re- 
generate, Rom. vii. Now there he saith, to express the 
strength of his corruption remaining, ' What I hate, 
that do I,' ver. 15 ; now then, 'It is no more I that 
do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that 
in me, (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. 
The good that I would, I do not ; but the evil 
which I would not, that do I. I see a law in my 
members warring against the law of my mind,' &c., 
ver. 17-19, 23. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, two ways : first. That original 
sin is not quite taken away by baptism. True it is, 
they that rightly believe in the Lord Jesus, and are 



[Ver. 2. 

regenerate by the Holy C41iost, are Ijoth freed from 
the guilt of original sin, and have corruption, though 
not quite removed, yet so weakened and lessened 
that sin shall not reign in them : yet some i^art 
thereof remains, and thence proceed actual transgi'es- 
sions, as St Paul confesseth, Eom. vii. 21. 

Secondly, Here see the error of the more ancient 
heretics, as the Catharists, the Novatians, and Dona- 
tists, who held a man might live in a state of purity 
and perfection in life ; from whom the papists do 
not much differ, who do not only hold the total re- 
moval of oi-iguial corruption by baptism, but also 
that the child of God may keep God's command- 
ments. For proof whereof they urge 1 John ii. 4, 
;ind do instance in Zacharias and Elizabeth, Luke i. 
G ; but they err, mistaking evangelical obedience 
there spoken of, as though it were legal. 

For admonition two ways : first, To the wicked, 
that they beware of the common stumbling-block 
whereat many natural men do fall, that is, to mislike 
true religion because of the faults and sins of those 
that be the professors of it. For God's people have 
their iniquities, they have their sins. 

There is a woe to them that give that offence, yet 
thou shalt not be excused that takest it ; for, ' woe 
be to the world because of offences,' Mat. XA'iii. 7. 

Secondly, The godly have hence to consider their 
estate of subjection to commit iniquity and sin, that 
thei'eby they may be moved to daily repentance for 
their sins past, and to watchfulness against sins to 
come : for which end they must remember Christ's 
charge of pulling out the right eye, &c.. Mat. v. 29, 
30, and beware of the sins which their constitution 
of body, and their calling or state of life doth tempt 
them unto ; for there especially is this right eye 
that must be plucked out, and right hand that must 
be cut off. And against all sin we must labour daily 
to 'put on the whole armour of God,' prescribed 
Eph. -vi. 12, 14, 16 ; and also ever labour to 
weaken corruption, and to renew and strengthen 
grace in our souls ; for which end we must be much 
exercised and conversant in the word and prayer. 

For comfort, it makes greatly to those that be in 
Christ Jesus, and yet be troubled for their iniquities 
and for their sins. 

Qued. \Maerein then do they differ from natural 

Alts. In the servitude of sin, whereto natural 
men give themselves willingly and with delight, if 
they may so do with safety from men's laws ; but the 
child of God is giieved for them, and doth watch 
against them, and strive to leave them, and so walks 
not after the flesh, but after the Si^irit, whereby he 
is freed from condemnation in Cluist, though he be 
not quite cleared from his own corruption, Eom. 
viii. 1, with vii. 24, 25. 

The thing here expressed is, that God forgives the 
iniquity of his peoj)le, and covers all their sins. 
When God describes himself to Moses, he makes 
this a part of his name, one of his special properties, 
to ' forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin,' Exod. 
xxxiv. 7 : ' The Lord is long-suffering, and of great 
mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression,' Num. 
xiv. 18: 'Who forgiveth all thine iniquity,' Ps. 
ciii. 3. 

The reason hereof is principally in God, even his 
mercy and truth, which go before his face, Ps. 
Ixxxix. 14. Mercy moves him to pity those that be 
in misery, as all are that stand guilty of sin : and 
therefore he is said to ' pardon iniquity, and to pass 
by transgression, and not to retain his anger for 
ever, because he delighteth in mercy,' Micah vii. 18. 
Also, his truth causeth him to perform covenant 
with those that be his people in Christ ; which is to 
pardon their sins, for the merit of his death and 
passion, when they do repent and beg mercy and 
pardon, whereunto he doth enable them, and excite 
and stir them up by his word and works : as Lev. 
xxvi. 40-42, ' If they shall confess their iniquity, and 
the iniquity of their fathers, &c. If then their un- 
cu'cumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept 
of the punishment of their iniquity : then will I re- 
member my covenant,' &c. Likewise, Jer. xxxii. 
39, &c., ' I will give them one heart and one way, 
that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them 
and of their- chihlren after them, Sec. So will I bring 
upon them all the good that I have promised them.' 
Quest. Why doth Moses say, ' He will not pardon 
your transgressions ' ? Exod. xxiii. 21; and Joshua, 
' He is a jealous God, and will not forgive your 
transgressions nor your sins '? Joshua xxiv. 19. 
j4ns. The cu-cumstances of those places shew the 
ue meaning— namely, if men provoke him, and 
forsake him by idolatry, serving other gods : and if 

Yek. 3.] 



they sin presumptuously, despising the word ; so 
Num. XV. 30, 31, 'The soul that doth aught pre- 
sumptuously, the same reproacheth the Lord ; and 
that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 
Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and 
hath broken his commandment, that soul shall 
utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon 

This servos for mstruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, two ways : first, It shews tlie ex- 
cellency of the true God above aU false gods ; as 
Micah TO. 18, 'Who is a God like unto thee, that 
pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgres- 
sion of the remnant of his heritage ? ' Yea, and 
above all creatures ; for ' who can forgive sin, but 
God only '] ' Mark ii. 7 ; which ^rill better appear, if 
we consider the way which God makes for the satis- 
fying of his justice in this work of mercy — namely, 
he gives his Son to become man, that so he may be 
righteousness and redemption to his peof>le, 1 Cor. 
i. 30 ; and gives his gospel to reveal that mercy, 2 
Tim. i. 10 ; and his Holy Sjjirit, to teach and sanc- 
tify the souls of his elect, and to fiu'nish them with 
those graces that may entitle them to God's mercy 
in Christ, Zech. xii. 10 ; 2 Cor. iv. 13. That the 
Ephesians might have the knowledge hereof, Paul 
bowed his knees to God, Eph. iii. 14, IS. 

Secondly, See here a prerogative of God's people 
above aU others ; for they that stand rightly in 
covenant with God ai'e the proper subject of this 
gi-eat blessing, to have from God the pardon of their 
sins, wherein, we know, stands true happiness, Ps. 
xxxii. 1, 2; and in that regard especially, though 
not onl}^ are those people said to be blessed above 
others, that have the Lord for their God, Ps. cxliv. 
15, and xxxiii. 12. 

For admonition, two ways : first, To all natural 
men that are jet strangers from the covenant of 
grace, as wanting true faith and true repentance, 
that they give all diligence to the blessing of forgive- 
ness of sins from God : see Esther viii. 1 7, ' Many 
of the people of the land became Jews ' upon the 
view of a temporal blessing. Eahab embraced the 
Jews' religion, upon the notice of God's power and 
mercy in the deUver}' of Israel out of Egypt, &c., 
Joshua ii. 9, &c. And shall not we, upon e^ddence 

of greater power and mercy, be induced to enter into 
covenant with God ? 

Object. But what is this to us 1 we are all in cove- 
nant with God already. 

Alls. As ' he is not a Jew that is one outwardly,' 
&c., Eom. -viii. 28, 29, so, Rev. iii. 1, 'Thou hast a 
name that thou livest, and art dead.' Consider 
Simon Magus, Acts viii. 13, 21, 22, though said to 
believe, and be baptized, yet ' in the gall of bitter- 
ness, and in the bond of iniquity,' see Ps. xciv. 20, 
and 1 John i. 6. 

Secondiv, God's own people must hereby learn to 
fear and love the true God. For fear, see Ps. cxxx. 
4, ' There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest 
be feared ; ' and for love, Luke vii. 47, ' Many sins 
ai-e forgiven her; for she loved much.' 

Now true fear makes a man eschew evil. Job i. 
1; Prov. viii. 13, and xiv. 27; and true love 
moves to obedience in keeping God's word, as John 
xiv. 21, 23; 1 John v. 3. Yea, they must with 
David pray against presumptuous sins, Ps. xix. 13, 
and give themselves daily to the exercises of faith 
and repentance, which entitle them truly to this 
blessing of forgiveness. 

For comfort, it makes greatly to God's children 
that do repent and believe in God through Christ, 
for then this prerogative belongs unto them, wherein 
stands true happiness ; even as ' David also [de- 
scribeth the blessedness of the men unto whom 
God] imputeth righteousness without works, sajing, 
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and 
whose sins are covered ; ' Eom. iv. 6, 7, ' Son, be of 
good comfort, thy sins are forgiven thee.' 

Ver. 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou 
hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. 

The last effect of God's favour to his people here 
acknowledged, for the understanding whereof we 
must search out two tilings : first. Whether i^Tath 
and fierce anger be in God properly, for they are 
often ascribed unto God in Scripture ; secondly. In 
what sense they are ascribed unto God. 

For the first ; Wrath and fierce anger are strong, 
sudden passions and perturbations of the mind, 
caused by things offensive and displeasing. Now, 
to speak properly, they are not in God, as Isa. xxvii. 
4, ' Fury is not in me.' 



[Vee. 3. 

For the second ; the Scripture, speaking of God 
by way of resemblance unto men, ascribeth these 
passions to God for two causes : first. To acquaint 
us with the mward constant disposition of his nature 
against sin — namely, that he distasteth and disliketh 
the impurity and impiety thereof, as man doth the 
most hateful things. Secondly, To let us know the 
course of his actions in punishing sin — namely, that 
it shall be with that severity which men use when 
they are angiy : Exod. xxxii. 10, ' Let me alone, that 
my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I 
may consume them.' 

Here then there are two things to be ob- 
served. The first is unplied. That in the sense 
before shewed, God hath been wroth and fiercely 
angry with his own people : ' AVhen God heard 
this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel;' 
he was 'wroth with his inheritance,' Ps. Ixxviii. 59, 
62 ; ' The wrath of the Lord was kindled against his 
people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inherit- 
ance,' Ps. cvi. 40. 

The reason hereof is the sins of his people, which 
many times are many and grievous, such as the 
holy nature of God cannot but detest, and in diviae 
justice severely punish. For sin is the provoca- 
tion ; 2 Kings xxii. 13, 'For great is the wrath of 
the Lord which is kindled against us, because our 
fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this 
book.' 'Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; there- 
fore she is removed,' Lam. i. 8. And, 'We have 
transgressed and rebelled : thou hast not pardoned. 
Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us,' 
Lam. iii. 42, &c. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, two ways : fii'st, Here we may 
plainly see the contrariety of sin to the holy nature 
of God. It is such a thing as God cannot endure : 
no, not in those that be most near and dear unto 
him, even his oivai people. Nay, when his own 
Son takes upon himself our sins, divine justice will 
not spare him ; God's heavy wrath makes him to 
sweat water and blood, and to cry out, 'My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me 1 ' Mat. xxvii. 46. 

Secondly, See that God is a God of justice 
against sin ; he will not wink at it nor endure it, 
no, not in his own people : though that be a great 
privilege, to be in covenant mth God, yet that 

procures not a dispensation to sin freely : much less " " 
wiU other outward things, as worldly wealth, and 
strength, and honour, and the like. 

For admonition, to all God's people, that they be- 
ware of all sin, and especially of those that are said 
in Scripture to provoke the Lord to wrath, whereof I 
will name some of the chief. 

1. As, first. Atheism: Zeph. i. 12, 'I will search i 
Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that ^ 
are settled on their lees : that say in their heart, 

The Lord mil not do good, neither will he do e\'il. 

2. Idolatry : Ps. Ixxviii. 58, 59, ' They provoked 
him to anger with their high places, and moved him 
to jealousy with their graven images. When God 
heard this he was wroth, and gi'eatly abhorred Israel. 

3. Witchcraft : see it in Manasseh, 2 Kings xxi. . 
2, 3, 6, 'He did that which was evil in the sight | 
of the Lord, &c. He made his son pass through the ' 
fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and 
dealt with familiar spirits and wizards : he wrought 
much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to pro- 
voke him to anger ; ' with 2 Kings xxiii. 26, ' His 
anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the 
provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.' 

4. Opposing Clirist in the gospel, not receiving 
it : Ps. ii. 1-5, ' 'Wliy do the heathen rage, and the 
people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the 
earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel 
together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, 
saying. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast 
away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the 
heavens shall laugh ; the Lord shall have them in 
derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his 
wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure ; ' 1 
Thes. ii. 16, 'Forbidding us to speak to the 
Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill up their 
sins always ; ' for ' the wrath is come upon them 
to the uttermost.' Typified in the spies and people 
disliking the land of Canaan, Num. xiv. 11, 23. 

5. False and flattering teaching: Jer. v. 30, 31, 
' A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the 
land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests 
bear rule by their means; and my people love to 
have it so : and what will ye do in the end thereof < ' 
So Ezek. xiii. throughout. 

6. Luke warmness, opposed to zeal : Rev. iii. IG, 19, 
' Because lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I mil 

Ver. 3.] 



spue thee out of my mouth. As many as I love, I 
rebuke and chasten ; be zealous therefore, and repent.' 

7. Blessing a man's self in his sinful course : Deut. 
xxix. 19, 20, ' If it come to pas.s, when he heareth 
the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his 
heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in 
the imagmation of mine heart, to add drunkenness 
to thirst : the Lord will not spare him, but then the 
anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke 
against that man,' &c. 

8. Rebellion against God's magistrates and minis- 
ters : Num. xvi. 30, ' Then shall ye understand that 
men have provoked the Lord.' 

9. Helping the wicked : 2 Cliron. xix. 2, ' Shouldst 
thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the 
Lord ? therefore is wrath upon thee from before 
the Lord.' 

10. Oppression of the poor: Zeph. iii. 1, 3, 8, 
' Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the 
oppressing city. Her princes ^vithin her are roaring 
lions ; her judges ai-e evening wolves. Therefore 
wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that 
I rise up to the prey ; to pour out upon them mine 
indignation, even all my fierce anger : for all the earth 
shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.' 

11. Adultery: Jer. v. 7-9, 'When I fed them to 
the fuU they committed adultery, &c. Shall I not 
Hsit for these things ? saith the Lord. Shall not my 
soul be avenged on such a nation as this I ' 

12. Drunkenness : Isa. v. 21, 24, ' Woe unto them 
that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength 
to mingle strong drink. Therefore is the anger of 
the Lord kindled against his jieople,' &c. 

13. Blasphemy against God, either in common 
swearing, or in more fearful perjury : see Jer. xxiii. 
10, 'Because of swearing the land mourneth, the 
pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.' And 
for perjury, it puts upon God the jjerson of the devil, 
by calling him to be a witness of a lie, whereof the 
de^"il is the father, John ■\'iii. 44. 

AU these we must lay to heart ; lament and repent 
for that which is past, and for the time to come be- 
ware of them, if we look to remove and prevent the 
wrath and fierce anger of the Lord. 

The second to be here observed is expressed : 
That, though God had been fiercely angry with his 
people, yet aftenvard he took a'w-ay his WTatli, and 

turned from the fierceness of his anger; so Jer. 
xxix. 10, 11, 'After seventy years be accomplished 
at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good 
word toward you,' &c. ; chap. xxx. 17, 18, ' I will 
restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy 
wounds. I -vvill bring again the captivity of 
Jacob's tents,' &c. 

The reason hereof was not any merit or worthiness 
in them, but indeed God's own mercy and work of 
grace, bringing them by his judgments to be humbled, 
and by his graces to repent, to pray, and to rely upon 
him for deliverance : see Ezek. xxx\'i. 32, compared 
with ver. 25, &c., to 31, according to the promise, 
Deut. xxx. 1-4. 
This sen'es for instruction, admonition, and comfort. 
For instruction, it doth accjuaint us with the gra- 
cious disposition and sweet mercy of God towards 
his children : ' His anger endureth but a moment,' 
Ps. xxx. 5. ' He will not always chide, neither wiU 
he keep his anger for ever,' Ps. ciii. 9. 

For admonition, consider what it is in us that 
turns away God's anger, that so we may conscionably 
exercise ourselves therein. As, first. True and un- 
feigned repentance, whereby we consider our own 
ways in our hearts, confess our sins with godly 
sorrow, and turn from the evil of them : Jer. XN-iii. 
7, 8, ' At what instant I shall speak concerning a 
nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and 
to pull downi, and to destroy it ; if that nation, 
against whom I have pronounced, turn from their 
e^-il, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do 
unto them ; ' Ezek. xviii. 30, ' Eepent and turn your- 
selves from all your transgressions : so iniquity shall 
not be your ruin.' Even Aliab's legal repentance 
turned away a temporal judgment for a time, 1 
Kings xxi. 29. 

Secondly, Earnest and efl'ectual prayer for mercy 
and deliverance, Joel i. 14, and ii. 16,17, 'Gather 
the people, &c. Then will the Lord be jealous for 
his land, and pity his people.' There it is com- 
manded, and was notably practised by Moses, Deut. 
ix. 25, 26, &c. ; Ps. c\d. 23. 

Thirdly, Justice must be exercised in the punish- 
ment of sinners that provoke God's wrath, as did 
Phmehas on Zimri and Cozbi, Ps. c\'i. 29, 30, and 
Jonah, that troubled the ship, was cast into the sea, 
and so it was calm, chap. i. 12, 15. 



[Ver. 4. 

For comfort to the godly in trouble and affliction ; 
for peace shall come : Ps. xxxiv. 19, ' Many are the 
afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth 
them out of them all ;' Ps. cxii. 4, ' Unto the upright 
there ariseth light in darkness;' Ps. xxsrvii. 37, 
' Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright : for 
the end of that man is peace.' 

Yer. 4. Turn us, God of our salvation, and cause 
thine anger toward us to cease. 

In this verse and the tliree next we have the 
second part of this psalm, containing the church's 
petitions and complaints about the great miseries 
that yet lay heavy on them. The jsetitions are pro- 
pounded in this fourth verse and the seventh : the 
complaints are inserted between them, vers. 5, G. 

This fourth verse contains two requests : first. 
That God would turn them ; secondly. That he 
■would cause his anger toward them to cease : both 
which ble.ssings they beg of the true God, whom 
they call the God of their salvation — that is, the 
God who saves and delivers them from the e^'ils 
and miseries that lie upon them. 

Here, then, in this verse we have to note both to 
whom they pray, and for what. They pray to God, 
whom they call the God of their salvation ; and 
therein we have two things to be observed : first. 
What God is to his church — namely, the God of 
their salvation ; secondly. What they do to God in 
that regard — namely, pray unto him for that blessing. 

For the first, note, God is the God of salvation 
to his church : Ps. iii. 8, ' Salvation belongeth unto 
the Lord;' Ps. Ixviii. 19, 20, 'Blessed be the Lord, 
the God of our salvation.' ' He that is our God 
is the God -of salmtion.' The word in the original is 
of the plural number, she'oang that all manner of 
salvation belongs to God, both of body and soul, 
temporal and eternal, in this world and in the world 
to come : so Ps. Ixxiv. 1 2, ' God is my king of old, 
working salvations in the midst of the earth.' See 
admirable instance of temporal saving. Exod. xiv. 13, 
&c., of Israel at the Red Sea; and Dan. iii. 17, 27, 28, 
of the three sen'ants of God out of the fiery furnace : 
and undoubted assurance of eternal, Titus iii. 4, 5 ; 
Kev. xix. 1; Mat. i. 21, Jesus '.shall save his 
people from their sins : ' and this is ' the great salva- 
tion,' Heb. ii. 3. 

The reason hereof is God's power and mercy, which 
in him are infinite ; as we may see, for power, Ps. 
cxv. 3, and cxxxvi. 6, ' Whatsoever the Lord pleased, 
that did he in heaven and in earth : in the seas and 
in aU deep places.' And for his mercy, it is as large : 
Ps. cxix. 64, 'The earth, O Lord, is fuU of thy mercy;' 
Ps. cxlv. 9, His ' tender mercies are over all his 
works.' Now both these God doth put forth for 
those that be truly in covenant with him : as Exod. 
xxxdii. 1 9, ' I will make my goodness pass before thee ; ' 
Ps. Ixxxix. 1 7, ' Thou art the glory of their strength, 
and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.' 

Object. 1. But sometimes God's people are not 
saved from temporal evils : as Ps. Ixxix. 1, 2, &c., ' O 
God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance. 
The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to 
be meat unto the fowls of the heaven,' &c. 

Ans. Outward and bodily safety is but a temporal 
blessing, and thereof must be understood -n-ith ex- 
ception of the cross ; so as when God wUl either 
con-ect them for their sins, or make trial of his 
graces in them, then they may want outward safety. 
But ' though the outward man perish, yet the in- 
ward man is preserved and renewed day by day,' 
2 Cor. iv. 16; nay, their eternal glory is hereby 
increased, ver. 17; as Rev. vii. 9, 14, an infinite 
number ' clothed with white robes, and palms in their 
hands, came out of great tribulation.' 

Object. 2. But the Scripture acknowledgeth other 
saviours beside the true God, both for temporal and 
eternal salvation, as Judges ii. 16, for temporal ; 
and Obadiah, ver. 21 ; Ps. xxi. ; 1 Tim. iv. 16, for 

Ans. Understand them to be instrumental saviours 
under God, not sole or principal, as 1 Cor. iii. 5, 9. 
And know that it pleaseth God sometime to ascribe 
the effect to the instrument, as James v. 20, to teach 
us not to contemn the means, which is a fearful 
tempting of God, as Acts xiii. 46, and othersvliile to 
deny it to the means, as 1 Cor. iii. 6, that we should 
not trust in it : Ps. xliv. 3, 6, 7, ' They got not the 
land in possession with their own sword, neither 
did their own arm save them : but thy right hand, 
and thine ann, and the light of thy countenance.' 
' For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my 
sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our 
enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.' 

Vek. 4.] 



This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instniction, see the prerogative of God's 
chiu'ch and people above all other states and con- 
ditions in the world ; they being by covenant 
the people of God, have him to be unto them the 
God of salvation : see Deut. xxxii. 31, 'Their rock 
is not as our rock, even our enemies themselves 
being judges ; ' Jer. iii. 23, ' Truly in vain is salva- 
tion hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude 
of mountains : truly in the Lord our God is the 
salvation of Israel.' 

Secondly, See here the impiety of poperj', that 
sets up other sav-iours among them than the true 
God, both for temporal and spiritual safety. 

For admonition two ways : first, To take heed of 
those sins that deprive a people of this prerogative, 
to have the true God to be the God of their salva- 
tion. And those are especially two : first. Idolatry ; 
when men either worship a false God, as the 
heathen did and do, or else worship the true God 
in a false manner, as did Jeroboam and his succes- 
sors, 1 Kings xii. 28, and as the papists do at this 
day ; for which sin see God forsaking, Judges iii. 8, 
compared with x. 13, 'Ye have forsaken me, and 
served other gods : wherefore I wiU dehver you no 
more.' Secondly, Impiety; when men 'hold the 
truth in unrighteousness,' Rom. i. 18 ; 'Have a form 
of godliness, but deny the power thereof,' 2 Tim. iii. 
5 ; ' For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in 
power,' 1 Cor. iv. 20.^ 

Secondly, "We must all labour to become such as 
ai'c truly entitled to God's power and mercy for sal- 
vation, that he which is the God of salvation may 
become our God ; for assui'ance whereof we must look 
to these things : 

First, That we become the children of Abraham ; 
for to such salvation comes, Luke xix. 9. Now such 
may be known by doing the works of Abraham, 
John viii. 39. He is the father of the fiiithful, 
Rom. iv. 11, who by faith, first, Forsook his own 
people and his father's house, Heb. xi. 8, 9, com- 
pared ■Nvith Gen. xii. 1, 4 ; secondly. Commanded 
his household to ser\'e God, Gen. xviii. 19 ; thirdly. 
Made intercession to God for the sparing of Sodom, 
no doubt for the elect's sake that he hoped had been 
tlierein, Gen. x^'iii. 23, &c. ; fourthly, By faith 

off"ered his own son, yea, his only son Isaac, for an 
off'ering upon God's command, Gen. xxi. 1, &c. ; 
Heb. xi. 1 7. In all these we must labour to shew 
ourselves to be the sons of Abraham. Consider all, 
and look especially at the mortification of corrap- 
tion, the sins of our hearts and souls : see Rom. 
viii. 12; Gal. v. 24; Col. iii. 5. We should be 
ashamed to hear that we love our sins better than 
Abraham did his only son. 

Secondly, The true God is a Sa^•iour unto every 
one that is a true member of Christ's body, Eph. v. 
23. Now true members are joined to their head 
by the Spirit, 1 Cor. xii. 13, and by virtue thereof 
receive life and sense from Christ spiritually, as 
Rom. viii. 11. Now such with Christ — 1. Leave 
the grave of sin, Rom. vi. 17, 18; 2. They converse 
with the godly, Acts x. 40, 41 ; 3. They walk in 
the Spirit, Gal. v. 25 ; 4. They talk and speak 
religiously. Col. iv. 6 ; Prov. xxxi. 26 ; 5. They 
taste spiritual food with delight, the word and 

Thirdl}'-, God will save those that trust in him, 
Ps. xvii. 7, and xci. 1, &c. ; they ' shall be as mount 
Zion,' Ps. cxxv. 1. Now they that trust in the 
Lord will not use unlawful means to helj^ them- 
selves out of misery, but will wait his leisure, as Isa. 
xxviii. IC, 'He that believeth shall not make 

Fourthly, He that would be delivered by God 
must be upright-hearted, Ps. vii. 10. Now such 
lean not to sin, but, as Isa. xxxviii. 3, can say to 
God, ■svith Hezekiah, ' Remember now, O Lord, I 
beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in 
truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that 
which is good in thy sight.' 

For comfort to God's children in trouble and 
misery, they have a Saviour and deliverer, see Ps. 
xxiii. 1, 4 ; and Dan. iii. 17. 

The second point to be here observed is the prac- 
tice of the church towards God in theii' trouble, — 
namely, they go to God in prayer for salvation and 
deliverance : see Ps. Ixxix. 9, ' Help us, God of 
our salvation, for the glory of thy name ; and deliver 
us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake ; ' 
and Ps. Lxxx. 1,3,' Give ear, shepherd of Israel, 
thou that leadest Joseph as a flock ; thou that 
dwellest between the chei-ubims, shine forth. Turn 



[Ver. 4. 

US again, God, and cause thy face to sliiiie, and 
we shall be saved ; ' Ps. cxviii. 5, ' I called upon the 
Lord in distress,' &c. 

The reasons which induce them to do so are 
these : 

First, God's command : Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me 
in the day of trouble.' 

Secondly, God's property to hear and help : Ps. 
Ixv. 2, 'Oh thou that hearest prayer, unto thee 
shall all flesh come;' Ps. xlvi. 1, 'God is our 
refuge and strength, a very present help in 
trouble ; ' see this in the heathen mariners, Jonah i. 

14, 15. 

Thirdly, God stands bound by promise and cove- 
nant to hear and help his church in distress : see 
2 Chron. vii. 14, 'If my people, which are called by 
my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and 
seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, 
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their 
sin, and will heal their land;' Ps. xci. 15, 'He 
shall call upon me, and I will answer him : I will be 
with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour 

Fourthly, Observation of the success of this duty 
in others before them, as Ps. xxxii. 3-6, i. 3-5, and 
xcix. 6, 8, 9 ; and in their own persons, as Ps. Ivi. 
13, ' Thou hast dehvered my soul from death ; wilt 
not thou deliver my feet from falling? ' 

First, This serves to discover a threefold impiety 
as contrary to the practice of the church, of atheists, 
witches, and idolaters. 1. Atheists in their hearts 
say there is no God, and therefore make no con- 
science of this practice of the church to call upon 
God : see Ps. xiv. 1,4,' The fool hath said in his 
heart there is no God.' They call not upon God : 
Ps. X. 4, ' God is not in all his thoughts.' Job xxi. 

15, 'What is the Almighty that we should serve 
him ? and what profit should we have if we pray 
unto him 1 ' Job xxii. 1 7, ' Which say unto God, 
Depart from us : and what can the Almighty do for 
them ? ' 2. Witches, wizards, and conjurers, for a 
show and colour, may have the name of God in 
their mouths, but sure the affiance of their hearts is 
in the devil ; with him they are in league and 
society ; all their spells, charms, circles, and incanta- 
tions are prayers, homage, and service done to him. 
And like unto these, though not in so high degree. 

are all they that seek unto them and use their help : 
Isa. \iii. 19, 'When they shall say unto you. Seek 
unto those that have familiar spirits, and unto 
wizards that peep and that mutter, should not a 
people seek unto their God I ' When Ahaziah, king 
of Israel, sent unto Baalzebub, the god of Eltron, to 
inquire whether he should recover of his disease, 
the Lord by Elijah tells his messengers, ' Is it not 
because there is not a God in Israel that ye go to 
inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron 1 ' 2 Kngs i. 
2, 3. Lastly, Idolaters say to saints and idols, Hear 
us, help us, pray for us, as 1 Kings xviii. 26. This 
we know is the common practice of papists to the 
Virgin Mary and to all the saints. But herein they 
shew themselves not to be God'.s people, but such as 
have forsaken the fountain of living waters, and 
hewed them out broken cisterns that can hold no 
water, Jer. ii. 11-13. 

For admonition, that we observe and remember 
this practice of the church of God, and conscionably 
endeavour to conform ourselves thereto ; in the day 
of our trouble to seek the Lord, remember God 
and complain, as Ps. Ixxvii. 2, 3 ; to say with the 
godly man, ' Whom have I in heaven but thee 1 ' 
Ps. Lxxiii. 25 ; and with the church, Isa. Lsiii. 16, 
' Though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel 
acknowledge us not : thou, Lord, art our father, 
our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.' Ps. 
XX. 7, ' Some trust in chariots, and some in horses : 
but we will remember the name of the Lord our 
God.' Hosea xiv. 3, ' Asshur shall not save us ; we 
will not ride upon horses : neither will we say any 
more to the work of our hands. Ye are our gods : 
for in thee the fatherless find mercy.' Consider 
the reasons of this duty, as before, and the success, 
as Ps. XX. 8, ' They are brought down and fallen : 
but we are risen, and stand upright.' Ps. cxvii. 
5, &c., ' I called upon the Lord in distress : the 
Lord answered me, and set me in a large place,' 

Thus much of him to whom they pray ; the things 
for which they pray are two : 1 . That God would 
turn them ; 2. That God would cause his anger 
toward them to cease. For the first; when they 
beseech God to turn them, they mean from the 
evils under which they lay, whether of sin or 
punishment, unto a comfortable state : for so largely 

Ver. 4.] 



dotli the use of the word extend ; sometime there- 
with is begged conversion from sin, Jer. xxxi. 18, 
19, ' Turn thou me, and I shall be turned,' — 'after 
that 1 was turned, I repented,' &c. Sometimes 
restitution to comfortable outward state, which is 
turning from punishment, as Ps. cxx-vd. 4, ' Turn 
again our capti\-ity, Lord.' And though here the 
latter is specially aimed at, yet we may not exclude 
the former, because, ■nithout turning from sin, the 
ceasing of God's -(vrath would not be expected, Ps. \di. 
12, &c., ' If he turn not, he will whet his sword,' &c. 

Mark then, God's people do beg of God the bless- 
ing of conversion from e^^.ls under which they lay, 
whether of sin or punishment, see Lam. v. 21, 
' Turn thou us unto thee, Lord, and we shall be 
turned : renew our days as of old.' Ps. Ixxx. 3, 
7, 20, ' Turn thou us again, Lord God of hosts ; 
cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.' 

The reason is enfolded in the title which here 
they give to God — namely, that he is ' the God of 
their salvation,' both for soul and body. He re- 
storeth the soul, Ps. xxiii. 3 ; the same word is there 
used, 3nVil"- And he preserveth and delivereth 
the body and outward estate : Ps. xci. 15, 'I %vill 
be vnth. him in trouble ; I will deliver him.' Job 
V. 19, 'He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea,, 
in seven there shall no evil touch thee.' He is 
almighty, and so all-.sufficient ; nothing is too hard for 
him, Jer. xxxii. 27, and this power he puts forth 
for the good of his people. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, touching the author of true con- 
version to the soul. The practice of the church 
shews her judgment herein ; she prays to God to 
be turned from evUs, whether spiritual or corporal, 
and therefore no doubt acknowledged him to be the 
sole author tliereof. It is true, in temporal evils, 
man by nature hath some abOity to discern and 
endeavour the way and means of his deliverance. 
But in spiritual evUs, of corruption and sin, it is not 
so ; for therein man naturally is dead, and so wants 
ability of himself to conceive and act the things that 
belong to the Ufe of grace, see Acts xxvi. 9. The 
wisdom and will of natui e is to oppose the means of 
conversion ; ' I verily thought vriih myself,' saith 
the apostle, ' that I ought to do many things con- 

trary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.' For 'to 
be carnaUy-minded is death ; because the carnal 
mind is enmity against God,' Rom. viii. 6, 7. 
Therefore hereof men do not become God's chil- 
dren, John i. 13; which wiU be plain, if we con- 
sider that the Scripture calls regeneration a new 
creation, 2 Cor. v. 17, and the first resurrection, 
Eev. XX. 6. 

Quest. 1. Why then doth God bid men turn? as 
Ezek. xr\-iii. 30, ' Repent, and turn yourselves from 
all your transgressions.' 

Alls. First, To shew us our duty, not our ability ; 
what we ought, not what we are able of ourselves 
to do : for, John xv. 5, ' Without me ye can do 
nothing.' 'We are not sufficient of ourselves to 
think anything, as of ourselves,' 2 Cor. iii. 5. ' No 
man can come to me, except the Father, which hath 
sent me, draw him,' John vi. 44. Believers are 
born, ' not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor 
of the will of man, but of God,' chap. i. 13. 

Secondly, God in these commandments hath an 
aim at the outward actions, wherein he desires 
reformation, whereto naturally man hath some 
power, as we may see by Ahab's humiliation, 1 
Kings xxi. 27. 

Thirdly, God requuing of us the grace of conver- 
sion, means we should endeavour ourselves in the 
outward means thereof, — to get ability thereto of 
God. Though gi'ace be God's gift, yet is the use of 
means in our power. 

Quest. 2. Are not such commands unjust or vain 1 

Ans. No, not unjust ; because in Adam we were 
able to do anything God should require of us. And 
vain they are not, because they are means of con- 
version in God's elect, as to Lydia, Acts x\-i. 14, 
' Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended 
unto the things which were spoken of Paul.' Deut. 
xxxii. 46, 47, ' Set your hearts unto all the words 
which I testify amongst you ; for it is not a vain 
thing for you.' 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16, 'For we are unto 
God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are 
saved, and in them that perish. To the one we 
are the savour of death unto death, and to the other 
the savour of hfe unto hfe.' And they leave the 
wicked without excuse, because they yield not such 
obedience as nature enables them unto, Luke x. 10, 



[Ver. 4. 

For admonition, this serves to move every one, 
under any evU or misery, corporal or spiritual, to 
become a follower of God's church, in beseeching 
God to give deliverance from it. This Christ 
teacheth in the Lord's Prayer, ' Deliver us from 
evil,' Mat. vi. 13. 'Is any man afflicted? let him 
pray,' James v. 13. Herein we must continue and 
watch. Col. iv. 2 ; yea, pray and not faint, Luke 
xviii. L Eemember the many sharp repulses which 
Christ gave to the woman of Canaan, Mat. xv. : in 
the 23d verse he is silent ; in the 24th he denies he 
was sent to such ; in the 2Gth he likens her to a 
dog ; but in the 28th there is this happy conclusion, 
' woman, great is thy faith ; be it unto thee even 
as thou wilt.' 

Object. But natural men cannot pray. 

Ans. Not so well as they ought, but let them do 
so well as they can, as did the Niuevites, Jonah iii. 
8 ; and get others to pray for them, as Simon Magus 
did, Acts viii. 24 ; do as the sick of the palsy did, 
Mark ii. 3, who got four men to bear him, being not 
able of himself to come to Christ. 

For comfort, this shews that God's church hath 
no evil to befall them from which they have not an 
all-suflBcient deliverer, to whom they may go, as 
Dan. iii. 17. And this door cannot be shut up 
against them, as 2 Cor. iv. 8, ' We are troubled on 
every side, yet not distressed ; ' therefore remember 
and apply the precept, Pliil. iv. 6, ' Be careful for 
nothing ; but in everything by prayer and supplica- 
tion with thanksgiving let your request be made 
known unto God.' 

And cmise thine anger towards us to cease. The 
second request of the church here made unto God 
for the ceasing of his anger, — that is, for the re- 
moval of his judgments, which they conceive to 
come from his anger, provoked by their sins. 

This petition may be considered two ways. First, 
With reference to the confession made in the former 
verse ; secondl}^ By itself. 

In the former verse we have this confession, ' Thou 
hast taken away all thy wrath, and turned thyself 
from the fierceness of thine anger.' Yet here the 
church entreats that God would cause his anger to- 
ward them to cease. How do these things agree 1 
Well enough, if we refer the confession to the time 
of their return out of Babylon, caused by Cyrus, 

Ezra i. ; Ps. cxxvi. 1, 3; and this supplication to 
some time of troubles that befell them after their 
return, as under Cambyses, Artaxerxes, or Antiochus 
Epiphanes, in which times the adversaries did sore 
vex God's peojile. Now then in this reference see 

That God's church and people, who have formerly 
felt his great favour and love, may afterward come 
to the sense and feeling of his bitter anger and dis- 
pleasure. This thing is plain in this j^salm, by com- 
paring the first verse with the fifth and sixth ; also 
in the 29th and 30th chapters of the book of Job ; 
and in David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, 
and many others, both for their own persons, and 
the people of God under their government. For 
David's person, see Ps. xxx. 6, 7, 'I said in my pros- 
perity, I shall never be moved. Thou didst hide 
thy face, and I was troubled ; ' and for the estate of 
God's jjeople under him, Ps. Ixxxix. 20, 28, com- 
pared with the 38th and 39tli verses : in his time 
were war, famine, and pestUence. For Solomon, his 
peace, power, and plenty are at large set down, 1 
Kings X. 27, &c. ; his troubles, chap. xi. 11, &c. 
For Asa, his power and peace, see 2 Chron. xiv. 6 ; 
his great conquest over the Ethiopians, ver. 9 ; the 
joy of his people rene\ving covenant ivith God, chap. 
XV. 15 ; but chap. xvi. 8, 9, a great change. So for 
Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron. xvii. 3, the Lord was with 
him ; and ver. 5, he had riches and honour in great 
abundance ; yet, chap. xLx. 2, wrath from the Lord 
was toward him ; and, chajj xx., feai'ful war was 
made against him. So for Hezekiah, the Lord was 
with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went 
forth, 2 Kings xviii. 7 ; and by restoring of religion 
he brought great joy to God's people at Jerusalem, 
2 Chron. xxx. 26 ; and dealing uprightly, he pros- 
pered, chap. xxxi. 21 ; but, chap, xxxii., troubles 
come upon him by Sennacherib; and yet, upon God's 
deliverance, he was magnified in the sight of all 
nations, ver. 22, 23 ; but, ver. 24, he is sick unto 
death, from which being extraordinarily delivered, 
he was lifted up with pride, and so wrath was to- 
ward him, ver. 25. 

The reason hereof is twofold. First, and most 
usually, Correction for sin, as we may see in the 
forenamed examples of David, Solomon, Asa, Jehosh- 
aphat, and Hezekiah. So Ps. Ixxxix. 31, 32, 'If 

Ver. 4 ] 



tliey break my statutes, and keep not my command- 
ments; then \nll I visit their transgressions with 
the rod, and their iniquities with stripes.' 

Secondly, God doth it sometimes for the trial of 
grace, as is plain in Job, by God's own confession, 
chap. ii. 3, ' Still he holdeth fast his integrity, al- 
though thou movedst me against him, to destroy him 
without cause.' 

This serves for in.^truction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction, sec here that the church of God 
here on earth is very fitly resembled to the moon, 
not only for recei\dng all the light of knowledge and 
comfort she hath from Christ, but even because of 
change and alteration in estate. As the moon is 
sometimes in the wane and eclipse, and sometimes 
in the full, so is God's church here on earth. Though 
outward prosperity, with the sense and feeling of 
God's favour, do most properly belong to God's 
church and people, yet they are not so entailed upon 
them infallibly, but that many times, instead of 
prosperity, they have great misery. 

Christ is to his church, for joy and comfort, the 
Sun of righteousness ; but yet sometimes the light 
of his countenance doth not appear for many 

For admonition it serves two ways : first. In the 
days of peace aiftl comfort to take heed of all sin, as 
being the true cause of echpsing the light of God's 
flvvour : as we may see in general, Lam. iii. 39, 
' Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for 
the punishment of his sins?' ver. 42, 'We have 
transgressed and have rebelled : thou hast not par- 
doned.' If we would know the causes of God's 
anger, more particularly in those special sins that 
stir up his wrath, see before in the third verse, the 
use of admonition upon the first observation. 

Secondly, When God's favour is any way eclipsed 
towards his rhurch, or any member of it, hence 
learn to inquuc into the true cause thereof, which 
ordinarily is some sin or sins ; for the finding out 
whereof we must use God's law, as Joshua did the 
lot to find out Achan with the execrable thing, Joshua 
■\ii. 18, and the mariners did to find out Jonah, 
chap. i. 7. 

This concerns eveiy one for the true peace of his 
own sold, that hereby they may be brought to re- 

pentance and reformation, and so shall God's favour 
he restored unto them. 

For comfort this makes greatly to those that find 
and feel God's anger towards them, either in outward 
crosses or in inward terrors. Herein consider thy 
state is no worse than God's dearest children have 
been in, as Jol), David, &c. ; do therefore as they 
have done — repent of thy sins, pray for mercy, and 
wait by ftxith and patience, and peace shall come. 

The petition, considered in itself, sets before us 
this practice of God's church and children ; that 
when they lie under any evil or misery, they pray 
for the removal of God's anger towards them, see 
Ps. Ixxiv. 1, '0 God, why hast thou cast us off for 
ever 1 why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep 
of thy pasture?' Ps. Ixxix. 1, &c., '0 God, the 
heathen are come into thine inheritance ; thy holy 
temple have they defiled ; they have laid Jerusalem 
on heaps,' &c. Ps. bcxxix. 46, 'How long. Lord, 
wilt thou liide thyself, for ever 1 shall thy wrath burn 
Hke fire?' So did David, Ps. xxxviii. 1, t^'c, '0 
Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath : neither chasten 
me in thy hot displeasure,' &c. 

The reason is, because they know that all affliction 
comes by divine dispensation, and ordinarily is the 
proper fruit of God's anger provoked by our sins, 
see Job v. G, ' Affliction cometh not forth of the dust ; 
neither doth trouble spring out of the ground.' It 
is a thing of God's sending : Isa. xlv. 7, ' I form 
the light, and create darkness ; I make peace, and 
create evil : I the Lord do all these things.' Amos 
iii. 6, ' Is there evil in the city, and the Lord hath 
not done it?' Mat. x. 29, 'A sparrow shall not fall 
on the ground without your Father.' The sword, the 
famine, the noisome beasts, and the pestilence, are 
God's four sore judgments, Ezek. xiv. 2L 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first. It lets us see the 
blindness of some, that in miseries never consider 
God's anger, but only look at second causes : hereof 
the prophet Isaiah doth complain, chap. xx^d. 11, 
' Lord, when thy hand is hfted up they will not see.' 
This provokes to anger and desiie of private re- 
venge, which is a brutish part ; the dog bites at the 
stone, without regard to him that threw it. 

Secondl)', See what a desperate course they take, 
that under miseries use unlawful means to help 



[VZE. 5. 

themselves, as especially they do that go to wizards 
and witches ; they increase the wrath of God against 
themselves, as Saul did by this course, 1 Chron. x. 
13, 14; see Isa. viii. 19. 

For admonition three ways : first, In every misery 
we must do as God's church here doth, lift up our 
thoughts to God's anger against us, provoked by our 
sins. For ordinarily misery is a fruit of God's anger 
against our iniquity ; and therefore, if we desire the 
removal of the evU, we must take a course for the 
appeasing of God's anger ; which is only to be done 
through Christ his Son, whom God hath set forth to 
be a propitiation for sin, Eom. iii. 5 ; 1 John ii. 2. 

Secondly, As we desire to escape evils, we must 
beware of provoking the Lord to anger: 1 Cor. x. 22, 
Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we 
stronger than he ? ' Jer. vii. 19, 'Do they provoke 
me to anger 1 saith the Lord ; do they not provoke 
themselves, to the confusion of then- own faces 1 ' 

Thirdly, That under every misery we follow the 
church in prayer to God for the appeasing of his 
anger. This will prevail, if it be joined with true 
humiliation, see 2 Chron. vi. 36, 37, compared with 
chap. vii. 13, 14; and consider how far Ahab pre- 
vailed, 1 Kings xxL 27, 29. 

Ver. 5, 6. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever ? 
wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations ? Wilt 
thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in 

These words contain the church's humble com- 
plaint unto God for two great evils : first. The long 
continuance of his anger toward them; secondly. 
The long delay of Ids favour from them. 

The long continuance of his anger is twice pro- 
pounded, ver. 5, to express their deeper sense 
thereof, and their more earnest desire to have it 
removed. The delay of his favour is lamented in 
the sixth verse, and there ampUfied by the good 
effect of his renemng thereof— namely, their rejoic- 
ing in him. 

In theii- double complaint of his anger continued 
note two things. 

First, That God's anger may long continue to- 
wards his own children and people. This is the 
matter of their complaint in this place ; and so, Ps. 
Ixxiv. 1 , ' God, why hast thou cast u.<; ofi' for ever ? 

why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy 
pasture?' ver. 10, '0 God, how long shall the adver- 
sary reproach ? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name 
for ever ? ' Ps. bcxvii. 7-9, ' WUl the Lord cast off 
for ever 1 and will he be favourable no more 1 Is his 
mercy clean gone for ever ? doth his promise fail for 
evermore 1 Hath God forgotten to be gracious 1 hath 
he in anger shut up his tender mercies V Ps. Ixxix. 5, 
' How long. Lord 1 wilt thou be angry for ever 1 shall 
thy jealousy burn like fire V Lam. v. 20, 22, ' Where- 
fore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so 
long time? Thou hast utterly rejected us : thou hast 
been very wroth against us.' 

The reason hereof is twofold : first, The commit- 
ting of sin and omitting of repentance, either in 
general, as Isa. ix. 13, 'The people turneth not unto 
him that smiteth them : neither do they seek the 
Lord of hosts ; ' ver. 14, ' Therefore the Lord will cut 
off from Israel head and tail, branch and rushj in one 
day ;' ver. 17, ' Everj' one is an lij-pocrite and an e^nl 
doer, and every mouth speaketh foUy : for all tliis his 
anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out 
stdl ;' ver. 18, 'For wickedness burneth as the fire,' 
&c. When men grow obstinate in sin, God becomes 
resolute in punishment: see Jer. vi. 17-19, 'The 
watchmen say, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet : 
the people answer. We will not hearken. Therefore 
hear, ye nations : behold, I will bring evil upon this 
people;' ver. 21, 'Fathers and sons together shall 
fall,' &c. ; chap. vii. 13, 15, 16, 19, 'I spake unto you, 
rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not : and 
I called you, but you answered not. Therefore wiU 
I cast you out of my sight. Pray not thou for this 
people : for I wiU not hear thee. Do they pro- 
voke me to anger ? saith the Lord : do they not pro- 
voke themselves to the confusion of their own faces V 
Or they repent not in sincerity, Isa. hdii. 2, 3, 6. 
Or repentance is not practised in particular by the 
sinners themselves, amongst God's people, though 
the godly there may repent and lament. See this 
plainly in the days of good king Josiah, who did 
greatly humble himself, 2 Kings xxii., and most 
worthOy endeavour the reformation of religion, the 
rooting out of idolatry and impiety; as 2 Kings xxiii., 
where his rare goodness is commended from ver. 2 to 
25, and yet, ver. 26, the Lord's anger stUl continued. 
And the reason we may see, Zeph. i. and iii., 

Ver. 5.] 



where is shewed that in his days continued much 
impiety ; and the Uke we may see, Ezek. xiv. 13, 14, 
' AVhen the Land sinneth against me, by trespassing 
grievouslj', S:c. Though these three men, Noah, 
Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but 
their o-svn souls by their own righteousness.' 

The second reason is the continuing of scandal 
and reproach unto religion, amongst the wicked, 
by the grievous sins of God's children. Though 
they themselves may truly repent, yet their sins, 
causing the enemies of religion to blaspheme, may 
procure the continuance of God's anger, in tem- 
poral judgments : as in David's case, 2 Sam. xii. 
10, &c. 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction two ways : first, It lets us see 
what a fearful thing it is to live in impenitency, or 
to commit sins that are scandalous to religion, 
though we do repent ; for both these ways we kindle 
God's anger ; and who may stand when he is angry ? 
for thereupon follows destruction; see Ps. ii. 12; 
Ps. Ixxvi. 7. 

Secondly, Here see who be the great hinderers 
of the welfare of any estate, church, commonwealth, 
or family — namely, the wicked, who commit sin 
wth greediness, and draw iniquity as it were with 
cart-ropes ; these are the persons that biing plague, 
famine, war, and other judgments. For affliction 
followeth smners : where is lying, swearing, stealing. 
Sec, there the Lord hath a controversy with the 
inhabitants, Hosea iv. 1, &c. ; so Jer. xxiii. 
10, ' Because of swearing the land mourneth,' 
&c. ; and 1 Kings xviii. 18, 'Thou art he that 
troubles Israel.' 

For admonition two ways : first. Take notice of 
the causes for wliich God's anger, is kindled, and 
doth continue, that we may avoid them ; and when 
we have fear or feeUng of his anger, then make sure 
we look back towards our sins committed, and see 
what repentance we have shewed, and reformation ; 
and ever beware of hypocrisy and of scandalous sins. 

Secondly, To beware of rash judgment, either 
against ourselves or others, when God's anger doth 
long continue towards us or them. Indeed this 
state causeth the godly to think themselves forsaken 
of God; as Isa. xlix. 14, and to judge hardly of 

others that be in that estate, as Job iv. 7, but both 
■without good ground. Therefore we must do, as 
Micah vii. 8-10, 'Rejoice not against me, O mine 
enemy : when I fall, I shall arise,' &'c. 

For comfort to them that lie long under the 
heavy hand of God in any affliction, in soul, body, 
or outward estate, wherein they cannot but appre- 
hend God's anger continued. They must consider 
that herein nothing doth befall them, but what hath 
lit on God's dear children ; and therefore must neither 
murmur nor despair. 

The second thing to be observed is the behaviour 
of God's people under the sense and feeling of God's 
long continued anger. They return to him that 
smote them, in humble complaint of his long con- 
tinued anger toward them; see Ps. xliv. 9, 10, 17, 
2.3, and Ixxiv. 1,2. So in Job, chap. vii. 7, 8, 12 ; 
in David, Ps. vi. 1, xxxviii. 1, and Ixxxrai. 14 ; in 
Clirist Jesus, in his agony. Mat. xxvi. 38, 39. 

For, first. They know that affliction comes from 
God, Amos- iii. 6 ; it comes not by chance. Job v. 6, 
but by divine providence and dispensation. Mat. x. 
29, 30. 

2. They know God sends them afflictions to 
make them seek unto him, Hosea v. 14, 15; Isa. 
xxvi. 6 ; as Absalom, by setting on fire Joab's corn- 
field, brought Joab to come to him, 2 Sam. xiv. 
29, &e. 

3. They know that, till God's anger be appeased, 
the strongest helps do fail. Job ix. 13. 

4. That when they complain with godly sorrow, 
God is merciful, and will hear and help : Exod. xxii. 
27, 'When he crieth unto me, I will hear, for I am 
gi-acious;' Ps. xxii. 24, 'He hath not despised nor 
abhorred the affliction of the afflicted ; neither hath 
he hid his face from him ; but when he cried unto 
him, he heard ; ' Ps. li. 1 7, ' A contrite and a broken 
heart, God, thou wilt not despise ; ' Ps. cii. 1 7, 
' He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not 
despise their prayer.' 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction two ways : first. That all God's 
people do conceive the true God to be not only a 
God of power, able to deliver, but a God of mercy 
and compassion, most willing to help and relieve 
those that be in miserv. Joel ii. 13. 



[Ver. 6. 

Secondly, See here the great impiety of tliose 
that, under tire sense of God's anger in any afflic- 
tion, seek other help than from God, as do seekers 
to witches and sorcerers, forbidden of God, Isa. viii. 
1 9 ; and papists, that make intercession to saints for 
deliverance from sundry evils. They have fourteen 
helping saints, by whose intercession and merit men 
may l)e delivered from all adversity, as St George, 
St Blase, Erasmus, Panthaleon, Vitus, Christopher, 
Denis, &c. ; (see Tilheman, Heshusius, in errorihus 
pontijiciorum, loco 28, de cidhi et invocations sanctorum,) 
wherein they deal like to Ahaziah, that sent to 
Baalzebub, the god of Eltron, 2 Kings i. 1, &c. ; 
add Isa. ix. 13, 'The people turneth not unto him 
that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of 

For admonition, that we liecome followers of the 
saints and people of God, who in time of distress 
go to God and make their comj)laints to him : see 
Job's resolution in keeping close to God, Job xiii. 
15, ' Though he slay me, yet wUl I trust in him.' 

For comfort to the godly, they may go unto God 
for mercy and help when they feel God's anger to- 
wards them, as Ps. Ixxvii. 1, &c. ; Judges x. 10, 15. 
Here it is true, though fire be in the bush, the bush 
consumeth not. Hence, 2 Cor. iv. 8, 'We are 
troubled on every side, yet not distressed : we are 
perijlexed, yet not in despair.' 

Ver. 6. JJ'ilt thou not revive us ar/ain, that thij 
people may rejoice in thee ? 

The second complaint of God's church and people 
for the long delay of his love and favour, which 
testified, by restoiing them to comfortable state, they 
esteem and account as life itself, and therefore do 
complain of the want thereof as of the state of 
death : for the change whereof they have recourse to 
God, saying. Wilt not thou revive us again ? moving 
him thereto by his good fruit and eflfect thereof, 
' that thi/ 2>e'^ple may rejoice in thee' as if they should 
have said. While we remain in misery, under the 
sense of thy displeasure, we are as dead men, and 
therefore do complain to thee, who, by removing our 
misery, and renewing thy favour, canst revive us ; 
whereupon will follow this good eflfect, that we thy 
people shall rejoice in thee, which will be for thy glory. 

Here, then, we have to consider as well the 

church's complaint, as her reason propounded to 
move God to give them relief from that misery 
whereof they complain. 

In their comjilaint note two things : the first im- 
plied. That the sense of God's displeasure, in a state 
of misery, is to God's people as a state of death, 
Ps. xxxi. 9-11. David complains of his trouble and 
misery ; and ver. 12, saith, ' I am forgotten as a 
dead man out of mind : I am like a broken vessel ; ' 
Ps. Ixxxviii. 3-5, ' My soul is full of troubles, and 
my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted- 
with them that go down into the pit : I am as a 
man that hath no strength. Free among the dead, 
like the slain that he in the grave, whom thou 
rememberest no more, and they are cut off from 
thine hand.' 

The reason hereof is the high esteem which God's 
people have of his favour, when once they have felt 
the joy and comfort of it in their souls : as Ps. xxx. 
5, ' In his favour is hfe ; ' Ps. Ixiii. 3, ' Thy lo-\dng- 
kindness is better than hfe.' For look, as the 
reasonable soul is a spirit of life from God, quicken- 
ing the body and giving unto it sense and motion, 
Gen. ii. 7, so God's favour testified to the soxd by 
the Spirit of grace, gives a lively cheerfulness to the 
heart of man, which makes him leap for joy : Ps. 
xxxii. 11, 'Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice ye 
righteous, and shout for joy all ye that are upright 
in heart ; ' yea, even in affliction, as Acts v. 41, they 
' rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,' 
1 Pet. i. 8. 
This serves for instruction and admonition. 
For instruction two ways. First, It gives light to 
the better understanding of some places of Scripture, 
which, under the terms of life and resurrection, note 
out unto us the calling of the Jews, wherewithal 
God ■vviU vouchsafe unto them comfortable outward 
estate; as Isa. xxvi. 19, ' Thy dead men shall live,' 
&c. In assurance whereof, was shewed to Ezekiel 
the \'ision of the dry bones raised up to a great 
army, Ezek. xxxvii. 1, &c., there plainly shewed to 
belong to their restoring, bj' the union of the two 
sticks, to signify the union of Judah and Israel, ver. 
16, &c. This is their resuiTcction from the dust 
of distress, Dan. xii. 1 ; for, ' what shall their restor- 
ing be,' saith St Paul, ' but Ufa from the dead ? 
Eom. xi. 15. 

Veb. 6.] 



Secondly, It lets us see a plain diflfcrence between 
God's children and natural men under affliction. 
The child of God lays more to heart God's displea- 
sure towards him, testified by his affliction, than the 
affliction itself; as a toward child is more grieved 
that his lo\'ing father is offended with him, than for 
the smart of his correction. This David shewed in 
his flight from Absalom, when he bade Zadok the 
priest carry back the ark of God into the city: 2 
Sam. XV. 25, 26, ' If,' saith he, ' I shall find favour 
in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and 
shew me both it and his habitation. But if he thus 
say, I have no delight in thee ; behold, here I am, let 
him do to me as seemeth good unto him.' Secondly, 
Tliey more desire the feeling of God's favour, than 
the removal of the affliction, as Ps. li. 8 ; after 
Nathan had told David, ' The Lord hath put away 
thy sin, thou shalt not die,' 2 Sam. xii. 13, yet he 
l)rays the Lord to make him to hear joy and glad- 
ness, and, ver. 12, to restore him to the joy of his 
salvation. Now natural men in these cases deal 
otherwise. First, They look more at the outward 
misery than at God's displeasure: as Isa. xxvi. 11, 
' AVhen thy hand is Hfted up, they will not see ; ' Ps. 
X. 5, ' Thy judgments are far above out of his sight.' 
Secondly, They more desu'e the removal of God's 
judgments than the renewing of his favour ; and 
therefore are said ' not to cry to the Lord with their 
hearts, when they howled upon their beds. They 
assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they 
rebel against me,' Hosea vii. 14. If they respected 
God's favour above freedom from evils and fraition 
of blessings, they would not for these things use 
unlawful means, which increase God's displeasm-e, 
as Saul did, 2 Sam. xxviii. 7. 

For admonition two ways : first. That in all 
afflictions we endeavour to approve ourselves to be 
God's people, by laj-ing to heart God's displeasure 
for our sins above the smart of our affliction, and 
also desire the renewing of his favour above the 
removal of any outward evil, or the fruition of any 
temporal blessing. 

Secondly, That we beware of those things which 
will eclipse his favour, and provoke his anger agauist 
us ; for those are to the soul, as poison to the body. 
Oh that we could esteem sin in every action, as the 
children of the prophets did the vnld \me in the 

pottage, run away, and ciy, ' Death is in the pot,' 
2 Kings iv. 40. From the deadly plague and noi- 
some pestilence we are careful to fly away betime, 
and far enough off'; and so should we do from the 
unprofitable works of darkness, which are death to 
the soul. 

Secondly, here observe, both in the phrase and 
matter therein expressed. That it seems strange to 
God's j)eople that he suffers them to lie long in 
affliction, under the sense of his displeasure, Ps. xiii. 
1,2; four times is the length of God's delay com- 
plained of, and, Ps. Ixxvii. 7, 8, by way of admira- 
tion, ' Will the Lord cast off for ever?' &c. 

The reason is in a double knowledge winch they 
have of God : first. In his essential properties of 
mercy and compassion ; Ps. ciii. 8, ' The Lord is 
merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous 
in mercy.' Ps. Ixxxvi. 15, 'Thou, Lord, art a 
God fuU of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, 
and plenteous in mercy and truth.' Ps. cxlv. 9, 
' His tender mercies are over all his works.' 

Secondly, In his gracious and faithful promise 
made to his people when they enter into covenant 
vnth him, Ps. 1. 5, 15, 'Gather my saints together 
unto me ; those that have made a covenant with 
me by sacrifice.' ' Call upon me in the day of 
trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify 
me.' Luke x\-iii. 7, 8, ' Shall not God avenge his 
own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though 
he bear long -ndth themi I tell you that he -svill 
avenge them sj^eedil}'.' 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For instruction two ways : first. This their admira- 
tion doth presuppose their good and commendable 
information in the knowledge of God, for his gracious 
disposition towards his children, and the truth of 
his promises, assured in covenant with them, else 
they would never have thought it strange it should 
be otherwise with them. And therefore men should 
take heed how they lay claim to be God's people 
and yet be ignorant of his properties and promises. 
1 Cor. XV. 34, ' Some have not the knowledge of 
God ; I speak this to your shame.' 

Secondly, Their admii'ation shews plainly that 
there is a justice and wisdom in God, even in the 
course of his providence over the state and ways of 



[Ver. 6. 

men, which many times surjsasseth the reach of God's 
children to discern and find out, till it please God 
of liimself to reveal the reason and cause of his deal- 
ing, as Jer. xii. 1, 2, 'Kighteous art thou, O Lord, 
when I plead -^atli thee ; yet let me talk with thee 
of thy judgments : wherefore doth the way of the 
wcked prosper ? ' &c. "Who can but admire that the 
wicked Benjamites should twice prevail in fight against 
their brethren, that came for the execution of justice 
upon the sons of Behal, that had committed \-illany 
with the Levite's concubine? Judges xx. 18, &c. 

For admonition, it serves very fitly to move us to 
godly behaAdour under long affliction, that we care- 
fully suppress in ourselves all thoughts of hard or 
unjust dealing in God towards us, therein bringing 
our hearts to this resolution, with Jeremiah, that 
God is righteous, even then, when his dealing seems 
most strange unto us. 

Quest. How shall we be able so to do 1 

Ans. By evincing our hearts of four things in 
God : justice, sovereignty, wisdom, and power. 
First, Of justice ; to do right to all, and wrong to 
none. This is so essential in God, that he may as 
soon cease to be God, as not to do right, Gen xviii. 
25; Ps. cxlv. 17; Jer. xii. 1; Job xxxiv. 10, 23. 
And therefore the godly under affliction must not 
be worse than Pharaoh, who confesseth, Exod. ix. 
27, ' I have sinned ; the Lord is righteous, I and my 
people are bricked.' Secondly, We must lay to heart 
God's sm-erei(jnty, whereby he may do with his own 
what he -will ; he may exercise his under the cross, 
not only for correction for sin, but also for trial of 
grace, as he did Job, chap. ii. 3. We grant this 
liberty to men over their goods and cattle, which 
are th.e gifts of God's providence unto them, and 
shall we deny it to the Lord over man, who hath 
absolute sovereignty over liim, both by creation and 
providence 1 

Thirdly, We must bethink ourselves of God's 
u-isdum, which indeed is infinite, Ps. cxlvii. 5 ; and 
therefore may Ln liiniself perfectly discern that that 
affliction which he continues upon his children is 
most for his own glory, and best for their good, 
though they conceive the contrary, as children do 
under the rod in the hand of their parents. Lastly, 
Consider his almighty poicer ; he can bring light 
out of darkness, 2 Cor. iv. 6, and so he useth to do 

to his chikh'en, Ps. cxii. 4 ; so as they shall confess it is 
good for them that they have been afflicted, Ps. 
cxix. 71. And indeed, whosoever considereth the 
end which God brought unto Job, to Da^dd, and 
the rest, whom he exercised under gi-eat affliction, 
will confess no less. These things, well considered, 
wOl make us know our duty, and acknowledge that 
repining against God's correction continued is ever 
a fruit of corruption which reigneth in natural men, 
and maketh them to blaspheme under God's judg- 
ments. Rev. xvi. 9. 

For comfort, it makes greatly to God's children 
under long affliction to consider that such an estate 
may continue upon his own children and servants, 
by the rule of his justice, sovereignty, wisdom, and 
power ; and therefore they need not to murmur or 
despair, when nothing befalls them but that which 
hath befallen their betters in grace, as Job, David, &c. 

That thy people may rejoice in thee. The reason 
propounded by God's church to move the Lord to 
hasten their deliverance out of misery, and the re- 
moval of their afflictions, — namely, because there- 
upon they should be justly occasioned to rejoice in 
God, as plainly discerning this to be a fruit of his 
mercy and loving providence over them. 

Here then note, that when God's people are de- 
livered from affliction they rejoice in God, as well 
by receiving it as from God's hand ; as Ps. cxxvi. 3, 
' The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof 
we are glad ; ' as by giving all the honour and praise 
thereof to God alone, as Moses and Aaron did for 
their deliverance at the Eed Sea, Exod. xv. 1, &c. ; 
and as Deborah and Barak did, Judges v. 1, &c.; 
David also, Ps. cxvLii. 1, &c. ; and Jehoshaphat and 
the people, 2 Chron. xx. 26, 27. 

The reason hereof is, that though means be used 
by God's people, yet they know that the blessing is 
not in the means, but in the Lord, who doth pros- 
per the same : Ps. xhv. 6-8, ' For I will not trust in 
my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou 
hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them 
to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the 
day long, and praise thy name for ever.' 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, it shews us a plain difference 
between God's children and natural men in the 
fruition of temporal blessings, and so gives e\'idence 

Ver. 7.] 



of nature and grace in the days of peace ; for mere 
nature looks at outward means and at second 
causes ; and so men either glory in themselves, as 
Dan. iv. 30, or sacrifice to their nets, as Hab. i. 15, 
16. But the godly, though they use means, yet 
they first look at God, and give the chief praise to 
him, and look to the means in the second place, as 
1 Sam. xx\-. 32. 

For admonition, it serves effectually to move 
every child of God to conform himself to this pro- 
fession and practice of the godly ; even for every 
blessing, whether of deliverance from evil or fruition 
of good, to rejoice in the Lord. This was David's 
ordinary practice, Ps. xxxiv. 1, 2, 4. This also we 
shall do, if we be careful of three things : first. To 
see God's hand of mercy in everything wherein we 
rejoice; as Ps. cr\'iii. 15, 16, 23, 21, 'The voice of 
rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of 
the righteous ; the right hand of the Lord doth 
valiantly,' &c. Secondly, To give him praise and 
thanks for every blessing : thus God is honoured, 
Ps. 1. 23 ; therefore David stirreth up his soul here- 
unto, Ps. ciii. 1, 2, 'Bless the Lord, my soul ; and 
all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless 
the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.' 
The very blind heathen have done this for the 
honour of their idols, as Judges xr\'i. 23 ; Dan. v. 4. 
Shall not God's people much more do it to the true 

Thirdly, To use the blessings wherein we rejoice 
to God's glory, stirring up ourselves thereby to walk 
more obediently to God's commandments : Ps. cxvi. 
8, 9, 'Thou hast delivei-ed my soul from death, 
mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling : I 
will walk before the Lord in the land of the livins;.' 

Ver. 7. Sliew xis thj mercy, Lord, and grant- us 
thy salvation. 

Here the church doth return again unto humble 
petition or supplication, and that for two things : 
first. That the Lord would shew them his mercy ; 
secondly, Give them liis salvation. 

For the first ; when they say, ' Shew us thy mercy, 
Lord,' they do plainly imply that his mercy or 
loving-lcindness was hid from them ; and yet for aU 
that, they do not leave the Lord in that estate, but 
humbly beg the sight and e\idence of his mercy. 

So that in this first petition we have to note two 
things — the miserable state of God's church for a 
time, and the godly behaviour of the church in that 

For the first; the miserable estate of God's church 
is this — for a time they are without the sense and 
feeling of God's mercy and kindness, else they would 
not desire to see it: Ps. Ixxiv. 1, 9, '0 God, why 
hast thou cast us off for ever? We see not our 
signs' — to wit, of thy mercy towards our help. Ps. 
Ixxvii. 8, 9, ' Is his mercy clean gone for ever 1 
Hath God forgotten to be gracious 1 ' Ps. Ixxxix. 
49, ' Lord, where are thy former loving-kindnesses? ' 

The reason hereof is, first, Trial of grace, as in 
Job : chap. xiii. 24, 'Wherefore hidest thou thy face, 
and boldest me for thine enem}'.' Ver. 26, ' Thou 
writest bitter tilings against me.' 

Secondly, Correction for sins, which stir up God's 
anger against his people, and so hide his mercy and 
kindness from them. Lam. iii. 42-44, ' We have 
transgressed and have rebelled : thou hast not par- 
doned. Thou hast covered mth anger, and perse- 
cuted us : thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. 
Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our 
prayer should not pass through.' This is acknow- 
ledged in Solomon's prayer : 2 Chron. vi. 36, ' If 
they sia against thee, for there is no man which 
sinneth not, and thou be angry with them,' &c. 
Ps. cvi. 39, 40, ' Thus were they defiled with their 
own works, and went a-whoring with their own in- 
ventions. Therefore was the w'rath of the Lord 
kindled against his people, insomuch that he ab- 
horred his own inheritance.' 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction two ways : first. Touching the 
true God. This state of the church, wanting the 
sense of God's mercy, teacheth'us to conceive and 
laiow, that though God be to his church a God of 
mere}' in Christ, and so delight therein, that his 
mercy is said to be above all Ms works, Ps. cxlv. 
9, and that he would be known to delight therein, 
Jer. Lx. 23, yet withal that he is a God of severity 
and justice, not sparing his own people when they 
sin against them. Thus he describes himself, Exod. 
xxxiv. 6, 7, Though he ' keep his mercy for thou- 
sands,' yet he will ' by no means clear the guilty.' 
How did he punish his own people the Jews ! See 



[Ver. 7. 

Lam. i. 12, and his own dearest servants for sin! 
David, 2 Sam. xii. 10, Sec; Asa, and others; nay 
his own Son, when he bore our sins. "NMiich, well 
considered, wUl be the ground of God's fear in our 
hearts, Exod. xxiii. 20, 21, ' I will send mine angel, 
which shall keep thee in the way, &c. Beware of 
him, obey his voice, provoke him not ; for he will 
not pardon your transgressions ; for my name is in 
him.' Heb. xii. 28, 29, 'Let us have grace, whereby 
we may serve God acceptabl}', with reverence and 
godly fear : for our God is a consummg fire.' Jer. v. 
22, 'Fear ye not me? saith tlie Lord; will ye not 
tremble at my presence 1 ' Jer. x. 7, ' Wlio would 
not fear thee, King of nations ? for unto thee doth 
it appertain.' 

Secondly, Touching God's people, see here, that 
they may truly belong to God by covenant in 
Christ, and yet for a time be -ndthout the sense 
and feeling of his mercy and kindness, as Ps. 
Ixxiv. 1, 19, '0 God, why hast thou cast us off 
for ever 1 why doth thine anger smoke agaiiist the 
sheep of thy pasture 1 Forget not the congregation 
of thy poor for ever.' Ps. Ixxvii. 8, 9, ' Is his mercy 
clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for ever- 
more? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath 
he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? ' 

Object. Where, then, is the truth of his promise, Isa. 
liv. 10, 'The mountains .shall depart, and the hills 
be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from 
thee,' &c. Whereupon, Ps. xxiii. 6, 'Mercy and 
kindness shall follow me all the days of my life;' for, 
Ps. Ixxxix. 28, ' My mercy will I keep for him for 
ever.' Ps. cxxx^'i. twenty-six times, in every verse 
once, ' For his mercy endureth for ever.' 

Ans. We must put a difference between God's 
mercy, and kindness conceived in himself and vouch- 
safed to his children and people, and the expressing 
and manifestation thereof The former, once begun, 
is ever continued towards those that be in Christ : 
John xiii. 1, 'Having loved his own which were in 
the world, he loved them unto the end ; ' Eom. xi. 
29, ' For the gifts and calling of God are without re- 
pentance ; ' but the manifestation thereof is many 
times restrained for good causes, as either trial of 
grace, or correction for sin, which liberty we give to 
natural parents towards tlieir children, and therefore 
must take heed we deny it not to God. 

For admonition two ways. First, That we take 
heed of all those things that cause the Lord to hide 
his favour from us, which indeed is all sin, and 
only sin, that separates, Isa. hx. 2, — even pride and 
haughtiness upon the fraition of his favour ; as Ps. 
xxx. 6, 7, ' In my prosperity I said, I shall never be 
moved. Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my 
mountain to stand strong : thou didst hide thy face, 
and I was troubled.' 

Secondly, Not to be dismayed, or to despair under 
the sense of God's displeasure ; for it is the state of 
the godly sometimes to feel it. We must say %vith 
the church, ' I will bear the wrath of the Lord, be- 
cause I have sinned against liim,' Micah ■vii. 9 ; we 
must humble ourselves, and wait for mercy, as Ps. 
xlii. 1 1 , and then know that his favour shall be re- 
newed : ' They that wait upon the Lord shall renew 
their strength.' We must learn to ' walk by faith, 
and not by sight,' 2 Cor. v. 7 ; to live by faith, and 
not by sight, Hab. ii. 4; for, Ps. Ixxxix. 30, &c., 
' If his cliildi-en forsake my law, and walk not in my 
judgments ; if they break my statutes, and keep not 
my commandments ; then ^vill I ■N'isit their trans- 
gression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 
Nevertheless my lovingkindness ■will I not utterly 
take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail,' &c. 
The second thing here to be noted is, the be- 
haviour of God's people in this their miserable estate, 
here plainly expressed. When they want the sense 
and feeling of God's mercy and kindness, they leave 
not God, but go to him by humble and earnest 
prayer for some evidence thereof : Ps. Ixxvii. 2, ' In 
the day of my trouble I sought the Lord ; ' Ps. xl. 
11, 12, ' Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from 
me, Lord : let thy lovingkindness and thy trath 
continually preserve me. For innumerable e^als 
have compassed me about,' &c. ; Ps. xlii. 7-9, ' All 
thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet 
the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the 
daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, 
and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say 
unto God my rock. Why hast thou forgotten me ? ' 
&c. ; Ps. xUv. 17, 2-t, ' AU this is come upon us, yet 
have we not forgotten thee. Wherefore hidest thou 
thy face, and forgettest our affliction ? ' 

The reason of this their behaviour is, partly in 
their knowledge, but prmcipally in their faith in 

Ver. 7.] 



God. For their knowledge, by God's word tlwy are 
certainly assured that mercy is essential in God : Ps. 
Ixii. 12, 'Also unto thee, Lord, belongeth mercy;' 
' He is plenteous in mercy,' Ps. ciii. 8 ; ' His mercy 
is great above the heavens,' Ps. cviii. 4 ; ' The eartii 
is fuU of his goodness,' Ps. xxxiii. 5 ; ' His tender 
mercies are over all his works,' Ps. cxlv. 9. Also they 
know he takes pleasure in those that hope in his 
mercy, Ps. cxhii. 11. Now, will they that know 
this do less to God, than Benhadad's servants did to 
the king of Israel? 1 Kings xx. 31, 32, 'We have 
heard that the kings of the house of Israel are mer- 
ciful kings,' &c. 

Secondly, They trust in God, and therefore have 
recourse unto him in misery, and under the sense of 
his anger. Ps. xiii. 3, 5, ' Consider and hear. I 
have trusted in thy mercy.' Ps. xxii. 1, 4, 5, 'My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mel Our 
fatliers trusted in thee : they trusted, and thou didst 
deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were de- 
livered : tliey trusted in thee, and were not con- 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, it lets us see a difference both in 
judgment and practice between the godly and the 
wicked. For judgment ; even about prayer in afflic- 
tion, the wicked think it unprofitable to pray, Job 
xxi. 1 5 ; Mai. iii. 1 4 ; but the godly know it is 
othemase, James v. 16. For practice; the wicked 
call not upon God, but only for show, Ps. xiv. 4 ; 
Hosea v-ii. 14. But the godly are much in this 
duty : Ps. v. 3, ' My voice shalt thou hear in the 
morning,' &c. ; Ps. Iv. 17, 'Evening, and morning, 
and at noon, will I pray : and cry aloud ;' Ps. cxix. 
164, 'Seven times a day do I praise thee.' Yea, 
herein they offer a holy -violence unto God, as 
Jacob held the angel, and would not let him go tiU 
he blessed him. Gen. xxxii. 24, 26 ; and Moses, as 
it were, held God from destrojing the Israelites 
when they had made the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. 
10, &c. 

For admonition, that we endeavour to approve 
ourselves to be God's people, and true members of 
his church, by following them in this godly practice, 
even then to press upon the Lord by our humble 
and earnest prayers, when he seemeth to oppress us 
with his judgments ; when he hides his mercy from 

us we must by our prayers sue and seek to find 
mercy with him, as David did, 2 Sam. xxi v. 14. 

Quest. How shall we be enabled hereunto ? 

A US. By doing two things : first. We must inform 
our hearts rightly in the nature of God for mercy and 
comjjassion, as is shewed in the first reason, and in 
the gracious promises made to his people even when 
they are in misery. Secondly, Fit ourselves to have 
good title to the same, which requires two things 
at our hands : 1 . True and unfeigned repentance, 
whereby our sins be removed, and so a way made 
to his mercy, Jer. xviii. 7, 8 ; 2. The getting and 
exercising of those graces of the Spirit, which testify 
we stand rightly in covenant with God : as, 1. Faith 
in God through Christ ; rely upon him for the 
pardon of sin and saving of our souls, and we shall 
not distrust for lesser deliverances : as Ps. hi. 1 3, 
' Thou hast delivered my soul from death : wilt thou 
not deliver my feet from falling ? ' 2. Fear God in 
heart, and shew it by eschewing evil and doing good 
m life: Ps. xxv. 12, 14, 'What man is he that 
feareth the Lord 1 him shall he teach in the way 
that he shall choose. The secret of the Lord is with 
them that fear him ; and he vnW shew them his 
covenant;' Ps. ciii. 11, 'For as the heaven is liigh 
above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them 
that fear him.' 3. Exercise mercy towards our 
brethren, so shall we find the Lord merciful unto us ; 
Ps. x\'iii. 25, 'With the merciful thou shalt shew 
thyself merciful.' For on the contrary, James ii. 
13, 'He shall have judgment without mercy that 
hath shewed no mercy;' and Ps. cix. 12, 16, 'Let 
there be none to extend mercy unto him, &c. Be- 
cause that he remembered not to shew mercy,' &c. 
4. Be much in prayer to God in the name of Christ 
for whatsoever we lack, Phil. iv. 6. See encourage- 
ments, Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me in the day of trouble : 
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me ; ' and 
Ps. Ixxxvi. 5, ' Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to 
forgive ; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that 
call upon thee.' 

And grant us thy salvation. 

The second benefit which God's church and people 
here beg of God as a fruit and evidence of his mercy 
and kindness, namely, to give them his salvation — 
that is, deliverance from the troubles of their enemies, 
and from all other evils that lay upon them ; for 



[Ver. 7. 

that is the salvation here meant, as Exod. xiv. 13, 
' Stand still and behold the salvation of the Lord, 
which he will work for you.' 

In this petition note two things : 1. The place 
and order in which this blessing is sought ; 2. 
What kind of salvation they desire, namely, that 
which comes from God, — ' Grant us tluj salvation.' 

For the first, note, God's people seek God's salva- 
tion after they have sought his mercy ; first they 
beg mercy at his hands, and then deliverance from 
evils: Ps. xl. 11, 'Withhold not thou thy tender 
mercies from me, Lord : let thy lovingkindness 
and thy truth continually preserve me.' Ps. vi. 2, 
' Have mercy upon me, Lord ; for I am weak : 
Lord, heal me ; for my bones are vexed.' First 
mercy, then healing: Ps. xxx. 10, 'Have mercy 
upon me, Lord, be thou my helper.' 

The reason . hereof is twofold: first. Their partak- 
ing of God's mercy was necessary for the removal of 
the cause of their misery, which ordinarily is sin ; 
that brings death, and all evils that be forerunners 
thereof, Rom. v. 12. Now there is no way to have 
sin removed but through God's mercy in Christ, as 
Da\'id shews, Ps. H. 1, 2, 14. 

Secondly, Mercy and kindness in God is properly 
the moving cause of his saving us, both temporarily 
in this world, and eternally in the world to come. 
For preservation, which is temporal salvation, see Ps. 
vi. 4, David, being sick and weak, prays thus : ' 
save me for thy mercies' sake ; ' and so, when he was 
in danger of his life by enemies, he makes the same 
prayer, ' save me for thy mercies' sake,' Ps. xxxi. 
16; Ps. xliv. 3, ' Their own arm did not save them : 
but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of 
thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto 
them.' This the people say of God's dealing with 
their forefathers, bringing them out of Egj-jit into 
Canaan ; and thereupon being in misery, they fly to 
the same ground of help : ver. 26, 'Arise for our help, 
redeem us for thy mercies' sake.' So David, as a type 
of Christ in his passion, prays : ' Help me, Lord 
my God : save me, according to thy mercy.' And 
for salvation eternal, it is wholly founded on God's 
mercy in Christ ; Tit. iii. 5, ' Not by works of right- 
eousness which we have done, but according to his 
mercy he saved us,' &c. Ps. cxli. 4, ' Lord, be merciful 
unto me ; heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. 

This serves for instruction, for admonition, and 
for comfort. 

For instruction two ways : fir.st. They that have no 
good title to God's mercy can have no good assu- 
rance of God's salvation, either temporal or eternal ; 
a point very considerable of ^vicked men, that hate 
instruction, as Ps. 1. 1 7, and encourage themselves in 
a wicked course, as Deut. xxix. 19, 20, blessing 
themselves in their hearts, saying. We shall have 
pence, &c. Such the Lord vrill not spare, see Prov. 
i. 25, 26. Hereupon, Ps. cxix. 155, ' Salvation is far 
from the wicked.' It is true, wicked men flatter 
themselves in their own eyes with this. Oh, God is 
merciful ; but whoso is wise will consider whose 
word shall stand, God's or theirs, as Jer. xUv. 28. 

Secondly, See here the true church, seeking God's 
salvation, pleads mercy, not merit ; and so did Paul 
profess and teach, 1 Cor. iv. 4 ; Phil. iii. 9 ; Tit. iii. 
5 ; so Ps. cxv. 1 ; Isa. Ixiv. 6. 

For admonition two ways : first. To all that look 
for God's salvation, temporal or eternal, to make 
sure they stand rightly entitled to God's favour and 
mercy, for salvation follows mercy. Now God's 
mercy is only had in and through faith in Christ 
Jesus, 'whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, 
through faith in his blood,' ifcc, Rom. iii. 25. 

Secondly, In the use of lawful means for preserva- 
tion to renew our title to God's mercy. The want 
hereof liinders many times the fruition of God's 
blessing : as in Asa, 2 Chron. xvi. 12, 'In his dis- 
ease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physi- 
cians,' and so died. But the practice of it by Heze- 
kiah procured the reversing of the sentence of death, 
Isa. xxxviii. 2, &c. 

For comfort, to those that are truly entitled to 
mercy, and yet lie under affliction, they may assure 
themselves of a better deliverance, as Heb. xi. 35 ; 
God's mercy shall be magnified in them, ' whether 
by life or death,' Phil. i. 20. If deliverance be good, 
they shall have it ; if they want deliverance, their 
affliction shall be sanctified unto them. 

The second thing to be noted in this last petition 
is, Wliat Idnd of salvation or deliverance the people 
of God do desire when they are in misery ; namely, 
that which comes from God. God's people in misery 
desire the deliverance which is of God's sending : 
Ps. Ix. 11, 'Give us help from trouble: for vain is 

A^KR. 8.] 



the help of man.' Ps. xx. 7, ' Some trust in 
chariots, and some in horses ; but we will remember 
the name of the Lord our God.' Ver. 9, ' Save, 
Lord.' Ps. c^^. 47, ' Save us, Lord our God.' 

First, They know that salvation belongs unto him, 
Ps. iii. 8. ' He is the God of salvation,' Ps. Ixviii. 
20. ' With him is plenteous redemption,' Ps. 
cxxx. 7. 

Secondly, They know that without him the 
strongest helps do fail: as Job ix. 13, 'If God 
will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do 
stoop under him;' and Isa. xxx. 1, &c., 'Woe to 
the rebellious children, &c. They were all ashamed 
of a people that could not profit them, nor be an 
help,' itc. 

Thirdly, They know that deliverance is easy unto 
him when distress and danger is most grievous, 
Jer. xxxii. 27 ; there is nothing too hard for him. 
He can save with many or with few, 1 Sam. xiv. 6 ; 
with weak means. Judges vii. 20 ; without means, 
Isa. Ixiii. 5 ; by his bare command, Ps. xliv. 4, as 
Mat. viii. 3, 'I will; be thou clean.' Yea, by de- 
stroying means, as Israel through the Eed Sea, 
Exod. xiv. 2C, &c. ; and the three sen'ants of God 
in the fire, Dan. iii. 25, 27. 

Fourthly, They loiow that God stands bound by 
promise, in the covenant which he makes with his 
people, to deliver them out of misery and distress 
when they humble themselves and pray : see Ps. 1. 
5, 1.5; 2 Chron. vii. 14. 

This serves to discover their impiety, which use 
unlawful means to help themselves from under 
miseries and afflictions, as the help and direction of 
■svitches and wizards : like to Saul, 1 Sam. xxviii. 7 ; 
and to Aliaziah, 2 Kings 1-3 ; forbidden. Lev. xx. 
6 ; Isa. viii. 19 ; also theft, oppression, bribery, per- 
jury, lying, &c. 

This is not the practice of God's people. Help 
and deliverance by such means as these is not of 
God, but of the de\'il ; and such persons should 
think of Christ's speech to the Jews : John viii. 44, 
' You are of your father the de\-il, for the lusts of 
your fixther you \yi[\ do.' 

Secondly, To admonish us in all miseries to imi- 
tate God's people in seeking only that help and 
deliverance which comes from God. Consider herein 
the practice of the godly, that would not receive de- 

liverance by unlawful means, Heb. xi. 3.5, alluding 
to 2 Mac. vi. 23, 30. 

Ver. 8. I will hear u'hat God the Lord will speak: 
for he will speak peace to his people, and to his saints : 
hut let them not turn a(jain to folly. 

In this verse, and those which foUow to the end 
of the psalm, is contained the thu-d and last part 
thereof, shewing the church's godly behaviour after 
she had made her complaint and prayer, in promis- 
ing to wait upon God for a gracious answer; whereof 
she lays down sufficient ground, first in general in 
this verse, then more particularly in the rest of the 

Her beha\aour is in these words, ' I will hear what 
God the Lord will speak,' meaning by way of answer 
to my complaint and prayer. Wherein we have to 
note two things : 1. How she styleth God in this 
place ; 2. What duty she undertaketh towards him. 

For the first, The titles here given to God by the 
church are two, mn"' 'PXH, God, the Lord. The 
first notes out his power, the second his performance 
of what he hath promised : as Exod. vi. 3, ' I ap- 
peared unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by the 
name of God Almightij, but by my name Jehovah 
was I not known unto them.' Ver. G, ' Wlierefore 
say unto them, I am the Lord ; I will bring you 

And this is used by the church and godly else- 
where : as Ps. cxviii. 27, 'God is the Lord, who 
hath gdven us light.' 

The reason of this practice of the church is to 
.strengthen herself to the better performance of the 
duty she undertakes, which is to wait for God's 
answer to her prayers; whereto she shall be the 
better encouraged and enabled by considering that 
God is Jehovah, one that not only hath being of 
himself, but gives being to his promises. Now, 
being God, he is able, and being Jehovah, he is 
faithful : as Heb. x. 23, ' He is ftiithful that pro- 
mised ; ' 1 Thes. v. 24, ' He will also do it.' And 
for his promise, see Ps. 1. 15. 

This should teach us to labour to understand the 
holy titles whereby God is styled in Scripture, that 
so we may the better make a right use of them, both 
to teiTify us from sin, and to encourage us in faith 
and obedience. As for terror, to consider that he is 



[Ver. 8. 

called an everlasting burning and devouring fire, Isa. 
xxxiii. 14. For encouragement in difficult cases, to 
consider that lie is the maker of heaven and earth, 
'great in counsel, mighty in work,' Jer. xxxii. 17, 
19. For mercy, ' The good God,' 2 Chron. xxx. 18 ; 
for encouragement in prayer, ' Our Father, which art 
in heaven,' Mat. vi. 9, wliich lays a ground both of 
confidence, in that he is our Father, and of fear and 
humility, in that he is in heaven. 

Secondly, Is God the Lord 1 Then those that call 
him so must fear him in regard of his power, Jer. v. 
25 ; Mat. x. 28, obey him as their Lord, Luke vi. 
46, and rest upon him by faith ; because he makes 
good his gracious jJromises, 2 Cor. i. 20. 

The duty which the church here undertakes to 
perform to God is this — she will patiently attend for 
God's gracious answer to her complaint and prayer. 
So doth Job, chap, xiv., ' All the days of my ap- 
pointed time will I wait, till my change come ; ' Ps. 
xl. 1, ' I waited patiently for the Lord;' Ps. cxxx. 
5, 6, ' I wait for the Lord ; my soul doth wait.' 

The reason hereof is from the work of God's Spirit 
in his children, enabling them by faith, 1. To re- 
verence his command, enjoining them so to do : Ps. 
xxvii. 14, ' Wait on the Lord, be of good courage.' 
2. To rely upon his promise to hear and help, 2 
Chron. vii. 14, wherein they know he will not fail; 
because he is a God of power, able to do whatsoever 
he wiU, Ps. cxv. 3, and of mercy, exceeding abundant, 
above all that we can ask or think, Eph. iii. 20. 

This serves for instruction and for admonition. 

For instruction, it acquaints us with a plain dif- 
ference between the godly, who are believers, and 
the wicked, who are unbelievers. The godly do not 
only pray to God, but wait also for an answer when 
they have made their prayer, as Ps. xlii. 5,11; Isa. 
xxviii. 10. But the wicked either pray not, as Ps. 
xiv. 4, or if they do pray, yet they will not wait : 
as 2 Kings vi. 33, 'What should I wait upon the 
Lord any longer 1 ' They deal with their prayers as 
the ostrich doth ■with her eggs, which she leaveth in 
the earth, &c.. Job xxxix. 14, &c., because God hath 
deprived them of understanding, as punishment of 
their contempt of the means of grace, else they would 
not account the exercise of prayer inijirofitable, as 
Job xxi. 15 ; Mai. iii. 14. 

For admonition, that we endeavour to approve 

ourselves to be God's people by waiting iipon God 
for a gracious answer to our prayers. This we 
should do every day, according to the practice of the 
church in tins place, whereunto, if we did indeed set 
ourselves, we would make conscience of all sin, that 
we might keep ourselves in the love of God, -nathout 
which we cannot comfortably expect a gracious an- 
swer from him to our prayers. Now, to enable us 
to wait and listen for a gracious answer when we 
have prayed, we must be well exercised in godly 
consideration and practice. 

The consideration needful hereto is threefold : 
first. Of God's promise made to those that pray unto 
him ; for it is presumption to wait for that which 
God hath not promised to give. True expectation 
is a frait of faith, which ever looks at God's word of 
promise. Secondly, Of God's power and mercy ; for 
as his power will assure us that he is able, so his 
mercy will shew that he is most ready and willing 
to grant our recjuests. Tliii-dly, We must consider 
his manner of answer. It is threefold : sometime by 
giving that particular blessing we ask, as 1 Sam. i. 
27, ' For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath 
given me my petition which I asked of him ; ' some- 
time by giving some other thing answerable to the 
blessmg, as 2 Cor. xii. 9, ' My grace is sufiicient for 
thee ; ' and sometimes by giving patience and strength 
to bear the evils which we would have removed, as 
Heb. V. 7. 

The godly practice hereto needful is threefold : 
fii'st. To stir up our hearts to lay hold on God's pro- 
mises by faith, as Ps. xliii. v. And herein we must 
shew godly judgment in labouring to trust perfectly 
for spiritual blessings smiply needful to salvation : 
as 2 Tim. i. 12, 'I am not ashamed, for I know 
whom I have believed,' &c. But for spuitual bless- 
ings less necessaiy, as also for all temporal blessings, 
to submit our wills to God's will. Secondly, We 
must hold on in the way of obedience : Ps. xxx\Ti. 
34, ' Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he 
shall exalt thee to inherit the land.' Thirdly, Con- 
tinue in prayer. Col. iv. 2 ; ' Keep not silence, give 
the Lord no rest,' Isa. Ixii. 6, 7. 

Far he wUl speak jKcice to his iKople and to his 
saints. i 

The reason or ground whereby the church doth I 
encourage herself to the former godly practice, drawn 

Ver. 8.] 



from God's gracious dealing with liis people in giving 
comfortable answer to their prayers, for peace in 
Scripture doth oftentimes note out all manner of 
welfare, as Exod. xviii. 7 ; Ps. cxxii. 6, and 
XXXV. 27. 

In this reason we have two things to note : first, 
The honourable title whereby God's people here be 
styled, namely, that they are his saints ; secondly, 
The special favour which God ^vill shew unto them 
in answer to their prayers ; he will speak peace unto 

For the first, They are his saints, even gracious 
saints, such as he doth prosecute with special grace 
and favour, as we speak, the Lord's favourites : Ps. 
XXX. 4, ' Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his ; ' 
Ps. xxxi. 23, ' love the Lord, ye his saints, for 
the Lord preserveth the faithful ; ' Ps. xxxvii. 28, 
' He forsaketh not his saints.' 

The reason and ground of this happy and honour- 
able estate is in God alone : 1 Cor. iv. 7, ' For who 
maketh thee to differ from another? And what 
hast thou that thou didst not receive?' First, In 
God the Father electing and choosing them to be 
holy : Eph. i. 4, ' According as he hath chosen us in 
him, before the foundation of the world, that we 
should be holy and -without blame before liim in 
love.' Secondly, In God the Son redeeming them 
from sin, washing and cleansing them with the 
washing of water by the word, that he might present 
them to himself without spot, or -nTiukle, or any 
such thing, but that they might be holy and without 
blemish, Eph. v. 25-27. Tliirdly, In the work of 
the Holy Ghost appljing the merit and power of 
Christ's death unto them, for the abolishing of cor- 
ruption and the rene^^ing of the graces of his holy 
image : 1 Pet. i. 22, ' Ye have purified yourselves in 
obeying the truth through the Spirit.' Fourthly, 
In a work of all three persons vouchsafing unto 
them an effectual calling.: 1 Cor. i. 2, ' Called to be 

This serves for instruction, admonition, and com- 

For Instruction, first. It lets us plainly see that 
God hath his saints in this world, such as from 
election, through redemption and sanctification, are 
holy and pure in his sight: Num. xxiii. 21, 'He 
hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob.' It is not as 

papists say, tRat there are none but in heaven, for 
here they have their beginning, and now are truly, 
though not perfectly holy. 

Secondly, Here see how far the profane do deceive 
themselves when they lay claim to be God's people : 
Ps. xciv. 20, ' Shall the throne of iniquity have 
fellowship vnih thee, which frameth mischief by a 
law?' 2 Cor. vi. 14, &c., 'What fellowship hath 
righteousness with unrighteousness,' &c. ; 1 John i. 
6, ' If we say that we have fellowship with him, and 
walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.' 

For admonition, first. That if we lay claim to be 
God's people, we labour after holiness : Heb. xii. 14, 
' Follow laeace with all men, and holiness, without 
which no man shall see the Lord,